Final Fantasy IV: The After Years is part of the superlatively popularFinal Fantasy series. It is a direct sequel to Final Fantasy IV, taking place 17 years after that game (roughly the same amount of time as had passed between the games' release dates). It features the children of the original cast, along with some new characters and returnees from the original, as they investigate the return of the second moon.The game was originally released for cell phones in Japan, and was released on WiiWare June 1, 2009 in the US. The entire game will cost 3700 Wii points total for 9 story segments (13 chapters in all). Following the success of the DS prequel in iOS / Android form, TAY is getting the same treatment, as in, it looks exactly as you'd expect the game to look as it if was on the DS. This version is set for release Winter 2013.It, along with Final Fantasy IV proper, was released in the Final Fantasy IV Complete Collection on the PSP with enhanced spritework and audioand a cheaper overall price in March 2011 in Japan and April everywhere else. It was released again on iOS, this time using the 3D engine of the DS Final Fantasy IV remake in November 2013.
Return of the Moon (800 Wii points)
The Last of the Red Wings (Bundled with chapter 1)
Return of the Dragoon (Bundled with chapter 1)
Rydia's Tale: The Eidolons Shackled (300 Wii Points)
Yang's Tale: The Master of Fabul (300 Wii Points)
Palom's Tale: The Mage's Voyage (300 Wii Points)
Edge's Tale: The Pulse of Babil (300 Wii Points)
Porom's Tale: The Vanished Lunar Whale (300 Wii Points)
The Lunarian's Tale: The Blue Planet That Was (300 Wii Points)
The Crystals: The Planet Eater (800 Wii Points)
And an extra chapter for the PSP port that covers the 17 years between Ceodore's birth and the start of the game.This page assumes that you played and completed Final Fantasy IV, so beware of spoilers if you haven't.
This game provides examples of:
Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: A particularly notable example as a good portion of the game puts you in control of royalty or other authority figures, and when they visit the shops in the towns and castles they rule ,the merchants still charge outrageous prices. In Yang's Tale, the merchant on the sailing ship says he'll give you a discount since you're royalty — he doesn't really.
An Economy Is You: It's implied that shops carry a vast inventory and the interface is showing you only what interests you at the time, since the same shop in the same town sells different things depending on the chapter, even when two different chapters depict the same scene from different points of view. For example, the Mysidia weapon shop sells Ninja gear when the player controls Tsukinowa spying on Porom, but when we see that segment from Porom's POV, the shop sells bows, arrows, staves, and rods.
And I Must Scream: In Rydia's Tale, you can explore the Feymarch, where the Eidolons have been petrified in place...and are still aware and somehow able to communicate with her.
Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Normal for the series, but especially notable in the first part of The Crystals: You can potentially start the chapter with ten characters theoretically available, you get up to six more, and yet you can only use a specific four characters out of those sixteen (and the game's Arbitrary Headcount Limit is actually five, making it all the weirder.) The other twelve just hang out on your airship and do nothing all chapter. Ostensibly, a few of them are recovering from their encounters with the Mysterious Girl, but that doesn't account for the six you might have from Rydia's and Edge's chapters.
Armor of Invincibility: The Adamant equipment, as in many other games in the series, only obtainable in the last dungeon by trading Adamantite pieces collected from the various tales. The Lunar, Crystal, and Phase equipment are otherwise found in the final dungeon and rival the Adamant equipment for the strongest armor pieces.
Artificial Stupidity: Deathmask enemies will cast Reflect on themselves and your party, then bounce damaging spells off of themselves onto you and bounce Curaga and Haste spells off your party onto it. However, after the initial cast of Reflect on its second turn, it'll only renew Reflect on itself, thus eventually your Reflect will wear off but the Deathmask will still cast Curaga and Haste on you.
Ascended Meme/Fandom Nod: In Yang's Tale you are accompanied by three generic Monks differentiated A, B, and C. The fandom nicknamed them Monk Anderson, Monk Brown, and Monk Coleman, and Monk Coleman become a Memetic Badass due to coming into the party with the Metal Knuckles and thus doing more damage than Anderson or Brown. The PSP re-release of the game gives Monk C a darker sprite and portrait to distinguish him from Monk A and Monk B.
A Taste of Power: Rydia has lost her Eidolons and doesn't get them back until close to the end of the game. In Porom's Tale, however you get control of Rydia in a flashback and she has them all. It's complete overkill to summon Bahamut against Gargoyles and Needlehogs, but you won't be able to call him again until about ten minutes before the Final Boss, so why not?
Awesome, but Impractical: Both the awesomeness and impracticality of Band abilities rises along with the number of party members needed to pull them off. Pretty much all five-person Bands (read - your entire party skips their turn to charge it up) are very cool to pull off, but probably not worth the effort.
Awesome yet Practical: The Giant's Gloves armlet. It's farmable in even the first tale from Ogre-type enemies (though they drop them very rarely, this means nothing to a patient player), they give a very impressive boost to Strength and Stamina, and have among the best defenses of the armlets and rings save for lacking magic defense. If you're fortunate enough to win one for one of your fighters in the individual tales, you'll probably find you'll never want to take them off even as you prepare for the final boss.
The Quake spell for end-game magic users. Executes fairly fast, hits all enemies, ignores reflect, is non-elemental so it can't be absorbed, and it costs as much MP as the third-tier elemental spells but does more damage against groups of enemies. Even well into the final dungeon, anything that Quake doesn't kill outright will be weak enough to kill with a couple physical attacks after.
A good variety of the two-person Bands, like Twin Rush, Twin Drive, Holy Blade, etc, execute fast, only need two people, do heavy damage, and some of them cost less than 20 MP.
Authority Equals Asskicking: A very considerable portion of the playable cast is royalty, or they otherwise occupy positions of power. To list: Cecil and Rosa are King and Queen of Baron, Ceodore is the Prince, Yang is King of Fabul and Ursula is the Princess, Edward is King of Damcyan, Edge is King of Eblan, Leonora eventually becomes an Epopt (read: one of the eight rulers of Troia), Rydia is the de facto leader of Mist, and Luca is Princess of the dwarfs. And by the end of the game, Palom and Porom are made rulers of Mysidia, and Kain is the Captain of the Red Wings.
Bad Moon Rising: The planet once again sees a second moon in the sky. This one bodes worse omens than the first.
Bag of Sharing: Zig-zagged. On the one hand, inventory between chapters is not shared, but if you control multiple parties in one chapter, such as Edge's chapter or Kain's, then you do share them. A particularly notable instance of this is when you can find items and equipment in a flashback that will carry over to the main quest, such as in Porom's tale which takes place over three different time periods. A unique weapon for Golbez can be acquired this way by de-equipping it from him in an introductory flashback sequence so it'll be in the menu for him when the main quest begins.
