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Part 1: The Dark Knight
The Red Wings fly across the land; then we see the deck of the lead ship.

Crew: Captain Cecil, we are about to arrive!
Cecil: Good.

The crewmembers turn and speak to each other.

Crew: Why are we robbing crystals from innocent people?
Crew: That's our duty.
Crew: Do we really have to keep doing this?

The Red Wings land at Mysidia, and Cecil and seven members of his crew go to the Crystal Room. The elder, two black wizards, and a white wizard stand in front of the crystal, facing them.

Crew: Give us the Crystal of Water!
Elder: What have we done?
Cecil: The crystal or your life!
Black Wizard: Never!
Cecil: Then we'll take the crystal by force!

The Elder and Wizards back up toward the crystal; Cecil and his crew advance. Then four of the crew attack the two black wizards.

Black Wizard: WAAAH!

The black wizards die. The white wizard steps forward,toward Cecil.

White Wizard: No! Don't!
Crew: Dare to defy us?

The three crewmembers already surrounding the white wizard attack her.

White Wizard: ARRRGH!

The white wizard dies. The elder, now alone steps forward and glances

Elder: My! All right... take the crystal!
Crew: You should have said it earlier!

One of the crew pulls the elder to the side. Cecil goes up to the crystal and takes it, then turns around and heads back toward the door. As he does so, the Elder steps toward him.

Elder: Why is the King of Baron doing this? Why do you pursue the crystals so eagerly?

Cecil steps toward the door again, not responding, then stops and begins to wonder about that himself.

Back on the airship...

Crew: We take pride in being members of the Red Wings! Looting is out of the question!

Cecil steps forward.

Cecil: Stop it!

The crewmembers turn toward him.

Crew: Captain!
Crew: We can't stand doing this anymore!
Cecil: Listen! [A short pause.] Possessing the crystal is an essential factor for our prosperity. Moreover, His Majesty judged that the Mysidians know too much about the secret of the crystals. We are the Red Wings, the air force of the Kingdom Baron! The royal command is absolute.
Crew: Captain!

A crewmember approaches from the front of the ship.

Crew: Monsters!
Cecil: Take up fighting positions!

A group of FloatEyes attack; Cecil dispatches them with a FireBomb.
When we see the airship's deck again, one of the crewmembers has fallen.

Crew: Ouch!
Cecil: You okay?
Crew: More coming!
Cecil: Watch out!

A Raven attacks. Cecil is hurt, but only a bit, and kills the Raven with a Lit-Bolt.

Cecil: Everyone okay?

The crew gathers around Cecil.

Crew: Yes, sir!
Crew: But there are too many monsters these days...
Crew: Too many, agreed.

The ship flies along for a while; afternoon becomes evening, which becomes night.

Crew: We are over Baron!
Cecil: Make a landing.

Once more, we see the Red Wings flying through the air. Then they arrive at Baron and land.

* - * - *

After disembarking, Cecil approaches Castle Baron. Shortly after he reaches the entrance doors, Baigan, the chief of the guards, arrives.

Baigan: Oh, Cecil! Is it the Crystal of Water?
Cecil: But the Mysidians were so helpless...
Baigan: What are you trying to say? [Short pause.] This way, Cecil.

Baigan goes back into the castle; Cecil follows him. In the
antechamber of the throne room, Baigan stops.

Baigan: Please wait here.

Cecil stays in the antechamber while Baigan proceeds into the throne room. Baigan approaches the King.

Baigan: Your Majesty! I'm afraid Cecil has developed quite a rebellious air.
King: Truly!? [Short pause.] Well done, Baigan! We must do something. Call him in!
Baigan: Yes, Your Majesty.

Baigan goes to the throne room's entrance.

Baigan: Cecil! His Majesty summons you. Please come in.

Cecil enters and approaches the king; Baigan returns to the King's side.

King: We thank you for successfully completing the mission. Now, where is it?
Cecil: Here, my liege.

Baigan goes to Cecil, who hands him the crystal. Baigan takes the crystal back to the King. They look it over for a moment.

Baigan: Real crystal...
King: Good! Cecil... you may leave now.

Cecil starts to head out, but as he reaches the door, he thinks for a moment, then turns around and approaches the King and Baigan again.

Cecil: Your Majesty!

The King and Baigan, surprised, turn to face him.

King: W-what?
Baigan: W-what is it?

Cecil steps forward.

Cecil: We do not understand the meaning of taking crystals away from honest people.
King: Disobeying me?
Cecil: No, I'm not.
King: We do know of your discontent, Cecil. If you cannot trust me, I can no longer place the Red Wings under your command. You are dismissed from your post!

Cecil takes another step forward in protest.

Cecil: Your Majesty!

The two guards in the room push Cecil back.

King: Go and hunt the summoned monsters of the Misty Valley! And... [The King picks up a box.] Take this package to the Village Mist. You may depart tomorrow morning!

Cecil tries to go around the guards, but they continue to block him. Then Kain enters.

Kain: Your Majesty!

Kain joins Cecil, who turns to look at him.

Kain: Cecil didn't...

The guards push the two back further. The King and Baigan approach them.

King: If you're concerned about Cecil that much, go with him, Kain!
Cecil: Your Majesty!
King: Now! Leave with the package!

The king hands the box to a guard, who gives it to Cecil. The guards again push Cecil and Kain toward the door.

Cecil: Your Majesty!

Cecil and Kain are ejected from the throne room.

Cecil: Sorry, Kain.
Kain: Don't worry. He'll put you back in command of the Red Wings after this mission.
Cecil: But...
Kain: Never mind! Go back to your room and take a rest.

Cecil heads toward the tower his room is in, dejected. As he goes down a stairway, a voice calls after him.

Rosa: Cecil!

Cecil turns to see Rosa come down the stairs after him.

