You came here hoping to find some treasures, huh? I can tell from your eyes. I'm a treasure hunter myself, and a famous one, too. Just because I'm famous doesn't mean I'm gonna tell you my name.
Gilgamesh is a non-player character in Final Fantasy IX. He is a Rank D Treasure Hunter who travels around Gaia looking for new treasure. He is known by different names in different towns, including Alleyway Jack and the Four-armed Man, revealing his true name when Zidane becomes a Rank S Treasure Hunter.
He alludes to the recurring Gilgamesh character from the series. Final Fantasy IX is his third appearance after having debuted as a recurring boss in Final Fantasy V and appeared as a summon in Final Fantasy VIII. Gilgamesh in Final Fantasy IX diverges quite a bit from the earlier incarnations, not having much to do with interdimensional travel or collecting weapons, although his artwork depicts him with numerous blades and his brother's message in Memoria suggests Gilgamesh is looking for swords. Though he drops equipment during his Active Time Event interactions, these are not the Genji gear the recurring Gilgamesh traditionally drops.
Profile[edit | edit source]
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Gilgamesh bears little resemblance to the Gilgamesh that appears in the majority of games, being of small stature and not covered in armor. He is around the same height as Zidane (173 cm). The majority of his face is covered by a silver face plate and he has unruly red hair and one pierced ear. He has four arms, and in his artwork has daggers and a sword, though he is not witnessed fighting in-game. He wears a cropped leather vest and cuffs of the same material and color, chainmail armor, brown trousers and over-the-knee boots.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Gilgamesh is opportunistic and seeks to gain wealth and fame by unscrupulous means, including stealing, extortion, scamming and treasure hunting. He plays Tetra Master and kindly introduces others into the art, having amassed a rare deck of airship cards himself. He is depicted more as a nuisance than a serious criminal, and quite cowardly as he is easily frightened off by the idea of being opposed by someone stronger than him. He portrays himself as an expert treasure hunter, but in truth Gilgamesh is closer to a novice.
Story[edit | edit source]
Gilgamesh appears in Alexandria as Alleyway Jack where he teaches Vivi how to play Tetra Master. He later appears in Treno and steals money from Princess Garnet and buys a Power Belt with the earnings, which he drops after being scared off by Steiner. When the party visits Treno for the card tournament, Gilgamesh plots to abduct Eiko to blackmail money off Amarant. His plan fails and he drops another piece of his equipment after being scared off by Quina.
Zidane meets Gilgamesh in Daguerreo, where, when challenged to a card game, he will play with the rare airship cards. After Zidane gains the highest possible Treasure Hunter Rank, Gilgamesh reveals his true identity, as well as admits he is not a great treasure hunter. He then disappears to places unknown.
Gilgamesh appears to have a brother or a friend called Enkido, as if the player makes it to Memoria before 12 hours of play time has passed, they can obtain the Excalibur II, the game's strongest sword. Nearby is found a note, addressed to Gilgamesh that says:
To Brother Gil- Bro, I found the sword, like you told me. But there were two. One of 'em had a lame name, Something II. It was a dingy, old thing with flashy decorations, something you'd probably like. So I went with Excalipur. I'll be back after I find the Tin Armor.
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
Tetra Master[edit | edit source]
Huh? How did you know my name? If you know who I am, you probably wanna challenge me to a card game, huh? What? You don't know how to play? And you want me to teach you? Well... Why not? I finished one job already. Follow me, kid!
Gilgamesh acts as the Tetra Master tutorial when he teaches Vivi at the start of the game. The player can meet him in the alley west of the town square, but if they let Alleyway Jack walk across the screen and leave the area, they miss the chance of talking to him. After meeting him, the player can talk to him in the tavern, and he will explain he rules of Tetra Master.
He can be challenged in Daguerreo in a room with an elevator. He plays airship cards, the rarest of them being the Invincible. If intending to collect a full deck, the player should win off all unique airship cards from him before initiating normal conversation (with ) as Treasure Hunter Rank S, which will prompt Gilgamesh to leave and not be seen again (talking to him with only initiates a card game).
