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Rodney
06-10-2012, 07:01 AM
This is the fourth of my series of threads and polls, asking all of you for your personal rankings of the characters from each FF game in the numbered games. You can base them on personality, usefulness in gameplay, relevance to the story, general enjoyment of each character, or even frivolous things such as their character themes. Whatever you want to base them on. Also included is a poll on which you can vote for your absolute favorite from each game.

This is my fourth one. It's for FF4! Once again, it was a tough set, because characterization and develop isn't one of the strong suits of the cast, especially given that most of them come and go as they (or the game) pleases. (Don't worry, though. Soon, we'll only have the games where character development was stronger after this one.) So surprisingly, a lot of my rationale went to looking at the development they got in lieu of their personalities.

So here are my rankings:

1. Kain: Really thinking about things, I'm actually very surprised in myself for putting him this high. But you've gotta love the first good guy in the series who . . . wasn't always a good guy throughout the story. Was he on Cecil's side? Was he on Golbez's? What was he doing?! This element of Kain's character made him very interesting to me and I always wondered if he was gonna betray Cecil again. Which he did. Again. Some more. (As a bonus, the Dissidia games really brought out his personality a lot more, so that's probably where much of my bias comes in.) Plus, a good dragoon to escape multiple-target attacks? Priceless. Trust me.

2. Cecil: Wasn't really personality reasons I ranked him this high. It was completely for his character arc. He went from doing the bidding of Baron's evil king to realizing it was wrong and wanting to change to giving up his dark knight job to take on his new paladin position instead. The scene when he faces his old safe in the mirror room goes up there with one of the best FF scenes for me, even for something that took place in one of the 2-D games. The one gripe I have with him is his complete reset after switching jobs. We're going along at a good pace, playing him at a good level, and . . . boom! It's back to square one? Meaning MORE grinding must be done to catch him back up? I'm not usually one to hate grinding, but even I thought that much grinding was ridiculous!

3. Rosa: For the first true leading lady in FF history, she was amazingly bad-ass. Yeah, she had some damsel-in-distress situations, for sure, but she wasn't always like that. She personified the woman's mindset of standing by her man and did that well, always wanting to be Cecil's support no matter what happened. I liked her part in her triangle with Cecil and Kain. You could tell that even though Cecil was the one she wanted, she did care deeply about Kain, too. So one can feel her and Cecil's sting each time Kain betrayed them. That said, she's also great if you need a good white mage. Which, at least in this game, you do. Very often.

4. Rydia: I'll admit that I liked her better after she was aged, but I still found her to be an interesting character. I liked how she was the character to truly usher in Cecil's need to change his ways and his allegiances. Without his guilt of taking her mother from her, Cecil probably still blindly follows the corrupt king. I also quite enjoy her very gentle rebuffs of Edge's advances. I especially liked her reentry into the story, just coming right in and saving the day when it looked the party was dead meat. So yeah. Rydia's up this high because of her involvement in the story. Oh, and her summoning ability. Can appreciate a good summoner when I need one.

5. Yang: If there's anything to like about Yang, it's his loyalty and nobility. In a lot of ways, I found him to be the opposite of Kain. Yang was completely loyal to Cecil and never turned on him for anything. He'd have been willing to go to the ends of the world for him. Battle-wise, he also rocks. Great monks can't be beat, and he's included in the group. I just wish he could've been available for that last fight. . . .

6. Tellah: For someone who only lived till a certain point in the story, he sure was a likable one. I believe Tellah's the only playable sage in the history of the series. His magic was something I really found useful the time he was in my party. And personality-wise, I just liked how he was able to roll with the punches and go with the flow so easily. Also, "kooky old man" do it for me most of the time. And his kookiness made me giggle. And in the end, his major sacrifice was awesome while also being heartbreaking. Finally remembered the spell he needed to before he died. Sad.

7. Cid: The first playable Cid of the series. Honestly, I never found him all that useful in battle. He's one of the few strictly-personality characters I ranked, and I liked his. Firm and to-the-point. And I liked his protectiveness of Rosa. That, and he gave the only character who truly irked me a hard time. (More on that when we get to him.)

