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Video Game: Bravely Default
aka: Bravely Default Flying Fairy
When your world is in peril. You must risk everything to save it. Even when Bravery is all you have left.
— U.S. Commercial

Bravely Default (known as Bravely Default: Flying Fairy in Japan and Bravely Default: Where The Fairy Flies everywhere else) is an Eastern RPG for the Nintendo 3DS developed by Silicon Studio and published by Square Enix. It is a Spiritual Successor to Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light, and in fact was early in development conceived as a sequel to it. What's unique about this game is the eponymous Bravely Default battle system. You can choose to use Braves to get extra turns or Defaults to delay and store them for extra effects, adding a new layer of strategy to your usual turn-based RPG fare.

Agnès Oblige is a young woman chosen from birth to be the protector of the Wind Crystal, one of the four elemental Crystals that grant prosperity to the land of Luxendarc. When the Wind Crystal is consumed by darkness, Agnès must embark on a grand journey across the world to purify it with the guidance of a magical Crystal Fairy called Airy.

Aiding her on her journey is an eclectic group of characters: Tiz Arrior, the only survivor of his Doomed Hometown; Ringabel, an enigmatic Casanova with no memories; and Edea Lee, a chivalrous knight from the country of Eternia who was originally sent to capture Agnès. Opposing them are the Job Masters of Eternia, who aim to shatter the Crystalist religion and seize the power of the Crystals for their own use.

It was released in Japan in October 11, 2012, and an Updated Re-release called Bravely Default: For The Sequel was released on December 5, 2013. A localisation of For The Sequel was released in Europe (under the title Bravely Default: Where The Fairy Flies) on December 6, 2013; a North American version was released February 7, 2014.

A browser Spinoff called Bravely Default: Praying Brage and a proper sequel entitled Bravely Second are also in the works. The sequel takes places several years after the events of the original and features a new protagonist named Magnolia Arch.The lead writer is Naotaka Hayashi, who also wrote Steins;Gate. In addition, the game's score is by Revo of Sound Horizon fame.

This game provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Low Level Cap: It's easy to hit lv. 99 with the right items... though the game appears to have its endgame materials built around having levels in the 90s, so you'll never be left without a challenge.
  • Action Initiative: Battles flow with the player assigning orders to their party members all at once, then with both sides (party and enemies) taking action in the general order of highest Speed/Agility first (the exact order it varies somewhat on a per-turn basis). However, some actions always occur before or after others, so they can be classified into roughly these four groups:
    1. Default always occurs first in a round, before any other action whatsoever
    2. Skills that execute "at the start of the turn" (Ironclad, Nothing Ventured, Shippujinrai, etc.)
    3. Normal actions (attacks, skills, items, etc.)
    4. Skills that execute "at the end of the turn" (Hidden Dragon, Jump, First Aid, etc.)
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Ominas's entire team gets in on this in the Boss Rush when Edea insults him.
    Ominas: Aww, were you hoping for a rest? T-t-tt... TOO BAD!
    Edea: ...We know! No need to gloat, you little weasel!
    Mephilia: (...He really is.)
    Yulyana: Ho ho ho.
    Qada: No argument here.
  • Adjective Animal Alehouse: The Drunken Pig tavern aboard Grandship. Later loops replace it with the Sea Slug, which is filthy, pathetic, and horrid, though cleans up as loops go on.
  • Aerith and Bob: There's names such as Agnès, Holly, Owen, Karl, Olivia, Victoria, Eleanor...and then there's Tiz, Ominas, Alternis, Mahzer, Qada, Datz. Oh, and Ringabel (though the last one is a name he made up for himself, at least).
  • After Combat Recovery: The White Mage's "Self-Healing" ability (which is enabled for free for anyone assigned to the job) automatically cures status ailments that would otherwise persist after battle (Poison, Silence, Blind), the Vampire's "Self-Restore" ability automatically refills a character's HP after battle, and the Conjurer's "Post-Battle MP" ability restores your MP by up to 25% of max. (And yes, they can be combined if you want to.)
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: One of the Freelancer's abilities, Mislead, has your character drop to their knees and grovel pathetically. This ability reduces the character's 'aggro' level, making enemies less likely to target the character with attacks.
  • A.I. Breaker: Hasten World can be this, or it can be the opposite in rather spectacular ways. Ordinary enemies are usually programmed not to default and only brave until they have -1 BP for a turn, and thus aren't effected that badly. Bosses, however, have much more sophisticated checks for their own BP, and being forced into BP counts above 0 at the beginning of a turn will usually derail their artificial intelligence. This can be a problem, however, when bosses are set to default when their HP is low and then perform some large and party-crushing attack the next turn, or when their attack Script has them perform a sequence of attacks chained in Brave whenever they have extra BP to spare.
  • All There in the Manual: In-universe. D's Journal updates every time something new is encountered and some tidbits of backstory or trivia it contains are never mentioned in the story itself (especially about the Jobmasters). If you want to know how Tiz ended up in the Caldisla Inn, what happened in the week between the Great Chasm opening and the game proper starting and other background information you're going to have to crack open D's journal and do some reading. Several hundred pages worth (albeit pages the size of the 3DS' lower screen).
  • All the Myriad Ways: Averted. Ouroboros devouring world after world in the final battle is played for all the horror it's due.
  • All The Worlds Are A Stage: The Dimension's Hasp is an illusory realm conjured by Sage Yulyana. The level consists of replicas of areas of past dungeons, making this a case of Memory Lane (and a slight Ganon's Tower): The floors are, in order: Vestment Cave, Harena Ruins, the Wind Temple, Mount Fragmentum, the Witherwood, Florem Gardens, Starkfort, the Underflow, Central Command and Everlast Tower. There's also a hint to a Bonus Boss: Most of the floors are areas where you'd find the Adventurer.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: Battles with asterisk bearers take place against a shiny blue backdrop which, notably, is explicitly mentioned as a product of the asterisks' power and functions as a barrier that prevents either side from escaping (though it doesn't stop Khint the Spell Fencer from declaring Screw This, I'm Outta Here! in his early battles).
    • The True Final Boss Ouroboros has this. The party is standing on a ledge that ends where the boss begins, and behind them is nothing but space and blue planets- alternate versions of Luxendarc. Eventually part of the background becomes the player's face, using an image from the 3DS' front camera.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Third Division of the Eternian Forces, the Bloodrose Legion, is the only division to have female mooks, and is in fact made up entirely of women save its leader, Fiore DeRosa.
  • Angrish: When irritated, Edea says "Mrgrgr". She doesn't mutter, though, she actually enunciates it.
  • Animal-Eared Headband: Edea and Agnès get these when using the Performer or Vampire job. The performer has rabbit ears, and the vampire has bat ears.
  • Anti-Grinding: There's a pretty easy progression of JP needed to level up from 1 through 9. Past level 9 however, the amount needed to level up a job increases dramatically (typically 800 -> 3500). This is seemingly designed to encourage players to keep trying new jobs until later chapters, where enemies give more JP. On the other hand, it's likely you'll finish Chapter 4 with your level in the 50's. The endgame's designed for levels in the 90's. And because of the looping, there are only a few new dungeons. This almost mandates hours of grinding. Although the normal ending is a lot easier.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Quite a few are incorporated to make some common problems of the genre less pronounced.
    • At any time, you can turn off random encounters or boost them. This makes backtracking out of a dungeon and back to town to heal before a boss fight much more forgiving.
    • The Brave system allows you to spam attacks to quickly get through random encounters, and even rewards you with extra pg, XP, and JP if you meet certain conditions (which generally favor eliminating enemies as fast as possible anyway).
    • The Adventurer will show up in virtually every dungeon, usually right before encountering a boss. He doesn't offer any healing, but you do have a chance to save and buy healing items.
    • The game's auto-save feature saves your game every time you move between areas/dungeon floors, and even immediately after boss battles. Purists can disable it if they want to.
    • If a character can't complete their action for that turn, the BP they would have spent on that action is saved and available at their next turn.
    • Should you target any of the endings, the game will always return to a point where you can choose to do any of them again without locking you out. Furthermore, not only do you get to keep your equipment after every final dungeon, but the fact that New Game+ isn't unlocked until you get the Golden Ending is a subtle hint for those avoiding spoilers that there are multiple endings.
    • One of the abilities unlocked by the Conjurer job is "Obliterate," which instantly kills enemies twenty levels or more below the party. This makes grinding way more convenient.
    • Every dungeon, and even the seal on De Rosso's door (assuming you already did the sidequest), will already be completed once you arrive in a new world. It doesn't make a lick of sense, but considering the alternative, it's doubtful anyone will complain.
    • If you're interested in seeking out Streetpass with other players but live in an area largely devoid of other people playing 3DS's, updating your Streetpass data daily in the Save menu will send out 3-4 net invites on your behalf and find other players, which will guarantee a steady supply of villagers for the Norende minigame and get some options for summoning friends in battle.
    • Brewing/Mixing is normally a frustrating process to figure out without resorting to Guide Dang It, but Compounding as a Salve-Maker has the courtesy to tell you what each combination of items will do. You can also cancel and re-try as many times as you wish, so you don't waste the ingredients either. While this still requires you to try lots of combinations to figure it all out, it is much less annoying than having to actuallymake every single Compound just to find out what it does.
  • Anti-Poop Socking :
    • The Bravely Second feature is powered by Sleep Points, and the primary way to accumulate them is to put the 3DS in sleep mode instead of shutting the game off.
    • Norende rebuilding also takes long periods of game time, though it does count time while actively playing as well as time while the 3DS is in sleep mode, so the most proficient way of doing it is to close the DS and go do something else.
  • Antiquated Linguistics: Generally, characters speak in the fashion of England a century or more ago.
  • Anti-Villain: All the bosses get more shades of this as you meet them again in successive worlds. Barbarossa is this from the beginning, happily obliging the heroes' challenge and shrugging it off when he eventually joins his own ghost crew. In fact, quite a few of them are anti-villains from the start, you just won't know when you first meet them. Ciggma Khint, the hired help of Khamer and Profiteur, and ruthless murderer? He's also not only the former commander of the pacifistic 'Eternian Occupation' group, but all his earnings go to the progression of medicine in Eternia, and to help his ill daughter get better. Heinkel and Barras, the two ruthless brutes occupying Caldisla? Barras not only loves and cares deeply for Holly, but both are quick to rush to the aid of Ominas and his pet Bahamut when the two are on their last legs, and encourage him to keep going. Holly, the ruthless torturer? She was one of the trainee healers working under Khint. Khamer, the heartless ruler of Ancheim? He simply wants to help the city progress, and when Eternia calls for his aid, he goes as far as intimidating Profiteur to help out with him. The biggest example, however, is their leader, Braev Lee. Mass murderer who led the charge in massacring countless religious officials, stood and watched as one of his men cut down the Earth Vestal, was willing to beat down his daughter, and was essentially going for world domination... All because he knew from Derosso and Yulyana what the outcome was if he didn't stop the vestals and didn't try to end Crystalism, and realized that the church, while good and just in its goals, was incredibly seedy and petty. Too bad you usually kill these people first before you learn all this.
