Origem dos nomes

1. Species

From FF7, the Ancients' original name, Cetra, could come from the Latin 'cetera', meaning 'others'... the Cetra were the 'other' race of people who originally populated the Earth.

Chocobos might have gotten their name from a chocolate candy which sold in Japan a few years back (and is still popular). It was called "Chocoballs" and had a picture of a bird on the front. But unfortunately the bird looks nothing like the familiar yellow chocobo that we all know and love... 

Espers: Esper itself is a made-up word, but it might be related to "hope" (from French; 'a hope' is 'un espoir') or someone who has extra-sensory perception (an ESP-er)... [The word was used in this connotation in a story called "The Demolished Man", by Alfred Bester. It was written in serial form in Galaxy magazine. It was also mentioned in "Solar Lottery" by Philip K. Dick, and "Highways In Hiding" by George O. Smith. A comic series called "Espers" was also published.]

Hiryuu literally means "flying dragon" in Japanese.

Moogles are called "Moguri" [or "Mogli"] in Japanese, and that comes from a combination of the Japanese words "mogura" (mole) and "koumori" (bat). And doesn't Mog look like a mole with little bat wings?

2. Characters

The Four Fiends of FF1 all have mythological names. The idea of four elements (earth, fire, air, and water) making up all matter in the cosmos goes back to the ancient Greeks. But the Fiends' names aren't all Greek. They're more obscure than most, and many game players might miss them. So I've outlined them here...

Garland: A garland is a wreath of flowers worn about the head. Garland's alterego, Chaos, is self-explanatory.

From FF2:

Cid's name was probably inspired by the Spanish story "El Cid". The Tale of El Cid was one told by Spanish minstrels and bards called juglares. It was a well known story throughout Spanish cities and towns as it was told in town squares across the land; each bard had a different interpretation for the tale. It is also believed that there was an actual Cid de Castilla who took the kingdom of Valencia from Moorish rule through certain artifacts that were found in Valencia. Some people claim that they found his two mythical swords La Tizona and La Colada which he used to slay actual Moorish kings. The whole story was written down by Miguel de Cervantes and the music score was done by Miklos Rosza.
[In an engine, cylinders displace air. The amount of air displaced used to be given in Cubic Inches Displaced or Cid for short. This actually makes a lot of sense considering Cid is the main inventor of the FF series]

Interesting to note that two main characters are Richard and Lionheart... put them together to get the famous British king from the Middle Ages.

From FF3:

A Jinn is a mythical being who could be summoned to influence mankind (also spelled "djinn"; actually, "djinni" is one and "djinn" is plural). [Probably why Ifrit was translated as Jinn in FF4; an ifrit is a type of djinn.]

Archmage Noah is undoubtedly named after the biblical Noah, who began a new world after the great Flood (or Deluge). Delilah is also a biblical name, but seems to have no bearing on this particular character.

From FF4:

Rydia is supposedly named after the legendary country of Lydia (the names are the same in Japanese), which was the richest in the world in its day and the first to use coins as money. They once had a king named Croesus, and he's the one they're talking about in the (seldom-heard) expression "as rich as Croesus".

I'd like to think Cecil was named after former Hanshin Tiger Cecil Fielder (they're pronounced the same way), but this probably can't be proven. There's a person in the Christian Bible named Cain, similar to FF4's Cain. [In the Bible Cain was doomed to be a wanderer, which might be where Cain got his "wandering" loyalties from. Or, as many people have noted, Cain's jealousy for his brother Abel might parallel FF4's Cain's jealousy for Cecil over Rosa.]

Rosa's name just means 'rose'. (How could I forget to put this in? [Ed - The original compiler's name is Mark Rosa, ahem...]

Namingway and the tribe of Humingways probably got their names from twentieth-century American writer Ernest Hemingway.

The Four Fiends in this game are all demons who show up in Dante's Inferno. In the story, Dante and the Roman poet Virgil make a journey through the nine circles of Hell. The book was written around the beginning of the 14th century, and the story takes place on Good Friday, 1300. Three of the Fiends' names are misspelled in the American version...

Calcabrina was also a demon featured in the Divine Comedy.

From FF5:

Gilgamesh: He was a legendary hero in Mesopotamian culture. In the library of Nineveh, there exist 12 slabs on which are written the exploits of Gilgamesh. The real Gilgamesh ruled Uruk in the 3d millennium BC, and later his tale was embellished to the point where Gilgamesh was a hero of legendary magnitude. Supposedly he was rather harsh as king, and so the god Anu created a wild man named Enkidu to stop him. However, Enkidu became the companion and servant of Gilgamesh after the two men had a test of their strength. There are many stories about the two of them; in one, they travel to defeat the forest guardian Humbaba (a. k. a. Huwawa); in another, Gilgamesh rejects a marriage propposal from Ishtar, the love goddess. Later Enkidu dies and Gilgamesh learns the location of a plant that granted eternal youth from Utnaphistim, survivor of the great flood. But a serpent steals it and Gilgamesh dies. The epic ends with the spirit of Enkidu promising to recover the objects that Ishtar gave to Gilgamesh. In FF5, Gilgamesh has a partner named Enkidou; surely this is the Enkidu from legend. [Humbaba is also known as Phunbaba, probably the origin of the monster from FF6.]

The Dark Mage Exdeath: This name just means "exceeding death".

Boco, Butz's faithful steed, is a pun in Japanese: the characters for Chocobo are "Chi-yo-ko-bo" and for Boco are "bo-ko" - it's just the last two characters of "Chocobo" backwards.

Gogo - In the play "Waiting for Godot," there is a character named Estragon, nicknamed Gogo. Vladamir and Estragon spend a lot of time repeating each other (one will ask "Does it hurt?" and the other will respond "Hurt? He wants to know if it hurts!" et cetera).

Tycoon, Alexander Highwind - see Tycoon (Places).

From FF6:

Locke Cole: Could be named after John Locke, a philospher whose beliefs were instrumental in shaping America's early history. There's also the obvious pun on the word "lock" - you need him to unlock the doors in Narshe - and in that vein, there's a company named "Cole" that produces keys!

Setzer: OK, here's some more speculation. "Setzer" by itself means "typesetter" (hardly a meaningful name). But the German expression used when betting on numbers or horses is "setzen"! For example, "10 Mark auf Nummer 23 setzen" means "bet 10 Marks on number 23". So "Setzer" could imply "the one who puts down the money -> "gambler"; though I've never heard the word "Setzer" used to mean "gambler". Anyway, it's still nice-sounding even if it's a coincidence. It's my single favorite character name in the entire FF series.

Terra: Her name means "earth". Could have something to do with her being the link between the Earth and the Esper world...? But also, there was a building named "Terra Firm" located just outside the Square offices in Washington... maybe Ted Woolsey looked out the window and thought, "Hmmm....? [In the Japanese version her name is Tina, though. There's a famous midieval Spanish book called La Celestina. That's Celes + Tina.]

Daryl - Her name means "well-loved." Appropriate for her relationship with Setzer. Here are some more of the main characters' name etymologies, thanks to Kate Malloy (so she's the "I" in the next few entries).

Edgar Figaro - His name is of Teutonic origin. I've seen it defined as either "wealthy gentleman" (he is a king) or "fortunate spear" (the spear is his best weapon) There is also an opera called "Edgar," so he's got a double operatic name. The famous opera "The Marriage of Figaro" features music by Mozart.

Sabin - His name is of Italian origin. It comes from the Sabine tribe. According to legend, the Roman settlers kidnapped all of the Sabine women. (That part has nothing to do with Sabin.) The name is more common in Europe in the feminine form, Sabine. His middle name, Rene, means "reborn" and is also more common in the feminine form. Also there was a biologist named Sabin, who was responsible for curing a muscle virus. And Sabin's muscles look pretty tough, right? [In the Japanese version his name is Mash, which probably refers to his ability to mash his opponents into a pulp.]
[Also note that Edgar and Sabin have middle names: Edgar's is Roni and Sabin's is Rene. Sounds very similar to the legendary brothers Remulus and Romus, the ones who founded Rome.]

Celes Chere - Celes's last name is French and means "dear." Her first name could be related to "celestial", or heavenly, which would be in contrast to Terra's "earth".
[Celes probably got her name from the Roman goddess of grain and harvests, Ceres ("Demeter" in Greek mythology). According to Greek myth, Ceres's habits and work schedules were what caused seasons to happen - her daughter, Persephone, was taken by Pluto to be his wife. Jupiter would allow Persephone to be with Ceres half of the year (between late March and early September) and be with Pluto the other half; therefore, when Persephone was with Ceres, she would be at work and crops would prosper, and when Persephone was with Pluto, Ceres would confine herself to mourning and crops would be affected. Thus, the seasons are created - Spring and Summer when Ceres is at work, and Fall and Winter when Ceres is sequested in mourning.]

Gau - Back in the times of the Romans, France was known as Gaul. There were tribes of wild men living in the north. They might have been called Gaus, or Gauls.

Gogo - See Gogo from FF5.

