|“||What is "Courage"? "Courage" is knowing fear and making that fear your own!||”|
—Zeppeli, Chapter 22
Zeppeli appears as a man of average to above-average height, muscular build and defined, pointed facial features. He has dark, curly hair that protrudes somewhat from under his hat and a thin, well-groomed handlebar mustache.
Between two outfits, he wears a suit, a bow tie, and a top hat; first characterized by a rainbow print, and then by a checkered print.
As a master of the Ripple, Zeppeli is confident and brave, freely approaching an injured Jonathan and giving him the power of the ripple without having met him previously. This personality also extends to the majority of his battles, such as when he is teaching Jonathan to apply the ripple in his fight against Jack the Ripper - all the while calmly pouring and drinking wine. Even when he realizes he is about to face a sudden and horrific death, he does not seem to be too fazed by this and acts very casually with regards to life.
Born to a scholarly family, Zeppeli had been interested in researching the unknown since his youth. When he became of age, he joined the archaeological group at his father's university and was able to travel to various places around the world.
On one of his travels, the group went to Mexico to excavate an underground Aztec ruin. Amongst their finds was the Stone Mask.
On the voyage home, several of the crew began to die off, until they realized that someone had put on the mask. It turned out to be the leader of the group, Zeppeli's father. All 58 crew members were slaughtered, but Zeppeli managed to escape by jumping into the sea. His father was eradicated by the morning sun soon after. Zeppeli was eventually rescued several days later by a fishing boat.
Two years after this horrific event, Zeppeli travels the world in order to find a way to destroy the stone mask. In a town in India, he meets a strange man with the ability to heal even the most impossible injuries and sicknesses. The man directs Zeppeli to his master, Tonpetty, who teaches him to use the "Ripple". However, during his training, Tonpetty foresees Zeppeli's death and warns him that should he complete his training he will surely die. Zeppeli accepts his fate and agrees to complete the training along with Dire.
Phantom BloodAfter hearing that Jonathan Joestar defeated Dio Brando, the current owner of the Stone Mask, Zeppeli presents himself to Jonathan and volunteers to teach him the ripple after using it to heal Jonathan's shattered arm. Zeppeli then accompanies Jonathan and Speedwagon on their quest to defeat Dio and destroy the Stone Mask. Zeppeli briefly fighting Jack the Ripper before giving the task to Jonathan in an attempt to teach him to more effectively use the ripple. He also tries to help Speedwagon discover the ripple in the same was as Jonathan, but makes a mistake and simply knocks the wind out of him instead.
When Dio reveals himself to the group, Zeppeli quickly engages him on his own - however his arm is flash-frozen in the battle by Dio, totally disabling his Ripple techniques and putting him out of commission until Speedwagon comes to his aid. When Dio summons the Dark Knights, Zeppeli and Speedwagon are unable to assist Jonathan in his fight against Bruford due to Tarkus's interference. After Bruford is defeated, Zeppeli and Jonathan use their ripple on a pile of leaves to make a hang glider to escape Tarkus, who eventually manages to catch up. While Jonathan is struggling to defeat Tarkus, Zeppeli enters the battle with Poco's help and finally shares his knowledge of his own fate.
As Tonpetty's prophecy foretold, Zeppeli battles with Tarkus and becomes wrapped in his chains. Tarkus attempts to kill Jonathan and Will at the same time, bifurcating Zeppeli at the waist (as well as amputating an arm) and breaking Jonathan's neck - however Zeppeli is able to give his power and life energy to Jonathan moments before dying. It is by this power that Jonathan is healed and able to defeat Tarkus. Despite his ravaged body, Will manages to stay conscious for a few minutes, chastises Jonathan for grieving and implores him one final time to defeat Dio for good and destroy the Stone Mask. He takes his last breaths knowing he will live on through Jonathan, and dies in his arms. His remains are cremated by Jonathan and Speedwagon in the old knight training grounds where Tarkus was slain.
It is later revealed that Zeppeli had sent a letter to his master Tonpetty asking for help in destroying the Stone Mask, though Tonpetty arrived too late to prevent Zeppeli's death. After his passing, Speedwagon gains a penchant for wearing his signature checker-print top hat.
Having studied the technique for years with masters in Tibet and trained Jonathan himself, Zeppeli is an expert when it comes to using the Ripple. Aside from attacking, he is able to use it for other things such as jumping, standing on water, healing wounds, reviving plants, and even limited foresight.
- Zoom Punch (ズームパンチ Zūmu Panchi?): The Zoom Punch attack involves a ripple breathing technique that dislocates & stretches the joints in the arm. Due to the increased length, the strike is useful as a semi-ranged attack. Interestingly enough the technique was originally taught to Jonathan, though Joseph is also capable of using it with its proper name.
- Ripple Cutter (波紋カッター Hamon Kattā?, literally meaning Ripple Cutter): Zeppeli spits globs of wine from between his teeth. The ripple combined with the liquid makes it sharp and dense enough to cut through solid objects, as well as agile and accurate enough to deflect other projectiles.
- Sendo Wave Kick (仙道
波蹴Sendō Uēbukikku?, literally meaning Way of the Hermit Wave Kick): A ripple-infused strike with the knee. The ripple energy tears vampires and Undead apart upon entering the bloodstream.
- Sunlight Yellow Overdrive (
山き吹色波紋疾走Sanraito Ierō Ōbādoraibu?): Using the power of sunlight, Zeppeli is able to transfer the ripple through his body into another being, causing burn damage to zombies and vampires alike. A simple, quick jab is enough to blow away a group of zombies and eventually melt them into ash.
- Life Magnetism Overdrive (生命磁気への
波紋疾走Seimei Jiki e no Ōbādoraibu?): An ability that allowed Zeppeli and Jonathan to gather forth all the leaves in the immediate area and combine them to create a much larger leaf (used as a hang glider) using the body's natural magnetic field and conductivity.
- Tornado Overdrive (
波紋乱渦疾走Torunēdei Ōbādoraibu?): Zeppeli leaps into the air and points his legs towards his opponent. From here, he is able to move the ripple to his lower half and essentially dive bomb the opponent in a spinning motion, much like a drill.
- Ultimate Deep Pass Overdrive (究極
深仙脈疾走Kyūkyoku Deī Pasu Ōbādoraibu?): Zeppeli's last and most powerful ripple technique. Right before his death, he transfers all his life energy into Jonathan. Using this technique, Jonathan obtains all of Zeppeli's power - causing his strength, agility, and ripple technique to increase dramatically. This rapid loss of life energy naturally also changes Zeppeli's physical appearance, causing his skin to thin and wrinkle as well as his hair to turn white, as if greatly aged in the short time.
Caesar Anthonio Zeppeli: Caesar believes the bonds between an Italian family such as the Zeppelis are stronger than most people. According to him, because of their pride, Zeppeli's can handle their problems on their own and have the will to pull through. When he first meets Joseph, he says that it was because Jonathan needed so much help to fight his own battle, that Will ended up dying because of it.
Mario Zeppeli: Zeppeli's relationship with his son is never fully expanded upon, however Mario had known since he was young of the fate of his father. Because of this, he began researching the Stone Masks and spent his life training his Ripple, following in the footsteps of his father.
Jonathan Joestar: Jonathan, upon meeting Zeppeli, was initially perplexed by his appearance and strange abilities. After Zeppeli explains his actions and the significance of the Ripple, Jonathan grows to trust Zeppeli completely and looks up to him as a mentor. Zeppeli eventually sacrifices himself to save Jonathan and transfers his energy and life force to him, moments before dying. Jonathan tearfully avenges Zeppeli by killing Tarkus.
Robert E. O. Speedwagon: Originally, Zeppeli thought Speedwagon would run away at the first sign of danger as he couldn't use Ripple, but he eventually respects his courage when Speedwagon stays despite his shortcomings. After Zeppeli was killed, Speedwagon donned his hat out of respect.
