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"One of these days I’ll fly an airship of my own. I’ll be a sky pirate, free to go where I will."An energetic street urchin living in Rabanastre who talks big about rebelling against the occupying Empire and becoming a Sky Pirate. He is an orphan, his parents having died from the plague when he was young, and lives with Penelo at Migelo's house. When he sneaks into the royal palace and steals an incredibly rare (and significant) piece of magicite, he becomes entangled in the uprising against the Empire.He acts as the Audience Surrogate in Final Fantasy XII, but becomes the main protagonist in Revenant Wings. He later makes appearances in Final Fantasy Tactics A2 as a Hidden Character and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy as one of the main cast.
Voiced by Kouhei Takeda (Japanese) and Bobby Edner (English)
- The Ace: Heavily implied in Final Fantasy XII, and made more explicit in Final Fantasy Tactics A2. In the former, it's not readily apparent since he's only of nominal importance to the plot, but side quests and NPC conversations paint him as nothing if not hypercompetent, and he has the stats of a god. You could call him an "Ace in training"; he's got the potential, but he's still young and inexperienced.
- All-Loving Hero: He goes out of his way to help a lot of people during the side quests, as well as letting the refugee Aegyl live on his airship.
- Audience Surrogate: He's often criticized for being superfluous to the plot of FFXII, but it can be argued that the more "mythic" personalities in the cast like the warrior-princess Ashe and noble knight Basch would have been harder to identify with, and his status as a commoner not privy to a lot of the intrigues going on and the ways of the larger world does give the opportunity for some much-needed exposition.
- Battle Couple: In Tactics A2, he and Penelo are Sky Pirate partners and are inseparable on and off the battlefield. Doubles as a Sword and Sorcerer pair for bonus points.
- Big Brother Mentor: He's unofficially the leader of the Lowtown orphans by virtue of this trope. They not only look up to him but run to him for aid with their problems.
- Butt-Monkey: In the manga spin-off, the group regularly lampshades his Idiot Hero status and insults him to his face.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Even in the sequels where he is a Sky Pirate, Vaan can never stop doing what's right. Though he still has Sticky Fingers.
- Commonality Connection: Vaan and Ashe have this with their extremely similar experience during the war with Archades and its because of this they can see the ghost of their lost loved ones in the Tomb of Raithwall. In the climax of the game its this bond that allows Vaan to save Ashe from herself.
- Dark-Skinned Blond: Depending on the Artist. Some incarnations look about like what you'd expect somebody from a desert nation to, others look suspiciously Nordic.
- The Face: In Final Fantasy XII and Revenant Wings. In the former, he does almost all the talking to the nigh hundreds of NPCs and in the dozens of side quests.
- Foil: To Ashe, paralleling her in backstory and Character Development as a citizen of Rabanastre who lost a loved one to the Empire and desires vengeance. However, while Vaan eventually realizes how pointless revenge is and lets go of Reks' death, Ashe takes longer to get over Rasler. Atop the Pharos when he tells this lesson to Gabranth, Vaan's example inspires her to follow his lead and not use the Sun-Cryst's power.
- Friend to All Children: He's the leader of the young orphans in Oldtown.
- Glowing Eyes: Vaan's eyes will momentarily flash blue when he uses Pyroclasm.
- He Cleans Up Nicely: In Tactics A2, the addition of a fine white shirt to his wardrobe takes him from scruffy street thief to dashing Sky Pirate.
- The Hero: In Revenant Wings, he properly steps up as the protagonist of the story and not just a supporting role.
- Infinity +1 Sword: In Revenant Wings, he gains the exclusive weapon Anastasia, the best weapon in the game once a bonus dungeon is completed to power it up.
- Idiot Hero: Subverted in the original game; though he's impulsive and a bit naive, Vaan is clever, resourceful, and has a fair amount of scenes where he shows a more inquisitive and insightful side. The manga, however, makes this his defining trait, cranking up his Hot Bloodedness and making him rather arrogant and cocky, but lacking the skill and intelligence to back them up. Dissidia 012 likewise dials up the idiocy to the point he has trouble remembering simple names.
- I See Them, Too: For reasons that go unexplained in-game, he can see the same spectral vision of Gerun posing as Rassler that Ashe can throughout the game. Little is made of the revelation or its significance, other than to reassure Ashe that she's not crazy, and to hint that she might be being manipulated by it and that the Occuria are dry-running him to be Take Two at this whole "Modern Dynast-King" bit.
- Jumped at the Call: In Revenant Wings, he jumps on the first opportunity he saw to go on another adventure.
- The Lancer: Vaan plays this role to Ashe, by being her foil.
- Legendary in the Sequel: Already a world-famous sky pirate in Final Fantasy Tactics A2
- Limit Break: His Quickenings are Red Spiral, White Whorl, and Pyroclasm, but they consume a substantial amount of MP to use and need skill and luck to chain together.
- Living Emotional Crutch: He becomes one to Ashe during a scene in Jahara village. See Turn the Other Cheek below.
- Magikarp Power: Begins at Level 1 with no LP, no magic, and barely anything else to his name. By Level 99, he's your party's MVP bar none.
- Master of All: In the original release, he's got all around amazing stats, having emphasis on strength (best score along with Basch), magick (second best score), vitality (best score), and speed (second best). Stats-wise, he's easily the best character of your party. The cherry on top of the cake is that even his attack animations are faster –- Vaan can deliver combos in under half the time than the rest of the party (save Basch and Balthier) needs to execute the same amount of blows. In the International Zodiac Job System release, his strenght is slightly nerfed, but overall he remains a powerhouse.
- Only One Name: In a game where most characters either have a last name or have taken an alias, Vaan never has his full name reveled. Courtesy of Old Dalan it's sometimes thought to be "Ratsbane", but it's a joke on how much time he spends fighting rats in the sewers and not actually his name.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Vaan isn't really a bad character, he just happens to be in a game where, as far as Western audiences are concerned, he and Penelo are not as interesting or developed as the other cast members.
- Overrated and Underleveled: While he and Penelo are far from slackers in Tactics A2, their default classes don't have very good stat growths. However, the trope is otherwise subverted in that the class abilities are more than decent. Vaan's Life of Crime ability has potential to deal 999 damage every time with 100% accuracy provided you have stolen enough. They're best moved to other jobs after learning their unique abilities and aren't bad as guests, either.
- Percussive Pickpocket: He does this to an Imperial soldier that he sees harassing a helpless merchant.
- Persona Non Grata: He almost gets himself banned from Bhujerba due to the whole pretending-to-be-Basch-very-loudly ordeal. Thereafter, the city guides are annoyed with him and caution him to stay away from ledges and cliffs.
- Primal Stance: Seems to favor these sorts of stances with his fighting style.
- Sky Pirate: His goal is to become one, to escape the streets of Rabanastre and find freedom and fortune as an outlaw. In the sequels he's fully stepped into the role.
- Street Urchin: At the start of XII, he lives on the streets of Rabanastre picking pockets and doing odd jobs for Migelo to take care of himself.
- Supporting Protagonist: He serves as a Foil to Ashe, both of them wanting to see Dalmasca restored and to claim vengeance for the death of their loved ones. However, Vaan's actions only drive the story up to when Ashe joins the party; after that the game follows her entirely, and Vaan just advises her like the other characters and acts as party leader in non-combat areas. He gets over this role in Revenant Wings, though, whereas Ashe's is somewhat downplayed.
- The Sneaky Guy: He was able to infiltrate the Royal Palace of Rabanastre with a little prompting from Old Dalan and find its hidden Treasure Room. Balthier, a legendary sky pirate, considers it a feat on his level and he and Fran had to wait for the chaos of La Résistance's attack to achieve the same.
- Spanner in the Works: His willingness to spare Gabranth is what prevents Ashe from completing her Roaring Rampage of Revenge and becoming an Unwitting Pawn to the Occuria. It's also implied that he was going to be the Occuria's plan B since he saw Reks at first where Ashe saw Rasler. Him letting go of his hatred for the Empire foiled that and led him to spare Gabranth.
- Tagalong Kid: He is only two years younger than Ashe and is more of The Lancer towards her, but does not have a true connection to the main plot. This is averted in Revenant Wings, though, in which he really is the main character.
- Team Dad: To the war orphans in Lowtown.
- There Is Another: It is strongly implied that the Occuria are grooming him as a replacement Dynast-King if their manipulations of Ashe don't work; Vaan can see Rasler's ghost too, but to him it looks like Reks.
- Tragic Keepsake: His pendant is all Vaan has left to remember Reks by.
- Turn the Other Cheek: Vaan's willingness to forsake revenge is what stops Ashe from giving into Gabranth's Breaking Speech and Jumping Off the Slippery Slope.
- Took a Level in Badass: Once in Revenant Wings, and another, huge one in Tactics A2, where he is regarded as the greatest Sky Pirate who ever lived. Even a Criminal Syndicate has a flee-on-sight order when confronting him.
- Underrated and Overleveled: Despite being just "a petty thief", Vaan's stats are demolishing gameplay-wise, easily surpassing Ashe, Penelo, and Fran in physical attack, Basch in magic, and Balthier in both. All of this summed up makes him the most versatile and overall best character in the game.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: The little vest he wears in XII doesn't leave much to the imagination of what his torso looks like. Averted in the sequel and Tactics A2.
- Weapon of Choice: Swords are his starting weapon and preferred weapons in sequels and in artwork. They (along with sabers and blades anyway) are the only weapons available to the Sky Pirate class in Tactics A2.
"I'll be going too, of course. Every good sky pirate needs a partner, right?"Vaan's childhood friend and Love Interest. When Vaan's parents died, Penelo's family adopted him and his brother. However, after the war between Dalmasca and Archadia began, her parents and older brothers were killed in a raid and left her an orphan. She now lives at Migelo's house with Vaan, and works odd jobs in Lowtown to get by. Penelo remains a perky and responsible girl who keeps Vaan's immaturity in check. She's abducted by Ba'Gamnan as a ploy to capture Balthier, and much like Vaan gets caught up in the power struggles of the war for it, though not on the same side.She reappears as the main heroine of Revenant Wings and alongside Vaan in Final Fantasy Tactics A2. She also makes a cameo appearance in the character tutorials of Dissidia: Final Fantasy, where she interjects her own amusing opinions on the Dissidia cast.
Voiced by Marina Kozawa (Japanese) and Cat Taber (English)
- Aborted Arc: Pre-release material mentioned Penelo's elder brothers as former soldiers and the ones who taught her how to defend herself; come the game's actual release, and they have no mention until Revenant Wings, though the backstory is still represented in a cursory mention in the instructions booklet.
- Battle Couple: In Tactics A2, with Vaan of course. Doubles as a Sword and Sorcerer pair for bonus points.
- The Chick: The sweet and loving member of the group.
- Dance Battler: Uses dances to activate her Quickenings and is a Dancer in Revenant Wings and Tactics A2, some of her attack animations are likewise dance-like.
- Flat Character: She had little characterization in the main game other than being Vaan's maybe Love Interest and her Odd Friendship with Larsa. This is fixed in subsequent games, where she serves as a Foil to Vaan. A lot of this is due to Executive Meddling. One of the two writers of the game, Daisuke Watanabe, has said that Penelo is his favorite character mainly due to a lot of content he wrote around her that ended up on the cutting room floor in development.
- Girl Next Door: Has this vibe to her, especially to Vaan, given that she's also a street urchin.
- Girlish Pigtails: For cuteness and it grows even longer in the sequel.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Young, sweet, innocent, and genuinely nice.
- I Have Brothers: According to the instructions booklet, Penelo's elder brothers were soldiers who tutored her in martial arts.
- The Lancer: Shares the role with Llyud in Revenant Wings as foils and sidekicks for Vaan, who has truly stepped into The Hero mold.
- Lethal Chef: Initially her cooking was dreadful but she improves to Team Chef over the course of Revenant Wings.
- Like Brother and Sister: Her relationship with Vaan was something like siblings (with Migelo as the father figure) until she is upgraded to Victorious Childhood Friend after their Relationship Upgrade in Revenant Wings.
- Little Miss Badass: As Vaan's partner in Revenant Wings and Tactics A2, she is a formidable sky pirate.
- Little Miss Snarker: Gets a few good snarks on Vaan and Basch. This trait is particularly evident in her Dissidia cameo.
- Limit Break: Her Quickenings are Intercession, Evanescence, and Resplendence, but they consume a substantial amount of MP to use and need skill and luck to chain together.
- Magic Dance: All her Quickenings and non-White Magic skills in Revenant Wings and Tactics A2.
- Nightmare Fetishist: In both Dissidia games, she says she thinks that the Cloud of Darkness' snake creatures are "cute."
- Odd Friendship: With Larsa. They still communicate regularly through letters and remain close friends after the first game has ended.
- Only One Name: As with Vaan, her family name is unknown.
- Overrated and Underleveled: Zigzagged in A2, where her and Vaan's default classes don't have very good stat gains even though they are rather helpful as guest characters and can be good in other classes, too. Her Dancer class is good as a secondary skillset. 0-cost debuffs are quite good, and the Sword Dancenote attack is very useful if she is a Spellblade or Assassinnote .
- Plucky Girl: Defies the tradition of a long line of Final Fantasy Genki Girls for a more subdued but still somewhat perky characterization.
- Replacement Goldfish: When Penelo grew close with Velis in Revenant Wings, she remarked how much he reminded her of her deceased elder brothers.
- Satellite Character: In XII, she doesn't have much to do in the plot but talk to other characters. She improves in later games.
- She-Fu: When equipped with certain weapons, such as Poles or Unarmed, Penelo will show how acrobatic she really is.
- Sky Pirate: She joints Vaan in his occupation by the end of the game and sequels.
- Stripperiffic: Modest enough in the first game (especially compared to Ashe and Fran), but Revenant Wings and Tactics A2, she's still wearing more than Ashe or Fran, but still less than originally.
- Squishy Wizard: She and Ashe are equals for the most magically powerful characters, but has the lowest strength and HP scores. Amusingly she has a very high vitality making her an ideal wielder of axes.
- Tagalong Kid: Even more so than Vaan, who's the POV and has his brother vengeance. She's just there for him.
- Team Mom: To the war orphans in Lowtown.
- Weapon of Choice: Knives to start, but all sequels and artwork give her a Simple Staff more becoming of her Squishy Wizard status.
- White Mage: In Revenant Wings, she focuses on white magic.
- Women Are Wiser: She plays this role for Vaan, being more level-headed and cautious to Vaan's sometimes reckless impulses.
"Princess! No need to worry. I hope you haven't forgotten my role in this little story. I'm the leading man. You know what they say about the leading man? He never dies."An infamous Sky Pirate, Balthier is well-mannered, witty, and charming, traveling the skies on his personal airship, the Strahl. He proudly proclaims himself "the leading man", considering the quest his own story he's to see out. He and Fran are pulled into the conflict when they choose to break into the royal palace in the midst of an rebel attack, and are subsequently lopped in with them by enemy and ally alike. Balthier's stake in events is more personal than he lets on though, as his past catches up with him in ways he'd rather not admit.
- The Ace: He likes to think of himself as one and he certainly live up to his claims.