Rosa: You're not hurt? I was so anxious.
Cecil: We weren't hurt. How could we be? The wizards didn't even raise their hands.

Cecil starts toward his room again. Rosa follows.

Rosa: Cecil!

Cecil turns back toward her.

Rosa: Can I see you later?
Cecil: Yeah. Later.

Rosa goes back up the stairs, taking one last look at Cecil. Cecil continues on his way. As he nears the tower... 
Cid: Cecil!

Cid waves to Cecil from a balcony above, then comes down to meet him.

Cid: How's my airship doing? [Short pause.] ...What's wrong?

Cecil explains the situation to Cid.

Cid: What?! Who's gonna command the Red Wings then? [Short pause.] I don't know what the King's thinking. He ordered me to make an airship, but I don't want it to be used as a weapon! [Short pause.] Well, I gotta go home. I've been working all night, and my daughter is worried about me.

Cid leaves, and Cecil enters the tower. On the second floor, his maid greets him.

Maid: I've changed the sheets. Leaving early tomorrow morning, sir?
Good night.

The maid departs down the stairs. Cecil goes up to his room and gets into bed; he thinks for a while. In the background, his wall clock ticks.

Cecil: What's happened to His Majesty? The crystal of Mysidia... did we really have to snatch it from peace-loving people? [Pause.] Never again! Even if ordered.

Cecil lays in his bed a while longer. Then Rosa comes up to his room.

Rosa: Cecil!

Cecil turns toward her. Then, as she approaches him, he turns away.

Rosa: What's wrong? You're not quite yourself lately.
Cecil: Nothing.

Rosa steps toward him.

Rosa: Then... Please don't look away.

Cecil says nothing for a while, still facing the wall.

Cecil: In Mysidia... we had to rob from innocent people!

Cecil turns to lie on his back. Rosa walks toward him.

Rosa: Oh, dear...

After a moment, Cecil faces the wall again.

Cecil: I am just a Dark Knight with no courage to disobey His Majesty.

Rosa steps away.

Rosa: The real Cecil I know would never whimper like this!

Cecil turns toward Rosa.

Rosa: You are going to Mist tomorrow, right? If anything should happen to you...

Rosa turns halfway toward Cecil; Cecil gets out of bed and goes to her side.

Cecil: Don't worry. Kain is coming too.

A moment passes. Then Cecil starts to turn back to his bed.

Cecil: It's late. Go back to your room.

Rosa turns toward him.

Rosa: Take care!

Rosa leaves. Cecil takes a few steps after her.

Cecil: Thanks, Rosa. Still, I am just a Dark Knight.

* - * - *

The next morning, Cecil and Kain meet each other at the keep's entrance.

Kain: Let's go, Cecil.

Cecil and Kain leave the keep. At the castle's outer doors, they look out over the landscape and think of the journey ahead of them.

- - - - - - - - - -

Thus, the Dark Knight Cecil was expelled from his command as a Captain of the Red Wings. And he and Dragoon Kain left Baron for the Village Mist in a valley enclosed in deep fog.

Airships had been a dream of many people... After the
realization of the dream came greed and ambition.

Through its fleet of airships, Baron became the most powerful nation. But why is Baron seeking the crystals? Why do the monsters keep increasing?

The crystal was shedding its light silently...

- - - - - - - - - -

Cecil and Kain stop in the town of Baron to pick up some supplies; then they head for the Misty Cave. They begin to make their way through. Then they hear a voice.

Voice: Go back...!
Cecil: Who is it?

The voice does not speak further, and Cecil and Kain continued through the cave. As they near the exit, though...

Voice: Leave now...!
Kain: Is it a monster?

Cecil and Kain continue forward, and as they are about to leave the cave, the voice speaks again.

Voice: Ones from Baron...
Kain: Who are you!
Voice: Return now and I will not harm you.
Kain: Show up!
Voice: Do you still wish to go on?
Cecil: We must deliver this package to the Village Mist!
Voice: Then I must!

The mist in the cave gathers around Cecil and Kain and forms a Mist Dragon. They are able to defeat it, however, and they leave the cave.

* - * - *

The Village Mist is but a short distance from the cave's exit. Cecil and Kain enter. But almost as soon as they do so, the package opens itself... and out of it spring fire-creatures which attack the village.

Kain: What?!
Cecil: We've brought this package to...
Kain: Burn the village?

Cecil steps forward, looking at the destruction the package's contents have caused.

Cecil: Why?

Then Cecil and Kain hear a girl crying, "Mommy! Mommy!"

Cecil: Who's that?

They walk toward the source of the voice, and see a girl standing by her fallen mother. The girl sees them approach, and turns to them.

Girl: My mom's dragon fell so my mom did too...

Kain turns to Cecil.

Kain: I've heard of people with the power to summon monsters. They are Callers!
Cecil: We defeated the dragon, so her mother is gone also.

Cecil turns to Kain. The girl steps back in shock, and Cecil and Kain then turn to her.

Girl: You! You've beaten my mother's dragon!
Cecil: We didn't mean to do this to your mother.

Kain and Cecil face each other again.

Kain: His Majesty wanted to wipe out the callers of this village and used us to do it.
Cecil: Incredible!
Kain: I'm afraid we must do away with her too.

Cecil gives Kain a startled glance.

Cecil: Kain! She's just a kid!
Kain: You dare to renounce your loyalty to His Majesty?
Cecil: Forget it! Never again will I follow such an order!

Cecil advances toward Kain, angry. Kain backs off.

Kain: Well, Cecil. I knew you'd say so. I won't let you do it alone.
Cecil: Kain?
Kain: I owe His Majesty much. Still, I cannot disgrace the Dragoons.
Cecil: Then will you...
Kain: But Baron is the mightiest country in the world. It's impossible
for us to challenge its might alone. We must get other
countries to join us. And you know... we must rescure Rosa!
Cecil: Thank you, Kain.
Kain: Not for your sake.

