This is a trope sheet for the cast of Final Fantasy IV
and Final Fantasy IV: The After Years
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"Stay back. This is a fight for me and me alone."
The main character of the game. Cecil is a Dark Knight of the Baron Empire and a Captain of the Red Wings airship fleet, torn between his loyalty to his kingdom and feelings against having to commit atrocities against several nations. Eventually, he decides he's had enough and defects from Baron. Cecil comes to seek to wield the powers of light against his enemies, and renounces the Dark Sword and becomes a Paladin. So endowed, he leads a band of allies to stop his replacement in the Red Wings, Golbez, from gathering the Crystals and conquering the world. Near the end of the game he discovers the shocking truth of his origins and how it ties him to the game's events deeper than he thought. At the end of the game he's crowned King of Baron and rules the kingdom into The After Years
, marrying Rosa and fathering a son, Ceodore.
He and Golbez appear in the Dissidia
series as representatives for Final Fantasy IV
and is one of three representatives of his game in the Spin-Off Theatrhythm Final Fantasy
- Absurdly Youthful Father: To Ceodore. Cecil is pushing his 40s by the sequel but looks little older than he did in the original game.
- Action Dad: In The After Years, he is one of these to Ceodore.
- All Men Are Perverts: It's mostly a joke, but in The After Years, if you look at the description of the Lustful Lali-ho item (a pornographic magazine), it says that it's one of Cecil's favorites.
- All There in the Manual: Japanese guides give his full name as Cecil Harvey, which was retained in 3D releases.
- And I Must Scream: After he's freed from the Mysterious Girl's control in The After Years, we learn that Cecil was aware of what was happening but couldn't do anything to stop it.
- The Atoner: Mainly for the atrocity he knowingly committed in Mysidia and unknowingly in Mist.
- Badass: Enough to become the captain of the Red Wings before the story started.
- Battle Couple: With his wife, Rosa. He fights and protects her while she heals and supports him. Several times in both games when Cecil tries to order her away from danger, she stays by his side to aid him.
- BFS: Hard to tell in the 2D releases, but in the DS release, some of his swords are thicker than his arms and longer than he is tall save for the head. Of course, this is probably due to the Chibi art style, because his official renders show him wielding swords of standard sizes.
- Bishōnen: Currently fighting with Kuja for the title of bishiest. (No, really.)
- Black Knight: His initial class is the Dark Knight.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: He's taken control of by the Mysterious Girl in The After Years and made a puppet king for her to control Baron with.
- Cain and Abel: The noble and good-hearted Abel to the brooding and treacherous Kain, who is jealous of Cecil's life. Kain isn't his biological brother but might as well be since they were raised together. Also a blood-relative version with Golbez, his actual older brother.
- Cast from Hit Points: The Darkness ability absorbs HP from Cecil so he can attack all enemies.
- Casting a Shadow: His Dark Knight ability, Darkness, or Dark Wave, sends waves of dark energy to attack all foes.
- Childhood Friend Romance: With Rosa, who he's known since he was a child.
- Classically Trained Extra: His seiyuu is Shizuma Hodoshima, who's not a Name to Know in Anime... Bit of a different story, though, if you're looking to put on a Shakespeare production.
- Cool Sword: His Sword of Plot Advancement, the Mythgraven Blade. It has runes of an ancient legend inscribed on it, was gifted to him by a spirit of light, and can be reforged into one of his best weapons, Excalibur.
- Defector from Decadence: Betrayed Baron when he realized the king was going too far in his quest for power, and led a rebellion against him.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: But it only became obvious after one, technology developed to the point that we could clearly see what he looks like, and two, the series became popular enough for Yoshitaka Amano's artwork for it to be gathered up into artbooks (as usual, happening later for the anglophone world than Japan).
- Expy: One in a Composite Character way, with him as a Dark Knight, looking very much like Leon, and adapting, and extending the first Dark Knight's character arc, while his look as a Paladin, takes a lot from the Warrior's of Light artwork by Yoshitaka Amano. Cecil's sprite as a Paladin also looks quite much like a lighter version of the Knight Job from Final Fantasy III.
- Four-Star Badass: Lord Captain of the Red Wings, making him Baron's military commander.
- The Good Captain: Sort of. He does try to blame his men for questioning the king, but that was also when he still described himself as a coward. He gets better after his Character Development.
- Good Costume Switch: Loses the helmet and goes from black armor to white.
- The Good King: In the sequel, he's King of Baron, and is loved around the world for being a great and noble war-hero as well as an effective king.
- Hair Color Dissonance: Purple? White? Blond? Yes?
- Half-Human Hybrid: He's half-human and half Lunarian.
- Happily Married: Come the end of the original game, he marries Rosa and takes her as his queen. Seventeen years later, their devotion and love is as strong as ever.
- Heel-Face Turn: Much earlier than most Punch Clock Villains, after performing the second evil act under orders from his king.
- Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Played straight when he transitions from a dark helm as a Dark Knight to a nice headband as a Paladin.
- The Hero: He grows into the role after abandoning Baron for its atrocities.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: Just like most Final Fantasy heroes, he specializes in swords. Though Kain can also equip them, he's more associated with lances, and all of Cecil's best, exclusive weapons are swords.
- Heroic BSOD: Suffers from this in The After Years due to the Mysterious Girl's prolonged control of him. Although you can use him during his BSOD, his stats are absolutely pathetic and he's a blubbering incoherent mess. It's not until he sees his dark side about to kill Ceodore that he snaps out of it and returns to being the ass-kicker we all know.
- Honorary Uncle: Yang asks him to be Ursula's godfather during her birth.
- How Do I Shot Web?: After the Paladin transformation, he's reset to level one, with the damage capability he had at the beginning of the game. (Fortunately, he gains levels extremely quickly.) His holy-element Mythgraven Blade/Sword of Legend helps him be effective while he's re-leveling on the way down Mt. Ordeals.
- Human Mom, Non-Human Dad: His mom was a human named Cecilia, his dad was a Lunarian named Kluya.
- Ideal Hero: Grows into it along with becoming a Paladin. He's a noble, upstanding man who only draws his sword when needed and fights to uphold morality and honor the world over.
- Just Following Orders: His reasons for taking the crystal from Mysidia. Much of the first act of the game is questioning this mindset and eventually abandoning it.
- Knight in Shining Armor: As a Paladin, naturally (and hands down at that), but it's also implied that he was this as a Dark Knight.
- Lawful Stupid: Averting this trope is actually a plot point for him, as he worries that he's becoming a tool of Baron without any morality in the beginning of the game. The decision to avert this is also what causes him to turn against his homeland.
- Leitmotif: "The Red Wings."
- Light Is Good/Dark Is Not Evil: Before the king turned evil or, rather, before Cagnazzo began to impersonate him, it's very strongly implied that Dark Knight!Cecil was actually a just and noble warrior. However, it still sometimes makes him a Hero with Bad Publicity; even at the start of the game, some of the people in Baron seemed freaked that the king is having his knights learn dark sword techniques and generally bothered by the fact that he's a Dark Knight.
- The Load: Unusual for the main character, he becomes this on the way up Mt. Ordeals - his Dark Knight swords and abilities heal undead, and over 90% of the encounters there are undead. He ends up focusing on healing while Palom and Porom use their abilities to win fights.
- Magic Knight: Ends up as one of these, primarily of the Combat Medic variety. He's got White Magic and sword skills in tandem, but his magic isn't very good. The 3D versions are better about this trope by giving him Protect, Shell, and Raise, so his magic is much more effective.
- My God, What Have I Done?:
- His reaction to attacking the Mysidians and inadvertently burning down Mist and killing Rydia's mother.
- Has the same reaction in The After Years when he remembers everything he's done under the Mysterious Girl's control, but especially when he realizes he's given Edward a Carnelian Signet (aka Bomb Ring), the very same thing that he inadvertently destroyed Mist with 17 years prior.
- Official Couple: Cecil and Rosa, established as a couple from the start.
- The Paladin: The climax of his Character Development is when he becomes one.
- Papa Wolf: One of the factors that broke Cecil out of his Heroic BSOD is when his dark side attacked Ceodore.
- Punch Clock Villain: He's never evil, but he does assault a sovereign nation without provocation and steal their national treasure because his king orders him to. He then becomes a delivery boy for an object that kills almost all of the summoners for similar reasons, at which point he quits his position.
- Purple Prose: The DS version had him dabble in some of this during his angsty moment with Rosa. After that, he starts speaking much more normally, oddly enough.
- Right Handed Mirror:
- To Kain. Both are orphans raised by the King, both rose high in the Baronian ranks, both vow to fight against Baron. But right-handed Cecil stays the course and becomes a Paladin, while left-handed Kain ends up Brainwashed and Crazy and working for Golbez.
- To Golbez. They turn out to have very similar pasts, and it is only through luck that Cecil did not end up in Golbez's villainous role.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: With Golbez.
- So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: Pulls off the rare feat of doing this despite being A) the main character and B) not leaving the party - when the Dark Knight class is removed, all of the gear Cecil was wearing disappears. Nobody else can equip it, but you can get extra cash by removing it and selling it when you get back to a town.
- Stay in the Kitchen: His treatment of his obviously competent lady love, Rosa, often takes this to extremes. Despite she and everyone else pointing out that she is a) a high-level White Mage with top-flight archery skills and b) in love with Cecil and utterly unwilling to leave his side, Cecil, often brusquely, tells her to stay behind because he doesn't want to see her hurt. This reaches the point of absurdity towards the end when he orders not only her but Rydia (you know, the nuketastic spellcaster) to stay safe on Earth, but has no problem taking along Edge, who spends half his time in battle faceplanted. (Fortunately, neither of them listen.) His opening scenes in The After Years show that he still maintains this attitude toward her even after being married to her for 17 years.
- Sword of Plot Advancement: The Mythgraven Blade, received on Mt. Ordeals to signify his class change to Paladin.
- Warrior Prince: Although he does not officially bear the title of Prince, he is King Baron's ward and heir.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer: Enforced in the first US localization, which removed the Darkness ability from Cecil's Dark Knight menu, meaning all he could do was swing his sword or use items.
"Cecil, Rosa. I cannot bring myself to face you both, not yet. I must test myself as you did, Cecil, at Mt. Ordeals. I will train until I've surpassed my father as a Dragoon. When that time comes, then I shall return to Baron."
Cecil's long-time friend and ally, and commander of Baron's Dragoons. He's involved in a Love Triangle
with Cecil and Rosa, and is on the losing end of it. His jealousy of Cecil and his love for Rosa allow Golbez to mentally dominate his mind and force Kain to serve him as his right-hand until Tellah's Meteor breaks his control. The freed Kain then aids Cecil in his battle against Golbez seeking to atone for his past crimes. At the end of the game he goes rogue to train in solitude, feeling he cannot return to Baron with his soul still stained by the evil he did under Golbez's control. Come The After Years
, no one has seen or heard from him in years.
He appeared in the sequel to Dissidia
as one of the main characters to the new plot and appears as a playable, unlockable sub-character in Theatrhythm Final Fantasy
- All Love Is Unrequited: He loves Rosa but she doesn't return his affections.
- All There in the Manual: Japanese guides give his full name as Cain Highwind, which was retained in 3D releases.
- Always Someone Better: Feels this way about Cecil. Supplementary materials establish it isn't just him getting Rosa over Kain that fuels Kain's jealousy, but Cecil has also had a more successful career, being made captain of the Red Wings while the Dragoon Corps are fading from power, and the king favored Cecil over Kain while they were growing up.
- Ascended Glitch: A bug in the original Japanese release of FFIV causes Kain to repeat the last move another character makes when he equips a certain weapon in the final battle. Apparently, more than one person on the dev team thought this was awesome and in the next game, created a job class based on it: the Mime.
- The Atoner: Decides to atone for his sins at the end of the first game.
- Awesome McCoolname: The second Highwind in the series.
- Badass: He's on par with Cecil in terms of toughness and damage output.
- Badass Cape: As The Hooded man,
- Barbarian Long Hair: Seventeen years later, he still rocks his mane.
- Big Brother Mentor: To Ceodore in the sequel.
- Blade on a Stick: His Weapon of Choice, although not the only weapon he can wield.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: The main reason for his Heel-Face Revolving Door trope. Over the course of the game's various remakes, his out-and-out brainwashing has been phased out in favour of More Than Mind Control; especially in the DS version.
- Breakout Character: One of the most famous Ensemble Darkhorses of the series. He got to be a central character in The After Years due to his dark side being a major antagonist, and is one of the more plot-important characters in Dissidia 012. Even Tetsuya Nomura is a Kain fanboy and tried really hard to get him in the first Dissidia, looking at him for IV's representative villain at one point instead of Golbez. Yes — Kain's popularity is so great he almost supplanted the actual Big Bad as the game's representative villain.
- Cain and Abel: The Cain to Cecil's Abel, he's brooding, troubled, and jealous of Cecil getting more glory and Rosa's affections. The Advance version even names his Infinity+1 Sword "Abel's Lance," and he receives it when he refuses the temptation to kill Cecil.
- Childhood Friend Romance: He formed a Two Guys and a Girl trio with Cecil and Rosa when they were small.
- The Dragon: He's Golbez's right-hand man when controlled.
- Dragon Rider: He is a Dragoon, although the only mention of his pet wyvern is in supplemental materials.
- Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: While the other characters' Lunar Trials involves completing various tasks, Kain's is instead a murder mystery that requires little input from the player. The only way to fail here is to give the wrong answer to a choice given at the very end. Contrast the true challenge of the Trial: a Duel Boss with Lunar Bahamut, which can be devastating unless the player knows how to time Kain's Jump with Bahamut's countdown to Mega Flare (or has Lunar Curtains to spare).
- Enemy Without:Dark Kain in IV Advance and Kain? in The After Years, born from the darkness in Kain's heart.
- Good Costume Switch: When he becomes a Holy Dragoon his armor turned blue and white.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Kain hints back in the destruction of Mist about his jealousy of Cecil over Rosa, although Cecil is ignorant of it (and how strong it is) until it's used to put Kain under Golbez's control.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: It takes a while for him to get there. His shoulder-length blond hair comes into play when he becomes truly noble in his heart, turning into a Holy Dragoon.
