Final Fantasy XVI’s official website is live, revealing to the world the official name of the protagonist of this new mainline game, Clive Rosfield. With Square Enix’s penchant for cool-looking swordsmen with even cooler names, Clive seems like such a normal choice for a name.So, to iterate this point, IGN Southeast Asia will be comparing Clive to the rest of his fellow Final Fantasy protagonists, and see if his name is actually cool or just a little underwhelming in the grand scheme of things.
Note, the original Final Fantasy and the two online games, XI and XIV, will not be part of this comparison as there are no set names since the player gets to name their player characters themselves. While it is common for older Final Fantasy games to allow players to rename their main characters, they all still have canonical, default names.
Without further ado, here’s how Clive Rosfield stacks up against the rest of Final Fantasy:
Clive Rosfield vs. Final Fantasy II’s Firion
The first-named protagonist of the franchise was none other than Final Fantasy II’s Firion, the hopeful rebel against the evil empire. Firion’s name was made up for the franchise, and while it’s not a “real-world” name, it does sound heroic, almost like a Greek warrior. Clive just means cliff dweller in real life.
Clive: 0 FF Heroes: 1
Clive Rosfield vs. Final Fantasy III’s Luneth
The protagonists of Final Fantasy III are usually blank slates that the player is able to name whatever they want, that is until the Nintendo DS remakes gave all four characters default names. The first character that players take control of, Luneth, is the de facto leader of the crew and main protagonist of the story. Luneth comes from the word “luna” or if based on the Japanese pronunciation, the word “rune”. Either way, Luneth’s name reflects his gentle nature and definitely stands out compared to Clive.
Clive: 0 FF Heroes: 2
Clive Rosfield vs. Final Fantasy IV’s Cecil Harvey
Cecil was one of the first Final Fantasy protagonists to have a naming dispute, since most fans couldn’t decide whether to pronounce his name as “see-cil” or “seh-cil”.The Dissidia games canonised it as the latter and definitely makes the name sounds slightly edgier. Either way, Cecil is also a pretty normal name, and compared to Clive, Clive really sounds more badass. Cecil sounds like the name of a dentist, and Clive sounds like a mountain biker.
Clive: 1 FF Heroes: 2
Clive Rosfield vs. Final Fantasy V’s Bartz Klauser
Funnily enough, early fans translations of this game led to this character to be known as “Butz” for a while. It took a couple of years for Square Enix to clarify that his name is Bartz, as in the short form of Bartholomew. Since they added the extra Z at the end, there are still some people that lovingly call this hero “Butz”. Sometimes, maybe adding an edgy letter at the end of a name isn’t as cool as people think.
Clive: 2 FF Heroes: 2
Clive Rosfield vs. Final Fantasy VI’s Terra Branford
In the Japanese version, Final Fantasy VI’s leading lady was named Tina, since it was a more exotic-sounding name for Japanese audiences. The English version fittingly changed her name to Terra instead, which is definitely more fantastical. And so, Terra went from having a common name to one that reflects her otherworldly origins. It’s a shame the same cannot be said for Clive.
Clive: 2 FF Heroes: 3
Clive Rosfield vs. Final Fantasy VII’s Cloud Strife
The quintessential Final Fantasy protagonist, the stoic, giant sword-wielding, spiky-haired mercenary known as Cloud Strife. Everything about this character is bombastic, from his outfit to his hair, his origins, and his weapon of choice, he definitely needed an iconic name to suit his character. Cloud Strife just rolls off the tongue, kind of like Luke Skywalker. The perfect name for a fantasy hero.
Clive: 2 FF Heroes: 4
Clive Rosfield vs. Final Fantasy VIII’s Squall Leonhart
After Final Fantasy VII, Squaresoft was looking to do everything in their power to top it, which includes making the protagonist of Final Fantasy VIII cooler and edgier. This even came to his name, with Squall being somewhat reminiscent of Cloud since they are both weather-based names, and Leonhart being so much more courageous sounding than Strife. Ultimately, they both sound way better than Clive Rosfield.
Clive: 2 FF Heroes: 5
Clive Rosfield vs. Final Fantasy IX’s Zidane Tribal
Before Final Fantasy IX came out, there was some contention within Squaresoft on the main character’s name, since it was too similar to the footballer, Zinedine Zidane. Thankfully, they decided to go ahead with the name, and even made sure to pronounce it the same way as the footballer’s name in the Dissidia games. With Final Fantasy IX’s Zidane himself being a very energetic and outgoing character, the name truly suited him in many ways.
Clive: 2 FF Heroes: 6
Clive Rosfield vs. Final Fantasy X’s Tidus
Despite being the first game in the series with voice-acting, Squaresoft went to great lengths to make sure that no one pronounces Tidus’ name in Final Fantasy X and its sequel. People were kept in the dark on how to pronounce this name, with most fans deciding that “tie-dus” was a cool way of saying it. Sadly, the Dissidia games made it clear that his name was pronounced as “tee-dus”, which is still pretty lame.
Clive: 3 FF Heroes: 6
Clive Rosfield vs. Final Fantasy XII’s Vaan
Poor Vaan, he’s already pretty forgettable in the grand scheme of things. With his Aladdin-like street rat persona, to him actually not being the main protagonist of his own game, Vaan truly has trouble standing out. Yet, Square Enix insists that he definitely is the main character for Final Fantasy XII, only because during development, they figured that female players would prefer a teenage pretty boy as the protagonist, instead of the manly Captain Basch. Either way, Vaan really isn’t any better than Clive, but we’re giving it to Clive for now.
Clive: 4 FF Heroes: 6
Clive Rosfield vs. Final Fantasy XIII’s Lightning
If you think Cloud and Squall were edgy, wait until you meet Lightning also known by her real name, Claire Farron, or as the Japanese games call her, Eclair Farron. Which is funnier, the fact that Lightning is not even her real name or the fact that she changed it from her name being a reference to a chocolatey dessert? Either way, for the sake of this list, we have to rank the names based on what the games call her, and the fact is, Lightning is a pretty cool name.
Clive: 4 FF Heroes: 7
Clive Rosfield vs. Final Fantasy XV’s Noctis Lucis Caelum
Noctis is notable for being the only Final Fantasy protagonist with a middle name, as well as being the only prince on this list. With a name like Noctis, it’s pretty hard to deny it as a cool and heroic name, harkening back to the Greek-like names of Firion and Terra. It also means “night” in Latin, which is also a callback to sky-based names like Cloud, Squall, or Lightning. It’s succinct and recognisable, the same just cannot be said about Clive.
Clive: 4 FF Heroes: 8
So there you have it, Clive Rosfield stacks up against four mainline protagonists of the Final Fantasy series, with eight other heroes definitely having way cooler names. This list surprised us as well, we didn’t think a pretty normal name like Clive could even beat a single one.
Hopefully, we learn more about Clive Rosfield and who he really is, giving him a place on the steadily growing list of mainline Final Fantasy heroes.