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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. The later the letter occurs in the alphabet, the more prominent the position, from "aan", which denotes the slave class, to "zos", which is exclusive to the Emperor. Other notables seen in the game are "van", which denotes a Legatus and is the highest non-royal rank, and "yae", which denotes royalty in the line of succession. In the case of a Garlean holding two positions, such as Zenos, who is both the Crown Prince and a Legatus, the higher rank takes precedence (in this example, "yae" over "van").
  • Battle Theme Music: "Steel Reason"
  • Conscription: The vast majority of Garlean enemies in the games are actually conscripted Eorzeans.
  • Civil War: Turns out that there are two factions within Garlemald that are opposed to one another. One is the Populares which attempts to moderate Garlemald's war mongering ways and try to seek out peace instead of conflict with other peoples, while on the other hand the Opitmates which is composed of pure blooded Garleans who seek to consolidate their power for them alone. Tellingly the Populares are not opposed to having a Scion of the Seventh Dawn work with them in order to advance their agenda.
  • 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, and how Doma and Ala Mhigo were brutal exceptions to what is the norm due to Zenos' 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.
  • 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.
  • Fantastic Racism: Barring a few rare exceptions, all 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. By the time of Stormblood, though, they're beginning to manage certain things that not even Allag figured out how to do.
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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, "the Measure of Our Reach". In reality, it's the Ala Mhigan anthem that they stole, presumably 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
Race: Garlean
Discipline: N/a
"Tradition is the chain by which fools are bound."

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 vaccuum quickly filled by his grandson, who crowns himself the new emperor.

  • 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.
  • Cool Crown: It's bigger than his head.
  • 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.
  • Evil Old Folks: Has seemingly taught Garlemald that ruthlessness and constant conquest is the best idea for them.
  • Expy: Of Emperor Gestahl.
  • Founder of the Kingdom: First Emperor.
  • The Ghost: The only indication we even have of what he looks like is through concept art, and we are unlikely to see him in-game now unless it is through flashbacks.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Visionary Villain: He desires to rid the world of the primals, which he believes are far too dangerous to be left alive.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Second Emperor Varis zos Galvus
Race: Garlean
Discipline: N/A
"'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. He wrested the position by force from the expected heir, the Emperor's first 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 Am I: Averted 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.
  • Black Eyes of Crazy: His sclerae are dark gray; while not quite black, the effect is similar, especially combined with his golden irises.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • I Have No Son: Sheds absolutely no tears for his son's death, who he never intended to let on the throne anyways.
  • 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' schemes.
  • Not So Stoic: In The Stinger of Stormblood, he's visibly shaken by Elidibus's true identity.
  • Numerological Motif: He is the Second Emperor and commands a campaign from a massive airship called the dreadnaught.
  • Shoulders of Doom: Like his grandfather before him, he seems to take fashion advice from Golbez.
  • Spiteful Spit: Varis's Establishing Character Moment is to spit on the coffin of his grandfather before taking his place as the new Emperor.
  • 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...


    Gaius van Baelsar
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.

  • 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: Literally so to Livia and implied with his mentorship and pride with Rhitahtyn.
  • 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: Type II. The left gauntlet on his armor is bulkier and has a visible barrel. The arm cannon 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.
  • Badass Grandpa: Gaius was just shy of fifty-eight years old before his defeat.
  • 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.
  • 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. Can't rule over what doesn't live.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Four-Star Badass: Legatus of the XIVth Legion.
  • 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.
  • Magitek 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.
  • 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.
  • 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-Ass-Kicking 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.
  • Red Baron: The Black Wolf.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. It hasn't even been mentioned since its reveal.
  • 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 always targets the healers first.
  • 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?!