- Heel-Face Revolving Door: The most common perception of him, though in truth he only is brainwashed twice, and he notably fights off another attempt at brainwashing without even letting the struggle show on his face. Some versions of the game reduce the number from two to one, with Golbez intentionally allowing him to briefly rejoin Cecil to steal the last Dark Crystal but never really giving up his control over Kain.
- Hopeless Suitor: He's in love with Rosa, but she only has eyes for Cecil. It's implied that she never even realized Kain felt that way about her until he admits it directly atop the Tower of Zot.
- Hunk: By japanese standards, he looks manlier than Cecil.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: He hides his feelings for Rosa for her and Cecil to avoid harming his friendship with the two. By the end of the game he's accepted he will never have her.
- In a Single Bound: Jump. That is all.
- Journey to Find Oneself: Departs on one at the end of the game, mirroring Leon.
- The Lancer: This is both his class name and his role within the story, serving as Cecil's Foil and rival.
- Left-Handed Mirror: Has a similar backstory to Cecil but different outcomes in the short term. His role as the Lancer is a reflection of this.
- Leitmotif: "The Theme of Suspicion".
- Lightning Bruiser: In The After Years, he is flat out the best party member in the game by pure stats — his HP, Strength, and Stamina are among the best in the game, but unlike a lot of other party members who can say the same, he has Speed rivaling the Eblan Four ninjas, and that's not getting into his White Magic which includes Haste, Blink, and Esuna. The only catch is you need to keep him at Level 15 as the Hooded Man so he can get the full value of his Holy Dragoon stat growth, but all you lose if you don't is lose out on some max HP, and he's still going to get the Strength and Speed regardless of level.
- Love Makes You Evil: His unrequited love for Rosa and jealousy of Cecil was the main reason he was able to be turned to The Dark Side.
- Magic Knight: In The After Years due to his class change to a Holy Dragoon. Sprites◊ Dummied Out from the original game suggest that Kain would have had this ability all along at one point.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: He tries it while serving Golbez. His "Lunar Trial" in the GBA version's bonus dungeon focuses entirely around this concept and Kain overcoming the temptation (or not, which causes a Non-Standard Game Over). In The After Years, his Enemy Without plans to do it, but the real Kain is able to stop him.
- Magically Inept Fighter: Never learns magic but makes up for it with high physical stats and powerful jump ability.
- Manly Tears/Cry Cute: Teach him "Cry" in the DS version and try it out.
- Mythology Gag: Starting with the Dawn of Souls remake for Final Fantasy II, the boy that Ricard Highwind (the series' first Dragoon and bearer of the surname Highwind) adopts is named Kain. This was brought full circle when remakes of IV had Kain mention that the name of his father (who died note ) was Ricard (although it's highly unlikely due to age; Kain tells the 17-year-old Ceodore that he was about his age when he heard news of his father's death; the Kain seen in II is merely a child).
- Name of Cain: The only instance of it for Final Fantasy and an iconic example of it.
- The Rival: He's Cecil's greatest sparring opponent.
- Rival Turned Evil: Cecil's rival that was turned to evil by Golbez's mind control, enabled by Kain's negative emotions about said rivalry.
- Romantic Runner-Up: Despite being a handsome, powerful, noble man in his own right, Cecil is the one who gets Rosa's love because he's just more of those things.
- The Southpaw/A Sinister Clue: Kain is left-handed (except in the DS version, where laterality was eliminated).
- Spell My Name with an "S": Was written as "Cain" in the Japanese manual, but the SNES translation changed it to "Kain". For some reason it stuck ever since (as least in English regions).
- Troubled, but Cute: He might be fixated on Rosa, but if he ever did decide to move on, he wouldn't have much trouble finding someone.◊
- Unrequited Love Lasts Forever: In The After Years, he still holds a candle for Rosa, despite not having seen her in seventeen years.
"Without me along, who will heal you when you're hurt?"
Cecil's girlfriend and a White Mage of Baron, who has vowed to stay by his side even if he doubts his own motives. Tender and caring, she is physically frail but has a powerful and unyielding will. She is abducted by Golbez early in the game and joins Cecil upon being freed, proving in invaluable healer and emotional support. At the end of the game Rosa becomes Queen of Baron when she and Cecil marry and Cecil is crowned King, and they have a son, Ceodore.
- Action Girl: It takes a while, but after growing out of the Damsel in Distress role, she officially becomes this. Her late-game bows can do damage comparable to the frontline fighters like Cecil and Kain, and once she learns her Holy spell, she'll outdamage them.
- All There in the Manual: Japanese guides give her full name as Rosa Joanna Farrell or Rosa Farrell, which was retained in 3D releases. Her middle name apparently comes after her mother.
- Battle Couple: With Cecil, though the "battle" part comes a wee bit later.
- The Chick: The party's moral center. The Hero's love interest. The Lancer's unrequited crush. The healer. Rosa defines this trope.
- Childhood Friend Romance: With Cecil, who she's known since they were kids, along with Kain.
- Damsel in Distress: The first time she comes down with Desert Fever, requiring Cecil to go searching for some rare medicine. The second time, Golbez invokes it by abducting her and holding her hostage.
- Generation Xerox: She wished to become a White Mage and fight alongside her lover, much like her mother did. The only difference is that Mrs. Farrell's husband was a Dragoon, and Cecil's a Paladin.
- Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Her love is a stout warrior that favors swords and axes; she's a back-row caster that specializes in a bow and arrow.
- Hair Color Dissonance: Sometimes portrayed as more of a strawberry-blonde.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: She is sweet, kind, and loves Cecil deeply.
- Happily Married: At the end of the game, she and Cecil wed and live happily together.
- The Heart: She bolsters Cecil when he doubts himself, helps Rydia overcome her fears, and cares a great deal for the rest of the party as well.
- The High Queen: Rosa becomes Cecil's Queen when he's crowned King at the end of the original game.
- Holy Hand Grenade: Her end-game Holy spell, which attacks enemies with sacred energy.
- Informed Attractiveness: While by no means ugly, her reputation as a world famous beauty seems a bit of a stretch when the other female party members in the two games are also quite beautiful. YMMV of course on if they're more attractive than Rosa or not. May be justified by it being largely the Baronians who praise her beauty; since she's the only female playable character from Baron, they may simply be exaggerating her status as the most beautiful woman in the kingdom.
- The Ingenue: She's pure of spirit, although she's not naive or stupid.
- Lady of War: It takes a while for her to grow into this trope, though.
- Leitmotif: "The Theme of Love." Doubles as a Breakaway Pop Hit, at least in Japan (where it is taught to music students).
- Leotard of Power: Although the DS remake makes it resemble Underwear of Power, since it's an entirely different color from the top.
- The Medic: Rosa is known in story as a master of Healing Hands.
- Official Couple: She officially ends up with Cecil and becomes his queen.
- Pimped Out Cape: In the remake, her cape has a lace cape over it.
- Pregnant Badass: In the original release of The After Years, Ceodore is 16. The After Years takes place 17 years after the original game, implying she was possibly already pregnant during the end-game. The Complete Collection re-release de-aged Ceodore to 15, but included the Interlude chapter where she's playable for part of the chapter and later explicitly states she's pregnant.
- Silk Hiding Steel: A pure and loving healer who dresses very well and kicks ass.
- Spikes of Villainy: Uhh... Well, now we know who the Warrior of Light takes fashion advice from.
- Stripperiffic: Though nowhere near as much as Rydia. Her outfit has a very low neckline, and she wears sheer tights that show off most of her legs.
- Took a Level in Badass: For the first chunk of the game, she's very much the Damsel in Distress. After getting rescued, however, she eventually grows into her own as a full-blooded Lady of War.
- Weapon of Choice: Can wield a Magic Staff or Bow and Arrows.
- White Mage: Inspired by her mother, who also fell in love with her husband while healing on the battlefield.
- White Magician Girl: In terms of personality and story role, Rosa is one of two candidates for the Trope Codifier.
- World's Most Beautiful Woman: Widely known as the most beautiful woman in the kingdom in-game, and in the sequel at age 36, and with a son named Ceodore, she's just as attractive as she was in the original. Though see Informed Attractiveness above.
"The queen of the Eidolons told me this: The wheels of a fate greater than us all are turning now. She told me we must stand against it...and we must stand together."
A young girl from the Mist Village, the village where mages train in Summon Magic
. When Cecil accidentally destroys her home and kills all the other Summoners, Rydia is the last of them and is taken to safety by Cecil, who earns her trust and aid in fighting Baron. At one point the party is attacked by Leviathan at sea and Rydia is washed overboard and presumed dead. In reality Leviathan attacked the ship to get to her, and takes her to the Feymarch, the home of the Eidolons. There Rydia trains under the King and Queen of Eidolons to hone her powers, the time difference between dimensions causing her to age many years by the time she returns to aid Cecil again. In The After Years
she's returned to live in Mist and try to rebuild the village.
She appears in the Dissidia Spin-Off Theatrhythm Final Fantasy
as an unlockable, playable sub-character.
- Absolute Cleavage: Though not as much as some, her outfit leaves the skin between her breasts bared.
- Action Girl: And one of the first ones in a Final Fantasy game, no less.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Rydia was barely a blip on the fandom radar for sex appeal at the time of the game's 2D releases. Then came the DS release and the render to the right was revealed.
- Badass Adorable: If you level her sufficiently, she can one-hit desert creatures with her little Ice Rod.
- Bag of Spilling: In earlier releases, Rydia will forget any of the optional summons that she learned as a child when she returns. If you're lucky, you might find them again.
- Big Damn Heroes: One of her iconic scenes is showing up as an adult (supposedly killed by a sea serpent a few weeks earlier at age 6), after everyone is about to die, and kicking Golbez's ass. This was a guy who took a Meteor spell to the face and walked it off.
- The Big Guy: A surprisingly non-shoehorned example. Rydia has the highest damage potential of any party member, with Bahamut easily hitting the 9999 damage cap. Also fits this in the team dynamic somewhat, as her adult version tends to be mature and centered as opposed to Cecil's brooding Hero, Rosa's Heart/Chick, Kain's stoic Lancer, and Edge's Smart Guy.
- Black Magician Girl: As a child, since she only has access to the Chocobo summon (and possibly Goblin if you find the item).
- "Blind Idiot" Translation: A common (and likely) rumor is that her name was supposed to be Lydia, but she fell victim to Engrish and subsequent releases kept the name since it's now iconic for her.
- Breakout Character: After Kain, a prominent Ensemble Dark Horse, her Eidolons and her quest to save them are a major plot point in The After Years, not to mention the initial Big Bad is her Evil Counterpart. Along with Kain, she also gets to be in Theatrhythm Final Fantasy as a bonus character.
- Child Mage: It's stated that children tend to be better summoners because they are pure of heart.
- Curtains Match the Window: Debatable: In Nomura's artwork she has green◊ eyes,◊ but in her other◊ appearances◊ she has blue eyes.
- Deadpan Snarker: She shows signs of this as an adult in the original SNES translation, although that could be chalked up to the localization team's efforts to voice her "inner child" due to the Plot-Relevant Age-Up. Subsequent rereleases tend to focus on the "childlike innocence" angle in her dialogue.
- Depending on the Artist: Her exact eye color, and the details of her outfit, vary between different games. Since the DS release her appearance has mostly stuck, but eye color still shifts around.
- Detached Sleeves: Real big ones when she grows up.
- Easily Forgiven: Forgiveness from Rydia was surprisingly fast for Cecil. Neither game addresses if she forgives Kain, but Rydia gives a Hand Wave on her return that it's been years for her and she knows there are bigger things to deal with before she starts doling out blame for what happened at Mist.
- Elemental Powers: Courtesy of her summons, she has an Eidolon for every element in the game.
- Happily Adopted: Growing up in the Feymarch, she seems to regard the Eidolon king and queen as her new parents. The feeling's mutual.
- The Heart: She takes the deaths (and "deaths") of teammates the hardest, despite not knowing them for nearly as long as the rest of the party did. Her breaking down in sobs over their loss is what motivates Edge to swallow his pride and accept your help.
- I Choose to Stay: The ending for the original game implies Rydia chose to stay in the Feymarch and live with Asura and Leviathan. The After Years turns this one-sided — Asura and Leviathan send her back to live in Mist because she's still a human, and despite growing up in the Feymarch, they thought it would be better for her to be with her own species.
- Lady of Black Magic: As an adult, she's one of the most iconic examples.
- Last of His Kind: Thanks to Cecil and Kain, she's the last summoner. Though going back to Mist and talking to the survivors shows that Rydia is just the last woman.
- Leitmotif: "Rydia's Theme."
- Leotard of Power: Both as a child and an adult. She wears a skirt or sash over it.
- Little Miss Badass: When she first joins the party as a child.
- Magikarp Power: Downplayed but present. When she joins the party she's Level 1 with no spells, only enough MP to summon Chocobo once, and only 30 HP so she's easily killed. Once she starts gaining levels, she'll learn Blizzard, Thunder, Cure, and her pitiful stats will start growing. By the time you get to Damcyan, she's probably at least on-par with Cecil for competence.
- Ms. Fanservice: One of the earliest examples in the series. Given the only female characters to predate her were Princess Sarah, Maria, Leila, Princess Hilda, Princess Sara, and Aria, Rydia could almost be the Ur Example if not for Maria.
- Parental Abandonment: Her mother is inadvertenly killed due to Cecil and Kain's actions and her father is never mentioned.
- Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Hand Waved by a time flow difference between the regular world and the Feymarch. While only a week or so passed for everyone else, a decade passed for her. This is a conceptually popular target for fan-fiction, as the game glosses over it (due to space limitations on the original cart), but seriously, a decade. One has to imagine a lot happened for her!
- Randomly Drops: She has four summons that are randomly dropped at a very low probability (1/256) by certain random encounters, so rare that most players will never see them. Goblin is a Joke Character and Mindflayer is only so-so, but either Bomb or Cockatrice can be a Disk One Nuke if you get them early enough.
- She Is All Grown Up: Returns to the party about a decade older than when she left. The time skip was very kind to her.
- Squishy Wizard: Her summons will blast your enemies into oblivion, but Rydia by far has the lowest health of any of the group. If not sufficiently leveled by the time you've reached the Final Boss, it's likely he'll have her face down on the floor half the time.
