People often theorize that past civilizations held knowledge beyond modern society's understanding, some of which is lost forever to the sands of time. Whether or not this is true is up for debate, though it makes human history a little more interesting to think that it is.
One place this idea is true nearly one hundred percent of the time is in fiction. More often than not, a story involving a long extinct group of people will bring up their advanced technology and sophisticated perspective of the world. A pivotal plot point will also probably be an artifact from their time.
These artifacts will typically possess untold powers and secrets that the main characters cannot even hope to comprehend. Of course, in real life, artifacts do not contain special abilities and are only so valuable because of their age and historical importance. Real life is more boring than fiction, though, so let us take a closer look at the extraordinary objects from our favorite stories.
Specifically, this list will be delving into the rich history of the Final Fantasy games to find the strongest artifacts the series has to offer. Some of the items listed are one of a kind, while others may be an especially rare raw material or object that is unique enough to make a significant impact on that game's world. Whatever the case, they are always infinitely more interesting than anything than anything you can find in a museum or in Antiques Roadshow.
So get ready, because here are the 20 Strongest Artifacts In The Final Fantasy Series.
20 Black Materia - Final Fantasy VII
The trouble with powerful artifacts is that they are just laying in wait for whoever is the first to uncover it. This can be especially troublesome when the item in question can annihilate an entire planet, like Black Materia from Final Fantasy VII. To be clear, the ancient relic itself doesn't do the damage.
With the Black Materia, housed in the Temple of the Ancients, one is able to cast Meteor, a magic spell powerful enough to destroy all life.
Near the end of the game, the magic is cast and a doomsday clock starts counting down. What's worse is that while Cloud and company retrieve it first, Cloud later unwillingly gives it to the main antagonist, Sephiroth.
19 Stones - Final Fantasy Tactics
Star signs and stones can be a fun and interesting way to look at one's life in a different perspective. Don't put too much weight into what they mean, though, as there is no science behind the philosophy, but it can be a nice way to spend some time. In Final Fantasy Tactics, however, the Stones are as real and serious as bitter divorcees and their ensuing custody battles.
The cult classic starts out with few supernatural elements, but the stones soon become the driving force of the story. They grant its holder their deepest wish, regardless of its vileness or virtuousness. They can also transmogrify people into horrible beasts, who are some of the game's toughest boss fights.
18 Adamantite - Final Fantasy
Swords don't just grow on trees looking like the dangerous pieces of steel. A smith has to take raw material and forge the blade with heat, a hammer, and hours of sweat-filled hard work. For especially powerful weapons, one needs to use valuable, hard to find materials.
In the franchise's debut entry, the ultimate weapon is forged from rare adamantite. The only place to find it is in a treasure chest in the Flying Fortress. Once obtained, take it to the imaginatively named sword smith, Smyth, for him to forge Excalibur. Adamntite is so rare, though, that it almost feels amoral to use the only existing one to make a weapon.
17 Insomnia's Crystal - Final Fantasy XV
The doomed city of Insomnia seems like a pretty neat place, leaving one to wonder why it was named after a sleeping disorder. It could have had a snazzy nickname instead. New York, for example, is the city that never sleeps and not the city that has trouble falling asleep. Issues with the name aside, the city had been able to thrive because of the protection granted to it by its crystal.
The crystal contains limitless power and has been utilized by the Kingdom of Lucis for thousands of years.
All things must pass, however, and shortly into Final Fantasy XV, or the ending of Kingsglaive, the crystal's power proved insufficient in guarding the technologically advanced city.
16 Sand Pearl - Final Fantasy IV
Modern medicine really is miraculous. Most ailments are usually treatable with tablets or a non-intensive treatment . If the real world were more like a Final Fantasy game, then every time a family member fell ill, somebody would have to embark on a dangerous journey in order to remedy their ailment.
In Final Fantasy IV, when Rosa is stricken with Desert Fever, Cecil and his companions must venture into the dangerous Antilon's Den in order to retrieve the Sand Pearl, which is the only known cure for hr sickness. After traversing the cave's depths and fighting a monster, they reemerge with the Pearl. If only it had been Dessert Fever, an insatiable craving for midnight sweets.
15 Ultima Tome - Final Fantasy II
Fictional ancient societies have a habit of leaving behind traces of their intellect. Unfortunately, they also make this valuable knowledge a pain in the butt to actually obtain. It makes sense, as a little bit of knowledge can be dangerous in the wrong hands.
