Video Game: Final Fantasy III
Not to be confused with Final Fantasy VI, which was originally released in North America on SNES as Final Fantasy III.
Four souls shall be blessed with light, and so it shall begin...
The third entry in the brain-implodingly
popular Final Fantasy
series.Kids will be kids, right
? And if you tell them that a particular abandoned and unguarded cave is dangerous
, you can pretty much expect the kids to wander in. This goes double if the kids in question are orphans and don't really have parental influences in their lives.
Little do the orphans know, they're about to stumble on a power that will change their lives, and force them to save the world. With the crystals of light sensing that darkness is about to take over, they find the first folks to come along to grant their powers - the four orphans. It's now up to these kids, so inexperienced that they're called Onion Knights (after the Japanese term negibozu
, literally a green onion sprout but also meaning a callow youth), to save the world.
For a long time this game was called the "lost" Final Fantasy
, as it was never released anywhere outside of Japan for many years - even after all of the other pre-PlayStation games received at least one release. However, a remake
, with more plot and characterization, came out worldwide on the Nintendo DS
, finally getting the game to a wider audience. And now, the DS version has been ported to the iOS
and recently has been released on PC via Steam
Ironically enough, in terms of gameplay, it's very much one of the most important games in the series, as several concepts in the series as a whole originate in this game. Moogles, summon magic, terrain effects... this game started many of them. As a result, while it's not especially well-regarded or remembered in English-speaking countries, the Japanese fanbase tends to consider it one of the finest and most important games in the series and one of the best NES RPGs in history
Has a character sheet
This game provides examples of:
- Ability Required to Proceed: Both the Mini and Frog spells are required for a few dungeons (the former also pretty much forces you to use magic-using classes).
- Adaptation Displacement: Invoked by Word of God, though subject to a Flip Flop of God — some materials state the four orphans from Ur are now considered the same characters as the DS heroes, and the Onion Knights/Onion Kids are Canon Discontinuity. However, spin-offs still use the Onion Knight as the game's representative hero note , and he's mentioned to be one of the four orphans from Ur, despite the fact that in appearance and personality he's a distinct character from any of the DS heroes.
- Affirmative Action Girl: Refia was the only one of the original Onion Knights to be given a gender change along with a name and personality.
- In the official manga for the original game, there was a female Onion Knight named Melfi.
- AFGNCAAP: Only in the Famicom version.
- All in a Row: More like Both In A Row, as guests will follow your party leader perfectly.
- Always Check Behind the Chair/Notice This: The DS remake lets you zoom-in using L/R, with spots hiding objects giving off a yellow-gold sparkle.
- Anti-Villain: Xande. He only wants the timer on his life removed after his master stripped him of his immortality after mastering magic.
- A Child Shall Lead Them: King Alus of Saronia.
- Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Most notable in the DS version, where only three enemies can be onscreen at once.
- The Artifact: Fat Chocobo stores items for you. In the Famicom version, where you had limited inventory space, this was useful and important. The remake versions have an unlimited inventory, so Fat Chocobo serves no purpose (unless you want your inventory to be a little less cluttered).
- An Axe to Grind: The Viking class.
- Badass Bookworm: The Scholar class.
- Badass Cape: Worn by the Black Belt class.
- Badass Grandpa: Doga and Cid.
- Badass Longcoat: Worn by the Scholar class.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: The Monk and Black Belt classes.
- Bare Your Midriff: Refia's Thief outfit.
- Bewitched Amphibians: Via the Frog spell.
- Black and White Magic: The Red Mage, Scholar, and Sage classes.
- Black Cloak: Worn by the Magus class.
- Black Knight: The Dark Knight class.
- Black Mage: The Black Mage and Magus classes.
- Black Magic: Used by the Black Mage and Magus classes.
- Blade on a Stick: The Dragoon class.
- Blind Seer: The Gulgans appear to be an entire race of these.
- Blow You Away: This is the first FF installment to feature Wind-element magic (Aero/Aera/Aeroga). Strangely, it is classified as White Magic.
- Boss Bonanza: The game has the Crystal Tower and the World of Darkness dungeon crawl. After the battle with Xande, you have a Hopeless Boss Fight with the Cloud of Darkness, followed by four more battles with the Guardians of the Dark Crystals, and finally the rematch battle with the Cloud of Darkness. As this is Final Fantasy III, you have to beat all these bosses with no opportunities to save between them.
