Professor Cid Previa is a non-playable character in Final Fantasy V who also appears in the anime sequel Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals with the name "Shido". Cid is an elderly inventor and scholar residing in Karnak who researches the crystals, building amplification devices to improve their power. Together with his grandson, Mid, a researcher at the Library of the Ancients, Cid is one of the foremost inventors in Bartz's world. When his crystal amplification devices damage the crystals, Cid aligns with the Light Warriors to try and make amends for his mistake.
Before Final Fantasy V
Cid was prompted to study the wind crystal at Castle Tycoon, the water crystal in Walse, and the fire crystal at Karnak after coming across an ancient tome in the Library of the Ancients describing how the crystals had once held much more power than they did in his present day.[note 1] In the short term, this led to many improvements for the populace: the water crystal in Walse created purified water that kept the town safe from monsters and sealed Shiva away, while the fire crystal granted prosperity to Karnak by making it cheap for smiths to build weapons and armor.[note 2]
As time went on, the instabilities and damage dealt by the amplification devices began to reveal themselves. Many scholars from the Library of the Ancients protested the devices and warned of dangerous consequences from using them, causing Queen Karnak to build a wall to keep them away. Cracks in the fire crystal caused flames to spit out around Karnak and Karnak Castle. Cid realized his mistake, and wished to fix it. He attempted to save the crystals in Tycoon and Walse, but was too late; when he tried to shut off the device at Karnak, the queen imprisoned him.[note 3]
Final Fantasy V
After the wind crystal and water crystal had already shattered, the Light Warriors arrived in Karnak, but were imprisoned after being accused of colluding with a werewolf. Cid met them while attempting to use an explosive to escape his prison cell, but instead arriving in their cell. Lenna Charlotte Tycoon balked upon realizing he was the machines' inventor, but Cid said he deserved the criticism due to the damage the crystals had sustained. The group realized their goals aligned as both wished to save the crystals, and agreed to work together. When the chancellor of Karnak arrived upon realizing that Cid was correct and pleaded for his help, Cid agreed on condition that the Light Warriors were also released.
The Light Warriors joined Cid at the fire-powered ship to find a way to deactivate the device, but were unable to prevent the fire crystal from shattering. Cid went into depression and drank away at the pub in Karnak, leading the Light Warriors to find his grandson, Mid, who inspired Cid to put his mind to use to protect the earth crystal. The two refitted the fire-powered ship to run without the crystal or the wind, allowing the Light Warriors to use it to save the remaining crystal; seeing Cid and Mid's relationship awakened some of Galuf Halm Baldesion's memories, reminded of his relationship with his granddaughter, Krile Mayer Baldesion.
The fire-powered ship sank to the Catapult, with the Light Warriors believing they had lost it in a whirlpool. The warriors used a black chocobo to return to Cid and Mid in the Library of the Ancients, where they shrugged it off and said they'd simply build a new one. Cid and Mid relayed rumors of King Alexander Highwind Tycoon being spotted in Karnak and then traveling to the Desert of Shifting Sands, where the two hastily hatched a plan to provoke a sandworm and use the defeated sandworm corpse as the bridge across the desert.
While the Light Warriors crossed the desert to travel to Gohn, Cid and Mid flew the black chocobo to its home and fell into a pitfall, leading them to the Catapult structure. They met up with the Light Warriors there, who had arrived through a pitfall in Gohn, and found both the parked fire-powered ship and an ancient airship that Cid managed to reactivate. From then on, the Catapult became Cid and Mid's base of operations. The pair instructed the Light Warriors on how to reach the Ronka Ruins, requesting adamantite to outfit the airship to reach it.
The Light Warriors were unable to stop the earth crystal from shattering, meaning that Exdeath was released, and Galuf used Krile's meteorite to his world to battle Exdeath. Though Galuf had forbidden the others from coming along, the three remaining Light Warriors resolved to follow to Galuf's world and help him, and turned to Cid as they had no other ideas how to travel. As they followed Cid to the meteorite in Tycoon, Cid and Mid were in the middle of returning adamantite, only to find the meteorite absorb the adamantite to recharge. This gave Cid and Mid the idea to recharge all four meteorites at once to send them back. The Light Warriors did so, and traveled to Galuf's world.
