Dilemma - Having sworn fealty, must I spend my life in servitude?Steiner's quote
Captain Adelbert Steiner is a playable character in Final Fantasy IX. He leads the Knights of Pluto and is assigned to protect Princess Garnet. He is unique in the way that the player has the option to change his surname instead of his first name.
Steiner initially places complete loyalty to Queen Brahne, and prioritizes Garnet's safety above all else. He begins with a narrow-minded world-view, having complete faith in the queen, and contempt for criminals beneath royalty, and being driven by this world-view and his emotion. He is polite and well-spoken when addressing others, particularly those whom he respects, though he scorns those who he does not. Nonetheless, he will reluctantly put aside his dislike of common thieves for Princess Garnet's sake. Steiner acts as the game's comic relief character, especially in the beginning where he is the target of numerous jokes.
Steiner's special abilities are Swd Art and Swd Mag. Swd Art allows him to wield his weapon to various offensive effects, dealing damage to or weakening enemies. Swd Mag only works when Vivi is in the party, and allows him to make use of Vivi's Blk Mag spells to amplify his own weapon, applying elemental, status or damage boosting effects to a physical attack. Steiner's Trance triples the physical attack power of his normal attacks. Steiner wields swords and knight swords, granting him access to some of the most powerful physical damaging weapons, and also wears heavy armor.
Steiner is of tall and stocky build. He wears a traditional silver colored knight's armor, a pair of shorts and a helmet with a white feather. Even his shoes and gloves are armored. Steiner carries a broadsword on his back, fastened in place by a leather strap. Steiner's field movements are accompanied by a clanking noise due to his armor, but this is not present during battle. The armor earns him the nickname "Rusty" from Zidane, and a red mage in Lindblum advises him to "scrape off that rust".
When in Trance, Steiner's suit of armor is replaced by paladin armor complete with a face plate. It has runes on the torso and gold highlights on his gauntlets, chest plate, and the spiky decorative metal jutting out of the front at his ankles. His lower mail is replaced by black pants and silver shin armor. The feather in his hat turns black and jagged.
Chivalry requires a knight to look after his comrades-in-arms. I will not abandon you! And I shall follow you to kingdom come if I must. You remember that!Steiner
Steiner is a retainer of and personal guardian to Garnet, and places her safety above all else. At first this brings him to odds with the others, including Garnet. His world-view is starkly black-and-white, which makes him quick to judge people and situations without a second thought. His narrow-mindedness makes him emotional, as Steiner immediately blames himself for what he sees as failing to perform his duty, and falls into desperation. Initially, he tends to lose his composure when things do not go his way. During his quest Steiner grows and learns to think for himself instead of blindly following duty. Steiner realizes that Garnet can take care of herself, seeing her mission as too important for him to stand in her way.
Steiner speaks in archaic Japanese in the original version. In the English localization, he also speaks in something of an older-fashion manner, befitting his image of a knight. In the Italian translation, Steiner frequently shouts out some sentences in Latin.
Initially Steiner is antagonistic towards Zidane, whom he considers a lowly peasant and a criminal. Once his world-view broadens Steiner learns to trust that Zidane will do what is right and becomes loyal to Zidane as much as Garnet, regarding him as a fine man and a personal friend. Steiner respects Vivi, whom he calls Master Vivi. The two work well together and Steiner admires his power.
Beatrix and Steiner do not initially get along as she disregards him and he envies her position. As the two are forced to work together to protect Garnet and Alexandria, they put aside these feelings and their respect for each other's skills turns into love.
I thought of relinquishing my knighthood many times after Alexandria was destroyed... But there are still things I must protect. Seeing this sky convinced me.Steiner
When Steiner was a child he was caught in a war and was saved by Alexandrian knights, inspiring him to become one. He joined the Alexandrian army at age 16. When he was 23, he dueled with Alexandria's best swordsman, Beatrix, and won due to sheer luck. As a reward, his request to become a Knight of Pluto was granted, and he goes on to become their captain.
Steiner and his Knights of Pluto feud with General Beatrix and her female soldiers, and seeing her group being promoted over his own frustrates Steiner. He guards the royal family of Alexandria with his life and when Tantalus Theater Troupe kidnaps Princess Garnet, he pursues the group onto the Prima Vista, and is still on board when it crashes into Evil Forest. Stuck, he agrees to accompany Zidane to rescue Garnet from the forest's monsters. Vivi is unsure of himself and his magic, but Steiner convinces him to come along.
