Character design of Final Fantasy
Although each installment of the Final Fantasy series is generally set in a different fictional world with separate storylines, there are several commonalities when it comes to character design, as certain design themes repeat themselves, as well as specific character names and classes. Within the main series, Yoshitaka Amano was the character designer for Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy II, Final Fantasy III, Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI, Tetsuya Nomura was the character designer for Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XIII, Toshiyuki Itahana was the character designer for Final Fantasy IX, and Akihiko Yoshida was the character designer for Final Fantasy XII.
Visual character design
The series has often featured male characters with slightly effeminate characteristics, as well as female characters with slightly tomboyish, but still feminine, characteristics. This trend has generally increased as the series evolved. These characters are usually teenagers, which some critics have interpreted as an effort on the part of the designers to ensure the players identify with them. At the same time, some female characters have been increasingly designed to wear very revealing outfits. Square Enix has stated that a more rugged looking hero had been considered for Final Fantasy XII but had ultimately been scrapped in favor of Vaan, another effeminate protagonist. The developers cited scenaristic reasons and target demographic considerations to explain their choice. For Final Fantasy XIII, Square Enix settled on a female main character, described as a "female version of Cloud from FFVII." This aspect of Final Fantasy can also be seen in Sora, the protagonist of Kingdom Hearts, a crossover series featuring Final Fantasy and Disney characters.
Biggs and Wedge
The names Biggs and Wedge (ビッグス ＆ ウェッジ Biggusu & Wejji?) are given to two related characters in several Final Fantasy games. They are speculated to be an homage to the Star Wars characters Biggs Darklighter and Wedge Antilles. Their first appearance is in Final Fantasy VI — with "Biggs" mistranslated to "Vicks" — as a pair of soldiers accompanying Terra Branford in an attack on Narshe to claim an Esper. They are playable for a short period, but are soon killed by the Esper.
Following their first appearance, Biggs and Wedge have appeared in several games. In Final Fantasy VII, they are members of AVALANCHE, an eco-warrior organization. They are killed after a failed attempt to stop one of Midgar city's support pillars from being destroyed by Shinra. In Final Fantasy VIII, Biggs and Wedge are Galbadian soldiers who engage in battle with the protagonists twice, (once in Dollet, and again in D-District Prison). They eventually retire from the Galbadian forces. In Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2, they are guards at the Luca Blitzball stadium, and can be scouted by the player to participate in Blitzball. In Final Fantasy XII, two Archadian guards named Gibbs and Deweg (variation of Biggs, anagram of Wedge) stand at Nalbina Town, and provide comic relief in several optional scenes. Biggs and Wedge are also featured in Final Fantasy XIII, as the name of a shop; B&W Outfitters.
Biggs and Wedge have also appeared in several Final Fantasy spin off games. Final Fantasy Tactics features a form of the names ("Viggs" and "Wezaleff"), where they are members of a raiding party, without speaking roles and who die while descending Orbonne Monaster. In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Biggs is a former business subordinate of Cid. In Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, they appear as Red Wings soldiers who die protecting Cecil's son, Prince Ceodore, from an attack led by the Mysterious Woman. The game reveals that Biggs and Wedge were actually the two soldiers who questioned Cecil about stealing the Water Crystal of Mysidia at the beginning of Final Fantasy IV. In Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, Biggs and Wedge are enemies in a sniping minigame.
Biggs and Wedge are also common names in other video games by Square and Square Enix. In Chrono Trigger, Vicks and Wedge, along with a third character named Piett (who likewise shares a name with a Star Wars character), are sideshow attractions at Norstein Bekkler's Lab at the Millennial Fair. Biggs retains his original name in the Nintendo DS re-release of Chrono Trigger. In Kingdom Hearts II, Biggs and Wedge are storekeepers who own armor shops. Chocobo's Dungeon 2 features them as two Black Mages who may assist the player.