Kain looks again at the burning village around them.

Kain: Let's get out of here fast! What about that girl?
Cecil: We can't leave her here alone!

The two approach the girl.

Cecil: Listen. It's dangerous here. Come with us. ...Okay?
Girl: No!

The girl backs away from them. Kain approaches her.

Kain: Let's take her!
Girl: No! Go away!

The girl backs further away from them.

Cecil: Wait! Please!

Cecil and Kain approach the girl again.

Girl: Go away! I hate you! I hate you all!

Cecil and Kain attempt to stun her so they can get her out of the village, but the girl, angry and scared, calls a Titan. It shakes the ground, stunning Cecil and Kain... and causing an avalanche which blocks off the path back to the cave and Baron.

A little while later, Cecil awakes. He sees the girl lying near him, and goes over to check on her.

Cecil: Oh... She is all right. [Pause; Cecil notices that Kain is missing.] ...Kain!

Cecil looks around.

Cecil: Kain?

He looks around some more.

Cecil: Kain!

He finally gives up.

Cecil: I can't stay here any longer. I have to escape from Baron with this girl.

He picks the girl up and heads into the desert.

* - * - *

Before long, Cecil arrives at the desert town of Kaipo.

Cecil: She must rest.

He looks around for an inn, and sees it. He enters.

Innkeeper: Welcome! Oh! Take her to the room! Hurry up! Money? No! That's okay! Go ahead!
Cecil: Thank you.

Cecil takes her to the room and puts her in a bed. Moments later, she wakes up. When she sees him, she quickly turns to face the wall on the other side.

Cecil: You okay?
Girl: ...
Cecil: I haven't heard your name yet.
Girl: ...
Cecil: I know I have done an awful think. I can't ask for your forgiveness. But at least let me protect you. Please.
Girl: ...

Cecil gets into bed and goes to sleep. After a while, the girl turns to look at him. Then she, too, falls asleep.

* - * - *

Late that night, the inn's door is slammed open. The noise wakes both Cecil and the girl. They turn toward the source of the disturbance and see an officer of Baron approaching, with three soldiers accompanying him.

Officer: I finally found you, Cecil!
Cecil: What?
Officer: His Majesty decided that the callers of Mist are too dangerous to be left alive!
Cecil: What!?
Officer: Hand her over!
Cecil: No!

Cecil attacks the soldiers and defeats them; the officer retreats. Then he goes to the girl's side.

Girl: Did I get you in trouble? I'm sorry.
Cecil: It's for me to apologize. Well, I know you can't forgive me, but...
Girl: But... you protected me.

She turns toward him.

Girl: I'm... Rydia...

* - * - *

The next morning, Cecil and Rydia wander about the town gathering information. Cecil hears a surprising comment about a "sick girl from Baron"... and discovers that that girl, being cared for by an elderly couple, is...

Cecil: Rosa!

Cecil runs to her side, worried.

Cecil: Rosa...
Rosa: ... mmm... Cecil... Don't leave me, Cecil!

The old man watching Rosa tells Cecil that the SandRuby is needed to cure Rosa's fever, but it is in the lair of a monster called AntLion. So Cecil and Rydia leave Kaipo to search for the SandRuby.

* - * - *

Cecil decides to head north, toward Damcyan Castle. He enters a cave in the mountains north of the desert. But just inside, they find an old man standing at the far end of a bridge.

Old man: What! You wield the Dark Sword? Help me, I beg you!
Cecil: What?
Old man: A wicked bard tricked my daughter into running away to Damcyan. And I sense evil in the direction of Damcyan!
Cecil: [recalls hearing of a sage named Tellah whose daughter eloped with the prince of Damcyan] You must be the sage Tellah!

The old man nods.

Tellah: I am Tellah. I'm going to Damcyan to get my daughter who eloped. But a huge monster is blocking the way. My magic is not strong enough to defeat it. Your Dark Sword might help. And... this girl is a caller? She is quite gifted, I sense.
Cecil: We are also on our way to Damcyan.
Tellah: Good! Let us work together to get to Damcyan. Let's hurry!

The group of three continues through the cave, until they reach a room with a save point.

Tellah: Let's rest here!

He goes forward to stand on the save point.

Tellah: A special field here will protect us from monsters. We can use our Tent or Cabin and even Save. Let's rest now and be prepared for the coming battle in my Tent!

Later: Cecil and Tellah have built a fire.

Tellah: Fast asleep... she must have been very tired. You said she was...
Cecil: A caller of Mist.
Tellah: She seems very gifted as a magic-user. With proper training, she will be able to wield magic other than calling monsters. [Pause.] How sweet! Just like Anna's childhood.
Cecil: Anna is your...
Tellah: Only daughter. She ran away to Damcyan with a bard, because I did not consent to their marriage.

The two sit for a short while.

Tellah: What do you want to go to Damcyan for?
Cecil: My friend is suffering from a terrible fever in Kaipo.
Tellah: So you need the SandRuby. So you, too, are in a hurry.
Cecil: What is the monster of this cavern?
Tellah: It's a horrifying monster with eight huge tentacles. We must defeat it first to save Anna and your friend.

Later, they find their way to an exit from the cave.

Tellah: We can go out from here. The monster is in the cave beyond there. We should camp out to regain our strength there!

The three camp out to regain their strength there, then enter the next cave. There is a waterfall at the entrance.

Tellah: It's down here!

They jump down the waterfall, and end up at the bottom a bit shaken up but physically none the worse for the experience. Eventually they reach another waterfall - with a pair of legs sticking up in front of it.

Tellah: He's coming!

They are surrounded by six more legs.

Tellah: Octomamm!

They battle Octomamm, and are victorious.

