Final Fantasy Timeline Theory (Research Included)

mariosmentor

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Final Fantasy. One of the most well-known RPG franchises in the world, with a Japanese fanbase that rivals that of Dragon Quest. The first thing about these games that people will talk about (aside from “play FF7 first”) is that each game is set in its own world, completely unrelated to each other. I personally believe that the general consensus is lazy and unimaginative, filled with people who can’t be bothered to observe the possibility of a much broader aspect. In this theory, I will not only present what I believe is the chronological order of the Final Fantasy series, but also provide as much evidence as I can find. If you disapprove of the very concept of this thread, there is nothing obligating you to continue reading. If you find a serious flaw in this theory, please explain your reasoning in a professional manner. This does not include the fact that it’s a theory attempting to connect the franchise as a whole. Before we get started, here are some things to point out first:

The world in general
In many early Final Fantasy games, there is an accessible overworld that allows you to circumvent the entire world. Many people would find that as evidence enough to conclude that each game is set in its own world, but guess what? IT’S NOT. Using Earth as an example, let’s take a look at how you “circumvent” the worlds of Final Fantasy. According to this mechanic, if we start at Greenland, and head North a short ways, we will end up in Antarctica. Okay, I’m taking my globe, placing my finger on Greenland’s southern tip, tracing upward……….and my finger is now touching the east side of Russia. So, how do we explain the weird magnetic pole-hopping phenomenon? Well, what if it’s not the ENTIRE world you’re travelling around? What if, and I’m only guessing here, that when some sort of extreme danger comes along, the world’s natural defenses kick up, placing a barrier over the immediate area, ensuring no-one enters/leaves? It would seem like a viable theory, especially for the world of FF7, where one could assume that Mako energy is capable of that large of a task.

Word of mouth, stories, and legends

A major plot point in any RPG is the backstory. However, for this timeline theory, we’ll need to think realistically about the stories of what happened long ago. After all, the ancient Egyptian pharaohs were portrayed as godlike beings, which they weren’t. So, here are some standards of validity that we will take into account.
1) Anything that happened within the last century occurred exactly as they are told.
2) Anything that happened at least 100 years ago must be altered slightly to accommodate years of repetition. (Example: “150 years ago, he used a machine gun.” In reality, he used a rifle.)
3) Anything that happened at least 1,000 years ago must vary greatly from how it’s told. (Example: “2,000 years ago, our kingdom was rich.” In reality, they had quite a few financial problems.)

One last thing to mention, I will section certain groups of games into “arcs,” merely for narrative purposes. And now, let’s begin the timeline theory.

Birth of an Endless Cycle
Here, we see the beginning of the series, and what begins the ultimate struggle between good and evil.

Final Fantasy II

The story is rather simple. The emperor of Palamecia declares war on the world, in hopes of claiming it as his own. A small group of rebels eventually defeat him not once, but TWICE, the second of which being after he has returned as the Lord of Hell. However, that’s not the end of the story, as while the rebels fight the emperor in Pandemonium, the palace of Hell, the souls of those who have died arrive in Arubboth, the palace of Heaven, where the find out that upon dying, the emperor’s soul split into two halves, one light, the other dark. Essentially, all the good and evil within the emperor have now become their own separate entities. The light emperor (we’ll call him Arubboth) begs for forgiveness, but was denied this luxury, ultimately defeated at the same time as the dark emperor (we’ll call him Pandemonium). But here’s the thing: they’re still alive. Be it the Lord of Heaven or Hell, that still makes you an immortal being that can’t be felled by any mortal means. “So, you’re saying they PRETENDED to die,” I hear you ask. Not exactly. While it’s impossible for any mortal man to destroy a god, weakening a god is another story entirely. When a person is injured, he/she goes through a healing process, the length of which depending on the severity of the wound. For Pandemonium and Arubboth, the same rule applies. These two celestial beings will, in time, recover, and make their presence known once more, in an endless battle against each other. Now, let me take the following words out of your mouth: “WAIT A MINUTE!!!!!! So, you’re throwing in a crazy theory of the whole series really being about a war between the gods??!They did that with Dissidia!!!!!! And the light emperor was still the bad guy!” First off, NO, HE WASN’T. Sure, when the characters met him, the spirits of their loved ones warn them that he’s tricking them, but that could easily have just been their paranoia talking. Arubboth was the emperor’s light half, the physical manifestation of all the good within him. (It wasn’t much, but still.) Tricking the souls of his victims into a fate worse than death isn’t something he would do. He was genuinely looking for forgiveness, and since no one would give him that, he’s now under the mentality that if he somehow prevents Pandemonium from destroying the world, he’ll get some sort of compensative gratitude. And so, the endless war between the emperor’s halves begins, although Arubboth won’t do much of anything for a while………

Final Fantasy IV

Don’t you DARE assume I’m using the Kain Highwind connection here. I have better evidence then THAT. According to the Final Fantasy IV Settei Shiryou Hen, the world used to be one giant landmass, much like the world of FF2. The same book states that the Deathbringer Sword came from a Dark Knight called Leonhart, the same name as the main character in FF2 who assumed the alias “Dark Knight.” Finally, in Mysidia, there is a legend of a sage named Minwu who sealed magic away, just to later unseal it. In FF2, you meet a sage named Minwu who releases the seal on Ultima, the best spell in the game. And now, we approach Pandemonium’s involvement in this game. The main villain of this game is Zemus, a Lunarian who refused to go into stasis with his brethren, causing a riot until he is eventually sealed away, where he brainwashes Golbez to do his bidding. Now, if Zemus was lashing out because he didn’t like the idea of sleeping for eons, why didn’t any other Lunarians agree with him? Why was ZEMUS the only one to turn bad? It doesn’t make sense………..Unless the Lunarians are, by nature, a benevolent species, much like the Chozo in the Metroid series, or the Toads in Super Mario. Assuming this is the case, this still doesn’t explain in full why Zemus would turn so evil on his own. It seems very likely that he was being controlled by Pandemonium, but why Zemus, and not someone else? Perhaps Zemus was the most doubtful of the decision to go into stasis. After all, the Lunarians were searching for a new home after their planet was destroyed. Imagine losing your home and finding a new place, only to be told that you’ll have to sleep for years on end. Upon Zemus’ death, another being called Zeromus shows up, claiming to be all the hatred in Zemus’ heart mashed into a physical body. Seeing how Zemus was just being Pandemonium’s puppet, it would seem like Zeromus is actually PANDEMONIUM. One bit of evidence to support thisis a small bit of text I found in the Final Fantasy Wiki: “When killed, Zeromus fades but warns he will always exist as long as there is hatred in the hearts of people.” Sounds A LOT like what Pandemonium, the Lord of Hell, would say, as he is a god with power over darkness and evil in general. And where’s Arubboth in all of this? Nowhere. One last thing to take not of before we continue is the first appearance of the Crystals. Keep an eye on them, as they’ll play a larger role later on.

