- Final Fantasy Brave Exvius Game Overview - September 21, 2022
- Dirge of Cerberus Overview - May 21, 2022
- Yu Yevon Guide: A Closer Look at this Mysterious Character - May 21, 2022
When creating a game world, there are a few things you need to establish. First, you need to decide whether your world is going to be one of one or one of many. Then you need to decide on what is going to be consistent throughout your games and what will be the defining qualities that people see and go, “Oh, that’s from that game series.” With Final Fantasy, there have been tons of different signifiers over what makes it a Final Fantasy game, but to me, the biggest tell is what kind of enemies you’re encountering while playing.
Throughout my lifetime of playing Final Fantasy games, which now dates to almost 25 years, I’ve seen all that the various games in the series have to offer, and often I’d be asked by friends, what is it about these games that keep you coming back to them? The answer to that quest is pretty complex as Final Fantasy is a very complex series and that question generally demands a pretty complex answer.
The answer is usually something do to with the feeling it instills of being in a world somewhat close to our own while also being so far away as well. The thing that best encapsulates that answer is the Final Fantasy enemies. Sometimes they can be horrific-looking, and at others, just small variations on things we have in our reality like wildlife and creatures of a more unassuming nature.
The Bestiary of Final Fantasy can last you a lifetime to look for as so many unique creatures have been created throughout the years and so many variations of the same creature have come back time and time again that they themselves become a different enemy entirely.
While the boss monsters are usually pretty unique in each game, the enemies in between are what grounds you to the Final Fantasy experience, so here are some of the best and worst creatures throughout the series lengthy history.
- Memorable encounters
- Awesome design
- Difficult battles
- Recurring enemies
- Not boss encounters
These creatures vary from cute to horrifying depending on the title you play, and they’re generally some of the first enemies you encounter. While they can be pretty unthreatening in their appearance, these enemies usually have some form of elemental magic to throw at you.
Depending on the game you fight them in, they may grow over time, and when they reach their largest size, that’s when it’s time to heal up because they usually blow themselves up, causing massive damage to you in the process. Bombs are also a great early lesson in games on how magic can be used effectively as the Fire Bombs get wrecked by a Blizzard spell, and discovering these different combinations is often the key to victory in many battles.
The Tonberry is my favorite enemy in Final Fantasy. There is so much to love about the design here, and despite there being tons and tons of RPGs out there with all kinds of different monsters, nothing approaches the simplicity and creepiness of the Tonberry. Let’s break down how awesome these little fellas are.
First, we’ve got the lizard-like appearance, which everyone loves, right? But then, we’ve got these creepy yellow eyes with no pupils, and things become a bit more ominous. Then, we’ve got brown, monk-like robes, which makes it start to look very creepy. But then, we’ve got a lamp, so the little guy can see where he’s going and in the other hand? A giant knife. Oh. Alright then.
The Tonberry’s appearance may disarm you at first, but that little knife of his is one of the most damaging attacks in final fantasy history. Throughout these rights, he will slowly walk towards you, and when he gets close enough, he uses an insta-kill attack called “chef’s knife,” and it’s not flashy at all; he just stabs your character in the stomach with a knife. It’s brutal and chilling when you see it play out.
In addition to that, he has a move called “Everyone’s Grudge,” and this incredibly unique attack totals up the number of enemies you’ve killed over the course of the game and delivers a percentage of that number to you in damage. Considering that the Tonberry’s usually are seen as late-game enemies, this move can cause a ton of damage. This attack shows he is somewhat of an assassin sent by the world of monsters to destroy the menace to their land, aka you.
Tonberry might be a nuisance as an enemy, but some games have him as an ally, and you can summon the Tonberry King to deal out the ultimate Chef Knife attack on your enemies on occasion.
Related: Complete Tonberry Guide
There are so many things about the Malboro that make it an incredible encounter any time you find one in a Final Fantasy game. First off, the name, I’m not sure if it was purposefully named after the most famous Tobacco company ever, but it certainly seems intentional when you consider that the creature’s main attack is called “Bad Breath.” This attack is synonymous with the character throughout the games, and when you see the Malboro charging up something, you know that it’s about to be complete chaos unleashed on your party.
This attack causes just about every bad status effect in the book and can be a game-ender if you came into the battle unprepared. This means that before you even go into areas where these can be encountered, you’ll need a ton of status effect curatives and items that prevent poison and other effects as well. These are generally high-level monsters that are incredibly tough to take down and usually offer a thoroughly awesome reward for those that come away victorious.
Related: Comprehensive Malboro Guide
These creatures are some of the most intimidating enemies in Final Fantasy’s lengthy list of intimidating monsters. This is also one of the older monsters in Final Fantasy games, and it has appeared in almost every single title released in some form or another. While it can appear as a mini-boss battle, these hulking beasts often roam around in the latest areas of the game, where every random encounter is challenging for.
