This article is from the Final-Fantasy and other Square Soft Games FAQ, by firstname.lastname@example.org (Nick Zitzmann) with numerous contributions by others.
Dora (from Xenogears): Dora was named after a town dating from Biblical
times in the Middle East. It's still inhabited today.
Eden (from FF VIII): The Garden of Eden, mentioned in the Old Testament,
is according to the Testament the birthplace of humanity. The Testament
tells a story about Adam, a human made out of the likeness of the
Jewish/Christian God, and Eve, created out of Adam. They were also the
parents of Abel and Cain (see "Cain/Kain").
Einhander (from Einhander): Einhander (pronounced: EYE-n-HEN-DER) is a
German word meaning "one-handed".
Elixir (from various Square titles): An "elixir" is an old fashioned
medicine that used alcohol.
Elru (from Xenogears): "Elru" sounds suspiciously like "Elul," which is
the name of yet another Hebrew calendar month. (See "Aveh".)
Ether (from Xenogears and various FF games): Ancient Greek scientists
once proposed that the "ether" is the substance from which all matter
Excalibur/Xcalber (from every single FF game & then some): In the
Arthurian legend, once Arthur had lifted the sword out of the stone &
thereby becoming the King of the Britons, Merlin directed Arthur to a
magical lake. Within the lake was a lady (the "Lady of the Lake"), who
granted Arthur a mighty sword named Excalibur. Once Arthur had died, the
Lady of the Lake took the sword back.
ExDeath/X-Death (from FF V): ExDeath is just short for "Exceeding
Death". Wow! Wasn't that short?
Fatima (from Xenogears): "Fatima" is a word that has several meanings in
different religions. For one, Fatima was one of the daughters of Islam's
Prophet Muhammed, and the mother of the early Caliphs of Islam. Fatima
is also the name of a town in Portugal, a region that was partially
Islam before Ferdinand and Isabella's reign of Spain began. It was in
Fatima, Portugal in 1917 that three shepherd children, Lucia, Francisco,
and Jacinta, spotted a vision of the Virgin Mary, who told them three
things. One of these things she told Lucia was a prediction that, if
Russia turned to communism (Russia had two revolutions occur in 1917,
the first was the overthrow of the tsar, and the second was the
Communist Revolution), it would spread many errors across the world.
(For more information, read:
Fei (from Xenogears): Fei's "proper name," Wong Fei-Fong, is derived
from the Chinese folk hero Wong Fei-Hong. The real-life Fei was a
practitioner of medicine and quite possibly a Kung Fu master who
supported the Westernization of China during the late 19th-early 20th
century. Empress Tzu-Hsi, the second to last ruler of China, feared that
foreign powers would demand her early retirement and had every attempt
at Westernization shot down.
Fenrir and Midgar Zolom/Terrato (from FF VI, FF VII, and Xenogears):
More Norse mythology. When Loki (one of the Aesir, but really one of the
Giants) mated with a giant, the Fenris Wolf (Fenrir) and the Midgard
Serpent (Terrato) were conceived. Both reached Asgard (the world where
the gods lived) sometime afterward. Odin promptly threw the Midgard
Serpent into the ocean, not realizing that the Midgard Serpent would
grow to be so tremendous that it would circle around the world several
times. As for the Fenris Wolf, he also grew up fast, and made all the
gods (except for Tyr) afraid of him - he had already broken several of
the chains, and there are entire stories to how the gods found a way to
permanently bound the Fenris Wolf. Unfortunately, while they were
bonding the Fenris Wolf, Tyr lost a hand, but the bond would hold until
Ragnarok (when the Fenris Wolf would break free and devour Odin). Loki
and his mate would also conceive Hel, who became ruler of the
underworld, and where Christianity gets its name for the Christian
Flea, Slash, and Ozzie (from Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross): We'll
probably never know if this theory is correct, but it is believed that
this trio of fiends were all named after contemporary American hard
rock/heavy metal figures. Flea is, of course, one of the Red Hot Chili
Peppers; Slash was part of Guns 'n Roses; and Ozzie was probably named
after Ozzy Osbourne (of Black Sabbath fame). It should be noted that
these names were used only in the US release of the game; the characters
had different names in the original Japanese release.