Final Fantasy IV: The After Years

Seventeen years after the events of FF4, an interstellar being known only as the Creator arrives to collect the Crystals, which were apparently his creations. Deeming the people of the world “evolutionary failures,” he tries to destroy the planet, but is ultimately defeated. Given how this is a direct sequel to FF4, there’s not much to say in that regard. However, there are still some things to cover. Namely, the bosses in the final dungeon. While traversing the True Moon, you meet bosses from the first 6 games in the Final Fantasy series. There is some implication that they’re from other worlds, but it doesn’t quite add up, since we’ve just established that the events of FF4 and FF2 occur on the same world. So, how do we get by this? Well,during the ending cinematic for The After Years, Edward theorizes that the Crystals themselves were evolving, much like how people were. Assuming this is correct, it’s possible that the Crystals are not only capable of tracking history (explaining the FF2 and FF4 bosses), but can also (briefly) glimpse into the future (explaining all the other bosses). It’s a stretch, I’ll admit, but then again, no one suspected that the Legend of Zelda Timeline had THREE branches.

That's all for today, but I'll be sure to update sometime next week. Hope to see you then.
 
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TheTrainerRed

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This looks OK, but The After Years Ultimania stated that these worlds were not in the same universe despite the evidence given by the Creator. So the world in II could not possibly be the same world as IV and none of this could exist on the same timeline. The only confirmed games in the same universe is X-2 (and by extension X) and VII, but even they take place on different worlds. And Dissida is not considered canon at all in Final Fantasy arc as a whole, so using any evidence whose support is Dissida just makes it more... wrong, for a lack of a better word
 

mariosmentor

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I've looked around the internet, and I've found no evidence of an After Years Ultimania existing. Could you send me a link where you found this info? Since I've only posted a small portion of this theory, you must be under the assumption that I'm placing every single game in the same world, but I'm not. There will be instances where interstellar travel is utilized (the transition from X-2 to VII, for example). I have no intention of having Dissidia involved in this theory, aside from mentioning its name in my previous post. Now, I have a question for pretty much anyone interested with this timeline: should Mystic Quest be considered "canon," by any means? I'm well aware of the history behind this game (it's an entry-level RPG designed specifically for the American market, and eventually reached Japan), but seeing how the Crystals are a major plot point, it could be possible to fit the game into the timeline, but ONLY if you guys believe it deserves such a luxury.
 

TheTrainerRed

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I've looked around the internet, and I've found no evidence of an After Years Ultimania existing. Could you send me a link where you found this info? Since I've only posted a small portion of this theory, you must be under the assumption that I'm placing every single game in the same world, but I'm not. There will be instances where interstellar travel is utilized (the transition from X-2 to VII, for example). I have no intention of having Dissidia involved in this theory, aside from mentioning its name in my previous post. Now, I have a question for pretty much anyone interested with this timeline: should Mystic Quest be considered "canon," by any means? I'm well aware of the history behind this game (it's an entry-level RPG designed specifically for the American market, and eventually reached Japan), but seeing how the Crystals are a major plot point, it could be possible to fit the game into the timeline, but ONLY if you guys believe it deserves such a luxury.
My bad, I'm looking on my post and wondering why I thought there was one :/ But I do remember hearing somewhere that a dev said that the fights with the Nintendo Era Fiends in TAY is not canon, and since they were not in certain versions of TAY, I and most fans chalk it up to simple fanservice. That being said, I do not think you wish to connect all games, just I-VI. And why bring up Dissida if you were not going to use it?
 

Dionysos

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It’s an interesting theory worth considering, but it doesn’t add up entirely for me. I'd still like to read more and it is a nice alternative theory. We could learn a few things from considering it in this light.


The world in general
In many early Final Fantasy games, there is an accessible overworld that allows you to circumvent the entire world. Many people would find that as evidence enough to conclude that each game is set in its own world, but guess what? IT’S NOT. Using Earth as an example, let’s take a look at how you “circumvent” the worlds of Final Fantasy. According to this mechanic, if we start at Greenland, and head North a short ways, we will end up in Antarctica. Okay, I’m taking my globe, placing my finger on Greenland’s southern tip, tracing upward……….and my finger is now touching the east side of Russia. So, how do we explain the weird magnetic pole-hopping phenomenon? Well, what if it’s not the ENTIRE world you’re travelling around? What if, and I’m only guessing here, that when some sort of extreme danger comes along, the world’s natural defenses kick up, placing a barrier over the immediate area, ensuring no-one enters/leaves? It would seem like a viable theory, especially for the world of FF7, where one could assume that Mako energy is capable of that large of a task.


I find it more likely that the creators of FF simply thought about the world map idea all wrong. They designed the map and then decided that at each edge of the map you should jump to the opposite edge, and so it looks as if you are travelling around a globe. They essentially applied Pac-Man logic to an atlas. However, the mistake they made is that when you travel north or south to the poles, when you cross over the edge you end up popping up at the opposite pole. They didn’t think to apply geographical logic to it. The maps were not designed spherically.

