13 Weeks of Final Fantasy: Title Logos

Week One: Personal Experiences
Week Two: Our Heroes
Week Three: Best Song Ever
Week Four: Gameplay Wallbangers
Week Five: The Big Bad
Week Six: Ridiculously Broken Attacks

Week Seven: Title Logos

SPOILER ALERT!! This feature by its very nature contains spoilers for every Final Fantasy game. If you don’t want your cherry popped, make sure to skip the bits about games you haven’t played yet.

One of the more iconic aspects of the Final Fantasy series are, well, the icons.

Not icons. Logos. Damn, that opening would have been so smooth if I weren’t an idiot.

The font used in the standard Final Fantasy title is essentially just a stretched-out Times New Roman, and has been ever since FF4. This plain black text is underlined, and the Japanese characters are placed in one corner. This is then all laid overtop some character or symbol from the game itself, giving the title logo some color and flair. Eventually, given the series’s penchant for ports and remakes, the first three titles had their logos made over as well. Now we have a whole collection of them.

I really like the simple classiness of the traditional Final Fantasy logo. Aesthetically pleasing, instantly noticable, neither too busy nor too generic. And yet, some of these logos are better than others. The best of them, in my opinion, are the ones that tell you something about the game it represents. It’s not possible to know this without hindsight, of course, but there is satisfaction in picking up the box after finishing the game and noticing something poignant in the logo which wasn’t there when you saw it in the store.

VIIIFinal Fantasy VIII: Squall and Rinoa’s Heartwarming Embrace

It’s tough trying to summarize a game the length of your typical JRPG with a single image… which is why I think analyzing the images used in the various FF logos is useful in the first place. Most use some specific character or object from the game world; something that, when seen, you immediately identify as being from a particular setting. Final Fantasy VIII tries something a little different: its logo depicts a theme. The theme of FF8, in case you weren’t around in the late 90s to witness all the media hype, is that it is a love story.

Unfortunately, it’s a crappy love story.

Let’s not mince words here — Squall and Rinoa are teenagers. Their relationship as depicted in the game is shallow at best, based more on mutual infatuation than anything. The game doesn’t go into much detail about why the two lovebirds fall head over heels for each other, only that they do. Which is good enough for a cliché video game plot, I suppose… but not so good you’d use it as the support everything else is built on.

That said, ask a thousand people who have finished FF8 what is the one single, most iconic thing about the game, and 990 of them will say “gunblade”. (The last ten will be hardcore fanboys who bought that overpriced replica of Squall’s lion necklace who are still desperately trying to justify their purchases to themselves.)

And that said, I just have an irrational bias against putting the protagonist right there in the title logo. A little too… on the nose. You know? It’s a good thing the next two games on my list don’t do that, then!

IFinal Fantasy I: The Warrior of Light

The original Final Fantasy received its title logo in the PlayStation remake, Final Fantasy Origins. The logo depicts an armored warrior with a horned helmet stabbing through the lettering with a slightly curved blade. There’s really only one small teensy-weensy little problem with the logo, as far as I can tell…

This guy is not in the game.

The heroes of FF1 are, indeed, the Light Warriors — but this dude is not one of them. Even limiting ourselves to the Warrior class alone, neither the fiery-headed NES sprite nor the blonde PSX/GBA one look anything like the man in the logo. Indeed, his most defining characteristic is the pair of long, twisty horns coming off his helmet — no character, hero or villain, has a hat like that. This same character appears in the intro movie of Final Fantasy Origins, so it seems like someone at Square just decided to make up a character at the last minute before shipping that particular port.

Just to rub salt in the wound, they went and chose this not-a-real-character logo guy to represent FF1 in the mascot fighting game Dissidia. Before then he was just a curiousity; afterwards I started actively disliking him.

IIIFinal Fantasy III: Some Guy With Two Swords

Final Fantasy III was the last game in the series to get its logo artwork, having only obtained it on the cover of the DS remake. This time the unknown warrior is leaping forward with a blade in each hand and a flowing cape billowing behind him. FF3’s unnamed warrior is marginally better than FF1’s unnamed warrior, since dual-weilding is an innate feature of FF3’s job system. But he’s still an unnamed warrior. In a game with so many cool icons to pick from — this being the first FF game with dragoons, summon spells, multiple worlds, and a mobile airship HQ — why go with something so generic?

