Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy I

Final Fantasy takes place in an unnamed fantasy world with three large continents. The elemental powers of this world are determined by the state of four glowing crystals (“orbs” in the original North American localization), each governing one of the four classical elements: earth, fire, water, and wind.

In the two centuries prior to the start of the game, violent storms sunk a massive shrine that served as the center of an ocean-based civilization, and the water crystal went dark. Two centuries before then, a group of people known as the Lufenian, who used the power of the wind crystal to craft giant aerial stations (“Flying Fortresses”) and airships, watched their country decline as the wind crystal went dark. Eventually, the earth and fire crystals also went dark, plaguing the earth with raging wildfires and devastating the agricultural town of Melmond as the plains and vegetation decayed. Some time later, a sage called Lukahn tells of a prophecy that four Warriors of Light will come to save the world in a time of darkness.

The game begins with the appearance of the four youthful Warriors of Light, the protagonists of the story. The Warriors of Light each carry a darkened Crystal, one of each element. They arrive at Cornelia, a powerful kingdom that has just witnessed the kidnapping of its princess, Sarah, by a rogue knight named Garland who wants to acquire the kingdom. The Warriors of Light travel to the ruinedChaos Shrine in the corner of Cornelia, defeat Garland, and return Princess Sarah home. The grateful King of Cornelia builds a bridge that enables the Warriors of Light passage east of the country.

Traveling east, the Warriors of Light learn that a dark elf wizard named Astos has been terrorizing the area surrounding the inland sea of the southern continent, Elfheim, stealing a crystal that the witch Matoya needs for sight, putting the prince of the elves into a coma, and stealing the crown of a minor western king. As they travel, they liberate the town of Pravoka from a band of pirates and acquire the pirates’ ship for their own use. The Warriors of Light now have the ability to travel across the water, but remain trapped within the Aldean Sea, in the center of a large continent. A large rock blocks the only exit from this sea. There is a group of dwarves in Mount Duergar trying to remove the rock, but they find themselves unable to proceed without Nitro Powder. The Nitro Powder is contained in a locked room in Castle Cornelia, the only key to which is held by the sleeping elven prince. They retrieve the stolen crown, only to find that the minor king was actually Astos. After defeating Astos, the Warriors of Light recover Matoya’s crystal and return it to the witch, who makes them an herb that will awaken the elven prince. The prince gives them the Mystic Key, with which they travel to Castle Cornelia and retrieve the Nitro Powder, which they then take to the dwarves to help them finish their canal. With the rock now cleared, the Warriors of Light proceed into the greater world.

Sailing to Melmond, the Warriors of Light seek out and destroy the Fiend of Earth, the Lich, who is responsible for the earth’s rotting. The Warriors of Light then enter the volcano Mount Gulg and defeat the Fiend of Fire, Marilith (“Kary”), who was awakened two hunded years prematurely by the Lich’s defeat. The Warriors then acquire an Airship and visit the Cardia Islands to meet with the dragon king Bahamut who gives them the task of surviving the Citadel of Trials and getting proof of their deeds. When they return he gives them greater Job Classes, improvements of their original ones. The Warriors then defeat the Fiend of Water, the Kraken, in an underwater palace near Onrac, and Tiamat, the Fiend of Wind, in the Flying Fortress. The four Fiends defeated, and the crystals restored, the Warriors find that their quest is not yet over: The Fiends created an archdemon, Chaos, using the body of Garland, and sent him 2,000 years into the past. Following Chaos into the past, the Warriors discover that it was Chaos who had sent the four Fiends into the future, creating a time loop paradox.

The Warriors of Light, upon defeating Chaos, return to their own time, but having broken the time loop, the rest of the world are consigned to be completely unaware that the entire ordeal had taken place, though the Warriors themselves don’t recall their adventure either.

Final Fantasy II

The story concerns the adventures of four youngsters from the kingdom of Fynnnamed Firion, Maria, Guy and Leon. Their parents are killed during an invasion by the army of The Emperor of Palamecia, who has summoned forth monsters from Hell in his quest to dominate the world.

Fleeing the Emperor’s monsters, the four are attacked and left for dead. Firion, Maria, and Guy are rescued by Princess Hilda of Fynn, who has established a rebel base in the nearby town of Altair. Eager to prove their value to the resistance movement, the three remaining youths undertake a variety of missions against Palamecia and join forces with a variety of allies not only to defeat the Emperor, but to locate Maria’s missing brother Leon as well. After Hilda asks Firion, Maria and Guy to go to Fynn to talk to Prince Scott, the party go to Fynn and they found out that Scott is in a secret place of the town. When the party finally finds him in a secret room in the town Pub, he is in the last moments of his life, but he was still able to tell the party that the defeat of Fynn was because of Count Borghen’s betrayal. He also tells the party about his brother Gordon, telling that he knows that Gordon has a great strength to take the throne after him. Scott then gives Firion his ring to bring back to Hilda and tells him that he will always love Hilda, using his last breath to say those words. The party returns to Altair and Firion gives the ring to Hilda; she recognizes it as Scott’s ring and asks Firion to keep it saying that is a ring from a brave man. After that she asks the party to go to Salamand to search for Mythril. Josef, a member of the rebellion was sent to search for that material, but Hilda never heard anything from him since he left to go to Salamand. Minwu also joins the party for this mission.

The party finds Josef, but he is unwilling to give any information, as the Palamecian empire had kidnapped Nelly, Josef’s daughter, and Borghen threatened to kill her if he helped the resistance. The party travels to the Semitt Falls where Nelly is held and frees her from the empire. After defeating one of the imperial Sergeants, they take the Mythril and make their way back to Altair.

After the weaponsmith Tobul crafts Mythril Equipment for the Resistance the party is dispatched to Bafsk. The Palamecian Empire had enslaved the residents and made them build a powerful airship known as the Dreadnought. This was being built under the watchful eye of an imperial known as the Dark Knight, however he had been withdrawn after the empire lost the Mythril and was replaced by the hapless Borghen. This gave the resistance the perfect opportunity to destroy the Dreadnought before it is finished. However, just before the party reach the massive airship from the Bafsk Sewers, the Dark Knight, who did not leave Bafsk after all, appeared and took off with the Dreadnought before the party reaches it. The Dreadnought attacks the cities of Poft, Paloom, Gatrea and Altair, but miraculously the secret base at Altair is unharmed. A plan is formed to use the Sunfire from Kasuhan Keep, but to enter, either the Goddess Bell or the voice of a Kashuan is needed to open the keep. Josef helps the party enter the snow caves with a snowcraft, and the party retrieves the bell. On the way out, Borghen attacks the party, and although he is defeated, he sends a boulder after the party. Josef holds back the boulder to allow the party to escape, but is crushed by the boulder, dying in the process.

With heavy hearts, but renewed determination to avenge Josef, the party heads for the abandoned kingdom of Kashuan to retrieve the Sunfire. The party uses the Goddess Bell to infiltrate the Keep, and meet with Gordon, who helps them to locate Egil’s Torch, the only vessel that the Sunfire will carry to. The party defeats a Red Soul for the torch, and pass the Sunfire to the torch. As they leave, they witness Cid’s Airship being commandeered by the Dreadnought, which then parks to replenish fuel supplies in the far south. The party heads there, frees Cid (and Hilda, who was on board Cid’s Airship), and throws the Sunfire into the Dreadnought’s engine as directed by Cid, thus destroying it once and for all.

The party returns triumphantly to Altair, only to learn that the King is almost ready to die. With his last breaths, he forms a three-pronged attack on the Empire in an attempt to take back Fynn. In this plan, Minwu would head to Mysidia to retrieve Ultima, the ultimate magic tome; Gordon would command the rebel army to attack Fynn directly; and Firion’s party would head to the island nation of Deist to enlist the aid of the Dragoons. With the help of Leila, the pirate captain, the party reaches Deist, only to find that a single Wyvern, poisoned by the Empire, remains alive. It gives the party the last Wyvern Egg, which the party then drops in the healing spring at the bottom of Deist Cavern in order to incubate it and hasten its growth process.

The party returns to Altair empty-handed, to the surprise that the Hilda they rescued at the Dreadnought is not really Hilda at all; it is a Lamia Queen that acted as an impostor. The real Hilda is being held as a prize in the tournament at the Palamecian Coliseum. The party, with Gordon in tow, make haste to reach Hilda, defeating a Behemoth at the Coliseum to earn Hilda as a prize. However, The Emperor, who was overseeing the match personally, dispatches the party and has them thrown in the dungeons. They are saved by Paul the traveling thief, who unlocks their cell. Hilda and Gordon then escape on their own while the rest of the party draws the attention of the guards.

An attack is planned on Castle Fynn, and the rebel army sets up just outside of town. Firion, Maria, Guy, and Leila lead the attack, and the castle’s incumbent, Gottos, is defeated, earning the rebels an important victory. However, Minwu and the Ultima Tome are nowhere to be found, so Gordon instructs the party to look for him and retrieve the Tome from the Mysidian Tower. After obtaining the Crystal Rod, the party heads for the Tower, only to be swallowed by Leviathan. Shipwrecked and without Leila, the party works its way from Leviathon’s innards to the mouth, where, with the help of Ricard Highwind the Dragoon, they are able to retake the ship by defeating a Roundworm. They then head for the Tower, best the trials within, and find Minwu at the Chamber of the Seal, desperately trying to break it to open the way to Ultima. In one last ditch effort, Minwu succeeds, but at a hefty price: he, too, succumbs to death to allow the party to succeed in defeating the Emperor.

The party takes Ultima and returns to Fynn, but something is amiss. The towns of Altair, Gatrea, Paloom, and Poft have been destroyed by a mysterious force known as the Cyclone. It threatens to tear the world asunder if the party cannot figure out how to stop it. However, Gordon’s idea of “sprouting wings” paves the way for the hatching of the last Wyvern, who comes to the castle to help the party reach the Cyclone.

Eventually, the party defeats the Emperor in the Cyclone. After the death of the Emperor, Leon, whom the party knew as the Emperor’s Dark Knight and his right-hand man, decides to crown himself as the new Emperor. Firion and his party go to Palameciato stop him, but when the party faces Leon, the Emperor comes back from Hell, now with more power than ever and the intention of reclaiming his Empire. Ricard Highwind stays in the castle of Palamecia to fight the Emperor, so that the party and Leon can escape from the castle on the Wyvern, but the Emperor kills the Dragoon with ease. After the death of Ricard, the Dark Emperor raises Castle Pandaemonium, the fortress of the Lord of Hell, to start a new Empire. After returning to Deist to earn Excalibur, the treasured sword of the Dragoons, the party fights its way through the Jade Passage, getting into Pandaemonium from underneath, as all other forms of approach are impossible. Inside the castle, the party fights its way through several of the Emperor’s most powerful minions, including the reincarnation of General Borghen himself, en route to the Emperor’s throne at the top of the castle.

A fierce battle ensues, as the Emperor attempts to destroy the only form of resistance to his rule that may pose a threat. Despite his powerful spells and his ability to call down meteors when no such spell is available to the player on the game, the Emperor eventually succumbs to defeat, and dissipates into nothing, damned to the very Hell he directed against the party for so long. Firion and the party breathe a sigh of relief, and then return to Castle Fynn, where Hilda, Gordon, Nelly, Leila, and Paul all wait to congratulate the party on the victory. In the aftermath of the battle, life begins anew for all these characters; however, Leon is skeptical of his own future, since so much has gone on between the party members and him. Despite Maria’s protests, Firion lets Leon go, but reminds him that there is always a place for him there in Fynn, where he belongs.

In the Game Boy Advance and PlayStation Portable versions, a new story, titled Soul of Rebirth, told the tales of the four party members who died defending Firion and his party in an attempt to see the Emperor defeated.

Minwu wakes up to find himself in a mysterious cave and tries to figure out where he is. He later finds Scott, the prince of Kashuan, who had died earlier on in the game. After defeating a few soldiers, the two find Josef, who is confronted by a hideous zombie-version of Borghen. The three of them defeat Borghen, and start searching for answers about where they are. In the process of doing this, they find Ricard, who is fighting the Roundworm, and aid him in battle. He then joins Minwu’s party. The party finds their way out of the passage, where they find that they are, in fact, in the afterlife. The town of Machanon was built as a safe house for all the souls trapped in this unknown dimension of the afterlife. Here, they find Cid, Tobul, and other rebels, who helped to build the place, and encourage the party to explore the other two mysterious portals that appeared in Machanon not long ago.

After adjusting themselves to the difficult battles of the afterlife, Minwu and the party enter one of the portals, and find themselves in the Chamber of the Seal, Minwu’s resting place. Again, Minwu must break the seal; however, this time, he is powerful enough to break the seal without sustaining any fatal injuries. The party enters the chamber and attempts to claim Ultima, but are met with the guardian of the spell in the afterlife: the Ultima Weapon. After a fierce duel, the party is able to defeat the monster, and claim Ultima as their own.

This left one final portal, which lead to the Unknown Palace. Like Pandaemonium before it, the Palace is guarded by fierce creatures, and contains some of the most powerful equipment on the game within it. Specifically, Minwu’s party find four exclusive pieces of equipment: the Stardust Rod (for Minwu), the Wild Rose (for Scott), the Bracers (for Josef), and the Wyvern Lance (for Ricard).

After all the battles, the party meets the Light Emperor, who then asks for forgiveness for the actions of his dark side. The Light Emperor tells them that he split into two entities when he was originally defeated, and that Firion and the party defeated the dark half in Pandaemonium. He also explains that they are actually in Arubboth, the passage to Heaven, and that they can finally rest in peace. The four are lead to believe his words; however, the subconscious souls of their still-living friends and family appear and tell them that they must not be fooled by the Light Emperor, because in reality, he is just as evil as the Dark Emperor. The party recover their lost will to fight and defeat the Light Emperor. After his defeat, the four heroes return (at least in spirit) to Castle Fynn, where they witness the events that played out at the end of the regular game. These events are told from their perspective this time, and the player is given an explanation as to why Firion saw the ghosts of the four dead heroes at the conclusion of the regular game. The story ends with Minwu, Scott, Josef, and Ricard finally fading away, presumably going to Heaven for real this time.

Final Fantasy III

Many years ago, on a Floating Continent hovering high above the surface of an unnamed planet, a technologically advanced civilization sought to harness the power of the four elemental crystals of light. They did not realize that they could not hope to control such fundamental forces of nature. This power of light would have consumed the world itself had the light crystals not had their natural counterparts: the four dark elemental crystals. Disturbed by the sudden interruption of the careful balance of the light and the dark, four warriors were granted the power of the dark crystals in order to re-contain the power of the light crystals. These so-called Dark Warriors succeeded in their quest, and restored harmony to the world. But their victory came too late to save the doomed civilization that had foolishly tried to harness the power of the crystals to begin with. Their once-proud culture was reduced to ruin, though their floating continent remained, a reminder of what had come before. And on that very continent, the circle of Gurgans, a race of blind soothsayers and fortune-tellers, predicted that eventually things would come full circle. Just as the power of light can be abused, so too can the power of darkness. And when that occurred, the crystals of the light would call forth their own champions to restore balance to the world….

