The Final Fantasy series has more ways to shatter the difficulty curve than you can shake a sword at it. These are rarely fixed up in remakes, so some consider bonus content an attempt to give the broken material some pressure. This makes games that do fix up broken content (e.g. Final Fantasy XI) controversial.
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The ATB system in general can be a game breaker if you know how to abuse it. If you put it on Wait, input a few actions but keep one in some menu (items, magic, etc.), the action queue will empty out and then the next character will have its turn immediately. This is a great way to curve when the enemy gets its turn. Or you can simply pause the ATB while your characters are performing their attack animations, while leaving it running while the enemy performs theirs.
Not to mention actions that ignore the action queue and take place immediately, such as Quick turns in V and VI and Limit Breaks in VII and VIII.
This was specifically nerfed in the DS remake of Final Fantasy IV, wherein the ATB pauses every time a player character performs their turn's action.
Enemy skills (or Blue Magic) from any given game tend to be abused due to their potent effects at the earliest they can be obtained. A lot of these however, do require some Guide Dang It.
1000 Needles does exactly 1000 HP of damage, no matter what. This is useful if you either come across this early on (and survive getting hit) or if you face an enemy that has absurd defenses.
Mighty Guard at the minimum gives the team physical and magic defense buffs, and normally the actual magic can't multi-target.
White Wind always heals at the current HP of the user, and on or off will heal every status effect.
Bad Breath will attempt to inflict every negative status ailment in the game.
A spell that does more damage if the user has less HP. This can be something from the difference between current and max HP, or just an insanely powerful attack.
Final Fantasy I
In any of the remade versions, the Temper spell definitely counts. All it does is increase the physical attack strength of the character it's cast on, which doesn't seem huge...until you realize these boosts stack with repeated castings. Then you add in the Haste spell, which doubles their Speed (# of attacks, and with it, damage), and the Giant's Gloves item, which increases accuracy thus ensuring that your attacker will never miss (and to add insult to injury, will simultaneously cast an additional Temper). Using this strategy, it is possible to take out all of the four Fiends with one physical attack each. ONE.
Final Fantasy II
There was good reason Final Fantasy II's experience model was never used again in a normal Final Fantasy, only in Tactics: You could increase your stats simply by having your party members strike each other. Who needs monsters? (And in its original, Japan-only NES incarnation, you could stat grind simply by selecting commands off the menu, cancel and repeat without taking any actual turns!note This bug worked only with weapon skill and spell stats, and could get you a maximum of 100 skill points (ie enough to level up the skill in question once) per battle. It could also only be done with the three permanent members of your party, not the rotating fourth member.)
Basically, this boiled down to 'find the weakest enemy you can that won't run away' and then beat yourself up. Want to make yourself stronger, give you more health, get better at dodging and improve your weapon skills? Hit yourself in the face with your weapon. Improve magic, MP and magic defense? Nuke and then heal yourself. Get better agility, dodging and set yourself up for combat in the future so you basically can't be hit? Try hitting yourself with two shields. Want to raise your HP/MP in a hurry? Let me introduce you to a spell called Swap, then go use it on something that has 8HP/0MP that couldn't hurt you on its best day. Oh, and that bit about attacking with weapons? Melee weapons can't hit an enemy if you're in the back row, meaning you get to swing them without worrying about an enemy dying.
The combat system let you connect with up to 32 hits at a turn when you dual wield. To make things worse, with maximum evasion, no enemy can connect with you physically, but to take advantage of that, you had to be effectively naked. Considering the power of the final boss and bonus boss, wearing only two weapons and ribbon was the ideal gear.
Magic spells level up if used in battle. While curative and damage spells grow more powerful, status-affecting spells grow more accurate. Since very few monsters resist the more oddball instant death spells like Toad or Exit, if you spend some time with them, they'll go from constantly-missing waste of space to instant-win commands. And almost every boss and enemy is vulnerable to Toad, so note and some soldiers outside the castle drop it, even if they are moderately powerful for that part of the game... Exit can also be leveled up easily, by just walking into a town and casting it, then going back into the town...
The Osmose spell can also be considered a game breaker. It's easy to level up, drains humongous amounts of MP from your foe, and never fails (not even on the final boss). One single Osmose spell and the final boss is completely drained of MP, leaving him only physical attacks. If you have one PC on the front row with 99% evasion, you are effectively completely invulnerable and you might as well just keep the X button pressed and wait for the boss to die.
In the NES version, Osmose was even more broken. It could drain MP from enemies that had no MP to begin with, because of how it worked: by dealing damage to the target's MP, and then adding it to the caster's current MP. This makes any dungeon after you obtain the spell very easy.
Unfortunately, if you want more Osmose tomes, you have to beat tons of Wizards for them.
The Berserk spell is another gamebreaker. What it does is increase the physical attack of the target. What makes it gamebreaking is that the increase is completely ridiculous: about 50 per level per swing. At endgame, you can easily have level 10 in your weapon level and Berserk spell, even with little to no grinding. That means a single cast of Berserk can increase your physical attack by about 5000, and most endgame bosses have exactly that much HP. In addition, the Berserk tome is a fairly common drop from Magicians, which is an easy enemy that shows up early in the game.
Use of the Blood Sword can take down the Emperor in two rounds. And in the NES version, there's two of them...
Assuming you can find it, the Ultima Weapon is easily this. In addition to having one of the best attack stats in the whole game, it gives a whopping +15 bonus to all of its wielder's stats. Needless to say, having it makes the endgame ALOT easier.
Blood Sword was another one that's available roughly mid game. Give it to a high damage dealing character like a warrior and stick your best sword in the other hand. The amount healed scales off of damage done by both swords, not just the blood sword, so you will often times find yourself fully healing yourself each and every turn. This basically makes that character unkillable unless he gets hit with a move powerful enough to one shot him.
Job mastery items, which themselves are a Guide Dang It until you discover the above, can easily become this. Of particular note is the Red Mage's item: a piece of armor which has enormously high defence and grants +10 to all stats. Given that the Red Mage can also take both the aformentioned Ultima Weapon and the Excalibur (another powerful sword which grants +5 to all stats)...ouch.
Bards, which were a supreme example of Joke Character in the original, recieved a massive buff in the remake. Their songs' effects last for two rounds and can be stacked, though the game never bothers to tell you this. It is possible, for instance, to stack their defence-increasing song with a song that reduces all incoming damage by a fixed percentage. Both of these songs can stack with Protect, making your party borderline-invincible in all but a select few situations.
Final Fantasy IV DS included "Augments", which gives characters new abilities, many of which are the abilities old characters had. Some game-breaking combinations include giving White Mage Rosa Dualcast (cast twice in a turn) and Omnicasting (turn any spell into multitarget) to get Blink and Reflect on the entire party in a single turn, or Raising the entire team at once, or casting Holy on the entire enemy party, etc. Another is giving a character (usually Cecil) Draw Attacks (all single-hit moves hit that character), Counter, and Reach (full damage from the back row) and put them in the back row. There are quite a few others, like using Hide and Throw to deal damage while entirely unhittable.
If you master all the minigames, Rydia's whitkin becomes the gamebreaker by maxing all his stats. Then combining with augments and the right skills you can finish any enemy in the game trivially. An easy "any enemy" strategy is to equip Whitkin with Flare as his only attack option and give him the augments to allow him to cast through walls. If his stats are maxed, Rydia will summon him and he'll get off 3 maxed power flares, doing far more than 9999 damage collectively - easily beating out Bahamut's damage cap - and all for the low low price of 50 mp.
In the GBA version, Abel's Lance. This weapon has a chance of casting Tornado whenever Kain attacks with it equipped, which would normally be Awesome, but Impractical since with most common enemies you'll save maybe one hit. The problem is that it bypasses immunity. On anything. Can you say "Zeromus dies in 2 hits"? Add the ring that turns Kain's Jump into a Double Jump, and that becomes "Zeromus dies in 1 action".
In the original version, Edward was solely meant as a Joke Character and as such, he was the most useless character of them all. However, with every re-release, Edward's usability has increased, to the point where he, in the DS version, is the closest thing you get to a god, once he's level 50 or above, due to the fact that he learns a crap-load of very useful abilities, and he will automatically hide when he's HP critical, thus avoiding status effects and damage similar to Kain when he uses Jump. When Edward's turn comes up, you can easily manage to actually force an elixir down his throat without a problem, thus giving him full HP and MP. He also has a certain ability called Salve which allows him to use any healing item on the entire team, thus essentially turning your Elixirs into Megalixirs from FFX or Phoenix Downs into Mega-Phoenix's, also from FFX. Unfortunately, the DS version is NOT one of the versions where you can put him back in your party later in the game. HOWEVER, all of his abilities are available as Augments if you give him enough before he leaves the party, so this still applies.
In the GBA version, Zemus and Zeromus are vulnerable to healing. This essentially means you can take a Phoenix Down and toss it at him dealing max-damage.
Similarly, in the GBA version, Zeromus' last form can be killed off by one action: Items > Mythgraven Sword > Zeromus. This is only possible in one specific version of the game, however.
In the DS version, Rosa's Pray ability became obscenely overpowered, restoring an amount of HP and MP based on the party's maximum. In every other version of the game, Pray restores a pitiful amount of HP and has a 50% amount of failing, but in the DS version, Pray works almost every time.
The Slow spell can be stacked multiple times, and most bosses aren't even immure to it. If you have a fast team buffed with haste, casting Slow on a boss 4 times will result in it rarely attack in the battle while you are able to move two, three, or even four turns in a row.
Final Fantasy V
In Final Fantasy V, Cover/Guard. The Cover ability allows a character to intercept a physical attack that would hit a low-HP character. Guard causes the user to not take damage from any physical attacks. By combining the two (or simply being a Knight, which does that for you), and having your other characters at low HP, you can beat many enemies without any risk of taking damage. Even bosses. Sure, the Guarding character won't be doing damage (unless they're also armed with the Counter ability), but that's what the other three characters are for. Use of this strategy is what makes a Low Level Run of the game possible. Combined with another bug that allowed you to Berserk any enemy (in other words, force them to only use physical attacks), or simply by taking advantage of the fact that many bosses weren't even supposed to be immune to Berserk, one could make any enemy, even the bonus bosses, laughably easy.
The spell "Quick" allowed you to immediately have the caster take two additional turns. It had a high MP cost, which curbed its abuse potential a little, but you'd be surprised what you can do with two turns, particularly if you also used X-Magic (which allowed you to cast two spells in one turn) or X-Fight (which allowed you to do 4 attacks on random enemy targets in one turn, albeit with each having reduced power).
Dual Wielding + !X-Fight + !Magicsword. Eight attacks, each at half-damage, that were guaranteed to hit, ignored defense (which more than makes up for !X-Fight halving base damage), and could be imbued with most of the game's element types, including Holy, or several of the Standard Status Effects. Or, if none of those were particularly necessary, Flare. And after the initial !Magicsword casting (itself cheapened relative to the original Black Magic cost), completely free. With the right class setup, the above could additionally be performed in response to any enemy's physical attack. Using Break as your element for "!Spellblade" is an One-Hit Kill on any enemy that doesn't have an explicit immunity to it, and higher levels of !Spellblade will also instantly kill non-boss enemies that are WEAK to an element(if it is immune to instant death, it takes Quad Damage instead). This particular combination proved so infamous for its sheer power that "Spellblade-Dual Wield-Rapid Fire!" is Bartz's Limit Break in Dissidia: Final Fantasy.
