I am fal'Cie. My name is Barthandelus; voice of the Sanctum, and Lord-Sovereign of the Cocoon fal'Cie. Your kind feared the darkness, so we gave you light. You begged us for the Purge, and did it not come to pass? Now you spurn our counsel? You must learn your place!
Barthandelus (バルトアンデルス, Barutoanderusu?) [bɑɹ'tæn.dɪ.lɨs] is a powerful fal'Cie from Final Fantasy XIII. He is the self-proclaimed Lord-Sovereign of the Cocoon fal'Cie, and the true form of the game's main antagonist. As Barthandelus is a Sanctum fal'Cie, he cannot harm Cocoon directly, and thus uses Pulse l'Cie as tools to enact his plan.
This fal'Cie has long lived under the guise of Galenth Dysley, the Sanctum's supposedly human Primarch. Unbeknownst even to his closest aides, he has kept careful watch on the fugitive l'Cie through the eyes of his rukh, Menrva, forcing them to grow stronger while at times aiding secretly in their flight.
Barthandelus's form continuously changes. At first, he appears as a towering, bronze mechanical being with gold lining, alien markings visible on his "skin", and four face-masks grafted onto the sides of his head as adornments. He has a snake-like throat with gills. His eyes lack pupils and he has an eerie grin with sharp, dagger-like teeth. In a later appearance, Barthandelus is white rather than bronze with a new adornment.
Barthandelus is heartless and sinister, viewing humans as tools to achieve his ends and would not hesitate to exploit their weaknesses—and their strength—to his advantage. He mourns for the state of the world, expressing that Cocoon's people suffer and that the l'Cie are only prolonging that pain by choosing not to follow their Focus to destroy Orphan. Ultimately, he is a ruthless nihilist who wishes to see Cocoon destroyed so he and his fellow fal'Cie can be reunited with the Maker.
As a fal'Cie, Barthandelus possesses great magical powers, the most notable of which is the ability to shapeshift. As he is a fal'Cie, Barthandelus can brand l'Cie or turn people into a Cie'th directly by branding them l'Cie without giving them a Focus.
During his first form, Barthandelus is nigh impossible to effectively harm unless his pauldrons are destroyed, and each of them have their own elemental affinities. His second form uses laser-like attacks and his magic arsenal abruptly changes to one with powerful status ailment-inflicting spells. In his third and final form, Barthandelus utilizes powerful laser attacks and Ultima.
The true level of his power remains unknown, as he only engages the party to manipulate them into following his plan, not to defeat them. In his final fight, Barthandelus allows himself to be defeated.
Your destiny was my design.
Barthandelus's ultimate goal is to destroy Cocoon, so the deaths of its citizens as "sacrifice" would call back the Maker, the god who created the world and long since departed.
War of TransgressionEdit
Almost seven centuries ago under the orders of his creator, the deity Lindzei, Barthandelus devised a plan to use humans to find the door to the unseen realm, Etro's gate. Using stolen Arks and Gran Pulse's resources, Barthandelus lured some of the residents of Gran Pulse to Cocoon with the promise of paradise while instilling fear and hatred in those who refused to leave their homeland. This sparked the wrath of the Pulse fal'Cie Anima, with the people of the Gran Pulse village Oerba declaring war on Cocoon. Barthandelus and the fal'Cie defended against the attack, appearing to be protecting Cocoon's residents.
When Ragnarok was summoned and cracked Cocoon's shell, the goddess Etro intervened by placing Anima into a deep sleep and forcing Vanille and Fang, two Pulse l'Cie given the Focus to wipe out Cocoon as Ragnarok, into a premature crystal stasis. Seeing Ragnarok as the ideal means to destroy Cocoon, Barthandelus secretly brought the Pulse Vestige where Anima and the two crystallized l'Cie resided into Cocoon, and placed it near the seaside town of Bodhum while he sourced raw materials from Gran Pulse to repair the damage to Cocoon's shell, and make more land for people to populate. Cocoon continued to grow into a human paradise, assisted by the Cocoon fal'Cie, while the people grew up under the impression the fal'Cie had saved them from a Pulse invasion.
