- “Princess! No need to worry. I hope you haven't forgotten my role in this little story. I'm the leading man. You know what they say about the leading man? He never dies.”
- —Balthier to Ashe
Balthier, real name Ffamran mied Bunansa, is a playable character in Final Fantasy XII. He is a sky pirate who travels all over Ivalice with his partner Fran on his airship, the Strahl. During an attempt to steal from the Royal Palace of Rabanastre, Balthier encounters Vaan, also attempting to rob the palace treasury. When his plan goes awry, Balthier finds himself a part of a conflict between political forces that could lead to war.
Appearance and PersonalityEdit
- “Your mistakes were twofold, I'm afraid. You sprung your trap without looking to see if the game you hunted was the one you'd snare, and you sold me short. I'm no thief; I'm a sky pirate.”
- —Balthier to a Brigand, Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions
Balthier is six feet tall and has short brown hair with blond highlights and sharply styled sideburns. He wears an embroidered golden and olive green vest over a high-collared shirt and tight black leather trousers with leather shin pads, and steel, open-backed sandals. He wears two crossed, gold-buckled belts with two pouches attached to either side and a collection of brightly colored rings and bracelets on his left hand, and has a set of earrings in both ears. In his official render for Final Fantasy XII, Balthier holds the Betelgeuse. Artwork and renders of Balthier for several spin-off appearances depict him with the same gun.
Balthier is a charming, dashing man with a sharp and cunning wit but he is also cynical. Balthier comes across as cocky and self-centered but his trust in Fran is complete. While the story is told from Vaan's perspective, Balthier certainly seems to think it is his story, going so far as to refer to himself as "the leading man". Despite this, he is far from selfish, proving himself in the events aboard the Sky Fortress Bahamut.
Born in 684 Old Valendian, Balthier, as Ffamran mied Bunansa, is the third son of Cidolfus Demen Bunansa, a scientist in employ of the Archadian Empire. He showed such promise at a young age he was made an Archadian Judge at only sixteen years old. In 700, six years prior to Final Fantasy XII's storyline, after his father returned from Giruvegan, Ffamran noticed Cid's sanity fading: he talked to someone who wasn't there, raving on about "bringing the reins of history back to the hands of man." This behavior strained their relationship and eventually Ffamran could not stand the sight of his father.
Ffamran's falling out with his father, combined with the political maneuvers of Archadia, made Ffamran decide to leave his post as Judge and flee the city, stealing the new prototype fighter ship as a means of escape from Archades. Since going into hiding, he has updated the ship (so much so that it no longer resembles the original design) and has named it the Strahl.
Ffamran took on the name "Balthier" as an alias to help cast aside his ties with Archades. Partnering with a viera companion named Fran, he flew the skies of Ivalice searching for treasure, gaining notoriety as a sky pirate, and increasing the bounty on his head.
- “So I ran. Free at last... Then I met you. All that running and I got nowhere. It's time to end this - cut my ties to the past.”
In 706 Old Valendian, Balthier and Fran head to the Royal Palace of Rabanastre's treasury, where they find Vaan already holding their treasure: the Goddess's Magicite. Balthier demands he hand it over, but before he can retrieve the magicite the Ifrit attacks. Vaan escapes and Balthier reluctantly follows him.
He chases Vaan out into the Palace Grounds, where amidst the chaos of the fight between the Resistance forces and the Imperials, Balthier loses his patience with the young thief and throws him onto his hovercraft, piloted by Fran. His plan is derailed as the Goddess's Magicite, really a piece of deifacted nethicite, renders the hovercraft unresponsive, crashing into the Garamsythe Waterway.
Balthier joins forces with Vaan to escape the Waterway, though Vaan is determined to keep a hold of the magicite. As they cross the waterway, Balthier expresses his suspicions concerning the new consul, Vayne Solidor, and the possibility of him deliberately luring the Resistance out of hiding to attack the palace. They encounter a Resistance fighter named Amalia, who joins them in search of an exit, despite her distaste of her "thieving" company.
