So a character concept I am utterly in love with, just in general, is that of the “impossible thief.” Basically, a thief that can steal more than just items off a shelf or from a museum.. Like, more. I suppose it’s easier to show via examples, so here’s an excuse for me to post a TOP X THINGS blog post, because let’s be honest I’ve not done that for a while.
You know, every time I start a new character on Skyrim, I think “this time, things will be different! I’ll use swords and shields, or maybe magic!” and then I loot a bow and some arrows, and oops I’ve become a sneaky archer thief yet again.
So I go around and steal a load of stuff, join the Thieves’ Guild, level up sneak and pickpocketing slowly but surely, and those two skills are where the REAL impossible thievery comes into play. With the right amount of those two skills and the correct perks (Perfect Touch as a minimum, probably 5 ranks of Light Fingers and Stealth too) you can literally steal the clothes off someone’s back and the weapons from their hands from in front of them in broad daylight, and somehow not only do they not notice, they don’t even react! As if they were feeling a draught already so this is nothing out the ordinary.
This, however, is nothing compared to what you can do to a particular type of enemy. Over in The Reach, the city of Markarth has a problem with the Forsworn, rebels who are trying to reclaim the area from Nord and Imperial control. One type of Forsworn enemy you can encounter is a Forsworn Briarheart, powerful high ranking men who usually act as the leaders of the various groups you encounter in The Reach. The story goes, they performed a ritual, offering their human heart to Hargravens, and in exchange receiving power and a new heart, the Briar Heart. Well yes, if you’re sufficiently sneaky and pickpockety, you can creep up behind them, steal the heart from their chest, and watch them drop dead instantly!
Final Fantasy Tactics: The Thief Class
A staple class in a lot of Final Fantasy games, even those without an explicit job system (example: Rikku in X, Zidane in IX, Vaan in XII), the Final Fantasy thief is one character I always try to include. I mean, free shit, right? Just gotta pry it from their hands!
Thieves in Tactics go a little further though. Not content with stealing weapons, shields, armour and accessories, the Tactics thief can also steal the enemy’s heart (not in the Skyrim Briarheart way), charming them into fighting for you. They also go a bit metaphysical, being able to steal the experience right out of someone’s head! Yes, with Steal EXP they can prevent an enemy levelling up by just filching the experience points from them! They can’t take them below 0 though, and thus cannot level someone down, which is a crying shame. They can, however, steal an enemy’s money without using Steal Gil! One ability gives them gil equal to damage they’ve taken! Literally picking the pockets of someone swinging a sword at them, amazing/.
The thieves from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance can steal whole abilities from an enemy! That black mage got a spell you haven’t? Go right over to them and steal it outta their mind, and become an instant master of magic!
Disgaea: The Thief Class
Statistically rather weak, and with rather bad weapon aptitudes (though they eventually get okay ones with Gun and Bow), the thief is best used as, well, a thief! Boasting double the success rate for stealing items compared to other classes in the game, and with the best items coming off of really strong enemies, you’re going to need an even stronger thief to relieve them of those precious things! Much like the previous thieves, they are capable of tearing the clothes off your back and the sword outta your hands, but Disgaea’s thieves also have another trick up their sleeves: they steal STATISTICS.
While it picks a stat at random, Snag Heart actually permanently raises the stat of the thief at the cost of the same amount from your target. It’ll never be enough to cripple an enemy’s statistics (you’re better off stealing their armour and weapons for that, plus have you SEEN the crazy numbers they can reach in that series?!), but the fact remains you’re stealing something highly intangible! In Disgaea 2 they can also inflict status ailments through stealing; Steal Memory causes the Amnesia status, making the target unable to use abilities, whereas Steal Health inflicts the Poison status.
Final Fantasy X-2: Thief Class AGAIN
Popping back briefly to Final Fantasy, in the much maligned (but secretly very very good) X-2, thieves had access to Flimflam abilities, and these had a couple of interesting effects!
There’s the typical stealing of money or items, but Borrowed Time literally stole your enemy’s time, inflicting the nasty Stop status! Similarly, using Soul Swipe they could inflict Berserk, making the enemy unable to use anything other than physical attacks (with the trade-off of making those attacks hurt a LOT more), and with Steal Will they could literally steal the enemy’s enthusiasm to fight, making them flee the battle!
