Just going to say beforehand that I do really love Final Fantasy IV! I've sunk way too much time into it not to. It's just that I laugh whenever someone talks about its masterfully told storyline filled with dynamic characters, even if it was the very first game with a plot at all. (Well, I still love Rydia, whatever I say.)

Here goes. This is rather silly and I have no idea if it's funny or even any good.

(un)intelligent

Cecil stared at the king.

"You're dismissing me from my position as Captain of the Red Wings, despite my unmatched competence and loyalty?"

"Yes."

"Because of disloyalty?"

"Yes."

"Even though I made it very clear that I was simply expressing some misgivings I had with the missions I was being given, and was still foolishly loyal to you?"

"Yes."

"And now the resentment of being dismissed will probably turn me against you, culminating in your probable overthrowing?"

"Aren't you going to leave?" the king thundered.

"Your majesty," Cecil said, "I'm not one to talk, but if I may cast aspersions on your intelli-"

"GET OUT OF MY SIGHT!"

hint hint

"Gee, I wonder why we have to bring this thing called a Bomb Ring to a small village made up of possible threats to Baron?" Cecil wondered.

"Haven't the foggiest," said Kain.

"I wonder who wants it?"

"I couldn't say."

"Oh look, bombs! How pretty."

"Cecil, I have the faintest suspicion that the king may have sent you here to blow up this village."

Cecil looked around. The village was ruined. Somewhere, a small child was crying.

"Well, this doesn't cause more resentment towards the king at all on my part," he said. "I mean, it's not like just sending a mere soldier or someone more inclined towards blowing up small villages – sorry, Kain, that was my elbow – would have made more sense and probably led to less possible overthrowing."

"Not at all."

"He's really stupid."

"Some people are, Cecil."

my-name-is-r

"Hello, small child with unnaturally coloured hair that looks like it came straight off the head of a fanservicey JRPG character," Cecil said gravely.

"Bugger off," the girl said, scowling.

"That's not very nice." Remembering he had to keep up his credo as a medieval misogynist, he added, "Or ladylike."

The girl pointed to her mother, fuming. "MY PARENTS ARE DEAAAD!"

"Cecil," Kain whispered urgently, "I think the boss we casually stabbed to death at the end of that tutorial dungeon might have been somehow connected to her mother's, er, mortal state."

Cecil was shocked and horrified, despite this being the sort of thing that often weighed upon his tortured soul. He wondered if he should scream WHYYYYYYY very loudly, but decided against it. The girl would look at him funny.

"No! That's awful! You know, this had better lead to gradual and realistic forgiveness as I realise I need to prove that I'm ready to let go of my old self, and this child finds it in her heart to grudgingly acknowledge I made some mistakes, but–"

Meanwhile, the child was summoning Titan.

"You ain't gonna last long enough for that, mister," she growled. "You killed my mother. Prepare to die."

"Oh de—"

ydia

"…so we survived that."

"Hmph," the child said.

"Oh no, but Kain didn't," Cecil said dramatically. "Now when I face low level goblins in random battles I won't be able to wipe them out in one hit with Jump. All I've got is this kid for company, and she has, like, no HP."

"Who said I was joining your party, mister? You just blew up my village and killed my mother."

Cecil's brow wrinkled in honest confusion under his Dark Demon Death Helmet of Doom, and also Despair.

"You…don't want to join me? But…will you please?"

The girl shrugged, then smiled. "Okay then!"

"Awesome!"

(un)forgivable

Cecil woke up in the middle of the night to find some threatening Baron soldiers in his room.

"You know, if his majesty was going to realise I was going to go rogue after being dismissed and forced to blow up a village, he should have sent just Kain to the village, and imprisoned me instead," he sighed. "None of this 'soldiers in the night' business."

"Enough, you fool! We want the last Summoner!" The soldier broke off as one of his comrades whispered frantically in his ear. "I know, I'm capitalising really random words, but this is an RPG, you idiot! Okay, fight!"

Rydia woke up to find Cecil covered in blood and standing over the bodies of some very dead soldiers.

"You killed some more people?"

"Yes."

"Just because they broke in?"

"Yes. Look, Rydia, they wanted to kill you." He gestured with his bloody sword at the decapitated head of one of the soldiers. "I was doing this for you. Can you see I'm a good guy now? Will you…will you finally forgive me? I know it's only been about six hours since I destroyed everything you ever knew and loved, but…"

Rydia shrugged, then smiled. "Okay then!"

macMuffin

"Oh, no! Rosa!" Cecil said dramatically. "She won't wake up! She's calling my name! Will she die horribly?"

