The Amicitia family has long served as the shield protecting the kings of Lucis and their household, and Gladiolus is its eldest son. The bond he shares with Noctis transcends that of a bodyguard and his liege. With his prodigious strength, he stands ever ready to keep his companions from harm.
Gladiolus Amicitia is a companion of Prince Noctis and a party member in Final Fantasy XV. Although not directly controllable, he is in Noctis's party and the player can co-opt moves with him and issue him commands.
He is a childhood friend of Noctis and Ignis, the eldest son of Clarus Amicitia and older brother to Iris Amicitia. As a member of the Crownsguard, Gladiolus acts as the shield of Noctis, like his father has been to King Regis. He has known Noctis since childhood and considers him a brother.
Gladiolus is the main playable character in his own DLC episode, and in an added segment to Chapter 13.
Gladiolus is a tall man with a large build. He wears black leather trousers with a small side chain, and an open black shirt with nothing but a pendant underneath. In the "no jacket" version of his outfit, he wears a black tank top with the Crownsguard's insignia in gray.
He has a small arm sleeve over his left wrist, and wears black shoes with red soles. He has amber eyes, a long scar over his left eye. Gladiolus has a large tattoo of a bird of prey that covers his entire back and extends down his arms. The full tattoo is visible with the Rugged Attire from his DLC. Which bird species the tattoo depicts is never addressed, but it could be a crow. He obtains more scars during the game. His long brown hair is shaved along the sides, and he sports a jaw beard. Like all party members, he has skull motifs to his outfit; the buttons on his jacket have skulls on them, his necklace has two golden skulls, and there is a small skull on his belt buckle and on the tag of his trousers' zipper.
Ten years later, Gladiolus the sides of his hair have grown back. His hair is longer, and he keeps it in a small ponytail. The tattoo on his arm has slightly faded, and he wears the Kingsglaive uniform.
Gladiolus is a cheerful person, contrasting with his imposing physique. Gladiolus has been a fan of the great outdoors since he was young, and has collected various Coleman camping equipment items. He enjoys fighting, and thus researches techniques and skills.
Gladiolus comes from a family that has always been protectors of the Lucis royal family, and is the only party member with a militaristic background. Not only is he trained to protect Noctis, but he's also his friend. Gladiolus freely expresses his opinions on what's necessary and acts as a pillar in ensuring that the team doesn't sway from their goal. This directness gets him into arguments with Noctis. Gladiolus holds Noctis to a high standard as the heir apparent, and becomes impatient with him if he doesn't think Noctis is trying hard enough. Their confrontations can escalate to a physical level, Gladiolus grabbing Noctis by the shirt to lecture him, and generally acting in a threatening manner. However, he takes great pride as Noctis's sworn shield and instinctively jumps between Noctis and anyone who tries to harm him. Stemming from this, Gladiolus is blunt when it comes to humor. Gladiolus is confident in his abilities, but at times fears he is not strong enough for the position of the future king's shield.
As depicted in Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV, Gladiolus initially disliked Noctis for his uncooperative attitude. He was forced to train him and the two would spar at a Citadel training room. Gladiolus blew off steam about it back home when playing with his sister, Iris, wishing that he would become guardian to Regis like his father rather than Noctis. One day, the curious Iris insisted upon seeing Noctis, but while waiting at the Citadel, she chased a cat and got lost in a wooded area outside the palace while Noctis followed.
While Gladiolus searched the palace Noctis brought the distressed Iris back. To cover for her, he claimed responsibility for her getting lost, submitting to being grounded by his father. Gladiolus learned the truth from his sister and was favorably impressed by Noctis's actions. The two bonded of mutual respect, which would develop into a brotherly love and friendship over the years. As revealed in Final Fantasy XV Collector's Edition Guidebook*Developer interview with Lead Scenario Designer Saori Itamuro, Gladiolus earned the scar across his face protecting Noctis from a drunken stranger some two years before the trip. Though he could have prevented it by counterattacking the offender, Gladiolus would rather take the hit than harm a citizen of the Crown City.
