You know you’ve officially “made it” when you have adorable plushies fashioned after your inherently cute design. The Chocobo is a staple in any Final Fantasy game. A monster nonetheless, but a cute one.
Chocobos are large bird-like creatures that can be ridden across the wilderness of whatever landmass the Final Fantasy you’re playing finds you. Chocobos come in a variety of forms: Fat (item storage), multi-colored (traversal of different terrain), armored (war), race-ready, or the hero of the story (much love to Chocobo Mystery Dungeon).
Why has the Chocobo managed to remain relevant as the premier creature of the Final Fantasy franchise? Cute factor plays a big part, no doubt. But they also serve as a point of familiarity in whatever new Final Fantasy game you’re playing. No matter where you are, finding one of these adorable creatures brings with it an immediate comfort. You know this giant bird won’t harm you, no matter how big its talons are (sometimes). And what better way of announcing it’s peaceful nature than with a soft “kweh!”
The Moogle is a remarkable monster. It’s short stature and fluffy fur immediately bring about an inherent “aww“ nature. It’s tiny wings contrast nicely against a chubby body, who’s ability to stay afloat immediately details some sort of magical ability this creature wields. And the poofy ball on their head is to turn your audible “aww” into immediately looking for a plush toy online and getting that sucker expedited to your doorstep.
Moogles are so delightful because they act as an intermediary agent into a magical realm. Alas, real life, sadly, is not magical. The idea that we could somehow run into this fluffy creature and believe in the impossible is what allows them to serve as wondrous guides in the entries in the franchise in which they inhabit, primarily Final Fantasy VI.
Unlike the previous two monsters, the Cactuar is both deadly and adorable. Upon first discovery, the Cactuar is an easy enemy to underestimate. It’s small body and erratic movement illicit a laugh as you ready yourself to mash the fight command eager to return to the fruitful treasures of exploration.
Your party powerhouse steps up to swing and – miss. Wait, what? Nothing but bad luck. The party members who have yet to attack, do so, each ending in a tragic miss that sees the Cactuar bob-and-weave the potentially fatal strikes. The Cactuar is fast. But what about the deadly aspect?
Now that your party’s acted, it’s the Cactuar’s turn. Lucky players will only experience the potentially lethal strike known as 1,000 Needles. This move, aptly named, shoots 1,000 needles at an unlucky party member to damage them – you guessed it, 1,000 points worth of damage.
Unluckier players may get a chance to witness the devastation that is 10,000 Needles. Which instantly kills any party member, no matter how much health they have (unless you’re playing FFX). This attack is a joke in itself because the typical health point threshold for any Final Fantasy game is typically set at 9,999 HP. That one extra needle is enough to send the strongest party members begging for a Phoenix Down.
Unlike every monster so far, the Marlboro is easily the ugliest creature in the history of the franchise. But, oddly enough, it’s green tendrils and gaping mouth lined with razor sharp teeth are disgustingly charming. Like a creature straight from the pages of Lovecraft, the Malboro will drive you insane. Not at the advent of corporeal knowledge of the elder gods, nor it’s ghastly gaze, but because of its bad breath.
The Malboro has one of the most debilitating attacks in any Final Fantasy game. Its “bad breath” is a cocktail of status ailments that threaten to plunge the strongest party into the darkest depths of the GAME OVER screen. The various effects of the move include (depending on the entry you find them): poison, slow, darkness, silence, sleep, confusion, and berserk. The attack itself does no damage – that comes later.
You’re hit with the attack and your entire party is rendered useless. You attempt damage control and realize control is entirely out of your hands. You wait with bated breath as one of your heroes rises from their sleep. Cool. But instead of healing the party like they should, they attack a fellow member only to have it miss. This is your hell, and turn after turn, poison is slowly chipping away at your health. Doom is on the horizon and their is nothing you can do. Smart players always equip at least one party member (beforehand of course), with that status-thwarting ribbon on the off-chance you encounter a terrifying Malboro.