But if we take the theory that the world throws up barriers when it is in danger, then a few issues arise. Firstly, how do we get from north to south? Do the barriers act as teleportation zones as well? Therefore if you were to fly into the north pole, the barrier transports you directly to the south, and vice versa? Secondly, do people instantly forget about anything that happened on the other side of a barrier before the barrier went up? So if we imagine, for example, that FFV’s world is actually located next-door to FFVI’s… Did the inhabitants of the FFVI section all forget about the FFV section, its history and peoples? When Kefka’s actions created the World of Ruin, why did this not affect the rest of the planet in general? Or did it, in fact?

I have played along with this idea though… I very hastily put some of our world maps together (I chose the world maps for planets in their end-state, so I picked the World of Ruin rather than World of Balance for FFVI, and the Merged World for FFV, etc). At first I put them all next to each other in a line… This looked rather weird… It would be a very wide-looking planet.

combinedworldmap.png

(I apologise that in the upload Spira was cut in half a bit...)


Secondly, I realised that not all planets have ice at the poles. Some do not have any climatic variety at all, and so I thought again about this. Perhaps these could be conceived as different, smaller, parts of a larger planet? FFX (themed very much on the Indian and the Pacific Ocean region), for example, is pretty much all set in a tropical climate, and it isn’t very big and so could perhaps be confined to a small region of a planet. So I messed around with the location of these worlds again… I came up with something like this…

combinedworldmap2.png


I had to exclude the FF Online games from this though since a full view of a world map is not revealed in full. There are descriptions of areas outside of the areas visited by the player, and those worlds are potentially very huge.

I also had to forget about FFXIII’s Gran Pulse. We barely scratch the surface of that world, and it’s difficult to find a proper ‘world map’ of it. I also had to miss out Ivalice, as that planet is also not revealed in full. We only get a partial map of part of that planet.

The above map works a bit better, but it still doesn’t work entirely. I don’t think it would work to put them all together like that, but it works better than I thought it would do.

It’s interesting that we don’t really ever get an icy South Pole. We sometimes get a North Pole, and we have continental landmasses up in the north which are covered in snow and ice… We have yet to get an icy landmass at the South Pole (to my knowledge and observation). Therefore if this theory was to be considered, they have left themselves with quite a bit of room on this huge planet for further expansion southwards. Not that every planet needs these features...

We are, however, trying to imagine an enormous planet.

Now, I do not believe that where the story is concerned it all works out. The threats in the stories tend to be on a global scale, and yet the heroes and villains are only ever focused on the small world which they are trapped in. Also we sometimes see the planets from space, and we do not see a giant world with all or some of the worlds mixed together.

If all of these planets are to be linked up into one mega-planet, then that’s a huge, huge planet to wrap our heads around.

Also, if the FF worlds are to be imagined as combined as one (or a collection of several) big planets, there should be more tying them together. They don’t seem to know about each other. Cloud’s Buster Sword pops up in FFIX, and that is likely a fan service reference, and does not make sense in the universe of FFIX. I think the references to Leonhart, Highwind and Winwu are likely on similar lines, but it is interesting to run with the idea. Sometimes the whole mythology of a particular game’s world does not fit with another game’s world though. That said, worlds do change. You’d think that there would be a more natural and organic continuation as well though.

I’ve now seen your second post which puts forward that not every world is linked, and this makes the theory easier to contemplate.

Word of mouth, stories, and legends
A major plot point in any RPG is the backstory. However, for this timeline theory, we’ll need to think realistically about the stories of what happened long ago. After all, the ancient Egyptian pharaohs were portrayed as godlike beings, which they weren’t. So, here are some standards of validity that we will take into account.
1) Anything that happened within the last century occurred exactly as they are told.
2) Anything that happened at least 100 years ago must be altered slightly to accommodate years of repetition. (Example: “150 years ago, he used a machine gun.” In reality, he used a rifle.)
3) Anything that happened at least 1,000 years ago must vary greatly from how it’s told. (Example: “2,000 years ago, our kingdom was rich.” In reality, they had quite a few financial problems.)

Now this section is interesting though as it concerns the nature of storytelling itself. How much of the games that we have played really depict the true (fictional) story of the game? How much of the narrative might be imagined as a tale sung some centuries later by a bard in some tavern, and thus embellished? How much of a story might have been reported by a terrorist or rebel organisation (i.e AVALANCHE, The Returners) in order to turn future generations against the ruling authorities and justifying their own criminal acts? These are interesting questions.

Also, with the passage of time, stories do change. They also start to pick up contemporary characteristics and themes that circulate in the current time period, and so the story can metamorphose into something quite unique. Perhaps we could imagine that as happening to some of the FF games.

I find it unlikely that we are meant to think about it like this, but I find it interesting enough pursue that idea.

I’ll look forward to reading more. This is quite a fresh approach to the series.
 

mariosmentor

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TheTrainerRed I actually thought the Nintendo era fights were REQUIRED to progress in the True Moon. Apparently, this isn't the case? I played the PSP version, and I assumed it was the same for all other versions. As for me bringing up Dissidia, you should look a little more closely at my first post. Dissidia was about a fight between the gods, similar to how my timeline theory will revolve around the emperor's light and dark halves. I guess you could say that my mentioning Dissidia was.........fanservice?@Dionysos Your idea about teleportation zones and memory erasing was EXACTLY what I had in mind. I decided against posting that info initially as I didn't want to open too many cans of worms. As for world-changing phonomena like the World of Ruin, think of it this way: one day, Europe vanishes in an instant, with no-one remembering its existence. A few years later, Europe returns, but it's a complete war zone. I like the map you made, but in my next timeline update (no sooner than Tuesday), I'll be detailing the transition to a new planet, so it's kinda flawed.
 