Freya (from FF IX): Freya is the Norse goddess of beauty, and is the
rough equivilant of the Roman goddess Venus in Norse mythology (see
"Venus"). "Friday," or "Freya's Day," is named in honor of Freya.
Gaia/Gaeus (from Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, and Legend of Mana): In
the Greek creation story, Gaia (the earth) emerged from out of Chaos.
Since then, the word has come to refer to the "mother Earth". It is also
the name of a theory formulated by chemist James Lovelock in 1972, that
hyphothosizes that Earth is like a living organism, and all life on the
planet are parts of the whole organism.
Gato (from Legend of Mana): "Gato" is a word that makes various
references to cats in Latin-based languages.
Gargoyles (from FF I and FF VII): Gargoyles are small statues, usually
fountainheads, which look like small dragons. In most fantasy RPGs,
gargoyles are animated versions of these statues.
Genbu, Seiryu, Byakko, and Suzaku (from various SaGa titles): These four
colorful animals were originally represented in oriental mythology.
Genbu (the turtle) represents earth, winter, and north. Seiryu (the
dragon) represents water, autumn, and west. Byakko (the white tiger)
represents wood, spring, and east. Suzaku (the phoenix) represents fire,
summer, and south. The four also appeared in two Japanese animes: "Yuu
Yuu Hakushou," where the four were supernatural beings the heroes had to
kill, and "Fujigi Yuugi," where they were animal gods representing
Genji (from FF V and VI): The word "Genji" brings up some stories of
Japanese history. There was the world's first novel, "The Tale of Genji"
by Murasaki Shikibu, which told a story about a prince named Genji who
practiced poetry. In reality, though, the Genji (or "Minamoto,"
depending on how one reads the name's Kanji text) family created Japan's
first shogunate. An ancient Japanese tradition states that the shogun
was a blood relative of the Genji family, even if this was not the case.
Gilgamesh and Enkidu (from FF V and VIII): The Epic of Gilgamesh was one
of the very first epic tales ever told on historic record. Gilgamesh was
the king of the Sumerian city-state of Uruk, and was hated by the people
so much that the gods sent a man named Enkidu to challenge Gilgamesh to
a duel. Gilgamesh brought Enkidu to him, they fought, and in the end,
they emerged not as rivals but as best of friends. So when Enkidu died,
Gilgamesh set out to find the secrets of eternal life, even though a
wise sage named Utnapishtim warns him that there is no such thing as
"permanence". Gilgamesh eventually found a tree which would allow men to
live forever if he would only eat the fruit it grew, but on the way back
to Uruk, he loses the tree to a serpent. (The epic, as written, ends
there; but we're to assume that Gilgamesh died within a year of the
Godfather (from Xenogears): This one-of-a-kind weapon was most likely
named after "The Godfather," a famous movie released in 1972 which was
written & directed by Francis Coppola and starred Al Pacino. The movie,
which at first appears to be about crime and the Mafia, is argued by
some to be a movie about a big family.
Guildenstern (from Vagrant Story): Guildenstern was named after a
character from one of William Shakespeare's tragic dramas, "Hamlet". In
the play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are childhood friends of Prince
Hamlet, who switch associations between Hamlet and King Claudius.
Claudius uses the two to investigate the cause of Hamlet's madness, but
Hamlet picks up on the dual association after the two repeatedly blow
their cover later in the play. In the end, Claudius sends the two to
England to deliver a message requesting the execution of Hamlet should
he arrive in England, but Hamlet tricks them and swaps the letter with a
letter requesting the execution of both Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
Gungir Spear (from SaGa/FFL II and FF VII): Odin's battle spear (see