The Final Fantasy series has always pushed the boundaries when it comes to graphics.
One of the most impressive ways they have done this is with the monsters that the player battles throughout the game. This was helped by incredible artists, like Yoshitaka Amano, who created awesome designs for the monsters.
It’s hard for even the Final Fantasy series to keep up a consistently great range of monsters, especially when a game might feature over a hundred creatures.
The designers will inevitably get lazy and just throw something together in order to meet a deadline. The players will then be torn from the fantastic quest they are embarking on so that they can laugh at a stupidly designed monster.
We are here today to look at the most regrettable monster designs in the history of the Final Fantasy series.
From the Russian doll that gained sentience from Mako to the house that decided that it wanted to foreclose Cloud Strife’s face, here are the 15 Worst Monster Designs In The Final Fantasy Series.
15. GRANGALAN FROM FINAL FANTASY VII
There are some who claim that the Midgar section at the start of Final Fantasy VII is the best part of the game and that it only goes downhill from there.
This is partly due to the fact that Midgar is a polluted and overcrowded city, which manages to encapsulate all of the damage that the Shinra corporation is doing to the world.
When you leave Midgar, you are suddenly thrust into a generic fantasy world that seems unaffected by the pollution of the Mako reactors. The members of AVALANCHE go from being eco-terrorists to a generic party of adventurers.
One of the most out of place monsters in Final Fantasy VII is encountered on the world map after you leave Midgar.
Grangalan is a wooden doll in the shape of an egg, which has the ability to spit out smaller copies of itself. The party is essentially fighting a Russian doll… of evil.
14. CHRONODIA FROM FINAL FANTASY 20TH ANNIVERSARY
The original game in the Final Fantasy series has been remade on numerous occasions. These remakes are usually the best way to play the game, as they fix all of the glitches of the original and add in some bonus dungeons and bosses.
However, Final Fantasy 20th Anniversary adds one of the laziest bosses ever designed in the series. Its name is Chronodia and it can be found at the bottom of the Labyrinth of Time.
There are eight possible solutions to the Labyrinth of Time, which means that there are eight possible variations of Chronodia.
On its own, Chronodia looks like a serpentine woman surrounding a crystal orb. The other variations of the boss just stick the other major bosses from the game (Chaos, Lich, Kraken, Tiamat, and Marilith) onto Chronodia.
It looks like someone bought a roll of gaffer tape and just stuck the other bosses onto Chronodia– it ends up looking like some sort of demonic piñata.
13. EXDEATH FROM FINAL FANTASY V
The main antagonist of Final Fantasy V is a being known as Exdeath. You will battle him in three distinctive forms throughout the game.
In the first encounter he looks like a giant man in a suit of armor, which is imposing (if not particularly creative). His final form looks like all of the other boss monsters are acting like a giant pair of pants for Exdeath’s naked lower body.
It is the second form of Exdeath that is the worst. He was originally created from the soul of another evil mage, named Enuo, who had his soul trapped in a tree.
This soul merged with the tree, which became Exdeath. When you face Exdeath at the end of the game, he has become a giant tree floating in space.
This isn’t the most imposing of choices that Squaresoft made for a final boss. It is possible to make a plant into a scary boss monster (like Flowey in Undertale), but Exdeath couldn’t pull it off. He just looks silly.
12. OZMA FROM FINAL FANTASY IX
The Final Fantasy series helped to popularize the concept of the Superboss. These are bosses that you fight outside of the main story that are far tougher than the end boss of the game.
The Superboss is intended to be the ultimate challenge for the player. The developers usually go all-out with the designs of these creatures, as they don’t need to follow the regular rules of the game world and can be as outlandish as possible.
It seems that the developers of Final Fantasy IX forgot to make an impressive-looking boss and just threw something together in five minutes. The ultimate challenge in Final Fantasy IX is Ozma, who happens to be a big ball.
A video game developer can let their imagination run wild within the realm of a video game. They can create the most horrific monsters that the human mind can conjure and set them loose upon the player.
Why they thought a big floating ball would make for an impressive boss is anyone’s guess.
11. YU YEVON FROM FINAL FANTASY X
The PlayStation 2 allowed for the Final Fantasy series to vastly increase the size and detail of the monsters.
Squaresoft used this to their advantage and created some truly colossal beasts that towered over the main characters.
The main villain throughout most of Final Fantasy X is a giant whale monster named Sin, who has the power to wipe cities off the map.
