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Wolfgang von Stroheim (Fatal Fury video games) adjusting his gauntlets

Wolfgang Krauser von Stroheim


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Von Stroheim was the endgame boss of Fatal Fury 2, a 1992 brawling game originally released on Neo-Geo.

Though the Fatal Fury games continued through the 1990s and the characters were absorbed by the King of Fighters franchise, von Stroheim only had one canon appearance after FF2.

He’s an old-fashioned power house and had one of the most towering boss statuses in any fighting game. He also had a full a backstory and complex motivation. He cannot, nay must not be forgotten!


Background

  • Real Name: Wolfgang Krauser von Stroheim.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Micheal Stroheim (great-grandfather, deceased), Rudolph Krauser Von Stroheim (father, deceased by his own hand), Elza Stroheim (mother, deceased), Geese Howard (half-brother, deceased), Rock Howard (nephew).
  • Group Affiliation: Stroheim nobility, Boss Team.
  • Base Of Operations: Stroheim Castle, Germany.
  • Height: 6’7″ Weight: 320 lbs.
  • Eyes: Purple Hair: Purple


Powers and Abilities

Krauser fights using the Stroheim System, a mixture of Kampfringen , pankration  and US-style professional wrestling.

He is enormously strong, yet surprisingly agile for his size. Furthermore, he can channel energy to emit fire or generic energy projectiles.


Additional context

Krauser’s claim to nobility seems more than a little questionable for several reasons. This is chiefly because the Japanese creators of the character likely had little notion of how the German nobility actually works.

Krauser von Stroheim advancing menacingly

Abolishment

The German nobility was officially abolished in 1919 after WWI. However this only abolished the special rights and privileges that nobles had been granted in the past. They were still able to retain all their inherited possessions including their castles, wealth, and land.

Most noble families then annexed their titles into their names. In Krauser’s case “von” would have been the title and Stroheim the last name, but the two would be combined to form the family surname after 1919.

“Earl”

On a further the title of “earl” is only used in England. Germans had “continental counts” who bore the title of “graf.” His correctly annexed name should be Wolfgang Krauser Graf von Stroheim (with Krauser being the inherited family name and Graf von Stroheim being the title annexed into this).

The title or even the word “graf” is not found in any of his appearances or any SNK publication AFICT. I think it’s safe to assume that “Earl of Stroheim” is either inaccurate or loosely translated. In either case this can be handwaved.

Krauser von Stroheim playing an organ

“Von”

German noble families who retained their castles and lands later start adding von und zu (although several other variations exist) to their ancestral last name to indicate that they have retained their castles and lands.

The fact that the von Stroheim have not added this to their title seems to indicate that they at some point lost their castle and thus their (no longer legally official) title.

Do bear in mind though that many nobles do regard themselves as the divinely born rulers regardless of what the law says and that a loss of a family’s estate is an act of shame that would cast the family out of such an elite upper crust society.

The von Stroheim do indeed have a castles called Castle von Stroheim, but it seems questionable whether this was their ancestral estate or merely one purchased and renamed after the original was lost.

Lineage, part 1

Women were allowed to be nobles in Germany (and most other places in the world that has nobility) either by being born into a noble family or marrying into one. A very important right that they are not granted is the ability to pass that title on.

As stated in the history section 40 years before the events of Fatal Fury Michael, the then-current head of the house of von Stroheim lost his wife and only son in a plane crash. It seems implied that he was perhaps too old to father another male heir to carry on the von Stroheim name and title.

His only other child was his daughter Elza. But while still nobility (most likely a countess as there is no female equivalent to earl and the title of earl is roughly approximate of a continental count) was a woman and therefore unable to pass on the title to any children she bore.

Furthermore she married a commoner – a famous American prize fighter. It’s generally accepted that any nobility who marry a commoner forfeit their title.

Lineage, part 2

Thus Krauser, her son, would be unable to inherit the title, even if he did kill his father to obtain it. Note that in more modern times the punishment for claiming a title outside of proper lineage is generally less severe, but still looked upon with disdain.

