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Alternative Character Interpretation / Final Fantasy

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The bone-crushingly popular Final Fantasy series has plenty of complex characters, ripe for Alternative Character Interpretation.

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    Final Fantasy III 

Final Fantasy III

  • Was Noah's gift of mortality to Xande given in good faith and genuinely intended to be equal to Doga and Unei's gifts, or an attempt to teach Xande humility? Or, in other words: was Xande always evil, or did he only become so due to his fear of death combined with the Cloud of Darkness's influence? With what little we actually know about the real Noah, it's also possible he knew full well what would happen when he gave an incredibly powerful wizard the "gift" of a shortened lifespan, and may not have been as altruistic as Doga and Unei make him out to be.
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    Final Fantasy VI 

Final Fantasy VI

  • Locke Cole: star-crossed lover or incredibly creepy man who's so fraught with attachment issues that he keeps his dead girlfriend preserved in a crazy old man's basement? The creepiness is lessened when it's revealed Locke planned to use the Phoenix Esper to revive Rachel.
  • Gestahl's reactions to your behavior at the imperial banquet offer a lot of ways to interpret his character. Toasting the Empire or the Returners, it's obvious there which he'd prefer, but "To our hometowns!" gets the best reaction, particularly interesting since Vector is his home. Is he approving of your choice because he appreciates you're fighting to defend your homes, or because he's already planning to abandon the remaining Imperials and take power on his own? The best reaction to the question of Celes' loyalties is to declare total trust of her. Is he pleased you trust an ally and didn't turn on them because of what Kefka said, or does he think you're foolish for trusting her so easily after all that she's done and that means his next plan will go well?
  • Terra, is her Esper form just a simple transformation, or does the Esper have its own will and mind separate from the human side? In the case of the latter, is it an entirely different person from Terra, or just another side of her personality?
  • Kefka: Destroys everything he can because he thinks it's fun and believes love and friendship are just temporary diversions from the inevitability of death, or a very dark Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds so twisted by Magitek experiments that he actually can't feel love and friendship anymore and destroys because it's all that gives meaning to his life now? Dissidia: Final Fantasy actually nudges towards the latter, with one of Kefka's iconic nihilistic speeches being voiced with a very sorrowful and melancholy tone...only for the prequel to nudge back towards the former where he's a shining Manipulative Bastard. Chronologically, Dissidia shows him becoming more pitiful in death than he ever was in life. One thing that can't be denied is that, monster or woobie, Kefka's a mad dog whose very existence and reason for living run counterpoint to the world he exists in.

