Lord Captain Cecil Harvey is the primary protagonist of Final Fantasy IV. Cecil is unique in that he is one of the few characters in the series that changes his job during the course of the game, starting out as a Dark Knight, but after a difficult trial and the battle with the first of the Four Elemental Archfiends, transforms into a Paladin.
In the English localization of the Nintendo DS version, as well as in Dissidia Final Fantasy, Cecil is pronounced[ˈsɛ.sɨ̞ɫ] (seh-sil), as opposed to [ˈsiː.sɨ̞ɫ] (see-sil), the pronunciation more commonly found in North American English. The Japanese form セシル (Seshiru) seems to back this up. Oddly, the bonus disc included with Final Fantasy XII pronounces it the other way.
Cecil appears as a young man wearing a dark armor which covers his whole body and face, while he is a Dark Knight, until he turns into a Paladin wearing a new blue and white armor and revealing his appearance underneath. Cecil has shoulder-length white hair, light blond in the Nintendo DS version of Final Fantasy IV, and blue eyes. Even though Fusoya claimed that Cecil resembles his father Kluya in his youth, it is stated that Cecil resembles greatly his mother Cecilia, even being named after her.
During Final Fantasy IV, Cecil appears as a strong and gifted knight, gaining the respect and admiration of his men during his time as a member of the red wings
As a Dark Knight, Cecil’s stats are heavily weighted physically, and he has barely any Magic Defense. He can only equip special swords, shields, and armor designed specifically for Dark Knights. His weapons are ineffective against Zombies, Ghouls, Revenants, and Skullnants. His most powerful Dark Sword, the Deathbringer, can inflict instant death on his opponents. As a Dark Knight he has very low MP and Spirit.
Once Cecil becomes a Paladin, his stats increase, especially in Magic Defense and Spirit. It should be noted that a Level 1 Paladin Cecil has 600 HP, which is much more than even a Level 20 Dark Knight Cecil (however, he will lose several levels once he does change into a Paladin). He can now equip about any weapon that isn’t a class-specific weapon, including swords, knives, and axes. Cecil can also equip most shields, hats, helmets, armor, tunics, rings, and gloves, not to mention his original ultimate weapon, the Ragnarok, and, if he proves himself worthy in his Lunar Trial, he can obtain the almighty Lightbringer.
In the DS version, Cecil may also equip the Adamant Armor and all the Onion equipment, including the Onion sword which has an attack power equal to twice the level of the character using it.
In The After Years, Cecil’s default weapon is the Kingsword. Later in the game, he can equip better weapons such as the Excalibur, Lustrous Sword, Ragnarok and even the Ultima Weapon.
s a Dark Knight, Cecil uses the Darkness ability, which damages all opponents with a wave of dark elemental energy. Cecil takes a small amount of damage whenever he uses this attack. In the DS version, the “Darkness” ability is a buffing ability that envelops its user in a dark aura increases the amount of damage caused by a regular attack, at the cost of a small amount of HP being lost every round.
Once Cecil becomes a Paladin, he can use the Cover ability, which allows him to intercept physical attacks against the ally Cover is targeting. Cecil automatically uses this ability to protect any ally whose HP is low. Cecil will automatically stop Covering, active or passive, when his HP is critical. He can also use some basic White Magic, and in the DS release learns several more spells. However, his low magic power lowers his effectiveness with them.