|“||Soon... very soon! The power of the Void will completely be mine, and the entire earth will kneel before me! Mwa-hahahahahaha!!!||„|
|“||Time for your viscera to see the light of day! Now DIE!||„|
Exdeath, also known as "X-Death", "ExDeath", and "Exodus", is the main antagonist of Final Fantasy V. He is an immensely powerful, competent, manipulative, and demonic being born from all of the evil souls sealed inside a great magical tree, who manifests as an imposing knight clad in holy-looking armor, with his other forms invoking the Dark Knight Motif. He believes firmly and aims to take control of the Void to take over the world. After combining with the void, Exdeath becomes the entity known as Neo Exdeath.
Exdeath is voiced by Naomi Kusumi in Japanese and by Gerald C. Rivers in English.
The Great Forest of Moore was a place to where all evil souls were banished, trapped forever under the seal of the Sage Tree. The souls trapped in the forest eventually fused with each other, giving birth to a large tree. This tree acquired self-consciousness, and started calling itself Exdeath. Exdeath left the forest and plotted the downfall of mankind, to create a world of evil. For this end, Exdeath sought to control the power of the Void, which had been sealed in the Inter-dimensional Rift years before. The only way to do this was to destroy the crystals that supported the seal, so he went to the second world to destroy the crystals there. However, Exdeath was faced with the four Warriors of Dawn, which had been chosen to protect the crystals. They defeated him, but were forced to seal Exdeath in that world, using the power of the four crystals from that world.
The years passed, and the humans started to abuse the powers of the crystals. This not only weakened their power, but also the seal over Exdeath. Being able to project his consciousness, Exdeath started manipulating people, so the crystals would shatter and the seal over him would be released. Knowing this would happen, one of the Warriors of Dawn by the name of Galuf traveled to the second world into a meteor to prevent Exdeath from breaking the seal. However, he lost his memory when the meteor felt. He is found by Bartz and Lenna, who all go after the wind crystal, later joined by Faris, who uses her ship to travel everyone to the wind shrine. However, they arrive too late, as the crystal had already shattered. They then decide to protect the remaining crystals, being chosen by them as the new Warriors of Dawn. However, their efforts are futile, as all crystals shatter and Exdeath breaks free. Exdeath resumes his plan, going back to the first world. Galuf had already recovered his memory, so he goes after him. Bartz, Lenna and Faris manage to travel to the first world to go after Exdeath.
As they arrive, they are captured by Exdeath's minions. Exdeath leaves his right-hand Gilgamesh keeping an eye over them, as he starts the activation of a force field over his castle. Galuf sneaks into the castle and fights Gilgamesh, who flees. They run away from the castle, and are confronted by Gilgamesh again at the Great Bridge, but he once again flees. Exdeath finishes the activation of the field, which sends them all flying to the northern continent. They are later rescued by Krile, Galuf's granddaughter, who tells them that the sage Ghido was calling for them. They arrive at Ghido's island, but Exdeath floods the island to stop them. They eventually learn that Zeza, one of the original Warriors of Dawn, took a fleet to shut down the force field on Exdeath's castle. Zeza takes them by submarine to an underwater cave behind the castle, which connected with one of the towers that powered the field. They climb the tower and destroy the antenna after Zeza shuts it down, but the generator room starts self-destructing, killing Zeza in the process.
Using Zeza's submarine, they go after Ghido, who tells them that Exdeath is after something in the Great Forest of Moore. The four go to the forest, only to see it being burnt to ashes. They find the Sage Tree in the remains of the forest, and without knowing they break the seal on the four crystals of that world. Exdeath then enter the tree and claims the crystals for himself, using their power to trap the heroes. Krile also arrives and knocks Exdeath, but he just traps her as well. Furious, Galuf uses all of his strength to break free, shattering one of the crystals and knocking Exdeath. Exdeath fights back, but even using all of his strength he is unable to hurt Galuf, who ends defeating him. Over exhausted, Galuf uses his last strength to free the others, but ends dying in the process. Exdeath retrieves the crystals and flees to his castle, so Bartz and the others go after him. Once in the castle, they are confronted by Gilgamesh again, who just cannot seem to defeat them. Infuriated with his incompetence, Exdeath banishes Gilgamesh to the Interdimensional Rift. Bartz finally faces Exdeath, but as he defeats Exdeath, all remaining crystals shatter, causing the two worlds to become one again.
Bartz, Faris and Krile eventually find Ghido again, who tells them that now that the world has become one again, the portal to the Interdimensional Rift will open, allowing the Void to escape. Exdeath, who was disguised as a splinter, shows himself and thanks Ghido for the useful information, since this was his objective all along. With the two worlds united again, he would be able to take control over the Void. Just to show them the power of the Void, he opens the portal to the rift over the Tycoon Castle, where Lenna was. Ghido fights him, but Exdeath sends them away. Ghido then instructs them to look for the twelve ancient weapons that had been used to defeat the evil wizard by the name of Enuo, who created the Void. Inside the rift, Exdeath makes a deal with all of the monsters there, who become his minions.
