The Goddess and Her Warrior: Chapter 3

The rain reminded me of her.

I sat up under the canopy of the crude tent I shared with Master Kupo. One of my legs was stretched out while the other was bent, supporting my arms which in turn supported my chin. The moogle was fast asleep and had been for over an hour. But no matter how soothing the sound of the rain or accustomed to such traditionally unpleasant sleeping conditions I could not find rest.

My mind drifted off to thoughts of my beloved, as it often did. I thought about our last conversation, more of a fight really. The thought that the last words to pass between us were harsh felt like an acid wore into my heart. Though I cherished no illusions that I would emerge victorious against the High God, I had to maintain this quest as if I had every right to hope. But while my resolve did not weaken, my spirit surely did.

My eyes scanned the terrain for the hundredth time. After the battle with Tiamat concluded I salvaged what I could from the demolished airship and headed in the direction I believed lay the Flying Fortress. Master Kupo tagged along, of course, and it did my morale no good to realize that I couldn’t even leave him on the relative safety of a vessel. The creature refused to be parted from me anyways, so I just instructed him to hide when monsters came out which he dutifully did.

There was a flash at the corner of my eye and I crawled out of the tent to investigate. My sword was in my hand in an instant as was my shield. Once again I’d forgotten my helmet, the rain soaking my silver hair and running as crystal-clear ribbons over my platemail. At first no other glow could be seen but after taking a few steps onto the pebble-strewn beach my breath hitched and the sword held at ready.

Cosmos. Or was this? Had Tiamat somehow survived death again? Was this something even more sinister?

“What is the meaning of this?” I demanded, though I could not keep the aching hope from my voice.

“Brave knight, I have come here to warn you.” The voice certainly sounded like Cosmos’s but I’d been deceived before. The long golden hair flowed around her in the glow of her ethereal aura. Her white dress floated in tune with her tresses. Despite myself I was entranced by the sight.

“You must turn from this path at once!”

The grip on my sword and shield loosened but did not entirely abate. My suspicions that this was another deception did not disappear but I didn’t feel the trepidation I’d experienced before. “What do you mean, gentle goddess? Why must I abandon my quest?”

A shadow swirled in those eyes. Cosmos might not be another of the Fiends but the impression that something was not quite right returned to me. The soft honeyness of her voice lulled me into tranquility–somehow I sensed the goddess spoke as calmly as she could to keep me from understanding the truth behind her words. “This path you take will only lead to your ruin. The princess you seek to protect doesn’t need your intervention.”

A false image of my goddess to make me stray from my mission perhaps? This seemed like another of Sephiroth’s mindgames, one he was quite famous for. But why set me on this path and then try to lure me from it? Could this be Shinryu, then? That didn’t seem likely. The High God was a creature of direct violence not subtle subversion. Tiamat might take to ruses to accomplish her goals but her mate would not.

Then that meant this truly was my deity, but why turn me away? “I do not understand. Surely the princess is not safe. Last I saw she was Sephiroth’s prisoner.” That image would follow me all the days of my life if I did not rescue her, and maybe even then. The rain had only intensified and now I dearly longed for my helmet under my tent. “I am her champion. I must give my life for hers if need be.”

The admiration and adoration in Cosmos’s visage melted my heart. I could not help but be spellbound by her. I longed for nothing so much as to keep that expression there always yet how could I obey this command? “I plead with you not to continue this quest. As a personal favor to me, please do not do this.”

Before my heart was melting; now it was breaking in two. One part belonged to my beloved Sarah, my soulmate; the other was captured by the goddess, the one who my soul was pledged to. How could I refuse the goddess her wish? Did she not understand far more than I? If she claimed the princess was alright, should I not just take her word for it?

Then that image of Sarah, wreathed in flame and bound to a table, burned in my mind.

“I must beg your goddess’s indulgence in this but I will not be swayed.”

That smile vanished from her face and a coldness settled in, not unlike that which the princess worn when she was banishing me from her side. The similarity was startling.

