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Rudolf ​is one of the main antagonists of Fire Emblem Gaiden and its remake, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. He is the emperor of Rigel.

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Rudolf is the fourth generation Emperor of Rigel, as well as a renowned general who stood on the battlefield from a young age, with numerous victories to his name. Within the empire, the people fear his reign of terror, but his knights are among the most steadfastly loyal to his rule. About 17 years prior to the start of Gaiden and Echoes, Rudolf was blessed with a son who bore a special brand of Duma on his left hand. Upon seeing this mark as well as hearing of a Zofian princess with a brand of Mila on her hand, Rudolf summoned Mycen, a long time friend from Zofia, where he entrusted his son to him to raise into a great warrior.

16 years later, a man was washed ashore in Rigel and discovered by a Rigelian priestess, Tatiana, who nursed him back to health. The man showed great skill as a knight and the two became close. Naming him Ezekiel, or Zeke for short, Rudolf tasked him to follow a man who bore a mark on his left hand should he ever meet him in battle. Zeke would later uphold this promise, following Alm in his cause.

Through the years, Rudolf enacted a plan to spur the Valentian people into conflict in order to end the rule of Duma and Mila on the Rigelian and Zofian people respectively, both whom he viewed as a danger to humans as a whole. As such, he became a conqueror, set on unifying the continent of Valentia under a single rule. Rudolf begins his plan, requesting the Falchion from Duma in order to seal Mila, and aiding Desaix in his rebellion in order to provoke the true heroes to come out and stop him or unite the continent by military might.

Over the years, Rudolf became acquainted with his nephew, Berkut, who desired to become heir to the Empire by becoming a great knight worthy of Rudolf. Rudolf often humored Berkut's ambitions and grandeur, but when he constantly failed him during the conflict against the Zofian force, the Deliverance, Rudolf sidelines him to prevent further shame upon the empire.

Alm, who lead the Deliverance, eventually reaches the Rigelian castle. At the dawn of the battle, Rudolf praises his knights for their loyalty and orders them to surrender peacefully should he fall in battle.

Eventually, Alm meets Rudolf atop the castle and the two clash weapons. Rudolf willingly allows Alm to mortally wound him without fighting back. Alm is confused by Rudolf's lack of resistance, but Rudolf hushes him to he can give him his final words. Rudolf reveals that Alm is his long lost son, Albein Alm Rudolf, whom he sent away with Mycen to become a great hero. With his dying breath, Rudolf expresses pride in his son and knows that he will be able to be the hero who will slay the oppressive gods of Valentia and lead the people to a prosperous future without their influence. In his death, the truth of Alm's heritage is revealed to the Valentian people. Before the battle, his trusted personal guard Massena was fully informed of Rudolf's 17 year long plan who in turn puts all his effort in seeing Rudolf's ambition come to fruition.

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