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All 14 Final Fantasy logos explained

FINAL FANTASY X

By far the most ornate logo up to this point, FFX depicts heroine Yuna fulfilling her destined duties to cast wayward spirits into the Farplane, essentially the FFX afterlife. The process is discussed quite a bit, adorns the back of the game’s packaging and is the focus of the one of the game’s most famous cutscenes. In fact, the logo mirrors that scene quite closely, as Yuna is rising on a pillar of water just as she does in that memorable video.

But why does Yuna need to send them away at all? Why don’t people just… die? Black Mage Lulu explains:

“The dead need guidance. Filled with grief over their own death, they refuse to face their fate. They yearn to live on, and resent those still alive. You see, they envy the living. And in time, that envy turns to anger, even hate. Should these souls remain in Spira, they become fiends that pray on the living. Sad, isn't it? The sending takes them to the Farplane, where they may rest in peace”

The first direct sequel in the Final Fantasy series, X-2 (that’s ten two, not X two) shows the three starring ladies going all Charlie’s Angels on the logo. Yuna’s diving along the bottom, Rikku’s hanging on the left and newcomer Paine stands tall with her sword high in the air. Together they go around the world looking for new dresses and clues that’ll help them find Yuna’s boyfriend. I’m simplifying, but yeah, that’s really what happens.


FINAL FANTASY XI

A big ol’ collection of soldiers, representing the dozens of people who still play Final Fantasy XI. OK, fine – the front five are the five playable races in the game (Hume, Tarutaru, Galka, Mithra and Elvaan), while the horde of people in the background are all the MMO slaves who haven’t moved on to WoW or Lord of the Rings Online.


FINAL FANTASY XII

Square and artist Amano had the balls to make a vertical logo for FFXII, perhaps solely to accurately convey the commanding presence of Judge Gabranth. His imposing stature makes him one of the main villains of the game, though he’s not exactly the crux of the game’s events. He does end up coming around near the end, only after repeated defeats.

Judges were a major aspect of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, which like FFXII takes place in the world of Ivalice. The Judges would oversee most of your battles and set rules that had to be obeyed… or else. If you used arrows during a battle that a Judge declared “No arrows,” oh man, you’re in for it. Not quite the same as in FFXII, but they definitely look the part.

Two vertical logos! A DS-only sequel, Revenant Wings also reached for the sky with this crescent-shaped visage of the airship Galbana, which Vaan and Panelo use to explore the floating continent Lemures. The Galbana was created long ago by Feolthanos, who also threw up a barrier around Lemures to keep his people safe and separated from the rest of Ivalice. Now that the barrier is gone, he plans on… destroying the world. Of course he does.


FINAL FANTASY XIII

This is actually a pretty huge spoiler, so if you’re about to finish the game stop reading after this sentence. So, that huge mess of stuff happening up there, all around what looks like a globe? That’s Vanille and Fang up top, just as they transform into Ragnarok, the beast that was dreaded throughout the entire game as the one who could bring Cocoon crashing down onto the larger world of Gran Pulse.

It’s tough to summarize it beyond that without diving into the history of the fal’Cie, I’Cie and all that nonsense. But the gist could go like this – Vanille and Fang were chosen by demigods 500 years ago to destroy Cocoon, the world floating high above Gran Pulse. They only half-succeeded, and were put into stasis by the demigods to finish the job later. Awakened during the events of FFXIII, Vanille and Fang have to choose between finally destroying Cocoon or being turned into mindless demons for eternity as punishment for failing again.

After the climactic final battle, Cocoon begins to slip out of the sky, dooming the millions inside to an instant death. Fang and Vanille merge as Ragnarok, dive into the planet to send up a pillar of earth, lava and rock that envelops Cocoon. And now that their centuries-old task of bringing down Cocoon is complete, they transform into crystals, which spreads all around them and solidifies their impromptu tower of dirt and rock into a permanent brace, holding Cocoon miles off the ground. Deep inside the crystal formation, Fang and Vanille are seen frozen into the rough shape of the game’s logo, which also shows Cocoon and the pillar of crystal that holds it aloft.

Hm, that’s not really a gist at all, is it? And still barely scratches the surface of what’s really going on. Far less important fact: this is the first time the logo has an outline color that matches the art. Notice how all the others are outlined in white – not this time!


