Take this; my final gift to you!
Golbez, called Man in Black before his identity is revealed in The After Years, is a non-player character in Final Fantasy IV and a playable character in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. In Final Fantasy IV, he is an antagonist, a powerful sorcerer who pursues the Crystals. In the English localization of the 3D versions, Golbez is pronounced [ˈɡoʊɫˌbɛz].
- 1 Profile
- 2 Story
- 3 Gameplay
- 4 Musical themes
- 5 Other appearances
- 6 Other media
- 7 Behind the scenes
- 8 Gallery
- 9 Etymology and symbolism
- 10 References
Profile[edit | edit source]
Appearance[edit | edit source]
In Final Fantasy IV, Golbez is a tall imposing man in dark blue and black armor with gold trimmings and a helmet with tall horns. The lining of his cape has been both red and blue, sometimes even in the same game—the 3D remake shows Golbez's official render with a blue lining, but his in-game appearance has a red lining. The exact color of his suit of armor has also varied from light to dark blue to black.
In The After Years, Golbez wears a black cloak and kilt with black prayer beads on his arms and legs. He has prayer bead bracelets (black on the right wrist and red on the left). He has a large, muscular figure, a long silver hair and pale tanned skin. His concept art depicts him carrying a large black sword on his back, possibly the Ebony Blade, an exclusive weapon for Golbez that can be acquired at the start of his tale.
As a child Golbez had short brown hair and wore a brown short vest with a gold trim, a short-sleeved lavender tunic with purple triangle design and a purple bandanna around his neck, light purple pants, brown short boots and a white headband.
His armored sprites and SD art depict Golbez with green eyes, while his portrait in Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection has blue eyes. In both his Complete Collection sprite for The After Years and his appearance as a child in the 3D release of Final Fantasy IV, Golbez has violet eyes like Cecil Harvey. Golbez is one of the few Final Fantasy characters of mixed heritage, along with Cecil Harvey, Terra Branford, Aerith Gainsborough, Yuna, Seymour Guado, and Lilisette.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Allow me to give you something—a gift, to remember our meeting by.
Golbez to Cecil
Through the majority of Final Fantasy IV, Golbez is a cruel and heartless man who will stop at nothing to obtain the Crystals, destroying anyone and anything that stands in his way. He is a cunning manipulator, tricking Cecil and his allies into retrieving two Crystals for him, and otherwise luring them into traps.
As Fusoya later reveals, Golbez is being manipulated by a powerful Lunarian named Zemus by bonding Golbez's thoughts with his. Awakened, Golbez's personality returns to his true self; Golbez is horrified by his actions and feelings of hatred. Golbez's true personality is that of a caring, self-sacrificing and empathetic individual. Hints at this nature are shown in the aftermath of the first battle against Golbez, where he hesitates killing Cecil (implied to be due to Zemus's control over Golbez weakening due to Tellah's use of Meteor).
During The After Years, Golbez is stoic and silent. He investigates the Mysterious Girl's actions and seeks entry to Baron to ensure Cecil is safe, and only speaks on matters relevant to these goals. He occasionally demonstrates a dry, sardonic wit. While the other party members react to the bosses on the True Moon, Golbez keeps his thoughts to himself, and shows compassion and sympathy towards the Archfiends, wishing them peaceful rest. The Dark Knight accuses Golbez of wanting to die at Cecil's hand to atone for both his actions under Zemus and abandoning Cecil as a child—Golbez neither confirms nor denies this. If he survives, he later tells Cecil he can no longer hide from the world, and must live up to his crimes.