As depicted in Final Fantasy XV Prologue Parting Ways, Clarus, Gladiolus's father, tells his son about the security measures in place during the signing ceremony of the treaty between Lucis and the Niflheim. The peace has brought along many changes, including the role of the Crownsguard, whose new place will be with the people now rather than the king. Clarus doesn't mind, as protecting the populace ensures their support for Regis. The Amicitia family has but one duty: to safeguard and support the king. Clarus asks Gladiolus to keep Prince Noctis safe, not just as the next king, but as a comrade and a true friend.
Cor Leonis arrives to the Crownsguard's training hall with Prompto Argentum who has come for his Crownsguard uniform. Prompto is nervous to be meeting Clarus, and affirms he has completed his self-defense training for the journey before leaving with Gladiolus. They are scheduled to accompany Noctis on his trip to Altissia the following day. Prompto wants to show his parents his new clothes, while Gladiolus is going out to eat with his family.
Night has fallen by the time Ignis, Prompto, and Gladiolus arrive to help Noctis clean his apartment. Gladiolus has packed camping equipment for the road, including cooking equipment for Ignis. In the morning, Noctis, Gladiolus, and Prompto are awakened by Noctis's alarm while Ignis is already awake and ready. They head off to the Citadel.
Gladiolus accompanies Noctis and his friends on a road trip across the lands toward Altissia where they are to meet Noctis's betrothed, Lunafreya Nox Fleuret. King Regis sends them on their way, but they are soon forced to push their car, the Regalia, to a service station after it breaks down. Afterward they continue to Galdin Quay but find the ferry is not running. They stay the night, but the next morning learn the Crown City has been attacked by the empire during the treaty-signing ceremony and Regis, Luna and Noctis are all reported dead. Gladiolus tries to stay on top of the situation and tells Noctis to keep his cool. They try to return to the city but find it blockaded, and rendezvous with Cor Leonis, the marshal of the Crownsguard.
It turns out that while Luna had escaped, Regis has been killed and Insomnia has been destroyed by the empire's daemons and magitek troops. Noctis embarks on a journey to reclaim his kingdom by collecting the royal arms of his forebears and forging covenants with the astrals with faraway help from Luna. Gladiolus stays by his side and supports him, but is at times frustrated with Noctis who struggles with the burdens he's been left with. Iris calls Noctis to let him know she is safe, and they head to Lestallum to see her.
When they head to the Disc of Cauthess at the beckoning of the astral god Titan, Noctis and Gladiolus become separated from Ignis and Prompto. Gladiolus protects Noctis alone, and asks him to reaffirm his conviction to become the king. After Noctis forges a covenant with Titan they escape, but their car has been seized by the empire and they must infiltrate an imperial base to retrieve it. They are accosted by Luna's brother, Ravus Nox Fleuret, who works for the empire. When he threatens Noctis Gladiolus steps between them, but Ravus uses his superhuman strength to slam Gladiolus to the side, hurting his arm. Gladiolus is greatly affected by his inability to protect Noctis.
When they return to Lestallum they discover the Amicitia family butler, Jared Hester, has been killed by the empire, and Iris wants to leave Lestallum with Jared's grandson Talcott. They take Iris to Cape Caem, and along the way Gladiolus has a chance to fight alongside his sister. He has Noctis pick flowers for her, knowing this would make Iris happy. Caem is a rural outpost that has a secret harbor for King Regis's boat, but as Noctis, Ignis and Prompto head off to find mythril to repair the ship with, Gladiolus opts to stay out of it to embark on a personal quest to become a better shield for Noctis.
As depicted in Final Fantasy XV: Episode Gladiolus, Gladiolus calls Cor to take part in the legendary trial of Gilgamesh. Gladiolus fears he is not strong enough to be the King's Shield, having lost to Ravus at Aracheole Stronghold. Cor takes Gladiolus to deep ruins that were discovered thirty years ago, but Cor is the only one to have emerged alive from the trials, even if he lost to Gilgamesh as well. Gladiolus posits he fears nothing, his only wish to prove his worth even if Cor cautions him from leaving his position as Noctis's Shield. Gladiolus gets to know Cor during their trek to the bottom of the ruins, and when he faces Gilgamesh he emerges victorious. Gilgamesh recognizes Gladiolus as worthy of protecting the Chosen King when Gladiolus admits the only thing he fears is not being strong enough for his role. Gladiolus inherits the Genji Blade from Gilgamesh, Cor's old katana Gilgamesh had kept as a trophy, and returns to the others with it.
