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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.

Biography

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 simply mocks and 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. With Noctis now gone, Ardyn unleashes the full extent of the Starscourge upon the world and creates thousands of Daemons that wreak havoc everywhere in Eos, essentially plunging all of the world into a nightmarish state of utter darkness and terror with the Starscourge now completely covering the planet. He himself takes residence in the Citadel, practically becoming the new "King" of Lucis as the sole inhabitant there, and moves the Crystal to the Throne Room. While he lets the world fall into chaos, Ardyn never leaves the throne room and directly attacks the humans, instead patiently waiting there all along for Noctis to arrive.

After 10 years, Ardyn is finally able to begin his last stand as Noctis finally wakes and comes with his retinue to challenge Ardyn. Ardyn mocks them regarding how Lucis is now his kingdom and Insomnia is under his rule before bombarding the city with meteorites to wreak devastation before revealing he has erected the Wall around the Citadel, all just to mock Noctis on Regis's sacrifice, and he is quick to rage when Noctis furiously calls him sick. He leaves them to deal with the Daemons he has created and also the Behemoth King, but thanks to Cor and Luna as well as the Astrals, they are able to overcome it. Barely bothered, Ardyn sicks upon them the God of Fire Ifrit, who he had resurrected and corrupted, only for the Astrals to once again aid Noctis. Greatly excited, Ardyn projects his voice around the Citadel and reveals the Rulers of Yore will be their next opponent. When he finally comes face-to-face with the True King, Ardyn finally lets out 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 is quickly 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, casually dismissing them as death weights to Noctis, 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, which also eliminates the Scourge entirely from Eos and the sun rises once again, Ardyn enters the afterlife, finally granted the peace he has wanted for so long.

Episode Ignis

Ardyn is revealed to have attacked Ignis and Ravus and tries to get Ignis to join him by threatening Noctis falsely. In the first version, Ignis, to Ardyn's shock, gains the power of the Ring of the Lucii and fights him. Ardyn, not being able to use his full powers, is forced to retreat. It is revealed that he wanted Ignis to be used as a trap for Noctis but this backfires as Ignis disintegrates Ardyn's body with the Ring. Ignis's secret plan, while seemingly allowing Ardyn to nevertheless die a true death, allowed Noctis to elude death.

Episode Prompto

following his fall from the train, Prompto is brought to Niflheim's First Magitek Production Facility run by Verstael Besithia. When Prompto accesses the facility using his ID tattoo, Ardyn appears and reveals this is Prompto's birthplace. After returning Prompto's gun and cryptically hinting at his past, Ardyn encourages him to seek out Verstael. Tape recordings scattered throughout the facility reveal that Ardyn helped Verstael create the magitek infantry, and Verstael credits Ardyn's cooperation for developing a way for him to transfer one's ego and consciousness into a magitek armor. Prompto learns that he is a clone created by Verstael. Confronting a mutating Verstael, Prompto kills him and Ardyn taunts him about his patricide over the speaker system. Prompto later enters an illusion where he is hunted by Noctis while appearing as an MT, but whether this is a projection of his own mind or an illusion created by Ardyn is ambiguous. After Prompto and Aranea defeat Verstael's magitek incarnation, Ardyn smiles evilly as he sings Victory Fanfare and watches Prompto ride towards Gralea.

Episode Ardyn

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, probably by Somnus after being defeated by his brother, until he was freed by Niffleheim. After Ardyn was free, he quickly went to Insomnia, somehow capable of breaching the Wall, and single-handedly terrorized the Crown City, killing many soldiers and setting some of the areas on fire. Although his motives are unknown, he was searching for King Regis Lucis Caelum. When he finally found his descendant, Ardyn and Regis dueled using Armiger to a currently unknown conclusion.

Personality

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 while Somnus does seem to fight Ardyn without hesitation when he rampages, even smirking, it is still uncertain whether he planned it all along as Ardyn himself claimed considering how Somnus would have likely been rejected by the Astrals for such a deed and likely he did have some jealousy but not enough to turn him against Ardyn directly and only couldn't help but smirk when Ardyn proved himself unworthy.) 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 also displays a formidable and somewhat explosive wrath at the end of his self-hated life, as he quickly lashed out when Noctis furiously called him sick for using his father's Wall as an inspiration and he rages when Noctis shows his sympathy, showing a belief that Noctis is inferior to him due to how he failed constantly to protect Regis and Luna and only spent 10 years while Ardyn had suffered for ages.

