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Characters / Final Fantasy XIV Garlean Empire

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Due to the story's advancement and the fact some articles would otherwise be all white, There are Unmarked spoilers below, you have been warned.

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Garlean Empire

    Garlean Empire in General
The ivory standard of Garlemald
An expansionist empire loosely patterned after the The Roman Empire. Founded by the brilliant Solus zos Galvus, the Garlean Empire are genetically unable to cast the simplest spells and compensated by becoming the creators and masters of Magitek technology, which they have used to conquer over a third of the known world. The nations that they conquer are assimilated into the Empire and their citizens drafted into the army, ensuring a consistently large (and loyal) military force.
  • Alphabetical Theme Naming: The middle names that all Garleans sport, which denote their rank in Garlean society, represent every letter in the alphabet except U and X. They are divided into tiers representing different facets of society: A is non-citizens, B and C are citizens, D through I are public officials, J through N are specialists such as engineers or doctors, O through V are military, and W through Z are royalty. The later the letter occurs in the alphabet, the more prominent the position within that tier.
  • Airborne Mook: A big part of Garlemald's dominance is their near exclusive access to an air force. Airships are still a fairly new development among the Eorzean nations, and only Ishgard is shown to have one that is equipped for combat (against dragons, not other airships). The Eorzean siege of Ala Mhigo would have been undone by airborne magitek were it not for the timely arrival of the Yol-riding Xaela tribes. It's telling that the only known Garlean invasion to fail was when their fleet ran afoul of a horde of dragons.
  • Battle Theme Music: "Steel Reason"
  • Badass Normal: Any pure-blooded Garlean possesses absolutely zero aether control and thus no ability for magic. However, to make up for that Garlean purebloods are implied to have extremely sharp intellect and the second lorebook says outright their bodies are capable of enough physical durability and feats of strength and speed - which they combine with power armor - to make them extremely dangerous fighters in spite of their inability to use magic. Zenos in particular drives this home, before being made a Resonant he has enough raw physical power and speed to overwhelm multiple aether-capable combatants and easily beats the Warrior of Light back, and Gaius as Shadowhunter can kill Ascians with no signs of anything other than his power and skill letting him do such. When Elidibus-as-Zenos shows up to Ghimlyt Dark, Hien notes after he defeats him, Yugiri and Lyse, that a Garlean body capable of using high-level magic is flat out unfair.
  • Beast of Battle: Their canis pugnaces are hulking armored war dogs.
  • Conscription: The vast majority of Garlean enemies encountered early in the game are actually conscripted Eorzeans, particularly Ala Mhigans. Later, a good number of them are Doman or other Othardian conscripts; only when we begin fighting the VIth and XIIth Legions and their officers do we begin to run into a number of Ilsabardian volunteers and a greater number of "pure" Garleans.
  • Civil War: Twice. In the time between the destruction of the Ultima Weapon at the end of A Realm Reborn and the beginning of Heavensward, Emperor Solus's death resulted in a power vacuum and subsequent war that left the late emperor's grandson Varis in charge. Then, during the events of Shadowbringers, crown prince Zenos assassinated Varis while also refusing to take up the throne, resulting in yet another power vacuum and war.
  • Dark Is Evil: The majority of all metal worked by the Garlean Empire is black, from their armor to their structures.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Garlean citizens are all too aware of their reputation and how the Empire conducts itself in the outside world. A majority of citizens believe that the Garlean military is going too far in how they act. However what separates them from Apathetic Citizens is the fact that to question the Empire likely means getting jailed or worse, and how many family members are often serving in the military. A Garlean citizen even tells that while territories are conquered some provinces are treated rather well and have a stable leadership in place (with the lorebooks later clarifying that these tend to be the older conquests or integrations in the Ilsabardian heartland south of Garlemald proper), and how Doma and Ala Mhigo were brutal exceptions to what is the norm due to Zenos's influence. Another citizen also states that while he understands the Warrior of Light's reasoning for liberating Doma and Ala Mhigo from the Empire, they still killed a bunch of soldiers who had no choice but to obey their orders. While the citizen also understands how flawed the Empire is, he believes that they are ultimately doing the right thing and he has pride in his people and country.
  • The Empire: This should go without saying.
  • Enemy Civil War: The Empire plunges into civil war after Zenos murders his father. The last scene of patch 5.1 shows Imperial legions fighting each other in the streets of Garlemald’s capital, trying to put various claimants on the throne.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: In theory the Garleans are this as they will let anyone they have conquered work in their military and gain citizenship eventually. However, in practice they aren't truly this as pure Garleans tend to look down upon those who are not pure Garlean (such as the Garlean soldier who casually watched as Fordola's father was stoned to death, even though he had willingly joined the Garlean Empire), and even if you gain citizenship, there is a limit to how high you can rise in rank compared to pure Garleans. And to even gain citizenship, you must serve in the military for twenty years. This has still resulted in a lot of non-Garlean Ilsabardians gaining citizenship (many of these territories having been in Garlean hands for upwards of forty years or more), but Doma and Ala Mhigo are still mostly a shambles due to how their populations haven't been integrated for long enough. As we later find out, the inconsistency is likely by design.
  • Expy: Pretty much the Gestahlian Empire writ in 1080p.
  • Fantastic Racism: Barring a few rare exceptions, all "pure" Garleans see others as "savages" to either be enslaved or eradicated.
  • Follow the Leader: In-Universe. Ultimately quite a lot about Garlemald is an imitation of the Allagan Empire, who ruled most if not all of Hydaelyn five thousand years ago. Given that Emet-Selch had a hand in the rise of both empires, this is likely intentional.
  • Freudian Excuse: From what little is known about Garlemald prior to becoming an empire, rival nations and beast tribes took advantage of the Garleans' lack of magic abilities to push them to the north. According to Zenos, many of Garlemald's views and causes came about during this age of strife and the final straw that pushed them to become From Nobody to Nightmare happened after someone unleashed a primal against them.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Because Garleans are biologically incapable of using magic, their people were hounded by the other races and driven into the harsh north. It was there that they discovered vast ceruleum deposits that lead to their industrialization and nigh unstoppable magitek weaponry. And of course, thanks to their previous treatment, they culturally felt like they had an axe to grind with everyone...
  • The Giant: Pureblood Garleans are very tall. Even the shortest among them still pass as above average height among the other civilized races, while the tallest will dwarf even Roegadynn or Au Ra. One of the biggest hints towards Lucia's true nature before she revealed her secret was how absurdly tall she was.
  • Gunblade: The standard issue weapon for Garlean officers. Having your gunblade taken away by a superior officer appears, from certain scenes in Stormblood, to be an enormous disgrace, while conversely being granted one is a huge honor. Gun-whatever variants of other weapons are also seen, such as Gunhalberds, Gunshields, Gunbaghnakhs, and Gunhammers. The type and function of the "gun" can vary between weapons, from simple pistols to shotguns to rocket launchers. Of note, Gunhammers don't fire projectiles at all, instead being a Rocket-Powered Weapon.
  • Leitmotif: "Imperial Will".
  • Magitek: The key to the Empire's strength; they are the most technologically advanced civilization in the present day.
  • Might Makes Right: The fact that Garlemald was effectively bullied into becoming a superpower heavily colored the nation's worldview, to the point where they believe that only the strongest can rule.
  • Muggles Do It Better: Garlemald stands as the world's sole superpower, despite being incapable of using magic.
  • National Anthem: In Stormblood, Zenos is first seen walking to his throne while the troops sing the first half of Garlemald's anthem for the region; The Garlean Territorial Anthem for Gyr Abania and Surrounding States or simple "The Measure of Our Reach". In reality, it's the Ala Mhigan anthem, "The Measure of His Reach", that they stole and repurposed to crush their spirits.
  • Nay-Theist: They show no deference to and would stamp out worship of gods of any kind, whether it be the Twelve or a primal. One of their biggest goals is to wipe out all the primal-worshipping beast tribes so that no more primals would be summoned, and anyone else that is conquered by them is forced to renounce the Twelve, such as with the Ala Mhigans and their patron god Rhalgr. This has been pointed out in-universe as a hypocritical position, as Garleans revere their current Emperor with almost religious fervor.
  • Numerological Motif: All of the Garlean legati encountered in the game have a Numerological Motif that connects them to a specific game in the series.
  • Out of Focus: The Garleans take a back seat throughout Heavensward, only showing up to deal with the whole Azys Lla problem. Once Nidhogg is taken care of, they come roaring back in 3.5
  • Patriotic Fervor: Many display a mix of the bad and good kinds. On the bad side, you have the usual soldiers that believe their empire is one true ruler and all should submit before them. On the good side, you have people who understand that what their empire is doing to other nations is wrong, but they still love their homeland and hope peace will eventually come.
  • Powered Armor: Garleans are naturally strong and tough, but can't use magic to augment their fighting abilities, placing them at a disadvantage against trained soldiers from other races - even a lala who knows how to empower themselves with magic can overwhelm a pureblood Garlean. As a result, their officers use suits of armour powered by magitek to level the playing field. Not only are these suits immensely powerful in their own right, but they're also often loaded with advanced weaponry, making them more than a match for the realm's most talented warriors.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Garlean Magitek can be identified by their black and red color scheme.
  • The Reveal: Not only is the Empire's justification for conquest a lie, but the father of the Empire itself is an Ascian, one of the Bringers of Chaos. The public justification for the Empire deciding to exterminate Primals and the Beast Tribes was that the Burn was drained of all Aether as a result of rampant summoning. This is lie, and the real reason the Burn was reduced to a wasteland was because of Allagan technology cutting off the circulation of Aether to the Burn. Not only that, but the one who witnessed the Burn and lied about it to his people, Emperor Solus zos Galvus is in reality an Ascian who for all intents and purposes wishes to sow chaos throughout all of Hydaelyn. Needless to say the Empire itself was created to be a giant tool for the Ascians to use in order to cause chaos and destruction on a global scale, with the Garleans themselves being little more than useful catspaws who are easy to manipulate thanks to the Inferiority Superiority Complex their history has suffused their culture with - and who knows how much of that was itself part of the plan.
  • Third Eye: Garleans are born with a third eye that looks like a glass orb protruding from their forehead, theorized to give them greater spatial recognition that makes them particularly adept at operating the guns and war machines they built their empire with. The helms of the higher ranking Garleans are modeled to emulate their third eyes.
  • Un-Sorcerer: Pureblood Garleans as a whole are biologically incapable of using magic. They were forced to compensate for this weakness by developing Magitek. Their non-Garlean conscripts don't have this handicap and sorcerers among them are highly valued, while mixed race Garleans lose the handicap at the cost of their third eye.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Unlike most examples of this trope, pureblooded Garleans are actually pretty big and powerful, but being unable to use magic makes them one of the weakest sapient races by default (since Muscles Are Meaningless when you can use magic to give you strength instead). They make up the difference with their massive pile of salvaged Allagan magitek and with the knowledge necessary both to use it and to build more.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: At their very best the Garlean Empire and their officers can be summed up as this, a main point being how they are not fighting merely to conquer but to track down and destroy Primals and their worshipers. The Empire rightly believes that primal summoning is a danger to their world, since to summon one uses up the world's aether. The Emperor even makes it clear that he opposes the Ascians and their plans since he believes mortals like himself will not belong in whatever end they bring.
  • Win Your Freedom: Anyone from a conquered territory can earn full Garlean citizenship if they provide twenty years of service as a soldier in the Garlean army.



    First Emperor Solus zos Galvus 

Voiced by: Hiroki Takahashi (JP), René Zagger (EN), Eilias Changuel (FR), Alexander Wolf (DE)
Click here to Solus as he appears in Patch 4. 4 
Race: Garlean
Discipline: N/A
"Tradition is the chain by which fools are bound."

"Now, my dearest grandson. Let me remind you of your place, in the simplest of terms. You do not make judgments ─ you administer them. Swiftly and to the letter. Naught else is your concern."

The first ruler of the Garlean Empire. Solus zos Galvus rose from humble beginnings to forge a empire through his military genius and charisma, and has maintained the position for eight decades. However, he has no heir or named successor to his position, and his advanced age is becoming a serious concern for the future of the Garleans. During the events surrounding Lady Iceheart and Shiva, his age catches up to him and he dies, leaving a power vacuum quickly filled by his grandson, who crowns himself the new emperor.
  • 100% Adoration Rating: Solus became a Legatus in the Garlean military at age 24, pushed reforms that allowed magitek into the military, and by age 28 was so loved by Garlemald's people he was unanimously named Dictator.
  • Abusive Parents: Solus was very cold to his grandson Varis simply for his resemblance to his beloved son, a final reminder of mortal imperfection in the Ascian's eyes. This turned Varis, who originally admired and sought the approval of his grandfather, into a hard and ruthless man, who in turn neglected his own son Zenos, allowing him into the a bloodthirsty monster.
    • He goes far as to convince himself that his Garlean children as not as his own, but those of the original host body. However, it is suggested this is not the case, as his Varis (and Zenos by extension) are stated to be unnaturally large even for Garleans, and the original Ascians possessed very large statures.
  • Ambiguous Situation: In patch 4.4, his nature as an Ascian is a little bit unclear; whether he was always one and was planted as an agent to make Garlemald what it is, or if he was a mortal man who somehow struck a deal to become an Ascian in exchange for the powers he currently possesses and the support to make Garlemald into what it is. As of Shadowbringers, the ambiguity is firmly removed. He is and always was an Ascian, moreso even than ones like Igeyhorm or Nabriales.
  • At the Opera Tonight: Solus was a very passionate patron of the arts. So much so that he personally saw to the construction of a massive airship for the Majestic Imperial Theater Company to serve as both their stage and the vessel with which they could take their performances to all corners of Garlemald. This fact becomes unsurprising given Solus' genuine love for theatrics.
  • Awful Truth: That the entire grand "civilizing mission" and "eikon-destroying crusade" that forms the core of Garleans' beliefs? It was a lie. The Garlean Empire exists solely to serve as a gigantic engine of chaos and strife to induce Calamities, while also keeping light and dark in balance; it is the ultimate tool of the Ascians and its machinations have already brought about a Calamity.
  • Back from the Dead: Subverted. As an Ascian, he was never actually dead in the first place.
  • Black Humor: He has, at the very least, shades of this. When Varis shoots him and he tumbles from the throne dais, he lands with a macabre smile on his face and reconstitutes seconds later, giving the impression it may have been on purpose - or that the entire fall may have been deliberately over-acted histrionics to remind Varis of a point.
  • Bling of War: As the first Emperor, he presumably established the ornate uniform the he and his successor wear, enormous shoulderpads and all. Upon his return, Solus instead wears a medal-bedecked long coat with a fancy undershirt.
  • Body Backup Drive: There is at least one laboratory in the Garlean Empire dedicated to cultivating youthful clones of Solus and keeping them in stasis. Whenever Solus’s current host body dies, he simply possesses a fresh one from the lab. Shadowbringers elaborates on this process a bit more: he avoided jumping from body to body, but since he was technically just using the same body each time, he avoided exhausting himself. The best part for him is that he didn't even set up the cloning facility himself, his grandson Varis did, which proved incredibly convenient to Solus when he had to come back out of "retirement."
  • Cool Crown: It's bigger than his head.
  • Death Is Cheap: Being an Ascian, killing him is not exactly simple business. Varis shoots him dead just to prove a point, and he pops back up a good ten seconds later, sighing about how it's just a waste of time.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship: A firm, if not pragmatic, believer of this. He explains to the Warrior of Light that as a conqueror, toppling an enemy through might is only the first step of true subjugation. He states that it is crucial to treat the defeated with dignity and respect, to "let bygones be bygones" and win their hearts over. He is genuinely impressed that the Warrior of Light has successfully accomplished this with Eulmore and gives them a heartfelt compliment.
  • Despair Event Horizon: He was already at this following the Final Days as Emet-Selch. However, even after eons as an Ascian, Solus continued to see hope in mortals from time to time. One of these was his son, whom Solus seemed to have genuinely loved and saw as a sign that the shards could one day attain the greatness of the Ascians. However, his premature death due to illness convinced Solus that mortals were too fragile to achieve greatness and rehardened his heart towards the Rejoining.
  • The Emperor: Quite literally. He is the one who turned Garlemald into an empire, beginning with his expansion of power 50 years before A Realm Reborn.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Once Elidibus leaves Varis to consider "his own doubt", Solus steps out from behind the Garlean throne, recounts his true backstory, and promptly reminds Varis exactly what Varis's real place in the grand scheme of things is. He then also gets shot dead by Varis... before returning and sighing about the futility of it a good ten seconds later.
  • Evil Old Folks: Has seemingly taught Garlemald that ruthlessness and constant conquest is the best idea for them.
  • Expy:
    • Of Emperor Gestahl, as the elderly old Emperor who dies during the course of the game.
    • Revelations about him in Stormblood reveal him to be a parallel to Ardyn Izunia. Solus was the founder of the Garlean Empire who hid his nature as an Ascian and the true reason he founded the Empire, contrasting Ardyn being the brother of the Founder King of Lucis whose nature as a member of the royal family turned into a daemon was kept secret. In his younger host body and with his new outfit, Solus demonstrates a much more whimsical and mocking personality in-line with Ardyn, and his appearance echoes Ardyn with dark red hair and an elaborate black coat. They are also both immortals whose theatrical demeanor hides a broken mind.
  • Founder of the Kingdom: First Emperor.
  • The Ghost: The only indication we even have of what he looks like is through concept art, and given his death, we are unlikely to see him in-game now unless it is through flashbacks. Subverted when he shows up very much alive in Patch 4.4, albeit in a very different form than expected. We finally get a glimpse of the old bearded emperor in 5.25, when we dive into Cid's memories, though we only see him from a distance.
  • Gold and Black and Evil All Over: The emperor wears black armor with golden trim, and the empire is certainly evil due to their oppression of lands they conquer.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: As an unseen Evil Overlord. Though he is the ultimate leader of the Garlean Empire, it's his subordinates whose presence in Eorzea drives the plot. Even moreso than initially thought. Solus's unification of the Garlean Empire was only a means to gather the strength to bring about further calamities and resurrect Zodiark..
  • Hidden Depths: We learn at the start of the Return to Ivalice quests to unlock the Raid, he was a great admirer of theater and was a patron of the arts. He even commissioned a very elegant airship for one of his favorite playwrights and his troupe, to allow them to bring theater to all corners of the Garlean Empire. And he did so freely, unlike Varis who actively censored works there is no hint that Solus attempted to stifle any creativity. His love of theater becomes very unsurprising given the trope directly below.
  • Large Ham: His first appearance has him chewing the scenery a bit while giving his monologue to Varis. Varis doesn't approve.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Of a sort - needless to say, there's a lot that can be spoiled about him, but as of the conclusion of the Stormblood patches, he has a voice actor credit... and that credit goes to guys like Hiroki Takahashi and René Zagger, who would not be most folks' first choices for voicing a super-old Emperor like Solus is depicted in initial promo material and whatnot. This is a major hint as to how he really appears in the game.
  • Leitmotif: His proper leitmotif, "Bedlam's Brink", is a strings piece that has some tonal similarities to Kefka's Theme, though lower and more controlled, reflecting how he's a bit of a grandstander but still very much in charge of his faculties. However, it is discarded as soon as he reveals his true identity as Emet-Selch.
  • Man Behind the Man: He's come back - or been made to come back - for the purpose of being this to the wider Garlean Empire. Although Varis continues to be the public face of the throne, Solus is now the one in true power.
    • Not only that, he was also the man behind the Allagan Empire, him personally deeming it to be a finer handiwork than the Garlean one.
  • Multicolored Hair: Of the Skunk Stripe variety, once he returns.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules: Solus seems, at first brush, to break a several of the previously understood rules concerning Ascians. To wit:
    • Solus had a family. Given the Ascians' status as incorporeal beings, siring children should be supremely difficult, at best, yet Varis doesn't dispute Solus's claim to be his grandfather.
    • Solus can manifest the same corporeal body, multiple times. Previously Ascians have had to Body Surf to get things done - such as Lahabrea possessing Thancred or Elidibus possessing Zenos' corpse. Solus, however, can seemingly manifest a physical, tangible, shootable, visible-to-normals body as many times as is necessary. Patch 4.5 reveals that there are cloning vats throughout the empire that now exist solely to give Solus more bodies to possess. He is body surfing, but all of the bodies are identical clones. Despite this, he's simply grateful for the clones saving him the effort of reforming the bodies he possesses rather than that they actually grant him the same body. In Shadowbringers, he clarifies that Ascians are able to reshape a body they possess into a form suited to their tastes. Lahabrea didn't care much to do this, whereas Solus/Emet-Selch does.
  • Older Than They Look: Naturally, being an Ascian, but perhaps even more notable here. While previously Solus clearly showed his advanced age - as seen above - on his return, he regains the appearance of a man somewhere between his late twenties or his thirties, looking notably younger than his own grandson.
  • Retired Badass: His age prevented him from taking to the front lines during the early parts of the story.
  • Shoulders of Doom: The armor the emperor wears has rather large pauldrons.
  • Speak Ill of the Dead: Solus blames Lahabrea for commiting a "crowning act of idiocy" (either the Ultima incident, or being killed by Thordan) as being the reason behind his premature exit from Ascian-style retirement.
  • Straw Hypocrite: One of the founding tenets of his Empire was to prevent the summoning of Primals (or 'Eikons', as the Garleans call them) to make sure the world would not suffer from their reckless draining of aether and their destructive powers. Not only does Solus have no problem with Primal summoning; his plans actually 'encourage' it. The more Primals that are summoned and the bigger they are, the more certain a Calamity is to happen, which is what he wants to happen to help bring back Zodiark.
  • The Unfought: Dies off-screen, purportedly due to his advanced age, before he is ever seen in-game. Indeed, the main characters don't even hear of his death and the ensuing war of succession until weeks after the fact.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Mid-way through Shadowbringers, he strongarms his way into the Scions' circle after realizing that the Warrior of Light being in the First irreparably jeopardizes his endgame plan for Black Rose, instead offering his services and trying to find a common ground. Despite still being a transparently evil asshole and reveling in it, he offers great insight into many of the story's mysteries, and even saves the life of one the Scions.
  • Visionary Villain: He desires to rid the world of the primals, which he believes are far too dangerous to be left alive. This was a lie; the primals, in fact, play into his and the other Ascians plans by draining Hydaelyn of her aether.
  • Walking Spoiler: The revelation that Solus is actually an Ascian essentially turns the entire plot on its ear, as it changes the purpose of the entire empire from that of the spread of peace and 'enlightenment' through conquest to simply being a tool for the Ascians to further Zodiark's resurrection.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Fifty years ago Galvus traveled to the area now known as the Desolation in western Othard, what he saw was a land where summoning Primals was common practice, and it eventually turned it into a white-sand desert so bereft of aether that not even the most basic animal or plant life can sustain itself there. After witnessing it he rightfully saw them as a world-destroying threat and brought together his Empire under a new purpose of uniting the world so they could stop and contain the threat, whether by subjugation or extermination, anything was preferable to the lifelessness he witnessed there. This was the public story, at least; his actual intention, as with the other Ascians, is to revive Zodiark and bring back Amaurot, and the Garlean Empire serves as a tool for him to do so. Also, the bit about the Burn was a total lie, as the area was created by Allagans launching Asyz Lla and leaving their aether syphon on.
  • Wham Line: Solus delivers one of the most major twists in the story in regards to the empire's existence, a bombshell by itself, especially when the strange, fancy-looking man turns out to be Solus. And that's not even going into what he reveals in Shadowbringer.
    Solus: That is why this empire exists — why I built it. [...] The founding father was an Ascian! And he created the Empire solely for the purpose of sowing the seeds of chaos!
  • Whole Plot Reference: His backstory has very strong parallels to the rise of power of Julius Caesar, which is fitting since the Garlean Empire has strong resemblance to the Roman Empire. The biggest contrast is that he then went on to reign for decades, and said reign is more in line with that of Emperor Augustus.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Early on during ARR, there are many whispers and rumors in the Empire about his health and its rapid deterioration. In patch 2.2, Yugiri mentions the Garleans are in the middle of a fairly bloody war of succession that sparked the idea for her rebellion in the first place. His death is confirmed in 2.4, with the throne going to his grandson Varis. Considering that Varis is a fervent supporter of bringing Eorzea into the Imperial fold, this is not good news for the city-states. Averted. Turns out, while his mortal body did die, he only did so because his role was done and left the Empire to its own devices as a form of retirement, only coming back (in a clone body) because the Warrior of Light is too much of a nuisance to be left alone.