- Breather Episode: This game brought in some much needed humor after Final Fantasy II.
- Broken Bridge: The game is just a string of Broken Bridges. First, you need to turn the people back from ghosts to break a large rock. Then you need to Get on the Boat and beat Nepto. Then you need to destroy the whirlpool. After that, you need to get the horns back from Gutsco. Followed by getting locked up in prison by Hein. And then you need to lower the water level. After that, you need to unchain the ship. But to do that, you need the Levigrass Shoes. Then your airship gets shot down and you're stuck in a Civil War. Then you need to wake up Unei. Then when she gives you the Invincible, you need to get the last Fang. Then you need the Eureka and Syrcus keys... and then finally you can get to The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
- Bonus Boss: The guardians of the Dark Warriors, who will help in the final battle if freed. They are not completely optional in the DS remake, but the remake does add the Iron Giant.
- Bonus Dungeon: In addition to the various sidequest dungeons, as well as the DS-exclusive ??? bonus dungeon, which is a single tiny room with dragons as random encounters, no treasure, and a Bonus Boss.
- Strictly speaking, Eureka is optional. You know, the caves with about a dozen weapons that Doga and Unei gave their lives to unlock, saying they were all supposedly neccessary? Granted, climbing Crystal Tower without them is tantamount to suicide (within the context of Final Fantasy III), but there's nothing stopping you from giving it a try!
- Boss in Mook Clothing: The dragons in the Crystal Tower.
- Broken Aesop: The Dark Is Not Evil and Light Is Not Good message is undermined in the DS Updated Re-release by extra lines in the pre-ending crawl going on and on about evil being defeated by "the light of hope." The Cloud of Darkness also applies, if only in name, though it's unclear what she was called during the flood of light.
- But Thou Must: After defeating Gutsco the Rogue, you may notice that an unusual shadow is following you back through the dungeon. Naturally, this is Gutsco trying to pull a fast one on the party. Despite that fact, you have to fall for the trick to progress the story.
- Canon Name: The manga adaption names the quartet Muuchi, Doug, J. Bowie, and Melfi. The DS remake names them Luneth, Arc, Refia, and Ingus.
- Cast from Hit Points: The Dark Knight's Souleater ability (DS version only).
- Casting a Shadow: The Geomancer's Shadowflare and the Dark Knight's Souleater.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: The Black Belt class.
- Check Point Starvation: The final tower does this to you. After the last time you can save, you have to go up eight or nine floors of the Crystal Tower, gaining experience along the way, and then you defeat a boss, get warped to the World of Darkness where you have to beat four more tough minibosses, get items, gain more experience, defeat the final boss, and then watch the whole ending scene before you can finally save again.
- Contrived Coincidence: It just so happens that a guy who fell down a hole one day, his best friend in town, a girl they meet on a ship, and a guard who greets them at a gate are all the chosen ones, as well as orphans.
- It is later revealed that the four children were all passengers aboard Cid's ship, which was headed for the Floating Continent from the surface world, when they were babies. During the earthquake, all of their respective parents died, and Cid gave the children to various accepting foster parents after the crash. That is why they are all orphans and all live in the same area.
- Conveniently an Orphan: Lampshaded in the DS version.
- Cool Helmet: Worn by the Knight, Dragoon, Viking, and Dark Knight classes.
- Cool Old Guy: Doga and Cid both qualify.
- Cool Old Lady: Unei doesn't even let the party suggest she's too frail to come along and thinks nothing of blasting apart giant adamantine boulders. With her mind. And antimatter.
- Cool Mask: Worn by the Ninja class.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: The Onion Knight class (but not the corresponding Freelancer class), due to Magikarp Power.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Present in the backstory, when the Dark Warriors have to save the world against abuse of the elemental powers of light. They also can help out your party if they are freed, showing that they're apparently not inherent rivals to the Light Warriors. Also, the Dark Knight class.
- Death from Above: The Dragoon's Jump attack.
- Difficulty Spike: Due to limitations at the time, the maximum enemy count of the DS version was reduced to 3 (this was later fixed in IV). As a result, all of the enemies were given higher stats and HP.
