The Amicitia family has long served as the shield protecting the kings of Lucis and their household, and Gladiolus is its eldest son. The bond he shares with Noctis transcends that of a bodyguard and his liege. With his prodigious strength, he stands ever ready to keep his companions from harm.
Gladiolus Amicitia is a companion of Prince Noctis and a party member in Final Fantasy XV. As of patch 1.20, he is a switchable player character in the main game. He is also the main playable character in Final Fantasy XV: Episode Gladiolus, his own DLC episode, and in Chapter 13 Verse 2, an added segment to Chapter 13. He can also be fought as an opponent in Final Fantasy XV: Comrades and as a training partner in the main game.
Gladiolus is a childhood friend of Noctis and Ignis, the eldest son of Clarus Amicitia and older brother to Iris Amicitia. As a member of the Crownsguard (members of House Amicitia are the traditional leaders of Crownsguard), Gladiolus acts as the shield of Noctis, like his father has been to King Regis. He has known Noctis since childhood and considers him a brother. Gladiolus ensures the team does not sway from its goal, and holds Noctis to a high standard, ensuring that he is at his best and sometimes offering brutally honest and blunt advice. He takes great pride in his role as Noctis's sworn shield, and will rush to defend him from harm.
Gladiolus wields greatswords as his Primary Arm and shields as his Secondary Arm. As a member of Noctis's party, the player can co-opt moves with him and issue him commands. When directly controlled, he can use the Glaive Art ability, performing various special attacks based on his "valor" gauge. He has the most HP and Strength.
- Eldest son of House Amicitia, sworn protectors of the crown. Gladiolus expressed an avid interest in the martial arts at a young age, later sharing his knowledge with Noctis. As a boy, he spent many days shadowing his father Clarus at the Citadel, officially joining the Crownsguard at the age of 18. When the crown prince departs for his wedding, Gladiolus serves as his primary protector. A consummate outdoorsman, Gladiolus knows the ins and outs of roughing it in the wild—a skill that serves him well on the friends' royal road trip.
Added after Chapter 1.
- The bond a Shield shares with his king runs far deeper than that of a bodyguard and his lord. As a sworn protector of the crown, the Shield of the King must stand alongside his liege and shoulder the fate of the realm together. Having watched his father Clarus defend the late King Regis, Gladiolus understands better than anyone the risk and responsibility of this position—yet it is his unwavering faith in Noctis that inspires him to serve as a Shield.
Added after Chapter 6.
- After suffering a bitter taste of defeat against Imperial High Commander Ravus Nox Fleuret, he temporarily separates from his friends in order to further strengthen himself, and in turn, better serve his king.
Added in Chapter 14:
- For ten years, Gladiolus traveled the world dispatching daemons while awaiting the return of his king, never once losing heart. He returns to his home of Insomnia with Noctis at his side, more determined than ever to help the True King fulfill his calling and defend him from any harm that should come his way.
Gladiolus is a tall man with a large build. He wears black leather trousers with a small side chain, and an open black shirt with nothing but a pendant underneath. In the "no jacket" version of his outfit, he wears a black tank top with the Crownsguard's insignia in gray.
He has a small arm sleeve over his left wrist, and wears black shoes with red soles. He has amber eyes and a long scar over his left eye. Gladiolus has a large tattoo of a bird of prey that covers his entire back and extends down his arms. The full tattoo is visible with the Rugged Attire from his DLC. The tattoo is for male line of the Amicitia, and is the credential of the King's Shield rather than a family crest, the family members getting their tattoo when they become one of the shield. Gladiolus's father Clarus Amicitia has the same tattoo. According to the Final Fantasy XV: Episode Carbuncle Comic 13, one theory for the origin of the Shield of the King's bird tattoo is to honor Enkidu, a close companion of Gilgamesh, the first Shield of the King. In his casual attire, Gladiolus's belt buckle also portrays an eagle.
Gladiolus obtains more scars during the game. His long brown hair is shaved along the sides, and he sports a jaw beard. Like all party members, he has skull motifs to his outfit; the buttons on his jacket have skulls on them, his necklace has two golden skulls, and there is a small skull on his belt buckle and on the tag of his trousers' zipper.
