I am an adamant defender of Final Fantasy II, and it is by no means my least favorite Final Fantasy game. I really love it, and one of the huge reasons is its awesome (albeit slightly primitive) cast of characters and its emotional story. Some characters in this game are so much better than others, so I had to put them to the test in today's article! One thing to note: this will be ranking them off of their personality, as well as how their character is affected by the story events surrounding them. Now without further ado, RPG Ranked presents... Final Fantasy II: All Characters RANKED! (by Personality).
10. Firion - F Tier
Um, what? I don't know what they were thinking making this guy so basic and lifeless. I mean, I guess it makes sense for the first ever named RPG protagonist to be pretty bad, but literally, why is the main protagonist so boring compared to the other characters in this game? Some of the other characters have tons of charm, personality, and amazing story beats... but Firion is not like the other characters. In fact, the game fundamentally wouldn't have changed if he were a silent protagonist... that is pretty telling to how bad Firion really is. The only intriguing things that happen with his character happen during the first ten minutes of the game, where the player finds out that his adoptive parents were murdered and that he was critically wounded and healed by Minwu, the White Mage. But all of this also happens to Maria and Guy, both of which are better characters than Firion. Despite Firion being pretty awful, at least his character design is one of my favorites in the whole series. As much as I will die on the hill that Final Fantasy II is an amazing game, Firion is just trash. Not as bad as Luneth, but he's still trash.
9. Maria - D Tier
Besides being pretty attractive for a pixel art woman, Maria doesn't have too much going for her. Lewd and unruly jokes aside, Maria is Leon's brother. At least that gives her some brownie points by association to a much cooler character. Unlike Firion, she actually shows quite a bit of emotion, so that makes her the better character in that regard. I mean, the novelty of the main cast losing their home can only go so far. While I think that Firion, Maria, and Guy were the perfect characters to lead this game's story (in theory), I just wished that had very solid personalities so they weren't completely outshined by the game's temporary characters. Now let's move on before I get a brain aneurism thinking about how bad these two characters are...
8. Guy - D Tier
Yup, the last of the three main playable party members still sucks. What a surprise. I find it cool that Guy grew up with wolves and can talk to animals. I like that he was adopted by Maria's family and was defended by them even though he was heavily bullied by other kids. This was all a sweet little story! However, since Guy has such primitive language, he is much too simple to place any higher on this list, even if his backstory is admittedly cool.
7. Scott - C Tier
Being the main focus of the game's first mission, Scott's death was a perfect introduction to establishing the somber mood and themes of death in Final Fantasy II, and it made the story gripping from the get-go. His revelation of loving Hilda was a heartbreaking and intriguing scene, as was him telling the party of Borghen's corruption. I liked his story in the Soul of Rebirth too, as he gets to see how his brother, Gordon, is faring in a meaningful way. Overall, if Scott got triple the screentime, he could've been near the top of the list, but as-is, that is unfortunately not the case.
6. Leila - C Tier
Leila has the most fun and distinct personality of the Final Fantasy II characters! I like that she runs a pirate crew and goes from an outlaw/outcast to become a rebel against the Palamecian Empire. Once Gordon takes over as King of Fynn, Leila becomes the leader of the Wild Rose Rebellion, which is cool, and from then on, you can always just talk to her for fun back at Fynn Castle! While Leila oozes charm, she is just so much more irrelevant to the plot in comparison to the other temporary characters. All she has story-wise is that she has a boat and she leads the army—both things that could've been filled by almost anyone other than Leila. While I'm glad Leila was in the game, her personality can't make up for the fact she has very little plot relevance and meaningful character growth.
5. Josef - B Tier
Josef is a retired Palamecian Soldier who decided to desert the Empire because he decided they were corrupt. He then started a family in Salamand, pursuing a career as a handyman. All things considered, other than his backstory, he is a very average guy... so what makes him a cut above the rest of the characters we've talked about? His emotional death scene. For a game originally released on the NES, this scene had a surprising amount of emotion, and it was so sad to see Josef—who had finally escaped all the pain and who had gotten his daughter back—die for people he had just barely met. This is the game's first death scene, and it raises the stakes of the already intense story and shows how terrible the Palamecian Empire really is. I instantly liked this old man, and seeing him come full-circle to kill Borghen, the epitome of the corruption he sought to destroy, was a perfect finale to this fulfilled old geezer. Overall, if he had a bit more screentime to further flesh out his personality, he definitely could've gone higher on this list, but he just wasn't developed enough to deserve it.