The Blood Sword is a powerful sword that absorbs the enemy's HP when you attack with it, which alone would make it a very effective weapon to use, but it has an abysmal hit rate. However, if you use !Aim, !Jump, or of course !X-Fight, you can completely circumvent the low hit rate as every attack made with these skills is guaranteed to hit. !X-Fight gets a special mention as the Blood Sword also ignores the half-damage aspect the skill. This is because the Blood Sword is considered a magic attack (!X-Fight is only supposed to be used with physical attacks, after all). So, you're getting 4 full-powered Blood Sword attacks, plus 4 half-damage hits from your second weapon (if applicable). Basically, this bumps the damage of a single !X-Fight up to SIX times your normal damage instead of a "mere" 2x. This almost always restores your health to full as well as greatly damaging the enemies, which makes every mid-game fight (and most of the end-game ones) a complete and total joke unless you're facing undead.
The Mimic command allows characters to copy the previous attacker's commands at no cost, including magic. Mimic can also be used to mimic Mimic commands, so by giving your entire team Mimic, have one character X-magic Golem, which completely negates at least one physical attack, followed by a powerful spell, have the next character mimic that, then have everyone mimic the previous mimic, every character will be both attacking and setting up a shield to block the next physical attack every single round at no cost, making it impossible for an opponent with nothing but physical attacks to do anything but sit there and take damage as all its attacks are blocked... and through use of the above-mentioned berserk bug, all monsters can be made to use nothing but physical attacks.
The best application: Bacchus Wine (causes berserk to any enemy), then Golem + summon of choice. Mime that until the enemy is dead.
Ordinarily, if a player summons Odin when one or more enemies on the screen is immune to it, the spell will not work regardless of whether any of the other enemies are vulnerable. However, if the player uses the Magic Lamp, the spell can be used, and all of the enemies that are vulnerable die. This is especially useful against Neo-Exdeath, as Odin can kill some of its parts.
The GBA version fixed the Berserk bug, which heavily nerfs the Cover/Guard and Golem game breakers, but it makes up for it with one of its new jobs, Gladiator. The !Finisher command randomly does one of three things: it strikes the enemy with an automatic Critical Hit, it hits the enemy with an elemental attack, or it does nothing. Which sounds rather gimmicky, until you realize that the elemental attacks will always hit the damage cap. By simply leveling the Gladiator job to level 2 for all characters (or simply staying in the Gladiator job, which has !Finisher as an intrinsic command), you can have a full party of characters dealing 9999 damage roughly twice per collective turn, making any enemy not immune to the elements an utter joke.
The hero song, though impossible to get if you don't know exactly what to do at the exact right time, lasts as long as your bard don't perform any other action and continuously increase your characters' levels for that one battle. Sing for long enough and your characters will be outright invincible.
The !Catch command allows your characters to capture an enemy monster, one monster per character, and then !Release them in a later battle. !Release monsters can deal enormous damage, as well they should considering how annoying it can be to !Catch them and the fact that !Release is a one-time deal, but if you know which monsters to !Release, you can trivialize absolutely any enemy in the game. To wit, one monster's !Release attack is Almagest, aka That One Attack from the final boss that deals absurd levels of damage to everything and drains the health of any survivors - and this monster has more magic power than the final boss, which is quite significant considering Almagest is a magic-based attack. Even worse than that, though, is Breath Wing. Breath Wing deals (max HP/4) damage to all enemies, and there is nothing in the entire game immune to it. Doesn't sound enormously broken, until you realize that you have four characters in your party, and all of them can Catch the same Breath Wing monster, allowing the party to KO absolutely any boss in the game in one collective turn, including some of the most deadly Bonus Bosses in Final Fantasy history.
Another one comes from the Objet d'Art enemies in the basement of Castle Bal. These are vastly stronger than most normal enemies, and can come in groups of five, leading to the feel of a WolfpackBoss in Mook Clothing. So what makes them a Game Breaker? They're level 45, which means they can be beaten by Level 5 Death - a multitarget instant kill. And because they're so powerful apart from this crippling weakness, they drop enormous amounts of Gil and ABP for that stage of the game. It's not even a chore to find them, since they are the only possible encounter in the area, which is utterly infested with them. By just hanging around there with at least one character capable of casting Blue Magic, you can have a midgame full of characters with endgame-level abilities, and more money than you know what to do with. This, by the way, is a Game Breaker in its own right even once you've bought everything you'll ever need, because of...
!Zeninage, the Samurai job's intrinsic command, has the user throw money at all enemies. It's an expensive command, but it deals absolutely ludicrous amounts of damage - enough to take out almost every midgame boss in a few shots, and almost every encounter in a single shot. Bribing Your Way to Victory has never been quite this direct.
Final Fantasy VI
Wind God Gau in Final Fantasy VI. Gau can learn monster skills ("rages"), which when used cause Gau to randomly alternate between a regular attack and that skill at the cost of being uncontrollable for the rest of the battle. Wind God Gau combines the Stray Cat rage ("Catscratch"), which hits for 400% normal damage; the Merit Badge relic, which allows him to equip weapons (otherwise not possible); the Offering relic, which allows him to attack four times in one turn, and the Tempest sword, which randomly casts a powerful Wind attack (boosted by Catscratch's power modifier) on the entire enemy party. If you don't have an Offering to spare, you can use a Genji Glove (allow dual wielding) and a second Tempest (stolen from a certain boss). This was corrected in the GBA remake, by not allowing Gau to equip the Merit Badge.
A lesser known, but arguably equally broken, abuse of Gau's rages does not involve exploiting any glitches, but is a legitimate use of a particular Rage. The Rafflesia Rage uses the special move "Entice" which basically causes the enemy to convert to the side of the caster, and will damage itself indefinitely. Normally, spells like this would be blocked by immunity but not one enemy in the game is immune to it. The spell may miss occasionally, but it cannot be blocked indefinitely. Use of this rage on the ultimate bosses of the game renders them as helpless pets, who will do nothing but damage themselves for the rest of battle unless the caster (either Gau or Gogo) dies.
The Intangir rage seems useful...then Gau casts Pep Up, which gives his HP and MP to another party member and removes him from battle. However, if you cast Mute on Gau, he can't use Pep Up. Using Intangir on a Muted Gau will make him absorb all elemental attacks and almost every status ailment. Unless you're up against something with Stop, an instant death attack, or non-elemental magic, Gau will be untouchable for the rest of the fight.
The Rhinox/Destroyer rage can cast Life 3/Reraise for free. A Rhinox'd Gau will cast and maintain Life3 on everyone in your party, removing any risk.
Another infamous trick is the Psycho Cyan glitch. By having Cyan use his "Retort" tech, killing him, and then turning him into an Imp, you activate two glitches, the combination of which causes Cyan to respond to any attack, including his own, with a standard attack on the enemy side. This would cause him to attack, respond to his own attack with an attack, and respond to that attack with another attack, and so on, until the entire enemy side is dead. Better still is that unlike Wind God Gau and Vanish/Doom (see below), they didn't fix it in the GBA version; they just changed the process of activating it.
In addition, the combination of the spells "Vanish" and "Doom" (or X-Zone) in Final Fantasy VI resulted in a Useless Useful Spell actually working. On everything, even Hopeless Boss Fights. "True" gamers felt this was too easy. This was fixed in the GBA remake (it still works on monsters susceptible to instant death spells normally - Vanish does give magic a perfect success rate, after all - but not on everything). Note that if X-Zone was used on Bonus Boss Doom Gaze, you didn't get the rewards for killing him, as the proper scripts wouldn't execute (though it also wouldn't stop him from appearing as killing him normally does.)
And by killing dinosaurs in a particular forest you could get Economizers (Celestriad if you're playing the GBA rerelease), relics which reduce the cost of all spells to 1 MP. Even the ridiculously expensive spell Ultima that can take out the Final Boss in a few hits.
Add in Quick and the Soul of Thamasa (which allows you to doublecast). You can cast five Ultima spells for the cost 6MP total.
The Economizers (Celestriads), however, become less useful if you consider another game breaker, the Osmose spell, which drains MPs from enemies and works on virtually every enemy except the undead. It's essentially a free MP recharge. It does waste a turn, unlike the Economizer/Celestriad, but it doesn't take up a relic slot. With the Economiser/Celestriad, you can simply use Osmose to recharge your MP stock, should it somehow fall low. And Zoneseek, the Esper that teaches Osmose, can be found as soon as you reach Jidoor, if you've got the patience to wait for it to come up in the Auction House.
The Genji Glove (which allows dual wielding of any two weapons) can be paired with the Offering/Master's Scroll (four attacks for the price of one). Wield the strongest weapons with those relics and the final boss just becomes a challenge of getting the first attack off before he does his opening move. It's one of the few ways you can actually defeat Chupon/Typhon in the arena.
The Ultima/Atma Weapon, Valiant Knife, and Fixed Dice also deserve mention. The Ultima Weapon and Valiant Knife both have the incredible property of completely ignoring the enemy's defense rating. The damage they do is only dependent on the wielder's HP (Ultima Weapon does more damage with more HP, inverse with the Valiant Knife) and Strength rating. This means it is possible to do 9999 damage on a low level enemy, or the final ultimate boss, with equal ease. The Fixed Dice has it's own damage calculation, so the damage done is determined only by luck. Combined with a Master's Scroll relic to attack four times, Setzer can deal massive damage to any enemy in the game, regardless of defense. Oh, and all three of these weapons has 100% ACCURACY so they will NEVER miss.
You can also turn a character into an Imp, and equip the normally feeble Imp Halberds, a Genji Glove, and an Offering and watch a mid-level character dish out 9999 damage 8X..
Furthermore, a bug in the SNES version allowed you to actually return to where you find the Atma Weapon and get an extra one. This could be repeated as many times as you wanted, or until you ran around with 99 Atma Weapons in your inventory, not knowing what to do with them. They could be sold either.
It's telling that dual-wielding the Ultima Weapon with the Blood Sword (which heals the wielder with every strike) is nowhere near the most broken tactic in the game, despite allowing a character to consistently hit for the Ultima Weapon's full power.
In the SNES version, the stat MBlock, which should only determine the rate at which a character dodges magic attacks, thanks to a glitch also determines this for physical attacks. Therefore raising your MBlock to 255 allows you to dodge virtually anything. This is fixed in the Game Boy Advance version, but it's still possible (albeit much harder, and only on a few characters) to get both evasion stats to 255, causing the same result.
You don't need 255. 128 is enough for most characters, though due to an oddity, some characters need about 131.
A different sort of Game Breaker is the Lete River area: there's a point where, if you've got a turbo controller, you can put a heavy object on the "A" button, walk away, and come back a week later to a party of max-level characters. Although this won't give characters the proper stat boosts since most of their gains come from leveling up with Espers equipped. Although you can get some Espers before the world is torn apart, the better Espers with the nicer stat boosts aren't found until then. One character (Locke) doesn't get any bonus from this, however.
This can be done with an Auto controller even more easily. If left on for five days, your characters will be around Level 88. It takes much longer to gain additional levels, due to the large increases in XP needed.
