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Headscratchers / Final Fantasy IV

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  • How did Golbez get to the underworld before Cecil and co. if Kain had the Magma Stone?
    • The Tower of Babil. You can even find the teleporter they used (one end is near where you fight Dr. Lugae, and the other end is near where you fight Rubicante), but it's out of power when you try to use it.
    • However, this raises another question: How did they get airships to the underworld? They're shown to have a huge fleet of them. They plainly didn't use the Magma Stone (it would have opened a huge noticeable passage), and you can't fly an airship through or alongside the tower. Did they build all their airships there?
  • Why did Edge's parents kill themselves? Right, they look like monsters, but at least they are sentient and remember who they are, and they have someone who loves them no matter what. Why not try to live in a new form instead of commiting suicide on your child's eyes and leaving him heartbroken?
    • They only regained their senses temporarily. Knowing they would lose control again within a few moments, they instead decided to kill themselves. It probably was some mix between ritual suicide and not wanting to force their son to have to kill them himself.
    • They're monarchs of a country of Ninja and committed Harakiri to preserve their honor.
  • How big of a Timey-Wimey Ball is the Feymarch, considering Rydia's age-up?
    • Not that big, since it's more or less a Decade Inside, Month Outside situation. The Feymarch is definitely outside of the dimension Earth is on, considering it's floating appearance and it's entrance through teleportation.
      • So then it's confirmed that Rydia is physically ten years older in body, but what about in mind? Does she act like a teenager, or is she still childlike in someways?
      • Hard to tell. She acts rather mature to start with and nothing about her personality appears to significantly change when she returns. Though I've never played The After Years so that could answer this.
      • She lived for ten years in the Feymarch, so logically, she'd have ten years' more knowledge and maturity under her belt.
      • Is there's anything indicate the ratio between Blue Planet time and Feymarch time is fixed? If it is, shouldn't she be a approaching, if not into, middle age when she shows up for Cecil's Coronation? I mean, depending on how often you need to use Tents, Cabins, and Inns, the time between the shipwreck and the fight with Golbez could be a matter of DAYS.
  • Why does Golbez bother with having vanilla human soldiers in his army? During the Siege of Fabul, The Baron Marines only fight when their Captain orders it, the Captain will run if the Marines are killed, and the Marines will get confused and will attack each other if they don't have the Captain with them. Meanwhile, the monsters in the same battle just fight. Baigan got to be transformed from a human into a monster, and he fought quite well, so why didn't Golbez just do that to the rest of the human troops to compensate for their stupidity and weakness?
    • You can't ask that question in a Final Fantasy. Any of its villains could end the plot in a heartbeat by allowing a simple mook from the later parts of the game to curbstomp 2/3 of the planet. But in Golbez's case, his entire objective revolves around humans being disposable and nobody knows the time and cost for modifying humans through Dr. Lugae's untrustworthy hands.
    • The better question is why the Marines would attack each other if their Captain is killed or otherwise incapacitated.
    • The game has multiple instances of monsters disguising themselves as humans. What makes you sure that Golbez does have vanilla soldiers in his army?
    • At least initially, Golbez seems to be trying to pass himself off as just a human working for King Baron (he's introduced as the new captain of the Red Wings); he probably figures that if he reveals that he's controlling monsters too early, humanity might unite against him (and Baron might rebel against his puppet king.) After the fake king is killed, this is no longer an option, and he shifts to using entirely monstrous armies. Also note that the human armies do seem to have some sort of advantages over the monster ones (perhaps larger numbers, more order and discipline, the ability to attack without instantly uniting everyone against him, etc); he's able to seize the first three crystals using Baron's army and the Red Wings, but after the fake king is deposed and he loses access to Baron's armies, he has to rely on blackmailing Cecil into getting him the Earth crystal.
  • So if a Eidolon is killed, the summoner who called it also dies, but what about the other way around? Does the Eidolon die, (or simply return to the Feymarch) if the summoner dies first?
    • And why doesn't it work that way for enemies?
      • It might not be as simplistic as "creature dies = summoner dies." It might be "creature dies = summoner loses that many hit points." Killing the Mist Dragon probably not only removed all of Rydia's mother's hit points, it was such an overflow it truly killed her as opposed to simply rendering her unconscious, like Tellah. But Golbez has a lot more hit points, so losing his Shadow Dragon hurt, but not enough to take him out of the fight.
      • Alternatively, enemy "summons" are a different sort of magic and just represent them calling for reinforcements rather than using the magic Rydia and her mother do.
  • Does Rydia have a last name?
    • No. Neither do Palom or Porom because they're all low born trash.