“If you must then go but know that you do not have my blessing.” Was that tears in her eyes? Shock ran through my body as surely the rain on my armor did. The goddess turned as if to depart then suddenly whirled around, as if changing her mind, to come within inches of my face.

“Cosmos…” I breathed, dropping to my knees. I did not have the heart to look into her visage and see that disapproval. It tore more deeply than any dragon’s talons could. “Forgive me…”

It was with additional wonderment that I realized that the goddess had genuflected as well.

For a moment our lips were one.

My eyes had been shut tight against the pain of the deity’s disappointment in me but flew open when her mouth was on mine. I couldn’t think. Such intimacy was unbecoming a knight bethrothed to a princess and a champion oath-bound to a goddess. Yet something about it felt entirely right, though for the life I couldn’t figure out why.

Maybe if my memories served me accurately it was because princess and goddess were one.

I shook my head. It simply could not be, for if it were then that likely meant the rest of it was real and everything in this story would be stained in a darkness beyond imagining.

Cosmos rose and I with her though we didn’t meet eye to eye.

“You still don’t understand, do you?”

Finally mustering the courage to look at the goddess I stared confusedly at her. Thoughts of all the broken memories swirled in my mind. Of images that I could not be certain were real. Of a princess. Of a goddess. And of a knight torn between the two. Torn between the one.

“Perhaps you never will.”

“Goddess? What do you mean…”

But, of course, she was already gone, leaving me to my thoughts and the rain.

 

I had never walked so far in my entire life. My lungs felt inflamed and my legs had the constitution of wet noodle. I could only imagine how the moogle was faring but so far it had barely complained, just every so often making a piteous sound that could cleave the hardest man’s heart. More than once I offered to carry Master Kupo but he always rebuffed me.

Our supplies were also dangerously low. I always made sure the moogle ate before I did, to be sure he was sufficiently fed. But even the most frugal of rationing would not keep our food from being entirely depleted eventually. I didn’t trust the wildlife to be properly edible around here though the area appeared vaguely familiar.

I had a general idea where we were but was not entirely sure. If I could only figure out exactly where we were, I could get supplies with the fairly sizable purse I carried. It was too fine an irony to die from starvation when one sported a pile of coins.

It was at this point that Master Kupo made another of his soft whining sounds. Something about this one was definitely more amiss than usual however.

I turned around to check out what the matter was and found the creature sprawled on the grass of the plains we travelled through.

“Master Kupo!” I cried out with alarm and rushed to its side. “Good creature do stand up.”

The only answer I earned was another distressing moan.

“Then I shall have to carry you for there is no help for it.” I often had cause to carry maidens before (Princess Sarah was taken from the Temple of Chaos in such a fashion) though never a creature like this. I gingerly lifted him in my arms, so afraid to break his fragile bones. He made a slight squeaking noise but otherwise made no complaint. That very fact only intensified my worry since if he no longer had the strength to protest than that must mean he was near total collaspe.

“Hold on a bit longer, noble creature.”

Trudging along with the moogle in my arms I could feel my own energy ebb away. How much farther could I travel without surrendering to exhaustion myself? The edges of my vision blurred and my legs continued to barely support me. We could stop for a break but that would only mean a further reduction in our supplies and I thought there to be a safehouse around here somewhere. An old friend, one while not particularly friendly, would not likely turn me away.

But I couldn’t find it! Was this what the goddess meant by this mission being my ruin? Would my end not be at the glorious heat of a battle but rather crumpled on the ground, slugging off this mortal coil for lack of nourishment?

It was with immense joy then that I saw the cavern home of Matoya. She was a witch, or more politicially correct term of sorceress, and an old friend since I’d returned the crystal orb that let her see. After days and nights on the road it was a most welcome sight, a sight that which renewed the strength in my legs and spirit in my soul.

“Warrior of Light, is that you?”

Dressed in robes of the darkest night with silver stichings, ones I’m sure had spells woven in, the witch Matoya came hurrying over. She must be in her sixties at least but ran as one half her age. Taking the moogle from me, the witch led the way to her residence. I was grateful for her compliance, for she was not always known for such.

