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Overview


A combination of savagery and unpredictability make Sabrewulf one of the most dangerous creatures on the planet.

— Sabrewulf's story mode description

Baron Konrad von Sabrewulf, often named Sabrewulf or just Wulf, and known as hímiinhaama (the Wolf-man) to the Nez Percé tribe of Thunder and Eagle[1], is a signature character of the Killer Instinct franchise, having been playable in every title of the series since his original debut in the Killer Instinct (1994) arcade game. A German aristocrat who is afflicted with the rare disease lycanthrophy, the werewolf desperately seeks a cure to his condition before the beast within takes over completely, and the last vestiges of his humanity will be lost forever.

Biography Edit

Appearance Edit

In the original Killer Instinct, Sabrewulf is a purple/blue-furred, humanoid werewolf with yellow eyes and long claws on his hands and feet, wearing only a tattered, green shirt. He had an abnormally small waist and a massive, upper body. However, if one reaches the end of his arc in the game, his human form is revealed to have tattered, green pants.

In Killer Instinct 2/Gold, Sabrewulf has had his arms replaced with cybernetic implants and lost his shirt, now wearing torn, red pants and a yellow sash. In both games, he has three bats accompanying him.

In Killer Instinct (2013), Sabrewulf's fur has grown longer and more ragged, and he has regrown his original arms, although they're much thinner, with needle-marked veins bulging along his biceps, and he has torn straps around his wrists and a tied cloth knot on his upper left arm. He now wears torn, gray pants instead of his red ones from the previous game. Sabrewulf's retro costume largely mirrors his original KI appearance, although he now wears a white shirt instead of a green one, and he additionally has a belt and a blue loincloth which is supposed to be pants that have been shredded and torn up.

Personality Edit

Sabrewulf Arcade Intro

♫ A conflicted and tortured soul... ♫

Throughout the series, Konrad von Sabrewulf is portrayed as a tortured and conflicted soul which is trapped inside the body of a monster. Desperate to keep the beast within at bay, he's willing to do anything for the chance to regain his lost humanity; from participating in the original tournament on promises of a "cure" from Ultratech, to subjecting himself to gruesome experiments, to seeking out the Nez Percé tribe in hopes that the native lore of the Americas can offer him insight into his rare condition as a "skin-walker".

The promise of a cure, however, proved a false hope—a pretense by ARIA to have an opportunity to study and weaponize the werewolf's features. Worse still, Thunder told "hímiinhaama" (the "wolf-man") that the spirit dwelling inside him was dark and violent in nature, and was not a "weyekin" (or spirit guide) known to the Nez Percé. With desperation taking hold, Sabrewulf turned to forlorn measures to try and safeguard the outside world from his alter ego's mad bloodlust. He sealed himself away within his family's estate in Germany, only to awaken and find it half-destroyed and its gates busted open with unnatural ferocity. He malnourished himself to the brink of starvation, hoping the beast within would grow too weak to wreak havoc come his next transformation; only to discover a wolf is never more dangerous than when it's starving. Now nourishing an addiction to ancient medicines which seem to slow his descent into the werewolf's savagery, Konrad lives in the terrifying knowledge that his chances of being a human again grow dimmer with each moonrise.

During the events of Shadow Lords, it became clear that the dire presence which resides inside Sabrewulf neither fears nor answers to the demon lord Gargos, and is a spirit so ferocious it hunts even very powerful evil in its blind thirst for more bloodshed. This soon rendered the werewolf into the ultimate wildcard amid the struggle for humanity's survival.

Abilities Edit

Suffering from one of the most virulent strains of lycanthrophy on record and being the longest-lived werewolf known to exist, Konrad von Sabrewulf has been studied extensively by ARIA over the years. These observations led her to a troubling conclusion: an elderly werewolf represents a much greater danger than a younger one. While the loss of strength and dexterity a lycanthrope suffers in advanced age is negligible, the redoubled animality and ancient instincts they master will more than make up for it. This has caused Ultratech to summarily classify Sabrewulf as "one of the most dangerous creatures on the planet."

