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Chancellor of Niflheim. Ardyn rose to power by introducing magitek infantry to the ranks of the imperial army, and has since amassed political power at the emperor's side. An aloof manner shrouds the chancellor in mystery.
—Official description

Chancellor Ardyn Izunia is the main antagonist of Final Fantasy XV, and appears in the feature film Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV. He handles the Niflheim Empire's political operations for Emperor Aldercapt, and is responsible for the expansion of Verstael Besithia's magitek infantry.

Ardyn is a shrewd, humorous and manipulative man. He appears casual and unfazed by events around him. He has an eccentric appearance and personality, often coming across as patronizingly civil. He is unpredictable, and his exaggerated and performative personality hides his sinister intentions as well as his dark past. He enjoys manipulating events and watching them unfold.

Ardyn appears as a boss fight in the main game and in the DLC. He will get his own DLC episode in 2019 whose working title is "The Conflict of the Sage".[1]

ProfileEdit

AppearanceEdit

Ardyn is a middle-aged man with red-violet hair, amber eyes, and strong facial features. He dresses in a long, black jacket that has a white and gray trim, and matching trousers. He wears a red scarf and a hooded, gray and white mantle. Ardyn wears a black fedora and sometimes wears a black winglike accessory on his left arm. He is the only notable person representing the empire to dress in black rather than white.

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)

When his true identity is revealed, Ardyn's face sometimes appears demonic and grotesque. His sclera turn black, his irises and pupils turn gold, his skin becomes paler, and black markings appear across his face.

PersonalityEdit

The man who was to be the first king of Lucis. Assuming the burden of the Starscourge borne by his subjects corrupted the Chosen's body, causing the Crystal to deny his ascendance to the throne. Ardyn's impurities grant him eternal life, which he spends plotting his revenge upon the blood royal and the True King.
—Bestiary

Ardyn is a man shrouded in mystery. He expresses his eccentric personality through his unique attire, and he is both polite and flamboyant. Ardyn is bold and manipulative; he remains civil, patronizingly so, even in the face of hostility, and perhaps even to attract hostility. Ardyn's behavior is performative, and his expressions and movements are exaggerated.

Ardyn-Izunia-KGFFXV

Concept art shown at The Magic of Kingsglaive and Final Fantasy XV art exhibit in New York from August 19 to September 3, 2016.

Ardyn's ruthlessness grows until his true personality is revealed: he is evil, vicious, calculative, and twisted. He uses his influence over the empire to accomplish his goals. Behaving unpredictably, Ardyn remains casual and unfazed by the world around him. He taunts others, and is acting out of spite, regret, and a desire for vengeance. Having become the very thing he tried to prevent millennia ago, Ardyn longs for the day on which he will battle the True King. During his final battle with Noctis, he debates staying alive to doom the world, or die and finally seek peace in the afterlife. Since he needs the True King to kill him, he considers Noctis a means to an end and states his goal lies beyond revenge.

Ardyn endures a conflicted existence between dooming the world with the Starscourge by continuing to live, or looking for a way to die to seek peace in the afterlife. He often helps Noctis and his friends along the way by giving them access to imperial-controlled areas, but also kills Lady Lunafreya, accelerating the Starscourge's advancement. Ardyn yet claims to have earned the right to call Noctis "Noct", a nickname only his closest friends call him. Ardyn's actions after he kills Lunafreya seem personally vindictive, as he continues to torment Noctis in various ways, such as by separating him from his friends, even if at the same time he desires for Noctis to reach his goal: the Crystal. He lures Noctis into a booby trap while at the same time guiding Ignis and Gladiolus to Noctis in the nick of time to hit a kill switch. He refuses to kill Noctis until he has become the True King, and during the final battle, repeatedly taunts Noctis, yet when he has Noctis pinned down, he releases him. Ardyn comments on how Noctis has grown from being the helpless prince he was without his friends, borderlining being proud of him.

