Boss In Mook Clothing / Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy in general

The Final Fantasy franchise has several repeat offenders - identical or similar monsters that appear in multiple games.
  • The Brachioraidos is a recurring one in the series. Its looks and translated name have changed drastically with each installment, making it hard to notice. Its appearances in order have been:
    • Final Fantasy VI as the Brachiosaur. Based on the Brachiosaurus. It casts Meteor, Ultima, Snort and has over 46,000 HP. Don't even try to cut its MP with Osmose or Rasp to neutralize the former two spells; it has over 51,000 of it.
    • Final Fantasy VII as the Vlakorados. Square stops caring what the monster is shaped like.
    • Final Fantasy X as the Th'uban. This one breaks the tradition by being a bonus boss.
    • Final Fantasy IV Advance as the Brachioraidos. Not a random encounter but a roaming sprite.
  • Many Final Fantasy games have the Behemoth in this role. This is actually an example of Degraded Boss, as well, as the Behemoth debuted as a boss in Final Fantasy II, but is a recurring ultra-strong "regular" enemy in much of the rest of the series, and even in later parts of Final Fantasy II itself.
  • Tonberries. They have loads of HP and two signature attacks. The first is Knife, is a deadly stabbing attack which the Tonberry must usually spend time getting into range to use. The other is Everyone's Grudge (aka Karma), which is based on the number of enemies (or sometimes Tonberries) that the target has defeated. If you're finding yourself in a place chock full of Tonberries, switching to a party that hasn't been used much can help.
    • Oddly enough, the Tonberries in Final Fantasy VI (which are called Pugs in the original US translation) are much easier. You still have to have a fairly high level to beat them, but you're already close by the time you get to that part of the game anyway. However, they also punish you for level grinding, in that their main spell (which Strago can learn) is Step Mine. It does damage based on how many steps you've taken.
    • Everyone's Grudge in Final Fantasy XI is based on the amount of Tonberries killed, and only them. Since you can't exactly switch out for another character solo, there's a quest in the game that allows you to reset the "Tonberry Hate". You'll need it, as some Bonus Boss Tonberries can use Everyone's Rancor, which hits for 50 HP for every Tonberry killed. While Everyone's Grudge can be annoying most of the time, not resetting hate before facing a Tonberry with Rancor any time is suicidal.
  • In some cases, Cactuars can be a pain. They typically have the maximum evasion rate and throw 1000 needles at your party. Then they have the nerve to run away. But if you defeat one, you're usually well rewarded.
    • Some Cactuars in the games, especially the ones in FFX are even worse than the regular ones. Qactuar for the weaker, 1000 needles at one of your party. Then the Cactuar for the actual pain in the arse. The Cactuars in FFX will do a 10,000 needle attack that leaves one of your characters dead unless you break the HP limit with a customized armor, which is nearly impossible to do as you will be facing one before you can get the items required. And then there are the ones in the Monster Arena that use 99,999 Needles...
  • If you're a ways into a Final Fantasy game and you find a one-eyed floating bat thing, run. While their names are never really consistent (Ahriman/Veteran, Doom-Eye, Blood Eye, etc), they have one thing in common; instant-death attacks. Thanks to the computer being a cheating bastard, the useless useful spell rule usually doesn't apply. This includes straight up instant death, a form of Russian roulette (never lands on the caster for some reason), and some form of death countdown attack.
    • There is a trick for taking them down safely in FFIX, though. If you do nothing before they use their Roulette attack, it will end up targetting themselves.
  • Malboros and their more dangerous upgrade Great Malboros. They have a lot of hit points and usually hit hard normally, but the thing that makes them most dangerous is their "Bad Breath" move. Bad Breath can inflict so many different status ailments with one move that an unprepared party can wind up killing each other instead, if they aren't outright defeated by something like Petrify or an Instant Death countdown.
    • Great Malboros in Final Fantasy X, particularly in the Omega Ruins. All encounters with Great Malboros in the Omega Ruins will be "Ambushed!" encounters; if you don't have First Strike in any of your characters' equipment, prepare to face anything from a mere normal attack to the dreaded Bad Breath, which will leave you with a blinded, Berserked, Confused, and poisoned party that tries to kill each other but can't and ends up wiped out in four turns thanks to poison taking a level in badass in X.

