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|“||Dance like a butterfly, sting like a bee!||”|
—Bernard Seramite, announcing his signature fighting technique.
|Ht. / Wt.|| 190cm / 105kg|
|Affiliation|| Free Cities Alliance, Keith Guild, Zeth, Ice Flame|
|Level limit|| 25|
|Skill levels|| Sword Combat Lv0, Conversation Lv1|
|Appeared in|| Rance 03, Rance VI, Rance Quest, Rance X|
|Mentioned in||Rance 01, Rance IX|
Bernard Seramite is a somewhat strange and mysterious mercenary of questionable ability who has, through various circumstances, been involved with several major national conflicts across The Continent.
While almost nothing is known of Bernard's background, he makes frequent references to a woman known as Francesca when speaking, and seems to be interested in finding her. Though this implies that she was his lover at some point, there is no definite evidence to confirm this, or even enough to confirm if Francesca exists at all.
During the events of Rance 01, Bernard competed in the Leazas coliseum under the alias "Burning B!" (バーニング・Ｂ!, Bāningu B!). Prior to encountering the warrior Rance, who was also competing in the arena in hopes of fighting the mysterious ninja who had attempted to assassinate him earlier, however, Bernard was shot in the knee by one of his opponents' arrows and seriously injured, forcing him to retire from the competition.
Following his knee injury, Bernard became a registered member of the Keith Guild in order to continue making money, once again using the alias Burning B!. Perhaps as a result of his injury and his strange personality, Bernard was fairly incompetent as a mercenary, and quickly became the lowest-ranking member of the guild. During the events of Rance 03, Keith Gold, guildmaster of the Keith Guild, gave Bernard to Rance after the latter found a mercenary contract for the guild in the mayor of the Free City of L-Zile's mansion. While Rance was incredibly unhappy with being given a male ally, Keith, who desired for Bernard to perform more jobs for him, refused to listen, forcing the Rance to accept him onto his team.
Almost immediately after the Leazas Liberation Army successfully removed the Helman Army from its occupation of Leazas Castle, Bernard resigned from his position in the Keith Guild. The only explanation that he gave to Keith for his resignation was that he desired to "search for the land of death to the west". Sometime following this, Bernard traveled to the magic nation of Zeth and became a member of the non-magic user rights group Ice Flame for an unknown reason. It is unclear if Zeth was the "land of death" which Bernard spoke to Keith of, or if he had simply stopped there while on his way to either the Kinani Desert or the Monster Realm, both of which border Zeth and are much more closely associated with death.
During the events of Rance VI, Bernard was assigned to Rance's personal squad the Green Corps after the outrageous warrior was recruited into Ice Flame and completely destroyed the White Corps that he was initially made a member of. After briefly introducing himself to his new commander, Bernard was promptly ignored by Rance due to being a man, and continued to be ignored for the remainder of Rance's adventure in Zeth. Somewhat strangely, Bernard remained a part of Ice Flame and the Green Corps even after Rance commanded Ice Flame's leader Urza Pranaice to remove almost all of the group's male members. While it is unknown why this happened, it is possible that Rance had simply forgotten about Bernard's existence entirely by that point, allowing him to avoid getting fired.
After the successful eradication of the Monster army led by the Dark Lord Camilla following the deactivation of Zeth's primary defensive weapon the Maginot Line, Bernard remained with Ice Flame for a period of time to help in the effort to restore the fallen country's power before returning to the Free Cities Alliance to continue working as a mercenary.
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Bernard crossed paths with Rance yet again during the events of Rance Quest, where, after hearing a rumor of the other man's exploits while staying at the McCart Bar, he decided to once again fight alongside him. Unlike other party members, Bernard was not shown directly asking Rance to travel alongside him, and instead simply began appearing in the party selection screen following his decision to fight with him. During this time, Bernard teamed up with the martial artist Alexander to defeat a group of criminals who had robbed the Zeth Royal Museum. While the two warriors initially clashed with each other, with Bernard believing Alexander to be too inexperienced, they eventually bonded over their mutual burning passions.
While Bernard himself did not appear in Rance IX, he was referred to by name by Rance, who mistook Hubert Lipton for him after they were reunited for the first time in several years. Notably, Rance also referenced Bernard's frequent declarations of "dance like a butterfly, sting like a bee", revealing that he had remembered a surprising amount about the other man despite always ignoring him while working together.