    Second Emperor Varis zos Galvus 

Voiced by: Joji Nakata (JP), Michael Maloney (EN), Philippe Valmont (FR), Romanus Fuhrmann (DE)
Race: Garlean
Discipline: Gladiator
"'Tis my solemn charge as Emperor to bring the eikons to heel. If this requires the extermination of certain elements, then so be it."

The new Emperor who succeeded his grandfather after a violent Succession Crisis. As the son of Solus's firstborn, he wrested the position by force from the expected heir, the Emperor's second son and his uncle. He seeks to finish where his grandfather and Gaius had left off and finish the invasion of Eorzea. He has a fairly significant presence in Heavensward, appearing during the main storyline to briefly confront the Warrior of Light alongside his trusted general Regula Van Hydrus.

  • A God I Am Not:
    • Varis doesn't have any delusions of grandeur nor does he believe himself anything more than a mortal, which is pretty different from regular Final Fantasy villains and Emperors in particular. He makes this clear during the Stormblood stinger where he fully admits he is but a mortal man who will oppose the Ascians, on the basis of not wanting the world to end. This turns out to be extra notable because his grandfather has entirely different ideas... what with being an Ascian and all. And Varis still protests that man should be master of his own destiny, which Solus finds rather droll, considering the circumstances.
    • Ironically, during the negotiations in 4.5, Amyeric and Hien point out that while the Garleans refuse to kneel to gods, they venerate the Emperor as absolute in a way that most religious zealots wouldn't even for their own deities. So even if Varis doesn't see himself as a god, his people worship him with a fervor akin to one.
  • Awful Truth: He has been made privy to dark secrets of history that Hydaelyn and her followers have kept secret from the world. Thanks to the Ascians. As much as he loathes them upon learning the truth about the "true gods" of the setting being nothing more than the most powerful of Primals and the true nature of the original world he has gone along with their plans to restore the original world, though with plans of turning on the Ascians afterwards.
  • Black Eyes of Crazy: His sclerae are dark gray; while not quite black, the effect is similar, especially combined with his golden irises.
  • Blade Spam: The memory Varis’s "Alea Iacta Est" attack is four rapid slashes that strike everything in a 180-degree arc in front of him, followed by a fifth slash aimed at the area behind him.
  • Bonus Boss: A memory of Varis can be fought in an instance during Save the Queen: Blades of Gunnhildr, the first step in the Shadowbringers relic weapon questline. This encounter subsequently serves as the basis for the Memoria Misera (Extreme) trial.
  • Boss Subtitles: "The Last Word" during the the Memoria Misera (Extreme) trial.
  • Break Them by Talking: The first half the negotiations in 4.5 part 1 has Varis completely catch every Alliance leader off-balance and he calmly pokes holes in every point they try to make. Aymeric talks about the end of the Dragonsong War and peace with dragons? Varis points out that said peace was won by killing the Dragon's leader (though Nidhogg's brood was wiped out, the peaceful relations are with a different flight, but Aymeric is too caught out to rebuttal with that) and takes a low blow by comparing him, unfavorably, to his late father. When Melwyrb points out that Lominsans, like the Garleans, settled and started a new life and they had no reason to expand, Varis points out that they stole that land from the Kobolds, they didn't nicely ask to co-exist when them. And when Kan-E-Senna mentions the Ixali self-sustaining their cycle of vengeance and mentions the Echatl Nine breaking free from Garuda worship and being welcomed to the shroud because of it, Varis points out the time they tried to summon the Twelve to stop Project Meteor, with his point being how even "Civilized" people could turn to summoning because of desperation and chaos. By the midway point, every leader is notably very shaken, and needs an intercession to recollect themselves because of how effective and aggressive a negotiator Varis turns out to be. The only ones he conceded had any legitimacy to their grip was Hien and Raubahn for the brutality that happened in Ala Mhigo and Doma, but he ultimately still blames their rebellious attitudes for how awful the occupation was in the first place, since those two territories were exceptions to otherwise stable provinces because of Zenos' influence and leadership picks.
  • Broken Pedestal: He once greatly respected his grandfather in his youth, and was eager to please him. Learning the truth of his grandfather, combined with the contempt Solus gave him for always unknowingly reminding him of his dead son, shattered any respect he had.
  • Cool Crown: He wears the same massive crown as his grandfather.
  • Culture Police: Following his ascension to emperor, Varis put strict regulations and censorships onto all forms of theatre and art in Garlemald so that only imperial approved works would be shown to the public. It's implied he's trying to clamp down on the subtle chaos his grandfather was actually trying to sow, but he's got no choice but to be an ass about it, which isn't endearing him to people.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Used Solus DNA for his scientists to perfect the Allagan cloning technology, which gave his grandfather an inexhaustable supply of bodies ready to possess. Solus even mocks him for using his families dna for the experiments, giving him all the fresh bodies he could need.
  • The Emperor: The Second Emperor of Garlemald after the death of his grandfather, and he runs it with an iron fist that makes Solus look benevolent by comparison. Of course, Solus was an act from the start, and Varis' situation is profoundly more complicated than it appears from the outside...
  • Establishing Character Moment: Varis has two.
    • The first is during the 2.x patch cycle, where we first learn of him. He's shown spitting on what appears to the coffin of his recently-deceased grandfather, showing that he's probably going to take Garlemald in a very different direction that his elderly grandfather was taking it in the early days; he's also shown doing a cape swish of villainy as he acknowledges his senior officers and begins his reign, looking much younger and more dynamic than the pictures we had of his ancient grandfather.
    • The second, in 4.4, re-establishes his character and puts the previous scene in an entirely new context: it's first a scene of him being admonished by Elidibus and then his immortal, secretly-an-Ascian grandfather, with Varis taking it all in silence (though with ever-mounting frustration as Solus speaks). Finally, at the climax of Solus' monologue, he smoothly pulls out a long-pistol and blasts Solus dead in the heart, while simply saying, "you fiends are overfond of your own voices." He then asserts that man is the master of his own destiny... which earns some tutting from the immediately remanifested Solus. All at once, we find that Varis is not nearly as powerful as we thought, that he really is a fervent believer in the Garlean cause, and is struggling with the fact that originally that cause was nothing more than a lie to inspire the masses. That spit was a "disrespectful grandson"... but it was from one who knew the awful truth about his grandfather.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: When we finally hear him speak in Heavensward, he has a very deep voice.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • After hearing about the death of his son, he declares that Zenos was a madman, and that he had no intention of allowing him to be anywhere near the throne (a statement that no one would be likely to argue with).
    • His reaction to Elidibus revealing his face to him at the end of 4.0 could also count as this, as while Varis may have despised his own son Zenos, not even he can tolerate the Ascian using his body to further their own agenda. Especially not when it seems that he knew beforehand that his grandfather had also been one from the start.
    • He's livid when he learns that Elidibus-as-Zenos manipulated Asahi into summoning a Primal for the sake of destroying the fragile peace treaty between the Empire and Doma. Even if he wants a conquest of the world, he wants it to create a world without primals, not one with every nobody summoning one because of their tragic pasts.
    • And, needless to say: he takes the knowledge that his grandfather was an Ascian from the start about as well as an airship to the face, and has no time for Solus's prattle and deadpanning, and he reveals he really does believe man should govern their own destiny, away from greater forces.
    • When Varis comes to the realization that Solus "dying" was a completely intentional act to ignite the bloody war of succession that ended up killing a lot of Garlean citizens, Varis visibly looks like he's reached his Rage Breaking Point, as it's made clear he genuinely wants the best for his subjects, and learning that Solus intentionally threw away so many lives is antithetical to all he believes.
    • As much as he loathes his son, he expected if Zenos intended on killing him at the end of Shadowbringers, it was to gain the crown and rule the empire. When Zenos reveals it was because it would instead get in the way of his hunt and that he doesn't care if the entire empire collapses into civil war, he is enraged at the realization of his selfishness.
  • Final Solution: Barring finding a way to capture Primals, he finds that murdering the entirety of the Beast Tribes, including the non-worshiping sects, to stop them from summoning Eikons would do just as well. This is probably the only way he can see of stopping the Ascians outright, including the ones at his very shoulder. Unlike Gaius, he's also more than willing to engage in chemical warfare for mass killing.
  • Famous Last Words: His response at Zenos revealing that the latter wishes to kill him not for the throne, but to ensure that Zenos's "hunt" with the Warrior of Light can be assured, is utter aghastness.
    Varis: You would kill me... just for that?
  • Four-Star Badass: He got his position by being a general of even higher rank than Gaius was; his uncle who was the first in line to the throne had no such accomplishments and lost the support of the people because of it.
  • Freudian Excuse: He was once an idealistic Garlean prince who lost his father at an early age, but was nevertheless eager to follow in his grandfather's footsteps. However, Solus would never give him the warmth Varis craved no matter his accomplishments, and once asked about it, Solus merely replied that the sole reason was that Varis resembled his father too much. This incidence is implied to be what hardened Varis into what he is today.
  • From a Certain Point of View: His arguments against the Eorzean leaders in 4.5 are full of twisted statements that conveniently ignore the facts that contradict his philosophy:
    • When speaking to Aymeric he conviniently forgets that Nidhogg was raving mad by the point in which they were willing to speak for peace, was attacking other Dragons, and other Dragon leaders, such as Midgardsormr and Hraesvelg, were willing to speak for peace without being threatened or coerced into doing so
    • Mixes this with Hypocrite when speaking to Kan-E-Senna, conveniently ignoring that one of his own Legates was trying to summon Bahamut, and just focusing on how the people of the Twelveswood were trying to summon the Twelve........Through a panic the Garleans created
    • And finally He has the gall to claim that the Ala Mhigans and Domans were the ones to blame for their own wars, despite the fact that he knew plentifully well just how much of an evil monster his son was, and how it was well established that his providences were known for how brutally they treated their residents
  • Greater-Scope Villain: As with his grandfather, Varis has not yet had a large hand in the plot, with his subordinates driving the plot, although he is more visible and has met the Warrior of Light once. This looks set to change at the end of Stormblood, as he becomes involved with Elidibus's schemes, before finally being Subverted in 4.4, with the relevation with the revelation that Solus is still alive, an Ascian, and the true power behind the throne, leaving Varis as little more than a puppet.
  • Hypocrite: Lambastes Solus for intentionally starting a war of succession that lead to hundreds of Garlean deaths, but has no problem causing a number of Calamaties to Eorzea to bring about his end goal of a perfect, united master race.
  • I Have No Son!: Sheds absolutely no tears for his son's death, who he never intended to let on the throne anyways.
  • Knightly Sword and Shield: When fought in Cid's memories he wields a Garlean Gunblade and Gunshield.
  • Large and in Charge: The Emperor of Garlemald, and he stands at least a full head over anyone he shares a scene with, including his own massive son, his massive crown and Shoulders of Doom only emphasizing it. The short story "Through His Eyes" states that his father reached unprecedented height among Garleans, a trait Varis and his son obviously inherited, and it is implied that this is due to their Ascian heritage via Solus/Emet-Selch.
    • To emphasize this, when he's fought in Cid's memories, he wields both the same type of two-handed greatsword-style gunblade that Regula used in one hand and a gunshield like Rhitahtyn and Grynewaht in the other, scaled up to match his taller height.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: When fought in Cid’s memories, his “Reinforced Gunshield” ability will make him counter all attacks coming from either the front and back or the sides. At one point he will also put up his Gunshield, becoming invincible while charging up a lethal "Altius" attack: the party must break through his guard before the attack goes off to prevent a wipe.
  • Might Makes Right: While not as Axe-Crazy as his son is about it, Varis says as much when negotiating with the Alliance leaders. He brings up how Garlemald had to fight to reclaim their home when it was lost, and shuts down Merlwyb and Aymeric by pointing out how their nations' problems were only solved with brute force.
  • Moral Myopia: Almost to the point of being his Fatal Flaw. If Garlemald does it, it's justified because they're trustworthy and only want to bring lasting peace. If anyone else does it, it's because they're savages who can't be trusted and will lead to the world's destruction. Beast tribes summoning Eikons? Barbaric. Intentionally causing a summoning to frame another nation and justify Garlean incursion? Fair game, because the Garleans are the only ones who can be trusted to rule the savage nations; the Garleans are just bringing them in line. Solus starting a civil war that leads to the deaths of hundreds of Garleans? Unforgivable. Wanting to cause multiple Calamaties that would kill thousands and destroy other entire realities all to justify a united master race? The ends justify the means.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: Zig-zagged like everything about his motives in patch 4.5. He legitimately seems to care for Garlemald, as shown in his private discussions with Solus, but his willingness to toe the line with the Ascians and cause Calamaties that could harm and impact even the Garleans themselves implies he may be more willing to let his own people suffer for the greater goal of uniting Eorzea under the Garlean banner.
  • Not So Different: As much as he would not like to admit, both him and his grandfather have similarities between each other. Both are proud defenders of their people(Ascians and Garleans) and would like to see them properly restored to their unbroken states like it was in ancient times. Both will use whatever extreme methods they must to do so against enemies who threaten their ideals, and are baffled by those who oppose the restoration of the original world.
  • Not So Stoic:
  • Numerological Motif: He is the Second Emperor and commands a campaign from a massive airship called the dreadnaught.
  • Puppet Emperor: Once Solus returns from his retirement, he reclaims his role as the Emperor. Seeing as the public believes that Solus is dead, however, this leaves Varis acting as a figurehead for him.
  • Shoulders of Doom: Like his grandfather before him, he seems to take fashion advice from Golbez.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: The reason why there hasn't been any form of Garlean reprisal, for the loss of Ala Mhigo or Doma is because he hasn't ordered any. Despite being in the position to do so and with Elidibus wanting to crush Ala Mhigo, Varis ignored him and essentially allowed both Ala Mhigo and Doma to fortify their positions. This inaction drew the ire of Solus, his secretly-Ascian grandfather who tried to order him to do so.
  • Slasher Smile: He gives an absolutely horrifying one in the closing Stinger of 4.5's story, after being told by a scientist that Black Rose production is ready.
  • Sphere of Destruction: The memory Varis has his own version of Zenos’s Concentrativity attack, called "Altius".
  • Spiteful Spit: Varis's Establishing Character Moment is to spit on the coffin of his grandfather before taking his place as the new Emperor. In 4.4, however, this takes on entirely new meaning.
  • Start X to Stop X: His plan to defeat the Ascians involves causing Calamities and initiating Rejoinings, the very things that the Ascians are trying to do. By causing them on his own terms, he believes that he can unite all mankind into a single race with the power to defeat the Ascians.
    • Towards the end of Shadowbringers, it's revealed that not only does this plan require performing the Rejoinings the Ascians want, but that the unification of all souls into one race is exactly what the Ascians want to happen. The Ascians are that ancient race of men, and the Rejoinings are an attempt to restore their fallen kinsmen to life. The resurrection of Zodiark is only a step towards that goal. Varis' grand plan to wrest the world away from the Ascians never stood a chance to begin with.
  • Sword Beam: The memory of Varis can use fire- and wind-aspected versions of "Terminus Est", summon mirages that fire off their own Terminus Est attacks, and launch horizontal waves of darkness that strike a large area in front of him. His ultimate attack, "Vivere Militare Est", is a supercharged Terminus Est which the tanks must intercept and the party must destroy before it kills them.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Is revealed to be this to the Ascians, specifically Solus. Zig-zagged in that while he resents his position, he tells the Alliance leaders he believes the Asicans' methods are legitimate, and that the only way to bring peace is to follow their goals. Sure, he hopes that this will destroy the Ascians in lieu of that and win Garlemald its freedom, but it throws into question just how 'unwitting' he truly is. Indeed, the fact spits in Solus' face in their private conversations while espousing the Ascians' methods in the face of others suggests he may indeed just be appeasing them to save face.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: He wants to bring balance to the Source so that all the disparate races of Hydalen become united once again. How does Varis plan on doing this? Causing multiple Calamaties that will lead to countless of deaths, as well as the destruction of the other mirrored versions of the world.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: He once held his grandfather in high esteem and was eager for his approval; approval that Solus denied for resembling Varis' father. This coldness is implied to have played a large part in turning Varis into the man he is today.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Considering the sheer damage and suffering caused by the Primals, wanting to rid the world of their existence doesn't sound like an unreasonable plan in the slightest, and his concern for the damage they'd cause to the world's life force seems entirely genuine. His methods, however... It also doesn't help that his empire was founded on a lie, but one he believes should be true.
    • Patch 4.5 really emphasizes the extremist part when it's revealed his plan to create a peaceful united world involves deliberately causing multiple Calamities, which on top of causing untold destruction to our world would destroy each of the other mirrored worlds one by one. He believes this would cause all of mankind to turn into a single master race without any racial differences. The Eorzean Alliance leaders are so horrified that they immediately call an end to the negotiation.
  • The Unfought: He is ultimately assassinated by a newly revived Zenos before the Warrior of Light can ever confront him. However, at the start of the Shadowbringers artifact weapons questline, he's fought as a memory in Cid's mind. And later available as an extreme trial as a tale told to the Dramaturge. It's still a memory, and it's noted to be possibly inaccurate to his prowess by others.
  • Villainous Legacy: He's an unwilling one to his grandfather and the fellow Ascians as an agent meant to spread chaos across the world. When Aymeric mentions Thordan being an Unwitting Pawn to Lahabrea Varis finds the idea of being a pawn to be better since it takes the choice out of ones hands, whereas he has to effectively serve the Ascians to make his own personal ideals a reality.