Ten years later, the sides of his hair have grown back. His hair is longer, and he keeps it in a small ponytail. The tattoo on his arm has slightly faded, and he gains the Kingsglaive uniform. Other attires he can wear are the Thermal Suit for power plant workers, Magitek Exosuit bonus attire added in a patch, and the Medjay Assassin's Robe from the Final Fantasy XV: Assassin's Festival event. The Final Fantasy XIV collaboration quest Adventurer from Another World gives him a new attire that shows him with leg tattoos; however, he doesn't have the tattoos in the Assassin's Creed outfit.
I've served as your Shield through thick and thin. No matter what, I've got your back—now and always!
Gladiolus is a cheerful person, contrasting with his imposing physique. Gladiolus has been a fan of the great outdoors since he was young, and has collected various Coleman camping equipment items. He enjoys fighting, and thus researches techniques and skills.
Gladiolus's family has always served as protectors of the Lucian royal family, and he is the only party member with a militaristic background. Gladiolus freely expresses his opinions on what's necessary and acts as a pillar in ensuring that the team doesn't sway from their goal. This directness leads him into arguments with Noctis. Gladiolus holds Noctis to a high standard as the heir apparent, and becomes impatient with him if he doesn't think Noctis is trying hard enough. Their confrontations can escalate to a physical level, Gladiolus grabbing Noctis by the shirt to lecture him, and generally acting in a threatening manner. However, he takes great pride as Noctis's sworn shield and instinctively jumps between Noctis and anyone who tries to harm him.
Gladiolus is blunt when it comes to humor. He is confident in his abilities, but at times fears he is not strong enough for the position of the future king's shield. He is flirtatious with women, earning Prompto's ire. When Iris remarks that her and Noctis's tour of Lestallum reminds her of a date, Noctis says Gladiolus would "kick his ass" if that were true.
Gladiolus became interested in the martial arts at a young age, and shadowed his father Clarus at the Citadel. In addition to academics, Gladiolus began training in the duties of the Crownsguard when he is 13. As depicted in Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV, Gladiolus initially disliked Noctis for his uncooperative attitude. He was forced to train him and the two would spar at the Crownsguard training room. Gladiolus blew off steam about it back home when playing with his younger sister, Iris, wishing that he would become guardian to Regis like his father rather than Noctis. One day, the curious Iris insisted upon seeing Noctis, but while waiting at the Citadel, she chased a cat and got lost in the woods outside the palace while Noctis followed.
While Gladiolus searched the palace Noctis brought the distressed Iris back. To cover for her, he claimed responsibility for her getting lost, submitting to being grounded by his father. Gladiolus learned the truth from his sister and was favorably impressed by Noctis's actions. The two bonded out of mutual respect, which would develop into a brotherly love and friendship over the years. When Gladiolus was 18 he officially joined the Crownsguard. As revealed in Final Fantasy XV Collector's Edition Guidebook*, Gladiolus earned the scar across his face while protecting Noctis from a drunken stranger some two years before the trip. Though he could have prevented it by counterattacking the offender, Gladiolus would rather take the hit than harm a crown citizen. Developer interview with Lead Scenario Designer Saori Itamuro
As depicted in Final Fantasy XV Prologue Parting Ways, Clarus, Gladiolus's father, tells his son about the security measures in place during the signing ceremony of the treaty between Lucis and Niflheim, the empire Lucis has been at war with for centuries. The peace has brought along many changes, including the role of the Crownsguard, whose new place will be with the people rather than the king. Clarus doesn't mind, as protecting the populace ensures their support for Regis. The Amicitia family has but one duty: to safeguard and support the king. Clarus asks Gladiolus to keep Prince Noctis safe, not just as the next king, but as a comrade and a true friend.
Cor Leonis arrives to the Crownsguard's training hall with Prompto Argentum who has come for his Crownsguard uniform. Prompto is nervous to be meeting Clarus, and affirms he has completed his self-defense training for the journey before leaving with Gladiolus. They are scheduled to accompany Noctis on his trip to Altissia the following day. Prompto wants to show his parents his new clothes, while Gladiolus is going out to eat with his family.
