* EightPointEight: Ties in with BrokenBase.
* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: The player party are {{Villain Protagonist}}s. While it's true that they were turned into l'Cie against their will and don't want to destroy Cocoon even if it is their Focus, the cast does little to prove their good intentions. To the contrary, they often make the problem ''worse'', such as Snow firing a gun into the air in a public place and declaring "I'm going to kill you all!" ItMakesSenseInContext (he wants the civilians to run from him so the area is cleared and no one will get hurt in crossfire), but it does not help his case when he shortly after tries to reason with PSICOM and claims he wants to protect Cocoon and means no harm. There's also the hordes of PSICOM officers the party massacres without care in random encounters to consider. Further, [[spoiler:the party ''does'' almost destroy Cocoon by killing Orphan, and it only gets saved when Fang and Vanille pull a DeusExMachina to become Ragnarok and stop Cocoon's fall. The party had no plan at any point to actually save Cocoon, and thanks to Barthendelus' manipulations almost destroy it and got everyone living in it killed. It's up for player opinion if this is Barthandelus being an ''excellent'' MagnificentBastard, or the party being incompetent and selfish.]]
* AngstDissonance: Hope is 14, went through a ''hell'' of a TraumaCongaLine and he is hated for the resulting FreakOut.
* AnticlimaxBoss: The final form of [[spoiler:Orphan]] is... less than impressive when compared to its monstrous and extremely powerful first form, arguably due to the absence of [[spoiler:Barthandelus]] and its unintimidating voice. Nevertheless, it is still somewhat challenging, especially when compared to [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyX other]] [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII examples]].
* BaseBreaker:
** Dahj's either the most [[TheWoobie huggable]] [[CheerfulChild widdle thing]] you've ever seen or [[UncannyValley you will see him]] [[NightmareFuel in your nightmares]].
** Some fans hate Hope due to his constant Wangsting and some people forgive him due to his FreudianExcuse.
** And Vanille, especially [[AmericansHateTingle in the west.]]
** In the eyes of the fans, Snow is either a [[IdiotHero moronic]] [[WideEyedIdealist naive]] HeroicWannabe, or the only [[AllLovingHero truly good]] person in the game and [[RatedMForManly incredibly]] {{Badass}} to boot.
** Some fans see Lightning as a stoic, beautiful badass with a well-developed character, while others see her as a cold-hearted bitch who is never called out on her behavior and only gets a pass from the fans for it because she's attractive.
* BrokenBase: The game itself, with many people who love it, but just as many who hate it, for various reasons.
* CounterpartComparison: Fans have sparked this between Lightning and [[Franchise/KingdomHearts Aqua]] -- both are LadyOfWar {{Magic Knight}}s, but whereas Lightning is a KnightInSourArmor, Aqua is a [[LoveFreak Friendship Freak]]. Depictions of the two of them together are not hard to find, including one of them using the outfit or a trademark pose of the other. Fang occasionally gets included for a PowerTrio.
** A subplot involves the youngest member of the team having a grudge against a tall guy in a trench coat and hat who accidentally killed his mother. Am I talking about Hope and Snow, or [[ShinMegamiTenseiPersona3 Ken and Shinjiro]]?
* CriticalDissonance: Reviewers gave more generous reviews for this game than the players have, both in Japan and the West.
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome: The one thing just about everyone agrees on with this game is that it, like the rest of the series, has an [[AwesomeMusic/FinalFantasy absolutely stellar soundtrack]].
** Averted, however, by the lack of the traditional ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' victory fanfare, which is replaced by a very understated tune.
* DisappointingLastLevel: Completely Inverted, as the consensus is that the game is much much better when you get to chapter 11 (it's all linear up to that point). This was actually intended, as the developers stated that Cocoon was more story-driven whereas Pulse was more exploration-driven. (A lot of the people mostly complained about not getting to see more of Cocoon... and really, [[SceneryPorn wouldn't YOU?]])
** Several fans COMPLETELY hate the last level because all the game becomes from that point is level grinding to get you to a good level for the final boss. At least with Final Fantasy X, you could still go back and do mini-games and side-quests before the final fights, here it's just going around these "training grounds" and getting ready for a disappointingly EASY boss fight
* EnsembleDarkHorse:
** Hope's mom Nora had a bigger impact on some players than most of the cast combined.
** There are ''still'' people upset that Jihl didn't have a bigger role, especially since early trailers played her up as a major antagonist. [[spoiler:Demands that she should have been faced in battle were also heard, and met with ''XIII-2'' at least]].
* EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory: Let's see, we'll start with the fal'Cie Anima (conveniently cross shaped) l'Cieifying everyone, then blowing up the Hanging Edge, and freezing Lake Bresha. Oh, and it's made of hundreds of church bells that ring while an opera sings a melancholy tune. And that's just the prologue.
* EvilIsSexy: Jihl Nabaat, a glass-wearing PSICOM officer with considerable assets.
* {{Expy}}: The Eidolons are giant robotic humanoids who can convert into the forms of vehicles or robotic animals in their Gestalt Mode. [[{{Transformers}} Sound familiar]]?
* FanPreferredCouple:
** [[{{Shotacon}} Hope/Lightning]], or [[PortmanteauCoupleName Hoprai]], has apparently gotten to be the most popular couple in the game. Or at least the one that's attracting the most FanArt.
** For the fans that hate Hope, Fang/Lightning ([[PortmanteauCoupleName "Flight"]]) is probably the ship of choice for her.
** Also [[LesYay Fang/Vanille]], thanks to plenty of {{subtext}}.
** Gadot is ''always'' paired with Snow amongst the [[LGBTFanbase gay]] [[BaraGenre fandom]].
* FoeYayShipping: Careful not to let yourself forget that Hope hates Snow; if you do, several scenes and lines suddenly look a little [[HoYay suspicious]].
--> Vanille: Couldn't tell him? Nothing'll change if you don't do anything.
--> Hope: Words won't change anything. [[CanNotSpitItOut Next time we meet, he'll learn exactly how I feel.]]
* FunnyAneurysmMoment: During the fireworks scene in Bodhum, Snow says to Serah, "Our engagement is way bigger news." [[spoiler:When they do tell Lightning about Serah becoming a l'Cie and their engagement the next day, Lightning doesn't believe in them largely because of the engagement, thinking it's made up as an excuse so they can get married.]]
* GameBreaker:
** Some of the full ATB skills can be outright devastating if used properly. Lightning's Army of One seems to stand out among them due to how many things you can do to capitalize on its effectiveness.
** While most buffs manage to be fairly useful, Haste stands out as being incomparably so, and will become a staple of every major battle you get in. Even better, [[ArtificialBrilliance the AI knows this]], and AI Synergists will prioritize using Haste before all other buffs.
* GoddamnBats: Flanitors in the early game in groups of two or more will drive you up the walls. Thanks to being stuck with only two party members, your damage output will be hard-pressed to outpace the endless healing they help eachother with.
* HarsherInHindsight: When Hope tags along with Vanille at the Vestige, he has a go at Snow for wanting to save Serah, asking how he could help a l'Cie when they are the enemy. We don't find out until later that Vanille was a l'Cie all along, and stood next to him in silence as he ranted about how much hated them. Ouch.
* HellIsThatNoise: That ''annoying'' alarm going off on the Palamecia for majority of Chapter 9!
* InternetBackdraft:
** God help the poor soul who likes either "Kimi ga iru kara" or "My Hands". These songs opened a new wave of English vs Japanese.
** The jump to multi-platform made a few people a bit upset. This game in general is [[BaseBreaker divisive.]]
* JerkassWoobie:
** Lightning isn't exactly a saint, but she's had a hard time raising Serah after their parents died.
** Fang might not be the [[GoodIsNotNice nicest]] person around, but in the ending she [[spoiler: goes into crystal stasis with Vanille to hold up Cocoon.]]
* LauncherOfAThousandShips: Lightning again. Probably comes from being very attractive and without a canon LoveInterest.
* LesYay: Fang and Vanille come very close to crossing the border between subtext and text. The ending practically makes it canon.
* LikeYouWouldReallyDoIt: [[spoiler:Sazh apparently committing suicide, horrifyingly dramatic though it may be, is pretty obviously not going to stick since it comes directly after he obtains his eidolon.]]
* LostInMediasRes: A common criticism of the game's opening.
* MagnificentBastard: Barthandelus may be one of the most guile and competent villains in the series. He manipulates ''everyone'', Cocoon civilians, the Sanctum, [=PSICOM=], other fal'Cie, and of course the party, in a plan spanning five centuries. And while the result wasn't what he wanted, his plan worked perfectly. He's so good that even when the party knows he's manipulating them and setting them up, they go along with it because they have no choice, he's forced their hand in some manner.
