Ark (アーク, Āku?) is a recurring airship-like summon in the series that first appeared in Final Fantasy IX. Although initially appearing as an airship with a dragon's head at the helm and a long blade out front, Ark can transform into a mecha; in this state, it can attack with an arsenal of explosive laser weaponry.
Ark appears to be an eidolon of Terran origins, guarding the Gulug Stone in Oeilvert, an ancient Terran archive, and a red moon features during its summoning. The pattern its lasers draw on the ground includes the triangular emblem of Terra that appears in many locations associated with the planet, and the glyph-like language that appears throughout Terran related artifacts. Ark is also the only eidolon not featured on the Eidolon Wall in Madain Sari.
As eidolons appear to be born of people's collective imaginings, most often based on myths and legends as in the case with Gaia's eidolons, Ark may be based on Terran memories of an ultimate warship as told in the Oeilvert records. Whether Ark is still conjured by Gaia's or Terra's Crystal is ambiguous, as eidolons are beings created by the Crystal to be its protectors, however, the Crystal of Terra is said to be too weak to manifest them.
Whether the Ark fought in Oeilvert and the one learned as an eidolon from the Pumice are the same being is ambiguous, as the Ark protecting the Gulug Stone never transforms. It is presumed to be less powerful at this point, as Ark cannot be summoned until Dagger obtains a full Pumice.
Ark seems to be Terra's equivalent to Gaia's Alexander, their elements mirroring: Ark is Shadow-elemental, Alexander Holy-elemental; both are mechanical, being feared as ancient weapons and summons, with Alexander being an immobile megalithic fortress while Ark takes a form similar to an airship. They share the theme of Heaven and Earth, Ark being airborne and Alexander being earthbound. Both represent their respective worlds of origin and their names relate to a theme of judgment and punishment, with Alexander known for his attack, Divine Judgment, while Ark's original attack name in Japanese was Dark Fate.
When equipping Dagger with a Pumice she can learn to summon Ark for 100 AP. The party can locate two Pumice Pieces, which can be forged into Pumice by Hades at his Synthesis Shop in Memoria. Pumice can also be received by beating Ozma, the most powerful enemy.
When summoned, Ark departs from the red moon of Terra, and transforms into a mecha as it reaches terminal velocity within Gaia's orbit. A hovering Ark targets the enemy with a laser glyph before firing a salvo of explosive lasers from its wings to scorch the battlefield, and finishes by readying a larger laser whose impact can be seen from space. Its attack is called Eternal Darkness (暗黒の運命, Ankoku no Unmei?, lit. Dark Fate), which deals Shadow-elemental damage to all enemies.
Ark has the longest summon animation—the full attack is almost two minutes, and the short animation is longer than most summons' long animations. Ark's spell power is equal to 106 plus the total number of Lapis Lazulis in the party's inventory. (See Summon (Final Fantasy IX)#Mechanics for damage formulae.) Summoning Ark earns the Firin' Mah Lazer achievement in the mobile and Steam versions.
If Ark is added to Dagger's roster of summons since the beginning of the game via a cheating device, it would originally cost 320 MP to summon, before she has her eidolons extracted. Its normal cost is 80 MP.
Location: Treno Card Stadium, Chocograph treasure "Forgotten Island".
The Cruise Chaser boss in Alexander - The Heart of the Creator is based on Ark. Like Ark, Cruise Chaser has its default mecha form, and transforms into its airship form during the fight's phase transition.
Cruiser Chaser also uses Ark's signature attack, Eternal Darkness. In addition, before casting Eternal Darkness, Cruise Chaser will summon Lapis Lazuli orbs to increase the potency of the attack. This is a reference to the jewel mechanics in Final Fantasy IX, in which the more Lapis Lazulis were in the player's inventory, the more damage Ark's Eternal Darkness will take in would inflict.
Ark is a light-elemental Eidolon for Jornee and Aemo. Jornee's version of the signet teaches her Aura abilities, while Aemo's version teaches her Blasty abilities. Both artworks of the summon take inspiration from the summon's multiple appearances in the series.
Ark is a dangerous foe that rains down punishing physical attacks, but you can brace yourself for battle using Protect, kupo! Its Photon attack deals massive damage to an ally based on their HP, so having a healer in the party helps. Wind is its weakness, and Aero Strike can really hurt it bad! It's immune to earth, though, kupo.
