If I could protect but one person from war's horror... then I would bear any shame. I would bear it proudly.Basch fon Ronsenburg
Basch fon Ronsenburg is a playable character in Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings. A disgraced knight, Basch had his name ruined throughout Ivalice when he was prosecuted for murdering King Raminas B'nargin Dalmasca, contributing to the Kingdom of Dalmasca's downfall. His background is expanded upon in the manga version.
I could not defend my home. What is shame to me?Basch
Basch is a 36-year-old man with a strong, muscular-though-emaciated build, a tall frame, and blue eyes. He has long blond slicked back hair, beard and goatee. When first met his facial hair is wildly overgrown, but after joining the party it is trimmed down. Basch has a long scar across his left brow.
Basch is seen in a variety of outfits, the first being his Dalmascan Knight armor. As a prisoner he wears a pair of teal trousers and no shirt, revealing prominent scars on his shoulders and upper back. The clothing Basch wears throughout most of the game resembles a Bhujerban Sainikah. Later, he appears in an Archadian Judge Magister suit of armor.
Basch has a fierce sense of loyalty and a professional manner. He abides by a knight's code dedicating himself to restoring the country he serves. He is selfless, prioritizing others at the cost of his own reputation. Basch strives to fulfill promises and commands from his superiors, friends and family, regardless of the request or the circumstances.
Born in 670 Old Valendian in the Republic of Landis to a Landisian father and Archadian mother, Basch grew up with his identical twin brother, Noah fon Ronsenburg, and their sickly mother. Though identical twins, Basch was considered the elder, having been born first. They lived peacefully until in 687, nineteen years prior to the events of Final Fantasy XII, the Archadian Empire attacked Landis.
Basch left Landis to train in Dalmasca in hopes of restoring his old homeland as a Dalmascan soldier. He joined the Order of the Knights of Dalmasca and, over time, was promoted to Captain. Landis fell and Basch assumed his mother and brother dead or enslaved to the Empire.
Basch dedicated his life to protecting his adopted country and its royalty, King Raminas and his daughter, Princess Ashelia. As told in the manga version of Final Fantasy XII, Basch and Vossler fought in a war against the Urutan-Yensa of the Sandsea ten years ago. Before the royal engagement between Ashe and Lord Rasler of Nabradia, a Neo-Rozarria Faction arose in Nabradia, believing the proposed political allegiance to Dalmasca to be better placed with the Rozarrian Empire to avert war with the Empire.
The faction planned to assassinate King Raminas to prevent the royal engagement from going ahead and pinning the murder on Archadia to send both Dalmasca and Nabradia into the hands of Rozarria. The Order of Knights intercepted their plan by having Basch pose as Raminas to lure the assassin. The Neo-Rozarrian movement was defeated, but the Archadian threat still loomed on the horizon.
Vossler and Basch.Vossler: Listen to me, Basch. Your cage may have no bars, but it is a cage. The eyes of the Resistance watch unblinking.Basch: Let them watch. I know something of cages.
With the assassination attempt foiled, the pro-Rozarrian faction in Nabradia abandoned subtlety and rose up in open rebellion in the year 704. The Archadian Empire, under the pretense of restoring order in the country, responded by invading Nabradia after dispatching the Rozarrian troops headed for the capital, Nabudis. After the Battle of Nabudis the capital was destroyed in an explosion of Mist by Archadian Judge Zecht under Doctor Cid's orders. Knowing that Dalmasca would be next, Basch led the army to fight the Empire at the Battle of Nalbina Fortress joined by his new Prince, Lord Rasler.
As told in the manga, the battle began with the defenders using a combination of unmanned kamikaze airships filled with oil, the use of flaming arrows, and a chocobo cavalry charge to wipe out the Archadian vanguard. When the main body of the Archadian army arrived, bolstered by two Judge Magisters, a small task force under Judge Zargabaath teleported into Nalbina Fortress intent on disabling the paling. Rasler listened to Basch's counsel and hurried back to Nalbina, but the Archadian army, hot on their heels, attacked and entered the fortress before the defenses were fully prepared, and, with their attention divided, the Dalmascans were unable to prevent the task force from disabling the paling. Judges Bergan and Drace led a charge to push the Dalmascans back, and Bergan goaded Rasler into fighting him, while Basch fought Drace. Rasler and Basch retreated to the fortress, but the paling fell and in the chaos Rasler was struck by an Archadian arrow. Rasler and Basch escaped to the Dalmascan capital of Rabanastre, but Rasler died from his wounds. With Nalbina fallen, the Archadians planned to force Dalmasca into an unfair peace treaty.