- Badass Boast: His Quickening phrases.Fires of War: "I never miss."
Tides of Fate: "Let me show you how it's done".
Element of Treachery: "There's a proper way to do everything."
- Berserk Button: While he doesn't exactly go "berserk", discussing nethicite is a good way to get his attention and make him break his usually calm and laid-back attitude. There's a very good reason for that.
- Big Brother Mentor: To Vaan, though not on purpose. Balthier balks at the idea when others mention the trope, and Vaan is likewise not impressed, but in practice they do have this dynamic.Vaan: Since when am I Balthier's apprentice?
Balthier: Not the first time I've heard that joke. I'm still not laughing.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: It's remarkably difficult to get Balthier to lose his cool, even when he's at a considerable disadvantage. Held at swordpoint, he comments dryly that "At least your sword is to the point," and one of his lines when defeated in combat is to snark calmly, "Is that your best?"
- Catch-Phrase: "I play the leading man, who else?"
- Dark and Troubled Past: He's actually Ffamran mied Bunansa, son of Archadia's Dr. Cid, and a former Judge. When he saw what Cid was becoming though, he abandoned his life and his name for freedom.
- Deadpan Snarker: Towards friends or foes alike.
- Defector from Decadence: When he was in service to Arcadia, Balthier realized what Dr. Cid had become and defected from the empire.
- Fighting Your Friend: He and Fran are bosses in Revenant Wings and fight Vaan and Penelo.
- Flynning: His attacks tend to be the least practical and have the most theatrical flourishes. It makes sense when it's revealed he's actually from The Empire.
- Foreshadowing: Quite a lot of it regarding his true past. Further, in the English version of the game, Balthier is the only character amoung the heroes who speaks with an English accent courtesy of Gideon Emery. Dalmascans speak with American accents, thus making it an instant giveaway that he's not one of Vaan's countrymen. You know which characters do speak with English accents? The Archadians.
- Gentleman Thief: Looter and pilferer as he may be, Balthier never stops being educated and charming.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: When Fran goes ballistic, he comments on her dislike of being "tied up" in the same suave voice he uses whenever he breaks out the charm... and then he immediately turns to Ashe and asks, "How about you?" Hrm...
- Guest Fighter: In the Updated Re-release of Final Fantasy Tactics.
- Handsome Lech: Has shades in the original game, while his manga adaptation seems to be taking cues from Zidane — flirting with Ashe before he even knows her name. He later tells Basch one should only show off for ladies and that, as such, using his bravado and strength to save Vaan is a waste.
- The Hero: Subverted. While he insists that he's "the leading man" every other cutscene, which isn't entirely unjustified as he knows he's more important than the Kid Heroes (given his connections to The Empire), but it's Ashe who is the true hero of the story and who decides where the party goes and what it does.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He makes a point of mentioning that he may be required to invoke this trope eventually, as the sort of thing that a "leading man" might be expected to do. He goes through with it during the ending when he stays behind on the collapsing Bahamut to fix its engines to fly it away from the city as it crashes (only to subvert the trope by surviving the experience).
- Firing One-Handed: His crossbow and rifle animations are this, which while cool slows him down a decent bit when using these weapons.
- Implied Love Interest: While there's definite Ship Tease between him and Fran, it's just subtle enough to be seen as platonic. If they are, or were once, in a romantic relationship isn't fully clear.
- Improbable Piloting Skills: At the helm of the Strahl during the Battle of Rabanastre. 'Nuff said.
- Improbable Use of a Weapon: Balthier uses all hafted weapons one-handed, notably attacking with poles in an odd manner very reminiscent of a baton twirler. His wielding spears are likewise executed from the same bizarre grip.
- Informed Attribute: Promotional materials refer to him as a silver-tongued womanizer, but, as noted under Handsome Lech, he really doesn't show it at all during the game. There's a couple hints he has a relationship with his partner in-crime, a brief handkerchief scene with Penelo, and one NPC says she's smitten with him, if you find her.
- The Lady's Favour: Played with. Balthier hands Penelo his handkerchief to assure her that he will bring Vaan back safely when they are arrested for aiding La Résistance. This leads to Penelo being kidnapped by Ba'Gamnan.
- Lampshade Hanging: As the profile quote demonstrates, Balthier is perfectly content to perform a Heroic Sacrifice because he believes that he's The Hero, and thus cannot die thanks to Plot Armor. He's proven correct when he survives the destruction of the Bahamut at the end of the game.
- Large Ham: Balthier's speech patterns tend to be flowery and boastful, though he usually avoids raising his voice too much. His dad more than picks up the slack.
- Limit Break: His Quickenings are Fires of War, Tides of Fate, and Element of Treachery, but they consume a substantial amount of MP to use and need skill and luck to chain together.
- Mythology Gag: His true name is taken from Mid Previa and Mustadio Bunansa.
- Nerves of Steel: He is unflappable, rather secretive, and can be hilariously indifferent to nasty surprises, such as being thrown in a dungeon (where he implies he's seen it all before), finding out 'Amalia' is actually Princess Ashe ("Huh. Can't believe that was the princess."), or witnessing his partner flying into a Mist-induced frenzy.Ashe: What's wrong with her?
Balthier: I always knew Fran didn't like being tied up. I just never knew how much.
- Not in This for Your Revolution: In keeping with his Han Solo traits, he and Fran only stick around on the promise of payment from Ashe, being that she's a princess pursuing ancient relics of royal heritage. Balthier has no interest in the rebellion or Archadia, though at the end of the game he gets invested in finding out what Dr. Cid was up to for all those years before he left.
- Outlaw Couple: He and Fran are a pair of Sky Pirates with huge bounties on their heads. However, it's unclear how far the romantic angle of their partnership goes.
- Pretty Boy: He's definitely easy on the eyes.
- Poor Communication Kills: In Revenant Wings, where it leads to a boss battle with him and Fran and eventually him getting slugged in the face.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In his backstory, he decides to bail from Arcadia for good after realizing what his father has become.
- Shout-Out: Of Han Solo; a snarky gunslinging outlaw that gets roped into the adventure on promise of money and sticks around when he becomes friends with the cast.
- Sky Pirate: He's one of the most infamous Sky Pirates in all Ivalice, and ends up being Vaan's role model as he becomes one himself.
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome: He's 6'0".
- That Man Is Dead: Though he doesn't reject it as fiercely as some, he doesn't appreciate being called by his real name when he runs into people who know his past.
- The Charmer: Of a more subtle flavor. It helps that he has a beautifully smooth voice, but is noticeable when he and party rescue Penelo.Penelo: Here, Balthier...your handkerchief. I thought you might want it back.
Balthier: I shall wear it close to my heart.
- Weapon of Choice: Guns. Ironically the special animation he has with guns makes his firing speed a fraction of a second slower then other characters.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Balthier self-identifies as "the leading man" upon whom the story centers around, and tells the others that Heroic Sacrifice and Plot Armor can be expected to come into play with him due to this status. Despite this, it's Ashe who in practice acts as the main character, with Vaan as the Supporting Protagonist, and Balthier's expectations concerning his role never come to pass. When Fran lampshades this reality during the ending, Balthier is offended by the idea.Fran: I'd say you're in more of a supporting role.
Balthier: Fran, please.
- Younger Than They Look: He's 22, but easily looks and sounds a good decade older. No one's complaining.
"I have discarded Wood and village. I won my freedom. Yet my past had been cut away forever."Balthier's steadfast companion and a master of weapons, magic and mechanics. Fran is one of the Viera, a One-Gender Race tribe of bunny-women who live in the Golmore Jungle and command powerful magical abilities, such as the ability to "hear" the god-like spirit of the Wood. Fran disagreed with the Viera's philosophy of isolation and left her home village, sacrificing many of her natural abilities to live a life of freedom.
Voiced by Rika Fukami (Japanese) and Nicole Fantl (English)
- Action Girl: She's a female and the most physically inclined of the cast for story reasons.
- Adaptational Badass: Fran's pretty badass in the original game, but she's on a far higher tier in the manga, having super-speed and a Blizzard-enchanted claw attack that deals a One-Hit Kill to Firemane and freezes Ghis's sword. In the game, she finds an exit from the Nalbina Dungeons but the magick bindings are too strong to break. The manga, she's perfectly able to break them, it's the Imperials outside that stops them from leaving.
- Armor-Piercing Question: She presents it to Ashe if you take a wrong turn into the Necrohol of Nabudis.
- Badass Driver: She's got a hoverbike and is an amazingly cool pilot on it.
- Break His Heart to Save Him: She does this to her sister, Mjrn, advising her to forget about her since she has left the Wood and should no longer exist to her. She doesn't want her sister to lose her link to the woods like she did, and considering that outside the woods a war is brooding between Rozarria and Archades, with Dalmasca and its surrounding potentially becoming the battlefield, Mjrn could become a casualty. At least Fran knows she would be safer in the woods.
- Combat Stilettos: As with all Viera, she wears them to compensate for her much longer feet.
- Cool Big Sis: She is quite affectionate and mentorly to the young Penelo.
- Cute Monster Girl: She has rabbit ears and claws, but otherwise has the body of a tall and shapely hume woman.
- Dark-Skinned Blond: Like many fellow Viera. Her white hair clashes with her dark skin (fur?), which further adds to her exotic appearance.
- Deadpan Snarker: Gets a few good lines here and there.Vossler: We've secured an Atomos, come!
Balthier: An Atomos? All skiff, no ship...hardly fit for a leading man.
Vaan: So I can fly it?
Fran: Are you mad?
- Fighting Your Friend: She and Balthier are bosses in Revenant Wings.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Viera are supposed to be very magically adept, but Fran's magical stats are mediocre at best, square middle among the six main party members. Also, despite the fact that she is supposed to be a skilled archer, her firing animation with the bow is actually slightly longer than normal, reducing her DPS and effectiveness with it compared to any other character.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: In the Zodiac Age versions of the game where sheds her Master of None status by gaining the highest Vitality score and her large amount of innate skills let her usefulness shine with the Job System.
- Limit Break: Her Quickenings are Feral Strike, Whip Kick, and Shatterheart, but they consume a substantial amount of MP to use and need skill and luck to chain together.
- Master of None: Like Vaan she is an all around styled character, but with all her stats being all around low. In fact, stats-wise, she probably is the worst character of your party, being overshadowed by everyone else. The International Zodiac Job System rebalances her stats by giving her the best Vitality score (whereas she was second to last in the original release), and altering other stats among the other controlable characters. She remains average, but the gap is not as wide as before.
- Ms. Fanservice: Along with the rest of her race. She's got a shapely body covered up by what can best be described as a wire bikini, and it's quite form-fitting too.
- Multi-Melee Master: Noted to be a master of weapons. Not that you can tell from her stats.
- No Sense of Humor: Averted. Despite being The Stoic, The Fair Folk and a Really 700 Years Old all rolled into one, can be quite humorous, in a sly, blunt way.Fran: Then it's settled. We should leave before the Marquis notices she's missing, like proper kidnappers.
- Older Than They Look: She appears to be a young woman, but she's old enough that she left home fifty years prior to the story. Vieras age far slower than humans, so she's probably young by Viera standards anyway. It's unclear whether it's any indication, but she gets somewhat offended when Vaan asks for her age.
- Only One Name: As with all Viera.
- Our Elves Are Different: The Viera are elves in practice, a magic-inclined race living isolated from the world. They just happen to have bunny ears instead of traditional pointed ones.
- Outlaw Couple: With Balthier as a pair of Sky Pirates that travel Ivalice. However it's not fully clear if they're in a romantic or platonic relationship.
- Petting Zoo People: As a Viera, she's a literal bunny-person.
- She's Got Legs: She's very tall, as with most Viera, and a lot of it is in the legs.
- Sky Pirate: Along with Balthier, she forms a duo of two famous Sky Pirates.
- Sliding Scale of Gameplay and Story Integration: After Judge Ghis put the Dawn shard in the ship's engine on the Dreadnought Leviathan, the rising Mist makes Fran go berserk, and she single-handedly gets rid of the guards assigned to keep your party captive. This is reflected in the following battle, in which Fran will be stuck into the Berserk status.
- Statuesque Stunner: Although not as tall as she appears at first glance because of her ears and stilettos. In reality, she's slightly taller than Balthier, which still puts her over six feet.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: But more amiable than usual for the trope. She's just very quiet.
- The Reliable One: For a fanservice character who's on the more minor side of the main cast, she's one of the most useful throughout the course of the game, average fighting stats notwithstanding. She saves members of the main cast not once, not twice, but three times, rescues her sister, indirectly rescues Basch, and is often the one the party turns to for advice, such as directing the princess to those who can help her with the Sun Cryst, translating texts, or just beating up a bunch of guards that have captured everyone.
- The Stoic: Generally quiet, dignified, and level-headed. However, there are a few moments in the game where her cool cracks a little.
- Thong of Shielding: her, um, let's call them "pants" leave little to the imagination.
- Token Nonhuman: The only non-Hume of the party.
- Unusual Ears: Large and tall rabbit ears.
- Verbal Tic?: She has a slight but noticeable (and consistent) lisp due to her overbite. Superlative Dubbing turns this into a sexy voice—she feels inherently different from the Hume party members, yet always friendly and understanding.
- Weapon of Choice: A bow and arrow, but unlike other characters her promotional artwork shows her wielding many different weapons such as swords and guns. She also has a unique bow-firing animation making her fire a bit slower than other characters, even though the bow is her iconic weapon of choice.
- What Could Have Been: original concept art showed her with much more rabbit in her facial features, such as whiskers and buckteeth.
- You Are a Credit to Your Race: Averted. Balthier mentions it, but is clearly joking. This doesn't spare him from a well-placed comeback.Balthier: (notices Vaan staring at Fran) Not many Viera where you come from, thief?
Vaan: It's Vaan. (looks to Fran) Sorry.
Balthier: Well, Fran is special, in that she'd deign to partner with a Hume.
Fran: Oh? Like a sky pirate who chooses to steal through the sewers?
- You Can't Go Home Again: When she does eventually return to visit the Viera village, it's implied they miss her, but Fran holds this opinion; She can no longer hear "the Green Word", i.e. the voice of the forest. Even though her fellows insist the the forest wants her to stay, she doesn't believe it. She's made her choice and must live with it, for better or worse.
Captain Basch fon Ronsenburg
"If I could protect but one person from war's horror... then I would bear any shame. I would bear it proudly."The former captain of the "Order of Knights of Dalmasca", Basch was framed for the assassination of Dalmasca's king. The king's death was the cause for peace talks to break down and Dalmasca fall to the Empire, and Basch was executed as a traitor. However, this is only a cover story: in reality he was kept prisoner to be interrogated about the resistance that was forming. Vaan and company find his cell during their escape from the Nalbina Dungeons, and reluctantly allow him to join to aid their escape. Having failed the royal family of Dalmasca once, Basch is determined to protect and serve Ashe in her quest to reclaim the throne. His sense of honour and loyalty to Dalmasca is second to none.
- A Father to His Men: He was this as his scenes with Reks could attest too, which made it that much harder on the poor boy when he died.