At the Waterway's exit Vayne and a battalion of Imperial Soldiers ambush the party. Despite Amalia's insistence that her company is innocent, they are sentenced to imprisonment. As they are marched out onto the streets of Rabanastre, Balthier meets Vaan's friend Penelo, who is weeping as she watches Vaan be lead away. Balthier gives Penelo his handkerchief and ensures her Vaan will be safe. Unknown to Balthier, the bounty hunter Ba'Gamnan watches the exchange from the shadows.
In the Nalbina Dungeons Balthier sends Fran to find an escape route while he goes find Vaan. He finds the thief in battle with three seeq dungeon masters, and joins the fray. After defeating them, Balthier and Vaan hide within the arena, where Balthier overhears Ba'Gamnan, who has followed him to Nalbina, along with Judge Gabranth. They team up with Fran and follow Gabranth into an Oubliette, where they are surprised to find an emaciated and weak Basch fon Ronsenburg imprisoned.
Following Gabranth's departure, Basch pleads with the party to set him free. Balthier is indifferent, but Vaan cannot control his rage and jumps atop Basch's cage, attracting the guards. Fran drops Basch's cage down to the Barheim Passage as a means of escape, inadvertently freeing the supposed king slayer and Balthier allows Basch to join the party as another sword arm.
After emerging into and crossing the Dalmasca Estersand to reach Rabanastre, the party disperses. While Vaan and Basch go meet the Resistance, Balthier and Fran retire to the Sandsea tavern. While enjoying a drink, Balthier is accosted by the bangaa Migelo, who claims Ba'Gamnan has kidnapped Penelo because he mistook her as someone close to Balthier. He is initially unwilling to go to Bhujerba to rescue her, but Basch asks him to fly him to Bhujerba, and when Vaan promises Balthier the Goddess's Magicite in return, he agrees to fly them all to the sky city.
In Bhujerba, the group meets up with a young boy who introduces himself as Lamont. Balthier is suspicious but allows the boy to accompany them to the Lhusu Mines, where the Archadian Empire is mining magicite to be used in the Draklor Laboratory in Archades. Hearing about the magicite perks Balthier's interest and he attempts to force the boy to reveal his true identity as Larsa Solidor, but Ba'Gamnan interrupts the group and they escape. On their way out, the party watches Larsa go to Penelo's aid and take her to Marquis Ondore's estate.
Balthier suggests they attract the attention of the Resistance to gain entrance into the estate. After Vaan proclaims to be the supposedly executed Basch, the Resistance grants them an audience with the Marquis. In the hopes of Basch rescuing Amalia, Ondore alerts Judge Ghis and has them arrested aboard the Dreadnought Leviathan.
Aboard the imperial airship the party is reunited with "Amalia", who is the reportedly dead Princess Ashelia B'nargin Dalmasca. Judge Ghis takes the Goddess's Magicite and Amalia's accomplice in the Resistance, Vossler, helps the party escape on an Atomos Imperial carrier ship back to Bhujerba. After Ashe is advised to stay within Ondore's estate to bid out the Archadian Empire, Balthier finds her aboard the Strahl attempting to steal it.
She asks Balthier to "kidnap" her and take her to the Tomb of Raithwall, where the proof she requires to prove her royal lineage lies. Balthier is reluctant to get caught up in Imperial business, but is tempted by Ashe's promise of King Raithwall's treasure, and so Balthier and Fran accompany her across the Ogir-Yensa and Nam-Yensa Sandseas to Raithwall's Tomb.
Vossler, who accompanies the party, voices his disdain of traveling with sky pirates. After fighting the Esper Belias, Ashe acquires another piece of nethicite, the Dawn Shard. Much to Balthier's disappointment, the treasure of Raithwall's Tomb turns out to be control of the Esper, and naught of monetary value. Upon exiting the tomb, Ghis's Imperial Fleet accosts them and it turns out Vossler has betrayed them.
Ghis takes the Dawn Shard and attempts to evaluate it but unleashes the nethicite's magick and destroys the entire 8th Archadian Fleet, while Balthier and the others escape with Balthier piloting another carrier ship. Spotting the Dawn Shard glinting in the sky after the explosion, he steers the ship to retrieve it, before descending back down to Rabanastre.
