|Japanese Name||Zidane Tribal|
|Weapon(s)||Daggers, Thief Swords|
|Ultimate Weapon||Ultima Weapon|
|Final Fantasy IX Character|
- “Virtue - You don't need a reason to help people.”
- —Zidane's quote
Zidane Tribal (ziˈdɑːn) is the main protagonist of Final Fantasy IX. He is a thief who works for the Tantalus Theater Troupe set to kidnap the princess of Alexandria, an event that escalates to a quest to protect the planet of Gaia.
Zidane possesses little of the sullenness associated with previous Final Fantasy protagonists, Cloud Strife and Squall Leonhart; he enjoys making new friends and is always on the lookout to help those in need.
Zidane has layered blond hair tied back into a short ponytail. He has blue eyes and a prehensile monkey-like tail—a trademark of Genomes. He wears a white sleeveless shirt under a short teal vest topped with brown leather accents at the shoulders and back; in the front, there is a lacy white jabot topped with a light green ribbon tied in a bow. He wears blue jodhpur pants, a tan belt, light green gloves with large blue cuffs, and a pair of light green and white cuffed ankle boots with a low heel. He sports a brown sheath on his left hip for his dagger. In Trance, Zidane's hair turns pink and becomes longer, and his clothing is replaced with pink fur.
Zidane's weaponry is atypical to the traditional thief class in the Final Fantasy series in that he dual-wields daggers or short swords, and a short double-bladed naginata, commonly referred to as a "swallow blade" or "thief sword". This type of weapon bears some resemblance to two short swords merged at the handle, though with the handle being an arm's length. He can combine his two blades into a "swallow blade" as well.
In Dissidia Final Fantasy where Zidane is portrayed in realistic proportions, he is short even when compared to those close to his age, but maintains his lean yet muscular build.
- “The sly eagle doesn't kill at whim.”
Zidane is a bit of a skirt-chaser. Despite accusations that all he ever thinks about is girls, Zidane can be serious when the situation calls for it. He advises the party at multiple times on several aspects of life and is overall laid-back and casual in his actions and speech patterns. Though he is confident in his abilities, Zidane harbors insecurities about his past and concealed loneliness. While usually cheerful, Zidane sometimes gets depressed, lonely, and questions why he should exist. Though he values friendship he tries to keep his problems to himself and fight them alone. Zidane develops feelings for Garnet and acts like an older brother to Vivi. Towards other party members, even Steiner and Amarant who dislike him, Zidane is generally friendly.
Birth Under a Blue LightEdit
- “Yes, my angel of death. But only until you came of age.”
Zidane began his life as an "Angel of Death" created by Garland. Long ago, the people of a dying planet of Terra planned to save their civilization by assimilating another planet. Unable to find a newly-born planet to fuse with, they settled on assimilating the young planet of Gaia. The Terrans left their physical bodies and locked their souls in Pandemonium to be watched over by Garland until the Fusion's completion. The Fusion was a disastrous failure, leaving Gaia's surface in ruin and ending up with Terra shifting inside the planet of Gaia.
Garland was tasked with removing the souls of Gaia's "cycle of souls" and replacing them with Terra's, and Garland synthesized humanoid vessels called Genomes to eventually host the Terran souls. To expedite the draining of Gaian souls Garland gave a soul to a new Genome and named him Kuja who would be Garland's "Angel of Death" sent to Gaia to cause unrest and death, but Garland deemed him a failure.
Although not mentioned in the game, the Final Fantasy IX Ultimania elaborates that Garland had made the mistake of creating Kuja as an adult, which meant he never experienced a childhood and thus never developed complex emotions, meaning Kuja would never be able to enter a Trance on his own. The dangerous mix of power and undeveloped emotions, which allowed Kuja feel no remorse for his actions, was too much for Garland; he placed a limit on Kuja's life, and created another Genome to replace him: Zidane.
Zidane was experimental in that he would live through a full life, growing up as a child before developing into Garland's "Angel of Death." Growth and learning through childhood would allow Zidane to develop capacity for complex emotions which would grant him the power to enter Trance, thus making him superior to Kuja.