Tonpetty: As the man who taught him about Ripple, Zeppeli greatly respected Tonpetty. Tonpetty showed great concern for Zeppeli when he warned him his study of Ripple would be the end of him.
Dire: While their relationship is never fully expanded on, they were good friends who trained together with Tonpetty. Dire tried to avenge Zeppeli by killing Dio but failed.
Straizo: Like Dire, Straizo's relationship is never fully explained but they were likely close.
Dio Brando: Due to Dio having used the Stone Mask and becoming a Vampire, Zeppeli immediately viewed Dio as an enemy once he learned about the incident at the Joestar Mansion and due to his own father using the same mask to become a Vampire himself. Dio himself is dismissive of Zeppeli's hatred towards his vampiric ways and connection to the Stone Mask, only viewing Zeppeli's mastery of the unfamiliar Ripple as nothing more than magic tricks.
Phantom Blood for the Playstation 2 marks Zeppeli's first appearance in any other media outlet outside the manga. He's one of the 5 characters that can use Ripple.
Gameplay-wise, his two special moves are Sendo Wave Kick (as a non-fully charged special move) and Sunlight Yellow Overdrive (as his fully charged special move). Aside from his ripple-based moveset, he uses normal punches and kicks to attack enemies. Zeppeli is playable during most of the chapters (alongside with Jonathan and Speedwagon).
Zeppeli returns as a playable character in the PS3 game. He was confirmed along with Jonathan and Johnny Joestar. As a Ripple-user character (along with Jonathan, Joseph Joestar [Both Parts 2 and 3], Caesar, and Lisa Lisa), Zeppeli can recharge his Heart Heat Gauge through "Ripple Breath" by holding down the Style button, performing a famous JoJo pose, as well as deliver enhanced versions of skills if Style is inputted in place of normal attack buttons. Zeppeli's Ripple Breath replenishes the HHG the fastest out of all Ripple users, being roughly 150% of the normal rate.
Zeppeli's moveset mostly comprises of the Ripple-based moves he had used in the original manga.
- Seated Jump: Zappeli leaps high into the air with his knees alone. This skill can be used to extend time for air-based skills or simply evade attacks.
- Spirit Ripple Overdrive: Zeppeli makes use of Life Magnetism Overdrive to create a glider out of foliage, allowing him to slowly descend through the air toward/over the opponent for a short time while continuously draining his HHG. This skill can be used to evade most attacks, especially so if used in conjunction with Seated Jump, and can be followed by an air attack or Tornado Overdrive.
- Low Contact Ripple Guard: Zeppeli lays tucked-flat in the air, using the power of the Ripple to defend himself while continuously draining his HHG. Zeppeli will slowly descend while the skill is in used, eventually falling to the ground. He can extend the ability's overall duration if used in conjunction with Seated Jump, though naturally at the cost of more of his HHG. This is the only skill in the entire game that allows for guarding in mid-air.
- Zoom Punch: Zeppeli extends his arm and punches at medium range. Every single one of Zeppeli's skills can be performed instantly following this move. (Comboable)
- Ripple Cutter: Zeppeli spits wine out of his mouth as disc-shaped projectiles. The number of cutters he unleashes is altered by the attack button inputted, up to 3. While the cutters naturally do more total damage as they increase in number, the fewer there are, the higher the damage each individual projectile deals. This move can be used in the air, firing diagonally. If Ripple-enhanced, he spews a much heavier amount. (Comboable through Puttsun Cancel)
- Sendo Wave Kick: Zeppeli leaps a great distance with his knee out, sending the opponent flying if it hits. This move doubles as an anti-air, but cannot be Puttsun Cancelled. If Ripple-enhanced, he adds more hits and can only be interrupted by Throws/HHA/GHA.
