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Emperor of Niflheim. Iedolas has used the empire's superior airship and magitek armor technology to mount an aggressive campaign of territorial expansion, only to suddenly offer Lucis a peace.
—Official description from Final Fantasy XV
World domination is close at hand for Niflheim's cunning and cutthroat emperor, Iedolas Aldercapt, with only the kingdom of Lucis remaining outside his grasp.
—Official description from Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV

Iedolas Aldercapt is an antagonist in Final Fantasy XV and the secondary antagonist of the feature film Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV. He is the emperor of Niflheim. In imperial correspondence he is referred to with the styles "Imperial Majesty" and "Your Radiance."

Dossiers

Leader of the Niflheim Empire. His call for a ceasefire between his nation and the Kingdom of Lucis led to a summit in Insomnia where the two leaders could arrange an armistice together. Yet Iedolas's proposed peace was merely a pretense, his true aim was to capture the kingdom's Crystal and make its magic his own. With an entire infantry of magiteknological armaments at his behest, he conquered the Crown City and stole the Stone of legend with ease.
A capable and upstanding administrator by every measure, Iedolas was once revered by his subjects as a wise and just ruler. The Great War changed him, though, transforming this formerly selfless statesman who loved his people into a selfish despot who lusted for power. He presided over the empire with an iron fist, never once losing his grip—but by the time Noctis arrived at Zegnautus Keep, the emperor had apparently abdicated the throne, gone without a trace.

Profile

Appearance

Most high-ranking people associated with Niflheim dress in white, most prominently the emperor. Iedolas is an elderly man with silver hair and blue eyes. He wears decorative, gold armor over a white dress shirt. He wears a black robe lined with silver buttons that has a goldenrod trim at the bottom. Over this he wears a white robe that has a large collar and red trim. He has black boots, black fingerless gloves and silver forearm armor.

Personality

Ruler of the Niflheim Empire. Once beloved as a just ruler, the war changed him, and his newfound lust for power came to instill fear—not fondness—in the hearts of his subjects.
—Loading screen description

Iedolas is a ruthless supremacist dedicated to expanding his territory, although he is semi-retired from frontline politics.[1] Having conquered every other nation but Lucis, he seeks to steal Insomnia's Crystal to increase his power even further. Iedolas employs flattery and feigns benevolence to help accomplish his goals, and uses this tactic to manipulate his adversaries. Despite this, the emperor was, for a long time, a benevolent ruler and loved by the masses. Even after his corruption he displays some humane traits, namely genuinely loving his illegitimate granddaughter Solara Aldercapt Antiquum.

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)
But the Crystal is mine... I am the one True King!
—Iedolas Aldercapt

Iedolas wants the power of the Ring of the Lucii, and is even prepared to kill the last remaining Oracle to obtain it. Iedolas is himself manipulated by his chancellor, Ardyn Izunia, who brought forth the idea of stealing the Crystal. With his dying breath, Iedolas expresses his intention to rule the world and see his empire flourish. He seems to believe he could be the fabled True King spoken of in prophecy had he both the Crystal and the ring, but the Chosen's true role was never to rule the world. To prove his supremacy, Iedolas even wishes to slay the Astrals. To what extent his megalomania was driven by Ardyn is unknown, but Aranea Highwind describes Iedolas a "husk of his former self".

In Final Fantasy XV -The Dawn of the Future- the emperor is depicted as yearning for immortality so he can rule forever, and to be obsessed with bringing back the might of Solheim, an ancient civilization whose footsteps Niflheim has been following as led by the Aldercapt dynasty.

Story

Iedolas is a member of the Aldercapt dynasty that seeks to recreate the glory of the ancient civilization of Solheim.[2] At least three of the four nations of Eos—Niflheim, Lucis and Tenebrae—have been ruled by the same family since their inception: the Aldercapt dynasty in Niflheim, the Lucis Caelum dynasty in Lucis, and House Fleuret—the Oracles—in Tenebrae. In M.E. 358 the Aldercapt dynasty initiated its policy of expansion, crowned themselves as emperors of Niflheim, and began the prosecution of war against neighboring countries to annex them.

