Ark (アーク, Āku?) is an airship-like summon that first appeared in Final Fantasy IX. Although initially appearing as an airship with a dragon's head at the helm and a long blade out front, Ark can transform into a mecha; in this state, it attacks with red laser beams.
- For the battle information, see: Ark (Boss)
Ark appears to be an eidolon of Terran origins, guarding the Gulug Stone in Oeilvert, an ancient Terran archive, and a red moon features during its summoning. The pattern its lasers draw on the ground includes the triangular emblem of Terra that appears in many locations associated with the planet. As eidolons are born of people's collective imaginings, most often based on myths and legends as in the case with Gaia's eidolons, Ark may be based on the Terran memories of an ultimate Terran warship, as told in the Oeilvert records. Whether the Ark fought in Oeilvert, and the one learned as an eidolon from the Pumice, are the same being, is ambiguous, as the Ark protecting the Gulug Stone never transforms.
Ark seems to be Terra's equivalent to Gaia's Alexander their elements mirroring each other: Ark is Shadow-elemental and Alexander is Holy-elemental; both are mechanical in nature, being feared as ancient weapons and summons, with Alexander being an immobile megalithic fortress while Ark takes a form similar to an airship; they share the theme of Heaven and Earth, Ark being airborne and Alexander being earthbound; both represent their respective worlds of origin and their names relate to the a theme of judgment and punishment, with Alexander known for his attack, Divine Judgment, while Ark's original attack name in Japanese was Dark Fate.
When equipping Dagger with a Pumice she can learn to summon Ark for 100 AP. The party can locate two Pumice Pieces, which can be forged into Pumice by Hades at his Synthesis Shop in Memoria. Pumice can also be received by beating Ozma, the most powerful enemy in the game.
When summoned, Ark departs from the Red Moon of Terra, and transforms; a hovering Ark targets the enemy with a laser glyph before firing a salvo of explosive lasers from its wings to scorch the battlefield, and finishes off by readying a larger laser whose impact can be seen from space. Its attack is called Eternal Darkness (暗黒の運命, Ankoku no Unmei?, lit. Dark Fate), which deals Shadow-elemental damage to all enemies.
Ark has the longest summon animation—the full attack is almost two minutes, and the short animation is longer than most summons' long animations. Ark's spell power is equal to 106 plus the total number of Lapis Lazulis in the party's inventory. (See Summon (Final Fantasy IX)#Mechanics for damage formulae.)
If Ark is added to Garnet's roster of summons since the beginning of the game via a cheating device, it would originally cost 320 MP to summon, before she has her eidolons extracted. Its normal cost is 80 MP.
Location: Treno Card Stadium, Chocograph treasure "Forgotten Island".
Ark appears as a light-elemental summon in Final Fantasy Legends: Toki no Suishō. Due to its element being shifted to light, Ark's special attack is now Divine Fate, instead of being Dark Fate like in his original appearance. When Divine Fate is used, the ability will inflict light-elemental damage to all enemies. All versions of Ark are able to go up to rank 5. Summoning Ark costs 2 points from the Consumption Gauge.
Depending on Ark's version type and rank, it can allow the user to use the following abilities:
Ark appears in Final Fantasy Trading Card Game with a dark-elemental card depicting an artwork of it.
Noah carried seven pairs of each clean animal species and one pair of each unclean animal species, each pair a male and female, into a giant ship called the Ark. The Ark was built by God's command in order to survive the deluge He sent to purge the world from the sins committed by mankind.In the Bible,
- The Pumice item used to summon Ark in Final Fantasy IX is known as "Fuyuuishi" (ふゆう石, "floating stone?). In the original NES version of the original Final Fantasy this item was translated as "FLOATER", and was used to lift the ancient airship from the desert. This bond is strengthened by the fact that Ark takes the form of an airship.
- Its origins of coming from invaders from another world, being an airship, and its Dark-elemental affinity, are likely a throwback to the Japanese late Edo Period born concept of the black ships. How it is a robot, but described as "the beast from the dark", is also a wordplay on the suffix counter word "-goki", where it is used to count machinery, but can also mean "strong demon" by homophone.
- Ark's transforming capabilities can be seen not only as a precursor to the transforming Eidolons in Final Fantasy XIII, but also an indirect reference to the Transformers franchise, which features a spaceship called the Ark.
- Ark's design is a nod to the 1986 Square game Cruise Chaser Blassty, bearing heavy influence from the game's cruise chaser mecha.
- Ironically, had Kuja not sent Zidane to Oeilvert to claim the Gulug Stone, he might have found an eidolon to rival Alexander like his plan was.