The heir to the Empire, Vayne Solidor, wished to conquer Dalmasca and hatched a plan to assassinate Raminas. Vayne leaked rumors of assassins to the Dalmascan forces, and Basch led a force to Nalbina Fortress along with his long-time friend Vossler Azelas. Of his few remaining soldiers was a young man named Reks who reminded Basch of his brother, Noah. As they made their way through the Fortress Basch told Reks about his regret leaving Landis, and not knowing whether Noah or his mother survived.
Basch rushed to Raminas while his forces stayed behind to fight the Archadians. In King Raminas's chambers Basch was attacked, and when he recognized the fighting style of Landis, he called his brother by name: Noah refused to acknowledge it claiming he is now Gabranth, a judge of the Empire. Gabranth defeated Basch, scarring his brow above his left eye. With Basch incapacitated, Gabranth killed the King while impersonating his twin brother. When Reks arrived he saw the murdered King and was attacked by Gabranth, believing Basch to be the culprit while the real Basch was held elsewhere.
Basch was blamed for Raminas's death and became known as the King-Slayer. The peace negotiations fell apart and Archadian forces occupied Dalmasca. Basch was found guilty of incitement of sedition, the assassination of King Raminas, and high treason and Archadia announced him executed. In reality, Basch was being held prisoner in the Nalbina Dungeons to ensure Bhujerba's loyalty to the Empire, as its Marquis Ondore was the one who had announced both Basch's and Ashe's deaths.
Two years later, a street thief Vaan and his allies of circumstance sky pirates Balthier and Fran discover the Oubliette where Basch is being held when the trio catches Gabranth talking to an imprisoned Basch, informing him that the Empire has captured a woman from the insurgence, "Amalia". Following Gabranth's leave Basch pleads the party to set him free. Vaan yells at the disgraced knight blaming him for his brother Reks's death and Dalmasca's fall. The ruckus attracts the guards and Fran has everyone jump onto Basch's cage and drops it into the pit below the dungeons. Freed from the cage, Basch joins the team as they escape through the Barheim Passage. Basch explains the Empire framed him and though Balthier believes him, Vaan remains unconvinced.
In Rabanastre Basch departs to speak to the local Resistance and when Vaan delivers the Sword of the Old Order to Vossler, a Resistance leader alongside the captured Amalia, he finds Basch at the hideout trying to convince his old friend he did not kill Raminas, and that they need to save "Amalia". Reluctant, Vossler gives Basch the Sword of the Old Order, implying he wishes him to deliver it to Marquis Ondore, Bhujerba's leader; although Bhujerba is officially allied with the Empire, the Marquis works as an undercover Resistance sympathizer.
Basch asks Vaan to join him since they both have errands in Bhujerba and Vaan begins to believe in Basch's innocence. Basch accompanies Vaan, Balthier, and Fran to Bhujerba to rescue Vaan's friend Penelo from Ba'Gamnan, a ruthless bounty hunter, and on their journey to the Lhusu Mines the party is joined by a youth named Lamont. Within the mines the party learns Penelo is no longer under Ba'Gamnan's capture and after escaping Ba'Gamnan's gang and learning Lamont's true identity as Larsa Solidor, Vayne's younger brother and the second in line to the throne of Archadia, the party focuses on Basch's errand to deliver the Sword of the Old Order to Ondore, as Vaan has learned Larsa took Penelo to Ondore's estate. With Vaan's aid they secure an audience with the Marquis and to reunite Basch with "Amalia", Ondore has Judge Ghis, whose Dreadnought Leviathan is currently docked at the skycity, imprison the party under the guise of helping the Empire catch the Nalbina Dungeon escapees. In the manga, Vaan, Balthier, Fran and Basch are taken before Ondore, Basch explaining there is someone aboard the Leviathan he wants to rescue. Ondore confesses the prisoner is important to him as well, and Basch feigns an attack on Ondore giving pretense for him to call his guards and have the group taken to the Archadians.
Basch is reunited with "Amalia" who Vaan and the others are surprised to learn is Princess Ashe. Identifying him as the King-Slayer, Ashe strikes Basch across the face. Ghis tells the party the cooperation of a royal would be valuable to Vayne, but Ashe has no proof of her lineage. Basch tells there is such proof, the Dusk Shard of the Dynast King Raithwall, and he was instructed to deliver Ashe to it by Raminas if needed. The Goddess's Magicite Vaan had pilfered from the Royal Palace of Rabanastre earlier—really the Dusk Shard—reveals itself, pointing Ashe out as Raithwall's kin and the rightful heir to the throne of Dalmasca. Ghis seizes it and orders the group imprisoned, Ashe quartered separately.
