Appearance is everything. We all say we should never judge a book by its cover, yet almost every one of us is guilty of evaluating someone based solely on their appearance. Most of the time, this is a bad thing. Someone may look weak, with a skinny body and lacking muscle; however, they can secretly be very strong. The reverse can also be true, though. Someone may look imposing and powerful, but are secretly really weak.
Final Fantasy is known for reversing the stereotypes of body image. Some of the most powerful characters in the franchise are frail-looking pretty boys who appear more likely to start a boy band then be traveling warriors. Heck, Cloud from Final Fantasy VII is really thin, yet can still carry around a giant blade like the Buster Sword with ease.
Of course, the opposite is true in Final Fantasy as well. A character may look strong, even though they are anything but. This is something that often happens with bosses in the franchises. Gilgamesh from Final Fantasy V may appear to be a powerful foe, but he is actually an incredibly incompetent antagonist who serves more like comic relief than a legitimate threat. There are many other examples of Final Fantasy characters that seem strong, yet are actually ridiculously weak. That is why for this list I will count down the 20 weakest characters that look strong in the franchise. Some of these might be a bit surprising, as these characters seem strong for a reason.
20 Ifrit (Final Fantasy VIII)
Generally, the first boss of any game is fairly easy. First bosses oftentimes serve as an added tutorial to aid players in understanding how to play the game. That still doesn’t explain why Ifrit is such a pushover in Final Fantasy VIII.
Ifrit is a fire monster and serves as the first challenge that players must defeat in VIII. Despite being a creature that controls fire, he is somehow incredibly weak towards ice attacks. This is despite the fact that fire usually melts ice. Somehow Ifrit fails to grasps this simple rule of nature, and succumbs to the powers of Shiva, the ice summon that is available to the player at the very start of the game.
19 Rufus (Final Fantasy VII)
The Shinra Corporation in Final Fantasy VII serves as secondary antagonists in the game. In the very early parts of the game, President Shinra appeared to be the primary antagonist. That is, until Sephiroth ends the President, and the President’s son becomes the new head of the company.
Rufus Shinra has a pretty slick design. He wears an all-white suit and he carries a gun. He first meets the main characters while coming off a helicopter, which is pretty cool. Too bad you only fight against him once, which was a mano-a-mano fight with just Cloud. He wasn’t a difficult boss with only Cloud, so you have to imagine he mustn’t be too powerful with a full party.
18 Reno (Final Fantasy VII)
The Turks from Final Fantasy VII are a special ops group that works for the Shinra corporation. The do espionage work and are recurring antagonists in the game. Reno is probably the most well-known Turk. He has a lazy personality and would prefer to have fun than actually work.
The irony is supposed to be that he is pretty good fighter, which isn’t actually true. Some of his boss fights in VII are pretty tricky, especially when he’s paired up with another Turk. However, in the Advent Children movie, he comes off more incompetent against the villains. He is able to keep up with the bad guys, yet even Cloud was able to lock Reno outside a building without much effort.
17 Vargas (Final Fantasy VI)
Sabin from Final Fantasy VI is one of the main playable characters. He is a prince who ran away from his kingdom for a secluded life. He eventually became a pupil for the martial arts master name Duncan. Duncan’s son, Vargas, was jealous of Sabin. Vargas would seemingly end his father in the beginning parts of the game.
Sabin is actually a very useful character in Final Fantasy VI. Vargas on the other hand, not so much. Vargas is an early game boss and is easy defeated by Sabin. To add more insult to Vargas’ wound, it also revealed later in the game that Duncan is actually still alive. So not only is Vargas weaker than Sabin, but he also failed in eliminating his father.
16 Emperor Gestahl (Final Fantasy VI)
We all know that the mad clown Kefka is the real main antagonist of Final Fantasy VI, however for the first half of the game it appeared that Emperor Gestahl is the central villain. Gestahl is the ruler of the Gestahlian Empire, who are essentially the same as the Empire from the Star Wars films. Gestahl was Palpatine, and Kefka was Darth Vader.
Gestahl is the source of the many tragedies within the game, including stealing lead protagonist Terra when she was a baby. Despite his importance to the plot, the player never gets a chance to fight against him. Kefka grew more powerful than him, and the clown eliminated him. Emperor Gestahl ended up being overshadowed by the real villain of the game.
15 Gilgamesh (Final Fantasy V)
The Epic of Gilgamesh is a pretty great story that centers on the many adventures of the ruler of ancient Mesopotamia. It is considered to be the oldest surviving literary work in the world. The Gilgamesh in the ancient story was a brave warrior. Gilgamesh in Final Fantasy V is not.
