Creepy things we found in Final Fantasy games

Ah, Final Fantasy. Right up there with The Neverending Story in the realm of the misnamed.

Despite the somewhat silly ("Ride ze shoopuf?"), trope-filled ("Oh no, we ALL have amnesia!") nature of the Final Fantasy series, these JRPGs sometimes head to some really dark places. It isn't all Chocobo racing and Blitzball tournaments; many Final Fantasy games take on heavy topics like suicide, insanity, and the nature of life itself.

Because these moments are often sprinkled throughout a campaign that is dozens of hours long, it can be tough to pinpoint exact moments spanning the massive series. That's where we come in. These are some of the creepiest things we've ever encountered in the Final Fantasy series. Some are major story points, while others might just be a horrible implication or especially terrifying enemy. Regardless, these are the things that will keep you up at night.

We're using the original, Japanese numbering; if you played Final Fantasy 3 on Super Nintendo, for example, that would be Final Fantasy 6 on this list. Beware of spoilers!

Shinra Tower's blood trail - Final Fantasy 7

Final Fantasy 7 was a revolutionary title, and one that is looked back on with absolute reverence for its storytelling, balance, and gorgeous visuals. Looking at it now, it is absolutely a PS1 game, so the remake/reimagining of FF7 is a hot ticket for a lot of gamers. Cartoony visuals and all, one scene that stands out from Final Fantasy 7 as one of the creepiest the series has ever offered happens early in the game, when you find the blood trail in Shinra Tower.

Your party awakens in holding cells. The doors — open. The guards — murdered. The floor — stained with blood. As the ominous music kicks in (fittingly titled "Trail of Blood"), your party decides to follow the streaks that lead up to the top of the tower.

It's one of the most tense scenes ever put to a Final Fantasy game, and the fact that the Shinra corporation seemed like an unstoppable force only minutes ago adds to the creepiness. What is powerful enough to do this? Just keep climbing, and you'll figure it out.

The creepy, soulless Calcabrina dolls - Final Fantasy 4

Final Fantasy has always had a good mix of goofy and terrifying enemies; just look at the differences between series staples Marlboro (a horrifying Eldritch monster that can wipe your entire party with a single attack) and Cactuar (a weird cactus thing with a penchant for running away). On the terrifying end of the spectrum, few enemies can match Final Fantasy 4's Calcabrina battle.

Those dead eyes. Those herky-jerky movements. That creepy circus music. The uncanny valley aspect of living dolls has been freaking people out for decades, and the fight against the Calca and Brina dolls brings it all together.

Even worse, if you take too long fighting the small dolls, they transform into a giant, even more terrifying doll called the Calcabrina. Take too long beating that, and the Calcabrina splits back into the smaller dolls — fully healed, of course. At that point, you'll either be killed or you'll be huddled in the corner, rocking back and forth in Calcabrina-induced horror.

Rinoa's possession - Final Fantasy 8

Final Fantasy 8 only goes full-on terrifying a few times, despite the fact that it leaned all-in on a gritty, mature storyline. One completely unsettling sequence happens when Rinoa wakes up from her coma and is possessed by the big bad. The idea is fairly standard Final Fantasy stuff, but it's the execution that makes the sequence stick in your head.

Rinoa rises from her bed and starts floating through the halls. She appears blurred out: there are multiple transparent mirror images of her floating around. Try to touch her, and she sends you flying. When she finally gets her feet down on the ground, she sways as she walks around, obviously in a total trance.

It isn't just Rinoa that creeps you out in this scene. Everything about it is creepy and atmospheric, with flashing alert sirens and trademark creepy Final Fantasy music. It feels more like something out of Alien than Final Fantasy 8. You can watch the whole sequence right here.

Celes' suicide attempt - Final Fantasy 6

Celes is a very memorable character in Final Fantasy 6; she isn't the true protagonist of the game, but she has a very satisfying character arc throughout the game's runtime. Originally a brainwashed Magitek Knight, Celes eventually joins the right side, sings some opera, and battles the evil Emperor and his villainous sidekick, Kefka. It comes to a head on the Floating Continent, when Kefka kills Emperor Gestahl and destroys the world.

Really. Halfway through the game, the world is destroyed.

When you wake up, you control Celes on an island with Cid and ... no one else. Cid is horribly ill, and your solitary goal is to nurse him back to health by catching fish and feeding him. If you fail to do an adequate job, Cid dies. Consumed with grief, Celes climbs to the top of a rocky cliff on the island and throws herself off of it.

Her suicide attempt fails, and she eventually overcomes her sadness and sets out to reunite the party and defeat Kefka. But damn! That's some haunting stuff, especially considering it isn't even mentioned by the ESRB.

Kefka is just creepy all by himself - Final Fantasy 6

If we're going to talk about creepy things in the Final Fantasy series, we can't skip Kefka Palazzo. Originally the Emperor's right-hand man, Kefka eventually seizes god-like powers and takes over the world, destroying entire continents with his "Light of Judgment" and laughing all the while.

Kefka repeatedly shows his nihilistic approach to the world; he seems unconcerned about killing everyone who disobeys him. He stabs General Leo to death, chanting, "Die Die Die!" He throws the Emperor off of the Floating Continent. He poisons the water supply of Doma Castle. Throughout all of these heinous actions, he maintains a sadistic glee. His laugh echoes throughout the game, taunting the player and their inability to stop him.

Kefka's insanity stems from Magitek experimentation, which granted him his magical powers but also shattered his psyche. Celes actually went through the same process, but it had been refined by the time she endured it, which is why she is not turned into an insane clown like Kefka.

