[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ff3small_8462.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:The cast of ''Final Fantasy III DS''. From left to right: [[BadassBookworm Arc]], [[TeamMom Refia]], [[TheHero Luneth]], [[KnightInShiningArmor Ingus]].]]

'''Not to be confused with ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'', which was originally released in North America on SNES as ''Final Fantasy III.'''''

->''Four souls shall be blessed with light, and so it shall begin...''

The third entry in the [[RunningGag brain-implodingly]] popular ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series.

Kids will be kids, right? And if you tell them that a particular abandoned and unguarded cave is dangerous, you can pretty much expect the kids to wander in. This goes double if the kids in question are orphans and don't really have parental influences in their lives.

Little do the orphans know, they're about to stumble on a power that will change their lives, and force them to save the world. With the crystals of light sensing that darkness is about to take over, they find the first folks to come along to grant their powers - the four orphans. It's now up to these kids, so inexperienced that they're called Onion Knights (after the Japanese term ''negibozu'', literally a green onion sprout but also meaning a callow youth), to save the world.

For a long time this game was called the "lost" ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'', as it was never released anywhere outside of Japan for many years - even after all of the other [=pre-PlayStation=] games received at least one release. However, a [[VideoGameRemake remake]], with more plot and characterization, came out worldwide on the Nintendo DS, finally getting the game to a wider audience. And now, the DS version has been ported to the [[IOSGames iOS]], Android, PSP and recently has been released on PC via UsefulNotes/{{Steam}}.

Ironically enough, in terms of gameplay, it's very much one of the most important games in the series, as several concepts in the series as a whole originate in this game. Moogles, summon magic, terrain effects... this game started many of them.

Has a [[Characters/FinalFantasyIII character sheet]].
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!!This game provides examples of:
* AbilityRequiredToProceed: Both the [[{{Sizeshifter}} Mini]] and [[BewitchedAmphibians Frog]] spells are required for a few dungeons (the latter also [[CharacterSelectForcing pretty much forces you to use magic-using classes]]).
* AdaptationDisplacement: Invoked by WordOfGod, though subject to a FlipFlopOfGod -- some materials state the four orphans from Ur are now considered the same characters as the DS heroes, and the Onion Knights/Onion Kids are CanonDiscontinuity. However, spin-offs still use the Onion Knight as the game's representative hero [[note]] though Dissidia012 has Luneth and Ingus skins as DLC [[/note]] , and he's mentioned to be one of the four orphans from Ur, despite the fact that in appearance and personality he's a distinct character from any of the DS heroes.
* AffirmativeActionGirl: Refia was the only one of the original Onion Knights to be given a gender change along with a name and personality.
** In the official manga for the original game, there was a female Onion Knight named Melfi.
* {{AFGNCAAP}}: Only in the Famicom version.
* AllInARow: More like ''Both'' In A Row, as guests will follow your party leader perfectly.
* AlwaysCheckBehindTheChair[=/=]NoticeThis: The [[NintendoDS DS]] [[VideoGameRemake remake]] lets you zoom-in using L/R, with spots hiding objects giving off a [[EverythingsBetterWithSparkles yellow-gold sparkle]].
* AntiVillain: Xande. He only wants the timer on his life removed after his master stripped him of his immortality after mastering magic.
* AChildShallLeadThem: King Alus of Saronia.
* ArbitraryHeadcountLimit: Most notable in the DS version, where only three enemies can be onscreen at once.
* TheArtifact: Fat Chocobo stores items for you. In the Famicom version, where you had limited inventory space, this was useful and important. The remake versions have an unlimited inventory, so Fat Chocobo serves no purpose (unless you want your inventory to be a little less cluttered).
* AnAxeToGrind: The Viking class.
* BadassBookworm: The Scholar class.
* BadassCape: Worn by the Black Belt class.
* BadassGrandpa: Doga and Cid.
* BadassLongcoat: Worn by the Scholar class.
* BareFistedMonk: The Monk and Black Belt classes.
* BareYourMidriff: Refia's Thief outfit.
* BewitchedAmphibians: Via the Frog spell.
* BlackAndWhiteMagic: The Red Mage, Scholar, and Sage classes.
