Those who began their gaming life with FF6 or with the playstation FFs will not
cease to be amazed by the originality of FF4, and by the elements in FF4 which
were reused for all later FFs: the adventure to the moon in FF8, the summoner-
monster dynamic in FF5 and after, the chocobos of all the FFs, the active-time
battle system, the internally conflicted and reclusive hero, the side quests,
the underworld race of FF9, the dichotomous villain of FF7, the eternal recurrence
of FF10, summoning the meteor in FF7, and land of the summoned monsters can all
be traced back to FF4, where they had their beginning.
The main subject of FF4 is the overcoming of one's self, personified best by the
hero Cecil, who must defeat his evil self by using the characteristic he would
want to adopt: the characteristic of nonviolence. This moment in the game comes
very early, and is perhaps the single defining moment in the history of gaming
where a philosophical outlook first manifests itself in an RPG. Throughout the
game, Cecil continues to redefine himself, be it connecting with FuSoYa on the
moon to find out about his father, rescuing Rosa on numerous occasions, allowing
Rydia and Rosa to come back for the final battle and showing his affections,
overcome the prejudices of the Mysidians, defeating the dark elf by taking up the
bow and arrow, forgiving his enemy and brother Golbez, and using the crystal on
Zeromus are all steps in Cecil's redefinition of himself as a paladin, living up
to his potential as the son of a Lunarian, you might say.
To be continued.