This was one of the many worlds of FFXI. It was activated for the release of the Windows version of FFXI in Japan. It was merged into the Lakshmi server in early 2010.
Interestingly, the Garuda Server was created in November 2002, but the summon wasn't made accessible until April 2003. This may seem strange, but Square had already decided what all the summons would be by November 2002: a preview showing many of them was released that month.
ID Number: 21
Activation Date: November 6, 2002
Deactivation Date: March 22, 2010
History in the FF Series
Final Fantasy III
Garuda is a story boss who appears as a monstrous, humanoid bird that uses Lightning, a powerful Thunder-element spell that hits the entire party for high damage. King Gorn's advisor Gigameth transforms into Garuda in his attempt to destroy the heroes. It is hinted by the game that the party should switch to Dragoons (which had just been unlocked, and for which equipment is also plentiful in the area) and use Jump attacks to evade the lightning and counterattack. This version of Garuda, a male, humanoid bird, bears the most resemblance to FFXI's Garuda.
Final Fantasy VII
Garuda appears as a normal enemy on the mountain near the village of Wutai. This time, Garuda is completely bird-like in appearance other than its human arms.
Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-
Garuda is the strongest bird-type enemy, and wields powerful lightning magic, like the original Garuda in FFIII.
Final Fantasy IX
Garuda appears as both a normal, albeit powerful, bird enemy, as well as a friendly monster requesting items.
Final Fantasy X
Garuda is a huge, monstrous bird. The party first encounters one on Besaid Island; this is the tutorial battle for Yuna's summoning, and the first time the player is able to summon Valefor. Garuda's second appearance is in an attack on Luca's Blitzball Stadium. From then on, more Garudas can be fought as normal enemies on Mushroom Rock Road.
Final Fantasy XI
Garuda debuts as a Wind-element summon in Final Fantasy XI. She is a green, feathered, bird-like humanoid. For more specifics on her appearance, see Garuda. It should be noted one of her moves, "Whispering Wind", borrows its name and part of its effect from the Summon Sylph. Garuda is a Celestial Avatar, obtained from the Cloister of Gales located on Cape Teriggan of the Quon Continent. For her background, see the story listed on Garuda.
Final Fantasy XII
Garuda is a boss outside the Tomb of Raithwall. Later in the game, non-boss Garudas known as Garuda-Egi can be battled in the Paramina Rift. The in-game bestiary describes it as such, making a reference to Garuda's original weakness to Dragoons in FFIII:
Being the legendary foe of the wyrms, as told in 'The Legend of the Dragoons'. Living atop only the highest peaks, they feed primarily on serpents. Natural philosophers have confirmed the existence of two kinds: the garuda, whose glimmering gold wings distinguish it as original stock, and the Garuda-egi, whose wings have lost their brilliant luster. Many are the cultures that regard these creatures as gods for their auspicious appearance.
Final Fantasy XIII
The Garuda Interceptor is a miltarized, flying unit of the Annihilator class. It is fought as a boss in Lake Bresha's Echoes of the Past.
Final Fantasy Mystic Quest
Garudas appear as normal enemies in the Windia region.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates
Garuda is fought as a boss atop Mount Vaal.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time
The Garuda from Ring of Fates is available as an optional boss by placing a certain book in a pedestal in the Town's Library.
"Aerial Blast"- deals powerful wind-element damage to all enemies in range (FFXI)
"Aerial Armor"- grants Blink to party members in range(FFXI)
"Whispering Wind"- restores HP for party members in range (FFXI)
"Hastega"- grants Haste to party members in range (FFXI)
"Claw"- deals physical damage to one enemy (FFXI)
"Predator Claws"- delivers a threefold attack to one enemy (FFXI)
"Aero II"- deals minor wind damage to one enemy (FFXI)
"Aero IV"- deals moderate wind damage to one enemy (FFXI)
"Wind Blade"- deals powerful wind damage to one enemy (FFXI)
In Hindu belief, the Garuda is the mount of Vishnu (part of the Hindu Trimurti; is known as the Preserver/Maintainer). Garuda is depicted as having a golden-colored body in the shape of a man, a white face, the red wings of an eagle, and an eagle's beak. He wore a crown on his head. He (Garuda was male) was so large, he could block out the Sun if he flew in front of it. He was considered very ancient. According to Hindu stories, Garuda took the Moon and concealed it with his wings, causing all the Devas (Hindu gods) to become worried. This led Indra and the other gods to attack Garuda. Garuda managed to defeat all the gods except for Vishnu. When Garuda surrendered to Vishnu, he granted the bird immortality and the honor of being Vishnu's mount. Garuda had the title, "king of the birds". He is also associated with the rays of the Sun and the Emerald, which is viewed as an antidote for poison (this derives from Vishnu being an enemy of the Nagas, as well as any other type of serpent).
In Buddhist legend, the Garuda are a race of divine bird-like creatures that are enemies of the Nagas (a race of powerful serpents). The Garudas prey on Nagas.
The Garuda also appears throughout Southeast Asia (most notably Thailand and Indonesia, which have it as one of their national symbols).