Prince Oberyn Martel

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I find it more likely that the creators of FF simply thought about the world map idea all wrong. They designed the map and then decided that at each edge of the map you should jump to the opposite edge, and so it looks as if you are travelling around a globe. They essentially applied Pac-Man logic to an atlas. However, the mistake they made is that when you travel north or south to the poles, when you cross over the edge you end up popping up at the opposite pole. They didn’t think to apply geographical logic to it. The maps were not designed spherically.
THE WORLD IS SQUARE! :neomon:
 

Choas kills yuna

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I've looked around the internet, and I've found no evidence of an After Years Ultimania existing. Could you send me a link where you found this info? Since I've only posted a small portion of this theory, you must be under the assumption that I'm placing every single game in the same world, but I'm not. There will be instances where interstellar travel is utilized (the transition from X-2 to VII, for example). I have no intention of having Dissidia involved in this theory, aside from mentioning its name in my previous post. Now, I have a question for pretty much anyone interested with this timeline: should Mystic Quest be considered "canon," by any means? I'm well aware of the history behind this game (it's an entry-level RPG designed specifically for the American market, and eventually reached Japan), but seeing how the Crystals are a major plot point, it could be possible to fit the game into the timeline, but ONLY if you guys believe it deserves such a luxury.
Mario the after yeARS DOES exist; I HAVE IT RIGHT NOW FOR THE PSP. IT'S ON THE SAME GAME AS FF 4 ON PSP. THE AFTER YEARS COMES WITH IT AND IS ON THE SAME DISC AS FF 4 AND YOU PLAY IT AFTER YOU BEAT FF 4.
 

mariosmentor

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Idiot, look at my first post. I have the after years on PSP as well! I said there was no ULTIMANIA for after years. An ultimania is a guidebook that has a bunch of info regarding the game's lore. Can't you even read? Rest assured people, I'm still working on the next portion of my timeline theory, it's just taking longer than usual to type out because (SPOILER ALERT) FF7 is in the upcoming update. Gotta get them facts in line, know what I'm saying?
 

C i d

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Guys, calm down. Please refrain from name-calling.

(do not reply to this post. PM me if you have any concerns)
 

C i d

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Alright, this is a second warning. Deleted the last three posts. I am going to start infracting if there's flaming again. Thank you for your cooperation.

Please do not reply to this post. PM me if you have any concerns.
 

mariosmentor

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Here's that update I promised. I should warn you, there are spoilers ahead.

Shinra’s legacy, and its repercussions

Here, we continue from where IV left off, and witness the first usage of Pandemonium’s new play tactic.

Final Fantasy X
Tidus, the star player of the Zanarkand Abes, is whisked to the world of Spira, which has been ravaged by a creature known as Sin for over 1,000 years. He later learns that he’s actually a sentient dream conjured up by the summons (oh, I’M SORRY, the FAYTH), and it’s his job to destroy Sin and its creator Yu Yevon once and for all. This, of course, would instantly wake the Fayth up, causing the poor boy to cease to exist. Worst. Week. Ever. So, he follows suit with the plan, makes up with his jerk father, and does whatever dead people do when they die. All emotional scars aside, we still have to talk about the connections between this game and FF4. There’s actually not a lot, but don’t forget the saying, “quality over quantity.” One of Kimahri’s weapons is explicitly named “Kain’s Lance,” a reference to Kain Highwind, a dragoon from FF4 who used lances in battle. (Yes, I know Kain’s Lance appears in other games, but I gotta take what I can get.) Also, an optional Fayth you can recruit is the Magus Sisters from FF4, and their Delta Attack Overdrive surrounds the opponent in crystals that look identical to the Crystals in FF4. Aside from the Shikaree Sisters in FF11, these girls do not make any more noteworthy appearances in the Final Fantasy series, and seeing how FF10-2 implies that the Fayth disappeared forever after waking up in the events of FF10, this could explain why such is the case. As for them using crystals in their Delta Attack, it’s possible that they’re the same crystals from FF4, given their resemblance, but that also brings up more questions. How did the sisters get their hands on the crystals? Why do they have them to begin with? If they disappeared after the events of FF10, did they take the crystals with them? These are questions that may never be answered. Happens all the time in real life. Now, what about Pandemonium? How does he mess things up this time? Well, this actually marks the first time he uses reincarnation as a tactic. That’s right, he transfers his soul into a mortal body. Given how he’s the Lord of Hell, he’s probably not worried about losing his immortality. Just look at Malus from Castlevania 64. He was a reincarnation of Dracula, an immortal vampire. After you kill him, he goes back to being Dracula. Different resources have different views on a god reincarnating, but one thing remains the same: when you reincarnate, you have no memory of what happened beforehand until something boosts your memory. Anyway, Pandemonium is peeved off about how mortals are defeating him all the time, so he decides to become one, and see what makes them so powerful. Who does he become? Yu Yevon. Does he regain his memory? No. Not until after he’s destroyed, in my opinion. After all, creating Sin and putting the Fayth to sleep were really meant to ultimately protect the summoners from being wiped out. Yu Yevon was only doing what he felt was right, and after dying and becoming Pandemonium again, he now begins to realize that mortals are driven by hope, by love, by the ones they care the most for. Now, he has to figure out how he can use that to his advantage………….

Final Fantasy X-2
A direct sequel to FF10, this game doesn’t need much explaining. Heck, I’m pretty sure I don’t need to bring up the Shinra reference, right?