    Final Fantasy VII 

Final Fantasy VII

  • Aerith is a sweet, virginal paragon of holiness and healing, or a flighty, flirty, manipulative little shrew. Similarly, Tifa is a brave, loyal and loving heroine, or a deluded and hopelessly clingy bint. All depending on which side of the <3-T the rabid shippers are respectively. Cloud is often portrayed as a whiny loser where others might see him as a deeply troubled but otherwise courageous hero. Let's not even get started on the theories about Sephiroth — was he really bad, or just a hopeless slave of "Mother" Jenova's alien malevolence? Word of God says he's really bad, but it won't stop the fics from flowing or the fanon from growing. Nor, honestly, should it, as long as it's all in good fun. Now, when it becomes Flame Bait...
    • The interpretation of Aerith as a cheerfully kinky Granola Girl—forcing Cloud into transvestitism, anyone? The statement is an alternate interpretation in itself. The majority of fans probably don't ship like either. Aerith is friendly, kind and sweet, but is also a bit flirty. Tifa may be a little clingy, but she is also brave, loyal and a good friend and eventually, mother to Marlene and Denzel. Those of us who ship, however, tend towards hating whoever gets in the way. (Except for those whose OTPs include Ship Mates.)
  • Sephiroth. From a canonical perspective, he was an Omnicidal Maniac and he had a Squicky fixation on his "Mother", not seeming to notice that she was freakin' beheaded and mutated. But from a fangirl perspective... he has pretty hair! Squee!!
    • How much influence or control Jenova had on Sephiroth are still interesting (despite being Jossed,) considering he had her cells injected into him in utero. Is Sephiroth subconsciously following Jenova's goals, or were they perhaps merged together into one being? Did Sephiroth gain control over her only to become the new incarnation of a world-destroying parasite? Did Sephiroth just go bugfuck crazy from being injected with alien cells, or do something similar to Cloud's fractured psyche and subsequent false persona (of being a "descendant of the Ancients") to cover it up? On and on it goes.
    • It's interesting that so few people seem to ever take Sephiroth's childhood into consideration. Here we have a child who was raised from day one under the 'care' of scientists who more than likely didn't see him as a person, and probably spent a good chunk of his youngest years trying and failing to get any affection at all (especially considering psychological research that indicates a human being cannot function without at least some physical affection). Is it any wonder he latched on to a persona that, aside from his friends who betrayed him, and Zack who canonically didn't get a chance to get as close to him, was the first to offer him the affection he desired for most/all of his life? So few seem to see the inherent Woobieness in him from that angle and are more concerned with what we're presented with in canon. And how pretty he is...
  • Jenova. While she mostly played the role of supplying the Phlebotinum and boss fights, people wondered just how involved she really was. Some put forth the idea that she subtly manipulated Shinra into weakening the planet and creating Sephiroth, others that she was a hyper-intelligent being who was subjugated by Sephiroth, or that they were actually working together, a mindless virus that acted only on instinct (like The Thing (1982)), or simply an alien creature unable to exist peacefully on the planet and exploited by its scientists. To a lesser extent, the idea of what the physical body of Jenova actually is: a human body corrupted by the DNA of a spacefaring virus, or an alien body infected by a spacefaring virus.
  • Cloud and co. go out of their way to try and stop Shinra from enacting their plan to save the world from certain doom by meteor. They have no plans on how to save it themselves, or any real clues to follow up on at the time. It's easy to see them as Glory Hounds who would sooner have the world be destroyed than saved by an enemy. The intended interpretation being that they thought the plan wouldn't work (and if the player screws up the mission, which is possible and allows the game to continue anyway, Shinra's plan doesn't work, though there's no way the heroes could have known that in advance) — and if it did, it would sacrifice the Huge Materia, which are story-wise an important tool for protecting the planet.
  • Shinra Electric Power Company and it's leaders are unambiguously evil but due to the Draco in Leather Pants effect they are sometimes thought of sympathetically (and Avalanche unsympathetically). The fact that Shinra murdered tens or hundreds of thousands to kill a couple of people specifically, and oppressively control the world by creating electricity using the souls of the dead as expendable fuel is somehow lost on some fans.
  • Cloud's childhood history with Tifa touches on some topics that many of the game's fans have personal experience with and is only touched upon vaguely, meaning many people project onto it and find personal readings that can easily become Flame Bait. Was Tifa ignorant of how badly Cloud was being bullied, or aware but too powerless to do anything about it, or an active participant in his abuse (who Cloud forgave due to his internalised self-loathing)? Was Cloud the cause of own bullying by developing an Inferiority Superiority Complex and picking fights, or was he lashing out as an attempt to protect himself from a toxic situation? Was his interest in Tifa based on a genuine interest in her nature, or a fixation based on a creepy and pathetic imaginary version of her, or even a desire to prove his worth to the person responsible for his mistreatment? Cloud/Tifa is a popular pairing, but people who subscribe heavily to a less sympathetic reading of either character might view the ship as Romanticized Abuse.

