This article is from the Final-Fantasy and other Square Soft Games FAQ, by firstname.lastname@example.org (Nick Zitzmann) with numerous contributions by others.
Cecil Harvey [Dark Knight/Paladin]
Kain Highwind [Dragoon]
Gilbert (Edward) Chris von Muir [Bard]
Rosa Farrell [White Wizard]
Yang Fang Leiden [Karate]
Palom [Black Wizard]
Porom [White Wizard]
Cid Pollendina [Engineer]
Edward "Edge" Geraldine [Ninja]
Fuusuuya (FuSoYa) [Lunarian]
Golbez [Black Wizard]
Takashi Tokita [Director]
The world was at peace with itself, and kingdoms governed their land
justly and with little or no quarreling with bordering kingdoms. In one
of the kingdoms, though - Baron - an engineer had finally came up with a
machine that would give mankind its ultimate dream come true - the
ability to fly. These machines, called "airships," would allow for
unrestricted sky travel, and so, Baron became the most powerful kingdom
in the world. A man named Cecil, who was originally trained to be a Dark
Knight, took up the job of creating and commanding a fleet of Airships,
and the people who flew the ships became known as the "Red Wings". One
day, Cecil was commanded by the King of Baron to fly to the town of
Mysidia and take a magic crystal from the town. The Red Wings did so,
but after the mission, Cecil realized what he had done and questioned
the King's authority to use the Red Wings to bully a foreign town. So,
at that, the King stripped Cecil's authority and commanded him to bring
a present to the nearby town of Mist, where humans could call up
monsters to do their bidding. Cecil was not going to do this journey
alone - he would be accompanied with a skilled Royal Dragoon named Kain.
In Final Fantasy IV, players control Cecil, and guide Cecil through a
series of plot twists and sub-quests which send Cecil out on a mission
to save the world from a fiend named Golbez and the strange power
controlling Golbez's actions.
Compared to other Final Fantasy Games, Final Fantasy IV was quite long
and detailed - Cecil would be separated and rejoined with Kain many
times in the story and meet other allies like Rosa, a wizard with magic
healing powers; Edge, an ambidextrous ninja; and Tellah, a sage with
strong magical powers. Cecil wasn't assisted just by humans, however, as
this game had many forests which are homes to chocobo birds which could
give the party rides or recover their MP or even store items for them.
As Cecil made progress in exploring his world, two more worlds would
open themselves up for exploration. This is a timeless classic and a
favorite to many Final Fantasy fans.
The most notable addition to Final Fantasy IV, though, was a "real-time"
battle system in which warriors prepare themselves for battle based on
their agility level, and when they receive a command, they take out
orders immediately. There is no time to waste in battles in this game,
since when the party's getting ready to attack or when no orders are
being given, the monsters will be attacking you based on their agility
levels. Then, there are surprise attacks where the monsters will strike
first, pre-emptive attacks where the party has a chance to strike first,
and the dreaded back attack.