Cyan Garamonde - "Monde" means "world" in French; I've no clue about the "Gara" part. (It could be "train station" in French??) Also there was a famous typesetter named Garamonde. The font named for him is used in Apple's manuals. (that has nothing to do with Cyan, of course :) [Cyan is a light-blue color. In Japan his name was Cayenne, a kind of pepper. "Gare" is indeed French for "train station", possibly a link to the Phantom Train sequence.]

Elayne - Elaine was the "Lily Maiden" of Arthurian legend. She was related to several important people (Lancelot, I think, was one) and when she died, she was sent out to sea in a funeral barge. In fact, she is the mother of Galahad in T. H. White's "The Once and Future King".

Owain - Uwain was one of Arthur's knights and a king in the English legends. He was Gawain's brother and he ruled the kingdom for a time.

Billy: In FF6j, Baram (from Shadow's dreams) is called Billy. Since he's a train robber, maybe his name was inspired by Billy the Kid, famous outlaw from the American Old West? Also Shadow's real name is Clyde, like one half of the famous pair of outlaws "Bonnie and Clyde". Also, in Bret Harte's story The Outcasts of Poker Flat, there was a thief named Billy Setzer (!) who gets kicked out of town.

Vicks and Wedge, the two soldiers from the Empire, are characters in the famous 1977 George Lucas film "Star Wars". They're pilots for the rebel alliance. But in actuality, Vicks should be Biggs... [In later FF games, the Biggs was restored, and even in the FF Anthology re-release of FF6. However, in Chrono Trigger it's still Vicks.]

Siegfried ('ziek-friet): Named for the hero of the legendary German tale of the Ring of the Nibelung. (This was the story upon which Richard Wagner based his opera, which contains many famous music pieces including "The Ride of the Valkyries". Trust me, you've heard some of these before.) Incidentally, Siegfried literally means "victory" (Sieg) and "peace" (Friede).

Here's a short summary of Siegfried's story:

The god Wotan (aka the very familiar Odin) wanted to reclaim the Ring of the Nibelung and tried to use the hero Siegfried to do it. Siegfried's body was invulnerable except for his shoulder blades, and he could talk to animals. He was born and raised in a forest and proved his heroism by killing Fafner, the evil dragon. The sword he used was made by a dwarf named Regin, and the idea that dwarves make the best weapons (which frequently pops up in these games) came from this mythology. But he ends up getting killed and his beloved Brunnhilde kills herself in the end. (That's in one version of the story; in another, he and Brunnhilde survive Ragnarok and repopulate the world.)

The Evil Emperor Gestahl (gesh-'tahl): Well, this name sounds a bit like "gestohlen" or "stahl", both of which mean "stole" in German. (For grammar experts, "gestohlen" is in perfect tense. "Stahl" the noun means steel.) In the original FF6j his name was "Ghastra" - [probably from the word "ghastly"] but they changed it in FF3.

Kefka: Well, his name vaguely resembles that of German author Franz Kafka. One of his works is entitled "Metamorphosis", and that's the effect of the Ragnarok Esper - "Metamorph". That doesn't have anything to do with Kefka though.

Hidon: Now this name is interesting! It's the same in both the Japanese and American games, but has two completely diferent meanings. In the English version, Gungho says something about "as his name implies," referring to the word 'hide' embeded in 'Hidon'. In the Japanese version, however, 'Hidon' brings to mind the word 'hidoi', which means 'terrible' or 'scary'. A nice coincidence!

Maduin: Originally spelled "Mael Duin." (but "Madin" in FF6j) Mael Duin is a major hero of Irish Mythology. Son of Ailill, he was raised by nuns after his father was killed by raiders. When told his father's story, Mael Duin sets out with sixteen warriors to avenge his death, and his subsquesent voyages have been called the "Irish Odyssey."

Ramuh: See Summons.

Yura: Just a nickname for "Yuri", a popular Russian male name.

From FF7:

Main Characters:

Cloud Strife
Both "cloud" and "strife" are English words.

-Cloud’s Christian name alludes to his mysterious, unclear past and his unpredictable development in the future: his memory is ‘clouded’, he has his ‘head in the clouds’ and no one knows what his next move will be. In nature, clouds do not move by themselves but are driven by the wind. Likewise, Cloud’s development is influenced by others rather than by his own decision. At first, Sephiroth/Jenova is controlling him; later, it is Tifa who has to show him his true nature.
-"Strife" illustrates Cloud’s aggressive behavior towards others, as well as his inner fight that is the central conflict of the story. In the last duel between Cloud and Sephiroth, this fight finds its conclusion.

Aeris (Aerith) Gainsborough (Gast)
The Latin word "aeris" translates into "air; atmosphere; cloud; aether".

-"Air" and "atmosphere": this seems to be an allusion to Aeris’ connection to nature and her importance to the planet. Without air and an atmosphere, there would be no life. C.f. her first Limit Break, the "Healing Wind".
~The translation "cloud" implies that there is some kind of mystical connection between Aeris and Cloud Strife; like Cait Sith says, they are "made for each other".
~"Aerith" is an anagram of "I Earth"
~The word Aeris is pronounced similarly to "heiress", which aptly illustrates Aeris’ role as the last Cetra and the rightful heir to the planet.

Sephiroth
This name derives from the Kabbala, a religious lore that has its origins in Jewish mysticism:
"At the Creation," explains Kabbalist spokesman Steve Edelman, "God sent out a pulse of energy into the void. It presently branched and sorted into ten distinct spheres or aspects, corresponding to the numbers 1-10. These are known as the Sephiroth. To return to God, the soul must negotiate each of the Sephiroth, from ten back to one. Armed with magic and faith, Kabbalists have set out to conquer the Sephiroth. Many Kabbalist secrets have to do with making the trip successfully.
"Now the Sephiroth fall into a pattern, which is called the Tree of Life. It is also the body of God. Drawn among the ten spheres are 22 paths. Each path corresponds to a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and also to one of the cards called 'Major Arcana' in the Tarot.
"Some Sephiroth are active or masculine, others passive or feminine. But the Tree itself is a unity, rooted exactly at the Bodenplatte. It is the axis of a particular Earth, a new dispensation, brought into being by the Great Firing."
(Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon, p. 753)

–The character Sephiroth tries to become a god by destroying the planet, hence the religiously connoted name. Also, Kabbalists believe that mastering the Tree of Life is a method to achieve divine enlightenment, and that’s basically what Hojo wants Sephiroth to do: "Ha, ha, ha...... Go beyond the powers of science...Before your presence, science is powerless...". The ‘Great Firing’ that brings a new world into being reminds us of the Nibelheim accident where Sephiroth becomes insane.

Jenova
The Hebrew name of God is Jehovah. The last two syllables of Jenova, ‘–nova’, translate into ‘new’.
Jenova is a ‘new god’, or wants to become one. She’s an usurper trying to rob the powers of the planet.

Tifa Lockheart
‘Tiferet’ is the central aspect of the Tree of Life (see above). Lockheart is composed of the English words ‘to lock’ and ‘heart’.

-The sefirot Tiferet represents beauty, balance and love- a description that applies fairly well to the role of the character, Tifa. Also, Tifa is the one who saves Cloud through her love and Christian Kabbalists believe that Tiferet symbolizes self-sacrifice and "the will to carry one’s neighbor’s cross". On Tarot cards, Tiferet is pictured as a heart (as in Lockheart!), and sometimes as an angel (Tifa’s bar is called the "Seventh Heaven" and her last Limit Break is the "Final Heaven").

-Her surname, Lockheart, illustrates her natural shyness and inability to express her love for Cloud. And the key to Cloud’s past is "locked" in her "heart".

Side Characters:

Vincent Valentine
The Latin verb "vincere" translates into "to conquer, outlast, defeat"; St. Valentine is a Christian Saint protecting lovers.
-"to outlast" would be the most fitting translation for ‘vincere’ since Vincent sleeps in the basement of the Shin-Ra Villa for almost 30 years.
-Vincent’s sub-plot with Lucrecia is a tragic love story, hence his surname.

Yuffie
The prefix "euphe" in Old Greek translates into "joy", "happiness"
–I don’t think it’s too much of a stress to say that Yuffie is a lively, outgoing or downright goofy character, so the name suits her well.

Barret Wallace
Could be a reference to the 13th century Scottish rebel William Wallace a.k.a. Braveheart (yes, the one in the movie).
-After all, both are leaders of an uprising against a tyrant government. Also, both of them are fighting to avenge their dead wifes.

Hojo
Goes back to a f amily of hereditary regents to the shogunate of Japan who exercised actual rule from 1199 to 1333. During that period, nine successive members of the family held the regency. The Hojo took their name from their small estate in the Kanogawa Valley in Izu Province.
-Hojo = power. There may be a more subtle meaning to this, but I fail to see it. Any Japanese out there willing to help me?

Cait Sith
The name is of Gaelic origin and translates into "fat cat".
-In Irish fairy-tales, Cait Sith is the protagonist of countless "King of the Cats" stories. That’s why Cait Sith in FF7 is carrying a crown.

