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10 best temporary party members in mainline Final Fantasy games

Not every party member stays forever, but who are the best temporary party members in Final Fantasy? (Image via Square Enix)
Not every party member stays forever, but who are the best temporary party members in Final Fantasy? (Image via Square Enix)
Jason Parker

In Final Fantasy, party members occasionally show up for a limited time. These characters are often in the game for a ‌moment and bring a wealth of power and usefulness with them.

Characters in Final Fantasy games leave for a vast number of reasons. Treachery, death, or simply heading off to do their own thing.

A few of these moments where a party member left were sad but memorable in the franchise. It can frustrate to see a character exit a party, but it’s also a blessing in some ways.

These outcomes often lead to significant story developments or other characters joining up to replace a fallen teammate.

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Best temporary party members in Final Fantasy

As this list focuses on the mainline Final Fantasy games, certain characters who would otherwise have made this list have been disqualified, particularly Algus from Final Fantasy Tactics.

The noble, who joined the party early, turns out to be a disgusting person who handles the death of Delita’s sister and also makes an attempt on Ramza’s life.

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Some characters could have made the list but did not for other reasons. Banon is a fantastic example of this.

He is the leader of the Returners in Final Fantasy VI and joined the party briefly while heading down the Lethe River. While he is a helpful character, with his “Health” ability, if Banon dies, the game is over.

Banon has been responsible for many users losing progress because they couldn’t stop Ultros from one-shotting the healer. For these characters, though, the criteria are based on several factors. These include the length of time in the party, what they contribute, and how fun and useful the characters are.


Best temporary party members

  • General Leo (FFVI)
  • Sephiroth (FFVII)
  • Seymour Guado (FFX)
  • General Beatrix (FFIX)
  • Aranea Highwind (FFXV)
  • Reddas (FFXII)
  • FuSoYa (FFIV)
  • Seifer Almasy (FFVIII)
  • Galuf Halm Baldesion (FFV)
  • Minwu (FFII)

10) General Leo (FFVI)

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Early in Final Fantasy VI, players meet Kefka, a psychopath who dresses like a jester and is wildly obsessed with murder and power. On the other side of that coin is Leo Cristophe, also known as General Leo. A well-respected commander in Gestahl’s army, he is known as a man of morals and honor.

General Leo is only playable at one point in the game, no matter what the weird side of YouTube may tell people. During Kefka’s attack on Thamasa, gamers control General Leo and his powerful AOE “Shock” command. He also has an Offering equipped, so he attacks four times with his weapon.

He may have only been shown in the game a handful of times, but he left an indelible mark on fans of FFVI the world over.


9) Sephiroth (FFVII)

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It may be an unpopular opinion that Sephiroth is low on the list, but again, he’s only briefly playable during a flashback for Cloud. During that time, players really got a peek at what the greatest SOLDIER is like.

He accompanied Cloud through Nibelheim, and he was so much more than a swordsman.

People spoke about Sephiroth with reverence, and this brief moment in time explains why. He does incredible damage to any foe and has a massive list of spells he can cast.

In the game, he’s programmed to be invincible here, and it just adds to the mythos of Sephiroth being the most powerful, most revered member of SOLDIER.

Though he only appears as an ally here, he also serves as the primary antagonist of Final Fantasy VII and duels Cloud at the end of the title.


8) Seymour Guado (FFX)

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Quite a few antagonists wind up being temporary party members, it seems. Leo isn’t evil, and Sephiroth doesn’t start evil, but Seymour Guado is a deranged, manipulative person with incredible power and no morals.

During Operation Mi’hen, Seymour shows up to assist Tidus and friends when a Sinspawn shows up on the shore. The others had been fought off, but one more powerful Sinspawn awaited. He has command over mighty white and black magic spells and also has an Overdrive that can only be seen in this fight — Requiem.

Nearly everything in Final Fantasy X that is bad can be tied to Seymour. He slaughters the Ronso, sets up the heroes for murder, and tries to become Sin so he can be the ultimate ruler over the life and death cycle of Spira.

He is one of the final major bosses of Final Fantasy X, but ‌briefly, he aids the party.


7) General Beatrix (FFIX)

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Throughout most of Final Fantasy IX, General Beatrix is a force of nature, a boss who cannot be defeated. The party fights her three times, and she dominates the battle every single time. While Steiner is often seen as an incompetent but well-meaning doofus, Beatrix is all business.

A powerful swordswoman, Beatrix believes her duties are paramount and will not hesitate to cut anyone down who threatens Alexandria. It’s often said that her position makes her feel ‌lonely, but she sees Steiner as a rival and eventually a friend.

