Void

The Void (無 [mu] or 'nothingness' in Japanese) is a concept present in many modern Final Fantasies, and appears to refer to the exact same thing in all of them. There are some that claim this isn't so, but a casual reading and an in-depth one both reveal them to be unmistakably the same concept, aside from a few rare cases.

The concept of the Void sometimes suffers as non-Void phenomena are associated with the title. This page only lists the real appearances where Void is mentioned by name, as well as the instances where Void was indicated in the English translation only, muddling the issue unnecessarily.

Final Fantasy III

The Void is the primordial chaos from which everything was born. Light and darkness separated from this emptiness, and their separation allowed for life to exist1, on both a light and a dark dimension.

If ever either the power of light or power of darkness should grow too strong, and the two opposing forces meet as its result, the Cloud of Darkness will be born and attempt to return all existence into the Void2. She can only be stopped by the Warriors of Light and Darkness working together, and it is said this has the possibility to happen as long as Hope exists in the world.

Final Fantasy V

The Void is the primordial chaos outside of all creation. Within the Void there were the hearts of Passion, Devotion, Courage and Hope, and from these were the four Crystals born3. The Crystals in turn birthed all life, and without them life will die out. However, as long as the four hearts still exist, the Crystals are forever born again whenever the power of the Void attempts to engulf them.

There is a related phenomenon, known as the power of the Void. This power engulfs everything it is directed to and transfers it to the Void itself. The dark mage Enuo found a way to access this power, giving up his immortality in order to get it. However, this allowed him to be defeated, and in order to ensure that nobody else would gain access to the power of the Void, the world was rent in two, each side of which carried a set of the four Crystals. The power of the Void was sealed away in the exposed Interdimensional Rift, although just how splitting the world into two dimensions sealed away access to the Void is unknown. It was eventually released again when Exdeath reunited the two worlds into one, and the final area of the game that is accessed after the castle in the Interdimensional Rift may or may not be in the Void itself.

While this installment adds more definition into the Void, it also adds complications in the form of the power of the Void. Some mistakenly take it to mean that the power of the Void is all the Void is, when in fact the power is simply how the Void is utilized by living beings. The Void exists and is what it is without any interference or acknowledgement from the living world created by the Crystals, and it is its own natural trait of expansion to engulf everything that allows it to be used as a weapon by people. Left to its own devices and with no reality-shattering events or holes in the fabric of reality, the Void is and will continue to be the nothingness outside of existence.

It is also worth noting that the mentions of FF5 within Dissidia Duodecim often confuse 'Void' with 'Interdimensional Rift'. Shinryu and Omega travel the Interdimensional Rift, not the Void, and if Gilgamesh has gained some Void-traveling powers since his appearance in FF5, it is in fact not something he had in the original game despite the popular perception that it is the Void that he travels.

Final Fantasy IX

The Void in Final Fantasy IX is mentioned only once, at the very end of the story. Summoned by Kuja's despair, Necron appears in front of the main characters, with the purpose of returning everything to the Void.

There is no explanation for the Void given, although it's safe to assume that it is the same primordial nothingness that is mentioned in most other titles that mention the Void, especially as it is known that all planets (and all life) are born from Crystals, just as is the case with the other games where the Void makes an appearance.

Final Fantasy XI

There are numerous items and titles that bear the name 'void', although this may not refer to the same Void as the majority of the series. The Japanese naming always uses the word ヴォイド [void] for them instead of the 無 [mu] used widely in the series. However, the Interdimensional Rift is present and has been frequently traversed ever since the game's stories started winding down.

It also bears noting that Emptiness is a completely different concept from the Void, although the two do bear some similarities.

Final Fantasy XIII

The 'Void Beyond' mentioned is in all actuality a mis-characterization in the English translation only. The word used is in fact 時空の狭間 [jikuu no hazama], which has nothing to do with the Void at all. It translates as 'space in spacetime', and is a dimension very much like the Interdimensional Rift, in that it forms the membrane between the Seen World (the physical world) and the Unseen World that forms the rest of existence - as opposed to forming the membrane between the real world and the Void, as the Interdimensional Rift does. A better translation for it could be, for example, 'Spacetime Rift'.