After seeing the nethicite's power, Ashe decides to use it as her weapon to restore Dalmasca, but does not know how to use it. She wants Balthier to accompany her to Jahara to ask the garifs' help, but Balthier is skeptical. As collateral, Balthier requests one of the rings on Ashe's finger.
Ashe surrenders the ring to Balthier in return for his help. Due to the Strahl being damaged in the 8th Fleet's destruction, the group walks their way to Jahara, but garif are no help to Ashe's plight. They meet up with Larsa, who accompanies the party through Golmore Jungle to Mt. Bur-Omisace, where they meet with Gran Kiltias Anastasis, who tells them about a sword that can cut through nethicite. While Larsa stays behind, the rest of the group heads off to the Stilshrine of Miriam where Ashe retrieves the Sword of Kings.
With the sword, she vows to destroy the Empire's nethicite and the party heads to Archadia with the intention of destroying the nethicite within Doctor Cid's possession. When they stop to rest in the Phon Coast's Hunters' Camp, Balthier questions Ashe's intentions, comparing her drive to that of his father's. He reveals his Imperial past as a Judge and his relation to Doctor Cid, as well as his suspicions of an unknown creature his father spoke of named Venat. He vows to persevere in their endeavor to cut the ties to his past, and implores Ashe to not allow the stone's power to consume her, as it did his father.
Reaching Archades, Balthier separates himself from the party. They come across Balthier's old "friend" Jules, who embezzles the chops Balthier gave him to give to Vaan and the others. They reconvene and head to the Draklor Laboratory in search of Cid, which they find to be suspiciously lacking Imperial presence. On discovering Cid's ransacked office, Balthier inspects some old papers and questions what madness found him six years ago in the Jagd Difohr.
They proceed to the 70th floor to find Reddas, who is responsible for the lack of guards and soldiers. They follow him to find Cid, where Balthier demands he turn over the Dusk Shard. Balthier is forced to draw his weapon when Cid challenges the party, backed by the power of deifacted nethicite and his Occurian ally, Venat.
After Cid's defeat, he retreats and lures the party out to the Ancient City of Giruvegan. The party return to Port at Balfonheim with their new ally, Reddas. Before heading to Giruvegan, Balthier expresses his suspicion over Reddas's intentions concerning the nethicite, inferring he knows of Reddas's true identity, past within the Empire, and his hand in the destruction of Nabudis.
With their trip to Giruvegan remaining fruitless, Reddas accompanies them to the Ridorana Cataract after his fleet was mysteriously brought down there. On the Cataract, Balthier tells Vaan to take the Strahl should anything happen to him. After climbing to the top of the Pharos at Ridorana to reach the Sun-Cryst, Ashe attempts to destroy it with the Treaty Blade and Sword of Kings, only to be intercepted by Cid. Balthier fights his father, this time fatally wounding him. Balthier watches his father die, and up to his dying breath, Cid believes what he was doing was best for mankind.
The Sun-Cryst has awakened the Empire's ultimate weapon, the Sky Fortress Bahamut, and the Mist it seethes seems impossible to stop. Overwhelmed by the Mist, Fran falls to the ground and insists they go without her, but Balthier vows to never leave her behind. Reddas sacrifices his life to destroy the Sun-Cryst.
An all-out war is about to break out on Dalmascan ground. Balthier pilots the group on-board the Sky Fortress Bahamut where they confront Vayne. After Vayne's defeat, the party escapes the Bahamut on the Strahl while Balthier and Fran remain behind to repair the Bahamut's engines and stop it from falling on Rabanastre. Balthier fixes the Bahamut's glossair rings in time to save Rabanastre, but together with Fran they are stuck inside the Bahamut as it crash-lands outside the city, with he and Fran believed to have died.
A year later, Balthier and Fran are revealed to be alive, having taken back the Strahl from Vaan and Penelo, whom he had entrusted it to, leaving them a note and Ashe's ring, signifying he has found the treasure he was looking for. Balthier explains he is going for the Cache of Glabados at Bervenia Palace, wishing Vaan and Penelo to join in on the spoils.
- “Roses have thorns - this much I've come to expect. But you, my dear, poison yours. You've no sense of fair play.”
