But where are my manners? I have yet to properly introduce myself. I am Gilgamesh, and that is my companion, Enkidu! ...Well, not really. It has been many moons since last I saw him, so to ease the burden of loneliness, I tamed a rooster and painted it green.
Gilgamesh is a recurring character in Final Fantasy XIV, making his first appearance in patch 2.1 in the Hildibrand Manderville questline. Like most of his appearances, Gilgamesh alludes to his original appearance in Final Fantasy V and is a sword collector searching for the alleged "blade of legend".
Gilgamesh's appearance is very much a mix between his two appearances in Final Fantasy V. While he has eight arms like his second appearance post-"morphing time", he wears the same red and grey clothing prior. The released render of Gilgamesh shows him wielding seven different weapons: an axe, mace, katana, baghnakhs, the Hauteclaire sword and Ridill scimitar from Final Fantasy XI, in addition to a replica of Nael Van Darnus's gunhalberd Bradamante called the "Pradamante".
Gilgamesh, much like his typical appearance, is a sword collector and an honourable warrior with a thirst for battle, but also in many ways incompetent, which makes for comedic moments. Unlike his usual appearances, Gilgamesh makes attempts to be crafty and hide his sword thievery, and though his poor ability to go undiscovered is obvious to the player, Hildibrand is completely oblivious.
Gilgamesh made his first appearance in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, in patch 2.1. As revealed in a series of sidequests involving Hildibrand Manderville and Nashu Mhakaracca, the latter is investigating a rash of weapon thefts by a so-called duelist who challenges adventurers and takes their weapons upon defeating them. At the conclusion of the quest line, Gilgamesh is shown defeating yet another opponent, while lamenting his failure to locate the Sword of Legend.
In patch 2.2, Gilgamesh is seen seeking out "the demon bird" who stole the Bradamante halberd from him. In a rare instance of him actually finding the original weapon at some point, Gilgamesh claimed that he found the halberd almost immediately after he first entered the world, falling many challengers in duels with it. At some other point he tamed a chicken to replace Enkidu out of loneliness. Hildibrand and Nashu meet up with Gilgamesh and his chicken sidekick Enkidu by chance while searching for the mysterious duelist, completely oblivious that Gilgamesh himself is the culprit until Gilgamesh recognizes the Bradamante replica as his. Taking back his spear as the authorities surround him, Gilgamesh falls back to the Griffin Crossing bridge in Ishgard where he makes a wager with the Adventurer to win the spear off him on the condition that he relinquishes his own weapons should he lose. During the battle, Gilgamesh noticed that the halberd he took from Hildibrand was a fake and retreated further down the bridge to rethink his strategy. Upon defeat, Gilgamesh comically attempts to escape by jumping off the bridge while grasping Enkidu, only to fall for the effort.
Gilgamesh returns in patch 2.4, once again as part of the Hildibrand quest line. He briefly encounters Ultros who offers an alliance to take Hildibrand and the Adventurer out at Master Fygreis's Coliseum, but turns down the offer while warning him not to underestimate the abilities of the Adventurer. Later on, Gilgamesh interrupts the award ceremony in an attempt to challenge the Adventurer to a rematch, only to be blown out of the arena by an ill-timed sneeze from Typhon caused by the Thief of Many Faces.
Gilgamesh appears once more in patch 2.5, during the conclusion of the Hildibrand quest line. While he intended to get the jump on them, a beating from Julyan Manderville forces Gilgamesh to help Hildibrand and the Adventurer solve the case and apprehending Ellie: the culprit of the thefts. Once the case has reached its conclusion, he issues a rematch challenge, with the Treaty Blade, one of the heirloom items stolen by Ellie, as the prize. Reunited with the true Enkidu, who is revealed to be Primal that Gilgamesh summoned, the pair fight the Adventurer together. Once Enkidu is defeated, Gilgamesh assumes his eight-armed form and continues the battle, but is defeated once more. He relinquishes his claim to the Treaty Blade while feigning turning over a new leaf, but secretly promises to cross blades with Adventurer again.
Gilgamesh is fought as a boss in the "Battle on the Big Bridge" and "Battle in the Big Keep" trials.
"Battle on the Big Bridge Reborn" plays during the battle against Gilgamesh. It has similar beat to the original theme from Final Fantasy V with hard rock drums added. It was composed by Masayoshi Soken.
In the second encounter with Gilgamesh and Enkidu, the original version of the theme from Final Fantasy V is used.
Gilgamesh is the main character of the Epic of Gilgamesh, an Akkadian poem considered the first great work of literature. He is a demigod with superhuman strength who builds the walls of Uruk to defend his people and travels to meet the sage Utnapishtim, a survivor of the Great Flood.
Gilgamesh is believed to have actually existed by many scholars. It is estimated he lived sometime between 2800 and 2500 BC. The Sumerian King List claims Gilgamesh ruled the city of Uruk for 126 years.
Gilgamesh in Final Fantasy is also based on Benkei, a famous character in the Japanese mythologies and chronicles of the Genpei War. A powerful warrior monk said to have personally defeated 200 men in every battle he engaged in and said to have had the strength of demons, Benkei's introduction sees him set out to collect 1,000 weapons, and to this end he posted himself at Gōjō Bridge in Kyoto and challenged every warrior who attempted to cross. On his 1000th duel Benkei was defeated by Minamoto no Yoshitsune, the only defeat he had ever known, and became his faithful retainer throughout the rest of his life.
From the story of Benkei, Gilgamesh takes his preference for the naginata (Benkei's traditional weapon as a monk), his penchant for fighting on bridges, his collecting of weapons from enemies he defeats, and his friendship with the player's characters who defeat him. Benkei's devotion to Yoshitsune is the basis for Gilgamesh's association with Genji equipment—the Minamoto Clan is also called the Genji Clan, using the alternate pronunciation for the Chinese characters for mina and moto, gen and uji, respectively. Gilgamesh's face paint is based on traditional kabuki actors, for which Benkei is a popular character to portray.
- In the Closed Beta, Gilgamesh was the name of a World.
- Gilgamesh's name is used in example sentences for the chat log filtering configuration.
- Wind-up Gilgamesh is one of many minions the player can acquire. The minion's description heavily hints that it was built by Godbert Manderville.
- Square Enix's Eorzea Cafe serves a dish called "Escalope of Gilgamesh" whose description translates to: We find a bearer of many weapons in Gilgamesh. This is a dish featuring pork cutlet with demi-glace sauce, and a wide variety of ingredients including bamboo shoots and corn.