Quite according to its (non-mischaracterized) name, time does not exist in the Space Rift/'Void Beyond', and a person could stay there dreaming forever if they once fell asleep. It is also possible for things to become real in the Spacetime Rift if enough people wish for something for a long enough time, as is the case with Serendipity. People (and the souls of the dead) who fall between cracks in time end up in the Spacetime Rift, and one of the destinations they end up in is Serendipity.

There is also the concept of the Historia Crux in the FF13 universe, which forms the membrane between the real world and the Spacetime Rift/'Void Beyond' and allows time travel to happen, as well as the concept of dimensional distortions, but it bears repeating that none have anything to do with the Void as the concept is in the wider Final Fantasy universe.

Final Fantasy XIV

There are two subtly different uses for the word 'void' in Final Fantasy XIV. The first (and most commonly come across throughout the game) could be referenced with a lower-case V. It is the remains of the Thirteenth Shard, where all the aether was drained away, leaving behind only darkness and the aether-starved husks of all living things that used to live in that dimension. These beings are known as 'voidsent' to the inhabitants of the Source world. They can occasionally breach through from the remains of the Thirteenth Shard and reach the Source, where they'll either use aether to construct a new body or will take over an existing body, whether it be live or dead. There is also a Fifth Astral Era form of magic, the practitioners of which are known as voidmages, who strive to summon and control the voidsent.

The other type of Void, which could be referenced with a upper-case V and referring to the primordial nothingness, may or may not be present, it is too unclear if all the times the word has been used refer to exclusively the Hydaelyn-type void. The Interdimensional Rift, however, makes an appearance for certain, indicating that something may be beyond.

Final Fantasy Dimensions

There are several instances in this game that refer to the Void - or as the English translation has some of it, the 'Nil'. However, instances where Void is mentioned in the translation it aren't actually referring to the Void.

The Void and the Rended Voids
As mentioned, the instances titled with 'void' in the translation are actually mis-characterizations. The area titled 'the Void' is actually 次元のはざま, or the very familiar Interdimensional Rift. The Rended Void areas are actually 次元のほころび [jigen no hokorobi], or 'dimensional seam' originally, and have nothing to do with the actual Void just the same. They are dimensional distortions instead of magical portals to the Void.

The World of Nil
The concepts that do connect to the the actual Void are translated as 'Nil'. The World of Nil would be better off translated as 'World of the Void' to tie it in with the rest of the series, and it may actually physically be located in the Void, although it's unknown if the scenery is actually supposed to have been there if not for emperor of Avalon's interference.

It bears noting that the scenery appears much the same as the fragmented parts of scenery present in the Interdimensional Rift in FF5, and this may indicate they are part of the real world that were swallowed up by the Void. They are also named the same way in Japanese, what with names like 'Interdimensional Forest' and 'Interdimensional Castle'. Even the final area is called 'Final Reach of Dimensions'. None of these indicate the true appearance of the Void in any way, and rather indicate the Interdimensional Rift instead, despite the collective name of the areas.

The Nil and the Power of Nil
The 'Nil' itself is actually the Void, although this one is appears to be sentient. There are monsters within the World of Nil that claim to be doing the Nil's bidding. There is also the power of 'Nil', which functions much the same way as the power of the Void in FF5 does, completely up to engulfing the would-be voidmage when they use too much.

There are some similarities in this appearance of the Void to its general appearance within the series, and even if the scenery with the World of Nil can be explained away by dimensional transference and/or bad naming sense, there still remains the problem of the Nil seemingly being sentient. If the Nil monsters are talking the truth about having received orders from the Nil itself, we may be actually talking about a different Void altogether, as the series-wide Void has no sentience that we know of.


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