|“||Holder of the Holy Stone... Promise me... Your spirit shall unite with my flesh to live forever. Your despair and resentment called to me... Now promise...||„|
|~ Belias through the Aries Zodiac Stone to Wiegraf.|
The Lucavi (ルカヴィ, Rukavi) are a group of demons based around the signs of the Zodiac and the main antagonistic faction in Final Fantasy Tactics. The Lucavi exist in a hell-like state, but use miraculous artifacts called Zodiac Stones to possess others. Their primary goal seems to be to resurrect their master, Ultima, possessing the body of St. Ajora - the founder and Messiah of the main religion of the land, Glabados. Once Ultima is revived they will have no need of Zodiac Stones they use to possess vessels and they'll be able to come and go as they please.
The Lucavi, Hashmalum, seems to be a sort of consigliere to Ultima, as he is the puppeteer for much of the game's action prior to her resurrection. The Lucavi are written to be the saviors of Ivalice, immortal, all-powerful gods, but as Ramza and his troupe travel through the game, they discover this is not the case. Ramza Beoulve runs afoul of the Lucavi by discovering what they are up to, and is forced to fight and defeat the Lucavi one by one. Fearsome though they may be, they are also mortal, and can be killed, especially since the writings say there were twelve originally, though after over a millennium, only seven remain (and a secret, optional boss). By the time Ramza catches up to Hashmal he is dangerously close to reviving Ultima due to the countless bloodshed needed for the resurrection to work. One of the final ingredients needed for the rite, is one the Lucavi happen upon purely by accident, a host for St. Ajora. Ramza's sister Alma comes to help her brother escape danger with the clerical rites she knows, seeing her, the Lucavi immediately deem her of importance, much later it is confirmed why - she is the predesignated host of St. Ajora. Alma is kidnapped by and bought before Vormav/Hashmal, pursuit of his sister only compounding Ramza's desire to stop the Lucavi.
Hashmal succeeds by committing suicide to fulfill the ritual. Ramza battles Ultima who transforms into a skeletal monstrosity mid-battle. Ultima is destroyed, though the resulting explosion devastates the area, and it appears Ramza has perished as well, although Orran Durai briefly spots him afterward.
Each of the Lucavi is associated with a Zodiac sign. There are 6 known Lucavi, associated with Scorpio. Aries, Capricorn, Gemini, Leo and Virgo - there may be more, but these are the only ones invoked and thus witnessed in-game. There are birth-stones called the Zodiac Stones, said to be powerful holy relics related to saints of old, called The Zodiac Braves, that vanquished the Lucavi in ages past. It is presumed each stone corresponds to the birth date of a different Zodiac Brave. The stones speak to those in-need, sensing weakness and offering miracles to those in-need of help, if the party in question willingly invokes the stone for power they become possessed by The Lucavi - the stones not actually holy relics but seals for the Lucavi vanquished. The Zodiac Braves themselves appear to actually be the Lucavi - either who were fictitious aliases the Church established for Lucavi or who "defeated" them by merging with them thus making it seem the Lucavi vanished in their presence, it is ambiguous which. What is not ambiguous is that the Zodiac Braves are The Lucavi now.
Pope Marcel Funeral, is in on the farce and has been using the Zodiac Stones to "convert" nobles of the land into what he believes are spiritual sleeper agents to push Church agenda in the form of destabilizing the kingdoms until the Church is the only force of stability the people can turn to and he can issue a full-on theocracy-state. Pope Funeral has also been using his position to declare anyone who finds out the truth of the Zodiac-Braves/Lucavi a heretic. Funeral is the one covering for the Lucavi hosts to allow them to continue to operate as his agents and the reason word does not spread of the Lucavi's actions, no matter how pronounced or bloody. In truth the Lucavi hold no loyalty to Funeral and are pushing his agenda up to the point it parts with their leader and the symbol of his power St. Ajora. They ultimately kill Funeral as a loose-end before going to reunite with St. Ajora in the spirit-world - showing Funeral's scheme to ultimately be a smoke-screen they merely paid lip-service to.
