RPGamer’s Favourite Final Fantasy Friends
The Final Fantasy series celebrates 35 years since the original Japanese launch of Final Fantasy on the Famicom in Japan in 1987. Since then, it has provided fifteen mainline entries, with a sixteenth coming in June, as well as a wide variety of spin-offs, sequels, prequels, ports, remasters, and remakes. The series has been one of the pillars of the RPG genre, as well as RPGamer itself.
To help mark the occasion, we have decided to do a pair of features celebrating some of our favourite figures in the series. Going all out on the alliteration, we are celebrating some of the series’ best characters — be they allies or enemies — by looking at our favourite Final Fantasy friends and our favourite Final Fantasy foes. In our friends edition, we have invited the RPGamer staff to select some of their favourite allies, be they party members or otherwise, and explain what makes them so memorable. Naturally, there are likely to be spoilers involved, so be warned.
(Final Fantasy Tactics)
Agrias is the bodyguard of Princess Ovelia, and is a loyal knight to a fault. Her strength lies in her sense of justice and her ability to fight for those impoverished and in need. Her desire to protect Ovelia is not just out of a sense of duty, but because she knows how genuine and kind the princess truly is. Agrias wants nothing more than Ovelia to be able to sit on the throne without being used as a pawn for corruption.
When I played Final Fantasy Tactics for the first time, I remember meeting Agrias and wanting to be like her. She has an unwavering sense of justice, but she is also empathetic and understands the human condition. When she teams up with Ramza, it’s because she believes in his vision to save Ovelia and Ivalice. As a Holy Knight she is also one of the first unique units the player receives in the game, making her one of the most powerful allies for the first few chapters. Her Holy Knight skills allow her to unleash havoc from hefty distances, each one also inflicting a specific status effect. Who doesn’t love a strong, powerful woman who fights for a noble cause? Agrias Oaks is a true Final Fantasy icon. — Sam Wachter
Alisaie & Alphinaud Leveilleur
(Final Fantasy XIV)
The twins are there from the start of A Realm Reborn, being two of the other passengers joining the Warrior of Light in their caravan to their starting city. Although Alisaie is elsewhere, dealing with the remnants of Bahamut, in the main story up until the end of Heavensward, it isn’t long until players cross paths with Alphinaud and join the Scions of the Seventh Dawn, the tight group that acts as saviours of Eorzea almost countless times. From Stormblood on, they are almost ever-present, basically taking deuteragonist roles behind the player character as they try to find the solutions to a revolving set of crises.
They certainly aren’t flawless, Alphinaud’s excessive trust bites him in a big way, and he certainly has a habit of leaping in and getting over his head. Meanwhie, Alisaie tries to be stoic, but there are definite times when that facade is shattered. However, what stands out most about the twins is their complete determination, even more so for Alisaie, and it is what allows them to carry on and develop despite the many hardships and challenges they face. That determination is shared by the Warrior of Light, and is what allows the absolute power trio to push everything thrown at them. — Alex Fuller
(Final Fantasy X)
In Final Fantasy X, certain party members directly represent iconic jobs from the previously in the series. The samurai of this varied party is the powerful Auron. He has experienced the futuristic version of Zanarkand from where Tidus hails, and he has also guarded a summoner on his pilgrimage across Spira, understanding the two realities of his companions. He is able to act as a mentor for many of them, by particularly Tidus. He is strict, but he also acts like a loving father. He is mostly silent, but when he decides to share his wisdom, everyone listens silently to what he has to say.
Auron is highly respected across all Spira, and is renowned as one of its most famous Guardians. He is immediately noticeable in combat, concealing one of his arms in his red coat most of the time and uses the other to wield his katana, acting cool and battling effortlessly. He isn’t the quickest acting, but he is immensely strong, and his break abilities are crucial to beat normal enemies and bosses. Auron and his lectures definitely deserve to be remembered. — Luis Mauricio
(Final Fantasy VII)
Growing up, and even now, there isn’t a whole lot of representation in RPGs. Barret was one of the first black characters I encountered when growing up, and I quickly fell in love with him. While they could have stopped with “he’s a black guy” for characterization, even in the recent remake, the biggest aspect to Barret’s character remains that he’s a loving dad. Oh, and he cusses like a sailor.
