We all know him as our friendly neighborhood antagonist. Also known as Orthros, is a recurring enemy in the Final Fantasy series. Ultros is a carnivorous purple octopus with a writhing mass of tentacles and has many fangs. He frequently cracks corny jokes and makes lecherous comments towards female party members.
Ultros first appeared in Final Fantasy VI as an incompetent but recurring boss. And in this game, his battles represent the four elements.
The first time you meet Ultros, he’s underwater waiting to abuse your party.
Ultros is in the Lethe River when Terra, Edgar, Sabin, and Banon raft towards Narshe to examine the frozen esper and to convince the city to ally with the Returners. Ultros attacks them in the hopes of eating them, then hides underwater after being defeated. Sabin tries to hit Ultros with a blitz, jumping off the raft and washing down the river.
This first battle represents a Water element battle. Since Ultros is a mostly water dwelling cephalopod, it’s safe to strike him with lightning. Fireworks as well. Speaking of fire…
Ultros travels to the Opera House where he decides to pull a trick on the Returners, who are staging a plot to reach the Southern Continent.
An Opera House signifies creativity. Creativity sparks like a fire, and so here is this second Elemental battle, Fire Elemental. But why not fight Ultros in a volcanic region? Wouldn’t that be a little bit more straightforward here? Let’s be creative here…
Ultros travels to the Esper Caves where he finds three golden statues meant to symbolize the Warring Triad, and plans to steal them to make his rival Siegfried jealous.
When the party meets Ultros for the third time, they battle him in a cave, representing the Earth. An Earth Elemental battle. What’s left? Is there much to ask? The sky’s the limit…
As the Returners are heading to the Floating Continent to stop Kefka and Gestahl, Ultros brings his friend, Typhon, with him, intending to defeat and devour the party once and for all. The Returners fight the two, but Typhon sneezes and blows them off the airship’s deck after he and Ultros are defeated.
Here is the final Elemental battle, Wind. So much for the octopus full of hot air.
Strangely enough, there really wasn’t much to do with the elements like in previous Final Fantasy games. And the titles Nomura designed seemed to completely leave them out. But here, the Ultros battles represent a goofy take on the elemental battles. Interesting.