- Badass Baritone: His voice is deep and commanding, befitting an experienced soldier such as he.
- Beard of Sorrow: When in prison, but he trims it to a reasonable length once he escapes.
- The Big Guy: As the heroic war veteran and military captain, he has the greatest military experience. When Ashe seeks advice on deviousness she asks the sky pirates, but when it comes to military/politics/moralty, she asks Basch.
- Boring, but Practical: His attack animations are all pretty basic stuff with little to no acrobatics, but comes out very quickly and would actually really hurt if done in real life.
- The Captain: Before the main events of the game, he was a captain in Dalmasca's military. In the Japanese version his rank was General.
- Clear My Name: Everyone thinks he killed Raminas, but he's innocent. He wants to change that first part.Subverted in the end. By the end of the game the public at large still thinks he's dead and guilty, and the people who know he's alive also know he's innocent.
- Horse Archer: He's one in the opening movie, being mounted on a Chocobo.
- Declaration of Protection: If you want to hurt Ashe, you'll have to step over Basch's limp corpse to get to her.
- Determinator: Basch will stop at nothing to protect Ashe and see Dalmasca restored. Nothing.
- Failure Knight: As Gabranth notes, everything and everyone Basch has ever tried to protect has been destroyed or disgraced. He's well aware of it, too.
- El Cid Ploy: In the ending, he pulls this for Gabranth, impersonating him as Larsa's bodyguard to uphold the new peace they've managed to create.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: He has a scar above his eye. The manga establishes he got it in a duel with Gabranth.
- Hunk: Got the muscles and temperament to show it.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Lacks the actual armor, but is this in practice, a stalwart and noble protector of morality.
- Limit Break: His Quickenings are Fulminating Darkness, Ruin Impendent, and Flame Purge, but they consume a substantial amount of MP to use and need skill and luck to chain together.
- Mighty Glacier: Physically strongest of the party (with Vaan), but has low speed and, like Balthier, pitiful magic skills.
- Missing Mom: She died sometimes after he left for the war.
- Mr. Fanservice: His imprisonment's "attire".
- The Paladin: In Revenant Wings, it's his character class, and thus he wields large swords, wears heavy armor, and a combination of light-based offensive attacks and defense-based support magic.
- Pull the Thread: Larsa practically invokes the trope by name regarding Basch and Ashe. The world thinks Basch dead, but someone kept him alive in secret. There are reasons for that, and his survival will really shake up the status quo as word gets around.
- Purple Prose: More so than any of the other party members, he tends to be very eloquent.
- Rummage Sale Reject: Is that a potholder under his vest?
- The Quiet One: He goes a good dozen cutscenes in a row without a peep.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Though a high-functioning war veteran, he's clearly traumatized by what he's been through.
- Supporting Leader: In story, to Ashe since he's older and more experienced; in gameplay and presentation, to Vaan and for the same reason.
- War Is Hell: "If I could protect but one person from war's horror, I would bear any shame. I would bear it proudly."
- Weapon of Choice: Great Swords in all sequels and normal swords in XII.
Princess Ashelia "Ashe" B'nargin Dalmasca
"I am simply myself. No more and no less. And I want only to be free."The crown princess of Dalmasca and the last true heir to the kingdom. Ashe lost her father and husband only a week after her wedding when Archadia invaded Nabradia, and was soon announced to have committed suicide out of grief. In reality, she fled underground to lead the resistance against Archadia's occupation of Dalmasca. She is determined to restore Dalmasca whatever the cost, driven by her hatred of Archadia and her own feelings of responsibility as the crown princess.
- Action Girl: Ashe is just as capable in battle as any of the male party members, and the one with the stats and personality most inclined for engaging in melee combat. The party first meets her fighting a squad of Imperials and not backing down.
- Anti-Hero: Somewhat, during the story's early stages - while she cared for Dalmasca, she wasn't the most level-headed member of the group before her Character Development.
- Badass Princess: Don't let the fact she's royalty fool you, Ashe has survived in the resistance for two years and can handle herself in a fight. Her Establishing Character Moment is to cut down an Imperial and basically shout "Bring It" to three more advancing on her.
- Bare Your Midriff: Her outfit shows off her navel.
- BFS: Two of them, the Sword of Kings and the Treaty Blade. Both also function as Swords of Plot Advancement.
- Break the Cutie: She's a widow while still in her teens. Unlike most political marriages, both Ashe and Rasler truly loved each other.
- Character Development: Learns to do what is best for Dalmasca and its people as opposed to blindly chasing revenge against the Empire, which would probably get her kingdom destroyed and herself killed. Also becomes more heroic and sociable as time goes on, when you first meet her she's a bit of a bitch and doesn't really trust the other party members.
- Chickification: In the manga. Her introduction in the game establishes her as a Lady of War, cutting down an imperial troop and proving a powerful fourth ally for the waterway. In the manga, she's actively fleeing from her attackers, and is nearly helpless in subsequent battles.
- Commonality Connection: Vaan and Ashe have this with their extremely similar experience during the war with Archades and it's because of this they can see the ghost of their lost loved ones in the Tomb of Raithwall. In the climax of the game, it's this bond that allows Vaan to save Ashe from herself.
- Determinator: Just listen to her Quickening quotes:"I must endure." / "I must believe." / "I must be strong."
- Dangerously Short Skirt: Ashe's micro-skirt barely covers her rear.
- Determined Widow: She mourns for her lost love, and won't let anything stop her from avenging him.
- Dramatic Wind: Especially when performing her Quickenings and casting magic. More noticeable when fighting outside, but even inside her clothing tends to flutter, just less so.
- Fairytale Wedding Dress: She wore one in her wedding. Combine princess and true love and it fits the ideal.
- Guest-Star Party Member: Introduces the mechanic when you first meet her and she calls herself Amalia.
- The Hero: Despite what Balthier says and that Vaan is your initial character, in practice it's Ashe's desires and motivations that motivate the party's quest while the other five are her allies. Trailers for the PS4 remaster specifically frame Ashe as the main character of the game, with no particular importance given to Balthier or Vaan over any other character.
- The Leader: She's the one that sets the agenda for the hero party. The other party members tag along with her for various reasons and offer her support and advice.
- Insistent Terminology: "Resistance!"
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She's rude and abrasive at first, but gradually warms up and accepts the party as friends and allies.
- Lady of Black Magic: Poised and has the highest MP and Magick Power growth rates in the party. Even her Quickenings have an air of grace to them.
- Lady of War: Even in the heat of battle, Ashe remains poised and graceful.
- Limit Break: Her Quickenings are Northswain's Glow, Heaven's Wrath, and Maelstrom's Bolt, but they consume a substantial amount of MP to use and need skill and luck to chain together.
- Glass Cannon: Has high magick and strength stats, but her HP is low.
- Magic Knight: Wielding a sword, casting magic, and summoning espers.
- Ms. Fanservice: In the game's manga adaptation. She's the subject of a Panty Shot, a bathing scene, a shot of her half-naked rear, and there's a full-frontal scene of her nude with Barbie Doll Anatomy.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Her wedding dress and her funeral dress are suitably fancy for a princess/queen, but surprisingly no fancy Queen or Princess dresses are shown.
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: With Rasler; they joke about how everyone thought it was a political marriage.
- Politically Active Princess: Zig-zagged. At first, she tries to take Rabanastre by force. Later, she attempts to reclaim her kingdom by bargaining with The Empire and other factions for most of the game. Although she's a Badass Princess and would rather fight against the Archadians, she slowly understands that the easiest way to avoid bloodshed is to take the diplomatic route.
- Pyrrhic Victory: Ultimately realizes she's setting herself up for this. She could take the power of the Sun-Cryst and use deifacted nethicite to fight Archadia, but it would entirely betray the ideals and principles of the kingdom she's been fighting for, and at that point her cause will be truly lost.
- Revenge Before Reason: She treads this path for a very long time until she takes Vaan's example to fight for what's right rather than for vengeance.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Her defining trope more than anything else, Ashe takes her position as Princess very seriously and is fully committed to the political responsibilities that it entails.
- Stripperiffic: You'd expect something more practical on royalty, wouldn't you?
- Spare to the Throne: If you pay attention to the NPC conversations, you will find out that Ashe was the youngest of nine siblings with eight older brothers who have all died from war or sickness.
- Spell My Name with a "The": Sometimes referred to by Basch and Vossler as "The Lady Ashe".
- Unscrupulous Hero: She spends most of the game focused on gaining nethicite with her ultimate goal being using it to destroy the Archadian Empire to avenge her husband and restore her kingdom. Character Development sees her gaining scruples.
- Weapon of Choice: Swords of various different styles, even when she uses bombs in the sequel she still has a sword in her artwork. She also likes her shield. Even her unarmed animation has her putting up her left hand like she's got one on there.
- Who Wears Short Shorts?: Ashe's wardrobe has lent itself to confusion and theorizing as to whether this trope is correct or her skirt is magic. Since camera and pose manipulation reveal material of the same color in what would ordinarily be a Panty Shot, some fans have even gone as far as to try to make sense of it with complicated, annotated design sketches◊ (full version here).
- Zettai Ryouiki: Her outfit leaves her thighs bare between armor and skirt.
Allies of Dalmasca
Vossler York Azelas
"The future of Dalmasca will not be stolen!"A former captain of the Dalmasca militia. Vossler is one of the top soldiers in the Resistance, and takes on the duty of protecting Ashe after she is forced underground. He has a deep respect for Basch, and works tirelessly to restore Dalmasca. However, two years of little success have begun to wear down his resolve. As a result he cuts a deal with the Empire to restore Ashe to the throne as a Puppet King, feeling that outright defiance will gain them nothing.
- Bodyguard Betrayal: He's Ashe's protector until Basch steps in, and then he sells her out.
- The Captain: His official title is "Captain" even as he leads the resistance against the Empire and personally steps onto the battlefield to command them. It's a holdover from his days in the Dalmascan militia where he held the rank.
- Climax Boss: You can really feel the emotional intensity when you're forced to fight him. The conflict effectively serves to close Act 1 of the game and shifts the narrative considerably.
- Face–Heel Turn: He turns on the party and sides with the Empire, though it's not as clear-cut as "he's actually evil".
- Foil: To Basch, given their friendship despite coming from different stations in life. Taken further when, after Basch's absolute loyalty to Ashe is proven, Vossler himself becomes a traitor.
- Guest-Star Party Member: Joins the party as a Guest twice.
- Hero Antagonist: Without a doubt, after his Face–Heel Turn because it makes him antagonistic to Ashe and the main heroes but his goal remains the same. He just has different ideas about reaching it.
- Knight in Sour Armor: He fights for a good cause, but is not optimistic about the results.
- La Résistance: He's the leader of the resistance against the Empire.
- Moral Myopia: A very gray case of this regarding his betrayal. Vossler has his mind set on the restoration of Dalmasca first and foremost. When Ashe reveals her intentions as revenge first, Dalmasca second, Vossler ends up siding with the Archadians. There's also a second factor in his betrayal in that the resistance's war from his perspective seems to be growing more futile as the days pass; and by allying with the Archadians, Vayne will actually restore Dalmasca's independence. While it can be easy to think What an Idiot to Vossler's idea, there's a fair chance Vayne may have lived up to his word and politically it wouldn't have been a dreadful move for Vayne to restore the hearts and minds of the people, even if Ashe is a glorified Puppet King to his own ends and means. Finally, going back a bit in the entry, Vossler is also very, VERY tired of fighting and believes his betrayal to be a bloodless end to the revolution.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: He puts the wellbeing of Dalmasca first and foremost.
- Sacrificial Lion: His death and Ashe's refusal to accept his bargain with the Empire firmly establishes what her priorities are: vengeance first, Dalmasca second. His betrayal also shakes the game up on a meta level, truly introducing the grey morality of the antagonists and the heroes.
- The Sixth Ranger: An outsider to your main party of six who helps them from behind the scenes.
- Sixth Ranger Traitor: As a floater ally who betrays the protagonists.
- Take Up My Sword: Tells Basch to protect Ashe in his stead after his defeat.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: Will restore Dalmasca no matter what, even if he must betray her rightful ruler to do it.
- Weapon of Choice: A BFS called Nightmare.
Marquis Halim Ondore IV
"I once knew a girl whose only wish was to be carried in her uncle’s arms. Her Majesty is a woman grown now."The leader of Bhujerba, a city floating in the sky with rich magicite mines. Though Bhujerba claims to be neutral, it is an open secret that Ondore is allied with Archadia to prevent them from simply conquering his city. However, he is also secretly funding resistance movements against Archadia and seeks to reclaim Bhujerba's independance. He is the narrator of the game.
- Big Good: He's basically the leader of La Résistance by the end of the game and the one with the broader scope of things than Vossler.
- The Chessmaster: Manipulates a lot of events behind the scenes without directly getting his hands dirty. Since he's closely watched by the Empire, he has to be secretive about it to avoid his true plans being discovered.
- Cool Old Guy: He's old, but still a good player in the political field.
- La Résistance: Not a member, but a close ally. After Vossler's death he effectively becomes the leader of it.
- Minor Major Character: Only several actual appearances but, as both the Narrator and the ally of La Résistance, he's pretty important as far as characters go.
- Narrator: Major events are shown as part of the Marquis' historical accounts.
- Parental Substitute: He's an advisor/parental figure to Ashe, who calls him her uncle.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He's the leader of Bhujerba and one of the few politically powerful figures who wants to do something about Archadia.
- Silver Fox: Take a gander at him!
- Staff of Authority: Walks with an ornate cane.
- Unreliable Narrator: Infamously so, in-universe he's known for publicly lying and concealing the truth for assorted political reasons. There's a reason "Don't listen to Ondore's lies" is a Memetic Mutation.
"I would lay down my life at a single word to be sure… but I harbor no maundering delusions of valiant grandeur".A member of the ruling family of Rozzaria, a nation rival to Archadia. He works alongside Larsa to avert the war brewing between the two empires, as the cost of such a war would devastate both sides.
Voiced by Norio Wakamoto (Japanese) and David Rasner (English)
- Ascended Extra: A meta example, he was a minor supporting character before Norio Wakamoto was cast. His vocal performance considerably endeared Al-Cid to the developers and netted him a bigger part in the game.
- Carpet of Virility: His chest hair is magnificent to behold.
- The Casanova: His special abilities in Tactics A2 let him help and power up the girls on the team.
- The Charmer: He's very flirtatious and flattering with ladies, including Ashe.
- Chick Magnet: From the looks of it, none of the other girls mind the flirting.
- Cool Shades: It's slightly anachronistic, but he wears sunglasses.
- Dashing Hispanic: His design and Spanish accent in the English dub clearly invoke this.
- One Steve Limit: Played with — this game gives us both Al-Cid and Dr. Cid. Word of God has clarified that Dr. Cid is the official "Cid" of the game, while Al-Cid is just another character who happens to also be named Cid.
- Overrated and Underleveled: In Tactics A2, he cannot change classes. He is the only unit who cannot change classes. Even Vaan and Penelo, who also join with unique classes, are able to class change. This means he can't use any than other than guns, can't ever learn a secondary skillset other than Item, and can never learn any Support or Reaction abilities.