Kuja, infuriated by Garland's decision to create another Genome, deposited Zidane on Gaia and abandoned him. Young Zidane, unaware of his mission, ended up being found by Baku at the age of four, and was raised by him as a member of the Tantalus Theater Troupe in Lindblum only remembering one thing of his previous life: a blue light.
Though a theater troupe on the surface, the group is more akin to a band of thieves, and Zidane was raised in their ways. At 13 years old, Zidane departed on a journey to seek out his origins, and spent two years traveling. During this time, he met a Burmecian dragon knight, Freya. Although Zidane never discovered anything about his past, he comes to realize that a "home is where the heart is" and a place where can return to any time, and thus returns to Baku and Tantalus in February 1798.
In April 1798, while Zidane is pilfering the King's mansion in Treno, he ends up framing the king's bodyguard, Amarant, as the culprit. When Zidane later meets Amarant during his adventures he no longer remembers the encounter.
- “Listen, Vivi. You gotta do something next time. You should try—screaming back or whatever. Like... 'Get off me, you scumbag!'”
- —Zidane to Vivi
Twelve years after Zidane was adopted into Tantalus, the troupe arrives at Alexandria on a mission appointed by Lindblum's Regent Cid to kidnap Princess Garnet. Although the mission is a success, the theater ship is damaged during the escape and crashes into the Evil Forest. Baku wants to leave the forest, but Zidane insists on finding the missing Garnet first. He beats Baku in a sparring match to quit Tantalus and sets out to rescue the Princess, bringing the black mage Vivi and an Alexandrian Knight of Pluto, Steiner, along with him.
Saving the Princess from the Evil Forest, Zidane and his companions escape with Blank's help, another member of Tantalus, who is petrified along with the forest. The crew travels through the Ice Cavern where Black Waltz 1, sent by Queen Brahne to retrieve Garnet and her royal pendant, casts a sleeping spell upon them. Zidane alone resists and defeats the Black Waltz, reviving the others.
Outside he suggests Garnet abandon the formal mannerisms she grew up with and adopt an alias to shield her identity from the villagers of the nearby Dali. Garnet, inspecting Zidane's weapon, decides to use the name "Dagger." Upon discovering Dali is manufacturing black mage soldiers and delivering them to Alexandria, the group commandeers a cargo ship to Lindblum.
Many concerns have arisen surrounding Alexandria and its queen. Zidane participates in the Festival of the Hunt in Lindblum, reuniting with his old friend Freya. Before the hunt begins Zidane follows a singing voice to the Lindblum Castle observatory, finding Garnet who is preoccupied about her mother and her inability to steer her country away from war. Zidane attempts to cheer her up, promising a date with her if he lands first place in the festival.
The festivities are short-lived as a dying Burmecian soldier alerts Regent Cid to an Alexandrian military force moving against Burmecia. Zidane tries to stop Garnet from returning to Alexandria to speak with her mother, but she sprinkles sleeping weed in the group's cuisine and absconds with Steiner to return to Alexandria.
Intent on saving Burmecia, Zidane, Freya, and Vivi encounter Quina Quen while traveling through Qu's Marsh and arrive at Gizamaluke's Grotto as it is lying under siege from the Alexandrian black mages, commanded by Zorn and Thorn. In Burmecia Zidane attempts to help Freya find the King. They discover Queen Brahne, General Beatrix and a mysterious man named Kuja in the royal palace and upon overhearing the King has escaped to Cleyra, the four challenge Beatrix. She bests them and Zidane and his friends are left behind as the villains make haste to Cleyra.
Zidane helps defend Cleyra, but Brahne summons the eidolon Odin, decimating the settlement. Zidane and company barely escape as they follow Beatrix's army through their own teleport spells. Reappearing aboard Brahne's airship, the Red Rose, they overhear Beatrix voicing her doubts about her queen. They overhear Brahne's plans to execute Garnet, who now lies captive in Alexandria. Using teleportation magic they arrive in Alexandria ahead of Brahne and, with Steiner and Marcus's help, defeat Zorn and Thorn and find Garnet.
