The main melee fighter of the group. He can wield many heavy weapons such as swords and axes, and can wear the heaviest of armors. This affects his speed, as it greatly reduces his ability to dodge attacks. When promoted, he becomes a Knight, capable of casting some White Magic up to level 3. The Warrior appears representing the original Final Fantasy in the Dissidia: Final Fantasy series and appears in the Spin-Off titles Theatrhythm Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy Brigade. In the official novelization of the game he leads the party and is named Zest.
Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: In the original NES and GBA the player could chose. "Warriors of Light" is only ever used in universe as a title for all four heroes. He (along with the other three) was giving a Canon Name in a later novel based on the game. In Dissidia he is given a name, but it is never revealed to the player.
The secondary melee fighter of the group. He can use most of the same weapons that the Warrior can, but doesn't have as much variety in armor. He is, however, faster than the Knight, and has a better chance at running away from battle than other classes. Upon promotion, he can become a Ninja, and can cast some Black Magic up to level 4. In the official novelization of the game he is a cynicnamed Sauber.
Magikarp Power: The class change is kinder to the Thief than anyone else.
Status Buff/Standard Status Effects: Since he can only learn Black Magic up to level 4, he never packs the firepower necessary to serve as a serious damage-dealer. He can make up for it, however, by learning all the buff and debuff spells that the Black Mage didn't pick up, such as the powerful Haste.
Yet another powerful melee damage dealer, the Monk is a peculiar character in that he deals much more damage unarmed than he would with weapons. Even then, he can only wield nunchaku and a few staves. He is also the only class who is never able to learn magic. His damage-dealing capabilities are increased even further when he receives his promotion to Master.
Lightning Bruiser: The extremely broken way his fist strength levels up means that he easily deals damage in the thousands while the rest of the party is wallowing in mere hundreds. Add to that his impressive speed, and he is far and away the best attacker possible.
The quintessential "jack-of-all-trades, but master of none." The Red Mage (Red Wizard after promotion) can use select spells from both the White and Black Magic schools, but never the most powerful of either. His choice of weaponry is knives and swords
Bishōnen: Or possibly Bishoujo. For all the talk that the White Mage gets, the Red Mage is frankly just as ambiguous.
The peaceful healer of the group. The White Mage is weak physically, but is capable of using every spell from the White Magic library, from healing spells to status buffs to the undead-killing HARM/Dia spells. When promoted, the White Mage becomes a White Wizard, letting down the hood of her robe and revealing a full head of hair. In the official novelization of the game she is a motherly youthnamed Floe.
Combat Medic: Of two sorts. First, White Mage can equip several kinds of hammers, including one which shoots lightning bolts for free, giving her surprising combat power. Secondly, while HARM/Dia only affects undead, it's the most damaging spell line in the game and the game loves to throw undead packs at you. It's very possible to have a White Mage carry the team through several of the dungeons.
Word of Dante: The White Mage's gender is unspecified in the original, and the sprite in the remakes is androgynous. The idea that the White Mage is a woman was present from the beginning but gained popularity from 8-Bit Theater, and it's generally accepted Fanon.
The primary magic damage-dealer of the group. With the lowest HP of any character, Black Mages are often kept in the back of the line as they rain down fire, ice, and lightning on their foes. They are easily spotted by their cone-shaped hats and cloaks that obscure their face (save a pair of glowing eyes). In the NES version, the promoted Black Wizard removes his hat, but all versions after the Wonderswan Color port simply change the outfit, but keep the face-concealing hat on. In the official novelization of the game he is a quiet mannamed Daewoo.
A fallen knight of Cornelia, Garland has kidnapped Princess Sarah and is the first boss battle of the game. Outside of the first quest, he holds little relevance to the game's overall story. Well, until you reach the final dungeon, that is...For more information on the character post-reveal, see Chaos's entry.
Art Evolution: Like Chaos, Garland has become larger and more imposing while retaining the same basic design.
The main antagonist of the game, Chaos is the driving force behind the four elemental Fiends. Chaos is not present for the majority of the game, only appearing in the final dungeon. He reveals his identity before the Final BossBattle. He turns out to be Garland, a former knight of Cornelia. At the beginning of the game, Garland has kidnapped Princess Sarah, and her rescue is the first quest of the game. Initially, Garland is presented only as the first boss, and is forgotten as soon as he's killed. However, once you return to the Chaos Shrine and travel back in time 2000 years, he is revealed to have been Chaos all along. After he was killed by the Warriors, he was sent back in time by the power of the Four Fiends. In the past, the Four Fiends are created as manifestations of Garland's hatred, and he becomes Chaos. This creates a Stable Time Loop: every time he is defeated in the future, he is sent back to the past. However, he is ultimately destroyed once and for all by the Warriors, ending the loop forever.Both Garland and Chaos appear in the Dissidia: Final Fantasy series as separate entities and Chaos later appears again in the Theatrhythm Final FantasySpin-Off as a boss character.
