The Final Fantasy series has graced many different systems over the years. With the notable exception of Sega, you can find a Final Fantasy on Nintendo, Sony, and Xbox consoles. The series has existed for nearly thirty years, and the games have competed for sales with the likes of Super Mario Bros, Metal Gear Solid, and Halo 3. The Final Fantasy series has had to evolve, and change how we look at RPGs. If the series had stagnated, then it would have lost its audience to the likes of Dragon Quest, Pokémon, and World of Warcraft.
Due to its proximity to other classic series, Final Fantasy has crossed over with numerous video games over the years. Some are just brief shout-outs for the audience, while others are full blown appearances by famous Final Fantasy characters.
We are here today to find out what games the Final Fantasy series has been making cameos in. From Disney to Nintendo, and Squaresoft to Square Enix, here are the 15 Times Final Fantasy Has Crossed Over With Other Games.
The Kingdom Hearts series only exists due to a lucky meeting between two individuals. Shinji Hashimoto was a producer on the Final Fantasy series (he is now its Brand Manager). He had pitched an idea for a game involving Disney characters to the higher ups at Squaresoft, and it was accepted. By chance, he ran into a Disney Executive in an elevator, and was able to pitch his game idea directly to him. This meeting would start a chain of events that would lead to the creation of Kingdom Hearts.
You might think that the Kingdom Hearts series is a direct crossover between Disney and Final Fantasy. This is not the case. The series can better be described as having a Final Fantasy style story and characters, but is set in a multiverse based on Disney properties. Actual Final Fantasy characters are few and far between, and the settings are generally based around Disney movies. The closest Squaresoft came to having a Final Fantasy world within Kingdom Hearts was by allowing the characters from another one of their games to take over a familiar area. Traverse Town is a location that has appeared in most of the Kingdom Hearts games. In Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Traverse Town was taken over by the cast of The World Ends With You, an incredible Square Enix RPG on the Nintendo DS.
Some of the most popular Final Fantasy characters have appeared in Kingdom Hearts. These include Cloud Strife, Sephiroth, Vivi, Squall Leonhart, Tidus, Selphie, Tifa, and Auron. Most of the characters are from the PlayStation era onwards, with the only Nintendo-era character to appear being Setzer from Final Fantasy VI.
Secret of Evermore is considered to be the black sheep of the legendary lineup of Squaresoft games on the Super Nintendo. The game was created by Square of America (rather than the usual Japanese studio), and was essentially a poor man's Secret of Mana. You played as an annoying kid, who made constant references to fictitious movies, as he travelled the mystical world of Evermore. He is joined by his shape-shifting dog, who changes depending on what area of the game you are in.
While not in the same league as a Chrono Trigger or Final Fantasy VI, Secret of Evermore was a fun game. It has received a negative reaction from RPG fans over the years, due to the (incorrect) belief that the Squaresoft chose to release this game in America instead of the sequel to Secret of Mana. An English translation of the Secret of Mana sequel was released in the following years, and showed how awesome it was. This increased the hatred towards Secret of Evermore.
Due to it being a Squaresoft game, Secret of Evermore featured cameos from different Final Fantasy characters. Cecil Harvey, the main character of Final Fantasy IV, appears as a merchant in Ebon Keep. He will tell you all about his adventures from his own game, before selling you stuff. Should you visit the Coliseum, you can see several of the characters from Final Fantasy VI in the audience (Locke, Mog, Relm, Strago, Terra, and Umaro are watching the battles).
The first six Final Fantasy games appeared on Nintendo consoles. When Nintendo announced that they were staying with cartridges for their upcoming Nintendo 64 console, Squaresoft jumped ship. They wanted to create games for CD-ROM based consoles, due to the massive increase in memory that they provided. Squaresoft began developing Final Fantasy VII for the original PlayStation. This allowed them to increase the quality of the music, and include FMV cutscenes (as was the style of the time).
Nintendo and Squaresoft had a falling out because of Square's defection. The last game released before the split was Final Fantasy VI in 1994. They would not make another game for a Nintendo console until the release of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles on the GameCube in 2003. Since then, the two companies have made up, and have collaborated on multiple occasions.
