Cecil Harvey: Part Two
Last time in Character RETROspect, we began our look back on Cecil Harvey, the dashing Dark Knight from Final Fantasy IV, and this week we’ll take a look at the second part of Cecil’s journey. When we last left off, Cecil was on his way to Mount Ordeals in an attempt to become a Paladin.
Let’s get back to it!
Chapter 13: I See The Light!
The Path of Righteousness
On their way to the top of Mount Ordeals, Cecil and the rest of the party come face-to-face with Scarmiglione, the Archfiend of Earth (there are four Archfiends that take after the elements). After defeating Scarmiglione not once, but twice, Cecil continues onward to a room of mirrors. In the room, Cecil takes the sword that floats down and he is transformed into a Paladin, but an ominous voice tells Cecil that he must fight against his Dark Knight persona that he wishes to rid himself of.
The thing is, to truly become a full-fledged Paladin, Cecil mustn’t fight against himself, but rather guard against an onslaught of attacks from his former self, and this battle against his former self makes for an interesting turning point in Cecil’s long-winded story. Here we have a man that grew up learning to harness the power that comes with being a Dark Knight, whilst pushing a lot of loved ones aside (ahem… Rosa), and now he has to stand there and only defend himself against a bevy of attacks to truly become a Paladin.
Thank you for excellent video game story telling in the early ’90s, Square. <3
After his successful transformation into a Paladin, Cecil and the gang travel back to Mysidia to talk to the Elder, who explains that the sword that Cecil now carries can only be carried by the “Chosen One.” Cecil makes a promise to defeat Golbez and asks the Elder to open up Devil’s Road to allow the party to travel quickly back to Baron.
Deception in Baron
Back in Baron, Cecil becomes aware that Yang has become an officer in the Baron army and is able to find him at the Inn. Once Cecil snap’s Yang out of his funk (he has been under the control of an evil-doer), the party then travels to Baron Castle where they meet up with Baigan, the punk ass from the first part of the game. Turns out that Baigan is a monster, and the party must fight him in order to get to the king.
And here we have another plot twist that’s pretty significant: when Cecil says the king’s name, the “king” let’s the cat out of the bag by admitting that he killed the king, and was merely an imposter working for Golbez. This entire time that Cecil thought such horrible things about his adopted father, and it was the Archfiend of Water, Cagnazzo, all along! The obligatory battle ensues and Cecil and the party come out victorious, but not before Cagnazzo makes the walls of the castle cave in. Palom and Porom use the “Break” spell in order to stop the castle walls from caving in, but in doing so, they are turned into stone. Cid breaks out of jail at this time and the party escapes on his airship, the Enterprise.
An Ultimatum With a Little Mercy Sprinkled In
During the escape from Baron on Cid’s airship, Cecil and the rest of the party are attacked by Kain and the Red Wings, and Kain issues an ultimatum to Cecil: obtain the Earth Crystal from Troia, or Rosa will die. Knowing that Kain means business, Cecil sets out to retrieve the Earth Crystal from a Dark Elf who has stolen it. When Cecil defeats the Dark Elf, Kain takes Cecil to the Tower of Zot, where Golbez is hiding Rosa. Cecil and the party must climb the tower, and along the way, battle the Magus Sisters before coming face-to-face with Golbez.
Tellah, in his campaign of vengeance for his daughter’s death, attacks Golbez with a multitude of spells before he finally casts “Meteor” which severely hurts Golbez. Cecil, attempting to help Tellah, gets backhanded away. Before Golbez delivers the finishing blow to Cecil, Golbez shows mercy and acts like every other villain by saying that they will meet again as he walks away — foreshadowing a chain of events that Golbez will obviously not be very fond of soon enough.
Villains, heed my advice: just kill your enemy when you have the opportunity. Carpe diem ya know?
Tellah dies from the use of “Meteor” on Golbez and with Golbez leaving the scene, his control over Kain’s mind is finally broken, and Kain takes Cecil and the party to Rosa’s location. After all of the hardships that Rosa and Cecil have endured, the two share a kiss — giving resolution to the whole love triangle scenario (or does it?). This is what you like to see in your protagonist as you progress through a game, at least in my opinion, their transformation into a dynamic character. It makes for a much more complex and enjoyable story.