You might be able to pretend this dual-weilding mystery man is Luneth, if you were to tilt your head and squint. It isn’t, though; the logo is in fact based on a piece of Amano artwork done back when FF3 was still new. Nor is the character an Onion Knight, or any other FF3 job. He’s just Some Guy. So far the remakes are zero-for-two when it comes to their logos being representative of what you’ll find in the actual games!

IIFinal Fantasy II: The Emperor’s Neck

The horrendously evil Emperor from Final Fantasy II was womanly enough with his milky white skin and glam rocker hair; the soft pink gradient of his title logo appearance isn’t doing him any favors. In fact, I went around for years thinking it was Queen Hilda in the logo; it was only recently that I took a closer look and said, “Wait a minute…”

Which segues into my next point: even in Origins and Dawn of Souls, the characters are tiny little sprites. A close-up of a character’s face simply isn’t recognizable, especially not in a two-color gradient. And what is up with the expression they chose? What the heck does that look even say? “My arms don’t work, so I am pointing with my chin.” “I invite you to witness the contents of my nose!” “Please, Edward… I want to be a vampire!”

As far as picking a logo that would have better encapsulated everything FF2 stands for, I think this one is a no-brainer: they should have gone with a monster closet.

IVFinal Fantasy IV: Kain, Standin’ Around Bored

The very first game in the series to receive the classic-style logo was Final Fantasy IV. Unless you lived in not-Japan, of course. We’ll revisit this point later; the important thing to understand is that they didn’t get it right their first time.

Kain is not the main character of FF4, neither hero nor villain. Certainly he’s one of the more important members of the supporting cast, but it’s not as though he’s the lynchpin that holds the story together. Dragoons are not particularly prevalent in the world of FF4. For all we know, Kain is the only one. Exactly why he’s the only one, it’s impossible to say. If it’s at all relevant to FF4’s setting, it’s relevant in a way that the player is never let in on the secret. As far as I can tell Kain was chosen for the logo for no reason other than he looks the most badass.

Except… he doesn’t look all that badass, does he? He’s not stabbing anything with his spear. He’s neither poised for a jump nor screaming down from one. He’s… I don’t even know. Waiting for a bus? Taking an eye exam? Is any of this indicative of FF4 at all, outside of “this is a character in the game”? I guess his bent leg kind of looks like a number 4, if you use your imagination a bit. Maybe that’s what they were going for.

FF1 and FF2 both had their logos redesigned the eighth or ninth time those games were rehashed for some new release. Same characters, but different poses, and whether or not the redesigns are improvements is questionable. When it came time to re-make FF4, though, somebody stepped up and replaced bored Kain with wicked-ass Golbez. Have I already used this feature to talk about how cool Golbez is? Why, I see I have. Good decision, made years too late. Moving on, then.

IXFinal Fantasy IX: A Crystal

It’s entirely possible that younger FF fans are unaware of this, but the series used to be absolutely bonkers for crystals. The idea that there were four elemental crystals was very much a unifying concept early in the series all the way up through FF5. After that crystals were demoted to mere trinkets in the form of magicite or materia… little colored stones that taught you magic and could be thrown away once you had no use for them. FF8 didn’t have crystals at all. So when one of the marketing taglines for Final Fantasy IX was “The Crystal Comes Back” old farts like me were excited to see what our beloved plot elements would be in this brave new 3D world we found ourselves in.

The answer was disappointing: “Not terribly much, I’m afraid.” I think there was a crystal, somewhere in the endgame. Maybe in the last twenty minutes. You know, after the plot had already switched up twice? Something to do with memories? Nobody really knows, because the whole thing was just a throwaway plot to justify their tagline. Imagine an executive poking his head into the room the day before the game’s script was due: “Hey guys, can we work a crystal in there somewhere? Marketing says it will play well with the retro crowd.”

I’m not saying I don’t like the crystal. As crystals go, it’s quite attractive! It just seems like it’s eight logos too late to really fit. Among other things, the world of FF9 features a giant tree, a dozen different makes and models of airship, a castle with a gargantuan sword stuck into it, and black mages out the wazoo. Heck, it wouldn’t even need to be Vivi in there; just a pointy straw hat would have been a more touching addition to this particular logo.

