Arrogance—The only dependable thing about the future is uncertainty.Amarant's quote
Amarant Coral (known as Salamander Coral in the Japanese version) is a playable character from Final Fantasy IX. He is introduced to the player as Red-headed Man before his name can be chosen.
Amarant is a tall man with red dreadlocks that cover his eyes, a red chinstrap beard, bluish skin, large forearms, and an ape-like posture. He wears a green vest and trousers, a red belt round his waist, red bands on his upper arms and green bands on his wrists, and brownish-red boots. He has salamander tattoos on his shoulders, but doesn't appear to have them when he enters Trance and his appearance changes. When in Trance, Amarant's clothes disappear (save for a fundoshi) and his skin turns dark with purple highlights. His facial hair and dreadlocks also turn black.
An arrogant man who fights with the honor of a warrior, Amarant also seems a little naive, confused at Zidane's actions, and follows him to understand more. He is enigmatic and rarely opens up. He wants to prove himself and his way of life superior to Zidane's, but when this does not pan out, he is forced into introspection.
When Amarant was 18 he started to make a name for himself in Treno. When he was 24 Amarant worked as a bodyguard for a noble, and one day, Zidane stole something from his post. Amarant tried to stop him, but Zidane framed him as the culprit. Amarant was intrigued by the thief, and was confused by his attitude. Now a wanted man, Amarant soon fled Treno.
Queen Brahne hires Amarant and a woman named Lani to steal Princess Garnet's pendant and kill Vivi. Amarant asks if he can kill Zidane as well, and Brahne says he can after he deals with her requests. He passes through Fossil Roo and arrives in Madain Sari, where Lani takes Eiko hostage in return for Garnet's pendant. Amarant stops her, as he does not approve of hostage-taking, calls Lani a "scumbag" and tells her to get lost.
Amarant challenges Zidane to a fight and loses. He feels disgraced, and is confused by Zidane's mercy. The next day Amarant returns to the village, curious about what makes Zidane so powerful. Zidane accepts his help in accompanying the party, but they have plenty of disputes as they travel to the Iifa Tree and watch the battle between Kuja and Queen Brahne. Amarant accompanies Zidane down the roots of the tree to the shore, and returns to Alexandria with him.
In Alexandria, Amarant meets up with Freya, and challenges her to a fight. The guards break them up, and Zidane takes the blame. He accompanies Zidane, Freya, and Vivi to Alexandria Castle where they meet up with Eiko and request a meeting with Garnet, now a queen. Amarant returns to Treno, reflecting on the events that happened in the city. Outside the auction house where Amarant formerly served as a guard, he tells Freya about his past and his meeting with Zidane, much to her amusement.
Alexandria comes under attack by Kuja who has summoned Bahamut to attack the kingdom. Zidane and Eiko round up Freya, Vivi, and Amarant and return to Alexandria on the Hilda Garde II with Regent Cid and Erin. On the way, Eiko receives a mysterious distress call and jumps from the airship, meeting with Garnet and explains about Holy Judgment.
Amarant is among those who watch as the pair summons Alexander, defeating Bahamut. Amarant accompanies Zidane and his friends to the tower where Garnet and Eiko are found. He leaves with Freya, Vivi, and Cid just in time to see the Invincible destroy Alexandria and witnesses Zidane save Garnet and Eiko.
The party travels to Lindblum to recuperate, and Amarant accompanies Zidane wherever he goes for the rest of the journey. When they get to Ipsen's Castle to find a way to open the gate to Terra, Kuja's homeworld, Amarant attempts to find the clue alone to prove his method superior to teamwork. He beats Zidane to the clue, which turns out to be mirrors, dictating the location of four shrines.
Amarant falls into a trap on the way out, forcing Zidane to re-enter the castle to save him. Amarant accepts Zidane as an ally and visits the Fire Shrine with Freya to help break the seal on Terra. He accompanies Zidane to Terra and, along with the other party members, helps Zidane break from his daze when Garland almost steals his soul. Kuja goes into Trance and destroys Terra, and Amarant accompanies Zidane to Memoria where Kuja and Necron are finally defeated.
Amarant wields claws in battle, and his special abilities are Throw and Flair. Throw allows him to throw weapons and throwable offensive items at enemies to deal heavy damage. Flair allows him to cast offensive or defensive abilities. In Trance, this becomes Elan, and hits all targets instead of one.
