Kain, Cecil and Golbez

        Today we’ll be talking about Dissidia’s Final Fantasy IV characters, but unlike the last three groups we have not two characters, but three. Cecil and Golbez are the hero and villain pair, but the second game added a new character, Kain Highwind. Since he isn’t quite as connected as the first two, I suppose I’ll talk about him first.
        The second game actually takes place in the past, and he and his fellow newcomers do not show up in the first game, which certainly implies a grim fate for them. Regardless, given that, his plot is very different from that of the preexisting characters. Basically, the war was raging back then as well, but a different threat was striking at the warriors of Cosmos, called the Manikins. While these serve simply as pawns and minions to the villains in the first game, here they are far more numerous and deadly.
        Kain fears that the others are not safe and wants to hide them from this terrible threat. We get a flashback to when Kain first saw the manikins, and Golbez arrives with some advice. (This is something of a spoiler I tried to avoid previously, but it seems inevitable at this point) He explains that the war is a cycle, and even if Kain were to be slain, he would return with no memory of the previous cycle. This likely means the reason the villains know this is because they, or at least some of them, haven’t lost, and thus keep their memories through all the cycles they have been in.
        This gives Kain an idea- if he can stop the Manikins from killing his friends, then it doesn’t matter how they die otherwise- they will return for the next cycle. Thus, he tricks Firion into standing in front of him, and stabs him in the back. Exdeath catches him in the act, leading into the final battle of Kain’s storyline.
        Neither are terribly injured, but Exdeath states that Kain will not last forever, summoning more Manikins to do battle and finish him and Firion off. Through other storylines we know Kain survives that encounter, but I shall not reveal where exactly all this leads. I have to preserve some mystery, at least. In any case, his story is short, but crucial to understand the others in the game- which I will get to eventually.
        As for how he plays, Kain has almost no ranged attacks, except for a wind blast that knocks his enemy into the air. The rest of his moves are stabs and swipes with his lance. Almost all of his ground moves involve knocking the enemy away or up, and his air moves are devastating blows that can send his enemies flying in whatever direction he pleases. In addition, after he sends a foe flying, you can press Triangle to have him dash after them to continue the assault.
        His HP moves work similarly- one distance move, Gungnir, where he throws his lance, and the rest are more up close stabs. Gungnir is also a fairly unique attack I that his lance won’t do damage immediately on impact, but instead will send the enemy flying nonstop until they hit a wall, racking up Brave damage the entire time, meaning the actual blow may be stronger than your Brave will suggest.
        Sky Rave has him dive downward in the air, and Rising Dive goes up, to strike enemies above or below. On the ground he can also use Jump, the classic Dragoon move, where he will leap up and dive down on the enemy’s location. The longer you charge, the faster and further he can go to strike them. Lastly he has Dragon’s Fang, where he stabs forward, and it can be used on the ground or in the air.
        As for his EX Mode, Holy Strength has him put on shining armor and remove his helmet, and gains a new HP attack- Lancet. By pushing R and Square, he will conjure up a a spike of some sort below the enemy, which not only does HP damage but heals Kain for the same amount. His EX Burst is Dragoon’s Pride, where he launches himself high into the air, and you must press the button repeatedly to help him gain more altitude. What button that is changes every few seconds, but if successful he will come down with full force and run the enemy through.
        So that’s Kain, and we’ll move onto Cecil. He is present in the first game, so as with the others, he is seeking his crystal. He seems rather confused about how to do so, and Golbez shows up to give him some advice, as is his wont. He says that if Cecil loses himself in doubt, he will never obtain his crystal, and tells him that if he wishes to find it, he should follow Golbez.
        He leaves, and Firion, who was running over and saw them talking, ask what Goblez said. When he hears it, he says that Cecil should not follow him, because even if he is his brother, Golbez is still a warrior of Chaos, and it is likely a trap. This, naturally, leaves Cecil quite conflicted.
        Later, after some travel with Firion and Tidus, Tidus asks Cecil what’s on his mind. He is still thinking about his brother, and seems certain he was telling the truth- especially since it was rather risky for him to appear before Cecil at all. Tidus tells him to ignore what Firion says and do what he yearns to do instead. Cecil thanks him and does just that, eventually finding his way to Golbez.
        He asks why Golbez is willing to tell him how to find the crystal, to wish Golbez asks why he trusted him, then answers both their questions by saying it is out of love for each other, as brothers. He then goes on to say that he is here to judge if Cecil is worthy of claiming the crystal, but is unable to elaborate because Exdeath arrives. He accuses Golbez of being a traitor to Chaos, and Cecil defends him, leading to a boss fight.
        Exdeath vanishes after a scuffle, leaving Golbez surprised that the crystal has not shown itself, as Cecil took on Exdeath without any help, proving his has the power to achieve his desire. Cecil remarks that he only did so to protect his brother, and asks Golbez to come back with him to tell the others what he just told Cecil, and thus end the war. Golbez seems somewhat angry at the idea, apparently thinking he does not deserve to be at his brother’s side, and vanishes.
        Golbez briefly meets with Sephiroth afterward, who asks him is he misses the light. Golbez replies that he simply has duties to fulfill, likely meaning that Sephiroth knows Golbez is helping his brother, and Golbez is trying to shrug off his involvement. Sephiroth gives him a veiled warning that getting too close to the light will scorch him, and walks on.         Golbez appears before Cecil again regardless and advises him to go on his own to look for the crystal, rather than doing so with his friend’s aid. When Cecil refuses he blasts him with lightning, to demonstrate that the bonds between people are fragile, likely to be broken, and vanishes again.