Gladiolus works as a Hunter and stumbles across Noctis as he is clearing out the Lestallum EXINERIS Industries power plant of daemons. Noctis recognizes him through the sound of his voice, and after Gladiolus removes his protective suit Noctis finds he has a new scar on his face, although Gladiolus doesn't explain his escapade further.
With the ship repaired, the party heads off to Altissia where Luna is to rouse the sea goddess Leviathan so she can forge a covenant with Noctis. The local government expects this to lead to trouble, and Gladiolus, Ignis and Prompto are on evacuation duty while Noctis and Luna approach the astral. Noctis forges his covenant and receives the Ring of the Lucii from Luna—a royal heirloom Luna had saved from Insomnia that would let Noctis wield the combined powers of his ancestors. When Noctis awakens days after his battle with the Leviathan, he learns Luna has died and Ignis lost his vision at the evacuation.
Overcome by grief, Noctis becomes withdrawn and refuses to wield the ring. This infuriates Gladiolus, who views Noctis's inability to cope as a sign of him not being ready for the task they have at hand: reclaiming the stolen Crystal of Lucis, and defeating the empire. Gladiolus also disagrees with Ignis's decision to continue with them despite his disability. As they head off to a royal tomb to find another royal arm, Gladiolus berates Noctis out of frustration. After they find the weapon Ignis speaks up to heal the rift that has formed between them.
As they continue toward the imperial capital, they discover daylight is vanishing from the world now that Luna, the Oracle with the powers to fight the plagues of darkness, has died. Their train is halted by imperial forces and daemons. Gladiolus and Ignis get the train moving again while Noctis and Prompto fight off the assault. Afterward, a frantic Noctis calls Ignis to inform him that Prompto has fallen off the train, and they assume he has been captured by the empire.
Noctis drives the party to the imperial capital until the Regalia is destroyed and they abandon it. Gladiolus and Ignis are separated from Noctis who continues alone, finding he is unable to use his magic, and resorts to finally wielding the ring. Gladiolus and Ignis are brought to the imperial magitek laboratory by Chancellor Ardyn Izunia, a mysterious man who wields the powers of darkness who has been following them since Lucis. Ardyn returns them their weapons and directs them through the laboratory. At first, they view security footage and find only one tape was not wiped from the console: the tape of Ravus confronting the daemon-transforming Emperor Aldercapt, before being tossed into the Zegnautus Keep, and then killed by Ardyn disguised as Noctis. The two continue to follow Ardyn's directions through the Keep while fighting off daemons, before confronting the daemon Foras, which can speak and thirsts for the Crystal.
They catch up with Noctis and save him from a trap, and head off to rescue Prompto. When they are ambushed by a horde of daemons Noctis's friends urge him to go to the Crystal alone with the belief the Crystal's powers of light can save them. Noctis reluctantly leaves his friends behind, but when he gets to the Crystal he is absorbed inside it. When his friends follow they only find a gloating Ardyn.
After Noctis disappears the sun doesn't rise again and the world is overtaken by daemons. Gladiolus, Ignis and Prompto return to what remains of Lucis and become daemon hunters. Ten years later, Noctis returns, ready to fulfill the prophecy as the True King and return light to the world. Donning the uniforms of the Kingsglaive, an elite force of soldiers who once had the task of protecting the king, Gladiolus, Ignis and Prompto accompany Noctis once more to the ruins of Insomnia. Gladiolus treats Noctis with newfound respect, referring to him as Your Majesty. During their final meal together Noctis struggles expressing the gratitude he feels toward his friends and the fact he will have to die to bring light back to the world. Gladiolus had met a girl that he planned to introduce to the others after everything would be over.
They head to the ruins of Insomnia where countless daemons and magitek troopers await them. They fell the astral god of fire Ifrit and Noctis battles Ardyn one-on-one with the power of kings. After Ardyn dies asking for Noctis to meet him "on the other side", Noctis sends his friends away in a manner similar King Regis sent their party off ten years ago, not wanting them to witness his death. Noctis gives up his life to destroy Ardyn's soul in the afterlife with the memories of his friends by his side, and the sun finally rises.