    • In ancient Japan, prior to the advent of the family registration system, lowborn people usually wouldn't have a last name - in fact, Toyotomi Hideyoshi explicitly made it illegal for non-samurai to have surnames. The game reflects that Japanese perspective, where a "medieval" setting would lack surnames for non-nobility. Rydia is sometimes referred to as Rydia of Mist in later material, so it's likely that that's how she would be identified (and probably similarly for Palom and Porom of Mysidia.) Tellah likewise lacks a last name, despite his power. FuSoYa and Golbez, of course, lack surnames because they're aliens with different customs and were never integrated. Whereas the rest of the party is nobility of some form or another (although Cid and Rosa's status are slightly unclear, it's reasonable to infer that they had a high status in Baron.)
  • Anyone else think Rydia was originally supposed to be "Lydia"? Then again though; not that I'm complaining, just wondering.
    • It's entirely possible, considering the state the rest of the original localization.
  • Whatever happened to the Dark Magic that Cecil had that is seen from the intro? We never got to use them when we have control of him.
    • One of them, the Firebomb (or Red Fang), is a rare drop from Red Dragons in the core of the Lunar Subterraine. The other one, Lit-Bolt (or Blue Fang), was retained simply for Cecil to use in the intro, and is unobtainable except through patch codes. In the Japanese version, both are rare drops in the second half of the game.
      • A better question is why Cecil wasted two such unimaginably rare drops on a random encounter he could have easily handled himself; even in the Japanese version, they are found only in the long-lost forgotten civilization of dwarves under the earth and on the moon.
      • This might have been intended to be A Taste of Power gone wrong. It might have been a way to show that Cecil isn't limited to just attacking to first time players.

  • Is a reason ever given for how/why Zemus was able to turn into/spawn Zeromus after dying? Apart from being really angry that is. Is it normal for Lunarians to turn into hate fueled tentacle monsters upon death?
    • You could also ask why Kluya is apparently on Mt. Ordeals even though he is dead. (I guess it's his soul?) Maybe some sort of combination of magic and willpower can allow Lunarians to last for a long time if their normal bodies die, and the form they take depends on the nature of the person.
  • Why did the trap door at the top of the tower of Babil lead to a passage that terminates in an unguarded, top of the line airship?
    • Perhaps the trap door was actually intended as an escape route, rather than a trap? This wouldn't explain its position in the doorway, but it makes more sense than anything else otherwise.
  • The game outright says that since they turned to stone of their own accord that Esuna couldn't work on Palom and Porom. So just what the hell did the Mysidia Elder do to reverse something even Tellah, who had recovered all of his knowledge at this point, could not?
    • Tellah is so old that his stats go down when he levels up. The Elder looks rather younger (despite the name—maybe it's just a job title) judging by his hair color, so he might have more magic power to use on a counter-spell.
    • Alternatively, the Elder seems to be a White Mage in the sequel; it wouldn't be surprising if he's better than Tellah at dedicated, long-term white-magic-specific projects. He also has all the resources, knowledge, and talent of Mysidia to draw on, while Tellah didn't; and he has time to spare working on the problem, while Tellah was in a hurry to stop Golbez.
    • The Elder seems to know the twins better than anyone else, and he lives in Mysidia, the town of magic. It's not too much of a stretch to assert that he has access to knowledge Tellah doesn't.
  • Why didn't Cid just drop the bomb off of the ship instead of jumping?
    • The 3D versions make it clear the bomb is instant-kaboom when he clicks the button. Cid needed to make sure it didn't take everyone else with him and keep them all trapped.
  • Something that always kinda confused me is the shoddy handwave given for Tellah forgetting most of his spells: His ripe old age of sixty. Sixty is getting up there, but that's hardly a common age for senility.
    • In the world of JRPGs, where you can fight monsters at 5, join the military at 15, and you're considered a seasoned veteran with command of a whole wing of the military at 20, reaching 60 might as well be reaching 120.
    • Also, he has an adult daughter, and I believe he's implied to have been living in Kaipo with her for quite a while. It's entirely possible he's been out of the wandering-sage business for a long time. He's not senile — he's out of practice.
    • In a medieval setting, the life span is pretty low for humans. Bonus years for white mages usually being around to serve as doctors and the potions for first aid, he might be starting to forget things.
  • One thing I noticed that kinda bothered me was when Cagnazzo/King Baron, a pawn of Golbez, ordered all of the Summoners of Mist to die (they even somehow went to Kaipo to try to kill Rydia). Well at the Fabul Crystal Chamber, Rydia was the only one that wasn't attacked. Cecil was injured by Kain and Golbez easily swept through Kain and Edward while kidnapping Rosa, but he just left Rydia right there, you know, the same one who heals everyone and later takes out Golbez's Shadow Dragon.
