Espers (幻獣 lit. Phantom Beast Huyễn Thú) are magical creatures called into battle by a Summoner. Espers appear in two Final Fantasy universes; those of Final Fantasy VI and Ivalice of Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions, and Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift.
- Bài viết chính: Esper (Final Fantasy VI)
In Ivalice, the term refers to two or three distinct sets of entities:
- Espers of Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions. These Espers (called simply Summons in the original translation) are of unknown origin, and function much as traditional summons in older games of the Final Fantasy series. The remake of the game retcons the game's villains, the Lucavi, as the same beings as the Espers of Final Fantasy XII.
- Espers of Final Fantasy XII. Scions created by the gods for various purposes. The known thirteen are bound to the Mist eons before the game begins.
- In Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, the Yarhi are unique to Lemurés, despite sharing individual names and forms with the summons of Final Fantasy Tactics. They are called Espers by the people of Ivalice due to their resemblance to Ivalician summons.
- In Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift, esper is used as the overarching term for anything summoned, much as it was in Revenant Wings. This includes the god-scorned scions, the humanoid gigases (such as Ifrit and Ramuh), and the spirit beasts (such as Kirin and Phoenix).
While the Yarhi of Lemurés are certainly distinct from those of Ivalice, it is unknown if those of Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy XII, and Final Fantasy Tactics A2 share an origin. Only those of Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics A2 are called by a unique Summoner class.
- Male and female Espers appear as a playable race in the Japanese version of The Final Fantasy Legend, Final Fantasy Legend II, and Final Fantasy Legend III. In the English version, they were called "Mutants."
"Esper" is a recurring term in science fiction, used to describe an individual with paranormal abilities. It was original coined by Alfred Bester in his 1950 short story "Oddy and Id", deriving the word from the abbreviation "ESP" (Extrasensory perception).