Final Fantasy exists in a beautiful place where magic, monsters, and technology often live side-by-side. While this relationship between man, machine, and magic isn’t always a harmonious one, the exchanges between the characters and the world around them always eventually lead to some sorts of exchange of goods and services.
On the surface, this seems pretty natural, right? In order for a society to function, there must also be a grounded and meaningful economy that supports and enriches those who live in it, right? Yeaaaaah… no. Final Fantasy takes a lot of basic economics and throws it right out the window. Read on to learn about 10 hilarious ways Final Fantasy’s economy makes no sense.
You’ll find these feathery friends in most installments of the Final Fantasy series. Chocobos are enormous chicken-esque birds that are used much like horses in our world. They’re beasts of burden, combat pals, pets, and expensive af to take care of. In a world with airships, magic, and even occasionally cars, it just seems like the most ineffective method of travel to raise huge, mostly flightless birds that only eat a very specific type of green. What they lack in effective money management, they make up for in cuteness.
Through all the Final Fantasy games, pretty much the only normal animals we see are dogs and birds. Sure there’s produce, but there aren’t any farm animals that most would think of as traditional food, and the residents of the worlds in Final Fantasy definitely eat meat and have dairy. Does this mean that their animal products come primarily from monsters? If that’s the case, why are so many people afraid of the weakest monsters? In Lightning Returns, Lightning references her ability to cook up a Behemoth steak which only goes to support the idea that even the fiercest of monsters are ultimately foodstuffs. Weird.
So who makes the Gil? It seems to be the literal only source of valuable income in the series. Sure you can trade weapons, armors, and materials for other useful items, but mostly you get Gil for these objects. Despite Gil being the primary form of reference for something’s economical value, it seems to exist both everywhere and nowhere.
In most Final Fantasy games, cities, towns, and villages are run independently and are at war or extreme dislike with other nations. So who would have the clout to monopolize and distribute Gil on such a massive scale? Makes our head spin just thinking about it.
And while we’re on the subject of Gil, it would take a lot of Gil and manpower to build the sprawling cities that are included in most of these games. There is next to no implication of companies dedicated to landscaping and architecture. Everything just seems to kind of “be.” Castles, stained glass, steel, precious stones, and etc. are just around because they’ve always been around. Rarely is there ever construction happening, and if it is, it’s probably the repair of a structure that was already there after a big battle of some sort that resulted in collateral damage.
6 Governing Bodies
It’s not uncommon to run into smaller forms of city government like mayors and even royal figures, but for a world that’s so united by a common currency and common practices, there sure isn’t a lot of organized government. For example, who’s responsible for deciding and enforcing good business practices? Who comes in to determine whether or not the Chocobos being raised are happy and healthy? How about air travel? Who decides what the rules for flying airships are and where they may fly? It just seems like things go extraordinarily well for a system with little to no outside authorities. Perhaps that’s the point they wish to make though.
But more importantly, why are they loaded? Seriously, monsters that don’t even net you experience usually give you a crapload of money. Is it just Gil they’ve swallowed from murdering travels and that wouldn't digest? Or is there some weird monster workforce that’s paying creatures to be vicious and rude.
Heck, maybe Gil is just whatever people want it to be so monster parts are just as good as diamonds or more depending on who you trade them. Gil has only appeared in physical form a handful times in-game. Who can never be sure?
Sometimes they’re literally gods, other times they’re incredibly powerful machines, and other times still, they’re powerful spirits from another realm. Regardless, the people of Final Fantasy have the opportunity to tap into some serious universal powerhouses. Do they use these forces to help mold and shape the world they live in? or are those forces literally only for combat and therefore ineffective in building society and keeping everyone healthy and fed? We don’t know. If they do help out occasionally though, it might explain how no one ever worries about collateral damage when summoning them. Maybe their only job is to make Gil when they're not rending the Earth asunder.
Outside the Final Fantasy X series, there is next to no entertainment in the Final Fantasy universe. At least it doesn't seem to affect society in as significant a way. Sure sometimes people play cards or watch one play at a theater on repeat, but there are rarely even depictions of the arts in these games. What on Earth do people for entertainment? They’re really missing out on opportunities to improve their overall economy by neglecting to invest in the arts and entertainment. Yuna pretty much sang away a feud among the people by talking about togetherness and love. If that’s not enough reason to have a Lizzo in every Final Fantasy universe to help settle hearts and rake in the Gil, we don’t know what is.
Final Fantasy takes a lot of the best things about both fantasy and sci-fi and combines them into a homogenous blend of RPG goodness. There’s some pretty advanced tech in every game. While each installment's tech isn’t as complex as Final Fantasy XIII’s, things like enormous airships and steam engines, but it’s rare that you ever encounter any characters with significant technological know-how. There’s almost always just the rare Cid that seems to be perfectly capable of supplying all the world's tech through their quirky attitude and usually substance abuse. Truly a tortured genius.
Magic seems to flow through almost every resident of the Final Fantasy world in some way. Some are powerful mages with world-altering abilities, while others can barely start a campfire. Regardless, magic exists, and it’s bomb. With magic's prominence in the world, why can’t the residents just magic up whatever they need? Is magic truly a force that can only be harnessed for combat, or was everyone too busy fighting to think, “Ya know…maybe we could use this all-powerful, all-consuming force to build and better ourselves instead of spilling centuries worth of blood.” Probably not.