Secrets make the world go round, often hiding truths that would shatter the very fabric of time and space if they were ever brought to light. Mankind's natural curiosity will always push them to search for the answers to life's biggest mysteries. Sometimes, they will even uncover enigmas they never even realized were there; a veritable pandora's box that, once uncovered, can never again be concealed, no matter how bad they might want it to be. While this may be the case with life's secrets, video games' hidden treasures are more often than not a joy to discover and explore.
Final Fantasy is a series that has amassed a particularly wealthy sum of secrets throughout its almost unbelievably long lifespan. While the main quests offer more than enough content to justify a purchase, the hidden oddities placed into each title consistently lure players back for more. Some areas even contain challenges that devoted players can attempt to best at their leisure, should they have already uncovered the location.
In this list, we will be taking a look specifically at hidden locations that can be found throughout the many games in the long running franchise. Some of these places include hard to reach dungeons, locations off the beaten path that hold valuable items or equipment, and even a few areas that require some glitch magic to reach.
Without further ado here are 21 Hidden Locations In Final Fantasy.
21 Omega Ruins - Final Fantasy X
At times, people complain that certain titles in the series are too linear, not giving the player enough opportunity for exploration. In reality, most entries guide players along a predetermined path with the illusion of freedom created by the presence of a world map and the ability to return to previously visited locations.
What's more is that one of the most celebrated games in the franchise, Final Fantasy X, strips any sense of freedom until close to the very end, but escapes any of these criticisms simply by being so fantastic.
Once the game does open up, players can find the secret location known as Omega Ruins by searching for certain coordinates with the air ship. Inside the ruins, Tidus and the party will fight some of the most difficult fiends of the entire game and find valuable treasure. The two bosses of the dungeon are Omega and Ultima weapon. In the game, Omega was a monk who was done away with seven hundred years prior for questioning the teachings of Spira's religion, Yevon.
The first release of FFX only gave Omega weapon 99,999 health points, but later releases increased this number more than tenfold to 999,999, making the boss considerably more challenging for anyone not playing the first release.
20 Gelnika - Final Fantasy VII
One of the best parts of Final Fantasy VII's design is the sprinkling of cyberpunk themes and aesthetics throughout its world. The Shinra corporation is the evil conglomerate akin to Blade Runner's Tyrell Corporation or Neuromancer's Sense/Net, with their abuse of the planet's energy and manipulation of information to control the public.
When playing the game, it is always a treat to explore these environments, and especially adventurous players can enter a destroyed piece of Shinra equipment if they find the hidden underwater dungeon, Gelnika. During the course of the story, a Gelnika, a transport plane used by the evil conglomerate, is shot down and crash lands in the ocean. It is possible to visit the crashed plane once the party gains access to the submarine on the second disc. Upon entering, there will be a boss fight with some of the Turks who flee once they are defeated.
Players can explore the plane, collect valuable treasure, and face off against challenging monsters.
The Gelnika is a fun extra dungeon to traverse and also a fantastic location for anyone playing who is looking to train their characters or level up their Materia. During the end game, it becomes vital to increase the party's stats and magic.
19 Menace Beneath Lucis - Final Fantasy XV
The genre that this beloved series falls under naturally lends itself to lengthy single player stories, with many grandiose set pieces. However, it's hard to weave a tale longer and more tense than the development process of Final Fantasy XV, a fifteen year journey that saw a console generation go by and a name change from Final Fantasy Versus XIII, to becoming its own numbered title.
While the main campaign is shorter than the standard fare, it more than makes up for it through numerous side quests, with The Menace Beneath Lucis being one of the more well-hidden tasks for players to uncover.
The two prerequisites for these eight dungeons are simply to have beaten the game and collected several specific Royal Arms. Following this, a woman named Ezma, located in the Meldacio Hunter HQ, will offer a key to break the seal locking the eight doors to the dungeons. Brave adventurers who beat all eight dungeons will obtain the Hunter's Medal treasure.
Be sure to do this before starting a new game plus, because the key will not carry over once started. While there is little to be gained since the game has to be beaten before unlocking the quest, optional additional content is always welcome, especially if it means higher replay value.
18 Materia Caves - Final Fantasy VII
As popular as the series may have been before 1997, the release of Final Fantasy VII blew the doors straight off the hinges and cemented the franchise's legendary status. Additionally, the internet had yet to reach its current ubiquity, meaning secrets were easier to hide and the hunt was all the more intense.
