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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 antagonist in Final Fantasy IV. He seeks to call forth the mythical Giant of Babel and wipe out life on Earth. However, he is eventually revealed to be the older brother of the game’s primary protagonist, under the control of the game’s true 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 in his mind the voice of Zemus, an extremely powerful Lunarian who started influencing him. With what was left of his conscience, he took his brother to the royal 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 had been sealed long ago into the moon’s core by his own people, because he wanted to wipe out mankind and claim Earth for the Lunarians, but his 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

Golbez, as expected of a Final Fantasy villain, is pure malevolence: he is calm, collected, sarcastically polite, cruel, ruthless, arrogant, and scornful. He regards 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. Golbez is also imposing and fearsome. Golbez's cold, imperturbable demeanour and his gigantic size make him imposing and frightening. Even his mere presence (rendered by his creepy musical theme) instils fear in people's hearts.

However, Theodore Harvey is in fact a gentle, loyal, generous, compassionate and caring man. In his childhood, he displayed deep love and loyalty towards his family. Even when his grief pushed him to pin the blame of his mother's death on his baby brother, he sought to ensure his well-being. Years later, even with Cecil at his mercy, he, for a moment, was able to resist the mind control, and proved unable to finish him off.

After being brought back to his senses, he takes full responsibility for his actions and swears to atone by killing Zemus to save the world he endangered, being fully willing to die in the process. Even Zemus’ death is not enough to fully relieve him of his guilt and shame. In The After Years, he has become stoic, reserved, melancholic, and self-sacrificing. Yet, he can display a sense of humour and sarcasm, and shows sympathy even for his foes.

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 Rosa, 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 seize the fourth Crystal from Cecil in exchange for Rose’s freedom (a bargain that they purposely do not respect), the powerful archmage Tellah challenges Golbez to avenge his daughter Anna, who was killed in one of his raids. None of Tellah's spells even scratch the mighty sorcerer 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 groups venture into the Underworld to get the four remaining Crystals. Golbez then seizes two Crystals and catches up with the heroes; telling them that he covets the eight Crystals to unlock the unfathomable power lying dormant in the fabled Tower of Babel, before attacking them.

Boss Battle

Shadow Dragon

official artwork of Golbez's Shadow Dragon

Golbez effortlessly withstands the heroes’ attacks and paralyzes them with his Binding Cold spell, before summoning the Shadow Dragon to slay them all with his Black Fang move, until only Cecil remains.

As everything seems lost, Rydia (Lydia), a child summoner who was taken to the world of Eidolons (Powerful summoned creatures) after Cecil saved her, appears right on time to save the day. Having grown up into a teenager and mastered her immense summoning powers, she summons the Mist Dragon, who destroys the Shadow Dragon and seriously wounds Golbez. (It must be noted that he survived his summon’s demise, a feat that no other summoner is capable of.) Rydia joins the party against Golbez, who is no longer immune to attacks. All the Shadow Dragon’s victims 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 damage points, 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 barely survives, and sends his animated gauntlet to seize the Crystal before escaping. (In the remake, he makes a dash for it with his last strength and teleports away.) He is not heard of until the heroes go to the Tower of Babel. He has the Red Wings destroy the bridge the heroes stand upon, 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 it. Golbez then awakes the mighty Giant of Babel, a robotic giant as big as a tower, which he sends to destroy humanity. The heroes go to the second moon, home to the Lunarians, aboard the Lunar Whale airship. There, the extremely powerful Lunarian FuSoYa reveals that Golbez is but Zemus’ pawn, before going with 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 returns to the Second Moon and witness Zemus' demise. The wretched Lunarian is absolutely no match for his foes, who destroy him by double-casting Meteor. Unfortunately, Zemus is reborn as Zeromus, the unfathomably powerful spirit of all hatred. Being impervious to attacks, the abomination makes quick work of his foes with a Meteor of his own.

Golbez tries to use one of the Crystals' power to incarnate Zeromus and make it mortal, but to no avail as he is still tainted by evil. He gives the Crystal to Cecil, who channels the prayers of their friends on Earth through it to make Zeromus corporeal. The heroes ultimately manage to kill the abomination, using the Crystals to seal its undying essence on the Second Moon.

Theodor Harvey

Theodor's true appearance

Since Golbez, now Theodore Harvey once more, deems himself unworthy of a life on Earth alongside Cecil's team, he decides to follow FuSoYa into hibernation. He then bides farewell to his brother, who salutes him after a moment of uneasy silence. In the DS remake of the game, as Theodore is departing, his armour vanishes, revealing what he looked like as a child before getting controlled by Zemus, and he smiles in earnest at the heroes.

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 is woken 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 abomination, 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 fights with them against the Elemental Archfiends, who were resurrected by the Maenad, then against a Dark Knight Clone of Cecil. During the latter, he shields his brother from a lethal strike, 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 is not confirmed.

In Final Fantasy: Dissidia

Dissidia Golbez

Golbez fused with the Shadow Dragon.

