pretty sure this has already been discussed elsewhere, but it’s something i wanted on my blog
Cecil’s original plan was to sneak back into Baron by sea, but his ship is attacked en route by Leviathan (further punishment from the King of Summons for his actions earlier in the game, i’m sure). miraculously, he survives the shipwreck, and in a coincidence that may hint at divine providence, he finds himself washed up on the shores of Mysidia, the very town he personally sacked in the game’s opening cinematic
it’s here that he begins his path to redemption, assisted by townspeople who would have been well within their right to leave him to die in the wilderness
now, every fan of FFIV is probably familiar with the Mysidian Legend, or some variation thereof. every translation of the legend has been different, but they all convey the same message, just with different wording. my personal favorite is the J2e translation:
One born from a dragon’s maw
Bearing darkness and light,
Shall rise to the heavens
Over the still land.
The moon’s light eternal
Brings a promise to Earth
With bounty and grace.
if you look at Mysidia’s landmass from above:
you’ll notice it resembles the head of a dragon
I love this legend. I love it because despite the various translations it’s still a metaphor for the entire game.
One thing I like about this legend is that it marks Mysidia as where Cecil is born as himself.
From this point, after he’s attacked Mysidia, he’s replaying the scenes from their slaughter when they take the crystal, but he’s not the only one thinking about it. It’s all of the Red Wings. They prompt him about the attack. Cecil is stripped of his title as the Commander of the Red Wings when he begins to doubt his king and confronts him about it.
The attack on Mist, at least to me, was a repeat of Mysidia. He brought calamity onto those people, albeit unintentionally. And as a result he resolves himself to start doing what he feels is right. He helps Rydia, Rosa, Edward, and Yang when they’ve been wronged by Baron. And he fails, because he carries a darkness that he rejects.
So Cecil retuning to Mysidia after trying to do right results in him bearing both the light and the darkness in the legend. He makes his first connection with his roots.
I could go on and on, about how this is also a metaphor for Golbez as well, but I’ll leave it here for now because then it’ll be too long.