Tellah: Now we can go to Damcyan from behind this waterfall. It leads to
the exit!

* - * - *

The trio leaves the cave and, minutes later, they are in sight of Damcyan Castle... when suddenly, the Red Wings attack! Cecil, Rydia, and Tellah run to the castle, which was severely damaged by the attack.
Tellah, worried about his daughter, leads the way as they enter the castle and go up to the top floor.

Tellah: That is Anna! Ah-ah! Anna!

Tellah runs to Anna, who lies motionless in the middle of the room. Then a bard approaches from the side.

Tellah: You're the bard! You did this to her!

The bard looks at Tellah, startled. Tellah proceeds to attack him.

Tellah: You swindler!
Bard: Please! Listen!
Tellah: You spoony bard!
Bard: Please!
Tellah: Shut up!
Bard: Listen!
Tellah: Shut your mouth!
Bard: I... I...
Anna: Please! Stop!

At Anna's outcry, Tellah stops his assault on the bard and returns to her side.

Tellah: Are you all right?
Anna: Father, Edward is the Prince of Damcyan. He was disguised as a bard when he came to see me in Kaipo. Forgive me, Father, for running away. But I love Edward. We thought of asking for your consent. But when we were about to leave...
Edward: Golbez attacked us with Baron's Red Wings.
Cecil: Who is that man?
Edward: I don't know.
Cecil: But why?
Edward: He took our Crystal of Fire. And Anna shielded me from the arrows.

Edward looks down, sad.

Tellah: You loved him that much...
Anna: Father... forgive me... I... love Edward...!

Anna's eyes close.

Edward: Anna!
Tellah: Anna! Anna!

But she does not respond.

Tellah: Who is Golbez?
Edward: I heard that he's gathering crystals using Baron's Red Wings. sob... sob...
Tellah: Stop crying! Your tears won't bring back Anna. Wait for me,
Golbez! I'm coming to avenge my daughter!

Tellah starts to leave. Cecil cuts him off.

Cecil: You can't go alone!

Tellah pushes Cecil aside.

Tellah: I don't need any help! This is my own affair!

Tellah leaves; Cecil watches him go. A moment passes in silence.

Edward: Ah... Anna... sob... sob...

Cecil turns and walks back toward Rydia and Edward.

Rydia: Crybaby!

Edward looks at her in surprise.

Rydia: You are a man! You are a grown-up! You are not the only one who
has lost loved ones!
Cecil: Rydia...
Edward: You may be right. I'm just a coward. But I don't care. I'm staying here with Anna.

Cecil walks around Anna's body to Edward.

Cecil: You're not the only one who is sad, Edward. Besides, Anna won't be happy if you do that. We really need your help. Please come with us.
Edward: My help...?
Cecil: I am Cecil. I'm looking for the SandRuby to help my friend who is ill in Kaipo. And I need your help!
Edward: I...? Help you...?
Cecil: Yes. You.

Edward turns around and looks at Anna's body for a moment.

Edward: She seems to be an important person. You shouldn't lose your loved one.

Edward turns back to Cecil.

Edward: The SandRuby is made from the Antlion when it lays its eggs in its cave. The cave is in the east, but we have to go across shallows to get there. We can use Damcyan's hovercraft to get there. We can also go to Kaipo through the shallows!

Edward looks at Rydia, then back at Cecil.

Edward: Let's hurry!

The three head down the stairs, but Edward turns back for a moment.

Edward: Good-bye... Anna!

* - * - *

Cecil, Rydia, and Edward head to the Antlion's cave in Edward's hovercraft, and make their way down to the Antlion's nest.

Edward: This is the Antlion's lair.

The ground shakes, and a huge pair of pincers pop out in front of Edward.

Rydia: Oh!
Edward: Worry not. Antlion is tame. I will take the SandRuby.

Edward steps forward to take the SandRuby - but suddenly the pincers close, and Edward jumps just in time to avoid being pierced.

Edward: No!

Cecil turns to Rydia.

Cecil: Let's go, Rydia!

The rest of the Antlion emerges from underground, and despite its ferocious counterattacks, they manage to defeat it. Edward then takes the SandRuby from the ground.

Edward: It can't be! Why did Antlion attack us?
Cecil: We see monsters increasing every day. Tame creatures are getting more aggressive day by day. It must be a portent of some kind...
Rydia: Let's go cure Rosa!
Cecil: Oh, yes.

* - * - *

Upon reaching Kaipo, the three quickly head for the house in which Rosa is being cared for.

Cecil: Rosa!

Cecil uses the SandRuby over Rosa.

Rosa: Mmm...

For a moment, nothing happens. Then Rosa opens her eyes. She sees Cecil and turns her head to face him.

Rosa: Oh, Cecil!
Cecil: Rosa...
Rosa: I heard that you were lost at the earthquake at Mist. But I couldn't believe it.
Cecil: I'm sorry I worried you. By the way, Rosa... who is Golbez?
Rosa: The King invited him to the Red Wings. The King is not the same as he used to be. It seems he's nothing more than Golbez's puppet to collect all the crystals. The Crystal of Water from Mysidia is already in his hands. But the other crystals... The Crystal of Fire is in Damcyan, Air is in Fabul, and Earth is in Toroia.

Edward bows his head in sorrow.

Edward: The Crystal of Fire is already gone.
Cecil: He is Edward, the Prince of Damcyan. And this girl, Rydia of Mist.
Rydia: You okay?
Rosa: Yes. Thank you. [to Cecil] Damcyan has already been attacked. Then the next target is... Fabul! We must hurry!

Rosa has a fit of coughing.

Cecil: Rosa... you must rest. We'll go to Fabul.
Edward: But we must get over Mt. Hobs to go to Fabul. The trail is blocked by thick ice.

Rosa looks down the bed at Rydia.

