Final Fantasy - A Character Review

You wake, a cold sweat on your brow, as you suddenly realise in horror that there are simply not enough lists about Final Fantasy on the internet. Well, fret not, tired soul, as there is now one more to parse through.

This aims to be a complete list of Final Fantasy characters, they were meant to be in a loose order of preference, but lists of over 100 items don't allow for easy reorganisation, so it will start in rough order, but I imagine it will quickly degenerate. Your opinions may differ from my own. That's okay. We'll get through it.

If you're not into Final Fantasy, then this list also doubles up as one of those fancy haircut picture books which may be useful if you're visiting a hairdresser soon and fancy a cut that looks impossible.

Also, please note there will be spoilers for Final Fantasy games in this list. This is one for the post game.

List items

  • Seymour had a rough life, having been thrown into a watery dungeon to live in exile as a child, and his hardships turned him into a bit of a nihilist, hell-bent on continuing the cycle of misery he believes the world deserves.

    Unfortunately his dark tale is undermined by a haircut so bizarre (even by FF standards) it distracts from his traumatic grandstanding. Seriously, how does he get it like that every morning? Seymour also sports an outfit that takes the concept of the deep-V to an entirely new, unacceptable, level. Talk about naval gazing.

    Also, he just won't go away. He keeps popping up. Spira loves him, despite that fact that he is obviously evil, and you keep having to fight him. A deeply annoying man.

  • Seriously, what is this terrifying thing? What is actually going on here? Quina is a foodie of sorts, and has no gender definition, which is actually pretty prophetic of them. What they lack in gender, however, they more than make up for in large billowy chef hats.

    I can't help but think how terrified I would be if I was walking down the street and saw Quina coming at me with that tongue. They were too freaky to have in my party, and thus I rarely used them.

  • Cid is the headmaster of Balamb Garden, a military high school which trains and educates mercenaries with the end goal of defeating a power sorceress. Oh, and he's married to Edea Kramer, a powerful sorceress. Welcome to Final Fantasy plot lines and massive headaches.

    It's hard to sympathize with Cid, even though he is a nurturing father-figure character in the game. He keeps so many weird secrets and seems to go out of his way to make things as confusing as possible. Also, the other teachers at his school appear to be teenagers so I'm not really sure he should be in charge of anything.

  • So, this is... okay... a stuffed toy, controlled by a cat wielding a megaphone, in turn controlled by a man sitting in Shinra headquarters who can somehow see everything that is happening and react to it. I guess there's a materia for that?

    Cait Sith was another character who never made it into my party unless a) the game made you play with him, or b) limit break grinding. Despite the above issues with his backstory, Cait Sith still manages to steal the keystone from you, betraying you to your mortal enemies, and then refuses to leave the team, eventually being crushed by a shrinking temple (yeah) before returning five seconds later, rendering the entire catharsis of seeing a hated character die completely moot, which is exactly the sort of thing you'd expect him to do.

  • The head of the Shinra Space Program, and the antagonist in a strange boss fight that takes place in someone's back garden. Like, right near their washing line. Palmer is a corrupt management type, who enjoys lard in his tea, like a monster would, if monsters drank tea. There's very little subtlety here: Palmer is 'the man', a rotten cowardly suit, and Squaresoft needs you to know that 'the man' deserves to be hit by a truck in a comically low-stakes boss battle. Take that, establishment!

    He does later trap the team into a rocket and fires that rocket at Meteor, which is a significant upping of the stakes, but it's too late by then.

  • Another unusual looking guy, NORG speaks in capital letters, which is very annoying, and is a wealth obsessed exile from the the Shumi Tribe in Final Fantasy VIII, a game with ideas that flew too close to the sun. NORG owns Balamb Garden, because Cid Kramer's decision making skills are even worse than I thought. You end up fighting NORG during a Garden rebellion war which comes out of nowhere and ends just as suddenly. Apparently kicking the crap out of the owner in his secret underground nightclub pod is enough to make them just forget all about their mad power grabs.