FINAL FANTASY XIV

Bringing up the rear is FFXIV, Square’s return to the MMO realm last seen in FFXI. It’s set to release this fall. The logo shows, by my count, 14 people flying into battle. Because it’s Final Fantasy 14. Really wish they’d shown something of FFXV, so this article could end with something a bit cooler. Oh, guess there’s this:

Dissidia is all about the forces of good and evil pulling champions from across time to do battle. Good here is Cosmos, who makes her first appearance in Dissidia. Opposite her is Chaos, the main villain of the very first Final Fantasy, who has turned reality upside down with his crystal-nabbing, time-altering ways.

And with that callback to the first game, that’s as good a time as any to bow out. We could go into Tactics, Crystal Chronicles and all the other spin-off stuff, but c’mon, three pages of logos is surely enough for today. Plus we gotta go record TalkRadar 109!

Jul 14, 2010


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54 comments

  • jordaninthesky - December 26, 2012 8:46 p.m.

    FF X's logo depicts Yuna's relationship with Tidus. In the game Tidus and Yuna live in different realities, and the bridge is watery Sin or Tidus' Father. The game is all about Yuna summoning Tidus into her world, and then sending him by the end.
  • grayguwapo - September 30, 2010 5:48 a.m.

    ditto @ Vagrant's comment on Sephiroth... still a great article Brett.. Dissidia 2, XIII Versus, and Agito next...
  • arahman56 - July 20, 2010 2:53 a.m.

    Could have finished with the Versus logo: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1564291/versuslogo.jpg And then there's Agito: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1564291/01.jpg But with so little info out, it would be hard to explain them.
  • shyfonzie - July 18, 2010 6:35 p.m.

    Cool article Elston
  • ArcaneGhost - July 17, 2010 2:32 p.m.

    Craaaaaaaap. I was really wanting to know what FFXIII's logo stood for, and then he says it's a big spoiler, so I had to quickly skip it. *sigh*
  • gatornation1254 - July 17, 2010 8:38 a.m.

    Wow I don't even like Final Fantasy but I found this article fascinating. Their logos are usually pretty though.
  • Irishranger - July 17, 2010 4:07 a.m.

    This is why I love your shit Elston. You taught me that it's okay to geek out over every aspect of my favorite hobby, gaming. Thanks for the hard work.
  • spikester145 - July 16, 2010 9:39 p.m.

    I thought the crisis core logo the clouds were cloud and how in the end zack wanted to fly
  • Burningblade04 - July 16, 2010 12:29 p.m.

    it's missing a couple of final fantasy tactics titles.
  • Xplosive59 - July 16, 2010 12:19 p.m.

    also you should of put tactics on here, cause that is probably the best game from the entire franchise (coming from a complete FF fanboy)and its logo and cover art was extremely different
  • Xplosive59 - July 16, 2010 12:10 p.m.

    kind of a pointless article really, all of the pictures around the logo are obvious if you have played the game because they are either a picture of one of the lead characters or a major plot point in thes story
  • elpurplemonkey - July 16, 2010 3:45 a.m.

    I still don't get what the horse head is doing in the FF XIII logo (I'm not seeing things am I?) Fun article to read though.
  • EnragedTortoise1 - July 16, 2010 2:15 a.m.

    Thanks Brett! It's nice to see that I'm not the only one who cared about the FF13 logo relating to the last scene- if I recall correctly, they even faded the image with Fang and Vanille into it.
  • smikey - July 16, 2010 2 a.m.

    Kain had top billing on the Japanese FF4 logo? All he did in the game was betray Cecil, and poorly at that.
  • Druffmaul - July 15, 2010 11:13 p.m.

    The FFVII logo got a bit short-changed here. Yeah, it does represent Meteor. But it also represents The Planet itself, and the White Materia i.e. Holy. Three concepts in one little ball. Give it its due credit.
  • Moondoggie1157 - July 15, 2010 9:50 p.m.

    So I haven't played FFXII as of yet, but Judge Gabranth looks mighty similar to Emperor Doel, one of the main villains from Legend of Dragoon A.K.A. "The greatest RPG no one has played because it was completely overshadowed by FFVII"
  • tayls - July 15, 2010 6:54 p.m.

    Great article, Brett! Loved how concisely and respectfully this was written, even as the series has fallen from grace in my eyes.
  • taterboob - July 15, 2010 5:34 p.m.

    I always thought that the FFX logo was Yuna summoning something. I hadn't even considered the "sending" angle. Thanks for clearing that up.
  • Espir - July 15, 2010 5:12 p.m.

    crisis core could be that at the end when zack dies ;-;, hes talking about the sky and flying and being free and what not
  • BigCNuggit - July 15, 2010 4:58 p.m.

    "...representing the dozens of people that still play." Heheheh, more like, the dozens of people that EVER played....

Showing 1-20 of 54 comments

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