Final Fantasy

  • One of the most notorious offenders is the WarMECH (later translated as "Death Machine", then back to WarMECH). It has as many hit points as the penultimate boss, and its abilities range from powerful physical attacks to literally nuking the party on the spot. Famously, it only has a 1/64 chance of appearing, in a single area, which also contains a really long bridge ready to trigger a random encounter. Those aware of WarMECH usually walk across that bridge with held breath.
    • It's actually worse in the Video Game Remake - they doubled its hitpoints and it regenerates 100 hit points per round (due to its high defenses, even knocking off 100 hit points per round is something you won't do until much later than your first potential encounter with it). In both the original and the remake, people find it more difficult than the Final Boss. That being said, thanks to Sequel Difficulty Drop, it's really just keeping pace with the buffs the players got.
    • The Earthgift Shrine bonus dungeon has Abyss Worms. Higher Attack than the four bosses (and the four Fiends!), no magic weakness, and such a high M Def as to make your Mages practically useless. Good luck.

Final Fantasy III

  • Final Fantasy III has the Yellow Dragons. Harder than most bosses, but they can drop Onion equipment.
    • There are also green and red dragons. Both are stronger. The only thing stronger than red dragons is the final boss, and the Bonus boss added into the DS version.

Final Fantasy IV

Final Fantasy IV for the DS, in general, has a lot of these, adding to the already Nintendo Hard nature of the game.
  • You may encounter a variety of dragons after you recruit Edge that possess a lot of HP and may have a nasty attack. One of the worst is the Clapper/Thunder Dragon, which is slightly faster than your characters and uses a powerful attack. Good luck trying to revive your tank.
  • There will be instances where an enemy will have a party-hitting spell (whether it's a normal spell or a special attack). At first, these aren't too dangerous, but then it gets ridiculous to the point where two of these can kill a party that's overleveled. Oh, and they love to come in groups.
  • Trap Doors in the Sealed Cave. They cast instant death spells that are 100% guaranteed. But they have a weakness: reflect their death spell back at them!...which you can't do without Augments thanks to how their spell works. If you're not playing the DS version, good frigging luck.
  • Everything in the Lunar Subterrane. The last two floors are also applicable to the original SNES version. The really fun part? A lot of enemies encountered on these floors actually have the boss music playing during their fights. Lampshade Hanging?
  • The most notably tough enemy in the final dungeon is the EvilMask/Deathmask. Deathmasks start off an encounter by casting Wall/Reflect on themselves, then on your party. They then bounce very powerful spells like Holy and Flare off of themselves and bounce Cure 3/Curaga spells off of you onto themselves. They have a whopping 37,000 HP and decent evasiveness and are very tough to run from. The DS version makes this worse by giving it Laser Barrage, an attack that deals large amounts of damage to your whole party. Oh, and they're incredibly common, too.
  • Right near the beginning of the game, Sand Worms, which you can encounter very early in the game, between Mist and Kaipo, at a time when Cecil's your only party member. Sand Worms can take about ten hits from Cecil at this point in the game and can deal ~200 damage to him when he'll likely only have ~300 HP. What makes this particular encounter worse is the fact Sand Worms are fairly easy in the original SNES version that you may have played if you're playing the DS version, and you may not have realized yet how much harder the remake is. You will when that Sand Worm completely annihilates you.
  • Final Fantasy IV: The After Years has the Gray Coeurl enemy as a random encounter. It also has the Gray Coeurl enemy as a random encounter, which is considerably more difficult than the Gray Coeurl. They share the same name, sprite and location.
    • From the same game, Chimera Brain in Edge's Challenge Dungeon. It opens every battle with Frost Blast, which One Hit Kills 4 out of your 5 party members and critically injures the fifth. If it gets a surprise attack on you, just reload the game, because there is absolutely nothing you can do to survive. Did we mention that it has a 75% chance of a surprise attack?