Amarant is also fought as a boss before being recruited. Amarant is the only permanent party member who does not, at some point, take a leadership role on the field.
When Amarant joins the party at Madain Sari, it is the first time the player is prompted to choose between party members. When Amarant first joins the party, he refuses to do a victory pose. After being rescued in Ipsen's Castle, he will begin doing his victory pose after winning a battle. His pose is to sit down.
"Amarant's Theme" is named for himself, and plays during scenes in which Amarant questions Zidane's ways. It is a piece with a moderate tempo and changes from softer to louder constantly throughout the piece.
Amarant has made appearances in the following games in the Final Fantasy series:
- Dissidia Final Fantasy as a cameo.
- Pictlogica Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Artniks as a series of cards.
- Final Fantasy Record Keeper as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Brave Exvius as a summonable vision.
- Final Fantasy Trading Card Game as a series of cards.
- Tetra Master as an opponent and cards.
- Triple Triad as a series of cards.
Behind the scenes
After completing the elemental shrines, Amarant asks Zidane what motivates him to continue, and the player can answer "I do everything for Dagger," "To find out what Kuja is after," or "I don't know." No matter what the player answers, Amarant thinks that he has begun to understand Zidane's way of thinking. In the endgame, the player can revisit Lindblum Castle and enter Lindblum Airship Station where talking the Aviator allows the player to board the Invincible and talk to Amarant to finish the conversation. If the player said their motivation was Dagger, Amarant will ask if something happened between Zidane and her, as the two seem "more honest with each other", but Zidane is baffled Amarant is showing interest in other people's relationships. If the player had said their motivation was to find out what Kuja is after, Zidane says he has discovered he and Kuja are both the same and very different. If the player had answered "don't know", Zidane explains he is always discovering new things about the world and about himself.
Amarant and Steiner are the only humans of the eight main characters. Zidane is a Genome, Vivi is a black mage, Freya is a Burmecian, Quina is a Qu, and Garnet and Eiko are summoners. Amarant and Queen Brahne are the only humans shown in Final Fantasy IX that have blue skin.
Amarant's Flair attack, No Mercy, originally appeared in Final Fantasy VIII as Seifer's Limit Break. It also appeared painted on the wall in the Sector 8 slums of Final Fantasy VII. In the German version Amarant's No Mercy skill is called Mahagomeha, a word play with his German name (Mahagon) and the famous Kamehameha from Dragonball that was popular at that time Final Fantasy IX first came out.
amaranth is a genus of herbs recognizable for its vivid hue. There are several instances in which the game refers to Amarant's vivid hair color. It is likely his name would be spelled with the "h" on the end if the letter limitation for names were set at eight letters instead of seven. There are numerous mentions of the amaranth growing at the base of the tree of life in literature (Aesop and Milton come to mind). It's possible that Amarant, who joins the party to venture to the Iifa Tree, might have been chosen as the name for the English translation for this reason.An
He is named Salamander in the Japanese version of the game. Salamander is a mythological reptile believed to be able to breathe and resist fire. In legends, ancient alchemists are said to use Salamanders to determine the heat of the fire necessary to turn lead to gold.. Hence Amarant's moniker "Flaming Amarant" (or "Flaming Salamander").
He is known as Scarlet Hair in the boss battle against him before he is named. Scarlet is a bright red with a slight orange tinge. Scarlet and other bright shades of red are associated with courage, force, passion, heat, and joy. In the Roman Catholic Church, scarlet is worn by a cardinal, and is associated with the blood of Christ and the Christian martyrs, and with sacrifice. Scarlet is also often associated with immorality and sin, particularly prostitution or adultery, largely because of a passage referring to "The Great Harlot", "dressed in purple and scarlet", in the Bible.
The French translation of Amarant's name, "Tarask", could be a reference to the Tarasque, a dragon-like creature from French legend. According to Christian legend, the Tarasque was a giant sea serpent with a lion's head, turtle shell, and scorpion tail that terrorized France. Saint Martha charmed the Tarasque and led it to a town, where the townspeople killed it. The Tarasque offered no resistance.
His German name, Mahagon, could be a variation on the word mahogany (Mahagoni in German), which is a reddish-brown hard wood.
Precious coral is the common name given to Corallium rubrum and several related species of marine coral. The distinguishing characteristic of precious corals is their durable and intensely colored red or pink skeleton, which is used for making jewelry.