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Cecil Harvey is the main protagonist of the Final Fantasy IV series that encompasses three games. Even while shrouded in darkness, his desire to do good always rises to the top. A conflicted soul, he must overcome this darkness all while trying to save the world. How hard can that be?
Final Fantasy II or Final Fantasy IV?
The first game Cecil appeared in hit shelves all the way back in 1991 under the name Final Fantasy II. It was the first Final Fantasy game released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System anywhere in the world.
Although known as Final Fantasy II outside of Japan, the game was actually the fourth release in the Final Fantasy series. The games known as Final Fantasy II and Final Fantasy III in Japan were released on the original Nintendo Entertainment System but never left the island. Listed as Final Fantasy IV in Japan, we came to know it as Final Fantasy II for many years.
Finally, with recent remasters, we’re able to play all the games in the series that were once unavailable. As a result, naming conventions for these games have reverted to what they should have been called.
For clarity’s sake, we’ll refer to Cecil’s adventures as Final Fantasy IV in this Cecil Harvey guide.
Since first appearing in 1991, Final Fantasy IV has been rereleased on PSP, DS, mobile devices, and PC. The game’s DS version features 3D graphics that offer the same story experience but make minor changes through optional dungeons and equipment.
Cecil at a Glance
We’re introduced to Cecil in the prime of his life as a 20-year-old captain of the world’s mightiest fleet, the Red Wings. Abandoned as a child, he was taken in by the king of Baron and raised to be a powerful Dark Knight.
Although he appears human, Cecil is actually the product of a Lunarian man and a human female. Being half Lunarian helps Cecil become a Paladin at the top of Mt. Ordeals, where his father’s spirit rests.
Although initially loyal to the king of Baron, Cecil finds himself questioning the king’s unethical motives as the game progresses. He ends up battling his internal hatred, overcoming his past to become a Paladin.
Cecil eventually becomes the king of Baron and marries Rosa, the woman of his dreams. The two have a son named Ceodore. After the events of the After Years, he sets about rebuilding the damaged world in whatever way he can.
While a Dark Knight, Cecil wears sleek, dark armor that covers his entire body except for the slits of his eyes. The armor helps him hide his emotions as well.
Once he becomes a Paladin, he sheds his dark armor for blue and white plate adorned with spikes on the shoulders. He’s often depicted with a long, flowing blue cape. As a Paladin, Cecil no longer wears a helmet in images, revealing long white hair and blue eyes.
We’re fortunate to be able to see a lot of Cecil’s story fleshed out over three incredible games.
Final Fantasy IV
The opening curtain rises to reveal the kingdom of Baron and a bright young soldier named Cecil. Cecil has trained in the ways of a dark knight and uses his skills proficiently, earning him the captainship of the airship fleet, the Red Wings.
A Dark Path
He is sent by the king of Baron to steal the water crystal from the town of Mysidia. Cecil and crew succeed but begin to doubt the king’s intentions. Upon questioning the king, Cecil is stripped of his rank as captain and ordered to slay Eidolons in the nearby Mist Valley.
Even with a heart shrouded in darkness, Cecil recognizes the king’s wrongdoing and vows to do evil no more. This decision firmly in mind, the dark knight and childhood friend Kain travel through the Mist Cave to reach the town on the other side. Upon reaching the village, the duo are appalled to discover they’ve been in possession of a bomb that destroys the town and most souls within it.
The only survivor is a young girl who summons the Eidolon Titan in an attempt to protect what remains of her village. In the ensuing battle, the girl is wounded and Kain disappears. Deeply saddened by what he has done, Cecil chooses not to return to Baron and takes the girl to a nearby desert town to recover.
Baron’s soldiers pursue Cecil into the desert, but Cecil fights them off. The girl recognizes Cecil’s desire to help and introduces herself as Rydia. Discovering that his friend Rosa is seriously ill, he sets off with Rydia to locate the Sand Pearl to save her.
Reaching the nearby town of Damcyan, Cecil is shocked to discover Baron’s Red Wings attacking the city with the mysterious Golbez now in charge. Sadly, the town is destroyed and its fire crystal is taken by Baron’s forces.