VFinal Fantasy V: The Wind Drake

After striking out on the whole “bored-ass Kain” debacle, they decided to switch gears away from characters and more towards iconic game elements. Indeed, right there in the opening scene the player is introduced to the idea of wind drakes and how they can ferry people around the world on their backs. After a couple hours of questing the player has a wind drake of his very own. It’s even thematically appropriate, since the whole “bonds of friendship” thing is such an important tenet of FF5’s story, and a lot of that comes across in the relationships the heroes have with their animal buddies. Bartz has his chocobo Boco, Faris has Syldra the sea monster, Krile has her telepathic moogle pal and Lenna’s got her majestic flying dragon Hiryu. (Er, I think its name was Hiryu. There have been so many translations of this game I have trouble keeping them straight.)

(Come to think of it, was it Lenna or Reina in the most recent version? Or Lena? Bah, never mind.)

The failing here is that the core of FF5 has to do with its mechanics, not its story. Hiryu is the centerpiece of many of the game’s touching scenes, true, but that’s not what FF5 is about. FF5 is about geomancers and berserkers and red mages. It’s about using !Control to learn blue magic, and giving the Barehanded ability to your white mage so she can deal some damage. How do you convey that with a single image? An ensemble of characters in various jobs? One of the crystal shards the heroes draw their job abilities from?

Seems like there was no good answer, so they just went with the dragon. Okay, I can live with that. Truth be told, this logo has one of my favorite little flourishes; I love the way the drake’s tail is wrapped around the letter A. Adorable.

VIFinal Fantasy VI: Magitek Armor

Here we go, now we’re starting to get to the really good ones. After fumbling with Kain and half-fumbling with the wind drake, they scored a bullseye here in Final Fantasy VI.

It’s hard to imagine a more iconic image for the steampunk setting of FF6 than the magically-powered suits of monster armor piloted by the player in the opening scenes. Even the color scheme is spot on, here; the blacks and reds are remniscient of that chilling flashback where our brainwashed heroine Terra fries some Imperial troops amidst a raging inferno.

It’s sort of illusory, though… almost the opposite of FF9’s crystal. FF9’s logo was a promise, unfulfilled until it showed up as an afterthought a breath away from the final boss. Magitek armor, on the other hand, is FF6 — at least for a couple hours. You wear it when you storm Narshe, it shows up as an unkillable early game boss, it shows up in one character’s nightmares. But for most of the game — nothing. Partway through the first world the game introduces Espers, but the game isn’t about Espers either. By the time you reach the second world and get to the nonlinear part of your adventures, the entire concept of Magitek armor is all but forgotten. If you want to see just how jarring this effect is, do the entire final dungeon and boss sequence in one sitting. Then watch the epilogue and end credits. Then immediately start a new game and watch the opening credits, with the snowfield march.

“Geez… Magitek armor. That was a thing, wasn’t it?”

FF6’s logo is also a promise: this is a world of constructs and machinery, very much unlike however many Final Fantasy games you’ve played before. Then, when the story takes its turn for more traditional fantasy elements they truly are fantastic again. That’s what the logo is trying to convey: by starting out as something different, it has the ability to make the old things new again.

XIIIFinal Fantasy XIII: Cocoon

The cool thing about the title logo is that, since it is abstract by its very nature, it can get away with doing crazy things like spoiling the game’s ending without anyone noticing.

Oh, right — I’m about to spoil the ending to Final Fantasy XIII. If you need to Page Down, now’s the time.

FF13’s story involves the contrast between its two worlds: the artificial world Cocoon, where humans want for nothing but are essentially treated as pets by the god-like fal’Cie, and the wild and primal Pulse, where humans have been supplanted by unkillable lumbering beasts. But Cocoon is scarred, for it suffered grave injury at the hands of Ragnarok during some ancient, mostly-forgotten war with Pulse. Ragnarok was the manifestation of two young women from Pulse, chosen to lead the charge against Cocoon. Upon their partial success they turned to crystal to await the day they’d get their chance to complete the job.

For round two, the task of bringing down Cocoon is shared with four other people who, collectively, decided that destroying Cocoon is probably not that great an idea, and they’re going to find some way to defy fate etc. The plot here gets… kinda murky, actually, and in the end they either save Cocoon by destroying it, or destroy it by saving it. Hard to tell. What actually happens is the two original girls once again transform into Ragnarok — only this time, instead of taking a big bite out of paradise they crystallize it atop a giant jeweled spire in order to keep it crashing to the ground.

