I've been waiting in this Coliseum for so very long now! I was starting to worry that you'd never download this part of the game and I'd be stuck in digital limbo!Gilgamesh's introduction
Gilgamesh is a superboss in Final Fantasy XIII-2, available as part of the downloadable content challenge called "Clash on the Big Bridge". Because he is part of post-launch content, the specific enemy stats are not listed in the official guides.
Gilgamesh, along with Valfodr at Level 99, can be considered the most powerful bosses in the game. Compared to Valfodr at level 99, Gilgamesh has the second largest maximum HP in Final Fantasy XIII-2 with a combined total of 10,999,998 HP.
In the second fight, Gilgamesh switches to his collection of swords. Early on he will use one sword per attack, each with different effects: Excalibur inflicts physical damage on one opponent, Masamune inflicts greater damage, Muramasa has a drain effect, Bashosen inflicts Slow and removes a buff, Zantetsuken inflicts wound damage, and Excalipoor only deals one point of damage. Gilgamesh can use Blitz and Launch in the same turn.
When Gilgamesh is staggered, his elemental resistances will change to Normal, and his swords will shatter, forcing him to use Eerie Soundwave, Death Claw, and Vendetta, which has him counter with Death Claw. Eerie Soundwave deals damage and may inflict Pain, Fog, and Curse, while Death Claw may inflict Imperil and wound damage. Once the stagger ends, Gilgamesh regenerates his swords, cleanses himself of negative statuses, and restores 10% of his HP.
After the player removes approximately 10–15% of his HP, Gilgamesh begins to use three consecutive sword attacks, and may sometimes use Blitz and Launch immediately after the third attack. He starts using Cross Slash, which is a powerful area-of-effect attack, and can use Vendetta with his swords, which has him counter with Blitz.
When Gilgamesh's HP is reduced to 4,500,000, he gains Auto-Haste and increases both his Strength and Magic. He starts using six sword attacks in quick succession, and can use Blitz, Launch, and Cross Slash in a single turn. Cross Slash is used immediately after Vendetta, and he begins using Eerie Soundwave and Death Claw regularly. Gilgamesh's most powerful attack at this stage is Divider, a cinematic attack that deals heavy damage to all characters and inflicts Daze on one of them. Gilgamesh will also use Divider as soon as he has recovered from stagger.
The player can finish the first battle with Relentless Assault (RAV/RAV/COM), Aggression (COM/COM/RAV), and Diversity (COM/RAV/MED) paradigms.
In the second battle, it is recommended to stagger Gilgamesh and then apply debuffs: Deshell, Deprotect, and Imperil. The party can then switch to a high-damage paradigm (such as Relentless Assault or Tri-disaster (RAV/RAV/RAV)) to raise his chain gauge. Once the chain gauge is maxed, they can shift to Cerberus (COM/COM/COM). The player is advised against attacking while Gilgamesh is guarding with Vendetta unless his chain gauge is about to reset, as this boosts the power of the attack that follows.
It is recommended to buff the party before staggering him, as the player must be highly aggressive while he is staggered. Remedies, Painkillers, and Mallets can be used to remove Daze, Pain, and Fog instead of switching to Medic roles. Because Gilgamesh heals himself, aggressive damage is necessary; the player must inflict at least 999,999 damage to burn through the amount he heals back.
While Gilgamesh is not immune to status ailments when not staggered, he is resistant. It is possible to stagger him using only Saboteur spells, but it is not effective and generally applies just one status at best. Given it only takes a cast or two to apply the statuses while he is staggered, it is recommended to use a more aggressive paradigm.
A far more time-consuming, but viable option for those who cannot seem to damage him enough while he is staggered, is to avoid staggering Gilgamesh entirely by using Offensive Screen (COM/COM/SEN) and letting the chain gauge reset when it is nearly full by switching to a defensive paradigm like Combat Clinic (MED/MED/SEN) or Salvation (MED/MED/MED). While this strategy takes far longer, Gilgamesh doesn't heal. During later stages one must be prudent in regards to healing in-between his use of Divider.
As the player cannot perform any actions during Gilgamesh's cinematic attack, they should shift to Tortoise as soon as Gilgamesh starts walking into position for the attack. Divider is telegraphed by Gilgamesh jumping backwards and begins strafing; he will not jump backwards if he decides to use it after Vendetta or Cross Slash, though he will strafe.
It is recommended to bring a stock of Phoenix Downs, Phoenix Blood, and Wound Potions. Gilgamesh uses a wide variety of abilities that inflict wound damage, and during later phases the player will not have time to use Raise.
Under 5 minutes strategy
It is possible to defeat Gilgamesh in his second form in under five minutes with considerable preparation. The party needs the Goblin Chieftain with Feral Speed II, the Cloudburst, and the Chichu. After raising them for their full potential, this Paradigm Pack can crush Gilgamesh.
- Mystic Tower (RAV/RAV/SEN) [start]
- Smart Bomb (SAB/RAV/RAV)
- Combat Clinic (MED/MED/SEN)
- Cerberus (COM/COM/COM)
- Cerberus (COM/COM/COM)
The last paradigm is optional. The player needs to play aggressively as Noel. After starting the fight with RAV/RAV/SEN and pushing Gilgamesh's stagger gauge up to around 230%, the player can unleash Goblin Chieftain's Feral Link to buff the party. After staggering Gilgamesh, the party should immediately switch to SAB/RAV/RAV and spam debuffs while the teammates continue building the stagger gauge. The player should queue in the spells 1x Deprotect, 1x Deshell and 4x Imperil. The former will stick immediately while Imperil needs four applies. During this the player should activate Cloudburst's Feral Link to get the Enfrost buff. After this, the party can switch to COM/COM/COM and start attacking.
