ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Cid and Science in the Final Fantasy Series

Updated on February 14, 2018
satomko profile image

Seth Tomko is a writer, college-level educator, and adventurer.

Each game shows Cid and his scientific relationship in a different light. By charting these appearances one can see the degrees of ambivalence the Final Fantasy series expresses toward scientific progress and its influence on human worldviews.

In his first United States appearance (Final Fantasy 2 in USA) he is introduced as an engineer who designed and constructed the airships used by Baron to gain military supremacy. Cid is clearly a man of scientific passions as even a search of the books in his home produces literature on scientific principles. He is demonstrably a moral man too; by the time he becomes a playable character he has escaped from prison for refusing to cooperate and modify the airships to assist Baron’s increasing belligerence. Likewise, other characters explain how Cid has looked after Cecil and Rosa as though they were his own children. Here the science and technology developed by Cid are tools which belong in the hands of good people, such as the adventuring party, and he refuses to let his achievements be used for wicked ends.

Cid Del Norte Marquez from Final Fantasy 6 as designed by Yoshitaka Amano
Cid Del Norte Marquez from Final Fantasy 6 as designed by Yoshitaka Amano | Source

Final Fantasy 6

Next time, however, the Cid character is slightly more ambivalent. In the game known as Final Fantasy 3 in the United States, Cid is an experimental biologist who conducts his research on the Espers for the good of the despotic Empire. He drains these living creatures of their power to fuel machines to extend and perpetuate the current tyranny, though he seems apolitical. His interest is in the experimentation and use of science to further human knowledge. As his character becomes more involved, though, he understands the horror of his experiments and actively assists the other characters in opposing the Empire and the war machines his research has helped develop. In the World of Ruin, he again shows his true colors by nursing Celes back to health and even providing for her a means to return to the mainland. In this game Cid shows the dangers of myopia; when focused on his research and not its social and moral implications, Cid’s discoveries lead to a frightening era of mechanized violence and oppression.

Final Fantasy 7

A similar Cid is represented in Final Fantasy 7. This time, Cid is again an engineer of sorts whose goal is to see his spacecraft built and used. He does not seem to have particular affinity for Shinra, the company that funds him and is slowly destroying the planet. Since they pay his bills, however, he capitulates until his dream is realized. After that he joins seriously with the other protagonists trying to save the planet. Again, Cid realizes science and technology are not ends in and of themselves but are tools meant to aid humanity.

Final Fantasy 8 promotional art from Square/Enix
Final Fantasy 8 promotional art from Square/Enix | Source

Final Fantasy 8

The Cid of Final Fantasy 8 is more of a social engineer who is a designer of the SeeD program which trains young people to fight supernatural threats. His reasons are convoluted and involve a measure of foreknowledge and time travel, but the interesting element to note is his seeming lack of an ethical dilemma. Though he regrets some of his partners in building the SeedGardens, this Cid almost never expresses any regret over creating and overseeing what is essentially a eugenics and training program. One can argue that given his kind of prescience he prepared for a harsh future and made pragmatic choices for the greater good. His decisions, nevertheless, rob people of their memories, encourage reliance on Guardian Forces to supplement human development, and he repeatedly risks the lives of his students without their consent. This “greater good” theory is also a slippery slope since it is the argument of the wicked as well as the righteous. Here Cid is ethically dangerous and attempts to rationalize his choice to make people, willing or not, pawns in his scheme to create a bulwark against other evils.

Final Fantasy 9 characters designed by Toshiyuki Itahana
Final Fantasy 9 characters designed by Toshiyuki Itahana | Source

Final Fantasy 9

Final Fantasy 9 sees a return to a more familiar Cid who designs castles and other physical constructs. He is also a king, but unlike the similarly political Cid from the previous game, this Cid makes every effort to protect his citizens, including signing a humiliating treaty of surrender, and assists the player from the beginning. The only mark against Cid this time is the curse his wife placed upon him because of his allegedly wandering fidelity. Aside from this situation, this Cid shows a moral backbone not seen since his first appearance in the series, but he is humanized by having a character flaw, though this flaw does little to have an impact on the game.

Cid of Final Fantasy 10 designed by Tetsuya Nomura
Cid of Final Fantasy 10 designed by Tetsuya Nomura | Source

Final Fantasy 10

In the tenth installment Cid is a renegade and ethnic minority who challenges the prevailing theocracy and again shows a fondness for rebuilding the machines of Spira’s past. While not a playable character, his daughter Rikku acts as his surrogate and displays all the vivaciousness and technical skill for which Cid is famous. The actions of this Cid are also benevolent since he is trying to save Yuna from sacrificing herself, but his methods are questionable—attempted kidnapping and the forced labor he extracts from Tidus among them. Even with these flaws he does not cross into the fatalistic mania of his enemies, nor does he retaliate in kind when the home of his people is demolished by the game’s adversaries.

Dr. Cid as he appears in Final Fantasy 12, designed by Akihiko Yoshida
Dr. Cid as he appears in Final Fantasy 12, designed by Akihiko Yoshida | Source

Final Fantasy 12

Cid of Final Fantasy 12 is an antagonist. While one may argue his motivation is abstractly beneficent in helping Venat against the immortal overlords, his behavior is justified in only the most callous sense. He ignores his son, builds war machines, allows Vayne’s patricidal coup, and repeatedly fights the player and with each of these developments he makes these choices consciously knowing they’ll have a negative impact on countless lives including the very people he should be protecting. At no point does he lament the human cost of his obsession revealing him as s fanatic who treats people as only a means to an end. This time the cost is too great; a brilliant man becomes an extremist and manipulator of the variety he professes to despise.

Cindy Aurum of Final Fantasy 15 designed by Roberto Ferrari
Cindy Aurum of Final Fantasy 15 designed by Roberto Ferrari | Source

Continuing Fantasy

There is, in the Final Fantasy series, a general comment on the dangers of scientific progress. Cid is always brilliant and manages to use his knowledge to create wonders that are the pinnacle of science and technology; his research pushes the boundaries of human understanding. When, however, his experiments and developments are not firmly rooted in humanism that values life and community and makes science the tools of mankind then the destruction wrought by his achievements is of an unimaginable magnitude.

© 2009 Seth Tomko


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • satomko profile imageAUTHOR

      Seth Tomko 

      11 years ago from Macon, GA

      I wonder that too, given how much technology seems to be in the game in the trailers I've seen. I guess we'll find out soon enough.

    • MistHaven profile image


      11 years ago from New Jersey

      It's been so long since I've played Final Fantasy 8 that I forgot all about Cid's role in that game. Normally you do see Cid in more heroic roles. I wonder which one he'll take in Final Fantasy XIII...


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)