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Garuda, the Warden of Wind, is the Eikon of Benedikta Harman in Final Fantasy XVI. Benedikta uses Garuda's power to lead the Royal Intelligencers of Waloed in service to Barnabas Tharmr, the Dominant of Odin.

Garuda is a recurring Wind-elemental summon in the Final Fantasy series. Garuda in Final Fantasy XVI is based on her counterpart from Final Fantasy XIV.

Active Time Lore[]

The Warden of the Wind, who Benedikta transformed into during her ill-fated flight from the empire. It takes the form of a fearful harpy, summoning storms and tearing into the flesh of its prey with hawklike talons. Such is the Eikon's frenzy for destruction that even allies of the Dominant of the day are wont to begin fleeing the battlefield when dark clouds gather overhead.

Basic Information

The Warden of the Wind, who Benedikta transformed into during her ill-fated flight from the empire. It takes the form of a fearful harpy, summoning storms and tearing into the flesh of its prey with hawklike talons. Its Dominant is most often born among the descendants of the Motes of Wind, an ancient tribe that once dwelled in the lands spanning the Strait of Autha—what is now the Crystalline Dominion.

Hidden Truths

History[]

Garuda awakens in the descendants of the "Motes of Wind" people, who once inhabited central Valisthea in what is now known as the Crystalline Dominion.[1] Garuda is one of the Eikons who holds a part of creator god Ultima's power to one day be absorbed by Mythos in Ultima's bid to build a body strong enough to cast Raise, a spell to create a new world and revive Ultima's race. Only those who practice the Circle of Malius faith knew of this, however.

Garuda awakened in the 15-year-old Benedikta Harman after she was nearly killed by her master after being wrongly accused of stealing.[2] Benedikta would come to use her power over Garuda to serve Barnabas Tharmr, the king of Waloed, as a member of his Royal Intelligencers.

Benedikta called upon Garuda's power to summon one of her Egis, Chirada, to battle Clive Rosfield in the woods outside of Lostwing. Following Chirada's defeat and Cidolfus Telamon's arrival, Benedikta created a small tornado to obscure her and the Intelligencers' retreat.

Some time later, Benedikta and Cid semi-primed their respective Eikons and briefly did battle in the chapel of Caer Norvent. Benedikta summoned both Chirada and Suparna, overwhelming Cid before leaving her Egis to deal with Clive. Clive pursued and confronted Benedikta and battled her, demanding to know where she was keeping the "second Dominant of Fire" he believed was responsible for killing his brother.

Partway through their fight, Benedikta flew into a rage and semi-primed again. Clive defeated her, unknowingly absorbing Garuda's aether from her and disrupting her ability to use Garuda's power. Benedikta was left in hysterics after realizing she could not feel Garuda within herself, and had to be forcibly taken from the stronghold by her companion, Gerulf, as the second Dominant of Fire broke free and laid waste to the fort.

Later that day, Benedikta was left at the mercy of a group of footpads after they killed the rest of her team, including Gerulf. As she was about to be set upon by the bandits, she flashed back to the time Cid rescued her from forced servitude, before suffering a psychotic break and unleashing the remnants of her power, priming into Garuda and rampaging out of control. Garuda created a massive storm and summoned hordes of Wind Elemental Egis to roam the Sanbreque countryside.

Clive entered the storm to confront the second Dominant of Fire, before being forced to battle Garuda. Clive gained the upper hand, slicing off one of Garuda's wing's talons before stabbing her in the eye, causing her to fall to her apparent death. However, Garuda quickly reappeared and grabbed Clive, regenerating her lost talons and eye with aether before she attempted to crush Clive in her grip. Clive unleashed a powerful blast of fire before priming into Ifrit and clashing with Garuda. The two Eikons fought viciously, but Ifrit claimed victory when he subdued Garuda and unleashed his Hellfire spell, creating a devastating explosion that destroyed the surrounding area and killed Garuda and, by extension, Benedikta.