  • Arc Words: "Have the courage to think and act on your own. And have the courage to disobey", or, in a more convoluted way, Bravely Default. Actually, kind of subverted depending on your interpretation: disobeying Airy and what a Vestal is supposed to do leads to the false ending; while following through to the end, and disobeying what the game and Yulyana was implying you should do, nets you the True Ending
    • To a lesser extent. There's "Accept me and I shall grant life everlasting. Though it shall be filled with grief, thou shall have the power to wreak havoc upon thine enemies." The words Lord DeRosso heard when he received his immortality and thus the words you'll hear a lot if you decide to check the paintings in each world's Castle Frostcoffin. At the True ending, its revealed that those words and the resulting immortality are a Stable Time Loop and the Famous Last Words of DeRosso himself as he preforms his Heroic Sacrifice
  • Armor of Invincibility: The Crystal Armor and Helm (Heavy Armor and Helmet), the Crystal Vest, Lordly Robes, Ribbon, and Royal Crown (Light Armor and Hat), and the Aegis Shield (Shield) are the best defensives of their types. The team can obtain four each of the Crystal equipment and two Aegis Shields without using New Game+.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • The Bonus Boss fight against the Adventurer. If you manage to defeat their companion every turn they're summoned (which is relatively easy since they always take the single-targeted physical attacks in the boss' stead, and is relatively frail), one can easily shut down the boss since the latter will do nothing but resummon their companion (they do nothing else if they summon the companion, even if they have all the BP in the world) and the companion will do nothing the turn they're summoned.
    • The New Year Kamiizumi Nemesis also suffers a lot from this: he only uses his massively overpowered Counter Attacks if he's at 0 BP, meaning he falls to the Hasten World abuse twice as badly as any other boss since he just attacks normally if he has 1 BP or more. Then again, considering he and Turtle Dove+ are the only Nemeses with over a million HP and he's basically immune to physical attacks, having to guess whether it's safe to use a magical attacks on him and hoping he doesn't murder you outright by countering every one of them in turn if you guess wrong would be beyond tedious, especially considering he can bring himself to 3 BP on command and spam full-party summons at you once he drops to half HP.
    • The first time you fight him, at least, Barras might Invigorate himself close to death, allowing you to defeat him as long as you've stored up Brave.
      • The Nemesis version is even worse, as he always gets the damage result, though his sky-high defense makes him take very little damage himself, even if you lower it, but Holly isn't as lucky.
  • As Lethal as It Needs to Be: Defeating an Asterisk-holder usually kills them, but if they're particularly sympathetic they tend to survive.
  • Ass Kicks You: The "Gobbler" enemies, when they're not busy running away from you, like to use a move called "Rear-Ender" which is easily capable of a one-hit KO at that point of the game.
  • Audio Adaptation: Featuring the Japanese voice actors for the four protagonists and a few of the asterisk holders.
    • The first drama CD was titled ~Reunion Festival~ and featured the protagonists attending a celebration party that seems to be the Luxendarc equivalent to Christmas and New Year's. The cast also includes Fiore DeRosa, Lord DeRosso, Sage Yulyana, Braev Lee, and Alternis Dim.
    • A second drama CD has been announced and will be titled ~Bracelets of Eternity~. The cast includes the four protagonists, Braev Lee, Nobutsuna Kamiizumi, Ciggma Khint, and the Jackal.
  • Author Appeal: Let's just say that it's obvious that the author of Steins;Gate wrote this. Time travel, alternate worlds, multiple copies of the same character on different sides of the conflict...
  • Auto Cannibalism: The "Self-Cannibalize" ability used by certain Undead enemies, which grants them an attack buff in exchange for some HP.
  • Auto-Revive: Like Final Fantasy games, the "Reraise" status buff (a Lv.6 Time Magic, also compoundable by Salve-Makers) instantly revives a character upon their knockout. The Vampire job class also gets an ability called "Rise From Dead" which has a 50% chance to revive the owner from a KO at the end of each turn — but unlike Reraise, they do spend time in the KO state first (i.e. so unlike Reraise, it will not save you from a Total Party Kill). White Mages also get a variant of this called "Conservation of Life" which, if they are knocked out, revives everyone else from a KO (limit once per battle).
  • Awesome but Impractical:
    • Bravely Second mode allows you to freeze time and have a character perform up to four actions within a turn, using SP instead of BP, and while keeping their own turn. This is a huge help in tough fights, but the fact that SP are gained at an extremely slow rate (1 SP per 8 hours of console sleep time) means this is a skill useful only in rare emergencies. Furthermore, SP are saved separately to your files, which means if you use some on a tough fight and fail, they'll be gone when you retry.
    • The Freelancer job gets more powerful with each job you master, meaning that in the endgame, it can become truly fearsome. However, you're limited to using the somewhat lackluster Freelancer abilities (apart from the very exploitable Mimic) as opposed to more damaging alternatives, and even with the passive stat boost gained from mastering other jobs, you need to use various Lore abilities to make most out of endgame weapons since the Late Bloomer skill only applies to your base stats and not your equipment ratings (Freelancers have a mid B rank in every type of equipment).
  • Barely-There Swimwear: Given the name, the Bravo Bikini is one of thesenote . Sage Yulyana introduces it as "forbidden clothing" and admits that every girl he has tried to recommend it to hated it (and/or him) "immediately and irrevocably"; he also forbids Tiz from attempting to see Agnès wearing it. Ringabel is very impressed with how daring it is and tries to cajole Agnès to wear it, even claiming his journal entries predict it (they didn't). Agnès even wonders if it is even clothing when she sees it for the first time, and ultimately doesn't have the self-confidence or courage to don it for the Florem beauty contest. Edea of all people takes a bit of a shine to it and uses it for a sidequest later, and you can ultimately unlock it as a "bonus" outfit for her later in the story.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The alternate parties in the final boss fight.
  • Bittersweet Ending: By the end of the game, many friends and heroes were lost along the way, and even the supposed villains are placed in a sympathetic light. In the False Ending, Ringabel is left to lament his failure to save his friends of his original universe. In the True Ending, Tiz returns his life force to the Celestial Beings, seemingly killing himself in the process, although he is later shown to have been abducted and alive.
  • Black and White Morality: It's evident from the beginning that the Eternians are going out of their way to be evil for the sake of it. Switches over to Grey and Black Morality, and eventually Grey and Gray Morality when the looping starts. It's also Edea's mindset about how the world works initially.
  • Black and Grey Morality: The Eisenberg civil war is this, as Agnès points out. The Shieldbearers are sympathetic and claim to be the land's defenders, but they need to conscript people and kill as an inevitable part of war. The Swordbearers, on the other hand, are out to use Eisenberg's strength to start conquering surrounding territories and have the backing of Eternia, who does lovely things like gas hundreds of thousands of troops and civilians at once.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Sure there's a lot of death and destruction, but it's all very stylized and glossed-over.
  • Bonus Boss:
  • Bonus Dungeon: Dimension's Hasp can be unlocked during the final chapter, though the method varies slightly depending on which version of said chapter you're in. It features only one save point (near the entrance) and Teleport Stones don't work inside it.
  • Boss Rush: Complete Chapter 8's side quests and they will culminate in an epic showdown of asterisk-bearers in Eternian Central Command, including a nonstop battle against all 23 of them (fought four at a time).
  • Bowdlerise: The PAL and NTSC versions have censored some of the skimpier character clothing, as confirmed here, and upped the ages of characters that were once 15 to 18. Some non-Japanese gamers found the original extra skimpy clothing to simply be too skimpy for teenagers (Western attitudes about sexuality are indeed different from Japanese attitudes). While the updated clothing still may be a bit revealing or fetishistic, upping the character ages has at least caused some Westerners to feel there are less underage sexual implications, as well as match their looks and personalities better. Oddly, however, the actual dialogue coming from the characters is still extremely raunchy, and even with the edits the game has the saltiest writing in the entire series next to Final Fantasy XIV.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • The demo ends with the characters addressing the player directly while the Prime Minister asks them who they're talking to.
    • The game begins with a fairy directly addressing the player, saying how they have a 'fire in their eyes' and whatever they start they'll see through to the end.
    • When you use Bravely Second, sometimes the characters will tell you to put the system in sleep mode to gain SP.
    • During the true ending, this happens a couple of times:
      • The Celestial Realm uses the system's camera, so when you see it in-game, your face is there
      • The Final Boss is defeated by everyone on your 3DS friend list who also have a copy of the game helping you by destroying the part of Ouroboros attacking their world.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory:
    • In-universe. The Merchant class uses in-game cash to fuel most of its abilities. Its final ability outright ends any battle (except boss fights) by bribing the enemies to go away, though thankfully you still get your goodies as if you actually fought it out.
    • A straight example is the SP drinks which are purchased from the Nintendo Store with real money. These can give a large edge by allowing up to 3 Bravely Seconds per fight, but they don't make that big of a difference in the long run, and SP can be naturally accrued by leaving the 3DS in Sleep Mode.
  • Broken Aesop: According to Word of God, the title is supposed to reference the need to sometimes "bravely go against what's expected of you." Yet, applying this in-game when the opportunity becomes a plot point gets you the poorer of the two endings, cutting the story short with no real closure. Only by ignoring the Foreshadowing regarding Airy and blindly helping her awaken the crystals four times over (in other words, sucking it up and doing your duty anyway) unlocks the True Final Boss and the perfect ending.
    • The phrasing can be taken a different way though. Bravely going against what's expected of you could actually mean resurrecting the crystals despite all warnings/common sense telling you not to. As breaking the crystal ultimately only delays the inevitable (Ouroboros doesn't get released, but he doesn't die either, and a new crystal will regenerate over time, allowing the cycle to continue again). Only by awakening the crystals and releasing him does the party get a chance to do away with him for good. In short, breaking the crystal is taking the easy way out, sparing themselves, but pushing the problem onto a later generation, a generation that has the misfortune of only having a handful of attempts to figure out that they are being deceived, and may not be strong enough to stop it anyway. Not very brave of you.
    • A third interpretation could be a bit meta: The Player is the one who is supposed to "Bravely Default," not the characters. It's expected of the player to realize the obvious and try to stop Airy, as opposed to doing the repetitious battles. Thus, instead of ending Airy's plans, you "Bravely Default" and plow on ahead with awakening the Crystals.
  • Broken Bridge: Played literally in Caldisla, where a broken bridge prevents the party from exploring to the north until the plot requires them to do so. Later, if the player attempts Sequence Breaking, the characters will simply comment that they don't need to go in there right now and refuse to enter the area.
    • The sequence of awakening the four crystals for the first time plays out like this, mostly due to the party lacking transportation that can take them across all of Luxendarc. The party goes to awaken the Wind Crystal first, due to Agnès being in charge of praying to it. When their airship is rendered unable to fly, they must go to the Water Crystal next to purify the seas and allow them to be accessible again. They then sail to the region of the Fire Crystal, and are finally able to access the terrain of the Earth Crystal due to acquiring the mighty Grandship that can fly above Eternia's raised mountains.
  • Button Mashing: Whenever you awaken a crystal, you have to mash the X button. A lot. Also, if you want to break a crystal from Chapter 5 onwards, you need to mash even harder after Airy tells you to stop.
  • Cap: Some of the most readily observed numerical limits in this game are:
    • A 9999HP / 999MP cap on damage/recovery in battle (during Bravely Second, the limit is raised to 999,999HP / 9,999MP).
    • BP caps out at +3 (+4 with BP Limit Up, e.g. Templars) and bottoms out at -4. A character with -4 BP not only loses their next three turns while it recharges, but if they attempt to take any further actions during the current turn it will fail outright ("not enough BP!").
    • Buffs to attack/defense/speed cap out at 150% and bottom out at 75%. Buffs to your hit count cap at 200% and buffs to critical-hit rate cap at 1000% (yes, 10x normal, which basically guarantees you get one).
    • JP gains cap out at 999 per battle, and basically every boss after Chapter 4 gives out this much.
    • One interesting exception is there is no apparent cap on a character's HP or MP, allowing you to raise them up to 5 and 4 digits respectively with the right passive abilities (and Buns). If you can get a character's HP into five digits you can even survive attacks that would normally inflict 9,9999 damage.
  • Cast as a Mask:
    • Variant. Airy and her sister have the same voice actor, to hide the fact that they're actually different characters.
