One of the most anticipated titles for the PlayStation Portable this year is Square Enix's Dissidia: Final Fantasy. The game brings together stars from all of the main titles in the Final Fantasy franchise in one, big free-for-all where the victors will decide the fate of the world.
For North American fans, the waiting ends in two days. To celebrate Dissidia's upcoming release, we've put together a little primer on the characters that comprise the game's roster. Today we have Part 1 of a two-part feature where we focus on the representatives of the first six Final Fantasies, so dig right in. Be warned, however: spoilers abound.
Representing the very first entry in the Final Fantasy franchise are the Warrior of Light and Garland. The Warrior of Light leads the heroes who rallied around Cosmos while Chaos's right-hand man Garland is at the forefront of the dark side's charge.
The Warrior of Light remains nameless in Dissidia -- just like in Final Fantasy -- and I have to say I'm very tempted to just call him "Fighter" right now, even if doesn't have any sword-chucks. He's pretty much an amalgamation of the original four Light Warriors from Final Fantasy. He has both physical and magical attacks and is equipped with a sword and shield.
Garland, on the other hand, presents a nice little conundrum in the Dissidia storyline in that in the original Final Fantasy, he actually IS Chaos. Seriously, the guy traveled back in time, became Chaos, and waited 2,000 years for another go at the Light Warriors after they defeated him the first time. OK, he really did it just to live forever in a time loop but how's that for dedication?
Of Final Fantasy II's four protagonists, main character Firion is the one representing the game for Cosmos' side in Dissidia. Another physical fighter, Firion fights for a world free from war and tyranny -- the exact two things that the Emperor wants to plunge the world into. Slap a beard on his face and you've got your usual revolutionary.
Over on the side of Chaos is the Emperor of Palamecia himself. Compared to Firion, the Emperor isn't much of a fighter. Instead, he relies on powerful spells to help bring his dreams of world domination to reality. The Emperor is also one of the higher-ranking villains in Dissidia and is another character who is never called by his real name. He's probably killed everybody who ever knew it anyway because, you know, names have power.
In Dissidia, the Onion Knight is the youngest and least confident of the warriors in Cosmos' camp. Perhaps this is a nod to the original Onion Knight class in Final Fantasy III, which was the class that the four heroes of than game started out with. Young as he may be, the Onion Knight is also the fastest hero in the game, although as with most speedy attackers his damage output isn't that high.
The Cloud of Darkness is portrayed in Final Fantasy III as an entity that is given form when the balance between light and dark is tipped. Why this entity ended up as a barely-clothed hottie, I have no idea. This scantily-clad sorcerer likes to take to the air and lob magical attacks at her enemies. She also has a pair of tentacled creatures that she can attack with. In the Dissidia demo, she was the one character that I hated fighting the most, so I'm doubly looking forward to hating her again in the full game.
Ah, Cecil. He used to be cool and brooding until he turned into a goody two-shoes Paladin. Just personal opinion, that. Cecil Harvey was a former Dark Knight who went through a bout of introspection and came out a Paladin in the process. Oh, he also killed a bunch of monsters along the way. This duality is also represented in Dissidia by Cecil's dual Dark Knight / Paladin forms.
Golbez is a bit of a wildcard in the bad guys' camp in Dissidia. He's markedly different from his companions in that he attempts to help the heroes a few times, perhaps as atonement for being a total psycho back in Final Fantasy IV. Yeah, he was being controlled by an even bigger and far more genocidal psycho back then, but that really only goes so far as an excuse.
Mimes may be widely hated out here in the real world, but in the Final Fantasy universe they're useful very useful companions in the fight against evil. In Dissidia, the part of Mime falls on the shoulders of Final Fantasy V's Bartz Klauser. For the uninitiated, a Mime copies the moves of others characters, which means Bartz has access to different attacks taken from the members of the Cosmos team. If only Mimes were this cool in the real world I bet they wouldn't be hated so much.
Aside from having one of the weirder names and origins (dude's a tree!) in Final Fantasy bad guy history, Exdeath is one of the more malevolent minions of Chaos. That says something when you're in the company of numerous big bads. As expected of his size, Exdeath is slow, but his skills as a magic-wielder make up for his lack of speed. Plus he's an ambulatory tree of pure evil that wants nothing more than to plunge everything into the Void. The only thing scarier than an evil tree is one that can actually run after you, albeit slowly.
Let me say this right off the bat: Terra is not my top choice to represent Final Fantasy VI in Dissidia. Be that as it may, I must concede that she has more than enough power to hold her own against the game's other big guns. Not only does she have some powerful magic abilities at her disposal, Terra is also the daughter of an Esper -- which kinda puts her in the same class as the summons in any Final Fantasy game, only not quite as huge.
Acting as the foil to Terra's goody-two-shoes nature is Kefka, one of the most recognizable and memorable Final Fantasy villains ever. He may look downright ridiculous, but it should never be forgotten that this psycho clown actually managed to bring about the Apocalypse and successfully ascend to godhood. Of course, he still got a beatdown, but nobody else in his team can say that about themselves. Oh and that whole angel thing with Sephiroth? This guy did that first.
That's it for Part 1 of our Dissidia: Final Fantasy character roundup. Tomorrow we'll take a look at the characters from the latter half of the roster. Stay tuned!