Night has fallen by the time Ignis, Prompto, and Gladiolus arrive to help Noctis clean his apartment. Gladiolus has packed camping equipment for the road, including cooking equipment for Ignis. In the morning, Noctis, Gladiolus, and Prompto are awakened by Noctis's alarm while Ignis is already awake and ready. They head off to the Citadel.
Gladiolus accompanies Noctis and his friends on a road trip across the lands toward Altissia where they are to meet Noctis's betrothed, Lunafreya Nox Fleuret. King Regis sends them on their way, but they are soon forced to push their car, the Regalia, to a service station after it breaks down, where Gladiolus meets Sania Yeagre, a biologist researching the mutating wild life in Lucis. They continue to Galdin Quay but find the ferry is not running. They stay the night, but the next morning learn the Crown City has been attacked by the empire during the treaty-signing ceremony and Regis, Lunafreya and Noctis are reported dead. Gladiolus tries to stay on top of the situation and tells Noctis to keep his cool. They try to return to the city but find it blockaded, and rendezvous with Cor Leonis, the marshal of the Crownsguard.
It turns out that while Lunafreya had escaped, Regis and Gladiolus's father were killed and Insomnia has been decimated. Noctis embarks on a journey to reclaim his kingdom by collecting the royal arms of his forebears and forging covenants with the Astrals with faraway help from Lunafreya. Gladiolus stays by Noctis's side and supports him, but is at times frustrated when Noctis struggles with the burdens he's been left with. Iris calls Noctis to let him know she is safe, and they head to Lestallum to see her.
When they head to the Disc of Cauthess at the beckoning of the Astral god Titan, Noctis and Gladiolus become separated from Ignis and Prompto. Gladiolus protects Noctis alone, and asks him to reaffirm his conviction to become the king. After Noctis forges a covenant with Titan they escape, but their car has been seized by the empire and they must infiltrate an imperial base to retrieve it. Gladiolus calls Iris to set up King Regis's boat at Cape Caem, but when he tries to contact her further, Ramuh's thunder blocks his cellphone's signal. After infiltrating an imperial base they are accosted by Lunafreya's brother, Ravus Nox Fleuret, who works for the empire. When he threatens Noctis Gladiolus steps between them, but Ravus uses his superhuman strength to slam Gladiolus to the side, hurting his arm. Gladiolus is greatly affected by his inability to protect Noctis.
When they return to Lestallum they discover the Amicitia family chamberlain, Jared Hester, has been killed by the empire, and Iris wants to leave Lestallum with Jared's grandson Talcott. They take Iris to Cape Caem, and along the way Gladiolus has a chance to fight alongside his sister. He has Noctis pick flowers for her, knowing this would make Iris happy. Caem is a rural outpost that has a secret harbor for King Regis's boat, but as Noctis, Ignis and Prompto head off to find mythril to repair the vessel with, Gladiolus opts to embark on a personal quest to become a better shield for Noctis.
As depicted in Episode Gladiolus, Gladiolus calls Cor to take part in the legendary trial of Gilgamesh. Gladiolus fears he is not strong enough to be the King's Shield, having lost to Ravus at Aracheole Stronghold. Cor takes Gladiolus to ruins in the depths of Taelpar Crag that were discovered thirty years ago. Cor is the only one to have emerged alive from the trials, even if he lost to Gilgamesh as well. Gladiolus gets to know Cor during their trek to the bottom of the ruins, and when he faces Gilgamesh he emerges victorious. Gilgamesh recognizes Gladiolus as worthy of protecting the Chosen King when Gladiolus admits the only thing he fears is not being strong enough for his role. Gladiolus inherits the Genji Blade from Gilgamesh, Cor's old katana Gilgamesh had kept as a trophy, and returns to the others with it.
Gladiolus takes up work as a hunter and stumbles across Noctis as he is clearing out the Lestallum EXINERIS power plant of daemons. Noctis recognizes him through the sound of his voice, and after Gladiolus removes his protective suit, Noctis finds he has a new scar on his face. Gladiolus later tells the others the story of how he got it, and affirms that if Noctis is ever in trouble he'll be there.
