The Berserker

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Yet another futile attempt by Guts to engage in a civil conversation.

"He cleared the ship, helmless and shieldless and hewing about him with both hands..."

The Long Ships by Frans G Bengtsson


Khorne Berserker warcry, Warhammer 40,000

The Berserker is a character who throws himself into a fight with such reckless abandon, it seems like he WANTS to die. It could be over-enthusiasm, overconfidence, Unstoppable Rage, or a real lack of will to live. Whatever the cause, it's usually accompanied by a bellowing warcry. Sometimes with total obliviousness to whether he's actually fighting the enemy. And he never, ever retreats.

Berserkers are equally capable of being good or evil. If they're good, then out of battle, most will brood about whatever it is that causes their berserk fits, or show remorse about losing control of themselves. Most end up one of two ways: being taught by their teammates to control themselves after a particularly close call, or dying in a dramatic fashion while lamenting that they died without completing their mission. Good Berserkers are also very prone to Heroic Sacrifices, for very obvious reasons. An evil Berserker, on the other hand, is generally just unrepentantly Ax Crazy and very often Chaotic Evil.

The trope's title refers to the berserkr of Viking-age Scandinavia: Warriors who are said to have thrown themselves into battle wearing only animal hides for armour and with no regard for their own safety. Their 'battle-madness', whose exact nature is presently unknown (some say it came from eating poisonous mushrooms before a battle) is said to have been a gift from Odin. The word "berserkr" means "Bear-shirt" in Old Norse, referring to either going into battle "bare-shirted" or for wearing bear pelts into battle. Their effectiveness in battle is up for debate, but they were an imposing and terrifying nightmare to the continental Europeans—and, if The Icelandic Sagas are to be trusted, to their own civilization.

Berserkers that truly do wish to die in battle are better known as Death Seekers—those who don't often overlap with the Blood Knight or Barbarian Hero instead. When foolishly done without any regard to strategy or planning, the Berserker becomes a Leeroy Jenkins.

Examples of The Berserker include:

Anime and Manga

  • In Berserk, both the manga and anime (but especially the manga), Guts takes on this role, acknowledging in the manga that he realizes that his battle-crazed moments make people close to him fear him. He is driven, but definitely is not a Death Seeker, despite his tendency to take on 100 men (or even worse things later on) at once.
    • This state is now "magically" enhanced by the use of his Berserker Armor that facilitates such fighting mode, for example by numbing any wounds received to keep fighting at his maximal potential. However it does come as a price (aside from not being aware that lethal wounds might have been received) in that his Super-Powered Evil Side always threatens to take over which would cause him to start attacking friends or foes regardless until dead or the last standing on the battlefield.
  • Asuka Langley Soryū and Rei Ayanami of Neon Genesis Evangelion: Rei because she really doesn't care whether she lives or dies, and Asuka because she's overconfident and addicted to the thrill of battle.
    • Shinji Ikari himself lapses into this under sufficient psychological stress, when his Unstoppable Rage kicks in, the desperate battle against Zeruel is a good example.
      • He's like this by default in Rebuild continuity.
    • For that matter, the Eva Units themselves occasionally override their pilots and rush into full furious battle, with disturbingly effective results.
      • Appropriately called ``Berserker Mode``.
    • It should be noted that during combat, Rei never displays any lack of emotional control (initially) and would readily employ basic tactics and follow orders from superiors (usually), but otherwise fits the trope to a T -- though she's not as much of a Death Seeker as being literally unafraid of death, because in her own words, "(she is) replaceable".
      • That is open to interpretation. Episode 25 has Rei flat out state she wants to die, in my opinion I take that as to mean to be able to live one full life, without being replaced. As for Rei being a berserker, lest we forget the dummy system that is based on her. Apparently the way she tears apart Unit 03 is her fighting.
        • That self-same Dummy Plug (which is also the only one seen in active combat) is also noted to exhibit anomalous "readings" right after it is activated; Maya Ibuki even questions Gendou's decision to use it in the first place, explicitly stating that the entire Dummy Plug project is still in the experimental stage. And her wish to die, though may qualify her as a Death Seeker, would remain inconsequential as long as her clones existed, making a self-endangering combat style meaningless and even detrimental to Gendou's plans; I don't rule out practical brainwashing on his part, too.
    • Mari, from Rebuild of Evangelion, takes elements of a Blood Knight and takes this to new heights, being the only pilot to initiate a variant of Berserk Mode conciously and of her own volition. She goes really, really crazy with it.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Yu-Gi-Oh GX: Kaiser, once he realizes he doesn't have much time left anyway, and Judai, when the desire to find Johan completely overrides his reason.
    • Also in GX, Judai's monster Elemental Hero Wildheart (a Tarzan Expy) and his fusions tend to exemplify the concept, doing things like ignoring/destroying traps, attacking all enemies in one go, etc.
    • An odd example of this is Romin Kirishima (Romin Kassidy in the dub) from Yu-GiOh! SEVENS. She has a disorder (for lack of a better term) that causes her to go into a duelist version of berserk whenever she is very hungry, showing no quarter to her opponent and not recognizing them, no matter who it is. If allowed to eat she recovers and has only vague memory of what happened. Her cousin Roa is not above weaponizing her "talent". Later it is revealed she can go berserk on her own without being hungry.
  • Myojin Yahiko in Rurouni Kenshin.
  • One Piece: Luffy during the Marineford Arc. His rage was a result of Ace's death, and since then, the Straw Hats and their allies have abandoned their Thou Shalt Not Kill policy, showing little quarter to enemies and making the series Darker and Edgier as a whole.
  • Virtually the entire main male cast of Samurai Deeper Kyo.
  • Gauron from Full Metal Panic!, who takes his constant personal antagonizing of Mithril and (especially) Sousuke to a suicidal degree. He seems to care little whether he lives or dies, or who he harms, as long as he is able to mess up the heroes as much as humanly possible—and with as much panache as he can wring out of it -- in the process. In the light novels, it is revealed that his destructive attitude stems from a lethal cancer that would kill him sooner or later anyway.
  • Kamina from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. 'Give up' is not a word in his vocabulary, nor is 'tactics', 'sound judgment', or 'subtlety'.
    • To a lesser extent, everyone else, even the bad guys!
  • Oh, yeah, you think they're Hot-Blooded... and then you go and hurt Nia. Cue people punching your minions through the boundaries of space-time and literally blowing up your space armadas with the sheer power of their awesomeness. JUST WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK WE ARE!!!
  • Bjorn in Vinland Saga, apart from being a Berserker, is also a real berserkr. After eating a special mushroom he flies into an uncontrollable fury, and is able to rip apart multiple enemies with his bare hands. Problem is he has a habit of killing his own men at the same time, just as any true berserker would. His name even means bear in Nordic languages.
  • Vita from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha fits this trope nicely. She's a badass Determinator with a giant hammer and even says herself that destroying is the best thing she can do. For example, in the fight with Nanoha, after her hat gets damaged, her pupils were narrowing in shock, just before she goes ballistic and beats Nanoha like a screaming warrior.
  • "Apapapapapapapapapapa!" While Kenichi the Mightiest Disciple actually has a character named Berserker, the real berserker of the series is Apachai Hopachi, the Death God of Muay Thai Boxing. He is literally incapable of holding back in a fight and, as a result, nearly kills Kenichi a few times when training him. He does overcome this to a limited degree, though.
    • Also, there is Kisara Nanjo when she first awakens to what other characters name "Nya Kwon Do," during which she behaves exactly like a cat (meowing, grooming herself, and kicking sand at her opponent).
  • Ryoma from Getter Robo. His Fan Nickname "Batshit Ryoma" encapsulates him well, as a character who combines all the best parts of Hot-Blooded, Slasher Smile, Ax Crazy, and the Determinator.
    • And then there's his moment in New Getter Robo which gave him an completely maniacal Unstoppable Rage.
  • Venus Versus Virus's Sumire is a berserker, in guess what? Her Berserker mode.
  • The title character of Murder Princess is this; fortunately her maid can snap her out of it.
  • Iceman Hotty of Basquash! looks like just another pretty boy, but... "Destroy!"
  • Carossa from Gun X Sword easily surpasses Shinn Asuka in anger and stupidity, and that's before someone comes within speaking range of his sister. Unlike Shinn Asuka however, Carossa is infinitely more justified in that he's a small child with no military training whatsoever.
  • Chang Wufei from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing was highly on offense and never cared about defense, even when playing chess.
    • As mentioned in the Carossa example above, Shinn Asuka of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny is also a classic berserker. He's good enough to get away with it against anyone outside of Kira and Athrun. Interesting in that while an Anti-Villain, he's also a genuinely complex character, with a real life outside of Berserker-ing.
  • Orson from Record of Lodoss War is an authentic berserker. He's generally The Stoic, but hurt someone he cares for, and SPECIALLY his Tsundere partner Shiris... and well, see what happens.
    • And he's one of these for a HUGE reason, explained in the TV series. When he was a child, his beloved older sister sacrificed her life to save him from bandits. Then, he was possessed by a demon named Hyuri, and ever since then he's had the demon inside of him; whenever Orson gets upset, he loses control and Hyuri takes over, and only Shiris is able to calm him down.
  • Bleach: Kenpachi Zaraki. His berserker nature makes him happy in battle, to the point where getting cut makes him laugh and the more he gets cut, the more he laughs. He's an example of someone who is technically on the good guys side who is unrepentant about his nature. He likes' being that way. Allies and opponents alike find him extremely unnerving to be around on the battlefield.
  • Dawn's Mamoswine in Pokémon, arguably even worse than Ash's Charizard in its inability to follow orders.
  • Shizuo Heiwajima from Durarara!!. It's bad enough that he's inhumanly strong and uncontrollably violent when angry (read: all the time), he also happens to have such an insanely high pain threshold that even multiple gunshot wounds barely register—And, even then, only when he looks down and realizes that he's bleeding all over himself.
  • Ranma ½: Ranma's "Cat Fist" mode is probably meant to be a form of berserk state. He starts to think he's a cat and attacks any threat with an Unstoppable Rage. (The original Norse Berserkers were said to believe themselves to be bears in the heat of action, hence the name - "berserk = "bear shirt".)
  • Koululu from Zatch Bell becomes a berserker in the truest sense of the word when her spells are activated.
  • In Naruto, the Curse Seal personality of Jūgo behaves like this, willing to attack anyone it encounters.