- The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The World of Darkness has regular enemies with double the hit points of the bosses faced in the previous dungeon. Also the mini-bosses have triple the HP of the previous bosses.
- Disney Death: Desch jumps into the Tower of Owen's furnace. No One Could Survive That... but when Dorga is looking for people to help the Light Warriors at the end, he pops up without a scratch, and in fact quite surprised that anyone would think he'd been in mortal danger. It just took him that long to fix it.
- Do Well, but Not Perfect: Once a Thief hits Level 99, nearly all the elemental items that are good for Scholar (like Arctic Wind) are blocked by Turtle Shells and Tranquilizers.
- Drop the Hammer: The Viking class.
- Drought Level of Doom: The endgame is infamous for this, forcing the player to go through not one, not two, but three consecutive dungeons (plus a fourth dungeon in the Famicom version if the player wants to get the Ninja and Sage classes) and the Final Boss without a single chance to save. Even worse, once you reach the final dungeon, you don't even get the option to backtrack to the world map to save. Even worse than that, there's a ton of boss fights on your way to the Final Boss, with four of them in the final dungeon. Even worse still, one of those four bosses is That One Boss, who'll almost certainly slaughter you at least once until you can figure out what to do.
- Dual Wielding: In a twist, everyone (except the Bard) can do it. Yes, even Scholars, who can dual-wield books. There's at least one viable strategy that involves dual-wielding shields.
- The opening FMV in the DS version even shows everyone doing it just because.
- One of the most famous pieces of the Amano concept art (now used as the background of the game's logo) is one warrior dual-wielding swords.
- Elemental Powers: The Geomancer stands out for being able to use all of them... albeit at random.
- Eleventh Hour Superpower: The Sage and Ninja classes in the original. They're better balanced in the remake.
- Enemy Scan: The first game in the series with it, and intended to be required for a boss fight at one point. It's also the specialty of the Scholar class.
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: The "Four Old Men" who believe that they are the true Warriors of Light.
- Fake Difficulty: Pseudo-random turn order. You're not likely to get enough Agility to make a difference on more than one party member, and the bosses where it really counts are pretty much all over the place on their attack order.
- Floating Continent: Unusually, that's where the game actually starts.
- Fighter, Mage, Thief: The Fighter, Black Mage, and Thief classes. They each have upgrades as well — Knight, Magus, and Ninja.
- Fire, Ice, Lightning: It's a Final Fantasy game. Of course this is in here. The specialty of Black Mages, Red Mages, Evokers, Summoners, and Sages.
- Fist Pump: In the Nintendo DS remake, Ingus does this gesture when he levels up.
- Flechette Storm: The Ninja's Throw ability.
- Foreboding Architecture: This game continues the Final Fantasy trend of "lots of stark crystal structures" at or near the end of the game.
- Gendered Outfit: Refia's Job outfits are sometimes at-odds with the three boys of the group, such as the Thief◊, Summoner◊, and Ninja◊. It's not hard to pick her out of the lineup.
- Get on the Boat
- The Ghost: Despite being mentioned as the main villain for most of the storyline, Xande is only seen in person when you battle him. In fact, he actually appears less in the game than the Giant Space Flea from Nowhere does.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: You didn't really think Xande was going to be the final boss, did you?
- Glass Cannon: Quite a few. The Black Mage/Magus and Monk stand out, but the Warrior can be as well thanks to their Advance ability, and Dark Knights with Souleater.
- Global Airship: Four of them. One of which is a submarine, and another which fires cannons at random encounters and is so massive that it doesn't actually land. Three out of the four, however, aren't that good at flying over mountains, which limits exploration a little. And the fourth cannot fly over every mountain, either.
- Gratuitous English: Roaming Sheep.
- Guest Star Party Member: A few characters tag along with the party throughout the game; in the DS remake, they'll randomly appear and attack during battle.
- Healing Hands: The White Mage and Devout classes.
- Healing Shiv: One of its earliest appearances. Of course, like all other weapons, they can be Dual Wielded.
- Healing Spring: The first appearance in the series.
- Hello, Insert Name Here: In the Famicom version, you name all four of the characters. Sometimes those four names appear in list form when a character is addressing everybody in the group; other times, only the character currently being used as your sprite is addressed. However, since you can use the Select key to rotate which of the four is your sprite, this can (depending on the translation) make some follow-up conversations a bit jarring.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: The Warrior and Knight classes.
