The Hero of the game. A member of the Tantalus Theater Group, a group of entertainers-thieves. Also a bit of a playboy. At the beginning of the game, Tantalus was sent to Alexandria by Lindblum's Regent Cid Fabool IX on a mission to kidnap the princess, only to get entangled in the coming war. Zidane is aware of the fact that he's an orphan, and only remembers one thing about his past: a blue light. He's always wanted to find out where he came from, though it's not his all-consuming life goal. In contrast to his previous Final Fantasy heroes, he's quite carefree and cheerful, with very little angst or existential doubt.
Anti-Antichrist: Created for the sole reason of destroying all life on Gaia, but was left as an infant on the very same world that he was meant to destroy. Learning this horrible truth from his creator, as well as having his "soul" ripped out of him, becomes a massive Heroic BSOD for our hero. Cue The Power of Friendship.
Break the Cutie: The end of Disc 3. Garland attempts to rip his soul out after revealing to Zidane his true origins as Gaia's destroyer. The revelation that he was meant to be what Kuja is now shakes him hard.
Cannot Spit It Out: His true feelings, that is. By the time he's actually fallen for Garnet, he can't bring himself to tell her.
Chivalrous Pervert: His overworld sprite even has him turning his head in the direction of passing females!
Chronic Hero Syndrome: Deconstructed, he's always helping people as part of his efforts to conceal his own problems. Mutually accepting the help of his friends in return doesn't come easy to him, which is why after his Heroic BSOD he brushes off his allies and tries to continue on alone.
Cultured Warrior: Because he's not just a warrior, and no, he's not just a warrior and a thief either. He's a warrior, he's a thief, and he's quite a good actor! And possibly a musician as well, considering how much he knows about music.
Dogged Nice Guy: He's constantly trying to earn Garnet's favor, but at first she's too naive to realize what he's doing, and later has caught on to his behavior and knows better.
Zidane's Curse: An unlucky condition in which every location in the game will coincidentally wind up being destroyed just after the hero arrives.
Double Weapon: He's the only character in the game who can use two completely different kinds of weapon. One of them (and probably the most common, at least among the strongest weapons) is a stick with two blades on each side.
Dub Name Change: To Djidane in the French version, in order to avoid confusion with French soccer player Zinedine Zidane. In the Spanish version, he's called "Yitán", for exactly the same reason. Zidane was originally named Jitan, and since he was a traveling performer and thief, the name evoked Unfortunate Implications of Gypsystereotypes.note "Gitan" is French for "gypsy", and "gitano" is the Spanish word. So his name was changed in most localized versions.
"Yeah. She's cute, and she's in trouble. What do I need to think about?"
Establishing Character Moment: It doesn't happen until about an hour or two into the game, but one memorable moment (which, incidentally, took place during the first instance of Zidane's leitmotif playing in the BGM) firmly establishes that Zidane isn't just a Loveable Rogue, he's also something else as well...
Genre Savvy: As a theater actor and veteran adventurer, Zidane is quite astute when it comes to plot observations. He considers himself the hero of the journey long before the other characters take him seriously about it. This contrasts him with Kuja, who is just as savvy, but embraces the role of a villain.
Gentleman Thief: He's cultured, friendly, and has no problem casually swiping valuables from civilians. This is probably one of the few Final Fantasy titles where Kleptomaniac Hero is in-character for the protagonist.
Grim Reaper: This is what he's supposed to be, in relation to above.
Little Bit Beastly: His tail. Being that this title is full of such characters and races though, it isn't that noticeable. Which makes the reveal that he's a Genome much more surprising, and then you realize no one else you've met so far has had a tail like his.
Look Behind You: His "What's That?!" Skill has him distract the enemy long enough to maneuver the party into a Back Attack against the enemy.
Lovable Rogue: Cheerful, wise-cracking, and happy to inform you he's living on the wrong side of the law and enjoys that lifestyle.
Nice Guy: He may not always be polite, but he's always friendly.
Stepford Smiler: He's actually very insecure and lonely, having no memories of his past and no real family. The reason he's so friendly and outgoing is to conceal the fact.
Weapon Twirling: When equipped with the double bladed spear...sword...things.
Wise Beyond Their Years: Despite being only 16 and younger than the majority of Final Fantasy heroes, he's very mature and intelligent. As well, while some of the other heroes are emotionally crippled due to their self-doubt and insecurities, Zidane copes with his by acting overly friendly and cheerful. It of course still leads to eventual problems, but for the most part he's much better adjusted than some of the heroes several years older than him.
You Are Not Alone: Trope Namer (kinda). The scene after he discovers why he was created. It takes all of his friends showing him they are still by his side to make him snap out of his Heroic BSOD.
Sorrow:How do you prove that you exist? Maybe we don't exist...
First seen going to Alexandria to see the play "I Want to be Your Canary", he ended up getting quite literally chased onstage during Tantalus' escape. Vivi, like Zidane, has no memories of his past, except for being raised by a Qu (who initially wanted to eat him, but fortunately changed his mind before such a thing happened). He later learns that he is one of the Black Mages, the new soldiers of the Alexandrian military.
Beware the Nice Ones: Innocent, shy, and more than a little bit naive...and entirely capable of incinerating you with a thought.
Black Mage: Quintessential example in looks and skills, much less in character; to put it lightly, he's not aggressive in the slightest, and has to be put under serious threat to even think of using his powers at first.
Dark Is Not Evil: He's a Black Mage but he's a very nice and gentle person. Causes problems throughout the game when people can't tell him apart from the hostile and destructive Black Mages the villains employ.
Died Happily Ever After: While intended as a major tear jerker, having Vivi become granted to living in Heaven for all of the heroics he has done is heartwarming in context.
"Farewell. My memories will be part of the sky"
The Faceless: A play on the Black Mage usually having a face shadowed by the hat, in this title, that shadow is their face.
Gender-Blender Name: In most countries, Vivi is a girl name. This probably caused a bunch of people to give him a female name and then pretend he is a she...
Happily Adopted: raised by a Qu that was actually grooming Vivi to be a snack (something that Vivi isn't aware of).
Nice Hat: Every Black Mage has one, but his is much cooler, to the point the Italian official Playstation magazine that reviewed the game, back in the day it was released, introduced us to Vivi with the caption: "Nice hat". Becomes even cooler in Trance.
Parental Substitute: Vivi's adoption by Master Quan leads the Qu to become a surrogate grandfather to him. Quan teaches Vivi about how the world works, and Vivi in turn refers to him as his "Grandpa".
Parting Words Regret: Inverted; Vivi is delivering the narration at the ending because he has finally expired. It's implied that he didn't live long enough to see Zidane come back.
Perpetual Frowner: He doesn't really have a face to express himself with, but it's implied.
Eiko: Why the long face?! Vivi: Oh, my face is always like this.
Phlebotinum Rebel: Born as the prototype of a series of heartless, mindless slaughter machines, goes on to fight against his creators and enslavers, becoming a hero in the process.