- Stripperiffic: As an adult. It's probably because she was raised by summons, who aren't known for their modesty (when they're humanoid at all). Even moreso in The After Years, just this side of Fran for being as revealing as possible while still wearing enough to be called "clothing." The outfit gets bowdlerised in the English version and more closely resembles actual cloth. The fun point is, instead of complaining, the fans actually appreciate it.
- Summon Magic: The first named Summoner in Final Fantasy.
- Whip It Good: Her default equip as an adult is a whip, and her Infinity+1 Sword is the Mist Whip.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Rydia is unable to cast Fire, and is afraid to cast it at first because Cecil and Kain unknowingly destroyed her hometown with Bombs (the monster, not the explosive device).
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Rydia stands out from pretty much every other cast member in the original game for her bright green locks.
- You Kill It, You Bought It: All of her optional summons are acquired by defeating the monster in battle first, as their code of honor states not to answer the summons of a Summoner who hasn't proven him/herself worthy of controlling them.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Very tall boots with the leotard.
"I will see the debt for Anna's death repaid - with Meteor."
A wise old sage who has mastered both the arts of White and Black Magic. He meets Cecil at the Underground Waterway north of Kaipo and joins him on his journey to Damcyan, intent on finding his eloped daughter Anna and bringing her home. When he discovers Anna has been killed in Golbez's attack on the kingdom, Tellah swears vengeance and seeks the ancient forbidden magic of Meteor, intent on using it to kill Golbez even if it destroys him in the process.
- Badass Grandpa: That magic of his can be pretty potent.
- Blessed with Suck: Tellah just learned nearly every spell in the game! Oh, but he only has 90 MP...
- Cool Old Guy: Particularly for his famous battle cry: "You spoony bard!"
- Crutch Character: Of a sort; Tellah can easily solo the dungeon you initially find him in, and it's easy to start relying on him without preparing for his inevitable departure right after. Later, when he regains his memory, Tellah can easily two shot major boss characters, provided only you get him there at full MP... which makes it awfully painful when you're suddenly thrust into a major boss fight after he leaves the second time.
- Dangerous Forbidden Technique: He seeks the ancient power of Meteor, the ultimate magic that was sealed for being too dangerous. Other characters warn him that in his advanced age, casting the spell needs so much energy he's unlikely to survive it.
- Death Seeker: He's fully aware that trying to fight Golbez at his age will not end well for him, putting aside that trying to cast Meteor will kill him for the energy needed to power the spell. He doesn't care, as long as he has his vengeance.
- Four Is Death: He's the fourth party member (after Cecil, Kain, and Rydia) to join in the fourth iteration of the franchise. He's practically marked for death from the get-go. Despite what several other characters go through, he's the only one who joins the party that dies and cannot be resurrected.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Storyline-wise, Tellah just doesn't have the strength to use Meteor without killing himself. Gameplay-wise, Tellah isn't able to cast Meteor due to it costing 99 MP, and he only has 90 max. The developers overlooked the idea that in some releases, players can use items on him to boost his max MP. Oops.
- Grumpy Old Man: Justified. First his daughter married against his wishes, then she dies.
- Large Ham
"I am ready to face Golbez! I am DOOM
- Lennon Specs: For some reason. They're purple.
- Old Master: Tellah did know almost all the spells in existence, once. He's just forgotten most of them in his old age. He later gets his memory back.
- Papa Wolf: Just ask Edward and Golbez how vicious Tellah gets when Anna is harmed.
- Revenge: He wants to kill Golbez in retaliation for the death of his only daughter, Anna.
- Revenge Before Reason: Crosses this line at times.
- Senseless Sacrifice: Played with when he finally confronts Golbez. His Meteor spell fails to kill him, but it does wound Golbez enough that he loses control of Kain, allowing the party to rescue Rosa before she's killed by a giant blade. Kain in turn tells the party the full extent of Golbez's plans and provides the MacGuffin needed to continue the game. He fails at doing what he intended to do, but Tellah's actions serve to help win the greater battle nonetheless.
- Spell My Name with an "S": The Japanese instruction manual gives his name, in English, as "Tella" (which also appeared in other material).
- Squishy Wizard: Like the other mages in your party he will die quite quickly in the front row.
- Yin-Yang Bomb: Is a Sage, which means he can cast both high-level White and Black Magic.
"Cecil...let me show you the courage you helped me find!"
The lovestruck Prince of Damcyan, Tellah's daughter Anna eloped with him when he visited Kaipo disguised as a bard. Tellah sought to take her back since he didn't know Edward's true identity at the time, but learned the truth when he reached Damcyan. Though Edward is cowardly and unfit to battle, he cannot let himself stand by and do nothing while others fight Golbez's evil, and helps them however he can. In The After Years
he has rebuilt Damcyan and is using its money to help fund reconstruction worldwide, but still pines for Anna.
- Adaptational Badass: In the original release he was a Joke Character with weak weapons and abilities. Re-releases and the sequel buff both so he can hold his own in battle and is perfectly viable.
- All There in the Manual: Japanese guides give his full name as Gilbart Chris von Muir, which was retained in 3D releases. His name and the currency of the game (Gil) are related.
- The Bard: Both his class and what he does. He would disguise himself as a traveling bard to get out of Damcyan and see the world, and passes the time by strumming his harp. In battle, his weapons are harps and he can use the Sing command to various effects.
- Bishōnen: Across all versions. Long-haired, fair-featured, and he plays a harp.
- Brown Note: He plays a song that severly weakens the Dark Elf.
- Combat Medic: With his Salve ability to use healing items on the entire party at once, he can heal just as well as dedicated White Mages, and with his higher-power Harps hits much harder than them. It makes him a bit of a Money Sink, however, since you need to keep your item stock up for him to actually keep using five items at a time.
- Cowardly Lion: Despite his physical weakness, he doesn't leave Cecil's side until injury from the shipwreck forces him to, and even then he endures severe pain to play his lute to help him later.
- Dub Name Change: Edward's name in the original Japanese version is Gilbert.
- Fragile Speedster: Both in the original and the sequel he's pretty fast, but isn't very good offensively and has mediocre HP.
- Harp of Femininity: Edward the feminine Prince of Damcyan is a master harpist.
- Heartbroken Badass: The "badass" is debatable, but you can bet yer ass that Anna's death hit him hard. Her Rousing Speech to him did ease his pain a bit, but he's still mourning 17 years later.
- Item Caddy: The Salve ability, which originally just spread a potion to the entire party, is buffed considerably in later versions to allow Edward to use items on the entire party provided you still have the stock.
- Leitmotif: "The Melody of Lute."
- Lethal Joke Character: Edward's abilities aren't as straight-forward as other party members and his weapon of choice is embarrassing, but if you know how to use his strengths he can be very effective.
- Magic Music: He can cast buffs and status effects with his music.
- Magikarp Power: After level 70, his stats skyrocket. This is only really applicable in the GBA version, though.
- Musical Assassin: Well, none of his songs actually inflict damage, but they can turn things into toads for easier disposals by the others.
- Nice Hat: With a feather in it. He ditches it for a Scarf of Asskicking in the sequel.
- Quirky Bard: Trope Namer back when the trope was named after Tellah's infamous insult.
- Sheltered Aristocrat: Edward isn't fond of court life or the politics he is expected to preform as Prince either, but he grows into his position as a The Good King by The After Years.
- Spell My Name with an "S": His name in the Japanese manual is "Gilbert", but this got mangled into Gilbart later down the line.
- Support Party Member: Before getting powerful weapons nothing he can do will actually hurt the enemies that much, but he can help the party a great deal with Bardsong and Salve.
- Took a Level in Badass: The original versions of the game notwithstanding, both the GBA and DS remakes, as well as The After Years, have seen Edward discard his Joke Character status quite triumphantly (in the case of the latter, it's more evident in the story, but damn, Edward has balls of steel).
- Wandering Minstrel: It was during his travels that he met Anna.
"To risk nothing is to gain nothing."
A fighting monk from the kingdom of Fabul, Yang is noble and disciplined and a beast in combat. He joins the party when they journey to Fabul to defend the kingdom from Golbez. When he's washed over their ship by Leviathan's attack, he is found by Baron soldiers with amnesia and conscripted into their ranks until Cecil knocks him to his senses. Yang aids him in the battle against Golbez until he seemingly sacrifices his life at the Tower of Babil to save the dwarves from the tower's cannons. He survives however and returns near the end of the game to help. In The After Years
Yang has been made King of Fabul and has a daughter, Ursula, but still trains rigorously to keep in shape. However, despite her wishes he refuses to train Ursula, believing a Princess has no need for martial arts.
- Action Dad: In The After Years. He may have a teenage daughter but he is still perfectly capable of kicking ass, in tandem with her to boot.
- All There in the Manual: Japanese guides give his full name as Yang Fang Leiden, which was retained in 3D releases.
- Badass: Oh hell yes. He comes in with a huge amount of HP, plus he's the only one who survived the Bomb attack on Mt. Hobs, and has an ability that can power him up to hit things even harder than he already does.
- Badass Mustache: Even more badass in The After Years.
- Bald of Awesome: Minus a single short braid.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: He can also add claws for status or elemental damage.
- Disney Death: Probably the mother of all examples. When he is re-encountered unconscious in the Sylph Cave, the lead Sylph tells you that he was found at the mouth of the cave, which means that he a) survived an explosion that was meant to destroy a castle; b) somehow broke through a collapsed wall that none of your party could budge; c) fought his way through several levels of monster-infested tower and finally d) swam across a sea of molten lava to collapse at the cave entrance. Alternatively, the explosion blew him halfway across the underworld, and he survived the landing. Either way, Yang's survival is one of the most ridiculous occurrences of the trope in the franchise.
- Easy Amnesia: Briefly suffers this after Leviathan's appearance and works as a Baron troop. He gets his memory back after the party beats him up a bit.
- Establishing Character Moment: The party first meets Yang when he's surrounded and outnumbered by monsters. He casually dispatches most of them on his own before the party steps in to help him beat their leader.
- Grandpa, What Massive Hotness You Have: Not many people can still pull off a Walking Shirtless Scene past the age of fifty.
- Happily Married: To his wife Sheila, who is apparently as Badass as he is.
- Hard Head: His reaction to getting smacked by the Frying Pan of Love is to groggily wonder if it's time to train.
- Leitmotif: The theme music for Fabul doubles as his.
- Lightning Bruiser/Mighty Glacier: He has the highest natural HP, Strength, and Stamina, but his Speed is unimpressive, though not so much as to be considered slow.
- Magically Inept Fighter: Throughout the original game and The After Years, Yang is, along with Cid, the only character to have no magical attacks or magically-derived techniques. And even Cid gets some weapons infused with spells. However, when it comes to physical combat, Yang is an absolute beast.
- No Pronunciation Guide: His name is not pronounced like "Wang" - it's more like "Yawn" (with a silent g).
- Papa Wolf: He clearly loves his daughter and doesn't want to see her get hurt. His resulting overprotectiveness can come off a little as Stay in the Kitchen, however...
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: In The After Years, he's King of Fabul and not only joins the fight again, but is known to still be actively involved in the training of the other Fabul monks.
- Stay in the Kitchen: Always tells Ursula to stay behind while he's off fighting or exploring in The After Years. Good thing she doesn't listen either.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: He does get a sash in the sequel but that still only covers about half of his impressive chest.
- Warrior Monk: Fabul is a kingdom full of warrior monks, and he's the best.
- Wolverine Claws: His Weapon of Choice is various claws he wears on his hands, adding status or elemental properties to his attacks. Yang is notable, however, in that unlike later Monks, he doesn't need a weapon. His claws give him stat boosts, but the raw attack power is all Yang's, so he can go barehanded and deal just as much damage as with his claws on.
"I'm Mysidia's most esteemed magical prodigy, and you're incredibly lucky to have me along!"
Voiced by: Rie Kugimiya
(Japanese), Hunter MacKenzie Austin (English)
A Black Mage from Mysidia, he's impulsive, hot-headed, and arrogant, referring to himself as "the Mysidian Genius". However, he has the talent to live up to the boasts. Palom idolizes Tellah and wants to be a great Sage like him someday, but lacks the personality demanded to achieve such a lofty title. In The After Years
he's continued to pursue his study of magic in the hopes of achieving his goal, but it's hinted he's recognizing it's a lot harder than he thought as a kid.
- Ascended Extra: In The After Years. While a lot of party members have individual Tales, Palom arguably has the most fleshed-out role outside the final five party members of the original game, not only getting his own Tale, but Porom's Tale contains two flashbacks expanding on his growing maturity over the time skip and his quest to become a Sage during it.
- Badass Adorable: Look at that cute button nose.
- Black Mage: In The After Years, he's the strongest Black Magic user of the cast with the highest MP and Intelligence of them, surpassing Golbez, a Lunarian.
- Black Magician Girl: Gender Flipped, but otherwise played straight.
- Bratty Half-Pint: He's always cracking wise and disrespecting his elders.
- Butt Monkey: Four Words: Palom in the Sky.
- Child Mage: A powerful Black Mage at the age of five.
- Color-Coded Characters: Wears green with an orange cape to Porom's orange with a green cape. In The After Years Palom has traded it in for a blue robe, contrasting Porom's new pink outfit.
- Combination Attack: Before anyone else was using Bands, Palom and Porom had Twincasting as their signature move, setting off a small number of hard-hitting attacks after a sizable delay. In The After Years, Twincasting is retconned into a Band during the twins' flashback. They actually lose the band as they grow up and apart, but regain it during the final chapter, stronger than ever.
- Deadpan Snarker: Grows into a very dry and sarcastic wit in The After Years.
- Half-Identical Twins: They're palette swaps in the non-DS games. Subverted in The After Years, where they are very distinct visually, both from each other and their young selves.
- Heroic Sacrifice: The twins petrify themselves to save the party from a trap. However it turns out that their master was able to restore them to life. He does the same trick in The After Years to try to keep the Crystal from the Mysterious Girl, but Leonora isn't having it and restores him, then berates him for being so quick to show off by attempting it.
