Every new numbered Final Fantasy game delivers a new story with a new set of characters to love and hate across new worlds and timelines. It allows new gamers to approach each new title without the need to backtrack over thirty years worth of lengthy role-playing games from the previous entries. What Square-Enix does provide long-time fans of the series is plenty of fanservice in the form of familiar names like Cid, Biggs, and Wedge or items like Phoenix Downs and Ribbons.
Hidden in amongst the fan service and allusions to previous entries in the series, are some ambiguous backstories and "bread crumbs" with surprising connections to older and even unreleased Final Fantasy titles, giving way to a huge interconnected multiverse or timeline.
While some connections can be brushed off as 'easter eggs' and fan service, there have been times where Square-Enix has confirmed certain fan theories. This fuelled further fan theories and excitement providing fans deeper with a deeper affection and relationship with the series as the explore every possibility and intricacies of the story and game world.
Here we look at 15 possible connections across the series that will show that there's more to the lore of Final Fantasy than meets the eye.
15 The Shinra Legacy
One of the major antagonistic elements in Final Fantasy VII was the Shin-Ra electrical company. Shin-Ra was a mega-corporation that obtained military power over the world by controlling the world's energy supply by converting the Lifestream of the planet into Mako energy. The company was run and controlled by President Shinra.
In Final Fantasy X-2 there is young Al-Bhed boy-genius named Shinra, who when approached, triggers a cutscene where he says the following;
"Farplane data. The more I study it, the more fascinating it gets. There's limitless energy swirling around in there.... The life force that flows through our planet... I think. With a little work, we could probably extract the energy in a usable form."
Shinra also states that such work would take generations to perfect, leading to the belief that the young Shinra is the ancestor of the Shinra's found in Final Fantasy VII. Further confirmation for the connection was found in the official Ultimania Omega for Final Fantasy X-2, when scenario writer Kazushige Nojima states;
"After quitting the Gullwings, Shinra received enormous financial support from Rin, and began trying to use Vegnagun to siphon Mako Energy from the Farplane. But, he is unable to complete the system for utilizing this energy in his generation, and in the future, when traveling to distant planets becomes possible, the Shin-Ra Company is founded on another world, or something like that....... That would happen about 1000 years after this story, I think."
Finally, Nojima officially confirms that the Final Fantasy X-2 timeline is set around a thousand years before the events of Final Fantasy VII albeit on a different planet.
Gilgamesh made his original appearance in the very first Final Fantasy game. Although, his most prominent role began in Final Fantasy V serving as a major antagonist and the right-hand man to the game's main antagonist Exdeath. Additionally, declaring Bartz the lead protagonist in the game as his ultimate rival.
After failing to apprehend the party the main villain, Exdeath banished Gilgamesh to an Interdimensional Void. As a result, Gilgamesh had a change of heart and protected Bartz and his party from an interdimensional entity known as Necrophobe.
The void is where his true journey across the ages begins, in his attempts to escape the Void, Gilgamesh has found himself in the position of being an Esper or a pseudo-Guardian force. In the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII, he emerges from the Void confronting Seifer and began talking about Bartz. He would do this again in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years.
Square-Enix confirmed that it's very the same Gilgamesh that is forever traveling The Void across the timeline of Final Fantasy and its spinoffs since Final Fantasy V — confirming the connection between all the games.
13 The Highwinds
Ricard Highwind appeared in Final Fantasy II and was the first Dragoon in the Final Fantasy series. Ricard's hometown was an island called Deist which was meant to the birthplace of the Dragoons. Unfortunately, as the result of persistent attacks from the Palemasion Empire Ricard was the last surviving member.
It is in Ricard's hometown Deist that you meet a young boy named Kain that mentions he wants to become a Dragoon just like his father. In the Nintendo DS version of Final Fantasy IV, one of the game's major protagonists the Dragoon Kain Highwind stated, that his father was also Dragoon named Ricard that died fighting an evil empire, therefore cementing the connection between Final Fantasy II and Final Fantasy IV
12 The Lifestream And The Pyreflies
The Pyreflies are a naturally occurring phenomena that most prominent in the Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2. The Pyreflies can sometimes take the form of a spirit's disembodied lifeforce during or after death.
