Final Fantasy Compendium

FF1

Cornelia: Comes from the Latin "cornu", "horn". Might also be from "Cornelius", which means "strong" or "wise".

Elfheim: Refers to the Realm of the Elven race in Norse mythology. It was actually two places, there was Alfheim, the land of the light elves, and Svartalfheim, land of the dark elves both of Nordic Mythology. Though due to the name, it was probably based on Alfheim.

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).

Mt. Duergar: From a Dungeons and Dragons trading card: "The duergar, or grey dwarves, are a malevolent breed that dwells in the extreme depths of the ground... They detest other races of dwarves, whom they consider weak." The Duergar are "originally from Gotho-German mythology, being a type of subterranean earth spirit. Duergar are short with short legs, but very long arms which almost reach to the ground even when they're standing straight. They are expert craftsmen, but are very vulgar and base in nature and personality.

FF2

Altair: Brightest star of Aquila, means "the Bird" or "the Eagle" in Arabic.

Leviathan: See Summons.

Mysidia: Mysidia may be a mistransliteration of Mythidia, city of myths.

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

Salamand: See Salamander (Summons). (Note: Salamand refers to a fire creature, but this Salamand is an ice-themed town)

Semitt Falls: Originally "Semite Falls". 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".

FF3

Canaan: 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.

FF4

Agart: Agart may come from Agartha. A legendary subterranean city in some legends that support the Hollow Earth theory. Quite fitting in that Agart is underground as well.

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 Golbez's iron fist.

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

Mysidia: See Mysidia (FF2).

Troia: "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.

Babel: Well, this could be related to the Biblical 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. Babel is actually a Hebrew word related to the word "balal", "to confuse", since God confused the people of the earth. Golbez and the Four Emperors were using the Tower to reach the moon in FF4, which parallels the humans' quest to reach God.

FF5

Carwen: Could be named after Bizet's opera called "Carmen". Doesn't sound like much, but it's more appealing if you check out this point.

Karnak: See Library of Ancients (below).

Kelb Village: "Kelb" is Arabic for "dog", fitting for a town of wolves.

Library of Ancients: Near the 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. Karnak is indeed a a location in ancient Egypt, although it is not a town, but rather a religious sector of the ancient city of Thebes (modern Luxor), famed for a monumental temple dating from the New Kingdom. Furthermore, it is in Upper Egypt and thus not near the pyramid of Cheops at Giza, nor the library in Alexandria (both of which are in Lower Egypt).

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

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".

FF6

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".

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 "home" 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.

Thamasa: Comes from a Sanskrit word meanig "to one in the mode of darkness".

Vector: A vector is a term in algebra/geometry denoting something which has both a value 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). Vector, as stated, is a dual quantity giving both a direction and a magnitude. Thus, the airman's vector gives him both the height to be at, or the speed to be flying at, and the direction he should be travelling. An astronomical vector is identical. The heavy use of airships and nautical themes in FF give this one away.

FF7

Costa del Sol: Spanish for 'sun coast'. There actually is a place in southern Spain called this.

Midgar: Just like Midgard in Norse mythology. It means 'middle earth', and was the name of the world of humans.

Nibelheim: Frozen hell in Norse mythology. In ancient Norse, its meaning was "home of the clouds".

Gelnika: Probably a misspelling of Guernica, the title of a painting by Picasso, depicting the bombing of the Spanish town Guernica by the Nazis, pre-WWII. The bombing was allegedly ordered by the Spanish government.

Wutai: Wutai is a real mountain in China's Shanxi Province and is sacred to Manjusri, the Bodhisattva of wisdom (Mahayana Buddhism). The mountain is actually a cluster of five terrace-like peaks, which is where it got the name Wutai (it means Five Terraces). It's home to the oldest Buddhist temple in China. Another place is the Zango Valley, in the north. In the original Japanese version, this was called 'sango' which simply means 'coral'.

FF8

Esthar: Possibly farfetched, but the name "Esther" is Hebrew for "hidden", which is exactly what the city of Esthar is.

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.

Lunar Gate: The way in which people get out to space is highly reminiscent of Jules Verne's "From the Earth to the Moon", in which people were shot out of a cannon. Personally, I think subjecting the body to such force so suddenly would probably kill a person, whether or not they're in cold sleep. Also, in that story, there were monsters running around all over the moon, which exploded when struck.

Lunatic Pandora: Lunatic means crazy. At one point the moon was said to cause insanity, which is where "lunatic" comes from in the first place. See also Pandora.

Shumi Village: See Misc.

Timber: 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).

Trabia: There's an actual city in Italy called Trabia and derives its name from "al tarbíah" the Arabic word for "the square" which refers to its quadrangular town-planning. The Trebia of ancient Rome was destroyed during the sacking by Hannibal during the Punic Wars. This may be a nod to Trabia Garden's utter destruction.

FF9

Daguerreo: A French man named Louis Daguerre was one of the earliest inventors of the modern camera. Perhaps the name "Daguerreo" comes from this. This would make sense, because the Daguerreo town is one full of inventors. His method produced what were known as 'daguerreotypes', highly detailed silver iodide based images that took great skill and quite a long exposure time to produce. In FF9, Daguerro is a place of knowledge and water. Daguerreotyping was a very wet process.