Comic Books

  • Wolverine of X-Men. Though with his increasingly effective healing factor, he's really got nothing to worry about. Of course, this leads to unfortunate consequences.
  • Edward Hyde, as portrayed in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is a Berserker. Initially he is just so powerful that he doesn't need to worry about taking risks in battle, but this shifts in the second volume when he takes perverse pleasure in sacrificing himself for the sake of killing some H.G. Wells Martians.
    • Marvel Comics has its own version of Mr. Hyde (criminal scientist Calvin Zabo), usually an enemy of Thor, who fits. In his alternate, super-strong form, Zabo is a practical embodiment of rage.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mirage, both Raphael and Casey Jones begin like this until they meet each other, which allows them both to gain some perspective; although they eventually cool down considerably, they are both keenly aware of their tendency to fly off the handle when provoked and try to avoid it.
  • Hooded Justice, the first ever superhero in the Watchmen universe, was one of these. In his first ever case as a vigilante, HJ beat up a street thug so bad he lost the use of his legs for the rest of his life.
  • Slaine, main character of the British comic of the same name, is in part based on Cuchulainn. An almost ridiculously powerful Celtic warrior, even by the standards of Heavy Metal-style comic magazines (imagine Conan the Barbarian on steroids), Slaine's favored weapon is a huge battle axe named "Brainbiter" with which he inflicts much carnage, and he embodies the power of the ri­astrad, or "Warp Spasm," which is capable of transforming him into a huge, monstrous mass of muscle and sinew which is incapable of distinguishing friend from foe, but is quite efficient when it comes to dispatching either. He is also, arguably, The Hero and The Big Guy of the series.
  • Green Lantern: Every single Red Lantern, bar maybe Atrocitus, who actually has a brain. One panel actually shows one shoving his head inside a Sinestro Corpsman made of acid.
    • This is by design: Atrocitus wanted an army of Ax Crazy monsters to use as weapons against the Green Lantern Corps, not people capable of rational thought, so he built the rings to induce this state. With the Red Lantern Corps's shift to Villain Protagonist, Atrocitus has been giving more and more of his Corps free will via Applied Phlebotinum. Of course they'll still all gut you at the drop of a hat, but at least now they might tell you why...
  • Mazikeen from Lucifer gains this as a nickname. She's not averse to it.
  • The Vertigo comic Northlanders, which is all about Vikings, has a few mentions of the original Berserkers. The attitude towards them is distilled by one comic, which more or less says "Singers loved them for their deeds, and lords loved them because they could give them no armor and no pay after they died, and no one else remembered them, because they seldom lasted longer than a raiding season or two."
  • Sin City has Marv who fights in a very berserk manner, literally throwing himself head first into the fight with no regard for his own safety. In fact, in his initial story arc, he expects to die anyway.
  • The Incredible Hulk is pretty much the personification of this trope and likely Marvel's best example of a berserker.
  • The Mighty Thor can be a berserker at times, notably when he suffers from warrior's madness. It took Thanos bringing Thor before Odin to cure Thor. Everyone else was on the receiving end of a Curb Stomp Battle.
  • Juggernaut is tough to stop normally. Try stopping him when he's not happy.
  • Good luck if you manage to piss off Superman. It doesn't happen often but when it does...