The connections to the Lifeforce seen in Final Fantasy VII are strongly suggested in their nature. Strong concentrations of Pyreflies can crystallize into Spheres in the same way that Mako forms into Materia — Sphere's were the original name for Materia before it was changed during development.
The Pyreflies are also able to manifest the physical embodiment of the deceased's form — especially if the deceased has a strong will and unfinished business. Aerith and Zack are able to take a spirit-like form during the final scenes of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, and Sephiroth's will allowed himself to manifest into the three silver haired men using a combination of the Lifeforce and the cells of Jenova.
Finally, In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children during Kadaj's passing, small glowing orbs that resemble the Pyreflies can be seen when he's reaching out for Aerith and dissolves into the Lifestream. Interestingly, another Square-Enix RPG Vagrant Story also features glowing orbs of light in the exact same manner.
11 Final Fantasy III And Final Fantasy VIII
The connections between Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy VIII strongly suggest that they are the same world but in a different time period.
The strongest connection comes from an antagonistic character in Final Fantasy III called Hein (also known as Hyne). Hein was a sorcerer that usurped King Argus and held him captive. He was eventually defeated by the Four Heroes Of Light breaking his control over the Floating Continent and the castle's inhabitants.
In Final Fantasy VIII there is a legend about the great sorcerer Hyne who created mankind and the first sorceress. Eventually, he came to resent the humans and tried to destroy them resulting in a multi-year battle, and Hyne's eventual surrender.
The world map from both games also shows many similarities, with any differences in landmass naturally occurring over thousands of years. As an example, Final Fantasy VIII's underwater research center is located in the same area where the Floating Continent resided. The ruins in the facility indicate that an ancient civilization once lived there.
10 The Farplane and The Promised Land
The Farplane from Final Fantasy X is seen as the resting place for the dead and is a location in the world of Spira, located underground miles below the surface. Visitors to the Farplane are able to conjure up and communicate with manifestations of the dead through their own memories.
The legend behind the Promised Land in Final Fantasy VII shares many similarities to The Farplane with them being the final resting places of the deceased, but unlike the Farplane it is more of a pseudo-mythical place that only the Cetra could communicate with. It is likely that with the confirmed connection between FFX and FFVII, that the legend of the Farplane became The Promised Land and that Cetra who were originally the Al-Bhed were themselves searching for a new home like The Farplane.
It's also confirmed by the character Shinra from Final Fantasy X that energy from the Farplane and the Promised land could be used to power cities and technology.
9 Final Fantasy I And Final Fantasy IX
Final Fantasy IX was designed to be a love letter to the past with a nearly endless amount of references to find. Some of these allusions to the original Final Fantasy being the most prominent.
Firstly, the world maps for the two games are almost identical, with some landmarks being almost identical in their layout. Final Fantasy IX's Mount Gulug not only shares a very similar design to the Mount Gulg from Final Fantasy I, but they also share the same theme music.
Final Fantasy IX's Princess Garnet's mother was called Jane, which seems to allude to Queen Jayne (sometimes translated as Jane) who had a daughter named called Princess Sarah — Garnets real name is Sarah. It's traditional for monarchs to use reign or era names.
The Four Fiends Lich Marilith, Tiamat, and Kraken make a return as does Final Fantasy I's main antagonist Garland. At the end of the first game, he promised to return to exact his revenge.
The Final Fantasy IX character Mikoto stated at one point in the game that Garland had already once tried to take control of the cycle of souls by force but failed, a possible reference to how Garland used the Dark Crystal in the original game to create a time loop.
8 The Spirits Within Final Fantasy VII
The surprising connection here can be found in stories behind Omega and the Lifestream. During a plot point of Final Fantasy VII: Dirge Of Cerberus it is revealed how Omega preserves the planet's Lifestream during a cataclysmic event (the sudden massive loss of life). Omega activates Chaos to harvest/destroy the remaining life on the planet, then uses the remainder of the planet to drift into the stars in an ark-like manner seeking out a new planet to find a new home for the Lifestream.