    Gaius van Baelsar 

Voiced by: Akio Ohtsuka (JP), Richard Epcar (EN, Los Angeles cast), Michael McElhatton (EN, London cast), Philippe Dumond (FR), Thomas Dehler (DE)
Race: Garlean
Epithet: The Black Wolf
Discipline: N/A
"He who cannot preserve the sovereignty of his nation is unfit to rule it."

The Legate of the XIVth Imperial Legion, and the commander in charge of the Garlean invasion of Eorzea. Gaius is a proud and powerful soldier who holds absolute belief in the ideals of the Garlean Empire. Believing that Eorzea is plagued with chaos and strife, he seeks to deliver the stability and absolute order that would come with Garlean rule.

For Tropes relating to Gaius in Stormblood and beyond, see "Shadowhunter" in the Allies page

  • Ace Custom: His Gunblade Heirsbane is a unique gift made by famed engineer and his dear friend Midas nan Garlond.
  • A Father to His Men: According to Cid, Gaius took many promising young orphans of war under his wing in order to give them better lives and many of these children took up working for the imperial army in order to repay him. This turns tragic after his Heel–Face Turn as many of his children are still loyal to Garlemald.
  • Affably Evil: He congratulates the players on defeating Nael and genuinely supports their quest to stop him. Then, in A Realm Reborn, he displays considerable charm when talking to the player and is shown to care about his underlings (or some of them, anyway), which makes him even more personable.
  • Animal Motifs: Wolves.
  • Anti-Villain: Gaius is a more benevolent conqueror than Nael van Darnus.
  • Arm Cannon: The left gauntlet on his armor is bulkier and has a visible barrel. The arm cannon, called the Hand of the Empire, fires blue ceruleum blasts that can kill an Ixal in one shot.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: He is regarded both as a powerful warrior and shrewd administrator. He even got his position as viceroy of Ala Mhigo by being the man who conquered it!
  • Badass Longcoat Wears a red and black long coat that makes him certainly imposing.
  • Badass Normal: Gaius, as a Garlean, is incapable of using magic. Everything he does in his boss fight is a combination of his abilities as a Master Swordsman and his Magitek Powered Armor.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: He and Lahabrea, despite himself being Dragon-in-Chief to The Emperor.
  • Black Knight: Wears black armor, and has a sense of honor.
  • Blood Knight: He truly wants to compared his strength with the Warrior of Light. Even after realising he's an Unwitting Pawn to Lahabreha through his use of the Ultima Weapon, Gaius puts his vengeance on his to-do later list, as he's more interested in seeing whether the Warrior can best him in combat.
  • The Conqueror: Gaius is a veteran of many of the Empire's wars. Until Eorzea, he had yet to meet a nation he could not bring down.
  • Dangerous Deserter: He and his Legion are technically this, having gone AWOL back in Legacy to help stop Nael's insane scheme. Nero outright says during the Crystal Tower arc that, even if Gaius had won, he would have likely been executed for his desertion.
  • Darth Vader Clone: Dragon to an evil Emperor? Check. Black Armor with a equally black mask? Check. Defeated by the protagonist who is also on the same side as characters named Biggs and Wedge? Check. Dies as a result of the aforementioned fight? Check-o-roony. The only marks he misses is that he's not a cyborg and that his death was not caused by Redemption.
  • The Dragon: To Emperor Solus.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Due to the Emperor's failing health and advanced age.
  • Enemy Mine: He aided the player subtly so that they could stop Nael's ambitions to bring Dalamud crashing down in Legacy.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Gaius is noted as being progressive for promoting based on ability rather then birthright.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: It's clear Gaius has great affection for Livia, Rhitahtyn, and Cid.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Killing the Primals and taking over Eorzea? Not a problem. Calling a meteor and destroying everything in the process? Now that's going too far.
    • In a similar vein, a sidequest line in Stormblood reveals that the same principle applies to chemical weaponry, personally shutting down the Black Rose chemical weapons program. Not that that stopped the Empire from using it.
    Gaius: Toxic gas is not a tool of conquest, but of extermination.
    • The reveal of what Oversoul does to whoever is driving the new Warmachina Weapons leaves him furious. Especially since the pilot/victim of Ruby Weapon's Oversoul was his adoptive daughter.
  • Evil Versus Oblivion: Assists the player in the 1.0 storyline with stopping Nael. Eorzea needs to actually exist for him to conquer it, after all.
  • Expy: Doesn't he remind you of Darth Vader? He also seems to remind some of Grahf, but since both of them are Darth Vader Clones, it is more likely a coincidence. His armor also bears a resemblance to the Archadian Judges.
  • Face Death with Dignity: With his base ablaze and in ruins, the Ultima Weapon destroyed, and his plans utterly crushed, Gaius looks around the remains of his ambitions as he quietly admits that's he's lost before letting the explosion of the base consume him. Ultimately subverted since he doesn't actually die and goes on to later call this a moment of weakness.
  • Famous Last Words: "And so my conquest ends, Cid. In smoke and ashes..."
  • Final Boss: Of A Realm Reborn, by way of piloting the Ultima Weapon.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Of the 'are they truly gods?' variety. He mocks the Eorzean Twelve for not intervening with the Primals, and says they're no different to Primals.
  • Four-Star Badass: Legatus of the XIVth Legion.
  • Friend to All Children: Gaius was something of a serial-adopter of children. In addition to Cid and Livia, he also adopted a quintet of Au Ra children - Milisandia, Allie, Alphonse, Rex, and Ricon.
  • Gas Mask, Longcoat: His helmet looks the part at any rate.
  • Golden Super Mode: His armor turns gold in the boss fight against him, and stays that way until Ultima Weapon is defeated.
  • Gunblade: His weapon, Heirsbane, is a revolver gunblade. Unlike Squall's, however, his is more akin to the real-life historical version of a pistol built with a sword alongside it rather than trying to obtain any sort of Vibroweapon effect. Though it appears he's using ceruleum fuel to create a Flaming Sword and launch a Sword Beam.
  • Honor Before Reason: Several times both in Legacy and in ARR, there are times where he can easily kill the player and their allies, but chooses not to, deeming it would be too easy. He also despises winning any battle with the help of divine intervention, citing it as a power of weak, false rulers.
  • Knight In Sour Armor: A villainous version. He doesn't even like Eorzea very much, seeing it as technologically backwards, prone to infighting and having way too many false gods for his liking... but he believes it can be saved from itself, and that he has an affirmative moral duty to do so.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: His receiving a voice credit in the Stormblood patches can be one. So he appears in Stormblood, but probably in flashbacks, right? Not so much.
  • Magic Knight: Uses magitek to enhance his abilities, particular those based on using ceruleum fuel.
  • Mascot Villain: Gaius is the one on the cover of most versions of A Realm Reborn and is quite popular among the staff and fans for his reasonable and honorable personality.
  • Master Swordsman: Gaius' swordsmanship knows practically no peer in Garlemald. Many of the sword techniques used by Garlean legates were invented by Gaius.
  • Might Makes Right: Part of his viewpoint as to why it's okay to conquer the lowly heathens of Eorzea. The fact the player can beat him in battle is the reason he's impressed with them.
  • The Musketeer: Is a very skilled sword fighter and gunman who can take on superior numbers.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: He is genuinely horrified to learn of the Ultima Weapon's true purpose, and the destruction it's capable of. His shocked disbelief is contrasted with Lahabrea's malevolent cackle.
    "Such destruction... this was not my intention..."
  • Named Weapons: Heirsbane.
  • Never Found the Body: Gaius was last seen to still be alive as the Praetorium exploded, which in turn leads to the speculation that he is Shadowhunter. This is confirmed to be true in patch 4.5
    • Fans have speculated that he must be alive because he cannot be fought in the Palace of the Dead while other antagonists can.
  • Numerological Motif: Legatus of the XIVth Legion, and a primary antagonist throughout both Legacy and A Realm Reborn, thus representing Final Fantasy XIV.
  • Parental Substitute: He helped raise Cid while his father was frequently away on business and raised Livia himself after she was orphaned by war.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: "As you wish." note 
  • Playing with Fire: Creates blue fire pools to burn you with from his ceruleum-fueled Magitek and can use it to create a Flaming Sword and to become Wreathed in Flames.
  • Powered Armor: Gaius's armor can gild itself with Aether, a process described to increase the armor's resistance to enemy spells.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Gaius does not sugarcoat what he thinks of Eorzea's gods and religious beliefs.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • He wants to lead an invasion to conquer Eorzea, not destroy it and turn it into a smoking crater. He believes in earning rank and honor through one's own skills. And he offers his opponents a chance to surrender and join the Empire peacefully. Recognizing the Warrior of Light's talent; Gaius immediately offers to let the WoL rule over Eorzea on behalf of Garlemald as Regent. Normally, a subjugated person must serve for 20 years in the military before they are even recognized as official citizens.
    • In Stormblood, it's revealed that Gaius founded an entire squadron of Ala Mhigan conscripts called the Skulls, hoping to help integrate the youths of Ala Mhigo into imperial rule without much fuss or trouble. Unfortunately, this backfired, leaving a band of youths who had known only violence accepted by neither the empire ("a savage is a savage") or their own people ("a band of kinslaying traitors"). He might've been able to right the ship, or at least help Fordola have a bit more pride in herself, had he lived, but instead the Skulls end up under the command of Zenos, and that goes about as well as you'd expect.
    • As mentioned under Even Evil Has Standards, Gaius wanted to bring other nations into the fold as arms of the empire and have their Spoken members aid them in stopping the threats of the Primals, not leave them empty dead territories to repopulate with their own people. For this reason, he sabotaged both Nael's Project Meteor event by tipping off the players and leaving them to go at him when he could have killed them then and there, and putting a full halt to the Black Rose project unveiled in Stormblood due to finding it too horrific, ordering all samples destroyed and all research burned/deleted.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: When he meets the Warrior of Light, he lambastes the Eorzeans for their faith in the Twelve gods, stating that even if they intervened, the Eorzeans would be weak for depending on them, and believes only a strong ruler can break the cycle of Primal summonings.
  • Red Baron: The Black Wolf.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: His outfit consists of black plate armour overlaying red fabric and Gaius is a ruthless, if benevolent, conqueror.
  • Spanner in the Works: During Legacy, he allowed the players to take the plans of the Lunar Transmitter to Cid so they can find a way to stop Project Meteor and Nael.
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: His helmet is a stylized Skull for a Head.
  • Social Darwinist: Of the 'strong deserve to rule the weak' variety.
  • Sword Beam: Terminus Est, which creates an X made of energy that launches in a linear pattern after being created.
  • Teleport Spam: Like Nael before him, Gaius is capable of limited short range teleportation. Once he starts teleporting during the battle with him, he won't stay in one place very long, forcing the tanks to chase him.
  • This Cannot Be!: After the Warrior of Light defeats the Ultima Weapon the first time, yanking the Primals inside out of it, he roars out "But the Ultima Weapon is all-powerful! Why does my enemy still stand?!"
  • Übermensch: He shares all Garleans' disdain towards the Primals. What makes Gaius different is he openly mocks the worship of the civilised Eorzean's Twelve gods, saying that even if they intervened, they're no different to the Primals, and man's dependence on them makes them weak. He believes freedom from the Primal threat can only come from shedding belief in all deities and finding strength in man's self (though this subsequently leads to a Social Darwinist view of the world, believing it is the destiny of strong men to rule over the weak...just without the intervention of deities).
  • Undying Loyalty: To the Emperor; his gunblade is called Heirsbane because he personally slew nine potential usurpers of the crown.
  • Wreathed in Flames: His blue fire again.
  • We Can Rule Together: In the buildup to the final battle, he offers Cid and your character the chance to join him in conquering Eorzea for the Empire in return for Regency of it once they've fallen, but you deny him almost instantly. Due to this, he believes that you are too dangerous to be left alive.
  • Wife Husbandry: He is strongly implied to be involved with Livia, whom he raised from her childhood as a war orphan.
  • Tin Tyrant: Gaius is the latest of a long line of armor-clad Final Fantasy Big Bads.
  • Villain Takes an Interest: Much like the rest of Eorzea, he takes a vested interest in the Warrior of Light after they slay Ifrit, ordering Livia to attack Vesper Bay in an attempt to capture them.
  • The Von Trope Family: This being the Garleans hat, he has one.

    Nael van Darnus/Eula Darnus
Click here for Darnus' face 
Race: Garlean
Epithet: The White Raven
Discipline: Lancer
"Opposition must needs be put down with fire and steel."

Legate of the VIIth Imperial Legion, and also known as "The White Raven". Nael is assigned the task of dealing with the Primals that have been judged a grave threat to the Garlean Empire. However, believing that Eorzea is beyond saving, Nael plots to use the power of "Project Meteor" to bring Dalamud down upon the continent, wiping out everyone and everything upon it.

As his plan continues, Nael's madness is catalysed by the dark presence lurking within Dalamud: the sealed primal Bahamut. Though Nael is defeated by the Warriors of Light, the victory comes too late: Dalamud is unleashed upon the world, heralding the Seventh Umbral Era.

