After a brief vacation we continue on with our Final Fantasy Fridays, where we take a little bit of a deeper look into some of the mythos of the FF multiverse! If you haven’t had a chance take a look at my review of Dissidia 12 [duodecim] Final Fantasy, a great and deep fighting/RPG! It’s a long post, but really only scratches the surface of this incredible game!
Today we will be taking a look at some of the most powerful beings in the FF world, summoned monsters.
Though not around during the first couple of iterations of the game, once introduced, summoned monsters have become a series staple. Beings or beasts of immense power, they act on behalf of their summoner and can quickly turn the tide of battle. Delivering powerful elemental attacks, buffing the party with beneficial status effects or debuffing the enemy with negative ones, they can often get you out of a jam.
The presentation of summoned monsters has changed greatly since their beginning. Technological limitations on earlier gaming hardware typically kept summons brief and to the point, with the beast popping up on screen, delivering an attack with special effects, then disappearing back into the ether. As gaming systems became more and more advanced (right around the PS1) summoning became a grand event to watch, with the appearance of some monsters taking a few minutes or longer, in sweeping cinematic clips.
In like manner the beasts themselves have changed, going through several different looks, styles and attack types, each more grand than the next! Often just called summons, they have also gone by the name eidolons or primals, though the name changes the monsters steadily remain the same. Now kick back and enjoy just a taste of the power of the summoned monster.
Lord of the flames, this fiery beast takes many different forms, but is typically the most primal looking, often decorated with horns, fur and flames. He is sometimes also called Jinn or Djinn in earlier versions of the game. Burning with the elemental power of fire, his signature Hellfire attack will burn enemies to ash.
Lord of the whorl and encompassing the elemental power of water, this huge beast can summon the massive Tidal Wave attack to wash enemies away! Leviathan always appears as a large, serpent like creature who is sometimes much, MUCH larger than the opponents fighting him.
Queen over the elemental power of ice, Shiva freezes enemies solid with her Diamond Dust attack. Often appearing as a tall, slender woman, in Final Fantasy 13 she actually appears as a pair of sisters who combine into a motorcycle (yeah, take that for what it is). In Final Fantasy 14 Shiva is spirit who inhabits the body of another mortal character and players must battle her, rather than receive her help.
The Lord of Levin, this tall ancient being can use his Judgement Bolt to fry enemies to a crisp and attacks with the elemental power of lightning. Ramuh always appears as a very imposing old man, reminiscent of the wizards of many a fantasy. Personally I think he looks like he needs to be painted onto the side of a Chevy van, but that’s just me.
This towering mountain embodies the elemental power of the earth. His Gaia’s Fury can crush foes beneath tons of rock or swallow them whole into the earth below. Titan always appears as towering man (or likeness of a man).
Lord of blades, he slices and dices without mercy. Odin has no element, but if he did it would be steel (and pain, don’t forget pain). Sometimes atop Sleipnir, his massive war steed, his Zantetsuken attack often cleaves lesser foes where they stand, while larger foes are sometimes on the receiving end of his spear, Gungnir. Strangely enough, in Final Fantasy 13 Odin was his steed in that he would transform from man to horse. Weird.
That’s it for now! These five summoned monsters or eidolons or primals, whatever name they go by this time around, are the base and probably the most common to any Final Fantasy game. They don’t often have much of a background, though Final Fantasy 14 uses them in a way not like any other game before them and actually makes them an important and well written part of the story.
As always, you can find me on the FF14 server Lamia under the name Takhisis Darkhart. If you play or decide to play, look me up! I’m sure we could find something to do!