At the beginning of the game, the Warriors of Light, Garland, and the Four Elemental Fiends are already caught well within the time loop.

2000 years before the Warriors of Light appear, Garland's hatred for the Warriors corrupts the elements and creates the Fiends. The Fiends are then sent forward in time using Garland's newfound power and, in the present, the Fiends use their combined power to send a dying Garland backwards.

My question is: How did Garland initially end up 2000 years in the past?

Is this addressed in any related media (such as the novelisation Memory of Heroes)? Within the game itself?

1 Answer 1


It's a time loop. It has no beginning *. This leads to what is known as the "bootstrap paradox" or the "ontological paradox," (although it is not a paradox in the sense of impossibility) wherein a chain of events has no ultimate cause. Because of the time travel, A causes B, and in turn, B causes A. This is discussed in this Wikipedia article. The article also mentions a favorite example of mine, from the movie Somewhere in Time, in which Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour pass a pocket watch back and forth again in a never-ending loop.

*Or, at least, it does not need to have one.

  • Do you have any experience with the original Final Fantasy?
    – Jason_c_o
    Oct 1, 2018 at 18:38
  • @Jason_c_o Between the NES and PS1 versions, I have beaten it at least four times.
    – Buzz
    Oct 1, 2018 at 19:30

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