Wisdom of Nym: The franchise references for monsters in Final Fantasy XIV


Final Fantasy XIV has no shortage of references to prior series enemies, but as with so many things, lots of those references are not worth talking about. Yes, tonberries are here! (One is even in the title art.) But there have been tonberries in lots of games in the franchise, and while it is worth noting where they originate (Final Fantasy V), it shows up a bunch.

However, there are also some unusual references to enemies that are scattered throughout the worlds of the game at this point, sometimes things you might not be familiar with or might not have expected. So my goal here is to flag at least some of those. It is eminently possible I will miss one or two, just because… well, as I alluded to, this is dense. The game has a lot of monsters in it, people!

For example, in Zadnor and then again in Garlemald, we have the Death Machines wandering around. This in and of itself isn’t necessarily unique, as several games have featured Death Machines, but their appearance is very specifically based on the Death Machine (or Warmech) from the first Final Fantasy game. Similarly, the Hobgoblins found on the First are styled after Amano’s art for the original Goblins (or Imps) from that same title.

Speaking of Garlemald, there are two different styles of magitek armor employed by the Empire: the ones featured at the game’s launch and the Magitek Predators used in Stormblood and beyond. These both come from Final Fantasy VI. The original style with the black metal is based on Amano’s art for the game, while the style with arms in olive green is based instead upon the actual in-game artwork.

Final Fantasy VI comes up a lot for Garlemald, of course. All three bosses within Castrum Abania are based off bosses fought within the Magitek Factory sequence of that game, although Inferno is the late-game boss with a color swapped based off Number 128 who is actually fought in the factory. (They probably didn’t want two bosses with “number” as a name in a row.)

Final Fantasy VI is also the basis of a segment of the fights in Omega, with Guardian, Phantom Train, Chadarnook, and Kefka all being bosses from the game. The prior wing, of course, pits you against Exdeath, Alte Roite, Catastrophe, and Halicarnassus, all of whom are bosses in FFV. Interestingly enough, all four of those are fought in the Interdimensional Rift, the last dungeon of the game, which is also where Omega and Shinryu are originally from.


You can probably guess from this fact that the bosses in the Crystal Tower sequence (and, indeed, the enemies therein) are based on bosses from Final Fantasy III, which is pretty obvious. The bosses from Return to Ivalice are likewise based on bosses from Final Fantasy XII… at first. In fact, Rofocale is based on a named but unused Zodiac Demon from Final Fantasy Tactics, and Argath, Construct VII, Mustadio, Agrias, and Orlandeau are all from that game, with the last three being allies throughout the game.

Dr. Lugae and Barnabas are both from Final Fantasy IV, and the Magus Sisters fought in the Tower of Zot originally appeared in that game as bosses as well. And as long as we’re talking about dungeon bosses, we’d be remiss not to note that the Magitek Scorpion is a clear reference to Final Fantasy VII’s Guard Scorpion. Of course, later in Stormblood we run into Prometheus, which is based on the boss of the same name and design from FFVI again.

Jeez, Garlemald really cribbed from the Gestahlian Empire’s notes, huh? Despite the fact that they were ripping off the Allagan Empire, who mostly cribbed from FFIII… until you notice those one-armed enemies that keep showing up, who are straight from Final Fantasy XIII. And let’s not forget that the Return to Ivalice foes were not the first time we saw FFXII in the world, as the various two-faced crocs of the world also came directly out of that game.

Ironically, for all of the stylistic and ability homages to Final Fantasy VIII within the Eden series, the only boss actually based off the game was the very first one, Eden itself. Everything else is unique to FFXIV. Whether or not that bothers you is going to depend on a lot of, like… what your deal is. I can’t determine that for you, but the final shots being a clear reference to Squall and Rinoa was a pretty neat thematic callback.

Meanwhile, the Warring Triad was based on the triumvirate of bosses from FFVI again, with the Goddess, the Fiend, and the Demon all being fought in the game proper.

Now, the game’s second set of Alliance Raids was fairly unique in that it didn’t pay homage to a single game; instead, the bosses from it actually did reference several games. Cuchulainn is a boss from FFXII, while Echidna is from FFIII. Diabolos first showed up in FFVIII before making another appearance in Final Fantasy XI. Arachne Eve is from FFIV, Calofisteri is from FFV, and Ozma is a reference to the superboss from Final Fantasy IX (and was apparently tuned to be a nightmare all along). Even Dun Scaith starts off with a big reference as you fight Deathgaze on an airship as in FFVI.

Reap? Always.

Of course, FFXI obviously influenced many parts of the game. The Lamia, the Goblins, the Mamool Ja, the Gigas, and the Qiqirn are all ported in straight from that title. But we also have the Raptors from that entry, and enemies on the moon like Thinkers and Wanderers are a direct reference to the Promyvion enemies from that older game. Also, y’know… we have that explicit crossover raid series coming. So that’s probably going to feature even more references. Just a thought.

This is all without counting the numerous notorious monster names derived from other bosses – or even just reused names. “Halicarnassus” is also the name of the last boss of Haukke Manor (Hard), even, but there’s no connection to FFV there. It’s just a reused name. Heck, there’s a whole thing where names had to be swapped around in Crystal Tower because in Japanese the name is an alternate localization of Titan, which means that it’s obviously a different character than the primal Titan there but it would read the same here.

And honestly, I could keep going down the list for even more references. I half-expect to be finding more I wish I had noted within hours of this, and I know we’ll get even more when Dawntrail launches (even if I still wish we had gotten Sin as a raid series). The point is, though, that this game is replete with references. Downright swimming in them. And hopefully I’ve let you know about at least some you might have missed.

Feedback, as always, is welcome in the comments down below or via email to eliot@massivelyop.com. Next week, I want to talk about something that it feels like gets missed an awful lot when people talk about FFXIV for whatever reason, and that’s a misunderstanding of what being the Warrior of Light actually means.

The Nymian civilization hosted an immense amount of knowledge and learning, but so much of it has been lost to the people of Eorzea. That doesn’t stop Eliot Lefebvre from scrutinizing Final Fantasy XIV each week in Wisdom of Nym, hosting guides, discussion, and opinions without so much as a trace of rancor.
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