    • Likewise, Ringabel and Alternis share a voice actor, but in their case the similarity is hidden by the vastly different speech patterns and the fact that the latter is speaking from inside a helmet.
  • Cast from Hit Points: The Dark Knight class mainly uses HP to fuel its abilities.
  • Central Theme: Sometimes it is defiance that requires the most courage.
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: There's generally a lot of dissonance between the main plot, which starts out fairly light, but gets progressively darker, and the sidequests, which start out ''extremely'' dark, but then become lighter. This is most evident in the fourth and fifth worlds: depending on the order you do things, the protagonists will either suspect Airy to have ulterior motives, or KNOW she does but be going along with her plan in order to defeat the creature she intends to summon; contrast Victoria hosting a Girl Power club and Praline running off with Jackal because they're confusing Khint and Kamiizumi.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • When returning to Florem after visiting Yulyana, Edea and Ringabel try one last time to convince Agnès to wear the bravo bikini, and it's specifically mentioned that Edea took it with her. Guess who ends up using it in a sidequest that becomes available right about the same time?
    • You the player will probably notice stone obelisks scattered across the world map, yet nobody seems to have any information about them (or even acknowledge them) whatsoever — until Chapter 4 where a sidequest asks you to seek them out, even implying that you can already guess what he's talking about.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • The fairy in the opening movie. She's not Airy, she's Airy's sister, recruiting you to stop Airy's plot.
    • While staying in Hartschild, Ringabel talks about one peculiar skirt he was chasing and got away from him ... a.k.a. Konoe Kikyo, an Eternian ninja who is covertly stalking Shieldbearer officers.
  • Chip Tune: The game's official soundtrack includes a bonus track reprising the game's various Battle Theme Music in 8-bit style.
  • Class and Level System: What the game's gameplay revolves around; this applies to the enemies, too.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Changing Jobs automatically changes each character's outfit to one matching the Job, though this can be averted if one unlocks and equips the bonus outfits that keep a character's appearance consistent regardless of which class they are.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: In D's journal, you will read that the author suffered debilitating burns after falling into lava, and after being rescued was turned over for healing... to a sadistic drug maker who had a grudge against him. He spent the next several days unable to move at all as he was injected with the most painful concoctions his "healer" could devise, until he was rescued by someone else who spent about a week healing him properly.
  • Combat Medic: Like in many other games that allow mixing Character Classes, one can give a healing class competent fighting abilities and vice versa. Even the healing classes usually have at least one means to inflict damage: White Mages have Holy and Aero-type spells and Salve Makers can inflict several different types of damage with Compound (provided the right items) and Turn Poison. Only Spiritmasters have no intrinsic damage abilities, though usually these are coupled with White Magic abilities anyway.
  • Combination Attack: Two-headed crystal boss Orthros has fire breath and ice breath from its respective heads, plus a (much more powerful) "Blazzard" from both heads at once. If you can disable one of the heads, the other head can't Blazzard you.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: One important thing the game does NOT cheat is the BP system — if a boss drives their BP down into the negatives, even they will have to wait out extra turn(s) before moving again. Even so, as the game starts getting harder it starts to bend its own rules to provide extra challenge; there are also subtle differences in job-based Abilities between the boss who holds the Asterisk and when you get it. Notable examples include:
    • Potions heal for 150 HP, right? Not if The Jackal steals them off your party and uses them on himself, in which case they heal 500 (the same as a Hi-Potion).
    • The Knight job's "Protect Ally" ability automatically shields any ally who is critically low on HP, but Knight Heinkel's version of it shields his fellow archers at all times. If the player wants to do the same with their own Knights, they must use the Full Cover ability each turn and it only works on one other ally per use.
    • Praline's "My Hero". For the player, it has a 2 BP cost that generally prevents it from being spammable. For Praline, however, this cost seems to have been waived, so she can constantly give her teammates one extra BP, making her by far the most dangerous member of the group.
    • Qada using Fire Bane on your entire party in the Eternian Command gauntlet. Yes, the Salve-Maker class can create single-target Fire Banes, and yes they can also use Widen Area to make single-target items affect the entire party ... but not at the same time!
    • While Lord DeRosso requires 1 BP to cast Energy Burst (the same as you do), he does not require 2 BP to follow it up with Bone Crush.
    • Barras is an earlier example — "Invigorate" is stated to have a 25% chance of damaging the user instead of the usual ATK boost. Barras's Invigorate not only replaces the effect for a self-destruct effect that damages everyone including his party (even characters currently offscreen due to using a Jump), but it activates all the time when he's low on HP, which is bad news for you as the attack can be a Total Party Kill. The Nemesis version of Barras and Holly run on with this strategy by using Invigorate twice after a single Default and annihilating an entire party if unprepared, and debilitating Barras is hard to do because his Defense is so high you will only do Scratch Damage to him unless using fixed damage items or skills. His explosions aren't an issue to Holly who sports a hell lot of HP to survive two 9999 hits.
    • Sage Yulyana can use Amped Strike (Piracy) and Meteor (Time Magic) in addition to Invocation, effectively having access to three different Job Commands at the same time (where you are limited to two). As part of the Mega Magic team in Chapter 8, he trades these off for Reflect (White Magic) and Firaga (Black Magic)... which still gives him three Job Commands (Red Magic stops at Lv.4, so it can cast Reflect but not Firaga). Though it's justified since he was the one who created the asterisks in the first place; he could have access to their powers anyway.
    • Qada and Alternis Dim have much more HP than your party, and can use moves that deal the user's "missing HP" in damage. After you knock down around 5-10% of their HP, they will be able to one hit KO any given party member, with no penalty to themselves. And Alternis specifically doesn't start using this technique until halfway through the battle when he's low on HP.
    • A lot of enemies don't ever seem to run out of MP; even if you deal over 999 MP damage, they'll still somehow find a way to cast their spells. In fact, many of the enemies and bosses actually have 9999 MP, far and away above what's reasonable to remove with the weak MP damage available in the game. One exception is Einheria, partly because most of her skills are BP-based instead of MP-based, and her "Spirit Barrier" causes her to receive MP damage instead of HP damage (the barrier wears off after ten turns, or if you deplete her MP).
    • Allies that have been Charmed seem to ignore MP and BP consumption, except if they are hit with Charm while in negative BP. For example, a charmed Valkyrie with 0 BP will use Judgment on an ally, likely crippling or killing them outright, and not spend 2 BP to do it!
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: Airy will constantly remind you of your next objective as you go shopping, grind, do Sub-scenarios, etc. Thankfully she doesn't do it audibly, but she does remind you every single time you go to the menu to change jobs or equipment.
  • Corrupt Church: The good news is that you never run up against this firsthand — any political corruption within the Crystal Orthodoxy was largely confined to the Orthodoxy's head temple only (the other Crystal temples are innocent). The bad news? Just how deep the corruption in the head temple went: Its first leader was appointed through a rigged/bought election, with his right hand led a purge against rivals and political enemies on fabricated charges. Then, as they started to lose power and influence among the people, they turned to fearmongering and witch-hunts. And when a plague reached the country, they quarantined entire villages to die rather than attempt to heal them — going so far as to outright slaughter refugees. Then they attempted to use a forbidden "Grand Ritual" to recapture the public eye despite that said ritual could put the whole world at risk. Suffice it to say, the templar had a darned good reason to lead an uprising against them.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Chairman Erutus Profiteur, who sells water to the denizens of a desert town then pays bandits to harass anyone who goes to the oasis to slake their thirst.
  • Counter Attack: The Swordmaster job specializes in these. Instead of attacking normally, they brace themselves for a certain type of attack (either physical, magical, from a specific enemy, or when at critical HP), taking reduced damage and then hitting back For Massive Damage. Note that certain enemies possess counterattacking skills as well, some of which can be deadly powerful (such as Cerberus's Payback, which easily scores 4000-5000 damage).
  • Creepy Children Singing: The Nemesis Ba'al Turtle Dove / Goldie music battle theme includes this.
  • Critical Hit Class: Katanas (and by extension, jobs that specialize in it, like the Swordmaster) have naturally high critical-hit rates. The Templar class gets skills to enable magic and items to do critical hits, as well as another skill to make critical hits do much more damage.
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus: Take Catholicism, replace the Holy Trinity with the four crystals, and you pretty much got Crystalism in a nutshell.
  • Damage Cap: Under normal circumstances, the limit is 9,999 for HP damage/recovery and 999 for MP damage/recovery. (These limits do not apply during Bravely Second and go past the expected 5-digit maximums up to 6 digits.)
  • Dark Is Not Evil:
    • The summons all look very shadowy (not to mention hi-tech), but there's no indication that they may be more or less evil than any other spell.
    • The Dark Knight and Arcanist jobs specialize in the Dark element, and are perfectly usable by your party members. The Jobmaster for the former is even one of more noble characters in the game as well as one of the protagonists
  • Death from Above: Valkyries specialize in this as the Spiritual Successor to the Dragoon.
  • Death of the Old Gods: The Eternians have been incorporating the message of rejecting the teachings of Crystalism into their conquering of the world. Which, to be fair, is because the people at the head of Crystalism are corrupt themselves. Needless to say, they Became Their Own Antithesis before the story began.
  • Defend Command: The "Default" command not only halves damage from all attacks, it effectively saves the actual turn for later use (as a "Brave Point") so you can take multiple actions on a later turn. Be warned, enemies can do this too — if you see an enemy using "Default" for a turn or two, chances are pretty good they'll unleash a flurry of simultaneous attacks soon. And Templars get to learn an upgraded Default command that reduces damage by an extra half.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything:
    • When you press the X button on a skill for detailed information, this includes disclaimers such as whether it stacks with specific other skills/abilities, if Revive Kills Zombie (it does), whether you can expect it to work the same on bosses, etc.
    • Bosses have special lines when you do certain stuff in battle against them. For example, try summoning Susano-o against Barbarossa.
    • Likewise, when you beat a Job Master in battle they'll usually say something when you beat them. If theres more then one boss, the surviving boss will usually comment on this, either swearing to defeat you for them, or being annoyed they were beaten. If you beat Victor and Victoria at the same time, they both talk to each other before the battle ends.
    • If a character can't execute an ordered action (e.g. silenced before casting a spell), they don't lose the BP associated with that action. In the case of Silence specifically, the extra BP means they can quickly heal the ailment and take the desired action during their next turn.
    • Poisoned characters take 10% of their maximum HP in Damage Over Time, but if you cast Stop on them, they poison damage stops as long as they are.
    • Revive Kills Zombie even works on undead-type bosses ... except its success rate is markedly lower, and one boss (the Dragon Zombie) packs an Auto-Revive of its own. You may have to end up defeating these guys the old-fashioned way.
    • During Chapter 5, the game accounted for several of the bosses being fought out of order. If Khint is killed in the fight with Khamer, he won't appear during the fights with Jackal or Profiteur.
  • Difficulty Spike: Around Chapter 3, fights with the Jobmasters get markedly more difficult and require a sound strategy to win (usually developed after some Trial-and-Error Gameplay). It makes sense, since Sorting Algorithm of Evil is in place and the higher-up leaders of Eternia are leaders for a reason.
  • Disc One Nuke:
    • Norende rebuilding sidequest unlocks some nice equipment — like the Angel Bow (best when coupled with the Thief job), the Blessed Shield (a high-level shield, plus using it as an item triggers a free Cura spell), and so on. Eventually these will be outclassed by regular items later in the game, but they make things much easier if you unlock them early.
    • The Abilink and Send options are these by their nature: with them, you can give anyone on your friend list instant access to not only your learned job skills, but single-use Special Attacks that you can call on any time. They can break the 9999 damage limit by default, and thus kill a lot of early (and, if sufficiently powerful, later) bosses instantly.
    • Natural Talent, the final ability of the Monk class (conveniently, one of the first two you get). While it takes some grinding, once you have it on every character pretty much every boss up 'til Chapter 7 or so can be finished in one or two turns just by spamming fist attacks.
  • Does Not Like Shoes:
    • The girls' Ranger outfits only have leather ankle bracelets, leaving the feet bare. Same goes for the Ranger Artemia, whose outfit is identical to Edea's.
    • Ditto for the girls' Spell Fencer outfits, with gold bracelets instead of leather.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: Each of the four Crystal bosses has a formal title to the tune of "The _____note  of Doom".
  • Drink Order: Established in a Party Chat - Ringabel likes his coffee black. Tiz takes his with milk and two lumps of sugar, Agnès drinks tea, and Edea puts enough sugar in her coffee that it's practically a grainy slush.
  • Dual Wielding: Entirely possible with almost any equipment setup (with the exception of two-handed weapons such as bows and knuckles). It does come with a hefty drop in damage output, though (at least without the Ninja's Dual Wielding ability), and some weapons are just better off wielded with both hands. And a skill in the Knight job allows you to dual wield shields (in which case you can't execute a basic attack, but the Knight has other skills to replace it — the "Super Charge" is practically made for equipping Dual Shields).
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: To put it concisely, the heroes suffer through a lot to finally see their mission through. In another sense, this is the difference between the Multiple Endings. While the false ending only fights the Big Bad as the final boss and is a Bittersweet Ending, the true ending faces a harder Big Bad and the Bigger Bad as the True Final Boss but the ending is happier.
  • Earth All Along: The Celestial Realm is implied to be this: almost all the summon monsters are Fantasy Counterpart Culture versions of everyday things such as trains, planes and radio towers or include them one way or another, the final dungeon has things such as lampposts and girders visible in it and when you defeat the final boss and the gate to the Celestial Realm opens briefly, the game splices in an image of what's currently shown in the 3DS's camera.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Ouroboros does this to "Someone's Planet" to show off his immense power, threatening to destroy all the parallel worlds if the heroes keep resisting him. This is nearly enough to push Agnés through the Despair Event Horizon.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: Basic enemy encounters are, generally speaking, unlikely to give you trouble. Good thing too, since you'll need all the Job levels you can get for the bosses. Particularly because of the Brave/Default system. There is no downside to having everyone Brave 4 attacks in the first turn when you're certain you can end the battle with it — but if you fail, you're effectively giving the enemy three free turns in a row — a recipe for disaster if you attempt this against a boss. One of the earliest lessons in this comes from Ominas Crowe (the game's second boss), who will Fire and Poison your party into oblivion with his free 3 turns if you try to bumrush him like a normal encounter.
    • Gets inverted shortly before leaving the first world, especially on Hard. By then, the player has access to most jobs/abilities they'll need and likely has a feel for how to engage a boss with proper precautions, and most of the ones in Eternia are quite easy to begin with — but certain random encounters in Everlast Tower or Vampire Castle can demolish your party in a single turn if they do their strongest attacks all at once (or heaven forbid, get extra BP or a First Strike).
  • Eldritch Abomination: Nothing short of this will describe the final boss better...
  • The Empire: Eternia, which is sending out knights in airships everywhere to Take Over the World, and has many lieutenants who are kill or torture-happy.
  • Encounter Bait: In addition to being able to adjust the frequency of Random Encounters at any time, equipping the "Taunt Bangle" doubles the current encounter rate. Its Flavor Text actually portrays it positively, as a tool voluntarily used for training purposes. Freelancers also get this as an equippable support ability called "Lure Enemy".
  • End Game Plus: Completing the game's short ending rewards you with Agnès's vestal garb as an equippable costume, and promptly returns you to before your attempt to destroy the Crystal. If you want the New Game+ instead, you have to see your quest through to the long ending.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The lesser of the game's two endings, whereupon defeating The Evil One, their dying words reveal they were just an emissary of a Bigger Bad and pray that His Malevolence will appear somewhere, someday. Nonetheless, you did buy about 5,000 years of non-The End of the World as We Know It, and your characters are free to return to their lives in peace.
  • Enemy Scan: The Freelancer's Examine ability does this. Most of the info learnednote  is kept permanently and can be accessed at almost any time in battle by pressing left on the Control Pad. The info will also apply to stronger versions of enemies with the same name and appearance, letting you see their updated stats without having to scan them again, including the rematches with the bosses in subsequent worlds. Remaining HP, however, only applies to the specific enemy that you scanned, other enemies of the same type have to be scanned separately to see their HP, even if they're in the same battle. It does get tracked in real time though, so it can be useful when dealing with bosses that Turn Red.
  • Enemy Summoner: Several monsters have the power to summon more of themselves like the Myconid's Spore ability (which summons one), or the Deathstalker scorpion's Pheromone Plus (which summons two).
  • Escape Rope: Teleport Stones can be purchased in shops and will return you to the entrance of a dungeon (though not remove you from it entirely). The "Teleport" Time Magic performs the same function (and also doubles as a quick escape from battles).
  • Eternal Recurrence: Awakening the four crystals and summoning the Holy Pillar is what causes the Great Chasm in the next world over. Lather, rinse, repeat for millions of years.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Not that she herself is evil, but still, Edea is none too pleased at the harsh methods that her comrades are carrying out, which is probably why she joined up with Agnès and the others.
  • Everybody Lives: The murder mystery sidequest can be solved without any deaths, but it requires inspecting the "corpse" of the first victim seventeen times, with only the first and the last having any apparent effect. The game provides precisely zero hints that this is possible. It's significantly easier in later loops.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Combine Piracy skills with a bow and arrow, and the character will pirouette, flip, and spin-jump while launching arrows.
  • Evil Is Bigger: In the tradition of classic Final Fantasy games, the heroes have Super-Deformed chibi models. The antagonists on the other hand, have significantly taller, more realistically proportioned models. With the exception of Alternis Dim, whose model has similar proportions to that of the party because Ringabel is actually an amnesiac Alternis from an alternate version of Luxendarc who failed to save Edea and the party from Airy, and fell into the Holy Pillar.
  • Exploited Immunity:
    • The Valkyrie's Decimate ability is essentially this. It instant kills anyone below 10% HP, enemy or ally.
    • Dark Knight's Dark Nebula is likely meant to be used this way. It deals heavy darkness elemental physical damage to everyone, but it's no problem for the player party if they've been given immunity (or even better, absorption) to the darkness element.
    • This is largely the shtick of the Arcanist class, as it inflicts heavy Dark damage on enemies (or allies) that are afflicted with a vulnerability like Sleep or Poison, making it complementary with Black Magic.
  • Extra Turn: The Brave Points (BP) system. Generally speaking, the number of Brave Points a character has indicates the number of Extra Turns they can take (up to 3) at that time, and a major strategic element is the player doesn't have to stock the BP before using them — they're allowed to take these extra turns in advance any time they need to. Enemies and bosses have access to the Brave/Default system just like the player; any time a monster flashes red, it indicates they're about to take an extra action. Beyond this:
    • There are a few techniques here and there that can alter BP, such as granting BP to an ally or draining BP from an enemy.
    • The Red Mage job class specializes in support abilities that grant extra BP under specific circumstances. This comboes well with its final ability (which boosts M.Atk if you purposely drive your BP into the negative).
    • Battles may start with pre-emptive strikes (where one side gets a free turn) or "Brave Attacks" (where one side gets +1 BP right off the bat).
    • The "Bravely Second" ability (acquired early in the game) allows you to stop time and take an Extra Turn at any time you need it, albeit at the cost of rare SP (Sleep Points) instead of BP. Just like BP, you can save up the SP before using Bravely Second or use the SP in advance and recharge it later.
  • Fake Interactivity: During the opening FMV where the cryst-fairy asks the player "I just need to hear it from you — say you'll stay, to the very end"; the game probably could use the 3DS's microphone to listen for a player response, but the fairy just pauses a second, nods, then says "with that out of the way..." and continues on. (On the other hand, in the game's Special Movie, when Magnolia is attempting to get Tiz's attention, this does require the player to orient the 3DS in Magnolia's direction before the movie proceeds.)
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture:
    • The mythical land of Wa, "an island nation that vanished centuries ago", has elements of Japanese culture (Katanas, Samurai and Tengu) and Atlantis (it sunk in the sea ages before the game). In fact, Wa-no-Kuni (Country of Harmony) is an expression used to indicate Japan.
    • Luxendarc in general seems like a mish-mash of various European cultures. Some item descriptions talk about The Age of Myths that came before the Old Faith. Excalibur's description talks about a boy who drew it from a stone and became king, while Durandal's refers to it as "the sword of the legendary hero Roland". Other notable weapons and figures that appear are Gungnir, Valkyries and Longinus, both of which are incorporated in Luxendarc's mythology. Furthermore, it's stated that Zweihander means "Two-Handed" in Eisen Language. That said, it may be only a case of Public Domain Artifact.
      • In some of the party chats and in the Special Movie the Language of Flowers, Florem's native language, is used. This Language of Flowers is actually French, just as Eisen Language is German.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Ouroboros. This guy casually talks to your party in a rather bored voice about how he's going to destroy all of the other worlds and spread chaos. He takes great joy in the shock and horror your party experience at his massacre of multiple worlds, making his somewhat wry demeanour that much more horrifying.
    • To some extent Qada is this. Despite having a very foppish voice and an absolutely hilarious battle animation and character design, he's one of the most despicable characters in the game.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The party's stat growths subtly fit these archetypes: Edea is the Fighter, Agnès is the Mage, Ringabel is the Thief, and Tiz is the Jack of All Stats. That said, one is free to customize their party however one wishes with classes and equipment.
  • The Final Temptation: The Sage Side-Quest in Chapter 6, where the world the cast is in has their counterparts dead; but nobody is aware that the protagonists are versions from another world; and each of the four is given the opportunity to take their place.
  • Finishing Move: The Valkyrie's Decimate ability automatically finishes off any character with 10% HP or less (yes, even bosses). However, this also happens to allies if they're also low too.
  • Five Second Foreshadowing: After defeating Dark Knight Alternis Dim, the action is broken, once again, by the cutscene where Tiz receives an asterisk. Cut to the sample space where the party samples their Dark Knight looks, you've got Tiz, Agnès, Alternis, Edea- WAIT, WHAT?!
  • Fixed Damage Attack: There are quite a few of them, actually...
    • Attack items do a fixed 500 or 1500 damage regardless of the target's Defense or Default (but it does acknowledge Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors).
    • The Merchant's "Takeover" skill does fixed damage by throwing an equal amount of cash, and the damage dealt scales with level, too.
    • Certain Salve-maker compounds can inflict damage equal to the user's HP, or the user's 'missing'note  HP. Using Convert Poison on a Potion, Hi-Potion, or X Potion will inflict the amount it normally heals as damage plus poison the target, but this is effected by resistance/vulnerability to poison damage.
    • The Dark Knight's "Minus Strike" skill also deals fixed damage equal to the user's missing HP. Alternis Dim infamously uses it to 9999 your party members with impunity.
    • The "Bone Crush" skill hits all targets and deals damage equal to each individual's 'missing HP' (max - current). In other words, it doubles the damage they've already sustained (so any individual with less than 50% HP is instantly KO).
    • Time magic Gravity and Graviga inflict damage equal to 50% or 75% of a target's maximum HP, and will thus instantly kill anything with less HP than that ... assuming it hits.
  • Flash Step: One of the Thief's abilities, Godspeed Strike, incorporates this. It ignores the target's Physical Defense and inflicts damage based on the user's Speed rather than Physical Attack.