Even the strong have weaknesses.
~ Golbez

In Dissidia Final Fantasy, Golbez is unique among the villains summoned by Chaos the God of Discord, for he is not a villain to begin with. Having been fetched after being freed of Zemus’ mind control, he helps the warriors of Cosmos, Goddess of Harmony, and provides guidance to his brother Cecil, while fighting them to make sure they can stand against him, and by extension the other villains. Golbez is aloof and brooding, yet gentle and wise, giving valuable advice and harsh but constructive criticism to the heroes. He retains some villainous traits, as he manipulates the heroes without qualm; yet he only does it to push them on the right direction.

The prequel Dissidia Duodecim, reveals that the war between Cosmos and Chaos is never-ending, with one deity being resurrected whenever they fall, and that this is the twelfth cycle. The cycle of the previous game being the last, which would see the final destruction of Chaos, at the cost of their world.

Theodor Harvey

Golbez's secondary attire.

In Duodecim, Golbez can look like the "Man in Black" from The After Years. While still on the villains' side, he acts even friendlier towards Cecil and Kain Highwind, helping them against other villains, while evading Emperor Mateus Palamecia's and Ultimecia's inquiry. While the first game focus on his relationship with his brother, Duodecim portrays him as a mentor to Kain. He often questions the motive of friends and foes alike, and often tests their resolve. Due to his unique role, he is the only villain who speaks to Cosmos and the only villain to survive his storylines.

Golbez reappears in the arcade sequel/reboot Dissidia: Final Fantasy NT, once again facing Cecil and Kain. A new world was created, and Cosmos' and Chaos' reincarnations of sorts, Materia, Goddess of Machinery and Protection, and Spiritus, God of Magic and Destruction, claim it as their haven, once again summoning warriors to fight for them.

As a playable character

What do you seek in this fight?
~ Golbez

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, while dealing crippling blows with his bare hands. He attacks with lightning blasts from his hand, circle or rocks around him or dark circle conjuring dark lightning under his foes feet, and dark floating spheres firing lasers.

Golbez (Dissidia NT)

Golbez and his Shadow Dragon, as seen in Dissidia NT

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 spell followed by Meteor.

In Dissidia NT, he attacks by hurling fire blasts, ice blasts that freeze his foes, lightning blasts that divides into smaller ones, slow moving homing spheres of water or wind, and gravity spells that vacuums his foes. He summons his Shadow Demon to increase the power and range of his attacks

Appearance in other games

Golbez appears as a summon in Final Fantasy Dimensions II, in which the protagonists must investigate a strange event involving the Crystal that sustain their world, and save it from Dark Forces.

Golbez (Final Fantasy Dimensions)

Golbez, as seen in Final Fantasy Dimensions II

Following the type of Summon, Golbez can either summon his Shadow Dragon to cast the one-hit-kill Black Fang on all targets, the paralyzing Binding Cold on all Targets, the devastating Meteor or various elemental spells. He is also fought as a boss, using the same abilities. His promotional artwork features him with a demonic wing and an angelic one, likely representing his role as a villain and his final redemption.

Golbez is featured in Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, a game consisiting in music sequences divided between Field, Event and Battle, in which the player has to hold notes in tune to the series' most famous musical themes. The battles against him from the original game are re-enacted in the Theme of Love Music Sequence. In Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call, he is fought like in Final Fantasy IV and Dissidia in Battle Sequences. In Theatrhythm Final Fantasy All-Star Carnival, he is fought as a boss, then featured as playable character, using his mightiest attack Twin Meteor.

Golbez is fought as a boss in the 2013 action puzzle game Pictlogica Final Fantasy, in which the player must defeat enemies RPG-style while solving puzzles and riddles. Edea, possessed by Ultimecia, also makes an appearance. He is also featured as a playable character.

Golbez serves as a summonable Legend (assist character ) in the mobile game Final Fantasy: Airborne Brigade, in which the protagonists must prove themselves to the Guardian Forces and save the world from a monster invastion. He attacks with his Dissidia moves.

Golbez is featured as a collectible card in the social card collecting game Final Fantasy Artniks, in which the protagonists are tasked by the Dragon King Bahamut to spin the tale of the world he summoned them into to help shape it. His card replicates his official Dissidia artwork.

Golbez appears in the free-to-play game Final Fantasy: Record Keeper, as well as the IOS/Android games Final Fantasy: All the Bravest and Final Fantasy World Wide Words, which reenacts the series' most memorable battles. In Record Keepers, he is fought as a boss, and can later be recruited as a party member. He is fought pretty much in the same way as in the original game, and uses Binding Cold to inflict paralysis.

Golbez appears separatedly as a playable party member and as a boss in Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, which gathers characters from many Square Enix games to fight iconic monsters. As a boss, he is fought in the Giant of Babel mode, he resists status effects but is easily dispatched by a strong enough team's combos. He has the inate ability Binding Cold, that can inflict paralyis, and he casts many powerful spells like the poisoning Bio and its power-ups, Blizzaga, Firaga, Thudaga, Gravity, the life-draining Drain and the magic-draining Osmose.

