From the flames of Destruction, A new Beginning rises...
"War born of strife, these trials persuade us not. (Feel what? Learn what?) Words without sound, these lies betray our thoughts. Mired by a plague of doubt, the Land, she mourns. (See what? Hear what?) Judgement binds all we hold to a memory of scorn. Tell us why, given Life, we are meant to die, helpless in our cries?"
A Date with Rosie Palms: It is implied that a scaled beastman in Bronze Lake forces his way to the camp's springs, exposes himself, and does...stuff to himself in front of other bathers. When a Storm Sergeant confronts the troublemaker about it while trying to ban him from the springs, the beastman claims his actions are his "ritual bathing dance". The two characters then fight each other and you can assist the sergeant if you choose to do so since it's a FATE.
Lalafell Female: Does your world want for a wealth of wordplay and wit? An abundance of alliteration, assonance aplenty and a soupcon of sibilance to seal the deal? Well, you were warned.
Also applied liberally to otherwise nameless filler NPCs (Glowing Goodwife, Mocking Miner, Positively Pungent Pirate, etc.)
After the End: This is sort of the gimmick of A Realm Reborn; it wasn't a particularly big apocalypse, but it did change the world and you're playing through its aftermath.
This is also revealed to be the situation, after a fashion, for the Amalj'aa in patch 2.1; it turns out that there are actually Amalj'aa who have not been tempered by Ifrit. They're such a tiny minority, however, that the race as a whole seems doomed to mindless servitude to Ifrit forever and the best the "Brotherhood of Ash" can hope to accomplish is to try and prevent their fanatical kin from doing too much damage. Reversing the effects of the tempering is impossible, so it has to end in either containment or slaughter. It is also hinted that some of the Amalj'aa aren't tempered and follow their brethren anyway while some have thoughts of deserting for the Brotherhood of Ash because they view them as the stronger side of the war (though they never get to join the group due to one of the Brotherhood members seeing the deserters as people who are too easily swayed by anyone that has the most power and could easily turn against them if the tides of the war tilts).
Before patch 2.1, there was hints of some Amalj'aa not following Ifrit's influence or going with their kin's way of worshiping Ifrit. One Amalj'aa spends his time hiding from people because he knows that everyone would mistake him as another Ifrit worshipper and could possibly be killed as a result.
Hydaelyn has an unusually bright starfield and had twomoons, although the second is very small and difficult to see at certain times of night and moonphases. A less common instance of a non-in-your-face Alien Sky.
Near the end of the original version, Dalamud (the smaller moon) grew larger — and redder, as part of the final storyline before A Realm Reborn. This is because it was not a moon, but a massive artificial satellite created by the ancient, far more advanced Allagan Empire during the 3rd Astral Era. One of Garlemald's generals went rogue and poured aetheric energy into it to make it crash down to the earth.
An Adventurer Is You: The ARR release puts a rather large emphasis on the roles of the character classes (Tank, Melee Attacker, Magic Attacker and Healer).
Always Night: Northern Thanalan seems to be under an eternal dusk, possibly due to the constant smog that the processing plant produces.
Amazing Technicolor Population: Characters with blue and green skintones are a common sight, being a racial trait of the Sea Wolves, Keepers of the Moon and Duskwight.
And Your Reward Is Clothes: A standard reward for most quests which you'll rely on for better armor if you're not planning to buy from shops or other players. Many of the limited time events also reward you with unique outfits that aren't exactly combat material, but are for showing off instead.
Anti-Frustration Feature: Failing a solo quest battlefield related to the main story or your class more than twice grants you a buff called "The Power of the Echo" if you decide to try again without logging off. The buff increases your maximum HP and attack power for the quest you failed on in order to give you a slightly better edge. Once you complete the quest, the effect goes away. The effect doesn't kick in for story quests that involve forming a party with other players.
Gear repairs from menders won't cost the player any money if they are at level 10 or below, which greatly helps new players get into the game without feeling too frustrated about having to watch their gear durability when they don't have much money.
It can be a pain for Arcanist branch to keep moving their pets in AoE heavy fights. Pets have an 80% damage reduction from AoE damage. It doesn't protect them from the possible status debuffs the AoE can possess, but they get the Rouse ability which makes them immune to these effects (in inclusion to increasing damage/healing by a large amount).
Internet connections aren't always stable. If a player is in a dungeon with a party and they get disconnected, they can jump back in without any progression lost assuming that the party hasn't left the dungeon yet.
Anti-Poop Socking : There are a number of features that attempt to make the game more 'casual friendly' and reduce the ability of 'hardcore' players to outpace those playing more casually or with less time to play. These include:
Points can be spent, upon initiating a quest, to increase Discipline experience income until the objectives are complete. Burns out if used at every possible opportunity over more than a couple of days and has to be allowed to regenerate. This was replaced in patch 1.21 with an inn, where you get an experience boost from resting in a private room.
