The Manikins

The Manikins

Manikins are cursed mockeries of men that crawled forth from the Rift, and now befoul this realm. Their masters do no more than pull the puppets' strings.
~ The Cloud of Darkness to Laguna about the Manikins.

Manikins (in Japanese: イミテーション, imitēshon, lit. "Imitations") are magical beings and the main enemies encountered in Dissidia Final Fantasy and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy. They appear as crystalline palette-swaps of the playable characters. In-game they are represented by various Battle Pieces on the map board.


In Dissidia, it is stated that the Manikins were created by Cid in an attempt to give physical form to the consciousnesses that came from other dimensions, after viewing how Chaos and Cosmos' "acquired pawns". His failures became manikins, incomplete puppets, which were sealed in the Rift. The successes are implied to be some of the warriors of Chaos and Cosmos, stating the "created pawns" "questioned their very reason for living", and after a purification began to remember things from "their previous lives". However, which characters are summoned or created is not revealed. It may be that the only summoned warriors were Garland, Gabranth, and Shantotto, while any of the other 19 may be the created ones.

This is retconned in Dissidia 012, where it is told the nation of Onrac from World A discovered a door to the Rift and retrieved a sample of crystal ore for study. The ore acts similar to an organic lifeform and grows as a living creature. Research on the sample results in mass production of simulated lifeforms made from the crystal ore, the first manikins. They remained formless until approached in their containment cell, at which point they took on the forms of the researchers observing them. However, they were mindless puppets, and Cid was recruited by the researchers to transplant memories into them to give them a sense of self.

Though it proved impractical for widespread use, Cid was able to implant a manikin with memories of ten other individuals, resulting in a manikin that resembled a grotesque monster but was the size of, and acted like, a human child. The child was placed in Cid's care for observation, and would grow up to become Chaos. Research continued with the manikins, and eventually the successful transplant of a complete set of memories to one was successful - this manikin was named Cosmos, and took the image of Cid's wife.

Ultimately, most of the manikins failed to take on memories and were sealed in the Rift. After Cosmos, Chaos and Cid were transported to World B. Cid resumed his attempts to implant manikins with memories. He eventually created the Warrior of Light from an infusion of his own memories, and sent him to fight in the cycles of war to observe his growth. Cid's failures prior to the Warrior's creation were disposed of in the same location as the other manikins.

During the twelfth cycle of the war as seen in Dissidia 012, Exdeath releases the manikins as foot soldiers for Chaos. Due to their nature as mindless automatons, Garland remarks they will continue to fight even when their opponent is defeated and weak. Thus, if one is overwhelmed by manikins, they can be pushed to the brink of death and risk not having the strength to be revived in the next cycle. Though they are initially few in number, a massive horde of the creatures eventually sweeps across the land, separating the heroes as they fight to try and manifest their crystals. Eventually, their attention turns from the crystals to their concern for the deaths of their comrades at the hands of these new enemies.

After the Cloud of Darkness tells Laguna where and how the manikins have crossed over, he, along with Lightning, Kain, Tifa, Yuna, and Vaan, decide to track down the portal the manikins are using to enter the world and close it. At the same time, a large army of manikins marches on Order's Sanctuary to kill Cosmos, and save for the warriors seeking the portal, only the Warrior of Light remains to defend her.

Locating the portal in the Empyreal Paradox, the team defeats a few Warriors of Chaos who have arrived to stop them, and engage the manikins in a final battle, ultimately fading away, presumably to their respective worlds, but successfully closing the portal to the Rift, preventing any more manikins from emerging. Meanwhile, Cosmos uses her power to save the Warrior of Light from the manikin army sent to destroy her, weakening her, but drastically reducing the number of manikins left.

In Battle

Manikins are colored in a manner reflective of their original counterpart or their counterpart's game of origin - Terra's manikin is red, Kuja's is purple, Warrior of Light's is blue, and so forth. Some manikins, like The Emperor's, use two colors. Manikins of different characters from the same game are the same or almost a similar color. Their voices are garbled, distorted versions of their counterparts, and their icon is that of the Battle Piece icon that represents them on the board.

Their naming system consists of an adjective alluding to their nature as transitory imitations, and a noun that describes their counterpart - Cloud's manikin is "Imaginary Soldier", while Golbez's is "Delusory Warlock". The exceptions to this rule are Prishe, Shantotto and Gabranth, who have the naming system "Antiquity". All adjectives that describe the manikins are synonymous (i.e. with the same or somewhat the same meaning). All manikins of characters from the same game share the same adjective, except for Final Fantasy XII, where Vaan's manikin has a different naming scheme to Gabranth's.

In battle, the manikin's power changes according to the type of Battle Piece that represents it. Manikins are able to perform any attack their original counterpart knows, but they can execute these attacks even if they are not a high-enough level to legitimately know them. The same goes for equipment: manikins may potentially equip any equipment piece they like regardless of its level requirement, even if their character counterpart cannot equip the item innately. They can also equip any number of the same accessory regardless of the accessory's rank, though they still may not equip more than ten. Manikins can equip support abilities, and all manikins have the basic Block, Dodge and Free Air Dash abilities.