- —Balthier to the Judge of Wings
Vaan and Penelo arrive at the Glabados Ruins to meet Balthier and Fran who have made their way to the Cache chamber and defeated the Ifrit guarding it. The foursome spy twin auracite crystals atop a pedestal and Balthier teases Vaan he's too young to partake in any treasure, and moves in to take both crystals for himself. When Vaan protests, Balthier laughs and throws him the green crystal, taking the purple one for himself. The ruins begin to crumble and the sky pirates make their way out to their respective airships, however, the falling debris destroys Vaan's. Balthier returns Vaan and Penelo to Lowtown.
Soon after, Balthier makes his way to Lemurés to search for the auraliths and ends up confronting the Judge of Wings at the Fane of Tehp Qul. The Judge reveals what went on between her and Balthier by projecting her memories into Vaan and his allies' minds. In the flashback, Balthier is seen in the same Fane, with an unconscious Fran behind him. The Judge of Wings approaches him from the right, and the auralith is still intact between them. Balthier acknowledges the Judge's power, but says she has been holding on to her illusion of Eternity for too long. He throws the purple crystal he found in the Glabados Ruins in the air and shatters it with a gun blast before it reaches the Judge.
His auracite willingly destroyed, Balthier points his gun at the Judge, vowing to stop her from pursuing her goal of eternal life. Before he can fire, the Judge uses her own crystal to summon the Esper Shiva, who appears behind Balthier and uses her Diamond Dust attack to render Balthier unconscious. He and Fran are left lying on the floor.
The two escape this encounter, as Fran meets Vaan on the island of Arda, Heaven's Pillar, and leads them to the Ymir Qul Underground, where Balthier waits. Ba'Gamnan interrupts the reunion, and the party battles the group of bangaa before they can reach Balthier. After Ba'Gamnan's defeat, Balthier shocks Vaan by moving to destroy the auralith deep within the Underground. Fran defects to her partner's side, and the two summon another group of Yarhi for Vaan and his party to deal with. Though Balthier and Fran are defeated, Balthier starts up the machines flanking the second auralith, which is subsequently destroyed.
The auralith's demise frees a great deal of aegyl anima. Vaan, Penelo, Llyud, Filo, and Kytes are sent to Lesrekta, Isle of Illusions, while Balthier and Fran commandeer to Vaan's new airship, the Galbana. After Vaan's return, Balthier explains he destroyed the auralith restore the aegyls' souls; by releasing the anima, Balthier prevented the Judge of Wings from getting to the crystal first and stealing the anima within. The motivation behind the Judge's actions and the aegyl god, Feolthanos, are finally understood, and Balthier and Fran join the allied party for good.
Final Fantasy XIIEdit
Balthier joins the party with the Licenses "Guns 1", "Guns 2", "Shields 1", "Light Armor 1", "Light Armor 2", "Heavy Armor 1", "Steal" and "First Aid". He is equipped with an Altair, Onion Shot, Headgear, and Chromed Leathers.
Balthier is fairly well-suited for close combat, and his low magick stats mean he is ill-suited for healing or using Black Magick. When Balthier joins the party his level is Vaan's level +1, and his LP is Vaan's LP minus 135 (the official strategy guide states it is [Vaan's LP + Fran's LP]/2 - 135, but this is wrong).
Even though Balthier's default weapon is a gun and he has gun licenses already learned, Balthier is the slowest character, together with Penelo, to use a gun - all the other characters' action time when equipped with a gun is faster. Thus, it is best to equip him with other weapons that make good use of his strength and speed stat; daggers, ninja swords, greatswords and spears are the best.
Final Fantasy XII: Revenant WingsEdit
Balthier equips guns. His armor equips - sleeveless tops - all favor Defense over Magick Defense. He takes on the role of a ranged fighter. His Quickening, Element of Treachery, deals heavy damage to one foe, and is learned after defeating the Esper Shemhazai.
|Tri-shot||-||Deal ranged damage to one foe with three successive shots.|
|Percussive Slug||-||Deal ranged damage to one foe, knocking it back.|
|Sniper Eye||36||Increase attack range.|
|Quicksilver||38||Increase user's Strength.|
|Hamstring||41||Inflict Immobilize on one foe.|
|Maim||45||Inflict Disable on one foe.|
|Armor-piercing Shot||49||Attacks deal damage to one foe in a line extending from the user.|
|Element of Treachery||-||Deal heavy ranged damage to one foe.|
- Main article: Balthier (Boss)
Balthier is fought as a boss, alongside Fran.