- Insufferable Genius: Palom in The After Years has let his Bratty Half-Pint tendencies mature into this, trading his hilarious boasts for a constant air of superiority. He's not going around declaring himself Mysidia's greatest Black Mage anymore, he just acts like it, and while it's entirely true, he's no less infuriating for it.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Particularly in The After Years.
- Kid-anova: In the original game. It comes back to haunt him in The After Years, when Luca is pining for him and Leonora is aware of his reputation and doesn't care for his attitude much. "Palom In the Sky" is likely their revenge for his ways as a kid.
- Left-Handed Mirror: He wields rods in his left hand, contrasting Porom being right-handed and using staves.
- Leitmotif: "Palom and Porom."
- Mentor: In The After Years. And a surprisingly good one. How many other Final Fantasy characters have explained so clearly to anyone how mages work, and used that knowledge to tutor a novice on how to use a new school of magic?
- Misaimed Fandom: In-universe, he idolizes Tellah and wants to be a Sage just like him, but he doesn't really understand what that means beyond "master both White and Black Magic". Porom has to explain to him that it isn't just mastery of magic that makes you a Sage; it's using your magic to help the people of the world, and Tellah traveled the world for decades to earn the title before he settled in Kaipo. Palom takes the news heavily but decides to keep going, though in the present there's hints he's realized he's not as cut out for it as he thought.
- The Mole: The twins reveal, when Cecil finishes his trial at Mt. Ordeals, that they weren't sent to help him; they were sent to spy on him, because the Mysidians wanted to find out what he was up to and didn't believe that Cecil had made, from their standpoint, a Heel-Face Turn. When it's clear that he has, they come clean and start to genuinely help.
- Polar Opposite Twins: Porom is the more rational twin while Palom is the impulsive one.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Porom's Blue. In The After Years he literally wears blue to further the point.
- The Southpaw: The only other left-handed character in the game besides Kain.
- Status Buff: His Bluff ability can power his own spells further.
- Taken for Granite: The twins turn themselves to stone to save the rest of the party.
- Wonder Twin Powers: Shares the Twincast ability with Porom which grants access to some quite powerful spells.
"Palom! How many times has our elder said you mustn't be so arrogant?"
A White Mage from Mysidia, she's mature, polite, and disciplined, and keeps her brother Palom in line by smacking him around when his mouth gets away from him. As the two grow older and Palom begins training as a Sage, Porom tries to lecture him on the way to go about it, to limited success. In The After Years
she's jealous of her brother being able to travel the world honing his skills while she remains in Mysidia, but places her duties to the town and the aging Elder above her personal desires.
- Badass Adorable: Sugar and spice and everything nice, unlike her brother.
- Child Mage: Like her brother, she's only five.
- Color-Coded Characters: Wears orange with an green cape to Palom's green with an orange cape. In The After Years she wears pink to Palom's blue.
- Combination Attack: Twincast.
- Dope Slap: Regularly smacks Palom in the back of the head when he acts up.
- Half-Identical Twins: She and Palom are palette swaps of each other in the non-DS games, but in The After Years are very different.
- Heroic Sacrifice: As with Palom, she petrifies herself to save the party from Cagnazzo's trap.
- Leitmotif: "Palom and Porom."
- Little Miss Badass: A White Mage, but not many kindergartners could survive a mountain full of zombies.
- The Mole: Same as Palom, she was spying on Cecil for the Mysidian Elder, to make sure his Heel-Face Turn was genuine.
- Polar Opposite Twins: In magic and personality. Palom uses Black Magic and is an arrogant loudmouth, Porom uses White Magic and is humble and polite.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Palom's Red. Her pink outfit in The After Years really drives the trope home.
- Rose-Haired Sweetie: In The After Years, she inexplicably has changed hair color from brown to light pink, but it fits her sweet and mature personality.
- She Is All Grown Up: She's gotten very beautiful by the time The After Years rolls around.
- Stripperific: Porom in The After Years wears a nearly see-through outfit and no real hint of underwear under it. In Japan, this is to represent her purity. Her outfit was modified to be less see-through for the American release, but it's still quite gratuitous.
- Taken for Granite: The twins turn themselves to stone to save the rest of the party.
- White Mage: Similar to Palom, Porom has the best Spirit and MP in The After Years, making her the best White Mage, though without Leonora's Black Magic and Rosa's archery skills to give her offensive potential other than the game's strongest Holy. She also has no means of restoring her own MP due to lacking Osmose or Miracle, so while she is the strongest, she has the worst staying power.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: She's precocious enough that the Elder decides to use her and her brother as spies on the man who viciously attacked their town.
- Wonder Twin Powers: Her Twincast ability with Palom allows them to combine their powers to cast powerful spells.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Provides Grade A in The After Years, with stripped stockings that come up to her thighs and then leaves them bare.
"He's ordered me to build a new ship, you know - a more maneuverable one, with more firepower. What's he thinking? I'm not building these things for him to wage war!"
Voiced by: Ichirō Nagai
(Japanese), John Snyder (credited as Stephen Martello; English)
Cid is a master engineer and is the mechanical mind behind Baron's airship fleet. However, he hates them being used for war. He's also one of the oldest friends Cecil, Rosa and Kain have, having known them all their lives. When he hides his latest airship on Baron grounds and refuses to let the king use it, he's imprisoned and rescued by Cecil, and Cid joins the party and gives them the airship the Enterprise
. He leaves the party eventually but continues to be an invaluable aid by continuously upgrading their vessel with new tools to explore the world. Come The After Years
he's still hard at work building and inventing despite pushing past 70 years old.
- All There in the Manual: Japanese guides give his full name as Cid Pollendina, which was retained in 3D releases. He was also said to be the creator of the airships based on his findings on ancient ruins (possibly Lunarian), but this was eliminated in the DS version.
- Badass Beard: A long, scruffy one in the original game and a still long but less scruffy Santa Claus-like beard in the sequel.
- Badass Grandpa: Especially in The After Years, when he's 71 years old and actually has a grandson. Still doesn't stop him from grabbing his hammer and jumping back into the fight.
- Boisterous Bruiser: He's loud, hammy, and enjoys life to the fullest.
- Cool Old Guy: Especially in The After Years, in which his age shows more.
- Drop the Hammer: His default equip and Weapon of Choice are hammers, and his ultimate weapon is Thor's Hammer.
- Dummied Out: Cid has a dummied out skill in the original version of the game, named "Airship." Presumably, had the skill been finished, it would have allowed him to call down an airstrike similar to the Invincible's volley attack from Final Fantasy III. This, along with quite a few aspects of the character, gets a Call Back in Final Fantasy VII through the character of Cid Highwind.
- Expy: He is the "Cid" of the game.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Almost anyone named "Cid" in a Final Fantasy game will be good with tools to some extent. This guy is no exception.
- Genius Bruiser: He's a genius when it comes to airships, building and designing them for a living, and can easily beat things to death with his hammer.
- Gonk: Especially when compared to most of the male party members, who are outright Bishōnen.
- Leitmotif: "Hey, Cid!"
- Magically Inept Fighter: He swings a mean hammer but has no magical aptitude.
- Mighty Glacier: He's really sturdy and powerful but not that handy on the speed front.
- Parental Substitute: The PS1 version had some lines of dialogue that imply he sees himself as one for Rosa.
- Shipper on Deck: Likes to tease Edge about his crush on Rydia. Not to mention how much he ships Cecil x Rosa.
- Unexplained Recovery: Somehow survives detonating a bomb in his hand that manages to collapse a chunk of the earth's crust. While freefalling. Over spikes and lava. While he was being shot at.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer: Literally. His special ability? A non-MP-consuming version of the Scan spell. He finally got new moves in later ports/sequels — Upgrade, which makes his hammer attack elemental, and Risk Strike, which is a more powerful hammer attack.
"You think our rage...a weakness? Then let me show you how wrong you are!"
Ninja prince of Eblan, a kingdom nearly wiped out by Golbez's Four Fiends and the survivors forced underground. When his parents are abducted by Rubicante, Edge stages an ill-conceived raid on the Tower of Babil to rescue them. Mortally wounded by Rubicante, he's healed by the party and joins them to help defeat Rubicante. In The After Years
he and the survivors of Eblan have returned to their castle and rebuilt their legacy.
- All Love Is Unrequited: He has feelings for Rydia. She doesn't seem too interested.
- All There in the Manual: Japanese guides give his full name as Edward "Edge" Geraldine, which was retained in 3D releases. Not to be confused with the other Prince Edward, who was given a different name.
- Badass Cape/Scarf of Asskicking: Cape in IV, more a scarf in After The Years. His artwork for the latter implies he's wearing Rubicante's Cloak of Flame, which can be obtained as equipment for him in the game.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: Not as good as Yang at it, and certainly not as good as using katanas, but Edge is capable of just using his fists effectively.
- Battle Boomerang: Can use them instead of katanas if you like.
- Character Development: Out of all the cast, it's between Edge and Palom for the most noticeable shift in characterization between the original game and The After Years. The interval does a lot to cool Edge's temper and make him a wiser and more mature man, if still reckless and informal.
- Dual Wielding Katanas: Edge wields two weapons in battle, usually katanas. For this reason he has more "ultimate" equipment than other characters, since he needs two weapons instead of one.
- Glass Cannon: He will spend a lot of time face-down in the dirt, even when buffed up, but his damage output is almost as good as the frontline fighters like Cecil and Kain and he has much higher speed than them. In The After Years his HP is much better, making him more of a Lightning Bruiser.
- Highly-Visible Ninja: You don't find many ninja who dress in pale lilac. Likely this is because Eblan is located in a desert, which both requires different colors to match the landscape and ensures that wearing black will cause you to overheat and die, but that doesn't explain why he keeps wearing the same outfit everywhere else...
- Hot-Blooded: Very eager to charge at his enemies, and he knows how to use the Power of Anger too.
- Impossible Thief: He can steal something that has an existence that's only theorized. In fact, to make the final boss fight easier to handle, it's highly recommended to do so. That's damn good.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: A brash, egotistical womanizer with a kind heart and a fiery sense of justice.
- Ninja: His character class, and the tradition that Eblan is known for. Thanks to the kingdom being decimated, Edge is the last ninja, and in The After Years is trying to rebuild the ranks and make sure the teachings are not lost.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Not too well known in English fandom, but "Edge" is just an alias — his real name is Edward Geraldine. We think most of us would go by Edge in that case. This is also because there is already another character named Edward.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Helps his people evacuate underground and tries to take on Rubicante himself.
- Self-Made Orphan: Subverted. When Dr. Lugae turns his parents into fiends, Edge tries to reach out to them. They regain their lucidity, but then decide to kill themselves.
- Shooting Superman: He really should have known better than to attack the Archfiend of Fire with... fire.
- Small Name, Big Ego: He's skilled, no doubt, but he's far more boastful than warranted. Not to mention he seems to think he's more valuable than Rosa and Rydia when they're ordered off the Lunar Whale.
- Stepford Smiler: In the DS remake, specifically the Lunar Subterrane. Edge is as outwardly cocky as ever, but his inner thoughts are more or less utter terror about where he is and what they are doing.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: He has the Throw command to hurl weapons at enemies for high damage.
- Unstoppable Rage: It gives him the power to create one epic Crowning Moment of Awesome.
- Video Game Stealing: He's the one party member capable of taking items from a still-living foe. As he could steal unlimited items in earlier releases of the game, he also stands out as the best at it - enough patience, and he can get 99 of whatever the foe is holding.
- Warrior Prince: As mentioned before, a ninja.
- Wolverine Claws: Generally a poor equipment choice (you very quickly acquire katanas that are better than the best claws shortly after recruiting Edge), but Edge can also use these.
"There will always be evil in men's hearts. We all of us bear a touch of darkness, just as surely as we bear light."
An old Lunarian sage and brother to Kluya, the Lunarian who gave magic and airships to the people of Earth. He joins the party when they travel to the Red Moon seeking aid to stop Golbez, revealing several massive plot twists that shock Cecil greatly.
- The Artifact: When you fight the CPU, he advises you to destroy the Defense Node, as it will heal the CPU. This is good advice in the 2D games, as the Node heals several thousand damage a turn, while the Attack Node's attack is easily managed by Rosa's healing. In the DS version though, this information is suddenly completely backwards — the Defense Node can't even heal a thousand damage a turn now, but the Attack Node's Laser Barrage deals over 2,000 damage to the entire party, making it the bigger problem.
- Badass Beard: Right down to the floor.
- Badass Grandpa: He's one of the oldest characters in the game, but is still very powerful.
- Combination Attack: He combines his magic with Golbez to perform Double Meteor. They keep the technique in The After Years and diversify it into Double Firaga, Double Thundaga, and Double Blizzaga.
- Crutch Character: He'll fall down with two strong hits. His faint animation in the DS version literally vaporizes him into his clothes.
- Eleventh Hour Ranger: Joins the party on the moon, which is quite a ways into the game.
- Expy: Fits the same character mold as Tellah, joining the party with all the spells in the game but with mediocre HP and too low MP to get a lot of usage out of his abilities.
- Really 700 Years Old: Fusoya claims he was there when the Lunarians first visited Earth and found the humans too un-evolved to live in harmony with them. Depending on how you take this statement and how he means "evolved", Fusoya could be anywhere from a few centuries to a few million years old.
- The Red Mage: He's apparently another Sage.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Is it FuSoYa, Fusoya, or Fu-So-Ya? KluYa experiences a similar problem.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: His fate in The After Years is left up in the air. There's a Sequel Hook that allows a chance to explore it, but so far it hasn't been followed up on.
- You Shall Not Pass: Teleports Golbez to safety in The After Years, staying behind to fight Zeromus's revived spirit.
"I did not come to treat with worms."
Voiced by: Takeshi Kaga (Japanese), Peter Beckman (credited as Anthony Landor; English)
A dark sorcerer who takes command of the Red Wings when Cecil is dismissed from his post, he turns the King of Baron into a puppet ruler with all the power in his hands. Golbez's goal is to acquire the Crystals and use their power to activate the Tower of Babil and claim great power, but there is more to his past and his goals than even he knows. His presence continues to be felt in the sequel The After Years
when the events of the first game seem to repeat and characters wonder if Golbez has returned.
