Name: Cidolfus Demen Bunansa
Japanese name: シドルファス・デム・ブナンザ
Seiyuu: Chikao Otsuka
Voice Actor: John Lee
When Cid is introduced, he seems to be, well, not entirely there. He has long, involved conversations with himself, and doesn’t appear at all bothered by this fact. His role in the Empire isn’t immediately clear, and we hear more of it from other characters for a long time. Doctor Cid heads Draklor Laboratory in Archades, which is involved in manufacting nethicite. To what cause, no one can say, but their needs require such amounts of magicite that Archadia has brokered a trade agreement with Bhujerba for their mining operations.
As the party (and player) learn more about nethicite, Cid’s designs begin to show themselves. Cid sought deifacted nethicite, such as the Midlight Shard and the Dusk Shard, the treasures of Nabradia and Dalmasca, for his research into manufacted nethicite. The power of deifacted nethicite was enough to wipe Nabradia from the map in two years’ time; with manufacted nethicite, airships are able to fly in jagd, previously inaccessible territories. In other words, research valuable enough to justify great expense.
The party eventually obtains a sword with the ability to destroy deifacted nethicite, and Ashe decides to head to the Draklor Laboratory in order to destroy the nethicite in Cid’s possession. Along the way, Balthier gives her some insight into Cid, revealing himself as Cid’s son. Cid apparently has been obsessed with nethicite for years to the point that it consumed his entire life and pushed his family away, and kept talking nonsense about it and something called Venat.
The party eventually reaches Draklor, and finds they’re not the only visitors — someone else is trashing the place in search of the nethicite. They ally with the man against Cid and defeat him, only for a mysterious being to appear behind him. Cid manages to get away, telling them that he’s heading to Giruvegan and inviting them to give chase, all in the name of putting the reins of history back in the hands of man.
Of course, this is all a ruse — Cid doesn’t go there at all, it’s all to lead Ashe to the Occuria. Venat, it turns out, is actually real — Cid was never mad, just overdramatic and with a bad tendency to talk to Venat in public. For the past six years, ever since Cid first went to Giruvegan, Venat has helped Cid and the Archadians towards the goal of wresting Occurian control over mankind.
Now, like Gabranth, here is the point where Cid’s storyline goes a little off the rails. Venat is revealed in a great cutscene in Archadia, where Vayne orders Gabranth to ascertain Ashe’s plans and then he, Cid, and Venat have a chat about the things to come. All seems well and good. Except then you climb all 100 floors of the Pharos, Gabranth shows up, and then Cid shows up too. What?? Did Venat fly him there? How the hell did he even get there.
Like it’s ridiculous enough to believe Gabranth magically gets there at the most dramatic moment possible but then Cid walks in too. I only have so much suspension of disbelief, FFXII. Come on.
Anyway, Cid’s actual goal there is to unleash the power of the Sun-cryst to power the Sky Fortress Bahamut for Vayne. He also gets a little bit power drunk and battles the party, in which he apparently even sealed an Esper in nethicite. I gotta hand it to you, Cid, when you go over the top you go over the top. Cid is eventually defeated, and tells Venat he’s enjoyed their time together. To Balthier, he tells him not to waste his pity, and that if he intends to run, he had best keep running. With that, Cid fades away. (No, seriously. Everyone else in the game dies normally, but Cid straight up fades into nothingness. Okay, Cid.)
The first villainous Cid in the series, and the actual “Cid” of the game — Al-Cid shares the name, but he’s not truly this game’s Cid. All things considered I do like Dr. Cid, and I think the whole storyline of him being this supposed mad scientist for most of the game who, it turns out is not actually mad is pretty interesting. He does go a little off the rails at the end, but eh. Cid is overdramatic in general.
I enjoy the relationship between Cid and Balthier in particular; I’d love to know more of their backstory, but even what bits we get in the game are really good.
Basically I like Dr. Cid, I just think the part where he shows up at the Pharos to be utterly ridiculous. What he actually does at the Pharos, sure, I like that. But good heavens, talk about plot contrivances.