You think ten years is a long time!? It is nothing to me! I have lived in darkness for ages!Ardyn during the final battle
- The man who was to be the first king of Lucis. Assuming the burden of the Starscourge borne by his subjects corrupted the Chosen's body, causing the Crystal to deny his ascendance to the throne. Ardyn's impurities grant him eternal life, which he spends plotting his revenge upon the blood royal and the True King.
- Height: 6 ft. 2 in. Weight: 175.4 lb.
Regardless of whether fighting Ardyn as Noctis in the main game, or Ignis in his DLC episode, the player character will face him alone. It is recommended to stock up on HP-restoring items, particularly Hi-Potions, Elixirs and Hi-Elixirs. Ardyn wields special red-hued royal arms whose use does not drain him of health and uses dark-elemental spells.
Now it is over, majesty. What will you do? Banish the daemons and bring peace? Erase me from history once more?Ardyn
Ardyn is fast and relentless. He has a lot of health and is immune to status ailments, as well as Death and Holy from the Ring of the Lucii. While he resists Alterna, it can still defeat him in the first round, although the second phase will still commence.
The first stage is a simple melee fight on the streets where the party first entered Insomnia. Ardyn either uses the royal arms (both close and long range) or martial arts attacks. He has a tendency to warp-strike and often warps away when attacked. He unleashes a quick barrage of attacks that are hard to block. He uses powerful spells and fires laser beams, with his deadliest attack at this point being a dark energy-charged sword attack, which can easily take a quarter of Noctis's health. Once he has lost 10% of his health, Ardyn will begin using an energy twister, which is vulnerable to blocking and countering, but deals massive damage if it hits. When Ardyn and Noctis lock swords, should Ardyn lose he will be stunned and left open for a counterattack. If Noctis loses he will be vulnerable to Ardyn's dark energy-powered sword attack and is unable to escape.
Once the player has depleted enough of Ardyn's health, he will restore himself fully and begin a new stage of the battle with both Noctis and Ardyn flying through and above the deserted Insomnia, attacking each other with Armiger. The Armiger in use is not the usual Armiger, but the "cinematic" version that was previously used in the Trial of Leviathan. Ardyn's attacks are a strong and unpredictable and can quickly inflict crippling damage if not careful.
When Ardyn has 5% health left, the battle will move into its final phase with Noctis and Ardyn landing outside the Citadel. Ardyn's attacks slightly stronger. After depleting the last of Ardyn's health, the player will get a series of quick time events in which Noctis stabs Ardyn with the royal arms, ending the battle.
It is recommended to be at least level 45. During the first battle phase, warp-strikes are a good way of damaging Ardyn, but the player should also try to engage him in close-quarters combat to charge the Armiger meter, which is perhaps the most effective way to quickly damage Ardyn in this stage. The player should dodge Ardyn's onslaught, as after he stops attacking, he will leave an opening for a counterattack. His magic is easily dodged by keeping track of the red circle that appears when he is preparing the attack, although when at close-range, the player could see his hand motion and immediately dodge.
During the flying phase, if Noctis has sufficiently high maximum HP the player can ignore Ardyn's retaliation and attack non-stop, although one may have to use an item or two to restore health. Otherwise, the player must alternate between attacking and defending.
If you're so keen on keeping him safe, I'd like to see you try.Ardyn
In the default path (the only one the player can take on the first playthrough), Ignis will battle Ardyn by the ruined Altar of the Tidemother. Though still using daggers, Ignis's attack power is greatly boosted by the Ring of the Lucii. Imperial forces appear at times to assist Ardyn. Ardyn still uses powerful magical attacks, but does not manifest the royal arms or use Armiger, only fighting hand-to-hand.
Ultimately, how the player fights doesn't matter (so long as they stay alive), as this is an unwinnable battle. When either three minutes have passed, or Ardyn drops to 40% health or lower, the Ring's enchantment wears off, ending the battle.
Ignis should use flame attacks when battling Ardyn alone, and either ice or lightning when magitek forces show up, though even flame attacks will rapidly decimate Ardyn's reinforcements. The player should only stop to heal, and use Jump and Total Clarity to dish out extra damage whenever the chance presents itself (Overclock is essentially useless, as the extra damage it deals is negligible under the Ring's influence).
