Video Game: Final Fantasy XIII
Cocoon—a utopia in the sky.
Its inhabitants believed their world a paradise.
Mankind was blessed by its protectors, the benevolent fal'Cie, and believed that tranquil days would continue forever.
Their tranquility was shattered with the discovery of one hostile fal'Cie.
The moment that fal'Cie from Pulse—the feared and detested lowerworld — awoke from its slumber, peace on Cocoon came to an end.Final Fantasy XIII
is the thirteenth game in the ball
popular Final Fantasy
series and first entry of the Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy
series of games.
In the lore of Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy
, humankind lives alongside a race of god-like beings known as the fal'Cie. Those who are chosen by the fal'Cie for a greater purpose
are known as the l'Cie ("luh-see"), with each one given a special mission called a Focus and magical powers to help accomplish it
. Legend states that failure to accomplish one's Focus will transform the l'Cie into a hideous monster, but success will grant "eternal life".Final Fantasy XIII
takes place in Cocoon: a futuristic utopia
created and operated by the fal'Cie. Not only does Cocoon provide a life of comfort and ease, but it protects its inhabitants from the savage and hostile world of "Pulse" that lurks outside its walls.
When a Pulse fal'Cie is discovered within the walls of Cocoon, the ruling government
- fearing the creation of Pulse l'Cies- take drastic measures by quarantining the entire district where it was found and ordering that everyone within be exiled to Pulse. Seeking to rescue her missing sister from the chaos of this "Purge", a young soldier known only by the codename "Lightning" rebels against the government and breaks through the military blockade to the Pulse fal'Cie.
There, Lightning and a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits
are branded against their will by the Pulse fal'Cie and transformed into l'Cie. With an unclear Focus and the entire world of Cocoon turned against them, Lightning and the others must figure out a way to fulfil their new-found fate... or a way to defy it.Final Fantasy XIII
is the first part of the "ten year project" known as Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy
, which was envisioned as a series of Final Fantasy
games all sharing a common mythology. Unfortunately, development was plagued with problems: the two biggest being an excessive amount of time spent developing the game engine, and a general lack of a cohesive vision amongst the development team. While the game received a generally good critical response, the fandom reaction was mixed (with criticism mostly stemming from the perception that the game was "too linear"
), and while both sides made criticism about the story and characters and had different opinions on the battle system, the graphics, voice acting and music were praised by both sides.
A direct sequel
was later released, directly addressing many of the complaints that were thrown at XIII
. A third game
was released in 2014 and completes the trilogy.
The game was ported to Steam in October 2014; the entire trilogy is scheduled to be on PC by Spring 2015.
Provides Examples Of:
An alternate interpretation:
- Five Stages of Grief: Thematically, the party members save for Fang wrestle with one each in the first half of the game, either over the loss of their loved ones or their fate as l'Cie. Lightning and Hope get Anger, just wanting to focus on fighting something to keep themselves going. Snow gets Bargaining, believing that if he tries hard enough there must be some way to put things rightnote . Vanille is in Denial, acting cheerful and happy to repress her guilt and despair about the truth. Sazh shoots right up to Acceptance, resigning himself to execution. Then they all get a turn with Despair sooner or later.
- Foil: Lightning and Fang, right down to the Eidolons — which transform into a white horse and a black dragon.
- Yaag Rosch and Jihl Nabaat.
- Lightning and Serah.
- Lightning is the foil of every main character for at least part of the game, although she becomes less of one as the group's purpose becomes more unified. During the section with her and Hope, her strength contrasting his doubt and fear is the driving force of the plot. For a while later, Vanille's optimism is constantly clashing with Lightning's anger and cynicism.
- Foreshadowing: After the party crash lands in the Vile Peaks, Sazh asks Vanille (about her ignorance) "What, did you sleep through history or something?" Vanille laughs and answers, "More or less."
- The vision that the party has of their Focus at the beginning of the game essentially shows what happens at the end of the game. Whether this is foreshadowing the events of the game or is simply a generic representation of Ragnarok destroying Cocoon is up to your interpretation of the dream.
- Each character starts the game with two ATB slots, gaining a third when they are turned into l'Cie. Vanille, on the other hand, already has three long before the party is transformed.
- When everyone is examining their new l'Cie marks, Vanille's mark is already far more advanced than everyone else's.
- Free Rotating Camera
- Funny Afro: Both Sazh and his son Dajh.
- Funny Background Event: On the Palamecium, when Fang is checking Vanille's brand (it's on her thigh), you can see Snow, Sazh and Hope in the background pointedly turning away and not looking at her.
- Fusion Dance: Between the two final bosses, there's a section of Cut Scene where the they combine together ( Orphan and Barthandelus... Orphandelus?).
- Gag Dub: Two of them, based on early cutscenes (Snow and Vanille and Lightning and Sazh).
- Another gag dub was performed by Ali Hillis and Troy Baker themselves.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: Doubles as Foreshadowing — everyone begins with two ATB bars and gets their third when they receive their l'Cie brand. Except Vanille already has her brand and thus she begins with her third bar already.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: It's odd seeing Hope contemplate killing Snow during a cutscene in Palumpolum and then heal him in the very next battle. Addressed when Hope defends Snow from a monster in a cutscene — he doesn't want Snow to die because then Hope doesn't get his chance to confront him with what he's done.
- The entirety of Sazh's Eidolon battle. After a heartwrenching scene between him and Vanille where he holds her at gunpoint for getting Dajh turned l'Cie, his Eidolon is summoned and he throws himself into the fight declaring if it wants to kill him, bring it on. During the fight however, their chatter is the same as always, Vanille cheerfully calling "don't give up" and Sazh thanking her for healing spells. The battle ends as always with the Eidolon's Gestalt Mode sequence, during which Sazh is smiling and looks to be having a blast.
- After Yaag Rosch's final command/request to the PSICOM/Guardian Corps units to focus on evacuation rather then fighting the l'Cie, once you enter Orphan's Cradle you'll see some who haven't been turned to Cieth and still want to fight you. Maybe they went mad from the revelation, seeing what happened to everyone else?
- Genius Loci: Many fal'Cie are this, though some blur this with just being huge, and you would not notice all of them from just playing the game. Kujata is a power plant, Eden is Edenhall, Phoenix is ship-like artificial sun, the Palamecia is one, and Anima is clearly connected to the entire Pulse Vestige.
- Genre Savvy: Everyone except Lightning act happy as clams after Barthandelus has been beaten once and for all, even though even they should understand that maybe something much worse is on the way.
- Sazh has this from time to time, especially how he correctly guesses that the Sanctum is not being entirely honest about Pulse.
- The entire group gets genre savvy after the Big Bad's villainous monologue — the only reason why he'd tell them his Evil Plan is to manipulate them, and it's not like they can believe a word he says anyway.
- The Ghost: Eden. You do see an avatar in Orphan's Cradle (three of them, in fact), but the fal'Cie itself remains unseen. Averted, but only through supplementary materials, it is Edenhall itself.
