SPOILERS Most Profound FF Death

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I... feel like this goes without saying, but the following thread will contain spoilers. So yeah.



There's been quite a few tragic deaths in the Final Fantasy series that have been very profound. I'm sure the for many of us the first death that came to mind was Final Fantasy VII's Aeris/Aerith for example! But perhaps there is another character that is worth including, such as Final Fantasy IX's Queen Brahne or even Final Fantasy XV's Lunafreya that is worth mentioning for whatever reason personal to you.

So, which Final Fantasy character(s) death was most profound to you? Was there any that really moved you or tugged at your heart strings? Any that perhaps made you even cry? Maybe not necessarily any that you could relate to, but felt genuinely moved by or felt that portrayed a realistic act of selflessness? Which death(s) moved you the most?
 

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I think of Final Fantasy IV's Tellah. Man travels with the party who gives his life to attack the man who is indirectly responsible for his daughter's death.
 

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This is a great thread!

It's going to sound obvious, but Aerith's death in Final Fantasy VII is difficult to beat from a narrative and cinematic perspective. Despite her funeral appearing on the game case (in the PAL version at least...), it still came as a shock to many people. Or at least the fact that it happened in Disc 1 was unexpected. The deafening silence followed by the perfect use of her theme tune just as her white materia was displaced from her hair and bounced off the crystal steps of the water altar. Even though Aerith was never my favourite character, it certainly did tug at my heart. The lamentations of the party members afterwards also hit hard. The perseverance of her memory is also very powerful. She continues to impact the story long after her death.

Having said that, many other deaths in the franchise have also been heavy hitting.

The strongly implied off-screen death of Vivi in FFIX, for example. That character is the very embodiment of existence, living, and finding a purpose. It makes the ending rather bittersweet.

Lower key, I also find Galuf's death in FFV to be rather sad. The characters frantically try to use Phoenix Downs on him but none of them are working because he is that dead. People often criticise Final Fantasy for the apparent plot-hole of the characters not using any of their Phoenix Downs on dead characters, but this scene sort of explains that it doesn't work when you are dead-dead. It is, therefore, quite a significant one.
 

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Lower key, I also find Galuf's death in FFV to be rather sad. The characters frantically try to use Phoenix Downs on him but none of them are working because he is that dead. People often criticise Final Fantasy for the apparent plot-hole of the characters not using any of their Phoenix Downs on dead characters, but this scene sort of explains that it doesn't work when you are dead-dead. It is, therefore, quite a significant one.
[/ispoiler]

This was probably the one I was going to go with myself!

I think the dynamic between Galuf & his granddaughter Krile is very touching & believable. It's a sacrifice that people would really make if ever in a position. I would have much rather continued on with Galuf in my party but there was something special about playing with his abilities transferred to Krile! But yeah, very sad, yet bitterly sweet.

Also, I think Raine's death (FF8) is pretty sad!

Mostly because she ends up having Laguna's baby & just waits for him to return, yet passes away before she can ever see him again. I can't imagine how hard it would be to be pregnant, not have your spouse there with you during this time & then worry over Ellone being lost to the Sorceress the entire time. She presumably dies because of something with the pregnancy, so who knows how much she was actually suffering during this time. It's just kinda sad & tragic. I still don't understand why she didn't try and send some kind of word to Laguna during this time unless it was because she didn't want him to return to her and abandon the search for Ellone. 😬
 

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I... feel like this goes without saying, but the following thread will contain spoilers. So yeah.



There's been quite a few tragic deaths in the Final Fantasy series that have been very profound. I'm sure the for many of us the first death that came to mind was Final Fantasy VII's Aeris/Aerith for example! But perhaps there is another character that is worth including, such as Final Fantasy IX's Queen Brahne or even Final Fantasy XV's Lunafreya that is worth mentioning for whatever reason personal to you.

So, which Final Fantasy character(s) death was most profound to you? Was there any that really moved you or tugged at your heart strings? Any that perhaps made you even cry? Maybe not necessarily any that you could relate to, but felt genuinely moved by or felt that portrayed a realistic act of selflessness? Which death(s) moved you the most?
i still feel Lunafreya's death was just there to mimic Aerith's death. It did not feel profound at all to me. I almost predicted it. Unfortunately, it doesn't. Personally, Zack Fair's death is more impactful. A character who had everything to live and continue living, but was cut short and in the end had cloud be his living legacy instead.
 

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This was probably the one I was going to go with myself!

