Elzam appears in the following games:
- Super Robot Wars Alpha 2 - Playable character, (as Rätsel)
- Super Robot Wars Alpha 3: To the End of the Galaxy - Playable character (as Rätsel)
- Super Robot Wars Original Generation - Non-playable enemy character → Playable character
- Super Robot Wars Original Generation 2 - Playable character (as Rätsel)
- Super Robot Wars OG Original Generations - Non-playable enemy character (Elzam) → Playable character (both Elzam and Rätsel)
- Super Robot Wars OG Gaiden - Playable character (as Rätsel)
- Super Robot Wars OG II - Playable character (as Rätsel)
- Super Robot Wars OG: The Moon Dwellers - Playable character (as Rätsel)
Elzam also appears in the following anime:
- Super Robot Wars OG: The Animation (as Rätsel)
- Super Robot Wars OG: Divine Wars
- Super Robot Wars OG: The Inspector (as Rätsel)
- Trombe! - Default theme in all appearances
Personality And Traits
Elzam von Branstein is a calm, collected individual, much like his brother, whose even temper makes his skill as a pilot even more readily apparent. Despite this stoicism, he is a gentle person and treats his subordinates with utmost respect when not on the battlefield. Much like Sänger, his honorable personality conflicts with that of some of the less scrupulous members of the Divine Crusaders, who view his upholding of honor to be a weakness.
His prowess in battle is matched only by his prowess in the kitchen -- Elzam is a master chef. When he was a Divine Crusaders commander, he would cook feasts for his men, creating gourmet dishes with whatever ingredients are on-hand. The fact that Elzam is such a gourmet is the basis for his rather thinly-veiled disguise, Rätsel Feinschmecker, which is supposed to mean "The Mysterious Gourmet" in German (although correctly translated, it would be "riddle gourmet"; the correct translation would be "Rätselhafter Feinschmecker"). His taste in food also creates a perplexing situation in the game series, as Elzam is one of the few people to have tried one of Kusuha Mizuha's health drinks -- which, while beneficial, are by all accounts in-game foul-tasting, to the point where the drinker loses consciousness -- and actually enjoy it, even going so far as to identify every single ingredient of the concoction, to the other "victims'" dismay.
Another trait of Elzam's in battle is his distinctive custom color scheme for his mecha and his flagship, the Kurogane: they are all primarily black with red accenting and a splash of gold; save for the Kurogane, all are referred to as Trombe, the name of his pet stallion. The figurative steed, in the case of Dygenguard's companion machine, the Aussenseiter, becomes a very literal one -- Elzam's machine becomes a horse, acting as the Dygenguard's mount.
Elzam bears heavy similarity to Char Aznable of Mobile Suit Gundam fame, most notably in his penchant for customizing his machines with a distinctive colour scheme, as well as his attempts to disguise himself as "Rätsel" by wearing only a pair of dark sunglasses, although this fails to fool anyone except Lefina Enfield in the Original Generation series. His voice actor, Tetsu Inada, had previously voiced Harry Ord in Turn A Gundam, a "Char Clone," who displays many similar character traits to Rätsel. Another character Elzam is strikingly similar to is Lü Bu from Koei's Dynasty Warriors series, who is also voice by Inada. Both possess top-notch capabilities in combat (to the point of a legendary level), a personal horse,red-black color scheme, and a theme song that overrides other background music.
Elzam von Branstein is the eldest son of the Branstein family, a clan of influential aristocrats aboard the space colonies orbiting Earth. His pedigree from birth was not just a life of relative comfort on the home-front, but an expectation to be an excellent soldier -- the Bransteins, along with their cousin branch, the Garsteins, were the clan charged with protecting the colonies from attacks and maintaining their peaceful alliance with the Earth.
As such, Elzam was a high-ranking member of the United Colony Corps' military as soon as he became a young adult. This ranking put him in an unfortunate situation during one particular incident, when his home colony, Elpis, and its citizens became hostages in an attempted terrorist attack on the colonies, led by the psychopathic Archibald Grims. In order to facilitate his own escape, Grims held Elzam's wife Cattleya hostage in a docking bay along with several canisters of a deadly nerve gas. Giving Elzam the difficult decision of saving his wife or the colony, Grims released the gas anyway. Elzam was forced to kill his own wife in order to destroy the gas and keep it from killing everyone else in the colony. She assured him not to feel remorseful about his decision in her last moments, but it was hardly a consolation. This incident was what led to the rift between Elzam and his younger brother Raidiese, who had all but abandoned his connection to the Branstein family as a result.