I just made them all Dark Knights though. They looked cooler.
THE ORIGINAL, THE BEST: CARMEN FUCKIN’ SANDIEGO
I mean let’s just recap some (not even all, SOME) of the things this genius has stolen over the years:
- The shine of the Hope Diamond. Not the diamond itself! The shininess of it!
- Portuguese. Yes, the language.
- The alphabet.
- The Spanish letter ñ.
- A TV channel.
- The internet.
- The Mona Lisa’s smile.
- All the goulash for some reason.
- K2. An entire fuckin’ MOUNTAIN.
- Gandhi’s glasses.
- A beach.
- All the salsa. ALL.
- Saturn’s rings.
- Montezuma’s headdress.
- George Washington’s face from every $1 bill that ever existed and, somehow, ever will exist
- The International Date Line, which is imaginary but she stole it anyway.
- The steps to the tango.
Look, when it comes to impossible thievery, Carmen Sandiego just cannot be beaten.
She’s my fucking HERO.
Anyway Final Fantasy XV has been released FINALLY, it’s the 30th anniversary of the series next year (or of XV’s announcement ohoho) and I figured I’d do a brief look at that perennial figure within Final Fantasy games; Cid.
Note that I’m only going to include the main numbered series, plus side games I’ve actually played!
THERE WILL PROBABLY BE SPOILERS FOR GAMES THAT AREN’T XV.
Final Fantasy I
Interestingly Cid originally didn’t appear in the first FF game, but subsequent rereleases of the game added in dialogue making mention of a Cid that was the inventor of the airship, a theme common to a lot of the Cids we see! The addition of Cid into FFI was probably the result of Square wanting a Cid in every game, so they had to chuck one in here.
Final Fantasy II
Originally a knight, this Cid jacked it all in to be a glorified taxi man, charging people for transport on his airship and using the money to maintain it. Dies when Emperor Fabulous throws a cyclone his way, but not before he gives the hero the airship! What a nice guy.
Final Fantasy III
Cid Haze is, shock horror, a creator of airships, and turns your regular old sailing boat into a soaring airship for you because that’s totally a thing that can happen easily. He also joins your party briefly and is summarily useless with a basic Fire spell, but he does like to twat things with a hammer occasionally too.
His wife gets sick when he’s with you, but she gets better.
Final Fantasy IV
Cid Pollendina is, GUESS WHAT?! Yes, an airship designer! He rebels, he’s imprisoned, you free him, he joins you. Likes to hit people with spanners, but then who doesn’t?
When Cecil and Rosa get married, he’s the best man, because let’s be honest he IS.
Final Fantasy V
Cid Previa is an
airship engineer who helps you out by building a ship for you that requires neither magical crystals OR the wind to use. The fire-powered ship!
So like an airship engineer but in water. Okay. Of course when you DO find an airship, he’s the one that activates it because all Cids like to play around with unfathomable vehicles.
Final Fantasy VI
Cid Del Norte Marquez invented Magitek things in this game. He rips magic out of espers and plonks it into machines and people. What a nice man. He’s the one who made Kefka the insane murderclown we all know and love. He ends up helping you out, and tries to help Setzer rebuild his airship. Cid’s advice falls on deaf ears though because Setzer (rightly so!) doesn’t want to remove his casino.
Dies if you feed him shitty fish, so watch out for that.
Final Fantasy VII
Cid Highwind is a
prick mechanic and wants to be the first man in space. He blames his wife for his first failed launch attempt, and is pretty damn keen to express that at any interval. She was doing a safety check as she wasn’t confident in the rocket, and he didn’t want to kill her in the takeoff.
Oh hey, turns out his wife was right about those safety checks, ’cause an oxygen tank exploded and damn near killed Cid. He mellows out a little after that.
Final Fantasy VIII
Robin Williams Cid Kramer is your headmaster the husband of a sorceress. No engineer here, though he does reveal to you that your school is capable of flying around so he fulfils that traditional Cid role of throwing airships at people.
Used to run an orphange with his wife until he needed to train children to kill her.
FFVIII is a complicated game.
