|“||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 finally begins his last stand when Noctis and his friends arrive. Using several maneuvers such as the Wall, Ifrit and the Behemoth King to barricade the Citadel, Ardyn tries to sick upon the team the Rulers of Yore he brainwashed but Noctis, Ignis, Prompto and Gladio overcame it. Now finally face-to-face with the True King, Ardyn can barely keep at bay his eagerness at finally being able to eradicate the Lucis Caelum bloodline and die as he confronts Noctis with the illusionary bodies of Regis, Nyx, Lunafreya and Iedolas grotesquely displayed for his own amusement. He seems enraged when Noctis coldly told him a jester, stepping on the throne he was sitting in before revealing his deep desire for his goals to come true. Ardyn then knocks out all of Noctis's friends and tells him to meet him in the streets to begin their final battle.
The duel was well-matched, Ardyn's own immense powers and far greater experience allowing him to effectively counter Noctis's greatly increased powers and prowess but he could not decisively defeat Noctis as they continue to fight to a stalemate. Repeatedly taunting Noctis as well as implying that the world will only be for worse if the dawn is to break, Ardyn eventually seemingly wins the first round and catches him off-guard. Having actually intended to die, Ardyn releases Noctis after goading him into using the power of light. The two engage in a fierce Armiger duel, which ends in Noctis barely overpowering Ardyn by blasting all his weapons at him.
Still standing, Ardyn lashes out in rage as he reveals how impudent it is for Noctis to believe that just because he has spent 10 years in the Crystal means he can surpass him, also raging on how Noctis failed to save his most precious loved ones and his belief that the Crystal is merely using Noctis and all the rulers of yore. However, his rage clouds his fighting and although not going down easily, Noctis defeats Ardyn eventually by striking him with all the Royal Arms.
Unfazed by his death, having always intended to die, Ardyn asks Noctis calmly on his decisions to save the world and genuinely smiles when Noctis shows his sympathy for Ardyn's restless torment and tells him to forever be at peace, saying he will await him in the beyond. Indeed, Ardyn is seen calmly waiting patiently for Noctis to come in the realm he was sent in. When Noctis comes, Ardyn smiles and bows to him in respect. Lunafreya weakens him and Noctis unleashes the full power of the Providence upon Ardyn by having all the Kings of Lucis strike Ardyn, finally destroying him for good.
Having finally truly died, Ardyn finally completely fulfilled his goals, as his death allows him to rest while Noctis also dying fully eradicates the Lucian bloodline. With the Starscourge fully purged from his soul, Ardyn enters the afterlife, probably able to be at peace.
Ardyn appears in a DLC Episode made specifically for him. In this episode, it will be revealed the details of what Ardyn has been doing before the stories began. There will also be Episode Ardyn- Prologue, which will show why he is so vengeful. It was shown Ardyn was chained by the Lucians for 2500 years in Angelgard until he was freed by Niffleheim. Ardyn quickly traversed to Insomnia, somehow capable of breaching the Wall, and began attacking it, killing many soldiers and setting some areas of it on fire, all just to lure King Regis out. When he finally found his descendant, Ardyn attacked him with Armiger and Regis did the same and the two dueled to a currently unknown conclusion.
Ardyn was once known as a benevolent and noble king and a great healer. He tirelessly saved many people and even absorbed the Starscourge into himself despite likely being aware of the cost. However, the impulses of absorbing the disease and the Crystal's rejection as well as his brother's betrayal (it is likely that Ardyn in his twisted mind believed Somnus was jealous and relished the chance to kill him and become King but considering how Somnus later expressed genuine desire to free his brother from his misery, it is probable that Somnus simply took it upon himself to protect the people, indicating Ardyn may have became evil ever since he was rejected by the Astrals and probably attacked Eos, and had no actual desire to dethrone Ardyn especially given how the Astrals would most probably have rejected Somnus had he been such a person but just could not stand as Ardyn's madness destroyed the world and chose all of Eos over Ardyn and fought and killed him despite whatever reluctance he had and likely took no pleasure in it) turned him into a vengeful, malicious and vindictive immortal he is now.
Shrouded in mystery, Ardyn 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. He steadily displays sadism, ruthlessness and coldness until revealing his true self. He has became extremely vengeful, wanting to destroy his entire line and the Oracle to get his revenge and having became a fundamentally cold man numb to the world, he happily put all of Eos 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. Ardyn seems to have relapsed to an extent on his patient persona by the time Noctis came, as he expresses genuine rage when Noctis calls him sick and also when Noctis says he pities him.
