With so many Final Fantasy games in existence, it is only natural that there be some unanswered questions about them. With the early games in the series, there wasn’t enough memory to fit a story onto the cartridge, so the details tended to be non-existent. When the series reached the 32-bit era, there was too much story, and important elements tended to be dropped in favour of more Japanese-style melodrama.
The Final Fantasy series has one of the most dedicated fanbases in all of video game history. There are lots of websites dedicated to the Final Fantasy games, with pages of information written on every aspect of the series. Even with so many fans examining the finer details, there are still mysteries that haven’t been solved. We are here today to examine the questions about Final Fantasy that have no answers. From the SOLDIER trapped in Ivalice, to the truth behind one of the most iconic scenes in the series. Here are the 15 Biggest Unanswered Final Fantasy Mysteries.
15. How Does Cloud Escape From Ivalice?
Final Fantasy Tactics has a series of sidequests that require you to keep Mustadio the Machinist in your party. Mustadio has access to several ancient pieces of technology that require a Zodiac Brave stone to activate. At the end of this line of quests, Mustadio activates a teleportation device that brings a character from another Final Fantasy game into the world of Ivalice: Cloud Strife is stolen from the world of Final Fantasy VII, and brought into Final Fantasy Tactics.
From his dialogue, it seems that Cloud was plucked from his world at the moment that he fell into the Lifestream. You can recruit Cloud into the party, and use his unique Limit Break command in battle.
Once you complete the game, you see several cutscenes that tie up all of the loose ends… except for Cloud. It is never explained how he returned back to his home world. After you recruit him, he has no more unique story quests. So how did Cloud manage to escape Ivalice and return to his own game?
14. What Happened To Banon?
In Final Fantasy VI, the main characters become members of a group called the Returners. With the Gestahlian Empire attacking cities all across the world, the Returners are formed to oppose them. Their leader was a man named Banon, who actually joins the party for a short time. Banon has access to the Pray command, which is a healing spell that costs no MP, and targets the whole party. His presence on the team is very helpful, even though it doesn’t last for very long.
The last time you see Banon is in the city of Vector, after it is has been attacked by Espers. Once Kefka has become the God of magic, and you enter the World of Ruin, Banon is nowhere to be found. The developers of the game were asked about Banon, but their response was cryptic. In an interview with V-Jump magazine, they said to “use your imagination”. What does that mean? Did Banon die, or is he still alive?
We do have another theory based upon his official Amano artwork (seen above). He quit the Returners, and started a lucrative career as an Alan Moore impersonator.
13. What Happened To Kuja?
Kuja is one of the most prolific antagonists in the whole Final Fantasy series. He controls an army of dragons, he can create powerful magic-using golems, and he can conjure huge monsters called Mistodon’s out of thin air. In terms of his own magical ability, Kuja had the power to destroy the world of Terra with his Ultima spell. Even Kefka and Sephiroth were not able to accomplish a feat like that.
At the end of the game, Kuja is defeated, and he is briefly replaced by Necron – one of the lamest villains in the series. As the party attempt to escape the Iifa Tree, Zidane goes back to try and save Kuja. Zidane finds an injured Kuja within the tree, and protects him from the sentient roots that are trying to kill him. Zidane and Kuja share some tender words, before Kuja passes out.
In the game’s ending, we see that Zidane is still alive. So what happened to Kuja? Did he die within the tree, or is he still alive somewhere? It is unlikely that he would receive a warm reception if he made his survival known, as he is responsible for many deaths throughout the course of the game. It makes sense that he may have gone into hiding, if he even survived in the first place.
12. How Did Seifer Learn How To Kill Odin?
In Final Fantasy VIII, the summon monsters work differently than how they do in every other game in the series. For starters, instead of being called an Esper or Eidolon, they are known as a GF, or “Guardian Force”. Your party members can equip a Guardian Force, which allows you to summon them in battle, or use some of their unique commands in battle.
If you travel to the Centra Ruins, you can acquire a unique Guardian Force called Odin. Unlike the rest of the Guardian Forces, Odin has a random chance of appearing at the beginning of each battle. If he shows up, then he will use his Zantetsuken sword to slice the enemies in half. This move is guaranteed to kill all enemies.
Once you reach the top of the Lunatic Pandora dungeon, the party will face Seifer Almasy in combat. If you have acquired Odin before this battle, then his animation will play, and he will attack Seifer. As the player, you are probably excited to have this boss battle over and done with in one hit. That does not happen. Instead, Seifer pulls a “Zantetsuken Reverse” move right out of his butt, and kills Odin on the spot. So where the hell did Seifer learn this move? He just happened to know the one way to counter Odin in battle? Where did Seifer get the knowledge to defeat him?
11. Why Does Aerith Still Have Dialogue After She Dies?
The death of Aerith is one of the most pivotal moments in the Final Fantasy series. It was so sad, that some people refused to accept that Aerith was really dead. Numerous pages on the Internet are filled with false information concerning the potential resurrection of Aerith in Final Fantasy VII. As time went on, people decided to take matters into their own hands, and used cheats to make Aerith a playable character after her death.