I think the dynamic between Galuf & his granddaughter Krile is very touching & believable. It's a sacrifice that people would really make if ever in a position. I would have much rather continued on with Galuf in my party but there was something special about playing with his abilities transferred to Krile! But yeah, very sad, yet bitterly sweet.

Agreed! Having the power transfer into Krile was very satisfying. It was sad that Galuf died, but some of his memories (battle experiences, etc) live on within his granddaughter. It works from both a gameplay and narrative perspective.

I think it comes full circle. The player first sees Krile when Siren in the Ship Graveyard showed Galuf a phantom image of Krile in an attempt to lure him in. The trap doesn't work because Galuf has amnesia and does not recognise her. With his memories later restored, and his reunion with his real granddaughter accomplished, it is quite fitting that his combat memories and skills should then transfer into Krile.

Also, I think Raine's death (FF8) is pretty sad!

Mostly because she ends up having Laguna's baby & just waits for him to return, yet passes away before she can ever see him again. I can't imagine how hard it would be to be pregnant, not have your spouse there with you during this time & then worry over Ellone being lost to the Sorceress the entire time. She presumably dies because of something with the pregnancy, so who knows how much she was actually suffering during this time. It's just kinda sad & tragic. I still don't understand why she didn't try and send some kind of word to Laguna during this time unless it was because she didn't want him to return to her and abandon the search for Ellone. 😬
Yeah this is really, really sad. A very understated death which the game doesn’t dwell too much on, but it is one which hits hard when you take the time to contemplate it properly. :sad2:

i still feel Lunafreya's death was just there to mimic Aerith's death. It did not feel profound at all to me. I almost predicted it. Unfortunately, it doesn't. Personally, Zack Fair's death is more impactful. A character who had everything to live and continue living, but was cut short and in the end had cloud be his living legacy instead.

I think the major problem with Lunafreya’s death is that many people felt it wasn’t really earned from a narrative standpoint. The player simply did not have time to really experience being in the presence of Lunafreya throughout the entire base game. The player heard about her, saw her in a few scenes (some of them post-mortem flashbacks), but ultimately did not get to know her very well. The cancelled DLC hasn't helped. People who have seen Kingsglaive will know her better than people who only played the game, but even considering this her absence throughout the game means that she’ll not really be at the front of many people’s minds for most of it, in spite of her pivotal role behind the scenes. I myself liked her, but I felt I had to imagine her journey instead of witnessing it for myself.

But the death itself? I think there was a lot of interesting symbolism. The death itself acted like an Assassin’s Creed death in the way that we were almost transported into a trippy realm, almost a separate dreamlike dimension where we could witness a last conversation without worrying about time.

The prominence of the sylleblossom flowers during this exchange (with one of them even transforming into the Ring of the Lucii) followed immediately by the drowning of Lunafreya is fascinating. To me it encourages a comparison with Ophelia in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Ophelia is Hamlet’s love interest (had things gone well they were to be married) and Ophelia grieves at what she sees as Hamlet’s madness. When Ophelia is last seen alive she is handing out flowers and is explaining the meaning behind various flowers. Shortly after this she drowns (some speculate suicide).

Lunafreya is also powerfully associated with flowers (the sylleblossom appear frequently in scenes with her), and her self-sacrifice of sorts could be viewed as a suicide even though it was by a combination of Ardyn’s hand (a ‘mad royal’) and Leviathan’s tsunami (her watery grave - which she had summoned upon herself).

We may not read too much into that, however earlier versions of the plot and the early Versus XIII trailers did quote Shakespeare (it actually quoted Hamlet, no less). Things changed a lot during the game's development, but it isn't exactly miles away from the intentions of Final Fantasy XV
 

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Agreed! Having the power transfer into Krile was very satisfying. It was sad that Galuf died, but some of his memories (battle experiences, etc) live on within his granddaughter. It works from both a gameplay and narrative perspective.

I think it comes full circle. The player first sees Krile when Siren in the Ship Graveyard showed Galuf a phantom image of Krile in an attempt to lure him in. The trap doesn't work because Galuf has amnesia and does not recognise her. With his memories later restored, and his reunion with his real granddaughter accomplished, it is quite fitting that his combat memories and skills should then transfer into Krile.


Yeah this is really, really sad. A very understated death which the game doesn’t dwell too much on, but it is one which hits hard when you take the time to contemplate it properly. :sad2:



I think the major problem with Lunafreya’s death is that many people felt it wasn’t really earned from a narrative standpoint. The player simply did not have time to really experience being in the presence of Lunafreya throughout the entire base game. The player heard about her, saw her in a few scenes (some of them post-mortem flashbacks), but ultimately did not get to know her very well. The cancelled DLC hasn't helped. People who have seen Kingsglaive will know her better than people who only played the game, but even considering this her absence throughout the game means that she’ll not really be at the front of many people’s minds for most of it, in spite of her pivotal role behind the scenes. I myself liked her, but I felt I had to imagine her journey instead of witnessing it for myself.