- Ghost City: Hanging Edge and the city seen near Lake Bresha in the cutscene where Sazh escapes PSICOM jets are both devoid of citizens. There are four cities that are visitable on Gran Pulse, one for each corner of the Archylte Steppe, and all of them have been reduced to ruins in various states of decay, thanks to the War of Transgression. The city in the southwest area is so far gone, it doesn't even have a name, and all that's left to remind people that civilization used to be there is a couple of archways and spires.
- Ghost Planet: The only things living on Gran Pulse are monsters; no humans, only the skeletal remains of cities and landmarks.
- Get a Hold of Yourself Man: Eidolons will come to snap their masters back into sense when they fall into desperation and doubt; give them helping hands if they can get back on their toes and kill them if they fail.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Most of the enormous mecha bosses have some sort of explanation. Then there's the final boss of Chapter 5: a big metal robot-bug. It is clearly not part of the local fauna, and the military zone that you walked through was made to develop biological weapons, not mechanical ones.
- The Chapter 5 boss is actually a literal example- it's huge, it's inside an orb that in geostationary orbit, it's an actual bug, and there is never any explanation as to where it came from. It is a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere.
- Glass Cannon: At maximum stats, Hope has the best Magic and worst HP. Lightning has the second worst HP but the second best strength, and ties for second best Magic with Vanille.
- Global Airship: Sort of; you can briefly ride mechs that will keep you safe.
- The Gods Must Be Lazy / Have You Seen My God?: The Maker leaving Pulse is the ultimate reason for everything that happens in the game.
- Good Bad Translation: A retroactive (inversion?) is thrown in — a humanoid giant mech named the "Proudclad" makes an appearance. After all these years, we know what Scarlett and Heidegger's ultimate weapon was meant to be translated as.
- "Good Luck" Gesture: Vanille crosses her fingers whenever she is worried things might go wrong. She does it a lot of times throughout the game.
- Götterdämmerung: The intended outcome of Barthandelus's Evil Plan. It works — just not in the way he intended it to. Eden, Barthandelus, and (possibly) all the other Cocoon fal'Cie die right along with Orphan, but humanity survives Cocoon's (literal) fall.
- Gratuitous English: Sunleth Waterscape's lyrics in the Japanese version are in fluent, grammatically correct, but nonsensical English. The western versions replaced them with similar but slightly more sensible words.
- Gratuitous Latin
- Gun Fu: Used by Lightning in some of her fight animations.
- Hammerspace: Most of the characters' weapons are kept on their in-game models. The exception is Hope. It's especially obvious on his battle-ending animation, when he shoves a collapsible boomerang as long as his arm into his back pocket. Somehow.
- Heroic Sacrifice:
- Heroic Willpower: The game beats you over the head with the concept of free will being the key to ending the fal'Cie's power and saving the world. Certain humans, when manifesting extreme amounts of independence, can even become something that is stronger than an ordinary human, but not quite a l'Cie or a crystal being either, such as Cid Raines.
- Hollow World / Floating Continent: Cocoon is this and (according to Word of God) is roughly the size of the United States. The fal'Cie Phoenix serves as its sun, and it is essentially floating in the upper Pulsian atmosphere. In addition, the floating city of Eden is located high up in Cocoon's sky, being a floating city in the center of a floating continent.
- Hollywood Spelling: A pointed aversion, when Hope mentioned "Operation Nora", Lightning says "Nora?", but it's rendered in the subtitles as "NORA", the name of Snow's group. Hope then tells her that Nora was his mother's name, and the true meaning of the operation becomes clear to her.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: To the extreme with Snow and Serah. Serah's about average height (5'5"/164cm), but Snow is over a foot taller than her (6'7"/200cm).
- Human Resources: All of Cocoon's population are either slaves or sacrifices to the fal'Cie.
- Humans Are Special: According to the fal'Cie Orphan, this is why the fal'Cie use l'Cie. fal'Cie are created for a single purpose and can never rise beyond that purpose or act outside it. Humans, on the other hand, have limitless potential for growth and adaptability, so the fal'Cie seek to borrow that power to do what they cannot.
- Humans Need Aliens: Barthandelus invokes this, telling the party that humans are foolish, cowardly and easily deceived, and "without [our] help, death is all of which you're capable". Delving into the backstory reveals that it is largely due to fal'Cie influence that humans have thrived.
- Hurricane of Puns: It's hard to talk about Hope and not have them sound like this.
- Snow is also an offender.
- Concerning the Eidolons, Sazh has a hot rod and Snow has a Cool Bike.
- HP to One: The final boss has an extremely annoying attack that reduces everyone's HP by 99%. When coupled with the poison status ailment he loves casting, this spells nearly instant death for any party member so afflicted.
- The attack with the blade? Put a Sentinel in your team before the light orb reaches Orphan. To add insult to injury, this attack also resets its stagger meter.
- Side note: Regardless of your armor, that attack will deal Over Nine Thousand damage easily. You can't lower it by anything except a Sentinel's resistance. Also, enter the battle with a Sentinel and two Medics to recover fast.
- I Am the Noun: Barthandelus, upon revealing himself to be the head fal'Cie. "L'Cie? You mean me? Oh child, perish the thought. I am more than that! I am fal'Cie! My name is Barthandelus! Voice of the Sanctum, and Lord-Sovereign of the Cocoon fal'Cie."
- I Cannot Self-Terminate: To become free of the fal'Cie's strings, Cid Raines asked to be shot by his right hand man, Rygdea.
- Immune to Fate: White l'Cie brands manifest from extreme displays of free will, and with them, they can take as long as they want to complete their Focus. Fang has hers because she held back from vaporising Cocoon like the Pulse fal'Cie wanted (although wiping a third of the planet off the map satisfied her fulfillment for "destroying" Cocoon). The rest of the party gets theirs from breaking Bart's illusion and their belief in wanting to save the planet in the face of all else that was occurring at the time.
- Improbable Weapon User: Snow uses his coat and fists against automatic weapons - and is specifically powered-up by the patches sewn or ironed on his jacket. Vanille uses a multi-hook 'fishing' pole. Gunblades and giant boomerangs would be considered exotic in any other game series.
- In a Single Bound: Some of the jumps you make whilst moving around maps are awesome. There are valleys and chasms and the railings of an airship.
- Indy Ploy: As Snow says, "Heroes don't need plans!" The rest of the party really take this to heart in the last few chapters.
- Infinity–1 Sword: The final weapon of each characters' set is NOT their ultimate weapon; since weapons can be augmented, it is best to constantly upgrade weapons that come with some form of stat benefit (such as Vanille's Belladonna Wand).
- Infinity+1 Sword: Averted, as mentioned above, due to augmentation in this game. You build your Ultimate Weapon from roughly six to eight different templates, each with their own plusses and minuses, and suitable for different playing styles. Thus, you can also choose not to build an Ultimate Weapon, and complete the game with everyone's starting equipment. It isn't as hard as it sounds.