Vossler, disguised as an Imperial Knight, springs the party free and working together they rescue Ashe whom Vossler has sworn to protect, and Penelo, who has come onboard the Leviathan with Larsa, joins the party. Ashe is still angered by Basch's presence but he swears his innocence and loyalty to Dalmasca and thus, to her. After defeating Ghis they escape the Leviathan on a carrier ship piloted by Balthier with Vossler staying behind to secure their escape, entrusting Ashe's safety in Basch's hands. They return to Bhujerba where Ashe is returned to the Marquis.
Ashe wishes to reclaim the throne of Dalmasca but cannot do so without proof of her lineage. In her quest to locate the Dawn Shard, another piece of deifacted nethicite belonging to her ancestor, Dynast King Raithwall, she coaxes Basch and the others to accompany her to the Tomb of Raithwall. After acquiring the Shard the party is ambushed by the Empire as a result of Vossler having betrayed them, now cooperating with the empire, and the party is again taken prisoner aboard the Leviathan and the nethicite taken from them.
Vossler reveals he is working with the Empire to restore peace and order to Dalmasca. Basch is furious but the party is transferred to the Shiva while Ghis attempts to test the nethicite by placing it in the Leviathan's engine. Fran's Mist-induced frenzy enables the team's escape, but Vossler refuses to let them leave, forcing Basch to defeat his old ally. The defeated Vossler asks Basch to protect the Princess in his stead, and explains that everything he did, he did for Dalmasca. Basch says he never questioned Vossler's loyalty to the kingdom, and that he will protect the Princess. Basch and the party leave Vossler behind and flee the Shiva on a carrier ship. After the Mist explosion triggered by the overheating Dawn Shard destroys the entire Imperial fleet, the party recovers the Shard, but it has lost its luster.
In the manga adaptation Vossler hands the Dawn Shard to Ghis and reveals Vayne has agreed to restore Dalmasca with Ashe as ruler in exchange for the shard. Ghis has the nethicite tested while Vossler takes the party to their quarters. Fran goes berserk from the Mist spewed by the Dawn Shard and the group incapacitates their guards. Basch and Vossler duel as the party flees to the airship bay. Vossler gains the upper hand using Balance magic and shatters Basch's sword, but through willpower and the Mist around them, Basch creates a blade of Mist from the hilt of his sword and continues to fight. Basch impales Vossler, Balance not activating since Vossler cannot make physical contact with Basch's incorporeal weapon. Vossler entrusts Ashe's protection to Basch, telling him she's currently too weak to hold the throne, and Basch must aid her in her mission. The Dawn Shard's reaction causes a chain of system failures and the airship explodes as Ashe and her friends flee in an airship back to Dalmasca. Because the manga was cancelled, this serves as the ending to the adaptation.
The party returns to Dalmasca where Basch keeps a low profile but stays true to his promise to Vossler to protect Ashe. He accompanies her to Jahara to learn of the nethicite from the garif, and they cross paths with Lord Larsa's who wishes an end to the conflict and Ashe to become the Queen of Dalmasca and propose peace to the Empire. They head to Mt Bur-Omisace with Larsa's company to meet another political ally, Al-Cid Margrace of Rozarria. Before leaving, Basch questions Balthier's intentions fearing for Ashe's safety.
Basch and Ashe discuss the possibility of a truce between the Empire and Dalmasca and while Basch supports the idea of peace, Ashe remains uncertain. At Bur-Omisace they learn Vayne has succeeded the recently assassinated Emperor Gramis and disbanded the Imperial Senate taking absolute control over Archadia. The plan for a peaceful resolution thus foiled, armed with the Sword of Kings the party uncovers from the Stilshrine of Miriam the party sets out to destroy the Empire's most powerful weapons, the nethicite.
In the Draklor Laboratory the party apprehends Doctor Cid, the Empire's leading nethicite researcher, but fails to destroy the nethicite he holds and pursues him to Giruvegan where they learn of the Occuria's wishes for Ashe to wield nethicite to destroy the Empire. The Occuria, who deem themselves the gods of Ivalice for their immortality, task Ashe with carving more pieces of nethicite from the motherlode, the Sun-Cryst, and Basch accompanies his conflicted Princess to the Ridorana Cataract alongside a wise sky pirate, Reddas.