Up until that Final Fantasy VII, there have been few proud papas who travel with the party. The introduction of Barret and his adopted daughter Marlene, introduced a welcome paradigm as Barret’s motivations evolve from just “sticking it to the man” to “making the world better for my daughter”. It’s not just his daughter that he shows paternal instincts towards, however, as he also provides fatherly advice to everyone along the way, even if some aren’t as welcoming of his words.
As he gives out advice, it often reaches the realm of philosophy with iconic lines and speeches that not only apply to his fellow party members, but to those holding the controller. “A good man who serves a great evil is not without sin,” is just a straight up great philosophy to live by. Other fans of the game may have a different favourite, but his inclusion was a great choice by Square, paving the way for Sazh and hopefully more as the series continues to grow. — Andron Smith
(Final Fantasy VI)
Final Fantasy VI is my favorite game in the series, for many reasons. Combat is innovative, the graphics are beautiful, and the story is a perfect combination of fantasy and science fiction. Chief among them, however are the characters. This ensemble is emotionally anchored by Terra and Celes, two women whose lives have arguably been most impacted by the Empire. Both women’s identities were taken from them by the Empire to be remade in its own image, and their respective quests of self-discovery are the glue that binds the cast and narrative together. Terra is certainly considered the flagship character, but it is the quiet emotional intensity of Celes that truly leaves an impression.
When first introduced to players, Celes is a traitor to the empire, scheduled for execution when rescued by Locke. Her appearance in the Returners initially causes some friction given her status as a former general from the imperial army. She demonstrates her value to the group during the period of Terra’s disappearance, and while she cements her status as a seasoned warrior and leader, it is her emotional journey of self-discovery that makes her an indelible character (a certain iconic opera house scene helps things too). Celes frequently struggles with concepts of love and self-worth due to her trauma of being raised by the Empire for use as a weapon by the empire. Her exchanges with Locke and even Terra are untrusting and doubtful initially.
These mirrored stories of self-discovery are central to the narrative of Final Fantasy VI. Players watch Celes, a human who feels an otherness due to being infused by magic, grapple with that otherness as she attempts to differentiate Celes the general from Celes the person. As she undoes her decades of imperial propaganda, she opens up to the party, developing a deep friendship with Terra and affection for Locke. Once afraid of love and the humanity of others, Celes learns to embrace the humanity of herself and others, with the game’s final scene demonstrating that Celes is no longer alone. — Paul Shkreli
Edgar Roni Figaro
(Final Fantasy VI)
Kings are a dime-a-dozen in the RPG universe. You meet them, they either help you or throw you in jail, and sometimes you save your game with them. However, the king in Final Fantasy VI, Edgar Roni Figaro, stands out. Edgar isn’t just a playable character. He is also full of charm, has a unique hobby, and is arguably the most powerful character in the game.
Players first meet Edgar when Terra is liberated of her slave crown in the game’s opening. Terra’s rescuer, Locke, mentions he knows a king that can help get her to safety. When Locke and Terra make it to the Figaro Kingdom, Edgar meets Locke at the door, and the two start chatting like they’re best friends. Locke even comments “Bet you didn’t think a guy like me would know a king?” From there, Edgar immediately turns on the charm to Terra. Yes, Edgar is a complete flirt, but in an endearing way. He treats Terra like a person, and not a magic machine, commenting that her abilities are a distant third as to why he wants to get to know her.
