Each game within the Final Fantasy franchise is meant to tell a self-contained epic within the span of several dozen hours. Each game in the series has their own characters, with their own stories, and takes place in their own unique world. Every story in the franchise is meant to be grand in nature, with the protagonists’ main goals often being about fighting against a corrupt establishment.
Naturally, the main story is where most gamers are the most invested. However, there are actually a lot of hidden plot lines in each of the games. Most of these games have a fully realized world, containing hidden story elements and lore that you wouldn’t find in the main game. Some of the times these hidden plot points can be found in optional side quests. Other times, these hidden story elements are hidden underneath the main story. Final Fantasy may be bombastic video games, filled with anime absurdity; however, there are some subtleties within some of the games that hide some thought-provoking plot points.
There have been many hidden plot lines throughout the history of the Final Fantasy franchise, a lot of them that fans completely miss. That is why for this list I will be going over the top 25 Hidden Plot Lines Fans Missed In The Final Fantasy Series. There are a lot of plot points that fans have missed over the years. Some of them are hidden right beneath our very noses, and I am here to tell you 25 of the most important plot lines you all have missed.
25 Zell’s Love Quest (Final Fantasy VIII)
Besides the main character Squall, the cast of Final Fantasy VIII is pretty underdeveloped. There are some sidequests in the game that helps flesh out these other characters. There is a sidequest that centers on a pigtail girl who works at a school library. This pigtail girl has a crush on playable character Zell, and depending on when you talk to her, you get more information about her infatuation with Zell. Eventually, she would end up meeting Zell in a hotel, where she confesses her love to him and gives an important in-game item. It’s a short, yet charming side story.
24 Lost Family (Final Fantasy IX)
What makes the Lost Family sidequest in Final Fantasy IX so intriguing isn’t the story itself, but by the fact that it took fans so long to find it. The sidequest didn’t become widely known until thirteen years after the IX’s release. The Lost Family sidequest can only happen once the player has reached the final dungeon. For every section in the final dungeon that the player passes, they would need to return all the way back to the city of Lindblum and talk to a member of the Nero family. After talking to each family member, you help them reunite.
23 Shadow Is Relm’s Father (Final Fantasy VI)
Shadow from Final Fantasy VI is a ninja, and his backstory is surrounded with mystery. If the player goes to certain Inns throughout the world with Shadow in the party, cutscenes of Shadow’s past life will play. The cutscenes reveal that he was once a man named Clyde, who eventually abandons his family. If the player accomplishes certain requirements, a special cutscene will play at the halfway point of the game. The cutscene will instead focus on a young Relm and her grandfather Strago. Relm is calling out for her father, who had recently abandoned them. It matches perfectly with Shadow’s cutscenes, heavily implying that Shadow is Relm’s father.
22 Shumi Village (Final Fantasy VIII)
Shumi Village is a completely optional town that is located in the northern continents of the Final Fantasy VIII world. Shumi Village is home to the Shumi, a fictional race within the world of VIII. They are hairless humanoids, with large hands and droopy chins. You face a Shumi as a boss in the main game, who mysteriously turns into an egg and disappears. It is revealed in Shumi Village that the Shumi people are capable of transforming into different species at a certain point in their lives. Depending on what is found in their heart, the Shumi people can even turn into humans.
21 Jecht’s Spheres (Final Fantasy X)
Jecht is the father of Tidus, the lead character from Final Fantasy X. When Tidus is teleported to the world of Spira, he discovers that his father was also teleported to Spira. Jecht has left some video messages in magical objects called Spheres. Some of Jecht’s spheres are played within the main storyline, others are completely optional. You discover Jecht’s adventures within Spira, and why he joined forces with Auron and Braska. It turns out Jecht, Braska, and Auron were all outcasts, and they wanted to seal away the malicious entity called Sin to help save Spira.
20 Zack’s Fate (Final Fantasy VII)
While Zack’s fate is well-documented now thanks to Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-, in the original Final Fantasy VII, gamers would have needed to actively search for it. Zack Fair is a member of SOLDIER, and was Aerith Gainsborough’s first love. Zack witnesses many of the major events that happen prior to Final Fantasy VII. Zack was mostly hinted at in the main story of VII, primary by Aerith. His tragic passing by the hands of Shinra isn’t revealed to gamers unless they go to the basement of the mansion found in Nibelheim.
19 Vincent’s Backstory (Final Fantasy VII)
Vincent Valentine is an optional playable character in Final Fantasy VII. However, his backstory does provide much-needed lore to the game. Years before the events of the game, Vincent used to work for Shinra. He grew to have feelings for a scientist named Lucrecia, but she ended up marrying Hojo. Hojo would have a child with her and later inject JENOVA cells into their unborn child. Vincent would try to stop him, yet was instead captured and experimented on. Hojo and Lucrecia’s child ended up being Sephiroth, the main antagonist of VII.
