I grew up being a huge fan of old school Final Fantasy games. In my opinion, when it came to JRPG’s, you just couldn’t top the grandeur of the FF series. And one of the greatest things about this stellar series are the summons you can call on to aid you in battle. Some are dark and evil looking, some are more feminine and graceful. Hell, one even seems like it was ripped straight from a hair metal music video. But that is what makes Final Fantasy summons so amazing. They helped level and otherwise often difficult playing field by evening the odds a little more in your favor. For those who do not know, a summon is a giant creature you can call forth from another dimension to aid you in battle. In other words, almost like giant, badass Pokemon. Here are the five greatest Final Fantasy summons (in this writer’s opinion).
Doomtrain from FF VIII
Some people laugh at Doomtrain. Some people don’t call it a real summon because you don’t see it in every game. Some people call it the most B-movie move the FF series ever made. I say screw all those people. Doomtrain is like an homage to every metal song and video ever made, and how anyone can be mad at it escapes me.
A giant train that runs over your enemies on a fire laced track with a skull face is pretty much the most metal thing ever, and to not respect that just means the Doomtrain is coming for you next.
Knights of the Round from FF VII
I know, it was overly powerful and kind of game breaking in that way. I also know it took like 87 minutes to load and play out all the canned animations for each knight. But, I also know it was ambitious as hell, did a sh*tload of damage, and made you feel mighty powerful in the process.
And wasn’t that the whole point of Final Fantasy summons in the first place? Plus, you could one-hit-kill the final boss with it. Not too shabby.
Anima from FF X
I know, in this game they were called Aeons (no comment), but we still know what this is. You can call a piece of cheese a slice of milk meat, but I still know it is cheese. Along with the themes established earlier on the list, Anima is extremely metal looking, like something that would be on the cover on some album by a band who’s name makes them sound like they enjoy burning churches.
But just look at the way it bursts forth from the ground (Hell?) with such torment, chained and in anguish, but ready to deal out some of its own misery. Although all the summons had a ‘feral beast’ quality to them, Anima seemed the one most likely to break those chains and eat your team just for a quick snack before slipping back into Hell. I like that wild animal feel to my summons.
Yojimba from FFX
Honestly, though it may be one of my least favorite FF games and the game that kind of threw me off the series, the Final Fantasy Yojimba summon is theatrical and insane and artistic, and just so very awesome. From that first moment, seeing the falling leaves of the cherry blossom against the backdrop of the moon, you are know you are in for something fantastic, and boy do they deliver.
Not only does it have some badass fantasy pet, it has a few moves in its arsenal that are basically one hit kills (like the fabled move featured above). Yojimba was cool because he put a little bit of Eastern mythology back in a game that has its roots in the East. Plus, there is a lot of awesome Yojimba fan art you should check out around the web.
Bahamut from all FF Games
Sorry, but I had to take it back to the old-school and give a nod to a summon we have all known through the entirety of this series. Bahamut was a massive dragon that would sometimes need to be beaten to be acquired, but was a bleeping dragon who fought on your side, so I think you all know how freaking SWEET that is!
The above scene from the Final Fantasy 7 off-shoot CG movie was perhaps the most memorable homage to a summon ever, period.
So who did we miss. What Summons do you love most? Take to our comments and let us know. Oh, and Ifrit and Shiva say hi!