Ardyn displays fixation regarding Lucis, possibly due to his residual feelings of attachment to his kingdom, as he seems to slightly lament the destruction of Insomnia and after managing to finally sit on the throne of Lucis, as he should have been, Ardyn is visibly pleased and he even brags on how he has taken over Insomnia to Noctis and calls Lucis his kingdom proudly. He also was provoked slightly when Noctis calls him a jester, immediately slamming his foot on the seat of the king, likely as it reminded him of how he was once denounced by Somnus for not being the true inheritor of the throne.

However, despite all his corruption, Ardyn seems to retain fractions of his old side and can be seen as a tragic figure worthy of sympathy to not only his brother but even Noctis, who arguably hates him the most out of all. He despises his immortality due to how it doesn't allow him to find peace in death and the fact he became what he sought to destroy made him even more determined to die. While he desires vengeance, it is merely a secondary goal compared to his goal to die, 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. Henceforth, Ardyn not only bore Noctis no ill-will for his physical death but even sounded genuinely happy and grateful to finally be killed. Despite all that he became, Ardyn displays a sense of honor in combat, as he is never seen to resort to cheats in battle even while losing against Noctis and Ignis, calmly accepting his defeats always, and releases Noctis even with him positioned to kill him as he wants to truly defeat him. His claims of Noctis being merely a means to an end is contradicted by how he seems to have developed a level of affection and respect for Noctis, enjoying his current level of growth to the point of even if twistedly, similar oddly to a father being proud of his son, genuinely laughing when Noctis shows his desire for Ardyn to rest in peace and seemingly accepting his sympathy in the end and even bowing before him gracefully. It would seem that Ardyn retained a fraction of his love for humanity, as though he has absolutely no qualms killing and even tormenting others, after Noctis was gone and Ardyn positioned to easily wipe out all of humanity, as no one had the power to challenge him, he never attacked the safe-holds 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.

