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A list of characters from Final Fantasy XII and its sequel Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings. Note that some spoilers are unmarked.

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Click here for his Revenant Wings appearance 

"One of these days I’ll fly an airship of my own. I’ll be a sky pirate, free to go where I will."

Voiced by Kouhei Takeda (Japanese) and Bobby Edner (English)

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.

For tropes pertaining to him in Tactics A2, click here.
  • 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: Vaan's intended to be this for the player, acting as a grounded viewpoint to the games setting and world. As a regular guy caught up in the narrative, he tries his hardest to keep up, which makes him a vessel for the player through which the world is explained to the viewer.
  • 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. Exemplified toward Kytes and Filo in Revenant Wings.
  • 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.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Tidus was a Fish out of Water while Vaan never goes too far from his Homeland, at least in this game. While Tidus is relegated to the back when meeting the locals, Vaan is The Face because the rest of the party are wanted men. Tidus ultimately is in his own story and Vaan is the viewpoint of several. Lastly Tidus became an Official Couple with the High Summoner while Vaan has a very low-key relationship with Penelo.
  • Deadpan Snarker: In Tactics A2 and Revenant Wings. Likewise in XII, too, when he get's particularly annoyed or peeved at someone or something. Although in XII, this is more noticeable prior to Ashe joining the party permanently. And the player is just as likely to see Vaan on the end of another Deadpan Snarker, particularly during his more naive moments.
  • Decoy Protagonist: He's the initial viewpoint character, but once Ashe joins the party the story begins focusing on her development a lot more than his. He remains important to the plot throughout the entire game simply by virtue of being a Foil to Ashe and a valuable party member.
  • Depending on the Artist: As noted above, whether or not and to what extent Vaan being a sensibly dark-skinned desert-nation-dweller or suspiciously Nordic will depend on the art style and artist who composes his given appearance.
    • Similarly, just how atheltic and hunky Vaan is depends on the artsyle, and even the very game or piece of media itself. In XII, FMV sequences portray Vaan at his most buff. Revenant Wings revamps him to appear more sterotypically "youthful kid", downplaying his physique tremendously most of the time. Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, conversely, plays up his buff-ness, showing Vaan at his most cut. Tactics A2 downplays only insofar as his loose-fitting shirt doesn't flatter his muscle tone as clearly as his vest does, but he generally back to be more atheletic in appearance than Revenant Wings.
  • Deuteragonist: After the plot shifts to Ashe, he's still the viewpoint protagonist, her Foil, and, as her Morality Pet, one of the keys to Ashe's Character Development.
  • Expy: Matching the several parallels to Star Wars, Vaan is a blond-haired hero who came from a desert settlement and is able to use a form of magic in battle to aid him, all of which bring to mind Luke Skywalker.
  • 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.
  • False Flag Operation: He pulls this off near the end of XII. He uses Balthier's vocal modulator to pose as Larsa Solidor to convince Marquis Ondore to hold back his airship charge against the Sky Fortress Bahamut so they can board it and have a shot at taking out Vayne and the Mist Cannon before it destroys Ondore's fleet and drops the rubble on Rabanastre.
  • Flanderization: In the game proper and Revenant Wings, Vaan is portrayed as an Idiot Hero street urchin, having his moments of being gullible and cocky, as well as being Hot-Blooded and easily angered, but never is this shown as his one defining trait, instead just a part of his character that also makes room for him to be insightful, able to reflect on his own life decisions and learn from them, as well as providing his own form of wisdom to Ashe later in the game. He does have a few occasional jokes and scenes where the party doesn't take him seriously or scoff at his naivety, but they still regard both him and Penelo as valuable allies. The manga and Dissidia 012, however, crank up his idiocy and naivety to the point of stereotyping, as he becomes exceedingly immature and comedic to the point where he forgets people's names often, and has three pre-battle dialogues in the latter game where he asks for the opponent's age, and reacts to Feral Chaos like a child getting to a new boss in a video game.
  • 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.
  • Heroic Build: Outside of Revenant Wings where the artstyle portrays Vaan to look more like the stereotypical idea of a young teenager, Vaan is a very athletically toned guy. His explicit training against the rats in the Garamsythe Waterway and other like things proves to be quite the exercise regiment, which his desert-dweller's atire shows off well. This is even remarked in-universe: a Jaharan Garif notes that Vaan is surprsingly well-built for someone his young age (17, so not an unrealistic thing at that point).
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Swords are his starting weapon and preferred weapons in sequels and in the artwork. They (along with sabers and blades anyway) are the only weapons available to the Sky Pirate class in Tactics A2. The Updated Re-release instead gives him a dagger to start with.
  • 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 largely unremarked upon in-game, he can see the same spectral vision of Gerun posing as Rasler that Ashe can throughout the game, though to him the specter takes the form of his dead brother Reks. The main point of the revelation is to reassure Ashe that she's not crazy and to hint that she might be being manipulated by it, while the deeper meaning appears to be that Gerun and the Occuria are dry-running him to be Take Two at this whole "Modern Dynast-King" bit should Ashe fail.
  • Jumped at the Call: In Revenant Wings, he jumps on the first opportunity he saw to go on another adventure.
  • Knight, Knave, and Squire: The squire to Basch's knight and Balthier's knave. Vaan is callow and impressionable and he quickly picks up from both Basch and Balthier and eventually becomes a full fledged sky pirate himself.
  • The Lancer: Vaan plays this role to Ashe, by being her foil given that he is a street urchin in contrast to the refugee princess when both have lost family to the Arcadian empire and both are groomed to replaced the Dynast King.
  • Legendary in the Sequel: Already a world-famous sky pirate in Final Fantasy Tactics A2
  • Leitmotif: Associated with the cutscene-specific song "The Dream to be a Sky Pirate", which plays as he affirms said dream to Penelo at the start of the game, with an air of inspiration and freedom. The main notes come from the song later used as the theme for the Salikawood.
  • 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.
  • Lovable Rogue: Vaan is a skilled thief and pickpocket but one with a strong heart and drive to do what's right.
  • 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 strength is slightly nerfed, but overall he remains a powerhouse allowing him to be flexibly placed in any job.
  • Morality Pet: Serves a variation of this trope for Ashe. Because Vaan is a citizen of Dalmasca who's lost loved ones to the war, he's essentially going through the same beats as her, but catching on quicker: at first he lets his hatred for the Empire dominate his judgement and acts recklessly because of it, until he grows out of this mindset in favor of simply protecting his homeland. The Occuria even try to use him as they're doing to Ashe, but unlike her, his doubts vanish way faster and he refuses to take revenge for Reks' death, knowing full well it won't do him any good. Ashe follows Vaan's example and rebels against the Occuria in the process.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Screw You, Elves!: His thoughts on the Occuria. Right after seeing Gerun he sees them all as conceited and manipulative.
  • 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 Occuria's plan B since he saw Reks at first where Ashe saw Rasler. He's 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.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Tomaj in Revenant Wings. Tomaj even admits in one of his logs that he doesn't like Vaan, despite following along on their airship for the adventure. The two of them often butt heads but definitely help each other out.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: The little vest he wears in XII doesn't leave much to the imagination of what his torso looks like. Of course, considering where he was born and raised — a desert nation — it makes perfect sense that he'd wear light clothing whenever possible. Many Dalmascan men and boys wear less. Averted in Tactics A2, where a now slightly older and more seasoned and established Sky Pirate Vaan wears a swashbuckler's loose-fit white shirt, leaning into said swashbuckler's aesthetic.
  • Worlds Greatest Warrior: Games set after 12 paint him as being the greatest Sky Pirate in the world.
  • World's Strongest Man: If you take down the Bonus Boss of 12, as it was the most powerful creature in Ivalice, Vaan is then recognized as the new strongest creature in Ivalice.

Click here for her Revenant Wings appearance 

"I'll be going too, of course. Every good sky pirate needs a partner, right?"

Voiced by Marina Kozawa (Japanese) and Cat Taber (English)

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.

For tropes pertaining to her in Tactics A2, click here.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Leitmotif: "Penelo's Theme", which sounds appropriately cheerful and optimistic.
  • 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: A short and slight sixteen-year-old girl is an accomplished warrior thanks to the tutelage of her elder brothers. As Vaan's partner in Revenant Wings and Tactics A2, she goes on to become 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 need skill and luck to chain together. In Revenant Wings she gets Dance of Rapture instead, a full party heal and revival ability that she gets from defeating Ultima.
  • Magic Dance: All her Quickenings and non-White Magic skills in Revenant Wings and Tactics A2. Her quickenings in particular are based on ice-dancing and figure skating maneuvers.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: In both Dissidia games, she says she thinks that the Cloud of Darkness' snake creatures is "cute."
  • Odd Friendship: With Larsa. She's a Dalmascan commoner just getting by, while he's an Archadian prince being groomed to lead an entire nation. This is actually important, as their ability to become friends shows that Dalmasca and Archades's empire and people may be able to get along. They still communicate regularly through letters and remain, close friends, even 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 skill set. 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 talks 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 have the lowest strength and HP scores. Amusingly she has a very high vitality making her an ideal wielder of axes and grenades.
  • Tagalong Kid: Even more so than Vaan, who's motivated by his vendetta in Reks' name and being the Audience Surrogate. Penelo is just there for him.
  • Team Mom: To the war orphans in Lowtown.
  • White Mage: In Revenant Wings and Tactics A2, 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.

Click here for his Revenant Wings appearance 

"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."

Voiced by Hiroaki Hirata (Japanese) and Gideon Emery (English)

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 a 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 lives 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?"
  • Catchphrase: "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 Archadia, Balthier realized what Dr. Cid had become and defected from the empire.
  • Expy: Of Han Solo; a snarky gunslinging outlaw with a Cool Ship and a Non-Human Sidekick that gets roped into the adventure on the promise of money and sticks around when he becomes friends with the cast.
  • 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 among 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.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Balthier is introduced as The Gunslinger and joins with the appropriate equipment and licenses for the role. However, he has a custom gun animation that is actually slower and longer than every other character using a gun, making him the worst gun wielder in the party. Conversely, despite seeming to be The Dandy and a Rogue, he has one of the best strength stats in the game, a close second only to a tie between Vaan and Basch, and impressive HP growths, making him well suited to frontline combat with hard-hitting weapons and heavy armor.
  • Gentleman Thief: Looter and pilferer as he may be, Balthier never stops being educated and charming.
  • Guest Fighter: In the Updated Re-release of Final Fantasy Tactics.
  • Hero Protagonist: 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.
  • Giant Wall of Watery Doom: His Tides of Fate quickening involves conjuring a massive tsunami on enemies.
  • The Gunslinger: Ironically the special animation he has with guns makes his firing speed a fraction of a second slower then other characters.
  • 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 he doesn't show it much 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, but that's about it.
  • Instant Runes: All three of Balthier's quickenings have arcane geometries involved, the runes themselves being based on navigational equipment such as compasses, portolan and sea-charts as a reference to Balthier's pirate status.
  • Knight, Knave, and Squire: The knave to Basch's knight and Vaan's squire. Balthier quickly takes a shine to Vaan and takes him under his wing, showing him the ropes of sky piracy and his aviaton know how and while Basch is quite happy to work with him, he still questions Balthier's motives before his past is revealed.
  • 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 need skill and luck to chain together.
  • Mellow Fellow: Balthier keeps a blaise attitude with nearly anything with only the issues of nethecite and his father truly getting under his skin.
  • 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.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: It's telling something is amiss when Balthier drops all pretenses of being suave and sarcastic to start being serious about something. When "Lamont" brings up his knowledge of manufacted nethicite at the Lhusu Mines, the second he brings up the term, Balthier starts grilling the kid with questions and cornering him against a wall, demanding answers about who "Lamont" really is.
  • 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 Archadia for good after realizing what his father has become.
  • Serious Business: Nethicite is the one thing he won't be snarky about in the slightest. In a slightly more humorous note, airships are serious talk for him and he treats the Strahl almost like a true friend.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: He has shades of this. Lampshaded early in the game:
    Balthier: Ah, the prison repository of wrested relics and raiments.
    Vaan: So our things are in here?
    Balthier: That's what I said.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Click here for her Revenant Wings appearance 

"I have discarded Wood and village. I won my freedom. Yet my past had been cut away forever."

Voiced by Rika Fukami (Japanese) and Nicole Fantl (English)

Balthier's steadfast companion and a master of weapons, magic, and mechanics. Fran is one of the Viera, an One-Gender Race note  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 Viera's philosophy of isolation and left her home village, sacrificing many of her natural abilities to live a life of freedom.

