The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy IV

by Mega64

Part 19: Cecil is Pitied by the Villain

Chapter 19 - Cecil is Pitied by the Villain

We've made it to Golbez. Hopefully things will turn out better here than they did at Fabul.

Alright. I don't care if you've played the game before or not, but either way, I very, very strongly recommend watching this video. Yeah, it's a bit long, but god dammit it's worth it.

Video: Tellah vs. Golbez

You haven't hurt Rosa, have you?
Of course not. Now. Give me the crystal.

Give back Rosa!
Rosa? What are you talking about?
You cheated us!
Foul traitor!
I have no business with you, old man.

Tellah literally pushes Cecil all the way to the wall in order to take on Golbez. This is the second time Tellah has pushed Cecil away, for the record, so Golbez-Rage Tellah must be strong as hell.

That's right, Tellah's going to solo Golbez. We're finally going to reach the resolution of his revenge arc.

No one can ever defeat me... ... ...

No! Don't!
It'll destroy you!

You used...the...Meteo...GRRR......

But, I have the crystal. Now come, Kain!

I guess that Meteo broke my control over him! So be it, you no longer serve my purpose. I will settle this score later, Cecil!


Ugh... Why not...finish me off...
Who are you...
I shall see you again!

Once again, Golbez decides to let Cecil live for no discernable reason, though at least this time the writing suggests there may actually be a reason that Golbez isn't letting on. Hey, it's more than what most games give.

You Okay!?
Y-Yeah. Golbez must have been weakened by Meteo. But Tellah!

Don't speak!
I brought this upon myself...


Open your eyes, old nag!

Tellah... We will avenge Anna and you!

Tellah is dead. Throughout the game, people have warned him that using Meteo would cost him his life, and Tellah knew this, yet he still wished to do it to avenge his daughter. Yet, in the end, Meteo did not kill Golbez, and Tellah still died. Does this make his death meaningless?

I really like how this game doesn't say one way or the other whether Tellah was wrong in what he did, though it does imply that he was in the wrong. He threw away his life for vengeance, but did he really have anything else to live for? He had friends, he had a son-in-law he recently learned to respect, but beneath all that, he never could overcome the death of his daughter, and in the end it consumed him with so much hatred that it cost him his own life. In a way, what he did does help Cecil, which we'll see in a moment, but instead of avenging Anna, now he has to ask Cecil to avenge his daughter for him. Tellah had one goal, and he was so consumed by it that he failed. Golbez was just too powerful for him to take on alone, at his age.

It's interesting to see a character in an early jRPG who's flawed, with said flaws resulting in his own demise rather than being overcome to become a stronger character, like Edward or to a lesser extent Cecil.

This next part spoils some plot twists, but considering there's no better place to really put it, I'll just spoil the whole next part here. Don't read if you've never played before, obviously.

 It still interests me that despite all the sacrifices the other characters made, Tellah's the only one to actually die. Everyone else ends up fine despite risking their lives, because their sacrifices are noble. The twins and all the other character "deaths" are to save Cecil. Tellah's was selfish, desiring to kill Golbez merely to avenge his daughter. Perhaps the writers were running with something here, though it never gets fleshed out. It's something notable to think about, though. 

At any rate, Tellah may not be the most emotional PC character death, as he was just a hate-filled bitter old man, but there's still a lesson with his death, and his view contrasts nicely with the compassion for others that Cecil is supposed to represent.

Oh yeah, Kain's unconscious.

Video: Cecil to the Rescue


But...I retained consciousness. I wanted Rosa to...

We don't have time! It's above!

Gotta love how the translation relates navigation to the player's perspective rather than the character's.


How fitting that I post an update on New Year's Eve that involves a ball dropping.

Speaking of that ball? It's a sickle in other versions. Apparently the censors though dropping a blade on a woman would be too violent, but a giant stone ball is just fine. Though I guess I would prefer the ball if I had to be crushed by one.

Also, nice timing, Cecil. Way to save her the exact instant the ball dropped. Though maybe it's a trap sensitive to someone being in proximity of it? Whatever.

I knew you would come...

Another hilarious change. Cecil and Rosa kiss in other versions, but here, they hug. Because kissing is gross and would lead to children having orgies or something asinine.

Your absence taught me...I...

I love Cid.

Golbez's control was broken.
I really was under control, but I also wanted to keep you close to me, Rosa.

Let us fight together, Kain...

Come on! We really must hurry! It is too dangerous here!

We need your powers as a Dragoon.

If one good thing came from Tellah's sacrifice, it's that it broke Kain out of Golbez's spell, allowing us to save Rosa and have both of them back on our team.

Kain's desire for Rosa is another interesting detail you don't see that often, that of the main character's close friend being in love with the protagonist's love interest. There's some backstory not in the games (maybe in FF4DS) that suggests that Kain and Rosa were an item at one point, until Rosa fell in love with Cecil and chose him over her, though I don't remember whether this is fact. Either way, Kain's still in love with Rosa, and despite being brainwashed part of him was doing what he did so he could be closer to Rosa, partly by conspiring to eliminate his rival, Cecil.

Kain clearly feels guilty for how he acted, as much for his friend Cecil as he does for Rosa. Despite secretly resenting Cecil for having Rosa, he still cares deeply for his friend and is definitely remorseful for his actions. I've heard some suggest that he may have raped Rosa during this time, but I don't think any version really suggests that happened, so I imagine his remorse is more for helping Golbez kidnap her and doing stuff like trying to kill Cecil or coerce him into stealing the crystal for them.

