— 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, 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.
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.
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.
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 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
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.
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.
- Main article: Interior Castle
Killer Instinct 2 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
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.
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.
- Main article: Sabrewulf's Castle
Killer Instinct (2013) 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
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.
- 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.
— Konrad von Sabrewulf reflects on his grim destiny
— Hope is waning
— Sabrewulf to Mira (Shadow Lords dialogue)
— Konrad warns his bite may be far worse than his bark
— The grizzled lycanthrope starts taking sides
— Sabrewulf bears witness to the chaos and destruction wrought by Gargos' invasion
- Before the 2013 reboot that changed his entire backstory, Sabrewulf used to be known in the original universe as "Count von Sabrewulf".
- 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.
- 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.
- Sabrewulf's character page at the official Killer Instinct website
- Sabrewulf's gameplay profile at Infil's The Complete Killer Instinct Guide
- Killer Instinct arcade playthrough (1994) - Playthrough of the original 1994 arcade game with Sabrewulf
- Sabrewulf's Ultimate - First reveal of Sabrewulf's new Ultimate Combo for KI 2013
- Raven is Raw (Sabrewulf) vs. EctopicILLusion (Cinder) - Video compilation of pro gamer matchups with Sabrewulf (KI 2013)
|Killer Instinct (1994) Characters|
|Playable||Jago ·Black Orchid ·TJ Combo ·Glacius ·Chief Thunder ·Sabrewulf ·Spinal ·Cinder ·Riptor ·Fulgore|
|Killer Instinct 2/Gold Characters|
|Playable||Jago ·Black Orchid ·TJ Combo ·Glacius ·Sabrewulf ·Spinal ·Fulgore ·Maya ·Kim Wu ·Tusk|
|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|