Atop the Pharos Gabranth ambushes the party. After lecturing Ashe how she can do nothing as she could not even defend her kingdom, Basch steps in, saying he will protect both Ashe and Dalmasca. Gabranth claims Basch is powerless since he failed both Landis and Dalmasca, and reminds Basch he has been vilified by the people he so loyally served, and that by killing the King's true slayer will not reclaim him the honor he has lost. Basch acknowledges this, saying he will bear it willingly as long as he does everything for hope. Gabranth is defeated and Doctor Cid arrives asking Gabranth to leave. Cid re-integrates the pieces of deifacted nethicite in his possession to the Sun-Cryst, which begins to exhaust Mist. The outpouring awakens the Sky Fortress Bahamut, the Empire's newest battleship, but Reddas sacrifices his life to destroy the Sun-Cryst, ending the era of nethicite in Ivalice.
Basch and the party board the Bahamut to confront Vayne who is about to engage Marquis Ondore's Resistance forces in the Battle above Rabanastre. On their way up to the Cannon Superstructure they are accosted by Gabranth who questions Basch about his ability to keep his honor. Basch says that all he has done is protect those he has sworn to protect and asks Gabranth what he has protected, suggesting he should focus on protecting Lord Larsa. Gabranth attacks the party and is defeated, and Basch asks if he is done, calling him Noah. The party leaves a wounded Gabranth behind and confronts Vayne. Larsa joins the fray on Ashe's side, but not even this quells Vayne. A weakened Gabranth follows and upon witnessing Vayne willing to harm Larsa, he turns on Vayne and supports Basch and the others in their final battle but is struck down.
Vayne felled, the party escapes the Sky Fortress Bahamut. On his deathbed Gabranth asks his brother to protect Larsa and Archadia. Believing Ashe—who can now take her throne—to no longer require his protection, Basch fulfills his brother's last wish and takes up Gabranth's identity and position of Judge Magister, becoming Larsa's personal guard wearing Gabranth's suit of armor. Penelo corresponds with Larsa writing she believes Ashe misses Basch and hopes to see him again soon.
No! The dead will find no release in blood. Perhaps I am no true Judge, but the future is built on more than what is passed. A man whose gaze bends ever back cannot hope to find his way forward. You would bind yourself to illusions, to the fallen. I will cut you free of those bonds!Basch
Basch works with the Empire under his late brother's identity, serving as Lord Larsa's bodyguard. Basch guides his Emperor across Ivalice to deal with the new threat, the Judge of Wings. Vaan's party first encounters Basch upon the new Dreadnought Leviathan in Lemurés. Basch voices the rising threat of sky pirates using the Yarhi and auracite to wreak havoc throughout Ivalice. After learning the party has experience handling the Yarhi, he requests their aid while the Empire researches the Yarhi back in Archadia. Once he secures Vaan's help, Basch directs the Leviathan to Ivalice where he tells the party they will take on another member upon arrival.
Basch introduces them to Lord Larsa and informs them of the Empire's current issue: the Judge of Wings's choice of title is doing little to improve the Empire's public image, and thus Basch and Larsa implore to stop her. On the airship bridge Penelo expresses how pleased she is to be fighting alongside Basch again, while Filo admits she finds his Archadian Armor intimidating. Vaan vows to continue calling Basch "Basch", despite his official title as Judge Magister.
Everyone gathers on the Leviathan bridge to discuss their knowledge of the Judge of Wings. Basch advises Vaan to seek out a man in the Giza Plains who knows of someone inquiring after Lemurés. Basch is surprised Lemurés remained undiscovered so long in a world filled with airships, and believes that Mydia's guise as an Archadian Judge could not be merely coincidental.
The party heads down to the Giza Plains and locates Basch's source, the Rabanastre City Watch, who reveals it was Mydia who inquired after Lemurés. After learning Mydia was last seen in Kerwon they venture to the Paramina Rift in hopes of unearthing clues about her past. After discovering the war memorial to the slain at Nalbina Fortress, Basch and Ashe conclude that Mydia had visited Paramina Rift to pay homage to her fallen love, Velis. Mydia arrives dressed in the armor of the Judge of Wings and saying she left her anima in Lemurés, and summons several Zombies to torment Basch with guilt over his dead comrades. Basch sees through the ploy and throws off Mydia's spell determined to look to the the future, and not the past. Mydia escapes and Basch returns to the war memorial. Fran comforts him by saying the zombies Mydia summoned were not those of the soldiers at Nalbina, but figments of Yarhi illusion.