Fan Works


  • The aptly-named Sven the Berserk in Erik the Viking is one comedic example.
    • His father, the also aptly-named Sven's Dad, is also a berserker, though a "retired" one. At one point, Sven's Dad explains the philosophy of the Berserk, and does so in a funny voice, too!
  • In The Thirteenth Warrior, Ahmad ibn Fadlan goes battle-mad during one attack, but seeing as he's hanging around Vikings and taking on more and more of their culture, it's not surprising.
    • Buliwyf counts, since he goes back into battle after being poisoned.
      • Vikings couldn't get into Valhalla unless they died in battle, so why wait for the poison? Dying of poison wouldn't be a very good ending for the heroic poem he asked Ahmad to write about his deeds, either.
  • Ajax in Troy. When he goes into battle, no Annoying Arrows or mere impalement can stop him from administering a righteous hammer of justice. Not so much in the book... until he goes mad and kills a bunch of sheep.
  • Hilariously subverted by Mr. Furious in Mystery Men. He gets angry. He gets real angry. And that's it. No super-strength, no supernatural resistance to pain or injury, and he doesn't change into a monster. He's just a raging Ben Stiller with all the fighting ability of a loaf of bread.
    • Until he finally finds something to get righteously furious about, and suddenly becomes as super-strong as he's supposed to be...
      • Which can be easily explained - he does gain power when he's furious. However, all the other times when he was trying to be furious were just moments of frustration at best. Not the same thing.
  • Dying in battle was a family tradition for Lieutenant Dan Taylor in Forrest Gump and he is furious when Forrest saves him (especially since he was crippled by his injury).
  • The Joker as portrayed by Heath Ledger in 2008's The Dark Knight Saga is concerned only with sowing chaos and panic, even if it means sacrificing himself in the process. Although he typically leaves himself a prearranged "back door" of sorts, a sort of Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard scenario in which all of the materiel required for a quick escape is secreted away, if not on his person, somewhere remote from the Joker himself (but close enough at hand to pull his fat out of the fire), these "escape clauses" sometimes seem as potentially fatal to the Joker as his enemies.
  • Benjamin Martin in The Patriot exhibits berserker-like qualities in battle. Especially his first and last fight scenes.
  • In old flicks with The Three Stooges, Curly can become an unstoppable powerhouse who can flatten men twice his size if he hears the tune "Pop Goes the Weasel".


  • Wulfgar, the barbarian from the popular Drizzt novels (based on the Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms setting), seems to fit into this type in almost every fight he's in after being resurrected after a decade of torment by Errtu. Unable to cope with the hopelessness and torture he endured, and fearing that his escape is all some dream, he fights recklessly. Several times, Drizzt and others have had to divert their tactics to save him from himself.
    • For that matter, Drizzt himself also shows aspects of the trope. In a mild form, he's often surprised other characters at how enthusiastically he joins battle against evil foes (especially giantkin). In a played-straight form, he has his Hunter persona, when he lets his survival instinct take complete control. True to form, he does sometimes suffer a Heroic BSOD after these instances.
  • Fitz, protagonist of Robin Hobb's Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies, tends to go into a "battle haze" whenever he fights, disregarding his own safety to savagely lay about himself. This makes him very effective during battle, but then he's left standing around delirious for a few minutes until the berserker-mode wears off.
  • In Robert Low's The Whale Road one of the Viking ship's crew is a skinny man with a bad leg named Pintel. Throughout the story the main character, Orm wonders why no-one ever mocks Pintel over anything and why the man is even able to mock their Captain while anyone else is threatened with death. Later on a newer Christian member of the crew pulls down Pintel's offering to Odin and in the ensuing argument mocks Pintel's leg. Pintel challenges the man to a fight. At the beginning of the duel Pintel throws away his shield and begins to froth at the mouth. Pintel then leaps onto the challenger and hacks at him until there is very little left other than a lot of blood and some blocks of flesh.
  • Also in the Forgotten Realms are the dwarven Battleragers who * love* combat and jump into it with a glee that scares their allies as much as the enemy. Considering that their fighting style incorporates armour that can only be described as a mobile cheese grater which is used to shred opponents by rubbing against them with furiously, this is probably justified.
  • Grigoriy Pechorin, the Byronic Hero of Mikhail Lermontov's A Hero of Our Time, has extreme ennui for a fatal flaw and so lives by this principle as well. He leads charges on enemy positions, enters a duel he knows to be rigged and volunteers to tackle an Ax Crazy drunken Cossack.
  • Logen Ninefingers from Joe Abercrombie's The First Law trilogy is a pretty tough fella normally, but when he's desperate, hurt and loses control he becomes "The Bloody-Nine", an unstoppable warrior who has no distinction between "friend" and "foe", only "dead" and "soon to be dead". Other Named Men, already battle-hardened warriors with one or two exceptions, are absolutely terrified of him, to the point that his name is used as a warcry to terrify Northerners, later on.
  • Touchstone, from Garth Nix's Sabriel goes into rages that give him frightening power and disregard for things such as physical impossibilities (i.e. trying to hoist up a throne affixed to the floor so he can throw it at someone.) He regrets these bitterly, and they are said to be the result of his mother's affair with a warrior from the North. It is revealed towards the end of Sabriel that this is why he was frozen as a figurehead of a ship for 200 years.
    • His son, Sam, inherits this trait to a degree. Perhaps due to his more cautious disposition, he never loses himself to the extent that Touchstone does.
  • The Badger Lords, and anyone else unfortunate enough to have the bloodwrath, from Brian Jacque's Redwall series. When the bloodwrath takes over, the warrior will throw themselves into battle, seeking to reach and kill their mortal enemy. They are completely heedless of their own safety, and will kill anyone—friend or foe—who tries to get in their way or otherwise stop them. They usually end up killing scores of foes, their mortal enemy, and themselves.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings:
    • Eomer when he finds his sister after she kills the Witch King.
    • Hell, the entire army of Rohan went on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge at this point. If charging at the enemy screaming "Death" doesn't fit this trope I don't know what does.
    • A few characters from The Silmarillion also qualify. For instance:

"Maedhros did deeds of surpassing valour, and the Orcs fled before his face; for since his torment upon Thangorodrim his spirit burned like a white fire within."