Treno items[edit | edit source]
Alleyway Jack/Four-armed Man appears during Active Time Events both times the storyline calls for the party to visit Treno. During Garnet and Steiner's stay, the player can view an Active Time Event called "Treno Tradition", in which Garnet is mugged by a pickpocket called Four-armed Man. During this event an exclamation mark appears, and if the player presses when the ! appears, Garnet loses 500 gil. The sum is 1000 gil if the player misses. After witnessing the event, Steiner can go to the same location (right outside the Synthesis Shop) where he meets the Four-armed Man who hands over a Power Belt.
When Zidane, Vivi, Eiko, Freya and Amarant visit the city later, the Four-armed Man again appears during ATEs. In "Memories by the Water", he meets Amarant and flees due to Amarant's reputation as a bandit. After seeing him talk to Eiko, the Four-armed Man believes he could hold her hostage to get money from Amarant; however, in "City People" Eiko and Quina reunite, and believing Quina to be Eiko's bodyguard hired by Amarant, the Four-armed Man flees yet again, dropping a Chimera Armlet.
Treasure Hunter Rank[edit | edit source]
Gilgamesh will tell the player their Treasure Hunter Rank at Daguerreo. Upon reaching Rank S Gilgamesh will reveal his own rank and true identity, reward Zidane with the Rank S Award key item, and leave. The player's rank is determined by the number of opened chests in field areas and discovered chests while riding Choco on the world map, searched field icons, items gained in event sequences, and key items purchased in Treno Auction House (with the exception of Magical Fingertip and Pearl Rouge).
Etymology[edit | edit source]
Gilgamesh is the main character of the Epic of Gilgamesh, an Akkadian poem considered the first great work of literature. He is a demigod with superhuman strength who builds the walls of Uruk to defend his people and travels to meet the sage Utnapishtim, a survivor of the Great Flood.
Gilgamesh is believed to have actually existed by many scholars. It is estimated he lived sometime between 2800 and 2500 BC. The Sumerian King List claims Gilgamesh ruled the city of Uruk for 126 years.
Gilgamesh in Final Fantasy is also based on Benkei, a famous character in the Japanese mythologies and chronicles of the Genpei War. A powerful warrior monk said to have personally defeated 200 men in every battle he engaged in and said to have had the strength of demons, Benkei's introduction sees him set out to collect 1,000 weapons, and to this end he posted himself at Gōjō Bridge in Kyoto and challenged every warrior who attempted to cross. On his 1000th duel Benkei was defeated by Minamoto no Yoshitsune, the only defeat he had ever known, and became his faithful retainer throughout the rest of his life.
From the story of Benkei, Gilgamesh takes his preference for the naginata (Benkei's traditional weapon as a monk), his penchant for fighting on bridges, his collecting of weapons from enemies he defeats, and his friendship with the player's characters who defeat him. Benkei's devotion to Yoshitsune is the basis for Gilgamesh's association with Genji equipment—the Minamoto Clan is also called the Genji Clan, using the alternate pronunciation for the Chinese characters for mina and moto, gen and uji, respectively. Gilgamesh's face paint is based on traditional kabuki actors, for which Benkei is a popular character to portray.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- A recurring motif for Gilgamesh in the series is that he is looking for the legendary sword Excalibur. In Final Fantasy V he thought he had found it, but after it turned out to be a poor imitation known as the Excalipoor, he was banished in the Interdimensional Rift. In Final Fantasy IX, the Excalipur and Excalibur II were found in Memoria by Gilgamesh's brother Enkido as per instruction from Gilgamesh. Enkido took the Excalipur and left the Excalibur II behind for Gilgamesh to get. Memoria is a realm of the Crystal' memories that resembles the Interdimensional Rift from Final Fantasy V. Enkido having made off with the worse sword alludes to Gilgamesh ending up with counterfeit versions of legendary weapons.
- Enkido alludes to Gilgamesh's recurring sidekick who often fights alongside him as a minor boss.