One day, an earthquake opens up a previously hidden cavern in Altar Cave near the village of Ur on the floating continent. Four orphaned youths under the care of Topapa, the village elder, go exploring and come across a crystal of light. The Crystal of Wind. The crystal grants them a portion of its power and their first several jobs, and instructs them to go forth and restore balance to the world. Not knowing what to make of the crystal’s pronouncements, but nonetheless recognizing the importance of its words, the four inform their adoptive family of their mission and set out to explore.

In the DS Version, only Luneth falls down and discovers the Crystal of Wind, and is not initially granted its power. After receiving his task, he goes to find his friend Arc, who is being picked on by the other kids of the village. Together they journey to Kazus, the village cursed by the Djinn. They seek out Refia, and all three journey to Castle Sasune to see the King and retrieve the Mythril Ring. They are granted access by the royal guard Ingus, who becomes their fourth companion.

The four journey back to Kazus and enter the Sealed Cave. There they findPrincess Sara, who has the Ring and with her help, they are able to defeat the Djinn. She returns to the castle while they are transported to the Altar Cave, where lies the Wind Crystal. It bestows upon them its light and several jobs, and officially makes them the warriors of light. They are instructed to restore the other crystals and bring equilibrium back to the world.

Back at Castle Sasune, Princess Sara uses the Mythril Ring to break the curse and free the people. The warriors say farewell, Ingus promising to return to visit Sara, and then go and find Cid in Kazus. He uses his airship to aid them in ramming the boulder that blocks their way. Unfortunately it comes at the cost of the airship, rendering the party land bound. In order to fulfill their destiny they must find King Argus, however, they must first find a ship.

In the mean time, they journey to the town of Canaan and meet Cid’s wife and a strange girl named Salina. She mourns the disappearance of her love, Desch. The four, hearing that he bought the last Mini spell which they were searching for, journey to Dragon’s Peak where he was last seen. After scaling the peak, they encounter and are kidnapped by Bahamut, who drops them off at its nest. There they encounter the mysterious Desch. They learn that he has lost his memory, and so he decides to join them in hopes of regaining it.

Using Desch’s Mini spell, the group heads for Tozus, the hidden village of the gnomes. The main purpose in traveling there is to pass through Tozus Tunnel, beneath the Myranos Mountains, and reach Vikings Cove, where they may acquire a ship. However, they find the Vikings in an uproar as their feared water deity, the Nepto Dragon, has become wild and angry. The Viking Chief requests the warrior’s aid.

They journey to the Nepto Temple, and there they find that an idol of the Nepto Dragon is missing an eye jewel. They shrink down in order to work their way through the tunnels inside the Temple walls, and fight enemies along the way. Eventually they find the missing eye in the horde of a rat, and after defeating it, the four take the eye. After this, they return the eye to the socket it was stolen from, and appease the angry Nepto Dragon. In gratitude, the Vikings bestow upon the heroes the good ship Enterprise.

Sailing upon the Enterprise, the heroes then explore the continent. They travel to the Village of the Ancients, and learn that the continent they are on is actually floating above the old world. They eventually find the Tower of Owen. They battle through the tower, hearing taunts from a mysterious person every now and again. When they reach the main room, they find Medusa, servant of Xande, waiting for them. After defeating her, Desch’s memory comes back. He recalls that he is one of the ancients who was the Guardian of the Tower. He also tells the warriors that the tower is the force keeping the floating continent up. As it threatens to fall, Desch leaps into the central furnace, much to Refia’s dismay. The tower soon stops shaking and the four leave.

They head for Dwarven Hallows, in search of the Fire Crystal. The dwarves are preoccupied because one of their precious ice horns was stolen by Gutsco the Rogue. They follow him into the subterranean lake, making use of the Toad Spell. After “defeating” him, they make their way back up to Dwarven Hallows, followed by a mysterious shadow. When they reach the main altar, Gutsco reveals himself and grabs both horns.

The four pursue him again, this time into the Molten Cave. Gutsco leads them straight to the Crystal of Fire, whose power he absorbs. He turns into a dragon and the battle ensues. After defeating Gutsco a second time, they receive the Light of the Fire Crystal and several additional jobs, and return the Horns of Ice.

With their new jobs and abilities, the Warriors of Light sailed to Tokkul, a village left in shambles. There they learn that the evil Hein, adviser to King Argus, has captured the King, enslaved the people, and uprooted the Elder Tree from the Living Woods. They are attacked and kidnapped by Hein’s men, and taken to Castle Hein, which is actually the floating Elder Tree.

The warriors of light defeat the evil sorcerer and restore the Elder Tree. Upon reaching Castle Argus, King Argus welcomes them and thanks them for their deeds. They receive the Wheel of Time from the King, and finally takes it back to Cid. He then changes their ship into an airship and tells them the truth. The four of them are not from the floating continent but are instead from the world below. They were traveling with Cid when they were very young, and ran into a mysterious cloud. The ship crashed and Cid never saw them again. Made even more curious by the news, the four travel back to the world below and find that their “continent” is nothing but a small island on the face of a huge world.

The Overworld is a swirling mess of darkness with a few large landmasses visible here and there. They fly the Enterprise to a wrecked ship and find an old man tending to a young girl inside. They aid her with a potion and immediately she recovers. She instantly recognizes them as the Warriors of Light and asks if the world is no longer frozen. Hearing that it isn’t restored, Aria, the girl, journeys with the warriors to the Temple of Water and recovers the shard of the Water Crystal. Using the shard, she opens the way to the Cave of Tides.

She reveals that she is one of the last Priestesses of Water. They make their way to the Crystal, and Aria returns the shard. As she stepped from the altar, she instructs the warriors to return the light to the crystal. As they approach, Aria suddenly pushed Luneth out of the way of a blast of magic. She falls, and Kracken reveals himself. The four battle him, and once he falls, light is restored to the Crystal and the World is returned to normal, as Aria slowly dies.

In the new world, the four awaken in the Town of Amur. They find their ship tied with a chain, and so journey to Goldor’s Mansion to retrieve the key and the Fourth Crystal. Goldor shatters the crystal, but drops the key. They return to Amur and free the Enterprise.

They fly around, visiting several towns, but are shot down over the Megalopolis of Saronia. They find the kingdom in uproar over the decrees of the seemingly mad king. The army has been divided against itself and shops everywhere have been closed. They find the King’s son, Prince Alus in South west Saronia, who has been banished from the castle by his own father. Arc convinces the rest to aid him. Strangely, they are permitted to enter the castle upon their return but later that night, Alus wakes up to find his father standing over his bed with a knife. His father plunges the knife into his own stomach and is immediately free from the spell placed upon him by Garuda. They fight and kill Garuda, and Prince Alus becomes the new king.

Shortly afterwards, scholars inform the party that the airship Nautilus has been unearthed. Using it, the party journeys the perilous skies to the Dalg Continent. There they meet Doga and his Moogle body guards in Doga’s Mansion. He joins their party and he uses mini on them to enter The Cave of the Circle. When they reach the end of the cave, Doga uses a spell to make the Nautilus capable of safe underwater travel, making it a submarine in addition to an airship. He tells The Warriors of Light to go to the Temple of Timeand recover Noah’s Lute, which would awaken Unei, the guardian of the dream realm, from her eternal slumber. He then leaves the warriors, asking them to give Unei his regards.

Doing as Doga had asked of them, the light warriors use Noah’s Lute to awaken Unei. She happily joins the party and together, they go to the Ancient Ruins and manage to take control of a large airship called the Invincible. After telling the Warriors of Light of its many uses, she bids them farewell.

When the party travels to the Cave of Shadows, they find the Fang of Earth, and they head back to Doga’s Manor to visit Doga and Unei. Upon entering Doga’s manor, they are teleported to a cave, in which Doga and Unei are waiting. There, they tell the Warriors of Light to defeat them in battle. Reluctantly, they do as they are told and are explained why they were needed to be killed. As it turns out, their souls were needed to power the keys needed to open the forbidden land of Eureka and Crystal Tower.

Before entering the Crystal Tower, they go through the Maze of the Ancients, which is where the final crystal was held. After receiving said crystal, the warriors travel through the Crystal Tower and attempt to cross over to the Dark World. Before crossing, they find themselves under the curse of the Five Wyrms, which holds the party locked in place. Doga remedies this by finding five past allies of the warriors to break the curse. The five allies are Princess Sara, Cid, Desch- who did not die upon hurling himself into the tower, King Alus, and one of the four old men from Amur. After interrupting the curse, the allies wishing the light warriors the best of luck, and the heroes reach the portal to the World of Darkness.

In front of the black vortex, the warriors confront Xande and defeat him. After he dies, they face the Cloud of Darkness, who was manipulating Xande without his knowledge to reduce the world to nothingness. They fail to defeat their enemy and are killed in the process. Fortunately, with the light of the five allies that had helped them before, they are revived and continue into the World of Darkness. Within, they defeat four malevolent beings, who were guarding dark counterparts of the crystals. These crystals reveal the four Warriors of the Dark, who stopped the Light from engulfing their world many years ago.

When they all face the Cloud of Darkness again, the four Warriors of the Dark sacrifice themselves so that the Warriors of Light are able to defeat their adversary. With one last battle, the Cloud of Darkness is defeated and the heroes and their allies all return to their homes. The old man returns to Amur, Alus returns to his kingdom, and Cid and Desch return home to their lovers. Sara on the other hand, does not want to leave Ingus, and stays with him a while longer. Each of the heroes end up going their own ways, with Ingus and Sara returning to Castle Sasune, Refia taking up blacksmithing again in Kazus, and Luneth and Arc returning to Ur. This conflicts slightly with the Famicom version, in which all of the main characters returned to Ur together.

Final Fantasy IV

The most powerful nation in the world, the Empire of Baron, begins utilizing its unparalleled air force, the Red Wings, and its legions of Dark Knights to attack peaceful nations in search of four Crystals, each corresponding to a different classical element. Cecil Harvey, a Dark Knight and leader of the Red Wings, begins to question the king’s motives after forcibly stealing the Water Crystal from the wizards’ town of Mysidia. Upon questioning the king, Cecil falls from grace and is stripped of his rank and sent, along with his friend, the Dragoon Kain Highwind, to deliver a package to the Village of Mist. Prior to setting out on his quest, Cecil receives emotional support from White Mage Rosa Joanna Farrell, his life-long friend whose feelings for him have grown beyond mere friendship, and Cid Pollendina, Baron’s airship engineer and father-figure to Cecil. Upon reaching Mist, the explosives in the package destroy the entire town and kill most of its inhabitants.Cecil and Kain find a young female survivor named Rydia. Cecil decides to take her with them but Rydia summons Titan and Kain is no-where to be found. Cecil, now angered with Baron and the Red Wings, initiates a quest to stop them. On his journey back to Baron, Cecil encounters Rosa stricken with Desert Fever; an elderly wizard, Tellah; the cowardly and emotional prince of Damcyan, Edward Chris von Muir; and the powerful Monk of Fabul, Yang Fang Leiden. Cecil also encounters Kain, who is proceeding with the theft of the remainder of the crystals for Baron. He is followed shortly after by a man named Golbez because Kain was not able to kill Cecil. During a skirmish, Rosa is kidnapped by Golbez. The party soon discovers that Golbez is manipulating Kain and Baron’s Emperor in order to retrieve the Crystals. After a ship attack by the sea monster Leviathan, Cecil becomes stranded near Mysidia, where he is forced to repent for his previous crimes by becoming a holy Paladin. It is here that he also meets the apprentice mages Palomand Porom, who guide and monitor him along his journey up Mt. Ordeals. They are joined by Tellah, who seeks the power of Meteor, and after battling fiend of earth Scarmiglione twice, Cecil overcomes his darkness and becomes a Paladin. Tellah also remembers his spells and learns Meteor, which he cannot yet use.

After Cecil attains Paladain status, the party invades Baron via the Devil’s Road. However, Golbez has manipulated the soldiers of Baron, and even replaced the king with Cagnazzo, fiend of water, whom Cecil and company destroy. Cid manages to escape his cell sometime during this incident, and after the twins intentionally petrify themselves to stop a deathtrap, the party takes to the skies in Cid’s airship. Cecil soon encounters the brainwashed Kain, who forces Cecil to retrieve the Crystal of earth in exchange for the life of Rosa. After Cecil and company retrieve the crystal from the dark elf, Kain leads the group to the tower of Zot, where Rosa is being held by Golbez. Upon facing Golbez directly, Tellah seizes the moment and attacks him with Meteor, the use of which kills Tellah, but which injures, though does not kill Golbez, causing him to retreat to heal. Seemingly as a result of Golbez’s injuries, the mind control on Kain is shattered, and he explains that Golbez has not retrieved all of the Crystals; four more, called the Dark Crystals, are hidden in the underground land of the Dwarves, and Golbez has already stolen two of them. The party rescues Rosa, and after destroying Barbariccia, fiend of wind, they unlock a path to the underground and seek the Dark Crystals.

Cecil and company chase Golbez into the Dark World, and attempt to capture the crystals before Golbez does. However, they lose one against battle with Golbez in the Dwarven Castle, after which Rydia rejoins the party. Later, after the Tower of Babil the apparent sacrifices of Yang and Cid, and after Ninja prince of Eblan, Edge joins the party, and the defeat of Rubicante, Cecil’s party again comes up short; Golbez apprehends the the remaining crystal, by reasserting his never released mind control over Kain, who steals the last Crystal from Cecil and runs off. Golbez then retreats to the planet’s second moon. In order to discover what plan Golbez has for the Crystals and hopefully stop it, Cecil follows Golbez to the second moon using the ancient starship the “Lunar Whale” hidden in Mysidia’s bay.

On the moon, Cecil meets Fusoya, who explains to him that he is descended from a race known as Lunarians, who originated on a planet that was destroyed to form an asteroid belt. Cecil’s father, Kluya, was responsible for storing the Crystals, which correspond to Crystals on the moon that hold the thoughts of the Lunarians, on the planet and introducing technological advances such as the airship. However, some Lunarians, led by Zemus, plan to wipe out all life on the planet for Lunarian inhabitation. It is revealed that Zemus is manipulating Golbez and Kain, and that he plans to use the Crystals to revive a giant android, the Giant of Babil, and clear the planet for this purpose.

