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Me? I am your executioner.
~ Zangetsu to Miriam in Ritual of the Night

Zangetsu (斬月?) is a recurring character in the Bloodstained series. He is a demon hunter who hails from a country in the East and wields a powerful blade known as the Zangetsuto.

He was introduced as an opponent-turned-ally in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, and returned as a protagonist in Curse of the Moon and Curse of the Moon 2, being a playable character in all three titles.

Official description

Coming from a small country far away in the East, Zangetsu specializes in fighting demons. He makes his way to England when the demons first show up 10 years before the main story of Bloodstained begins.
He uses a dual katana fighting style along with Japanese "ofuda" paper incantations to destroy his demonic foes.
During his long battle to keep the demons at bay he loses his left eye and right arm. Using a special Ofuda spell he is able to animate a wooden prosthetic arm to nearly the same level of mobility as his original arm. The Ofuda that covers his missing left eye grants him the ability to see both auras of both the living and dead.
He lost a great deal of friends during his 10 years of fighting, creating an absolute hatred for not only the creatures themselves but also the Alchemists that brought them to the Earth.

History

Ritual of the Night

Zangetsu is a samurai from the Far East who came to England ten years prior to the events of the story to combat the demon invasion. Over the years, the demons took his right arm and many of his closest friends, spurring a hatred for the demons and the Alchemists that created them.

Zangetsu is first encountered in the Garden of Silence. When he sees Miriam, he senses her Shardbinder powers and engages her in combat with the intent to kill. Upon his defeat, Miriam deduces that Zangetsu was holding back throughout the fight, and he begrudgingly spares her. Miriam later discovers that Zangetsu is working with Dominique and is thus an ally.

Throughout the course of the game, Zangetsu sends message arrows to Dominique for her to relay to Miriam. Many of these contain cryptically worded hints toward Miriam's next destination or objective.

Zangetsu and Miriam later come face to face again at the Bridge of Evil. The two of them forge a truce when Zangetsu explains that he has been having difficulty progressing through the train due to a door sealed by sorcery. Using their combined powers, Miriam and Zangetsu defeat the Glutton Train, and Zangetsu develops a sense of respect for Miriam.

In the Oriental Sorcery Lab, Zangetsu challenges Miriam to battle once again to test her abilities. Although he is defeated, Miriam notes that he was still holding back, although significantly less so than before. Having confirmed Miriam's abilities, Zangetsu explains that his blade, the Zangetsuto, has the ability to defeat Gremory, but Gremory has been avoiding him for this reason. Deducing that Gremory has been staying by Gebel's side to protect him from Miriam's presence, Zangetsu relinquishes the Zangetsuto to Miriam in hopes that she can get close enough to Gremory to use the blade on her.

Prior to the final confrontation with Gremory in the Glacial Tomb, Zangetsu hatches a plan with Miriam to defeat Gremory once and for all: because Gremory now knows that Zangetsu no longer possesses the Zangetsuto, she will not perceive him as a threat and attempt to attack him, during which he will use his powers to seal Gremory's teleportation so Miriam can defeat her. Although he is successful in doing so, Gremory sends Zangetsu to Hell in the process and he is presumed dead by his allies. Luckily, after the demon castle vanished, it is revealed at the end that he has somehow survived these events and retrieved the Zangetsuto, which Miriam decided to leave behind.

Curse of the Moon

Zangetsu is the main playable character of Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon. Afflicted by the titular "Curse of the Moon", Zangetsu travels to the demon castle to defeat Gremory, an archdemon with dominion over the moon. Along the way, Zangetsu encounters three potential allies: Miriam, Alfred and Gebel. Zangetsu is particularly reluctant to let them join, but can recruit them as they share a common goal.

If all three allies are recruited, Zangetsu defends his allies from Gremory's final attack, an act of self-sacrifice that causes him to become possessed. Determined to save their new friend, Miriam, Alfred and Gebel set out to defeat Zangetsu.

Zangetsu is encountered at the end of Stage 9, sipping from a sake dish before challenging the heroes to combat. Although Zangetsu disables Alfred and Gebel, the heroes' combined efforts manage to vanquish him, allowing his soul to progress to the afterlife. When Zangetsu awakens next, he finds himself at the top of a futuristic, cyberpunk-style building, while the words "THE END...?" appear.

However, Zangetsu can ignore his potential allies without killing them and decide to challenge Gremory alone. Once she is defeated, Miriam, Alfred and Gebel defend him from Gremory's final attack. As the castle crumbles, he realizes that the world he was trapped in was an illusion conjured by Gremory, shown to him alone via the Curse of the Moon. And as he looks upon the potential allies he had ignored, who had risked their lives to save him, he reflects on his own weakness. In the Japanese version, the words "TRUE END" appear.

