Even the most epic stories must eventually come to an end. Even The Neverending Story had a final page, and I suspect even the freemium Brave Exvius will eventually come to a halt. Stories rely on their endings for resonance. You can’t truly talk about them until you know where they end up and how all of those threads draw together. So with that in mind…
What is your favorite Final Fantasy ending?
A story doesn’t have to have a happy ending in order to be satisfactory. In fact sometimes a happy ending is woefully misplaced. The ending should fit the narrative.
In light of that, this is a really .hard question for me to answer lol. FFVI was the first Final Fantasy ending I ever saw, and I absolutely loved it. It was so joyful, so full of hope, and I remembered being inspired by it for days afterwards. It perfectly exemplified and framed the theme of hope in the game and could very well be the reason my favorite stories are the kinds that are dark and sorrowful with a joyous conclusion. This bleeds into writing, as well. Oh, I’ll make my characters (often literally) crawl through hell before they can bask in the light. They have to earn their happy ending.
However, contrary to the above, I didn’t have a problem with FFVII’s ambiguous end. It made sense for the narrative (despite what one of the writers at Screenrant seems to think *rolls eyes*), because VII’s story is filled with shadows, secrets, and silence. It lets its questions resonate without fully providing an answer. This is clear in the fact that people are still debating what really happened and who is truly at fault. Though VI explicitly invokes Pandora’s Box, in VII it’s subtly unleashed, but what lies at the bottom is horror not hope, that was extinguished after a prayer. As the most in line with current events, the game leaves the fate of humanity unknown, because it is (of course this was expunged in the sequel)..
FFVIII’s dreamlike conclusion once more fits the story of the game where the characters enter seemingly trance states to view the past, and according to one theory, all the events after the end of Disk 1 are a dream anyway. In opposition to this FFX has an enlightened and awakened feel to its end, which is a contrast from the state of two of its characters whose names I’ll keep hidden for spoiler’s sake.
FFIX reveals its ending in a play after a necessary redemption, lending the game a similar bookendish quality in mimic to FFVII. Since it starts out like a subverted fairy tale, a thief kidnapping a princess who “wants to be snatched,” it stands to reason that it would end in a similar way, though not without its portion of despair *spoiler* Oh Vivi ;_; *end spoiler*
So which one is my favorite? I have to go with Final Fantasy VI.
Though FFVII on a whole holds more powerful emotions for me, FFVI was the first Final Fantasy I finished on my own, and I still remember how amazing I felt because it was a story that showed how hope could still bloom from despair. It recalls me back to a more innocent time at the end of my childhood before cynicism took hold. I know if I played FFVI for the first time today, I’d enjoy the ending, but it wouldn’t have the same impact.
What’s your favorite Final Fantasy ending? If Final Fantasy isn’t your thing (or you haven’t played any yet), what’s your favorite video game ending? Which had the biggest emotional impact on you?