Throughout the Final Fantasy series, there have been instances of Gods, Goddesses and other Divine Beings. Divine beings often play an active part in the storyline, usually in the role of villain, but on other occasions, the Gods and Goddesses are only part of the game's mythology and background.
When Garland was taken 2000 years in World A's past by the power of the Four Fiends, he became Chaos and sent the monsters into his present to create a stable time loop that essentially made him immortal until he was finally defeated by the Warriors of Light. In Melmond, there was a temple of religion of some sort, but it was destroyed by The Vampire. In the Japanese version, all Towns had Chapels with a cross on top, showing that the townsfolk might have been Christians.
Using dark magic to summon demons to aid in his conquest, the The Emperor of Palamecia split himself into two beings after his demise. The demonic incarnation of the Emperor took Pandemonium as his palace that he rose up to the surface to resume his conquest while his angelic counterpart took residence in Arubboth. The Emperor ultimately died on two fronts: his demonic half defeated by the party of Firion, Maria, Guy, and Leon; while his angelic half was defeated by the deceased party of Josef, Scott, Minwu, and Ricard Highwind.
The Cloud of Darkness is the entity that returns universes to nothingness.
The Creator created the Crystal capable of recording the history of a world and distributed them upon planets which held the promise of life, including the Blue Planet. The Creator, deeming that the evolutionary failures of the inhabitants of the Blue Planet can no longer be permitted, sent out the Maenads to retrieve the Crystals in preparation for the merging of the planet with the True Moon.
The Warring Triad were a trio of Divine beings, the source of all magic in the world and the beings who created the Espers. The trio are named Demon, Fiend, and Goddess. In ancient times the Warring Triad began to fear each other's power and started the War of the Magi. During the war they enslaved humans, turning some of them into Espers.
Eventually, the war ended, and the gods turned themselves into stone, becoming known as the Statues. The gods' final act was to give the Espers their free will and ask them to protect the Statues. The Espers fashioned a new realm, where they fled with the Warring Triad's petrified figures. With Espers and the Triad gone, magic faded into legend. The Triad were placed in a delicate balance, and it was said catastrophe would occur if they were moved out of position.
One thousand years later, Emperor Gestahl rediscovered the secrets of magic and invaded the Esper world and raised the Floating Continent with the Warring Triad's power. However, Kefka seized the Triad's power for himself and moved the Statues out of alignment, shifting the face of the world. Kefka then used the power of the Triad to send a ray of energy called the "Light of Judgment" to burn anyone who opposed him, or even entire towns.
When the player party enters Kefka's Tower in hopes of defeating him, they must destroy the Triad first to rid Kefka of his power source. However, by this point, Kefka has drained most of the Triad's power into himself and thus, he had become the source of all magic, and in effect, a god himself. After the party defeats him, all magic disappears from the world.
Minerva is considered the planet Gaia's goddess, or its consciousness, and a powerful being created by the Lifestream to protect itself. Genesis Rhapsodos believes the "Goddess" mentioned in the poem LOVELESS can cure him of his degradation with her gift, and eventually encounters what appears to be a vision of Minerva in the Lifestream.
A female goddess statue (which, however, bears little resemblance to the vision of Minerva Genesis encounters in the Lifestream in Crisis Core) can be seen in Banora Underground in Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- and in Midgar in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.
In a sense, the Lifestream can be thought as the divine power and entity guarding the planet.
It appears the world of Final Fantasy VII has little in the way of practiced religions, although the nation of Wutai is noted to worship the Water Dragon deity Leviathan. An old church also exists in the slums of Midgar; the church is an important location to the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, with many events taking place within its walls. Sephiroth attempted to merge with the Lifestream, which would make him a god, but failed due to intervention of the protagonists.
Hyne is the name of a god in the world's legends, said to be the origin of the Sorceress Power. Final Fantasy VIII, again, appears to have no practiced religion, and the stories of Hyne appear more as legends and myths told to children. The story of Hyne recited in the game is that of a god who created the world, and created the humans to help him build it while he would sleep. However, as Hyne woke up, he realized people had populated the planet in great numbers.
