As far as RPGs go, there are almost no other series which can stand up to the leviathan that is the Final Fantasy series. With 15 titles in the main series, a whole host of spinoffs, and more releases than you could count, the series is ridiculously huge. One of my first “real” RPG memories is playing through Final Fantasy IX on the PS1, then immediately jumping back to FFVII. These were games that I just couldn’t get enough of, because mostly, they are superb. It’s natural then, that amongst its numerous successes, there are also many things that its developers have tried, or still try to make you forget.

Like any series, it has its weak moments, its bad moments, its ugly moments, and moments which make you cock an eyebrow in puzzlement. Whether you want to talk about how what the leads of FFVII did was basically terrorism, some unfortunate character development choices, baffling changes in art style (I’m looking at you, FFVI re-release,) or terrible translation, these are by far and away the least of what Square would rather you didn’t remember. Instead, they’d rather you forgot that time they nearly fell into a class action lawsuit, or the time aliens showed up, or the time Barrett slandered Cloud in an overly specific way. Of course, some of these things that got buried aren’t the fault of Square, some are just secrets that stayed a little too well hidden. Without further ado, I’m gonna use the Article materia and kick this list off!

25 Final Fantasy X Is A Prequel To Final Fantasy VII

[Via therobotsvoice.com and gamerjargon.net]

Final Fantasy VII is a fan favorite, and while it isn’t exactly my cup of tea, it is understandable. Featuring a wonderfully realized anime-inspired cyberpunk dystopia which effectively meshed Akira and Snow Crash, it gave gamers something they’d never seen before. One of the most iconic images from Final Fantasy VII is Cloud’s outlandishly massive Buster Sword, but did you know this weapon was also originally going to feature in FFX? It can be found deep within the game’s code, and while this may seem bizarre given FFX’s generally more lighthearted approach, it’s cleverer than it first appears.

You see, FFX is actually set in the same world as VII, just 1000 years before, and was intended as a prequel. This tantalizingly massive bit of info was revealed in the Ultimania accompanying the release of X-2. I’d take the dystopia over more blitzball any day.

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24 When You Get To Fight A UFO

[Via gfaqsff.wikia.com and Rjay/Youtube.com]

So you thought Final Fantasy VII was weird? Whoa boy, hold on to your hats as you head into FFVIII. From its bizarre rockabilly Harry Potter-style plot to its road-tripping (stealing XV’s thunder over a decade in advance), it is plain weird, and that’s not even to mention the aliens. Yeah, that’s right. Real, genuine extraterrestrials can be found in FFVIII. The quest called “UFO?” is where you want to start. You’ll hear of UFO sightings in a paranormal mag, and will need to visit four in-game areas, and you’ll spot a UFO. Defeat it in combat, and you’ll meet your new little green friend Pupu. Give him enough elixirs as a kind of interplanetary welcome wagon, and you’ll get a unique Triple Triad card! The little blue guys also make an appearance in XIII-2.

23 Final Fantasy VII Features The Ghost Of Aeris

[Via Jbedgames/Youtube.com and finalfantasy.wikia.com]

Aeris’ death is one of those scenes that you only need to allude to and you’ll have a horde of gamers in tears/battering your door down for not being reverent enough. It’s a touchstone in gaming and pop culture history, but her death isn’t necessarily the last time you see her. It’s also possible to see Aeris’ ghost. After Cloud rejoins the party in Disc 2, you can head back to the church in Sector 5, where you can see her one last time, tending to the flowers in the church. If you try to leave, or walk over a certain spot on the floor, she’ll flicker and disappear. There’s some deleted dialogue that seems to suggest other characters saw her, suggesting that while glitchy, the event itself is no glitch.

22 One Enemy Is A Huge Multilayered Reference

[Via Osiris/Youtube.com]

If you want to do something interesting in Final Fantasy VIII, you need to go Ultimecia Castle, and fight the Superboss that is the Omega Weapon. As well as being essentially an exceptionally tough Metal Gear dropped into a Final Fantasy game, it has an interesting hidden easter egg. This monstrous enemy is a reference to the Ultima Weapon, which is the most powerful weapon Cloud can wield in Final Fantasy VII, which can be upgraded to the even more powerful Omega Weapon in Final Fantasy XIII. As well as this, there’s also a weaker enemy called the Ultima Weapon in Final Fantasy VIII, which suggests that the Omega Weapon enemy is an upgrade of the Ultima Weapon. It’s a cool little callback, but the Omega Weapon enemy is also an absolute sod to fight.