He plays a pivotal role in the plot of the Dissidia: Final Fantasy
, where he appears as the villain representing Final Fantasy IV
- Anti-Villain: He's characterized as this in Dissidia. The After Years and his actions in the prequel Dissidia 012 move him to firm Anti-Hero territory now that he's acting under his own will in both games.
- The Atoner: He's hugely remorseful after Zemus' control is broken and seems willing to die to make up for it.
- Badass: He takes Meteor to the face and shakes it off like it was nothing (all it does is break his mind control spell on Kain). In the original versions of IV, his defeat in the Dwarven Castle reduces him to no more than a single hand, and he comes back seconds later. Plus, if he too is bound by the fact that a summoner dies when their summon kicks the bucket, he doesn't succumb to the loss of his Shadow Dragon and survives for the entire game. Oh, and he's one awesome mage.
- Badass Baritone: In both English and Japanese, Golbez has an awesomely booming voice.
- Badass Cape: Golbez's iconic attire demands he always wear a black cape.
- Barbarian Hero: As the Man in Black. He even uses a BFS called the Ebony Blade.
- Big Brother Instinct: He truly cares deeply for his brother and would give his life to protect him.
- Big Bad: He's the game's main antagonist. Actually, he's the Brainwashed and Crazy Dragon.
- Black Knight: Black armor. Black helmet. Black cape.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: He's the one who pulls this on Kain. And is a victim himself. For the great majority of his life he has been Zemus' puppet in destroying humanity.
- Crutch Character: In The After Years. When you first set out to the True Moon, he's just shy of 3,000 HP, probably has at least an extra thousand health on everyone else and has Firaga, Blizzaga, and Thundaga. This, in tandem with Taunt to draw enemy attacks, makes him an excellent meat shield and Black Mage. As well, many monsters on the moon are plain immune to lower-level magic, and Palom and Rydia won't learn those "-aga" spells until Level 41, making Golbez pretty much the only offensive spellcaster you have until you level them up another ten-fifteen levels. However, around the level where you're likely to end his scenario, he stops gaining spells and HP until everyone else has caught up and, in the case of spells, he's eventually surpassed by dedicated casters.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Golbez began a long tradition of frighteningly competition Final Fantasy baddies. He kills the King of Baron and has Cagnazzo impersonate him to take control of Baron potentially years before he begins his plan, he exploits Baron's air superiority to dominate the world, he tricks Cecil into retrieving two Crystals for him, when he finds out Cecil is about to become a Paladin he dispatches one of his most powerful minions to stop him, and he tries to go for Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him? at the Tower of Zot and is only stopped by a brief moment of Fighting from the Inside. He's also aware of the Cast from Lifespan matter of Eidolons, so he paralyzes the party so they can't fight back before he summons one to finish them off. As noted above under The Bad Guy Wins, he came very close to winning, he was so good a schemer.
- Darth Vader Clone: His Dissidia art provides the current page image. Besides his appearance as seen in his DS render, he's a Badass Baritone and is Cecil's brother and is brainwashed by Zemus, the true Big Bad.
- Death Seeker: Implied in The After Years. Golbez has a nightmare where Cecil kills him, and the Dark Knight accuses him of wanting to die at Cecil's hands to atone for his sinful life. Golbez might succeed in this, sacrificing himself to save Cecil from the Dark Knight, or if he survives, he seems to get over it, telling Cecil he cannot hide anymore and saying he's ready to confront his past.
- Depending on the Artist: His armor is either bright blue, dark blue, or black, and the lining of his cape is either blue or red. In the Super NES release, his boss sprite had dark blue armor with a blue cape, but his player character sprite had brighter blue armor with a red cape. In his DS render seen above, he has black armor and a blue cape, but his in-game model has black armor with gold details and a red cape. His Dissidia appearance adapts this by presenting his dark blue and black armor with the blue cape for his default outfit while his gold and black armor with a red cape is his alternate outfit.
- Establishing Character Moment: At Fabul, he sweeps into the room, mocks Kain for losing his nerve to kill Cecil with Rosa watching, casually strikes down Edward and Fusoya with lightning, orders Kain to take the Crystal, and when Rosa calls out to him Golbez abducts her and taunts Cecil over it. The message is clear; Golbez does not screw around.
- Evil Counterpart: To Cecil; they're both Red Wings commanders and are Black Knights, but Cecil leaves Baron uncomfortable with their methods while Golbez takes control of the kingdom for his own ends. In The After Years, they use opposing schools of magic, both have abilities that rely on drawing enemy attacks from allies, and Golbez's unique sword, Ebony Blade, draws a parallel to Cecil's Holy swords. In the original game, Cecil even reflects that since they share the same heritage, it could easily have been him that Zemus chose to control instead of Golbez. And also, just look at their renders.
- Expy: Aside from being a Darth Vader Clone, he also has elements of Garland from the first Final Fantasy game, being the bad guy cland in heavy armor who controls the Four Fiends and is seeking the power of the Crystals. Although it's real BigBad who transforms into a chaotic monster, so this may be a case of Decomposite Character.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Intercepts a Black Fang intended for Cecil in The After Years, and may not survive it if you don't have the proper party set-up.
- Hidden Depths: A meta example, remakes of the original game and his appearances in Dissidia and The After Years have turned him into one of the more complex characters in the Final Fantasy IV universe, while in the game's original release he was little more than a generic Tin Tyrant Evil Overlord. Even after his stint of Brainwashed and Crazy ended, he didn't show much personality besides hints of The Atoner in the original Super NES release. The After Years takes this further during his final moments with his former henchmen, the Elemental Archfiends. In particular, Scarmiglione notes that even though he was hideous, Golbez looked past that and invited him into his ranks, hinting that even while brainwashed, Golbez still held some goodness in his heart.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: Courtesy of Dissidia: Final Fantasy, which centers Cecil's storyline on the fact that Golbez is Cecil's brother, and Dissidia 012 casually reveals he's the Man in Black in The After Years. They used to be plot twists, now it's almost common knowledge thanks to the promotional materials for the games treating it as such.
- Left-Handed Mirror: To Cecil. Beyond being just the main protagonist and antagonist, they are siblings and it was only luck of the draw that it wasn't Cecil in Golbez's shoes.
- Leitmotif: "Golbez, Clad in Darkness."
- Luke, I Am Your Father: It's revealed that Golbez is Cecil's older brother, Theodor.
- Magic Knight: In The After Years, he has a huge equipment draw including most of the mage-type robes and rods along with the knight-type swords, shields, and heavy armor. He also learns more Black Magic than Cecil, Ceodore, or Kain learn White Magic, including Flare and Meteor, so Golbez is perfectly capable as an attacker or mage. The only disadvantage he has compared to other Black Mages like Rydia and Palom is that he doesn't learn the Standard Status Effect spells they do.
- Master of None: Golbez is not as effective a physical fighter nor mage as the other, more dedicated characters, but his high HP and his Taunt ability make him an effective tank as well making him one of the most versatile characters in the game.
- Meaningful Name: His original Japanese name "Golbeza" is a mistranslation of Golubaeser, also known as the Golubac Fly, a black fly named for a town in Serbia. According to the legends, the flies were born from the body of a decomposing dragon, reflecting Theodor's fate and likely explaining Golbez's pet Shadow Dragon. In the DS remake, Zemus takes the symbolism further by calling him "an insect birthed from womb of dragon's corpse", twisting the Mysidian Legend to refer to the Golubac Fly.
- My God, What Have I Done?: After he's freed from Zemus' control. Particularly the bit about leaving his baby brother Cecil to die in the wilderness.
- Near Villain Victory: Came very close to succeeding — his plan went off almost without a hitch. He gathered all eight Crystals and did exactly what he planned to do with them. The party just stopped him as that goal was in progress.
- Ominous Pipe Organ: His Leitmotif, "Golbez, Clad in Dark(ness)." Notably, Golbez was the first villain to get his own foreboding theme.
- Purple Eyes: In the DS port of the original game and PSP port of The After Years. Other depictions show him with Green Eyes, but you could Hand Wave it as somehow being due to his armor, since the green eyes are never depicted when he isn't wearing it.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Depending on the Artist. Subverted when he turns out to just be brainwashed.
- Redemption Equals Death: In The After Years, Golbez eventually redeems himself, but it may cost him his life depending on the player's actions. The novelization makes his death the canon scenario.
- Shock and Awe: His signature attack is shooting lightning from his hands, and when you fight him, he uses Thundaga
- Shoulders of Doom: You'll seriously wonder how he walks in those things.
- A Sinister Clue: Like Kain, he's officially left-handed (thus, preceding Sephiroth), but this tends to most come across as an Informed Ability due to his status as a mage. Also, his status as such wasn't revealed until The After Years.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: Golbez and his brother could not be more different in personality or fighting style.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Japanese materials tend to call him Golbeza. Likely shortened due to character limit.
- Spikes of Villainy: On his shoulders.
- Squishy Wizard: A most notable inversion on the "squishy" part, which probably comes from his armour. It says a lot about how durable he is gameplay-wise that the team needed Meteor to beat him. And even then, it doesn't work! He could qualify as a magical Lightning Bruiser if he was a bit quicker.
- The Stoic: In The After Years, unless the topic of discussion is Cecil, the Crystals, or the Mysterious Girl, don't expect much more than the very occasional off-hand comment. He doesn't even soften up when dealing with the Elemental Archfiends (his loyal [former] subordinates), deaths included! It probably doesn't help that he spent most of his life under Zemus' control, leaving not a lot of space for his own personality.
- Summon Magic: His Shadow Dragon. Unfortunately, it seems to have been lost to Redemption Demotion when he joins in The After Years.
- Taking the Bullet: In the battle with Cecil's Dark Knight side in The After Years, Golbez takes a fatal blow aimed for his brother, finally rousing Cecil out of his Heroic BSOD. If Rosa and Ceodore aren't also in the party, he won't survive the battle.
- Tin Tyrant: Is clad head to toe in imposing black armor. You don't get to see what he looks like underneath until the ending.
- Villainous BSOD: Implied to be the reason why he retreated after first fighting Cecil. Attacking his little brother and being ordered to finish him off seemingly shook Zemus's control, and Golbez appears to temporarily regain his senses and recognize Cecil before he retreats and lets him live.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: As the Man in Black in The After Years.
- Walking Spoiler: In some capacity, Golbez has a presence in The After Years. How is a massive twist that spoils a substantial part of the plot for both games.
- Walking the Earth: More like Traveling the Galaxy. If he survives The After Years, he heads out in the Lunar Whale to search for the Red Moon and FuSoYa.
The Archfiends are Golbez's loyal servants, four particularly powerful monsters that represent the four elements. He uses them for various high-profile tasks as needed.
- Back from the Dead: True to form with the original Four Fiends, they're revived near the end of the game to plague you again. They return a second time in The After Years.
- Four Element Ensemble: They embody Earth, Water, Wind, and Fire.
- Four Is Death: They're directly named "Four Heavenly Kings" in the Japanese version.
- Legacy Character: To the original Four Fiends of Final Fantasy. They're actually given the same name as the Four Fiends in the Japanese games (see Four Is Death). The English localization for the DS established them as the "Archfiends" to differentiate them from the original Final Fantasy Fiends, and it's stuck into references to them in spin-offs like Dissidia.
- Theme Naming: They're named after the Malebranches in the 8th Circle of Hell in Dante's Divine Comedy.
"I am the oarsman who will ferry you beyond the veil. The Blighted Despot, Scarmiglione - archfiend of earth, and first of Golbez's circle of four!"
A zombie warrior, and first of the Archfiends. He is dispatched to Mt. Ordeals to prevent Cecil from completing his trial to become a Paladin.
- Deceased and Diseased: He's associated with poison and other status ailments. The Hyadain remix notes this, with one line going "I'm called Scarmiglione of Earth, but I thought I was Scarmiglione of Poison?"
- Dishing Out Dirt: Only in a thematic sense; despite being Archfiend of Earth, he doesn't have any earth-elemental attacks. In fact when you fight him throughout the series (including games where he could be given Earth attacks), all he ever uses for offensive is physical attacks and Thunder magic.
- Elemental Embodiment: Of Earth, though as explained above, he doesn't actually have any Earth attacks.
- Expy: Although the Archfiends in general are a tribute to the Four Fiends, Scarmiglione is noted as being especialy similar to the Lich, both being undead magic users, and fiends of earth, who like thunder spells.
- Kill It with Fire: His weakness is fire, as with all undead.
- Night of the Living Mooks: Brings along some zombies to help.
- Not Quite Dead: Thought you'd seen the last of him when you killed him the first time? Think again.
- Shock and Awe: His main offense is Thunder. In The After Years he upgrades to Thundaga.
- Spell My Name with an "S": "Scarmiglione" was shortened to Milon prior to the Gameboy Advance version.
- Standard Status Effects: He inflicts Curse and Poison on the party.
- Trick Boss: He ambushes your party from behind moments after you defeated his somewhat easy first boss form. Hope that you inverted your party formation and healed, because he's a lot tougher the second time around.
- Undead: Commands a legion of zombies, and his true power is unleashed when you kill him and he returns from the grave.
"I am the Drowned King, Cagnazzo - archfiend of water and sworn servant of Golbez! Bow down before me!"
The second of Golbez's Archfiends, encountered when the party returns to Baron Castle.
- Bald of Evil: Hasn't a hair on his bright blue head.
- Elemental Embodiment: He's the Archfiend of Water, and attacks with tidal waves.
- Evil Mentor: It's implied he's been impersonating the King for a long time, and ordered Cecil and the others to train with the Dark Sword to make them vulnerable to evil influence.
- Fake King: When the party meets him, he's impersonating the King of Baron. He reveals he killed the real king and took his place long before the game even started.
- Logical Weakness: Being based on a reptilian animal type, once could assume he's cold-blooded, explaining his weakness to ice.
- Making a Splash: Fitting for the archfiend of water, he can gather up water to send down as a crashing wave on the party.
- No Cure for Evil: Averted, he can restore his health once withdrawn into his shell.
- Slasher Smile: His sprite is giving one, which gets more monstrous with each graphical upgrade.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Cagnazzo, Caignozzio, or Kainazzo.
- Turtle Power: His design aesthetic is a giant blue turtle.
"I should have killed you and Rosa both when I first had the chance. Allow me to amend my past mistakes!"