Playing with Fire: His very first spell is "Fire," and he uses it quite often outside of battle — for trying to scare off Alexandrian Guards, frying Black Waltz 3 to a crisp, for melting ice walls, for cooking...
Wise Beyond Their Years: For the most part he should be about 8 years old, and learns through the course of the game that he was created to be a killing machine AND that, because of this, he has a very short lifespan. Afterwards, he manages to take this sort of revelation better than most adults such as Kuja who is eventually told similar information about himself and responds to it by throwing a Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum.
Dilemma:Having sworn fealty, must I spend my life in servitude?
Captain of the only unit of male soldiers in Alexandria's army, the Knights of Pluto, and bodyguard to the royal family. Loyal to a fault, he only reluctantly teamed up with Zidane to rescue Garnet from Evil Forest in the aftermath of the disastrous escape from Alexandria. He remained hostile towards the thief and his allies (making an exception for Vivi), while refusing to believe that Queen Brahne has finally lost her mind. He later has to accept the truth, and has also learned to see Zidane as an actual comrade and (almost) friend. Has a rocky relationship with General Beatrix, although it's known that the latter may be harboring feelings for him...
Amazon Brigade: Inversion. In Alexandria, an all-female army is the norm, and he's the captain of the only all-male unit.
Character Development: Out of the eight protagonists, Steiner is the one who is most changed by his experiences in the game, learning to grow out of his Black and White Morality outlook and to think for himself instead of blindly following orders.
The Chew Toy: The game punishes him a lot. And it's hilarious!
Honor Before Reason: He refuses to travel with thieves until ordered to by Garnet (despite the dangers of traveling alone), and he refuses to believe Brahne has turned evil until after even Beatrix has accepted it.
I Gave My Word: His oath of fealty is the source of his inner conflict after Brahne turns evil.
The Lancer: To Zidane for the first half of the game, while Zidane is mature, laid back, and open-minded, Steiner is loud, duty-driven, and naive. Their relationships with Vivi and Garnet also contrast, Zidane being Vivi's Big Brother Mentor and flirting with Garnet while Steiner treats Vivi as his superior and Garnet as his charge. Ultimately, however, they both wish to protect Garnet, even if they have different ideas on how to do it, and of the first four party members, Steiner is easily the most capable after Zidane, both in-battle and when it comes to thinking on his feet.
Hello, Insert Name Here: Which is why he's the only character in the entire series that the player can ever change the surname of. Also done in-universe, as Brahne needs a moment to remember his name when she orders him and Beatrix to find Garnet at the very start of the game.
Lawful Stupid: Steiner believes in Black and White Morality, so he took any instance to thumb his nose upon any member of Tantalus (especially Zidane), and he remains bullheadedly determined to return Garnet to Alexandria despite the fact that this is not only against her wishes, but against overwhelming evidence that Queen Brahne has turned evil. However, it should be noted that during said time, nobody was 100% sure that Alexandria was behind everything. Most of his Character Development revolves around him getting over this.
Let's Get Dangerous: He's generally depicted as a buffoon early on in the game, but when he gets into a real fight, he's actually a pretty good swordsman.
Story-wise, this happens when he teams up with Beatrix in Disc 3.
Mighty Glacier: He's slow in both mind and body, but his swords actually hit pretty hard.
My Country, Right or Wrong: Eventually realizes he can still act on duty if he changes that duty to following the Princess' orders, not the Queen's.
Nice Helmet: Which grows to cover his face in his Trance.
Overprotective Dad: Even though he's not actually Garnet's father, he still acts like the comedic version of this trope in regards to her. He even hates the bad boy she's fallen for.
Papa Wolf: Used comically in regards to Garnet in the first two discs. It's played much more seriously in Disc 3 when he teams up with Beatrix.
Pet the Dog: We know he's not such a total jerk when he treats Vivi nicely, even calling him "Master". It's the only time we see Steiner treat anyone aside from royalty with any respect for most of the first half of the game.
Devotion:Someday I will be Queen, but I will always be myself.
The female lead of the story, and Zidane's (eventual) Love Interest. She has been aware of her mother's slow descent into madness for some time, and seeks a way to escape her. By coincidence, the best opportunity for her to get out of Alexandria happens to be there just to kidnap her! While on the run, Zidane suggests that Garnet drop her royal bearing, and adopt an alias, to which she chose "Dagger," after Zidane's knife. As it turns out later in the game, Garnet was just an adopted child of the royal family, and is actually one of the last Summoners (along with Eiko).
Battle Couple: She and Zidane are like this at the end of the game.
Blessed with Suck: Garnet's summoning powers were a serious liability in the first and second discs; not only did they result in Garnet being chased from one end of the Mist Continent to the other by Brahne's lackeys and almost being killed when her eidolons were forcibly removed, but the MP costs were so intensive that she couldn't even use them.
Gameplay and Story Integration: It's implied that she was afraid of the eidolons inside her. The reason the MP costs to summon them are so high is probably due to a mental block on her part. When she suffers her Heroic BSOD, she has a chance of freezing up in combat and not being able to do anything. It's also at this time that she's able to start relearning her summon spells and re-establishing her bond with them, which probably helps her cope with her pain.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: The player can get Garnet to summon eidolons early in the game. If they use a cheat to boost her MP or simply through consistent levelling, her MP will be high enough to summon them. Though given that the lowest MP cost for an eidolon (Shiva) is 94 at that point, you're better off waiting.
Girly Run: More like girly prance, which she does while holding her hands out to the side.
The Glomp: Sees usage during the Grand Finale when Garnet dives on Zidane. It's a Call Back to Zidane's Glomp Fail at the end of the Conde Petie wedding.
Horned Humanoid: Until it was removed to make her identical to the real princess Garnet.
I Have Many Names: Goes by the nickname Dagger in an effort to keep a low profile. Her real name, as in the one she had before she was adopted into the Alexandria Royal Family, is Sarah.
Important Haircut: After finally coming to terms with her grief, she cuts her hair to above shoulder-length, symbolically casting off her sorrow in the process.
It's All My Fault: She blames herself for a lot of the destruction and suffering that occurs, even when no sane assessment of it would hold her responsible.
Ms. Fanservice: Despite her outfit being much more conservative than usual holders of this title in the series, the jumpsuit still emphasizes her hips, rear and groin, and her Trance form is straight Stripperiffic.
Pimped-Out Dress: A grand, white dress, that she wears at the beginning of the game, the middle, and the end.
Plucky Girl: A variant in that a lot of her pain is self-inflicted, and a large part of her character growth is realizing that not everything is her fault and she shouldn't put so much pressure on herself.
Power Up Letdown: Her Trance is completely useless for the first half of the game. It powers up her summons, but she doesn't have any yet (unless the player does an insane amount of level grinding).
Red Mage: After regaining her summons and getting Eiko, she shifts more to this archtype than a traditional White Mage, including the Master of None connotations — being neither as efficient at magical damage as Vivi nor at healing as Eiko.