- Injured Vulnerability: Lightning's Eidolon Odin has a Limit Break called Zantetsuken. It instantly kills any enemies with HP below a certain threshold. Nothing is immune to it; not even the Final Boss or enemies with Instant death immunity.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Not invoked for the English dub, as the actors were chosen well after character design was done, but a few coincidences. Georgia Von Cuylenburg is short, cute, cheerful, and skinny. Ali Hillis is slim and classically beautiful. Troy Baker is a tall blonde guy with plenty of enthusiasm.
- Innocent Innuendo: Very nearly — the packaging for the 360 version winds up having the ESRB rating box in-between Lightning's thighs. If only the game had gotten an M rating...
- Insane Troll Logic: Barthandelus's Evil Plan is basically to summon God by destroying the world. Okay, we get that the fal'Cie are all big time Death Seekers, but do they have any idea how pissed off the Maker is likely to be when He finds out they've blown up his world because of their own selfishness?
- Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Although it's less obvious thanks to the fact that the party can jump over numerous obstacles, given the heights and lengths the characters can jump, there are many obstacles they really should be able to go over and areas they should be able to reach that they can't.
- Interface Spoiler
- A first time player might wonder why cute little Vanille would have three ATB gauges, as opposed to battle hardened Lightning and Snow, who only have two. The answer? She's already a l'Cie.
- Another hint comes with the fact that Vanille has 350 HP, whereas Lightning only has 200. When the l'Cie transformation happens, Lightning gets a boost of 100 HP, but Vanille's HP stays the same.
- Did Sazh just kill himself? Well, the game just told you he just gained his Eidolon summon and an ATB gauge. So, not likely.
- The game's manual flat-out states you'll be going to Pulse eventually.
- Interplanetary Voyage: The first time the plot has you doing this in a Final Fantasy title since Final Fantasy IX, and the first time you could travel between planets at will since Final Fantasy IV.
- Interservice Rivalry: PSICOM has one going on with not only the Guardian Corps, but the Cavalry AND the Sanctum Homeguard too (which are both under the Guardian Corps). Given who their leader is (Jihl Nabaat), it's no wonder they're a bunch of dicks.
- It Began with a Twist of Fate: Four out of six protagonists are forced on an adventure by pure chance of being in New Bodhum when the Pulse Fal'cie Anima awakened near the city. What followed was a chain reaction of events that either killed or crystallized their loved ones, driving the four into an ill-fated attempt to rescue/avenge them.
- Jack of All Stats: Lightning. She is considered the best Ravager, arguably tied as the second best Commando, has access to the Medic role for most of the game, is an adept Synergist (she is only missing Veil, Bar-, and the two -Ra), and can fill the roles of a Sentinel and a Saboteur. She has both the second highest strength stat and second highest magic stat (which she is tied for with Vanille.
- Jerkass Gods: Although they are not technically gods, the fal'Cie are pretty large and in charge, and largely regard humans as either pets or tools, as Hope cheerfully mentions later on in the story. They're so detached from normal morality that they practically run on Insane Troll Logic — the very concept of becoming a l'Cie is that they give you an objective to fulfill, which they may not even explain to you clearly, and your "reward" is to be turned into a crystal statue until they revive you to give you a new Focus. You're also given a time limit to complete this objective, regardless of if they explained it to you or not, and failure to complete it before time runs out turns you into a zombie.
- Justified Trope: Say what you will about the lack of "traditional" towns, and not being able to really interact with the NPCs, but from a thematic standpoint it makes sense. The party members are basically fugitives and the general population is terrified of them. On the other hand, Welcome to Corneria is deconstructed.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Barthandelus takes a long time to lose the goodwill he earns by killing Jihl Nabaat.
- Land Down Under: Gran Pulse. It's a world of unending wilderness, and powerful beasts and dangerous creatures roam around it. It lies underneath Cocoon, analogous to Australia's geographic location being southwards, literally being the "Land down under" from the above world of Cocoon. Throughout the storyline, Gran Pulse is also depicted as being an inhospitable Death World full of danger and horrible monsters. Fang and Vanille also have Australian accents. As they are both the last remaining survivors of Gran Pulse, it can be assumed the people who once lived there also had similar accents. Notably, the ruins of Gran Pulse's cities depict modern technology and buildings, with concrete, steel, and oil rigs.
- La Résistance: The heroes. Team NORA, too, and The Cavalry.
- Last Of Their Kind: Fang and Vanille are the last remaining Pulsians.
- Lazy Backup: Even worse than most games with an Arbitrary Headcount Limit. Not only will the non-active party members not lift a finger in battle, but if your lead character dies, it's game over. No matter who that lead character is or whether or not any of the other party members know any revive skills.
- Leaked Experience: All characters gain the same amount of CP, regardless of whether they are in the battle or even in the party at the time. Justified, especially in the earlier chapters, by the game not allowing you to change your party and often shifting viewpoints between characters without warning — if CP didn't carry over, you would be very liable to get thrown into a tough boss battle with severely underleveled characters and no way to grind them.
- Leap of Faith: Many. Sazh and Vanille do not like these.
- The Manasvin Warmech, technically the first thing you fight in the entire game, fights like a lame duck the first time. Later subverted when he shows up the second time.
- Level Grinding: Referenced to some extent in the game. The entirety of chapter 10 is an training center designed to help Pulse l'Cie become stronger. A bit odd, since Chapter 10 is one of the worst CP grinding spots in the game.
- Chapter 10 is also worse at component/gil grinding than both Chapter 9 and Chapter 11.
- Lighter and Softer: Well, compared to Final Fantasy XIII-2, Final Fantasy XV, and Final Fantasy Type-0.
- Limit Break: Changed in this game, instead you get "Gestalt Mode," where you pilot a vehicle/summon around to do heavy damage.
- Characters also have true limit breaks, which use an entire ATB bar. These either sharply raise the chain meter (Sazh and Lightning), nuke a wide area and moderately raise the chain meter (Hope), deal heavy damage while clearing the chain gauge (Fang and Snow), or have a chance to cause instant death while dealing damage that increases the more you spam them (Vanille).
- Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: The European edition comes with a soundtrack disc, artbook, and a l'Cie temporary tattoo, so that you too can impress your friends with your totally bitchin' Mark of the Beast!
- Literal Genie: The party saves the world on a technicality: Anima, Bart, and Orphan simply tell the l'Cie to "destroy Cocoon." They never made mention of what they should do after they accomplish this...
- Didn't Think This Through: Anima's plot may still be partly uncertain, but Barthandelus and Orphan planned on summoning the Maker with the apocalyptic fall of Cocoon. Ragnarok's suspending Cocoon via a massive crystal pillar could be seen as a hundred middle fingers aimed at the two of them, courtesy of Vanille and Fang.
- Look on My Works, Ye Mighty, and Despair!: All of Gran Pulse, but Taejin's Tower in particular.