Steiner doesn't accept that Queen Brahne has turned to evil, and initially doesn't trust Zidane; as far as Steiner is concerned he is a thief and a kidnapper. After they recover her from the forest, Garnet plans to head for Lindblum to speak with Regent Cid, but Steiner plots to return her to Alexandria Castle.
When the party gains control of the cargo ship at Dali, Steiner insists the party set course for Alexandria to reconcile with Queen Brahne, but Garnet pilots the ship to Lindblum. When they receive no substantial help from Regent Cid, Garnet absconds with Steiner to return to Alexandria, much to his delight. The two pass through the Aerbs Mountains where Steiner hides Garnet in a burlack sack to avoid her being detected. They meet up with Tantalus member Marcus who is on a quest to save his petrified friend Blank from the Evil Forest, and their ride is derailed by Black Waltz 3, whom they defeat.
Garnet feels indebted to Blank who helped her back in the Evil Forest and thus wishes to aid Marcus in his quest. Steiner opposes this, but goes along with the princess's orders as she is still on course with returning to Alexandria. Steiner is appalled to find Garnet taking part in a plot to steal a special medicine from a scholar's house in Treno, but the scholar turns out to be Doctor Tot, Garnet's old tutor, who willingly lends his help.
They take a Gargant to Alexandria where they are apprehended by the jesters Zorn and Thorn. Garnet is taken to see the queen while Steiner and Marcus are imprisoned, much to Steiner's shock. After freeing themselves, Marcus heads to the Evil Forest to cure Blank, while Steiner meets up with Zidane, Vivi and Zidane's friend Freya, who have witnessed Brahne annihilate Burmecia and Cleyra with eidolons and black mages.
As Brahne plans to have the princess executed, Steiner's loyalties to her finally falter, and he lets go of his hatred of Zidane and joins his party to rescue Garnet from the palace catacombs. They bring her to General Beatrix who heals her from her magically-induced slumber. Zorn and Thorn unleash a pack of Bandersnatches to deter the party, and Freya, Beatrix and Steiner stay to fight the beasts allowing Zidane, Garnet and Vivi flee to Gargan Roo.
When Zidane's party later returns to Alexandria from the Outer Continent Steiner has assumed a soldier's post. Kuja, Brahne's manipulator who incited her will to conquer the Mist Continent, has killed the queen and Garnet is to become the successor. Eiko, a young summoner girl the others befriended on the Outer Continent, writes a love letter to Zidane with Doctor Tot's help. She gives it to Baku to deliver, but he loses it on the riverfront of Alexandria Castle where Beatrix finds it, thinking it is from Steiner. That night, Steiner locates the same letter, and he in turn mistakes it being from Beatrix addressed to him. Neither quite knows what to do with the revelation of the other's "affection".
Kuja returns to Alexandria and summons Bahamut and a horde of Mistodons to decimate the city. Steiner and Beatrix band to stave off the Mist monsters, and during their battles Steiner acts protective of Beatrix. Garnet and Eiko summon Alexander to defend the castle, and although Alexander kills Kuja's Bahamut, it is in turn destroyed by the airship Invincible, commandeered by Kuja's master, Garland, who has become aware of his subject's rebellion.
After Alexandria is badly damaged in the attack from the Invincible, Steiner rethinks his servitude to the kingdom and begins to see his obligations in a new light. After coming to grips with his life, he is able to see Zidane's heroism and gains respect for him.
When the party sets out to hunt Kuja down Steiner accompanies them, leaving Alexandria's reconstruction in Beatrix's hands. They discover Kuja hails from the mysterious planet of Terra, and after obtaining the elemental mirrors from Ipsen's Castle, set out to place them in their respective shrines to open the portal to the other world. Steiner and Vivi venture into the Wind Shrine where Steiner shields Vivi from the blustery winds with his body, and the two defeat the shrine guardian Tiamat.
With the road to Terra open the party descends to the other world where they find Garland and learn of his true plans. Kuja arrives boasting his newfound power of Trance and kills Garland and destroys Terra, but the party flees the destruction with Garland's airship, the Invincible, where Steiner admits he is in love with Beatrix after Zidane teases him about it.
The party pursues Kuja to the depths of Memoria, but their entry is barred by a horde of silver dragons. Beatrix commandeers the Alexandrian forces aboard the Alexandrian flagship, the Red Rose, and with aid from Regent Cid's fleet they fight the dragons to let the Invincible through. They travel through Memoria to the beginning of all time in Crystal World and defeat Trance Kuja and Necron before returning. While Zidane stays behind to look for Kuja, the others return to Alexandria where Steiner and Beatrix continue to serve as Queen Garnet's guardians.
