Gilgamesh was the fifth king of Uruk, a Sumerian state in ancient Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq), around 2600 BC. He is the central character in the Epic of Gilgamesh, which is the most complete piece of Babylonian literature and the first epic in history.
The Epic of Gilgamesh was the basic archetype for nearly all epic stories that came after, including literature, movies, and video games, especially role-playing games.
Gilgamesh is also the basic archetype for most heroes and superheroes in history, though he may also be considered the first anti-hero in history; due to the differing morals of his day, many of his traits can be deemed both heroic and anti-heroic at the same time.
Video game appearances
His first appearance in video games was as Gil in the 1984 arcade proto-action RPG, The Tower of Druaga, where he was interpreted as a heroic young man on a quest to rescue his lover Ki. The game's success led to Babylonian Castle Saga series, revolving around the adventures of Gil and Ki. Unlike the real Gilgamesh, however, Gil lacked anti-hero qualities, up until the 2009 anime sequel, The Tower of Druaga: The Sword of Uruk, where he plays the role of the antagonist, or anti-villain (i.e. hero turned evil).
A more accurate depiction of Gilgamesh came in the 1985 adventure game Rivers of Light, based on the actual Epic of Gilgamesh, packaged with the computer game Adventure Construction Set. The most well known video game interpretations, however, are the antagonists, Gilgamesh in Final Fantasy V (also appearing in subsequent Final Fantasy games) and Gilgamesh in Fate/Stay Night.