|Title||The Witch of Miracles|
|First Appearance||Legend of the Golden Witch|
Minagoroshi-hen (Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, manga-only)
|Portrayed By||Yukari Tamura|
"Did you know? They say that in chess, the player who moves first is twice as likely to win."—Bernkastel, End of the Golden Witch
Bernkastel (ベルンカステル Berunkasuteru?) is an extremely powerful witch that has lived for a thousand years. She serves as a lesser antagonist in the first four story arcs of Umineko no Naku Koro ni but later becomes the main antagonist of the series.
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.
Of her own volition, a majority of Bernkastel's past is left unknown as she detests speaking about it. In Twilight of the Golden Witch, Lambdadelta suggests that Bernkastel was originally a cat belonging to Featherine Augustus Aurora.
Relationship to Rika Furude
Bernkastel is the end result of the centuries of torment endured by Rika Furude, a major character from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. Bernkastel references this in Turn of the Golden Witch, wherein she she begrudgingly recalls her old catchphrase "Nipah~". All of Rika's negative emotions and memories eventually coalesced into the being Frederica Bernkastel, noted as the writer of the poems that open each chapter of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. After an unknown amount of time, Frederica Bernkastel became trapped in a Logic Error created by an unnamed Game Master. As a result, Bernkastel was made to step on a keyboard for centuries until she unknowingly typed the word "miracle," which earned her the title "Witch of Miracles." Similar to Lambdadelta, Bernkastel suffers from some degree of trauma due to her experience within the Logic Error.
Bernkastel's appearance varies somewhat depending on the adaptation. In the original visual novel, she appears to have the height of a teenager, however in the remakes her height is more similar to a child. In Minagoroshi-hen, Bernkastel appears identical to Rika Furude other than her emotionless eyes. As a general rule, Bernkastel as long blue hair and cold purple eyes. She wears a black and white gothic lolita dress adorned with a blue ribbon along with white socks and black shoes. She appears to have a cat tail with a blue ribbon tied to it.
Bernkastel appears as largely emotionless and easily bored, something that Lambdadelta attributes to her experiences in the Logic Error. Over the past several centuries, Bernkastel has grown indifferent to the concepts of life and death and becomes willing do whatever is necessary to propagate her own entertainment. Unlike Lambdadelta, Bernkastel prefers solitude and has continually refused to make friends over the course of her long life.
Legend of the Golden Witch
Bernkastel appears for the first time in Legend of the Golden Witch's ???? scene. She offers the reader advice on how to defeat Beatrice as a means of alleviating potential boredom.
Turn of the Golden Witch
Similarly to the previous arc, Bernkastel only appears in the ???? scene of Turn of the Golden Witch. In it, she offers more advice to the reader on how to defeat Beatrice after Beatrice reveals that she knows about Bernkastel's prior meddling.
Banquet of the Golden Witch
Bernkastel briefly appears during EVA-Beatrice's coronation ceremony. She later appears in the ???? of Banquet of the Golden Witch to enlist Ange Ushiromiya in her fight against Beatrice.
Alliance of the Golden Witch
Bernkastel becomes Ange Ushiromiya's ally under the condition that Ange not reveal her true identity to Battler Ushiromiya. She forces Ange to instead go by the pseudonym "Gretel". She appears in the ???? of Alliance of the Golden Witch to discuss Battler's theories with Lambdadelta.
End of the Golden Witch
In End of the Golden Witch, Bernkastel takes on a major role on the Human Side while Lambdadelta takes over for Beatrice as Game Master.
Requiem of the Golden Witch
Having been given the opportunity to serve as Game Master by Featherine Augustus Aurora, Bernkastel stitches together several disparate Fragments into a single board, consisting solely of a time-locked iteration of the chapel. She enlists Willard H. Wright and Lion Ushiromiya to solve the murder of Beatrice.
In the Tea Party, Bernkastel shows Lion and Ange Ushiromiya the truth of the Rokkenjima massacre in order to further torment Ange. She later chases and attempts to kill Lion and Willard.
Twilight of the Golden Witch
Bernkastel appears as a secondary Game Master during Twilight of the Golden Witch. Unsatisfied with her role as Game Master in Requiem, Bernkastel learns that she is capable of co-opting a Game that BATTLER has started, allowing her to serve as Game Master alongside him. During the Halloween after-party, Bernkastel lures Ange away from the Ushiromiya Main Building and tricks her into believing that BATTLER is intentionally lying to her to hide her from the truth.
Before they can retrieve the key, they are found by Bernkastel. Bernkastel and Lambdadelta fight each other using their respective magical powers, however the two are evenly matched and neither gains a definitive upper hand. Featherine arrives and stops the fight. Lambdadelta attempts to attack Bernkastel after this, though she is immediately killed by Featherine. Bernkastel kills BATTLER and tries to kill Ange, however Ange uses Endless Nine to revive everyone in the Golden Land and render Bernkastel powerless.
In the Tea Party, Bernkastel is seen sewing Lambdadelta's dismembered body back together. When she finishes doing so, the two witches go their separate ways, promising to meet again "the next time something cries."
- Bernkastel is frequently likened to a cat, a comparison that is also visible in her character design with her catlike tail protruding from her dress.
- Bernkastel is capable of summoning countless cat familiars.
- Tohya Hachijo has a pet cat named "Bern."
- In Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Gou, Eua frequently refers to Rika Furude as "the cat."
- In Banquet of the Golden Witch, Bernkastel expresses a strong liking for alcohol, similar to Rika Furude.
- As far as Lambdadelta is aware, Bernkastel is the only witch to ever escape a Logic Error other than herself.
- Bernkastel is a fan of dried plums added to tea.
- ↑ "ACen 2015 07th Expansion Panel #3: Ryukishi07's Latest Work TRianThology Unraveled for the First Time". Wordpress. Archived from the original on 18 August 2016.