There are plenty of memorable Final Fantasy villains, but Kefka Palazzo takes the cake as the most horrifying.

Cyan's nightmares - Final Fantasy 6

Think of your worst nightmare. Clowns? Living dolls? Scurvy? It's probably scurvy.

Probably, not too many of you jumped to "The Three Stooges." If you didn't, congratulations! You aren't Cyan from Final Fantasy 6!

After the world has been destroyed by Kefka, if you return to Doma Castle (Cyan's home) and sleep there, Cyan's dreams are invaded by the three "Dream Stooges," named Laragorn, Curlax, and Moebius — though their names were just Larry, Curly, and Moe in the original translation. These horrifying children feed on Cyan's guilt and anger, and join together to attack the party when they try to rescue their friend's fractured mind.

You'd think that's the end of Cyan's nightmares. You'd be wrong. You have to go through warped versions of several areas you've already visited in game before battling Wrexsoul, a being made entirely out of the agonized souls of people who were needlessly killed during war. Wrexsoul looks like a burning, crucified skeleton, and he hides inside members of your party — meaning you have to kill your friends in order to damage him.

Sweet dreams!

Hojo wants Aerith to have babies with Red XIII - Final Fantasy 7

Final Fantasy 7 is full of all sorts of weirdness, but this scene might be the one that takes the cake. When you invade Shinra Tower to rescue Aerith, you find that she is being experimented on by a Shinra mad scientist, Hojo. He wants to use Aerith as a research specimen, but apparently thinks the research into her Cetra-genetics will take longer than she will live. Of course, he has a great mad scientist idea to fix that.

He wants Aerith to give birth to a child that can live longer than that lifespan, so he plans on having her mate with Red XIII. You see, Red XIII's species is known for their extraordinary longevity. They are also known for looking like coyotes.

You and your friends are just trying to enjoy a little JRPG, then you have to watch as Hojo releases a coyote into Aerith's cell and encourages them to start mating. Just ... gross. It makes it very satisfying when you get to take him out later in the game.

Squall might be the creepiest character in the entire game - Final Fantasy 8

One of the greatest fan theories we've ever seen, the "Squall is dead" theory is tough to unsee once you've explored it a bit. It even has its own website; it practically has to be true!

At the end of the first disc of Final Fantasy 8, you attempt an assassination of the Sorceress Edea in the middle of a parade. Just after you defeat her, she conjures up a gigantic icicle and fires it through the protagonist, Squall. When you start the second disc, Squall wakes up from his icicle-induced coma and continues the adventure.

The theory suggests that the icicle actually kills Squall, and the remaining entirety of FF8 is a bizarre hallucination or vision that he experiences during his dying moments. If you believe this theory, some of the strange dialogue and plot choices make sense, and it helps clear up some of the oddness of the bizarre ending. There's no indication that this canonically is what happens in FF8, but there's a lot of evidence.

The whole Gusgen Mines area is creepy - Final Fantasy 11

With Final Fantasy 11 being an MMO rather than a single player story game, you might think that a lot of the story got left by the wayside to allow the players more room to breathe. For the most part, you'd be right. However, one extremely creepy area stands out in FF11, just because of the background details surrounding it: Gusgen Mines.

The mines are a dungeon you can explore, and they seem like any other place for you to level up and obtain new gear. The lore surrounding the Gusgen Mines is pretty spooky and, if you spend enough time there, you can encounter some of the worst parts of it yourself. Six miners were trapped and killed inside the Gusgen Mines, and their spirits are trapped there still. You can encounter the ghosts as you explore; they are tied to some of the pools you'll find inside.

Even worse, if you explore the Gusgen Mines at night, you'll hear the work siren go off — which the ghosts respond to. It's a small detail in a vast game, but it does help build the sense of FF11's world.

Cloud gets a "massage" - Final Fantasy 7

With odd translations and two audiences with entirely different cultures, there's always bound to be some weirdness in the Final Fantasy titles, especially the older ones. That said, there aren't a ton of tone deaf moments; it isn't often you just have to shrug at a line or character and say, "Well, it was a different time."

There are certainly some, however. And the scene before you rescue Tifa from Don Corneo in FF7 is probably the worst.

Cloud has to cross-dress to get inside Don Corneo's mansion, and a series of elaborate minigames play the joke from "mildly offensive" to "dear God, I can't believe this is still going on."

By far, the worst part is one Cloud climbs in a hot tub with a bunch of bodybuilders. They surround Cloud and offer to massage him; when he asks them to stop and tells them, "It hurts," they inform him he'll get used to it and encourage him to just count backwards from ten.

Cloud's comfort is played entirely for laughs, as he repeatedly asks to stop and is subsequently ignored. Can't wait to see how the remake handles this scene!

Anima is a creepy ... something - Final Fantasy 10

If you asked the internet, the creepiest thing in all of Final Fantasy 10 is Tidus' laugh. While that is something that might keep you up at night, nothing in the game quite compares to Anima. Anima is a summon you essentially steal away from the central antagonist, Seymour. Anima is also a massive, chained, demonic manifestation of Seymour's mother.

In FF10, summons are referred to as Aeons, which are essentially a dream brought to life. Most summons in the game are regular creatures, seemingly carefree and relatively good-natured. Not Anima. Anima is pure rage, held in place with massive chains. Her only attack is to essentially wink at the enemy, until her ultimate attack charges and she breaks her chains, pulverizing the enemy in a storm of dark magic.

When you learn more of Anima's story, you realize that Seymour locked her away to try to break the cycle of death in Spira. She joins your fight against him in order to try to stand up against her son and stop his evil. No wonder she's so pissed.