Each gamer has his/her own favorite Final Fantasy Game from this amazing series. It may be comprised of 8-bit, 16-bit or even the gorgeous 3D graphics of the recent installments, but across these forms, there are certain things that seem to linger, finding their way into each and every game. No matter the game, expect them to pop-up as you go through each adventure, sometimes in unexpected ways. There are lots of recurring characters/creatures out there but here are our favorites of the bunch:
Often times a random monster encountered by your party, this alien-looking creature has a frightening form that is seemingly comprised of plant parts, serpent parts, numerous eyes and a massive mouth full of sharp teeth, ready to devour your party. If this isn’t enough to daunt you, his mere presence reeks of disease and sickness, which your party will experience if not dispatched with alacrity. Its signature “Bad Breath” may sound funny, but make no mistake. IT. WILL. HURT.
When you see this fiend, make sure you have antidotes and remedies aplenty in your stock! Or Run. Just Run.
9. Ultros/Orthros & Chupon/Typhon
It’s always a good feeling when you know that your best bud has your back, especially if you’re out for some chaos and mischief. Such is the case for our dynamic (be it a bit lunatic) duo of Ultros and Chupon! Ultros, also known as Orthoros in some FF games, is a cheeky purple octopus with fangs and looooots of tentacles, delivering corny jokes and making lewd comments about the girls in the party. Uwee hee hee!
Infuriating but funny in his own way, you can make short work of Ultros but beware! His buddy Chupon, or Typhon/Typhoon in some FF games, won’t be too far to back him up. And unlike the goofy octopus, this guy actually packs a mean punch! He’s a big floating monster with two faces. One in front, one behind. In some games, he is actually a summon! You can call on him and his wind powers for help. FUNGAH!!!
Tonberries, or Dingleberries/Pugs in some FF games, are docile looking creatures, sporting a robe and a lantern to guide them. But if you look closely, you’ll see that they are actually holding a knife (a chef’s knife) as they walk slowly towards your party. If this is not ominous enough, they are very tough to bring down and you’ll find the party throwing everything they have at it, and for a good reason too. Once this monster reaches you, you can only expect death!
Despite the tough battle it gives, the rewards upon defeating them are usually worth the trouble. In some games, they are also summons, while in others there are unique versions like the Tonberry King.
Imagine little cactus men chasing you through the dessert and dealing exactly 1,000 damage (no more, no less) with their thorns. This is exactly what the Cactuars do with their stiff, right angled limbs and trademark faces, making them mainstays of the franchise. They might look funny, but they are actually feisty, fast and hard to hit. In some FF games, they are summons, enabling you to use their stings to hurt your opponents, while in others feature a special version of these cacti like the Gigantuar. Love them or hate them, the Cactuar gives you a pose to use during those “wacky” picture ops.
This sometimes Boss, sometimes summon is a fearsome entity emitting an intimidating aura as he wields his numerous weapons (using his multiple arms, of course) that the party encounters during certain parts of the game. Often times, he’s on a journey, looking for rare weapons he wants to add to his growing collection.
The creation of this character was inspired from an ancient Sumerian king, the main character of the Epic of Gilgamesh. And true to the source material, players can expect him to be formidable and relentless, making sure that they properly prepare before encountering him.
Bow down to the king… of dragons. Here comes Bahamut! Inspired by ancient figures and creatures, this magnificent beast is one of the biggest baddies in the games, giving you a definitive idea of how a dragon should be depicted. With its signature attack, Megaflare, it can tip the scales of battle putting your party on the brink or giving you some breathing space if used as a summon. But before you get ahead of yourself, you must first prove your worth before you can actually get Bahamut as a summon, often times having to go through difficult battles and tasks to get his help. Nonetheless, Bahamut is arguably one of the strongest summons around and a definite boost to your party once acquired.
4. Biggs & Wedge
If you play through a Final Fantasy game, you can expect this pair to come in, playing minor roles but always together. A nod to Star Wars (named after Red Squadron wingmen: Biggs Darklighter and Wedge Antilles), the party may encounter them as soldiers, tradesmen, or freedom fighters. Hey, they even appear in Kingdom Hearts so that says a lot about them, albeit a running gag.
Highwind, Thunder God (of the) Lufaine… a lot of titles have been attributed to this name and the list will continue as long as there are FF games. Every FF has its Cid, be it an inventor, a pilot, or an antagonist, a Cid will appear or be mentioned. However, despite being from different stories, there a few traits that tie the Cids together. They are usually of mechanically-inclined minds, inventors and/or engineers. They also have a strange affinity to the airships of their worlds, as they are sometimes the inventors of the technology or sometimes its pilots.
Unlike Biggs and Wedge, Cids usually affect the storyline of the game, having involvement in the technological or political affairs of their world. To give you a better idea of Cid’s role in the Final Fantasy series, here’s a quote from 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.” – Hironobu Sakaguchi, EGM2 August 1997
Moogles are a cute and cuddly race that live in the various final fantasy worlds. They’re small creatures, usually distinguished by a red pom pom hanging from their heads, small bat-like wings and their diminutive size. Over the series, their appearance have changed where sometimes they look like rodents, cats and other times as marsupials. Earlier versions of the Moogles can only communicate using their signature “Kupo!” but recent versions are able to speak the common tongue albeit accompanied by a “kupo!” here and there.
Cute as they are, they assist the party in their travels with offers of treasures, sending a member to join them or even helping with the mail!
Are you looking for a noble stead to take you across those perilous terrain? Then mount on these swift and steadfast… Chocobos! No Final Fantasy would be complete without these yellow oversized birds. Arguably, the mascots of the series, these overgrown canaries serve several roles for our heroes, from standard mounts (horses), summons and even party members. They’re essentially flightless birds, similar to ostriches, with yellow feathers. However, there are other rare breeds rare that have black, red and other colors and have special abilities such as flight. There is even a version called a Fat Chocobo! Riding one instantly plays their signature upbeat music, reflecting their friendly and cheerful nature as they take you to different locations on the map.
Ride them, train them, or even breed them, the Chocobos make our adventures more enjoyable and fun! It’s hard not to like these birds… Heck, they even have their own spin-off series for crying out loud! Kweh!
So there you have it! These are the characters and creatures, which make our FF experience a whole lot brighter and more enjoyable. It has already been a “mini game” of mine to spot these characters in each installment and spin-off. And with Final Fantasy XV scheduled to be released this year, looks like the hunt for them will start again soon!