  • Food Porn: D's Journal, as well as many of the Party Chats, go on at length about what kind of food is popular in each locale and which tastes each of the heroes prefer. See also Drink Order.
  • Foreshadowing: All over the place, but one particular stand-out example comes when Tiz first meets Airy.
    Tiz: Ah! A miniature monster!
  • Four Is Death: Almost all of the Arcanist's abilities that deal dark-elemental damage or cause instant death one way or another cost 4 MP to use.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Tiz - Phlegmatic, Agnès - Melancholic, Ringabel - Sanguine, Edea - Choleric.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Ouroboros' ultimate goal is to break into the Celestial Realm, which is revealed during the final battle to be OUR world. The game projects a feed of what the 3DS camera sees during the last bit. It's also heavily implied beforehand - in a speech that shows that Evil Cannot Comprehend Good, he assumes that the player has only been pretending to feel bad for the characters inside. Whether that's true or not, is based entirely on said player's nature. Said speech also implies that Tiz is supposed to be the audience's surrogate.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: When De Rosa confronts you after using his Love Perfume on Edea, she begins the battle with the Charm status.
    • This also extends into the Golden Ending and the events that lead to it: the pendant Agnès carries is the made from the core of a crystal, and as it's been established in the story, crystals are able to connect multiple words together, which enables it to both summon heroes from other worlds to help you in battle as well as borrow their skills with Abilink. When Ouroboros starts destroying the worlds that've been linked together, the ones that fight against it and lend you their power are the players you're currently Abilinked with, although he still manages to destroy one/some(?) of the worlds of the people you have on your friend list.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • As is expected from many an RPG, first there's the issue of a Plotline Death versus an in-gameplay KO (e.g., when the first Mauve Shirt dies, you probably do have a character classed as a White Mage and thus logically able to heal them — note they were alive enough to share some final words before croaking)
    • In a Chapter 6 sidequest, Edea's father recognizes her by her style of swordplay, regardless of what in-combat role she's performing (or whether she's even armed with a sword) at the time.
    • Then there are several examples relating specifically to the multiple world effect.
    • No matter how much you have restored Norende, the Great Chasm will never show any effects of reconstruction. Likewise, no matter how many worlds you go through, Norende's restoration is never undone.
    • If a dungeon puzzle was completed in the first world, then it will be complete in the second world, and the third, and so on. This extends to the keystones for the door of Castle Frostcoffin, although the dragons are up for a rematch after each Holy Pillar.
    • After you gain the Ranger asterisk, there is a party chat that basically makes a joke out of Agnès' complete lack of knowledge about how bows and arrows work, even if you have equipped her with a bow for hours beforehand.
    • Even though you gain the Vestal Garb in a story-related event early on, you cannot equip it as an alternate outfit for Agnès right then; you must unlock it by completing the game's "false" ending. Though this could be excused as being of major importance to awakening the crystals and thus cannot risk damage to it from combat, no one says a word about Edea wearing the Bravo Bikini in combat after she receives it in a Sub-scenario.
  • Glass Cannon: Several classes fall under this trope, but it is perhaps best demonstrated by the Natural Talent ability for the Monk, which doubles your attack power if you wear no equipment whatsoever. (The lack of defense power is somewhat mitigated by the Monk's naturally high HP). Of course, if you put Knuckle Lore and Natural Talent on a job that is already a Glass Cannon to begin with...
  • God Was My Copilot: YOU are this for Tiz and the rest of the group by proxy. Turns out our world is the Celestial Realm and we are "Celestials" ourselves. The Big Bad (and Mephilia in the first world) spots you inside Tiz's soul and blames your direct interference and guidance on why these particular versions of the heroes are so powerful. He promises you pain for your interference.
  • Golden Ending: The true ending chapter is called Bravely Default while the "false" ending is Flying Fairy / Where The Fairy Flies AKA Lying Airy / Airy Lies depending on your localization. This true ending, while ultimately happier, has a much more vicious final boss than the false one.
  • Good Morning, Crono: How the game starts by giving you control of Tiz. Then you go through the same event four times more. It has sort of become a Memetic Mutation in the fandom as a result.
  • Gratuitous English: The title, which makes close to zero sense in English. According to The Other Wiki, Naotaka Hayashi, the game's writer, has stated that the title means "have courage and renounce the promises and responsibilities that are expected of you." The game makes it something of a title drop, in that the more unique aspects of the battle system are named 'Brave' and 'Default', which is to attack or defend.
  • Great Big Book of Everything: D's Journal eventually becomes one. One wonders when Ringabel finds the time to write about every single event, person, item, and monster that they encounter.
  • Grim Up North: Averted. Despite being a cold, mountainous land, Eternia doesn't seem that bad of a place to live and the people are certainly nice enough (not to mention have free health care).
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: A variation. The characters don't travel through time, but in different worlds. However, because they end up at the same moment their journey began (When Tiz wakes up following Norende's destruction), it effectively counts as a "Groundhog Day" Loop.
  • Guide Dang It: You can actually skip the murder mystery plot in the ninja sidequest by talking with the culprit 20 times.
  • Healing Vat: At least one is seen in the Eternian Central Command. Victor uses it to treat Victoria's seizures.
  • Hello, Insert Name Here: Double subverted. The heroes have set names, but past a certain point in the story, you can rename them however you like. Not that it affects the voice-acting, of course....
  • Hopeless Boss Fight:
    • The first fight against Victoria and Victor is like this. They're far more powerful than anything else you encounter at that point, and the fight automatically ends after a number of turns (or if you get wiped out - a high probability of Victoria successfully executes her Poison+Exterminate combo). Also is a case of The Battle Didn't Count, as even if you use a mega-attack via New Game+ or a Friend Summons to drive their Hit Points to 0, the plot ignores this (although it does end the fight earlier).
    • If you try to go for the false ending, you'll have one of these against Airy. You are missing Agnès during the fight and after a few turns, the boss will use Slaughter, which will instantly end the fight.
  • Hot Witch: The female Black Mage costume, consisting of a Little Black Dress, hooker boots (which nets you Zettai Ryouiki), a cape (which can be easily mistaken for a Showgirl Skirt), and a witch's hat. The White Mage outfit is largely similar, but it's white with red trim.
  • HP to One: The Dark Knight class can do it to itself with the Rage ability, casting Dark Bane until his/her HP drops to 1. This is particularly deadly combined with Minus Strike. The Monk class similarly has Phoenix Flight, which hits an enemy for your current health total and spends it all, leaving you at 1 HP. There is also the "Chomp" skill used by the Valtora panthers in Eisenberg (which is also learnable as a Genome ability, having a base accuracy of 50%).
  • Hurricane of Puns: Many, many of the character names, particularly the main party and those who are connected to them, have a pun of some sort.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Ringabel's memory starts to return in Chapter 6, and it becomes pretty clear who the real enemy is. So why doesn't he just kill Airy on the spot instead of helping the party do exactly what she wants? Because he directly witnessed Airy outright slaughter everyone in the previous world, and he wants to find some way to inform Tiz without tipping off Airy to it and watching it just happen all over again.
    • Similarly, Ringabel notes in his journal that the Great Chasm's opening resembles the Holy Pillar, and from there it seems that he's drawing the conclusion that they are the ones causing the Great Chasm in each world. And yet again, even though most of the party picks up on this as well, they just keep on going.
      • Both of the above are also an example of a player induced Idiot Ball: You have the option to disrupt the villain's plan right after the first trip through the holy pillar, and based on the dialogue and flashbacks that change the longer you take to do this, the implication is that the party does heavily suspect Airy, but the final word on actually stopping her is up to the player.
      • Dialogue at the end of Chapter 6 suggests that the party knows about Airy's true nature, the link between the Holy Pillar and Great Chasm, and are merely biding time before exposing the true foe at the end of Airy's countdown.
  • Idle Animation: Party members shift their poses a little while you're busy navigating menus and deciding actions to take in battle. Monsters and bosses, on the other hand, do not.
  • Idle Game: The city builder minigame, which takes several hours to build shops and clear territory. Just put the game into sleep mode (which has the added benefit of refilling your Sleep Points) and go to work/bed, come home/wake up to a new shop.
  • Inconsistent Dub: In the Book of D, the description of Kamiizumi states that he counters magic with "Cold Shoulder" and single target attacks with "Know Thy Enemy". In the game, these skills were renamed respectively "Before Swine" and "Know Thine Enemy".
  • Infinity–1 Sword: The weapons found in locked blue chests are the best weapons you can get during the story without hitting the ending sequence. These include:
    • Chaos Blade, a sword with a chance to inflict confusion on attack;
    • Death Axe, which induces Kill magic when used;
    • Longinus, a spear that does extra damage to aquatic monsters;
    • Wonder Rod, which casts random Black Magic when used as an item;
    • Gale Staff, which boosts Aero magic and other wind attacks;
    • Air Knife, a dagger that deals wind damage on attack;
    • Yoichi's Bow, which has a critical rate comparable to katanas;
    • Muramasa, a katana that activates the Piracy command Defang when used as an item;
    • Hadean Claws, which deal dark damage on attack
  • Infinity+1 Sword: The Dimension's Hasp, unlocked during either final chapter, has the best armaments in the game for each class hidden in its depths: Durandal (Sword), Earthbreaker (Axe), Gungnir (Spear), Demon's Rod (Rod), Demon's Staff (Staff), Yatagarasu (Knife), Artemis's Bow (Bow), Ama-no-Murakumo (Katana), and Kaiser Knuckles (Knuckles). The Kaiser Knuckles technically grant the strongest attack stat, but are a two-handed weapon; Ama-no-Murakumo is the strongest weapon that can be used in conjunction with a shield, be dual wielded or two-handed (in the latter most case doubling it's attack power).
  • In-Game Novel: D's Journal, specifically the written accounts of the author. The "Enigmatic Writings" section is available in its entirety when you first obtain Ringabel, and later in the game Alternis Dim's journal is also acquired.
  • Injured Vulnerability: The Arcanist specializes in skills that strike opponents currently inflicted with some form of status ailment, while the Valkyrie's "Decimate" skill will instantly finish off anything with less than 10% of its maximum HP, and the "Bone Crush" monster skill effectively doubles whatever damage a target has already sustained (thus it's harmless if the target is at full health, and a One-Hit Kill if they're at half or less).
  • Instant Expert: The player characters can use any new weapon as soon as they get them, although their efficiency with each type depends on their current job and abilities.
    • Asterisks instantly make a character a specialized class, granting the knowledge and skill of previous masters of that class. While you normally still have to level up that class to get access to all the abilities, having a friend abilinked will grant all the abilities he has unlocked.
  • Interface Spoiler: You're at the end of chapter 4, you've apparently defeated the Big Bad and you're going into the Very Definitely Final Dungeon to activate the Earth Crystal. But wait... there's still two more empty slots in the Job screen! Of course, we all know now that's because chapter 4 isn't the end...
  • Job System: All of the PCs have access to all available jobs, and are able to use a secondary job command and a mix of support abilities from any combination of jobs up to the limit of 5 points, with each ability costing anywhere from 1-4 points to equip depending on its overall strength. The jobs are obtained from major NPCs who possess the said jobs, the defeat of which bestows the respective job asterisk to the PCs. The asterisks themselves are hexagonal gemstones that only Sage Yulyana knows how to make and are theorized to be a magical variation of Powers as Programs. The previous method of granting jobs involved crystals in some form and the reason for the change was again due to Yulyana's creation of the asterisks, which the greedy Orthodoxy saw as a more efficient way to extort money from people, but Yulyana's actual goal for creating them was so that he could have a monopoly on the jobs as one of the aspects of his grand plan due to the fact that he's the only one who knows how to make the asterisks.
  • Konami Code: Using this in the main menu screen unlocks the teaser movie for Bravely Second without having to finish the game first.
