Moreover, Dissidia goes several steps further since World B is a near-geographic replica of the first Final Fantasy’s setting, World A (albeit dotted with arenas ripped from the fragmented memories of its characters without rhyme or reason). For instance, one of the battlegrounds in World B is a blasted moonscape. Why is a location like that on a planet with an atmosphere? Well, it’s because it was pulled from the memories of Cecil Harvey: a character who traveled to the moon in Final Fantasy IV. Without a multiverse, there would have been no memories to pull from.
Now, since characters die left, right, and center in Dissidia, you might wonder how the series canonically fits into the Final Fantasy franchise without shattering the space-time continuum. Well, time works differently in World B, and that plot point is used to insert new canon into older titles. Everyone is caught in an endless cycle of battles, death, resurrection, and amnesia. They barely remember where they came from or why they are fighting and just know that they need to fight. But, after what is implied to be countless cycles worth of combat, the first game’s ending explicitly states that the various heroes and villains return to their respective worlds. Everyone except for the Warrior of Light, that is. He was created on World B by Cid of the Lufaine (a character retroactively added to rereleases of the first Final Fantasy) and retconned into one of the World A’s heroes from the original Final Fantasy. From there, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT pulls them all back for one more round.
Without a Final Fantasy multiverse, Dissidia wouldn’t make a lot of sense and would certainly be a very different spin-off series from a narrative standpoint.
Final Fantasy XIV and the Collaboration Connection
Now that we’ve established the general existence of a Final Fantasy multiverse (or the strong possibility of its existence), it’s time to address a particularly popular fan theory question: Is Final Fantasy XIV the root of the Final Fantasy multiverse?
It’s no secret Square Enix loves to stuff Final Fantasy XIV full of collaborative content. Players have gone on quests and collected equipment ripped out of properties such as Yo-Kai Watch and Garo. Square Enix also tends to collaborate with…well…itself and place the results in Final Fantasy XIV. For instance, Lightning and Noctis showed up for limited-time events in the game, but those instances hardly prove that the game sits in the middle of some kind of Final Fantasy nexus. After all, Lightning can don the iconic getups of characters such as Cloud, Yuna, and Lara Croft in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Does that mean her tailor lives in the center of a Final Fantasy or Square Enix multiverse? Probably not since those crossover costumes are all optional DLC (and ultimately probably meant to advertise different Square-owned games). All Lightning and Noctis demonstrate in their Hydaelyn vacations is how the different Final Fantasy worlds are connected.
Lightning and Noctis visited Hydaelyn thanks to the Interdimensional Rift (the same one Gilgamesh, Omega, and Shinryu use to get around), and they aren’t the only characters who have taken an interdimensional tour. The Stormblood expansion introduced the Aetherial Rift: a raid dungeon hosted by a surprisingly friendly Omega (friendly in that he tests players before trying to stomp them out of existence). Thanks to Omega’s control over the Rift, gamers can square off against recreations of past Final Fantasy game bosses, including Chaos, Kekfa, Exdeath, and the Phantom Train. Again, you might assume these crossovers imply that Hydaelyn rests at the center of the multiverse. Instead, they most likely suggest that Omega either visited or used networked knowledge of different worlds to create these arenas, which lends credence to the theory that most Omegas seen throughout the franchise are either the same killbot or are linked in some way. Square Enix also apparently just loves to reference/advertise its older titles.
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