Ultratech is not alarmist in that assessment. Even with his body now left in an elderly, dilapidated state, Konrad exhibits a frightening physical prowess; steered by decades of experience in stalking and devouring any living things that are unlucky enough to cross his path. Sabrewulf not only is highly unpredictable and savagely feral, but he sometimes displays a strange sense of self-preservation as well as moments of deadly patience. These traits have turned the aging werewolf into a grizzled survivor, and the apex predator of almost any environment he finds himself in.

Killer Instinct (1994) Edit

Sabrewulf-s

Sabrewulf's original appearance in Killer Instinct (1994)

Story Edit

Sabrewulf is afflicted with the rare disease, Lycanthropy. Although he has spent most of his life as a recluse, he enters the Killer Instinct tournament on the promise of a cure if he is victorious.

Extended Story Edit

Sabrewulf Classic Costume - Render

Sabrewulf's retro appearance in Killer Instinct (2013)

Since the day when a wolfbite left him afflicted with a particularly virulent strain of lycanthropy, Count Von Sabrewulf has lived in exile in his remote mountain tower, shunned by society, and struggling with insanity as his disease grows steadily worse. A handful of years back his worst nightmare was realized when he failed to revert to human form at all. Every rumor of a possible cure has been at best a hoax, so when a message arrives promising salvation should he enter and win the Ultratech contest, Sabrewulf is highly suspicious but obliged to seize any chance that comes his way.

Ending Edit

With victory, Sabrewulf obtains the cure he sought for so long from the hands of Ultratech. Cured at last of his curse, Count Von Sabrewulf can return to leading a normal existence.

Stage Edit

Main article: Interior Castle

Killer Instinct 2 Edit

Wolfki2

Sabrewulf in Killer Instinct 2 (1996, arcade)

Story Edit

Unwilling to succumb to the beast within him, Sabrewulf was badly beaten in the KI tournament. Captured by Ultratech, he is driven berserk by their "repairs" and now has only revenge to live for.

Extended Story Edit

KI 2 1996 Sabrewulf's Character Bio

Still from Sabrewulf's character bio in KI2 (arcade)

Defeated early in the KI tournament by his reluctance to unleash the beast within, Sabrewulf was heading home, injured and despairing, when he was caught and beaten by an ignorant, sadistic country lynch mob. Barely alive, he ended up back in the hands of Ultratech who set about making their ungodly ‘repairs’. But the pain, loss and humiliation rapidly drive the Count over the edge: breaking free of the company’s clutches, he lopes back into the world with only revenge to live for.

Endings Edit

Kill Glacius

With Gargos defeated Sabrewulf pursues his search for a cure. There is nothing left for him in this time, so Sabrewulf grasps the opportunity to return home. Hope has finally vanished and life is emptier than ever. Having still found no cure, his only achievement was a petty revenge.

Don't Kill Glacius

With Gargos defeated Sabrewulf pursues his search for a cure. Sabrewulf bitterly regrets leaving alive a member of a race he made his mortal enemy. Bereft of all hope, Sabrewulf finally succumbs to the madness of the beast. All that was once human to him is finally gone.

Stage Edit

Main article: Sabrewulf's Castle

Killer Instinct (2013) Edit

Saberwolf Laboratory-900x506

Baron Konrad von Sabrewulf's new appearance in Killer Instinct (2013)

Story Edit

Having endured agonizing procedures to remove his freakish cybernetic implants, Sabrewulf feels no closer to reclaiming his humanity. Barely clinging to sanity, he nurses an addiction to ancient medicines and artifacts which seem to slow his descent into savagery.