This allows for Disk One Nuke chances by de-equipping a strong character of their equipment for later in the chapter when you control a weaker character. The earliest instance of de-equipping Cecil in the introduction so Ceodore can use his armor later, and later on you can do the same with Edge and Kain's Enemy Without.
Averted when it shouldn't be in one instance. Kain's Tale allows you to import data from Ceodore's Tale to carry over your items and levels from it. Kain's Tale also takes place immediately after Porom's Tale, and Kain is featured in said tale. You do not import data from Porom's Tale for Kain's Tale however, and thus whatever equipment Kain had in Porom's Tale, he'll have a pre-defined set of equipment for Kain's Tale even though only ten seconds have passed in the storyline between the two.
Bag of Spilling: The returning characters are all much lower leveled and with far less impressive equipment than they were at the end of the previous game. The only time it is justified is with Rydia's summons, as the eidolons have been frozen in stone and can't be summoned, and with Edge, who has been selling Eblan's treasures to finance the kingdom's recovery, and lampshades his level loss, commenting on how he's let himself go.
Note that this is theoretically possible within the game universe without any level loss — In the original game, characters' stats changed at random from about the middle levels onward when they gained a new level; this included the possibility of stats going down instead of up. It was technically possible to have a character whose stats were much worse at level 99 than they were at 60.
This reflects the original game's mechanics; stats in the game's universe reflect physical and intellectual vigor. Remember that in the original Tellah's physical stats went down when he leveled up, i.e. as he aged. The original cast are now at an age that their stats can go down if not exercised regularly, which we assume they haven't.
Also applies to the world as a whole, as shops sell very different equipment than before and dungeons have different monsters. Justified due to the different order in which you visit these places. After all, the developers can't send you through the Lunar Core and pit you against powerful enemies of the last game with only one party member who's at Level 30. (The Lunar Core in particular is justified by the fact that it's now the home of the characters you play in that scenario — in fact, when the chapter starts, there's no monsters there at all and you can wander around it freely without fighting.)
The Battle Didn't Count: You CAN actually defeat the Mysterious Girl in each of her encounters, complete with red shaking boss death animation...Unfortunately, it doesn't ever do more than mildly inconvenience her.
Blatant Item Placement: If you're playing a Tale where your party consists of Squishy Wizards, odds are you'll regularly find pots that restore your HP and MP scattered through the dungeons.
Bonus Boss: Each chapter has a rare and ridiculously powerful monster that only appears on given moon phases in a specific location. The same applies to the final chapter, and while they're still a good deal stronger than the common versions of the said monster, they don't really qualify as bosses anymore, if only because of the fact that the normal enemies fought in the same location are almost as tough. Instead, the previous Bonus Bosses from Final Fantasy V and VI make an appearance in the same way as they did in the original games: Omega wandering around one of the levels, Lord Dragon inside a treasure chest, Deathgaze as a random encounter who runs away a lot but keeps any damage sustained between fights, and Ultima Weapon being right on the player's path to the next floor, although he's not mandatory to fight like the rest aren't, unlike in the original game.
Bonus Dungeon: Naming...Er, Challengingway offers one with random items each time once each downloaded chapter is finished. God help you if you are unprepared. While a good number of them generally consist of fighting your way to the end, killing the boss and hoping you get a good item from the respawning chest (if you don't feel like abusing the RNG as mentioned below), some of them feature more interesting concepts in order to get better items. These include getting to the end as fast as possible, helping NPCs by saving them from monsters, casting healing spells on them, or giving them items, and earning as much money as possible via various built-in quick methods and then using it to open one of the chests at the end, while also avoiding the occasional Money Sink.
Boring, but Practical: Edge and Tsukinowa's "Wild Moon" band. All it does is deliver a slightly-stronger-than-regular attack to every enemy, but it's cheap, fast, and does enough damage to clear out encounters of Goddamn Bats quickly. It's incredibly useful for clearing out forced battles during the Time AttackBonus Dungeon.
The endgame version of this is Vibra Plus, which simply consists of Cecil and Ceodore attacking a random amount of enemies with repeated slashes in fancy-but-not-too-overelaborate manner. While it might seem moderately useful by itself, its real power comes from the fact that it's the only physical Band that does more damage the less targets there are, much like the spells that can be cast on one or all the enemies. The end result? With powerful equipment, an accessory that removes the 9999 damage cap, a moon phase that strengthens basic attacks, and Ceodore's Awaken (which heals him completely and doubles his stats for 3 turns, at the cost of dropping him to single digit HP either after the turns have passed or after the battle, whichever comes first) active, you'll be doing almost 5 times the damage to a single enemy at the cost of at-that-point-negligible-amounts-of-MP and some charge time as you would if you spent their turns attacking normally.
There's also Effect Form for Rosa, Cecil and Kain. 20 MP to use, executes fairly quick, and it heals all three of them and buffs them with Protect, Shell and Haste. The triple-Haste alone is worth it, and the other buffs and healing are just gravy. And then once they're good and buffed, you have their second Power Trio Band, Trinity Crusade, which hits one enemy for heavy damage at the cost of 35 MP and can break the damage cap.
Just like in the original Hold and Stop are very efficient at preventing damage outright as a opposed to healing through it. You'll find it to be an absolute life saver in Rydia's Tale once you realize Stop works on Demon Doors this time as opposed to the original.
Boss Bonanza: The final dungeon has 34 bosses in it. Needless to say this large number is found nowhere else in the game. It includes three Bonus Bosses guarding powerful weapons.
Boss Rush: Taken to an absolutely insane degree in the final dungeon. It's a veritable Who's Who of the first six games, featuring in order, about half the bosses from Final Fantasy IV, then you fight the Four Fiends, then four bosses from Final Fantasy II, then four from Final Fantasy III, then Gilgamesh and Atomos, and finally Ghost Train and Ultros. It even throws in the classic bonus bosses Shinryu, Omega, and Ultima Weapon for good measure. Hell, even the characters start to get a little tired of it.
In fact, excluding the optional boss battles, there are actually about 30 boss fights you have to go through in the final dungeon. Pretty much all of them are quite hard, and except for the final boss, none are actually original, in the strictest sense, though the ones rehashed from Final Fantasy IV at least use stronger tactics than before.
It may be a way to give you something to do now that you have every character.
Bribing Your Way to Victory: Paying for the chapters in the Wii version isn't necessary to beating the game, but doing so allows you to pick up levels and items you otherwise wouldn't be able to. You'll also miss out on a lot of story if you don't play any of them, and you don't get any of the characters that were introduced in the character-specific tales, dropping the final cast from 22 to just 13.