    For me, NORG represents a turning point in FFVIII where you start to realise that this game might not quite have access to all its marbles, even for a FF game.

  • Do you like comedy villains who speak in quirky patterns? Nope, me either. Moving on.

    One of them uses the active voice, and one of them uses the passive voice, sort of. It gets old very quickly. Square has a habit of putting double-act minor villains in their games, and these jesters are the worst of the bunch, which is saying something.

  • Look at this guy, he can't even be bothered to do a proper T pose. Half arsed adequately describes Maester Kinoc, who plays a minor villain role in Final Fantasy X, doing so noncommittally that you don't get to fight him (though he does aim a rifle at you in a cut scene).

    He is murdered towards the late game by Seymour, because he's such an wet blanket. Definitely one of those villains who turns up every so often and you have no idea whether you've seen him before or what the point of them even is.

  • Cid's other half. Edea spends the first half of the game as the main antagonist, having been possessed by an evil time bending sorceress from the future. She's not a bad character in of herself, but she's the pivot of a number of crazy plot reveals during FFVIII seemed way too out there even back at the time.

    So anyway, Edea kills the president of a country on live TV, seriously injures the main character (or maybe even kills him, dun dun duuuuun!), pounds Trabia garden into dust with missiles, and is presumably responsible at least a number of deaths in the Garden vs Garden section of the game. Yeah, I'd be cracking out the old 'I was possessed by a future wizard' excuse too. Enjoy your time in that over-designed sinking desert prison, lady.

  • A filthy pervert with a penchant for kidnapping girls, the Don is a side villain in Final Fantasy VII, encountered during one of the weirder moments during the game. Tifa has been 'kidnapped', and Cloud, rather than decide to work with his usual skills of having a fuck-off big sword, decides that dress-up is the answer.

    We don't get to fight the Don directly, he's always got some pet monster to do the dirty work. But we do get to see him drop off a cliff, if you decide to go to Wutai. Which is something.

  • Pros: He's a big hitter and a fun yeti who likes to party (up). Cons: Uncontrollable. I'm kind of a fan of being able to instruct my party, so it feels like a bit of a weakness, and not very interesting. No idea what his deal is, he's not a big talker. Is presumably keen to join the party to get out of the cold.

  • What kind of outfit is this? Don't you spend most of the time on the road? Where are your trousers? Come on, Dona - get your shit together.

    Dona is an occasional antagonist in FFX, and she succeeds in that role, in that she is occasionally there and annoying when she is. She's pitted as a rival to Yuna, which is weird, as you'd have thought that since they're all meant to be on a pilgrimage to defeat Sin, that it would be more prudent not to smash the crap out of each other on their way. Anyway, you fight her. She sucks. Moving on.

  • Oh my. Take a look at that mugshot. Now that's a queen you'd want to get behind. I personally love it when my reigning monarchs have psychotic pimple eyes - It really makes you feel comfortable about the stability of your homeland. Brahne also looks like she ate the same chewing gum Violet Beauregarde did at the Wonka Factory, with equally powerful results.

    You could argue that her motivations are controlled by Kuja, which, in my book, makes her even worse. At least own your maniacal lust for power, Queenie.

  • I really hate this guy. Irvine sleazes his way onto your team, dressed like a cowboy, (no one else is dressed like a cowboy anywhere else in the game, so what the heck game?), and proceeds to exist without any recourse.

    Irvine plays a central role in the mission to assassinate the Sorceress during a parade, and chokes harder than a man trying to swallow every lozenge on earth simultaneously. He also tries to abandon you in prison, but can't even do that right. So instead you have to suffer the indignity of being saved by this utterly useless sex-pest.

  • Ostensibly a anthropomorphic laundry basket, and the world's premier copy-cat, Gogo is a character you can go out of your way to recruit during Final Fantasy 6. Gogo is dressed more interestingly than his personality has any right to, given that you hold all of one entire conversation with him.

    One for the completionists.