They usually attack with incredibly powerful melee attacks, but they also have a lot of magic attacks as well, and you can expect the Behemoth to be launching all the high-level spells you can find at you constantly. In some games, they cast meteor, which is a non-elemental attack that can deal devastating amounts of damage.
Much less intimidating than most of the enemies in the world of Final Fantasy, the Cactuar is such a hilarious-looking creature that you would almost think that it was put into the game as a joke. Well, anyone that’s encountered one of these creatures knows that their funny-looking appearance means nothing when it comes to how dangerous they are.
When you encounter a Cactuar, they will use an attack called 1000 Needles which will cause 1000 damage to you every time. While this can be manageable most of the time, in some games. There is a bigger version of the Cactuar that attacks you with a move called 10,000 Needles, and seeing as your health limit is 9999 in most Final Fantasy games, that means instant death.
The Cactuar is one of the only enemies in the series that can break the damage limit. He’s also available as a summon in some games as well, though acquiring his services is pretty tough, as you might imagine, and usually requires beating a lot of Cactuar before the big one appears.
Related: Comprehensive Cactuar guide
Much like the Bombs, Flan are some of the introductory enemies that you face in many Final Fantasy games. They come in many different colors and elements, and they’re pretty horrifying in their appearance. As gigantic blobs of elemental goo, these creatures are constantly grinning during combat and always aggressive with magic attacks as well.
You can find the Flan in most games, but it’s actually named different things depending on the game you’re playing. It can be called Jelly, Mouss, or Bavarois. They’re named after deserts for some reason, despite looking like one of the least appetizing looking creatures of all time.
The Flan can come in gigantic forms, but they are at their most dangerous when it comes to the mobs, and several games like Final Fantasy XII will throw a bunch of these at you at a time. They are also resistant to all physical attacks, so expect to get your magic users a workout while fighting this one.
Gilgamesh is one of the coolest enemies/allies in all of Final Fantasy. Unlike most summon-type creatures, Gilgamesh is fully equipped with dialogue and will often taunt your characters during battle. He made his debut in Final Fantasy V, and since then, he’s appeared in Final Fantasy games, often on a never-ending search for rare swords.
Gilgamesh always appears with multiple arms with swords in each hand and is one of the hardest optional enemies no matter where he appears. His most memorable appearance comes as an ally in Final Fantasy VIII.
If players decide to recruit the summon Odin to their cause, who can appear for an instant kill, during the second fight with Seifer, Odin will attempt to instakill him, and Seifer will actually cut Odin clean in half, killing him instantly.
Later in the fight, Gilgamesh will appear and blow Seifer away in a whirlwind, and from there, he takes your place as an occasional summon.
Although they have the appearance of a slightly mutated version of a Cheetah, Coeurls fight in a very unique style and feel like a complete surprise whenever you encounter one. Coeurl’s carry the moniker of being an enemy that appears in pretty much every Final Fantasy game ever made, clocking in with 33 appearances throughout the series.
The Coeurl may look like something close to the animals of our world, but their attacks are very odd. They throw in the occasional physical attack, but the most dangerous part to them is their liberal use of magic. They typically use high-level spells and cause a lot of damage in the process.
The Coeurl’s most dangerous spell from game to game, though, is Death. For some reason, this Cheetah/Leopard hybrid casts a spell that kills your party after a few turns, and once it’s been cast, there’s nothing you can do but hope you take the Coeurl down before that Death counter hits zero.
Adamantoise is an extremely big and incredibly hard to damage turtle that appears throughout the series many times. As far as enemies go, it’s usually pretty hard to feel bad for the creatures that attack you. With the Adamantoise, though, these guys really are just trying to chill out on the beach or take a nap, but you had to go and ruin their time because you wanted the amazing material its shell is made of. How selfish of you.
Of course, when an Adamantoise is awoken by you, they are incredibly tough and aggressive enemies that cause an insane amount of damage with their attacks, They’re also generally pretty resistant to physical attacks, and it can be a very long fight depending on what level you and your party are when you encounter one.
The most memorable encounter with these creatures comes in Final Fantasy XV when you discover the most massive enemy in Final Fantasy history in the sleeping Adamantoise, which is roughly the size of a mountain. This massive beast takes a long time to beat, and it’s been claimed that players have needed multiple hours to take it down.
The Iron Giant is one of the more interesting recurring enemies throughout Final Fantasy as it’s the only one that appears made of some sort of modern technology. That’s not to say we have Iron Giants walking around, but they certainly stand out in games where there is supposedly a fantasy typesetting.
