Many terms and plot elements are used throughout the games which some people just can't get straight. Here's an attempt at cataloguing them. Note that until FF5, most plots are so simple they don't need to be expanded on here. Como sempre, o número representa o FF referente.
A very tough metal which is usually utilized in the making of the sword Excalibur. In 5, the Adamantium metal is the material which powers the meteors (the ones that travel between the First and Second Worlds).
The time between a Final Summoning and the reappearance of Sin.
Quintessential plot element. There are four basic Crystals, derived from the four Elements (fire, water, wind, earth). Each one usually has some power over its particular element; if the Crystal is destroyed or captured, its power suffers. (E.g., if the Water Crystal is destroyed, the rivers might dry up.) In 3 and 5, the Crystals gave more available Jobs to the Heroes when they rescued them. In MQ, there's a fifth Crystal, that of Light, which takes the form of an enigmatic old man. In 4, they go a bit overboard with a total of 16 Crystals: 4 Light, 4 Dark, and 8 of the Moon. The Anime also mentions the Crystals (the same ones used in 5) but the only one we ever see is the Wind Crystal. In 9 the Crystal is revealed to be the origin of all life; it also has some sort of connection with eidolons. It was split up into four pieces: The Falcon Claw (Wind?), Desert Star (Earth?), Silver Pendant (Water?), and Memory Earring (Fire?).
Basically, Draw is a method of getting magic out of something: either an enemy (who carries unlimited spells) or special Draw Points. To Draw, a character must be Junctioned with a Draw command.
A kind of guardian spirit. The members of Madain Sari (which include Eiko and Dagger) have the ability to communicate with them and summon them, aided by the horns on their forehead. These powerful spirits have huge destructive power. Kuja's first and foremost goal is to hijack one of them to use against Garland.
Basically a super-bad guy who is assosciated with one of the four Elementals (fire, earth, water, wind). In 1 the Fiends (Lich, Kary, Kraken, and Tiamat) were holding the Orbs hostage; in 4, the Emperors (Scarmiglione, Caignozzio, Valvalicia, and Rubicante) were Golbeze's stooges. The Fiends return as Chaoses in 9 to guard the land of Memoria. The four Emperors from 4 are named after characters in the ancient work "Dante's Inferno". Note that "fiend" in FF10 is generically used to refer to monsters.
A magical creature. Espers used to be human, but they got caught in the cross-fire during the War Of The Magi and were turned into strange creatures. Eventually, they created their own world and lived there, shut off from the real world. They set up a barrier separating the worlds.
The soul of a person who has given himself/herself up to aid the summoners in their fight against Sin. Fayths are attached to Aeons (summons) and if a summoner prays to the fayth, s/he will be granted the use of the fayth's Aeon. The fayth live in temples throughout Spira, and they all sing the same Hymn constantly.
When a summoner reaches Zanarkand at the end of his/her pilgrimage, Yunalesca tells him to choose one of his guardians to become a fayth. That fayth becomes the Final Aeon, who then takes the Summoner's life and attacks Sin. Yu Yevon then merges with that Aeon and creates a new Sin.
Garden means two things: the organization which trains SeeDs, and the places where this organization has its headquarters. There are three Gardens throughout the world: Balamb, Trabia, and Galbadia. Gardens have neutral status and do not belong to any government. Balamb and Galbadia Gardens are built on old Centra shelters, which have the capability of flight (or at least hovering) in emergencies.
A revolutionary book written 1200 years ago by a man named Germonik. It details the truth behind St. Ajora and his quest. It was confiscated by the Glabados Church but found by Simon Pen Rakshu, a priest, who secretly deciphered it and annotated it.
See Guardian Force.
Gil is the unit of currency in all FF games. The translated versions of FF1, 4, and 6 all changed this into GP for unknown reasons (probably because "gold pieces" were more in vogue at the time). However, in 7 this became impossible because the Gold Saucer used its own currency, which it called GP. So from then on, Gil was reinstated on the western shores. The exception to all this is MQ, which originally had GP as its currency. Gil is apparently a very tough coin; it's used in several attacks called Coin Toss, Gil Toss, or Zeninage.
Also known as GFs, these are powerful, magical creatures who live secretly throughout the world. They have the ability to be Junctioned to human hosts, giving them boosted abilities, extra powers, and the ability to use para-magic. Often GFs will not go along with humans until they've proven their worth.
A spell which comes from the deepest core of the Planet. It's designed to destroy invading attackers (kind of like white blood cells) but is very volatile and unpredictable. It can also be blocked by a powerful evil force like Jenova.
See Zodiac Stone.
Jenova, a great spacefaring terror, was found in the Northern Crater. She was discovered to have great magical powers, and Shinra Corp. began using cells from her body to augment the natural powers of their SOLDIER elite force. However, Hojo of Shinra went even further with his experiments and injected the cells into a fetus. The result of that was Jenova's proper son, Sephiroth.
Basically used in 8 instead of the word "equip". GFs can be Junctioned to humans; magic spells can be Junctioned to stats to increase them; and abilities can be Junctioned to humans. (Magic and abilities can only be Junctioned if a GF is already Junctioned.)
Basically, a theory that there's only a certain amount of total life force on the planet. Whenever any living thing dies, its life force goes back into the Lifestream, whereas when something is born, it takes its life from the Lifestream. The Lifestream runs underneath the Planet's surface. Another word for it is Mako. In 9 the same idea is reiterated, but is now called the "cycle of souls".
Every few thousand years, for some unimaginable reason, the moon (which is covered in very nasty monsters) gets close enough to the earth so that the monsters can actually leap through space and land on the earth and completely pulverize a section of it. This phenomenon is called the Lunar Cry.
