- "Invincible! Indestructible! Indubitable! The age of Cardians is upon us!"
Zonpa-Zippa is a non-playable Tarutaru puppetmaster from Final Fantasy XI. He famously invented a race of artificial soldiers, the Cardians, to defend the Federation of Windurst. During the Crystal War he was simultaneously minister of the Manustery, where his Cardians were manufactured, and master of the Capricornian Casters, the military company charged with the defense of Sarutabaruta. He was known to express disappointment when conventional troops engaged enemies in place of his automatons.
Zonpa-Zippa constructed many Cardians during the Crystal War. He designed the less sophisticated models to obey their more advanced counterparts and thereby created a working hierarchy within his new army. The most powerful Cardians, the Aces, were programmed to obey Zonpa-Zippa himself. These elite soldiers were often seen fighting alongside their creator.
Prior to the Battle of Windurst Optistery Minister Karaha-Baruha approached Zonpa-Zippa for assistance. Karaha-Baruha was working on a secret project at his laboratory deep in the Toraimarai Canal and wanted Cardian labor to complete it. Zonpa-Zippa grudgingly set Karaha-Baruha as master of the Aces for this purpose.
Karaha-Baruha did more than simply put the soldiers to work, however. He copied Zonpa-Zippa's designs and produced a new Cardian, Joker, which the Aces were then reconfigured to follow. Unfortunately the life of a Cardian is bound to its creator's. When Karaha-Baruha died in the Battle of Windurst his Cardian deactivated as well. Zonpa-Zippa's Cardians were therefore without a master for the first time. The confused automatons abducted the minister and imprisoned him in the Boyahda Tree.
Twenty years later, Zonpa-Zippa remains captive and is presumed dead by many. His old Cardians begin causing trouble in the Horutoto Ruins, however, and suddenly stop visiting him. Assuming that they have somehow replaced Joker, Zonpa-Zippa writes a letter explaining his situation and attaches it to a Mandragora. This eventually finds its way into the hands of Doctor Yoran-Oran, who delivers it to Apururu. Surprised that her father is still alive, she sends an adventurer to rescue him and gather information about the Aces and their leader.
Insisting that he had allowed himself to be captured for research purposes, the liberated Zonpa-Zippa reveals a dark secret that lurks within his profession. When enchanted dolls are built their creators place pieces of their own life forces inside. If a deactivated doll is forcibly reactivated the person that built it is also drawn back from death. Zonpa-Zippa claims that if the Cardians restored Joker they must have resurrected Karaha-Baruha as well. He does not depart the Boyahda Tree to deliver this information, however, and instead sends Apururu's assistant away with another letter. He is confident that his children have such affection for the Great Zonpa-Zippa that he need not go home to see them.
Whether Zonpa-Zippa ever returns to Windurst is unknown.