Hyne considered there to be too many people and attempted to reduce their numbers, but the people rebelled and waged war against their creator, and eventually managed to corner him. Hyne managed to trick the people by promising them a part of his power. However, it turned out the part Hyne had given the people was nothing more than his cast-off skin. Furious, the people searched for the god, but no trace of him could be found.
Interestingly, the Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania Omega contains a short story written by the game's scenario writer, which delves more into the Sorceresses' origins. It appears that Hyne, after casting off his skin, divided his being and entered his spirit inside certain human women, as he appeared to feel sympathy toward them as beings that needed protection. These women gained the power to use magic, thus becoming Sorceresses. It could thus be said that the Sorceresses in Final Fantasy VIII wield Divine power. The Power doesn't perish along with the human body, but upon the Sorceress's death will seek a new host.
Although there are no churches seen in the game and Hyne's name is only mentioned when specifically discussing the mythology surrounding him, characters do use the word "God" as an exclamation. Whether they refer to Hyne or a different god is unknown.
It could be said that the crystal, the origin of all life in the universe, is a Divine being. Every planet has its own crystal residing in the planet's core that is the source of all life on the said planet. Planets' crystals can also give birth to powerful beings born of memories of myths and legends, known as Eidolons, to protect them.
At the game's end, Kuja appears to travel back in time to the Crystal World and to the beginning of all time in his attempt to destroy the crystal and end the universe. The link between the crystal seen in Crystal World in the game's end, and the planets' own crystals, is unclear, although it could be speculated that the planets' crystals originate from the "mother crystal". Final Fantasy IX Ultimania Omega explains that after the planet's crystal grows old it will die and return to the cosmos, which could mean that all life eventually returns to the mother crystal, the origin of the universe.
After Kuja's attempt to destroy the universe, Necron appears with the intent of reducing all existence into nothingness, or "zero world". It is unclear what sort of being Necron is, whether a god of some sort or otherwise, as although Necron claims to be eternal, the aforementioned Ultimania explains Necron having been born out of Kuja's will to destroy all existence.
Esto Gaza is a place of worship on the Lost Continent from where the Shimmering Island is visible. As a result, many travel to Esto Gaza on a religious pilgrimage. It is unknown what deity the pilgrims worship, but Shimmering Island's status as the gateway between Terra and Gaia, which causes it to shine when open, is most likely the reason it has gained religious relevance.
The world of Spira practices the religion of Yevon. The teachings of Yevon state that the monster Sin is the people's curse for having violated the teachings of Yevon by adopting the use of forbidden machina. The teachings state that through repentance, the people may rid themselves of Sin for good. Most of the world, with the exception of the Al Bhed, follow Yevon, and most towns have a temple.
Within the temples lay the Chamber of the Fayth, which a summoner can approach to gain the power to summon the Fayth's aeon. Summoners set out to a pilgrimage to Zanarkand where they obtain the Final Aeon, with which they can attempt to destroy Sin. Yevon teaches that if the people repent enough, Sin won't be reborn.
During the game, it is revealed that Yevon is a false god and, in fact, the very being that keeps summoning Sin, resulting in its return after each defeat. After Summoner Yuna and her guardians destroy Yu Yevon, Sin disappears for good, but so do aeons, as all dreams of the Fayth disperse.
In Besaid Temple in the distant past, the main hall had statues of the gods people worshiped before the time of Yevon: Kush, goddess of food and shelter; Velm, god of safety; Slone, god of quenching regret; Arb, god of knowledge; Luchel; god of War, Kanaela; goddess of protection from darkness; Meiyou, goddess of light; and Guarudo, god of rest.
The creation myth widely accepted in Vana'diel centers around the Dawn Goddess Altana and the Twilight God Promathia. The legend speaks that Altana was the one who created Vana'diel whereas Promathia had cursed the children of Vana'diel with the flaws they have.
