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To the one true god. To Zodiark!

Ascians praising their deity.

Zodiark is a powerful supernatural being in Final Fantasy XIV. He is the antithesis of the goddess Hydaelyn, representing juxtaposition between darkness and light. The Ascians worship Zodiark as their god, and their ultimate goal is to revive him and restore his power so he may destroy Hydaelyn.

History[]

Before Final Fantasy XIV[]

Zodiark, the first primal and the embodiment of darkness, came into being when the Convocation of Fourteen sacrificed half of the planet Etheirys's population to summon a being to avert the impending Final Days that had befallen their world. The Convocation member with the title of Elidibus made himself the first offering to form Zodiark's core. Though Zodiark stalled the Calamity by creating a barrier to replenish Etheirys's aether, he and the Convocation were now driven by an obsessive need to restore the planet as it was before the Final Days. This resulted in a series of sacrifices, first by offering another half of their population to restore Etheirys to habitability, and the plan on harvesting the lives of the new races that would develop on the planet in the future to resurrect those they had sacrificed earlier.

A mural of Hydaelyn sundering Zodiark.

Venat disapproved of the Convocation's plans and their clinging to the past, gathering like-minded followers among the ancients. Elidibus sensed this conflict from within Zodiark and separated himself to resume his duties in the Convocation as a primal to peacefully resolve the issue between the two groups. However, Venat used her faction's sacrifice to become the primal Hydaelyn, sundering Zodiark and Etheirys into fourteen fragments: thirteen reflections and the Source. The ancients, their souls divided, mostly forgot about their original existence, powers, and society. As Hydaelyn knew Zodiark was essential to prevent the Final Days from resuming, she imprisoned him within the area of the Source's moon called Mare Lamentorum while his fragments were sealed in the other reflections.

Elidibus and the other surviving members of the Convocation of Fourteen—Lahabrea and Emet-Selch—became the first Ascian Paragons. They sought to recruit their fragmented comrades to commence their work to restoring Zodiark by rejoining the reflections back to the Source while weakening Hydaelyn's influence, whom they considered a usurper. They paid no heed to what happened to the inhabitants of these worlds, considering the peoples of the Source and its reflections but flawed mockeries of the ancients. They engineered the Umbral Calamities, periods of cataclysmic turmoil known to the history as the Umbral Eras, each one strengthening Zodiark and in turn all souls of the Source. The fall of Dalamud at the end of the Sixth Astral Era marked the seventh Rejoining.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn[]

Gaius: Lahabrea... What have you done?"
Lahabrea: No more than was necessary...for my god to be reborn.
Gaius and Lahabrea.

The Ascians had been manipulating Garlean forces under Gaius van Baelsar to restore an ancient machine, the Ultima Weapon, that would play to their goal of reviving Zodiark. These manipulations included both capturing the primals' essence through Gaius's campaign, and keeping tabs on the Scions of the Seventh Dawn through the possessed Thancred Waters.

A leader of the Ascians, Lahabrea, was thwarted, and the Ultima Weapon was destroyed. The Ascians gathered, stating that the primal Bahamut was stirring, heralding another way for them to resurrect their deity. Zodiark's emissary, Elidibus, appeared before the Warrior of Light out of curiosity, believing the mysteries around the figure would be revealed in due time.

Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward[]

To initiate an eighth Rejoining, the Ascians sought to exploit the tensions during the on-going Dragonsong War in the Northlands, culminating with the primal King Thordan attempting to obtain the power of the Warring Triad sealed at Azys Lla.

In their haste the Ascians Igeyorhm and Lahabrea were undone: the former was shattered by the Warrior of Light using White Auracite and one of the dragon Nidhogg's eyes, while the latter was slain when King Thordan turned on him and absorbed his aether. These setbacks prompted Elidibus to call forth the Warriors of Darkness from another reflection of the Source to expedite the process by terrorizing the beastmen by killing their primals and thus forcing them to summon stronger protectors. Though the Warriors of Darkness were defeated, Elidibus acquired the eyes of Nidhogg and gave them to the Ala Mhigan extremist known as the Griffin to serve his ends. Griffin summoned a new primal he claimed would even eclipse Bahamut, called Shinryu, nearly invoking the Eighth Umbral Calamity. However, Papalymo Totolymo and Omega stopped it.

Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers[]

A mural depicting Zodiark fighting Hydaelyn.

During their exploration of Qitana Ravel, the Warrior of Light and their comrades in the Scions of the Seventh Dawn organization chanced upon a set of murals depicting great mythological stories, the most ancient of them several millennia old. Upon viewing a battle where the god of light triumphed over the god of darkness, Y'shtola Rhul and Urianger Augurelt surmised the painting could be linked to Hydaelyn and Zodiark. Emet-Selch—who accompanied the party as an observer—explained these gods did not create the world, but were summoned by its inhabitants in the same way any primal would, meaning they were "the eldest and most powerful of primals".