Royals Who Actually Do Something: A part of her Character Development is that as much as she wants to be this trope, most everything that she tries to do turns out badly or only succeeds due to the assistance of other characters. She learns to stop feeling guilty about it later and become determined to be a strong queen for her people.
Samaritan Syndrome: Once again, she puts far more pressure and blame on herself than anyone would reasonably expect her to.
The Smart Girl: She has all the benefits of a royal education, including knowledge about many of the locales the party visits.
Summon Magic: She has more summons than Eiko, but doesn't get to use them for a while.
Temporary Scrappy: During a large chunk of disc Three, she loses her voice, meaning she has about a 50% chance of actually using her magic. However, if you equip her with the Healer skill, all of her attacks will heal you for a decent amount of HP.
They Call Her Dagger: She chooses the name "Dagger" for herself when Zidane tells her they can't go around calling her "Garnet" everywhere.
Responsible for one of the only (but no less egregious) moments of Narm.
(holding Zidane's dagger) "Zidane...What is this called?"
A Burmecian Dragon Knight, Freya left her homeland five years ago to search for her lost love, Sir Fratley, who set out to hone his skills but never returned. It was during these last few years that she met and befriended Zidane as she continued her search across the Mist Continent — eventually meeting him again in Lindblum during the Festival of the Hunt. However, when she learns that her kingdom is being invaded by an army of mages wearing "steeple-crowned hats," Freya returns to try and stop the invasion, with Zidane, Vivi, (and possibly Quina) accompanying her. However, it appears that the invading army is much more sinister than expected, prompting Freya to join Zidane's party in their search to uncover the truth...
Action Girl: Your second female party member, and one of your primary heavy-hitters.
Break the Cutie: First her kingdom is devastated. Then the man she loved and thought dead is alive but doesn't remember her. Thenher kingdom's sister country Cleyra is destroyed. All this happens in short time after the other.
Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: Her Dragon Crest ability gains power based on the number of dragons you've killed. The damage is equal to the number of dragons killed squared, so it starts out as a fair but not spectacular attack. But since the best way to level up prior to Memoria is to kill off wave after wave of Grand Dragons, it hits the damage limit in record time. Think about it: 9999 damage for only 16 MP. Just kill 100 dragons.
Lady of War: As a knight and warrior, she is well-versed in fighting.
Love Hurts: She has been searching for one Sir Fratley all her life, and what happens when she did find him? He doesn't even remember her!
Maybe Ever After: Although her and Sir Fratley are together in her ending, she's seen expressing doubts as he still does not remember her.
Reis' Wind may also double as a Shout Out to Seiken Densetsu 3. In that game, the character Reis (or Lise, depending on translation) wields a lance like Freya does, and her kingdom is associated with wind and dragons. She also loses said kingdom over the course of the game (like how Freya loses Burmecia and Cleyra). And to complete the circle, "Freya" is the name of one of Reis' summon spells.
The Southpaw: Subtle, but she wields her weapon primarily with the left hand.
Trauma Conga Line: She loses her kingdom, the peaceful country Cleyra she was determined to protect after the refugees escaped from the invasion, and when she finally finds her love after being gone for so long, he doesn't remember her. Ouch.
An apprentice gourmand and blue mage dwelling in the marshes north of Lindblum. S/he belongs to the Qu Clan, a race of chubby white-skinned beings with long pink tongues and a culture centred around cooking and eating. Quina joins Zidane's party as a means of learning more about the different cuisines of the world and honing his/her culinary skills. S/he doesn't really seem to take much notice of the larger struggle going on, but proves a faithful and helpful ally...most of the time, anyway.
Ambiguous Gender: To such an extent that the narration of the game itself refers to Quina as "him/her" and "s/he". If game mechanics are counted as Word of God, though, gender-specific equipment leans toward male; on the other hand, certain translations use female pronouns.
Acrofatic: You wouldn't expect someone of Quina's girth to be able to jump around like that.
Also, Limit Glove. It can be gotten as soon as Quina enters your party in Disc 1, costs 10 MP to use, and does 9999 damage, every time...as long as Quina's HP is 1 when you use it; otherwise it does nothing.
Extreme Omnivore: Defining character trait. It's even a gameplay mechanic, as the way s/he learns his/her Blue Magic spells is eating an opponent who knows the spell.
Flat Character: Quina's master tried sending him/her on a quest for Character Development, with little success. Turns out Quina never needed it in the first place, and it was the master who needed developing.
Kick the Dog: Though it could be argued s/he's just too dumb to realize what s/he's doing, Quina expresses interest in eating both chocobo eggs and moogles, which is pretty harsh considering they're the Series Mascots. The chocobo egg is particularly mean as it's being cared for by Black Mages who tell him/her its mother died, but Quina is undeterred and considers the idea ridiculous.
Lethal Joke Character: When you first get Quina, s/he has no usable skills, a random attack damage variable, and almost no purchasable weapons. Take the time to use him/her properly, and you can kill almost any enemy (and some bosses) in one turn. In the Very Definitely Final Dungeon, as you would expect, there's a lot of Demonic Spiders, but it turns out most of them are not immune to status ailments, so Quina's Mustard Bomb and Frost attacks become One-Hit KO moves for as little as 8 MP.
Let's Get Dangerous: Sure, Quina's a goof. But when s/he gets into an actual fight, s/he actually turns out to be pretty good at it. If you take the time to actually train him/her and learn his/her spells, s/he is just as effective in battle as any other party member — if not more so.
Too Dumb to Live: Quina is eternally clueless even when the towns around the party are being destroyed and the people are fleeing in terror, yet somehow s/he endures. Her/his ability to inexplicably survive any disaster and somehow turn up later is almost a Running Gag in and of itself.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Quina has a peculiar knack for vanishing and reappearing at the oddest times. About halfway through Disc 2, s/he takes off after Mog to try and eat her, briefly reappears to help Eiko cook, then vanishes again until Disc 3, where s/he somehow ends up in Treno for a brief run-in with Eiko, then ends up washing up on the shores of Lindblum where s/he rejoins the party. There's also no telling how s/he survived Cleyra being blown up, but a short time later s/he's back in the marsh catching frogs.
A six-year old girl living in the ruins of Madain Sari. She is apparently the last human survivor of the village, with no one but the local moogles for company since the death of her grandfather. Often forced to steal food from the nearby village of Conde Petie to survive, she ends up bumping into Zidane and company while leaving the scene of the crime, and after escorting them back to Madain Sari, she decides to accompany them on their quest to stop Kuja. She develops a major crush on Zidane, and sees herself as Garnet's rival for his affections. Outwardly spunky and exuberant, Eiko is actually pretty lonely and is eager to make new friends.
Competence Zone: Eiko is far more capable than a six-year-old has any right to be. In fact, we can probably say that the competence zone is six, and that all the older characters in their teens are no longer in it. Just see Improbable Age below.