  • Scarlet channels that corporate sociopath vibe. She wears a red ball-dress and high heels to work, which seems practical attire for chasing kidnap victims along the barrel of a ridiculously large cannon. Scarlet is prone to comically exaggerated plans that involve huge guns and, at one point, some sort of mecha. None of which work.

    She could have been a cool character, but sadly Square remembered she was a Final Fantasy minor-villain and therefore her cold menace is undercut by a kya ha ha laughing tic and an more than occasional lapses into pantomime.

  • And just like every FF game, Scarlet has a villainous companion; this bearded buffoon. Heidegger shares their love of huge impotent weaponry, and appears to be yet another borderline incompetent executive on the Shinra executive board.

    My favorite Heidegger moment is when he loses it when they get off the boat at Costa Del Sol. He literally chases sailors around and throws random people into the sea. That makes him just one better than Scarlet.

  • Oh Snow, you really have the most punchable face, don't you. And those words. Those words you speak. Punchable. Everything about you. Punchable. Perhaps that's why he's the tank. Maybe it's just aggro.

    Snow is supposed to be the charismatic leader of a bunch of child resistance fighters who all looked like they watched Hook way too many times. He is a pompous, self-righteous ass, who definitely listens to Nickelback and not in an ironic way. Snow is one of those guys that really feels things. No, really. Like, really. Man. what a tool.

  • Look, I don't hate Gau. I just think he might be useless. I know, he knows skills. Eventually. If you can be bothered. It's just that I can't.

    Gau just fits into a common issue I have with Final Fantasy VI in that while there are a lot of characters, half of them are kind of junk or one-trick. Gau learns the skills of the monsters you fight, but he has to run with them for a bit to do it, abandoning the party to do so. He also can't equip a weapon or much armour, and is barely able to talk.

    He does have a small rather touching side story involving his mad father who abandoned him in a wildlands called the veldt to die. Yes, touching, I said.

  • I've played through Final Fantasy X three times and I still can't tell you what Sin actually is. Is it a whale? Is it a giant sea sphincter? Was it the result of a T-Virus experiment gone horribly, typically, wrong?

    What I do know, is that Sin is bad ass, and a kind of a curse type thing, and is probably actually a better villain/tragic antagonist than most. Certainly better than Seymour. It's not even his entry, but I feel compelled to remind you that Seymour sucks.

  • So, we're up against a powerful insane jester, who has repeatedly shown himself to be capable of terrible acts and is capable of untangling time itself. So what have we got? Oh, yes, Edgar, nice chainsaw you've got there. Sabin? Oh yes, you can suplex trains. That's handy. Terra? Oh, the untapped power of another world? Cool.

    Mog? Mog...? Er... okay, you're going to break out some sweet dance moves? Right. Okay, well, good luck with that one mate, it's your funeral I guess.

  • A big blue bruiser that looks like one of the wee-free men took way too many steroids, and... there's not much else to say really. He starts as an antagonist, and apparently is described as human, though he doesn't look like any human I've ever seen. A forgettable mid-tier entry. Great hair though.

  • This Cid, surprisingly, is the proud owner of an airship. Beyond that, I honestly don't know. Final Fantasy XIII's plot is that beautiful mixture of both complicated and dull, and I'm still not sure what this guy's motivations were. I think he was a sort of ally then you fight him and he's a l'cie or argghhh nope, whatever.

    He does have a lovely cape though, and clearly spends uses some good shampoo. Shame about what happens to him (I think).

  • Poor Vaan. Cursed with a name that sounds like a question about things that are similar to cars, it's no wonder you ended up on the street.

    Legend has it that Vaan was created because Square needed a relatable young hero to help ease you into the story of border disputes in FF XII. This was a mistake. Vaan, you see, is blaand, and the characters around him are much more interesting. This guy never needed to exist, which sounds pretty harsh now I write it. Blame Square, not me, Vaaaaaan.

  • Evil incarnate, and the king of the business evils. That is, until he is unexpectedly killed off with a large sword. He does, at least, die at his desk, which I assumed would have eventually happened anyway.

    Also, six buttons on your jacket? In that arrangement? And that mustache... You really are going all in on the evil, aren't you?