Biggs and Wedge are an important duo in FFXIV as well, aiding the protagonist through the storyline and assisting Cid in piloting airships. Biggs and Wedge also appear in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
A chocobo named Boko or Boco (ボコ?) appears in several installments of the series. Boko first appears in Final Fantasy V as Bartz Klauser's mount. Boko also appears in Final Fantasy VII as a chocobo in the races at the Gold Saucer. In Final Fantasy VIII, a chicobo (young chocobo) named Boko can be obtained by Squall Leonhart. This chicobo possesses its own minigame; Chocobo World. A chocobo named Bobby Corwen appears in Final Fantasy IX in the Black Mage Village; his initials in Japanese katakana characters form the word "Boko", and there is a Tetra Master card also named "Boko" which features a depiction of an eight-bit chocobo. In Final Fantasy XI, Boko appears as a black chocobo in various races.
Boco also appears in Final Fantasy Tactics as a chocobo owned by Wiegraf Folles, which is later lost in a forest and can be saved and recruited by the protagonist Ramza Beoulve. In Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII, a pilot in the Shera airship mentions that she is raising a chocobo named Boco.
Chaos (カオス Kaosu?) is the final boss in the original Final Fantasy game. He is a relatively large, winged demonic figure who uses his hatred to create the Four Elemental Fiends, the antagonists of the game. Originally, he was Garland (ガーランド Gārando?) an evil knight who kidnaps the princess of Cornelia. His plot is foiled by the Warriors of Light. However, seemingly killed, Garland was actually sent back through time into the distant past by the four Crystals, siphoned by the Four Elemental Fiends, becoming Chaos and sending the Fiends into the present to cause mass destruction in World A. This in turn creates a time-loop and allows Garland to live forever. The Warriors of Light return to the Chaos Shrine ruins to travel two thousand years into the past, where they meet Garland as he assumes his demon form. After the Warriors of Light defeat Chaos, they return to their own time with the Garland of a new reality waiting for them.
Chaos appears as the God of Discord and is also the main antagonist in Dissidia Final Fantasy, where he is voiced by Norio Wakamoto in Japanese and Keith David in English. In the storyline, Chaos was created as a perfect Manikin, malformed from the memories of multiple people used in his creation, and raised by his creator as a son. Later used as a weapon of war, Chaos destroyed all the summons of World A before he, his creator, and Cosmos (the God of Harmony) arrived in World B. There, Chaos became the God of Discord and was supported by Garland, who accepted his predestined fate to become the Chaos of Final Fantasy. In the prequel to Dissidia, Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, a new form of Chaos called Feral Chaos is introduced. This incarnation of Chaos also appears as the final boss of Theatrhythm Final Fantasy.
The name "Chaos" also appears in other Final Fantasy titles. In Final Fantasy VII, Vincent's fourth and final Limit Break causes him to take the form of a black, winged demon called Chaos; this concept is explored further in the sequel, Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII. In Final Fantasy XII, Chaos appears as an Esper, bearing the title "Walker of the Wheel." Also, the flagship of the anti-Imperial Resistance fleet bears the name Garland. The main antagonist and final boss of Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light is also named Chaos.
In the anime series Final Fantasy: Unlimited, Chaos is an otherworldly being that consumes entire worlds, feeding on the negative energy of others. Last but not least, Chaos appears in Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII as a dark force.
Cid (シド Shido?) is a character who appears, or is at least mentioned, in every Final Fantasy installment since Final Fantasy. According to Hironobu Sakaguchi, Cid was initially conceived as a character that could appear in all of the games in different forms. Although he is rarely the same age, and never the same individual in each of the main series, he is usually presented as an owner, creator, and/or pilot of the various airships in each game, and provides transportation to the main characters and their party members at various points. In Final Fantasy II, he has a friendly relationship with a woman named Hilda; he also has a close relationship with a woman of the same name in both Final Fantasy IX and Final Fantasy XI.
Cid does not appear in the Nintendo Entertainment System version of the original Final Fantasy, but he has been retroactively inserted in subsequent versions (from 2003's Final Fantasy Origins onwards), where he is mentioned as the creator of the party's airship. This Cid (known as Cid of the Lufaine) becomes more involved in Dissidia Final Fantasy, serving as the game's non-physical narrator and the one who began the conflict itself after arriving in the mirror dimension of World B. Furthermore, Cid also created the Manikins, with only three being perfect: Cosmos (modeled after his wife), Chaos (an earlier creation he took in as a son), and the Warrior of Light (a clone of himself).