So Cocoon is by no means inhabitable anymore, and it’s hard to imagine many of its inhabitants survived what would have been the equivalent of a thousand earthquakes being dropped out of the sky all at once. Kind of a dumb ending, but it’s a wonderful image: the heroines stand vigil in their crystal slumber, a beautiful crystal tower rises out of the pristine Pulsian landscape, and things are calm once again. And that’s FF13’s logo: the world of Cocoon perched atop its spire, with the girls and their monster wrapped around it. Kind of a neat story for what, at first glance, merely looks like a colorful blueish-green circle, yeah?

XIFinal Fantasy XI: A Merry Band of Adventurers

My rigid adherence to the “13 Weeks” format doesn’t leave me much room to talk about side games like Final Fantasy Tactics, so forgive me if I take a brief moment to talk about Final Fantasy Tactics. The logo for that game is a group of generic adventurers with an army at their back — quite fitting for a game about medeival warfare. When Final Fantasy XI came out I was delighted to see they revisited the basic idea. It fits just as well here, but for different reasons: FFT’s logo was apt because a single player was expected to control a wide variety of generic characters. FF11’s is apt because every generic character is a unique, individual player.

Whereas FFT used its logo to showcase some of the game’s different classes, FF11’s takes the opportunity to show off Vana’diel’s various races. A galka, an elvaan and a pair of humes are front and center, and you can make out the mithra and tarutaru on either side of them if you squint. My favorite aspect of the logo, though, is the ocean of polearms off in the background. Part of FF11’s plot is that the world is at the dawn of the “Age of Adventurers”. Nations previously at war are enjoying a mostly contented peace, and while there are still threats to the world they are the sorts of things nominally dealt with by a small outstanding group of heroes rather than a contingent of soldiers: mad gods, ancient awakened demons, you know the drill. Thus does the logo tell the story of one such band of heroes taking their place in history, center stage in front of the armies of yesteryear, whose time is now done. Poetic, no?

Who are these brave heroes, you ask? Why you, of course! And all your friends! (Provided everyone can get a world pass, of course.)

XFinal Fantasy X: Yuna Performs a Sending

Final Fantasy X‘s approach to the logo is nothing if not novel. Instead of depicting an object or character, the logo depicts an event. As a result, this is the point in the series where the logos become more more elaborate; at this point the title is a small part of the logo, rather than the other way around. It also uses a wide variety of colors instead of the simple two-hued gradients of previous logos. Fitting, then, that this was the first logo that includes the signature of Yoshitaka Amano — that’s the little scribbly bit in the bottom right corner. The message, perhaps, is that this logo is a piece of art, not simply packaging.

In the world of Spira, the dead do not depart the world automatically. Their souls must be sent to the afterlife by a summoner, or they will transform into mindless monsters and end up endangering their loved ones. This ritual is called the Sending, and it is accomplished by performing an elaborate and somewhat exotic dance. Yuna’s dance is quite spellbinding, wonderfully animated with broad swooping motions in front of a bright setting sun. It’s one of the game’s more potent scenes; the player has just arrived at a seaside town recently attacked by Sin, and Yuna apparently decides to respond by walking out onto the beach and bust a move. While she’s dancing, though, some supporting characters explain the true gravity of the situation and the importance of the ritual. The juxtaposition of the beautiful performance with the grim circumstances is just a small part of Spira’s greater nature… the cycle of calm and destruction that is their meager, frightened lives.

Depicting an entire scene as a still image, and in an abstract gradient at that, was a gusty decision. And once again, here we have an individual part of FF10 that stands out as exceptional, even masterful though the game as a whole is anything but. I’m happy to report they screwed it up a little bit, though: rather than simple, classy packaging with the beautiful logo on it, they decided to use a full-color picture of Tidus looking like a douchebag. So they still missed the put in the end!

XIIFinal Fantasy XII: Judge Gabranth

So FF10 set a new standard in elaborate logos portrayed as artwork rather than simply a stamp underneath the title. Final Fantasy XII continued that trend by using a logo so huge that it doesn’t even fit on the box. Neither the standard PlayStation 2 packaging nor the black metal packaging of the collector’s edition feature the logo artwork. The former uses a standard character montage; the latter is overlayed instead atop a giant Roman numeral twelve.

The logo is so gigantic that I’m using this filler paragraph to space it out a bit, otherwise the formatting won’t look right. Lorem ipsum etc.