Heel-Face Turn: Of a sort. The epilogue indicates that he has been reverted to a version of Garland that existed before he pulled his Face-Heel Turn in the first place, and he awaits the return of the Warriors of Light.
Chaos: Two thousand years from now, you killed me. I am Garland.
The Fiend of Earth, who resides in the Cavern of Earth. His siphoning of the Earth Crystal's power has caused the land around Melmond to rot and become lifeless.
Back from the Dead: His form is skeletal, and he clearly appears to be an Undead being of some sort, making this implication. This also happens within the story: Even after his defeat, you will fight him once more in the final dungeon.
The Man Behind the Man: The rereleases for the GBA, PSP and iOS confirm that the Lich was behind the Vampire who made the land of Melmond rot. In the bonus dungeon, Whisperwind Cove, one of the floors involve putting the souls of your past enemies to rest, the final one being the Vampire. Once he's defeated, his final words are:
Dub Name Change: When the game was first released, her name was spelled as Kary, a (possible) mistranslation of Kali, the multi-armed Hindu goddess of death, likely due to Nintendo's policy at the time of no direct references to religion in American releases. Her original name, Marilith, was not used as it was wholly under copyright by TSR.
Scissors Cuts Rock: Fire damages her more than Ice. Some Fiend of Fire! (Elemental weaknesses as a video game mechanic hadn't caught on yet, plus she was based on a Dungeons & Dragons monster that explicitly had greater resistance to ice than fire.) In reality, she resists fire, ice, and lightning equally, but the player is expected to have Firaga at that point while the stronger Blizzaga is supposed to be learned later.
The Fiend of Air, residing high above the earth in the Flying Fortress. She was the first of the Fiends to awaken, and is the most powerful of the lot. Tiamat is responsible for forcing the sky-dwelling Lufenians to Earth when she took over their fortress.
Achilles' Heel: While Tiamat is resistant to all magic elements, the BANE/Poison/Scourge spell has a small chance of killing her instantly. She's also vulnerable to BRAK/Petrify, with similar odds of success. These weaknesses are removed during the party's second encounter with her in the Chaos Shrine.
Back from the Dead: Tiamat returns in the Chaos Shrine as the game's penultimate boss fight.
The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Bikke and his men are accused by the people of Pravoka (and even brag themselves) that they've caused much havoc. But after his crew is defeated, Bikke folds like a deck of cards and not only surrenders his ship, but also vows to make a Heel-Face Turn.
A minor antagonist, Astos is the Dark Elf who placed a sleeping spell upon the elf prince of Elfland/Elfheim in a bid to rule over all elves. Posing as the Lone King of the Western Keep, he tricks the Warriors into retrieving a crown for him, and reveals himself when they return. Defeating him warrants Matoya's stolen crystal eye.
Back for the Dead: In the Whisperwind Cove, a bonus dungeon in the Dawn of Souls remake, he returns as one of the restless souls, but is quickly vanquished once and for all by the Warriors of Light.
The Reveal: He ends up being revealed as The King from the Western Keep.
A minor character that lives in Melmond, who is an expert linguist and who could translate Lefeinish/Lufenian... if only he had something to base his translation on.
Instant Expert: To the most extreme degree. Once given the Slab/Rosetta Stone, he instantly completely figures out how to speak a foreign language that nobody outside of said culture could understand. He then is somehow able to confer the exact same level of mastery to the Light Warriors in just as much time.
Insufferable Genius: He acts extremely arrogant - but considering how fast he can not only master a language, but teach others said language, he's really as good as he presents himself.
Lukahn the Sage
A minor character that first is mentioned as the one who predicted the arrival of the Light Warriors; he later waits for them at Crescent Lake.
The Prophecy: Inverted, actually - outside of predicting the coming of the Light Warriors before the game, he and the other sages don't sit there predicting the future - they use their oracular powers mostly to divine information from the past that nobody would otherwise know (such as where to find the Fiend of Fire or where one might get an airship).
Seers: He's the head of a circle of twelve, and he's specifically the one who predicted the Light Warriors would appear.
Vagueness Is Coming: He refers to a "cycle of wrath." What's the cause of this cycle? a Stable Time Loop; not some sort of back-and-forth between legacies of good and evil, but the exact same two parties clashing repeatedly due to Time Travel.
Cid of the Lufaine
A minor character who did not appear in the original Final Fantasy (he appears in the Dawn of Souls remake), he is an ancient Lufenian who created the airship used by the Warriors of Light.