Sin would have made for an excellent end boss in Final Fantasy X. Instead, you have to break a hole inside of Sin and fight the true architect behind the cycle of destruction in Spira. The end boss is a giant flea, named Yu Yevon.
You cannot actually lose the battle, as the party will automatically revive upon death. The final epic battle in the game takes place against a large insect, which is kind of a letdown, considering how awesome an entire battle against Sin would have been.
10. SPHERIMORPH FROM FINAL FANTASY X
One of the improvements that the PlayStation 2 had over the original PlayStation was its ability to render realistic water.
A lot of the early games on the system made the most of this by including water-themed levels that showed off the tech (like Metal Gear Solid 2‘s Tanker level). This also led to an increase in monsters that were made out of water.
Final Fantasy X definitely has a water theme, from the game of Blitzball to the giant whale monster that acts as the main enemy of the story.
However, the people at Squaresoft decided to just make a ball of water and goo into a villain, which is the best way to describe the Spherimorph.
The Spherimorph is a big ball of slime and water that the party encounters in the Macalania Woods. The whole encounter feels like the developers just threw in a boss monster to break up the talking segments and came up with the quickest and easiest design possible.
9. THE CREATOR FROM FINAL FANTASY IV: THE AFTER YEARS
Final Fantasy IV is probably the second-most popular game in the series in Japan (after VII). It is for this reason that a sequel was created in 2008.
Final Fantasy IV: The After Years focuses on Ceodore, who is the son of Cecil and Rosa from the original game. The villain of the game is revealed to be God, who also happens to be the villain in most JRPGs.
God, in this case, is referred to as The Creator and it is the last of an alien species that sped along evolution with the aid of crystals. It is hinted that The Creator’s species also created the other Final Fantasy worlds.
The final form of The Creator is basically impossible to describe. It seems to have the same shape and general theme of Neo Exdeath from Final Fantasy V, yet it somehow makes even less sense. It looks like the designers just threw together a couple of random ideas and said: “screw it, this is what God looks like.”
8. SEED CRYSTAL FROM FINAL FANTASY XI
Final Fantasy XI has some of the most infamous bosses in the series. You have the likes of Absolute Virtue, which took players years to work out how to beat.
There is also the Pandemonium Warden, which caused controversy in the gaming news after players spent eighteen hours trying to kill it without success and started getting sick.
This caused Squaresoft to step in and drastically lower Pandemonium Warden’s stats and imposed a time limit for how long you could actually challenge it.
Players might prefer the days of invincible bosses and getting ill compared to what came later. The final boss of the A Crystalline Prophecy expansion is called the Seed Crystal.
It is just a giant crystal that sits there casting spells and summoning other monsters. The players can easily move out of the way of its attacks, making it a highly predictable boss to fight.
The Seed Crystal is a huge letdown compared to some of the other awesome bosses in Final Fantasy XI.
7. MELUSINE FROM FINAL FANTASY V
The designers at Squaresoft were never afraid of including semi-naked women as boss monsters, no matter how little they fit with the game’s aesthetic.
The biggest example of this is the Cloud of Darkness from Final Fantasy III. It is meant to be the representation of the void itself, which will drag all of reality into nothingness.
In Final Fantasy V, Exdeath is served by a group of Demons of the Rift. These are a group of monstrous devils and undead creatures that have risen from the grave.
The exception to this is Melusine, who is the first Demon of the Rift that the party battles. Melusine is a naked woman whose body is partly covered by snakes.
The people at Squaresoft had to try harder to fit some bare skin into the 16-bit Final Fantasy games, but they managed it, regardless of how little sense it made.
6. WHELK FROM FINAL FANTASY VI
People often insult the Pokémon franchise for running out of ideas for interesting new creatures. However, the Final Fantasy series has them beat by a wide margin.
While the ice cream and keychain Pokémon aren’t exactly the height of creativity, they still look downright inspiring compared to the Whelk from Final Fantasy VI.
The first boss of Final Fantasy VI is called the Whelk. It is named this because it is a giant whelk, which is a sea snail. The first epic challenge of the game pits the players against the horrors of a giant creature that can move at about a five feet an hour if pressed!
The later ports of Final Fantasy VI renamed this boss Ymir for some unknown reason. It might have been in an effort to make it more frightening, because having the same name as a Norse deity is really going to turn a snail into a legitimate threat.