* BlackCloak: Worn by the Magus class.
* BlackKnight: The Dark Knight class.
* BlackMage: The Black Mage and Magus classes.
* BlackMagic: Used by the Black Mage and Magus classes.
* BladeOnAStick: The Dragoon class.
* BlindSeer: The Gulgans appear to be an entire race of these.
* BlowYouAway: This is the first FF installment to feature Wind-element magic (Aero/Aera/Aeroga). Strangely, it is classified as WhiteMagic.
* BossBonanza: The game has the Crystal Tower and the World of Darkness dungeon crawl. After the battle with [[BigBad Xande]], you have a HopelessBossFight with the [[BiggerBad Cloud of Darkness]], followed by four more battles with the Guardians of the Dark Crystals, and finally the rematch battle with the Cloud of Darkness. As this is ''[[NintendoHard Final Fantasy III]]'', you have to beat all these bosses with [[CheckpointStarvation no opportunities to save between them]].
* BreatherEpisode: This game brought in some much needed humor after ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII''.
* BrokenBridge: The game is just a string of Broken Bridges. First, you need to turn the people back from ghosts to break a large rock. Then you need to GetOnTheBoat and beat Nepto. Then you need to destroy the whirlpool. After that, you need to get the horns back from Gutsco. Followed by getting locked up in prison by Hein. And then you need to lower the water level. After that, you need to unchain the ship. But to do that, you need the Levigrass Shoes. Then your airship gets shot down and you're stuck in a Civil War. Then you need to wake up Unei. Then when she gives you the Invincible, you need to get the last Fang. Then you need the Eureka and Syrcus keys... and then finally you can get to TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon.
* BonusBoss: [[spoiler:The guardians of the Dark Warriors, who will help in the final battle if freed.]] They are not completely optional in the DS remake, but the remake does add [[spoiler:[[GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere the Iron Giant]]]].
* BonusDungeon: In addition to the various sidequest dungeons, as well as the DS-exclusive [[TheTropeWithoutATitle ???]] bonus dungeon, which is a single tiny room with dragons as random encounters, no treasure, and a BonusBoss.
** Strictly speaking, Eureka is optional. You know, the caves with about a dozen weapons that [[spoiler:Doga and Unei gave their lives to unlock, saying they]] were all supposedly neccessary? Granted, climbing [[CheckpointStarvation Crystal]] [[ItsAllUpstairsFromHere Tower]] without them is [[TooDumbToLive tantamount to suicide]] (''within the context'' of ''[[NintendoHard Final Fantasy III]]''), but there's nothing stopping you from giving it a try!
* BossInMookClothing: The dragons in the Crystal Tower.
* BrokenAesop: The DarkIsNotEvil and LightIsNotGood message is undermined in the DS UpdatedRerelease by [[WriterOnBoard extra lines]] in the pre-ending crawl [[{{Anvilicious}} going on and on]] about evil being defeated by "the ''light'' of hope." The Cloud of Darkness also applies, if only in name, though it's unclear what she was called during the flood of light.
* ButThouMust: After defeating Gutsco the Rogue, you may notice that an unusual shadow is following you back through the dungeon. Naturally, this is Gutsco trying to pull a fast one on the party. Despite that fact, you have to fall for the trick to progress the story.
* CanonName: The manga adaption names the quartet Muuchi, Doug, J. Bowie, and Melfi. The DS remake names them Luneth, Arc, Refia, and Ingus.
* CastFromHitPoints: The Dark Knight's Souleater ability (DS version only).
* CastingAShadow: The Geomancer's Shadowflare and the Dark Knight's Souleater.
* CharlesAtlasSuperpower: The Black Belt class.
* CheckPointStarvation: The final tower does this to you. After the last time you can save, you have to go up eight or nine floors of the Crystal Tower, gaining experience along the way, and then you defeat a boss, get warped to the World of Darkness where you have to beat four more tough minibosses, get items, gain more experience, defeat the final boss, and then watch the whole ending scene before you can finally save again.
* ContrivedCoincidence: It ''just so happens'' that a guy who fell down a hole one day, his best friend in town, a girl they meet on a ship, and a guard who greets them at a gate are all ''the chosen ones'', as well as orphans.
