Best Summon Ever: A Video History Of Bahamut

by Joe Juba on Sep 14, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Any Final Fantasy fan will tell you that Bahamut is the king of the summons. He is frequently the strongest creature you can call into battle, and he has been a fixture of Square Enix's flagship series for years. We decided to chronicle Bahamut's illustrious career as a summon, collecting videos of the monstrous dragon Mega Flaring his foes into oblivion throughout the numbered Final Fantasies.

Final Fantasy III (DS)

(Watch the video here, and skip ahead to 1:45. I promise this is the only one that isn't embedded.)

Bahamut appeared in the very first Final Fantasy, but FF III marked the first time players could summon him. Well, Japanese players, anyway; this game didn't release in North America until the DS remake in 2006. Admittedly, this isn't Bahamut's finest hour – he basically just shows up and roars, then some beam comes from the sky (presumably from his mouth, I guess?).

Final Fantasy IV

Remember back when you couldn't go make a sandwich in the time it took to complete a summon? This appearance of Bahamut is short and sweet. He just appears, spreads his wings, and Mega Flares the crap out of everything.

Final Fantasy V (SNES)

Now we're getting somewhere. This time, Mega Flare looks like it's burning away pieces of the enemies as it's washing over them. Of course, using Bahamut on a couple of weaksauce bats is probably a waste, but it still looks awesome.

Final Fantasy VI

For his final appearance as a 2D sprite, Bahamut's attack (which was called Sun Flare, not Mega Flare, in the original SNES release) isn't much different from its previous incarnation. The addition of that big burny circle thing is pretty sweet, though. 
Final Fantasy VII

Okay, Final Fantasy VII is a dream come true if you love Bahamut summon porn. Not only does he have three distinct forms (using Mega Flare, Giga Flare, and Terra Flare), but the last one is his peak of absurdity for the series. After a full minute of set-up, he shoots a death laser by harnessing the power of space!

Final Fantasy VIII (PSone)

In FFVIII, you could mash the square button to boost the power of the attack. It wasn't a great mechanic, but at least it gave you something to do during the ridiculously long summon sequences. Also, I love how Bahamut shoots some preview-style Mega Flares before getting to the main event.

Final Fantasy IX (PSone)

I remember being totally blown away by how great this looked when FF IX first released. The game came out fairly late in the life cycle of the original PlayStation, so by this time the folks as Square had really figured out how to make the system sing.

As an added bonus: here's a clip of the fight in Final Fantasy IX between Bahamut and Alexander. How often do you get the chance to see Bahamut get owned by a giant robotic church?

Final Fantasy X (PS2)

I wish I had one of those spinning wheel things hovering behind me all the time.

Final Fantasy XIII
(PS3, 360)

On one hand, it's cool to see how this version of Bahamut makes nods to the previous ones, like him breaking through the glyphs as he dives from the clouds, or his Impulse-like physical attack. On the other hand, you should never have to utter the phrase, "Look, Bahamut is transforming into some kind of airship." Even this version of Mega Flare is a let-down. Just a tiny little ball? I guess Square Enix spent all of the Mega Flare budget during the years of this game's prolonged development.

(Thanks all of the YouTube users who uploaded their videos)