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If ever there was a crime to be solved, Hildibrand would surely be there to crack the case. Perhaps the greatest case of his time was Dalamud, and the prophecy foretelling its descent. Believing himself a hero of destiny, Hildibrand did bravely propel himself into the moon's path, but, alas, was never heard from again.

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Hildibrand Helidor Maximilian Manderville is a non-playable character in Final Fantasy XIV, being the main protagonist of his side story series since the original version of the game.

He is a male Highlander comic-relief character who at times has been referred as a "Gentleman of Light". He is often seen with his Miqo'te sidekick, Nashu Mhakaracca, and his parents, Godbert and Julyan Manderville.

History[]

Early life[]

The son of Goldsmith Godbert Manderville and his wife Julyan, Hildibrand grew up in a wealthy Ul'dahn house. He balked at the idea of inheriting the family trade, leaving his home behind and starting to travel Eorzea as a self proclaimed "agent of inquiry, inspector extraordinaire", accompanied by his loyal assistant Nashu Mhakaracca.

Final Fantasy XIV (version 1.0)[]

Oh, but where are my manners! I have yet to give a proper introduction. My name is Hildibrand, agent of enquiry! Inspector extraordinaire!

Hildibrand

Hildibrand traveled around Eorzean inns to solve any trouble he could find, meeting the Warrior of Light who either solved the issue or helped him out. Some of Hildibrand's misadventures ended up getting him in trouble, such as getting a beating from Yellow Jackets while posing as a bandit.

Prior to the Seventh Umbral Era, Hildibrand searched for the hero foretold to face the threat of Dalamud in Ul'dah where he came across an old farmer who was a warrior in his youth. Misunderstanding Urianger Augurelt's prophecy while helping the farmer tend his pumpkin field with seeds and Bomb ash, Hildibrand believed he was the foretold hero and decided to fight Dalamud.

Nashu found the late Nael van Darnus's gun-halberd, Bradamante, that ended up in the farmer's possession after buying it from a merchant in Coerthas. When the inspector tried to use what was believed to be a defunct weapon, Hildibrand was sent flying towards Dalamud after the resulting explosion caused by a spark from Bradamante ignited the Bomb ash.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn[]

While being sent flying at Dalamud five years ago, Hildibrand was ensnared in some manner of Allagan device designed to keep its thralls in stasis, freezing him in time. After falling back to Eorzea, he was comatose and the people he had known believed him dead and unknowingly buried him. Hildibrand emerged from his coffin with no memory of who he was and the surrounding zombies befriended him on the notion that he was an undead. "Zombibrand" led his followers for a few years before Nashu found him and nearly killed him with bombs to restore his memory. Donning a change of attire, Hildibrand accepted a challenge from a mysterious figure who was after the Collector's blade: deduced to be the Treaty-Blade.

He met the reporter Ellie Ryse and his arrogant rival, consulting inspector Briardien de Manseauguel. Hildibrand went to retrieve the Treaty-Blade and encountered not only Gilgamesh—the two fighting over ownership of "Pradamante"—a replica of van Darnus's gunhalberd, but also his smithy father Godbert Manderville. His father suplexed Hildibrand into the ground for not having told him that he was alive. Hildibrand asked him to fix a priceless antique vase, and after retrieving the Treaty-Blade, it ended up in the figure's possession when he disguised himself as the client whose letter introduced him as thousand-faced phantom thief.

Hildibrand disguising himself as Hildibella.

Hildibrand's search for the phantom thief led him to the wedding of Arabella, the daughter of the wealthy merchant Guguremu. After nearly getting himself killed in an explosion caused by the inspector's inability to realize the danger he was in, Hildibrand learned that phantom thief's hand was wounded and would make it easy to find him hidden among the wedding guests. Posing as the bride, with everyone seeing through his disguise, Hildibrand revealed the thief of many faces to be posing as the groom Vannes while scaring off a group of Mandragoras helping the thief. The thief escaped with Arabella's necklace while leaving a note that he would get the victors' spoils.

