- "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 looking down on the l'Cie while transforming.
Barthandelus (バルトアンデルス, Barutoanderusu?) [bɑɹ'tæn.dɪ.lɨs] (Baldanders in the Italian, Spanish, and Japanese versions) 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.
His ultimate goal is to destroy Cocoon, so the deaths of countless Cocoon citizens as "sacrifice" would call back the Maker, the God who created the world and long since departed. However, as he is a Sanctum fal'Cie, he is incapable of harming Cocoon directly, which is why he uses Pulse l'Cie as tools to exact his plan.
- See also: Datalog/The Fal'Cie.
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.
Appearance and PersonalityEdit
In all of Barthandelus's appearances as fal'Cie, his appearance continuously changes. At first, Barthandelus appears as a towering, bronze, god-like creature with gold lining, alien markings visible on his skin, and four face-masks grafted onto the sides of his head as adornments. He also has a snake-like throat with gills at the end. His face has pupil-less eyes and an eerie grin with sharp, dagger-like teeth. In a later appearance, Barthandelus becomes white-skinned with a new adornment.
Barthandelus is heartless and sinister, holding a belief that killing millions of people is a fitting sacrifice to put an end to the misery that Cocoon's populace suffers. He thinks of humans and l'Cie as nothing more than tools for the fal'Cie's manipulation, and will not hesitate to exploit their weaknesses - and in some situations, their strength - to his advantage. However, Barthandelus also seems to genuinely mourn for the state of the world, stating numerous times that Cocoon's people suffer and that the l'Cie are only prolonging that pain by choosing not to follow their Focus. Like Orphan, Barthandelus ultimately desires his own destruction.
- "Your destiny was my design."
Five hundred years before the start of Final Fantasy XIII, the Pulse l'Cie Vanille and Fang were tasked with transforming into Ragnarok to destroy Cocoon. However, only Fang made the transformation, and the incomplete Ragnarok only managed to crack Cocoon's outer shell. Taking pity on the people of Cocoon, the goddess Etro intervened and crystallized Fang and Vanille before they could finish the job. The forces of Cocoon were able to repel the Pulsian threat and Cocoon continued to grow into a human paradise, assisted by the Cocoon fal'Cie.
The crystallized l'Cie were placed within the Pulse Vestige alongside their fal'Cie, Anima. Barthandelus relocated the Vestige near the Cocoon seaside town of Bodhum, where it became a source of raw materials to repair the damage to Cocoon's shell.
Sometime before the events of Final Fantasy XIII, he assumed the guise of Galenth Dysley and took the helm of Sanctum politics, waiting for the day when worthy l'Cie would take up Ragnarok's mantle once more.
When Vanille and Fang reawaken, unknowingly causing a chain of events leading to Lightning, Sazh, Hope, and Snow being branded as l'Cie, Barthandelus realizes his time has come. He marks the Cavalry leader, Cid Raines, as a l'Cie to help them complete their Focus. Pulling strings behind curtains, he and the other Cocoon fal'Cie secretly ensure the protagonists safely proceed through countless obstacles, namely escaping from the grips of PSICOM. After Sazh and Vanille are captured in Nautilus, he spreads news of their public execution as bait to lure the other four l'Cie to him.
Lightning's group takes the bait and rushes to the airship Palamecia to save their friends. In the airship's control room the group confronts Barthandelus in his human guise, before he absorbs Menrva and reveals his fal'Cie form. 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 in order to further strengthen their powers as l'Cie so they may grow strong enough to defeat Orphan.
Inside the Ark, the party finds an old Pulsian airship that takes them to Gran Pulse where they discover the village of Oerba. They are surprised to find Serah at the end of a ruined rail-bridge, reciting the legend of Ragnarok. Eventually, Serah's guise melts away to reveal Dysley, who tells the party he has set up Cid Raines as a puppet Primarch in order to further his goals. Barthandelus reveals his plan is to coax the Cavalry, now outraged by Raines's apparent traitorous behavior, to destroy Orphan. After fighting the party again, he leaves behind Menrva, resuming its airship form, so the group may return to Cocoon, should they wish to save its citizens.
The party reaches Edenhall at the heart of Eden where Orphan resides, only to find the Cavalry has turned into Cie'th; Barthandelus never intended them to reach Orphan and only used them as a ploy to get the l'Cie to enter Orphan's Cradle. However, the l'Cie still refuse to fulfull their focus, and Barthandelus fights them all in hopes of forcing their hand. Defeated, Barthandelus sinks into Orphan's pool, awakening Orphan from its rest. Orphan assimilates the shell of Barthandelus, and fights the party one last time, forcing them to defeat it, and in turn, destroy Cocoon.
As a fal'Cie, Barthandelus possesses great magical powers, the most notable of which is the ability to shapeshift both his fal'Cie form and into human form at will. He also has the power to brand l'Cie, though he does not do so during the events of Final Fantasy XIII.
During his first form, Barthandelus is nigh impossible to effectively harm unless his pauldrons are all 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 form and final form, Barthandelus' powers change once more, utilising powerful laser attacks and Ultima. The true level of his power remains unknown, as he only fought the party to manipulate them into following his plan; not to defeat them. In his final fight, he allows himself to be defeated so his lifeless body can be used by Orphan.
- Main article: Barthandelus (Boss)
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.
- Main article: Fighting Fate
"Fighting Fate" is the boss theme against all three incarnations of Barthandelus. It references the intent of Galenth Dysley 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". In Latin, it is "Creo dies tempo fortis. Vindico divinum, Ragnarok".
Dysley's true form, Barthandelus, is based on the Germanic literary shape-shifter Baldanders that is conceived by Hans Sachs from the Greek god Proteus as described in Homer's epic, The Odyssey.
- In Final Fantasy XIII-2, one of the possible names for chocobos when racing in Serendipity is "Barthandelus X".