Lunch table talk, rumors, trial and error, and blind luck made the discovery of FFVII's hidden locations unfathomably gratifying. The most satisfying of all these discoveries has to be the Materia Caves. There are four caves in all, with each only being accessible by utilizing a certain breed of Chocobo. Ultimately, a golden Chocobo is needed to reach all of hidden caverns. Each cave contains a special Materia that is not available anywhere else and that offer unique special abilities, such as Mime, Quadra Magic, HP <-> MP, and Knights of the Round.
The last of these is a powerful summon that deals a total of thirteen blows to the enemy, with an animation long enough to let the player cook dinner.
The Materia held in these four hidden spots will make quick work of the last boss and will even give bold players a fighting chance against the notoriously difficult optional bosses, if the right strategy is utilized.
17 What Could Have Been - Final Fantasy XV
When games cut content there often remain traces of the work developers did inside the finished product, whether it be areas with no perceivable function, file names on the disc, or jarring time jumps in the story. These remnants are like a phantom pain -- a constant reminder of things lost to time that people can only ponder without ever getting to actually experience. Fortunately, there are sometimes ways to get closer to these ghosts through small tricks and glitches, as is the case in Final Fantasy XV.
It was initially believed that going out of bounds was only possible with a fresh disc version of the game, but innovative fans have found ways of doing it on updated copies as well. There are several locations on the main world map and on a few of the smaller areas visited throughout the campaign, where it is possible to pass the invisible barriers through precise maneuvers.
The most fascinating aspect of exploring out of bounds is how seemingly complete so much of it appears to be, forcing one to wonder how much bigger the game could have been if they gave the developers a little more time. On the other hand, maybe Square Enix cannot be faulted for pushing the game out when it did after already more than ten years of development time.
16 Ultimate Lair - Lightning Returns
Not every entry in the long-running series has been met with universal praise and adoration. Some people felt that one sequel to the thirteenth mainline title was more than enough, and almost no one was asking for an entire trilogy. However, a third part is ultimately what players received when Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII was released in 2013 (2014 in the West) to an average reception.
Even with the lukewarm fanfare, that does not mean that the game does not contain its own share of secrets. One of the most intriguing hidden locations available for Lighting to explore is the Ultimate Lair. At the start, there are only twelve days available to Lightning, but a thirteenth day is unlocked after doing the first five main quests and the Ultimate Lair is only available on that extra day.
While in the dungeon, time will never cease going forward, so the main character has to keep moving throughout the area before the clock runs out.
There are thirty three floors in all, each holding its own unique enemy and reward for completing the floor. It is also possible to skip certain floors if Lightning's battle rating is high enough at the end of a certain room. Ultimate Lair is a nice challenge, but not many reached it due to the game's relative lack of popularity.
15 ??? - Final Fantasy III
For many people outside of Japan, Final Fantasy III as a whole remained a secret until 2006, when it was treated to a 3D update for the Nintendo DS.
While certain areas of the world may have received the game at different times, one part that the whole globe was able to enjoy simultaneously was this unnamed dungeon commonly referred to as "???"
Reaching this area is no simple feat, as it requires the completion of the other three optional dungeons in order to receive four letters that guide the player to the location. In certain versions, it is even necessary to have one of the character's jobs at level ninety nine for one of the letters to be delivered. Once the dungeon is accessed brave adventurers will be greeted to a relatively simple layout as the the unnamed location only has one floor.
The effort to reach "???" is strenuous, but the hard work is worth it. Enemies are powerful, dropping extremely rare equipment for the Onion Knight class.
14 Chocobo's Paradise - Final Fantasy IX
To humans, livestock are solely a commodity whose value is intrinsically linked with their abilities in a certain sport or discipline. In the many worlds of Final Fantasy, the most popular livestock is the Chocobo. Anyone even slightly familiar with the series doesn't need to have the iconic status of these creatures explained to them. In the games, they are often domesticated and under people's control like cows or horses, except for the ones in Final Fantasy IX's Chocobo's Paradise.
It makes perfect sense that the Chocobos there are still free since the location is a challenge to find. Players must fly with Zidane's Chocobo, Choco, to an unmarked spot on the world map and use an item that will launch the Chocobo into the sky. Once inside, the party learns that the paradise is ruled by a fat Chocobo.
Once the player reaches the area, a heartwarming quest involving Choco begins, that, without giving all of the details away, solidifies his love and commitment for Zidane.
