The game takes place in a medieval fantasy setting, and focuses on Cecil Harvey, the captain of the Red Wings of Baron. After performing a raid on Mysidia to steal the Water Crystal, Cecil and the knights question the orders of their king as they believed stealing from the Mysidians was wrong. As punishment for disloyalty, the king strips Cecil of his title, and orders him and Kain Highwind to win back his trust by sending him to the village of Mist. This sets Cecil off on an adventure in which he and many other allies he meets must uncover the truth and save the world from monsters.
Many enemies can counterattack when attacked under certain conditions. Examples include the Behemoth, the Antlion, and the final boss. Dealing with these enemies requires a variety of strategies, including avoiding using attacks that trigger a counter, using disabling status effects to prevent counters, or using attacks that can kill the enemy in a single hit. This feature was not used as extensively in later Final Fantasy games.
On the airship, Kain appears and demands Cecil retrieve the final crystal in exchange for Rosa's life, which the party obtains with assistance from a bedridden Edward. Kain then leads the party to the Tower of Zot, where Rosa is imprisoned. At the tower's summit, Golbez takes the crystal and attempts to flee. Tellah casts Meteor to stop Golbez, sacrificing his own life in the process, but the spell only weakens Golbez, ending his mind control of Kain. Kain helps Cecil rescue Rosa, and defeat Barbariccia another fiend before Rosa teleports the party out of the collapsing tower to Baron.
GamePro rated it a perfect 5.0 out of 5 in all five categories (graphics, sound, control, fun factor, and challenge) in its March 1992 issue. The reviewer Monty Haul stated that it \"truly redefines the standards for fantasy adventure games\", proclaiming that \"one-dimensional characters, needless hack 'em combat, and linear gameplay will be things of the past if other RPGs learn a lesson or two from this cart\", concluding that it \"is one small step for Square Soft, and one giant leap for SNES role-playing games\". In the November 1993 issue of Dragon, Sandy Petersen gave it an \"Excellent\" rating. He criticized the \"stylized\" combat system and the graphics as \"inferior\" to Zelda, but praised how every \"spell has a different on-screen effect\" and the difficulty for being \"just about right\" where bosses \"nearly beat you every time\" unlike other RPGs such as Ultima where enough \"adventuring\" makes it possible to \"trash\" enemies \"with ease\". He praised the \"great\" music, preferring it over Zelda, stating what it \"lacks in graphics, it more than makes up for in sound\". He praised the story in particular, noting that, in a departure from other RPGs where the party always \"sticks together through thick and thin\", the characters have their own motives for joining and leaving the group, with one that \"even betrays\" them. He stated that it is like \"following the storyline of a fantasy novel\", comparing it to The Lord of the Rings and Man in the Iron Mask, concluding that, because \"the characters often spoke up for themselves\", he \"got much more attached\" to the party \"than in any other computer game\".
His psyche finally ends up breaking the hold that this mysterious girl had over him when he almost ends up taking his own son's life... only to break free of the chains that were controlling him and coming back to his senses.
Part of this is because Final Fantasy IV is the first game to really feature character arcs throughout, tying the separate fantasy elements together into a coherent narrative. Before FFIV, many of the characters and world building elements felt strangely patched together. The first game features elves and dwarves like it's a Dungeons & Dragons campaign. The second one featured an epic war that felt more like a rip-off of Star Wars than anything else. The characters were flat and uninteresting in the first three games, existing more as stock characters than anything else.