    • Beorn, in The Hobbit. His role in the Battle of Five Armies occurs offscreen, but given how Gandalf describes it, he clearly qualifies.
  • In James Swallow's Warhammer 40,000 novels Deus Encarmine and Deus Sanguinius, the Blood Angels are perpetually tempted by their "flaw", the "red thirst", which transforms them into this when they succumb. Stele unleashes it in opponents to be rid of them. At the climax, Rafen succumbs to this; on the other hand, it does unlock the powers of the Spear of Telesto for him, and the daemon he fights is shocked to see that the many futures in which Rafen failed instantly vanish. Then the spear protects him. When the dying daemon unleashes it in the other Blood Angels, they terrify their enemies, who retreat although they never retreat, and the spear even, astoundingly enough, lets Rafen bring back his battle brothers who had succumbed.
  • David Weber's War God's Oath series features an entire species of these. It's somewhat involuntary, and they're not happy about that.
  • Erik Hakkonsen from the Shadow of the Lion series is capable of this, but since he doesn't know friend from foe once he enters a rage, he refuses to do it when the prince he's guarding is nearby.
  • In Wraith Squadron, the multiminded alien character "Runt" had a "pilot mind" who was basically a berserker. As berserkers make very bad pilots, Runt did badly enough to qualify for the Wraiths. With his wingman's help Runt eventually got over this problem.
  • In The Warlord Chronicles, Derfel muses several times about how any man, whether he be a justice loving generous soul like Arthur or a loving family man like Derfel can transform into a monster in battle, especially when victory seems likely.

A terrible hate wells up in battle, a hatred that comes from the dark soul to fill a man with fierce and bloody anger. I knew that Saxon shield wall would break. I knew it long before I attacked it. The wall was too thin, had been too hurried in the making, and was too nervous, and so I broke out of our front rank and shouted my hate at the enemy. At that moment all I wanted to do was kill... so I ran ahead, madness filling my soul and exultation giving me a terrible power as I picked my victims. They were two young men, both smaller than me, both nervous, both with skimpy beards, and both were shrinking away even before I hit them. They saw a British warlord in splendor, I saw two dead Saxons.

    • Also notable is his description of the Irish Blackshields, an entire army of berserker soldiers and raiders.

The Blackshields did not attack in a line, but came in a howling mass. This was the Irish way of war, a terrifying assault of maddened men who came to the slaughter like lovers.

  • Galbatorix creates groups of magically modified soldiers who cannot feel pain in the third book of the Inheritance Cycle. They disregard their safety because they can take crippling injuries and continue on, making them a whole army of berserkers.
  • Jarek of The Seventh Tower.
  • In the Starlight and Shadows trilogy by Elaine Cunningham one of protagonists is a berserker. Since they abilities are considered partially magical, when Toril's magic was messed up, he became a little closer to the original—that is, his rage sooner or later started spontaneously in any fight, then he lost all control and usually fought until no standing opponents present (though he still accepted unambiguous surrender in this state). Since both he and his superiors knew soon he's likely to lose ability to tell foes from allies, this was a problem.
  • Boïndil from Dwarves, to the point that he mistook his wife for an orc and killed her while raging. And he's a good guy.
  • In Robert E Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "Rogues in the House", "The dust of the gray lotus, from the Swamps of the Dead, beyond the land of Khitai" turns some trapped intruders into this. They have no one to turn on but each other.
    • Conan himself is a natural berserker. As put in Queen of the Black Coast, "The fighting-madness of his race was upon him, and with a red mist of unreasoning fury wavering before his blazing eyes, he cleft skulls, smashed breasts, severed limbs, ripped out entrails, and littered the deck like a shambles with a ghastly harvest of brains and blood."
    • Many of Howard's other characters are also born berserkers, including King Kull and even Solomon Kane, all the more unnerving with the latter because of his otherwise ironclad self-control, most notably in Wings in the Night when the akaana slaughter his new friends: "Kane laid the body gently down, looking for Kuroba. He saw only a huddled cluster of grisly shapes that sucked and tore at something between them. And Kane went mad." Kane gone mad is scary.
    • In "Black Colossus," The Horde led by Natohk (a.k.a. Thugra Khotan) attacks without thought.
  • According to Audie Murphy's autobiography "To Hell and Back," there were two occasions when he started firing an oversized gun, cursing, and giving no regard to his own safety. He says that the memories of these events are very fuzzy, like it was a dream.
  • Among the many, many werewolves of The Dresden Files are lycanthropes, humans who don't actually shapeshift but maintain a pack mentality and have major rage issues. When the full moon comes around, they pretty much go feral and have to hunt something down.
    • A Harry Dresden whose instinctive sense of decency has been outraged is a truly fearsome sight - and the last for anybody or anything that tries to stand against him.
  • Rhodry Maelwaedd in the Deverry novels, during his time as a silver dagger. One of Jill's past lives, the warrior woman Gweniver, was like this as well. Both are referred to as "chortling" in battle, and Rhodry has an extended metaphor about his love for "Lady Death".
  • With her grizzly bear morph, Rachel from Animorphs is a particularly apt example of this trope. She's been known to use her own severed arm as a weapon in the heat of battle.
  • Karsa Orlong from Malazan Book of the Fallen uses this exclusively. It's all he knows and it works. So far...
  • The protagonist of The Underland Chronicles has a natural capacity to go into this state when his life is in danger. It's not always voluntary, which is really bad for a character who normally hates to kill.
  • Hurt her husband or her son and Amelia Peabody becomes something far more elemental than an English lady. Watch out for the parasol.
  • Although berserkers (berserkir) frequently appear in The Icelandic Sagas, they often do not actually fit this trope: More often than not, they are merely villains and troublemakers who live by robbing and blackmailing people and who never actually prove the supernatural ferocity that they claim to possess; the implication is that they just want to scare people into submission with their bogus "berserk powers". However, one saga—the Saga of Egil Skallagrimsson—focuses on a family who seems to produce a real berserkr every generation, most notably Egil himself who frequently falls into berserk-fury. They are, however, never actually called berserkir in-story, presumably to avoid the connotations with the villain stereotype described above.
  • Valgard of The Broken Sword:

But after a while the berserkergang began to come on Valgard, he trembled and frothed and gnawed the rim of his shield, he rushed forward howling and slaying.