Iedolas is said to have been a benevolent and beloved ruler for a long time: composed, rational and focused on advancing his nation for the good of the populace.[3] According to Aranea Highwind and Camelia Claustra, the empire has changed for the worse in the last ten years, Aranea positing that Ardyn Izunia, the chancellor of Niflheim, ushered the emperor to pursue Lucis's Crystal. The desire for the Crystal has consumed Iedolas. Though the Aldercapts had always pushed to recreate Solheim's glory, Iedolas had put even more focus in magitek research than his predecessors.[3] As told in Final Fantasy XV -The Dawn of the Future-, the emperor had a wife who died less then a year after giving birth to their son around the time Ardyn was first released from Angelgard,[3][4] and the populace attributes his changed demeanor since then to the grief of losing his spouse. However, Aranea believes it to be Izunia's influence. The son later died in battle.[5]

Ardyn gained influence over Iedolas with his promises of using the Scourge to grant the emperor immortality, as the loss of his spouse had made Iedolas susceptible to such manipulation.[3] Ardyn himself proved immortal, the emperor never doubted his claims that research into Starscourge-based weaponry could reveal the secret behind eternal life, and invested national funding into the research.[6] While Ardyn was made chancellor and gained more power and freedom, Iedolas came to finance Verstael Besithia's magitek projects to create an unstoppable army for the empire, and Verstael reports of his progress directly to the emperor.

April 8th M.E 756, Verstael informs the emperor that the "Diamond Weapon" is ready for deployment, and asks him to come view it at the production facility. Three weeks later, the emperor travels to Lucis under the pretense of signing a peace treaty with the kingdom's reigning monarch, Regis Lucis Caelum. As told in Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, he is welcomed with a grand procession and tours the city of Insomnia, also attending a party at the roof of the Caelum Via hotel to celebrate the next day's treaty-signing. As the treaty is to be signed the imperials open fire at the Lucians and Aldercapt and Izunia steal Insomnia's Crystal. The two return to Niflheim while their forces raze the Crown City.

Imperial-Forces-Zegnautus-Throne-Room-FFXV

The Emperor meets his forces at Zegnautus Keep.

So glorious...my Crystal...
—Iedolas Aldercapt among the leadership of Niflheim.

Admiring his stolen Crystal, Iedolas meets with his military commanders—Ravus Nox Fleuret, Aranea Highwind, Caligo Ulldor, and Verstael Besithia—to discuss the Oracle, Lunafreya. Lunafreya now holds the Ring of the Lucii that lets one wield the powers of the old kings and command the Crystal. Iedolas orders Ravus to terminate her, but is asked to reconsider by Verstael. The reason the empire has taken the Crystal is not publicized, but Aranea later says she heard the empire believes the Crystal poses a threat to daemons, monsters of the dark that the empire has begun to employ in its warfare. She also says the Crystal was stolen "for the good of the people".

As Ardyn prepares to bring about the Starscourge, Iedolas thirsts for the Crystal's power, useless as it is without the ring. The Crystal is locked away in Zegnautus Keep, and Iedolas never gets close to it. While dying of the Starscourge and in the midst of transforming, Iedolas is accosted by Ravus in his throne room in the Keep, and demands to know where the Ring of the Lucii is. Ravus says it is with Noctis Lucis Caelum, its rightful bearer, who will use it and the Crystal to purge Eos from darkness and daemons. The emperor is outraged, claiming that the Crystal belongs to him and that he is the one True King. Aldercapt summons daemons that attack Ravus, who is thrown out of the room by several blasts of daemonic energy emanating from Iedolas. This event, as well as Ravus's death, are recorded in the Keep's security system, and are the only recordings that remain on it, as it is implied Ardyn had everything else erased.

As told in Final Fantasy XV -The Dawn of the Future-, Ardyn takes over the empire and unleashes a Diamond Weapon and rogue magitek troopers on Gralea. He addresses the populace through the public speaker system from the Keep to declare the day the death of the empire as the emperor is dying without an heir, mocking his fruitless pursuit of immortality via magic. Iedolas's final delirious words are broadcast for everyone to hear: delusions of grandeur for the rise of Solheim. When Aranea infiltrates Zegnautus Keep on her way to the Diamond Weapon, she finds the emperor dead on the throne. She later runs into Brigadier General Loqi Tummelt transporting an eight-year-girl on special orders from Iedolas himself.