Protecting the Crystals
Dismayed by Baron’s plot, Cecil looks to find a way to prevent its king from accomplishing his evil scheme. Deciding to protect the next crystal, Cecil first collects the Sand Pearl from the Antlion Den and saves Rosa before she succumbs to the disease.
With his growing list of friends, Cecil travels to Fabul and warns the king of the impending attack. Although initially skeptical of the dark knight, the king allows Cecil to help defend the castle. Golbez and his new ally Kain prove too much for Cecil, taking both the crystal and Rosa in the process.
Knowing he will need an airship to go head to head against Golbez, Cecil travels to Baron by boat from Fabul in hopes of stealing one of its ships. The boat is attacked by Leviathan, who sends the entire party overboard.
Cecil wakes up near Mysidia, where the townspeople make no attempt at hiding their disgust for the Dark Knight who stole their crystal. Mysidia’s elder tells Cecil that if he wishes to have any hope of defeating Golbez, he must give up his ways as a dark knight and become a paladin. Cecil accepts the challenge and heads to Mt. Ordeals to face the trial.
A New Beginning
At the summit of Mt. Ordeals, Cecil hears a mysterious voice and transforms into a paladin. To complete the trial, Cecil must first conquer the hatred in his heart by beating his former self. Our hero does so by not raising his sword against the darkness, fully embracing the light.
Pleased with Cecil’s repentance, the elder of Mysidia opens the Devil’s Road, allowing the party to travel directly to Baron. Once there, Cecil realizes he is no longer welcome and is attacked by the guards. Defeating him, he discovers the current king is an imposter who slew the former one. Cecil is able to defeat the fiend and meets up with the mechanic Cid, who leaves with Cecil on Baron’s newest airship.
The taste of a minor victory doesn’t last long, as Kain declares Golbez will kill Rosa unless Cecil and crew obtain the earth crystal for him. Left with no choice, Cecil travels to the earth crystal’s location only to discover it was stolen by a dark elf.
Defeating the dark elf and claiming the crystal, Kain leads Cecil and his team to the tower where Golbez holds Rosa prisoner. In a classic double-cross, Golbez takes the crystal but attacks Cecil instead of freeing his prisoner. Just before striking the final blow against Cecil, Golbez hesitates and flees.
Freed of Golbez’s control, Kain rejoins Cecil’s team alongside Rosa. Thrilled to have her back, Cecil and Rosa exchange a kiss before planning their next move.
Voyage to the Underworld
Fearful that Golbez has all four crystals, Kain reveals that Golbez also needs the four dark crystals to open the path to the moon. Located in the underworld, Cecil and friends travel underground only to discover that the Red Wings are already attacking the Dwarven Castle.
Cecil attempts to defend the crystal located in the castle but loses to Golbez’s magical power. When hope seems lost, Rydia appears with a summoned Mist Dragon and defeats Golbez, who still manages to grab the crystal before escaping.
In an attempt to slow Golbez’s plans, the party heads to the Tower of Babil, standing so tall that it stretches from the underworld to the overworld. At the tower, the forces of evil have finished construction on a super cannon to quickly end the war with the dwarves. The heroes are able to destroy the cannon but nearly end up in the lava before being saved by Cid on his airship.
Outgunned against the Red Wings, Cecil takes the party back to the overworld and seals the pathway back down. This gives Golbez the time he needs to collect two more dark crystals, leaving one hidden away in the Sealed Cave.
Journey to the Moon
With little hope remaining, the heroes travel through the Cave of Eblan and end up back in the underworld. The dwarven king reveals the key to the Sealed Cave and asks Cecil to recover the last crystal located there.
Cecil successfully obtains the crystal at the bottom of the cave, but Golbez retakes control of Kain and steals the crystal for himself. With all eight crystals in his possession, Golbez prepares to enact his evil plan.
Returning to Mysidia, the elder uses the power of prayer to retrieve the Lunar Whale, a vessel with the power to travel to the moon. Upon arrival to the lunar surface, Cecil meets a Lunarian named Fusoya.