Each Zodiac Stone acts as a link to one of the Lucavi. Once someone invokes them, the Lucavi infuses into the host, altering their physical body (though they can revert their appearance), granting them great magic themed with that of the Lucavi, but consuming their soul. It is note-worthy that though the host's soul is consumed, they appear to retain their own minds. A Lucavi will speak as if they are still their host, are familiar with those the host knows, and has the same memories. The soul being consumed means the host loses all values they previously held, all emotional connections and all previous goals after the Lucavi has fulfilled the purpose of their invocation.
Wiegraff in despair over how far he has come from rebel to pawn of the Church sells his soul to Belias to be able to avenge himself on the nobility who killed his sister and used him as a pawn ever-after; Belias kills many nobles, but he rejects all connections to Wiegraf's sister or his rebel values, seeing the death-count as a contractual obligation to his host and then moving on with the scheme to summon St. Ajora - the action being what mattered but losing all touch with it's original motivations. Vormav wants to serve the Church with his children as enforcers of holy law, but after invoking Hashmal, casually murders his son as the need arises in that service - having zero connection to those he previously saw as kin. Alphonse Draclau outright sold his soul for power and so there is no conflict or unfinished business for Cucthulanin to fulfill. It is unknown what Marquis Elmdor sold his soul for, however the Marquis was stated to be a devout supplicant to the Church of Glabados and so may well have given-himself over to Zalera believing he was going to be used for a higher-holy purpose, by the time met there is basically nothing left of Elmdor and he is only a farcical persona for Zalera. Dycedarg is perhaps the most nuanced case of a Lucavi host - for he killed his father, is on his way to kill his brother and half-brother, cooperated fully with the Pope Funeral's conspiracy and murdered his Prince all before invoking Adramelech; As Adramelech, Dycedarg's persona is virtually unchanged. Dycedarg may well have been a sociopath and as such lacked any attachment to his soul in the first-place. St. Ajora is left a mystery, he had been a holy figure, but as the Church of Glabados serves only as propaganda in his favor it is impossible to know what Ajora was originally like. Like Elmdor, Ajora is seen as little more than the human face of the Lucavi. As she did not intentionally invoke him, Alma is able to reject Ajora/Ultima. Ultima herself allows Alma to manifest separate from her if only so she does not need to constantly repress the spirit of her final host. Alma is stated to be the reincarnation of Ajora, this means there was good in Ajora at one-point, but it can only flourish without the corrupting influence of Ultima.
Cuchulainin the Impure
Belias the Gigas
Zalera the Angel of Death
Adramelech the Wrath
Hashmal the Regulator
Ultima the Bloody Angel
Saint Ajora/Alma Beoulve
Zodiark the Keeper of the Precepts
The Zodiac signs of Taurus, Cancer, Sagittarius, and Aquarius, do not have respective Lucavi Demons as far as we know. Either they were never sealed into Zodiac stones or were slain prior to the timeline of the game.
Final Fantasy XII
The Events of Final Fantasy XII take place long before the events of Final Fantasy Tactics. There is a previous era briefly referenced through-out Final Fantasy Tactics, as an era when humans had air-ships and automatic-fire-arms, an era that seems to line up well with Final Fantasy XII, as both take place in the kingdom of Ivalice, the two games are strongly implied to be connected lore-wise. In Final Fantasy XII, spirits like the Lucavi are invoked with a mineral called "auracite" - the crystalized life-force of the planet which act as conduits to various forces, this may be the primitive form of the Zodiac Stones. As the Lucavi are summons in Final Fantasy XII but they do not possess anyone, it is likely they are acting out of repression for being suppressed and forgotten as figures of lore for so many years. However there is another factor that could account for the difference between the Lucavi as guardians over devils - the "License Board". The License Board is a function in Final Fantasy XII that involves the player putting extra effort and personal growth into areas of expertise, one such, is summoning each of the Lucavi, until said license is reach, the character will refuse to summon them; It may be that outright possession occurs if someone invokes the Lucavi without first adapting to and proving themselves as worthy of wielding their power, the hosts of the Lucavi losing their souls for utter lack of insight on the systems of long forgotten civilizations.
As all the Lucavi re-appear as summons in the game Final Fantasy XII, the game's "Clan Primer" glossary has specific descriptions of each, how they went from deity like-stations to fallen-angel-like positions. These are the following descriptions - all referencing a rebellion lead by Ultima eventually against the gods, before they lost and were cast down as mere servant entities.