    • It's possible that Golbez didn't realize who she was at the time; while there were soldiers hunting her down, Cagnazzo might not have thought her survival was important enough to report, since one untrained little girl couldn't possibly be a threat to Master Golbez. Even if he'd heard that one summoner survived, Golbez wouldn't have had any particular reason to get her exact description, and therefore wouldn't necessarily have associated her with one random little girl.
    • Even if he did recognize her, suppose he's as perceptive as Tellah and could tell at a glance that she's a Summoner with great potential, he wouldn't really have a reason to kill her. An entire village of seasoned summoners could have threatened his plans, but Rydia alone? An orphan, practically a toddler, with no Summoners left to teach her, and even if there were, the training necessary to make her a threat would take years, possibly even decades, more than enough time for him to carry out his plan. The Bomb Ring took care of 99% of the Summoners of Mist. The remaining 1%? Obviously beneath his notice.
      • Not to mention the fact that Yang, Cecil and Edward were sent flying effortlessly by Golbez, Rydia had to either be terrorized by Golbez (understandably so) or be worried that further harm will come to her friends, both outcomes preventing her to try anything against him just yet. Then again, he would hardly imagine then that this little girl would grow so fast...

    • He probably didn't try to kill her because the last time she was frightened she summoned Titan and basically tore the earth asunder. Who knows what she might have done if frightened again. Sending some nameless mooks to kill her in her sleep is one thing, trying to kill her while she's awake isn't such a good idea.
  • What exactly are the Elemental Archfiends, and where did they come from? How much do they know about what's really going on? Do they know about Lunarians and Zemus? Are they aware that Golbez is under mind-control? Are they loyal to Golbez, or to Zemus?
    • I can't give a source for this, but I always heard/assumed that they were given to Golbez by Zemus to keep an eye on him, and make sure he didn't Heel–Face Turn, while posing as his underlings. I always assumed that Zemus reviving them in the Tower of Babil was intended to be taken as The Reveal that they answered to him all along.
    • The After Years strongly implies that the Archfiends were originally the planet's spirits of nature, somehow coming into contact with Zemus (possibly in the same manner as Golbez) and being corrupted into far more evil creatures. It's likely they were placed in Golbez's employ as "insurance," and thus know at least some of the finer details regarding Zemus's plans, but at the same time, the Archfiends are incredibly respectful of Golbez when encountered on the True Moon and happy to see him again after so many years, suggesting he shared a genuine friendship with the group. It's complicated.
  • In the DS/mobile phone versions, we get an expanded backstory in regards to Kluya, explaining that he's repsonsible for giving humans airships, the Devil's Road, and magic. Except other parts of the script suggest the latter two are much, much older than airships. While Kluya might be Really 700 Years Old, it doesn't explain how he could get credit for inventing magic, be Theodore and Cecil's father, AND still be mistaken for human.
    • Who's to say he didn't make it clear he was Lunarian at first, but later down the line the secret vanished? Remember, Fusoya is his brother and he appears to be getting on in years, meaning Kluya was probably about the same age as Fusoya in Lunar time (if there is a difference). Also, when you consider that the Mysidian and Dwarven myths were stated to be centuries old and when you consider that the study of magic became immensely common around the world...
    • As an aside, this was in the original Japanese SNES version as well. It was one of the many things that was lost in the original SNES translation (along with eg. Kain's backstory, which he briefly mentions early on in the original Japanese.)
  • Why did not Golbez take Cecil and co. into custody when they were defeated in Fabul? Cecil, after all, was a wanted criminal. Even if he had room for only one person inside his magic cape, he had some troops who could have escorted the others to an airship for transport back to Baron.
    • Fighting from the Inside disguised as Villain Ball.
      • He didn't (consciously, at least) know who Cecil was then. He identifies Cecil after encountering the party in the Tower of Zot - the game shows his startled reaction after approaching Cecil's fallen form, after which he ostentatiously spares him using the excuse of killing him later. Although it's possible he subconsciously recognized who Cecil was, of course.
      • After giving the gift to Cecil, he left confidant that the warning came across. If Cecil comes after him, he would do so knowing that the outcome may be the same.
  • Where are the other two Crystals of the Underground? We see the one in King Jiott's throne and the one in the Sealed Cave, there's no hint as two the whereabouts of the other two Crystals.
    • According to Jiott, when you first visit him, Golbez had already captured the other two. My guess is they are located with the other Crystals at the top of the Tower of Babil, in that room with the trap.
    • But where were the other two crystals before he seized them? Every other crystal in the game is stored in an elaborate worship-chamber, but there's no sign of any place where the two underground crystals Golbez already seized could have been hidden before he got them. Furthermore, wherever he got them from, he would have had to attack it first, but there's no ruined cities or other locations that show signs of having been attacked by him like Damcyan, Fabul, or Mysidia.