Rosa: Rydia, can oyu use the spell of Fire?
Rydia: [startled] N-no, I can't.
Rosa: You're a caller. Black magic should be easy for you, Rydia.

Rosa has a worse fit of coughing.

Cecil: Rosa! You must rest!

Rosa looks at Cecil again.

Rosa: I'm all right. And I'm a white wizard. I won't bother you!

Cecil remains silent for a moment.

Edward: Cecil... Rosa wants to be with you. Don't you see?
Cecil: Okay, Rosa. Let's go together. But it's too late tonight. Rest and sleep for now.
Rosa: Okay, Cecil...

* - * - *

That night...

Edward, unable to sleep, leaves the house and walks to the shore of the lake adjacent to Kaipo. He looks out over the lake silently for a minute, then begins playing his harp.

Edward: I miss you, my dear Anna...

Suddenly a WaterHag appears behind him. Edward hears its approach and turns to face it, stepping back in surprise and fright.

Edward: No!

As he fights the WaterHag, he sees Anna appear nearby.

Anna: Edward!
Edward: A... Anna?!
Anna: Fight, Edward! Believe in yourself and be strong!

Edward kills the WaterHag, then turns to face Anna's ghost.

Edward: Anna!
Anna: Edward, dear... I must go now.
Edward: Anna! Don't go! Don't leave me alone!

Anna's ghost slowly retreats from the shoreline.

Anna: Edward... Do not let Golbez have all the crystals. You loved me. Now give your love to all of your people.

Anna's ghost fades out.

Edward: I will, Anna! But what am I supposed to do now, Anna?

* - * - *

The following morning, the party of four sets off for Mt. Hobs. When they arrive, they discover that, surely enough, there is a large wall of ice blocking the path. Rosa walks up to examine it, then turns back to face the party.

Rosa: Cast the spell of Fire, Rydia.

As Rydia hesitates, Cecil and Edward turn toward her.

Edward: Rydia...
Cecil: You can do it, Rydia!

Rydia hesitates a moment longer.

Rydia: No.
Rosa: What?
Rydia? I hate fire!
Cecil: She's afraid of fire because her village was destroyed in a fire...

Rosa thinks for a moment, then walks to Rydia's side.

Rosa: Listen, Rydia. You're the only one who can melt this ice.

Rydia does not respond.

Rosa: If we can't get through here to Fabul, more people will be in danger....
Edward: Please...
Rosa: Please, Rydia!

Rydia still remains silent. But a little while later, she steps forward, and after one final hesitation, casts...

Rydia: Fire!

The ice wall melts. Cecil, Rosa, and Edward gather around Rydia.

Edward: Great, Rydia!
Rosa: Thank you, Rydia!
Cecil: Rydia...

* - * - *

Upon reaching the summit of Mt. Hobs, the group discovers a strange sight.

Cecil: What's that?

They step forward to see more clearly what is going on. In front of them, a man stands before a large group of enemies, apparently unfazed by the number of his foes.

Edward: He must be a Karate Fighter of Fabul!

A moment later, the man goes into action.

Karate Man: ACHOOOO!

With two swift kicks, two of the enemies are dispatched. Three more approach, and the man repeats his exclamation. These three, too, are quickly defeated. Then a larger, meaner-looking enemy, the last, approaches.

Edward: That one will not be easy!
Rydia: Let's help!

Indeed, it is not easy; at one point, it explodes into six Bombs and GrayBombs. But they are all defeated. Then the karate fighter turns to face the party and bows politely.

Karate Man: Thank you. I am Yang, the Karate Master of Fabul. We were training when they attacked us.
Cecil: We're on our way to Fabul.
Rosa: Golbez is using Baron to get the Crystals...

Yang looks at her, startled.

Yang: That means they weill try to capture our Crystal of Air as well!
Edward: No doubt. Damcyan was already attacked and had the crystal taken away.
Cecil: Fabul is next!
Yang: But... we are now helpless! I am the only survivor of our main forces. Those in the castle have just started their training!

Rosa thinks for a moment.

Rosa: Golbez must have sent those monsters.

Yang wonders about her statement - but then he figures out her reasoning.

Yang: To keep us busy here and attack Fabul!?
Cecil: Then they will be attacking any minute!

Yang looks at Cecil's companions, then at Cecil himself.

Yang: But you are a Dark Knight!
Cecil: It's not only your problem, but also ours.
Edward: I am the Prince of Damcyan.
Cecil: Rosa and I were in Baron. And she is Rydia. I was foold by the King of Baron and I had to defeat her mother.

Rydia looks down at this reminder of past events.

Yang: You have your own reasons, I see. Would you help me then?
Cecil: Of course!
Yang: Fabul is to the easy, over the mountain. Let us go!

Yang joins the party, and the five head for Fabul as quickly as they can.

* - * - *

The party travels to Fabul Castle. Yang is greeted by guards at the entrance to Fabul; he then leads the party to the throne room.

King of Fabul: Yang...
Yang: King! The Baronian Kingdom has mobilized its forces to get our Crystal of Air! The one called Golbez is behind this attempt.
King: Really?!
Yang: These people here came to let us know.
King: Who... are these people?

Cecil steps forward to stand beside Yang.

Cecil: We have no time to waste. The defense of the castle must be tightened immediately!
King: But you're a Dark Knight of Baron. Can I really trust you?
Yang: King! They are trustworthy! They came to my defense when I was attacked.
Cecil: Not a moment is to be lost!
Rosa: There is no time!

Then Edward steps forward.

Edward: I am glad to see you again, sir.
King: Oh! Prince Edward!
Edward: Damcyan, too, has suffered from the attack and had the crystal taken away! I lost my parents and beloved friend! Would you let the same thing happen to Fabul?
King: [Pause.] I'm sorry for the misunderstanding. Will you help us defend the crystal?
Cecil: Yes.
Yang: They are all outstanding combatants! I ask them to take the forefront!
King: Very well! I leave the matter in your hands! Girls, would you take the office of relief?
Rosa: Certainly.
Yang: [Pause.] Now, Cecil!

