Final Fantasy games are famous for their lengthy stories and intricately deep lore. These stories paved the way for most modern Japanese Role Playing Games today. The series brought to life dozens of memorable characters as well some of gaming's most iconic creatures. From the adorable Moogle to the fearsome Bahamut, there are a plethora of notable figures in pop culture that fans can always associate with the beloved series. Of course, there's a good reason why the series has a following this big.
The series goes the extra mile when it comes to providing content for each entry. Apart from its massive main story campaign, these games also provide oodles of extra content via side quests. Although some of these side quests don't just function as mere filler content. In fact, some side quests might even be as memorable as the main games themselves! Some side quests offer extra challenges that are even more epic than the game's finale while others offer additional bits of story content.
This extra content doesn't just serve as fun diversions, they also make up for a more amusing and quite memorable experience. Who says all Final Fantasy games have to be linear and one-dimensional when it comes to its gameplay? These unforgettable side quests definitely prove that that's not the case. Some casual players might not even know that some of these side quests were even there in the first place. Here are 25 awesome side quests that some fans might have missed in the ultra-popular Final Fantasy series.
25 Unraveling The Seven Wonders (Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII)
Final Fantasy VII spin-off Crisis Core is touted for its stylish action-RPG gameplay, dazzling visuals, and narrative-heavy campaign. However, it also has some notable side quests that can easily be missed. One of these is the mini-game called “The Seven Wonders Of Nibelheim.”
Solving mysteries means getting rewards too, of course.
After building Aerith a flower cart and handling business with Sephiroth, players get a chance to speak to a boy who sends them on a quest to unravel Nibelheim's mysteries. While these strange occurrences happen to be more mundane than supernatural, the whole experience is still memorable nonetheless.
24 Memoirs Of A Moogle (Final Fantasy XII)
Final Fantasy XII has its fair share of quirky yet memorable characters. Blonde-haired moogles? Check. Bow-wielding bunny people? Definitely! Another one of these characters is a pompom-wearing Moogle named Pilika. She eventually tasks players with finding her precious diary.
It's a short but sweet side quest that gets even sweeter due to the fact that players get different rewards based on whether or not they've read her diary. Those who choose to read the diary are treated to a funny cutscene indicating that one of Pilika's pets were observing them all along. Yikes!
23 Gotta Read 'Em All (Final Fantasy VIII)
Aside from playing a scarred, emotionally-detached protagonist, players also get to play an unusual role in Final Fantasy VIII. Instead of fending off armies of bad guys, players can opt to collect magazines. This side quest has players scouring every nook in cranny for hidden issues of Timber Maniacs and Occult Fan.
Fighting evil can get stale but reading stuff is timeless.
It might not be as exciting as crossing swords with bitter rivals but doing it is quite worthwhile. Magazines don't just offer extra story tidbits, they also lead to even more side quests as well as aid in acquiring more powerful allies.
22 The Spiky Family (Final Fantasy XII)
A neat, and quite easy to miss, side quest in Final Fantasy XII involves returning a humanoid cactus child back to its family of thorny cactoids. It's both a fun and rewarding side quest. However, it can only be unlocked once players did the “Dalmasca's Desert Bloom” mission and after they've talked to the wife of the mission petitioner.
Players get to avert disaster, help a dad avoid impending doom and earn the respect of a sentient plant family, all at the same time! Of course, the additional item reward, money, and free ferry rides are cool bonuses too.
21 The City That Never Sleeps (Final Fantasy XV: Royal Edition)
Fans who've watched the Final Fantasy XV animation Kingsglaive will undoubtedly remember seeing Insomnia city in ruins. Unfortunately, the Insomnia City Ruins map cannot be explored in the original version of the game. Only players who have the enhanced version, Final Fantasy XV: Royal Edition, get to experience this seemingly large new dungeon, complete with its very own side quests.
This expansive dungeon offers a multitude of powerful new enemies as players take them down with the help of a familiar face, the indomitable Cor Leonis himself! Great, more reasons to buy the game a second time.
20 The Happiest Place On Midgard (Final Fantasy VII)
Final Fantasy VII's story is certainly a tragic one so why not try to forget all the melancholy by visiting an amusement park? The Gold Saucer serves as the perfect remedy! This theme park has an assortment of mini-games, a new party member to recruit and of course, more side quests.
Romance or Bromance, the choice is yours.
One of these side quests involves a date with a lucky party member of your choice. Oh, Cloud can also choose to date muscular brutes like Barret, which is quite hilarious, actually.
19 Shoot For The Stars (Final Fantasy IX)
Some side quests feature cool standalone stories but the one in Final Fantasy IX actually has a lasting impact which even affects the game's ending. During this quest, players search for rare and elusive coins representing bodies of stars known as Stellazzio. A humanoid bird named Queen Stella will reward players for each Stellazzio coin they turn over to her.