- Loophole Abuse: During some longer attack animations, especially Full ATB Skills, you can still change Paradigms and thus your party's passive skill adjustments. Doing this allows ATB Skills used in the Ravager role to benefit from the Commando's damage buff bonus by switching once they begin the attack.
- Lost Forever/Broken Bridge: With the exception of the ones on Gran Pulse, every single treasure chest in the game is lost once you leave the dungeon it's in. Fortunately, most of them don't give out things that are all that rare. There are a few weapons and accessories you can't buy in stores found in chests, though.
- There is also one point in the game where if you don't fight an optional boss that is way too strong for the party at normal progression, you'll have to choose between two treasure chests. The one you don't pick will be lost.
- The final dungeon won't allow you back into its main bulk after you reach the end, so much for the level grinding.
- If you don't find all five parts to repair Vanille's pet robot, Bhakti, before fighting Barthandelus, then they disappear, and you lose out on a bunch of useful items.
- Low Fantasy: Believe it or not, the story fits most of the criteria listed on that trope page. Humans take center stage in the plot, no Five Races other than the Fal'Cie, natural magic is treated as the ultimate evil and artificial magic is largely used as a military weapon, war is largely depicted as pointless, all-out destructive, and waged for an unclear goal, etc.
- Luck-Based Mission: Getting five stars on the Gigantuar fight. Either you get a lucky instant stagger (with very low odds) or the battle takes too long, regardless of your stats.
- Magic Missile Storm: Alexander returns with his Divine Judgment attack from Final Fantasy IX, as the summon for Hope.
- Magic Skirt: This game plays with this trope quite a bit, at least in regard to cutscenes.
- Lightning does all manner of acrobatic things, and the camera doesn't care. This is because she wears black modesty shorts.
- Serah's miniskirt always protects her modesty, regardless of what she does. Interestingly, in FFXIII-2, we learn that Serah also wears black Modesty Shorts.
- Fang and Vanille, during many events where they should give people a view, have their skirts still cover themselves. However, they are many quick blink-and-you'll-miss-it examples that don't follow this trope.
- Magical Security Cam: The "security camera" footage from inside the Euride Gorge power plant showing how Fang and Vanille's actions turned Dajh into a l'Cie is made to look like video with noise and scanline effects, but features dramatic camerawork shot from angles that would be impossible from the viewpoint of security cameras (even the floating ones seen elsewhere in the game, as they are not evident on wide shots of the same scene).
- Magitek: All fal'Cies are a mysterious combination of magic and tecnology. Members of Cocoon's military also have access to equipment that lets them use magic (before becoming a l'Cie, Lightning uses one such device to fly through the air). PSICOM also uses "militarized" monsters like a cyborg behemoth.
- Mana Meter: Almost completely averted. While you do have the fast and powerful Techniques that use Tech Points, everything else is based on time.
- Manual Leader, AI Party: The player controls one party member at once and has the option of customizing the AI of the party.
- Mark of the Beast: The l'Cie brand may as well be a triple six or a five-star.
- Mass Super-Empowering Event: Courtesy of Anima, by way of Serah and Vanille.
- Meaningful Name: The l'Cie's plain English names and their meanings may be obvious, but there are other examples. The Undying, for instance, are all named for people who commanded armies against ancient Rome.
- Mêlée à Trois: This game allows you to join in three-way battles. Depending on whether you're spotted doing so or not, both sets of enemies may join forces to wipe you out, or not notice you're even there and continue to fight each other while you annihilate all parties. Regardless, you need to be the victor.
- And then there's the awesome three-way fight you can perform on the Archlytte Step with a Behemoth King and a Megistotheran. Both of them are extremely powerful, and even Hope comments that it's awesome to watch them duke it out, on top of this being a very good grinding spot.
- Mind Screw: The last dungeon. If you have any idea where you are, if you're making progress, or what your objective is besides hitting the next checkpoint, you're lying to yourself.
- Morton's Fork: If you're branded a l'Cie, you've got two possible fates in store for you: complete your focus and turn into a crystal forever, or do nothing and turn into a Cie'th zombie forever. This is your first hint that the fal'Cie are nothing but a bunch of pricks. Your second hint is that focuses are only ever about as clear as half-remembered dreams anyway.
- According to some dialogue from the sequel, turning into crystal isn't as bad as it seems. Serah sometimes mentions the happy dreams she had while she was crystallized, which isn't as much of a punishment as turning into a Cie'th.
- And even if you do complete your focus and turn to crystal, that doesn't necessarilly mean you can rest for eternity either. If the fal'Cie decide they have further use for you, they can de-crystalize you, essentially drafting you into another round of service for them, as was the case with Vanille and Fang.
- Mood Whiplash: Holy hell is chapter 8 a shining example of this. A carefree festival scene gets interrupted by PSICOM. That might have been expected, but the mood keeps going down from there once you defeat the boss and Sazh's toddler son wanders onto the scene, apparently completing his Focus and getting encased in crystal. Terrible secrets are revealed when Nabaat punts the dog into orbit and poor Sazh can't decide whether he should kill Vanille, who had been trying to keep his spirits up the whole journey. By the end of the entire scene, Sazh has a summon and a gun to his head.
- More Dakka: Sazh's method of using Guns Akimbo seems to be "spray enough bullets in your target's general direction and maybe some will hit". Particularly, see his version of Blitz and his Limit Break, Cold Blood.
- His Blitz's unique mechanics (he sprays bullets forward instead of doing a Spin Attack like everyone else) make it pretty powerful against larger enemies. Each bullet does half to three-quarters what it would in a normal attack, but he fires each gun a half-dozen times at least; if you're facing an enemy large enough to get hit by most or all of them, or if a moderately sized enemy is right in his face, it'll do considerably more damage than just having him Attack.
- Morph Weapon: When Sazh gets his fourth ATB level, make him a commando and have him attack. On the fourth hit, his handguns leap into the air, transform, then merge into a rifle before he takes a shot — for no reason, apparently, but style. Also, Lightning's gun-sword-whateverthehellitis.
- Multi-Platform: The news of this being the first game in the series to do this (and the first for the Xbox 360) was a big announcement.
- Although the advent of a PlayStation 3 price drop has cooled off some of the initial fire from earlier on.
- Mythology Gag: See the trivia page for a full list.
- Naked on Arrival: When a l'Cie awakens from crystal stasis, he or she is naked for the first few seconds.
- Averted during the ending, when the camera stays on Lightning as she awakens from crystal stasis already clothed, as you might imagine.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: It's one of the main themes of the game. The party's mere presence as Pulse l'Cie is making the civilian population panic and the government resorts to increasingly extreme measures to capture them and restore the peace, and as l'Cie the party members can either fulfill their Focus to destroy Cocoon, or refuse it and turn to Cie'th. They come to believe there must be a way to Take a Third Option, but in the meantime they evade capture, mow down enemy soldiers, show off their l'Cie powers in public, and in general constantly escalate the already thick tensions of the people. A good portion of NPCs, and briefly some of the party members themselves, are of the opinion it would make things easier on the world if they just stopped trying and died. As for specific examples:
- Nobody Poops: Specifically, that chocobo chick never seems to make a mess in Sazh's hair.