But the death itself? I think there was a lot of interesting symbolism. The death itself acted like an Assassin’s Creed death in the way that we were almost transported into a trippy realm, almost a separate dreamlike dimension where we could witness a last conversation without worrying about time.

The prominence of the sylleblossom flowers during this exchange (with one of them even transforming into the Ring of the Lucii) followed immediately by the drowning of Lunafreya is fascinating. To me it encourages a comparison with Ophelia in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Ophelia is Hamlet’s love interest (had things gone well they were to be married) and Ophelia grieves at what she sees as Hamlet’s madness. When Ophelia is last seen alive she is handing out flowers and is explaining the meaning behind various flowers. Shortly after this she drowns (some speculate suicide).

Lunafreya is also powerfully associated with flowers (the sylleblossom appear frequently in scenes with her), and her self-sacrifice of sorts could be viewed as a suicide even though it was by a combination of Ardyn’s hand (a ‘mad royal’) and Leviathan’s tsunami (her watery grave - which she had summoned upon herself).

We may not read too much into that, however earlier versions of the plot and the early Versus XIII trailers did quote Shakespeare (it actually quoted Hamlet, no less). Things changed a lot during the game's development, but it isn't exactly miles away from the intentions of Final Fantasy XV
I can understand the idea, but unfortunately, FF15 aims to be more basic than a hamlet. and I would've loved to see more hamlet references and Shakespeare, but it just was cut too short and made more mainstream. and it's harder for me to see what was intended from the beginning vs what was revised or watered down.

But even trying to see the hamlet references, it just feels very surface. heck, even FFX's could be a form of hamlet.
 

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Ok first bear with me as this may sound a bit of a reach here. Also this is taking some things for granted in the long run. But I am going to say Julia from FF8 as in the long run it affects so much. Now one of the things it takes for granted is Laguna leaving(since if he doesn't this also changes the entire game) as part of his orders from the military a lot of the plot also focuses in this. This largely plays into the fact that when he is in Windhill and he hears about Raine finding someone else he pretty much says good for her, in this sense he has now given up on her and all attempts to go back to her, whether he has started to fall for Raine at this point is left to player discretion(largely due to what he hears with Kiros when going to deliver the report). Raine even mentions that Julia was given comfort from her depression by a general since her love went off to war and never returned, this happens also once Laguna learns she finally be came a singer and dedicated her first song to him(though he doesn't say anything on this, and refer back to her getting comfort when she learned he was gone.) Now think on it since neither Squall or Rinoa were born at this point he could have attempted to go back and possibly rekindled his relationship but he didn't. As we learn some unidentified time later Esthar invades and then kidnaps Ellone thus sending him off on his quest to find her in Esthar, also prior to thus he marries Raine and she is pregnant with Squall. Likewise same with Julia being pregnant with Rinoa. Now we fast forward the plot some to when Julia dies in the car crash this sets events into motion to Rinoa being estranged from her father, her joining the resistance to declare independence and ultimately as story progresses becoming a Sorceress herself. If Julia would never have died the events in the game as we know it would have never unfolded the way as we know it, this is why her death and all these events are so crucially linked. Last thing to note is that her death happens off screen while having so much impact the what the game is and we don't even see it, it could have easily been as brief as the CS we get with Brahne and Bahamut and then see after math of various characters making reference to it, but we don't even get that.



Now that's not saying other FF character deaths didn't have a large impact like for example Aerith from ff7 or Queen Brahne from ff9, but what makes the most difference is that they were scripted in to make us want to care what was happening. The plot of their respective game didn't even hinge on their deaths as the respective villains roles and motives were already in place and unfolding. Sephiroth already had the black materia, Kuja was well under way to going back to Terra so he could do his things. Either of those two characters living would have changed nothing to the end plot. When Aerith died she already made the prayer but it was Sephiroth's evil blocking it from taking effect so they still had to go to the crater to kill him. While the likes of Kuja being responsible for Brahne's death was a result of her own greed for power with the summons, he could have easily taken control of Bahamut and not killed her but used it to wipe out her forces still, it just made his end goals a little easier.
 