Manikins can utilize EX Mode, and as such can pick up EX Cores and absorb EX Force. All manikins share a single EX Mode titled "Powered Up!" in which they gain the Regen effect and have a greater likelihood to score critical hits. However, they do not gain any special abilities or attacks usable by their counterparts, cannot use EX Bursts, and keep the same appearance as their normal mode save for a glowing aura. The sole exception to these rules is Gabranth's manikin, which changes its appearance while in EX Mode and gains a different moveset like Gabranth himself does, but its EX Mode is still called "Powered Up!" and it still cannot use Gabranth's EX Burst. In Dissidia 012 manikins are able to use Assists, and are vulnerable to Assist Lock, Assist Break and EX Break. Manikins' assist characters are always other manikins, and in storyline battles Assists used by the Warriors of Chaos are always manikins. Usually during the last battle of each Warrior of Cosmos the ones that each Warrior of Chaos use are manikins of their respective opposing Warrior of Cosmos.

In Dissidia, some manikins give the player a chance to win a Destiny Point by fulfilling a requirement, such as scoring a critical hit within a time limit or preventing the opponent from picking up an EX Core. Manikins represented by Strange and Expert Battle Pieces always give the player a Destiny Point for winning in the Destiny Odyssey story modes, but in the other story modes they may not. In all story modes, defeating an Ultimate Battle Piece-level manikin always awards two Destiny Points. In Dissidia 012, as Destiny Points are replaced by KP (Kupo), all manikins allow the player a chance to win KP by fulfilling a requirement, and this requirement is set depending on the gateway and is shared across all manikins in this gateway. In both games, depending on the stage, defeating a manikin may cause other items including extra Battle Pieces to appear on the stage. In Dissidia, defeating a manikin may unlock a locked area, while in Dissidia 012 defeating them may cause previously vacant tiles.

Known Manikins

Introduced in Dissidia Final Fantasy

  • False Hero = Warrior of Light = Blue
  • False Stalwart = Garland = Blue
  • Imitation Liegeman = Firion = Yellow and brown
  • Imitation Despot =The Emperor Mateus = Yellow and orange
  • Counterfeit Youth = Onion Knight = Dark green
  • Counterfeit Wraith = Cloud of Darkness = Light green
  • Delusory Knight = Cecil Harvey = Cobalt blue/Silver
  • Delusory Warlock = Golbez = Cobalt blue and silver
  • Fallacious Wanderer = Bartz Klauser = Turquoise
  • Fallacious Tree = Exdeath = Turquoise
  • Phantasmal Girl = Terra = Red
  • Phantasmal Harlequin = Kefka = Red
  • Imaginary Soldier = Cloud = Light blue
  • Imaginary Champion = Sephiroth = Light blue
  • Transient Lion = Squall = Purple
  • Transient Witch = Ultimecia = Purple
  • Capricious Thief = Zidane = Indigo
  • Capricous Reaper = Kuja = Light purple
  • Ephemeral Vision = Tidus = Orange
  • Ephemeral Phantom = Jecht = Orange
  • Lady of Antiquity = Shantotto = Brown
  • Warrior of Antiquity = Gabranth = Gold

Other Appearances

Manikins appear as character cards in Final Fantasy Artniks.

Several manikins appear as trading cards in Final Fantasy Trading Card Game. Reflecting their roles in Dissidia, they act as support for Exdeath's cards, able to be summoned en masse by him and being powered up by him or vice versa, and they can bypass the standard rule that states only 3 copies of a single card can be in a deck. Many of them have abilities that mirror the effects of their original counterparts, but with less potency - for example, one of Bartz's cards makes all the player's Wind Forwards active when played, while the Fallacious Wanderer makes up to two Wind Forwards active.

Sephiroth's Manikin, the Imaginary Champion appears as an enemy in Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call, mainly fought in songs from Dissidia and Dissidia 012.


  • Manikin, also known as mannequin, is an articulated doll or dummy used mainly by artists, tailors, and dressmakers. This name is befitting to the role of these characters as crystal embodiments.
  • The concept of living crystal is also seen in Final Fantasy V's Interdimensional Rift, where crystal enemies called Crystelles are common enemies. It is also seen in Final Fantasy IX's Crystal World, where crystalline replicas of the four Chaos Guardian bosses are fought as random encounters.
  • Feral Chaos is the only playable character not to have a manikin counterpart. However, the weaker version of him encountered in the South Lufenia Gateway uses his alternate outfit, which gives it a somewhat manikin-like appearance, and is referred to as being similar to a manikin.
  • Manikin Comparison. Comparison of Jecht's manikins for cutscenes and battle.
  • The manikins seen in cinematic sequences use different models from those normally encountered, and have smoother textures with duller coloring.
  • Vaan's and Lightning's manikins are the only ones with a unique adjective in their titles (Idle and Fleeting, respectively).
  • It is possible to play as a Manikin in Dissidia 012 using CWCheat codes and CFW. These manikins cannot enter EX Mode.
  • The trading card for Fallacious Wanderer depicts it wielding the Brave Blade, but as manikins do not share their counterpart's EX Mode, there is no way for the Fallacious Wanderer to wield the weapon in-game.
  • Various manikin models include aspects of their original counterpart's EX Mode in their data files, many having their counterpart's EX Mode weapons despite manikins not gaining these weapons when entering EX Mode in battle. Said weapons are even being recolored to match the manikin's color scheme. Bartz's manikin, the Fallacious Wanderer, also has Bartz's EX Mode cape and the stars over its head.
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