|“||In a sense, yes, but my aims extend beyond the boy. He's more of a means to an end. I suppose I never revealed my proper name, so allow me to introduce myself: Ardyn Lucis Caelum.||„|
|~ Ardyn Izunia|
Ardyn Izunia (real name: Ardyn Lucis Caelum) is the main antagonist of Final Fantasy XV. He is a shrewd, humorous and intellectual man who handles the political operations of the Niflheim Empire for Iedolas Aldercapt. He also appears in Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV as a major antagonist. He is responsible for the expansion of Verstael's Magitek Infantry, which he uses to increase Niflheim's might.
He was voiced by Keiji Fujiwara in the Japanese version, and Darin De Paul in the English version.
Ardyn is first encountered by Noctis and his companions at Galdin Quay. There, he behaves mysteriously and reveals to Noctis' group that the ferries are not running anymore. He also cryptically mentions that the ceasefire is not bringing them anything. Ardyn then hands Noctis a coin, calling it his "allowance". He then walks off, leaving the group with more questions than answers.
The group meets Ardyn again in Lestallum, where he once more perplexes them with his cryptic behavior. Ardyn claims that Noctis and his group should visit the Archaeon, even offering to take them there. The group and Ardyn drive off towards the Archaeon. While Adryn drives before them, the group discuss Ardyn, agreeing that he is suspicious and might be unreliable. Ardyn eventually stops driving, claiming that they will not drive further anymore and instead make camp. The next day, Ardyn leads the group to the gate leading to the Archaean but then leaves the group.
After the group is forced to fight the Archaeon, they are trapped on a platform amidst a lava lake. In the last moment, an imperial battleship arrives, opening its hangar and revealing Ardyn. Ardyn offers help to the trapped group, formally introducing himself as High Chancellor Ardyn Izunia. He promises Noctis and the group save passage and they reluctantly board the ship as they have no other choice. Ardyn indeed keeps his word and drops the group off afterwards, although the Empire wants Noctis dead.
Ardyn later appears in an Imperial base, breaking up a confrontation between Noctis and his friends and Ravus. Ardyn and Ravus leave soon after, with Ardyn claiming that they have business with the Oracle Lunafreya.
As Noctis makes it to Altissia to reunite with Luna, but is needed to acquire the pact with the Astral Leviathan, an event that eventually proves to be nearly disastrous, Ardyn sneaks into the altar where Luna resides, and inflicts a fatal injury onto her to ensure that she would not survive the trial.
Later, when the party is bound for the last of the Lucian Royal Tombs and the Imperial Capital via train, Ardyn makes an appearance to a grieving Noctis, hoping to "explain" himself, but Noctis' bereavement turned into rage, as well as the intercepting Imperial forces cut their conversation short. After Noctis and Prompto hold off the assault and manage to get the train into more peaceful straights, Ardyn tricks Noctis via illusion to mistakenly attack Prompto, knocking him off of the train. Delighted to have demoralized Noctis, he then pistol-whips him unconscious as the train continues its journey.
When the remaining party continue on after a crucial layover into Tenebrae following an increase in daemonic activity, they eventually get to the corpse of the Astral Shiva, the Glacean, whose very presence as a cadaver has plunged the outskirts of Niflheim into a frozen wasteland. Ardyn makes his way back onto their departing train to discuss terms with Noctis again; however, having lost Prompto and having enough of his trickery incites further indignation from Noctis. With their train later delayed due to daemons and the build up of ice on the tracks, Ardyn then makes his way back to Ignis' and Gladiolus' rail car, having let in the freezing conditions into the train. Knocking both out as the temperature decreases further, Ardyn goes in for the kill as Noctis also freezes, but is intercepted by the presence of Gentania, who instantly freezes Ardyn with a simple touch, and reveals herself to Noctis as the reincarnation of Shiva, giving onto him her pact and the Trident of the Oracle, the weapon of his late fiancee. With Ardyn frozen helpless, Noctis then shatters him to bits, but not long before he returns in spirit to let Noctis knows he still lives.
