Google+

All 14 Final Fantasy logos explained

How often do you examine videogame logos? Not regularly, we’d suspect, as there’s not a lot to look at beyond letters and possibly an emblem. But in the case of Final Fantasy, each logo has a distinct message to convey, and with XIII fresh in our minds and XIV on the horizon, we figured it was time to go through all the info tucked away in each game’s logo.

Some contain key plot points, so be prepared for minor-to-major spoilers.


FINAL FANTASY

The original NES logo was a no-frills affair. Square assumed this would be the only game, not the start of a phenomenon.

 

Years later it was remade for the original PlayStation, bundled together with FFII as Final Fantasy Origins. It was then given a modern logo depicting the Warrior of Light. That’d be the faceless, nameless, personality-less hero of the first game, perhaps best recognized in his red-haired 8-bit guise.

Yep, remade again. This time for PSP to celebrate the series’ 20th anniversary. Still the Warrior of Light and still from artist Yoshitaka Amano, whose art drapes just about every single logo in this article.


FINAL FANTASY II

The first sequel wasn’t released in America until 2003, 15 years after its Japanese launch. When it finally arrived as part of Final Fantasy Origins (bundled with the original), it came complete with an updated logo that stars the game’s major villain, creatively dubbed “The Emperor.” Hey, that’s all we needed back then.

Just like the first game, part two was reborn on PSP with a slightly touched-up logo. Once again, The Emperor takes center stage. Not much else to report.


FINAL FANTASY III

The second sequel didn’t officially make the leap to US audiences until the 2006 DS remake, which featured bland-o hero Luneth brandishing two swords. Don’t get this confused with the US Final Fantasy III, which was actually Final Fantasy VI. If you didn’t already know that, I’m amazed you’re still reading this article. But thanks all the same!


FINAL FANTASY IV

Like we said, Square didn’t release Final Fantasy II or III in the US, so when it decided to bring part IV to the Super NES, it did so with a bare-bones text logo that read “Final Fantasy II.” Oh, there’s a sword standing in for the “T.” Very cute.

Meanwhile, Japan used the true logo, seen here with one of the game’s coolest characters, Kain Highwind. His actions move a great deal of the story along, easily earning his top-billing status on the front of the package.

The 2008 DS remake opted to showcase the villainous Golbez instead, a worthwhile swap as he was responsible for most of Kain’s misdeeds. Y’see, Golbez brainwashed Kain into performing various nefarious acts against Cecil, the main protagonist. You later find out Golbez was in turn being manipulated by Zeromus, the game’s true villain who lives on the Red Moon, one of the planet’s two orbiting satellites. And thus the complex Final Fantasy story is born.

Golbez is ultimately redeemed, and revealed to be of lunar descent as well as Cecil’s long-lost brother, but has done too much evil to remain on planet. Once Zeromus is offed, Golbez leaves with the rest of the Lunarians aboard the Red Moon, which exits orbit and takes off into the space sunset. Sort of like a Death Star without the lasers.

The After Years is a direct sequel that hit WiiWare in 2009, released as episodic DLC. It begins with the return of the Red Moon (the one that left at the end of FFIV), and ends deep inside the True Moon, which is revealed to house The Creator, who plans to eliminate all life on the FFIV homeworld. So, that’s why the logo features two spherical objects – they’re the Red and True moons, two immensely important pieces of FFIV lore that turn out not to be moons at all.


FINAL FANTASY V

A fair bit easier to explain than FFIV, that’s for sure. This is simply a wind drake, which you’re able to ride around the planet for quick and easy travel. They’re sort of an endangered species in the FFV world, and carry the main cast to and from a few key plot points. They’re not exactly the backbone of the story, but are important to several of the main characters, namely the two princesses Lenna and Krile.

Next page: Continuing down the list with Final Fantasies six, seven, eight and nine!

We Recommend By ZergNet

54 comments

  • hatebreeder - July 14, 2010 11:09 p.m.

    God damn it, Brett, your so friggin' wise!
  • Cyberninja - July 14, 2010 11:12 p.m.

    thanks for the warning about the final fantasy 13 spoilers i will finsh it soon so i can learn what the logo is about
  • garnsr - July 14, 2010 11:13 p.m.