Cecil's girlfriend and a White Mage. Tender and caring, she vowed to stay by Cecil's side even if he doubts his own motives. She is abducted by Golbez early in the game and joins Cecil upon being freed, proving invaluable as a healer and emotional support. At the end of the game, Rosa becomes Queen of Baron when she and Cecil marry, and they have a son named Ceodore. Action Mom: In The After Years, she jumps back into the action alongside her teenage son. All There in the Manual: Japanese guides give her full name as Rosa Joanna Farrell or Rosa Farrell, which was retained in 3D releases. Her middle name apparently comes from her mother. Battle Couple: With Cecil, though the \"battle\" part comes a wee bit later. Childhood Friend Romance: With Cecil, who she's known since they were kids, along with Kain. Combat Medic: She's a healer who's also able to deal out reasonable damage with her archery. Damsel in Distress: The first time she comes down with Desert Fever, requiring Cecil to go searching for some rare medicine. The second time, Golbez invokes it by abducting her and holding her hostage. After this point, she ceases being rescued. She gets kidnapped again in The After Years by Dark Kain. Demoted to Extra: Downplayed in The After Years. While she has her moments of prominence, Rosa remains as the only party member from the original final party to not get their own Tale. She also gets this treatment in spin-offs; Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, for example, included Cecil, Kain, and Rydia as recruitable party members. Curtain Call then added in Edge, with Rosa being included too... as DLC. Fairytale Wedding Dress: As per the DS remake, Rosa opts for a modest silver gown during her wedding ceremony and coronation. Generation Xerox: Invoked. She wished to become a White Mage and fight alongside her lover, much like her mother did. The only difference is that Mrs. Farrell's husband was a Dragoon, and Cecil's a Dark Knight/Paladin. Girlish Pigtails: A flashback to Rosa's childhood with Cecil and Kain in the DS version shows her with this hairstyle. Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Her love is a stout warrior that favors swords and axes; she's a back-row caster that specializes in archery. Hair Color Dissonance: Sometimes portrayed as more of a strawberry-blonde. Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: She is sweet, kind, and loves Cecil deeply. Happily Married: At the end of the game, she and Cecil wed and live happily together. The Heart: The party's moral center. The Hero's love interest. The Lancer's unrequited crush. The healer. Rosa defines this trope. The High Queen: Rosa becomes Cecil's Queen when he's crowned King at the end of the original game. Holy Hand Grenade: Her endgame Holy spell, which attacks enemies with sacred energy. Informed Attractiveness: Downplayed. While certainly beautiful, her reputation as the ultimate beauty seems a slight stretch when the other female party members in the two games are also quite attractive. The Ingenue: She's pure of spirit, although she's not naive or stupid. Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Particularly in The After Years, where Rosa trades in the leotard for more formal regalia. Lady of War: She eventually grows into this. She's gentle and graceful, and after getting rescued she serves as the archer to the team when she's not healing allies. Leitmotif: \"The Theme of Love.\" Doubles as a Breakaway Pop Hit, at least in Japan (where it is taught to music students). Leotard of Power: Although the DS remake makes it resemble Underwear of Power, since it's an entirely different color from the top. Light Is Good: She has blonde hair, wears white and gold, and she can attack with Holy Spell. Mage Marksman: Can use a bow in addition her White Magic. The Medic: Rosa is known in story as a master of Healing Hands. Official Couple: She's in a romantic relationship with Cecil from the very beginning. By the end of the original game, she's married to Cecil and becomes his queen. Out of Focus: She doesn't get much focus in The After Years relative to her importance in the original game, lacking her own chapter and having relatively few lines. Pimped-Out Cape: In the remake, her cape has a lace cape over it. Pregnant Badass: In the original release of The After Years, Ceodore is 17. The After Years takes place 17 years after the original game, implying she was possibly already pregnant during the game. There is one scene where she and Cecil are alone in her room and it ends with a fade to black, which many players took as the scene where Ceodore is conceived. The Complete Collection re-release de-aged Ceodore to 15, but included the -Interlude- chapter where she's playable for part of the chapter and later explicitly states she's pregnant. Silk Hiding Steel: She is physically frail but has an unyielding will. Spikes of Villainy: Uhh... Well, now we know who the Warrior of Light takes fashion advice from. Stripperiffic: Though nowhere near as much as Rydia. Her outfit has a very low neckline, and she wears sheer tights that show off most of her legs. In The After Years, after becoming queen, Rosa switches to wearing a full-length robe with, of all things, shoulder spikes. Tamer and Chaster: In the original game, her outfit is one that shows off her chest and legs, but in The After Years she wears a long white robe that covers her chin to toe. Team Mom: Rosa assumes this role after being rescued from Golbez. Took a Level in Badass: For the first chunk of the game, she's very much the Damsel in Distress. After getting rescued, however, she eventually grows into her own as a full-blooded Lady of War. White Mage: Inspired by her mother, who also fell in love with her husband while healing on the battlefield. White Magician Girl: In terms of personality and story role, Rosa is one of two candidates for the Trope Codifier. World's Most Beautiful Woman: Widely known as the most beautiful woman in the kingdom in-game, and in the sequel at age 36, and with a son named Ceodore, she's just as attractive as she was in the original. Though see Informed Attractiveness above. Xenafication: It takes a while, but after shifting away from the Damsel in Distress role, she officially joins the fight and refuses to stay behind. Her late-game bows can do damage comparable to the frontline fighters like Cecil and Kain, and once she learns her Holy spell, she'll out-damage them. 59ce067264