Making his way back to Graelea, the Imperial Capital, Ardyn gathers up the remaining troops of Niflheim to halt the party's inbound train head on and activates the Wallbreaker to subdue Noctis' powers. As Noctis is separated from Ignis and Gladiolus in the aftermath of their race to cover distance into Graelea proper to clear the city's closing defenses, Ardyn stands from afar, monitors, and taunts as Noctis is forced to go alone and nearly helpless into the heart of the Niflheim Empire, Zenebrath Fortress. Having set up traps and with all of Graelea's populace tainted into daemons, Ardyn's ploy is nearly successful, until Ignis and Gladiolus manage to rescue the Prince when he is caught in a trap.
When the group rescues Prompto from Zenebrath's prison and makes their way further to reclaim the Crystal, Ardyn then sics upon them the demonized corpse of Ravus, and following Ravus' euthanization, a lockdown sequence further aggravated with a destructive onslaught of daemons, forcing Noctis again to separate himself from his companions, who stay behind to fend off the daemons for him to reclaim the Crystal as its rightful heir as king to use it to ultimately banish them and the Starscourge forever.
However, as Noctis makes his way to reclaim the Crystal, he is unknowingly forced into its realm. Struggling to remain in reality and to exist materially to stop the Starscourge before its threat can fully be realized onto Eos, Ardyn reveals himself during Noctis' struggle, recanting onto him a story of a healer whose actions saw him fall from the grace of the Astrals because of his methods to eradicate the Starscourge, and was further demonized by his people by a jealous forerunner to become king. Revealing to Noctis the sins of the Lucian family that now has accursed both the world of Eos and its people, Ardyn then reveals himself in full as that very ancestor, who now reigns as Noctis is fully taken into the depths of the Crystal.
With the rest of the party having defeated the daemons and coming too late to Noctis' refuge, they demand an explanation of what Ardyn has done to their friend, who leaves them in silence. In frustration and outrage in return, Gladious slashes at his jugular and Prompto shoots Ardyn in the back in the heart, both of which do nothing but get him to stand back up and shed the blood of daemons. All walk away back to Lucis. Ardyn continues his rule as he transports himself and the crystal into the now desolated metropolis of Insomnia, with Eos now to embrace the Starscourge's depths of darkness and terror.
Ardyn is a man shrouded in mystery. He expresses his eccentric and unconventional personality through his unique attire, and he is both polite and slightly flamboyant. Even in the face of hostility, Ardyn remains charitable and civil, as evidenced by his first encounter with Noctis Lucis Caelum and company.
Later on, he reveals his true colors to the heroes of only using them as a means to an end for his evil plot. He even killed Lunafreya Nox Fleuret to show it.
Before Noctis is imprisoned in a crystal for ten years, it is revealed that Ardyn was used to be a healer of the Starscourge, but ended up being hated by the Astrals for becoming a daemon as a price for healing people. This turned him into a vengeful, malicious and vindictive immortal. His true personality is that of a fundamentally cold man numb to the world, who would happily put it in grave danger purely to spite the Astrals and have vengeance on a man several millennia dead. He has little fear due to his immortality making it near impossible to do anything but briefly stun him with attacks. Despite this, he has a little grudge against the world itself, happily accepting his death once he realizes that Noctis would have to die in the process of destroying the Starscourge.
|“||Unharmed by the Light. The Chosen King indeed. Allow me to regale you with a tale. In an age long past, an incurable scourge ravaged mankind. A tiny menace that twisted men into monsters, the likes which you've seen. In Lucis lived a savior that could cure the afflicted. His body would come to host myriad daemons. That countless lives be spared. But a jealous king, one not yet chosen by the Crystal, ostracized and demonized this healer of the people. Making a true monster of him. I gave you my name earlier, but you should know that it was not the name given to me at birth. Ardyn Lucis Caelum is my proper name. You'll never guess whose name Izunia was. Noct, killing you as a mortal will bring me scant satisfaction. Claim the Crystal's power. Arise as its champion. Only once the Crystal and King are no more... can I know redemption. Come back soon. I shall keep your friends company until you are ready.||„|
|~ Ardyn revealing his true identity to Noctis as the latter is forced to sleep 10 years into the crystal.|
|“||You think ten years is a long time!? It is nothing to me! I have lived in darkness for ages!||„|
|~ Ardyn during his Boss Battle.|
- Ardyn is one of the few Final Fantasy villains who does not transform in the final battle.
- His appearance when shedding daemon blood is most reminiscent to that of the stage face paint of the rock artist Alice Cooper.
|Final Fantasy Villains|
Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy XIV
Final Fantasy XV
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time
Final Fantasy Chrystal Chronicles: My Life as a King