  • All There in the Manual: The 2016 Art and Lore book finally addressed and cleared up the confusion related to Nael's Gender Reveal and the ensuing localization nightmare, by stating that the real Nael van Darnus was dead long before the events of even Legacy. The person you have encountered was actually his sister Eula, who was disguising herself as her brother to carry on his legacy.
  • Arc Villain: Of the Seventh Umbral Era Storyline.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Being of said heritage and triggering genocide doesn't paint him as a nice figure.
  • Avenging the Villain: Eula's clone which encountered within the Ruby Weapon has a Madness Mantra which implies that she murdered her father because she blamed him for Nael's death, matching what was stated in the lore book.
  • Bad Moon Rising: Used the Lunar Transmitter to bring down Dalamud, and then latter with Bahamut Tempering him, acted as a Lunar Transmitter himself, which granted him the ability to also call down fragments to perform Kill Sat attacks.
  • Beam Spam: Pillar of Light style.
  • Big Bad: Of the Legacy storyline.
  • Blue Blood: From both Garlean and Allagan heritage.
  • Bonus Boss: Finishing the storyline unlocks the hard version of his fight, designed to be the "most punishing battle in Final Fantasy XIV before A Realm Reborn" which rewards the player with a Cosmetic Award unique earring (that, admittedly, can be useful for some gear setups). Said battle starts with a 7500 damage Megaflare, and only gets worse after that.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: He already was pretty nuts, but Dalamud's influence seemed to make it even worse. When (s)he's finally defeated for good in A Realm Reborn, she returns to normal.
  • Colony Drop: The mastermind of the Meteor spell that brings the moon Dalamund down on Eorzea. He also can summon down Lunar Debris on the player in his boss fight.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: The official lorebook states that the real Nael was dead long before even Legacy. The person under that armor every time you encountered them was always his sister Eula, who kept her brother's death a secret even from the Garleans, using his name to earn renown for and honor him posthumously.
  • Disappears into Light: After getting disposed of by Bahamut for failing him.
  • Dying as Yourself: Once Nael deus Darnus is defeated in The Second Coil of Bahamut, Eula regains her sanity. While utterly insulted at the idea that she succumbed to Bahamut's influence, she ultimately accepts that Alisaie is correct. She curses her own weakness and once she learns of Alisaie's bloodline, she warns Alisaie to steel herself and her resolve for the harsh truth that came next, lest Alisaie lose herself in her misery like Eula herself did as a child. The lore book would later reveal it was the death of the real Nael that caused said misery.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Nael was originally incapable of using magic like any other Garlean.
  • Energy Absorption: His weapon is able to drain an Aetherial Node's energy and shoot it as a high energy beam.
  • Expy: Of Sephiroth. Both are high-ranking imperial warriors that go insane from an external influence (Jenova for Sephiroth, Bahamut for Nael), and both cast Meteor to unleash havoc on their respective worlds as a result.
    • Furthered in Shadowbringer's Weapon storyline, being the intended end goal of a Clone by Conversion program.
  • Fantastic Nuke: Meteor is treated as such in-story.
  • Fake Difficulty: In the Legacy Nael fight, to have a decent chance of surviving the hard version of Megaflare without resorting to crazy buff stacking, players had to use the Lunar Curtain item, which could only be crafted by farming materials obtainable during the fight... after the party already survived Megaflare.
    • Part of Nael's difficulty in Turn 9 is based on the fact each phase is completely separate from the prior, with virtually no carryover in mechanics. And the fact so many of those mechanics are insta-wipe upon failure.
  • Final Boss:
    • Of the Seventh Umbra Storyline.
    • Nael deus Darnus once again serves as a final boss in the Second Coil of Bahamut, complete with an arena very similar to the one used in Legacy and playing Rise of the White Raven.
  • Final Solution: Considering the primal threat of Eorzea too great, the White Raven felt the best course of action was to destroy all of Eorzea and be done with it.
  • Four-Star Badass: Legatus of the VIIth Legion.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Thermonic Beam.
  • Gender Reveal: Alisaie knocks off Nael deus Darnus's helmet, revealing a very female face underneath. Nael deus Darnus refers to Nael as a man and talks of herself like she's a separate entity entirely from Nael himself. Ultimately, Nael regains her sanity once defeated and seems briefly confused about her new body, but this is more that Eula is now something closer to a primal than her original self as a Garlean.
    • A official Lore Book first released at Los Vegas Fanfest '16 reveals Nael really was a man, but he was long dead by the time we met "Nael". Who we met was actually his sister, Eula, posing as him. She killed her father and his inner circle after her Brother's death and took on his identity.
  • General Ripper: Didn't care if Dalamud would cause a major catastrophe, and likely kill many of his own soldiers as well as devastate Eorzea, so long as he won.
  • Gunblade: Well, a Gunhalberd.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: Not only is Eula tempered to Bahamut, but Eula's other goals are obscure even to the Garleans. It's possible to back-interpret some of Gaius' lines during Legacy as him having some idea of who's actually under that helmet, though.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: "Enough with the mummer's farce", indeed.
  • Leitmotif: "Meteor". His battle theme is "Rise of the White Raven".
  • Life Drain and Mana Drain: Lunar Dynamo.
  • Light Is Not Good: His armor color scheme in contrast to his counterpart Gaius.
  • Lunacy: After triggering Operation: Meteor, it's clear his sanity is going, having been tempered by Bahamut. He can even call on power from Dalamud during his boss battle.
  • Magic Knight: Because he is Garlean, he was originally incapable of wielding the power of magic, but he gains it through his tempering by Bahamut.
  • Named Weapons: His gunhalberd Bradamante, which in turn was named after a warrior maiden that he killed using that spear. It is all that remained of him after his death and it has since fallen into the hands of Gilgamesh. Though a "demon bird" (possibly Nael him/herself) had stolen it from Gilgamesh at some point before the Hildebrand storyline and the weapon he found afterwards was merely a cheap replica called Pradamante in typical Gilgamesh fashion. The REAL Bradamante is still in possession of Nael deus Darnus in the Second Coil of Bahamut.
    • The Lore book reveals the real Nael's fiancee was Bradamante and she killed herself on the spear after he died. Eula, the Nael we know, renamed it after her in her honor after taking over her late brother's life.
  • Not Quite Dead: While Eula's body dissolved into aether at the end of Legacy, her essence survived the battle. Bahamut remedied this by creating a new body for her before making her the guardian of the Second Coil of Bahamut. She's Killed Off for Real by Bahamut after losing to the Warrior of Light.
  • Numerological Motif: Legatus of the VIIth Legion, responsible for Project Meteor, which ushered in the Seventh Umbral Era, and recreates an iconic scene from the game he represents, Final Fantasy VII.
  • One-Hit Kill: Nael just loooooooves instant kills.
    • During his Legacy fight, he'd start using the instant killing "Fierce Ravensbeak" move if anyone was on the stairs while he teleported. Megaflare also one hit killed the entire party if 3 or more lunar fragments hit the ground.
    • During Turn 9, hoo boy, let's count: standing under a golem-meteor when it falls is instant death for anyone at-level for the fight, not killing every golem before Gigaflare is instant death, standing right under the Dalamud fragment is instant death, not cleansing your chain in time is instant death, getting hit with a fire or frost dragon's ability twice in a row is instant death, and oh, the walls are also death and there are multiple ways to get knocked into them. Needless to say, during Nael's tenure as ARR's top end boss, Nael was considered an absolute pain of a fight.
  • One-Winged Angel: As a boss in the Binding Coil of Bahamut, turning into a Draconic Humanoid.
  • Playing with Fire: Has the Megaflare ability which is called down from Dalamund, as it turns out this is because Bahamut is sealed inside Dalamund.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: As seen in the lyrics of his battle theme.
    "A revolution is upon us. All the gods are dead. Machines will rule the heavens. Reason will rule the land."
  • Red Baron: The White Raven.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: He didn't really need Dalamud's power to kick the player party's ass after the destruction of the lunar transmitter, but he used it anyways, complete with red aura and eyes. Cue Cutscene Power to the Max and Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red to Gaius's Blue.
  • Royal Blood: He is descendant from nobility from the Allagan Empire.
  • Samus Is a Girl: An extraordinarily convoluted example. The art team always intended Nael to be a woman, and in the Japanese version, it was easy to leave it ambiguous as the Seventh Umbral patches didn't have voice acting due to the limited budget of the time, alongside the Japanese language's general lack of gendered pronouns. However, for whatever reason, these plans evidently weren't conveyed properly to the game's writers—Gaius explicitly refers to her as a man on at least one occasion in the Japanese version, while the English localization got it particularly muddled. Since they absolutely needed gendered pronouns (or at least needed significant advance warning of the planned reveal so that the extra linguistic footwork to keep it ambiguous could be done in English), they ended up believing that Nael was a man and used male pronouns for "him" (and the mistake went to such lengths that the lyrics for Rise of the White Raven, which were largely handled by the localization staff, were commissioned as if Nael were a man). Once 2.2 entered development and the depth of the mistake was made clear, the English version had to go with the decidedly more bizarre story that he was a man, but Bahamut rebuilt his body as a woman for reasons unknown and much to Nael's confusion. The lore book later attempted to clarify further, leaving us with the Eula Darnus situation.
  • Spin Attack: Iron Chariot
  • Shout-Out:
  • Talkative Loon: Becomes one during the final battle. His lines serves as a cue to which move he will use next.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: As seen in the ''A Realm Reborn'' trailer, even though the Warriors of Light defeated and slew him, the damage was done, Dalamud could not be stopped, and Bahamut broke free at the climax of the Battle of Carteneau.
  • Touched by Vorlons: When he was tempered by Bahamut, he was empowered with the ability, and his similarly tempered Legion considered this to be a sign that their mission was righteous.
  • Unwitting Pawn: To Bahamut, though he makes it clear that Project Meteor had been his idea and his idea alone.
  • The Usurper: Strongly implied to have killed his own father for more power and authority. It was actually a hell of a lot more personal than just a power grab...
  • Villain Teleportation: Once Nael becomes a full thrall of Bahamut, he has a tendency to do this.
  • The Von Trope Family: Just read the name again. Though it gets played with as Nael Deus Darnus.
  • Tin Tyrant: Standard issue for high-ranking Garleans.
  • Whole Plot Reference:
  • With Us or Against Us: How he rolls.
  • You Are Too Late He just shrugs off the destruction of the lunar transmitter as a minor delay then claims he can and will still cast Meteor anyways, and the companies are too late to stop it. He wasn't lying about that.

    Regula van Hydrus
Race: Garlean
Discipline: N/A
"Loyalty—to the bitter end."

The Legate of the VIth Imperial Legion, the primary imperial force encountered throughout Heavensward.

  • Animal Motifs: His Limit Break in the Warring Triad questline takes on the form of a giant panther.
  • Animal Battle Aura: His most powerful attack is to summon a giant panther made from Cereleum.
  • Anti-Villain: Of the Noble Demon variant. Whilst not to the same extent of Gaius, Regula is ultimately an honorable soldier, and something of a Noble Bigot. He ultimately shows his true colors, and dies a heroes death.
  • Arc Villain: Of the Warring Triad storyline.
  • Arm Cannon: Like Gaius his armor is equipped with a Magitek cannon.
  • BFS: Wields a custom gunblade named The Bastard, which is more like a two-handed greatsword than the standard model.
  • Childhood Friends: He and Varis are childhood friends and the two of them are very loyal to one another with Regula aiding in his friends rise to the throne by personally sabotaging the claim Varis's uncle had to the throne.
  • The Dragon: He acts as one to Emperor Varis, leading the campaign into Azys Lla.
  • Expy: Of General Leo Christophe. Both are notably honorable high ranking soldiers of the antagonistic empire who are old comrades of the sitting Emperor, both form an uneasy alliance with the protagonists of their respective games, both die heroically due to the events surrounding the Warring Triad, and their deaths in hindsight become even greater losses because they would have been strong allies against the real threat the heroes face. Almost counts as a subverted trope, as the expectation was that he would take after Kefka.
  • Enemy Mine: Allies with the Scions to destroy Zurvan once he determines that the Allagan method of containing the Triad was flawed and thus useless, and Zurvan was too dangerous to let live.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He has a polite facade with impeccable manners, but when the chips come down, he can get rather catty, resorting to petty and somewhat racist insults like calling Eorzeans savages.
  • Four-Star Badass: Of equal rank to Gaius and Nael, the two previous main antagonists, and the Empire's Legate through Heavensward.
  • Gunblade: Uses two different gunblades, a standard blade in his first appearance with Emperor Varis and his first fight in Azys Lla, and his custom greatsword in all other appearances.
  • The Gunslinger: Compared to Gaius who had more sword based attacks, Regula instead focuses on firing Magitek ammo.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: During the battle to subdue Zurvan from pre-maturely awakening, he defends Unukalhai from one of Zurvan's thralls, leaving him wide open for Zurvan to strike. Even though Regula blocks the attack, his gunblade can't handle the strain and shatters, allowing Zurvan's halberd to tear through his side. He dies telling Unukalhai that he saved him because was gifted with the echo and that it's far too grand a gift to waste, saying that Emperor Varis may very well need people with gifts like that if there's ever a chance of ending the Primal threat once and for all.
  • Master Swordsman: He's got a number of sword moves that are both shared with Gaius and other gunblade users, and also some unique to him. And in general, his lore and gameplay show that he's an absolute master of the gunblade, and doesn't rely on much else. This is an early hint to him being an Expy of General Leo, as Leo similarly did not rely on magic infusion or magitek much, and was simply an utterly peerless swordsman.
  • Moveset Clone: In his first battle, he borrows some of Gaius's attacks, but in his second and third battles, he uses attacks unique to him.
  • Named Weapon: Averted, his gunblade The Bastard isn't a crude name or meant to sound scary, Regula is merely calling it Exactly What It Says on the Tin it's a bastard gunblade.
  • Numerological Motif: Legatus of the VIth Legion, encountered on a Floating Continent and within a Magitek Research Facility, thus representing Final Fantasy VI.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Thinks of Eorzeans as savages.
  • Recurring Boss: He's fought twice in the main scenario and a third time in the Warring Triad storyline. He flees each time.
  • Redemption Equals Death: By the time Zurvan awakens, Regula has realized that Allagan's contaimment methods aren't foolproof and thus unfit to be presented to Emperor Varis. He strikes an alliance with the Scions of the Seventh Dawn to stop Zurvan's pre-mature awakening, but dies defending Unukalhai from Zurvan, and with his dying words expresses realization that the Echo is a gift that cannot be wasted if there's ever a hope of purging the Primals from the world for good. That's a massive deal, considering the Garleans consider people with the Echo to be no different than the beastmen.
  • Social Climber: He has shades of this, wishing to advance the station of his legion by doing what Gaius and Nael failed and conquering Eorzea. Likewise, he is not popular among his troops for being seen as a general who earned his position through his friendship with the Emperor rather than his actual qualifications.
  • Swiss Army Weapon: Like Gaius, he wields a gunblade, his called The Bastard.
  • The Turret Master: He summons Magitek Turrets to aid him in his battle.
  • Undying Loyalty: Regula himself has this for Varis because of their relationship as childhood friends. But after defeating Sophia, you learn that this is averted by his men. Likely due to his position being rewarded through his friendship with the Emperor, he fails to gather the support of him men like Gaius had. Sophia managed to temper several Garlean soldiers because they were attempting to sabotage his conquest. This changes after he sacrifices himself to save them, as the remaining Garlean soldiers ensure that his body is given a proper burial back home afterwards.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Flees upon defeat in the Aetherochemical Research Facility.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Like Gaius, he just wants to help Eorzea destroy the Primal threat. Though, also like Gaius, he wishes to use an ancient Allagan device to bring their power to heel. He even questions the heroes why they won't just let him help them in a moment of frustration at being defeated again.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: When Zurvan begins to awaken he deploys his unit in an attempt to stop Zurvan before he can escape, realizing the severity of the situation he puts aside his grudges and asks the Scions to help him. When the Scions hesitate and look like they are about to decline working together, he calls them out on living up to the savage moniker that Eorzeans have acquired. Reasoning that if they are unwilling to do the same and fight against a greater threat alongside an old enemy then they really are savages in his eyes, and tells them that he is putting aside his own grudges by asking them and the Warrior of Light for help, knowing they are responsible for the deaths of his own comrades.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: When confronted by Unukalhai after Sephirot's defeat, he chooses to leave, stating he'll only fight him after he's become an adult and has no intention for fighting kids. It even extends to when Unukalhai (and Krile) are the only ones standing between him and his objective. He chose to flee instead of harming them.
    Regula: I have no interest in crossing blades with children. Live, grow strong, and mayhap one day you will warrant my attention.

    Zenos yae Galvus 

Voiced by: Kosuke Toriumi (JP), Luke Allen Gale (EN), Saverio Maligno (FR), René Dawn-Claude (DE)
Race: Garlean
Discipline: Samurai
"Man should fight for the joy of it. To live, to eat, to breed— lesser beasts snap and howl at one another for this. Only man has the wisdom and the clarity to embrace violence for its own sake."

Son of Emperor Varis, Legatus of the XIIth Legion and Viceroy of the occupied Ala Mhigo in the wake of Gaius van Baelsar's death.

