Each Final Fantasy has no more than three female characters to illustrate the stages in a woman’s life.
In 1957, Corbett H. Thigpen and Hervey M. Cleckley co-authored a book entitled The Three Faces of Eve which described the first popular account of a case of multiple personalities (now called Dissociative Identity Disorder)“.
They had previously published a research article on their patient ‘Eve’ in 1954, documenting the psychiatric sessions and how they came to view it as a case of ‘multiple personality’.
But the Three Faces of Eve theory evolved into three defining stages of a woman’s life: a child (representing innocence), a maiden or seductress (representing sexuality) and a mother (representing wisdom). If true, we many of the female characters have these certain traits.
|Final Fantasy IV||Porom||Rydia||Rosa|
|Final Fantasy V||Krile||Faris||Lenna|
|Final Fantasy VI||Relm||Terra||Celes|
|Final Fantasy VII||Yuffie||Tifa||Aerith|
|Final Fantasy VIII||Selphie||Rinoa||Quistis|
|Final Fantasy IX||Eiko||Freya||Garnet (Dagger)|
|Final Fantasy X||Rikku||Lulu||Yuna|
|Final Fantasy X-2||Rikku||Yuna||Paine|
|Final Fantasy XII||Penelo||Fran||Ashe|
|Final Fantasy XIII||Vanille||Fang||Vanille|
Each character has certain variations, but fans believe they more or less “fit” their personalities. In fact, the way they interact with the character bring out these traits.
All Final Fantasy games do not have this structure. Final Fantasy I, II, III, XI and XIV do not have this structure. Final Fantasy XV is also an outlier, whereas it has an all male cast, yet five prominent women (Lunafreya, Gentiana, Iris, Cindy and Aranea) in the story. Unless they broke tradition, this may not have been the main intention.
The fact that many of the Final Final females embody these traits might be common trope independent of the theory.
While not evidence against it, the theory seems to be very male-centric, as in how all of the women fit neatly into a category, whereas the men do not seem to have these same stages. Only Yuna, with possibly Lightning, has been able to change her personality across games. This theory would almost suggest a formula that the women in the game were created so that the men could understand females. If so, only an idealistic interpretation of women can be ascertained… It creates even flatter women.
After Final Fantasy III, Final Fantasy has had no more than three female characters in each game, a tradition that was broken with Final Fantasy XI.