Part 120: Characters - Edward
Name: Edward Chris von Muir, aka Gilbart/Gilbert Chris von Muir
Edward started off FF4 as the prince of Damcyan, the desert nation north of Baron. For whatever reason, he decided to wander the world as a bard, sharing his music with everyone he can. In his travels at Kaipo, he met Anna, daughter of the great sage Tellah, and the two fell in love. Anna followed Edward back to Damcyan, where she sacrificed herself in the attack of Damcyan to save Edward's life. Edward, stricken with grief from the loss of his parents and his beloved, is nonetheless moved by Cecil's plight and agrees to help him. He follows along until the attack of Leviathan, upon which he washes up at Troia injured. He still helps Cecil out in this state by using his soothing music to remotely harm the Dark Elf, letting the party attack the foe with full power. Edward eventually recovers, and at the end of the game claims the title of king.
In The After Years, Edward is a beloved yet corrupt leader who robs the nation blind with the assistance of his secretary. Unfortunately, a meteor lands near the castle, which threatens to stall Damcyan's economy and force Edward to buy lower-quality harps. Thus Edward sends his battle-hardened secretary to investigate, only to end up doing so himself because his secretary couldn't beat up a paper bag. After an odd encounter with a Baron emissary, Edward decides to go to Baron himself and see if he can find out why Cecil's acting so odd. Good luck with that, chief.
Bardsong - Does a random effect depending on who is targeted. Has a chance of not working.
Salve - Uses a number of a specific item equal to the number of people in the party so that the entire party gets the benefit of said item.
Escape - Lets Edward escape the wrath of enemy attacks completely. He isn't affected by attacks, but he can't contribute in battle either. He re-enters the battlefield either by choice or when he runs out of bodies to hide behind.
Healing Harmony: Recovers a small amount of HP.
Life's Anthem: Recovers a medium amount of HP.
Guardian's Ballad: Casts Protect and Shell on the entire party.
Hastemarch: Casts Haste on the entire party.
Lullaby: Casts Sleep on the enemy party.
Alluring Air: Casts Confuse on the enemy party.
Silent Verse: Casts Silence on the enemy party.
Equipment: Harps, Knives
Best Stats: Speed, Strength
Edward has horrible stats, harps are crappy offensive weapons, and will not contribute any damage to enemies. But Edward is clearly not an offensive character, but rather one of the more unique and stronger support characters you can have. Yeah, White Mages can cast Protect and Shell on all enemies, but that requires two turns. They can't cast Haste on all allies at once, nor can they confuse all enemies. And though they're all about White Magic, you still don't know how much you'll heal exactly. With Edward, you know how much HP you're recovering.
Bardsong is unreliable, but if you're lucky enough you can have a nice set-up for a tough battle, or trivialize random battles by Confusing/Sleeping everyone. Salve, however, is pretty damn amazing. The obvious application is to just slap an Economical Ring on him and use Hi-Potions to heal the entire party for 1000HP a pop. Salve affects so much more than Potions, though. Edward could hide until the rest of the party is dead, revive everyone with Phoenix Downs, get off an X-Potion run, and go back to hiding, thus ensuring you have a fail-safe when your party gets wiped. Got wrecked with status effects? Do a full Remedy? Got a ton of mages getting low on MP? Recover their MP in one move. The con is that buying all these items becomes incredibly expensive, but this isn't as big an issue as you expect. You'd also be surprised how many opportunities you get to restock, so running low isn't a huge problem.
Edward has horrible stats, but he may just be a better support character than any White Mage. He can do effects to all characters that a White Mage can only dream of doing. He can even be kept fully healed by hiding like a coward, something White Mages can't pull off. He can't attack like many of the other white mages, nor can he access nearly as many effects, and he's expensive to use properly, but all those negatives may just be worth the pure healing power that Edward can pull off.