Reeve
An English word meaning:
1. The local representative of the king in a shire until the early 13th century.
2. (In medieval England) A manorial steward who supervised the daily affairs of the manor.
3. (In Canadian government) A president of a local council, especially in a rural area
4. (Formerly) A minor local official
-I think that most of these descriptions match up with Reeve's position. He's the representative for the Urban Development area for Midgar, under President Shinra who is more or less the 'King' of Midgar. He supervises the day-to-day running of the city, he's the president of the 'local council' of Urban Development and as such is a minor local official.

Palmer
-a person wearing two crossed palm leaves as a sign of a pilgrimage made to the Holy Land
-wife of G. H. American educator; president, Wellesley Coll
-American chiropractor; founder of chiropractic in America
-American scholar & educator; author of The Odyssey of Homer (translation), The Field of Ethics, etc.
-Several geographic areas are named Palmer (all in the antarctic region)
-The Palmer in the game seems to be the direct opposite of these definitions (Palmer was not a man with two crossed palm leaves, or a scholar, and certainly not the author of a book about ethics). Unless the Square designers thought Palmer looked like a penguin from the Antarctic region, I don't see a connection.

Lucrecia
Lucrecia was a woman who was raped by Tarquinius, the last Roman king. "The Rape of Lucrece" is a poem by Shakespeare based on this.
-This is a strong allusion to the way Lucrecia conceives her child, Sephiroth. Either Hojo raped her (which the story does not necessarily suggest) or the name is just intended to show that Hojo’s experiment are "a rape of nature", an unnatural act.

Rufus
Latin for "the red one".
-Rufus has red hair.

Reno
"Leno" is Latin for "brothel keeper", "squanderer" or "pimp" (the letters R and L and monophone in Japanese).
-well...

Rude
English Synonym for "impolite"
–Rude doesn’t like to socialize and isn’t very talkative at all, so the name befits him quite well

Elena
An alternate form of Eleanor, meaning light.
–Perhaps because she has blonde hair?

Scarlet
A bright shade of red.
-She wears a red dress. This also suggests a connection to Rufus (see above). The Shin-Ra logo is also red, so maybe the colour red is meant to represent Shin-Ra.

Heidegger
Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) was a famous German philosopher best known for his existentialist theories. Also, during World War II, there was a Wehrmacht general called Heidegger.
-Maybe Shin-Ra’s Heidegger was modeled after the Wehrmacht general. I don’t know much about the general, but if he was part of the nazi war machinery, he most likely committed war crimes.
~Some of Martin Heidegger’s existentialist theories could have influenced the authors of Final Fantasy VII. It would take too long to explain this in detail, but if you are interested in Heidegger’s works, simply do a Yahoo! search.

Don Corneo
"Corneo" is Latin for "made of horn" or "horny" (sic!).
-Umm... err...
~The name Don Corneo also bears a vague resemblance to Don Corleone from The Godfather

Shin-Ra
~Probably of Egypt origin, translates into "Dark God" and is used to describe a mythological creature similar to a vampire.
-Shin-Ra, Inc. is evil, hungers for power and seeks total world domination- hence "dark god". Also, they rely heavily on Jenova’s powers.
-Barret: "It [Mako energy]'s the life blood of the planet. But Shinra keeps suckin' the blood out with these machines." Quite vampiric.

Bugenhagen
Johannes Bugenhagen (1485-1558) was one of the "founding fathers" of the early Protestant church in Europe and a close friend of Martin Luther. He helped organizing the Reformation in Northern Germany and Scandinavia and became a famous theologian and scholar as well as an expert in matters of public education and social questions.
-Bugenhagen’s name illustrates his wisdom and his reputation as a man who is master of both religious lore and science/technology.

Cetra
In Latin, the nomen "cetra" describes a small military shield that was used in the Roman army.
-The Cetra are the defenders of the planet.

Gorky and Chekhov
These two bosses appear in Yuffie’s pagoda. Their names derive from the famous (dead) Russian writers Anton P. Chekhov and Maxim Gorky.
-One of the other bosses in the pagoda is called Shake- possibly an allusion to Shakespeare, making the pagoda a veritable Dead Poets Society. Another boss, Yuffie’s father, is called Godo. This may be a stretch, but he could be named after Godot from Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot".
I have absolutely no clue why Square included these names.

Outra maneira de interpretar os nomes em FF7:

Aeris: "There is a minor goddess in greek mythology named Eris. Now when I was taking a mythology class at the University of Wisconsin Madison, I asked the professer how to pronounce that name, he told me air-ies (that may be hard to understand but it was basicly just a minor corruption of Ares). What's more, Eris is Ares' sister and companion, thus bringing her closer to Aeris' name. Finally and the real trick: Eris is the goddess of Strife! So Aeris is one letter extra from having the same name as the Greek goddess of Strife."

Bugenhagen: "It seems that Bugenhagen is the name of a blind priest in the famous horror movie 'The Omen.' Bugenhagen warns the main character of his adoptive son's Satanic origins and how the world is in if he is allowed to live. Sounds a bit like the Bugenhagen in FF7, right?"]

Cait Sith (pronounced, roughly, 'kett shih') is Irish. It means 'fairy cat' in Gaelic. Supposedly, it's a kind of spirit that brings good luck. Of course, they don't normally ride around on moogles.

Sephiroth has a great origin! It's Hebrew for 'numbers' and is directly related to Arabic 'sifra', French 'chiffre', German 'Ziffer', and English 'cipher'. (Sanskrit 'shunya' meaning 'void', originally.) In Hebrew (among other alphabets), each letter has a numerical value, and the art of adding the letters in a word or phrase to get a certain value is called 'gematria'. In Hebrew, the word Sephiroth has the value of 756; in Greek, 894. Can anyone find any significance in these numbers? I was hoping to relate them to the safe combination in the Shinra Mansion, but they don't seem to work. Here are the ten important Sephiroth:

(There are variations on these; this list is from 777 and the Cabalistic Writings of Aleister Crowley.)

Note: Chokhmah, Binah, and Gedulah are typically not in the list. The "Kh" and "Ch" sounds are both pronounced like a hard "ch" as in "Bach". The Sephiroth are, depending on who you ask, the steps between man and God, or the different ways with which God manifests His will on earth. Either way, it fits nicely with Sephiroth's quest for godhood.


The final enemy, Safer Sephiroth, should probably be Sepher Sephiroth, which means 'the book of numbers' in Hebrew. (I'm not sure if the Bible book has that exact name in Hebrew, though.) [It doesn't.] Maybe the name also has something to do with all the little numbered black clones that are skulking around in Nibelheim. One of his attacks is Pale Horse, which probably refers to 'Death on a Pale Horse', a 1905 (?) painting by Ryder. [Safer Sephiroth's attack Pale Horse is more likely a reference to the Revelation of St. John, the last book in the Christian Bible. ("When he broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature cry out, 'Come Forward.' I looked, and there was a pale horse. Its rider was named Death, and Hades accompanied him." Rev. 6:7-8)

"Safer" might be a pun on the fact that he casts Wall on himself during the fight. However, I've gotten remarks from too many people to note that there was probably a mistranslation here and the word was meant to be "Seraph", a type of six-winged angel (also the highest in the angelic echelon, which is fitting for where Sephiroth's aspirations place him).]

Shinra goon Heidegger shares a name with an early 20th-century German philosopher, Martin Heidegger. Coincidence, probably. Also, Reno is a city in Nevada and Miss Scarlet is a character in Clue, the board game and film starring Tim Curry, Christopher Lloyd, and others.

There's a brand of firearms made by a company called Barret. Fitting for a man with a gun on his arm, don't you think?

The names of Elder Bugah and Elder Hargo, two old men in Cosmo Canyon, are just Bugenhagen's name split into two.

Dyne: dyne (din [long 'i']) noun. Physics The fundemental unit of force in the cgs system that, if applied to a mass of one gram, would give it an acceleration of one centimeter per second per second. Abbv. d., D. What that has to do with the character, I don't know, but maybe the word was just going through their heads at the time. ^^; Zidane's Trance skill in FF9 is also called Dyne; the the meaning fits a *little* better for that.

From FF8:

Before anything else, here's a neat tidbit: "There had been somewhat of a mystery as to Squall's paternity. What seemed obvious (and possibly an intentional red herring, which I'm sure Square enjoys creating to enrich the whole FF mythos), was that Laguna and Raine were Squall's parents. What was the hint? That all of their names are water-related. "Squall" referring to a storm at sea, as was mentioned on your site; "Laguna" is Spanish for "lake" and is also close to lagoon (a calm, enclosed body of water sharply contrasting a squall); and "Raine"...well for rain." Continuing on that theme, the Laguna's last name, Loire, is a river in France.]

Fujin and Raijin means "wind god" and "thunder god" - which explains Fujin's absorbance of Wind elementals and Raijin's Thunder elementals.