Improbable Age: Even from a series where the average age of the cast is fifteen, she's six! And yet, she is far more competent than someone her age should ever be. She organizes a band of moogles, regularly raids food from a nearby village, regularly escapes from savage monsters on her own, is familiar enough with classic literature to quote it, is extremely versed in summoner history, customs, and lore, is disciplined enough to maintain a daily religious ritual, is a damned good summoner in her own right, and if she's one of the party members that stays behind in the Desert Palace during That One Level, she instantly takes control and leads them out of danger. Even more improbably, she's actually surprisingly knowledgeable about romance. Her attempts to woo Zidane include cooking him dinner, quoting literature, writing poetry, showing interest in his life, attempting to rescue him, outright asking him about his feelings for Garnet, and finally, attempting to hook Zidane up with his true love when all else fails. Let's face it, folks — if she were older, we'd be all looking at Zidane like he's crazy for turning her down. It gets lampshaded in disc 3, when Garnet and Steiner go into a combined Heroic BSOD and Zidane puts Eiko in charge.
Improbable Weapon User: While the catapult rackets she shares with Garnet are believable enough, she also uses magic flutes in battle. She doesn't even whack people with them; she just headbutts the enemy with her horn.
Last Of Her Kind: She is the last survivor of her village until Dagger realizes she is came from there too.
Lethal Chef: Implied to be this if cooking unsupervised. One option for cooking with her was to put an ooglop in the food.
Moogle: "The last one you made tasted so bad I thought my pompom would fall off."
Little Miss Badass: She's six years old, and adorable, but do not piss her off, or she will summon a giant monster to annihilate you.
Through His Stomach: Shortly after meeting him, she tries to woo Zidane by cooking him dinner. How well this goes depends on your choices.
Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Her Precocious Crush on Zidane. The problem isn't so much that it's innocent — it's that everything she does is frighteningly effective. Eiko teaches herself to cook, quotes romantic literature, tries to invoke a Rescue Romance, writes Zidane a love letter (and is smart enough to get help from someone better with words to do so) and, when it's clear he doesn't want her, kindly helps Garnet and Zidane work out their feelings for each other. Hell, it was her romantic methods that put the game's Beta Couple together (accidentally)! If Eiko had been about a decade older, it wouldn't have been nearly as strange. Zidane himself lampshades it.
Arrogance:The only dependable thing about the future is uncertainty.
A bounty hunter hired by Queen Brahne to assassinate Vivi and retrieve Garnet's pendant. Amarant has a strange code of honor, which manifests when his partner on the job takes Eiko hostage to try and get the pendant back — prompting Amarant to betray his partner and force Zidane to duel him for the pendant. Shocked at being defeated yet spared, Amarant joins Zidane's quest in an attempt to understand his supposedly incomprehensible morality. At first, Amarant disdains Zidane's emphasis on teamwork, but later on, he comes to understand the benefits of cooperation.
Advertised Extra: Because he's the only one whose official artwork has him facing right.
Combat Medic: Half of Amarant's special abilities center around hurting his enemies. The other half center around reviving his fallen allies, healing them, or allowing them to revive after they're knocked out. He's also the only warrior-type who can equip the Healer specialization, in which striking a character actually restores their HP. Plus, the fact that his Flair abilities don't technically count as magic make him an ideal character to take to the magic-blocking Oeilvert.
Fridge Logic: Why does the guy who disdains teamwork have so many skills revolving around healing people?!?
The Dreaded: Despite having a price on his head, Amarant is completely at ease walking through Treno. Judging by Alleyway Jack's reaction, this is probably because all of Treno's thieves, bounty hunters, and lowlifes are too scared of him to try and claim the reward.
Dub Name Change: He's called Salamander in the Japanese version, Tarask in the French version, and Mahagon in the German version.
Even Evil Has Standards: Even though he has been hired to defeat the party and get Dagger's pendant, he tells Lani that he doesn't work together with "hostage-taking scumbags" when she kidnaps Eiko to get said pendant because that isn't a fair fight.
The Faceless: There is maybe one good picture that shows his face in the entirety of FFIX's official artwork. And even it is less than ideal. His Funny Afro always hides his eyes, too.
At one point, a Bounty Hunter tries to capture Eiko, thinking she might serve as a weakness to Amarant, his target. Amarant wasn't even present when he attempted (and failed) the stunt, so we're not even sure of how Amarant would react.
It's also played straight when Amarant turns on Lani at the end of Disc 2, claiming that he refuses to work with "hostage-taking scumbags."
There's also his cute vignettes with Eiko in Treno and giving Vivi advice on how to avoid airsickness.
The Power of Friendship: When Zidane risks his life to save Amarant for no personal gain, Amarant gets a better understanding of what friendship actually means, to the point the player even gets to see his victory pose. One of the running themes of the game is that characters who are going through emotional struggles or trauma will not enter their victory pose and maintain their battle stance all the way through the victory theme. Amarant starts off and stays that way up until this point.
"With this Dark Matter, I now hold the power to summon an eidolon. Now, I'll find out if Kuja's claims are true. Odin, come to me!!!"
The queen of Alexandria, one of the two superpowers of the Mist Continent, and Garnet's mother. Following the death of her husband and the arrival of a mysterious advisor at the palace, Brahne's behaviour has taken a turn for the unpleasant — which eventually transforms into a lust for power that sees her wage war against virtually every single nation on the Mist Continent.
Brawn Hilda: her character design was clearly inspired by this trope, even if she's not the physical type.
Death Equals Redemption: When she's dying on the beaches of the Outer Continent, Brahne realizes that she is finally free of the terrible greed that was driving her, and makes peace with Garnet before she dies.
Chekhov's Gunman: After being dispatched at the end of Disc 2, she returns in a sense on Disc 3, when Kuja reveals that her powerful spirit that he has absorbed was the key catalyst he needed to enter a Trance.
Cool Airship: The Red Rose, Brahne's luxury flagship. When it's not being used as a mobile observation post for Her Highness, it's being used to teleport black mages directly into combat zones.
Dying as Yourself: Finally manages to break free of her greed in the last moments before she dies.
The Good Queen: While she is undeniably evil during the events of the game, it's reflected that before her husband died and Kuja showed up, she was a fair and loved ruler. An NPC remarks that the wreath of roses on her grave shows the people of Alexandria will remember her fondly for those better days.
Gonk: Brahne has blue skin, tiny black eyes, and a big purple nose.
Royals Who Actually Do Something: Brahne deserves special mention for showing up in person every time her army conquers another country and carrying out the Eidolon summoning herself. However, also unlike most other examples, this backfires when Kuja takes control of Bahamut and uses it to assassinate her. Maybe the other royals had the right idea after all.
"Peace is but a shadow of death, desperate to forget its painful past...though we hope for promising years. After shedding a thousand tears, yesterday's sorrow constantly nears. And while the moon still shines blue, by dawn, it will turn to scarlet hue!"