As the party goes to bed, that’s when the villain, Kefka shows up looking for Terra. Edgar tries to be diplomatic, saying that there are more girls than grains of sand in the Figaro kingdom. Kefka, however, calls his bluff and starts to burn the castle in a bid to get Edgar to turn her over. This is where Edgar shows off his most interesting trait. He’s not only a king, but an engineer, and the entire castle is designed to sink into the sand to avoid danger. His engineering skills aren’t just limited to cut scenes. When he becomes a party member, he gets access to some handy tools that make him a valuable asset for a majority of the game. None of Edgar’s tools however, stand up to the power and awesomeness of the Chainsaw. It can be found relatively early in the game, and it can shred most enemies to dust. On occasion, it will even perform a one hit kill, with Edgar donning a little hockey mask as an added touch. Between his powerful abilities and charming characterization, other RPG monarchs just don’t stand up to the majesty that is King Edgar Roni Figaro. — Kelley Ryan
(Final Fantasy V)
Faris begins Final Fantasy V as the brash and bold captain of a group of pirates. Faris is honorable, but has a selfish side, initially considering holding Princess Lenna for ransom when first meeting the party. Bartz and the others did try to steal the pirates’ ship, so perhaps they saw it as fair. Soon though, Faris changes their mind and decides to accompany the party on their journey. The captain is rather interested Lenna’s pendant. It’s quickly revealed to the party that the seemingly masculine captain is actually a woman. She was raised as a boy by the pirates that took her in, as she didn’t want to be the only girl in the pirate crew. While she is embarrassed by this at first, she proclaims that she won’t take any nonsense from the others because of her gender, and they do respect her for that.
While Faris’s original motivation for joining the Warriors of Light was to learn about her past, she does genuinely grow to like the others. She even becomes protective of Lenna before she comes to terms with being her long lost older sister. Late in the game she’s more than willing to fight to put a stop to Exdeath’s evil plans. Her character development is subtle, but it’s still apparent and makes Faris a more memorable character. She’s cool, level-headed, can be brash, brave, and no-nonsense. Faris is also admirable for finding a comfortable balance between life as a princess and a pirate by the end of the game and seemingly her gender identity as well. Her friendship with the sea dragon Slydra, particularly when her spirit becomes a new summon, is also rather touching. — Cassandra Ramos
(Final Fantasy VI)
Gau may have nothing directly to do with the story of Final Fantasy VI, but he is a great character nonetheless. This feral child is first encountered on the Veldt, a vast plain where monsters from all over migrate to and from. He accompanies Sabin and Cyan when they are stranded and looking for a way to get to Narshe. Gau had been living on the Veldt since he was born, surviving against all odds by observing monsters and learning their behavioral patterns. How Gau is able to speak fairly coherently despite having been raised in the wild is remarkable, but he does have poor social skills. He annoys Sabin at first, whom he calls “Mr. Thou” due to Cyan’s use of the term, but he otherwise becomes fast friends with everyone in the party. Gau doesn’t entirely understand what’s going on, but he wants to help his friend, and the Empire and Kefka are a nasty lot anyway.
Gau is a very interesting take on the idea of a feral child. While he is uncouth, Gau is kind and innocent. It’s amazing that he turned out this way at all, since it is later learned that his father abandoned him on the Veldt as a newborn after his mother died giving birth to him. Late in the game, Sabin theorizes that an old man they found in a house could be Gau’s father and helps him to learn etiquette and dress him up in a snazzy suit. Sabin also nearly hits the crazy old man when he denies ever having a child and recounting his “dream” of a demon child, but Gau stops him. Gau is just happy that his father managed to survive Kefka nearly destroying the world. The old man even complimented the boy, telling him that he must make his father proud.
