At the end of the dream... even chaos tears itself apart!
Chaos (カオス, Kaosu?) is the primary antagonist and the final boss of Dissidia Final Fantasy and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy. He is the god of discord that opposes Cosmos, the goddess of harmony, both being equal in power. During Dissidia Final Fantasy, Chaos and his forces tip the balance of power in their favor, setting the stage for their victory. Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy explores this shift in power in-depth, and the actions taken by hero and villain alike that set the stage for the thirteenth cycle. Chaos is voiced by Norio Wakamoto in the Japanese release, and Keith David in the English release.
As the final boss Chaos is unplayable unless one hacks the game. An alternate form of Chaos, a bestial monstrosity known as Feral Chaos, is playable in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, and serves as the game's superboss.
Chaos's appearance is based on his original artwork by Yoshitaka Amano as a muscular dark red four-armed fiend with wings sprouting from his back and demonic faces on his knees. He has a long tail and several horns, the most prominent of which are two red horns that curve into the air. Chaos wears a loincloth with another face on it, and a red amulet. While using his Utter Chaos attack Chaos changes into an alternate form based on his original sprites in Final Fantasy, coloring his skin a pale yellow-green, and the demonic faces purple. In this form Chaos wields up to four large black and orange swords, initially appearing as spires stuck into the arena floor. In the opening FMV of Dissidia Final Fantasy, he takes the form of a creature made of magma emerging from the earth juxtaposing the cloudy form of Cosmos.
While his Final Fantasy counterpart shared Garland's personality, in Dissidia Chaos and Garland are entirely different. Despite his monstrous appearance and position as the God of Discord, Chaos demonstrates a calm, collected, and reasoned demeanor when not in combat, speaking in an even tone even to his enemies. He watches over his minions with a light hand, a trait influenced by his time with the Lufenian military when he was forced to fight against his will and came to hate his superiors. Even against traitors and those who neglect their duties to him, Chaos is hesitant to punish their disobedience. This attitude allows many of his warriors to turn their backs on him or plot against him, and only Garland is loyal to his god to the end.
Chaos's history is revealed through the Cosmos and Chaos Reports, which are expanded on by the reports in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy. Chaos was the first sentient manikin created by Cid of the Lufaine, crafting a child-like monster imbued with the memories of ten people. Placed in Cid's care for observation, Chaos was eventually taken away by the Onrac military to be used as a weapon of war to fight neighboring nations that wielded Omega and Summoned Monsters. Chaos refused to fight, but complied when his mother was threatened. When she fled, the Onrac military used Cid's research to turn a manikin into a perfect clone of her to control Chaos. This manikin would come to be known as Cosmos.
Chaos was rescued by Cid and his wife, though he grew twisted and hateful due to his time with the Onrac military. When his mother was shot during the escape, Chaos's rage opened a portal to the Interdimensional Rift which swallowed him, Cid and the manikin of his mother. In a new dimension, Cid makes his pact with Shinryu—Cosmos and Chaos agree to fight to open a door to the Rift again, allowing them to return home.
Chaos initially was hesitant to fight Cosmos due to the memories of his mother, but Cid summoned Garland from World A to guide him to fulfill his purpose. Over time the cycles of war eroded Chaos's memories, and by the 12th cycle he has forgotten Cid and his past with Cosmos; he only knows Cid as "the Great Will", as referred to by Garland. Garland gave Chaos his name during the early cycles of the war, as Chaos reminded him of the demon "Chaos" he is destined to turn into in World A someday.
Wishing to end the cycle for Tifa's sake, Cloud approaches Chaos and attempts to slay the god himself, but Chaos is merely amused by his bravado and annihilates him, dismissing Cloud from his service. As Cloud lays fading, Cosmos senses his benevolent desire to end the cycles and protect Tifa, and saves his soul from darkness to be reborn in the next cycle as one of her warriors.
With Garland at his side, Chaos is approached by the Emperor, who brings Jecht before him and asks Chaos to infuse Jecht with the power of discord, having given up the power given to him by Cosmos to save Tidus. Chaos agrees and makes Jecht one of his warriors for the next cycle.