These guys are absolutely enormous and often carry with them a huge sword to dish out damage with. In addition to the devastating power it can have with melee attacks, Iron Giants are also known to cast some devastating magic spells like Demi.
Iron Giants have really shined in games like Final Fantasy XV, where the real-time combat system can emphasize how gigantic they are. This also shows up in the attacks as well, since their massive swings can damage the ground, and you’ll be able to find openings far more in real-time combat games.
The Demon Wall is a very bizarre creature. There is very little information on the background of this character and how it came to be; the only thing we know is that when it shows up, it’s bad news for your party. This enemy is essentially a wall that is possessed by a demon. It sounds very dumb, but the reality of it is an incredibly tough opponent that has a unique requirement in order to beat him.
During the fights with the Demon Wall throughout all Final Fantasy games, you need to prevent the Demon Wall from reaching the end of its timer. When that timer hits zero, the Demon Wall will crush your party, literally. In order to avoid the instant death that Demon Wall does after the timer runs down, you have to cause as much damage as possible as fast as possible.
That means all of your heavy-duty limit breaks, summons, and more that you’ve been saving, this is the time to unleash them. The Demon Wall had its best appearance in Final Fantasy XII because with the series having real-time combat for the first time, enemy movement because independent, and with that, the Demon Wall became independent as well and now roams freely through the halls of The tomb of Raithwall, and when you encounter it, you need to either damage it as fast as possible or start running, because, for the first time in Final Fantasy, the Demon Wall actually closed in on you.
Catoblepas is an interesting enemy throughout Final Fantasy as it comes in so many different variations that it sometimes doesn’t even resemble the original design. In some Final Fantasies, Catoblepas will appear similar to a Behemoth and is often a foe with a ton of HP and some powerful attacks that will take a boss-level effort in order to take it down.
These enemies took on a whole other level to their size when they appeared in Final Fantasy XV, and these usually ferocious beasts took on the design of a fantasy world’s version of a Brontosaurus. These massive creatures graze the plains in the background of the land of Duscae, and it’s one of the most beautiful sights in a game that’s more than full of them. You can fight them if you really want to, but they’re very peaceful and just seem to be happy grazing the plains.
One of the original enemies in the first Final Fantasy, there are few creatures more bizarre than this thing. Seemingly ripped out of another genre completely, the Mindflayer is a dangerous spell caster that can do a number on your party in no time at all.
This enemy hasn’t constantly appeared throughout the series, but it did have a revival in Final Fantasy XV, where it took on the image of something resembling an Eldritch horror.
This enemy will appear in dark caves and appears in packs, so you’re rarely going to be facing these one at a time. The spells it can cast can often devastate your entire party at the same time, so bring the heavy hitters to these fights, and you might have a chance to survive.
While most of the monsters in the Final Fantasy Bestiary are completely original designs and concepts, the Chimera is actually derived from the monster in Greek mythology. Much like the creature that it’s based on, Chimera’s in Final Fantasy have always had multiple heads.
The heads change throughout the games, but they usually have three heads that are some combo of a Lion, a Goat, and a Dragon of some kind. The Chimera is typically a high-level enemy that appears in later areas of the game and is always a challenging battle.
What makes the Chimera so tough is that it usually has three different forms of attack. It has one head that uses fire magic, another that can cast poison spells, and it can attack you physically as well. You typically need to take down each head separately, and as you do, the attack variety it can use lessens as well.
These gigantic birds are some of the most troublesome creatures you can encounter in Final Fantasy games. They may look innocent and much like a rooster mixed with a peacock, but the biggest secret these birds house is that they can cause Petrify, a status that slowly turns the affected party member to stone. If this happens, that party member is completely removed from battle, and the only thing that can bring them back is an Esuna spell or a specific type of item.
You’ll see Cockatrice’s in many different games and often roaming the side of country land areas. They are typically a middle game enemy, and while they won’t be the toughest battle you face here, you will definitely have some trouble with the status effect a Cockatrice can cause.
You can’t go wrong with a lizard enemy, right? That’s the thinking when it comes to fighting the quintessential lizard enemy of Final Fantasy. These creatures look incredibly strange and resemble a mix of a gecko with an iguana. They are typically pretty weak enemies, but they can cause a lot of issues, namely with the status effects it can cause.
Much like the Cockatrice, the Basilisk is able to Petrify you, so don’t let their goofy disposition catch you off guard as these creatures need to be dealt with as quickly as possible because the longer you let the fight go, the more of a chance the Basilisk can inflict Petrify on you.
I’m not really sure what the design here is going for, but this is not a pleasant creature to look like, and it seems like a spider learned to watch upright and then because an undead horror, and while this is one of the lesser-known creatures in the Final Fantasy, it is pretty prominent appearing in 4 games in the series to this point, and each time it appears, it’s a chilling encounter.
