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I, Garland, will knock you all down!!
Garland (ガーランド, Gārando?) is the main antagonist in the original 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 horned helm and a 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.
In the original Final Fantasy Garland's personality receives little in the way of development, but in Dissidia Final Fantasy he has a direct, arrogant and brutal personality with a love of war and conflict. It is implied that his love of war and conflict was 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 with his 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. Afterward, 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 when the Warriors of Light return to the future, Garland will be among those waiting and the time loop, now broken, will have never existed. While not directly stated, this suggests that Garland may have remained the benevolent knight of Cornelia he once was.
- Main article: Garland (Final Fantasy Boss)
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.
- Main article: Garland (Final Fantasy)/Dissidia
As Chaos's right-hand warrior, Garland knows the war's true nature and its endless cycle, giving him an advantage above the other villains. Confident he will be reborn no matter how often he is struck down, he enjoys the battles of the war and appears to attack the heroes several times, and acts as counsel to the villains. However, Garland's true connection to Chaos and the cycle of war is not revealed until the game's final storyline, when the villains act of their own volition and desert Chaos. This leaves Garland as the only villain standing alongside the god of discord, when he reveals the truth to him.
Garland's alternate outfit gives his armor a sepia color tone to give it a weathered look.
Garland returns as a Warrior of Chaos in the prequel to Dissidia Final Fantasy alongside all the other characters from the original. He plays a minor role, taunting Lightning about the manikins and later acting as the final boss of Scenario 012 in battle against her. He is present when the Emperor brings Jecht to Chaos to have him made a Warrior of Chaos, and suspects the Emperor has ulterior motives. In a flashback shown in the Reports, he is present when the Warrior of Light first appears in World B, and battles Prishe to see which will take him to their respective god to have the Warrior imbued with their power.
Near the end of Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, Garland tells Golbez that he was once imprisoned within a time loop until The Great Will freed him to preside over the war of the gods and nurture Chaos to war with Cosmos. One of the Reports written from Garland's point of view tells of his summoning to World B, before the cycles of war began, when he reflects on the time loop. This serves as one of several examples of the events of Dissidia intertwining with the events of Final Fantasy.
Garland's second alternate costume gives him the appearance of Yoshitaka Amano's original design of Garland, a dark-skinned demon with white hair.
Garland appears in Pictlogica Final Fantasy as a playable character and an enemy boss, both in his original Final Fantasy and Dissidia Final Fantasy appearanaces.
Garland appears as the boss of the Chaos Shrine area of Final Fantasy Record Keeper
Garland is present in Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade as both a boss and a Legend.
Garland is depicted on cards in the Final Fantasy Trading Card game. There is a card of his Dissidia Final Fantasy art and a card of his EX Mode and his alternative outfit in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy.
A costume of Garland in his Dissidia Final Fantasy attire appears in Kingdom Hearts Mobile.
Garland is a primary villain in the webcomic 8-Bit Theater, 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.