The desert near of Maranda allows you to learn the game's best spells in an hour; this can work with the above Ultima/Quick combinations to easily massacre your opponents.
Another one is Setzer's Slot command, with which it is possible to get Joker Doom, which instantly wins the battle, and it works against most enemies and bosses. To limit its usefulness, it's usually impossible to get, even if your reflexes are perfect. However, thanks to the way the game's Random Number Generator works, if you use an Echo Screen at the beginning of the battle and then use Slot, it's always possible to get it, making it only a question of reflexes.
You may combine some of the above with Palidor (Quetzalli if you're playing the GBA version). Wait until everyone's ATB gauge is full, then summon Palidor/Quetzalli. While the animation's going, but before it's complete, have everyone choose to attack the enemy. Palidor/Quetzalli will scoop them up, and each will do the jump attack, then immediately follow up with their second attack, so you can sneak in eight attacks (more if you're doing the Genji Glove/Offering (Master's Scroll) combo on someone) in only a few seconds, while having your whole party offscreen—and thus invincible—for part of it, while the enemy can't interrupt you.
The GBA version added a couple new spells, but one of note is Valor. It triples the next physical attack (excluding multiple-hit attacks) done for all allies at the low cost of 20 MP. This can easily do Cap damage at higher levels if you've raised Strength to a high amount.
First of, this game offers the all-powerful Knights of the Round summon. Combine it with (almost) any of the game's support materia for massive fun. W-Summon makes it do a quarter of a million damage. MP Absorb makes it practically free to cast. HP Absorb plus Counter makes you completely invincible. With enough work you can build a whole character around it. The only balance? It's not available until the end of the last sidequest in the game and it takes a full minute to watch every time it's cast. However, the Quadra Magic materia works with every other summon and magic to make it be cast four times over, albeit at reduced power each time.
There's also the mechanics for learning limit breaks. Once you figure out how they work, it's really easy to find a good spot and just crank everyone's limit breaks up to the highest trainable level and watch the carnage.
Not to mention the mechanics for actually acquiring limit breaks in the first place. Killing large groups of lower-powered enemies can unlock your characters' higher level limit breaks earlier than you would otherwise. When it comes to the limits that you can only unlock by using other limits, quipping characters with crappy armor, inflicting them with fury (which reduces accuracy, but doubles the rate that the limit gauge fills) and fighting enemies with high attack power (such as Capparwires in the forests in the Junon area, which also appear in large groups) causes them to suffer much higher damage than they normally would and allows you to learn the limits faster.
This game has one of the single greatest Game Breakers for obtaining money in RPG history, considering the fact that all you have to do is master an "All" materia and sell it. A single star "All" materia sells for nothing, but a five star master "All" materia sells for 1,400,000 gil at any store which should provide enough money for the rest of the game. The real kicker is the fact that "All" is an extremely early and easy materia to find, as well as levels up considerably quicker than most other materia. On the downside you can only buy it in one place (Fort Condor), and at 20,000 gil it's the second most expensive buyable materia (behind Ultima, though this only has to be bought if you screw up the Corel huge Materia quest), but the downside pales in comparison to its pros. It gets better considering the fact that when you master a materia, you get a fresh one star copy of the five star materia allowing you to master it all over again, which means you can repeat the cycle as many times as you want, and considering that "All" is undoubtedly of the most essential and fundamental materia to master, it's a safe bet that you have a mastered "All" materia pretty soon in the game.
Vincent's ultimate weapon deals damage based on the number of enemies he's killed with it. Kill 65535 enemies and it's an instant kill on anything due to its damage formula overflowing so that it ends up doing negative damage, which triggers a failsafe script that instantly kills anything he hits with it. Due to this, it can even one-shot Sequential Bosses at their first stage.
to a lesser extent every ultimate weapon does this. They each have the ability to do 9999 damage, when most melee attacks will only do ~1000 damage when the gamer first gets hold of the easier weapons. These weapons all have methods that power them up, such as having high MP or HP, and are weaker when unpowered; but it's usually absurdly easy to satisfy these conditions so that you always hit for 9999 damage, invalidating all spells that don't do multi hits. Special note goes to Barret, Tifa, and the aformentioned vincent, who's ultimate weapons stay at full power once powered up and can never grow weaker.
Like most Final Fantasy games, the spells you learn from your enemies could be the most game-breaking of all:
Beta is available very early on in the game. If you're good or lucky, this nuclear chainsaw will cut through the rest of the first disc without any effort. It's three times more powerful than the second-strongest attack you'll have at that point.
White Wind, which can also be obtained really early in the game, is basically all of the healing materia in the game, except for revive, mashed together for less MP than any one of its weaker cousins. It recovered your teammates by how ever many health points the caster has, so if the caster has 9999 HP when they use this move, their allies both recover 9999 HP also. Just keep the caster's health high, and your team was in good shape. And as an added bonus, its status restoring properties make it functionally an instant death spell when used against undead.
Big Guard puts Barrier, MBarrier, and Haste on your whole party (effectively halving all incoming damage and doubling party speed), in one turn, for 56 MP. And it's insultingly easy to obtain, if you know where to get it.
Trine, which has an absurdly low cost for the damage it does; for comparison, the summon Ramuh (which deals damage with exactly the same properties as Trine) does half the damage for double the cost. And Trine is powerful enough to wipe out entire swarms of mooks in a single shot until around the end of disc 2. You know, around the time it's possible to get W-Item and after the time it's possible to get Knights of the Round.
Goblin Punch, which is incredibly easy to obtain if you know where to find it, and does an obscene amount of damage for 0 MP.
Magic Hammer, which pretty much gives you infinite MP.
There's also the W-Item materia. It's supposed to just allow you to use two items in one turn, but thanks to a glitch it allows you to infinitely clone any item that you can use in battle...such as the normally rare Hero Drinks, which increase all your character's stats for that one battle. After using four of these, no boss in the game without Weapon in its name can stand up to you and the arena becomes a complete joke. Or Megalixirs, which in mass quantities completely remove the need for MP conservation, allowing you to replace the aforementioned Trine with uber attacks that until then had been Awesome, but Impractical due to MP cost. It even includes the greens you use to power up your Chocobos, allowing you to basically put your Chocobo on steroids and win everything.
Like V above, Mime returns to screw the game up.
Command Counter. When hit the character would Counter Attack with a mime of the last action your party performed. Naturally, this can lead you to miming a double summon of Knights of the Round and then on your actual turn repeating it. This was especially notable with enemies that dealt physical damage to all characters in the party because each one of them (if equipped with Command Counter+Mine), they would Mime the Mimed Knights of the Round. This reduced even the strongest enemy in the game to putty.
Even worse: Barret with Ungarmax. After loading him up with a few Hero Drinks, let him do this, let the enemy attack him, and watch as Barret unleashes up to 144 attacks each worth about 5000+ damage apiece.
A great place to use mime is in the arena, because you can actually mime limit breaks like Omnislash. So go in with a full limit break and just keep mime-ing. This is especially useful because you can then take some on the high scoring penalties and they will not affect you, like all green material breaking. This along with the hero drinks mention above makes the area a joke.
If a character's HP hits exactly 7777 on the dot, they will start automatically attacking enemies for 7777 damage. 62 times. The Mini spell, normally a Useless Useful Spell, reduces all physical damage caused by one enemy to 1, but there's nothing stopping you from using it on your own characters. By using enough HP Plus materia for 9999 HP, the Demi spell (deals 1/4 max HP in damage) will leave you at 7499 HP - attack with the Mini-ed character 22 times, then use 3 of the lowest level healing potion to heal 100 HP each, and we have instant overkill of any non-Bonus Boss enemy in the game. It helps that Emerald Weapon has an attack that deals 1111 damage for every materia on your characters - you can see where this is going.
Go into Emerald WEAPON with 9999 HP and two materia on one character. Let Emerald use Aire Tam Storm, which inflicts 1111 damage for each Materia equipped. Instant Lucky 7s.
A comparitively lesser one, but the Morph ability can be used like this. The morph ability does little damage, but if it kills an opponent the opponent will be morphed into a specific item, with each monster having a specific item it morphs into. The end game has a sunken plane where every monster is absurdly powerful, but morphs into a stat boosting item. This by itself isn't too much of a game breaker, the effort of cherry tapping the games hardest foes to death is so extreme that you deserve the boost you get. That is until you explore the sunken plane a little and discover Yuffie'sultimate weapon which can one do full damage attack when using morph, making it absurdly easy to collect these stat boosting items, the game starts to get a bit more broken.
You can equip an accessory called Brutal that raises the maximum damage you can do to 99999. If you then use the Costly Punch materia, you will do 99999 damage with it. All for the low cost of a tiny bit of HP...
And that same Costly Punch can be upgraded to raise your max HP to 1099% of its natural value, provided you have an accessory to break the HP limit.
Well, increasing stat bonus of your materia is the only way to max your stats, although even without it, Brutal and Costly Punch allows you to One-Hit Kill any boss in story mode. On the other hand, you can't even think about killing strongest boss in side missions if you don't have Costly Punch and Brutal and haven't maxed at least some of your stats. After all, she has only 10 000 000 HP (she can heal herself too), not to mention her deadly attacks.
Final Fantasy VIII
FFVIII's junction system, combined with the game's Dynamic Difficulty, makes it phenomenally easy to put together game breakers once you know how to use it effectively. Quezacotl's Card and Card Mod and the various GF item-refining abilities can be used to stock the characters up with magic to junction to and boost their stats. Card also prevents the party from earning XP for enemies thus transformed, keeping everyone's levels low; if the player avoids Level Grinding and focuses on refining and junctioning high-end magic instead, the party's stats quickly outstrip those of their enemies.
Playing the card game makes it even easier. Once you've gotten your first few unique GF cards in disc 1, as long as you take care to avoid spreading the Random rule it's possible to win most games simply by having a vastly overpowered deck, which in turn enables you to win more powerful unique cards. All of these can then be modified into items that can be used for weapon upgrades, GF augmentation, and refining more magic. In particular, the Gilgamesh card (obtainable through a card game sidequest that's available starting in disc 2) and the Laguna card (obtainable in disc 3) can be refined into items which make either one character or the whole party completely invincible for a short period of time, in quantities sufficient to get you through the endgame and both Bonus Bosses.
Keeping a character at low HP allows them to execute their Limit Breaks every turn:
Selphie's Confusion Fu limit break includes two One-Hit Kill spells, "Rapture" and "The End," the latter of which works even on bosses. Including the final boss. It doesn't come up often, but by exploiting some minor flaws in the game's programming it's possible to make it unable to perform the next character's action, allowing the player to keep rolling indefinitely until The End comes up.
Irvine's Shot limit break combined with the AP Ammo (Armor Piercing Ammunition) which goes straight through enemy defenses and can easily do max damage each shot. The best part about this is that AP Ammo shoots fast and easy to obtain, although Pulse Ammo takes the damage Up to Eleven despite shooting a little bit slower.
Quistis's Degenerator limit break - available in disc 1 via item drop or card mod - is another One-Hit Kill that works on pretty much anything but bosses.
This gets even worse when you use this on really strong enemies like T-Rexaur, Snow Lion, or Ruby Dragon, which almost guarantees enough experience for an automatic level up with each victory.