This describes the exact nature of the Phantoms and how they arrived on Earth. In the film, it is revealed that they arrived on a meteor after their own homeworld was destroyed in a war between two rival factions. When they arrive the Phantoms consume the souls of all forms of life they encounter and without prejudice. Additionally, the planet's Lifestream in the film is seen, but is referred to as Earth Gaia, and it was the Phantom's intention to infect the Earth's Lifestream/Gaia taking the planet for themselves.
In the film, D. Aki Ross becomes infected with the lethal Phantom Particles, drawing strong comparisons to Sephiroth's Geostigma found in Final Fantasy: Advent Children, which was caused by infected particles of the Lifestream. Sephiroth intended to wipe out all life and take his Geostigma-afflicted Lifestream and infect other planets using the remnants of the world as an ark in the stars — in the exact same way Omega does.
7 Jenova A Deity From Final Fantasy XIII?
Some fans have drawn comparisons between Final Fantasy XIII's Lindzei and Final Fantasy VII's Jenova. Lindzei was a Deity created by The Maker, and was responsible for creating the Fal'Cie of Cocoon. So it stands to reason that she has the powers of the Fal'Cie and more. The Fal'Cie have the power to control and manipulate humans to do their bidding — Jenova's powers of manipulation and mind control are well documented by now. Also, Lindzei is referred to as "Mother" by the Fal'Cie Orphan, whose intention was to use Cocoon as a meteor to crash into Pulse, similarly to what Jenova did on Gaia.
Lindzei was referred to as a trickster, a demon and succubus that enslaved and manipulated her followers. She was originally described as a female mothering type of character, but her true form remains a mystery and the statue is more of a representation of her — much like Jenova's female looking doll/effigy in Final Fantasy VII. While the descriptions could be used to describe pretty much every evil female entity in mythology it does draw some interesting comparisons.
6 The Ivalice Alliance And Vagrant Story
The Ivalice connection in the Final Fantasy universe is no secret, but it's still worth mentioning as there has been some debate about whether Vagrant Story truly belongs within the Ivalice universe.
Final Fantasy Tactics: The War Of The Lions, Final Fantasy XII, and Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings are all games that are without a doubt a part of the same Ivalice universe.
Vagrant Story though, is considered something of a retcon, because nothing is said for a fact that it was based in the same universe as Final Fantasy XII. It's made more difficult to create a true link, because the game's director Yasumi Matsuno seems to change his mind about the connection between the two games. In 2004 he said that Vagrant story was connected to Final Fantasy XII, then in a tweet from 2010 he restated that the world of Vagrant Story is independant from Ivalice — although this could be because Matsuno has ambitions of one day creating a spiritual sequel.
Even with the developer's flip-flopping it's hard to deny the links between the two series, even before FFXII was released. In Vagrant Story there was a short passage quoted from an A.J Durai, Arazlam Durai was the narrator for Final Fantasy Tactics. The are many gemstones and items in the game named after characters in FF: T such as the Haeralis a star named after the Haeralis The Brave — Delita Hieral is one of the characters from Tactics.
5 The War Of The Magi
Links between Final Fantasy IV and VI can be made if you consider that the War Of The Magi was the war that occurred during the events of Final Fantasy IV. It's possible the Warring Triad descending to the world were a reference to three unnamed but powerful entities known as Lunarians.
One strong story link between the games occurs during tale told of The War of The Magi, when an esper named Odin tried to defend the Ancient Castle from invaders, but was defeated by an unknown sorcerer as a result.
In Final Fantasy IV, Odin who was also known as The King Of Baron, was supposedly killed by Cagnazzo. It is possible that he may have instead been killed by Golbez but with the aid of Cagnazzo, which would explain who the mysterious sorcerer was from the legend told in FFVI. In addition, The Baron Castle has many architectural similarities to the Ancient Castle.