Accompanied by Fusoya, who can neutralize the Giant of Babil’s force field, Cecil returns to the planet to find the Giant revived. The entire world- including former party members Edward, Cid, Yang, and the twins Palom and Porom- participates in the attack. After using Cid’s airship to break into the Giant, the party defeats theArchfiends working in tandem, and destroys the CPU. Upon stopping the giant, the party is confronted by Golbez, intent on destroying them. Fusoya is able to break Zemus’s control over Golbez and Kain. In the scenes that follow, Cecil discovers that Golbez is actually his brother. Golbez and FuSoYa head to the moon to attempt to defeat Zemus, and Cecil’s party follows. After fighting his way to the core of the moon, Cecil watches Golbez and FuSoYa defeat Zemus, only to discover that his death unleashed a more powerful being named Zeromus, the personification of Zemus’ pure hatred. Zeromus easily defeats Golbez and Fusoya, then attacks the rest of Cecil’s party. It takes the united life force of all beings, combined with a special Crystal provided by Golbez, for Cecil and his party to defeat Zeromus.

After Zeromus’s defeat, Fusoya returns to sleep with the rest of his people. Golbez, feeling that he cannot return to the earth after what he has done, and being half Lunarian himself, goes with him. Before he does, Cecil forgives him and calls him brother. Later, the moon heads off into space, and many of the characters return to their homes, several in order to rebuild them. Kain goes to Mount Ordeals to train himself, vowing not to return to Baron until he has proven himself worthy. The important characters in the game (excluding Kain) attend Cecil and Rosa’s wedding, as Cecil becomes King of Baron.

Final Fantasy V

The main character, Bartz Klauser, a lone wanderer who rides a chocobo named Boko, notices a meteor crash in the woods near Tycoon. There, he comes across a young woman, under attack by goblins. He rescues her, and she reveals her name; Lenna Charlotte Tycoon. After their conversation, they discover an old man near the meteor who is unable to remember anything except for his name: Galuf Doe. Lenna reveals that she is on her way to the Wind Shrine, where her father, Alexander Highwind Tycoon, the king of Tycoon, has gone to discover why the wind has suddenly ceased. Galuf, suddenly realizing that he needs to go there (though he has no idea why), goes with her. Bartz continues on his way, but is unable to get far before his chocobo forces him to return and rescue Lenna and Galuf from more goblins. The three decide to travel together to the Wind Shrine, but the path is blocked by the crash, leaving water as the only route.

Because there is no wind, there is no way to sail. However, the trio observes a pirate ship pulling into a secluded harbor, and they attempt to steal it. The captain, Faris Scherwiz, soon captures them, but recognizes Lenna’s pendant and decides to help them get to the Wind Shrine. Later, when the friends are stuck in the Ship Graveyard, while trying to change Faris’ wet clothes, the truth is revealed; that she is a woman.

They find that the four elemental crystals of Wind, Earth, Fire, and Water, are actually the seal binding Exdeath, a powerful warlock who tried to take over the world years before that came to being when a tree was possessed by an evil spirit, so that he does not attempt to do so again. Unfortunately, each crystal is being used to improve people’s living, effectively draining them of their power. As they try to obtain the crystals, however, one by one, they are destroyed.

As they attempt to save the last crystal, they meet Krile Mayer Baldesion, Galuf’s granddaughter, who helps Galuf retain his lost memories. However, as the final crystal is destroyed, Exdeath is freed from his seal and goes to Galuf’s homeworld. Galuf and Krile follow after him, but will not let Bartz, Lenna and Faris travel with them because of the danger. However, they manage to go to his world. When the party arrives, Exdeath is already wreaking havoc, battling Galuf’s armies on the Big Bridge. Afterward, Bartz, Lenna and Faris are captured. However, Galuf sneaks into Exdeath’s Castle to save them, defeatingGilgamesh, one of Ex-Death’s lieutenants, in the process. However, the warriors are blown to a distant continent when the barrier is activated during their escape and are forced to make their way back to Castle of Bal where it is revealed that Galuf is actually a king in this world. They are advised to see a sage named Ghido, but Exdeath manages to sink the sage’s island into the ocean.

The warriors join up with one of Galuf’s companions and former Warrior of Dawn, Xezat Matias Surgate, who is leading a fleet against Exdeath. They infiltrate one of the towers powering the barrier around Exdeath’s castle, but Xezat is forced to sacrifice his life in order to help them accomplish this. The warriors enter the castle, but find that it is sealed and learn of Exdeath looking for something in the Great Forest of Moore. They reach the Master Tree and dispel the seals, but Exdeath claims the power of the crystals and devastates them. Krile intervenes, but Exdeath holds her in a ring of fire. Galuf breaks his crystal, saves Krile and fights Exdeath until he collapses. Exdeath retreats and Galuf dies of his wounds, despite the party’s efforts to save him.

The party enters Exdeath’s castle and defeats him, but the three remaining crystals shatter and the worlds are reunited. They learn that he seeks the power of the Void, which had been sealed in the Interdimensional Rift, and was kept sealed by dividing the worlds. Exdeath eventually acquires this power, and he uses it across the world, consuming entire towns. Lenna is caught in the Void when Tycoon Castle is swallowed. Ghido, however, proposes that the party collect the four Slabs in order to unseal the twelve weapons used against Enuo, a being that had sought to use the Void.

The party seeks out the slabs and breaks the seals on the weapons. Exdeath, however, sends monsters sealed inside the Interdimensional Rift, called the Demons of the Rift, after them. The first Demon, Melusine, possesses Lenna, but is forced out when Tycoon Castle’s Hiryuu arrives. The party eventually enters the Interdimensional Rift, where Exdeath has acquired the power of the void, and shows his true form- that of a tree. The party survives the void with help from the original Four Warriors of Dawn and King Tycoon, and battle Exdeath. In the middle of the battle, Exdeath is overwhelmed by the Void and becomes Neo Exdeath, intent on destroying everything, even himself. The party defeats him.

The ending varies based on how many people are still alive at Neo Exdeath’s defeat. Cid receives a letter from one member of the party talking about what will happen in the future. If everyone survived, Krile will visit the Master Tree, and mourn for her grandfather, until the others cheer her up and remind her of her duty to protect the Crystals. If anyone in the group died during the battle, they will be unable to return home. The survivor or survivors will visit the Master Tree, and find that those who were lost in the battle have returned to life. They go and protect the crystals once more so they don’t break apart ever again.

Final Fantasy VI

Prologue

A thousand years ago, the War of the Magi erupted between three gods known as the Warring Triad. Faced with a need of powerful soldiers, the gods turned several groups of humans into magical creatures called Espers. Eventually, the gods realized that their war was having a negative impact on the planet. In order to repent, the gods freed the Espers that they created and turned themselves to stone.

When the war ended, the remaining humans and the Espers were burdened with differences in lifestyle, appearance, and opinion. As a result, the Espers retreated to a separate, hidden part of the world. Gradually, the human race has built a society based on technological power while forgetting the existence of the Espers. Now the most powerful technology is in the hands of the Empire, an expanding political power led by Emperor Gestahl and his top generals — Kefka Palazzo, Leo Cristophe and Celes Chère — which rules harshly over much of the world. Driven by legends of the immense power of the Espers, Gestahl has initiated a research program to combine magic and machinery, and the result of this program is Magitek. The Empire has channeled the concept of Magitek into vehicles known as Magitek Armor, which allows a soldier to use the power of magic without having Magicite crystals or Esper alignment. However, in order to develop and maintain Magitek, the Empire is forced to use actual Espers. Though the magical energy of Magitek is weak, the Empire seems on the verge of rediscovering the full potential of magic, which Gestahl intends to do by reopening the gateway to the world of the Espers.

The Mysterious Esper

The game begins with two Imperial Soldiers named Biggs and Wedge and an unnamed woman riding their Magitek Armors, on their way to the city of Narshe to examine a frozen Esper settled within. They entered the city, and the local guards begin to defend the Esper but they are easily defeated. They also battled a lightning whelk called Ymir, but it was also defeated. As they approach the Esper, the unnamed woman reacts to its power. The magic pulse the Esper released ultimately killed her companions and destroyed her Magitek Armor. Later, the woman awakes in the house of a man named Arvis who had destroyed her slave crown– the object that binds her will. She can’t remember everything except for her name: Terra. The local guards arrived to capture the “witch”, so he tells Terra to run away before she is caught.

While walking at the mines, she was cornered by the local guards. As she backs up, the ground crumbles, and she fell down. While unconscious, she remembered an Imperial General named Kefka, who had put the slave crown to force her will and follow his directions. She then remembers killing fifty of the finest soldiers of the Imperial army. Then, the leader of the empire, Emperor Gestahl, giving a speech alongside Terra and the Generals.

Back at Arvis’ house, a young man named Locke arrives. Arvis asks to find Terra and go after her, and he does. When he found Terra, she was still unconscious and the local guards are have arrived beneath and prepares to attack. Then, a creature named Mogand his moogle friends came to Locke’s aid, and with them, he dispatches the local guards, easily. Terra became conscious again, and together with Locke, escaped from Narshe through a hidden entrance.

Figaro Castle

Terra flees the town in the company of Locke and the two travel to the kingdom of Figaro. The King, Edgar, attempts to hide Terra from the Imperial ambassador Kefka, but Kefka sets his castle aflame.

The majority of the castle residents escape safely while Terra, Locke and Edgar travel to South Figaroand then the Returner Hideout, where the Returner leader Banon convinces Terra to help them fight the Empire. Edgar’s twin brother Sabin also joins them along the way.

The Returners

When the Returners receive word the Empire has attacked South Figaro, Locke goes to stymie their advance while Terra, Edgar, Sabin and Banon sail down the Lethe River to Narshe. Sabin is separated along the way after battling an octopus named Ultros, and the next part of the game is split into three quests.

Terra, Edgar and Banon continue to Narshe

Locke infiltrates Figaro, and flees after rescuing a traitor Imperial general, Celes Chere.

Sabin travels to Doma Castle with the help of the assassin Shadow.

Cyan the Lonesome

The Imperial Army is attacking the Doma Castle. Cyan Garamonde, the loyal retainer of the King of Doma, along with several soldiers, defended the castle. While Shadow and Sabin are spying on the Imperial Camp, General Leo was summoned to Vector byEmperor Gestahl, which left Kefka in charge. Shadow and Sabin overheard Kefka’s plans, and they attacked Kefka but he runs away. As the two were distracted and forced to fight some of the army, Kefka dumped the poison into Doma’s drinking waters, which killed almost all of the population of Doma. Cyan and a soldier survived as they didn’t drink the poisoned water. Enraged by the death of the King, his family, and the people of Doma, Cyan rushed to the Imperial Camp and attacked the army by himself. The pair saw Cyan and helped him. As a means of escape, Shadow, Sabin, and Cyan used three Magitek Armors and battled away the remaining army at the Imperial Camp.

As there is no one to return for, the trio proceeds to the Phantom Forest where they saw a strange Train, and boarded it. It is here that Cyan revealed that it’s the Phantom Train, the last ride of the dead. It is also revealed here that Cyan has a case of Technophobia, or fear of machines. The trio planned and managed to stop the Train. As they go off the train, the souls of the people of Doma, including his family boarded. Cyan, trying to catch up to the train, was sad and feeling guilty after the goodbyes of his family. The trio proceeds to the Barren Falls, where Shadow leaves the party, and the two jumped at the falls, arriving at the Veldt. Here, they meet a wild child named Gau. With the help of Gau, they managed to find a diving helmet (which is actually Gau’s “treasure”), which they used to swim at the Serpent Trench. After they arrive at Nikeah, they rode a ferry to South Figaro, and proceeded to Narshe.

Meeting in Narshe

The scattered party members reunite at Narshe just as Kefka leads a full-scale attack on the town. After the Returners successfully defeat him, they confront the frozen Esper and it once again reacts to Terra’s presence, turning her into an Esper-like creature. Terrified of what has happend to herself, Terra flies away.

Tracking Terra to the western mountains, the Returners find her in Zozo under the care ofRamuh. Ramuh, also an Esper, tells them of the Esper’s world and the Empire’s usage of them for Magitek. He mentions that Terra will be fine and merely needs to come to terms with herself and her newly awakened abilities, and requests the Returners infiltrate the Empire and rescue the Espers trapped there in the meantime.

Celes decides to lead the expedition, and Locke accompanies her. At the southern Opera House, Locke learns of Setzer, owner of the Blackjack, the world’s only airship and of his desire for the star of the opera Maria, a woman whom the Impresario mentions closely resembles Celes. The Impresario is distraught as he has recieved a letter from Setzer proclaiming his love for Maria and his intent to abduct her.

With this information Locke concots a plan and convinces Celes to impersonate Maria in the opera Maria and Draco, in hopes that she will be captured by Setzer in Maria’s stead.

During the performance, which must be repeated if Celes does not sing the correct lines, Ultros decides to drop in and cause mischief again for the party. At the end of the battle Setzer arrives on cue and abducts Celes, who he believes to be Maria.

Locke slips aboard Setzers ship and Celes reveals that she is not in fact Maria. They tell Setzer of their plan to infiltrate the Empire, a plan which Setzer does not agree with initially as he has no argument with the Empire and does not want to initiate one.

Knowing that Setzer is a gambler in heart, Celes challenges him to a game of chance: a coin toss to determine if Setzer will help them or not. If the coin lands heads up, he will agree to help. Setzer accepts the challenge.

The coin is tossed and lands heads up. Setzer picks up the coin and notes that it is the coin of Figaro, which bears the heads of Edgar and Sabin on either side. Sezter acknowledges his defeat at having been “hustled”, and willingly decides to help the Returners.

Celes’ True intention

On the Southern Continent, the party infiltrates the Imperial capitol Vector and frees the Espers there. However, Cid and Kefka appear, and Kefka mentions rumors that Celes’ defection was a ruse to plant a spy within the Returners, causing Locke to doubt her loyalty.

To prove herself, Celes spirits Kefka away so the Returners can escape, and they rendezvous with Setzer and return to Zozo.

Terra’s Past

Here, Terra’s memories are restored by Maduin, who is revealed to be her father. Maduin and Terra reveal the details of Terra’s birth between Maduin and a human named Madeline, and the Empire’s attack on the Esper realm.

Returning to Narshe, the Returners plan to lead a two-pronged attack on the Empire with the Espers. Terra, reluctant to help, nonetheless realizes her very existence is proof the two races can co-exist, and agrees.

At the gate to the Land of Espers, Terra pleads for their assistance while the Returners battle Kefka, who has followed them. The Espers that emerge from the gate go on a rampage, damaging the Blackjack and destroying Vector.

Gestahl’s motives

In the ruins of the Imperial Castle, Emperor Gestahl tells the Returners the rampage has convinced him to call a truce. As a sign of goodwill, he wishes to negotiate peace with the Espers, and requests Terra accompany his forces on a trip to find them.

The majority of the Returners remain behind to investigate Gestahl’s motives while Terra and Locke accompany General Leo toThamasa. Also with them are Shadow, who has sold his skills to the Empire, and Celes, who is still at odds with Locke.

