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Thread: A Cast composed of Guest Characters

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    Edge7's Avatar
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    Default A Cast composed of Guest Characters

    I know that Final Fantasy IV is among the first JRPGs to incorporate a character driven story, but even considering that, the cast has a distinct "feel" that I don't think has been replicated in the games that followed. The majority of the characters are technically guest characters, with Cecil being the only constant (and Edge, but he shows up pretty late). The game always feels like Cecil's story; while many RPGs take care to give the other characters the spotlight, they are footnotes in Cecil's struggles against Golbez (significant footnotes, but Cecil is always center stage).

    Do you like FFIV's cast? Hell, let's broaden the question. Do you like this approach to characters? I can think of some other RPGs that do this (typically games with large casts a la Fire Emblem or Suikoden), but they feel more like soldiers in an army rather than characters with their own agency who enter and leave as your story dictates.
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    Yossarian Lives Administrator Psychotic's Avatar
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    Yeah, I do like them. While FFV for example stuck to one small group of characters for the most part, I think FFIV's are more recognisable and have deeper personalities even though the party chops and changes frequently. With that said, sometimes they can be somewhat one-note and over-emphasise their main character trait (eg Edge being a flirt, Palom being a little trout, etc) that's not a phenomenon unique to FFIV and despite it I still find them endearing and likeable enough.

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    Edge7's Avatar
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    Psychotic, why you gotta play me like that?

    *Quick Edge appreciation post, because, c'mon, it's in my name*

    I like Edge mostly because while Cecil, Kain and Rosa are trying to smooth out their issues, Edge is having the time of his life killing monsters, trash talking with Rydia and[SPOILERS] running away from the reality that his parents killed themselves and his Kingdom is in ruins.[/SPOILERS]. I also like him more than other flirty characters because most of the scenes I remember Edge flirting with Rydia are in pantomime, and it's exclusively with Rydia; if we ignore one pass he makes at Rosa when he joins. Zidane can go from charming to obnoxious very easily, to say nothing of Irving and Ringabel, who seem to spend most of their screen time trying to convince us they're ladiesmen than they do actually wooing anyone.

    Last thing I really like about Edge is that he's a nice foil to Cecil. Cecil begins his tale as a disciplined soldier, obedient to a fault, as he is feared by those he's meant to protect. He only truly grows stronger when he puts away his sword on Mount Ordeals. A Paladin's job is to protect and nurture; were Cecil to continue to wield the Dark Blade, he would end himself, just as his doppelganger does (and just as Tellah does). Other the other side, Edge is a cocky, brash warrior who is adverse to his royal duties. Unlike Cecil and Tellah, who would have and did die respectively from their aggression, Edge is able to channel his anger into something stronger; if only for the fight with Rubicante, his grief forces him to mature and he develops two new kinds of Ninjitsu. Where Cecil's growth comes from renouncing a hateful means of fighting, all of Edge's growth comes from ditching his sense of bravado and being in tune with his emotions.

    After the world is saved, he doesn't run away; he helps rebuild his Kingdom and has to abandon his pining for Rydia (who at this point, he's serious about) for the sake of his people (then, as King, he helps rebuild Mist, but less because he wants Rydia to like him and more because he wants to see her happy).

    YES I THINK ABOUT THE CHARACTERS IN THIS GAME A LOT, OKAY.

    Seriously though, I think it's because the characters get so little emphasis in the story that draws me to them. It activates my creative side, and I'm able to make the world seem even bigger by filling in the holes myself. That being said, the reasons I like Edge are all in-game. I won't even mention my headcanons with Rosa, Cid, Rydia and so on.
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    Yossarian Lives Administrator Psychotic's Avatar
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    Hey man I'm not dissing, Edge is my favourite FFIV character for a lot of the reasons you say! I just think they try too hard with his dialogue sometimes.

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    Edge7's Avatar
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    It's not just that, I've liked Edge since I joined this forum, (obviously). This gushfest a long time coming regardless.
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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    You know, despite the transient nature of most of the cast, I never really felt many of them were just guest characters. Probably because so many of them have a bit more substance than others and partly because the game either keeps some of them rotating back into the party or just the sheer volume of time they stay with you. It's not like say VI -VIII's guest characters who only stay in your party for a particular dungeon or a heavily scripted scenario. I would almost say that FuSoYa is the closest to what I feel is a guest character since he's only required for one dungeon before he leaves for good and has the least amount of development of the whole cast.

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    Edge7's Avatar
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    Referring to them as "Guest Characters" seemed more concise than "characters who come and go from the party at any time". But yeah, you're right. They function like normal characters in an RPG, the only problem is that you don't... keep them.
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