Final Fantasy II's Ultima Tome is used by the party to learn the devastatingly powerful spell. The artifact is locked away in the Mysidian Tower, which can only be opened with the Crystal Rod. Even getting the Crystal Rod first requires two masks. Most games feature Ultima as an optional spell, but this entry makes it key to plot progression. Ironically, the actual spell is not useful in combat unless it is leveled up.
14 Orichalcum - Final Fantasy III
For this one, players will have to be playing the 3Ds remake or any subsequent re-release, as Orichalcum and its associated quest are not in the original Famicom version. Sorry retro gamers, but it's the sacrifice you make for staying loyal to the old school. It is a respectable choice, but it comes with a price.
The mysterious ore is located in the town of Kazus, snugly stowed away in a chest in the basement of Cid's house.
Once the artifact is found, the player can bring it to the Legendary Smith so that she can craft the Ultima Weapon. The Legendary Smith can also be utilized to make several other highly powerful armaments.
13 Nethicite - Final Fantasy XII
For most entries in the series, magic makes the world go round. It usually plays a key role in the game's plot, instead of staying as just a game play mechanic. In Final Fantasy XII, the world's most prominent source of magical energy comes from an ancient resource called Nethicite.
Most of Ivalice's Nethicite was created eons ago by a species known as Occuria. These mysterious beings are theorized to manipulate events from the shadows. What's creepy about this is that they are only mentioned in Final Fantasy XII and Revenant Wings, but they could also have influenced the plot of Final Fantasy Tactics and even Vagrant Story.While this seems sketchy, they also bestowed the powerful and beneficial artifact upon humanity.
12 Magicite - Final Fantasy VI
Final Fantasy VI took the series in a new direction, away from the comfortable medieval setting of the prior five entries. Terra and her buddies' adventure takes place on a planet influenced by steam punk. Instead of magic being in abundance, technology has taken precedence and magic, often a cornerstone of any RPG, has become a thing of myth.
However, Magicite, crystalized forms of deceased espers, soon takes a key role in the game's plot and the battle system. Characters can equip one, which impacts their stats and magic. After the game's climactic cataclysmic event, Magicite becomes more abundant in the World of Ruin. While this is nice, it is not worth living in a post apocalyptic wasteland.
11 The Eight Crystals - Final Fantasy IV
While Final Fantasy IV was the series' fourth adventure, it was only the second one that western gamers were able to experience back in the day. Right from the get go, this entry sets itself apart from its predecessors by putting players into the shoes of an imperialistic soldier. The main character, Cecil, sees the light very shortly into the campaign, fortunately. The game's macGuffin are eight crystals, four of the Earth and four of the moon.
Once all of the crystals are gathered, their collective power is enough to literally send people to the moon.
Video games are known for letting people experience the extraordinary, but letting players roam the surface of the moon really takes this idea to whole new heights.
10 White Materia - Final Fantasy VII
For every world-ending threat, there is usually an equally powerful solution. Final Fantasy VII's Black Materia summons a magic that can obliterate an entire planet. On the other side of the spectrum is the White Materia, which has a spell, Holy, that can put an end to all apocalyptic threats.
Like it's destructive counterpart, White Materia is an artifact from the nearly extinct Cetra, who very sadly became extinct at the end of the game's first disc. They were a peaceful species who decided to lock away the Black Materia and utilize the benefits of White Materia. The game's nail biting finale finally sees Holy cast against Meteor, and it almost fails before the lifestream assists in repelling the comet.
9 The Wind Crystal - Final Fantasy V
While always taking place in different worlds, most Final Fantasy games share common elements, whether it be items or animals. Crystals tend to be a factor in every game, even if they are not explicitly designated as "crystals." Final Fantasy V's world revolves around the power of several crystals, and the game opens with one of the sacred artifacts shattering, causing in imbalance to the harmony of nature.
The Wind Crystal is the unfortunate victim, and the impetus that kicks off the story. It is soon discovered the the crystals were holding back an ancient evil that could bring ruin to all life. In real life, crystals and diamonds are purely aesthetic, but in Final Fantasy, their beauty comes secondary to their importance in keeping people safe.
8 Celestial Mirror - Final Fantasy X
Getting an ultimate weapon is typically hard work, but it is usually worth the effort. Final Fantasy X makes players go an extra mile if they want to truly reap the benefits of each character's strongest tool of destruction. They must collect each weapon's sigil and crest, and power it up using the Celestial Mirror.
Without the Celestial Mirror, each weapon is better served as decoration rather than as a fighting accessory.