This led Hildibrand to Master Fygreis's Colleseum where first prize was the Mythril Cup, enlisting along with the Warrior of Light, Avia, and Ultros. Despite Ultros rigging the match for Avia with help from Typhon, the tournament continued and the Warrior of Light won the Mythril Cup. With Gilgamesh appearing at the award ceremony, the thief returned and Hildibrand attempted to stop him with help from his father. Hildibrand was thrown out of the coliseum with the thief escaping with the real Ring of Inquiry, exposing the tournament's overseer, Dour Meadow, of planting a fake among the prizes. By the time Hildibrand returned, giving Avia peace of mind, he and the others attempted to determine who the thief was before finding the thief's final calling card, which revealed his goal was to gather the Four Treasures of Belah'dia and obtain the final item to unleash evil on Eorzea.

The final item the thief was pursuing was the Wiseman's Whisper located in a vault at the Manderville Gold Saucer. The item was gone and the thief was revealed to be Ellie with the aid of her sister Cecy acting under the guise of the thousand-faced phantom thief. Though knocked out by an attack Cecy had intended for Philice, Hildibrand reappeared to help the Warrior of Light with his assembled "Four Gentlemen of Light" to pacify Ellie's zombie minions. After the Warrior settled things with Gilgamesh, Hildibrand arrived with the Treaty-Blade as Ellie invoked the prophecy and Hildibrand was sent flying with sword in hand.

Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward[]

Hildibrand's skyward travels resulted in him crashlanding in Coerthas Western Highlands and being stuck in the snow and ice. After his father pulled him out, a Mammet was pulled out with him. Since the Mammet, which was dressed like a Black Mage, had no memory, Hildibrand named it "Gigi" and offered to help find out where it had come from.

Hildibrand took Gigi to Ishgard in search of clues on his past, but the Holy See considered the Mammet of possibly heretical origin and Cyr Blyme was in charge of investigating him. Following Edmont's suggestion, Hildibrand formally adopted Gigi as his son under the patron of House Manderville. Still looking for information from Gigi's past, Hildibrand scoured the markets where he accidentally broke an extremely expensive vase and Gigi revealed he could cast mysterious magick to restore it.

When Gigi ran off into Coerthas in search of Godbert, Hildibrand went after him. After finding him on the ground, a casualty of Godbert and Julyan's snowball fight, Gigi requested that Godbert make him a real boy. When Hildibrand tried to hug Gigi, he got dealt a bone-crunching blow by the Mammet's new body. He told his parents he had adopted Gigi, only to run away in fear with Godbert when Julyan got angry.

Gigi's family crest.

Cyr was in charge of investigating rumors of charlatans masquerading as knights of the Heavens' Ward─the Grand Sers. He recruited Hildibrand to help with the investigations. The journey took the party to Idyllshire where Slowfix, in recognition of Hildibrand's contribution to found Idyllshire, declared the inspector may live in the building once leased to the Grand Sers, who were in arrears and had not been seen in some time. Overjoyed with this sudden windfall, Gigi begged his father for permission to draw their family crest on their new gazebo, and Hildibrand duly agreed.

Eventually, the Grand Sers captured Gigi and used him for their agenda, convincing Gigi he could reverse time to make them younger. With their newfound youth, they announced their intent to kill the dragon Hraesvelgr. Hildibrand and the party chased after them to Anyx Trine, and Hildibrand confronted them. They launched a combined attack on him, but he survived and tried to convince Gigi to return to him. When the Grand Sers toppled a stone pillar, Gigi used his powers to save everyone. Hildibrand announced to Nashu they would resume their adventures. When speaking to Julyan, his choice of words resulted in her sending him flying all the way to the Far East.

Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood[]

Hildibrand resurfaced in Kugane where he was frozen stiff and auctioned off as a statue. Before Akebono could collect Hildibrand, the Wolf Burglar took him away. The Warrior of Light, Nashu, a Gentle Undead Man, and Shigure chased him to the Ruby Sea where Nashu rescued the inspector and awakened him by throwing her bombs at the escaping thief, causing the two to dangle off a cliff. After the thief escaped, Hildibrand introduced himself to Shigure. He began searching for cases to solve and came across a Qiqirn in distress. He learned the Qiqirn's friend had been abducted, to which Nashu realized it had been the Qiqirn sold at the auction earlier. Hildibrand and Nashu attempted to confront the auctioneer, but found they had no authority outside of Eorzea. A Sekisegumi soldier nearby apprehended the criminal.

