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, alternately known as Ardyn Lucis Caelum, 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 who 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 and his dark past. He enjoys manipulating events and watching them unfold.
Ardyn is a middle-aged man with red-violet hair, amber eyes, and strong facial features. He dresses in a long, black trench coat and pinstripe trousers. He wears a red scarf and a hooded, gray and white flower-print 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.
When his true identity is revealed, Ardyn's face sometimes appears daemonic and grotesque. His sclera turn black, his irises and pupils turn gold, his skin becomes paler, and black markings appear across his face.
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.
Ardyn is a man shrouded in mystery. He expresses his eccentric personality through his unique attire, and he is both polite and flamboyant. He sometimes acts suggestive, likely as a means to creep others out, calling Noctis a "tease" and stroking Prompto on his cheek. 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'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.
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 refuses to kill Noctis until the latter has become the True King, and during the final battle, repeatedly taunts Noctis, yet when he has Noctis pinned down, he releases him. Since he needs the True King to kill him to be able to die, Ardyn considers Noctis a means to an end and states his goal lies beyond revenge.
Despite all his taunts, Ardyn displays a degree of affection for Noctis, as he enjoys how the latter has grown from being the helpless prince he was without his friends. He appears to bear Noctis no ill will for killing him in the end, cordially and calmly questioning Noctis's decision to save the world. Ardyn even bows to Noctis when the two meet in the afterlife, but whether it is done in respect or in mockery is up for the player's interpretation.
According to Lead Scenario Developer Saori Itamuro, 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 and absorbed it into himself to save people. He fell from grace when the Crystal saw him as unclean and he was demonized by his people and brother.
Ardyn conceals his true capabilities behind a frivolous and lighthearted exterior. He is an exceptional strategist, leader, manipulator and deceiver, effectively ruling the empire despite his lack of royal title. He aided in developing the process for converting humans into miasma, a deed that fueled his rise to his position as chancellor and paved the way for the rest of his plans.
While Ardyn uses a simple knife to murder Lunafreya, he later reveals his supernatural powers and true prowess in combat. He is immortal as the Starscourge incarnate, and thus only the power of Providence can truly end him. Because Ardyn is the oldest member of the Lucian royal family, he can use the same powers Noctis can, and to seemingly greater degree as he suffers no strain in maintaining Armiger. While he has the same royal arms Noctis can collect (sans the Sword of the Father, though he has it later), Ardyn also wields a giant scythe unavailable to the latter. It may be some of the "lost" royal arms or his personal addition to Armiger, or even another form of his daemonic energy. Uniquely, he sometimes uses his royal arms in a wing formation. He can warp, phase and fly at high speeds. Ardyn can eject dark energy out of his hand to incapacitate others, surround himself with it to boost his sword strikes and let out a giant burst attack, and shoot red laser beams. He fights Noctis on equal ground even after the latter has gained the Crystal's power and become the True King.
Ardyn can temporarily halt time and assume the form of another, allowing him to distort others' perception of reality and create illusions, making him able to manipulate people into attacking their friends by having them see them as himself. As the Starscourge incarnate, Ardyn has control over daemons and can assimilate them to strengthen himself as well as turn others into daemons. He exudes miasma from his body at will, but is not averse to sunlight like regular daemons. He can manifest and erect the Wall, although it is tainted by daemonic energy, and can even use the Starscourge to brainwash certain rulers of yore into fighting Noctis.
Ardyn seems to be either immune to pain or extremely resilient to it, as he claims that pain is something only mortals feel. He doesn't shiver with cold in Shiva's presence the way Noctis does, and doesn't flinch when Noctis's friends deal heavy blows on him, simply picking up his discarded hat and leaving. Even dying in the mortal realm doesn't seem to cause him pain, remaining sober and loquacious to the end; the only thing he recoils from is Lunafreya's healing touch. Whether the Oracles' daemon-repelling magic of havens would repel Ardyn as well is unknown, but during the time he stays the night with the party he insists on not camping, promising to pay for accommodation at an outpost instead.
- A self-styled "man of no consequence," Ardyn possesses more power than he first lets on. As chancellor of Niflheim, he supervises the highest reaches of government while also overseeing the empire's various research programs.
- The Ardyn who stands on the Altar of the Tidemother is a far throw from the "man of no consequence" who greeted the boys at Galdin Quay. He is cold and ruthless, stabbing Lunafreya right before Noctis's eyes. Though he has clearly made an enemy of the crown prince, his motivations are as of yet unknown.