The third of Golbez's Archfiends and the only female member of the group. She first appears in the Tower of Zot, backed up by her Quirky Miniboss Squad
, the Magus Sisters.
"I respect men like you. Men with...courage. But you are a slave to your emotions, and so will never know true strength. Such is the curse of Men."
The fourth and most powerful of the Archfiends, sent by Golbez to attack the kingdom of Eblan. He wears a special cape to compensate for his natural weakness to water-based attacks
- Affably Evil: He doesn't appear to hold any ill-will towards the party, nor does he gloat at them. In fact, Rubicante is famous as one of the most personable villains of the franchise.
- Almighty Janitor: Despite being Golbez' subordinate, he's actually a stronger boss than him. Justified when the Archfiends are revived by Zemus, implying they serve him and were just helping Golbez on his orders.
- Artificial Stupidity: In the DS version, if you hit him with certain types of attacks (such as summons) while his cloak is closed, he'll cast Blizzara on himself to heal himself. If you use those same types of attacks while his cloak is open... he'll still use Blizzara on himself, which will only damage him further. It's very easy to exploit this.
- Badass Cape: Serves a purpose in battle — ice attacks only hurt him when his cloak is open, when he wraps it around himself they heal him instead.
- Duel Boss: It's optional, but in The After Years, you can fight him using only Edge. Doing so wins his cloak as equipment for Edge.
- Elemental Embodiment of Fire
- Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Notable because he goes out of his way to subvert it with proper equipment.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Detests and chastises Dr. Lugae for his horrific experiments on Edge's parents.
- She's Got Legs: A rare male example; his combat pose places an inordinate focus on his bare leg, which (in all versions and remakes) is always completely exposed. Look at that sprite!
- Kill It with Fire: His strategy. While the other Archfiends have at least some versatility in their attacks, Rubicante just bombards you over and over with fire.
- Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: Rubincante believes in fairness, and he completely heals your party before you fight him (both times) so you can fight with all your power.
- Noble Demon: Portrayed as honorable despite considering humans inferior.
- The Power of Friendship: In a sense. After being defeated by Cecil & co., Rubicante notices that teamwork with his fellow Archfiends is a more viable strategy for besting the heroes than all of them attacking individually. You'd expect that you'd be facing all four Archfiends at once, with the quartet whipping out Combination Attacks, but it's really nothing more than an impromptu Boss Rush, mainly due to the fact that all four Archfiends are too giant to all fit on the screen at once. They have a modicum of coordination, though: the order they are assembled into means that if an archfiend dies before one of your weakness-hitting attacks connect, the attack will heal (or provoke a counterattack from) the following fiend.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Rubicante or Rubicant.
- Spirit Advisor: In The After Years.
- Worthy Opponent: Sees Edge as such. When Edge challenges him and is killed in one hit, Rubicante just notes he's brave and strong, but not strong enough, and invites him to try again once he's become stronger.
"Come, Rosa! It's time for the main event! You'll see me walk right up to him... And tear him apart limb from limb!"
The embodiment of Kain's repressed hatred and jealousy for Cecil, he wishes to act out Kain's buried desires to kill Cecil and claim Rosa for himself. He appears in The After Years
to torment Kain with this temptation. Undoubtedly based on Dark Kain from Kain's Lunar Trial in the GBA and PSP releases.
- Animal Motifs: Dragons, even more so than the original Kain. His Dragoon armor has scale patterns on it, and in the Lunar Trial Dark Kain transforms into Lunar Bahamut.
- Ascended Extra: Dark Kain only took part in a short sidequest exclusive to the Advance release, but became a major antagonist as "Kain?" in The After Years.
- Black Cloak: How Dark Kain appears in Kain's Lunar Trial.
- Blade on a Stick: Wields spears just like Kain.
- Climax Boss: The fight with him occurs immediately after The Reveal that the Hooded Man is Kain and this guy is an impostor.
- Cutscene Power to the Max: He makes his introduction to Porom by slicing apart an entire pack of enemies in one hit. Immediately after this, he joins the party, and said skill is nowhere to be found.
- Depending on the Artist: In his CG renders for the PSP release of The After Years, he does indeed look exactly like Kain with just minor differences to his armor. In his artwork, however, he wears blue and red armor that looks nothing like anything Kain wears in any of his prior depictions.
- The Dragon: To the Mysterious Girl. He's also a Dragon with an Agenda, as he actively cares nothing about her goals and only helps her because she's promised to let him duel Cecil in exchange for retrieving the Crystals for her.
- Duel Boss: He and Kain fight one-on-one. In both games.
- Enemy Without: He's Kain's inner darkness made manifest to act out the selfish desires he won't.
- Evil Counterpart: The name should be a clue.
- Evil Gloating: See his page quote, delivered as he returns to Baron with Rosa to kill Cecil.
- Evil Laugh: Lets out many when he finally has Rosa in his grasp.
- Expy: Given Riku is an Expy of Kain, Kain? becomes an Expy of the Riku Replica in The After Years. He's presumed to be the real Kain for most of the story, acts in the same manner Kain did in the original game, and has a similar moment as the Riku Repluca does when, after being defeated by the original Kain and laying dying, he wonders what will happen to him once he's gone.
- Guest Star Party Member: For Porom's Tale in The After Years.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: A picture is worth a thousand words.◊ Not shown in that image is the Psychotic Smirk he flashes a second later.
- In a Single Bound: Retains Kain's Jump skill.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: In Kain's Lunar Trial, Dark Kain's true form is that of Lunar Bahamut.
- Lightning Bruiser: Much like the real thing in The After Years, he's got a lot of HP and Strength, and the Speed to make usage of it. Porom's Tale slightly emphasizes it — he's going to fill his ATB gauge, attack, and have it fully charged again by the time one of your other party members gets a turn.
- Love Makes You Evil: As evidenced by his reluctance to hurt Rosa, deep down he's still motivated by Kain's love for her.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: His goal.
- Not So Stoic: When Cecil and/or Rosa are the topics of discussion, the ham comes out. Just see above under Evil Gloating.
- Pet the Dog: He's not totally evil, as evidenced when he rescues Porom and her party for no benefit to himself, and later tells some brainwashed guards to value their lives in spite of being controlled.
- Purple Is Powerful: In Kain's Lunar Trial, Dark Kain has donned a purple version of Kain's armor, and Lunar Bahamut is primarily purple.
- The Reveal: The "Kain" you've been seeing all game in The After Years is actually "Kain?", and the real Kain is the Hooded Man.
- A Sinister Clue: He's left-handed like Kain, but is much more evil.
- The Stoic: Being Kain's dark side, he's just like the real thing in this regard...
"I'm Dr. Lugae! I may not be one of...them, but Golbez made me his chief strategist for a reason!"
A scientist who answers directly to Rubicante. Turned Edge's parents, the King and Queen of Eblan, into chimerae.
- Everything's Deader with Zombies: His monster form.
- Evilutionary Biologist: Performs his experiments with the intent to create superpowered monsters.
- Frankenstein's Monster: His prized creation, Barnabas.
- Mad Scientist: The original example in Final Fantasy.
- Sympathy for the Devil: He comes close to getting this in The After Years, with Golbez wondering about Lugae's potential if he had taken a different path in life.
- Time-Limit Boss: Barnabas requires regular oiling in order to continue functioning. If Lugae is defeated first, then Barnabas has to be defeated within a certain time frame or it'll explode from lack of oiling, heavily damaging the whole party. Downplayed if Barnabas is destroyed first; if Lugae isn't defeated quickly enough after Barnabas' defeat, he merges with his creation to become Barnabas-Z to continue the fight, starting with a new health bar and more powerful attacks.
"Only fools would dare oppose the almighty will of Baron."
A knight in the service of King Baron. He is utterly devoted to the kingdom, even when Cecil is not. When Cecil returns to Baron however, he discovers Baigan is on Golbez's side.
- Cognizant Limbs: Both arms become snakes, which can persist even after his death.
- The Dragon: To the King of Baron.
- Heel Face Mole: Your first clue that he's not on your side is the fact that your party is already full when he offers to join.
- Interface Spoiler: He doesn't have a character portrait when he talks like other party members. Also, the party is already at maximum when he "joins".
- The Quisling: Joins Golbez when he takes over Baron.
- The Sixth Ranger: Played with. He declares he shall join Cecil and help him stop Golbez, complete with a message saying he's joined the party and the accompanying fanfare. Then seconds later Palom and Porom realize he's a monster and he attacks.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Assumes a monstrous form to attack Cecil.
"We are Calcabrina! Adorable dolls! Terrible dolls! You are mindless cretins! Charging into unknown halls... We'll cut your strings!"
A sextet of dolls owned by Luca that were somehow controlled by Golbez to infiltrate the dwarf castle and find the Crystal, they attack the party to stall for time while Golbez arrives to take the Crystal personally. The dolls consist of three males called "Calca" and three females called "Brina". In The After Years
, mechanical versions of Calca and Brina built by Luca join as party members.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: They malfunction and turn on the party in The After Years. May also explain their actions in the original game too; it's ambiguous if the originals were robots too.
- Ascended Extra: From BLAM Boss to party members.
- Combination Attack: Though everyone gets Band abilities in the game, Calca and Brina's bands specifically rely on them combining into Calcabrina.
- Creepy Doll: Intensely so. Their design in the original game is very creepy to behold and it's not helped by their theme music.
- Dance Battlers: Calca uses Jive, and Brina uses Dance.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: When the party enters the Crystal Chamber, there's inexplicably a bunch of evil dolls there that attack you on orders from Golbez. The only indication of their existence beforehand is Luca making an offhand reference to her missing dolls.
- Guide Dang It: Unless you manage to obtain a Mythril Nut, Mythril Bolt, and Mythril Spring from a Quatro Puppet, Luca will be forced to scrap their bodies to repair the Falcon and the two are Lost Forever as party members.
- Lethal Joke Characters: They have horrible abilities, few Band skills, and the worst stats in the game, including the lowest HP growth. However, a determined player can farm Phase Equipment from end-game enemies, their exclusive equipment. The Phase Equipment pieces have the best defensive stats in the game, the Phase Cutter weapon has power equal to Cecil's Ragnarok, and between the five pieces, you're looking at +20 to all stats including Speed — and if you want to leave out the Phase Body for the Clown Clothes, you lose their 20 point Stamina boost but get a second 20 point boost to Speed. Hello Lightning Bruiser!
- Magic Dance: In the sequel, they dance to cast magic.
— the following profile has unmarked spoilers for the end of the original game.
Click here to see Zeromus.
"I am the wellspring of darkness, fed by Zemus's unbridled hate. I am He who is called Zeromus. I am He who knows naught but hate!"
The true Big Bad
of the game. Zemus is a Lunarian sorcerer who believes humanity should be exterminated so the Lunarians can colonize Earth, so he was forcibly put into a deep slumber by Fusoya. However, Zemus's mental powers were too great to be contained even in sleep, and he reached out to Golbez years ago, seizing his mind and making Golbez his puppet. His goal in controlling Golbez is to gather the Crystals and use the Tower of Babil to summon the Giant of Babil to Earth, where it will annihilate all life and pave the way for the Lunarians. After Fusoya frees Golbez from Zemus' control, the two travel to the core of the Red Moon and kill him, but his hatred manifests as Zeromus, the Final Boss
of the game.
- All-Encompassing Mantle: Zemus' cloak conceals his entire body save for his hands and head.
- As Long as There Is Evil: Trope Namer. Zeromus claims that as long as there is darkness in the hearts of man, he will never truly die and can someday return. In The After Years, turns out he meant it.
- Badass Armfold: He strikes this pose in the 3D games.
- Bait-and-Switch Boss: After Zemus is revealed as the villain and the party heads to the core to destroy him, they find Golbez and Fusoya have beaten them there and kill Zemus themselves. Then his corpse starts to move and Zeromus speaks...
- Bald of Evil: Sports a magnificent chrome dome.
- Big Bad: He's the real villain of the game, manipulating Golbez to accomplish his goals on Earth.
- The Corrupter: Turned Golbez to evil. Some translations also imply it was actually Zemus who was controlling Kain, not Golbez.
- Cutscene Boss: Your party heads down to the center of the moon to help Golbez and Fusoya defeat the Big Bad Zemus, only to arrive just in time to see them easily dispatch the villain. Cue Zeromus, who proceeds to absolutely flatten everyone.
- Eldritch Abomination: Zeromus is a writhing misshapen mass of pure hatred and evil.
- Evil Sorceror: Described as one, though it never comes into play since the first time you see him, he's busy getting killed.
- Final Boss: As Zeromus, he is the last opponent of the original game.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Zemus's existence comes straight out of left field with no foreshadowing or hinting.
- High Collar of Doom: Behold! It's even taller than his head!
- Human Aliens: As with other Lunarians, he looks like a normal human, sprite proportions not withstanding.
- Kill All Humans: His goal is to do just this, so the Lunarians can seize the Earth.
- Made of Evil: Zeromus is hatred incarnate.
- The Man Behind the Man: The manipulator behind Golbez's schemes.
- Mind Rape: He did this to Golbez while Golbez was still a child.
- More Than Mind Control: In the DS version, it's implied he wasn't directly controlling Golbez, but instead exploited and cultivated the growth of his negative emotions to turn him evil. It's also hinted that, possibly in addition to this, he impressed his thoughts and goals onto Golbez's mind like they were his own, in a sense merging their minds instead of just controlling him.
- One-Winged Angel: He starts as a bald, blue floating guy, changes to an indistinct blue smokey ghost, to a massive, freakish crustacean insect... thing.
- The Paragon Always Rebels: He is said to be the cream of the crop among the Lunarian sages, which is why even after he was forcibly sealed in stasis his mind is awake and (more importantly) dangerous.
- The Power of Hate: Zemus's intense hatred for mankind is what transforms him post-mortem into the Eldritch Abomination Zeromus. There are also a pair of enemy types in the final dungeon that are implied to have been spawned from his malice.
- Puny Earthlings: He is the last of the radical sect of the Lunarians who believed it was not worth waiting for the inferior humans to evolve to the same level of Lunarians so they might coexist.