21 Gilgamesh Proves The Game Is Set In A Multiverse

[Via finalfantasy.wikia.com and Kiet/Youtube.com]

Something that’s really cool but that’s never talked about, is that Final Fantasy is probably set in a multiverse. The proof? There’s a few. Moogles are one of them, everyone’s favorite little red-nosed creatures, as well as our main man, Cid, but the biggest proof of all (literally,) is Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh was a big bad in Final Fantasy V, but he also appeared in VIII, and Dissidia 012. How do we know it’s the same one? Well, according to his story in Dissidia, he was cast into an extradimensional rift by Exdeath, leading to him being able to occupy any of the possible universes in the Final Fantasy story, suggesting that they’re all linked together. This also makes sense given the FFVII/X crossover mentioned earlier.

20 Hell Is Other People

[Via platypuscomix.net]

So although Aeris appeared as a ghost in Final Fantasy VII, she also appeared in a slightly less...happy environ. In FFVII’s pitch black debug room, you can come across a monstrously large version of Aeris, who will teleport you around to various areas. When you walk up to her, Cloud will produce a scream, even though no enemy is attacking him, as though the room assaulting him in some way. Ask to go to Hades, and she’ll simply respond with “Didn’t anyone tell you? This IS Hades.” The creepiest part of all this? Hades was apparently a simple translation error, with the original simply being Hell. Love a bit of J-Horror, me. Another creepy aspect of this room is that you have no access to other party members, as you normally do in debug rooms. Instead, it’s just cloud, a warped Aeris, and existential horror.

19 Cloud And Aeris Both Appear In Final Fantasy Tactics

[Via KooperKoushiro/Youtube.com and Moddb.com]

We’ve already talked a little about Final Fantasy Tactics, but did you know that Cloud and Aeris both appear in the game? The process for getting Cloud is long and drawn out, while Aeris is actually a little easier to get. To find Cloud, you need to defeat Belias, activate Construct 8 in the Clockwork City of Goug, defeat Construct 7 and take auracite to Besrudio. The next step involves finding Aeris in Sal Ghidos, where she’s working as a Flower Girl. Buy a flower from her, and return to Sal Ghidos, and you’ll see her being attacked, with Cloud trying to save her. Help him out, and he’ll join your party. You’ll need to head to Mount Bervenia to find the Ultima Blade and let him use his limit break skills, however.

18 A Bunch Of Characters Were Hidden In Final Fantasy Tactics’ Code

[Via finalfantasy.wikia.com]

Final Fantasy Tactics is a game that has a lot going on, most notably, a TON of characters. This isn’t going to be about the ones you know, though. There’s a whole other set of characters that are hidden in the game code. Some are impossible to add, however hard you try to hack the game. There are four...surprising ones that can be added to your party, if you so choose, though. These characters are the one-off companion and full-time astrologer Orran, the ill-fated Simon, a bishop who dies before you get the opportunity to invite him to join you, the enemy witch Balmafula, and Elidibus, the most monstrous boss in the game, who you only ever meet after fighting your way through the hardest dungeon in the game.

17 There Was A Quest In Final Fantasy IX That Wasn’t Found For Years

[Via finalfantasy.wikia.com]

Final Fantasy IX is by far and away my favourite game in the FF series. It featured an incredible world, cool (very weird) characters, and the best sidequest in any FF game. The sidequest is so good in fact, that it wasn’t found by gamers outside of Japan for 13 years. In disc 4, you need to head on back to the Tantalus Theatre Troupe where you’ll find two brothers from the Nero family, and need to go into a dungeon to find the rest. You need to reach certain points in the dungeon and then go back to the HQ. You need to do this 18 TIMES. Yeah, that’s right, it’s time to get your JRPG grind on, and reunite the family like some beleaguered social worker. There is no clue given by the game about what you need to do because where would be the fun in that?

16 The Developers Get An Ego Check In Final Fantasy IV

[Via finalfantasy.wikia.com]

Final Fantasy IV was an odd game, and one that I think is, fairly or unfairly, overshadowed by the wonderful V. It does, however, have some fans, due to it being one of the first games where the series really got its feet under itself and got going on the road it’d follow in later games. A secret that was only in the original Japanese version and isn’t present in the American version (but was restored in re-releases) is a cameo by the developers. In the Dwarven Castle, you could head down a secret passage hidden in the pub, which leads to an area called the Developer’s Office. Inside, you could chat to NPCs representing the developers of the game, including the game’s Director, Hironobu Sakaguchi, represented as a red Chocobo, and main programmer Ken Narita, who complains about his workload in his sleep.

15 Three Hidden Bosses In Final Fantasy VI

[Via 26Angelo26/Youtube.com and Lunaticscreamer/Youtube.com]

Final Fantasy VI is a game with a wide array of bosses, all of which are extraordinarily dramatic. But there are also three bosses that you probably didn’t encounter. The first is the weaker version of Umaro, a yeti who proves to be a tough fight later in the game, but can also be fought early on with some hacking. This version has just 1000 hp, so won’t be much of a challenge, but it can be cathartic. The second is Colossus, whose programming suggests he was meant to be fought fairly early in the game, but has a staggeringly massive (at that point) 18,000 hp, which would seem to suggest otherwise. Lastly, there’s the CzarDragon, the game’s superboss, who is very similar to FFV’s Shinryu. This big scaly monstrosity was later added into the GBA port and given its original Japanese name of Kaiser Dragon.

14 Final Fantasy 9 Had A Second Hidden Excalibur

[Via finalfantasy.wikia.com]

Excalibur, the sword wielded by King Arthur, is featured as a legendary item that can be found in FF9, by completing a sidequest to do with the Auction House, but there’s also another one that you can find. While many rumors involving rushing through the game are absolute rubbish, this one is actually true: if you want to get your hands on the game’s second Excalibur, because one Arthur isn’t enough, you need to reach the end of the game in 12 hours. That’s right. You need to reach Memoria, and defeat Lich in the Gate to Space, without exceeding 12 hours on the game’s clock. You won’t see much of the game if you decide to do this, with one technique to blaze through the game being to pop the disc tray while an FMV is playing, causing it to skip. This will save you 35 minutes alone!

13 It’s Possible To Get A Flying Car In Final Fantasy XV

[Via The Omega Nerd/Youtube.com]

Do you remember the awesome-looking flying car that was featured in a lot of promotional material for Final Fantasy XV? Although it’s very easy to miss, it’s possible to get your Doc Brown on in FFXV. If you want to get your hands on this winged beast, you’ll need to get sidequesting. The quest in question is to infiltrate Formouth Garrison, in Chapter 6, which culminates in a tough fight against a MA-X Curiass and an MA-X DUX. Do this, and you’ll get a Strange Engine. Take it to Cindy and your car will be upgraded into the Regalia Type-F, allowing you to not only roadtrip, but skytrip. You won’t have a huge amount of time to play with it, but it’s a very nice little reward for your troubles, looking like the child of a marriage betwixt muscle car and fighter jet.

12 One Materia Lets You Use The Power Of Lawyers

[Via Alex Hughes-Games/Youtube.com]

I’ve previously talked about the prodigious amount of content that often gets cut from games for a variety of reasons, but one of my favourite easter egg types has to be the in-joke. Left in by developers, and never intended for public consumption, it could reference someone they knew, a long-running company joke, or more besides. In Final Fantasy VII, the subject of this joke? Lawyers. Hidden inside the game’s debug menu is the option to unleash the power of the Housoku (Japanese for law) Materia! What can you do with this materia? Well, use the coin toss and throw actions to throw money at enemies. Yep, that’s it! It’s almost like there’s a subtext about the cost of lawyers which a big company like Square might be annoyed about, or something.

11 The Moogles Have Actually Gone Extinct

[Via dorkly.com and Playbuzz.com]

The almost comically cute and awful quest-givers the Moogles. A near-constant in the Final Fantasy games, you can always count on them showing up, right? Well. Yeah, there’s some bad news. They’re extinct. This fact was revealed in Final Fantasy Tactics, but it was pretty hard to find. Look in the description of the Siedge Weald zone, and you’ll find the description ends with “once home to a race of extinct moogles.” The cause of their extinction? The Cataclysm, the huge disaster which happened around 1200 years before the start of Final Fantasy Tactics, and also wiped out a number of other non-human races, such as the Aegyl. The actual nature of the Cataclysm is unknown, but I guess it had something of a hatred for cute things (or maybe it just got bored of their quests).

10 That Bizarre Date With Barrett

[Via dorkly.com]

So in Final Fantasy VII, you get the option to take a number of party members on a date to the carnival, including Aeris, obviously, Tifa, Yuffie, or the man with the plan Barret. This is a pretty cool option in and of itself, and a date with a man whose arm is literally a gun would prevent any poor service, it takes a real turn. Barret accuses Cloud of lusting after his daughter, Marlene. His five-year-old daughter. Yeaaaah, it takes something of a sudden shift, with the date going predictably horribly after Barret has slandered Cloud with pretty much the worst thing you can call someone. I mean granted, if he’d decided to go on a date with Yuffie, maybe Barret’s suspicions could’ve been justified, but the accusations coming out of nowhere make it all the weirder.

9 Final Fantasy 7 Contains A Reference To Its Edgy Cousin Xenogears

[Via thelparchive.org and thelifestream.net]

Do you remember Xenogears? It’s fine if you don’t, it wasn’t, let’s say, the best video game. Final Fantasy’s edgy cousin, it tries to seem clever by talking about Freud, Jung and a plot to overthrow a God metaphor, it was...a thing. However, it was also hinted at in Final Fantasy VII. When you find Cloud babbling away in Disc 2, he seems to be making no sense, but he’s actually singing along to the theme of Xenogears, complete with dodgy Japanese translation. The thing is, these games are far more connected than you might first expect. Xenogears started out as a concept for Final Fantasy VII, but was ruled too dark, and thus it became its own game. Yeah, because domestic terrorism and graphic deaths aren’t dark or anything.

8 The Protagonist Of Final Fantasy VI Was Originally Going To Be A Man

[Via aribuwana.deviantart.com]

Final Fantasy VI is a superb game, and in my view, it has some of the best characters in the series. It also featured an early example of a female protagonist in the shape of Terra, the first of the Final Fantasy series, but did you know she was originally set to be a young man, rather than a woman? It’s true, he was going to be a half-esper guy and rival of Locke. Instead, the devs decided to change the character to a woman and write her as being passive before growing in confidence as the game progresses. She was also slated to die when magick disappeared, but that was also changed, and we got one of the best character progressions to grace the series.

7 That Time Square Enix Got Sued

Two very different lawsuits. [Via kotaku.com and bleedingcool.com]

Do you remember when Square Enix was the subject of a class-action lawsuit? It’s easy to forget, but not long ago, a certain Daniel Wolf sued the company for causing “severe and widespread” damage to PS3s with Final Fantasy XIII. Wolf alleged that his PS3 froze while playing FFXIII and that it then became inoperable. Finding any info online about the case is like pulling teeth, and seeing as no million-dollar payouts were made, it seems like the case may have been dropped. This isn’t the first time that Square Enix have found themselves wrapped up in legal trouble, there was also that time that they and SNK were at each others’ throats. Square Enix had published a manga which used SNK characters without permission, which resulted in a lawsuit, which Square countersued against the claim, saying the manga didn’t infringe on the copyright.

6 The Astonishingly Creepy Depiction Of Women In FFX

[Via giantbomb.com and denofgeek.com]

Final Fantasy X is a very cool game in a lot of respects, but in some others, it goes a little strange. The depiction of women is one such area where the game displays some of its...eccentricities. First of all, there’s the creepiness of the fanservice around Rikku, a 15-year-old girl in short shorts and a tank top, and in X-2 wears a yellow bikin and miniskirt, because reasons. There’s also the treatment of Lulu, because everyone has to dress like they’re the member of some weird hippie commune, with her representing the winter wardrobe. By which I mean she wears a dress which makes her...assets pop, stockings, and some kind of legwear that’s literally made of belts. While it’s not as creepy as Rikku’s depiction, it’s still somewhat eye-roll-inducing.

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