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Let me hear your cries of despair! I'm an elite at slaughter! I create death and destruction by force!

—Tarkus, Chapter 31

Tarkus (タルカス Tarukasu?) is an antagonist from Phantom Blood.

He is a Zombie made from the centuries-old corpse of a powerful warrior of ancient Britain. Unlike his ally Bruford, Tarkus was a typical strongman fighter and had sold his entire soul to Dio Brando.


Tarkus is a towering and heavily-muscled zombie wearing a heavy metal armor consisting of a chestplate, two shoulder pads, two legplates and a loincloth. Tarkus also wears a horned and crested metal helmet on top of his medium-length hair.


That messed up spirit. That evil insanity. You've sold even the depths of your soul to Dio, haven't you?

—Jonathan to Tarkus, Chapter 35

Tarkus was a powerful knight during the time he was alive, and loyal to his queen. However, different from his partner Bruford, he lacks a sense of honor. Tarkus gets enraged easily and uses his anger for violence. Due to the corruption of Dio, he thinks of Bruford as a disgrace to the Dark Knights, having no qualms about destroying the armor of his former friend. Tarkus is a brutal and ruthless fighter and enjoys forcing his opponents to battle him to the death in the Chain Neck Deathmatch, even if it is against their own will.



Tarkus and Bruford were two knights successful in the challenge of the 77 Rings in 1563, of which only three other knights in history had succeeded before them.[3] The pair were members of the Tudor Dynasty and retainers of Mary Stuart. Tarkus was without any relatives, as they were all lost in wars, with Mary being the closest he had to a family.

Eventually, Tarkus and Bruford gave themselves over to save Mary from her rival Elizabeth I. However, their executioner revealed that Mary was already dead before they arrived. The one imprisoned was an impostor used to make them surrender, as their army was unbeatable. Tarkus's neck, rigid from anger, broke several axes before being beheaded. Elizabeth's deception to make them surrender led to a strong sense of betrayal that made both Tarkus and Bruford susceptible to manipulation by Dio Brando three centuries later.[4]

Phantom Blood

The pair are resurrected as zombies by Dio so that they could oppose Jonathan Joestar, Will A. Zeppeli, and Robert Speedwagon. During Bruford's fight against Jonathan, Tarkus stands guard against Zeppeli and Speedwagon, preventing them from rushing to Jonathan's aid.

However, after Bruford's defeat, Tarkus shows little respect for him and promptly stomps on his armor, the final remaining signs of his friend's presence in the world. He also forces Jonathan into a death match and kills Zeppeli for attempting to help Jonathan, but is killed by the latter shortly after.


Physical Ability

As a trained warrior, and one of the only five knights to succeed in the 77 Rings Challenge, Tarkus possesses an incredible amount of physical strength and endurance. Even while alive as a human, his neck could withstand several attacks and break the axes of executioners before being cut.[4]


Tarkus's display of strength

After being resurrected as a zombie, his brutality and power increases even more, making him capable of squashing people with his bare hands.[5] Tarkus initially demonstrates his strength by lifting a massive portion of the ground that Jonathan was standing on from beneath him, while only using a finger. He then shatters the giant boulder with the same finger.[6]

Later, he throws himself onto a stone wall in order to trap Jonathan in the Room of Dragon Decapitation. Whereas Zeppeli states that Tarkus should be unable to move because his bones would have shattered from the collision, Tarkus manages to climb the building and still be in a state to fight Jonathan and Zeppeli afterwards.[7] A kick from him is strong enough to shatter the bone of Jonathan's upper arm.[8]

Chain Techniques

Tarkus is an expert at the Chain Neck Deathmatch, having killed forty-eight warriors in death matches.[8] He uses his surroundings to his advantage, such as ensnaring his opponents with a chain to rip their bodies apart.

  • Hell Heaven Snake Kill (天地来蛇殺 Heru Hebun Sunēku Kiru?): Tarkus's signature technique. He jumps above his opponent while he manipulates his chain to strike them from below, cornering them from both sides. The chain wraps around his opponent and Tarkus pulls on it with enough force to tear a body in half.


When Tarkus was a knight of Mary Stuart, he was described as a hero who could cut rocks like butter with his sword. Proving the stories of his past, Tarkus strikes the ground with his sword and slices off a large cliff, causing the Joestar Group to fall.[5]

Video Games

Phantom Blood (PS2 Game)

Tarkus appears as a boss fight in the game. The player needs to beat him in under 280 seconds. At first, the player uses Zeppeli and then Jonathan afterwards. Like most of the enemies in the game, Tarkus will chase the player trying to attack him with punches and kicks. Tarkus's special ability allows him to use chains to inflict long-range attacks on the player.

Tarkus is playable during some missions in the Extra Battle mode, with either his helmet on or off. With his helmet on, his special ability is to use his giant sword to strike the ground.




  1. Deduced from the date of death of Mary Stuart
  2. Either November 31st or December 1st, per Chapter 41
  3. Chapter 28: Tarkus and the Dark Knight Bruford (3) p. 11
  4. 4.0 4.1 Chapter 27: Tarkus and the Dark Knight Bruford (2)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Chapter 31: The Knights' Ruins
  6. Chapter 26: Tarkus and the Dark Knight Bruford (1)
  7. Chapter 32: The Medieval Knights' Training Ground for Murder
  8. 8.0 8.1 Chapter 33: Pluck for Tomorrow and the Successor (1)

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