"Relax, she's your love interest. She's practically covered in plot armour. Just go explore the dungeon, fight the boss, come back with the macguffin- I mean, sand pearl. Not too bad, huh?"

He shrugged, then smiled. "Okay then."

(un)forgettable

"Cecil, I'm scared of fire. Y'know, my hometown DID kinda go up in flames. Not namin' names here."

"Please, Rydia?" he said sorrowfully. "Pwitty pweeze?"

She shrugged, then smiled. "Okay then!"

(un)avoidable

Standing in the ruins of Damcyan Castle, Cecil healed himself fully and restored Rydia's MP at the magical pots. Then he looked over at the tragic scene playing out in the main room. A woman was dying, and Edward, Prince of Damcyan and Musician of Selected Items of Cutlery, was cradling her in his arms.

"Oh, Anna!" he sobbed. "Why is it that we have such boring names, yet that Cecil guy's foster kid gets to be called Rydia?"

"Hush, Edward," Anna said tenderly. "I still love you, despite your name being ruined by a series of extremely offensive and poorly written novels."

"Why is it that you have to die?" he cried. "If only we had some convenient way of healing you!"

Cecil looked down at the pot. Then he looked back up at the pair of star-crossed lovers.

"Nah," he said decidedly, as Edward's wails of grief tore through the air. "Not dramatic enough."

re:spooned

"You…um… forky singer!"

"Nope."

"Knifey harpist!"

"Not good enough." Edward had set out some deck chairs on the rock of the cavern, and was passing the time playing Ye Olde Go Fishe with Cecil.

"Sporkish vocalist?" Tellah tried.

"Nup."

Tellah broke down in tears.

"It's no use," he sobbed. "I can't find the right one."

"Geez, old man," Edward said in disgust. "It's an iconic line. I know this is a re:mastered re:done re:coded re:edition, but still, get with the picture." He put his sunglasses back on and took a sip of his drink. "Your turn, Cecil."

. ysae . oot

Cecil looked delightly at his new form. He now had flowing white locks, purple lipstick and a scarf. He'd always wanted to have a scarf!

When he really thought about it, the difficult trials he had to face on the Mountain of Ordeals basically amounted to not being able to oneshot zombies. He had thought the task of cleansing his dark soul might be a bit more trying than this. And then there was a sparkly rock and suddenly he was a paladin! No regrets, either! It's like he hadn't had to face any conflict at all!

Anyway. Cecil stepped forward and drew his sword. Time to face himself.

NO, a mysterious voice said. A TRUE PALADIN...SHEATHS HIS SWORD.

Cecil looked around for a sheath. For some reason he didn't have one. How strange and embarassing. He decided he wanted – no, needed - a sheath. ASAP.

A TRUE PALADIN…SHEATHS HIS SWORD, the voice said again.

"I can't," he said. "I don't – OUCH!"

His Dark Knight self had gonked him over the head with his Dark Sword.

"That hurt," he muttered. "Was I that strong? If being a paladin means I have to stand around and get hit, maybe I should just-"

A TRUE PALADIN….SHEATHS HIS SWORD.

"SHUT UP!"

Meanwhile, the Dark Knight had dropped dead at the pure horror of watching his opponent stand around looking for a sheath.

"Well, that was fun!" Cecil said. "Now I don't have a darkness attack, my armour looks silly, I can use extremely weak white magic and –"

A horrified look spread over his face.

"I'm back at level one?"

YES.

"All that grinding, that soul-crushing, time-wasting grinding…for nothing?"

YES. BUT ON THE PLUS SIDE, YOUR SOUL IS NOW PURE. AND NOW ALMOST EVERYONE IN MYSIDIA SUDDENLY LIKES YOU.

"Huh." Cecil flicked his scarf over his shoulder, appeased. "Maybe it's the uniform."

feminis(n't)m

"So, um. It in fact turns out that we do need to steal the rest of the crystals from their places, but this time for the force of good?"

"I'm afraid so," said the elder.

"I guess this means I'll actually have to go through some trying drama and actual thinking as I face the prospect of again carrying out a terrible task that I've done before and regret just for the greater good, which will at last give the story some interesting conflict," Cecil said.