According to Lead Scenario Developer Saori Itamuro[2], Ardyn sought to rise to power in Niflheim to bring him closer to the line of Lucis, and Noctis in particular, as he has no interest in imperial rule. Ardyn is bent on destroying Noctis as king, and does not want him dead until then. As a result, he leads Noctis while tormenting him, entangling Noctis in a web of contradictions.

Ardyn's personality in the present greatly contrasts the one he seemed to have 2,000 years ago when he healed people to prevent the advancement of Starscourge. He fell from grace when the Astrals saw him as unclean and he was demonized by his people and brother.

AbilitiesEdit

FFXV Noctis and Ardyn Clash

Ardyn and Noctis cross swords both wielding the power of kings.

Ardyn has great political influence. A careful strategist, he is good with words and manipulates those in power to advance his schemes. He drives a red car while in Lucis. Using an ordinary dagger to murder Lunafreya, Ardyn later reveals his superhuman abilities.

Ardyn is immortal, and the only way to truly kill him is to use the full power of the Crystal. Because Ardyn is part of the Lucian royal family, he can use the same powers Noctis can, such as the Armiger. He can warp, phase and fly at high speeds. Not only does Ardyn have access to the thirteen royal arms Noctis can collect, he can also wield a giant scythe unavailable to the latter's Armiger, which may be some of the "lost" royal arms, though it is unknown if it comes from his Armiger or daemonic powers.

He can control time and survive attacks that would kill an ordinary man. He can assume the form of another, such as when he masquerades as Noctis to kill Ravus Nox Fleuret. Similarly, he can manipulate people into attacking their friends by having them see them as himself. He can distort others' perception of reality and create illusions. Ardyn can shoot daemonic energy out of his hand to incapacitate others, like when he knocks out Noctis's friends. He can surround himself with daemonic energy to boost his sword strikes, to let out a giant burst attack, and shoot out a laser of daemonic energy. He can assimilate daemons to strengthen himself, and also as the Starscourge incarnate, he can turn others into daemons. He also gained the power to manifest and erect the Wall, though it is tainted by daemonic energy.

Ardyn claims that pain is something only mortals feel, implying he is immune to it. Ardyn doesn't shiver with cold in Shiva's presence the way Noctis does. Similarly, he doesn't flinch when Noctis's friends deal heavy blows on him, simply picking up his discarded hat and leaving.

DossiersEdit

Though Ardyn was born to become the Founder King of Lucis, fate had other plans for him. Blessed with the power to heal those afflicted with the Starscourge, he traveled the world purging the plague from their bodies by absorbing it into his own. Yet when he stood before the Crystal for judgement, it deemed him unworthy of becoming its Champion, decrying him as impure of heart. Ardyn was cast into exile, shunned by the people who once adored him and condemned by his own flesh and blood. He now seeks revenge of the Lucian bloodline - in particular, on the "True King" chosen to serve as the Crystal's Champion: Noctis Lucis Caelum.

StoryEdit

He's been living a long time. In a world he could share with no one.
—Noctis on Ardyn

Two thousand years ago, Ardyn was the firstborn of the Izunia family, which became the Lucis Caelum line, and he as Ardyn Lucis Caelum was to be the first Lucian king. He was chosen by the Crystal to save Eos from the Starscourge, a malady that transforms people into daemons, and his family line was given power by the gods. He absorbed the Starscourge into his own body to protect his subjects, and while his actions saved thousands across the world, he was rejected by the Crystal as tainted, and was denounced by the Astrals and his ascendance to the throne was denied. He became demonized by his younger brother Somnus, who would become the Founder King. Somnus embarked on a quest to pass the Astrals' Trials to gain their allegiance, and is said to have conjured a collection of glaives of light that let him destroy the Starscourge from the world. Likely this means he killed Ardyn; Final Fantasy XV Official Works posits that Ardyn lived on "despite his execution".[3]

As the fallen King of Light, Ardyn is barred entry to the Astral Realm since the daemons he had absorbed have rendered him immortal, and he is sustained by the Starscourge itself. He assumes his old family name, plotting to one day end the Astral-appointed bloodlines of the Lucian kings and Tenebraen Oracles, alongside their divine artifacts.