- Pretty Boy: A very pretty one.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: He gets involved with the events and does what he can to try and prevent another outbreak of war. He's not even the true/direct heir to Rozarrio, but implied to be one of many.
- Sharp Dressed Man: His sense of grooming is impeccable, and he's a smooth-talking casanova to boot.
- Sexy Secretary: He's always accompanied by one whose main job seems to be holding his sunglasses.
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Though his height is unknown.
- Tuxedo and Martini: Tactics A2 reveals that he is this sort of Spy for Rozzaria with the unique Agent job.
- The Spymaster: Claims to have "little birds" who tell him things. We never fully find out what that means, but Al-Cid clearly has connections.
- The Wise Prince: Some of his activities aside, he's a very clever man and a competent politician. When he first meets Ashe he bring up important matters for her to consider, and when the party's shown determined to seek out the deifacted nethicite, he makes important points such as needing to find what they're looking for. Plus see his above quote.
"The past can bind a man as surely as irons."The head of the pirate city of Balfonheim, who turned it from a den of corruption into an outlaw but ultimately moral city. Reddas has the honor of being the final Guest-Star Party Member in the game, and is a surprise ally of the party that's aiding Ondore's war efforts.
- The Atoner: He's seeking to make up for a great sin he did in the past.
- Badass Boast: "I, Judge Magister, condemn you to oblivion!"
- Badass Beard: Has a short-cropped one to emphazie his rugged look.
- Bald Black Leader Guy: Leaders of the sky pirates, bald, and dark-skinned.
- Bald of Awesome: Being prematurely grey and having no hair on his head does not stop him from kicking ass.
- Berserk Button: Much like Balthier, but more overt. Try bringing up nethicite around him and see how he takes it.
- Dark and Troubled Past: He's really Judge Zecht, the sixth Judge Magister of Archadia charged with using the Midlight Shard at Nabudis to see the power of deifacted nethicite. Horrified by his own unwitting actions, he vowed to never let such destruction be unleashed again, and forsook the empire, his title, and his name, to become a force in the resistance.
- Death Seeker: One of his aides, Elza, claims Reddas has been looking for a time and place to die all along. All things considered, she may be on to something.
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Though he doesn't do it directly, he makes his opinion of the Occuria clear.Reddas: Would you like to know the best use of nethicite? Will or nill, I'll tell you. You pick it up, and throw it away.
- Guest-Star Party Member: For the last dungeon of the game.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: The destruction of Nabudis caused a My God, What Have I Done? Heel Realization, and he's never fully recovered from it.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He sacrifices himself to destroy the Sun Cryst before the mist it spews causes chaos over Ivalice.
- Large Ham: Surpassed only by Doctor Cid.
- My Greatest Failure: The destruction of Nalbina using the Midlight shard was the last straw for him and caused him to abandon the Empire.
- One-Man Army: You know someone has beaten you inside Draklor when you explore the facility and find it strewn with the bodies of Imperial soldiers. Reddas' doing.
- The Paladin: In the International version he also casts Holy and Arise.
- Pirate and Sky Pirate: He is called a pirate of both the sea and sky.
- Real Men Wear Pink: His hot pink shorts stand out even in a cast dressed in all manner of bizarre clothing options.
- Redemption Equals Death: He ultimately redeems himself at the cost of his life.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: He's carrying a lot of guilt and trauma for what he did in the past.
- The Sixth Ranger: The 3rd and final one to be met in-story.
- Small Role, Big Impact: You meet him with only a few hours left in the game, not counting time spent on sidequests, but once you find out his past, it turns out he's more influential than some of the people you've seen all game.
- The Ghost: You've been hearing people talk about "Reddas" all game, but you never meet him in person until the very end. Even then, you probably don't realize he is the person you've heard of before.
- That Man Is Dead: He cast off his old name to become Reddas some time ago.
- Walking Spoiler: You've never heard the name before you met him, but you have definitely heard of Reddas all game, and when you find out how you'll look at him very differently.
- Weapon of Choice: Dual Wielding Cool Swords, the Chirijiraden and the Ninja Knife.
- Wretched Hive: Acts as the de facto leader of one, Balfonheim, a pirate port. In his own words, it's "a city of men without countries, pirates of the sea and of the sky. Few are they would fain lay down their lives for a friend, let alone a king."
- Younger Than They Look: Would you believe that he's only thirty-three?
Prince Rasler Heios Nabradia
"These roles we play. I must admit I find it... wearying."The crown prince of the kingdom of Nabradia and Ashe's late husband.
Voiced by Yasuyuki Kase (Japanese) and Andrew Philpot (English)
- The Lost Lenore: To Ashe.
- Mythology Gag: His name is one to Prince Ralse from "Draco and Maria", the opera from Final Fantasy VI. Like Ralse, his kingdom is to the east (of Dalmasca).
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: With Ashe.
- Pretty Boy: See his face?
- Prince Charmless: Appeared to be this during a flashback in the manga adaptation; turns out he was trying to lure out a traitor.
- Sacrificial Lion: A brave warrior and loving husband who, without hesitation, leads his new wife's kingdom's army to war in order to defend it from Archadia's advances. He unfortunately dies at Nalbina Fortress.
- Stab the Sky: Does this in the opening cinematic.
- Warrior Prince
"No, sir. I want to fight. For my homeland and for my parents."Vaan's older brother. He was a member of the "Order of Knights of Dalmasca" under Basch. When he rushed to prevent the assassination of King Raminas, he found his comrades slaughtered and the king dead, supposedly at the hands of Basch. He was stabbed, and lived long enough to testify his version of events before dying.
Voiced by Hideki Tasaka (Japanese) and Yuri Lowenthal (English)
- Big Brother Instinct: He went to war to protect his brother.
- Chainmail Bikini: Its no wonder he died; he's wearing a military issue sports bra and thigh highs with short shorts.
- Decoy Protagonist: A role he shares with his brother Vaan, only in Reks's case it's more obvious.
- Flower Motifs: The Galbana Lily was his favorite flower. Vaan even names his airship after this flower in the sequel.
- Nice Guy: According to the people who knew him, Reks was very kind and noble.
- Pretty Boy: As shown by his image.
- Promotion to Parent: After his and Vaan's parents died, five years before the main events of the game.
- Sacrificial Lamb: Hand-in-hand with Decoy Protagonist, Reks exists to die in the introduction and demonstrate clearly this game will not be shy about killing off important characters.
- Tragic Keepsake: His pendant which Vaan is seen wearing for the entirety of the game.
- Unwitting Pawn: He is allowed to survive the attack on Nalbina because the Archadians need a witness to testify it was Basch who killed Raminas. Not knowing it was a frame job, Reks played right into their hands.
- Weapon of Choice: A standard issue sword and shield.
- White Void Room: Vaan remembers his brother dying in one as he sat unresponsive in a catatonic state.
"The nethicite is ours to give, to chosen bearer or to none."The leader of the god-like Occuria. She guides Ashe, and by extension the party on their quest to topple the Empire by appearing to the Princess in visions. However, this is a case of Small Role, Big Impact: Gerun is a critical figure in the game's plot in lots of spoiler-riffic ways.
Voiced by Seiko Tomoe (Japanese) and Bernice Stegers (English)
- Ambiguous Gender: Just like Venat, Gerun has no physical gender and will be referred to with feminine pronouns for the purposes of this entry.
- Ancient Conspiracy: The Occuria have been manipulating Ivalice for centuries. Now thanks to Venat and Archadia, their grip is slipping, and they're not happy about that.
- Berserk Button: Flies into a screaming rage at the implication that Venat's actions might actually have a point.
- Big Bad: Well, from one point of view — this game likes Grey and Gray Morality, after all. She spends 90% of the game slow-walking Ashe into becoming a genocidal tyrant under her thrall, the likes of which would have put Vayne to shame by miles. Additionally, it's her control over Ivalice via the Dalmascan kings that motivated Venat to rebel and bring Archadia to power in the first place, making her indirectly responsible for the conflict of the game.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Annihilating every man, woman, and child in Archadia is completely justified to her if it rids her of Venat and scours manufactured nethicite from the world so the Occuria can keep humanity under their thumb.
- Cosmic Plaything: She used Raithwal to establish Ocurrian rule over Ivalice and plans to use Ashe to preserve it.
- Energy Beings: Appears as a floating specter of light with a shadowed "face".
- General Ripper: The whole "World War" thing Ivalice is heading towards? She doesn't mind, as long as the right people emerge victorious.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: It wouldn't be a Yasumi Matsuno game is this wasn't at play somewhere.
- Jerkass Gods: She carries high the Final Fantasy standard of higher beings that are pricks.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Little muscle, long hair and dashing looks.
- Manipulative Bastard: She tries to get Ashe to destroy Archadia and Venat, progressing from subtle manipulation to to outright ordering her to do it.
- No Gender: Genderless due to not having a physical body, but has a female-ish voice.
- One-Shot Character: Appears as herself for less than five minutes, despite having a continuous role throughout the plot of the game.
- Poisonous Friend: Ashe doesn't realize the specter of Rasler that's been guiding her all game is a vision of Gerun, and that she's using his memory to manipulate the party.
- Protagonist Journey to Villain: Spends the whole game trying to make this happen for Ashe. Fails spectacularly at it because she ultimately realizes what's happening to her.
- Puny Humans / We Are as Mayflies: Shares this outlook on Humes."The Humes ever skew hist'ry's weave. With haste they move through too-short lives. Driven to err by base desires, t'ward waste and wasting on they run. We Occuria light the path for wayward sons of man."
- Purple Prose: Gerun speaks in it.
- Shape Shifter Guilt Trip: The ghostly image of Rassler that keeps appearing to Ashe over the course of the game is Gerun playing off her grief and rage towards Archadia to get her to acquiesce to genocide.
- She Is the King: She's referred to in the game's lore as the "King" of the Occuria.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Eclipses even Reddas in terms of the screen time:plot importance ratio. The meeting with her and the revelations that follow cast a very revealing light on the true goals of Archadia and the villains you've been fighting.
- Sophisticated as Hell / Wicked Cultured: Speaks in poetic meter, uses highfalutin language and poetic abbreviations such as pow'r, and carries herself with all the dignity of an Elizabethan monarch, until you piss her off.
- Walking Spoiler: As all the whited-out entries might have tipped you off. Gerun is a late-game character and the meeting with her reveals a lot of critical plot details.
Vayne Carudas Solidor
"Ivalice will know a new Dynast King, and Man will keep his own history!"The son of the current Emperor of the Archadian Empire, and recently appointed Consul to Dalmasca. His affable nature cloaks his intelligence and utter ruthlessness, and his schemes permeate every part of the plot.
Voiced by Nobuo Tobita (Japanese) and Elijah Alexander (English)
- Adaptational Villainy: In the manga, he's much more cruel and manipulative, getting a few new Kick the Dog moments and having his charismatic speech to Dalmasca omitted.
- Affably Evil: He's famously one of the most personalable and charismatic villains in the series. His Establishing Character Moment is to deliver a speech to the people of Rabanastre that can be summed up as "I know you all hate me and the Empire, but I'm not asking you to love me or even be loyal to me, just to please keep the peace in honor of your departed King, so that we can all try to move on as one people now that the war is over." The speech is so effective that the crowd that was jeering him at the start is applauding him once he's done. Then that night he organizes a feast at the royal palace so that his presence will bait the Resistance into attack, and he routes them and captures or kills most of the combatants.
- A God Am I: He intends to use his manufacted nethicite to declare himself the new Dynast-King and rule the world.
- Aloof Big Brother: To Larsa. Everyone comments on how much more powerful Vayne is than Larsa, but he remains stoic and stern throughout the game.
- Anti-Villain: Of the Necessarily Evil Visionary Villain sort. While getting to rule the world is a nice plus, Vayne's goal is to defy the reign of the Occuria by overthrowing those they favor, thus ending their control over the races of Ivalice and giving Mankind freedom from manipulative and controlling gods. He's also shown to be a pragmatic, intelligent, and charismatic leader who wants to secure the future of House Solidor and truly cares for his brother Larsa.
- Armor-Piercing Attack: He has "Piercing" magick, which ignores Reflect.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: As one of the highest ranking members of the Empire, Vayne is much more powerful than them as befitting the Final Boss.
- Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Is willing to commit atrocities to build a peaceful empire and free mankind from the Occuria so that his innocent younger brother Larsa doesn't have to.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: Pummels your party using his bare hands and martial arts.
- Big Bad: A top contender to the title of most central and important antagonist, though there are others.
- Big Brother Instinct: He does a lot to keep Larsa safe and innocent. Cutscenes in the Empire imply Vayne is aware that his brother would ultimately make a better ruler for the people, but the times are troubled and for the moment Vayne is the better ruler on account that he can handle the war and politics that Larsa is too young to deal with yet.Vayne: Observe well, Larsa. Watch and mark you the suffering of one who must rule, yet lacks the power.
- Cain and Abel: Averted with him and Larsa. Though they are very different and are opposed ideologically, they still love each other and would never harm the other. Ultimately, it's Larsa who turns on Vayne, at the end of the game when the party confronts of the two of them. However, the backstory implies Vayne murdered his two older brothers on charges of treason, though the details are unclear.
- The Chessmaster: Though you don't see him on-screen as often as previous villains, it is made clear Vayne isn't just sitting around doing nothing and is working on securing more power for himself through politics and manipulation rather than just force. The manga reveals the reason Archadia attacked Nabradia and later Dalmasca was due to an insurgent faction in Nabradia seeking an alliance with Rozarria over Dalmasca. The Archadians feared a civil war in Nabradia could lead to a power shift and invaded to ensure stability, and then they went to war with Dalmasca as well due to their alliance with Nabradia. It is implied Vayne had some hand in the insurgents' rise to power, effectively making him single-handedly responsible for causing a world war.
- The Conqueror: Vayne is an established conqueror of many of the nations in the Archadian Empire and just finishes conquering Dalmasca by the end of the prologue.
- Cultured Badass: He's very intelligent and well-spoken, and a political mastermind.
- Evil Plan: Become the next Dynast King and pave the way for his younger brother to rule in a united and peaceful world.
- The Evil Prince: While he has no actual title of Prince, he is functionally this trope since his father is The Emperor. Within the backstory, he killed his two older brothers on orders from his father, and during the game he kills his father and frames the Senate for it. In the aftermath he crowns himself Emperor and dissolves the Senate, giving him absolute power over Archadia.
- Evil Virtues: Ambition especially, but also love, honor, and determination.
- Flying Weapon: His Sephira swords fly on their own accord to attack.
- Final Boss: And a Sequential Boss to boot.
- Genius Bruiser: A tactical expert, cunning politician, and competent fighter in his own right.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Vayne's eyes glow gold with mist whenever he activates a special attack. As the Undying, his eyes glow sickly green, gold or blue depending on the attack.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Though he harbors regrets after, he barely hesitates to do what needs to be done for his vision for Ivalice to be realized.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: At the end of the game, Vaan impales him through the chest with Gabranth's sword.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Cid, who's old enough to be his dad.