Broken Aesop: The entire point of Cecil's quest in the original game was to overcome his darkness and prove himself worthy of being a Paladin. In the Subterrane of the True Moon, Cecil absorbs his repressed dark side embodied as a Dark Knight, realizing it was wrong to shut his darkness away from the world. Granted, the Dark Is Not Evil/Yin-Yang Bomb idea worked out well for him, but it does run somewhat contrary to his original redemption quest.
It seems as though the game is trying to say that Cecil was naïve to think that shutting away his darkness was the right thing to do. Acceptance of one's flaws, anger and desire seems to be the right way to go about it. It sounds more than a little bit like another game with a similar theme.
It's probably worth noting the reason Cecil had to become a Paladin in the first place was so he could fight the incarnate of darkness - first Golbez, then Zemus. He didn't really need to stay a Paladin for any practical or even emotional purpose after that, but he locked his darkness away anyway for 17 years. Any wonder that thing would come back with a vengeance? If anything, while the theme of Final Fantasy IV was how your darkness can used to corrupt you, The After Years suggests that if you're not careful, your light side can be used against you too - and the only way to fix it is to bring the two halves back to a single whole.
But Thou Must: Overlapping with Border Patrol—often times in a tale you'll come to an area you aren't meant to visit and will either see a Baron guardsman blocking the path, or your party will simply decide they have no business here and leave.
Can't Catch Up: By endgame, you'll find that the vast majority of your characters are woefully under-leveled for the area you're in. Unless you give them the best equipment in the game, it's hard to get them to catch up with the original five, who had a great deal more prominence in the part of the endgame that took place on the Blue Planet, which means they're very likely to be at much more respectable levels to begin with. However, if you stick with them...
Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Remember the climax of the original game when the prayers of Earth reinvigorated the party? The exact same thing occurs this time around, and Fusoya tries to call the Lunar Whale to the moon by praying for it.
Crutch Character: Biggs and Wedge are clearly Red Shirts from the moment you meet them, and are mostly there to get Ceodore to the middle of the dungeon so you can level him up a bit in their company so he can fight on his own safely. Later you meet the Hooded Man who has the same role. The Warriors in Edward's Tale likewise provide much needed muscle to assist the main character who lacks such himself.
Golbez joins the party just shy of 3000 HP, knows a variety of powerful spells including the "aga" tier, and is a powerful attacker as well. Your other party members will not be approaching this level of power for another 15-20 levels. However, he's hindered by the fact he doesn't gain HP until Level 55, by which point he'll be on-par with everyone else.
As in the original, FoSoYa starts with every single spell, but only has 190 MP and (absent using rare one-shot items on him) will never get any more. And, as in the original, you can't use him in the endgame anyway.
To a certain extent, Rosa and Rydia are this. They're likely to start with higher levels than the other pure spellcasters, and have better special abilities. But only Palom, Porom, and Lenora can learn Double Cast, so you'll be kicking yourself if you ignore them.
Collection Sidequest: Various forms. Rydia's chapter has a minor variation in form of Kokkol Ore, which is used to make and upgrade your equipment at a blacksmith. There's also at least 2 game-spanning ones, one of them revolving around various colored tails that randomly drop (mainly from the aforementioned Bonus Bosses), but you can also trade a limited amount of Small Tails (with more common and ultimately useless Small Tales serving as fakeouts) you can find for a few of the colored tails of the color of your choice, which you can then ultimately trade for powerful accessories and armor: however, seeing as the only way to get a Rainbow Tail, which gives you the ever-important accessory which allows a character to break the damage limit, is to trade 2/3rds of the Small Tails you can collect for it, you can only really select from 1 extra tail of your choice. Edward's tale also features a limited version of this, where you can find and get Bronze and Silver Tails from enemies, which you can then trade towards Gold Tails. The other revolves around getting pieces of Adamantine, mainly from the end of the Bonus Dungeons, which you can then use to trade them for pieces of the ultimate set of armor.
Colony Drop: Once all the crystals have been taken, the moon begins to fall.
Combination Attack: The Band abilities. Most of them exist mainly to do tons of damage to the enemies and looking cool, although some of them focus on healing the party to the max and giving them every Status Buff in the game.
Conservation of Ninjutsu: Sadly, Edge falls prey to this in his chapter. When each ninja is solo, they'll happily mop the floor with random Mooks. After they team up, watch them struggle with random encounters...Including getting repeatedly surprised and ambushed, despite being "elite" ninjas. Then again, the greatly strengthened enemies might have something to do with it, and the various Band options available to them help them out a good deal, including giving them the only way to do 5-digit damage before the final chapter (does more damage the less HP the party has remaining in total).
Continuity Nod: Oh so many. When Evil Counterpart!Kain goes around stealing crystals, nobody fails to notice the similarities to the plot of the original game. Rosa even asks him if he's being mind-controlled.
A particularly funny example is when Edward has to venture into the Antlion's Cave to retrieve a Sand Pearl from the nesting Antlions to cure Harley's desert fever. So you take the (improved but still fairly Spoony) bard across the desert, fight your way through the waterway and the Antlion's Den, reach the bottom, brace yourself for an epic battle against a new and improved antlion and...they don't attack, and are perfectly happy to let Edward grab a pearl. Turns out that Edward was entirely right about Antlions; they are docile creatures by nature, and with Zemus gone, they don't feel like attacking humans.
Also in Edward's Tale, the first line uttered by Tellah's Ghost is a nod to the previous game's English translation:
Another humorous one: Yang and his daughter, Ursula, are out cold so you go visit his wife. She gives you a frying pan and a ladle to wake them up. Edge also remarks "What? No knife?"
Sheila also knows just how well simply threatening him with a frying pan works in his tale.
In the PSP version, the intro FMV shows Ursula training with Yang, performing the same movements he did in the original game's DS opening — and in the same location.
Continuity Snarl: The Mysterious Girl summons Asura and Levithan in the Lunarian's Tale, and she came to the moon to take control of Bahamut and to find the other 8 Crystals the Lunarians left on earth...except that in Rydia's Tale, when the Mysterious Girl arrives to take control of Asura and Leviathan, she says she's already gotten to Bahamut.
Dangerously Genre Savvy: The Mysterious Girl has shades of this during the fight with her and Bahamut. People who have played Final Fantasy IV would think to cast Reflect on their party to reflect Bahamut's Megaflare, right? Only problem is, the Mysterious Girl uses "Black Hole" just before Bahamut uses Megaflare, which removes any status buffs from the party, including Reflect. Also counts as a Wrong Genre Savvy on the player's part. When Bahamut eventually turns on her, she tries to cast Reflect on herself to boot, but Bahamut's cutscene power maxes out and he uses Mega Flare on her before she can complete the spell.