One of the most interesting things about hacking Aerith back into the game is the fact that she has a few unique lines of dialogue after her death scene. If you mess up while trying to cross the Great Glacier, then Aerith will complain about the bad weather conditions. When this knowledge became known online, it sparked numerous theories that Aerith was intended to die later in the game. It is postulated that the reason it was moved forward was to make it happen at the end of the first disc, and give a dramatic ending to that section of the game. This has led fans to ask whether Aerith was truly intended to die in the Forgotten Capitol?
10. How Did Cid And Yang Survive?
Fictional characters have the capacity to survive terrible injuries, all in the name of creating drama. The Final Fantasy series is no exception to this. Squall survives getting a shard of ice shoved through his chest. Tifa gets run through by Sephiroth’s sword. The cast members of Final Fantasy VI survive the end of the world. Sephiroth literally blows up most of the solar system with one of his attacks… and the party just shrugs it off.
With all that being said, there are two characters whose survival is utterly ridiculous. Cid and Yang from Final Fantasy IV should be deader than disco, but they are both alive for unexplained reasons.
When you reach the Tower of Babil, your party has the chance to destroy a set of powerful cannons. Yang attempts to stop the Super Cannon from firing, but he dies in the attempt. The room he is in explodes, and the party presumes that he is dead. He is later discovered alive, and is being treated within the Sylph Caves. Yang was blown halfway across the underworld, after took a cannon shot to the face. How is he still alive?
Cid’s survival is even more ridiculous. In order to allow the party’s airship to escape, Cid offers to slow down the enemy. This involves him jumping off a flying airship, while blowing himself up with a huge bomb, and being hit by a giant torrent of lava.
Any one of those things should have been enough to kill a playable Final Fantasy character. Not Cid though, he shows up later in the game, resting in the infirmary of the Dwarven Castle. How did he survive one of the most suicidal moves in gaming history?
9. What’s The Deal With Minerva?
Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- was a prequel game released on the PlayStation Portable. It followed the story of Zack Fair after he becomes a member of SOLDIER, the elite mercenary force of the Shinra Company. The game offered us a look at the backstory of Final Fantasy VII, and gave us more information about the inner workings of Shinra, the founding members of SOLDIER, and the cause of Sephiroth’s madness.
The story of Mako energy in Final Fantasy VII is meant to be an allegory for real life environmental concerns over the usage of fossil fuels. In the world of Final Fantasy VII, when a person dies, their soul returns to the planet. The Mako energy that the Shinra company are using as a power source is actually the soul’s of the dead.
Throughout the events of Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, an entity named Minerva is introduced. She is a Messianic figure, who appears from the Lifestream to bring Genesis back from the dead. Since when does the world of Final Fantasy VII have a character like that? The whole story is supposed to be about the environment, not Virgin Mary characters who exist to pass judgement on the living. Why does a character with godlike powers like this exists? Why is she never mentioned before the events of Crisis Core? If she can bring people back from the dead, then why doesn’t she resurrect Aerith in the planet’s time of need? We get no answers as to Minerva’s nature, and she exists as a literal Deus Ex Machina, to bring Genesis back to life after he is slain by Zack.
8. How Does The Ivalice Timeline Work?
Final Fantasy Tactics is set in a fantasy world known as Ivalice. When Final Fantasy XII was released, it was established that it too was set in Ivalice, but at a much earlier point in history. Squaresoft once released a game called Vagrant Story on the PlayStation, and that was retconned into also being set in Ivalice. The two Final Fantasy Tactics Advance games are set in a world called Ivalice, but they are believed to be separate from the main Ivalice.
Now you are all up to speed, let’s discuss how the timeline of Ivalice makes no sense.
The world of Final Fantasy XII is filled with numerous sentient races (like the Moogles and the Bangaa), and technology is widely available (like airships and guns). By the time Final Fantasy Tactics has rolled around, all of that is gone, and the world has returned to a feudal state. The biggest inconsistency involves the character of Balthier from Final Fantasy XII. He shows up as a playable character in Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions, with no explanation as to why he is still around after several hundred years. During the ending of Final Fantasy XII, Balthier claims that he is going after the treasure known as the “Cache of Glabados”. This refers to the religious figure from Final Fantasy Tactics, known as Ajora Glabados. The thing is, he won’t be born for another few centuries. So what is the deal with the Ivalice timeline?
7. How Does Reeve Control Cait Sith?
Every classic story has something off about it. The Godfather has the boring storyline where Michael goes to Sicily. Game of Thrones has the awfulness that is Dorne. The video game equivalent to these is Cait Sith, the worst character in Final Fantasy VII.
Cait Sith is a giant toy, being controlled by a robot, who is also being controlled by a middle-aged executive. His presence is totally out of place in the game. Not only is he annoying, but he betrays the party early on, and takes Barret’s daughter hostage in order to further his goals. If all that wasn’t bad enough, he has a really bad Scottish accent in Advent Children.
It is revealed that Cait Sith is being controlled by Reeve, one of the top Shinra executives. The question of how he manages to remotely control a robot throughout your quest, while also working his high-level job at a big company, is never explained. At one point during the game, Reeve’s secret is revealed, and he is arrested by Shinra. He still manages to control Cait Sith just fine during this period. How was he doing it?