- Ironic Name: His One-Winged Angel form is named "The Undying." Note he takes this form after he's already been mortally wounded by Vaan running him through with Gabranth's sword, and he knows he has minutes to live at best.
- Kick the Dog: While actually referring to the subjects as dogs, no less.
- When Drace questions his innocence in Gramis's death and threatens him, Vayne orders Gabranth, her confidante, to execute her right then and there. He also refers to Gabranth as a dog and reveals he knows Gabranth was spying on him under Gramis's orders, and thus the execution is a test of loyalty.
- In the manga, during the attack by the resistance at the start of the game, Vaan spies on Vayne and Gabranth watching the carnage, and is discovered and hauled before Vayne. Vayne knows full well Vaan is enraged and mocks him, calling him a powerless dog too weak and cowardly to do anything but kneel at his feet. When Vaan brings up Reks's death, knowing Vayne was at Nalbina that night, Vayne says that since he comes from a family of dogs, he should be grateful he didn't have to pay for a funeral. Vaan pushes himself to his feet, and when Vayne just mocks him some more for not knowing his place, Vaan finally musters the courage to attack him, only to be blocked by Gabranth. Gabranth asks if they should show leniency since Vaan obviously isn't a rebel, but Vayne orders him executed anyway, and just to drive a knife into Gabranth's heart too, taunts him about his brother and his homeland a bit before he leaves.
- Kung-Fu Wizard: It's not fully clear which attacks of his are Ki Attacks and which are nethicite-powered magic, but either way he uses them in tandem with martial arts.
- Magic Pants: As Vayne Novus and later The Undying, his clothing dissolves leaving only the armored portions, which encompass gauntlets, boots, the tails of his outfit, and his belt with a convenient flap of armor hanging over the groin.
- Nay-Theist: His goal is to overthrow the Occuria and free humanity from the control of the gods.
- Necessarily Evil: Even in his quest to become the new Dynast-King that will unite all of Ivalice, and shake off the Occuria's yoke, he is very much aware of the atrocities he commits, and the tragedies his and Cid's plotting have wrought. His remark "my hands are stained with blood, I see little reason to stay them now" alone shows he's aware of what he has done and will have to do in the future to see his goals to fruition.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: As the Undying, he's a humanoid cyborg dragon empowered by Nethicite that fights with a BFS Blade Below the Shoulder on one arm and a BFG Arm Cannon on the other.
- One-Winged Angel: It's Square-Enix, this is not a spoiler. Though he does play with convention by doing it twice, first by growing muscle-bound and superpowered by nethicite to become Vayne Novus, then by doing a Fusion Dance with Venat and grafting parts of his airship onto his body to become The Undying.
- Power Floats: In his second and third forms, he hovers above the ground.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: To the people of Rabanastre during his time there. Though the Empire is still occupying the city and soldiers walk the streets, Vayne is not a cruel or oppressive consul, and does what he can to keep the peace between the Dalmascans and the Imperials.
- Reconstruction: Vayne is effectively a reworking of the usual Final Fantasy antagonist shtick, which usually entails seeking the world's destruction for it's own sake or to rule it as a dead rock. Vayne recognizes that such destruction is pointless as, obviously, there would be nothing left to rule — as clearly shown from how he tries to preserve the lands he conquers and win their people over to his side. So, what does he do? Well, like most other FF baddies, he does end up pursuing power, but only so that he can rule the world as a benevolent dictator rather than simply using said power to blow it up For the Evulz — providing a rare example of a JRPG villain who actually answers to question of And Then What?.
- Sequential Boss: Vayne isn't physically fought until the very end of the game, and the team has to go through three forms of him in a row when they do challenge him.
- Storm of Blades: His swords fly around and attack you without him even touching them except during special attacks.
- Taking You with Me: Come the very last fight, this is the point he's reached. He knows he's dying and his plans are over, but before that happens he's going to repay the favor.
- Übermensch: Vayne does what he believes is the right thing to do, societal laws be damned. And justified, since so few others understand how the Occuria manipulate the world's stage from behind the curtains.
- The Unfettered: A more rule-abiding version, he nonetheless states (in a conversation with Emperor Gramis) that he's willing to do whatever he must, even if it means raising his sword and taking life en masse. Especially if he can prevent Larsa from having to do so instead.
- Unstoppable Rage: At the end of the game, he finally gets angry and goes berserk when he enters his One-Winged Angel form, and definitely stops holding back.
- Upgrade Artifact: Uses manufactured nethicite to transform into his second form, the hugely muscled Vayne Novus. Also a case of Hulking Out.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: His ultimate goal is a peaceful Ivalice united under Archadia and him as the Dynast-King. However, "peace" only factors into things once he achieves the "united" part.
- Villainous Breakdown: Possibly due to With Great Power Comes Great Insanity, once he transforms into Vayne Novus and witnesses Gabranth's betrayal, his collected demeanor collapses into Large Ham outrage.
- Villainous B.S.O.D.: Shortly after the Vayne Novus fight when he is defeated and his attack on Gabranth is stopped by Larsa, he seems to finally question if his plans have been worth anything or if all his efforts were for naught.
- Villainous Friendship: Contrary to the Judges and other officers, Vayne's interactions with Cid are quite friendly and casual. It's clear the two respect each other beyond just working together on schemes.
- Villain with Good Publicity: He manages to turn public opinion of him around 180° with one speech. To the kingdom he's just overthrown and put under military occupation. Amazing.
- Visionary Villain: He sees himself as a Dynast-King that will unite Ivalice under Archadia's banner and usher in a new era free from Occurian rule.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: His ultimate goal is to create a world free from the Occuria's influence... albeit under his complete dictator-like rule. He does somewhat succeed, but doesn't live to see it.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: Plays a mean game of it. He can't control what Ashe and her allies will do, nor the resistance or Rozarria, but he still manages to get what he wants out of it.
Larsa Ferrinas Solidor
"The men of my family, we are taught to place the needs of others before those of our own."Vayne's younger brother, and competition for the throne of Archadia. Unlike Vayne, Larsa ultimately desires peace and works with the protagonists to unravel the web of secrets that his brother has spun. As a child of twelve, Larsa is too young to fully understand the harsh realities of the world. Several factions plot from the shadows to either take advantage of his naivety or to protect his innocence and idealism.
Voiced by Yuka Imai (Japanese) and Johnny McKeown (English)
- A Child Shall Lead Them: A classic example, Larsa is young and naive and champions doing the moral thing no matter what the politics may say. This is why so many respect him.
- Adorably Precocious Child: A reconstruction, he takes on responsibility because he is competent enough to be a player on the world stage regardless of his age.
- Badass Adorable: As a guest party member, he can be fairly high level — at age twelve — and seems to be fully trained in some style of Archadian fencing. It can be odd to see him engage a nine-foot-tall Werewolf with an expression of Dissonant Serenity.
- Break the Cutie: By the end of the game, everyone this kid loves and cares for is dead. You see him break multiple times as a result.
- Broken Pedestal: Has this towards Vayne after their father's assassination.
- Cain and Abel: Averted, Larsa and Vayne clearly love each other dearly. Ultimately Larsa challenges his brother's authority when he feels he can no longer stay idle to his plans.
- Chekhov's Gun: Remember the manufacted nethicite he gave to Penelo and later took back? He uses it to stop one of Vayne's attacks from killing Gabranth and Basch.
- Combat Medic: You'll probably appreciate Larsa most for his healing skills, but he's a decent fighter too.
- Crutch Character: It isn't a bad idea to save the optional sidequests and bosses for Larsa's second time joining the party. Besides the fact that Guest Party members are always a good thing for the fourth swordarm, Larsa's infinite supply of Hi-Potions make a lot of the optional parts of the game much easier. His Gambits have him use a Hi-Potion any time someone dips below 50% HP, and at 10% he uses an X-Potion instead, likely a full heal or close to it either way. He's also got the Telekinesis Technick, allowing him to attack flying enemies physically, while your party members will be relying on ranged weapons and magick.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Very much so, especially in the final FMV.
- Guest-Star Party Member: Twice, first as "Lamont", later under his own name.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Has a brief one when Al-Cid reveals that his father passed away.
- Hyperspace Arsenal: The kid is famous for having an infinite supply of Hi-Potions and X-Potions, and he is not at all shy about using them. Subverted in the International Zodiac Job System re-release, where Guest party members use items from your inventory instead. This means that Larsa no longer has infinite items, but this is compensated by him getting very useful white magic—more powerful than you likely have at his parts of the game.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Al-Cid. His relationship with most of the main party could count as well.
- Item Caddy: Larsa has potions up the wazoo and you will appreciate them.
- Magic Knight: In the International Zodiac Job System, he has Cura, Bubble, Water, and Balance, along with some status-healing spells, and knows the Shades of Black Technick that casts random Black Magic for free.
- Morality Pet: For his brother Vayne.
- Odd Friendship: With Penelo. They still communicate regularly through letters and remain close friends after the first game has ended. He even revamps Penelo's entire airship kitchen when her cooking finally proves tasteful.
- Princely Young Man: He provides the page picture. Much like Vayne, Larsa technically isn't royalty, but is a prince in manner nonetheless.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: His goal is to be this for Archadia, doing what is best for the country and all of Ivalice instead of pursuing personal ambitions.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: He's a definitive version, leaving Archadia to try and bring the war to an end peacefully by working with the other side.
- The Red Mage: In the International Zodiac Job System, Larsa becomes one (though different from the Zodiac Job's version of the game). He loses his infinite supply of Hi-Potion, but is granted many powerful white spells before anyone else, and even some black spells (plus the Shades of Black technique), making him a jack of all trades. Combined with his quite high Magic power, high MP pool, his ability to wield a sword and his very high evasion, he is a force to be reckoned with, though he still lacks in the HP department.
- Sheltered Aristocrat: While he is certainly skilled in politics, especially for a twelve-year-old boy, he is still incredibly naive.
- The Sixth Ranger: The second introduced in the story (after Vossler and before Reddas).
- Weapon of Choice: Dual wields a Royal Rapier called Joyeuse and a Swordbreaker.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: He's only twelve, but is very intelligent, mature, and well-spoken, and manages to play a few rounds of Xanatos Speed Chess against his older brother. He seems to be quite effective at sweet-talking the ladies as well.
- Youngest Child Wins: Towards Vayne. And his other two older brothers, who Vayne himself assassinated several years before the first game took place.
Doctor Cidolfus Demen Bunansa
"The reins of history, back in the hands of man."The head researcher of Archadia's Draklor Laboratories, and notably the first Cid to be a major villain. He is the creator of manufacted nethicite, the substance that powers Archadia's war machines, and of various other technical marvels such as airships that can traverse Jagd. However, Cid has higher designs than world conquest that he hopes to achieve with his stones. Often seen talking to himself under his breath and carrying on conversations with empty air, it's widely believed and accepted that Cid has long gone insane, but he's still brilliant.
Voiced by Chikao Ohtsuka (Japanese) and John Rafter Lee (English)
- A God Am I: Shows this at the top of the Pharos when he gets a power high and talks about displacing the Occuria.
- Anti-Villain: Just like Vayne and Venat, there's a good and noble man behind the villainy.
- Badass Bookworm: He's the head scientist of Archadia, but he still leaps into the fray with your party without hesitation, and can hold his own too.
- Big Beautiful Man: Large in size and quite good looking as well.
- BFG: His rifle is longer than a greatsword, and his gatling gun is nearly as large as Cid himself. He somehow wields them with just his hands.
- Bling-Bling-BANG!: Cid's guns are all gold-colored with glowing blue details.
- Catch-Phrase: His quote above, which explains his entire character in ten words.
- Chainsaw Grip BFG: How he wields his gatling gun.
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: His goal boils down to this. The Occuria consider nethicite their power to gift to man as they choose, and Cid's started mass-producing it so humanity can follow its own path instead of the Occuria controlling everything. Near the end of the game he provides this quote"To Hell with the Occuria and their stones!"
- Dual Boss: With Famfrit, who he summons partway through the party's second battle against him.
- Evil Genius: Not truly evil, but he counts in the traditional sense as the mastermind of the villain faction.
- First-Name Basis: Everyone refers to him by his nickname with title.
- For Science!: His entire motivation is to make discoveries for the sake of making them. However, he has a bit more justification than most, since the further he plumbs the depths of knowledge, the more he frees humanity from the Occuria that don't want humanity knowing the secrets to nethicite.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: His cinematic attacks fire various laser blasts.
- Gadgeteer Genius: He's a gunslinger, a researcher into Magitek, and builds robots to aid him in battle.
- Gatling Good: One of his special weapons wielded in his cinematic attacks.
- The Gunslinger: Wields assorted firearms in battle.
- Guns Akimbo: Though he only ever fires one at a time.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Vayne, respecting him and treating him as an equal beyond mutual plotting.
- Large Ham: Cid seems unable to keep his hands still or his voice low for very long.
- Mad Scientist: Fills the criteria but actually a subversion; Cid is perfectly sane and knows exactly what he's doing. This is lampshaded by Balthier, who notes "he wasn't mad at all," and indeed Cid isn't — he's just busy talking to someone other people can't see, likes being overly theatrical, and is obsessed with a particularly fascinating and important field of study.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: He's a doctor and he's a villain and he definitely fits the "morally ambiguous" part.
- Motor Mouth: Slips into this before the second battle with him as he gets more and more excited (and hammy), with his cinematic attacks during the battle being less a sentence and more a single word. For example, his shout during his Gatling Gun attack: "Youwillseenopityfromme!"
- Nay-Theist: He manufactures nethicite in direct defiance of the Occuria (and at Venat's urging). He was the one who spurred Vayne to invade the small countries south of Archadia to get at their deifacted nethicite.
- No Indoor Voice: Even when he's comparatively calm, Cid tends to be a bit loud. When he busts out the ham, best take off your headphones.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Come the late game he's come to realize that the huge amounts of power stored in deifacted Nethicite is too great to be worth the risk of trying to control, since they have a habit of detonating like nuclear warheads if used improperly.
- Strong Family Resemblance: He looks just like an older Balthier with glasses and facial hair.
- Summon Magic: He calls the Esper Famfrit to aid him in battle the second time he's fought.
- Talkative Loon: Everywhere he goes, he's incessantly conversing with thin air about his work and plans. This is because his partner, the rogue Occuria Venat, is Invisible to Normals.
- Unwitting Pawn: The party presumes he is this trope to Venat. When Balthier accuses him of this, an amused Cid corrects they are mutual allies.
- Villainous Friendship: With Vayne and Venat. Cid respects Vayne and talks to him as a friend, and his work with Venat is truly one of equal partners pursuing a goal together. As Cid dies, he tells Venat he's enjoyed their work the last few years, and Venat replies the pleasure was hers.
- Wave Motion Gun: His laser blasts in cinematic attacks are huge.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He really wanted to free humanity from the yoke of the Occuria... but then went and tried to take on such power himself.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: He didn't leap over this all the way, thankfully, but the power did have negative effects on his psyche.
Emperor Gramis Gana Solidor
WARNING — the following profile has unmarked spoilers for the end of the game.