As Freya, Steiner, and a reformed Beatrix hold off the guards, Zidane, Garnet, and Vivi escape through the underground tunnels to Pinnacle Rocks where they watch Brahne invade Lindblum. Sneaking into the city, the group reunites with Cid and discusses their options. Deciding to go after Kuja, the source of Brahne's weapons, they use a tunnel called Fossil Roo to cross to the Outer Continent.
Encountering the Black Mage Village on their travels they stay for a while for Vivi. Zidane tells Garnet what he knows about his past and where he came from. They learn of Kuja's possible abode, the Iifa Tree, and along the way meet Eiko, a young summoner girl who develops a crush on Zidane. When she realizes he is oblivious to her attempts at romantic overtones, she questions him about his relationship with Garnet.
Zidane and Garnet share a moment in a boat on the shores of Madain Sari, the abandoned village of the summoners. Garnet asks Zidane about his reason for helping her upon which he is reminded of a parable about an adventurer named Ipsen who had asked his traveling companion the same question, and Zidane responds in the same manner: "Because I wanted to."
At Iifa Tree's core the party defeats SoulCage to stop the production of Mist back in Mist Continent, halting Alexandria's manufacturing of black mages. Upon returning to Madain Sari they meet the bounty hunters Amarant and Lani who have been sent by Brahne to collect Garnet's pendant that houses a powerful summoning gem. The former ends up joining the party, puzzled by Zidane's outlook on life as Zidane refuses to kill him after besting him in a duel.
Brahne has turned against Kuja and tracks him down at the Iifa Tree, summoning Bahamut. Kuja enslaves the dragon and commands it to destroy Brahne's fleet and kill her. Zidane and the rest return to Alexandria where Garnet is to become the new queen.
- “Go on, Vivi. Don't worry about me. Someday, you'll probably do the same thing for someone who's really important to you. Dagger is more important to me than anything else.”
As Garnet is to stay in Alexandria and become the queen, Zidane is heartbroken at the prospect of losing her, though unable to express his feelings. Frustrated and unwilling to accept she must remain isolated as Alexandria's monarch, Zidane and his friends head to participate in a card tournament in Treno to get his mind off things. Zidane makes it to the final round where he is challenged by Cid, but when Alexandria Castle comes under attack from Kuja the group hurries back to Alexandria on Cid's new airship, the Hilda Garde II. Garnet and Eiko summon Alexander whom Kuja attempts to enslave, but Garland interferes.
Flying in on the Hilda Garde II, Zidane leads the group up onto the castle's apex and saves Garnet and Eiko as Garland destroys both Alexander and Alexandria. The party departs to Lindblum where the town is being rebuilt and, as the party discusses their next strategy, they learn Garnet has lost her voice in response to the tragic events. Zidane decides to bring the party to pursue Kuja, but the Hilda Garde II is failure as an airship and is dismantled and they depart on the sailing ship Blue Narciss instead.
When they arrive at Kuja's home, the Desert Palace, the group is imprisoned and Zidane is blackmailed into helping Kuja retrieve the Gulug Stone from the ancient ruins of Oeilvert on the Forgotten Continent. While there, Zidane and his companions are astonished to find Oeilvert a haven of lost technological works from a long-gone civilization. Though Zidane does not know it, the artifacts were left by the people of his homeland, the Terrans. Zidane is the only one to decipher the writings on the Terran holograms, though he is unable to conclude what the predictions of Terran downfall truly mean.
The party retrieves the Gulug Stone and returns to Kuja, who kidnaps Eiko and flees to the Lost Continent. Zidane and his friends follow and witness Eiko's pet moogle enter Trance and save her, sparking Kuja's interest in the power of Trance. Kuja departs and the party finds the airship he has been using, the Hilda Garde I, and its owner, Queen Hilda herself, whom Kuja had kidnapped. The party returns to Lindblum and Hilda and Cid are reunited. Garnet goes missing and Zidane ventures alone to Alexandria to find her at her mother's grave. Garnet asks for Zidane's dagger and cuts her hair with it, regaining her speech.
They return to Lindblum to reunite with everyone else and learn from Hilda that Kuja hails from another world. Cid completes his newest airship, the Hilda Garde III, and the party ventures to Ipsen's Castle to unlock the portal to Terra. Zidane earns Amarant's respect when he uses teamwork to retrieve the four elemental mirrors from the castle, saving Amarant from his arrogant attempt at the spoils.