The whole time Matoya was busying herself with restorative spells on the moogle I stood by the cot it lay on. Though weariness assailed me and threatened to make me lose consciousness I had to be certain Master Kupo was alright. He was my charge. Even though I hadn’t willingly accepted this responsiblity it was mine now by sake of necessity.

“How is he?” I asked.

The witch turned to me after placing a cooling cloth on the creature’s head. The critical eye she gave was quite characteristic of her. “He will be fine after a good night’s rest and some food. You also need to rest and eat. I dare say you haven’t had much of either recently, have you?”

I shook my head. I couldn’t deny it, not when the evidence was so obvious.

Aside from the cot Master Kupo occupied there was no other bed. I didn’t mind, just grateful for reasonably comfortable rest and soon after some sustenance. The witch piled up some pillows and blankets and I lay down on the stone floor, my vision swimming. After my team and I saved Matoya’s sight she swore to assist us should we need it.

It really helped to have friends in strange places, I tell you.

“Why are you here, warrior?” Matoya asked. She must have known I was disoriented enough to answer though I had no desire to.

“To find and kill Shinryu,” came my faint response. I was rapidly fading.

“To kill a High God…” she breathed.

I didn’t have a chance to ask her how she would know of the High God for I fell into sleep’s deep embrace.

 

The moment I came to, the witch was there.

“So, tell me why are you here?”

No preamble from her. I knew I had to be tactful. I wasn’t entirely sure what I let slip to her yesterday and I had no desire for her to know the whole story. Who would believe it? Who wouldn’t think I suffered from some mental malady? Perhaps like Cosmos (or whoever had visited me) Matoya would seek to hinder my purpose.

And since I myself did not fully understand I thought it best to be more obscure in my answers.

“The moogle and I have been on the road for many weeks, bereft of civilization. Our supplies are almost gone. I merely saught sanctuary until we could be on the road again.”

Out of the corner of my eye I could see Master Kupo heartily devouring some meal Matoya likely had prepared for him. He appeared too far away to hear our conversation, which suited me perfectly. The last thing I needed was for him to “helpfully clarify”.

Matoya nodded her head of dark hair, an air of impatience about her. “Yes, yes, but what made you take to the road? Where are you headed?”

I sat up on the floor amid the blankets, gazing past her shoulder. “Pravoka, there to pick up my ship.”

“And then?” She wasn’t easily relinquishing this.

“Back to Corneila.”

“I see.” And to me, it appeared she might see all too well. For a women who was blind and could only count vision among her lists of senses due to a crystal orb, she was very intuitive. “And after that…” she pressed on.

“And…nothing.” It was a lame ending so I added, “I return to Cornelia.”

“I see.” Then the witch relaxed, lines in her face becoming less prominent. Picking up a tray brimming with foodstuffs at her kitchenette, Matoya presented it to me. “You must eat.”

Though I longed for nothing so much as to continue my quest I knew her to be entirely correct. And I was absolutely famished. I scarfed it down, just savouring the moment of having such a basic need met. Matoya watched intently, making me quite uncomfortable. It was obvious she didn’t believe me in the slightest but so long as whatever conclusions she drew remained erroenous I was content.

When I tried to stand the world swirled around me and I fell flat on my face.

“What?” I mumbled through the locks of my silver hair. What had just happened?

Suddenly the boots of the witch were within my line of sight, if one could call it sight what with the way the stone floor jumped up and down. My stomach felt like it wanted to claw out of my throat and my head was on fire. I expelled a little groan from my lips, struggling to make sense of it all.

“Now we shall have the truth.”

Truth indeed for it became clear that she’d drugged me.

The weeks of frustration burst out of me in a cry of fury. “Thrice-damn your soul to the demon-world for eternity, witch!”

She bristled more at the address than the curse itself I knew but simply said, “Is that any way to talk to a lady, noble knight?”

“Why have you done this?” My hands were tingling now. No matter how much I commanded my muscles they refused to obey me.

“I did not think you were entirely honest with me so to learn more I mixed a potion into your food and drink.” Her hand pushed the hair out of my eyes. The gentleness of such a touch contrasted with her otherwise poisonous tongue, “And now, warrior, you will tell me everything.”