With the royal vessel repaired, the party heads off to Altissia where Lunafreya is to rouse the sea goddess Leviathan so she can forge a covenant with Noctis. The local government expects this to lead to trouble, and Gladiolus, Ignis and Prompto are on evacuation duty while Noctis and Lunafreya approach the Astral. Noctis forges his covenant and receives the Ring of the Lucii from Lunafreya—a royal heirloom of divine origin she had saved from Insomnia—but he falls unconscious and Lunafreya is killed. Gladiolus and Prompto are separated from Ignis during the commotion, and the latter heads to retrieve Noctis alone while Gladiolus and Prompto get tangled in the battles around the city. Niflheim's chancellor Ardyn Izunia briefly impersonates Gladiolus when he approaches Ignis at the Altar of the Tidemother, but Ravus who is with him sees through the illusion. Ignis saves Noctis who awakens days after his battle with the Leviathan, and learns Lunafreya has died and Ignis has lost his vision.
Overcome by grief, Noctis becomes withdrawn and refuses to wield the ring. This infuriates Gladiolus, who views Noctis's inability to cope as a sign of him not being ready for the task they have at hand: reclaiming the stolen Crystal of Lucis, and defeating the empire. Gladiolus also disagrees with Ignis's decision to continue with them despite his disability. As they head off to a royal tomb to find another royal arm, Gladiolus berates Noctis out of frustration. After they find the weapon, Ignis speaks up to heal the rift that has formed between them.
As they continue toward the imperial capital, they discover daylight is rapidly vanishing from the world now that Lunafreya, the Oracle with the powers to fight the plagues of darkness, has died. Their train is halted by imperial forces and daemons. Gladiolus and Ignis get the train moving again while Noctis and Prompto fight off the assault. Afterward, a frantic Noctis calls Ignis to inform him that Prompto has fallen off the moving train, and they assume he has been captured by the empire.
Noctis drives the party to the imperial capital until the Regalia is destroyed and they abandon it. Gladiolus and Ignis are separated from Noctis who continues alone, finding he is unable to use his magic, and resorts to finally wielding the ring. Gladiolus and Ignis are brought to the imperial magitek laboratory by Ardyn, a mysterious man who wields the powers of darkness who has been following them since Lucis. Ardyn returns the pair their weapons and directs them through the laboratory. They view security footage and find only one tape was not wiped from the console: the tape of Ravus confronting the daemon-transforming Emperor Aldercapt, before being tossed into the Zegnautus Keep, and then killed by Ardyn disguised as Noctis. Gladiolus and Ignis continue to follow Ardyn's directions through the Keep while fighting off daemons, before confronting the daemon Foras, which can speak and thirsts for the Crystal.
They catch up with Noctis and save him from a trap, and head off to rescue Prompto. When the four are ambushed by a horde of daemons Noctis's friends urge him to go to the Crystal alone with the belief its powers of light can save them. Noctis reluctantly leaves his friends behind, but when he gets to the Crystal he is absorbed inside it. When his friends follow they only find a gloating Ardyn. The friends attack him, but Ardyn is impervious to their efforts and simply walks away.
After Noctis disappears the world plunges into the long night and is overtaken by daemons. Gladiolus, Ignis and Prompto return to what remains of Lucis and become daemon hunters. Gladiolus informs the world that the emperor and high commander of Niflheim are dead. He begins training for Noctis's return and spars with a member of the Kingsglaive. After being defeated he leaves to train some more so he can rematch the Glaive.
Ten years later, Noctis returns and greets his friends with a simple "hey," which Gladiolus jokingly chastises him for. They discuss the Kingsglaive and how some of them gave their lives to protect Noctis. Gladiolus has met a girl he plans to introduce to the others after peace returns to the world. Donning the uniforms of the Kingsglaive, an elite force of soldiers once tasked with protecting the king, Gladiolus, Ignis and Prompto accompany Noctis once more to the ruins of Insomnia. Gladiolus treats Noctis with newfound respect, referring to him as Your Majesty. During their final meal together Noctis struggles expressing the gratitude he feels toward his friends and the gravity of needing to die to bring light back to the world.