Where the Heart IsEdit
- “Regrettable... I thought your soul would be perfect for a new angel of death..."
"I AM the new angel of death! Yours!!!”
- —Garland and Zidane
- “I... am merely a vessel... For what purpose was I given life...? Should I even exist...?”
- —Zidane questioning his existence
With the mirrors collected and the Elemental Shrines cleared of guardians, Zidane directs Hilda Garde III to the Shimmering Island that reveals itself as the portal to Terra. The party jumps from the airship into a portal of shining light and emerges in Terra where Zidane is led to the village of Bran Bal by a girl who resembles him. He is shocked to discover the town is inhabited by blond-haired humanoids with tails, the other Genomes Garland had created. A perplexed Zidane is given the basic details of his young years in Terra by the girl named Mikoto and he resolves to meet Garland, his creator, and determine the truth to his life.
Drained by Garland's revelations, Zidane confronts him. Garland explains Zidane is to be his "Angel of Death" to deprive Gaia of its souls so Terra can assimilate it, but Zidane refuses to play any part in this plot. Garland attempts to remove Zidane's soul and make him into a regular Genome, and when Zidane wakes up in Pandemonium's depths he falls into despair, believing everything he knew was a lie and that his only purpose is to assist in Gaia's destruction. When his friends come to his aid, Zidane shuns them. Remembering the times he helped her find the strength to carry on, Garnet pleads with him to let his friends believe in him as he believed in them. Zidane realizes he has the power to determine his own purpose in life: protecting everyone he cares for.
When the group faces Garland Kuja appears and uses the souls within the airship Invincible to ascend to Trance. He kills Garland, but after learning of the limit placed on his life and his impending death, he flies into a rage and decimates Terra. Zidane and company commandeer the Invincible to evacuate Terra of the Genomes and return to Gaia. Surmising Kuja would soon destroy Gaia as well, Zidane resolves to pursue him into Memoria, an abyss of the planet's memories that has manifested above the Iifa Tree.
Memoria's fathomless reaches contain memories from every age of Gaia, as well as memories of its people. Traveling through Memoria takes Zidane and his friends back in time all way to the root of all life, the Crystal in the Crystal World, where they face Trance Kuja. Upon his defeat Kuja blasts the party with a powerful Ultima spell, and they are transported to the Hill of Despair where the omniscient harbinger of death, Necron, seeks return everything to a "zero world," believing non-existence is the only means of expunging the fear of death from the living that is making their existence perpetual suffering. Zidane expresses hope for the future and trust in his friends, and together they defeat Necron.
Necron senses the strong will to live in Zidane and his friends and dissipates. A dying Kuja teleports the group out of the Hill of Despair and returns them to the outside of the Iifa Tree. As his friends say their goodbyes and depart with Cid on the Hilda Garde III, Zidane stays behind to try to save Kuja. Evading Iifa Tree's crazed roots as the dying tree is writhing, Zidane makes it to the tree's core where he finds Kuja near death. Kuja, his Trance gone, apologizes to Zidane for all he has done before the tree consumes them both.
With Zidane thought dead, time passes by until Tantalus returns to Alexandria to perform I Want to Be Your Canary for Queen Garnet. At the play's climax the character Marcus casts off his cloak, revealing Zidane. Garnet runs out of the castle, leaps into his arms and the couple embraces as their friends and the audience cheer on.
At level 1, Zidane has 105 HP, 36 MP, 18 Magic Stones, 23 Speed, 21 Strength, 18 Magic and 23 Vitality.
- See also: List of Final Fantasy IX Weapons#Daggers and List of Final Fantasy IX Weapons#Thief Swords
Zidane wields daggers and thief swords in battle. Zidane wields his weapons in the 'icepick grip' style, as opposed to the traditional 'hammer grip'. Whenever Zidane equips a dagger he holds it in his right hand during battle, as the left hand wields his unique weapon, the Orichalcum. The Elite Mark Gilgamesh recognizes this as Zidane's trademark weapon, having a fake version of his own in Final Fantasy XII, which is far longer than Zidane's. Zidane's other trademark weapon is the Mage Masher, which he wields in Dissidia Final Fantasy and Theatrhythm Final Fantasy.