Gilgamesh in V is nothing like the classic character he is named off. Gilgamesh’s name in the Final Fantasy series is more of an ironic joke than anything else. Gilgamesh is a coward in Final Fantasy V, often fleeing from battle when he’s losing. He may be a giant with multiple arms, he doesn’t offer much a challenge towards the playable characters.
14 Warriors Of Dawn (Final Fantasy V)
The Warriors of Dawn from Final Fantasy V were four warriors who defeated the entity Exdeath thirty-years before the events of the main game. Exdeath will later return and become the main villain of V. Since it’s been thirty years, the original Warriors of Dawn have become old men. Still, their age shouldn’t factor in how useless they were in the game.
While Galuf is a major playable character in V, the other two don’t do much. They just sacrifice themselves for the greater good without really adding much to the story. The fourth member of the Warriors of Dawn passed away before the events of the game, and his son, Bartz, would end up leading the new Warriors of Light.
13 Golbez (Final Fantasy IV)
Golbez is oftentimes erroneously labeled as the main villain of Final Fantasy IV, which is technically not true. The main villain of IV is actually an alien called Zemus. Golbez is a warlock whom Zemus has been controlling since the former was a child. Golbez served as Zemus’ proxy for most of the game until it is revealed that Zemus was behind everything. You fight against Golbez twice in the game. One is a scripted event in which the player has no control over. The second one happens around the midpoint of the game. While Golbez was certainly challenging as a boss in the middle of the game, the fact that he isn’t a late-game boss kind of ruins his imposing image.
12 Garland (Final Fantasy)
Garland has the distinction of being the first boss in the entire Final Fantasy franchise. He is the first boss you face off against in the original Final Fantasy. At the very end of the game, it is revealed that he is actually the true main antagonist of the game, and transforms into the creature called Chaos. Whereas Chaos is an appropriate final boss for the original game, Garland himself is pretty much a walk in a park. His only move is striking one of your party members, and he doesn’t do much damage at all. You don’t need to do anything fancy to beat him; just attack back and he will quickly fall.
11 Seifer (Final Fantasy VIII)
Squall is the main protagonist of Final Fantasy VIII, and Seifer is his rival. They are rivals in the Balamb Garden school. They are the only two in the game that wield the ludicrous Gunblade weapon. They both have scars across their face; their scars was caused in a practice duel between the two at the start of the game. Seifer is always made out to be more important than he ends up being. He fights against the main characters several times throughout the story. In each one of his boss fights, he is never a threat. He has too little health, and his moves do not cause a lot of damage. He is a character that worked better as a high school bully.
10 Odin (Final Fantasy VIII)
You know how I describe that Seifer is a weak character, and an easy boss to beat? Well, Seifer actually beat Odin in Final Fantasy VIII. Yes, the whining and showboating teen that never did anything really important in the story actually eliminated Odin. For context, Odin is a mythical Guardian Force that appears randomly at the start of battles and slays every opponent on screen. He was capable of slaying every non-boss enemy with the swipe of his Zantetsuken. Somehow, Seifer was able to perform a move called Zantetsuken Reverse, and slices Odin. I just want to reiterate here that Seifer is an easy boss. So the fact that Odin loss to him just proves that Odin is secretly a weakling.
9 Biggs And Wedge (Final Fantasy VIII)
There have actually been multiple characters named Biggs and Wedge throughout the Final Fantasy franchise. But I’m specifically talking about the Biggs and Wedge from Final Fantasy VIII. Biggs and Wedge from that game were Galbadian soldiers and served as early antagonists for the main characters. I remember them being really tough in their early appearances. They mostly serve as comic relief, often bickering one another for dumb things. You only, unfortunately, face against them twice. The main characters never really treat Biggs and Wedge seriously in the game, and they never really did much outside adding comedic relief.
8 Black Waltz 1, 2, & 3 (Final Fantasy IX)
The Black Waltzes from Final Fantasy IX are Black Mages created by the Alexandria Kingdom to apprehend Princess Garnet. There are three Black Waltz, and each provides their own gimmicks. Black Waltz 1 and 2 are somewhat tricky, yet since they are early bosses they are not that hard. Black Waltz 3 is also not too difficult, which may be the most disappointing thing in the game. There was build up to the third Black Waltz being the strongest among the Waltzes. His fight sadly is the most straightforward, and probably the easiest. You later fight Black Waltz 3 after he is nearly destroyed, but the second fight is a battle that the player can’t possibly lose. For all his build-up, Black Waltz 3 ended up being simple.