Irvine is similar to the names Irwin/Irving, both of which come from Gaelic "handsome". See next entry as well.

Laguna comes from the word Ragnarok, a sword used throughout the series and a spaceship in this game. Those who don't speak Japanese may be in the dark until they find out that Ragnarok spelled out in Japanese is "La-gu-na-ro-ku". "FF creator Hironobu Sakaguchi had been spending a good amount of time at Square's offices in So. California, Costa Mesa to be exact. During his visits he came to really fall for two neighboring towns: Laguna Beach, and Irvine. It was said that he liked them so much that he insisted on naming two characters from the upcoming FF8 after them."

Piet is the head of the Esthar space program. There's an Admiral Piett in The Empire Strikes Back (the second Star Wars film). "Piette" also accompanies Wedge and Vicks (Biggs) in Chrono Trigger, in Norstein Bekkler's lab.

Quistis Trepe - I have no clue about Quistis, but the Trepe may come from the word "trepidation", which basically means nervousness - a state many students find themselves in when around her.

Seifer: Just a coincidence, probably, but in Hebrew this word has the same root as Sephiroth. "I haven't been able to confirm this, but I believe "Seifer" refers to the type of cross that is Seifer has on his outfit." There's actually a type of cactus called the seifer almasy. O_o Anyone to confirm this?

Squall Leonheart: A squall has a few meanings in English: a sudden storm at sea, a scream, or (as lately it's been used) trouble of any kind. I think Square meant for him to sound like someone who enters your life and then leaves it, like a sea storm. Leonheart is close to Lionheart; either a reference to his lion symbol, Griever (the music for the final battle is also called "Maybe I'm A Lion") or the character Lionheart from FF2.

Ultimecia: Well, her name comes from the world Ultimate or (since this is FF) the Ultima spell. It may come from Artemis, the Greek goddess of the moon. "In Greek mythology, Artemis was part of the triple goddess (along with Selene and Hecate) associated with the moon, women, and witchcraft. Hecate in particular was considered the goddess of witchcraft and magic."

From FF9:

Amarant Coral: Amaranth (poetically, 'amarant') is a flower. The original Greek means 'everlasting'. It was imaginary and was supposed to never fade, but now several species of flowers are called amaranths. It can also mean 'purple'. "Amaranth" was a name for Red Dye #2 (That's the toxic one). This could be the reason for Amarant's disturbing personality (And will to fight, like Red 2 making you sick...maybe?). Anyway, my theory is that he would have been named Amaranth, except there isn't enough space in the name- It only supports 7 characters.

Artemicion, the purple Moogle who runs Mognet, was probably named after Artemis, the Greek goddess of the moon.

Baku: "In Japan, it is said that nightmares are caused by evil spirits. If one was troubled by nightmares, one could call upon Baku, the devourers of dreams, to take away one's nightmares, and turning one's nightmares into good fortune."

Beatrix: She might be named after Beatrice, the young lady beloved by Dante in his Divine Comedy. However opines that, keeping in touch with all the Shakespearean tendencies of FF9, she's probably named after Beatrice, the strong female lead in Much Ado About Nothing. She also says "There are some similarities in her relationship with Benedick as Beatrix's relationship with Steiner. In the beginning, they seem not to like each other much - they're competitive, but by the end, there's something there."

Cid Fabool: "Fabool" = "Fabul" from FF4.

Cinna: This is actually the name of not one, but TWO characters from Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar". One is a conspirator to assassinate Caesar, the second is a poet who is mistaken for the first one and lynched.

Freya: The Norse god of love. ("Freya was Odin's wife, and helped him devour the souls of the dead.")

Garland: See above.

Garnet: A reddish semiprecious gem.

Puck: The name of a mischievous spirit from Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

Stilztkin: Probably named after Rumpelstiltzkin, a legendary dwarf who could spin thread into gold (Stiltzkin's coat is a bright yellow).

Leo and Cornelia, from the play at the start, sound remarkably like King Lear and his daughter Cordelia, from Shakespeare's "King Lear".]

Zidane: Several people have sent me the name of a popular French soccer player named Zinedine Zidane. I'm extremely skeptical that Square would base one of their main characters on an actual person, though.

From FFMQ:

Phoebe: Her name means "moon." She was one of the Titans in Greek mythology.

Tristam: His name means sorrowful. In the Arthurian legends, there is a knight named Tristan or Tristram, the nephew of King Mark (hey, that's me) of Cornwall. Tristan fell in love with Mark's bride to be, Isolde (Iseult) because of a love potion. This legendary romance is the subject of an opera by the great Richard Wagner ("Tristan und Isolde" in German). Also baseball Hall of Famer Tris Speaker's real first name is "Tristram".

Kaeli: Kaeli Kreider was one of the producers at Squaresoft. No myths here.
["I believe Kaeli is also the feminine of the Gaelic name Kael (also Kaellen, and about 6 other spellings). This name means 'mighty warrior'."

Reuben is a biblical name; he was the oldest son of Jacob.]

Pazuzu: There was a demon named Pazuzu in Mesopotamian myths.

From FF Tactics:

Alma's name comes from Hebrew and means "young woman". [it's also Latin for "soul"]

Altima: His name also probably comes from Ultima.

Beowulf, one of your companions, has the same name as the hero from the ancient Anglo-Saxon legend. In the story, Beowulf kills Grendel, a monster who's been preying on the people.

[Bordam Daravon: His first name sounds uncannily like "boredom". 8-)

Orlandu: He might be named after "Orlando, a Paladin of Charlemagne, a hero of romance and Italian epic."]

Wiglaf, called Wiegraf in the English version, is one of Beowulf's "thanes", or warriors, in the Beowulf saga.

3. Places

From FF1:

Gaia: The town in the northeast in this game; it can be reached only with the airship. "Gaia" means Earth; she was the earth goddess who married Uranus, god of the heavens. The word is best known from James Lovelock's Gaia Hypothesis, which treats the Earth as a self-sustaining organism. In the latest FF vocal CD, the main theme of FF1 is called "Gaia" (and mentions Lovelock in the liner notes!). Also, FF6 features Gaea Gear (an alternate spelling).

From FF2:

Leviathan: See Summons.

Pandemonium is the last castle. The name "Pandemonium" originates with Milton's Paradise Lost; it's the city built by Lucifer and his followers after the Fall.

Salmando is probably taken (as an opposite) from the Salamander - the Salamander is a fire creature, and Salmando is an ice-themed town. See Summons for the entry on Salamander.

Semite Falls: An interesting name. The word Semite means "son of Shem", usually referring to Jews (hence the term "anti-Semite"). However, the -ite also indicates a kind of metal (many metals end in -ite), which is a reference to the Mithril ore found inside. Also, in geological terms a rich mine is called a "seam".

From FF3:

Canaan was the name originally used for the country now called Israel; it's used in the bible.

Eureka: A Greek word meaning "I have found it!" Ostensibly uttered by Archimedes in his bath after discovering the principle of fluid displacement.

Ur: The name of the town Abraham was born in was Ur Kasdim. Since this is the town where the Legendary Heroes hail from, the name is appropriate.

From FF4:

Baron: A baron was a person of high status and a leader during the Dark Ages. Usually a baron had many people under his rule; thus the castle of Baron is the basis for Golbeze's iron fist.

Fabul: Probably from the word "fabulous", indicating the monks' skills.

The Tower of Bab-il: Well, this could be related to the Tower of Babel. Supposedly humans were building a massive temple, so high that it could reach heaven and the humans could then be on a level with God. God then punished the humans by forcing the inhabitants of each level to speak a different language, and thus nothing could be communicated and the tower couldn't be completed. In fact, the words 'babel' and 'bab-il' come from Aramaic. [Actually, Babel is a Hebrew word related to the word "balal", "to confuse", since God confused the people of the earth.] Golbeze and the Four Emperors were using the Tower to reach the moon in FF4, which parallels the humans' quest to reach God.

Toroia "Troia" is the Latin word for the city of Troy. The site of the Trojan War, subject of Homer's Iliad, Troy is the starting point for Ulysses' journeys in the Odyssey.

From FF5:

Ancient Library: Near a town called Karnak, and the Great Pyramid. Karnak is a town in ancient Egypt, near the Pyramid of Kheops, which may have been near the Great Library of Alexandria.

Mirage: An invisible town; so called because of illusions which appear in deserts, especially to weary travellers, called mirages.

The castle of Tycoon: Lenna's home. A tycoon is someone with a lot of money. In fact, the English word "tycoon" comes from the Japanese "taikun" (meaning prince), but in Japanese, that word isn't spelled the same way as FF5's "Tycoon".

From FF6:

The Veldt: A grassy plain with a few shrubs, usually found in Africa, is called a veld or veldt. It's derived from the Dutch for "field", and came into English by way of Afrikaans. For example, former president Roosevelt's name means "rose-field".

The Lete River, also spelled "Lethe", is the river of oblivion in Greek mythology. It's said that anyone who drinks from its waters will forget their past.

