Wah-ha-ha! Did you think a little thing like the end of the world was gonna do me in? The earth tried to shallow me up once or twice, but I just pried its jaws open and climbed back out!Duncan
Duncan is an old man with thick hair and a bushy beard and mustache, and wears dark blue and brown robes. He uses the same sprite as Banon, just with a different palette. His artwork for Mobius Final Fantasy retains this design, with the addition of metal gauntlets and shoulder armor.
Duncan is a spry man in spite of his advanced age. He laughs in the face of danger and is proud of his abilities. He trains rigorously in his dojo and curses his aging body impacting his prowess, but is still a capable combatant able to leap great distances and rapidly pummel targets. Duncan was upset that Vargas struggled progressing in his lessons and would grumble about it to others, but he loved his son and intended for Vargas to take over his dojo.
Duncan ran a dojo at a cabin near Mt. Kolts where he trained students in the martial arts. Vargas and Sabin were his prize pupils, but Vargas was ambitious and hungry for power. At one point, Vargas struggled progressing in his lessons and Duncan grumbled about it. One day, believing Duncan favored Sabin and would choose him the heir to the dojo, Vargas attacked Duncan. Believing he had killed him, Vargas fled into Mt. Kolts. However, Duncan survived and went into hiding. Sabin knew that Duncan had wanted to bequeath the dojo to his son, and followed Vargas and defeated him.
During the cataclysm, Duncan nearly died when an earthquake split the ground around him, but he climbed to safety. Word that he was alive reached his wife in South Figaro and he returned to his dojo, now relocated north of Narshe in the reshaped world, and continued his training in solitude.
A year after the cataclysm, Sabin found Duncan, overjoyed to see his mentor alive. He was moved to tears, something Duncan disapproved of. He invited Sabin to duel him and learn his ultimate Blitz technique, the Phantom Rush. The two leapt onto the roof of Duncan's dojo and sparred until Sabin mastered the technique. Duncan then bid the party well, telling Sabin to use every Blitz he knows to defeat Kefka.
In the World of Ruin, Duncan is found at his cabin north of Narshe, at a set of five trees arranged in the shape of a cross by a small mountain. If the player attempts to enter Duncan's cabin with Sabin in the party, a scene will play where Duncan teaches Sabin the Phantom Rush, his final Blitz technique. Afterward Duncan remains in his cabin to encourage the party. If the cabin is reached without Sabin, the party will find Duncan inside training.
Behind the scenes
Duncan Harcourt was created by Kaori Tanaka, who also worked on the PlayStation game Xenogears that has a character named Sigurd Harcourt. Sigurd's half-brother is Bartholomew "Bart" Fatima, whose ancestors are fraternal twin brothers Roni and Rene Fatima. Together, Sigurd and Bart live in a high-tech desert kingdom and possess a fortress that can travel through the sand. Harcourt, Roni, Rene, their desert kingdom, and their mobile sand fortress are all homages to Final Fantasy VI.
The Duncan bug can be triggered if the player visits him in the World of Ruin before recruiting Sabin.
Duncan is a given name. It is an Anglicised form of the Gaelic Donnchadh. Duncan means "chief" or "noble".