"A convenient thing, justice. And so I must now make a choice... between my throne, and my son."The current patriarch of House Solidor, father of Vayne and Larsa, and The Emperor of Archadia. Gramis was once a powerful emperor who led Archadia to conquest over Nabradia and Dalmasca with the aid of his sons, but in his old age he has become sickly and weak, leading to an uneasy political climate in Archadia over which of his sons, if either, will take the throne when he dies.
Voiced by Hidekatsu Shibata (Japanese) and Roger L Jackson (English)
- The Emperor: His current title and station as the ruler of Archadia and leader of the enemy forces.
- Greater-Scope Villain: As the ruler of Archadia he's the real villain behind their plays for power, but does nothing personally to be an antagonist.
- High Collar of Doom: It's almost as tall as his head.
- Incurable Cough of Death: We don't know what exactly is wrong with him other than "he's sick", so we just see him cough now and then.
- My Death Is Just the Beginning: When he dies, the true gambits of Vayne and Cid begin to turn.
- Orcus on His Throne: He's very old and sickly and can't afford to do much of anything now.
- Sacrificial Lion: Vayne kills him and frames the Senate for it as pretense to become the sole authority in Archadia's government in a power play that really turns the game's plot on its head.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He's the reason Archadia is undergoing a power shift, and his death drastically changes the course of events.
- Staff of Authority: Carries an impressive ceremonial staff to go with his position. Also fits with him clearly being very old and experienced in his position.
"The Cryst is sundered, Age of Stones, complete. From the Undying ones the world is freed."A rebel Occuria who disagreed with the philosophy of its kin, and sought to break the control of the Occuria over Ivalice. To accomplish this she aligns with Cid and Vayne, revealing the secret to creating nethicite so they may throw off the Occuria's control.
- Affably Evil: Is very polite and well mannered towards others, yet she is a major antagonist acting against the party regularly.
- Ambiguous Gender: Is specifically voiced by a woman, yet the body is ... confusing, to say the least. The voice is also digitally modulated to mimic certain masculine vocal inflections too. Since the Occuria leader Gerun is in the same circumstance, it's tough to say whether the Occuria even have genders at all, or if 'female' is the standard definition for them (as opposed to male). Or they just all have female voices regardless of gender. Either way, it's never specified what gender Venat is, but for simplicity's sake, she's referred to as female in this section from here on out.
- Anti-Villain: Type III. She orchestrates a world war in the name of freeing humanity from the control of the gods.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Her goal was to stop the Occuria's manipulation of Ivalice and its peoples, something that the heroes have no problems with, and in the end she succeeds even though she and Vayne die at the heroes' hands in the Final Boss fight.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Like the rest of the Occuria, Venat's motivations are as unknowable as her actions. In siding with Ivalice's mortal races and desiring to free them from her brethren, she's willing to engage in atrocities on the scale of genocide, but treats her allies in this quest as equals with kindness and honor, rarely, if ever, takes overt hostile action against the heroes, and only does as much evil as is absolutely necessary to bring about the "greater good." By the end of the game she succeeds.
- Defector from Decadence: She didn't think it right that the Occuria manipulate humanity from afar and sought to change that.
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Essentially her entire plan. The Occuria use nethicite and its power to control the fate of Ivalice via controlling its rulers. Venat decides this is wrong, and the way to undo it is to teach humans how to make nethicite themselves and shake up the status quo.
- Early-Bird Cameo: That ink spot on the cover, alongside the Judge? It's her.
- Energy Beings: Just like the rest of the Occuria, she's a glowing indeterminate mass shrouded in Mist with an invisible face.
- Final Boss: In a way; when Vayne is impaled by Vaan after the Novus fight, she fuses with him to become The Undying, who is the final opponent of the game.
- Fusion Dance: She merges with Vayne at the end of the game to become The Undying, the Final Boss.
- The Heretic: Directly declares as such by the other Occuria, who declare her so for daring to let humanity govern its own affairs.
- Invisible to Normals: Venat is invisible to and unheard by anyone she doesn't want to interact with. For example, Balthier had written his father Cid off for a madman for routinely talking to this "Venat" character that didn't actually exist outside his own mind. Venat revealing herself to the party in Draklor Laboratory quickly changes his mind.
- Man Behind the Man: Vayne and Cid are the main threats of the game, but only because Venat's aid enables them to be.
- Necessarily Evil: The only real way to shake off Occurian rule is to get rid of those they've put on the thrones of power around the world and attempt to permanently end any attempts they might make to re-establish control. That unfortunately means an international war or two.
- Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Part of the reason why Balthier abandoned the Empire was that he believed his father Dr. Cid had gone mad and invented Venat wholecloth out of that madness.Balthier: "So... He was talking to Venat all along. He wasn't mad at all, was he."
- Pet the Dog: After Vayne is mortally wounded, Venat offers up her immortality so that he doesn't have to die alone. Similarly, her final farewell to Dr. Cid, saying it was a pleasure working with him.
- Puny Humans: In sharp contrast to the rest of the Occuria, her motivation is that she does not believe that the Occuria (including herself) have the right to manipulate mortal affairs, and believes so precisely because the Occuria are above them."Indeed what claim does Gerun have on history's reins, seated on throne immortal, rent from time?"
- Purple Prose: Everything it says is flowery and poetic. As a reference to William Shakespeare, her sentences are constructed in iambic pentameter, aside from the actual words used.
- Real After All: The party all thought Doctor Cid was talking to himself. Then they find out Venat really does exist.
- Satan Is Good: A rogue god rebelling against the status quo and aiding the villains... and it turns out she's got quite benevolent and understandable reasons for it.
- Spirit Advisor: To Dr. Cid, then to Vayne after Cid's passing.
- Un-person: To the Occuria, by and large. The statue meant to represent her is noticeably absent from the Occuian Throne high atop Giruvegan, and Gerun places great emphasis on eliminating Venat explicitly when giving Ashe the Treaty Blade.
- Villainous Friendship: With Cid and Vayne. There is no manipulation on Venat's part, the two are actively aware of what they're doing with her and work towards the goal as her equals. Venat speaks and treats them like friends, not pawns or minions.
- Voice of the Legion: Has a distorted voice similar to the other Occuria.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: See the entry on Blue and Orange Morality. She's orchestrating a lot of war and destruction, but to a good end.
- You Are Not Alone: Venat forsakes her immortality so that Vayne does not have to die alone.
The Judges of Archadia
The Entire Group
The highest-ranking officers in Archadia short of the Imperial family. The Judges were created explicitly to serve as Judge, Jury, and Executioner, military and law enforcement personnel that could pass and carry out sentences with impunity to keep the peace as Archadia's borders expanded. The Judge Magisters in turn are the commanders of the Judges and are the absolute legal and military authority figures. They serve the current Imperial family, House Solidor, as both military commanders and personal bodyguards.
- Anti-Villain: Aside from the Ax-Crazy Judge Bergan, they all rank as Type Is, and individually they variably verge into the other three. All of the Judges (again, except for Bergan) show themselves to have some level of nobility and honor, and some do question the direction the rulers of Archadia are taking the country. In fitting with the Grey and Gray Morality of the game, it's just that they're on the other side of the war from the playable party, not that any of them (with the notable exception of Bergan) are really "evil".
- Badass Cape: Standard attire for them is a long black cape with the sigil of the Empire in red.
- Bonus Boss: In the Updated Re-release you fight all of them as a team.
- Double Weapon: Each judge has one, which is actually a Bifurcated Weapon that splits apart for them to Dual Wield.
- Evil Old Folks: With the exception of Gabranth, they all appear to be much older than the party or Gabranth.
- Five-Bad Band: Within themselves. Gabranth is their leader, Zargabaath is second-in-command, Ghis is the intellectual plotter, Bergan is the power-craving muscle, and Drace is the lone female. They also have a Sixth Ranger Traitor, Judge Zecht, who has been missing since the fall of Nabudis and is presumed dead or a deserter.
- Four-Star Badass: They're the commanders of Archadia's militia and they kick a lot of ass.
- Judge, Jury, and Executioner: Balthier sums them as "more executioners than judges."
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Their black cape with the Empire's symbol in red.
- Standard Evil Organization Squad: Each Judge has a distinct weapon and armor styling, and aside from being the enforcers of the Empire their individual goals and motives vary quite a bit.
- Tin Tyrant: All of them wear custom suits of full plate armor.
- Took a Level in Badass: In the game they mostly only use basic magic, if at all, and generally are not very impressive bosses, not counting the International rematch with all five of them. In the manga adaptation of the game, they're each upgraded to One-Man Army. Bergan and Drace march across a battlefield knocking troops aside with ease, and Ghis kills a Firemane with one hit. When a Judge takes the field in the manga, it's a sign to anyone not on their side to go Oh, Crap!.
"Silence! All was stripped from me. Only hatred for the brother who fled our homeland remains mine!"An Archadian Judge and the Emperor's right-hand man. The Emperor tasks him with protecting Larsa from the ugly side of politics and war. However, he becomes ensnared in Vayne's machinations and finds his loyalties to the Empire and Larsa tested. He has a deeper connection to the party than is first apparent, but it's a big spoiler how.He appears in Dissidia: Final Fantasy as a Hidden Character.
- Animal Motifs: A stray dog with no master nor any loyalty or honor for it. Invoked repeatedly by Vayne.
- Anti-Villain: He's a broken man who feels he has no honor or pride after discarding his loyalty to his homeland and his family to side with the Empire that destroyed them.
- Badass Baritone: His voice is quite deep, with or witout his mask.
- Badass Boast: "Even a stray has pride!"
- Break the Haughty: Actually he's already broke; the events of the game simply serve to break what little is left.
- Darth Vader Clone: His echoing voice, servitude to the Emperor, and armored appearance are the tip of the iceberg. He's also Basch's brother who joined the Empire, is deep down a demoralized and broken man, and is convinced by Basch to reclaim his honor and help them defeat Vayne, only to be mortally wounded for his efforts. And on top of this, he's considered more iconic and popular than Vayne, the actual Big Bad.
- The Dog Bites Back: Come the end of the game, he's finally had enough with his treatment and does something about it.Vayne: The hound strays... treason bears a price!
Gabranth: One I gladly pay!
- Determinator: Of the villainous kind, his hatred of Basch is all that keeps him going when he's lost everything else.
- The Dragon: He's the right-hand man of the Emperor who personally carries out missions. On a larger scale he's Co-Dragons with Zargabaath, who commands the main branch of the airship fleet.
- Eleventh Hour Ranger: Joins the party for the second-to-last fight of the game.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: "You confound me, brother! You failed Landis, you failed Dalmasca, all you were to protect. Yet you still hold on to your honor. How!?"
- Evil Counterpart: To Basch, as a disgraced Failure Knight who keeps fighting, but while Basch fights by holding to honor, Gabranth is motivated by hatred. He was also is an antithesis for Vaan and Ashe who at the games emotional apex chose to Turn the Other Cheek on the man who destroyed their entire lives while he's spent his life letting his hatred destroy him from the inside-out.
- Evil Twin: He's actually a Deconstruction of this trope, having initially had good reason to hate his brother. By the events of the game however, he was serving the country who originally assimilated his homeland. This may originally have been justified to him by his and Basch's mother being Archadian, but by the game's events he's gradually falling ever further, whereas Basch was able to put his life back together and fight on even when all his honor seemed lost. That neither side is entirely right or wrong keeps this trope from being played straight, much like the treatment given to so many other tropes in this game.
- Exact Words: After Vayne transforms into Vayne Novus, Vayne tells Gabranth to defend his brother, Larsa, as he will have "much need in the Hell to follow." Gabranth obeys the command to defend Lord Larsa... by turning his sword against Vayne and aiding the heroes instead.
- Failure Knight: For the Republic of Landis, his homeland that fell to the Empire.
- Guest-Star Party Member: When fighting Vayne Novus.
- Heel–Face Turn: Basch convinces him that it isn't too late to invoke this, motivating him to do so and help the party stop Vayne.
- Hunk: Easily this, especially when you see him out of his armor.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Villianous version.
- Kick the Dog: The way he tries to goad Ashe into taking revenge by rubbing in the fact that he murdered her father in cold blood.
- Recurring Boss: Gabranth is fought a few times, including once before confronting Vayne on the Sky Fortress Bahamut at the very end of the game.
- Redemption Equals Death: He finally redeems himself, but receives fatal wounds and perishes during the ending.
- Shadow Archetype: He is what Basch would have been had he failed to hold onto his principles and if he had chosen to serve Archadia rather than fight against it. Also, whereas Basch accepts the past for what it was, Gabranth constantly tries to cut ties with it, emphasis on 'tries'.
- Sixth Ranger Traitor: Played with in regards to the other Judge Magisters. Though he eventually turns on Archadia, by that time the Judges aside from him are as one.
- Sword Beam: His signature skill Innocence has him slash the air to sent out waves of energy.
- Unknown Rival: Is on both ends of the trope. He despises Basch and in every interaction with him mocks and goads him, while Basch remains calm and regards him with collected reassurance of himself. On the other end, Ashe and Vaan despise him, but they don't even meet until near the end of the game and Gabranth doesn't think much of their hate except to try and use it to manipulate Ashe.
- Take Up My Sword: When he passes his charge on to his brother.
- That Man Is Dead: Like so many characters, he's discarded his past and his true name. He's actually Basch's twin brother Noah. At the end of the game when Basch calls out to him as such, Gabranth mutters he's lost the right to use that name. He keeps trying to convince others he has cut all ties with the past, while in actuality he is still haunted by it.
- The Power of Hate: As said under Determinator above, this is what he has to motivate him now. Also deconstructed when we see just how hollow and broken he is for living such a life."Long have I walked in hatred's company. As long as I can curse your name I shall not be defeated!"
- Tragic Villain: The rest of the tropes here should make it quite obvious.
- Villainous Breakdown: Suffers this after it becomes clear that Basch was able to transcend his past and hardship while Gabranth is still empty and bitter. After Basch defeats him he finally lets go and performs a Heel–Face Turn.
- Wham Line: There's some hints beforehand who Gabranth really is, but he dispels any doubts when he delivers this doozy:"Yes, it was I who wore Basch's face, who cut down the lifeblood of Dalmasca. Lady Ashe! Your father's murderer is here!"
- What You Are in the Dark: Alone and able to express himself freely near the end of the game, Gabranth betrays Archadia and tries to goad Ashe into causing a war. Comes back to bite him when Cid steps from the shadows and calls him on his treachery.
- You Killed My Father: Ashe is not happy when Gabranth (almost gleefully) admits to killing her father and essentially ruining her life (of course, this was his intention with the confession).
"Too late, and to their sorrow, do those who misplace their trust in gods learn their fate."One of the Archadian Judges who believes that power and might are the key to ruling. As such he eagerly accepts Vayne as the new emperor when he takes power. Has a small but memorable role when he demonstrates the full extent of his brutality and cruelty.
Voiced by Yosuke Akimoto (Japanese) and Gary Martin (English)
- Ax-Crazy: He slaughters an entire mountain of peaceful refugees for no reason other than he can.
- Blood Knight: It's largely implied, but still demonstrated in-game. The manga adaptation shows this is his normal state, with him leading the assault on the Dalmascan troop at Nabudis and clearly enjoying himself immensely.