Dali: 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. The prefix 'est-' or 'ast-' usually means the word has something to do with stars (from the latin "aster", the Spanish for star is estrella, the French is êtoile [where the ^ sign above a letter means the letter S used to be used]), and Esto Gaza is the place with the religion that concentrates on astronomy and where they worship the stars.

Gaia: See Gaia (FF1).

Gargant/Fossil Roo: Roo is probably a corruption of "rue", French for "road". The Gargant is self-explanatory (the animal is called that), and Fossil is probably because of the fact that the cave is ancient. It's probably a reference to Quintana Roo in Mexico, which has a very famous cave system.

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: Lindblum is alternately spelt 'linde blume' and means 'little-leaf flower' in German.

Madain Sari: Madai Salih is a religously and historically important Saudi Arabian city for it being a pilgramage point for many on their way to Mecca. See also Maduin (FF6).

Oeilvert: French for "Green Eye".

Pinnacle Rocks: Pinnacle means "highest point". There are a whole bunch of rock formations and parks called this in the real world.

Terra: See Characters.

Uaho: The island where the entrance to Chocobo's Paradise is located is named Uaho. That is an anagram for Oahu, and there is a Hawaiian theme for the chocobos in the game (Aloha de Chocobo, Ukulele de Chocobo, etc.).

FF10

Baaj Temple: "To remove" in the Urdu language.

Besaid: May come from "Betsaida", a village in Galilee where the apostle Peter was born. Just as Peter, the follower of God was born, so too Yuna, the follower of Yevon was born. Both were religious figures and both journied from their home towns.

Djose: The temple by Luca is called Djose after the Egyptian city of Djoser.

Kilika: The town of Kilika most likely takes its name from the Latin word for Sicily, which was Cicilia. Since in Latin, all C's are pronounced hard, as K's, it would be logical to change the C's to K's, making Kilikia, and then just drop the i to Kilika. Makes sense as an island nation.

Luca: There's a town in Italy called this. Lucca is Italian for "light".

Macalania: May come from the Macalani palm tree.

Mi'ihen Highroad: Mi'ihen may come from Mehen, the Egyptian god of serpents. Possibly in reference to Mi'ihen's long, windy path?

Sanubia Desert: Sanubia may be derived from the Nubian Desert which lies between the Nile and the Red Sea in Egypt.

Spira: Probably from the word "spiral". Auron has a scene in the game wherein he describes the "spiral of death" taking place in Spira.

Via Purifico: Latin for "road to purification". Similarly Via Infinito (road to infinity).

Zanarkand: This probably takes its name from Samarkand, an ancient (2,500 years old) and still inhabited city in Uzbekistan.

FF11

Dynamis: Dynamis, an high level area, comes from the Greek word for 'power'.

San d'Oria San d'Oria may come from Italian for 'saint of air'.

FFMQ

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

FF: Tactics

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

Deep Dungeon: 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. You can check out a shrine here. As for the levels in Deep Dungeon, they appear to be inspired directly by the film, 'Apocalypse Now', and provide basically a summary of the movie's plot. 'Nogias' (Saigon) is where the opening scene takes place and Capt Willard (Martin Sheen) receives his orders. 'Terminate' refers to the orders that Willard receives regarding Col. Kurtz ('terminate with extreme prejudice'). 'Delta' refers to the river delta where Willard starts his journey up the river. 'Valkyries' refers to 'Ride of the Valkyries', which Lt. Kilgore blasts from his boom-box as his squad launches an aerial attack on the Viet Cong. 'Mlapan' (napalm) probably refers to Kilgore's quote, 'I love the smell of napalm in the morning.' 'Tiger' refers to the scene where one of the privates on the boat (Chef, maybe?) runs into the woods to gather fruits and encounters a tiger. 'Bridge' evokes the scene at that checkpoint where Willard receives his mail and the bridge where American soldiers lay fortified is attacked. 'Voyage' could refer to Willard's trip far into Cambodia to find Kurtz (I can't remember if the word is actually used in the movie). 'Horror' refers to Kurtz' obsession with the concept of horror ('The horror... the horror...') 'End' is the end of the film.

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

Lionel Castle: Nod to "lion", as in the War of the Lions.

Magic City Gariland: Possibly a nod to Garland of FF1. Gariland is an English name meaning 'from the spear-filled land', meaning a place of war, battles, or a community in which training of using spears take place. Magic City Gariland would take form as 'Magic City of Spears'. Garland can also mean "battlefield".

FF: Tactics Advance

Cyril: The town's name refers to St. Cyril; the saint who introduced the Eastern Orthodox Christian faith to the Slavic people of Eastern Europe. Not about the town itself, but the name of the pub is The Prancing Chocobo, probably a reference to The Prancing Pony from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.

Giza Plains: Giza is the Hebrew word for 'to cut wool' or 'to shear sheep'. This may relate in that a grassy plain is an ideal environment for sheep to dwell.

FF: Unlimited

Gaudium: This is Latin for "gladness" or "joy".

FF: Crystal Chronicles

Rabena Te Na: Rabena Te Na may come from the 5th layer of the underworld in Polynesian myth. This layer of the underworld is a hellish place of darkness and fire which is appropriate for its game counterpart in that this stage is relatively dark and has fire related puzzles.


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