Firion and Emperor

        Last time I talked about the characters from the original Final Fantasy in Dissidia, so it’s only natural I move on to the characters it takes from the second game. As before there are two, a hero and villain. Unlike with Warrior of Light, Firion is a definite character, and unlike Garland, the Emperor is a much more prominent enemy personality-wise, so both required a bit less adjustment to be added in. Oh, and before I continue, I should point out when speaking about gameplay, that I’m referring to the second Dissidia game. It has the same plot packed in with the new one, and all the same characters, so I don’t see much reason to go over the first one when the second is a clear improvement.
        In their original game, Firion is a young man whose parents were killed by Palamecian Empire, leading Firion to join a resistance force dedicated to stopping them. The Empire’s goal is fairly simple- conquer the world with the aid of the demons their Emperor summons. A simple story, but it is still more than what the first game gave its representatives.
        In any case, as with Warrior of Light, Firion has the same mission- to find his crystal, but unlike the Warrior, he doesn’t travel alone, nor is he quite as certain of his goals. Specifically he travels with Tidus for the most part doing his storyline. Tidus asks him what exactly he wants to accomplish, what his goal is, and Firion has no answer but to end the conflict. That’s the same as the Warrior, true, but when he said it, one can tell there is clear certainty in his purpose and that he is doing so out of his devotion to Cosmos.
        Firion doesn’t show this devotion. They all want to end the war, so saying as much doesn’t really show he has a goal, so much as he is saying it because he doesn’t know what his goal is. He and Tidus travel together for a while, but eventually Tidus breaks away to hunt down Jecht, his father. As soon as he is gone, the Emperor shows up to taunt him, mocking him for dreaming of ending the conflict, stating that since he is ‘a mere cog in the war machine’ he cannot hope to do such a thing.
        Ultimecia fights Firion briefly in the Emperor’s stead, but emerges from the fight entirely unscathed, reiterating that all of Firion’s struggles are pointless. Firion starts to argue against this, but the Emperor simply replies that his dream, to end the conflict, is not his own, but merely what he has been lead to desire. Since he doesn’t have a dream of his own to fight for, he is nothing more than a pawn to Cosmos.
        Cosmos herself appears to talk to him later, confirming that some of the others have obtained their crystals- and that they did so by following their own path. Firion laments that he has no such path to walk on, no dream to follow, but Cosmos reminds him that he does. He says it’s merely a childish fantasy, but she assures him that it is worth fighting for. His dream is not just to end conflict, but to make a world of peace, where flowers bloom freely and people can be free of the evils of tyranny.
        He tracks down the Emperor, who mocks his dream, saying that even now that he knows his dream, he is too weak to accomplish it, and challenges him to follow him for a final confrontation. He follows his enemy into the Land of Discord, Chaos’ territory, and corners the Emperor in his domain… which naturally is a trap, blowing up in Firion’s face.
        The Emperor reiterates that his dreams are pointless, and that Firion would be far better off as his servant, blindly obeying his will. Firion says that his dream will not die even if he does, as his friends too will fight for it, but the Emperor simply says that if that is the case, he will just conquer everything.
        It rather copies how Final Fantasy II went in broad strokes- The Emperor wishes to conquer everything, destroy all hopes and dreams of those beneath him, while Firion is fighting to stop him and see his own dream come true. And so they battle, and by standing by his convictions and seeing the Emperor defeated, Firion obtains his crystal at last.
        Moving onto his fighting style, Firion is a weapon master, able to use many different tools in battle. These give his ground combat a lot of variety, but in the air he uses his wand for magic, which is fairly limited. He can fire a Blizzard shot straight, which bounces off walls, a homing Fire, or call down Thunder at the enemy’s position. These moves can be useful, but you’ll want him on the ground.
        When grounded, he can use his various weapons to great effect. His first attack, for instance, has him fire out knives on an electrified wire, then pull them back, yanking the enemy to him while doing damage all the while. Several of his moves work the same way through combos. Normally this ends in a punch doing brave damage, but as he levels up he can pull off moves like Double Trouble, a HP attack that’s pretty much unavoidable since they’re already caught in his attack. That’s the main strategy with him- trapping enemies in his attacks so they cannot dodge his HP moves.
        He does have some standalone HP moves though, such as Strightarrow, which is exactly what it sounds like, Lord of Arms, where he fires out a shockwave using his weapons twice, once for Brave damage and second for HP, and my personal favorite, Weaponmaster, where he fires out his weapons in a vortex effect, trapping the enemy, then the weapons slam into them and send them flying. He can also float while he uses it to catch the enemy in the vortex. He also has Shield Bash, which counters physical and magical blows during the brief time the shield appears.
        His EX Mode has him equip Blood Weapons, referencing the Blood Sword, the best weapon to fight the Emperor with in his original game. This colors all of his weapons an orange hue, and restores the same amount of HP that he deals out to his enemy. His EX Burst is Fervid Blazer, where he smashes the enemy with his various weapons and magic, before firing all the weapons at them with his bow.
        Moving on to the Emperor, his personality can be summed up in one word, really: Conquest. He desires to rule everything, and will trick and deceive anyone to see it happen. In his original game he was the final boss, and when he was slain he returned from Hell itself, transformed into a demon, to get revenge and conquer once more.
        In the game he is called the Trap Master, and for good reason. He does not attack directly for the most part, but instead lays traps. He basically uses the same moves for air and ground, but they operate differently. For instance, he can spawn mines, which ounce a little and wait on the ground, and float in place when the move is used in the air.
        Thunder Crest on the ground sends out a magic sigil that, when the enemy touches it, holds them in place and shocks them, leaving them open to attack. One of my favorites. The aerial Light Crest fires five bouncing shots at the enemy when they get in range. Dynamite works the same on ground and air, firing out a chargable blast that lands on something and starts pulling the enemy in before exploding. Lastly there is Bombard, where he swats the enemy away with his staff, planting exploding mines as he does so.
        As for his HP moves, Flare, on the ground, appears blue and follows the enemy, albeit slowly, allowing you to use it to trap your foes. In the air, Flare hovers in place. You can only have one of each variety out at a time. Dreary Cell works the same in the air or on the ground, making a spark in one spot that, when approached, explodes.
        And finally, the best for last, is Starfall. This move works the same on land or sky, where the Emperor makes a sigil around himself and can float freely, charging up. When Starfall is fully charged, small meteorites fall at first, then a giant, nearly unavoidable meteor will fall to do the actual HP damage. Impressive, but it takes about eight seconds to charge, so it’s rather hard to pull off. However, if one stalls the enemy with traps they can potentially pull it off… or just use the move to lure enemies in to try and stop you.
        The Emperor’s Ex Mode transforms him into his demonic final boss state, with the power of Blood Magic. This works the same as Firion’s Blood Weapons in that he regains health for damage dealt. His EX Burst, Absolute Dominion, has him charge up energy. You must press arrow buttons in time, like with Warrior of Light, but also buttons as well to do it properly. If done improperly, he smashes the enemy with a tornado, but if done right he tortures with them with lightning.
        And that’s the hero and villain from Final Fantasy II, both of whom have better ground techniques than air ones, heal by striking in their EX Modes, and trap the opponent, but in different ways. I personally prefer playing as the Emperor, but Firion is certainly a great character as well. Next time we’ll be covering Final Fantasy III. See you soon, dear readers.

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