Siegfried is Final Fantasy VI’s world famous swordsman and occasional
thief treasure hunter. Obviously, he’s a pretty famous to have made a name for himself.
And we run into him a couple of times. Or do we?
Siegfried makes his first appearance on the Phantom Train, where he disrupts Sabin, Shadow, and Cyan, who are working their way towards the front of the train…
Voice: Hold it right there!
Man: I am Siegfried, the greatest swordsman in all the world! And that treasure belongs to me! If I were you, you overmuscled moose, I’d grab Grandpa there and run away while you still can!
Sabin: “Greatest windbag” is more like it… You’re the one who had best beat a brave retreat.
Siegfried: What!? Brazen words for a man about to be spitted upon my blade like
a plump and juicy pig! En garde!
Siegfried: Here I come! You kids had better get ready! Hi-yaaaaaa!!!
Siegfried picks a fight with them when they try to open a treasure chest. He is weak and easily defeated.
However, he manages to escape with the treasure anyway.
Siegfried: N-no! It cannot be! But…the last laugh belongs to me!
Siegfried: Uwa-ha-ha! The treasure is mine! Au revoir, my friends!
Something doesn’t add up. If he’s a famous swordsman, why is he so weak? Why are we able to defeat him so easily if he’s a renowned, world famous at that even, swordsman?
Siegfried later appears in South Figaro Cave in the World of Ruin. He follows Gerad and his thieves into Figaro Castle. He even speaks to us:
Siegfried: It’s dangerous beyond here. I’ll go ahead and clear out all the nasty, vile monsters. You just wait here, okay?
And we wait. And wait. And wait. When we go in, we see him
stealing obtaining treasure. Hey, we could have had that! But we meet
Siegfried’s final appearance is in the Dragon’s Neck Coliseum, where he remains for the rest of the game. He reveals there was someone trying to disguise themselves as him and urges players not to be fooled by the impostor.
The question is, how do we know he’s the real one? How do we know if Siegfried in the Dragon’s Neck Coliseum is the real one? Because he said so? Because he’s stronger than when we first met? Maybe the fake one had a year’s worth of time to get stronger. Is it because the real Siegfried would never steal? All he’s doing is opening treasure chests and taking goods to aid him in battle. We the heroes do this as well. Anyone can do this.
So what happens to the real Siegfried?
- Maybe the real Siegfried was on, and never made it off, the Phantom Train while we were battling the fake Siegfried?
- Maybe he dies in the World of Run?
- Maybe he died fighting in the Coliseum before we got there, even against the fake Siegfried who bested him!!!
First, let’s get it out of the way that, yes, there are at least two Siegfrieds:
In the SNES version, during the instances where he is helpful he appears as “Siegfried,” and when he hinders the player he is called “Ziegfried.” This implies that these are two separate characters and explains Siegfried’s comment about being impersonated; this distinction is absent in the Advance release.
Now we could say that the phony Siegfried was a known fake. But then after a while, he proved himself and became indistinguishable from the real one. But this distinction is absent from the updated versions. This adds an extra layer of confusion because it means we don’t know which Siegfried is the real one.
It is possible that the impostor was meant to be Gogo before the sidequest to recruit him was changed in development.
But even so, this doesn’t preclude the idea that we’ve met the real Siegfried. Even after Gogo is in our party.
In fact, I really don’t think we ever truly meet the real Siegfried in the game. For all we know, there are several Siegfrieds running around pretending to be the real one. But the real one disappeared.
Final Fantasy VI is genius when it comes to this type of stuff.