Remember, FF12 isn’t a stand-alone title like most other games in the series. It’s part of the Ivalice Alliance, which means it represents an existing setting, and it was important that representation came across in the title graphic. Perhaps the most recognizable characters in Ivalice are the Judges. Clad in heavy, elaborate armor, the Judges are the backbone of the Archadian Empire both militarily and politically. Judges are seldom seen without their armor — if you manage to glimpse one’s face it’s most likely because one of the two of you is about to die. Thus, the choice to use a Judge as the game’s most iconic image is perfectly respectable.

This particular Judge is Gabranth, one of the game’s supporting villains. Like all the villains in FF12, Gabranth is neither evil nor cruel — he simply saw how the wheels of history were turning, and decided to be on the winning side of it. By betraying his country and his twin brother Basch, Gabranth attained the esteemed rank of Judge and was charged with the protection of the Emperor’s youngest son Larsa. Gabranth and Basch together form a strong part of FF12’s central conflict: Gabranth is a traitor, but he now has the power and influence he needs to accomplish good works. Basch was loyal, but was imprisoned and would have remained that way if not for a stroke of blind luck. In a world where ignoble acts are sometimes the virtuous course of action, who can fault Gabranth for the choices he made?

In a way, FF12 accomplishes what FF4 might have been trying to do. Kain, too, is defined by his betrayal and eventual redemption. Gabranth, though, is far more… elemental within his setting. Kain’s world is one where Good and Evil are well-defined cosmic forces; Gabranth’s is one where every action has consequences and morality is strictly subjective.

I don’t know what the deal is with the giant brushstroke down the side of the logo. I imagine it’s a cultural thing and that someone will be along shortly to explain it to me. Until then, I’ll just assume that Amano finished the piece but just wasn’t done kicking ass yet, and finished it off with one more angry, righteous stroke. Happily, my preview button tells me I can be done typing now, at least at this resolution. Huzzah!

VIIFinal Fantasy VII: Meteor

…not quite done yet, though. One logo left, and the best in the series: Final Fantasy VII‘s Meteor.

The Meteor logo is the first one in the series to not incorporate a member of the cast in some way. That alone is a powerful statement. The single most defining aspect of FF7’s plot is not its quasi-amnesiac hero or the big-breasted love interest, but the huge chunk of magical rock barreling towards the world. This rock doesn’t have an elaborate name or backstory, it does not deliver any exposition and you do not face off with it in a boss fight. You can’t stop it. Oh, people certainly try; once Meteor is on the way everybody in the game has some new and interesting strategy for dealing with it. Your party hijacks a submarine and searches for the materia that will counter it, the government builds a giant gun to shoot it out of the sky, the world itself gives birth to a wide variety of huge, primeval beasts to protect it. All of these things fail. Indeed, they didn’t have much chance of succeeding in the first place.

Meteor is always capitalized when people are talking about it. It needs no article. There is only one of it. When you see it as part of the FF7 logo there is absolutely no mistaking what it could be. Because, see, you don’t need more than one or two colors to accurately portray a huge, solid object that will destroy whatever in impacts.

It’s worth pointing out that before FF7 I had not been exposed to the greatness of Final Fantasy logos. And I admit my very first thought upon seeing it was, “Hey! They didn’t use a sword as the letter T! What a gyp!” I very quickly warmed up to it, though. The whole sword-as-T thing was cute in a 1990’s video game sort of way, but FF7’s simple font and single, stark image were much more grown up. In a way, it is the quintessential FF logo. Upon seeing any other logo in the series, there is that split second where it just looks wrong to me. Not circular enough, not green enough, too much fine detail, positioned incorrectly relative to the typeface. I’m willing to bet an entire generation of gamers share those same preconceptions with me.

Devoting an entire entry to the logo artwork may seem to some a waste of time. “Brick!”, cry the masses, “You could have used this week to talk about love interests, or different colors of magic! Chocobos, man — what about the chocobos!?”

The goal of the “13 Weeks” feature, though, is to showcase all the things that unify the series. The things that are built on and re-woven with each new entry. Things which, when old games are re-released, are added so as to have that sense of internal consistency. As I said at the outset of this project I mentioned a desire to put to bed arguments to the effect of this-or-that game not being “real” Final Fantasy. It’s impossible to look at a page with all the series logos right in a row and still deny that, at their heart, these games are part of a single library.

Also I figured this particular entry wouldn’t take quite so long to write. That turned out to be a stupid assumption on my part, because I’ve been writing it all day. But enough about my inadequacies — how about another musical entry next week? How would that strike you?

