6 Square Enix characters that we’d recruit for a heistWe’d need a burglar, a safe-cracker, a grifter, some muscle, a driver and a planner. But who to pick…
Warning: spoilers for FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE, FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 and OCTOPATH TRAVELER.
The other day I caught the tail end of a heist movie on TV. Inevitably it got me thinking – if we were going to put together a crew, which Square Enix characters would we recruit?
What follows is a dramatisation of how this little thought experiment went.
I love a good heist.
Oh yeah - me too!
Movies, TV shows, books… it always makes for great fiction.
…fiction, right. (Quietly puts crowbar back in bag)
You know the story – a group of noble-hearted misfits team up to put a wrongdoer in his or her place, typically through means of a needlessly elaborate plan that requires their oddly specialised skillsets.
Ah, you mean some sort of hustle…
Shh! I don’t know if we’re legally allowed to use brand names!
Anyway, if we were going to do a good ol’-fashioned movie heist, who would recruit for our team? After all, there are Oceans-worth of Square Enix characters whose skills we could Leverage.
From what I understand, you really need six roles to pull it off: a cat burglar, some muscle, a safe-cracker, a grifter, a wheelman and finally a big brain to create the plan.
So with that in mind, here are the Square Enix characters I’d pick to pull off a heist.
I dunno… is this really the most productive use of your time? I mean, you haven’t even clearly articulated who you’re talking to? Am I a voice in your head, another member of the team or what?
Hey look friend – as I write this, the power’s gone out in my house and I have nothing else to do. So let me have this, okay?
Fine. Let’s hear it.
The Cat Burglar – Erik from DRAGON QUEST XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age
Every team needs a burglar – the kind of rascal that can slip in and out of a room without anyone noticing.
Do you mean a thief? Because there’s literally a game called… Thief.
Well yes – fair point. Garrett would be a great choice, but I’d rather utilise his skills for a more specialised role.
Instead, I’d recruit Erik from DRAGON QUEST XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age to do the job. This spiky-haired hero has fast hands, a quick wit and an unerring ability to get in and out of places he shouldn’t be.
Hmm… sounds a little untrustworthy.
You’d think that, but Erik as a firm a friend as you could ever hope to find.
He’s reliable, loyal and sure he can get a bit carried away when presented with valuable treasure, but he’ll always do the right thing in the end. He’s the quintessential rogue with a heart of gold. In more ways than one actually.
Any other skills?
Like many thieves, he’d prefer to run from a fight rather than stand his ground. But if it does come to fisticuffs, he can more than hold his own. Not only is he incredibly evasive, his Critical Claim attack is one of the strongest of all the DRAGON QUEST XI crew.
Be warned though – he’ll insist on waiting for his turn to use it.
The Muscle – Tifa from FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE
All heist teams need some muscle – someone tough to take care of any unexpected trouble. And there’s no shortage of options here.
Ooh – like Zell from FINAL FANTASY VIII Remastered!
Strong, but far too excitable. Think about it – one overexcited whoop and the whole gig’s blown.
Ok, what about Barret from FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE?
No, if we’re talking FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE, there’s a much more obvious choice: Tifa Lockhart.
This awesome martial artist is fast, strong and incredibly skilled. I mean, she can literally punch robots into scrap - even ex-SOLDIER Cloud has to use a Buster Sword.
And talk about upper body strength - have you seen how many pull-ups she can do?
Does she have any experience though?
Yes - as a member of Avalanche, Tifa has played a vital role in missions to sneak into dangerous reactors, infiltrate high security offices and more. She may have misgivings about some of these jobs, but she ultimately always steps up to protect her friends and teammates.
And you know there’s one more thing that she can supply to the team: her own bar!
Seventh Heaven has everything you need for a good hideout: a jukebox, plenty of cocktails (mine’s a Cosmo Canyon!) and even a secret room underneath the pinball table.
Brilliant - so after the heist, we can go back there and celebrate with a plate of something.
…yes. I can definitely guarantee you’ll get a plate.
The Safe-cracker – Garrett from Thief
If movies have taught me anything (and clearly they have not), it’s that every good heist crew needs a safe-cracker. From looked doors, to lockboxes, these nimble-fingered artisans of are capable of opening anything and everything.
In other words, it takes a skilled touch, and Garrett – the Master Thief himself - is very, very skilled indeed. When it comes to picking locks, there’s no-one better.