The Dissidia series merges these two aspects of Golbez's personality. Golbez wishes for Cecil and the other Warriors of Cosmos to prevail, and appears to Cecil and the other heroes to offer assistance at his own risk, as the other antagonists view his actions as treachery. Golbez manipulates the heroes towards the ultimate goal of their victory, in particular, placing the wild rose for Firion to find to inspire his dream. Golbez has no qualms about attacking the heroes when called upon, including Cecil, but has good reason for this. His Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy museum profile states he was content to remain in the cycles of war as punishment for his sins, but Cecil's appearance, and the sacrifice of six of Cosmos's warriors at the end of the twelfth cycle, motivated him to help Cosmos end the war and free Cecil and the remaining Warriors.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
Golbez is a powerful mage capable of teleportation, telepathy and mindcontrol, although his ability to do the latter seems limited to Zemus's influence. He can critically injure a person with electric shocks and has incredible resilience, shrugging off Tellah's spells until he unleashes Meteor. When defeated at the Dwarven Castle by Cecil's party, he says that death will not claim him, and seizes the Crystal with his disembodied hand. In the 3D release he simply teleports away with the Crystal.
Golbez can summon a Shadow Dragon, which also features in Dissidia. While in Final Fantasy IV Golbez's abilities are mostly magical, in Dissidia he can summon dark energy and the CPU's nodes to fire beams.
Story[edit | edit source]
Golbez, whose birth name was Theodor, was born to Kluya and Cecilia, making him a half-Lunarian. While growing up he wondered why his father was fascinated by the moon. Kluya would not tell him about his origins until Theodor had mastered the arts of magic. Theodor boasted he can cast magic, but when his father asked if he has even mastered the Cure spell, he admitted he couldn't cast it. When Theodor returned home he saw his mother collapsed on the floor. She told him she was alright, and that she is just tired from carrying her next child. Excited about having a sibling, Theodor went to bed.
Kluya was attacked by the very magic he had taught to humans. When Kluya wondered if it was right to teach the people of Earth magic, Theodor assured it was, comforting his father in his final moments. As Kluya passed on, Theodor tried to cast Cure on him, but was unable to. The villagers took care of Theodor and Cecilia, but when Cecilia gave birth she died in labor. Shortly after the children were left alone in their house.
Theodor heard a voice telling him the baby was responsible for taking his mother and father away from him, and that he was worthless for letting it happen. The voice told him he was "an insect birthed from womb of dragon's corpse", and declared his new name was Golbez. Controlled by the voice and filled with hatred towards his brother, Golbez left him outside of the town of Baron. The infant, Cecil Harvey, was adopted by the royal family.
The voice belonged to Zemus, who taunted Golbez and shamed him into fleeing civilization. Combined with Golbez's Lunarian blood and his hatred of his younger brother, Zemus took control of him. Golbez lost many of his memories and began to gather the Crystals to summon the Giant of Babil that would depopulate the planet so that the Lunarians, presumably under Zemus's control or command, could live there rather than stay in stasis inside the moon.
Oh, you care for this one, do you? Then let me take her along as well. To hold in trust until we are graced with the chance to meet again.
Golbez, taking Rosa captive
Taking control of the four Archfiends Zemus sent to him, Golbez sends Cagnazzo to assassinate the king of Baron and impersonate him, using the Red Wings to steal the Crystal of Water from Mysidia. Cecil, now the Lord Captain of the Red Wings, Baron's air force, hesitates over his orders, and is removed from duty when he returns and questions the "king's" actions.
Golbez succeeds him as commander and raids Damcyan, stealing the Crystal of Fire in an attack that kills a young woman named Anna. She is the daughter of a powerful sage, Tellah, who swears revenge against Golbez and sets out to kill him. Cecil assembles a group of allies, including Yang Fang Leiden and Prince Edward of Damcyan, and heads to Fabul where the third Crystal is kept.
With the warning from Cecil and Yang of the impending attack, the king of Fabul tightens the castle defenses. Golbez enters the castle himself with Cecil's friend, Kain Highwind, of whom he has taken control of telepathically. After Kain wounds Cecil, Golbez strikes down Yang and Edward, taking the Crystal of Air and abducts Rosa Joanna Farrell, the woman with whom both Cecil and Kain are in love.