Scion created to rid the world of its impurities by swallowing them within himself, in opposition to Nabriales the Majestic, scion of light. The world, however, was more filled with impurity and corruption than even the gods dared imagine, and having swallowed it all, the once beautiful Cúchulainn was transformed into a hideous thing, a deity of filth, and so did he turn against his creators. Wherever his feet should fall, there all life withers to dust.
Scion of darkness and guardian of the Holy Realm, made by the gods in opposition to the Transcendent Loghrif, scion of light. Called the Gigas for his appearance: man and monster fused as one. Considered a mistake upon his making, and receiving not his intended role, the Gigas challenged the gods and lost. Scorned by his masters, he found another: the Dynast-King, whose tomb he swore to protect for eternity.
Heretic scion who wrapped the world in dark energies, seeking to take the souls of all living things unto himself. Created in opposition to Emet-Selch, Angel of Truth, and scion of light. Originally tasked with the judging of men upon their deaths, his soul was tainted by the curses of those who raged against the heavens, and seizing one of the gods' servants, a shamaness, as a hostage, he rebelled against his creators. Even now, in defeat, he clutches the shamaness to him in his right arm, and with the aid of her death-wail does he summon the soul of darkness to do his bidding.
Emperor among the scions, able to reduce to nothing aught he strikes with a single vengeful blow of his fist, created in opposition to Deudalephon the Benevolent, scion of light. Though he was made by the gods to quell the fiends that raged in the Otherworld, his immense strength and fearsome visage drew the fiends to his side, and turned him against his creators. Adrammelech rose to prominence in the Otherworld, whence he led a fiendish horde against the gods, but in the end, he was defeated.
Scion set by the gods to wield and manipulate the laws of this world, and with holy power lead mankind to order. Created in opposition to Fandaniel the Protector, scion of light. Desiring to bring order to all things, he joined with Ultima in her battle against the gods. He gave his body to the Thousand-Years War, and when his strength was spent, down into the burning inferno he fell.
Masterpiece among the scions created by the gods, and the mastermind of the plot to rise against them. Prior to her betrayal, she was tasked with guiding souls to heaven and aiding in their reincarnation. Called the High Seraph for her angelic wings of glimmering gold, yet it was on wings of deepest black that the tainted angel Ultima rose against the gods. Since her fall, her heart is without light, and impossible to know.
Strongest of the scions created by the gods, they feared his growth, and so kept him a child. So indomitable is his strength that all things are by him twisted and pressed into oblivion. He alone fashions the laws governing all things, and administers punishment in place of the gods. So is he Keeper of Precepts, and his authority is absolute
- The Lucavi's name comes from the Russian word "lukavy" (лукавый) meaning "deceptive". It is commonly used as a euphemism for the Christian Devil. It is related to the Greek word "lykaugea", which means "twilight".
- The Espers of Final Fantasy XII are confirmed to be the Lucavi in Final Fantasy Tactics.
- Vormav gives his son, Izlud the Pisces stone and his daughter, Meliadoul the Libra stone with the intent both will use them and become possessed. Neither child invokes the stones as both are true believers in the holy-work of the Glabados Church and as such we never see what demons are linked to the Libra and Pisces stones, only that they too are intended as gate-ways for Lucavi.
- Each of the hosts of the Zodiac Stones happens to have the birth-sign of that stone. This could be a requirement for invoking a specific stone.
- Though the Zodiac Braves are a myth, the Zodiac Stones can actually preform honest-to-God miracles, doing so requires the person to be truly in-need and making their wish for the sake of others, as shown when one grant's Rafa's wish and resurrects her brother, Malak after he dies in her arms. Though Ramza tries to stop it, he is struck with awe and wonder that Malak is returned and no-one is possessed. The scene is used to distinguish that even if one's religion is false, miracles do happen and when God acts benevolently it is without ostentation.
- Though St. Ajora was male, his Lucavi, Ultima is female, and they remanifest in the body of Alma, another female. As such gender pronouns can be a good indication that Ultima and St. Ajora are two different people.
Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy XI
Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
Final Fantasy: Unlimited
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates
Final Fantasy Dimensions
Final Fantasy Mystic Quest
Final Fantasy Tactics
Final Fantasy Tactics A2
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
Final Fantasy Type-0