  • 0% Approval Rating: Seems to deliberately cultivate this with his wanton cruelty. His subjects loathe him, his underlings fear him, and his own family despises him.
  • Admiring the Abomination: He expresses open and enthusiastic admiration of Shinryu, particularly its unbridled rage and raw destructive power, right before fusing with the Primal.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Zenos often expresses feelings of anhedonia, the inability to feel pleasure, which is often a symptom of severe clinical depression. Indeed as the Crown Prince, Zenos has access to every material pleasure the star has to offer, but he is only able to feel anything when his life is on the line against a formidable foe. After being defeated in a grandiose battle against the Warrior of Light, Zenos is overcome by genuine joy he is experiencing and marvels at how "real" the moment is. To Zenos, existence was so dull and unfulfilling that he only felt truly alive the one moment he truly had to fight with everything on the line.
  • Arc Villain: Of Stormblood.
  • Bad Boss: He inspires fear in his underlings, and is willing to kill them for things which aren’t even their fault. He kills Grynewaht’s commanding officer after the magitek weapons Grynewaht was field-testing get destroyed by the Warrior of Light because apparently delegating tasks to a subordinate is the act of a weakling coward, and later kills the centurion who brought him news of the Doman revolt. He also carelessly slaughters his own troops when unleashing his power during his second showdown with the Warrior of Light.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: He studied the reports that Gaius had written in regards to the Warrior of Light's Echo ability and was very intrigued by what he read. This inspired him to have his scientists create an artificial Echo for the Garleans to wield, which in turn granted him insurmountable strength and the ability to merge with a primal to control it from within.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: When defeated at the end of Stormblood, Zenos is quite content with having found a worthy foe and the exhilaration that comes with it. Thus he regards the Warrior of Light as a friend and bids them farewell, brings his own katana to his throat, and commits suicide before Lyse can stop him. A potentially souring note to the freeing of Ala Mhigo because in the end not only did he get what he wanted, but by killing himself before Lyse could get to him, he robbed the Ala Mhigans of doling out justice.
  • Big Bad: Compared to A Realm Reborn and Heavensward, which respectively had Gaius and Lahabrea, followed by Nidhogg and Thordan, competing as Big Bads, Zenos stands out as the sole main villain of Stormblood. After The Stinger for Shadowbringers, it looks like he's getting ready to reprise the role.
  • Bishounen: Despite the fact that his helmet gives his armored appearance that of an older man with a sinister visage, under the mask is a smooth-faced young man who doesn't look any older than someone in their mid-20s. And unlike his dad or dear old great-granddad, his hair hasn't yet gone white and is still obviously blond.
  • Blood Knight:
    • Zenos finds pleasure when locked in combat with a foe that can actually challenge him — which is becoming rarer and rarer, and actually helps kick off Stormblood's plot. Unlike most examples however, Zenos does not find joy in defeating such opponents but the challenge of overcoming an obstacle. Not only is he trying to incite rebellion in Ala Mhigo and Doma just so he can have someone to fight again, he begins to delight in the fact that the Warrior of Light can actually stand up to him, which hasn't happened in years. Lucia sums it up best near the end of the story.
      Lucia: Zenos has never cared a whit for politics. He lives for war and war alone. Kill him, or he will kill you.
    • His love of the hunt, his hunt for the Warrior of Light specifically, is so great that he assassinates his own father, as he doesn't want the WoL being killed by what he described as petty wars and cowardly weapons. He has no plans to take over rule of Garlemald after killing his father though, as his sole intent is to return to his hunt. He plans on making good use of the knowledge that the two Gods of the world are nothing more than primals by having himself and the Warrior of Light devour their powers so that they could have the greatest battle in the fabric of existence.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Not a single drop of blood comes from Zenos after slicing his own throat open.
  • Body Surf: After his death, his Resonant soul possessed the body of an elezen Resistance member. He would go on to possess a Garlean Centurion so he could safely return to Garlemald, where he eventually reclaimed his original body from Elidibus.
  • Broken Ace: Zenos was bred to the Garlean Empire's ultimate killing machine and is the single strongest soldier the empire has to offer. Not only that, Zenos was born with a genius-level intellect that allowed him to quickly master anything he put his mind to. Alongside being born as a member of the royal family and eventually becoming Crown Prince, Zenos was born on top of the world and had nothing to aspire to, nothing to work towards. The only time he truly felt challenged was when overcoming the attempt on his life by his sword tutor, an incident that affected Zenos so greatly that he seeks to recreate the rush he experience by finding more and more deadly opponents.
  • The Caligula: Without question THE most depraved member of the Garlean royal line seen by far, showing sadism and bloodthirstiness outclassing all the rest.
  • Came Back Strong: After his "death" and possessing a weaker body, Zenos's strength only continues to grow as he starts mastering his Resonant powers. By the time he arrives at the Imperial palace, he can enter bodies at will and has becomes so powerful that Elidibus opts to flee and abandon Zenos's body rather than face him. Once reunited with his original flesh, he displays the power to cast magical force fields, the standard Resonant precognition, along with the Ascian signature teleportation. He casually swats around Gaius and Estinien and expresses boredom against them.
  • Composite Character: His design is effectively an amalgamation of the two most common types of main villains in Final Fantasy games: A tall, imposing Tin Tyrant that is also a long haired Bishounen.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: He was able to overpower the Warrior of Light with nothing but raw strength and his magitek katanas. Given the impressive victories the Warrior of Light already had in his belt, Zenos' strength is unnatural, even with an enhanced body. It is implied this may be due to his Ascian ancestry through his great-grandfather Solus.
  • Collector of the Strange: Since his conquest of Doma, Zenos came to admire katanas and collects them as a hobby. Imperials often gift Zenos with rare and powerful katanas to enter his good graces. Yotsuyu offers him his most powerful sword, Ame-no-Habakiri, as a way to appease him after losing control of the Ruby Sea.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: The developers have described him as the opposite of Gaius in that he is someone who will earn no sympathy from the audience due to his ruthlessness and cruelty. Even his own father thinks of him as a monster.
  • Coughing Up Blood: After Shinryu's destruction, Zenos crashes into the ground. As he tries to stand, he coughs up a mouthful of blood from the toll the fight and fall had on him.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: He artificially copies the godly blessing of the Warrior of Light and takes it a step further to subjugate Shinryu, the strongest primal seen so far. Surprisingly enough, he gains perfect control over the monstrosity. This spurs Zenos to take his chances with Zodiark himself, one of the ultimate primals along with Hydaelyn.
  • Demonic Possession: After his death and apparent return to the Empire, the Scions theorize that Zenos's corpse has been possessed by an Ascian to further their agenda. It's shown later on that Zenos himself pulled this on a unlucky resistance member while his own corpse is being used by Elidibus.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: The end of the MSQ in 5.2 shows he has a recurring dream of himself in a Coat Cape walking through the Final Days of Amaurot past the Ancients running for their lives.
  • Elemental Weapon: He wields The Storm, a lightning-enchanted katana as well as The Swell, a wind-enchanted katana.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Zenos is a very powerful swordsman who was able to crush the Doman rebellion unarmed; after becoming a Resonant, he freely wields magic through enchanted katanas. By 5.1, he has mastered his Echo abilities and is called by Krile as "an Ascian in all but name", capable of body surfing and teleportation.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Introduced doing a full-blown Slouch of Villainy on the throne of Ala Mhigo's palace. When a sergeant comes in to report the Alliance taking Baelsar's Wall and Shinryu and Omega's disappearances after their combat and the damage the latter caused, he suggests diverting some of his resources to help repairs. Zenos's response is to do absolutely nothing— not move, not speak— and this still leaves the sergeant so terrified that he apologizes for offending him and all but sprints out of the throne room. Cue Zenos's face under his helmet curling into a smirk, and commenting that the days to come are going to be very interesting.
    • His first proper scene in Stormblood establishes why his subordinates are so terrified of him. Upon being informed that the unit tasked with field-testing prototype magitek weapons was wiped out by an Eorzean ambush and that Grynewaht was the only survivor, he declares that the XIIth legion is no place for cowards or the weak… before cutting down Grynewaht’s commanding officer for the “cowardice” of deferring such an important task to a subordinate. He then expounds his bloodthirsty philosophy, likening himself to a hunter and the Ala Mhigans to his prey.
    • The first time the Warrior of Light encounters Zenos, Diabolos’s theme starts playing instead of the normal Imperial boss music, letting the player know just how dangerous he is and just how screwed they are.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • In contrast to his apathetic and casually murderous attitude towards his other officers, he consistently rewards Fordola's achievements. The soft spot he seems to have for her is mocked by some of the others, who infer that she's using sex to have her way with him; at the very least, she gets away with suffering defeat repeatedly – a lethal misstep in Zenos's court – simply because Zenos admires her attitude. He is also somewhat above the petty racism expressed by his underlings, and believes in using the right tool for the right job.
    • In a more twisted example, Zenos kills his own father to prevent him using chemical weapons in war, as he didn't want to lose his "friend" and rival to such petty things.
  • Evil Overlord: The Griffin describes him as an especially cruel overlord of Ala Mhigo in comparison to Gaius.
  • The Evil Prince: Son of Emperor Varis, and thus crown prince of Garlemald as his title "yae" denotes.
  • Evil Sounds Raspy: Since returning to Garlemald, Zenos's voice has become much lower and raspier, likely from slitting his own throat and damaging his vocal cords.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: A bloodthirsty tyrant who kills his own officers at the drop of a hat, but quite young and pretty underneath the helmet.
  • Famous Last Words: "Farewell, my first friend. My enemy."
  • Four Is Death: He is fought four times throughout Stormblood. The first two fights end in the Warrior of Light's defeat, the third fight has Zenos simply walk away, and the fourth battle is where he finally meets his end.
  • Four-Star Badass: Legatus of the XIIth Garlean legion and, according to the Griffin, makes the Black Wolf look like a friendly puppy.
  • Friendless Background: Zenos was raised with no companionship or love, being far too highborn and talented to have anyone to relate to. Once finally faced with someone who could match his skills along with a similar stance in life, it is easy to see why Zenos has developed an obsession with the Warrior of Light.
  • Friendly Enemy: Develops into this toward the Warrior of Light in his own twisted way. He sees the Warrior of Light as a fellow Blood Knight willing to master their own power to defeat and crush their prey. There is even an option where the player can agree with his point of view. He even says that the Warrior of Light is his first friend during his Famous Last Words. Further solidified upon his return to his own body, where he kills his own father to prevent the Black Rose from killing the Warrior of Light, and plots to have them both absorb the powers of Hydaelyn and Zodiark to have the greatest battle in his twisted mind.
  • A God Am I: He declares both himself and the Warrior of Light to be greater than the gods just before fusing with Shinryu. Sure enough he plans on making Hydaelyn and Zodiark submit to his and the Warrior of Light as part of their greatest clash by the end of Shadowbringers.
    “We tower above the gods! You by your gift, I by my might! And before the Resonant, the gods shall be made to kneel!”
  • Going Native:
    • Zenos adopted the katana as his weapon of choice, after brutally crushing the Doman rebellion. His fondness for them leads to one of the few ways one can curry favor with him without playing into his games; Gift him with a particularly rare and well-made katana, and he'll be genuinely pleased. He likes the weapon that much.
    • His armor has what appears to be a kimono wrapped around the midsection, likely signifying his discipline as a Samurai.
  • He's Back: After cutting his own throat and spending the next few patches possessing the body of a random elezen resistance fighter, Zenos reclaims his true body in dramatic fashion and usurps the empire all in the course of one evening, all for the pleasure of reuniting with his one true friend.
  • Hijacking Cthulhu:
    • The big twist in Stormblood is Zenos researching and reverse-engineering the Echo with the intention of controlling Primals rather than just being immune to being enthralled by them — and he doesn't choose just any normal Primal, but Shinryu. It works.
    • Learning the truth behind Zodiark and Hydaelyn prompts him to set his sights on them next at the end of Shadowbringers.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight:
    • Zenos leads an assault early in Stormblood to sack the resistance in their base. Everyone is crushed by his power, even the Warrior of Light.
    • It happens again midway through the story when Yugiri and the Warrior of Light attempt to assassinate him during his hurried visit to Doma.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: He considers all opponents as prey for his "hunt", and routinely tries to find someone who can actually challenge him, while collecting battle trophies from the fallen.
  • Identical Grandson: Well, not quite identical, but Zenos's facial features are similar to his great-grandfather Solus's in his youth, and they also share a rather deranged love for theatrics. However, their personalities could not be any more different, with Solus's madness being a mask for his inner sorrow and failure while Zenos's insanity is his true face.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Well, maybe not his katanas, which are relatively mundane, but his standard battle loadout is to have three of them in a gigantic revolver holster on his left hip. How the hell he can walk without listing to one side is a mystery for the ages. One scene in Stormblood shows that when he's sitting on his throne, the holster is set up like a golf bag with a built-in kickstand next to the throne.
  • I Need You Stronger: By the time Zenos defeats the Warrior of Light a second time, he simply tells them to become stronger. His blood knight tendencies have clearly caused him to take an interest in them.
  • Insane Equals Violent: Zenos is a sociopath who when younger had difficulty perceiving those around him as people and impassionately excelled at everything he did. However when he first suffered a defeat in combat it inspired Zenos to find joy and comfort courting death in combat and since then his only motivation has been to do battle.
  • Irony: Zenos's whole plan in 4.0 was to die in one last glorious battle against a worthy foe and become immortalized as a new legend. However, his Resonant experiments unwittingly turned him into an immortal being, rendering him literally incapable of dying. Zenos is initially perplexed at his own survival and is at a genuine loss for what to do next. He even briefly considers turning over a new leaf, but eschews it in favor of sticking with his old plan, intending on repeating the fight once more on a far grander scale.
  • The Juggernaut: Zenos has a reputation as an unstoppable force in battle and has the bloodlust to match, wading through front lines and casually swatting even powerful foes like the Scions around like flies.
  • Karma Houdini: Played With. Zenos seems to die at the end of the story, but he dies fulfilled, happy, and on his own terms. Lyse is specifically disgusted that Zenos died without suffering any real punishment for his crimes. Then it turns out he unwittingly survived, which at first annoys him since it didn't grant the epic death he wanted...until he realizes he can now fight the Warrior of Light again.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Zenos wields several katana sheathed in what appears to be a large gun barrel as his personal weapon of choice, and given his prestige is likely a Master Swordsman like his fellow legate. He had it made as he had developed a very strong fondness for the katana during the suppression of the uprising in Doma.
  • Kubrick Stare:
    • He has quite a sinister one as he taunts the Warrior of Light on how they have yet to fully master the Echo while he proceeds to explain how his own artificial Echo will allow him to control primals.
    • Gives another rather chilling one right to the player in The Stinger for Patch 4.2, which revealed that he yet lives.
  • Large and in Charge: Like his father, Zenos absolutely towers over any other hyuran, including his fellow Garleans. He's significantly taller than male Roegadyn or Au Ra, even. The short story "Through His Eyes" states that his grandfather reached unprecedented height among Garleans, a trait Zenos obviously inherited, and it is implied that this is due to their Ascian heritage via Solus/Emet-Selch.
  • Leitmotif: "Meteor", though originally Nael van Darnus's theme, plays in most cutscenes featuring Zenos.
  • Levitating Lotus Position: Zenos prepares his heaviest attack while meditating in midair, protected by a magitek barrier.
  • Limit Break: Storm, Swell, Sword. After meditating and channeling power from his three swords, Zenos rushes to each one to attack with them, ending with a leaping overhead swing that fills the area with destructive might.
  • Meditation Power Up: To charge Storm, Swell, Sword he will meditate behind a barrier for his Aether Transfer.
  • Me's a Crowd: One of his powers in his boss battle is to generate phantom clones.
  • Menacing Stroll: In most of his appearances, Zenos just very calmly walks through the middle of things like battlefields as though he was simply taking a walk through a park, never moving at anything more than a very casual pace. Even in his Hopeless Boss Fight, he never breaks his slow stride outside of the occasional Flash Step.
  • Named Weapons: His three katanas are named the Storm, the Swell, and Ame-no-Habakiri.
  • Never Gets Drunk: Humorously implied in Yotsuyu's Tales from the Storm. She's sent to spy on him, so she tries to loosen his lips with wine...only for him to continually down cups without showing the slightest sign of inebriation, to her incredulous annoyance.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In their final confrontation he mocks the Warrior of Light for indirectly allowing Zenos to capture and take control of Shinryu.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Through the act of by slaying his father and destroying the Garlean Empire's stores of Black Rose he's tied the loose ends on the Eorzean side of Emet-Selch's Rejoining plans, all while the Warrior of Light is busy dispersing the Flood of Light and slaying Emet-Selch on the First. Zenos may be doing it out of a truly demented desire to not have his "hunt" ruined but in a roundabout way he and the Warrior of Light both saved the Source from Emet-Selch.
  • Not Quite Dead: He actually survives slitting his own throat, though he's thrown into a different body for a while due to the effects of his artificial Echo. The end of 5.0 sees him reclaim his body.
  • Not So Different: He claims that he and the Warrior of Light are the same since both want to taste the blood of their enemies in battle and kill in order to become stronger. How true this is depends on what the player wants the Warrior of Light to be.
  • Not So Stoic: In the early parts of Stormblood he comes off as a Soft-Spoken Sadist, rarely raising his voice and constantly sporting an expression of stoic indifference. But as the story unfolds and the Warrior of Light gradually proves themselves to be a Worthy Opponent, Zenos grows more animated and hammy. By the time you confront him in the Royal Menagerie, he’s shouting at the top of his lungs and Chewing the Scenery as he prepares to fuse with Shinryu.
  • Numerological Motif: Legatus of the XIIth Legion, he is the son of the Imperial occupiers Emperor hand-picked to rule over a conquered city-state with an iron fist thus representing Final Fantasy XII. Like Vayne he is artificially infused with a man-made version of a Godly gift, and uses it to wield a dragon's power in the final battle.
  • Offered the Crown: After Gaius's death, the Emperor grants control of Ala Mhigo, which Gaius controlled after he personally conquered it for Garlemald, to Zenos.
  • Only Friend: You become this to him, in his own twisted way. He sees in you a kindred spirit and a most Worthy Opponent.
  • One-Winged Angel: Fuses with Shinryu during the final battle of Stormblood.
  • Patricide: After he gets his real body back from Elidibus, he's just as quick to turn his blade on his own father.
  • Rapunzel Hair: He has long blond hair flowing out from under his helmet.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When he actives his Resonant abilities to merge with Shinryu
  • Rebel Prince: Of the rare Villainous Father, Even More Villainous Son variety. Considers the Empire's crusade against Eikons to be borne of fear and ignorance, and instead desires to hijack primals via an Artificial Echo.
  • Redemption Rejection: Voices this opinion in 4.3, when it's revealed that he has possessed a member of the Ala Mhigo Resistance. He flat out refuses to use his second chance to redeem himself and make any sort of amends, intending to continue his "hunt" against his rival, the Warrior of Light.
  • Sanity Slippage: By the time of The Stinger of Shadowbringers, he has clearly lost whatever sanity he once had upon reclaiming his body, becoming so obsessed with his "hunt" for the Warrior of Light that he is more than willing to cut down his own father and plunge the Empire into anarchy just to ensure no one comes between them and him.
  • The Social Darwinist: All Garlean leadership is this, but Zenos takes it to such extremes that his own family balks at him.
  • Spanner in the Works: No one is aware he survived the events of Stormblood, and since the Warrior of Light is not going to be on Hydaelyn for a long time for him to hunt, Zenos instead sets his sights on reclaiming his position of crown prince from Elidibus, who is possessing his original body. It's implied that this is what will keep Elidibus from steamrolling all of Hydaelyn in the Warrior of Light's absence, giving the Alliance a fighting chance to hold the line. Sure enough he ends up routing Elidibus and killing his father, sounding the death knell not only for Black Rose but the Empire as we know it. Elidibus even comments that Zenos' surprising intervention has caused decades worth of plans and schemes to completely collapse to the point that he's more or less resorting to shooting blindly in the dark and watching where everything goes.
  • Straw Nihilist: Gleefully goes on about how nothing on this star matters, only the cycle of the strong killing the weak.
  • Sword Beam: Several of his attacks are variations on this concept. Lightless Spark is a horizontal slash which creates a crescent-shaped Sword Beam that strikes everything within a large cone-shaped area-of-effect. Concentrativity (and its more powerful version, Vein Splitter) is a Sword Plant that channels energy into the ground, creating an explosion that hits the whole party. And finally, Art Of The Sword is a single slash that fires off four linear Sword Beams at once, one aimed at each member of the party.
  • Turns Red: In-universe, no less. When he pulls out his strongest, most obviously magical katana, his armor glows bright red to match.
  • Victory Is Boring: Despite the fact that he can and has crush the rebellion easily, he finds it incredibly boring at how easily he can win. With no one suitable to challenge him, Zenos is quite bored while he rules over Doma and Ala Mhigo. He scoffs at the Warrior of Light when he defeats them the first time, but after beating them the second time, he quickly grows interested at how strong they have become since their last fight and encourages them to grow even stronger for their next encounter. Clashing with the Warrior of Light is the only thing that brings Zenos out of his boredom since he finally has an opponent that can stand up to him.
  • Villain Takes an Interest: Zenos becomes quite obsessed with the Warrior of Light over the course of Stormblood seeing them as the worthy opponent he's always wanted. By the end of Shadowbringers he can't go even one scene without an increasingly manic desire to fight them again. When he finally reclaims his body from Elidibus his first action is to kill his father for daring to even think of using Black Rose to wipe out the Eorzean Alliance as doing so would rob Zenos of his chance to fight the Warrior of Light again.
  • Worthy Opponent: Comes to see the Warrior of Light as this, and craves it something fierce.
  • Would Hit a Girl:
    • Zenos shows zero reservation in harming women, from nearly killing Y'shtola to grabbing a fistful of Yotsuyu's hair and threatening to kill her if she fails him.
    • If the Warrior of Light is female, his duels with her are just as brutal as the male version.
  • Western Samurai: It's only since the subjugation of Doma that he has come to wield a katana, assimilating with Garlean magitek.
  • Wrecked Weapon: After his first confrontation with the Warrior of Light, his nameless katana snaps in half. It's unknown whether it broke due to the Warrior of Light breaking it, or if it simply couldn't handle Zenos's raw power.