If you make sure that the only offensive magic in Rinoa's list is Meteor, her Angel Wing limit break becomes ridiculous, especially when combined with speed exploits. In short, it spams Meteor. Incessantly.
With a good strength junction and decent finger speed, Zell can pretty much destroy anything simply by alternating the two most basic moves of his limit break over and over again, a trick Awesome yet Practical enough to earn the Fan Nickname "Armageddon Fist." It gets even worse with high Luck, which at high levels can make every other attack a Critical HitFor Massive Damage.
The risk of leaving characters at low HP is easily offset by another absurdly simple junction setup: set Squall with the Cover and Counter abilities and junction 100 Drain spells to Status-Attack-J. Leave the other two party members' HP as low as you like; Squall will take the hits for them and immediately counterattack, replenishing his own HP with every hit. And he always hits.
Better yet, give him the Defend and Darkside commands as well. Activate Defend at the start of battle, and Squall will take every physical attack for zero damage, then retaliate. And if you feel like ending the battle quickly, Darkside will triple his damage output while Drain-attack renders the HP loss trivial. I have quite literally won boss battles by activating Defend, then leaving the room to cook and eat dinner.
Finally, another thing that makes spamming Limit Breaks even more convinient is the fact that the game recalculates the chance to perform one every time you press Triangle to switch characters, even if there aren't any other characters available. It's also surprisingly easy to avoid skipping over an opportunity to use one even if you mash the button repeatedly, both because the command window expands horizonally when one's available for anyone whose limit name is longer than 6 characters and because there's a noticeable pause before the game allows you to switch characters again once the window pops up if a limit is available.
The Pain spell counts as this mainly because it causes Poison, Darkness, and Silence all at the same time. Junctioning 100 Pain spells to your attack pretty much guarantees that all but the strongest enemies in the game will be rendered completely weakened for the remainder of the battle, considering that most enemies and even some bosses are vulnerable to at least one if not all of Pain's status effects. You can also junction 100 Pain spells into your defense, making you immune to Poison, Darkness, and Silence which are fairly status effects from the enemies, even early on. This is even better considering that all you need is the "Status Magic Refine", an ability received from several GF's including Diablos who's found very early on, along with very common items called Curse Spikes. You can make 10 Pain spells for one curse spike, and with enough curse spikes, you can easily set up each of your party members with 100 Pain spells. This is arguably the main reason why the Pain spell is so much harder to get in the later games.
The fact that Squall can get his Lionheart weapon extremely early after the school becomes mobile, and pretty easily with a little bit of luck in item stealing. The majority of the item he needs can be made from cards, won in battles, or stolen from enemies pretty easily early on, but the one thing he needs is 12 Pulse Ammo (which are another Game Breaker for Irvine) that's usually found in the later half of the game, unless you take the school to one of the southern islands, and search in the barren terrain area until you find an electric creature called a Blitz, and hope you can steal a Power Generator from it. The Power Generator is the Blitz's rare item hold, which means that you can only steal it instead of winning it after the battle, and enemies only have one item at a time, which means you might have to mug a lot of Blitzes before you find a Power Generator. Once you find the Power Generator and have the right ability, you can convert it into 20 Pulse Ammo, which means that assuming you have the other necessary items, Squall can get his Lionheart weapon, and leave 8 Pulse Ammo for Irvine making this a complete win-win situation.
Who said you needed to wait until the school becomes mobile? The Lionheart can be forged as early as Disc 1, provided you have the right items. Particularly patient players can obtain 20 Elnoyle cards from various people (Cid, Zell's mom, Quistis's fans...) and convert them into Energy Crystals, which then can be converted into Pulse Ammo, all that on the first CD. This takes a lot of time, but it's relatively easy, provided you're patient enough; Plus, you'll most likely get other rare cards along the way, which can be refined into other cool items.
On Disk 3, fly to the Island Closest to Heaven and the Island Closest to Hell, equip the "Encounter None" ability received from Diablos on someone in your party, and keep drawing magic from the hidden draw points. It takes a while to recharge after each draw, but after a while you'll be able to give each member of your party 100 of the best magic spells in the game like Meteor, Flare, and Ultima to junction however you want to raise your stats to godly levels.
The fun doesn't stop there. Junction 100 Ultima spells to your magic defense, and you will be immune to all elemental magic, which means that only high level magic like Meteor, Flare, and Ultima can hurt you. This makes the final dungeon considerably easier, especially since 7 out of the 8 bosses use regular elemental magic, and are weakened substantially because of it. The other boss has non-elemental magic, but has low enough HP to defeat it before it can really damage you if you maxed out everyone's high level magic with the trick described above and junctioned those spells to your stats to make everything go quicker.
Another way of abusing the Dynamic Difficulty involves Guest Star Party Members Seifer (in disc 1) and Edea (in disc 3). Letting the other party members get KOed and Level Grinding with the guest party member can, if you're willing to grind that much, leave a comparatively low-level party with level 99 GFs and high-end spells like Firaga with no effect on the party's average level once the guest character leaves.
Any GF that eventually gains an ability that has the word "Bonus" in it, like Ifrit who gets "Strength Bonus", Siren who gets "Magic Bonus", Leviathan who gets "Spirit Bonus", Carbunkle who gets "Vitality Bonus", or Brothers who get "Health Points Bonus", mainly because learning these abilities early on from low levels and keeping these GF's attached to your party members will give them significant and permanent boosts in their stats that will last them for the rest of the entire game.
Special mention to Ifrit who you get extremely early after you start the game, and can get "Strength Bonus" to boost you from really low levels onward.
In general the GFs are, as already demonstrated above, far more useful for their junction abilities than as actual summons, but there are exceptions:
Doomtrain's summon sequence attempts to hit the target with every status effect in the game. While most of these are ineffective, Vit-0 almost always works, greatly increasing the amount of damage the party can dish out - and unlike most of the Standard Status Effects, it doesn't wear off during combat.
Bahamut's long summon sequence, which gives you plenty of time to boost his power to maximum, and he has a non-elemental attack which means that it can't be blocked or absorbed by other enemies.
Eden's absurdly long summon sequence gives the player ample time to abuse the Boost option. Max your compatibility so you can summon it up within a couple of seconds and watch it completely ignore the damage cap by about 40,000+ points to all enemies.
The Meltdown spell, which is available once you reach Trabia, will inflict Vit-0 on any and all enemies in the game, including the bosses, including Omega Weapon, 99.9% of the time. It hardly ever fails. Combine this with Aura (another potential gamebreaker that allows the use of Limit Breaks regardless of health), and you too can experience the fun of spamming Renzokuken on enemies who are literally defenseless.
The fact that you can you the use See D exams at any point after you graduate early on to raise Squall's See D rank to maximum as early as level 30, if not sooner should you have a decent rank from your graduation, pretty much guarantees that you will receive an absurd amount of money early on, since your salary and rate of payment are directly based on your See D rank level. Being a high-level See D member definitely has its advantages.
You want the ultimate way to farm gil? Once you have Call Shop, Haggle and Sell-High from Tonberry, buy 100 Tents and Cottages from Esthar Shop!!! for 210,000 gil. Refine them into 75 Mega Potions with Med-RF skill. Sell 75 Mega Potions for 562,500 gil giving you a 352,500 profit! Wash, rinse, repeat, use the spoils to buy GF stat-boosting skill items, refine them into permanent stat boosts.
Final Fantasy IX
Partially due to the fact that the battle system maxed out at doing one hit of 9999 damage and a maximum boss HP of 65535, you can use skills and abilities like Soul Blade (with Masamune equipped, anything vulnerable to Death spells WILL die in 10 seconds 100% of the time), a time based Auto-Regen (Especially when combined with Boosted summon spells). Hell, the Ability system as a whole will let your characters do a bunch of boosts at the same time, including, but not limited to, Auto-Life, Auto-Regen, Auto-Haste, Auto-Reflect, Auto-Potion, Long Reach, Various magic/attack boosts, etc... Once you get to a high enough level, you'll be regening back to full power as fast as they can damage you, if they manage to hit you at all.
Alternately, you can use the Ability system to make yourself immune to most monsters' status attacks. Status effects like Heat, Venom and Confuse are pretty bad...unless you've got Body Temp, Antibody and Clear Headed equipped all at once to make yourself immune to them. In other games, you'd have to equip a Ribbon or some other powerful Accessory to get this much protection, but you can do it for your entire party if you're willing to teach everyone all the abilities, which is actually very easy.
Whether it's a Good Bad Bug or something else going on, but with at least Auto-Haste and Auto-Regen, characters will become invincible so as long as something doesn't hit for their max HP, as Regen will fire off every millisecond.
There's Zidane's, Quina's and especially Freya's defense-ignoring 9999 hit spells. Low MP requirements, no available early in the game, though you're unlikely to fulfill the requirements of Quina's until near the end of the game, but that's alright because...
Many of Quina's Blue Magic spells. Bad Breath, Level 5 Death, Night (combined with your party equipping the Insomniac ability), Magic Hammer, Mighty Guard, Limit Glove, Angel's Snack, White Wind... whether its attacking, defending or healing, at full or low HP, Quina is easily a top tier character, even without his/her maxed out Frog Drop.
Vivi's Doomsday ability (combined with the party equipped with armor or accessories that negate, or better yet, absorb Shadow element) against any enemy that doesn't negate or absorb Shadow element.
Steiner's Shock ability which does max damage to practically anything it hits regardless of their stats.
Amarant in general counts for this due to his high attack strength, his solid stats, and his versatility in his move set. He can cause direct damage, cast status effects, restore party members' health and magic points, and can even revive them all by himself.
The best part about Amarant is his first move "Chakra" restores a little bit of health and magic for a small amount of his own magic which means that when he uses the move on himself, the move pays for itself. Even better is the fact that later on, he can learn an ability to strengthen "Chakra".
Eidolons with Boost and the corresponding items maxed out in your inventory will generally do at or around 9999 HP of damage (especially with Elemental bonuses) while simultaneously taking long enough to allow your characters to heal to full.
ReflectX2 + Carbuncle + casting high level reflectable spell on your own party = the only real way to break 9999 damage in one attack in the entire game.
That, and Steiner's "Charge!", which makes every character at critical health attack with their basic attack without using up their turn.
The ability Auto-Regen gives you back health not based on turns but rather on an actual amount of time. Hence making sure summons were on full animation rather would give you more health than the quicker "part animation". The full Ark, for instance, could get you from 1hp to about 5,000hp, if not more.
Freya can also abuse Auto-Regen at will by simply using her Jump attack. This is especially effective if she is in Trance mode as she remains off-screen for the duration of the Trance and can regenerate health while totally invulnerable to attack. She can also use Dragon Crest, which is powered by the number of dragons slain by the party. When maxed out, Crest will do 9999 damage every time for only 16MP. So long as Freya is protected from status effects, rotating Jump and Dragon Crest is a fairly easy well to kill almost any boss in the game.
Rikku's Limit Break lets her combine two items to create a spell. Game breaking spells include Trio of 9999, Quartet of 9, Chaos Grenade, Calamity Bomb, Final Elixir, Hyper Mighty Guard... "No Sphere Grid" runs rely on Trio of 9999.
