Without our help, death is all of which you're capable. You saw the fools. A mindless mob drunk on fear of a few l'Cie.
Galenth Dysley [daɪsli] is the main antagonist of Final Fantasy XIII. He is often seen with a rukh familiar called Menrva, actually an extension of his power and is used by Dysley to spy on others. Voted into the position of Primarch by Cocoon's citizens, Dysley is the leading figure of the Sanctum.
While he appears to be a well-respected man of the people, promising their continued peace, this is a mask Dysley uses to hide his true nature.
Acting in the guise of a human Primarch, Galenth Dysley has concealed his true identity as the fal'Cie Barthandelus.
He reveals to Lightning and her companions that their Focus is for one of them to take on the form of Ragnarok and shatter Cocoon.
Despite overseeing Cocoon's prosperity for so long, it seems he now desires its destruction. To that end, he has watched over the fugitive l'Cie, and even taken a direct hand in their survival.
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.
Dysley is an elderly man wearing ornate gold and white robes with a blue shawl that crosses his chest. His headdress has gold ornamentation rising from the top and extends a transparent lavender veil over his head. The front of his robes are covered in gold jewelry, and he carries a white and gold staff bearing the emblem of the god Lindzei at the top with a coiling serpent. He stands 185cm tall.
In his true form as the fal'Cie Barthandelus, his 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 his later appearances, Barthandelus takes on a white-silver color scheme with black and gold linings. The exact details of his form vary between the three times he reveals his true form, but remain overall consistent.
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 your spurn our counsel? You must learn your place!
Dysley 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. Dysley presents himself to the people of Cocoon as a wise, rational and liberal-minded leader who values the safety of the citizens, but once the Pulse l'Cie are detected, Dysley discards the charade and begins acting more like his true self. 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, the fal'Cie that keeps Cocoon afloat. 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, the deity the fal'Cie believe resides in another realm.
In human form Dysley can use powerful magic, as demonstrated by him on Palamecia when he dispatches the crew and Jihl Nabaat with one spell. He can use his familiar Menrva as an extension of his being and thus spy on others. He can create illusions, appearing as Serah Farron to the party in Oerba, and shattering depictions of Serah's and Dajh's crystals in Narthex Throne. He can communicate with the party via a hologram of himself outside Edenhall. He can also transform Menvra into an airship.
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. He can cast magic freely, create illusions, teleport, and project fields of energy to defend himself.
During his first form, Barthandelus is nigh impossible to effectively harm unless his pauldrons are destroyed, and each has its 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 uses 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.
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—a floating fal'Cie-crafted world—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 the mythical beast 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. He placed it near the seaside town of Bodhum and 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 the human 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. Dysley awakens the sleeping Anima to revive Vanille and Fang from crystal stasis, and after informing Cocoon's anti-Pulse military force, PSICOM, of a Pulse invasion being underway, Dysley 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 (a local girl who had accidentally come into contact with Anima), and uses fear of her and Anima as an excuse to enact the Purge.
The discovery of Serah's branding and the subsequent Purge of Bodhum's population starts a chain of events that culminates with Lightning, Sazh, Hope, and Snow to be branded as Pulse l'Cie to destroy Cocoon. Dysley puts his plans into motion and 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, Barthandelus 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, Dysley 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 Dysley, who dispatches the PSICOM commander tasked with his protection, Jihl Nabaat, and the Palamecia crew with magic. The party presumes him a l'Cie, but Dysley laughs and transforms into his true form, revealing himself as the fal'Cie Barthandelus before telling them to "learn their place." Lightning is horrified Cocoon means nothing to Barthandelus.
Though the party defeats Barthandelus, he shifts back into his Dysley form and reappears. Dysley 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. He claims Serah's true Focus was to gather them up to be branded l'Cie. When Snow claims that Serah intended to have them fight their Focus, Dysley informs them that her shedding crystal tears meant that she was trying just the opposite. Dysley 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 Dysley's ultimate goal to them: the Cocoon fal'Cie wish to call the Maker—the deity that had created them—back into the mortal realm by offering a human sacrifice great enough to open the door to the afterlife wide open: Cocoon's citizens. 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. Dysley reveals he has stepped down as Primarch and released Cid Raines from stasis and appointed him as his successor. Fear of Raines as a fal'Cie puppet will soon cause a civil war in Cocoon when the Calvary turns against him, now believing Orphan to be the leader of the Cocoon fal'Cie. Dysley claims the Cavalry will kill Orphan before he shifts into Barthandelus to fight the group. When defeated 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 an illusion of 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; Dysley 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 Sazh's son Dajh. The l'Cie refuse to fulfill their Focus, and Dysley turns into Barthandelus once more to fight them and 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.
In the form of Barthandelus, Dysley is fought three times: on the airship Palamecia in Chapter 9, in Oerba in Chapter 11, and in Orphan's Cradle in Chapter 13. After the final confrontation, Dysley becomes a part of Orphan.
Creation and developmentEdit
Dysley is one of the two antagonists in Final Fantasy XIII to be designed by Tetsuya Nomura. Dysley's design is influenced by the regalia of the Pope of the Catholic Church, as well as that of Justinian I whose actions influenced artist portrayals of Jesus during the Middle Ages. In the Japanese version, the title of Primarch is "Great Pope".
Dysley is voiced by Masaru Shinozuka in the Japanese version.
He is voiced S. Scott Bullock in the English version. He has a cold, sophisticated, and regal tone, with a slight bit of a dramatic flair. In both versions, Dysley's forms as a human and fal'Cie share voice actors.
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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 under a guise in Oerba. He adds, "Make of this day a brave epoch. Deliver the Divine, Ragnarok". Dysley's own theme is called "Primarch Dysley."
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).
- In Final Fantasy XIII-2, one of the possible names for chocobos when racing in Serendipity is "Barthandelus X".