Instantaneous (for a nominal fee) to any Aetherites a player has previously visited
Teleportation between mini-Aetherites in major cities are free and instantaneous.
The newest and currently-active system; spending time logged off in a 'sanctuary' zone (such as a private inn room or near Aetherites in camps around the maps) builds up an EXP bonus, indicated on the EXP bar by a shaded section.
Attract Mode: The "End of an Era" cinematic plays if you sit at the title screen for a few minutes.
Background Music Override: During the Lightning event, the FATE events she spawns with begin with their normal music, only to be replaced with "Blinded By Light", the battle theme from XIII, once she appears proper.
Back Stab: Attacking monsters from the flanks or behind gives you various bonuses such as an increased critical hit chance or temporarily increasing your damage output. Certain attacks automatically deal more damage if used from the correct position, and are ineffective if used from the wrong position.
This was removed in ARR from every class except the Lancer and Pugilist (and their Job counterparts Dragoon and Monk).
Badass: Gaius van Baelsar. His first appearance involves him fighting Yda, Papalymo, Thancred, Y'shtola and the player's Path Companion all at the same time. And he doesn't even get hit once, while his enemies have to protect each other and pretty much do their best to avoid turning the battle into a Curb-Stomp Battle.
Badass Adorable: The weapons dropped by Good King Moggle Mog XII have names such as "Murderous Mogfists" or "Malevolent Mogwand", and are some of the best in the game. They also make a "kupo" sound whenever drawn, and look like this◊.
The Mogglesguard themselves aren't exactly far off from this either. Seeing a moogle with a sword, shield, and helmet shout "Defend the king, kupo!" is pretty much the pinnacle of the trope.
Bad Boss: The Garlean commanders see their soldiers as disposable, and both Nero and Livia shoot their own troops dead at certain points in the story. The game explains that this is because the Garlean footsoldiers are conscripted from the most recently conquered nation to stem rebellion, anything less than blind loyalty may be seen as a sign of dissention.
Barrier Warrior: A popular set-up for tanks in-game is to make use of Thaumaturge's Punishing Barbs and Stygian Spikes with Conjurer's Shock Spikes, which effectively deals equal damage as taken, restores MP for each hit taken, as well as deal lightning damage and stun the enemy respectively.
Battle Theme Music: Where to even begin. There are six regular battle themes, one for each major area and one for dungeons. Then, there are at least three different boss battle themes, four different guildleve themes and the behest theme, not to mention the instanced dungeon theme, beast tribe strongold theme, a different theme for each Primal battle, and special themes for certain quests such as the lunar transmitter fight or the final job quest.
Beach Episode: The Firefall Faire event rewared the players with swimsuits and special wallpapers with their characters posing with their new gear. This news was announced with screenshots of female Hyur and Miqo'te◊, and a Roegadyn◊, sporting the new outfits on the beach.
Beehive Barrier: The effects for the a lot of the defensive spells/abilities such as Protect feature a tessellating hexagonal motif.
Big Damn Heroes: Can be invoked by you or any other player when a battle seems to be lost, only for someone else to come in and save everyone.
Also invoked at the very end of the main story. The magitek armor that you converted to your side comes rushing in to aid you in escaping the impending explosion after you beat the Final Boss.
Bishounen/Bishoujo: Every Elezen, almost every Miqo'te, a good number of Hyur, and certain Lalafell. Of course you can make your character one as well.
Black Comedy: Lampshading the endlessly-repeating nature of FATEs, one quest-style FATE in the Central Shroud involves a woman whose boyfriends have been eaten by Lindwurms on the way back from fishing so many times that she can't actually remember their individual names anymore.
Blah Blah Blah: The Monk job unlock quest has the character forced to put up with an arrogant historian who has hired the PC to replace his monk bodyguard probably left for the same reason, and half of the historian's unwanted dissertation is replaced with <blah blah>.
Booby Trap: Some dungeons have traps that will sic monsters on you. Treasure chests that you find outside of dungeons via treasure maps will also unleash monsters on you the moment you interact with the box.
Bonus Dungeon: The Binding Coil of Bahamut in A Realm Reborn, which offers just a small bit of information regarding the story from 1.0. Each segment of the dungeon is broken up into "turns" (5 total) and completing a turn nets you rare gear and philosophy/mythology tomes. Unlike other dungeons, your progression in the Coil is saved so you and your group can resume at a later date. However, progression is erased at the start of each week so everyone starts anew again.
Boring, but Practical: The Conjurer's Cure spells. When playing as the healer in the party, 95% of your actions will be nothing but spamming Cure spells on your party. However, constant healing is what will keep everyone alive.
That said, by the endgame White Mages have enough individual healing spells to make things a bit more fun. But then going right back to this trope, most damage you'll do soloing as a White Mage will come from spamming Holyconstantly, which does excellent damage in inclusion to being AoE.