  • 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 an 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 for her to break; in the manga, she's perfectly able to break them, it's the Imperials outside that stop them from leaving.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: She presents it to Ashe if you take a wrong turn into the Necrohol of Nabudis, asking her if she would do to Archadia what happened to Nabradia.
  • Badass Driver: She's got a hoverbike and is an amazingly cool pilot on it.
  • Beast Man: As a Viera, she's a literal bunny person.
  • 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 as she did, and considering that outside the woods a war is brewing 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.
  • 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?
  • Expy: She is to Balthier what Chewbacca is to Han Solo (although obviously a vastly different interpretation).
  • Fallen Princess: Highly implied. Her sister is the leader of Eruyt Village and it's implied that Fran would have become a Viera higher-up if she did not choose to leave the village.
  • Fighting Your Friend: She and Balthier are bosses in Revenant Wings.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Viera is supposed to be very magically adept, but Fran's magical stats are mediocre at best, square middle among the six main party members. However, all other Viera stick very close to home, whereas Fran left home decades ago and is heavily implied to have lost touch with it, and thus possibly her connection to magic in the first place.
    • 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.
  • Leitmotif: Indirectly associated with "Eruyt Village", the theme of her eponymous home. It's a sad, soothing theme to match Fran's otherwise calm demeanor, but also hearkening back to the home she's left behind forever.
  • Limit Break: Her Quickenings are Feral Strike, Whip Kick, and Shatterheart, but they need skill and luck to chain together. In Revenant Wings, she has Gaze of the Void as her new Quickening, which is a Dispel Magic effect on all foes.
  • 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 controllable characters. She remains average, but the gap is not as wide as before.
  • Ms. Exposition: Fran is very well informed about the lore and mystical goings-on of Ivalice and it is often up to her to info-dump these things to the party.
  • 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, she 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 Sidekick: Is Balthier's partner, but in practice, she often just follows him. She is also 50+, while he is 22.
  • 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. Viera's 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.
  • Persona Non Grata: Most of Eruyt Village snubs her. The Golmore Jungle takes things a step further by blocking her path and sending the Elder Wyrm after her.
  • She-Fu: If you unlock the Brawler license and have her fight unarmed and shield-less, one of her two attacks is a somersault kick.
  • 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.
  • Status Effects: Her specialty in Revenant Wings. She has Blinding Arrow, Sleep Arrow, Silencing Arrow, and more.
  • 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 is always friendly and understanding.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Like other Vieras, Fran has a very weird accent to convey her otherworldliness from the rest of the party. According to the creators, it's supposed to be Icelandic.
  • Wrench Wench: She is noted to be as handy with a wrench as she is with a sword, of course, comes up in the ending where she and Balthier stay behind to fix Bahamut's glossair rings.
  • 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 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
Click here for his Revenant Wings appearance (Spoilers) 

"If I could protect but one person from war's horror... then I would bear any shame. I would bear it proudly."

Voiced by Rikiya Koyama (Japanese) and Keith Ferguson (English)

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 honor and loyalty to Dalmasca is second to none.

  • Badass Baritone: His voice is deep and commanding, befitting an experienced soldier such as he.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: When he first joins the party, he fights barehanded because he came out of imprisonment wearing nothing but pants. This changes midway through Barheim Passage.
  • 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/morality, she asks Basch.
  • Bookends: The story starts when Basch's Evil Twin, Gabranth, impersonates him to kill the King of Dalmasca, therefore enabling Archadia to subjugate Dalmasca. The ending has Basch impersonating Gabranth to stop the breakout of a world war, restoring Dalmasca's independence.
  • Boring, but Practical: His attack animations are all pretty basic stuff with little to no acrobatics, but come out very quickly and would actually really hurt if done in real life.
  • Cain and Abel: He is the Abel to Gabranth's Cain, though Basch is the older twin. However, it can be said that Basch was originally the Cain figure, as he abandoned his family back home while Gabranth had to take up the reins as head of the family. It's only later on, when Basch and Gabranth joined their respective sides, that the role was reversed.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Expy: A knight who fights for what he believes in and serves as a tutor and guardian to a blond-haired child and a princess, much like Obi-Wan Kenobi. That being said, Vaan is not his direct apprentice, and Ashe is, by all means, his military superior.
  • 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.
  • A Father to His Men: He was this as his scenes with Reks could attest to, which made it that much harder on the poor boy when he died.
  • Flaming Sword: Basch's Flame Purge quickening conjures a circle of swords made out of the fire to shoot at enemies as projectiles.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: He has a scar above his eye. The manga establishes he got it in a duel with Gabranth.
  • Horse Archer: He's one in the opening movie, being mounted on a Chocobo.
  • Hunk: Got the muscles and temperament to show it.
  • Immigrant Patriotism: Basch was originally not a Dalmascan, but rather from a country called Landis, which was conquered by Archadia years ago. He escaped to Dalmasca because he didn't want to see another state suffer the same fate as his country did.
  • Impersonating the Evil Twin: At the climax of the game, he briefly impersonates Gabranth using Strahl's voice changer to call for a ceasefire between Archadia and the Resistance. He later impersonates him permanently when he moves to Archades to become a Judge Magister.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: He is the second-oldest member of the party and the oldest looking one, as Fran does not show her age.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Lacks the actual armor, but is this in practice, a stalwart and noble protector of morality.
  • Knight, Knave, and Squire: The knight to Vaan's squire and Balthier's knave. The moral and honorable Basch takes to Vaan as he did to his late brother Reks, a knight that served under his command, and encourages him to learn both from Balthier and himself.
  • Lady and Knight: He takes up his role as Ashe's protector and muscle per Vossler's request after he lays defeated.
  • Leitmotif: The cutscene-specific "Basch's Reminiscence", which plays as he recounts Reks and King Raminas' deaths by Gabranth. It's a somber, melancholic theme that uses some notes from "White Room", the theme that plays during Vaan's own recollection of Reks in his catatonia, as well as in Mt. Bur-Omisace after Judge Bergan's rampage.
  • Limit Break: His Quickenings are Fulminating Darkness, Ruin Impendent, and Flame Purge, but they need skill and luck to chain together. He gets a new one for Revenant Wings, Apocalypse Shield, which nullifies all damage for the party.
  • 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".
  • Navel Window: His shirt is slightly cut in the middle to show his abs.
  • 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: Unless he has something to say, he'll go along without a peep.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Though a high-functioning war veteran, he's clearly traumatized by what he's been through.
  • Shirtless Scene: When he appears again after the two-year timeskip, he wears pants and nothing else. He loots a dead soldier's clothing in Barheim Passage and later changes into a civilian one upon returning to Rabanastre.
  • 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."

    Princess Ashelia "Ashe" B'nargin Dalmasca
Click here for her Revenant Wings appearance 

"I am simply myself. No more and no less. And I want only to be free."

Voiced by Mie Sonozaki (Japanese) and Kari Wahlgren (English)

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.

  • Accent Upon The Wrong Syllable: Her name's spelled identically, but it's pronounced "ASH" in the English dub and "ah-SHEH" in the Japanese dub.
  • Action Girl: Ashe is just as capable in battle as any of the other 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.
  • 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, where she cuts down an imperial soldier and stands defiant against several more before leaping away. In the manga, she's actively fleeing from her attackers and struggles to defend herself, and is nearly helpless in subsequent battles.
  • The Chosen One: As the next Dynast-King by the Occuria.
    "Fear not, princess of Dalmasca. We Occuria have chosen you, and you alone."
  • 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."
  • Crusading Widow: One of the defining motivations Ashe has is the death of her husband and father and is haunted by the ghost of her husband at multiple points during the game. This drives her to vengeful extremes, dehumanizing the Empire and resistent to a peaceful resolution for her people.
  • Defrosting the Ice Queen: She's rude and abrasive at first, but gradually warms up and accepts the party as friends and allies.
  • 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.
  • Expy:
    • A key figure for La Résistance and a lady of royal bloodline trying to reclaim her power in order to fight a massive empire. While Ashe and Vaan are not siblings like Leia and Luke, she still brings the image of the other princess-turned-Resistance leader to mind.
    • A fallen princess, the last surviving scion of a deposed dynasty who is amassing a power base so she can claim her right as queen, taking over the reins from her deceased husband, is helped in her endeavor by the dangerously powerful nethicites, and is prophesied to become the messianic Dynast-King? Replace nethicites with dragons, and Dynast-King with Azor Ahai, and you get Daenerys Targaryen.
  • Fairytale Wedding Dress: She wore one in her wedding. Combine princess and true love and it fits the ideal.
  • Fallen Princess: At the start of the game, Ashe's father and husband are killed and she has to fake her death in order to avoid becoming a puppet or incite a bloody rebellion doomed to failure in her name. A fair portion of the early game revolves around Ashe needing to prove her lineage and reclaim her throne so that she may be able to broker peace with Emperor Gramis and stop Ondore's rebellion before Rozzaria steps in.
  • The Final Temptation: Atop the Pharos, Ashe is left with the ghost of Rasler tempting her to betray her character development and take revenge on the Empire - with extra prompting from Gabranth - and almost considers it, but Vaan helps her realize she'd be regressing and she reasserts the group's intention to destroy the Sun Cryst.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Introduces the mechanic when you first meet her and she calls herself Amalia.
  • The Hero: While Vaan is the viewpoint character, and contrary to Balthier's claims, Ashe is the one whom the narrative revolves around; it's her desires and actions that motivate the plot while the others accompany her as allies, and most of the antagonists concern themselves with her unless they have a personal connection with someone else in the party. This is most notable with the trailers and marketing for the Zodiac Age remaster, which focus on Ashe's role in the story foremost and positions Vaan and Balthier as secondary protagonists.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: 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.
  • The High Queen: In the epilogue, Penelo notes in her letter to Larsa that Ashe will be crowned queen in a month.
  • 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: She does not lead a "insurgence". She leads a "Resistance!"
  • 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. No wonder Final Fantasy Record Keeper has her as the main Black Mage of her Realm.
  • Lady of War: Even in the heat of battle, Ashe remains poised and graceful.
  • Last of His Kind: Since her brothers all died before her and her father was assassinated, Ashe is the last of Raithwall's bloodline.
  • Leitmotif: "Ashe's Theme". It has two sections, both used at different points in the game for emphasis:
    • The first section is more mysterious and mystical-sounding, ending with a grandiose flourish. This represents Ashe as a princess, her affinity with magic and her ties to Dalmasca's founding lineage. In-game, besides a few cutscenes, it plays at the entrance to the Ancient City of Giruvegan, since it's connected to Ashe and the Occuria.
    • The second section is darker and ominous, more threatening and intimidating. This ties to Ashe's desire for revenge against the Empire, and her rage to the point of using the nethicite in retaliation. In the original release, it was the theme of the bonus dungeon "Subterra", which is perpetually darkened and filled with hostile entities.
  • Limit Break: Her Quickenings are Nordswain's Glow, Heaven's Wrath, and Maelstrom's Bolt, but they need skill and luck to chain together. Her new Quickening in Revenant Wings is Empyrean's Edict, which prevents all foes from summoning espers.
  • Glass Cannon: Has high magick and strength stats, but her HP is low.
  • Magic Knight: Wielding a sword, casting magic, and summoning espers.
  • Meaningful Echo: Dropping into the Barheim Passage, Balthier berates Vaan for insisting on distrusting Basch over Reks' death by saying "What is done is done", something we see Vaan has taken to heart later, as he forgives Basch and finally realizes he's not responsible for Reks' death. Atop the Pharos, Ashe repeats the same line to Gabranth, her father's killer, to complete her Character Development, having her finally come to terms with the fact that revenge is an empty motivation, and would ultimately bring harm to herself and her people.
  • Morality Chain Beyond the Grave: Rasler's ghost appears as a Spirit Advisor to drive her forward on her quest to restore Dalmasca such as convincing her not to use the Sword of Kings to destroy the Dawn Shard and leading her into Giruvegan to meet the Occuria. After it is revealed that his ghost is only an Occurian-made illusion, Ashe decides against using nethicite to destroy the Empire because the real Rasler she loved would never use such catastrophic means for revenge.
  • 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.
  • Navel Window: Her outfit shows off her navel.
  • 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 people only see it as 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 Warrior Princess and would rather fight against the Archadians, she slowly understands that the easiest way to avoid bloodshed is to take the diplomatic route.
  • The Poorly Chosen One: Which turns out to be a good thing. The Occuria wanted her to destroy Archadia and remove any trace of Venat's influence. Ultimately Ashe decided revenge wasn't worth it and destroys the Sun-Cryst to end the Occuria's influence over Ivalice.
  • Pretty Princess Powerhouse: 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.
  • 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.
  • Royal Brat: Ashe can be haughty, proud and quick to dismiss those below her station.
    Basch: "You've met Amalia?"
    Vaan: "I've met nicer people."
  • 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".
  • Tragic Keepsake: She still wears her wedding ring and also wears Rasler's on her middle finger. She reluctantly gives Rasler's ring to Balthier as compensation for him and Fran accompanying her on her journey until he finds "something more valuable", and she does not put it back on when it's returned to her in the epilogue.
  • Star Power: All three of Ashe's quickenings draw power from the stars, Nordswain's Glow drawing on the Big Dipper, Heaven's Wrath on shooting stars and Maelstrom's Bolt on the energy of an electrical storm in space.
  • Time Master: She is officially a Time Mage in the sequel.
  • 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.

Allies of Dalmasca

    Vossler York Azelas
"The future of Dalmasca will not be stolen!"