Creation and DevelopmentEdit
|Gideon Emery as Balthier|
|"Princess! No need to worry. I hope you haven't forgotten my role in this little story. I'm the leading man. You know what they say about the leading man? He never dies!"
|Trouble with the audio sample?|
In the English version of Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions, Balthier is voiced by Gideon Emery. In the Japanese version of Final Fantasy XII, he is voiced by Hiroaki Hirata.
Balthier, along with Basch and Ashe, speak in formalized English in contrast to Vaan and Penelo's more casual style. In Japanese, Balthier, Ashe and Basch use an older, more formal form of Japanese than Vaan and Penelo.
- “You'll have your reward for finding me. And don't think of running off without collecting. My shot is faster, or my name's not Balthier.”
- See also: Sky Pirate (Tactics)
Balthier appears as a secret playable character in Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions.
After the first fight against Meliadoul at Free City of Bervenia in Chapter 4, Ramza goes to the Mining Town of Gollund and checks the rumor "Rash of Thefts", about a godless thief stealing precious cargo from the church. Ramza heads to the Merchant City of Dorter and checks the rumor "A Call For Guards", about some precious cargo from Bervenia that needs an escort to Dorter.
When Ramza arrives at the Dorter slums he walks into an ambush. The thieves attack Ramza, before realizing they've got the wrong man. Balthier steps out the shadows and condemns the thieves' ability to set a trap. Teaming up with Ramza, Balthier rids of the thieves.
After the battle, Balthier explains he is a Sky Pirate looking for the Cache of Glabados. Ramza thinks Balthier is referring to the auracite, and when he asks Balthier what the Cache is Balthier only mentions it is the reason he is currently in Ivalice.
When Ramza tells Balthier he thinks he knows what he is looking for, Balthier is more than keen to tag along, claiming the leading man never walks out of a little danger, even if he does feel more like a cameo role this time. Before they set off, Ramza comments Balthier can't be a pirate of the skies if he has no wings, while Balthier complains he is fed up of constantly following children, much to Ramza's annoyance. His Zodiac Sign is Leo.
When fought in Rendezvous Missions #14: Brave Story, he is level 99 and starts with 75 Bravery and 53 Faith. He uses his default Sky Pirate job, and comes equipped with the Blaster, Crystal Shield, Thief's Cap, Luminous Robe, and Angel Ring. He has access to the Piracy and Item commands, as well as the abilities First Strike, Throw Items, and Move +1.
Balthier appears as a recruitable character in Final Fantasy Tactics S.
Balthier makes a cameo appearance as one of the tutors of Abilities. He appears alongside Fran and first tells the player; "to obtain more abilities, you need to level up! Also, he explains that just learning new abilities is not enough, you need to equip them for them to work. He always commends himself as the leading man and that he can handle the extra abilities. Fran calls him as "Mr. Spotlight".
There is a letter sent by a moogle named Sablé regarding the previous letter he sent entitled "Watching You, Kupo". The letter is about when Vaan, Balthier, Fran and Basch went to Bhujerba then to the Lhusu Mines to save Penelo from Ba'Gamnan's grasp.
- I'm Relieved, Kupo
- “New intel, kupo! The kidnappers designated a a sky pirate for the rescue, kupo. What a relief, kupo! I was able to keep my cool thanks to your responses, kupo. I hope we can have a more leisurely chat in the future, kupo!”
|Cloud: I couldn't finish 'em. Looks like this's gonna get complicated.|
|The following tables are incomplete and require the Stats and Abilities areas to be filled. If you wish, please examine the table and add anything missing. Remove this notice upon completion.
- “Making himself known as a chivalrous thief, this sky pirate travels the skies in his beloved Strahl. When he sneaks into the Royal Palace of Rabanastre in pursuit of treasure, he stumbles across both Vaan and Ashe, and the strange pair joins him and his partner Fran in their travels. Yet when he realizes the part that his brilliant father Cid has played in the Archadian Empire's expansion, he will have to take action if he is to be a true leading man.”