At Thamasa, Shadow, Terra and Locke recruit Strago from the village, which was founded by the survivors of the War of the Magi. With Strago’s help, they enter a nearby cave where they find a magical shrine to the Warring Triad. After fighting Ultros again and agreeing to take along Strago’s granddaughter Relm, they find the Espers and return to Thamasa.

Negotiations between the Esper Yura and Leo are cut short when Kefka arrives. Kefka promptly slays the Espers and Leo, and when the Sealed Gate opens and more Espers attack, Kefka again dispatches them. The repaired Blackjack arrives with the Returners just as Gestahl and Kefka find the Warring Triad and raise the Floating Continent.

The Returners then find Shadow’s dog, Intercepter, wounded, leading the group to believe Shadow is dead. At the continent’s summit, Gestahl attempts to have Celes kill the Returners and side with him. When she refuses, Kefka dispatches Gestahl and seizes the Triad for himself. With the assistance of Shadow, who joins the Returners at last, the Returners escape to the Blackjack, only to see it destroyed by the outbreak of Magic known as the Apocalypse released by the rupture of balance between the three Statues.

The Day the World Changed Forever

A full year later, Celes awakens on a deserted island with Cid, who tells her it has been a full year since Kefka came to power. Using a raft Cid has built, Celes returns to the mainland and quickly recruits Sabin and Edgar, but she is unsuccessful in convincing Terra to rejoin.

Now believing that the rest of the Returners are alive, the three find Setzer in a bar at Kohlingen, who leads them to the Falcon, a second airship belonging to a lost friend. Using the Falcon, the four travel around the world and find the scattered ranks of the resistance, many of whom have attempted to make new lives for themselves in the new world, while others have become haunted by past demons the new world has dredged up.

The Gathering

Among other things, Terra is now taking care of the children of Mobliz after the adults perished in one of Kefka’s magical rampages, Cyan resides in a cave trying to keep a young woman’s dreams of her boyfriend alive, and Locke is searching for the Phoenix magicite to revive his girlfriend Rachel.

With their ranks reassembled, the Returners attack Kefka’s Tower and confront Kefka at the summit. Here it is revealed that Kefka has become the God of Magic itself, and if he should die, Espers and magic will vanish from the world.

A God named Kefka

Undeterred, the Returners battle Kefka and kill him, and without his influence, Magicite shatters and the world shifts back to its original state. Terra promptly is weakened, but due to her finding love in the orphaned children of Mobliz, her human emotions allow her to survive as a full human being. The game ends as the Falcon flies around the world in triumph with the Returners enjoying the new freedom and life Kefka’s defeat has brought to it.

Final Fantasy VII

An energy manufacturing mega company known as Shinra Inc. is harvesting the sheer life energy of the Planet (known as theLifestream) as a simple fossil fuel. The Lifestream is processed and made into products ranging from electricity and heat toMako and Materia. The latter two materials can work miracles, granting the wisdom of the Ancients to the user. However, the Lifestream, like most other fuels, is finite in supply, and the Planet’s lifeforce is being malevolently drained by the constant exploitation of Mako by Shinra. Though aware of the harmful effects, they function without remorse.

However, the real battle lies not with a corporation, but a force much more competent from the distant past. A long-thought dead warrior bent on becoming a god by draining all of the Lifestream from the planet has risen again and will stop at nothing to achieve his goal.

“Now a small rebel group emanating from the slums must quell the various dangers toward the innocent, and one mercenary for hire must look amidst the lies and deception and find the man he is within.”

—Official Introduction

The Planet, occasionally called Gaia, is the world of Final Fantasy VII. It is technologically advanced, with many of the modern inventions of the real world, such as cars, television, firearms, and cellphones. Their world is dominated by Humans, who are the only major race other than a few nearly extinct species. It is economically, militarily, and politically dominated by a powerful conglomerate called the Shinra Electric Power Company, which profits from the use of machines known as “Mako Reactors”. These reactors siphon a special type of energy – called “Mako” – out ofthe Planet and convert it into electricity. One of the by-products of the extraction and refinement of Mako energy is materia, a concentrated form of Mako which allows the owner to use its magical properties. President Shinra leads his eponymous organization, and is thus the de facto ruler of the world. Shinra is involved with many horrible genetic experiments, which have created many of the monsters that roam the Planet.

In actuality, Mako energy is drawn from the Lifestream, a flow of life-force beneath the surface of the Planet. All life originates from the Lifestream, and returns to it upon death. In short, the Lifestream is the sum of all the life that has ever and will ever walk upon the Planet. The process of extracting Mako energy literally drains the life of the Planet in order to generate electricity. This can be seen quite clearly in the Shinra’s capital city of Midgar, where the eight Mako Reactors have sucked out so much of the Planet’s life-force that the area is covered in perpetual darkness and no plants can grow.

Shinra’s management is concerned with the limited repositories of Mako energy available for harvesting, and fascinated with the idea of a “Promised Land”; a place where the land is incredibly fertile and where Mako flows abundantly. Only a race called the Cetra, or the Ancients, are, according to legend, able to find it. However, the Cetra were all but driven to extinction by the “Calamity From the Skies”, the alien creature Jenova. All are lost except for one Cetra, Aeris Gainsborough, whom Shinra has been trying to capture for years.

AVALANCHE

The game opens in Midgar, and for the first few hours of gameplay the player can only travel within the city. Inside the city’s slums is a rebel resistance group of eco-terrorists calledAVALANCHE, a major threat to Shinra. AVALANCHE is led by Barret Wallace, a former denizen of Corel, a town destroyed by Shinra thus creating the fuel for Barret’s crusade against the company. AVALANCHE hires a mercenary named Cloud Strife, who claims to be a former member of Shinra’s elite special forces team, SOLDIER. But Cloud is plagued by psychic disturbances, and is far more than he seems. He shows little interest in AVALANCHE’s cause at first. By his own admission, Cloud is interested only in the money. Other members include Cloud’s childhood friend, Tifa Lockhart, whom Cloud made a promise to protect back before he left to join SOLDIER, and the minor characters Jessie, Biggs and Wedge.

Their mission is to blow up the eight Mako Reactors that ring the city, without care to the human consequences. Along the way, Cloud is separated from the rest of the team and meets up withAerith Gainsborough. To counter AVALANCHE’s attacks, Shinra carelessly drops the Plate upon their base in Sector 7, killing all the non-player characters in the group. Aerith is captured by Shinra and taken to their Headquarters. Cloud and the remains of AVALANCHE storm the Building to rescue Aerith. They manage to save Aerith, and a test sample, Red XIII, but then the entire group is captured. They are saved by the surprise reappearance of the supposed dead legendary SOLDIER,Sephiroth, following the escape of a headless Jenova from her tank. President Shinra himself is killed in Sephiroth’s return. The young and ruthless Rufus Shinra takes the reins of Shinra following his father’s death, and Cloud and his party manage to make a hair-thin escape from Midgar only by fighting their way through the ranks of Shinra forces.

Chasing Sephiroth

The rest of the game allows the player to explore the World Map and the other towns throughout. At the first town the party comes to, Kalm, Cloud tells his tale of what happened five years ago, but it is filled with holes and gaps. Five years before the beginning of the game, Cloud and Sephiroth were sent to Cloud’s hometown of Nibelheim to investigate the Mako Reactor there. Inside, Sephiroth found Jenova, a creature Shinra mistook as an Ancient and whom had been called Sephiroth’s mother. Sephiroth begins to look deeper into his past and the Jenova Project from which he was born. It was led by Professor Gast and the deranged Professor Hojo. What he finds drives him insane. Believing himself to be the last Ancient, Sephiroth begins to take revenge on humanity by burning Nibelheim to the ground. Lost in the fires is Cloud’s mother and Tifa’s father. Cloud runs up to confront Sephiroth, but his recollection fails him before he can reach the end of the story.

From then on, the party chases after Sephiroth across the Planet, traveling to many towns, meeting many characters, and getting into different adventures. They do not search alone, as Rufus Shinra has sent out Shinra’s full might to take Sephiroth in, including sending theTurks, a group of Shinra special operatives. The party fights the Turks several times during the course of the game. In Gold Saucerthey meet Cait Sith, a fortune teller robot who is secretly controlled by Reeve, a Shinra Executive who is actually interested in doing good. At Rocket Town, Cid Highwind, an aeronautical engineer whose dreams of going into space had been dashed by Shinra’s lack of funding, joins the party. Two secret characters, Vincent Valentine and Yuffie Kisaragi can join any time the player pleases. Vincent is a former Turk who was betrayed by his love, Lucrecia Crescent, Sephiroth’s biological mother, and turned into a monster. He sleeps beneath the Shinra Mansion in Nibelheim, in penance for his sins of failing to stop the Jenova Project. Yuffie is the princess of Wutai, a town that fought against Shinra dominance before the game began, but has since submitted. She dreams of restoring her homeland’s pride.

The party’s pursuit of Sephiroth leads them to discover several things. Sephiroth’s plan is to use the Black Materia, a Materia so powerful that the Cetra hid it away to stop its use. The Black Materia contains the spell Meteor, the ultimate Black Magic. It can summon a giant meteor to crash into the surface of the Planet. Sephiroth’s plan is to create a wound in the Planet so large that the Lifestream will need to be sent en masse to heal it. Here, Sephiroth will intercept the Lifestream and take complete control of the world. Sephiroth is followed by a group of black-robed fanatics, the Sephiroth Clones. The Clones all gradually die out along their journey; none of them are actually able to reach Sephiroth. Cloud’s party moves to grab the Keystone required to open the Temple of the Ancients. It is held by Dio, the leader of Gold Saucer. During their stay at Gold Saucer, Cloud goes on a date with one of his fellow party members. Depending upon the player’s actions according to the hidden value system of Date Mechanics, Cloud can date either Aerith, Tifa, Yuffie, or Barret. The game is rigged so that Aeris and Tifa are the most likely candidates, while Yuffie and Barret take conscious effort to achieve, and have a less serious tone than the other two. After the date, Cait Sith steals the Keystone and hands it over to Shinra.

Inside the Temple of the Ancients, Sephiroth attacks the leader of the Turks, Tseng, seeming to kill him. Due to a mistranslation, international players of Final Fantasy VII were told that Tseng was in fact dead; though he in fact remains alive and reappears in later games. Cloud and his party find that the Temple is the Black Materia. To make into a usable form, somebody must be left inside while the Temple shrinks. Cait Sith volunteers, and after an extended scene in which he speaks of noble sacrifice, he is destroyed once the Temple turns into a Materia sphere. Cloud takes the Materia in his hand, now certain of the Planet’s safety. Due to Sephiroth’s control over him, Cloud hands Sephiroth the Black Materia, and almost kills Aerith. As Cloud falls unconscious, another Cait Sith appears, exactly the same as the first (perhaps mocking the trend in RPGs for characters to die and be ressurected). After this, Aerith permanently leaves the party to find an independent way to save the world from Meteor.

Aerith travels to the Forgotten Capital, the lost city of the Cetra, where she plans to summon Holy. Holy is the ultimate White Magic, a counter to Meteor used to stop its power. Cloud’s party makes their way up to the ruin to chase after her and Sephiroth. When they arrive, Cloud is almost brought to kill Aerith by Sephiroth’s control, only being snapped out of his thrall by the intervention of his comrades. Aerith is then savagely murdered by Sephiroth; he impales her through her torso with the Masamune in one of the most infamous and shocking scenes in Final Fantasy history. Cloud is enraged at Aerith’s death, and the cavalier attitude Sephiroth has about it. Sephiroth only taunts Cloud, telling him he should not act as though he has feelings. Floating up into the sky, the “Sephiroth” turns out to in fact be Jenova. The person the party hunted after for so long was actually Jenova under Sephiroth’s control and taking his form. After a battle with a piece of Jenova, and the party paying their respects to the departed Aerith, Cloud lays Aerith’s deceased body to rest in the waters of the Forgotten Capital. Cloud decides to continue on the journey to complete his revenge against Sephiroth, even knowing that he may lose control of himself again at any time.

Despite the loss of Aerith, the party continues to follow the Sephiroth/Jenova. They finally reach the end of the journey, the Northern Crater created by Jenova’s fall thousands of years ago. They move into the Crater, hoping to finish the battle. They are joined by Rufus and his gang, flying on the Airship Highwind. Cloud along with Tifa and another selectable party member go up to confront Sephiroth. However, all they find is Sephiroth, showing an illusion of events in Nibelheim. Sephiroth shows Cloud never being in Nibelheim, his role in the story taken by Zack Fair. Tifa, though telling Cloud not to believe them, cannot refute Sephiroth’s claims, and Cloud begins to believe they are true. Furthermore, Sephiroth says that Cloud is not Cloud at all, but a facsimile created by Hojo, and a mere puppet. Rufus lands but is forced to leave by an upsurge of Mako. During this time, a completely controlled Cloud hands Sephiroth the Black Materia, after which he apologizes to Tifa for what he’s done and falls into the Lifestream. Meteor is now summoned by Sephiroth. This causes the Planet to become violently self-protective, awakening its guardians, the WEAPONs. The WEAPONs are giant monsters of immense strength and destructive power. The party escapes on the Highwind. Tifa is knocked unconcious in the escape, Barret is caught as he tries to escape with the unconscious Tifa, and the both of them are taken to Junon. The rest of AVALANCHE escapes on their own, but how is not detailed.

Meteor Falls

Tifa awakes in Junon seven days after the events in the Crater. She finds a world in total chaos due to impending calamity floating in the skies. Meteor is visible in the sky as it moves towards the Planet a sign of the impending end of the world. To stop attacks against himself, Sephiroth has surrounded the Northern Crater with a shield. Rufus, trying to show that Shinra still has some control over the situation, decides to use Tifa and Barret as scapegoats. They will be publicly executed in front of the entire world. Just before the execution can go through, a WEAPON attacks (though never stated in-game, this is the Sapphire WEAPON). Using a giant Mako cannon, the Sister Ray, Shinra successfully fires right through the monster, destroying it. What remains of the party manages to sneak by during the attack to rescue Tifa and Barret, and steal the Highwind out of Junon.

Afterwards, the party finds Cloud suffering from severe Mako Poisoning in the town of Mideel. Though Cloud is completely lost, Tifa decides to stay behind and watch over him. Lacking a better substitute, Cid Highwind becomes the party leader. He leads the party to fight against Shinra’s plan to stop Meteor. Shinra schemes to load the Huge Materia onto Cid’s rocket and launch it directly at Meteor. Depending on the player’s actions, all or none of the Huge Materia can be saved. The storyline is not changed, Shinra’s plan fails no matter what.

