Thanks to AXL-Low-Player for the inspiration.
I keep thinking about how magic in Final Fantasy evolves according to the game design. Not only that, but the lore informs how the magic materializes. So for each of the Final Fantasy games:
We have FFV and X-2, where the job system has a true reason to be there, with each job coming from either old warriors who fought for the crystals or the original possessor of the Dresssphere.
In FFVI, we have the Magicites which are the essence of an esper so it makes sense that they increase their wearers’ magical abilities.
In FFVII, the Materias also work because they are basically part of nature, so it’s logical that they would allow to cast elemental spells or strengthen their user. But summons don’t make sense because they aren’t mentioned in the story.
In FFX, Aeons are one of the biggest plot points and they protect the summoners so using them to fight is obvious.
In FFXIII, L’Cies unlock new powers as they fight, giving a story purpose to the crystarium and explaining the source of magic.
In FFXV, the crystal grants Noctis his powers so nothing he can do is abnormal.
In every game where magic doesn’t come from a source, the lore conflict with the gameplay because we are supposed to take magic for a natural ability. They could simply explain that humans converts their body’s energy into other energies (Fire, Thunder or Light), or in matter (Earth for solids, Water for liquids and Air for gases) and absorb surrounding energy (Ice, Darkness).
So then where does this leave Final Fantasy IX?
But in every game where magic doesn’t come from a source, the lore conflict with the gameplay. We take magic for a natural ability. They could simply explain that humans convert their body’s energy
- into other energies (Fire, Thunder or Light),
- or in matter (Earth for solids, Water for liquids and Air for gases)
- to absorb surrounding energy (Ice, Darkness).
How cool would it be to get lightning after struck by lightning? Same thing by freezing yourself, or setting yourself on fire.
But magic seems supernatural in all the places where it doesn’t seem to come from a source.
In Final Fantasy II, reading a tomes/scrolls conjures up spiritual forces.
But I wouldn’t love to see them hurt. Yet form a narrative perspective, seeing the weight of gaining such awesome power would be amazing.
I’d cringe, but we get to see the horrible price to pay for wielding such awesome power. And if magic became less useful as the game goes on, have the characters think
“Was the price for power really worth it”?