8. Porom: The farthest down I've ever placed a "perky young girl" character (although, granted, Krile was the first official character of that archetype), but here she is. I honestly nearly put her lower, but she didn't really bug me. Actually, I liked her contrasting (and surprising) mature compared to her brother's. But . . . that was pretty much it for her. Other than that, as far as Porom's concerned, there wasn't really any "there" there. Still, there was more to her than the four below her. And she was a decent enough white mage for the time I had her (although I maintain that Rosa was still better).

9. Palom: Didn't hate Palom even though every instinct I had said I should. Usually, the "energetic young boy" characters really do it for me (granted, Gau was the first official character of that archetype), but other than being a little scamp trying too hard to be tough, Palom just . . . didn't do it for me the way his successors would. Decent black magic, though.

10. Edward: Other than his nickname of the "spoony bard" and his tragic love story with Anna, there really wasn't much else I could make of Edward. Oh, I guess I was relieved to see him okay in Troia Castle, and I loved that he played the harp to help Cecil and the others beat that monster, but other than that, he was "meh" for me. Couldn't even find much use for his bard abilities in battle.

11. FuSoYa: I very nearly placed him on the bottom since, as nice a guy as he was, there really was no real need for him, story-wise. Personality-wise, he was okay. But I still don't see why he came with us after the moon portion of the game. Still, at least he didn't annoy me like the person on the bottom of my list. . . .

12. Edge: I'd heard bad things about him ahead of time from plotholeman, and when I finally got to him myself, he certainly didn't disappoint. Annoying personality, tried way too hard with trying to bag Rydia, and lazy, on top of it all. I just loved seeing Cid give him a hard time and actually make him help him work on the airship. Not that I knew why he did that, but it was still funny. Oh, and ninja characters throughout the series have been hit or miss. Edge, unfortunately, fell onto the "miss" side for me. Can't stand him in battle. Very disappointing that he's required for the final fight. So he's last.

But these are just my rankings. How about everyone else's?

Sylvie
06-10-2012, 07:29 AM
Rydia is probably my favorite. The other characters can be cool, but I found Cecil to be too much of a black/white douchebag about his personality and direction, and Kain was a weak-minded bitch. Porom and Palom were annoying. Tellah was a foolishly vengeful old man. Cid was alright. Edge was cool but he's a pretty faceless pussy when it comes down to it. Don't even properly remember FuSoYa. Rosa was a typical damsel in distress. Yang didn't really have anything wrong with him but he didn't interest me.

And Edward just deserves to be dead.

TheAbominatrix
06-10-2012, 07:30 AM
I first played FFIV when I was very young, so some of my preferences on characters stem from the imaginary dialogue I made up while wandering around the map. Just wanted to clear that up beforehand.

1. Rosa: I am probably one of the few people that think she's the best, especially over Rydia, but she's actually one of my favorite video game characters in general. I always thought she was the perfect combination of elegance and strength. I've always loved archery and women archers in particular, and Rosa dealt pretty decent damage when properly outfitted. I am a big fan of healers and white magic in general, so Rosa is a must have. The love triangle, her devotion to Cecil, even the little bit of back story we get from her interactions with her mother in Baron... love love.

2. Rydia: Her friggin hair is green. I'm a sucker for green hair (Terra!) and I loved her adult sprite so much. I remember gasping out loud when Rydia came back from the dead and saved everyone from Golbez. Rydia has a great story, amazing black magic and I love the summons. When I was young I really liked the name the original script gave her class: Caller. I'm also very fond of the Land of Summons and the dungeon leading up to it, as well as the challenge of getting more summons for Rydia by defeating them.

3. Kain: I think Kain's story was the first time I had ever been betrayed by a party member in a video game. Previously the good guys were good and the bad ones were all bad... but what about Kain (and Golbez, for that matter)? Also he's an amazing party member and I am a big fan of Jump. Loved seeing him sans helmet at the end of credits, definitely spent a lot of time wondering what happened after, where he would go next, etc.

4. Tellah: I was very fond of the old guy. I cried when he died, and not just the first time either. He was very endearing and he always yelled the best stuff. Took you long enough to remember Meteo, old fart.

