7 unsung heroes of Square Enix games

The likes of Clive and Cloud may get all the attention, but Square Enix games are full of heroes who contribute in their own way. Let's celebrate them!
By Duncan Heaney

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Typically, we tend to focus on the flashiest - those sword-wielding wonders who make the box art, appear in the trailers, or even join the party to help save the day.

But Square Enix games are full of characters who make an equally big impact on the story but sneak under the radar. It may be because they’re an NPC, or work behind the scenes, but each of them makes a vital contribution. Simply put, you couldn’t save the day without them.

We think it’s time some of these heroes get the adulation they deserve. So read on, and we’ll highlight just a few unsung heroes who deserve their moment in the spotlight.

Cor Leonis - FINAL FANTASY XV Royal Edition

Cor and Gladiolus battling monsters inside a cave

While much of FINAL FANTASY XV focuses on Prince Noctis and his friends, a lot of people are working behind the scenes to make his journey a success - first and foremost among them, Marshal Cor.

When Insomnia falls to the Niflheim Empire, it’s Cor who meets the heroes to guide them on the path to taking it back. He provides vital support in helping them break through an Imperial blockade, working with Noctis directly to help him infiltrate the facility.

Later, in the Episode Gladiolus DLC, he helps Gladiolus undertake a dangerous trial - and thanks to the guidance that Cor imparts, the burliest of the Chocobros learns to become the Shield that the new king needs him to be.

But perhaps the moment that really made us go: “Cor blimey!” can be found in the Royal Edition of the game. Towards the end of the game, things get pretty dark and Daemons overrun the land. When Noctis returns to his home city of Insomnia, he discovers that a brave group of hunters and warriors are holding them at bay as the last line of defense for Insomnia.

Their leader? None other than Cor himself. What can we say… that guy is the best.


Miss Cecily speaking to Erik

Building a gang is no easy task… and keeping it going is even harder. So, let us give some long overdue props to characters like Miss Cecily, DRAGON QUEST TREASURES’ Personnel Manager.

While Erik and Mia run around the world of Draconia, fighting monsters, digging up treasure and uncovering the secrets of the fabled Dragonstones, Miss Cecily is back at base tirelessly managing the admin. She sorts potential gang members, liaises with the different storekeepers and generally makes herself very useful indeed.

She even gives suggestions on how to build your base’s ranks, and important people to recruit - useful guidance that serves to keep Erik and Mia on track!

In short, it’s thanks to Miss Cecily that your gang runs as smoothly as it does. She may not have the most glamorous job in the world, but it’s one of the most important!

Bartholomew Estheim - FINAL FANTASY XIII

Bartholomew Estheim, father of Hope Estheim, from FINAL FANTASY XIII

Bartholomew Estheim, or ‘Hope’s Dad’ as you may think of him, is a reminder that heroism takes many forms. While he’s not on screen for very long, he makes a big impact on the heroes of FINAL FANTASY XIII.

At great personal risk, he takes in his son and companions, providing them shelter from the Sanctum - despite being an employee of that very organization himself. His unwavering support for Hope and gentle guidance gives the timid young man the strength to push on with his journey.

More tellingly, he also forgives Snow for the death of his wife, Nora. By doing so, and adding some harsh truths about his reckless plans, he provides the incentive for the hero to stop pretending to be a hero and start acting like one.

It just goes to show that even in a world full of incredible technology, powerful magic and literal gods, there’s nothing quite as powerful as good ol’ fashioned human decency.


Cres reviving the protagonist in HARVESTELLA

The world of HARVESTELLA can be surprisingly dangerous, so having a doctor close by can only be a good thing. But Cres goes above and beyond.

You can be slashed into submission by monsters at the bottom of the sea, battered by a boss in an icy cave or simply pass out from exhaustion on your farm, and Cres is there to patch you up. She’ll also charge you for the privilege, but that’s fair enough - her time is valuable after all. Besides, the financial hit is nowhere near as painful as the sharp words you’ll get for your carelessness - bedside manner is not necessarily her strong suit.

But she contributes so much more than a simple healer. She’s also one of the people who orients your amnesiac hero to their new life, comes to check on you at the earliest of hours, and much more besides.

She’s a good friend, and HARVESTELLA just wouldn’t be the same without her.


Marquis Ondore in FINAL FANTASY XIII

Politics are a dangerous game at the best of times, but for Marquis Ondore, it’s a particularly tricky situation.

As ruler of Bhujerba, he has a responsibility to keep his city safe… which means obeying the orders of the increasingly tyrannical Archadian Empire and acting as a mediator in its escalating conflicts with other nations. Maintaining this position is of paramount importance, and even a close relationship with Princess Ashe of Dalmasca won’t make him openly risk this neutrality.

But not-so openly? That’s a different story. Ondore secretly funds and leads an anti-Archadian resistance group. And when the time comes, he steps up to take direct action against his oppressors, playing a vital role in the final battle.

Put simply, the heroes of FINAL FANTASY XII would not have won the day without Ondore’s help. He’s a canny politician and a noble leader alike.

Not to mention one heck of a good narrator!


Wedge falling from the sky in FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE

Wedge might not be the smartest member of Avalanche, or the most physically capable. But nobody in the organization - nay, the whole of Midgar - has a bigger heart.

Whatever the situation, Wedge steps up. When the team embarks on a daring raid on a Shinra facility, and Cloud is set upon by guard dogs, he bravely leaps into action as a rear guard for the mercenary. And we mean ‘rear guard’ quite literally.

Later, he ‘persuades’ Shinra’s security forces to let the residents of the Sector 7 slums evacuate the area and escape the danger about to befall them. Plus, he plays a pivotal role in the rescue of Aerith from the Shinra building when he shows up with the rest of Avalanche to pull the team of trouble.

He may doubt his worth, but he shouldn’t - despite Cloud’s dislike of the term, he’s a true bro.



FINAL FANTASY XVI is full of big personalities and bigger moments, from the windy rage of Benedikta to the vengeful traps of Hugo Kupka (who is, in this writer’s humble opinion, responsible for one of the greatest boss fights in series history, hands-down).

But while the Eikons and their Dominants might attract most of the attention in trailers and box art, it’s the everyday characters who really bring this richly detailed world to life. Not least of which is Gav, the chief scout for Cid’s band of outlaws.

Despite being just an ‘ordinary’ man, Gav is incredibly skilled at getting in and out of areas unseen and ferreting out information for his allies. After a few close scrapes, he forms a close friendship with hero Clive Rosfield, and becomes one of his most steadfast allies. His support for the hero is absolute, and dedication to his cause never wavers - despite coming at great personal cost.

Gav’s contribution cannot be understated - he’s a hero through and through. We should all be as lucky to have a friend like him.

Those were just a few of the unsung hero from Square Enix games, but we’re sure you have suggestions of your own. Head over to our social channels to share your picks: