|“||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. The latter design is consistent in the anime, however.
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 Robert E. O. 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 Zeppeli 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, Zeppeli 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 applications 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.
- 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.
- Poco: While Zeppeli wasn't too close to Poco, Zeppeli still cared for Poco, saving his life when Tarkus tried to kill him. Like Speedwagon and Jonathan, Poco mourned his death at the hands of Tarkus.
- 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 to 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.
- Jack the Ripper: While Zeppeli knew Jack was a threat, he showed absolutely no respect for him, comparing him to a flea.
Relationships in Eyes of Heaven
(The information below derives from a Video Game not written by Araki. As such, it may not be considered canon.)
- Dio Brando: While their relationship is essentially the same as in the manga, when Zeppeli encounters DIO from Stardust Crusaders, he will state that Dio seems even eviler and wonders if the Stone Mask is responsible, while DIO believes Zeppeli is even less of a threat than before since he acquired The World.
- Wamuu: When Zeppeli encounters Wamuu, he will state surprised that Wamuu is aware of Ripple users and their weaknesses and wonder who he is. If he wins, he later realizes he's one of the Pillar Men, while Wamuu is surprised that the Ripple users haven't died out yet. Interestingly, Zeppeli is unaware that Wamuu is responsible for the deaths of his son and grandson.
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 moves, 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: Zeppeli 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.
- Heart Heat Attack - "This is Sendo!": Zeppeli reenacts his first demonstration of Ripple usage on a frog. He slides across the ground in a low kick. If it lands, the opponent gets tripped by Zeppeli as he 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.
- Great Heat Attack - "The power of the sun! Sunlight Yellow Overdrive!": Zeppeli begins by lunging forward and jabbing his opponent's abdomen with his little finger, as he shares his ideals on what courage is. The opponent left stunned and defenseless as he charges an immense amount of 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 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 1 characters who possesses a Metal Striker. His FINISH move enables him to shoot several Ripple Cutters upon the defeated opponent.
Zeppeli was confirmed for the game alongside Jonathan and Speedwagon.
As a Ripple User, Zeppeli has a Ripple Gauge that determines the strength of his attacks. Filling up the gauge will automatically empower his Normal and Powerful Attacks, and enhance/alter the properties of all his skills. It will also shorten the cooldown time on said skills. Using skills will drain a portion of the Ripple Gauge until there's an insufficient amount to use.
- What a jump! From a seated position, using only his knees!: Zeppeli leaps high into the air with his knees alone. This skill can be used to simply evade attacks, and can also be cancelled using any mid-air attack.
- Style Action - Ripple Breathing: Zeppeli performs a pose and Ripple Breathes, filling up the Ripple Gauge. He cannot move and is vulnerable to attacks while doing so. Similar to All-Star Battle, Zeppeli fills his gauge the fastest out of all Ripple Users.
- One question at a time, okay?: Zeppeli swiftly charges forward, passing through partner and enemy alike. He is able to cancel this skill with any kind of attack or skill, allowing him to close the distance and/or Backstab opponents in one swift move. If Ripple-enhanced, the speed and distance of the charge is increased.
- Sunlight Yellow Overdrive!: Zeppeli dives forward with a Ripple-charged hand extended. If the opponent is hit, the Ripple will shock them in the abdomen. Zeppeli then pulls his hand back before hitting them off with a more concentrated attack, sending the opponent flying. If Ripple-enhanced, the skill will receive a damage boost and increase the speed and distance of the dive. The skill's damage is dependent on how much of the Ripple Gauge is filled.
- Tornado Overdrive!: Zeppeli performs a special flipping leap. Further input will make him come down at a diagonal angle spinning, using his legs as a drill. If the skill hits an already downed opponent, they will be blown back. If Ripple-enhanced, Zeppeli will be invincible during the initial jump, the attack's speed will increase, and more hits will be dealt. This skill can also be used in mid-air, and doing so will cause Zeppeli to perform the attack immediately. Zeppeli is able to cancel this skill with a normal or powerful attack.
- Ripple Cutter: Zeppeli spits wine out of his mouth as a disc-shaped projectile with some homing capability. If Ripple-enhanced, he spits out three with augmented homing capabilities, the third of which will send opponents flying.
- EX - Sunlight Yellow Overdrive!: Zeppeli is invincible when executing the skill and the skill will crumple the opponent instead, allowing him to combo from it. This is in addition to the damage benefits granted by the Ripple Gauge. Zeppeli is able to cancel this skill immediately after the kick with a jump.
- EX - Tornado Overdrive!: Zeppeli is invincible until he lands and will finish with a sweeping kick that launches standing opponents into the air.
- You have a reason to risk your life learning this!: Zeppeli must completely fill his Ripple Gauge. (200 Points)
- The ode to humanity is an ode to courage!: Zeppeli must connect the final hit of a Ripple-enhanced Normal attack combo. (200 Points)
- This is Sendo!: Zeppeli must connect "Sunlight Yellow Overdrive!" 3 times. (300 Points)
- Ripple Breathing is born from courage!!: Zeppeli must use any Ripple-enhanced skill five times. Any skill will count as long as he lands five of that same skill. (500 Points)
- Pour in! Ripple of the Sun!: Zeppeli must retire an enemy with a DHA. (800 Points)
Dual Heat Attacks
- Solo - "Hamon of the sun! Sunlight Yellow Overdrive": Zeppeli will leap into the air and come down on a grounded opponent and send the Sunlight Yellow Overdrive through his finger into their abdomen.
- With Jonathan - "Here comes my Hamon!": The two of them attack the opponent's head, sequentially with a Ripple-charged Zoom Punch from Jonathan and a Sendo Wave Kick from Zeppeli, before they charge up and run up to the opponent and unleash a double Sendo Ripple Overdrive-enhanced Zoom Punch into them, the two reciting the phrase commonly associated with Overdrives.
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, a similar hat is briefly worn 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|