Golbez takes the three Crystals to the Tower of Zot. Once he receives word that Cecil attempts to climb Mount Ordeals and become a Paladin, he dispatches Scarmiglione to kill him. When this fails, Cecil returns to Baron and kills Cagnazzo, restoring Baron to a peaceful nation. Golbez has stolen the air fleet and placed Kain in command, who rendezvouses with Cecil and offers to return Rosa if Cecil brings them the final Crystal from Troia. Cecil retrieves the Crystal of Earth from the Dark Elf and brings it to the Tower of Zot.
Climbing the tower, Cecil hands over the Crystal, but Golbez refuses to return Rosa. Enraged, Tellah pushes Cecil aside and confronts Golbez. After fruitlessly casting his best spells, Tellah sacrifices his life to cast the ultimate magic, Meteor. Golbez is severely weakened and his control over Kain is broken. Golbez retreats and strikes down Cecil when he attempts to follow. Golbez recognizes his brother and hesitates to deliver the finishing blow. Although Cecil is confused, Golbez announces he will destroy him at another time and leaves.
Cecil and his companions enter the Underworld where Golbez has already gone to find the Dark Crystals of which he already has two. After defeating his minion, Calcabrina, in the Dwarven Castle, Golbez appears and tells Cecil his plan. Cecil and his friends attack Golbez who summons a dragon to kill them. Cecil's friend Rydia intervenes with her Mist Dragon, defeating Golbez's dragon, and with her assistance Golbez is defeated. Again only weakened, Golbez takes the Crystal before escaping.
Golbez takes control of Kain in the Sealed Cave and has him take the final Crystal. He activates the Tower of Babil to call the Giant of Babil to purge the world of people. Cecil and his companions retrieve the airship Lunar Whale and venture to the Red Moon where they meet the lunarian Fusoya who reveals Zemus is controlling Golbez and returns to the Earth with them.
On Earth, the Giant begins its attack, and with the help of the combined forces of the Overworld and Underground, Cid Pollendina flies Cecil and his friends into the Giant. After destroying the Giant's core, Golbez emerges and Fusoya shatters Zemus's control of him. Golbez remembers who he is, surprising Cecil with the knowledge he has been fighting his own brother. Golbez and Fusoya climb the tower to go to the Red Moon and defeat Zemus.
Following them to the moon, Cecil and his companions find Golbez and Fusoya battling Zemus. Although they defeat him, Zemus is reborn as Zeromus, and their attacks fail. Golbez uses a Crystal to try and turn the tide, but as he has lived a life of darkness he fails and Zeromus strikes them both down. Golbez hands the Crystal to Cecil and he and his companions use it to make Zeromus corporeal and defeat him.
Golbez calls Cecil "brother", but Cecil does not respond. Realizing Cecil and the people of Earth can't forgive him for his crimes, Golbez decides to enter the Lunar Sleep with Fusoya. He leaves, but Cecil calls out to him and says goodbye, indicating he may have forgiven him after all. In the 3D release, Golbez's armor vanishes as he walks away, showing how he looked before Zemus took control of him. Cecil ascends to Baron's throne and the Lunarians' moon leaves the Earth's orbit with Cecil receiving a final telepathic farewell from Golbez.
The mysterious Man in Black. He refuses to reveal either his identity or his motives. In reality, he is the brother of Cecil who has returned to help and to atone for his actions in the original Final Fantasy IV.
Shortly after Cecil and Rosa's son Ceodore departs on his journey to obtain his Proof of Knighthood, Golbez has a nightmare in which Cecil dispatches him. Awakening among the sleeping Lunarians, he feels uneasy, and senses a strange force emanating from the Crystal Palace. Journeying to the surface, he finds the Crystals glowing red. Joined by Fusoya, the two set out to investigate a mysterious meteorite impact near Bahamut's lair. At the bottom of the crater they meet the Mysterious Girl who demands the Crystals and summons Asura to attack them.
After the girl is defeated Golbez and Fusoya enter Bahamut's lair and find him petrified. Returning to the Crystal Palace, the Crystals are without light in their altars. The Mysterious Girl reappears and summons Leviathan. Dispatched again, the two begin to pray for the Lunar Whale to come to them when one of the Crystals shatters.