Following this, Hildibrand decided to help Shigure's attempts to join the Sekisegumi and apprehend the Wolf Burglar. The inspector tried warning wealthy pharmacist Akebono that a legendary sword in his possession was the next target, but Akebono scoffed, feeling confident that his hired mercenary, Yojimbo, would keep the sword safe. Unconvinced, Hildibrand attempted to infiltrate Akebono's manor via Nashu disguising herself as a geiko. After obtaining a kimono, Nashu was granted entrance into Akebono's house, but Shigure was worried about sending her alone. Hildibrand disguised himself as a handmaiden, convincing the house's occupants to let him in, and caught the Wolf Burglar trying to steal the sword. However, the thief got away in the ensuing chaos.

Hildibrand, Shigure, the Warrior of Light, Nashu, and Yojimbo tracked the thief to Yanxia. The party apprehended the burglar, but Hildibrand mistakenly placed his trust in Yojimbo to return the sword. The party returned to Kugane with the Wolf Burglar in custody, leading to Shigure's invitation to join the Sekisegumi, but also learned Yojimbo had run away with the sword rather than return it.

The group went around Kugane asking about the legendary sword, the Wolf Burglar, and Yojimbo, learning that many commoners viewed the Wolf Burglar as an honorable person. The group believed that questioning the burglar directly would be helpful, learning of his motives for committing the crimes and that Akebono was involved in illicit dealings. The group and the Wolf Burglar came to an agreement: the Wolf Burglar would help recover the sword and in exchange would be granted freedom. Aware that the Sekisegumi was likely not going to agree to such an arrangement, Hildibrand helped stage a jailbreak, replacing the Wolf Burglar with a disguised Gentle Undead Man.

Hildibrand's group tracked down Yojimbo in the Ruby Sea and recover the sword. The Sekisegumi had since realized the charade, and while the Wolf Burglar escaped with the sword, Shigure was arrested for his role in the jailbreak. Hildibrand struggled to find evidence that would help exonerate the young samurai. While investigating, the Warrior of Light, Nashu, and Hildibrand received a strange letter from Yojimbo, challenging the Warrior of Light to a duel. Due to the author's poor penmanship and understanding of Eorzean language, Hildibrand misinterpreted the letter as a challenge to him. Before Nashu could say anything, Hildibrand rushed off to confront Yojimbo, only to be beaten and buried in the ground. The Warrior of Light fought Yojimbo instead, learning he was Gilgamesh in disguise. Hildibrand learned that Shigure was to be executed for his crimes and saved Shigure by disguising himself as the executioner and leading the Sekisegumi on a chase. This bought enough time for the Wolf Burglar to turn himself in and return the legendary sword.

Right as Shigure received an assignment to investigate mysterious rumors surrounding Akebono, the Sekisegumi commander halted it. The group questioned the order along with the commander's behavior and inability to recollect past events. They came across a mysterious powder; knowing that Akebono was the head of a wealthy pharmaceutical company, Hildibrand attempted to elicit answers from the Sahjattra Concern, but was denied entry to the building. He encountered his father Godbert visiting Kugane to do business with Akebono. Godbert identified the powder as dewprism, a potent drug that rendered the victim susceptible to command. Hildibrand's group realized that Akebono was using this drug to help expand his wealth and control law enforcement. Hildibrand, accompanied by the Warrior of Light, Nashu, Gilgamesh, the Wolf Burglar, Shigure, and a Gentle Undead Man, headed to the Ruby Sea to stop Akebono at his next business meeting with the Sahjattra Concern representative. They were horrified to learn that Godbert had been put under the dewprism's influence. Hildibrand called out to Godbert but the corrupt businessman scoffed and commanded Godbert to eliminate the meddlers. Hildibrand grabbed onto his father and leapt into the sky, bringing Godbert to his senses, but leading to Godbert reversing the piledriver, sending Hildibrand into the ground instead. As everyone recovered, the Sahjattra Concern representative attempted to escape by using dewprism on Gilgamesh who opened a portal to places unknown. Hildibrand was dragged into the portal.

Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers[]

Hildibrand sometimes made an appearance in the Heroes' Gauntlet among the many spectral heroes summoned by Elidibus to oppose the Warrior of Light. Unlike the others, he was not hostile, instead expressing confusion at his surroundings and seeming to have forgotten his identity once again.

