Final Fantasy Themes

Somewhere, I’ve heard that each Final Fantasy has a theme; a single idea behind it. Does anyone know these themes?

Imo, the theme for Final Fantasy 6 is obviously death and rebirth. The only characters among the 14 playable characters not affected by death in FF6 are Gogo and Umaro; one is a big dumb ape, and one has been living in a worm's belly for probably a decade. 

 So does anyone know what these so called themes are?

Not every FF has had a theme. The only ones I’ve heard specifically from its creators are FF8, which is supposed to be “love”, and FF7, which is a rather-too-obvious environmentalist theme. FF9 is kind of the same thing but not as blatant. I doubt the earlier FFs had a specific theme to deal with.

Uh, you know, FF6 spoilers below.

FF6 had the whole thing with death and rebirth as said before. It’s made more obvious by how things are set up before the second part of the game. By the time I get to the Floating Continent, I know what Terra is, and I know she’s come to terms with it, but it’s obvious she still hasn’t achieved the certain confidence she needs to move in life. She’s still lost.

I know Locke has a girl he’s left with a very creepy guy in a basement. I know he still feels guilty about it, and by bringing Celes to Thamasa, I can sense the ambivalence she feels when it comes to Rachel and Locke’s past in general. I know Setzer is just some guy who owns an airship and lends it to our group but little else. I know that Cyan is a man filled with hate towards the Empire, and wants to strike back and that Shadow is a cold-hearted brother who’d slit his mother’s throat for a dime. Word.

If the game had ended there, on the Floating Continent, it would have been marginally unsatisfying, but I still would have liked the game. Instead, we get a largely different experience afterwards. The game has already held my hand as it set up the exposition, but now it’s up to the player to determine whether the characters died with their environment or learned something new about themselves. I learn that maybe Shadow isn’t so simple, that maybe Cyan isn’t so cut and dry, and the poignant drama between Celes, Locke, and Rachel is finally settled and dealt with. Terra, who barely had the will to fight to begin with, loses it totally, and then finally uncovers who she really is. She realizes that she can choose her own path and destiny and goes with the flow.

Final Fantasy VI is a good story because as much as it’s about a rebel force trying to bring down a corrupt Empire, it realizes that the dramas and story involving the people themselves is more important.

Actually, I still need to beat VI. I’ve just already had the game ruined to me like, four or so times. I’m still enjoying it though, but I’d love to actually beat it once.

(I ignored Edgar, Sabin and Gau for a reason, their largely static charcters, as well as Gogo and Umaro, and…seriously, do you want me to analyze the character of Mog?)

Mog is just there for fun, some of his dances are pretty usefull, but he is not that strong.

I believe that the only Final Fantasy that actually stood by a stright theme the whole game was FF5. I mean, they were after the army at the beginning, and, without spoilers, they were after it in the end.

Most FF games start out as something, and then end with something almost totaly different. Example: FF6 starts out as destroying an evil empire, and by the end you are destroying a sadistic demi-god. FF7 has the same principle.

But, as far as themes go, most are about love, teamwork, and humility. It almost brings a sense of morals and virtue to the entire series.

Actually, I have a video that Sony sent me back in 1997 that’s a “making of” FF7. It includes interviews with Sakaguchi in which he says that the theme of FF6 was loss and moving on, because he made it around the time his mother died. I think he mentioned themes of the older games in the series, as well, and mentioned that FFV was his favorite in the series at that point. I’ll see if I can find the video and give it another look.

Well…death and rebirth…that’s my way of saying loss and moving on. Yeah. Actually, no.

Seriously? All I got from Nintendo was some video about Rayman, Banjo-Kazooie and a bunch of other games that were coming out for the N64 that I didn’t really care about. (Except for Banjo-Kazooie anyway) Guess I chose the wrong magazine to subscribe to.

I’m surprised no one’s mentioned FFIV and it’s ever-so-subtle theme of redemption.