- Highly-Visible Ninja: The red-clad Ninja class returns to the series.
- Holy Hand Grenade: The Devout class.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: The Cloud of Darkness will kill most parties in the first round the first time you fight her.
- Bahamut near the beginning. You have to escape, not win, because although he's not dangerous, your party will still be unable to kill him.
- Horny Vikings: The Viking class, of course.
- Improbable Weapon User: Geomancers, who fight with bells.
- In Harmony with Nature: The Geomancer class.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: The Dragoon class. Plus, you know, Bahamut.
- In the Hood: The Geomancer and the Devout classes. The Devout's cat-eared hood would be referenced in future Final Fantasy titles.
- Item Amplifier: The Scholar job doubles the effectiveness of all items used, including the magical attack items, making them far more deadly then they initially appear.
- Jack-of-All-Trades: The Onion Knight class.
- Job System: While Final Fantasy I lets you choose your jobs at the beginning of the game, this game codifies the job-changing system used in later Final Fantasy games.
- Joke Item: The Gold Sword has an attack power of one, but can be sold for 10,000 gil, logically enough for a valuable yet soft metal.
- Jump Physics: Dragoons and their Jump attack, setting series tradition.
- Infinity Plus One Equipment: Onion equipment.
- Katanas Are Just Better: Want to kill splitting enemies without them splitting? It's either a katana, or burn through all your magic. They're also the preferred weapons of Dark Knights and Ninjas.
- Knife Nut: The Thief and Ninja classes.
- Kung Fu Fighting: The Monk and Black Belt classes.
- Leitmotif: One four-man group has one, called simply "The Four Old Men."
- Lethal Joke Character: Geomancers definitely fall into this in the remake. Their effects are laughable for the first few levels — but when they do screen-clearing non-elemental attacks at higher levels for no cost, you'll wonder why you bothered with other classes.
- There's a curious build to turn a Viking into this. Make one character a Viking, equip them with the best two shields and best armor you have, stick them in the back row, and continually have them use Provoke. This attracts enemy attacks, absorbed by the Viking's high defense (and improves as the character's shield skill increases), freeing the other characters to wail on foes (though one of the other three is usually on "heal the Viking" duty). The strategy breaks down against attacks that hit the whole party, but works extremely well if the enemies lack those attacks.
- With clever item use, Scholars can also do this with their doubled effectiveness with items. It does get expensive, though.
- In the Famicom version, the Onion Knight is the starting class and not very good, but can use some endgame equipment and gets insane stat growths past level 90.
- Level-Map Display: The Sight spell displays a map.
- Lighter and Softer: It's not as dark and grim as its predecessor or its successor, but it does have its share of sad moments.
- Light Is Not Good: See Dark Is Not Evil above.
- Lightning Bruiser: The Black Belt class.
- Luck-Based Mission: The final series of bosses (and Garuda) due to random turn order. Their offensive power necessitates a party-wide Curaja almost every turn.
- The Geomancer can behave like this, particularly at lower job levels when their most powerful abilities are less likely to occur. This intersects with Magikarp Power, as the odds swing heavily in the player's favor after enough work in the class.
- Magic Knight: Both the Dark Knight and Ranger classes can use some White Magic in the Famicom release, while the Knight class gains White Magic in the DS remake.
- The Woman(?) Behind The Man: The Cloud of Darkness is more or less controlling Xande's actions to institute her release.
- Magic Music: The Bard class.
- Magikarp Power: The Onion Knight is the most extreme, starting off useless but becoming the most powerful class by a ridiculous margin at level 90 or so, but the Geomancer and Black Belt also deserve special mention.
- Martial Arts Headband: The Monk class. In the DS remake, Refia uses hers as Hair Decorations.
- Martial Arts Uniform: The Monk and Black Belt classes.
- Master of None: The Red Mage.
- Master of Unlocking: Thieves can unlock doors without using up Magic Keys.
- The Medic: The White Mage and Devout classes.
- Money Spider: Most obvious when you go into Goldor's castle. As his Meaningful Name suggests, everything there, including the minions, are made of gold for you to harvest.