Doma means "homes" in Russian (accent on the "ma") which would be nice for a city, but Doma's a castle. However, Doma (accent on "do") is Latin for house, so this may be more relevant. [Probably where the English word "domicile" comes from.]

Vector: A vector is a term in algebra/geometry denoting something which has both a value (like 8 units) and a direction. It's usually denoted as an arrow. In biology, however, a vector is a creature that transmits a virus. And in astronomy, it's an imaginary line joining the center of a source of gravity to the center of its satellite (like the Sun to the Earth). Make of it what you will. I like the second meaning.

From FF7:

The main city is named Midgar, just like Midgard in Norse mythology. It means 'middle earth', and was the name of the world of humans. Cloud's hometown is Nibelheim, which is the frozen hell. Another town is Costa del Sol, which means 'sun coast'.

Another place is the Zango Valley, in the north. In the original Japanese version, this was called 'sango' which simply means 'coral'.

The crashed Shinra plane, Gelnika, is probably a misspelling of Guernica, the title of a painting by Picasso, depicting the bombing of the Spanish town Guernica by the Nazis, pre- WW2. The bombing was allegedly ordered by the Spanish government.

From FF8:

Great Salt Lake: There's an actual lake called this in the state of Utah; it's what gives the name to Utah's capital, Salt Lake City.

Lunatic Pandora: Lunatic not only means crazy, the "luna" is Latin for moon (used with the same pun in the old cartoon "Thundercats"); it's called this because it causes a Lunar Cry in the game. In Greek mythology, Pandora was part of a legend; she was given a box by the gods and told not to open it. She couldn't help herself, though, and she opened the box which released all the evils inside it out into the world. (Yet one good thing remained: hope. Recognize this from FF6, anyone?) So the second word would have something to do with chaos. But the basic meaning of this place is two words meaning crazy.

Shumi Village: I believe that shumi is a type of Japanese food... However, Shumi also means "hobby". Since all the Shumis are denoted by their jobs, it kinda makes sense.

Timber: Well, the word basically means chopped wood, but it's also used to denote the land/forest where the wood comes from. Possibly something to do with pulp-and-paper mills and industry (Timber's the main industrial town in FF8): Remember Timber Maniacs, the magazine?

From FF9:

Dali reminds of Salvador Dali, a well-known painter. There's a large city in the province of Yunnan in China, called Ta-Li; in one spelling in Mandarin, it's spelt "Dali". Ta-Li means "to rule with orders".

Esto Gaza: "Esto" is Spanish for "this". I think Gaza is based on the English for "gaze", since you can see the Shimmering Island from it.

Ipsen's Castle: 'Ipsen' is how the Japanese pronounce 'Ibsen', as in the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. He wrote "A Doll's House" and is "generally acknowledged as the founder of modern prose drama"

Lindblum: I'm not sure, but it sounds like it should be German for "Wind-flower".

Oeilvert: French for "Green Eye".

From FFMQ:

Libra Temple: Libra, the scales, is one of the twelve Zodiac signs.

From FF Tactics:

The execution site where Ramza and Gafgarion duel is called Golgorand... this may have come from Golgotha, the 'killing field' where Christ was crucified.

Aside from Golgorand, the place names are [basically] fictional. But for some reason, the Deep Dungeon levels have English words for names even in the import version. Two of them look like they're actually other words spelled backward -- Nogias [Saigon] and Mlapan [Napalm]. In fact, in the Japanese FFT Daizen strategy guide, Mlapan is alphabetized as if it were 'napalm' instead. Still, I've no idea what these names have to do with the game (Vietnam War references? Valkyries could even refer to that war if you consider that Wagner's music was played in the movie Apocalypse Now...). Incidentally, the Deep Dungeon itself comes from a previous Square game of the same name. It was one of their first releases back in the 1980s, before Final Fantasy even existed.

Araguay Woods: Probably a mix of two South American countries, Uruguay and Paraguay.

Lionel Castle: Besides for the nod to "lion", Lionel (probably in an unrelated incident) was one of the enemies in the original Legend of Zelda game.

Magic City Gariland: Possibly a nod to Garland of FF1?]

4. Summons

Alexander: Might have been named either for the Russian czar of the 1800s or the Macedonian conqueror of the 4th century BC. [Czar Alexander was a member of a group called the "Holy Alliance", which fits nicely. Alternatively, Alexander might be named after King Alexander Tycoon from FF5.

Angelo: Rinoa's dog in FF8. Perhaps named after Michelangelo? Plus the "angel" part fits in nicely with Rinoa's "Angel Wing" Sorceress ability.

Ashura is also Indian; it was originally spelled "Ashur". Ashur was the chief god of war and empire. He was always spoiling for a fight, was very mischevious, and was constantly getting in trouble with the other gods. Also, is the origin of the Japanese term "shuraba", where everything is so chaotic that you can't tell what's going on ('shura' from Ashura, and 'ba' = place).
[The Asura is from Indian (Hindu) mythology, and literally means "those who were denied ambrosia". The legend says that the father god, Brahma, married the goddess Shatarupa and created two races of people, the Daityas and Adityas. Both races working together extracted the essence of immortality from the seas, but the Adityas kept the essence to themselves. The Daityas then became the gods' enemies, and became known as Asuras. According to the story, the Asuras' conflicts with the gods then became the origin of all conflict.]

Bahamut: He's supposed to be a great dragon of some kind, possibly the king of the dragons. But in another story, the world is being held up by an angel standing on a ruby mountain. The mountain lies on top of a bull (sometimes called Kujata, who's in FF7 [Kjata]) with four thousand of various body parts, which in turn stands on a fish which swims through the darkness. And it turns out that Bahamut is the fish that holds up the world!

Bismark: Could be named for the Prussian ruler of the late 1800s, Otto von Bismarck. There was a battleship named for him which was sunk in 1941; this could be the inspiration for the effect of the Bismarck Esper, "Sea Song".

Cactuar: See Monsters.

Cait Sith: See Characters.

Carbunkl: A carbuncle is a dark red gem resembling a garnet. In an Arthurian legend, a knight was on a quest to retrieve three things, and one was a carbuncle belonging to a princess. A carbuncle is different from a ruby, so FF5 and FF6's "Ruby Light" (name of Carbuncle's attack) is technically incorrect. ["In the lore of Spanish and Portugese explorers, a carbunkle was a small furry creature with a gemstone in its forehead that lived in South America."]

Catoblepas: A catoblepas is supposedly a being who lives in the forests and can turn enemies to stone merely by glancing at them. Well, this is just what he does in FF5. His attack is called "Akuma no Hitomi" which means "Devil's Eye". ["Catoblepas" means "that which looks down".]

Cerberus: The triple-headed dog who guards Tartarus, the Greek version of Purgatory.

Chocobo: See Species.

Cockatrice: See Monsters.

Crusader: See Jihad.

Cyclops: A one-eyed giant out of Greek legend. Supposedly they gave up their eye to be able to see the future, but the only day they were able to see was the day of their own death.

Diablos: "Diablo" means "devil", [hence the name for the popular PC game].

Eden: It's been postulated by a correspondent that Eden is a Garden like Balamb Garden, which would fit in with the name "Eden", as in the Garden of Eden (aka Heaven) from the Bible.

Fenrir: Also known as the Fenris Wolf. In Nordic mythology, the dwarves gave the gods a magical rope which they used to chain Fenrir up in Asgard. Being the child of Loki, the Fenris Wolf was unchained at Ragnarok to do battle with the gods. This is where Odin meets his doom; Fenrir eats him. [In another version, Fenrir is supposed to eat the sun at Ragnarok.]

Gilgamesh: See Characters.

Golem: Jewish mythology tells us that a golem is a creature made out of mud and brought to life when a righteous person inscribes a certain word on it. They are destroyed by rubbing out one of the letters, making the word "fire" which dries mud and makes the golem fall apart. [The most famous golem, and indeed the one usually referred to as the Golem, was purportedly created by Rabbi Judah Loewe of Prague, also known as the Maharal, to fight against the anti-Semitism of the time. It's said that the Golem, once it had fulfilled its duties, became a janitor in the Altneushul ("Old-New" synagogue) in Prague, and after the Maharal's death it went up to the attic of the synagogue, and never came down.]

Hades, as you probably know, is another word for hell, or the underworld. [In Greek, actually.]

Ifrit: Originally spelled "Efreet". Efreeti are fire djinns from the elemental plane of fire who lived in the City of Brass.

Indra was the chief of the Vedic gods and controlled rain and thunder. He flew through the sky on his solar chariot.

Jihad (Crusader in FF6a) - In the original FF6 this Esper was called Jihad. Jihad means sort of like "crusade", thus the English name "Crusader". Sometimed "Jihad" is translated as "holy war". The reason the name was changed for the US version is probably that some Americans think of the group Islamic Jihad when they hear the name. But in reality, Jihad doesn't imply anything evil. ["Jihad" in Arabic means "The cosmic battle between good and evil." According to Islam, all people fight this battle within their minds. It originates from Zoroasterianism. Ahura Mazda was composed of Spenta Mainyu and Angra Mainyu, the Holy and Evil Spirits. -- Cidolfas would like to point out that extremists such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad do translate it in the literal sense, hence all the violence.]