I’ve heard that there are some safes that are completely impregnable though. I imagine that even Garrett would have trouble with those bad boys?
And you’d be right – which is where his extensive collection of other skills comes into effect.
For example, Garrett a master of stealth - a true shadow. He could be standing right next to you and you’d never know.
Also consider that he’s incredibly thorough. He’ll scan a room carefully, look into every nook and cranny with a practiced eye. If the combination’s written somewhere he’ll find it.
But what if it’s not written down?
Look, if you’re a videogame character with a safe, you have to write down the combination. It’s, like, the rules.
Seems awfully convenient, but I’ll go with it.
The Grifter – Primrose from OCTOPATH TRAVELER
Next, we need a people person – a slick smooth-talker who can manipulate people to get exactly what they want. Primrose from OCTOPATH TRAVELER fits the bill perfectly.
Once a noble, she’s embarked on a life of subterfuge and revenge after the death of her father. As part of her quest, she assumes guises – such as taking on the guise of a dancer as she lies in wait for her target.
So she’s willing to play the long-con then?
Oh boy is she! But that’s not the only reason she’s the perfect person for this role. Primrose has the special ability to sweet-talk… well, pretty much anyone she meets.
It doesn’t matter how who they are, how old they are, or what they’re doing – a few words from Primrose and they’ll follow her to the ends of the earth.
Wow – that’s persuasive.
I know, right? They’ll even throw themselves into mortal danger if she asks them to. If we get into a fight, anyone following our silver-tongued recruit will jump into the fray – even if they seem wholly unequipped for battle.
Now that’s what I call a grifter.
The Wheelman – Ignis from FINAL FANTASY XV
The plan’s underway – now we need an escape. A good driver’s essential for a slick extraction, but who to choose…
Lots of options here. Cloud Strife from FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE, for example….
I think Cloud’s more of a bike person. We need someone who’s comfortable with four wheels, not just two.
In fact, if we’re talking FINAL FANTASY, there’s one obvious choice… Ignis Scientia from FINAL FANTASY XV.
This refined gentleman takes care of the bulk of the driving in FINAL FANTASY XV – set him a destination, and he’ll get you there regardless of traffic or weather conditions.
Just don’t ask him to drive at night – he’s very against that.
Ok so we have a wheelman… but still no wheels.
But that’s another great thing about Ignis - he could supply his own car! Sure, the Regalia’s only made to accommodate four people, but I reckon a few more could squidge in if necessary.
It’s not the fastest ride, but Iggy handles it with skill and grace – he won’t put a wheel wrong.
And best of all, when you get back to Seventh Heaven, he can cook the team a delicious meal. He might even have come up with a new recipe!
The Mastermind – Caius Ballad from FINAL FANTASY XIII-2
Finally, we need someone to plan the heist – a mastermind who can see all the angles, make a plan, and execute it successfully.
And here’s where things get a little tricky, because most of the master planners in Square Enix games aren’t on the side of the angels…
Wait – you want to recruit a villain?
What can I say – that’s where the talent is. There are lots of examples of villains carrying out largely successful plans in games.
For example, Garland from the original FINAL FANTASY, Kefka from FINAL FANTASY VI or Ardyn from FINAL FANTASY XV – each of them essentially completed their goals.
So why not one of them?
Well let’s be honest – anyone who’s played FINAL FANTASY VI knows that Kefka’s not exactly stable. What’s more, each was ultimately thwarted – after the fact in some cases, but all their hard work was undone.
That’s exactly why Caius Ballad from FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 is the perfect choice here. Not only is he an incredibly smart fellow, who uses time and space itself as a chessboard, he actually won. There’s nothing that can be done to stop the events he sets in motion – only adapt to them.
In other words, he’s a mastermind whose plans actually work. Exactly the type of person we’d want to plan our heist.
Perfect! Looks like we have a team.
And with this group, our unnecessarily convoluted schemes are sure to succeed.
…but hold on a sec. Now that I think about it, isn’t there already a team of RPG heroes who perform heists?
I don’t know what you mean.
Yeah, stealing heads or hearts… something like that.
I SAID I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN.
Ahem. Anyway, those were our picks – but what about yours? Which characters would you recruit for your heist crew?
Share your thoughts in the comments and social media. And check back on the Square Enix Blog regularly for news and articles that weren’t written because I was at a loose end.