Boss Bonanza: It's a Final Fantasy title, so it's to be expected after all.
In The Praetorium, which concludes the first part of the story about the Garlean Empire, you will face a ton of bosses. You will start with a Mark II Magitek Colossus halfway in the dungeon. Nothing too alarming, it's an easy boss. However, once you reach Nero, prepare yourself, because from then on it's solely boss fights one after the other, and, including Nero, you will have to face no less than 5 freakin' bosses: Nero, Gaius, Ultima Arma Part 1, Ultima Arma Part 2, and Lahabrea.
Labyrinth of the Ancients, is this as a whole. It's divided into 4 areas, each with 2 to 4 fights occurring in sealed arenas, with the fight at the end of each area ending in a boss fight with different fight mechanics to them.
Bottomless Pit: The fight against Titan has your party standing on a pillar whose walls are quickly destroyed part way in the fight. Get knocked off the edge and it's an instant KO for you with no way for your party to revive you. The fight against the Demon Wall also has bottomless pits on the sides.
Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": As did Vana'diel before it, Eorzea measures things in ilms, fulms, yalms, and malms, which seem to be equivalent to inches, feet, yards, and miles, respectively. This is also done with weight, as in "An onze of prevention is worth a ponze of cure."
Lightning is referred to as "Levin", while Thunder and Electricity keep their normal wording. This is notable because it changes Ramuh's title to "The Lord of Levin", which may confuse people at first, and lightning storm weather effects are referred to in the in-game coding as "Levinstorm".
Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": In addition to various monster examples: all the five playable races, not just the Hyur, but the Elezen, Miqo'te, Rogaedyn and Lalafell as well, are called "human" in the game's earlier publicity. However, since launch, the convention seems to have become 'the spoken' or 'sentients' instead.
Camera Lock-On: You have the camera focus on a specific target or player for easier tracking.
Cap: All class levels are capped to level 50 and all mythology and philosophy tomes are capped to 2000, though there's a double cap on the mythology tomes where players can only earn a maximum of 450 tomes a week; this prevents players from obtaining the endgame gear too easily.
The Labyrinth of the Ancients, the first raid involving the Crystal Tower in Mor Dhona has a cap on treasure you gain. You can win a loot roll for a piece of armor once per week. After that, you have to wait until it's 12AM Tuesday in Japan to win a new piece of armor from the dungeon.
Cat Girl: The Miqo'te race. Think Mithra from Final Fantasy XI, minus the characteristic noses (though they can be added during character creation), with more slender ears and tail variation, and a different culture.
Cat Boys were added in A Realm Reborn due to fan outcry for Male Miqo'te and Female Highlanders and Roegadyn.
Caustic Critic: Some of the Discipline of the Hand guildmasters. Geva (Leatherworking) and Gigi (Goldsmithing) in particular.
Chainmail Bikini: While averted with almost all gear in the game, the Coliseum equipment for mage and melee classes definitely fit into this trope.
The Lancer Class' attack 'Chaos Thrust' has those pink petals erupting everywhere as you flail that spear.
The Pugilist Class skill 'Fists of Wind' has a swirl of pink petals when you activate it.
Class and Level System: Of the Final Fantasy Tactics "one character can play whatever class they want at any time" variety, with aspects of a Point Build system. At the start of Legacy's service, it featured a "physical level" that determined extra stat points and whatnot, on top of each individual class level - this was later disposed of in favor of basing everything off of each individual class.
Combination Attack: How a Limit Break works. Every party member's actions build up the party's Limit Gauge. When a Limit Break activates, the other party members will raise their arms up as though freely giving some of their power, while the initiating member channels the combined energy to use the Limit Break. Additionally, The Melee DPS, and Magic DPS limit breaks have their damage calculated by the entire party's attributes and gear.
During the ending when Lahabrea is defeated he and the player are pulled into the crystal realm where Hydaelyn brings the Scions of the Seventh Dawn and the leaders of Eorzea together. Super charged by the crystal's light they all strike Lahabrea all at once to finish him and free Thancred. It's the one moment in the entire story where Lahabrea goes oh crap.
Lahabrea: *After being forcibly expelled from Thancred's body by the Player's Weapon of Light attack* "What?!"*looks up,and mouth opens in fear as he sees Hydaelyn's crystal form, the Player, Scions, and Leaders of Eorzea glowing with aura's of pure light. They shout a battle cry and charge at him together*. "The Light! It binds them! They are too many!"
Comm Links: Linkpearls are used just like in FFXI, you also stay in contact with NPC organisations with whom your character is signed linkpearls ones given you by their representatives.
