How Square-Enix Final Fantasy’s Legendary Summons Came to Be Unexpectedly

Yo, my gaming buddies! Gather ’round ’cause I’ve got an epic anecdote to share. You ever wonder how summons became such a huge deal in the world of Final Fantasy? Well, let me tell you how they went from being just a cool feature to an absolute game-changer in the series.

Square Enix, the folks behind Final Fantasy, did this interview with some key people involved in making the games to commemorate the 35th anniversary of Final Fantasy, and Sakeguchi’s 60th birthday. They talked to Hironobu Sakeguchi, Kazuko Shibuya, and Yoshinori Kitase, you know, the masterminds behind the series.

They discussed about all these cool things like Chocobos, elemental crystals, and of course, summons. Well, turns out, these elements are found in almost every game in the series. But here’s the thing: summons weren’t always meant to be a major thing in the games.

It all started back in Final Fantasy III when they were introduced. At first, they were just thrown in there without any grand plan. Can you imagine that? They weren’t even supposed to be a central part of the series.

Now, here’s where it gets really cool. Turns out according to Sakeguchi they had some unused memory space in Final Fantasy 3. So, someone had this smart idea to fill this place with new sprite artworks, but rather than attacking the heroes those new monsters would support them.

Shibuya, the pixel artist for Final Fantasy III, took sketches by Yoshitaka Amano, this amazing character designer, and turned them into the original summon assets. Shibuya was so into it. She wanted the summons to be as huge as possible and made sure to capture all the intricate details from Amano’s sketches.

List of Summons in the NES version of Final Fantasy 3


A bird who aid your party in battle. It deals moderate damage to all enemies.


A giant who causes a massive earthquake to damage all enemies.


The ice goddess, who attacks all enemies with her powerful ice magic.


The elder lightning spirit, who strikes all enemies with a powerful lightning bolt.


The demon from hell, who deals fire damage to all enemies and can also increase the party’s attack power.


The sea monster, who cause a flood to against all enemies.


The mighty Odin, who uses his sword Zantetsuken to instantly defeat most enemies.


The King of all summons.

These summons became such a big hit that they’ve appeared in every single Final Fantasy game since then!

Imagine playing a Final Fantasy game without being able to summon powerful creatures like Odin or Bahamut in today’s world. It’s just mind-boggling, right? That’s how much of an impact these summons have had on the series, and it’s from a random decision. They’ve become an integral part of the whole Final Fantasy experience, and I can’t even imagine the games without them!

Man, I love these historical tidbits about our favorite games. Summons have brought so much excitement and epicness to the Final Fantasy series. It’s just one of those things that makes it so special.







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