And so I did.

The Goddess and Her Warrior: Chapter 2

And you thought your day was bad.

Mine started out with having to explain to the King and Queen of Cornelia that their precious daughter, heiress presumptive, was the prisoner of a madman. This same madman had me in his thrall, his personal slave to commit whatever unspeakable acts he so whimsically choose. My first act fortunately was not evil, but most assuredly suicide as I was expected to slay a High God.

I was thrown out of the kingdom, damned by all for my failure to protect her, and sent on a journey to accomplish the impossible.

I awoke to the sound of a high-pitched squeal after having felt something hard slam against my arm. I was at the wheel of the airship I’d flown all through the night, seated at the contraption made for such a purpose. Glancing around I noticed that Kupo had a bowl on his head and a most sour expression on his face.

It was then that I realized that when I’d awoke I must have knocked the bowl out of his hands.

“My apologies, good creature,” I said as I took the bowl off and set it on the table next to my helmet. “It is already dawn?”

It grumbled something and wandered off.

I glanced at the bowl bemusedly. That was probably breakfast the kind creature had made for me out of the meager supplies I’d managed to hurriedly collect in the town before I was chased away. I’d fired up the engines of the airship and sped off, planning on finding the Flying Fortress before dawn appeared in the skies.

Apparently I’d missed that timeline, as I peered at the glow of dawn’s bright cadence fading into the mountains. I was probably at least a day away from the floating castle even with the vessel flying at maximum speeds. With a sigh I dropped back down into the seat, impatient for what only could be described as my imminent and bloody death.

After a time Kupo deigned to appear above deck again with another bowl of stew. This time he gingerly offered it to me and I gratefully took it. Though I was in no mood to eat I forced the food down realizing that without nourishment my task was even more impossible, if something already impossible could become even more impossible.

Once I’d finished the moogle took the pottery away and went about trying to look useful. I had not intended to take the creature with me but it had stowed away and I could spare no time to return him. Besides where was I to return him to? Cornelia would not bear my face long enough to receive him and I knew not where my companions from the last voyage were. We’d separated months ago; they could be anywhere by now.

“You should not have come, Master Kupo,” I admonished the creature for the dozenth time since I’d discovered him in a barrel in storage. “This will only end in your death.”

Again that laughter from Kupo. Until faced with actual danger (like his encounter with Sephiroth) the creature could be quite irrepressible. I wasn’t sure what to do with him when I reached my destination. I could leave him aboard the airship I supposed but as I was unlikely to return from my quest I could not ensure his safety.

My eyes narrowed as I caught sight of something flying towards us. It was not a dark cloud, shaped too much like a serpent to be the idle convergence of the stratosphere. As it drew nearer I realized it was a serpent, or more specifically, a dragon. And one that was eerily familiar.

“Get below, Master Kupo!” I commanded, taking up my sword in one hand and steering the wheel with the other. It became quite apparent to me that the dragon meant to ram into the airship and such a blow could send her plummeting to the earth. With a twist of my wrist and the vessel took a sharp turn to starboard, harrowingly missing the flying serpent as it soared past.

Without a breath’s span of time to lose I hurried across the planks of ship. Then I hurled myself onto the dragon flying below as she appeared out from underneath the prow. It was a reckless even dangerous move but one not uncommon for me; I’d mounted the infamous Tiamat in such a fashion before.

Thus it was with utter shock that I realized that this very creature was Tiamat.

“Foolish knight!” she screamed, twisting her head behind her, maw belching great flames. As I was clutching her spiked tail in a death grip they floated right over my head. As the heat burned my face I noted that I’d forgotten my helmet. Banishing that thought and any other, I hopped up on her tail, careful not to impale myself on her spikes. With amazing agility I reached her neck, swirling my sword to cut off one of her heads.

The scream that Tiamat gave felt as if it shattered my eardrums. I could not help it, I threw up my fists to my head. Obviously there was more than one benefit to having headgear. The dragon flew in semi-circles attempting to dislodge me. At one point she slid towards the ship, slamming her back against the deck. I had to dodge to keep from becoming a messy, bloody blot on the wood.

