I, Garland, will knock you all down!!
Garland is the main antagonist in Final Fantasy. A former knight of Cornelia who has fallen from grace, the Warriors of Light fight him near the beginning of the game. Although he is dispatched, it is discovered Garland has enacted a plan to create a time loop, allowing him to exist forever and eventually become the god Chaos.
Garland's in-game sprite depicts him in a set of gray armor with a horned helm and blue cloak. His eyes glow red. The Dawn of Souls artwork replaces the blue cloak with a violet one with gold trim, and the helm has two additional, albeit smaller, spikes on the top. His battle model also has this appearance.
Garland was redesigned for Dissidia Final Fantasy with Tetsuya Nomura stating it was more like designing a new character because he could only refer to in-game sprites. Garland wears more elaborate armor with blue jeweled sections on the shoulders, wrists and groin. The horns on the helm extend out farther than they did in Final Fantasy, and his cloak is blue, held by a gold clasp.
Garland's personality receives little in the way of development in the original game, but in Dissidia Final Fantasy, he has a direct, arrogant and brutal personality with a love of war and conflict. It is implied that this lust for battle is his way of dealing with being trapped in the cycles of the gods' conflict. He is obsessed with the concept of endless cycles, alluding to the time loop in the original game and a strong connection to Chaos. He believes he has no right to possess his own will as a prisoner of time, informing Golbez as much during the final stages of the 13th conflict.
Garland was once a knight of the kingdom of Cornelia who gained much respect through his power and skill. He was known as the best of the knights of Cornelia, but he eventually became corrupted by power. He abducted Princess Sarah and fled to the Chaos Shrine demanding the king hand control of the kingdom to him in exchange for her life. The Warriors of Light travel to the Shrine where they defeat Garland and rescue Sarah. Afterwards, the warriors travel the world to fight the Four Fiends of Chaos that had drained the Crystals of their power. However, the power of the Crystals the Fiends had drained was funneled into a Dark Crystal in the Chaos Shrine, opening a portal to the past.
With the Crystals restored, the Warriors of Light are told the Fiends were originally sent from two thousand years in the past, and their master is in that time. Using the Dark Crystal the Warriors travel to the past and defeat the Fiends again, and eventually find Garland alive. Garland tells the Warriors of Light that the power of the Four Fiends in the present sent him to the past when he was on the brink of death after his defeat, and Garland then sent the Four Fiends in the past to the present. By this, Garland has created a time loop that will allow him to live forever.
Garland absorbs the Fiends' power and transforms into Chaos to do battle with the heroes. However, Chaos is defeated and the time loop is broken, restoring the land. The epilogue states that a restored Garland will await the Warriors of Light as they travel back to the present, though it is unclear if he has reformed into the honorable knight he once was.
Being the first boss, Garland has only physical attacks. As such, the battle against him will be rather simple and straightforward. The player's physical attackers, if any, should attack each round, with their healer using their spells only when needed and their offensive mage attacking each round with whatever spells they have.
Garland has appeared in the following media throughout the Final Fantasy series:
- Final Fantasy Dimensions II as a summon.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy (2008) as a playable character and an enemy.
- Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy as a playable character and an enemy.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy NT as a playable character and an enemy.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia as a playable character.
- Theatrhythm Final Fantasy All-Star Carnival as a playable character.
- Pictlogica Final Fantasy as a playable character and an enemy.
- Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade as a Legend and an enemy.
- Final Fantasy Artniks as a series of cards.
- Final Fantasy Record Keeper as a playable character and an enemy.
- Final Fantasy Brave Exvius as a vision.
- Final Fantasy Trading Card Game as a series of cards.
A costume of Garland in his Dissidia Final Fantasy attire appears in Kingdom Hearts Mobile.
Garland is a primary antagonist,, where he is actually a good person trying to be evil, and even serves the Light Warriors refreshments when they 'attack' his lair. As the leader of the Dark Warriors, Garland is the longest-running enemy the Light Warriors have faced, although what few evil deeds he attempts usually do not pan out. As most of the character sprites in the webcomic are based on the graphics of Final Fantasy I-III, the sprite used for Garland is edited from a Magic Knight, even using the original graphics of that same class to represent Garland before receiving his "evil" makeover.
Final Fantasy. The name may also stem from a garland being something that forms a loop, alluding to the time loop in which the first Garland in Final Fantasy becomes involved.A garland is a wreath of flowers worn on the head, usually given to great military heroes in ancient Greece and Rome, not unlike the medals of today are. They were also sometimes left on the graves of fallen soldiers. In reference to Garland, the name may be symbolic, as he was a great hero who had "fallen" (corrupted by evil), possible a reference to the original Garland being killed in the first dungeon the player completes in
- Garland is Hironobu Sakaguchi's favorite antagonist in the Final Fantasy series.
- He is also the first named character to appear in the series.
- Garland's character profile listed on Theatrhythm Final Fantasy All-Star Carnival's official website states he kidnapped Princess Sarah after she did not reciprocate his love for her.Garland's motive for abducting Sarah in order to seize control of Cornelia was introduced in later versions of Final Fantasy, as the original and MSX version don't mention this. According to the character volume of the series' 20th Anniversary Ultimania, Garland's hatred is a result of Sarah rejecting his feelings.