5. Cid: He's got a big hammer, a wiry beard, and zero f****s to give when it comes to offending folks. I like frank, straight forward characters. Plus he treats those 2 apprentices like crap. What more could one want?

6. Cecil: Great in battle and he gets all the best stuff... and that's it. His story is good and I understand the inner conflict and the symbolism there, but sometimes I wish to punch him for it nonetheless. I really liked him as a Dark Knight, less so as a Paladin.

7. Yang: His wife beats him! This is excellent. The claw combo he gets near the end there is really great, and he sacrifices himself for the Dwarfs, a species he has only been aware of for a few days (weeks?), so it's kind of beautiful when you think about it, man.

8. Porom/Palom: Rather interchangeable for me, really. The only good part was the Twin ability. Also, thanks for saving everyone from being crushed, guys. You done good.

9. FuSoYa: So when he dies he looks like a mop. I enjoy this.

10. Edge: I feel the same annoyance that this guy gets put in my team for the final battle. His damage is crap unless he's throwing, so for me he's just an Ether mule for the mages.

11. Edward: STOP HIDING. Seriously, come out now or I will strangle you with your own harp.

Wolf Kanno
06-14-2012, 07:17 AM
My top three were pretty easy to pick, but the rest became an issue. I actually like the whole cast, so just because someone you like is ranked low, doesn't mean I think they are terrible characters. Happy Golbez wasn't an option cause that might have made this more challenging.

1. Kain - I really liked Kain, cause he was such an interesting character with the love triangle, choosing to be a dragoon over following his kings orders, and his constant betrayals. I also just like his serious attitude and he's a pretty awesome party member. Yet to bring this back, I felt his relationship with Cecil and Rosa really helped elevate the character s away from the flat no-name style characters of RPGs past and it made his betrayals all the more personal because he helped to make some of the core party members relateable.

2. Cecil - Cecil was such a stark contrast from some main characters in games past. It's not often you start a game as the villain. I liked Cecil's story arc of finally standing up against his false king and trying to stop his own homeland from causing destruction. His tale of redemption is quite well done for its time and I feel Cecil really is the defining archetype of the JRPG hero. In recent years, he has climbed this list and I don't think he's far from usurping Kain from top spot. I loved him as a Dark Knight, and he's pretty badass as a Paladin.

3. Rydia - She's just so cute. No I really found her story pretty touching, even if she does forgive Cecil a little too quickly and I like how she bosses around the mopey guys in the beginning before she gets her age upgrade and becomes a beast in battle. Her hinted one sided relationship with Edge is also pretty cute and she has one of the coolest big damn hero moments in the entire series.

4. Tellah - I actually really liked his story and it's tragic conclusion. He was a unique character and one that turned out to be designed in a neat way through gameplay as his physical stats lower as he levels up and his main personal skill is recall, showing off his age is getting to him. I also felt he was one of the more interesting characters to play as strategically due to his MP limitations. Still, his first casting of Meteor on Golbez was pretty badass and he still has one of the coolest deaths in the series.

5. Cid - My second favorite Cid in the series, he's quirky and fun. He never let's the "kids" do more than him, and he's pretty important in the plot with his expertise in combat. His relationships with Cecil is pretty nice and his relationship with Edge is hilarious. He's not as good of a party member as I would have liked but at least the DS and TAY gave him a bone and gave him more useful skills. The man also survive one of the over the top deaths in the series...

6./7. Palom and Porom - If TAY taught me anything, its that these characters have to be together as a single unit to be awesome. Which is why I'm doing them together as 6 and 7. They just work really well off of each other, whereas by themselves Porom is boring and Palom is obnoxious. They just work well even in battle when they introduced the awesome concept of dual spells. Together they are quite charming and likable and their sacrifice and return is probably the least irritating of the bunch.

8. Edward - The Spoony Bard himself, who is much higher than I thought but honestly, he's go a very thoughtful story, gets quite a bit of character growth by being berated by Rydia, and a crowning moment of awesome when he saves your parties ass and allows you to curb stomp an annoying boss in an annoying dungeon. He's also not a bad party member once he gets a few levels under his belt and has the right Harp. His Sing ability is useless in the original and TAY but good god did they beef him up in the DS version.

