Final Fantasy 14: Every Imperial Legion Explained (2023)

Final Fantasy 14's Garlean Empire is known for its military might. For fans though, knowing the difference between the legions is very complex. There are 14 legions in total, and each of them has about 10 infantry battalions which are then split into three companies. What is mentioned most in the game, though, is the legions themselves. The legions alone can be confusing, as each one has a different history with different notable Garleans in its ranks.

With the Endwalker expansion out, a lot of different legions are mentioned due to the political intrigue explored in Garlemald. Every expansion has had its share of Imperial Legion encounters, but their naming conventions can make them hard to differentiate. The best method to remember the differences between the legions is to know both their history and the notable Garleans within them. This article contains spoilers for Final Fantasy 14 expansions up to the end of Endwalker.

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The First Imperial Legion

Final Fantasy 14: Every Imperial Legion Explained (1)

Notable Garleans of the First Legion includes Quintus van Cinna and Julius pyr Norbanus, with Quintus being a Legatus and Julius being a Centurion's assistant. These characters have only just appeared in Endwalker and revealed much about their status. Their legion was engaged in combat with the third over the succession of the imperial throne. In fact, the First Legion are the ones that concluded that Nerva and Titus were the masterminds behind Emerpor Varis' death.

The First Legion fought against the third, creating the civil war that devastated the capital before the paranormal chaos began to occur. Once most Garleans were tempered and the city fell the ruin, it was the First Legion that held on and planned to retake the city and believed Varis was still alive. They planned for the 10th Legion to help but later learned that the 10th had been eradicated by the Talophoroi. This made Quintus kill himself and ultimately end the First Legion.

The Third Imperial Legion

Final Fantasy 14: Every Imperial Legion Explained (2)
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The Third Legion is the one that the First butted heads with in terms of who is meant to rule Garlemald after the death of Varis. Much less is known about the Third Legion, as they mostly ended up tempered before the Warrior of Light's arrival in Endwalker. They are the legion that attacks the Grand Company of Eorzea, while led by Vergilia van Corculum.

This legion believed that Nerva yae Galvus should succeed the throne to replace Varis. Nerva is Zenos' cousin and the one that the First Legion believed to have killed Varis.

The Fourth Imperial Legion

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The Fourth Imperial Legion was originally led by Basch van Gabranth, who achieved high rank despite not being a pure-blooded Garlean. Under his leadership, this legion conquered the Kingdom of Dalmasca. His son, Noah van Gabranth, replaced him after he passed away and the legion ruled Bozja, Dalmasca, and Nagxia all in the Empire's name.

This is the legion that the Warrior of Light constantly fought within the "Return to Ivalice" quests and in The Bozjan Southern Front. Due to this, there are many named characters associated with it such as Menenius sas Lanatus, Lyon rem Helsos, and Sadr rem Albeleo. Eventually, after much defeat, the legion mutinied against Noah and killed him. Two-thirds of the legion surrendered to the Bojzan resistance while the rest were defeated. There are surviving members, such as Lyon rem Helsos, who is on the run and on a wanted list.

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The Sixth Imperial Legion

Final Fantasy 14: Every Imperial Legion Explained (4)

The Sixth Imperial Legion was led by Regula van Hydrus and was a prominent enemy in the Heavensward expansion. Regula wanted to unveil the secrets of Azys Lla for Allagan knowledge that the Garlean Empire could use to trap primals. This is the legion that also kills Ysayle, as the airship she defended against was one of theirs.

Regula dies an honorable death by eventually allying with the Scions and protecting Unkalhai from an attack from the primal, Zurvan. This has caused the Sixth Legion to retreat, with some of their numbers still stranded in Azys Lla with their flagship. Little has been heard of them since, only with Ragula's data being housed in the Sapphire Weapon's core in Shadowbringers.

The Seventh Imperial Legion

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The activity of the Seventh Imperial Legion dates back to the original Final Fantasy 14, as they were the main antagonists back then. In those early days, it was led by Nael van Darnus, who was later revealed to be Eula, his younger sister (with the real Nael dead). Under her rule, they were the ones who ultimately unleashed Bahamut and brought upon a Calamity.

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With the death of Nael, the Seventh Legion did not appear again until Valens van Varro led them and became an antagonist in Shadowbringers. Through his leadership, the Seventh Legion made the Emerald, Diamond, Sapphire, and Ruby Weapons with Oversoul systems that can take over the minds of pilots as they are absorbed into the weapon. Both the legion and its leader were defeated by the Warrior of Light, Gaius, and Alfonse. The remaining members either surrendered or fled.

The 12th Imperial Legion

Final Fantasy 14: Every Imperial Legion Explained (6)

The 12th Imperial Legion were the main antagonists of Stormblood. They were led by Zenos, they were known for their brutality as they ruled over Doma and Ala Mhigo. Even the soldiers were sometimes killed by their leader if they failed to satisfy. Other notable members of this legion include Asahi, Fordola, and Yotsuyu.

In the conclusion of Stormblood, Zenos is believed to be dead and the legion is defeated. Most members retreated or surrendered to the Eorzean and Ala Mhigan resistance and since then, there have been few mentions of the 12th Legion. Unlike some other legions, the 12th conscripted many non-Garleans.

The 14th Imperial Legion

Final Fantasy 14: Every Imperial Legion Explained (7)
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The 14th Legion is the main antagonist of A Realm Reborn and was led by Gaius van Baelsar. Notable members included Nero, Livia, and Rhitahtyn. In the original Final Fantasy 14, they were the ones that captured Ala Mhigo and decided to try to conquer the rest of Eorzea. However, they did not approve the Seventh Legion's plans and secretly aided the Eorzean alliance against Nael. After the Calamity, Gaius immediately set back onto his goal of conquest.

After the defeat of Gaius in A Realm Reborn, the remains of the 14th Legion were absorbed into the 12th and seventh. Gaius no longer serves as a Legatus but seeks to hunt Ascians. Another part of the 14th Legion, Nero, defects to join the Garlond Ironworks.

Legions Still Unknown

Final Fantasy 14: Every Imperial Legion Explained (8)

Among the 14 legions are those that have not been referenced in the game. This includes the 2nd Legion, 5th Legion, the 8th Legion through the 11th, and the 13th Legion. With the state of Garlemald in Endwalker, most fans are not expecting to hear about more legions anytime soon. It took many expansions, but most of the Garlean Empire's legions are defeated. There is a small chance in the future of Final Fantasy 14, players will get to hear stories about the other legions, ones that the Warrior of Light did not meet, but still have a story to tell.

Final Fantasy 14 is available now for PC, PS4, and PS5.

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