Although the majority of the enlightened races of Vana'diel worship the Goddess Altana, Her followers are generally divided into various orders, such as the Church of San d'Oria, the Church of Tavnazia and the Eimert Church. The beastmen Sahagin also worship the Goddess. On the other hand, Promathia is shunned by the people and rarely brought up, if not forgotten entirely. Although He is generally taken to be the patron deity of the beastmen, they do not explicitly worship him. Promathia is mistakenly worshiped by the Moblin, whose true patron deity is Alexander.
Besides Altana and Promathia, there are elemental beings known as the Sleeping Gods that reside in proto-crystals scattered around Vana'diel. While knowledge of their existence is limited, they are typically only revered as entities of great power. The sole exception to this is the Dark Divinity Odin, who has since been freed from his proto-crystal. Odin counts the Kindred as his followers, as well as the fallen civilization of Ephramad and those who have pledged themselves to be his servants.
There are numerous other religious beliefs in Vana'diel, but not all, such as Talekeeperism and Animitism, make references to divine entities. In the Near East, the people of Aht Urhgan follow the teachings of the great sage Walahra and worship the Serpentking Zahak. The beings known as Cait Sith that players come into contact with during the events of Wings of the Goddess can be considered as divinity as they are created from the tears of Altana herself.
The rest of the beastmen of Vana'diel worship a diverse pantheon of gods. For instance, the Yagudo Theomilitary worship their leader, the Manifest, and the tonberries worship the disfigured goddess Uggalepih, who may not actually exist given the origins of their kind.
- See also: Ivalice#History of Ivalice
The Occuria Edit
The Occuria are the gods in the world of Ivalice. The people of Ivalice refer to them simply as "gods", although the Occuria refer to themselves as either Occuria or Undying. The Occuria watch over Ivalice and attempt to manipulate history by giving power to persons they deem worthy. Among these people are those referred to as the "Dynast King", but the Occuria themselves call them "Saints". Following the Occuria's wishes the Saints set out to wield the magickal power given to them in form of nethicite, and destroy and conquer nations as the Occuria see fit.
During the course of Final Fantasy XII, however, one Occuria takes a different route and sets out to free mankind from the Occuria's grasp by teaching people how to manufacture their own nethicite. To fight against this turn of events the Occuria choose Princess Ashe as their new Saint and ask her to destroy the Archadian Empire. Ashe, however, claims she is "no false Saint for them to use", and destroys the Sun-Cryst, the origin of all nethicite and its power, thus severing the tie between the Occuria and mankind.
The Occuria are also known as the beings who created the Espers, immortal beings who wield great magickal power. As the game's bestiary entries suggest, the Espers in time grew arrogant, believing themselves the greatest force in all the world, and, deeming themselves even greater than the Occuria themselves, set out to wage war with them. The battle was led by the leader of all Espers, the Archangel Ultima. The Espers nonetheless were no match for the Occuria who banished them to the realm of mist only to manifest in the real world when a summoner would call upon them.
Despite Occuria's immense power and immortality, it is unclear whether they are truly Divine, as it appears the Occuria used to live on Ivalice, judging by the ruins of Giruvegan they have left behind, and also the fact that they are unable to directly influence the mortal world, and only meddle via the intermediary of nethicite.
Faram the Father, God of Light Edit
Unlike most Final Fantasy main series games, the world of Final Fantasy XII has a practicing religion, namely the Light of Kiltia. It was founded by the prophet Kiltia 2000 years prior to the story, and is a polytheist faith system where a pantheon of gods is led by Faram the Father, God of Light. Mt Bur-Omisace is the faith's center and those who hold to the faith are known as the Kiltias.
Kiltias are known to end their prayers with the name of their deity, Faram, and do the gesture of crossing their arms across their chest. The highest among the ranks of the Light of Kiltia is the Gran Kiltias, who stays in the temple at the top of Mt Bur-Omisace. The Gran Kiltias is known to be a man of wisdom and deep thought, with possession of powerful magick. The Gran Kiltias at the time of Final Fantasy XII is Gran Kiltias Anastasis.