In Final Fantasy II, Cid is a non-playable character and a freelance airship pilot. He reappears in the "Soul of Rebirth" section of Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls and in the 20th Anniversary version of Final Fantasy II, which takes place during the final parts of the main game.
He appears in Final Fantasy III as Cid Haze, a non-playable character.
In Final Fantasy IV, Cid Pollendina is a playable character, the first playable Cid in the series.
In Final Fantasy V, Cid Previa is a non-playable character and elderly inventor. In the OVA sequel to Final Fantasy V, Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals, the late Cid's brain has been stolen by Ra Devil to be used in the villain's plans.
In Final Fantasy VII, Cid Highwind is a spear-wielding airship pilot, and for the first time in the series, a major playable character. He also appears in the game's prequel Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII and the sequels, the OVA Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and the game Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII. Cid Highwind also appears in Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II. A memory version of Cid appears in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, which takes place between the two main games. He also appears in the Chain of Memories PS2 remake, Kingdom Hearts: Coded, and the Coded NDS remake.
In Final Fantasy VIII, Cid Kramer is a non-playable character and the headmaster of Balamb Garden, which, at one point in the game, turns into an airship. He is the husband of Edea Kramer, who appears initially as the antagonist of the game.
In Final Fantasy IX, Cid Fabool is the ruler of Lindblum and is briefly playable. He is also married to Lady Hilda. Appropriately, his full name is "Cid Fabool the 9th". He designed two airships that the party uses throughout the game (both of which are named after his wife), and plays an important political and personal role in relation to various other characters in the game.
In Final Fantasy X and its sequel, Final Fantasy X-2, Cid is the leader of the Al Bhed tribe, the father of Rikku and Brother, and Yuna's uncle. He is the captain of the first game's only airship, although he was not the creator of the machine; rather, he led the Al Bhed in restoring a broken airship that had sunk to the bottom of the sea.
In Final Fantasy XI, Cid is featured prominently in the world of Vana'diel as a non-playable character. He is the chief engineer of The Republic of Bastok who created the airships and plays a major role in many of the game's missions and quests.
Final Fantasy XII is notable for being both the first Final Fantasy with more than one Cid, and the first in which Cid is a villain. Doctor Cidolfus Demen Bunansa is a non-playable character as an enemy boss. He is the father of the sky pirate, Balthier, a playable character. In keeping with the airship theme, he is the one who designs many of the enemies' airships, including the sky fortress Bahamut. There is also a character by the name of Al-Cid Margrace, who is the heir of Rozarria and friend of Larsa Solidor.
Final Fantasy XIII continues the portrayal of a villainous Cid in the form of Cid Raines, who is the youngest Cid to appear in the main game series.
Final Fantasy XIV Cid's full name is "Cid Garlond". He is a former member of the Garlond Imperial Army & his Affiliation: Garlond Ironworks. He is part of the Story line (thus far) and can also be interviewed by any of the 3 nations' newspaper.
The name Cid also appears in Final Fantasy games outside the main series. In Final Fantasy Tactics, Cidolfas Orlandu, known within the game as "Thunder God Cid", is a playable character, a powerful general described as the only man that Ramza Beoulve's father, Balbanes, could truly trust. An optional side task that can be taken by members of Ramza's party involves raising a sunken ship named the Highwind. In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Cid Randell is the leader of the Judges who uphold law in Ivalice, and can be acquired as a player character. In the spin-off, Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift, there is a different playable character named Cid, who belongs to the race of Revgaji (the first clearly non-human Cid in the series) and is the leader of the Clan Gully. Al-Cid Margrace from Final Fantasy XII also appears in Grimoire of the Rift.