Chocobo's Paradise offers a unique look into an aspect of the Chocobo not often seen in the Final Fantasy series. The quest inside is not unlike the loyalty missions from the Mass Effect games, only with an animal and not a party member.
13 Zone Eater's Belly - Final Fantasy VI
Final Fantasy VI is often cited as one of the most beloved titles in the series, which is high praise considering the plethora of games under the Final Fantasy banner. It also stands out as having the most party members of any game in the series, capping out at fourteen. Some of the fourteen characters are completely optional, so if one wishes to fully max out their roster, then they must be prepared to traverse through the Zone Eater's Belly.
To enter this hidden area, the characters must be swallowed by the Zone Eater in the World of Ruin's Triangle Island. The monsters are unable to KO the party members in battle, meaning players must simply wait to be gobbled up by the enemy in order to end up in its stomach. Once inside, there are a small series of challenges which must be conquered. After those are completed, the mysterious Gogo will join Terra on her adventure.
As a mime, Gogo is able to copy the previous move a party member made with his "Mimic" ability. In addition to their contributions to battle, the character is wrapped up in an enigma. The character's gender is never even disclosed, let alone their face or body.
12 Deep Sea Research Center - Final Fantasy VIII
To this day, the eighth installment of the Japanese RPG series remains a hotly debated item among fans. Some consider it a masterpiece from front to back, with compelling game play driven by one of the greatest love stories ever told in the medium. Detractors lament the Junction system, along with the retooled leveling mechanics. For the most part though, both sides of the camp agree that the Deep Sea Research Center is a fascinating hidden area of the RPG.
After making it to the second disc, it becomes possible to visit the location, hidden in the middle of the ocean, but it is not yet open to explore. The area only becomes fully available once Squall obtains Ragnarok, the primary Airship of the game.
It is inside the research center where players are able to obtain Bahamut and duel it out with Ultima Weapon -- both long standing staples of the series.
Most role playing games of this scale are filled with hidden dungeons ripe for exploration. What makes the Deep Sea Research Center all the more compelling is its connection to the story and how it expands upon the game's lore, but also the fact that making any single step triggers a random battle. Not only does it provide goodies, but it enriches the whole world of Final Fantasy VIII.
11 Midlight's Deep - Final Fantasy Tactics
It is rare that a spin off title gains the type of recognition that Final Fantasy Tactics has. Despite its lack of a number, the turn-based strategy epic is adored more than many of the mainline entries, and not without good reason. The battle system requires time to fully understand but it is extremely rewarding, while the story weaves a complex tragedy of Shakespearean proportions.
Even though the main character, Ramza, is never able to walk freely around the world map and towns, there is still a hidden location by the name of Midlight's Deep that can be reached by following a few simple steps.
Midlight's Deep is unlocked after Zalbaag is bested in Mullonde and Ramza enters the town of Warjilis once again. After this, the secret dungeon becomes a spot on the world map the player can travel to. Those who wish to enter better come prepared though, as this location is ten floors of pure punishment.
The enemies faced here are some of the toughest, and the battlefields start out covered in darkness, only becoming illuminated little by little as foes are defeated. While an arduous feat to conquer, the ten levels of the dungeons offer valuable treasures, which are easy to find with the Treasure Hunter ability.
10 Lair Of The Father - Final Fantasy IV
As another relic from a time when Eastern and Western gaming markets were vastly different beasts, Final Fantasy IV was released outside of Japan as Final Fantasy II.
In this case, gamers were lucky because the real Final Fantasy II is generally thought to be the weakest link of the series. IV is a truly wild ride filled with outlandish twists, while still retaining its heart and soul. The game is so bizarre that the story eventually takes the characters to the moon, which is where the Lair of the Father can be found.
After flying to the moon in the Lunar Whale, it becomes possible to visit the Lair of the Father and traverse its depths.
While exploring the dungeon, Cecil and crew will be forced to fight three Behemoths leading up to a battle with Bahamut himself. If the player is able to win the duel against Bahamut, they earn the iconic creature as a summon for Rydia to call upon in battle.
While the dungeon may be challenging for some players, the reward is well-worth the effort. Bahamut is a powerful ally to have in a fight, and it just would not feel like a Final Fantasy game without him.
9 Gil Turtle Path - Final Fantasy V
Even though most of the adventures in the series are undertaken with the purpose of saving the world, the heroes are usually forced to pay for everything themselves. One would think that the altruistic goal of preventing the planet's annihilation would have people give to the cause, but this is almost never the case.