Voiced by Masaki Terasoma (Japanese) and Nolan North (English)

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.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: His boss fight comes with the first affirmation of Ashe preferring to retaliate against Archades using the Dawn Shard, which he knows very well could endanger Dalmasca and its citizens' well-being, as well as preceding the destruction of the 7th Imperial Fleet, the Dreadnought Leviathan, and the death of one of the Judge Magisters, all of which effectively close what constitutes the game's "Act I". His betrayal is also a prime example of someone who fights for Dalmasca proving themselves untrustworthy to the main party in favor of siding with the Empire for a bloodless conflict, even if does end with Ashe as another puppet for Vayne, showcasing more of the game's approach to Gray-and-Gray Morality and how neither side of the war is truly good or evil.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Right at the very beginning. When he and Basch are searching for survivors of the Dalmascan escort for the King, Vossler is indifferent towards a foot soldier (namely, Reks)'s injury and urges Basch to move on, while Basch is more attentive. This quickly establishes the two men's personalities: Basch is a caring father to his men who puts what is good above all else, while Vossler is more pragmatic.
  • Expy: Of Lando Calrissian, as a Regretful Traitor to the heroes who delivers them to the Empire while still fighting for what he thinks is a good cause. Lando's more benevolent traits are passed over to Marquis Ondore.
  • 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.
  • Foreshadowing: Vaan, once he returns to Rabanastre after escaping the Nalbina Dungeons with the party, is charged with delivering Vossler's sword to the Resistance's secret meeting place in Lowtown, right when they are discussing Reks' testimony about the king's assassination. Basch, the traitor even the Resistance is having a hard time believing in, welcomes Vaan politely and treats him like an equal. Vossler, the "true" son of Dalmasca, wrestles his sword out of Vaan's grip rudely and treats him, a citizen of the kingdom he's sworn to protect, with cold dismissal. While the interaction is small, Vaan later forgives and accepts Basch as being framed by the Archadian Empire, while Vossler betrays his charge's trust and sides with the Empire.
    • There are two lines from him that hint at his eventual betrayal; at the Dreadnought Leviathan, he'll mention to Basch that in order to get Ashe to cooperate, they need to have her "meet the reality of the situation", a perfect summation of his real perception of Dalmasca's current state. Once they escape to Bhujerba and he takes his leave, he tells Ashe to trust Basch, as his loyalty to Dalmasca is no less than his own. Exact Words are at play here: their loyalty to Dalmasca really is unshaken, in Vossler's case maybe too much so, and bear in mind that Ashe is still coming down from thinking of Basch as a "traitor".
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Joins the party as a Guest twice (at the Leviathan and before the first trek through the Yensa Sandsea all the way until after the Tomb of Raithwall).
  • 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: Deconstructed. Vossler's priority is and always has been the welfare of Dalmasca and its freedom, but the conflict has essentially diminished his hopes for the latter, resulting in his brusque, abrasive behavior by the time Basch returns. He's so beaten down by the war against Archades, in fact, he strikes a deal with Judge Ghis to restore Ashe to power and leave the kingdom unharmed, yet still under Imperial law, in exchange for the Dawn Shard. Basically, he fights for a good cause, but is not optimistic about the results.
  • La Résistance: He's one of the leaders 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. In his favor, 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 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.

    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."

Voiced by Akio Nojima (Japanese) and Tom Kane (English)

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.
  • Classy Cane: Walks with an ornate cane.
  • Cool Old Guy: He's old, but still a good player in the political field.
  • Expy: With Bhujerba serving as the game's analogue to Cloud City (a nation who stands neutral in the central conflict but ultimately sides with the Resistance), Ondore holds Lando Calrissian's charge as its ruler. Although he also shares the role of Lando's expy with Vossler.
  • Inevitable Mutual Betrayal: Half the plot hinges on the fact that Bhujerba will be going to war with Archadia soon if nothing is done to stop it.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: He made a deal for Bhujerba to become Archadia's vassal to spare it from war devastation that Dalmasca suffered after it fell, but still works behind-the-scenes as part of the Resistance to undermine Archadia.
  • 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: He's got grey hair and he's quite handsome. Just take a gander at his picture!
  • Unreliable Narrator: Infamously so, 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.

    Al-Cid Margrace

"I would lay down my life at a single word to be sure… but I harbor no maundering delusions of valiant grandeur".

Voiced by Norio Wakamoto (Japanese) and David Rasner (English)

A member of the ruling family of Rozzaria, another empire standing in opposition to Archadia. Despite his flamboyant affect, he is a shrewd political operator and is in league with Larsa to prevent the mutually devastating war Vayne seeks to incite between the empires.

See his entry in Final Fantasy Tactics A2 for additional tropes from his appearance in that game.
  • 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: Even in Final Fantasy, he's got to have them.
  • Dashing Hispanic: His design and Spanish accent in the English dub clearly invoke this.
  • Large Ham: He's positively understated among Wakamoto's other roles, but his sensuality and gesticulations set him apart from most of the cast.
  • 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 anything 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 of the game and does what he can to try and prevent another outbreak of war. He's not even the true/direct heir to Rozarria, 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.
  • Spare to the Throne: While he is of Royal Blood and a prince, he claims to be "one of many" and does not seem to be in the direct line of succession.
  • 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.


"The past can bind a man as surely as irons."

Voiced by Takayuki Sugo (Japanese) and Phil LaMarr (English)

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!" Doubles as some shades of Dying as Yourself since it's a nod to a past he'd tried to leave behind him.
  • Bald of Authority: The bald leader of the sky pirates.
  • 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.
  • Dual Wielding: Uses Cool Swords, the Chirijiraden and the Ninja Knife.
  • Dynamic Entry: His first appearance on-screen has him attempting a jumping double-sword strike on Basch, then simply noting the group are not Archadeans before apologizing in a laidback "shit happens" way.
  • Foil: To Balthier, in lots of spoileriffic ways. Had they each made some slightly different choices, they might have switched places in the narrative. They're both former members of the Archadian Empire, Judges even (though Reddas was a Judge Magister), who went rogue and abandoned their former lives and names when the Empire's warmongering went too far for them. However, Balthier would rather have nothing to do with the Archadia and nethicite and gets roped into things by chance, while Reddas protactively seeks to stop Cid from using nethicite on the scale of Nabudis and will fight to do it. Balthier went rogue to reclaim his freedom and became a sky pirate with little higher ambition than that, while Reddas went rogue to resist the Empire, which included becoming the de facto leader of Balfonheim and an ally of Ondore.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: For the last dungeon of the game.
  • Heroic BSoD: 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.
  • Manly Facial Hair: Has a short-cropped beard to emphasize his rugged look.
  • Memetic Badass: In-Universe. Reddas's death, which involved destroying the Sun-Cryst with the Sword of Kings, ended up redeeming himself, screwing over the Occuria, screwing over Vayne, and basically setting off a nuke in his face at the same time. The Way Stone that brought the party to the top no longer works afterward, implying that the top floor doesn't even exist anymore... but a handful of Balfonheim residents think that this death wasn't fitting enough for him.
  • 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 Zodiac versions 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: A literal example. 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.
  • 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? Then again, it could just be that he shaves his head and his hair colour is naturally white, which wouldn't be out there for Final Fantasy.

    Rikken, Elza, and Raz 
A trio of pirates (of the land and sea) and members of Reddas's crew. Rikken and Elza are Humes and Raz is a Bangaa. Minor characters in their appearances in both XII and Revenant Wings, they nonetheless have a larger role in the sequel. In the first game, they're central to a racing minigame.
  • Ascended Extra: Downplayed. Their roles are still minor in the sequel but it's much more than it was in XII. Here, they're helpful allies again and part of a Friendly Rivalry with Vaan as fellow sky pirates.
  • Fragile Speedster: Raz in the sequel. He's fast when it comes to moving around the field, but he goes down easy. This carries over from his portrayal in XII during the footraces, where he is the fastest of the three of them but most prone to tripping.
  • Friendly Rivalry: With Vaan and his crew when it comes to collecting auracite. They can be encountered in combat in various areas in the floating islands of Lemures.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: For a couple battles in Revenant Wings, most notably when they help Vaan and the others fight Ba'Gamnan and his crew to rescue Filo.
  • The Gunslinger: In the sequel, Elza uses a gun in combat and functions as a ranged unit.
  • Large Ham: Rikken, in spades. He gets much more of a personality in the sequel and this is mostly what it consists of.
  • Non-Action Guy: Both Rikken and Elza are fought as part of the Trial mode in XII in an optional battle, leaving Raz out. However, by the time of Revenant Wings he now joins the fray as a flying unit.
  • Nonstandard Character Design: Raz is a Bangaa, but he's much smaller than the others of his race and gets around by use of a tiny floating platform.
  • Pirate Girl: Elza is a classic one.
  • Pirate Parrot: Raz has one.
  • Stripperiffic: Elza. She has short shorts, a bra, and an overcoat that doesn't do much to hide that she isn't wearing much underneath.
  • Sword and Fist: Rikken wields a sword in battle but his profile in Revenant Wings indicates he uses hand-to-hand combat as well.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: In Revenant Wings they form their own sky pirate crew, with Rikken as the actual leader. All three of them are good friends and they're always seen together.
  • Unwanted Assistance: During one battle in Revenant Wings, they are running into an issue with a bunch of Yarhi but they don't want Vaan and the others helping them because Rikken thinks they're trying to steal the auracite first.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Rikken in the first game, but he gets a big overcoat for the sequel.

    Prince Rasler Heios Nabradia

"These roles we play. I must admit I find it... wearying."

Voiced by Yasuyuki Kase (Japanese) and Andrew Philpot (English)

The crown prince of the kingdom of Nabradia and Ashe's late husband.


"No, sir. I want to fight. For my homeland and for my parents."

Voiced by Hideki Tasaka (Japanese) and Yuri Lowenthal (English)

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.

  • Bare Your Midriff: His "armor" bares his abs to the world. Naturally, "Basch" has no trouble shanking him.
  • Big Brother Instinct: He went to war to protect his brother.
  • Chainmail Bikini: It's no wonder he died; he's wearing a military issue sports bra and thigh highs with short shorts.
  • Decoy Protagonist: At the start of the game one expects him to become the hero, but he gets a knife to the gut barely half an hour in and his younger brother Vaan takes over from that point forward.
  • Flower Motifs: The Galbana Lily was his favorite flower. Vaan even names his airship after this flower in the sequel.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: He was stabbed by Basch's brother, Noah/Judge Gabranth after finding out King Raminas was dead. Unlike what one would expect, he survived that, but died later due to a combination of an extended interrogation and a wound complication.
  • 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.
  • White Void Room: Vaan remembers his brother dying in one as he sat unresponsive in a catatonic state.
  • You Remind Me of X: Basch said this to Reks that he remind him of his brother, Noah. Basch didn't know that his brother is alive.

"The nethicite is ours to give, to chosen bearer or to none."

Voiced by Seiko Tomoe (Japanese) and Bernice Stegers (English)

The leader of the god-like Occuria. It 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.

  • Ambiguous Gender: Just like Venat, Gerun has no physical gender.
  • 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.
    Ashe: But, Venat... Venat is an Occurian. A being like you.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Has its own schemes opposing Venat and Vayne. It 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 its control over Ivalice via the Dalmascan kings that motivated Venat to rebel and bring Archadia to power in the first place, making it indirectly responsible for the conflict of the game.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Annihilating every man, woman, and child in Archadia is completely justified to them if it rids it of Venat and scours manufactured nethicite from the world so the Occuria can keep humanity under their thumb.
  • Crazy-Prepared: It's strongly implied that Venat resorts to the roundabout tactics it does because Gerun has checks and contingencies on nearly all other options. For example, when picking a Chosen One to be the instrument of her wrath, Gerun actually begins grooming multiple people to its will with the same trick just in case one of them failed.
  • Energy Beings: Appears as a floating specter of light with a shadowed "face".
  • General Ripper: The whole "World War" thing Ivalice is heading towards? It doesn't mind, as long as the right people emerge victorious.
  • Glamour Failure: Its plan to turn Ashe into a new Dynast-King implodes completely when, in a moment of sheer panic, it starts speaking directly through Rasler's ghost. The apparition had been otherwise silent up until that point, disguising the deception, and when it starts speaking with Gerun’s voice instead of Rasler’s, the jig is up completely.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: It wouldn't be a Yasumi Matsuno game if this wasn't at play somewhere.
  • The Hypocrite: The writings found in the Pharos claim that The Occuria's immortality made them much wiser and cold-headed than the mortal races, yet all it takes is Ashe reminding Gerun that Venat is of its kind to get it enraged and order the young princess to not only destroy Venat but on top of that commit genocide against the compatriots of Venat's Hume disciples despite the fact that most Archadians don't even know Venat exists.
  • Jerkass Gods: It carries high the Final Fantasy standard of higher beings that are pricks.
  • Light Is Not Good: Gerun's physical form is silver compared with the dark purple of Venat. However, it's far more prideful and ruder than Venat could ever be.
  • Manipulative Bastard: It used Raithwal to establish Ocurrian rule over Ivalice and plans to use Ashe to preserve it. Its intent to get Ashe to destroy Archadia and Venat, progressing from subtle manipulation to outright ordering her to do it.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Gerun and the Occuria possess great power but prefer to rely on manipulations and never actually attempt to directly intervene beyond that.
  • No Gender: Genderless due to not having a physical body, but has a female-ish voice.
  • One-Shot Character: Appears as itself for less than five minutes, despite having a continuous role throughout the plot of the game.
  • 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 iambic tetrameter, using poetic abbreviations and rhyming couplets to rigidly stick to the meter. Venat, by contrast speaks in iambic pentameter, never uses rhyme scheme, and is slightly more free form with her verse, ie: quite heretical in comparison.
  • Shape Shifter Guilt Trip: The ghostly image of Rasler 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. Vaan can also see Gerun's apparition, but to him it looks like his older brother Reks. This is because Gerun is running the same con on him at the same time, grooming Vaan to be its backup Dynast King if Ashe falters.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Eclipses even Reddas in terms of the screen time:plot importance ratio. The meeting with it and the revelations that follow cast a very revealing light on the true goals of Archadia and the villains you've been fighting.
  • Take Up My Sword: Gerun does this in the most literal sense, giving Ashe the Treaty-Blade so she may become the next Dynast-King and the Occuria's Chosen One.
    Gerun: The treaty held with kings of old is but a mem'ry, cold and still.
    With you we now shall treat anew, to cut a run for hist'ry's flow.
    Now take this sword, this Treaty-Blade. Occurian seal, mark of your worth.
    Cut deep the Cryst, and seize your Shards.
    Wield Dynast-King's power! Destroy Venat!
  • Top God: The king of the Occuria.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Ashe doesn't realize the specter of Rasler that's been guiding her all game is a vision of Gerun, and that it is using his memory to manipulate the party.
  • Walking Spoiler: As all the whited-out entries might have tipped you off. Gerun is a late-game character and the meeting with them reveals a lot of critical plot details.
  • Wicked Cultured: Speaks in poetic meter, uses highfalutin language and poetic abbreviations such as pow'r and hist'ry, and carries itself with all the dignity of an Elizabethan monarch, until you piss it off, which makes its eyes burn with fury and unleashes a shockwave.