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker[]

Having been summoned to the First by Elidibus as a corporeal spirit, Hildibrand encountered Giott, who mistook him for a hostile spectral Warrior of Light, and punched him into a cliff wall. He remained lodged there until a sin eater perched on his body and subsequently dislodged himself. Hildibrand, believing himself to be a sin eater, dressed up as a Lightwarden while bewildering the First's denizens, though they did not deem him a threat. Eventually the Warrior, Theyler, and Vonard caught up to him, restoring his memories with one of Nashu's explosives.

They met with Beq Lugg in Crystarium, where Hildibrand incorrectly referred to them as a "puppy". As Beq Lugg prepared the soul vessel to send Hildibrand back to the Source, they warned of his potential demise if he could not survive the soul transfer. Hildibrand proudly posed and declared himself capable of the journey.

Before his soul could be returned to his body in Radz-at-Han, Hildibrand's body disappeared during a brief time where Nashu was absent from looking over him. After questioning the locals in town, a man named Delion claimed that aliens abducted Hildibrand's body, implied to be the Loporrits from Mare Lamentorum, though witness claims suggested he was kidnapped in a large, heavy sack instead. At Saltwind's Welcome, they discovered that Jubaca had arranged for the kidnapping despite housing Hildibrand's body in his Kama estate, and planned to sell him to Doctor Lugae, a Garlean scientist. After a dramatic restoration of his physical body, including blowing Doctor Lugae up with his own explosives, Hildibrand declared his return, only to be abducted by actual aliens.

Characteristics[]

Appearance[]

Hildibrand sports a black and white coatee with a rose on his lapel and a monocle. He likes to show off his muscular Highlander build with a flexing animation that is accompanied by cliché cartoon noises.

Personality[]

Hildibrand is a slapstick stooge whose idiocy is quickly realized by everyone he meets with the exception of his airheaded sidekick Nashu. In some cases he will offer his services when the case has already been solved. When investigating an open case, he shows a complete lack of competence, such as making his presence known when trying to shadow a suspect. For all of his buffoonery, Hildibrand's ideals are noble: he is a firm believer in the pursuit of justice, particularly in the service of those who have little other recourse or hope of finding it. He became an "inspector" to help those less fortunate than himself, being the son of a wealthy Ul'dahn family that now sits on the Syndicate.

Gameplay[]

Triple Triad[]

Hildibrand & Nashu Card
FFXIV TT Hildibrand & Nashu.png
Card No. 62
Total stats 27
Type None
Description "I swear to you, here and now: I, Hildibrand, agent of enquiry, inspector extraordinaire, shall scour all creation─from the deepest pit of the seven hells to the very pinnacle of the heavens─for your Pure Heart!"
Obtain Won from Hab, Southern Thanalan (24,40).

Musical themes[]

In Final Fantasy XIV, "Agent of Inquiry" is a jazz tune used in Hildibrand's comedic misadventures. It usually plays as Hildibrand introduces himself, as well as during climactic moments and the trailers used to tease the rest of the questline. It is available as an orchestrion piece and background music for Eternal Bonding ceremonies.

Other appearances[]

Final Fantasy Trading Card Game[]

Hildibrand appears in Final Fantasy Trading Card Game as Lightning-elemental Forward cards. His special ability is Manderville Dance.

Triple Triad[]

395a Hildibrand & Nashu Mhakaracca.png

Hildibrand appears on a Triple Triad card with Nashu Mhakaracca in the version playable via Final Fantasy Portal App.

Behind the scenes[]

Hildibrand was created for the quests required to unlock private Inn rooms, which were released March 8th, 2012 as part of patch 1.21. Due to positive fan reception, he became a recurring character for Inn-related quests, and in A Realm Reborn became the focus character with an independent series of sidequests. He is a parody of Inspector Clouseau from the Pink Panther series, which his quest line in A Realm Reborn frequently refers to, such as his title cards at the end of each chapter using the same font as the Pink Panther title cards, having his own jazz theme, and tracking down a phantom thief.

Gallery[]

Etymology[]

Hildebrand is a character from Germanic legend. Hildebrand is the modern German form of the name: in Old High German it is Hiltibrant and in Old Norse Hildibrandr. The word hild means "battle" and brand means "sword".

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