In Mideel, the Ultimate WEAPON crashes out of the Lifestream right in the middle of the town. Mideel is destroyed while Cloud and Tifa are still inside. They fall into the Lifestream. Here Tifa is able to travel inside Cloud’s Subconscious and sort through Cloud’s true memories and secret desires, such as joining SOLDIER in part to gain Tifa’s attention. She confirms that Cloud is the genuine article, though his mind had been damaged due to a variety of reasons. Cloud’s mind had shattered as a result of Hojo’s experimentation and Zack’s death, and he merged his own ideal self with Zack and Tifa’s memories, and replaced Zack with himself in all his memories. Cloud reveals he never was in SOLDIER, failing to be mentally strong enough to enter the organization. Due to Cloud’s fear of seeming a failure to Tifa and his hometown, he hid under a helmet during his mission in Nibelheim with Sephiroth. Despite all this, it turns out Cloud did defeat Sephiroth during the Nibelheim incident, managing to overpower Sephiroth and fling him into the Lifestream. After these revelations, Cloud’s psyche is restored to its true state, and he returns as the leader of the party.

With help of the Cosmo Canyon elder Bugenhagen, the party manages to uncover the mystery behind Aeris’s death. She summoned Holy just before her death, but the spell is being held back by Sephiroth deep within the Planet. At that moment, the Diamond WEAPON rises out of the sea and begins its charge towards Midgar. Rufus and the Shinra Executives moved the Sister Ray to Midgar before the attack to prepare for an offensive against Sephiroth. The Mako Cannon is used to destroy the WEAPON, and the blast continues to reach Sephiroth in the Nothern Crater, breaking the shield. Just before the WEAPON is killed, it fires out its energy blasts into the Shinra Building, destroying Rufus and the heart of his organization. Midgar falls into chaos.

Cloud’s party moves into the city to fight Hojo who has taken command of the Sister Ray. They fight their way through the Turks and the remaining forces of Shinra to reach Hojo. There Hojo reveals he wishes to give his son a boost by giving the Sister Ray’s power; the party is horrified to learn Hojo is Sephiroth’s father, although Sephiroth does not know it, and thus Hojo is directly responsible for the crisis facing the planet. If Vincent is in the party, he will declare that he was not the one with a sin, it was Hojo who should have slept for so many years. Despite the power he has gained by injecting himself with Jenova cells, Hojo is defeated.

Following the attack, with only a week until Meteorfall, Cloud and his party decide to rest and return home before the final battle against Sephiroth. Without any place to call home or anything else to fight for, Cloud and Tifa share the night alone together below the stars. The next morning it turns out that all of the party had returned and several of them poke fun at Cloud and Tifa’s expense, much to Tifa’s embarrassment.

The final battle against Sephiroth is fought deep inside the Northern Crater. Sephiroth transforms his body first into Bizarro Sephiroth and then Safer Sephiroth, a half-human, half-divine form that shows Sephiroth’s attempts to become a God. Despite Sephiroth’s immense power, he is defeated. Cloud then fights a mental version of Sephiroth inside the Lifestream, which is also beaten, freeing Cloud of his mental chains to his enemy. However, the victory comes too late. When Holy is released, Meteor has fallen too far for Holy to unleash its full power without drastic collateral damage. Midgar is destroyed by the struggle of Meteor and Holy, but before the entire Planet is lost, the Lifestream congregates below, forcing Holy and Meteor far enough away from the planet for Holy to unleash its full strength and destroy Meteor. The game ends in a flash of light, followed by Aeris’s face, smiling.

An epilogue shows Red XIII and several small pups over the overgrown ruins of Midgar, showing that life has continued after the disaster. The ending was left very vague, leading to many questions asked by confused players over the fate of humanity and where the pups came from, among others.

Final Fantasy VIII

“At the forefront of a rising tide of violence brought on by Galbadia’s war declaration is a SeeD cadet named Squall Leonhart. Serious to a fault, Squall has earned himself the reputation of being a lone wolf.”

“A chance encounter with the free-spirited Rinoa Heartilly, however, turns his universe upside down. Having thrived on discipline, Squall finds Rinoa’s carefree attitude fascinating. Yet there is no time to ponder these thoughts, for the job of dealing with the sorceress behind Galbadia’s irrational hostility has fallen to SeeD and Squall.”

—Official Introduction

Background

SeeD Soldier

The game opens with a duel between the two arch-rivals Squall Leonhart and Seifer Almasy. Squall and Seifer are both students atBalamb Garden, a military academy training SeeDs, an elite mercenary force that helps people all around the world. Squall loses the duel, although both men end up with scars across their faces. Squall wakes up a few hours later, on the day of his SeeD field exam. He goes with his instructor Quistis Trepe to retrieve a Guardian Force (GF), that enables people to use magic more easily. The final test Squall must pass to become a SeeD, is to go the the occupied city of Dollet, together with his squad members Zell Dincht and Seifer. They quickly uncover the reason for the Galbadian Army’s occupation; to reactivate an old radio tower. Seifer leaves his teammates behind, and disobeys Garden’s orders. A spunky young girl, Selphie Tilmitt, joins the party at this time, and after defeating a monster at the top of the tower, the tower is reactivated, and they are chased back to the beach by a spider-like war machine.

Back at Garden, Squall finally has passed the final test to become a SeeD, as have Zell and Selphie. Seifer, however, having disobeyed a direct order, failed. That night, during the SeeD Graduation Ceremony, Squall is asked for a dance by a girl. The introverted Squall is forced out onto the dance floor, and a cutscene ensues. The day after, they receive their first mission as SeeDs: to aid a resistance faction known as the Forest Owls, in their quest to retain the independence of a small nation called Timber. On the train trip to Timber, the SeeDs strangely pass out, and have a dream about a man called Laguna Loire, and his two friends Kiros Seagill and Ward Zabac. Upon waking up, they meet up with the Forest Owls, only to find out that the leader is the girl who danced with Squall, Rinoa Heartilly. The Forest Owls’ plan is to abduct Vinzer Deling, the tyrannic president of Galbadia, and force him to withdraw his soldiers from Timber. However, once they manage to hijack the president’s train, they find out it is an impostor.

Rebel Princess

After defeating the impostor, they learn that the real President Deling is going to the Timber TV Station to broadcast something. He announces that the new diplomat for Galbadia is the Sorceress, Edea. However, an enraged Seifer somehow goes there and holds the President hostage. He is, however, led to following the Sorceress, and is officially announced executed.

The SeeDs are then hired by Galbadia Garden, to kill the Sorceress, with the help of the master sharpshooter Irvine Kinneas, under her inauguration parade in Deling City. Rinoa, however, comes up with a plan of her own; to suppress the Sorceress’ power with anOdine Brand item. She is struck down by the Sorceress, who then kills President Deling. Running through the parade, Squall is surprised to see Seifer, standing at the Sorceress’ side. Squall and Irvine eventually reach Rinoa, Zell, Selphie and Quistis, and trap the Sorceress inside a gate. However, Irvine seems to lose it just before he is supposed to shoot her, but with a little help from Squall, he fires at the Sorceress. Edea blocks the shot with a magical barrier. Squall must then fight the Sorceress, but has to go through Seifer, who has now become Edea’s protective Knight. Edea uses her ice Limit Break, which pierces Squall’s chest and renders him unconscious.

Squall wakes up in the D-District Prison, where he is tortured by Seifer, who demands to know the true purpose of SeeD. Squall is knocked unconscious by the pain, but is rescued by a Moomba. His friends manage to escape as well, but upon escaping, they see that the Galbadians have launched missiles against Trabia Garden, and are planning to launch some at Balamb Garden as well. They split into two teams, one with Selphie as the leader, who try to stop the missile launch, and one with Squall, who go to warn Balamb Garden. Selphie’s party fails to stop the missile launch in time, and barely escapes the self-destructing missile launch base inside a machine. Squall arrives to find Balamb Garden in an uproar; students are fighting each other, one side siding with theHeadmaster Cid, and one with the Garden Master NORG. They eventually stop NORG, and find out that the Garden is mobile, and moves the Garden just in time before the missiles hit.

However, Balamb Garden isn’t controllable, and they crash intoFisherman’s Horizon. The crafty technicians there help restore the Garden into full functionality. When they go back to Balamb, they find that the Galbadians, under the supervision of Seifer’s friends Fujin andRaijin, are searching for a woman named Ellone. They decide to go to Trabia Garden, Selphie’s original Garden, where they suddenly remember that as children, they all, except Rinoa, lived in an orphanage together, cared for by a woman named Edea. They had forgotten all about their past because of the memory loss that using the GFs bring. They decide to go back to the orphanage, only to find out that Galbadia Garden had gotten there first. They prepare for an assault on the Garden, which is now under the control of Edea and Seifer. The many brave SeeDs show their skill, and they finally reach Edea, but are stopped by Seifer. Seifer is defeated once again, but appears again in the subsequent battle. When they finally defeat Edea, she returns to her normal state of mind; she has been possessed by a Sorceress called Ultimecia, who is said to be from the future. However, Rinoa becomes possessed by Ultimecia now, and manipulates Seifer, who is now merely Ultimecia’s puppet. Rinoa then falls into a coma. The SeeDs return to the orphanage to speak with Edea, and learn of Ultimecia’s plans for world domination.

Tyrannical Sorceress

Squall is overcome by emotions, and understands that he is in love with Rinoa. He will do anything to bring her back, and they go to the hidden nation of Esthar, to speak with Dr. Odine, the inventor of Guardian Forces, and specialist on Sorceresses. Edea joins the party to Esthar, and Squall carries Rinoa with him. In Esthar, Dr. Odine tells him where he can find Ellone, who might be able to help Squall find out what happened to Rinoa. They are launched into outer space, to Esthar’s Lunar Base, where they are keeping theSorceress Adel, who once ruled Esthar, confined. However, Rinoa wakes up and forces her way through those who might stop her. Back on the ground, Zell’s party is shocked to see the Lunatic Pandora, a mighty pillar, that was used long ago to destroy theCentra continent by summoning monsters from the Moon, rise again from the ocean, due to Seifer. Rinoa goes out into outer space and destroys the seal upon Adel, who returns to the Lunatic Pandora. Squall goes after her, and rescues her from a death in outer space. They escape on the lost spaceship Ragnarok. However, Rinoa is now deemed a Sorceress, and Esthar demands that she be handed over to them, as she poses a threat to the world. Rinoa agrees to go with them, but Squall can’t bear it, and rescues her. They then go to the Lunatic Pandora, where Seifer fights them one last time. After his defeat, he takes Rinoa, and offers her to Adel, who junctions Rinoa to herself. Squall fights Adel, and after her defeat, they travel forward in time with the help of Ultimecia’s Time Compression, and reach Ultimecia’s lair. After many grueling fights, in which they must reclaim their sealed abilities, they reach Ultimecia, and finally defeat her. Squall goes back into his past, and the land is now free from the tyranny of Sorceresses.

Final Fantasy IX

In the world known as Gaia, Queen Brahne Raza Alexandros XVI of the kingdom ofAlexandria lusts for power, and is trying to increase her domain by conquering the surrounding lands. War is brewing among the neighboring kingdoms on the Mist Continent. Something more than Brahne’s lust for power is driving the once-peaceful nation of Alexandria to conquest. Garnet til Alexandros XVII, adopted daughter of Queen Brahne, is unhappy with her position and plagued by nightmares of a sea voyage; a flight from a terrible eye in the heavens. Vivi Orunitia, a Black Mage, childlike and alone, yearns to know his history and why he exists. All are brought together on a seemingly innocent night of entertainment in Alexandria, one that will spin events out of control and lead to the truth of their lives and others.

Regent Cid of Lindblum is worried about how these troubling events will impact Princess Garnet, so he dispatches the troupe known as Tantalus to Alexandria. Tantalus, a band of thieves disguising themselves as actors to hide their operations, plan to “kidnap” Garnet. A prominent character in Tantalus is the game’s main protagonist, Zidane Tribal. However, the Princess herself yearns to escape from her wicked mother, and is willingly kidnapped. During the operation, Vivi and Adelbert Steiner, Captain of the Royal Knights of Pluto and Garnet’s guardian, become involved, much to Steiner’s disdain. The plan soon backfires, and Tantalus member Zidane is left in charge of the kidnapping. Their ship, the Prima Vista, is shot down from the sky, and lands in the Evil Forest.

Zidane decides to assist the princess to Lindblum on foot, and is dismissed by the leader of Tantalus, Baku, who dissents with his opinion. Vivi and Steiner join Zidane in rescuing Garnet from Evil Forest’s carnivorous botany and eventually escape the woods, leaving Tantalus behind. The foursome venture through the Ice Cavern, where Zidane defeats Black Waltz No. 1, a lackey of Brahne’s. Arriving in the village of Dali, Garnet adopts the alias of “Dagger” to blend in with the peasantry. Vivi is kidnapped by the villagers, and the rest of the party is soon shocked when they rescue him and find out that the villagers are manufacturing Black Mages from the Mist, for export to Alexandria. Garnet begins to ponder the possibility of returning to Alexandria and questioning her mother about the Black Mage business, a notion which Steiner approves of. After besting Black Waltz No. 2, they board a Cargo Ship piloted by soulless Black Mages, but soon come under fire from Black Waltz No. 3. Vivi, Zidane, and Steiner confront the golem and leave the journey’s destination in Garnet’s hands. The princess hesitates, but ultimately decides to go to Lindblum, resulting in an erratic flight through South Gate.

The four meet with Regent Cid at Lindblum, who refuses to mobilize against Alexandria, for fear of leaving his own borders unprotected. While his country holds the Festival of the Hunt, Brahne begins her advancement into the Burmecia region, home of Zidane’s friend Freya Crescent. Zidane decides to travel to Burmecia with Freya and Vivi to learn more about the situation, but Cid orders Garnet to remain in Lindblum. In retaliation, she poisons the court with sleeping weed and absconds with Steiner back to South Gate. The remainder of the party ventures to Burmecia, traveling through Gizamaluke’s Grotto and recruiting the gluttonous Quina Quenalong the way. Upon arriving in Burmecia, they find a desolate city ruined by Brahne. At the apex of the city, they meet the Queen herself, a mysterious man namedKuja, and General Beatrix. The General promptly defeats Zidane’s group, and Alexandria next sets its sights on Cleyra.

Meanwhile, Garnet and Steiner rest in Treno, and with the aid of Doctor Tot, take theGargan Roo pathway to Alexandria. Once there, Garnet meets with her mother, who turns on the princess and orders the extraction of Garnet’s Eidolons, magical creatures with great powers, for use in future invasions. One of these summons, Odin, is then used to obliterate Cleyra, but not before Beatrix takes a jewel from the city’s harp and Zidane’s crew hitches a hide on the Red Rose back to Alexandria. The protagonists join forces with Steiner and free Garnet from Brahne’s clutches, with the assistance of the enlightened Beatrix. Zidane, Vivi, and Garnet attempt to use the Gargant system to flee back to Treno, but their ride is spooked by a monster and ends up crashing in Pinnacle Rocks. After passing Ramuh’s trial, allowing Garnet to summon Ramuh, the three witness the sacking of Lindblum by another Eidolon of Alexandria, Atomos. Sneaking into the city, Zidane and Garnet meet secretly with a now powerless Regent Cid, who suggests they travel to the Outer Continent to discover the motives behind Brahne’s belligerence. Quina actually proves useful when trying to find the entrance to the Outer Continent, Fossil Roo, due to its constant search for frogs.