She also shows shades of this in her overall scheme. First thing she does as seen in the Lunarians' Tale is head to the Red Moon and enslave Bahamut, the most powerful Summon there is, and uses him to conquer Baron, the strongest nation on Earth, and brainwash Cecil. She then uses Baron's airship fleet to collect a majority of the Crystals since hey, Cecil's The Hero, so many of his former allies that are the world's leaders and protect the Crystals are suspicious but ultimately trust him.note Look at Yang's Tale, his adviser warned him about Baron and Cecil but Yang trusted Cecil and didn't believe the adviser, and thus Fabul was on very short notice to defend itself when the Red Wings arrived. She also enslaves the other Eidolons, thereby depriving Rydia of her summons and giving herself an army of super-powered minions to help her with her task.
Disc One Nuke: Bio for most Black Magic users in the game during their Tales: it generally does more damage than -ra spells on anything that's not explicitly weak against their element, no enemy is immune to it or resists it unless they're practically immune to all other magic as well and it's one of the few spells in the game with no casting time.
Dummied Out: Amusingly; all of the inventory from the GBA version of the game exists in the code; even the Game Breaker ones from the GBA Bonus Dungeon. You just can't get them without cheating. (This was fixed in the PSP port.)
There's also weapons and armor created by the programmers, named after themselves; as well as the Debug Ring. These make you invincible; again, you're not going to see them without cheating.
Eleventh Hour Superpower: Rydia gets the ability to summon Bahamut back approximately three rooms before the Final Boss. At least level grinding before the battle will be a snap.
Emotionless Girl: The "Mysterious Girl" who you keep encountering, although she can have a rather sarcastic tone under the right circumstances, in addition to her general contempt for humans and Lunarians.
Enemy Without: The defeat of which signals the end of Kain's Tale, or the "main game" in the WiiWare release. It's Kain's, and not only does he lose to it at first, it decides to not be a good little dark side and goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge instead of triggering a Game Over.
And in the endgame, Cecil's dark side returns as well, see Guide Dang It.
Not exactly. Luca was in the original Final Fantasy IV which was made and released well before Chrono Trigger. To be fair, however, she just had the creepy dolls and none of the Wrench Wench qualities at that point, so...
Final Death: Make the right decisions, or else. There are characters and summons who will die plot-wise otherwise. Also, skipping chapters can result in characters not joining your party. If any of Edge's Ninja die in their scenarios and you don't restore a saved game, the game moves on without them. If you don't avoid the Sylphs before reviving Yang, you fight them and they die. If you don't stop fighting right after doing a certain amount of damage to Shiva or Ramuh (or Ifrit after learning Inferno, both of which are easy to do by accident if you have an attack queued up just before the message telling you to stop attacking pops up), they'll start attacking you again and won't stop until either party dies. And of course, Golbez will die if the right party members aren't in the team. If you defeat Asura or Leviathan without Rydia in your party (or don't fight them at all), and Bahamut without Rydia and having saved the previous two, they will be lost forever, both Summon Magic-wise and in the plot.
Fling a Light into the Future: The Maenads give one of their own, a baby child, to Rydia to raise before sacrificing themselves to stop the Creator.
Fridge Horror: In-universe. As the party flies to the True Moon, the Whisperweed that Edward is using to speak to the people at Damcyan stops transmitting when they fly out of range. Later in the depths of the moon, it begins to work again. Initially happy they can speak to the people on the earth, Edward triggers an Oh Crap moment among the others when he realizes why it began working again—the moon is going to hit the planet, and they've now come back in range. The impending Colony Drop is closer than they thought.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: The phases of the moon affect the behavior of enemies and the strength of different types of magic and attacks. The Moon Phase system is used everywhere, including on the True Moon and Red Moon. The latter is particularly nonsensical, since the Red Moon no longer orbits Earth and is flying through space now.
During Edge's chapter, Normally Gekkou gets killed if you choose to fight the Mysterious Girl, but in some cases Gekkou can survive, but the battle still treats as you lost, even though he's technically still alive.
Generation Xerox: There are a lot of events in this game that are directly analogous to the previous game. This isn't lost on any of the characters involved, who engage in a fair bit of Lampshade Hanging on how familiarly things are playing out.
Genre Savvy: Edge, who realizes near the end of his chapter that events are mimicking the previous game, and uses this as inspiration to take a Leap of Faith.
Edward as well—he delivers some flowers to Cecil and receives a gift in return. Cecil doesn't notice the flowers are Whisperweed, tipping Edward off that something is wrong, and giving him the ability to eavesdrop on Cecil's conversation with the Mysterious Girl about his plan to seize Damcyan's Crystal. Edward figures out from this that Cecil's gift is a Carnelian Signet, the item the King used in the original game to send Bombs to burn down Rydia's village. What does Edward do then? He evacuates Damcyan, waits in the throne room for the Mysterious Girl's men to arrive (including Kain), then opens the box to unleash the Bombs on the soldiers. He may be spoony, but he isn't stupid.
Geodesic Cast: The cast of the game, the exceptions being Satellite Characters like the Eblan Four, can be split into roughly two groups. On the one hand there's Cecil, Rosa, Kain, Edge, Rydia, Cid, and to lesser degrees Edward and Yang, the main heroes of the original game. The second group consists of the younger generation, namely Ceodore, Porom, Palom, Luca, Ursula, and Leonora. This is reflected with the Band abilities of the game—between themselves those two groups have a variety of Band abilities and good synergy, but on an individual level probably won't Band as well with members of the other group.note Cecil and Ceodore are the exceptions, as Cecil being the protagonist of the first game and thus bonded to everyone, and Ceodore is from Baron as many of the older characters are. Meanwhile, the end-game party from the original game has the full party Bands "Final Fantasy" which acts as a Combination Attack of the team's signature skills, and the younger group has a thematic equivalent with "Makeshift Cannon", which is even called Generation Cannon in the Japanese versions of the game to hammer in the point about the younger generation of heroes.
Get Back Here Boss: Final Fantasy VI fans will remember how annoying Deathgaze was to kill in that game, because you had to fly around for hours to find him at random, then got a few turns to slug it out with him before he ran and you had to find him again. Replace "fly" with "run", as in run around fighting other enemies while looking for him, give him three times as much HP, and make him stick around for less time once you manage to find him. Enjoy yourselves.
