Final Fantasy Character Assessments
Name: Cecil Harvey
Game: Final Fantasy IV
Job: Dark Knight/Paladin
And where we had thought to find an abomination
we shall find a God.
And where we had thought to slay another
we shall slay ourselves.
Where we had thought to travel outwards
we shall come to the center of our own existence.
And where we had thought to be alone
we shall be with all the world.
-Joseph Campbell “The Hero With a Thousand Faces”
Major Arcana: Temperance – Cecil (whom I’ve written a full character analysis on before) is the perfect balance of two distinct worlds.. This revelation is foreshadowed in how he manages to reconcile his dark side and become a paladin even before he discovers the full truth of his origins.
Zodiac: Virgo with a Libra moon – Virgos are typically analytical, hardworking, kind, and practical. They worry often, are shy, and don’t like being the center of attention. They’re also modest, faithful, quiet, and persuasive with a good sense of reasoning and memory.
This sign seems to be the perfect fit for Cecil. The eventual paladin is described as a quiet, young man of unsurpassed skill with the dark blade. He never comes off as a braggart or someone who desires attention just for attention’s sake. The opening FMV shows him in contemplation with Rosa, and we know from the game’s story that the Dark Knight feels unworthy of the White Mage’s love and worries he’ll never live up to what he thinks she deserves. However, he’s utterly devoted to her, nor does he ever give up on Kain even when the dragoon knight turns against his best friend. Cecil does break faith with the king of Baron, but only because he refuses to kill a child (Rydia of Mist) after (inadvertently) burning down her village and slaying her mother as the king’s pawn. His reasoning remains sound to the point of overriding orders he finds morally repugnant.
The Libra moon adds another layer of rationality. They tend to be peacemakers, and Cecil is literally the synthesis and the balance of two planets. He’s the light side of the moon who remains steadfast even in the face of earth shattering revelations that could easily cause an existential crisis.
Alignment: Lawful Good – Up until the events of the game, particularly his mission to Mist, Cecil had no major issues following this path, though we do see him questioning the king on the opening flight back to Baron. When his orders unequivocally demanded he kill a child, Cecil withstood the inner conflict to go against such an abhorrent act.
Myers-Briggs Personality Type: ISFJ (Introversion-Sensing-Feeling-Judging) – Cecil is definitely an introvert. Final Fantasy has the distinctive trend of main characters that fit this trait, which is pretty awesome. Since he’s captain of the Red Wing fleet, sensing seems more practical than intuition, and at one point he plans to go after the seven Crystals already stolen, while Golbez searches for the one he doesn’t yet have, a wholly sensible plan.
I went back and forth between F and T, but settled on the former, since Cecil’s first major decision was based on a personal value, the belief that killing children is wrong no matter what you’re ordered to do (take that “I was just following orders”). He also adds the destruction of Mist and the death of Rydia’s mother to his growing cache of guilt. His inability to give up on Kain showcases the trait of looking for the best in people, and he values forgiveness not only for his troubled adopted brother, but also seeks it himself.
Cecil isn’t wishy-washy, and being a captain/soldier, he’d have a sense of rules and deadlines with plans in place. After Kain returns to his rightful self, the paladin forgives him immediately with no grudge left to hold. This led me to pick judging for the final piece.
ISFJ is considered The Defender, which solidifies my decision to affix this personality type to Cecil . People like this rarely sit idle while a worthy cause remains unfinished. They don’t feel comfortable in the spotlight, but they’ll endure it to ensure what needs to be done is done.
Diagnosis: Cecil is pretty level headed, but it’s possible he’s dealing with some depression at the beginning of the game when he’s still a Dark Knight. There are also some self-esteem issues, too, since he believes he doesn’t deserve Rosa, a White Mage, for this very same reason even though she obviously loves him. He’s been forced to fit himself into the wrong role by his adopted father and king, and it’s causing a major identity crisis. He’s not sure what he’s supposed to be, but he knows it’s not supposed to be that. The majority of this is alleviated when he becomes a paladin and literally defeats his darker self. However the identity crisis gains a new facet due the mirror’s light at the top of Mt. Ordeals calling him “son.”
Despite all of this, Cecil is still probably one of the most balanced characters and/or balanced main characters in Final Fantasy. This could be due to the fact that he has an existential crisis to deal with from the get-go, so when the more prominent one occurs much later in the game, he’s better prepared. His identity didn’t so much change from Dark Knight to Paladin as be revealed for the latter after the forced and false one was literally slain.
What do you think of my assessments of this character? Do you agree? Disagree? Would you pick another Major Arcana, astrological sign, alignment, MBTI, and/or diagnosis? Let’s discuss in the comments and let me know whom you want me to do next!