One of the most cherished qualities of the Final Fantasy games over the years is its memorable cast of cool or odd characters. Fans have seen hundreds of these people (and creatures) come and go, with some being more drastically more popular and important than others. In that vein, a number of them have entered the ranks among the most iconic heroes and villains of all time.
But this time, we're calling back to the lesser-known characters in the games. And though many of these Final Fantasy characters graced our screens minimally in their original sources, the franchise continues to bring many fan-favorites back for supplementary games. In this way, even a good number of minor characters have seen more attention than expected over the years. Because of this, they might be disqualified from this list too.
Worry not though; we're not just going to give you a list of whatever entirely inconsequential townspeople we're left with. Just because these fellows haven't been featured much even in side media doesn't mean they were all entirely useless. And if you're a fanatic like me, perhaps you'll recall all of them. Read on for my favorite picks among the less-enduring characters in the series, and be prepared for minor spoilers!
15 Kelger Vlondett (Final Fantasy V)
Three decades before Bartz and his three companions journeyed to save the world from Exdeath, there was another quartet of heroes called the Warriors of Dawn. Galuf, Xezat, Dorgann, and Kelger came together when the evil warlock had first awoke and laid siege to their nations. They were able to drive Exdeath to another world and seal him in the crystals.
Kelger is the leader of the werewolves, a race of wolf people that hail from Quelb. Upon meeting, the now-aged Kelger at first mistakes Bartz for an enemy, but is pleased to learn that Bartz is the son of another Dawn Warrior, Dorgann. Later, the bedridden Kelger uses the last of his life energy to undo one of Exdeath's spells, and during the final battle his spirit helps restrain Exdeath.
14 Warriors Of The Dark (Final Fantasy III)
Long before darkness threatened to consume everything, it was light that loomed to reduce the planet to nothingness. While the heroes of FFIII are the Warriors of Light that rise up to battle the Cloud of Darkness, similarly the Warriors of Darkness once banded together to stop the Cloud of Light from swallowing the doomed world. It is believed that this cycle maintains an eternal balance of darkness and light.
After the Cloud of Darkness first defeats the Warriors of Light, the party sets out to find its weakness. They seek out and defeat the Guardians of the Dark Crystals, and for each one a Warrior of the Dark appears to reveal information about the final battle. The four past warriors sacrifice themselves to weaken the Cloud of Darkness, so the heroes can save the world.
13 Yugiri Mistwalker (Final Fantasy XIV)
Yugiri is the retainer of Hien from the nation of Doma. With her home occupied by the Garlean Empire, she led refugees to Eorzea. There was some hype about this character before she showed her face; fans were excited about this odd ninja with a reptilian tail. Since then, the Au Ra race was revealed, and we got a first look at what the scaled, horned player characters would look like.
She is likely the most popular character on this list (which doesn't say much). She doesn't get as much attention as other characters (particularly the Scions of the Seventh Dawn), but Yugiri is much more than just a promotion for the dragon race. She helps the player on a few missions, sometimes appearing as a guest in battle. She is cool-headed and honorable, and often pushes herself to save and protect others.
12 Supinelu (Final Fantasy XII)
Supinelu is a garif warrior from the village of Jahara. At first, he desperately coveted his brother's position as War-chief, and recklessly challenged the Catoblepas to prove himself better. He is nearly killed until his brother rescues him. But the injuries his brother sustains forces him to step down as War-chief. From then on, Supinelu sees his own appointment as a replacement as a punishment.
Supinelu often patrols the Ozmone Plain, where the party can find him fighting monsters as a friendly NPC who admires the heroes' skill. He goes out there every day as training, hoping to redeem himself against the Catoblepas. Later, he is surprised to see his friends Vaan and the party come to witness Supinelu's rematch with the beast, and is grateful when they all take it down together.
11 Lani (Final Fantasy IX)
This was a difficult entry to pick from. Too many of the secondary characters have been given love over the years, even the other members in Zidane's Tantalus Troupe. But perhaps you forgot about this loud-mouth bounty hunter? Lani is only nineteen years old, and yet she is quite preeminent at her job. She wields a giant axe with high damage capability, and is also able to utilize black magic.
Lani is hired by Queen Brahne to retrieve Garnet's pendant. At first, she is rude and ruthless, quick to turn on her ally or kidnap a small child. However, after she is defeated she begins to reflect on her actions, stuck wandering the wasteland. After being rescued by moogles, she realizes how selfish she has been and finds joy in their company. Later, she partners back up with Amarant.
10 Gessho (Final Fantasy XI)
This entry was tricky because a lot of FFXI characters don't get the justice they deserve, but perhaps this list was already too human-focused. Gessho is a ninja of the Yagudo tribe. As a beastman, he faces prejudice from the Enlightened Races, and is prone to being conflicted between his sense of honor and his sense of duty.
At first, he is sent as a spy to collect information about the Aht Uhrgan Empire, particularly uncomfortable when he learns about their secret weapons. Though Gessho intended to sabotage the Empire by helping the Mamool Ja beastman tribe, he has doubts when he finds himself disgusted by their methods. Gessho enlists as a mercenary as a cover, where he collaborates with Prince Trion (who acts under the alias, Raillefal).
9 Lebreau (Final Fantasy XIII)
Lebreau was one of the founding members of NORA, funding the group with revenue from the café and bar she tends. She takes a nurturing role in the group, but is also treated like one of the guys. NORA was originally a Bodhum neighborhood watch for monsters, but when the Purge began they became a resistance group against Sanctum control, protecting refugees.
For my Final Fantasy crush, I might consider typical answers like Tifa or Rinoa (or even Aranea, if I were a couple of years older). But out of left field, the one who captures my heart is none other than this upbeat dark horse. Admittedly, the other members of NORA are even more forgotten to the annals of FF history, but I couldn't help but choose to remind the audience about the cook with a rifle.