Cid also appears in the CGI feature film Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (as Dr. Sid), the anime TV series Final Fantasy: Unlimited (as a scientist), Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King (as Mogcid), Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers (as Professor Cid), Chocobo Racing, Chocobo's Dungeon 2 and Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales. Outside of the Final Fantasy series, he appears in Treasure of the Rudras and Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime (as Ducktor Cid).
Cid takes on the main role in a Final Fantasy game for the first time with Cid and Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon: the Labyrinth of Forgotten Time for the Nintendo DS, a remake of the Wii game Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon.
Gilgamesh (ギルガメッシュ Girugamesshu?) is a character first introduced in Final Fantasy V. He is characterized by having a grey complexion, flamboyantly colorful battle armor, and multiple (usually eight) arms wielding multiple weapons at once. He has a fierce façade, but this masks his own childlike personality. The name "Gilgamesh" comes from the Sumerian king Gilgamesh, the main character in the Epic of Gilgamesh. He has been shown as both a hero and villain throughout the games. In Final Fantasy V, he is shown to be good natured, such as when he is seen to sadden upon hearing of Galuf Baldesion's death, as well as sacrificing himself for the party when fighting Necrophobe. However, his arrogance, occasional stupidity, and thirst for battle have generally pitted him against the party, usually leading to a boss battle. Gilgamesh is commonly known to carry the powerful Genji equipment set, consistently composed of the Genji Gauntlet, Genji Shield, Genji Helm, and Genji Armor. In many game appearances, Gilgamesh uses a variety of weapons, some being parodies of signature swords from the Final Fantasy series.
Gilgamesh's first appearance is in Final Fantasy V, as a major villain who the party encounters several times before he is banished to the Rift by Exdeath for his repeated failures. As revealed in Dissidia 012: Final Fantasy, Gilgamesh ended up traveling to various planes of existence since then. These appearances appear to include Gilgamesh being a Guardian Force summon in Final Fantasy VIII after Seifer killed Odin, provided the player got Odin, an optional boss in Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, accompanied by his animal companion Enkidu, and a downloadable boss that can be recruited in Final Fantasy XIII-2, and a side quest character in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Gilgamesh also appeared in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years and Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls as a boss, and in Final Fantasy VI as a summon. Other versions of Gilgamesh include one in Final Fantasy IX who is a self-proclaimed great treasure hunter with four arms and goes by the alias Alleyway Jack; the player encounters this four-armed man multiple times during the journey, until Zidane Tribal reveals his true identity. There is also the Gilgamesh of Final Fantasy XI, a legendary sword-smith who is leader of the Tenshodo pirating organization in Norg. Players run into him while attempting missions from the first expansion pack, Rise of the Zilart, as well as the quest to unlock Samurai as a playable job, for which the character also receives a two-handed katana. Gilgamesh is also the name of one of Final Fantasy XI 's world servers.
Gilgamesh makes numerous appearance in spin off games as well. He appears as a secret, unlockable character in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, which marks his first appearance as a playable character. Continuing his story from Final Fantasy V, upon entering the Rift, Gilgamesh began traveling to other worlds, as he still sought to settle things with Bartz Klauser. However, he was able to escape from the Rift in search of Bartz, encountering a group of protagonists from the games he has made appearances in (Squall from Final Fantasy VIII, Zidane from Final Fantasy IX, and Vaan from Final Fantasy XII). After finding, fighting and losing to Bartz (who had lost his memories of him), Gilgamesh disappears back into the Rift, swearing to return. In Final Fantasy Type-0, Gilgamesh appears as a l'Cie from the country of Lorica. His appearance in this game was released as a Japanese-exclusive DLC for Gilgamesh in Dissidia 012.
In the English versions of Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy XIII-2, Gilgamesh is voiced by voice actor John DiMaggio, and in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy by Keith Szarabajka. In Japan, Gilgamesh was originally voiced by Daisuke Gōri for Final Fantasy XII, with Kazuya Nakai taking over after his predecessor's passing since Dissidia 012.
Moogles with the name Mog have appeared various times throughout the series.
