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In Final Fantasy IX, the band of thieves of which Zidane is a member, bears the name of Tantalus, who in Greek mythology, was one of Zeus's many mortal children. He was a King of Lydia and an ancestor of King Atreus, the founder of the cursed house of Atreus. It was because of his sins that his descendants were doomed to misfortune.

Tantalus, who was the son of Zeus, was favoured by the gods like no other. He feasted at the table of the gods, and was allowed to eat ambrosia, the divine food of the gods, of which no other mortal could partake. Despite the favours that were bestowed upon him, Tantalus despised the gods and his hate drove him to try to deceive them.

Tantalus had his only son, Pelops killed and boiled in a cauldron to be served to the gods at a banquet in his palace. The gods however, realised the manner of food set before them and withdrew from the banquet, repulsed. To punish him for the atrocity, they devised a terrible punishment for him. He was sent to Hades, and kept in a pool of fresh cool water. Surrounding him was an abundance of fruit trees that were heavy laden with delicious fruits.

However, each time Tantalus bent to take a drink to quench his unbearable thirst, the pool would drain into the ground. Every time he reached for the fruits to sate his tormenting hunger, the trees would pull their branches away from his reach. So Tantalus remained in the pool for all eternity, unable to end his thirst and hunger, even though he was surrounded by plenty. Pelops was restored to life, and given an ivory shoulder to replace the one that the goddess Demeter had eaten in accident. He lived the rest of his life in good fortune and was the only descendant of Tantalus who was not cursed.[1]

Appears in

Final Fantasy IX as Tantalus


  1. Hamilton, Edith; illustrated by Steele Savage, Mythology, Boston: Back Bay Books. ISBN 0-31634-151-7.
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