Espers (幻獣, Genjū?, lit. "Phantom Beast") are magical creatures in the Final Fantasy series. The word refers to the monsters called into battle by a summoner. In this, Esper is somewhat synonymous with the term Eidolon.
Espers appear in two Final Fantasy universes: that of Final Fantasy VI and that of Ivalice, setting of Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions, and Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift.
- Main article: Esper (Final Fantasy VI)
In Final Fantasy VI, espers were beings created by the Warring Triad during their battle for power centuries ago, when animals and humans were caught in the magical crossfire of their struggle. The espers retreated to an alternate dimension to hide themselves from humans after the War of the Magi, where their powers were abused by humans. A thousand years later, the Gestahlian Empire discovers the gate to the esper world and captures several espers. This led to the development of Magitek by extracting their powers and using them to power war machines and imbue humans with magic. The revelation that the legends of the espers are true and they are the source of the Empire's strength serves as a major turning point in the game's plot.
- Main article: Esper (Final Fantasy XII)
The Espers return in this title as Scions created by the gods for various purposes, and many of them are stated to be opposed by another Scion attuned to light. Each Esper is tied to a specific element and a sign of the Zodiac, and many take cues in their design from the Lucavi of Final Fantasy Tactics or past Final Fantasy villains.
- Main article: Esper (Revenant Wings)
Espers return in the sequel to Final Fantasy XII, but the roster is considerably expanded.
The summons of the original translation were unnamed, but are given the Esper moniker in the remake. Their origins are unknown. The remake also retcons the Lucavi, the game's villains, to state they are the same beings as the Espers of Final Fantasy XII.
Esper is used as the overarching term for anything summoned, much as it was in Revenant Wings. This includes the god-scorned scions, the humanoid gigases (such as Ifrit and Ramuh), and the spirit beasts (such as Kirin and Phoenix).
While the Yarhi of Lemurés are certainly distinct from those of Ivalice, it is unknown if those of Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy XII, and Final Fantasy Tactics A2 share an origin. Only those of Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics A2 are called by a unique Summoner class.
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- Main article: Esper (Airborne Brigade)
Esper is a word used to name summons in Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade. It is said that only Espers have the ability to restore light to a crystal that has lost its glow. Espers are usually contained within circular red gems, of which may be occasionally discovered by feeding a green chocobo or by defeating the Espers themselves in battle.
Final Fantasy Legend SeriesEdit
- Main article: Mutant
Male and female espers appear as a playable race in the Japanese version of The Final Fantasy Legend, Final Fantasy Legend II, and Final Fantasy Legend III. They are very different from the summoned monsters, as they are simply a race who are neither human or beast. In the English version, they are called "mutants", which reflects their nature more accurately.
"Esper" is a recurring term in science fiction, used to describe an individual with paranormal abilities. It was original coined by Alfred Bester in his 1950 short story "Oddy and Id", deriving the word from the abbreviation "ESP" (Extrasensory perception).