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Golbez

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Never hesitate to kill Kain. Now watch how it is done.
~ Golbez

Golbez is a dark knight and a tremendously powerful sorcerer who serves as the central villain in Final Fantasy IV. He seems to be the source of all conflict, as he wants to call forth the mythical Giant of Babil and wipe out the population of Earth. However, it is revealed after his defeat that he is in fact the older brother of the game’s main hero, and was under the control of the game’s real villain Zemus.

History

Golbez was born "Theodore Harvey", the son of a Lunarian named KluYa who came to Earth to learn about the humans. He lived with a human woman in a small village, where he taught magic to the villagers. However, KluYa ended killed under his son's eyes by these same villagers, who wanted to learn more than what he taught them.

Soon after, Theodore's mother died after giving birth to his brother Cecil. Grief-struck and distraught, the young boy fled the village, and then started hearing a voice on his mind, the voice of Zemus, a powerful Lunarian who started influencing him. With what was left of his conscience, he took his brother and left him near the castle of the kingdom of Baron, where the king found him and adopted him.

Theodore then hid himself in a cave, where Zemus took full control over him and taught him how to fully master his immense powers, turning him into the dreadful Golbez. Zemus himself was sealed long ago into the moon's core by his own people, because he wanted to wipe out mankind so that the Lunarians could claim Earth for themselves, but is mind remained active. The young half-Lunarian was the perfect tool he has looked for and he planned to use him to enact his dream at last.

Personality

While he plays the villain's role, Golbez, as expected of a Final Fantasy villain, is pure malevolence; he is calm, collected, sarcastically polite, cruel, remorseless and scornful. He considers humans as disposable trash and would stop at nothing to fulfil his goal, going as far as killing and torturing dozens of people, offering bargains without fulfilling his part, manipulating others and turning someone against his own friends.

Given that he is under Zemus' complete control, his villainous personality mirrors many of the evil Lunarian's traits. Golbez is also imposing and fearsome. His calm and cold demeanour coupled with his gigantic size makes him very impressive and frightening. Even his mere presence (rendered by his creepy musical theme) instils fear in people's hearts.

However, Golbez is actually a nice guy and a caring brother. In his childhood, he displayed deep love and loyalty towards his family. Even when in his grief, he blamed his baby brother for taking their mother's life, he sought to ensure his well-being. Even when Cecil was at his mercy, he, for a moment, was able to combat the mind control, refusing to finish off Cecil. After being brought back to his senses, he takes all the responsibility for what he did when controlled and is determined to atone his sins by killing Zemus, ending the threat he helped to rise, should he sacrifice himself in the process. Even Zemus' death is not enough to entirely relieve his guilt.

In Final Fantasy IV

When the game takes place, Theodor has become an extremely powerful and perfectly accomplished sorcerer, who goes by the name Golbez. Along with the four Elemental Archfiends sent by Zemus at his command, Golbez entered the kingdom of Baron and rose in influence. He later had the king killed and impersonated by Cagnazzo, Archfiend of Water. With what seemed to be the king under his orders, Golbez started his plan to find all of the Crystals scattered throughout the planet.

Early in the game, Cecil Harvey the primary protagonist and the Captain of the Red Wings, Baron's powerful air fleet, voices his concerns about the attacks on innocent populations he has to lead to seize the Crystals. The impostor-king takes profit of this to remove Cecil from duty and to replace him with Golbez. Golbez starts a ruthless campaign, spreading death and misery in many countries to get his hands on the Crystals, no matter the cost. Meanwhile, Cecil gathers a group of rebels who goes to several kingdoms targeted by Golbez to warn them.

Thanks to Cecil's warning, the resistance of the kingdom of Fabul forces Golbez to take the matter in hand personally. He enters the castle and takes the Crystal, scattering away all opposition, blasting the rebels with lightning, brainwashing Cecil's best friend Kain Highwind to make him his lieutenant and kidnapping Rose, Cecil's love interest in the process. From then on, Cecil's group enters a personal war against Golbez and manages to defeat two of his Archfiends, including the impostor-king Cagnazzo, ending Golbez's influence over the kingdom of Baron but not over the now independent Red Wings. They later destroy the other Archfiends whom Golbez sent after them.

As Golbez and the brainwashed Kain manage to get the fourth Crystal from Cecil in exchange for Rose's freedom (a bargain that they purposely do not respect), the powerful mage Tellah challenges Golbez to avenge his daughter Anna, who died in one of his raids. None of Tellah's spells even scratch the mighty Dark Lord and Tellah ends up sacrificing his life to cast Meteor, the most powerful spell in existence. Grievously wounded, Golbez is forced to retreat and can no longer keep Kain under his control. Before fleeing, he attempts to strike down Cecil, but mysteriously proves unable to.

Sometime later both Golbez and Cecil's group venture into the Underworld to get the four remaining Crystals. Golbez then seizes two Crystals and catches up with the heroes, whom he tells about his goal to use the eight Crystals, in order to unlock the unfathomable power that lays dormant in the fabled Tower of Babel. He then prepares to get rid of them.

