Bartz, Exdeath and Gilgamesh

        Getting back to Dissidia, we once again have three characters to look at. Bartz the hero, Exdeath the villain, and Gilgamesh as… well, basically he’s an extra, but we’ll get there. For now, let’s look at Bartz.
        Bartz is the protagonist of Final Fantasy V, and like the other heroes from the first Dissidia game, he is looking for a crystal. He seems to be going about the mission in a carefree manner, racing Zidane to see who can get theirs first. However, this leads him to get caught in a enemy trap, which teleports him to a base of the villains.
        He wake up, unfamiliar with the area, and manages to leave the spot he was in just before Kefka and Kuja walk over, talking. They are surprised that he woke up already, and Kuja seems annoyed that they captured the wrong ‘mouse’, saying he is only concerned with defeating Zidane. They walk off, having come up with a new plan while Bartz was pondering the trap, and he decides to poke around, hoping to find his crystal.
        As he explores, he stumbles across a meeting between Sephiroth, The Emperor, and Ultimecia. The latter two are trying to convince Sephiroth to join them, but he stays he is not interested. Bartz is apparently too far away to hear what exactly they are saying, and assumes that the two boys are fighting over Ultimecia. He isn’t too far for them to notice him, and he runs off before they can battle him. Sephiroth walks away, and the other two scheme. The Emperor decides to tell one of the ‘destroyers’, that is, one of the villains only interested in destroying things, about Bartz, and Ultimecia thinks Exdeath would be the best choice.
        Later, Bartz comes across what appears to be a crystal and runs over, but Exdeath appears, having been waiting for him to fall for that trick. Bartz isn’t interested in fighting him, and slips by to snatch the crystal, running off. Kuja appears to congratulate Exdeath on his ‘acting’, because it seems they wanted Bartz to do exactly that.
        Bartz heads off to find Zidane to show him he won the race. As he goes, he runs into Golbez, who tells him that one cannot find the crystal by looking for it. Bartz retorts that the villains were holding onto it in the first place. Golbez states basically that Bartz is a innocent person who only sees things on the surface, and attacks. The battle ends when the ground shakes, and Golbez states that a light is approaching. Bartz runs off while he has the chance.
        Afterwards Exdeath shows up and notes that he continues to advise the heroes. Golbez says it is going along with the Emperor’s plans, but Exdeath points out that he will only follow along to a certain point. Golbez is a bit surprised and asks why he only watches if he knows so much. What is Exdeath up to? Exdeath laughs and says that telling him won’t matter, because what he desires is a ‘true ending’, that is, to destroy everything.
        Bartz makes his way to the Teleport Stone out of Chaos’ territory, and back to neutral ground. He finds Squall and Zidane, showing them his crystal. However, as Golbez alluded to, it is a fake, and touching it warps Zidane elsewhere. Exdeath shows up to mock him for thinking getting the crystal would be so easy, saying that what Bartz found was just a fake, designed to send Zidane straight to Kuja for a battle, and possibly his death. Exdeath summons Manikins to chase the two, and they run off.
        They run back where Bartz came to rescue Zidane, and Bartz is weighed down by the guilt that he put Zidane in danger. Squall tries to make him feel better by handing him back the good luck charm Bartz gave him previously, saying it had helped him when he was in danger. They are interrupted by Exdeath, and Squall gets ready to fight, but Bartz says he will handle it. After a fierce battle between the two, Exdeath is defeated, and Bartz’s crystal appears. And as it happens, Zidane escaped the trap on his own, and makes his way back to them, Bartz runs off to show him his new, completely trap-free crystal.
        Moving on how Bartz fights, he is a Mimic, and thus uses the attacks of the other Cosmos warriors, summoning imitations of their weapons as he does so, and even going as far as to mimic their attack quotes in the closest approximation of their voices that he can muster. As such, all of his moves are derived from someone else, just mixed and combined with other attacks to produce a different result. However, most of his attacks are mid-range, so he has little capability at a great range.
        His ground HP attacks are Hellfire, copied from Yuna, where he summons the monster Ifrit to create three pillars of fire in front of him, and Dark Flame, copied from Cecil, which makes a black fire that chases enemies. In the air he has Ragnarok Blade, copied from Laguna, where he summons a cannon and makes a giant laser, which he slashes with for a close range attack. He also has Luminous Shard, another move from Cecil, where he fires out a wave of light energy that homes in on the enemy.
        In his EX Mode he masters his Mimic job, gaining a red cape and stars over his head to symbolize mastery, and the new HP attack Goblin Punch. It is a quick, short range, and unblockable HP attack. His EX Burst, Master Mimic, has him summon four weapon copies and imbibe them with elemental energy. He then grabs a weapon and slashes eight times. In order to pull this off, you need to push the two directions shown on the D-pad four times, then he will finish off the enemy by combining these weapons into the Brave Blade and slashing through them.