  • Harry Harrison and Tom Shippey's "The Hammer and the Cross" trilogy features a realistic Nordic berserkr as a major supporting character. When not fighting, he's brooding and melancholy, prone to fits of heavy drinking. When fighting, he's a Death Seeker. One of the main characters notes that all "true" berserkrs are inherently Death Seekers.
  • Taur Urgas of Belgariad. He's the Ax Crazy King of Cthol Murgos, and The Brute of the series' Five-Bad Band. He's a total mental case who sleeps in his armour, is prone to fits of madness during which he does everything from commit murder to chewing the furniture, and completely gives into his rage in battle, actually frothing at the mouth as he leads his troops into battle. His madness gives his men a peculiar sense of invincibility, and when he dies (while demanding his enemy come back and fight) their spirits are completely broken.
  • Adus of The Elenium becomes this towards the end. Already an Ax Crazy mentally-handicapped Psycho for Hire, he loses his mind during the climax, to the point where he cuts his way through his own troops to get at Kalten.
  • Seoyun from The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor
  • Who's Afraid of Beowulf? features Starkad the Berserker, the sweetest, kindest if rather dim hero you'd ever want to meet - outside of battle that is.
  • The Koloss from Mistborn are an entire race of berserkers. They're used as shock troops by The Empire and were in fact originally created for this purpose, but in the first book the protagonists don't have to worry about them since they're operating La Résistance in The Empire's capital, and the koloss's blood rage means they can't ever be allowed near major population centers you want to leave standing. In the second and third books after the Lord Ruler, who was essentially restraining them telepathically, dies, the koloss start wandering around in hordes and killing anyone they can get their hands on. Eventually the new Big Bad, Ruin, takes command of them.
  • Discworld: Sam Vimes exhibits some of these qualities, especially in the climactic battles of Night Watch and Thud!. In Night Watch, Vimes taps into his long-buried rage (that he calls "The Beast") and lets it out as he grabs two swords and hacks his way through the enemy, described as "he wasn't an enemy, he was a nemesis." In Thud!, he appears to be doing much the same thing, to the point of ignoring a dwarfish flamethrower being used on him. Although in that case, it was also a case of possession as he was under the influence of a quasi-demonic thing of pure vengeance called the Summoning Dark.

Live-Action TV

  • Numerous alien species from the various Star Trek franchises, including the Klingons and Jem'Hadar (the latter first appearing in Deep Space Nine continuity), are brutally fierce warrior races which not only show no fear of death but in some instances actually seem to relish the prospect of death in battle (although the Enterprise franchise plays down this aspect of Klingon culture somewhat).
  • Gem and Gemma of Power Rangers RPM. A pair of Psychopathic Manchild Adult Children who have a five year old's facination for guns and explosions (or rather, "boom time") and a Henshin Hero's armory. They have to be reminded rather frequently to, for example, not blow up the enemy factory until prisoners have been removed.
  • Kamen Rider Double's Mid-Season Upgrade, FangJoker, first started out as this, due to Philip's difficulty in controlling it.
    • The next Rider, OOO, had a similar problem, except this time, it was his Super Mode, PuToTyra Combo, that was uncontrollable.


  • A few characters from Food for the Gods, most notably The Black Knight.
  • Manowar‍'‍s "The Sons of Odin," in a particularly Badass part of the song:

Onward, into the heart of the battle fought the sons of Odin.
Outnumbered many times, still they fought on.
Blood poured forth from their wounds deep into the earth.
Vultures waited for the broken shells that once were bodies.
But Odin alone would choose the day they would enter Valhalla

  • Heather Alexander's "Don't Call My Name In Battle" has a berserker giving some very important advice to his comrades:

Don't call my name in battle -- it's not wise.
Do not distract me when you see a new soul in these eyes.
For when the war god fills this flesh I wear,
I am no more your friend; I am the spirit of the bear.
Don't call my name in battle -- stand away,
For I will never hear you, but some other creature may.
It never sees a friend, but only foes.
Just count the bodies lying where this taken body goes.
Don't call my name in battle -- wait the time,
Until I fall and rise again with eyes you know are mine.
And then perhaps we'll rest and talk of home.
But you'll not be surprised to see how much I walk alone.

  • Brad Neely's Role Play Tournament (Be Aggressive) chronicles how a tabletop RPG player wins a tournament with his berserker-type character. It even goes as far as revealing his self-examination, in that despite his own admission of his lack of self-control, he just goes on punching holes in ships and ripping other characters asunder.

Mirror, mirror, uh
Up on the wall, uh
Who's the baddest motherfucker of them all, uh
Just like Columbus, uh
He get the bloodlust, uh
Just like Columbus he get murderous on purpose

Oral Tradition, Folklore, Myths and Legends

  • In Irish legend, when the hero Cuchulainn went into "warp-spasm," he was invincible—but could not distinguish friend from foe.
  • Lancelot from Arthurian legends had many aspects of this trope. When Monty Python did their Holy Grail movie, Lancelot's character was preserved. He was memorable for scenes where he would kill innocents and be pretty sorry for it later, just like the stories.
  • Lu Bu of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms mythos only knows of two commands: "kill" and "kill faster". He's one of the most powerful characters you encounter in Dynasty Warriors, and it will take an extremely high-leveled character to survive a direct assault against him. Yuan Shao said it best in the Battle of Hu Lao Gate in DW3: "Don't pursue Lu Bu".
    • DW6 ups the ante by providing a Musou Mode for Lu Bu. During this, you (playing as Lu Bu) jumps headfirst into several historical, large-scale battles, usually accompanied only by one or two squads of retainers, and proceeds to take on BOTH armies. For no other reason than the desire to fight and kill. At the end, you are looking out from above Hu Lao Gate at an army consisting of the joined forces of EVERY hero and warlord of the Three Kingdoms period, including several who've risen from the grave to join the fight. What do you do? Why, obviously, you leap off the wall and charge headfirst into the million-strong armies. And win.
    • Ironically, the source material subverts this somewhat—his Romance of the Three Kingdoms incarnation is more noted for treachery by murdering first his original lord for money/power, then killing his new lord more or less for a woman -- even if this killing was the culmination of a "pro-Han" coup, less than great leadership... and comes to a far more humiliating ending.
  • Although Ajax from The Iliad is described as a defensive fighter in the poem, a post-Homeric source makes him into this. At one point, blind with fury over not getting the recently-deceased Achilles' armor, he goes into a berserk rage and kills a bunch of sheep, thinking they are the Greek army. When he realizes what he has done, he is Driven to Suicide. He is depicted the same way in Troy, although the whole "sheep-killing" thing is skipped over.
  • Heracles was also known to fly into mad rages at times. This was never a pleasant thing for anyone he was fighting—or for any innocents in the vicinity. He murdered his family one time after a particular nasty rage brought about by Hera, which led to him undertaking the Twelve Labors as atonement.
    • Not to mention the Maenads, Dionysus's female followers. Presumably, before joining Dionysus's cult, they were normal women. But in their ritualistic frenzies, what with their chanting, shrieking, and tearing people and animals apart with their bare hands, they'd be at least as terrifying as the Viking Trope Namers.

