Why do so many Final Fantasy games exist? The official mythos was that this game would be Sakaguchi’s “final” attempt to make a game, before returning to university. Of course, Final Fantasy was a rousing success. Yet, the games proved so successful, that the company decided to make a sequel. However, as Sakaguchi famously stated he hates sequels.
“I don’t like sequels. “I hate them.”
“Our promise to ourselves is that for every single game that we make, we are going to give it our all, and then we finish it, we’ll end it in such a way that there is no to be continued checklist.”
The compromises: each game in the main series would have its own universe, unique story, and cast. We need not play earlier Final Fantasy games to understand the more recent ones. No continuity between the main series games exists.
However, later games exploited the time loop within the first Final Fantasy. According to the first game, Garland himself exploited a time loop:
Garland tells the Warriors of Light that the power of the Four Fiends in the present sent him to the past when he was on the brink of death after his defeat, and Garland then sent the Four Fiends in the past to the present. By this, Garland has created a time loop that will allow him to live forever.
As we know from Dissidia, Garland and the Warriors of Light reside in World A. Yet, the other nine main protagonists from the subsequent nine games also. They each fade away one by one. How? Garland’s actions created a stable time loop. The world rests after 2000 years, and the geography changes. This is how we get the varied worlds of Final Fantasy. These geographical changes are due to cataclysms involving the Four Fiends. Each of the Four Fiends reincarnates as a different form from Final Fantasy II – XIII:
- Emperor Mateus absorbs the Four Fiends, who split into both Light and Dark (Chaos) Emperor.
- All of the Four Fiend dissolve into the Void.
- The Four Fiends become the Four Arch-Fiends.
- The Statues of the Warring Triad contain the power of the Four Fiends.
- The Four Fiends exist in the Lifestream.
- The Hyne absorbs the Four Fiends.
- The Four Fiends make their return as the Four Guardians.
- Each of the Four Fiends represent the Pryeflies that form Sin.
- Each of the Four Fiends represent an Occurian.
- The god Bhunivelze absorbs the Four Fiends.
Yet, according to the game, the Warriors of Light sever the time loop and restore the elements, right? Yes, in that time continuity. Yet, Garland’s actions continue in another parallel universe. The server was a split in the timeline the Warriors of Light create. The mere trick of fate that chained Garland to the time.
In the first time continuity, Garland wins. Chaos secures the twelfth incarnations of the cycle. With no other cycles, Final Fantasy worlds cease to exist. This means no more games.
In the second time continuity, Garland loses. The stable time loop resolves, and life on World A proceeds as normal. Garland remains Cornelia’s loyal knight. The Elven and Mermaid races prosper. And the Lufenian civilization thrives.
The Warriors of Light never realize that by destroying Chaos, they reset the time loop. What they also fail to realize was that they too were the Four Fiends. They cross time and return to their world. But by going into the past, they become the Four Guardians of their respective crystals in two continuities.
Regardless of either continuity, the time loop resets.