Krauser responds to a challenge

Regardless of all these technicalities Krauser very much does cultivate the old fashioned European nobility. The legitimacy of this claim may be questionable, but how it is portrayed is not. Then again in a fictional martial arts universe all of this could merely be hand waived.

On a further side note since German nobility no longer exists as it once did it is highly likely that Krauser has some sort of actual job. He is a world class renowned fighter so it’s entirely possible that the does collect prize money or at the very least his assets are managed by some competent financial advisors/investors to maintain the upkeep of all his holdings.


Ye Olden Country

The subject of what country Krauser hailed from also came up in a bit of debate. With a title like “earl” it might be possibly be from England. There are also German nobles in Austria, Switzerland, and of course Germany.

Krauser in his armor

England would not be possible, because all German nobles lost their English titles in WWI.

Switzerland is also not possible, because they have no nobility. The Principality of Lichtenstein is not a part of Switzerland, but one of the two surviving monarchies of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation, which dissolved in 1806. The other one is the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg.

If Stroheim is in Austria, then the surname would only be Krauser-Stroheim, because Austria banned all noble titles from becoming part of the surname.

So he can only be from Germany. To further support this claim he is officially stated to have come from Germany and the map seems to indicate that he is from Germany.

King of His Castle

The location of Castle Stroheim is unrevealed. It’s somewhere in the German country side and that’s about all we know. Bear in mind it’s only appearance was in Fatal Fury 2, a game very firmly rooted in the 16-bit era and the graphics on the map are not clear enough to even begin to guess where he’s from.

We also see very little of his castle in the game – like only a room or two. That’s hardly enough to guess where it’s located. The Fatal Fury 2nd and 3rd animated series showed us a little more, but near as I can tell it’s just a generic European looking castle not based off of any actual sight.


Description

Krauser is a huge hulking beast of a man. He typically wears red wrestling style tights and heavy armored boots as well as his armor and cape which he casts off before battle. Despite all this it is immediately obvious that he still has the air of refined nobility around him.

His hair is long and purple and he sports a mustache as well.


Quotes

“I’ll chisel your grave. Sleep well.”

“You fought well.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Wolfgang Krauser von Stroheim

Dex: 07 Str: 06 Bod: 06 Motivation: Anti-heroic Thrill of Adventure
Int: 08 Wil: 06 Min: 07 Occupation: Earl of Stroheim?
Inf: 08 Aur: 06 Spi: 08 Resources {or Wealth}: 013
Init: 024 HP: 090

Powers:
Adaptation: 06, Adrenaline Surge: 05, Air Control: 05, Energy Blast: 06, Flame Projection: 06, Growth: 01, Jumping: 03, Running: 04

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Adaptation is catastrophically marginal. He’s only used it once, but to great effect, to copy Terry’s Hurricane Punch during a match.
  • Adrenaline Surge only works with Air Control, Energy Blast, Running, and Martial Artist.
  • Air Control has range of touch only and can only be used to make tornadoes.
  • Growth is also on, innate, and already factored in.

Skills:
Animal Handling (Riding): 05, Artist (Organ): 05, Martial Artist: 12

Advantages:
Attractive, Connoisseur, Languages (German), Schtick (stance assessment).

Connections:
Laurence Blood (High), German nobility (Low), Geese Howard (Low), Billy Kane (Low), Axel Hawk (Low), Mr. Big (Low).

Drawbacks:
Distinct Appearance (huge size and cross scar on forehead).

Equipment:
ARMOR [/BODY/06, Invulnerability: 05, Skin armor: 02, Limitation : Skin armor only vs slashing and piercing weapons ; Real Armour, Partial Covery: can be bypassed with a -1CS trick shot].


Previous Stats

During his Fatal Fury 2 appearance he had MIA (overconfidence).

By Tom Eilers.

Source of Character: Fatal Fury and King of Fighters video games.

Helper(s): SNK wiki , Sébastien Andrivet, Darci, Barbarossa Rotbart, Tiago Quintana, Wikipedia on peerage, wikipedia on German nobility .

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