It is soon speculated that Brahne’s sudden shift in attitude is being manipulated by Kuja, who has his own plans for world domination. On the Outer Continent, Zidane and his allies encounter Eiko Carol, a young girl, and last of the Summoner Tribe, at her home of Madain Sari. She leads them to the Iifa Tree, where Kuja was reported to have been seen. The group descends into the very core of the tree, until they finally reach a shimmering and seemingly endless green pool at its base. The monster SoulCage, self-proclaimed creator of the Mist. Upon the entity’s defeat, the Mist on the Mist Continent dries up, and the heroes return to Madain Sari. After repelling the thief Lani and recuiting the sarcastic and brooding Amarant Coral, they return to the Iifa Tree per new sightings of Kuja. There, they find Queen Brahne and her navy just off Iifa’s coast, and Kuja with his Silver Dragon opposing her. Brahne summons Bahamut in an attempt to rid herself of Kuja and take sole domination of her territory, but in a twist of fate Kuja calls the Invincible to him and wrenches control of Bahamut, who then proceeds to wipe out Brahne and her soldiers with a devastating Mega Flare.

On the beach, Brahne finally regains her former self and apologizes to Garnet, but dies, leaving the princess devastated. She must now become the Queen of Alexandria. The ceremonies of her coronation are short-lived, as Kuja promptly appears in the city and summons Bahamut to wreak havoc. The other party members fly in from Treno with Regent Cid, and Eiko aids Garnet in summoningAlexander, the holy Eidolon guardian of Alexandria. Alexander vanquishes Bahamut, only for a mysterious elderly man to appear with the Invincible and destroy Alexander and a majority of the city. Garnet is so shocked by the devastation to her city that she is rendered mute, and she, Zidane and their friends take refuge in Lindblum, where Cid constructs the Blue Narciss ship and gives it to the party. They then follow Kuja to his Desert Palace, but are discovered and locked in cells. Kuja forces Zidane and three of his friends to fly to the Forgotten Continent and retrieve the Gulug Stone from Oeilvert. The ruins contain many illusions and artifacts from the ambiguous Terran civilization, including an ancient and Eidolon, Ark, which is defeated in order to obtain the Stone.

Meanwhile, Regent Cid and the remaining four party members manage to free themselves from their prisons and shut down the Palace security system, Valia Pira. Kuja still manages to trick Zidane into giving him the Gulug Stone and absconds with an abducted Eiko to Mount Gulug. The heroes pass through Esto Gaza to track him down, and witness Zorn and Thorn attempt to extract Eiko’s Eidolons. Mog, Eiko’s pet Moogle, reveals her true Eidolon form through Trance, and with her help, the court jesters are finally destroyed. Deprived of further Eidolons, Kuja formulates a new plan: to assimilate enough souls in order to enter a form of hyper-Trance. He flees, and Zidane’s party find Queen Hilda, Cid’s wife, and escort her back to Lindblum. She restores Cid to his proper human form, and the Lindblum leader puts the finishing touches on his new airship, the Hilda Garde III. Garnet returns to Alexandria, where she is expected to remain as Queen. When Zidane follows her, she recovers from her silence, once more takes his dagger, and cuts off her ponytail in a promise to continue to fight for her people and her adoptive mother.

Queen Hilda tells the party of Kuja’s ambitions and link to the planet Terra and directs them towards Ipsen’s Castle on the Forgotten Continent. Inside the inverted structure, they find four elemental mirrors, seals to the portal to Terra. After defeating the worm-like Taharka and rescuing Amarant from his own arrogance, Zidane decides to have two party members secure each elemental shrine. The defeat of all four Guardians opens the Shimmering Island, the icy portal to Terra’s alien world.

The Hilda Garde III drops off the heroes on Terra, and a mysterious girl leads the party to theGenome village of Bran Bal. She is Mikoto, and reveals the truth behind Kuja’s inferior relationship to Zidane: they were both crafted to become Angels of Death. Garland, the mastermind of this plot, captures Zidane and intends to use him for his true purpose as the harbinger of Gaia’s doom. Zidane’s friends free him from his prison at Pandemonium and confront Garland, who first orders a Silver Dragon to act as a shield before falling to the party himself. Though the party intends only to interrogate the old sorcerer, Kuja chooses the moment to enter triumphantly on the Invincible. Gleefully, he showcases his new powers Trance, achieved by draining the Invincible of all the souls trapped within, including Garnet’s true mother, who had sealed her soul in the eidolon Bahamut in order to protect her daughter. Kuja promptly dispatches the party and announces his new motivation: to rule the world with a fist of Trance-inducing souls. Garland, clairvoyant to the end, warns Kuja that his power is of no consequence; the Genome responds by kicking his old master off the precipice of Pandemonium to his death.

However, Garland remains stubbornly omniscient, and from beyond the grave, he tells Kuja that his newfound rule is for naught; his mortal death is fast appraoching. Kuja is no longer satisfied with world domination; his euphoria turns into rage, and he hatches a plot to destroy the source of all existence: the Crystal. He begins by utterly obliterating Terra with wave after wave of Ultima spells, but the party and resident Genomes escape by piloting the Invincible back through the Shimmering Island to Gaia. They suddenly notice the resurge of Mist in the air, emanating once more from the Iifa Tree. Above the tree hovers the foreboding entrance toMemoria, where the Gaia’s memories and Kuja awaits. The armies of Alexandria and Lindblum take flight to stave off the horde of Silver Dragons blocking Memoria’s doorway, and Invincible breaks through, carrying the party inside Memoria. They must defeat a slew of monsters Kuja created in opposition to the Crystal itself, while witnessing the deepest moments of their own lives intertwined with the earliest stirrings of Gaia. Garland’s lingering voice guides them through the dimension, leaving them at the entrance to the Crystal World, a realm where is no earth, no space, only memories of every life originating with the Crystal.

Zidane and his friends descend the translucent pillars or crystal and face Kuja in battle, where Kuja seemingly destroys everyone with Ultima. Surviving, the heroes find themselves in the presence of Necron, a powerful entity who also wishes to destroy the Crystal and return the world to what it was before existence. When Necron is defeated and returned to whence it came, Kuja teleports the eight heroes out of Memoria onto the banks of the Iifa Tree. The majority of the party returns to Alexandria on the Hilda Garde, while Zidane stays behind to find Kuja. He locates his brother deep within Iifa, and as Kuja accounts for his sins, Iifa’s roots converge on them both. The others believe Zidane dead, and Garnet, now the reigning queen of Alexandria, slides into depression. In the closing moments of the game, the Tantalus Troupe appears once more to perform “I Want To Be Your Canary” for Garnet’s birthday. During the play, a shrouded form masquerading as Marcus casts off his cloak to reveal a returning Zidane. The city of Alexandria celebrates, old friends cheer from the stands, and the queen runs through the crowd of people and leaps into Zidane’s arms.

Final Fantasy X

Final Fantasy X begins in medias res, starting with the party sitting around a campfire in still silence. Just beyond the horizon is a ruined city, covered in flashing lights. Tidus, the central hero of the game, then begins to retell his story of how he reached this place in his life. He gives background narration for much of the game.

To Spira

His story begins in Zanarkand, an advanced futuristic city filled with high technology. Tidus begins what he thinks is a normal day as the star player for his Blitzball team, theZanarkand Abes. During his match, a mysterious sphere of water enters the city, leading to massive destruction. Tidus meets up with Auron, a mentor-like character to him since the disappearance of his father,Jecht. Auron, who always seems to know more than he would say, reveals that the force destroying the city is called “Sin”. Tidus and Auron join together to fight the invading monsters on a city highway, and succeed in slaying a tentacled monster. While fighting, Tidus is shocked to see time stop, as a small boy in purple robes appears to him speaking enigmatic words he does not understand. Once time restarts, the boy is gone and Tidus continues on his charge forward with Auron. However, when they reach the mouth of Sin itself, they are sucked up into its maw. Tidus loses consciousness, but sees a brief vision of his father.

When Tidus awakes, he is floating in an unknown underwater ruin. Swimming forward, he comes upon an abandoned temple. After making a fire to ward off the frigid air, Tidus finds a group of strange people speaking a language foreign to him. They capture him and bring him upon their ship. Bewildered, Tidus demands to know what is going on. A friendly girl, Rikku, reveals that these people are Al Bhed, a faction of people who use the forbidden technology called Machina. But for Tidus to earn his keep, he has to accompany Rikku down to an underwater salvage operation. Once the dangerous mission is completed, Sin appears once more, knocking Tidus off the ship.

He finds himself once again at an unknown location, but this time it’s a sunny beach. After witnessing so much that is alien to him, Tidus is glad to see something familiar: a group of islanders playing his sport, Blitzball. After showing off his impressive skills, the islanders flock around him. The leader of this group, Wakka, is especially helpful, explaining to Tidus that he has arrived at Besaid, an island in the land of Spira. He is unnerved when Tidus mentions his home city’s name, Zanarkand. Wakka chalks up Tidus’s behavior to his recent encounters with Sin. He explains that Sin is a monster that rose about a thousand years ago and destroyed Zanarkand as a result of the sin of using machina.

Wakka leads Tidus to the town center, hoping to have him join his Blitzball team, the Besaid Aurochs. The team has not had any wins in Blitzball tournaments in recent decades, and desperately need Tidus’s help; even more so now that Wakka is planning to leave the team to become a Guardian. Tidus accepts and joins the Aurochs. After wandering around the town and speaking to the townsfolk, Wakka takes Tidus into the Temple, a branch of the Spiran religion, Yevon. Whilst there, Tidus learns that the Summonerwho had begun her trial in the Temple has taken unusually long. Despite the priest’s orders to stay out, Tidus goes through the Temple’s Cloister of Trials in the hopes of rescuing the Summoner. Meeting up with her Guardians, the lion-like Ronso, Kimahri, the black mage Lulu, and Wakka, Tidus makes it in time to see the Summoner, Yuna, exit the Chamber of the Fayth. Immediately, Tidus is struck by her beauty.

Outside the Temple, Yuna summons her first Aeon, Valefor. She shows interest in Tidus’ story of his origins in Zanarkand, and wishes to hear more. After this first conversation, Tidus retires to bed. That night he overhears Lulu argue with Wakka over his interest in Tidus. She believes that Wakka is only protecting him out of memories for his dead brother, Chappu, whose face resembles Tidus’. Her thoughts may not be misplaced, as Wakka gives him Chappu’s former sword, Brotherhood.

The Pilgrimage

The Guardians head out with Yuna on her Pilgrimage, a sacred journey across Spira to attain the Final Aeon, the only weapon that can defeat Sin. They take Tidus along out of hopes that somebody will recognize him at the Blitzball Tournament. They set out on the S.S. Liki to reach the Temple in Kilika. Tidus and Yuna get another chance to talk, and Yuna reveals that she believes Tidus’ story, and also that Tidus’ father had arrived on Spira ten years before and claimed the same. Yuna is revealed to be the daughter of Braska, the Summoner who destroyed Sin last with the help of Auron and Jecht. During the journey, Sin appears en route to destroy Kilika. The party fights a battle against Sin, but fail to do any real damage. Sin continues on its attack, and levels Kilika.

When the group reach the town, they find it in ruins. Yuna, performing another role of a Summoner, “Sends” the souls of those killed in the attack. Those who die in Spira leave behindPyreflies that if left alone will become monsters, called Fiends. Tidus is stunned by the contrasting beauty of the Sending dance and the horrors which it embodies. Afterwards, the party continues forward to the next Temple to gain the Aeon Ifrit. While at the temple, they meet a rival Summoner to Yuna, the arrogant Dona.

With the first part of the journey complete, the Pilgrimage then moves to the city of Luca, where a massive Blitzball tournament is being held. Maester Seymour Guado and the elder Grand Maester, Yo Mika personally overlook the tournament. Much to Tidus’s dismay, Yuna shows admiration to Seymour, a very young Maester with high popularity. But he puts these thoughts behind in order to take part in the Blitzball matches.

During the first match, Yuna is kidnapped by the Al Bhed Psyches in order to force the Aurochs into surrendering the match. While Wakka plays, Tidus goes with the other Guardians to hunt down those who took Yuna. After rescuing Yuna from the Al Bhed, Tidus learns that she is half Al Bhed. After Lulu sends a signal to Wakka, he wins the game just in time, ending a 23-year losing streak without Tidus’ help. The next Blitzball match is against the Spiran Champions, the Luca Goers. After the match, a group of Fiends are unleashed upon the stadium, creating chaos. Tidus and Wakka go off to fight the beasts, and are given the surprise aid of Auron. The rest of the Fiends are dispatched by Seymour’s Aeon, Anima. Yuna, along with thousands of spectaters, is left in awe of the power of Seymour’s Summon.

Auron takes Tidus away to speak to him alone. He makes a terrible revelation to Tidus: Jecht is Sin. Dumbfounded by this apparent impossibility, Tidus refuses to accept it. Taking in his troubles, Tidus speaks with Yuna. She advises him to laugh, and so Tidus gives out a very forced and boisterous cackle. Yuna, though disturbed at first, joins in, leaving the Guardians around in silence, concerned that they have gone insane; eventually, the false cackle erupts into real laughter. The Pilgrimage then continues up theMi’ihen Highroad, but with two new Guardians: Auron and Tidus.

At the tip of the Highroad, the party finds the entire area to be under occupation by theCrusaders, the military arm of Yevon. Under the command of Seymour and his fellow Maester, Auron’s former friend, Wen Kinoc, the Crusaders join forces with the Al Bhed in an attempt to defeat Sin. Wakka, being very orthodox to the teachings of Yevon, and resentful of the Al Bhed, is furious over this plan. Auron simply stands back, knowing the plan will fail. Operation Mi’ihen, as its called, turns out to be a complete disaster. Hundreds of Crusaders are killed as Yuna and her Guardians watch, trying their best to help in the fight. Following the defeat, Yevon covers its involvement by blaming the defeat on the Crusaders’ heresy. Auron explains to Tidus that the only reason why Sin truly came to Mi’ihen was to see his son. The party leaves the battlefield unable to describe their feelings over the tragedy.

Continuing forward, the party enters the temple of Djose to gain the Aeon Ixion. Here they meet Isaaru, another fellow Summoner who seems to be kind-hearted. They also hear of rumors that Summoners are being kidnapped. The party then continues to theMoonflow, a river that flows through Spira. While crossing on a Shoopuf, Wakka points down to the sunken ruins of cities below the waters as perfect examples of what happens to people who use the hubris of Machina. During his story, an Al Bhed abducts Yuna into the water, but she is rescued by Tidus and Wakka, who destroy the Machina holding her captive. Reaching the other side of the river, they run into Rikku, who was the pilot of the destroyed machine. Rikku turns out to be Yuna’s cousin, though Wakka is completely unaware of both Rikku’s and Yuna’s Al Bhed heritage. She joins the party as Yuna’s sixth guardian, with the blessing of Auron, who is aware of her race.