Episode Ignis (alternate)
The alternate story branch has Ignis battle Ardyn in Zegnautus Keep. At first, Ardyn attacks Ignis in the Crystal chamber, uses an Armiger attack and defeats Ignis instantly. Ignis then puts on the Ring of the Lucii whose boost wears off even faster this time, after only around 30–60 seconds. At this point the player is presented with a choice to either give up, risk Ignis's life to gain the full powers of the Ring, or sacrifice his life to gain the Ring's power; the latter option must be eventually chosen to proceed (the player can choose to risk life twice first), and begins the real battle and a four-minute countdown to defeat Ardyn.
With the full power of the Ring available Ignis's attack power increases nearly tenfold. Ardyn uses dark-elemental spells, royal arms and hand-to-hand combat and often teleports around the field. He can use Armiger with more techniques than when he fought Noctis, such as a wing-like formation that he uses to float while bombarding Ignis. He can spread the arms around before having them return to him and can consolidate his royal arms into a shield to block damage. Ardyn will sometimes summon a large red scythe that he swings around.
If the player beats Ardyn within the time limit, the game proceeds to an alternate ending to the main storyline. If either Ardyn kills Ignis, or one fails to defeat him before time runs out, the player gets the bad ending and a Game Over.
A glitch can occur in this battle, which causes Ardyn to suddenly resist all of Ignis's attacks. Unless it happens when Ardyn is already close to death, this will make the battle essentially impossible to win, and requires reloading from the last checkpoint to clear the glitch.
If the player attacks him quickly and repeatedly, building up their attack power, Ardyn will soon fall. The player should use Jump whenever available, as this will momentarily stagger Ardyn and allow an opening to deal even more damage.
Ardyn appears as one of the two enemies in the mission Dastardly Duo. He retains all the moves he had in both the main and Episode Ignis Verse 2.
Behind the scenes
Ardyn's Armiger when fought in the main game is visually identical to Noctis's, but Episode Ignis shows a wider variety styles of wielding it, including Ardyn wielding his weapons in a wing formation, consolidating them into a shield to block damage, and sending them flying around the room.
When faced in the Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition, Ardyn has more lines than he does in the final game:
- Ardyn: It is from my body the daemon spawn begin. Hence they go to make daemons of men...
- Noctis: So that’s how you survived all that time... A parasite of parasites! I pity you...
- Ardyn: Oh pity me. Pitiable Ardyn.
- Ardyn: Behold o' king! A world of darkness! A land...of daemons...
- Noctis: It's too dark...it is time to restore the light.
- Ardyn: Even for the dawn to break now, it will only bring the horrors to light. The truth only offers despair!
- Noctis: And yet the people will live on!
- Ardyn: You know those kings will not protect you...
- Noctis: I know...I am the protector!
- Ardyn: The Crystal uses you...drains you of life. It plays you all for fools.
- Noctis: I accept it...if it means driving out the darkness!
- Ardyn: You should all thank me! In the dark, you would know peace.
- Noctis: I will drag you from that darkness. Out of solitude. Out of emptiness.
- Ardyn: Will you?
- Noctis: You are a slave to the dark. Until you are free, you suffer alone! Return as you were...a kind and noble king.
- Ardyn: You think you know me...you fancy yourself benevolent and worthy. And yet when your father died...you...were off playing with your friends! When your beloved died...you laid watching...powerless to stop it! And now you dare speak down to me! You think ten years is a long time?! It is nothing to me! I have lived in darkness for ages!
- Ardyn: Have you made your peace, king? If darkness shall die, so shall you! Curse your kings, and your iniquitous Crystal! Vengeance was to at last be mine! If not for you... I hate you, with all my being!
- Ardyn: So, that, is how you would end it...
It is not known that Square Enix would have commissioned new lines to be recorded for the Pocket Edition, but in a live panel with the developers held at the Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary Exhibition on February 13, 2017, it was revealed the Pocket Edition includes dialogue that was cut from the main game. This may include Ardyn's extended dialogue.