Another girl appears and declares she no longer needs the Crystals. As Fusoya and Golbez rush to protect the Lunarians in the core, Kluya's spirit on Earth sends the Lunar Whale to the moon. The Crystals continue to shatter, releasing Zeromus's Malice. Zeromus uses Big Bang and Fusoya teleports Golbez aboard the Lunar Whale, who flies it to Earth.
Golbez disguises himself as the Man in Black and rescues Rydia and Luca by defeating Titan, who had been summoned by the Mysterious Girl. Though Rydia doesn't recognize him, Golbez urges them to travel to Babil where they unite with Edge and the Eblan Four, and fly the Falcon out of the Underground.
Golbez accompanies Rydia, Luca and Edge as they recruit their old comrades from around the world and return to Baron to free Cecil from the Mysterious Girl's control. As the party ventures through the Subterrane they encounter the Elemental Archfiends. If Golbez is in the party, they will recognize him. Scarmiglione thanks Golbez for accepting him despite being hideous and unworthy. Cagnazzo is joyful, claiming it to be an honor to see Golbez again. Golbez wishes for Cagnazzo to rest in peace, proclaiming they may one day share the same fate. Barbariccia begs her former master's forgiveness for attacking him.
The party is attacked by Cecil's Dark Knight doppelganger. Golbez takes a mortal hit meant for his younger brother, giving Cecil the will to fight on. If Ceodore and Rosa are in the party with Golbez and Cecil, Golbez will survive, but if they are not present, he dies.
Upon the Creator's defeat, Cecil and his party return home. Should Golbez survive, he appears in a flashback in Mount Ordeals along with Cecil, Rosa, Kain and Ceodore where it is revealed he took the Lunar Whale and departed to the stars to find the Red Moon and discover the fate of Fusoya and the Lunarians. As he leaves, Ceodore hopes they will meet again. Golbez thanks him, the same line he said to Cecil years ago in a similar situation. If Golbez died, a scene is witnessed at his grave site.
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
Golbez is also available as an AI-controlled non-playable party member. He knows most high level Black Magic spells, and can Twincast with Fusoya. In the 3D release, he can be hacked into the player's party and become fully functional. He can equip many dark swords, swords, rods, and staves.
Golbez has a menu portrait in the 3D version, but it cannot be seen unless the player uses a cheat device to add him to their party. When the cheat is used, he shares some animations with Cid, and the game uses his child model in the field.
In Final Fantasy IV: The After Years Golbez is a permanently playable party member with high HP and Stamina, and with decent Strength and Intelligence. While he knows few Band abilities, he knows the majority of Black Magic spells, including the high level Flare and Meteor. His other special abilities are Pressure, which paralyzes an enemy, and Taunt, which attracts enemy abilities to Golbez. While he can equip mage equipment, he is also a powerful physical fighter, and can equip a broad range of weapons, including all swords, axes, spears and hammers, as well as most heavy armor.
Golbez is a powerful physical fighter with great offensive potential, but his lack of many Bands may limit the strength of parties which include him. While he is a powerful Black Mage and fighter, there are casters and fighters who are potentially stronger. However, as a mage, unlike Porom and Rydia, Golbez can wear shields and heavy armor, and at higher levels, have way more HP than they do making him capable of lasting longer while dealing decent magical damage. As a physical fighter, he is able to both hit with powerful weapons and magic for more trickier enemies, something most physical fighters do not have, such as Yang, Kain or Cecil.
During flashbacks of Cecil's battles with Golbez in the The After Years, Golbez comes equipped with a sword called the "Ebony Blade" in his left hand, despite him not been shown to use swords before. The sword can be unequipped during the battle and added to the player's inventory.
Musical themes[edit | edit source]
Golbez is known for his dramatic and foreboding theme music, and is the first antagonist in the series to get his own theme. Golbez's music is titled "Golbez, Clad in Darkness". It uses a pipe organ and is immediately recognizable. It incorporates a musical quotation from J.S. Bach's "Toccata and Fugue" in D Minor (BWV 565). A remix is used as the theme for the Tower of Zot. The theme's title has also been translated as "Golbez, Clad in the Dark" on official soundtracks.