In 2006, Square Enix began developing a basketball game for the Nintendo DS. They realised that the game would need a recognisable name if it was going to sell. They contacted Nintendo, and asked for use of the Mario licence. Nintendo agreed, and Mario Hoops 3-on-3 was born.
Despite being a Mario game, Square Enix still managed to include Final Fantasy characters. By progressing through the game, you can unlock playable versions of the Moogle, Cactuar, a Ninja, a White Mage, and a Black Mage.
As Japanese video games entered the mainstream, a lot more effort was put into giving them a high quality English localisation. Square Enix are notable for providing their latest games with high quality text and voice acting. You might think this comes from a desire to please the fans. Wrong! They simply do not want to repeat the mistakes of the past.
Four games in the Final Fantasy series have received translations filled with errors. Some of which have gone on to become popular Internet memes. Final Fantasy VII has gems such as "This guy are sick". Final Fantasy VI has "Son of a submariner!". The worst may be Final Fantasy Tactics, due to it being filled with incorrect dialogue. Luckily, the PlayStation Portable re-release fixed most of these errors.
Final Fantasy IV has the reputation for having the worst localization of all. It all comes from one line...
When Tellah witnesses the death of his daughter, he blames Edward, the Bard she eloped with. The two begin to fight, and in his grief, Tellah calls him a "Spoony Bard". The term "Spoony" is an archaic way of saying that someone does not take life seriously. It sort of fits as a description for Edward, but it doesn't quite grasp Tellah's anger during this scene.
Since the release of the game, the term "You Spoony Bard" has become a popular Internet phrase, so much so that it appeared in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations. The Judge is compared to a spoon, and he retorts that he is no "spoony bard".
Arcade machines were once at the forefront of video game design. Before the arrival of the original PlayStation & Nintendo 64, all of the home consoles were trying to live up to the potential of the arcades. As time went on, CD based media began outstripping what could be done on an arcade machine, and the home console market essentially destroyed them.
In Japan, certain brands of arcade machine still live on. Pachinko machines that include video game elements are a huge business there, and have essentially become Konami's main business model. There also exist arcade games that act similar to the ones on home console. Lords of Vermilion is a series of arcade games owned by Square Enix. The game allows the player to save their progress, and battle opponents online.
Lords of Vermilion is a card battling game (similar to Yu-Gi-Oh). Due to being it being a Square Enix game, many Final Fantasy characters have appeared as cards in Lords of Vermilion. These include characters like Rydia, Kain, Golbez, Barbariccia, and Kefka.
The Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest series were once rivals for the title of the most popular JRPG series of all time. Dragon Quest is considered a national treasure in Japan, and the release of each new game has the same hype as that of a new Star Wars movie in America. While Final Fantasy wasn't quite as successful as Dragon Quest in Japan, it did have a much bigger presence in the West. The Dragon Quest series did not make any serious attempt at cracking the English speaking gaming market until the Nintendo DS. The rivalry was made a moot point in 2003, when Squaresoft and Enix merged (becoming Square Enix).
Despite the shared ownership, Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest have rarely crossed over directly. For the longest time, there was only an insulting tombstone and a stolen sword linking the two series.
Both series have mainline entries that are MMOs. These are Final Fantasy XI & XIV and Dragon Quest X (which is Japan exclusive). These three games have all held crossover events. The Golem monster from Dragon Quest has appeared as an enemy in Final Fantasy XIV. Shantotto from Final Fantasy XI appeared in Dragon Quest X, and can provide the player with a Chocobo hat.
The Nintendo DS is the second highest selling video game console of all time (after the PlayStation 2). The DS sold over 154 million units worldwide. Despite this level of coverage, developers were not as keen to develop for the system as you may think. This was due to the rampant piracy on the system, as Flash Carts that allowed you to play games (with the aid of an SD card) were commonplace.
