David and I were discussing the release of Final Fantasy XV and it got us thinking about the other Final Fantasy games that we have played. Now I have not played all of the Final Fantasy games, so obviously this is not going to be a comprehensive list. Also, I do have to point out that I love Final Fantasy VII and there are a lot of things that I love about that game, but I had trouble thinking of a specific moment to me versus a lot of it is the overall story and the characters that make that game so good.
You will also notice that none of these are endings because to me the ending is always so huge and this list is more about those singular moments within the story that stand out for us. Another Final Fantasy that is not on the list is Final Fantasy XIII-2 and that is another game that I fell in love with. The story is so compelling, but I cannot think of a single moment that stands out versus the overall story.
In terms of standalone moments these are my favorites in no particular order.
Opera Scene – Final Fantasy VI
The Opera Scene from Final Fantasy VI is such a game defining moment. It comes across as something so different than what we have done in games before and you get to see this whole other story play out before you. The other part is that when the game first came out all the music was 8-bit and yet they pulled off a full opera. There are a lot of moments from this game, but this definitely stands out as one of the best!
Yuna Saves Herself – Final Fantasy X
Final Fantasy X tells such an amazing story and has some beautiful cut scenes, but its biggest problem is the fact that it focuses on the wrong character, Tidus. The true hero of the story is Yuna. Thus, one of my favorite moments for the Final Fantasy franchise is when Yuna dives off of the tower from her own wedding and summons Valefor to be able to fly away. The moment is gorgeous and it is really great because her friends have shown up to save her and yet she really ends up saving herself. There really is something beautiful about this moment.
Alexander Defending the City – Final Fantasy IX
So Final Fantasy IX is usually not rated high among the Final Fantasy games, but there is one scene that really stands out. During the story the city of Alexandria ends up under attack by Bahamut. In the attack we get to find out that the main castle of the city is actually another summons called Alexander, which in most iterations is really just a fighting castle. This battle sequence just turned up the volume on this game and took me, at least, by surprise.
Palom and Porom Turn to Stone – Final Fantasy IV
There is something incredibly endearing and annoying about Palom and Porom in Final Fantasy IV. They are young wizards who are sent on the mission with Cecil to spy on him and end up joining him on the journey. During the course of the story we really fall in love with Palom and Porom. Then the game does the cruelest thing ever and puts us in a situation where the only way to save everyone is for Palom and Porom to turn to stone to stop a set of walls from closing and crushing everyone. This scene is so heartbreaking when you watch it because in so many ways they are just kids and they sacrifice themselves to save everyone. I do not care that there is a way to reverse them turning to stone later in the game this moment is still heartbreaking.
Battle of the Bridge – Final Fantasy XII
I loved Final Fantasy XII, it is the beginning of the Final Fantasy series going in a different direction with the gameplay. There is so much to love about the game, the story, and the characters. At the same time this also has one of the more memorable funny moments in the games. Part of what is great is that the scene is a great reference to Final Fantasy V “Battle of the Big Bridge”. In Final Fantasy XII you end up facing Gilgamesh on a kind of big bridge, the part that is great about this particular iteration of Gilgamesh is that after defeating him you end up celebrating around a sword stuck in the ground. As the party begins to walk away Gilgamesh sneaks back in and steals the sword. It is such a small moment, but it ends up being hilarious and very memorable.
So those are some of my favorite moments. There are so many more and probably a lot from the games that I have not played. What would you add?