Compilation of Final Fantasy VII
Centuries after the events of X/X-2, Shinra’s descendents manage to perfect their ancestor’s hypothesis and use Mako energy to power the metropolis known as Midgar. Sadly, power leads to corruption, and Shinra was no exception. They formed SOLDIER, an elite squad of people infused with Mako, and the Turks, a secretive group of intel troops. From their experiments comes Sephiroth, Pandemonium’s new form. Cue the events of Crisis Core, where Sephiroth begins to understand how and why he was created, and the attempt to lash out that ultimately resulted in his “death.” Another game to mention is Before Crisis, a mobile game that details what the Turks were doing during the events of Crisis Core. (Nothing much, just stopping an uber summon from destroying the world.) About a year later comes FF7. Cloud Strife and a group of anti-Shinra geeks chase after Sephiroth, who seems to have been brought back from the dead, though as it turns out, he never died to begin with. How does he celebrate his comeback? By sending a meteor to the planet, take control of the lifestream, becoming a god, and destroying everyone and everything. Wait……..….WHAT???! Whatever happened to venting at Shinra??! Apparently, sometime between Crisis Core and FFVII, Sephiroth remembered him being Pandemonium, but not why he chose to become human. So now, we have a rampaging psycopath trying his hardest to reassume his godhood, and he actually gets really close to that! The only reason he failed in the end was because he underestimated Cloud. Oh well. It happens to lots of villains. I’m sure Pandemonium will……….Sephiroth’s still alive, isn’t he? Yep. Damn. Two years later, we see Advent Children, where Sephiroth’s will manifests into three bodies bent on bringing him back. Surprisingly, they succeed. Yet Sephiroth fails again because he underestimated Cloud. Again. So………that makes 3 times Sephiroth fails to get what he wants, and 3 times being because he underestimated a blonde emo guy………Wait a minute………..The emperor from FF2 had platinum blonde hair, which, to put it bluntly, is a mix of blonde and silver. And isn’t it weird how in Crisis Core, a 16-year old kid, after being impaled by a 7’ long sword, manages to not only yank it back out, but hurl a guy taller (and possibly heavier) than him into a conveniently placed pool of lifestream, a feat that, by any measure, is physically impossible to perform???? Could it be…….Could Cloud be a reincarnation of ARUBBOTH??! Don’t sink into that thought yet, there’s still one last game to mention: Dirge of Cerberus. One year after Advent Children, Shinra’s side project, Deepground, comes to light, and Professor Hojo tries to use it to call another uber summon called Omega. Long story short, everyone is alive and happy.

That's all for now. Not sure when the next update will be. So.............Cloud is possibly Arubboth reincarnated...........How's THAT for a plot twist?
 
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mariosmentor

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Era of Man and Crystal
Here comes a rather lengthy section of this theory. As you can probably guess, this is where the Crystals get most of the spotlight.

Final Fantasy III
Noah was the name of a very powerful magus who sealed away Bahamut and Leviathan inside a floating continent. Before dying, he passed a gift onto each of his three students, Doga, Unei, and Xande. Doga was given vast knowledge of magic and the like. Unei was given power over the realm of dreams. Xande was given mortality. Unaware that his gift was the greatest of all, Xande was furious, and eventually drove himself insane, believing that regaining his immortality was the only salvation he had left. And so, he tracked down the Earth and Water Crystals, and drained their power, causing the world to flood over and freeze in time. However, all was not lost, and four heroes eventually rose and defeated Xande. Despite their successful efforts, it is revealed that Xande was being indirectly controlled by the Cloud of Darkness, who wanted nothing more than to destroy the world. After a couple tries, the heroes win again, and all is back to normal. Now, it’s pretty obvious that Cloud of Darkness is Pandemonium in disguise again, as their intentions are way too similar. I’m guessing Pandemonium got tired of reincarnating as a human after failing twice using that method, so he’s back to using someone else to do the dirty work, only without the brainwashing. Seeing how the Crystals are now holding the balance of the world as we know it, and not just evolution recorders, we can guess that Edward’s theory from The After Years was right after all. Although, is it the FF4 Crystals we’re seeing again, or the 4 Huge Materia from FF7? All we can do about the matter is speculate, unless I missed some sort of evidence, which I doubt.

Final Fantasy XI

Ah, yes. Who can forget the first Final Fantasy MMO? It was everything you could expect. Convoluted stories, an endless stream of sidequests, bosses that take 18 hours to bea-WHAAAAAAAATTTTTT?????!!! No wonder people prefer to stick with FF7. Anyways, this game is unique in the sense that there’s no name for the main character. If you bring up the whole “oh, YOU’RE the hero” B.S., I will shove it back down your throat. Says here that Miyabi Hasegawa wrote a few novels for FF11, centering around a guy named Alfred Lead, so let’s call our hero “Al” for short. And yes, I am well aware that Al and the actual hero of the game are two very different people, but this is my theory, what’re you gonna do about it? Can we begin, now? Our story starts with Al arriving in either Bastok, the industrial port, San d’Oria, the french elf kingdom, or Windurst, the wannabe Mysidia. The choice is yours. Eventually, Al discovers that the beastmen (apparently, monsters do have a society after all) are trying to revive the Shadow Lord, who started the Crystal War 20 years ago. His efforts to stop the revival fail, and he ends up having to kill the Shadow Lord himself. Turns out though, this was all a part of a master plan conjured up by the duke Kam’lanaut and his brother Eald’narche, who were in reality the 10,000 year-old Zilart princes who tried to open the “Gates of Paradise” in order to become like gods. With the Shadow Lord out of the way, nothing’s stopping them from picking up where they left off. Making his way to the floating island of Tu’Lia, Al rubs off the snooty ancients and assumes everything’s peaches-and-cream at last. NOT. Apparently, the reason the Zilarts failed the first time was because Promathia, the Twilight God, wouldn’t let them through the “Gates” or whatever, and decided that everyone should die. So, he creates the Emptiness, the manifestation of death itself. Promathia’s idea was to use the Emptiness to kill himself, so that when he died, everyone and everything would be absorbed into him when they die. I’m pretty sure that would be enough to not only bring him back, but grant him immeasurable power on top of that. Not liking this idea, Altana, the Dawn Goddess, used the Mothercrystal to keep the Emptiness at bay. Meanwhile, a kid named Selh’teus makes it a point to make sure the “Gates of Paradise” are never opened again. But, he eventually fails, and some psycho named Nag’molada manages to wake up Promathia. So, Al has to do all the dirty work again. However, in the end, it was ALTANA who dealt the final blow. Al makes it back to Earth, or Vana’diel I should say, and that’s the only thing worth saying about the main storyline. All the other expansions were just about expanding the map, and don’t really tie together well. So, the connections here are pretty easy as well. Altana is Arubboth, Promathia is Pandemonium. The Cait Siths from Wings of the Goddess were likely designed from the character of the same name from FF7. However, this doesn’t prove or disprove the theory that Cloud was Arubboth reincarnated. As for the crystals, it seems likely that Arubboth merged them together to make the Mothercrystal.