Final Fantasy V

Final Fantasy V has tons of examples. Super enemies in this game are usually characterized by exceptionally high defensive stats, forcing you to rely on otherwise unorthodox strategies.
  • The Jackanapes (known as "Harpy" in the PSX version) is an example of one of these. The first time you can encounter it, its attacks will do several hundred more points of damage than you can take (even at higher levels, it will still eat your HP quickly), and it's fast enough that you're almost certain to lose one or two party members before you can run away. It also always back attacks the party, and it can dodge almost ALL of your attacks and magic, so if— no, when— you are unlucky enough to meet one, you won't be able to fight it out.
  • There's the also the Prototype, which has a couple of glaring weaknesses, but is very hard to hurt otherwise; the Dhorme Chimera, which outdamages you at the point of the game you fight it; and a group of five Mini-Dragons, which are upgraded Dhorme Chimeras.
  • In the Second World, a moogle advises you to avoid a desert; heeding such advice awards you an enemy-free journey, but disregarding it sends you against the Sandcrawler, an enemy with very high HP. While its regular attacks don't do a whole lot of damage, it frequently uses Maelstrom to reduce your entire party's HP to single digits, leaving you at the brink of a Total Party Kill. Then there's the Landcrawler in the Merged World, which has even more HP and, in addition to using Maelstrom frequently, uses Crush to deal heavy damage and inflict confusion on a single target.
  • The Tot Aevis from the Merged World brings this trope to mind. The enemy itself appears in a plot-related, but ultimately optional dungeon. While most enemies have between 2.000 to 4,000 HP, rendering them killable in a short time, the Tot Aevis has 33,000 HP, more than the boss of the dungeon that contains it. It can make use of a wind attack that targets all of the party and has a single target attack which can inflict Petrify. The reward when killing it is 7 ABP, more than the multiple enemy formations in the dungeon, second only to the boss, but otherwise gives nothing else, no EXP, Items, or Gil.
  • The Shield Dragon in the Second World's Sealed Castle and Exdeath's Soul in the Merged World's Sealed Castle are yet more examples of this trope. They have 20,000 HP (more than many enemies in The Very Definitely Final Dungeon) and exceptionally high defenses. Shield Dragon also has auto-Reflect, and its Knock Silly attack hits two party members at once and inflicts confusion on the targets. Exdeath's Souls always use instant death attacks and are just as difficult to kill.
  • Also, the Tonberry in Istory Falls makes its debut appearance in this game...and it has as much HP as Leviathan, the boss of the area.

Final Fantasy VI

There's several from Final Fantasy VI.
  • A Tyrannosaur has 12,770 hit points and can cast Meteor, one of the strongest magic attacks in the game.
  • Mantodea's other stats aren't anything special, but its regular old attack can wipe out most characters in a single hit.
  • There's also the Fiend Dragon, found in the final dungeon. It's rare, but if you run into it, you have to deal with a monster that not only packs high HP and powerful magic but also is the only monster in the game (aside from the Final Boss) to have Heartless Angel, which reduces everyone's HP to 1. It then likes to follow up with Southern Cross, which also hits everybody, and will probably wipe out the whole party. Oh, and you can encounter two of them at the same time. Isn't that fun?
  • The Intangir on Triangle Island in the World of Balance. It has auto-Vanish, a staggering 32,000 HP, absorbs all elements, and is immune to almost every status effect. Most of the time, it doesn't do anything, but if you try to get the Vanish off it so you can actually hit it, it'll smack your party with Meteor and disappear again. The only legitimate way to beat it is to cast Stop on it, beat on it, heal yourself after Stop wears off, and repeat as necessary. When you finally bring him down, he will hit whoever killed him with Meteor, which is a guaranteed kill if it connects. You gain no experience for beating him, but you do get a whopping 10 Magic Points. The Vanish/Doom trick works well against the Intangir since it's already invisible, though it will still hit whoever cast Doom with Meteo.

Final Fantasy VII

  • The Unknowns in the Gelnika qualify. All of them like to throw status ailments at you that are sure to make any Malboro proud.
  • The Ghost Ships in the Junon Reactor. They know an attack which removes a member of your party from the battle and have a ton of HP. They also have to be morphed into items if you want to stand a chance against one of the Bonus Bosses without using any exploits.
  • The notorious Midgar Zolom. Not only is it stronger than just about everything you faced up to the point it appears, it uses an attack (Beta) that will (literally) nuke your party. The silver lining? Enemy Skill Materia can make Beta your Disc-One Nuke (if you survive it, assuming you survived long enough for him to cast it). Otherwise, you have to get a chocobo just to avoid dealing with the beast.

Final Fantasy VIII

  • Final Fantasy VIII has the T-Rexaur. The game even tells you that "It's better to run if you encounter one". However, if you hit it with Blind (or better yet, Death), it goes down pretty easily. Junctioning Sleep and Blizzara are an even better way, and suitable for wearing it down — though remember that in this game, a Low-Level Run is usually the way to go.
    • There are a handful, including Elnoyles and Ruby Dragon. Both have very high stats or any monster that could also be encountered in Islands Closest to Heaven and Hell.