Tabletop Games

  • Khornate Berserkers in both Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000. The 40k Berserkers actually undergo voluntary lobotomies to increase their psychotic blood lust. The page quote is one of their most infamous warcries.
    • Blood Angels Death Company. When they meet the above, things get really bloody, even by 40K's standards.
    • Don't forget both da Orks and many Space Wolves of the ranks of Blood Claw or Skyclaw.
    • Kharn the Betrayer takes it Up to Eleven when he attacked his own fellow World Eaters when they wouldn't fight in the cold.
    • Warhammer Fantasy Battle is no slacker, with Witch Elves, Savage Orcs, Skaven Plague Monks, and anyone else with the Frenzy special rule. One classic Skaven spell, Death Frenzy, would turn any Skaven unit into this... but they'd be so psychotic that they would rip each other to shreds as well.
  • Hida Amoro, one of the Crab Clan's best warriors from Legend of the Five Rings, is a Berserker. However, he is cool-headed and rational (unlike most Crab Clan) outside of combat. As he fights his vision slowly becomes red-tinted until he has no control left. It is said that this is the only reason he isn't a higher rank—he has no control over his rages and will strike down anything, friend or foe, until he passes out from exhaustion. For bonus points he wields a daito. All his comrades are aware of this and stand far away from him on the wall separating Rokugan from the Shadowlands.

The other Crab soldiers almost felt sad for the poor goblins that died by impaling themselves on the spears of those behind them while fleeing, so great was their fear of Amoro.

  • In Dungeons & Dragons, the frenzied berserker class can enter frenzies for bonuses. If it kills all the enemies in sight? They start killing allies.
    • In many editions of D&D, Barbarians in general qualify as these, though unlike the Frenzied Berserker, they have some control over who they go after when they start laying about with their big melee weapons.
  • In the classic Avalon Hill WWII game Squad Leader, shooting at Russian infantry was a dangerous pastime. If you rolled a K(ill), fine; but if you did anything but kill the squad, it had a chance to go berserk and ignore all results except K, as well as vastly improved close combat abilities. Realistic? Well, it's Squad Leader, where all the streets in the villages are 40 meters wide.
  • Any vampire can do this in Vampire: The Requiem from the New World of Darkness by "riding the wave" during Frenzy, entering a state where they control which targets they attack instead of just tearing crap up. One good example is the Sotoha bloodline, which grants its members the ability to perfectly hone and control their Frenzy... but having them technically be in Frenzy all the goddamn time.
  • The tiraks in Eon, especially the frakk, are quite (in)famous for this ability. Mind you, since tiraks are well above humans in terms of strength and endurance, they can afford to be a bit reckless.