Boss Battle

Shadow Dragon

official artwork of Golbez's Shadow Dragon

Golbez effortlessly withstands the heroes' attacks and paralyzes them all with his special spell Binding Cold. He then summons the fearsome Shadow Dragon, who slays every character with his Black Fang move until only Cecil himself remains. As everything seems lost, Rydia (Lydia) a child summoner whom Cecil saved and who was taken outside of the world to the land of Eidolons, (powerful summoned creatures) where she grew up to teenage years and learned to fully master her great summoning powers, appears right on time to save the day.

Rydia summons the Mist Dragon, who destroys the Shadow Dragon and seriously wounds Golbez, dispelling the Dark Lord's immunity to attacks. Rydia then joins the party, starting the Boss Battle. (It must be noted that Golbez survives the destruction of his summon, a feat that no other summoner is capable of.) All the party members that fell under the Shadow Dragon's attacks must be revived.

  • Super Nes: Golbez is very easy to defeat in the actual game. His spells are very powerful but he casts them in a very simple pattern and while he has a very high total of life-points, the battle is won when he gets around 3000 damages, meaning that he shall fall very quickly. Golbez casts Bio to poison one character and then attacks with Thundaga and Firaga, the level 3 thunder and fire spells, which can be reflected on him and deal damage.
  • Nintendo DS Remake: Golbez is way harder to defeat in the DS Remake of the game. His defensive skill Barrier Shift sets a random elemental weakness, meaning that any elemental attack not of his current weak point heals him. Whenever stuck with said weak point, it changes at random once again. Using non-elemental attacks is as such mandatory. Golbez casts the poisoning Bio, and the Thundaga, Firaga, Blizzaga trinity which can be reflected back. Casting protective spells on the entire party and regularly healing the characters is more than advised.

Truth revealed and redemption

Golbez is defeated but he barely survives, and sends his animated gauntlet to seize the Crystal before escaping. Nothing is heard of him until the heroes go to the Tower of Babel. He has the Red Wings attack the heroes and destroy the bridge they are on, but they are saved by their allies. After they kill the final Archfiend and seize the last Crystal, Golbez appears and takes once again control of Kain to steal the Crystal. Golbez then uses the Crystals to awake the mighty Giant of Babel, a robotic giant as big as a tower, which he sends to destroy humanity. The heroes then use the airship Lunar Whale to go to the second moon, home to the Lunarians, where the powerful Lunarian FuSoYa tells them that Golbez is under Zemus' control, before acompanying them to Earth.

The entire population of both the Overworld and the Underworld then unites against the Giant of Babel, enabling Cecil's group to enter it and reach its core, which they destroy, stopping the giant. Golbez appears to settle their score once and for all, but the equally powerful FuSoYa frees him from Zemus' evil grasp and reveals his true identity, Theodore Harvey. Determined to atone his misdeeds, Golbez follows FuSoYa on the second moon in order to kill Zemus and put an end to his madness.

The Final Battle

Cecil's group then returns to the second moon and witness Zemus' last moments. The evil Lunarian is absolutely no match for his foes, who reduce him to ashes by double-casting Meteor. Unfortunately Zemus' hatred gives birth to an unfathomably powerful evil spirit called Zeromus, who is impervious to any attack and spell and makes quick work of the two of them by a Meteor spell of his own.

Golbez then tries to use the power of a Crystal to incarnate Zeromus into a physical being that the hero could kill, but not to avail as he is still tainted by evil. He then gives the Crystal to Cecil, who makes Zeromus corporeal and the protagonists ultimately manage to kill the mighty demon.

Theodor Harvey

Theodor's true appearance

Golbez then bids an uneasy farewell to his brother; having decided to enter hibernation alongside FuSoYa because he does not considers himself worthy of living a life on Earth after what he has done. In the DS remake of the game, as Golbez is departing, his armour vanishes, revealing what he looked like as a child before getting controlled by Zemus.

In Final Fantasy IV: The After Years

L'homme en noir

Theodor Harvey as the "Man in Black"

Theodore Harvey returns during the events of Final Fantasy IV The After Years as the "Man in Black", to take part in the battle against the Maenad and the Creator. He is still called "Golbez" to differentiate him from Cecil's son, who was named after him.

He wakes up from his hibernation warned by a premonitory nightmare, soon joined by FuSoYa. They investigate the Crystal Palace and encounter the Maenad, who shatters the Crystal, releasing a reincarnation of Zeromus known as Zeromus' Malice. Golbez and FuSoYa manage to defeat the demon, who unleashes his mightiest attack Big Bang when destroyed. FuSoYa then teleports Golbez to safety, into the Lunar Whale which he uses to reach Earth.

Golbez appears right on time to save Rydia from one of the Maenad's summons, before joining the party and helping them to free Cecil from the Maenad's control. He takes part in the battle against the Elemental Archfiends, who were resurrected by the Maenad, and later against a Dark Knight Doppelganger of Cecil. During the latter, he takes a mortal hit aimed at his brother, and only survives if both Cecil and Rosa are in the party.