- The Brute: Of the Judge Magisters as a group, and of the Archadian military as a whole. Presumably.
- Deadly Upgrade: He had manufacted nethicite set into his bones. After the battle, a bright light appears on his chest accompanied by loud snapping noises. Balthier opens up his armor. His look of disgust and the snapping noises implies that the nethicite exploded Bergan's chest.
- Demonic Possession: Possibly by Venat, to precipitate the slaughter of the Kiltias and galvanize Ashe's retaliation.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Bar none the most morally repugnant of all the Judges, and he just so happens to have the deepest voice of them all.
- Face Palm of Doom: To Drace... With a steel gauntlet. That had to be painful.
- General Ripper: He firmly believes that a leader must be forceful, ruling with an iron fist and showing no mercy to enemies. This drives his loyalty to Vayne.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: If several of these tropes are any indication, Bergan was, if not kind, at least a more sane man at some point before the events of the game. Even in his first appearance in-story, he's rather brusque but somewhat level-headed. In his subsequent scenes, his taking manufacted nethicite into his body causes him to first brutally throw Drace across the room, followed by his slaughtering people at Mt Bur-Omisace before the nethicite destroys his body, killing him.
- Kick the Dog: A particularly brutal example. He slaughters the war refugees on Mt. Bur-Omisace as well as the worshippers watching over them. This earns the Empire no advantage and had no reason to be done; Bergan was just being a murderous bastard.
- Might Makes Right: Believes Vayne to be best suited to rule Ivalice by virtue of being the most powerful and ambitious.
- Nay-Theist: See his quote above.
- Psycho Supporter: To Vayne. He's his most loyal supporter but is clearly a bit nuts.
- Serrated Blade of Pain: His "sword" is a jagged mess of spikes instead of a proper blade.
- Super Strength: Justified, since he merged manufacted nethecite into his own body!
- Younger Than They Look: Perhaps the game's most extreme example - he's 33, making him the youngest Judge Magister seen in-game and the same age as Drace, yet he looks a good twenty years older when we see him out of armor.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: He's one of the most powerful men in the Empire, but also insane and devoid of morality.
"Spare me your lies! I see the serpent coiled here before me!"Another Archadian Judge, and a more reasonable one. Knowing Vayne is a power-hungry schemer, she conspires with Gabranth to protect Larsa from him if his ambitions go too far. It does not end well for her; when Vayne makes his play for power, she is executed.
Voiced by Yoko Soumi (Japanese) and Julia Fletcher (English)
- Breast Plate: Averted, her armor is subtly different from the male judges' in the chest and has a wider hip area, but still fits the same basic design and is perfectly practical for combat.
- Carry a Big Stick: Her weapon is a large club.
- The Dark Chick: The lone female Judge, and the only one not afraid to speak against Vayne's ruthlessness.
- Deadpan Snarker: Several times."You wear the mummer's motley well, Bergan."
- Disposable Woman: Unfortunately — largely due to being the only major female character outside the main playable cast.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The protrusions coming from the top of her helmet look a lot like ovaries.
- Face Death with Dignity: She simply asks her executioner make it quick.
- Go Out with a Smile: She does it, knowing that Gabranth will take care of Larsa in her stead.
- Honour Before Reason: She might have lived if she, like Zargabaath, had examined the situation with Vayne killing his father more rationally.
- Mama Bear: She's willing to commit treason if it means protecting Larsa.
- Magic Knight: When fought in Trial Mode she focuses on casting Status Buffs on herself and the other Judges and using the extremely powerful Shock spell.
- Only Sane Man: She's the only Judge willing to do anything when Vayne obviously kills Gramis as a pretense to dissolve the Senate and declare himself Emperor. Her above jab at Bergan is a sneer that he's going along with the cover story.
- Smurfette Principle: She's the only female Judge Magister.
- Sour Supporter: Towards Vayne, not disguising her disgust with his methods.
- Token Good Teammate: Alongside Zargabaath, she's the only Judge willing to speak out against Vayne's cruelty, and is a maternal figure towards Larsa. The former gets her killed for treason.
"Blood alone does not an emperor make, Vayne."An Archadian Judge who plays an important role in the early plot by capturing the party members multiple times. Unlike the other Judges, he only seems to be out for himself; in short, he's a careerist and a schemer who is always looking to advance his station.
Voiced by Ryusuke Obayashi (Japanese) and Mark Wing Davey (English)
- Bling of War: While the other Judges wear imposing silver and black armor, Ghis is quite a bit more stylish with a uniform of red and gold with matching weapons.
- The Chessmaster: Tries, but ultimately isn't as good as the bigger and more well-informed Chessmasters.
- Combat Hand Fan: His offhand weapon is a bladed one.
- Cool Sword: A stylishly gold plated one.
- The Corrupter: In the manga, he's the one who convinces Vossler the resistance is futile and he should ally with the Empire.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Seems to have shades of this in his first appearances — especially compared to Bergan — but it's really more that he prefers to not dirty his own hands if he can help it. When the party confronts him, he has no further issue with attempting to kill them, though it must be acknowledged that he doesn't appear to hold a grudge afterward. Say what you will about his ethics — or lack thereof — but don't mistake him for a simple-minded mass-murderer.
- Faux Affably Evil: He's definitely cultured and polite, rarely if ever losing his composure even when Ashe's group is fighting against him to escape the Dreadnought Leviathan. He's also got an enormous ego and an inflated opinion of himself which comes from being a cunning social climber. For instance, take this quote — the "last encounter" he refers to was when he launched a Flare spell at Ashe fully intending to kill her."Such a tremendous honor to again be graced with your presence, Majesty. You left us with such great dispatch upon our last encounter that I must confess... I had begun to worry that we may have given some cause for offense."
- Hoist by His Own Petard: He decides to stick a piece of deifacted nethicite in his airship's machines to test how powerful it is. It's so powerful it blows up the fleet.
- I Gave My Word: A villainous example, Vaan hands him the Dusk Shard but asks he promise not to execute anyone. Ghis doesn't voice agreement, but does order they be imprisoned rather than have them killed, even though three of the party members hold no political value.
- Jerkass: He's polite, yes, but still a creep.
- Magic Knight: He has an Aero spell which is very powerful at the time you fight him and appears to cast Flare during a cutscene. In the Trial Mode battle he will pull out powerful debuffing magic with Curse, Status-Buff Dispel your own buffs en-mass and packs the very powerful Scourge spell.
- Oh, Crap!: When he realizes exactly what's about to happen to the Leviathan after the deifacted nethicite goes in the ship's drive, and the readings go red.
- Pragmatic Villainy: He recognizes the value in using Ashe as a political pawn to placate Dalmasca's citizens, rather than just having her killed.
- Smug Snake: He's eternally confident and condescending. And his lack of control and foresight gets him blown up.
- The Starscream: He makes a very revealing comment right before his death that implies he'll use the nethicite to put himself on the Archadian throne.
- Starter Villain: The primary Imperial representative to oppose the party in the first act of the game. The manga adaptation effectively elevates him to Big Bad, on account the other villains are Demoted to Extra as a result of the manga being cut short.
- Too Dumb to Live: Really, Ghis — you just had to test the deifacted nethicite while on an airship, not stopping to consider just how powerful it must be if King Raithwall used it to conquer the lands all those years ago? With no safety precautions, or even knowledge of how nethicite actually works? You were asking for trouble.
- The Unfettered: Self-admitted."Methods do not interest me. Only results."
- Unwitting Pawn: Of Vayne and Cid, to see just how powerful deifacted nethicite could be.
- Villainous Breakdown: He finally loses his cool when the deifacted nethicite proves too powerful to control and starts to overload his airship's engines.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Invokes it on Ashe; now that the Empire has the Dawn Shard, they don't need the actual Princess anymore to claim her title.
"The Empire's debts grow legion."The final of the five Archadian Judges seen in the game, he's more the quiet type and acts as a voice of reason among them. He's an honorable sort, loyal to Archadia as a nation and ideal rather than any person who's in charge.
Voiced by Ryuzaburo Otomo (Japanese) and Simon Templeman (English)
- Anti-Villain: Type IV. Zargabaath never acts evil in any way, he's just on Archadia's side is all.
- Combat Medic: Zargabaath's designation when fighting alongside his fellow judges in Trial Mode is to heal the others with items.
- The Dragon: He's the eldest of the Judges, and he's also commander of the Alexander, the flagship of Archadia's largest airship fleet. This also makes him Co-Dragons with Gabranth, who is the Emperor's personal aide.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Fitting given he's not all that evil to begin with. He'll engage the resistance fleet in a battle, but when the Sky Fortress Bahamut is destroyed and her wreck is about to fall on Rabanastre, Zargabaath calls up the enemy and asks for their aid in stopping it (or at least, for them to not interfere while he tries on his own).
- Healing Potion: In the Bonus Boss battle with him and the judges in Trial Mode he heals his fellow judges with Elixers and will turn his healing items on you if you attempt to applyReverse to your party members.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Subverted at the last second and called a fool for his efforts. He intends to ram the falling Sky Fortress Bahamut with his airship to keep it from falling on Rabanastre, but Balthier is indignant that he and his efforts to repair the engines are being ignored.
- Minor Major Character: He has the smallest role of the Judge Magisters, yet plays a relatively major role in the final stages of the game.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: He loyally serves the Empire even as he disagrees with what its leaders are doing.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: Zargabaath will express unhappiness with Vayne's deeds and try to appeal to Vayne's better nature, but he follows Vayne's orders to the letter and expects the other Judges to do the same - he gets angry when Drace even begins to suggest that the Judges do something about Vayne. It isn't Vayne personally he's this loyal to though, but whoever the ruler of Archadia is.
- Only Sane Man: He and Judge Drace are probably the most level-headed and reasonable of the Judges, but unlike Drace he tends to keep his thoughts to himself and refrains from antagonizing his lords. This may be one of the reasons he's the only Judge still alive by the end.
- Pet the Dog: He attempts to talk Vayne out of killing Drace.
- The Quiet One: Even when he does appear, he doesn't talk much.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Easily the sanest Judge Magister, and arguably more reasonable than both the Senate and the ruling family.
- Satellite Character: Zargabaath gets enough screentime to establish his own character, but doesn't really do anything proactive in terms of story, and if he was quietly cut from the game's plot and replaced with a generic Judge character for most of his scenes, his absence would be negligible. It's telling the only thing he really gets to do himself happens during the ending of the game.
- To Be Lawful or Good: For most of the game, Zargabaath decides on being lawful — either regretting what he's witnessing but not stepping in (like when Bergan went berserk at Mt Bur-Omisace), or appealing to Vayne, being rejected, and going along with it (when Vayne orders Drace's execution).
- Token Good Teammate: Shares this role with Drace: Zargabaath is honourable and a good man among traitors and psychopaths. This is exemplified when he offers to sacrifice himself to save the city of Rabanastre for no other reason than it being the right thing to do.
- The Unfought: Along with Drace, until the Updated Re-release.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Despite surviving the game, Zargabaath has no mention in the ending or the sequel. His fate is a complete mystery, though it most probable he returned to Archadia with Larsa and Basch and continued to serve with them. He was intended to have a role in the canceled Fortress spin-off that would have confirmed this.
"How fares the hunt, kupo?"Originally appearing in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, he reprises his role in running Clan Centurio, which will offer you monster hunting sidequests.
- Batman Gambit: The Belito hunt is a hoax he puts out in the hopes of drawing out whoever has been attacking clan members on hunts.
- Breakout Character: Probably the most iconic thing to the Ivalice Alliance after Judges, which is why he came back for this game.
- Edible Theme Naming: Named after this.
- It's Personal: There's a few Elite Marks he puts up bills for himself, because of this trope. This includes the game's Superboss.
- Manipulative Bastard: See Revenge trope below. As adorable as he looks, as patient and kind as he is towards Clan members, his ulterior motives essentially boil down to this. Whether the player sympathizes with him afterwards is another story.
- Mythology Gag: The names of the prominent members of Clan Centurio; Kjrn, Ma'kenroh, Emet and Monid where Clan Nutsy's founding clan members in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. Unfortunately in the English version of Tactics Advance these names are randomized so the reference is mostly Lost in Translation.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: He's a moogle — being adorable is part of the package.
- Revenge: His beloved master was slain by the great beast Yiazmat, and all the master's disciples were scattered to the winds. He created Clan Centurio in order to find (or train) the one warrior who would be able to match and slay Yiazmat and thus avenge his master by proxy.
- Verbal Tic Since he's a moogle, he automatically uses "kupo".
"The whole affair has the smell of money. I may have to whet my beak a little."Ba'Gamnan is a bangaa bounty hunter with his eye set on claiming Balthier's bounty. He is incredibly cruel and his methods are wildly illegal. Such methods include kidnapping and attacking innocents to draw out his prey. Ba'Gamnan himself is the green bangaa shown at the bottom, the others are his siblings/minions, brothers Gijuk and Bwagi, and sister Rinok.
Ba'Gamnan is voiced by Koji Ishii (Japanese) and Steve Blum (English)
- Ax-Crazy: All of them, as their combined bestiary entry states.
- Blade on a Stick: In the original game, Rinok fights with spears.
- Bounty Hunter: He's tracking Balthier to bring him to justice, but only for the money.
- Casting a Shadow: Ba'Gamnan has the Souleater skill, the typical ability of the Dark Knight. Revenant Wings makes it his class and gives him Dark Aura and Drain to go with Souleater.
- Chainsaw Good On A Stick: Ba'Gamnan's weapon is a rotating saw blade on a pole.
- Color-Coded Characters: Each of the four is colored differently. Ba'Gamnan is bright green, Gijuk is dark green, Bwagi is grey-blue, and Rinok is lavender.
- Demoted to Extra: Ba'Gamnan appears shortly into the beginning with an established desire to get Balthier, and soon after kidnaps Penelo to lure Balthier in. In the following battle, he's so tough it's actually recommended to run from him rather than fight (unless the player's been Level Grinding). Sounds like he'll be a major recurring antagonist, right? Well... no, actually. He basically disappears from the main plot altogether, reappearing as part of a Hunt, and that's it for his appearances in Final Fantasy XII. He does become a recurring villain in Revenant Wings. You even get the chance to play as him for a brief portion of the game.
- Disney Villain Death: He's last seen falling off a refinery tower into the depths of the Sandsea. He gets better in Revenant Wings.
- Expy: Fitting with Balthier being an Expy of Han Solo, Ba'Gamnan is his Boba Fett, allying with the Empire to track him down.
- Fire/Ice/Lightning: Bwagi can cast spells in these three elements. Gijuk uses the three colored fangs for the same.
- Goldfish Poop Gang: He and his siblings in Revenant Wings serve as recurring bosses.
- Guest-Star Party Member: In Revenant Wings, he's playable. And hates every second of it.
- The Gunslinger: Gijuk's weapon is a gun in cutscenes. He trades it in for a crossbow in the actual fights.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: Subverted. As mentioned above, he and his flunkies appear as enemies after Penelo is rescued, but unless the party is overleveled they're near impossible to defeat, so it's generally better to run.
