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Pardon me, Doctor, but what friggin' relationship? There's your human-sized Phantoms, the creepy caterpillary Phantoms, the flying Phantoms, and let's not forget my personal favorite, the big fat giant Phantoms!

Neil Fleming

The Phantoms are ghosts of an aggressive, extraterrestrial race in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. They are initially thought to be a race of alien invaders arriving on Earth via a meteorite known as the Leonid Meteor.

Dr. Sid's research discovers the mass number of the Phantom populace remains constant; a Phantom will reappear when killed. This is the result of the Phantom planet's Gaia, the Proto-Phantom.



Invisible to the naked eye, Phantoms can only be seen through the use of specialized bio-etheric equipment. The body of a Phantom can be charged by an external source, such as the flare-gun used by Aki, momentarily rendering it visible.

Originally solid, their ghost-like bodies can pass through solid matter and if this matter is a living being, the Phantom will extract the being's soul and consume it.


The Phantoms are hostile, actively pursuing any living organism. Some intentionally emerge from the ground, walls or suddenly make themselves appear from thin air, like a typical ghost. Not all Phantoms remain invisible all the time.

Although they hunt the living, they prey on 'souls', their vary touch dissolving a living person's soul via entire consumption or leaving the spirit to dissipate. They use their 'tentacles' to remove a person's spirit, but sometimes use their body to come in contact with the prey without the need to 'pull' it out. Even after receiving considerable damage (such as from an explosion), Phantoms only disappear to re-emerge soon after when Proto-Phantom rebirths them.


Phantom Particles

Aggressive particles possibly originating from pieces of larger Phantoms, they can bury themselves into a host spirit and gradually consume it from within. The particles can be located, contained and destroyed thanks to technology developed by the Bio-Etherics institute run by Dr. Sid. In the case of Aki Ross, who has the particles contained, she sees visions of the Phantoms' homeworld that help her realize their nature.


Standing at around three meters in height, these Phantoms are the type most commonly encountered. They possess a bio-organic, tentacle-like weapons on their arms that they wield like whips to ensnare or impale a victim.


Large flying serpent-like predators, these phantoms possess tentacle-like appendages which they use to impale or entrap group-based victims and draw the prey to their mouths.


Originally these Phantoms were created as bio-engineered tanks, but over time they grew wild and became part of the Phantom planet's ecosystem. Like the average Phantom, the Meta-Phantom possesses tentacle-like appendages over its body and a turret-like appendage on its back. It is difficult to kill with non-artillery weaponry.


The Proto-Phantom is the what remained of the Phantom Planet's Gaia, thus all Phantoms killed off eventually return to the Proto-Phantom to be reborn. The Proto-Phantom originally resided within the Leonid Meteor.


Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)

When the Leonid Meteor fell on Earth and sudden worldwide deaths occurred, the blame was placed on a new type of virus. As thousands of plant and animal species perished, the natural cycle was disrupted. Dr. Sid and his team of researchers in the scientific institute of Bio Etherium revealed the existence of Phantoms, and thanks to the advancement of bio-etheric technology six years later, the United States Military Force (USMF) began its campaign against the Phantom invasion. Bio-etheric weapons were developed, and barrier cities were erected as defense against the invasion.

Rather than an alien invasion force as first thought, the Phantoms are actually restless spirits of a long-dead world whose ability to consume the spirit of every living thing they touch makes them a threat to Earth. In life, the Phantom race used biological technologies used in war in the form of tentacle-like weaponry, animal-like machines and mollusk-like transports. In death their weapons carried over to the nether realm with them to be used against the living.

Dr. Sid discovered that each spirit has a wave pattern. In studying the wave emitted by Phantoms, he discovered all Phantoms carry similar wave patterns. As two opposing bio-etheric waves cancel each other out when overlapped, he believed a wave pattern assembled from Earth's lifeforms may disable the alien Phantoms.

The wave pattern must be assembled from different species, but due to the Phantom invasion, many living things have been obliterated. Dr. Sid studied the remaining lifeforms and discovered the wave may be assembled by gathering eight lifeforms that carry these waves, named Spirits.

Assembling the wave patterns creates a perfect match to the alien Phantom's wave pattern to negate them. Aki Ross transmits the waves through Gray Edwards, her lover, who sacrifices his life to finish her and Dr. Sid's work. With the Proto-Phantom directly subjected to the wave pattern, all Phantoms are able to finally rest in peace.

Spoilers end here.

Other appearances[]

"Thriller" Easter Egg[]

Phantoms confront Hein in a "Thriller" parody.

Phantoms, including three alive-Phantoms, make an appearance (along with the rest of the film's virtual cast) in a hidden Easter egg parody of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" music video created for the film's DVD release.

The parody is set shortly after Douglas Hein inadvertently destroys the New York Barrier City's barrier control room. He runs runs into Aki, Gray, Ryan, Jane, Neil, Dr. Sid, Major Elliot and three alive Phantoms who proceed to, as a group, perform the dance number to "Thriller" with Aki as the lead.



A phantom is a ghost, a physical manifestation of the soul or spirit of a deceased person.


Phantom Transporter

  • Described by one artist as his favorite vehicle in the movie, the Phantom Transporter self-destructs by crashing into the enemy, the Phantoms inside are kept safe from the shock by a protective jelly.
  • A group of artists, aptly named "The Phantom Team", created and animated all of the phantom creatures. There was no motion capture used for the Phantom animations.
  • The Whale-Phantom is a monolithic phantom only seen in the pre-production version of the Tucson Wasteland.