Archadian Empire

    Vayne Carudas Solidor

"Ivalice will know a new Dynast King, and Man will keep his own history!"

Voiced by Nobuo Tobita (Japanese) and Elijah Alexander (English)

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.

  • Adaptational Villainy: In the manga, he's much more cruel and manipulative, getting several new scenes that have him Kick the Dog by taunting those under his command and being more arrogant and cold in his dealings. His charismatic speech to the people of Dalmasca happens off-screen, and when Vayne mentions it later he admits he doubts he managed to instill any loyalty in the peoples' hearts, a far cry from the game where he had them cheering for him.
  • Affably Evil: He's famously one of the most personable 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 routs them and captures or kills most of the combatants.
  • 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. Vayne's goals are ultimately to free the world and Mankind from the unseen manipulations of the godlike Occuria, eliminate the political corruption within Archadia, and unite the world under their banner as a new Dynast-King to usher in peace and prosperity.
  • 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: His dream of a united, peaceful Ivalice is not going to be obtained without a lot of war and bloodshed, and with his father sick, Archadia will soon be ruled by either Vayne, or Larsa; who is young, vulnerable, and idealistic. Knowing he wouldn't be able to handle the throne in his current state, Vayne works to put himself on it for the sake of Archadia's future.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Played with. Vayne's dream of a peaceful Ivalice united under Archadia and free of the Occuria never comes to fruition, but only the "united under Archadia" part — his actions have revealed the manipulations of the Occuria to Ashe and Larsa, Ashe has reclaimed her rightful throne in Dalmasca, and Larsa has taken over Archadia. With two compassionate world leaders on the stage, and both of them being on good terms with Al-Cid of Rozarria, Ivalice indeed has a peaceful future on the horizon.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Pummels your party using his bare hands and martial arts.
  • Battle Theme Music: The harsher sections of "The Archadian Empire" for his first phase, and Discord (Imperial Version) as Vayne Novus.
    • His final battle as The Undying uses "Struggle for Freedom", a fittingly grandiose theme using fragments from "Arcadian Empire", "Discord", "Flash of Steel" and "Life and Death", all gathered to create an intense, imposing final boss theme for a battle atop the Bahamut.
  • Big Bad: A top contender to the title of most central and important antagonist, though there are others.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: With Venat, but Vayne is more active.
  • Big Brother Instinct: He does a lot to keep Larsa innocent and insulated from the dirty work required for an age of corruption and war. When the Senate moves to target Larsa as their Puppet King, this is the event which finally pulls the trigger on Vayne killing his father so he can frame and dissolve the Senate, thus becoming the ultimate ruler of Archadia.
    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 other 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. Aside from cutscenes that show Vayne playing the political game, his will is expressed more through the Imperials the party comes against that are acting on his orders. The manga takes it even further with additional story details: as Ashe and Rassler were engaged, insurgents in Nabradia sought an alliance with Rozarria over Dalmasca and sabotaged the engagement; fearing that a civil war would break out and lead to a massive power shift, the Archadians conquered Nabradia to stabilize the region, and by that time Ashe and Rassler were married and Dalmasca was dragged into the war as their ally. It is implied Vayne was secretly backing the insurgents to use their plans as a pretense for Archadia's invasion, and by extrapolation to what happened during the main game, that would mean he (almost) single-handedly engineered 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.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In his very first scene, on pure charisma he rouses a rowdy and angry crowd from contemptful to hopeful with a speech that earns him near-universal applause. Not long after, he invites Migelo to a banquet and promises to get Migelo drunk enough to drop formalities and start calling him by his first name. Affably Evil indeed.
  • Evil Plan: His goal is to unite Ivalice through any means necessary. In reality, his true goal is to unite Ivalice and to free humanity from the Occuria.
  • 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.
  • Expy: Also a Foil to Emperor Palpatine. Continuing with the Star Wars parallels, Vayne is a powerful figure in a massive empire who later takes it over by dissolving the Senate, and leads a masked figure to fight for him using The Power of Hate. The key differences lie in motivation and morality: Palpatine, aka Darth Sidious, was a megalomaniac who wanted absolute power and control, and while Vayne seeks the same, his motivations are considerably more nuanced and, under a certain light, even somewhat honorable, if still extreme. That being said, it's not a coincidence that both have giant super-weapons with megalasers that can destroy entire civilizations in one shot.
  • Flanderization: Not to the same extent as Vaan, but the manga dials up his evil moments and makes him considerably less sympathetic than in the game, giving him more Kick the Dog moments to show his cruel side.
  • 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.
  • Godhood Seeker: He intends to use his manufactured nethicite to declare himself the new Dynast-King and rule the world.
  • 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, Vaan is caught and hauled before Vayne and Gabranth during the resistance attack on the palace. Vayne mocks Vaan as a powerless dog too weak and cowardly to do anything than kneel before him, then when Vaan mentions his brother died at Nalbina, Vayne replies since they were a family of dogs they wouldn't have had to pay for a funeral, and Vaan should be grateful for that. When Vayne's taunting finally pushes Vaan to throw a punch at him, Gabranth defends Vayne and Vayne orders him executed for trying to attack him. When Gabranth asks if they should show leniency since Vaan is obviously not with the rebels, Vayne keeps to his order and challenges Gabranth on his dedication to the law, bringing up Landis and Basch to remind him where he loyalties ought to lie.
  • Kung-Fu Wizard: It's not fully clear which attacks of his are Ki Manipulation and which are nethicite-powered magic, but either way he uses them in tandem with martial arts.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Has long black hair and is a pretty good-looking guy.
  • 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.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "Vayne Carudas Solidor" does not sound like the name of a heroic figure, Grey-and-Gray Morality notwithstanding.
  • 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.
  • No Place for Me There: It's hinted that Vayne knows the peaceful Ivalice he's trying to create would not accept him, a vicious and scheming warlord, as their king, and his plan is to ultimately step down and hand things over to Larsa, who can be the virtuous and benevolent ruler that Ivalice deserves.
  • 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.
  • 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 a single monarch, a new Dynast-King like Raithwall. However, he's more focused on the "united" than the "peaceful" part, for now.
  • 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 BSoD: 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. It doesn’t last long, as Venat notes he is fulfilling his goals.
  • 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 united and peaceful Ivalice (like the Dynast-King of old), but under the control of Mankind instead of unseen gods..
  • 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
Click here for his Revenant Wings appearance 

"The men of my family, we are taught to place the needs of others before those of our own."

Voiced by Yuka Imai (Japanese) and Johnny McKeown (English)

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.

  • 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.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: At 12 years old, he is the youngest party member (the second youngest is Penelo, who is 16). Downplayed in that he is extremely savvy in social and political matters for a kid.
  • 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: Towards Vayne as soon as their father is assassinated, but it's downplayed in that he still holds love for Vayne as his brother, yet knows he must be stopped before another massacre happens by his hands.
  • 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.
  • Cheerful Child: Part of his charisma, both in and out of the Empire, is his tendency to be optimistic and look towards the future with idealistic eyes befitting a child his age. Even after the game's story basically destroys everything he holds dear, he continues to be optimistic, if wiser to the ways of the world, maintaining his friendship with the party and the Rabanastre duo well into the future.
  • 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.
  • 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. At the end of the game, with Vayne dying during the battle above Rabanastre, Larsa becomes the Emperor of Archadia at age 12.
  • Combat Medic: You'll probably appreciate Larsa most for his healing skills, but he's a decent fighter too.
  • Crutch Character: It's worth putting off getting to Mt. Bur-Omisace and losing Larsa in the party, because he's an invaluable supporter. Besides the fact that Guest Party members are always a good thing for the fourth swordarm, Larsa's infinite supply of Potions make a lot of the optional parts of the game much easier. 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. In the Zodiac versions he loses his infinite healing items (Guest characters now use items from the normal inventory), but he instead picks up Cura, Bubble, and status-healing spells, so he's still effective.
  • Dual Wielding: Dual wields a Royal Rapier called Joyeuse and a Swordbreaker.
  • 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. He later joins the party against Vayne for the first phase of his boss fight.
  • Heroic BSoD: 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.
  • Leitmotif: "Cooperation (Imperial Version)", a more lighthearted variation of the Archadian Empire's theme, befitting its most benevolent member.
  • 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.
  • Musical Spoiler: His first appearance in Bhujerba as Lamont is briefly punctuated by the Empire's leitmotif.
  • 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 guest party member introduced in the story (after Vossler and before Reddas). He also holds the most fellowship with the members of the party, not to mention being the only Guest party member to join twice and yet stay a Guest, essentially making him their unofficial seventh party member.
  • Superior Successor: Actively attempted, but not initially by him. Vayne figured Larsa would be a better ruler than he, so his plan was to, after all was set and done, step down as Dynast King and give the title to Larsa.
  • Trauma Conga Line: The war between Archadia and Rozarria, as well as the conflict surrounding Dalmasca, basically destroys every single person Larsa has held dear to his heart. By his brother's own hands, the war worsens and troops from all sides of the conflict perish, their father and Emperor is assassinated, two Judge Magisters acting as his guard die in his name (indirectly in Drace's case), and Vayne then rubs salt in the wound by making Larsa watch the Sky Fortress Bahamut's firepower decimate the Resistance's ships. Him raising his sword against Vayne and being forced to put him down is, by that point, an act of mercy for them both.
  • 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. He is the one to succeed their father.

    Doctor Cidolfus Demen Bunansa
"The reins of history, back in the hands of man."

Voiced by Chikao Ohtsuka (Japanese) and John Rafter Lee (English)

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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Catchphrase: "The reins of history, back in the hands of man." It explains his basic motivation 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.
  • Energy Weapon: His cinematic attacks fire various laser blasts.
  • 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.
  • 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 when he fires them both they will still only do one strike.
  • 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: He seems to fill the criteria, being a hammy kook who talks to himself at length and is the mastermind behind the technological innovations that Arcadia is using to conquer the world. However, Cid is actually a subversion. He's perfectly sane and knows exactly what he's doing. This is lampshaded by Balthier, who considered Cid to be the trope but after plot revelations admits "he wasn't mad at all" — Cid is 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. Though he does end up playing the trope straight by the end as he admits his plans and desires of godhood.
  • 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!"
  • Multi-Ranged Master: Normally uses a pair of Hand Cannons but also has a gatling gun, and two different laser cannons in his Hyperspace Arsenal.
  • 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.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Cid delivers a rather scathing one to Gabranth once he attacks Ashe, both for disobeying Vayne and betraying Larsa's trust in him. Realizing that Gabranth wanted revenge above all else, Cid relieves him of his duty to protect Larsa and tells him to leave the tower.
  • 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 its.
  • 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
"A convenient thing, justice. And so I must now make a choice... between my throne, and my son."

Voiced by Hidekatsu Shibata (Japanese) and Roger L. Jackson (English)

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.

  • 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.

    Venat (SPOILERS)
"What claim does Gerun have on history's reins, seated on throne immortal, rent from time?"

Voiced by Narumi Tsunoda (Japanese) and Anita Carey (English)

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 it aligns with Cid and Vayne, revealing the secret to creating nethicite so it may throw off the Occuria's control.