- Psychic Powers: His immense mental abilities are how he controls Golbez.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: His physical body is this for the majority of IV. His malice was sealed by the Lunarian crystals after IV, then set loose by the actions of the Mysterious Girl in The After Years.
- Signature Move: Big Bang. The Zeromus Esper in the Ivalice games inherits it.
- Superior Species: Part of his entire motivation.
- Voice of the Legion: Zeromus speaks with a lot of echo in the DS version.
- What a Senseless Waste of Human Life: Commented on by Fusoya; if Zemus had used his incredible powers for good, he could have been a great man.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer: Zeromus' AI script in non-3D versions of the game is very simple; spam his Big Bang attack over and over, occasionally swapping in another Black Magic attack every few turns. Being that Big Bang hits tremendously strong, it's all he needs to do to be formidable.
The princess of the Dwarf Kingdom, who greatly admires Cid. As she grows up after the original game, she begins to show engineering intuition surpassing Cid's designs, and becomes his apprentice in airship mechanics. She's a playable character in The After Years
, creating robotic versions of her dolls Calca and Brina to aid her in battle.
- Action Girl: Unless the vast majority of females in Final Fantasy, this one is not a mage of any sort, she's a mechanic who uses her hammer to knock enemies around.
- Ambiguously Brown: She's also the only dwarf whose face isn't obscured by a beard or helmet, showing this skin tone.
- The Apprentice: She's studying airship engineering under Cid.
- Art Evolution: Her appearance in the sequel is quite different from the base game.
- Ascended Extra: A minor character in the original game, she is upgraded to a playable character in the sequel.
- Badass Princess: She may be a Princess, but she kicks a lot of ass.
- Beauty Mark: Has one under her left eye.
- Berserk Button: Do not touch her dolls. Even when they've gone haywire and are attacking her, she gives Rydia an order not to harm them — she'll deal with them alone.
- Dark-Skinned Redhead: Has bright red hair and dark skin.
- Expy: Of a certain other Gadgeteer Genius named Lucca. Though, this is a bit of an odd example, as Luca appeared in FFIV before Chrono Trigger existed, but had no personality or combat abilities until The After Years.
- Gadgeteer Genius: According to Cid, Luca is even more proficient with machines than he is — and consider all he does for you in the base game!
- Goggles Do Nothing: She has a pair hanging around her neck, likely for protection when doing mechanical work.
- Hopeless Suitor: For Palom. She adores him thanks to him flirting with her as a kid, but he's grown to the point he's just put off by her advances.
- Mighty Glacier: She's very slow, but has a low of HP and power.
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Averted, she looks and acts quite different from both the other in-game dwarves and from what fictional dwarves are usually depicted like.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: As a dwarf she's smaller than a lot of your party members. She still hits harder than many of them.
- Rebellious Princess: Of a sort. Giott seems to have no problem with her choice of life path, but it's a far cry from the typical royal upbringing he would have chosen for her himself.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Like a lot of your party.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Big Throw involves throwing her hammer at an opponent. Some of her weapons are thrown normally, like the Tomahawk.
- Weapon of Choice: Like Cid, her specialty is hammers, though she can also equip axes.
- Wrench Wench: She's a master mechanic and airship pilot, and also creates and maintains her robotic dolls.
Elder of Mysidia
The leader of the town of mages and caretaker of Palom and Porom. He's initially suspicious of Cecil when he returns claiming to have done a Heel-Face Turn
, but recognizes he truly wishes to reform and sends him to Mt. Ordeals to seek the holy light of the Paladin. When Cecil returns carrying a sword engraved with an ancient Mysidian legend, the Elder recognizes this as a sign that prophecy is in motion and begins praying to bring the next part of the prophecy to pass.
- Big Good: Along with Giott, he is the major leader of the forces of good in the game.
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Leads other characters in a round of hopeful prayer for aid against the villains. Twice. It works both times too.
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: "Elder". Even when he's temporarily playable in The After Years, he has no actual name.
- Guest Star Party Member: He is playable for exactly one battle in The After Years...
- Parental Substitute: In lieu of actual parents, he raises Palom and Porom.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Unlike the other Mysidians who spit at the sight of him, the Elder is willing to hear Cecil out and give him a chance at redemption. He's also not so stupid as to instantly believe Cecil is reformed and sends two mages with him to spy on him and make sure he's sincere.
- White Mage: When he takes the field in The After Years, he only knows White Magic.
Leader of the Dwarves in the Underworld and Luca's father. When Golbez invades the Underworld, Giott leads his forces against him to stop him. His castle becomes the party's effective base of operations while in the Underworld.
- Our Dwarves Are All the Same: He's not much different from other dwarves aside from his robes.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He's instantly accepting that Cecil is here to help, readily aids him however he can, and sends his forces to aid the party in attacking the Tower of Babil.
- Wham Line: When Golbez seizes the last Crystal, Giott claims they're all doomed. Unless the legend of the Lunar Whale comes true.
Yang's wife, and the mother of Ursula in The After Years
- All There in the Manual: Originally, Japanese guides gave her name as "Ursula", which was later given to her daughter.
- Frying Pan of Doom: One that can not only keep away a legion of monsters, but also wake up sleeping husbands.
- Happily Married: Hints of frying-pan related violence aside, that is.
- Mundane Utility: She gives the party the strongest thrown weapon in the game: a simple kitchen knife.
- No Name Given: In the original game, she was just "Yang's Wife"; it wasn't until TAY that she received a proper name.
- Pregnant Badass: She may have already been pregnant with Ursula when she was smashing mooks with her frying pan during the invasion of Fabul.
Biggs and Wedge
Two Red Wings soldiers, in The After Years
Biggs is the Captain of the Red Wings and Ceodore's commander.
- Ascended Extra: They are the two soldiers who questioned Cecil about taking the Water Crystal from Mysidia at the beginning of the original game. In The After Years they got names and personalities.
- Black Mage: Biggs knows several basic Black Magic spells.
- Combination Attack: They introduce the concept of Band abilities by showing off their own, Vibra Edge.
- Crutch Characters: While they're a much higher level than him, they don't gain XP during Ceodore's initial dungeon, they're just there so the kid doesn't need to fight his way through the dungeon alone.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Biggs, so very much. His Establishing Character Moment is to snap at Ceodore that his royal bloodline is meaningless and he won't be considered a knight until he passes his trial of knighthood, and then to hit Ceodore for agreeing with him.
- Guest Star Party Members: They're only around for the first chapter.
- Magic Knight: Both of them know some basic magic as well as being physical fighters. Wedge is also a Combat Medic since his spells are curative.
- Mythology Gag: Named after the recurring pair of characters in the series. And in true tradition, they don't make it to the credits alive.
- White Mage: Wedge comes with Cure and Cura.
"Cecil is my father... Rosa is my mother! And I am their one and only son!"
The son of Cecil and Rosa, Ceodore is a new recruit into the Red Wings. He wants to prove himself his own man without relying on his royal blood or title to get by in life, and feels it's a burden having to live up to the great deeds of his parents.
- Determinator: Even when it's clear he's outmatched, Ceodore never gives up.
- Catch Phrase: "Huh?"
- Combat Medic: He's a powerful fighter and also has support and healing spells like Protect, Shell, Haste, and Curaga.
- Deadly Upgrade: After Awaken wears off or after the battle ends, whichever comes first, Ceodore's HP drops to single digits.
- Heroic Spirit: His Awaken ability manifests as this; pushed to the brink of defeat, Ceodore's true potential awakens to restore his health and power up his stats.
- Humble Hero: Just like his parents, he wants no special treatment because of his station and wants to prove himself on his own merits.
- Jack of All Stats: Ceodore is very balanced with speed, strength, and magic, and has a very large amount of Bands to choose from as well. This is at the cost of being a Master of None outclassed by dedicated characters.
- Locked Out of the Loop: The Hooded Man stops him from encountering Brainwashed Cecil in his story to shield him from what's happened to him.
- Magic Knight: Being the son of a White Mage and a Paladin, he has stronger White Magic than Cecil and Kain at the cost of not being quite as good (though still effective) a fighter.
- Modest Royalty: Ceodore insists on being treated like any other soldier would.
- Pinball Protagonist: While he goes from place to place and develops in both character and skill, he really has very little effect on the situations he finds himself in.
- Retcon: The Complete Collection de-aged him from sixteen to fifteen to remove the Shotgun Wedding implications.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: He's not content to sit around getting through life due to his heritage, he wants to earn his way in the world.
- Scarf of Asskicking: Wears a striped scarf around his neck to contrast his father's cape.
- Ship Tease: With Ursula, thanks to a One-Scene Wonder at the moon, which gives them a a band attack.
- Shout-Out: His Cross Slash attack used by slashing the enemy with the help of the Hooded Man was previously used by Crono and Frog in Chrono Trigger.
- Spin-Offspring: The son of the heroes of the original game is the hero of the sequel.
- Supporting Protagonist: While advertised as The Hero of the sequel, he plays a much smaller role in the events concerning the Mysterious Girl and the Crystals than the other characters. Not helped by Kain, a top contender for the actual main protagonist of the sequel, accompanying Ceodore early in the game and being the one to drive most of his actions. Were the game to be told from Kain's perspective rather than Ceodore's, little would change in terms of narrative structure.
- Uneven Hybrid: 3/4 human, 1/4 Lunarian via his paternal grandfather.
- Warrior Prince: Wants to prove himself as this.
The Eblan Four
"We cannot afford to have Eblan's traditional ninja arts fade away into history."
Edge's four apprentices; Gekkou of Fire, Zangetsu of Lightning, Izayoi of Water, and Tsukinowa as Wind. They are Edge's four star students in training at the rebuilt Eblan. When Edge becomes concerned over the state of world events, he dispatches the four to the other major nations of the world to make sure everything is peaceful on other fronts. When the Mysterious Girl arrives, the four return to Edge to help him investigate the Tower of Babil.
- Action Girl: Izayoi, the lone female member and just as capable in combat as the men.
- All Your Colors Combined: Two of their Band abilities, "Wheel of Elements" where the four combine together, "Ultimate Art: Advent of Phoenix" where they all combine with Edge. The latter even comes with a chant. However, "Wheel of Elements" is thematically closer, since it actually consists of the four using their elemental powers in sequence, while "Advent of Phoenix" just uses fire.
- Badass Grandpa: Zangetsu is old, but he's still a fighter.
- Color-Coded Characters: Gekkou wears red, Izayoi wears blue, Tsukinowa wears green, and Zangetsu wears yellow and orange.
- Elemental Powers: They each have one. Tsukinowa uses Wind, Gekkou has Fire, Izayoi wields Water, and Zangetsu uses Lightning.
- Fantastic Fighting Styles: Due to Competitive Balance, they have varied stats. Izayoi is a Combat Medic, having balanced stats with a focus on healing Ninjutsu. Tsukinowa is a Fragile Speedster, he's got the highest Speed in the game but is very weak otherwise. Zangetsu is a Magic Knight with high Intelligence and still respectible Strength and HP. And Gekkou is a Mighty Glacier, he's got high HP and Strength but very low Speed and MP.
- Five-Man Band: They form one with Edge. He's The Leader, his second Zangetsu is The Lancer, the physically powerful Gekkou is The Big Guy, the trickster Tsukinowa is The Smart Guy, and Izayoi is The Chick as the sole woman among them.
- Flat Character: Their individual personalities don't get a lot of time to shine through, as they individually receive equal focus in Edge's Tale (which doesn't last long,) and once Edge's Tale is complete, they contribute nothing to the plot save for a scene deep in the final dungeon.
- Killed Off for Real/Lost Forever: If you let them die during their recon missions. Luckily, these are Save Scummable.
- Master of Disguise: They each disguise themselves when undercover and no one sees through them.
- Ninja: Naturally. Izayoi is a kunoichi, and insists on being treated as a ninja, not a woman.
- Satellite Character: Outside of their mini-quests in Edge's Tale, where being on their own they talk little, all their dialogue is them talking to Edge.
- Theme Naming: All of their names have something to do with the moon. "Tsukinowa" means "moon halo", "Gekkou" means "moonlight", "Izayoi" means "full moon", and "Zangetsu" means "morning moon". Additionally, Tsukinowa's alias during his recon in Mysidia, "Lapin", means, "Moon Rabbit".
- Weapon of Choice: They each have their own weapon of speciality. Gekkou uses hammers and axes, Izayoi uses whips and bows, Zangetsu wields lances, and Tsukinowa has boomerangs. And of course all three can equip katanas.
"Please, Father, I beg of you! Allow me to train with you!"
The daughter of Yang and Sheila and Princess of Fabul. She wishes to be trained as a monk by her father, but needs to get past his overprotective streak first. As she learns, it's more he's concerned with why
she wants to train than actually training her; does she have the spirit and discipline to use his teachings for the right reasons.
- Action Girl: Ursula rivals Luca as the most action-oriented female in the IV world.
- Awesome by Analysis: Yang has not officially given her any training when the game begins, but a flashback shows she's been watching him train the other monks in Fabul her entire life and has picked up on a lot of his techniques.
- Badass Princess: And how! Not just content to be powerful in battle, Ursula takes it a step further by training as a Monk so she can beat enemies up with her bare hands.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: Her job class is Monk, and like Yang she beats enemies up with martial arts.
- Combat Medic: With her Chakra ability she can heal herself and get back to fighting shape.
- Cute Bruiser: She's adorable, and she's still a physical brawler trained by one of the most famous Monks in the world.
- Establishing Character Moment: When she runs off to Mt. Hobs alone, Yang and his Monks go after her, worried she'll be hurt. They find her copying Yang's Establishing Character Moment from the original game, taking out a force of Domovois on her own before Yang and his Monks join with her to fight the Mom Bomb. This princess will not be a Distressed Damsel.
- Flower in Her Hair: Wears one, showing she still has some poise and femininity despite her hands-on fighting style.
- Lady of War: She's graceful and poised and a total badass.
- Lightning Bruiser: Her standout stat is her Speed, third-highest outranked only by Edge and Tsukinowa. While her physical stats and HP are outranked by most of the dedicated physical fighters, they're still much higher than the mages of the group and she can still deal a good amount of damage even before she gets equipment that makes up the difference.
- Odango Hair: The style of choice for her.
- Pressure Point: Her Tenketsu ability delivers the Touch of Death by virtue of this trope.
