Final Fantasy 16 finally debuts the series' most destructive spell - but not before Donald Duck used it in Kingdom Hearts 3

Final Fantasy 16's Eikon Bahamut takes to the sky
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Final Fantasy 16 not only introduces someone who can use what fans agree to be the series' strongest spell but, in turn, someone who may finally be strong enough to beat Donald Duck of Kingdom Hearts 3 fame.

Before we crack on, take this as your spoiler warning if you don't want FF16's story spoiled in a major way.

As its narrative progresses, FF16 eventually pits you against Bahamut in an epic scrap sparked by their Dominant Dion Lesage becoming incensed after learning of the corruption taking hold of their homeland. 

Knowing Dion to be of a good heart, another character, Joshua, takes the form of the Phoenix to quell Bahamut's rage. Desperate to protect his brother from harm, Clive summons Ifrit to join the fray. 

What follows is a batshit scrap that involves Clive and Joshua's Eikon forms fusing together and enough laser-based moves from Bahamut to make a Gundam blush – it's rad. 

What we're talking about, though, is the latter stages of the fight, which sees Bahamut working their way up through the gears of each Flare ability. On the ropes, Bahamut flees the world to cast a move called Zettaflare to destroy the world. While he does succeed in casting it, Ifrit and Phoenix power through it to bring the grumpy ol' dragon down. 

The appearance of Zettaflare is a big deal for Final Fantasy as it's the first time we've definitively seen it in a mainline game from the series. Is it the first we've seen it generally, though? Uh, about that.

Before FF16, we've seen the spell twice. The first would be in a Nintendo 3DS game called Bravely Default, which started development as a sequel to a Final Fantasy spin-off called The Four Heroes of Light. While not technically a Final Fantasy game, it retains all the hallmarks – spells, crystals, and all that good stuff. 

The other time, though, would be Kingdom Hearts 3, which involves Donald Duck casting it to beat a baddie called Terra Xehanort. I ain't getting into whatever the heck Kingdom Hearts is, but the important part is that the moment swiftly gained infamy among fans as it works out to be the series' most potent spell, making the duck the most powerful spell caster in Final Fantasy canon. 

As The Gamers Joint spells out, a few high-level characters can use the flare spell in Final Fantasy, though the more powerful variations are typically limited to Bahamut, a summon considered to be one of the most powerful beings in the series. 

Until then, he had used Megaflare, Gigaflare, Teraflare, and Exaflare. If you use binary prefix to determine power level, that would make Zettaflare 1,000 times more powerful than Exaflare. To put it another way, Teraflare is the spell Bahamut used to destroy Final Fantasy 14 so it could be rebooted with A Realm Reborn, and Zettaflare is a good bit stronger than that. Let us hope Donald Duck never visits Eorzea as part of a crossover.

So there you go. FF16 has put forward a champion with a claim to the title of the most powerful mage in the series. Your move, Kingdom Hearts 4.

Not only is Dion potentially powerful enough to go toe-to-toe with Donald Duck, but he's also part of the series' clearest inclusion of a queer couple yet.

Deputy News Editor

Iain joins the GamesRadar team as Deputy News Editor following stints at PCGamesN and PocketGamer.Biz, with some freelance for Kotaku UK, RockPaperShotgun, and VG24/7 thrown in for good measure. When not helping Ali run the news team, he can be found digging into communities for stories – the sillier the better. When he isn’t pillaging the depths of Final Fantasy 14 for a swanky new hat, you’ll find him amassing an army of Pokemon plushies.