    Noah van Gabranth
Race: Unknown, possibly Hyur
Discipline: N/A
"It appears our ancestors were as cunning as they were ruthless."

Legate of the IVth Imperial Legion, Gabranth led the invasion of Dalmasca 30 years prior to the events of Stormblood.

  • Age Lift: Gabranth was 36 years old during the events of Final Fantasy XII, but here he was only 20 when he assumed his father's command during the invasion of Dalmasca, placing him at 50 years old.
  • Ascended Extra: He was originally a minor character in the Return to Ivalice raid, but then he returned as the main antagonist of the Save the Queen: Blades of Gunnhildr questline.
  • Decomposite Character: The Noah in XII bent the knee to the empire that conquered his home nation. For this version of Noah, that aspect of his story was instead given to his father, Basch van Gabranth.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: As a legatus he is second only to the royal family in Garlemald's chain of command, and yet the end of the first part of the Save the Queen storyline implies that he intends on replacing Garlemald with an even grander nation using "the very power they abhor".
  • Improbable Age: Noah gained command of an entire imperial legion at only 20 years of age, the youngest to ever do so.
  • Mythology Gag: Based on the Archadian Judge Magister Gabranth (real name Noah fon Rosenburg) from Final Fantasy XII. Serves as a roundabout reference, as the Garlean Legati were noted to be similar in appearance to XII's Judge Magisters, and now a Judge Magister has been reimagined as a Legate.
  • Numerological Motif: A stranger example here, as Gabranth is the Legate of the IVth Imperial Legion despite originating from Final Fantasy XII, yet the original Gabranth owed a lot to Final Fantasy IV's Golbez, both being Darth Vader Clones (Golbez being the page image) who were brothers to one of their respective games' heroes and pulled a Heel–Face Turn in their games' final act.
  • Odd Name Out: A side effect of him being a Final Fantasy XII import, his name stands out from his more Roman-inspired counterparts. This is because he's not actually Garlean, but in fact comes from the conquered Republic of Landis.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Varis' suspicions of Gabranth led to him keeping him assigned in Dalmasca, far from the imperial capital, long after he was needed there.
  • Related in the Adaptation: A weird one. XII's Noah was the brother of Basch. In XIV, Basch is Noah's father.
  • Token Minority: Noah, and his father Basch before him, is the only legatus to not be a pureblood Garlean. Notably this is a rank that's supposed to be impossible for non-Garleans to achieve, but they did it anyway. They're actually from the Republic of Landis, but when it was conquered Basch bent the knee to the empire.
  • Undying Loyalty: The IVth is loyal to Noah above the Empire. This made Varis very suspicious of Noah.


    Nero tol Scaeva 

Voiced by: Riki Kitazawa (JP), Ian Steele (EN, Los Angeles cast), John Heffernan (EN, London cast), Jochen Hägele (FR), Heiko Grauel (DE)
Race: Garlean
Discipline: N/A
"As long as my ambition burns, I shall strive to seize it."

A commander of the XIVth Imperial Legion, and second-in-command to Gaius. Nero is an ambitious and intelligent technician who has won great praise for his contributions to Magitek research and weapons development. However, he is only concerned with accumulating personal fame and power, and carries a dark grudge against Cid.

Following the main story, Nero sets his eyes on a power source within the Crystal Tower equal to, if not surpassing, the Ultima Weapon. To achieve this, he joins the Warrior of Light and Cid's efforts to defeat the remnants of the Allagan Empire within, informing them that there is naught but a noose waiting for him back in Garlemald following the XIVth legion going rogue. Once the Syrcus Tower is cleared, he is sucked into the World of Darkness with Doga and Unei, and until the Warrior of Light arrives, battles the monsters within to keep Doga and Unei safe. Despite the Cloud of Darkness' defeat, Nero's darkness-tainted wounds cause the last of his strength to give out during the escape and tells the Warrior of Light to leave him behind. It is only because of Doga and Unei's heroic sacrifice that Nero gets a second wind, and even then Cid has to pull him though at the last possible second. After this, Nero buries the hatchet with least somewhat.

  • Adaptational Wimp: Funnily enough the Wandering Minstrel's song treats him like a complete wuss in the savage versions of Exdeath and Kefka. Nero's dialogue in both of the fights is basically him freaking out that Exdeath and Kefka's powers have twisted the laws of reality, instead of the calm and collected mission control he was in the normal versions of the actual fights.
  • Attack Drone: Summons a few of his magitek creations to attack you in his boss battle.
  • Attention Whore: His main motivation for throwing in his lot with Gaius and reactivating Ultima Weapon was for the sole purpose of gaining Gaius' approval and recognition. This grew from his desire to be acknowledged for his own talents, but Nero was constantly overshadowed in the academy by Cid's genius even after Cid had defected driving Nero even further into jealousy. However by the time Stormblood rolls around Nero has managed to let go of his glory seeking ways, and acknowledges Cid's genius but still desires to overtake him.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: He presents one in 3.56 to the Alliance, the Scions, and the Warrior of Light by asking them if they are just going to throw the Warrior of Light at the primal that Illberd summoned like they always do and hope for the best. The group is reluctant to agree with him and they listen to what his plans are for Omega Weapon.
  • Bad Boss: Probably to contrast his own boss Gaius, Nero is wont to murder spies with minimal warning and threaten the nearest underling in proximity to clean up the mess.
  • Badass Normal: Like other Garleans, he is incapable of wielding magic and wields Magitek weaponry to compensate.
  • Cool Shades: He starts wearing a pair of sunglasses at the end of Stormblood when he decides to become a member of Garlond Ironworks.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Is very thick with this in 3.56 as he constantly mocks Cid, the Scions, and the Alliance for their methods and shortcomings.
  • The Dragon: Nero is the second in command of the XIVth Legion, but he bitterly comments that he was a distant second choice for the position compared to Cid.
  • Drop the Hammer: Wields a gunhammer called Mjölnir.
  • The Engineer: He uses machines to help him fight his boss battle.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Roots out and executes a spy where he stands, showing his intelligence and ruthlessness.
  • The Evil Genius: He fulfills this role as well as The Dragon in the XIVth Legion.
  • Foil: Is this to Cid, being nearly as intelligent but ambitious & pragmatic rather than idealistic & heroic. Becomes more pronounced when he shows a few heroic tendencies in the Crystal Tower but is still bent on profiting from the discoveries there. His pragmatism proves vital in Stormblood as he recommends several solutions Cid wouldn't have thought of, including using Omega to take out Shinryu and digging up his father's old research on Project Meteor to help kill Omega.
  • Flunky Boss: He has more then a few robotic minions to help him do his dirty work in his boss fight.
  • Hidden Disdain Reveal: Upon confronting him in the Praetorium, Nero reveals his frustration towards Cid always outshining him. Even after he defected from Garlemald, rather than being scorned as a traitor, Cid was revered as a legend while Nero, who stayed loyal, was overlooked in spite of his own achievements. In his words, Cid's existence has rendered his own worthless.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: He lets out two groan-worthy puns during his boss fight.
    Nero: "I have taken the liberty of preparing an electrifying stage for you." " Meet one of my creations. You might find it a handful."
  • Insufferable Genius: Even if he does always come second to Cid Garlond, that still makes him one of Garlemald's foremost engineers (if not the most with the former's defection), with a particular expertise in the technology of ancient Allag. And he is not about to let anyone forget it.
    • In the Omega series, Cid's describes Nero's assistance as equally invaluable and insufferable. And Nero himself states that he is the reason they survived the Sigmascape, that the Warrior of Light was merely a minor pawn in their success, nevermind that the WoL had to do the actual heavy lifting.
  • The Gadfly: Delights in doing this to Cid since joining the Ironworks.
    Nero: "What terrible marvels can I trouble my old friend with next?"
  • Gadgeteer Genius: He is famous for his advancement in Magitek research and weapons development, having designed his own weapon Mjolnir.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: He is insanely envious of everything that Cid is.
  • Gunblade: He has one in his first cutscene that he kills a spy with, but when you actually fight him properly later on, he's switched to a hammer.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Maybe. We think. He definitely acted in a heroic manner to keep Doga and Unei alive in the World of Darkness (almost getting crystallized in the process), and while he still has something of an axe to grind with Cid on the "overshadowing" front, at the end of WoD he seems to be forging his own path for finding that fame, that involves neither the Eorzean Alliance or the Empire. He notably gives up his little scanner, which was a trademark of his old armor...which ominously starts beeping again from the chasm he threw it into after he walks away...
    • Furthered in Patch 3.56, which seems him reintroduced to the Main Story proper offering his considerable expertise to the task of awakening the Allagan Omega Weapon to the Eorzean Alliance in a bid to stop the new Primal; Shinryu. All throughout this endeavor, he never shows any signs of being anything other than genuinely helpful; if consistently condescending.
    • Reaches its logical conclusion during the end of Stormblood where he officially joins Garlond Ironworks in their hunt for Omega, and seems to be genuinely willing to help despite their mistrust of him. And at in the ending of the raid series, he refers to Cid as an old friend, though in the same thought as wondering what new marvels he can torment him with.
    • In the third Tales from the Shadows chapter, Nero is noted to be one of the few Garlond Ironworks employees who didn't resign from the Ironworks when Cid brings up the idea of researching Time Travel, and worked with Cid for decades on the project.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While he always boats about being better than Cid in every way, he does it for at least one reason. During the Omega storyline in Stormblood, he reminds Cid more than once that using his gadgets and inventions for the good of the realm can only get him so far and he'll have to push himself beyond his limits to reach his true potential and use that to achieve his goals. Cid can only take the statement in silence, unable to refute Nero's points.
  • The Rival: He considers Cid his in almost every aspect of his life.
    • Unknown Rival: Cid had no idea Nero felt so overshadowed by him until he outright says it before his boss fight.
    • Friendly Rival: Eventually settles into this with Cid after they spend more time working together, particularly in the Omega storyline. In a cutscene following the fight with a copy of Midgardsormr, Cid admits that when they were students, Nero's successes pushed Cid to work harder himself.
  • Rocket-Powered Weapon: This is the "gun" part of Nero's gunhammer—rather than firing projectiles, it has rockets that increase the power of a swing.
  • Shock and Awe: He electrifies the floor around the battlefield to make the fight more interesting.
  • Shout-Out: During the Omega storyline, Nero upgrades his armor to the "Iron Nero" Instant Armor, much in the same vein as Iron Man.
  • Skewed Priorities: In the final Tale from the Storm, even as children, Nero's number one goal in life was to one-up Cid. So when a band of rebels infiltrate their school to kidnap Cid's father and Cid goes after them, Nero comes along to make sure Cid doesn't die. His reasoning? So Cid can see him win the upcoming invention contest. Cid is incredulous.
  • Smug Snake: He tries to play his fellow generals and Cid, but no one is fooled. His inferiority complex towards Cid makes him all the more pitiful.
  • Social Climber: His goals are obtaining glory and fame and of course outshining Cid. Even when he's the only living XIVth commanding officer marked for death by his home country, he still seeks the power of the ancient Allagans in the Crystal Tower storyline.
  • The Spymaster: His duty in addition to Magitek research and engineering.
  • The Starscream: He makes a telling comment about acquiring enough glory and power to surpass Gaius before his boss battle.
  • Sunglasses at Night: In one of the game's more inexplicable yet hilarious moments, one of the post-credits scenes in Stormblood's 4.0 main storyline has Nero walk up to Cid wearing a pair of Cool Shades despite it not only being the middle of the night, but the middle of a thunderstorm. He then immediately proceeds with a theatrical Glasses Pull as he announces himself as the newest member of Cid's team, much to the man's dismay.
  • Take My Hand: Even after Doga and Unei sever Xande's contract with the Cloud of Darkness and purges the darkness from Nero's body, he can't quite make it to the portal...until Cid reaches out at the last second to pull him out.
  • Third Eye: As a pureblooded Garlean.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Despite getting sick from the action, Nero does express some gratitude towards Alpha for trying to provide something to drink while he was working, noting that even though Alpha ended up using salt water, he at least appreciated the sentiment.
  • Tin Tyrant: He's usually dressed in bright red armour and is a major part of the Garlean invasion.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: After joining the Ironworks, he's much more cordial to everyone but Cid. This doesn't stop him from jeering or snarking at the player character or the others, but it's a far step from the proud Garlean commander he was introduced as. At one point, he even gives Wedge a genuine, at-face-value compliment when he shows his engineering prowess under duress.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Once defeated, the lights go out, leaving the room pitch black and giving Nero time to escape, making him the only member of the XIVth to survive the main story.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: Inverted and averted. He upgrades his hammer and armour to more powerful versions for the Sigmascape scenarios, but him having done so is for your benefit, as he's an ally now.
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: Just prior to the fight against Exdeath, Nero relays information he dug up about the man, specifically that he's an evil tree that takes the form of a dark mage. Immediately after, Nero tells the Warrior of Light to ignore everything he just said.

    Asahi sas Brutus 

Voiced by: Junichi Yanagita (JP), Matt McCooey (EN), Laurent Gris (FR), Simon Derksen (DE)
Race: Eastern Hyur
"Eikons are a blight upon this star. In his wisdom Emperor Varis wishes to explore the possibility of an alliance, to combat this common threat."

An imperial ambassador from Garlemald, he initially appears in the end of the 4.1 story eavesdropping on two Garleans talking about The death of Zenos or the active efforts to hide it from Garlean citizenry. Asahi makes his proper appearance in patch 4.2 Rise of a New Sun, acting on Varis' orders to determine if an alliance against Primals is possible with outside forces

  • Altar Diplomacy: He arranged the marriage of his sister to a cruel and abusive drunk to advance the station of his family.
  • Ambadassador: Alisaie notes its a bit strange for a diplomat to be such a skilled swordsman which tips off that he is not exactly what he seems.
  • Ambiguously Gay: His first meeting with Zenos is framed like a Rescue Romance and his devotion to Zenos could easily be seen as romantic, albeit one-sided.
    • No longer ambiguous as of 4.3. He outright states he loves Zenos while also revealing his jealousy over the supposed favouritism Zenos showed Yotsuyu.
  • Arc Villain: Of the 4.2 and 4.3 storylines.
  • Ax-Crazy: Good god, his true nature makes Livia look sane and reasonable.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Even though he didn't get to see the results of his plan, word of Tsukuyomi's summoning still reached the ears of Garlemald with Alphinaud and Maxima unable to get there and tell the truth thanks to Elidibus' assassination attempt, drowning out the reasonable voices of the Populares and making the pro-conquest citizens call for the blood and total subjugation of Doma and Eorzea.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He appears to be friendly and truthful in wanting peace with Doma, but before he leaves, he gives a scathing look at the Warrior of Light and calls them a savage beast while swearing revenge on them for killing Zenos when the time comes. A later cutscene shows he wasn't even being all honest with his negotiations with Hien, noting that the plan to exchange the prisoners was too easy.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: After 4.2's story presents him as a threat, he's killed off in the middle of 4.3 by Yotsuyu, using the last of her strength as Tsukuyomi to impale him with her swords.
    • To add insult to injury,it's later revealed that the "Zenos" who gave him the plan in the first place, wasn't even the real one. Meaning his one victory of Zenos supposedly acknowledging him over anyone else was a lie, not that he ever learns of this.
  • Big Damn Heroes: He saves a pair of Domans from a gang of Red Kojin. Its implied he arranged the attack in the first place to curry some good favor by saving them.
  • Bullying a Dragon: After showing his true colors to the Warrior of Light, he tries to provoke them into attacking him knowing that it would endanger the peace proceedings between the empire and Doma. At the end of 4.3 where the Warrior of Light defeats Yotsuyu's primal form, Asahi not only shoots and kicks his dying sister, he still tries to goad the Warrior of Light into attacking him. Yotsuyu kills him instead.
  • Cain and Abel: There is no love lost between him and Yotsuyu after he sold her to an abusive husband and then to a brothel.
  • Engineered Heroics: He arranged the Kojin ambush on some Doman citizens so that he could dispatch them and appear "legitimate" to everyone about his noble goals. Naturally, it's all an act.
  • Evil Gloating: After Tsukuyomi's defeat, Asahi goads the Warrior of Light into striking him down, as such a blatant attack on a diplomat would destroy any peace between Doma and Garlemald. Then he goes on to gloat that the peace is already ruined because of his machinations leading to a Doman summoning a Primal, just as hoped.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Polite, patient, humble, and happy to fight on behalf of those in need. But not a shred of it's genuine.
  • Frameup: His ultimate plan for the Domans. He goaded Yotsuyu into becoming evil again whilst giving her a kojin artefact that she could use to become a Primal, which Asahi himself staged during the prisoner exchange by bringing along a hoard of crystals. In doing so, he would make the Domans look complicit in the summoning of a Primal and justify continued Garlean aggression against them, ultimately leading to an eventual reclamation of Doma from its natives.
  • Going Native: He is a Doman who adopted the Garlean way of life. Notably, his title of "sas" is the highest a non-native Garlean can achieve.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: The spoiled rotten Asahi was livid with jealousy that his sister was handpicked by Zenos himself to be the viceroy of Doma over him.
  • Hate Sink: Despite acting like a kind and friendly man in the beginning of 4.2, with the reveal of his true nature at the end and his downright despicable actions in 4.3, Asahi has zero redeeming qualities whatsoever.
  • Hero-Worshipper: He became a devoted disciple to Zenos after he saved his life from Doman insurgents during the rebellion.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: How he's killed in the middle of 4.3's story.
  • Interim Villain: Serves as the effective Big Bad for 4.2 and 4.3, filling just enough time to reintroduce Zenos (or possibly an Ascian posing as him) as the Big Bad for the future storyline.
  • It's Personal: His grudge with the Warrior of Light is because Zenos save him during the rebellion and the Warrior supposedly killed him.
    • This trope can apply to any person that Zenos has shown interest in. Not only is Asahi venomous toward the Warrior of Light, but in 4.3 it's revealed he also despised Yotsuyu for Zenos picking her to be acting viceroy of Doma over him. This was so personal to him, his already-lost composure worsened as he shot at and kicked Yotsuyu while she was down.
  • Karmic Death: He's killed in the middle of 4.3 by the sister whom he sold into slavery and held a petty jealousy for.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: He shoots Yotsuyu—who is already mortally wounded after being defeated by the Warrior of Light—twice, and then starts viciously kicking her while ranting and raving about how she never deserved Zenos’s favor. It does not end well for him.
  • Kubrick Stare: Gives a rather chilling one to the Warrior of Light, vowing to get revenge on them for killing Zenos.
  • Large Ham: After the fight with Tsukuyomi!Yotsuyu, Asahi drops all pretenses and, along with shooting at Yotsuyu's body, his body gestures and expressions become much more noticeably hammy with him believing that, no matter what may happen next, he holds a political advantage over the Warrior of Light if they act against him.
  • Older Than They Look: Despite his rather baby-faced appearance, at the age of 27 he is actually one year older than Zenos, the man he idolizes so much.
  • Parental Favoritism: Because he was his parent's trueborn son he was greatly favored by his parents over Yotsuyu (Who was taken in by her aunt after the death of her birth mother) and was granted an extensive education in Garlemald while she toiled in the rice paddies.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: While he doesn't normally act this way, as far as his jealousy against Yotsuyu is concerned, it really shows.
  • The Quisling: Asahi is a Doman man who was born and raised during the occupation with Garlean values. He now stands with a Garlean name in a position of power as an imperial ambassador.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He stands out as a friendly and open commander who represents the working class and provincial citizens of Garlemald, arguing for mediation and reason to stop the Primal threat as opposed to the nobility's views that the best way to stop them is through conquering and subjugation. Naturally none of that is true, he's just as black-hearted and vile as any other pro-conquest Garlean, but far more manipulative and subtle about his true feelings.
  • Samurai: Wields a Katana in battle and like Zenos combines aspects of Garlean and Doman features in his armor.
  • Self-Made Orphan: And he doesn't even do the deed himself, which makes it even worse, he had absolutely no hesitation in putting his own parents into a position where he knew there was a high chance of being murdered in cold-blood by Yotsuyu, even congratulating her on the clean kills.
  • Straw Hypocrite: Claims to be against the summoning of Eikons and wishes to make peace with Doma to prevent further incidents. He then contrives a situation that leads to a summoning, purely to make the Domans look guilty and justify continued aggression against them.
  • The Unfought: Yotsuyu kills him before you get a chance to.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Asahi, kicking Yotsuyu repeatedly while she still has some of Tsukuyomi's power was not a good idea. Hope you enjoyed getting impaled!
    • To be fair, he had gunned Yotsuyu down several shots over after she is felled by the Warrior of Light. Unfortunately for him, his unbridled jealousy and Smug Snake attitude gets the better of his judgement.
    • Even if Yotsuyu hadn't been able to finish him, his repeated taunting of the warrior of light also qualifies. He himself points out that the peace between Garlemand and Doma had already been jeopardised, and so there wasn't actually anything to stop the Warrior of Light from laying into him if not outright kill him. The expression on the protagonist's face during the cutscene strongly suggests they were very close to doing exactly that.
    • One could argue his entire plan was full of this. Had he not given into his petty anger against the Warrior of Light to sneer at them, they likely wouldn't have had the echo flashback showing his loyalty to Zenos, or seen what a snake he really was, letting him act more freely in the double-cross, have an advantage in the hostage exchange, or catch the Warrior of Light completely off guard when he encourages Yotsuyu to become a primal. Ultimately his petty nature had doomed his plans to end unfavorably for him from the second he let his mask drop.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Asahi spent all of patch 4.2 and 4.3 assuming he was working on behalf of his idol Zenos, then it turns out he was working for an Ascian most likely Elidibus impersonating Zenos.
  • Villainous Breakdown: While Tsukuyomi being defeated was part of the plan, Asahi's jealousy for his sister rises to the surface again in Yotsuyu's final moments, as he screams that her power as viceroy should have been his while brutally beating her to death. When she uses the last of her power to slowly kill him, he's far too injured to continue ranting, but the furious, agonised expression on his face before she finishes him off makes it clear her triumphing over him again has only twisted the knife.
  • Walking Spoiler: He is not quite what he appears to be when you first meet him to say the least.
  • Wham Line: Delivers one right before leaving at the 4.2 story's climax, delivered with a chilling stare and monstrous scowl that shows his true personality.
    "Mark me, Savior of Savages. There. Will be. A reckoning."
  • Yandere: In a fit of madness he declares that there is none alive that loves Zenos more then he.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Even had Asahi survived his ordeal with Yotsuyu and Tsukuyomi it turns out that Zenos!Elidibus had ordered the personal guard of the Emperor to destroy his ship and kill any who survive the crash. Considering the scandal that would entail having people be aware that the crown prince of Garlemald was personally responsible for a primal summoning, it's pretty clear that having anyone involved in Asahi's mission survive would present real problems for the Emperor.

