Girl Genius
Girl Genius

Von Zinzer redirects here. You may also be looking for Omar von Zinzer or House von Zinzer.

Moloch von Zinzer is one of Agatha Heterodyne's closest and most competent minions, despite, or perhaps even because of, his refusal to mentally accept that this is the position in which he has found himself.


Von Zinzer grew up[1] on a farm with eight brothers. He escaped this life to become a soldier and (more importantly) mechanic for Duke D'Omas, until Klaus defeated the Duke.

Without an employer , Moloch and his brothers, who were crewing the walking gunboat Vienna 707, decided to head to Paris. Unfortunately, Bangladesh DuPree found them as they crossed the Wastelands and blew up the gunboat. Moloch and his brother Omar were two of the few survivors.

Meeting Agatha[]


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As the story proper starts, the two brothers have ended up in Beetleburg, where Omar robs Agatha Clay of her locket. Soon after this, Omar rapidly sickens and dies, leaving Moloch to conclude (probably correctly) that Agatha's locket is the cause, though not due to a deliberate attempt at revenge by Agatha as he believes; he smashes the locket in his anger. Moloch then finds Agatha in her foster parents' machine-shop and confronts her, but Klaus captures them both. Thinking that Moloch is the Spark responsible for the Search Engine that Agatha has built and that Agatha is his girlfriend, Klaus takes them both to Castle Wulfenbach.

Moloch tries to pretend to be a Spark, while seeking an opportunity to escape. Agatha assists him until he threatens to hurt her in order to buy himself more time, prompting her to kick him out of "his" lab and refuse to continue pretending to be his girlfriend, endangering his deception. The Baron's son (Gilgamesh) jumps to help him, and the two successfully fool the Baron until activation of a captured Hive Engine outs Agatha as the Spark. Technically the Baron didn't figure this out until Punch and Judy are identified by Agatha as her parents in front of him. If the two constructs hadn't chosen that moment to rescue Agatha there is a chance Klaus would have never learned she was a Spark.

Following Agatha's escape from Castle Wulfenbach, The still-broken locket is confiscated and Moloch is sentenced to Castle Heterodyne. Gil gives him a suicide pill to take, saying it was the only thing he can do to help, but Moloch is horrified and has apparently not taken it; it's therefore possible he still has it on his person.



As a new arrival at Castle Heterodyne, Moloch is assigned to the prisoners' kitchen. Since he appears to be able to eat almost anything, the other prisoners find his resulting cooking abominable, but at least he learns a few tricks for dealing with the kitchen's little habits. He develops a strong crush on fellow prisoner Sanaa Wilhelm, who does not return this feeling; his distracted cooking becomes even more uneatable after any of her visits.

Once Agatha re-joins him inside the castle, Moloch very quickly apologizes for threatening her, and sort-of-unwillingly follows her nearly to the heart and then to the bowels of the structure. In the process he frees a stuck door, escapes a Fun-Sized Mobile Agony and Death Dispenser, crushes a really big spider, assists with a Si Vales Valeo procedure, rigs the tackle of an improvised elevator, and repairs the Castle's main power source. In the process, he favorably impresses both Violetta and Fräulein Snaug, and eventually Sanaa as well .

Following Agatha's official ascension as the Heterodyne, he becomes the head of a roving band of ex-prisoner repairmen, working on fixing defensive systems around Mechanicsburg. He knocks out the Abbess of the Red Cathedral when she attempts to take Agatha prisoner , and helps make improvements to the Zappy Stick, proving once again his worth to Agatha as an Über-minion.

Mystery of present whereabouts[]


An extremely informative silence.

Before Klaus uses the Take-Five Bomb to put Mechanicsburg into time stasis, Moloch is last seen talking with Vanamonde von Mekkhan, contemplating whether it is possible to get out of town before the Castle deploys its full power. His location and actions following that conversation are unknown; during the battle of Mechanicsburg, Violetta lets slip to Zeetha that she is fighting in an attempt to impress "some guy she hardly even knows" (most likely Moloch).

When Agatha returns to earth triumphant from restoring the Castle to full power, both Violetta (Agatha's bodyguard) and Vanamonde (Agatha's seneschal) are present, but there is no sign of Moloch (Agatha's chief minion), nor does he appear during her procession to the Red Cathedral, and her subsequent kidnapping by Martellus von Blitzengaard. Due to Moloch's official Castle-declared status as chief minion to Agatha he should have been at the Red Cathedral for Agatha's inauguration as the new Heterodyne, even if Mechanicsburg tradition does not command it, because the Castle would have ensured his arrival, not only because it was right and proper, but because it would have appealed greatly to its sense of humor.