- Mortality Ensues: The great sage Noah awards each of his three students with a gift; Doga is bestowed with great magical power while Unei is given control over the world of dreams while she slept, and both go on to become renowned sages in their own right. Xande? He receives the "gift" of mortality. He doesn't take well to this snubbing.
- Mugging the Monster: The Viking's Provoke ability — particularly effective if the Viking in question dual wields shields.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Defied. Xande seems to disagree that mortality is more awesome than magical omnipotence or ownership of a dream realm.
- Musical Assassin: The Bard class.
- Mythology Gag:
- The classes granted by the Wind Crystal are the six classes from the original Final Fantasy.
- If you unlock the special Onion Knight class in the DS version, it starts with Luneth rescuing a group of four Onion Knights who also fell into the cavern you did. In other words, the four Onion Knights from the original game.
- Never Mess with Granny: Unei is this in spades.
- Nerf: The Sage and Ninja classes, which were the best classes in the NES version, are balanced in respect to the other classes in the DS remake. The Evoker and Conjurer are slightly weaker as wellnote .
- Nice Hat: The Black Mage, Red Mage, Ranger, Magus, and Sage classes all get one. The Black Mage and Red Mage in particular get their iconic Nice Hats, while the Magus gets a sweet variant of the Black Mage's.
- Nintendo Hard: Even moreso in the DS version, since engine limitations meant that they simply upped the stats of existing monsters rather than make you fight multiple groupings of them. Said monsters can often attack two or even three times per round, making bosses more dangerous. Oh, and one more little detail — THERE ARE NO SAVE POINTS, EVER. The only place to save your game is on the world map. Enjoy traipsing through a three hour dungeon with no save points and dying at the end!
- Moreover, with one or two exceptions, there are no healing points in the dungeons either. This isn't such a big problem with HP, as you can restore that with potions, but MP restoring items are much rarer. Which means you have to do each dungeon twice — one run to collect all the items and level up your characters, and a second run where you run from every random encounter to make sure you have enough HP and MP to face off against the boss.
- The game's magic system also kicks things up a notch: Rather than the Mana system found in later games, characters are capped at casting a certain number of level 1 spells, a certain number of level 2 spells, etc. based on level. Mana isn't restored when you switch jobs and there's no such thing as Ether, so you have to use either the extremely valuable Elixir or a Tent to restore magic. The DS version actually reduces Mana, especially for low-level spells. This is much worse than it sounds, since Cure and Cura are extremely valuable in the late game because they're not competing with Raise or other high-level White Magic for MP, and high-end black magic is overkill against most random encounters.
- Phoenix Downs cannot be bought in stores in either version. You can only find them in treasure chests, by stealing them from rust birds, or in hidden locations. There are about 30 of them to find throughout the entire game -- unless you use a thief to steal an infinite number from the rust birds on the dragon mountain.
- The final room in the World Of Darkness has random encounters with offensive power comparable to the most difficult of the four bosses you just fought — except they're additionally capable of Back Attacking you, attacking three times to wipe out half your party and leave the other half in the red before you get the chance to input commands, then attacking three more times to finish you before any of those commands go off. And you thought Warmech was bad?!?
- Nonstandard Game Over: Trying to cross the swamp in front of Goldor Manor without the Levigrass Shoes causes your entire party to sink into the swamp. Also, trying to pass the statues without all of the Fangs towards the end of the game will result in the party instantly dying from an unknown force.
- Not Completely Useless: A few classes fall into this. The Scholar is most prominent because although the job isn't one that you'll be using all the time, at certain parts of the game their abilities can help you a lot.
- The Geomancer especially. They've been joke characters/shrugged off in other games with them, but in this game, they're actually feasible damage-dealers with just melee damage and their abilities are actually rather useful if a bit random. It's not uncommon for them to get Shadowflare and hit for damage near the cap in the middle of the game.
- Bards in both versions. There specialty is teamwork so they are best when used with other characters. In the Famicom version they are great with other Vikings, Evokers, and Bards who need more setup for attacks. In the DS version Dark Knights will love their free healing.
- Nothing Is Scarier: The final room of the Crystal Tower has no music, no enemies, statues of dragons, and a mirror. Yeah, not foreboding at all!
- Obi-Wan Moment: Doga and Unei, among others.