Aside from a tragic backstory giving rise to a remarkable childhood, his amusing interactions with the party, and his kind heart, Gau is also a fun character to use in battle. While he can’t attack normally, he can use abilities called Rages to take on the characteristics of several monsters. However, he is uncontrollable during these Rages, which can lead to some frustration. A guide may be needed to use Gau effectively, or at least a lot of trial-and-error, but there are some fantastic Rages he can learn to make him nigh-unstoppable in battle. It’s also neat to see him acts like monsters such as a stray cat during battle. — Cassandra Ramos
(Final Fantasy IV)
At first glance, Kain Highwind is a trusted friend to Cecil, coming to the latter’s defense after he is initially discharged as leader of the Red Wings. However, from there, cracks in Kain’s armor and friendship start to show as he is constantly brainwashed and pitted against Cecil. It’s then you realize Kain’s major weakness; he is in love with Cecil’s betrothed, Rosa, and that is used time and time again to manipulate him into being an antagonist during the early portions of Final Fantasy IV. Eventually, Kain is able to control his emotions and help to fight to save the world… though internally he is overcome with dread that he was so weak-minded and hurt the ones he loved.
Kain’s redemption continues into The After Years, where he not only redeems himself, he mentors Cecil’s child, and gets his own ‘promotion’ glow up, all while finally vanquishing those demons that have haunted him for countless years. Initially, I latched onto Kain because his sprites — in combat, the menus, and even walking around on the field — were the coolest from Final Fantasy IV, but I learned to love Kain’s struggle. He is not a bad man by nature, but he had a weakness and the villains used it to vex the heroes on more than one occasion. Did that stop Kain from being a hero? No. He might be flawed, but it’s his ability to pick himself up and strive to be better that made me love his character. — Ryan Radcliff
(Final Fantasy X)
When it comes to Black Mages in the Final Fantasy series, few wear the belts as well as Final Fantasy X’s Lulu. Enigmatic and taciturn, she is generally distrustful of others, especially Tidus during the beginning of the game. Players learn that underneath her icy exterior lies a weary heart from the traumas of losing her loved one to the wrath of Sin, the rampant monster decimating the world of Spira. Moreover, her service as guardian to Yuna is her third trip, with the prior two ending early. Lulu has closed off her heart to her others but also to herself, offering sarcasm in addition to black magic in lieu of getting personally involved.
Lulu is stoic, uncompromising, and has a bit of a mean streak. As she softens, she becomes more playful, even teasing Tidus at times. Sullied by the loss of her love and her prior charges, Lulu initially isolates herself emotionally as a form of protection, unaware that doing so hinders her ability to protect others. Lulu allows herself to become emotionally vulnerable during the course of the story, which allows her to serve Yuna as a guardian more competently. Lulu’s irony is that her humanity is what makes her effective as a protector, not the other way around.
As Lulu comes to discover the failings of their religious pilgrimage, she questions the central tenets of not only what she believes but the grueling cost of this cycle of unending sacrifice. Not only that, she begins to see Tidus as a faithful companion. Most important to her personal journey, however, is that Lulu eventually reopens herself to love. — Paul Shkreli
(Final Fantasy IX)
Quina doesn’t fit into the gender binary, and I just think that’s neat. The ever-hungry adventure chef is a big galoot, interested in food, forks, and friends. We should all be lucky to have Quina in our lives. — Zach Welhouse
(Final Fantasy VII)
The jump from 2D to 3D for the Final Fantasy series led to some interesting character designs. No longer constrained by sprites, characters could be large, small, or in the case of Red XIII, have four legs. When I first saw his concept art, I assumed that Red XIII would be the mascot character of the group like Mog or Umaro in the previous game. When he makes his debut, he appears ready to attack another party member, as they are both trapped in the same cage. The second Cloud frees both of them, however, Red lunges for the villain keeping them captive. As the party is about to leave this angry beast to his meal, that’s when he speaks for the first time. I didn’t expect him to have any lines, outside of growls, so this was a shock to me. I wanted to know where this beast came from, and why he could talk.
