Final Fantasy’s Mythological Roots
The Final Fantasy series has been around for nearly 25 years, and over that time has developed its own internal mythology. However, many elements that fans associate with Final Fantasy aren’t original creations; they are inspired by historical tales and myths from around the world. From summons to characters to weapons, the series has too many nods to detail each one separately – but this list summarizes some of the coolest references drawn from a variety of cultural traditions.
In Final Fantasy: The name of the gunblade used by Squall’s rival, Seifer Almasy, in Final Fantasy VIII.
Origin: According to Greek mythology, Hyperion was one of the twelve titans who were overthrown by Zeus and the other gods of Olympus.
In Final Fantasy: A popular recurring foe/summon known for having multiple arms and wielding a variety of swords. Featured most prominently in Final Fantasy V.
Origin: Gilgamesh was a legendary Sumerian king who reigned over 4500 years ago, and the subject of an ancient literary work called The Epic of Gilgamesh.
In Final Fantasy: The fan-favorite antagonist of Final Fantasy VII, built up as a peerless warrior with god-like power.
Origin: The word Sephiroth (or Sephirot) is drawn from Kabbalah, where it refers to the group of 10 attributes through which God is revealed.
In Final Fantasy: The Celestial (i.e. “ultimate”) weapon wielded by Tidus in Final Fantasy X.
Origin: In Irish mythology, Caladbolg is a two-handed sword that can cleave mountains and kill entire armies.
In Final Fantasy: A blade that first appeared in the original Final Fantasy (as “Masmune”), and is frequently among the most powerful weapons in an entry.
Origin: The name refers to the legendary Japanese sword-maker, Masamune, who is regarded as one of the finest (often the finest) in history.
In Final Fantasy: Cúchulainn, the Impure, is an optional poison-elemental Esper players can summon in Final Fantasy XII.
Origin: Though the name has several spellings, Cú Chulainn was a hero in Irish myth who would fly into an indiscriminate frenzy in battle.
In Final Fantasy: The name Bahamut appears in all numbered Final Fantasy entries, usually as a powerful summoned monster with the form of a dragon. You can see a video history of his appearances as a summon here!
Origin: According to Arabic myth, Bahamut is a fish so massive and wondrous that humans are unable to comprehend its sight.
In Final Fantasy: A summoned monster appearing in multiple Final Fantasy entries. His attack usually involves a chance to instantly kill opponents.
Origin: A god from Norse mythology. Many other aspects of this legend, like his six-legged horse (Sleipnir) and his spear (Gungnir) also appear in Final Fantasy games.
In Final Fantasy: Pudding-like enemies typically resistant to physical attacks.
Origin: Psych! It’s just a stupid dessert.
Share your favorite mythological references from Final Fantasy in the comments below!