During the events of Rance X, Bernard was somehow recruited to fight for the Free Cities in the 2nd Dark Lord War as a member of the United Human Army's elite Dark Lord Extermination Squad. How he joined the group is unclear, as neither Rance, the Human Army's president, nor Copandon Dott, the Free Cities' acting representative, recalled ever recruiting him. While Bernard was made nostalgic from getting to fight alongside many of the same people he had in previous adventures, he was largely forgotten about by his former allies, who responded with confusion when he attempted to speak with them familiarly.
Bernard was eventually fired from the Dark Lord Extermination Squad after Rance was made aware of his mediocre fighting ability. Depressed, Bernard wandered the outskirts of Rance Castle unsure of what he would do next in his life. Before leaving the area, he was approached by Sanakia Drelshkaf, the captain of the Rance Castle Guard and a former comrade of Bernard's from his time in Ice Flame. Sanakia remembered Bernard from Ice Flame and, unaware that he had been fired, expressed happiness at getting to fight with him again. Sanakia also encouraged Bernard to speak up more, as he had never said much about himself while serving in Ice Flame.
Inspired by Sanakia's words, Bernard returned to Rance Castle. Using his former alias of Burning B!, Bernard approached Rance claiming to be a new character who was at the very high Level of 50, and asked to join the Dark Lord Extermination Squad. Not remembering Bernard despite having fired him moments before, Rance rehired him into the group, stating that he would serve as a decent meat shield.
Some time following the end of the war, Bernard returned to adventuring, but was forced to retire after losing a leg. Bernard spent the remainder of his days after this hanging around taverns, where he told anyone willing to listen stories of his adventures with Rance. In these stories, Bernard claimed that he was a close friend and ally of Rance's, and that he always knew that the brutal warrior was destined for greatness.
Personality and Appearance Edit
Bernard is a tall man with a very muscular build and a hard-lined, intense-looking face. He has dark red hair and large, bushy eyebrows. Throughout most of his appearances, his hair is styled into several upward-pointing spikes, though it is much shorter and parted downward onto either side of his face during his appearance in Rance 03. Bernard's clothing is a standard Ice Flame uniform, and consists of a light green vest, a darker green undershirt, a large silver shoulder guard and white pants. During his appearance in Rance VI, his shoulder guard is emblemized with the Ice Flame logo, while it features a stylized letter "B" surrounded by flames during his appearance in Rance 03 and is blank during his appearance in Rance X.
A man of few words, Bernard rarely speaks to or interacts with others, making determining his personality somewhat difficult initially. Despite this, he is prone to monologuing extensively when in the company of his own thoughts, revealing him to have an incredibly serious and hard-boiled disposition. He has a very grim and world-weary outlook on life, describing himself as a lost soul who lives solely for vengeance, and takes everything he does very seriously. When in battle, Bernard becomes much more vocal, and frequently shouts at his enemies. He is shown to be highly confident in himself as a fighter, describing his swordsmanship as being a "beautiful dance" and preaching his fighting philosophy of "dance like a butterfly, sting like a bee" to his comrades constantly. Despite these qualities, Bernard is an entirely humorous character, as he is always totally ignored by the story and never does anything of importance. His severe and serious monologues have almost nothing to do with the actual context of the situations in which he is involved in, making them come across as much more ridiculous than he intends.
As a playable character, Bernard receives several techniques with extremely grandiose names but average or even useless abilities, possibly suggesting that the majority of dark and serious things he references during his monologues, including Francesca, are completely nonexistent and simply the product an overactive imagination. This is further supported by the revelation that he possesses the Conversation Lv1 Skill Level, which would allow him to convincingly lie about having abilities far greater than the ones he actually possesses. Like the rest of Bernard's character, however, his limited screen time prevents this from being decisively proven, causing him to remain mostly shrouded in mystery.
Throughout his appearances, Bernard regularly mentions a mysterious woman known as Francesca, who he appears to be in search of. While the exact nature of his relationship with Francesca is unknown, his consistent cries for her when defeated in battle suggests that they were possibly lovers or at the very least close to each other at some point. During the final battle of Rance VI, a generic female Pentagon member with the name Francesca strangely also participates in the fight. While it is possible that this Francesca and the Francesca that Bernard speaks of are one in the same, the character does not appear outside of the battle, making their relationship, if there is one at all, remain a mystery.
Bernard appears to greatly overestimate his relationship with Rance. Despite the two very rarely speaking with each other during their adventures together, Bernard seems to believe that Rance views him as a trusted comrade, claiming that they have a relationship that goes beyond words. Rance does not reciprocate this feeling at all, to the point of forgetting about Bernard's existence entirely only minutes after speaking to him. Despite never remembering Bernard himself, however, Rance appears to consistently remember both his name and catchphrase of "Dance like a butterfly, sting like a bee", to the point of instinctively assuming that all of his male allies that he can't remember are named Bernard.