As Yang, Cecil, and Edward head out to fend off the Baronian attack, Rosa calls after Cecil.

Rosa: Cecil!

Cecil stops and turns toward her.

Rosa: Take care.
Cecil: So do you, and you, Rydia!

* - * - *

Cecil, Yang, and Edward wait in front of the castle, prepared for the coming attack. Then a lookout calls to them.

Guard: They are coming!
Yang: Meet them!

The three fight off a group of enemies. Then the Red Wings attack from the air.

Cecil: We can't fight back the airships!
Yang: Retreat!

They retreat into the castle itself.

Yang: Sorry! I dragged you into a hopeless war!
Cecil: I told you. The cause of war is not yours alone! And... we haven't lost yet!

They fight off another group of monsters, and more immediately arrive to take the fallen ones' places.

Yang: We must withdraw!

They retreat up the stairs, stopping in front of the stairway to the third floor. Yang turns to face his companions.

Yang: The King has already taken refuge with the women and children! Draw the enemies and...

Behind him, a monster comes up the stairs. Yang turns around.

Yang: Smash 'em!

They defeat another group of enemies, but still more come.

Edward: We can't hold here any longer!

They retreat to the throne room on the third floor. Yang turns to the soldier that followed him up the stairs.

Yang: Lock the door! We must at least hold this ground!
Cecil: Where is the crystal?
Yang: Upstairs!

The soldier heads toward the door... but when he gets there, he opens it. Yang, startled, steps toward him.

Yang: What?! What are you doing?

The guard transforms into a Gargoyle, and the three defeat it, as well as another group of enemies that comes through the door.

Yang: Let's retreat to the Crystal Room!

They head for it, but just then, more monsters enter the throne room. One shoots Edward with an arrow, and he falls.

Edward: No!

Cecil and Yang turn toward him, startled.

Cecil: Edward!

They fight off the monsters, then retreat to the Crystal Room. They stand in front of the Crystal, waiting for an attack. Shortly the door opens, and in steps... Kain.

Kain: It's been a while, Cecil.
Cecil: Kain! You're alive!

Cecil steps forward gladly to greet his friend.

Kain: Yeah.
Cecil: Fight with us!
Kain: Surely. But against you, Cecil!
Cecil: Kain!?
Kain: Single combat, Cecil!
Cecil: No!

The dragoon Jumps toward Cecil.

Cecil: Kain? Kain! What's wong?
Kain: ... Ha!... Got you!

Cecil falls to Kain's Jump attack.

Cecil: You are under Golbez's...
Kain: I'll put you out of your misery.
Yang: You can't!

Suddenly a voice calls from the door...


Rosa and Rydia enter the room.

Kain: Rosa!
Rosa: Kain, why you!
Kain: Don't look at me!

Kain bows his head. Then another voice is heard from the doorway...

Why so upset, Kain?

Enter Golbez.

Edward: Golbez!
Cecil: You are Golbez!
Golbez: And you are Cecil. Glad to see you... and take my greeting!
Edward: Cecil!
Yang: No!
Golbez: Ha!

Golbez sends forth a beam of energy, throwing Edward and Yang to the side and clearing a path to the crystal.

Golbez: That's enough. Take the crystal, Kain!
Kain: Yes, master!

Kain walks up to the crystal's stand. Suddenly Rosa calls out to him.

Rosa: No, Kain!
Cecil: Don't!
Golbez: Is this girl so important to you? [Short pause.] Very well! I shall see you again. I'm taking her as a token of this promise. Come, Kain! 

Golbez picks up a struggling Rosa and leaves. Kain takes the crystal from its stand, and follows Golbez... but he stops by Cecil first.

Kain: You had a narrow escape, Cecil!

Kain then leaves. Cecil calls after him.

Cecil: W-wait! [Pause.] Rosa...

Rydia looks around at her fallen companions, then casts the Cure spell. The others revive.

Rydia: You okay?
Edward: Thanks, Rydia. But Rosa was taken.
Yang: And the crystal.
Cecil: Rosa...

Rydia looks at the three men.

Rydia: Come on! Rosa is all right. And we can take back the crystal, too!

After a moment, Edward looks at her.

Edward: That's right!

He and Yang turn toward Cecil.

Yang: We will help you this time. Heal the wound and let us think about how to rescue Rosa.
Cecil: Thank you...

* - * - *

Later that day, in the castle's inn...

Edward: We must rescue Rosa!
Cecil: But we need an airship. Baron is the only country which has them.
Yang: Can't we sneak in?

Cecil thinks for a minute.

Cecil: Baron's main force is the Red Wings. Their sea power is relatively weak. Let's make it on the sea!
Rydia: But how?
Yang: I will ask the King for a ship. He will cooperate with you.
Cecil: Thanks.

No one speaks for a moment.

Yang: Who was that dragoon?
Cecil: Kain, who used to be my best friend. Together, we swore to get out of Baron.
Yang: I see.
Edward: Anyway, we must take a rest now.

* - * - *

The following morning, in the King's bedroom...

King: I see... Yang, go and help them. We owe Cecil so much. A ship will be arranged soon. We hope it will help. [To Cecil] Cecil. Take this sword. A Dark Knight who came to Fabul long ago left it here. But it is still a weapon of the dark side... it will not work against true evil.

The King hands Cecil the Black Sword.

King: Go to the harbor to the east as soon as you get prepared. You'll find a ship there for you. [Pause.] If Golbez acquires them all, the world will face an unprecedented crisis! 

The group leaves the King's room. Before leaving, Yang pays a visit to his wife.