Basically a cool-sounding word for machine. The Yevonites caution against using them, which is why they dislike the Al Bhed, who do use them.
In the first five games (and in 9 and 10), magic didn't have to be explained; it was just there, as befits a fantasy game. However, as the ideas in the game matured, magic had to be explained away. In 6, magic ability came about from power drained from Espers. True magic ability could only be taken from Magicite, though. In 7 magic power was given by materia. In 8, magic was actually called para-magic and could only be used via Junctioned Guardian Forces. (The process of drawing out para-magic was invented by Dr. Odine.)
When Espers die, their bodies turn into stone shards called Magicite. If carried by a human, it grants him special magic spells.
Short for "magical technology", the remains of Espers are drained of their magical power and machines are infused with it. This gives the machines great destructive power. As well, special soldiers called Magitek Knights are also infused with the power, giving them the ability to use magic.
A device used by Shinra Corp. to drain Mako energy from the Planet and use it as electrical power. There are many parallels drawn between Mako reactors and nuclear reactors (Mako poisoning?) They're also the targets of the terrorist bombs planted by AVALANCHE.
Materia is basically solidified Mako. It has the ability to give its user extra abilities or magic powers. There are five types of "normal" materia and two "special" materia: Green (magic spell), yellow (special battle command), purple (special effect), red (summon spell), and blue (enhancement) are the "normal" materia. The Black Materia has the ability to summon the ultimate destructive spell, Meteor; while the White Materia ca Summon the ultimate Light Magic spell, Holy.
The ultimate Black Magic spell calls a giant meteor from outer space. If it hits, the Planet will summon all its energy to heal the wound caused by it. Sephiroth plans to gather that energy for himself.
The Iifa Tree, which obstructs the flow of souls, hoping to hasten the cycle, emits Mist when souls are removed from the cycle due to its friction-causing. Mist is made up of previous souls. It has magical power, and is used to power the airships in the Mist Continent, as well as Kuja's Black Mages.
An extremely strong yet light material, very useful for making weapons and armor. Mithril equipment exists in every FF (besides MQ).
A huge world-wide system wherein Moogles everywhere can talk to each other via mail. Humans sometimes piggyback on the system as well, but not often.
Little balls of energy, present around high concentrations of what you might call soul energy. They are emitted from people and fiends when they are killed. The Moonflow and Zanarkand are full of them.
The Jenova Reunion should be more aptly named the Sephiroth Reunion. When Sephiroth calls all his clones to the Northern Crater, the Jenova cells inside them would then technically be together, hence the name Reunion. However, all it means is that Sephiroth is calling his clones to him.
Only a summoner can perform this rite, which sends the souls of the departed to the Farplane. If someone has a high attachment to this world and is never Sent, he becomes an Unsent and can still wander the earth. If someone without that connection to the world is not sent, s/he eventually becomes a fiend (monster).
The real Sephiroth was created by Hojo of Shinra. However, Hojo continued his experiments in an attempt to make another Sephiroth. All he got were brain-dead vegetables who dressed in black cloaks (he gave each of them a numbered tattoo). The clones can be controlled by the real Sephiroth's mind (the true Sephiroth is encased in Mako in the Northern Crater). He can also change their appearances to look like him. Therefore, any "Sephiroth" met by Cloud up until the very end of the game is only a clone.
The name of the giant Mako Cannon attached to Junon, which was then transferred to Midgar. It has the ability to wipe out one of the Planet's Weapons, and to break down Sephiroth's barrier around the Northern Crater.
It's said that the great wizard Hyne gave half of his power to the sorceresses. They can use innate magic (whereas everyone else has to rely on Dr. Odine's para-magic). However, they can't die before passing on their powers to another female, making her a sorceress. In addition, every sorceress who ever lived is susceptible to a kind of mind control exhibited by Ultimecia, a sorceress from the far future.
The three goddesses who created magic and Espers also were the cause of the War of the Magi - in fact, they were the War of the Magi. However, they eventually came to realize what kind of damage they were doing, and, in a rare moment of clarity, turned themselves into stone and sealed their power with them. They adjured the Espers (who were humans caught in the crossfire of their battle) to take the statues to a sealed-off place created by them, and to live there. The Statues set up a barrier between the real world and the Esper World, and linked it to their bodies. However, Kefka somehow found a way to control the Statues himself, leading him to limitless power.
A powerful item which can heal any kind of petrification. Marcus searches for it to heal his brother Blank from his stone prison in the Evil Forest.
The most confusing plot element since FF1's "2000-Year Loop". Ultimecia is attempting to create a time-compressed world, in which past, present, and future do not exist. The only person who would be able to live in such a world is her. However, using Ellone's telepathy powers, Squall and his friends are able to induce time compression for a short time, then end up at the future in time to fight Ultimecia. Somehow, the real world is still around in this time compression, but apparently it hasn't caught up to it yet (or that's what the Card Club members say, anyway).
The Planet's own personal bodyguards. They were created when Jenova landed, but never used. However, when Sephiroth uses the Black Materia to call Meteor, the Planet releases the Weapons. Unfortunately, they go haywire.
Also known as Holy Stones. One of 12 powerful magic stones from long ago. Their powers are enormous: you can bring back the dead with them if you are pure of heart. However, they have a deeper purpose: they are the conduit through which the Lucavi demons can enter this world. If they strike a pact with the holder of the Stone, the mind of the demon and body of the human will fuse into a huge monster with unbelievable powers. The new fused being is called a Zodiac Brave. The goal of the Lucavi is to ressurect their leader, Altima; once they do, they won't need the Stones any more and will be free to come and go as they please.
The ultimate power of nothingness. Exdeath's main mission is to take control of this power, which can only be done in the crux of the place-between-places, the Cleft Of Dimension. Basically, Void just makes things... disappear.