The ATB bar refresher can be put to good use. After inputting six Attack commands into the queue and letting them connect, the player can put two more Attacks into the bar and then immediately switch to the other COM/COM/COM paradigm to refresh the ATB bar and attack with a full six-hit combo again. The party should repeat until Gilgamesh's HP drops to approximately 4,600,000, but it is critical not to let it drop further, as if Gilgamesh's HP drops below 4,500,000 he will enhance himself.
While waiting for the stagger to wear off the party can heal up, and afterward Gilgamesh will heal for 999,999 HP. The party's Goblin Chieftain will draw Gilgamesh's aggro while the player can concentrate on surviving. Goblin Chieftain's Feral Speed II will quickly have the monsters' Feral Links active again.
After repeating the above method, the party can go all out while Gilgamesh is staggered next. The Chichu will get the job done in a matter of seconds. For maximum damage potential in the second stagger, the team leader should keep interrupting Gilgamesh by only attacking when the teammates don't so that he won't have the chance to counter with his Eerie Soundwave. This way, one can defeat Gilgamesh in about 5 minutes and guarantee a five-star battle rating and five Power Crystals.
Gilgamesh is a high-end Commando with quick-hitting attacks and spells; he casts spells faster than Serah and his physical attacks are also swift. Gilgamesh has high Strength and Magic and he can gain a massive amount of HP. All of his stats can be even further raised through infusions. With the right build, it is possible to have a Gilgamesh with 14,000+ HP and over 1,200+ Strength.
Gilgamesh's physical damage capability depends on which sword he uses, and may only deal 1 point of damage if he uses the Excalipoor. Because of this the AI tends to favor him using Ruin over Attack, despite him having higher Strength than Magic.
Gilgamesh's Feral Link, Divider, is a timing attack that hits three times; pressing / at the right time strengthens these attacks.
|Stagger Maintenance II||Initial||Passive|
- Green – HP
- Red – Strength
- Purple – Magic
Gilgamesh's signature theme, "Clash on the Big Bridge", plays during the battle. This is the only Coliseum battle with music not from Final Fantasy XIII: Original Soundtrack or Final Fantasy XIII-2: Original Soundtrack is played. The song is included in Final Fantasy XIII-2: Original Soundtrack PLUS.
Behind the scenes
Gilgamesh for Final Fantasy XIII-2 was designed by Nakano Chikako. According to Final Fantasy XIII-2 Ultimania Omega the glowing parts of his attire were added for a futuristic feel. Because Gilgamesh can be recruited as an ally more care was put into designing his backside, as this would be the angle the player would see when using him in battle. The red part of his face is supposed to look like the painted face of a kabuki.
Five of Gilgamesh's weapons are famous swords used throughout the Final Fantasy series, and Final Fantasy XIII-2 Ultimania Omega elaborates further on their origins: The Excalibur is from Final Fantasy IX, Excalipoor's origins are not mentioned, Muramasa is from Final Fantasy X, Masamune is from Final Fantasy VI, Zantetsuken is from Dissidia Final Fantasy, and Bashosen is from Cocoon of Final Fantasy XIII. The name of Gilgamesh's new sword, "Bashosen", refers to the Bashosen weapon from the classic Chinese novel, Journey to the West. In it, the Bashosen is not a sword, but a giant fan-like weapon used by the Demon King Ginkaku, and its name translates as "Banana Palm Fan". Gilgamesh's Bashosen resembles a large fan.
The Final Fantasy XIII-2 Ultimania Omega details the swords' origins and it is said Gilgamesh found Excalibur in a hidden room in Alexandria; Muramasa from the ruins of Zanarkand; Zantetsuken from World B, and it is implied to belong to a manikin as it made of crystal and to be "just a husk", though Gilgamesh also suggests it is a nail shed by Chaos; the Masamune from a poisoned river in Doma; and Bashosen Gilgamesh had custom-made in Cocoon of Final Fantasy XIII using his old friend Enkidu as inspiration. This alludes to Gilgamesh having a weapon shop in Retail Network in said game.
Although the guide mentions Gilgamesh having found the weapons (apart from Bashosen) from different Final Fantasy worlds, it is also said his swords are fakes, like the weapons Gilgamesh used in Final Fantasy XII. Snow makes a reference to previous games by calling Gilgamesh "the one who collects weapons".
Gilgamesh breaks the fourth wall when he introduces himself in his match, even alluding to being part of downloadable content. When the Gilgamesh battle is downloaded, it becomes possible for Gilgamesh to be one of the people to say "FINAL FANTASY XIII-2: The Story So Far" when starting up a save.
When Gilgamesh changes to his swords he says "And now, the true contest begins", a reference to his Final Fantasy XII battle where he said, "That was merely a test of your strength mortals, a prelude if you will, the real contest begins now!" Gilgamesh's posture when using Divider is also nearly identical to his EX Burst in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, and his Cross Slash attack uses the same motions as his Death Claw attack in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy. While he does retain Death Claw as an attack, its animation in Final Fantasy XIII-2 looks more like its animation in Final Fantasy V, a spiral that grips the enemy.
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.