False facts about Final Fantasy you always thought were true

Final Fantasy is one of the longest-running and most beloved series in video game history, featuring hundreds of characters spread out over almost twenty core games and dozens of offshoots. When a game universe gets this popular and unruly, especially with so many characters, there are bound to be myths and rumors popping up. Below are just some of the most pernicious of these untruths.

The first Final Fantasy was called that because the developer thought it would be the last one

One of the most persistent myths about the Final Fantasy series is that Square, in a thrilling underdog story, named their 1987 RPG Final Fantasy because they thought it would the last game they'd ever make before going belly-up. Obviously, Square went on to make a zillion dollars and a zillion Final Fantasy games, so isn't it crazy and ironic they stuck final in the title? Little did they know, etc.

It's a great story, real neat and feel-good … but it's total hogwash. It's like they tell you at the airport: be cautious of tidy packages you didn't pack yourself. Looking deeper into the tale reveals something far less sexy. As Kotaku reports, the game's creator, Hironobu Sakaguchi, says his team was simply looking for a title that could be abbreviated to "FF" in English, because the pronunciation, "efu efu," is pleasing in Japanese. They actually wanted to go with the far butcher title Fighting Fantasy, but a well-known role playing gamebook series already had the title.

Keeping the "Fantasy" part made sense, considering the game's setting, but the "Final" part was almost an afterthought. Final Fantasy was chosen, ultimately, because there is a famous Japanese Katakana loanword for final, "fainaru," that the team knew would get a good response — it had nothing to do with actual finality. "Those days definitely seemed like end times," Sakaguchi said at a 2015 talk on the history of JRPGs, "but honestly, any word that started with 'F' would've been fine." Fajitas Fantasy it is, then!

You can revive Aeris in Final Fantasy VII

It's one of the most shocking and iconic scenes in gaming history: halfway through Final Fantasy VII, Sephiroth stabs the totally crushworthy flower girl — and Cetra badass — Aeris in the back with his scimitar, killing her instantly. This wasn't the usual RPG "death," where they're technically just "KO'd" until you Phoenix Down them back to consciousness. This death was the real deal — a bold, rare move for a video game in 1997.

It was such a stunning scene, in fact, rumors started circulating right away about methods to bring Aeris back from the dead. Surely she couldn't be dead for real, right? Even more than ten years after the game was released, heartbroken gamers took to Q&A sites and forums looking for hope, but there's none to be found. There is no possible way to revive or keep Aeris alive without cheating, except for choosing to never reach the point in the game where she dies. But that sounds like a particularly depressing Black Mirror episode, right? Grinding in a never-ending gaming purgatory, just to save your video game girlfriend. We could call it "Disc One." Someone DM Charlie Brooker, stat!

You can recruit General Leo in Final Fantasy VI

Final Fantasy VI's General Leo, for one fabulous fleeting moment, is a playable character. At a critical point in the game's narrative, it looks like the legendary swordsman might just join your party permanently. He's pretty amazing, too — his default attack hits four times in a row, which typically requires hunting down a rare relic called an Offering. His special ability, Shock, doesn't cost any MP and deals non-elemental magic damage to all of his enemies. He's also the rare video game character with a mohawk that isn't some flunky getting dropkicked by Mayor Haggar & Co. Leo's an all-around awesome dude, despite being loyal to the obviously evil Empire.

So it's particularly painful when Kefka, that son of a submariner, actual-kills Leo in Thamasa. It's not as devastating as Aeris' death in Final Fantasy VII, but it still stings. Surely there's a legitimate way to bring him back to life, right? Why would Square go to all that trouble to make him playable just to kill him off? What about killing 1000 dinosaurs in the Dino Forest? Is that enough of a blood offering for you, Square?

Unfortunately, there's no in-universe way to bring him back from the dead. The rumors of resurrection-via-dino-slaughter were just trolls being trolls. Reviving Leo just isn't a part of the game's massive script. You can, however, break the game using the infamous Airship glitch, putting Leo into your party temporarily and forcing the zombified General into some macabre hijinks (like making him visit his own grave), before he disappears without a trace at the party selection screen. But that's not quite the same thing, is it?

Squall is dead after Disc 1 of Final Fantasy VIII

In a sort of inverse to the bring-back-dead-people rumors, there's a persistent myth that Squall in Final Fantasy VIII is actually dead after the end of Disc One, and the other three discs are just a vision he has as he's kicking the bucket. But besides being a hacky trope too far-fetched for even Square, it just doesn't make any sense, as many gamers online have outlined.

Also keeping this theory firmly in the realm of fan fiction is Square doing nothing whatsoever to even hint at it being true, including bringing Squall back for two Kingdom Hearts games. The idea that the developers intended a St. Elsewhere or Vanilla Sky-like mindfudge just isn't supported at all in the text. It's cool for fan fiction, but should stay right there forever. We can all agree, however, that faceless Squall is pure nightmare fuel.

