The Final Fantasy series contains a wide variety of video games, each revolving around certain themes and sharing specific characteristics with one another. There are 15 main games within the franchise, several of which have their own prequels, sequels, and other adaptations. This doesn’t even include all the Final Fantasy games that aren’t numbered between I and XV.
And there’s not just games, but movies and anime too. You know the series must be a big deal when celebrities like Lena Headey and Sean Bean have voice roles in the most recent of the franchise’s films, Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV. This entire series has been a part of the video game realm for a long time now, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
Within this period of time, many interesting and complex theories have arisen as players complete the games and consider aspects that are left unexplored. Some of these theories are really dark, discussing characters being responsible for party members’ deaths. Or they’re just perplexing with their ridiculousness, suggesting that characters or game franchises themselves don’t even exist.
I understand that some people may enjoy a few of the theories I discuss, which is totally understandable. Not all of them are too dark in the first place, so I’ll attempt not to make things too depressing, kupo! However, with some of these, it may be hard to actually find something worth liking about them. I mean, what’s to like about Aerith being a… well, anyway, here it goes.
Also, spoilers! Obviously.
15 Naga Knows Best?
Prompto Argentum is the adorable and fun party member of Final Fantasy XV that we all love for his random photo-taking side quests and adoration of Chocobos. But out of everyone, I’d say he has the most tragic backstory, being an MT created in enemy territory. It’s believed that the Naga you fight in Fociaugh Hollow Dungeon is actually Prompto’s mother.
She ends up dragging Prompto away from the other party members before you engage it in battle. But before and after the fight, she asks about her baby, wanting to know where it’s at. So there’s a theory of this being an early hint about daemons once being humans, and that this daemon was Prompto’s birth mother. As interesting as it is, I’m just not sure if someone as relevant to the story as Prompto’s mom would be a random boss fight in a random cave.
14 Cecil, You Are Not The Father?
At the end of Final Fantasy IV, Cecil and Rosa are married. They have a son, Ceodore, who is the main character in IV’s sequel game. However, there is a theory that Kain, Cecil’s childhood friend, is actually Ceodore’s father. In FFIV, Rosa is abducted by Golbez. Some have taken this to mean that in that time away from Cecil, Kain took advantage of Rosa, leading to Ceodore’s conception.
However, I honestly don’t see a lot of support regarding this theory, especially considering Kain’s character development as the game progresses. After all, Kain seems to be the type of character who cares far too much about both Cecil and Rosa to do anything like that. So for now, it’s safe to say that Cecil is Ceodore’s father.
13 Vincent, Are You The Father?
So this theory has been around for a while, especially since Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII brought forth more information on Vincent Valentine and his back story. In the game, Lucrecia Crescent, Vincent’s love interest, ends up marrying crazy scientist Hojo, leading to the birth of Sephiroth. Which we all know as the One-Winged Angel with a rocking cool theme song, beautiful hair, and a ridiculously long sword.
However, some believe that Lucrecia and Vincent had a brief relationship before the wedding, leading to Sephiroth’s conception. As much as I love the idea of Vincent and Lucrecia being together, there’s too much canonical evidence confirming that Hojo is Sephiroth’s dad. I mean, who wouldn’t want someone as awesome as Vincent to be their father? I’d take him over the crazy lunatic any day.
12 Do You Hate Yourself, Tidus?
Honestly, I’m not sure how this theory even works. But some Final Fantasy X fans believe that main character Tidus is actually Jecht. I only managed to find a couple of things regarding this, and most of it connects to another theory that I’ll mention later. Let’s just say that when games involve the possibility of certain characters or events being merely dreams, it confuses people. Literally.
I mean, this theory really does baffle me. Because not only is it a bit dark, but it’s really baffling. How is somebody their own dad? What makes sense about that? Nothing does. I could really go on and on about how weird this is, but surprisingly, I found another theory about fatherhood that’s even weirder than this one. So, moving on.
11 Kefka Is Baram, Baram Is Kefka?
This was a really weird theory that I happened to stumble upon. But after finishing Final Fantasy VI, some people think that Kefka, the main villain of the game, is actually Baram, Shadow’s former partner who is only seen in flashbacks. There’s not really a lot of evidence to support this theory, but some seem to think that Shadow staying behind in Kefka’s Tower after Kefka is defeated means that Baram is Kefka.
There is very little evidence to support this, especially since there isn’t any actual knowledge of Baram being gone or dead anyway. I’ve honestly been surprised by some of these theories I’ve found since there’s next to nothing supporting them, and yet I have seen multiple people stating this is real. Huh.
10 Squall Is Dead, Game Over
This is of course a big theory that I’m sure you saw coming. In Final Fantasy VIII, sorceress Edea impales main character Squall Leonhart with an ice shard. But by disc 2 of the game, Squall is fully healed. This has led players to believe that Squall was just dead the whole time, or that he was lost in a dream. However, Yoshinori Kitase, game director for several of the Final Fantasy games, including VIII, stated in an interview with Kotaku that this isn’t true.
“I think he was actually stabbed around the shoulder area, so he was not dead,” Kitase said. So this theory has more or less been debunked by its very own director. But really, what is it with theories about dreams and death? Oh well.
9 Gogo, Who Are You?
Not much is known about mystery Final Fantasy VI character Gogo. There’s a theory that Gogo is actually Daryl, Setzer’s friend and love interest. After an airship race, Daryl mysteriously disappeared and her death was never confirmed. But Kitase has also debunked this theory as well.
