Magitek troopers are cybernetic combatants born from the research of Chief Verstael Besithia, who built upon the magiteknology of the lost civilization of Solheim. Besithia discovered that, by injecting humans with the plasmodium parasite and sublimating these daemonified men and women, he could harness the resultant miasma into central processing units known as magitek cores and create an army of his own.
The magitek infantry is an army of robotic soldiers that serves Niflheim in the Final Fantasy XV Universe. It was introduced by Chancellor Ardyn Izunia to be further developed by research minister Verstael Besithia. Its forces appear in Final Fantasy XV, Brotherhood Final Fantasy XV, and Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV. The soldiers are often referred to with the slang term MT, short for "magitek trooper," and a play on their soulless, or "empty," nature.
Niflheim deploys two types of soldiers: ones with glowing eyes, and others with their faces entirely covered. The glowing eyes types (who often have "magitek" in their names) are humanoid machines powered by magitek cores, whereas the others (referred to with titles like "Imperial Rifleman" or "Imperial Sniper") appear to be human cyborgs, and form the imperial infantry. The terms "magitek infantry" and "imperial soldiers" are often used interchangeably, but the magitek types greatly outnumber the soldier types, having largely replaced them. Another type of magitek weapon the empire deploys is the magitek armor, usually large bipedal robots, but recently the empire has developed new forms, from the monstrous Diamond Weapon to the wormlike Immortalis.
The infantry units you callously dub 'MTs' all began as babes in this very facility. Imprinted with serial codes and incubated until they were strong enough to fight. What a pity. Innocent souls fated to suffer...at the hands of a foreign king. Well, not so 'MT' after all, are they?
Magitek soldiers are weaponized daemons developed and produced in Niflheim's magitek production facilities. After the empire believed they had discovered a way to control organisms mutated by the Starscourge, they began the Deathless Project to develop a magitek army.
MTs are created by injecting humans with the plasmodium parasite (Starscourge), daemonifying them. The specimens turn into miasma, the black mist that emits from defeated daemons and those afflicted with Starscourge. The empire harnesses the resultant miasma into central processing units known as magitek cores, which power the empire's magiteknology. This suggests the magitek suits don't contain physical beings, but rather, the "essence" of a daemon controlling them via the magitek core. This best exemplified in the case of Immortalis, and also explains how the imperial magiteknology can take such varying forms from the humanoid MTs to the colossal Diamond Weapons. When magitek troopers are destroyed, they emit miasma.
Magitek troopers are plasmodia-based biological weapons that avoid light, as their cellular structure breaks down upon exposure, the cells being converted to benign molecules. Thus, MTs are encased in lightproof armor. An army of MTs able to fight in daylight proved superior to human troops. Niflheim's human infantry was mainly replaced by magitek units, although some remain, such as the men working for Aranea Highwind.
Niflheim began augmenting biological materials through cloning. MTs are different from natural daemons in that their behavior can be programmed, and thus Niflheim believes they can be controlled. This may be related to the serial number tattooed on each unit, which also allows them to pass through the imperial magitek laboratories freely. It later turns out, however, that yet unprogrammed MTs begin to go rogue. Some units in Zegnautus Keep whose CPUs have been corrupted crawl spider-like on the floor, suggesting they operate on daemonic instincts.
MTs can wield a variety of weapons and can even self-destruct to take out opponents by latching onto them. Some have built-in firearms in their arms. Their lightproof armor makes them weak to lightning, but they are generally resilient. MTs are often deployed from drop ships, and such groups carry a flag of Niflheim among them. Many are uneasy in their presence, as magitek troopers are silent and expressionless, move robotically, and don't react much to being damaged. Different models have different AI, and their AI can be reprogrammed to change their role in battle, such as for making Magitek Bannermen.
As revealed in Final Fantasy XV: Episode Prompto, magitek troopers are produced in a remote facility in the arctic regions of Niflheim. They are made out of clones fathered by Verstael Besithia that have the same bar code on their wrists. The clones are human before turning into daemons, some being brought up since infancy to become an MT, and are kept in tubes in a dormant state. If a clone were to escape the daemonifying process, they would grow up as a regular human, albeit the systems built for magitek troopers would still recognize them as one and their bar code would still work to operate the magitek facilities.
The magiteknology used to manufacture the MTs originates from the ancient civilization of Solheim, which fell during the War of the Astrals and the Starscourge plague 2,000 years ago. Niflheim seeks to recreate the glory of Solheim, and has been researching the civilization's remains and resurrecting the ancient magiteknology that had made Solheim so powerful. Though Niflheim has been using magiteknology for centuries, it only recently has become powered by the essence of daemons due to influence from Ardyn Izunia. Niflheim's war against the Kingdom of Lucis came to a standstill after the kingdom erected the magical Wall around the Cavaugh region, which the imperial magitek armor-centric forces were unable to penetrate. This led the empire to seek further military might, while they breached the Lucian outlands and built bases there.