- 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 judgment, 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.
He's been living a long time. In a world he could share with no one.
Two thousand years ago, Ardyn was the firstborn of the Izunia family, which became the Lucis Caelum line*The German dossier for Ardyn is the most explicit on this, but Ardyn also says his original surname was Izunia in the French version of Episode Ignis, and the Japanese version of the main game says that Talcott and Ignis found ancient information on "Ardyn Izunia" (rather than "Ardyn Lucis Caelum") during their explorations on the long night, 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. He was denounced by the Astrals and his ascendance to the throne was denied. Ardyn became demonized by his younger brother Somnus, who would become the Founder King in his stead. 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. This likely means he killed Ardyn and Final Fantasy XV Official Works posits that Ardyn lived on "despite his execution".
As the fallen King of Light, Ardyn is barred entry to the afterlife 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 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. 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 on an airship. Ardyn laments it is a waste to see a city as glorious as Insomnia destroyed.
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 themy, and reveals his identity as Niflheim's chancellor.
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 the Vesperpool opened and 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 imperial army, is on a task to kill Leviathan before Noctis can forge his covenant. 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 Noctis's friend Ignis and Ravus on the remains of the Altar of the Tidemother 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 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 grants Noctis her power. Ardyn accosts him but Shiva freezes him solid, while Noctis, in a fit of anger, breaks Ardyn's body. Though frozen and shattered, Ardyn 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.
Prompto learns that he is a clone created by Verstael. Confronting a mutating Verstael, Prompto kills him and Ardyn taunts him about his patricide over the speaker system. Prompto later enters 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 humming 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 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. He scatters the letters Ravus had sent to Lunafreya about his corpse for Noctis to discover.
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.
With Lunafreya dead and Noctis out of the way, Ardyn allows the Starscourge to spread and daemons 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 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.
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. 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 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.
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.
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, 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.
Ardyn is fought as the final boss during the Main Quest The Cure for Insomnia. He wields the same powers as Noctis 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 in the main game.
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, 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's three boss themes in Episode Ignis contain motifs from the "Theme of Episode Ignis".
Creation and developmentEdit
Ardyn was designed by Roberto Ferrari around December 2010. Tweaks to his initial design were made in January, 2011. 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.
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. 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 his "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.
In Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, the likeness of Edward Saxby is used to portray Ardyn.
Episode Ardyn is a DLC episode focusing on Ardyn planned for release in 2019. 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.
- Ardyn Izunia
- This middle-aged military tactician rose through the ranks by reforming the empire's magitek infantry, and now runs the nation seated at the emperor's side. Quick-witted and observant, he not only grasps any situation in seconds—he also manages to transcend and take control of it shortly thereafter.
In the final game Ardyn's role as the chancellor is not expanded upon much (perhaps because he is never actually seen with the emperor), and his role in creating the magitek infantry 30 years ago is kept until it becomes apparent he has supernatural powers.
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.
He is voiced by Darin De Paul in the English version.
One of Ardyn's abilities is Sword of the Wise, the first royal arm the player earns in Final Fantasy XV.
Non-Final Fantasy guest appearancesEdit
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.
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. Though possibly coincidental, Shakespeare quotes were used in early trailers for Final Fantasy Versus XIII.
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, a being 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. When Ardyn uses powers similar to Noctis's, he glows red as opposed to Noctis's blue. He represents the forces of darkness whereas 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, Ardyn is closer to Abel due to being demonized by his brother due to jealousy.
Some of the imagery around Ardyn alludes to Biblical themes. There's a piece of concept artwork of him 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.
When Noctis first meets Ardyn as the "suspicious stranger" at Galdin Quay, the latter throws an Oracle Ascension Coin at his way, calling it their "allowance". After Ardyn leaves Noctis learns the former has been giving the coins out to everyone at the resort. In Greek mythology, Charon is the ferryman of Hades who carries souls of the newly deceased to the world of the dead, requiring a coin as payment for passage, usually an obolus or danake. This allusion may be intentional, as Ardyn knows of Noctis's fate as the Crystal's Chosen. Charon is the brother of, among many others, Thanatos (personification of death) and Hypnos (personification of sleep, whose Roman equivalent is known as Somnus—Ardyn's brother).