This enemy generally attacks with some form of poison, though in games like Final Fantasy VIII, it can use powerful magic against you like Zombie and can even appear at times as a mini-boss of sorts. Its weakness is fire, and that can usually be exploited at the point you encounter this creature, which is usually quite a bit into the game.
An interesting note on Abadon is that it is revealed through using the Scan ability in Final Fantasy VIII that it is actually a former GF. This means that it used to be a summonable creature until something or someone corrupted it and turned it against people.
Tiamat is one of the original Four Fiends in the first Final Fantasy game, and he’s appeared in a ton of Final Fantasy games since then. Usually appearing as a dragon with multiple heads, Tiamat is generally one of the toughest enemies you can face throughout your time with the games. While he appears as a boss more often than not, he can also appear as a random enemy in some high-level areas, and each time, the battle is just as intense as any boss encounter would normally be.
Tiamat takes on several forms in the different games, and the most interesting one happens to be in Final Fantasy VIII. You encounter him in the very last area of the game, and he appears as a corrupted version of Bahamut, which suggests that Ultimeica collected Bahamut in the past and corrupted him through time in Tiamat, and he shares many of the same attacks, including his famous Megaflare.
There are no secrets about what this beast is supposed to be. Much like the Chimera, the Minotaur is taken straight out of mythology and thrown into Final Fantasy in tons of games, and each time you encounter it, it’s usually a pretty rare occurrence, and the fight that ensues is always a challenging one.
The Minotaur is usually a foe, and that’s been the case since his first iconic appearance in Final Fantasy I, but did you know that he’s also able to be summoned in the form of the Brothers GF in Final Fantasy VIII? Early on, you can take on a side mission to defeat and recruit the Minotaur Brothers to your cause, and they’ll be with you for the rest of the game after you do.
One of the creepier creatures in the world of Final Fantasy, the Naga is a snake that has the head of a woman. It’s a chilling sight when it’s encountered in-game and generally presents itself as one of the most dangerous normal encounters in a game.
The Naga is usually a very fast enemy, and no game shows this off more than Final Fantasy XV, where the Naga appear in groups and use devastating poison attacks to completely throw your party into disarray. These battles are usually accompanied by its chilling screams, and for that reason alone, you don’t want fights with the Naga to go on any longer than they have to.
Although it’s clear when you encounter this creature that it’s obviously a dragon, the Wyrms in Final Fantasy are named after the Anglo Saxon word for the mythical creature. Wyrms can appear in Final Fantasy as normal enemies or boss encounters, and they are usually some of the most punishing enemies in the game. They use a variety of physical and magic attacks and can come in various elements forms.
A standout encounter with a Wyrm comes in Final Fantasy XII, where you face off against one in a forest, and the Elder Wyrm here uses an attack that causes several negative status effects, including Sap, which is a devastating status that causes the ones afflicted to constantly lose HP and without some quick-acting and smart item management. Whenever you find yourself up against a Wyrm, it’s going to be a tough fight.
The origins of this creature come from an herb in the Old Testament. In the Middle Ages, the Mandragora was believed to have released a fatal scream when pulled from the ground, and this was because the root was said to resemble a human being. Square Enix took this idea and morphed it into a creepy little creature that is never too pleased in dealing with you when it happens to show up.
You will usually encounter one of these in forest areas in various Final Fantasy games, and while they usually appear as cute little creatures who don’t seem that dangerous, they are capable of dealing a surprising amount of damage if you don’t take care of them quick enough. They are usually very low-health enemies and often appear in packs.
In some games, they appear as much larger and much scarier-looking creatures with gigantic mouths and swirling tentacles, so just because you see the name Mandragora appear on the screen, it doesn’t mean you’re always in for an easy fight.
Question: How many enemies appear in every Final Fantasy game?
Answer: Usually, the Bomb is one of the most consistent enemies to appear in Final Fantasy games and usually acts as a way to introduce you to the combat system, though stronger ones can appear as well.
Question: Do these enemies appear randomly?
Answer: It depends on the game you’re playing. If it’s a random encounter-based system, certain enemies are programmed to appear in certain areas, while others, you can just walk up to and fight on the battlefield.
Question: Which Final Fantasy enemy is the hardest?
Answer: Excluding FF bosses, encountering a Malboro is usually one of the toughest challenges a Final Fantasy game will throw at you.
You’re due to run into 100s of monsters while playing through the Final Fantasy games, and the key to survival is never underestimating your opponent. Just because it’s a random encounter doesn’t mean these creatures can’t end your game just as soon as a boss could.
So, prepare for any area you approach and be prepared for tough fights at all times. If you’ve found this Final Fantasy Enemies guide useful, here are some related Final Fantasy guides you can check out: