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Dragoons, or Dragon Knights, are a small but powerful group of spear-wielding, wyvern-riding warriors in Final Fantasy II.

History[]

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)

The first dragoon was a knight by the name of Haan, who visited Deist, the island home of the wyverns. During his time on the island, he formed a bond with the wyverns over a thirty-year period, the first of what would eventually be many to do so. As time passed, the dragoons increased in number, but they became one of the earliest targets of the Palamecian Empire during the events of Final Fantasy II and were believed to have been wiped out along with the wyverns. The only people remaining in Deist when Firion's party arrivesd to recruit the dragoons' aid were the widow Elina and her son, whom she had with a dragoon named Phillip, and a single wyvern who entrusted Firion with its egg before passing away.

One dragoon, Ricard Highwind, was later discovered to have survived, having been swallowed by the Leviathan while attempting to acquire the tome of Ultima. Firion and his friends escaped the Leviathan with Ricard, and he joined their quest to stop the Emperor.

After the Emperor's death, the wyvern egg hatched and joined Ricard in Fynn, uniting the sole remaining dragoon with the last wyvern. Ricard and Firion's party rode the wyvern to infiltrate the Cyclone, During their attempt to assault Castle Palamecia, the reborn Emperor slayed Ricard, ending the life of the last dragoon.

Following the Emperor's final defeat, Ricard's adoptive son decided to become a dragoon, following in his father's footsteps.

Spoilers end here.

Behind the scenes[]

Final Fantasy II is the first appearance of Dragoons in the Final Fantasy series, though they do not possess the Jump ability that would become their signature in later games. The most treasured weapon of the dragoons of Deist, Excalibur, is also a sword rather than a spear as Dragoons typically wield. It was not until Final Fantasy III that spears became the Dragoons' iconic weapons, as Ricard was trained only in swords in the original Famicom version.

In the Dawn of Souls release of Final Fantasy II, Ricard's adoptive son shares his name with a dragoon from another game, Kain Highwind of Final Fantasy IV.

Etymology[]

"Dragoon" is the traditional name for a special soldier type in classical European warfare. Unlike in Final Fantasy, the original dragoons did not fight with lances, that being the job of "lancers"—a different soldier class. Dragoons were infantry that rode on horseback, but fought on foot. Originally they fought with a hand-held blunderbuss called the "dragon", giving them the name. The dragoons' arsenal expanded to include guns, sabres, and axes. During the Napoleonic Wars they became medium cavalry and reached the height of their popularity.

After the Napoleonic Wars, to make better use of the number of men the European military had, the dragoons were trained to use lances and lancers became obsolete. Thanks to the advances of modern warfare, dragoons lost their niche and modern dragoon units exist only for ceremonial purposes.

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