Barthandelus assumed the guise of Galenth Dysley and took the helm of the Sanctum government, waiting for the day Fang and Vanille would take up Ragnarok's mantle once more. Barthandelus awakens the sleeping Anima to revive Vanille and Fang from crystal stasis, and after informing PSICOM of a Pulse invasion being underway, Barthandelus monitors Fang and Vanille as they wander Cocoon. Realizing the Pulse l'Cie are not going to complete their Focus, he turns his attention to the newly-branded l'Cie, Serah Farron, and uses her to put his plan back in motion, leading to the Purge.
When a chain of events leads to Lightning, Sazh, Hope, and Snow being branded as Pulse l'Cie to destroy Cocoon, Barthandelus realizes his time has come. He marks the Cavalry leader, Cid Raines, as a l'Cie to help the Pulse l'Cie complete their Focus. Pulling strings from behind the curtains, he and the other Cocoon fal'Cie secretly guide the l'Cie towards their goal: by forcing them to fight Sanctum soldiers to strengthen them and ensuring they safely proceed through countless obstacles, namely escaping from the grips of PSICOM. After Sazh and Vanille are captured in Nautilus, Barthandelus spreads news of their impending public execution to lure the other four l'Cie to him.
Lightning's group rushes to the airship Palamecia to save their friends. In the airship's control room the group confronts Barthandelus in his human guise. Barthandelus taunts Fang for having forgotten her Focus, and tells the party their Focus is to become Ragnarok and fell Orphan, the fal'Cie that sustains Cocoon, and that Serah's true Focus was to gather them all up to be branded l'Cie.
Amused at Lightning's accusation of his being a l'Cie, Barthandelus absorbs his avian familiar Menrva and reveals his fal'Cie form. Lightning's group is shocked at the implication that Cocoon's well-being means nothing to the Sanctum fal'Cie. Barthandelus attacks the party and is seemingly defeated, but merely melts away and returns as Galenth Dysley, unscathed. Barthandelus gives the group an airship and sends them to the Fifth Ark resting beneath the Cocoon capital Eden to further strengthen their powers as l'Cie.
While inside the Ark, the party meets Cid Raines who reveals Barthandelus's ultimate goal to them. Cid attempts to kill them to fight his Focus, but enters crystal stasis upon being defeated. Using an old Pulsian airship to travel to Gran Pulse, the group encounters Dysley in the ruins of Oerba when he assumes Serah's form to encourage them to fulfill their Focus. Revealing that he made the revived Cid the new Primarch to force him into setting up an alternate plan to destroy Orphan using the Cavalry, Barthandelus battles Lightning's group. Defeated again, he leaves behind Menrva in its airship form so the group may return to Cocoon should they wish to save its citizens.
The party returns to Cocoon, encountering Dysley when signs of Etro's gate manifesting occur. Once they reach Edenhall at the heart of Eden, the party finds most of the Cavalry turned into Cie'th; Barthandelus merely used the Cavalry as a ploy to get the l'Cie to enter Orphan's Cradle where Orphan resides. Waiting for them in Orphan's chamber, Dysley tries to manipulate the group by shattering illusions of the crystallized Serah and Dajh. The l'Cie refuse to fulfill their Focus, and Barthandelus fights them to force their hand. He is defeated and sinks into Orphan's pool with Menrva following to activate Orphan. With Orphan born, Barthandelus's lifeless body is assimilated into a protective shell that Orphan speaks through before it is eventually shattered by the l'Cie.
Barthandelus is fought three times: first on the bridge of the Palamecia, secondly at Oerba, and finally as the ante-penultimate boss in Orphan's Cradle.
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"Fighting Fate" is the boss theme against the three incarnations of Barthandelus. It refers to his intent to bring about Ragnarok, using the l'Cie as his tools, reciting a more than full version of it while assuming Serah's form. He adds, "Make of this day a brave epoch. Deliver the Divine, Ragnarok".
Barthandelus has the same voice actor as Dysley, but Barthandelus's voice has an added filter to make him sound mechanical.
Barthandelus is based on the Germanic literary shape-shifter Baldanders and is called such in the Italian, Spanish, and Japanese versions. Baldanders is a shape-shifting creature of Germanic literary myth. Baldanders was first conceived by writer Hans Sachs after reading the description of Proteus in The Odyssey. The Baldanders is a creature symbolic for the continual change in nature and society, as well as the importance of familiarizing oneself with the common from another perspective. Its name is derived from the combination of German words for "Soon" (Bald) and "Another" (Anders).