Fusoya reveals that a Lunarian named Zemus is controlling Golbez, forcing him to use the eight crystals to awaken the Giant of Babil and destroy the world. Returning to Earth, the heroes discover that the giant is already on a rampage.
The combined forces of the world unite and do battle against the giant. Cecil enters the giant’s head with his friends and smashes its robotic brain, rendering it useless.
Furious, Golbez attacks the party, only to be brought back to his senses by Fusoya. With a clear head, Golbez reveals that he is Cecil’s older brother, and they are both half Lunarian.
Sensing the only way to end the conflict for good is to destroy Zemus, the party alongside Golbez, Fusoya, and Kain travel to the moon once again. Golbez and Fusoya initially defeat Zemus, but the Lunarian transforms into Zeromus, a being of pure hate.
Both severely wounded, Fusoya and Golbez leave the final fight to Cecil and his friends, who defeat the monster once and for all. To atone for his crimes, Golbez stays on the moon to watch over the people of Earth. The game ends with Cecil and Rosa getting married and taking over as king and queen of Baron.
Final Fantasy IV -Interlude-
Final Fantasy IV -Interlude- was created to bridge the gap between the events of FFIV and The After Years. The game’s events pick up one year after the original game ends.
Friends in Need
Cecil and Rosa travel to the newly reconstructed Damcyan castle, where the two meet up with several friends from events a year prior. While there, the king of Fabul receives word that some of his monks were attacked on Fabul’s Mt. Hobs. Cecil and Rosa travel with King Yang, who saves the injured monks.
As Cecil and Rosa prepare to return to Damcyan, Cid arrives in Fabul to alert the party to monsters pouring out of the Sealed Cave in the underworld. After navigating through the cave to the dark crystal, Cecil and the team discover Rydia collapsed at its base.
Rydia has no memory of why she was in the Sealed Cave but feels an overwhelming desire to visit the Tower of Babil. Cecil takes her as far as the cannon’s control room where Rydia disappears during a battle. Climbing further, the heroes find Rydia again, but this time she turns out to be an imposter.
This mysterious imposter uses the power of Eidolons in the battle, nearly defeating the party before the real Rydia appears. Rydia regains control of the Eidolons, allowing Cecil to defeat the mysterious woman and restore order.
In the game’s closing scene, Rosa reveals to Cecil that she’s pregnant.
Final Fantasy IV: The After Years
The After Years takes place 17 years after the conclusion of the original game. It features several chapters focusing on particular characters (new and old) from the series. Cecil doesn’t have as much of a presence, but his role is essential all the same.
The After Years begins with Cecil’s son Ceodore as he partakes on a mission with the Red Wings. While away, Baron Castle falls under attack by a swarm of monsters from an unknown source. Cecil, Rosa, and Cid battle back against the horde, catching a glimpse of a strange new moon in the sky.
Certain that the castle will fall, Cecil orders everyone else to leave and prepares to defend the castle alone. A Mysterious Girl riding on the Eidolon Bahamut descends from the moon, and Cecil is defeated.
When Ceodore returns home, he is shocked to find the kingdom safe, but everyone acting strangely. Even his father Cecil does not seem to be himself. Ceodore is forced to flee with a Hooded Man until he can muster the forces needed to break through the castle’s defense.
Edward’s Tale: Star-Crossed Damcyan
Edward, a hero of Final Fantasy IV and now king of Damcyan, is attacked by Baron’s Red Wings, who appear to be after the crystals once again. Edward travels to Baron and discovers king Cecil acting very much unlike himself.
Fearing the worst, Edward uses whisperweed to eavesdrop on Cecil, only to discover the paladin is working with the Mysterious Girl.
Gathering’s Tale: The Moon’s Gravity
After some time, Ceodore joins forces with many of the heroes from the original game to retake Baron Castle from the forces of darkness. Inside, they encounter a possessed Cecil who draws his blade against his son.
During the battle, the Eidolon Odin helps Cecil regain his senses, but the king is injured in the process. Ceodore and his team are able to defeat the Mysterious Girl, but several others appear and warn the party they are waiting on the True Moon.
