In our second Dissidia: Final Fantasy character guide, we take a look at Garland, the legendary villain of Final Fantasy I, who was hunkering around in metal armour and looking generally imposing long before the likes of Golbez and ExDeath came on the scene.
[Game of Origin] Final Fantasy I
[Concept] Power Attacker
[EX-Mode] Garland appears as the noble knight he
once was; his cape turns a dazzling white, and his
armour is adorned with bright, silver hight-lights. A
far removal from the Garland we know.
[EX-Mode Bonus] Removes knockback. This allows
Garland to keep attacking even when hit, since hits
on him will not trigger the usual flinching animations.
[EX-Burst: Soul of Chaos] The player must constantly
press the O button to build up Garland’s power gauge,
making his attacks stronger and causing a different
weapon transformation for his final blow.
[Garland - Gameplay Mechanics]
TIER RANKING: 71
If his general appearance (and that giant transforming sword he carries around) weren’t enough to give it away, Garland is a physical attack based character who relies entirely on brute force to take down his opponents. The benefits of this raw power come with some major drawbacks, however.
Garlands attacks take precise memorization and, in some cases, a bit of luck. At close range, his slow Brave Attacks means that he can be easily decimated by faster character. His HP Attacks are somewhat more user-friendly as a result, but his Ex-Mode bonus is his real trump card.
In Ex-Mode, his “flinch” (the animation that causes you to be knock out of your attack when someone hits you) is turned off. He still takes damage, but his sluggish moves can be completed without being interrupted by faster character’s counters. Use this every chance you get.
Garland posses a few basic magic attacks, such as Earthquake and Flame, but there usefulness is limited. A patient offensive approach is the best approach to take with this tin can giant.
Recalling the classic “good vs. evil” nature of the original Final Fantasy, Garland stands tall as leader among the troops of Chaos, opposite the Warrior of Light, who stands as leader of the forces of Cosmo.
Once a famous knight in his own right, he now stands in eternal rivalry with the legendary hero.
He believes deeply in the concept of “reincarnation”. As he leads Chaos’ troops, he stops at nothing to prevent the warriors of Cosmos from obtaining the Crystals, but he seems to be actively enjoying the fighting.
The whims of his “master” Chaos mean little to him, though he feigns interest. It’s obvious that he aims to serve only one person’s interests… his own.
Garland’s design is unique for one reason; no known concept art of him from the original game exists. As such, his appearance is vaguely inspired by the constantly evolving sprite of him used in the many remakes of Final Fantasy 1 over the years.
Hailing from the first game in the series, his characterisation was always going to locked into the classical role of pure evil, with little reasons to make his motives or desires any more complex.
That said, he shares an unique role in Dissidia due to his relation to Chaos, the “final boss” of FFI, and the main villain of Dissidia.
It’s also curious to note that he converses with Kuja in Dissidia. Many fans will recall that Kuja’s “mentor” of sorts in Final Fantasy IX was a man who also went by the name Garland; whether these two characters are one and the same has yet to be revealed.
Hopefully Dissidia will offer some answers.
[Garland Image Gallery]
Tomorrow, Tuesday, we move onto Final Fantasy II, and take a look at Firion, the orphaned hero of the game, searching for the “Wild Rose”, and a dream of his own.