Final Fantasy Character Assessments: Celes Chere

Final Fantasy Character Assessments

<–Squall Leonhart

*Potential spoilers for everything involving the topic character and their game.

CW: Discussions of depression and suicide.

Name: Celes Chere
Game: Final Fantasy VI
Job: Imperial General
Age: 18/19

Major Arcana: The Hanged Man – Picking Celes’ card was so much harder than I originally thought it would be.  I’d pegged her as either The High Priestess or The Empress since those are the typical female defaults, but Celes isn’t a “typical female” (whatever that means anyway).  She’s a woman general, a typically masculine job, and she’s young, really young.  Everything about her seems to exist as a unity of opposites to Terra, the other main female character.  She’s heavenly (Celes as in “celestial”) to Terra’s “earth;” ice to Terra’s fire; and she’s a high ranking military officer to Terra’s bondage.  Of course Celes is bound herself even before her arrest, which is proven by her very imprisonment .  She acted on her conscious after disillusionment with the Empire and wound up sentenced to death.  Her entire existence, occupation, and powers were entirely predicated on the Empire’s whims, but it isn’t until she defies Imperial orders that she understands that…and realizes that even someone completely raised and indoctrinated into a regime can still be themselves.  There’s an ineffable quality to a person that can override even the deepest programming if pushed to the limit.

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Final Fantasy Character Assessments: Squall Leonhart

Final Fantasy Character Assessments

<–Cecil Harvey                                                                                                                            Celes Chere–>

*Potential spoilers for everything involved with the topic character and their game.

Thanks to LightningEllen for making this character suggestion on Final Fantasy Friday: Light Motifs!

Name: Squall Leonhart
Game: Final Fantasy VIII
Job: Mercenary
Age: 17

Major Arcana: The Chariot – Squall is a character many of his classmates and teachers find difficult to understand, and The Chariot card is one of the more difficult ones to interpret.  It indicates a unity of opposites, though with an emphasis on such a paradigm helping you get what you want.  It also implies war, struggle, and ultimately a hard won victory over one’s enemies, and this fits Squall to a tee.  He has this cold and aloof exterior, but like the adage says, “Still waters run deep.”  His personal symbol is the lion and of course his last name “Leonhart” invokes the idea of being lionhearted i.e. courageous and strong.  It seems anathema that he has a fiery and more sun associated symbol due to his cool exterior, but this of course feeds into the unity of opposites motif.

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Final Fantasy Character Assessments: Cecil Harvey

Final Fantasy Character Assessments

Squall Leonhart–>

Name: Cecil Harvey
Game: Final Fantasy IV
Job: Dark Knight/Paladin
Age: 20

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!

Squall Leonhart–>









Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy Tarot – XXI The World

<–XX Judgement

This is my current Final Fantasy Friday post where I’ll be discussing which characters I think exemplify each card of the Major Arcana.  If this is your first time here, please head over to my Final Fantasy Tarot page for explanation.  Now onto the next card!

The World


We finally come to the end after 22 wonderful weeks, though it feels odd to say that this is final, since Final Fantasy is never final.  It goes on and on ad infinitum, repeating the same elements in different ways.  Thus is The World card. While it does represent a pause in life, it also heralds the beginning of a new cycle with The Fool on another journey.  Like the game series, tarot is cyclical, which is one of the reasons I believe they line up so well.

I chose the Gaia from Final Fantasy IX because IX itself represents the end of a era.  It is the final (that isn’t) send off for the series on PlayStation.  The pause that reiterates before moving onto the next, and it’s fitting that the next, X, takes place in a world called Spira, the spiral.  IX also has the grand motif of the coming together of two different worlds, Terra to Gaia, earth to earth, into one.  This is the same motif presented in IV with the Lunarians and the people of the Blue Planet and in VII with Aeris as half-human, half-Cetra, and darker with Sephiroth as part alien.  The World is also said to represent the cosmic consciousness, which aligns well with VII’s spiritual flow of the Lifestream.

