Last year, Square Enix released Dissidia: Final Fantasy, a fighting game featuring hit characters from the Final Fantasy series. The game was a hit amongst Final Fantasy fans, selling almost 2 million copies worldwide. At TGS 2010, the sequel Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy (pronounced Dissidia Duodecim Final Fantasy, duodecim is Latin for twelve) was announced with new characters added into the roster.
While there are a number of more famous characters in the character lineup, such as the iconic Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII, there are a lot of less known characters in the lineup. I didn’t know about many of the characters and their histories, so I decided to learn more about them. The following lists the characters in the sequel’s lineup with some background information on where the character came from. It has been announced that all characters from the original game will appear in Dissidia 012, therefore all characters from the first game are listed below. WARNING: Descriptions below may contain spoilers for the original Final Fantasy games.
Warrior of Light, Final Fantasy (Returning Character)
As many know, in the original Final Fantasy, characters were nameless and the player had to determine how the team would be made up. Players could choose characters from the fighter, thief, black belt, red mage, white mage, and black mage job classes. The characters are collectively called the “Warriors of Light”, where this character gets his name. The Warrior of Light represented in Dissidia is a fighter. What’s most interesting is the character’s design does not resemble the characters in the game in anyway. It happens that the design comes from the concept art of the original game.
Garland, Final Fantasy (Returning Character)
Garland is the primary antagonist of the original Final Fantasy game. Due to a time loop in the story, he exists in the game as both the first “boss” character the Warriors of Light defeat as well as the final boss (although in his transformed state as Chaos).
Firion, Final Fantasy II (Returning Character)
Firion is the main protagonist of Final Fantasy II. In the original game he is a master of weapons, which is reflected in the original Dissidia in that he is allowed to use a large array of weapons.
The Emperor, Final Fantasy II (Returning Character)
The Emperor is the main antagonist and final boss of Final Fantasy II. The Emperor is not named in the original game, but later novelizations show that his name is Mateus.
Onion Knight, Final Fantasy III (Returning Character)
Similar to the Warrior of Light above, the Onion Knight isn’t actually a character in Final Fantasy III. The Onion Knight was the character job class in Final Fantasy III that referenced a “generic” class (compared to specific classes like warriors, mages, or thieves). While the updated Nintendo DS version of Final Fantasy III gave the playable characters names, the heroes were nameless in the original Final Fantasy III.
Cloud of Darkness, Final Fantasy III (Returning Character)
The Cloud of Darkness is the final boss of Final Fantasy III. While Xande is the main antagonist of the game, it’s revealed at the end of Final Fantasy III that the Cloud of Darkness was manipulating him from the start.
Cecil Harvey, Final Fantasy IV (Returning Character)
Cecil Harvey is the main protagonist in Final Fantasy IV. He is one of the few characters in the Final Fantasy universe that change their job class completely during the actions of the game, as he changes from a Dark Knight to a Paladin. This is reflected in the original Dissidia as he’s allowed to switch between both classes in combat.
Kain Highwind, Final Fantasy IV (New Character)
Kain Highwind is a Dragoon and childhood friend of Cecil’s in Final Fantasy IV. He is amongst the games most popular characters. During the story he was controlled by Golbez and betrayed Cecil, but later joins the group to make amends.
Golbez, Final Fantasy IV (Returning Character)
Golbez is a major antagonist in Final Fantasy IV. He is the central villain in the game until it is revealed that he was actually being controlled by an evil outside force. He is also the brother of Cecil.
Bartz Klauser, Final Fantasy V (Returning Character)
Bartz is the main protagonist in Final Fantasy V. Taking from the mime job class in Final Fantasy V, Bartz has the ability to mimic or combine powers from other characters in Dissidia.
Exdeath, Final Fantasy V (Returning Character)
Exdeath is the primary antagonist and final boss in Final Fantasy V. Unlike many of the another antagonists in the Final Fantasy universe, Exdeath is actually a manifestation of evil born after so much ancient evil was sealed away. He is not a “character” that had become evil on his own.
Gilgamesh, Final Fantasy V (New Character)
Gilgamesh is Exdeath’s right hand man in Final Fantasy V. He causes problems for Bartz and the protagonists throughout the game. Gilgamesh has become a recurring character in the Final Fantasy universe, often appearing as a summon or side character in later Final Fantasy games.
Terra Branford, Final Fantasy VI (Returning Character)
Terra is the main character in Final Fantasy VI. She is first female main protagonist in a Final Fantasy game and the only female protagonist in Dissidia. Terra’s strong magical abilities in the first Dissidia follow from her strong magical abilities from Final Fantasy VI.
Kefka Palazzo, Final Fantasy VI (Returning Character)
Kefka is the main antagonist and final boss in Final Fantasy VI. He’s amongst the most popular villains in Final Fantasy history as he was maniacal and a sociopath. This is in contrast with most villains who are cold, dark, or distant.
Cloud Strife, Final Fantasy VII (Returning Character)
Cloud is perhaps the most iconic character in the Final Fantasy universe with his trademark spikey hair and buster sword. He’s the main protagonist in Final Fantasy VII who’s troubled past and mixed up memories have made him one of the most popular characters in the Final Fantasy universe and video game history.
