If there’s one thing I miss from my Tactics playthrough, it’s Lucavi analyses. I’m going to do my best to give XII’s Espers the same treatment for this playthrough, at least for the ones that either Ashy or myself have not already written about.

This is Mateus, one of the more complicated Espers in terms of design. Mateus first made an appearance in the Ivalice Alliance as one of the Totema in Tactics Advance, where he represented the hume race. In Tactics Advance, however, he is female.

The female body that we see from XII’s Mateus is not actually the Esper itself. The Esper is the cross that the female body is chained to.

Here’s the official lore for Mateus:

Scion of darkness ruling and protecting those who live in the underworld, in opposition to Lahabrea, Abyssal Celebrant and scion of light. In the course of his rule, he submitted to avarice, and the darkness took his heart, transforming him until he was both evil and corrupt. Then in his cowardice did he bind a Goddess of the Demesne of Ice, and using her as a living shield, he challenged the gods. Defeated before their might, he fell screaming into the depths of hell, there to be imprisoned for eternity.

Many of XII’s Espers were given designs that were meant to reflect previous Final Fantasy villains, and Mateus is one of them. Mateus is the first name of Emperor Palamecia from II, known in the Dissidia games as simply “The Emperor.” Like Emperor Palamecia, XII’s Mateus carries a staff, which he uses as a weapon.

The ice goddess, though, is sort of a big question mark. It might be meant as a reference to the Totema design of Mateus, which has a female form.

It might also be a reference to Shiva, especially the Tactics Advance incarnation of Shiva.

Both have helmets that are similar to the headdress of sorts that Mateus’s ice goddess wears. Either way, it sucks that one of two awesome female designs was reduced to… well… what we see in XII.

Then again, the fact that Mateus kidnapped an ice goddess might have been intended as a parallel to Emperor Palamecia kidnapping Queen Hilda. There are so many possible interpretations for it that it’s hard to pin down just one.

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