  • Affably Evil: Is very polite and well mannered towards others, yet it 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.
  • Anti-Villain: Well Intentioned. It orchestrates a world war in the name of freeing humanity from the control of the gods.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Its 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 it succeeds even though it and Vayne die at the heroes' hands in the Final Boss fight.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: With Vayne, but Venat is more of a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Like the rest of the Occuria, Venat's motivations are inscrutable and are simply interpreted and assessed by others with incomplete data, like Ashe and Balthier. It sides with Ivalice's mortal races and desires to free them from their brethren's thrall, giving Ivalice control over its own destiny and ending the cycle of war and death the Occuria has spun to keep "his'try's weave" straight. Yet to do so, it is willing to engage in atrocities on the scale of genocide and put an equally tyrannical (yet mortal) regime in charge in Gerun's stead. Moreover, it treats its allies in this quest as equals with kindness and honor, never withholds vital information from them or knowingly manipulates them, and rarely, if ever, takes overt hostile action against the heroes, only doing and permitting as much evil as is absolutely necessary to bring about the "greater good." By the end of the game it succeeds.
  • Defector from Decadence: It didn't think it right that the Occuria manipulate humanity from afar and sought to change that.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Essentially its 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 it.
  • Energy Beings: Just like the rest of the Occuria, it is a flickering indeterminate mass of seemingly calcified magic shrouded in Mist with an invisible face.
  • Final Boss: In a way; when Vayne is impaled by Vaan after the Novus fight, it fuses with him to become The Undying, who is the final opponent of the game.
  • Fusion Dance: It merges with Vayne at the end of the game to become The Undying, the Final Boss.
  • The Heretic: Directly declared as such by the other Occuria, who cast it out and demand its execution for daring to let humanity govern its own affairs.
  • The Hypocrite: Ultimately resorts to the same tactics that it disagreed with the other Occuria using, including allowing rampant slaughter and genocide. While it forms bonds with a few mortals, its dialogue shows it sees most mortals as regretfully but utterly expendable to its plans for its greater good which unfortunately leads to vastly more harmful consequences.
  • Invisible to Normals: Venat is invisible to and unheard by anyone it 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 itself to the party in Draklor Laboratory quickly changes his mind.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Its parting words to a dying Cid are to affirm that working with him for the past six years was as pleasant and enjoyable for them as it was for him.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Venat is undeniably benevolent as are its intentions, the party even shares its same goals, but Venat’s methods for freeing mortals from the Occuria are still extreme and harmed almost countless people. In the end Venat dies on its own terms with someone it trusts, though it is still a painful death brought upon by those who were put though great suffering because of its schemes. Ultimately Venat’s final fate is an interesting example of both good and bad karma hitting it.
  • 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, steal their god-given tools of oppression, and permanently stop any attempts they might make to re-establish control. That unfortunately means an international war or two and some future apocalypses that could have wiped out mortals entirely if the heroes hadn’t done anything.
  • 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 its immortality so that he doesn't have to die alone. Similarly, its final farewell to Dr. Cid, saying it was a pleasure working with him.
  • Puny Humans: In sharp contrast to the rest of the Occuria, its motivation is that it does not believe that the Occuria (including itself) have the right to manipulate mortal affairs, and believes so precisely because the Occuria are above them. Indeed, it is respectful of its hume allies and graciously compliments Dr. Cid on his resourcefulness when he tries to shrug off his accomplishments as due solely to its teachings. Although the fact it is fine with millions dying to further its schemes to free them suggests there is some amount of 'expendable mortals' it is fine with.
    "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, its 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.
  • Satanic Archetype: Venat was once a member of the Occuria, but left Giruvegan because it disagreed with the majority opinion (i.e. that humans need to be strictly guided). Because it cannot act on its own, it settles on influencing select humans to help fight its former brethren and their allies.
  • Satan Is Good: Played with. A rogue god rebelling against the status quo and aiding the villains... And it turns out it has quite benevolent and understandable reasons for it. Though despite its good intentions, its methods are extreme and cause a lot of trouble the heroes need to address.
  • Spirit Advisor: To Dr. Cid, then to Vayne after Cid's passing.
  • Suicide by Cop: Having accomplished its goals long before the heroes even make the trip to confront Vayne on the Bahamut, it willingly forsakes its immortality to die alongside him at the party's hand rather than stick around and face whatever terrifying idea of "justice" the other Occuria might have in store for it should they get their hands on it somehow.
  • Un-person: To the Occuria, by and large. The statue meant to represent them is noticeably absent from the Occurian 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 it and work towards the goal as their equals. Venat speaks and treats it like friends, not pawns or minions.
  • Voice of the Legion: Has a distorted voice similar to the other Occuria.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: It orchestrates a lot of war and destruction, but to its own ideals of a good end.
  • You Are Not Alone: Venat forsakes its immortality so that Vayne does not have to die alone, nor face Occurian judgment.

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 Judge Bergan, who's an Ax-Crazy brute, all the Judges are Noble Demons with their own sense 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 are really "evil" (again, except for Bergan).
  • 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.
  • Expy: Cool Helmet? Check. Judge, Jury, and Executioner with "Judge" as their title? Check. Lawful to the extreme? Check. Give these guys Lawgiver pistols and they wouldn't be all that out of place in Megacity One.
  • 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."
  • Praetorian Guard: In addition to being the supreme commanders of the military, they serve as bodyguards to the Archadian Imperial family.
  • 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!.

    Judge Gabranth
"Silence! All was stripped from me. Only hatred for the brother who fled our homeland remains mine!"

Voiced by Akio Ōtsuka (Japanese) and Michael E. Rodgers (English)

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 home and no honor, just looking for a master that will feed 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 broken; the events of the game simply serve to break what little is left.
  • 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.
  • 11th-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 game 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 that 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.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Villianous version. He lost his homeland to the Empire he now serves and is deeply envious of Basch for continuing to be resolute despite having lost everything. Gabranth has honorable traits, but he's ultimately fighting for the hate he feels.
  • 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. He also does this indirectly to Vaan, but it happens at the point he already knows taking revenge won't do anything for himself or Reks.
  • Recurring Boss: Gabranth is fought twice, once atop the Pharos and then before confronting Vayne on the Sky Fortress Bahamut at the very end of the game.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Raises his sword against Vayne to help his brother and his allies, but the battle takes the strength he had left and he succumbs to his wounds during their escape in the Strahl.
  • Shadow Archetype: He is what Basch would have been having the failure 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: 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.
  • 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).

    Judge Bergan
"Too late, and to their sorrow, do those who misplace their trust in gods learn their fate."

Voiced by Yosuke Akimoto (Japanese) and Gary Martin (English)

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.

  • 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.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The camera angle when Balthier opens up Bergan's armor after his death does not show (nor does Balthier elaborate on) what the nethicite did to his body, but Balthier's openly disgusted reaction is enough to conclude that it is NOT pretty.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: 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.
  • More Despicable Minion: He is the Token Evil Teammate of the empire, and it shows. His Well-Intentioned Extremist bosses- Prince Vayne, Doctor Cid, and Venat- want to conquer Ivalice so they can bring world peace and freedom from the divine will of the Occuria, while his fellow Judges are decent people. Bergan, however, merely loves power and supports his bosses since it gets him more, plus he admires their ruthlessness in achieving it. He then slaughters a mountain of peaceful refugees for fun.
  • 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!
  • Token Evil Teammate: He sticks out like a sore thumb among the Anti Villainous ranks of the Arcadian Empire. His bosses all want to bring peace, prosperity, and freedom to Ivalice (paradoxically, through conquest). The other Judges all have at least some sense of morals and decency, some more than others. Bergan, however, is a bloodthirsty psycho who fully supports the idea of Arcadia conquering the world and brutally stamping out anyone who defies them. Even before he ends up Jumping Off the Slippery Slope, he's easily the most violent and cruel of the Judges and of the empire as a whole.
  • 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.

    Judge Drace
"Spare me your lies! I see the serpent coiled here before me!"

Voiced by Yoko Soumi (Japanese) and Julia Fletcher (English)

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.

  • Carry a Big Stick: Her weapon is a large club.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Several times.
    "You wear the mummer's motley well, Bergan."
  • 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.
  • The Smurfette Principle: She is the only woman among the Judge Magisters and the only female character on the Arcadian side to be named in the script or have any significant plot importance.
  • Sour Supporter: Towards Vayne, not disguising her disgust with his methods.

    Judge Ghis
"Blood alone does not an emperor make, Vayne."

Voiced by Ryusuke Obayashi (Japanese) and Mark Wing Davey (English)

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.

  • 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. However, as the nethicite minutes later blows up his entire fleet, he has no time to act upon it.
  • Starter Villain: The primary Imperial representative to oppose the party in the first act of the game, he dies before any of the other judges aside from Gabranth have been properly introduced. 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 second time he captures her, though, he just has her imprisoned under Vaan's pleading.

    Judge Zargabaath
"The Empire's debts grow legion."

Voiced by Ryūzaburō Ōtomo (Japanese) and Simon Templeman (English)

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.

  • Anti-Villain: Noble Antivillain. Zargabaath never acts evil in any way, he's just on Archadia's side is all.
  • Bonus Boss: He and Drace join the other three Judge Magisters as the final bosses of Trial Mode.
  • 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. 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 and asks via radio for the Marquis to tell "that fool judge" to wait for him to finish his repairs.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sole Survivor: He is the only one of the five Judge Magisters who makes it out of the first game alive.
  • 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).
  • 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.

Other NPCs

"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: 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".

    Six Moogle Siblings
Clockwise from top left: Sorbet, Horne, Hurdy, Montblanc, Nono, Gurdy

Six moogles with various recurring appearances throughout the Ivalice Alliance games, but XII is the only game where they all appear together. They were once apprentices to a master who was killed by Yiazmat. Montblanc is the oldest and most well known as leader of Clan Centurio while Nono is the chief mechanic for the Strahl, Balthier's airship. Sorbet, Horne, and Hurdy run the teleport network around Rabanastre before Hurdy goes on to become a bard and main playable character in Tactics A2 (click to see more tropes related to him there). Gurdy, meanwhile, runs the chocobo stables.

  • Ascended Extra: Hurdy gets an appearance makeover and becomes a main playable character in Tactics A2 as a Bard. Sorbet actually becomes the protagonist of a little-known flash game called Dive Hunt II: The Adventures of Sorbet. Horne, meanwhile, is central to a quest or two in A2 where it's revealed that he's something of an "item afficionado."
  • Color-Coded Characters: Montblanc is green, brown, and yellow. Sorbet is in yellow clothes with a yellow pompom, Horne is red, Nono wears green with an orange pompom, Hurdy is blue, and Gurdy wears a pink and tan dress with a pink pompom.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Nono, as Balthier's chief airship mechanic. By Revenant Wings, he more or less has a legendary status among moogles. Also, his outfit is a Palette Swap of the Tinker/Gadgeteer job from the Advance games.
  • Portal Network: Sorbet, Horne, and Hurdy run a teleport network around Rabanastre until Hurdy becomes a bard instead.
  • Promoted to Playable: Montblanc in Tactics Advance and A2, Hurdy in A2, and Sorbet for Dive II Hunt: The Adventures of Sorbet.
  • The Rival: In Revenant Wings, Nono forms a rivalry with Cu Sith, Vaan's mechanic and Master Artificer.
  • Theme Naming: Montblanc and Sorbet (both desserts) have Edible Theme Naming going on while Hurdy and Gurdy (the youngest, and twins) have Musical Theme Naming, named after an instrument.
  • Satellite Character: In XII they're all this to Montblanc, with the exception of Nono. Other games in the series flesh them out a bit more, especially Hurdy.
  • Sibling Team: Though they went their separate ways after their master died. For the last hunt against Yiazmat, Montblanc brings them all back together.
  • The Smurfette Principle: One of the Ultimanias refers to them as the "Moogle Brothers" but Gurdy is the only sister.
  • Team Mom: In A2, when she appears in a side quest, Hurdy mentions that Gurdy acts more like a mom than a sister.

    Ba'Gamnan's Crew
"The whole affair has the smell of money. I may have to whet my beak a little."

Ba'Gamnan is voiced by Kouji Ishii (Japanese) and Steve Blum (English)
Gijuk is voiced by Chafurin (Japanese) and Phil LaMarr (English)
Bwagi is voiced by Daisuke Kirii (Japanese)
Rinok is voiced by Hyo-sei (Japanese)

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.

  • 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.
  • Breath Weapon: In Revenant Wings, if you train Ba'Gamnan high enough, he can learn Bad Breath.
  • 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.
  • Devious Daggers: Bwagi and Rinok fight with daggers in Revenant Wings.
  • 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, Ba'Gamnan is 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. 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.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Ba'Gamnan uses a large circular spinning chainsaw type of weapon called the "Ba'Gangsaw."
  • Lizard Folk: As bangaa, they're lizard-men and women.
  • Loves the Sound of Screaming: Gijuk.
  • Recurring Boss: A few times in the first game but even more in the sequel, where they get more focus in general. During the time Ba'Gamnan is (unwillingly) on your side, he is actually quite happy to help you beat up his siblings.
  • 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, most of their weapons are 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.
  • Violent Glaswegian: Ba'Gamnan and Gijuk both have vaguely Scottish-sounding accents.

    The Occuria (Unmarked Spoilers ahead)
Gerun, leader of the Occuria
"Undying, we Occuria light the path for wayward sons of man. Oft did we pass judgment on them so that Ivalice might endure. Eternal, we are hist'ry's stewards, to set the course and keep it true."

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.

  • Berserk Button: The Occuria are furious over Venat helping the Archadians make their own nethicite and want nothing but their complete and utter destruction, collateral damage be damned. Gerun doesn't take it well when Ashe says Venat is an Occuria too. This outrages the Occuria king so much that it loses its composure and its eyes flare with fury. The other Occuria manifest their physical forms, angered by Ashe's statement.
    Gerun: The nethicite is ours to give, to chosen bearer or to none.
    The heretic tresspassed, and set the rose of knowledge in Man's hand.
    With imitations they profane... it is anathema to us!
    We give you now the Stone and Task! Administer judgement: DESTROY THEM ALL!!
  • 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 orange 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 they aren't probably right, though, given how overbearing and temperamental Gerun is.
  • 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 Archadia.
  • 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: Gerun's voice echoes.

The Espers

    General tropes 

The summons of the game. Thirteen creatures of unfathomable power created by the Occuria during their rule of the world, scions of darkness opposuing Occurian scions of light, who were all spurned and punished by their creators: twelve for their combined act of rebellion, and one for their own immense power compared to their fellows. The Espers were cast down to different parts of Ivalice and constitute one of the game's most challenging series of bonus bosses, and defeating them will give the player the ability to assign them as a summon to a party member.