** It is later revealed that [[spoiler:the four children were all passengers aboard Cid's ship, which was headed for the Floating Continent from the surface world, when they were babies. During the earthquake, all of their respective parents died, and Cid gave the children to various accepting foster parents after the crash. That is why they are all orphans and all live in the same area.]]
* ConvenientlyAnOrphan: {{Lampshaded}} in the DS version.
* CoolHelmet: Worn by the Knight, Dragoon, Viking, and Dark Knight classes.
* CoolOldGuy: Doga and Cid both qualify.
* CoolOldLady: Unei doesn't even ''let'' the party suggest she's too frail to come along and thinks nothing of blasting apart giant adamantine boulders. With her mind. And antimatter.
* CoolMask: Worn by the Ninja class.
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: The Onion Knight class (but not the corresponding Freelancer class), due to MagikarpPower.
* DarkIsNotEvil: Present in the backstory, when the Dark Warriors have to save the world against abuse of the elemental powers of light. [[spoiler:They also can help out your party if they are freed, showing that they're apparently not inherent rivals to the Light Warriors.]] Also, the Dark Knight class.
* DeathFromAbove: The Dragoon's Jump attack.
* DifficultySpike: Due to limitations at the time, the maximum enemy count of the DS version was reduced to 3 (this was later fixed in [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV IV]]). As a result, all of the enemies were given higher stats and HP.
** TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon: The World of Darkness has regular enemies with double the hit points of the ''bosses'' faced in the previous dungeon. Also the mini-bosses have ''triple'' the HP of the previous bosses.
* DisneyDeath: [[spoiler:Desch jumps into the Tower of Owen's furnace]]. NoOneCouldSurviveThat... but when Dorga is looking for people to help the Light Warriors at the end, he pops up without a scratch, and in fact quite surprised that anyone would think he'd been in mortal danger. It just took him ''that long'' to fix it.
* DoWellButNotPerfect: Once a Thief hits Level 99, nearly all the elemental that are good for Scholar (like Arctic Wind) are blocked by Turtle Shells and Tranquilizers.
* DropTheHammer: The Viking class.
* DroughtLevelOfDoom: The endgame is infamous for this, forcing the player to go through not one, not two, but ''three'' consecutive dungeons (plus a fourth dungeon in the Famicom version if the player wants to get the Ninja and Sage classes) and the FinalBoss without a single chance to save. [[FromBadToWorse Even worse]], once you reach the final dungeon, you don't even get the option to backtrack to the world map to save. [[RunningGag Even worse than that]], there's a ton of boss fights on your way to the FinalBoss, with four of them in the final dungeon. [[SerialEscalation Even worse still]], one of those four bosses is ThatOneBoss, who'll almost certainly slaughter you at least once until you can figure out what to do.
* DualWielding: In a twist, everyone (except the [[QuirkyBard Bard]]) can do it. Yes, even Scholars, who can dual-wield [[ThrowTheBookAtThem books]]. There's at least one viable strategy that involves dual-wielding ''shields''.
** The opening FMV in the DS version even shows ''everyone'' doing it just because.
** One of the most famous pieces of the Amano concept art (now used as the background of the game's logo) is one warrior dual-wielding swords.
* ElementalPowers: The Geomancer stands out for being able to use all of them... albeit at random.
* EleventhHourSuperpower: The Sage and Ninja classes in the original. They're better balanced in the remake.
* EnemyScan: The first game in the series with it, and intended to be required for a boss fight at one point. It's also the specialty of the Scholar class.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: The "Four Old Men" who believe that they are the true Warriors of Light.
* FakeDifficulty: Pseudo-random turn order. You're not likely to get enough Agility to make a difference on more than one party member, and the bosses where it really counts are pretty much all over the place on their attack order.
* FloatingContinent: Unusually, [[OlderThanTheyThink that's where the game actually starts]].
* FighterMageThief: The Fighter, Black Mage, and Thief classes. They each have upgrades as well -- Knight, Magus, and Ninja.
