Oh, My Pop Culture Summon: Shiva from Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy games like to use a lot of religious references in their worldbuilding. From summon spells, monsters, plot, themes, and even to character names, they take a lot from numerous religions around the world. We’ve got Norse mythology, Shintoism, Abrahamic religions, and others all wrapped up in these games. Unfortunately, especially when it comes to monsters and summon spells, they don’t always use these references very well, and in some cases, they completely alter religious figures in order to make them suit a particular purpose in the story.

Shiva_Victory_PoseBecause the games take from so many religions and use them in so many ways, it’s hard to get a good grasp on whether or not they have a positive or negative portrayal of religion. As such, they end up with a grab-bag of religious themes—some of these are neat, others not so much. Falling into that latter category is Shiva, one of Final Fantasy’s more popular summons.

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