        Cosmos shows up doing Cecil’s wondering afterward, and reaffirms what Golbez said- the crystal will not appear so long as Cecil depends on others, he must find it on his own. She then asks if working with others and depending on them are the same thing to Cecil, before vanishing. Cecil comes to a decision, and chases after his brother once more.
        He speaks similarly to Golbez, saying he will return to his friends, because he does not travel with his friends because he depends on them, but because they aid each other. Golbez decides that they are too different to simply talk this out, and tells Cecil to prove he is correct in battle. Incidentally, as soon as the battle cutscene starts, Cecil transforms into his Paladin form, whereas he has been in his Dark Knight form the entire time before that, implying that now he has seen the truth of things, rather than wondering about in the dark, confused.
        In any case, this comes to a battle between the two, which Cecil wins. Golbez admits he clearly draws strength from his convictions, and Cecil’s crystal appears. Cecil tells him that it belongs to both of them, that they found it together, but Golbez is having none of it, and vanishes. Cecil, however, is heartened from finding his crystal, and decides to return to his friends to fight alongside them, and hopefully someday with his brother as well.
        So with the story out of the way, how does Cecil fight? As I mentioned earlier, he shifts between two forms- Dark Knight and Paladin. Any HP move on the ground will shift him to the former, and air HP attacks will change him to the latter. Certain combos do this as well. In general, Dark Knight is best for ground attacks, while Paladin is great for air attacks. In fact, they both specialize in their given field to a degree that you have to swap between them to get full effectiveness out of Cecil.
        Dark Knight really only has one move in the air, a slow moving energy blast that, if it connects, knocks the enemy back to the ground. Paladin has fair effectiveness on the ground, but pretty much all of said ground attacks are made to knock the enemy into the air. Dark Knight’s HP attacks include Soul Eater, a straight close range stab that covers the enemy in darkness before blasting them away, and Dark Flame, a homing fire that chases them. Paladin has Saint’s Fall, where he lunges through the air at the enemy, slashing them upward before smashing them back to the ground, as well as Paladin Force, where he throws a blast of light at the enemy before slashing them further into the air.
        As for his EX Mode, he gains a boost to all of his attacks, very useful, and the ability to change between his two forms by pushing R and Square, without having to use certain attacks. His Ex Burst has him attack his enemy rapidly while switching between the two forms to pull his attacks. Before that, he charges up, which you help with by pushing a direction and a button at once. If done properly, he blasts them with darkness before changing into his Paladin form and slashing through them.
        Lastly we come to Golbez, the ‘villain’ of the bunch. As should be obvious right now, he’s only on the side of Chaos in name only, and simply doesn’t seem himself as worthy of being at Cecil’s side thanks to his actions in their original game, which, while I haven’t seen much of it, I do know he wasn’t in control of his own actions, but I can see why he may blame himself for it regardless.
        In any case, in battle he uses no weapon, but his attacks are a unique blend of physical actions and spells. For instance, his basic attack, Rising Wave, has him do an uppercut and summon a black flame in front of him, meaning they are close by they get knocked into the flame. Further, all of his attacks tend to lead into either a few brave attack or the HP move Cosmic Ray, where he electrocutes them and sends them flying.
        All of his Brave attacks have that component, where he makes a damaging gesture, and something magical happens. This gives him both close and long range applications. One of my favorites is Glare Hand, where he swipes, and it produces a magical gash in the air that knocks enemies to him. Some of his attacks also produce magical drones to fight for him- Attack System makes three that fly after the enemy and pause before firing at them, and he has two attacks where he summons a singular one above or below the enemy to fire a laser at them, trapping them for a Cosmic Ray.
        His HP attacks, Cosmic Ray aside, are simple- they involve trapping the enemy in some way. Nightglow covers him in lightning, damaging any enemy close by, and then summons lightning at the enemy’s current spot to zap them. Better yet, it sends them flying upward higher than pretty much any other attack, ensuring on most stages that they hit the stage’s ceiling and take further damage. Sector Ray works the same as Attack System, except the much larger drones don’t go nearly as far, and fire lasers instead, from three directions. This one can be used in the air or on the ground.
        Exclusively in the air though he has Genesis Rock, where he calls up rocks from below him(hitting any enemy below him as well) and then they circle him, causing contact damage to any foe that gets near, and then sends the rocks flying off in three directions, one of which will be at your foe, and it is guaranteed to hit they had been caught in the rocks beforehand. All three work on that, actually- trapping them in the first part of the move before laying on the actual damage.
        As for his EX Mode, he summons his pet Shadow Dragon and merges with it, gaining a new HP attack, Black Fang, used by pushing R and Square. It takes a long time to charge, but if used successfully, the enemy will be struck with an unavoidable Brave Break attack, giving Golbez plenty of it, and it can lead perfectly into his EX Burst. Said Ex Burst has him freeze the enemy before dropping Twin Meteors on them. His Ex Burst works the same way as Cecil’s.
        And that’s all the characters from Final Fantasy IV! I apologize that this article took a little longer to make, but the next one should be on time.

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