  • Anti-Frustration Features: Esper gambits were impossible to change or interact with at all in the original game, and if you wanted to see their respective Limit Breaks, you'd have to meet very specific requirements. All of this made summoning a very situational tactic at best, and utterly useless at worst despite the genuine power they have. From the International Zodiac Job version onwards, it's now possible to directly control the Esper you summon and decide what its next move will be - and while you can't outright change their gambits, you can turn them on or off as you please and focus on direct input instead, making them far more useful in boss battles should you acquire the right Esper.
  • 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.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Most elemental Espers will resort to other attacks if their target absorbs their element (for example, Belias will do normal attacks if his target absorbs fire, rather than Painflare), but they will still unleash their elemental limit break if their summoning time is almost up or the enemy's HP is less than 30%, regardless if the target absorbs the element. Both gambits take precedence and, since you can't change them, you have no choice but to manually abort the summoning if it happens. Thankfully, later ports of the game mitigate this in some ways.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: All of them are this in the original game. If you want to summon them in the first place, you have to give up your MP. The Espers basically act like glorified guest party members; you can neither control them nor change their gambits, but depend on you for healing (except for Zalera and Cúchulainn, who have self-healing gambits). Most of the time, players summon them to unleash their Limit Break, but because their gambits are unknown outside of consulting a guide, you will not know how to do it. Even if you do know, a few are rather impractical to perform (infamously, Ultima will only do her limit break if her and her summoner's HP are both critical). Finally, they can be KO'd, and if the summoner is KO'd, the Esper will go away as well.
  • Bonus Boss: You only need to fight five of them in the main storyline, who are appropriately manageable. The rest are a different matter, all things considered...
  • Checkpoint Starvation: There's no save crystal before facing Zodiark. Likewise, Chaos is in an area with no save crystals whatsoever.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: In the original Japanase version only, Adrammelech and Hashmal could become temporarily invincible for a time by using Perfect Defense.
  • Continuity Nod: To the Lucavi from Final Fantasy Tactics. Being that the two games are in the same continuity, it's heavily implied, if not outright stated that the Espers and the Lucavi are one and the same.
  • Defeat Means Playable: You can recruit them by defeating them.
  • Demonic Possession: Final Fantasy Tactics A2 delved a bit further into the relation between Espers and the Lucavi, stating that while Espers could be summoned, this would only manifest a fraction of their power. Only through Demonic Possession could they invoke their true power—the Lucavi.
  • Double Unlock: You have to defeat them and activate them on the license board.
  • Elemental Powers: Each Esper is associated with a specific element, though five of them are Non-Elemental in terms of game mechanics.
  • 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.
  • Fallen Angel: All of them, thematically. Ultima is a literal one, having an angelic design.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: While not exactly nobodies in Final Fantasy XII, these mostly optional summons - outside of five story ones - are relatively unimportant to the story, if not connected to the story at all. But if the Espers are indeed the Lucavi from Final Fantasy Tactics, then they are responsible for one of the most bloody and horrifying wars to ever hit Ivalice.
  • Gate Guardian: Most of them, in particular the story-related Espers, are protecting something of value to the Occuria that the party requires for their own goals.
  • Gender Flip:
  • Guardian Entity: Four of the five plotline Esper happen because the party is trying to reach something that one of them is guarding: Belias guards the Dawn Shard, Mateus guards the Sword of Kings, Shemhazai guards the way stone to the Occuria, and Hashmal is the last line of defense for the Sun-Cryst.
  • Healing Hands: In the original game, Mateus and Adrammelech will heal their summoner if their HP is less than half (the former uses Cura while the latter uses Curaga). The Zodiac versions expand this to include everyone, who will heal their summoner if they take so much as a scratch (the Lv. 1 Espers use Cura, Lv. 2 ones use Curaja, and Lv. 3 ones use Renew).
  • Horned Humanoid: Chaos, Zalera's skull, Exodus's humanoid section and Belias all have horns. Hashmal has antlers.
  • Limit Break: They all have an ultimate attack they can use that instantly dismisses their summoning when used.
  • 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."
  • Non-Elemental: Exodus, Cúchulainn, 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.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: There was a good reason for imprisoning some of them, namely Exodus. Not surprising considering who he's based on.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: All Espers have rather abstract designs to further emphasize their divine origin, Mateus and Zeromus particularly stand out as "alien". Belias might also count for looking like two humanoids fused together, giving him two heads.
  • Promoted to Playable: The Zodiac versions make all of the Espers controllable by the player, though their gambits are still fixed.
  • Red Baron: Each Esper have one: "Belias, the Gigas", "Mateus, the Corrupt", "Adrammelech, the Wroth" etc.
  • Retcon: Tactics A2 gives Zalera power over darkness instead of Zodiark and Revenant Wings makes him holy-aligned.
  • Shout-Out Theme Naming: Some of them are named after final bosses from earlier games: Final Fantasy I (Chaos), II (Mateus), III (Famfrit) IV (Zeromus), and V (Exodus). Cúchulainn, Belias, Zalera, Adrammelech, Hashmal, Zodiark, and Ultima hail from Final Fantasy Tactics (which is set in the same continuity as XII). Only Shemhazai has no clear counterpart in the previous games.
  • The Starscream: They are punished for rebelling against the gods. Zodiark is an exception; he's sealed due to being too powerful.
  • Summon Magic: Instant-ally variety, uncontrollable in the original versions while the opposite in the Zodiac versions. In Tactics A2, the trinkets used to summon them all use the single-attack variety.
  • Status Effects: Most of them can inflict at least one during their battles, often as an additional effect of their unique level-4 elemental attacks.
  • Token Evil Teammate: The Espers are generally forced to serve the player heroes because the heroes beat them in combat. Left to their own devices, the Espers are shown to be thoroughly vile.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The Zodiac versions buffed the Espers significantly, giving all of them the ability to heal their summoner, making them controllable (and thus allowing you to use their ultimate attacks whenever you feel like it), extending their summon time to four and a half minutes (triple the original time), giving them more abilities and far higher stats (especially HP) and giving them all the ability to break the damage limit if they are strong enough. They're so powerful that it's actually a viable strategy to use Ultima against the Hell Wyrm.
  • Total Party Kill:
    • Zodiark's Darkja ability can inflict KO to each individual party member (a 50-percent chance, or 25-percent when wearing proper gear), with the potential to do this. This is in addition to inflicting Blind, which doesn't wear off after a character is KO'd.
    • Zalera's Prime Level Death can be this, on the unfortunate chance that all of your party members have levels which are prime numbers.
  • Western Zodiac: Each esper is associated with one of the twelve signs, and Zodiark with the thirteenth, Ophiuchus.

    Belias, the Gigas 

Zodiac Sign: Aries, the Ram

Affinity: Fire

The Esper of Fire. Called the Gigas for being a hulking mishmash of man and monster, his defeat by the gods caused him to submit to King Raithwall and be a guardian for his tomb for all eternity. Belias is the very first Esper the party comes across, the one who introduces the summons to the game.

  • Animal Motifs: Befitting the Aries sign, Belias has huge ram horns and his legs end in large hooves. Ram horns also adorn the end of his staff.
  • Boss Room: The Cloister of Flame, deep within the Tomb of Raithwall.
  • Damage-Increasing Debuff: His Firaja can inflict Oil, which triples any fire damage received.
  • Gate Guardian: He swore himself to the defense of Raithwall's tomb, standing between would-be trespassers and the chamber that leads to the Dawn Shard. The party needs to defeat him to get to it.
  • Limit Break:
    • Firaja as a boss, a party-wide Fire move that can also cause the Oil status, leaving your party more vulnerable to Fire attacks.
    • Hellfire as a summon, opening a deep fissure that causes a massive wall of fire to erupt from the ground and engulf all enemies in the vicinity.
  • Magic Staff: His weapon. Not only does it serve as an effective weapon, his human half can also channel fire magic through it.
  • Meaningful Name: It derives from "Belial", a demon in Christianity and a name used in the Hebrew Bible to caracterize "something devoid of worth", translated to "worthless" or "yolkless" in some translations. "Belias" is also similar to the word "Bélier", which is the French translation of "Aries".
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Has two pairs of arms, one belonging to the beast half, and the other to the human half. The former performs Belias' physical strikes with his weapon, the other casts the Fire magic Belias is known for.
  • Playing with Fire: The Esper of Fire. Attacks with Painflare, Hellfire, and Firaja.
  • Red Baron: The Gigas, called as such due to his huge size and for being a mixture of both human and monstrous features.
  • Revenge: Belias rebelled out to get revenge on his creators for considering him defective and useless.
  • Warm-Up Boss: Because Belias is the first of the Espers, his battle is comparatively easier than the others', with no special field conditions or gameplay limitations, just strong elemental magic right off the gate.

    Mateus, the Corrupt 

Zodiac Sign: Pisces, the Fish

Affinity: Ice

The Esper of Ice. A fish-like being that, in his growing avarice and desire for power as ruler of the Underworld, challenged the gods after strapping an ice goddess to his own body in an attempt to shield himself from their wrath. Instead, the gods cast them both down to Hell to suffer together. At some point, he was made to guard the Stilshrine of Miriam and be an opponent for those wanting the Sword of Kings.

  • Animal Motifs: Pisces is the Fish, so Mateus' true body looks ends on a large fish tail and his weapon is an ornate trident.
  • Boss Room: The Hall of Worth in the Stilshrine of Miriam.
  • Damage Over Time: His Blizzaja inflicts Sap, which deals a consistent ten damage per second.
  • Dirty Coward: His lore states that he attached an unrelated ice goddess to himself in order to face the gods by using her powers, her body essentially a meat shield for him to hide behind.
  • Flunky Boss: Surrounded by four Ice Azers during his boss fight, which are weaker variations of the Ice Elemental enemies.
  • Gate Guardian: It stands between the party and the Sword of Kings, which Ashe needs to cut the Sun-Cryst and prove her royal lineage.
  • An Ice Person: The Esper of Ice. Attacks with Blizzaja, Flash Freeze, and Frostwave.
  • Limit Break:
    • Blizzaja as a boss, a party-wide Ice-elemental attack that can inflict Sap.
    • Frostwave as a summon, with Mateus freezing an entire ocean and shattering both it and the screen to deal damage to all nearby enemies.
  • 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.
  • Meaningful Name: "Mateus" is the Portuguese form of "Matthew", meaning "gift of God".
  • Mythology Gag: Named after the main antagonist of Final Fantasy II, also known as just "The Emperor", himself a once-virtuous ruler driven to evil by selfish desires and banished to Hell.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: As part of the Pisces motif. See that blue woman? That's not him. He's the fish thing she's attached to.
  • Prongs of Poseidon: He's a fish-like being who uses a huge ornate trident as both a physical weapon and a catalyst for his ice magick.
  • Red Baron: Was driven to evil by sheer avarice and desire for power, hence "The Corrupt".
  • Shoot the Hostage: Mateus bound an ice goddess to himself hoping the gods he fought against wouldn't risk harming an unrelated deity to hurt him. Both of them were cast down to Hell as a result.

    Adrammelech, the Wroth 

Zodiac Sign: Capricorn, the Goat

Affinity: Lightning

Esper of Lightning, a powerful draconic entity said to smite enemies with just a blow from his fists, which causes lightning to strike. Made by the Occuria to control the fiends in the Otherworld, his power and visage instead got them to join him and he waged war on the gods, eventually failing. He was confined to the depths of the Zertinan Caverns, surrounded by legions of the undead.

  • The Beastmaster: The bestiary says that Adrammelech led an army of monsters against his creators
  • Bonus Boss: He's the weakest of the optional Espers but no less of a challenge to the unprepared player, especially due to being in one of the game's most dangerous early areas.
  • Boss Room: The Athroza Quicksands, the center chamber of the Zertinan Caverns where the Mist is thicker.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Adrammelech has eyes that glow yellow in the sandstorm of the Zertinan Caverns.
  • Limit Break:
    • Thundaja as a boss, which deals massive party-wide lightning damage.
    • Judgment Bolt as a summon, a massive bolt of lightning summoned from the heavens that deals huge lightning damage to all surrounding enemies.
  • Meaningful Name: Comes from the Assyrian deity "Baal Adramelech", with "Baal" meaning "lord" and "melech" being "king".
  • Mechanically Unusual Fighter: The only Esper to be considered a "flying" enemy in his boss battle, meaning normal attacks won't reach it, requiring the player to use magic, poles, staves or long-ranged weaponry.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: A dragon with some goat-like features such as hooves, tying to his representation of the sign of Capricorn.
  • Red Baron: Known as "The Wroth" for being extremely angry and irate in his judgements, and for his temper that led to his challenging of the gods' rule.
  • Shock and Awe: The Esper of Lightning. Attacks with Thundara, Thundaja, Flash Arc, and Judgment Bolt.

    Zalera, the Death Seraph 

Zodiac Sign: Gemini, the Twins

Affinity: Death

The Esper of Death. A Grim Reaper-like figure, Zalera was tainted by the wrath of the souls of those who raged against heaven and, motivated by their anguish, grafted a shamaness who serviced the gods onto his right arm as a hostage. Struck down for his attempt at rebellion, he now resides in the Barheim Passage's deepest reaches.