At Insomnia countless daemons and magitek soldiers await them. They make their way through various obstacles along their way to the Citadel, even facing the the Fierce, Rogue, and Mystic, Lucii who have been enslaved by the Starscourge. Gladiolus defeats the Fierce's spirit and reaffirms his promise to serve Noctis. Noctis battles Ardyn one-on-one with the power of kings. After Ardyn dies asking for Noctis to meet him "on the other side", Noctis sends his friends away in a manner similar King Regis sent their party off ten years ago. Noctis gives up his life to cleanse Ardyn's soul in the afterlife with the memories of his friends by his side. Gladiolus, Ignis, and Prompto watch the sun rise upon the ruins of Insomnia.
In Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ignis Verse 2, Ardyn takes Ignis to Zegnautus Keep as bait for Noctis, and Noctis, Gladiolus and Prompto are brought there by Ravus. They make it in time to save him and Ignis never loses his vision. While Noctis sleeps inside the Crystal the friends seem to find a way to lift the darkness plaguing Eos without Noctis needing to die, and meet at the Citadel with Ravus on the fated hour.
In Final Fantasy XV -The Dawn of the Future-, Ardyn accumulates power too great for the True King to purge with the Ring of the Lucii, and Bahamut decides to obliterate life on Eos to cleanse the Scourge. When Noctis returns to Galdin Quay after his decade-long slumber inside the Crystal, he meets Sol there who fills him in on the state of the world and his friends. Gladiolus calls her and asks the two to come to Hammerhead. Noctis decides against waiting for his friends, however, and heads to the Citadel alone to save his revived beloved, Lunafreya.
His friends catch up with him and help him overcome the obstacles Bahamut sets upon them, and Noctis notes Gladiolus is even stronger than he was ten years ago. Bahamut uses Lunafreya to power up his ultimate attack, Teraflare, but she survives and Noctis leaves her in his friends' care as he goes off to fight Bahamut with the other Astrals at his side. In the end, Bahamut is felled and magic, the Crystal, the gods and the Scourge all vanish from Eos. Noctis and Lunafreya marry, and Regis's spirit thanks Noctis's friends—including Gladiolus—for the support they gave him as well as the entire humanity to survive their ordeals.
Gladiolus is a party member who acts autonomously in battle when not selected. He can rescue party members in Danger status, invoke link-strikes with Noctis and perform Techniques and use items on himself by the player's beckoning. His skill is Survival, which has him find items upon winning battles; the higher the Survival skill level, the better items he can find. Survival levels up by running on the field.
He is the toughest party member with the most HP and the best defense. His abilities let him do damage to enemies. He is directly playable in Episode Gladiolus, Verse 2 of Chapter 13 and when using character swap in the main game. When directly controlled, he gains the Glaive Arts skillset.
"Shield of the King" is the main theme of Final Fantasy XV: Episode Gladiolus. It is composed and arranged by Keiichi Okabe as part of Final Fantasy XV x NieR Automata collaboration. When composing it, Okabe felt that Gladiolus shouldered a similar fate to the one 2B faces in NieR. He wanted the music to express Gladiolus's battle-driven image, as well as the underlying destiny he faces.
Creation and developmentEdit
Gladiolus's design was redone from his original appearance for Final Fantasy Versus XIII by Yusuke Naora, one of the art directors of Final Fantasy XV. In his old design he wore a black undershirt with his unbuttoned leather shirt, but has since been made bare-chested, and his trousers and jacket have been made more detailed with pockets and seams. Gladiolus was altered to look more intellectual. His eyes were narrowed to achieve a "sultry gaze into the distance". He needed a powerful physique to act as Noctis's shield, and thus Naora looked at reference material of martial artists to rework his chest and abs.
Gladiolus's concept was cemented from the start. He has the duty to train the future king, and chew him out when necessary. Thus, the team made him someone unafraid to speak his mind and then mapped out his social graces, hobbies, and hang-ups. As the King's Shield, Gladiolus needed to have the physical fortitude of a bodyguard. The developers gave him practical-purpose musculature, the kind developed from practicing a martial art, and balanced it with some showy muscle for the visible areas.
Director Hajime Tabata has explained that black has historically been treated as a special color in Lucis. Thus the attire of the royal family, and those in occupations closely tied to it, wear black.