    Nael van Darnus/Eula Darnus
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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • He's a Woman in Japan: 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 gender pronouns. However, for whatever reason, these plans weren't conveyed properly to the English localization staff, and since they absolutely needed gender pronouns, 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 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.
  • 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: "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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. 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 acting Heavy 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. Invoked on a meta level where Yoshida himself stated he went out of his way to make sure nobody could possibly sympathize with 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Not Quite Dead: However, turns out he even survived that in Patch 4.2. Though 4.3 reveals that while his body is being possessed by Elidibus, Zenos himself is controlling an Ala Mhigan Resistance fighter via Demonic Possession.
  • 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.
  • 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. 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.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Not a single drop of blood comes from Zenos after slicing his own throat open.
  • The Caligula: Without question THE most depraved member of the Garlean royal line seen by far, showing sadism and bloodthirstiness outclassing all the rest.
  • 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.
  • Demonic Possession: After his death and apparent return to the Empire, the Scions theorize that Zenos' 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.
  • 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.
  • 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' 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' face under his helmet curling into a smirk, and commenting that the events 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’ 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' 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.
  • 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.
  • Expy: Of Vayne Solidor. Both are power-seeking princes of their respective Empires, given dominion over conquered lands, that eventually end up fusing with a greater draconic entity (The Airship Bahamut, and the Primal Shinryu) in a final battle with the protagonists. Not played up quite as much in this case, as Zenos' overarching motivations and personality are almost the polar opposite of Vayne's.
  • Evil Sounds Raspy: Since returning to Garlemald, Zenos' 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.
  • 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.
  • A God Am I: He declares both himself and the Warrior of Light to be greater than the gods just before fusing with Shinryu.
    “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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: Zenos does 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.
    • What makes it even worse? The bastard survived. Kind of.
  • 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.
  • Large and in Charge: Zenos absolutely towers over any other hyuran, including his fellow Garleans. He's significantly taller than male Roegadyn or Au Ra, even.
  • Levitating Lotus Position: Zenos prepares his heaviest attack while meditating in midair, protected by a magiteck 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.
  • Me's a Crowd: One of his powers in his boss battle is to generate phantom clones.
  • McNinja: Its only since the subjugation of Doma that he has come to wield a katana, assimilating with Garlean magitek.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Not Quite Dead: The end of the 4.2 story reveals that he is alive and recovering within the Empire's medical facilities, despite the fact that he sliced open his own neck.
    • Double Subverted in 4.3 in which it is revealed that it wasn't Zenos we saw there but Elidibus having taken possession of his corpse, however right afterwards were find out Zenos IS still alive, just in a different 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.
  • One-Winged Angel: Fuses with Shinryu during the final battle of Stormblood.
  • 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.
  • The Social Darwinist: All Garlean leadership is this, but Zenos takes it to such extremes that his own family balks at him.
  • The Sociopath: Is utterly bereft of empathy and only finds meaning in battle, more specifically in the challenge of battle. He is seen to ignore opponents he sees as weak, while goading the Warrior of Light, in whom he sees promise, to become stronger and pose an actual challenge. It's to the point that when he is finally defeated by the Warrior of Light, implied to be his first ever loss, he states that it is the first time he has ever felt joy and calls the Warrior his first friend.
  • 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.
  • 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 fistfull of Yotsuyu's hair and threatening to kill her if she fails him.
    • If the Warrior of light is female, his duels with her is just as brutal as the male version.
  • 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' raw power.

    Noah van Gabranth 
Race: Garlean
Discipline: N/A

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

  • 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.


    Nero tol Scaeva
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.

He reappears late in Heavensward's patch story quests, discovering the remains of some Allagan ruin on the Cartineau Flats, that of the teleporter to enter Omega's control room.

At the end of the Stormblood story, he appears again claiming to wanting to become a permanent member of Garlond Ironworks and seeks to help them in the hunt for Omega.

  • 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.
  • Flunky Boss: He has more then a few robotic minions to help him do his dirty work in his boss fight.
  • 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 Wo L had to do the actual heavy lifting.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Shock and Awe: He electrifies the floor around the battlefield to make the fight more interesting.
  • 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 XI Vth 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.
  • 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.

    Asahi sas Brutus 
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.
  • The Ambassador: His official role in the Garlean Empire is that of an ambassador, and he was sent to determine if it's possible to create an alliance against the Primal threat with an unknown person.
  • 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.
  • Ax-Crazy: Good god, his true nature makes Livia look sane and reasonable.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Man in White: His armor is white in stark contrast to the uniform black and red that is common in most Garlean armor.
  • 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 WOL from laying into 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.
  • 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.
    "Heed my words, 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 Asashi's mission survive would present real problems for the Emperor.

    Livia sas Junius
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.

  • 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 translated 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.
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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Lower-ranked Garleans

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.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: His Hypertuned form has a very low HP pool for a dungeon boss, and his actual attacks with his weapon and gunsaw do very little damage. Most of his attacks are based around the idea as much damage as possible not simply focused on the tank, but spread out across the whole group.
  • 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.
  • 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!"
  • 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!"
  • 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.
  • 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.

Other Garleans

Race: Garlean
Discipline: N/A
"Well, well...I did not think to meet an Eorzean in this place, let alone a Scion."
A mysterious Garlean swordsman who saved Alphinaud and Maxima from the Emperor's men after their airship is shot down, he despises the Ascians and hunts them as his prey.

  • Battle Trophy: He carries several masks on his person of Ascian's he has slain. One mask is not like the others and resembles the faceplate of Gaius's helmet.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Just when things look bleak for Alphinaud and the Populares he shows up just in the nick of time to destroy an incoming magitek flyer, and then proceeds to turn the tide of battle in their favor.
  • Hunter of Monsters: He and his group hunt Ascians, and while it's not clear if he's killing them permanently or just driving them out of their host, being able to kill an Ascian host at all, especially a Red Masked one, especially without any magic, makes it very clear he means business.
  • I Never Told You My Name: He recognizes Alphinaud as an Eorzean and part of the Scions on sight but declines to mention how. Its implied he may be Gaius van Baelsar himself, who would no doubt recognize the mastermind behind the military operation that led to his downfall.
  • Meaningful Name: In that he's Exactly What It Says on the Tin. He and his band hunt down Ascians, specters who operate from the shadows.
  • Mythology Gag: The Shadowhunter was an alias previously used by Noel Kreiss in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.
  • Spanner in the Works: Elidibus intended for everyone inside the Populares ship to die from either the crash or being finished off by the honor guard. It's only with Shadowhunter's effort that anyone survives putting a significant problem in Elidibus' plans.
  • Sword Beam: Like Gaius and Regula Van Hydrus, he can use a variation of Terminus Est, making three X shaped burning cuts created by his gunblade that launches forward sometime later for a large amount of damage. If he really is Gaius, it would make a lot of sense that he's improved upon Terminus Est, as he was the technique's creator.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: He carries a series of masks as battle trophies showing the red and black masks of Ascians he and his followers have allegedly slain except for one, Gaius van Baelsar's faceplate.