A piano arrangement is included on the Piano Collections: Final Fantasy IV album.
Other appearances[edit | edit source]
Golbez has made appearances in the following games in the Final Fantasy series:
- Final Fantasy Dimensions II as a summon.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy as a playable character. Golbez appears in place of Zemus, Final Fantasy IV's main antagonist.
- Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy NT as a playable character.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia as a playable character and boss.
- Theatrhythm Final Fantasy as a boss-type enemy.
- Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call as a boss-type enemy.
- Pictlogica Final Fantasy as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade as a summonable Legend.
- Final Fantasy Artniks as a series of cards.
- Final Fantasy All the Bravest as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy Record Keeper as a playable character.
- Final Fantasy World Wide Words.
- Final Fantasy Brave Exvius as a summonable vision.
- Final Fantasy Trading Card Game as a series of cards.
- Triple Triad as a card.
Non-Final Fantasy guest appearances[edit | edit source]
- Lord of Vermilion
- Guardian Cross
- Rise of Mana
- Heavenstrike Rivals
- Monster Strike as a playable character.
- Yo-kai Watch: Wibble Wobble as a playable character.
Other media[edit | edit source]
Although Golbez does not appear in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, he is given an indirect reference in the overseas releases in the form of the optional boss Culex via his name, job description as a Dark Knight, and to a lesser extent his homeworld's name, as Golbez and Culex's names are both derived from a specific insect (Golbez from the Golubac Fly, and Culex from a genus of mosquito that's bred in Vanda orchards, the namesake for Culex's homeworld).
Users in Square Enix Members Virtual World community can make their character appear as Golbez.
In Gunslinger Stratos 2, a costume based on Golbez was released in November 2014.
In the tactical Square Enix mobile game Heavenstrike Rivals, Cecil and Golbez were added as units in a special event from Christmas 2015 until the end of the year.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
Golbez's character plays homage to Darth Vader from Star Wars, as stated by Takashi Tokita. Both wear imposing suits of dark armor that conceal their faces, and a long cape. Both have a familial connection to the main character and work as pawns for the true antagonist.
Voice[edit | edit source]
In Final Fantasy IV, Golbez is voiced by Peter Beckman under the pseudonym Anthony Landor. Beckman returned to voice Golbez using his actual name in Dissidia Final Fantasy and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy. Owing to Golbez's character being derived from Darth Vader, Beckman voiced the character in a similar manner.
In the Japanese versions he is voiced by Takeshi Kaga, famous for his role as the Chairman on the television program Iron Chef.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
- Final Fantasy IV
- Final Fantasy IV: The After Years
- Dissidia Final Fantasy
Etymology and symbolism[edit | edit source]
"Theodore" is a common name of Greek origin, meaning "Gift from God".
"Golbeza" is a mistransliteration of Golubaeser (also known as Golubac Fly), as Golubaeser and Golbez(a) are written the same way in katakana (ゴルベーザ). At the initial release of the mobile version of The After Years, Golbez's name was mistranslated as his Japanese name "Golbeza" when he joined the party. This was fixed in a patch released a couple of months after the game's launch. Golubac in Serbia. According to folk legends, the venomous flies were born from the body of a decomposing dragon. Golubaeser is also the name of a demon in the book Devils by J. Charles Wall.Golubaeser is a type of black fly named for the town of
This is a metaphor for what became of Theodor and further emphasized during Golbez's flashback scene in the 2D version where Zemus taunts Theodor by calling him an insect that was "birthed from womb of dragon's corpse", both a reference to the Golubac Fly and a corruption of the Mysidian Legend. Several other names in Final Fantasy IV are also drawn from the book Devils by J. Charles Wall.
Golbez's HP in his and Fusoya's battle against Zemus at the end of Final Fantasy IV (2,943) can alternatively be read in Japanese as nikushimi (憎しみ?), which means "hatred", while his starting HP in The After Years (2,971) can be read as tsugunai (償い?), meaning "atonement".