- "That's right. ...Truth is unfixed. It can be like a particle, or like a wave, and it can hold conflicting forms at the same time. You are free to believe that the cat in the box is alive or dead. ...But the truth is very delicate. It can change its appearance just by being observed. (...) ...It is impossible to negate any idea about the contents of a box that cannot be opened. This is what truth is."
- — Bernkastel to Ange, Alliance of the Golden Witch
The Witch of the Fragments, who has lived for a thousand years.
It is said she lives in a world where the concepts of fate and possibilities can be visualized.
She observes the fate of humans and sometimes interferes.
In other words, sometimes she is you, and sometimes she is your only friend. ...Understand?
She likes wine and spicy foods.
She hates boredom and people who never learn.
Bernkastel has long, steel-blue hair and emotionless purple eyes. It should also be noted that she has medium sized breasts in the visual novel, whereas they appear to be flat in the anime. She wears a black and white Gothic Lolita dress with a blue ribbon. She has black shoes and long white socks. She seems to have a black cat tail with a blue ribbon tied on it. Her weapon is a long black scythe, which separates miracles from reality. In the original visual novel, she is depicted as an individual around her teens, whereas in the remakes, she is depicted as a child, almost half Ronove's height.
Bernkastel initially appears emotionless and gets bored easily. She has forgotten the concept of pain and fear after centuries of being superior over others.
Deep down, Bern is sadistic and willing to kill or sacrifice anything or anyone for her own amusement. She is just as, if not even more, playfully cruel than Lambdadelta, who shows a great fondness towards her and outright states that she loves her several times.
She has a tendency to hold grudges and that even a century won't make her forget the humiliation she suffered. As a result of this, she then creates a game where there won't be a happy ending, in the case when she lost a game to Beatrice.
Skills and Abilities Edit
Bern can use "magic of miracles" to reset a bad situation, as long as the chance of it becoming favourable is not zero. She has experienced having been played with and imprisoned in a cruel fate in the past by Lambdadelta when she was a human being. Hence, it seems she can't ignore the fate of those in same circumstances.
She possesses the ability to transform into a cat and to evoke an apparently infinite number of cat furniture, as well as to materialize other energy animals such as killer whales. She can also shape the shape of the fragments transforming them into defense tools and weapons. During her battle against Lambdadelta in Twilight of the Golden Witch, the cohesion of her powers with those of the Witch Of Certainty proved to be able to create and destroy entire narrative universes.
Before becoming a witch, Bernkastel suffered through a logic error in a gameboard created long ago by an unnamed Game Master. Like in the "Infinite Monkey Theorem", Bern had to step on a keyboard for centuries until she typed the word "Miracle", thus correcting the error, and earning the title of "Witch of Miracles".
In Twilight of the Golden Witch, Lambadadelta suggests that Bernkastel was originally a cat of Featherine Augustus Aurora, who was turned into a witch. Legend has it that Bernkastel wandered the sea of Fragments endlessly, searching for any Fragment that can revive her master from the pits of death called boredom, if even for a moment. Eventually, the cat revived her master.
- Beatrice (friend, enemy)
- Lambdadelta (rival, friend, lover)
- Ange Ushiromiya (piece, witch guardian of, enemy)
- Erika Furudo (piece)
- Battler Ushiromiya (sponsor, enemy)
- Featherine Augustus Aurora - (miko of, previous master)
- EVA-Beatrice (piece)
Role in the StoryEdit
Bernkastel only appears in the ????. serving as Beatrice's guest to view her games to kill her boredom.
At the end of the episode, Bern attends Beatrice's Halloween party wearing a goat disguise. Bored by the festivities, Bern leaves soon after.
In the ????, she speaks to Battler and helps him regain his strength to fight Beatrice.
In the ????, Bern heads to the world of 1998 and enlists Ange's help in defeating Beatrice and getting her brother back.
Bern helps Ange enter the metaworld and become part of Battler and Beatrice's game, on the condition that she not reveal her identity. However, Ange is forced to break this rule in order to save Battler, who'd fallen into despair.
In the ????, Bern is lying in a bed with Lambda talking about Battler's theories. They laugh them off and then proclaim that Beato shall not win, and a miracle will certainly not occur.