Ardyn Izunia Kingsglaive

Ardyn insisting on the wedding of Noctis Lucis Caelum and Lunafreya Nox Fleuret.

Ardyn bided his time for millennia before establishing himself as chancellor to Iedolas Aldercapt, the emperor of Niflheim. In M.E. 722 Ardyn entered Niflheim and proposed the establishment of a magitek army.[4] He provided his knowledge to begin his plan for revenge, and the information on daemons Ardyn imparted upon the empire allowed Niflheim to build a mighty army. However, it also heralded the spread of Starscourge and the imperial lands were ravaged by a "vanishing disease". According to Aranea Highwind, Ardyn was the one who put forth the idea of stealing Lucis's Crystal to Emperor Aldercapt, and the latter became obsessed with his desire for it.

It is implied, although not stated outright, that Ardyn was the one who corrupted the Astral god Ifrit and resurrected him with the Starscourge. Shiva awoke in M.E. 745 and sensed "a mortal drawing Ifrit away from the Light". She fought Niflheim to save Ifrit, but was killed herself, Ardyn being part of the war effort that subjugated her. Although Ardyn is immortal in human terms, the Astrals seem to simply refer to humans as "mortals."

As depicted in Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, in M.E. 756, Ardyn travels to Lucis to offer Aldercapt's terms of peace to its reigning monarch, Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII. Besides relaying demands for Lucis to surrender all territories save for the Crown City of Insomnia, Ardyn also insists for the king to have his son Noctis wed Lunafreya Nox Fleuret, the Oracle.

Ardyn meets Noctis and his friends at Galdin Quay where he tells them the ferry is not running. Declaring himself an "impatient traveler," Ardyn states the ceasefire between Lucis and Niflheim is "getting us nowhere." He tosses an Oracle Ascension Coin to Noctis and company, telling them to consider it their "allowance." Noctis's companion, Gladiolus Amicitia, catches the coin and demands Ardyn's identity, who merely states he is "a man of no consequence."

When Niflheim invades the Crown City during the treaty-signing, Ardyn and the emperor steal the Crystal. The pair watches the Old Wall fight a Diamond Weapon, a recently constructed magitek armor the empire unleashed upon the city, before fleeing. Ardyn laments it is a waste to see a city as glorious as Insomnia destroyed.

FFXV TGS Ardyn Izunia meeting the party

Ardyn meets Noctis and his friends.

In Lestallum, Ardyn offers to take Noctis and his friends to the Disc of Cauthess where the Astral god Titan rests. He bids them goodbye, but returns after Noctis forges a covenant with the Astral. He arrives in a magitek engine to save Noctis and his friends from the volcanic terrain ready to engulf the party. In doing so, Ardyn reveals his identity as Niflheim's chancellor, yet continues helping Noctis and company.

When Noctis infiltrates an imperial base to recover his car, he is accosted by Lunafreya's brother, Ravus Nox Fleuret. Ravus begrudges Noctis as the apparent True King who is yet oblivious to the danger his mission puts Lunafreya in. Ardyn stops Ravus from attacking Noctis and lets them leave the base. When Noctis is looking for mythril to repair the royal vessel so he can get to Lunafreya in Altissia, Ardyn has the roadblocks to Vesperpool opened and has Commodore Aranea Highwind assist him. Ardyn tells Noctis that while he is the chancellor, he is not in charge of the army.

Ardyn and Ravus head for Altissia where they meet with Accordo's head of state, Secretary Claustra. Lunafreya wants to rouse the Hydraean, Leviathan, to help Noctis. Ravus, as the high commander of the Niflheim army, is on a task to kill Leviathan before Noctis can forge his covenant, as he disagrees with Lunafreya sacrificing herself. Ardyn talks with Ravus in front of the cathedral where Lunafreya was to wed Noctis. After she summons Leviathan, Ardyn stabs Lunafreya with a dagger knowing that Noctis would witness it.