However, despite all his corruption, Ardyn seems to retain fractions of his old side. He had at least enough to despise not only his inability to die but also the fact that as long as he is alive, Starscourge will continue to infect, as he openly says that he wants Noctis to kill him and was shown to be fully accepting of his defeat and death at Noctis's hands. While he desires vengeance, what he wishes above all else seems to be release from his eternal life, to the point that he even helps Noctis and his friends to achieve it despite Noctis being one of his hated descendants and although he considers them all as means to his end, it cannot be argued his help was valuable. He shows no ill-will for Noctis killing him and even seems to feel gratitude for it. It seems that Ardyn has a sense of honor in combat, as he is never seen to resort to cheats in battle even while losing against Noctis and Ignis and releases Noctis even with him positioned to kill him as he wants to truly defeat him. He has apparently developed a level of affection for Noctis despite his taunts, visibly enjoying Noctis's great maturement and looking proud and seems to have come to respect him, as he later bowed to him gracefully in the afterlife. Ardyn does not seem to have any hatred for the world and only desires revenge over the Astrals, as while positioned to wipe out all of Eos, he never attacked the safe-holds of the rest of mankind and instead patiently waited for Noctis to come and end him. Although he warns Noctis in a somewhat indirect manner that bringing back light would only make the world worse, Ardyn bears no ill will when Noctis affirmes his decision.
Powers and Abilities
Ardyn, even while in his light hearted and frivolous mask, is outstandingly intelligent. He holds exceptional manipulation, deceive and leadership capabilities, having such a strong charismatic capability in leading others that he effectively ruled Nifleheim more so than even the Emperor himself. He was also equally skilled in causing disastrous events to occur by manipulating a chain of occurances to suit his ends, as by completely fooling Noctis, Gladio, Prompto, and Ignis, he was able to eventually lead Noctis into gaining the Crystal's Full Powers. He was also capable of completely outsmarting and manipulating the Emperor into desiring the Crystal. Ardyn also had considerable scientific appitude, being the one to discover the process for converting humans into miasma, a deed that fueled his rise to his position as chancellor and paved the way for the rest of his plans. He is a fully qualified driver, driving a red car while in Lucis.
Upon revealing his true capabilities, Ardyn proves himself to be an extremely powerful individual, wielding many unique and deadly powerful powers due to having became the incarnate of Starscourge, essentially making him the one who spreads it all over Eos, while also retaining the Power of the Kings of Lucis despite his corruption. Ardyn can manifest weapons of any type out of thin air, although unlike Noctis's glass like substance, his is conjured out of purple energy, and they are far more deadlier in comparison, capable of tearing anything in it's way, and he is capable of wielding the Royal Arms and even using Armiger as well as warping, flying and phasing at high speeds. Due to his far greater experience, he has noticeably more refined prowess and finesse with the powers Noctis possesses, allowing him to effectively counter Noctis's use of them even as the True King, as shown by how he can easily warp and phase at speeds that allows him to rival Noctis, warping as fast as and even at one point catching him off-guard and able to quickly phase through his attacks, and rivals his Armiger with his own for an extended period of time. He can maintain Armiger without strain unlike Noctis's initial state and he displays more refined techniques with the weapons he uses and uniquely wields his royal arms in a wing-like formation. He can seemingly use daemonic energy to create a large red scythe, although it may also be one of the lost royal arms. Ardyn also can cast powerful elemental spells, even capable of using high-level holy magic despite his dark nature, without magic flasks. He has a strong control over the element of darkness, able to empower his sword with it to increase the damage of his slashes, focus a spiral of dark energy and detonate it and also exert a great pressure capable of easily downing Ignis, Prompto, and Gladio. Ardyn can also control Starscourge energy, capable of unleashing a large twister of purple energy and firing laser beams, and exude Miasma of such potency that he can cover the whole world with it and bring upon Eternal Night, completely overriding sunlight for 10 years until his defeat. He can also momentarily turn into Miasma to teleport and also to cross large distances quickly. Ardyn has complete control over Daemons due to being the one who controls what created them, allowing him to assimilate them into himself and turn others into Daemons. He is even capable of resurrecting others and turning them into ghastly mockeries of their former selves, at which point he can summon and completely control them at will, as even powerful beings such as the Astral Ifrit was unable to not obey him and Ravus, while retaining a fraction of his humanity, could do nothing but attack Noctis. He can also brainwash even the Rulers of Yore with the Starscourge while also granting them specific powers. He can apparently either render himself invisible or astral project, as he watches over Noctis in Gralea completely unseen while able to be heard. Ardyn can also temporarily halt time and transform into others, allowing him to distort others' perception of reality and create illusions, making him able to manipulate people into attacking their friends by having them see them as himself. He apparently can project telepathic illusions into others mind, as seen by how Prompto has a vision of Noctis hunting him. Being the Starscourge incarnate has made Ardyn effectively immortal and nearly invincible, as even attacks capable of destroying his body would not kill him and he will eventually revive. Even the Ring of the Lucii cannot kill him, as shown by how Ignis was capable of destroying his body but was unable to truly destroy him, although it seems the Ring can do damage that takes longer to heal. Only the full power of the Providence can kill Ardyn.