    Livia sas Junius 

Voiced by: Sayaka Ohara (JP), Alison Lees-Taylor (EN), Karine Foviau (FR), Monica Muller (DE)
Race: Garlean
Discipline: Pugilist
"His dreams and ambitions, his body and soul—they are mine, do you hear me!? All mine!"

A commander of the XIVth Imperial Legion. Livia is a war orphan who was adopted and raised by Gaius, later joining the military to repay him. She is a capable and efficient soldier who will push herself past any limit if it will serve the needs of her beloved adoptive father.

  • Alas, Poor Villain: Once defeated she collapses to the ground sobbing and begging the player to not take Gaius from her just as she dies. Once he arrives on scene, Cid can't help but feel pity for her.
  • Arm Cannon: Since her gunbaghnakhs are welded to her gauntlets, the gun functions in this manner.
  • Ax-Crazy: She is likely the most vicious of Gaius's subordinates.
  • Back from the Dead: Her ghost appears as a mini-boss in the Palace of the Dead.
  • Bad Boss: Much like Nero, Livia is not above the casual slaughter of disobedient soldiers under her command - though it's somewhat justified in at least one case, as the soldier in question was being disobedient by Pummeling the Corpse.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Her gunbaghnakhs, the Algea, are extremely large butterfly shaped blades welded to her gauntlets designed to punch people with.
  • Broken Bird: Livia is deeply broken from her past as a war orphan, citing that only Gaius gives her a reason to live.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Subjects Minfilia to this in the form of a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
  • Dark Action Girl: She fits all the criteria of a cruel, vicious and brutal female villain and even gets her Designated Girl Fight with Yda.
  • The Dark Chick: She plays this role as the only female in Gaius's circle.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: Joined the army specifically to repay her adopted father Gaius.
  • Dark Mistress: Since then their relationship has changed a bit.
  • Eyepatch of Power: The faceplate of her helmet has one.
  • Flunky Boss: Calls Garlean infantry and magitek weaponry to help her in the second stage of her boss battle.
  • Ground-Shattering Landing: Her Angry Salamander attack causes a fissure with a jump kick causing a burning shockwave.
  • Mini-Mecha: Pilots a special Ace Custom Magitek Armor in the first stage of her boss battle.
  • Power Fist: Wields a pair of gunbaghnakhs called Algea. Unlike Rhitahtyn's more brute force style, she uses acrobatics and martial arts.
  • Insane Admiral: She isn't at all subtle about what she expects from subordinates and what she will do to to the ones who fail her.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: One of her more dangerous attacks is Delta Trance which strikes you about five times in a row so fast the damage numbers for each of them come on screen at the same time. Its damage will easily reach upwards of one thousand, a very dangerous amount of damage to take in a short amount of time for a tank with the expected gear level.
  • Roundhouse Kick: She has one as an attack though in practice it may be closer to Hurricane Kick.
  • She-Fu: Lots of her attacks have theatrical acrobatics to them.
  • Tin Tyrant: Unusually for a fist fighter, but she is always seen in white and black armour that covers her from head to toe.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Gaius who is her Living Emotional Crutch.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Rhitahtyn's death at the hands of the player sets her on a spiral of starting to relive her past as a war orphan. After defeating her as she dies sobbing that it's happening all over again.
  • Wife Husbandry: She is in love with Gaius who adopted and raised her and it is implied that the two are lovers.

    Rhitahtyn sas Arvina
Race: Roegadyn
Discipline: N/A
"I am not wont to bare my steel needlessly. But if you are deaf to reason..."

A commander of the XIVth Imperial Legion. As a former mercenary whose homeland was subjugated by the Empire, Rhitahtyn serves as a shining example of how Garlean meritocracy can promote anyone with appropriate skill to a high-ranking and respectable position. As Gaius was the one who recognized his ability and appointed him to his current position in spite of his race, Rhitahtyn is very loyal to both his commanding Legate and the ideals of the Garlean Empire.

  • A Father to His Men: When he realises you could probably kill any number of his men in a fight, he tells them to stay out of it rather than throwing their lives away. A few of them actually are loyal enough to come to his aid during his boss fight regardless.
  • Affably Evil: Rhitahtyn is well mannered, humble and believes violence should be avoided if it can be helped... unfortunately, "can't be helped" includes opposing Van Baelsar's ideals after being given a chance to surrender, so he inevitably opposes the Warrior of Light.
  • Arm Cannon: The gun part of his gunshield? Its a BFG that can launch missiles.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: How he got his position despite the Fantastic Racism of many of his soldiers.
  • Back from the Dead: His ghost appears as a mini-boss in the Palace of the Dead.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: His Gunshields have blades mounted on them for that extra punch; appropriately his standard attack is known as Shield Skewer.
  • The Brute: He's far from unintelligent, but nonetheless fulfills this role among the XIVth Legion's commanders.
  • Cavalry Betrayal: Gaius immediately assumes that this was what took place upon hearing of Rhitahtyn's death, though in truth his soldiers only left him because he specifically told them to run knowing they would have died fighting the Warriors of Light.
  • Fantastic Racism: He is the victim of this due to his nationality. Gaius refuses to partake in it, which earns him Rhitatyn's loyalty and admiration, and while some of his own men give him this, others are loyal enough to help during his boss fight even when he orders them off.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Most of his attacks are to punch, slash and kick you.
  • Genius Bruiser: Rhitahtyn is loyal, well spoken, a brilliant tactician, and wont to question things he finds amiss among his comrades.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Wields a pair of gunshields called Tartarus.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: When he is sufficiently wounded in his boss battle he starts firing several missiles into the air that come down moments later in a MASSIVE area of effect attack.
  • Meaningful Name: His name means "Right Judge" in Roegadyn language, fitting with his Villainous Valor.
  • Mix-and-Match Weapon: Essentially, a pair of shields with rocket launchers and blades attached.
  • Power Fist: In keeping with his combat style
  • Sacrificial Lion: A villainous example, Rhitahtyn's death serves to show Gaius and the other Tribunus that the forces of Eorzea are serious about this battle.
  • Shield Bash: And slash and shoot.
  • Spin Attack: His Winds of Tartarus attack.
  • The Giant: As a Roegadyn, he's far taller and wider than his colleagues.
  • Tin Tyrant: Like all the tribuni.
  • Undying Loyalty: He is fiercely loyal to Gaius, who gave him his current station despite not being Garlean by birth.
  • Villainous Valor: He is prone to this, especially in comparison to his comrades Livia and Nero.
  • Worthy Opponent: Considers the players to be this despite preferring not to resort to bloodshed.

    Fordola rem Lupus 

Lower-ranked Garleans

    Annia and Julia quo Soranus
Race: Garlean
Discipline: Pugilist (Annia), Gladiator (Julia)
Emperor Varis's bodyguards. They cross blades with the Warrior of Light in the Ghimlyt Dark.
  • Battle Aura: They sport ones matching the colour of their armour throughout their boss fight.
  • Bodyguard Babes: A pair of fierce female warriors, together they serve as the elite bodyguards of Emperor Varis.
  • Combat Compliment: Julia will compliment the party for forcing her and Annia to use their Combination Attack a second time.
    Julia: You should feel honored, savages. Few are they who have witnessed this twice.
  • Combination Attack: Crosshatch. Julia charges up a Sword Beam and fires it at Annia, who bats it back at her. The two of them then move rapidly around the edge of the battlefield as they bat the Sword Beam back and forth like a shuttlecock, trying to hit the party as many times as possible.
  • Dragon Their Feet: They're not attending Varis when the emperor is slain by Zenos, and arrive moments too late.
  • Dual Boss: One of them will attack the party directly while the other one hangs back beyond the edge of the battlefield and provides fire support. When the active one’s health is depleted, they’ll perform a Combination Attack before the healthy one takes the weakened one’s place.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: They were briefly glimpsed standing guard in Emperor Varis’s throne room during the final cutscene of Patch 4.4, before being properly introduced as characters (and as a dungeon boss) in Patch 4.5.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: They decide to cut their losses and run once it becomes clear that they can’t defeat the Warrior of Light.
  • Last Ditch Move: Imperial Authority. After both are defeated, they'll regain a bit of health and begin casting. That's the party's cue to unleash everything they have into both of them.
  • Praetorian Guard: They’re the Emperor’s personal guards, and they’re powerful enough to give the Warrior of Light a run for their money.
  • Shock and Awe: Their shared Artificial Plasma attack blasts the whole battlefield with purple lightning.
  • Smoke Out: After being defeated, they escape from the Warrior of Light using a flashbang.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Commence Air Strike drops eight ceruleum tanks on the battlefield. Julia will then shoot one of the tanks, blowing it up and making the others explode in a chain reaction.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Julia to Gaius van Baelsar. Julia's attack Heirsbane shares its name with Gaius's Weapon of Choice, while Crossbones is nearly identical to Terminus Est, Gaius's Signature Attack. Annia's use of gun-gauntlets and closeness to Julia makes her one to Livia sas Junius.
  • The Worf Effect: They put up a good fight against the Warrior of Light, serving as the Final Boss of the Ghimlyt Dark, but are easily defeated by Gaius during his and Estinien's escape from the empire's palace.

    Maxima quo Priscus 

Voiced by: Ryota Takeuchi (JP), Gunnar Cauthery (EN), Pierre Tessier (FR), Adam Nümm (DE)
Race: Garlean
Epithet: Maxima the Neoteric
Discipline: Gladiator
A Garlean pilus who is part of the Populares faction, Garleans who oppose the warmongering ways of their nation.
  • Ascended Extra: At first he appears to be just one of the two Spear Carriers who follow Asahi around, but as patch 4.3 goes on it reveals while Asahi is insincere, Maxima truly believes in the cause.
  • Defector from Decadence: After witnessing Asahi put "Zenos" plan into motion, surviving the attempt by The Conpsiracy to silence him and the Populares, as well as the news of the Imperials use of Black Rose all convinces him and his fellow survivors to defect to the Eorzea Alliance to do what they can to help keep the number of casualties down for both sides.
  • Meaningful Name: His name in battle is given as Maxima the Neoteric; 'Neoteric' means someone with new or modern ideas, or something that itself is new/modern. The Populares' political stance - turning the Empire away from its Imperialist, conquering, subjugating ways - certainly fits the bill.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Unlike Asahi, Maxima genuinely believes in their cause, and is willing to continue on from where they left off after Asahi is removed from the picture. Though hesitant, he ensures that the planned prisoner exchange still goes through, though the Garlean prisoners of war that Doma released to his care likely did not fare too well in the subsequent interception and crash.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Ultimately agrees to act against his home nation after seeing how corrupt it truly is, and throws his lot in with the heroes. He even plans on invoking this on the Populares vacation to get them to help stop The Conspiracy.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Despite being on the cover illustration for Prelude in Violet, he does not actually appear in the patch.
  • You Are in Command Now: He becomes the speaker of the Emperor when Asahi is killed by his sister, something he planned on using to his advantage until the Emperor's men try to assassinate him.

    Grynewaht pyr Arvina 

Voiced by: Itaru Yamamoto (JP), James Goode (EN), David Krüger (FR), Sebastian Kuschmann (DE)
Race: Hellsguard Roegadyn
Discipline: N/A
"Bwahahahaha! It's like all my namedays have come at once!"

A field captain who appeared at the Carteneau Flats in 3.56 to stop the Scions from accessing Omega Weapon. He also knows about Cid Garlond who had defected from the empire.

