- Mar 14, 2012
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If you think about it, the double-villain-hierarchy of FFIV is a form of trolling by Square's writers. Square absolutely LOVES the http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheDragon'>Dragon - http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BigBad'>Big Bad trope combination; they use it in practically every game in this series. FFIV lets you know about Golbez very early in your adventure, and most of the plot clearly sets him up as the Big Bad, with guys like Kain and the King (Cagnazzo) as his Dragons. The whole Zemus angle flips this setup on its head; it reveals that the whole time, Golbez was the Dragon, and the Big Bad was doing what Big Bads do best; controlling things from the shadows. They pull a similar stunt in FFVI; the first half builds up Gestahl as the Big Bad and Kefka as the Dragon, only to have Kefka kill Gestahl halfway through and become the Big Bad himself.I love FF IV, but thinking about the layer upon layer of villains gives me a headache (i.e. King of Baron -- who is really Odin, being manipulated by Golbez -- who is Cecil's brother, who in turn was being manipulated by Zemus/Zeromus-- who looked like some creepy, old guy).
OTOH, FFV plays this perfectly straight. Maybe that's why it seems different; FFIV and FFVI have these reverse Dragon setups, but FFV is a lot like FFI and FFIII (to a point) in that there isn't a surprise reveal at the end; the guy the game builds up as the Big Bad actually IS the Big Bad this time.