* FireIceLightning: It's a Franchise/FinalFantasy game. Of course this is in here. The specialty of Black Mages, Red Mages, Geomancers, Evokers, Summoners, and Sages.
* FistPump: In the Nintendo DS remake, Ingus does this gesture when he levels up.
* FlechetteStorm: The Ninja's Throw ability.
* ForebodingArchitecture: This game continues the ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' trend of "lots of stark crystal structures" at or near the end of the game.
%%* FragileSpeedster: The Thief class.
* GenderedOutfit: Refia's Job outfits are sometimes at-odds with the three boys of the group, such as the [[http://images.wikia.com/finalfantasy/images/a/ab/FF3-Thief.png Thief]], [[http://images.wikia.com/finalfantasy/images/a/a8/FF3-Summoner.png Summoner]], and [[http://images.wikia.com/finalfantasy/images/b/b9/FF3-Ninja.png Ninja]]. It's not hard to pick her out of the lineup.
* GetOnTheBoat
* TheGhost: Despite being mentioned as the main villain for most of the storyline, Xande is only seen in person when you battle him. In fact, he actually appears ''less'' in the game than the GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere does.
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere: You didn't really think Xande was going to be the final boss, did you?
* GlassCannon: The Warrior, when using the Advance ability.
* GlobalAirship: Four of them. One of which is a submarine, and another which fires cannons at random encounters and is so massive that it doesn't actually land. Three out of the four, however, aren't that good at flying over mountains, which limits exploration a little. And the fourth cannot fly over ''every'' mountain, either.
* GratuitousEnglish: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qtJqI_IjPA Roaming Sheep]].
* GuestStarPartyMember: A few characters tag along with the party throughout the game; in the DS remake, they'll randomly appear and attack during battle.
* HealingHands: The White Mage and Devout classes.
* HealingShiv: One of its earliest appearances. Of course, like all other weapons, they can be [[DualWielding Dual Wielded]].
* HealingSpring: The first appearance in the series.
* HelloInsertNameHere: In the Famicom version, you name all four of the characters. Sometimes those four names appear in list form when a character is addressing everybody in the group; other times, only the character currently being used as your sprite is addressed. However, since you can use the Select key to rotate which of the four is your sprite, this can (depending on the translation) make some follow-up conversations a bit jarring.
* HeroesPreferSwords: The Warrior and Knight classes.
* HighlyVisibleNinja: The red-clad Ninja class returns to the series.
* HolyHandGrenade: The Devout class.
* HopelessBossFight: The Cloud of Darkness will kill most parties in the first round the first time you fight her.
** Bahamut near the beginning. You have to escape, not win, because although he's not dangerous, your party will still be unable to kill him.
* HornyVikings: The Viking class, of course.
* ImprobableWeaponUser: Geomancers, who fight with bells.
* InHarmonyWithNature: The Geomancer class.
* InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons: The Dragoon class. Plus, you know, Bahamut.
* InTheHood: The Geomancer and the Devout classes. The Devout's cat-eared hood would be referenced in future ''Final Fantasy'' titles.
* ItemAmplifier: The Scholar job doubles the effectiveness of all items used, including the magical attack items, making them far more deadly then they initially appear.
* JackOfAllTrades: The Onion Knight class.
* JobSystem: While ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyI'' lets you choose your jobs at the beginning of the game, this game [[TropeCodifier codifies]] the job-changing system used in later Final Fantasy games.
* JokeItem: The Gold Sword has an attack power of ''one'', but can be [[VendorTrash sold for 10,000 gil]], logically enough for a valuable yet soft metal.
* JumpPhysics: Dragoons and their Jump attack, setting series tradition.
* [[InfinityPlusOneSword Infinity Plus One Equipment]]: Onion equipment.
* KatanasAreJustBetter: Want to kill splitting enemies without them splitting? It's either a katana, or burn through all your magic. They're also the preferred weapons of Dark Knights and Ninjas.
* KnifeNut: The Thief and Ninja classes.
* KungFuFighting: The Monk and Black Belt classes.
* {{Leitmotif}}: One four-man group has one, called simply "The Four Old Men."
* LethalJokeCharacter: Geomancers definitely fall into this in the remake. Their effects are laughable for the first few levels -- but when they do screen-clearing non-elemental attacks at higher levels for no cost, you'll wonder why you bothered with other classes.