4. Leon - B Tier
First of all, Leon has basically no personality like the other three endgame characters, so that is unfortunately holding him back from being an A or S Tier character. Luckily, he has a lot going for him story-wise. He ends up becoming the Emperor's right-hand man—the Dark Knight. While we don't exactly no why, that almost makes it better—it's fun to theorize. Maybe he was bribed, told he'd be killed if not; maybe he had delusions of grandeur and wanted to rule with an iron fist. Also, playing the game a second time? There was actually a good amount of foreshadowing for this moment, even if it was definitely too on the nose. It was intriguing that Leon tries to replace the Emperor when he thinks the Emperor had died—making Leon a very mysterious and surprisingly complex character. He then joins the team to kill the Dark Emperor (maybe out of jealousy?) and then just nopes out of there and leaves the party as soon as the game ends. Firion then says that they'll meet again someday, and that he will be welcomed back with open arms if he ever comes back (this is literally Firion's best moment in the game). Overall, I loved the mysterious, intrigue, and dark suave of Leon, but at the same time, his personality is pretty boring and—as much as I like the ambiguity surrounding his character—his reasonings behind what he does comes out of nowhere.
3. Ricard Highwind - A Tier
This bodacious boy basically pulled a Jonah from the Bible. This dashing dude introduced dragoons to the Final Fantasy series. This flabbergasting fellow flies a freaking wyvern. This chivalrous Chad protects his deceased friend's family and promises to always stay with them. This Hurculean hunk sacrificed himself so that the party could escape from the reborn Dark Emperor. What else is there to say? Ricard is just so epic in terms of both personality and story. I'm really glad the Soul of Rebirth exists because, quite frankly, I needed way more of this guy. The more Ricard, the better. That's my life philosophy now. I must seek out Ricard in all things and in all places...
2. Gordon - A Tier
Gordon is an awesome character, even if he is atrocious in battle. He has a lot of character growth, and is honestly one of the most relatable Final Fantasy characters of all-time. His self-loathing is very relatable (I'm a teenager with clinical depression, take that as you will), and I love how he progressively learns to overcome this trial of his and become an awesome and confident leader. Gordon was actually a little inspiring! Gordon shows that he feels very useless in battle in comparison to the party, which I mean, is definitely true. I love the way that the game shows Gordon's weak character through his stats, and that he grows both as a character and as a fighter the more you have him in the party. As he progresses as a character, he follows in the footsteps of his older brother Scott and (in a sense) becomes him. He himself falls in love with Hilda, which would be so absolutely annoying to me if it was not executed well—but it was. In the Soul of Rebirth, it shows Scott being proud of his brother, happy at how far he's come, and he is happy that the love of his life was happy herself. This truly shows the love he has for both of them. The maturity and bravado of Scott's character starts as a foil to Gordon, but by the end, Gordon displays that himself, making Gordon a much better character by association. Overall, with a pretty solid character arc, Gordon is my second favorite character in the second installment of this franchise.
1. Minwu - S Tier
To this day, there's just something about Minwu that makes him one of the coolest Final Fantasy characters of all-time. As a White Mage, an advisor to the princess, a seer, and the one destined to get the Ultima Tome, Minwu is the catalyst for some cool shiz in the plot. Without Minwu, our main characters would've died. Without Minwu, obtaining the Ultima Tome would not be possible, and the ultimate magic would've not been at the team's disposal to take out the Emperor. After the king dies, Minwu dedicates himself to getting the Ultima Tome, sacrificing himself to break the seal. All that would get Minwu in the top three on its own merits, but there is still more: Minwu becomes an alternate main protagonist during the Soul of Rebirth, leading the battle against the Emperor of Light in the afterlife. Just saying, while tedious, the Soul of Rebirth is the coolest idea ever for a postgame sidequest. Minwu is just so cool—if you know, you know. He's by far the coolest character in the game, and having him be the main character of the Soul of Rebirth was just phenomenal. Overall, while not being one of the most developed characters in the series by any means, Minwu is the best character in Final Fantasy II and one of the best in the series.
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