It's made even more frustrating by the fact that if you leave the room he appears in (which has no savepoints), he gains back all his HP, and defeating him is necessary if you want to give one of the 3 mages Doublecast.
Good Costume Switch: Kain, although to be fair Kain himself isn't the villain: it's his dark side, which in itself was part of his test to become a Holy Dragoon.
Guide Dang It: If you want to prevent Golbez being Killed Off for Real in the final chapter, you have to bring along Ceodore and Rosa in addition to him and Cecil in the battle against the Black Knight. No hints are given in the game that this will help. Hell, the fight is downright impossible to win if you don't bring the right people, some of whom may be rather underleveled.
A minor but irritating case: many fights in the game, particularly against the Eidolons and the Mysterious Girl, are scripted to be unwinnable. You are not told this, leading to you going all out and wasting items and time trying to fight an enemy which you can't beat, then later being reluctant to do so against another boss because you're expecting the same, unaware this time you can win. In all, you'll quickly become confused over which fights you're supposed to win if you try playing without a walkthrough.
Repairing Calca and Brina. You need to get two rare items dropped by a certain enemy that can only be encountered in one room in the area during the waxing moon phase (easy to recognize when you enter it; there are lots of rocks and no treasure chests, jars, etc.) plus one item in a jar in the room it's connected to. There's a save point in the previous room so a tent can be used if it's the wrong moon phase, but still. Heck, you aren't even told you can repair the dolls. It is worth noting that Calcabrina's theme music plays during the battle with said enemy.
Heroic BSOD: Cecil spends a good chunk of The Crystals completely unresponsive after you initially free him from the Mysterious Girl's control; you can use him in battle, but his stats are horrible and he can't use White Magic or Bands.
Heroic RROD: Ceodore's Awaken ability heals him completely and doubles his stats for three rounds, but after those three rounds are up, he drops to single-digit HP.
He's Back: Cecil finally comes out of his funk when fighting the Dark Knight and can start kicking ass again.
Hopeless Boss Fight: Several. This is a Final Fantasy game, after all. Notably, Kain's first fight against his evil half and Rydia and Luca's fight against Titan.
In fact, you have so many Hopeless Boss Fights against a particular villain, that once you finally do get an even fight, you won't be expecting it and probably won't try too hard so as not to waste items.
I Die Free: The Archfiends and several other previous bosses from the original game are not happy with being revived and controlled by the Maenads/Creator, and will actively kill themselves if the party damages them enough to free them from mental control.
I Know You Are In There Somewhere Fight: How Rydia can free the Eidolons. Beat them within an inch of their life; then stop, and let them come to their senses. If you don't time it right, they either die permanently or hit you with a mega-attack that kills you.
Infinity–1 Sword: Many of the weapons found in Challenge Dungeons will be your best weapons until you get to the final dungeon. Not as notable as some instances though, since once you get those weapons by completing a Challenge Dungeon and thus by the time you use the characters again you're beginning said final dungeon. Some of these weapons include the Obelisk, Defender, Sledgehammer, Wizard Rod, and Aura Staff.
Infinity+1 Sword: Most of the bosses in the final dungeon drop one for an equipment class, and some have another boss later in the dungeon drop an even better one. Among them are the typical Masamune, Holy Lance, Ragnarok and Ultima Weapon.
Inn Security: Ceodore and the Hooded Man vs. the zombified Baron guardsmen in Kaipo in a similar fashion to what happened to his father in that very inn.
Invincible Villain: The "Mysterious Girl", for most of the game. Many tales have her wiping out your party in a scripted battle, usually with an Eidolon, before sweeping out of the room with the Crystal you were trying to protect from her. Her invincibility turns out to be justified—as Fusoya and Golbez find out, it's perfectly possible to kill her. It just so happens there are dozens of her running around, so another one will just take her place and pick up where she left off. Until you see four of them at once in the Final Chapter though, it's made to imply she just revives herself.
Item Amplifier: The Economical Ring doubles the effectiveness of healing items used and is typically given to Edward to supplement his Item Caddy abilities to supplant a role usually had by a White Mage.
In addition, Edward himself has the 'Salve' ability, which lets him split an item's effect into all party members (in the earlier versions) or use several items at once to all members (in later versions).
Joke Item: The infamous porn magazine is back as "Lustful Lali-ho".
Not Completely Useless: And it actually has a purpose this time. Hang onto them as you collect them and when you get to the Very Definitely Final Dungeon you can enter the Developer's Office and use them on a vase in the back room to fight a joke enemy that drops a Discovery Book, an item which increases a character's max MP by 50. Doing this consumes one of the magazines, hence why you should collect as many as you can to fight him over and over.
Loads and Loads of Characters: There are twenty-two permanent playable characters and eleven temporarily playable characters, more than any other single Final Fantasy game with predefined characters. Even if you skip all of the side chapters, you'll still end up with 13, which is more than any other Final Fantasy except Final Fantasy VI. But of these 22 characters, only 12 or so are actually useful without having the best equipment in the game thrown on them.
Lost Forever: The Eblan Four and Luca's dolls stay on as permanent party members in the final chapters, but only if you complete Edge's Tale with the Four alive and repair the dolls in Rydia's Tale. Items not acquired in the individual Tales are not carried over if you import the save data into the final chapter without having them. You could play the tale again and get them, but then you have to restart the final chapter so you can re-import your data. This is particularly irritating if you decide to skip the Challenge Dungeons, which host many rare and useful items including Adamantite, which you can trade for the game's strongest equipment.
Lunacy: The power of attacks and magic (for both you and the enemies you meet) is affected both positively and negatively by the phase of the moon. Certain monsters will only appear if you're in an area during a certain moon phase.
Magikarp Power: Leonora is somewhat of a minor version of this: while she's capable enough as a white mage at levels comparable to other characters, she won't learn most of the useful black magic spells until 20 levels after everyone else does. Thankfully, Level Grinding is pretty easy with the right items, and once she does, she's the only permanent character with access to both high-end white and black magic and enough MP to actually cast them more than 3 times without running out. Not to mention the fact that she is also capable of learning Dualcast.
Magic Dance: Calca's Jive ability, which casts random Blue Magic, and Brina's Dance ability, which casts random White Magic.
Magic Knight: Ceodore and Cecil. Kain too, once he finally puts his negative self to rest.
MacGuffin Delivery Service: After a serious case of Deja Vu, Rydia gets beat up and loses the Dark Crystal to the mysterious girl (who also seemed to steal all the summon powers beforehand, natch) after exiting the Sealed Cave.
Marathon Level: The True Moon. See Boss Rush above, and know that there's, on average, 5 levels between each boss or cluster of 4 bosses.