It takes 72 hours to defeat Adamantoise in Final Fantasy XV

Blame Conan O'Brien for this one: On the talk show host's hilarious "Clueless Gamer" Final Fantasy XV segment, O'Brien is told by an unnamed staffer (or Square/Enix representative?) that battling the towering Adamantoise — a recurring monster throughout the series — would take a whopping 72 hours of real time to defeat. Conan, of course, found that utterly insane, shouting "Why would someone play this?!"

The legend of the Adamantoise got some more fuel tossed on it when game director Hajime Tabata claimed it was more like 15 hours, like that's any better. Fortunately, a YouTube user named PowerPyx put all of this insanity to rest by proving you could defeat the behemoth in just over 45 minutes. Yes, you need to be really powerful and have tons of supplies (the Adamantoise is at level 99 and boasts well over 5 million hit points), but it can be done, and you don't need a whole long weekend to do it.

If "just under an hour" still sounds nuts to you, how many unskippable 1:20 Knights of the Round Summon animations did you sit through playing Final Fantasy VII? Probably way more than 45 minutes' worth. At least the Adamantoise keeps you on your toes.

A character named Cid is in every Final Fantasy game

The typically steampunky engineer/tinkerer Cid, in the universe of Final Fantasy, has been male, female, young, old, good, evil, and a frog. It sure feels like a character named Cid — or a Cid-like character, like Final Fantasy XV's Cindy, who was "Cidney" in Japan — has appeared in every game in the series, but there's a notable exception.

The very first Final Fantasy game for the NES is 100% Cid-free, though a character named Cid of the Lufaine was retconned into the iOS remake as — naturally — the creator of an airship. Perhaps the most Cid-like Cid that ever Cidded is in the spinoff World of Final Fantasy, where he's literally a robot with a mustache.

You can't beat Chupon in the Colosseum in Final Fantasy VI

How many Final Fantasy VI fans spent countless hours trying to take down Chupon in the Colosseum, just to be sneezed away? Sure, all that was at stake was a measly elixir, but it was the principle of the thing: that sniffling pink nightmare needed to be wiped out. Too bad it wasn't possible, right?

Not exactly. It is entirely possible to take Chupon down, provided you have a level 90-99 character, wielding the Atma Weapon with Gengi Gloves and an Offering, and he attacks you first, and your game-controlled character doesn't cast magic. So yeah, it's tricky to pull off, but it's still rewarding to see the little scab turn to pink dust.

Barret from Final Fantasy VII is the first black Final Fantasy character

While Barret from Final Fantasy VII was definitely the first black character in the series to take on a starring role in the saga — for better or for worse, considering his embarrassing ebonics and love of firearms — he wasn't actually the first black character in the series. That title goes, believe it or not, to General Leo from Final Fantasy VI.

We know what you're thinking: "General Leo looked like Macklemore — what are you even talking about?" While it's true his in-game sprite looked Caucasian due, supposedly, to palette limitations, his in-game character portrait (and his promotional art) portray him as black with a blonde mohawk. So it wasn't whitewashing, necessarily — more like white-pixelating.

Final Fantasy X was the first game in the series to feature voice acting

While the first Final Fantasy title for the Playstation 2, Final Fantasy X, is widely considered to be the first game in the series with voice acting, that isn't technically true. That title goes to Final Fantasy VII, which actually features a few snippets of uncredited voice acting, almost entirely obscured by music.

As demonstrated in the video above, if you owned the PC version of the game, you could play the FMV of the Mako Cannon firing and remove the music tracks. This allows you to more easily hear a voice on the intercom say the following: "Radar system is go. Sister Ray target confirmed. Entering discharge preparations. All workers should evacuate from the designated area." A strange choice, perhaps, but at least we didn't have to listen to any of Barrett's offensive Mr. T nonsense.

Square first developed Final Fantasy VII for the Nintendo 64

Here's a blast from the past for '90s gaming fans: Diehard GameFan magazine — remember that? — got the still-persistent myth going that there was, in fact, a Nintendo 64 Final Fantasy game in the works at some point. Writer Nick Rox wrote in October 1995 that the demo was "a game currently in development for Nintendo's Ultra 64" (the tentative title of the console) which was, for many gamers, "THE U64 game: Final Fantasy VII." It looked awesome at the time, and it gave the world a peek at what next-generation JRPGs could look like.

Too bad the whole thing was just a demo from Square, unveiled at a computer graphics convention, meant to display what a 3D Final Fantasy might someday look like — it wasn't even built with N64 hardware in mind. Diehard GameFan, however, got everyone's hopes up by not only labeling it Final Fantasy VII but also giving it a release date of December 1996. What they didn't mention was that the demo — actually called Final Fantasy VI: The Interactive CG Game — was only controllable via a mouse, and was never intended to be an N64 game at all! Looks like we should have all subscribed to Diehard GameJournalist instead.