- Ardyn drives a red car registered to Duscae while in Lucis. There is a document on his seat when he is not in the car that appears to be a contract of some kind, perhaps a rental agreement for the vehicle. Though the text is too small to read, Ardyn doesn't seem to have signed it with any of his real names.
- 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.
- When bleeding the blood of daemons, Ardyn's appearance resembles the onstage corpse paint of shock rock metal singer Alice Cooper. Having at that point brought 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 is ambiguous. 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 German dossier says he is the firstborn of the Izunia family, which became the Lucis Caelum line due to their unique skill, and he says he reassumed his original surname in the French version of Episode Ignis. The English version contradicts this, where he says "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." In the German version of Episode Ignis Ardyn introduces himself as "Ardyn Lucis Caelum Izunia".
- If all localizations are taken to be in the same canon, it means Ardyn would have been born to the Izunia family yet named Ardyn Lucis Caelum at birth due "special powers" either him or his family displayed, and took his family name as his surname after he was rejected in favor of his brother. However, it is possible the different localizations are incongruent with each other.
- In the German localization Ardyn says Starscourge originated from the Meteor of the Six during his soliloquy at the end of Chapter 13. This is not stated outright in other versions; the Japanese version simply stating "a plague without remedy became widespread".
- 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, the "Prompto" who fights alongside Noctis is Ardyn in disguise, as revealed at the end of the chapter. "Prompto" says lines he has never uttered before, and moves slightly differently, the way he stands up and his swagger walk being the most noticeable. Similarly, when Noctis pursues "Ardyn" on the train he behaves in a way unlike how Ardyn normally acts, such as telling Noctis to stop playing around, running away in a panic, and saying "dude, are you seriously trying to kill me?" Prompto's experience of the events shown in Episode Prompto confirms that the "Ardyn" whom Noctis chases down the train car is actually Prompto, who recalls Noctis pinning him against the wall and threatening him.
- ↑ Final Fantasy XV – Four New DLC Announced Bringing New Ending; Mod Tools and Much More Revealed (Accessed: July 25, 2018) at DualShockers
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Final Fantasy XV Collector's Edition Guidebook developer interviews
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 German dossier for Ardyn: "Als Erstgeborener der Familie Izunia, die einst für ihre besonderen Fähigkeiten zur Linie der Lucis Caelum erwählt wurde, hätte er der erste Kônig zum Schutze des Kristalls werden sollen."
Translation: "As the firstborn of the Izunia family, chosen for their special skills to become the Lucis Caelum lineage, he should have become the Founder King to protect the Crystal
- ↑ Final Fantasy XV Official Works translations by higharollakockamamie (Accessed: July 25, 2018) at higharollakockamamie @ tumblr
- ↑ Final Fantasy XV Scenario Ultimania Translation Project — History of Eos (Accessed: July 25, 2018) at Medium
- ↑ Appendix 6 - Armaments of the Niflheim Empire from ''Final Fantasy XV Official Works'' translations by higharollakockamamie (Accessed: August 17, 2018) at higharollakockamamie @tumblr
- ↑ (2016-12-28) Final Fantasy XV Ultimania -Scenario Side- (in Japanese). Tokyo: Studio Bentstuff.Invalid citation format.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Another Possibility: the Extra Chapter shown in ''Episode Ignis'' (Accessed: July 25, 2018) at higharollakockamamie at tumblr
- ↑ Character artist Roberto Ferrari speaks on Final Fantasy XV story changes, cut characters (Accessed: July 25, 2018) at Nova Crystallis
- ↑ https://www.gamespot.com/articles/15-new-things-we-learned-from-final-fantasy-15s-di/1100-6436138/
- ↑ Final Fantasy XV: Changes from Final Fantasy Versus XIII Explained; More Info on Characters Shared (Accessed: July 25, 2018) at DualShockers
- ↑ https://www.instagram.com/p/BDnjv6EkIwu/
- ↑ Dengeki First interview translated by Paperchampion23 (Accessed: July 25, 2018) at /r/FFXV at reddit.com
- ↑ [ spoilers ] unuse + cut + pending content topic at /r/ffxv at reddit (Accessed: June 12, 2018) at reddit
- ↑ 【Final Fantasy XV】 Episode Ignis -German Version- (1:35:49) (Accessed: October 11, 2018) by BlindingAwesomeness at YouTube
- ↑ Let's Play Final Fantasy XV German Ending Full Fight (4:01) (Accessed: October 11, 2018) by Prinzdicky at YouTube