Relationships

  • Ardyn and Somnus: Ardyn is Somnus's older brother. The relationship they had in the past is unknown but it seemed that in the present, Ardyn harbored nothing but immense rage and hatred for his younger brother, who he deemed to have been jealous of him and relished the chance to take the throne from him and cast him into exile. Ardyn's hatred for Somnus made him desire to wipe out the Lucis Caelum bloodline. Ardyn also enslaved Somnus as a Lucii and had him fight Noctis and considering how he placed Somnus in the Hall of History, it was likely in order to particularly humiliate his younger brother. However, the veracity of Ardyn's statement has been repeatedly shown to contrast the personality Somnus himself had shown. For example, in the Episode Ardyn teaser, Somnus respectfully referred to Ardyn as 兄上 and while he smirks when he takes on Ardyn, doing so without hesitation, it was likely because of Somnus merely being unable to help himself and to protect the people considering the many people Somnus ensured were out before beginning to fight, indicating Somnus did have some jealousy but it wasn't enough to turn him against Ardyn and he only fought Ardyn to save Eos even if he didn't hesitate. Somnus also didn't kill Ardyn but instead imprisoned him in Angelgard, although considering how Ardyn showed rage at the reminder, it was likely done because Ardyn was an immortal. And yet despite all Ardyn had done, Somnus, as the Mystic, acknowledged Ardyn as his brother and asked Noctis to free Ardyn from his misery, making him the only one, apart from Noctis, to ever show pity for Ardyn as Noctis's retinue looks down on the Accursed with contempt and does not even take Ardyn's tragedy seriously while the Astrals show complete devotion to the Accursed's defeat and never showed regret for their unceremonious condemnation of Ardyn, likely as Somnus had been among the very few to witness the tragedies that made his brother the Accursed he is now and acknowledged that Ardyn wasn't the evil he was deemed by many to be because he wanted to and therefore sympathized with him. It was also possible that as Somnus matured, he came to regret not doing anything to save Ardyn and for being jealous.
  • Ardyn and Regis: Ardyn considers Regis to be one of his hateful descendants and due to the fact Noctis was the True King, he merely saw Regis as being a stepping stone for Noctis to acquire the power needed for Ardyn to finally die.(It was likely Ardyn who created the plan to take over Insomnia and kill Regis in the first place, considering how he was likely aware of Regis's death being necessary for Noctis to become the True King.) He acted cordial when delivering Nifleheim's pact, but when Noctis came, Ardyn sadistically displayed Regis's corpse in a grotesque manner in order to mock Noctis. He showed his lack of respect for Regis by mocking his sacrifice when he used the Wall to guard Insomnia. In Episode Ardyn, it was revealed that Ardyn had attacked Insomnia in the past to find Regis. This may have been how Regis realized Noctis's destiny and also Ardyn's realization of Noctis being the one to kill him.
  • Ardyn and Noctis: Ardyn's relationship on Noctis, while stated by Ardyn himself that Noctis was merely a means-to-an-end, is one of the most complicated things in the Final Fantasy XV Universe. Ardyn clearly resents Noctis greatly, being jealous of how Noctis was chosen to be the Crystal's Champion while it cast Ardyn aside and also having his hatred of Somnus extend to Noctis (Somnus has been seen to look a lot like Noctis, it may be this resemblance that made Ardyn hate Noctis more than he did with the other Lucis Caelums). While at first mockingly civil to him, he steadily shows an uncharacteristically colder and more vindictive side when talking with Noctis, as shown when he looked genuinely angry when referring to Noctis's shattering of his frozen body and later seperating him from his friends as well as killing Luna in front of him, showing a strong desire to make him suffer. In their final battle, Ardyn shows an increasingly more wrathful and jealous side, with his mocks being laced with outright vindication and contempt and even lashing out openly. And yet, Ardyn seems to genuinely enjoy watching him grow, almost to the point of being proud of him in a (even if twisted) father-son like manner. He bears Noctis no ill-will when Noctis kills him and while initially angrily rebuffing Noctis's empathy, genuinely smiles at Noctis's plight at the end. Before being defeated, Ardyn bowed to his descendant. It seems that as Ardyn watched Noctis struggle, he began to consider Noctis to an extent as a kindred spirit, as he likely deep down recognized that while the Crystal had chosen Noctis over Ardyn as it's champion, Noctis was just as doomed as Ardyn was by the Astrals's sense of greater good.
  • Ardyn and Noctis's retinue: Ardyn has little to no regard for Noctis's friends, as none of them had any role in his goal to find peace and die. While he acts cordial and civil around them, once revealing his true persona, Ardyn ruthlessly uses them as parts of his vindictive manipulation to hurt Noctis. He also cruelly taunts them at times, as shown by how he mocked Prompto for his killing of his own creator and Ignis when he has Noctis pinned down. Although, it seems Ardyn had a shred of respect for Ignis's undying loyalty and friendship to Noctis, as after he was deemed worthy to wield the Ring's power, Ardyn, even if mockingly, praised him for having earned the favor of the previous Lucian Kings. He also shows absolutely no respect for their status as Noctis's retinue, as he knocks them all out and casually dismisses it as being the fact that they are just dead weights for Noctis in his battle (in Ardyn's words, the Battle of Kings).
  • Ardyn and Emperor Aldercapt: One of Ardyn's worst mechanizations was his twisting of the originally benevolent Emperor of Nifleheim into the obsessive and ruthless maniac he was. Aldercapt considered Ardyn his most capable subject and did not seem bothered by sightings of Ardyn's strange behavior. Ardyn shows no care for Aldercapt, twisting him into a powerful daemon and sicking him into the retinue. He proved his lack of care for Nifleheim by letting the nation fall callously and when Noctis came, Ardyn's lack of respect for his former superior was shown by the fact that he sadistically placed Aldercapt as one of the illusions he used for his amusement.