- One Time Dungeon: The floating Hein Castle, which after finishing, gets planted into a forest you're not allowed to get back to.
- One-Winged Angel: No matter how human an enemy looks, they WILL be a monster after the Fight Woosh. The Cloud of Darkness is an inversion, in that she looks more human during the boss fight.
- Outside-Context Villain: The Cloud of Darkness.
- Palette Swap: Aside from the monsters, the Onion Knights in the Famicom version. The other classes use the same sprite for all the characters, though.
- Peninsula of Power Leveling: If the party can handle the splitting monsters with ease without needing to rely on katanas, then any cave can count. Since each half has the hit points of the first one after the hit, and each gives full experience, it's possible to farm a whole bunch of weak ones that will split from a mage's punch and then die in a single hit, for mountains of experience. The DS version's limit of three enemies on screen at once hampers the effectiveness of this strategy.
- In the original once you have unchained the airship the party can visit the Ruin of Ancients. The Bone Dragons and Pyralis in the first room can be killed with Cure or Life, and Ice from the back row.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Quite a few of the class outfits qualify.
- Refia's Summoner outfit is the most stand-out example and it's one of the most elaborate job costume in the game.
- Plotline Death: Several of the additional party members, although only a few (Aria, Doga, and Unei) stay dead.
- Powers as Programs: The Job System, in its first Final Fantasy appearance.
- To a lesser extent, the magic system with spells being items that can be equipped/transferred.
- Power Crystal: Not worn, but sought out for new jobs.
- Power of the Void: The Cloud of Darkness.
- Precision-Guided Boomerang: The Thief, Ranger, and Ninja classes can use these.
- Precursor Heroes: Many years before the main storyline, the Warriors of Darkness were forced to defend their own world from being swallowed by the light.
- Prestige Class: In the Famicom version, some of the classes introduced by later Crystals are upgraded versions of earlier classes, and for the most part are better in every way. Taken Up to Eleven with the Ninja (ultimate physical class) and Sage (ultimate magic class), which are not only the best classes, but pretty much impossible to win without. (The DS version rebalances all of the classes to make them more even.)
- Rain of Arrows: The Ranger's Barrage ability.
- Randomly Drops: Onion equipment are rare drops from dragons. The dragons are rare Random Encounters in the Crystal Tower (and common encounters in the DS remake's ??? Bonus Dungeon).
- Recurring Riff: Several recurring Final Fantasy themes (the battle theme, Chocobo theme, the Prelude/Crystal Theme, the main theme) are found in this game.
- The Red Mage: The Red Mage class, of course. The Sage can be considered an upgraded version of the job especially in the Famicom version.
- Respawning Enemies: The splitting enemies, spawning by being hit by melee attacks.
- The splitting enemies use up half their remaining HP when they split, however, so in the original you can split them enough to wipe them out with a magic attack.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Sara and Alus, who both help out your party several times on their quest.
- The Smurfette Principle: In the DS remake, Refia is the only girl of the four orphans. In the original, they're apparently all male.
- In the manga, Melfi was also the only girl among the other orphans.
- Spell My Name with an "S": One of the final bosses, Zande(straight romanization)/Xande(DS translation).
- Spiritual Successor: The same team that worked on the DS remake would later go on to make Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light, which has it's own Spiritual Successor in Bravely Default. All three games are similar in visuals, tone, and storytelling, and utilize extremely similar Job systems.
- Spoony Bard: The Bard class in the Famicom version. Avoided in the DS version, where it's simply Difficult but Awesome.
- Squishy Wizard: Hp growth is dependant on Vitality, which is dependant on what class a character is, so if you keep one character as a mage the entire game, their Hp total will reflect it. Conversely, if you give them a few levels as a Black Belt or Viking, they can end up with quite a bit more.
- Standard Status Effects: The Black Mage and Magus classes.
- Status Buff: The White Mage, Bard, and Devout classes.
- Stealth Pun: The Onion Knights/Kids. The Japanese word for onion can be read as a callow youth.
- Stripperific: The Cloud of Darkness barely wears anything but a few ribbons and a cape, setting the trend for many more female Final Fantasy characters to come.
- She only has the cape in her original Amano artwork which she also wears in Dissidia. In the original, she just had zebra stripes, no legs, and Barbie Doll Anatomy.