Rosa and Kain both join the party, but before everyone can leave, Barbariccia (the Archfiend of Air), attacks them. The third Archfiend goes down by the hands of Cecil and crew, but before she exhales her last breathe, she attempts to kill everyone by destroying the tower. Rosa casts the spell “Exit”, and everyone is safely teleported to Cecil’s room in Baron.
To The Depths of the Underworld
Golbez now has possession of *all* four crystals, and this causes a little stress amongst Cecil and his party. Kain calmly tells the party about the Dark Crystals which reside in the Underworld and are long thought to be merely a rumor. Golbez knows of their existence, however, and he also knows that the Dark Crystals are needed to travel TO THE MOON. Cecil, with a sense of urgency, insists that the party travels to the Underworld to protect the Dark Crystals and stop Golbez dead in his tracks.
Kain gives the Magma Rock to Cecil, as it is the key to open up a pathway to the Underworld, but Kain isn’t sure as to where or when to use it. Cid tells the party that the Enterprise has an auto-pilot feature and should be back in Baron for them to use the very next day, and being the funny guy that Cid is, tells everyone that they’ll simply travel to the ends of the world to look for the pathway where they need to use the Magma Rock. After the decision to head out the next day to find the pathway to the Underworld, Cecil begins to think aloud about his previous encounter with Golbez; he wonders why such a powerful enemy would simply not finish him off when he had the chance…
The next day the party hops aboard the Enterprise and head off to the town of Agart, where Cecil finds a well and decides to use the Magma Rock in this location. Why not, right?
The Magma Rock opens up a huge path to the Underworld in the mountains, and when the party heads on down there, they come across the Red Wings who are immersed in a battle with tank-equipped Dwarves. Cid takes the party through the heart of the battle and the Enterprise suffers significant damage, and after they land, Cecil takes the party to King Giott, the ruler of the Underworld. Cid tells everyone that the Enterprise won’t last down in the Underworld from the heat of the lava, so he’ll make some minor repairs and head on up to the surface to fully repair it. King Giott tells the party that two of the four Dark Crystals have been taken, but the one in his castle is safe thanks to the army of Dwarf tanks. Yang senses someone spying on them, so they enter a door behind the king’s throne and encounter dolls that end up morphin’ into one giant doll (anyone else scared of dolls besides me?).
The defeated dolls tell Cecil that Golbez is now aware of the castle’s crystal, and Golbez himself walks through the door. He finally explains to Cecil and the rest of the party the significance of the eight crystals: when all eight are together, they reactivate the Tower of Babel, which leads to the moon. You see, the moon possesses power that is beyond comprehension, and Golbez is now well on his way to the materialization of his dream.
During the battle with Golbez, when all of his party members are falling down around him, Cecil is aided by Rydia, who has returned in a much more mature form of herself. She helps Cecil take down Golbez, but before he can be completely destroyed, he takes off with the castle’s crystal. Rydia tells everyone of her journey to the Land of Summons with Leviathan, and how the flow of time is different there, which has resulted in her rapid aging into a teenager (kind of similar to the Hyperbolic Time Chamber. Whuddup Dragonball Z fans!).
When the party goes back to see King Giott, he hatches a plan to steal the seven crystals that Golbez has collected and is protecting at the Tower of Babel…
And finally we come to the conclusion of part two of Cecil’s long story. What awaits Cecil and his team at the Tower of Babel? Will they be able to accomplish the seemingly impossible and shut down Golbez for good? Well, if you’re not sure what happens yet, make sure to stay up-to-date with 1MoreCastle for the release of the THIRD and FINAL (well for the main Final Fantasy IV story arch) part of Cecil’s adventure.
I will be starting a new series on this site titled, “Pushed Aside”, in which I will be reviewing and talking about games and systems that generally didn’t get much attention. I hope you all enjoy this new series, as I am extremely proud and excited about it!