    Final Fantasy VIII 

Final Fantasy VIII

  • Squall is not only depressed, but also a Death Seeker. He does some idiotically dangerous things throughout the game, which most view as a result of his sheer determination and instinct towards heroism, but in Disc 3, he basically says he never intended to be a SeeD and he doesn't really like it. There's a very likely chance that in his subconscious he's more than willing to do things like jump down multiple stories to save friends and carry a girl on his back across a bridge spanning a body of water the size of the Atlantic Ocean because those actions will very likely result in his death.
  • As well, the romance between him and Rinoa could be seen not as love but as simple emotional needs the other fulfills. Rinoa is a rebellious teenager who hates her father and is estranged from him, and Squall is a cold and distant but also protective and strong authority figure she can latch onto as a replacement. Meanwhile, come Disc 3 when the romance subplot takes center stage, Squall is in more emotional turmoil than ever because he's used to focusing on his mission and not thinking about his own feelings to avoid dealing with them, but now the mission is apparently over and he's sitting on his hands. Thus he turns to helping Rinoa as a coping mechanism and becomes obsessed with her to justify her importance over the sorceresses.
  • When they first meet at the SeeD graduation ball, Rinoa behaves a bit weird, trying fake hypnotism and dragging him to the dance floor... but if you think about it, her behavior could be due to her trying to cheer up the gloomy kid standing alone after a very rough day. Squall's scar is also pretty fresh at this stage, and Rinoa's first words to him are that he's the best looking guy there.
  • Does Ultimecia wish to compress time to return to her happy childhood after a miserable life, to become a goddess ruling an idealized world who will be worshiped and revered because she wants to be loved, to become a goddess ruling her idealized world where she rules humanity as an Evil Overlord, or is she a pure Omnicidal Maniac seeking to cause a Time Crash? Changes to the translation between English and Japanese versions, and her dialogue in the Dissidia spin-offs, only add further layers to the discussion.
  • Julia and Laguna are subject to this. We only see one scene with them together, and it's not known if they saw each other after that and dated for a while. Julia's song is mainly about Laguna watching her from the bar, implying she didn't know him that well. And compare Laguna's interactions with her to Raine; he stutters and gets tongue-tied around Julia, but is fiercely loyal and protective of Raine. It's entirely possible that Julia was just a crush that never went anywhere. Or perhaps, given the subject matter of the song, that the attraction was more on Julia's end than Laguna's.
  • The nature of Seifer's sudden Face–Heel Turn, where he seems to take joy in the idea of hunting down his former classmates one by one in the name of the Sorceress, leave some wondering if there's some sort of Mind Control going on. And if there isn't, then how Seifer really feels about his other SeeD members and being overlooked for graduation needs further examination.

    Final Fantasy IX 

Final Fantasy IX

  • How much influence did Kuja have over Brahne? Was Brahne's plan to take over the world her idea from the beginning or is Kuja the main instigator? Was even some magical mind-control involved at some point, before Brahne broke free? Garnet claims that her mother was a good person and only turned bad because he corrupted her, but she could very well be in denial. Kuja insists that the plan was Brahne's idea all along, but we know we shouldn't trust him. So the question remains open.
  • It's widely thought that Garland destroyed Madain Sari and the summoner tribe because he saw their power as a threat to his plans. But according to extra material in the game, the summoners' first attempt at summoning Alexander resulted in so much destruction that they moved to the Outer Continent in order to avoid hurting more people while they studied their magic. So Garland may have destroyed the tribe because he feared they would, in fact, destroy Gaia before he had a chance to assimilate Terra to it.
  • According to the timeline, Steiner became a Knight of Pluto when he beat Beatrix in a fair fight. This adds a new interpretation to her constant undermining of him (he refers to her as "always trying to one-up me"), as well as the Knights of Pluto being looked down on. Perhaps it's a smear campaign from a bitter general who resents that she was defeated by a man?