** There's a curious build to turn a Viking into this. Make one character a Viking, equip them with the best two shields and best armor you have, stick them in the back row, and continually have them use Provoke. This attracts enemy attacks, absorbed by the Viking's high defense (and improves as the character's shield skill increases), freeing the other characters to wail on foes (though one of the other three is usually on "heal the Viking" duty). The strategy breaks down against attacks that hit the whole party, but works extremely well if the enemies lack those attacks.
** With clever item use, Scholars can also do this with their doubled effectiveness with items. It does get expensive, though.
** In the Famicom version, the Onion Knight is the starting class and not very good, but can use [[InfinityPlusOneSword some endgame equipment]] and gets insane stat growths past level 90.
* LevelMapDisplay: The Sight spell displays a map.
* LighterAndSofter: It's not as dark and grim as its [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyII predecessor]] or its [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV successor]], but it does have its share of sad moments.
* LightIsNotGood: See DarkIsNotEvil above.
* LightningBruiser: The Black Belt class.
* LuckBasedMission: The [[ThatOneBoss final series of bosses]] ([[MyFriendsAndZoidberg and Garuda]]) due to random turn order. Their offensive power necessitates a party-wide Curaja almost every turn.
** The Geomancer can behave like this, particularly at lower job levels when their most powerful abilities are less likely to occur. This intersects with MagikarpPower, as the odds swing heavily in the player's favor after enough work in the class.
* MagicKnight: Both the Dark Knight and Ranger classes can use some White Magic in the Famicom release, while the Knight class gains White Magic in the DS remake.
* [[TheManBehindTheMan The Woman(?) Behind The Man]]: The Cloud of Darkness is more or less controlling Xande's actions to institute her release.
* MagicMusic: The Bard class.
* MagikarpPower: The Onion Knight and Geomancer classes, with a couple others that function like this on a smaller scale such as the Black Belt class.
* MartialArtsHeadband: The Monk class. In the DS remake, Refia uses hers as HairDecorations.
* MartialArtsUniform: The Monk and Black Belt classes.
* MasterOfNone: The Red Mage.
* MasterOfUnlocking: Thieves can unlock doors without using up Magic Keys.
* TheMedic: The White Mage and Devout classes.
* MoneySpider: Most obvious when you go into Goldor's castle. As his MeaningfulName suggests, everything there, including the minions, are made of gold for you to harvest.
* MortalityEnsues: The great sage Noah awards each of his three students with a gift; Doga is bestowed with great magical power while Unei is given control over the world of dreams while she slept, and both go on to become renowned sages in their own right. Xande? He receives the "gift" of mortality. He doesn't take well to this snubbing.
* MuggingTheMonster: The Viking's Provoke ability -- particularly effective if the Viking in question dual wields shields.
* MundaneMadeAwesome: Defied. Xande seems to disagree that mortality is more awesome than magical omnipotence or ownership of a dream realm.
* MusicalAssassin: The Bard class.
* MythologyGag:
** If you unlock the special Onion Knight class in the DS version, it starts with Luneth rescuing a group of four Onion Knights who ''also'' fell into the cavern you did. In other words, the four Onion Knights from the original game.
** In the DS version as well, the classes granted by the Wind Crystal are the six classes from the original ''Franchise/FinalFantasy''.
* NeverMessWithGranny: Unei is this in spades.
* {{Nerf}}: The Sage and Ninja classes, which were the best classes in the NES version, are balanced in respect to the other classes in the DS remake. The Evoker and Conjurer are slightly weaker as well[[note]]Their status condition and instant kill attacks went from 100% success to the same as a [[UselessUsefulSpell Black Magic]][[/note]].
* NiceHat: The Black Mage, RedMage, Ranger, Magus, and Sage classes all get one. The Black Mage and Red Mage in particular get their iconic Nice Hats, while the Magus gets a sweet variant of the Black Mage's.