Video Games

  • The Berserker Class from Adventure Quest Worlds There are also Berserker Armors like Berserker Champion and Berserker Bunny there is even a test-class called Beta Berserker
  • Sork from Treasure of the Rudra is always itching for a fight.
  • Leeeerooooy Jenkins! from World of Warcraft.
    • Fury Warriors operate like this. Their main battle stance is literally called Berserker Stance, a good portion of their cooldown abilities let them deal more damage in exchange for taking more damage, and they eventually learn how to dual wield two-handed weapons.
  • The Black Whirlwind from Jade Empire fits this trope perfectly. The character he was based on, from the Water Margin, was exactly the same.
  • Boisterous Bruiser Minsc and Sociopathic Hero Korgan from the Baldurs Gate series are both good examples of this trope. Despite being the good one of the two, Minsc's berserker rage is even more indiscriminate than Korgan's, as he is prone to attacking his allies if no enemies are present.
  • Saix from Kingdom Hearts II, while normally seeming to be cold and composed, becomes this in battle when the moon shines upon him.
    • Beast probably counts too. He always charge against The Heartless head-on with horns, teeth, claws, and a roar, hell just the roar can kill the weaker ones, and |Hades is THE Disney villain version of this.
    • The bigger Heartless attack more ruthlessly if they're running low on life.
    • One Nobody race is even called "Berserker", and they're commanded by Saix.
    • One ability is called "Berserk", which help the party member who has it to become stronger if he has lesser life and the first one to get it was Donald.
  • Hardfangs in Resistance: Fall of Man are said to have all instincts of self-preservation removed in place of aggressiveness for superior combat performance. True to form, they only have one eye.
  • Luca Blight from Suikoden II is what happens when you make a character like this a Big Bad. In the Climax Boss battle against him, he literally fights until his body is so full of wounds that it gives out on him (but not before fighting through several armies worth of enemies) and even then he only laughs while spiting the main party for being pansies.
  • Gears of War has an enemy actually called "Berserkers" which are essentially female Locust Drones covered in armored plating that renders them invincible to small arms and explosives. Being blind they track targets by scent and smell, but have enough muscle and mass to pound through solid stone walls. The only infantry-portable weapon capable of killing them reliably is the Hammer Of Dawn target designator, though in a pinch one can improvise using the terrain. In Gears Of War 3, a new variant of the Berserker appears in the form of the Lambent Berserker, which in addition to being nearly invincible, also has multiple arms and bladed tentacles and leaks poisonous Imulsion when wounded.
  • The various Final Fantasy games have had several different types of Berserkers. The most common version is the Berserk spell, which does exactly what it sounds like when you cast it on someone. Final Fantasy VI has the yeti Umaro as a playable character who could not be controlled by the player and otherwise attacked the enemies whenever his turn came up in battle, and Final Fantasy III, Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy X-2 all had the Berserker available in their Job systems, though X-2's is the only one where you retained control.
    • Final Fantasy II had a Berserk spell that didn't make the characters uncontrollable, making it far more useful.
    • Final Fantasy XI also has Berserk as a Warrior Job Ability. Upon use, the player retains full control of the player and receives a 25% increase to the Attack stat, but at the cost of a 25% penalty to defense.
  • In Battle for Wesnoth whenever a Dwarvish Ulfserker enters melee combat, the attack cycle will repeat until one of the units dies or if the battle lasts for thirty rounds (which is extremely rare). This makes them extremely good at slaughtering Squishy Wizards, especially the poor Dark Adept, which has no melee attacks at all. The game hangs a lampshade on this by having the Ulf and its upgrade, the Berserker laugh maniacally when they attack a unit without a melee retaliation.
  • Grom Hellscream from Warcraft II and III. His rage leads to him actually doing a Leeroy Jenkins attack in WC3 (several years before the Trope Namers did his stuff).
    • Trolls have had Berserkers since their first appearance in Warcraft II. Unlike most depictions of Berserkers, they're ranged attackers that throw spears or axes at their opponents. They have an improved regeneration and have an ability that makes them attack faster but take more damage. Troll Berserkers are incredibly buff and even larger then Orc Grunts! This state is achieved through goblin or troll Alchemy experimentation and you actually see the trolls hulk out when upgraded to berserkers. An interesting tidbit was that in Warcraft II, Troll Berserkers were the only trolls seen with tusks.
  • The Stronghold creatures introduced in Heroes of Might and Magic V: Tribes of the East. Most of the units (except the Wyverns) have the "Rage" property if lead by a Barbarian Hero. Said "Rage" absorbs a portion of damage and increases the damage done by the unit depending on Rage level. Fitting the trope, the units lose Rage points if they do anything except move, use their special abilities, or attack.
  • Servants summoned to the Berserker class in Fate/stay night. These heroes, drawn from mythological heroes known for their potential for madness, have access to the 'Mad Enhancement' ability that boosts all stats in return for sealing most of their skills, making them impossible to control and having exorbitant mana drain on their masters; Berserkers are usually just as dangerous to their own controllers as to their enemies. The Berserker summoned in the Fifth Grail War is Heracles/Hercules, and Lancer is at one point explained as having the potential to be summoned under this class (understandable, as Lancer is Cú Chulainn). In Fate/Zero the Berserker is the Black Knight, later revealed to be Lancelot. Later in Fate Extra, there are two Berserkers: One is Lu Bu, the other is Arcueid Brunestud
  • In Close Combat, soldiers will occasionally become "Heroic," "Fanatic," or "Berzerk." They'll disregard suppressive fire, and sometimes charge across open ground to close with the enemy. They die just as easily as everyone else, though.
  • Asha the assassin in Iji is sort of like this, as he won't teleport away even if he's about to die. He does say that he would rather die than be defeated by her. If she doesn't show up to fight him, he skips the middle man and just blows himself up alone. So, it's doubtful he had many qualms about his safety at that point.
    • Also relating him to the trope is a logbook by another assassin that criticizes him for rushing straight in to battle like he was a One Woman Army like Iosa. He is physically weak and the one advantage he has over stronger adversaries (and walls, for that matter...) is technique, but he still acts like an idiot and disregards his own weaknesses.
  • Iori Yagami from The King of Fighters series. In KoF '95, when he was first introduced, he brutally beat his teammates Eiji Kasaragi and Billy Kane when losing their match prevented him from taking a shot at his nemesis Kyo. (Brutally enough to have them both enjoy a lengthy vacation on a hospital.) And that was before his tainted Orochi blood caused him to fling into the Riot of Blood and tear Vice and Mature to pieces on KoF '96. (And Orochi himself on KoF '97 with Kyo's and Chizuru's help.) Having his purple flames stolen by Ash Crimson didn't calm him down in the slightest - rather than burning opponents down to a violet crisp he claws the living shit out of them.
  • Resident Evil 4's monster cast is rife with these. A blind zombie with ridiculously long steel claws that hunts you down by hearing alone and Plagas-infested, chainsaw-wielding villagers are just a few.
  • Mega Man Zero brings us Omega, an Ax Crazy Robotic Psychopath who takes this trope to blood thirsty new levels. Ironically, the best way to defeat his final form is to turn his berserker AI against him.
    • Zero himself could count as a heroic berserker, as well, as his close-range combat style often promotes charging headlong into enemies and Z-Saber-ing your way out. In case you couldn't tell, the similarity between Zero and Omega is NOT a coincidence.
  • In Rome: Total War, the Germans can have berserkers (that for some reason are dedicated to Thor...). these soldiers can reave a bloody mess through enemy units many times their size. In Barbarian Invasions, the berserkers belong to the celts, and are based off of Cuchulain.
    • Thor existed in this timeframe, though I think his name was a bit different.
    • The point being made was that berserkers traditionally gain their strength from Odin.
  • In the Fallout series, "Berserker" is a perk you acquire after having killed a lot of good karma people.
  • An unlockable melee weapon for The Soldier in Team Fortress 2 called "The Equalizer" is designed to be used in this fashion. It's a pickax that buffs the player's speed and damage output inversely proportional to their amount of remaining HP but also prevents them from being healed while they have it out. It can be very useful in offensive pushes where combat is confined to close quarters. However, a common tactic is for the player to rocket jump a couple times to the enemy position which both takes out a considerable chunk of health and can take them by surprise if done right. Once landed, they can immediately start slaughtering with the now powered up pickax. Valve actually had to nerf the weapon due to entire teams being ripped apart by Equalized Soldiers just as the round had barely started.
  • A few moves in Pokémon can inflict this. "Taunt" forces your opponent to only use damage-dealing moves, "Swagger" greatly raises your opponent's Attack stat, but also confuses them, and some attacks like Thrash and Petal Dance will have the user attack for two or three turns, then become confused after it ends.
    • Rollout would be a prime example. Once commanded, the Pokémon continues attacking for five turns, unless they miss or are KOed. The first hit is pretty weak, but each one after that doubles in power, making the fifth hit almost as powerful as Explosion (BEFORE the nerf to the latter move in Pokémon Black and White). Use Defense Curl first, which doubles Rollout's power yet again, and Rollout's fifth hit is the most powerful attack in the game.
  • In Sonic Colors, the Wii-exclusive Purple Wisp turns Sonic into one, able to chomp through anything in his path.
  • Shadow Era seems to portray its Warrior-Class heroes as these. This is furthered by the equitable weapons they can use: both gain damage as deaths occur; one for your allies and one for your foes.
  • Morrowind's Bloodmoon expansion has a group of Nords (who themselves are almost definitely modeled off of nordic cultures) on a frozen island who run about naked (actually in a loincloth, due to the game's lack of real nudity) despite the freezing temperature and who attack anything and everything on sight, regardless of their own wellbeing.
    • Also from the Elder Scrolls series, Orcs have the ability to enter a Berserker Rage as a racial ability, meaning that EVERY SINGLE ORC has the potential at least to become a frenzied, bloodthirsty warrior.
  • Brick, one of the four playable characters from Borderlands, is classified as a Berserker, and can enter a "Berserker Rage" for his special skill, regenerating his health and allowing him to attack with his fists, beating the snot out of any Mooks, be it a bandit or a Skag.
  • In Fire Emblem, Berserker is an actual character class. Their identifying traits are incredibly high strength stats, piss poor defense stats, can only use axes (which are the strongest weapons compared to swords and lances), and have an added critical hit bonus. This makes them heavy hitters, but also rather fragile at the same time.
    • In Path of Radiance, there is Largo, self titled "World Class Berserker". He claims that he allegedly pinned two tigers at once.
      • Although he's not in the Berserker class, we have Boyd, who somehow broke his axe on his first mission sometime before the events of the game and is implied that it happened because of this trope. In a similar manner we have Kieran, an overconfident and reckless mounted knight who is so intense in his methods that he even gets injured while practicing alone, and has at least on one occasion not notice a massive injury caused by his own axe on his head.
    • In addition, most games have the Berserk staff. If a character is hit by this, they cannot be controlled, and will automatically attack the nearest unit, be it on their side or not. This is rather irritating. Unless it hits a unit who cannot attack...
  • Kratos of God of War runs on a rage that has been the ruin of men, monsters, and even gods alike. When he gets going, only a fool stands in his way.
  • Asura from Asura's Wrath puts every other example in this list to SHAME. He even admits in one scene that getting angry is the only thing he's good at. When he gets angry no one, and we mean NO ONE, can stop him. Not even HIS creator. And those who try are, to put it simply, SCREWED.
    • And then his Berserker form and Wrath form comes along and cranks the concept Up to Eleven.
      • How bad is it? Well his Berserker form keeps going until he ends up destroying his own arms and his Wrath form causes more damage to himself than to the target in his relentless assults.
  • Oghren from Dragon Age is a Blood Knight dwarven berserker with a Texas drawl and a misguided idea that the ladies love him; you can also make other warrior characters berserkers if you get Oghren to teach them or you find the Berserker tome.