Meaningful Name: Gilbert, Edward's Japanese name and what the universal Final Fantasy currency is named after ties heavily into the optional parts of his tale: as stated above, he's able to obtain Bronze, Silver and Gold Tails, he starts off equipped with a Gil Band that increases the amount of money gotten from battles, his assistant knows Gil Toss, his Bonus Dungeon is all about making a lot of money quickly and then spending it to open the chests at the end, and the Metal Slime enemy found in his and Palom's challenge dungeons is called Gil Bird, which also uses Hide like Edward does. And from a story point of view, Damcyan (which we only knew in a severely run-down state in the original game) is implied to be fabulously rich, with their financial troubles coming solely from Edward basically giving away money to half the rest of the world.
Edge's ninja apprentices are named after different phases of the moon.
A somewhat more obscure version is Tsukinowa's alias "Lapin" during his sub-chapter: as it stands for "rabbit" in Latin, it also ties in with the Moon Rabbit myth.
Money for Nothing: While the character-specific tales have a 99999 Gil cap, which is pretty easy to reach and doesn't really last you that long, the endgame enemies drop enough cash to buy all the hideously expensive healing items and overpriced shurikens you could possibly want with very little effort if you want to keep everyone useful and properly leveled. And that's not even counting the fact that there's items that double the amount of cash gotten from battles or the fact that they're cumulative...
Money Spider: The Gil Birds that appear in a couple of the challenge dungeons. They're Metal Slimes with high HP compared to normal enemies that often flee from battle on their first turn. Manage to kill one though and they drop 999 or 9999 gil, depending on which moonphase you fought one on.
Mythology Gag: The Knight's Emblem that Ceodore retrieves in order to prove his worth at the start of his chapter turns out to simply be a mummified rat's tail.
The colors of the chests and crystals found in the last part of the final chapter mirror the ones respective to the game whose bosses you fight on that floor.
The Four Fiends from Final Fantasy I deliver the exact speeches they initially used before the battle begins.
Shinryu leaps out of a chest containing the Ragnarok sword, and opens with Tidal Wave. While it doesn't deal as much damage as it did before, there is nothing that can protect against it, so you'll need at least 4000 HP or so to survive it. But once you get past that he's nowhere near as hard.
Omega is seen wandering around in the open, and battle is initiated by touching him. Unlike in Final Fantasy V, he doesn't drop a useless piece of a junk; instead, he drops the Hero's Shield, the best shield in the game other than the Adamant Shield and Phase Shield.
Death Gaze is a random encounter in his own chamber, and he runs away after you deal enough damage to him. When you encounter him again, he retains the damage you dealt in your previous encounters. He also opens every encounter with a full-party Death spell, a nod to Lv 5 Death from Final Fantasy VI.
Ultima Weapon delivers the same Badass Boast (using the improved GBA translation) before the battle begins. Unlike before, he is extremely hard, and DOES give up the Ultima Weapon upon defeat.
Orthos/Ultros talks about how he hates "muscleheads" and likes pretty girls.
Gilgamesh's AI script is very similar to the first real fight against him in Final Fantasy V. After losing half of his HP, he casts Protect, Shell and Haste on himself, then starts Jumping all over your guys, dealing massive damage; and in a nod to Final Fantasy VIII, he can use Zantetsuken, though thankfully it only hits one party member and can be avoided with Blink. He also forks over the Excalipoor/Excalipar upon defeat.
Ghost/Phantom Train always gets a Back Attack on you, and if you use Cecil and Kain's Sky Grinder band, you can come close to mimicking Sabin's amazing feat.
Two accessories you can acquire are the Single Star and Double Star, which reduce MP costs by 1/3d and 2/3ds, respectively. This may be in reference to Final Fantasy VI's Triple Star (also known as the Celestriad or Economizer), which reduces MP costs to 1, or, effectively, 3/3ds. The more stars, the less MP cost.
In the final chapter of the game, the extended party can be found loitering on the Lunar Whale, and will allow you to change your party if you talk to any of them. This is very similar to the way the airships worked in Final Fantasy VI.
Ceodore's Awaken ability is reminiscent of Terra's Trance. He awakens his Lunarian blood to improve his combat abilities, just as Terra can call upon her Esper heritage. It's weaker than Terra's ability, though, only lasting for three turns and weakening him when it is done.
The phone and Wiiware versions of the game uses spritework very similar to that of Final Fantasy VI. Most noticeably, Cecil's spell-casting animation is virtually identical to Edgar's, and Holy Dragoon Kain looks a lot like Edgar when viewed from behind, down o the waving pony-tail and swishing cape.
No Endor Holocaust: The latter parts of the game seem to imply that the worlds from Final Fantasies I-VI were all destroyed (hence their signature monsters appearing as "failed experiments"), but other FF canon has made it pretty clear that no, this isn't exactly the case. They are just EasterEggs.
The Creator mentions that he's trying to destroy the Blue Planet because they haven't evolved enough. Seeing as how he's collecting Crystals either way, it would appear that he didn't destroy the worlds of FF I-VI because they evolved enough.
Final Fantasy VI didn't have crystals. The crystal equivalents were the magicite. By that logic, the Final Fantasy IV groups should've been fighting Maduin and Tritoch, not Ultros and so on. Final Fantasy VII also had crystal equivalents with the Huge Materia and none of those bosses appeared. The crystals just record and store history for The Creator and copies of them exist without needing to destroy the planets to make them appear, as evidenced by the fact you have to fight FFIV bosses on your way to save the planet from destruction in the first place.
Nostalgia Level: The first few levels of the True Moon's Lunar Subterrane looks like a mirrored version of the Red Moon's Lunar Subterrane (the last level of Final Fantasy IV)...until you reach the water level. Then all bets are off for successive floors.
Also, most of the other dungeons in the game are reused dungeons from the first game. The few exceptions are often made up of parts from dungeons in the first game, or heavily resemble them.
One Game for the Price of Two: The game is split into 9 downloadable segments (13 in the Japanese version), each of which must be purchased separately. To play the game in its entirety, a gamer must shell out 3700 Wii Points, much more than other WiiWare titles (unless you count other episodic games. Tales of Monkey Island, for instance, is 5000 Wii Points, all told), though 37 dollars is still considerably less than most games you'd buy in the store.)
Inverted with the Complete Collection: For less than the price of After Years on WiiWare you get that (with all chapters), the original FF IV, and the "Interlude" chapter, all with upgraded aesthetics, making it essentially a three-for. Nice to see SE giving fans a collection worth their money.
One-Hit Kill: Cockatrice is a ridiculously broken summon; it works on many of the monsters in the final dungeon. The trick, of course, is that it Randomly Drops.
