The lights are on
Final Fantasy IV has plenty of moments that I remember fondly, but none of them rank as high as Cecil's battle with his dark half on the summit of Mount Ordeals. It's a symbolic fight where Cecil grapples with the evil deeds he performed as a Dark Knight, hoping to find redemption as a Paladin.
Accompanied by Porom, Palom, and Tellah, Cecil must climb the mountain to atone for his slaughter of the residents of Mysidia (depicted in the game's intro). By doing so, he can become a Paladin – a holy warrior that possesses the power required to defeat the villain Golbez. After a battle atop Mount Ordeals with the first of four elemental fiends, Cecil and company enter a mirrored room. Cecil is bathed in light and changes to Paladin form, but then must do battle with his Dark Knight reflection in the mirrors. In this fight, Cecil must let go of his aggression and take a defensive approach while the dark version continues attacking. After some cryptic dialogue that hints at later revelations, Cecil is victorious and becomes a true Paladin.
It's reminiscent of a sequence in the original Final Fantasy, where the heroes explore the similarly named Castle of Ordeals. In that case, they have to bring back a tail as a sign of courage, at which point Bahamut grants them improved character classes. The scenario in Final Fantasy IV also involves a transformation, but the story context surrounding it is what sets it apart. Instead of some dragon king randomly bestowing new powers, Cecil's class change is a significant step in his personal arc.
Here's my sad confession: I always thought Cecil was better as a Dark Knight than a Paladin. But that doesn't make the moment any less important.
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Oh hey, the days when FF wasn't a bad self-parody...
This is such an awesome moment, and I loved how he went back down to lvl 1. Makes me remember how great FF games USED to be. I haven't been able to get into any since MAYBE 10, of course 7 is probably my favorite ever.
This is my favorite Final Fantasy of all time. This is also in my top three moments in gaming. I feel that this entry was the most focused and concise in the story telling and character development departments. Cecil was ten times the damage machine as a paladin and it was a satisfying rush watching his level climb from one as he tore through the undead of Mount Hobbes.
I honestly give "spoony bard" the edge.
Just kidding, this was better. :P
The reason this is a great moment in Final Fantasy lore is because this is moment where a character experiences change, Cecil has undergone a development which will both change the way he fights and the way he thinks and acts. He is no longer a puppet with good intentions who wants to atone for his evil deeds but is now resolute not to let anyone use him and that he won't allow any more evil in the world if he can help it. And though this is a great moment in FF4, I still think "You spoony bard!" is slightly more memorable because it's so funny.
Aka- Cecil becomes a walking tank.
By far my favorite FF ever. Too many great moments to name just one. Kain was the man!