To clarify: Trio of 9999 makes every single effect you use do 9999 damage or healing. Use it with Tidus's and Wakka's best Overdrives to get 6 and 12 hits of 9999 respectively. Conveniently, the 2nd to last boss (much more difficult than the Anticlimax Boss that you fight after him) has 180,000 hp, letting the combination of these three Overdrives kill him with no trouble. And even if you don't have Tidus's and Wakka's best Overdrives, just about any attack that hits a decent amount of times (Lulu's Overdrive with weaker spells or certain items, for example) is usually enough to hand many regular enemies and bosses their asses. Finally, Trio of 9999 doesn't just apply to damage, it also applies to healing. Potion? 9999 HP. Cure spell? 9999. Pray? 9999. Say hello to ridiculously cheap healing.
Wakka in his entirety is this considering that he has the second highest attack stat next to Auron, and the highest accuracy in the game, meaning he can easily hit airborne enemies and bosses that the other characters have trouble hitting. He starts as a Glass Cannon until he finishes his section of the sphere grid and moves into Auron's which means that his attack builds up even higher, and his defense is significantly increased. Combined with the fact that he's probably the first character to learn negative status moves, and he gets even more broken. At the end of the game this is taken Up to Eleven if he has his World Champion weapon activated at its full power, and also because he can be recruited for blitzball where he becomes a Game Breaker in this as well after his stats are raised enough.
The titular character Tidus also has this capability. However, he can become even more broken once you get his Blitz Ace overdrive. Combine a high-speed Tidus with piercing damage weapons, and increase his strength and speed to preposterous levels (Auron's sphere grid area) and the fast enemies that Wakka cannot hit turns into mush. Take his Caladbog weapon at full strength and watch even bosses fall literally in ten seconds or less
In Blitzball, Tidus's Jecht Shot (after winning the mini-game) can count as broken with its long range and high power. It even beats up two defenders along the way. About Jecht Shot 2...
The Celestial Weapons. A few of them grant the One MP Cost ability which reduces the cost of all spells to ONE MP. That includes spells like Flare, Holy and Ultima.
Special mention goes to Wakka's "World Champion" weapon since it's one of the most powerful (if not THE most powerful) and the easiest weapons to get both the Jupiter Crest and the Jupiter Sigil for, considering that all you have to do to get the sigil is play a lot of blitzball and it will eventually be a prize for winning. This leads to another Game Breaker in blitzball with Tidus' Jecht Shot to easily overwhelm your opponents, and once you got all of Tidus' key moves, you had a chance of winning the Jecht Shot 2 which takes the original Jecht Shot Up to Eleven and pretty much guarantees victory over any team.
The Jecht Shot is just straightforwardly ridiculous, especially when Tidus's HP gets high enough to spam it. Oh, hey there enemy defenders. Guess what? You're not relevant.
Honestly, Yuna's Nirvana is also really, really effective and by far the easiest weapon to get, if you know where to look. If you don't have time to blow on blitzball or butterflies, her weapon is the best time investment in a regular FFX playthrough. All you have to do to fully upgrade it is collect all the aeons, which are, as detailed below, game-breakers in themselves. Combine the Nirvana's One MP Cost and Break Damage Limit with the Black Magic Spheres or Teleport Spheres - whichever is most convenient - and you have a mage who can can cast all White Magic including Holy and high-level Black Magic of your choice, including Ultima, all for One MP. Ultima and Holy both break the damage limit almost as soon as you obtain them. Oh, and then when Yuna gets bored, she can summon Anima, The Magus Sisters or, if you're filthy rich, Yojimbo. Yuna goes from a white mage who pops in from time to time to heal the characters to the only mage you will ever need.
Tidus's Caladbog is, although very difficult to fully upgrade, can become extremely powerful and fast once you move Tidus into Auron's Sphere Grid. With this, Tidus probably has the second highest evasion (next to Rikku) with high speed and extremely damaging attacks that could turn Braska's Final Aeon into mincemeat within three normal attacks. Actually, there are a few combinations that makes Tidus unstoppable in different ways: If Tidus has completed Wakka's sphere grid area in addition to his own, you'll get a agile fighter who can easily take out the flying enemies without needing to rely on magic or Wakka's blitzball attacks. Send Tidus into Auron's grid and you'll get someone who can beat up the toughest enemies who cannot even take a turn.
If you know how to manipulate it, Yojimbo's skill "Zanmato". It's not a Limit Break, but it is literalinstant death to any enemy in the game. Period. No enemy is actually immune to Zanmato, so...if you have a decent supply of Gil and enough time, you can rampage through the game pretty easily off of that one attack.
Mindy of the Magus Sisters summon has the Passado attack, which does 15 high-damage hits. As anyone who has played their share of Final Fantasy games, multi-hit attacks have the potential to be incredibly powerful, and Passado is no exception. Thanks to the Magus Sisters naturally having Break Damage Limit (which increases the damage cap of one hit from 9999 to 99,999, key term being "one hit"), if you max out Mindy's Strength to 255, she can inflict 15 hits of 99999 on almost any enemy in the game that isn't a total Stone Wall. 15 hits of 99,999 HP per hit = 1,499,985 HP of damage inflicted. And unlike other high-damage multi-hit attacks, it's not an Overdrive; in fact, the Magus Sisters' Overdrive, being a single-hit attack (or 6 hits in the European and "International" versions), is nothing compared to Passado.
Similar to the Magus Sisters' Passado, Anima's Overdrive attack, Oblivion, chains 16 hits (European/Internation version ONLY - it only hits once in other versions), which can also go up to 99,999 damage, giving a total of 1,599,984 damage. With both Anima's and Yuna's Overdrive gauges full, Yuna can Grand Summon Anima, which allows two Oblivions in a row, dealing a maximum of 3,199,968 damage. The only real problem is that Anima is difficult to get and involves a certain amount of Guide Dang It.
Quick Hit is an ability that lets you do a normal attack, but has a near instant recovery time, allowing that character to effectively take another turn before the enemy does. If the entire party spams Quick Hit, the enemy party will likely die before their turn even comes up. Combine this by casting Hastega on the party and you will probably never see the enemy's turn ever show up in the turn list. Quick Hit only costs 8 MP to use (32 in the international version), but if you are using weapons with Half MP Cost or MP Cost to One, it's trivial.
Doublecast. It allows the user to cast two black magic spells in a single turn (but for the cost of both spells), and it just so happens to lie in Lulu's section of the Sphere Grid (it is behind a few high-level Lock Spheres, but by the time you're powerful enough to make Doublecast actually worth it, you'll have the necessary spheres to reach it). In the International/European Version comes with the Expert Spehere Grid, in which Doublecast isn't even behind a single lock, and lies naturally at the end of Lulu's path, with Ultima nearby.
If you're using the Expert Sphere Grid, you may notice that Yuna's path runs straight into the end of Lulu's. Combine this with Yuna's Nirvana (the game-breaking potential of which has already been covered above), and you have a single dedicated mage with godly attack power and speed (Yuna's natural speed stat surpasses even Tidus), who can hit all enemies with Ultimatwicein a single turn for virtually no cost. Throw in Auto-Haste and Auto-Phoenix/Potion should things go awry.
Consider the Dark Knight and the Alchemist classes. The Dark Knight class had exceptionally high HP, high attack power, could become immune to Curse, Stone, Poison, Sleep, and Confuse, the Darkness attack would hit everything on screen for high damage and it sacrificed very little HP from the user. The Alchemist was far and away the best healer in the game; a White Mage had nothing on an Alchemist. Alchemists could have an infinite supply of Mega-Potions, Elixirs, and Megalixirs and mix incredibly powerful items like Final Phoenix (revive your entire party and heal for 9999) or Hi-Wall (cast Protect, Shell, and Reflect on your entire party). Alchemists also had an ability that doubled the strength of their healing items so that you could easily survive any encounter by just spamming Stash+Mega-Potion, even the Bonus Boss. Once you used a Dark Knight and Alchemist, it was hard to use anything else because all other classes were just vastly inferior to them, except for Lady Luck for its Double EXP.
To make up for these qualities, however, Dark Knight and Alchemist have low Agility, giving them longer delays between turns. This makes them not-so-great on faster enemies, like the Lacertas in Via Infinito.
Paine's Trainer class rivaled an alchemist later if you got your paws on the Ragnarok accessory, reducing all MP cost to 0. She could full-heal the party for about as much as an alchemist Mega-potion (depending on her magic stat), and much much quicker, in addition to having access to a host of other useful functions, like a haste+heal, two different reliable instant kill abilities, shields, and much more.
It also had the Cat Nip accessory, that caused all damage and healing effects to be set at 9999 when that character was in critical HP status. Now combine that with a low level Gunner ability that spams (usually) weak attacks, which will now be doing 9999 damage PER hit, and can One-Hit Kill major bosses. It was later Nerfed in the Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition; it now grants Auto-Berserk status which means no more Trigger Happy shenanigans for you!
Much worse than Cat Nip, the Lady Luck class is completely insane if you are good with those wheels... Black Sky and Cry in the Night are some rather strong nukes, dark matter is a cap-damage vs all enemies damage item, Megalixir completely heals the entire party, Megaelixir+ does the same, but also revives, Mighty Guard+ is pretty much the ultimate defensive skill and just to make it extra broken it has a spell called “CONGRATS!” which grants you instant victory against 99% of the game’s enemies while giving you outrageous amounts of money and insanely powerful rare items for free. Finally Lady Luck gives you automatic double experience, money and items after battle just in case you had any doubt as to what the best job is.
Heck, even without using the Reels, a team of Ladies Luck can coast through the main storyline thanks to their Critical ability, which makes it so their attacks always inflict critical hits.
If you follow the right procedures, you can bring O'aka onto the airship with you. He'll sell a bunch of items to you, and your purchases will go to paying off his debt. Pay it off by chapter 3 of the game and you'll turn him into the world's worst merchant. How does he make this transformation? He sells his wares for drastically lowered prices. For example, potions for 5 gil each. Buy a stack of potions and sell 'em to the Hypello just across the room. You can sell to the Hypello for 12 gil each. Buy for 5, sell for 12. What's that, a 140% profit? By buying everything you can from O'aka, you can make 26730 gil with each trip. Rinse and repeat, and you'll have no excuse to run out of money ever again.
Also, not too far into the game you get access to the accessory Bloodlust, which auto-berserks the wearer and greatly increases their strength, just about tripling their attack. This comes at the loss of a large amount of maximum health and being permanently poisoned, but the poison is no problem with Alchemist Mega Potion spam. Equip this on a Berserker class, which has naturally very high HP, access to automatic counterattacks and dodges, and Auto-Regen and use the other slot for an auto-Haste accessory; in nearly all battles you can just wait for your berserker to autoattack everyone to death in a matter of seconds. It only runs into slight problems against enemies completely immune to physical damage and enemies with attacks that will cut you to 1 HP, since the poison will often kill you shortly thereafter.
The Ragnarok accessory reduces all MP cost of skills to zero, allowing you to spam any skill with impunity. While it's more of an Infinity+1 Sword, as you can only get it in the final chapter through meeting certain conditions, said conditions, once figured out, are pretty simple to fulfill as they don't require fighting enemies (other than the usual Random Encounters) or solving difficult puzzles.
