The changing looks of Final Fantasy's Cid: fashion experts weigh in

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Earlier this week, a reader posed a request to senior editor Phil Kollar: a discussion of the looks of Final Fantasy's recurring character Cid. We loved the idea.

But though we certainly have the know-how to talk about one of the most iconic franchises in gaming, we're a little less confident in our fashion skills. The good news is that Polygon shares an office with some of the smartest, most fashionable friends you could ask for over at Racked.

Executive editor Izzy Grinspan, features editor Julia Rubin, engagement editor Kenzie Bryant and market editor Nicola Fumo were up to the task. We dumped them straight into the world of Final Fantasy fashion with no context. Below are their thoughts — pure, insightful and pretty hilarious — on every Cid featured in the main Final Fantasy series.

    Cid through the years

  1. Final Fantasy 2

    ff2 cid

    Final Fantasy 2

    The first time we get a full look at Cid is in Final Fantasy 2, where he appears as a knight-turned-flier-of-airships.

    Julia: Okay, this is BADASS. The boots are very high-fashion, almost Balenciaga-esque? And I dig the dangling charms! The nipples, however, are very George Clooney as Batman.

    Kenzie: All I can say is ditto^

    Izzy: I admire a man who is willing to expose his thighs for the sake of style.

    Nicola: Are those Christmas ornaments?

  2. Final Fantasy 3

    final fantasy 3

    Final Fantasy 3

    Cid Haze
    In Final Fantasy 3, the character is Cid Haze — an old man who creates airships.

    Julia: This dude is channeling the Girl Scouts, which I do not hate. I do hate the hat, though. That is a bad, bad hat.

    Kenzie: He doesn’t know how to dress for his body type but he looks comfortable? Or as comfortable as you can be while attached to a protruding flying fan mechanism.

    Izzy: I am opposed to tuxedo stripes 99 percent of the time, but I think they work here.

    Nicola: Steampunk Santa Claus.

  3. Final Fantasy 4

    final fantasy 4 cid

    Final Fantasy 4

    Cid Pollendina
    Final Fantasy 4 offers a playable version of Cid — another master engineer who acts as a friend to the game's hero, Cecil.

    Julia: If you’re gonna wear gloves, they may as well be bright red.

    Kenzie: Cute halter, can I borrow it?

    Nicola: I think this guy works out at my gym. One time he was doing battle ropes on a Bosu ball.

  4. Final Fantasy 5

    final fantasy 5 cid

    Final Fantasy 5

    Cid Previa
    Final Fantasy 5's Cid is an old inventor who works with his grandson.

    Julia: I want to know more about what’s going on here — are we looking at DROP CROTCH PANTS?! If so, I am PRO. The printed scarf is nice and thematic.

    Kenzie: This is the hippy aunt beating to her own drum and I dig it.

    Izzy: I’m getting a very retired-Daenerys-Targaryen vibe here. "I’m done conquering the Seven Kingdoms, I’m exhausted, all I want to do is take a pottery class at the JCC and spam Facebook with photos of Drogon’s adorable babies."

  5. Final Fantasy 6

    final fantasy 6 cid

    Final Fantasy 6

    Cid Del Norte Marquez
    In Final Fantasy 6, we see a gentle Cid who shares a special relationship with one of the game's characters, Celes. His work focuses largely on Magitek technology, the game's magic-powered machinery.

    Julia: Usually, I am allll for the print clash, but this does not work. The sneakers, however, rule.

    Kenzie: I don’t know what to say about this. It’s like when a designer puts out a collection that’s batshit crazy and you don’t know whether he or she is a genius or just hungry for press coverage. If you don’t like it, you can’t recognize innovative vision, and if you do like it, you’ve fallen in their weird marketing trap. I just know that I wouldn’t invite this guy to any children’s birthday parties.

    Izzy: If Ron Swanson, Beetlejuice and Paddington Bear had a child ... one, it would look like this, and two, I don’t think I would want to know about it.

    Nicola: Omg please don’t talk to me on the subway.

  6. Final Fantasy 7

    final fantasy 7 cid

    Final Fantasy 7

    Cid Highwind
    Cid once again joins the playable party in Final Fantasy 7. This version of the character is a crass-talking pilot and mechanic who dreams of space.

    Julia: Cool punk vibes are completely ruined by full-on Seth Green in Can’t Hardly Wait glasses that also serve as a cellphone holder. NO NO NO.

    Kenzie: The jacket is cropped perfectly. This look is a favorite for sure.

    Izzy: Pretty sure this guy lived in my dorm freshman year.

  7. Final Fantasy 8

    final fantasy 8 cid

    Final Fantasy 8

    Cid Kramer
    Final Fantasy 8 gave players a more fatherly version of this iconic character. Cid is headmaster of Balamb Garden, the school where hero Squall trains.

