In terms of royalty among the Final Fantasy series’ summon monsters, it’s hard to argue against Bahamut. After all, he is directly referred to as The Dragon King or the King of All Monsters in several games throughout the franchise. And, along with iconic summons like Ifrit, Ramuh, and Shiva, Bahamut appears in nearly every mainline game in the series, even going so far as to predate every other summon monster in the franchise with his special place in the original Final Fantasy.
Bahamut regularly appears as a dragon, but the draconic form that he takes in each of the mainline entries becomes more and more ornate, suggesting that he’s a special breed among the species. Along with his signature attack MegaFlare, Bahamut casts an intimidating shadow and deserves a certain amount of reverence within the pantheon of Final Fantasy‘s iconic bestiary. Once players prove their worth to The Dragon King, his aid in combat is practically second-to-none.
Bahamut’s first series appearance in the original Final Fantasy is as a friendly NPC who can evolve the party’s classes for a price. After completing the Citadel of Trials and obtaining the Rat Tail, players can gift the key item to Bahamut in exchange for having the true potential of their classes unlocked. Since there are no summoners or summon spells in Final Fantasy, players cannot call on Bahamut’s aid in battle, but his place in the game’s main quest cements him as one of the most important supporting characters.
Final Fantasy III
After failing to make a cameo in Final Fantasy II, Bahamut returns in Final Fantasy III in his first official appearance as a castable summon spell. Evokers, Summoners, and Sages can all call on the King of Dragons to appear on the battlefield and cast MegaFlare, but first players have to best him in battle. The first encounter with Bahamut is a scripted event that players must run from, but after obtaining Final Fantasy III‘s airship (The Invincible), players can return and challenge him, earning the right to then summon him in battle.
Final Fantasy IV
Depending on which version of Final Fantasy IV you happen to play, characters refer to Bahamut with several terms of reverence, including “God of the Eidolons” or “King of All Monsters.” Once players acquire the Lunar Whale and can travel back and forth between Gaia and the Red Moon, it’s possible to spot a circular rock formation with a cave at its center. This cave is the Lair of Bahamut, which players must traverse to the bottom floor of to gain an audience with Bahamut. After defeating the dragon in battle, Rydia can call on Bahamut as her most powerful summon spell at the cost of 60 MP.
Final Fantasy V
Bahamut appears later in Final Fantasy V as one of the monsters released when Bartz and Exdeath’s worlds merge. After obtaining the tablet from the Pyramid of Moore, Bahamut moves to the North Mountain and awaits the party at its summit. Confronting Bahamut in battle rewards him as a Level 5 summon spell that, as one would expect, is castable by the Summoner job. Like his other appearances, he uses the MegaFlare attack to deal significant non-elemental damage to enemies and is one of the most powerful summon spells in the game.
Final Fantasy VI
Bahamut is one of the most powerful Espers available in Final Fantasy VI and, instead of having to face him in battle, players must defeat the optional superboss Deathgaze. Encountering Deathgaze is completely random and requires players to fly around the World of Ruin in the Falcon until he shows up. Additionally, it requires multiple encounters with Deathgaze before he eventually falls, as the monster is prone to running away. After defeating Deathgaze and gaining Bahamut’s Magicite, players can both summon Bahamut in battle and learn the Flare spell at a rate of 2x AP. Bahamut is also one of the best Espers to equip when grinding and leveling up, as it grants a bonus to HP with each level gained.
Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII is the first game in the series to feature multiple versions of Bahamut, with players able to acquire Bahamut, Neo Bahamut, and Bahamut ZERO summon Materia. The standard Bahamut Materia becomes available after defeating the Red Dragon boss in the Temple of the Ancients, and once again the dragon casts Mega Flare when players summon him onto the battlefield. Simply summoning Bahamut costs 100 MP, but the upside is that the Mega Flare attack completely ignores a target’s magic defense to deal substantial damage.
Final Fantasy VIII
Bahamut is one of the last Guardian Forces players will acquire in Final Fantasy VIII. He is the guardian of the Deep Sea Research Center that requires access to the Ragnarok to reach. After entering the Deep Sea Research Center, players will see a large central column emitting light. Approaching the column when the light flashes will trigger random encounters with other enemies, and then reaching the center column will start the battle with Bahamut. Defeating him in battle unlocks him as a usable Guardian Force, and he once again casts the Mega Flare attack when summoned. Bahamut does not have any stat-junctioning abilities but does have the valuable Auto-Protect ability that is a must for the final dungeon.