Continuing Is Painful: Zig zagged. Being knocked out leaves you with two options: return to your home point/start of the dungeon or wait for another player to revive you. Being revived lowers all your battle related stats by 15% (Weakness) for a bit but gets you right back into the action. Returning to your home point or the dungeon's entrance does not leave you with any penalties other than the damage to your equipment and possibly wasted time, but you must travel back to where you were before you were defeated. In the case of dungeons, returning to start while your party is fighting a boss will leave you locked out of the boss room until the fight is finished, whether by death of the boss or the rest of the party in the room being defeated. However, if you're knocked out again while under the Weakness status, getting revived again puts you under the Brink of Death status, which lowers your battle states by a whopping 30%.
Played straight with dungeons and trials where a total party wipe has the boss fully recover its HP.
Cosmetic Award: Minions, small cute (or Ugly Cute) critters that follow your character around and do absolutely nothing. Some of them can be bought from shops, others are rewards from quests and FATE events.
You can also earn pieces of gear for earning certain achievements, but they have terrible stat boosts and are more for looking pretty/showing off than to be used in combat.
Maerwynn: So, all you need to do is search for the golem, slay it, claim its heart, and use it to bait the spriggan. Oh, and do remember to rub the soulstone against a sufficiently large concentration of amber, say, Amberscale Rock in the Central Shroud. Short of petitioning a mage versed in golem magicks, that is the only way I know to dispel the enchantments woven into a true heart. Eh? Why are you looking at me like that? I had relations with a thaumaturge once, if you must know.
Crapsaccharine World: Most of Eorzia is a World Half Full as it heals from the Calamity, but at first glance the Twelveswood, with its few beastmen issues (including one of the only friendly tribes), plentiful resources, and low crime is far better off than the rampant corruption of Ul'dah and the bloodthirsty pirates of Limsa Lominsa. But it turns out that it's that way because the Gridanians have to be at the beck and call of The Elementals, Obstructive Bureaucrats who work on a mentality completely incomprehensible to normal people. In return for free access to the Twelveswood's bounty, the Gridanians have to enforce very harsh laws (poaching is a death sentence, regardless of the circumstances one is driven to it for). You also learn that the conjurers have to petition to heal civilians, as one of the random NPC chatter around Gridania implies they're going to let a twelve year old die of sickness because the elementals said so, and you see a similar situation with the Ala Mhigan refugees during the main quest. There's also far more racism towards the Duskwight Elezen than in most other regions of Eorzia.
Crossover: A recurring theme is for characters from other games to "invade" in some way for monthly events.
Prominently featured around the game's launch was "Lightning Strikes", promoting the latest entry in the XIII series by having Lightning cameo, and giving players a set of her (or Snow's, for males) gear.
Next came Burgeoning Dread and Breaking Brick Mountains, the first involved everyone's favorite pint-sized sociopath, Professor Shantotto. The second involves fighting Brick Golems from Dragon Quest X.
The story continued in 2.1 has Minfillia ask "Where are you, Krile?" To put it lightly, the revelation of that character's involvement (if it is indeed the same character) caused the epileptic trees about the nature of Eorzea in the scheme of the Final Fantasy multiverse to go nuclear.
Cut and Paste Environments: Previously, the game had enormous expanses of land that re-used some assets to fill out the space—while all MMOs do this to some extent, much ado had been made about this game's usage, which sometimes recycled entire topographical features. The dev team listened, and in ARR, all zones have been split into 3-4 smaller zones with far greater variety and landmarks.
Cut Scene: Surprising for an MMO, this game has a lot of these. This is nothing new to players of FFXI, however, aside from the presence of voice acting in some high quality cutscenes, which will be more prevalent in ARR (though the game won't be fully voiced, to keep costs reasonable).
Cutscene Power to the Max: Generally avoided, but the Futures Perfect quest cutscene is a perfect demonstration of the trope with all kinds of acrobatic moves and non available spells that makes one wish they could actually do half of what's done there.
Dirty Cop: Ul'dah's Brass Blades, mostly. One poor lalafell By-the-Book Cop is horrified when he runs to tell his captain of a number of Blades involved in some local thuggery and finds that the captain was in on the job too. Everyone pretty much knows how corrupt they are, and the Blades don't bother covering up their activities that much as a result.
Double Unlock: Patch 2.1 enforced the trope in spades for many end game quests. Not only you have to meet certain criteria to unlock the quests, but now you also need to meet the minimum gear level average to be able to take on the quest. The change was most likely made to counter people who were charging other players (through gil) to carry them through the tough fights so that they can win easily without needing to worry about having good gear.
Downer Ending: The Legacy storyline arguably ended like this. The Bad Guy Wins, Bahamut is free, one of the more well known characters is (presumably?) killed off, and a large majority of Eorzea's population is laid to waste.A Realm Reborn makes this more of a Bittersweet Ending.
Dueling Games: The game was supposedly rushed out to beat a World of Warcraft expansion to market. This, combined with this game's extremely critical reviews resulted in this approach not turning out well for Square Enix.