8 Paul (Final Fantasy II)
Paul is a resident of Fynn that helps the party throughout the game, usually with information. He is loyal to Princess Hilda and the Wild Rose Rebellion, making his living by stealing from the Palamecian Empire. Though Paul is a thief, in his original renditions, he more resembled a ninja wearing all black and having a mask obscuring his face.
He is first met in Altair, where he assures the heroes that he doesn't steal from his allies. In Semitt Falls, he is captured while attempting to free the enslaved residents of Salamand, and Firion frees him. When the party is captured in the Coliseum, he repays his debt and liberates the heroes. He later gives the party his secret treasure stash, including the most coveted weapon in the game, the Blood Sword.
7 Siegfried (Final Fantasy VI)
Siegfried is pretty unimportant within FFVI, yet he makes a few short reappearances as the story progresses. He is apparently a famous swordsman with a passion for challenges. He is first encountered on the Phantom Train, and easily dispatched (though he gets away with the treasure). Later, he can be seen hunting for treasure in the World of Ruin.
Notably, in his last appearance, he can be fought in the Dragon's Neck Coliseum for the rest of the game. Here, he can take down his opponent in one shot with Hyperdrive. He also reveals that someone is impersonating him, and asks the party not to be deceived by the imposter. As such, it is possible that any or all of his previous appearances could have been the fake Siegfried, as he is so much weaker in his initial boss fight.
6 Weskham Armaugh (Final Fantasy XV)
If you hadn't noticed the trend, many warriors from the generation directly before the heroes of the story haven't gotten the respect they deserve. Nearly identical to Noctis' party of four, King Regis also had bro time adventures with a group of close friends. Regis was joined by Clarus and Cid, but the first to join him in A King's Tale is Weskham, the king's steward.
Weskham's character follows the outdated archetype of relegating all black party members to using firearms. However, Weskham was also proficient with his trusty (or thrusty) rapier. After the journey, he stays in Altissia while Regis withdraws to the Crown City. Thirty years later, he is the owner of the Maagho's restaurant. As the local tipster, he reveals points of interest on the map and offers hunts for bounties on monsters.
5 Astos (Final Fantasy I)
Perhaps there are too few characters in the first Final Fantasy to warrant an entry on this list. Among the easily forgettable NPCs that help the heroes along the way, almost none had any artwork of them. This particular rendition appeared as concept art, before he was given the more disgusting appearance he has to this day.
Astos is the ruler of the dark elves, directly opposed to the peaceful elves of Elfheim. He leads his followers on a direct assault on their kingdom and raid the treasury, but not before placing a curse on the Elf Prince. He also ensures to steal the crystal eye of the witch who can revive the prince and disguises himself as a frail old king when the heroes find him. The Warriors of Light have some difficulty destroying him, as he wields instant death abilities.
4 Belgemine (Final Fantasy X)
Belgemine is a summoner that fosters the growth of other summoners on their pilgrimage. If Yuna is able to defeat her in her frequent contests of aeons, she receives goods that will help her on her journey. Belgemine is optimistic toward Yuna. Yuna states that Belgemine will defeat Sin before her, but Belgemine replies that she "was not able to." The player eventually learns that Belgemine died hundreds of years ago.
As an unsent, she defers any feelings of resentment in order to avoid ever becoming a fiend. If the player has passed all of Belgemine's tests by defeating all of her aeons, then the player has the option of sending Belgemine, allowing her to pass on. This past summoner is pleased to see Yuna has surpassed her, and encourages our heroine to save Spira.
3 Luca (Final Fantasy IV)
Luca is only four years old in her first appearance. She is the daughter of King Giott, making her princess of the dwarves in the subterranean world. In the first game, Golbez takes control of her dolls to fight the party, which frustrates her. Despite Luca's age, she was responsible for holding the key to the Sealed Cave, determining who accesses the Dark Crystal.
Seventeen years later, in The After Years Luca becomes a lot more memorable, becoming a playable character. She has become Cid's engineering apprentice, and is a capable shipwright and pilot. She also rebuilds her dolls Calca and Brina into automatons that act as her bodyguards and assistants. She journeys along with the game's all-star cast to the moon to defeat the Creator.
2 Zangan (Final Fantasy VII)
This was another tough one. Due to the popularity of FFVII (and FFX), there are pretty much no characters that have been left forgotten by the wayside. Well, someone was responsible for leading Tifa to become the dominating physical badass she is today. Boasting over ten dozen students across the world, Zangan is the martial arts master who taught our heroine how to fight.
Presumably, this caped pugilist was a super powerful fighter in his prime, but he eventually settles down in Nibelheim for a while. During Sephiroth's destruction of the town, Zangan goes around trying to save as many people as he can. He then ventures to the reactor to find a bleeding Tifa. Years later, a note left for her reveals he "can't even jump anymore." He does, however, impart upon Tifa her final limit break in his letter.
1 Nida (Final Fantasy VIII)
After the Siege of Dollet (which became the students' final exam), Squall and his party are given honors for their performance. An unnamed fourth candidate is also awarded SeeD status alongside them. To which, the headmaster whispers, "Do your best, even if you don't stand out."This is quite applicable, since the recurring joke in all of Nida's appearances is how forgettable he is.
During the school riot, Nida defends the infirmary. He is skillful, capable of overcoming adverse odds (even if Squall chooses not to go help him). Squall doesn't recognize him to Nida's chagrin, so he reminds our protagonist that they graduated together. Nida's dream was to rule the Garden. He is a quick-study, as shown when he volunteers to master piloting the school, becoming recognized as chief navigational officer.