“That’s probably not true,” Kitase said. “If that’s true, then because Daryl had that beautiful ending, if she ended up being Gogo, that would just destroy all that.” Which is a good point in itself. Why take away good character development from someone by making them out to be a character that they probably aren’t? Or a real-life person that they most definitely aren’t? I’ll elaborate on that later. I just find it interesting that people don’t seem to like mystery characters not having fleshed out identities.
8 Not An Innocent Flower Girl
As someone who cosplays Aerith, it really hurt me to see this theory. Aerith Gainsborough is a young woman who sells flowers and lives in the slums of Midgar, the main city in Final Fantasy VII. But “flower girl” is actually Japanese slang for a certain type of working woman, leading to the theory that Aerith does more than just sell flowers in order to get by.
Considering Aerith’s personality, I really have to say that I don’t like this theory just because of who Aerith is as a character. I might be a bit biased, but folks, I think Aerith is literally just selling flowers and not her body. Personally, I feel like Aerith isn’t that type of person who would do something like that in the first place. I mean, she belongs to Zack only, just saying.
7 Gogo Is...Who?
As I mentioned earlier, there’s a lot of mystery surrounding Gogo. But there’s also a rather absurd theory regarding the character’s identity. Someone claimed to believe that Gogo was the deceased politician Adlai Stevenson. Which makes absolutely no sense, as Stevenson was dead years before Final Fantasy VI was released.
The theorist tied quotes from Stevenson to Gogo’s appearance, one of which comes from a 1952 NBC news report. “The easiest course is to drape my whole body in robes and shawls and hope no one recognizes my eyes.” And this automatically means that Stevenson was reincarnated as a video game character? All right then. This was definitely the most absurd theory I found regarding the dark and strange within Final Fantasy.
This is also a widely known and popular theory in the Final Fantasy franchise. In Final Fantasy VIII, Rinoa becomes a sorceress. One theory says that Ultimecia is actually a future version of Rinoa that is driven mad after Squall’s death (see above Squall is Dead entry), and that she uses time compression in order to see Squall again.
However, this is another theory that Kitase has debunked. “That being said, both Rinoa and Ultimecia are witches, so in that sense they are similar, but they’re not the same person.”
It really makes me wonder why this theory is as widely believed as it is when I don’t really see the similarities in Rinoa and Ultimecia other than them being sorceresses. Besides, if Squall isn’t actually dead, then how could Rinoa be Ultimecia in the first place? Nevertheless, it’s an interesting theory to consider.
5 Tidus Isn’t Real
As I mentioned before with Tidus being Jecht, there’s also a theory that Tidus himself is just a figment of somebody’s imagination. I understand that Tidus is a dream of the fayth that came into existence after the original Zanarkand was destroyed. But I’ve seen a couple people online saying that Tidus himself just doesn’t exist whatsoever and that the main character is Shuyin, a character you learn about in X-2, the game’s sequel.
Personally, it just seems like there aren’t a lot of strong theories regarding Final Fantasy X. It could just be because of its story that people believe Tidus is just part of an imagination, or of somebody’s own dream.
4 Ignis, Are You The Father?
I thought I had seen some strange theories about Final Fantasy, but this one really shocked me. Because of the recent release of Episode Ignis, downloadable content for Final Fantasy XV, there’s a theory that Ignis is Noctis’s dad. I’m not kidding.
Bear in mind, Noctis’s and Ignis’s canoncial ages are 20 and 22, respectively. It’s physically impossible for Ignis to be Noct’s father. However, I have seen a theory that Ignis may be a member of the royal family. Before the game was officially released, Ignis’s full name was Ignis Stupeo Scientia, and it’s usually royals who have three words in their legal name.
That much, I’ll accept. Ignis being Noct’s dad, on the other hand? Just because he’s the father figure of the party doesn’t mean he’s actually his father!
3 Final Fantasy XIII Was Just A Dream!
Speaking of XV, we all remember when this game used to be called Final Fantasy Versus XIII in its early stages of development. Because of that alone, there’s a theory that XIII is nothing more than a dream world created by Noctis himself. After being in the Crystal for ten years, there is a theory that in that time, Noctis dreamt about the whole Final Fantasy XIII trilogy.
This one is just ridiculous for me to write about, but I don’t know. Maybe people who just didn’t like the XIII series wanted to say that so they could pretend it doesn’t exist? I don’t really see any connection between XIII and XV other than a few similarities that are common between all Final Fantasy games.
2 Shinra Saves The Day
Since VII is one of my favorite games, I decided to save my last two theories for it. One of which being that Rufus Shinra is actually a good guy. Some gamers believe that Rufus is the one who ended up killing his father, President Shinra, and that his actions following this benefit Avalanche. Which I don’t really get seeing as Shinra still attacks Cloud and company anyway.
Maybe he just didn’t like his dad and wanted him gone? Although with that big of a sword, we all know it had to be Sephiroth who killed him. I don’t really see how Shinra could be a good guy, especially since it’s obvious in Advent Children that he wants to restore the company and continue hurting the planet.
1 Death By Drowning
And of course, the most widely discussed theory that everyone, even those who’ve never played a Final Fantasy game, know about. In Final Fantasy VII, we see Sephiroth stab Aerith. In game, it appears to go right through her abdomen. However, a lot of players say that this wasn’t a fatal stab wound, and that Cloud accidentally drowned Aerith upon her burial.
Again, I might be a bit biased toward VII, but I think if Aerith were still alive, she’d be asking Cloud for help, not letting him allow her to just sink and drown. Besides, I know Cloud doesn’t say much, but I also think he’s not a complete idiot. If he can’t see them breathing, then yeah, they’re probably dead. Also, to those saying use a Phoenix Down? There’s this thing called canonical death. And sometimes, it just needs to happen for the story to progress.