The Final Fantasy series has churned out a huge number of characters that have been fairly hit or miss. There are certain characters who have stayed in the memories of gamers for years after they finished a Final Fantasy game. Characters like Shadow, Vivi Orunitier, Celes Chere, Terra Branford, Cloud Strife, Kain Highwind, Sephiroth, Cecil Harvey, Kefka Palazzo, and Auron are just a few among the many characters in Final Fantasy that have imprinted their names in the minds of Final Fantasy purists all around the world. However, not all characters can hit the mark — there are bound to be some bad apples. These characters might be annoying, shallow, stupid, useless... or just downright offensive.
Being one of the highest best-selling franchises of all time, these Final Fantasy characters have been particularly distasteful. This might be due to their outfit, behavior, shamelessness or a combination of all three. Since the games were developed in Japan, there are certain aspects of some characters that might rub other people off the wrong way. While unintentional, this shows the relative ignorance of the developers who fail to take into account the reactions of different players who might be offended by the end product. Here are 15 of the most offensive characters that Square Enix wants you to forget from the Final Fantasy series.
15 Cindy Aurum (FFXV)
It seems the switch from Squaresoft to Square Enix didn't impede the level of fanservice present in their future releases. When Cindy was revealed for the first time to the general public, there was a lot of skepticism and criticism over her revealing outfit which left little to the imagination. Most fans deemed it to be completely unnecessary, and rightfully so.
For some reason, a mechanic of all people wears a cropped yellow jacket that is conveniently unzipped so that her... assets are quite visible. She's also wearing tight jean shorts and stockings, because why the hell not. The fact that one of the female side characters in the first all-male Final Fantasy game has been treated like this makes it all the more distasteful.
14 Cloud: Specifically, Cross-Dressing Cloud (FFVII)
There's a sequence in Final Fantasy VII where you need to infiltrate Don Corneo's mansion and rescue Tifa by fooling the guards at the entrance. This could've been done in so many ways, but Squaresoft decided to make players take the most inconvenient — and most offensive — method possible: by dressing Cloud up as a woman.
The following events can turn out to be quite bizarre, interesting, quirky... and downright disturbing at times. While dressed as a woman, various NPCs will mock Cloud for wearing girl's clothes. This sequence as a whole is particularly offensive, and might be labeled as transphobic in the modern world. We'll have to wait and see if the remake will faithfully keep this scene or succumb to the pressure and omit it out completely.
This particular instance also includes some of the most disturbing characters in the game...
13 The Muscular Men At The Honey Bee Inn (FFVII)
While gathering the items in order to make yourself more 'appealing' and likely to be chosen as Don Corneo's bride of the night (*shudder*), you can enter the Honey Bee Inn in order to pick up some items that may aid you. One of the items can be obtained after a particularly weird chain of events.
If you choose to enter the bottom left room — aptly named the 'group room' — be prepared to look on in horror as nine half-naked men decide to barge in and forcefully bathe Cloud. The fact that one can choose the option "It hurts" when one of the men asks you how it feels makes this event all the more disturbing. After what seems like ages, the uncomfortable scene ends, and you obtain the Bikini Briefs.
The worst part about this item is that it doesn't help in increasing your chances of getting selected whatsoever. Basically, you just threw away your dignity for nothing.
12 Wol (Mobius FF)
Square Enix has been desperately trying to cash-in on the mobile gaming market for a long time now. While their attempts have been fairly hit-or-miss, it can be said that the release of Mobius Final Fantasy is a (small) step in the right direction. However, the release of the game was tainted by controversy regarding its main protagonist.
The initial reception to the unveiling of the Warrior of Light (creatively named 'Wol') was highly mixed, with critics voicing their disapproval of the —you guessed it— overly sexualized outfit of the male hero. This time, Square Enix listened to the criticism and re-designed the character's outfit. Well... at least now we know that when it comes to blatant fan service, Square Enix doesn't pander to one particular gender.
11 Ultros (FFVI)
Ultros is a fiendish octopus that attacks the party multiple times in Final Fantasy VI, although he's never competent enough to pose a challenge. Each of his encounters are quite well-written, and the character serves as decent comic relief — at least until you take a look at this monster's true nature.
Ultros like females. He likes them a lot. In fact, he goes on record to say that he only enjoys the company of women. Coupled with the fact that he has tentacles that he likes wrapping around people, Ultros takes on a new gross meaning. Perhaps the worst thing Ultros ever said in the game was to Relm, a 10-year old who tried to distract the octopus by drawing him on her sketchbook. Ultros responds with, 'Oh alright, Uncle Ulty REALLY wants you to draw his portrait,' which is obviously a perfectly normal thing to say that's not creepy at all.
10 Barret Wallace (FFVII)
Well, it was pretty obvious that Barret was going to be featured on this list. The character has a strong motivation to overthrow Shinra, and also cares deeply for his daughter Marlene. However, one can easily see why the king of stereotypes has made this list.
Barret talks like the quintessential black guy — or at least, what Squaresoft developers imagined a black guy to sound like. His character speaks with a dialect that's so tasteless that it's frankly amazing that the translator didn't decide to alter his speech, although this might be a harsh criticism considering that only one person — Michael Baskett — was translating the entire game for Squaresoft USA. Hopefully, the upcoming remake will tone down Barret's flamboyant character.
9 Rikku (FFX)
Rikku is one of your main party members, and probably one of the most annoying ones as well. The fact that she's clearly there for fan service is painfully clear, but what might not be so obvious is that she's only 15 years old in the main game.