He can equip light armor which consist of vests and hats.
- Main article: Steal#Final Fantasy IX
The Steal ability allows players to steal items from an enemy. Some items can only be obtained by stealing, and sometimes, players only get one shot at stealing it. Steal can be augmented with the abilities Flee Gil, Steal Gil, Master Thief, Mug, and Bandit. Zidane's Thievery skill is directly linked to the number of successful steals performed times half of his speed; with enough steals, the player can power it up to deal 9,999 damage.
- Main article: Skill (Final Fantasy IX)
The Skill command is Zidane's unique battle skillset. When learning a Skill he also learns the adjoining Dyne attack (see further down) used in Trance. If Zidane equips multiple items that teach the same ability, the rate the ability is learned is multiplied by the amount of items (e.g. equipping a Dagger and Germinas Boots simultaneously teaches Zidane the ability Flee at twice the speed).
- Main article: Dyne (Command)
When in Trance, Zidane's Skill command changes to Dyne. Dyne raises his physical attack power and offers attacks that can damage single or multiple enemies. Zidane's Dyne and Skill abilities are connected, as he needs to learn a Skill to unlock the corresponding Dyne.
|"Zidane's Theme" from Final Fantasy IX|
|Trouble with the audio sample?|
"Zidane's Theme" plays only once in Final Fantasy IX: when the party boards the cargo ship at Dali. It starts out quickly, becomes slower by the middle section, then reverts back to the faster beginning. "Unrequited Love" (also known as "Unfathomable Reminiscence") is a slower, more melancholy variation of the middle section of "Zidane's Theme". "Not Alone" plays when Zidane learns the truth about his existence and refuses his friends' help.
- Main article: Zidane Tribal/Dissidia
Traveling with Bartz, Zidane turns their quest for the Crystals into a treasure hunt, which ends abruptly when Bartz falls into a trap and is captured. Blaming himself, Zidane meets up with Squall and reunites with Bartz, only to be captured himself. These traps have been set in place by Kuja who desires to break Zidane's spirit with hopelessness and loneliness.
His alternate form is a palette swap based on his Yoshitaka Amano artwork.
Zidane returns in the prequel to the first Dissidia along with the other characters from the game. Having been through several cycles of war and recovered all his memories, he is on good terms with Kuja, who seeks to betray Chaos and lead Zidane and his friends to Chaos's throne so they can defeat him together.
Kefka derails Kuja's scheme and summons manikins to attack Zidane, Bartz and Squall. To save face with the warriors of Chaos so as not to be persecuted for his betrayal, Kuja feigns having deceived the warriors of Cosmos, and reluctantly defeats the three but allow them to escape. Zidane is later incapacitated by Kain, who wishes to save him from defeat by the manikins.
Zidane's second alternate outfit is the armor he wore while disguised as a Knight of Pluto in Final Fantasy IX. As a bonus fourth outfit available for download, Zidane wears the hooded black cloak he wore to disguise himself in the ending of Final Fantasy IX.
- “A quick-witted member of Tantalus, that famous group of part-time theatre players and full-time thieves, Zidane has never been able to say no to a pretty face. In the midst of a play, he kidnaps Princess Garnet of Alexandria and soon finds himself embroiled in political plays between great nations on her behalf. What began as a scripted tale on a small theater ship will evolve into a sprawling epic which will decide the survival of an entire planet.”
- —Online description
Zidane is a default playable character in Theatrhythm Final Fantasy.