The relaunch was coincidentally timed to go along with the release of the final patch of the then-recent WoW expansion, but thanks to the game as a whole being in a better state, it worked out far better.
Dude, Where's My Respect?: Despite being living proof that you felled Ifrit, a primal god, some quest givers still treat you as nothing more than a common adventurer and/or they have you do tedious/menial tasks to prove your worth before deciding to help you.
The story quest to fight Titan zig-zags this a bit - while the NPCs involved know exactly what you're capable of and the importance of what's going on, they also saw a lot of friends die when they themselves fought Titan a few decades ago, and want to be absolutely sure you're up to the task and know what you're getting into before sending you into danger.
Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Averted. The game has no proper elemental weaknesses, which is an odd thing to see considering that the Final Fantasy franchise made elemental weaknesses a common strategy to exploit. You can cast Fire on a Bomb monster (which are usually composed of fire) and it will take normal damage. Word of God says having no elemental strengths or weaknesses was intentional so that all classes could have a fair shot in battle and not be outdone by certain classes.
Elevator Action Sequence: The first two phases of the final boss in A Realm Reborn take place in an elevator that conveniently never ends.
Additionally, Turn 4 of The Binding Coil of Bahamut pits a full party against several waves of enemies on an ever-descending elevator, in the grandest tradition of Square's SNES titles like Chrono Trigger.
The Empire: The Garlean Empire is a somewhat more realistic version of the trope than the usual, as it only managed to conquer one of the other nations before the remaining three banded together to stop the invasion more or less before it began. They have started to invade again with the latest patch, though, although it is implied that they have more justifiable reasons for doing so this time (preventing the end of the world).
Endless Winter: Ever since the fall of Dalamud, the northern land of Coerthas has been trapped in one of these. Worse, an unnatural wall of ice has blocked off the only pass from the Central Highlands (the only part of Coerthas that the player can actually visit, as of this writing) to the rest of the region.
Enemy Mine: A quest named Enemy Mine has you forming one of these with the Red Wasp Gang and Coeurlclaw Poachers in Gridania, they mention having heard the stories about you and look forward to fighting you, but they choose to help you for the time because they hate the Garleans more and the fact the one who let them through the borders was a traitorous Wood Wailer.
Epic Fail: In the FATE quest "Giant Enemy Crab", the Qiqirn brought the monstrous Karkinos into the area so they could harvest its eggs. Unfortunately, they didn't realize Karkinos was male. Or that the gigantic crab would eat every other egg in the area.
Escort Mission: Several side quests involve you calling an NPC every few steps to get him/her/it to follow you to the destination while protecting them from enemies. Luckily, the escort missions are not frustrating.
Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: The raptor type foes that you encounter in the Black Shroud, who can also use an ice breath attack. You can even get a baby raptor for a pet!
Everything's Cuter with Kittens: You can get a baby Coeurl, which comes with a red ribbon and a bell. It even plays with the wolf pup if another player has theirs out.
Expy: The playable races are, for the most part, visually very similar to those of FFXI, though the non-human races seem to have been made more human-like. The same goes for a few monsters and beastmen. Some of the architecture looks similar as well: Gridania looks similar to Windurst in some ways, and Ul'dah is basically Aht Urhgan in the desert (or, expanding horizons a touch, Rabanstre with the serial numbers filed off).
A lot of the monsters and monster types are flat-recycled from Final Fantasy XII, even with the same names: mantises, aevises, mirrorknights, feral crocs, even the unique enemies from the Stilshrine of Miriam are reused in the Sunken Temple of Qarn.
Thanks to cross over promotional events, several monsters and items from their respective games show up for a limited time in special FATE battles and as rewards. Additionally, the Coils of Bahumet feature at least in one instance, the Gran Pulse machina Dreadnoughts from Final Fantasy XIII. It's also a FATE fight during the FFXIII cross over events, and has nearly every single ability and attack it had from it's original game, including Steam Clean (Removes all debuffs on it) and incredibly high damage Resistance rates.
Fantastic Racism: Not as rife as in other fantasy settings that deploy this trope - Eorzea seems to be a very tolerant place indeed, being the racial and cultural melting pot that it is. This is somewhat less so for other places in Hydaelyn, however. The Garlean Empire, for instance, sees all races who have anything to do with the Primals as being in need of purging. This generally just means the Beast Tribes. However, as those gifted with the Echo are in some way connected with the Primals, the Empire seemingly lumps all Walkers of the Path (and thus, the player characters) in with the Beast Tribes on the purge schedule. Also, now that we're getting a good look at Garlean military bases in 2.0, it seems like their military is made up of all the "enlightened" races... except for Lalafell, who are virtually absent in any capacity.note Aside from Wedge posing as an engineer, a grand total of one low-rank Lalafell soldier is seen in the entire game, out of literally thousands of soldiers.