Bern takes a more active role in the plot, taking Battler's place in game against Lambda, who has become the new Game Master. She's played the game up until the second day, using her piece/self insert Erika Furudo. Battler resumes his position soon after.
Throughout the game, Bern starts showing off her cruel side. She uses red to deny that Natsuhi was ever having tea with Beatrice before 1986, leaving Battler to complain since it had no bearing on the mystery.
In the Tea Party, after Battler is pierced with the red truth and Natsuhi is declared guilty, Bernkastel bestows Erika with a scythe and the title of Witch of Truth.
Bernkastel spectates Erika's debate against Battler and later Beatrice. When the Witch of Truth eventually falls, Bern renounces ownership of her and sends Erika to oblivion.
Bernkastel puts together a miracle fragment made of several other fragments, and invites Willard H. Wright to come and investigate the mystery behind Beatrice's past. Bern doesn't allow him to leave until he can solve Beatrice/Clair's story.
In the Tea Party, Bern shows Ange and Lion the truth of what really happened on Rokkenjima, displaying the Rokkenjima Massacre; Ange is unable to handle the sight and falls apart into a pile of meat, much like her death in Alliance. Lion almost dies, suffering from the same injuries that they had in the Massacre; Will saves them before it can happen. The two escape, and Bern chases after them with a swarm of cats.
In the ????, Bern makes herself the Game Master of Beatrice's game and aims to give it an unhappy ending.
Bern is invited to Battler's party and plays a game with him and Beatrice. Afterwards, Ange falls into the game and is later rescued, being convinced by Bern to join her and retrieve the Book of the One Truth. Bern and her companions then launch an attack on Rokkenjima, summoning hordes of goats to devour it.
Ange then revives in the Golden Land and heads to the City of Books with Battler and Lambda to retrieve the Book before Featherine can reveal its secrets to the world. Bern engages Lambda in a fight of cosmic proportions, with the two witches becoming evenly matched; Featherine gets involved and kills Lambda, who falls to pieces.
Bern continues to guard the Book of the One Truth, and Battler and Ange confront her in a final battle. Bern initially kills Battler after assaulting him with closed-room mysteries, and he is swiftly revived once Ange accepts her role as the Witch of Resurrection. Ange then resurrects her entire family and all of the illusions, who had previously died when the Golden Land crumbled, and defeats Bern with a single strike, reducing her into a simple cat.
In the Tea Party, Bern accepts her defeat and bids farewell to Lambda after sewing her back together, saying they may meet again when something else cries.
Other Appearances Edit
Bernkastel is a playable character in Ougon Musou Kyoku CROSS.
Bernkastel also appears several times in Umineko Tsubasa. Bernkastel's Letter has her speaking to a friend about the rules of Beatrice's game. The Witches' Tanabata has Bern granting a Tanabata wish for a young Ange, resulting in the relationship between Ange and Eva turning into a negative one.
- Bernkastel shares many similarities with Rika Furude from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni and is implied to be the same character as her.
- Rika and Bern have similar blue hairstyles, and Bern wears a cat-tail and transforms into a cat while Rika has referred to herself as a cat on many occasions in Higurashi. At one point, Bern uses Rika's catchphrase and acts like it was something she used to say.
- Bernkastel refers to Featherine as 'Au-Au-rora', implying that Bernkastel knows about Hanyuu and her tendency to mutter 'Au-au', when irritated or scared. A scene from the Tea Party of the Banquet of the Golden Witch manga, where the witches discuss their ostensible experiences with Santa Claus, further strengthens this possibility.
- In Dawn of the Golden Witch, Lambda and Erika talk about how Bern was trapped in a logic error in the past. The manga adaptation shows what looks like Rika wearing her dress and Hanyuu with her shrine maiden outfit.
- Bernkastel may even be the same character as Frederica Bernkastel from Higurashi because of their similar names. This is influenced by Bernkastel's Letter ending with a poem from Frederica Bernkastel.
- It is possible that Bernkastel is named "The Witch of Miracles" because she knows that miracles can't really happen and that everything is a matter of possibilities, since it's already been explained that she can only make a miracle happen if the possibility isn't 0%. She has also been called 'the witch who knows miracles do not occur'.
- Frederica Bernkastel on the Higurashi wiki.