The Final Fantasy series has a problem giving all of its characters equal chance to develop, leaving some fizzling out who could’ve been great.
By Viktor Coble
Published Jun 10, 2021
Final Fantasy has set the stage for beautiful games and doesn’t plan on letting go of that any time soon. With fifteen installments in the main series and plenty of spinoffs, there have been a number of characters introduced that are forgotten, fell flat, or should have been better appreciated.
RELATED:?Dragon Age: 10 Times The Games Went Too Far
The franchise has had more trouble with that in recent years as it focuses harder on making gorgeous video games with seamless cinematics and tons of effects rather than putting much effort into character development. They look great, but their personalities are often one-sided and forced, which really doesn’t do any of them the justice they deserve.
Final Fantasy XV drops the ball over and over again with its female characters, and Aranea got hit hard with it. She was a boss fight turned ally, only to show up again to tell the players where to go. She never got any further development, or got to use that awesome buildup that they let her have.
It really feels like the developers only put her in a halfway useful position just so they could slap the Highwind surname onto a character for the obligatory reference and be done with it.
At the early stages of Final Fantasy IX, there is a whole major plot point with its own cinematic about how Zidane’s friend and colleague, Blank, is petrified. Zidane then goes on to make a big deal about saving him and goes off on the real start of his quest.
Then it feels like he just gets forgotten back there. The plot takes so many twists and turns and eventually it stops being about saving Blank and reversing the petrification in favor of a really slapped together love story with the princess. At least the game did give one of the best villains of the series.
Freya Crescent of Final Fantasy IX had a story about being forgotten— and then literally was. It was a massive disappointment all things considered, as she was an incredibly useful character for the party.
Though, IX had really dropped the ball with a lot of its plotlines. It really leaves some fans to wonder if they had planned on making the game more expansive than it inevitably ended up being, rushing it to get it out before the original PlayStation had become completely irrelevant in the wake of the PS2.
Baby only gets a little backstory within Final Fantasy VI and then nothing. In his debut game he cannot even equip weapons, but at least he gets to equip knuckles and claws in his other appearances.
All they wanted was a feral child to slap into the party at the time, and unfortunately that trope fell to Gau. He could have been such an interesting character but instead they just gave him a slapped together story and called it a day.
Seriously, with a voice actor like Gackt they really dropped the ball for Genesis in?Crisis Core. They also use him in reference in multiple future games about the G/S Cells and yet in his own game he was pathetically clunky and awkward with his poetry book.
RELATED:?Final Fantasy VII Remake: 10 Moments Where The 2nd Installment Should End
Especially for a character that was supposed to be the game’s climactic villain and a counterpart to the iconic Sephiroth, he really deserved better. They really didn’t deliver him to be much more than a pathetic sap trying to be like his favorite character in a poem.
Jihl Nabaat of Final Fantasy XIII had an exceptional design with pretty much nothing to show for it.?She shows up in the promotional materials all over the place, banking on the fans wanting to know about the attractive character.
Then, her entire point of existing is just to have the big bad kill her after having barely been there. Unfortunately it worked well enough, as fans continue to go on about how she looks— though pretty much nothing else, because there is?nothing else.
Digging back to the ancient days will pull up Final Fantasy II and with even further digging will reveal Leon. He first appears as an enemy, who then turns to become an ally as happens with so many games.
Except, unlike most games, after that point? Leon essentially is forgotten by the plot. It could have been the time period from which he arrived and the far lower budget of the time, but he really deserved something more than radio silence.
Very few characters get the short end of the stick like?Final Fantasy XV’s Lunafreya.?They made such a big deal about her death and it didn’t do anything to the emotions. She was plastered over all of the promotional material like a trophy female character, making it out to look like she would have a better point in the game.
RELATED:?10 RPG Anime Where Role-Playing Becomes The Real Deal
She didn’t, and?Final Fantasy XV goes down in history for its awful treatment of female characters as a whole and blatant disregard for Lunafreya in particular.
Paine appeared in Final Fantasy X-2?to round out the all-female party with a brilliant collection of designs. They tried so hard to keep her mysterious and edgy that they completely let her flop down to nothingness.
Throughout the entire story she barely even speaks, she’s just there taking up space and being shifted to whatever missing class was needed at the time. She really deserved better if she was forced to stay in the party all of the time, all things considered.
One of the most well regarded, powerful magic users of the series appeared in Final Fantasy IV,?where she shows up, saves the player, and then suddenly is just— there.?She had no lead in, no reason to appear. She just did, and was never given anything about it.
For a character as brilliantly powerful as Rydgea, she really should have had at least a little something. It really felt like they were wanting to do more with her and just forgot to do so, or had a bunch more planned that ended up getting cut somewhere along the way.
NEXT:?10 RPGs That Were Overshadowed By Final Fantasy
10 Norse Gods That Should Appear in God of War: Ragnarok
About The Author
(40 Articles Published)
Viktor is an avid ftm gamer of a wide range of games, from Dungeons and Dragons, to Stardew Valley, to Don’t Starve, to Assassin’s Creed. He lives at home with his wife, cats, and ferrets which are all probably the only thing he can talk about more than games. Outside of all of that, he loves various forms of art. He loves to draw, write, and experiment with different art styles. Find him on his blog for a better look.
More From Viktor Coble