Final Fantasy's Gilgamesh Is On His Way to Become The Series Mascot


If you’re a long time Final Fantasy fan, then you would probably agree with me that Gilgamesh is the series’ unofficial mascot. Read on to learn more about his initial appearance, background, and his appearances in the other FF games.


Final Fantasy Has More Than Two Recognizable Mascots


Final Fantasy has had its fair share of recurring characters, from the Chocobos, the Moogles, and some of the summons, eikons, primals, or espers however they’re labeled for that specific game. However, I don’t think they’re as enigmatic as the mighty morphing warrior/weapon collector, Gilgamesh.

For longtime fans of the series, you would probably know the name Gilgamesh and would also know a couple of his different appearances throughout the different games in the franchise. For the uninitiated, let me introduce you to one of the best recurring characters in the historic franchise as to why he’s the series’ modern mascot. You can kind of say he’s Final Fantasy’s equivalent of Deadpool as not only is he hilarious, but also he’s similar to him with how he’s involved in Marvel's multiverse.

Etymology and Historic Inspiration


Before we talk more about his portrayal and his antics, let’s first talk about the etymology of the character as well as his historic inspiration. His name is based on the first great work of literature, the Epic of Gilgamesh, that tells the story of the Sumerian King. He is shown to be a demigod possessing unparalleled strength who defended his people and traveled across the world with his trusted companion, Enkidu.

Moreover, his appearance and character is based on the famous Japanese mythological being known as Benkei. Benkei is known to be a warrior monk wielding his famous naginata and his penchants for collecting the weapons of his defeated enemies, forming friendship with those who defeat him, andfighting on bridges. He is also the loyal vassal of Yoshitsune Minamoto and is also closely related to the Genji Clan, which is another reference to equipment in the series of which you can steal or get from defeating him. Finally, He is also portrayed with the Kabuki-style face paint since the tale of Benkei is a popular act that they commonly perform.

Gilgamesh - The Being Behind The Weapons


Gilgamesh’s first appearance is in the fifth iteration of the Final Fantasy franchise, Final Fantasy V, which focuses on the journey of traveler Bartz Klauser and his fellow companions. He is portrayed as the right-hand man of the main antagonist, Exdeath, and becomes a nuisance for Bartz and his party throughout the game.

While he’s initially portrayed as antagonistic, his motives are not inherently evil as he just enjoys a proper fight and wishes to collect weapons for his own amusement. As shown in Final Fantasy V, where he saves Bartz and company by self-destructing against Necrophobe, a demon that was close to immortal.


Though drawing parallels with Benkei, Gilgamesh is a being with many weapons, ranging from swords, axes, and even guns in some of his appearances. His common arsenal most notably includes the holy sword Excalibur and its cheap counterfeit, Excalipoor, Zantetsuken - a curved scimitar, and finally the katana, Masamune.


In most games, he is often an optional side boss that rewards you with equipment that is considered strong in the games he’s in. In other games, he is a "super boss" or an endgame boss, meaning that considerable preparation must be made before you attempt to fight him. Sometimes, he is also a summon that you can use in battle with a random effect of him using a proper weapon to deal damage or a counterfeit to deal little to none.

Commonly, Gilgamesh is shown to be comic-relief for several of the games and situations that he puts himself into. He is normally an "intruder" in that game’s world. Take for instance his appearance in the critically acclaimed MMO, Final Fantasy XIV, where he adopts the moniker "Greg" to "conceal" his identity despite being obviously who he is. In another example, he is available as an opponent in Final Fantasy VI Advance, in the Dragon’s Neck coliseum when you wager the counterfeit weapon - Excalipoor.

Despite his frequent comedic portrayal, he is also shown in a different light in as the franchise’s "super boss" or an antagonist in some capacity. Take for example his appearance in Final Fantasy Type-0, where he is shown as a colossal warrior and sworn protector of the city of Lorica. In Final Fantasy XV DLC, Episode Gladiolus, where he is the main antagonist known as the "Blademaster." Similarly in Final Fantasy XIII-2, Gilgamesh was added as a super boss DLC in the coliseum, taking all of the familiar tropes that he had in the previous games, with the addition of having multiple guns.

With all of his different portrayals and alignments, Gilgamesh is always shown as a powerful warrior, despite his ineptitude for mistaking counterfeit weapons as the real deal, and his reputation as a chatterbox. He also isn’t afraid of feigning defeat or begging for mercy to buy time or gain the upper hand in combat in most of his comedic appearances.

Interdimensional Hopper, Weapon Collector, and Certified Yapper


As established in my long excerpt, Gilgamesh is a recurring character in a lot of the Final Fantasy games, but why does he always reappear? Other than the obvious answers of whether Square Enix likes his character or being a fan favorite, he is actually tied to Final Fantasy V’s Interdimensional Rift—where he has appearances that have him walk through the Void and coincidentally arrive at that game’s world. It’s even alluded that the same Gilgamesh that exploded in Final Fantasy V, is the same that reappears in the later games. Like his appearances in Final Fantasy VIII or Final Fantasy IV -The After Years-, where he questions the character being "Bartz" when he is defeated.

This is the case in the series long forgotten arena battler, Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, where he is a playable character and arrives into World B by complete accident while traveling through the Void. This is one of the main reasons why I label him as the series’ Deadpool, as similar to the comic book character, he is in possession of something that can make him travel through dimensions albeit by mistake most of the time.


Whether comedic or serious, I’ll always look forward to Gilgamesh’s inclusion in the next Final Fantasy game. Which is why I was disappointed to see that he wasn’t included in the latest iteration of the series, Final Fantasy XVI. I’m glad to see that his trope is still alive and well in the recently released sequel of the Remake continuity in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth. He will always be my favorite recurring trope of the series for his iconic appearance, motive, musical theme, and ultimate form change: "Morphing Time!"


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