  • Bonus Boss: Arguably one of the "rewards" for finding the Barheim Key and venturing all the way into the Passage, all of which are sidequests and not required to further the plot.
  • Boss Room: Terminus No. 7, deep within the Barheim Passage.
  • Casting a Shadow: In Tactics A2, it deals dark damage and status effects when summoned, replacing Zodiark as the dark Scion.
  • Dem Bones: Zalera's figure is very skeletal in appearance, and it summons legions of Dead Bones to help it in battle.
  • Flunky Boss: Summons hordes of Dead Bones enemies during its fight.
  • The Grim Reaper: Its previous role of guiding the souls of the dead and deciding their fates in the afterlife serves as a variation of this.
  • Light 'em Up: Despite being considered an undead, Zalera is also technically a holy-elemental Esper. He absorbs Holy and will use it to heal himself if you summon him, though he no longer does this in the Zodiac versions. Revenant Wings makes this official.
  • Limit Break:
    • Prime Lvl. Death as a boss, a horrifying attack where the shamaness' skull is hurled at the camera while it screams. It will cause instant KO on any party member whose level is a prime number.
    • Condemnation as a summon, an attack where the shamaness' scream and Zalera's control of dead souls creates a hurricane of darkness around nearby foes. It kills any enemy with HP under 9999 in the original, but deals random damage in the Zodiac versions.
  • Mechanically Unusual Fighter: The fight against Zalera is timed, and failing to defeat it under the time limit will kick the player back to the Terminus 7 Adjunct, forcing them to try again. What's more, Zalera's spells (except Kill) are all based off the party's individual levels and dividing them by the spell's number (Lvl. 3 Disable will only affect party members with level numbers that can be divided by 3, etc.), meaning a huge chunk of his attacks can be outright ignored at the right levels. Finally, Zalera will erect a pailing that makes it "brace against attacks", forcing the player to attack it through alternate means.
  • Necromancer: Zalera wields the element of Death and, aside from using Instant Death attacks, also summons undead enemies to aid it in battle.
  • One-Hit Kill: As the Esper of Death and befitting his appearance, Zalera has a special "Kill" ability both as an enemy and summon. It's a single-target variation of the Warp spell, but does not require MP since it is technically a Technick. The Zodiac versions give both the standard Warp and Death spells as part of his summon repertoire.
  • One-Way Visor: The shamaness attached to Zalera's arm has one.
  • Red Baron: An actual angel of death guiding the souls of the once-living to their fates, hence "Death Seraph".
  • Revive Kills Zombie: It registers as an "undead" enemy like the Dead Bones around itself, so casting healing spells at Zalera will damage it as if it was being attacked, which is a wonderful way to get around his pailing.
  • Shoot the Hostage: Zalera grafted a shamaness who once serviced the gods into his right arm, using her powers to make his control over the dead that much stronger. Much like with Mateus, the gods just punished the two uniformely.
  • Significant Anagram: Zalera -> Azrael. The Angel of Death.
  • Timed Mission: Zalera's boss fight. You are ejected from the battle and have to start over when the timer runs out.

    Shemhazai, the Whisperer 

Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius, the Archer

Affinity: Soul

Esper of Soul, a mechanical-looking centaur woman whose knowledge of the gods' weaknesses she revealed to Ultima, who used it in her own battle against them. After the rebellion was stopped, Shemhazai was used by the Occuria as the final test of worth for their peons, guarding the Way Stone in Giruvegan that leads right to them.

  • Arm Cannon: Her arms are crossbow-like cannons that fire spiritual energy.
  • Boss Room: Giruvegan's Gate of Wind.
  • Gate Guardian: She guards the Way Stone that leads directly to the Occuria's realm above Giruvegan.
  • Guns Akimbo: Shemhazai uses 2 soul "guns" at once that can fire rapidly. Said guns are actually her hands.
  • Limit Break: Lacks one as a boss, but she gains Soul Purge as a summon, an attack where she rides under the moonlight and fires massive concentrations of soul energy onto enemies. Damage is calculated the same way as the Dark Matter item.
  • Meaningful Name: Derived from "Samyaza", a fallen angel of apocryphal Jewish and Christian lore once considered one of the "watchers".
  • Non-Elemental: "Soul" is by no means an element or even a spell in this game, so Shemhazai's attacks aren't listed under a particular elemental affinity. Soul is used here mostly to separate her from Zalera and Exodus.
  • Original Generation: Shemhazai is the only Esper that's not based on either a Lucavi from Tactics or a past Final Fantasy villain.
  • Our Centaurs Are Different: Shemhazai 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.
  • Red Baron: Called "the Whisperer" for revealing the gods' weaknesses to Ultima behind their backs.
  • Soul Power: The Esper of Soul, attacking with Soul Purge and Devour Soul.

    Hashmal, Bringer of Order 

Zodiac Sign: Leo, the Lion

Affinity: Earth

Esper of Earth. Assigned with maintaining the order and laws of the mortal plane, his desire for absolute law led him to join Ultima in her rebellion against the Occuria. After failing, they've trapped him within the Pharos at Ridorana as an obstacle to those who ascend toward the Sun-Cryst.

  • Beast Man: Has leonine features to go with the zodiac sign of Leo.
  • Boss Room: Heaven's Challenge, a one-time arena at the Third Ascent of the Pharos.
  • Cat Folk: Hashmal is a humanoid lion in keeping with him corresponding to the Western Zodiac sign Leo.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Esper of Earth. When fought, he uses Quakeja and an ability called Roxxor, which tosses a boulder at the target. As a summon, he gains the limit break Gaia's Wrath.
  • Gate Guardian: The last line of defense for the Sun-Cryst.
  • Limit Break:
  • Manly Facial Hair: A white goatee that flutters along with his mane of hair, making him look like an imposing beast.
  • Maximum HP Reduction: During his boss fight, his attacks have a chance to inflict Disease.
  • Order vs. Chaos: Hashmal's motivation for rebelling was that he saw himself as a bringer of order and thought he would subjugate the Occuria to the same natural laws he upheld.
  • Red Baron: The "Bringer of Order" supposed to maintain the natural law upheld by the Occuria before he tried to subjugate them to the same.

    Cúchulainn, the Impure 

Zodiac Sign: Scorpio, the Scorpion

Affinity: Poison

Esper of Poison. Made to cleanse the world of its impurities, they were far too many for him alone and his once beautiful visage became bloated and twisted, causing him to rebel against his creators. Defeated, he now lurks deep within the Garamsythe Waterway under Rabanastre.

  • Animal Motif: Only tangentially related to scorpions in that he possesses a stinger tail hidden within his body and is associated heavily with poison.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: Has one that sprouts out of his back during his Limit Break, fitting with being based off the sign of Scorpio.
  • Bonus Boss: Locked behind a puzzle involving the Waterway's sluice gates, only available after completing two specific hunts.
  • Boss Room: The previously-inaccessible No. 1 Cloaca of the Garamsythe Waterway, the only spot in the place that is seething with Mist.
  • Damage Over Time: During his boss fight, he causes a continuous HP drain that's proportional to each character's health, making the Bubble status an outright liability as it causes health to drop faster than it can be healed. He can also inflict Poison and Sap, whose damage stacks with the effect.
  • Flunky Boss: Starts his battle with four Foobars helping him.
  • Guide Dang It!: Easily one of the most frustrating Espers to find, requiring the White Mousse and Orthros hunts to be finished and having the key to open the Waterway's sluice gates in a certain way.
  • Life Drain: Cúchulainn's unique ability is Malaise, which is basically a much more powerful Drain spell.
  • Limit Break: Lacks one as a boss but gains Blight as a summon, where it reveals its real tail and plunges it deep into the earth, pumping lethal amounts of poison to kill the enemy.
  • Meaningful Name: Cú Chulainn was a demigod and hero from Irish mythology. A peerless warrior and master of the spear, he was best known for his ability (or curse) to warp into a monstrous, deformed berserker who destroyed friend or foe in his path.
  • Poisonous Person: The Esper of Poison, using attacks like Bio, Malaise, and Toxify.
  • Status Effects: Cúchulainn's specialty is to sabotage the party by repeatedly inflicting different status effects on them through varying means. You better hope you have the necessary items to counter each and every one of them.

    Zeromus, the Condemner 

Zodiac Sign: Cancer, the Crab

Affinity: Gravity

Esper of Gravity. A judge who upheld the law and punished the guilty, he grew addicted to the punishing and chose to rebel against his creators so he'd condemn the gods themselves to their deaths. Defeated, he was cast down to the depths of the Stilshrine of Miriam, completely out of sight.

  • Animal Motifs: His hand cannon and his tail are both concealed in what look like crustracean pincers, referencing the Cancer sign's image of a crab.
  • Bonus Boss: He can be accessed really early on, right after the party defeats Judge Bergan in Mt. Bur-Omisace and talks to one of the Nu Mou priests, who will give the player the Stone of the Condemned to access Zeromus' chamber in the Stilshrine.
  • Boss Room: The Throne of Veiled Gods, an area deep within the Stilshrine of Miriam, only accessible with a special key item.
  • Flunky Boss: His arena has a near-endless amount of Dark Lord skeletons that will respawn frequently.
  • Gravity Master: The Esper of Gravity, with attacks like Graviga and Gravity Well.
  • Interface Screw: His battle locks the Magic commands off, forcing the player to rely on items and techinques for healing.
  • Judge, Jury, and Executioner: Was once charged with upholding the law and punishing the guilty, but the amount of punishments he dealt made him enjoy it so much that he chose to try and subjugate the Occuria to death as well.
  • Limit Break: Lacks one as a boss, but gains Big Bang as a summon, a swirling vortex of gravitational power that forms into a huge shot fired out of his pincer hand, which is also a cannon. Because of how Gravity works in the franchise, the Limit Break does fractional damage to all foes in range.
  • Meaningful Name: Matching his inspiration, Zemus, his name is a pun of the original Ahramic term and the word "zero", essentially making it translate to "no prayer".
  • Mythology Gag: His name is a reference to the final boss of Final Fantasy IV, the reborn spirit of Big Bad Zemus turned into a being of sheer hatred and malice.
  • Power Pincers: One covering his gravity cannon, and a huge one that protects its tail.
  • Red Baron: Grew so used to punishing the guilty under his jurisdiction that he took joy in doing so and chose to punish the gods, earning the title of "The Condemner".

    Exodus, the Judge-Sal 

Zodiac Sign: Libra, the Scale

Affinity: Aether/None

Esper of Aether and the oldest of them all, created to be a judge that values all things in life and defines their worth, but after eons of doing so, he descended into empty nihilism and tried to eradicate the world. The gods punished him and he now lies dormant on a platform high above the Mosphoran Highwaste.

  • Bonus Boss: Found at the highest point of the Mosphoran Highwaste, accessible only after the party reaches the Phon Coast and gets water running into the shrines at the main camping area, allowing them to use the "floatweeds" to reach the higher points.
  • Boss Room: The Empyrean Seal, a lone floating platform high above the Mosphoran Highwaste.
  • Colony Drop: Exodus's Comet and Meteor invoke this, as does his pre-battle cutscene. He's the only one who can execute the Meteor technique in XII.
  • Interface Screw: Erects a special field during battle that prevents the party from using Items.
  • Limit Break: Meteor, the recurring technique from the series, manifesting here as a giant asteroid summoned by Exodus' scale that crashes down and deals random non-elemental damage to all enemies in the vicinity.
  • Mythology Gag: A translation error caused a bit of the reference to be lost, but he's directly named after Exdeath in Japanese, the main villain of Final Fantasy V who is also a being made out of a tree that seeks to reduce all of existence to nothingness.
  • Non-Elemental: Exodus has no official elemental alignment, but his "element" is defined as "Aether", referring to the Comet and Meteor techniques present in other games. He also uses Flare and Scathe during his boss fight.
  • Meteor-Summoning Attack: He uses both Comet and Meteor to drop meteors on foes when summoned.
  • Plant Person: His torso looks a lot like a tree, matching the reference he embodies.
  • Randomized Damage Attack: His Comet and Meteor deal random damage, which in meteor's case can go as high as 30,000.
  • Red Baron: Called the "Judge-Sal" for his duty of giving a value to all things in life. "Sal" is a type of tree native to Northern India.
  • Wizard Beard: A long white beard to show his age in comparison to his fellow Espers.

    Famfrit, the Darkening Cloud 

Zodiac Sign: Aquarius, the Water Carrier

Affinity: Water

Esper of Water, object of hatred to its creators even as soon as it was created, causing him to be trapped in a sturdy armor devoid of light, but that can still summon storm clouds from his rage. Somehow, Dr. Cid manages to summon Famfrit to the Pharos through the nethicite he wields, commanding him to attack the heroes as the Sun-Cryst bursts with the power of the Shards.

  • Boss Room: The Womb of the Sun-Cryst atop the Pharos at Ridorana, at the height of Dr. Cid's desire to test the nethicite's power.
  • Dual Boss: You fight him after he's summoned by Dr. Cid to attack the party atop the Pharos. Both will attack you simultaneously, but Cid can only be defeated when Famfrit is taken out first.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Two huge jars tied to his arms by chains. They can gather water and shoot it like cannons.
  • Limit Break:
    • Waterja/Aquaja as a boss, a party-wide attack that deals Water damage and has a chance of inflicting Silence.
    • Tsunami as a summon, an attack in which Famfrit gathers rainwater from the clouds around himself and drops the collected water from his jars into the ocean, causing a massive tidal wave that deals massive water damage to all foes in range.
  • Making a Splash: The Esper of Water, attacking with Briny Cannonade, Waterja, and Tsunami.
  • Mythology Gag: Not his name, but his title. In Japanese, he's just straight-up called the "Cloud of Darkness", which is the name of the final boss of Final Fantasy III.
  • Red Baron: Called the "Darkening Cloud" due to his ability to summon storm clouds even from within his armor, and the fact that the inside of his armor is completely devoid of light.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The real Famfrit is contained within what looks like his body, which is actually a bulky, heavy suit of armor.
  • Shielded Core Boss: As long as Famfrit is active in battle, Dr. Cid will be immune to physical and magical attacks. He'll only be the main boss again and able to be harmed when his summoned Esper is defeated.

    Chaos, Walker of the Wheel 

Zodiac Sign: Taurus, the Bull

Affinity: Wind

Esper of Wind. A being capable of reincarnation, he was so lost in his journey that he died and was reborn countless times, rebelling against the gods for placing him in such a position. Defeated, he took to meditating about his rage upon a sacred pedestal, now isolated deep within the place that was once the royal palace of Nabudis, now a horrible Necrohol swarming with powerful monsters, two of which exist to keep the seal to his door locked.