On the party's passage to Roda Volcano they discover the Feol Warren and face both Chaos and Mydia. After defeating her, Basch agrees alongside Ashe and Balthier to honor Mydia's wishes to kill Feolthanos, the entity that made Mydia take on the role of Judge of Wings. They journey to the Keep of Forgotten Time to slay him and Basch insists they must not turn their back on Feolthanos's disturbing illusions and encourages the party to continue on in their endeavor. In their final stand against Feolthanos, Basch champions the strength of friendship overcoming suffering as his reason to fight. After Feolthanos is felled Lemurés crumbles from the sky. Basch returns to Ivalice with Ashe and is last seen on her balcony alongside Lord Larsa.
In Final Fantasy XII Basch first appears as a guest, but soon becomes a permanent party member. His Strength and HP are among highest of the characters, but his magickal stats, Vitality and Speed are low to compensate.
In Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings Basch has high physical stats, equips heavy armor and helms and wields blades and knightswords, casting him as the party's heavy hitter. He has several defensive abilities as well as powerful attacks, making him similar to a Paladin. His Quickening, Apocalypse Shield, makes his group temporarily invincible. It can be obtained by defeating the Esper Zalera.
Creation and development
Basch's appearance went through multiple drafts from its initial concept. Originally designed with an armor and motif seemingly inspired by Old English knights, Akihiko Yoshida scrapped this look in favor of the Bhujerban Sainikah uniform. Basch's hairstyle also changed from its original design, as did his facial hair and distinctive scar, which appear to be non-existent in early concepts.
Basch, along with Balthier and Ashe, speaks in formalized English in contrast to Vaan and Penelo's more casual style. In Japanese, Balthier, Ashe and Basch use an older, more formal form of Japanese than Vaan and Penelo.
The one point of disagreement between the translators and the original Japanese developers revolved around the translators' decision to have the actor who played Gabranth (Michael E. Rodgers) mimic the twin brother Basch's voice (voiced by Keith Ferguson) in the scene where Gabranth is impersonating his twin. In the Japanese version the two actors' voices play over one another to give the scene the quality of a dream-sequence, but the translators opted to go for the more "realistic" sound. The debate came after the recording was finished, and eventually the team sided with the translators, but there were those who chafed at what was essentially a directorial decision being made by the translation team (albeit with the blessing of the voice director).
Basch's theme is titled "Basch's Reminiscence", a slow, melancholy piece reflecting his sorrow and past. It plays during the party's escape through the Barheim Passage when Basch tells the party of what really happened to King Raminas on the night Basch was charged for his murder.
Basch has made appearances in the following games in the Final Fantasy series:
- Fortress as the main protagonist (cancelled).
- Dissidia Final Fantasy as a cameo.
- Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy as a cameo.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia as a playable character.
- Pictlogica Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade as a summonable Legend.
- 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.
- Triple Triad as a card.
Non-Final Fantasy guest appearances
Basch has made key guest appearances in the following non-Final Fantasy games:
- Itadaki Street series as a playable character.
Users in Square Enix Members Virtual World community can make their character appear as Basch. Basch's hair costs 100 crystals and his clothes cost 480 crystals.
The name Basch (or Bäsch) is German from a southern short form of Sebastian. Fon is based on German word von. Von means "from" (or "of"), and is used to denote someone is of noble descent. Ronsenburg comes from a combination of the old German surname Ronsen meaning "son of Roland"—Roland being the archetypical paladin—and the German noun Burg meaning "castle".
- Killing 500 enemies in Final Fantasy XII adds Basch's sprite to the Sky Pirate's Den, awarding the player with the title of Blood Dancer.
- Basch's title within the Order of Knights of Dalmasca differs between the Japanese and English versions of Final Fantasy XII. In the Japanese version he is a general, whereas in the English versions he is a captain.
- In his official render, the sword Basch wields is the Claymore.
- Gabranth is the younger twin and Basch is the elder. This is made evident in the Japanese version of Final Fantasy XII but was dropped in the English localization. Gabranth's status as the younger twin is noted in his biography in the original Dissidia Final Fantasy.
- Basch's hair is glitched in the PlayStation 4 version of the The Zodiac Age (for the red-vested model used for majority of the game), and never moves like the others'. This has been fixed for the PC version.