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The Five Most Underrated Final Fantasy Characters Ever

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Rydia

In preparation for my upcoming review of Final Fantasy XIII-2, I decided to do a few articles based on the Final Fantasy franchise. As I’ve said before, I’m a huge fan of the series. I still have fond memories of playing through the games during my years in high school. Granted, I played so much I missed out on having a social life, but how many of those so-called popular kids can say they beat Emerald Weapon in Final Fantasy VII? That’s right! No one!

There have been many characters to grace this franchise over the years. Most of them have been mentioned in top fives just like this. Guys like Cloud, Sephiroth, Kefka, Kuja, Kain, Locke, and more are mentioned over and over. However, this one is dedicated to five in particular. These five I’ve never seen in any sort of “top five/six/etc.” concerning Final Fantasy, not even the negative ones. It’s a shame because they did contribute to their game in some way but have never gotten the credit they deserve.

Until now, that is.

5. Lulu – Final Fantasy X

Lulu was a big part of the story in FFX. She had an interesting twist on the whole “Black Magician” class, as she was a pretty interesting Goth character. As proficient as she was with magic, she was better known  for two things. For one, she is the first (and only) Final Fantasy character to specialize with teddy bears. No seriously — her melee attack was to have her teddy bear spring to life and punch the enemy. As sad as that sounds, it’s also just as hysterical to see her do 9999 points of damage to a behemoth with it (yes, I leveled that much). Second, she has the biggest rack in the history of the franchise, and also had the best victory pose ever (because it showed off her…um…never mind).

So sounds like she gets credit just fine, however I’m here to tell you this isn’t case. The reason is the character below:

That’s right — Rikku. This entry I’ll admit is to my own personal bias, but I’ve always considered Lulu to be the hottest of the FFX cast. Maybe it’s because I’m a boobs guy, I don’t know. But the fact is she isn’t, that title goes to Rikku, and I don’t understand why.

What began as a hypothetical conversation between some friends (and noticing the trends on the webs), has become a very long lasting pet peeve of mine for several years now. People can write to me as much as they want about her looks, personality, or what have you. My response will be the same every time: “She’s underage, you’d go to jail.”

Many forget that Rikku is fifteen at the time of FFX. Eww. Lulu should be considered the most attractive, but isn’t thanks to jailbait up there. There is no justice, I tell you.

4. Rydia – Final Fantasy IV

Final Fantasy IV was the first game to make me really take notice of the Final Fantasy franchise, and it’s considered by many to be the best Final Fantasy game period. It has a powerful story, memorable characters, and great gameplay. There were many great characters, but every FF fan owes a very special thank you to the Green Summoner, Rydia.

Simply put, if it weren’t for Rydia then summoning wouldn’t be as big as it is in Final Fantasy. People can write in saying how there was summoning in FFIII but it wasn’t until Rydia that summoning became a focus. This entry was the first time that the characters excelled in one specific job class, instead of having their pick. All characters did wonders for their class (Dragoons are still my favorite thanks to Kain) but Rydia gave the job some depth.

Summons were available in FFIII, but they were an optional class. You could beat it several times over and never do anything with the Summoning class. This was not the case with FFIV, as you were placed right into the role of Rydia, the last of the village of Mist. You literally watched this character start as a child being forced to travel with the same guys who inadvertently wiped out her village and grow into a powerful force of magic. Just as importantly, she introduces to Summons to the general public. Not only that, we later get to go to the dimension where the Summons come from. Wait a second — you’re telling me these creatures have personalities? Thats incredible!

Keep in mind here in the US, FFIV was our FFII. So for North America this was our first introduction to summons. Summons got a lot of fame after that. Characters like Bahamut, Shiva, Ifrit, Carbuncle, Alexander, Odin, and more owe a debt of thanks to Rydia, the FF character who made summoning cool.

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Comments (3)

  • Tyler Lee

    Great list. Glad someone from Tactics made the list. Love that game.

  • Amuro

    I think it was either Bash or Balthier that was going to be the main character but then the director had a nervous breakdown because of the pressure and then Square assigned a new director halfway through development and changed the main character to Vaan just because he was young. By changing the main characters many other aspects of the game had t be reworked too and then we ended up with this lame ass mess that plays like an MMO with a story centered on politics that is more boring and convoluted than the first Star Wars film.

  • SnakElegy

    Pretty cool list. Besides Lulu and Lightning, I agree with a lot of it. Especially Delita! The man was heaven sent and many people will never know how great of a character he was. I’ll admit, I actually liked Vaan (yeah I know, burn the heretic) but there was a lot more than what was on the surface. I wont go into detail, but I’ll just say he has rightfully made his place in my top 50 FF characters. Now that said, Balthier is a man of legend. Not only does he have great development, backstory and personality, but he’s also the driving force from his appearance til the very end. I hated Tidus and his daddy issue’s and swore that I would hate any other characters that would dare suffer the same issue. However that all changed when Balthier came around. His relationship with Cid was just plain excellent! The man could do no wrong imo.

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