At first, Red XIII is cold to the other party members, and why wouldn’t he be? Who knows what experiments Shinra put him through? His cold demeanor continues until players reach his hometown, Cosmo Canyon. It is there players find out that he is only a teenager. Though he proclaims he wants to be a great warrior like his mother, he feels shame and anger when thinking about his father, who he believesran away when the village was attacked by a tribe called the Gi. However, the party is led to a statue of a beast like Red XIII. It is explained that Seto, Red’s father, stood up to the Gi, and that he continues to protect the canyon to this very day. When Red learns that Seto was actually brave, he howls for joy, and the statue starts crying. It is there that Red XIII finds his resolve, he wants to protect the planet, just like his father protected his homeland.
I was a teenager in 1997 when I first played Final Fantasy VII. After finding out that Red was just a teenager, trying to act like an adult, that revelation hit me in the gut, as I too, struggled with emotional maturity. Then, the story about Red’s parents was revealed. Like many teenagers, I too had a complicated relationship with my parents. When Seto’s tears started dropping in the game, I suddenly started feeling tears fall on my own hands holding the controller. In this moment, it became my favorite scene in the Final Fantasy series, and Red XIII became my favorite character. With his cool design, his resolve to protect what he loves, and his cute boop-able nose, Red XIII will always be my favorite. — Kelley Ryan
(Final Fantasy VI)
Final Fantasy VI offers an unforgettable set of playable characters, and gambler Setzer shines for being different and unexpected. While everything around him is mostly solemn, he is a carefree adventurer, attempting to gamble with his own life just for fun. His fate is entwined with that of the party when he decides to abduct the love of his life, opera singer Maria. Since his airship could really help the heroes of the game, they decide to trick him and make him abduct Celes instead. He is reluctant to help them at first, but after losing a tricky coin toss, he gladly accepts to join their quest.
Setzer operates a casino aboard his airship called the Blackjack, and he doesn’t use ordinary weapons to fight, choosing cards, darts, and dice instead. Propelled by the sense of adventure, he has a really cool look with his gray, long hair and a face covered with scars that represent his years gambling. He may be vain and proud, but he somehow manages to be utterly fascinating. — Luis Mauricio
(Final Fantasy IX)
Steiner is a textbook example of a wannabe knight-in-shining-armor. Leader of Alexandria’s hapless Knights of Pluto, he starts off the game loyal to a fault and caring nothing about doing his duty to Queen Brahne. When Princess Garnet is kidnapped, he cares about nothing less than ensuring her safety and getting her back to the queen, despite all evidence of Brahne’s strange behaviour suggesting that this is not the best idea.
However, he gets one of the strongest character arcs in the game, as he soon learns the difference between loyal and duty, and doing what’s right. His reluctant respect for Zidane is a mark of this, and it in turns earns him the respect of others, notably Beatrix, leading to one of the series’s cooler back-to-back badasses moments. While Zidane gets his ire early, Steiner is also notable for how he treats a character who is largely downtrodden by everyone else: Vivi. Steiner immediately identifies Vivi as a good person as well as recognising his talents, allowing the duo to combine in combat almost right from the outset, and his unwavering support for Vivi shines throughout. Despite starting out as a bumbling fool, Steiner rises to be what he idealised. — Alex Fuller
(Final Fantasy X)
Final Fantasy X is a game full of big revelations and twists, but the biggest surprise to me was just how inspirational of a figure Tidus became. Tidus initially comes off as a blonde airhead who only cares about Blitzball, but as the story goes on, it becomes clear there is much more to him than meets the eye. While the general atmosphere of Final Fantasy X is a world on the brink of destruction, Tidus remains a beacon of hope, smiling, and, of course, laughing, even in the face of existential dread.
It’s that resilient optimism that makes Tidus stand out in a series full of deep and interesting characters. Many protagonists in the series are brooding and edgy, which often puts them at odds with the rest of the party. In contrast, Tidus often serves as the heart of the group, raising everyone’s morale when the mood gets too somber, and striving to protect his friends even if it will cost him in the end.