In the events of Episode Ignis, Ardyn, in the form of Gladiolus, comes across Ignis and Ravus shortly after the latter's rampage upon seeing his sister deceased. Though Ignis is fooled at first, Ravus sees through the disguise and makes a futile attack. The two are detained by magitek soldiers while Ardyn gloats and threatens to kill Noctis. He offers Ignis the chance to join him, and claims there is no point in a world that "only ever disappoints you," saying he wouldn't mind ending it right here. Before Ardyn can plunge his dagger into Noctis's unconscious body, Ignis fends him off by borrowing power from the Ring of the Lucii, a magical royal heirloom he had gained from the unconscious Noctis. After the ring's enchantment wears off and Ignis is left blinded and unconscious, Ardyn takes his leave.

Without the Oracle holding back the Starscourge, Eos is plunged into further crisis. Ravus is blamed for the incident with the Leviathan going on a rampage in Altissia and is sentenced to death.

Ardyn-Prompto-Train-FFXV

"Ardyn" threatens "Prompto".

Ardyn appears before Noctis on a train ride to Gralea, Niflheim's capital. He torments him by tricking Noctis into pursuing his friend Prompto and to push him off the train. Noctis meets Aranea in Tenebrae where he learns Ardyn is left in charge of a chaotic empire, as all the other higher ups are gone and the emperor is but a husk of his former self. As he passes through Ghorovas Rift, the Glacian, Shiva, grants Noctis her power. Shiva freezes Ardyn solid, while Noctis, in a fit of anger, breaks Ardyn's body. Though frozen and shattered, he returns, revealing to Noctis that he is immortal.

As depicted in Episode Prompto, following his fall from the train, Prompto is brought to Niflheim's First Magitek Production Facility run by Verstael Besithia. When Prompto accesses the facility using his ID tattoo, Ardyn appears and reveals this is Prompto's birthplace. After returning Prompto's gun and cryptically hinting at his past, Ardyn encourages him to seek out Verstael. Tape recordings scattered through the facility reveal that Ardyn helped Verstael create the magitek infantry, and Verstael credits Ardyn's cooperation for developing a way for him to transfer one's ego and consciousness into a magitek armor.

Ardyn-Episode-Prompto-Ending-FFXV-DLC

Ardyn watches Prompto ride toward Gralea.

Prompto learns that he is a clone created by Verstael. Confronting a mutating Verstael, Prompto kills him. Ardyn taunts him about his patricide over the speaker system. Prompto later appears in an illusion where he is hunted by Noctis while appearing as an MT, but whether this is a projection of his own mind or created by Ardyn is ambiguous. After Prompto and Aranea defeat Verstael's magitek incarnation, Ardyn watches Prompto ride towards Gralea while singing the "Victory Fanfare."

In Gralea, Ardyn's disembodied voice taunts Noctis after he is separated from his allies, but at the same time guides Ignis and Gladiolus to him. It is implied Ardyn deliberately lets Ignis and Gladiolus open the vault to the Crystal room, and lets them view a recording of Ravus first confronting the emperor, and then being killed by Ardyn himself masquerading as Noctis. As he kills Ravus, Ardyn mocks the former's desire to be the True King and save the world, yet being rejected.

After Noctis reunites with his friends, Ardyn has the trio face Emperor Aldercapt and Ravus whom he has turned into daemons. When Noctis is forced to abandon his friends to seek power from the Crystal, Ardyn confronts him and reveals his true identity. As he watches the Crystal absorb Noctis, Ardyn states he will be waiting for him to return as the True King. As Noctis's friends arrive they attempt to take Ardyn down, but he shrugs off the blows and unveils the deformities sustained from his work as a healer.