There is also no sign of either Sanaa or Snaug, meaning that it is possible that Moloch could have successfully escaped Mechanicsburg with the fleeing Wulfenbach troops and/or found a nice subterranean cavern to hide in with one or more beautiful women who love him. Hope springs eternal!

Following the Timeskip it is shown that Violetta and Agatha assume that he is trapped in the Mechanicsburg time-bubble. (It is possible that Agatha may have definite knowledge of Moloch's fate, but this is not clearly established.)



He may have been seen in the Future, working with Agatha to find the survivors of the Vienna, suggesting he may remain employed as her minion for some time. If this is him, it is of note, and rather suggestive, that he wears the Heterodyne trilobite around his neck.

Personal Quirks[]

Moloch is not a Spark, but he proves to be a highly competent mechanic, and as noted by social scientist spark Doctor Mittelmind is born minion material. By virtue of being Agatha's favored minion, he has "alpha" status among those who follow Agatha. Moloch is not pleased with this.

He has shown a pronounced talent for getting groups of Sparks, even ones as strong as Agatha, to stay focused on constructive work. And as noted above, he has unwittingly developed the power to attract the romantic attention of any female minion who spends more than five minutes in his presence.

He has also repeatedly shown his lack of any kind of formal education with his inability to recognize words and phrases such as "alpha" and "idée fixe" .

One instance of Moloch's (almost) complete lack of gustatory discrimination is depicted (but not remarked upon) in Castle Wulfenbach: he appears to drink something from a vat labelled Do not drink. Agatha then notices that the drink dissolved the bottom of the cup. He is later seen casually sampling something bubbling away in a Castle Heterodyne medical lab. In the print novel Agatha H. and the Airship City, in the first scene he instead drinks from a bottle of raw alcohol intended to clean machine parts, again evidently without ill effect.

Despite his complaints to contrary, this taste for the perilously indigestible seems to be a general part of his personality. He helps Agatha with her various Castle repairs and procedures; he nearly falls to his death barging through a stuck door; he apparently sniffs a jar of vitrium of mustard , from which we know his sense of smell is not totally absent. Let's just hope for his sake that Castle Heterodyne doesn't find out about his strong stomach, given that it would make him much more likely to survive drinking the Jägerbräu. The castle already regards him as a strong candidate for becoming a member of the Jägerkin, and may see an opportunity it can't pass up.

On the other hand, Moloch has a very strong survival mentality. While he lacks special training and, therefore, skills, he really, really does not want to die.

The source of his name[]

The name "Moloch" was chosen from the Bible by his mother . Presumably, she was unaware of the significance of the name, since Moloch says she never read the Bible. It is traditionally understood as a Canaanite god to whom children were sacrificed in fire. The name can also be read as "king".

His surname, "Zinzer", is almost certainly a misspelling of the German name "Zinser"; the occupational name for a tenant farmer or a collector of rents or taxes from an agent derivative of Middle High German "zin".

Taken together, his full name can thus be interpreted as "king of vassals" - or in the words of Doctor Getwin Mittelmind, "alpha minion."

The Novels[]

The version of Moloch who appears in the Girl Genius print novels is pretty much the same as what we see in the comic, though somewhat oddly he's regularly described as being "small" and "short", which is not particularly a noticeable characteristic in the comic. In Agatha H. and the Siege of Mechanicsburg, we are given a clearer explanation of what his job of official Chief Minion entails: along with getting lesser minions organized and focused on the project at hand, he also acts as a social lightning rod protecting the rest of Mechanicsburg from The Heterodyne. It is also established that Moloch is indeed still in the city as Agatha proceeds to the Red Cathedral; the two of them and Vanamonde have a conversation where he says he's immediately leaving town; Agatha states that she's OK with this and authorizes payment for his services, but in the end he agrees to at least hang around for a day to get his reward collected together and for the impending victory celebration. It's also made clear (to the reader if not the man himself) that he has become romantically attracted to Violetta.

The Works[]

Moloch von Zinzer is depicted on his The Works card rather dubiously reading The BEGINNER'S GUIDE to building a MONSTER. The card "details" mention Soldier and Mechanic. One of his cards in the revised version depicts him surrounded by his female admirers, which in this case includes Miss Baumhund.

Possibly relevant outside information[]

The prefix "von" is often, but not always, used to indicate that a family line is of the nobility. What this means in von Zinzer's case is not clear.

Admitted otaku Kaja has, in Moloch's romantic situation, created a classic example of the harem genre. (A cleaner description may be found at Write Anime Plot's article. )

See also[]

Secret Blueprints: Moloch & Omar von Zinzer


  1. For many volumes of the Girl Genius saga, the only source of information about Moloch's early life was his entry in the Secret Blueprints.