Josef is a tall, physically imposing man who sports a brown mustache and a bald head. He wears a dark green poncho held on his shoulders by a metal neckpiece with red spikes on the back and purple clothing underneath. Josef carries a large curved sword in a scabbard on his back despite fighting unarmed. His Famicom sprites show him with brown clothing and a blue cape and he is balding, rather than completely bald as he appears in every other portrayal.
Josef is a wealth of knowledge for Firion and his party, though he is initially skeptical of them. When his daughter is saved, Josef offers the party what he knows. In Soul of Rebirth, Josef also displays his knowledge of the situation.
In his youth, Josef was a soldier for the Palamecian Empire who escaped to the town of Salamand with a nameless young woman who later became his wife. He had a daughter named Nelly with her. Ever the explorer and the handyman, Josef built a snow craft to take advantage of the snowfields north of Salamand and retired his sled in the nearby Semitt Falls. Though the reasons for him fleeing the empire are unknown, his opinion of it and its citizens is sour.
When Firion and his allies arrive, Josef is cold towards them. After Firion and the others rescue the men of Salamand and Nelly from slavery in the Semitt Falls, Josef becomes helpful, as he shares the party his vast knowledge. When Firion learns the Goddess's Bell is in the snow cave north of Salamand, Josef tells him of his old ice sled hidden in Semitt Falls. He accompanies them to retrieve the sled and afterward they head to the snow cave where they recover the Goddess's Bell. On the way out, Borghen ambushes them and though defeated, triggers a trap sending a boulder falling towards the party. Josef blocks it, but cannot hold it for long. He tells Firion, Maria and Guy to get out of the way and, as they do, Josef runs out of strength and is crushed by the boulder.
Josef finds himself in the afterlife, confronted by a zombie version of Borghen. Scott and Minwu, who have also died, assist him defeat the zombie. They find the spirit of Ricard, who joins them. At the end of their journey of what they believe to be Hell, they are confronted by the Emperor's light half, who explains that they are in Heaven. The Emperor's light side had brought them to him to ask for their forgiveness for his dark half's actions. The subconscious souls of the heroes' still-living friends and family appear and warn them not to be fooled, for the Light Emperor is as evil as the Emperor's dark side. Josef, Minwu, Ricard and Scott defeat the Light Emperor and the fallen heroes can rest in peace.
Josef has high Strength, Agility, and Stamina, as well as slightly higher skill fighting unarmed, which makes him the perfect person to turn into a Monk. His HP will grow quickly and his unarmed skills make him a powerful physical attacker. His magic stats are low. If the player plans to use Josef in Soul of Rebirth, giving him support spells like Protect and Shell is advisable, as they will not be affected by his low Spirit.
His ultimate weapon in the Arcane Labyrinth is the Dragon Claws. Despite his proficiency with unarmed fighting, the Dragon Claws are classified as a dagger, so the player must train Josef with daggers to get proper use out of them. Josef is the only character to have a unique armor piece, the Bracers, which serves as an alternative to an ultimate weapon for him in Soul of Rebirth.
Optimal Key Terms for Arcane Labyrinth
|Good Fortune||Promising||Quite Well||Auspicious||Superb|
- Ability Cards
- Legend Cards
Josef appears as a recruitable character unlocked in Snow Cavern on Classic in the storyline of Final Fantasy II as the First Time Reward. He was also available via the Seer of Destiny Challenge Event, where he is also found in the Snow Cavern on the Classic difficulty track.
Josef appears in Final Fantasy Trading Card Game as Ice-elemental cards, with his Yoshitaka Amano artwork and artwork from Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls. His cards are Ice-elemental for his affinity with the snowfields in Final Fantasy II.
Behind the scenes
Josef was cut in the Final Fantasy II novelization Final Fantasy II Muma no Meikyū.
Josef has many similarities to Yang Fang Leiden in Final Fantasy IV. Josef has at the start, a preferred weapon level for unarmed and same with Yang. They both increase in attack power as level increases (Josef's unarmed weapon level and Yang's level respectively). They both have a daughter: Nelly and Ursula respectively, and Josef's exclusive weapon in the PSP/mobile versions of Final Fantasy II is Dragon Claws (even though it's a knife in the game), and Yang wields claws for preferred weapons.
Josef is the first party member in a Final Fantasy game to be unavoidably killed as part of the story.
Josef is an alternate spelling of the biblical name Joseph, which is taken from the Hebrew name Yôsēph, meaning "(God) shall add". Josef's name comes from the eastern European version of the name, and is pronounced "Yo-sef".