バルバロッサ・ルーグナー, Barubarossa Rūgunā
Illustration Kawano Junko
Barbarosa Rugner (バルバロッサ・ルーグナー, Barubarossa Rūgunā) is a main antagonist in Suikoden. The 17th, and final, Emperor of the Scarlet Moon Empire, Barbarosa Rugner's disinterest in the empire saw it fall in his reign.
Successor of the Sovereign Rune, Barbarosa became the 17th Emperor of the Scarlet Moon Empire after victory in the War of Succession.
Barbarosa was actually born the sixth son of Emperor Michelan and as such was considered to have held no chance of succeeding the throne. As such, little attention was paid to the young Barbarosa's tutelage, and he often played with commoner children and studied whatever he wished.
But as the years passed, two of Barbarosa's elder brothers fell ill and died to different diseases and Michelan worried his other sons had grown weak and corrupt from their pampering. And so, Michelan came to name Barbarosa as Crown Prince of the Scarlet Moon Empire.
In SY 446, while on a pilgrimage to pray for good harvest in Kunan, Emperor Michelan would pass from illness and taking advantage of the confusion, Barbarosa's uncle, Geil, removed Barbarosa from his position as Crown Prince and took the throne for himself, sparking the War of Succession.
Despite suffering early losses, including the death of his beloved wife, Claudia, Barbarosa's forces soon rallied from their base at Pannu Yakuta Castle and secured the throne following a final battle at Gregminster. Heralded as a patriotic hero, he become known as the Golden Emperor for his benevolent rule in his early reign. He would occasionally take lunch with Milich Oppenheimer, where the two would reminisce about Claudia.
However, in SY 449, he began to lose interest in his empire when he met the Court Magician, Windy, who physically resembled his late wife. Using Barbarosa's love to her advantage, Windy used her magic to manipulate the empire and soon the nation lost faith in its government and its Emperor.
The Toran Liberation Army under Odessa Silverberg rose up in opposition to the corrupt empire, while Barbarosa deigned not to fight, leaving the Gate Rune War's battles largely in the hands of the Five Great Generals. Barbarosa even helped the Toran Liberation Army briefly, allowing Futch to escape Gregminster Palace with the Black Dragon Orchid.
At the end of the war, as the Liberation Army marched into Gregminster Palace, Barbarosa made one last stand at defending his empire using the Rugner family treasure, the Sovereign Rune, for the first and only time, to transform into a three-headed Golden Hydra. He was defeated, however, and leapt from the Floating Garden of Gregminster along with Windy.
He has not been seen since, although his body was never found. Despite this, a memorial was built in his honor.
Genso Suikoden Card Stories
- Barbarosa was, along with Windy, confirmed as dead following the events of Suikoden. Since then, however, Konami has decided to downgrade their status to 'Missing in Action', hence the lack of a date of death.
- Presumably named after Emperor Frederic Barbarossa, Operation Barbarossa (in German, Unternehmen Barbarossa) was also the code name for the invasion of USSR by the 3rd Reich, during WW2.
- "Barbarossa" also translates into Italian as "red beard", although the character himself doesn't even have a beard.
- Barbarosa commissioned the Golden Goddess statue that is seen in Gregminster in the likeness of his late wife, Claudia.
- Genso Suikoden Short Story Collection 1 (ISBN 4-8402-1494-8), pages 149-76
- Genso Suikoden Encyclopaedia (ISBN 4-575-16297-3), page 218-9
- Genso Suikoden Genso Shinsho Vol.14 (ISBN 4-7753-0217-5), pages 66-7
- Genso Suikoden Kiwami Encyclopedia, page 29