Unharmed by the Light. The Chosen King, indeed. Allow me to regale you with a tale. In an age long past, an incurable scourge ravaged mankind. A tiny menace that twisted men into monsters, the likes of which you've seen. In Lucis lived a savior that could cure the afflicted. His body would come to host myriad daemons, that countless lives be spared. But a jealous king, one not yet chosen by the Crystal, ostracized and demonized this healer of the people. Making a true monster of him. I gave you my name earlier, but you should know that it was not the name given to me at birth. Ardyn Lucis Caelum is my proper name. You'll never guess whose name Izunia was. Noct, killing you as a mortal will bring me scant satisfaction. Claim the Crystal's power. Arise as its champion. Only once the Crystal and King are no more...can I know redemption. Come back soon. I shall keep your friends company until you are ready.
—Ardyn Izunia

With Lunafreya dead and Noctis out of the way, Ardyn allows the Starscourge to spread, thus causing daemons to run amok in Eos for the next decade. Ardyn spends ten years assimilating daemons to accumulate his power, until he is confronted in his new abode, the Citadel in Insomnia, by a reawakened Noctis and his allies. Ardyn creates a barrier around the Citadel, the only place where Noctis can fulfill the prophecy, but the Astrals come to his aid to break through it. Ardyn pits Noctis and his retinue against the Infernian, Ifrit, but the daemonic Astral's is defeated. Noctis and his friends fight their way through some of the rulers of yore whom Ardyn had enslaved with the Starscourge, among them Ardyn's brother Somnus, his Lucii form known simply as the Mystic. After Noctis is triumphant, the Mystic asks for Noctis to release Ardyn from the thrall of darkness.

Ardyn-Defeated-FFXV

Noctis kills Ardyn.

Noctis challenges Ardyn in the Citadel's throne room. He confronts Noctis with the illusory bodies of Lunafreya, Regis, Iedolas, and Nyx Ulric, which Ardyn had grotesquely displayed for his own amusement.[5] Noctis orders Ardyn to step down from the throne. Ardyn incapacitates Noctis's allies so he can face the rival king alone. During the fight, he taunts Noctis regarding his status as the True King, and rants about how Noctis being sealed away for ten years was nothing compared to Ardyn himself having been in darkness for millennia. Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition offers extended dialogue, where Ardyn claims the Crystal is using Noctis. Noctis accepts it if it means he can banish darkness, saying Ardyn himself is a slave to the dark, much removed from the kind and noble king he used to be.

Overpowered by Noctis, Ardyn's body fades away, telling Noctis he will await in the "beyond". Noctis gives his life to face Ardyn's spirit in the afterlife and uses the Ring of the Lucii to summon the spirits of his ancestors to deal the final blow with the royal arms he had collected. Dying fulfills Ardyn's goals: finding peace in death and ending the Lucian bloodline. The Mystic's words to Noctis's after their battle, as well as the manner the defeated Ardyn disperses into light, imply his soul enters the afterlife when the Starscourge has been purged from it.

Alternate endingEdit

Blessed was the man born for the throne, yet he, so impure of heart, was denied by the Stone and cast into ignominy. Feeding on the dusk and embracing the darkness, he spurned the dawn, effecting a life untouched by time. And through the coming of night eternal, he now seeks to exact vengeance upon his own blood.
—The "Mysterious Voice" describing Ardyn
Ardyn-Armiger-FFXV

Ardyn reveals his true name.

If Ignis decides to follow Ardyn after facing him in Altissia, the latter takes him to Zegnautus Keep and tells him this is where the empire has imprisoned the Crystal. When Ignis finds the Crystal, he is apprehended by Ardyn, who reveals he lured Ignis there as bait for Noctis, whom he wants to inherit the Crystal's power. Ardyn reveals his true identity as Ardyn Lucis Caelum, who in ancient times was to become the king of Lucis, but considers the title stolen from him by his brother. Rendered immortal by the Starscourge that now inhabits his very soul, Ardyn has lived for two millennia, awaiting the time he can get his revenge on the Crystal and bloodline that had discarded him. Ignis knows Noctis will die if Ardyn's plan succeeds, and declares that the world means nothing to him if it means losing his friend.

Ignis puts on the Ring of the Lucii and gains its power for the price of his own life. He disintegrates Ardyn's body[6], who will yet return, as he is immortal. The dying Ignis is found by Noctis, Gladiolus and Prompto, who had been brought to the Keep by Ravus. In this version of the events, the train ride through Niflheim never happens, and Prompto is never captured. Noctis asks for the Crystal's power to save Ignis, and while he sleeps in its core for ten years, the others return to Lucis.