The four figures in the corners of The World card can represent either the Book of Revelations 4:7 where the throne of God is described (and I’m sure I could make a case for the Four Horsemen if I were so inclined to delve a bit) or the representatives of the natural world, the kingdom of beasts.  There is also an astrological connection.  The Lion is Leo, a fire sign; the Bull is Taurus (yasssss), an earth sign; the Man is Aquarius, an air sign; and the Eagle is Scorpio, a water sign (not sure where the Great Wiki is garnering that from, but okay).  Of course these four hold the balance of the world and the universe, and we have Final Fantasy’s ubiquitous Crystal(s) for parallel.  Though the four separate parts disappear after IV (or V, since I haven’t played that yet, I can’t speak to it), they still exist in some form in VI-VIII and return in IX spread out among Gaia’s kingdoms.

The World is both the end and the beginning, and Final Fantasy (ironically for its name) has no end, and as the first game is a time loop, a beginning is questionable as well.  While I used FFIX’s picture for Gaia, it is highly probably that all of the games take place in the same world, and all Gaias are the same Gaia, and there may just be one story told and retold infinite times as each cycle ends and begins again.

 Mr. Panda gets the final card with his Gaia guess!

Now it’s time to declare the winners of the game.  Seven of you played at various points in time: Mr. Panda, The Otaku Judge, LightningEllen, Carrie482, Hungrygoriya, iplayedthegame, and Athene|AmbiGaming, and I thank you all for participating whether you guessed one or 21 times!

Just to reiterate the scoring system, a correct answer would net you 5 points.  Guessing an alternate would give you 3, and picking a character from the same game as the right character earned you 1.  So without further ado…

In 3rd Place with 13 points we have Hungrygoriya!


2nd Place goes to LightningEllen with 36 points!


And at 51 points the 1st Place ribbon goes to Mr. Panda!


I had so much more fun than I ever thought I would doing this for the past 22 weeks, and I hope you all did, too, whether you guessed or not.  Quite a few people expressed that they learned a lot about Final Fantasy and Tarot during this series, and I’m glad I was able to introduce deeper aspects of one or both.  I love Final Fantasy as you all know, and I’m obsessed with religious and esoteric symbolism, so this was a match made in heaven for me.

Thanks to everyone who participated either by guessing or just commenting to show your interest and support.  The general consensus has been on me doing a Final Fantasy Astrology series next, so I’m going to start preliminary research on that.  Until then, I’m not sure what (if anything) I’m going to do on Fridays.  I have some brief articles and lists I could regale you with (I seriously doubt I’ll be able to write an FF essay a week alas) or I might use the time to work on bigger projects.

Once again thank you all, and please feel free to display your ribbons on your sites if you so choose 🙂  If you’d like to know more details and/or your score, just let me know in the comments!

<–XX Judgement



Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy Tarot – XX Judgement

<–XIX The Sun                                                                                     XXI The World–>

This is my current Final Fantasy Friday post where I’ll be discussing which characters I think exemplify each card of the Major Arcana.  If this is your first time here, please head over to my Final Fantasy Tarot page for explanation.  Now onto the next card!

XX Judgement


If I’d remembered that Judgement was also called “The Angel,” I might have considered a different angle per se.  Be that as it is, the Lifestream from FFVII was my first and solid choice.  The souls of the Planet is also the spirit and the will of the Planet that would have found humanity wanting and worthy of destruction save for one soul thrust there before her natural time who prayed for our salvation.  It’s a good thing Aeris had that job and that compassion.  I would’ve let humanity rot.  All of our actions were drawn up into that moment, and it is a close judgement call who or what did or would’ve done more damage: us or the impending meteor.  The Lifestream neutralized one and would’ve ousted the other (arguably if we consider Advent it partially did with geostigma), save for that “divine” and innocent intervention.  I could think of no better concept for judgement than this, though there are some pretty close alternates.

