Black Characters in the Final Fantasy series


black characters in final fantasy

Final Fantasy isn't usually praised for racial diversity amongst it's main cast of characters, see Final Fantasy XV, but when controversial dark skinned characters like Sazh and Barret are created and thrust upon the nitpicking fanbase, heads are surely bound to turn. There has been many black characters throughout Final Fantasy's history but you could only count them on one hand at one point.

"Since Final Fantasy VII diversity has gradually crept through the cracks and introduced darker palettes"


In 1997 Squaresoft introduced it's first official black character 'Barett Wallace' a no-nonsense, stereotypical and walking parody of actor Mr T and whilst definitely not the best representation, fans who look beyond physical appearances will know as the story progressed Barett came across as a strong, caring and lovable character who would risk his own life to overthrow a corrupt government and save the planet.

Aside from Barett Wallace and more recently Sazh Katzroy, there's other black characters who have been given roles in their respective series be it minor, supportive or next to non-existent. Since Final Fantasy VII diversity has gradually crept through the cracks and introduced darker palettes (thankfully). So let's take a look back at the black characters throughout Square's history.

Updated: 25/02/2016


Luca (Final Fantasy IV: The After Years)

final fantasy iv luca
Luca first appeared as a npc in Final Fantasy IV. She's the aristocrat of the dwarves in an underworld kingdom and the child to King Giott. She appears several years later as playable character in Final Fantasy IV: The After years with a drastic change in appearance.

In The After Years Luca's shadow face is gone and she now has a drastically different design. At present Luca has dark brown skin, plump lips and a wide nose. In the game Luca claims she was "never a fan of dwarven fashion", which makes us wonder if the rest of the dwarvens are black under their shadow guises.



Leo Cristophe (Final Fantasy VI)

final fantasy vi leo
It's been often said that Barett wasn't the first black character to appear in the Final Fantasy series. In Final Fantasy 6, Leo's skin complexion is a subject of discussion as he is depicted as dark skinned in Yoshitaka Amano's art and in his menu picture, As well as having the features of a black person but his in-game sprite is very pale in comparison.

His sprite being light-colored could be due to the colour palette restrictions within the game's code. In the mobile version Leo's sprite has a darker skin complexion.


Baret Wallace (Final Fantasy VII)

final fantasy vii barett
Barret Wallace is the leader of a radical eco group who call themselves AVALANCHE. He's defined early in the game as a straight up, no-nonsense taking, hot-headed individual who tends to swears. Despite his sometimes ferocious temper, Barret is a good man with a big heart and is torn between warfare and looking after his adoptive daughter Marlene.

Barret was a character character designer Testsuya Noruma has wished to implement into the Final Fantasy series for quite some time but it wasn't until FFVII that this actually came to fruition. In the original concept Barett was suppose to have a wife and Marlene would be Barret's biological daughter but these ideas were scrapped in the final game.


Kiros Seagill (Final Fantasy VIII)

black final fantasy characters
Kiros is a tall, slender, dark skinned man who stands at 6'4 and is a temporary playable in Final Fantasy VIII. He's a caring and intelligent individual who fought alongside his long time associates Laguna and Ward for the Galbadian army, Kiros is also considered to be Laguna's voice of reason. He later quits the Galbadian military service with Laguna and Ward. Some people believe that Kiros looks similar to Michael Jackson.


Lani (Final Fantasy IX)

black final fantasy characters
Originally referred to as The Boisterous Woman before her identity is revealed, Lani is a npc in Final Fantasy IX. She's a hunts woman with dark skin and brown shoulder-length hair. Lani believes she's the finest-looking bounty hunter in the world and will not hesitate to betray her most trustworthy associates. She's also known to be ill-mannered, scornful and prideful. It's unknown but Lani appears to be of black/mulatto descent.


Dona (Final Fantasy X)

black final fantasy characters
Dona is a summoner from Kilika in Final Fantasy X, she is dark skinned, has brown eyes and black hair which is tied up in a bun and ponytail. At times Dona likes to give Yuna and her guardians a difficult time when encountering them. In Final Fantasy X-2 she makes her home in Kilika Port. She's believed to be 24 years old during the events of FFX as stated in the Final Fantasy X Ultimania Omega.


Abus (Final Fantasy X)

black final fantasy characters
Abus plays blizball on the Luca Goers team, he's first seen mocking Tidus and the Besaid Aurochs with his team mates Bickson and Graav. Once you can recruit blizball players, Abus hangs around the Number 3 platform in Luca and can be hired for 120 gil per match.


Buddy (Final Fantasy X-2)

black final fantasy characters
Buddy is a close acquittance to Brother, co-founder of the Gullwings and navigator of the Gullwing's aircraft in Final Fantasy X-2. Buddy acts as a more adjusted and calmer counterpart to to the fickle Brother. He was gutted to find out that Yuna didn't know who he was and didn't recall seeing him in Final Fantasy X.