When Noctis returns he and his retinue head to Insomnia where they team up with Ravus to defeat Ardyn in the throne room. They appear to have succeeded in killing Ardyn, as light returns to the world. Yet, Noctis doesn't die and the Ring of the Lucii doesn't shatter, Noctis continuing to rule Lucis from the Citadel. Whether this means the prophecy of the True King has been fulfilled, or if Ardyn's immortal soul still lingers and the Starscourge can yet return, is unknown. Final Fantasy XV: Official Works posits that Ignis devised a "secret plan" to destroy the immortal Ardyn and drive out the darkness, and managed to surpass even the intent of the gods to bring forth another future.[6]

GameplayEdit

Ardyn is fought as the final boss during the Main Quest The Cure for Insomnia. He wields the same powers Noctis does, but with a red glow as opposed to Noctis's blue. He is one of the few Final Fantasy main antagonist/final bosses to not transform right before the battle, and one of the few to be entirely fought by a single character.

Ardyn also has two boss battles in Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ignis, where he uses a more extensive set of Armiger skills and weapons than Noctis in the main game.

Spoilers end here.

Musical themesEdit

Ardyn has two themes: "ARDYN", which plays in Chapters 1–7 and has an upbeat tone, and "ARDYN II", which plays in Chapter 10 onwards, including his appearances in Episode Prompto and Episode Ignis, which has a more somber tone. A few more variations of "ARDYN" appear in the game, including the scene between Ardyn and Lunafreya in Chapter 9's climax, one named "Beckoned by Darkness" when he meets Prompto in Episode Prompto, when he apprehends Ravus in Chapter 13 Verse 2 titled "Ravus' Last Moments" , and when he appears behind Ignis in the Crystal room in Chapter 3 Verse 2 in Episode Ignis under the name "Ardyn III".

Ardyn three boss themes in Episode Ignis contain motifs from the "Theme of Episode Ignis".

The final boss theme in Final Fantasy XV is "Magna Insomnia", which is split into three phases for each phase of the battle, the song contains motifs from "ARDYN" and "Somnus".

Creation and developmentEdit

Ardyn Izunia Concept Art

Concept artwork.

Ardyn was designed by Roberto Ferrari around December 2010. Tweaks to his initial design were made in January, 2011.[7] This would mean he was created while the game was still known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, but Ardyn never appeared in trailers or other promotional material for it.

His wardrobe choice, in particular, how it applied to his characterization, was cited by Director Hajime Tabata to be inspired by that of Kefka Palazzo from Final Fantasy VI.[8]

There was going to be an imperial general named Safay Roth, implied to originally be the main villain, as Ardyn was created after Roth was cut.[9] Ardyn was unveiled in the E3 2013 trailer for Final Fantasy XV where he is on the steps of the rainy Citadel with Iedolas Aldercapt, holding an umbrella. This scene is not in the final game, but Ardyn is with Iedolas on an airship and gazes down on Insomnia in Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV. Final Fantasy XV has a scene where Ardyn and Ravus are in front of the Altissian cathedral in rain and Ardyn holds an umbrella, apparently based on his reveal scene from the original trailer.

Ardyn often helps the party and "assistance" is meant to convey that he is not a typical Final Fantasy villain: Ardyn is uninterested in material conquest, but harbors a deep-seated hatred for the royal line of Lucis, and assists Noctis to inflict more torment to him.[2]

In Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, the likeness of Edward Saxby is used to portray Ardyn.[10]

Episode Ardyn is a DLC episode focusing on Ardyn planned for release in 2018. Ardyn also appears as the main villain in Episode Ignis, but the developers refrained from giving him too much lore there so they can fully explain it in Episode Ardyn.[11]

VoiceEdit

The most enjoyable part of playing Ardyn: the writing... He's a wonderfully written character. He's very human because he has so many different sides. He's got that very sincere insincerity, and I adored that about him.
—Darin De Paul, on voicing Ardyn Izunia

Ardyn's Japanese voice actor is Keiji Fujiwara. He shares his Japanese voice actor with Reno from the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, Izana Kunagiri from Final Fantasy Type-0, and both Axel and Lea from the Kingdom Hearts series.