The winds played with my cape, tattered from my many adventures. “How is it that you’ve returned!?” I demanded of the creature. At the speeds we were flying I could not be certain she’d even heard.

Apparently she did. “It was not an absolute death you’ve delivered to me, you lowly soldier, but transient. My mate Shinryu brought me back to do away with you…and so I shall!”

“Your mate?” I said, but the dragon was already flying higher and higher, past the very heavens it seemed. The air froze in my lungs and my teeth chattered. I dare not let go of my sword for I had four more heads to cut off her but my very grip on the scales became dangerously unstable. Any higher and…

Then that grip failed and I was spinning down, faster than even my heart beat and that was swift indeed.

The mast of the ship loomed into my vision and I could see Master Kupo grasping at the wheel, nudging the ship under me as I fell. It could be a life-saving gesture were it not for the fact that I would be splattered on the floorboards if I hit them at the speeds I was tumbling down. Hauling out my parrying knife I dug it into the flag as I fell past, mercifully slowing my descent and holding me aloft for a moment.

Then I dropped to the deck, harrowingly missing the creature. Had I collapsed onto it Master Kupo would have been crushed beneath my plate mail armor.

He stood there and extended my helmet to me. Two red wings flapped anxiously.

“Thank you, good creature,” I said, donning the headgear. “And now I bid you to go beneath deck as I must go back to do battle with the beast.”

As the moogle pointed most empathetic-ally to the port side I saw what caught his attention. Tiamat was nearly upon us, intend on succeeding at the collision this time. I dropped my sword immediately and grabbed the wheel, turning it with every ounce of strength in my body. The vessel was shifting much too slowly to avoid the hit.

“Brace for impact!” came the scream tearing from my throat and I leaped back at the creature. Throwing my body over its own, I glanced aside long enough to see the body of Tiamat striking that of the ship.

A great quake shook the ship. She’d hit the engine I realized. We were going down.

The last thing I heard was my own cry, and the word was the two syllables of my beloved’s name.

 

It was through a foggy haze that I viewed the moogle at my side. My mind pieced together the last few minutes of the battle: the flight on the dragon, the fall, Tiamat colliding with the ship…The ship! I tried to rise but a sickening crunch could be heard throughout my left arm and I fell back against the pallet, agonized. I had felt much pain in my life and to have survived the vessel’s crash was a miracle itself, still I had no desire to worsen whatever wounds I’d inevitably garnered.

The moogle had kindly taken it upon himself to make another meal for me so I wolfed it down. Afterwards I felt sleepy and while I had no intention to fall back unconscious again the state of my wounds were such I could not resist the sweet folds of rest.

Whatever happened to Tiamat I knew not, could only hope her foolish attack was her own demise.

 

When I awoke later on she was there.

Sarah. Or not Sarah. Cos…mos? Cosmos? The Goddess? She was here?

She was real? Did that mean that other of my memories were similarly true?

Her hand lightly graced my chest plate, long golden hair so much like my sweetheart’s that my breath choked in my throat at the sight of it. Her eyes, bright blue also akin to the princess’s, softened, a smile in them that was not on her lips. There was something in them that sent a shiver through my blood, both of excitement and of fear.

“I’m here, gentle knight. This is no dream.” She had read my mind, it seemed. I was thinking that exact thing–a dream. Not an unwelcome dream, but I had pressing matters to attend to. Namely the rescue of my beloved. I would have risen but the hand became more insistent, pressured applied that wouldn’t be near enough to keep me bed-ridden but enough to give me pause.

This also reaffirmed what I believed…that my memories contained some grain of truth. There was a goddess, one I had served however long ago. Was there a connection with the princess? Until I knew it for truth one way or the other I must assume that such a thought was but conjecture and my mission remained.

And so my lack of confirmed identity must also remain an open question.