* MemeticBadass:
** Sazh's Chocobo. Just check WMG if you don't believe it.
** Fang is the Sexy-Female-Dragoon-Aussie version of Chuck Norris, AKA: Chick Norris.
** Two words: '''Snow'''. '''Villiers'''. As one Website/YouTube comment puts him:
--> Snow is goddamned awesome. [[GoodOldFisticuffs He punches]] monsters in the face to get [[CharlesAtlasSuperpower strong enough]] to punch bigger monsters in the face. He faces beasts, [[EldritchAbomination abominations]], [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu god-like beings]] and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking Lightning's wrath]] to [[DeclarationOfProtection save his fiance]]. He nearly gets killed protecting Hope's life and STILL protects him after Hope made it clear he wants to kill him, and he rides a motorcycle made of women! If this dude [[RatedMForManly was any]] [[{{Badass}} more bro]], the game would be about him ([[AndZoidberg and]] [[EnsembleDarkhorse Sazh]]) instead.
* MemeticMutation:
** '''TOOOOOOOOWWWWWNNNNZZZZZZ!!!'''
** Nora Estheim's "Moms are tough" line from the English release seems to be going down this path, as well.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7dOOy8kBJY [=STEELGUARD=]!!!!]]
** '''GIVE ME COFFEE!! FOR THE HORSE!! ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qyavbSmxW4 FOOOOOOR!! THEEEEEEE!! HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORSE!!]]'''''
** A series of [[http://textsfromffxiii.tumblr.com/ Tumblr macros]] about the cast has produced "Vodka Lightning". The series has [[MemeAcknowledgment been noticed by]] Ali Hillis and Liam O'brien, who find them all hilarious, and [[http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mdwe8v7kGv1r8uo3io1_500.png even Ali agrees]] with the captions on how sexy Liam's voice is.
* MisaimedFandom: Lighting has constantly praised for being a "strong" female character. The problem comes in that fans refer to the pre-development Lightning, who berates and belittles her companions and ignore the scene where Fang says that punching people right and left ''doesn't actually help anything''. Yet, Serah, who is hands down more feminine than Light, has become almost a [[TheScrappy Scrappy]] to players for her "weak" personality.
* {{Misblamed}}: Do the names Motomu Toriyama, Toshiro Tsuchida, or Yoshinori Kitase mean anything to you? Kitase is the producer of the game, as well as one of the designers. Toriyama is the director, and Tsuchida is another one of the game designers. But in the eyes of many critics, the designer, producer, publisher, debugger, marketer, and localizer was [[ScapegoatCreator Tetsuya Nomura]]... who only is credited as ''one'' of the artists, and you know what else? ''He's not even the ART Director''! Anyone who knows Tetsuya Nomura well enough to dislike him should be able to tell that this game isn't even really his style.
* {{Moe}}: Vanille is a cute and kind girl with a huggably tragic past.
* MoralEventHorizon:
** Barthandelus callously [[spoiler:shattering the crystallized Dajh and Serah prior to the final confrontation]] has been met with similar revulsion. [[spoiler: Granted, this was just an illusion, but still]].
** Jihl was already a manipulative bitch for taking away Dajh from Sazh [[spoiler: for being a Cocoon L'Cie]], and allowing PSICOM soldiers to open fire at Nautilus of all places. But then she manipulates Sazh into letting him kill [[spoiler: Vanille because she was partially responsible for Dajh becoming a L'Cie in the first place.]] Her reaction? To sit back and watch, because she thinks it would be amusing to see one L'Cie kill another.
** [[spoiler: Orphan]] crosses it when he [[spoiler: transforms the party into Cie'th.]]
* MostAnnoyingSound:
** Flanitors. Sirens are already annoying, but at least in real life they pass by and grow quiet. These, however, just don't stop until you kill them. And there are a LOT of them in the area. And they heal each other. While making noise!
** The continuous alarm that blares while you're onboard the ''Palamecia'' and the only time it ceases is when you access the menu. Code Red, Code Green, Code Purple, whatever, '''''fine''''', but somebody shut off that damn alarm!
