Cyan focuses on physical stats: he has the fourth highest Strength, great Defense, decent Evasion and good Stamina, but his Speed—28—is the second-lowest after Strago. He also suffers from having the worst Magic stat in the game at at base 25, from being tied with Edgar for the worst Magic Evasion, and his Magic Defense is also the worst of the entire cast, even lower than Sabin's. However, his poor Magic is not too great a concern as Cyan's Bushido attacks are mainly physical, except for three (Sky, Dragon and Eclipse); this means that his Bushido skills a player will likely use most often in gameplay will not be hindered by focusing on building up Cyan's Strength rather than his Magic.
Cyan begins equipped with an Ashura, Buckler, Leather Cap and Leather Armor. His equipment draw is limited to katanas and the Zantetsuken. His armor draw consists of shields, helmets, and heavy armor. His ultimate weapon is the Zanmato.
Cyan's choice of weaponry is largely irrelevant—the battle power of his equipped weapon has no impact on the power of his Bushido attacks, which are universally superior to normal attacks. Only the Murasame, Mutsunokami, and the Zanmato, offer him any stat boosts, and the latter two are found at the end of the final dungeon and in the Dragons' Den bonus dungeon. The Kazekiri is notable as a weapon, but more for what utility it offers Gau than what Cyan can do with it. While the Zantetsuken has use as a means to inflict Instant Death, Cyan's strongest Bushido has an identical effect.
Cyan's weaponry is scarce in the World of Ruin—no shops sell katanas and no treasure chests contain one, they can only be stolen from or dropped by a handful of enemies and bosses. If the player accidentally gets rid of any katanas they have early in the World of Ruin, Cyan will be unable to use Bushido commands until they find him one.
Cyan's full access to all shields and heavy armor gives him great defensive utility. Shields like the Aegis Shield and Force Shield allow him to take magical hits well, and the Genji Armor gives good defenses and valuable stat bonuses. Cyan has a handful of light equipment options that should not be overlooked. In the early areas of the game he has access to the Twist Headband and Power Sash, and in late game can wear the Red Cap. These three pieces, as well as the Genji Armor, greatly improve Cyan's Strength, Stamina and Speed, the three stats he most needs boosts for.
Cyan's unique ability is Bushido, which has some mechanical differences in the mobile and Steam releases. In the Super NES and Game Boy Advance versions, when Bushido is selected a menu appears with an ATB gauge numbered one through eight. The gauge slowly fills until the confirm button is pressed again; when it is, Cyan's command is input and he will perform that level Bushido. If the bar fills to the end of the gauge, the gauge depletes and starts over. In the mobile and Steam versions, when Bushido is selected, up to eight icons appear representing the Bushido commands Cyan currently knows. The player selects an icon, and Cyan will begin charging, represented by an ATB gauge over his command menu filling over and over, once for each "level" of the input Bushido skill, until he charges enough to use the attack.
In the SNES, PS and GBA versions, Bushido can be cumbersome to use as it demands a lot of time to charge the higher level skills. Enemies and allies are still able to act while the Bushido gauge is open, even if "Wait" mode is selected for the Active Time Battle system, and allies will have to wait to receive commands until Cyan is done charging. In the mobile and Steam versions, the player can command other party members while Cyan charges, so Bushido is still slow to execute, but does not interfere with the rest of the party.
The power gauge for Bushido charges at the same rate between versions, but all Bushido commands take slightly longer to execute in the mobile and Steam versions because each individual gauge is the equivalent of the numbered sections of the gauge in the SNES, PS and GBA versions; while the player can input a command as soon as the appropriate level is reached in the SNES, PS and GBA versions, in the mobile and Steam versions, that part of the gauge needs to fill. To put it more simply, in the SNES, PS and GBA versions a Bushido can be input as soon as its number lights up, but in the mobile and Steam versions, it is as though the command is not input until the next number is about to light up.
Cyan learns Bushido skills as he levels up, and upon completing the Dreamscape in the World of Ruin, he learns all his Bushido skills instantly. Cyan's Bushido skills are unaffected by his Battle Power or the strength of his equipped weapon.
Cyan's initial Bushido skill, Fang, is a defense-ignoring physical attack, so it will usually be superior to Cyan's normal attacks. His other Bushido skills have circumstantial uses, but all have their utility. Flurry is a four-hit attack that can deal heavy damage, and Dragon is powerful enough to restore a large amount of Cyan's HP and MP. Cyan's strongest techniques, Tempest and Oblivion, are extremely useful. Tempest deals four physical attacks that ignore defense, and Oblivion inflicts Instant Death on all enemies. With good training to Cyan's Strength, Tempest can deal several thousand damage a strike, and gives Cyan an attack that is the equivalent of the Master's Scroll without needing the relic.
Cyan's Desperation Attack is Tsubame Gaeshi. It deals magical damage to one enemy.
AI party member
- Attack Turns:
1st Turn: Fang (33%) or Attack (33%) or Attack (33%)
If attacked by anything: Attack (33%) or Nothing (66%)
In the World of Balance, Cyan is playable in Sabin's segment of the Three Scenarios during the Siege of Doma. He is controlled separately from Sabin for two points and then joins him near the end of the Imperial Camp. After the Battle for the Frozen Esper he is available as a party member for the rest of the World of Balance.
In the World of Ruin, the player must find Cyan in Mt. Zozo. His location is learned by speaking to Lola in Maranda, and then attaching her letter to a carrier pigeon that will fly to Zozo where a man outside the "Inn" will sell the party the key item Rust-Rid, with which they can open the door at the top of the "Cafe" building to enter Mt. Zozo. When the party finds Cyan at the summit of Mt. Zozo, if there is an empty slot in the party he will join them, otherwise he will appear aboard the Falcon.
Cyan has three lines of unique dialogue when meeting Ramuh in Zozo. Because of how the game decides which unique dialogues to show (it is based on the character's index number), Cyan's unique dialogue, when he has any, will take priority over all other characters except Locke.
Cyan has several unique lines when meeting Setzer for the first time, but they do not override any others that may trigger from other party members. He also has unique dialogue in the Magitek Research Facility when confronting Kefka and hearing the accusation Celes was an Imperial spy.
When the party unlocks the treasure chest in Cyan's cave on Mt. Zozo, if he is currently in the active party the scene will be extended with Cyan emerging from the party and being embarrassed over the contents of the chest.
If the party returns to Lola's house after recruiting Cyan and he is in the active party, he speaks to Lola. It is also possible to switch the letter on the desk with the letter that Cyan took from his cave, confessing his lies to Lola.
Cyan is required to be in the party with three other characters to trigger the Dreamscape quest when sleeping in the barracks of Doma Castle. If there are fewer than three others, the quest will not start.
Psycho Cyan bug
Cyan's Bushido is the source of the "Psycho Cyan bug".