Some time later Tantalus returns to Alexandria to perform I Want To Be Your Canary for Queen Garnet. Beatrix plans to leave the castle, but Steiner confesses his feelings to her, saying he wishes for the two of them to protect the queen together. During the play the actor who was supposed to be Marcus casts aside his cloak to reveal himself to be the missing Zidane, and Garnet rushes down the castle stairs to reunite with him while Steiner and Beatrix hold up the sword Save the Queen.
Steiner wields swords and knight swords in battle, and can wear heavy armor. He has access to the Swd Art skillset which has various effects including the ability to weaken enemies with attacks, and Swd Mag, which can combine his attack with a Blk Mag spell if Vivi is in the party, granting him the ability to exploit elemental weaknesses. Steiner's Trance triples his damage output. Steiner has access to many support abilities, mostly those which boost his physical attack power against enemies, such as MP Attack, Counter and the Killer abilities.
Though considered a Knight for purposes of gameplay and design, Steiner also exhibits features from Samurai, Mystic Knight (through Swd Mag with Vivi), Dark Knight, and Paladin, all through storyline developments (e.g. Vivi joining the party) or through learned skills from equipment.
"Steiner's Theme" exhibits Steiner's clumsy demeanor, represented in the composition by the syncopation paired to its slow tempo and the odd, fumbling melody over the underlying serious tones. It plays during comedic moments when Steiner is unwittingly the subject of jokes.
The song "Steiner's Delusion" has a similar melodic elements borrowed from Steiner's regular theme, which expands the comedic and reckless nature from Steiner's theme further. This is achieved from the tones of the horns, and the odd placement of the melody against silence, like hiccups.
"Steiner's Theme" may be based on Prokofiev's "Dance of the Knights".
Steiner has made appearances in the following games in the Final Fantasy series:
- Dissidia Final Fantasy as a cameo.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia as a playable character.
- Pictlogica Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Artniks as a series of cards.
- Final Fantasy All the Bravest as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Record Keeper as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Brave Exvius as a summonable vision.
- Final Fantasy Trading Card Game as a series of cards.
- Tetra Master as an opponent and card.
- Triple Triad as a series of cards.
"Rusty" is a name that player can give to a Paradigm Pack monster in Final Fantasy XIII-2. Steiner is mentioned by Datz Strongberry in Bravely Default where a character named Steiner is also met during the Ninja mission.
Behind the scenes
Early in development, apparently before Beatrix was created, Steiner was the captain of the paladin corps, and was less bumbling but still a comical character, with a tendency to follow the queen's orders literally rather than using common sense, such as when she would have ordered him to charge forward he'd refuse to turn around when the others warn there is a Bomb behind him.
In an old development memo for Final Fantasy IX Hironobu Sakaguchi has since published online, Steiner would have been ordered to look for Garnet after she is reported missing from the castle. Steiner was envisioned as being able to enter any room in the castle, unlike Zidane, who was playable in the castle before this, the previously inaccessible rooms containing gear and items the player could then equip. Steiner would have led a force of paladins onto the Theater Ship to fight Tantalus in the introductory sequence and use Magic Sword on his own, doing so in a cutscene in preparation to fight the thieves. After the Theater Ship takes flight the paladins, bar Steiner, would have been blown off the airship's deck.
A dummied piece of dialogue between Steiner and Morrid at the Observatory Mountain posits that the king of Alexandria had died in a war against Burmecia. Morrid points out that Alexandria and Burmecia waged many wars before the Airship Revolution and how there was no single clearcut aggressor, aggravating the black-and-white-thinking Steiner.
Steiner is released in November 2019 as a Bring Arts figure that comes with different facial expressions and weapons.
Adelbert derives from Adalbert.Adalbert is an archaic given name variation of Albert, which means "noble-bright". It comes from Germanic adal or edel (noble) and berht (shining or bright).
Steiner is a surname that comes from German Stein, meaning "stone".
- Final Fantasy IX Ultimania, p.014-015
- Character Height Comparison Chart from Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Ultimania
- Final Fantasy IX Ultimania, p.014-zero-padded number of last page in range
- From the old back up file (dead) (Accessed: March 30, 2012) at Mistwalker Corp (dead)
- [Final Fantasy IX] Hidden Scenes (Accessed: November 13, 2019) at YouTube