    Final Fantasy X and X- 2 

Final Fantasy X

  • The always shows the story from the view of Tidus, in the pursuit of his father and how he meets new friends and allies on his quest. There are even some lines of dialogue that say that "This Is My Story" when Yuna is clearly more important to the plot. But it becomes more and more obvious, over the course of the game, that he's just extremely self-centered and doesn't pay much attention to what happens to other people. One the one hand, his complete ignorance and disrespect of all tradition may have been what ultimately ended the eternal circle of Sin's death and rebirth. But at the same time, he doesn't get any of the numerous hints that summoners have to sacrifice themselves to defeat Sin, even though the player should have seen it coming from a mile before it's said explicitly for the first time. The only help he ever provides for Sin's defeat is encouraging the other characters to doubt what has been portrayed as the truth for a thousand years, if only by being extremely impulsive and ignoring all orders. For most of the game, he just tags along with the group and causes trouble.
    • As Jecht himself had done during the last pilgrimage, Tidus matures a great deal for the most part during the story. Also, not knowing about customs, rules, traditions and such like Jecht didn't, how can it reasonably be held against Tidus for making trouble despite not knowing the rules? To blame him for seeing a lie in the Yevon after the wedding scene and trying to rebel against it when the others clearly saw it and still tried to finish the pilgrimage is really cruel. Furthermore, the player can see the twist coming, Tidus does not and reasonably cannot because nobody ever once explicitly tells the man what's going to happen at journey's end, choosing to stay silent and let him blabber like an idiot. I don't think he's stupid for speaking about things he doesn't know about if nobody tells him anything. Thirdly, while true that he does come off as self-centered and whiny, he does make good points. What would've been the purpose of her dying if the cycle continued anyway as Auron knew it would? An important final thing to notice at near game's end when Yuna tells Tidus that "it's my story too!" which means that while Tidus may be telling us that it's his story, any other character like Lulu or Wakka can tell us "This is my story..." and provide their own monologues if we heard this game played out from their perspectives. Finally, that only help you just listed makes for quite a big step considering that Yevon's teachings was all that the people ever knew up until that point.
    • Tidus being such an arrogant, unlikeable figure that he's nothing but a Creator's Pet and came close to simply being a Designated Hero. He continually bragged about his Blitzball ability, very childishly made a scene with a megaphone in Luca and stole a complete stranger's binoculars on the S.S. Liki after pointlessly climbing all over him. The game was also notorious for changing its mythology to lessen Tidus' misdemeanors; early on, it was clear that Tidus could hurt Yuna if he interrupted her communication with the Fayth in each temple. Later on, Tidus had no issues with trying to pry open the door to the Chamber Of The Fayth, remarking (impolitely) "you can stuff your taboos". Yet nobody pointed out his arrogance or told him to grow up. Instead, like the majority of generically-attractive male teenage characters in Japanese games, his misdemeanors are immediately forgiven or ignored altogether, so the other characters can all get on with praising him, with Yuna bending over backwards to make him a guardian after just meeting him, Lulu saying he was possibly the greatest guardian who ever lived while Auron — who had actually defeated Sin — was standing ten feet away and so forth.
    • He was having childish fun at journey's beginning and really had no idea about what his journey was going to be like. Blaming Tidus for being immature at the start of the journey is harsh (though understandable given his age, not like his father was any better). Tidus was still immature at that point in the adventure (as we see from his first view with the binoculars) and it's not uncommon for a sports superstar to brag about his trade, especially in such a Crapsack World such as Spira. However, the portion where he told everyone to stuff their taboos was risky, he had every right to say it to them. He only told them to stuff their taboos after 1: The Guado's merciless attack against the Al Bhed. 2: Operation Mi'hen, which was really a political ploy to enhance Yevon love against Al Bhed to further tighten their grip on Spira. 3: Seymour's attempted murder against the party and 4: Yevon opening fire against the party with machina that are explicitly forbidden by their own teachings. Tidus did show that he was trying to learn their ways, but once he and the player increasingly saw that Yevon was full of it, he reasonably (though hastily) believed that the fayth bit was a lie as well. Nobody else stopped him, so they probably started thinking outside of Yevon's box (Kimahri even stepped up to help Tidus at that point). This was evidenced in an optional area where the player can revisit the fayth with no risk of harm. His misdemeanors can also be forgiven if only due to his new person/Sin's Toxin victim status. Finally, Auron didn't defeat Sin, Braska did. However, that came at a price that we (the player and Tidus) learn about as Yunalesca tells the truth behind the final summoning. Lulu praised Tidus because Tidus's new way was the closest to an alternative method anybody's ever tried at vanquishing the beast, and proving that the Beast could be beaten without senseless sacrifices or the teachings of Yevon, which is more than Auron accomplished during his stint as Braska's Guardian.
    • There's one scene in particular that shows how Tidus really matured and was both a Crowning Moment of Awesome and a sign of Tidus being Badass. Right before the party goes to talk with Yunalesca, Tidus is begging Yuna and the others to find another way to stop Sin and they say no. Tidus then gets called out for being childish and selfish by members of the party. He throws it right back in their faces by pulling out a "The Reason You Suck" Speech crossed with Adults Are Useless and What the Hell, Hero? by saying he'd rather be childish then be like the adults of Spira who are a little bit too willing to sacrifice and die needlessly for a brief peace when they haven't taken the time to sit down and think of another way to permanently end the suffering in Spira. That moment just made my finding Tidus likable just skyrocket to admiration when the only answer the party gives is "It's the only way." They just proved him right with that one sentence.
    • It could be argued that Yuna is in fact the real protagonist and hero in the game. For the first half of the game, Lulu and Kimahri care a lot for her, while almost completely ignoring Tidus. Even Auron gives her almost more attention than he has for Tidus. The first half of the game revolves around her mission and decisions. If you see Yuna as the protagonist the story of the game becomes much more deeper and complex.
    • Lulu could be seen as an arrogant jerk who constantly lectures Wakka and Tidus. Or, alternatively, she is the only one trying to help Yuna, whom she practically raised and who is about to give her life to protect everyone in the world, while at the same time having to put up with immature behaviour from Tidus and Wakka, who either don't understand or don't want to face the bleak circumstances of their journey. In that light, she keeps herself in check quite well.
    • Word of God states that the reason Tidus says "This is my story" as much as he does is that the writers were genuinely (and apparently not unfoundedly) concerned that people would think Yuna was the most important character in the story, not Tidus. If it weren't for Tidus and his father being separated from the dream world, and entering into the real world, the real world's Status Quo would never have changed, and thus the events of the plot would not have occurred.
      • Tidus being the main character has another really good argument for it. The game starts with his birth, and ends with his death.
    • The game started with Tidus as the main character but ended with Yuna. Tidus and Yuna couldn't be together because they never existed in the same story. They had that one 'Suteki da ne' moment in Macalania Woods where they met in the middle of the transition, but after that Tidus started his decline and Yuna her ascent. Fairly soon after that scene, Tidus stops narrating, showing that they've come to the end of his story. From then on out, Yuna is blatantly the main character despite Tidus still being the player avatar.
    • It's also possible that Tidus is simply a Unwitting Pawn, created for the purpose of breaking the cycle of death. The fayth explicitly state they have grown tired of maintaining Sin, and they get one of their creations dumped into the real world, where he goes on to change things just enough to bring about Sin's downfall. From that perspective, Tidus is merely a puppet, and is being controlled by the fayth the entire time.
      • This is a particularly interesting idea if you run with the common fan theory that he was modeled on Shuyin, a young man from Zanarkand who dared to fall in love with a Summoner and gave his life trying to stop the senseless war before it started.
    • It's easy to see how it is Tidus's story when you realize Yuna's story stretches from Besaid to about Zanarkand, at which point she becomes about as pertinent as Lulu or Wakka. Tidus's story, however, stretches from the beginning of the game all the way to his death.
    • You could say that Tidus and Yuna are equally important. Without Tidus,the spiral of death would have continued without interruption, but he would have no motive to find an alternate method of defeating Sin without his love for Yuna.
      • That doesn't make her equally important, though, if her importance isn't in what she does, but what Tidus does because of her. That still leaves Tidus moving the plot instead of Yuna.
  • Did Yunalesca sincerely believe that there is no other way to beat Sin besides the Final Aeon, or she does know an alternative way, and was withholding it from the heroes so that they can give in to despair?