Ark appears as the main boss of the Oeilvert Final Fantasy IX realm dungeon. Ark has access to Propeller Wind, Photon, Boomerang, Whirlwind, and the default Attack ability.
In addition, Ark also appears in various Final Fantasy IX event dungeons. The versions of Ark encountered in the non-ultimate difficulty dungeons of events use the same attacks as the realm dungeon versions. The "ultimate" versions of Ark often use stronger variants of its normal attacks and occasionally have access to the Eternal Darkness attack.
A stronger version of Ark also appears as a boss and an Esper as part of the magicite system. The summon is a rank 5 dark-elemental magicite and players must first defeat Ark (Savage) in the third dark magicite dungeon in order to obtain it. This version of Ark uses a different set of attacks to match its dark-elemental nature, such as Endark, Eternal Darkness, and Doomsday.
When Ark is summoned into battle it will cast Ultra Eternal Darkness, which deals ranged physical dark-elemental to one enemy and grant all allies a barrier to avoid a single holy-elemental attack. Ultra Eternal Darkness can break the damage cap.
- Magicite effects
Ark’s magicite provides the following effects in battle:
|Name||Starting Value||Max Value|
|Mind Boon||Lv. 10||Lv. 20|
|Increases the Mind of all allies, proportional to combined magicite stats.|
|Empower Dark||Lv. 5||Lv. 15|
|Increases the dark damage of all allies and their espers.|
Ark also has a chance of using the following abilities after being summoned into battle:
|Name||Trigger Rate (Start)||Trigger Rate (Max)|
|Deal ranged physical dark damage to one enemy. Can break the damage cap.|
|Deal ranged physical damage to two enemies.|
|Deal three ranged physical dark attacks to one enemy.|
A mechanical entity fusing magic and technology, once sealed beyond timespace by a heavenly pact.
Ark is an earth-elemental magic card, allowing the player to use the Stonera earth magic ability.
The card was originally added into the game's draw shop in late 2016, however it has since been removed as a obtainable card through this method. The only method of aquiring this card is now through the game's ability shop.
Ark appears in Final Fantasy Trading Card Game with a dark-elemental card depicting an artwork of it.
Ark appears in the version available via Final Fantasy Portal App.
Etymology and symbolismEdit
Noah carried seven pairs of each clean animal species and one pair of each unclean animal species, each pair a male and female, into a giant ship called the Ark. The Ark was built by God's command to survive the deluge He sent to purge the world from the sins committed by mankind. This may relate to the place where Ark is fought, Oeilvert, the archive of that is left of the Terran civilization after most of it was destroyed. If Ark is the manifestation of what is left of Terran memories housed in the archive, it would also befit its name.In the Bible,
Its origins of coming from invaders from another world, being an airship of an advanced degree of technology, and its Dark-elemental affinity, likely hearken to the Japanese Edo Period-born concept of the black ships. How it is a robot, but described as "the beast from the dark", is also a wordplay on the suffix counter word -goki, where it is used to count machinery, but can also mean "strong demon" by homophone. Its name as Aku-Gouki, can be read as "Evil Strong Demon". This stems from outdated superstitions, including how such ships were related to demons of local myth, and to initial fears of such advanced technology, including how cameras stole souls and trains were untrustworthy explosive death traps.
Ark's summon attack is called Eternal Darkness in English, or Dark Fate in Japanese. The main theme of Final Fantasy IX is life and death, and the summon attack's name may relate to the latter. Its transformed appearance is also similar to what can be described as an "angel of death", a purpose that Zidane and Kuja were conceived for by Garland.
- The Pumice item used to summon Ark in Final Fantasy IX is known as (ふゆう石, Fuyuuishi?, lit. floating stone). In the original NES version of the original Final Fantasy this item was translated as "FLOATER", and was used to lift the ancient airship from the desert.
- Ark's transforming capabilities can be seen not only as a precursor to the transforming Eidolons in Final Fantasy XIII, but also an indirect reference to the Transformers franchise, which features a spaceship called the Ark.
- Ark's design is a nod to the 1986 Square sci-fi Mecha RPG Cruise Chaser Blassty, influenced by the mecha SPEX-07 Blassty. The game was made in conjunction with Sunrise Entertainment, who are best known for their mecha anime series, including Mobile Suit Gundam.
- Ironically, had Kuja not sent Zidane to Oeilvert to claim the Gulug Stone, he might have found an eidolon to rival Alexander like his plan was.