Dr. Edward Bilstein is the main antagonist and villain of the Star Gladiator series of 3D fighting games.
Bilstein is a Nobel Prize-winning German-American prestigious physicist and cybernetic mad scientist emperor who fights with a Plasma Broadsword and leads the Fourth Empire in his universal conquest, seeking to gain legendary status as being the greatest genius of the universe itself.
A long time ago in the mid 20th Century, Bilstein's ancestor Victor Bilstein was a German immigrant who migrated to the United States with his family upon the outbreak of World War II in mainland Europe. Much to the oversight of the authorities however, Victor was infact an infamous Nazi scientist who had formerly worked on the alleged Die Glocke and Wunderwaft projects of the Third Reich, and had experimented on many of those prosecuted and exiled to the Reich's concentration camps for the fruits of his results. Able to find refuge with the German American Bund communities who had supported the Nazis from afar, Victor however spiraled into mental instability over the years and ultimately committed suicide when the Allied Powers had won the European Theater. According to his family, his last words were: "If that experiment was successful, Germany should have unified the world ..." But being left in the dark of his progress as a scientist, and knowing only that his mental health had suffered greatly, they were ultimately confused when he had passed.
As time went on, the Bilstein family had grown accustomed to life in the States, and grew to be a standard American household.
Into the 24th Century, Edward Bilstein was the 13th generation of his family. One day while visiting his parents from college, Ed sorted through his family's antiquated belongings, until he had stumbled upon a research document left behind by Victor. Thinking nothing of the matter, Edward had overlooked its worth and decided to toss it out, but a mysterious voice rang through his head. As the genetic memory of Victor echoed in his mind, Edward was goaded to open its contents. Named "The Research of Plasma Power by Victor Bilstein", it described a force known as Plasma Power, a power researched extensively and had hypothesized that the use of the alleged sixth sense of the human mind allowed control over the fourth form of matter. As Edward read through the diary extensively to its end, a tremendous ambition rose up within him. With the voice of his ancestor beckoning him to succeed where he failed, and his madness overwhelming him, Edward decided to fulfill Victor's wishes.
Thankfully a science major in his college career, and even a twisted sociopath when public eyes weren't on him, Edward went immediately back to the university. After that day, Edward would be seen only in class and at the university lab; nothing else mattered anymore, neither friends, parties, or the ladies. As his college days went by, good friends of his were estranged by his sudden behavior, one by one, but Edward thought nothing of it. Some of them claimed to see very disturbing things when they had visited him in the laboratory, which did nothing to help. Upon graduation day, the university had also taken great attention of his efforts, and so did they help him meet influential figures and fund his research. Soon enough, the world would see the great phenomena known as Plasma Power.
Into the year of 2348, Edward Bilstein had done it. Plasma Power would be a reality. As the Earth Federation unveiled Bilstein's fruits of success, Plasma Power made itself known as a groundbreaking reach into thermodynamics, medical science, and energy research. Further weaponized to be a superweapon deterrent against hostile alien forces, Dr. Edward Bilstein won the Nobel Peace Prize and his ancestor's ambitions were realized.
However, Bilstein was not merely satisfied with peace. Soon, he wanted another thing: Pure power, and the right to rule all of Earth. With Plasma Power at his hands, Bilstein conducted many more experiments in his laboratories throughout the world, and his twisted desires did so all in the name of progress, namely his own. With Plasma Power, it was the ultimate tool of conquests, allowing him nearly anything done at his command. However, the authorities would soon meet up with him. At his laboratory in London, during an experiment on an unwilling co-worker, Bilstein would soon be arrested. With an extensive undercover investigation by the Earth Federation, the dark truth was revealed: human lives were expended to fully realize Plasma Power. Arrested for majorly violating many human rights, Bilstein was soon sentenced to a life sentence incarceration on the Planet Zeta.
Four years later, Bilstein was able to break out of Planet Zeta's floating prison satellite through the use of his new cybernetic body. Having plotted his escape by snaking throughout the prison to allow him the resources to overpower the prison staff, and with awakened Plasma Power of his own, Bilstein then gathered all of inmates and allowed them to wreck havoc on Zeta. Laying the entire planet under siege and now its ultimate ruler, Bilstein then established his rule as the new Fourth Empire, and sought to conquer Earth and the rest of the universe.
His plans were destroyed by Hayato Kanzaki, who had killed Bilstein during the events of the Final Crusade. Despite his apparent "death", Bilstein was able to transcend his spirit into a new cybernetic body and he gathered his forces once more, seeking to eliminate all obstacles standing in his way of universal conquest.
After his cybernetic body was destroyed at the end of Star Gladiator by Hayato, Bilstein was able to transcend his spirit into another cybernetic host. The remains that he left behind had assumed a skeletal visage, and took on a life of its own, obsessed with killing Hayato. This form is known as Bilstein's Ghost.
"Oh well. The fake cannot defeat the real. What a waste of space that thing was!"
Bilstein had defeated a clone of himself. The clone didn't stand a chance.
"And now, this should be enough to destroy the rest of the wimps on Earth!"
With those words, Bilstein stretches his hand toward the Earth and clenches his fist. Is this the true Bilstein, ready to end the world? Or is this just another clone of the real Bilstein? We are not in a position to know that...
In one of his two endings, after battling and defeating Hayato, Bilstein grabs him by the face.
- BILSTEIN: Miracles don't happen twice, do they, Hayato Kanzaki? My ultimate weapon is near completion thanks to your plasma power! Work hard...work hard for me! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Suddenly, Blood appears.
- BLOOD: Hold it there, Bilstein!
- BILSTEIN: Oh...it's you, Blood. So, you are still alive.
- BLOOD: Yes. I've come to destroy you.
- BILSTEIN: Heh heh heh heh...for revenge?
- BLOOD: What's so funny?
- BILSTEIN: You are pathetic to be obsessed by revenge. That only serves my purposes!
System activated. Now sending power to the Space End...
- BILSTEIN: ...Oh, this is wonderful! This exceeds my expectations! With this plasma power, destroying a planet will be a piece of cake!
An image of Bilstein towering over the earth is shown.
- BILSTEIN: Earth will be the first to go! Idiots, prepare to die! I am the absolute ruler! Bilstein is eternal!
- Bilstein (specificaly, his "Ghost" form) appeared as a card in SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash and made a cameo appearance in Tekkaman Blade and Joe the Condor's endings in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars.
For more of this character, see their gallery.