Playable Epilogue: Sort of. The start of Porom's Tale is a playable version of part of Final Fantasy IV's epilogue, starting from the point where Porom has to go and fetch Palom, who's showing off to one of the local girls. AKA Leonora.
Player Mooks: "White Mage", "Black Mage", "Monk A", "Monk B", "Monk C", "Guard A", "Guard B", and "Guard C" all count as temporary playable characters. Not a single one has any personality traits of note, or even more than a couple of lines of dialogue. Fan Nicknames exist for the Monks and Guards (especially "Monk Coleman", who is jokingly treated as a Memetic Badass.)
Point of No Return: The main one happens when Rydia gets most of her summons back in the last chapter. At that point, everyone heads to the moon, and there's no returning to earth. A smaller one is in Rydia's chapter - It's the only one you can freely explore the underworld in.
Power Trio: Cecil, Rosa and Kain can be one in the final chapter. They have two Bands involving all three of them, one of which does massive damage and breaks the damage cap, the other of which heals and buffs the three of them.
Railroading: Hope you don't want to take a time-out from the main story to explore some of the nearby side areas from the original game, because there will often either be guards, or party members just decide there's no point exploring the place and leave. Mostly the only time there aren't is because you're required to visit the area later in the tale and just have the option of doing it earlier than the story tells you to.
Randomly Drops: And how. As seen above, a good deal of the best equipment comes from killing a ton of enemies of specific type, either directly or indirectly. Thankfully, due to the simplistic nature of the game's RNG, the guaranteed methods of getting both the best enemy-dropped equipment and rare treasure from the end of the Bonus Dungeons have already been figured out for both, latter of which getting almost vibes of Urban Legend of Zelda: "OK to always get the rare equipment run to the guy who sends you there as soon as you can and then wait for a specific NPC to face downwards that only the top of her head is seen..."
Unfortunately, the nature of the RNG also means that if you're trying to get any good items via just mindlessly killing enemies and you quit the game to take a break, the RNG will also reset, meaning there's a good chance you just wasted a good amount of progress, and if you're using the same strategy to kill the enemies the second time around and they didn't drop anything good, you're not going to get anything this time around either.
And if you aren't trying to exploit the RNG, many items only have a 1 in 256 chance of appearing.
Also, as noted above, the item you get from the chest at the end of each Challenge Dungeon is random. You might get one of many special rare items unique to that dungeon, or you might get junk. You can go through the dungeon as many times as you want, but it can get really frustrating when the Random Number God decides to give you nothing but junk for a while.
If only in a clothing sense, Luca "isn't one for Dwarven Fashion." Not only is her face not in shadow; she's....Ganguro. The skin may be natural, but the sideways baseball cap? Seriously? Fortunately, the Dwarves just love Cid, so her idolizing him isn't considered strange.
Retcon: Early in the game, Biggs and Wedge reveal they were the soldiers questioning Cecil about stealing of the Water Crystal from Mysidia at the start of Final Fantasy IV. Also, the girl talking to Palom in the epilogue was Leonora.
In the PSP release, Ceodore and Ursula's ages were dropped from both being 17 to being 15 and 16 respectively to avoid their mothers being pregnant during the orginal game.
Retraux: Except in the PSP version, which uses that version of the game's high-resolution sprites throughout, the flashbacks (including a few playable flashbacks) use sprites from the original just for the added touch. The game itself also seems to fit this when on WiiWare, but less so when you consider that it was actually created for cell phones. Seemingly to make up for the lack of graphical change, PSP game does, however, allow players to use the original SNES versions of music originating in the game's predecessor.
The Reveal: Interesting variation of this. Because Golbez never took his helmet off in the first game, no one recognizes him when he shows up until Cecil calls to him by name. A different variation with Kain, as the only people the "Hooded Man" interacts with are people who don't know who he really is, and the ones that do just give Cryptic Conversation until the official reveal at Baron Castle.
Sheathe Your Sword: Subverted. If you've only played the original English SNES FFIV, you might think this is the way to beat Kain's Enemy Without - unfortunately, Kain's darker side does not use an attack that drains his HP on you and is more powerful than Cecil's dark side, and instead pummels you for your effort. Later, Kain has to beat said dark side into submission.
Ship Tease: Palom and Luca. "Give me back my Palom", anyone?
Shout Out: Biggs and Wedge make their traditional appearance and early death as homage to Star Wars.
So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: Raised to an art form in this game, especially in Ceodore's and Rydia's chapters. Given how often it happened in the prequel, it comes by it honestly.
There's a simple pattern to it, however. Anyone who appears as a 'guest' in someone else's chapter while having their own is temporary in that chapter; anyone without a proper name is also (obviously) temporary. Everyone else carries over (or can carry over) to the end game. Except FoSoYa, but he does a Heroic Sacrifice at the end of the Lunarians chapter, and you then get a chance to go 'back in time' a bit and unequip his gear in the postgame for that chapter if you want. Well, and Wedge and Biggs are also temporary, but that's a Running Gag.
Stripperific: Rydia's costume. Even moreso than the original game. Porom's outfit also qualifies. Both were censored on all official artwork for the English Release. Porom's outfit is more of a case of cultures. In Japan, nudity is associated with purity, so Porom's dress is a bit...transparent. However, in America, nudity is associated with something a little less wholesome, so Porom's dress changed.
Summon Magic: More of a plot point this time around than it was in the first one. At the beginning of the game, all the Eidolons have their power stolen by the Mysterious Girl, and Rydia's ongoing quest is to find a way to save them.
Take Your Time: Nothing happens, not even the True Moon falling until you hit a cutscene. Hilariously, in just about every character's tale, their Bonus Dungeon can only be accessed while something immediately urgent is supposed to be happening, as the Challenge Dungeons open after beating the Tale, which tend to end with a climax. Comes to a head in Porom's tale, in which you have to basically ignore all of Mysidia being besieged by monsters and instead go into the Inn to talk to Challengingway.
Tennis Boss: About half the Boss Rush bosses mentioned above will attack primarily by lobbing Firaga, Blizzaga, and Thundaga at your whole party, meaning the most efficient way to fight is just to cast Reflect on yourself and let them do all the work.
Deathmask and Proto Deathmask enemies open the battle by casting Reflect on themselves and your party, then bounce damaging spells off themselves and buffing and healing spells off of you. Your mages are going to have to follow a similar pattern if you want to get any use out of them.
This can also be accomplished against single-target caster bosses, by casting Reflect on Golbez and having him continually taunt. For example, in the first half of the Scarmiglione fight, the boss will counter almost every attack used on him with Thundaga, but by using this combo, he ends up casting Thundaga on himself every time he's attacked.