The aegyl worship the god Feolthanos. During the game it is revealed that Feolthanos is a false god and only attained immortality by siphoning power from the auraliths. In fact, long ago Feolthanos was a regular aegyl and the leader of the race. He had a viera wife and children. Feolthanos revolted against the Occuria, and took his people to Lemurés, using the auraliths to lock the sky continent away in mist. Before sealing Lemurés Feolthanos left behind treasures for his viera children, in the form of auracite and a giant airship, the Galbana, hoping that one day they would be reunited.
When the aegyl settled in the land of Lemurés, Feolthanos wrote the Canon, a book of verse laying down the foundations and principles for the aegyl. He still harbored a hatred toward the Occuria and used the auracite to build a palace high in the sky where he absorbed the auracites' power, melding with the auralith to become a god himself. He used the other two auraliths to steal the anima of the rest of the aegyl to make them easier to control. Vaan and his friends managed to eventually defeat him, making him a mortal again. Feolthanos faded away and without him, Lemurés crumbled and fell from the sky.
The world of Final Fantasy XIII knows three deities, Hallowed Pulse, Fell Lindzei, and the Goddess Etro. In a video of the mythology of the Fabula Nova Crystallis, shown at the January 18th 2011 Square Enix Conference, it was revealed a god named Bhunivelze created the three deities in order to find the door to the Unseen Realm, which apparently contained Bhunivelze's defeated mother Mwynn. The gods' true forms are crystals, and are represented in the official mythology video as symbols.
Pulse created the world of Gran Pulse and the fal'Cie that aid in terraforming the land to find the Door of Souls, which links the living world to the afterlife. Lindzei produced fal'Cie of her own to serve in Bhunivelze's desire to defy death as he enters a deep sleep until the door is found. Etro, being discarded for her resemblance to Bhunivelze's mother, sacrificed herself, disappearing from the world, and humankind was born out of her blood through Lindzei's power. In the process, Etro finds the Door of Souls and becomes its keeper, serving to preserve the natural order which Bhunivelze was attempting to disrupt with his fal'Cie.
According to legend, Lindzei created Cocoon and tasked fal'Cie with maintaining it and luring humans to live in the paradise. However, both Lindzei and Pulse were gone without a trace, leaving their respective fal'Cie orphaned. As a result, Lindzei's fal'Cie devised a plan to mass sacrifice the humans of Cocoon to force Etro's Gate to reveal itself, in order to summon back their Maker. This plan needed to involve Pulse's fal'Cie and their chosen human servants, as Lindzei's fal'Cie could not destroy themselves, nor use their own servants against themselves, to destroy their power source Orphan which would deactivate Cocoon with the resulting crash killing all residents in Cocoon.
Unlike Pulse and Lindzei, Etro appears to be the only deity who still actively influences the world of Final Fantasy XIII; among such measures are the Eidolons, whom she sends to l'Cie involuntarily bound by a Focus to save them from despair. The Gran Pulse legends also recite that it was Etro who stopped Ragnarok during the War of Transgression and later intervened to release Lightning and her allies, save Oerba Yun Fang and Oerba Dia Vanille, from their l'Cie status.
However, the events of Final Fantasy XIII-2 result in Etro's death, creating the unstable reality that Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII takes place in. By that time, Bhunivelze is revived and names Lightning as his savior to have her guide the souls of Nova Chrysalia to a new world he created for the souls to reside and begin life anew. But upon learning of Bhunivelze's plans for humanity, Lightning defeats the deity and his body is sucked into a new Unseen Realm with humanity living in a new world devoid of deities.
There are multiple beings in Eorzea are called or worshiped as deities. The first featured in Final Fantasy XIV are the Twelve, benevolent deities who ruled the continent and its surrounding islands until the arrival of wandering tribes. Impressed by the resilience of the primitive settlers, each of the Twelve mercifully saw fit to ensure their welfare before departing. They became worshiped by the new residents of Eorzea, becoming patrons of various cities, regions and guilds. The Twelve were summoned by the Elezen mage Louisoix Leveilleur to re-imprison the elder primal Bahamut after he is released from the prison moon Dalamud by the actions of Nael Van Darnus.
