In his never-ending quest for power and glory, Gilgamesh—self-styled warrior of legend and collector of fine weaponry—now roams the lands of Eorzea. When a series of events leads to confrontation with this formidable foe, you must prove your mettle or see your blade lost to his ever-growing collection.Official Through the Maelstrom website
Gilgamesh is a recurring character in Final Fantasy XIV, making his first appearance in patch 2.2 in the Hildibrand Manderville questline. Like most of his appearances, Gilgamesh in Final Fantasy XIV alludes to his original appearance in Final Fantasy V, and is a sword collector searching for the alleged "blade of legend".
But where are my manners? I have yet to properly introduce myself. I am Gilgamesh, and that is my companion, Enkidu! ...Well, not really. It has been many moons since last I saw her, so to ease the burden of loneliness, I tamed a rooster and painted it green.Gilgamesh
Nashu Mhakaracca is investigating a rash of weapon thefts by a so-called duelist who challenges adventurers and takes their weapons upon defeating them. Gilgamesh defeats yet another opponent, while lamenting his failure to locate the Sword of Legend.
Gilgamesh seeks out "the demon bird" who stole the Bradamante halberd from him. In a rare instance of him actually finding the original weapon, Gilgamesh claims he found the halberd after first entering the world, felling many challengers in duels with it. He had also tamed a chicken to replace Enkidu out of loneliness. Hildibrand and Nashu meet up with Gilgamesh and his chicken sidekick by chance while searching for the mysterious duelist, oblivious that Gilgamesh is the culprit until the latter recognizes the Bradamante replica as his. Taking back his spear as the authorities surround him, Gilgamesh falls back to the Griffin Crossing bridge in Ishgard where he makes a wager with the Warrior of Light to win the spear off him on the condition that he relinquishes his own weapons should he lose. During the battle Gilgamesh realizes that the halberd he took from Hildibrand is a fake and retreats further down the bridge to rethink his strategy. Upon defeat, Gilgamesh comically attempts to escape by jumping off the bridge while grasping Enkidu, only to fall for the effort.
Gilgamesh encounters Ultros who offers an alliance to take Hildibrand and the Warrior of Light out at Master Fygreis's Coliseum, but turns down the offer while warning him not to underestimate the Warrior's abilities. Later on, Gilgamesh interrupts the award ceremony in an attempt to challenge the Warrior of Light to a rematch, only to be blown out of the arena by an ill-timed sneeze from Typhon caused by the Thief of Many Faces.
While he intends to get the jump on them, a beating from Julyan Manderville forces Gilgamesh to help Hildibrand and the Warrior of Light solve the case and apprehend Ellie Ryse: the culprit behind the thefts. Once the case has reached its conclusion, he issues a rematch challenge with the Treaty Blade, one of the heirloom items stolen by Ellie, as the prize. Reunited with the true Enkidu, who is revealed to be a primal that Gilgamesh summoned, the pair fights the Warrior of Light together. Once Enkidu is defeated, Gilgamesh assumes his eight-armed form and continues the battle, but is defeated once more. He relinquishes his claim to the Treaty Blade while feigning turning over a new leaf, but secretly promises to cross blades with the Warrior of Light again.
Unbeknownst to the Warrior of Light, Gilgamesh acts in the guise of the samurai mercenary Yojimbo and thus serves as the final boss of the Kugane Castle dungeon, having been hired by the insurgent Kageyama. Just before he can be defeated Yojimbo discovers his employer is no longer able to pay his ludicrous hiring fee, and escapes via trap door, abandoning Kageyama.
Yojimbo serves the wealthy merchant Akebono to safeguard his recently-acquired blade, the Soboro Sukehiro. Yojimbo is standing guard when Hildibrand and Nashu infiltrate a party the merchant is holding, disguised as geiko, and is distracted by Hildibrand along with most of the other party-goers. In the confusion, the Kugane Wolf Burglar sneaks into Akebono's manor and steals the prized sword. Enraged, Akebono demands that Hildibrand chase the burglar to retrieve it. Yojimbo joins the Inspector and Nashu, the Warrior of Light, and the ronin samurai Shigure to do so. Traveling with the group to Yanxia, Yojimbo and his dog Daigoro track down the Wolf Burglar. He sics Daigoro on the burglar, only for the thief to distract Daigoro with a golden koban. Despite this setback, the Wolf Burglar is captured courtesy of Hildibrand's theatrics. Hildibrand and Shigure entrust the Soboro Sukehiro to Yojimbo to bring back to Akebono. However, by the time the Inspector's group returns to Kugane, they are informed by Akebono that Yojimbo had never returned, noting that he had fired the mercenary after his prized sword was taken.