Final Fantasy XI
With Final Fantasy XI being a MMORPG, what counts as a Game Breaker is always a source of heated debate and often changed as the metagame evolved and new patches were brought in to Nerf the most obvious ones. Here are some of the more famous ones over the game's history:
Up until mid-2005, the game had an unnatural, objective bias towards ranged weapons. Damage was fixed and not subject to the random number generator, only being reduced at a near-insignificant rate by the enemy's VIT. What this meant was a shot that did 180 damage to leveling fodder did 175 to a top-tier monster. This is before one even looks at the Ranger class, which was painfully unfair. Ranged Accuracy and Attack gear was both really cheap and plentiful, with even the cheap stuff giving way better results than hard-to-get endgame gear for the other jobs. The flat curve of power and total lack of diminishing returns made it ridiculous overpowered in practically every situation. Rangers also got a couple tiers of a Ranged Accuracy-enhancing passive trait (which, as if to mock the other jobs, also affected melee), Barrage (fires five successive shots while giving full TP for each hit), and could lay down constant 1800+ damage Sidewinders when the most other jobs could hope for with their weapon skills was ~1100. The sheer number of other unintended benefits to the job were staggering and endgame consisted pretty much of "throw more Rangers at it".
Colibri. No one will ever fight a monster that parrots spells cast on it back at the party, steals the tank's food, and has a single-target TP-killing move, right? Why, you can't even debuff it! Let's make its whole region grant an XP bonus to make up for it. (Never mind that if you don't cast on it, a colibri is essentially a mage-type mob with no spells — all of the Squishy with none of the Wizard. Did I mention that the region not only has an XP bonus, but very short respawn times? Needless to say, colibri are a rich source of flame wars.)
The "avatarburn" party style. Get a bunch of Summoners, a couple of maximum-level characters, a low-level sync target, and a Corsair. Have the high-level characters get half a zone's worth of low-level mobs angry at them. Sync the actual party down to the sync target's level. Have the Corsair put up Corsair's Roll to increase the XP returns. Have the Summoners summon nearly anything, then hit Astral Flow targetting the swarm of monsters on the high-level characters. Gain tens of thousands of XP in seconds. Have the Corsair use Wild Card to attempt to reset the party's two-hours, potentially allowing you to repeat the process once things respawn. Note that the Corsair, while useful, is technically optional; you can do this really well with just the summoners, allowing more people to leech off of the instant XP at a time.
On a similar note, "manaburn" parties were popular for a while as well. The basic tactic was the same: five Black Mages and one character for pulling (either a Bard or a Red Mage for MP Regen). Designated puller attracts a monster, all Black Mages spam their highest level spells at once.
Final Fantasy XII
The game has an accessory by the name of Nihopalaoa. It gives the same effect as FFTA2's Mirror Item, but items used with it have 100% accuracy. A remedy will inflict any status ailments an enemy is not immune to, and Phoenix Down inflicts instant death. This accessory is buy-able in a store for a somewhat hefty price once you reach a high enough clan rank, which is done through fighting Marks; enough Marks beaten lets you cruise through a lot of annoying bosses. And as Marks give money, you can likely hit the Nihopalaoa's price by the time you unlock it.
Dark Matter. Basically, a Dark Matter deals damage depending on how many Knot Of Rust you've used since the last Dark Matter usage. If you use 99 Knot Of Rust, then use a Dark Matter, it usually does around 30,000 damage or more. Shemhazai has a similar effect, using the same Knots of Rust system. In effect, Shemhazai is a Dark Matter.
Some combinations of equipment. For example:
Masamune (which has the highest combo rating of any weapon) + Genji Gloves (which increases your combo rating). Prepare to get 8 to 10-hit combos every attack.
Zodiac Spear + Bravery + Adrenaline + HP Critical status = a force to be reckoned with, especially if you use Basch. Add Last Stand, Berserk and Battle Lore and you're really pushing it up to 11.
Berserk + Bravery + Hastega + Ninja Swords can decimate anything that does not resist Dark; consider the below for a guide on how to massacre the strongest boss in the game. Fran is not berserked for healing when required, and Ashe and Basch bring on the pain. Hard.
Ashe and Basch under Berserk and Bravery will always do 9,999 with Ninja Swords, given Yiazmat is a light elemental and is weak against dark. Berserk pumps their attacks per second from 0.5 to ~1.0. Haste brings it up to ~1.8. That's about 100 attacks, or 999,900 damage. Per minute. Combos. Yeah. Have them Infuse their HP down to 10 and then berserk them. The 1.8 second delay is then only applied after a string of nine to ten consecutive attacks.
On the defensive side, equipping a character with the Main Gauche and any available shield with give them an insane amount of evasion. Couple this with the spells Decoy and Reverse - "Decoy" forces enemies to attack that character while "Reverse" causes damage to heal you and healing to damage you - and you have a character who is nigh impossible to hit and who will absorb any attacks that do manage to hit them. Give a secondary character - perhaps Basch? - the epic Zodiac Spear combo above and then let a third character manage the other two and your party will slaughter anything in the game without taking a scratch of damage. Only disadvantage is that it takes quite a bit of time to unlock Reverse. It's not available for the early game but it's practically a necessity for Marks like Pylraster.
Related to the "General" tab above, XII also has something similar due to limitations of the Playstation2. When several actions are in queue, spells and abilities that are low in graphic intensity are all triggered at the same time while more powerful abilities in the same queue have to wait until all current actions are completed. When a powerful ability that is graphically intense like Holy or Scathe are used, all other actions in the queue are put on hold until the animation is done. However, regular attacks are not restricted by this rule so enemies and allies alike are free to pound each other while the powerful spell is being cast. This can be frustrating when your powerful spells go off and the enemy wails on you with its melee attacks, but it can also work to your advantage if you do it right yourself to force enemies to wait for their spells or abilities to go off.
Once you beat the last story boss in Chapter 11, you are allowed the ability to learn Limit Breaks, of which each character gets a single one. Vanille's is a variation of the spell Death, in which it deals big damage to the target and has a 1% chance to kill anything not immune to Death, increasing by 1% for every debuff applied. Players quickly discovered a method of powerleveling that does not involve running across the world map for hours: Find an Adamantoise, make everyone a Saboteur, summon Vani's Eidolon (which puts the mook into a paralysis state for about six turns), and then spam the Limit Break until the 1% kicks in and it dies. 40000 CP to use for leveling in about two minutes of work, and double that if you got some special equipment from a Bonus Boss. And the easiest way to kill said Bonus Boss? You guessed it.
There exists another use of the same spell: during the casting animation, switch paradigm to COM/COM/COM. Mind the carnage. With Genji Glove, it deals a guaranteed 999,999 damage at a high enough level and works on everything, even Long Guis, which take 17 of these to fall.
Sazh's Blitz comes pretty close, too. While the other melee characters' Blitz commands are some form of close-range Spin Attack, Sazh instead unloads his pistols in his targeted enemy's general direction. Each bullet does a little less than it would during a normal attack (somewhere around 50-75%), but he fires enough shots that if one target gets hit by them all (either because it's big or right in his face), it's much more effective than having him just use Attack.
Lightning's Army of One. Even ignoring the bugs you can trigger with it, simply spamming it on a staggered target will get the chain gauge up to 999.9% faster than anything.
Poison on vulnerable targets, which chews away at an enemy's HP at 1% of their max health a second, considering the post-arrival on Pulse difficulty spike, poison is welcome for it's effectiveness and in some situations can help you win encounters that you shouldn't be able to under other circumstances. Even the final boss' last form isn't immune to it.
In Augusta Tower 200 AF, you can obtain a monster called a Dragoon. The Dragoon is an Early Peaker monster that takes Grade 2 materials, and only needs 28 to max out. If you max level it immediately, it ends up with a murderous Strength stat (usually around 600, at the time Noel is hitting 200-250) and a ton of HP. It'll last you through the rest of the main story and well into the postgame.
The Cait Sith is one of the first two monsters you get, and will likely be permanently benched as soon as you unlock the Medic roles for Noel and Serah. However, after level 70, its Magic and HP skyrocket, usually ending up with around 900 Magic and 7000 HP. Add in a few good infusions, and sudden nothing can outdamage your healing.
The Tonberry is an excellent Commando, but that's not what makes it a game breaker. It's got a couple of passive abilities that are unique to it: Strength- and Magic +35%. No, you didn't read that wrong; that's a +35%. Tonberries are high-order Demonic Spiders, but they're relatively cheap to level up, and with Battlemania and Monster Collector active, Bresha Ruins 300 AF will be overflowing with Tonberries to satisfy all your infusion needs.
Valkyrie Lightning, if you have the Requiem of the Goddess DLC. Uncapped damage, extremely high Strength and Magic, Immovable MAX, and extremely fast attacking speed. For maximum game breaking potential, do Requiem as soon as you get access to the Historia Crux. Even at level 1, she still has over 600 Strength and Magic, and will spend most of the game slaughtering everything in your way.
Final Fantasy XIV
The Thaumaturge class, full stop. Upon release, Punishing Barbs lasted for twenty seconds dealing full unblockable counter damage to anything, even if the player actually RESISTED or BLOCKED the attack (so you could take 50 damage and deal 300 in the counter) and the only damage cap it had was the player's actual hit points, easily increased by pumping out VIT. Also, the Firm Conviction trait reduced physical damage for around 80% while casting spells and lasted a few seconds, essentially making Thaumaturges the best tankers in the game as all they needed to do was spam cure (which also generated insane hate) to keep receiving drastically reduced damage WHILE healing themselves. Then, said abilities were nerfed.....only it wasn't enough. Damage over time spells (Thaumaturges' main offensive abilities) completely ignore all defenses when applied, which means that unlike everything else in the game, their damage potential is not reduced when fightning stronger enemies or notorious monsters, making these spells the main damage source on these fights. The Shadowsear spell also ignores defense, allowing a Thaumaturge to deal 1.000+ damage in seconds if combined with Chainspell for a double casting. Not to mention Thaumaturges are better than Conjurers when using conjury abilities because of their superior Area-of-effect range, to the point the whole community pretty much agrees that the only reason to level Conjurer to 50 is to use its spells as a Thaumaturge. Did I mention that the 'best' conjurer ability, Chainspell is not class-locked while Shadowsear is Thaumaturge-only?
To add insult to the injury, there's a little ability called "Emulate", which allows Thaumaturges to copy enemies' elemental resistances...and a good deal of the monsters in the game are resistant to the same element their regular attack is based. The result? Thaumaturges are the only class able to solo all notorious monsters currently in the game. Expect merciless nerfing as soon as the battle system revamping kicks in.
Dissidia: Final Fantasy
Although hard to use, Jecht still has two skills that let him disobey the rules of the game. The first is "Jecht Block", an instantaneous move that blocks any attack - the catch is that it actually does block any attack, even the ones that are supposed to pierce blocks can't get through. The second is his EX Mode, where Jecht is allowed to keep up his combo attacks even if the first attack missesnote Cecil's Dark Step and Paladin Arts (his class-change attacks), Squall's Fusillade and Mystic Flurry, and EX-Mode Gabranth's Enrage, Relentless Lunge, and Vortex of Judgment can all also be completed without the first attack connecting.. Normally a character only gets to keep their combo going if they land the first hit, but in EX Mode Jecht can keep his combos up as long as he wants. Factor in the fact his combos are the longest and strongest in the game, and all of them chain into HP attacks. Other characters EX mode don't quite compare to the Final Aeon, but some do come close.