Web Comics

  • Ed from Megatokyo not only seems to relish bloodshed and destruction and to engage in said activities with reckless abandon, he has himself been seriously maimed and/or killed numerous times only to be rebuilt/resurrected by his superiors that he might put himself (willingly) in harm's way again.
  • Dominic Deegan had a one-shot character named Brok that was hired by the Infernomancer during his first appearance, who goes into an Unstoppable Rage after Bumper tries (and fails) to knock him out by smashing a staff on the back of his head. He was at first meant to have a much longer run, but writer/artist Mookie stated that he just didn't feel right throwing in a Berserker-type character in a magic-based world, so a raging Brok chases Stunt and Bumper into the sunset and is never seen again.
  • Drowtales: The bulk of the Vloz'res army consists of heavily tainted warriors called berserkers. Curiously, the only named berserker is a subversion.
  • Subverted in Guilded Age: Byron the Berserker is arguably the most level-headed, well-adjusted member of the party because he apparently lives in fear of his tendency to lose his shit and become a true, foaming at the mouth, screaming, psychotic, berserkergang killing machine. (He does enjoy a good bloodbath, though.)
  • Near the end of book three of Breakfast of the Gods, Super Bear makes an appearance. And everything the character has done through the first two books and first 3/4 of the final one makes perfect sense.
  • Sweet, timid, Shrinking Violet Calvin in Lackadaisy can turn into a Berserker when you put a gun in his hands.
  • In Thistil Mistil Kistil, Coal's father, apparently.

Web Original

  • In The Gamers Alliance, Razoul and the warriors of Vanna's Black Guard in general. They tend to devour Drakeroot before battle in order to become more ferocious and powerful, but the root also has the side effect of turning them into nearly mindless brutes as a result.
  • Regan Bard in Void Dogs uses this, referred to in text as the "warp spasm" of Irish myth.
  • The Whateley Universe features an official "rager" classification for mutants that's Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Students afflicted that way frequently come to Whateley Academy with a body count already on their record. Razorback (a student turned basically into a sort of velociraptor by his mutation, complete with loss of his human vocal apparatus) is both a poster child and one of the good guys.
  • Admiral Flota Vladimir Ilyavich Tokarev, HERO OF THE TRIBES, from v4 of Open Blue. It should be noted that the male population of the aforementioned "tribes" consists entirely of Hot-Blooded pseudo-Russo-Mongol warriors, and thus to be regarded as "HERO OF THE TRIBES" means you've gotta be one hell of a Berserker in your own right. It's even lampshaded as one of his specialties. Somewhat subverted in that he only does this when engaged in melees, and if there is no other viable ship tactic. When it's more effective to just blow you up from a distance, he will opt for that instead. Tokarev didn't become an admiral for stupidity, after all.
  • Red vs. Blue: The Meta is like this but without the part where the Berserker comes out of it. In Reconstruction, he goes on a massive killing rampage whenever he gets a new AI fragment, and in Revelation this is taken to its final extreme.
  • The third RP of Darwins Soldiers has Gustave, a man who has a penchant for violence and has little regard for his personal safety. Of course, being a anthropomorphic Nile Crocodile with thick muscle, thick scaly skin and scutes that essentially serve as body armor, "personal safety" might mean different things to him.
  • Darth Apparatus in The Gungan Council. He may seem reserved when not in battle. Yet when the lightsabers light up, he rips apart enemies in a fit of pure rage. He even used Oghren's quotes on berserkers while describing how he fights.

Western Animation

  • Zuko of Avatar: The Last Airbender is prone to such moments (running Zhao's Fire Navy fleet, seeking out fights with his more powerful sister) because he truly cannot fathom walking away from a fight.
  • Dinobot of Transformers: Beast Wars, is the very definition of this one. He didn't want to die, but wasn't afraid of it, either... Seeing a battle through to the end was a pretty significant part of his code of honor. True to form, he went out in a blaze of glory.
  • The Decepticon Sixshot is one of these. He is portrayed as possibly being the greatest pure warrior among the Transformers (though others may be more gifted at overall strategy, or just more powerful), aided by his (even more) rapid transformation speed and five alternate modes. Though a Decepticon, he speaks well of those he's beaten in combat, as he hopes that should anyone ever defeat him he will be treated as respectfully.
  • Buttercup of The Powerpuff Girls.
  • Lemongrab of Adventure Time. It's easier to think of something that DOESN'T make him angry than the other way around. Being a failed experiment with some kind of ambiguous mental disorder, this guy also has serious anger issues, which leads to him literally always screaming and sending innocent people to the dungeon for a million years. So much as one benign word to this man, and he will make your ears bleed, then throw your ass in prison for the rest of your life, and longer.
  • The minor character Shoza in Shogun's Samurai. When Tadanaga chooses to surrender to avoid the massacre of his troops, his retainer rebukes his decision. The samurai boldly announces his independence before his former master and the enemy and proceeds to set off on a lone charge, determined to defeat every last soldier and retrieve the rival prince's head. Even the enemy commander sincerely declares that Tadanaga has one hell of a retainer on his hands before ordering his troops to gun him down.
  • The Berserkers, a group of pirates from ThunderCats. Later returned as cybernetic pirates.
  • The Scotsman's wife in Samurai Jack. When the Master of the Hunt makes the mistake of calling her "fat" she flies into a rage where she takes him down and then rips his entire army apart! Oh, and she is the only warrior in the entire franchise whom Jack actually fled from!
  • In Helluva Boss, both Loona and Millie show this trait; in regards to the latter, Blitzo claims it would take a "roided up hippo" to stop her when she is angry, and he isn't lying.

Real Life

  1. For English lyrics try Google translate -- it works well on this one.