We got espers that let us bless with fresh shit -Del, "3030"

In addition to being Del's secret weapon in the battle against global apartheid, the espers are a stock character in Final Fantasy games, where they help assist the heroes in their battle, which is usually against whatever form of global apartheid that Exdeath, Kefka or Sephiroth is dreaming up.

The word "esper" has been used in American science fiction to refer to people with ESP for a while, and has been used since the 70's in Japan to refer to the same thing.

In the Final Fantasy games, however, it takes on a different meaning, as the espers are a race of (mostly) non-human or semi human creatures that assist your party by dealing some massive damage to an enemy when summoned.

The history and nature of the espers were not explained until Final Fantasy 6, aka Final Fantasy 3. Of course, since history is delivered rather non-linearly in Final Fantasy, this may not explain the nature of espers in other games.

a 1000 years ago, there was a gigantic, magical war that threatened to destroy the world. At the end of this war, the espers, who had been used as magical soldiers, were locked away in a pocket dimension, where they lived simple, happy, magical lives.

In the meantime, the human world had mastered technology, and, under the leadership of the power hungry Emperor Gestahl and the insane Kefka, quested to turn the magic of the espers into technological weapons. When killed and drained of magic, the espers turn into lifeless crystals called magicite, that can be used to provide power for weapons.

Although FF6 does refer to espers as "living in a different world", it does not explain the specifics of whether they are physical or spiritual in nature, where they come from, or how they exist. In the scenes of the esper village, we do see some signs that the espers are relativly human in their habits...they grow crops and live in houses.

Far from being "espers" in the original sense of the word, I believe that espers are very closely related to the Shinto idea of the Kami, the 8 million divine spirits that inhabit the isles of Japan. Like the Kami, although the espers are divine, they are not responsible for the creation of the world or its governance as much as they are beings like people, living their lives, in parallel, on a higher plane. Somewhat akin to the Tuatha de Danaan orSeely of Irish mythology.

The issue of how the nature spirits are turned into a commodity, and what this means, provides a theme to a game that would otherwise be wandering around fighting.

One thousand years ago, in the world of Final Fantasy 3 (Final Fantasy 6j), powerful magical beings called Espers wreaked bloody havoc on the world in the War of the Magi. After this war, the Espers decided that they could not live in this world in peace with the humans, and they disappeared to the Esper World.

Present Day, Present Time:

It's now 1000 years later. The humans have learned to adapt and create machinery to replace the magic of the Espers. But all isn't right in the world. Kefka and Gestahl, in their desire for power, are searching for the Espers that they believe are left in this world. They plan to find them, and drain them of their power.

For this mission, they used Terra. Terra's mother Madonna, a human, had accidentally passed into the Esper World, and fell in love with Maduin, an Esper. They produced a half-Esper daughter, Terra. Soon after, Emperor Gestahl attacked the Esper World, trying to enslave the Espers to increase his own power. The Elder, however, sealed the entrance to the Esper World, but not without expelling Maduin, Madonna, and Terra.

Gestahl and Kefka raised Terra as a warrior, taking advantage of her magical abilities for their own use, since they reasoned that she could communicate with the Espers. They controlled her with a slave crown which rendered her incapable of conscious thought. They sent her to Narshe to find an Esper that was hidden in the mines there, and when she found it, it changed the course of the world's history.

Terra and the Esper connected briefly, and then she falls unconscious. Avis, a member of the anti-Empire group called the Returners, finds her, and she soon meets up with Locke. This is the beginning of the adventure.

As time goes on we learn more about the Espers. We hear from Ramuh that Kefka's process of magical extraction from the Espers isn't effective, that the only way to really transfer an Esper's magic is to kill it. When an Esper dies, its body becomes Magicite. The group gets 27 pieces of Magicite over the course of the game. Magicite does three things: it lets you learn magic from fighting battles, it increases certain stats as you advance your level, and it can be used to summon the dead Esper back to life for an attack. Listed below are the Magicite, the description of what they are, and the description of their attack when summoned.