Final Fantasy X-2

  • Gippal isn't as broken by Nooj shooting him as Baralai is. A possible reason could be that, as an Al Bhed, he's probably used to being treated like a heathen. So the betrayal might not have come as big a shock to him. Or else Gippal knows what it's like to be in a difficult situation and could have accepted Nooj simply going mad from the events. A third interpretation is that, right after it happened, Home was destroyed. Gippal was then forced to help the Al Bhed regroup and work out a new way of life. Being forced into that situation could have taken his mind off it, rather than having the time to think too much about it. Baralai meanwhile appears to have lived a rather sheltered life in Bevelle, making the Break the Cutie affect him in such a bad way.
  • Does Tromell really regret what Seymour did in the Guado's name and what he himself allowed to happen by preventing Yuna from sending him and destroying the evidence that he killed his father, or is he mainly taking on his Atoner stance out of fear that the Ronso will annihilate the Guado?
    • Rather unlikely actually, as evidence points to Tromell and the other Guado actually WANTING to be annihilated by the Ronso. Especially if you actually let it happen, the Guado are strangely at peace...even if they have suffered Genocide and there are no Fiends made from them as they actually willingly go to the Farplane. They must have REALLY wanted to Atone for the horrible stuff they did in FFX to go "that" way.
  • Just how much of Nooj's actions throughout the first half of the game his own will, or that of Shuyin influencing him? The game itself seems to have no clear idea.
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    Final Fantasy XII 