With the right combination of equipment, one can stunt one's character to a piddling 400HP. With 9999 initial Bravery and a full EX Gauge. There is a summon that can lock your Bravery at 9999, and EX Mode can block HP attacks, so you just need to use a single attack on the opponent; but as almost all set-ups give more than four-hundred Brave, the term "rocket tag" is quite suitable. Oh, and you could add a Phoenix Pinion to the combo, ensuring that if you got killed, you'd be healed back to 9999 HP.
According to Word of God, Exdeath is designed to be this. Yet, he's so hard to use that he's not a reguarly used character in tournaments. Regardless, he's still a formidable foe in the right hands, being able to block plenty of attacks and counter them with his normally hard-to-use attacks. He tends to be held back by the fact that he's either useless or deadly, depending entirely on whether you're a master or not.
Duodecim, it's prequel sequel sort of fixes this by making the character more...accessible. Turn guard turns and faces an enemy, blocking the brave attacks easily, and the other spells got powered up as well.
To break the battle mode of Dissidia, well—there are a few options, but Zidane is perhaps most notable. The character is fast enough to just run away from most attacks without having to block or dodge, is small and thus on the hard side to hit, the majority of his bravery attacks combo easily and chain into either chase sequences (useful if the player is good at them) or the even-more-useful Meo Twister HP attacks. And his HP attacks—the homing, long-duration, guard-crushing charge Grand Lethal is well-loved, but Free Energy is just as useful for a different reason. Sure, the range is very short, but it tracks well, and the hitbox takes a little getting used to (it can miss if the opponent is too far or too close to Zidane), but it is pretty much the fastest HP attack in the game—the only one faster is Bartz' Goblin Punch, which he only has access to in Ex Mode. With all of these, Zidane can absolutely destroy the story mode of the game, thus granting the player access to the things necessary to break the game in the other, above-described ways.
All the above is indeed well and good for breaking tournament play or optional Inward Chaos, but aren't quite gamebreakers due to requiring a great deal of skill and practice to begin to be effective, equipment and accessories so painstaking to get that almost anyone who has them can demonstrate that they don't need them, and anyways, villains like Exdeath, Gabranth, and Jecht aren't playable in the plot of Dissidia. Dodge-cancel combos are a different story, however. Some attack chains involve large hitstun to keep the opponent within range of the next part of the chain, but any chain requiring multiple button presses can be interrupted with a dodge before the next attack button is pushed; the attacker can then begin a new attack chain, and some characters can do this repeatedly to maintain these extended combos indefinitely. Furthermore, as the in-game help files state, some HP attacks can be canceled by entering EX Mode, which is another way to abuse hitstun. When you start playing online with human opponents, expect those who use Warrior of Light, Golbez, Sephiroth, and Zidane to spam their aptly-named "infinite combos" to entirely destroy the playability of the game.
In Dissidia 012 it's legitimately possible to boost your accessory multiplier to 99.9. Let's add Smiting Soul, Safety Bit and Side by Side and enable EXP to HP. Now you only have a 0.1% chance to not to instantly break your opponent and unless your opponent has the Destroyer accessory, you'll always endure a killing blow with one HP, and any HP Attack that connects your opponent will heal you, and even if you were about to be killed, you can probably Assist Change out of the attack, effectively making you Nigh Invulnerable.
Orlandu aka Thunder God Cid, who not only has ungodly stats, and knows just about all the sword abilities of several special characters (Agrias, Gafgarion and Meliadoul, to be precise) right off the bat, but also comes with freaking Excalibur free of charge. You don't even have to go to any extra effort to get him—he just gets dropped into your lap about 2/3 of the way through, so the only way to not break the game is to deliberately not use him.
Orlandu's equipment can turn the normally powerful but not overly powerful Agrias and Meliadoul into gamebreakers. Auto-haste from excalibur, plus the best armor (by a LOT) in the game gives them the same attack, speed and defense power as Orlandu himself, just with slightly less versatility in SwordTechs.
Beowulf, whose status spells are better than those of the devoted debuff class.
If you're willing to put in a little more work, you can build a character that can devastate every enemy on screen, regardless of distance or visibility, with a "Holy" spell while simultaneously healing himself, for no MP cost. If you know how to twist the game mechanics, you can pretty easily solo the entire game.
For more entertainment, we have the Ninja. They carry awesome stats in almost every category, and handing them the support ability "Martial Arts" makes a devastatingly fast, double-fisted death machine.
Give a Ninja the "Equip Spear" ability, the "Jump" ability, and optimize them with all of your speed boosting equipment and the Ultimate Javelin. For added effectiveness, learn the Lancer/Dragoon's best Jump skills. You'll have a warrior able to inflict 999 damage from eight panels away with the speed of a Short Charged, level 1 Black Magic spell.
Or the broken combo of the reaction ability "MP Switch" and "Move MP UP" which makes you completely invulnerable to damage as long as you move.
One can also raise a monk's level which can permit more damage than any weaponed character. Accumulate ability provides 10 experience and many job points (or something like that) per usage, meaning with enough time, you can level up an entire party (and their jobs) in one match as many times as you want, without doing any damage or casting any magic. Combined with haste spells (which raised speed for the match) characters could have many, many turns while enemies have one. And then you can have dual-wielding on a specific character, use "best fit" in a shop, and TWO excaliburs would be equipped, only costing 10 money a piece. Extra game breaker: only random encounters had level-matched enemies. Formal matches could have your level 99 characters facing off against level 20 enemies.
Two Dancers, paired with three Mimes. Set the Dancers to Wizzinabus. Set the controller down. Even without exploiting the way the game engine calculates damage, they can usually murder their way through just about anything before the enemy can even reach them.
In a similar vein to Orlandu, give Agrias Dual Wield, Chaos Blade and Excalibur, a Lordly Robe (optional, but its +2 attack and Wall status helps), and a Chantage. She'll be ridiculously fast, powerful, and most importantly, immortal. Alternatively, if you're playing the Updated Re-release, you can replace the Excalibur with a more powerful weapon if you have one, and replace the Chantage with the Tynar Rouge, which will take away your immortality but make you overall more powerful. You could do the same with Meliadoul, but as her attacks can only hit one target, it's not as effective.
Speaking of the Chantage, it's a game breaker in and of itself. It gives permanent Reraise to the character who wears it, meaning the only ways that character can be taken out of the battle are things like Petrify or Blood Suck, and those can be easily blocked with a Ribbon. Furthermore, if your whole team is wearing both Chantages and Ribbons, the only way you can lose a battle is for the enemy to QUICKLY kill your whole team all at once, before anyone's Reraise kicks in. The catch? Only female characters can use Chantage (and Ribbons, though Cloud can use those), and Ramza, who is male, is forced into all story battles - his Final Death is game over, so you'll still have one unit to protect.
Which is why, of course, Ramza will wear the Secret Clothes (which make him invisible to enemies right from the beginning of the battle) while Agrias rampages across the map. Give him Sunken State and even if Agrias gets hit with a debilitating status effect, the enemy has ONE SHOT and ONE SHOT ONLY to kill Ramza. Especially if he has Move HP Up.
Fairly early on in the game, Ramza has access to an ability that ups his speed by one per use. Spam it enough, and you'll start getting extra turns, and he can use it on other characters. The thing is, the faster you get, quite literally the faster you can get. The ability snowballs once you get underway, to the point where Ramza will be getting up to eight turns in a row, which is eight turns he can be upping another character's speed.
Incidentally, the fact that Wiegraf practically requires you to abuse this Game Breaker is part of why he's That One Boss. What makes it such a hard fight is evading him long enough to get your speed high enough.
The remake gives us Balthier who has the powers of the Mustadio and the thief class plus another ability that allows him to attack four times with half damage each hit, so he really deals damage equivalent to attacking twice but he can do this with any weapon he is equiped with and to top it off the attack costs no mp with the gun he comes equiped with can deal enough damage to kill virually anyone within two rounds at an eight panel distance. He also has an absurd equipment list and VERY high speed. In short Balthier is an armored ninja with a gun who can rapid fire.
Agrias and Meliadoul both are Game Breakers in their own right. It is a testament to just how overpowered Cid is that most people don't realize just how good Holy Sword and Unyielding Blade actually are in their own right. There is slight Fan Dumb involved with Meliadoul because she can't spam the same ability on every single enemy in the game and a few are immune to it.
Unyielding Blade can hit enemies without the specific equipment in the remakes (which means not even monsters are safe; they don't have any equipment to break but the attacks still do major damage) and while she isn't Orlandu, Meliadoul still hits pretty damn hard with her skillset. By default she actually hits harder than Agrias, but lacks the (surprisingly useful) status effects and the AoE attacks.
Any unit equiped with a Feather Cape and Reflexes also deserves mention. The Feather cape gives a unit 40% chance to dodge physical attacks and a 30% chance to dodge magic attacks, Reflexes doubles both chances and since it's a cape the evade bonus works on back and side attacks so a unit by default gets hit from physicals 20% at most and gets hit from magic 40% of the time. The advantage it has on Shirahadori is that it stops most magic attacks and it allows you to evade counter.
A simple, yet effective trick is the high Brave, low Faith, Item, Shirahadori combo. For every four points you modify someone's bravery or faith, one point is permanent. This means it's possible to get a character's Bravery to 97 and his Faith down to 3. This character has a 97% chance to block any physical attack (and you can pump that up to 100% by having Ramza use Yell at the start of combat) and shrug off anything magical. Only a few monster techniques, such as Choco Meteor, have any chance of dealing damage to him, as well as counter attacks and dual-wielders. Even if he does get low on hit points, he can spend a turn to use a healing item on himself.
Calculators. With a little trial and error and simple math, you have the ability to get any spell, free of cost, with no charge time, and hitting potentially every enemy in the screen at once. This method was used to solo a speed run in under five hours.
Calculators have two seemingly important shortcomings, but they're both ridiculously easy to circumvent. The first is that their stats are weak. Thus, you switch to one of the Mage classes and give the character Math Skill as their action ability. The second is that you stand a good chance of hitting your own party members along with the enemy units. But that's actually not a bug, it's a feature: just equip everybody in your party with Chameleon Robes (absorb Holy-elemental attacks) and spam Holy, picking whichever Math Skill option hits the highest number of units on the map. Since most of the strongest characters are weak against Holy and no enemies are immune to it, you'll be nuking the them and healing yourself every turn.
Hell, ANYTHING from War of the Lions' multiplayer rewards list. While some of it is limited to either Melee(PvP) or rendezvous(co-op missions) most of it breaks the game. the brigands glove for example, it's a glove accessory that gives +3 to speed and auto-haste, yep no need of Excalibur as a weapon now you can equip a Chaos Blade and still get haste. The next item is the Grand Armor which gives permanent Reraise, like the Chantage does but now it frees up that accessory slot for female units or now males get reraise automatically. Perhaps the most game breaking of all is the Brave Suit, which is pretty much the Grand Armor but as clothing, you might ask why is it more of a game breaker?, its actually easier, to get, relatively speaking albeit time consuming.
Not quite as broken as the above examples, but setting Ramza as a Monk with Guts, Dual Wield, Counter/Hamedo, and whatever move ability fits the situation is insanely powerful. Spend the first few rounds raising his speed and attack power and he pretty much kills anything in one round.