  • Alas, Poor Villain: After defeating him for good in Doma Palace, the Warrior of Light seems to express sympathy for what he had become.
  • Bad Boss: Possibly the worst yet, mostly in terms of incompetence rather than sheer evilness. He's a total pushover in front of Yotsuyu, and makes up for it by being loud and arrogant towards his subordinates, with zero regard for their lives. They ultimately abandon him between his own fratricidal flailing (see Friendly Fire below) and the Warrior getting to use Nero's Ace Custom Magitek Armor.
  • The Berserker: His Hypertuned form. Barely able to string together a full sentence, and consumed only with rage and revenge.
  • BFS: The chainsaw “bayonet” of his Hypertuned form’s gunsaw is longer than he is tall, and he wields the gunsaw like a zweihander when using melee attacks.
  • Body Horror: Whatever treatments his Hypertuned form went through, they've caused his right arm to become swollen with unnatural muscle compared to his left arm. And we can't see his face under that weird helmet, but it's implied to not be particularly good...
  • The Brute: Big, dumb, and very, very strong. Yotsuyu even calls him “[her] brute”.
  • Catchphrase: His above quote is used twice, both times when Grynewaht feels like fortune is smiling on him. Both times things go south for him pretty quickly.
  • Chainsaw Grip BFG: Hypertuned Grynewaht’s gunsaw is a very literal example of this trope. Not only is it a BFG held like a chainsaw, it is a chainsaw.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: As Alisaie points out, Grynewaht may be an idiot but he's strong enough to go toe to toe with Raubaun.
  • Drop the Hammer: Wields a copy of Nero's Mjolnir gun-hammer and swings it like an axe.
  • Expy: Fulfills a similar narrative role to Gilgamesh's original appearance, despite Greg being in the game himself. He's a powerful yet stupid brute who gets beaten down by the main characters every time he shows up, and generally serves as a one-man Goldfish Poop Gang with his humorous dialogue and interactions, and is forgiven for his failures despite his bosses (Zenos and Yotsuyu) being otherwise cruel and merciless and prone to You Have Failed Me. Also, like Gilgamesh, Grynewaht undergoes a transformation during the fourth and final time that you fight him when he's much more dangerous than he's ever been, and dies at the end of it.
  • Four Is Death: He’s killed at the end of his fourth battle with you.
  • Friendly Fire: It is possible to maneuver the other troops into range of his numerous area of effect attacks and defeat them that way, which is one of the few aversions of Friendly Fireproof in this game.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: The WoL's second and third encounters with the captain have smackings of this, until Zenos tires of his natural incompetence and has him Hypertuned before the final encounter.
  • Improbable Weapon User: As Hypertuned Grynewaht, he ditches his hammer and shield in favor of a gunsaw, which can best be described as the lovechild of a chainsaw and a Gatling gun.
  • Large Ham: Part of his smarmy personality. It only becomes more exaggerated as you confront him more and more. Taken to its logical extreme when you fight his Hypertuned form, who is only capable of speaking by Chewing the Scenery
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Wears a Tartarus shield on his left arm, which also handily functions as an Arm Cannon.
  • Madness Mantra:
    • "DIE! DIE! DIE!"
    • "RIP AND TEAR!"
  • Meaningful Name: Grynewaht's name means "green guard". He wears green armor and has a shield.
  • The Neidermeyer: While he is strong, his answer towards the brick wall that is the Scions and the Warrior of Light is to throw more troops at them, even as they are slaughtered by the dozens. After the Warrior of Light boards Nero's magitek armor mount, he still demands that his troops fight harder since he is in "danger". His troops eventually decide that retreating is a better tactic and promptly ditch him. They even claim that his attacks struck them as much as they struck the enemy. He tries to order his men to come back, but with no success. Even the Scions find this extremely pathetic.
    Grynewaht: Hey! You just can't run off! Deserting a battle is punishable by death! I order you to stand your ground! Come back now! ...Please?
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • His reaction after seeing the Warrior of Light piloting a magitek armor.
      Grynewaht: What the—? No one told me they'd have magitek armor! Er...forward! For the Empire!
    • Again when he attacks the Warrior of Light at the Azim Steppe with a large detachment thinking he'll win through numbers, only to arrive just as they win the Nadaam and become leader of the Xaela. Suddenly Grynewaht isn't getting the one-sided battle he was hoping for, and all he can do is scream "Bugger! Bugger! Bugger!" in frustration.
  • Playing with Fire: Several of his attacks are fire based and one of them can cause the Burns debuff.
  • Pointless Band-Aid: He sports one on his left cheek.
  • Post-Final Boss: He's the final enemy faced in Heavensward 's story. His fight is very scripted so he and his men pose very little threat to the party.
  • Psycho Serum: Whatever was done to him in his Hypertuned form basically destroyed any of his higher brain functions that don't involve hatred or revenge
  • Psycho Prototype: It's not made clear how many Hypertuned came before him, but all of them seem to retain more of their brain function, suggesting Grynewaht was the first subject of at least some capacity of the experiment, or possibly that's Yotsuyu may have intentionally had him undergo a flawed Hypertuning process.
  • Rage Helm: In his Hypertuned form, he wears a helmet carved in the image of a snarling demon.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: After his second failure, Zenos barely decides to spare his life and instead reassigns him to Doma under Yotsuyu.
  • Recurring Boss: He’s fought a grand total of four times: once at the end of Heavensward, and three times in Stormblood.
  • Revenge Before Reason: His single-minded obsession with the Warrior of Light does piss off his superiors multiple times. In the final battle against him in Doma Castle, he makes no attempt to stop Hien's party from running right past him, as he is focused solely on the Warrior of Light.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After having his troops ditch him and being beaten by the Scions and Warrior of Light, he flees the battlefield and claims he'll have his revenge soon.
  • Taking You with Me: Despite the fact that his sanity is almost completely eroded by his hypertuning when you encounter him in Doma Castle he seems lucid enough to know that the process has left him with little time left which is indicated by constant screams of "WE GO TOGETHER!"
  • Terms of Endangerment: With the constant defeats he has against the Warrior of Light, he calls them "Dearest of all my enemies."
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Despite his forces being absolutely crushed, he still insists on fighting the Warrior of Light and their allies, even if he is the only one who did not run away. He does eventually retreat himself when defeated.
    • After his reassignment and after witnessing multiple instances of Yotsuyu's cruelty firsthand, he openly asks when she thinks he'll be relieved of serving her so that he can return to Eorzea.
  • We Have Reserves: Seems to use this as his battle tactic against the Warrior of Light, even after Nero lends the Warrior of Light his personal magitek armor to crush the opposition.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: In his Hypertuned form.

    Aulus mal Asina
Race: Garlean
Discipline: N/A
"It was with magitek that we grew strong ─ that our nation became an empire. Yet ultimately, this was an extrinsic solution to an intrinsic problem."

A Garlean scientist working for Zenos. He is researching ways to imbue his people with the ability to cast magic, and more.

  • Cool Chair: He fights the party while riding in a hovering magitek throne.
  • Drone Deployer: Aulus does not attack players directly during his boss fight, instead deploying invincible magitek bits to do the fighting for him.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: He views the Garlean people’s inability to cast magic as an innate “deficiency” in a race that’s otherwise superior to all others in every respect, and considers the Empire’s reliance on Magitek to be “an external solution to an intrinsic problem”. All of his experiments are meant to correct this deficiency.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Aulus is as cruel and uncaring as most Garleans, freely experimenting on people while wearing glasses with additional lenses attached for magnification.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Aulus only appears for one scene and a brief boss fight, but as the inventor of the process that turns people into Resonants and gives them an artificial version of the Echo, he’s the one who makes Zenos’s entire scheme to hijack Shinryu possible.
  • Super Empowering: He has created a process that can give Garleans the ability to cast magic by altering their genes, as well as turn individuals of any race into a Resonant.
  • They Called Me Mad!: Implied. Aulus mentions that no one in Garlemald would provide funding for his radical theories and research, and that Zenos was the only one who took him seriously.
  • Transhuman: His belief for the future of Garleans is to become this. He seeks to correct the one key deficiency that Garleans have that prevents them from becoming the ultimate race, their inability to control aether. He views magitek equipment to be only a temporary measure and instead opts for genetic engineering to innately grant such abilities to Garleans. Under Zenos's supervision, he copies the powers of the Echo, re-dubbed as the "Resonant", to Zenos himself and Fordola. Not only is his process completely successful, Zenos's Resonant is even more potent than the Warrior of Light's and even grants him many of the powers of the Ascians.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: His hair is lilac purple, for some reason.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: His Mindjack ability forcibly separates the party’s souls from their bodies. The souls then need to make their way back to their comatose bodies while avoiding attacks from Aulus’s magitek bits and deathclaws.

    Yotsuyu goe Brutus 

    Jenomis cen Lexentale 
For more on Jenomis and his children see Final Fantasy XIV Allies.

    The Werlyt Children 
Race: Raen Au Ra
Discipline: N/A

Long ago, Gaius van Baelsar adopted five auri orphans, who joined the Imperial army to follow in their surrogate father's example. Many years later, these same orphans — now grown men and women — are the chosen pilots for the new Weapon Project. In 5.2, Milisandia, one of the children Gaius raised, manned the experimental Ruby Weapon to lay siege to the Alliance army in Gyr Abania.

  • Ace Pilot: The group of them are the chosen pilots of the experimental Weapon, warmachina.
  • Body Horror: Milisandia's body was fused with the core of the Ruby Weapon when she activated its Oversoul ability. Cid's analysis confirms that her last moments were spent in excruciating pain.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: If Rex and Milisandia are any indication, the orphans have the same hair color as the Weapon they were chosen to pilot. The only mystery is that two of them have white hair while those familiar with Final Fantasy VII would know there's only one white Weapon - Diamond.
  • Happily Adopted: They idolize Gaius and joined the Imperial army to follow in his footsteps. Allie still cares for Gaius, but his sons have a much chillier reception to him now that he has defected.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Its clear they have no idea the true purpose of the warmachina; that they use data of select and influencial Garleans to turn them into Clones By Conversion.
  • Villainous Legacy: They’re trying to finish what their adoptive father started: conquering Eorzea with the power of the Ultima Weapon. Ironically this puts them into conflict with Gaius, who has given up on those ambitions.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Rex has blue hair. The other children's hair are similarly exotically colored, including white and green.

    Midas nan Garlond 
Race: Garlean
Discipline: N/A

Father of Cid Garlond, Midas nan Garlod was a brilliant magitechnician whose weapons revolutionised the Garlean war machine, leading to him being appointed chief engineer. However, he is most often known as the man who spearheaded the original attempt at the Meteor project, and became associated with the situation that lead to his death, the Bozja Incident. Attempting to commune with the moon Dalamud, Midas summoned a spectacular overload of energy, destroying both the transmission tower he was using, and the surrounding city of Bozja. Much like Nael van Darnus later who attempted the same course with greater success, this incident tainted the memory of Midas as a genocidal lunatic who was toying with powers far beyond his understand.

  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The big plot twist of the first part of the Gunnhildr's Blades questline; turns out the reason Cid was never able to talk down Midas wasn't because Midas was too stubborn or ignorant of the consequences as Cid originally believed, but because Midas' contact with Dalamud allowed Bahamut to temper him long-distance and sabotage the project, wreaking massive destruction...which, considering primal Bahamut's modus operandi, would have been exactly to his liking.
  • Flawed Prototype: What the more charitable interpretations of the Bozja incident described the initial Meteor Project as, whilst headed by Midas. However, as revealed in Cid's recollection during the Gunnhildr's Blades questline, this was less the case and more the prototype was sabotaged.
  • Posthumous Character: Midas is long since dead by the start of the game's timeline.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: He's a Posthumous Character who's only mentioned a fleeting few times throughout the game, and isn't seen until Shadowbringers, done so via flashback, but his role in shaping events on Hydaelyn cannot be understated. He single-handedly progressed Garlean magitech to a point where they could become a world superpower, spearheaded the research that became the Meteor Project, and the events that lead to his death (which as we find out where caused by Midas himself, albeit unwittingly) had terrible consequences for the city-state of Bozja. And of course, he gave birth to Cid, who is arguably one of the most important people in the realm's history by virtue of inheriting his father's natural genius and talent for magitech.
  • Vindicated by History: Invoked; or rather, Vindicated by Memory-Diving. During the Gunnhildr's Blades quest, you unlock Cid's repressed memories and find out that Midas' attempts to commune with Dalamud left him tempered by Bahamut, and that Bozja was not an accident, but a sabotage under the dreadwyrm's auspices. While it's still questionable as to whether Midas was actually a good man - considering the Meteor Project was still intended to be used to wipe out enemies of the Garlean Empire - it proves to everyone (especially Cid) that his supposed insanity and ignorance to reason was not of his own doing.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: His dismissal of Cid's pleas about the danger of the Meteor project fell on deaf ears, and lead to a rift between the two. It was so bad, Midas shot Cid, a memory that was so traumatizing to Cid he repressed it for years. Though as found out at the same time as the memory was confronted, Midas wasn't exactly himself at that moment.


    The Ultima Weapon
An ancient Allagan superweapon that was unearthed by the Garlean Empire and piloted by Gaius van Baelsar.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Absorbs Ifrit, Titan, and Garuda, uses their powers in the penultimate battle.
  • Attack Drone: Summons Magitek Bits in the final battle. This is taken to Beam Spam levels in Ultima's Bane.
  • Bonus Boss: You can fight stronger versions of it in The Minstrel's Ballad: Ultima’s Bane and in The Weapon’s Refrain.
  • Fantastic Nuke: The Ultima Weapon's core is an ancient relic called the Heart of Sabik, and is capable of casting the spell Ultima. A single casting of Ultima completely destroyed the Praetorium, and the act of protecting the heroes from it was able to completely drain Hydaelyn.
    • The Woken Ultima Weapon in Weapon’s Refrain casts it twice, and you need a Level 3 tank limit break to avoid a Total Party Kill on both occasionnote .
  • Final Boss: In A Realm Reborn, for the 2.0 storyline quests.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Ultima Weapon and its drones abuse this to the point of Beam Spam.
  • Homing Lasers: Literally the name as one of Ultima Weapon's attacks. It's also a powerful tank buster that will kill off the player with the second highest emnity, forcing the off tank to out-aggro the DPS/healers and use their invisibility buff to mitigate it.
  • Humongous Mecha: Roughly the size of a house.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: Little is known about the Heart of Sabik that powers the Ultima Weapon, or its origins, only that it predates the Allagan Empire. The Return to Ivalice storyline implies that the Heart has some connection to Ultima the High Seraph, and further implies that the Ultima spell was her creation.
  • Lost Technology: An ancient Allagan Weapon of Mass Destruction designed with the purpose of subduing primals, refurbished by Garlean machinists.
  • One-Hit Kill: In The Weapon’s Refrain, the Ultima Weapon will start using an attack called Citadel Siege once it becomes enraged. This attack immobilizes and instantly kills the playersnote  one at a time, all but guaranteeing a wipe if the party can’t kill the Ultima Weapon fast enough.
  • Power Palms: The main method of nearly all of Ultima Weapon's attacks in a Hand Blast way.
  • Ramming Always Works: During both the Praetorium version, and the Ultima's Bane Bonus Boss battle, damaged airships crash right into the ground, inflicting damage based on how close you are to their impact.
  • Shoot the Medic First: The Weapon’s Refrain is a case where the computer uses this tactic against the player. When the Ultima Weapon hits enrage and starts insta-killing the players one at a time, it almost always targets the healers first, since they dealt the least amount of damage against the Ultima Weapon.
  • Summon Magic: Ultima Weapon can summon Ifrit, Titan, and Garuda after absorbing them.
  • Total Party Kill: Letting it cast Ultima will result in this, even though Gaius has no control over it and is reasonably horrified when he realizes Lahabrea is forcing the Ultima Weapon to cast it again.
    Gaius: U-Ultima!? Curse you, Ascian! How much destruction must be wreaked before you are sated?!

    Arch Ultima 
A new, protype version of the Ultima Weapon, fought by Estinien Wyrmblood in the 5.1 patch.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: The poor soul who's fused into Arch Ultima has completely black eyes, with no pupils.
  • Boss Subtitles: "Volatitle Prototype".
  • Final Boss: The last boss faced in 5.1.
  • Flawed Prototype: As its Boss Subtitle implies, Arch Ultima suffers from some serious drawbacks. Its synthetic auracite system lets it duplicate the abilities of other creatures, but only if there are technicians on hand to manually load the relevant combat data from a nearby console. Subsequent warmachina like the Ruby Weapon don’t have this problem.

    The Ruby Weapon
Mark III Anti-Eikon Warmachina
A prototype anti-Eikon warmachina reverse-engineered from the Ultima Weapon by the remnants of the VIIth Imperial Legion. It is the first of several such prototypes to be deployed against the Eorzean Alliance, serving as the boss of the Cinder Drift trial, and the first of Shadowbringers's Weapon storyline.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: The battle theme for the first half is an incredible remix of "Ultima".
  • Avenging the Villain: When the the fight enters it's final phase, the clone shouts "Oh Brother... Nael! Your name shall live on for eternity." And later begins chanting her Madness Mantra listed below confirming that the clone is of Eula still intent on honoring and avenging her brother's death. Interestingly this marks the first direct reference to Eula in the game itself.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: While the first phase is nothing to sneeze at, once its hp is brought down to zero, the driver is forced to use Oversoul, and out of the Ruby Weapon's back arises Nael van Darnus.
  • Body Horror: Activating Oversoul causes the pilot's body to physically fuse with the Ruby Weapon's core, causing her to transform into a biomechanical clone of Nael van Darnus, who erupts from within the Ruby Weapon like a giant Chest Burster.
  • Boss Subtitles: "Mark III Anti-Eikon Warmachina".
  • Call-Back: The Ruby Weapon’s codename is “Darnus”, named after the VIIth’s former Legatus, and some of its attacks—namely, Ravensclaw and Ravensflight—follow a similar naming scheme to Nael’s own abilities. The clone of Nael Deus Darnus that bursts out of the Ruby Weapon during the second phase is a callback to the Binding Coil raids.
  • Cargo Cult: The Nael clone seems to worship Dalamud itself, rather than the Primal who was sealed within it.
  • Clone by Conversion: Oversoul overwrites the Weapon’s pilot with the data of whichever person was stored in the synthetic Auracite system. In this case, it physically and mentally transforms them into a monstrous clone of Nael van Darnus (Or rather Eula).
  • Colony Drop: During the second phase, as Nael, she will summon copies of Dalamud that can cause a Total Party Kill.
  • Combat Tentacles: The Ruby Weapon’s claws can extend into flexible tentacles. It can drive these tentacles into the ground to have them erupt from beneath the party’s feet, and it can also use them to slash at a large chunk of the battlefield.
  • Dash Attack: "Ravensflight" has the Ruby Weapon zip across the battlefield at high speed multiple times in a row, damaging anyone caught in its path.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: It can transform solid ground into quicksand when it drives its tentacles into the ground. Players will sink into the quicksand and die unless they stand atop the broken earth left in the tentacles’ wake.
  • Giant Foot of Stomping: Its tankbuster, "Stamp", involves stomping on its target with its massive feet.
  • Humongous Mecha: It’s a Magitek war machine operated by a Garlean pilot sitting in a cockpit within its torso.
  • Organic Technology: After defeating its initial form, Oversoul is activated and the machine then assimilates the pilot, transfiguring her into a biomechanical copy of Nael van Darnus that hatches out of the back of the Ruby Weapon.
  • Madness Mantra: As Nael in Extreme, she'll summon two floating head, White Agony and White Fury, to chase after the players. They'll keep repeating the same lines over and over.
    White Fury: Curse you father! You sent him to his death!/Savages! You stole him from, me!
    White Agony: Bradamante... First Brother, then you.../Brother, do not leave me, I beg you!
  • Mechanical Abomination: Definitely this in its second phase. Out of the back of the Weapon emerges a biomechanical copy of Nael van Darnus in her Deus form from the Binding Coils.
  • Mind Rape When the Oversoul is activated, the pilot's mind is overwritten with that of Nael. Though the process takes only a few seconds, Milisandia is nonetheless heard in panicked protest as her identity is stripped away
  • Mythology Gag: It’s based on the superboss from Final Fantasy VII. Its second phase is to both Legacy and the Binding Coils.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Quite literally. Once Oversoul is activated, the pilot is fused to the weapon's core and their life force is drained to power the weapon.
  • The Power of Hate: Along with despair, as Nael, she'll use her negativity to create a barrier to surround herself until her Raven's Image minions are defeated. In Extreme, she'll also summon two floating head, a red one of rage and hate called White Fury, and blue one of despair and sorrow called White Agony, to chase after the Warriors.
  • Quicksand Sucks: Just like the original version, Ruby Weapon can turn the ground into quicksand. Anyone who stays in it too long sinks beneath the surface and is instantly killed.
  • Slasher Smile: The Ruby Weapon’s pilot gives a deranged grin after transforming into a clone of Nael Deus Darnus and declaring her intent to purify Eorzea. Ruby itself sports one as well.
  • Sphere of Destruction: Its "Optimized Ultima" attack blasts the whole battlefield with a crackling sphere of green energy.
  • Stationary Boss: As Nael van Darnus, the Weapon remains stuck in place, with Nael summoning minions, meteors, and Dalamud itself to destroy you.
  • This Cannot Be!: Thrice. First is when the Ruby Weapon is beaten in its first phase, causing its pilot to quote Gaius's own defeat
    This can't be! The Ruby Weapon is unstoppable!
    • The second and third times are as Nael, when the memory of Dalamud comes crashing down, yet falls to destroy the world.
    How can this be!? O mighty Dalamud, am I not Thy loyal servant!?
    No... Dalamud did fall... I know it to be true!
  • Wave-Motion Gun: "Ruby Ray" fires a big red laser in the direction that the Ruby Weapon is facing.

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