As opposed to the new races, the native beastmen of Eorzea worship beings known as the Primals (referred to as eikons by the forces of the Garlean Empire), beings who were sealed away from Eorzea until the death of the dragon Midgardsormr, which broke a seal containing a vast store of aether. This promoted the beastmen to attempt summoning their respective Primals, threatening the stability of the land due to the vast ammount of energy needed for the summonings.
During the events of A Realm Reborn, the Twelve are frequently mentioned or evoked by name, while the Primals become enemies that must be defeated by adventurers. Two other main deities are mentioned during the game's events, along with sects that worship or work in their name. One deity is the goddess Hydaelyn, who is referred as the creator of the world, which shares her name. The other deity is called Zodiark, who appears to be a male deity of chaos. His worshipers are the Ascians, a race of ethereal beings who work through other people to ensure the release of their god.
As part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis series, Final Fantasy XV includes part of its mythos. Etro returns with her role as the Goddess of Death, the legend saying the recently deceased appear before Etro's Gate, which the goddess opens to allow the soul to enter the afterlife. People who have had a near-death experience appear to be in touch with the divine and receive the ability to observe crystal energy (the power human souls are made of), which manifests as a glimmering light around people who will soon die. According to an interview with the developers in 2008, the people of the world of Final Fantasy XV worship Etro.
Nearly a century after Final Fantasy XII, a separate Kiltia sect is created by Saint Ajora, with his claiming that Faram was the only one true deity to worship. It is revealed that Saint Ajora was in fact a human host for the Esper, or Lucavi as they are known in Final Fantasy Tactics, Ultima. Saint Ajora ended up becoming a prominent figure in the world religion. During the game's course the Lucavi attempt to resurrect their leader, the Archangel Ultima, shown in Final Fantasy XII to be lesser deities created by the Occuria.
Two spell quotes from the Black Mage mentions two unnamed gods, the quote from the Death spell mentions a death god and the Flare spell mentions a dark god. Ultima's spell quote for Return mentions the Gods of time and tide.
The whole monotheism/polytheism thing is something I've seen a lot of people mention. The Church of Glabados is clearly modeled around Christianity, and the religion itself would seem to be a monotheistic one. Yet in the very opening scene of the game, Ovelia's prayer mentions "kami-gami" (gods, in the undeniable plural). Since the game's script had made it clear that followers of the world's religion spoke of more than one god, we retained that plurality in the English.
- —Tom Slattery, translator for Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions
Time God Zomala Edit
The Time God Zomala is mentioned in Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift. He is a deity whose powers are invoked via a pact made by the summoner. His most notable power is creating dimensional rifts that lead to forbidden places.
In Final Fantasy Tactics, Loffrey Wodring chants a spell involving Zomala which sends both him and Ramza to the Necrohol of Mullonde. In Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift, when Illua is defeated by Clan Gully at the Ruins of Delgantua, she reveals that she has made a pact with the Time God and calling upon an ancient spell, she transports Clan Gully and herself to Zellea, the Forbidden Land.
As part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis series, Final Fantasy Type-0 include parts of its mythos. The characters Arecia Al-Rashia and Gala are affiliated to the deities Pulse and Lindzei respectively. Their affiliations can also be seen in their ways of trying to find the Door of Souls: while Arecia tries to use powerful souls to reveal the gate, the Judge and his Lulusath warriors try to force the Door to manifest by slaughtering the people of Orience.
The fal'Cie also appear in the form of the land's four semi-sentient crystals, which create l'Cie to protect them and their respective nations. All Orience l'Cie bear the brand of Pulse, further reinforcing Arecia's connection to the god, as she was the one who created them.
The Creator, God in the Japanese version, is the creator of all the worlds in The Final Fantasy Legend and the Tower. He spread the rumor that Paradise can be found at the top of the Tower awaiting those to challenged the Tower. In truth, all of it is merely a game for his own entertainment: to see who would attempt and succeed in scaling the Tower's perils; Ashura and the Fiends.
The New Gods are a group of beings that have used MAGI to become gods. Ashura was once a humble Goblin before he used the power of MAGI: the race of the other New Gods is unclear. The player characters and Guardians gather the MAGI but do not use them to their full extent, but they are not considered New Gods.