After the ten Warriors of Cosmos retrieve the Crystals they return to Order's Sanctuary and Cosmos takes them to the Edge of Madness where Chaos incinerates the goddess before the heroes' eyes. Given tentative time by Cosmos's gambit, the warriors have a final chance to strike back at Chaos and end the war for good. As the heroes journey to Chaos and strike down the other villains who now act of their own volition, Chaos confides to Garland that he had a dream of a world where he suppressed disorder, and ruled the happy world alongside Cosmos, though he cannot understand its meaning and refers to it as "cruel".
Garland reveals his role as Chaos's guide to begin the war to perfect Chaos's power, and that he will send Garland into the past to become Chaos himself. Garland claims he did this to serve the purpose of the "Great Will", also known as Cid.
After Garland is sent back in time to fulfill his fate, Chaos becomes overwhelmed as he regains his lost memories allowing him to understand the conflict and inciting a maddened urge to destroy everything to cope with Cosmos's destruction. Though having been a neutral figure in the conflicts before, Shinryu gives Chaos his power to purge all existence. The Warriors of Cosmos arrive at Chaos's throne and defeat Chaos. The warriors return to their own worlds as the god is consumed in fire, the cycle of conflict ending with his death
Though the cycles of war had ended, on the brink of death, Chaos was contacted by Shinryu. Knowing that Cid had worked against him in this final cycle, Chaos accepted an offer from Shinryu to punish Cid. Chaos died then, his remaining strength absorbed by Shinryu, and Shinryu held up his end of the offer.
Cid's spirit was imprisoned in a nightmare world. In this nightmare, the cycles of war did not end with the 13th, and Chaos emerged victorious. Chaos and his warriors won every cycle, until during the 18th cycle, Chaos went berserk from the power he had acquired over the cycles. He transformed into Feral Chaos and slaughtered all other warriors including his own. In order to save Cosmos, Cid took on a physical form as a moogle and sealed her in the Cavern of Earth. With Cosmos beyond his reach, Chaos turned his attention to Shinryu. Cid cleaved the northern continents from the southern region for safety, sealing the Southern Lufenia Gateway as the passage between the two. While the result of Chaos's battle with Shinryu is unknown, eventually they allied again, and Chaos went to sleep in the depths of the Edge of Discord gateway.
Eventually, five warriors entered the nightmare world through unknown means, and freed Cid. Cid guided them through World B to the Edge of Discord, and they defeated Chaos. With Chaos's defeat, the nightmare world was dispelled and Cid was freed. As he faded away, the nightmare world incarnation of Chaos regained his senses, and thanked the warriors for freeing his father.
- See also: Chaos (Final Fantasy)/Dissidia/Quotes
Chaos is described as The Master of Bedlam, and fights with long, powerful fire and earth-themed combos that do massive damage. Due to his size and the smallness of the Edge of Madness arena, even his melee strikes have considerable range. They are executed quickly and do high damage, while his magic attacks are slower and easier to dodge or block. During the battle's third phase, Chaos's attacks are amplified with additional effects.
Chaos wears customized equipment whenever fought with stat boosts that change depending on his level, usually equal with the strongest equipment pieces usable by the player at Chaos's current level. These four equipment pieces are the Chaosbringer, Entropy's Aegis, Bedlam's Crown, and Havoc's Carapace. Chaos has access to the unique summon Shinryu, which can be summoned multiple times in one battle and has varying effects during the three rounds, ranging from locking Chaos's Bravery to doubling it instantly. He has no EX Mode and no EX Gauge, but can pick up EX Cores and EX Force, and in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy has no Assist gauge. Chaos can dash, dodge, and block like all other characters.