Mog was first introduced as a major playable character in Final Fantasy VI, where his special technique was to cause various effects by dancing. In Final Fantasy VII, Mog appears riding a Chocobo as a summon and also appears in an arcade game in the Gold Saucer. In Final Fantasy IX a female moogle named Mog serves as Eiko Carol's guardian, although she ultimately proves not to be a moogle, later becoming the Summon Madeen or Guardian Mog. In Final Fantasy XIII-2 a male moogle named Mog joins Serah and Noel in their quest, he is able to transform into a 'bowsword' which Serah uses as her weapon and he is able to reveal time gates and objects phased out of time to his companions.
In the spin-off games Chocobo's Dungeon, Chocobo's Dungeon 2, and Chocobo Racing, a Moogle named Mog is friends with the main character Chocobo.
Ultima and Omega
Ultima and Omega are recurring names that have appeared throughout the Final Fantasy series, often appearing as optional bosses towards the end of the game, as they are far more formidable than the average monster.
In Final Fantasy II the most powerful tome in the game is called the Ultima Tome. Omega first appeared as an optional boss near the end of Final Fantasy V. Ultima first appeared in Final Fantasy VI, and again appears in Final Fantasy VII (under the name "Ultima Weapon") as a main storyline boss. In Final Fantasy VIII, both Ultima Weapon and Omega Weapon are optional bosses. In Final Fantasy IX, Ultima is Zidane Tribal's ultimate weapon. In Final Fantasy X, both Omega and Ultima reside in the Omega Ruins, the most difficult dungeon in the game, where Ultima exists as Omega's shadow. In Final Fantasy XI, they appear as bosses in the "Chains of Promathia" expansion pack and again as Proto-Omega and Proto-Ultima as bosses of the Limbus areas. In Final Fantasy XII, Ultima appears as an Esper in addition to lending its name to a sword called the Ultima Blade, whereas Omega appears as an optional boss in the form of a giant Mimic named "Omega Mark XII". In Final Fantasy XIII, the main character can equip powerful lightning-elemented weapons called Ultima Weapon and Omega Weapon. Like Gilgamesh, Omega appears as an optional DLC boss in Final Fantasy XIII-2 and can be recruited after battle.
In the "Soul of Rebirth" bonus storyline in Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls, a boss called the Ultima Weapon guards the Ultima Tome. In Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII Omega is the main antagonist, and is being used by Weiss to destroy the earth. Ultima appears as the final boss of Final Fantasy Tactics and is also a spell cast by various monsters, including Ultima herself.
Recurring species and races
A Chocobo (チョコボ Chokobo?) is a large, normally flightless galliforme/ratite bird capable of being ridden and has been a staple of the Final Fantasy series since they were introduced in Final Fantasy II. The onomatopoeia for a chocobo's call is "Kweh" (クエ Kue?), although "Kweh" is sometimes replaced with "Wark" in English translations. Most chocobos dwell in forests. While timid in the wild, and vicious if threatened, they tame easily and make good transports. They are occasionally used as lightly armored war mounts, where they can assist their riders with their beak and claws. Most often chocobo can be caught in the wild and ridden without fear of random encounters, escaping after the player dismounts. While ordinary Chocobos are yellow, certain rare breeds are of different colors and have special abilities, such as crossing mountains or flight. An even rarer, more extreme variant is the Fat Chocobo (or Chubby Chocobo), which resembles a morbidly obese yellow chocobo.
The Chocobo signature theme is an upbeat ditty that is present in one form or another in every game in the main series since Final Fantasy II. Chocobos also have a series of games dedicated to them, and they appear in several other Square Enix games, notably the Mana series.
Moogles (モーグリ Mōguri?) are small creatures that appear in several Square Enix game series, including the Final Fantasy series, the Mana series, the Chocobo series, and the Kingdom Hearts series. The Japanese name is a portmanteau of the Japanese words mogura (mole) and kōmori (bat).