It was likely due to such concerns that Square Enix chose not to release Blood of Bahamut on the system in 2009. Blood of Bahamut was an attempt at creating a handheld RPG in the style of Shadow of the Colossus. The game involved the main characters fighting off city sized monsters, known as Giants.
All of the Giants in Blood of Bahamut are based upon creatures from Final Fantasy. Ifrit, Shiva, Bahamut, Gilgamesh, Fenrir, and a Giant based upon the Knights of the Round all appeared as bosses in the game.
Western fans of Square Enix games were not able to enjoy Blood of Bahamut until 2014, when an English fan translation was released online.
Final Fantasy has crossed over with both Dragon Ques and the Mario universe. It has happened within a series known as Itadaki Street.
The creator of Dragon Quest, Yuji Horii, created a minigame within Dragon Quest III that formed the basis for Itadaki Street. The basement of certain Inn's held a human sized board game that the players needed to find tickets for in order to take play. The spaces on the board held treasure, traps, or monster encounters. This minigame was so popular that Yuji Horii spun it off into its own series of video games.
Itadaki Street has had many different instalments over the years. Final Fantasy has appeared in several of them. In Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy in Itadaki Street Special Portable for the PlayStation Portable, characters from both series battled it out on the street. Fortune Street for the Nintendo Wii featured characters from both Final Fantasy and Mario competed against each for money and prizes.
Xenogears had the potential to be one of the greatest games on the original PlayStation. It was an RPG series where the main characters appeared in 2D sprite art. The game also included giant robot battles, that were rendered in full 3D. The game dealt with deep philosophical issues, and attempted to tell a deep story, in an era that was not used to those kinds of games.
There is one huge problem with Xenogears that keeps it from being a classic. The developers ran out of money halfway through making the game. This meant that the 2nd disc is essentially one long, unskippable cutscene, with hardly any gameplay to speak off. Despite this, some fans still remember Xenogears fondly.
If you travel to one of the houses in the Solaris capitol in Xenogears, you can see a poster of Tifa from Final Fantasy VII on the wall. Lucca from Chrono Trigger also appears in the game, as a citizen of the village of Lahan.
The original Parasite Eve is deeply connected to the creation of Final Fantasy VII. Despite being an adaptation of a novel & film, Parasite Eve only carried superficial elements from the original story. Outside of a person who could control the mitochondria in people's blood (in a manner similar to a superpower), the video game Parasite Eve was its own entity.
A lot of these unique elements came from another game that was in development at the same time. Final Fantasy VII was originally going to be set in New York City, and follow a detective who was opposing the cult of Jenova. Unlike the alien monstrosity that she was in the final game, the original Jenova was supposed to exist within the DNA of all people, and those who knew how to tap into it could use supernatural powers. The Sorceress Edea from Final Fantasy VIII was originally planned to be a priestess of Jenova in Final Fantasy VII. The game was changed into the Final Fantasy VII that we all know and love, and a lot of the original design elements were moved over to Parasite Eve.
Parasite Eve contains references to the Final Fantasy series. Due to the game being set in New York City, the player can visit the American Museum of Natural History. There is a banner hanging outside of the Museum that shows a Chocobo. If you go inside, there is also a skeleton of the famous bird.
Square Enix has made some bad business decisions over the years. The creation of a Final Fantasy movie that had almost nothing to do with the video game series, and its failure almost bankrupting the company was a big one. Shoving Final Fantasy XIV out of the door while it was still barely playable, and releasing an apology afterwards, was another.
One of Square Enix's best decisions was purchasing Eidos Interactive. This allowed them to release games in the Tomb Raider, Just Cause, and Hitman series, all of which are highly acclaimed and big sellers across multiple platforms.
The original Deus Ex is regarded as one of the best RPGs of all time. It's sequel, Deus Ex: Invisible War, was considered a disappointment, and the series was abandoned for a long time. Square Enix revived the series, leading to the release of Deus Ex: Human Revolution in 2011.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution included a reference to Final Fantasy, as a nod to their new owner. During the game, the player can see a poster for Final Fantasy XXVII. As the game is set in 2027, it means we are due another twelve games in the series.