Powers and Abilities

Ardyn, even while in his light hearted and frivolous mask, is extraordinarily intelligent, easily among the most intelligent, if not, the most intelligent character in the whole Final Fantasy series. 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, which he achieved by completely outsmarting and manipulating the Emperor into desiring the Crystal and somehow making him a mere husk of his former self. His tactical and strategical capabilities are unparalleled, allowing him to effortlessly come up with constantly successful plans, almost always succeeding, as displayed by his dramatic and utter victory in his mission to get Noctis to become the True King. Not only was he able to remain completely unsuspected by Noctis and his retinue up until he murdered Luna, at which point he still was able to casually avoid danger by aiding them convincingly enough to force them to accept it, but despite sights of his unusual behavior that would normally baffle Nifleheim, none of his subjects ever suspected his allegiance. Ardyn was also an exceptional scientist, with him being able to effectively use his knowledge of Daemons to greatly advance the Magitek technology used by Nifleheim, being the one who thus proposed the creation of the Magitek Infantry, an army of automata, by using Miasma itself rather than Solheim's technology and also the key advisor to Verstael's success in it by revealing Daemonified humans would be the best. This act allowed Ardyn to quickly establish himself as the Chancellor of Nifleheim and his outstanding political ability is displayed by his constant success in managing Nifleheim's political operations, even being successful in having Lucis sign the false treaty. Ardyn is also a fully qualified driver, riding a red car.

Although Ardyn had to compensate for his inability to show his true capabilities, due to having to keep his true identity a secret, he would eventually prove himself to be quite possibly one of the deadliest foes ever seen in the Final Fantasy series. He retains the divine powers granted to the Lucian royalty bloodline despite his corruption even if his magic had been tainted, causing it to emit a red theme, making him fully capable of warping and phasing through solid matter, summoning weapons from thin air, with the additional property of having his weapons powered by red explosive energy, making it a lot more destructive than the usual glass-like weapons manifested by Noctis, which he seemingly used to manifest a large red scythe, wielding the Royal Arms, which he can uniquely do without suffering drain, and using Armiger, which he can maintain without strain. Although he has only all the royal arms Noctis can collect, he is able to use them in a wider variety of ways, such as having them surround his back to form wings, which seemingly lets him float independent of Armiger's innate flight ability. He can spread his royal arms about the battlefield and have them return to him and consolidate them into a shield to block damage. He also is an incredibly powerful spellcaster, capable of using the highest levels of Elemancy without requiring Magic Flasks or collecting energy from elemental deposits and in addition to retaining the ability to cast powerful light-elemental magic, his corruption makes Ardyn capable of casting the most powerful of dark-elemental spells, such as blasting dark energy to knock others out, empowering his sword strikes with it and even conjuring a twister of dark energy as well as firing laser beams. In Episode Ardyn, he focuses a spiral of dark energy in an arena and detonates it and also swings dark energy with his sword to hit multiple targets. He is also an exceptional fighter, not only being a superbly skilled melee combatant with all forms of the melee royal arms and even unarmed combat, able to unleash quick barrages of relentless attacks difficult to block, but also being considerably apt with the ranged royal arms as well.

Ardyn is capable of halting time itself for several minutes over a considerable radius while leaving special others unaffected. He can also transform into others and with his acting skills, it is near impossible to distinguish the difference between him and the one he disguised him, and he can even also transfigure others visage into whatever he wants. He could also render himself totally unseen and telepathically communicate with others, henceforth how he remained unseen by Noctis while silmutaneously communicating with him.

Ardyn, as the living incarnation of Starscourge, is the one who spreads it all over Eos. As Daemons are created by the Starscourge, Ardyn is able to fully control them and can also assimilate them into himself to make him stronger. His once innate ability to heal those afflicted with the Scourge and even able to absorb the substance into himself was what turned him into the monster he is now and he wields a much more twisted version now that allows him to turn others into Daemons and even revive the dead into ghastly mockeries of their former selves as well as also being able to control even beings as powerful as the Rulers of Yore with Starscourge, at which point his command over them is absolute and he can even grant them unique powers to use. He can willingly exude Miasma unlike regular Daemons who constantly emit them and his Miasma cannot be dispelled by sunlight and he can radiate so much darkness as to completely cover the world in eternal night and he can do this even from realms away, henceforth the true release of his soul being the only thing that allowed the sun to rise once more. He can manifest a barrier of Starscourge energy that he compares to the Wall erected by the previous kings of Lucis and it is powerful enough to take the combined might of the Astrals to dispel and from his own words, he animated the remaining Old Walls through unknown means before taking control over them.