Alternates: Mt. Ordeals (IV), Kefka (VI), The Iifa Tree (IX), Sin (X)

I was this close to picking Mt. Ordeals after Mr. Panda guessed it last week.  I don’t know how I never considered it before, because it is the perfect example of judgement, almost ironically so, as Cecil has been judging himself quite harshly throughout the entire game up to this time.  When he reaches the summit of the mountain where all others have been deemed unworthy and turned away, he discovers that Ordeals was indeed made for him, a message left his father KluYa, which is why all others failed before.  The only reason I didn’t pick this excellent example is because Mt. Ordeals is a singular judgement, put in place for one person, whereas the Lifestream is a universal judgement meant for all of humanity.

I couldn’t help thinking of Kefka’s “Light of Judgment” when I saw this card.  This is not a just ruling, though, but rather one from a twisted, maniacal, false “god.”  Sin is in a similar vein.  Though the religion of Yevon believes it exists for their atonement, digging deeper reveals the truth (and also the game’s heavily Gnostic and religiously skeptical leanings).  The Iifa Tree is *spoiler* another artificial/contrived tool of judgment.  Installed by Garland in order to exchanged the souls of Gaia for those of Terra, *end spoiler* it’s revered as a sanctuary *spoiler* until this truth is revealed *end spoiler*

The Lifestream is the true and universal judgement that has no hidden agenda or original nefarious purpose.

Also I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but the Lifestream looks a hell of a lot like the northern lights.


This is not something I considered when I wrote the eponymous fanfiction, but now that I see it, I wonder if Squeenix did it on purpose.  The aurora is (among other things) a reaction of particles with the earth”s magnetic field, which protects us from dangerous radiation from the sun.  Therefore, the northern lights are a sign of the planet’s protection…

No one guessed the card, but there were a few guesses for the alternatives.  I’ve already mentioned Mr. Panda’s Mt. Ordeals that almost swayed me, and   iplayedthegame and LightningEllen both guessed Sin.

Next week is the last for this project!  The card is The World, which could be considered a dead giveaway or an impossible choice.  I’ll also give the final scores, and oh crap, I need to create some sort of prize :p

Happy (final) guessing!

<–XIX The Sun                                                                                     XXI The World–>




Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy Tarot – XIX The Sun

<–XVIII The Moon                                                                                XX Judgment–>

This is my current Final Fantasy Friday post where I’ll be discussing which characters I think exemplify each card of the Major Arcana.  If this is your first time here, please head over to my Final Fantasy Tarot page for explanation.  Now onto the next card!

XIX The Sun


Eiko artwork by Yoshitaka Amano

The Sun is a card of triumph, simple pleasures, and truth.  In opposition to the Moon, which symbolizes inspiration from dreams and otherwordly visions, the Sun is much more in your face and wide awake; intellect and youthful energy. I had quite a time figuring this one out.  Final Fantasy boasts many characters with this quality, but I knew I needed someone who was not only childlike, but also a child.

Eiko literally flips the meaning of the Moon in giving Dagger clarity and closure on the princess’s oldest dreams.  The little girl is the truth giver, revealing Garnet’s origins, welcoming her home, even as Eiko herself enjoys the pleasure of companionship in the breaking of solitude.  While the sun’s light may not always fall on the happiest memories, it will still always show it plain, lighting a clear path, and giving you the courage to forge ahead armed with new revelations.

Alternates: Porom (IV), Relm (VI), Selphie (VIII), Rikku (X)

I was very close to picking Porom, since intellect and youthful energy are major components of the Sun card.  Because he’s an irascible, five-year-old mage in training, I thought he would make a good match, but my own bias came into play.  I’m not overly fond of Porom’s character (I like him even less in The After Years), and besides that, I’d already used Rydia from IV in The Moon entry.  Not that I’m averse to using the same game twice in a row, but since I had another (and imo better) option, I figured I’d use it.

Relm from VI would certainly fit the artistic side of the card, along with the youthful energy, and she could arguably fulfill some of the truth aspect in reference to Shadow, but FFVI was very good at keeping that vague.  Eiko’s traits are far clearer.