Iedolas Foras XV

Foras.

Aldercapt transforms into a powerful daemon, foras. As told in Final Fantasy XV Chapter 13 Verse 2, he attacks Noctis's friends Gladiolus Amicitia and Ignis Scientia in the Crystal's control room, though they fight him off and he disappears. As depicted in the main game, he attacks Noctis in his pursuit of the Ring of the Lucii, but is defeated and killed when Noctis reunites with his allies.

The empire shall span... all the lands... By the Crystal's light... we shall flourish... I shall arise... as ruler... of the world!
—Iedolas as Foras

With his dying breath, the emperor longs for the ring to rule over Eos unopposed. In the throne room in Zegnautus Keep, Noctis can observe the late emperor's regalia slumped on the seat, a result of his transformation. How long Iedolas had been afflicted with the Starscourge is unknown, but he was exuding black mist when he talked with Ravus, and seems to have transformed soon after Aranea saw his corpse in The Dawn of the Future. The girl the emperor had ordered evacuated whom Aranea had taken under her care, turns out to be the secret daughter of the emperor's deceased son. Aranea raises her alongside Biggs and Wedge in a world overtaken by darkness.

Ten years later, Ardyn creates an illusory version of Iedolas's corpse and hangs it in chains from the ceiling of the Citadel's throne room to intimidate Noctis before their final battle.

Gameplay

An unsightly daemon that appeared the moment the seal on the kingdom's Crystal Room was breached. Now said to haunt the halls of Zegnautus Keep, this creature can understand and communicate in mankind's common tongue, expressing an abnormal obsession with the Crystal.
—Bestiary

Iedolas is fought as a foras in the Zegnautus Keep in Chapter 13. It is one of the few daemons witnessed speaking, and it stalks Noctis to claim the Ring of the Lucii.

Spoilers end here.

Creation and development

FFvXIII-Caelum

Early draft of Iedolas holding King Regis at gunpoint for Versus XIII.

Iedolas Aldercapt has been in the game since it was known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, and appeared in trailers for that game in 2011. He featured prominently in the Final Fantasy XV reveal trailer at E3 2013, but these scenes would become part of Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV in a modified form. In the final game Iedolas has a small presence, but a new cut scene involving him was added in patch 1.06 to Chapter 13, and his professional relationship with Verstael is expanded upon in the logs found in Final Fantasy XV: Episode Prompto. Though the two appear together in Kingsglaive and Aranea implies Ardyn manipulated Iedolas to lose himself in delusions of grandeur, the two never appear in a scene together in the game. The emperor was supposed to appear in a minor role in the cancelled Episode Aranea whose story is told in novelization form in Final Fantasy XV -The Dawn of the Future-.

The likeness of David Gant is used to portray Iedolas in Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV.

Voice

Iedolas's Japanese voice actor is Shōzō Iizuka. He was originally portrayed by Shinji Ogawa, but the actor passed away during the development of Final Fantasy XV.[7]

Iedolas's English voice actor in Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV is David Gant, and he is voiced by Bob Joles in Final Fantasy XV. Joles previously voiced Grimoire Valentine in Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-.

Non-Final Fantasy guest appearances

Gallery

Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV
Final Fantasy XV

Etymology

"Iedolas" is derived from Idola, the plural form of the Latin word Idolon (which, in turn, comes from the Greek word "Eidolon"). Eidolon means "unsubstantial image," "reflection," or "phantom" in Greek. It can also mean "idol" and is the source of the Latin word "Idolum."

An emperor is a (male) monarch, usually the sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife (empress consort), mother (empress dowager), or a woman who rules in her own right (empress regnant). Emperors are generally recognized to be of a higher honor and rank than kings, and are generally the highest temporal political rank/honor in existence. The term itself is of Old French origin and was derived from "Imperator" which was the title of the Roman head of state during the Roman Republic and, post-Augustus Caesar, the Roman Empire, and itself roughly means "commander."

In demonology, Foras is a powerful President of Hell, being obeyed by twenty-nine legions of demons.

References

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