This is the day that many Final Fantasy fanatics have been waiting for. In fact, you don't even have to be a Final Fantasy fan to be excited about today. Final Fantasy VII Remake's hype train has transcended fandom, bringing aboard hardcore fans and casual followers alike. The Shacknews staff isn't immune to the hype either. Just about all of us have been excited to see this game's release, even the few of us who haven't played FF games.
So for this week's Shack Chat question, we want to look at Final Fantasy as a whole. We're looking back at our favorite characters from throughout the series' history. You might be surprised, but a lot of our picks came from Final Fantasy VII. I know, we'll wait for you to pick your jaw up off the floor.
Who's your favorite Final Fantasy character?
Tifa - Asif Khan, Waifu Simp
Tifa is my favorite character in the Final Fantasy series. She is bae. She is ichiban waifu. Call me a weeb or whatever, but she is the best. I will fight you. (I won't fight you)
Tifa - Ozzie Mejia, Fell into Final Fantasy by way of Kingdom Hearts
I'm also going to say Tifa. And I'm going to qualify this by saying that I haven't played a lot of Final Fantasy over the years. I've never actually played the original Final Fantasy VII (which is a big reason why I'm sitting in front of my TV this weekend to binge it). But you don't have to play the game to appreciate her grit, her determination, and her character. I've appreciated Tifa through her other appearances in the Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children movie and her cameos in Kingdom Hearts (where she single-handedly wrecked any Heartless in her way) and I look forward to getting her whole story in Final Fantasy VII Remake this weekend.
Cid - Blake Morse, Chubby Bearded Dude
Cid is one of the few characters to make an appearance in just about every Final Fantasy ever made. They're more often than not the harbinger of player's getting an airship and the world map opening up quite a bit. There have been many iterations of Cid over the years, but I’m quite fond of the Cid from Final Fantasy 4 (FF2 here in the US) in particular. Maybe it’s because he was my first Cid, or perhaps because I basically grew up into a cosplay version of him. I just love that big old smile he's got and the way he hits everything with a wrench, and how could anyone not admire that fancy beard of his? Either way, I am always excited when I meet a Cid in a Final Fantasy game, because I know it means I’ve made some real progress.
Mike Haggar - Chris Jarrard, Mad Gear street thug
The best Final Fantasy character is Mike Haggar. He used to be a pro wrestler, but felt strongly enough about civic duty that he eventually began a campaign to be mayor of Metro City, his hometown. Haggar wins the election and begins to clean up the gang-infested streets. Predictably, this pisses off the Mad Gear, the most powerful gang in Metro City. In retaliation, Mad Gear kidnaps Mike’s daughter Jessica.
Haggar has to conjure up the hot combat moves of his past to hit the streets and start beating up thugs in an effort to rescue Jessica. He is joined by Jessica’s boyfriends Cody and Guy. Haggar must be pretty progressive as he never once seemed to bring up that this pair was doubling up on his daughter. Haggar is well-known for his trademark green pants and Magnum P.I mustache.
(Editor's Note: If you can't remember the Final Fantasy that starred Haggar, then maybe you just aren't a big enough fan.)
Cactuar - Sam Chandler, Guides Editor
Cactuar is absolutely, 100 percent, my favorite character in Final Fantasy. I mean, just look at this bloke. It’s a little cactus that’s forever running. What’s he running from? I’ve got no idea. Or perhaps he’s running toward something. Forever chasing destiny, forever in pursuit of his dreams and happiness. I think we could all learn a thing or two from Cactuar.
Cloud - Donovan Erskine, Intern
I mean look at his sword! How cool is that thing? And the hair. Oh man the hair. Cloud is easily the coolest guy to ever appear in a Final Fantasy title. His armor is also pretty sick. Also, his abilities are pretty fun to use in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate! What’s that? You can tell I’ve never played a Final Fantasy game before? It’s that obvious? Well, whatever. I find it hard to believe that there’s a Final Fantasy character that even holds a torch to my beloved Cloud Strife.