Final Fantasy XIV

Another MMO? Sheesh, Square Enix really shot themselves in the foot making MMOs. Think about what’ll happen when the servers die forever. There will be a bunch of FF fans who will never be able to play them, or experience their stories for themselves. But enough with this rant. It looks like Miyabi Hasegawa wrote books for this game as well. Let’s see……..Wait, what kind of character name is this? Ganbarundo? Gambalundo? Gamvalund? ACK!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let’s just scramble the name! Mal Gundoba, or just simply Mal. That’s what we’ll call our hero this time. So, Mal starts his journey at either Limsa Lominsa, another port, Ul’dah, a desert, or Gridania, a forest. Where’s the creativity gone? Eh, like I care. So, it turns out 20 years ago, the Garlean Empire came across the Primals, which are pretty much the summons, and were freaked out by their power. Wanting to take over Eorzea, but not wanting to deal with all the Primals there, they decided to use Meteor, not unlike the Meteor used by Sephiroth, to clear out any and all potential threats. However, Nael Van Darnus, a high-ranking psychopath in the empire, had a different idea. He thought, “why not just use the second moon, Dalamud?” He decides to go it alone, and manages to absorb Dalamud’s power, becoming almost godlike……..until Mal kills him. Despite this, Dalamud still falls, and Bahamut breaks out of it like a bird out of an egg. Mal is transported into the future, where everything’s (sorta) happy-dandy, but no one recognizes him. Bummer. After a while, Gaius Van Baelsar, Darnus’ partner in crime, reveals that the Garleans have a weapon specifically for absorbing the Primals’ power: Ultima Weapon. Mal break’s through Gaius’ barriers, and faces him in a final battle, but it turns out that Lahabrea, one of many supernatural beings known as the Ascians, was using Gaius the whole time in an effort to revive the evil god Zodiark. Using the power of Hydaelyn, a.k.a. the Mothercrystal, Mal defeats Lahabrea and escapes, leaving Gaius to rot in a fire. Afterwards, everyone’s memories of Mal return. Unfortunately, it turns out that Ascians aren’t so easily killed, and they begin summoning Primals left and right. A method to permanently kill an Ascian is found, but that’s where the story cuts off. So, let’s get to the connections. Eorzea, the setting of FF14, was created by twelve gods and goddesses who left after the place became inhabited by mortals. The races in FF14 look A LOT like the races from FF11, and most of them aren’t even from Eorzea to begin with. There also seems to be a legend of a black mage named Shatotto. Funny, seeing how in FF11, there’s a black mage named Shantotto. According to legend, Shatotto created the Stardust Rod. When you find it, you earn an achievement that’s called, you guessed it, "Ohohohohoho!" Finally, the Chocobos in FF11 and FF14 look almost identical to each other. The same could be said for quite a few monsters. Coincidence? I THINK NOT. The Twelve could easily have been offshoots of Arubboth, with Arubboth himself reforming the Mothercrystal and using it as a proxy between him and the mortal world. Using this assumption, a similar thing could be said for Zodiark. Now, we have to cover the Crystal Tower lore. Apparently, Dalamud was created by the Allagan Empire that was founded by Xande. Whoa, hold on. XANDE?! Hrmm……….From what I can gather, Allag was pretty advanced for its time, so when the reigning emperor Amon took the throne, he was able to revive Xande, who went crazy, struck a deal with the Cloud of Darkness, and sealed Bahamut in Dalamud. So, let’s see………In FF3, the most advanced civilization was Saronia, though it’s implied that the place was around for a while. It’s possible that when Xande was Noah’s student, he unknowingly stirred up a cult following that grew into a kingdom, evolved into an Empire, and migrated to Eorzea. Again, quite a stretch, but the best I got. The Cloud of Darkness we can guess is Pandemonium again, or maybe an offshoot of him. That should cover everything so far, right?

Final Fantasy IX

I actually don’t know that much about FF9, but let’s see if I can pull this off. Zidane and Kuja are robots(?) created by another robot named Garland. Kuja rebels, and tries to gain eternal life by………..using the crystal’s power? And elemental fiends? Either way, Kuja dies, and a death god named Necron shows up, and decides to finish what Kuja started. When Necron is defeated, he decides, “meh, you aren’t worth killing” and takes off. The FF9 Ultimania states that Necron was summoned by Kuja’s rage. Seeing this bit of info, it seems that Pandemonium wasn’t planning on doing anything this time around, but after seeing what Kuja was doing, decided to see if now was a good time to try and destroy the world. After seeing that he was wrong, he leaves, knowing when he’s beat. Wow. Maybe whatever happens in FF14 feeds the evil god a slice of humble pie. Another thing to note is that once again, there’s only one crystal keeping the world in balance. Nice to know that the Mothercrystal is still around. Let’s move on to some more connections. In FF11, Raogrimm’s girlfriend was murdered by accident when some guy got jealous. The FF9 play “I Want to Be Your Canary” has a lot of similarities to that event, almost as if Raogrimm’s story was the play’s source material. In Treno’s auction house, you can find Doga’s Artifact and Une’s Mirror, both of which having engravings that quote directly from Doga and Unei from FF3. Finally, a treasure hunter in FF9 eventually tells you that his name is Gilgamesh. Keep an eye on him, as he’ll make more appearances later.

I'll post the next part as soon as I can.
 

Casius Magnus

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Ah Mario. Hello again. It is I, your arch nemesis OutlawTorn.


We've been through this brother. Each Final Fantasy takes place within it's own unique world, taking sequels into consideration, obviously. X-2 was pretty much the first time they did this.


Dissidia slam dunks this bro. Beyond that, this is a franchise built on the premise that each title is a new world, new characters, new storyline. That's why landscapes, magic systems, and summon systems change, as well as the appearance of the summon in each game.


Your theory is fun to tease that irrational corner of your imagination, but it's flimsy at best.