After Clive defeated and absorbed Ultima and destroyed the nexus in Origin, the source of all magic, Garuda, along with the other Eikons, would no longer awaken, eventually fading into myth as the years went by. Tales of the Eikons and magic would be spoken of in the book Final Fantasy, written by "Joshua Rosfield".

Characteristics[]

Garuda is a harpy-like creature with two pairs of large wings on her upper and lower back, the upper pair possessing a set of claws. She has wing-like protrusions on her head, and has yellow eyes and a mouth of razor-sharp teeth. Her body is covered in white and green feathers, and her hands and feet are equipped with large talons. Her Egis are Chirada and Suparna.

When semi-primed, Benedikta gains a pair of wings resembling Garuda’s.

Gameplay[]

Boss[]

Benedikta is fought in semi-primed state in a clearing near Lostwing and in Caer Norvent. Garuda is fought as a boss in the Eye of the Tempest. Her Egis are also fought as bosses, and one appears as a notorious mark.

Clive's abilities[]

Clive using Deadly Embrace Topple from FFXVI

Deadly Embrace (knocked down).

Garuda's Eikonic Feat, Deadly Embrace, pulls small fray to Clive, used to not interrupt combos and to pull down flying foes; it can be used instead of Phoenix Shift or lunge. On large or immovable enemies that cannot be pulled, using Garuda's Eikonic Feat will somersault Clive into the air instead, usable to dodge a ground attack or to then chain into an ability that plunges down, or to simply keep in the air as it can be used repeatedly. The enemies that cannot be pulled by Deadly Embrace often have a will gauge, and when that gauge is at half full, the enemy will briefly stumble, a cue for the player can use Deadly Embrace to trap the adversary in a pull-down animation. In late game, every boss is susceptible to this, and it buys time for Clive's other powers to recharge.

The abilities Clive can learn and equip from Garuda are Gouge, Wicked Wheel, Rook's Gambit, and Aerial Blast. When Clive equips Garuda in battle, his magic will be wind-aspected, but this is only cosmetic, turning his magic missiles green.

WIcked Wheel from FFXVI

Wicked Wheel.

Clive begins with Gouge and Wicked Wheel already learned and ready to use. Wicked Wheel propels Clive into the air while he damages all enemies around himself, lifting small enemies alongside him. He can then follow up with aerial combos or with attacks that bring him back down.

Gouge is an excellent staggering ability, and though each individual strike is weak, the player can extend Clive's flurry of attacks by tapping the execute button during his onslaught. However, as enemies will not recoil from Gouge, he is left wide open during it, and it can be difficult to get all attacks to hit unless the enemy is already staggered, or toppled from Deadly Embrace's takedown. However, being a good staggering ability, Gouge is also good for increasing the damage multiplier on already-staggered foes, and in this state, it is easy to get all strikes to connect.

Rooks Gambit from FFXVI

Rook's Gambit.

Rook's Gambit is a counterattack ability; the animation begins with Clive jumping back, and if this evades an enemy's attack, his counter will be especially potent and shorten the ability's cooldown. The cooldown will begin from the strike, and so dodge-canceling before the strike will give Clive a "free" backstep. Rook's Gambit cools down especially fast when used for countering and thus is great against aggressive enemies.

Aerial Blast is Garuda's most expensive ability. It conjures a tornado onto the battlefield that tracks enemies and persists for 15 seconds, and persists even longer when the ability is upgraded. The windstorm lifts and traps small enemies, and deals great will damage to enemies that cannot be lifted. The downside is that the storm greatly obscures the player's visibility.

Musical themes[]

Garuda's theme is "Control".

Gallery[]

Etymology[]

Garuda is a large, birdlike creature that appears in both Hinduism and Buddhism. It serves as Lord Vishnu's mount and is the Hindu name for the constellation Aquila. Contemporary representations of Garuda are the brahminy kite and phoenix.

Citations[]

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