  • Animal Motifs: Has huge bull horns on his head, but otherwise serves as an aversion to the theme of rage that bulls usually invoke, especially since he sits upon a pedestal to meditate.
  • Blow You Away: The Esper of Wind, who attacks with Aeroja, Whirlwind, Aeroga, and Tornado.
  • Bonus Boss: Not only is he an optional Esper, he's found in a completely optional dungeon and can only be accessed by completing a sidequest that starts as early as the fourth hunt of the game. And not only that, you have to go out of your way to complete it, then fight two more bosses on top of that before finally reaching him.
  • Boss Room: The Crucible, a sealed chamber within the Necrohol of Nabudis that requires defeating the Humbaba Mistant and the Fury to open.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: In the original game, despite mastering Aero magic, Chaos has access to high-tier Fire, Lightning and Ice spells and could use them to strike at many different enemies, giving it ample elemental coverage.
  • Instant Runes: Its Tornado has it conjure a giant mandala beneath it and jam its swords into the corners to whip up a colossal whirlwind.
  • Interface Screw: His battle condition is that the party can't use the Attack command, restricting them to magics, techniques and items to deal damage.
  • Limit Break:
    • Aeroja as a boss, a party-wide wind-elemental attack that has a chance of causing Confusion.
    • Tornado as a summon, using the four swords around his pedestal to create a massive glyph on the ground that generates a massive tornado, dealing wind damage to all foes in the radius.
  • Mythology Gag: Named after the very first final boss of the series, the demon Chaos, who was likewise part of an eternal time loop between his death as the fallen knight Garland and his rebirth as Chaos.
  • Nerf: Zigzagged. Chaos in Zodiac loses Scourge and all of the elemental spells he had in the original game sans (naturally) Aeroga and, unlike most Espers, doesn't gain a new offensive ability. However, as with the others, he gains a massive HP and stat boost which more than make up for those.
  • Red Baron: He died and reincarnated as he lived on, becoming the "Walker of the Wheel" (of life).
  • Reincarnation: Effectively immortal because of this, able to be reborn after death and having done so countless time, which is what led to his rebellion against the gods.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Chaos's motive for rebelling. He was made to reincarnate every time he died and found this to be a terrible existence.

    Ultima, the High Seraph 

Zodiac Sign: Virgo, the Virgin

Affinity: Holy

Esper of Holy and the leader of the rebellion against the gods that created the Espers themselves. Once tasked with guiding the souls of the dead to Heaven and aiding with their reincarnation, she organized the insurgence against the Occuria but was struck down and became fallen. Now devoid of true light, she's trapped at the peak of the Great Crystal in Giruvegan, under the Occuria's watch.

  • Angelic Abomination: Looks heavenly and pristine, having a very human face, but is also an opportunistic Esper with a lot of power.
  • Bonus Boss: Can only be reached after the main plot in Giruvegan is done, which opens up the rest of the Great Crystal for exploration.
  • Boss Room: The Great Crystal's Peak, deep within Giruvegan. Ironically for her element, it's the area most devoid of light in the Great Crystal.
  • HP To One: A variation; Holyja can inflict Reverse on the party, and Ultima will then cast Renew on those afflicted and reduce their HP to 1.
  • Humanoid Abomination: She looks the most human out of all the Espers, but is still eternally holding up her dress, has huge golden wings and the rest of her body includes a large metal base with spinning blades underneath that helps her float above the ground.
  • Interface Screw: When her health drops a certain amount, she'll cast a field that will change the limitations of the battle to that of previous Espers and other bosses, including a new one that drains the party's MP.
  • Kill Sat: Ultima's Limit Break animation shows her doing this if you can get her to use it.
  • The Leader: Of the Espers' rebellion against the gods.
  • Light 'em Up: The Esper of Holy. She uses Holy and Holyja when fought and has a unique ability called Redemption. As a summon, she can use the limit break Eschaton.
  • Light Is Not Good: An Esper that looks like an angel and has control over light, yet is a vile being that attacks the party without provocation when she's met.
  • Limit Break:
    • Holyja as a boss, which causes the Reverse status on the party.
    • Eschaton as a summon, an attack where Ultima flies high into space and fires a Holy-elemental laser down to the Earth, dealing massive Holy damage to all enemies nearby.
  • Mythology Gag: Named for and themed after the leader of the Lucavi from fellow Ivalice Alliance game Final Fantasy Tactics.
  • Red Baron: Called "The High Seraph" for her glimmering wings and her duty to take men's souls into Heaven.
  • Satanic Archetype: Ultima is a Fallen Angel who led the Espers' rebellion against the gods (the Occurria) and, as a result, was sealed and forced to guard the Great Crystal.

    Zodiark, Keeper of Precepts 

Zodiac Sign: Ophiuchus, the Serpent Holder

Affinity: Dark

Esper of Dark, the strongest of them all, as well as the youngest, kept as a child due to the gods' fear of his immense power. Locked away in an abandoned mineshaft long forgotten, Zodiark is so powerful that he is capable of administering punishments in place of the gods themselves.

  • Angelic Abomination: His mature form. About 80% of his body is just wings.
  • Bonus Boss: Only available when the player has at least 10 Espers defeated and enlisted, in a part of the Henne Mines that can only be opened once Geomancer Yugelu recognizes the party's abilities.
  • Boss Room: Special Charter Dig, deep in the Henne Mines.
  • Cap: In Tactics A2, summoning Zodiark has a 50% chance of dealing 999 damage to each unit on both sides.
  • Casting a Shadow: The Esper of Dark. 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.
  • Feathered Serpent: His adult stage.
  • Fixed Damage Attack: Zodiark's Limit Break does exactly 50,000 damage (60,000 damage in the Zodiac versions). Summoning Zodiark in Tactics A2 has a 50% chance of hitting each unit on both sides for 999 damage.
  • Limit Break:
    • Darkja as a boss, a party-wide dark-elemental attack that inflicts Blind and has a 50% chance of inflicting instant KO, 25% with the right equipment on.
    • Final Eclipse as a summon, a non-elemental move where Zodiark enters his mature stage and creates a world-destroying cataclysm, dealing exactly 50.000 (60.000 in Zodiac) damage.
  • Non-Elemental: Unlike the other elemental Espers, Zodiark's limit break, Final Eclipse, is non-elemental.
  • One-Hit Kill: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Power of the Void: Zodiark's Limit Break involves him blasting a hole in spacetime itself.
  • Red Baron: Called the "Keeper of Precepts" for maintaining the Occuria's order in their stead.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: Befitting Ophiuchus, the 13th sign, Zodiark resembles a snake with wings.

Revenant Wings

"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.
  • Fragile Speedster: She moves across the map quickly and has speed-related buffs, but she can go down fast if enemies gang up on her.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: She wears goggles on her head that she never puts on. It might be useful for sky pirates but we never see any other sky pirates wearing them.
  • Gold Fever: Out of everyone in the party she is the most focused on the treasure hunting aspect of sky pirating.
  • Hot-Blooded: Filo is very outgoing and likely to jump right into the action.
  • Improbable Weapon User: She fights using a Skybandit, a hovering surfboard.
  • Jumped at the Call: She eagerly jumps at adventure and the opportunity to find treasure, just as excited about becoming a sky pirate as Vaan used to be.
  • Kid Sidekick: In Revenant Wings, she serves as one to Vaan.
  • Limit Break: Her Quickening is Wind Soul, which hastens all allies and allows them to act immediately.
  • Little Miss Badass: She's only eleven years old in Revenant Wings, yet is more than able to hold her own in battle.
  • Precocious Crush: A conversation Vaan can have with her after a chapter where they're shipwrecked reveals that she has one directed at Llyud.
  • 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."

One more 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.

  • Jumped at the Call: Like Filo, but he's a little more reserved about it. Regardless, he's still excited about the possibility of finding treasure and what it means to be a sky pirate. He's just more contemplative about it than she is.
  • Kid Sidekick: In Revenant Wings, he serves as one to Vaan.
  • Limit Break: His Quickening is Nature's Wrath, which does damage a random element to all foes.
  • Magic Staff: His primary weapon.
  • Nervous Wreck: Downplayed. He's constantly worried about the situation and often asks Vaan or Penelo for reassurance.
  • You Don't Look Like You: He looks far different in Revenant Wings than he does in XII.


"We aegyl are not complete. We lack the heart that makes you humes whole."

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 like a curiosity himself.

  • Heroic Sacrifice: He does the Taking the Bullet version for Vaan near the end of the story, which gets his anima drained again - all at once this time - after he spent most of the game gaining it. He gets it back after Feolthanos is defeated.
  • Life Drain: One of his abilities is the Dragoon's trademark Lancet.
  • Limit Break: His Quickening is Fanfare, which empowers all Yarhi in the party.
  • Mr. Exposition: As a native to Lemurés he is often the one who tells the party about the sky continent, the aegyl, and auracite.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Unlike the rest of his species, he actually is curious about human emotions.
  • The Spock: Very unemotional and logical, especially contrasting with the other Revenant Wings newbies Kytes and Filo.
  • The Stoic: Along with the rest of his race, for unpleasant reasons.
  • Support Party Member: In addition to Jump, he actually gets several healing and support abilities like Revive (gotten much earlier than Penelo gets it), Transfusion (healing a party member at the expense of his own HP), and Vanishga. His Quickening, Fanfare, is also a supportive ability.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: He doesn't wear a shirt, and all his armor pieces are actually the medallions he wears around his neck.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: He has trouble understanding any feelings that the other races feel and often questions Vaan about it. When Fran goes onto the Galbana he wonders if she is like him, but Vaan explains she is just The Stoic.
  • Winged Humanoid: Like all Aegyl.

"Moneygrubbing? I'll show you moneygrubbing!"

An orphan living in Rabanastre's Lowtown. He played a small role in the original game, posting the first bounty that Vaan partakes in. But in Revenant Wings, he's responsible for managing the party's airship when they're away, and even sets up a center of commerce and bounty board on one of its decks.

  • Captain's Log: He's not the captain of the Galbana but it otherwise applies. When Penelo urges the party to keep a log of their adventures, he's the one who takes to it the most and finds some unexpected enjoyment out of it. When they get shipwrecked, he also catalogues the days that pass until he fixes up the ship again.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Every time he does something for the party by outfitting the airship with a new feature, he asks for some respect or gratitude but everyone dismisses it as him being only in it for the money. Cu Sith is the only one who gives him any.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's the sort to look out for himself, but he does go sick with worry when Vaan and the others disappear into the World of Illusions after the second auracite is destroyed. By the end of the game he's also more openly friendly.
  • Kid With The Remote Control: After the party knocks Ba'Gamnan out once during Revenant Wings, Tomaj fits a restraining collar around the Bangaa's neck, leading to some Teeth-Clenched Teamwork for a few chapters until he escapes Tomaj's control.
  • Non-Action Guy: All he ever does is manage sidequests and ship maintenance, rather than direct combat.
  • No Hero Discount: He runs the Sky Saloon, which is the Galbana's shopping area. While Vaan does try to object to not getting a discount, it's revealed that Tomaj is actually taking losses since he's selling weapons and armor that "would make Draklor Laboratory jealous." Eventually, with certain side quests completed, he does give discounts to the party once profits start rolling in.
  • Only in It for the Money: He's very profit-minded, and even Vaan has doubts whenever he claims to be doing something out of kindness.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Vaan. In one of his logs he outright states that he doesn't like Vaan, and it seems to be mutual. However, the two of them help each other out a lot and Tomaj found himself tagging along on the adventure regardless.

    Cu Sith
"Master artificer. And I must object to you calling me "it". I do not call you "hume"."

A self-proclaimed Master Artificer that Tomaj summons using the Ring of Pacts. Rather than partake in combat, she works on the airship as both its chief mechanic and as a weapons blacksmith.

  • The Blacksmith: The Galbana's Master Artificer who forges weapons for the party. She's also an Ultimate Blacksmith since she makes all sorts of magic weapons from rare materials.
  • Item Crafting: Her main purpose, using materials foraged from battles.
  • Precocious Crush: Sometimes, when forging a weapon for Filo, the questions she asks Vaan are about if she'd look cute with Filo's earring and if Vaan finds her (Cu) attractive, followed by some hyperventilation.
  • The Rival: To Nono, Balthier's moogle mechanic.
  • Secret Test of Character: Whenever she forges a weapon for Vaan's party, she asks a series of often-tangential questions, which actually impact the stats of the finished product.

    Mydia, the Judge of Wings
Click here for her appearance under the armor (Spoilers) 
"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.
  • Broken Bird: After Velis' death, she was heartbroken enough to let Feolthanos manipulate her into causing various tragedies, in the hope that he would grant her wish of bringing Velis back to life.
  • Death Equals Redemption: She finds peace and redemption when she's killed.
  • The Dragon: To Feolthanos.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: She is Mydia, the last of the Feol Viera, a subspecies born from the union between aegyl and Viera.
  • The Heavy: She is the main driver of the plot in her quest to take the auracite.
  • Interspecies Romance: She's an Aegyl-Viera hybrid that was in love with Velis, a Hume.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The plot and everyone around her abruptly gets serious and high-stakes whenever she shows up. Her introduction changed the tone from a lighthearted adventure story to a struggle to save an entire race.
  • Last of His Kind: Her own actions while under Feolthanos' control doom the rest of her race, the Feol Viera.
  • Love Makes You Evil: The loss of her love sparked a chain of events that led her to villainy.
  • 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.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Her emotions were manipulated by Feolthanos until she fell completely under his control.
  • Walking Spoiler: As you may have noticed.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Sure she committed horrible atrocities, but you have to feel at least a little sympathy for her.

Apparently a former soldier of Dalmasca, the party encounters him on their quest and he aids them for a time.

"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.
  • Master of Illusion: He can make Yarhi take the form of others, such as Velis and one last battle for the party against Mydia, even after she's gone.
  • One-Winged Angel: Transforms into Feolthanos Exultant for the final battle.
  • Winged Humanoid: As an aegyl, he has a large pair of wings.

Alternative Title(s): Final Fantasy XII Revenant Wings