    I'm a little confused about whether the Japanese titles for the first few games are here, or is it only the remakes?
  • Tenfey - July 14, 2010 11:17 p.m.

    Thank you sir, my worldview has been greatly expanded.
  • CH3BURASHKA - July 14, 2010 11:24 p.m.

    Cool new "Want More" section; looks hawt. Never played any FF, so all of this has been lost on me. Thanks anyways Brett.
  • CoolBowling - July 14, 2010 11:34 p.m.

    Great article. Thanks Brett
  • lovinmyps3 - July 14, 2010 11:34 p.m.

    Wow that's awesome! I never really thought about the logos that much, it's cool to find out what they mean, especially the XIII logo.
  • H2A2I00 - July 14, 2010 11:39 p.m.

    FINAL FANTASY IV FTW
  • SuperGoomba64 - July 15, 2010 12:20 a.m.

    Don't you mean record Talkradar 110? You already recorded 109.
  • 510BrotherPanda - July 15, 2010 12:33 a.m.

    When it comes to graphic designers, Amano is pretty far up there; he was doing the concept art and logos all in paints and watercolors, long before there was Photoshop. So great.
  • nighthawk205 - July 15, 2010 12:56 a.m.

    Fantastic article Brett. Love Final Fantasy and love Mr. Elston so it has my two favorite things.
  • Genericide - July 15, 2010 1:30 a.m.

    Good article brelston. However, I found a mistake. Final Fantasy X has something called X-2 after it, but clearly that never existed. Nope, clearly that was just some horrible, HORRIBLE dream you we all happened to have. At the very least it should be in its own, quarantined, section. *shudder*
  • Schnipke - July 15, 2010 1:46 a.m.

    wish I could play final fantasy XIII but alas, I don't have a PS3 yet @ Genericide X-2 was good, Dirge of Cerberus is the one that should be exiled from the list
  • Vagrant - July 15, 2010 1:57 a.m.

    I like the article (shocked it hasn't been done before), but the wrongness in this bit hurts my brain: "Sephiroth incorrectly believes he is the last of the Cetra, an ancient race that gained access to the all-powerful spell Meteor. As a form of misguided revenge, he plans on bringing Meteor down" The whole Sephiroth being a Cetra thing is basically a red herring. After the incident in the Nibelheim reactor, when he starts absorbing the Lifestream in Crater, he would learn the truth faster than he would learn about Meteor. ('cause the Lifestream contains the knowledge and wisdom of the ancients - a lot of their knowledge would probably be about how Jenova killed them all) He just wants power and is willing to basically kill everyone to become a god. There's no revenge angle. It's quite weak characterisation and that's why everyone likes Kefka more. If he thought he was a Cetra, he probably wouldn't have killed the only living Cetra. (Who was actually trying to protect the planet - which was the point of the Cetra) Okay, geekout over. I may have crossed a dorkline. I'm weird and touchy about the story in the original FFVII.
  • Ganonpork - July 15, 2010 2:27 a.m.

    i havent beaten ff 7 yet ( killing emerald and ruby weapon before going to the last dungeon so i made this wierd noise and covered my eyes, but i still saw that meteor hits DX. lol splendid article.
  • mgkyo666 - July 15, 2010 2:27 a.m.

    Brett, thank for the spoiler warning on XIII, I would surely be angry if I had read it! I though those were Snow's summon, but judging by the length of information you have on it, I'm probably wrong.
  • mgkyo666 - July 15, 2010 2:28 a.m.

    *thanks
  • TheWebSwinger - July 15, 2010 2:51 a.m.

    Wait didn't you guys already record TDar 109? Also I really love the FFXII logo, it's dope.
  • Peanut726 - July 15, 2010 3:17 a.m.

    Thank you mr. elston for the wonderful explanations, i have now learned something today
  • Usgo - July 15, 2010 4:07 a.m.

    need logos with no words just images please help. great article!

Showing 1-20 of 54 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000

OR…

Connect with Facebook

Log in using Facebook to share comments, games, status update and other activity easily with your Facebook feed.