Final Fantasy has been around for thirty years and in that time has spawned a number of mainline and spin-off titles. There are great games in the series, and there are some not so great games, but with a franchise that’s been around this long, you can expect some dips in quality every so often. Like many other big name game franchises, fans of the series have gathered together and formed a ton of fan theories based on the games, characters and anything else they can think of. Some of the most interesting theories out there encompass elements of multiple games and connect them as one piece of work.
Like many fan theories you’ll find online, some of these are pretty crazy. That’s part of their charm though. If you wanted conventional storytelling you’d stick with the games. These go deeper. While many of them can be written off as nonsense, you’d be surprised as to how much work, thought, and effort has gone into proving the legitimacy of some of these. Take it with a grain of salt of course, but there are a lot of crazy theories out there that just might be true. So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of them.
15 Jenova And Lavos Are The Same Species
As big a company as it is, Square Enix is well equipped to multitask whenever they feel it necessary. Back in the 90s, the Japanese developer was turning out hit after hit and created a number of iconic RPGs that are still relevant to this day. Two of them, Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VII, were actually in development at the same time. Both would go on to be incredibly well received, but fans theorize that the games might’ve had a little more in common. Both Jenova and Lavos are fearsome villains, each feed off planets and move on to another when there is nothing left to feed on. This has led some to speculate that the two are in fact of the same species. It kind of makes sense, and who knows, it could be true seeing as both games were in development at the same time.
14 Too Many Cids
Among the multitude of Final Fantasy fan theories out there, there are a bunch that link the games together. Not the spin-offs or anything like that, but the mainline entries. There are so many out there that they’re their own subcategory of Final Fantasy fan theory. One of the more interesting ones is how all the games have a character named Cid in them. Cid’s been playable, non-playable, a hero, and a villain. He’s always been an engineer and is usually involved with warships in some capacity. There’s no doubt that constantly including a character named Cid in the games is an intentional move by the developers, but fans have given this a greater meaning. Is it possible that Cid is actually some kind of time traveler? Or does the inclusion of a Cid in every title really hint at a deeper connection between the games?
13 Rinoa Is Ultimecia
Speaking of time travel, it can be a total pain in the butt to deal with, especially if it isn’t done right. The slightest plot hole can leave a fan base restless. This was a problem that Final Fantasy VIII faced, seeing as the main antagonist was revealed as a time-traveling sorceress named Ultimecia. You have to travel to future to fight her, preventing her from achieving her goal of ascending to godhood. Pretty standard stuff for an RPG, and upon the game’s initial release no one thought twice about it. But as these theories have become more and more popular, a rather interesting one, which ties Rinoa and Ultimecia together, has popped up. It's wrapped up in the 'Squall is dead theory' (more on that later) and basically states that Rinoa is trying to control time in order to be reunited with Squall, but has forgotten who she is along the way.
12 All The Main Games Are In The Same Timeline
Here’s another theory connecting all the FF games together within one universe. Out of all the theories, this is definitely one of the more thought out ones. While some fans of the series believe it to be impossible for the mainline games to fit so neatly together, this theory doesn’t necessarily state that they pick up after one another. The theory states that every game takes place hundreds or thousands of years apart, which would account for the drastic changes to the world map as well as the variations in technology in each game. It connects various aspects of each game (which is just too much to cover right now), but if you have the time, you should definitely check it out. It’s not perfect, but it’s one of the more thought-out and well-made fan theories out there.
11 The Story Of Gilgamesh
Like many other long-standing video game franchises, Final Fantasy has a number of recurring weapons, enemies, and summoned creatures. But they don’t always appear as the same incarnation, and often play different roles or do different things depending on the game. At the end of FFV the villain Gilgamesh sacrifices his life in order to save the party and as he falls into the dimensional vortex (regretting not being able to fight Bartz one last time). Gilgamesh has shown up in other entries in the series. In each game, he subtly hints at being the same Gilgamesh who sacrificed himself in V. The theory states that instead of dying, Gilgamesh became a dimensional traveler, and every game’s Gilgamesh then forward has been the same one – searching out that long awaited rematch.
10 Final Fantasy X And X-2 Are Prequels to FFVII
This one connects some of the most popular games in the series, but unlike other connection theories, makes them mutually exclusive to each other. So here it goes. In Final Fantasy VIII the Shinra Corporation taps into the Lifeforce and uses it as a sort of unlimited resource, straining and exploiting it in order to provide power and electricity to all the cities of the world. A good portion of the game focuses on stopping Shinra from draining the planet’s life force. In X-2, an NPC ally by the name of Shinra reveals that he’s discovered the planet’s life force and can potentially use it the fuel cities. So would it be so crazy to believe that X and X-2 take place in the same world as VII and simply depict the same world Cloud and Co are trying to save, thousands of years in the past? Maybe not.
9 Fang & Vanille
There are a ton of fan couplings between all sorts of characters in the Final Fantasy series. While most of these fall under the category of fans getting a little too passionate about fictional romances, one of them stands as a potentially legitimate theory. Fang and Vanille from Final Fantasy XIII are clearly more than just friends. There are legitimate hints of a mutual romantic bond between the two. While there isn’t any explicit evidence, theorists claim that Square Enix felt it was best left as it was rather than addressing it in the games. Initially, Fang was supposed to be a male character but was changed to a female one later in the development cycle. This led many to speculate that Fang’s relationship to Vanille, while left unchanged was not addressed further due to them both being women.