An effeminate, vain sorcerer who supplies Queen Brahne with Black Mages and summon magic, ostensibly only for the money. However, after murdering his client, it turns out that his ambitions may lie more in the direction of global domination. It turns out that he was actually created by Garland to wage war on Gaia; having decided to rebel, he's gathering power to usurp his master and conquer both Gaia and Terra.
Agent Peacock: His clothes are outrageous, even for a Final Fantasy villain.
Arms Dealer: Provides Brahne with the means to create Black Mages and summon Eidolons. Up until the end of the second disc, whereupon he kills Brahne and reveals that the whole thing was just an act to hide his true agenda.
Barred from the Afterlife: Part of the reason Kuja has nothing to lose and everything to gain by attempting to conquer Gaia and Terra and being an archetypal villain. Quite simply, losing to Garland means he loses his life and his soul.
"I need an eidolon more powerful than Alexander! An eidolon with the power to bury Garland! His powers are so incredible; I cannot even come close. I must destroy him before Terra's plan is activated, or my soul will no longer be my own! Who cares if she lives? I want that eidolon!"
Big Bad: After spending most of the game in this role, it's revealed that he was just The Dragon to the real villain, Garland...right up until the end of disc three, when he backstabs Garland and becomes a realBig Bad.
Catchphrase: "Everything is going according to plan..."
Character Development: With the possible exception of Golbez, who was actually Brainwashed and Crazy, Kuja has the distinction of being the first and only Final Fantasy villain to undergo some personality changes and end up redeeming himself. Some FF villains, if they receive any development, usually grow worse as time passes, and in the case of Sephiroth, needed more than one game to develop. See Redemption Equals Death for details.
The Chessmaster: Gradually subverted; he's in control of many events early in the game, but later things start to get out of his hands. Fortunately for him, he plays a good game of Xanatos Speed Chess, so he still stays on top of things... up until the fourth disc, when he gives up on strategy altogether and descends into world-destroying lunacy.
Both he and Golbez from Final Fantasy IV are related to the protagonists of their respective games. They're also both from a different planet than the one the game starts on.
Both he and Exdeath from Final Fantasy V draw their powers from a tree made of souls.
Both he and Kefka from Final Fantasy VI start out as underlings of an Emperor/Queen, responsible for giving the powers that caused villainy to be begin with, who they eventually overthrow and murder. Kuja also kills Garland in the same way Kefka kills Emperor Gestahl - kicking them off a ledge a-la-Sparta. Their plans also involve using the powers of Eidolons.
Both he and Ultimecia from Final Fantasy VIII reside in a time distortion for their final battle. Ultimecia is found in her castle after time has been compressed, while Kuja is found in Memoria, which is a physical manifestation of the planet's memories.
Cool Airship: Kuja is in possession of Regent Cid's prototype airship, the Hilda Garde, and uses it throughout disc three to ferry both himself and his captives across Gaia.
Dark Messiah: In contrast to Zidane's Anti Anti Christ. Mikoto stated that, although what Kuja did was wrong, he nonetheless brought hope for the Genomes in defying their original purpose and proving that their lives weren't meaningless at all.
Death Trap: Employs this on the party when holding them captive in his Desert Palace. He didn't really care if they lived or died — it was just for the fun of it.
Didn't See That Coming: Many times. It's one of the reasons he's forced to display his skill at Xanatos Speed Chess. Of note, however, is the moment when Garland shows up in the Invincible and destroys Alexander (the single goal of Kuja's entire Evil Plan) moments before Kuja is about to enslave him.
Dragon Rider: Uses a Silver Dragon as a mount. It actually belongs to Garland; following the Battle of Alexandria, Garland presumably revoked it because Kuja is never seen using it again. However, there's that Cool Airship back at his hangar...
Evil Plan: He seems like a simple arms dealer for a queen, but in reality, he's using her to gather power for himself so he can overthrow his creator.
Faux Affably Evil: As poetic, sophisticated, and well-groomed as he seems to be, it is just an act to prove to himself and others that he's superior to normal people. In reality he's cruel, selfish, and cunning, and starts to show his true colors in Disc 3 when things don't go just as he wanted.
Flawed Prototype: Subverted. Garland ultimately admits that Kuja is vastly more effective than he'd ever thought possible. It's still implied that due to Kuja being one of the first Genomes, his lifespan will ultimately be much shorter than those who come after him (such as Zidane).
His excuse also plays into why he's much more popular as a villain in Japan than the US, mainly due to Values Dissonance. His bishounen attributes aside, as one reviewer put it, "the tale of a character who struggles his entire life to fight against a system that chooses for him what path his life will take, without regards to his feelings or individuality, resonates a lot stronger with the much more traditionalist Japanese society than it does in the west, where one's individuality is praised."
It's All About Me: His primary justification for his omnicidal tendencies from the end of disc 3 onwards. Somewhat understandable, as unlike the other characters, he has no hope of an afterlife and his soul and memories will be wiped clean for usage by another Genome if they don't just vanish entirely. Still not excusable given that the worst of his actions took place after he killed Garland and destroyed Terra- along with most of the processes that would have cleansed and recycled his soul- and all of them are justified with the words "Why should the world exist without me? That wouldn't be fair."
Kick the Dog: Snapping at the sentient Black Mages that he doesn't care what their numbers are, showing no regard for their individuality and treating them the same as the mindless ones. Later, while trying to steal Eiko's eidolons, he's warned that the process might kill her- only for Kuja to demand that the extraction process continue; the same scene also features Kuja ordering Zorn and Thorn to kill Mog- a moogle- because she was in the way.
Laughing Mad: His reaction immediately after Garland tells him that his lifespan is critically limited.
Lack of Empathy: Considering the type of environment in which he was created and the purpose he was created for, it's no surprise that he never developed it.
"Spare me the lecture. Lives come and go all the time. What's the big deal?"
Meaningful Name: In Hindu cosmology, Kuja is the name of Mars, the red planet, and means "born of the earth" — Terra, shown as a red planet, is Latin for earth. Mars is also the Roman god of war. All in all, Kuja's name reflects exactly what he is — a Genome created by Garland and Terra to create war and destruction on Gaia.
Also, in Japanese, kujaku means "peacock." You shouldn't need help seeing how that one fits.
Kuja: Blood? Ahahah! Bahamut...power, mobility...You are truly the best! You even hurt me...a little.
Opportunistic Bastard: From disc 3 onward. In the first two discs, Kuja had a true Evil Plan, but it gets immediately curbstomped the second that his boss, Garland, decides that he has outlived his usefulness. Kuja immediately goes into hiding and, with his treachery revealed, has no choice but to acquire power any means he can. He tries a few things that also fail, before opportunity shines and one of the good guys taps into their Super Mode right in front of him. From that moment on, his plan is to let the heroes fight both him and Garland, and win, and then Turn Red and invoke his own Super Modepermanently.And it works. At that point, Kuja had everything he needed to take over the world, but there was one thing he didn't count on...