9. Yang - Yang is a good and noble character who is a monk which is a plus in my book, but also he has a fun wife that makes him far more charming. The quest to revive him later on is both one of the most frustrating (because the Sylph Cave is a nightmare) but also one of the most rewarding and funny because of the interactions you get. I do miss his cheesy A~CHOOO! Battle cry from the original English script. If he had a bit more personality, he might be higher. I also agree that I wish I could have brought him to the final battle.

10. Edge - Is not a bad guy, I actually really like his personality and how well he bounces off Cid and Rydia, but good god does he suck in battle. He's got some really dark moments in the story and I like his relationship with his kingdom. I just kind of feel like he's baggage in the party, and he does sometimes come off more irritating than endearing. Luckily, he's beefed up considerably in the DS version.

11. Rosa - I actually do like Rosa, my only issue with her is that she's a bit bland as a character. I mean outside of being in love with Cecil and old friends with Kain, what else do we really get out of her as a character. She's strong willed in her moments where Cecil tries to keep her safe and I wish she just had more moments like that, she just kind of comes across bland compared to the rest of the cast. She's probably the coolest White Mage in the series though. Also, in terms of character themes, Rosa actually has my favorite, I really love Theme of Love and was quite happy when it got some nice attention in the DS remake.

12. FuSoYa - Outside of finally explaining what's going on and being the Sage type character that everyone wanted Tellah to be, the guy doesn't do much as a character, he's just an old and powerful alien sorcerer and is gone from your party as quickly as he came. Even TAY, he gets the least screen time and mention of the returning cast. Even Tellah is discussed more than him. He could have been a pretty cool character had he been given more screen time and perhaps a more distinct personality.

ReloadPsi
06-14-2012, 10:46 PM
My list is only gonna address gameplay really, as if I took personality into account I WOULD need to make two lists. I'm also not gonna take remakes and ports into account, because if I did everyone but Tellah (due to not being playable at the end) would be tied first place thanks to how useful everyone became :P

1. Kain. Pure damage, and the ability to avoid damage while doing said pure damage, makes him one of the cheapest characters in this game. His jump has saved my ass from many bosses that do big attacks on the entire party. And it's all free.

2. Cecil. More pure physical damage. Early on in the game he can one-shot most enemy groups. Once he loses that ability the white magic that replaces it seems a little disappointing, but I like that he can join in as a fairly effective healer if you equip him with the right stat-boosting equipment.

3. Rosa. She's the most powerful healer in the game and her attack damage is actually really good as well. Not much else to say; I can't find much wrong with how she plays.

4. Edward. In terms of character, Edward is my absolute favourite character in the game, and I like him even more in the sequel. But that's not what's deciding my list here. When Edward joins, he can hang in the back row casting a free sleep spell on the strongest enemy in any group you encounter simply by attacking it. This buys time to pick off all the weaker ones and minimizes damage to the party (and stops him auto-hiding.) Then it upgrades to a confuse weapon, which means the enemies now do half the work for you. The Mom Bomb fight is easy because right before it explodes, you tell Edward to hide, then have him step back in and heal anyone that didn't survive. During the siege on Fabul you don't really need him as Cecil and Yang do tons of damage anyway. So I'll say this: anyone who thinks Edward is the most useless character does not know how to play this game. The way to exploit his strategies and abilities should be really obvious.

5. Rydia. It annoys me how little HP this girl has, but she makes up for it in pure insane damage potential. I hardly ever cast any of her black magic, other than Stop, Bio and Osmose because her summons upstage pretty much everything else she can cast, especially once she gets Bahamut as for some reason it's got an insanely short charge time. Then there's Sylph as well, which I tend to spam against single enemies until Rosa's learned her best healing spells.

6. Palom. Okay, so now I've listed BOTH of the game's black mages and we're only half way down the list? What?! Yes, I actually think the black mages in FF4 are very useful, and for the short time you have him Palom is brutal. I never found him running out of MP because his were so plentiful, and then he could equip all those staffs that enabled him to cast free attack spells during random encounters. Awesome.