The party then moves to Guadosalam, the city of the Guado, a race of elf-like humanoids of which Seymour is the leader. He invites the party to his mansion, where he flirts with Yuna and shows them a Sphere recording of Tidus’s Zanarkand. Within the vision is the first Summoner to defeat Sin, Lady Yunalesca. Seymour goes on to propose marriage to Yuna, much to Tidus’ chagrin.

Yuna avoids answering, and instead takes her party to visit the Farplane, the land of the dead where pyreflies gather to form images from the memories of a mourner of their lost loved one. Rikku believes the entire thing to be nothing more than an illusion, and so chooses not to enter. Auron stays behind as well, though does not give a reason. Inside, Tidus finds that his father Jecht does not appear, meaning that he may very well be alive as Sin. However, Tidus accidentally summons the image of his mother, who Yuna explained must have accepted death once Jecht left. While leaving, Seymour’s father, Jyscal Guado leaves the Farplane as anUnsent, a ghost created by a person who dies an unnatural death. Yuna immediately sends Jyscal, during which Auron falls upon his knees, somehow weakened by the ceremony. A sphere appears once Jyscal is Sent, which is promptly snatched up by Yuna. After privately viewing its contents, Yuna announces that she has decided to accept Seymour’s offer of matrimony.

Difficult Truths

The party moves through the Thunder Plains to the temple of Macalania to gain the Aeon Shiva. While there, they are met byTromell, Seymour’s butler who leads Yuna into the Temple to prepare for the wedding, but not before being ambushed by the Al Bhed, who tried to stop the pilgrimage from continuing and unleashed a powerful machina before the party took it down. This is where Wakka learns about Rikku being an Al Bhed, and promptly expresses his disgust at the “heathen.” Tidus tries to tell Wakka that Rikku isn’t just some Al Bhed, and that she’s actually a good person, that Rikku is just Rikku. Angry that no one would take his side, Wakka heads to Macalania temple by foot while everyone else rides on Machina. Depending on the affection levels during the game, Tidus will either ride with Rikku, Lulu, Auron, or Kimahri. If Tidus rides with Rikku, he’ll learn that Rikku and Yuna are cousins, and Rikku will explain why Al Bhed want to protect all the summoners during the pilgrimage, and tells him that they sacrifice themselves too well to bring happiness to Spira, though Tidus is oblivious to the meaning of the latter. If he rides with Lulu, he’ll come to understand Wakka’s hatred towards the Al Bhed, which stems from the death of Chappu. He’ll ask Lulu if a human can ever becomes Sin and she’ll finally believe in fact that Tidus comes from a world without Sin. Inside, the party comes upon the sphere that Yuna had retrieved, which shows that Seymour murdered his father in order to succeed him as Maester. The party goes forward to confront Seymour. During the battle, Seymour uses his powerful Aeon Anima, but it is defeated with the help of Yuna’s new Aeon, Shiva. With nothing left to protect him, Seymour is killed. However, Tromell appears and takes away Seymour’s body before Yuna can send him. He breaks the Sphere that proves Seymour’s crimes. The party then flees the temple with Guado soldiers in pursuit. They manage to escape when a Fiend causes them to fall through the icy Lake Macalania. Landing on top of a docile Sin, the party is knocked unconscious when it begins to stir.

Awaking in a desert on the island of Bikanel, Tidus find himself alone. Though he manages to round up his fellow Guardians, he cannot find Yuna. The group moves to the Al Bhed capital, the city of Home, which is under siege by Guado forces. Fighting through the invasion, the party finds Dona and Isaaru, both taken by the Al Bhed. Here Tidus suffers an emotional breakdown after he discovers the terrible truth behind the Pilgrimage, the reason why the Al Bhed try to impede the Summoner’s quest for the Final Aeon at every turn: the Summoner will die after the Final Summoning and Yuna will meet the same fate if she continues her journey. Fighting together with the Summoners, the group makes its way to the Al Bhed Airship commanded by Rikku’s father, Cid, which happened to be the very ship that Tidus and Rikku salvaged near the game’s beginning. The ship takes off with most of the Al Bhed people on board, having been forced to abandoned their homeland. Ultimately, Cid decides to blow up Home with the airship in order to take out the invading forces. While on the Airship, the party learns that Yuna has been taken by the Guado to the Unsent Seymour.

The party finds Yuna at the Yevon capital city of Bevelle, where she is in wedding gown to be joined with Seymour. Fighting through the city’s defense, the wyrm Evrae, Tidus and his group land to break up the party. They fight hard against the heavily-armed Yevon soldiers, and manage to force their way down to the Cloister where they gain the Aeon Bahamut, and are then arrested. Yuna and her Guardians are put on trial by the Maesters where they attempt to press their case, claiming that Seymour should be Sent to the Farplane. To their surprise, Grand Maester Yo Mika, too, is an Unsent. It seems that they are completely without allies, except for the Ronso Maester, Kelk Ronso, who leaves Yevon shortly afterwards. The entire party is sentenced to death by the corrupt Temple. While imprisoned in a cage, Auron reveals to Tidus the hideous truths behind the Pilgrimage. The Summoner must sacrifice himself or herself in order to defeat Sin. But the defeated Sin will always return, leaving Spira in a cycle of death that will continue forever.

Despite the odds, the party manages to escape. Along the way, Yuna is confronted by Isaaru, who places his loyalty to Yevon above his friendship to Yuna. The two Summoners duel with their Aeons, but Isaaru is soundly beaten. Though his life is spared, his Pilgrimage ends in defeat. Making their way to the exit of Bevelle, the party finds Seymour standing over the corpse of Kinoc. Though betrayed by his old friend, Auron is still angered by Kinoc’s murder. Using the life force of Kinoc and his bodyguards, Seymour transforms into a monster, and is once again defeated by the party.

Leaving Bevelle for the Macalania Woods, Yuna, her faith in Yevon shaken, goes off into the woods to be alone, and Tidus follows, a mutual agreement between himself and the others. He finds Yuna in the spring, and, revealing that he knows the truth behind the Final Summoning, apologizes for constantly talking about life after defeating Sin, believing that he had only depressed Yuna by doing so. However, Yuna stops him, informing him that his words had in fact made her happy. Tidus attempts to persuade Yuna to quit her pilgrimage and stay with him, and, though tempted, Yuna ultimately decides that she cannot simply allow Sin to run rampant across the world; at this moment, deep emotional burdens that Yuna has apparently been hiding for quite some time rise to the surface, and she uncontrollably breaks down in tears. Tidus moves to comfort her, and they embrace and share a passionate kiss. After their moment of love, they return to the party to continue their journey into the Calm Lands and later to Mt. Gagazet. Tidus makes plans with Rikku to find a way to save Yuna.

Before crossing Gagazet, Kelk and his tribe of Ronsos give Yuna their blessing, after witnessing her resolve and courage. Shortly afterwards the Ronso are attacked by Seymour, and many are slaughtered. The party struggles through the frigid mountain before they run into Seymour once again. He reveals his true plan: to save Spira from its cycle of death by becoming Sin, and then completely wipe out all the people there. Tidus considers him to be insane, and so attacks with the aid of his entire party. Despite Seymour’s growing powers, he is again defeated.

After the battle, the party learns of Sin’s identity as Jecht. They come upon a strange sight, a fountain of Fayth lost in dreams. Tidus is suddenly struck by a vision of him returning to his Zanarkand. While there, he sees the little boy in purple from the beginning. The boy reveals himself to be the Fayth of Bahamut. He then gives Tidus revelations more shocking than anything before. Sin was created to leave Spira forever backward, so that Tidus’ Zanarkand could live forever without being detected. In fact, the Zanarkand Tidus hails from is nothing but a dream created by the Fayth. Tidus, Jecht, and everybody else from that city are all nothing but dreams, who will cease to exist once Sin is truly defeated. Bahamut’s Fayth asks Tidus to defeat Sin, so that the Fayth can be freed of the burden of constantly keeping the “Dream Zanarkand” alive. Tidus accepts, even while knowing that doing so will mean his death. After he returns to consciousness, Tidus keeps his vision to himself.

After passing through Mt. Gagazet, the party comes to the real Zanarkand, where the Pilgrimage is to end. It is here that the story catches up with the beginning, and Tidus’ retelling of the events that led him here ends. The game continues with the party entering the Zanarkand Temple to gain the Final Aeon. The pyreflies here are so thick that they can see visions of past Summoners who came through to defeat Sin. Oddly, they also see a vision of a child Seymour, whose mother gives up her life to become Anima.

Meeting with Yunalesca, who is now an Unsent after her battle with Sin, they learn that in order to create the Final Aeon, a Guardian must be sacrificed. They also see into the past, in Braska’s Pilgrimage, where Jecht decided to give up his life to become the Final Aeon. Then Yunalesca tells them more unsettling truths. The Final Aeon can only defeat Sin for a short time, for after the old Sin is destroyed, Yu Yevon, the evil Summoner spirit that controls Sin and the Fayth of Dream Zanarkand, will posess the Final Aeon and use its body to create Sin anew. Thus whoever becomes the Final Aeon will later become Sin, and the cycle of death will continue.

Yuna refuses to take part in this cycle. Yunalesca believes that without faith in the Final Summoning, Yuna will eventually succumb to despair, and decides to kill her and free her from such a fate. Just before the battle, the party sees Auron from the past. Horrified after the death of Braska and transformation of Jecht, Auron went to confront Yunalesca and was killed, making him an Unsent. In the present time, he rallies his team to attack Yunalesca. Though Yunalesca is powerful, and grows into increasingly grotesque forms, the party prevails and destroys her, forever ending any hope of gaining the Final Aeon.

Defeating Sin

With Yunalesca gone, the party now needs a new way to defeat Sin. Cid and his Airship arrive to pick them up, and they brainstorm on a strategy. But before that can be done, Yevon is in chaos with the death of so many Maesters. Tidus and his party land in Bevelle during the crisis to meet with Yo Mika. To his dismay, he learns that they have not gained the Final Aeon, and in fact had eliminated it for all eternity. Feeling that Spira is doomed to be destroyed by Sin and the despair it engenders, Mika departs for the Farplane.

The party then comes up with a plan to beat Sin. They will distract Sin by having all of Spira sing Jecht’s favorite song, the Hymn of the Fayth. While Sin is stopped, the party will attack on the Airship. The attack begins as planned, with the Airship’s laser cannons blowing off both of Sin’s fins. After destroying the Core, the monster falls onto the city of Bevelle, seemingly beaten. But then the monster recouperates, grows wings and flies into the air. It then charges straight at the Airship, ready to destroy the party on board. Luckily the party manages to stop Sin in its charge, and the monster opens up its mouth to suck in the Airship. While going inside the monster, they see Seymour inside, laughing over his impending victory.

Inside Sin, the party finds that the monster actually holds an entire dungeon filled with Fiends. Fighting through them, they reach Seymour to battle him one final time. Despite yet another powerful form, Seymour Omnis, Seymour is defeated yet again. With nowhere to run, Yuna Sends the rogue Maester. Before disappearing, Seymour reveals that he is glad that it was Yuna who finally defeated him, but that even if they defeat Sin, Spira’s sorrow will continue. Tidus vows not to let this happen.

Moving deeper into Sin, the party finds themselves in a place similar to the Blitz Stadium from Dream Zanarkand. Tidus is then finally reunited with his father. Though Jecht only has a short time left before his mind fully becomes Sin’s, he shares a moment with his son. Then Jecht turns into Braska’s Final Aeon, the true form of Sin. Once again, the party prevails, thus ending Jecht’s life and saving him from the nightmare of being Sin. Jecht says goodbye to Tidus, and even scolds him for crying. However, the battle is not won yet.

Yu Yevon, requiring an Aeon to inhabit, takes over Yuna’s one by one. The party has to destroy each one as Yu Yevon possesses them. With nowhere left to run, Yu Yevon himself appears. The great scourge of Spira is revealed to be little more than a floating bug-like creature. The party destroys Yu Yevon, and forever defeats Sin, saving Spira from the cycle of death.

Auron, with his mission complete, requests that Yuna Send him, which she does with a heavy heart. Then, when the battle is finally won, Tidus begins to disappear as well. With the Fayth retiring from their thousand year dream, Tidus fades from existence. Though Yuna tries to embrace him, she falls right through him. Yuna then proclaims her love for him, and though he is fading away, Tidus tries to embrace her. He says goodbye and jumps off the edge of the Airship, falling into the clouds where he sees Braska, Auron, and Jecht waiting for him. As he falls, he high-fives Jecht, symbolizing that he has reconciled with his father.

Afterwards, Yuna makes a speech at the Luca Blitzball Stadium about the future of Spira; Sin is finally dead, and Spira is theirs again, after 1000 years of terror. The Eternal Calm has begun, and Yuna resolves to aid in the reconstruction of the world now that Sin is gone forever. The last thing she says, right before the credits roll, is that the people that have been lost, or the dreams that have vanished, should never be forgotten.

After the ending credits, a final cutscene shows Tidus waking up in the depths of the ocean and swimming back to the surface, with a smile on his face. This scene is explained in Final Fantasy X-2 if certain conditions are met.

Final Fantasy XI

20 years after defeating The Shadow Lord in the Great Crystal War, the three great nations of Vana’diel, the The Republic of Bastok,The Kingdom of San d’Oria, and the The Federation of Windurst experience a period of relative peace. However, the toll of the war is so tremendous that they have started relying on adventurers to do their bidding in the form of missions. During one of the missions to infiltrate a beastmen’s lair, adventurers team up with Lion, a scout for an undercover organization named Tenshodo to discover that the beastmen are working to revive the Shadowlord. Distraught, Lion decides to report back to Tenshodo. Meanwhile, the embassy of each nation has requested the adventurers to be sent to Jeuno to help with several tasks.

Archduke Kam’lanaut, leader of Jeuno and hero of the Crystal War, learns about the adventurers and requests their presence in his audience room. Kam’lanaut and his brother Eald’narche ask the adventurers to infiltrate the three beastmen strongholds and retrievemagicites which he believes can be used to resurrect The Shadow Lord. They request the help of Aldo, leader of Tenshodo to infiltrate one of the stronghold. During this mission, the adventurers learn about an incident 30 years ago during an expedition to the northlands in which a female hume named Cornelia was accidently killed trying to protect her lover and fellow adventurer, a Galka named Raogrimm. Raogrimm disappeared after the incident while the other three members of the expedition mysteriously died as soon as they returned home. After receiving the magicites, Kam’lanaut sends the adventurers away. Their embassies send them home to report to their nations.

