Complete List of Berserk Influences on Sekiro
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Complete List of Berserk Influences on Sekiro

2015- 2018

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Among all Souls games, Sekiro's protagonist and story are the most similar to that of Berserk. Berserk influences are deep within Sekiro. They will not be evident at the start, but once you have known them, there is no turning back.

The Berserk references in Sekiro are related to the combat, the weapons, and the overall plot of the story.

Berserk and the Souls Games

The creator of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Hidetaka Miyazaki, is a huge Berserk fan, which he has acknowledged multiple times in interviews. Growing up in a home where video games were not allowed, reading mangas like Berserk and Devilman were among Miyazaki's favorite past time.

During the creation of the Souls games, Miyazaki expressed his admiration and homage to Berserk by placing several references to the manga, either through the monster designs, armor and weapon designs, characters, and even in the plot and story structure of his games.

We collected the Berserk references on all the Souls games and shared here all that is present in the game Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

For every reference we included in the list, we also provided the chapter in the manga where you can find it and the background info that can give you more context.

Grading System - How Sure are We?

In addition, you can also see for each entry a verdict section, where we share if the inspiration is either:

  • Beyond Doubt
  • High Possibility
  • Similar

Berserk Influences on Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Sekiro and Guts

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 3
  • Chapter Name: The Golden Age
  • About: Sekiro is inspired by Guts

The intro story of Sekiro follows this pattern:

  1. A boy is in a location where death is everywhere, and if left alone will also die
  2. A man comes in and takes the boy, becoming his father and mentor
  3. The man will teach the boy, and they will both excel in the same field

This intro is the exact pattern followed by the popular manga Rurouni Kenshin. As the theme of that manga is about samurai and sword fights, you may think that Miyazaki took inspiration from Rurouni Kenshin.

However, the similarity stops there. The mentor in Kenshin is a genuine father-figure who took care of the boy. There is no betrayal involved. The mentor will not have any intent to kill the boy when he grows up, for whatever reason.

Now let's restart the comparison with the background of Guts. The story of Guts follows perfectly the same pattern:

  1. A boy is in a location where death is everywhere, and if left alone will also die
  2. A man comes in and takes the boy, becoming his father and mentor
  3. The man will teach the boy and they will both excel in the same field

Guts was found near a tree surrounded by corpses. Apparently, her mother gave birth to him while at the brink of death and hanging in the tree. If left alone, Guts will surely die.

A group of mercenaries passed by, and they took the baby. The leader of the group, Gambino, became the father and mentor of Guts.

Flash forward to the future, the following events will happen to both Sekiro and Guts:

  1. The hero will lose an arm to a stronger enemy
  2. He will meet a blacksmith that will replace it with a prosthetic arm
  3. The prosthetic arm will be weaponized
  4. One of the weapons in the prosthetic arm behaves like a cannon
  5. The father will betray the hero
  6. The hero will kill the father
  7. The hero will seek revenge on the enemy responsible for his lost arm

Sometimes you may wonder if the whole Souls games series is a love letter to Berserk.

Flame Vent and Guts' Hand Cannon

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 1
  • Chapter Name: The Black Swordsman
  • About: The Flame Vent is inspired by Guts' Hand Cannon

After getting his hand cut, Guts got the help of Rickert in attaching a prosthetic arm. Not only did Rickert help Guts have a metal hand, but he also weaponized it by placing a portable cannon inside. This proved powerful in his battle against the apostles.

Sekiro followed a similar journey and had the help of a blacksmith who attached a Shinobi Prosthetic on his arm. One of the tools that Sekiro can use is the Flame Vent, which is basically a mini-cannon plus flamethrower.

The Original Mikiri Counter

  • Verdict: Beyond Doubt
  • Seen in: Volume 3
  • Chapter Name: The Golden Age
  • About: The Mikiri Counter is inspired by Berserk

In the game, one of the ways to counter-attack is to use the Mikiri Counter. See the screenshot below to learn what it means.

Both of the Berserk major characters, Guts and Griffith, can do the Mikiri Counter. Here is Griffith doing it against the great sword of Guts.

Of course, Guts being the main character can do the Mikiri counter against three enemies simultaneously. In the scene below, he is also doing the Jump Attack, after the Mikiri Counter. 

Berserk Influences on other Souls Games

If you would like to see how Sekiro scored compared to the other Souls games when it comes to Berserk influences, see this full summary.

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