The Tonberry is equal parts adorable as it is deadly. Typically encountered during the late-game, the Tonberry is usually alone when your party finds it. With a humble lamp, the Tonberry uses each of its turns to move a few steps closer to your party. You’re not sure why, but the sight of this little one plunges you into desperation. You attack with all your might, your party inflicting massive damage with each blow, but the Tonberry merely brushes off the damage.
When it arrives within reach, the Tonberry withdraws a small knife from its coat and stab! The resulting blow usually leaves one party member dead, or severely maimed. You rush to heal your party member when stab! Another member down.
Fortunately for players, the Tonberry usually travels alone. But sometimes, it brings a friend.
The Behemoth is one of the first monsters players encounter in any Final Fantasy game that makes them pause the game in fright. Wow. That thing is huge. This horned wall of muscle snarls like a bull ready to charge. With devastating lunges and charges, the Behemoth can make short work of the most experienced adventuring parties.
However, as you level up and increase in strength, your bouts with the Behemoth grow shorter and shorter until you kill them by simply looking at them – or so it seems. But their demented genus packs something even more powerful – an ace in the sleeve. The King Behemoth.
This ‘roided up big brother is as regal as hell and a walking death machine on all fours. Plus it’s gold. Survive a fight against one of these suckers, then you’ve earned some bragging rights.
Available in a rainbow of colors, the Flan is one of the most fascinating monsters in the entirety of Final Fantasy. It actively forces players to change the way they play the game. While exploring the over-world, players often mash the confirm button to mindlessly slay weak enemies to continue with their adventure. This lackadaisical approach to adventuring is efficient: quick battles and even quicker XP.
You contemplate putting on a movie while you grind away, but then this little sucker throws a wrench in your plans. Your usual haymakers are reduced to a petty slap against this amorphous blob. Their bodies, mostly made of goo, render any physical attack useless. Their weakness is magic. But which spell? Choose the right spell and you’re guaranteed an instant kill; choose the wrong one and risk healing the creature back to maximum health.
The key? Their color. Find a Red Flan? Better cast an ice spell. Blue? Better use some lightning. The Flan forces players to remain actively engaged with the game which is something most creatures simply fail to do.
Much like the Behemoth, the mere sight of the Adamantoise inspires awe and reverence. This giant land turtle easily dwarfs the party in size and its hard-shell keep it nice and safe from your sharp swords. The most powerful physical attacks will do the same amount of damage you once did to enemies at the start of your adventure.
The secret? Like most creatures in Final Fantasy, if one type of attack doesn’t work, try the other! Magic attacks work wonders against the Adamantoise, but be warned! Some Adamantoise’s are capable of casting Shell or MBarrier, a spell capable of weakening magical attacks. When this happens you better buckle down and prepare for the long war ahead.
The Magic Pot is an unusual monster. Unlike other monsters, the Magic Pot means the party no harm. Instead, at the start of battle, the creature emerges from the confines of its pot to yell, “‘Gimme an Elixir!.”
You know those things you’ve been hoarding the entire game? The items that you refuse to touch, no matter how dire the circumstances your party find themselves in? Time to bust them out. Giving a Magic Pot an Elixir results in a cheerful dance followed by an instant kill. The result? Obscene amounts of experience, Gil, and AP.
Loiter around too long and you run the risk of angering the Magic Pot. Instead of a damage dealing attack, the Magic Pot steals a random item before running away from the battle, potentially leaving you without an Elixir with no reward.
The Bomb is an interesting monster because it builds dread in the player the longer you battle it. Like its name suggests, the Bomb’s attacks are volatile in nature. Usually, it deals damage through quick, physical blows or fire attacks. But the big attack comes when you attack.
With every physical blow it sustains, the Bomb inflates twice the size of its body. This deranged balloon does this twice before calling it quits. If it’s going down, it’s going to try and take you down with it. The self-destruct attack sacrifices the life of the Bomb for the life of one of your party members (usually). The result can be one of two things: an inconvenient trip into the menu to heal your downed ally, or, a devastating depletion of vital resources during a pivotal moment of the game. The latter is truly a hellish experience to go through, and certainly gives credence to the Bomb as a force to be reckoned with.
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