When Bartz, Faris, and Krile comes to the Sage Tree, Exdeath attacks them, this time sending Lenna, who was possessed by a monster from the Rift. Lenna's dragon rescue her by taking the demon out of her body, so Bartz and the others defeat it. As they leave the place, Exdeath starts spreading the Void everywhere, destroying various towns, which makes Bartz become furious. They manage to collect all the legendary weapons, then enter the Interdimensional Rift. Along the way, they fight all Exdeath's minions, but are helped by Gilgamesh, who was still alive.
|“||I am Neo-Exdeath, all memories...dimensions...existence, all that shall be turned to nothing, then I too can disappear, for eternity!!!||„|
|~ Exdeath as Neo Exdeath.|
When they find Exdeath, he reveals his true form and proceeds to kill all of their friends, then unleashes the Void over them. However, the spirits of the four Warriors of Dawn appear and hold the power of the Void, so that Bartz can fight Exdeath. Exdeath is defeated, but then he loses control over the Void, which consumes him. He becomes one with the Void, transforming into Neo Exdeath, threatening to destroy all existence, but is defeated again. With the Void controlled, the world starts to regenerate, and the heroes are sent back home.
Dissidia: Final Fantasy
In Dissidia, Exdeath is summoned to World B to fight as a powerful warrior of Chaos, desiring to return World B to the Void once the battle between Chaos and Cosmos is over. During one of the previous cycles of conflict, Exdeath briefly crossed paths with his former minion Gilgamesh who is sucked back into the Rift.
Prior to the 12th conflict, Exdeath found the portal that unleashed the Manikins into World B. During the cycle, Exdeath becomes Kain's nemesis. When the group of Warriors under Lightning attempt to close the portal the Manikins are emerging from, Exdeath hinders their path with Kain staying behind to fight him. But with Golbez secretly aiding their opponent, Exdeath is defeated yet gloats that Kain and his allies will find nothing but a complete demise with his allies as he fades away.
In the final cycle, after fighting Cecil Harvey when he projects Golbez from him, Exdeath is enlisted by Kuja to aid him in his scheme against Zidane. Using Bartz as a pawn in the scheme, Exdeath weaves a fake Crystal for Bartz to find. After Zidane is teleported away by the fake Crystal, Exdeath pursues Bartz and Squall before the former defeats him in combat. But once Cosmos is destroyed by Chaos, Exdeath confronts the Warriors of Cosmos and reveals they caused her demise before fighting. Defeated as he fades into nothingness, Exdeath delights in his true demise while declaring that everyone else will follow suit.
Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ / Union χ
Exdeath appears in the game on a Medal that depicts his sprite from FINAL FANTASY Record Keeper and was available during the FFRK collaboration event from 02/22/19 to 03/11/19. It is a Magic-type Medal that lets the Player use the special attack "Flare", which deals four hits, and boosts the Player's Reversed Medal strength by 5, their Magic Medal strength by 15, lowers enemies' Reversed Medal defense by 5, their Magic Medal defense by 15, and deals more damage the higher the number of the slot the Medal is in.
Exdeath wears a sky blue suit of armor about seven feet tall with a horned helmet, spiked shoulders, and a long blue cloak. His helmet is topped with a two-ended plume and has a thin opening that would normally be used for sight. His armor is decorated with jewels, gold linings and beads, and though he is a warlock, Exdeath also carries a sword with him he can use in battle as proficiently as his magic. The opening on his helmet seems to be the only actual exposed area to his outfit, and it is never revealed what his appearance under the armor in his humanoid form looks like.
In his tree form, Exdeath's torso and head are visible, but are a darker shade of blue. Below the torso, he shows his true form as a tree, the bark showing a demonic face on the tree's side. Soon after the Void begins to consume Exdeath's physical form, he becomes Neo Exdeath, a gray demon with red horns and muscular limbs and the various demons that composed his previous form manifesting from the waist down.
|“||Simple-minded fools such as yourselves could never hope to understand my motives.||„|
|~ Exdeath mocking the Warriors of Light.|
Exdeath is a selfish, maniacal, egocentric, loud-mouthed, vituperative, and blasphemous being of pure evil. Throughout the game, Exdeath treats Bartz Klauser and his party as mere pests in the way of his withstanding goal, and constantly swats them away without killing them, seeing no reason to dispose of such a mild threat. He may seem cocky, conniving, and egotistical, but that is only because he can be, since his power is practically unmatched. Exdeath is extremely unsympathetic and cruel for the slaughter of his minions, even thinning out his own lines as punishment for their failings. He is incapable of understanding positive human emotions, such as love, evidenced when Exdeath fights against Galuf. Exdeath is sure Galuf can't beat him because "all the hatred in the world could never defeat Exdeath". However, Galuf is able to surprise Exdeath at nearly overcoming him, to which Galuf explains he isn't fighting out of anger or hate, but out of love for his granddaughter.