Moogles have small, black eyes (often closed), and red, pink, black, or purple bat-like wings. A single black antenna sticks up from their heads, with a small colorful ball (usually red, yellow or pink) at the end called a "pompom". Their ears are usually shaped like a cat's and their fur is white or light pink. Variations can be seen in the Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles series, where they have a different body shape, lacking a distinct head and torso. Also, in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Final Fantasy XII they have longer, rabbit-like ears and beige to gray fur. When they first appeared, in Final Fantasy III, Moogles generally ended their sentences with the word "nya", the Japanese equivalent of a cat's "meow". In the later games, they use the word "kupo" instead, and some games briefly mention a Moogle language formed out of various permutations of "kupo".
Moogles first appeared in the Final Fantasy series in Final Fantasy III, a Japan-only release, and have been present in all subsequent numbered installments except Final Fantasy IV. They have also appeared in Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, the Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles series, and the anime TV show, Final Fantasy: Unlimited. They appear as stuffed dolls in Final Fantasy VII Advent Children, Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2, in addition to Yuna's version of the Mascot dressphere being a moogle in Final Fantasy X-2.
The Moogles perform various functions in the games throughout the Final Fantasy series. They run an in-game message delivery service in Final Fantasy IX and the Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles series. In the Final Fantasy III Nintendo DS remake, their message delivery service allows players to send real e-mails to other players' games using the Nintendo DS Wi-Fi function. Final Fantasy VII features a character named Cait Sith, which is essentially a cat sitting atop a giant stuffed Moogle. They are used as Save Points in Final Fantasy IX. In Final Fantasy XI, a Moogle is assigned to each player to take care of their house and change their jobs (hence it is called a Mog House), and "Festive" Moogles run the holiday events in the game. In Final Fantasy XII, the Moogles are known to be skillful in mechanics and engineering; they were the first pioneers of airship construction. In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Final Fantasy Tactics A2, the Moogles have a variety of different jobs to master in the clan. Some of the standard jobs include Thief, Animist and Black Mage. After they master a certain number of abilities, new jobs become available for the Moogles, including the Juggler, Tinker, Time Mage, Fusilier, Flintlock, Chocobo Knight, and Moogle Knight.
Moogles also appear as summoned creatures in Final Fantasy VII, where a Moogle appears riding a Chocobo, and Final Fantasy VIII, where the player can summon a young Moogle called MiniMog.
Apart from Mog, other notable named Moogles in the series include Stiltzkin from Final Fantasy IX and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, and Montblanc from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift and Final Fantasy XII.
Outside Final Fantasy, Moogles have appeared in the Mana series as a race and/or as a status condition (commonly referred to as being "moogled") in Final Fantasy Adventure, Secret of Mana and Seiken Densetsu 3, and they are mentioned in Sword of Mana. They make an appearance in the Chocobo series in Chocobo's Dungeon, Chocobo's Dungeon 2, Chocobo Racing, and Chocobo Land: A Game of Dice. They also appear in all four games of the Kingdom Hearts series, which includes Moogles named after many famous characters from the series. Moogles also appear as shop clerks in Dissidia Final Fantasy and the sequel, Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, in which they created their own network, called the Mognet, to communicate with players. A Moogle also appears in Egg Monster Heroes, while one is an unlockable character in Mario Hoops 3-on-3. A Moogle can also be unlocked in Mario Sports Mix.
Certain fictional monsters reappear frequently throughout the series, including Goblins, Oni/Ogres/Gigas/Giants, Bombs, Behemoths, Tonberries, Malboros, Flans and Cactuars ("Sabotenders" in the Japanese version, after "saboten", the Japanese word for cactus, and named Pampa in the French version). The series borrows four creature types directly from the original version of Dungeons & Dragons: Beholders, Mindflayers, Otyughs and Sahuagin. Other monsters are based on creatures in the real world, such as wolves, wasps, piranhas, and others have amplified, deadlier versions appearing throughout the series. Other creatures are not necessarily harmful and may provide benefits to the player, such as the Magic Pot.
