The HD remaster of the classic JRPGs Grandia and its sequel Grandia 2 came out in late 2019 for both the PC and Nintendo Switch. For many, this was a welcome update to the games that came out in the 1990s. Grandia boasted a new kind of battle system, as well as storylines that could captivate the player. It remains a favourite of many people today. With the original game, there were some characters that people came to love and appreciate while, as with many games, there were others that players simply couldn’t stand.
I have collated the main 16 characters you will see in Grandia, and listed them accordingly based on their personality and story arcs.
General Baal initially leads the Garlyle Forces. At first, he makes you believe he is an overworked man who cares about his son. How mistaken you are! You find out throughout the game that his son is purely the product of Baal wanting to gain secrets regarding the Angelou civilisation, and that he most likely killed his wife. Those aren’t endearing qualities to me. As Baal becomes more and more consumed by Gaia, you see him change from a respected army general to a feared and hated madman. Baal is the personification of the weakness and greed of humanity.
On a side note, I am also incredibly frustrated we never get any clarity regarding his nightmare mentioned at the very beginning. Was this to do with Gaia? How did he meet Gaia? I love storylines, so his basic information doesn’t give me enough to work with.
No. Just no. Sue is annoying. Yes, she may be an orphan, but she also acts like a little brat, speaks like a brat, and sounds like a brat. Sue won’t stay behind when Justin leaves for the new world and causes him no end of trouble. Eventually, she leaves the party to return home (finally!), but at the price of costing them the means to immediately get to Alent.
Despite being younger than Justin, Sue is always talking down to him or telling others bad things about him. To me, this does not make her a very good friend. She seems more like a leech, not wanting Justin to do anything without her. She turns up later, to my horror, with the rest of the previous player characters, as an NPC to help the player party beat Baal.
Sue is also seen in the final cutscene of the game, waiting in Parm for Justin and Feena to return. Even then, ten years later, she is still going on about becoming a beautiful woman. Fair enough she has, but clearly, she is – again - the same shallow girl as before.
I’ve never been one for shallow people, so she just comes across as self-absorbed and whiny to me. No thank you! The only reason she isn’t last on this list is that I would feel like a criminal putting her below the villain of the game.
Saki is a lover of physical fitness, to the point of it almost becoming an obsession. She is known for giving her squad hard, physical punishments if they are late or fall behind a little. Saki comes across as aggressive, especially with her tone of voice.
It was always that feral nature that made me wary of her when playing the game. Saki seems to have a different personality when it comes to Colonel Mullen. She is all sweetness and light then, but cruel to others. Saki’s demeanour is, perhaps, the most daunting thing about her, as it highlights the behaviour of abusers in reality. It is for that reason that I dislike her greatly.
Nana is another sergeant of the Garlyle Forces. She appears to be the leader among the three women and comes across as cunning. She has a foul temper and particularly hates Leen purely due to her closeness with Colonel Mullen. Nana comes across as an airhead regarding the Colonel. Even her thumbnail changes when she sees him.
The characterisation of a dumb girl fawning over a man is relatively tacky and an old fashioned way of thinking. Unlike Feena or Leen, Nana is not a strong, positive female character. I’d rather see her being an excellent sergeant than just simpering over a man.
One of the sergeants of the Garlyle Forces. Mio is the kindest of the three women and is also the most intelligent. Though, kindness and intellect also mean she is weaker than her counterparts.
She does have her moments of cruelty, though. Whereas Nana or Saki might be cruel physically to people, Mio seems to target a person’s self-esteem. This is shown in the locker room where she teases Saki about having small breasts. Bullying can have a profound and long-lasting effect on people, as well as chipping away at their self-confidence. Not cool, Mio.
Puffy is undeniably cute and spends most of his time on Sue’s head looking like an elaborate bow. He likes food, a lot, which makes him quite relatable to your average gamer. He is also the strength behind Sue and used in moves such as Puffy Kick.
He gets to be number 11 on the list purely for that cute factor, and the way he says “puff puff”. It’s sweet. Other than that, there’s nothing extraordinary about him. No back story. No special powers. Nothing.
I would have been far more impressed had we found out where, and how, Justin’s father found him.
A bunny. Guido is most certainly a bunny. He’s relatively weak, driven by greed for gold, and his voice can get on every one of your nerves. He seems to have a high level of intellect that he uses to teach and guide Justin, but is a fairly flat character overall.
I do think that the story could have continued just as easily with him remaining an NPC, rather than becoming a player character. I do like that he put his greed aside to try to help save the world, showing how even the most selfish of people can change when it counts.
Milda is a tricky one to work out. She seems frightening and, at times, consumed by anger, however, also shows that she can be gentle and caring. She shows compassion to children and respect to elders, particularly in the village of Cafu.
The only hang-up that I, and other players, have with her story is that she is effectively dating a bull. Yes. Her partner is a bovine humanoid. It confuses Justin and Feena. It confuses me. And let’s not even get started on her bedroom. I would have liked to have found out more about her past. Where are her family? You don’t keep her long enough to really get to know her properly, which is a shame.