- Princesses Prefer Pink: She wears a pinkish-red dress.
- Qipao: With some Modesty Shorts added to artwork of her for overseas audiences.
- Rebellious Princess: Completely defies Yang's wishes at every turn. since he's so overprotective. He eventually accepts his daughter has to be allowed to have some freedom in her life.
- Retcon: The Complete Collection de-aged her from seventeen to sixteen so she would still be a year older than Ceodore.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Her character arc is that she wants to be this, but Yang doesn't think a princess has a need for combat training. Ursula doesn't listen, and he eventually relents and agrees to take her on as a proper disciple.
- She's Got Legs: Her dress shows off her very lengthy and very toned legs. If you're going to be kicking teeth in, best keep them in shape.
- Warrior Monk: Becoming this trope is her character arc. Yang fears that Ursula only wants to learn to fight because she wants to be an asskicker just like him, but it's the spirit of the teachings that hold more value than the physical part; you learn the ways of the Monk to protect people and defend yourself, not to hurt others. When Ursula defends her bodyguards from a monster in spite of being outmatched, Yang realizes she has this spirit within her and finally agrees to give her proper training.
- Wolverine Claws: Like her father she can equip them to give her normal attacks elemental or status properties.
"I am an Epopt who serves the Earth Crystal. I know I'm new, but... but still! I have a duty to fulfill! A duty to protect the Crystal!"
An Epopt in training, since one of the eight has recently fallen ill, and a student of White Magic. Recent events have convinced the Epopts of the need for their members to be able to defend themselves, and so she begins training under Palom to master Black Magic. Between her own personality quirks and the difficulty in mastering both schools, it's slow-going, but she shows great potential.
- The Apprentice: She studies Black Magic under Palom.
- Ascended Extra: She was in the first game, it turns out. She's the random NPC girl Palom was boasting to in the ending. When she tells him, Palom immediately lampshades he had no idea that was her and that he barely remembers the incident.
- Black and White Magic: She already knows White Magic, but wants to train in Black Magic.
- Inept Mage: At first. Hell, her first Black Magic spells are even weaker than 1st tier Black Magic (Fire? Blizzard? Thunder?).
- Magikarp Power: Taken to the point it's Awesome but Impractical. With patience and level grinding, Leonora will be the only end-game party member to learn both schools of magic, and can use Dualcast to boot. The problem is that because of her split focus she learns her spells much slower. She doesn't get Curaga until Level 45 (by which time other White Mages will have Curaja), Holy until Level 70, learns the three "-aga" spells at Levels 78, 80, and 82, and finally gets Flare at Level 85. For the record, all other magic-using characters will finish learning all their spells by Level 60, at the latest. The result of this is that by the time you finally put in the effort to grind her up to that high level, you could have just done everything else worth doing in the game with other characters.
- Magic Wand: Wields one in her artwork.
- Mentor Ship: With Palom. It's implied she has feelings for him, but she doesn't come forward with them.
- Nice Hat: Wears a large and ornate priest miter.
- The Red Mage: She can learn both White Magic and Black Magic, but does not learn every Black Magic spell.
- Squishy Wizard: The squishiest — at Level 99 she's one of only three party members with less than 4,000 HP, and the other two are Calca and Brina. And then, if the random factor in HP gain doesn't like her, she can flat have the worst HP of all.
- Teacher/Student Romance: Gets Ship Tease with Palom.
- Took a Level in Badass: She stutters a lot and is respectful of Palom initially, despite him being a Jerkass. Once he insults the Epopts, though, she's had enough and tells him off, at which point for the rest of the game the stuttering stops. This event coincides with the completion of the Tower of Trials, and thus she begins to learn Black Magic as she levels up from now on.
"I believe there are times when the head of a kingdom must act with a firm, calculated hand."
Edward's assistant. She originally desired to be a scholar, but one day she heard his voice, and so abandoned her plans to become his secretary. While Edward dodges responsibility for his kingdom, Harley is one the actually running things on his orders, and tries to motivate him to take command and be a good ruler like she believes he can be.
- Badass Bookworm: Subverted. She may be well-read, but as described below Harley is not worth much in battle.
- Badass Longcoat: Her long brown scholar's coat is cool at least.
- Hidden Depths: She eventually reveals she's done a lot of research and knows some comparatively obscure facts about the events in the original game. Edward is surprised to learn this.
- Joke Character: Harley has the dubious honor of being almost entirely useless in battle. Her abilities are practically worthless, her Bands except for Feast of the Land need multiple party members to skip their turn to use, of those Bands one has random effects, two more require specific equipment set ups, and all of them require awful party configurations to use. If not for Calca and Brina, she would be the flat worst party member in the game, and at least they have equipment to turn them into Lethal Joke Characters; Harley does not.
- The Load: Harley's sole major contribution to the plot is to get sick, dragging out gameplay another hour while Edward gets a cure for her. This is after she insists on accompanying him, saying "I'm certain I will be of use". Harley, to her credit, lampshades it's her own fault and she should have just listened to Edward and stayed behind.
- Meganekko: Wears glasses, is very pleasant and polite to Edward, and is a genius scholar.
- Money to Throw Away: Has the Gil Toss ability, letting her throw money to damage enemies..
- Prim and Proper Bun: Her hairstyle tightly ties her hair into a bun.
- Subordinate Excuse: She became Edward's secretary because she was enthralled by his music.
- Whip It Good: Her main weapons are whips, and most of the Band abilities she's involved in call for her to be equipped with one.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: She has bright blue hair, the only character in the two games to have it.
Mysterious Girl/ Maenad
"For a specimen of an inferior species, you seem to have some measure of good judgement... But you fail to realize the gap between your power and mine."
The main villain of The After Years
, who shows up to steal the Crystals from the people of Earth, deeming they are unworthy of their power. She resembles Rydia and is somehow able to command Eidolons, but her origins and motives are a complete mystery.
- Artificial Human: She turns out to have been created by the Creator, as a pawn to gather the Crystals.
- The Battle Didn't Count: It's possible to win the battles that the party is supposed to lose to her, but the same result happens each time anyway. And in the storyline, even when someone does kill her, another Maenad just takes her place.
- Big Bad: She sets off the major events of The After Years and is the central antagonist. Until it turns out she has a boss.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: Badly. If she actually killed off the heroes when she had the chance, only half of them would have survived to the final tale.
- Boss Remix: Her character theme is the basis for her battle theme.
- Bullying a Dragon: Not more than five minutes after her appearance and she reveals she's forcefully taken control of Bahamut. Save all the Eidolons later in the game, and it will completely backfire on her. See Oh, Crap for more.
- Catchphrase: "Incomprehensible" whenever a party member invokes Honor Before Reason.
- Clone Army: It turns out there are several "Mysterious Girls" around, acting independently of each other to gather the Crystals as one, explaining why she she's able to appear in every single storyline. If one happens to die, another just picks up where she left off.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Bond Villain Stupidity aside, she is very good at knowing how best to achieve her goal.
- Her first act upon arriving on Earth is to petrify the Eidolons and take control of their minds. This gives her a diverse arsenal of powerful minions at her beck and call, and also deprives the only other Summoner left, who is an ally of her enemies, of her ability to call them herself.
- She then attacks Baron and takes control of it, but leaves Cecil in charge with brainwashed guards, and people appear to assume Cecil and Baron repelled the attack and all is normal. When she begins using the Red Wings to gather the Crystals, people are alarmed but mostly are confused, King Cecil is The Hero after all, so no one suspects that Baron is really on the warpath again. And it's implied by the timeline that she or the Red Wings hit the Crystals quickly and often simultaneously, so word doesn't much spread about what's going on until it's too late.
- When Palom petrifies himself to try and protect the Crystal in his grasp, she declares it a Senseless Sacrifice, she'll just shatter him and free it.
- When fighting alongside an Eidolon, she places herself in the back row, granting her resistance from physical attacks.
- During the boss battle with her and Bahamut, she uses Black Hole to nullify the player's status buffs as the Mega Flare countdown hits 1, negating their attempts to protect themselves with Reflect or Shell.
- The Dog Bites Back: When the Creator begins to go haywire, she destroys it.
- Easily Forgiven: Considering that it is at least hinted at that the Maenad possess a Hive Mind, yet neither Leviathan nor Asura are shown to resent the child Maenad in the ending in any way.
- Emotionless Girl: Mostly; arrogance and contempt are there, but that's about it.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: In a scene with some Fabul monks, she flat-out states that the idea of "honor" is foreign to her, as is the idea they'd fight her because of it knowing she'll kill them for their effort.
- Evil Counterpart: Bears a great physical resemblance to Rydia, even being mistaken as her by Cecil initially, and is also able to control Eidolons. Interlude reveals it's because the Creator made the Maenads in Rydia's image after gathering data on her through a Crystal.
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Justified, as there's no way of knowing her real name until the last five minutes of the game. And even then, 'Maenad' is just the name given to her race as a whole.
- Fantastic Racism: Frequently insults humans and Lunarians as "inferior species".
- Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: Her battle sprite.
- The Heavy: She's the only major villain to appear for a long time.
- Hive Mind: Implied in the Depths, complete with referring to themselves in the plural.
- Invincible Villain: Appears in a number of tales since there's an army of them, and whenever she does it ends with the protagonists failing to stop her. It's not until "Lunnarian's Tale" where she FINALLY suffers a defeat, more than half way through the story and almost immediately it's revealed that there's more than one of her.
- Karmic Death: Is killed by Odin after using him to try and kill the party. The one that controls Bahamut suffers the same fate.
- Oh, Crap: After an entire game of talking down on and disregarding most of the party as a threat, her composed, high-and-mighty demeanor immediately turns into fear once Rydia, Leviathan, and Asura free (a now very angry) Bahamut from her control. She tries to cast Reflect to defend herself, but the Dragon King roasts her with Mega Flare before she finishes.
- Pragmatic Villainy: She's after the Crystals only. Unless one of the heroes is directly obstructing her, she doesn't care about them. On the other hand, if they prove themselves useful, she's willing to make deals with them.
- Punch Clock Villain: The Maenads you find on the True Moon are just standing around waiting for orders.
- Recurring Boss: You fight her several times throughout the game, though some of them are unwinnable.
- Redemption Equals Life: In the case of the one Maenad adopted by Rydia (Cuore), the only surviving member of her race. The rest of the race falls victim to Redemption Equals Death since they die helping the party escape the Creator.
- Summon Magic: As part of her status as an Evil Counterpart to Rydia.
- The Man Behind The Monsters: She controls an army of monsters to take over Baron, and still uses them on occasion after switching over to relying on Baron's military instead.
- Traveling at the Speed of Plot: She seems to get around the world very fast to feature in multiple tales, sometimes in minutes of each other. Turns out this is because there's more than one of her.
- Woman in White: She wears nothing but a white dress.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Although stated to look just like Rydia, her hair is a more aquamarine than Rydia's.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: She uses those very words before attempting to kill the party after Cecil returns to his senses. Subverted in that the party never helped her do anything.
— the following profile has unmarked spoilers for the end of the game.
"You are all a part of the process... the output of the evolutionary plan conceived by the Crystals I created. In other words, this is all my work... The Crystals, the Maenads, and this new moon. This is why I am called the Creator!"
The real Big Bad
of The After Years
, he is the sole surviving member of an alien race that prospered itself into extinction. He designed the Crystals and sent them to various planets to spur evolutionary growth in the hopes of discovering where his species went wrong. However, so far all his experiments were deemed failures and he exterminated the planets he had helped evolve. Now he's come to the Final Fantasy IV
world and has made the same judgment, and sends the Mysterious Girls, also known as Maenads, to gather up his Crystals so he can destroy the planet.
- Apologetic Attacker: Towards the whole world. He's sorry, he really is, but you didn't evolve to his liking and it's time to die.
- Big Bad: He's the real antagonist of the game.
- Clipped Wing Angel: The fights against him as the party escapes his lair, in which he hurts himself more than the party and several Maenads also attack him.
- Death Equals Redemption/My God, What Have I Done?: He seems to regret his actions in his final moments and thanks the party and the Maenads who attacked him with his last words.
- Eldritch Abomination: Definitely his last form, and the trope is present to lesser degrees for his other forms too.
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Could that really be his true name?
- Evilutionary Biologist: He performs his experiments on races in the hopes of understanding the processes of evolution better.
- In an original flavor version, to Zemus, as the true Big Bad revealed near the end of the game to be manipulating the person you thought was the Big Bad into gathering the Crystals for them.
- Also one for the "Firstborn" from the 2001: A Space Odyssey books, both being Sufficiently Advanced Aliens who seeded planets with life by sending mysterious objects to them.
- Also resembles the Anti-Spiral, being a god-like being from a failed race that decides to drop a moon on Earth because he decides they aren't worthy of evolution.
- The outer shell he is encased in resembles Lavos, and both entities were Evilutionary Biologist.
- Final Boss: He's the last enemy of the game.
- Last of His Kind: All other members of his race are dead.
- Mad Scientist: He's much more subdued than other examples, but is clearly not in his right mind anymore.
- The Man Behind the Man: The controlling force of the Maenads.
- Meaningful Name: Suiting as he picks it himself, since he created the Crystals, the True Moon, and the Maenads.
- Mr. Exposition: It's a good thing he's so talkative during the fight with him, because otherwise you'd know nothing about who and what he is.
- Omnicidal Maniac: His goal is to destroy the world and all life on it.
- One-Winged Angel: As the battle against him progresses, he turns into increasingly bizarre forms, with the last vaguely resembling Neo Exdeath from Final Fantasy V.
- Shout-Out: Several of the bosses in his lair are from other Final Fantasy games, implying they're other monsters he has engineered.
- Sufficiently Advanced Aliens: So advanced he can create Crystals. He has dozens of them around the Depths. Yeah, the MacGuffins that the Final Fantasy franchise centers around? He can casually make them at his whim.
- That's No Moon!: The True Moon turns out to be his battleship.
- Time Abyss: What else can you call somebody who performs biological experiments on a macroevolutionary timescale?
- Walking Spoiler: So much so that, as you likely noticed above, his entire existence is a giant spoiler for the end of the game.
- You Have Failed Me His attitude towards the planets he destroys.