Warrior of Light and Garland

        There is one game that I had been meaning to talk about for quite a while. Dissidia Final Fantasy is a fighting game for the Playstation Portable featuring heroes and villains from the many Final Fantasy games, generally one of each from each game. This adds up to roughly twenty playable characters from the first ten games, and that’s not counting some of the secret characters, and a hero/villain combination from each game.
        The story is that two gods are facing off- Cosmos, goddess of order, and Chaos, who is the god of, well, chaos. Rather than fight each other directly, they summon warriors from another realm to battle for them, leading to Cosmos summoning heroes, and Chaos villains.
        Incidentally, this game has a rather odd fighting system- there are two kind of attacks. Brave attacks reduce your enemies Brave amount, while HP attacks use your Brave amount to inflict damage on their health. If you reduce the enemy’s Brave below zero, they are ‘broken’ and will have to wait for their Brave to recover, while yours doubles. There are also Summons that can be used either manually or automatically that effect you or your opponents Brave in some way, though only once per fight.
        Every strike lets out glowing EX Force, which can be collected to fill out your EX Guage, and thus use your EX Mode, a temporary transformation that grants benefits to your character. These transformations do not last long, but if used properly they can turn the tide of battles. All of them have Regen, allowing them to heal over time, and access to the EX Burst, a powerful move that can be used after they land a HP attack, as a sort of follow up to do even more damage.
        This is best done when they have low Brave to raise the chances of you breaking them and doing more damage. After an Ex Burst is used, the character changes back to normal. If you are hit by an EX Burst, you have a chance to defend yourself by pushing the Circle button, raising defense, but if you push too much, as shown by a gauge, you will actually lower your defense.
        So with the mechanics taken care of, lets talk characters. For this article, I will talk about the characters from the first Final Fantasy, Warrior of Light and Garland. Garland is the first boss of the game, who through complicated time shenanigans ends up transforms into Chaos, the final boss, so we know who he is.
        Warrior of Light, on the other hand, is a bit odder. There is no named protagonist for the game, and instead you have four generic heroes known solely for their classes. Warrior of Light, as the name and one of his alternate costumes implies, is based on the Warrior class, and his normal look seems to be based on the game’s artwork rather than any particular class.
        Warrior of Light wields a sword and shield, though in a rather odd fashion, the shield occasionally levitating as he attacks to aim him in that, and when performing special moves he uses the power of light, channeling it through his weapons. He is a well-rounded character with some long range magical abilities and attacks, and his regular attacks have good range, great for drawing enemies into his combos. However, none of his attacks are especially strong compared to others. He also can use elemental attacks as well, but his magic is exceptionally weak compared to that of the other characters, so he primarily sticks to close range.
        His HP moves, as mentioned, are all light related, and tend to involve sending out blasts and constructs made of it, such as blocking attacks and sending out energy with Shield of Light, stabbing upward with a giant blade with Rune Saber, and so on. His EX Mode has him change to the Knight class, producing blades of light as he attacks to land more blows and make his strikes all the more devastating, raises his defense, and makes it so some magical projectiles are automatically deflected when he is attacking.
        His Ex Burst is Oversoul, where he slashes through his enemy several times, ending in a final slash that makes them explode. In order to keep the attack going, you have to push directional buttons with good timing. If you have trouble with that, you can pause it so you have time to push the buttons.
        As far as the story is concerned, Warrior of Light acts as a sort of leader to the others on Cosmos’ side, a calm and tactical fighter who believes wholeheartedly in Cosmos, rallying the others under her name and his indomitable sense of hope that they will achieve victory.
        Next there is Garland to talk about. As already said, he is a definite character from the game, but here he looks and acts very differently. While his clothes are based on that of the game to a degree, he carries around Rebellion, a blade so massive that he has to drag it behind him and his attacks seem more like the sword is pulling him. It can also change shape to fight his needs, evidently based on the Four Fiends the heroes stop in the original game, normally in its normal great sword shape, or as an axe(Lich), a lance(Kraken), split into two smaller blades(Marilith), or a whip.(Tiamat)
        His normal movement is very slow thanks to his bulk and the heavy sword, but his attacks do a lot of damage, and have variable range and speed thanks to the blade changing forms. He is best at close range, and can quickly close distances thanks to his charging attacks, and does have one or two distance moves, though like Warrior of Light that is not his forte.
        His HP attacks are also based on the Four Fiends, and changes the blade to the appropriate shape when using the proper element. Earthquake has him ax smash the ground in front of him, making a earth spike, Blaze shoots a barrage of fireballs at the enemy, Tsunami has the sword whip itself at the enemy and pull them closer in a torrent of water, and Cyclone has him summon two twisters in front of him.
        His EX Mode, like Warrior of Light, has him change classes into a Knight, but he gains only one new effect, where he is simply not phased by Brave attacks if he is attacking himself, allowing him to ignore enemy attempts to stop him and simply pummel them into oblivion. He will still take damage, and HP attacks can stop him, but this obviously gives him a huge advantage. His EX Bust is Soul of Chaos, where he charges up energy with the Circle button, then smashes his enemies with his sword in all of its forms, before smashing them away with a final blow.
        Garland acts as a dark foil to Warrior of Light in terms of personality, not leading Chaos’ forces but at least directing them. Leading them is simply impossible, as they all have their own goals they want to achieve, and Chaos doesn’t care so long as they involves them facing Cosmos, which Garland does at least make sure they do, since he is the only one truly devoted to Chaos rather than his own whims.
        While the Warrior has hope that Cosmos will triumph, Garland sees everyone’s situation as entirely hopeless for reasons I won’t go into, and feels that he and everyone else is basically locked in battle with no way out. So if that’s the case, why not enjoy it? It’s the only joy they will get.
        Garland takes special interest in Warrior of Light during the latter’s storyline. Like the other heroes, the Warrior has been charged with finding a crystal, and once everyone has found theirs, they will be able to use the crystals to put an end to Chaos. Several of Chaos’ minions attempt to talk him out of his quest, Sephiroth trying to get him to question his resole, Ultimecia lying that his comrades had given up their quests, but in particular Garland says that his quest is pointless, as Warrior of Light does not know the ‘true nature’ of the war they are in.
        After a short fight, he departs, only to meet Warrior at the end of his journey, revealing that there is more to the world than the Warrior knows, and attempts to break the Warrior’s spirit with that truth before they do battle. Again, I won’t say what this truth is, but it fails to scar the Warrior like Garland expects, and instead galvanizes him to fight on and see his quest through.
        Both fighters are very similar in that they act as leaders of a sort to their faction in the place of their gods, are both mostly close range combatants with few long range options, and their Ex Modes are both class changes into Knights that revolve around dominating their enemies at close range. The sorts of similarities continue in the other game’s heroes and villains to a certain degree. Next time I’ll talk about the characters from Final Fantasy II. I hope you enjoyed reading, and I will see you all next time.

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