5 great FINAL FANTASY love stories

In honour of Valentine’s Day, we celebrate some of FINAL FANTASY’s memorable romances.
By Duncan Heaney

The stories of FINAL FANTASY cover the full range of human experience. Across the various games you’ll encounter joy, anger, danger, excitement and, of course, love.

The series has seen many incredible romances over more than 30 years. Because it’s Valentine’s Day, we thought it would be the perfect time to celebrate just a few - both the famous ones, and a couple that may be a little less well known…

Note: This article contains spoilers for FINAL FANTASY X.

Noctis and Lunafreya

As two very high profile figures in FINAL FANTASY XV’s world, Noctis and Lunafreya are kept apart by duty. Yet, they remain connected by the emotional bonds forged during their childhood.

Also an amazing doggo-based messaging system that’s just the cutest thing.

Lunafreya is an Oracle - essentially the bridge between humanity and the gods. One of her responsibilities is to travel the world, heal the people’s suffering, and hold back the dangers of the night.

Noctis, on the other hand, is heir to the throne of Lucis, and - due to the events of the game - responsible for saving the kingdom from the invasion of the treacherous Niflheim empire.

The two are arranged to be married and determined to make it happen. Despite everything that takes place in the tale - the war, battles with godlike creatures, daeomonic invasions and more - it’s notable that Noctis and friends still make time to go see her wedding dress.

Tidus and Yuna

When Tidus and Yuna first meet, the attraction is obvious. They’re both young, earnest and good at hiding their pain with a good laugh.

The pair only grow closer as Tidus accompanies Yuna on her pilgrimage around the world of Spira - as a summoner, it’s her responsibility to the terrifying, world-wrecking monster Sin.

It’s a heavy burden that adds a significant wrinkle to the relationship, not least because the pilgrimage must end with Yuna’s death. When Tidus finds this out… well, he’s not exactly cool with it, and resolves to find a way to change her fate.

As for whether or not he succeeds… you should pick up FINAL FANTASY X | X-2 HD Remaster and see for yourselves. It’s out now on PlayStation 4 and Steam - and coming to Xbox One and Nintendo Switch on April 16, 2019!

Aerith and Zack

The path of love doesn’t always run smoothly in FINAL FANTASY, and nowhere is this more apparent than with Aerith and Zack.

When the two first meet in CRISIS CORE: FINAL FANTASY VII, there’s an immediate attraction. They don’t get long together, but it’s clear they form a very real, emotional connection.

Unfortunately, tragedy rips them apart. Zack is embroiled in the Nibelheim incident that sets many of the events of FINAL FANTASY VII into motion, but despite his long absence, Aerith doesn’t stop thinking about him. When she encounters Cloud in FINAL FANTASY VII, one of the first things she does is ask whether he knows Zack.

It’s not the most uplifting tale, but for the brief time it lasted, Zack and Aerith shared one of the most charming romances in the FINAL FANTASY series.

Maria and Draco

When you think about FINAL FANTASY VI power couples, Celes and Locke are probably the first that come to mind.

But did you realise there’s another love story within the game - and in one of its most iconic moments too?

I am, of course, talking about the opera. As part of a plan to get hold of an airship, one of your party, Celes, is forced to go undercover as a diva. The opera she sings tells of a romantic saga between two people - Maria and Draco.

The East and Wests are at war. The Western armies are led by the heroic Draco, who is madly in love with the princess Maria (and vice versa). Unfortunately, disaster strikes. The West loses a vital battle, and Draco is presumed dead. With her country defeated, the Western princess Maria is forced to marry Ralse - the prince of the East. She is not enthused about the situation.

But then a twist! During a ball, Draco launches a surprise attack. Making his way to Ralse, he engages the prince in a duel. After a tense battle, Ralse is forced to yield, and Draco wins Maria’s hand once more.

It’s a fun, simple love story, albeit one that’s slightly derailed in the actual game by a frustrated octopus crashing the opera. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?

Squall and Rinoa

Perhaps more than any other game in the series, FINAL FANTASY VIII is a love story. One that involves sorcery, assassinations and a healthy amount of card battling, yes, but the romance between Squall and Rinoa sits at the very heart of the adventure.

When the game starts, Squall is reserved and aloof. He hides his feelings deep inside and keeps everyone in his circle at arm’s reach. That starts to change when he meets Rinoa - her outgoing and upbeat outlook are just what’s needed to bring down his defences.

Over the course of the adventure, we see Squall slowly evolve from that cold, repressed loner, into a warm-hearted hero willing who’s capable of embracing his emotions. In turn, Rinoa gains companionship and stability - two things she desperately needs.

They make for an adorable couple - one you’re excited to help get together. And if you’re not… well, you can always go beat up a few dinosaurs in Balamb Garden instead.

Those are just a small sample of the great love stories in FINAL FANTASY, but which stir your heart? Let us know in the comments and via our social channels: