Despite being the same person, Zelgius and the Black Knight have different personalities. In his Black Knight persona, he is cold and ruthless. For example, on the night that the Black Knight has slain Greil, he asks Ike to hand over Lehran's medallion. When Ike refuses, the knight threatens Ike with the intent to murder Mist, Ike's sister. In his Zelgius persona, he is chivalrous knight who shows mercy to his enemies. During the war between Begnion and the Laguz Alliance, he defeats Skrimir but spares his life. Afterwards, he allows the Laguz to retreat if they stop fighting. Both of his personas have the lust for challenges.
As the Black Knight, he is loyal to Daein's King, Ashnard, during Path of Radiance. In the sequel, he still assists Daein and Micaiah. As Zelgius, he is the general of the Begnion army. However, the Black Knight has a secret agenda. He is following Sephiran's orders to plunge the land into chaos to awaken Ashera. Despite being loyal to Sephiran, the Black Knight acts on his free will in his dealings with Ike and Micaiah.
The Black Knight is a character in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn.
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
Throughout Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, his identity is not spoken of except that he was once a student of General Gawain. He is the most powerful General in all of Daein and is the most powerful of the Four Riders. The black armor that he wears covers his whole body and has been blessed by the goddess. His armor can only be penetrated by other weapons which have also been blessed, one of which is Ragnell. When Petrine fails to capture Ike, Greil, and the rest of mercenaries, the Black Knight appears and tells her and their men to step down. He glares at Greil before leaving them. Later that night, he challenges Greil to a duel where he gave Ragnell to Greil to make their duel more interesting. The Black Knight kills Commander Greil in front of his son, Ike. This is how Ike and the Black Knight became sworn nemesis.
Later on, the Black Knight appears again during a chapter where Ike and his mercenary group try to escape onto a ship. Ranulf attempts to stop the knight, but his attacks were useless. Before the knight can deliver the final blow, Sephiran stops him. As the war rages between Daein and Crimea, he finally gets a duel between Ike who wields Ragnell. Yet, Ike defeats the Black Knight and leaves the crumbling castle. No remains of the knight is found after that fateful event.
Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
In Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, he makes his debut when saving Micaiah from Jarod. Even though Sothe is suspicious of the knight, Macaiah allows the knight to join their army. When the Laguz Alliance wages war on Begnion for the Forest Serenes massacre, the Black Knight disappears, and Zelgius takes his role as general. his identity is revealed to be that of the Begnion general Zelgius. At first, this is confirmed by Ranulf, before the game's characters split up into three armies. He tells Ike that Zelgius and the Black Knight both fight in the exact same way, meaning they are the same person. (Before this game, some of the data in Path of Radiance at least hinted at this being a possibility.) This is confirmed in the Tower of Guidance, where the Black Knight removes his helmet to reveal Zelgius underneath. He then challenges Ike to a one-on-one fight, summoning a magic wall to make sure nobody interferes. Ike wins, finally killing the Black Knight in doing so. Through his final memories, it is revealed that he is a Branded whom Sephiran sent into Daein as a spy to elongate his military career.
Throughout the course of the game, the Black Knight comes to the aid of the Dawn Brigade, briefly being either a playable character or boss, depending on who the player is controlling. Naturally, he retains all the abilities he had in previous encounters, like immunity to most damage and the Eclipse skill. After helping them achieve whatever goal they were trying to accomplish, the Black Knight leaves. During this time, he also acts as a general for the Begnion army, taking place in many major battles. However, because of his opposition to the immoral battle methods of those around him (like Valtome), he becomes scheduled for execution, only to be saved by Empress Sanaki at the last minute.
Black Knight: You have your father to thank for that. When you told me that he had crippled himself, I realized that I had never fought him at all, merely his shadow.
Ike: What are you getting at?
Black Knight: I saw immediately that you were not your father's equal, but that one day you might be. So I did the only thing I could to keep you alive... I let you win.