They flew to Troia.

"Look at us! We're the only city in this whole country that puts any women in charge! How feminist the developers are! We think we're better than men and that women should always be in charge, which is the obvious result of women not all being dedicated baby-making machines, housekeepers or white mages!"

The priestesses danced around happily.

"As the player character, I secretly think you guys are an oddity and should have some men around," Cecil said. "As a calming influence. Or maybe you should be my harem."

"Actually, as it turns out, our lack of a Y-chromosome means we easily lost our crystal to some mean baddies. Big strong man, will you go get it back for us? And since actual conflict that would lend depth to the plot (with added interest) isn't allowed, you can just keep it afterwards! Because we want our crystal back just so that we can give it to someone else we've never met, but who has a reputation for nicking crystals and taking them back to Baron!"

"…Drama? Anywhere?" Cecil said weakly. "No? No drama?"

"And then we won't be featured importantly in the story at all after this and you'll never need to come back here!" the head priestess said happily. "Feminism!

"Have you noticed that all the white mages are women because of course we are all Nurturers and Mother Archetypes? Are swords too heavy for us to lift, or something—" another priestess said, before being bound, gagged, and dragged away while Cecil looked out the window with great interest.

(barely)there

"Rydia…you came back!"

"Yes, I have indeed returned!"

"And you're…sexy?" Cecil, who had last seen Rydia as a small child, was kind of perturbed.

"Really?" Rydia gasped.

"You seem remarkably innocent and well spoken. Are you sure you're Rydia?"

"Extremely sure."

"Oh…oh well, then. So you spent seven years in an alternate dimension, living with eidolons?"

"Yes."

"Can we hear about it? It sounds much more interesting than this." Cecil sighed. Bloody crystals. Bloody Golbez.

"No! But I can take you there later to beat some of them up!"

"Oh. Okay." He peered at her suspiciously. "What was wrong with having you as a young girl for the whole game, anyway?"

"Don't be silly, Cecil. Rosa and I simply have to wander around in bikinis all the time, or the poor players won't get enough enjoyment out of our HQ renders."

"Ah." Cecil nodded wisely. "That makes total sense. We can't have young girls wearing bikinis, after all."

(un)reasonable

Kain looked at Rosa with anguish. "I betrayed you and Cecil! I betrayed everyone! These sins will weigh on my heart forever!"

"But…Kain, you were being mind controlled. It literally wasn't you."

"I'm so evil!" Kain wailed. "Leave me in peace. I have to stand dramatically on a clifftop with my Pantene-shampoo-ad blonde hair fluttering in the wind so I can atone properly."

"For what?"

"For being evil, of course. I'm practically the poster boy for switching sides! I've done it, like, twice in one game!"

"Kain, you were being mind controlled! Literally controlled! Your mind! Was! Being! Controlled!"

"Tell that to Golbez," Kain said darkly.

Golbez was bashing his head against a rock. In penance. Cecil was standing a little way off from Golbez, arms folded and back turned.

"Um, he seems to be busy right now," Rosa said. "What's wrong with Cecil?"

"He doesn't understand," Kain moaned. "He'll never forgive Golbez. He'll never forgive me. We're too evil."

Meanwhile, Cecil was thinking. Sadly, Rosa hadn't noticed, or she'd have called the papers.

Gee, Golbez is evil, he thought. I shall never forgive him, even though he was being mind controlled. Plus, his armour is cooler than mine. Why did I become a paladin again?

"Is everything alright, Cecil?" Yang said, approaching.

"Yes, perfectly fine."

Suddenly, Cecil had a flashback to that time when they had met Yang in that inn, and then he had attacked them because he was being mind controlled. Of course, he had been very repentant and it wasn't his fault anyway. After all, Yang was a very honourable moustache. Er, monk.

"Good man, Yang," Cecil said, and clapped him on the shoulder. Then he went to not forgive Golbez some more. If he found it in his heart to forgive him this soon, they wouldn't get some cheap drama in the ending cutscene.

THE END

In the end, Cecil and Rosa got married. Rosa got all dressed up. Cecil came in his dirty old armour.

"Cecil, what are you wearing," Rosa hissed as they took their places in front of the thrones.

"This armour is special," he whined. "I got it from a sparkly rock on a mountain."

"You're getting married, Cecil. If I make the effort to dress up, then it's only fair—"

"Stop henpecking me!"

FOR REAL THIS TIME