    Julia: Whoa, toned-down Cid. Kindly professor Cid. Good hair but should not be mixing red and green Cid.

    Kenzie: His waistcoat and shirt fits horribly. There’s something vaguely depressing about an ill-fitting suit on a man.

    IzzyWho’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, the video game!

    Nicola: I’m pretty sure this guy works at The Verge.

  8. Final Fantasy 9

    final fantasy 9 cid

    Final Fantasy 9

    Cid Fabool
    Cid Fabool acts as Regent of Lindblum, a technologically advanced city in Final Fantasy 9 that is home to some of the greatest engineers in the world.

    Julia: Fancy as SHIT. I love this. Pantaloons! Pantaloooooons!

    Kenzie: This looks like it’s straight out of Alexander McQueen’s 2013 Queen Elizabeth collection. Give this man a bejeweled facemask and let that 'stache elegantly poke through.

    Izzy: I just ... I don’t understand how these are all the same character.

  9. Final Fantasy 10

    final fantasy 10 cid

    Final Fantasy 10

    As the leader of the Al Bhed, Final Fantasy 10's machina-using people, Cid commands technology in the game thought to be long forgotten. He's pretty great about ferrying you around Spira.

    Julia: Oh, this is 100 percent terrible. Do I hate the green buckled straps the most? Or do I hate the concept of a sleeveless jumpsuit paired with above-the-elbow gloves more? It’s a very tough call.

    Kenzie: It’s the colors! The colors are making you sick, Julia!

    Izzy: This would be vastly improved if he lost the soul patch that’s slowly eating his chin.

    Nicola: The Rock goes for a dive?

  10. Final Fantasy 11

    final fantasy 11 cid

    Final Fantasy 11

    Once again, Cid is a non-playable engineer and inventor in Square Enix's massively multiplayer online role-playing game.

    Julia: Cool boots, NICE ARMS. My first thought was, "Oh, he unloads trucks at a fancy coffee shop in Seattle!"

    Kenzie: Yes, he could weld me a sword and then grind coffee beans with it. The look feels less style-focused and more utilitarian for coffee bean blacksmithing. The belt is terrible in a big, hulking-ugly-thing-I-don’t-want-on-my-body way.

    Izzy: Oh, this guy was ALSO in my freshman dorm. We called him "Shirtless Kyle" and the rumor was that he literally did not own shirts.

    Nicola: Seems like a risky outfit for grilling.

  11. Final Fantasy 12

    final fantasy 12 cid

    Final Fantasy 12

    Cidolfus Demen Bunansa
    A big change-up for the character — Cidolfus is a doctor, genius scientist and a villain.

    Kenzie: The super baroque trompe l’oeil thing says I’m a fancy man.

    Julia: YES TO WHAT KENZIE SAID. Very impressed with the trompe l’oeil work here. Less into the gloves. Cid, stop wearing gloves when they do not appear to serve a utilitarian purpose.

    Izzy: Are those pants spandex? Is this what steampunk triathletes wear for the biking portion?

  12. Final Fantasy 13

    final fantasy 13 cid

    Final Fantasy 13

    Cid Raines
    Final Fantasy 13 presents Cid as a young military commander — though his motivations are revealed to be much deeper than what they appear.

    Kenzie: The textures and color combos here just scream capable. I want this dude to do my taxes.

    Julia: This look is VERY IN right now. Love an androgynous look, particularly if a cape is involved.

    Izzy: Oh I am not getting accountant vibes AT ALL. To me this feels very Eurotrashy. This guy hangs out with models.

    Kenzie: Clarification: I don’t want him to do my taxes because he’s an accountant. I want him to do my taxes because he can do ANYTHING.

  13. Final Fantasy 14

    final fantasy 14

    Final Fantasy 14

    Cid nan Garlond
    Square Enix's latest MMORPG also sees Cid as a non-playable engineer who's made a name for himself.

    Kenzie: Rihanna could wear this outfit and look sick. Does the fashion industry know about over-the-knee boot fanny packs? It should. It really should.

    Julia: Oh wow, bring back snapaway pants! Also cutout tee? Very festival style of Cid.

    Izzy: I love that shirt. Would wear. But I think the interplay of heavy leather and light cut-out jersey does not make sense here.

  14. Final Fantasy 15

    final fantasy 15 cindy

    Final Fantasy 15

    Cindy, or Cidney in Japan, falls largely into the unknown category of potential Cids. She's believed to be the first female representation of the character, though the Final Fantasy 15 demo, Episode Duscae, suggests that her father also shares that name. Since she may very well fall into that role — and certainly she fits the bill with her mechanic capabilities — we've included her as well.

    Kenzie: Those. Assholes.

    Julia: FUCK. THAT.

    Izzy: Yeah, I’m going back to Shirtless Kyle.

    Nicola: Are you fucking kidding me.