Psychopathic Manchild: While his insanity doesn't manifest until the end of Disc 3, Kuja nonetheless is mentally a child pretending to be an adult. He puts on exaggerated efforts to seem sophisticated and intelligent to assert his individuality, is very narcissistic and selfish, and is prone to quickly losing his temper when he doesn't get his way. According to creation materials, this is why Garland created Zidane as a baby — he would be able to grow and mature in order to develop the complex emotions needed to enter Trance, while Kuja was created as an adult and never matured emotionally beyond the young mindsets of regular Genomes. This is the same reason he had to absorb Gaian souls to enter a Trance at the end of Disc 3, Kuja's emotional state is too simplistic to do it himself.
Put Them All Out of My Misery: Provides the page quote. His main reason for deciding to destroy existence isn't just to destroy it for the sake of destroying it, but because he refuses to let the world exist if he can't be part of it.
Redemption Equals Death: He saves the heroes from Necron, and Zidane later goes back to return the favor. When the Iifa Tree collapses around the two of them, Kuja pushes Zidane out of the way, presumably killing himself.
Reliable Traitor: Kuja's It's All About Me attitude is exactly why Garland doesn't interfere until he's about to acquire Alexander, as that was the moment when Kuja's plans no longer fit perfectly into his goal.
Sliding Scale of Villain Effectiveness: He is securely locked at "High" for the majority of the story. He has a large number of wins, and even when he loses and gets knocked down a rung or two, he still manages to recover quickly. At the end of the game, he shoots up to Infinite. Thanks to Heads I Win, Tails You Lose, even when your party wins against him, one Ultima later and you're still done. He even manages to damage the Original Crystal, as per his original intent. The only reason he fails to destroy everything is because he had no idea that Necron had to get to killing everything himself for it to count.
Sliding Scale of Villain Threat: Every. Single. One. Kuja starts as a personal foe (for Garnet), becomes a city-scale threat (manipulating the queen), then a province-level threat (commanding an army of Black Mages), then a country-level threat (attacking Alexandria with Eidolons), then for a while he becomes a personal-level threat again (kidnapping the party), then he shoots all the way up to global (attempts to conquer Terra and Gaea), then multiplanetary/galactic (blasts Terra off the map), then multiversal (tries to destroy the Original Crystal).
Smug Snake: While he is a very serious threat, his obscene arrogance and cruelty keeps him from achieving magnificence.
The Social Darwinist: Shows some shades. And not entirely unjustified, given Garland's intended use for him: the only reason why Kuja wasn't put down the moment he showed signs of instability was because Garland believed that he might be useful — at least until a stronger Genome was available to replace him, whereupon he'd simply be disposed of. Thus, gaining power strong enough to overthrow Garland was the only way to ensure his survival.
"The weak lose their freedom to the strong. Such is the way of the strong. And it is the providence of nature that only the strong survive."
"To live is to give life meaning, yet one must take others' lives to survive...Terra's souls will sleep until they forget such nonsense. They will begin a new life in a new dimension. It's a world in which life and death become one...That is the dimension in which we are meant to live, as beings that transcend life and death!"
A powerful warlock ruling over the ancient planet of Terra from his research facility in Castle Pandemonium. He was left behind by the now-extinct Terran civilisation to guard their souls and find a way of restoring them to life. To that end, he has been assimilating Gaia for centuries (if not longer), and created Kuja, Zidane, and Mikoto to serve as his primary agents in the task of wrapping the process up with a world war or two.
Bigger Bad / Big Bad / Big Bad Wannabe: Garland is one of the few villains who technically crosses the entire spectrum; introduced as a villainous competitor to Kuja, he turns out to have been his boss and the mastermind behind the events of the entire game and technically the Big Bad. Then, at the end of the third disc, having made the mistake of focussing all his attention on fighting Zidane and the others, he's blindsided, ousted from power and killed by Kuja.
The Chessmaster: Like Kuja, he's a master strategist; much more impressively, he's behind the plot Kuja was operating in the first and second discs.
Cool Airship: The Invincible, which Garland has used to destroy entire cities, and to convert Eidolons.
Cool Pet: The Silver Dragon, which Kuja apparently borrowed for his work on Gaia, and was evidently taken back after Kuja's attempt to claim Alexander. The Dragon itself shows up in a boss fight just prior to Garland's.
Control Freak: As the appointed overseer of all Terra, Garland dominates almost every aspect of his creations' lives, forcing them into a very rigid routine of self-improvement and work in preparation for the time the Genomes can fulfil their purpose as vessels for the souls of Terra, and does not suffer disobedience gladly. In fact, the only reason why Kuja's activities on Gaia were permitted were because most of them benefitted Garland in some way - until the battle of Alexandria. Similarly, once Zidane makes it clear that he can't be convinced to become his Angel of Death, Garland rips his soul out, intending to reduce him to another Genome vessel. Very little happens on Terra without Garland's knowledge - to the point that, in a rare moment of emotion at the end of the third disc, he triumphantly proclaims himself the absolute master of all Terra.
Curb-Stomp Battle: When using The Invincible, Garland usually only needs to fire one shot to win a battle. In the Battle of Alexandria, he fired two — the first to kill Alexander, the second to destroy the entire city.
Death Equals Redemption: After being killed by Kuja, Garland returns as a spirit to assist Zidane through Memoria. That said, he isn't so much redeemed, as his goals simply line up with Zidane's since he doesn't want to see reality unmade, either. It's pretty clear he still has no problem with anything he actually did, and really just wishes he had done it better.
Defiant to the End: With his last breath, Garland coldly informs Kuja that his power is meaningless — and for once, Kuja has nothing to say.
Disc One Final Boss: Or rather, Disc Three semi-final boss. If it weren't for the existence of a fourth disc, it would've been rather easy to mistake the fight against Garland for the Final Boss fight, or at least one of the final bosses in the game.
Emperor Scientist: He's the de facto King of Terra, and has successfully created an entire species of soulless vessels for the Terrans to inhabit, three soul-bearing operatives to do his bidding, and the Iifa tree.
Evil Plan: This is the true evil plan; the one that starts and guides the conflict. He created Kuja, who, at Garland's behest, encouraged Brahne to pursue her desire for conquest. He gave Kuja the materials to produce magical weaponry, which he would then sell to Brahne — resulting in greater destruction and further casualties in the war across the Mist Continent. He created Zidane, our hero, to ultimately oppose and replace Kuja. All of this was supposed to cause enough death to assimilate Gaia's souls into Terra, so his own civilization could live again.
"You have gone too far, Kuja. I granted you the freedom to do as you wish in Gaia for one purpose alone. Now that you have lost sight of your mission, I will no longer tolerate your actions. You have not the slightest idea whom you are defying. I will show you soon enough. You too, Zidane..."
Evil Versus Oblivion: Following his death and Kuja's descent into madness, Garland joined forces with Zidane in order to help him save the universe.