Selphie and Rikku from VIII and X respectively have that bright, optimistic aspect, and Rikku certainly is responsible for revealing some truths (for both Tidus and about Yuna), but while they’re both childlike/innocent in their way, I wanted someone who was actually a child.

No one guessed the card this week, but everyone who ventured did guess something right!

LightningEllen and Mr. Panda both went with Rikku who’s an alternate; Hungrygoriya went with Selphie who’s the same; and The Otaku Judge guessed Amarant(h) who is from the same game as Eiko.  I like when everyone wins 🙂

Next week is Judgment, and I’m kicking myself a bit, because I totally could’ve used Gabranth for that instead of the Justice card…but I suppose he fits that Major Arcana, as well, and I’m never one to turn down an intellectual challenge.  I do have something else in my notes (notice I said something and not someone), but I’m not sure yet if I’m going to go that route.  What this means is Judgment could be a person/character or it could be a place/thing.  Oh, and Judgment’s alternative name is The Angel, but that ship’s kind of sailed now hasn’t it?

Happy guessing!

<–XVIII The Moon                                                                                XX Judgment–>




Final Fantasy Friday: Final Fantasy Tarot – XVIII The Moon

<–XVII The Star                                                                                       XIX The Sun–>

This is my current Final Fantasy Friday post where I’ll be discussing which characters I think exemplify each card of the Major Arcana.  If this is your first time here, please head over to my Final Fantasy Tarot page for explanation.  Now onto the next card!

XVIII The Moon


Picture of Rydia entitled Rydia by RobasArel

The Moon is a mysterious card, difficult to divine, enigmatic, and mysterious.  This bled into the meta, making it quite the challenge to pick a character who exemplified it.  Ironically, the prior Star card was swayed by the insightful input of my fellow bloggers when I was fairly certain on this point; however, though I was flexible on The Moon, in the end I decided to go with Rydia whom I choose a year ago when I first conceived of this project.  I suppose that even though the moon is changeable, it always comes back around 😉

This Major Arcana represents intellectual light as a mere reflection, and beyond it is an unknown mystery that cannot be revealed, esoteric knowledge.  Rydia is washed overboard by Leviathan and ends up in the Feymarch or fairy realm.  When she returns she has knowledge beyond mortal men.  She has been to the other side and come back.  The Moon is a card of that scary, dreamy, secret otherworld where the darkest of magic lies.

Alternates: Lucrecia Crescent (VII), Vincent Valentine (VII), Seifer (VIII), Auron (X)

I can’t believe it took me so long to make the connection with Lucrecia’s last name being freaking Crescent, and she most certainly possessed dark, esoteric knowledge that kept her from every finding peace.  Her self-imprisonment in crystal could be seen as an escape to another world where what she did and what she knows can cause her pain no more.

Vincent is similar with his self-imposed imprisonment in a coffin beneath the Shinra Mansion, the place where it all began.  He also has that dark side of Chaos, which while not activated by the moon, could almost be equated with werewolf mythos.  This is on top of the former Turk being aligned with vampire mythos, something I’ve always believed but can’t quite explain.  The coffin connection along with the moody-broody attitude and eternal regret help spur this along.  Squeenix has managed to create a character that encompasses both werewolf and vampire traits without being too over the top with either of that.  That’s freaking impressive.

Seifer from FFVII was another consideration due The Moon card also being associated with the fine line between psychopathy and genius.  Seifer fell in love with his idea of the romantic dream and pursued this ideal for better or worse.

Finally, Auron from X because of his in between state as an unsent.  He rides the line between Spira and the otherworld and is possessed of esoteric knowledge.

While no one picked Rydia, both guessers still win this week!  LightningEllen choose Auron who’s an alternate, and Mr. Panda opted for FuSoYa who is from the same game as Rydia 🙂

Next week’s card is The Sun, an undeniably optimistic card, representing joy, enlightenment, victory, and happiness among other things.

Good luck!

<–XVII The Star                                                                                       XIX The Sun–>