“Goddess, what is your command?” l licked my lips, suddenly and inexplicably anxious for my sword. It was nowhere to be found in this wretched wreck of the ship. “I have need to be elsewhere. The princess of Cornelia is in danger, I must go to her!”

In a move that completely dumbfounded me, the beautiful deity climbed on top of me, one hand lightly stroking my cheek. “I know, honorable warrior. But do not fear for she is safe.”

“How could you know such a thing?” This state of circumstances made me distinctly uncomfortable. It was far too intimate for a man who was but a servant of such a goddess and the would-be bridegroom of a heir to  a throne. What would Sarah think if she were to find her warrior in such a compromising position? Nothing good, I imagined, and couldn’t fault her.

“We must leave and find this out for certain. I will not rest until I see her secure with my own eyes.”

“Stay awhile.” The Goddess’s eyes held a meaning in them that was far too obvious to be misread. Her hand trailed down to my neck and the edge of my chest plate. “I will bring you to her after.”

“After…what?” I meant to ask but couldn’t manage that as her lips were on my own, demanding, passionate…thoughts crashed in my head and images, of Sarah, of Cornelia, of the Flying Fortress, of a statue that could easily been en graven in my own image. Something felt entirely too personal to be merely a kiss, but I couldn’t gather what was happening until my gaze fell on the hand that was taking off my chest plate.

One of the fingers was missing.

One of Tiamat’s heads was lost when I cleaved it clean from her body.

“Tiamat!” I cried out, meaning to stand but suddenly all the passionate pressure was crushing, imprisoning.

“Seems you found me out, you’re more clever than I gave you credit for, lowly knight.” The lovely face elongated, becoming a maw and snout and two crimson eyes. Right before my own eyes she expanded, clothes falling off her to become a scaly wyrm, a tail sprouting from her back along with two massive wings. The transformation made a mess of the already chaotic space, ceiling boards crashing around.

Tiamat did not seem to mind. Her intent was but one thing: my death.

The hand that had been sensual and gentle became a clawed talon ripping the chest plate off.

I was armor-less and weaponless, and severely wounded. And I faced the strongest of the Four.

But I did have one advantage: Master Kupo.

Tiamat paid no heed to the creature as it cowered and only became aware of its presence when the moogle made a squeak to get my attention. When he had it, a sword flew from Master Kupo’s paws and into my hands. Were it not for the creature’s bravery I dare say the dragon would have had its way…whatever way it so wished.

A shudder coursed through my muscles and I stood to face the flying serpent. “Begone, evil creature or I shall smite thee!”

A roar bellowed from her maw and she burst into flight, crashing through the already mangled ceiling and flying into the sky. I could see the puffs of smoke wafting from her nostrils and realized what her plan was; she would incinerate the remanents of the airship and I and the moogle with it.

“Take cover, Master Kupo.” I said and rushed out of the airship, sword in hand. I could see at the edge of my vision the dragon hovering over the ship, drawing in more breath. I hadn’t a second to lose. Climbing the nearest tree that looked capable of sustaining my weight, I waited until Tiamat banked low enough for my tastes.

Just a bit closer…closer…closer…

I knew I tempted a very dangerous game, for as she drew nearer the risk of her expelling the flames grew that much more likely. But I needed her as close as possible for my plan to have even the slightest chance of succeeding.

I aligned the sword in front and above me, one eye slit like the edge of a coin. She was quite near, but unless even closer this would fail. I could see her cheeks expanding and contracting, more smoke floating out of her nose and it was with horrified realization that I had miscalculated the time by the sheer second of the breath leaving my lips.

My sword flew through the air, piercing right through her heart. That, however, did not stop the column of fire spewing from her teeth.

And I was in the path of it.

Throwing my cape over my face I waited as the flames surged at me…harmlessly.

Aside from a few sparks in my hair and the sputtering of smoke on my cloak I was completely unscratched. Something glowed from a drawstring pouch at my hip and I lifted the object out of it. My lips parted to see the amulet, shining as sapphire as the sky above, such a tiny thing to have so much power.

If only Sarah had kept it, she might be safe right now. We might not be in this predicament.