6. How Did Sir Fratley Lose His Memory?
One of the main characters in Final Fantasy IX is Freya. She is a member of a race of humanoid rats, and she belongs to the Dragon Knight (or Dragoon) class. This means she battles with spears, and can leap high up into the air, before crashing down on her foes.
When we first meet Freya, she is travelling the world in search of her lover, who was a fellow Dragon Knight named Sir Fratley. He left their homeland to investigate rumours of the growing military power in other nations, and never returned. When Sir Fratley appears in the story, he has lost his memory. He has no recollection of Freya, or his own homeland.
Sir Fratley is an absolute badass in combat, and he is able to go toe-to-toe with General Beatrix, one of the most powerful characters in the game. If Sir Fratley was so strong, then what caused him to lose his memories?
5. How Did Ramza Survive His Final Battle?
The last battle of Final Fantasy Tactics takes place within another dimension. Ramza Beoulve leads his companions through a portal, into the Necrohol of Mullonde. It is there that he battles Ultima, the evil leader of the Lucavi demons. Ramza fights the demon on top of a ruined Airship. When Ultima is defeated, not only does he explode, but the airship that they are standing on flips over, and also explodes.
During the ending cutscene, Olan witnesses Ramza riding off on a Chocobo, along with his sister Alma. The developer of the game has confirmed that this was indeed Ramza, and that he is still alive in a foreign land. This information leaves the potential open for a Final Fantasy Tactics sequel one day, but it doesn’t make much sense.
4. Why Didn’t The Weapon Monsters Attack Sephiroth?
The Weapon monsters of Final Fantasy VII are considered the quintessential example of the “Superboss”. The RPG genre is known for adding in boss monsters who are more powerful than the actual end boss of the story mode. These are intended to be an extra challenge for the dedicated players. In most cases, the Superboss is not directly involved in the story.
In Final Fantasy VII, when the planet detects that Sephiroth is trying to destroy the world, it dispatches five Godzilla sized monsters to kill him. Sephiroth is prepared for this, and he covers the entrance to his lair with a barrier. The Weapon monsters cannot sense anything within the barrier, so they just go on a rampage across the world.
3. Why Did The Fayth Allow Tidus To Die?
The ending of Final Fantasy X has two powerful death scenes. The first is Auron, who was actually dead all along, but was unable to pass on into the afterlife due to the unfulfilled oaths he had made. Once Spira was saved, he could allow himself to truly die. The more tragic death is Tidus, as he was a creation of a powerful group of beings known as the Fayth. As the Fayth passed on into the afterlife, so too must Tidus. He said his goodbyes, and faded away into nothing.
That is, unless you played Final Fantasy X-2. If you achieved 100% completion in this sequel to the first game, then the Fayth will return, and bring Tidus back to life.
If the faith could resurrect Tidus at any time, then why did they allow him to die in the first place? He had literally just saved the world, and had broken a cycle of bloodshed that had lasted for centuries. You think that would entitle him to one free resurrection.
2. Who Is The Elegant Flier?
This is another meta example, and it involves some of the unused content in Final Fantasy Tactics.
Since its release, players have poured through the code of Final Fantasy Tactics in search of secrets. The game actually proved to be very fruitful, and is full of characters and levels that went unused.
The most significant discovery concerns an unusual character sprite. If you try and hack Tietra into your party (something that does not happen during normal gameplay), then her sprite will be replaced by someone different in the menu. Tietra’s character model changes to a young black girl, who wears blue & yellow robes, and sports a pair of pigtails. This design does not resemble any other character in the game.
It was later discovered that this character actually has concept art. According to the director of Final Fantasy Tactics, this character is called “Elegant Flier”, although he admits that he doesn’t recall what her role in the game was going to be. Who was this character? What role was she going to have in the story of Final Fantasy Tactics?
1. What Really Happened At Nibelheim?
The people who have only played Final Fantasy VII might be confused as to why this entry is on the list. During the events of that game, Cloud has an extended flashback sequence where he tells the story of how Sephiroth went mad to the rest of the party. According to Cloud and Tifa, Sephiroth discovered the truth of his parentage in the town of Nibelheim. He was driven mad by the revelation, and he murdered almost everyone in Nibelheim, before burning it to the ground. Sephiroth travelled to the Nibelheim Mako reactor, where Cloud defeated him in combat, and threw him into the Lifestream.
Since the release of Final Fantasy VII, there have been several spin-off games & movies released. Each one of them tells a different version of the incident. In Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, Genesis is involved with the incident, as it is he who convinces Sephiroth to seek out the truth of his birth. In Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII- (a cellphone game that never left Japan), the Turks were involved in the incident, and one of them tries to stop Sephiroth. In Last Order -Final Fantasy VII- (an animated film that appears on some version of the Advent Children home release), it is revealed that Sephiroth jumps into the Mako reactor willingly, and takes his own life.
There are four different explanations as to what happened on that fateful day in Nibelheim. So which one of them is the truth? Are any of them true? Will the upcoming Final Fantasy VII Remake give us the answer?