* NintendoHard: Even moreso in the DS version, since engine limitations meant that they simply upped the stats of existing monsters rather than make you fight multiple groupings of them. Said monsters can often attack two or even three times per round, making bosses more dangerous. Oh, and one more little detail -- ''THERE ARE NO SAVE POINTS, EVER.'' The only place to save your game is on the world map. Enjoy traipsing through a three hour dungeon with no save points and dying at the end!
** Moreover, with one or two exceptions, there are no healing points in the dungeons either. This isn't such a big problem with HP, as you can restore that with potions, but MP restoring items are much rarer. Which means you have to do each dungeon ''twice'' -- one run to collect all the items and level up your characters, and a second run where you run from every random encounter to make sure you have enough HP and MP to face off against the boss.
** The game's magic system also kicks things up a notch: Rather than the Mana system found in later games, characters are capped at casting a certain number of level 1 spells, a certain number of level 2 spells, etc. based on level. Mana isn't restored when you switch jobs and there's no such thing as Ether, so you have to use either the extremely valuable Elixir or a Tent to restore magic. The DS version actually ''reduces'' Mana, especially for low-level spells. This is much worse than it sounds, since Cure and Cura are extremely valuable in the late game because they're not competing with Raise or other high-level White Magic for MP, and high-end black magic is overkill against most random encounters.
** Phoenix Downs cannot be bought in stores in either version. You can only find them in treasure chests, by stealing them from rust birds, or in hidden locations. [[ThisIsGonnaSuck There are about 30 of them to find throughout the entire game -- unless you use a thief to steal an infinite number from the rust birds on the dragon mountain.]]
** The final room in the World Of Darkness has ''random encounters'' with offensive power comparable to the most difficult of the four bosses you just fought -- except they're additionally capable of Back Attacking you, attacking three times to wipe out half your party and leave the other half in the red before you get the chance to input commands, then attacking three more times to finish you [[{{Unwinnable}} before any of those commands go off]]. And you thought [[BossInMookClothing War]][[VideoGame/FinalFantasyI mech]] was bad?!?
* NonstandardGameOver: Trying to cross the swamp in front of Goldor Manor without the Levigrass Shoes causes your entire party to sink into the swamp. Also, trying to pass the statues without all of the Fangs towards the end of the game will result in the party instantly dying from an unknown force.
* NotCompletelyUseless: A few classes fall into this. The Scholar is most prominent because although the job isn't one that you'll be using all the time, at certain parts of the game their abilities can help you a lot.
** The Geomancer especially. They've been joke characters/shrugged off in other games with them, but in this game, they're actually feasible damage-dealers with just melee damage and their abilities are actually rather useful if a bit random. It's not uncommon for them to get Shadowflare and hit for damage near the cap in the middle of the game.
** Bards in both versions. There specialty is teamwork so they are best when used with other characters. In the Famicom version they are great with other Vikings, Evokers, and Bards who need more setup for attacks. In the DS version Dark Knights will love their free healing.
* NothingIsScarier: The final room of the Crystal Tower has no music, no enemies, statues of dragons, and a mirror. [[SarcasmMode Yeah, not foreboding at all!]]
* ObiWanMoment: [[spoiler:Doga and Unei]], among others.
* OneTimeDungeon: The floating Hein Castle, which after finishing, gets planted into a forest you're not allowed to get back to.
* OneWingedAngel: No matter how human an enemy looks, they WILL be a monster after the FightWoosh. The Cloud of Darkness is an inversion, in that she looks more human during the boss fight.
* OutsideContextVillain: The Cloud of Darkness.
* PaletteSwap: Aside from the monsters, the Onion Knights in the Famicom version. The other classes use the same sprite for all the characters, though.
* PeninsulaOfPowerLeveling: If the party can handle the splitting monsters with ease without needing to rely on katanas, then any cave can count. Since each half has the hit points of the first one after the hit, and each gives full experience, it's possible to farm a whole bunch of weak ones that will split from a mage's punch and then die in a single hit, for mountains of experience. The DS version's limit of three enemies on screen at once hampers the effectiveness of this strategy.
** In the original once you have unchained the airship the party can visit the Ruin of Ancients. The Bone Dragons and Pyralis in the first room can be killed with Cure or Life, and Ice from the back row.
* PimpedOutDress: Quite a few of the class outfits qualify.