5. HEIN FROM FINAL FANTASY III
Final Fantasy III might be the least popular game in the series. This is mostly due to the fact that it was the last of the older games to receive an English localization.
The updated versions of Final Fantasy III also made no effort to try and balance out some of the frustrating dungeons and unfairly difficult boss battles.
Due to its low-status among fans, there are few characters and monsters from Final Fantasy III that are well-remembered by the audience.
One of the few bosses that people remember is Hein, which is mostly because of his incredibly dumb design.
Hein is a skeleton dressed in an incredibly fancy outfit. He looks like Papyrus from Undertale if he was starring in a remake of Labyrinth. Hein is also one of the few Final Fantasy bosses to be rocking a set of high heels.
The battle against Hein requires you to use the Scholar class, which is one of the worst in the game. As such, people remember the fight against Hein for mostly negative reasons.
4. THE DREAM STOOGES FROM FINAL FANTASY VI
Cyan from Final Fantasy VI just can’t catch a break. We witness Kefka poisoning the water supply of Doma Castle, which kills all of Cyan’s family and friends.
He then has to witness his wife and son being taken away on a train to the afterlife. Cyan is then separated from his allies when the world ends, and spends years in seclusion, sending letters to a girl while he pretends to be her dead boyfriend.
The suffering of Cyan doesn’t end there. If the party sleeps within Doma Castle, then they have to deal with three fairies that are named after the Three Stooges. The party must battle Curly, Larry, and Moe.
The updated port of Final Fantasy VI that was released on the Game Boy Advance tried to give them more fantastical names. You now battled Laragorn, Curlax, and Moebius. However, this failed to them any less dumb than they were before.
3. GOLD DRAGON FROM FINAL FANTASY VI
When Kefka becomes a God in Final Fantasy VI, he tears open the ground and unleashes ancient and powerful monsters upon the world.
These include eight legendary dragons, which each have their own powers and elemental affinities. If the player manages to hunt down all eight dragons, then they will be rewarded with the Crusader magicite, which grants you the most powerful summon in the game.
There is one dragon that stands out from the rest: the Gold Dragon boss that you battle in Kefka’s Tower.
The Gold Dragon is clearly a dinosaur, and he other seven dragons all look like dragons, but for some reason, the Gold Dragon is just a recolored version of the Brachiosaur monster that you can fight in the dinosaur forest.
Squaresoft broke their own naming theme and painted a dinosaur gold so that they could pass it off as a dragon. If you were supposed to be hunting down the eight dinosaurs of legend, then this would have been fine.
2. CHAOS ELGO FROM FINAL FANTASY DIMENSIONS
Final Fantasy Dimensions is a game that was solely released on mobile devices. It was an attempt to recreate the stories and gameplay of the Nintendo-era of Final Fantasy games.
Fans have often accused Dimensions of failing in this regard, as it is nothing more than a watered down attempt at creating a true Final Fantasy game.
With that being said: Dimensions is still a lot better than all of the other awful Final Fantasy games that were developed for mobile phones.
The end boss of Final Fantasy Dimensions might perfectly encapsulate the point that the game is nothing more than a shallow attempt to recreate the 16-bit titles.
Chaos Elgo looks like it was drawn by a teenager who had just completed all three of the SNES Final Fantasy titles and was inspired to try and create his own bizarre end boss monster.
Chaos Elgo might have had the least effort put into its sprite of any Final Fantasy boss.
1. HELL HOUSE FROM FINAL FANTASY VII
Final Fantasy VII has one of the best cities in the entire series. The game starts out in Midgar, which is a dystopian area that perfectly demonstrates the damage that the Shinra corporation is doing to the world.
The player is given the clear goal of destroying the Mako reactors and stopping the damage that is being done to the planet. This plot is soon hijacked by Sephiroth and the story goes in a different direction.
By far the most unusual monster you will encounter in Midgar is the Hell House. It can be found in the Sector 6 Slums, where it pretends to be a house.
When you engage the Hell House in combat, it suddenly grows several robotic limbs, along with a few thrusters and fights back. The Hell House is actually pretty tough for the point at the game in which you meet it, so you better be prepared to go all out.
Final Fantasy VII never bothers to explain what exactly the Hell House is. Was it possessed by a demon? Can demons grant you robotic implants? Is the Hell House an attempt at low-cost housing by the Shinra corporation that turned on them?
Whatever the case, the Hell House stands out as the stupidest looking monster in one of the greatest video games of all time.