Minister Verstael Besithia is a minor antagonist in Final Fantasy XV. He is the researcher who developed the technology used to create Niflheim's magitek infantry. His surname is given in the Final Fantasy XV Ultimania, and appears in one of the documents found in Zegnautus Keep in Final Fantasy XV.
Verstael is a balding man with white hair and beard. In his concept artwork and official render he wears a silver headgear that has the symbol of Niflheim, but he doesn't wear it in the scene he appears in the game. He wears a uniform of black metal and purple and red clothing and a cape. In his concept artwork his long gloves are white with the red symbol of Niflheim, but in the game his gloves are black.
The Oracle holds the key for the King. She could unlock many secrets...'nay high commander?
Verstael is a mad scientist who aims to create "the strongest existence by his own hand." He is in charge of Niflheim's research laboratory. He is ruthless, and considers the astrals as just another research subject.
Verstael is Prompto Argentum's biological father. In M.E. 722, Ardyn Izunia ingratiated himself to Emperor Iedolas Aldercapt by divulging the secrets of binding daemonic essences, or Starscourge, to the human soul. By mass producing humans with this characteristic, the magitek infantry was born, and Ardyn was made chancellor of Niflheim.
Verstael Besithia leads the development within the Empire that harvests energy from daemons to create weapons of warfare. After Insomnia's fall, Verstael meets with Emperor Aldercapt, Commodore Aranea Highwind, Brigadier General Caligo Ulldor, and High Commander Ravus Nox Fleuret to discuss the Oracle, Lunafreya. When the Emperor orders Ravus to terminate her, Verstael asks him to reconsider, citing her power to commune with the Astrals and being the "key for the King". He then gives Ravus full control over the magitek infantry.
When Prince Noctis later infiltrates the magitek laboratory in Gralea, he finds it void of human life and swarming with daemons and rogue magitek troops. He finds numerous documents scattered of the detailed research involved in magitek, as well as the ramifications of using said technology.
"Project Deathless" is the codename given to Verstael's research and development of magitek soldiers and weaponry through the manipulation of "commonly occurring parasitic protozoa," or the Starscourge. These findings paved the way to weaponize daemons. As daemons are averse to light, with their cellular structure breaking down upon contact with it, the troopers are equipped with medieval armor to protect against all forms of light.
Ultimately, the use of daemons for base magitek soldiers causes the disappearances of most citizens of Gralea, Minister Verstael included. It is thus assumed that Verstael either succumbs to the "vanishing sickness", or is turned into a daemon by Ardyn, like Ravus Nox Fleuret and Iedolas Aldercapt.
Creation and developmentEdit
Verstael was designed by Roberto Ferrari. He has a prominent appearance in the Final Fantasy XV E3 2013 trailer, leading an army of armored soldiers. These are magitek soldiers in the final game, where Verstael doesn't have a prominent presence although he is still credited as the magitek infantry's developer.