  • Lampshade Hanging: If anyone does this, it's Ringabel:
    Ringabel: *Sigh*. Why must the big ones always come at the end?
  • Last Chance Hit Point: Freelancers learn the "Stand Ground" support skill at job level 13. At 3 ability points it's an expensive ability to equip, but it provides a 75% chance that they'll survive an otherwise-fatal attack with 1 HP.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: A Party Chat early in the game that occurs if Norende's population is low enough concerns the lack of support for the rebuilding effort. After painful reminders that Tiz and Agnès don't know anyone alive and Edea turned traitor on everyone she knows (and a humourous retort that Ringabel is not putting ladies to work), Edea tells them all to go someplace with a lot of people and try their luck... which is pretty much the ideal strategy for ANY game utilizing the 3DS's StreetPass feature.
  • Leave Your Quest Test: Each character is given one in the Conjurer job sidequest, courtesy of Yulyana: due to the circumstances in the third world, each party member's counterpart in that world is dead and their loved ones or friends are either alive or much more accepting of them, which leaves the party free to take their place in what's essentially an ideal world for them.
  • Legacy Boss Battle:
  • The Legend of Chekhov: An old fellow in Ancheim talks about a mythical two-headed beast named Orthros ... care to guess what your first Crystal boss is?
  • Lighter and Softer: In game. Each alternate reality the party visits is less dark (especially from the main charcters' point of view). For example Eternia's worst war crimes from the first world either haven't occurred in the second (in the case of using child slave labour in the Mythril mine in Eisenberg) or have the blame for them shifted to de Rosa and Khamer acting against Edea's father's orders. In the final couple of worlds it's not confirmed that the toxic mist WMD was used, the bosses become wackier, with Holly changing from torture happy sadist to Deadpan Snarker and even Victoria just trying to form a girl power group, and there are express orders that the vestal is not to be harmed which can be contrasted with Holly's threats in the first world. In the final world the bosses are explicitly just testing your strength and the fights are non-lethal.
  • Light Is Not Good: Holly Whyte is a White Mage and the first time around a complete sadist. She threatens that when she captures Agnès she'll have her beaten to within an inch of her life and then heal her, over and over, until her mind snaps while keeping her word to Tiz that Agnès won't be killed.
    • Also Lying Airy, although she goes very dark once you find this out.
  • Limit Break: In form of somewhat blandly-named Special Attacks. The one you can use at any given time is determined by your currently equipped weapon and the requirements for each one involve repeating a specific battle action a set number of times. You can also power them up by attaching things called "parts" to them which include raw damage boosts, elemental properties, additional damage against specific types of enemies and Standard Status Effects, and each one also has an additional fixed-length party-wide boost when used that can be stacked by using multiple Special Attacks in rapid succession that ends when the song that starts playing when you use one ends.
    • To actually break the damage limit of 9999, you have to use Bravely Second or summon a friend who sent an attack used during Bravely Second.
  • Locked Room Mystery: The Ninja sidequest is one of these, complete with classic tropes like Everyone Is a Suspect and Lights Off, Somebody Dies. And The Butler Did It. Sort of. Via Faking the Dead.
  • Lost Forever: After Chapter 4, most enemies around the world map are replaced with more powerful versions. As a result, Vampires may be unable to learn skills that only the weaker enemies had, and if you haven't faced them already, you can't get their Bestiary entries ... unless you find them later in the Bonus Dungeon.
  • Lost in Translation: Late in the game (by virtue of how expensive they are), you can buy alternate costumes for your characters. The description makes it sound like the outfits change as the game progresses as a sort of New Game+ bonus, but it's actually supposed to say that the costume will override whatever class outfit the character would be wearing.
    • There's also a major mistranslation with the Merchant's "More Money" ability. The money bonus does not stack when multiple characters have the ability, but it does stack with the Golden Egg's money multiplier. The in-game description, however, says the exact opposite.
  • Love Before First Sight: Ringabel is smitten with Edea based on her description in his future-telling journal. Since their personalities are almost completely incompatible, he's somewhat disillusioned after their first meeting.
  • Love Theme: "Under the Hollow Moon" for Tiz and Agnès.
  • Low Level Run: The game's "Difficulty" options allow you to not only adjust things like your random encounter rate, but also individually enable/disable acquisition of EXP, money, and job point.
  • Magic Knight: A possible and versatile character setup is to give a melee-proficient class a magic-related Ability. As for Jobs, there's Spell Fencers and Red Mages.
  • Magikarp Power: The Freelancer's Late Bloomer innate ability will permanently modify a character's stats as a Freelancer when they fully master a Job. As the game progresses, this makes the Freelancer more and more powerful until it surpasses any other class stats-wise.
  • Metal Slime: Enemies belonging to the Chomper family are more likely to run away outright than fight you, but if you have the means to take them out, they drop considerably higher JP than other enemies in their area. The most powerful, of course, is the green Guzzler: It drops 500 JP upon defeat (the cap for JP gain in a single battle is 999) and you can steal Megalixirs from them (which normally fall solidly under Too Awesome to Use), but it has very high defense, its counterattack inflicts a good chunk of damage and a ton of status effects (the normal attack is similar). Of course, if you outspeed it and then spam Pantheon's Wrath items (for the JP) and/or repeatedly drain their BP (in order to keep them alive and steal the Megalixirs), well...
  • Motive Rant: Nearly every Jobmaster gets a long scene where they rant about who they are or why they do what they do before the battle begins.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • Agnès's artwork and images are quite gratuitous, and the first English trailer for the game had a lot of Male Gaze focused on her back and thighs.
    • Edea and Airy, especially in the FMVs.
    • Then there's the infamous Bravo Bikini scene in Florem....
    • The Vampire outfits for Agnès and Edea in the Japanese version, and their Spellfencer outfits in all versions.
  • Multiple Endings: The game never actually asks you what branch of the plot you want to choose, but you nonetheless have the option starting from Chapter 5. You can get the normal ending by continuing to mash X while awakening a crystal, in spite of Airy's warnings that you'll shatter it, which is what you're repeatedly hinted may be the best course of action. However, continuing to awaken the crystals like Airy asks you to will have similar consequences, with the difference that doing so will also reveal the Bigger Bad behind the scenes.
  • New Game+: After Ouroboros is defeated. You even get to choose the stuff you want to carry over (Levels, money, how far Norende has been reconstructed, classes...).
  • No Kill Like Overkill: In addition to the secondary use of Bravely Second described below, the game also encourages you to do this via post-battle bonuses: killing all the enemies in a single attack, within a single turn, and/or without taking damage gets you bonus pg, EXP and JP (respectively) and if you do each one multiple times in a row, the amount of bonus you get increases as well.
  • Note From Edea: Some entries in D's Journal have little interjections from Edea written in.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: After Airy reveals her true colors and leaves, the part of the menu she normally pops up in is blank. After a whole game's worth of it, it can be a bit unnerving.
  • Obviously Evil: If there's a character who strangely towers a head above all other characters in the game, including adult NPCs, and seems to be wearing a fancy outfit, chances are that guy is an Asterisk bearer and (in some way) your enemy. This is averted for Zatz and Datz, and Mazher Lee, though the latter is only that tall because her husband also looks tall (but then that leaves their daughter a midget at simply 15/18 years).
  • Old Save Bonus: Playing the demo gives you some extra items at the start of the full game, the exact type and amount depending on how many of its 7 goals you accomplish: they include just playing the demo, beating all of its bosses and maxing out the demo version's Norende. The items you get are generally base-level equipment you'd otherwise be purchasing from shops (thus making the start of the game somewhat easier). Furthermore, any villagers obtained from StreetPassing people with the demo (up to 20) are transferred to the full game, making it easier to start the reconstruction of Norende village.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: The final boss theme contains a good amount of it. It's also really kickass.
  • One-Handed Zweihänder: Not only is there an in-game "Zweihander" you can readily purchase and equip (in just one hand, no less), you can also Dual Wield them! Also applies to any number of enormous weapons, such as axes that look like they weigh more than the characters but which can be equipped in one hand.
  • One Steve Limit: While not exactly the same, many people may confuse DeRosa and DeRosso the first few times. It's like the difference between Steve and Steven.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The Vampire Sub-Scenario has you fight 6 dragon mini-bosses, each of which is different in name and mythology but ultimately similar in appearance; each has an elemental Breath Attack, an elemental weakness, and an elemental weakness inducing attack.
  • Palette Swap: Many enemies do this though stronger versions do have more differences.
    • It's a little more jarring for actual people, especially Egil. He's got palette swaps in a canary boy (pink-haired) and in Til (gray-haired), who was possibly the go-to design who spread the design.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling:
    • Grapp Keep in chapter 3 is a small dungeon that contains nothing but undead enemies. If you turn up encounters to 100%, equip your party with sage staffs (which cast Raise when used as an item), and sic them on the enemies there, you can pump up weak jobs to level 9 in as little as half an hour. This seems intentionally designed as well, with a Difficulty Spike in Chapter 3 accompanied with several new and powerful jobs available.
    • Florem is another great place, particularly in later chapters, with some monster encounters easily pushing the JP gain to the limit of 999 per battle.
    • De Rosso's castle houses some of the game's strongest enemies. But with the Arcanist/Black mage combo, as well as the appropriate skills (easy to have with Abilink), you can insta-kill most, if not all of them. Put it on Auto, and you will rack up JP and experience pretty easily.
    • On the same beach as the Keystone that houses the Earth Dragon in Eternia, you can encounter monsters called Guzzlers starting in Chapter Five. The encounter has three of them and although they are tough to beat (unless you're using the Conjurer's Obliterate skill) they drop 333 JP each. Again, put the fight on Auto and watch your job levels soar, with a level 1 Job gaining five levels after just one go. There's also a red counterpart in the Underflow starting in the same chapter, however these little guys are best used to grind for pg, of which no less than 15,000 can be earned per battle.
    • Actually pretty much the whole world becomes this in Chapter 5. After the "Groundhog Day" Loop resets the world, all the jobmasters can be fought again, and they give a hefty 999 JP each. Plus, the enemies in every dungeon get stronger - meaning the undead in Grapp Keep give out even better goodies.
    • And in Chapter 6, after you get the Conjurer job and learn Obliterate, the world becomes your oyster as you will automatically win 90% of all random encounters with low-level mobs and you'll get the whole XP and JP reward - so buy a Growth Egg to get the XP bonuses, choose a low-level area, start running circles with +100% encounter rate, and you'll be maxed out in a couple hours.
  • Players Are Goldfish: Airy seems to think so. She will constantly ask if you need a re-explanation on how to awaken the crystals from chapter 5 onward, for every. Single. ONE. Even if the only thing you did between crystals was fly in your airship to another crystal. Possibly justified; as she explains the first time, if you do it wrong, the crystal will shatter and her evil plan with it, so... she doesn't want you to do it wrong.
  • Playboy Bunny: A large statue of one overlooks part of Florem. Its silhouette in Florem's Establishing Shot indicates that something is not quite right with the supposedly pious and devout city.
  • Point of No Return: Subverted with the Holy Pillar. Airy politely warns the team that "Once [they] go in, there's no turning back!" And she's absolutely correct: There's no going back to the first world. However, it is only in the first world where many of the monsters providing Genome Ablities for the Vampire class appear until the Bonus Dungeon in the final chapter, so if you intend to put those abilities to any sort of good use, probably a good idea to crack open your bestiary before you head in.