Kirin: Kirin is a province in northeasten China, and also the name of a city in that province, a city on the Sungari River. This isn't to be confused with the Japanese "kirin" (which means giraffe). Also there's a being called a "qilin" in Chinese myths. It's an imaginary creature that is part horse and part dragon. The male is called "Ki", and the female is called "Rin". It is capable of flying, and sparks of lightning shoot out from its hooves. Kirin live for 1000 years and are considered good luck. Supposedly Genghis Khan was planning to invade India when his scouts happened upon a green talking qilin; the qilin convinced Khan to end his war plans. A famous legend surrounding K'i-lin was that one came to a woman named Yen Chen-tsai and gave her a jade tablet. On this tablet was a prophecy that she would become the mother of a "throneless king." Yen Chen-tsai would have a son, Confucius, who never ruled China, but accomplished quite a lot. Actually, a "kirin" is different from a "quilin" and a "k'i-lin"; it's a messenger from the gods, a small being about the size of a dog, but is has a mane of fire.

Kujata [Kjata] is from the Bahamut legend. He's the bull with numerous body parts that sits beneath the mountain, supporting the world. [Probably why he has a multi-elemental attack.]

Knights of the Round. This refers to King Arthur's twelve Knights of the Round Table. Two of them were Uwain and Lancelot.

Lamia: "Lamia was, in ancient Greek and Roman mythology, a hideous creature who kidnapped and murdered children. She was originally a beautiful woman who was loved by the Gree god Zeus. A jealous Hera snatched away her children and turned her into the creature that she became.

The name 'Lamia' was gradually used to categorise a type of child-snatching daemon that ate the flesh of its victims. In modern mythology, the lamia is a type of female vampire."

Leviathan: The Leviathan was a legendary sea monster, gigantic in size, that would send ships to a watery doom. "Leviathan" is of Hebrew origin. [Being more specific, the Leviathan is supposed to surface in the times of the Messiah. The Messiah is supposed to kill it and make a sukkah (a kind of hut or as they call it in fancy language "tabernacle") out of its skin.]

Lich: See Characters.

Maduin: See Characters.

MindFlayer: See Monsters.

MiniMog, Moogle: See Species.

Odin: The number-one Norse god, the god of thunder, war, wisdom, and honor. One of the three sons of Borr, he was the most noble and is the father of some of the other Norse gods. Thus he can slice up just about anybody as a Esper. [He's famed for having one eye. He traded his eye for great wisdom. Odd that in FF he still has both of 'em. Odin isn't the god of thunder in norse mythology; that's Thor. He is the god of death (as well as wisdom, war, poetry, and honor) which is probably why his attack always instantly kills enemies.]

Pandemonium: Has the same name as a Place from FF2.

Palidor: Might refer to a paladin; a knight like Cecil from FF4. It's called "Ke-tsuhari-" in FF6j... what the heck is that!? "Kate's Hurry", maybe?? Someone help me on this one. ["Palidor's Japanese name - Quetzali - is a rare tropical bird from Central America."]

Phoenix: The "Phoenix" was supposedly a [fiery] legendary bird that rose from the ashes of death every 500 years. Thus the Phoenix Esper is related to the resurrection of dead characters [and fire attacks].

Quezacotl: Quetzalcoatl (probably not enough room to write the whole name), also known as the Feathered Serpent, is a god of the ancient Aztecs. "Aztek name: Quetzalcoatl. Pronounced Ket-Sal-Ko-Atl. He is the god of wind, knowledge and priesthood and it was foreseen that he would once return to get his terrible revenge because he had been banished from a city some time in the past. People feared that he would destroy everything."
Mexican natives of the Yucutan pronounce Quetzacoatl "ket-sa-caught-ull". Quetzacoatl was both a God and a real man. Supposedly, Quetzacoatl had been the leader of the Aztec nomads whom founded Tenochtitlan (aka, Present day Mexico City) at Lake Texcoco.]

Ragnarok: See Items.

Raiden: "Raiden" can mean "thunder" (rai, as in 'kaminari') and "Lightning" (den, 'electricity') in Japanese, but in FF6j it's "Raijin". Raijin is the god of thunder. But... Raijin can also mean "fast-moving thunder", and that's how it's spelled in the FF series. (I didn't think this name was *that* complicated...) See Raijin from FF8. [Raiden, the lightning god, was a character in the popular Mortal Kombat fighting game series, and that may be why the translators changed the name, figuring this name would be more recognizable.]

Ramuh: Could be Rama, the hero of an epic Indian poem, the Ramayana. He is handsome, brave, and a model individual. After many trials and tribulations, he becomes king, and it is revealed that Rama is actually the god Vishnu in human form.

[Remora: A remora is a small creature which attaches itself to a shark and eats parasites off of his skin, a symbiotic relashionship.]

Salamander: A fire lizard which, in Egyptian hieroglyphics, is represented by a human form pinched to death with the cold. It would use the coldness of its body to quench the fire that it lived in. The word derives from Greek "salamandria". [I've seen it mentioned in the Talmud as "Salamandra" - a being created using witchcraft to make a fire burn continuously for seven years; it is then created from the fire. Spreading salamander blood on a human is supposed to make him impervious to fire. According to medieval philosopher Paracelsus, Salamander was one of the four Elemental creatures, the Fire Elemental.]

Shiva: Shiva is a god from Indian myths which had multiple heads and arms. Shiva was called "The Destroyer" and had lots of powerful weapons. But in the mythology, Shiva has many other powers besides the Ice attribute in Final Fantasy. A member of the triad that includes Vishnu and Brahma. [Note that the Hindu Shiva is a male.]

Shoat: A shoat is a young hog weighing between 100 and 180 pounds. I don't know what this has to do with the game though. But in FF6j, Shoat is Catoblepas. Look under "Catoblepas" above.

[Silf/Sylph: A name for a fairy. Usually it has slightly different connotations, however (usually sylphs are full-sized). According to medieval philosopher Paracelsus, Sylph was one of the four Elemental creatures, the Wind Elemental.
Alexander Pope's mock-epic poem The Rape of the Lock: "Sylphs are insubstantial and tiny (Ariel, the chief sylph, talks of imprisoning any sylph that fails to do his duty will be imprisoned in a bottle, and one of the sylphs is accidentally cut in half by a pair of scissors).
In The Rape of the Lock sylphs are the spirits of maidens whose personalities corresponded with the element of air (they become male after dying, apparently; Ariel is repeatedly called 'he'). Women who were prudish and associated with earth would become gnomes; women who had fiery tempers woould become salamaders, and women who were sweet like water would become nymphs. From what I've read, Pope took all this from Rosicrucian traditions, which is probably just built on Parclesus' philosophies." Also note that Ariel is a fairy/sylph/spirit in Shakespeare's The Tempest, also supposedly male. ]

Siren: Well, here's another Odyssey influence. When Ulysses and his men sail past the Sirens, their beautiful singing voices tempt the men to their doom (thus the musical notes that float across the screen). Ulysses escapes the deadly Sirens by inserting beeswax in his men's ears so they can keep rowing and not hear the Sirens. He lashes himself to the mast of his ship so he won't be able to leave the ship.

Sraphim: A seraph is a kind of angel in Hebrew; plural of that is "sraphim".

Starlet (Lakshmi): In FF6j, this Esper is called Lakshmi (Rakushumi). Lakshmi is the goddess of good and bad fortune in Indian mythology. She sat on a giant floating lotus watching people. When she looked at you with one eye, it meant that you would have good luck, and the other eye meant bad luck. [ "Starlet" has a double meaning - a small bird or a young star (TV, music etc).]

Stray: Probably refers to a stray cat, since the effect is called "Cat Rain" and confuses the enemies (causing them to go astray, I suppose).

Terrato: In FF6j he's Midgarsorm, also known as the Midgard Serpent. (Yet another alias is Iormungandr, also spelled Jormungand.) It is an offspring of Loki along with Fenrir. Living beneath the ocean, it encircles the Earth and remains there, waiting for the final battle, Ragnarok, where it will help destroy the gods. Supposedly the only weapon capable of hurting Iormungandr is Thor's hammer, Mjolnir.

Titan: A giant out of Greek legend. They were encountered by Ulysses on his famous ten-year Odyssey returning home from the Trojan War. [Another version has them having numerous cataclysmic clashes with the gods.]

Tritoch: He's called Valigarmanda in FF6j. Could be related to Vali, the Norse god of eternal light and also the world's greatest archer. But otherwise I'm unsure... also, he teaches you Fire 3, Bolt 3, and Ice 3, which would explain the "tri-" part.