Expy: He's named after Final Fantasy's Garland, looks like Golbez and has the same Ominous Pipe Organ for his leimotif as him, and has a role very similar to Fusoya if Fusoya thought more like Zemus. All part of the game's many Mythology GagCall Backs, naturally.
Face Death with Dignity: In his final words, he explains as much about the Crystal as he can, before calmly bidding farewell to Zidane.
Foil: Arguably to Kuja; both are powerful magicians, both make use of cool airships, both make use of the Silver Dragon; both have long-running schemes across the planet; both create living beings for their own mysterious purposes, and both have to deal with those beings becoming sentient and rebellious; both are inhabitants of Terra; both want to take over Gaia. However, where Kuja is a Large Ham who likes to behave as flamboyantly as possible, Garland is calm, composed, and rarely acts with any kind of drama; where Kuja is actively cruel and sadistic, Garland is simply pragmatic to the point of ignoring the suffering of others; where Kuja is relentlessly selfish, Garland acts only for the sleeping Terrans and has seemingly no desires of his own; where Kuja refuses to admit defeat even when he has nothing to gain except total destruction, Garland willingly aids Zidane in order to prevent the destruction of the universe.
Giant Eye Of Doom: The Invincible sports one of these on its underside, and it usually appears when Garland feels like casting magic on a massive scale.
Graceful Loser: After being defeated, he gracefully acknowledges Zidane's strength. Also, after Kuja murders him and destroys Terra, Garland returns to assist Zidane on his journey through Memoria, even though Zidane's interference made said destruction possible. It's still a sensible move, considering that if Zidane had failed to make his way through Memoria, Kuja would have destroyed the entire universe.
I Regret Nothing: Just before his spirit finally passes on, Garland announces that even though he was created with only one purpose in mind, he doesn't regret having lived his life in pursuit of this goal.
Long Game: Garland's scheme has been in action for millennia, slowly assimilating the souls of Gaia without anyone ever noticing — up until Kuja got the attention of the heroes.
Luke, I Am Your Father: Technically speaking. He did create Zidane and Kuja after all. Plus, his dialogue indicates that he sees Zidane as something of a son, and not just a weapon- particularly when he's guiding them through Memoria.
Mind over Matter: One of his magical specialities is to telekinetically lift an opponent into the air and slam them back into the ground — a spell almost no other enemy in the game possesses.
Not My Driver: Garland pulls one of these on Kuja when he tries to summon the Invincible during the Battle of Alexandria. Cue massive Oh Crap moment as Kuja realises that the airship isn't on autopilot anymore.
Kuja, however, gladly returns the favor at the end of Disc 3.
No-Nonsense Nemesis: In the event that a threat to his plans is discovered, Garland doesn't bother with scheming, trickery, death-traps, or gloating of any kind; he just has the threat eliminated as quickly as possible. For example, when the summoners of Madain Sari grew too powerful for him to tolerate, Garland carpet-bombed their village into dust; when Kuja tried to take control of the eidolon Alexander, Garland simply assumed control of the Invincible and destroyed Alexander with two shots, forcing Kuja into a humiliating defeat; finally, the moment he learned that Zidane would never willingly serve him, Garland just ripped his soul out.
A living shoutout to the character of the same name from Final Fantasy I. The offhand mention that he once tried "a more direct approach" to things makes it all the more obvious.
His general look seems inspired by Darth Vader from Star Wars.
Functionally, he's similar in respects to FuSoYa from Final Fantasy IV, only where FuSoYa's methods in the integration of his kind on another planet are peaceful, Garland's are aggressive.
Shut Up, Kirk!: Close to the end of the third disc, Zidane and the other three members of the group deliver a Patrick Stewart Speech to him; Garland then demands that they put their idealism to the test — and try to lecture him again when they're on the verge of death. He promptly sics the Silver Dragon on the four of them.
Sliding Scale of Villain Threat: A multi-tiered menace, although not to the same extent as Kuja. He starts out as a city level threat in destroying Alexandria; then, when he finally reveals his plan for Terra to assimilate Gaia, he's revealed to be a global threat - though Mikoto implies that he may be a multi-planentary threat. Finally, in his attempts to remove Zidane's soul, he becomes a personal threat.
Spirit Advisor: After his death, his spirit guides Zidane and company through most of Memoria, although only Zidane can hear him.
The Stoic: His dialogue is generally calm and unemotional for most of the game; in fact, it's not until the end of the third disc that we even see him use an exclamation mark in his speech.
Time Abyss: Garland's true age is uncertain, but it's known that he's been alive for more than five thousand years.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Everything Garland does is ultimately to ensure the restoration of Terra and its people, no matter how many millions of innocent people have to die in order to accomplish this goal. He has no real desires of his own; the only thing he cares about is completing his mission and resurrecting his Terran masters.
Zorn And Thorn
Click to see their true form
"We are in trouble!
Trouble are we in!"
Brahne's twin clown assistants. They seem to be potent, if short, magicians. When they are defeated, Kuja reveals they were never even human to begin with, and that they aren't even really twins.
Pimped-Out Dress: Black Waltz 2, which not only hints at a gender but is so long that her feet are never seen.
Playing with Fire: While not as noticeable as the other Black Waltz's elemental preferences, Black Waltz 2's most powerful and common attack is Fira, the first time you see that spell, and the only time for a while.
Power Floats: Black Waltz 2 never touches down, ever. Unless you beat her, of course.
Graceful Loser: Necron doesn't really mind his defeat. After all, he is eternal...
A stage troupe on the surface, Tantalus is really a band of mercenaries, thieves and treasure-hunters, hired to stage the daring kidnap of Princess Garnet during their feature presentation of the world famous play "I Want To Be Your Canary".
Abusive Parents: Baku beat Zidane when he was a child, as a punishment for running off.
An odd example, since Zidane seems to hold no ill will towards Baku for it.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Most of the group, really. Baku's a Drill Sergeant Nasty with a habit of attacking his crew (sometimes as part of unscheduled training sessions, other times because he's in a bad mood), but nobody can doubt his abilities as a leader — after all, he got Tantalus out of Evil Forest alive. Blank is terrified of Oglops, but he makes up for this phobia through his gifts in fighting, thieving, and potions-brewing. Cinna is addicted to South Gate Bundt Cake, enjoys playing with dolls, and is insanely protective of his hammer, but he's also a very talented engineer. Benero and Zenero are both just a tad dimwitted, but they're strong and capable enough to be kept around as Dumb Muscle. Ruby is hilariously overenthusiastic, easily annoyed, and speaks with an accent unique to the setting, but — as the final scenes display — she's actually a good actor. And finally, Zidane will flirt with anyone female and of age, but can lie, cheat, steal, and act better than any other member of Tantalus. Marcus, by comparison, seems pretty normal.
For a gang of thieves, they are on friendly terms with Lindblum's regency, hence why Cid entrusted the task of "kidnapping" Garnet to them.