Welcome to the community bro.
 

mariosmentor

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Outlaw! Your words have no power over me anymore! I refuse to accept your close-minded statements! Now, begone with ye! (Or at least keep your anti-timeline opinions to yourself.)
 

Casius Magnus

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Outlaw! Your words have no power over me anymore! I refuse to accept your close-minded statements! Now, begone with ye! (Or at least keep your anti-timeline opinions to yourself.


Then I'm proud of you. And you don't have to accept anything from me, it's Squaresoft's opinions you have to come to terms with.
 

mariosmentor

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Era of Man and Crystal (Part Two)
Told ya I'd get this next part posted.

Crystal Chronicles Series

Crystal Chronicles always stood out to me more than other Final Fantasy spinoffs. I don’t know why, it just does. The series as a whole revolves around the Great Crystal that shattered into a bunch of pieces long ago. Each piece was still important to the world as a whole, however, so civilizations were built around them. So, it looks like the Mothercrystal was shattered again. We’ll talk about that later, though. One villain that really stood out to me was Larkeicus, a scientist who was using the crystals’ power to live forever. He even had plans for world domination. Sounds a lot like a reincarnated Pandemonium to me, but it could’ve been anyone. Later, a poison gas called Miasma arrives, forcing the crystals into life support. The Miasma apparently came from the Meteor Parasite, which also spawned two creatures called Mio and Raem. Both creatures fed off memories, but Raem’s favorite was bad memories. Knowing that his meals would be jeopardized if the Miasma was eradicated, Raem fuses with Mio and goes all out. When this plan fails, Mio and Raem unfuse and, according to Mio, begin resting for a while. Clearly, Mio and Raem are proxies of Arubboth and Pandemonium, respectively. I’m pretty sure that I’ve covered all the things worth noting for this timeline, except for one: why is the Mothercrystal now in pieces, and why are said pieces now all over the place, unlike in FF9, where you had to go all the way to the Crystal World? Something tells me that Arubboth is the one responsible for this, wanting the Mothercrystal to protect the people of the world, and not just the world itself. But, as more pieces of the Mothercrystal shatter, the more one questions if this choice was a good idea or not. Time to see what happens next.

Final Fantasy V

Long ago, Enuo took control of the Void and tried to use it to rule the world. However, he was defeated and the Crystals split themselves in half, creating two parallel worlds, and forever sealing off the rift. In the present day, a demon named Exdeath possessed a tree, and shattered both halves of the Crystals in order to merge the worlds. This gave him total control over the Void, and he begins to destroy everything. But then, the good guys kill him, everyone’s happy, the end. The first thing I notice is that now there are only four crystals left. Seems like they’ve come full circle. Now, one could guess that Enuo and Exdeath are just more of Pandemonium’s disguises, but here’s the thing: Enuo appears as a bonus boss in the GBA and mobile versions of FF5. There’s no way he and Exdeath could be one and the same. Exdeath, on the other hand, matches almost perfectly with Pandemonium. It’s possible that Enuo inspired Pandemonium to use the Void as a way to destroy the world, but he’s gonna need some sort of body. Why not a tree? It’s a living being much like humans, after all. Finally, we should note that this is where Gilgamesh ends up stuck in the Void. Looks like we have a recurring character on our hands.

Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals

Two hundred years later, Ra Devil comes along, and uses the Crystals to transform into a god named Deathgyunos. Luckily, he is soon defeated by the soul of Mid Previa and a ragtag group of teenagers. Since this is a sequel to FF5, we don’t really need to draw connections. What’s surprising, though, is how Ra Devil went to such lengths to become a god. My guess is that messing around with the Void caused Pandemonium to lose his immortality, leaving him no choice but to use the Crystals to become a god again. I’m pretty sure he won’t be using the Void again anytime soon.

Final Fantasy

This is it. The first Final Fantasy. The four Warriors of Light begin their journey………..by saving the princess from a rogue knight named Garland. Big whoop. They travel the world, slaying the Elemental Fiends, and restoring light to the Crystals. After fixing the final Crystal, the heroes travel back in time. They traverse the dark halls, defeat the Elemental Fiends once again, and enter the final door to find………………..GARLAND??! By creating a 2,000 year time loop, Garland becomes the immortal being Chaos, and the ultimate battle ensues, with the Warriors of Light prevailing. So, we have the four Crystals from FF5 again, looking as fine as ever. It seems like Garland was Pandemonium reincarnated, but using time to rule the world? That’s a first. The Elemental Fiends here could be the same ones from FF9, but that would be a major stretch. Although, it is odd that they would choose Garland, the reincarnation of the Lord of Hell, to create a time loop that anyone could have made. Perhaps Pandemonium planned ahead this time? And he came close to succeeding, to boot. Good thing something always happens to stop him. Seriously, the only times he comes close to succeeding is whenever he becomes a mortal, and every time he becomes a mortal, he strives to become a god. And isn’t it weird how, as Deathgyunos, he managed to survive a laser blast from the Crystals? Unless he didn’t. Unless Pandemonium really did die from that blast, turning his soul into that of a mortal, and the Elemental Fiends were in charge of restoring the god’s divinity as soon as he reincarnated. It’s implied that Garland became his old self again after the time loop was severed, but then again, the Warriors of Light still remember the time loop afterwards, despite it supposing to have never existed. This whole thing wasn’t about ruling the world, it was about turning Garland’s soul into that of a god. It was about Pandemonium’s return to godhood!

That's all for now, but I'll be back with the next part soon.
 
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mariosmentor

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The Final Wars
Despite the name, this isn’t the last update to the theory. It’s the second-to-last.