        Moving on to Exdeath, he is perhaps the smartest and laziest of the games villains. He is basically a tree that many evil spirits were sealed in, which them fused with the tree to create Exdeath, who masted the power of the Void. Much like Cloud of Darkness, he seeks to destroy everything by sending it into the Void, but he is of the opinion that such an occurrence is inevitable no matter what happens, so he has no real motivation to do anything. Nevertheless, pretty much nothing slips by him unnoticed, and goes along with the other villain’s schemes pretty much on a whim.
        His fighting style also reflects this in that he is easily the slowest and most defensive of the characters. He has the slowest speed, being a tree, all of his attacks are slow to get off, and most of his tricks center around countering his foes. Luckily, he can teleport around to reach far off enemies, otherwise he would likely never catch them. All of this makes him very difficult to master.
        As for his attacks, he can slash with his sword, a very strong blow, but very slow to get off, create a black hole of sorts in front of him to pull enemies in, fire off an energy blast with minor homing, and produce a tornado around himself. However, the bulk of his use comes from his three different blocks.
        Protect Guard has him block with his cape, fairly easy to use, but it only blocks Brave attacks, and briefly. Turn Guard has him summon a red sigil in front of him that stops Brave attacks and can he held as long as you want. Lastly there is Omni Block, which as the name implies blocks everything, but when you activate it Exdeath merely hovers, and, when you let go of the button, then he makes a blocking sphere around himself that stops everything… for a split second. Timing is key. If an attack is blocked, he can counter very quickly, striking an enemy with his own attack, doing much more damage than usual. While Exdeath is very hard to use, once mastered he can be nearly unstoppable thanks to this.
        As for his HP attacks, Delta Attack has him summon a sigil and blasts the enemy through it. The sigil also stops most attacks, stunning the foe making them fall prey to the blast. Almagest has him fly after the enemy, surrounding himself with a black sphere, which shatters to do damage shortly afterwards. Grand Cross summons spheres at the enemies location, doing damage if they are caught in them. Lastly he has Maelstrom, which, like Meteor has a very long charge time, but if you can pull it off the enemy will be caught in an inescapable tornado.
        His Ex Mode, Power of the Void, transforms him into a similar state to his final boss form from the original game. He gains the ability Speed Guard, which lets him recover faster after using his counters, and lets him strike twice after countering. His Ex Burst works exactly like Cloud of Darkness’, except that instead of raising a guage to 120% he is instead reducing it to 0%. Do it wrong and he will hit the enemy with a Grand Cross, but do it right and he will trap them in Neo Almagest, casting them into the Void and crushing the entrance between his hands as all the music and sounds fade. Very dramatic, but no, it’s not a one hit kill or anything, it still does damage normally.
        Lastly we have Gilgamesh, a character who shows up in many games, but this iteration is from Final Fantasy V. He once worked for Exdeath in that game, but was defeated by the heroes. As punishment for his failure, Exdeath, cast Gilgamesh into the Void to wonder forever. This apparently lead him to pop up in the realm of Dissidia on occasion, where he runs into Bartz. He of course wants to fight him, and ends up fighting a few people, but, win or lose, he gets sucked back into the Void after his battle. Poor guy. He;s mostly just comic relief. Still, he’s likely pretty happy to get a chance to battle the characters, as he relishes a good fight more than anything, it seems.
        However, he is an interesting character in battle, emphasizing randomness. Like Bartz he summons various weapons to fight, but his are various swords he has collected. When attacking, he will use a random weapon of his to perform it. His Naginata has better range than the others, Masamune produces more Ex Force from attacks, the Genji Blade depletes the enemy’s EX Gauge, Zantetsuken has a chance to instantly Break the enemy, the Battle Axe does random damage, the Chicken Knife gets stronger the less HP Gilgamesh has, Excalipoor reduces all Brave damage to 1, while Excalibur doubles said damage.
        The vast majority of his attacks are slashes and close range attacks, but not all. He can fire out a wind blast on the ground, and summon lightning at the enemy’s position when in the air. As for his HP attacks, Death Claw has him slash the enemy in front of him, Jump has him do exactly that and land on the enemy, Rocket Punch somehow fires off his arms as projectiles. In the air he can use Sword Dance, which lets him charge in and slash the enemy repeatedly, Hurricane has him spin in place to make a twister, and Missile has him summon said weapon from literally nowhere and fire it at the enemy.
        His EX Mode has him transform into his true form, giving him eight arms. He may wield eight of one weapon, two copies of four weapons, or some other random combination. Unless you get eight Excalipoors, which has happened, the combination is generally a good one. The benefits of the weapons are impossible to predict, but it does make him more consistent in all his attacks in EX Mode will have that bonus, and he does more hits per attack.
        As for his EX Burst, he picks between a spinning roulette of eight swords, seven blue and one red. The blues are Excalipoors, and the red is Excalibur. Picking an Excalipoor means all of the Brave attacks in the Burst will do one damage, but the HP attack at the end will still do the full amount, because Gilgamesh realizes what he is holding and throws it at the enemy, which actually does a lot more damage than slashing in the original game. If he grabs Excalibur, he will slash the opponent repeatedly before finishing them off with Ultimate Illusion, a giant wave from the sword.

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