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.
Chancellor Ardyn Izunia is the main antagonist of Final Fantasy XV. He appears in the feature film Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV and handles the Niflheim Empire's political operations for Emperor Iedolas Aldercapt.
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, as well as matching trousers. He wears a red scarf and a hooded, gray and white mantle on his shoulders. Ardyn wears a black fedora and sometimes wears a winglike accessory on his left arm. He is the only notable person representing the Empire to dress in black rather than white.
When his true identity is revealed, Ardyn's face sometimes appears demonic and grotesque. His sclera turn black, his skin becomes paler, and black markings appear across his face.
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 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 2,000 years 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. Ardyn's actions reflect his conflicting ideologies: he often helped Noctis and his friends along the way by giving them access to imperial controlled areas, but at the same time, killed Lunafreya, allowing the Starscourge to accelerate. Despite killing Lunafreya, he claims to have earned the right to call Noctis "Noct", a nickname only his three closest friends call him for helping him.
Ardyn's personality in the present greatly contrasts the one he seemed to have 2,000 years ago. Back then, he was a kind and caring man who 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.
Ardyn has great political influence. A careful strategist, he is good with words and manipulates those in power to advance his own schemes. He drives a red car while in Lucis. Using an ordinary dagger to murder Lunafreya Nox Fleuret, Ardyn later reveals his superhuman abilities. An immortal, he can control time and survive attacks that would kill an ordinary man. Because Ardyn is part of the Lucian royal family, he can use the same powers Noctis can, such as the Armiger. He can warp and fly at high speeds.
Two thousand years ago, Ardyn Lucis Caelum was a Lucian king chosen by the astrals to save Eos from the Starscourge, a malady that transforms people into daemons. Ardyn absorbed countless daemons to save thousands across the world, yet was denounced by the astrals as unclean. He was denied entry to the Astral Realm and demonized by a jealous future king who later became chosen by the Crystal. As his transition rendered him immortal, Ardyn took the surname of "Izunia" and vowed to one day have his revenge on the True King's descendants and the Crystal.Ardyn bided his time for millennia before establishing himself as chancellor to Iedolas Aldercapt, the Emperor of Niflheim. He provided his knowledge to begin his plan for revenge.
Ardyn traveled 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 a 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 daemon the Empire unleashes upon the city, before fleeing.
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 soon afterwards in a Niflheim airship to save them from the Archaean's wrath and the Niflheim forces that have surrounded area to kill the astral. 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 Luna's brother Ravus Nox Fleuret. Ravus begrudges Noctis as the apparent True King who is yet oblivious to the danger his mission puts Luna in. Ardyn stops Ravus from attacking Noctis and lets them leave the base. When Noctis is looking for mythril to repair King Regis's ship so he can escape the continent, Ardyn has the roadblocks to Vesperpool opened and has Commodore Aranea Highwind assist him. Ardyn tells Noctis he is the chancellor, but not in charge of the army.
Ardyn and Ravus head for Altissia where Luna wants to rouse the Hydraean, Leviathan, to help Noctis. Ravus, as the high commander of the Niflheim army, is on a task to kill the Leviathan before Noctis can forge his covenant, as he disagrees with Luna sacrificing herself. Ardyn talks with Ravus in the church where Luna was to wed Noctis.
After Luna summons Leviathan Ardyn stabs her with a dagger knowing that Noctis would witness it. 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 appears once more before Noctis on a train ride to Gralea, Niflheim's capital. He torments him and tricks Noctis into pushing his friend Prompto Argentum off the train. He later witnesses the Glacian, Shiva, grant Noctis her power. Though frozen and shattered by Shiva, he returns, revealing to Noctis that he is immortal.
In Gralea, Ardyn's disembodied voice taunts Noctis after the Lucian king is separated from his allies. After Noctis reunites with Ignis Scientia and Gladiolus, he has the trio face Iedolas and Ravus who have been turned into daemons. When Noctis abandons 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 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 Crystals 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.
With Lunafreya dead and Noctis out of the way, Ardyn enacts the Starscourge, thus causing daemons to run amok in Eos for the next decade. Ten years later he is confronted in his new abode, Insomnia, by a reawakened Noctis and his allies. He pits against the Infernian, Ifrit. Following the hostile astral's defeat, Noctis encounters Ardyn in the Citadel's throne room. Ardyn confronts Noctis with the illusory bodies of Lunafreya, Regis, Iedolas, and Nyx Ulric, which Ardyn had created for his own amusement.
Noctis orders Ardyn to step down from the throne, and in retaliation he incapacitates Noctis's allies and faces the rival king himself. 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. Overpowered by Noctis, Ardyn is finally able to rest in peace. His body fades away, and his spirit is destroyed when Noctis—who gave his life to halt the Starscourge and purge the daemons—uses the power of those he cherishes and the Lucian kings of old to land a final blow. This was not a hindrance to Ardyn's overall goal, as his revenge against the Lucian kings depended on Noctis's death, which is required to destroy him.
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 the first and so far only Final Fantasy main antagonist/final boss to not transform right before the battle.
Creation and developmentEdit
In Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, the likeness of Edward Saxby is used to portray Ardyn.
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.
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.
Ardyn's English voice actor is Darin De Paul.
- Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV
- Final Fantasy XV
Etymology and symbolismEdit
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. How he is of the Caelum line, but comes to plunge Eos into darkness and despair, is most significant of this allusion.
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 men in black robes, alluding to crucifixion. He was originally chosen by to cure the world of Starscourge, but became corrupted and fell from the gods' favor. He also wears an accessory that resembles a single black wing.
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.
- When bleeding that of the blood of daemons when "fatally" assaulted by Gladiolus and Prompto in Graelea, his appearance comes to be reminiscent of that of the onstage corpse paint of shock rock metal singer Alice Cooper. In addition, having at that point succeeded in bring the world of Eos to its knees at the wrath of the Starscourge and becoming the world's "king", he has welcomed "all to his nightmare".
- ↑ Tabata talks magic, Niflheim and more in latest Final Fantasy XV Active Time Report (Accessed: January 20, 2017) at NovaCrystallis
- ↑ (2016-12-28) Final Fantasy XV Ultimania -Scenario Side- (in Japanese). Tokyo: Studio Bentstuff.Invalid citation format.
- ↑ Character artist Roberto Ferrari speaks on Final Fantasy XV story changes, cut characters (Accessed: January 20, 2017) at NovaCrystallis
- ↑ https://www.instagram.com/p/BDnjv6EkIwu/