Tifa Lockhart, Final Fantasy VII (New Character)
Tifa is a member of the main party in Final Fantasy VII. She was originally a childhood friend of Cloud’s and helps him figure out his past and memories throughout the story. Tifa is amongst the most popular female characters in video game history, as she’s adored for her toughness as a hand to hand fighter, her caring attitude, and her sex appeal.
Aerith Gainsborough, Final Fantasy VII (New Character)
Aerith is another member of the main party in Final Fantasy VII. She’s one of the most popular characters in the Final Fantasy universe. Her death at the hands of Sephiroth is considered one of the biggest events in video game history. Aerith will not be a fully playable, she will only be available for character assists.
Sephiroth, Final Fantasy VII (Returning Character)
Sephiroth is the main antagonist in Final Fantasy VII and one of the most popular villains of all time. Sephiroth’s popularity stems from his murder of Aerith and struggle to find identity in Final Fantasy VII’s story.
Squall Leonheart, Final Fantasy VIII (Returning Character)
Squall is the main protagonist in Final Fantasy VIII. He was the first Final Fantasy character to wield a gunblade weapon. Compared to most Final Fantasy main characters, Squall was the first one to be characterized as a loner or a bit of an uncaring individual.
Laguna Loire, Final Fantasy VIII (New Character)
Laguna was a side-character in Final Fantasy VIII, but at times was the main controlled character. His story was told through a series of dream-like flashbacks until Squall and his group meet him, connecting both of their storylines together. Laguna’s weapon is a machine gun, which will be an interesting addition into Dissidia 012.
Ultimecia, Final Fantasy VIII (Returning Character)
Ultimecia is the main antagonist and final boss in Final Fantasy VIII. She isn’t seen until the final boss encounter, however she pulled many of the strings from the start of the game’s story.
Zidane Tribal, Final Fantasy IX (Returning Character)
Zidane is the main protagonist in Final Fantasy IX. He’s a thief who is involved in the plot to kidnap Princess Garnet which leads to his involvement in the main storyline. He’s one of the few characters in the Final Fantasy universe that has a tail.
Kuja, Final Fantasy IX (Returning Character)
Kuja is the main antagonist in Final Fantasy IX, but not the final boss. For much of the story he plays a role behind the scenes as the cause of many of the world’s problems.
Tidus, Final Fantasy X (Returning Character)
Tidus is the main protagonist in Final Fantasy X and the son of Jecht (see below). Like his father, he becomes a Guardian, helping Summoner Yuna on her quest to defeat Sin.
Yuna, Final Fantasy X / Final Fantasy X-2 (New Character)
Yuna is the female protagonist of Final Fantasy X, the main protagonist of Final Fantasy X-2, and love interest of Tidus. In Final Fantasy X, she was the Summoner that the guardians protected as she ventured on a quest to defeat Sin.
Jecht, Final Fantasy X (Returning Character)
Jecht is the father of Tidus and was the Guardian for Summoner Braska, father of Summoner Yuna. Jecht’s body and incarnation are spiritually the main antagonist and final boss of Final Fantasy X, although most would instead consider Sin the primary antagonist. Jecht was a non-playable character in the original Final Fantasy without a clear job class or strengths. He appears as strong melee character in Dissidia.
Shantotto, Final Fantasy XI (Returning Character)
Final Fantasy XI is a online MMO, so it may be confusing how a character from the game even exists within Dissidia. Shantotto is a non-playable character in the game. She’s a member of the Tarutaru race, a race of small diminutive magic users, and the central character in the expansion pack “A Shantotto Ascension: The Legend Torn, Her Empire Born”.
Prishe, Final Fantasy XI (New Character)
Prishe is another non-playable character from Final Fantasy XI. She’s an Elvaan Monk and White Mage key to the story in the “Chains of Promathia” expansion. Her mix of Monk and White Mage skills will make her an interesting character for Dissidia.
Vaan, Final Fantasy XII (New Character)
Vaan is the main protagonist in Final Fantasy XII. He’s the younger brother of Reks, who he believed to be killed by Basch. No class or primary weapon was assigned to the highly customizable characters in Final Fantasy XII, so it appears Vaan we be able to switch between a large variety of weapons in Dissidia.
Gabranth, Final Fantasy XII (Returning Character)
The twin brother of Basch, Gabranth is a Judge Magister for the Archadian Empire. Unlike many of the antagonists on this list, he actually is not the primary antagonist or final boss of Final Fantasy XII. He is instead one of Vayne’s right hand mans and regularly appears in Final Fantasy XII’s story.
Lightning, Final Fantasy XIII (New Character)
Lightning is the main protagonist in Final Fantasy XIII and wields a gunblade as her primary weapon. Lightning was the first female main character in a Final Fantasy game since Terra in Final Fantasy VI.
Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy New Characters Wish List
“Dissidia: Final Fantasy”, Wikipedia
“Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy”, Wikipedia
“Final Fantasy Wiki”, Wikia
“Dissidia Wiki”, Wikia
Kevin Gifford, “Vaan Shows Up in New Dissidia: Final Fantasy”, 1Up