Final Fantasy XII

  • Is Vayne a pro-active patriot doing what he needs to do to secure Archadia's future and free mankind from the control of Occuria, or is he a power-hungry autocrat out for world domination and willing to get rid of anyone or anything in his way? In the same stroke, did he kill Gramis to seize power and give himself an excuse to dissolve the Senate that would have opposed his rule, or did he take drastic but necessary actions to stabilize Archadia's uneasy political climate in the face of impending war rather than let the Senate muck things up?
    • Carefully analyze the scene where Vayne and Gramis talk, the last we see of either of them not long before Gramis' death. One could take their interactions to imply Gramis knows Vayne will kill him and frame the Senate for it. Heck, we never see the end of the conversation — what if it was even his idea? After all, Gramis knows he's sick and dying anyway, he hates the Senate as much as Vayne does, he agrees with Vayne that he should be the next Emperor, and he makes a point to bring up Vayne's persecution of his two brothers in the past and asks if he regrets it. It isn't entirely out of the question for Gramis to ask Vayne to deliver him a Mercy Kill, so he can use the "murder" as pretense to frame and dissolve the Senate while simultaneously ascending the throne as emperor. The ultimate Thanatos Gambit.
      • In the same note, Vayne telling his dead father "And so House Solidor lives on.", which is a Meaningful Echo of Gramis' own words. Is this a proof that, as mentioned above, Gramis' murder and framing the Senate for it were actually a plan devised by both Vayne and his father to secure the power of House Solidor? If not, was Vayne showing remorse for killing his father? Or was he only trying to keep up appearances?
    • Reading into Vayne's actions and lines can lead to the interpretation that at the end of his Utopia Justifies the Means quest, he'll turn control of the peaceful, united kingdom he has achieved to his brother Larsa. After all, Vayne is already seen as a war-mongering tyrant even within Archadia, and Larsa tells him that crushing the Resistance as brutally as he plans to will only make people hate him more. Larsa, on the other hand, is well-liked within Archadia and has been trying to broker peace with Rozarria and Ashe. While Vayne is a great leader for wartimes, Larsa would be a better leader for times of peace. Could Vayne be aware that he'll fall victim to No Place for Me There in the Ivalice he's creating and intends for his brother to succeed him when his work is done?
      • In the final scenes of the game, Vayne refutes Larsa's idea of showing mercy and tells him that if Larsa thinks what he is doing is wrong, "then [he] had best find the strength [he] needs to correct him, then." Is Vayne taunting his brother for his hesitation and perceived cowardice, or is it a Secret Test of Character to push Larsa to finally stand up to him and in doing so prove his strength and worth as a leader?
  • On the subject of the Occuria, are they Well-Intentioned Extremist Gods who wanted what was best for mankind or royally Jerkass Gods who wanted to abuse their power over mankind and continue to keep them on a tight leash? It very well may be both, reading the scriptures from the Tower of Pharos has them acting both encouraging but also incredibly condescending as well, seeming to turn on a dime. The Occuria may only so tightly retain their power because they have absolutely no faith in humanity, and feel they can only be coerced back onto the 'right path' through blatant ego-stroking (calling their chosen a saint and a savior) and bribery (giving royal line their respective swords, not to mention the nechicite).
  • Does Fran truly regret leaving the Wood and becoming an exile and outcast from the Viera in exchange for freedom or is she exaggerating her isolation to convince her sister not to follow the same difficult path she did? Immediately after, did Jote tell the truth about the Wood wanting Fran back, or was it a lie to make her feel better?

    Final Fantasy XIV 

Final Fantasy XIV

    Final Fantasy XV 

Final Fantasy XV

  • Ardyn is rife with this given his role. Despite turning Niflheim and later most of the world into Daemons via the spread of night and the Starscourge, was he just trying to raise the Chosen King (Noctis) to a proper position to be able to finally be put to eternal rest, or was he truly hellbent on destroying the Lucis line even if it meant the end of the world in the process? Was Noctis finishing him off in the Spirit realm even necessary? The story's also extremely ambiguous about his relation to Ifrit, with the guide stating him as the Astral's servant, though in spite of Ifrit's Greater-Scope Villain status, Ardyn still seems to be the one pulling the strings.
    • His final fate: Sure, his soul gets a Deader Than Dead beatdown; but does he really undergo Cessation of Existence, or is he just purged of his Daemonic influence and finally allowed to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence (especially given how Noctis himself vanishes in a similar manner afterward, yet still manages to enjoy Together in Death status with Luna as of the epilogue)?
    • How truthful he was about his backstory. Ardyn tells Noctis he was a healer who took daemons into his body to save people from the Starscourge. He claims he was repaid for his efforts by being deemed impure by the Astrals and denied ascension, and ostracized by the people. However, Bahamut refers to Ardyn as the "Usurper", and others (himself included) refer to him as being utterly corrupted in mind, body and soul. Was Ardyn simply a tragic hero turned villain? Or was he warped before the Crystal and his people rejected him?
    • There are disagreements amongst fans about how much of Ardyn's actions are the result of his resentment towards being rejected from ascension and erased from history or even weather Ardyn himself is upset by this. There are some who believe that only fragments the first chosen king's personality are present in the Ardyn we see, and that his body and mind has been usurped by the Starscourge. There are others who feel that it's something in between: the original Ardyn wanting to pass on, wishing to bring about the Ascension of the Chosen King and purge the world of the Starscourge. The Starscourge itself has twisted his ultiamte desires and emotions into the most horrific and extreme variation it could conjure up from Ardyn.
  • Gladiolus, being the least developed member of your party, gets a lot of this.
    • His general lack of reaction to the death of his father Clarus in the fall of Insomnia, in stark contrast to Noctis's. Was he emotionally distant from his father? Was he long resigned to the possibility of his father (and possibly himself) dying in the line of duty? Does he just believe Men Don't Cry given his general intolerance for what he sees as emotional weakness in others? The game itself doesn't go into much detail about his relationship with his father.
    • Speaking of which, his characterization in Chapter 9 and onward. Were his outbursts and jibes towards Noctis the completely justified outrage of the only one in the room with proper priorities at the moment? Or is it the sign of a bully with anger management issues, and a lack of empathy towards others' grief? Is it a case of reasonable frustration expressed poorly? In that case, is he aware that his approach is not the best, but is in too deep to back out? Is it result of him finally letting loose on the pent-up angst over his father's death? And is he actually concerned about the harm to Ignis for his own sake or is he mostly bringing Ignis up as an excuse to browbeat Noctis more, considering he later goes against Ignis's own wishes in trying to get the party to leave him behind? Does he ever feel any remorse for it? The fact that his behavior isn't really revisited after the timeskip does not help.
  • The game makes it very clear that out of Noctis's three friends, Ignis is the most loyal to him. Episode Ignis reveals he takes this devotion to fanatical levels, willing to throw his own life away to protect Noctis and outright admitting he would rather see the entire world burn than let anything happen to Noctis, even trying to persuade Noctis to stop on his quest since doing so would lead to his death, despite the fact that his death is stated to be the only thing that can stop the apocalypse. Why exactly is he so dedicated to Noctis? The game doesn't give an explicit answer for what exactly motivates him to be like this. It's possible he's an extreme believer in Honor Before Reason, since he did swear an oath to protect Noctis, and is unwilling to shirk his duties no matter the cost to anyone else. Regis did ask him to serve as a brother to Noctis so it could also be familial protectiveness. It's even possible that Ignis is in love with Noctis, given the length that Ignis is willing to go through solely for the sake of Noctis's happiness, as well as a slew of suggestive comments from not just himself, but also Ardyn.