Zidane Tribal - Brittany Vincent, Senior Editor
I'm going to champion Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, and Final Fantasy IX all day as the best of the series. I can't pick which one I love the most out of those three, because it feels impossible. But Final Fantasy IX plays host to my favorite character, even though that's a hard ask as well. It's Zidane Tribal. Where Cloud and Squall are more the strong, silent type, Zidane is outgoing, brash, and even flirtatious, with hilarious quips and even a history of being a thief working for Tantalus. Everything, from his design to his unusual name and lighthearted attitude, speaks to me. Zidane is the type of guy I would date, so spending a few dozen hours with him is always pleasant. He's kind, funny, mischievous, and a little bit of a perv. He values friendship. And while he has a bit of a depressing origin story that makes him capable of some putting some serious hurt on others, he's still able to smile through it all. Get you a man who can do both. That's Zidane.
Cloud Strife - Josh Hawkins, Guides Guy
I'm probably not alone when I say that Cloud is my favorite Final Fantasy character. While I have enjoyed other Final Fantasy games, and the characters that they hold, there’s just something about toting around a big-ass sword that feels epic and fantastic. As such, I can’t help but choose Cloud as my favorite character. He also looks absolutely fantastic in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, so how could you not love his style?
Carbuncle - TJ Denzer, protecting his fatheaded fur child
There are a lot of summons in Final Fantasy representing a grand slew of deities and demigods from across different mythology. Then there’s also Carbuncle: this jewel-embedded fox cat creature that always casts some kind of buff spell like Reflect. Assuredly, Carbuncle is not anywhere near the strongest of summons in Final Fantasy, but it doesn't matter because in all of its form, Carbuncle is adorbs and we’re lucky to have it.
Quite literally, in fact! Did you know that the etymology of Carbuncle is a mythical creature supposedly spotted by Spanish conquistadors in the Americas that was supposed to bring you good luck if you saw them? Even if it didn’t, it’s difficult to deny Carbuncle’s silliness, whimsy, and cuteness throughout the series. There's an argument to be made whether Carbuncle peaked at Final Fantasy 14 as an early Summoner class companion or in Final Fantasy 15 where a Carbuncle served as Noctis’ friend and guide in the game, but every Carbuncle appearance is precious and should be protected.
Yes, even the DLC Carbuncle in Final Fantasy 7 Remake. You leave my giant-melon-having cat child alone or I will attack you while it covers me with Reflect and good luck for a chance at rare loot drops from your steaming corpse.
Big Ol' Swords- David L. Craddock, long reads editor
The Final Fantasy series represents a collective gap in my gaming history. That's the main reason I'm so stoked for Final Fantasy 7's remake, which our own Greg Burke praised in his review: I'll finally get to see what the last 20-odd years of hype for arguably the most famous installment in the franchise is all about. What better place to start?
That said, my lack of experience with Final Fantasy means I can't point to a particular favorite character. So I'll cheat a little: I love gigantic swords that blatantly defy the laws of physics. I'm talking about swords nearly as tall and broad as the characters who wield them. They're hilarious, but they'd also hurt quite a bit, and I'm all about dishing out the pain. (Side note: You'd think the anime-style characters who wield these ridiculous blades would have beefier arms.)
Cloud Strife - Greg Burke, Deep in the Mines
If I have to be really honest with myself, Cloud. Mainly because when you're 12 years old, he’s the badass we all wanted to be. Smooth, strong, and that gigantic sword. Good lord, that thing was awesome. Sure, a ton of people say he's "emo," but his character developed over the course of the game and he ended up not being the amazing SOLDIER he thought he was, but it all worked out in the end. What makes a man? A Sword, a big-ass five-foot long heavy Buster Sword.
Chocobo- Steve Tyminski, Contributing Editor
An ostrich-type bird that can run pretty quick sounds pretty cool, right? If you haven't figured it out by now, the Chocobo is one of my favorite Final Fantasy animals/characters. You need an interesting way to get from location to location and the Chocobo are some of the more interesting modes of transportation in gaming. The Chocobo are in a quite a few games, ranging from Mystery Dungeon and mini games. E3 a few years ago, had a giant Chocobo to ride for photo ops. It still is one of my favorite E3 memories.
These are our favorite Final Fantasy characters. What are yours? Join the conversation and let us know in the comments. And if you'r picking up Final Fantasy VII Remake this weekend and need a hand at any point, allow our guide and walkthrough to help you find the way.
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