- No Endor Holocaust: The act of Cocoon dropping had to have killed a hell of a lot of people, especially everyone on Eden. But no deadly aftermath is ever shown, so it can be assumed everyone on the planet had parachutes or teleporters.
- Averted as of the sequel. While no explicit numbers are mentioned, it is stated that people died. But either way, the survivor's are dead now, due to the time crash occuring 500 years after the ending of XIII.
- Nominal Importance: Even if you haven't been spoiled going into the game, you know damn well Hope's mother is doomed when the game's subtitles only refer to her as "Mother." She has a name, but it's not revealed until long after she's dead.
- Non Standard Skill Learning: Most skills (including basic Attack) are represented by nodes on the Crystarium. The exception is the characters' Eidolons, which are obtained during the storyline and stored in the inventory.
- Not a Game: An exchange between Lightning and Sazh.
Lightning: Keep running—it's die or turn Cie'th. There's no place for l'Cie to hide. No…they want a fight? Let's take it to the Sanctum's door!
Sazh: This isn't a game!
Lightning: No. That's for damn sure. It started with Serah. The fal'Cie took her. Now I'm a l'Cie. And the Sanctum's hunting me, an enemy of the state. But who's pulling their strings? A fal'Cie. Eden. Cocoon's sustainer and guiding light. It probably ordered the Purge, too. Pulse and Sanctum fal'Cie? They're all the same. And we're all the same to them: expendable. I'm not dying a fal'Cie slave.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: Prior to the game's release, many people suspected that the aged Galenth would be nothing more than a powerless figurehead. Then he started frying masses of people with magic blasts...
- No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom: Entirely true until very late in the game, when the sandbox opens up a little for sidequests. There is no backtracking except to one specific area, and there are no towns to visit. This is a big change from earlier installments, even purely linear games like Final Fantasy X. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing.
- The last chapter of the game is this (though with warps to the free areas) and is reminiscent of Final Destination from Super Smash Brothers.
- The linearity was explained to be influenced from first person shooters. Make that of what you will.
- Offscreen Start Bonus: The game likes to teleport you into an area after a cutscene, with a hallway behind you that you supposedly just came through. Backtracking will often get you a treasure sphere.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: MIHI NOMEN ORPHANUS! OR! PHA! NUUUUUUS!!! Par for the course for final bosses in this series, really. Overlaps awesomely with Orchestral Bombing.
- Ominous Pipe Organ: Ragnarok combines this with Ominous Latin Chanting. Also, there's an organ right at the beginning of Born Anew, but it's a bit drowned out by the choir. You can hear it much more easily in the instrumental version, though.
- One-Man Army: Lightning and Snow start out this way, and everybody else grows into it in short order. l'Cie are powerful. Also, Lightning's Full ATB Skill is called "Army of One."
- One-Winged Angel: Cid Raines' l'Cie form. He gains actual wings when he loses half of his HP.
- While Barthandelus is always a giant monster, the last fight throws on some angel wings to go with his built-in angelic choir.
- One-Woman Wail: Some of the background music, such as that of Oerba, Fang and Vanille's Doomed Hometown.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: To the average American player, Vanille's accent sounds a little... flighty compared to Fang (Ironic considering Vanille's voice actress is Australian...and Fang's is not). However, to the average Australian player, Fang's accent, whilst mostly above average, slips into some very New Zealand sounding vowels and the odd American twang.
- This is more of a situation from the American audience perspective as for them natural accents do not sound "authentic" to them, and need to be done over-the-top in order to sound "real" or "authentic". Another victim of this is Leliana of the Dragon Age franchise, whose voice actress Corinne Kempa (like Georgia van Cuylenburg (Vanille's voice actress) in regards to using her Australian accent) was accused of her accent being "unauthentic" and "fake", was merely using a native Parisian accent.
- Organic Technology: Cocoon has amazing wonders such as iMac-styled Behemoths, snake mechs, cyborg dragons, and tree beasts with radiator grille faces.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Cie'th. They're zombies who grow crystals (and bigger) and eventually turn into statues, or fall apart.
- Or live forever fueled by pure spite.
- Outside-the-Box Tactic: Most bosses are immune to Death... except the final boss, when it's staggered.
- Panty Shot: If Fang does a jump when the battle ends, if the camera focuses on her victory pose, you can catch a glimpse of her panties. They are black. Also, during the Highwind move, there's a fair chance of it.
- Palm Tree Panic: Sunset Beach.
- Papa Wolf: Sazh, as well as Hope's dad.
- Parental Abandonment: Many of the characters, including the Big Bad Orphan, have issues with either their parents or children.
- Parental Substitute: Lightning became this to Serah following their parents' deaths, and gradually morphs into a mother figure for Hope, as well.
- Party in My Pocket/All in a Row: Both are played with, the party members generally just do their own thing and act like NPCs while on the field. However, only the active party members are visible in the field, any not participating in battle play the pocket trope straight.
- Patrolling Mook: Most Pre Existing Encounters who aren't nailed to a particular spot are this. They are usually easier than stationary enemies because you can get a preemptive attack on them while their back is turned.
- Peninsula of Power Leveling: On Gran Pulse, there is a specific area on the Archlyte Steppe where a behemoth and a giant wolf are fighting next to a canyon. (It's unavoidable because the plot steers you towards this area.) Engage them (the encounter will almost always be a Pre-Emptive Strike), kill the behemoth, kill the wolf, run into the canyon until the spot they stood in scrolls off the screen, come back to the spot, and they're there again. Doing this gets you about 13000 CP (with the Growth Egg, which doubles CP) in roughly two minutes, and almost a million within an hour. As you get stronger, the minutes can become seconds.
- Once you know the Death trick, Mission 63 becomes one for both CP and gil. (Adamantoises give 40000 CP and have a 25% chance of dropping Vendor Trash that sells for 150000 gil, and you get a guaranteed Gold Nugget (60000 gil) every time you complete the mission)
- Phlebotinum Rebel: Two types: Your party, who use their powers to defy their Foci and battle the fal'Cie, and The Undying, people who resented their fate as l'Cie, ignored their foci, and became immortal superbeings kept going on nothing but pure spite.
- Planet of Hats: Every single one of Cocoon's uncountable number of fal'Cie are evil and in on Barthandelus and Orphan's plan to summon the Maker via mass sacrifice, even though it would also mean their deaths. Even the ones in charge of operating the automatic doors.
- Post-End Game Content
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: The name Orphan seems to be a deliberate subverted reference to this trope.
- Power Tattoo: The l'Cie brand. It also serves as an abstract Magic Countdown to Cie'thdom. It goes through thirteen stages, becoming more complex each time until it fully develops and the bearer becomes a Cie'th. If the l'Cie manages to complete their focus, they get a cool "ruined" brand like the one Fang sports for the entire game.
