The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy IV

by Mega64

Part 11: Cecil Becomes a Paladin

Chapter 11 - Cecil Becomes a Paladin

Before we begin, I'm going to go ahead and link to the video for this entire update. I also include the fight, even though I usually edit those out. I do recommend watching it before reading the update if you've never played before, as it's the most pivotal scene in this game and a turning point for the narrative.

Video: Cecil Becomes a Paladin

Son!? Who are you?

And grieve that no other way remains.

If you can't overcome your past self, the sacred power of Light will not accept you!

So far, either Cecil's Father or God let him into his secret chamber, gave him a sword which changed his clothes, and now his evil reflection has walked out of the mirror wall. Also, Cecil has purple hair.

Just by making the journey, Cecil has undergone a radical transformation, but he is not yet a Paladin. There remains just one more test.

Hey! Dude!
Watch out!

To become a Paladin, Cecil must defeat his past self. A representation of his dark side, or what he could become, or whatever it is, Cecil must defeat it.

Now, this fight is a bit of a gimmick.

Dark Knight only has one attack, the Darkness attack that Dark Knight Cecil is supposed to have. This is the only time you'll see this in the US version.

Instinct would be, of course, to try to defeat him with your own blade.

The gimmick is to not attack the Dark Knight, as violence is never the answer. Of course, we gathered this power to fight evil with violence, but I guess Cecil is fighting for the good of humanity rather than fighting to prove his power or whatever. Well, at this point Cecil's mainly fighting to get his girlfriend back, but I don't think God really gives a shit at this point.

Justice is not the only right in this world. Some day, you will see.

So by being defensive, the Dark Knight simply fades off. You could say you just let the Dark Knight run out of HP with his Darkness attack, but then you could do the same thing just stabbing him with your holy white sword. It's only by the nature of being a tank that Dark Knight dies. I guess serving a defensive role is too disgusting for Cecil's doppleganger to accept.

Receive the last Light left in me! My son! Stop Golbez!

At any rate, Cecil has accomplished his goal. He forsook the dark sword and accepted the power of light. He gave up the power of darkness, which he only took up at the behest of the old king, and thus redeemed his action.

Cecil was a good guy all along, and he only did his horrible actions due to his loyalty to the king. Everyone talks about how darkness cannot stop evil, and this will actually come into play eventually, but it's important to remember that dark and light are not the same as evil and good. FF3 did a lot with the themes of dark and light as well, even having a story where Dark Warriors had to protect the world from the forces of light. It's really hard to tell what exactly the forces of darkness and light are meant to represent in either game, other than that they require balance.

I don't know. I kinda wish both games bothered going into a bit more detail in just why darkness can't defeat evil. Of course, it's a theme that's been in stories since the beginning of time, but I still don't get it. I really think Cecil could've accomplished everything else he will do in the game as a Dark Knight, and there's only one scene in the very end of the game where his turning to the light is justified. His Dark Blade is still powerful, and as the trek to Mt. Ordeals have proven, as long as he has allies, all of which so far he won over as a Dark Knight, they can make up for his shortcomings (i.e. the undead). It's not like all of Golbez's forces are resistant to the darkness.

Of course, another way to view this is Cecil simply conquering his guilt, as it could have been holding back his true potential. Now that he learns a new path, he discovers it gives him far greater strength than being a Dark Knight ever could. It utilizes the compassionate side that his Dark Knight self tried to surpress. Only by truly caring for his companion and the world itself can Cecil be truly powerful. Of course, he still cared about his companions as a Dark Knight, but yeah.

Alright, last thing, I promise. The game so far has been all about Cecil trying to earn redemption. We start with Cecil's heinous acts, watch as he builds a team in an attempt to stop the evil forces, and watch as he suffers defeat and hits his lowest point. Only from there could he try to redeem himself, and now he has. The people of Mysidia will now (mostly) forgive him, and from there he can once again begin his quest to defeat Golbez and save Baron. Right now, the focus is still on saving Rosa, but other than that defeating Golbez will be our primary concern for the rest of the game. Unfortunately, this means Cecil's not really going to grow any more as a character for most of the rest of the game, but at least we have other characters around to garner some character development.

Man, talk about rambling.

You all right?
Right on!
What is this I am feeling? It's so familiar. That voice...
Oh, my!
Master Tellah?

Me...Meteo? That Light has bestowed upon me the greatest black magic!

Not only has this mysterious voice changed Cecil's job class, it also jumpstart Tellah's memory and also let him learn Meteo. You know, Rydia and Palom will both learn Meteo if you grind them up for long enough. Then again, they're young and talented, while Tellah is old and actually decays from experience.

What are you doing, Cecil? We must go!
Yeah... But that called me...

Next time, we'll have a deeper look into Cecil's new-found battle prowess, as well as all the neat little tricks Tellah has picked up.