The Concentrate ability. This Passive ability raises your accuracy by an absurd degree, despite the fact that the accuracy rate is practically the only device the game uses to balance abilities. That instant kill move that only had a 30% hit rate? Well now it's 80%!
Moogles can learn Ultima Charge, go level up enough to meet its absurd MP requirements, become a Gunner, and dish out death every time they get a turn. Humans can do similar with archers or hunter, Viera can use assassins and snipers, etc.
Status effects. Because Useless Useful Spell is not in effect, status effects are ridiculously powerful. For example, Blinding an opponent makes it practically impossible for them to hit you, and an attack against a Sleeping or Stopped opponent is guaranteed to hit. When you get a Blue Mage to learn Bad Breath or raise a properly equipped Gunner, your enemies won't have a chance. Please note that this same law applies to instant death skills, which don't have appreciably lower chances to hit than, say, poison.
Steal: Ability, which was originally intended as a late-game accelerator pedal. By abusing certain really simple game mechanics, you can gain access to the ability at a ridiculously early stage. As if the dev team anticipated this, you can steal ludicrously powerful abilities in some early missions, and after that the entire power curve of the game just falls apart.
This can be used to get another ridiculous ability much earlier than you should, and that's "Steal: Weapon". Not only can this be used to get powerful equipment early on, if an enemy has the Items command they can use Draw Weapon to pull out another weapon for you to steal after about the fifth time, and through this it's possible to get the staff that teaches Blizzaga before the first Totema fight.
It should be noted that the "Damage To MP" game breaker from Final Fantasy Tactics is even easier to pull off in this game, since units automatically regenerate MP without moving each round and having any MP with the ability active negates all damage. This makes the fight with Llednar at Bervenia Palace, one of the hardest boss battles in the game, trivial.
The Angel Ring gives immunity to the status effects Zombie, Blind, Frog, Poison, Slow, Silence, Immobile, Disable, Doom, and grants the invaluable ability Auto-Life, which brings a character back from the dead once per battle. Because an enemy in a rather easy repeatable mission has it, you can steal the ring repeatedly and equip all of your clan members with it. This also makes many Gadgeteer abilities, which have a 50% chance of casting a status effect on either all of your allies or all of your enemies, a lot more useful.
The Thief class in general is broken. Not only they can steal almost anything from enemies, the class also has a high growth in speed, which itself is a game breaker when you get it high enough so that you can attack more often than the enemy can. On top of this, Thieves have high evasion, making them hard to hit. A Moogle can also be a Thief and they have higher evasion than their human counterparts; with the right gear, you can boost your thief's evasion to 100, allow you to dodge almost everything with a lot of success.
The sequel to FFTA seriously toned-down, worked over and generally fixed its game breakers, but it introduced a couple new ones including Mirror Items, which reverses the effect of items. Antidotes inflict Poison, Eyedrops inflict Blind... and X-Potions do 200 points of damage. Guaranteed. With the accuracy of a standard attack. Your newly-recruited Seeq Ranger can now do more damage than your most seasoned units and can inflict nearly all the Standard Status Effects in the game. For real lulz, team up with a Green Mage that knows Tranq (which raises accuracy. Oh yes), then go to town with 70% accuracy instant-death Phoenix Downs, Toad-inflicting Maiden's Kisses, etc. Combine with the ability that doubles the effects of items for laughs.
The Paladin/Parivir/Geomancy combo. You get access to the best weapons and armors in the game, and Geomancy makes your Elemental Powers do x1.5 damage against everything that isn't strong against all of them. You can also inflict status effects on top of it all.
It gets better, the Paladin job allows you to wear one of five different types of elemental absorbing robes/armor, shields that can absorb either fire or ice attacks, and two swords that can negate or even absorb Holy-type damage. Combined with the broken setup for the magic users listed below, the equipment options makes the class damn near unkillable in later missions where elemental damage is more common. Add the fact that the enemy units will NEVER check to see if their elemental attacks will actually harm the target, and...
Make a pair of Illusionists - which hit every enemy on screen with a magic spell, with Magic Frenzy - which pairs any magic used with a physical attack, and have them Dual Wield Heretic/Lilith Rods or Bomb Arms - the strongest rods the class can equip. It takes some preparation, but get those two set up and you essentially win forever.
Another fun one is a crew of Nu Mou Scholars. Build your party right and they can damage the entire enemy party while constantly refilling your party's HP or MP. Stagger this properly and you become stupidly unkillable.
Then there's Blood Price Summoners. This allows you to break the game's MP accumulation curve, throwing out devastatingly powerful summon magic from turn one, at the cost of the caster's HP. These guys have healing spells that restore more than they cost. See if you can spot the exploit.
Alternatively, equip a robe that allows you to absorb an element, and proceed to spam the summon of that same element every turn. As long as you hit yourself with it, you'll heal yourself for massive HP every turn, AND damage enemies. Needless to say, entire teams have been made that are based around elemental absorption.
You can then take this even farther by having one ability be Summoning and the other Red Magic, which includes Doublecast. So you can then do all of that twice a turn.
For even more fun, add a Chocobo Knight with the Critical: Quicken and Smile Toss abilities, equipped with a Venus Blade. Have your doublecasting summoner hit the Chocobo Knight with Ramuh (since Chocobo Knights are weak to lightning, this should activate the Critical: Quicken ability and make the Chocobo Knight move immediately afterward) followed by Ifrit (which it absorbs thanks to Venus Blade). Then have your Chocobo Knight hit the summoner with Smile Toss, which allows them to move instantly. You now have an infinite loop, in which your enemies will never get a turn. By constantly moving your Chocobo Knight to where the enemies are, you can keep hitting them with the splash damage until they all die, with nothing they can do about it.
The Bangaa Cannoneer happens to have an ability to assist in any MP-heavy skills, the Ether Shell - an ability that allows the user to replenish 60 MP to another unit at no cost. Not much on its own, but add to one of the above... and even in this game, set one up with a Fusilier that's equipped Onslaught and mastered Ultima Charge, and every time that Moogle acts, someone is checking out.
You can also Ether Shell another Cannoneer with the Gladiator skillset and has the ability Ultima Sword. You can even have them Ether Shell each other and have both be able to pump out Ultimas for their next two turns — ten turns with the Halve MP passive skill equipped. Yikes.
For your Gria units, have your Ravager master the Sneak Attack ability, which doubles damage from back attacks, and the Unscarred ability, which gives a massive boost to your stats if your HP is full. Then give both abilities to a Hunter, whose huge attack range will generally keep her out of trouble. Add the Regenga clan ability to make sure your Gria's health stays full even if she does take a hit, and you've got a devastating long-range unit that can one-shot almost every regular enemy. As a bonus, Unscarred will also boost the Hunter's Sidewinder (double damage against monster-class enemies) and Ultima Shot (triple damage) attacks.
Stopshot is ridiculous. Imagine a skill that inflicts the same amount of damage as a regular attack, while also having a high chance inflicting Stop, making the target completely defenseless for about 3/4 of the length of a normal fight, at which time it wears off. While stopped, all of a unit's turns are skipped, meaning it cannot generate MP, move, or act in any way. If the unit has an ability that would normally allow it to counterattack when struck, it does not trigger. A stopped unit has a 100% chance of being hit by any attack for which it is a valid target, including moves that sacrifice accuracy for power. Stopshot costs no MP to cast and, when fired from a gun (as is the point of the Fusilier class), can target almost any square on a normal battlefield. This is in a game where most fights are 6v6, so losing any unit to Stop is a significant disadvantage. Losing two or three to a single gun-toting Moogle is entirely possible, especially if said Moogle receives Haste, allowing it to act (and therefore fire Stopshot) much more frequently.
Vaan has an ability called Life of Crime that deals damage based on the number of times he has used the Steal command. Use Steal enough and Life of Crime will deal a guaranteed 999 damage every time it's used. But why stop there? By making Vaan a ninja and having him Dual Wield shields (and giving him the right armor), you can get his Evasion to 80%. Combine this with his Razor's Edge ability, which increases Evasion by 20, and he becomes almost completely unhittable - status effects still work, but that's what the Debuff Resistance clan privilege is for. This allows Vaan to beat most maps entirely by himself.
The SAW weapon in Final Fantasy Legend (actually a SaGa game renamed for the American market) is supposed to have a chance of One Hit Killing the target if the user's strength is higher than the target's defense — which is how it works in the sequel. Unfortunately, there was a programming mix-up between ">" (greater than) and "<" (less than), making the SAW work only if the attacker is weaker. This has the unfortunate effect of creating an AnticlimaxFinal Boss.
The Dragon Claw in Final Fantasy Mystic Quest. It has a chance of causing every status effect in the game, and not a low chance; it failing to cause status effects was the exception, not the rule. This includes petrification, which is implemented identically to instant death. Which pretty much means that any normal enemy dies in one hit. And for the maybe 10% of enemies immune to petrification? You've just put them to sleep, or paralyzed them, or confused them.
Magic in general is very, very powerful in Mystic Quest, especially the all-hitting Wizard spells White, Meteor, and Flare. These can end a good deal of non-boss battles with a single cast, and if not, they will certainly end it with two. However, casting of them is limited, to the point where it is not unheard of to confront the Final Boss while still having a maximum number of Wizard spell casts in the single digits. Sounds balanced, right? Until you factor in the Seed item, which completely replenishes your spell capacity to maximum. And which can be bought in increments of a hundred, in a game where there is basically nothing else to spend money on.
Even more powerful than the highly damaging Wizard spells was the White magic. For strange reasons, most white magic would have the opposite effect if cast on the enemy, and we're not talking Revive Kills Zombie. We're talking Revive Kills Everything; Life was an instant-death spell when used on enemies, the dungeon-warping Exit spell ejected enemies from combat, the status-cure caused random status effect on the enemy. Only Cure was limited to only hurting undead, otherwise White magic was full of death-dealing terror. And thanks to a Good Bad Bug, even Cure has an offensive use; it more than makes up for its general lack of offensive power throughout the game by dealing obscene amounts of damage to the final boss, overkilling him in a few casts.
Early on in Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light you can find an item called a Hunting Horn, which forces a random battle when it is used and has infinite uses (similar to the musical instruments of the Wild ARMs series.) Shortly afterwards, you unlock the Merchant crown, which increases the drop rate of gems after battles, and comes with an ability to find gems on the battlefield.
Better yet — if you walk into a wall, you get into a fight. You can set up the game to auto-finder (Merchant crown) and auto-escape (Wanderer crown). Escape does not cause an end of battle screen, so you're instantly on the world map again. In other words, if you really wanted to, you can point at the wall in auto mode, with 3 Merchants and 1 Wanderer, each with Hermes Boots equipped (always act first), steal 3 gems, escape, repeatedly, until you come back to the DS.
In a game where most bosses are heavily elemental, a third rank Elementalist is capable of wreaking absolute havoc. When equipped with a shield that absorbs a specific element, or better yet the Robe of Light (a cape that grants resistance to all elements), they are virtually impervious to elemental damage. After using the power Mysterio, which grants element resistance to every member of your party, an Elementalist will be actively gaining health from elemental attacks - and, assuming you have the correct shield to endure the attacks of the current boss, the rest of your party will be hugely element-resistant as well.