Even with all of these great qualities, I find that the most relatable aspect to Tidus is his relationship with his father, Jecht. While he had arguably good intentions, Jecht abandoned Tidus as a child, leaving him to fend for himself. This understandable affected Tidus, as throughout the story, any talk concerning his father is one of the only things to sour his typically positive demeanor. Even with everything the party learns about Jecht up until their confrontation with him, you’d still expect Tidus to go berserk on him. However, their meeting isn’t shouting and curses, but instead one filled with sympathy and tears. It’s hard to forgive, but Tidus does so in a way that I’m sure many of us wish we could have. All in all, Tidus was the breath of fresh air the series desperately needed at that time, and more than likely has inspired players to approach life as heroically as he does. — Andron Smith
The Warriors of Light
The legendary warriors were brought together to save the world from peril, grabbing their trusty pillow case cape, plastic sword, and cowboy hat to vanquish the evil teddy bear forces found within the living room floor. Wait, that’s not Final Fantasy, that’s just the story of how a game enraptured the heart and mind of a three-year-old to become addicted to RPGs for their lifetime. The Warriors of Light may not have said much, but their role in combating darkness and monsters to collect all the crystals and banish Chaos is etched into my memories.
Every Warrior of Light has moments and iconic looks that have stayed ingrained in my mind all my life. The Fighter, tanking hits and dishing them out like it was going out of style. The Monk, who always seems to die against Sahagins; seriously, boats and monks don’t work well together. The Thief, whose speed allowed them to be the most consistent force on the team. Each of the mages, White, Red, and Black, contributing to make magic this writer’s favourite ability, with its capability to both keep the party alive the best and take enemies out the quickest. Final Fantasy may be a very bare bones game in comparison to what we have nowadays, but the nostalgia and comfort that each original Warrior of Light brings while tackling a diverse and gorgeous set of monster designs will never be forgotten. — Ryan Costa
(Final Fantasy XIV)
Y’shtola is a powerful conjurer and the scion in charge of Limsa Lominsa. We first met when I was a fresh faced marauder starting off on a new adventure. She saved my butt in a grotto when a goobue went berserk and attacked us. Right from the start she had me in the palm of her hand. Y’shtola only gets stronger from there as she puts her desire to learn and improve her magical abilities are put to fine use in the Scions of the Seventh Dawn. Magic and knowledge are the two things she has the strongest faith in, and they both allow her to overcome massive challenges, aiding herself and her allies.
One of the things that always stuck with me was how she spoke out against the Lominsan people causing their Titan troubles by breaking the treaty with the kobolds. She knows she would help the people either way, but still stands up to Merlwyb and tells her she essentially created her own problem. Not many people would so bluntly confront a powerful politician. While this comes up early in Final Fantasy XIV, being able to frankly speak truth to power — or anyone else who needs to hear it — is a trait that sticks with her throughout the game and its expansions. She sticks to her convictions and works to help the people as much as she can, and I adore her for her efforts. — Robert Sinclair
Yang Fang Leiden
(Final Fantasy IV)
ACHOO!!! No, I’m not sick during this winter season, I’m just recalling the grand entrance of one of the most stoic and stout fighters the Final Fantasy franchise has seen. Yang pummels some enemies with his trademark battle cry then shows off by joining battle to show off his Kick attack at the top of Mt. Hobs in Final Fantasy IV. Since then, every combat that Yang joins has a sense of he’s got this. He’s always useful in the party as a powerhouse and, depending on the dungeon, even shines as the MVP.