Yes, that's right, one of the characters that Squaresoft intended to serve as eye-candy is just a teenager. The Japanese age of consent might be 13, but that doesn't make things any better for the rest of the world where dreaming about a scantily-clad 15-year-old is frowned upon. While she wears a pair of green shorts and a sleeveless tank top that — predictably — shows off some midriff in the main game, the developers decided to go completely overboard in the sequel. Rikku's default dressphere in the game is a sheer yellow bikini top and the shortest of miniskirts. Good going, Squaresoft.
8 The Alexandria Soldiers (FFIX)
Final Fantasy IX decided to do away with the realistic visual style of Final Fantasy VIII and go for a somewhat chibi style of character design. The end result was a unique, nostalgic visual style that endeared many gamers to this fan favorite. But, as is the case with most Final Fantasy games, there had to be some pandering fan service somewhere in the game. In Final Fantasy IX, an entire army is reduced to titilation.
For some reason, the entire Alexandrian Army wears an armor set that features no pants at all, which doesn't seem to be particularly safe for an army official to wear. Meanwhile, the men wear a fully-covering suit of armor, because Square is gross.
7 Fran (FFXII)
Fran is the only non-hume (human, for the uninitiated) to join your party in Final Fantasy XII. She rarely displays any emotion until absolutely necessary, and has an interesting relationship with another main character, Balthier. None of these traits will come to your mind though if you go by the ridiculous 'armor' she wears.
Fran's armor is perhaps the best example of how impractical female video game armor actually is. Her armor covers every part of her body — except for the parts that actually need protection. And just to put the cherry on the impractical cake, she happens to wear high-heeled stilettos as well.
It seems that Final Fantasy XII had a penchant for ridiculous outfits, as embodied by the next character...
6 Vaan (FFXII)
So, before we start this entry off, I just want to say that Vaan is arguably the worst, and definitely the most non-consequential protagonist in Final Fantasy history. The story of Ashe takes center stage for most of the game, and Vaan is just an observer — and a highly annoying one at that.
What really irks most players is the outfit Vaan wears. Just like Fran, Vaan's armor is absolutely impractical and does nothing to protect his body. His bottom half is still passable, but his metal vest is probably the most ridiculously useless piece of body armor ever. Apparently, Vaan wears such clothes in order to bear the hot climate of his hometown.
Yeah, pretty sure a metal vest isn't exactly going to help with the heat.
5 Quistis Trepe (FFVIII)
Quistis is a child prodigy who becomes the youngest instructor at Balamb Garden before the events of Final Fantasy VIII. She performs all the duties that a normal instructor would have, such as teaching her students in both theoretical and practical knowledge, using various tests to determine their talents, and inadvertently hitting on one of her students as she tries to determine the cause of her convoluted feelings. Wait a sec...
There are multiples instances in the game where Quistis acts in a flirtatious manner with Squall (one of her students), showing affection that's not exactly appropriate from the viewpoint of a teacher. While it is revealed later on that all the party members (and Seifer) used to stay in the same orphanage and Quistis used to act like Squall's big sisterr. There's still the possibility that her feelings might be a taboo form of love towards her student.
4 Brother (FFX)
Final Fantasy X doesn't have a shortage of annoying characters, and that includes the numerous side characters as well. One of these annoyances is named Brother, an overly enthusiastic person who is admittedly a beast during the early stages of Blitzball. However, he spends the entirety of the game crushing on Yuna, which is quite problematic once you take a closer look.
You see, Brother is Rikku's... brother, and both of them are the offspring of Cid. However, Cid's unnamed sister decided to marry Braska, a Yevonite. This led to the conception of Yuna, which basically means that Brother is Yuna's cousin. Even after knowing this, his attempts to flirt with Yuna just increase in Final Fantasy X-2, which just makes him look like a creepy, desperate sleazeball.
3 Tifa Lockhart (FFVII)
Well, it was predictable that this entry would include the name of Tifa Lockhart. The monk of Final Fantasy VII has become an iconic character in the series for one reason. Actually, on second thought, make that two reasons. Two big, ample reasons.
This list contains countless examples of fan service, and so we won't delve into why Tifa's outfit (hell, her general body structure) is pandering. However, if this isn't enough for you warrant a spot for Tifa on this list, did you know that during the long, arduous climb in the Shinra building, Tifa calls Barret a retard out of nowhere when he gets tired while climbing up the endless flights of stairs?
2 The Entire Male Cast (FFXV)
Final Fantasy is known for many things — most of all for having a diverse cast of interesting and unique characters, each of whom have their own backstories and reasons to be involved in the grand scheme of things. When it came to forming the leading party of Final Fantasy XV though, the developers decided to chuck the 'diverse' aspect entirely.
Final Fantasy XV is the only main Final Fantasy title to include an all-male cast, without any replacement party members whatsoever. This would've been acceptable if most of the female side characters were also quite well-developed, which (as mentioned above) didn't turn out to be the case. Hajime Tabata did not handle this controversy well at all, stating in an interview that he thought the audience would connect with the characters only if they were male, since including a female would negatively impact some of the interactions the characters would have. Smooth.
1 Hojo (FFVII)
There are characters that are useless, offensive, boring or a combination of all three... and then there's Hojo, one of the most twisted characters in the history of the Final Fantasy series. To call this man disturbing would be a huge understatement — 'bats— crazy' might be a more appropriate way to describe.
Hojo triggered the events of Final Fantasy VII by using his unborn child as an experiment, creating Sephiroth in the process. If that wasn't depraved enough, he also tried to make Aerith and Red XIII (who's a beast that resembled a lion, mind you) breed in order to keep the Ancients alive. How Squaresoft managed to get away with putting such a scene like that in this iconic game is baffling.