  • Ramuh - Old man, Lightning-elemental attack
  • Kirin - Horse, Gradually recovers HP
  • Siren - Siren, Silences enemies
  • Stray - Cat, Confuses enemies
  • Ifrit - Demon, Fire-elemental attack
  • Shiva - Goddess, Ice-elemental attack
  • Unicorn - Unicorn, Casts Remedy on the party
  • Maduin - Young Man, Non-elemental attack
  • Shoat - Pig, Petrifies enemies
  • Phantom - Phantom, Makes the party invisible
  • Carbunkle - Little blue critter, Casts Reflect on the party
  • Bismark - Whale, Water-elemental attack
  • Golem - Golem, Protects the party
  • Zoneseek - Flying creature, Casts Shell on the party
  • Sraphim - Angel, Recovers HP
  • Palidor - Bird, Party members use a Jump attack
  • Fenrir - Wolf, Makes multi. images of party
  • Tritoch - Bird, Ice/Fire/Lightning 3-way attack
  • Terrato - Snake, Earth-elemental attack
  • Starlet - Beautiful woman, Recovers HP
  • Alexandr - Giant machine, Mystic purity attack
  • Phoenix - Phoenix, Recovers battle status
  • Odin - Norse God, Slices through enemies
  • Bahamut - Dragon king, Cuts through magic defenses
  • Ragnarok - Great sword, Turns enemy into an Item
  • Crusader - Three warriors, Attack harms you and the enemy
  • Raiden - Stronger form of Odin, Slices through enemies

Kefka soon tricks Terra into opening the Sealed Gate to the Esper World, then he begins to slaughter the Espers one by one, becoming super powerful. He then uses the power of the Goddess Statues to create a floating continent that will be his home.

We then learn that the Goddess Statues were what created the Espers in the first place, and that their delicate balance kept the world in order, and that if they are destroyed, then so will the Espers. We are left to wonder what will happen to Terra for much of the game. The group confronts Kefka on the Floating Continent. Kefka betrays Gestahl, and uses the power of the statues to protect himself from Gestahl's magic. When Kefka kills Gestahl, he turns on Celes, but Shadow saves the day by pushing the statues around and boxing Kefka in. Unfortunately, this sent the world spinning into chaos, and the group is split up and the entire appearance of the world changes.

Kefka merges with the Goddess Statues and becomes a God himself, wreaking havoc on the poor people who survived the initial chaos, but the group ultimately prevails. As the power of the Espers fades from the world, Terra falls unconscious, and she reverts back to her human form, alive but now purely human. Thus the magic, and the Espers, are removed from the world forever.

Esper (n, adj)

In science fiction, an esper is a person who has any of a number of abilities, such as telepathy or telekenesis, which may be considered to be a form of Extra Sensory Perception, or ESP, 'ESP' being the root of the word.

This term is used in science fiction, and some role-playing games as well. According to research by the Oxford English Dictionary1 into the origins of science fiction terminology, the term was coined by Alfred Bester in his shortstory "Oddy and Id,"2 and made it popular in his novel The Demolished Man. Bester fleshes out the concept of the esper's place in society, introducing the concept of the Esper Guild, telepath cops, telepath ratings, and an esper's code of conduct, which is in many ways similar to Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics.

Many of these elements of Bester's esper concept were direct influences on J. Michael Strazynski when he wrote about the Psi Corps in Babylon 5. Always one to give props where props are due, JMS even named his chief Psi-Cop Alfred Bester.

1 Science Fiction Citations

2 Virtual Unrealities, Alfred Bester, Vintage Books, 1997, ISBN 0-679-76783-5.

"Enhance 224 to 176.

Enhance, stop.

Move in, stop.

Pull out, track right,


Center in, pull back.


Track 45 right.


Center and stop.

Enhance 34 to 36.

Pan right and pull back.

Stop. Enhance 34 to 46. Pull back. Wait a minute, go right, stop. Enhance 57 to 19. Track 45 left.


Enhance 15 to 23.

Give me a hard copy right there."

The Esper was one of a number of machines which played a prominant role in the 1982 film Bladerunner directed by Ridley Scott, putting it in the illustrious company of the Voight-Kampff machine, the Spinner and of course the Replicants themselves.

The Esper was designed by Visual Futurist and Production Designer Syd Meade, who's film credits also include 2010 - Odyssey 2.

The brief was to design a machine used for various purposes, most notably image manipulation. The overall feeling of the device was to mirror the ethos of the film, the "Future is Old" concept used by Scott for the rest of the production. The device Syd came up could be loosely described as a regular CRT television screen with a series of electronic odds and ends attached. Not in any way the sort of slick, shiney plastic devices that had become de rigeur in science fiction movies of the time.

The device is used by Deckard in the film to analyse a snapshot left by Leon in the replicant's hotel room, and by manipulating the photo using the Esper device, finds a clear image of Zhora, which constitues his second lead in the case of the escaped replicants.

The scene is one of the most evocative scenes in the film, as the combination of the smoke-filled room, Deckard's tired growl and the frantic bleeping of the Esper as it tracks across the photograph combine to convey the meeting of men and machines that was one of Scott's desired themes for the film.

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