Who am I to be ungrateful for this fortune? I could see Tiamat plunge to her death admist the trees, taking them to her belly like a hundred spears. The amount of blood a dragon can spew was astonishing I thought as I descended the tree, as was the amount of blood my arm had gushing from it. Dizziness assailed me but I fought it off long enough to review the remains of the ship.

There wasn’t any, at least none to really speak of.

“Master Kupo? Master Kupo!” I cried, thrusting aside the smoldering embers. Had I failed to protect another life? Is that what this has come down to? Constantly seeing my friends perish around me, the noble knight that cannot save anyone?

Then from behind a moss-covered boulder crawled out the moogle, fur singed but otherwise without a single wound. I gasped, relieved and pulled the little creature into a hug, emotional beyond all reason. Or perhaps with every reason, for if there was but even a tiny speck of hope, then I had every reason to have any hope.

Even against a High God. Even against the impossible.

This still wasn’t the best fairytale, but was getting better at least.

Vision of Light: Warrior of Light’s Appearance

Warrior of Light has a pretty distinctive look, even though he is clothed in standard medieval attire. Perhaps because the characters in the Final Fantasy series have more exotic, modern looks recently, he stands out…or perhaps it’s because of the over-sized horns on his helm? This helmet is identifiable with the knight, possibly (or probably) because of how often it’s not on his head. Let’s review the appearance of our helmed (or helmet-less) hero.

To start off let’s look at his Dissidia build: average weight, average height. What’s strange is that Warrior of Light is neither built like a bruiser nor like a dancer. He has a slender, graceful body, but still muscular in all the right places. He holds his own against Garland, blade to blade, despite the villain being twice his size. But still he spins, leaps and attacks like a will-o-wisp in the wind. How does he do it?

What’s even more amazing is how he manages all of this loaded down with all that blue armor. Chest plate, bracers, etc…with a long flowing golden cape, aforementioned helmet; all the while wielding a shield and sword. None of his armor is adorned in any specific pattern, though you can see some skulls and gold inlay along the curves of said armor. The blue and gold suit him though, giving similarity and contrast to his blue eyes and silver hair.

And that leads perfectly into another two of his definitive features: the crystal-blue eyes and silvery hair. Blue defines water and wisdom, both of which are distinctive with his goddess Cosmos. That he should reflect this is hardly surprising, considering their connection (view my article Star-crossed Mannikins) and entirely fitting. And his silver hair denotes intelligence and more wisdom that the Warrior of Light shows on his travels. Intelligence to figure out the cycle in Dissidia and wisdom to know what to do about it.

If we’re reviewing his original Final Fantasy 1 appearance Warrior of Light’s armor is more austere, a deep crimson color. His hair color reflects his armor, dark red to mark his looks. He is helmet-less and without a cape. Though less knightly looking, he still looks ready for anything, clutching his sword and shield. This appearance probably was prompted by the games limitations in graphics, and the Dissidia appearance more closely resembles the artwork designed for him. This assumption is supported by the fact that in the future remakes and ports of the game the character is blond (which is closer to silver than red is) and his eyes are a lighter color with much more ornate armor.

Alternatively, Warrior of Light has other Dissidia appearances: his “amethyst” purple look, to simulate being “weathered” and his Ex drive Oversoul, containing more red, gold and intricacies on his armor, shield and sword. His horns also are bent down and pointing forward.

Going back to his sword and shield…The sword appears to be Excalibur (Ex for Ex-force?) which itself was the knight’s strongest weapon back in the original Final Fantasy. Steel blade, gold crossbar with a red tassel attached to the pommel. Meanwhile the shield itself is fairly simple, with a stark crimson-and-gold design on a black background while in he’s in his Ex form and plain sapphire while he’s not. At his hip is a pouch from which he draws forth the fangs to use against his opponents.

With his appearance, Warrior of Light has a presence: knight, leader, guardian, champion. And whether he’s wearing all that dashing armor shining while in Ex Force or simple crimson designs, there is no denying that no matter how many Final Fantasy heroes go on after him, he is the quintessential Master Chief of Final Fantasy.