Cid threw himself into his work, blaming himself for the state of the world, and found a way to transform the airship into a submarine. After Exdeath merged the worlds, Cid was trapped in the machinery in Catapult, which itself was stuck beneath the Fork Tower that appeared when the worlds merged, as Mid rushed to Crescent to find help. The Light Warriors completed the Fork Tower and freed Cid, who told them of his research to use the airship as a submarine. After Mid told the others that Cid blamed himself for all that had happened, Cid urged Bartz Klauser and the warriors to save the world, lamenting he was incapable of helping beyond modifying machinery and had done all he could.
After the Light Warriors put a stop to Exdeath's plans, Cid had all the papers and knowledge he had accumulated about the crystals destroyed so no one could misuse them while he took the secret to utilizing their power to his grave. The demon Ra Devil was determined to use the crystals for his own plan and stole Cid's brain from his grave. Mid tried to protect his grandfather's burial site, but was killed by Ra Devil. In the end, Ra Devil was destroyed and Cid got his brain back so that he could finally rest in peace.[note 4]
Cid is an older man with long white hair and white mustache. He wears a red shirt and pink trousers. In his Yoshitaka Amano artwork, he is depicted as draped in layers of red, gold, black, and pink cloth, leaning on what appear to be mechanical apparatuses and a possibly robotic dragon.
Cid is a determined researcher who never gives up until he finds a solution. He appears to be driven by altruism, as the known applications for his crystal amplification devices brought safety and prosperity to Walse and Karnak, and when he sees the damage done, he wastes no time in trying to warn the monarchy or shut the devices off himself.[note 3]
Cid feels guilty by the damage done. The guilt initially throws him into depression, something his grandson describes as uncharacteristic of him. His grandson's inexhaustible belief in him eventually motivates him to instead throw himself into his work in an effort to undo his mistake. Cid does so to an apparent unhealthy degree, getting himself trapped in the machinery at the Catapult in the merged world. Though Cid's guilt causes him distress, he is normally optimistic and driven, shrugging off the destruction of the fire-powered ship due to his confidence in his ability to build another.
Meeting Cid in the discontinued mobile/Steam version earns the player the "Scientific Genius" achievement.
Cid appears in Final Fantasy Trading Card Game with Lightning-elemental cards.
- It is likely that the reason the crystals held more power before was because the crystals and the worlds were split 1,000 years before Final Fantasy V in order to seal the Void.
- It is unknown what improvements the amplification device brought to Tycoon, as the wind crystal shatters when the Light Warriors arrive.
- Though Cid had apparent good intentions for the devices, it is possible that he knew of the dangers involved in building the machines and proceeded anyway. Mid was aware of a story of the ancient Ronkan civilization, in which they had amplified the earth crystal to allow their city to float, but deactivated it upon realizing that doing so would damage the crystal. As Mid knew the story, Cid likely did also, and would have not heeded it as a cautionary tale.
- Due to the dub of the film being handled by Pioneer LDC, Cid is erroneously referred to as Shido in the English version of the OVA.
- Final Fantasy V Advance script § "Karnak Castle"
- Final Fantasy V Advance script § "Ghido's Cave 2"
- Final Fantasy V Advance script § "Walse optional dialogue"
- Final Fantasy V Advance script § "Castle Walse optional dialogue"
- Final Fantasy V Advance script § "Karnak optional dialogue"
- Final Fantasy V Advance script § "Catapult"
- Final Fantasy V Advance script § "Karnak (after the Fire-Powered Ship)"
- Final Fantasy V Advance script § "Karnak (after Library of the Ancients)"
- Final Fantasy V Advance script § "Fire-Powered Ship (after Library of the Ancients)"
- Final Fantasy V Advance script § "Library of the Ancients (after Crescent)"
- Final Fantasy V Advance script § "Desert of Shifting Sands"
- Final Fantasy V Advance script § "Ronka Ruins"
- Final Fantasy V Advance script § "Catapult (after Ronka Ruins)"
- Final Fantasy V Advance script § "Tycoon Meteorite (after Ronka Ruins)"
- Final Fantasy V Advance script § "Catapult 2"
- Final Fantasy V Advance script § "Crescent optional dialogue"
- Final Fantasy V Advance script § "Library of the Ancients"