    Final Fantasy Tactics Series 

Final Fantasy Tactics

  • The Durai Reports offers one for just about everybody involved in the events surrounding Delita's rise to power: The Church is corrupt, Delita is a Magnificent Bastard who manipulated everyone to get what he wanted, Ramza is a hero who slew demons...
  • Delita may well be the most notorious example in video game history. He's either a tragic Anti-Villain who rises above prejudice and heartache only to find the world hasn't changed for the better and is forced to kill someone he cared deeply for in self-defense to boot or a vaguely repentant Manipulative Bastard whose mistreatment by the nobility leads him to equally evil actions, including the murder of his wife, who suspects he intended all along to kill her to consolidate his power - which, conveniently enough, he does. There's rarely a middle-ground between these views, either.
  • There's also the question of whether Ovelia loved him back, or if that was just Stockholm Syndrome at a time when she was already emotionally vulnerable from learning about her true origins, plus sympathy for Delita's noble outward ambitions which faded gradually as she started to see what Delita was capable of doing to bring about those ends. There's pretty much no question that Delita was manipulating her, even if he really did love her. Very few healthy relationships start with a kidnapping, after all. All things considered, perhaps the poor girl's name would be better spelled as "Ophelia?"
  • There are a few places in the game where the player can give Ramza different motivations for his actions, for example, choosing to focus on killing the bandits instead of saving Algus or Mustadio. These choices have very little impact on the rest of the plot, but whatever decision you make is commented upon, essentially allowing an in-universe version of this.
  • Also, did Olan/Orran really see Ramza and Alma at the end of the game, or did they perish and all he saw was their ghosts? There is enough evidence to support both their death and their survival.
  • St. Ajora Glabados - besides the conflicting sources about his history in-story, there's so much contradictory information about him that what he was actually like is impossible to determine. The character portrait hidden in the game suggests it might have been intended for there to be a flashback into his past, but since we never actually got any such thing... yeah.

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

  • There are those who believe that Marche is really the villain and that he is essentially killing off a world full of people and stripping his family and friends of their hearts' desires in a selfish wish to go home. While the sequel more or less confirms that things worked out pretty well for everyone, it is true that the game isn't great about arguing against this point of view.
  • The above create an alternate interpretation for Mewt, Ritz and Donned's defense of Ivalice however. Are things really better for everyone in this world, or are things better for them specifically and that's all they really care about? Remember, outside of those three, Cid and Marche, the only other characters from St. Ivalice we see in Ivalice are the three bullies from the prologue, who have since been zombified, either as the result of the world changing or dying and being resurrected post-mortem. Does Mewt's fantasy world really improve everyone's lives or just the people he can be bothered to care about?
  • Also, for Ritz: is her reason for staying only about her hair? She says as much, which seems shallow, but given that Kids Are Cruel maybe it's not so odd that she wants to stay in a place where she's not an object of scorn. She's also the class president and gets made fun of for being that too. In Ivalice, she's a clan leader, in fact, a clan leader in a matriarchal society where a girl being "bossy" and assertive is a positive thing. She goes from being an outcast to a respected leader in her favorite video game. Childish, maybe, but shallow? Not so much.

    Dissidia: Final Fantasy 

Dissidia: Final Fantasy

  • After fighting with Terra in Shade Impulse, Kefka claims that "destruction is what makes life worth living", which prompts Terra to think that he tried to fill his "broken heart" with it. Contrast his original game, in which after ruling the world for a year (coupled, possibly, with the knowledge in the back of his mind that, despite his power, he was still a mortal man) convinced him of life's ultimate futility, followed by the heroes' self-help book speech and complete refusal to accept his nihilist stance prompted Kefka to try to destroy everything in order to prove his point. He more or less went from destroying everything because he didn't see the point of life, to destroying everything because he thinks that's the point of life.
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    Others 

Final Fantasy: Unlimited

  • Aura is portrayed in every way from Mysterious Waif to The Lad-ette in fanworks simply because she has so very little screen time. The way Kaze acts around Lou implies that the two of them are similar in some way, though.
    • Finally, we're allowed to see a little bit of what Aura is like in Before, where she's shown as a stubborn girl who's also kind and self-sacrificing.

Final Fantasy Dimensions

  • Did Baugauven know that Elgo was his Emperor in the middle of a scheme, or was he serious about killing some random red mage?

World of Final Fantasy


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