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I can understand the idea, but unfortunately, FF15 aims to be more basic than a hamlet. and I would've loved to see more hamlet references and Shakespeare, but it just was cut too short and made more mainstream. and it's harder for me to see what was intended from the beginning vs what was revised or watered down.

But even trying to see the hamlet references, it just feels very surface. heck, even FFX's could be a form of hamlet.

Yeah, I wasn’t meaning to imply that Final Fantasy XV can really measure up to Shakespeare’s Hamlet. I was just meaning that Square Enix had quite explicitly tried to convince us to think about Hamlet in the early marketing material for Versus XIII, and that an argument can be made for some effective symbolism along those lines concerning Lunafreya in the game that we ended up with. Emphasised flower symbolism and drowning is heavily associated with both Ophelia and Lunafreya. We don’t need to take it any further than that to count it as symbolism. Or we could discard it entirely.

Whether it is enough to make the idea work is down to personal opinion. Personally, I think the weird, trippy symbolism in FFXV is one of its strongest aspects. It is let down by the way the narrative is told, however (case in point, the Omens trailer is a more exciting and mysterious version of Noctis’ nightmare sequence than the heavily edited version we see in the game proper). The pacing throughout the game is completely off for many people. But symbolism exists within the game, and fans can speculate and theorise to their heart’s content because of that.

There is additional meaning behind Lunafreya’s death scene which I’ve only recently witnessed with my own eyes after finally playing Episode Ardyn on Sunday some two years after it released… 2,000 years ago it was Ardyn’s destiny to become the first Lucian king and save the world. His brother Somnus coveted the throne and, in trying to murder Ardyn accidentally killed Ardyn’s girlfriend Aera (ancestor of the Oracle line, including Lunafreya whom Aera visibly resembles). Ardyn, who had become immortal and semi-demonic after absorbing the sins of others to cure them, is left chained up for 2,000 years. When he reawakens he is tortured with visions of Aera and is forced by Somnus to kill this phantom image with his own dagger. His destiny, it is later revealed by Bahamut, is to become a ‘sacrificial lamb’ and become a bad guy so that the True King can defeat him and end the Starscourge, and he is horrified to learn that Aera might have known this all along. So when he sees Lunafreya at Altissia he is compelled to stab her with that same dagger a) because of Bahamut’s orders, b) because Lunafreya is Noctis’ own ‘Aera’ and he is jealous that the usurper line should enjoy marriage with the line of his beloved, and c) pent up anger within himself that Aera might have betrayed him.

I personally don’t think the FFX comparison with Hamlet is as strong. Not that FFXV’s is super-strong either, but that is at least a tale of usurpers and plots, with a heavy examination of death and mental health. I guess FFX’s controversial Final Fantasy X-2.5 Eien no Daishō novel is a bit like Hamlet if you consider Tidus getting blown up by a blitzball bomb and being left as a disembodied head. That head could be donated to a theatre company to be used as Yorick perhaps… :thehead:


Ok first bear with me as this may sound a bit of a reach here. Also this is taking some things for granted in the long run. But I am going to say Julia from FF8 as in the long run it affects so much. Now one of the things it takes for granted is Laguna leaving(since if he doesn't this also changes the entire game) as part of his orders from the military a lot of the plot also focuses in this. This largely plays into the fact that when he is in Windhill and he hears about Raine finding someone else he pretty much says good for her, in this sense he has now given up on her and all attempts to go back to her, whether he has started to fall for Raine at this point is left to player discretion(largely due to what he hears with Kiros when going to deliver the report). Raine even mentions that Julia was given comfort from her depression by a general since her love went off to war and never returned, this happens also once Laguna learns she finally be came a singer and dedicated her first song to him(though he doesn't say anything on this, and refer back to her getting comfort when she learned he was gone.) Now think on it since neither Squall or Rinoa were born at this point he could have attempted to go back and possibly rekindled his relationship but he didn't. As we learn some unidentified time later Esthar invades and then kidnaps Ellone thus sending him off on his quest to find her in Esthar, also prior to thus he marries Raine and she is pregnant with Squall. Likewise same with Julia being pregnant with Rinoa. Now we fast forward the plot some to when Julia dies in the car crash this sets events into motion to Rinoa being estranged from her father, her joining the resistance to declare independence and ultimately as story progresses becoming a Sorceress herself. If Julia would never have died the events in the game as we know it would have never unfolded the way as we know it, this is why her death and all these events are so crucially linked. Last thing to note is that her death happens off screen while having so much impact the what the game is and we don't even see it, it could have easily been as brief as the CS we get with Brahne and Bahamut and then see after math of various characters making reference to it, but we don't even get that.