18 Dirge Of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- Secret Ending
Dirge of Cerberus was the first video game that was a spin-off of the very popular Final Fantasy VII. Following the success of the animated movie, Advent Children, Dirge of Cerberus focuses on the continued adventures of Vincent Valentine. The game has a secret ending, which reveals the first appearance of Genesis Rhapsodos. Genesis would later become a major character in Crisis Core, a prequel of the original Final Fantasy VII. Since Cerberus took place years after, Genesis' appearance is chronologically the last time we see him. In the secret ending, Genesis is taking the body of Hojo.
17 Cyan’s Dreamscape (Final Fantasy VI)
Cyan is a samurai from Final Fantasy VI, and he has major survivor’s guilt. His entire kingdom was poisoned by the mad clown Kefka. His wife and child perished before his eyes. If the player chooses to sleep in the ruins of Cyan’s old kingdom during the second half of the game, they are treated to a special dungeon. Cyan is still struggling with guilt, and the party is teleported to his dreamscape. In the dreamscape, the Wrexsoul is feeding off Cyan’s despair. It is up to the part to destroy the dream monster, and Cyan finally learns to let go.
16 Master Fisherman (Final Fantasy VIII)
Fisherman’s Horizon is a city in Final Fantasy VIII. It is located in the middle of the ocean, connected by two bridges that lead to land. There’s a fisherman who hangs out the dock who is simply named the Master Fisherman. There’s an optional quest where the playable characters can aid the Master Fisherman’s protégé. After helping his protégé, the Master Fisherman will then reveal to the party that he comes from a super advanced city called Esthar. He and several others founded Fisherman’s Horizon many years ago, and it was the Master Fisherman who coined the name Fisherman’s Horizon.
15 Gau’s Father (Final Fantasy VI)
Gau from Final Fantasy VI grew up in the wild and barely knew how to speak. Around the area that Gau grew up in, there’s an abandoned cabin, where a crazy old man lives. Some of the other characters theorized that the old man may actually be Gau’s father. They then convince Gau to dress up and meet the old man. Though the old man doesn’t recognize Gau, he does confess a time when he abandoned his “demon” baby. While several characters get angry at the old man for abandoning his child, Gau admits he is just happy knowing he has a Dad.
14 Phoenix Tower (Final Fantasy V)
Phoenix Tower in Final Fantasy V is essentially the game’s ultimate challenge. The Phoenix Tower is a thirty-floor building, containing nothing but enemies to fight. As the player climbs further and further up the tower, the enemies become harder. I remember I went to the Phoenix Tower by accident, as I didn’t realize it was supposed to be an end game challenge. The only story details revealed in the tower is at the end, where the character Lenna encounters her loyal wind drake (dragons). We get a flashback of Lenna’s mother passing, and the wind drake transforms into a Phoenix in the present.
13 Yang’s Survival (Final Fantasy IV)
Several major characters in Final Fantasy IV sacrifice themselves for the greater good. However, these sacrifices would rarely stick. Many characters whom seemingly perish to save others would turn up alive later. Yang, a monk who travels with the main characters, sacrifices himself by stopping a super cannon that threatened innocent lives. Somehow, despite being in a locked room, he was teleported to a mysterious cave and was healed by the mythical Sylphs, small fairies. Not only does his survival not make sense, the whole quest in finding him is completely optional.
12 The Card Club (Final Fantasy VIII)
Triple Triad is a card game from Final Fantasy VIII, and is probably the best thing in that entire game. You play cards that have the faces of all the monsters and major characters in the game. The Card Club is an elite group of Triple Triad players from the Balamb Garden school. They are made up of students and are considered to be some of the best in the world. Challenging each member of the group would lead to the discovery of the identity of the Master King, the best player in the club. The Master King is revealed to be Quistis, one of the main playable characters.
11 Challenging Belgemine’s Aeons (Final Fantasy X)
Belgemine is a non-playable character in Final Fantasy X. She is a summoner who challenges the character Yuna several times throughout the main game. Belgemine will eventually settle in the Remiem Temple, where the party can meet her again for the final time. After winning a duel with her in the temple, it is revealed that Belgemine is an unsent. Unsents are wandering spirits who have yet to move on to the next life. It is up to summoners to send those spirits away. Yuna, a fellow summoner within the party, has the option to send her away or not.
10 The Card Queen (Final Fantasy VIII)
The main characters can challenge the Card Queen to a game of Triple Triad in several cities around the globe. She plays by different rules each time she is challenged by the party. Her new rules will then spread within the immediate area and will be the accepted rule of the game until she is challenged again in that same area, in which she will play with new rules. Her sidequest further cements of how big of a deal the Triple Triad game is.