Rava Vieras (Final Fantasy XII)

dark skinned final fantasy characters
First appearing in the Final Fantasy XII series, Rava Vieras are dark skinned Vieras. It's said that Rava Vieras are mixed with hume blood while the lighter Vieras known as Veenas are full blooded.

This is pretty strange as one would expect the lighter skinned vieras to be mixed but this isn't the case here. Rava Vieras have adjusted their lifestyle to live amongst the Humes in Ivalice. It's not revealed whether Fran is a Veena or Rava.


Sazh (Final Fantasy XIII)

black final fantasy characters
Sazh Katzroy first appears in Final Fantasy XIII as one of the main characters. He's the eldest playable character, has an afro and works as an airship pilot. His wife's departure happened three years before the events of Final Fantasy XIII and since then Sazh has been caring for their only child, Dajh. Taking care of his offspring is Sazh's main motivation. Despite being the oldest playable FFXIII character, Sazh has a young, untroubled, and bubbly personality.



Dajh (Final Fantasy XIII)

black final fantasy characters
Dajh Kazroy is a non-playable character from Final Fantasy XIII. He's the offspring of Sazh Kazroy and the drive to his actions. Dajh's mum died when he was only three years old and since then, Sazh has looked after him alone. At Six years of age, Dajh can be naive and is very innocent, with absolute love for his dad. Dajh's favourite creatures are Chocobos.



Gadot (Final Fantasy XIII)
black final fantasy characters
Gadot is a temporary playable character from Final Fantasy XIII, who also makes an appearance in Final Fantasy XIII-2. He's the founding member of the resistance group Nora under his close friend Snow Villiers, along with Lebreau, Yuj, and more.

Gadot is of dark complexion, has huge muscles, fiery hair and bluish green clothing. He rocks a chain with the word "posse" etched on it. His look is said to be inspired by NBA and hip-hop culture.


Forge Rare (Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII)


Forge (Rare) is a traveller who is sells items and randomly moves from location to location in Lighting Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. He is darkskin and wears a red checkered hat along with a rucksack.


Raubahn Aldynn (Final Fantasy XIV)

black final fantasy characters
The Hyur male Highlander Flame General Raubahn Aldynn is a very tall, bulky black man with cornrow braids and a beard, he's also a non-playable character in Final Fantasy XIV. He leads the Ul'Dah Grand Company, the Immortal Flames. In FFXIV ARR you can also create black avatars.


Roland (Final Fantasy XIV)

black final fantasy characters
Referred to as Master Roland by the Manderville Gold Saucer attendants, Roland is the ceo of Manderville Gold Saucer and is in charge of overseeing the daily affairs of the amusement attraction. Roland is shown to be man of honor and has an eye for keen adventurers. He has blonde hair, dark skin, a gold hoop earring and you meet him at the end of your Gold Saucer tour.


16 comments:

  1. Great list, Barret Wallace is probably my favorite videogame character of all time.

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  2. There are random background people with dark complexions throughout the FF world. Kiros is one of my favorites. I like his design. And Sazh is one of my favorite characters. I love him!!

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  3. Sazh was probably my favorite character in terms of look, dialogue (sugar and rainbows) and mannerisms. And those badass pistols...

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  4. General Leo from FF6 was meant to be black. Seriously, when you get to control him, however so brief, by going to the menu it's quite clear, I believe, he's black.

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  5. SkyLightLegacy15/02/2014, 12:35

    Sazh was my favorite character. Something that upsets me about Final Fantasy is the lack of black characters I want more.

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  6. Kiros did indeed have an awesome Limit Break and is kinda sexy. Mr. T is cool. Dajh is cute. ...!?

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  7. You forgot General Leo. Although... Leo is kinda a paradox... his status screen portrait shows him as very clearly black, but on the field map his skin is white...

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  8. Sazh and Dajh - Michael and Walt from Lost tv show.

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  9. Look at that grin goddamn that is the grin of a man who knows he's the coolest person in the room all the time sazh you wonderful man you deserve better than what they did to you in final fantasy xiii-2 and Lightning Returns.

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  10. Cloud: Hey Barret shouldn't we get out it's gonna blow in 20 minutes. barret: I'M SORRY I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF HOW BADASS I AM.

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  11. It's a shame that the concept art for FFIX never made it..

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  12. It's just nice to have some variety... I think FFXII would have been better if Basch were somehow black. Ivalice would be even better with some more diversity.

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  13. I looked at the main cast of Final Fantasy XV and immediately sighed with disappointment. I really hope there's at least a black character though especially since it's meant to be a futuristic Final Fantasy game.

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  14. I always saw Lani as a lightskinned black girl in Final Fantasy IX.

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  15. Sazh Katzroy was a phenomenal character but I just felt he was stuck in a mediocre series.

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  16. Hmmm why are all the Black women depicted as "mean and vengeful"? Come on Final Fantasy...

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