To Ike — Part 3, Chapter 7
Even though Zelgius is a playable character in Radiant Dawn, he has no supports with anyone due to his story line and limited appearances. Despite having no supports, Zelgius has several important relationships with the main protagonists and others in the game.
|Greil (Gawain)||Zelgius looks up to Greil as his master who taught him the way of the sword, and he desires to prove himself as a great warrior by fighting Greil. Despite killing him in the end without much challenge since Greil's sword arm became handicapped, Zelgius has great respect for Greil.|
|Sephiran||Sephiran is the only one who has seen Zelgius's brand on his back, and Zelgius follows Sephiran with absolute loyalty. In return, Sephiran helps him prolong his military career and to fulfill his wish to fight Gawain, or Ike, who has the potential to be as skilled if not more.|
Note: Sephiran and Zelgius's affinities are opposites, light and dark respectively.
|Ike||Even though the Black Knight and Ike are sworn enemies after the Black Knight murders his father, the two develop a strong rivalry that becomes a bond in the end game during Radiant Dawn. Zelgius rests in peace knowing that he has fulfilled his desires by fighting Ike to the bitter end. Ike calls Zelgius, his teacher.|
|Micaiah||Although the Black Knight is under Sephiran's orders to support Micaiah in the overthrowing of the Begnion oppressors, the knight has a strange relationship with Micaiah. He shows respect and kindness to her which contrasts his Path of Radiance persona. Also, he follows Micaiah's will obediently when she stops him from killing Jarod. When Ashera awakens, he warps to the desert during Micaiah's battle. He asks Micaiah to come with him to the tower, and when Micaiah politely declines his offer, the Black Knight solemnly reveals disappointment before leaving her.|
Note: Both Zelgius and Micaiah are both Branded and share the same affinity: Dark.
It appears that the Black Knight is of the Marshall class due to his armor and stats. A Marshall is a class of third tier generals who can wield most weapons. He possesses a unique skill, Eclipse, that negates his enemies' defense and resistances and delivers a blow, five times the strength. In addition to Eclipse, the Black Knight has the skill, Nihil, in the Radiant Dawn game. This ability negates the opponent's special ability. With Eclipse and Nihil, the Black Knight is one of the toughest characters to defeat. Fighting him early in the game would spell death for players.
- Affinity: Dark (how appropriate)
- HP: 60
- Strength: 20
- Magic: 17
- Skill: 30
- Speed: 27
- Luck: 11
- Defense: 30
- Resistance: 22
- Constitution/Build: 13
- Weight: 18
- Movement: 6
- Weapon grade: Sword - S, Lance - A
Secret Scenes and Conversations
In Radiant Dawn, Zelgius and Sephiran have an unlockable scene only in the 2nd play through of Fire Emblem under certain conditions.
- The player must use the Black Knight in Part 1's Endgame.
- Ike must fight the Black Knight in Part 3's Chapter 7, and both must survive as well.
- Defeat the Black Knight with Ike in Rebirth (2)
This scene is revealed after Ike defeats Zelgius in the endgame. Micaiah and Ike witness the flashbacks where Greil murders Ike's mother and how Sephiran erases Ike's memory.
Also in Radiant Dawn, the Black Knight has several conversations with Micaiah, Sothe, and Leanne.
- Micaiah - He talks to her the most during battles. During the first encounter, he protects Micaiah from Jarod. If the player tries to rescue Micaiah, Micaiah would refuse and want to fight along the knight. In the endgame of part 1, the Black Knight tells her that she looks like "her," but he does not explain who to Micaiah. Fans speculate that the knight is referring to Micaiah's ancestor, Altina. In chapter 3 of part 4, the Black Knight has appeared and asked Micaiah to come with him. Though, he leaves her with some knowledge of the "light" when Micaiah declines his offer.
- Sothe - The two do not have a great relationship due to Sothe's suspicions. When Sothe vows to protect Micaiah, the knight tells him to grow stronger than him.
- Leanne - She calls the knight a walking nightmare due to the fact that the Black Knight had kidnapped her in Path of Radiance. He once asked her if she was afraid of him.
"One of Daein's Four Riders and wielder of the blessed sword Ettard. Once an apprentice to Ike's father, Greil, the two eventually duel, resulting in Greil's defeat. Thought to be dead after losing Ike and the blessed sword Ragnell, the Black Knight survives and comes to the aid of Micaiah, the leader of the Dawn Brigade, a band of Daein freedom fighters."
He makes a cameo as a trophy and a sticker in Nintendo's Super Smash Brothers Brawl.
Note: There is a typo in the Brawl description. The Black Knight wields Alondite not Ettard.
Sticker: His sticker grants 40 points towards launch resistance for any character in the game.