Yang's wife: My...! You are alive!
Yang: They saved not only me, but Fabul as well.
Yang's wife: Thanks for everything!
Yang: Are you okay?
Yang's wife: Sure! A soldier came, but I hit him with my frying pan!

* - * - *

At the dock, Yang's wife is there to see the group off.

Yang's wife: Honey! Take good care and fight bravely!
Yang: Certainly!
Yang's wife: The others too!
Cecil: Yes, madam!

They board the ship.

Yang: Take care!
Yang's wife: Don't worry!

Cecil searches out the ship's captain.

Captain:You are Cecil! I've heard of your feat! Feel at home on my ship. It won't take long to reach Baron! Now, let's get going!

The sailors go to their stations.

Captain:Raise the anchor!

And so, the ship sets sail for Baron.

* - * - *

Later, the four stand at the ship's bow, talking.

Yang: What would you do after we arrive at Baron?
Cecil: Let's find Cid, the Master Engineer. He's the expert on airships. He'll help us.
Yang: Hope he's okay.

A moment passes; then Rydia goes over to Edward.

Rydia: Are you cold? You're shivering.
Edward: No, it's nothing...

They continue on their journey - until it is suddenly interrupted by a gigantic disturbance in the water just ahead of them. A large tail rises from beneath the surface of the sea, then sinks below the water again. But some of the sailors have seen enough to know what it is.

Sailors:It can't be!

One of the sailors steps forward.

Sailor: Is that true?

Another steps forward.

Sailor: The Master of the Seas!

A pause.

Sailor: That's...

A sense of dread falls over the entire crew.


And indeed, the gigantic sea serpent's head rises above the water. The sailors begin to panic, until the captain yells at them.

Captain:Stop it!

The sailors stop their panicked motions for a moment, but only for a mooment. Then the ship is shaken, and Rydia, standing near the railing, is thrown overboard.

Rydia: Help!

Yang rushes to the edge of the deck.

Yang: Rydia!

The ship shakes again, and Yang is thrown overboard.

Cecil: Rydia! Yang!

The ship shakes even more violently, and everyone but Cecil is thrown to the deck.

Edward: No!
Cecil: Edward!

Cecil rushes to help his fallen friend, but the deck begins quaking again, as the ship is drawn into the whirlpool created by Leviathan...

* - * - *

Some time later. Cecil lies on a beach, just beginning to regain consciousness.

Cecil: ... uh... um...

He lapses back into unconsciousness again for several hours. Then he finally gets up and surveys his surroundings.

Cecil: Where am I?

He looks around him again.

Cecil: Rydia! [Pause.] Edward! [Pause.] Yang!

Finally he realizes the inescapable truth.

Cecil: Guess I'm... alone.

Cecil slowly walks along the coastline until he reaches a nearby town. To his surprise, the town's inhabitants are almost all wizards of one variety or another. Then he realizes where he is: Mysidia. He heads immediately for the elder's house, determined to make amends for his past actions.

Elder: What do you want from us this time?
Cecil: I am Cecil, ex-captain of the Red Wings. I could not disobey the King.
Elder: Apologies will not bring our friends back alive. But I can at least listen to your words.
Cecil: I'm fighting the one called Golbez, who is the mastermind of Baron. He captured a girl, so we were on our way to Baron to rescue her. But we were attacked by Leviathan... and... 
Elder: Lost your friends. [Pause.] It would be your trial. But as long as you depend upon the Dark Sword, you cannot defeat true evil. Moreover, you might be consumed with its evil at any time. If you wish to fight against evil with good, go to Mt. Ordeals, to the east of Mysidia.
Cecil: But I must hurry!
Elder: I understand. But do not hurry. First you must climb Mt. Ordeals and renounce this evil sword and gain the sword of sacredness. The one who can accept the holy light is called a Paladin, the sacred knight. Many went to Mt. Ordeals to become a Paladin, but none returned. Will you try?
Cecil: Yes!
Elder: But it would be hard for you alone with your Dark Sword. Take wizards with you. [Calling for the two:] Palom! Porom!

A girl enters the house.

Girl: You called for us?
Elder: Where is Palom?
Girl: Palom! Come on!

Behind Cecil, there is a sudden popping sound. Startled, he turns around to see a boy about the same age as the girl.

Boy: So your are that Baronian guy, aren't you? I'm gonna help you. So thank me!

Cecil looks at the two "wizards" the Elder summoned. Then he looks at the elder in disbelief.

Cecil: These two?!
Elder: Palom and Porom. They may be of help. Do not be deceived by their appearances.
Palom: Be thankful that the Mysidian genius Palom will accompany you!
Elder: Palom! It's for your own good!

Porom then extends her hand to Cecil, after a glance at the Elder.

Porom: Well. How do you do, sir.

Then she walks to Porom's side and whispers fiercely in his ear.

Porom: Palom! You must greet him!

Palom does so:

Palom: Hi, man!
Elder: Now to Mt. Ordeals! Palom and Porom! Do everything in your power to help Cecil!

* - * - *

At Mt. Ordeals, the three see a wall of flame blocking the path up the mountain.

Porom: Your turn, Palom!
Palom: I know! You don't have to say that!

Palom casts the Ice spell on the flames, and they go out.

Palom: Piece of cake!

Porom smacks him upside the head.

Porom: Palom! Our Elder taught us not to submit to arrogance!
Porom: [to Cecil] Shall we go now?

* - * - *


In the Tower of Zot, Rosa is tied to a chair in the back of a room. Kain stands next to her; Golbez is in front of them both.

Golbez: Come, Milon!

A grotesque-looking creature appears in front of Golbez.