Three other beings also carry and use MAGI, though they are not identified as New Gods by the Guardians: Ki was born with MAGI in her body and uses them inadvertently to heal others. The robot Dunatis is called a god, but not a "New God". Lastly, the mysterious Magnate is unknown to the Guardians until he appears before the party and Taro. Alongside Dunatis, Apollo's World has rumors of a god named "Neptune", but the party discovers that acts attributed to this "god" are actually the fault of the Undersea Volcano.
The MAGI itself is the remains of a statue of the Goddess Isis, who is an "Ancient" and claims not to be god, throwing the divinity of the New Gods into question.
The Masters are "Gods" in the sense of the Cthulhu Mythos, which inspired them. They rule the Purelanders. Sol (called "God" in the Japanese version) is among their number: he is said to have created the player character's world and also the Talon.
- See also: Ivalice#The Graylands Incident
The nation of Valendia introduces the faith of St. Iocus and a long forgotten branch of Kiltia led by the enchantress and dancer Müllenkamp. Over two millennia ago, Müllenkamp of Kiltia established a city for her followers, known as Leá Monde, and used it as a stronghold while she wove spells into grimoires and enticed demons to learn of the powers of the Dark.
The power of the Dark grants the wielder many abilities, such as the use of magic, the power to summon monsters, and the awakening of psychic powers on the spiritual level, from casting illusions, controlling minds, to clairvoyance and reading the depths of one's heart. Those who die bathed in its influence are subjected to a theological limbo for all eternity however, unable to pass into the afterlife and forced to remain in the world, while absorbed into the Dark's collective of souls and left in emotional torment as a formless and forever lost spirit.
The Church of St. Iocus is a faith not unlike St. Glabados, that has its roots in Valendia. Identified with a six-lined cross adopted from the faith of Müllenkamp, known as the Holy Rood, it establishes itself as a monotheistic faith that condemns the use of magic throughout Valendia. Although its influence has spread throughout the nation, even to the city of Leá Monde, it nonetheless uses its banishment of magical arts as covert means to gain the powers of the Dark to attain immortality for the faith's Cardinal, and possibly, to use as a potential weapon.
World B, an alternate dimension to World A, the world of the original Final Fantasy, knows two gods: the God of Discord, Chaos, and the Goddess of Harmony, Cosmos. The two are actually perfected manikins, artificial beings created from crystal ore originating from the Rift that ended up in World A.
While Chaos was the product of multiple memories in one hideous body, Cosmos was a duplicate of Cid of the Lufaine's wife who was created by the military as an alternate means to soothe Chaos. Cid explains that it was the summoned warriors (likely the generation of Shantotto, Prishe, and Gabranth) who dubbed the cycle "the conflict of the Gods".
After they end up in World B as the result of Chaos unleashing his powers and opening a portal to World B, Cid makes a bargain with Shinryu to devise a means to return to their world. Becoming the bodiless "Great Will", Cid oversees the endless conflict between the warriors Cosmos and Chaos summon from other worlds to battle for them, while Shinryu revives the fallen warriors after every subsequent war with the losing group losing all memories of themselves and past cycles of conflict. Deciding to put an end to the conflict after eleven cycles, Cosmos places her power within her warriors and sends them on a quest that would manifest the power into crystals.
Despite the manikins' introduction to the war, and losing a number of her warriors as a result, Cosmos's plan succeeds in the thirteenth and final cycle. It leaves Cosmos weakened and it gives Chaos the chance to destroy her. As the world begins to crumble, the heroes manage to remain in the world due to the crystals, giving them the chance to kill Chaos for good. After Garland is sent back in time to remain the cycle from this position, Chaos is overwhelmed as he regains the lost memories of his life in World A, giving him true understanding of the cycle of war.
Shinryu gives him the power to end the cycle in his victory, and purge all existence. In the final battle, Chaos is defeated, and the warriors of Cosmos return to their worlds as the god is consumed in fire. In the game's secret ending, it is revealed Cosmos is alive and well as she intends to remain in World B even as it begins to slowly fade out of existence.