Back at Crystarium, Emet-Selch explained how ages ago only one intact world existed where the Ascian people lived, and regaled Zodiark and Hydaelyn's origin story. When Hydaelyn had shattered Zodiark and the world, even the Ascians' souls had split into fourteen, leading to the birth of the myriad peoples living in this new world, ignorant of their past and unable to access even a fraction of the original power of creation the Ascians had held. Thus, the Rejoining's ultimate goal in reviving Zodiark by the few remaining Ascians who had kept their souls intact (Lahabrea, Elidibus, and Emet-Selch) was to restore their world in its original state. According to Emet-Selch, those living beings who would survive the remaining calamities and the final sacrifice to Zodiark would be reborn in their true ancient form. It is implied that the Warrior of Light and their First counterpart, Ardbert—along with four other versions of them residing in the remaining Shards—were reincarnations of the 14th Convocation member.

While Fandaniel did not share his fellow Ascians' plan to restore their home, he saw Zodiark's release essential to his plans to destroy the world. He used the primal Anima to amass enough aether to unleash a blast of energy from the Tower of Babil to break the remaining brands of the seals binding Zodiark.

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker[]

While Fandaniel acquired the aether he needed, it was not enough to shatter the seal. He and Zenos Galvus departed to the moon to personally break the final brand. The damage to the seal caused souls to manifest from Zodiark and impede the Warrior of Light before Hythlodaeus told them to stand down.

The Warrior of Light failed to prevent Zenos from destroying the final brand, with Fandaniel merging into Zodiark to take control of the primal and challenge the Warrior. After a titanic battle, the incomplete Zodiark was defeated and about to be restrained again...but it was all a part of Fandaniel's true plan: Zodiark's demise would resume the Final Days. With the primal sufficiently weakened, Fandaniel stabbed his hand into his chest and dealt the final blow to Zodiark for good.

Characteristics[]

Appearance[]

The statue of Zodiark[1] depicts him as a stylized humanoid figure bearing a crown-like adornment and two upside-down wings. Some of his adornments bear a superficial resemblance to parts of the Ivalician Esper of the same name. The symbol that appears across Lahabrea's face while performing magick resembles this statue.

Zodiark's influence on the Mothercrystal in the Warrior's Echo.

A possible sighting of him is when the Warrior of Light has a vision of a dark crystal.

In Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers, during the final battle with Hades, he wields a crystal staff that bears the likeness of Zodiark depicted in the murals.

In Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, Zodiark's bound form is found on Mare Lamentorum on the moon. In this form, he looks like a multi-armed red giant, wearing a mask with an X symbol. When he's fought in The Dark Inside, Zodiark is partially awaken, a purple giant with six hands and tentacles for legs. However, as Zodiark is not fully restored from his first battle with Hydaelyn, pieces of him are missing, such as some of his tentacles and two of his arms. Partway through the fight, his mask shatters, revealing his resemblance to Chaos, the final boss of the original Final Fantasy. Overall, his appearance looks like a Yoshitaka Amano illustration, a humanoid man with sharp teeth.

Personality[]

Zodiark's personality, goals, and motivations are not directly known. Goddess Hydaelyn, through the Word of the Mother, implies that she went to war with her counterpart to prevent the balance from being disrupted, while Emet-Selch reveals that Zodiark was created to restore order to the fraying fabric of reality and immediately tempered his creators. The Amaurotine Hythlodaeus reveals that Zodiark required the consumption of half of the population's souls to enact his function, however these were rendered to him willingly. The Ascians consider Zodiark the world's true caretaker, while those who created Hydaelyn considered him dangerous enough to shatter the world to seal away yet too important to destroy outright. Zodiark's true disposition, after Elidibus separated from him, is of acting on instinct due to the collective will of the souls forming his body.

Gameplay[]

Zodiark is fought as the first trial boss of Endwalker in The Dark Inside. He can also be faced in Extreme difficulty in The Minstrel's Ballad: Zodiark's Fall.

Gallery[]

Etymology[]

Zodiark is an Esper from Ivalice. He is the "ultimate" Esper, and an optional challenge to acquire in the games he appears in summonable form.

In both astrology and historical astronomy, the zodiac is a circle of twelve 30° divisions of celestial longitude that are centered upon the ecliptic: the apparent path of the Sun across the celestial sphere over the course of the year.

The term zodiac derives from Latin zōdiacus, which comes from the Greek ζῳδιακὸς κύκλος (zōdiakos kyklos), meaning "circle of animals", as half of the signs of the classical Greek zodiac are represented as animals (besides two mythological hybrids).

References[]

  1. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, 2.3 main scenario "Defenders of Eorzea"
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