9 Baaj’s Temple And Seymour’s Backstory (Final Fantasy X)
Once you return to the Baaj’s Temple in Final Fantasy X, you can complete a sidequest where you can receive the powerful aeon named Anima. It is revealed that Anima is actually Seymour’s mother. Seymour is one of the major antagonists in the game. His mother reveals at Baaj’s Temple that she pressured Seymour to turn her into an aeon. Seymour was oppressed as a child due to his mixed heritage, so his mother thought if he was able to become a summoner and defeat the evil entity named Sin that he would be accepted. Instead, he became corrupted by her power.
8 Recruiting Cloud (Final Fantasy Tactics)
Final Fantasy Tactics is a spin-off title that focuses more on tactical role-playing gameplay. In Tactics, you are able to recruit many different soldiers throughout your quest. Recruiting some of these soldiers is completely optional, including recruiting a blond hair warrior name Cloud. Cloud in Tactics is evidently meant to be the same as Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII. They even have the same giant sword and pointy hair. The player will come across Cloud trying to save a flower girl from some thugs. The player can help Cloud fight off the thugs. After they help him, Cloud will join the group.
7 On The Way To A Smile (Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children)
On the Way to a Smile is a set of short stories that focuses on the characters of Final Fantasy VII after the events of the main game, yet before the Advent Children movie. There’s an original video animation based on one of the stories of On the Way to a Smile that reveals the backstory of Denzel. The other stories have yet to be adapted, which is a shame since the stories do reveal important backstory to the main characters after they saved the Earth. The stories revealed what happened to Rufus Shinra after nearly perishing in Final Fantasy VII.
6 Final Fantasy XV Tours
In Final Fantasy XV, there are campsites that the player can visit and spent the night. This allows the player to skip playing in the night, and avoid fighting some of the most difficult enemies in the game. Optional sidequests can happen if you sleep in certain campsites. These optional sidequests are called Tours, and they are meant to give more development towards the main characters. You can help Prompto get a picture with Cindy, or get flowers for Gladiolus’ little sister. These Tours helps strengthen the bromance between the main four characters.
5 The Hidden Backstory Of Chaos And Cosmos (Dissidia)
In the original Dissidia Final Fantasy, there is a war between two beings named Cosmos and Chaos. In the reports, it is revealed that Cosmos and Chaos came from a different world. Chaos was created to be a tool for war. Cosmos was created to look like Chaos’ adoptive mother, and her purpose was to convince Chaos to fight in the war. Eventually, Chaos’ power dragged them both to an alternate world, where they settle an agreement with the dragon named Shinryu to fight in a war against each other.
4 Everyone Lives (Final Fantasy Type-0)
Technically this is an alternate ending rather than a hidden plotline, but this alternate ending to Final Fantasy Type-0 does help further develops the cast. Type-0 is an action RPG that focuses on the adventures of Class Zero during a great war in their world. All of Class Zero ended up succumbing to their wounds and passing at the very end of the game. Depending if the gamer fulfills certain requirements, it is possible to witness a different ending of the game that takes in a what-if world. In this what-if world, Class Zero never took part in the war and they all live.
3 The Rebirth Of Tidus (Final Fantasy X)
When Final Fantasy X and X-2 were remastered for the PS3, they were a bonus audio-drama that players received after beating both games. Tidus had to move on at the end of X, but Yuna was able to bring him back in the secret ending of X-2. What happens to their relationship before the audio-drama isn’t specified, however, there was a novel sequel that was released in 2013 that explained more about why Tidus and Yuna ended up in the way they were in the audio-drama. Apparently, Tidus exploded, and Yuna called him back from the afterlife.
2 Squall’s Family (Final Fantasy VIII)
Squall from Final Fantasy VIII has an unknown family life. However, there are a lot of context clues suggesting who Squall’s parents are. As revealed in Squall’s dreams about a man named Laguna, there was a little girl name Ellone who was taken in by a woman name Raine. Laguna would fall in love with Raine, and they eloped. Laguna eventually leaves Raine to save Ellone, who was stolen to Esthar. He saves her, but he stays in Esthar to become its mayor. Ellone returns to Raine, who later mysteriously passes away. It is heavily implied that Raine perished and that Squall is her and Laguna’s child.
1 Almost Everyone May Have Perished At End Of Final Fantasy VII
While Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children proves that the main cast survived the ending of the original Final Fantasy VII game, that wasn’t always the case. The original ending of VII was intentionally vague. The final moment of VII was Meteor being destroyed, the main heroes being blinded by a wave of light, and Aerith’s face. There is a bonus scene that takes place in the credits that shows Red XIII running to the remains of Midgard, revealing that Meteor did not destroy the planet. Even though Red XIII was confirmed to have survived, the fates of the rest of the cast were unknown.