  • Poison-and-Cure Gambit: The plan for corrupt Eternian Forces members DeRosa, Profiteur, and Qada in the third loop. Qada has concocted a lethal poison, a dilutant, and a cure. The plan is as follows: DeRosa spreads the dilutant to all but a few key victims, then releases the poison in Eternian Central Command. The targets die, and Eternia is left a hellhouse. Profiteur then provides the cure to the poison, thus being hailed as a savior. Qada has a choice to make - the hero who was responsible for the miracle cure, or the mad genius who created history's most diabolic weapon. The heroes thwart stage one before the three conspirators can begin.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • For all their criticism of the party viewing things in Black and White Morality, the Eternian Forces are very bad at explaining their side, especially ridiculous since Edea is their Grand Marshal's daughter. Edea herself is also bad at this, as she refuses to explain that she had a problem with Ominas Crowe (or a good deal of the other Eternian commanders) committing war crimes. The party (other than Edea) is rather aware of this but are reluctant to address it other than Lampshade Hanging. Especially absurd that it takes a variant of a "Groundhog Day" Loop where it takes killing characters off several times and getting their Final Speech and then working off that to get another Final Speech until the main characters finally know what to say to start a conversation.
    • The heroes themselves, despite realizing there is some kind of Ground Hog Day Loop going on, get mixed up with what happened in which iteration; which causes confusion and antagonism to who they're talking to. One of the Alternis Dims attacks the party when Edea rants about actions he never did; which causes him to accuse her of not being Edea. Which is technically true, as she wasn't his Edea.
  • The Power of Blood: The description for the Dark Shield reads: "A jet-black shield imbued with demonic wrath by bathing it for 120 years in fresh blood harvested from an archdemon who was captured and slowly bled without killing him."
  • The Power of Friendship: The pendant that Agnès uses can call people from other games (be they guests or friends in your list) to assist the party with an attack. Interestingly done when the True Final Boss begins to devour worlds to restore himself, it also tries to devour the worlds of players on your friend list. While one's world succumbs, the rest manage to resist this and has their party come to your aid in order to make the boss killable. Also in a bit of Gameplay and Story Integration, the boss will begin using a move that puts a character in a Pocket Dimension, but they can still act by using Summon Friend.
  • Power Copying: How Asterisks work: to gain access to a Job (class) and its powers, defeat the Asterisk holder in battle.
  • Power Floats: You know characters like the Arcanist and Conjurer mean business when their combat pose involves them simply hovering in mid-air. Especially in the Conjurer's case, since he isn't shown hovering out of combat. Meanwhile, characters like the Spiritmaster and Time Mage don't themselves float, but their weapons do.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Discussed in a Party Chat about what to say when using Special Moves, where Ringabell points out that the traditional "This blow will be your last" makes you look like an idiot if your opponent survives. The alternatives of "This will probably defeat you, maybe!", "Gosh, this would be great if this defeats you!", and "Prepare for mild to severe discomfort!" were deemed not to be acceptable replacements. (Not to mention that those lines are way too long to fit in the text box anyway.)
  • Pretty in Mink: A few character outfits (such as Ringabel's default outfit) are fur-trimmed.
  • Punny Name: If a character's name isn't an anagram or a Meaningful Name in another language, it's likely a pun.
  • Puzzle Boss: Many of the Jobmasters are Damage Sponge Bosses if you try brute-forcing your way through them and become much easier if you figure out how to use Brave/Default properly. If you don't know each boss's gimmicks ahead of time, this can turn into Trial-and-Error Gameplay unless you can adapt quickly — especially for bosses like the Swordmaster (who specializes in counterattacks; if you try to rush him when he picks "Nothing Ventured", you'll probably end up with a Game Over pretty quick).
  • Railroading: You actually get access to an airship fairly early in the game. Except there's no where to land it thanks to stagnant, rotting, acidic oceanwater. And a few areas are cut off thanks to a Broken Bridge. And trying to go into an area before it is relevant to the plot leads to the characters saying that there's nothing of interest there and booting you back to the world map.
  • Random Encounters: Noteworthy in that you can actually set the frequency of them yourself in the Settings menu during any point of the game, including turning them off completely. (This was one of the additional features added to the For the Sequel update, and the international versions based on it.) The game even gives you a tutorial screen about it — but at the same time cautioning that if you don't get enough Level Grinding won't be able to take on later bosses.
  • Rape as Drama: It is very heavily implied that Fiore DeRosa is a rapist. This is not Played for Laughs at all. In fact, the game goes out of its way to stress just how evil this makes him. This is probably one of the main reasons why the ages were upped. A 15-year old wearing a very revealing bikini while going out with a (tall-looking) 37-year old?
    • There are similarly disturbing implications from Second/Third World Jackal. His vagueness about what his second 'family' used him for (as a child no less) before he lost his usefulness doesn't help.
  • Red Herring: The biggest one is the Sage's advice, "have the courage to think and act on your own, and the courage to disobey." Combined with all the foreshadowing and reveals you get during Chapter 6, you may think it means you should overload and destroy a Crystal instead of awaken it, but this actually nets you the game's lesser ending; the 'true' ending is reached by ignoring this advice and staying the course until the pattern on Airy's wings counts down to zero and she reveals her true plans.
  • Reverse Grip: Party members wield daggers in this fashion.
  • Rewarding Inactivity: The Rebuild Norende minigame will keep progressing while the game is open, whether you're actually playing it or not. One of the more efficient ways to get high-tier building upgrades is to set villagers to work on them, put the 3DS into sleep mode, then just do something else. Likewise, this is the only free way to recharge SP for using Bravely Second.
  • Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: Since most of the events play in a similar manner in each of the worlds the party travels to, they can use their foreknowledge of the events to save their and the player's time, either by forcing the bosses into showing their true nature right away with proof of their deeds (for example, Profiteur's water racketeering) or just foiling their plans with a scheme of their own.
  • Rocket Punch: Several robot enemies are equipped with this weapon.
  • Romanticism Versus Enlightenment: Very apparent in the conflict between Crystalism and Anticrystalism. The game seems firmly on the side of Crystalism (Romanticism) until you actually go to the hub of Anticrystalism, Eternia.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: The Holy Pillar description has one typo, in which instead of Holy Pillar, Holly Pillar is written.
  • Scenery Porn: The attention to detail and lighting of the gorgeous backgrounds makes them the star of the released screenshots. The Updated Re-release improves on them even further.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: The game's Difficulty menu caters to this with options like enabling/disabling JP gain from battles, decreasing encounter rates to earn less EXP. Then of course, there's traditional self-imposed challenges along the lines of "Restricted to X class only" or "Agnès solo run" etc.
  • Sequel Hook: After the True Ending, a scene is played in which Tiz is freed from a strange contraption by Magnolia Arch.
    • The Nemesis Ba'al battles feature enemies from Bravely Second, specifically "Goldie" and "Turtle Dove". During the secret movie, if you watch the top left window while Magnolia's fighting, you can see the fish-Ba'al destroying a fleet of airships.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: After the Third World being able to communicate ideals stops being an issue, for some reason, as a lot of the events leading to death stop happening; even the battles with Eternian asterisk bearers become Lighter and Softer, presented as mere tests of skill than true fights to the death.
  • Shining City: Eternia, ironically. Who would have thought the Evil Empire would provide universal health care?
  • Ship Tease: Tiz x Agnès. Tiz cares for her a lot to the point where many characters tease him about his relationship with her. Agnès usually goes to Tiz for comfort or when she has to make a decision. She chooses Tiz as her most trusted ally when visiting Yulyana in the cave. And then there's Chapter 6, when Tiz deliberately allows Ringabel and Edea to believe that he and Agnès absconded off on a date when it was really used to discuss Ringabel's incriminating memories about Airy with Sage Yulyana.
  • Shout-Out:
    • There is an helm called Tiger Mask, its description states that "it covers the head, face and neck. Wearers have the inexplicable desire to stand somewhere up high with their arms folded." The Tiger Mask has been an item in the Final Fantasy series for a while, but the description is new.
    • Think Ringabel's Melodist's Shirt looks a bit familiar? Try googling the game's composer.
    • Tiz' unlockable costume, the Onion Shirt, is a reference to the Onion Knight class from Final Fantasy III (which originally worked much like the Freelancer class now).
    • The order in which the crystals are awakened are the reverse of the order in the original Final Fantasy (Earth, Fire, Water, Wind) as well as the same order they are awakened in Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy V.
    • The Time Mage uniform has a distinctly Gallifreyan aesthetic.
    • This may be unintentional, but Lord Derosso's sword looks identical to Finn's Demon Blood sword from Adventure Time.
    • Challenge Ominas Crowe to a battle in Chapter 7 and he will claim to summon Bahamut; when the battle starts, he's in fact accompanied by a small dragon named "Bahamut" sporting a fireball Breath Weapon named "Pico Flare" (because it's obviously too small to launch a proper Mega Flare).
    • The male Performer outfit looks like Elvis Presley's signature white jumpsuit.
  • Signs of Disrepair: After one of the big plot-twisting reveals, parts of the game's subtitle ("Flying Fairy" / "Where the Fairy Flies") on the title screen turn red and disappear. The remaining letters spell out "Lying Airy" and "Airy Lies", respectively.
  • Socialization Bonus: You can send a character to use an ability in battle. Everyone on your friends list and people you streetpass with the game can then use it once. Furthermore, Friends let you use "Ablink" which allows one of your characters to get that player's highest job levels while Streetpass gives you villagers to build up your village faster.
  • Splash Damage: Equip the Black Mage's "Damage Dispersion" support ability and any time the character takes a single-target attack (physical or magical does not matter), they distribute some of that damage party-wide (specifically, 15% for each adjacent ally). The good news is how it reduces damage to compensate for their Squishy Wizard status; the bad news is how it can accidentally KO an ally if they're at critical HP.
  • Stab the Sky: Characters afflicted with Stop are shown holding their weapon straight up in the air.
  • Standard Status Effects: Charm, Poison, Sleep, Stop, Confuse, Blind, Paralyze, Silence, Berserk and a new one named Dread, which prevents the use of Brave and Default. Poison, Silence, and Blind are the only ones that persist after a battle (the rest randomly wear off at the end of a turn). Paralyze and Stop are virtually identical except their manner of curing differs (Esuna for Paralyze and Dispel for Stop). Two common status ailments you won't find in this game, however, are Petrify and Baleful Polymorph.
    • Useless Useful Spell: Averted, most bosses can be afflicted with many of those effects, though its usually pretty hardnote  and Poison does noticeably less Damage Over Time to bosses than normal monsters. Even in regular encounters, Poison wears away about 10% of max HP per turn, making it impractical unless coupled with the Arcanist's Exterminate spell For Massive Damage.
  • Stealth Pun: As a Templar, Braev likes to use defensive moves. So Braev Lee Defaults.
  • Storming the Castle: When Egil is taken prisoner in the Starkfort, the party contemplates how to rescue him. Tiz boldly states that they're just going to walk right in and fight their way to him.
  • Stripperific: In-universe, the Bravo Bikini really does not leave much to the imagination, even by swimwear standards. Agnès hates the idea of having to wear one for plot purposes and Edea is also somewhat embarrassed by it, but still wears it for a covert sting operation. Seriously.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: Interestingly, an in-universe example. When continuing the game after getting the normal ending, the party will have additional dialog upon entering the Pillar of Light, to the effect of "even though we know Airy is evil, we have to go along with her plan in order to kill Ouroborous, or else we risk him coming back later."
  • Summon Magic: Functions the same as the original series, but the method of acquiring additional summons beyond the initial one is unique: each one is gotten from an owl mage via having them first use it on you, and if you survive it without succumbing to Total Party Wipe, you're deemed strong enough to be able to use it yourself.
    • Technically speaking, you get every summon this way since the holder of the Summoner asterisk is basically guaranteed to use the initial summon on you at least once and thus you get both the job and the test for summon's worthiness from the same battle.