Ivalice Alliance
When I was researching these games, I found a good number of forum members who say that Square Enix officially stated that Ivalice’s timeline is as follows:

FF12
FF12: RevenantWings
Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift
Final Fantasy Tactics
Vagrant Story (Not everyone includes this game, but those who do place it here.)
Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

However, not only have I found no such statement existing, the timeline itself is flawed. Tactics Advance features a kid named Mewt Randell, who uses a book called a Grimoire to create an illusionary world. In the end of Tactics Advance 2, you meet Mewt again, now an adult, who gives you the very same Grimoire that he used so long ago. This makes it impossible to place Tactics Advance after Tactics, because the last time I checked, human beings grow older, not younger. Also, Vagrant Story’s being canon is debatable, as Yasumi Matsuno, the game’s director, has said multiple times that Square Enix retconned the game into FF12’s canon. Square Enix themselves have never been clear whether Vagrant Story is canonical or not. We must also consider that Vaan, the main character of FF12, appears in Revenant Wings as the main character again, and Tactics Advance 2 as a somewhat minor character, finally the Sky Pirate he’s always wanted to be. Given this bit of evidence, I believe that the Ivalice timeline is more like this:

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
FF12
FF12: Revenant Wings
Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift
Final Fantasy Tactics
Vagrant Story (debatable canon)

And now, we move to Pandemonium’s involvement. At first, I thought that FF12 had absolutely nov illains that had motives similar to what Pandemonium would’ve wanted, but then again, I only played the first couple of hours of the game. Then I learned about the Occuria. These things must surely be offshoots of Pandemonium. Why else would they want to boss everyone around? But then I learned of Venat, who is apparently a rogue among the Occuria. But, if Venat wants people to live free of gods, why does the Final Fantasy Wiki list him as an antagonist? Meh, maybe it’s a ploy to rule the world himself. I don’t know. In the end, the final boss was a selfish prince horribly mutated, right? In the end, I guess Pandemonium didn’t do that much. Maybe he’s still recovering from the whole god-to-mortal-to-god fiasco? One last thing to note, there are five Espers in FF12 that directly reference the final bosses of the first five Final Fantasy games. Could they, perhaps, be sentient memories? Or just easter eggs? You decide! Oh, and look! Gilgamesh is back!

Final Fantasy VIII
Here’s another game that I don’t know much about, but here goes: Squall Leonhart is a Goth wannabe who trains to be a SeeD, which is………some sort of robo-military cop? His “girlfriend” Rinoa is a witch of some sort. Then, the world’s in danger because of a time-travelling witch from the future named Ultimecia. Ultimecia heard that she would be done in by a “Legendary SeeD,” so she decided to compress time ‘til there’s nothing left, and become a goddess. Good guy kill bad guy, roll credits. This game, apparently, has a lot of references to FF3, ranging from a legend to the hands on a clock. Honestly, since these references feel more distanced from other references in the series, it makes me feel that if FF3 really does come before FF8, there would be quite a bit of stuff happening in-between. Like a war named after the crystals, a dragon bursting out of the moon, a robotic thief squaring off against a death god, a demon-possessed tree absorbing the Void, and the misadventures of a kid who calls himself a “Sky Pirate.” I personally don’t believe that Ultimecia and Pandemonium are one and the same. At all. If Ultimecia was the ONLY witch in existence, then maybe. I think, instead of Pandemonium doing all the hard work, his plan was to have Ultimecia do it for him, and kill her after her work was done. It would also explain how she knew about the “Legendary Seed” business that scared her so much. Only problem is, a SeeD did, in fact, kill her in the end. Looks like irony’s a ##### after all.

Final Fantasy VI
Here it is, the final mainline Final Fantasy game to be developed for a Nintendo console. And there could’ve been more Final Fantasies for the Big N had they gone for CD when Sony did, in my opinion. But enough Console Wars discussions, let’s get started with this game. So we start with our main character having amnesia (Really? They had to copy Galuf?), but is cured later on. We meet a thief (sorry, I meant treasure hunter), a gambler, a wild child, a couple of knights, a king, the king’s brother, and a mage and his granddaughter. Oh, and a ninja. And his dog. I’m sure a meme would fit here, but I got nothin’. So, the overly massive party stands against the Magitek-wielding empire…….and watches as the royal jester kills the emperor and becomes a god. And then they wait about a year before doing anything else. Essentially the first half is rounding up everybody, and the second half is rounding everybody up again. You’d think that would feel formulaic, but I dunno………….In the end, everyone dies. Why I say that? Well, here’s some lore: there was a war 1,000 years ago. After the war, magic disappeared. The clown’s antics brought magic back, but now that he’s dead, magic’s going bye-bye again. This would essentially place the world in same situation as the Shinra incident, except for one thing: when Shinra was pumping energy, there was magic, and a lot of it. I mean, look at Holy and Meteor. Here, there’s none. This leads me to believe that Arubboth reincarnated as Kefka, in hopes of trying to save the world from this fate. You heard me right; I said Arubboth, not Pandemonium. The world being destroyed, magic running rampant, there really wasn’t any chance for humanity to do what Shinra did. Not as long as Kefka was around. Arubboth might’ve thought that he was saving the world, but in reality, he was causing the disaster he wanted to prevent. When Kefka underwent those Magitek experiments, he likely remembered who he was, and that he needed to absorb the Warring Triad’s power in order to become a god again, and keep the mortals in check. However, when Kefka revealed his plan, Gestahl knew that the world be destroyed as a result, and tried to stop him. If Kefka never would’ve been around, Gestahl would’ve been sure not to disturb the Warring Triad enough to destroy everything. Arubboth’s meddling not only caused the world to become weaker, but would also force mankind to find new ways to live, including drawing energy from the world. Where was Pandemonium during all of this? On his throne, watching as his arch nemesis destroys the world he loved oh-so-much, not knowing just how misguided his actions really were. Was there popcorn involved? Beats me. The world is doomed, and it’s all Arubboth’s fault. So much for that forgiveness, am I right?

That's all for now, but the final part of this timeline theory is coming soon. However, one thing still bugs me: how does the Warring Triad fit into all of this? Could they be like The Twelve, where they only created the area FF6 takes place in? Or, could they just be glorified support stones taking someone else's credit? Or maybe...........They really did create the entire world, and that makes them OLDER THAN ARUBBOTH AND PANDEMONIUM?????!!!!!!!!!.....................Yeah, I like that theory too. Let's stick with that.
 
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