8 Ozma Is An Eidolon Theory
Summoned monsters, or Eidolon as they’re also known as, are a key part of the Final Fantasy series – primarily throughout the series’ battle mechanics. In the entire series, one of the biggest unanswered questions among fans is the true identity of Ozma. Ozma appears in Final Fantasy IX, as one of the most powerful bosses in the game found via a rather obscure side quest involving Chocobo breeding. It’s basically just a floating sphere, and since fans were given so little info on it –despite it being so powerful– they began to theorize as to what this thing actually is. The leading theory is that it’s some sort of forgotten Eidolon whose myths have been forgotten by the citizens of the world, making it a mindless ball of energy.
7 Biggs And Wedge Traveled Throughout Time And Space
Any Star Wars fans here? If you are, and you’ve played your fair share of Final Fantasy titles, then you’ll know that the games share something with the movies, particularly A New Hope. That is the fact that they both have characters named Biggs and Wedge. Apparently, the boys at Squaresoft were fans and decided to put in characters with the exact same names in several FF games. These guys have gone on to appear in several Final Fantasy games. Not them exactly, but multiple characters sharing the same name. The theory is that the Biggs and Wedge seen at the beginning of Final Fantasy VI (who are blown away early on in the game) were actually sent through space and time, which is why so many characters in the series share the same name.
6 Rufus Was Actually A Good Guy All Along
The big baddies in Final Fantasy VII are obviously Sephiroth and Jenova as they pose the largest threat to the world and its inhabitants. But the secondary antagonists of the game have to be the evil Shinra Corporation who look to exploit the world’s Lifestream for their own gains. Among them, the President’s son, Rufus is presented as one of the main bad guys among their ranks. But a fan theory on the Final Fantasy subreddit makes a case for Rufus actually being on AVALANCHE’s side the entire time. The theory states that Rufus was helping out from behind the scenes because he knew that AVALANCHE would never trust him and thus, thought it better to work from the shadows.
5 The Three Faces Of Eve
This theory starts off from Final Fantasy IV onward. The plot of FFIV is considered one of the better stories in the franchise. The game was one of the first to introduce a philosophical idea known as the “Three Faces of Eve.” The gist of it is: these three faces represent the most important parts of a woman’s life. The first being childhood, which is innocence. The second is the maiden, which is known as the seductress and represents sexuality. And the third is the mother, who represents wisdom. Each mainline entry has followed this idea to some extent. Here:
Final Fantasy IV – Porom, Rydia, Rosa
Final Fantasy V – Krile, Faris, Lenna
Final Fantasy VI – Relm, Terra, Celes
Final Fantasy VII – Yuffie, Tifa, Aerith
Final Fantasy VIII – Selphie, Rinoa, Quistis
Final Fantasy IX – Eiko, Freya, Dagger
Final Fantasy X – Rikku, Lulu, Yuna
Final Fantasy XII – Penelo, Fran, Ashe
Final Fantasy XIII – Vanille, Fang, Lightning
The latest entry in the series breaks this pattern as it includes a large male cast. But it was a cool streak they had going there for a while.
4 The Knights Of The Round Are The Cetra That Defeated Jenova 1000 Years Ago
The end of Final Fantasy VII is one of the longest, most tedious string of boss battles you’ll ever encounter. Before the final showdown with Sephiroth, you have to face off against Jenova-SYNTHESIS. It’s a pretty easy battle compared to what awaits you. But if you use the Knights of the Round summon against Jenova, killing her in one hit, it gives the next two bosses huge boosts to their hit point total. This has led to some fans speculating that there’s a connection between Jenova and the Knights of the Round. It’s theorized that the Knights of the Round were actually the Cetra that defeated Jenova 1000 years ago and spend eternity waiting for the moment when their help should be needed again.
3 Cloud, Barret, And Tifa Are All Going to Hell
It might be a shock for you to see, as Cloud Barret and Tifa are some of the most well-known characters in the series. But according to one fan theory, they’re all going to hell when they die. Among the multitude of spin-offs based on VII, there’s one light novel that paints a grim picture of our heroes futures. Known in Japan as “Hoshi wo Meguru Otome” or "The Maiden Who Travels the Planet," the story follows Aerith traveling through the Lifestream after her death. There she encounters Biggs, Wedge, and Jessie, trapped in limbo due to their being unable to account for their crimes while alive. Mainly, the tutorial mission that saw AVALANCHE blow up a Shinra reactor, killing innocent employees in the process. Cloud and Barret were directly responsible for this and Tifa is also a member of AVALANCHE. So could it be that when their time comes, our heroes will find themselves in the same situation?
2 Squall Is Dead
Final Fantasy VIII is pretty tame until you get to the end of disc 2. The plot quickly takes a rapid turn in tone and pacing as the main cast finds themselves involved with time traveling, crazy mind-swapping witches and some weird childhood revelations. But the most shocking moment of the game by far is when Squall is nearly killed by the evil witch Edea at the end of disk 1. Squall gets an ice shard through the chest but later wakes up as if nothing happened. That’s when things start to get crazy though, and one prevalent theory is that all the madness going on in the game is Squall’s dying mind playing tricks on him. So instead of acknowledging that the story kind of looses momentum, fans gave Square a nice little out on this one. Some things are just easier to swallow than others.
1 Tidus And Shuyin
Among the Final Fantasy fandom, there are plenty of beloved and loved characters. While characters like Cloud (and Lightning for that matter, seeing as she’s just a gender-swapped version of the FFVII hero) are polarizing among the fan base due to their angsty attitudes, it’s the stupidly happy-go-lucky Tidus that draws the ire of many fans. You find out that Tidus is actually a dream made up of flesh – not an actual human. In X-2, Shuyin, a character that looks almost identical to Tidus but is his complete opposite appears. The relation between them is never explained in the games and has led some fans to believe that given Tidus’ true nature, he might be a corrupted version of Shuyin, embodying all the good that he’s long since abandoned.