11 comments to 13 Weeks of Final Fantasy: Title Logos

  • DragonShadow

    I’ll always picture the logo of FF6 as the Sword-T with Mog leaning his elbow against the lettering haphazardly.

    I dig this one. Unexpected subject to tackle.

    Maybe you could try doing “Coolest Airship”. Not necessarily the airship itself, but the story surrounding it, the means of acquisition, etc. My favorite is the Big Whale, but eh, that’s just me…

  • MCBanjoMike

    You can argue that Final Fantasy’s logo character isn’t in the game, but you can’t say that he was randomly dropped in when they decided to first remake the game. The Warrior of Light has been around since the dawn of the series and is on the box for the original Famicom version of Final Fantasy (as can be seen here: http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/finalfantasy/ff1/ff1-1.htm). I mean, he isn’t in that game either, but that’s the fault of the guys who made the character sprites, not the logo designers.

    As for Kain’s inclusion on the FFIV logo, I’ve always thought that it was a really good choice. Kain is easily the most interesting character in that game, with his mixture of loyalty, jealousy and the weakness that eventually has him give in to Golbez’s mind control tricks. I mean, you could always slap Golbez on the box, since he’s a decent villain, or Cecil, since he’s the hero, but none of them warrant as much discussion as the flawed dragoon in the title.

  • Loki

    I’ve always thought that VII’s logo wasn’t Meteor but was rather, Meteor hitting the planet and the lifestream is all flaring up and such. It strikes me the same as XIII’s where it spoils the ending but you don’t realize it until afterwards.

  • reverend

    I like the logos a fair bit, but I wonder if that classiness in the design is really that suited to the character of the franchise. Especially when it’s something being retroactively attached to an 8-bit game. FF7’s logo really ties up the mystique and the credibility it had when I was a teenager, but now that whole mindset seems a touch unrepresentative of the actual content of the game, which is all over the place and kind of wacky fun.

    (the Platinum version of X goes white-background and fixes the front cover, hopefully they’ll stick by that should the time come to have the thing re-released)

  • Sarcasmorator

    I thought the FFI guy was supposed to be Garland? Horns on his helmet and everything.

  • IssunBug

    Yes, Sarcasmorator is correct. F1 Logo dude is Garland

  • Tomm

    Kain’s included as a conselation prize. Sure, you didn’t get Rosa… but we’ll put you on the box! Good job!

  • Anonymous

    Except it’s not Garland. You can’t see Garland’s face on account of his having a mask. And there’s the whole bit where Garland is killed off at the beginning of the game, so yeah.

  • :)

    I understand you being upset with VIII’s logo, but in all actuality, it does the same thing as X. Eight’s logo depicts the scene where Squall saves Rinoa from being sealed off after becoming a Sorceress (it’s been a while since I’ve played the game, so forgive me if I’m off a bit). She falls out, and they embrace. (here’s before the fmv starts http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100131053828/finalfantasy/images/f/f4/Squallsavesrinoa.jpg, they embrace after that –> http://images.wikia.com/finalfantasy/images/3/34/Squallrinoarescue.jpg)

    You can argue it’s also the theme, but I’ve always felt that it was the scene in the Sorceress Memorial.

  • Ned

    Little fun fact here:

    XIII’s logo is not actually the crytillized Cocoon and the two people present in the logo are not Fang and Vanille. The event in the game was based off the logo, and it shows. As you can see the characters in the logo don’t look remotely close to Fang or Vanille. You could chalk that up to Amano’s lack of defining human characeristics, but even he would be able to achieve some resemblance if it were in fact to be the Pulse women. Still think the logo should have been Lightning and Serah. The story focuses on those two way more and their fractured relationship is a real driving force in the game.

  • Maryam

    I always had the impression that Final Fantasy IX’s much-touted crystal was the stone that gets mentioned a few times as having been broken into pieces which wind up as Garnet’s pendant, Cleyra’s sandstorm-powering stone, Lindblum’s royal Falcon Claw, and Eiko’s heirloom that she decides to wear as an earring. I was never very clear on what it was originally supposed to be, however; something to do with the summoner tribe, I think. I wasn’t very clear on why Brahne decided she needed them to conquer the world either (especially as having obtained them, she had already destroyed most of the Mist Continent, which is where almost everyone in the world seems to live).

    It was pretty disappointing to be presented with these as the “crystals” rather than the traditional elemental crystals. FFIX still remains one of my favorites in the series, however.

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