    • The Summons are in Order:
      • Girtablulu (Earth): A Giant Enemy Crab (scorpion?) with a city on its back. Inspired by the scorpion men of Akkadian myth and named for their appearnce in the Babylonian version of The Epic of Gilgamesh.
      • Hresvelgr (Wind): A Jet Black Eagle. Based on the corpse eater of Norse Mythology.
      • Ziusudra's Sin (Water): Named for a Sumerian king, a likely Expy of Final Fantasy's Shiva.
      • Promethean Fire: A flaming dragon-train hybrid. Named for Prometheus, the titan that gave fire to man and was punished by Zeus for it in Classical Mythology.
      • Deus Ex (Lightning): A Clockwork Giant Spider named for the Latin phrase Deus ex Machina ("god from the machine").
      • Susano-o (Non-Elemental): A towering giant wielding a radio tower as a sword. Based on Susano-o, the thunder god of Japanese myth and thus brother of Amaterasu and Tsukiyomi, with the radio tower referencing his blade, the Ama-no-Murakumo (which you can get in game). Susano-o is also plot relevant. It was the summon Mephilia's lover Suleiman was looking for, and Mephillia herself, with help from Barbarossa and Einheria, reclaims her sanity and becomes worthy of the summon.
  • Super-Deformed: Outside the opening cutscenes, pretty much everyone is rendered about 3 heads tall. This also becomes an easy way for you to tell who's a good guy and who's a bad guy, as the good guys are always shown to be short and a little simple-looking, while the bad guys are the ones who strangely tower above everyone else in the world. There are exceptions for both sides: for the good side, you have Datz and Mazher Lee; for the bad side, you have the even more so Super-Deformed Victoria who only really looks like that because she's an Ill Girl whom got affected by banned alchemy practices and Alternis Dim because he's literally Ringabel from a paralell world.
  • Support Party Member: Several Jobs have means to deal damage, but the main point is to buff up allies (offensively and defensively), debuff enemies, or keep the party healthy. Such Jobs include the White Mage, Merchant, Performer, Salve-Maker, and Spiritmaster.
  • Take Your Time: One of the first examples is when the Black Mage Ominas Crowe threatens to burn down one building in Caldisla every night until he finds the Wind Vestal ... but you're free to spend as many nights at the inn (or day-night cycles on the world map) as you want, and Caldisla is no worse for it. Then there's the time when Grandship starts sinking "fast" — fast enough to spur a mass evacuation of its residents, but slow enough that you can sail to a neighboring country on a Fetch Quest for a plot trinket to fix the issue (or whatever other side quests interest you).
  • Take That, Audience!: In the "False" Ending, the Big Bad of the game gives the party a breaking "The Reason You Suck" Speech about how easily they were manipulated. This speech extends to the player to a considerable degree, seeing as how they are the ones who command the party to do anything
    Edea: You lied to us!
    The Big Bad: And you made it so easy. A fine pack of puppets, you lot. Not a thought of your own, so eager to obey. Because obeying is so easy, hmm? You're never responsible when you're only following orders. And who would deny what seems so obvious? Who bears the courage to disobey? Precious few. Not one human in a thousand.
  • Taking the Bullet:
    • Gameplay wise, the Knight's "Protect Ally" ability causes that character to take any attack aimed at a party member in critical health, and the "Full Cover" ability allows them to take attacks for any specified party member (and at half damage) for one turn. The Merchant, meanwhile, gets an inverted version in "White Knight": if the Merchant is at critical HP, an ally with the most HP is forced to take the attack instead. Ninjas also get an ability called "Kairai" which forces enemies to attack a designated party member.
    • Story wise, at the end of Chapter 2 when confronted by Victor and Victoria, the water vestal Olivia shields Agnes from one of Victoria's spells; she dies shortly afterwards.
  • Taking You with Me: The Dark Knight ability See You in Hell inflicts massive damage (quadruple that of a standard attack) to all enemies when the user is knocked out. Summoners have a similar ability, "Summon Substitute" that unleashes a random summon on the enemies (and for free) when knocked out.
  • The Team:
    • The Hero, The Leader, and The Heart: Agnès Oblige works as a combination of all three. She's the hero as the main character, she's the one who has the final say in group decisions (Tiz is just the more talkative one) and she's the heart because, in the end, she's the one who is keeping them all glued together.
    • The Lancer, The Heart, and The Face: Tiz Arrior works as all three. He's the one most likely to take charge when Agnès can't, his emotions and his love for his friends makes him the heart, and he's the face in that, when the chips are down and talking is needed, he's the one who will do the talking.
    • The Smart Guy: Surprisingly, despite his nature, Ringabel fits the criteria needed. He's the one piloting your ship, and multiple situations are resolved because of his quick thinking. For example, when Konoe pretends to be a dead maid in the Goodman household, he's the only one who finds that there is something off about the corpse. Also, he's the entire reason Edea was able to avoid being experimented on by De Rosa, as he was able to find the secret passage based on where he last saw De Rosa.
    • The Big Guy: Edea fits this as, while she's by no means stupid, she herself admits she sees the world in black and white, and she is usually the first to try brute forcing something. Thankfully for her, brute force usually works.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: When using Special Attacks. Most of the bonuses you get from them will last until the music stops (about 90 seconds, and measured in real time not turns), but you can combine several effects by using the next one before the music stops.
  • Time Stands Still: How Bravely Second works. It's powered by Sleep Points, which max out at 3 and which you gain either by leaving the game in sleep mode for a total of 8 hours for each one or by buying SP drinks from Nintendo eShop and using them to instantly max out your SP. In return, you can freeze the battle at any point, even in the middle of an enemy's attack, and give any one of your characters up to 4 actions to turn the tide of the battle. They're also the only way to break the normal 9999 damage cap, allowing you to do up to 999,999 damage with a lv3 Special with the correct racial and elemental multipliers on a weak enemy, for example.
  • Title Drop:
  • Too Awesome to Use:
    • Aside from the traditional item examples and strong Friend Summons, some of the Special Attacks due to the conditions that have to be met for them. For example, Axes require the user to kill (not just damage, but KO) a number of enemies with physical attacks, making it impossible to charge their Specials in most boss battles.
    • Bravely Second, which allows you to temporarily stop time and act at any point in battle, even in the middle of an enemy's attack, as well as having a higher damage cap. You can earn it by leaving the system in sleep mode for 8 hours, or by giving Square Enix your money. Even more fitting of this trope is taking multiple turns in this mode, which can be done even if you only have one turn of Bravely Second available, but puts you in negative SP, which means you'll have to wait longer to get your next Bravely Second turn or just pay for them.
  • Trap Is the Only Option:
    • In the introductory chapter, the party realizes Heinkel is almost certainly just baiting them into getting onto the Eschalot (where they'll be trapped) but choose to follow him anyway because it's still the only chance they have of securing a ship.
    • At the end of Chapter 6, dialogue with the party suggests they know they're walking into a trap of Airy's devising, but are pressing forward to get to their true foe. (Although this doesn't quite line up with their reactions once Airy finally does drop the façade.)
  • Traveling at the Speed of Plot: A few examples. For instance Kikyo's plan to assassinate the Shieldbearers' leaders will be put in motion when you visit the Goodman mansion after awakening the fire Crystal, you will find Olivia in the second loop moments before the Venus sisters arrive, and during the fourth loop you will always meet the Eternian division before they fall back to Eternia.
  • Updated Re-release: Almost by tradition of Square Enix, Bravely Default: For the Sequel added some additional scenarios and the highly requested additional save slots. Additionally, it features an updated battle and user-interface systems which came about from developing the sequel, and thus backported to the original. Luckily for everyone outside Japan, this is the version localized. Furthermore, there is a new post-credits cutscene (game engine based) that is basically a teaser for Bravely Second, featuring new protagonist Magnolia Arch apparently rescuing Tiz.
  • Video Game Time: The entire game spans about 8 months from the day Tiz is rescued to the end of the game. And that's without counting the five time loops to the true ending.
  • Villain Ball: During Chapter 1 through Chapter 4, the Eternian forces are stuck carrying it; it's obvious to Edea and Agnes that they have to be wrong about everything because they keep going out of their way to be evil bastards to the point where it actually gets in the way of achieving their goals. Near the beginning of the game, Agnes decides to surrender herself to the Eternian forces so they'll stop ravaging Caldisia. When she actually goes through with it, Holly Whyte proceeds to talk about how she's going to torture Agnes on the trip back to Eternia, at which point Tiz and Agnes decide that surrender is no longer an option.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: The first few bosses can be difficult considering you don't have many jobs or commands to use (though one of which is, thankfully, free HP recovery), and you're probably just getting used to the game's Brave and Default system. The Temple Bosses in particular are very nasty the first time you meet them, because you won't have many options to deal with their numerous party-wide attacks.
    • Even before that, there's Heinkel. Prior to that, you can brute force through much of the prologue with the Freelancer class, but everything about that fight is designed just to force you to understand the value of magic to both exploit Heinkel's vulnerability to it and to bypass him shielding his flunkies.
  • Was It All a Lie?: Agnès to Airy in the false ending route. Airy's answer is a cruel type 1, as not only does she taunt her for her foolishness, but she even pretends to have been possessed to give her a Hope Spot.
  • Weapon of Choice: Most Jobs have at least one weapon they have S-rank affinity for, with the exception of the Jack of All Stats classes (Freelancer, Red Mage, Conjurer). Note that leveling up the Job marked with a * will unlock an ability granting maximum proficiency with that weapon to other classes.
  • Wham Episode: The end of Chapter 4. You've just defeated Alternis, but the boat is rocking wildly. In the chaos, Alternis's mask breaks, revealing that he and Ringabel look exactly alike. He then falls over the edge of Grandship, dropping a journal that bears an uncanny resemblance to Ringabel's. Finally, Grandship, unable to stabilize, ends up sucked into the holy pillar... Cue Tiz and company waking up in Caldisla, with everything seemingly as it was the day after the attack by Ominas Crowe.
  • Wheel of Pain: A giant one powers all of the machinery in Ancheim. It's turned by the entire populace when the windmills are out of order.
  • With Lyrics: Select songs from the soundtrack have "Vocalized Versions" performed by Linked Horizon, the music collective formed by composer Revo.
  • World of Ham: Don't deny it.
  • You Are Not Alone: When things look their absolute most bleak during the true final boss, the voice of the Celestial being reassures the heroes this. Then the combined power of all the remaining parallel versions of the party from other worlds is channeled through Agnés' pendant, and the fight resumes.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: With regards to the Big Bad's plot to cause The End of the World as We Know It, you actually can: By destroying one of the crystals, you derail Ouroboros' plans for a few thousand years while a new crystal regenerates, even if you don't permanently break the cycle. A late-game sidequest also has the party thwart a Poison-and-Cure Gambit scheme by DeRosa, Profiteur, and Qada before it begins.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Two instances: it seems that Airy has done this with the heroes in many of the timelines, killing the current group that she is working with and moving on to a new one in a new world whenever they start getting too strong or figuring out her plan. The second case actually has Airy on the receiving end. In the fight against her during the true ending, Ouroboros keeps healing her to full health whenever you bring her to zero...until he just gets tired of her and lets the party finish her.
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already: After you see the cutscene of Heinkel and Owen fighting, Owen's entry in Ringabel's journal will say he died in the fight. Keep in mind that character entries are penned in by Ringabel, so unlike D's Enigmatic Writings they don't predict the future.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Most female jobs sport Grade A. Holly is the first one you see.

Wonder Project JCreator/Square EnixBravely Second
Brave StoryEastern RPGBravely Second
Knights Of The CrystalsFranchise/Final FantasyMakai Toshi SaGa
Bound by FlameUsefulNotes/The Eighth Generation of Console Video GamesChild of Light

alternative title(s): Bravely Default Flying Fairy
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