He is voiced by Darin De Paul in the English version.

Other appearancesEdit

OmenEdit

Although Ardyn does not make a direct appearance in the Omen trailer for Final Fantasy XV, he may have been given an indirect allusion in the form of a demonic dog that poses as Pryna that leads Noctis astray, due to Ardyn's role in trying to manipulate Noctis.

Mobius Final FantasyEdit

Mobius

MFF Arden

One of Ardyn's abilities is Sword of the Wise, the first royal arm the player earns in Final Fantasy XV.

Edgar - Chainsaw2This article or section is a stub about an ability in Mobius Final Fantasy. You can help the Final Fantasy Wiki by expanding it.


Non-Final Fantasy guest appearancesEdit

Assassin's Creed: OriginsEdit

Ardyn appears briefly at the end of the quest "A Gift from the Gods". Sealed in an underground tomb, Bayek releases Ardyn and hides as he steps forward. Bahamut swoops down and casts Ultima Sword, surrounding Ardyn with the blades and drawing him up in a pillar of light. Carvings of him also decorate the tomb.

GalleryEdit

Etymology and symbolismEdit

The main characters' names in Final Fantasy XV tend to derive from Latin. Although "Ardyn" is not Latin, ardēns means burning, but also shining, brilliant, ardent, and passionate. "Ardyn" is also an alternate spelling of "Arden", the name of a forest used as a stock location by William Shakespeare in several of his plays.

"Izunia" is derived from iizuna, the Japanese name for the least weasel. It is also homophonous with "is near" (イズ ニア, izu nia?).

Ardyn, in juxtaposition with Noctis, alludes to enemies and "devil" figures of major religions. In terms of Christianity, he could be compared to the Anti Christ, one of three major figures said to represent the end times, being that who claims to be Jesus but ultimately represents perversion and the straying of Christian principles.

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)

How he is of the Caelum line, but comes to plunge Eos into darkness and despair, is most significant of this allusion. When Ardyn uses powers similar to Noctis's, he glows red as opposed to Noctis's blue. He represents the forces of darkness where as Noctis is the King of Light. Ardyn is unable to truly die and enter the afterlife, whereas Noctis must sacrifice himself to free the world of Ardyn's influence. Ardyn is finally killed for good after Noctis returns as the King of Kings, which could allude to the Second Coming. Similarly, him becoming evil ultimately due to in-fighting with a jealous brother resembles Cain and Abel, although, ironically, even though he adopted the Cain element by wandering the earth with the mark of evil, he is closer to Abel due to being demonized by his brother due to jealousy.

Ardyn-Izunia-Crucified-FFXV

Artwork of Ardyn.

Some of the imagery around Ardyn alludes to Biblical themes. There's a piece of concept artwork of Ardyn riding a black chocobo into a city to prayers and cheers, alluding to Palm Sunday. Another piece depicts him stripped shirtless being chained up by people in black robes, alluding to crucifixion. He once believed he was chosen by the Crystal to cure the world of Starscourge, but became corrupted and fell from the gods' favor. He wears an accessory that resembles a single black wing, a possible reference to Sephiroth, the villain of Final Fantasy VII, whose one-winged angel form in turn alludes to Luciferian imagery.

Ardyn's original role as a healer hearkens to the concept of a sin-eater, a person who magically takes on the sins of a person or household, thus absolving these persons' souls. Consequently, sin-eaters supposedly carried the sins of all people whose souls they had thus saved.

Spoilers end here.


TriviaEdit

  • Ardyn's lines "I'm worried about your friends. They've fallen and they can't get up!" during Chapter 12 is based upon a catchphrase from a United States-based television commercial for a medical alarm and protection company.
Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)
Ardyn-Daemon-FFXV

A daemonic Ardyn.