Exdeath's appearance in Dissidia Final Fantasy gives a new angle to his motives and personality. His confidence and bravado are shown to come not only from his immense power, but his assurance that, whether or not he succeeds, everything will eventually come to an end and return to the Void. Because of this, he is not proactive within the game's story, simply wandering with little purpose and agreeing to assist other Warriors of Chaos with their schemes.
He is unique in that (upon his final defeat in Shade Impulse) Exdeath is far more accepting of his defeat than most of the other Warriors of Chaos. Because he strives not only for the elimination of existence, but also for his own eventual demise, he finds pleasure in the feeling of dying. After assuring the Warriors of Cosmos that all will eventually return to the Void, he spends his final moments standing tall, and laughing.
Powers and Abilities
Exdeath is an extraordinarily powerful warlock, possessing god-like magical powers and spellcasting prowess. The Warriors of Dawn, all of them being highly powerful and skilled, only barely managed to seal him away, with Galuf saying that Exdeath won't go down no matter how many times they tried so killing him proved to be too difficult. He is capable of summoning many devastating artificial disasters capable of destroying large areas, such as the earthquake that sank Ghido's Island and the blaze that burned the Great Forest of Moore to the ground, and manifesting a large barrier around his castle, which proved strong enough that only Xezat's sacrifice finally dispersed it. Even when he was sealed away, Exdeath could still exert his powers to an extent, able to possess monsters and people into doing his bidding to shatter the crystals that acted as his seal. He can shapeshift, as he once transforms into a splinter. In battle, he displays a vast level of mastery over many types of elemental and status magic, capable of performing the highest level, using Meteor, Firaga, Blizzaga, Thundaga, Doom, Reverse Polarity, 100 Gs, Gravity, Earth Shaker, Blaze, Hurricane, Zombie Breath, Bio, Attack, Flare, Vacuum Wave, Dispel, Re-Form, Haste. He is also very apt at using his sword in combat.
Exdeath has a theme named "The Evil Lord Exdeath", which begins with a theme similar to the one from the famous murder scene of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho and further in, an evil laugh is heard. The theme is played during all cutscenes where Exdeath makes a presence. Throughout the theme, measures can be heard from Final Fantasy IV's "Ring of Bomb" compounded by dramatic strings that culminates the suspense.
The theme "The Decisive Battle" is also connected to Exdeath, playing in all the battles against him. It shares similar tunes with "The Evil Lord Exdeath".
- Exdeath may be a portmanteau of "Death" and "Exodus", which is Greek for "departure" and names the second book of the Torah, where Moses leads the Hebrew people out of Egypt to Israel. This may be a reference to the refuge of the evil spirits that corrupted Exdeath's original body. The inclusion of his Esper form in Final Fantasy XII also suggests this. It may also be a reference to the Latin prefix ex, meaning "out of", symbolizing Exdeath's birth from evil spirits.
- It is also possible that the name "Exdeath" may be a mistranslation and misinterpretation of the original Japanese name, (エクスデス Ekusudesu). It is possible that his original name was meant to be Exodus. This is evidenced by the fact that Exodus from Final Fantasy XII and Exodus from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance are both translated and interpreted as "Exodus", while their Japanese name, (エクスデス), remains the same. The Esper Exodus resembles Exdeath's knightly form with tree-like qualities, while the Totema pays homage to his tree form. Square Enix has shown a history of keeping a more widely known and accepted name in the United States, however, such as Edward Chris von Muir, whose original name was Gilbert.
- A common misconception is that Exdeath is the reincarnation of Enuo, due to some older guides to the game stating Enuo was sealed in the Tree of Moore that became Exdeath. This is false, however - it is stated in-game by NPCs in the Phantom Village that Enuo was consumed by the Void. This is also disproven by the Finest Fantasy for Advance release of Final Fantasy V where Enuo appears alive in the depths of the Void deep inside the Sealed Temple.
- Exdeath is the first final boss in the series that requires the player to fight another boss immediately before the final battle. Since Exdeath, all subsequent villains in the series have followed this trend.
- He has more screentime than other main villains in Final Fantasy games such as Garland, the Emperor, Xande, Cloud of Darkness, Zemus (to the point that his puppet, Golbez, is playable in Dissidia instead of him), and even Sephiroth. Kefka also has more screentime.
Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King
Final Fantasy Dimensions
Final Fantasy Mystic Quest
Final Fantasy Tactics