7 Dona (Final Fantasy X)
In the world of Final Fantasy X, there are people called Summoners who travel the world to try to stop the entity named Sin. Yuna, the secondary main character of the game, is a Summoner. Early in the game, the main party comes across another Summoner name Dona. The game does a good job to make you hate Dona since she constantly bullies Yuna and brags about her own abilities. You are expecting that the game is foreshadowing a possible conflict with her; however, that never happens. Instead, Dona gets taken by the Al Bhed, a race of people who want to prevent Summoners from sacrificing themselves to stop Sin. She then decides to give up being a Summoner.
6 Zemus (Final Fantasy IV)
Zemus is the true antagonist of Final Fantasy IV. Zemus is an alien from the moon, who despised the humans on Earth. He manipulated Golbez to unleash the Giant of Babil and try to take over the world. The main heroes stop the Giant and later confront him in his lair on the moon. Golbez, free from Zemus’ brainwashing, helps Fusoya in destroying Zemus’ weak body. Even though Zemus manipulated the events of the game, he was more of a man behind the curtains. Fortunately for Zemus, his hatred for humans proved to be so strong that after Golbez and Fusoya destroyed his body, Zemus’ hatred lived on as Zeromus. Zeromus proves to be a more difficult challenge.
5 Edea (Final Fantasy VIII)
Edea is a sorceress that served as the main antagonist for the first half of the game. She used her magic to essentially take control of the world’s largest army, and her main goal was to eliminate a school full of angsty teens. It turns out that Edea was being controlled by a sorceress from the future named Ultimecia. The real Edea is actually a nice woman who used to run an orphanage. Once Ultimecia stops controlling her, Edea temporarily becomes a playable character. Even though Edea was a pretty difficult boss in the first half of the game, once she becomes a party member and is no longer controlled by Ultimecia she isn’t strong anymore. She wasn’t very useful.
4 UFO And PuPu (Final Fantasy VIII)
There’s a sidequest in Final Fantasy VIII where you spot a flying UFO stealing famous landmarks across the world. You follow this UFO until you have to fight it in a battle. The UFO maybe a little ominous; nonetheless, it never had a threatening appearance. Despite that, you would still assume that there is something mighty controlling that ship. Regrettably, that is not the case. Once you destroy the UFO, you come across the alien pilot in a different part of the world. Rather than be a giant, mutated creature from space, the pilot of the UFO is a small alien named PuPu. Though PuPu is certainly cute, he isn’t exactly what I had in mind when I was thinking of a UFO.
3 Yu Yevon (Final Fantasy X)
Yu Yevon was the ruler of the great city called Zanarkand. During a war, Yu Yevon wanted to preserve his city, so he created a dream Zanarkand. To protect dream Zanarkand, he created the being called Sin, who went on to destroy places with high populations and advanced technology. Yu Yevon became Sin’s core, and Yevon’s daughter Yunalesca would pass on teachings on how to destroy Sin. Regrettably, Yunalesca’s way to defeat Sin was always only temporary and required sacrifices. To stop Sin for good, Yu Yevon needed to be destroyed. The boss fight with Yu Yevon is notoriously easy; you can’t lose against him at all. You get revived every time a character loses health.
2 Queen Brahne Raza Alexandros XVI (Final Fantasy IX)
Queen Brahne Raza Alexandros is the queen of Alexandria in Final Fantasy IX. She is Garnet’s adoptive mother and the first major antagonist in the game. She was manipulated by the warlock named Kuja to start a war with the world. She is a huge woman and is mad with power. She even stole her own daughter’s ability to summon magical creatures. She was a constant presence within the first half of the game, and you would expect there would be a major battle against her at some point. Alas, that didn’t happen. Instead, she is on an airship that is destroyed by Bahamut, and soon after perishes in her daughter’s arms.
1 Sephiroth (Final Fantasy VII)
While it's true that Sephiroth can be tough, he isn't in Final Fantasy VII. You only fight against Sephiroth in the very end, where you need to defeat him in order to summon Holy and destroy Meteor. You face Sephiroth three times at the end, and the very last fight is a scripted fight where you can’t lose. The other two fights are longer than anything else. Those earlier fights can be challenging if you’re under leveled. Nevertheless, they are a piece of cake if you are at the right level. If you found the Knights of the Round materia, then the boss fight is even easier. Knights of the Round can one-shot KO Sephiroth.