Yojimbo has fled to the Ruby Sea in an attempt to steal the blade Ame-no-Murakumo from the Red Kojin. Discovering that the entrance to their stronghold is underwater, he is discovered by Hildibrand's group, now including the newly-freed Wolf Burglar, having "bribed" Daigoro into leading them to him. Cornered, he explains that he was attempting to find a sword powerful enough to finally defeat the Warrior of Light. Reluctantly, after Hildibrand subdues Daigoro with a round of affectionate pets, Yojimbo throws the sword to him, who in his attempts to catch it, steps on Daigoro's tail, angering the previously blissful dog. In the aftermath of Daigoro's rage, Yojimbo flees the scene as the Sekiseigumi arrive to arrest Shigure.
Yojimbo sends Hildibrand a poorly-written anonymous letter claiming that he had once again stolen the Soboro Sukehiro, and challenges the "something-something of Light". Hildibrand, thinking that the phrase was "Gentleman of Light", rushes off to find the culprit, but is easily defeated before the Warrior of Light can even reach the meeting point. Once there, Yojimbo directly challenges the Warrior of Light to another fight, this time on the Kugane Ohashi. A short while into the fight, Yojimbo descends into a dark portal, ditching his samurai garments and revealing his true identity as Gilgamesh. Though he had managed to steal the Kojin sword, Gilgamesh is again defeated.
Gilgamesh explains he had come to the Far East following his previous defeats, but found himself starving. He had met Daigoro on the streets of Kugane, and the two formed a bond as starving outcasts within the city. Taking up the title of Yojimbo, he offered his services as a master swordsman to earn money.
Gilgamesh accompanies Hildibrand to rescue Shigure from execution, and again once it is discovered that Godbert Manderville has been brainwashed by Akebono and an unnamed representative of the Radz-at-Han company, the Sahjattra Concern via the drug dewprism. With the group confronting the two villains, Akebono demands that Godbert destroy everyone. Gilgamesh is easily defeated by the drugged Manderville.
When Godbert is returned to his senses, the Sahjattra Concern rep resists arrest by throwing a dose of dewprism into Gilgamesh's mouth and flees to him, commanding the garish brute to take him to take them both to somewhere very, very far away. Gilgamesh opens up a portal to the Interdimensional Rift, dragging the rep, the Inspector, and Nashu along with him.
Gilgamesh's appearance is a mix between his two appearances in Final Fantasy V. While he has eight arms like his second form post-"morphing time", he wears the same red and gray clothing prior. The released render of Gilgamesh shows him wielding seven different weapons: an axe, mace, katana, baghnakhs, the Hauteclaire sword and Ridill scimitar from Final Fantasy XI, in addition to a replica of Nael van Darnus's gunhalberd Bradamante called the "Pradamante".
Gilgamesh is a sword collector and an honorable warrior with a thirst for battle, but also in many ways incompetent, which makes for comedic moments. Unlike his usual appearances, Gilgamesh makes attempts to be crafty and hide his sword thievery, and though his poor ability to go undiscovered is obvious to the player, Hildibrand remains oblivious.
"Battle on the Big Bridge" plays during the battle against Gilgamesh. It has similar beat to the original theme from Final Fantasy V with hard rock drums added. It was arranged by Masayoshi Soken.
In the second encounter with Gilgamesh and Enkidu, the original version of the theme from Final Fantasy V is used.
"Triumph", the standard Stormblood boss theme, plays during the battles when Gilgamesh is in his Yojimbo guise.
Behind the scenes
In the Closed Beta, Gilgamesh was the name of a World. Gilgamesh's name is also used in example sentences for the chat log filtering configuration.
Yojimbo's surprising reveal as Gilgamesh in patch 4.56 was foreshadowed in patch 4.1, with Gilgamesh and rooster Enkidu making an inexplicable cameo in a Hildibrand "Next time" scene.
Square Enix's Eorzea Cafe served a dish called "Escalope of Gilgamesh" whose description translates to: We find a bearer of many weapons in Gilgamesh. This is a dish featuring pork cutlet with demi-glace sauce, and a wide variety of ingredients including bamboo shoots and corn.
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.
- Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, Patch 2.2 "Through the Maelstrom".
- Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, Patch 2.4 "Dreams of Ice".
- Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, Patch 2.5 "Before the Fall".
- Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, Patch 4.3 "Under the Moonlight".
- Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, Patch 4.4 "Prelude in Violet".
- Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, Patch 4.5 "A Requiem for Heroes".