- Practical Taunt: This exists as a Sentinel skill. The default tank, Snow, just waves the enemy forward and says something like "Well? Come on!!" or "I can take it!"
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: A few, usually said by Lightning or Sazh. Example: "Been looking for you, Nabaat!"
- Programming Game: Paradigms are more or less simplified Gambits, only the AI isn't as rigid (mainly because they have less options to choose from all at once.)
- Puzzle Boss: The Eidolons do not yield to you based solely on pure strength. Better pay attention to what Libra tells you and act accordingly, that clock isn't slowing down.
- Railroading: The vast majority of the game is spent on a single path it's impossible to stray from. This is naturally a major point of contention with the franchise's fans.
- Randomly Drops: Thanks to the game's aversion of Money Spider, the only ways to accumulate large amounts of Gil involve fighting enemies that drop valuable components designed to be sold, but which often drop at rates of 25% or worse. You will need millions of Gil to upgrade weapons, and millions more if you want to go for the trophy for having all of the equipment. Enjoy doing the same 5-10 minute fight three or four times without getting anything.
- Really 700 Years Old: Vanille and Fang and Dysley.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Lightning gives one to Hope early on, calling him out on his uselessness. She ends up accidentally calling her Eidolon, Odin, who wastes no time in trying to cut Hope in half.
- Recurring Riff: A melodic line from one of the vocal tracks appears in several other pieces throughout the game.
- Surprisingly for a Final Fantasy game, only one of the classic FF tunes appears in its entirety, the insanely catchy vocal J-pop rendition of the Chocobo theme. The series Prelude can be heard briefly in the game's original prelude, and the Final Fantasy theme (the one that usually plays during the credits) can be heard in the track "Miracles". Then again, this is somewhat typical of Masashi Hamauzu, who very rarely if ever pays tribute to Nobuo Uematsu's old musical cues. See: Dirge of Cerberus (scored by Hamauzu), which is bereft of any of the original Final Fantasy VII leitmotifs, compared to Crisis Core (scored by Takeharu Ishimoto) which borders on Continuity Porn in its reuses of FFVII melodies.
- On a more minor note, Blinded By Light can be heared in Lightning's theme, and it gets a Dark Reprise later.
- Recurring Boss: Many bosses are fought at least twice during the game. The Proudclad (piloted by Yaag Rosch) and Barthandelus stand out.
- Red-Headed Hero: Lightning, Serah and Vanille. All three of the pink variety.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The military career Lightning with her cold and professional demeanor, and the tribal Fang who is flirty, hot-headed, and impulsive. The colors are inverted though - it's Lightning who wears the red, while Fang wears the blue.
- It's not a complete inversion, though; at their first meeting, it's Fang who tells Lightning that she should cool that head of hers. Fang is in the end more easygoing than Lightning.
- Redemption Equals Death: For Yaag Rosch, though his sacrifice merely takes out a couple of monsters the party were capable of taking on. It was either that, or let them tear his wounded body to shreds... least the thought counted.
- Redundant Rescue: Sazh and Vanille orchestrate their own escape by utilizing the distraction provided by their rescuers, meeting up with the rest of the party just as they were running into trouble.
- Replacement Goldfish: Some of the party members' relationships are forged this way. Lightning (replaces Hope's mother, Nora) and Hope (replaces Lightning's sister, Serah) to each other, and Vanille (replaces Sazh's son, Dajh) to Sazh.
- Revive Kills Zombie: Inverted, concerning the final boss.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Sazh's chocobo chick and the sheep.
- The Right of a Superior Species: At one point, Lightning realizes that to the fal'Cie, humans are nothing but pets whom they keep for amusement and some housekeeping chores they don't care to do themselves. It is eventually revealed that humans and fal'Cie are related species in the sense that both were created by the same creator deity but fal'Cie were made infinitely stronger, so when the creator has left the building, things went south for the humans.
- Ruins of the Modern Age: There's hints of this scattered all over Gran Pulse, but it really hits home once you make it to Taejin's Tower, and more importantly: Oerba.
- Say My Name: "SERAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!"
- Scenery Porn: Detractors would be hard pressed to find anything bad to say about the graphics.
- Lampshaded by Sazh in the Sunleth Waterscape. "Where's a camera when you need one?"
- Screw Destiny: The party, naturally, which in turned inspired Cid Raines as well, but that wasn't a good thing for the party. Or Raines.
- Indeed, it's practically the theme of the game's story. Our heroes are told over and over again that as l'Cie, it's their destiny to fulfill their focus or suffer a Fate Worse Than Death. In the end, however, they all decide they're going to make their own fate.
- Second Hour Superpower: After the prologue chapters, Anima says hello.
- Seemingly Hopeless Boss Fight: The second fight with the Ushumgal Subjugator. Hope has to go it alone at first. Due to the way the battle system is designed, it is pretty much impossible to defeat a boss enemy with just one character—the best you can hope for is to keep Hope from dying by switching to the healer role often. Luckily, just before he hits 0 HP (or after he survives for a set time), a cutscene plays out where Lightning and Fang finally catch up with them and deliver a sound trashing to the boss.
- Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: Dysley tries pulling one of these on Snow and Lightning by taking Serah's form, even using Lightning's real name (Claire) on her. He gives up after about a minute and puts his trollface back on because he knows he's got the party wrapped so tightly around his finger they're going to do what he wants anyway, so why waste the energy screwing with them?
- One of the frightened Purge victims can be heard reciting part of the Litany Against Fear.
- Chapter 13 has you facing off against the Jabberwocky and the Bandersnatch as a duo of mini-bosses.
- There's also a reference to the first SaGa game. Vanille's "Death" ability is a one-hit KO on Orphan's final form, much like the instant-kill SAW weapon.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Lightning pulls one of these on Orphan before the final fight.
- Slave Brand: The l'Cies' brands.
- Slave Mooks: L'Cie are only motivated to do their boss' job by the threat of being turned into one of the zombie-like Cie'th.
- Sliding Scale of Free Will vs. Fate: It is stated that fate is undefeatable. However, later, it is not only revealed that can fate can be fought, but that humans are the only ones with true free will —- something not even the fal'Cie had. Hence the reason fal'Cie create l'Cie, to use their unlimited potential (free will).
- Sliding Scale of Linearity vs. Openness: Level 2. The game's linearity created a huge amount of controversy, not only about whether it was good or bad, but whether it was true to the series.
- The Social Darwinist: Titan's entire reason for existing is to create new, strong species to inhabit Gran Pulse, and let them wipe out the weak ones, unless he feels like doing it himself in which case he will. However, he's relatively reasonable about it compared to usual instances of the trope, as he conducts such acts to strengthen all the races of Gran Pulse. His trial missions have briefings worded in a way that invites the party to die at the hands of a superior foe if they are unworthy or unwilling to live, and when the trials are complete, Titan acknowledges their power and that they are worthy of living.
- Sole Entertainment Option: Nautilus, a huge entertainment city on Cocoon that is full of little spherical transports, the Pompa Sancta parade, lots of lights (of course), an amusement park, and a chocobo and sheep petting zoo, among other things.
- There's also a Grand Prix track near the end of the game. Sadly, you don't get to participate.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: Getting pummeled by monsters to the sound of vocal trance or bossa nova has never been so much fun!
- Stripperific: Lebreau, Fang, and Vanille join a long tradition of these.
- Lebreau, easily the worst offender of the three, actually receives commentary from Lightning in the novella.
If the blue-haired man could be said to have a lot of decorations, this woman could be said to be showing a lot of skin. Either one was not wearing clothes that someone who uses a gun would normally wear. All of those decorations hanging down would just get in the way of a gun fight. And a large gun like that heats up easily. With that much skin showing, she wouldn’t be protected from burns. Amateurs, she decided.
- Spam Attack: Lightning's Army of One and Sazh's Cold Blood full-ATB moves. Also, what happens naturally when you're queuing up five or six Attacks or Ruins in a row during the late game.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Orphan, despite all the references (name, the changes between its forms, its music, its dungeon, thirteen orphans, etc) is called Ophan often, because it also alludes to the type of angel, Ophanim. Of course, the English release confirms "Orphan" as canon.
- Galenth Dysley's true name is another matter of contention. Most agreed that he was named Baldanders after the mythological creature, but they Latinized it to Barthandelus in the English release.
- Some of the names in the Spanish translation are slightly different, like Baldanders instead of Barthandelus (as referenced above), Paals instead of Pulse, and luCie instead of l'Cie. Whether they're truer or not to the original Japanese is arguable.
- Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum: The crux of the plot is Orphan's incredibly convoluted attempt to Rage Quit the universe. As one would expect, when the party finally confronts Orphan itself, it acts like, well, an insane child.
- Taken for Granite: L'Cie who fulfill their focus skip the zombie part and go straight to being a paperweight.
- Take Your Time: Although the plot largely tries to avert this — the entire story takes place in the time frame of about two weeks (one month if you include the Thirteen Days), and makes an explicit point that ignoring their Focus runs risk of the party turning Cie'th — once you get to Gran Pulse, you can spend as much time as you want killing King Mooks and riding chocobos around.
- Team Mom: Sazh is a male example.
- Tears from a Stone: Serah, with the aforementioned Taken for Granite "reward" for fulfilling her l'Cie focus, sheds a tear that turns into a crystal.
- Tech Points: Two Types: Crystal Points (CP), which are similar to Final Fantasy X's AP, and are given out at the end of combat. CP are how you move along the crystarium level up system. Technique Points (TP), which are a form of Mana, are rewarded at the end of combat if you finish combat quickly, or during combat if you wait until your action bar is full — essentially, wait to do a full Beam Spam type attack.
- Tech Tree: A variant. The game uses a system called the crystarium, which is most similar to the AP system seen in Final Fantasy X. However, each character has 1-3 out of 6 different crystarium boards open initially, and each one has a different progress bar and different unlockables — they are basically this game's version of a character class. Skills and spells are only usable when you are in that tech tree, but passive bonuses to HP, Strength, etc. are permanent. All the areas of the boards are locked out until you progress far enough into the plot.
- Terminally Dependent Society: Cocoon is dependent on the Fal'Cie for just about everything. In fact, this was part of the fal'Cie's centuries-long plan, so later when conflict arose, the resulting bloodshed/panic would be an even greater contrast. All to rouse the Maker.
- That Makes Me Feel Angry: Characters have a habit of lapsing into this, where they'll talk about their emotions and epiphanies rather than just, ya know.... emote.
- That's No Moon!: Gran Pulse has no visible moon aside from Cocoon, which floats in its lower atmosphere.
- Theme Naming / Stellar Name: Sazh's weapons are all named after individual stars or star systems, except for his last weapon, although it is named after a celestial event.
- Hope's weapons count as well; they're all named after some kind of winged mythological beast or deity. (Or is capable of flight in general)
- Theme Park Version: Parodied in-game. With The War of Transgressions re-enactment during the Eidolon parade. Which happens at Nautilus, which is one big theme park.
- Three-Stat System: The game uses the Strength/Magic/Health variation.
- Time-Limit Boss: All the Eidolons, as well as the final boss, cast Doom on the party leader at the start of the fight. In addition, many of the normal bosses will eventually cast Doom if you take too long fighting them. Although they are in reality tests to see how savvy you are about the gameplay systems.
- An interesting note is that the Doom Timers are relatively short, (around 3 minutes max) yet the target time for Eidolon fights ranges anywhere from 20 minutes to half an hour.
- Orphan's final form.
- Unfortunately, all fal'Cie appear to be this in a way. If you do not finish them within the alloted time, they will cast Doom on you.
- Title Drop / Bilingual Bonus: Barthandelus, in the pre-Final Boss cutscene makes mention of a "new crystal legend."
- The title of the last Analect in the Datalog is Fabula Nova Crystallis. Fittingly, said entry makes mention of the goddess Etro.
- Token Nonhuman: Averted for the first time since Final Fantasy VIII. Or subverted if you look at it in another way: the game could be the first in the series to have no human playable characters, as everyone in the party becomes a L'Cie. Which means in the first two chapters of the game Vanille is the Token Non-Human in the group.
- Token Yuri Girls: Fang and Vanille.
- Touched by Vorlons: L'Cie are created when humans come into contact with a fal'Cie. The l'Cie then gain abilities that transcend that of normal humans, such as the use of "natural" magic instead of "artificial" magic produced by a Manadrive and the ability to summon Eidolons. Basically, they become Player Characters, or in the case of Cid, Bosses.
- Trailers Always Spoil: Even Word of God made no secret that sooner or later, the party is going to leave Cocoon.
- Trailers Always Lie: Jihl, Yaag and Cid Raines were quite prominent while Dysley was shown little, and only Raines lived up to his implied role. The trailers also implied Fang was a traitor, showing her capturing Snow and raising her lance against the party without context for her actions, and implied Vanille was the one responsible for Serah being branded, showing her apologizing profusely when she sees her mark.
- Transformation Is a Free Action: Subverted. When you paradigm shift, the combat doesn't pause, leaving you open for attacks. Especially aggravating the first time in each battle, when the party members do the animation one at a time. Fortunately, they will shift simultaneously for the rest of the battle.
- On the other hand, savvy players who need to conduct a Paradigm Shift can use launch periods to circumvent this flaw. Enemies will attack whether you're shifting or not; why not shift when they're done attacking?
- Transformation Sequence: When a l'Cie is crystallized (i.e. Serah and Dajh). Or uncrystallized, as Vanille was — complete with magically appearing clothes.
- Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Most, if not all, of the Eidolon battles will need to be retried at least once unless you're using a walkthrough or guide. Fortunately, the game included a convenient retry feature for every battle.
- The first time you fight Barthandelus at the end of Chapter 9 also comes down to this. There's no hints or mentions of what you should do when he's preparing to pull off Destrudo, an instant-kill attack that can be subverted if he's lost enough HP while charging up, making this a Guide Dang It moment for the ill-informed after they've had their asses handed to them on a silver platter a few times or so.
- True Companions: If you doubt that the group will become this by the end, you are sorely Genre Blind.
- Trauma Conga Line: Everyone, to some extent. Vanille might just have the worst of it, though, especially during the last few boss fights.
- The Unfought: The players never get the opportunity to give Jihl Nabaat a thrashing. She was more than happy to oblige, but the Big Bad had other plans.
- Useless Item: The debuff protection accessories the game throws at you are mostly useless; there are only a few fights where it's worth spending a valuable accessory slot to prevent a status ailment instead of simply curing it after it connects. One of these fights happens to be the final boss, who is one of the few enemies in the game that can cast Death.
- Useless Useful Spell: Being a recent game, this is a huge aversion; There are two roles that add buffs and debuffs. They're also the most important roles, since you may not even be able to survive bosses' attacks without being hardened by a Synergist, and some bosses you can't even touch without softening them up with a Saboteur. (Saboteur spells even deal damage and the effects stack!) There's also the Death spell, unlike the all or nothing versions in earlier games, Death actually hits pretty hard even when it doesn't score a One-Hit Kill.
- Orphan is susceptible to Poison. The easiest way to beat him is to let Poison tick away at his health while the party keeps itself alive.
- Poison, in particular, got a huge buff to usefulness; it drains health from its victim at a constant rate of .32% health per second. Against enemies with especially high HP, like the Long Gui or Vercingetorix, Poison will do more damage than your attacks will.
- Use Your Head: The chocobo chick's favorite method of attack. Powerful enough to knock down adults mooks (and Sazh)! Beware: this bird is a freakin' monster!
- Utopia Justifies the Means: The motivation of Barthandelus for destroying Cocoon and killing millions. Also Rosch's reason for participating in atrocities like the purge.
- Video Game Geography: Square Enix attempted to make its world map of Cocoon conform to the shape of a true sphere, resulting in a kind of exploded map when laid flat.◊ It's interesting to note that almost every pocket of human civilization is on an island, thousands of miles away from the crater in the map's center; an indication that they are that scared of Gran Pulse.
- The War Sequence: Chapter 12 begins with the l'Cie party invading the capital city of Cocoon, Eden, by crashing through a racetrack. At the same time, an army of Pulse monsters teleported in by Barthandelus are invading, and the Cavalry has also launched its coup d'état against the Sanctum. In response, all of PSICOM's remaining brigades as well as the Guardian Corps' Homeguard Regiment are mobilized to protect Eden. The end result is basically everyone is fighting everyone. The party even has to fight the Cavalry after most of them get turned into Cie'th.
- We Cannot Go On Without You: When the party leader dies, the game ends, regardless of the state of your other party members. Sticks out since AI medics can revive non-lead characters without any input from the player.
- Welcome to Corneria: Deconstructed in Gran Pulse; what would have been NPCs who stand in one spot and repeat a single line of dialogue over and over are literal stone statues that are doomed to repeat the same sentiments for all eternity. Played straight with the human NPCs, however.
- On a lighter note, an NPC in Nautilus references the original line as a Mythology Gag.
- Wham Line:
Galenth Dysley: I am fal'Cie. My name is Barthandelus; voice of the Sanctum, and Lord-Sovereign of the Cocoon fal'Cie.
Barthandelus: That girl ([Serah]) did nothing but assemble the tools for Cocoon's destruction!
"I'm from Gran Pulse. The world below you all hate so much. My partner and I had turned to crystal there and gone to sleep. The reason Cocoon's in such an uproar is the same reason you're here now. Vanille and I woke up."
- What Happened to the Mouse?: After Rygdea mercy-kills Raines on his request, he promptly vanishes from the game. Unfortunately, since the rest of the Cavalry became Cie'th before they could reach Orphan, things probably didn't end too well for him.
- Lightning's real name, Claire, is never mentioned in the game after Serah (read: Dysley) says it. None of the party members call her by it, deciding to call her 'Light' instead. Not even her own sister Serah calls her that in the ending. As a matter of fact, her real name is never mentioned again until the very end of the trilogy.
- Also, what happened to Hope's dad? You would've expected him to show up in the ending, but he doesn't. However, in the novel, PSICOM appears and tells Hope that his father is with them.
- And Lightning's commanding officer, Lieutenant Amodar?
- What the Hell, Hero?: While Hope and Lightning are in the underground of Palumpolum, they find the fal'Cie Carbuncle, the source of nourishment for the city they are in. The latter actually considers destroying the fal'Cie and starving all the citizens of the city, including military personnel "and" civilians. This even prompts Hope to ask her "I think people hate us enough already, don't you?"
- Who Would Be Stupid Enough: The other characters poke fun at Fang for giving into Orphan's nonsense about miracles coming out of misery.
Sazh: Miracles out of misery. You gotta be kidding me.
Hope: Yeah, Fang. Who'd be dumb enough to swallow that crock?
- The World Is Just Awesome: The montage of Gran Pulse after the party leaves Cocoon. Hell, just wandering the Archylte Steppe, where you begin on Gran Pulse, can evoke this reaction.
- The Worsening Curse Mark: an l'Cie's brand evolves as time runs out on their Focus, when it reaches the thirteenth stage, the l'Cie becomes a Cie'th. Emotional distress can cause it to advance more quickly. Which naturally does not help the situation.
- Worst Whatever Ever: Lightning says "Worst birthday ever," in response to Serah announcing that she and Snow are engaged on her birthday. It's hilarious the first time around, but in recalling it after chapter, say, 2 or 3...
- You Have Failed Me: Cie'th, l'Cie who didn't finish their job on time and got turned into zombies.
- You Have Researched Breathing: Hope, Vanille, and Sazh begin the game with the attack command, then lose it pretty early on when they become l'Cie. Sazh gets it back automatically, the other two have to train to regain it when they unlock the Commando role late-game. Particularly jarring in Vanille's case, since she was a l'Cie to begin with.
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Most of the party is quick to rejoice after Dysley has been defeated, but Lightning isn't so convinced. Cue shocked expressions and ominous chanting when his owl flies in...
- The looks on the party members' faces, especially Lightning's, when Dysley reveals his fal'Cie form for the first time on the Palamecia pretty much reads "Oh, Crap".
- Zombify the Living: The mindless monsters Cie'th are considered undead, even though to become one, a human must not so much die as fail a Focus given to them by a fal'Cie. When a fal'Cie feels threatened, however, it can give humans an un-completable "null" Focus, which turns them into Cie'th on the spot, rapidly spawning a veritable zombie army around the fal'Cie.