The maps of the two games share many similarities, and The Baron's Castle's placement on the map is located where FFVI's Figaro castle is now situated. Interestingly, Figaro Castle features an optional side quest which takes you to an Ancient Castle (possibly a relic of The Baron's Castle), and it contains the magicite of Odin -- this seems to be a direct parallel with the events of FFIV.
4 Jenova A Fallen Queen of Lucis?
Another new theory is related to the recent Final Fantasy XV, and its main antagonist Ardyn. Ardyn was a Chosen King of Lucis, destined to save the world from the Daemons and rid the world of the Starscourge — a parasitic plague created by Ifrit The Betrayer that is capable of turning humans into monsters.
Ardyn became one of the Chosen and absorbed the Daemons into his body, but this resulted in the Crystal rejecting him and the Astrals dubbing him 'unclean.' He was then demonized by a jealous relative who stole his place on the throne.
The transition made Ardyn both the embodiment of the Starscourge and an Immortal. Where the connection to Jenova comes from is she destroyed the Cetra in a similar manner by wiping them out with what is known as the Geostigma, a plague that infected the Lifestream and everyone who came into contact with it.
One side effect of the Geostigma was a black ooze that leaked from the victims skin, which looks very similar to what is coming from Ardyn's skin in his true Demonic form. It's possible that Jenova was cast out in a similar manner and took her powers to another world to become its one and true ruler. In addition, her grotesque appearance could have been the physical manifestation of the absorbed demons in her own world.
3 Three Villains, The Same Entity
Now that it has been confirmed that the Interdimensional Void/Rift exists as a way of connecting all the worlds and universes of the Final Fantasy series, it helps explain what seem to be a random villain that appeared in Final Fantasy III, Final Fantasy V, and IX.
Necrophobe made its appearance in Final Fantasy III and could be encountered in the Interdimensional Rift. An entity known as the Cloud Of Darkness emerged from the same Rift and attacked the party in Final Fantasy IX. Finally, Necro appeared as the final boss in Final Fantasy IX. All three versions of the entity resulted in someone sacrificing themselves or defending your party during battle in order to weaken them.
The links between Necro and Necrophobe seem the most obvious from a visual perspective, as well as the similarity in the names, but it's interesting to note that Necro's original name was supposed to be The Eternal Darkness — which reads similarly to The Cloud Of Darkness. Finally, it is confirmed that The Darkness has no real gender and is capable of taking whatever form it chooses.
2 The Ring Of Lucii In Final Fantasy VIII
Final Fantasy VIII and Final Fantasy XV share some similarities in terms of the technology, and the way it handles magic - drawing magic is quite similar to how the Junctioning system works in Final Fantasy VIII. There's also references to the Weapons Monthly magazines that contained recipes for weapon combinations from FFVIII.
Perhaps the most interesting reference is the Solomon Ring featured in Final Fantasy VIII a game which was released seventeen years before Final Fantasy XV's release date. The description for the ring states
"The legend goes that it was a ring that belonged to a royal family".
While the information could be written off as a pure coincidence, both the Solomon Ring and the Lucii Ring share more than a passing resemblance. Also, the biblical version of Solomon's Ring gave the wearer the ability to command good and evil spirits just like the Ring Of Lucii did with The Kings Of Lucii.
1 Dissidia Confirms Connected Multiverse
For fans of the series, Final Fantasy: Dissidia was something of a dream game. It combined most of the series' most popular heroes and villains and pitted them against each other in a battle between Chaos and Cosmos.
The warriors from both sides are summoned through various Gateways that acted as portals that connected each world to the Rift and other realms. It is the same Rift/Void that Gilgamesh has traveled through to enter different Final Fantasy worlds at various times throughout the series, and the explanation for where the Necro and The Cloud Of Darkness originate.
The game's director Takeshi Arakawa, along with Character designer Tetsuya Nomura and the original Final Fantasy VII director Yoshinori Kitase all confirmed that Dissidia's story is absolutely canonical to the entire series — confirming once again the connection between all of Final Fantasy's different worlds and universes.