Well, folks, here in FFIV I finally know why I didn’t see any little 8-bit arms and legs in those FFII disaster zones. If they’re anything like the 32-bit disaster zones in FFIV, people’s bodies don’t get dismembered, they just flash in and out of existence, until they just stop flashing back in! Yes, I have seen in-game death, and it ain’t pretty. I’ve also seen in-game corpses, though, so I’m not really sure what to make of that. Maybe those ones were atheists. But why they didn’t vanish when they died was of far less concern to me than the fact that they did, in fact, die. In some cases, horribly.
And if anyone was going to visit horrible death upon us, it was going to be Golbez. We first joined Cecil after a mountain fell on his best friend. We tried to back him up out in the desert, but we didn’t have much skill with swords or lances. Well, to be precise, I didn't have much skill. Don't know about Tylor, because he'd pretty much named himself the official photographer, and would wield nothing else.
The girl Cecil was carrying had a staff, but it looked to be good for herding sheep and not much else. We stopped to rest, and we had a restless night. There was some shouting and bleeding and dying that woke me somewhere around midnight . When we woke, and discovered his girlfriend sick with fever, we set out north and I tried my hand at bare-fist fighting, and with a bow. It wasn’t long before the bow was confiscated, and I discovered exactly how nasty it is to punch undead flesh. Cecil and the girl, Rydia, along with the old coot we picked up in the
The great master mage Tellah is not an old coot. The great master mage Tellah is not an old coot. The great master mage Tellah is not an old coot. And he takes extreme exception to being called one. Anyway, after I was banned from the fighting, it was decided that I should keep a log of the journey, as that was (almost) what we were there to do anyway. I was keeping it on a separate pad, but we lost that somewhere between falling down a waterfall and being attacked by an octopus. But that’s where the real subject of interest entered the story: Golbez.
Golbez entered the story with a fiery wrath that rained down upon a kingdom, killing most of the people inside. Having obtained what he was after, he left nothing behind but an unintentional survivor, and his name. The next we’d heard of Golbez, he’d set up an ambush that all but wiped out another kingdom’s fighting force. Then he came down on that kingdom, killing, maiming, and bombing it into submission. All of this was simply to obtain the nation’s Crystal . It was in the Crystal room we finally met the man, after Cecil’s aforementioned friend walked in and kicked Cecil’s ass. There, friends, we saw a spell that kicked more ass than any we have ever seen. It cleaved through two healthy men, blasting a clear path to his objective. We think it’s called, “HA!”
Let me tell you what we can see about Golbez. He’s very aware of his situation. He’s in control, and it’s not for luck. He’s always looking for the next move, no matter whose it is or where it’s coming from. He saw Cecil, an enemy who’d managed to follow him through three nations (he’d just come from the first when we met up with him), and he acted. Why he didn’t just kill him, I don’t know, I mean, he’d killed pretty indiscriminately up until then. Maybe “HA!” took all his MP, and he didn’t want to put himself at unnecessary risk. But he did take Cecil’s girlfriend, with the intention of maybe at some point having some notion of how he could use her against him.
Then my log got kind of soggy. I’ll tell you why. Because Tylor and I set out to sea with the four remaining fighters: Cecil, whose home and girlfriend were in Golbez’s hands, Edward, whose home and girlfriend were dead and gone, Rydia, whose mother and village were also lost, and Yang, who witnessed the deaths of every fighter he’d ever trained before Golbez invaded his home and crippled his king.
Then Leviathan showed up, destroyed the ship, swallowed Rydia, and left us drifting on debris. Fortunately for Tylor and me, we had annexed the crow’s nest before that happened, and it ended up being our lifeboat. Unfortunately, we don't know many good sea shanties, and we have very differing views of what constitutes a shanty, and what makes one good.
We drifted to Mysidia, where we found a poisoned pig that wouldn’t leave us alone. It followed us all the way to the inn, where we went for some food and rest. When we woke the next morning, we found out the pig was Cecil, and I made a conscious choice not to think about the BLT I’d eaten the night before.
Let me sum up these experiences for you: Life in this world is a bitch. Bad things happen to good people. Bad things happen to mediocre people. Bad things happen to bad people. Do you see the pattern? I saw the pattern, and it held true.
It seemed Golbez was the only person immune. Hell, even after Cecil shed the dark sword and gained the power of the Paladin, Golbez was still in total control. He made Cecil bring him the last crystal in exchange for Rosa; his general, Rubicant, oversaw the downfall of an entire nation of ninja; and by the time the good guys figured out there were actually four more crystals, Golbez had already taken two of them, and nearly the third.
Okay, here’s where I can see Golbez as getting a little of the bad luck. Sure, he’d already been smacked with the most powerful magic of all time around here, but let’s be objective about that: when the guy hitting you with the magic is the one who dies from it, you automatically assume the status known as “fortunate”. But this time, he was taken by surprise, and actually beaten. “Wonderful,” we said. Actually, that’s what the heroes said. Tylor and I were discussing how our survival didn’t make for a great villain review, when Golbez’s hand – his fricken HAND – came to life and accomplished his objective for him.
So all in all, he’s pretty bad-ass. He does not fail. What he can’t do, he makes his mortal enemies do for him. What he fails to do, his various body parts accomplish. And then there was the time he decided that the heroes had outlived their usefulness, and he laid a trap that would have killed them if not for the incredible timing of the fifth team member to die for the cause. The fifth!
If you’ve played the game, and you know all about Golbez’s controlling force, good for you. You wanna say since he wasn’t really in control of himself, he’s not so badass. And you’re entitled to your opinion. But you are wrong.
“But Mark,” you say, “only one of the people to die for the cause actually stayed dead! Surely that reduces Golbez’s badass-ness!”
Correction: only one of the TEAM MEMBERS actually stayed dead. And if that’s not enough, let me remind you, Golbez never once failed in his objective. His control wasn’t broken until after he’d served his purpose in reactivating the tower of Babil , and bringing forth a mechanical monstrosity bent on world destruction.
His successes and the near-ness of the near misses for the heroes are what make Golbez such a badass.
But props to Zemus-turned-Zeromus, for being the scariest-looking thing so far in the series. Is he badass? Well, he would be, if he had an ass.
He just basically went around wrecking shit. He went around killing people. He played chess with people’s lives, often playing both sides with multiple fatalities.
He was a jerk, is what it was. He was a dick. And very committed to being one.
What's my motivation?
Golbez wanted power. He wanted it because Zemus made him want it, and made him think it was his idea. Zemus wanted a world all to himself, I guess.
I wish I could do that
You know what my favorite Golbez move was? HA! That was awesome. He killed left and right with HA! Why he didn't just walk around laughing, I have no idea. HA HA HA HA! He totally kicked ass, and left them to rot. Before the little girl came in and cured them. Oh, and they killed Golbez multiple times, and his HAND completed his objective!
Well, the whole hand thing was pretty creepy, and then there was Zeromus, an undead furball/tree trunk/pus bulging alien condor(?) If that was indeed its head.
Honestly, if you were standing there and this giant blue furball suddenly transformed into that, can you tell me you wouldn't shit your pants? I wouldn't believe you.
10/10 if not more.
Total Villain Score:
This game gets a point for awesome villain music. Golbez's theme and Zeromus' battle theme were the best of the game's music score.
Total Modified Villain Score:
Would you look at that! A positive villain score! Well, now I can’t wait to see what else this series has for us. We can only go up from here, right? Next in the series will be FFV. See you there!