Final Fantasy IX
Cid Fabool IX is
a philanderer the ruler of Lindblum that got turned into an insect, then later a frog, after his wife discovered an affair he had. Plans the kidnap scheme at the start of the game, kicking the events of FFIX into motion.
Designs airships even as an insect. Also retains that ludicrous moustache.
Final Fantasy X
Cid *mumbles* is Rikku’s dad and is therefore awesome. He leads the Al Bhed, he captains an airship, he dug said airship OUT THE OCEAN, and much like any old man, is a bit of a traditionalist, which is why he ends up falling out with his kids.
Ends up turning some sacred ruins into a tourist trap, as you do.
Final Fantasy XI
Cid *something* has bare shoulders and muscly arms. I’ve not played FFXI but he’s already become Best Cid. Engineer and inventor, of course.
Final Fantasy XII
Cidolfus Demen Bunansa is the first Cid you actually get to beat the shit out of! Airship creator, yadda yadda, he also comes across a bit mad, babbling about gods and whatnot. Turns out he wants to wrest control of mankind’s destiny out of the hands of the gods and into ours.
Oh and also become a god himself, as you do. Overthrow the gods, but then take their place. Bad boy.
Final Fantasy XIII
Cid Raines is another Cid who wants to return control of fate to humanity from the gods! Also not an engineer, but a military commander! Stationed on an airship though so I guess he can’t shed that part of his fate.
Easily the youngest, probably the most typically handsome, and he’s another you get to kill! Yay him.
Final Fantasy XIV
Cid nan Garlond is the leader of a group of engineers who don’t like The Evil Empire and supports the player character in their fight against them. Yes, he makes airships, but more importantly he gives you your own suit of Magitek Armor!
He apparently uses a gunblade when in a fight. Stole that from Squall, I bet.
Final Fantasy XV
Cid Sophiar is from Final Fantasy XV and NO SPOILERS ‘CAUSE I’VE NOT PLAYED IT YET.
Sure LOOKS like a mechanic. Probably made the boybands’ car. Also ancient.
Final Fantasy Tactics
Ah, the BEST Final Fantasy game. Cidolfus Orlandeau, commander of the Order of the Southern Sky, and probably THE game breaker of the whole series. Seriously, he pretty much trivialises most fights he participates in. Probably a good job you get him really late into the game.
Fakes his death with Delita’s help so he can sneak off and join Ramza defeat a bunch of demons. Delita framed Orlandeau for the death of Goltanna, a death Delita himself performed. History is dictated by the victors.
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
Cid Randell doesn’t make airships in this one. Cid in this one is the awesomely titled JUDGEMASTER. He enforces the law. HE IS THE LAW.
Judges in this game are annoying. Oh sure, ban all the things my units are good at.
Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift
Cid *mumble* is the leader of Clan Whatever You Call It and is our first (only?) non-human Cid!
He’s a nice guy. That’s about it.
Final Fantasy Brave Exvius
Cid is not a person in this game, but a title bestowed upon the greatest engineer in all of Lapis. The girl pictured above is called Lid, and she aspires to be the next Cid. She has an almost aggressive love of money, and a bit of a grudge against her brother who DID get the title of Cid.
Her Halloween unit variant is one of the best 5* attackers in the game. Hoo boy Hex Strike is awesome.
Confirmed to be set in the same Ivalice as Final Fantasies XII and Tactics, Vagrant Story doesn’t have a Cid per se, but it DOES have a Sydney!
Levitatin’, dragon summonin’, teleportin’, functionally immortal, even being shot right in the heart with a crossbow or having his fake limbs cut off barely stop him (though in the case of the latter he just slaps them back on). He’s one of the antagonists of the game, leader of a cult that preaches about the END OF THE WORRRRRLD.
He carries the Blood Sin tattoo, which is apparently key to mastering the dark magics of Lea Monde. It was passed to him by his father to save his life after an unknown, near-fatal accident. If one dies, the other dies with him.
In trying to give the powers of the dark to either his brother or the main character (something about ending the curse, finding a person who “doesn’t desire power” because they tend to not misuse the power they DO get), he ends up being attacked by Romeo Guildenstern, and having the Blood Sin ripped literally off his back. Painful.