Depending on this outcome, the game's ending will either show the protagonists bidding farewell to Golbez, as returns to the moon to look for FuSoYa and the lunarians; or praying on his grave. Although the novelization of the game states that Golbez died, whether or not his death is canon has yet to be confirmed.

In Final Fantasy: Dissidia

Dissidia Golbez

Golbez fused with the Shadow Dragon.

Even the strong have weaknesses.
~ Golbez

In Final Fantasy Dissidia, Golbez has a unique role among all the villains summoned by Chaos, as he is not a villain to begin with. He was fetched after having been freed of Zemus' control and as such, he helps the warriors of Cosmos and provides guidance to his brother Cecil, while fighting against them. Some of Golbez's villainous traits are still present though, as he has no qualm about manipulating the warriors of Cosmos. Yet, he only does so to push them on the right direction.

In the prequel Dissidia Duodecim, Golbez can appear under his "Man in Black" aspect from The After Years. While still on the villains' side, he acts even frendlier towards Cecil and Kain Highwind whom he helps against other villains, while evading the Emperor's and Ultimecia's inquiry. While the first game focused on his relationship with his brother, Duodecim portrays him as a sort of mentor for Kain.

Theodor Harvey

Golbez's secondary attire/

Golbez considers himself unredeemable and as such, he rejects Cecil's and Kain's offers to fight side by side, prefering to walk in their shadow. He often questions other character's motives, friends and foes alike and attempts to test their resolve. Due to his unique role, he is the only villain who speaks to Cosmos the Goddess of Harmony, and the only villain to survive his storylines.

In battle, Golbez is described as a "Thaumaturge" and he uses magical attacks that are both long-range and short-range, though they are more effective at short-range. In his EX-Mode (powered up mode) he summons his Shadow Dragon and fuses with it, which allows him to gradually regain life-points and grants him a powerful attack called Black Fang. His EX-Burst (most powerful attack) is called Twin Moon: he casts a powerful gravity spells and follows with Meteor.

Gallery

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Final Fantasy Villains


Final Fantasy
Garland | Astos | Fiends of Chaos (Lich | Marilith | Kraken | Tiamat)| Chaos
Final Fantasy II
Borghen | Leon | Emperor Mateus | Dark Emperor | Light Emperor
Final Fantasy III
Djinn | Gutsco | Hein | Goldor | Gigameth | Xande | Cloud of Darkness
Final Fantasy IV
Kain Highwind | Baigan | Elemental Archfiends (Scarmiglione | Cagnazzo | Barbariccia | Rubicante) | Magus Sisters | Dr. Lugae | Golbez | Zemus | Zeromus | Mysterious Girl | The Creator
Final Fantasy V
Magissa | Gilgamesh | Enkidu | Exdeath | Void | Enuo
Final Fantasy VI
Vargas | Ultros | Typhon | Emperor Gestahl | Kefka Palazzo
Final Fantasy VII
Shinra Inc. (President Shinra | Rufus | Heidegger | Scarlet | Palmer | Professor Hojo | Professor Hollander) | Turks (Reno | Rude | Elena | Tseng) Genesis | Sephiroth | Remnants (Kadaj | Loz | Yazoo) | Jenova
Final Fantasy VIII
Seifer | Fujin | Raijin | Fake President Deling | President Vinzer Deling | Adel | Ultimecia | Griever
Final Fantasy IX
Garland | Lani | Queen Brahne | Soulcage | Thorn and Zorn | Kuja | Necron
Final Fantasy X
Lady Yunalesca | Jecht | Seymour Guado | Sin | Yevon | Yu Yevon | Leblanc | Shuyin
Final Fantasy XI
Shadow Lord | Promathia | Shantotto
Final Fantasy XII
Ba'Gamnan | Ghis | Bergan | Gabranth | Doctor Cid | Venat | Vayne Solidor | The Undying | Judge of Wings | Feolthanos
Final Fantasy XIII
Barthandelus | Jihl Nabaat | Orphan | Yaag Rosch| Caius Ballad | Order of Salvation | Bhunivelze
Final Fantasy XIV
Nael van Darnus | Gaius van Baelsar | Nero tol Scaeva | Livia sas Junius | Rhitahtyn sas Arvina | Varis zos Galvus | Regula van Hydrus | Ascians (Elidibus | Lahabrea | Igeyorhm | Nabriales | Warriors of Darkness) Teledji Adeledji | Lolorito | Nidhogg | Archbishop Thordan VII | Heavens' Ward | Illuminati | Quickthinx Allthoughts | True Brothers of the Faith
Final Fantasy Tactics
Algus | Delita Hyral | Wiegraf Folles | Gafgarion | Gerrith Barrington| The Lucavi (Cuchulainn | Belias | Marquis Elmdor | Dycedarg Beoulve | Vormav Tingel/Hashmal) | St. Ajora
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
Llednar Twem | Queen Remedi
Final Fantasy Tactics A2
Klesta | Duelhorn (Duke Snakeheart | Alys the Ensorceled | The Night Dancer | Maquis) | Khamja (Ewen | Illua) | Neukhia

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