While not exactly the more pure hearted hero in the land, you can’t argue that Shantotto has left a rather huge scorch mark on the Final Fantasy world despite her being relatively unknown to the non-core fanbase.
First appearing in Square’s original MMO entry – Final Fantasy XI – Shantotto made such a huge impact with her iconic cackle and threatening rhymes that it more than likely spawned a few anime-styled impersonations in her home country.
While her brilliant talent for making poems out of everyday conversation on a whim stands as a common trait of her miniature face, her extreme potency in the magical arts are what set her apart in the realm of Vana’diel from the start – and without that, she wouldn’t have gathered this much attention.
Despite her looks and stature being the norm for a TaruTaru like herself, Shantotto is seen almost as an elder by her comrades partly due to her sage-like aptitude in the dark arts, but also because of her age being rather uncommon in others of her kind.
As a hero of the original Crystal War often referenced in Final Fantasy XI, she certainly does hold the hero status recognised by this series – but that doesn’t mean she’s without issue! Shantotto herself has managed to cause a number of stirs in the past with only her own arrogance to blame. Often enough, her big-headed personality has interrupted her actions whether she fought a fight with her allies or set out to do a favor for another. With the belief that she’s a far stronger Black Mage than the rest of her realms denizens, she’ll outright refuse to take part in anything she deems unworthy of her time – although she has proven herself to be an incredibly loyal ally should the need truly present itself to her high-class personality.
Dwelling in the Federation of Windurst, Shantotto’s time is often spent attempting to better herself through the study of anything she doesn’t yet understand. While adamant in the thought of being all powerful, the cunning pint-sized hero never seems to stop in her journey to find someone, or something, better than herself and spend every waking moment using said situation to broaden her horizon.
It’s unknown whether Shantotto’s brash personality is merely a facade to deal with the unwanted attention of being such an in-demand hero of the world. Perhaps, underneath her rough exterior, despite her likeness to eject herself from any unworthy feud, she puts her time to better use attempting to grow stronger with the idea of being a more valuable asset to her world should the time present itself!
While spending most of her retirement following the her vital role in the Battle of Windurst, time growing her own repertoire of spells, Shantotto has been known to venture out just a little bit further than the rest of her comrades with the odd dimensional travel never being completely off the table. Having more time to devote to other things, she runs a open-ended store selling cursed trinkets and magical services to those in need. After stepping in through her own methods during the long-standing Vana’diel campaigns, she would eventually go on to nearly break apart the world through her own power.
Conjuring up the ability to traverse dimensions, she became stuck in an alternate world leaving her otherworldly clone to travel to her own and split into a ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’ version of herself hell bent on utilizing her knowledge of curses to turn everyone into more versions of herself – leaving the real Shantotto to resolve the problem her own error caused.
Shantotto’s popularity and over-arching story helped to project her well-known status across to other Final Fantasy universes without much need to think about a continuum. Having jumped ship both of Square’s ‘all-star brawler’ titles – Dissidia Final Fantasy and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy – her need to learn from those higher than herself came around full-circle when she met Cosmos – the Goddess of Harmony – in the world that pit herself and many other series veterans against each other in a battle royale. Shantotto stood as a loyal minion of Cosmos until eventually resigning to return to her studies.
Eventually returning in both of Square’s newest MMORPGs – Dragon Quest X and Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn – for their respective anniversaries, it’s easy enough to believe that she’s ran out of patience waiting for her own world to produce anything better that herself taking it upon herself to track down new and exciting tests on her own accord. And with Final Fantasy XIV producer, Naoki Yoshida, stating her storyline was left open for a reason, it’s to be believed that leaving Vana’diel behind may become a permanent decision for her. Her image has represented Final Fantasy XI‘s legacy for so long now that it begs to perhaps be the main reason to see her jump ship and become one of Square’s more prominent mascots.
Who knows when she’ll make her next appearance, but whenever that scenario presents itself; remember to stay clear of her bad side. She’s proficient in the art of setting your garments alight.