Summoned monsters, such as Bahamut and the elemental monsters Shiva (ice) and Ifrit (fire), have appeared in almost every title in the series. The lightning elemental has been represented by a variety of creatures, principally Ramuh, but also Quetzalcoatl and Ixion. Odin is another re-occurring character, first appearing as an optional summon in Final Fantasy III. Odin then makes an appearance as a summon in Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy V, Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII, the latter being replaced by Gilgamesh on the fourth disk. Odin is also the Thunder Eidolon in Final Fantasy XIII, able to transform into Sleipnir, his mythical horse. In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, the elemental monsters represent spells cast by Summoners (either the player's own, or those of rivals). In Final Fantasy XII the traditional summon monsters were changed, but still made a cameo of sorts as the names of Archadian airships.
Several entries in the series provide backstories on the origins and motives behind monsters. The backstory of the fiends and monsters given in-game was first established in Final Fantasy VII, where monsters are animals and humans who have been exposed to a high degree of Mako, or descendents of the Ancients, via exposure to Jenova's 'Virus'. In Final Fantasy VIII, monsters are sent to the game world from one of its moons via a burst of energy called the "Lunar Cry". In Final Fantasy IX, monsters are spawned from the Mist, which is made up of the souls of the dead unable to pass on. In Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2, the hostile monsters are better known as fiends, which are manifested from the restless spirits of the dead and driven by malice to devour the living. In Final Fantasy X-2, these Fiends are classified by type. In Final Fantasy XII, the monsters have differing origins; however, most of the more powerful variants (namely the particularly powerful 'Rare Game') are the result of a mutation caused by exposure to the Mist.
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- Square Enix (March 22, 2011). "Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy". PlayStation Portable. Square Enix. "Report 12: I often think of the start of the cycle. I as Chaos summon me from the future; once summoned, I become Chaos."
- Square Enix (March 22, 2011). "Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy". PlayStation Portable. Square Enix. "Chaos: It was just as I thought... You were the beginning. / Garland: "No, Chaos... for myself...you are the beginning. Before the Great Will led me to this realm, when I was on the edge of death, it was you who sent me two thousand years into the past. You are me... and I...am you."
- "EGM²". August 1997. "Hironobu Sakaguchi :There really isn't any deep meaning to it, we just wanted to make a character that would appear in various forms in all the games. I guess I've always had a soft spot for that kind of character. Cid is like Yoda from the Star Wars series--very intelligent and wise."
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- Square Enix (March 22, 2011). "Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy". PlayStation Portable. Square Enix. "Warrior of Light's biography: Holding no prior memories of his past, the Warrior of Light behaves as other warriors summoned by Cosmos, but he himself was not summoned by the goddess. In truth, he is the only warrior created in this realm by the Great Will."
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- Ifalna The Cetra were attacked by the virus and went mad, transforming into monsters. Then, just as he had at knowlespole...he approached other Cetra clans, infecting them with the virus.(Final Fantasy VII)
- Controller: The lunar world is a world of monsters. Didn't you learn that in school? As you can see, the monsters are gathering at one point. History's starting to repeat itself. The Lunar Cry is starting. (Final Fantasy VIII)
- Steiner: Surely even you must know something about the Mist! The vicious monsters it spawns! (Final Fantasy IX)
- Garland: The Mist you see comprises the stagnant souls of Gaia. (Final Fantasy IX)
- Lulu: The dead need guidance. Filled with grief over their own death, they refuse to face their fate. They yearn to live on, and resent those still alive. You see, they envy the living. And in time, that envy turns to anger, even hate. Should these souls remain in Spira, they become fiends that prey on the living. Sad, isn't it? The sending takes them to the Farplane, where they may rest in peace. (Final Fantasy X)
- Final Fantasy X-2 Guide, 315
- Sage Knowledge 09: Mist: Naturally occurring energy, found in almost all regions of the world, affecting all living things, the climate, and even the land itself... The highest concentrations of Mist can even do damage, leading to over-rapid changes in the environment, and violent behavior among animals and those more sensitive to the Mist's effects. (Final Fantasy XII)
- Sage Knowledge 63: Nabreus Deadlands: [D]ense Mist has given rise to all manner of bizarre flora and fauna of an invariably vicious temperament. (Final Fantasy XII)
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