Somewhat justified as the Lalafells are relatively recent immigrants who arrived in Eorza from their native southern islands when the maritime trade between their homeland and Eorza increased. It may be that the Empire employs only a fews Lalafells simply because only a few Lalafells live within its territories.
Further enhancing the questions about Garlean racism is the subplot around Rhitahtyn Sas Arvina, Gaius' Roegadyn praefectus. At one point, Rhitahtyn is assigned to command an entire "castrum", or military base, by his lonesome, and even he finds this potentially questionable since he is afraid the soldiers may not respect his authority for... "reasons". Gaius, to his credit, makes it eminently clear to both Rhitahtyn and everyone else in earshot that Rhitahtyn has earned this and that Gaius has absolute faith in Rhitahtyn's abilities. When Rhitahtyn is killed later on, Gaius is livid with anger and his first assumption is that Rhitahtyn was abandoned by his men because he was a Roegadyn.
As of ARR, Ul'dah has expelled all of the "beast races" from the city and refuses to do business with them. A number of FATEs in the surrounding zones have you dealing with Qiqirn and Goblins that have taken to robbery or other crimes as a result.
The Duskwights of the Elezen seem to have a tough time of it in Eorzea—there are hardly any Duskwight NPCs, and the few that are there seem to exist to remind the player that...the Duskwights have a hard time of it, especially due to crappy treatment from the Gridanians. So far, they seem to be rather like Roma in caves!.
Keeper of the Moon Miqo'te have hardly any representative NPCs, in the backstory they're a very isolationist and xenophobic tribe, and only recently started to attempt to co-exist from other tribes. Besides the player character, most Keepers you meet are hostile bandits.
The Fair Folk: The sylph manage to fulfill both ends of the spectrum. Friendly Sylph are relatively harmless and enjoy the company of mortals who can comprehend their rather odd traditions, and also enjoy playing harmless pranks like leaving gifts of fruit in weird places to people they like. Tempered Sylph are much worse, very territorial, they usually don't leave Larkscall, but when they do it's usually to play very cruel, spiteful pranks that could harm or even kill mortals. They also constantly encroach the untempered Sylphs of Little Solace to try to bring them under Ramuh's thrall.
Fighting a Shadow: Primals (and probably the gods of the player races) "exist" in the aether and can't be Killed Off for Real, only re-banished, so to speak, by killing their summoned physical form (or sealed as was the case with Bahamut.
Five Races: Each analogous in appearance to XI's races, and each with two clans:
Hyur, the closest to normal human beings, and a direct analogue to the Humerace. They are split between:
Midlanders, standard human-types;
Elezen, the requisite pointy-eared race. They are split between:
Wildwood, wood elves who live in the forest;
Duskwight, dark elves who live in caves.
Lalafell, a "thief race" of halflings. They are split between:
Roegadyn, a race of giants. They are split between:
Hellsguard, volcanic land-faring people;
Seawolves, sea-faring people.
Fling a Light into the Future: Louisoix's final gambit to attempt to save Eorzea from complete annihilation: fling Eorzea's warriors years into the future to escape the devastation accompanying Bahamut's release from Dalamud.
Foreign Cuss Word: The city-state of Gridania, at least, is apparently in love with British expletives, firing liberal ammounts of words such as shite, arse, bollocks..
Free To Play: After giving away free month after free month, Square decided to replace the development team leaders, and do away with the monthly charges until they could 'provide a plan that outlines a level of enjoyment that will satisfy both us and our customers'. In an interview, the new director Naoki Yoshida also said 'we’ll have reached that point once we've developed a system where we listen to the voices of the players and then communicate back what we are going to do, how we are going to do it, and a deadline for when it will be done.' Subscription fees were reinstated on Jan 6th, 2012 to help pay for the completion of the Realm Reborn version of the game; the fee was suspended again in September of 2012 after new account creation was terminated in preparation for the fall of Dalamud and the end of the world.
Now no longer the case; A Realm Reborn is purely subscription-based.
Fire-Forged Friends: Being an MMORPG, the trope is bound to pop up in the game for players at some point. You have no one but strangers (excluding friends) helping you in battles and missions and you'll need every ounce of teamwork to succeed.
Forced Level Grinding: Some story quests have minimum level requirements that you must meet. If you do all of the optional sidequests (as well as a decent number of FATEs) then you should be okay for most of the game, but there's a noticeable gap right at the end of the game (Lv.47-49) where there are no new quests and you are forced to grind FATEs or dungeons.
Foreshadowing: The lyrics to the main theme, Answers, supposedly contain hints about the main plot, though said plot is still unfolding and had to be reworked to account for ARR.
Fragile Speedster: Pugilists/Monks can dish out unholy amounts of damage very quickly, all the while praying that nothing breathes on them or looks at them cross-eyed. Archers/Bards are no slouch in the damage department either, and can move all over the map while DPSing, something no other class can do—and they're almost as fragile as the Pugilists and Monks, too.