  • When bleeding the blood of daemons, Ardyn's appearance resembles the onstage corpse paint of shock rock metal singer Alice Cooper. In addition, having at that point succeeded in bringing the world to its knees at the wrath of the Starscourge and becoming the world's "king", he has welcomed "all to his nightmare".
  • Due to his goals mirroring those of Noctis, Ardyn is one of the few antagonists in the Final Fantasy series whose schemes are fulfilled rather than thwarted by the protagonist.
  • Where Ardyn's given surname "Izunia" comes from was a mystery for a time. In the Japanese language version, he says: "Ardyn Izunia, that's my real name," when he introduces himself in Chapter 4. In Chapter 13, he says, "Say, about the name I gave... that is my real name, but it isn't my official (formal) name. Ardyn Lucis Caelum, that's my official name. Now, Izunia, whose surname was that..." It was unclear what the difference between "real name" and "official/formal name" was supposed to be. In English, he simply says, "You'll never guess whose name Izunia was." Ardyn's dossier says he is the firstborn of the Izunia family, which became the Lucis Caelum line.
  • In the German localization Ardyn says Starscourge originated from the Meteor of the Six during his soliloquy at the end of Chapter 13.[12] This is not stated outright in other versions; the Japanese version simply stating "a plague without remedy became widespread".
Ardyns-Scythe-Episide-Ignis-FFXV

Unique weapon for Ardyn's Armiger.

  • Whether Ardyn had a royal arm is unknown, but he appears to have more arms than the thirteen Noctis can collect in the main game in Episode Ignis. In this episode, he also wields the royal arms as his "wings" behind him, rather than them circling him like how Noctis uses his Armiger.
  • Ardyn warps into the confrontation between Noctis and Ravus in the imperial base before his powers are revealed to the player and the party. It happens off screen, but the warping sound effect plays before Ardyn walks onto the scene.
  • In Chapter 11, Prompto who fights alongside Noctis is hinted at being Ardyn in disguise, as revealed at the end of the chapter. "Prompto" says lines he has never uttered before, and he moves slightly differently than before, the way he stands up and his swagger walk being the most noticeable. Similarly, "Ardyn's" statements when Noctis pursues him on the train have him behaving in a way unlike how Ardyn normally acts, such as claiming that he couldn't generate a snow cloud even if he wished, as well as panicking when Noctis pursues him in anger, wondering what Noctis means by it being "all [Ardyn's] fault", heavily implying that the "Ardyn" whom Noctis chases down is actually Prompto.


Spoilers end here.


External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Final Fantasy XV – Four New DLC Announced Bringing New Ending; Mod Tools and Much More Revealed (Accessed: UnknownError: See this for how to archive.) at Dualshockers
  2. 2.0 2.1 Final Fantasy XV Collector's Edition Guidebook developer interviews
  3. Final Fantasy XV Official Works translations by higharollakockamamie (Accessed: UnknownError: See this for how to archive.) at higharollakockamamie @ tumblr
  4. Final Fantasy XV Scenario Ultimania Translation Project — History of Eos (Accessed: UnknownError: See this for how to archive.) at Medium
  5. (2016-12-28) Final Fantasy XV Ultimania -Scenario Side- (in Japanese). Tokyo: Studio Bentstuff.Invalid citation format.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Another Possibility: the Extra Chapter shown in ''Episode Ignis'' (Accessed: UnknownError: See this for how to archive.) at higharollakockamamie at tumblr
  7. Character artist Roberto Ferrari speaks on Final Fantasy XV story changes, cut characters (Accessed: UnknownError: See this for how to archive.) at NovaCrystallis
  8. https://www.gamespot.com/articles/15-new-things-we-learned-from-final-fantasy-15s-di/1100-6436138/
  9. Final Fantasy XV: Changes from Final Fantasy Versus XIII Explained; More Info on Characters Shared (Accessed: UnknownError: See this for how to archive.) at Dualshockers
  10. https://www.instagram.com/p/BDnjv6EkIwu/
  11. Dengeki First interview translated by Paperchampion23 (Accessed: UnknownError: See this for how to archive.) at /r/FFXV at reddit.com
  12. https://youtu.be/pG8QIH91OM0?t=4m1s