Elzam remained in space, where he was one of the first to encounter the Aerogaters invading Earth. He battled with the Aerogaters' Megillot probes, destroying four and disabling a fifth to show to the founder of the Extra-Over Technological Investigative Institute, Bian Zoldark. The ruined Megillot served as validation of Bian's fears: an alien army would threaten Earth very soon, and someone would need to act as the last defensive line to stop the alien threat. For this reason, Bian and his followers broke away from the Earth Federation Army and formed the Divine Crusaders. Elzam was one of the highest ranking members, and using his connections, convinced his old friend, Sänger Zonvolt, to join him.
Elzam crossed paths with the SRX Team aboard the Hagane several times, launching in both his customized mecha and his personal flagship, the Kurogane, before going into relative obscurity for a short time after Bian's death. He appeared once more in Antarctica, where Elzam held off the forces of the Aerogaters in a successful bid to stop the Federation government from surrendering to the alien forces. Though fighting for the same cause as the Federation's Hagane and Hiryu Custom ships, he and Sänger chose not to join their forces until the final operation, Operation SRW, the final assault on the Aerogaters' White Star.
Following the end of Operation SRW, both Elzam and Sänger disappeared. In reality, they were living in the countryside, preferring not to make an appearance until the next alien threat appeared. It was the threat of the Inspectors that brought Elzam out of hiding under the disguise of Rätsel Feinschmecker. The appearance of the Shadow-Mirror and the dangerous situation they put his old Aggressors teammate, Guiliam Jeager, in drove him out of hiding entirely, and together with Sänger, they rejoined the Federation Army in order to battle both the Shadow-Mirror and the various alien threats facing Earth. During the battle to liberate the Earth Cradle, Elzam and Raidese finally put the ghost of their past to rest when they both killed the fleeing Archibald Grims, avenging Cattleya's death.
After the defeat of the Inspectors, Shadow-Mirror, and Einst, Elzam went back into hiding aboard the Kurogane. Yuuki Jegnan and Ricarla Borgnine, both former Neo Divine Crusaders soldiers themselves, joined Elzam and Sänger, hiding from the watchful eye of the new Earth Federation government and waiting for the next time the Kurogane's services would be needed as a secret ally of the Federation Army.
In the Shadow-Mirror universe, Elzam, along with his wife, father, and cousin, would be killed at the Elpis Incident; however, his brother Raidiese would survive.
In Super Robot Wars Original Generation: The Animation, Rätsel would appear with the Kurogane as reinforcements for the Hagane during their assault on the Hellgate facility.
In Super Robot Wars Original Generation: The Inspector, when Rätsel appears at the Tesla Licht Institute, he is piloting a machine he identifies as "Guarbein MkIII Trombe", which is essentially the Hückebein MkIIIR with several modifications derived from his DCAM-006VT Guarlion Trombe: the head has been redesigned to closely resemble the Guarlion's, and it sports the Guarlion's shoulders. It also lacks the MkIII's normal backpack - though it would equip said backpack in later sorties. Though he never explicitly identifies it by name, Vigagi recognizes the "Guarbein" as a thinly-disguised Hückebein.
- Elzam's theme song, Trombe!, usually has a higher priority over every other music in the Super Robot War games, even those of bosses - it will even override Keisar Ephes. This was originally due to a bug, but has been deliberately kept in subsequent games as a running gag. In fact, the only time it was ever overridden was by The Blue Danube, being literally blared from the battleship of Bundol, one of the villains from GoShogun; this happens because it is equipped with enormous speakers which reproduce such song (via tape deck or something similar to it), rendering any BGM useless.
- In Original Generations, putting Ratsel in the Gespenst MK II Type-S and having him execute the Gespenst Kick attack may cause him to yell "Universal!", another reference to Harry Ord.