- Sunlight Yellow Overdrive: Zeppeli unleashes a blast of Ripple from a single hand, sending the opponent flying. If Light is inputted, it has a delay but becomes a Throw. If Ripple-enhanced, the attack's damage decreases significantly but opponent is instead stunned and left vulnerable. (Ripple-enhanced Comboable)
- Tornado Overdrive: Zeppeli leaps into the air and comes down spinning, using his legs as a drill. This move is a middle attack that can only be blocked if the opponent is not crouching, can be used in mid-air, and can hit a downed opponent. If Ripple-enhanced, Zeppeli trips a standing opponent into the air upon landing. (Ripple-enhanced Comboable)
- Throw - Pow!: Zeppeli quickly jabs his little finger into the opponent's abdomen before kicking them away.
Zeppeli's HHA, "This is Sendo!", reenacts his first demonstration of Ripple usage on a frog. He slides across the ground in a low kick. If it lands, the opponent is tripped as Zeppeli quickly gets back up. He then charges the Ripple into his fist, before punching the downed opponent, shocking them with the Ripple energy and sending them flying.
Zeppeli's GHA, "The power of the sun! Sunlight Yellow Overdrive!", begins with him lunging forward and jabbing his opponent's abdomen with his little finger, as he shares his ideal of what courage is. The opponent left stunned and defenseless. Zeppeli then charges an immense amount of glowing yellow-colored Ripple energy as golden ripples emanate across the ground, before unleashing a Zoom Punch augmented with the Sunlight Yellow Overdrive, electrifying and blasting the enemy away in a single hit.
If Zeppeli fights Caesar, before the match starts they will have a special dialogue, where Caesar believes Zeppeli is an imposter and says he will make Zeppeli pay for impersonating a member of his family, while Zeppeli himself is surprised to see such power emanating from the youth.
Zeppeli is voiced by Yoku Shioya, who voiced the character in the anime version, and shares the same color scheme from the anime. Zeppeli also has an alternate costume, that being the tuxedo he wore originally (with a rainbow themed hat), as well as one of his alternate color-schemes resembling his previous video-game appearance (red hat and green suit).
Zeppeli appears in the game as one of the several PART I characters who posses a Metal Striker. His FINISH move makes him shoot several Ripple Cutters upon the defeated opponent.
Zeppeli was confirmed for the game alongside Jonathan and Speedwagon.
His main partner in the game appears to be Jonathan as they possess a tag special move where both of them attack the opponent with a powerful Overdrive-style punch to the abdomen.
In the campaign's ending, he is shown to have survived his battle against Tarkus and is at Speedwagon's side during Jonathan's battle with Dio.
He is paired with Koichi Hirose in the Eyes of Heaven Tournament, but was eliminated in the preliminaries by Jonathan and DIO.
- In an interview, Araki stated that he was inspired to make Zeppeli a "silly" teacher to train Jonathan, like something akin to the "drunken master" in Jackie Chan films or Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid.
- He additionally said that while Zeppeli was named after the rock band "Led Zeppelin", he felt that he had used the reference too early in the series.
- Hirohiko Araki stated that giving Zeppeli a mustache was a gamble; It was uncommon at the time to give Shonen protagonists any type of mustache, as it usually made the character seem older and untrustworthy. The mustache in particular Araki chose was inspired by Salvador Dalí and Iyami from Osomatsu-kun.
- Upon Zeppeli's death, his hat was worn by Robert E. O. Speedwagon until the end of Part 1. Later his hat is used by his grandson, Caesar.
- Yuugi Hoshiguma from Touhou Project, who has learned to fight without spilling a drop of sake, is a confirmed reference to a scene from Part 1 where Zeppeli makes Jonathan fight without spilling a drop of wine.
- Zeppeli and Yoshikage Kira share the same voice actor, Rikiya Koyama, in different games (Zeppeli in Phantom Blood and Kira in All-Star Battle).
- As a running gag, Zeppeli often adds too much pepper to his food, causing him to sneeze.
- ↑ 
- ↑ JoJonium Volume 2, Pg. 323
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 JoJo 6251 Pg. 148
- ↑ Chapter 20: Jack the Ripper and Zeppeli the Eccentric (3)
- ↑ Chapter 89: Caesar's Lonely Youth (2)
|Phantom Blood Characters|