Typoon: Originally "Chupon" from FF6, but the translator was probably thinking of "typhoon", a kind of tropical storm.
Typhon was a horrifying offspring of Gaia and Tartarus. His mate was a monster known as Echidna (head of a nymph and body of a serpent), and their offspring were many monsters such as the Chimera, Sphinx, and Hydra. Typhon had hundreds of heads, with eyes dripping venom and lava for drool, and hissed and roared like a hundred snakes and a hundred lions. (not exactly like Chupon/Typhon in FF6 & FF7 but you get the idea)

Supposively, the gods were terrified at the sight of them, and they changed into animals and fled. Eventually Zeus regained his courage and turned around to face Typhon, and so did the other gods. Soon an epic battle raged, as Typhon kept hurling mountains (literally) at the gods. Eventually, when Typhon tried to throw Mount Aetna at them, Zeus countered with hundreds of thunderbolts, causing the mountain to fall on Typhon, pinning him underneath, which continued to belch lava and fumes from the mountain in his "prison."]

Unicorn: A unicorn is a mythical one-horned horse-like animal. Unicorns are said to be good luck. The "Heal Horn" in FF6 is a reference to a unicorn's single horn. (The Kirin is a kind of unicorn, by the way.)

ZoneSeek: I don't know how the name relates to the effects, but Zone Seek teaches you Rasp and Shell, and casts Shell on your party in battle. Maybe the Shell refers to seeking a "safe zone"...?

5. Monsters

Adamant Turtles and their variations: Adamant is a legendary, very hard metal; it's been shoved into the English language as well, meaning "very hard" or "unmoving". "Adamant: From the Greek Adamantos, or "unconquerable," the name was originally applied to diamonds ("Diamond" derives from "adamant") and later to any unbreakable substance."

Behemoth: Hebrew for "animals", it also entered the English dictionary as meaning "huge creature or thing". Hence the humongous purple dude.

Byblos (Biburosu): You meet him in FF5's Ancient Library. Makes sense since his name is derived from the Greek for "book". The French, German, and Russian words for "library" (and perhaps several others) are all cognates, related to the Greek. FF5's Ancient Library is patterned after the one in Alexandria, and the two most famous books there were "Byblos" and "Almagest".

Cactuar: Probably a cross between "cactus" and "jaguar" for its ferocity. In Japanese these are known as "sabotenders", which comes from Japanese "saboten", meaning cactus. And in FF6a it was called "Cactrot", adding "trot" to it (perhaps because it always runs away?).

Chimera: From Greek mythology. It's a fire-breathing monster having either the hindquarters of a serpent and the head of a lion on the body of a goat, or else the back of a goat, the wings of a dragon, the front half of a lion, and three heads (one each for goat, lion and dragon). In Squaresoft games they favor the latter bit, adding in a snake for a tail.]

Cockatrice: Supposedly they were deadly winged serpents from biblical times.
[It is said in a legend that, when the moons are just right, a chicken somewhere will lay an egg. On that night, a snake will appear and curl itself around that egg. When the egg hatches, a fearful monster called a "Cockatrice" emerges from it. The monster, half bird and half snake; has the powers of the Gorgon, and can turn people into stone just by people looking at them.]

Dullahan: Dullahan is from Irish mythology, and is a headless spirit that wanders around Ireland, holding his head under his arm and driving a black coach drawn by headless horses! He knocks on people's doors, and hurls a bucket of blood in their faces! As you can probably guess, a visit from Dullahan is considered to be a portent of death.

Midgar Zolom: See Summon Terrato.

MindFlayer: He attacks with "Mind Blast", which sucks out your brain. I'm not sure which mythology he's from, but supposedly Mind Flayer is one of those truly evil beings who has no soul. Also known as "illithid". [He may have originated in Dungeons and Dragons. "I think that the game designers were making a nod to H.P. Lovecraft's popular Mythos of Cthulhu (dont ask me how to pronounce it) Cthulhu was supposed to have the face of a squid, the wings of a dragon, and the body of a very large humanoid. more importantly Cthulhu made people go crazy by just looking at them, like the Mindflayers main attack does."

Minotaur: From the Greek legend. The Cretan king Minos (meaning "from Crete", not "idiotic") supposedly had a soft spot... er, sexually... for white bulls. (it was actually his wife who had said soft spot.) One of the gods (for a reason I can't recall) sent him one to test him (or her); after a bit of a mess, the end result was something having the head of a bull and the body of a man. "Minotaur" is Greek for "Minos's bull". Minos hired Daedalus (father of Icarus) to build the famous Labyrinth to imprison the Minotaur. However, eventually Theseus, aided by Ariadne's magical string, managed to foil the Labyrinth, kill the Minotaur, and come out unharmed.

Minotaur's brother, Sacred, is mistranslated as Sekhmet.] Sekhmet is a lion-headed goddess sent by Ra to punish mankind for its sins. Part of the triad that includes Bast (cat goddess) and Ra (the rather important sun god).

Molbol: I don't know the origin of this name (unless it comes from Marlboro Cigarettes, via his Bad Breath attack) but in FF6a it's called Mad Oscar and Evil Oscar. The "Oscar" comes from Sesame Street's Oscar the Grouch, whom it vaguely resembles.

Sahagin: This monster may have originated in Dungeons and Dragons.

Sand Worm: I think it's modeled after the tube monster from Return of the Jedi. It's probably based after the Sand Worm creature from Frank Herbert's "Dune" series.

Sleipnir is Odin's eight-legged horse in Norse mythology. It was given to him by Loki, the Norse trickster god, as a joke. "for name origins: sleipnir actually wasnt a joke. Loki, in order to distract the dwarf blast's horse, svadilfari, a stallion of great strenghth, he changed into a mare. the offspring of this unusual coupling was Sleipnir. the name means Glider and sleipnir can travel over sea and through the air and can outrun any other horse."

Tiamat: In Akkadian mythology, Tiamat is the mother of the other gods. She has five heads (blue, red, black, green, and white) In some stories, she is enemy of Bahamut, king of the dragons. [In FF8, Tiamat is indeed supposed to be related to Bahamut, and s/he looks very much like him in that game.]
[In Babylonian mythology, Tiamat co-created the world with her husband, Apsu. Later on, Ea (the god of wisdom) slew Apsu; and his son, Marduk, challenged Tiamat. Marduk eventually slays Tiamat.
"Tiamat is also the Sumerian name for Leviathin and Absu is also known as Behemoth and even Cthulhu sometimes. Tiamat usually has 5 heads but can have anywhere from 3 to 6. I'm not quite sure but some places have reffered to Bahamut as Tiamats enemy, but I am pretty sure that Bahamut is Tiamat's counterpart because Bahamut is also known as Behemoth when it comes to comparing him to Tiamat."

Omega, Omega Weapon: Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet. Hence these two people being the hardest challenges in their respective games.

6. Items

Aegis Shield: The Aegis was the breastplate of Zeus, and, later, Athena. The word "aegis" means "protection" [in English].

Artemis Bow: Artemis is a goddess from Greek myths. She carried a bow and arrow and was also the goddess of fertility. She was the sister of Apollo, and is the subject of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Ashura: See Summons.

Bacchus' Wine (aka Gods' Wine): Bacchus is the Greek god of wine. Rather obvious name, then.

Cat's Claw: "Cat's Claw: This may not be meaningful, but in Fritz Leiber's "Lankhmar" stories, the thief/mage Gray Mouser's dagger was named Cat's Claw."

Dark Matter: "Based on 50 years of accumulated observations of the motions of galaxies and the expansion of the universe, most astronomers believe that as much as 90 percent of the stuff constituting the universe may be objects or particles that cannot be seen. In other words, most of the universe's matter does not radiate--it provides no glow that we can detect in the electromagnetic spectrum. First posited some 60 years ago by astronomer Fritz Zwicky, this so-called missing matter was believed to reside within clusters of galaxies. Nowadays we prefer to call the missing mass "dark matter," for it is the light, not the matter, that is missing."

Ether: in the middle ages, ether was thought to be the element that made up all space and planets beyond the sphere of the moon, and was later thought to be the medium in space through which electromagnetic waves travelled. the name today is a highly volatile chemical usually used as an anestheic.

Excalibur: of British legend. Excalibur was the sword that King Arthur pulled from the stone to prove his worthiness as king. The ideas of knighthood and chivalry date back to Arthur's time. [some legends have Arthur being given Excalibur by the Lady of the Lake; more complicated legends have her as Galahad's and Launcelot's mother, but most just make mention of her without saying who she actually was. "The name comes from the Latin 'Ex Caliburn' which means (more or less) 'Above or beyond steel'".]

Genji Equipment The Genji clan was famous for its battles with the Heike, another samurai clan. In 1185, the Genji won a decisive battle with the Heike and almost eradicated them completely.

Gungnir: This was the name of Odin's spear in Norse mythology. The Gungnir was supposed to have always pointed at the strongest member of an enemy party. [

Hyperion: This is Seifer's blade in FF8. "It's possibly named after the Hyperion Bank, owned by Thaddeus Rains, a train tycoon. He really screwed with Jesse James and his friends and family."]