Final Tale, Part One: True Moon
Although injured both physically and mentally in the battle at Baron Castle, Cecil travels with Golbez and several other heroes to the Moon. Cecil has lost his ability to speak and is left in a severely weakened state.
While on the moon, Cecil comes across the embodiment of the Dark Knight that had possessed him on Earth. The Dark Knight claims to be the true Cecil and attacks the party. He attempts to kill each party member, but Cecil parries the blow each time. When the Dark Knight tries to finish off Cecil, Golbez steps in and shields his brother.
Defeating the Dark Knight allows Cecil to recover his lost strength, ability to use white magic, and the powerful sword Excalibur.
Final Tale, Part Two: Planet Eater
Pressing on, our heroes discover that the True Moon is a spaceship from a race of now-extinct beings that lived at the edge of the universe. The only surviving member, the Creator, deemed that Earth houses evolutionary failures and must be wiped out.
The party vanquishes the Creator in the ensuing battle, protecting the world from destruction. The game concludes with Cecil and Ceodore sparring in the castle, peace having returned to Earth.
Gameplay as Cecil in Final Fantasy IV
Being the main character of Final Fantasy IV, Cecil remains in your party for the entire game. His playstyle is significantly different depending on whether he’s a Dark Knight or has become a Paladin.
Cecil was trained as a Dark Knight from childhood and starts the game as this class. By embracing the darkness, he is unable to damage undead creatures.
As a Dark Knight, Cecil uses the Darkness ability. In the 2D version, the attack damages all enemies while consuming 1/8th of Cecil’s maximum hit points. In the 3D version, using Darkness doubles his damage while inflicting damage to Cecil every turn.
He can only equip dark equipment specific to this class, of which there isn’t much. His best weapon is the Deathbringer, given to him by the king of Fabul.
After the events on Mt. Ordeals, Cecil ascends to a Paladin and renounces his ways as a Dark Knight. He loses all his old abilities and equipment, leaving the mountain with the holy blade Mythgraven.
Although Cecil becomes a Paladin at level one, he quickly surpasses his old self. Cecil learns Cover as a Paladin, which he will automatically use to protect any teammate with critical HP. He can also learn an assortment of white magic spells, although nothing compared to the White Mages of the game.
Cecil is best played as a fighter class with strong armor that can take a good amount of physical damage. Due to his limited spells and mediocre healing stats, he can function as a backup healer but nothing more.
As a Paladin, Cecil can equip holy swords, swords, daggers, axes, shields, hats, helms, clothes, robes, armors, gloves, and rings. In the 2D version of the game, he can also use staves, bows, hats, and robes.
Cecil’s best weapon in the game is the holy sword Lightbringer, found as a part of Cecil’s Lunar Trials available in 2D versions only after beating the game. Through the trials, Cecil must perform good deeds along the way. If successful, the king at the end of the trial awards Cecil with the Lightbringer.
In the 3D version of the game, Cecil’s best sword is found in the Lunar Subterrane, the game’s final dungeon. It is in the same location in the 2D version of the game. The holy sword is hidden in a secret passage on B6 that sends players to a pedestal on floor B5. Cecil can claim the sword after defeating Dark Bahamut.
Gameplay as Cecil in Final Fantasy IV – Interlude
Taking place after the events of the original game, Cecil starts FFIV – Interlude as a Paladin. He still has the Cover ability and white magic spells from the first game but doesn’t learn any new abilities.
He should be played the same way as in the first game, as a tanky fighter who can offer up a Cure or Esuna when absolutely needed. His Cover will protect critical team members from lethal attacks.
Without a category for holy swords, Cecil is relegated to swords, bows, two staves, and a single axe and dagger during this short quest. He can still equip anything from clothes to heavy armor, but there’s no reason to keep him in anything but the strong stuff.
Gameplay As Cecil in Final Fantasy IV – The After Years
Cecil ages well leading up to the events of the After Years and has some of the highest strength and hit points of any character you get on your team. He is a great front-line attacker but still doesn’t have the magical fortitude to make much use of his white magic spells. As in previous titles, Cecil will use his Cover ability to protect the team.
A new feature to the After Years, Bands let certain characters in the same party unleash a combination attack if they share a bond. These abilities can be unlocked automatically, but many are discovered by having the right team members along on a mission.
Bands require all party members involved to have a full battle gauge and require magic points to use.
Having a connection to most characters in the game, Cecil can form bands with some combination of most of them.
FFIV: The After Years brings back holy weapons for Cecil to wield alongside axes, bows, daggers, staves, and swords. He can once again equip a wide variety of armor from clothing to heavy plate.
The Ultima Weapon is the strongest of any weapon type that Cecil can use in the game. It’s located in the Depths, the game’s final dungeon on the True Moon. The monster of the same name resides on floor B15, and defeating him will allow Cecil to claim this weapon.
One notable event in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years can be overlooked if you’re not careful.
During the battle with Cecil’s evil Dark Knight form while on the True Moon in the After Years, the Dark Knight unleashes an attack that severely injures everyone on your team. Cecil jumps in and shields his allies as the Dark Knight tries to land each fatal blow. When the Dark Knight attacks Cecil directly, Golbez jumps in to save his brother, suffering a mortal wound in the process.
If you have Cecil, Rosa, and Ceodore alongside Golbez in this battle, Golbez will instead survive the attack.
Cecil forms strong bonds with all his companions over the course of these three games, but none mean more to him than the individuals below.
Rosa is a childhood friend of Cecil and Kain and is the woman Cecil loves. Cecil feels he is unworthy of her love while a Dark Knight, but becoming a Paladin allows him to tear down the walls he’s erected and draw close to her.
The two share a kiss during a pivotal moment at the Tower of Babil and wed at the end of the original game. They have a child together named Ceodore.
Kain is Cecil’s other childhood friend and long-time rival. Their friendship puts them at odds sometimes, and these bonds are put to the test when Kain becomes possessed on two different occasions. Ultimately, the pair overcome their struggles and form a strong bond.
Although an antagonist for most of Final Fantasy IV, Golbez is in actuality Theodor, Cecil’s brother. Despite fighting nearly the entire game, the two reconcile to put an end to Zemus. Later, Golbez proves a formidable ally in the battle against the Creator, almost losing his life to protect Cecil from harm.
Cecil’s son and heir to the throne of Baron. Ceodore is 16 years old during the events of FFIV: The After Years and is one of the first to discover that his father has been possessed. His leadership helps snap Cecil out of his curse.
King of Baron
Baron’s king takes both Cecil and Kain in at a very early age and raises them to be the warriors they are at the start of Final Fantasy IV. The king is a benevolent man who helps bring prosperity to his kingdom and surrounding lands.
Unfortunately, the real king is killed shortly before the opening scene of the original game. Replaced by an imposter, he forces Cecil to attack Mysidia and claim the crystal. This leads Cecil to question the king’s motives and sets Cecil’s adventure in motion.
Cecil’s most notable quotes revolve around his weakness of character while a Dark Knight.
“I’m a coward… A coward who cannot even defy orders he knows he ought not follow…”
“I’ve worn this darkened armor for so long now, there’s no mote of light left in me. Not even… in my heart.”
“I guess it’s my fate as a dark knight. Soon, I won’t even feel any remorse for my actions.”
Below are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding Cecil Harvey.
Question: How Old Is Cecil in Final Fantasy?
Answer: Cecil begins Final Fantasy IV at 20 years of age. By the end of the events in the After Years, he is 37.
Question: Is Cecil a Lunarian?
Answer: Cecil was born to a Lunarian father and a human mother. This makes him a half-Lunarian with an undetermined amount of power.
Question: Who is Cecil’s Dad?
Answer: Cecil’s father is Kluya the Lunarian. Kluya was killed before Cecil’s birth by angry humans. His spirit now rests atop Mt. Ordeals.
Question: Why Does Cecil Become a Paladin?
Answer: Choosing the way of light is Cecil’s way to atone for his past sins and accept a new path in life. In doing so, he’s able to overcome his self-hatred and become a more powerful warrior than ever before.