The protagonists are forced to retrieve Gil, the series' currency, from monsters and the sale of obsolete items. In Final Fantasy V, there is also a hidden location that can net players a sizable sum of Gil called the Gil Turtle Path.
On the southern part the Gil Cave there is a hidden area called the Gil Turtle Path. Here is where the player can find a whole treasure trove of Gil. Tread carefully, however, because there are also frequent encounters with Gil Turtles who put up a tough fight. For the greedy player, the path can be done multiple times to acquire even more money and experience.
One thing that always felt off about the series is why wild monsters drop Gil when defeated. Do they have a whole monster economy of their own? Perhaps Gil Turtle Path is a monster bank of sorts and the players just robbed it, completely destroying the monster monetary system.
8 Ancient Forest - Final Fantasy VII
Not all of the hidden locations in the games are necessarily hard to find. There are times when the location itself is placed in plain sight, but the real puzzle lies in just how to go about said area. This is a wonderful way for developers to spark the imagination of players, making them wonder just what dwells in that unreachable place.
Awaiting discovery near Cosmo Canyon, Final Fantasy VII's Ancient Forest was the mysterious landmark that was cleverly planted on top of a mountain.
There are two ways of reaching the Ancient Forest: a way for the warrior to reach it by foot and a pacifistic method for the fans who enjoy farming. The more dramatic of the two ways involves destroying Ultima Weapon once it becomes an optional boss. After its defeat, the flying beast will leave a crater, making a path for Cloud to walk right up to the forest. For the farmers, it becomes possible to get to the forest through breeding a green Chocobo.
Inside the Ancient Forest there are enemies with a curiously high evasion rate, along with various treasures and equipment for several party members. The most notable find inside would probably be the Slash-All Materia, which lets the holder attack every enemy at once during their turn.
7 Dragon Warp - Final Fantasy Legend II
Japanese readers may look upon this entry in confusion thinking "what is Final Fantasy Legend II?" In that country, the game is the second title in the SaGa series, but the first three games of SaGa were released to the west under the Final Fantasy banner as it was more recognizable for the American audience.
Maybe it is not a true title in the series, but it still more than lives up to the quality standards. Like any beloved video game, players eventually found an exploit that allows them to reach hidden areas through a relatively easy to pull off glitch.
The exploit is known as the Dragon Warp because it involves using the teleport ability during a race while riding a dragon. This evidently blows the game's mind, giving players the ability to walk through walls, mountains, and various other obstacles. After doing this, it becomes possible to sequence break, reach new areas, and even go back to your home town which normally is blocked off after leaving.
One thing to remember when attempting this: do not save! There may be cases where the protagonist ends up in a location they cannot get out of. Doing this could make it impossible to progress any further into the story.
6 Pitioss Ruins - Final Fantasy XV
Final Fantasy XV is paced like an hourglass. At the beginning, the party is free to explore any place on the world map to their heart's content, then, after several lengthy chapters, the players are funneled into several chapters that thrust the characters through the rest of the story.
Fortunately, on the other end of this linearity, is a return to the open-ended game play of the introductory chapters. On top of that, there are some events that are only accessible after completing the story, such as the the Stealing the Past quest which leads Noctis and his posse to the Pitioss Ruins. Once the player's car, The Regalia, earns the ability to fly, it becomes possible to reach the ruins, but only after learning of its location from a tipster at a certain outpost.
The dungeon contains no actual enemies, instead replacing the typical tough fights of optional dungeons with head scratching puzzles.
Completing the Pitioss Ruins earns players the Black Hood, an accessory exclusive to Noctis. The extra dungeon is welcome, and the item that lies in store for those brave enough to take a crack at the puzzle-themed quest is cool. However, it would be nice if the ruins could be accessed prior to completing the game.
5 Final Fantasy XII - Henne Mines
Most fans of the series expect epic stories from these games, so having the setting be a large scale environment is vital to realizing gamers' expectations. The developers arguably went a little overboard with Final Fantasy XII's world, which sometimes takes an absurd amount of time to traverse.
The grievances about this were remedied in the recent re-release, where the ability to speed up game time while walking was added. With this over abundance of land comes a sizable amount of secret places to explore, one of them being the Henne Mines.