Liete is the priestess of Alent. She comes across as quite condescending when the player team meets her in person. Also, she knows Justin and his friends are coming, so why give them extra bosses to defeat before they can meet her? She does seem to make the journey a lot more difficult than it needs to be, especially after finding out the world is in danger.
The story regarding red and blue tablets depicting whether a Liete has lived a sad or happy life is fairly touching, but comes, in my opinion, too late in the game to have any real effect on the player. Overall, Liete seems more like a traditional quest-giver than a loveable character, and I never felt as attached to her as I did with some of the other playable characters.
A strong man from Dight, Gadwin takes care of Sue following the crossing of the End of the World. Gadwin may seem imposing but is actually quite kind-hearted. Gadwin doesn’t stay with you for long but is fairly loveable.
Unfortunately, his plans aren’t the smartest, with the journey to Typhoon Tower potentially being a suicide mission until he found he was too large to enter the doorway. Whether this is perceived to be stupidity or selfless heroism is entirely down to the player.
Gadwin fulfils the all-important paternal role to Justin, something that Justin severely lacks due to his own father’s death. This doesn’t have much of an emotive effect, though, as you never find out much regarding Justin’s past.
Meeting Gadwin is also part of the turning point where Justin matures greatly. It is good to see him change from a silly, headstrong boy to a young adult. With his kindness and willingness to do anything to help people, the player cannot help but like Gadwin. I only wish he had stayed with the party longer.
Rapp is a hot-headed young man who comes across as brash and lacking manners. You find out later on that his parents have been turned to stone by Gaia, and that he tries to look after the younger generation in his village. His lack of respect for the village elder is questionable, but it is clear his heart is in the right place.
Overall, I do like Rapp. He isn’t the most eloquent, and will often act without thinking. He also refers to women as “broads”, but later comes to show a lot more respect. His initial sexism did initially make me think he would be unlikeable, but he is another character you get to see grow with time.
Mullen is the Colonel of the Garlyle Forces and General Baal’s son. He comes across as very cold to start with, but you find out he is nothing like his father.
The player first gets some insight into his true personality when he is trapped with Feena in the Twin Towers. Mullen takes care of Feena’s sprained ankle and opens up to her regarding his humanoid mother. After his father leaves him, and other soldiers, for dead in the underground ruins of Zil Padon, Mullen accepts that his father is consumed by Gaia and becomes an ally to the player team.
He is likeable because he shows the qualities of a good leader. While being brave and good at giving orders, he also is willing to muck in and help. He also cares about the welfare of his troops. He is also meant to be an attractive character. The flowing blonde locks certainly help with liking him.
The finale is where my heart went out to him. He is unable to celebrate properly with the rest because of missing Leen. A sensitive man is a very attractive quality.
Justin is the main character of the game. You follow him as he goes from a naïve boy trying to walk in his father’s footsteps, all the way to a young man who puts the needs of others first and wants to save the world. The character growth here is brilliant and shows the transition to adulthood.
Some of his quips are funny, and he is a boy who has a big heart. Reading the letter from Lilly gives you further insight into his personality and a little background information about him. Plus, I can’t help but love his cheekiness.
He is strong but fights for what he believes in. You cannot help but like him when he continually stands up for the underdogs.
Not much really needs to be said regarding Leen. She is a strong soldier, but also a very caring woman. Leen willingly gives up her life to try to save her sister and the man she loves, so how can she not rate highly on this list?
While a strong woman, you also get little insights into what she is like as a person. Leen will break the rules if they go against her morals. In a world where we continuously see injustice against people, Leen is the representation of how people should behave. You also see her sometimes become nervous regarding Colonel Mullen. Unlike the three sergeants, Leen is not silly about her affection but does blush from time to time.
Her main focus, however, is not on getting the guy, which, again, makes her a good role model for young girls. I like how she is hard-working and unashamed of who she is.
Lilly is Justin’s mother. She runs a restaurant in the starting town of Parm. While she is an NPC, Lilly shows a lot of admirable qualities. Add into that that we find out Justin’s father died an unspecified amount of time ago, showing that she has been simultaneously running a successful business while single-handedly raising her troublemaking son.
She shows pride in both her work and her son and is an excellent representation of mother goals. I have so much respect for her, especially with her open-door policy allowing Sue over whenever she wants.
Feena is a young woman who has quickly become the best adventurer in the new world. She is deemed attractive by the other characters but also shows compassion and empathy towards them. Feena is intelligent and often out-thinks Justin.
There are some occasions where you have to help or rescue Feena, which does put a damper on things, but mostly she is the one noticing the dangers.
Her Icarian powers are awesome. I loved that she turned out to be part of the legend that Justin was seeking.
As a child, it was great to see a strong lead female. This was even more clear at the end. You find out that Justin and Feena had children together, but were still adventuring as a family. It was fantastic that she wasn’t shoehorned into the stereotypical role of mother and homemaker, and instead kept doing what she loved while truly co-parenting.
Feena had such an impact on me, as a character, that I even chose that name for my daughter. After all, who wouldn’t want qualities such as independence, the strength of heart, and compassion for their child?