No Name Given: The musicians. (The box office guy in Alexandria does mention that Tantalus performs "with accompaniment by Lav Layderce", which could refer to the composer, the conductor, the whole band, anything.)
Petting Zoo People: Baku and some of the musicians. Benero & Zenero resemble the blue tapir civilians despite their masks.
The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Other than the swashbuckling kidnapping attempt that kicks off the game and the performance at the end, Tantalus doesn't really seem to do much in the way of thieving or performing. They mostly loiter around various towns and occasionally show up to be useful to their old buddy Zidane.
Satisfied Street Rat: If any member of Tantalus starts telling you a fascinating sob story about their tragic childhood, stay alert and watch your wallet. These guys make no bones about loving their lifestyle.
There Is Another: Played for laughs. Benero and Zenero meet up with a third twin, Genero, in disc 3. Which would, y'know, make them triplets. And if you meet them as Zidane, you can challenge them to a Shell Gameusing themselves. Just before endgame, on Disc 4, there's a lesser known sidequest involving meeting every single one of their other family and relatives (and there are a lot).
"I commend your courage, but I will show you no mercy."
The general of Alexandria's all-female armies, Beatrix is a fabled paladin who is feared and respected all throughout the continent. However, though fiercely loyal to her queen and almost as unquestioning as Steiner, she still has a honourable heart — enough to wonder if she's on the right side after the first few atrocities...
Amazon Brigade: Subverted, because she isn't a commander of some small-ish non-gender-standard unit (that honor goes to Steiner). Alexandria is a nation where women are dominant, and thus Beatrix is the general of her all-female army.
Karma Houdini: Considering what she did to Burmecia and Cleyra, she gets off rather lightly.
On the other hand, she really is sincere in her desire to repent for what she did in Brahne's service. Plus, agreeing to fight alongside Freya results in Beatrix's first major defeat in the entire game - to the point that Blank reports that she was actually knocked unconscious and had to be rescued.
Older than They Look: Perhaps it's because the in-game sprite, but you are forgiven if you mistake her to be around the same age as Zidane or just a bit older, either in her late teens or early 20s. But she's actually 28 years old (and 29 during the ending).
Pet the Dog: Her love and protective attitude towards Princess Garnet and Alexandria.
Pyrrhic Victory: Her third win against Zidane and friends very nearly ends up as this; having defeated them as soundly as ever, she realizes almost too late that they were trying to rescue Princess Garnet, and has to use her powers to heal her and awaken her from the magically-induced coma - only just succeeding. Had the battle carried on any longer (for example, if Beatrix decided to finish Zidane and the others off), Garnet might have been beyond saving by the time Beatrix noticed her.
Redemption Demotion: Mostly averted. She doesn't have nearly as much HP as a guest party member compared to when you fight her, but she is still monstrously powerful.
Sarcastic Devotee: The first sign that her loyalty is starting to falter arrives when she quite bitterly notices that the Queen shows her no gratitude for retrieving the Gem from Cleyra and favors the Black Mages and Eidolons over her number one general.
World's Best Warrior: When Beatrix is properly introduced in Burmecia, Freya remembers a conversation with Fratley in which he refers to Beatrix as the world's greatest swordsman. As her boss fights show, she's earned the reputation.
Worthy Opponent: She's looking for one. in the end, she may not have had one after all, but she does become married to Steiner.
Regent Cid Fabool IX
"No amount of hardship can tear our two countries apart."
The monarch of Lindblum, the only country equal to Alexandria in strength, Cid is a peaceful but proactive ruler, well known for his industrial innovations and revolutionary airship designs. He hires the Tantalus bandits to kidnap Garnet, which leads directly to the beginning of the game.
Almighty Janitor: an Invoked Trope. He's the current Tetra Master champion, but due to being an oglop at the time of the tournament in Treno, he has to ask an NPC to play for him (while giving her instructions), making the crowd label her as the champ, and he has to pose as her "pet", much to Cid's dismay.
Gadgeteer Genius: A trait common with most Cids of Final Fantasy. So, not surprising at all. Part of the plot involves getting him back into human form, because being an oglop, and later a frog, messes with his mind and keeps him from exercising his full potential as an airship engineer/designer.
Royals Who Actually Do Something: He accompanies Zidane and company for part of their journey, and he also designs the airship they travel on later in the game. In fact, he actually rescues half of the party from a deathtrap during their imprisonment in Kuja's desert castle. Personally. While still in frog-form. Later on, he helps lead the armada of airships — almost all of which he designed and his country built — against the horde of silver dragons that Kuja sent after the party en route to the final dungeon.
Parental Substitute: Dr. Tot provides both emotional support and material aid to Garnet during Discs 2 and 3. He also helps Eiko write a love letter to Zidane.
The Smart Guy: Dr. Tot tutored a young Garnet, and is also an accomplished writer, historian, and astronomer. He also apparently has some medical training, given that he mixed a potion that was meant to cure Cid of his being turned into an oglop. In fact, all it did was turn him into a frog, but in Dr. Tot's defense, he wasn't sure if the remedy was going to work anyway.
A bratty Burmecian kid who's known to pop up at the most random moments, his first act of significance was making Vivi his personal Butt Monkey. Secretly the prince of Burmecia.
A Dragon Knight of Burmecia, he was Freya's lover, and one of the few to match her in skill. Fratley left Burmecia in search of greater challenges, with Freya searching the world in hopes of finding him again.
Badass: Very quickly demonstrated when he makes his...
One True Love: He never does remember his past or Freya, but by the end of the game, he's fallen in love with her all over again.
The least apathetic of the Genomes of Bran Bal, Mikoto welcomes the heroes to Terra and shows them the way to Pandemonium, Garland's fortress. She was created to be a Grim Reaper replacement to Zidane, just as Zidane was made to replace Kuja. Thus, she's the third Genome to possess a soul, and the only one left at Bran Bal.
Emotionless Girl: The reasons why are a bit ambiguous. Either Garland was going to give her a soul but never got around to it (he was waiting for Kuja to die); or he gave her a soul, and therefore she's capable of emotions, but because she grew up exclusively around other Genomes, she has no clue how to use them.
Kick the Dog: Pickpockets your characters on at least one occasion.
Leeroy Jenkins: His tough-guy act is a response to his being bullied for having four arms. But an act is all it is — he nearly craps himself with fear when he realizes that he's trying to pick a fight with Amarant. Steiner and Quina, the comic relief characters, also intimidate him at different points during the game.
The wife of Regent Cid. An offscreen character for the first two disks, she is mysteriously absent when the gang first arrives in Lindblum. It turns out she has been kidnapped by Kuja and is also responsible for Cid being turned into an oglop.
Christmas Cake: She's confirmed to be 27 and yet has no children or heirs to speak of, quite unusual for a noblewoman. Even then she adopts a child towards the end.
Gilded Cage: Says that Kuja didn't treat her like a prisoner and was very nice to her.