Bernard is an average warrior of generally unremarkable ability. He possesses an above-average Level Cap of 25, giving him a good amount of potential, and his large and muscular body seems to give him a particularly high amount of durability when compared to most other Human beings. Despite this, he is greatly overshadowed as a fighter by the elite of the Continent, causing him to quickly fall behind whenever he joins Rance on his adventures. Even outside of Rance's party, Bernard is suggested to be fairly incompetent, as he held a low rank in both the Leazas coliseum and the Keith Guild, though both of these may be attributed to the knee injury he sustained while working as a gladiator.
In combat, Bernard wields a scimitar with a decent amount of skill, relying heavily on speed and momentum to defeat his foes. His philosophy for battle is "dance like a butterfly, sting like a bee", meaning to be light on one's feet while also striking with power. When he recites this creed to himself in battle, Bernard is able to improve his focus, slightly increasing his attack in the process.
Bernard's signature technique is known as the "Multi-slash", in which he attacks his opponent multiple times at blistering speeds. This ability became weakened during Bernard's recovery from his knee injury during the events of Rance 03, where it was renamed the "1.5 times slash" due to his inability to fully perform it. By his appearance in Rance Quest, Bernard created an advanced form of the technique known as the "Burning Slash", in which he apparently lights his soul on fire in order to slash several times at speeds so great that it appears to be only a single attack to the untrained eye. However, as the attack is functionally identical to an ordinary sword strike, it is likely that Bernard is simply lying about its amazing speed to make himself sound more impressive.
In Rance 03, Bernard receives the skill "Wave of the Dark Flame" from ALICEMANLADY. While this technique cannot be used in battle, it will apparently randomly activate while Bernard is exploring a dungeon. Bernard claims that this technique is so powerful that it could potentially destroy the world when activated, causing him to struggle to suppress it whenever he feels it overtake his body. It is unknown whether or not Bernard actually possesses this ability, or if it possesses the obscene level of power that he claims that it does.
Bernard's character profile in Rance X reveals him to possess the Conversation Lv1 skill level, giving him a considerable amount of talent in speaking to and persuading others. His possession of this skill suggests that the majority of his grandiose claims about himself are merely exaggerations our outright lies that he is able to convincingly pass off as being genuine. Notably, Bernard was able to use this skill to persuade Rance to unknowingly rehire him into the Dark Lord Extermination Squad by claiming to be a new character.
- Bernard was initially meant to die of a heart attack following Patton Misnarge's recruitment in Rance VI in order to make room for him in the party, though this was later removed after it was decided that secondary party members could be added and removed from the active party at will.
- Bernard came in 8th place in the "Males" category of the Rance Quest: Popularity Poll and in 18th place in both the "Males and Others" category of the Rance 03: Popularity Poll and the "Males" category of the Rance X: Popularity Poll.
- During his first appearance in Rance VI, Bernard received close to no characterization and only a handful of lines. He was later given a short focus chapter known as "Bernard Traveling Alone" in the sub-game Rance VI: After of the game compilation Alice's Cottage 7, where he was given a "hard-boiled" personality. The staff of Alicesoft found this incredibly amusing, causing him to reappear in Rance Quest and Rance 03, as well as get mentioned in Rance IX due to his popularity among them.
- Somewhat ironically, following his appearance in Rance 03, Bernard has retroactively become one of Rance's most recurring male allies throughout the series.
- Bernard is considered to be one of the primary joke characters of the Rance series due to a combination of consistently being a mediocre party member in combat and having strange and memorable dialogue. Whether he was always meant to be one from his first appearance in Rance VI or gradually became one over time is unknown.
- Bernard's strange behavior is likely meant to be an example of chuunibyou, a Japanese term roughly translating to "8th grade syndrome", in which a person behaves in an intentionally dark and mysterious manner, talks/acts in a pretentious and exaggerated style, or pretends to have magical powers despite being totally ordinary in order to appear to be cooler around others.
- Bernard's catchphrase of "dance like a butterfly, sting like a bee" is a reference to one of the signature poems of the legendary American boxer Muhammad Ali: "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. The eyes can't hit what the eyes can't see.".
- Bernard's crippling knee injury during the events of Rance 03 is a reference to the popular meme "I used to be an adventurer like you. Then I took an arrow to the knee." from the action RPG The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.