Gladiolus is voiced by Kenta Miyake in the Japanese version.
He is voiced by Chris Parson in English version. In the credits for Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, Parson's name is misspelled as "Parsons".
Gladiolus is available as a Play Arts -Kai- figure.
Gladiolus has appeared in the following media throughout the Final Fantasy series:
- Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary exhibition as a message to Noctis.
- Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire as a guide.
- King's Knight -Wrath of the Dark Dragon- as a party member.
- Final Fantasy Legends II as a summon.
- Theatrhythm Final Fantasy All-Star Carnival as a playable character.
- Pictlogica Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Record Keeper as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Brave Exvius as a summonable vision.
- Mobius Final Fantasy as an ability card.
Non-Final Fantasy guest appearancesEdit
Gladiolus has appeared in the following media outside Final Fantasy series:
Gladiolus is a Latin word, the diminutive of gladius, a sword commonly used by the army in Ancient Rome. Gladiolus is also a genus of flowering plants in the iris family (Iridaceae), also known as "sword lilies". This could tie his name to his sister's.
Amicitia means "friendship" in Latin.
Together, his full name literally reads: "Short sword, friendship".
- Gladiolus's full first name is virtually never mentioned by any character, and he has never been seen driving the Regalia.
- The book Gladiolus commonly reads during car rides and during some lodging scenes is Silence of Knowledge, a historical fiction by Henruit. The book he reads changes color every two chapters: in Chapters 1 and 2 it is red (Vol 1), in Chapters 3 and 4 it is blue (Vol 3), and from Chapter 6 onwards it is green (Vol 4). He no longer reads after the player leaves the open world, but if the player returns via Umbra or the royal vessel, his book will remain as green. There is no volume 2.
- The player can repeatedly rest at Hammerhead in Chapter 14 to get various bits of incidental dialogue with the party members talking about what they have been up to, including Gladiolus telling the party about his girlfriend, and Prompto asking Gladiolus for tips for picking up women.
- Gladiolus wields Galatine, one of the Phantom Swords from the Final Fantasy XV Episode Duscae demo, in a key art. This sword is not in Final Fantasy XV, but appears in Regis's Armiger in Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ardyn.
- If Gladiolus has the Genji Blade equipped in Chapter 14, he will summon a second copy of it to his other hand for his finishing blow against the Fierce in the Windows and Royal Editions.
- Gladiolus's birthday is in April. In the Q&A session for Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ardyn – Prologue, the developers revealed they chose April as the birth month for strong-willed characters because their birth stone would be diamond. Ardyn's birthday is also in April.
- Probably due to his choice of clothing, Gladiolus often sneezes when wandering at night, in the rain or in dungeons. If he does it while Noctis is fishing, the fish will be scared and swim off.
- ↑ Final Fantasy XV On Noctis’ Age, Brotherhood Episode 2, And Other Questions From Fans (Accessed: July 25, 2018) at Siliconera
- ↑ Final Fantasy XV Japanese community questions answered (Accessed: July 25, 2018) at Gematsu
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Final Fantasy XV: Official Works, p.Character File #02: Gladiolus Amicitia
- ↑ http://www.finalfantasyxv.com/en/overview#overview-characters
- ↑ Jp2En: New infomation released at a fan event on July 1, 2017 (Accessed: July 25, 2018) at A Bit Of Laughter at Tumblr
- ↑ 『FINAL FANTASY XV エピソード カーバンクル』第13話 (Accessed: January 16, 2019) at Famitsu
- ↑ Final Fantasy XV Ultimania Scenario Side translations (Accessed: July 25, 2018) at The Lifestream
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8kkCfI0hEI
- ↑ 8 Gorgeous Photos of Final Fantasy XV’s Characters (Accessed: July 25, 2018) at IGN
- ↑ Final Fantasy XV Collector's Edition Guidebook developer interviews
- ↑ https://store.line.me/stickershop/product/7501/ja
- ↑ FINAL FANTASY XV EPISODE ARDYN PROLOGUE Q&A (7:52) (Accessed: November 11, 2019) by FINAL FANTASY XV at YouTube