Final Fantasy IX
Bahamut is one of the Eidolons available to Princess Garnet (aka Dagger) and is her namesake Eidolon. Beatrix will gift the party a Garnet that Dagger can use to learn the Bahamut summon for 80 AP. As with other summons in Final Fantasy IX, players can manipulate the amount of damage that Bahamut’s Mega Flare attack does by acquiring more Garnet and keeping them in their inventory. Mega Flare deals a base 88 damage plus a number equaling the total Garnet in the party’s inventory, and the attack deals significant non-elemental damage to all enemies.
Final Fantasy X
Final Fantasy X‘s version of the iconic summon awaits summoners within Brevelle Temple and will reward all summoners making their pilgrimage to Sin with his aid as an Aeon. Controlling Bahamut’s Aeon in battle provides players with two attacks. His regular attack, Impulse, deals non-elemental damage to enemies. His Overdrive attack is the iconic Mega Flare, which deals incredible damage surpassing the traditional 9,999 limit.
Final Fantasy XI
Final Fantasy XI is the first game in the series since the original Final Fantasy in which Bahamut makes an appearance but only as an NPC important to the story. Bahamut is one of Final Fantasy XI‘s many Avatars but is unable as a summon spell and will not aid the party in battle. Bahamut is the world of Vana’diel’s Wyrmking and warns the people of the threat facing the world before eventually departing. Players can also encounter Bahamut as an optional encounter after completing the main story quest.
Final Fantasy XII
The actual Bahamut appears in Final Fantasy XII as the final dungeon of the game, the massive and intimidating Sky Fortress Bahamut. Sky Fortress Bahamut is the ultimate weapon of war of the Archadian Empire and the new emperor Vayne resides within. Vayne’s final form, The Undying, appears in a form strikingly similar to Bahamut and even has several of the same attacks, including the iconic Mega Flare.
Final Fantasy XIII
Final Fantasy XIII‘s Bahamut is one of the Eidolons in service of its world’s deity, Etro, but then becomes the summon of Lightning’s companion and Final Fantasy XIII party member Oerba Yun Fang. As one might expect, Bahamut deals more damage than any other Eidolon and rains destruction down on enemies using non-elemental abilities. Building up Fang’s Gestalt guage by defending against enemy attacks and inflicting them with status ailments will trigger Bahamut’s transformation into a Wyvern, which culminates with him casting the Mega Flare attack against enemies.
Final Fantasy XIV
Bahamut plays a critical role in the story of Final Fantasy XIV, both in its legacy version and in the A Realm Reborn relaunch. Players eventually face off against Bahamut as part of the main story quest of A Realm Reborn, where they attempt to thwart the rebirth of the Elder Primal. Later on, clearing the “An Art For The Living” quest allows players to summon a lesser version of Bahamut to aid them in battle. Outside the standard Bahamut, there are also Lunar Bahamut and the return of Final Fantasy XIII‘s Bahamut as part of Final Fantasy XIV‘s special events and expansions.
Final Fantasy XV
Final Fantasy XV is the first game in the series in which Bahamut appears in the form of a human rather than that of a dragon, though he does wear armor that has a draconic appearance. The Astral deity plays a critical role in the lore of Final Fantasy XV, including being purported to have begun the royal lineage of Lucis, and players can only summon him during specific events as part of a boss fight. Instead of using the classic Mega Flare attack, Bahamut’s ability in Final Fantasy XV is Ultima Sword, which deals similar non-elemental damage.
Final Fantasy XVI
Bahamut is one of the many Eikons in Final Fantasy XVI, with each of them residing within a human vessel known as a Dominant. Bahamut’s Dominant is Prince Dion, the head of the Sanbrequian Empire’s Dragoon Army and son of the Emperor. After falling under control of Ultima, Dion transforms into Bahamut and wreaks havoc on the Crystalline Dominion. Clive, along with the help of his brother Joshua, is able to stop Bahamut after an intense battle, which sees the protagonist gain some of Dion’s power. Calling on Bahamut in battle as one of Clive’s Eikons grants several new abilities, including the iconic Mega Flare attack that can be charged up to deal massive damage and stagger enemies.