golbez whose real name is theodor is a non-player character in Final Fantasy IV and a playable character in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. In Final Fantasy IV he is the primary antagonist of the game, a powerful half-Lunarian sorcerer who takes control of Baron and the Red Wings to pursue the Crystals. He is later revealed to be controlled by Zemus, and after being freed the player learns is the brother to the game’s protagonist Cecil Harvey. In The After Years, Golbez returns to help his brother battle Maenad and the Creator.
Golbez was notably the first antagonist of the series to be telepathically controlled by another (while King Gorn from Final Fantasy III preceded him, he was not actually fought in battle by the party) more malicious true villain, and was also the second villain to be a blood relative of the protagonist (Leon from Final Fantasy II, the brother of Maria, was the first). Golbez is also known for his dramatic and foreboding theme music and was the first villain of the series to get his own theme. Golbez has also appeared as a playable character in the fighting game Dissidia Final Fantasy, as the villain opposing Cecil.
In the English version of Final Fantasy IV, Golbez is voiced by Anthony Landor, and in Dissidia he is voiced by Peter Beckman. In the Japanese versions of both games, he is voiced by Takeshi Kaga, famous for his role as the Chairman on the television program Iron Chef.
Golbez’s appearance in Final Fantasy IV is that of an imposing man in dark blue and black armor with gold trimmings. The lining of his cape has been both red and blue in color, sometimes in the same game – the DS release shows Golbez’s official render with a blue lining, but his in-game appearance has a red lining. The exact color of his armor has also varied considerably between appearances, from light blue to dark blue to black. At the end of the Nintendo DS release, Golbez is seen as a young boy prior to his possession by Zemus, with short brown hair and violet eyes. In The After Years, Golbez wears a black kilt and mantle and has gray/white hair. It is stated that, while Cecil resembles their mother Cecilia, Golbez resembles their father Kluya.
Through the majority of Final Fantasy IV, Golbez appears as a cruel and heartless man who will stop at nothing until he has obtained all of the crystals, destroying anyone and anything that stands in his way. He is also a cunning manipulator, tricking Cecil and his allies into retrieving two Crystals for him, and otherwise luring them into traps. As it was later revealed by Fusoya, Golbez was being manipulated by a powerful Lunarian named Zemus by bonding Golbez’s thoughts with his. Awakened, Golbez’s personality shifts radically back to his true self; Golbez is horrified by his actions and feelings of hatred. In order to redeem himself he tries to destroy Zemus himself even if it comes at the price of his own life. Golbez appears to care very deeply for his younger brother Cecil, understanding his resentment towards him and smiling (through an image of his child self) after Cecil calls him “brother”. In The After Years, Golbez’s first thought when he realized the Blue Planet was in danger was his brother’s safety. Without revealing his true identity, Golbez helped Cecil’s friends, always keeping a certain distance from them. He was the first to enter Baron Castle and, upon finding Cecil unconscious after being broken free from his possession, Golbez rushed by his side. He would also willingly sacrifice himself for his brother when his dark side, the Dark Knight, attacked him.
Dissidia Final Fantasy somewhat merges these two aspects of Golbez’s personality – the caring brother and the cruel manipulator. Golbez appears to Cecil numerous times to offer him assistance, and also appears to help the other Warriors of Cosmos as well. He does so at his own risk, as Exdeath arrives to attack him when he is discovered of treachery. However, he also harbors his own schemes separate from the other villains, and manipulates the heroes, though he usually does so with the intent to help them. This is most notable with Firion, where it is implied that Golbez created the rose that inspired Firion’s dream and placed it for him to find for this exact purpose. Golbez is the only villain to speak with Cosmos, discussing her plans for the heroes with her. In this, he is something of a double agent. Golbez also has no qualms about attacking the heroes when called upon, including Cecil, though he does so with the ultimate goal of assisting them
As one would expect of the game’s antagonist, Golbez is shown to be an incredibly powerful mage. He is capable of teleportation and telepathy, and can even take control of minds, although his ability to do this seems limited. He is able to critically injure party members out of battle with bolts of energy and is somewhat immune to physical harm, as he shrugs off Tellah’s spells at first. However, once struck by Meteor, the protagonists are able to defeat Golbez in battle with ease the next day. One could also assume, due to his command of the Red Wings, that Golbez is a cunning battle tactician.
It is also important to know that in Final Fantasy IV, summoners die along with their summoned beasts if their summoned monsters die in battle. However, when Rydia manages to kill Golbez’s Shadow Dragon with her Mist Dragon’s attack, he still manages to survive. This may show that he has a skill in summoning similar to Rydia’s (in which she can only summon a monster for a brief attack before they vanish) or his skill in summoning surpasses that of most other summoners, which would make him the strongest summoner in the game, if he can outlive the death of his creature. This is supported by his statement refering to the summoners of mist being weaker then his own dark summon. The death of his summon could also be a contributing factor to his defeat by the party soon after.