Kikuijimoji: I broke this one up into several different words. 'kiku' is the direct form of 'kikimasu' meaning 'to be effective'. 'ichi' is 'one' , 'mo-' is a prefix meaning 'of mourning' and 'ji' is hour. Now I'm not sure whether this is the intended meaning of the name, but it can be thus translated as "effective in creating an hour of mourning."

"The definition of the word "kikuichimonji" probably does not mean "effective in creating an hour of mourning." In fact, "kiku" can also mean chrysanthemum. "ichimonji" can refer to the Japanese kanji for "one", but I think that in this case, it refers to the "Ichimonji", a group of swordsmiths who aided the Emperor Gotoba in developing swords. Apparently, Emperor Gotoba was an avid swordsmith. With the help of the Ichimonji, he commissioned many swords (and supposedly made a few). However, the Emperor was not permitted to sign his name on the sword, so he used a chrysanthemum with 16 or 24 petals. Hence, the name "kikuichimonji".

Kotetsu: A Japanese sword that is shorter than a Katana but is longer than a Wakizashi. Its shorter length gives it more defensive abilities than the Katana. It is sometimes called Naga-Wakizashi, which means "long Wakizashi". ["This description seems to fit the Kodachi, a weapon used by Ninjas in FF5 and Shadow in FF3/FF6j. "Kotetsu" refers to swords made by Nagasone Kotetsu (Nagasone probably refers to the place where he came from.)

Kunai: By the same person: "Multi-purpose tools "used to help climb trees and walls", and also "for probing, digging, and chiseling".]

Minerva Armor: The Roman name for Athena, the Greek goddess of war and wisdom.

Mithril Equipment: A metal of legendary strength. The name comes from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy [supposedly it means "true-silver"]. There's also the Roman soldiers' god "Mithras"; a name which was believed to be divine by the Gnostics. In Greek numerology, the word has the value of 365... a value shared by 'Agion Onoma' (Holy Name); thus its significance. [365 is also the number of negative commandments in the Jewish Bible, as well as the number of days in a solar year.
Mithra was one of the angels in Zoroasterianism, who judged the dead to either Heaven and Hell when they died. Mithra was later worshipped as a Savior-God exactly like Jesus of Nazareth (thus the rarely said saying "Mithraism is the Christianity before Christianity).]

Main Gauche: This is French for "left hand". It's a knife with some defense ability. [They're daggers, not swords, with big curvey hand-guards. You would have a rapier in your right hand which you wold fight with, and you would use the big hand-guard on the main-gauche to block any blows from an opponent, assuming he was fighting with a rapier (if he had a big heavy sword then a main-gauche wouldn't do a fat lot of good.)]

The Japanese sword Masamune: One explanation is that there was a feudal lord named "Masamune Date" (Date (da-te) is the family name) who ruled Rikuzen (area near Sendai) around the early 1600's. He lost one of his eyes due to sickness in childhood, and he was nicknamed "Dokuganryuu Masamune" (Masamune, the one eyed dragon). Another story says that there was a blacksmith named "Masamune", and his sword was so sharp that you could drive it into the ground in a lake, and leaves that floated by would float around the Masamune due to its holy power. [Masamune is actually the name of a Japanese swordsmith from the 11th-12th centuries; the weapons are in display in museums. It's quite possible that the swordsmith's name is based on the legends. "Masamune" refers to swords crafted by Goro Nyudo Masamune (around 1265-1358), one of the most famous Japanese swordsmiths.]

Murasame: The characters are "town" (mura) and "rain" (ame). Murasame is used to define a rain that rains in small area. (Sometimes quick rain) Thus, it could mean Murasame can cause "quick blood rain". (And in some stories, Murasame is cursed. Though the leaves floating down the river will avoid the Masamune, they float right into the Murasame and get split in two.)

Orichalcon: *Could* be related to "orichalcum", the legendary alloy of Atlantis which was said to have special properties. ["Almost certainly refers to the "fire-metal" of Atlantis, "orichalcum," as I've seen that substance spelled both ways in translations of Plato."]

Ragnarok: "Ragnarok" refers to the end of the world in Nordic myths. It's like the day of reckoning in which all are judged for their actions. The gods knew that someday they would have to battle their nemeses, the giants. Odin and many of the gods are killed (Odin is eaten by Fenrir) and a new world rises from the old world's ashes. In fact, in one version of the story it's Siegfried and Brunnhilde who repopulate the world.

Here's how to pronounce "Ragnarök" in original Swedish, thanks to Zimeon Lundstrom.

Oh my, difficult. Let me see... Swedish is rather like German I'd say, but the German sounds are more hard. First of all, the Swedish "r" might be difficult to pronounce, and I don't think i can describe it here without the sound itself, so go for the english "r" for the time. The first "a" is like the "u" in english "hung". The next "g" is an "ng" sound, as in "hung". The next "na" is just like it's spelled, the "a" sound is the same as the first "a". The "o" with two dots is a tricky one. It's a bit like "ea" in "heard", but don't curl your tongue, just let it lie still. And form your mouth a litte more round. Hmmm... this is impossible. The last "k" anyway, is just a normal "k". So it would come out as "rungnareark", to come as close as possible without creating sounds that don't exist in English... In fact, there should be two dots on the "o" in Ragnarök.

Rune Blade/Axe/Bell - runes were the letters used by Icelanders and other Nordic people over 1000 years ago. They were believed to have magical properties, and supposedly were invented by Odin himself.

Save the Queen: this is a line from the British national anthem 'God Save the Queen.' I don't think there's an actual sword with this name, though. Another possibility is that it's another reference to what is surely the producers' favorite band.

Shuriken: "Shuriken" actually means something to the effect of "a blade that is hidden in the palm of one's hand", since the kanji for the word are "hand", "palm" (I think), and "blade". The actual shuriken, as you might know, is either a dart or a throwing star.]

Thor Hammer: Also known as "Mjolnir", Thor's Hammer could instantly kill any giant (they were the enemies of the gods, with whom they battle at Ragnarok) and never missed. Thor could throw it at the enemies and it would return to him, as it does in FF5. Also I've heard that a lightning bolt is emitted from Mjolnir as it is thrown... this would explain the "LIT2" magic cast by it in FF1.

Trident: A spear for the Dragoon. It's a large three-pronged fork wielded by the sea god Poseidon.

Yoichi's Bow: OK, for this one, let's pass the mike to FF5 grand master Tat Nakao... [Tat: Maybe it was the name of the person who shot the arrow at the battle of Genpei. I think it was in "Ougi no Mato". Mato = Target, and Ougi = fan. The simple story was that Genji was fighting against Heike at Seto Naikai (the Inland Sea), and Heike was on the sea and Genji was on the shore (maybe it was the other way around). Since the sun began to fall, the one on the sea thought to have entertainment. They let one woman with one pole aboard the small boat (and this pole had Ougi (fan) at the tip). She rowed the boat near the shore and asked someone on the shore to shoot the fan. And I think Yoichi was nominated to do so, and he did it. I *THINK* this person was Yoichi, but I'm not sure.... It was 8th grade that I learned this in school. (And I wasn't good at Kokugo)]

Zantetsuken: Odin's sword in various games. It's Japanese for "Iron Cutting Sword" or (as translated in FF7) "Steel-Bladed Sword".

Zeus' Rage: Zeus was the king of the Greek gods and known to hurl thunderbolts, hence this item casting thunder magic.]

7. Others

"Mu" from FF5 (also known as "Void"): [Mu was supposed to be a lost continent of sorts that was rumored to exist somewhere around Polynesia. Because Mu has been proven to not exist, just the word "Mu" has come to mean "nothingness" or "nonexisting". "Mu" is also a Zen Buddhist principle referring to nothingness, and has been incorporated into the Japanese language to mean "nothing".

Almagest from FF5: This is the name of Neo Exdeath's attack. This is the name of a book describing Ptolemy's work in astronomy.

Eidolons from FF9: From The American Heritage Dictionary, 3rd Edition (1. A phantom; an apparition. 2. An image of an ideal. (Greek eidolon, from eidos, form)

Lord Avon from FF9, the writer of "I Want To Be Your Canary". Stratford-upon-Avon is famous for being Shakespeare's birthplace.

Tantalus from FF9. The band of thieves form FF IX, Tantalus, takes its name from a Greek mythological figure of the same name. Tantalus was a king who was one of Zeus' sons and was allowed to eat ammbrosia. He angered the gods by allowing other mortals to eat ammbrosia, and was condemned to be up to his neck in water in Hades; whenever he wanted a drink, the water would lower, and he couldnt get one. Above him in Hades was a fruit tree; whenever he was hungry, the branches would pull away from him. (This is where the word 'tantalize' comes from.) In another version of the story, he kills his son and serves him as the main course in a banquet for the gods which angers them, but his punishment is the same. I know that the myth of Tantalus doesn't really relate to Zidane and his wacky bunch (well, I don't see a connection, anyway) but then again what did the word AVALANCHE have to do with Barret's anti-Shinra crusade?

Prima Vista, the name of Tantalus's theatre ship, is Latin for "first view".