Title Drop: The Band Final Fantasy, which involves the original game's endgame team attacking a single enemy in ways Crono and the gang could only dream of and gaining some MP-wise costly healing on top of it. The original name for the attack was more of a Stealth Pun, since it used the Japanese words for "final" and "fantasy" for the name.
The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: At one point, Palom teaches Leonora black magic, and you're put in a battle where you have to use it on a dummy to advance the plot. You can also use your magic on Palom, making him object...and it's possible (by doing so some twenty-five times without ever hitting your target) to run out of MP. If you do, he asks how you managed to run out of MP and uses an ether on you to recover it.
Time Skip: Of 17 years. Like the time between the release of Final Fantasy IV and the release of this game.
Took a Level in Badass: Edward. His staring down of Kain's dark side shows that he's grown a pair, and they're made of steel. And the tactic he used to attempt to put evil!Kain out of commission also is proof (namely, using a copy of the Bomb Ring/Carnelian Signet from the first game, which brainwashed!Cecil gave to him earlier as a "present" in an attempt to kill him.) That, plus he plants a bug in Cecil's throneroom right in front of his eyes in form of Whisperweed, the very same thing he used in the original game to save the party from Dark Elf, knowing the real/non-brainwashed Cecil would've known what it actually was. He still uses a harp for a weapon, though his other abilities have been improved.
Do you want more proof? How about comparing his personality in the first game (in which young Rydia calls him out as a coward) to this game (where one of his subjects in Damcyan wishes he "had even half of his courage.")
Actually, the whole game pretty much thrives on this trope.
Training from Hell: After Yang agrees to train his daughter Ursula as a monk, he makes it clear to her that he's not going to go easy on her because he's her father.
The Man in Black arrives just in time to save Luca and Rydia from Titan, the Eblan Four reunite with Edge within minutes of each other despite being sent to four opposite points of the world, and the five then leap off the Tower of Babil just as Rydia, Luca and the Man in Black are flying by. Speaking of the Eblan Four, the cities we see them spying on have not been attacked by the Red Wings, so their sequences take place at the very start of the game, but Edge's Tale ends just before the final tale.
Kain attacks Fabul and afterwards he returns to Baron before flying to Damcyan. During this you switch control to Ceodore and the Hooded Man who climb the Mist Cliff, and when they reach the other side there's a scene of Kain heading to Damcyan. Yang sets sail for Baron after the siege and sees Edward heading for Baron as well. When Kain arrives at Damcyan, Edward is there. This means in the time it took Ceodore and the Hooded Man to scale the Mist Cliff and Kain to fly from Fabul to Baron and then head to Damcyan, Edward has sailed to Baron, conducted his business with Cecil, sailed back to Damcyan and evacuated the castle in preparation for the arrival of the Red Wings. Apparently sailing ships can outrun airships several times over.
And when Ursula joins Yang in his tale, she mentions the meteor impact she was going to see (which was how the Mysterious Girl/Maenads arrived on Earth) occurred several days ago. This shatters the timeline all over again, since aside from a stop in Kaipo after the above described events, Ceodore and Kain's Tale, which depicts the Mysterious Girl's arrival, are entirely continuous.
The first part of final tale involves the player flying around the world finding party members and freeing Eidolons from the Mysterious Girl. During this time Ceodore, Rosa, Cid, Edward and Kain are confronting Cecil in Baron. The party finishes their world tour, returns to Baron and bursts into the throne room just as Cecil collapses in defeat. Granted there was a lot of talking going on when they confronted him, but still.
The Lunar Whale takes off at the start of Porom's Tale, and later in Porom's Tale when she's climbing Mt. Ordeals she senses Palom is in danger, which we see in his tale when the Mysterious Girl attacks him in the Lodestone Cavern. In Rydia's Tale she and Luca see Palom flying to the cave on their way to Agart, and at the end of the Rydia's Tale the Man in Black arrives in the Lunar Whale. Apparently the Lunarians have mastered faster-than-light travel because there's no way otherwise the airship could find the Red Moon adrift in space and return to Earth in that timeframe.
Trial-and-Error Gameplay: The battle with the Dark Knight in the final chapter. You're pretty much guaranteed to get a Game Over at least once if you don't read a guide, and quite possibly twice, just for not bringing the right characters along.
Useless Useful Spell: Sometimes averted, due to the party set-ups you get in many chapters status spells can mean the different between life and death. Slow, much like the DS release of the original game, is incredibly useful against bosses, and against normal enemies Sleep, Stop and Break are also helpful. This is particularly the case in the challenge dungeons, where enemies like Lamias and Mad Ogres, to name only two, are common. The challenge dungeon enemies often have high HP, counterattack with dangerous status attacks, and many resist magic damage, so disabling them with Sleep and Stop or killing them outright with Break is the safest way to deal with them.
Video Game Cruelty Potential: During the Gathering, the player finds Damcyan over run by Ant Lions. As per their original portrayal, they're pretty docile, and you have to initiate the battles. There's no actual need for you to fight them though, they don't give particularly good experience, and they don't even get in the way or obstruct your path to the treasure.
Welcome to Corneria: Lampshaded, a mage in Mysidia says "welcome to Mysidia, sacred ground for all mages", then tells Tsukinowa, who's undercover as a mage apprentice, that he'll have to learn to say the phrase himself someday and encourages him to practice.
Whip It Good: Rydia, Izayoi and Harley. Leonora (as well as any other female character in the game) can also equip one specific whip along with a set of what's implied to be bondage gear, and all of them can then use a Band aptly named Call Me Queen, which turns the enemy into a pig.
Wrong Genre Savvy: Palom and Leonora flee with the Earth Crystal into the Magnet Cave, as the magnetic field will protect them from Baron's armored soldiers. They didn't count on the Mysterious Girl and her magic, however.
Yin-Yang Bomb: More or less the concept behind the Bands Holy Burst, Ultima Spark and Infinity.
Also Palom and Leonora's Particle Bomb Band, which mixes Fire and Ice in a way similar to Antipode.
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Ceodore's sprites (although official art depicts him as blond). Somehow inherited from Cecil, whose hair is (depending on the specific image) silver or purple, and Rosa, whose hair is either very blonde or brown. Also Porom, whose hair has changed from light brown to pink (although it may be hair dye in her case) Rydia's green hair, Tsukinowa's purple hair, Harley's blue hair and the Mysterious Girl's cyan hair.
You Shouldn't Know This Already: The Gathering chapter refers to the Man in Black by his alias until The Reveal. Shocking for everyone except the player, who has probably played the Lunarians' Chapter and knows the Man in Black is Golbez.