Your power is a gift, not a curse. No matter what happens, you must remember that. You are this world's last ray of light...our final hope.Banon, to Terra
Yoshitaka Amano's artwork shows Banon with a mass of shaggy brown hair and a beard, wearing green clothing and a layered cape that is brown, green, and orange from outside to inside. He wears black pauldrons, red bracers, and a wide belt with a zebra-striped sash underneath. His boots are dark brown. His in-game sprite simplifies this look as well as recoloring his trousers red and his boots green.
Banon is a man of determination and spirit, leading a small rebel group against the might of the Empire. He has his agents fight with diplomacy, sabotage, and spying more than brute force. However, the harsh conditions of the war makes him somewhat harsh himself; he is very blunt when speaking to Terra for the first time and speaks of the atrocities she committed as an Imperial soldier, and brushes off Edgar's anger for not taking her amnesia into consideration. However, he does encourage her to join them by describing her as a ray of hope and doesn't intend to force her into it.
Players first meet Banon when Locke Cole, Edgar Roni Figaro and Sabin Rene Figaro bring Terra Branford to see him. He immediately becomes interested in Terra because he knows she annihilated fifty of the finest Imperial soldiers single-handedly, a fact which Terra denies due to amnesia. He asks Terra to join the Returners, and while it is up to the player to decide if Terra agrees or not, the story remains the same as she is forced to flee with the Returners. With Terra on his side, Banon realizes he needs to protect the remaining espers from the Empire. He decides to go to Narshe to take a look at the frozen esper, and takes Terra, Edgar and Sabin on a raft ride down the Lethe River to get there.
On the way, the four meet up with Ultros the octopus, and a battle ensues. During the struggle, Ultros sticks a tentacle onto Terra's leg, forcing Sabin to save her. He then boldly jumps from the raft to teach Ultros a lesson, but is swept away, and Banon, Edgar and Terra continue to Narshe alone. Once they get there, they can not enter the town because Terra is recognized as the person who attacked Narshe earlier.
Terra shows Edgar and Banon a secret way in, which they use to make their way to Arvis, a Returner living in Narshe. They then speak to the Elder of Narshe, who is reluctant to side with the Returners. Not even Cyan Garamonde, Gau or Celes Chere can convince the Elder. Kefka Palazzo attacks Narshe to claim the esper and Banon has to lead a defense, which consists of Terra, Locke, Edgar, Sabin, Cyan, Gau and Celes. They succeed in holding back Kefka, but when they check on the esper, Terra reacts to it and turns into an esper herself, flying away.
A search party is formed to look for her. Meanwhile, Banon stays in Narshe and tries to convince the Elder to align the city with the Returners and by the time Terra is saved, Narshe has decided to do so. Banon formulates a plan to attack the Empire. Terra would plead to the espers in their home to help, and attack Vector from the east, while Banon would lead a coalition of Returners and Narshe Guards to attack from the north.
The plan works, and Banon eventually winds up in Vector to find it in flames, worried that the espers had gone too far. What happens to Banon after that is unknown, and it is possible he is either betrayed and killed by the Empire, or died during the end of the world. The developers actually refuse to comment on his fate, with Sakaguchi saying "Use your imagination."
Banon's job wasn't listed within the Super Nintendo version of the North American game. It was removed. Within the Final Fantasy III Nintendo Player's Guide, his job is given as Top Returner. The English Gameboy Advance version retained the job titles and Banon is an Oracle.
Banon is an Oracle, and as such his stats are heavily weighted in the magic areas, while having low HP, and attack power. His defensive stats are also quite high. Being a temporary character, his equipment is permanently set to a Punisher, Magus Hat and Silk Robe. Also, if Banon is KO'd at any time while in the party, it counts as an instant Game Over. His ability is Pray (Health in the original SNES version), which simply casts Cura on the party for no MP cost. This makes Pray vulnerable to Runic, and can be reflected, though it is unlikely for the player to ever see this happen.
Banon is a Welsh female name meaning "Queen". An alternate spelling (Bannon) is a family name of Anglo-Saxon origin that translates to "warrior" or "soldier".
- In the Dawn of Souls and subsequent remakes of the original Final Fantasy, Banon is one of the automatic names the player can choose for the Warrior job.
- Duncan, the mentor of Sabin, appears as a palette-swap of Banon.