Gladiolus is a party member who acts autonomously in battle. He can rescue party members in Danger status, invoke link-strikes with Noctis and perform Techniques and use items on himself by the player's beckoning. His skill is "Survival" which has him find items upon winning battles; the higher the Survival skill level, the better items he can find. Survival levels up by running on the field.
He is the toughest party member with the most HP and the best defense. His abilities let him do damage to enemies.
Gladiolus is directly playable in Final Fantasy XV: Episode Gladiolus, and in Verse 2 of Chapter 13 of Final Fantasy XV.
"Shield of the King" is the main theme of "Final Fantasy XV: Episode Gladiolus". It is composed and arranged by Keiichi Okabe as part of Final Fantasy XV x NieR Automata collaboration. When composing it, Okabe felt that Gladiolus shouldered a similar fate to the one 2B faces in NieR. He wanted the music to express Gladiolus's battle-driven image, as well as the underlying destiny he faces.
Creation and developmentEdit
Gladiolus's design was redone from his original appearance for Final Fantasy Versus XIII by Yusuke Naora, the art director of Final Fantasy XV. In his old design he wore a black undershirt with his unbuttoned leather shirt, but has since been made bare-chested, and his trousers and jacket have been made more detailed with pockets and seams. Gladiolus was altered to look more intellectual. His eyes were narrowed to achieve a "sultry gaze into the distance". He needed a powerful physique to act as Noctis's shield, and thus Naora looked at reference material of martial artists to rework his chest and abs.
Gladiolus's concept was cemented from the start. He has the duty to train the future king, and chew him out when necessary. Thus, the team made him someone unafraid to speak his mind and then mapped out his social graces, hobbies, and hang-ups. As the King's Shield, Gladiolus needed to have the physical fortitude of a bodyguard. The developers gave him practical-purpose musculature, the kind developed from practicing a martial art, and balanced it with some showy muscle for the visible areas.
Director Hajime Tabata has explained that black has historically been treated as a special color in Lucis. Thus the attire of the royal family, and those in occupations closely tied to it, wear black.
Gladiolus is voiced by Kenta Miyake in the Japanese version.
He is voiced by Chris Parson in English version. In the credits for Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, Parson's name is misspelled as "Parsons".
Gladiolus is available as a Play Arts -Kai- figure.
Gladiolus has appeared in the following media throughout the Final Fantasy series:
- Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire as a guide.
- Final Fantasy Legends II as a summon.
- Pictlogica Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Record Keeper as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Brave Exvius as a vision.
- Mobius Final Fantasy as an ability card.
Non-Final Fantasy guest appearancesEdit
Gladiolus has appeared in the following media outside Final Fantasy series:
- Terra Battle as a character.
Gladiolus is also a genus of flowering plants, usually called "sword lilies".Gladiolus is a Latin word, the diminutive of gladius, a sword commonly used by the army in Ancient Rome.
Amicitia means "friendship" in Latin.
Together, his full name literally reads: "Short sword, friendship".
- The player can repeatedly rest at Hammerhead in Chapter 14 to get various bits of incidental dialogue with the party members talking about what they have been up to, including Gladiolus telling the party about his girlfriend, and Prompto asking Gladiolus for tips for picking up women.
- ↑ Final Fantasy XV On Noctis’ Age, Brotherhood Episode 2, And Other Questions From Fans (Accessed: June 28, 2017) at Siliconera
- ↑ Final Fantasy XV Japanese community questions answered (Accessed: June 28, 2017) at Gematsu
- ↑ http://www.finalfantasyxv.com/en/overview#overview-characters
- ↑ Final Fantasy XV Director Talks About Chocobos, Lunafreya, And Many Other Features (Accessed: June 28, 2017) at Siliconera
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8kkCfI0hEI
- ↑ 8 Gorgeous Photos of Final Fantasy XV’s Characters (Accessed: June 28, 2017) at IGN UK
- ↑ Final Fantasy XV Collector's Edition Guidebook developer interviews
- ↑ Why Noctis and his companions are dressed in black? (Accessed: June 28, 2017) at Official Final Fantasy XV Forums