Always the first to jump into danger to protect friends and family, Yang has been a boulder of positive influence in my life, offering reminders of other martial artists like Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee. Yang embodies a lot of the tenants of justice and righteousness from actions rather than skills or words like healers or knights often do. Sometimes all that the world, or maybe just an adventuring party, needs is a capable and patient guiding hand to help lift friends up, while standing by them during their worst times. Though every once in a while Yang may need a good frying pan to the head to get things back on track. — Ryan Costa
(Final Fantasy X)
I was first introduced to Yuna when I started college in the early 2000s. I had some money available to buy a PlayStation 2 and the rest was history. I clung to her quiet strength as her story slowly unraveled during the epic tale of religious corruption and standing up for what you believe in. She has some of the most quotable lines, including one of my all time favorites: “I will live with my sorrow, I will live my own life! I will defeat sorrow, in his place. I will stand my ground and be strong. I don’t know when it will be, but someday… I will conquer it. And I will do it without… false hope.”
This quote continues to resonate with me because it reminds me of the moment in my first year in college that I decided I was done living in the closet. Much like Yuna, many parts of my life were shrouded in lies. The difference was that mine were self-imposed. I was done hiding, and while it would take years for me to fully be comfortable with my queer identity, those early college years, alongside replaying Final Fantasy X many times over, helped build the foundation for who I am today.
That growth was taken up another notch when Final Fantasy X-2 was released. The campy, Japanese pop music-fused adventure felt like a celebration after going through the hardships of transitioning to self acceptance. The soundtrack became part of my soundtrack in undergrad. One of my favorite memories of the time was playing the track “Zanarkand Ruins”, and making an awkward attempt to run the way Yuna did when she first entered the area. — Jervon Perkins
(Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII)
In the in-universe chronology, Zack Fair can be considered Final Fantasy VII’s first protagonist. The dreamy, energetic, and optimistic SOLDIER is the trademark protagonist of a shōnen anime, desiring to become a hero while protecting his friends. When he joined Shinra’s SOLDIER project, Zack was tutored by Angeal Hewley, who imbued the young man with a strong sense of duty, honor, and conviction in his ideals. Zack was so inspired by Angeal that he started to imitate the man; after all, it’s the sincerest form of flattery. The mentor, recognizing his apprentice’s potential, nominated him for a SOLDIER 1st class promotion, which Zack achieved with zeal.
When a treasonous situation begins involving Shinra and the SOLDIER group, Zack doesn’t hesitate to put all his faith in his mentor, even though all evidence points to the contrary. Although he shows himself as clueless most of the time, referred to as a puppy by Angeal, this naïve innocence attracted me to Zack. He’s simply vulnerable. Although boasting badassness, Zack is also more human and relatable than many other protagonists, even more so with his friendly, goofy manner. His one-sided goal of becoming a hero is what defines his path, no matter how much he’s mocked. He does become a hero to one person, and is otherwise unknown by the world at large, but his heroism has a domino effect that saves the entire planet. Zack is, to this day, my favorite protagonist of the Final Fantasy franchise. — Murillo Zerbinatto
(Final Fantasy IX)
The first thing that drew to Zidane was simply, Zidane is a thief and I love thieves. With a thief as its main protagonist, stealing is made a very useful ability in Final Fantasy IX, and being able to steal useful stuff from most bosses meant I would keep him in the team him from start to finish. He’s also able to do major damage, especially when trance is active, so he’s no slouch as a frontline fighter too.
I always found his struggle with finding out where he came from and who he is to be very endearing. He always seems lighthearted but deep down he’s troubled and doesn’t really know how to deal with it. So he acts like a lady’s man, tries to seem like everything’s fine, but he still feels incomplete. He’s fiercely loyal and is always willing to go that extra mile to help his friends and loved ones. Despite his initial attitude, he is actually very reliable and makes a great leading character as you see everyone able to rally around him more and more as the game goes on. — Robert Sinclair
Thanks for reading our feature on our favourite Final Fantasy friends and be sure to check our companion piece of our favourite Final Fantasy foes if you haven’t already. Please let us know some of your favourite allies from across the series’ numerous titles in its storied 35-year history, which we hope continues for many more!