- Averted by Refia, whose default outfit is possibly the most sensible one seen on a female FF character. Although played straight with her Thief outfit.
- Also played straight with Princess Sara's cleavage-enhancing, midriff-baring top. Seriously, that thing can't be comfortable.
- This is lampshaded in Dissidia012 in which Laguna upon first seeing Cloud of Darkness can't stop staring at her attractive image, leading to a very awkward cutscene.
- Summon Magic: The first appearance in the series, used by the Evoker, Summoner, and Sage. Also the only time summons had 3 different effects, depending on what class summoned them.
- Suspend Save: Added to the DS and later remakes.
- Taking the Bullet: The Knight class, introducing the series-staple Cover command.
- Aria does this in the storyline before the fight with the Water Temple guardian, taking an arrow meant for the heroes.
- Technicolor Death
- The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The World of Darkness.
- Throw the Book at Them: This is the only weapon available to the Scholar class. The first ones you get somehow come in Fire, Ice, Lightning flavors.
- Too Awesome to Use: Ninja Stars. They do a ton of damage, but they're so easy to run through and very expensive to buy.
- Also Phoenix Downs, which can't be bought in this game, unlike others in the series.
- Ultimate Blacksmith: The aptly named "Legendary Smith" shows up in the DS remake.
- Unscaled Merfolk: Kraken.
- Updated Re-release: The first version to be released outside of Japan.
- Useless Useful Spell: Although, in this case, it's more of a case of Useless Useful Classes. The Bard, Evoker, and many others simply do not have the statistical leanings and/or skills to survive later-game battles. Oddly, however, the Geomancer's skillset starts and stays insanely powerful, especially if you're lucky enough to consistently roll Shadowflare.
- In the original Famicom version, the "Onion Knight" ultimate class didn't exist as a separate class — it was just that the weak, no-abilities starting class "Onion Kid" got super-high stats at levels 90 and up, and was able to equip the ultimate Onion equipment, which granted huge stats bonuses itself. So the class becomes useless as soon as the first set of jobs becomes available — unless you powerlevel, at which point it becomes the ultimate killing machine.
- Bard does get a single use — their healing song is a free 10-20% party heal. This scales nicely until the later parts of the game, and when combined with the Dark Knight's self-damaging attack, works as a good 1-2 punch.
- Evoker. Obtained before any summon spell is, and their use of summon spells are extremely impotent.
- Vendor Trash: The golden swords you find in Goldor's mansion are utterly useless for fighting with, but merchants will happily buy them from you for an extortionate sum.
- Video Game Stealing: Thieves, naturally.
- Video Game 3D Leap: The DS remake swapped sprites for full polygonal graphics.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Bahamut is very weak to a Dragoon wielding dual Gungnirs. How weak? OHKO weak.
- We Win Because You Didn't: Subverted when Goldor shatters a golden crystal that the Light Warriors believe is the Earth Crystal. However it's just a fake imitation.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Mortality. Great Magus Noah gives his student Xande the gift of Mortality. Said gift ends up driving Xande completely insane as he ended up unleashing the Cloud of Darkness on the world.
- White Mage: The second appearance in the series as a job class. There's also the Devout, which is the Prestige Class version in the original.
- White Magic: In addition to the White Mage and Devout, usable by the Ranger and the Dark Knight(Famicom version), and the Knight (DS version).
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: This seems to be what Noah, Doga, and Unei feel, as they all considered being able to die a great gift.
- Why Did It Have to Be Frogs?: Refia hates frogs and toads. Guess what the party needs to turn into in order to infiltrate a couple of dungeons? She even whimpers the second time it comes up. Somewhat ironic if you made her the White Magic user, which means that she has to cast the Toad spell on the party.
- Windmill Crusader: A bunch of old men in Amur who think they're the real Light Warriors.
- Yin-Yang Bomb: The Cloud of Darkness, despite her name, is a living one of these. She has shown up as either darkness surrounding a core of light, or light surrounding a core of darkness.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Refia as a Devout and Scholar. And for bonus points, Scholar gives her Meganekko glasses and Girlish Pigtails.
Hey, where are you four brats off to now? What...? You're going to go save the world? Did you get hit on the head or something?