He is a Speed and Treasure oriented character. His Limit, Grand Lethal, deals damage in direct proportion to his Strength and Level.
|Steal (Lv1)||Level 25|
|Escape (Lv2)||Level 35|
|Grand Lethal||Level 40|
|Escape (Lv3)||Level 60|
|Steal (Lv2)||Level 70|
|Steal (Lv3)||Level 90|
|Earth Blues (Lv1)||Initial|
|Sinewy Etude (Lv1)||Level 5|
|Earth Blues (Lv2)||Level 10|
|Treasure Hunter (Lv1)||Level 15|
|Luck Up (Lv1)||Level 20|
|Hero's Rime (Lv1)||Level 30|
|Treasure Hunter (Lv2)||Level 45|
|Sinewy Etude (Lv2)||Level 50|
|Hero's Rime (Lv2)||Level 55|
|Earth Blues (Lv3)||Level 65|
|Treasure Hunter (Lv3)||Level 75|
|Sinewy Etude (Lv3)||Level 80|
|Hero's Rime (Lv3)||Level 85|
Zidane returns as a default playable character. If the player did not select him among their party of four, he can later be unlocked by collecting Red Crystal Shards.
He is a Speed, Treasure, and Support oriented character. His Limit, Grand Lethal, functions the same as before, dealing damage in proportion to his Strength and Level.
|Escape (Lv2)||3||Level 15|
|Steal (Lv1)||16||Level 20|
|Dash (Lv2)||12||Level 30|
|Escape (Lv3)||4||Level 35|
|Grand Lethal||18||Level 40|
|Steal (Lv2)||20||Level 55|
|Dash (Lv3)||16||Level 75|
|Auto Potion||15||Level 85|
|Steal (Lv3)||24||Level 95|
|Earth Blues (Lv1)||5||Initial|
|Hastemarch (Lv1)||7||Level 5|
|Treasure Hunter (Lv1)||12||Level 10|
|Earth Blues (Lv2)||10||Level 25|
|Hastemarch (Lv2)||10||Level 45|
|Treasure Hunter (Lv2)||16||Level 50|
|Item Lore||14||Level 60|
|Earth Blues (Lv3)||16||Level 65|
|Move-HP Up||13||Level 70|
|Hastemarch (Lv3)||15||Level 80|
|Treasure Hunter (Lv3)||20||Level 90|
Zidane appears in Pictlogica Final Fantasy as a playable character.
Zidane is an ally and a summonable Legend in Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade.
- “This Tantalus Theatre Troupe member really knows how to touch—er, treat a lady.”
Zidane is an exclusive character only available from the Premium Character Shop as a random downloadable content. He uses the Thievery ability during battle.
Zidane appears in Final Fantasy Record Keeper.
Zidane appears in the Final Fantasy Trading Card Game and is represented in four cards: two of the Wind element and two of the Shine element. His Wind cards depict him in his Dissidia artwork and Yoshitaka Amano artwork. His Shine cards depict him in a screenshot from a Final Fantasy IX FMV as well as his render.
Non-Final Fantasy AppearancesEdit
Zidane has appeared in Itadaki Street Portable as a playable character.
Zidane is a European variant of the Arabic name Zeydan, meaning "increases the faith." His name has varied in spelling according to the game's localization as Yitán (Spanish), Gidan (Italian) and Djidane (French).
All spellings of Zidane's name are somewhat phonetically close to the French word gitane, which means "gypsy", although this word is used for women. Vincent Zouzoulkovsky, lead translator of the French version of Final Fantasy IX, revealed in an interview the change from the official spelling "Zidane" to the French spelling "Djidane" was done to avoid misplaced association between the character and the French footballer Zinedine Zidane.
Long before Final Fantasy IX, Hironobu Sakaguchi had already used the name ジタン; it was in the first game he ever made, The Death Trap. ジタン is romanized "Gitanes" in The Death Trap and "Zidane" in Final Fantasy IX, but it is the same word in Japanese.
In game, Zidane may have received his name from the character in Lord Avon's I Want To Be Your Canary, as he was presumably named by Baku.
His name is commonly mispronounced "zih-DAYNE", but Dissidia Final Fantasy and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy have confirmed the pronunciation as "zih-DAHN".
The surname Tribal may come from the word "tribe".
- Zidane is one of the two favorite Final Fantasy characters of Hiroyuki Ito, the other being Locke Cole.
- The only time Zidane uses his prehensile tail is when he evades Steiner on the cargo ship.
- The Tantalus logo seems to symbolize Zidane—it is blue and bears a heart, a dagger, and a pair of angel wings.
- Zidane's birthday is in September, the ninth month of the year, appropriate for the protagonist of the ninth installment of the Final Fantasy main series.