Despite being best known for their RPGs, Square Enix have released numerous fighting games over the years. Tobal, Bushido Blade, The Bouncer, and Dissidia Final Fantasy have all featured fast-paced combat action, with none of that turn based stuff slowing everything down.
Namco once published a fighting game for the arcades known as Ehrgeiz: God Bless The Ring. The game featured combat in a 3D environment, where the player could move around freely, and interact with objects (like weapons) that were strewn about.
Squaresoft took on the job of porting the game to the original PlayStation. They decided to add characters from Final Fantasy VII into the game, as a means of cross promotion. It seems to have worked, as the only thing people remember about Ehrgeiz is the Final Fantasy characters.
The game included playable versions of Cloud, Tifa, Sephiroth, Zack, Vincent, and Yuffie, from Final Fantasy VII.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars is considered one of the best games on the Super Nintendo. It was a collaboration between Squaresoft and Nintendo, and it mixed the strategic RPG gameplay associated with the former, with the colourful characters and setting of the latter.
The game features something known as a "superboss". A superboss is a secret boss battle hidden within a game, that is more difficult than the actual end boss of the story. The most famous examples of a superboss are the Ruby and Emerald Weapon of Final Fantasy VII. In Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, the superboss is named Culex, and he is like nothing else you will see in the game.
Culex (originally known as Crystaller in Japan) exists in a dark void, outside of the normal boundaries of reality. He uses four crystals in battle, and his boss music is from Final Fantasy IV. For years, players did not know what to make of Culex. Was he the villain of some obscure Final Fantasy game that never left Japan? Would he appear in a future game in the series?
It wasn't until Culex's Japanese dialogue was examined that the truth of him came to light. Culex represents the last of the 2D Final Fantasy villains. His dialogue talks about the power of the "third dimension", and how it is more powerful than his own. In a way, Culex's words came true. It wasn't long after this that Squaresoft would release Final Fantasy VII, the first 3D title in the series. This was the game that brought the series into the mainstream, leaving the 2D ones in the dust.
Life is Strange is a game in the same vein as the Telltale graphical adventure titles. It follows a teenage girl named Maxine, who has the ability to rewind time. It is difficult to discuss the game's story without delving too far into spoiler territory. Rest assured, it was a highly acclaimed game, and it can be found on many modern systems, so you have no excuse for not playing it.
The game was developed by Dontnod Entertainment, but was published by Square Enix. Much like the Deus Ex entry, the game decided to give a shout out to their new anime overlords.
While playing Life is Strange, you can interact with a plasma screen television. The main character will remark that she wants to sneak back sometime, and watch Final Fantasy: Spirits Within. She claims it is one of the best science fiction movies ever made.
There is ass kissing, and then there is Life is Strange. Anyone who has actually seen Final Fantasy: Spirits Within would likely agree.
2015 was a big year for video game announcements. Sony's press conference at E3 was one of the most memorable in history, with The Last Guardian, Shenmue 3, and the long awaited remake of Final Fantasy VII being announced. The hype was real, and the PlayStation 4 suddenly seemed like a really good investment.
There was only one announcement that topped Sony at E3. At the end of the November 2015 Nintendo Direct, Reggie Fils-Aimé promised a new trailer. What followed was the reveal of Cloud Strife in Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U. What once seemed like a fantasy scenario for teenagers in the early 2000s had now become a reality.
Cloud is one of the best characters in Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U. He is essentially a more powerful version of Little Mac (with none of the glaring weaknesses). He is one of the highest ranked characters in the Tier lists, and is a prominent figure in competitive play.
The joy of playing Cloud has nothing to do with how strong he is, however. The fact that you get to play as Cloud as he battles other classic video game characters feels like a dream come true. His presence in the game is a testament to the relationship between Square Enix and Nintendo finally being fixed. Despite being born on a Sony console, Nintendo recognises that Cloud is important enough to the video game industry that he can go toe to toe with Mario, and the other legendary characters who have earned the right to appear in Smash Bros.