Extended Story Edit

The Lycanthrope’s Tale:

Main article: The Lycanthrope's Tale

Endings Edit

Spare Thunder, ULTRA Fulgore:

Sabrewulf recognizes another restless spirit in Thunder, who admires the wolf for being one with his spirit guide. Sabrewulf comes to realize he is not a man with the body of a wolf, but a wolf with the heart of a man. He accepts the beast within, and resolves to remain a lone wolf.

Spare Fulgore, ULTRA Thunder:

Bloodlust reawakened in combat, Sabrewulf directs his savagery towards the relics and medicines which promised a return to human form. Seeing them as a source of weakness, he smashes them to dust, surrendering his last vestiges of humanity. The Age of the Wolf begins.

ULTRA Both Thunder and Fulgore:

A wolf knows only survival, but a man can know victory. Triumphant against every adversary, Sabrewulf feels more human than he has in years. As the moonlight ebbs away, he feels a transformation sweep over him, and begins to wonder if he should put on a shirt.

Stage Edit

Main article: Alchemical Lab

Similarity of Interior Castle (KI) and Sabrewulf's Castle (KI2) During an Ultra Combo, an electric orb strikes all the equipment, completely wrecking the laboratory. During the slow music due to characters not moving, his remixed classic theme, "Tooth & Claw" will play.

Gallery Edit

 

Killer Instinct (1994)

Killer Instinct 2

Killer Instinct (2013)

 

Killer Instinct Comics

Quotes Edit

I must either cure this curse... or master it.

— Konrad von Sabrewulf reflects on his grim destiny

Am I truly beyond redemption?

— Hope is waning

Is this instinct, or bloodlust? What power do you possess that calls to the beast inside of me?

— Konrad addresses Mira Fallegeros during Shadow Lords

You and I are nothing alike. Begone from my castle, vixen!

— Sabrewulf to Mira (Shadow Lords dialogue)

The beast within will disembowel you!

— Konrad warns his bite may be far worse than his bark

By tooth and claw, I'll shred this minion of Gargos!

— The grizzled lycanthrope starts taking sides

This is the Age of the Wolf!

— Sabrewulf bears witness to the chaos and destruction wrought by Gargos' invasion

Trivia Edit

  • Before the 2013 reboot that changed his entire backstory, Sabrewulf used to be known in the original universe as "Count von Sabrewulf".
    • However, certain missions on Season 3's Shadow Lords mode do call him as such.
      • Even Mira during her story debated whether he was a Count or a Baron.
  • Sabrewulf's name comes from a ZX Spectrum game called Sabre Wulf, which was made by Ultimate: Play the Game, a company that was later to become known as Rare. Rare & THQ released a new Sabre Wulf game on the GameBoy Advance in 2004. This game also features Sabrewulf's distinct howl.
Wulfsavage

There wasn't enough left of you to even feed the birds

  • Sabrewulf is the only character whose opponent in the first KI tournament was never revealed. It also isn't known which opponent badly injured Sabrewulf in the first Killer Instinct, the cause of his bionic arms, either. However, considering that every other character had their opponents revealed (Glacius vs. Cinder, Thunder vs. Spinal, Jago vs. Fulgore, and TJ Combo vs. Riptor), it can be assumed that Sabrewulf's opponent was Orchid. However it is stated in his KI2 ending that Glacius was a member of a race he made his mortal enemy, making Glacius a likely candidate for who maimed Sabrewulf after he defeated Cinder.
  • Kevin Bayliss, an artist of the original Killer Instinct, claimed in his Twitter hashtag #killerinstinctfacts that Sabrewulf was originally capable of transforming back into his human form as a weakness. However, the mechanic proved too complicated and was scrapped.
  • Jean-Edouard Miclot, the sound designer at Double Helix, performed Sabrewulf's voice in the 2013 game. A YouTube video by Miclot explains that the voice was created by blending his gritted human vocals with animal sounds, which included an english bull terrier, labradors, jaguars, lions, lynx, elephants and bears.
  • Sabrewulf's emblem in Killer Instinct (2013) interestingly shows a razor-clawed werewolf's paw. This is undoubtably the same werewolf paw that Konrad, back when he was human, accidentally cut himself with during one of his drunken stumblings. The mounted and severed paw passed on its lycan curse to Konrad, turning him into a werewolf.
    • The paw would later reappear in the fourth chapter of the KI Novella as Mira tried to use it to kill Sabrewulf, however, it instead amplified his lycan powers and increased his muscles, claws, and body mass; she had inadvertently activated his Instinct Mode.

