Bruford was formerly a powerful knight in 16th century Great Britain and a loyal retainer of Mary Stuart alongside Tarkus. After dying in disgrace, Bruford is resurrected as a zombie by Dio Brando to battle Jonathan Joestar. He wields a knightly sword named Luck, which he uses in combination with his unnaturally rigid hair.
Bruford is a male zombie with athletic stature, a scar on the bridge of his nose, and long unkempt dark hair. He wears a set of metal armor consisting of a chestplate with a collar-like ornate plate that ends on a decorated metal disk, shoulder pads and ankles pads with a pair of sandals, and a diadem decorated with several jewels.
When he was alive, Bruford was an honorable knight of Mary Stuart. His feelings toward her surpassed even that of love. When Elizabeth I betrayed Mary Stuart, Bruford stood by her side, fighting off all of Elizabeth's forces. Upon learning of her capture, he was easily willing to die for her. However, when the executioner showed him Mary Stuart's head, even though he accepted execution to save his liege, he flew into a blind rage and began to resent humanity.
As a zombie, his hatred carried over, allowing Dio to use him in his quest for world domination. However, along with his hatred, his pride as a knight also carried over, as seen when he decides to fight Jonathan one on one.
After being defeated by Jonathan, the Ripple energy sent into him restores his human soul, allowing him to feel compassion again. He loses his hatred towards the world and is thankful for the chance to meet the honorable Jonathan.
As a knight, Bruford is supposedly a good fighter. It is stated that against the armies that fought against Mary Stuart, only Bruford and Tarkus could win. Already, Bruford had athletic abilities beyond ordinary humans. An expert swimmer, Bruford was capable of swimming a 5 km lake wearing armor with 30 kg of weight. He also managed to complete the trial of the 77 Rings.
As a Zombie, his strength is multiplied, to the point where he can scrape out a Zombie's nose with just his finger and swim as fast as the Ripple can travel through water, allowing him to escape one of Jonathan's attacks with minimal damage.
Born in the 16th century, Bruford was a member of the Tudor dynasty and a retainer of Mary Stuart. After losing his relatives in previous wars, young Bruford was brought up as Mary Stuart's knight and trained his body for that sole purpose. Bruford became attached to Mary, whose charm made him feel at peace. Alongside his fellow retainer Tarkus, Bruford passed the trial of the 77 Rings in 1563, becoming two of the only five in history to complete it.
Eventually, Mary was attacked by her political rival Queen Elizabeth, and a war ensued. Bruford and Tarkus fought the queen's army and won every battle, but the rest of Mary's allies were quickly defeated. Mary was eventually captured, and Elizabeth offered Mary's release in return for Bruford and Tarkus's surrender. But on the day they were to executed, Bruford and Tarkus learned from their executioner that Mary had already been killed. Bruford died with resentment in his heart, cursing Elizabeth and all of her descendants; rumors say that his hair entangled the executioner's feet and dug into his flesh as he was beheaded. The story of Bruford and Tarkus became legend throughout England, and a young Jonathan Joestar heard the legend as part of his education.
After taking residence in Windknight's Lot following his transition into a vampire, Dio Brando resurrects Bruford and Tarkus as his zombie enforcers to kill Jonathan, Will Anthonio Zeppeli, and Robert E. O. Speedwagon. Bruford's hair ensnares Jonathan's arm and begins sucking his blood, but Jonathan uses his other fist to burn the hair with a Scarlet Overdrive. A Zombie tries to bite Jonathan, but Bruford cuts off his nose; he then asks Dio to let him fight Jonathan alone, and Dio accepts. With Tarkus preventing Zeppeli and Speedwagon from stepping in, Bruford begins his attack: leaping into the air, he draws and wields his sword, Luck, with his hair. To avoid the swing, Jonathan is forced duck and jump underwater, and Bruford gives chase. Though Bruford expects Jonathan to swim to the surface for air, Jonathan instead swims downward to find air bubbles beneath the rocks, enabling him to breathe and perform a Turquoise Blue Overdrive. Bruford avoids the brunt of the attack by quickly swimming toward the surface, but the Ripple leaves a scar on his forehead.
