Summons, Guardian forces, Aeons, Eidolons, Primals, whatever you want to call them — summons are a huge part of what makes a Final Fantasy game, and today I’m going to be looking at and talking about some of my absolute favourite summons across numerous different Final Fantasy titles.
I do have my bias towards Final Fantasy VII, as it is my favourite, but I have played almost every main game in the series and as such I will try and keep the choices varied — shouldn’t be too hard considering how great the summons are in later games.
Summons were first added to the series in Final Fantasy III, which also introduced numerous other job classes including, of course, the Summoner. Throughout the games, there have been eight summons that appear in almost every instalment, those being Chocobo, Shiva, Ramuh, Ifrit, Titan, Leviathan, Odin, and Bahamut. As new games released, each new title added more summons to the lineup — some of which may have been exclusive to that specific game.
Diabolos – Final Fantasy VIII
I say that Final Fantasy VII is my favourite game in the series, but it wasn’t until I played Final Fantasy VIII that the series really clicked with me and felt myself becoming addicted to the classic Final Fantasy formula. Throughout my playthrough of FFVIII Diabolos was my favourite Guardian Force from the moment I laid eyes on him to the moment I finished the game.
When it comes to edgy looking summons I can only think of Anima from Final Fantasy X as something that comes close. Diabolos may have enough edge to cut you, but he has such a cool devil-like appearance that I just love him. Speaking of his devilish traits, the name Diabolos is the Greek word for Devil, alongside being very similar to other languages’ word for Devil.
Alexander – Final Fantasy IX
FFIX certainly felt very thematically different from the previous game I had played, with its more magical and fantastical setting and all the animal people walking around. That isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy the game — I actually really enjoyed my time playing it and as a result, I am looking forward to the animated series based on it.
Summons, or Eidolons as they are referred to in FFIX, are extremely powerful creatures that not just anyone can control — not even the player in this case. However, I loved the fact that in this game, Alexander was quite literally the castle in which the royalty of Alexandra resided. Not only this, but the antagonist of the game, Kuja, refers to this form of Alexander as the most powerful Eidolon in the world.
Bahamut – Final Fantasy X
Final Fantasy X has a real focus on the summons in its story and it’s a part of the game that I really enjoy — FFXVI looks to be following X with what seems to be a tremendous focus on its summons as well. Summons in X aren’t just a power-up or a materia you equip, they have real importance to one of the main characters in the game, the Summoner Yuna.
With so much focus on the summons, it’s fair to say that picking a favourite in FFX was hard — especially considering how attached you get to the starter summon Aeon. However, I decided on the Dragon King Bahamut. I love Bahamut in almost every game he appears in as he carries such a long legacy, and his mechanical appearance and crossed-arms power-pose just screams “don’t mess with me”.
Shiva – Final Fantasy XV
Shiva is a classic throughout the franchise, but Shiva’s importance and characterisation in FFXV puts her just a step above her appearance in other games. Also known as “The Glacian”, in this incarnation she takes on an entirely white appearance as opposed to other versions that feature her with a predominantly blue appearance.
Shiva plays an important role in FFXV, as she is one of the messengers sent to help guide Lunafreya, the Oracle, in her quest of guiding the future king Noctis. Unlike her cold powers, Shiva is extremely friendly and compassionate towards mankind, aiding Noctis and his group numerous times throughout the events of FFXV. I won’t deny that the stunning cutscenes that Summons trigger in this game really help me think fondly on this particular incarnation of Shiva.
Knights of the Round – Final Fantasy VII
There was no way I wouldn’t include the legendary summon from Final Fantasy VII — this summon was something else. 13 Knights each attack the enemy party, ignoring the enemies’ defensive stats, meaning that this summon can reach ridiculously high total damage numbers. There are only a handful of enemies in the game that can survive Knights of the Round’s attack.
Not only is this one of the strongest summons in the Final Fantasy franchise, but it’s also a trial in itself in order to actually acquire it. It can only be obtained from Round Island, located in the northeast of the map, and this can only be accessed via Golden Chocobo — and God, that took me a long time to get.
What are your favourite Final Fantasy summons? Let us know in the comments — or perhaps pen us a letter for the Rice Digital Friday Letters Page if you’ve got more to say!
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