The Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae demo offered a brief but exciting glimpse into what the 2016 (hopefully) game will deliver. I expected the visuals or combat style to be the coolest part of the demo, but was absolutely blown away when I summoned Ramuh. What I witnessed was one of the greatest, most exciting moments in my long-running Final Fantasy career. Considering the fact that Ramuh is typically a early level, low-damaging summon, the other summons in FFXV are likely to be insane.
Ramuh got the Final Fantasy aficionados at Power Up Gaming thinking about the summons that we rely on the most, and the ones that we think are, hands down, just the best. So, whether we call them Eidolons, Aeons, Espers, or Guardian Forces, here are the summons that we think kick the most ass.
Carbuncle is love. Carbuncle is life. Actually though, despite it typically being a non-damaging summon, Carbuncle is actually fairly useful. It resembles a greenish blue fox-like animal, with a ruby embedded into its forehead. Typically, when summoned, Carbuncle will cast Reflect on the entire party. Combine that with an ability like “Reflect-null” on your healer, and you’re in pretty good shape. But in Final Fantasy IX, Carbuncle has the capability to cast not only Reflect, but Vanish, Haste, Shell, and protect on the party, depending on the summoner’s add-on. And, in FFXIV, Carbuncle ditches the buffing game altogether, offering a rather decent line up of damaging attacks.
Love. Life. Carbuncle.
Leviathan made his first appearance in Final Fantasy II, but was not available as a summon until FFIII. Leviathan is awesome thanks to his raw power and brutal Tsunami/Tidal Wave attack. Water magic is not a very common element in Final Fantasy, but if you find an enemy who is weak to water, Leviathan will easily finish him off and drag him down to the depths of the sea. In FFVIII, Leviathan is capable of instantly killing some enemies, while in FFIX (like other summons in the game), its power is multiplied with the number of Aquamarine stones in the inventory.
Leviathan is, more or less, the FF equivalent of the Kraken, so it is entirely appropriate to yell its name every time that you unleash it.
There comes a point in every small, gamer boy’s life that he falls in love with his very first summon. Or maybe that’s just the special ones, like me. But for most guys going through a time where they’re just starting to like girls, Shiva would clearly be the better pick- what with the icy boobs and all(I mean, she can literally cut diamonds with those nips!). But for me, it’s Ifrit all the way.
Having been in most of the Final Fantasy games, one might say Ifrit is the “loyal dog” of the series. He’s never too devastating, but always impresses with a usually brutal display of power and confidence. Take the above video for example. The dude floats into the air atop a boulder with arms crossed and then slams said boulder into the ground like a volleyball. Needless to say, Ifrit has one hell of a spike, and for that, we’re glad to say he’s on our side.
Phoenix not only looks hardcore, but is also extremely useful. Like Ifrit, Phoenix deals fire damage with Rebirth Flame/Phoenix Flame, and revives all KO’d characters, even to full health in some games. How handy.
In FFVIII and IX, after summoning Phoenix just once, he will randomly show up and revive your party if all its members are defeated. Also, those Phoenix Downs that you rely on so heavily? Yeah, those come from this Phoenix. In a few FF titles, he has a holy elemental attack, which is pretty uncommon. It is also said that anyone who tastes the Phoenix’s blood will have eternal life, but extracting it might prove a little tricky.
Alexander was a little late to the party. He didn’t show up until Final Fantasy VI, but quickly established himself as a legendary force. He is a giant robot fortress, or something like that, and typically deals out pretty brutal holy elemental damage.
The game was an instant failure, and to this day is considered to be one of the worst video games of all time. Combined with other commercial failures, including the home version of Pac-Man, Atari found themselves at the bottom of a grave that they had dug for themselves – a $536 million dollar grave. With nobody buying E.T., and commercial retailers returning cartridges to Atari by the thousands, the now bankrupt ex-king of video games had little choice but to destroy the evidence of their failures. In 1983, truckloads of Atari cartridges were shipped to a New Mexico landfill, and subsequently destroyed and buried. It was believed that millions of games ended up in the landfill, but an Atari spokesperson confirmed a number closer to 700,000. Even still, ouch.
Comedy, strength and, most importantly, brotherhood. Let’s face it, these two minotaurs have it all. While they might have only been usable in one Final Fantasy (FFVIII) they did a damn good job on making their mark.
After all, they’re the only summons ballsy enough to mess around playing rock-paper-scissors while a slab of earth comes hurdling toward them at alarming speeds. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, the older, smaller brother lifts a crying younger brother above his head and uses his skull as a battering ram. Slapstick comedy at its finest right there.
Yojimbo is an optional Aeon in Final Fantasy X, but it is absolutely worth the effort (and the gil) to obtain him. He resembles a Japanese Shogun warrior, and he’s a selfish son of a bitch. But when someone is as useful as Yojimbo is, they can afford to be a bit greedy. He is, essentially, a mercenary for hire, and once he is summoned, the attacks that he performs depend on how much gil you give him each turn. There are four different attacks that he can use, but the pinnacle of his move roster is his Zanmato attack, which will instantly kill any enemy in the game, including bosses, with the exception of Sin and Yunalesca.
I’m ashamed to admit that, upon reaching the end of FFX and battling Braska’s Final Aeon, I was extremely under-leveled and had to resort to using Zanmato to finish the battle quickly. But, hey, what good is an Aeon if you don’t use it, right?
3. Knights of the Round
Knights of the Round is an extremely unique summon. It appears solely in FFVII, and is not one character, but the thirteen Knights of the Round Table, each of which attacks with a different style of weapon or elemental magic, concluding with King Arthur. The Knights entirely ignore the target’s defence statistics and are capable of instantly killing nearly every enemy in the game except for the Weapons and Safer-Sephiroth. At its absolute maximum, Knights of the Round can deal 129,987 damage. Ouch.
Thankfully, KOTR isn’t compatible with Quad Magic. The summon takes about a minute and a half to complete. Imagine that four times in a row. Unnecessary overkill is what that is.
Speaking of knights and unnecessary overkill, the king of one-shot kills leaps into battle on his trusty steed (or rather as a trusty steed in Final Fantasy XIII), to make quick EXP of most pesky monsters.
Outside of XIII, Odin tops that brutality by rending opponents in two with the attack that embodies devastation, Zantetsuken. This attack is instant death for most foes unlucky enough to face it. Not only that, but this summon comes at the low cost of zero gil, so he puts Yojimbo out of a job when it comes to the death dealing industry. He’s the kind of summon the mafia hires when someone needs to be “taken care of”, and that’s why we love him.
If gamer’s love of Charizard has taught us anything, it’s that people love having pet dragons. They breathe fire, eat people whole and give off a general vibe that nothing else in the history of existence matters. Well, if you take Charizard, put a couple nuclear reactors on him and change his color scheme to “I will decimate your soul” black, you have Bahamut.
Yeah, yeah, no surprises here, but you can’t argue with perfection. He’s so perfect, in fact, that Square decided to put THREE of them in one game when they made Final Fantasy 7, basically saying to the masses of fans “take three of these and call us in the morning.”- and that’s just what Bahamut is- medicine for the hordes of Final Fantasy fans who have the fever. A fever that is so strong it can only be cured with immense amounts of radiation treatment and general amazingness in the form of his signature move “Mega Flare.” With the beautiful wings of Phoenix, the power of Odin and a penchant for the intense arm-crossing pose of Ifrit, Bahamut is the coolest summon we could have ever wished for. But hey, I guess that’s what you say when you have a ancient, cosmic dragon fighting by your side.
Which Final Fantasy summons are your favourites? Did we miss any truly great ones? Make sure to let us know in the comments!