Milon: Milon of Earth, at your service.
Golbez: We must not leave Cecil alive. We'd better make a move against him. Fortunately, his Dark Sword is nothing to fear for your monsters. However, he is climbing Mt. Orderals now.
Milon: Then he is to become a Paladin?
Golbez: Your mission is to dispose of him beforehand.
Milon: Yes, my master.
Golbez: Very well.

Milon teleports out of the room. Then Golbez half-turns toward Kain.

Golbez: Things have become interesting, don't you think, Kain?

Kain steps forward.

Kain: Yes. But Cecil might prove quite a formidable opponent.
Golbez: I understand you respect your former friend... but I sent Milon after him. Milon is one of my Four Fiends of Elements. He'll put on a good show. Don't you think, Rosa?

Kain steps toward Golbez again.

Kain: Let me take the task of slaying him instead of Milon!

Golbez turns toward him, surprised and angry.

Golbez: How dare you ask for such a task! I've had enough of your blundering. Your job is to watch this girl!

Kain steps back, ashamed.

Kain: Yes, master!
Rosa: Cecil, watch out...!

* - * - *

Back on Mt. Ordeals...

As Cecil and the twin wizards head up the mountain, they see an old man emerge from a cave entrance and look over the edge of the mountain and the scenery below. With a start, Cecil recognizes him.

Cecil: Tellah!

Tellah turns around, first surprised, then pleased to see his old friend.

Tellah: Cecil!

The four approach each other.

Tellah: You seek for Meteo as well?
Porom: He knows of Meteo. That means...
Palom: Hey, man! You're Tellah, right?

Tellah looks at Palom, startled at the boy's greeting.

Porom: Watch your mouth! Call him Master Tellah!

Tellah then turns to Porom.

Porom: We are honored to see you. We were ordered by our Elder to...
Palom: spy on...

Porom runs over to her brother and whacks him on the head. Then she returns to her position facing Tellah.

Porom: Hem! We are to guide Cecil through Mt. Ordeals. My name is Porom.
Palom: And I'm Palom. So you are Tellah. You're famous in Mysidia, too!

Tellah looks at the two, then at Cecil.

Tellah: Kids of Mysidia. Very well. And... Edward and Rydia?
Cecil: We were attacked by Leviathan on our way to Baron.
Tellah: Oh, no!
Cecil: And Rosa was captured by Golbez.

Palom then jogs over to Porom's side and stage-whispers to her.

Palom: That must be his girlfriend!

Porom whirls to face him, annoyed.

Porom: HUSH!

Then both face Tellah again.

Tellah: I cannot defeat Golbez with my spells alone. I've been seeking the magic of legend, Meteo. I felt a strong power emanating from this mountain.
Porom: Meteo is too dangerous! You are too old - oops...
Tellah: Yes, I'm old. But no matter the price, I must avenge my daughter!
Palom: [muttering to himself] Grownups! They like troubles!

Porom turns to her brother once again.

Porom: Be quiet! It's no place for kids.
Tellah: Why did you come here, Cecil?
Cecil: I came here to become a Paladin. My Dark Sword cannot defeat Golbez...
Palom: Who is Golbez?
Porom: You don't know?! He's controlling Baron!
Tellah: Yes. He is the source of all evil! [Pause, then to Cecil:] Paladin... There must be some secret hidden in this mountain. I will come with you!

* - * - *

As the four near the summit of Mt. Ordeals, they hear a hissing sound.

Porom: Palom! Stop it!
Palom: Not me!

They get closer, and it repeats itself.

Porom: There it is again!
Palom: It's not me!

Then, as they reach the bridge leading to the summit, they hear the hissing again - much closer now.

Tellah: Watch out! I feel something evil!

I'm glad... glad indeed... to slay you all...

Cecil: Who is it?

Milon appears in front of them on the bridge.

Well, hello. I am Golbez's Fiend of Earth, Milon! Now, meal time for my monsters!

The four fight a battle with Milon and four of his monsters, winning without too much difficulty. Shrugging, Cecil leads the rest across the bridge. Just as they reach the other side, though, they hear a disturbingly familiar hiss and voice...

Well done. But my true strength lies in death, and with it I drag you all into the abyss!

Startled, they turn around just in time to be attacked by a hideous monster. After a fierce battle, however, they manage to defeat Milon again.

Milon: What? You beat me twice.

Milon falls from the bridge. The four take the final few steps to the pillar at the summit of Mt. Ordeals. Then a voice calls out...

My son...
Cecil: Son? Who are you?

A doorway appears in the side of the pillar, and Cecil, almost not in control of his actions, enters the pillar, followed by Tellah, Porom, and Palom. Inside is a small room whose far wall is a mirror. The voice speaks again.

I've been waiting. Sorrow fills me. I shall entrust you with my power. And grieve that no other way remains.

A sword appears high above Cecil, and slowly floats down to him. He takes it by the hilt... and in a bright flash of light, Cecil the Dark Knight is transformed into Cecil the Paladin.

But the voice continues...

Part from your past! Conquer your Darkness within!

Suddenly, Cecil's reflection - still a Dark Knight - walks out of the mirror-wall.

Tellah: Two Cecils?
Palom: What's going on?
Porom: Cecil!

The Dark Knight advances threateningly on the Paladin.

Tellah: Cecil!
Palom: Hey! Dude!
Porom: Watch out!

Cecil turns to them.

Cecil: No need to help. This is my own fight! I must defeat him to amend my past guilt!

The Paladin forces the Dark Knight back to the mirror. But as the Dark Knight attacks, the Paladin realizes that killing the Dark Knight is exactly what he cannot do, that doing so would not be the act of a Paladin. The Dark Knight, cheated of his last chance, fades away, and the voice speaks once more.

Well done. Now I put my spirit into the power of Light and entrust it to your hands. Receive the last Light left in me! My son! Stop Golbez!
Cecil: Wait!

But the voice does not speak again. The room glows brightly... and at last, Cecil is the Dark Knight no more.

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