Golbez makes a cameo in the Mana mobile phone game Rise of Mana, in which two protagonists from warring species of the Spirit Realm, the divine Rasta and demonic Daruka, must share a body and learn to cooperate in the physical planes. The demons are all fought in a floating space. He serves as a very powerful and dangerous super boss, appearing as a giant, many times larger than his already imposing frame, floating in a dark floating void. The protagonists must keep as close to him as possible and strike it repeatedly with all they can, while minding his dangerous attacks.

Golbez Card

Golbez's card as seen in Guardian Cross

Golbez and his Shadow Dragon make separate cameo appearances in the crossover arcade strategy games Lord of Vermilion II & III, which features collectible cards and battles in open space while controlling units, consisting in characters from many Square Enix games. He serves as a very powerful summon units who fights with his spells from the original game. He is also featured as a rank 5 "Giant Guardian" card in the game Guardian Cross.

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           Final Fantasy Villains

Final Fantasy
Astos | Chaos | Fiends of Chaos (Garland | Kraken | Lich | Marilith | Tiamat)

Final Fantasy II
Borghen | Dark Emperor | Emperor Mateus | Leon | Light Emperor

Final Fantasy III
Cloud of Darkness | Djinn | Gigameth | Goldor | Gutsco | Hein | Xande

Final Fantasy IV
Baigan | Dr. Lugae | Elemental Archfiends (Barbariccia | Cagnazzo | Rubicante | Scarmiglione) | Golbez | Kain Highwind | Maenad | The Creator | Zemus

Final Fantasy V
Enkidu | Enuo | Exdeath | Gilgamesh | Neo Exdeath | Void

Final Fantasy VI
Emperor Gestahl | Gestahlian Empire | Kefka Palazzo | Typhon | Ultros

Final Fantasy VII
Don Corneo | Genesis | Jenova | Omega Weiss | Remnants (Kadaj | Loz | Yazoo) | Sephiroth | Shinra Inc. (Heidegger | Palmer | President Shinra | Professor Hojo | Professor Hollander | Rufus | Scarlet) | Turks (Elena | Reno | Rude | Tseng)

Final Fantasy VIII
Adel | Fujin | Griever | NORG | President Vinzer Deling | Raijin | Seifer | Ultimecia

Final Fantasy IX
Garland | Kuja | Necron | Queen Brahne | Thorn and Zorn | Meltigemini

Final Fantasy X
Jecht | Lady Yunalesca | Leblanc | Seymour Guado | Shuyin | Sin | Yevon | Yu Yevon

Final Fantasy XI
Promathia | Shadow Lord | Shantotto

Final Fantasy XII
Ba'Gamnan | Bergan | Doctor Cid | Gabranth | Judge of Wings | Vayne Solidor | Venat

Final Fantasy XIII
Barthandelus | Bhunivelze | Caius Ballad | Jihl Nabaat | Order of Salvation | Orphan | Yaag Rosch

Final Fantasy XIV
Archbishop Thordan VII | Ascians (Elidibus | Igeyorhm | Lahabrea | Nabriales | Warriors of Darkness) | Gaius Van Baelsar | Heavens' Ward | Illuminati | Livia Sas Junius | Lolorito | Nael Van Darnus | Nero Tol Scaeva | Nidhogg | Quickthinx Allthoughts | Regula Van Hydrus | Rhitahtyn Sas Arvina | Teledji Adeledji | True Brothers of the Faith | Varis Zos Galvus

Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light
Chaos | Servants of Chaos (Asmodeus | Beezlebub | Belphegor | Leviathan | Lucifer | Mammon)

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
General Hein | Phantoms

Final Fantasy: Unlimited
Earl Tyrant | Fungus | Herba | Oshca | Pist Shaz XI | Solijashy

Final Fantasy Adventure
Dark Lord | Julius

Final Fantasy Chrystal Chronicles
Meteor Parasite | Raem

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time
Larkeicus

Final Fantasy Chrystal Chronicles: My Life as a King
Dark Lord

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates
Cu Caspel | Galdes

Final Fantasy Dimensions
Elgo | Four Generals (Asmodai | Baugauven | Styx | Vata)

Final Fantasy Mystic Quest
Dark Lord | Skullrus Rex | Stone Golem | Twinhead Wyvern | Vile Four (Dualhead Hydra | Flamerus Rex | Ice Golem | Pazuzu)

Final Fantasy Tactics
Algus | Delita Hyral | Gafgarion | Gerrith Barrington | St. Ajora | The Lucavi (Belias | Cuchulainn | Dycedarg Beoulve | Marquis Elmdor | Vormav Tingel/Hashmal) | Wiegraf Folles

Final Fantasy Tactics A2
Duelhorn (Alys the Ensorceled | Duke Snakeheart | Maquis | The Night Dancer) | Khamja (Ewen | Illua) | Klesta | Neukhia

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
Llednar Twem | Queen Remedi

Final Fantasy Type-0
Cid Aulstyne | Gala | Gilgamesh Ashur | Nimbus | Qator Bashtar | Qun'mi Tru'e