7. Yang. I would've ranked him even lower if it weren't for me learning to use him properly, and I do find him a bit of a difficult character to pick up. For a monk, he's a surprisingly complex character to use.

8. Porom. Rosa's just better with a bow than Porom is, and so Porom is more likely to be spending turns doing nothing, or missing, at all those times she doesn't need to heal.

9. Edge. Damn. As much as I love ninjas, this one doesn't really do a whole lot of anything. Phsycial damage? Cecil and Kain already outrank him. Special abilities? Rydia's are better. Throw? Yeah, and keeping items in stock to do good damage is a pain in the ass. I'd really rather not have had him in the final battle.

10. As much as I think Cid is one of the coolest people in this game, he doesn't really do much in battle. He has high HP, but can't wear any good armour to stop him losing it. He does good damage though, and doesn't stick around very long so I can't complain.

11. FuSoYa. He's put in the party as a temporary caster of all the spells you haven't quite finished learning but runs out of MP if you try to make use of them. And that regeneration ability he has is kind of useless.

12. Tellah. What can I say? He's put into the party as a crutch early on to help you fight stronger monsters, but when he rejoins at Mt. Ordeals the fact he has such low MP compared to how much you now need makes him quite annoying to have around. As a storytelling device to convey that he's getting less useful in his old age it's all right I guess, but it sucks when you're climbing the Tower of Zot and he's the only decent magic user in the party because Cecil still sucks at white magic. So similar reasons to FuSoYa, only even more so because while you don't really need FuSoYa anyway, you DO need Tellah, and when you need him most he's virtually useless >:|

Roogle
06-15-2012, 12:11 AM
12. Tellah. What can I say? He's put into the party as a crutch early on to help you fight stronger monsters, but when he rejoins at Mt. Ordeals the fact he has such low MP compared to how much you now need makes him quite annoying to have around. As a storytelling device to convey that he's getting less useful in his old age it's all right I guess, but it sucks when you're climbing the Tower of Zot and he's the only decent magic user in the party because Cecil still sucks at white magic. So similar reasons to FuSoYa, only even more so because while you don't really need FuSoYa anyway, you DO need Tellah, and when you need him most he's virtually useless >:|

I would say that Tellah is probably a character for advanced players. At least one monster in most dungeons that he is in the party can be affected by Osmose, effectively giving him a much larger MP pool. You can make the most of him by using status effects instead as they usually cost much less MP than Firaga, Blizzaga, Thundaga, and his other damaging spells.

ReloadPsi
06-15-2012, 12:22 AM
12. Tellah. What can I say? He's put into the party as a crutch early on to help you fight stronger monsters, but when he rejoins at Mt. Ordeals the fact he has such low MP compared to how much you now need makes him quite annoying to have around. As a storytelling device to convey that he's getting less useful in his old age it's all right I guess, but it sucks when you're climbing the Tower of Zot and he's the only decent magic user in the party because Cecil still sucks at white magic. So similar reasons to FuSoYa, only even more so because while you don't really need FuSoYa anyway, you DO need Tellah, and when you need him most he's virtually useless >:|

I would say that Tellah is probably a character for advanced players. At least one monster in most dungeons that he is in the party can be affected by Osmose, effectively giving him a much larger MP pool. You can make the most of him by using status effects instead as they usually cost much less MP than Firaga, Blizzaga, Thundaga, and his other damaging spells.

He can, but it makes him fiddly and annoying to use. Plus his stats drop as he levels up as well :P

Wolf Kanno
06-15-2012, 05:47 AM
Yeah, but only his physical stats, his Int. and Spirit still go up, so he's still staying useful as a mage, he just becomes far more fragile to melee but that's what Cecil is for.

ReloadPsi
06-16-2012, 02:02 AM
Ah right, I thought they ALL went down. Silly me. Still though, I don't much care for him gameplay-wise.

ryanraze
09-18-2012, 09:58 PM
First time post, but I enjoy what you're going for. Final Fantasy IV was my first foray into the FF series, outside of a few hours spent on Final Fantasy one. FFIV is in my top 10 games of all time list (probably at #6 or 7) and I have multiple fond memories of it. I still recall allowing someone to borrow my game and having my save erased. That was a dark, dark day. I could wax poetic for long minutes about the memorable moments in the series, but I will stick to the topic at hand.