Now that's not saying other FF character deaths didn't have a large impact like for example Aerith from ff7 or Queen Brahne from ff9, but what makes the most difference is that they were scripted in to make us want to care what was happening. The plot of their respective game didn't even hinge on their deaths as the respective villains roles and motives were already in place and unfolding. Sephiroth already had the black materia, Kuja was well under way to going back to Terra so he could do his things. Either of those two characters living would have changed nothing to the end plot. When Aerith died she already made the prayer but it was Sephiroth's evil blocking it from taking effect so they still had to go to the crater to kill him. While the likes of Kuja being responsible for Brahne's death was a result of her own greed for power with the summons, he could have easily taken control of Bahamut and not killed her but used it to wipe out her forces still, it just made his end goals a little easier.

I agree with this. It is a very understated, unseen, yet narratively crucial death. Great idea!
Extra sadness ensues when you consider that her surname was Caraway and she died in a car accident... :sad2:
 

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I didn't read the posts yet, but I'd like to mention Ultimecia's death at the ending of FF8. It is not tragic because she's the enemy, but it meant a lot. It shows that even the greatest enemy ultimately Ultimecia-ly wants peace at the end of her life..
 

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Ok first bear with me as this may sound a bit of a reach here. Also this is taking some things for granted in the long run. But I am going to say Julia from FF8 as in the long run it affects so much. Now one of the things it takes for granted is Laguna leaving(since if he doesn't this also changes the entire game) as part of his orders from the military a lot of the plot also focuses in this. This largely plays into the fact that when he is in Windhill and he hears about Raine finding someone else he pretty much says good for her, in this sense he has now given up on her and all attempts to go back to her, whether he has started to fall for Raine at this point is left to player discretion(largely due to what he hears with Kiros when going to deliver the report). Raine even mentions that Julia was given comfort from her depression by a general since her love went off to war and never returned, this happens also once Laguna learns she finally be came a singer and dedicated her first song to him(though he doesn't say anything on this, and refer back to her getting comfort when she learned he was gone.) Now think on it since neither Squall or Rinoa were born at this point he could have attempted to go back and possibly rekindled his relationship but he didn't. As we learn some unidentified time later Esthar invades and then kidnaps Ellone thus sending him off on his quest to find her in Esthar, also prior to thus he marries Raine and she is pregnant with Squall. Likewise same with Julia being pregnant with Rinoa. Now we fast forward the plot some to when Julia dies in the car crash this sets events into motion to Rinoa being estranged from her father, her joining the resistance to declare independence and ultimately as story progresses becoming a Sorceress herself. If Julia would never have died the events in the game as we know it would have never unfolded the way as we know it, this is why her death and all these events are so crucially linked. Last thing to note is that her death happens off screen while having so much impact the what the game is and we don't even see it, it could have easily been as brief as the CS we get with Brahne and Bahamut and then see after math of various characters making reference to it, but we don't even get that.
Interesting take! Julia and Laguna have that unrequited love that is sometimes commonly seen in some love stories where the soldier goes off to war and a woman is left behind. I wonder if Laguna had returned to her (and had she not of died) if she would have returned those feelings despite marrying another man.

I think what makes the difference In this strange love triangle is that Laguna fell in love with Elone before he fell in love with Raine. Raine represented a mother figure in Elone's life, and maybe that family aspect is what Laguna truly fell in love with. I'm not sure, but I think that's why I see Raine's passing a lot more sad.

Also, had Laguna returned to Julia that would have been really weird for Squall & Rinoa :lew:


I didn't read the posts yet, but I'd like to mention Ultimecia's death at the ending of FF8. It is not tragic because she's the enemy, but it meant a lot. It shows that even the greatest enemy ultimately Ultimecia-ly wants peace at the end of her life..
Another interesting take! There isn't much explained on what happens if a sorceress isn't able to pass on their powers. According to the Wiki:

A sorceress must be free of her powers to die in peace. It is never explained what happens to a sorceress who cannot relieve their powers, but the sorceress power may render a sorceress unable to die until they have found a successor. The sorceress's body may also release the power after a near-death experience, although such is a rarity. This happens when Edea is defeated by the SeeDs and her sorceress powers transfer to Rinoa even though Edea survives.

I feel like her death & passing on her powers was more based on pride than wanting to be at peace. Ultimecia wanted to attain a god status, and her powers (presumably) rendered useless upon death/near-death would make her weak and vulnerable, the exact opposite of which she was reaching out to attain.

I dunno, a lot to unpack with that one! Interesting to bring up nonetheless :lew:
 
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