External links Edit

Media Edit

References Edit

  1. Briefing for the Sabrewulf-specific mission "The Wolf Weyekin" during Shadow Lords gameplay mode
Killer Instinct (1994) Characters
Playable Jago ·Black Orchid ·TJ Combo ·Glacius ·Chief Thunder ·Sabrewulf ·Spinal ·Cinder ·Riptor ·Fulgore
Boss Eyedol
Killer Instinct 2/Gold Characters
Playable Jago ·Black Orchid ·TJ Combo ·Glacius ·Sabrewulf ·Spinal ·Fulgore ·Maya ·Kim Wu ·Tusk
Boss Gargos
Killer Instinct (2013) Characters
Season 1 Jago ·Sabrewulf ·Glacius ·Thunder ·Sadira ·Orchid ·Spinal ·Fulgore ·Shadow Jago
Season 2 TJ Combo ·Maya ·Kan-Ra ·Riptor ·Omen ·Aganos ·Hisako ·Cinder ·ARIA
Season 3 Kim Wu ·Tusk ·Arbiter ·Rash ·Mira ·Gargos ·General RAAM ·Eyedol
Season 3+ Kilgore ·Shin Hisako ·Eagle
Killer Instinct Universe
Playable Characters
Killer Instinct Logo HD Jago ·Orchid ·TJ Combo ·Glacius ·Thunder ·Sabrewulf

 ·Spinal ·Riptor ·Cinder ·Fulgore ·Eyedol

Killer Instinct 2 Kim Wu ·Maya ·Tusk ·Gargos
Killer Logo copy Season 1 Sadira ·Shadow Jago
Season 2 Kan-Ra ·Omen ·Aganos ·Hisako ·ARIA
Season 3 Mira ·Rash ·Arbiter ·General RAAM
Season 3+ Kilgore ·Shin Hisako ·Eagle
Non-Playable Characters and Organizations
Minor Characters The Chairman ·Ryat Adams ·Babylonian King ·The Master ·Yeouiju ·True Tsar
Enemies Mimics
Organizations Ultratech ·Red Eyes of Rylai ·Disavowed ·Night Guard ·The Coven ·The Alliance
Others
Extended Stories The Secrets of the Tiger ·The Lycanthrope's Tale ·The Ice-man Cometh ·Murder of Crows ·The Widow's Bite ·The Firecat's Summoning ·The Quest of the Searing Skull ·Fulgore Mark 03 Field Manual-L ·Glory Days ·Temperance and Vengeance ·Death is no Obstacle ·You and Your Riptor Unit ·The Herald of Gargos ·Peacemaker ·The Everlasting Child ·The Third Degree ·Evolve or Die ·The Dragon Spirit ·The Watchman Of The Gods ·Blood For My Blood ·Flayer Of Souls ·The Reawakened ·Rash's Extended Story ·Arbiter's Extended Story ·For The Queen
Killer Instinct Novella The Road to Ravensburg ·The Watchman Awakes ·Dragon's Choice ·Conflux ·ARIA for Noömorph ·Shadows at Dawn
Gameplay Combo & Counter Breaker ·Ultra Combo ·Ultimate Combo ·Humiliation ·Combo System ·Instinct Mode ·Shadow Meter ·Shadow Moves ·Shadow Counter ·Knockdown Value ·Lock out ·Frame Data ·Character Accessories ·Arcade Mode ·Rivals Mode ·Shadow Lords Mode
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