Ardyn seems to be either immune to pain or extremely resilient to it, as he claims that pain is something only mortals feel. He doesn't shiver with cold in Shiva's presence the way Noctis does, and doesn't flinch when Noctis's friends deal heavy blows on him, simply picking up his discarded hat and leaving. The only thing he recoils from is Lunafreya's healing touch. While he does experience fatigue at the end of his battle with Noctis, even dying in the mortal realm doesn't seem to cause him pain.
In addition to his truly incredible powers, Ardyn, well-fitting a man who has had over millenia worth of experience, is a tremendously skilled fighter and he has completely mastered the use of all the Royal Arms as well as hand-to-hand combat. He is formidably cunning and relentless, using any ability in his disposal that is best suited with ease and able to quickly dish out punishing damage via rapid combos. Although Noctis had became the True King, Ardyn's far greater experience allows him to easily fight on par with his inexperienced but still very skillful descendant and even at times gain the upper hand (It can be assumed Ardyn was holding back somewhat as he never uses his scythe and actually wants to die so he probably allowed Noctis to win to achieve that goal). Even Ignis, powered by the Ring, had great difficulty fighting him, with Ardyn surviving unharmed when he was incompletely powered and nearly defeating him when he had the full power of the Ring.
Ardyn is the final boss of both the main installation and Episode Ignis of Final Fantasy 15. However, there are several differences in his style. One thing in common is that he is immune to any status ailments and strong against all elemancy.
In the main game, it is wise not to underestimate Ardyn as he is very relentless and quick in melee combat. He often attacks before Noctis could and can easily break his defenses so you should dodge before countering and he is also good at blocking. Both Elemancy and the Power of the Kings are at Ardyn's disposal but he doesn't use Elemancy often, although when he does use it, it is at high levels so watch out. Ardyn excels in quickly warping and phasing through your attacks and the benefits granted by the Royal Arms to Noctis is also available to Ardyn so best suit your pattern. Fortunately, Ardyn doesn't use Armiger while Noctis can but the unfortunate thing is that the Royal Arms can be wielded by Ardyn without being damaged. He can also charge up his sword with darkness, which can dish out punishing damage with a single hit so you really have to dodge it. Ardyn prefers using beam and twister attacks though but they are by no means not deadly, especially the twister. The second phase involves you in whatever health you have left clashing with Ardyn in the air using Armiger. Ardyn has returned to full health and he uses the same attacks with Armiger as Noctis but that doesn't make him any less formidable as he can quickly surprise you so don't get cocky just because you know all Noctis could do with Armiger. The final phase is a lot easier, as Ardyn is in a rage and tired heavily and clumsily attacks you. Although his attacks are surprisingly a bit stronger, he is a lot less swift so Noctis can just easily defeat him at this point. When you trigger the last quick-time event, you have to quickly time your attacks with the Royal Arms or else Ardyn will recover.
In Episode Ignis Verse 1, Ardyn only warps, uses hand-to-hand combat and dark energy manipulation techniques. He can summon Magitek Infantry to aid him but they are of no problem. It is an unwinnable battle and you just have to last 4 minutes or drain Ardyn's health to below half and the fight will end. The Verse 2 version is a lot stronger, however, as Ardyn can use Armiger with any resemblance to Noctis all but gone. He has a wider style and sometimes uses the Royal Arms as wings, which makes it troublesome as Ignis will have to somehow get him down while Ardyn can simply unleash barrages without needing to land. In addition, Ardyn has a new weapon in his disposal, a large scythe.
|“||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.
- It has been implied from how The Mystic clearly wanted his brother to be free from his tormented existence that Ardyn may have lied on how his brother dethroned him out of jealousy. It can be assumed that his exposure to Starscourge had fractured his memories to an extent or just altered them to make him it's pawn.
|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