What is special about the Henne Mines is that it is a story location, but the entire area does not become available until after getting ten Espers and going to Jahara to have a geomancer unlock the rest of the place. Its recommended to be at least level 70 before exploring the mine since the monsters there are tough as nails.
Players that reach the end will face off against Zodiark, the toughest Esper. After winning the fight, Zodiark will become a summon available for use in battle. The reward is great and useful, but exploring the depths of this interesting secret is a reward of its own.
4 Peninsulas Of Power - Various Final Fantasy Titles
For many RPGs, high stats and levels are extremely important, and Final Fantasy is no exception. The heroes need to spend a lot of time cutting down various wild beasts in order to level up through the accumulation of experience points, increasing stats and acquiring various new abilities.
Most gamers find nothing more pleasurable about role playing games than the sound that rings out indicating a party member's progression to the next level. Anyone who wants this process expedited can use the peninsulas of power located in several of the games. Sometimes on the world map there are spots near areas that are accessed later on in the story.
In certain spots, it is possible to fight monsters from the currently unreachable parts of the world map.
These monsters put up a tough battle since they are not meant to be encountered until later, but they will give a large amount of experience and drop a hefty sum of Gil. With this method of training it is possible to quickly overpower your characters and amass enough currency to never have to worry about money for the rest of the game. Some may say it is unethical to do this, but exploiting game mechanics is half the fun of a Final Fantasy.
3 Via Infinito - Final Fantasy X-2
Before downloadable content became the norm, it was not entirely surprising to hear Square announce a sequel to a mainline entry. There has been Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, Final Fantasy XIII- 2, Lightning Returns, the various spin offs of Final Fantasy VII, and the one that started the trend in 2003: Final Fantasy X-2.
The sequel to FFX is a somewhat bizarre romp through the world of Spira, involving comedic side quests, musical numbers, and a heart wrenching narrative. In the game, Yuna, Rikku, and Paine can test their might on the one hundred floors of Via Infinito.
In chapter five of the story, Yuna can go to Via Infinito by activating a glyph on the floor of Bevelle Temple. Inside the mammoth-sized dungeon are extremely tough enemies and bosses on every twentieth floor. On the 100th floor there will be boss battles with Paragon and Trema. Completing the gauntlet of enemies and bosses will net players the Iron Duke accessory, which raises most stats by one hundred points and increases health and magic points by one hundred percent.
The reward for completing Via Infinito is well worth it, and anyone who completes the dungeon deserves the extremely powerful accessory.
2 Shipwrecks - Final Fantasy Legend III
While far from the first fantasy world to use them, the idea of an airship is so simple but brilliant that, even without having seen one, a person would fully understand what it is just from hearing the name -- a ship for the air. As fantastic as these are, this entry will discuss the regular ships of the sea that are prominently featured in Final Fantasy Legend III.
What makes the sea vessels so important is the fact that people no longer use them because monsters wreaked havoc upon them. This makes the shipwrecks become the next hidden location on this list.
After receiving the Dive spell, it is possible to reach the sunken ships, which there are a total of six to be found across the game's time periods.
Inside each of them are enemies to be fought and valuable loot to be gained. It should also be noted that, despite the logic behind it, treasure chests cannot be opened more than once by starting from the future and trying to get the same treasure again in the past. It would have been nice for the shipwrecks to offer thoughtful players additional goodies for thinking cleverly about time travel, but it's still nice to get the treasures at least once.
1 Nercrohol of Nabudis - Final Fantasy XII
Some older gamers will recall the seemingly endless wait that was the development of Final Fantasy XII. Final Fantasy X had hit store shelves in 2001, and its sequel was released two years later. The eleventh entry was an MMO, so it really was five years between mainline entries in the franchise when XII was released in 2006.
Little did we know this wait would be a snap of the fingers compared to the development cycle of Final Fantasy XV. However, upon playing the game, it is very easy to understand why it took five years to make, with its sprawling world and abundance of extras and secrets. One of these secrets is the Necrohol of Nabudis. After acquiring the Dawn Shard, it becomes possible to enter the bonus dungeon. Inside, there are various valuable treasures to be looted. In the original release this was where the Zodiac Spear, an extremely powerful weapon, could be found.
That is if the player was cautious enough not to open certain treasure chests up to that point. However, in the international version, the Zodiac Spear was removed from the dungeon and can be gotten through different means. Even without the spear, exploring the hidden location is a worthwhile effort.
What are some of your favorite hidden spots in the Final Fantasy series? Let us know in the comments!