The characters named Cid are a mainstay of Final Fantasy, but I wasn’t prepared for the Final Fantasy XVI iteration, and not many people were playing the action RPG this week either.

Mild spoilers for the first few hours of Final Fantasy XVI will follow.

When Cid or Cidolfus Telamon, to use his government name, first appeared, saving the protagonist Clive from his imminent disappearance at the hands of enemy forces, I felt the world changing around its axis. This man makes one hell of an appearance, takes out soldiers with a series of flashes and then walks through the dust and smoke next to the best of the good Torgal.

Then he opens his mouth and the voice of Ralph Ineson (who can also be heard as Lorath in Diablo IV) sounds. Between the chiseled and attractive man who entered the frame and a dog who appeared to clear the sad mood of a game that had caused some emotional low blows, I was already dealing with a sensory overload. Then Cid’s quiet Yorkshire accent hit my eardrums and I knew I would follow this man to whatever version of hell there is in Final Fantasy XVI. I don’t even listen to what he says most of the time, I just nod politely and walk in the direction he points.

The character of El Cid has not committed to any particular role over the years. The Final Fantasy VII version was a member of the foul-mouthed group, the Final Fantasy XIII version was a tragic antagonist and Final Fantasy XVI doesn’t fit into a particular archetype either. It is a dominant, this is the title awarded to people associated with the legendary Eikons, the game version of calls.

He is specifically associated with Ramuh, who commands thunder and lightning. That’s why he can cast electric spells when he helps Clive in action. But he doesn’t seem to be enjoying his destination in the wee hours of the morning. He tells Clive that it was not his decision to become domineering, but that he is dealing with the hand Ramuh gave him. We love an anxious king who is just trying to do the best he can while carrying the terrible weight of a tormented soul. I’m in love and so is everyone who plays Final Fantasy XVI.

GamesHub’s Edmond Tran highlights Cid as an outstanding character in the Final Fantasy XVI cast and says that his “charisma goes beyond the screen to effortlessly win over himself and Clive. Mitchell Saltzman of IGN says that Cids is “probably [his] favorite new Final fantasy character of all time”, while Alex Donaldson of VG24/7 said that Final Fantasy Xvis CID would probably be at the top of a hypothetical “best cid” ranking. I’m still early, but I’m inclined to agree. Corey Plante says in the Kotaku review that Cid is “an absolute scene purloin who will go down in history as one of the best Final Fantasy characters of all time.”

Interestingly, Final Fantasy XVI seems to imply that Cid might be weird, as he comments that Clive is “cute”, but also says that he’s not his type. A short line of dialogue is not an explicit confirmation of anything in a game that has a canonically odd partner elsewhere. However, Ineson and Clive’s actor Ben Starr say the line was part of the two riffs that were played together during the recording sessions, so while it may not be an intentional indication that Cid is queer, it gives fans a subtext to read.

Ineson thanked the fans for their kind reception in Cid (as well as for his recent role in Diablo IV) and said that he already started working on both games in 2020. Ineson’s video game portfolio is small compared to her film and television credits, which include The Witch and Game of Thrones. Previously, the only games I had worked on were Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and the passed away Hallows. So he’s having a great couple of weeks right now for big roles in video games.

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