When first obtained, it will only be a Cloudy Mirror, but a quest in Macalania Woods (no, not Macarena Woods) will transform the artifact into its most powerful incarnation. With the Celestial Mirror now fully able, players can begin to unleash the full potential of their celestial weapons.
7 Slave Crown - Final Fantasy VI
The Slave Crown is an invention by Kefka, Final Fantasy VI's dastardly antagonist, but it relies on Magacite to function. The villain uses it on Terra in order to control her actions. Once the character is released from the crown's control, she cannot even manage to remember her name.
While the grip it has on the wearer is strong, the esper that attacks Terra and her comrades at the beginning of the game enables Terra to be free from the artifact. Afterwards, the crown switches hands a few times. Fortunately, the evil crown is probably destroyed, meaning no one can use it for nefarious purposes anymore. Of course, given that the second half of the game takes place in The World of Ruin, the Slave Crown seems like the least of the heroes' problems.
6 Sun-Cryst - Final Fantasy XII
The Sun-Cryst is perhaps the single most powerful object in all of Ivalice, the setting of Final Fantasy XII, Tactics, and several other games in and outside of the Final Fantasy series. To assure that such power is not out in the open for anyone to access, the Sun-Cryst was stored away in a tower by the Occuria.
The strength of this object plays into one of Final Fantasy XII's principle themes - that a nation's power comes from its people and not from its resources. When Ashe, one of the main characters, is presented with the option of using the Sun-Cryst to help her achieve victory, she opts not to be a pawn of the Occuria and decides to use her own strength to prevail.
5 Ring of the Lucii - Final Fantasy XV
A man isn't a king without a fancy ring, and the royal families of Final Fantasy XV are no exception. King Regis dons the Ring of the Lucii around his finger, and was meant to pass it down to his son. However, an invasion of Insomnia got in the way of that.
Later in the game, Noctis does get his hands on it, and players get to take advantage of the ring's power for themselves.
The awesome strength of the ring is taken from the Crystal housed in the world of Eos. Not just anyone can wear the ring, however. It will only bestow its power upon those it sees fit, and demands a sacrifice on top of that.
4 Dress Spheres - Final Fantasy X-2
From the opening moments, Final Fantasy X-2 establishes itself as a radical departure from all of the other entries, especially the game it is continuing off from. The first scenes see Yuna singing upbeat pop music while Rikku and a new face, Paine, beat up some security guards in a blitzball stadium.
The battle system revolves around dressphere's and garment grids. Both of these items are derived from artifacts found in the world of Spira, but are made usable with technological know how from Shinra, a genius whose face is never revealed to the player. The spheres aren't solely there for game play, however, as they do feature prominently in the game's melodramatic story.
3 Machina - Final Fantasy X
The world of Spira is nearly devoid of all machinery, due to the people's belief that dependence on advance technology gave birth to the calamity known as Sin. As a result, it is all but outlawed, and only used by a race of people known as Al Bhed.
The Al Bhed are a marginalized group because they embrace the old machines, known as Machina. They scavenge all around the world and repair these hunks of metal so that they can work again. These tinkerers, who have their very own language, prove that technology is not inherently bad. One can still be an honest, hardworking human and still enjoy the luxuries of pragmatic inventions.
2 Dark Crystal - Final Fantasy
The entry that started it all may not have as deep a plot as the more famous titles, but its irresistible charm will sink its hooks into anyone who plays it. The evil knight, Garland, is in possession of a Dark Crystal, which is assumed to give him great power. Funnily enough, the game never explicitly explains what the Crystal actually does.
Dissidia, which was released twenty years after Final Fantasy, finally divulges that the Crystal gave Garland the means to go back in time one thousand years in his attempts to create a time loop.
This lack of exposition present in the original game only goes to show how great game play will enable players to look past plot holes.
1 Guns - Final Fantasy Tactics
If Neo from The Matrix was in Ivalice when he made his iconic request for "guns, lots of guns," he would have been out of luck. Final Fantasy Tactics does feature the long range weapon, but they are a rarity.
No one knows how to make them or explicitly how they work, but they are found among ancient ruins. Players are first introduced to them by Mustadio, a machinist. They come as a great relief too, as guns finally allow chemists a means to defend themselves in battle as opposed to just dishing out items. Other artifacts from the ancient times include airships, which are notably absent from Tactics until the final battle takes place on one.
Are there any other powerful artifacts in the Final Fantasy games that we missed? Let us know in the comments!