Being the Starscourge incarnate has made Ardyn immortal. He also cannot feel pain, as he boasted to Noctis, and seemingly cannot be harmed by regular means and temperature differences have no effect on him, as not only didn't he freeze in Shiva's presence, he also was completely unharmed by the attacks of Gladiolus and Prompto, only pretending to be knocked down to mock them. It seemed that only the Ring of the Lucii and the Astrals have the power to harm him but being an immortal, even they cannot destroy him and the only thing that can is the power of Providence. His seeming inability to feel pain is such that even when on the verge of death and later indeed dying, he never showed any pain and remained somber and lubricious to the end.

Boss

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, while no longer using elemancy spells, retains his dark spells and has a far more formidable penchant in warping and using Armiger compared to the one faced by Noctis. To add further difficulty, Ardyn has gotten a few more Armiger moves and unfortunately loves to showcase it. He does still use some of the same techniques Noctis uses with Armiger but he has gained the ability to consolidate Armiger into a shield and have them fold out behind him as wings, which makes him able to float around, making it troublesome as he can easily stay on the air while Ignis has no ability to reach him and has to do it the hard way. It should be noted that he at times also flies around without Armiger, although at the point, he would often just warp-strike. In addition, Ardyn also has a tendency to make his Armiger fly about the arena before pulling them back to him, which can be quite hard to repel as it is a swift two-way attack easily able to catch you off-guard. At times, Ardyn will manifest a large scythe that deals formidable damage, although his pattern is just twirling and slashing the scythe so you can counter it without that much difficulty.

Quotes

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.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Ardyn is one of the few Final Fantasy villains who does not transform in the final battle.
  • Ardyn is one of the very few Final Fantasy villains to succeed in his goals and so far the only one to get away with it fully, as his goal from the beginning was to die and find peace, with the secondary intention to destroy his and the Oracles bloodline, all which succeeded as Ardyn fulfilled the Prophecy by allowing Noctis to kill him, therefore destroying his lineage and finally granting the Accursed the end he had longed for so long, with his murder of Ravus and Luna also eliminating the bloodline of the Tenebrae Oracles and giving Ardyn both his revenge over the two bloodlines that caused his downfall and peace.
  • 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.

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           Final Fantasy Villains

Final Fantasy
Garland | Fiends of Chaos | Chaos | Astos

Final Fantasy II
Emperor Mateus | Leon | Borghen | Dark Emperor | Light Emperor

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Xande | Djinn | Gigameth | Goldor | Gutsco | Hein | Cloud of Darkness

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Golbez | Elemental Archfiends | Kain Highwind | Baigan | Dr. Lugae | Maenad | Zemus | The Creator

Final Fantasy V
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Final Fantasy VIII
Adel | Fujin | Griever | NORG | President Vinzer Deling | Raijin | Seifer | Ultimecia

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Queen Brahne | Thorn and Zorn | Meltigemini | Kuja | Garland | Necron

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Promathia | Shadow Lord | Shantotto

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Final Fantasy XIV
Archbishop Thordan VII | Ascians (Elidibus | Igeyorhm | Lahabrea | Nabriales | Warriors of Darkness) | Gaius Van Baelsar | Heavens' Ward | Illuminati | Livia Sas Junius | Lolorito | Nael Van Darnus | Nero Tol Scaeva | Nidhogg | Quickthinx Allthoughts | Regula Van Hydrus | Rhitahtyn Sas Arvina | Teledji Adeledji | True Brothers of the Faith | Varis Zos Galvus

Final Fantasy XV
Ardyn Izunia

Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light
Chaos | Servants of Chaos (Asmodeus | Beezlebub | Belphegor | Leviathan | Lucifer | Mammon)

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
General Hein | Phantoms

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Dark Lord | Julius

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Meteor Parasite | Raem

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time
Larkeicus

Final Fantasy Chrystal Chronicles: My Life as a King
Dark Lord

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Cu Caspel | Galdes

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Elgo | Four Generals (Asmodai | Baugauven | Styx | Vata)

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Duelhorn (Alys the Ensorceled | Duke Snakeheart | Maquis | The Night Dancer) | Khamja (Ewen | Illua) | Klesta | Neukhia

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Llednar Twem | Queen Remedi

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Cid Aulstyne | Gala | Gilgamesh Ashur | Nimbus | Qator Bashtar | Qun'mi Tru'e