- “I once knew a girl whose only wish was to be carried in her uncle's arms. Her Majesty is a woman grown now.”
- —Marquis Halim Ondore IV
Marquis Halim Ondore IV (ハルム・オンドール4世, Harumu Ondōru Yonsei?) is one of the characters of Final Fantasy XII. Ruler of Bhujerba, he tries his best to keep his city neutral. Ondore follows the orders of the Archadian Empire, while secretly allying himself with Resistance forces. He commands an airship, the Garland.
Ondore is voiced by Tom Kane in English and speaks with a British-Indian accent. He narrates during the storybook sections of the game, which are excerpts from his book Memoirs of Mqs. Halim Ondore IV.
Appearance and personalityEdit
Ondore is a thin Hume man who stands at about the same height as Basch fon Ronsenburg and Balthier. Although being only middle-aged, his hair is white and he displays a long-suffering manner, suggesting a burden on his person which has aged him beyond his years. Despite the constant hounding by the Archadian Empire, the Marquis maintains his dignity and pride, stressing his rank and independence, and is not shy to remind Judge Magister Ghis that he is not one of Archadia's puppets. As becoming of a ruler of a state of miners, engineers and merchants with limited military resources, Ondore disdains war, preferring negotiation and trade, but if his hand is forced, he will "show no quarter", as Reddas notes.
Befitting his status as sovereign ruler of Bhujerba and its sky continent, Dorstonis, Ondore wears a long saffron-yellow coat with a high open collar, gray vest, and pure white sides, over fine dark clothes and white boots with blue tassels (and presumably armor, as he wears leg guards). The back of the coat is embroidered with elaborate designs in silver, and bears a coat of arms on the hip-level on both sides – either his family's or Bhujerba's, or a combination – declaring his stewardship over the sky city. He has a black bow-tie with a turquoise jewel and often carries an extravagant walking stick.
Relation to DalmascaEdit
Given his high position, it is not surprising that Ondore has known King Raminas and his daughter Princess Ashe since she was a child. Ashe refers to Halim as "Uncle Halim", given that he and King Raminas are sworn friends, their closeness resulted in young Ashe's affection to him. In the Japanese version, Ashe refers to him as "Oji-sama", the equivalent to "Uncle" and an honorific towards middle-aged men. Despite this, Ondore does not treat Ashe like a child, giving her no special treatment and respecting her views. Because of this, they tend to clash on some of their ideals.
Marquis Ondore is known as the leader of Bhujerba, a skycity that is the only small nation during the game of Final Fantasy XII that has managed to keep its independence from Archadia. Due to Bhujerba's neutrality, Ondore worked as an mediator in the peace negotiations between Dalmasca and Archadia. It was Marquis Ondore who announced the deaths of Princess Ashe and Basch fon Ronsenburg, due to a request from Vayne. Though he couldn't tell Vayne's motive at the time, he later realized Vayne was trying to make Ashe doubt the Marquis, preventing her from seeking his aid.
Ondore entered a secret collaboration with Vayne, in which he would provide Vayne and the Draklor Laboratory with magicite. This was to be done behind the Emperor's back. It is hinted through the dialogue between Judge Ghis and Ondore that he was forced into the deal, though Ondore retains his stance of not being the Empire's puppet.
Ondore and the PartyEdit
Ondore is directly met twice during Final Fantasy XII by the player party. After escaping from Nalbina Dungeons and having discovered that the Rabanastran Resistance faction will not help him, Basch decides to seek Marquis Ondore's help in order to save Princess Ashe, who is being held captive by the Empire. Once in Bhujerba, the party spread rumors that Basch is still alive in order to catch the marquis's attention, for if it became known that Ondore had told a lie, it would cripple people's trust in him.
Once the party meets Ondore, he wants to help Basch in his plight, but doesn't want to compromise his position. Instead of direct aid, he sends the player party off to Dreadnought Leviathan, so they may have a chance to save the Princess. The party manages to save her, and make their way back to Bhujerba. Ondore, however, is not willing to support Ashe in her quest to claim Dalmasca's throne, for she has no proof of her lineage. Ashe gets the sky pirates to 'kidnap' her, and so manages to escape Bhujerba.
- Main article: Resistance (Final Fantasy XII)
Ondore secretly funds a local Bhujerban resistance faction and emerges as the leader of the Resistance commanding their flagship, the Garland. While he holds talks with the Archadian Judges, and acts as mediator for Archadia and other nations, he secretly wants to bring down the oppressive Empire and even considered using nethicite to force Archadia to sign a peace treaty.
After the Dreadnought Leviathan has been destroyed, Ondore seizes the opportunity and leaves Bhujerba citing sudden illness. His true motive is to gather the loose Resistance factions to form an army strong enough to oppose the Empire. He seeks Reddas's help in Balfonheim and recruits him to steal nethicite from the Draklor Laboratory, but this plan fails. Ondore then seeks aid from Rozarria.
War between the Empire and the Resistance breaks as the Battle above Rabanastre, with Marquis Ondore leading the Resistance, and Vayne Solidor leading the Imperial Forces. The war ends in Vayne's defeat. After his goal has been fulfilled, the Resistance disbands and Ondore goes back to Bhujerba.
Halim Ondore appears in the Final Fantasy Trading Card Game.
His first name, Halim, is Turkish for "gentle", while its Arabic variant, Alim (Arabic: "حليم") means "learned, expert, scholar".
- Ondore narrates during the storybook sections of the game, which is written in his book Memoirs of Mqs. Halim Ondore IV. This is similar to how the story of Final Fantasy Tactics is narrated from the Durai Papers; both games take place in Ivalice. The first narration by Ondore is chapter 12 of his accord, which may be an allusion to the number twelve, a recurring theme in Final Fantasy XII.