Seriously? All I got from Nintendo was some video about Rayman, Banjo-Kazooie and a bunch of other games that were coming out for the N64 that I didn’t really care about. (Except for Banjo-Kazooie anyway) Guess I chose the wrong magazine to subscribe to.

Ya know thats funny i thought banjo kazooie was gonna be a really bad game,
but then my sister forced me to rent it now its one of my fave games ever, ha i still have my cart and i don’t even own a 64 anymore.

If I recall, on that video, he says the theme of FFIV is Love. Though I agree that it seems to be a story of redemption, both on Cecil and Kain’s parts.

Cecil, Kain, and Golbez. FF4 disappointed me in that it doesn’t even hint that Kain has feelings for Rosa until the ending cut. But i can see how Love was a powerful driving force. Love is what gave Cecil the power he needed to push foreward and go to the moon.

FF9 felt like it was more about loyalty. At first, everyone has their own motive, their own goal. Garnet wants to escape from her mother, and possibly get her to change back into her loving self. Zidane wants to tap some royal booty. Steiner’s duty to his princess is mostly self-gratifying. Freyja want’s to search for her long-lost boyfriend. Quina want’s to eat. Everything. Vivi… He’s the more innocent of the cast, in that, he’s not so much apart of the group for self-gain, his prupose in the group is to find out what his purpose is. Then as the story matures, and progresses, they stop being apart of the quest for their selfish want’s, and keep going out of loyalty to eachother. At least, that’s how i understand the end-game.

FF4 hints at Kain’s love of Rosa when you teleport back to Baron after the Tower of Zot. Kain says that he’s sorry that Rosa was abducted, but he was happy that he could be close to her.

Every Final Fantasy basically tells a similar story: a group of people with different backgrounds and personal motives join together to avert a global catastrophe, learning more about themselves in the process. Different themes are explored in each game through this basic plotline.

FF7 deals largely with environmental exploitation and genetic engineering; people messing around with nature with sufficient tools to do so but with a limited understanding of what this leads to. Man tries to control nature, but nature hits back.

FF10 deals largely with religion, culture, tradition and family, and how these affect and influence individual people’s lives.

Somebody wasn’t paying attention to Kain when the party first boards the Whale and Cecil kisses Rosa, huh?

Thinking of FF VI now, I remember different parts about it that refer to the War…
WW II in particular. Different references, and the factions and people that were in the war at that time. Not only a “loss and moving on” theme, but also a backstory to that. (Maybe to support it?) I’m sorry if anything I give is vague, I haven’t played in that Long, but if you really look at it, you can see the references… or at least my twisted mind’s perception can… haha


I think it’s safe to say the the games can have more than one theme. I remember hearing once that the title art usually had something to do with a theme in the game. For example, FFVI is Terra riding a MagiTek Armour. That could be Magic versus Technology. FFVIII has one of the more obvious ones, with Squall and Rinoa hugging, representing Love. FFX has a Summoner (Yuna) which I’ve always taken to represent Sacrifice. (Those are the only title arts I can recall off-hand…) That’s my two-cents, anyways…

FF7 has a large spherical meteor symbolising that it’s a load of balls.

There is no such thing. The whole world recognizes Magic’s superiority, that’s why the Empire is trying so hard to harness it. Technology is just something they use in the meantime as a medium to manipulate magic. There is no such thing as Tech vs Magic anywhere.


You have a good point. Perhaps the coexistance of magic and technology? Then again, now that I’ve thought about it, I believe I misremembered the wording of what I had originally heard. The title picture is usual something important to the game, not necessarily a theme. My bad.

Perhaps one of the reasons FFVI was so good was because there were multiple themes at work within its many plot branches?

The same thing was carried on to FFVII. Each character had at least a vague visage of theme to go with them. Some of these were fully realized, such as Cloud, Vincent, or Tifa. Some are vague as stated before, as in the case of Yuffie or Cait Sith. Some have a major deal with the main plot, like Aeris.