The two combatants surface, and Bruford expresses his gratitude toward Dio for allowing him to fight a man like Jonathan. Declaring his intention to hold nothing back, Bruford extends his hair and ties up Jonathan, smashing him against a tree. Bruford draws his sword and swings, but Jonathan kicks the sword, performing a Metal Silver Overdrive to conduct the Ripple through the sword. As Bruford's arm melts, Jonathan pummels Bruford with a Sunlight Yellow Overdrive.
Though Jonathan's Ripple energy begins to destroy Bruford's body, Bruford announces that the pain means nothing to him and swipes with Luck once again. However, Bruford stops his sword before cutting Jonathan's neck, having regained his former humanity due to the Ripple's effects. Accepting his defeat with grace, Bruford notes that he has lost his resentment toward humanity, expressing only contentment to be reunited with Mary in the afterlife. After asking Jonathan's name, Bruford gives the youth his sword, which he renames to Pluck before completely turning to ash. Jonathan mourns Bruford's bizarre fate, having been forced to kill such a noble warrior to save his soul; his sorrow is not shared by Tarkus, who calls Bruford a mockery of the 77 Rings winners and kicks his armor and remains aside, inadvertently turning them into a barrage of metal that wounds Zeppeli.
Chapters / Episodes
- “Lord Dio! This young man was able to untangle my hair with his punch. His willpower is respectable. I wish for the opportunity to put an end to his life. (ディオ様!!この若者は自分の腕を打ちわたしの髪を ふろほどくなどなかなか根性のすわった男ォ この者の生命の幕をひかせていただきたいィ…Dio-sama!! Kono wakamono wa jibun no ude o uchi watashi no kami o. Furo hodoku nado nakanaka konjō no suwatta otoko~. Kono mono no seimei no maku o hikaseteitadakitai~.)”
- “Go on, swim to the surface! You’re handicapped by having to breathe, and I have this armor weighing me down! I won’t use my sword! I shall duel you as a hero!”
- “Lord Dio… There is no greater honor than your giving me life and allowing me to fight this man! I thank you! He is a hero, through and through! I shall no longer duel with the water as my handicap! Now we shall fight pitting our skull, our ability, our souls against one another! Hold nothing back and fight me with every ounce of your being!!”
- “This time, it's power against power! Skill against skill! Soul against soul! Fight me, Bruford, with your all! (今度は能力と能力！技と技！精神と精神！きさま、最大を尽くし このブラフォードと闘えィィィィ！Kondo wa nōryoku to nōryoku! Waza to waza! Seishin to seishin! Kisama, saidai o tsukushi kono Burafōdo to tatakaeiii!)”
- “I am the Dark Knight Bruford. This mere pain will not stop me! (おれは…黒騎士ブラフォード これしきの痛み！へこたれめわッ！Ore wa… Kuro Kishi Burafōdo. Koreshiki no itami! Hekotare-me wa!)”
- “Heheh... this pain is proof of life. If you feel pain, you can feel joy. That's what humanity means. (フフフ…この「痛み」こそ「生」のあかし この「痛み」あればこそ「喜び」も感じることができる これが人間か…Fufufu... kono 'itami' koso 'nama' no akashi. Kono 'itami' areba koso 'yorokobi' mo kanjiru koto ga dekiru. Kore ga ningen ka...)”
- “I feel strangely at peace. I no longer resent the world... for I could meet this great man, this warm human, in my very last moments... I'm ready to meet my queen... (奇妙なやすらきをおれは今感じる。もう世への恨みはない…こんなすばらしい男にこんなあたたかい人間に最後の最後に出会えたから…我が女王のもとへ旅立とう…Kimyōnaya suraki o ore wa ima kanjiru. Mō yo e no urami wanai... kon'na subarashī otoko ni, kon'na atatakai ningen ni saigo no saigo ni deaetakara... Waga joō no moto e tabidatou...)”
Bruford appears as one of the several characters who possess a Medal Striker. His FINISH move animation shows his hair holding the sword Luck and attacking the defeated medal striker character.
Despite not appearing in the game, Bruford's name is said during Jonathan's special move using the Luck & Pluck sword. As he says "Bruford's sword, LUCK & PLUCK!!!" when using it. His name is also written in a loading screen describing the Luck & Pluck sword attack.
- The name of Bruford's hair, Danse Macabre, is likely named after the genre of late-Medieval allegory of the same name.
- Bruford's voice actor in the 2007 movie, Toru Nara, would later be the voice of Nukesaku and Thunder McQueen in the anime adaptations of Stardust Crusaders and Stone Ocean