- —Online description
Balthier appears in the iOS release as a purchasable character.
|Mirage (Lv 1)||Initial|
|Weapon Break (Lv 1)||Level 10|
|Escape (Lv 1)||Level 25|
|Escape (Lv 2)||Level 40|
|Weapon Break (Lv 2)||Level 50|
|Mirage (Lv 2)||Level 55|
|Escape (Lv 3)||Level 60|
|Mirage (Lv 3)||Level 70|
|Weapon Break (Lv 3)||Level 80|
|Agility Up (Lv 1)||Level 5|
|Strength Up (Lv 1)||Level 15|
|Lance (Lv 2)||Level 20|
|Earth Blues (Lv 2)||Level 30|
|Strength Up (Lv 2)||Level 35|
|Agility Up (Lv 2)||Level 45|
|Agility Up (Lv 3)||Level 65|
|Earth Blues (Lv 3)||Level 75|
|Strength Up (Lv 3)||Level 85|
|Lance (Lv 3)||Level 90|
- “Known as the "swift sky pirate," the Strahl airship captain who accompanies Vaan and friends on their voyage. Has made a name for himself as a freedom-loving Robin Hood with no ties to any nation or organization.”
- —Character Description
Balthier appears as an ally and a summonable Legend in Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade. He is depicted in his default Final Fantasy XII outfit. His ability is Element of Treachery. He was first introduced as an event ally in the event, Final Fantasy Special Event Part 2 - Showdown, in which he was unlocked automatically as a bonus character. Leveling him up to up to 99 in these events granted the player his individualized SSR weapon, Spica. In battle, Balthier is armed with his pistol and uses the ability Element of Treachery.
- “This fast-flying sky pirate is often seen with what appears to be a giant bunny.”
Balthier is an exclusive character only available from the Premium Character Shop as a random downloadable content. He uses the Fires of War ability during battle.
Balthier has three wind cards in Final Fantasy Trading Card Game.
Non-Final Fantasy AppearancesEdit
Balthier appears along with the other five main characters of Final Fantasy XII in Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Portable. The game was released prior to Final Fantasy XII.
Users in Square Enix Members Virtual World community can make their character appear as Balthier. Balthier's hair costs 100 crystals and his clothes cost 480 crystals.
Balthier has a Play Arts action figure released as part of the Final Fantasy XII set and a miniature figure in the Final Fantasy Trading Arts Mini Vol. 3. Balthier in his Final Fantasy Tactics appearance is part of the Final Fantasy Tactics Trading Arts set. He appears alongside Fran and their hoverbike in a polystone Sculpture Arts statue.
- Attacking 300 times adds Balthier's sprite to Final Fantasy XIIs Sky Pirate's Den and grants the player the title of Assault Striker.
- Balthier shares his last name, Bunansa, with Mustadio and Besrudio Bunansa from Final Fantasy Tactics.
- Balthier has been called a "completely original character" by creator Akihiko Yoshida, having not used any previous Final Fantasy character as a reference. Balthier has been compared to other characters in fiction. Simon Wigham of Console Obsession called Balthier his "favourite by quite a wide margin", comparing him to James Bond due to his "humorous lines". RPGFan editor Stephen Harris compared his voice to that of Ian Fleming's depiction of Bond. 1UP.com editor Andrew Pfister compared the duo of Balthier and Fran to that of Han Solo and Chewbacca, two characters from the Star Wars franchise, adding that they are far more interesting than any other character in the "modern FF era".
- Only Balthier and Vaan retain their original Quickenings from Final Fantasy XII in Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings: Element of Treachery for Balthier and Pyroclasm for Vaan.
- Balthier was originally considered to appear in Dissidia Final Fantasy, but was left out as he had recently appeared in Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions. Vaan was set to appear in his place, but was ultimately replaced by Judge Gabranth.
- Coincidentally, given Balthier's status as a sky pirate, his Japanese voice actor Hiroaki Hirata also provides the voice of the pirate Jack Sparrow in Kingdom Hearts II, and has also done Japanese dubbing of various other Johnny Depp roles. He is also the Japanese voice actor for Sanji, pirate chef of the Straw Hat crew in One Piece.