  • This is something I've wondered since I beat this game as a little kid more than 20 years ago. What accounts for the name change from Zemus to Zeromus when Zemus's hatred took on a life of its own? Why was the "ro" added into Zemus's name like that?
    • It could just be a quirk of the Lunarian language where the change has meaning to him that isn't obvious to us. Or perhaps it's Translation Convention or Gratuitous English on the meaning of "Zero" (ie. nothingness) to emphasize that he has suffered Motive Decay from "conquer the earth" to "destroy everything" as part of being reduced to just his disembodied hatred.
  • Why is Cecil limited to using low-level White magic when his brother and uncle at least were powerful mages?
    • Because he isn't one.
    • More specifically, he presumably lacks magical training, whereas his brother was probably trained by someone. (Possibly the Fiends? By Zemus in his head?) And his uncle, of course, would have been trained as a Lunarian and had vastly more experience. Cecil just has a small amount of knowledge beamed into his head by the last energy of his father's Fortress of Solitude crystal or whatever it was, so it stands to reason that he can't use it as well as people who have trained their entire lives.
      • The DS version expands a bit on Golbez's background. He lived with Kluya and was a skilled black mage, then training under Zemus filled the rest. Cecil, on the other hand, became a Paladin by getting blessed by his father...
    • He never multiclassed into Cleric, so was stuck with the Paladin spell list.
  • What happened to the real King of Baron? Did Cagnazzo just eat him?
    • One possibility of many. The manner of his death is unspecified; all that's known is Cagnazzo killed the real king and impersonated him at some point prior to the start of the game, around the time Baron began to aggressively militarize its forces to the consternation of its subjects and the rest of the world.
  • Why did Fusoya waited for your party to arrive on the Moon before trying to stop Zemus? After the Giant's destruction, we see Fusoya take Zemus down. Why didn't he try that before the crystals were gathered and the Giant summoned?
    • He probably wasn't strong enough to do it alone. In that fight, he relies heavily on Golbez's assistance. And he wasn't able to reach and free Golbez without your party's assistance. While Fusoya is powerful, he's also an old man (represented by his hard-capped MP that never increase).
  • Where is the Tower of Zot? What's its purpose? And what does "Zot" mean?
  • When did Cagnazzo install the crushing-walls trap outside of his throne room? How did he do it without anyone catching on? If it was a pre-existing mechanism or trap, wouldn't Cid, his chief engineer, be the one to have personally installed something like that?
    • Perhaps the trap isn't a mechanical device that was installed, but a magical effect. (Possibly set up in advance, possibly cast on the spot by Cagnazzo as he dies.)
  • Why does the Lodestone Cavern have an enormous, ornate crystal room deep inside it? Did the Dark Elf build it all by himself?
    • Just because he wants to use its power for himself doesn't mean he doesn't revere the crystals the way everyone else seems to. (I mean, the Troians were basically doing the exact same thing.) It's apparently just tradition that if you have a crystal, you house it in a big, shiny room. (Hence why every place a crystal is kept uses a similar room to house it.)
  • What's the purpose of the deathtrap Rosa is placed in in the Tower of Zot?
  • One of the clerics of Toroia/Troya worries that their country will become a desert without the Crystal of Earth, implying that the crystal's power made it into a lush land of forests and rivers. Meanwhile, Damcyan was located in a desert to begin with — does that mean that the royal family was using the Crystal of Fire to 'intentionally' desertify their lands?
    • Obviously not. Does anything about the Damcyan royal family indicate that they would?
  • Why does Mysidia have Paladin gear available in its shop? No one's ever become a Paladin, apparently (the Elder mentions that many have tried to ascend Mount Ordeals and none have returned), and the entire town is full of Squishy Wizards. So how did they develop equipment that only Paladins can use?
    • Being close to Mount Ordeals and knowing the legend of the Paladin, it's possible that it's not new gear so much as relics from a time when Paladins were more common in Mysidia. It is the very start of his equipment progression, after all.
  • What in-universe reason is there for Rydia to neglect white magic to such a degree that she forgets how to use it? You'd think Asura would drill her on healing as well as attacking...
    • It is very likely that Asura and Leviathan were putting her through Training from Hell to make her into a powerhouse fast enough to assist Cecil's party and stop Golbez. As part of that they likely focused on her strengths even if it meant neglecting her secondary capabilities. They didn't have the luxury to leisurely train her into a sage. The After Years makes it clear that mastering both white and black magic is extremely difficult; Palom, a black-magic genius, wanted to achieve it but couldn't.
  • After the fight behind the Dwarf King's throne room, why did Cecil and company just stand there while Golbez' severed hand slooooowly creeped up to the crystal to claim it?

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