Final Fantasy IX

  • There is a monster called the Grand Dragon in a certain place accessible around Disc 1 that exists for the specific purpose of screwing you over if you don't heed the nearby Moogle's warning. Adequate preparation (stock up on Phoenix Downs, equip everyone with Antibody and Auto-Reflect) can render these Grand Dragons quite beatable, and thus turn this early accessible area into a convenient high-speed level-up treadmill. (Doubly so if you realize the Grand Dragons are a multiple of level 5, you'll be able to defeat easily it with Lvl5 Death.)
  • Yans from Final Fantasy IX. Cute little lambs that proceed to Comet and Meteor you to death. Thankfully, they're only found in one optional area. Unfortunately, if you want to be able to melee Ozma, you're going to have to go there to get the last friendly monster encounter (who also happens to be a Yan), making the risk necessary. Since Ozma is the simplest source of the pumice...

Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2

  • Final Fantasy X has a lot of these enemies (you're supposed to use Yuna's Summons against them, but you're not required to). In the final dungeon, about half of the enemies have either powerful party-hitting attacks, a lot of status immunities, the ability to inflict tons of bad status effects, or some combination of the above. And they all have over 40,000 HP.
  • Final Fantasy X-2 has Azi Dahaka, which guards the electric gates that block the way to Vegnagun at the end of the game. Screw up on one note, get frustrated with the entire puzzle, and then try to go through the barrier thingy anyway? Yeah, bad idea. Only good thing about that monster is you can run away from it.
    • A lesser example is Aeshma in the prior area. It has relatively high HP for that area, made all the more noticeable by its unbreakable barrier that prevents all physical damage, meaning no critical health Cat-Nip'd Trigger Happy gunner can save you. And while you CAN escape, it won`t help if it hits you with Emblem of Thanatos, which does boss-level damage (well over 1,000) and is the first sign that it's more trouble than it's worth as it appears as a normal enemy.

Final Fantasy XI

  • Uragnites hide in their shell the second you hit them, which has them acquire massive damage reduction and a powerful Healing Factor effect, and any further physical hits while in the shell will be countered with a deadly area poison effect. It's normally best to build TP and use a Weaponskill when the thing pops out again, while mages can just whack the shell once, then run away and nuke safely while it's in the shell, immobile. Even being level 75, one of these mobs at 30-ish take awhile to kill.

Final Fantasy XII

  • Final Fantasy XII has a whole slew of these called Rare Monsters. They show up among the normal fights on the world map but are boss-tough. Generally, though, they only come after you if you attack them first.
    • There's also Wild Saurian (which shows up in the first open area of the game), the Werewolf (second area this time), Dive Talon (shows up early, but you can get a Disc-One Nuke from it), and the Entites. The Wild Saurians can eat the wolves in the area, which adds to their overall HP and actually allow it to level up.
    • The Elementals can count since they're usually of a much higher level then the players in areas they are found in, and will aggressively attack the player if they so much as whiffed even a scent of magic in their area. Even White Magic will cause them to go Aggro. They also are immune to all elements, except their own, which they of course absorb. They also take around 1/2 damage from physical attacks. Though they are vulnerable to their opposing element.
    • In any Zodiac version, the Archaeoaevises in the Zertinan Caverns take the cake over every single other non-boss or non-mark in the entire game. In the original version, they were somewhat unremarkable by the time you'd be strong enough to go down and kill the Lightning esper, Adrammelech, in the Athroza Quicksands room, with these located somewhere close by in the Balamka Fault room. Not so now, where instead of the mid-10k HP they had originally, the WEAKEST ones have 161,622 hitpoints...and the strongest ones, which are level 99, have 961,622. That's right, the strongest Archaeoaevises have almost as much HP as THE STRONGEST NON-CLAN MARK IN THE ENTIRE GAME. And they like to spam Curse, which sets you with Disease (prevents healing), Sap (constant gradual HP loss) and Poison (the usual suspect), among other statuses, and deal extreme damage with all their attacks. Outside of the XIII games and the MMOs, these are likely the strongest non-boss enemies in the entire franchise. And you have to kill them for their Emperor Scales if you want the powerful Durandal sword, as they otherwise can only be stolen from rare, one-time enemies like Deathgaze. Good god.

Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIII-2, and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

  • Starting with Chapter 11, Final Fantasy XIII has a bunch. Ochus, Tyrants, and Juggernauts all fit the bill well enough, but the absolute perfect examples are the Adamantoise and relatives. If you attack one of them as soon as you get to Chapter 11, it will step on you. Thankfully, they're quite docile and easy enough to avoid.
    • Another example from XIII is the King Behemoth. They're rather common in Pulse, often seen prowling around and sometimes fighting other enemies. What makes them so hard? They have a TON of hp, and they also take quite a while to stagger. Get him down to half health, and he instantly heals up to full health and stands on his hind legs. He's even harder to stagger now, and does a brutal physical attack that will kill anyone but a guarding Sentinel, as well as casting an Area of Effect lightning effect that will probably kill your Medic or Ravager. He's possible to kill in Chapter 11, but only barely, and you need a lot of patience.
  • Final Fantasy XIII-2 has several. Raspatil, an Undying Cie'th appearing in Oerba 400 AF, definitely counts. It has over three million HP, hits incredibly hard, and can summon other monsters, including Wladislaus. If you go for completing the bestiary, it'll probably be one of the last fights you have.
    • Pretty much anything that pops out of the spacial anomalies can easily wipe your party if you don't know exactly how to handle it. The Metal Gigantuar can easily wipe your party with 10,000 Needles, which in XIII-2 hits the entire party. Kanna Kamuy can Daze, Poison, and Deprotect at will, and then chomp you to death easily. Tonberries start out fairly manageable, but grow more and more powerful as the fight drags on, and will unleash a Total Party Kill attack if you take too long.
    • In The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, one of the final platforms contains a fixed encounter with a Proto-Behemoth and two Schrodingers. The Proto-Behemoth unleashes devastatingly powerful physical attacks; even if nothing else in the dungeon gives your party any trouble, the behemoth is still a threat. Meanwhile, the Schrodingers will spam Deprotega until it sticks, and then join in the melee alongside the behemoth. Also, the Schrodingers have high HP, many resistances, and drain HP from you on attacking. If you can't evade them, this can be a tougher fight than the actual final boss.
  • In Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, every enemy in the large size group, such as the Chocobo Eater, Cyclops, and Dreadnaught, qualifies. They have massive amounts of HP, and often possess attacks that can potentially OHKO you if you don't guard them properly. A number of them are fought as mandatory battles at some point, but they appear as normal encounters in the same areas, as well.
    • All of the Last Ones could be considered this, as well, being far stronger versions of monsters that only show up once you've defeated a huge number of their species, and visually only distinguished by their pure pink color scheme. Almost every monster species in the game has one, including the aforementioned giant monsters, who tend to be much tougher than most actual boss fights in the game. They're also actually treated like bosses, in that you're graded on how quickly you can defeat them.

Final Fantasy XIV

  • In the starter areas, non-aggressive higher level mooks are sprinkled about. Though they might be there as Schmuck Bait.
  • There's a type of FATE (a randomly spawning timed event on the main maps that players can do for extra XP) that acts like a boss fight, but most of the time they're just souped up regular mooks. You can usually solo these in lower levels. There's also the rarer "World FATE" introduced in Stormblood that has a unique enemy to fight and acts more like a traditional boss, just that it appears on the main maps.
  • Similar to the World FATEs are the Rank A and S hunts. These are something of Elite Mooks that wander around a specific area on the map. Trying to take one of these on by yourself, unless you're really overleveled, is likely to end in a swift death.

Final Fantasy XV

  • XV features various forms of random encounters, one of which is are the imperial dropships that with drop off varying types of imperial forces. The troops dropped gradually increase in strength as the party defeats them, and players can quickly find themselves overwhelmed when the dropships suddenly start dropping swarms of Lightning Bruiser Magitek Assassins. They can also rarely drop the MA-X series mechs, which are normally boss encounters in imperial bases. Like the normal troops, the MA-X mechs gradually improve until they culminate in MA-X Angelus-0, one of the games superbosses.
  • Another form of random encounter are the daemon spawns that occur at night. The most common spawns are Iron Giants, which can spawn right at the beginning of the game and rinse the party, all but forcing the player to sleep overnight in the early stages. And as soon as the player beats their first Iron Giant, the much stronger Red Giants can start spawning instead. Red Giants remain a considerable threat for almost the entire game.
  • The open world is also populated by many larger forms of wildlife that can be freely engaged at any time but are best avoided until later in the game, such as Griffons, Kujatas, and Bandersnatches. These can typically be identified by the much more apocalyptic-sounding music that plays when engaging them instead of the usual battle themes.

Dissidia Final Fantasy: Opera Omnia

  • Manikins, which usually show up within Torsions. Some of them are no worse than tough monsters. But depending on what character they're copying, they can buff their allies up to full BRV, shield themselves and their allies from all BRV damage, execute powerful full-party attacks, or raise their dodge and become unhittable killing machines.