The cast of summon monsters in Final Fantasy XVI provides a veritable “who’s who” of the highlights from across the series, with iconic creatures such as Shiva, Ifirt, the Phoenix, and Bahamut all making appearances in the latest mainline game. Among the cast of Eikons (Final Fantasy XVI‘s name for its summon monsters) is also the longstanding series God of Thunder and wiseman Ramuh, who shares almost as many appearances across the franchise as the aforementioned summons. Like Ifrit and Shiva, Ramuh can trace his first appearance in the series back to the third game and appears in nearly every mainline entry since.
While other summons have made attempts at standing in for the God of Thunder as various mainline entries’ resident lightning-elemental, none have the staying power or notoriety of Ramuh. Further, several of the mainline games in the Final Fantasy series go to great lengths to have Ramuh be the figure connecting the party to the godlike summon creatures of their various worlds, with the character often fulfilling the “supernatural aid” archetype from Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey”. Ramuh is unique in this regard as one of the only summon monsters to play a critical role in some of the games’ narratives.
Final Fantasy III
Like the rest of the summon monsters, Ramuh makes his first series appearance courtest of Final Fantasy III and becomes available to players after purchasing the Spark summon spell. Spark is a level 3 summon spell that will result in Ramuh performing different attacks depending on which job the player is using when summoning him. Evokers, Summoners, and Sages can all call Ramuh forth, and the attack that he executes is different depending on the caster. His signature attack Judgment Bolt is only available when summoning him as a Summoner or Sage and deals lightning damage to all foes.
Final Fantasy IV
Ramuh is one of the several elemental summons Rydia has under her control when she rejoins the party in the Underworld. As in his previous appearance, Final Fantasy IV‘s version of Ramuh is a sage-like older man with a staff and a long beard who wields the power of lightning at his control. Summoning Ramuh will call forth the Judgment Bolt attack, which once again deals lightning damage to all enemies on screen. Interestingly, the original SNES release of Final Fantasy IV (Final Fantasy II) mistranslates his name as Indra.
Final Fantasy V
Players can acquire Final Fantasy V‘s version of Ramuh after encountering him in battle in the forests surrounding Istory. Defeating Ramuh will allow players using the Summoner job to call him forth in battle, and he once again uses the Judgment Bolt attack to deal lightning-elemental damage to all foes in battle. If players happen to miss acquiring Ramuh in the early part of Final Fantasy V, they can also encounter him during the early castle section of the Interdimensional Rift final dungeon.
Final Fantasy VI
Final Fantasy VI is the first game in the series to have the character of Ramuh play an important role in the story, and he helps to guide Terra through the realization of her being half-human and half-Esper. Players meet Ramuh on the top floor of the building where Terra is recovering in Zozo and he explains the history between humans and Espers to the party before granting them his power as Magicite. Ramuh can teach Thunder, Thundara, and Poison to party members at rates of 10x AP, 2x AP, and 5x AP, respectively, and grants a +1 bonus to Stamina on level-up.
Final Fantasy VII
Just like in Final Fantasy V, Ramuh’s appearance in Final Fantasy VII is technically missable if players happen to not pick up his summon Materia during a particular early-game segment. After visiting the Gold Saucer for the first time and getting sent to the prison beneath it, players encounter a figure from Barrett’s past. Defeating “The Boss” eventually leads players getting a chance to escape the jail by participating in a Chocobo race, and the Ramuh summon Materia waits for players in the Chocobo Jockey Room of the Gold Saucer. If players fail to grab this Materia during their time in the Jockey locker room, it will no longer be available to them for the rest of the game. Like with the other elemental summon Materia, linking Ramuh to a weapon or armor grants lightning-elemental damage or defense with the right Materia combinations.
Final Fantasy IX
Just as in Final Fantasy VI, Ramuh appears to the party in Final Fantasy IX to grant his power to the adventurers he believes will bring peace to the world, provided that they can pass his “test”. Rather than have to face Ramuh in battle, he tasks Princess Garnett (aka Dagger) to complete a story for him, at which point he gifts a Peridot to the party that can teach the Ramuh summon spell. Learning the spell requires 30 AP and players can increase the amount of damage of his Judgement Bolt attack by having plenty of Peridot in their inventory.
Final Fantasy XI
Final Fantasy XI uses the core elemental summons as the game’s six celestial Avatars, deities of immense power and influence within the game’s world. Ramuh, as one might expect, is the Avatar of lightning and players can acquire Ramuh for summoning after completing the “Trial by Lightning” quest, similar to how both Shiva and Ifrit become available after their respective quests. He begins with his signature Judgement Bolt attack and can cast even more destructive elemental magic after sufficiently leveling him up.
Final Fantasy XIII
Ramuh is not an obtainable summon in Final Fantasy XIII, instead appearing during one of the game’s pivotal cutscenes in which he battles against Ifrit in defense of Cocoon. His appearance in Final Fantasy XIII is slightly different from other mainline series entries, with the character donning a winged helmet reminiscent of a Norse Valkyrie but still sporting his signature long beard and staff.
Final Fantasy XIV
Final Fantasy XIV‘s Ramuh is one of the game’s godlike Primals, wielding the power of lightning and protecting the Black Shroud. Although players do not fight against Ramuh in the main storyline of A Realm Reborn, he does appear as part of the Defenders of Eorzea update and even reappears as a raid boss in the Shadowbringers expansion. Interestingly, his appearance in his raid boss form is that of a centaur, with the lower half of his body being that of a horse. His Judgement Bolt attack is extremely powerful in these appearances, capable of wiping out the entire party.
Final Fantasy XV
Ramuh is one of the several divine Astrals from Final Fantasy XV‘s world of Eos, and summoning him in battle creates one of the game’s most impressive spectacles as a giant Ramuh appears to cast judgement on the battlefield. His Judgement Bolt attack deals massive amounts of lightning damage to all enemies on screen, scorching the ground below. Players can summon Ramuh within the confines of a dungeon but he will not appear and execute Judgement Bolt, instead simply throwing his staff to deal lightning damage from afar.
Final Fantasy XVI
The latest appearance of Ramuh is as the Eikon of main character Cidolfus Telamon, who serves as the current Dominant of the God of Thunder. Cid has been Ramuh’s Dominant for many years, leading to his becoming one of the world’s foremost military leaders and tacticians. Cid chooses to leave this life behind and cast out on his own path, attempting to level the playing field and make magic something for all rather than just a few wealthy elites by becoming a man of the people and Final Fantasy XVI‘s version of Robin Hood. Several times throughout the story Cid will come to Clive’s aid and rescue by calling forth Ramuh, even at risk to his own health, and he imparts the power of Ramuh to Clive as his final gift before succumbing to injuries sustained at the hands of Ultima.