** Vanille's voice for some.
* MostWonderfulSound:
** That is one ''satisfying'' breaking sound every time Lightning finishes her gestalt with Zantetsuken. BAM-BAM-'''SMASSSSSHHHHH'''
** Whenever you fill the stagger bar, particularly on a very resistant enemy.
* {{Narm}}: Due to small details sometimes not being animated into character models and general ignorance [[note]] The concussive force of a really powerful explosion can cause an effect called the [[http://emergency.cdc.gov/masscasualties/explosions.asp white butterfly]], named for the x-ray of victims whose internal organs are crushed by the kinetic force of the shockwave alone. Also, the explosion in question was only a few feet away from her, which could've done the injury in question easily [[/note]] some players found Nora's death scene to be comical because it doesn't look like anything killed her.
* NeverLiveItDown: Lightning punches Snow twice, in the same scene, early in the game at a time when she's particularly angry at him. Yet it went memetic, and for it you'd think Lightning spends the game decking Snow over and over.
* NoYay: [[spoiler:Just before their confrontation at Oerba, Dysley assumes the appearance of Serah and gives Snow a big hug. Pass the brain bleach, please.]]
* PortingDisaster: The PC port is locked to 720p, has no graphics options, has severe framerate problems, has only a few bindable keys, and takes up 60GB of space (mostly because of the uncompressed, unoptimized, 60fps cutscenes for both Japanese and English, which take 39.9GB of space '''''alone'''''). This is especially sad due to the great reputation Square has for making {{Polished Port}}s. They've admittedly tried to redeem themselves by enabling custom resolutions, shadow texture size and antialiasing levels, albeit not fixing the other issues listed above. The space thing is still a very sore spot.
* RescuedFromTheScrappyHeap: After finally confronting Snow (as well as getting one of the most badass summons), Hope TookALevelInBadass.
* ScrappyMechanic:
** [[WeCannotGoOnWithoutYou If your party leader bites it, you lose.]] Other party members still alive and capable of reviving said leader? Too bad, so sad.
** The first time you switch Paradigms in battle all three characters randomly decide to strike a pose -- without the battle pausing at all.
** The only character you have any control over is the party leader. The rest are control by the AI.
** For the first half of the game you'll only have two party members.
* {{Squick}}: The Hope and Lightning ShipTease is not very subtle and is sweet in some ways... a reminder though that Hope is ''14'', and a lot of the Ship Tease is Lightning acting as his ParentalSubstitute. Add in that "Nora" is the Greek word for "Light", and suddenly the squick of a potential romance with them hits.
* SurpriseDifficulty: This is one of the handful of ''Final Fantasy'' games you can't load up your favorite characters with overpowered spells and weapons and blast through the game easily after a bit of LevelGrinding. The usual AbsurdlyHighLevelCap is avoided, with a cap on the Crystarium throughout the game that gets raised a bit higher at set points. This puts a limit on how strong your party can be at a given point, and even once you're allowed to begin training the party in all six roles, some are clearly better than others at set roles, and no one character is the best at everything. All in all, the game forces you to plan out your Paradigms, observe the flow of battle and switch Paradigms to react to enemy behavior, and know each party member's strengths and how to use them best.
* ThatOneBoss:
** Barthandelus is quite a formidable opponent, particularly in his first and second incarnations. He has loads of HP and enjoys dropping a doom timer on your party leader, so your damage had better be top notch.
** The battle with [[spoiler:Cid Raines]] is a very difficult one at the time the player is required to fight them, [[spoiler:since he's more than capable of taking out any unprepared player in one swoop, and can apparently cast the uncurable death countdown spell if the player takes too long to defeat him, ouch!]]
** Each player seems to find at least one [[PuzzleBoss Eidolon battle]] to be a pain in the ass. Key words being "at least."
** The TrueFinalBoss's first form. He has the highest HP of any non-optional boss, causes tons of negative status effects, and has an attack that will always leave each of your non-Sentinel characters with less than 100 HP, unless your characters are poisoned, in which case they'll be dead before the attack animation is even finished. If you're lucky enough to survive the phase of the battle where he causes all those status effects, he can still randomly and unpredictably cause instant death on any character, including your party leader, which means instant game over.