- I Have Your Wife: He kidnaps Penelo in XII and Filo in Revenant Wings, both times to use as leverage against Vaan and Balthier. It fails both times due to them being rescued. He even attempted to kidnap Fran in Revenant Wings, though Vaan nipped those plans in the bud.
- Knife Nut: Bwagi and Rinok fight with daggers in Revenant Wings.
- Lizard Folk: As bangaa, they're lizard-men and women.
- Loves the Sound of Screaming: Gijuk.
- Satellite Character: Ba'Gamnan's siblings mostly exist just to be his minions.
- Sibling Team: All 4 of them are siblings.
- The Smurfette Principle: One of his minions is the only noteworthy female Bangaa of the entire story.
- Unusable Enemy Equipment: Subverted, their weapons are all obtainable in-game: Rinok wields the Gungnir and the Javelin, while Gijuk has the Aldebran and the Bowgun. The exception is Ba'Gamnan's weapon, a sort of buzzsaw polearm.
Mysterious beings known as The Undying who act as Gods over Ivalice and dwell within the Great Crystal high above Giruvegan where not even airships can reach.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Essentially, they view their actions as promoting peace among mortals. Sometimes their actions can make things look beneficial, but if they see something as an obstacle to their vision of how the world should be, they will take any means to remove it, regardless of what it is.
- Energy Beings: They are mysterious floating masses of mist with blank faces and glowing eyes.
- Enigmatic Empowering Entity: Whatever they are, they grant their favor to those who they deem worthy of power.
- God Is Evil: What Venat thinks, anyways. Not to say she isn't probably right, though.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Their control over history is what spurred Venat to turn, making them responsible for the whole plot. They also act as a collective Greater-Scope Villain for the entire Ivalice Alliance, given how every other game set in Ivalice (except for Tactics Advance) follow this one chronologically.
- Invisible to Normals: Well, to anyone they don't want to talk to anyway.
- Jerkass Gods: Beyond their manipulations, if they see something as an obstacle to how they think the world should be, they don't care if its an entire country, they will use any means to remove it.
- Manipulative Bastard: They manipulate Ashe's emotions via visions of Rasler to encourage her to fight Arcadia.
- No Gender: None of the Occuria are clearly male or female.
- Our Ghosts are Different: It is they who conjure the ghosts of Rasler and Reks to manipulate Ashe and Vaan.
- Screw You, Elves!: Venat's opinion of them, feeling they have no right to manipulate mortals. Ashe has it by the end of the game.
- Top God: Gerun is their leader.
- Voice of the Legion: Their voices all echo.
The summons of the game. They rebelled against the gods that created them (presumably the Occuria) for various reasons and were imprisoned in various parts of Ivalice.
- An Ice Person: Mateus, Esper of Ice that attacks with Blizzaja and Flash Freeze.
- Arm Cannon: Shemhazai has crossbows attached to her arms that she uses during her Limit Break.
- Zeromus has an organic one on his right arm that he uses for his Limit Break.
- Badass Beard: Hashmal and Exodus have one.
- Badass Grandpa: Exodus has the general appearance of an old man.
- Beast Man: Hashmal has leonine features to go with the zodiac sign of Leo.
- The Beastmaster: The bestiary says that Adrammelech led an army of monsters against his creators.
- Beware My Stinger Tail: Cúchulainn has one that sprouts out of his back during his Limit Break.
- Blow You Away: Chaos, Esper of Wind who attacks with Aeroja, Whirlwind and Aeroga.
- Bonus Boss: You only need to fight five of them in the main storyline.
- Boss Room: Most of them use fairly standard ones.
- Cap: In Tactics A2, summoning Zodiark has a 50% chance of dealing 999 damage to each unit on both sides.
- Casting a Shadow: Zodiark. Esper of Darkness. The Element is instead given to Zalera in Revenant Wings and Tactics A2. In XII, however, his unique ability Banish Ray is dark-elemental and he uses Darkja when fought.
- Cat Folk: Hashmal is a humanoid lion in keeping with him corresponding to the Western Zodiac sign Leo.
- Checkpoint Starvation: There's no save crystal before facing Zodiark. Likewise, Chaos is in an area with no save crystals.
- Colony Drop: Exodus's attacks Comet and Meteor invoke this, as does his pre-battle cutscene.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: See Field Power Effect below. Some of the Espers can even become temporarily invincible for a time by using Perfect Defense.
- Defeat Means Playable: You can recruit them by defeating them.
- Dem Bones: Zalera. Several skeletons also appear during his boss fight.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Hashmal, Esper of Earth. When fought, he uses Quakeja and an ability called Roxxor, which tosses a boulder at the target.
- Double Unlock: You have to defeat them and activate them on the license board.
- Evil Counterpart: All of the Espers except for Ultima and Zodiark have a counterpart who remained loyal to their creators. You don't get to meet them in-game, though.
- Elemental Powers:
- Each Esper is associated with a specific element, though five of them are Non-Elemental in terms of game mechanics.
- Expy: Of the final bosses of earlier games in multiple cases. Cúchulainn, Belias, Zalera, Adrammelech, Hashmal, Zodiark, and Ultima hail from Final Fantasy Tactics (which is set in the same continuity as XII), while most of the others are based on the final bosses of Final Fantasy I (Chaos), II (Mateus), III (Famfrit) IV (Zeromus), and V (Exodus). Only Shemhazai has no clear counterpart in the previous games.
- Fallen Angel: All of them, thematically. Ultima is a literal one, having an angelic design.
- Flunky Boss: Mateus, Cúchulainn, Zalera and Chaos, all summon minions to aid them. Subverted with Adrammelech and Zeromus. The enemies in their areas spawn whether the Espers are there or not, and do so continuously.
- Field Power Effect: Several of them have these when you fight them. They include disabling magic, disabling basic attacks, disabling items, draining health and draining magic. Ultima cycles through them as well as two others used by other bosses.
- Fixed Damage Attack: Zodiark's Limit Break does exactly 50,000 damage. Summoning Zodiark in Tactics A2 has a 50% chance of hitting each unit on both sides for 999 damage.
- Gender Flip: A minor example. Famfrit is based on the female Cloud of Darkness, but is described as being male.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Adrammelech has eyes that glow yellow in the sandstorm of the Zertinan Caverns.
- Gravity Master: Zeromus, Esper of Gravity with attacks like Graviga and Gravity Well.
- The Grim Reaper: Zalera was supposed to be this before he rebelled.
- Guns Akimbo: Shemhazai uses 2 crossbows at once.
- Horned Humanoid: Chaos, Exodus's humanoid section and Belias all have horns. Hashmal has antlers.
- Kill Sat: Ultima's Limit Break animation shows her doing this if you can get her to use it.
- Life Drain: Cúchulainn's unique ability is Malaise, which is basically a much more powerful Drain spell.
- Light 'em Up: Ultima, Esper of Holy. She uses Holy and Holyja when fought and has a unique ability called Redemption. Zalera also knows Holy and is a holy-aligned Esper in Revenant Wings.
- Limit Break: They all have an ultimate attack they can use that instantly dismisses their summoning when used.
- Living Battery: That blue woman isn't actually Mateus. She's an ice goddess he's using as a power source. Zalera's shamaness has a similar function.
- Making a Splash: Famfrit, Esper of Water with the attacks Briny Cannonade and Waterja.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Belias has a larger pair of arms for attacking and a smaller pair that he seems to use to cast magic.
- Mythology Gag: Chaos, Mateus, Famfrit, Zeromus and Exodus are all references to the final bosses of the first five Final Fantasies. Famfrit's reference is through his title of the Darkening Cloud, which the Japanese version renders as "the Cloud of Darkness."
- Necromancer: Zalera wields the element of Death, and aside from using Instant Death attacks summons undead enemies to aid it in battle.
- Omnicidal Maniac: There was a good reason for imprisoning some of them, namely Exodus. Not surprising considering who he's based on.
- One-Hit Kill: Zalera does this both when summoned and during his boss fight. Zodiark's Darkja ability inflicts this in addition to blind to the entire party. It's less likely to take effect than the blind effect, but there's nothing that grants you immunity to it.
- One-Way Visor: The shamaness attached to Zalera's arm has one.
- Order vs. Chaos: Hashmal's motivation for rebelling was that he saw himself as a bringer of order.
- Our Centaurs Are Different: Shemhazzai is a partly-mechanical centaur, but in contrast to the typical depiction is more like a humanoid horse with parts of a horse body extending from her head.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Adrammelech is a dragon with some goat-like features such as hooves.
- Our Mermaids Are Different: Mateus. See that blue woman? That's not him. He's the fish thing she's attached to.
- Our Monsters Are Weird: Mateus and Zeromus particularly. Belias might also count for looking like two humanoids fused together, giving him two heads.
- Non-Elemental: Exodus has no official elemental alignment, but his "element" is clearly the Colony Drop, being that he wields Comet and Meteor.
- Cu Culainn, Shemhazai, Zalera and Zeromus are all this is terms of game mechanics. In Revenant Wings, Zalera is holy-aligned instead and in Tactics A2, he replaces Zodiark as the dark Esper. Zodiark becomes non-elemental in Revenant Wings and Tactics A2.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Zodiark is the smallest of the Espers, but easily one of the hardest bosses in the game and the most powerful Esper. In fact, his power was the exact reason his creators sealed him away.
- Playing with Fire: Belias, Esper of Fire and attacking with Painflare, Hellfire, and Firaja.
- Poisonous Person: Cúchulainn, Esper of Poison with the attacks Bio, Malaise, and Toxify.
- Power Gives You Wings: Zodiark has twelve of them during his Limit Break and keeps them during Revenant Wings. They're so big that you can barely see his actual body in the center.
- Prongs of Poseidon: Mateus' Weapon of Choice.
- Retcon: Tactics A2 gives Zalera power over darkness instead of Zodiark and Revenant Wings makes him holy-aligned.
- Revenge: Belias rebelled out to get revenge on his creators for considering him defective and useless.
- Reincarnation: Chaos had this as a form of immortality.
- Shoot the Hostage: Mateus and Zalera were both banished with their living power sources.
- Shock and Awe: Adrammelech, Esper of Lightning with Thundara, Thundaja, and Flash Arc.
- Significant Anagram: Zalera -> Azrael. The Angel of Death.
- Soul Power: Shemhazai, Esper of Soul with the attacks Soul Purge and Devour Soul.
- Summon Magic: Instant-ally variety, though you can't directly control them. In Tactics A2, the trinkets used to summon them are use the single-attack variety.
- Standard Status Effects: Most of them can inflict at least one during their battles, often as an additional effect of their basic attacks.
- The Starscream: They are punished for rebelling against the gods.
- Timed Mission: Zalera's boss fight. You are ejected from the battle and have to start over when the timer runs out.
- Total Party Kill: Zodiark's Darkja ability can inflict KO to each individual party member, with the potential to do this. This is in addition to inflicting Blind, which doesn't wear off after a character is KO'd.
- Western Zodiac: They're each associated with one of the twelve signs, and Zodiark is the thirteenth as the serpent.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: The Bestiary has this as Chaos's motive for rebelling.
"You must give your anima to the heavens! Only then will you fly on wings undying!"The self proclaimed God of the aegyl. He has been alive for a long time, thanks to the Auracite. With the barrier around Lemurés gone, he has started a plot to get revenge on the world. This vengeance is prompted by the Occuria, who tried to dominate the aegyl, thus causing Feolthanos to take them to Lemurés.
- A God Am I: Considers himself the God of the aegyl.
- Big Bad: He manipulates the Judge of Wings and is the true antagonist of the game.
- Emotion Eater: He eats the Anima of his people and all who use the Auracite to become more powerful.
- God Is Evil: For a certain value of "god."
- Immortality Immorality: His immortality has entirely detached him from any sense of morals.
- Interspecies Romance: He and an unnamed viera woman are the ancestors of the Feol Viera.
- One-Winged Angel: Transforms into Feolthanos Exultant for the final battle.
- Winged Humanoid: As an aegyl, he has a large pair of wings.
The Judge of Wings
"Illusion is the only true reality."A mysterious armored figure who aims to invade Ivalice from the floating continent of Lemurés and start a war between the aegyl and humes. Sky Pirates call her the Judge of Wings due to her resemblance to the Archadian Judges.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Thanks to Feolthanos, her mind is not her own and she causes chaos over Ivalice.
- Break the Cutie: The results of Velis' death were... not good for her sanity.
- Death Equals Redemption: She finds peace and redemption when she's killed.
- Easily Forgiven: After killing off her race (who were entirely innocent), playing mind games and whatever, the party (save maybe Fran and Balther) is all sympathy. What?!
- Possibly justified, seeing she was Brainwashed and Crazy.
- Last of His Kind: She is the last of the Feol Viera, a subspecies born from the union between aegyl and Viera.
- Love Makes You Evil: The loss of her love sparked a chain of events that led her to villainy.
- Samus Is a Girl: It's a woman underneath that armor.
- Tragic Dream: The only thing she wanted was to revive Velis, and look what the results were.
- Tin Tyrant: Wears an imposing suit of winged armor.
"I'm gonna learn to fly all by myself! I wanna fly higher than anyone's ever flown before!"Another orphan from lowtown, Filo follows faithfully in Vaan's footsteps. She still bears the emotional scars of the war, but she doesn't let them interfere with her dream of becoming a sky pirate. She actually appears in Final Fantasy XII, but doesn't do anything until the sequel, where she's part of the main party.
- Ascended Extra: Just one of Vaan's friends in the original game, and now a party member.
- Cheerful Child: Just look at her quote for an example. She's a very cheerful young girl.
- Distressed Damsel: Like Penelo before her, she gets kidnapped by Ba'Gamnan, but is quickly rescued.
- Improbable Weapon User: She fights using a Skybandit, a hovering surfboard.
- Kid Sidekick: In Revenant Wings, she serves as one to Vaan.
- Little Miss Badass: She's only eleven years old in Revenant Wings, yet is more than able to hold her own in battle.
- Trap Master: Her Job relies on her setting traps to lower enemy stats.
"I got my hands full watching the shop... and Old Dalan had something for me to do, but I can't get away."An orphan living in Rabanastre's Lowtown, Kytes is one of Vaan's closest friends. Hoping to become a sky pirate himself, Kytes practices magick with single-minded determination. Like Filo, he appears as an orphan in Lowtown in Final Fantasy XII proper, but doesn't have any real characterization until the sequel.
- Ascended Extra: From a bit-player supporting character to party member.
- Black Mage: His job class, and he specializes in offensive magic for it.
- Child Mage: He's only 10.
- Elemental Powers: Naturally, as a Black Mage his spells are mostly elemental.
A warrior from the sky continent of Lemurés. He exhibits a curiosity not commonly found among the Aegyl, for which he is regarded as something as a curiosity himself
- Death from Above: He's a Dragoon, so of course he can Jump.
Apparently a former soldier of Dalmasca, the party encounters him on their quest and he aids them for a time.
- Dead All Along: He's actually a specter of himself in life.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Is a typical Knight In Shining Armour fighting for the girl and his country.
- No Pronunciation Guide: Going off the Japanese text, his name is pronounced "Willis".
- Replacement Goldfish: Of Penelo's older brothers.