Once players collect all 13 coins, Queen Stella will reward them with a unique item called the Hammer. Having this item in one's inventory leads to an extra scene during the game's ending, neat!
18 Spelunking For Treasure (Final Fantasy VII)
The awesome chocobo-breeding mini-game in Final Fantasy VII leads to yet another interesting side quest. Once players acquire chocobos of varying colors, only then can they access the hidden Materia Caves. There are multiple treasure troves like these that can be found throughout the game map.
Players can find all sorts of goodies in these caves such as new magic and even the game's most powerful summoning spell. Of course, having a golden chocobo is a must if one hopes to reach the caves that hold the best rewards.
17 A Monster In Hiding (Final Fantasy IX)
Finding the secret super-boss Hades in Final Fantasy IX is no easy feat since he's quite literally hidden in a place called Memoria. Players would first have to walk past a waterfall and go off-screen through some rocks, all while mashing the talk button since there won't be any dialogue prompt that reveals his location. However, finding Hades is one thing, defeating him is another.
Hades is exceptionally powerful and can instantly incapacitate party members especially when they come under-leveled and unprepared. Upon defeat, Hades offers players his synthesis services which make the game's best items.
16 Not Your Average Painting (Final Fantasy XV)
The photography side quests in Final Fantasy XV actually gives players a lot more incentives than the usual hunt missions or fetch quests. Vyv, the quest giver, might be hard to miss since he won't be visible the first time players enter Lestallum. Fortunately, the quest rewards players with a lot of money for doing such a simple task.
However, the final part of this side quest isn't as simple as snapping a picture. Players will be investigating a cursed canvas that actually comes to life! They would have to defeat this monstrosity just to take its picture, talk about extreme journalism.
15 Seeking Penance (Final Fantasy X)
It's safe to say that not everyone would be able to face the Final Fantasy X mega-boss Penance. Aside from only appearing in the international version of the game, Penance's ridiculous health and power make him a foe that not everyone would want to face anyway. On top of all that, players would first have to defeat eight dark aeon sub-bosses before reaching Penance.
It's certainly a side quest that's not for the unprepared nor is it for players who get frustrated easily. However, finishing it does give a tremendous sense of accomplishment, it's such an epic battle, after all.
14 X Marks The Spot (Final Fantasy IX)
Calling Final Fantasy IX's “Hot and Cold” quest a mini-game is quite the understatement. This chocobo treasure hunting quest is actually intricate and expansive as it sends players to various locations around the game. Players will be using their chocobos to unearth valuable loot such as chocographs.
It's like bobbing for treasures instead of apples.
This quest not only leads to epic treasures, but it also sends players to secret places. While it's easy to start this quest, finishing it is quite difficult due to its length and the effort required to completing it.
13 A Garden In The Sky (Final Fantasy IX)
Finding the elusive aerial paradise known as the Chocobo's Air Garden is already a challenge in itself. Players must first locate a dark spot that constantly changes position in the game's world map. If players use an expired pepper on the dark spot, given that they're also riding a golden chocobo, they'll eventually be able to fly onto the garden.
However, getting on the garden is only the first part, there are tons more to do on it once it becomes accessible. The garden is home to more “Hot and Cold” side quests including a powerful secret boss named Ozma.
12 Challenging The Queen (Final Fantasy VIII)
Facing the Queen of Cards in Final Fantasy VIII is an awesome side quest to experience, even for those who aren't fans of the Triple Triad mini-game. The quest itself feels like an adventure as players travel from place to place searching for the rarest cards. Players must ironically have to lose rare cards to the Queen in order to gain more rare ones.
Time to d-d-d-duel with the Queen!
It's a quest that starts early but spans all throughout the game. It's safe to say that it's not an easy one to finish especially since it can even last up to disc 3.
11 Revisiting An Iconic Encounter
Gilgamesh is an iconic character in the series but battling him in Final Fantasy XII is optional. Of course, facing him during the “Battle On The Big Bridge” hunt is so epic that fans wouldn't want to pass off the opportunity. The battle is quite reminiscent of the same encounter in Final Fantasy V, which only makes it sweeter, especially for longtime fans.
There will even be a familiar tune that plays during the boss fight so fans will certainly feel the nostalgia! Seeing the new Gilgamesh is already cool enough but a trip down memory lane is priceless.
10 The Lake Of Wonders (Final Fantasy VIII)
Obel lake can be found north of Final Fantasy VIII's Timber city. It's more than just an ordinary lake, it's home to a mysterious black shadow who becomes friendly if players hum to it. This shadow sends players on a quest to find rare items all over the game world.
Although it won't be as simple as going from point A to point B. Players actually have to find the black shadow's friend in the process. The shadow's friend might be a quirky and annoying monkey, quite literally, but it only gives this memorable quest even more character.