* ThatOneLevel: Near the beginning of Chapter 4, [[spoiler:when Lightning leaves the rest behind]], you're assigned a party of 3 non-COMMANDO characters for a duration. This period can be the most annoying part of the game; without a COM in your party, enemies with high defense or hit points become GoddamnedBats, as killing these Mooks without the aid of Stagger (which COM characters are a vital asset for inflicting) becomes a marathon of sorts. Battles that normally take less than a minute can easily go past five in this part of the game. [[spoiler:Fortunately, Sazh learns the COM class after this section is over, so the problem never arises again.]] As a light compensation, 2 of the 3 characters you get have the MEDIC class, so death is rarely a threat for this section, and the game makes a point that here, rival groups of enemies will fight each other, allowing you more pre-emptive strike chances and to whittle down both groups as they focus on each other before turning to you. [[note]] This part, becomes significantly easier once you realize that Saboteur skills also slow down the stagger bar reduction. [[/note]]
* ThatOneSidequest:
** One trophy/achievement requires you to [[NintendoHard five-star every mission.]] Have fun with that.
** Another potentially frustrating sidequest is getting the Treasure Hunter Trophy, which involves getting every weapon and accessory in the game (thankfully not all at once, just owning each one at some point in the playthrough is enough). It requires an unfathomable amount of cash to do since you need to do a lot of upgrading, plus you need to get at least six of the rare and expensive Trapazohedrons (although there's a trick that allows you to get by with only having to find/buy two). It's not exactly ''difficult'' to do, but it takes much longer than anything else in the game and demands that you spend many hours farming Oretoises and Sacrifices.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodCharacter:
** [[spoiler:Many had hoped to see Jihl Nabaat as the main villain or at least an active one and was very disappointed to see her killed off after a total of ten minutes of screentime.]] So, not surprisingly, those same fans rejoiced in the sequel [[spoiler:where, in one of the DLCs, you finally get the opportunity to give Jihl the sound thrashing that's been overdue for years.]]
** Hope's mother Nora is definitely this. Though one can argue her death is what serves as the basis for Hope's growth and storyline, her scenes in the beginning clearly paint her as this stronger-than-she-looks woman that's telling Snow "Moms are tough" and she even saves his life. Then she's fatally wounded (it's the concussive force of an explosion very close to her) and plummets to her death whilst Snow survives the fall of the same altitude. She's not an EnsembleDarkhorse for nothing.
* {{Wangst}}: Many players claim Hope is guilty of this. Other people feel that Hope's reaction is perfectly justified as a character but are just annoyed at the writers for going down that predictable path, making it an out-of-universe PetPeeveTrope. In addition, while it is completely justified, the overtly dragging pacing (there are tons of moments he could've spoke up yet choked) of the arc was something many players were getting sick of enduring in a video game, rather than a movie.
* TheWoobie: Pick a protagonist. Chances are, they'll each get at least one scene in this role. However, see JerkassWoobie, too.
** Serah ESPECIALLY. [[spoiler: She gets killed to be turned into a McGuffin...TWICE!]]
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: Oddly enough, the Fal'Cie. Their actions are detestable, but as is pointed out, they only have one role in life and all their powers, all their being is devoted towards that role, forever and ever and ever. If ScrewDestiny is the crux of the game's plot, with the player party trying to defy their focus, shouldn't the same hold true for the Fal'Cie? Well, it would be a lot easier to feel sorry for them if they weren't specifically planning to sacrifice the citizens of Coccoon (not to mention the inhabitants of Pulse) in a plan to force Pulse and Lindzei to return. Even [[spoiler:Barthandelus]] has some shades of this, since his final words are expressing relief at his own death. [[spoiler:Orphan, however, is downright '''pitiable'''. Even accounting for his cruel attempts to coax Fang into becoming Ragnarok and turning the others into Cie'th, the kid has had a pretty rough time - from inception, Orphan was sealed away from Cuccoon, the humans he was intended to serve and his fellow Fal'Cie in an alternate dimension; from there he was trapped in a permanent state of unbirth, [[AndIMustScream self-aware but unable to act]], being used as a living battery to keep Cuccoon aloft for for hundreds of years. Little wonder he wants to die after so long in that state. Lightning lambasts him for giving up on life before he was born, but can she really blame him?]]
* {{Woolseyism}}:
** NORA is originally a pun of the Japanese term for a stray cat. In the English version, it got turned into [[FunWithAcronyms No Obligations, Rules, or Authority]].
** Lightning's real name being changed from [[spoiler: Éclair to Claire, avoiding stupid jokes about pastries and adding an extra layer to her request to be called Light.]]
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