During certain cutscenes, NPCs (and the player character) will openly use Aetheryte teleportation. In a few other cutscenes, spells such as Protect are also used.
Pretty much everything related to the Seventh Umbral Era was reflected in game and commented by NPCs during that storyline in 1.0, from weather changes to the increase of monsters' size to the changes in Dalamud.
If the player gets a cutscene when logging in at the inn, their character will be without their headgear. According to the developers, that's because "no one sleeps with a hat or a helmet". Glasses, however, will remain on, as sleeping with them on is not unreasonable.
NPCs use, and will give you, Linkpearls in A Realm Reborn. You see Raubahn using one to communicate with his troops during the Echo flashback to the battle of Carteneau and Bahamut's release, and Minfilia gives you one during the plot so she can stay in touch.
Each spellcaster class has a different style of mana management, and this is part of the lore. Conjurers and White Mages have reserves of powerful spells but can easily run dry if incautious — and their tutor warns that White Magic was normally restricted to Padjal in part because overuse of its powers drained enough aether from the land to cause an entire Umbral Age. Thaumaturges and Black Mages have structured lessons about the ebb and flow of aether through Umbral and Astral ages, and correspondingly burn through mana in Astral Fire then use Umbral Ice to regenerate MP. Arcanists are told about the value of planning, and correspondingly must manage Aetherflow, buffs, and debuffs, for up a minute in advance.
In 1.0, the first NPC you could talk to in Ul'dah is obviously a prostitute and several of the dancers in the same city's local pub make it very clear that dancing is not all they make money with. If your character is female, the (female Lalafell) master of the adventurer's guild will tell you she enjoys measuring some manhoods from time to time. A Realm Reborn doesn't parade it quite so much in the main story, though there are plenty of "wenches" in Limsa and the dancers remain in Ul'dah and elsewhere, and Momodi still mentions manhoods and their measurements.
One from Limsa Lominsa:
Adventurer: How dare that hells-damned 'Cuda give the final Seal Rock position to Merodaulyn when he'd promised it to me! And after the things he made me do last night!
From one of the main storylines:
Emerick: An 'undred pardons milady! I ain't got no treasure but the jewels 'n' scepter me mum gave me - an' I'll 'appily share 'em with ya if ya fancy a go!
A particular FATE in Costa del Sol has the players escort a "Cute Courtesan" to "entertain" a guest of Master Gegeruju.
Dragon Quest X cross over event. Actually Zig-zags between Played straight, and played for laughs. At the end of the quest, for aiding in collecting a sample of the Brickmen gollems, the quest giver calls over some female entertainers who are wearing some partially revealing outfits. Said entertainers offer the player if they would like to enjoy "ze Puff-Puffs" while the camera pans towards their uhm... various curves, which the player accepts to some varying degree. The "puff-puffs" turns out to be them rubbing the player with some Phurbles, which are creatures best described as a giant, living, fluffy ball of hair.[[/spoiler
Gray and Grey Morality: While the player and the Scions are very strictly opposed to the Primals and the Garlean Empire, the situation is far more complicated than it seems at first glance. The Garlean desire to stop the Primals through overwhelming technology isn't entirely a bad thing, and submitting to them not an obvious problem — it's only that we know it'd not work in the long run, and the reliance on Ascian technology, that demonstrates its failings. While Ifrit and Garuda are pretty unabashedly evil, Titan's kobolds have a rather legitimate complaint about the Limsa Lominsans violating the terms of a peace treaty, and Ramuh is calm enough that he doesn't like being summoned unless the forest itself is in danger. Meanwhile, Ul'dah is struck through with severe economic imbalance and casual racism, Gridianan society's willingness to work under the Elementals leads to effective xenophobia, and the Limsa Lominsan society's worship of freedom is little more than a fig leaf to cover some highly unsavory habits.
And then there's Ala'Mhigo, Ul'dah's fallen neighbor city state, who is outright being snubbed and discarded and a target of the city-states' contempt(one part of the main scenario storyline in A Realm Reborn involves your character helping some Ala'Mhigo refugees out, because no one else will). On the flip side however, some of this lack of support is partly Ala'Mhigo's, or its resistance forces' own fault. Before its fall, Ala'Mhigo was very warrior oriented, worshiping Rhalgr, The Destroyer as their chief deity. And according to some of the refugees, it was ruled by a tyrant of a king before the Garleans showed up. How the Garleans achieved victory against them, was basically to help stir up the discontent and anger towards its King, weakening its defenses before rolling in and conquering it. Additionally, the Resistance has a rather bad habit of attacking Garleans even when greatly outmatched, not only getting many of their own members killed, but also risking Garlean aggression against the remaining free city-states while they're in the middle of rebuilding their forces to take on the empire. Even worse, some of the more hot headed members of the Resistance are attempting a few brilliant ideas such as trying to summoning Rhalgr in Primal form. The player is tasked during the main storyline to stop that particular idea, and allowing cooler heads to prevail.