9 Meet The Ultimate Weapon (Final Fantasy VIII)
Before players even get the chance to face Ultima Weapon in Final Fantasy VIII, they would first have to fight one epic battle after another. The Deep Sea Research Center hides some of the game's worst monstrosities. It can be located in the most lower left corner of the in-game map.
Getting there could be challenging but surviving this hostile environment is way harder. Players will encounter fearsome behemoths such as dragons including the great Bahamut himself! Players who enjoy a good challenge will love this side quest, those who don't will definitely dread it.
8 A Mysteriously Popular Ninja (Final Fantasy VII)
Given how popular the spunky ninja girl Yuffie is in the series, it's easy to forget that she was just an optional mini-boss in Final Fantasy VII known simply as Mystery Ninja. Yuffie can be encountered on any of the game's forest regions albeit randomly. Recruiting her on the team won't be as simple though.
Players are required to answer a series of questions properly otherwise she'll leave. Her side quest will always be remembered by the fans of this beloved character. How can fans forget when she punishes them for saving their game during the encounter?
7 Gone Fishing (Final Fantasy XV)
While fishing might not sound as exciting as monster hunting, a tour side quest in Final Fantasy XV might serve as an exception to that. Setting up camp in Capatis Haven triggers a quest where Gladiolus tells the players that they should try catching the legendary “Liege Of The Lake.” Catching this lake monster can be excruciatingly difficult.
However, patient and persistent players will definitely find the experience rewarding. If capturing an underwater behemoth doesn't sound exciting enough, then the game's developers would certainly have to disagree. They've created a fishing-inspired spin-off called Monsters Of The Deep, after all.
6 Plundering The Sunken Gelnika (Final Fantasy VIII)
The Sunken Gelnika can only be accessed once players have obtained the Shinra Sub in Final Fantasy VII. It holds some of the hardest foes in the game but at the same time, it's also home to some of the best equipment and skills that players could acquire. Traversing this hostile dungeon also means collecting some epic loot.
This includes ultimate weapons, new limit breaks and heaps of potions and accessories. Of course, players would first have to go through some familiar enemies, horrific experiments and yes, more dragons, before they can reap any reward. Who says good things come easy?
5 Unleash The Beasts (Final Fantasy XV)
The “Menace Beneath Lucis” side quest in Final Fantasy XV isn't just a mission that's taken, it's earned. Players can only accept this colossal undertaking after finishing the game. Meldacio Hunter HQ leader Ezma tasks players with vanquishing the game's toughest bosses.
There's a good reason why these beasts were imprisoned.
Ezma fears that these monsters will eventually break free from their cages so players should eliminate them before that happens. It's a long and arduous journey and some monsters only come out at night. Regardless, it's certainly a hunters paradise that's reserved primarily for elite players.
4 Secrets Of The Ancient Forest (Final Fantasy VII)
Entering the Ancient Forest in Final Fantasy VII isn't a walk in the park. Before players get to explore this serene green paradise, they must first accomplish certain feats. Players could either defeat the intimidating Ultimate Weapon enemy or breed a mountain chocobo from yet another side quest.
A plethora of goodies awaits inside the forest such as a wicked sword for Cloud called Apocalypse and the Typhon summon materia. Then again, witnessing this lush and seemingly tranquil forest is reason enough to visit it. The awesome loot and extra experience are just icing on the cake.
3 A Sword Moves Mountains (Final Fantasy XV)
They say love moves mountains but for a particular side quest in Final Fantasy XV, a sword would do. Of course, the towering boss that appears during the “Lonely Rumblings in Longwythe” quest is no regular mountain. In fact, it's not a mountain at all, it's just as big as one.
It makes players feel so minuscule.
Defeating the Adamantoise is no joke, its health is over five million! Some players spend hours just trying to defeat this ginormous turtle so it's safe to say that this is definitely one of the most epic boss battles in the game.
2 Awakening The Enigmatic Vincent
Vincent Valentine is undoubtedly one of the most popular characters in Final Fantasy VII. He does have his very own standalone spin-off game Dirge Of Cerberus, after all. Despite being a major character in the series, recruiting Vincent is purely optional.
Just because getting Vincent is optional doesn't mean his side quest is any less memorable though. Recruiting him isn't that simple, it's quite complex and requires solving clues. It feels like playing detective and Shinra Mansion exterminator at the same time! Just when fans thought there aren't enough reasons for Vincent's popularity to rival that of Cloud's.
1 They Come In Peace (Final Fantasy VIII)
One of the most scintillating side quests in Final Fantasy VIII is quite literally out of this world! The mysterious UFOs appear in key areas within the game's map. These extraterrestrial thieves can be seen abducting cattle, ancient structures, and even pyramids!
This fantasy just went off-orbit.
Once players witness the atrocities, they eventually get the chance to exact revenge on the UFO. Tracing the crashed UFO even gives players a chance to meet an alien named PuPu. Although players should take it easy on the little guy, he's not nearly as dangerous as the ones who crashed his ship.