1. Kain - I even called myself Kain for a short time in my youth. As I was 10-12 years old at my first playing, Kain was my first exposure to a back stabbing/complicated type character. I felt terrible for him being manipulated by Golbez, and also for the unrequited love he felt for Rosa. "Dragoon" instantly became a class that I looked for in other games (Thank you Ogre Battle) and his use of Spears and Jump was incredible. I loved his damage output, and distinctly remember surviving the one boss before the Masamune/Murasame (not sure which one) and my entire party was wiped out by his AoE attack (I think Tidal Wave or something) and Kain landed the killing blow. Good lord what a moment.

2. Rydia - I will admit to having a little crush on her. I thought her green outfit was sexy, and I loved that she was a summoner/caller. That was my first exposure to summons or to someone who controlled monsters and I loved it. Plus, after some hard grinding she really had powerful magic abilities. I didn't really like that she was sexually harassed by Edge the whole time, but at my then age I didn't quite get it. I thought it was cool how she saved everyone, and was concerned when she was swallowed up by the earthquake.

3. Edge - While reading other peoples posts, I was shocked to see Edge ranked so low. Edge, as a ninja, was incredibly cool to me. I loved his Throw ability and absolutely thought it was badass he swung his sword twice (or used two swords, I can't remember). Hell, I could be remembering that wrong, but that sticks out in my head. His ninjitsu abilities were really cool to me at the time, and I don't recall him being a weak character. I think, specifically, because at the time I didnt' really pay attention to damage output, but more on just how I felt about the characters. I always thought Edge was cool.

4. Palum/Porum - It's weird that I'd put these characters here, as I generally didn't love them or hate them; it's more for the fact that they sacrificed themselves for the greater good. I remember having tears in my eyes when they turned to stone, thus saving the heroes from a grisly fate. I had problems comprehending what I saw on my screen and forever will have that segment of gaming burnt into my memory. They had some decent abilities, and I recall they had a solid mix of white/black magic. As a pair they annoyed me, but the sacrifice stands the test of time.

5. Tellah - I loved Tellah, although at first I chalked him up as an annoying old guy. In the end, he remembered the spell he needed to aid the party. Tellah was hella powerful and that was something I greatly respected. His involvement with stupid Edward made for an interesting storyline, and his wisdom really grew on me. I wished Tellah would have been around longer; and Meteo was just the coolest spell in the game.

6. Cecil - I've always been the type of person to not gravitate towards a main character, so I had an initial disliking for Cecil. During my 2nd play through, I really started to like the character. His transformation from Dark Knight to Paladin is one of the coolest moments in gaming history, as I recall playing it and thinking, "Am I really going to just sit here and let him kill me!?" It was genious and ahead of it's time. Cecil would become a real badass at the end of the game, but early Paladin was WEAK. I also don't like Rosa, so I didn't care too much for their relationship. I had such a big love for Kain that Cecil was like the crappy one.

7. Yang - I didn't have a long of strong feelings regarding Yang one way or the other. He was cool, but I'm pretty sure beat his wife up. He sacrificed himself for the greater good, and had some pretty bitchin attacks. Plus, he had claw weapons. My memories of Yang mainly dealt with me speaking in a kung fu/asian accent.

8. Cid - Cid was funny, albeit kinda weak; and also part of some of the cooler parts of the game. I loved his protective nature and how he pushed Edge around. I felt that made Edge kind of become a better person, despite his sex cravings for Rydia. Cid didn't do a lot for me in the game, but he did nothing to bother me. Hammers are cool.

9. Rosa - Rosa felt weak and pointless to me up until the very end of the game. I seemed to feel that she was playing both Kain and Cecil; but again the Kain love went too far. I hated Rosa's attacks, and only really cared about her once she got the Holy spell. I have no fond memories of this trick unfortunately. I think playing through now, I may feel differently about her; but I'm going off of memories.

10. Edward - I mean...yeah. I don't have a lot to say about him. I really wish he had a larger part to play in the game, because he felt fruity and weak.

11. FuSoYa - I don't count him, even though he was super powerful.