Upon returning to their home nations, their leaders decide to send them to check on the final seal in Fei’Yin to make sure that it has not been broken. In Fei’Yin, the adventurers meet Zeid, another hero of the Crystal War. Following Lion’s investigation, Zeid goes to Fei’Yin to also check on the seal. However, they are too late. The final seal has been broken and the resurrection of The Shadow Lord is imminent. Together with Zeid and Lion, the adventurers infiltrate Castle Zvahl, The Shadow Lord’s former stronghold during the Crystal War. They reached the throne room just in time to see The Shadow Lord gets resurrected. Zeid and the adventurers defeat The Shadow Lord and discover that he is actually Raogrimm, Zeid’s close friend who went missing 30 years ago. Zeid lays his friend’s soul to rest and Raogrimm is finally reunited with Cornelia. After escaping Castle Zvahl, Lion invites the adventurers to visit her in the Outlands, which is featured heavily in the first expansion, Rise of the Zilart.

Final Fantasy XII

Final Fantasy XII takes place mostly in the Kingdom of Dalmasca, a small city-state in the world of Ivalice. A neutral party in the past wars between the neighboring Empires of Archadia and Rozarria, Dalmasca was ultimately conquered by Archadia and reduced to the status of an occupied state under Archadian rule, when its King Raminas signed the city into Imperial Rule. As a result, formerly loyal knight Basch murders his king for betrayal. Witnessing the betrayal is young knight Reks, who reveals Basch’s betrayal in his last breaths after being killed by his leader. Marquis Ondore, head of the sky city Bhujerba, narrates that the King’s daughter, Ashe, had committed suicide after her newly wed husband, Rasler, was shot and killed with an arrow from an Archadian Imperial Soldier during the Battle of Nalbina Fortress. He also announces that Basch had been executed for high treason.

Two years later, Reks’ brother, Vaan, an orphaned street urchin living in the Dalmascan capital of Rabanastre, the Royal City, is stealing some treasure from the Archadian Consul’s residence in the old royal castle of Dalmasca. While looting the castle’s safe Vaan meets Balthier, a sky pirate bent on stealing the Consul’s treasures, and his companion Fran, a Viera warrior. By coincidence, the underground Dalmascan resistance movement assaults the royal castle on the same night in a military coup to remove the Archadian consul, Vayne Carudas Solidor. Vaan’s looting gets noticed; he, Fran, and Balthier are pursued by Archadian soldiers. They escape into the Garamsythe Waterway, where they meet the surviving princess of Dalmasca, Ashe (though under the aliasAmalia), who is also the leader of the resistance faction.

Balthier, Vaan and Fran are sent to a dungeon from where they escape bringing Basch, revealed to be alive and imprisoned since the war, with them. Basch reveals he has a twin brother, Gabranth, who stole his identity and murdered the king in a plot to blackmail Ondore and strip Dalmasca of any semblance of sovereignty. Shortly thereafter, the Bangaa headhunter Ba’Gamnan, and his group, who are looking for Balthier, kidnap Vaan’s best friend Penelo under the incorrect assumption that she had a connection with Balthier, who would thus come to her aid. He, through coercion from Migelo and Vaan, as well as the word of Basch (who also had business to attend to there), do travel to Bhujerba, to free Penelo and, in the process, meet Larsa Ferrinas Solidor. Larsa is traveling under the name “Lamont”, posing as a commoner, and is seeking what eventually turns out to be manufactured Nethicite. Larsa is later revealed as the younger brother to Consul Vayne and is the second in line for the throne of Archadia. He helps the party rescue Penelo and later keeps her and the party safe from Archadian troops. At Bhujerba, the party meets Ashe again, and she requests Balthier’s aid (in the form of a “kidnapping”) to retrieve a proof of her royal blood: The Dawn Shard.

The party heads to the Dynast King Raithwall’s Tomb to retrieve the Dawn Shard and are subsequently captured by Judge Ghis upon leaving the tomb. A large, mysterious explosion provides opportunity for the party to escape. During their escape they witness—to their horror—that Judge Ghis’ Ship and the Entire Archadian 8th fleet was destroyed by the power of the Dawn Shard, which is composed of a powerful substance called Deifacted Nethicite. Bent on wielding that power to free Dalmasca and avenge her fallen comrades, Ashe heads to a place where she can learn more about the Stone. By chance, they meet Larsa again, who persuades them to join him and another mysterious enemy/ally at Mt. Bur-Omisace to plan on how to stop the imminent war.

Disgraced by the 8th fleet’s destruction, Vayne is called back to Archadia and begins to suspect (correctly) that his father and the Archadian Senate will bypass him for Emperor, giving the throne to his brother Larsa instead. Unwilling to risk this occurrence, Vayne murders his father, dissolves the Senate, and immediately sends a ship to Mt. Bur-Omisace to capture the Dawn Shard from Ashe. His envoy, Judge Bergan, arrives too late: Ashe and Larsa heard of the events and Ashe had already obtained the Sword of Kings (which had the ability to destroy Nethicite). An enraged Bergan kills the holy man Gran Kiltias Anastasis and bombs Mt. Bur-Omisace but is unable to get the shard or the sword. Larsa is taken back to Archades.

Ashe and her party decide it is time to destroy all the Nethicite available in Ivalice, so they head to the Draklor Laboratory in the Archadian Empire to destroy the last shard. Dr. Cid, or Cidolfus Demen Bunansa, is Balthier’s father and uses the final shard to manufacture artificial Nethicite in Arcadia.

They are unsuccessful in destroying the Nethicite in the Draklor Laboratory, and are instead left with information pointing them to the ancient city of Giruvegan. Dr. Cid is supposedly going there to retrieve more Deifacted Nethicite. The party enters the city and fights to the center of the Great Crystal, an incredibly large and powerful piece of Nethicite in which the Occurians live. There, the history of Raithwall and Nethicite is revealed. Ashe is given the Treaty Blade so that she can carve out additional pieces of Deifacted Nethicite from the Sun Cryst, source of all nethicite’s power, in order to achieve greater power and use it to destroy Archadia and its benefactor, the rogue Occuria Venat. She is conflicted as to her course of action.

Ashe and the party leave Giruvegan with the knowledge that Dr. Cid has used them to retrieve the Treaty Blade, and had no intention of traveling to Giruvegan. They return to Balfonheim and Reddas joins the party to travel to the Ridorana Cataract, where the Sun Cryst is housed in the lighthouse Pharos. In the lighthouse Ashe realizes that all of the appearances of Lord Rasler are images constructed by the Occurians. Judge Gabranth arrives and briefly fights the party. Upon his defeat, Dr. Cid appears and banishes him back to the fleet, taunting Gabranth for his failure. Upon defeating Dr. Cid, the Sun Cryst begins generating so much power that there is no way that the party could survive, until Reddas sacrifices himself to destroy the Sun Cryst with the Sword of Kings.

Vaan’s party travel back to Balfonheim and learn that the discharge of power activated the largest airship ever built, the sky fortress Bahamut, and the resistance armies are staging a battle in the skies above Rabanastre. They travel to Bahamut to stop Vayne before he can destroy the city of Rabanastre, and all of the ships in the resistance’s fleet. Before they can reach Vayne, Gabranth arrives to stop them. This time, Gabranth appears to have given up everything except his need to destroy his own brother. The party defeats Gabranth and leave him beaten in the elevator. Vayne attacks, and Larsa helps the party fight him. As Vayne is beaten down, his Manufacted Nethicite sucks power from Larsa, and the ship around him. Gabranth joins the attack against Vayne, but is struck down, just as Vayne is mortally wounded. The party watches Vayne limp away from the battlefield onto an outer platform on Bahamut. Vayne calls for Venat, telling the Occurian that he (Venat) must seek another to realize his ambitions of freeing Ivalice from the Occuria’s tyranny. Venat replies, saying that by destroying the Sun-Cryst, the Age of Stones is now over, causing the Occurians to lose their influence on Ivalice’s fate—therefore fulfilling Venat’s desire. Venat then dissolves, investing Vayne with its power as an Undying.

Vayne is eventually defeated by the party, and, unable to control his new powers, explodes into a cloud of mist. Before the party can relax, they must stop the two warring factions from killing each other and damaging Rabanastre. Boarding the Strahl, the party makes its escape, and with Larsa, Ashe and Basch’s help (the latter posing as Judge Gabranth), manage to get both sides to stand down. Just as everything looks like it’s going to be fine, the Bahamut starts to fall from the sky, onto Rabanastre. Judge Zargabaath starts to put the Alexander on a collision course, hoping to ram it out of the way. However, Balthier manages to stop him. To the party’s surprise, Balthier and Fran are still on the Bahamut. While Ashe tries to convince him to get off the falling fortress, Balthier reminds her that he’s the leading man, and the leading man can never die. Managing to restart the engines, Balthier starts to leave, with a wounded Fran in his arms. Before communications with the Strahl dies, Balthier tells Vaan to look after the Strahl while he’s gone. Vaan assures Balthier, before the Strahl flies away.

A year later, Penelo is writing a letter to Larsa. There is no longer any war, and Archadia and Rozarria are currently at peace. The party split apart, each living their own separate lives respectively. A month from now, Ashe will be crowned Queen of Dalmasca, so they won’t be able to see each other anymore. A few months prior to this event, the Strahl was stolen. Of course, Penelo notes that it isn’t really stealing if it was the original owner taking it back. Balthier leaves behind Ashe’s wedding ring, which she gave to him as compensation for the treasure Balthier did not get in Raithwall’s Tomb. Balthier also leaves a message saying that he found something ‘more valuable’, which of course refers back to when he took Ashe’s ring and said, “I’m only keeping this until I find something more valuable”. Basch takes over his brother’s place as Judge Magister and as Larsa’s protector, with the council never knowing of Gabranth’s death. The final scene shows Vaan flying his new airship to Rabanastre, where Revenant Wings takes off.

Final Fantasy XIII

Thirteen centuries ago, a fal’Cie, preternatural being formed by the crystal residing inside it, created a floating, utopian city in the atmosphere of a planet known as Pulse. The fal’Cie willed that the city be completely isolated from the crude and brutal wilderness below, and commissioned machines to be the guardians of the citizens. Barriers were subsequently set up all around the city, and as such was the metropolis granted its befitting name: Cocoon.

Having lived secluded from the outside world for many years, the citizens of Cocoon are now becoming anxious of what Pulse really holds. Recent contact with those from the world below has caused people to question one another and their ways of life. Wised up to the word on the street, the Sanctum of Cocoon have decreed a new edict: Any individuals suspected to be in contact with the world of Pulse are to be banished from the city unconditionally and cast into the harsh environment of the planet below.

In tandem with the increasing uneasiness among the citizens of Cocoon, the believers of destiny are now painting the gloomiest of futures: the downfall of the entire world. Belief has it that the fal’Cie residing on Pulse has sought a woman to destroy the world and its inhabitants. This woman goes by the codename Lightning. The fal’Cie force Lightning and her companions to do its bidding, marking them as the l’Cie and giving them the power of the crystals. The l’Cie struggle against their destiny, but how can they rebel against beings worshipped by people as gods?

In summary, the storyline will focus on “those who resist the world,” says Square Enix President Yoichi Wada.

Web novelization

The official Japanese website revealed a web novelization titled Final Fantasy XIII Episode Zero: Promise. It contains a series of short stories written by Jun Eishima, leading up to the events depicted in the actual game. The first story is called “Encounter”, and it focuses on how Serah Farron became the first Pulse l’Cie in Cocoon for a long time. The second story is called “Friends”, and it focuses on Hope Estheim’s life with his family before his mother’s death.

Dissidia: Final Fantasy

The story follows the conflict between Chaos and Cosmos and their allies, drawn from the main series games of Final Fantasy. Backstory for the various characters are also given in “Reports”, which are divided into Cosmos Reports and Chaos Reports. Within the history of Dissidia, Chaos and Cosmos have been at war with each other for an eternity, but thus far neither side has emerged victorious. As the game begins, it seems Chaos has finally gained the upper hand. The Warrior of Light finds Cosmos mortally wounded from a battle with Chaos. With the forces of light in peril, Cosmos appears before the other nine heroes and entrusts them with the task of recovering the Crystals, which can save their worlds.

Though they do not fully understand the quest Cosmos sets before them, the heroes set out to retrieve the Crystals in the hopes they can end the war. Each of the ten heroes has a storyline following their journey to recover their respective Crystal. Each storyline also parallels to a certain extent the events, or at least the spirit, of the storyline in the hero’s original game – Terra’s story deals with her amnesia and her waning control over her powers, Cloud’s concerns his indecisiveness and questioning his reason for fighting,Squall is torn between helping his friends and fulfilling his duty, and so forth.

As the game progresses, flashbacks and character interludes reveal that the war has happened before, but many characters cannot remember the previous battles. Through the words of Garland, and the “Reports” acquired during the game, it is revealed that the war has been going on for an eternity – every time the war ends and one of the gods is slain, the dragon Shinryu restores the losing god to life and the war begins anew. Though most of the heroes do not know this, the villains do, and have a plan in motion to end the war in their favor before Shinryu awakens.

The heroes return to Cosmos with their Crystals, but Chaos appears and incinerates the goddess, and departs back to his realm. With Cosmos gone, her power over the heroes fades and they begin to fade back to their own worlds. However, with the last of her strength inside them, the Crystals are able to keep the heroes from fading. Determined to avenge Cosmos and see her will fulfilled, the heroes journey to the Chaos Shrine, each confronting their respective villain once again. At this time it is revealed that the villains allowed the heroes to collect the Crystals, which contained Cosmos’ light, and their shining caused Cosmos to weaken to the point she couldn’t be revived, a “perfect death”. Now that Cosmos gone for good, the cycle of war is over, with Chaos as the ultimate victor. Resolving to destroy Chaos and claim vengeance for Cosmos, the heroes each defeat their villain once again in battle.

At the Chaos Shrine, the ten Crystals combine to open the path to Chaos’ realm, and the ten heroes confront the god of discord on his throne. After an epic battle, Chaos is defeated and is consumed in flames as the heroes vanish. They appear in the fields outsideCornelia, and after some reminiscing, each return to their own worlds with their Crystal safe, while Warrior of Light returns to Cornelia.

In the secret ending of the game, unlocked after obtaining all the Reports, Cosmos is shown to be alive in her world. She has a discussion with Cid of the Lufaine, implying that the war still has not yet ended.

WALLPAPER GALLERY

All these wallpapers were originally posted on Square’s Official website (92 pcs in total); and some are fan-arts modified from the official ones. It covers Final Fantasy 7, 8, 9, 10, 10-2, 12, Advent Children, Crisis Core, Tactics and Crystal Chronicles. Click om the thumbnails to get full-sized wallpapers.

Please refer to my Final Fantasy Stuff post for a complete listing of Final Fantasy resources and more wallpapers.

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