The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy XII International Zodiac Job System

by BrainWeasel

Part 41: Von Muir p. 30-38: "Chapter 2: Edward and the Maiden's Sacrifice"

Von Muir p. 30-38: "Chapter 2: Edward and the Maiden's Sacrifice"

Mateus is the Esper of Ice, associated with the sign of Pisces. Appropriately to their opposing elements, his purpose was the opposite of Adrammelech's, to rule and protect the dead, whose power he presumably lost when they swore themselves to Adrammelech's banner. Thus weakened, but too full of avarice and desire to resist the other Espers' call to rebellion, he stole a goddess and fused her into his own body, in the hope that a hostage might stay the hands of the gods.

So greedy is Mateus that the pickings for powers here are rather slim. Basch can gain an extra 230 HP, while Penelo can get two additional points of Magick.

Writing Assignment 6

Choose a summoner for Mateus and, in 100 words or less, explain why that character is the most appropriate choice. Tag spoilers and show your work. Remember that this is an essay contest, not a popular vote!

Writing Assignment 6 due!

Sheesh, and I thought doing essays instead of popular votes would keep you guys from making this hard on me. Once again, there is a tie for first place, but this time it's for two different characters.

I was expecting people to equate avarice with the profession of sky pirating -- it is no accident that the three characters who could be described that way start with Steal -- and I was expecting others to come along and rightly point out that the examples of such greed within the party are token, reactionary, or otherwise insincere. What I was not expecting was for Catling Gun to come right out of the gate and peg Balthier for his emotional cowardice. It is a fun little coincidence that his is the only Job in the party that uses Shields, and, as the plot begins to turn towards his own motivations, he will need the additional bulwark of Mateus to hide his heart.

Catling Gun posted:

Even though he gains nothing from it, Mateus should go to Balthier. Much is made in the game of his own greed, being as he is a sky pirate. "The Underworld" mentioned in the description of Mateus could be taken as a criminal underworld--the world Balthier inhabits. Later in the game, we see that he is well known in the underworld of Archades, and his magnetism causes many to accept his rule despite his lack of station.
He and Mateus have one very important thing in common. They both use women as shields--Mateus as a hostage and Balthier as an excuse to pursue his goals while hiding his own personal ties to the situation. Fran said as much in Golmore Jungle; he is shielding his own concerns by hiding them behind concern for her and Ashe. (Both women, Fran being calm and inscrutable and Ashe being determined and resistant to his advances, could be considered "Ice Goddesses".) While he makes his own attack on the world's powers, he does so while hiding his own vulnerability.
Balthier's primary problem is his father who, like Mateus, literally seeks to overthrow the gods. This is a chance for Mateus to reverse the conflict that cast him into the abyss; this time, he will be on the right side, defending the rightful way of things from the corrupt usurper. In this way, Mateus can gain redemption.

At the same time, Fishes_Swim was careful in reading the assignment description, and realized that Espers should be bound to the appropriate character, not necessarily the most similar one. The argument for Penelo being the antithesis to Mateus, and, in her role as den mother to her pack of Dalmasca's unwanted, having the moral fortitude to hold his leash, is simple and elegant. Even if she cannot purify his heart, she can force him into penance, and do right by the goddess bound into his evil acts.

Fishes_Swim posted:

Mateus should serve Penelo. Other espers have been assigned their handlers based on similar personalities and histories, but Mateus is so despicable that it only makes sense to bind him to the character that is the most kind and selfless. Other characters with more selfish motives might allow him to justify his actions. Not Penelo though. Every time he is summoned, it will demonstrate to Mateus how deplorable his tactics were and how much of a coward he is. Perhaps in this way, the goddess he bound will find some relief as well.

I truly wasn't able to decide between these two, so I turned to a coin toss, and it landed Balthier-side up.