Chaos is fought as boss three times in Dissidia Final Fantasy, as the final boss of Shade Impulse, and Inward Chaos, and the Time Attack sub-mode in Arcade Mode. In Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy he is the final boss of the Epilogue chapter of Light to All, and is fought in Report 7 using Cloud. In any battle except the Report battle, Chaos must be defeated three times for the player to win; if the player is defeated in any round, he or she must start over from the beginning. When fought at the end of Light to All in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, the three phases are separate battles fought in the format of a party battle, and when the player's current character is defeated the next party members continue the battle in their place.
One strategy for Chaos is to jump into the air and wait for him to dash up, blocking him and attacking when he staggers. With the small arena it is advised the player try to use Wall Rush HP attacks when possible to maximize the damage. If possible the idea is to use any blocking HP attack and/or Chase effect Bravery attack, to limit him of his would-be fatal arsenal of attacks. Staying on the ground leaves the player vulnerable to all of Chaos's attacks and minimizes their dodging options, so it is safest to be midair.
While his Bravery attacks can be difficult to anticipate and defend against, Chaos's HP attacks can be avoided with proper timing. Divine Punishment is his most difficult attack to avoid due to the precise dodging required, but if it is dodged Chaos is vulnerable as he is immobile while completing the attack.
The player is only able to use their summon once during the three-part battle, so it is recommended to save it until needed. Defensive summons like Demon Wall, Mandragora or Alexander are advised -- between his HP attacks inflicting Wall Rush and his Shinryu summon increasing his Brave even more, if the player is afflicted with Break status Chaos is likely to kill them in a single hit. Since Chaos must be beaten three times in a row, and the player is defeated after losing only once, using EX Mode is not recommended until the final round, unless the player's selected character is low on HP and needs Regen, or the player is using an equipment set-up that lets them quickly refill their EX Gauge.
Unique to the Edge of Madness stage is that EX Cores vanish if not picked up quickly, so the player should do so if they wish to receive the boost to their EX Gauge. Resin-type items remain active during all three battles, so items like Arcane Resin are helpful to start every battle with a full EX Gauge -- a timely entrance into EX Mode to block an attack can save the player's life. In Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, EX Revenge will not function when being attacked by Utter Chaos: the EX Gauge will drain and EX Revenge will be initiated, but it cancelled immediately and Chaos continues attacking. It will function normally against his other attacks, however.
In Dissidia Final Fantasy, Chaos is the best enemy to face to amass AP. The player should equip their character of choice with a Diamond Ring, three pieces of Diamond equipment, the Beckoning Cat accessory, and fight Chaos on their Bonus Day. The player should enter Quick Battle and set Chaos to Level 1, as his level has no impact on how much AP the player earns. Provided they earn the AP Chance for each of the three battles, the player will earn a total of 108 AP at the end of the third battle.
In Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy this strategy still works and earns even more AP due to the AP Chance going as high as +3 AP if the player is lucky, and the addition of the Diamond Studs and Diamond Earring which also raise the AP gained. The trick is more difficult to pull off, as if the player sets Chaos to Level 1 the AP Chance will usually require the player to amass 9999 Bravery before using an HP attack. Furthermore, the AP Chance takes effect only if Chaos does not damage the player first, regardless of if he uses a Bravery attack or an HP attack.
Thus, while the player can still earn a lot of AP using the above method, they may need to build up 9999 Bravery and avoid taking any damage from Chaos, which is difficult but can be made easier by creating custom rules. Diamond accessories cannot be purchased like in the original, making obtaining them harder as their break-ability is still 100%. Thus the player is encouraged to equip a Super Ribbon to slightly lower the chance of the Diamond accessories breaking. If the player has an artifact, there's a chance it will give an ability that increases the percentage of additional received AP. Since any of the four equipment slots can obtain this ability when one crafts an artifact it can prove more useful than the Diamond equipment set.
There are several unique aspects of the battle with Chaos:
- During the three-round battle, if the player is equipped with any items that give an initial boost to their EX Force, such as the Zwill Crossblade, that bonus will be applied at the start of each round while they will retain their EX Force from the previous round. In Story Mode, if Skills, such as Maser Eye, are used on Chaos to damage his HP, the resulting HP reduction will only apply to the first battle.