** Refia's Summoner outfit is the most stand-out example and it's one of the most elaborate job costume in the game. It's the only one that really screams out "I am the female party member."
* PlotlineDeath: Several of the additional party members, although only a few ([[spoiler:Aria, Doga, and Unei]]) stay dead.
* PowersAsPrograms: The Job System, in its first Franchise/FinalFantasy appearance.
** To a lesser extent, the magic system with spells being items that can be equipped/transferred.
* PowerCrystal: Not worn, but sought out for new jobs.
* PowerOfTheVoid: The Cloud of Darkness.
* PrecisionGuidedBoomerang: The Thief, Ranger, and Ninja classes can use these.
* PrecursorHeroes: Many years before the main storyline, the Warriors of Darkness were forced to defend their own world from being swallowed by the light.
* PrestigeClass: In the Famicom version, some of the classes introduced by later Crystals are upgraded versions of earlier classes, and for the most part are better in every way. Taken UpToEleven with the Ninja (ultimate physical class) and Sage (ultimate magic class), which are better than everything else. (The DS version rebalances all of the classes to make them more even.)
* RainOfArrows: The Ranger's Barrage ability.
* RandomlyDrops: Onion equipment are rare drops from dragons. The dragons are rare RandomEncounters in the Crystal Tower (and common encounters in the DS remake's ??? BonusDungeon).
* RecurringRiff: Several recurring Final Fantasy themes (the battle theme, Chocobo theme, the Prelude/Crystal Theme, the main theme) are found in this game.
* TheRedMage: The Red Mage class, of course. The Sage can be considered an upgraded version of the job especially in the Famicom version.
** The Onion Knight in the DS remake is [[GameBreaker the ultimate version of this]], being able to use all magic and equip nearly everything in the game.
* RespawningEnemies: The splitting enemies, spawning by being hit by melee attacks.
** The splitting enemies use up half their remaining HP when they split, however, so in the original you can split them enough to wipe them out with a magic attack.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Sara and Alus, who both help out your party several times on their quest.
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: In the DS remake, Refia is the only girl of the four orphans. In the original, they're apparently all male.
** In the manga, Melfi was also the only girl among the other orphans.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: One of the final bosses, Zande(straight romanization)/Xande(DS translation).
* SpiritualSuccessor: The same team that worked on the DS remake would later go on to make ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyThe4HeroesOfLight'', which has it's own SpiritualSuccessor in ''VideoGame/BravelyDefault''. All three games are similar in visuals, tone, and storytelling, and utilize extremely similar Job systems.
* SpoonyBard: The Bard class in the Famicom version. Avoided in the DS version, where it's simply DifficultButAwesome.
* SquishyWizard: ''Potentially'' averted and ''potentially'' played straight; the stats progression is influenced by which job you are when you level up, and your four characters begin with the exact same stats (well, they ''are'' the same job at that point). That means, on one hand, that if you juggle the classes around you can end with a very balanced party, but if you make the mistake of letting yourself be influenced by the concept art (or other {{RPG}}s) and dedicate Arc and Refia to the magic classes, ''you will be building the Squishy Wizards yourself''. The ones prone to it are the White Mage, Black Mage, Devout, Magus, Evoker, and Summoner classes.
* StandardStatusEffects: The Black Mage and Magus classes.
* StatusBuff: The White Mage, Bard, and Devout classes.
* StealthPun: The Onion Knights/Kids. The Japanese word for onion can be read as a callow youth.
* {{Stripperific}}: The Cloud of Darkness barely wears anything but a few ribbons and a cape, setting the trend for many more female ''Final Fantasy'' characters to come.
** She only has the cape in her original Amano artwork which she also wears in [[DissidiaFinalFantasy Dissidia]]. In the original, she just had zebra stripes, no legs, and BarbieDollAnatomy.
** Averted by Refia, whose default outfit is possibly the most sensible one seen on a female FF character. Although played straight with her Thief outfit.
** Also played straight with Princess Sara's cleavage-enhancing, [[BareYourMidriff midriff-baring]] top. Seriously, that thing can't be comfortable.