Beatrix has access to the powerful Seiken abilities, which are like Steiner’s sword techs. She also has curative magic and the powerful “Save the Queen” weapon. Her redemption arc is worthy, and she ultimately aids Freya and the others get Garnet, Zidane, and Vivia out of Alexandria.


6) Aranea Highwind (FFXV)

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The Imperial Dragoon, known as Aranea Highwind in Final Fantasy XV, is one of the game’s most interesting characters. Her motivations are often ambiguous, leading her to aid Noctis and his friends in “A Party of Three” mission.

However, unlike many ‌other characters who show up as a boss and a party member, she can come back to aid the party later. In other parts of the game, Aranea has a chance to show up and help the party out when they’re fighting daemons and other monsters.

A highly-mobile, powerful dragoon, she won’t hesitate to use the “Highwind” attack to dive down and strike Noctis. She’s a fascinating character with unknown goals and shows up in the DLC, Episode: Prompto.


5) Reddas (FFXII)

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Reddas, real name Foris Zecht, is the ruler of Balfonheim and is also a well-known pirate. Haunted by his past actions, he tries to move on but cannot escape his past as a Judge Magistrate for the Archadian Empire.

As a party member, he’s incredibly powerful and the fastest guest character next to Reks. He wears heavy armor, has high strength, access to outstanding gear, and several valuable augments.

In the Zodiac Age versions, he can cast Arise and Holy, and skills like 1000 Needles.

One of the best parts about Reddas (and other FFXII guest characters) is having him means the party can do some serious level grinding. So take advantage of that while he’s around. Reddas makes a noble sacrifice during the story of Final Fantasy XII, destroying the Sun-Cryst, and saving the other.

He lost his life in the process, but his sacrifice saved many.


4) FuSoYa (FFIV)

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FuSoYa, also known as Mop or Better Tellah, is a Lunarian from the Red Moon. He watches over the sleep of the other Lunarians and briefly joins the party when they arrive on the Moon for the first time.

An old man with long hair and a majestic white beard, he’s one of the oldest characters in the entire franchise. In Final Fantasy IV, he’s a potent wizard, having access to nearly every spell in the game. When the party returns to Earth, FuSoYa leaves the party after defeating the Giant of Babil.

He can ‌help defeat Bahamut easier, giving Rydia her most powerful summon while still on the moon. FuSoYa appears again in Final Fantasy IV at the very end. He aids Golbez in trying to defeat Zemus, only to fail.


3) Seifer Almasy (FFVIII)

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It only seems like Seifer Almasy was in the party forever. During the mission in Dollet, Seifer joined Squall and Zell, forming a squad to complete mission objectives. Seifer doesn’t like having them on his team, though but takes charge anyway.

He plays similarly to Squall but can use his Limit Break much easier. Unlike other characters, he can use Fire Cross without being at HP Critical (or under the influence of Aura). Like Seymour, Seifer shows up first as an antagonist/party member and winds up being a boss fight several times throughout the game.

Seifer’s a tragic character, though, and despite his decent intentions and romantic dream of becoming a knight to the Sorceress. He has a change of heart late but spends much of the game as a primary antagonist.


2) Galuf Halm Baldesion (FFV)

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Galuf Halm Baldesion is one of the four Warriors of Light in Final Fantasy V. He joins the party with amnesia and is a powerful warrior despite his age. He excels in any of the physical jobs he’s equipped with.

One of the legendary Dawn Warriors who fought Exdeath and was also a King to boot. About halfway through the game, however, he perished. Making sure his friends were safe and free, Galuf collapsed, passing away. Krile would take his spot in the party and inherit all of his job abilities and skills.

The bearer of the Earth Crystal, Galuf is often light-hearted and relaxed, quick with cracking jokes, and could make the best of dangerous situations. His death came out of nowhere and shocked players, but it made him one of the greatest temporary Final Fantasy party members ever.


1) Minwu (FFII)

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Final Fantasy II had the first instance of guest characters in the franchise’s history. While the game itself had several guest characters that would come and go, none of them matched the raw power and usefulness that Minwu brought to the game.

A white wizard from Mysidia, clad in a white turban and white robes. He has long since served the Fynn royal family as a healer and mage. As a party member, he has high Spirit and Magic and has access to an incredible array of powerful white magic.

Minwu also has the distinction of being the only playable white mage in the franchise in the mainline titles that is also male. Like Galuf, Minwu also sacrifices himself for the greater good, breaking the Ultima Seal.

It cost him his life, but he did so, knowing it would cost him. He was a selfless and noble character. On top of that, his spells were high-powered and undeniably useful.


Many characters in the Final Fantasy games that come and go ever so briefly are fondly remembered. Some, like Shadow, can permanently join the team, but most only appear for a brief window and are gone forever. While some can leave a lasting impression on fans, few were as memorable and useful as these characters were.


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Edited by Ravi Iyer

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