- Because Chaos's Shinryu summon cannot be "used up", the Booster Accessory "[Opp] Summon Unused" is always active while fighting him, while "[Opp] After Summon" will never activate. Any Boosters relying on the opponent's EX or Assist Gauge will never activate because Chaos does not have an EX or Assist Gauge.
- Any "Pre-" boosters, such as Pre-Guard or Pre-EX Mode, will reset to active after each round if they became inactive in the previous round, and vice-versa.
- Chaos is not restricted to use only three Bravery attacks for air and ground and can use all of his attacks at any time.
- The Utter Chaos phase offers several animations and additional issues applicable only to Chaos:
- Due to the massive size transformation of Chaos, the character can be seen moving their heads in several animations when in idle state.
- The Enemy Indicator arrow points downward (to Chaos's legs) rather than his upper body.
- Several homing abilities, like Cecil's Dark Flame, moves upward the stage instead of going through Chaos.
- Since the animation is happening in real time, if the player has the abilities: "Concentration", "Concentration+" or "Concentration++" activated, they will get a Bravery boost, for as long as they stand still, even if they cannot move.
The theme used for the battle with Chaos is named "Chaos", performed by Your Favorite Enemies. It is divided into three parts for each phase of the battle. These tracks can be selected for random battles once Chaos is defeated for the first time.
- Chaos's eventual madness in Shade Impulse and his transformation into Feral Chaos allude to the Ivalice summon Chaos. His ultimate attack Brink of Delusion, involves four swords that stab the arena in a manner similar to the Chaos of Ivalice.
- The finishing segment of the Utter Chaos attack is called Brink of Delusion, a synonym for Edge of Madness. Both can be considered synonyms for Final Fantasy.
- The white circles of energy that appear at the end of Brink of Delusion resemble the portal of energy that consumes Chaos upon his defeat in Final Fantasy.
- When the Warriors of Cosmos confront Chaos on his throne he is sitting in the same pose as Yoshitaka Amano's original artwork of Chaos in Final Fantasy.
- In several instances during the story, Chaos's eyes flash in the same way his eyes flash while using Blaze, Tsunami, Tornado, or Earthquake in the later remakes of Final Fantasy. The attack he used to kill Cosmos, as well as the lava-like background from the Edge of Madness stage, resembles his Blaze attack from the Dawn of Souls release.
- Chaos's amnesia of the past cycles of the war refers to Garland's words from Final Fantasy before he transforms into Chaos, where he states he will forget his memories after 2,000 years.
- His quote while fighting Garland in the original game is "Let us close the infinite cycle," which refers to the time loop within Final Fantasy.
- Although Chaos's official artwork depicts him facing to the right, as the artwork of the other villains do, his logo artwork and in-game character icon face to the left, as the artwork of the heroes do. Similarly, Cosmos's art faces to the right.
- Though he is not a playable character, Chaos can be played using hacks. There are a few problems with this though: Chaos has no Victory Pose, no EX Mode, while using him the opponent's HP bar will not appear, and when using his Utter Chaos attack in an arena other than Edge of Madness the camera angles will swing through and inside the arena floor and walls.
- If made playable via hacks, the game keeps track of Chaos's records in the Museum, such as the total damage he has inflicted, like any other character. The game also allows the player to save replays of the fight normally.
- After completing Shade Impulse the player can purchase Chaos in the PP Catalog to fight him in Quick Battle mode and Arcade Mode. However, like the Shade Impulse and Inward Chaos battles, Chaos can only be fought at Edge of Madness and the save replay function is not available.
- The player cannot save a replay of a battle with Chaos in Dissidia Final Fantasy. In Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy they can save a replay of a battle with Chaos when facing him in a storyline fight, but not in Quick Battle.
- When Chaos is faced in story mode in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, he does not speak when beginning and ending Utter Chaos.
- The battle against Cloud from Report 7 in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy is the only time where Chaos is fought in one round instead of three. In addition, this is the only time when Chaos's default music does not play.