In M.E. 722 Ardyn Izunia entered Niflheim and proposed the development of a magitek infantry. Chief Verstael Besithia of the imperial research institute outfitted magitek troopers with magitek cores and infused them with the energy daemons exude (miasma). Due to high requisition costs mass production of MTs was initially thought to be a struggle, as the miasma for the first magitek cores came from daemons the empire had captured. Verstael's first experiments were incapable of fighting, and he determined daemonified humans would make superior test subjects. His first human experiments resulted in the subjects experiencing ego death, and thus Verstael began to use infants. Finding success in this method, Verstael started to clone infants from his own cells to expedite production of magitek troopers.
In M.E 723, the empire began mass producing magitek soldiers in preparation for the Great War with Lucis. As Niflheim's new forces overwhelmed the kingdom two years later, King Mors concentrated the nation's magical barrier around the Crown City, leaving many formerly protected areas open for imperial invasion.
In M.E. 745 the Astral goddess of ice, Shiva, awoke as a giantess and attacked the imperial territory. The army managed to slay her, but was decimated, prompting the development of magitek soldiers that would be strong enough to fight Astrals. Verstael requested for more funding for his research, and was fulfilled. In M.E. 746 the Imperial Defense Council motioned to reform the MT coding system to better monitor large numbers of new magitek models entering production. Troopers have a 5-digit model number plus an 8-digit production code. Infants have a 4-digit production year plus an 8-digit production code.
As depicted in Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, the magitek infantry invaded Fenestala Manor at Tenebrae in an attempt to kill King Regis and his young son, Noctis. Under the leadership of Imperial General Glauca, it slaughtered many innocent bystanders. Twelve years later, on 16th of May M.E. 756, the day a peace treaty is to be signed between Lucis and Niflheim, the magitek infantry breaches the Wall and invades Insomnia. It kills the Lucian ruling council and much of the Crownsguard. Prince Noctis and his friends are not in the city when it is invaded, as they are on their way to Altissia.
As depicted in Brotherhood Final Fantasy XV, Noctis, Ignis Scientia, Gladiolus Amicitia, and Prompto Argentum stop for a meal at a diner. As the friends eat, they spot a Niflheim airship dispatch several magitek infantrymen outside. Noctis and company devise a strategy to defeat the robots and attack. Later on, after Noctis and his allies slaughter a Garula, they are confronted by more magitek infantrymen. The synthetic soldiers are easily dismantled, and the fight against them reminds Gladiolus of how he and Noctis became friends.
Ravus Nox Fleuret is appointed the leader of the Imperial Army by Verstael after Insomnia's fall. He deploys it to attack Noctis and his allies, as well as in attempts to kill the Astrals. Imperial generals Caligo Ulldor and Loqi Tummelt command forces of their own when they attempt to take over the Lucian outlands. Many of Ravus's magitek infantrymen are lost in the battle against Leviathan. In July M.E. 756 Verstael finally discovers a way to preserve the ego and sustain that consciousness and transfer it into magitek troopers. He plans to use this technology to make himself immortal by transporting his consciousness to one of his most powerful magitek weapons.
In the Piztala region, a horde of magitek troopers attacks a train carrying Noctis and his friends. Noctis and Prompto team up to fend them off. Meanwhile, in Gralea, the Starscourge has broken out as a virulent plague that decimates the capital city. Researchers identify that the overuse of daemons in their army caused the outbreak, but are unable to do anything. Unprogrammed magitek infantrymen begin to go haywire and attack imperial citizens.
The Immortalis, also known by its production code XDA-1002: Immortalis, is a supermassive "new model" of the production line of the magitek infantry developed by Verstael Besithia as its ultimate creation. Although likely financed with support from the emperor in recognition to Verstael's progress, the researcher has other plans for it: he intends to use it to make the world "feel his wrath" and that not even "Astrals would be safe", implying sinister, personal motives behind its creation. As depicted in Episode Prompto, after Prompto kills Verstael at the First Magitek Production Facility, the latter's daemonified soul is transferred to the Immortalis, activating it. Prompto gets aid from Aranea Highwind as the two escape while demolishing MTs along their way.
As Prompto camps out in the arctic, he struggles coming to terms with being Verstael's "son" and a clone who was meant to become an MT before being kidnapped from the facility by Lucians and raised in Lucis. He hallucinates himself as an MT being hunted by Noctis, and imagines the MTs he finds lying in the snow with his own face. He realizes that he is his own person, despite his origins, and strives to destroy the monstrosities Verstael had created and reunite with his friends.