** This is lampshaded in Dissidia012 in which [[FinalFantasyVIII Laguna]] upon first seeing Cloud of Darkness can't stop staring at her attractive image, leading to a very awkward cutscene.
* SummonMagic: The first appearance in the series, used by the Evoker, Summoner, and Sage.
* SuspendSave: Added to the DS and later remakes.
* TakingTheBullet: The Knight class, introducing the series-staple Cover command.
** [[spoiler:Aria]] does this in the storyline before the fight with the Water Temple guardian, taking an arrow meant for the heroes.
* TechnicolorDeath
* TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon: The World of Darkness.
* ThrowTheBookAtThem: This is the only weapon available to the Scholar class. The first ones you get somehow come in FireIceLightning flavors.
* TooAwesomeToUse: Ninja Stars. They do a ton of damage, but they're so easy to run through and very expensive to buy.
** Also Phoenix Downs, which can't be bought in this game, unlike others in the series.
* UltimateBlacksmith: The aptly named "Legendary Smith" shows up in the DS remake.
* UnscaledMerfolk: Kraken.
* UpdatedRerelease: The first one to be released outside of Japan.
* UselessUsefulSpell: Although, in this case, it's more of a case of Useless Useful ''Classes.'' The Bard, Evoker, and many others simply do not have the statistical leanings and/or skills to survive later-game battles. Oddly, however, the [[LethalJokeCharacter Geomancer]]'s skillset starts and stays insanely powerful, especially if you're lucky enough to consistently roll [[DiscOneNuke Shadowflare.]]
** In the original Famicom version, the "Onion Knight" ultimate class didn't exist as a separate class -- it was just that the weak, no-abilities starting class "Onion Kid" got super-high stats at levels 90 and up, and was able to equip the ultimate Onion equipment, which granted huge stats bonuses itself. So the class becomes useless as soon as the first set of jobs becomes available -- unless you powerlevel, at which point it becomes the ultimate killing machine.
** Bard does get a single use -- their healing song is a free 10-20% party heal. This scales nicely until the later parts of the game, and when combined with the Dark Knight's self-damaging attack, works as a good 1-2 punch.
** Evoker. Obtained before any summon spell is, and their use of summon spells are extremely impotent.
* VendorTrash: The golden swords you find in Goldor's mansion are utterly useless for fighting with, but merchants will happily buy them from you for an extortionate sum.
* VideoGameStealing: Thieves, naturally.
* VideoGame3DLeap: The DS remake swapped sprites for full polygonal graphics.
* WeaksauceWeakness: Bahamut is very weak to a Dragoon wielding dual Gungnirs. How weak? OHKO weak.
* WeWinBecauseYouDidNot: Subverted when Goldor shatters a golden crystal that the Light Warriors believe is the Earth Crystal. However it's just a fake imitation.
* WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway: ''Mortality''. Great Magus Noah gives his student Xande the gift of Mortality. Said gift ends up driving Xande completely insane as he ended up unleashing the [[BigBad Cloud of Darkness]] on the world.
* WhiteMage: The second appearance in the series as a job class. There's also the Devout, which is the PrestigeClass version in the original.
* WhiteMagic: In addition to the White Mage and Devout, usable by the Ranger and the Dark Knight(Famicom version), and the Knight (DS version).
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: This seems to be what Noah, Doga, and Unei feel, as they all considered being able to die a great gift.
* [[WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes Why Did It Have to Be Frogs?]]: Refia hates frogs and toads. Guess what the party needs to turn into in order to infiltrate a couple of dungeons? She even whimpers the second time it comes up. Somewhat ironic if you made her the White Magic user, which means that ''she'' has to cast the Toad spell on the party.
* WindmillCrusader: A bunch of old men in Amur who think they're the real Light Warriors.
* YinYangBomb: The Cloud of Darkness, despite her name, is a living one of these. She has shown up as either darkness surrounding a core of light, or light surrounding a core of darkness.
* ZettaiRyouiki: Refia as a Devout and Scholar. And for bonus points, Scholar gives her {{Meganekko}} glasses and GirlishPigtails.
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->''Hey, where are you four brats off to now? What...? You're going to go [[SavingTheWorld save the world]]? Did you get hit on the head or something?''
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