One thing I noticed this time is Cecil's reaction. I imagine he's supposed to forgive Kain because Cecil's a Paladin and it's the noble and compassionate thing to do, but Cecil's clearly hesitant about it, and only does it once Cid reminds them that this location isn't the best place to be right now. It may just only be this translation, but it really sounds forced to me, that perhaps deep down Cecil really hasn't forgiven Kain for what he did, but he's only gone along with it because Rosa has and it would complicate things too much if he spoke out, and again, doing that on an enemy-infested tower in the sky isn't the best place for such a thing. I could be wrong on this, but at least in this translation it's feasible, and it would make some stuff in The After Years make a bit more sense. Not to mention later scenes showing Cecil once against hesitant to trust someone else.

I do like how Rosa has every right to be creeped out by Kain, yet she quickly forgives him. Yeah, it could be seen as a weakness, but I'd rather see it as a strength. Rosa's been shown as compassionate for others, from talking some courage into Rydia, to simply being a white mage. It makes sense that Rosa would forgive others for their sins, as it's in her character, and Kain is still her close friend. Rosa may be cliched as hell, and she may not be as a great a character as most of the others, but at least the writers play up what few strengths she has.

That's two scenes now that I've written walls of text for, and there's still quite a bit of update to go, so let's move on.

Kain's decked out in some nice gear. That Wind Spear is nice, but that Drain Spear I got from Eblan is much stronger, plus it has a nice property for it that I'm sure you can guess.

Rosa's pretty bare, but luckily we have some archery stuff from Toroia, plus Rydia's Tiara and Tellah's Wizard robe to set her up.

Rosa will come back around Cecil's level. I've had her know Cure3 at times when I rescue her here. At any rate, she's picked up a few new spells, including Blink and Charm. Plus, unlike Tellah, she actually has the MP to use them, not to mention several hundred more HP. She's still a bit fragile considering she's a mage and all, but I'd definitely rather have her as a healer than Tellah.

Seems like Master Golbez underestimated your powers!
It's Valvalis of the Air! One of Golbez's Four Fiends of Elements!

Kain, you betrayed us!
I did not betray but came to my senses!

Oh yeah, the dialogue for the rest of the update can be pretty wonky. Just something to be aware of.

I should have gotten rid of you! But now the old man with the Meteo is gone.

So after all that, we've got another boss fight to go through, this time against the Fiend Valvalis, known in other versions as Barbariccia. Remember the Magus Sisters mentioning her?

Her gimmick is that she has two forms, one of which is a whirlwind.

Now, in this version, you can actually hit her like this, but in other versions, all attacks and spells miss. Even here, she has pretty high evasion in this form, so it's not really worth the effort to try attacking her.

The key to stopping this form lies in Kain fighting Air with Air.

While in this form, she'll cast Weak and Ray, the latter inflicting Gradual Petrify. This fight lasts long enough that you'll want to heal it when possible.

When Kain jumps on Valvalis, she'll stop her spin with an attack. This is your chance to attack without reprecussions. Just be aware that after a round or so she'll start spinning back up.

Slow actually missed here. I'm pretty sure she's immune to spells in her whirlwind form, though at least Slow hit her when she was normal.

As I said, make sure you keep healing petrification. Pretty simple here with Remedies being so cheap and common, but in other versions you'll want to stock up on Gold Needles for this fight, or else waste MP casting Esuna.

Valvalis can be tough with the constant Weak spells and her high-evasion form, but having a good healer and four solid fighters will bring her down quickly enough.

As customary with the Fiends, Valvalis does one more dick move before dying, this time destroying the tower.

It's collapsing!
Watch out!

Jesus Christ, people, just cast a fucking Exit spell. It's not that hard to escape, after all.

...Oh. You win this time, game.

So the team teleports to...Cecil's room. I guess it makes sense for Rosa to have a shortcut there, for the nights when she feels like being discrete.

It's your room in Baron.
It's safe, since the fake King is gone.

Did I mention the translation being wonky here? Because it gets pretty bad for this next scene.

What's that?
It's about the crystals.
The Crystal of Earth from Toroia was taken away. This means......Golbez has gathered all the crystals.
No. There are other crystals.
I thought there were only four.
Then the rumor is true!

...What the fuck, Cid!?

I can't fucking make this shit up what the christ. Kain already fucking said that, Cecil.

Right. Therefore, Golbez has only gathered half of all the crystals!
But the rumors do not say the whereabouts of the Dark Crystals.
Golbez knows.
We must hurry then! Where is it, Kain?

How? Dig a hole?
Anyway, he said when all the crystals of Light and Darkness are gathered, the way to the moon opens.
Way to the moon?
I guess so. And this is the clue to the secret, so he said. You should have it.

Use this at a certain place to open the way to the underground.
Certain place?
I don't know.

But it was left in the Tower of Zot...

I'm pretty sure this is the first (and only) time this translation actually mentions the name of the last dungeon. That's right, casual players don't even know what the hell they're exploring until after the fact. Hell, for all we know, Cecil just made up the name because he felt the tower was very Zot-like.

Didn't I tell you? It's the latest!

Cid, we really count on you!
You think so? Let's leave tomorrow morning to search for the entrance to the underground!

So it turns out we're only half-finished with this game and there's actually more crystals we have to lose to Golbez save. A hero's work is never finished.

Next time, we find a way to the Underground, wherever it is, and see if we can start sucking less at this whole crystal-saving business.