Appearance

Zangetsu's design is a fusion of a western-style coat that was prominent in the late 18th century and traces of Japanese elements in that it's kept half-open. Koji Igarashi has also stated that he has also emphasized Zangetsu's wild nature through this design.[2]

Powers and abilities

Curse of the Moon

  • Zangetsuto: Zangetsu's sword and main means of attack. Short-ranged, but a very quick weapon.
  • Crescent Moon: A Soul Art obtained from killing Miriam, which gives Zangetsu's jump slash a wider range.
  • Blood Moon: A Soul Art obtained from killing Alfred which allows Zangetsu to double-jump.
  • New Moon: A Soul Art obtained from killing Gebel which allows Zangetsu to dash at high speeds.
  • Charged Slash: A Soul Art only usable in Ultimate Mode. Charging Zangetsuto and releasing results in high damage, high range slash.
  • Ball-and-Chain: One of Zangetsu's subweapons. A powerful, mid-range, upward-diagonal attack with a ball-and-chain.
  • Magic Charm: One of Zangetsu's subweapons. Zangetsu throws a talisman diagonally downward, hitting enemies in its way for minor damage before touching the ground. Upon impact, the talisman explodes into a small purple orb, dealing multiple hits of damage to enemies touching it.
  • Demon Essence: One of Zangetsu's subweapons. Zangetsu calls forth dark power, temporarily increasing the attack power of him and his allies.

Curse of the Moon 2

  • Soul Eraser and Daizangetsutou: Blades obtained from fulfilling special conditions, both of which upgrade Zangetsu's existing abilities.
    • Slash Combo: Zangetsu can execute a three slash combo on the ground.
    • Helmsplitter: Performs identically to Crescent Moon.
    • Explosive Ball-and-Chain: Ball-and-Chain has longer reach and an explosion at the end of the chain.
    • Void Charm: Magic Charm explodes into a pillar of dark energy with greater vertical range.
    • Devil Essence: Demon Essence allows Zangetsu to perform a mid-air rolling slash.
  • Zanmatou: A blade obtained from fulfilling special conditions. Performs identically to Zangetsutou.

Quotes

  • "I know what you are-that ghastly air about you. You reek of sorcery, Shardbinder."
  • "But listen to me, Shardbinder... If you value your life, then stay out of my sight."
  • "He must have known that he would not leave here alive. We can grieve later; right now, we need to put an end to all this or his death will mean nothing."

Development

Zangetsu was first revealed on the August 20, 2015 Kickstarter update.[2] Regarding the character's purpose in the story, IGA stated, "Zangetsu is a character I came up with when trying to answer this question: What happened in the lost time between the appearance of the demons on earth and Miriam's awakening 10 years later?" while adding that he's trying to do something fresh in the game's universe, since he hadn't had a Japanese character in his games before.

Later in at the BitSummit 2017, IGA elaborates more on the character's backstory. He also revealed that they had thought of creating a "Knight Templar" kind of character to fulfill Zangetsu's role before, but changed their mind due to the reason stated above.[3]

Etymology

Zangetsu contains the kanji for "beheading" (斬) and "moon" (月). The writing of the name is a variation of "残月", also pronounced Zangetsu, which literally means "remaining moon" and is used to refer to the moon visible in the morning in Japanese. The "zan" from "残" is a Japanese approximation of the Chinese pronunciation of "cán" as it is pronounced in the Wu region of China (Go'on). The "zan" from "斬" is a misreading of "san", the Japanese approximation of the Chinese pronunciation of "Zhǎn" during the Tang Dynasty (Kan'on).

Gallery

See: Zangetsu/Gallery

Videos

Trivia

  • Zangetsu was possibly inspired by Getsu Fuma from Konami's GetsuFumaDen game series.
  • According to the description of the Zangetsuto, "Zangetsu" is not actually the character's name, but a title given to wielders of the sword. As such, the demon hunter's real name remains unknown as of the release of Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2.
  • If the game's resolution is set to 21:9 (Ultrawide), Zangetsu can be seen emerging from the right side of the screen during the ending cutscene of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, revealing that he survived the events of the game.
    • In more recent versions of the game, an additional animation sequence was added consisting of Miriam leaving the Zangetsuto on the ground and the sword mysteriously disappearing when the camera switches back to that place.
  • Although unseen, Zangetsu is automatically equipped with a Black Belt along with his Zangetsuto in Zangetsu Mode.

References

External links

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