Prompto and Aranea infiltrate another magitek facility where they destroy Verstael's new magitek experiment of fusing a mammal with magitek. Immortalis is activated, and Prompto and Aranea flee the mechanical monstrosity on a snowmobile armed with a machine gun. Verstael's corrupted desires are voiced through the machine, intending to destroy the world he believes denied him his "glory", and repeating his desire to make everyone kneel before his newfound might. As Immortalis's magitek core is destroyed, Verstael is killed for good.
When Noctis goes to Gralea to rescue Prompto, he learns magitek infantrymen are daemons encased in lightproof armor. He finds several of the robotic soldiers lying dormant within Zegnautus Keep, an imperial magitek laboratory. He discovers that, under the code name "Project Deathless", humans were mass-produced in Niflheim to become magitek troopers. Noctis, Ignis, and Gladiolus rescue Prompto, who had been brought to Zegnautus Keep by Ardyn. They learn he is a clone created to become a magitek infantryman, but who was kidnapped from a production facility by Lucians as a baby. Prompto is still able to use the serial code with which he was branded at birth.
The Starscourge engulfs Eos in an eternal night, with Emperor Aldercapt becoming a daemon as well. The empire collapses and Gralea is left devastated and devoid of humans. The magitek infantry is presumably no longer being manufactured. When Noctis and his friends return to the ruins of Insomnia to fulfill the prophecy of the True King, they find Insomnia still swarmed with troopers.
In Final Fantasy XV, the imperial drop ships periodically deploy magitek infantry to fight Prince Noctis and his party. They are less commonly dropped onto roads, but it can still happen. Magitek infantry are also fought in the imperial bases and during story scenes in Chapters 9 and 11. Neither the cyborgs or the magitek soldiers are ever fought in hunts.
The infantry only ever use physical attacks. Due to their construction, MTs share in common a weakness to piercing weapons, including spears and firearms, and the Lightning element. They are strong against Ice. The Noctis-exclusive firearm, Cerberus, also is useful, as when used as a sniper rifle its headshots instantly kill MTs. Iris Amicitia's Technique, Eclipse, has a unique effect when used on magitek troopers: Iris will bind the enemy and flip into their backs, before dealing a devastating kick to instantly kill them. The cyborg variants are weak to Fire and resist Lightning.
Magitek troopers are the main enemies fought in Prompto's DLC episode. If he can sneak up on them without them being alerted, they can be taken out with melee moves and Prompto can steal their weapon. He also fights them long range with his handgun, and can stock up on a sub machine gun, sniper rifle, bazooka and grenades.
There are two two types of enemies: the cyborgs are weaker than the axe-wielding green-faced magitek troopers that are more commonly fought in the main game. Defense nodes found around the magitek research complex heal magitek units in their vicinity unless destroyed. The weaker cyborgs shoot at Prompto unless he is right next to them, in which case they will attack with melee attacks. They deal normal damage, whereas the axe-wielding troopers—though restricted to short range attacks—also damage Prompto's max HP that recovers slowly and can only be healed by Elixirs and Hi-Elixirs.
MTs are the general enemies in the free DLC event. There is only one type of them, the green-faced axe-wielder MT. Noctis cannot fight them head on effectively due to the effect of the Wallbreaker Wave, and thus must resort to covert assassinations. If Noctis is spotted, he must flee and hide until the danger passes.
Magitek troopers are stationed all across the town of Lestallum and the player must reclaim key cards by assassinating them in various ways. The player can descend upon them from above, sneak behind them, or assassinate them from various hiding places, and even whistle to catch their attention while hiding.
Creation and developmentEdit
In the trailers for Final Fantasy Versus XIII and the Final Fantasy XV E3 2013 trailer, the imperial soldiers appear to be human. The human infantry was replaced by the robotic magitek soldiers for the final game that also includes a redesigned look, now sporting metallic faces with glowing eyes. In-game lore extolled in the research notes found in Zegnautus Keep posits that the original infantry was replaced by magitek units for efficiency's sake. The original human-like versions still appear in the game, called cyborgs in the bestiary, such as in the scene where Ravus and Verstael meet Emperor Aldercapt in his throne room, when soldiers apprehend Lunafreya in Altissia, and as the weaker enemies in Episode Prompto.
The imperial soldiers appeared on tanks in the E3 2013 trailer, but in the final game they are dropped from aircraft. Tanks appear at imperial bases in the main game as well as in Episode Prompto, albeit stationary and some of them rusted through.
- Though the MT clones in the pods in Episode Prompto all resemble Prompto, they are not identical, but have subtle differences between each other. This is congruent with real life where identical twins or clones, though originating from the same zygote, will develop diverging features.