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Wolf Kanno
09-13-2012, 07:32 AM
One of the biggest mysteries in the franchise is the motive of Leon from Final Fantasy II. His home destroyed by the Empire, he is captured and though dead for a large part of the game, but instead he becomes the right hand man of the Emperor and gains a wealth of powers as a Dark Knight. Even after the Emperor's death, Leon chooses to simply take his place and it's only after a greater threat to the planet arrives that Leon joins your party.

So why did Leon join the Empire? Mind control? Secret dark side? Did he simply envy the Emperor's power?

maybee
09-13-2012, 07:36 AM
I always assumed that he wanted the fame, control and the power. He wanted to be Emperor Paramecia and be in the control. He was willing to take over the empire with no sweat and when Firion and the rest are going to fight and battle Paramecia all of a sudden he joins them. Why ?

I believe it's because he wanted the fame and the attention. I wouldn't be surprised if he tried to somehow become the next Paramecia somewhere down the future line.

There was no mention of mind control in the game or any of the game's updates so yeah, Leon is a bit of a arrogant git somewhat.

VeloZer0
09-13-2012, 01:55 PM
He could of also been kind of a dick to begin with. Sucked it up and behaved like a normal kid, but when the opportunity to gain power presented itself he took it.

ReloadPsi
09-14-2012, 02:38 AM
I imagine it being "do this or else dead" and he did it, and then he warmed up to it.

VeloZer0
09-14-2012, 07:00 AM
Do this or be dead people are usually grunts, he however he rose through the ranks very rapidly.

I think a decent question is whether he truly intended to serve the Emperor or was only gaining power for his own sake. Judging by how quickly he took over and how he sought to kill the revived emperor I think he was quite self interested.

ReloadPsi
09-14-2012, 07:14 AM
True, true. It would've been nice if the opening battle had found a way to allude to his being more talented for combat as well, maybe by having him have significantly more HP rather than just slightly more. It would make me wonder less how he rises to the rank he does in virtually no time at all.

Forsaken Lover
09-18-2012, 06:13 PM
I never did finish FFII but I could have sworn he explained his motives when you confront him right before The Emperor returns.

Interestingly, glancing at Gamefqs, his dialogue is different from the PS1 version to the Dawn of Souls Version....

Origins Script:
Leon: I knew you'd come, Firion. You think you can defeat me?

Maria: No, please stop this! Why do you have to cross your sword against your friend?

Leon: Let me ask you one thing: What conquers the world? The answer is power. I am the emperor now, and I will not let go of it! Now, move out of my way!

vs.

Dawn of Souls
Maria: Why do you insist on fighting, Leon?

Leon: Weak words from the weak. Do you know what rules the world? Power. Sheer power. The Imperial throne is mine! The weak cannot survive without the strong to control them! How many lives did the rebels throw away when they chose to oppose the Empire?


Now there isn't much to make of the Origins dialogue but Dawn of Souls strikes me as "Victim Logic" if I might use some pseudo-psychology. Leon lost his home and his parents to the Empire and now he's determined not to let this happen again. He won't be part of the "weak" that gets victimized anymore. He's the one in control now and thus nobody can ever hurt him again.

Or maybe I'm reading too much into it.

*Laurelindo*
09-18-2012, 06:21 PM
I always found this plot twist pretty fascinating, there is a certain deep message in it.
It tells the player that it's very easy to desire power, even if it means becoming "evil".
Leon also could've retained a somewhat good conscience by telling himself that "he will do what he believes is right" and "won't hurt his friends, whatever happens".
He might not even realize himself that he has an evil position.

Evastio
09-22-2012, 06:21 AM
I think Forsaken Lover is on the right track.

Even though there's no cutscene or mention of it, I always thought that as Firion and co. were KOed from the Black Knights with Maria being the last one standing (due to being at the back row), Leon said he wished he was more powerful so he could protect Maria. The Emperor happened to be there when the Black Knights wiped them out and he took an interest in Leon's desire for power, so he took him. When Leon finally gained consciousness, he found himself in front of the Emperor. Leon demanded that he set him and his friends free. The Emperor simply laughed at his demand saying that a weakling as powerless as him had no right to make such a request. However, the Emperor offered Leon the chance to become a knight that would fight at his side, in exchange for the power that Leon craves. Leon accepted, secretly wanting to overthrow the Emperor once he became powerful enough and going back to his friends. However, he became blinded by his power to the point that he forgot why he really wanted it in the first place, to protect his friends and his family.

Formalhaut
10-07-2012, 02:48 PM
Out of all the playable characters, I always thought Leon was the biggest megalomaniac of them all. Even when he's in your party, you feel like he doesn't belong there. It's like Seymour fighting with you that one time in FFX, it didn't seem right.

Fynn
10-07-2012, 03:36 PM
I kind of think that the fact that he had his family (presumably) murdered in front of his eyes jaded him and made him come up with a scheme to take control - cause only those with power have any sort of say in who lives and who dies (kinda like a proto-Delita). I guess that, once the party reach him, he's already too far gone.

Raistlin
10-07-2012, 06:44 PM
The desire for power is a pretty common trope of villains from any form of media. And having everything around you destroyed when you're young is a pretty good motivator for wanting power. It looks like this was made more explicit in the Dawn of Souls version, so I agree with Forsaken Lover.