Herzog Schlange (German for Duke Snake) is an enemy character from Strider 2. Although he uses the same name in-game, in Japanese he's instead called the Cold-Blooded Marquis Taurine Maier (冷血侯爵タウリンマイアー), implying "Herzog Schlange" to be a nickname instead. He's the final boss in the second stage alongside the Aluminium Hydra, serving as the target whose defeat ends the stage.
A mysterious and "peculiar" man, nothing is known about Herzog Schlange, thought it can be inferred by his clothes and title that he's an aristocrat or a member of the high nobility. The lord of the German castle known as Fortress Wahnen, Schlange is a mad scientist who creates twisted and powerful mechanical monsters, as well as an alchemist. An excentric man described as acting "clownish", he's a follower of Grandmaster Meio, with direct ties with the secret organization serving him and their allies. He's also a highly-patriotic man, all his actions aimed at showing off his country as an exhibit.
In the grounds of Old Germany, Herzog Schlange obtained and rebuilt an ancient castle into the "anachronic castle" known as Fortress Wahnen, an hybrid of ancient and modern technology. From this location, he develops weapons and technology for the shadow organization and its allies. Following the terrorist strike in Neo Hong Kong City, Hiryu tracks down the origin of this "distorted technology" into the fortress, and infiltrates it to find more about its origins and its creator's identity.
Schlange awaits for Hiryu in the underground cavern beneath the fortress, alongside a giant mechanical Hydra, his greatest creation. Once Hiryu arrives, he commands his beast and a squad of Light Armored Guards to attack. Using a hover platform, Schlange tries to stay away from the confrontation while ordering his creation around, but Hiryu eventually destroys the Hydra and brings Schlange down.
Injured and at Hiryu's mercy, Schlange backs away in fear as he shouts at Hiryu, calling him insanely stupid and asking him if he's not afraid of death, as defeating "[their] Lord" is impossible. Before killing him, Hiryu either replies he'll not die by his or anyone's hand (in English), or asks if those will be his last words (in Japanese).
- Main article: Aluminium Hydra
Herzog Schlange has no aptitudes for battle, being instead a genius that creates powerful machines to fight in his stead. In battle, he simply hovers around the area, commanding his creation to attack while trying to escape Hiryu's blade.
Defeating the Hydra first will cause Schlange's platform to catch on fire and slowly drift aimlessly, making him an easy target. If Schlange is defeated first, however, all active Hydra heads will freeze in place and break apart.
Herzog Schlange was one of the enemy characters designed by Sho Sakai, while his sprite was created by object designer Hiroaki Minobe who also stated Schlange being their favorite sprite from the game. Schlange appears to be the stand-in for General Mikiel from the first game, as both are nationalistic madmen serving Grandmaster Meio and at the helm of an entire army.
Schlange has a large pipe organ in the background of his underground chamber. This, coupled with his stated madness and the fact he's hiding in an underground chamber seems to indicate he's partly inspired by the Phantom of the Opera.
His Japanese name "Taurine" appears to come from an organic compound. His last name is of German origin and can be rendered in a variety of ways (Mayer, Maier, Meir, Meyr, Mayr, etc.), but it appears to be inspired by/based on German alchemist Michael Maier.
While Herzog Schlange was not brought back for the 2014 Strider, there's a character based on him known as Professor Schlange. Unlike other returning characters, this Schlange is a different individual: a much more traditional mad scientist reimagining of Herzog Schlange who still retains his excentricity and insanity.
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- Harumaru (April 6, 2019). "Harumaru's twitter" (Japanese). Accessed May 3, 2019.
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- Capcom (December 1999, Arcade). Strider Hiryu 2 (Japanese). Stage 2 Briefing
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