Ishgard, located in Coerthas,is a theocratic city state, dedicated almost completely to Halone, the Fury. They're so focused on their crusade against all of dragon-kind, that they've pulled a Face Heel Door Slam not once, not twice, but three times on the other three city-states in the past two decades in game. First they split off from the original Grand Companies before the events of the main story. Then they outright refused to assist the reformed Grand Companies in forming an alliance in the events leading up to the Calamity. And then they pull off the hat trick, again during the Main story by refusing to join the alliance once more after the Calamity, preferring to remain neutral in the Eorzean-Garlean war. Additionally, those accused of being a witch/heretic in service to dragon-kind have a trial that will end either in your death, with you proven guilty for sprouting dragon wings or being rescued by dragons, or innocent, proven by you dying from impacting against a deep ravines floor by falling from a high height. Have we also mentioned they are particularly suspicious of strangers, and haven't allowed anyone into their city who isn't a citizen for years?.
Given that the ancient Nymian Scholars used their knowledge, wisdom, and fairies to protect their army of marauders from hostile nations (in addition to taking on the role of doctors during times of peace), it's certainly conceivable that the minor city state Nym actually averted this trope. However, seeing as how it lies in ruins today, destroyed 1500 years ago when a plague transformed all of its people into Tonberries, we will probably never know for sure.
Global Currency Exception: The Grand Companies allow access to their stocks only with Company Seals, which can only be spent with the company that gave them to you. This also used to be the case when purchasing special items and skills from the various Disciplines' home guilds, however this system has since been removed in favour of a more centralised character development system, and it's unclear if it will be coming back.
Gods Need Prayer Badly: True for the primals, at the very least. Unusually, and rather nastily, if the primals feel they aren't getting enough worship, they can compel it by a process called "tempering," which produces from ordinary people slavish worshippers and plays a key role in the main quest.
The Grand Companies are also aware of this, and as there is no known means of removing the tempering, are forced to kill several allied soldiers so tempered to prevent them from strengthening the primals.
General Gaius says that the Eorzean twelve are the exact same "They need crystals and worship, no different from the beastmen Eikons." He raises a valid point, but the twelve at least are benevolent enough they don't need to temper people.
Good Guy Bar: The first place you visit after arriving in your city of choice. Also where you can take guildleve quests for an entire region, as opposed to the very local ones other levemetes hand out.
Got Me Doing It: The Serpent Commander in the Shantotto crossover storyline begins speaking in rhyme before catching himself.
Guest Fighter: Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII showed up in a series of chapters via events for a few weeks where players can fight alongside her and earn some unique gear based on Lightning's game.
Guest Star Party Member: By the buttload. Every other quest has you teaming up with someone during your solo quests so things aren't too difficult for you. One can also consider other players as guest party members since you'll likely to never see them again after your party finishes the quest unless said party is a premade organized group that you know.
Guide Dang It: Legacy' was every bit as bad about this as its predecessor. ARR is angling to be a little less obtuse.
Healing Factor: Your HP/MP/TP slowly regenerate over time. If you are not on the enmity list of any enemies, the regeneration rate is significantly faster. Several abilities can also boost the regeneration.
Hello, Insert Name Here: Naturally, this being an MMORPG. Interestingly, though, you can pick both a given name AND a surname, and depending on the situation, you will be called by one or the other, rather than the entire thing all the time. An NPC lampshades the trope by telling you that there's a seventh hell made for people who sign up for a guild with an "amusing" name.
Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Averted because they're damned useful and played straight. The Midlander male who serves as the main representative character of the Final Fantasy XIV wears a helmet as a warrior. A stray shot from a Garlean gunblade shatters it completely in the End of an Era cinematic, allowing his face to be seen in full detail and revealing him as the representative character.
The character models featured in the opening cinematic, numerous trailers, and End of an Era cinematic are apparently internally consistent characters (source). The midlander male begins as a gladiator and eventually armoury shifts to marauder and warrior. He uses the Echo to meet a roegadyn male, lalafell female, and elezen female to fight a morbol in the past before returning to the adventurer's guild in the present to his current companions, a mi'qote female and elezen male. The party featured in the End of an Era cinematic consists of all of these characters, sans elezen male. They later fight a dragon.
In A Realm Reborn, this is played in a much more brutal fashion. At one point you are given a series of quests to go to three dungeons, which are basically the starter dungeons for each major region. If you bother paying attention to the atmospheric NPCs at all (who only appear during these quests), you'll notice there are a few other parties trying to do the same quests you are on: a party of four led by a confident Hyur gladiator (Avere) and featuring a conjurer who may not be very talented (Edda) note though whether claims about her lack of skill are merely part of the abuse she receives from her party members including her fiance is unknown, a party of three led by a jovial and friendly Roegadyn, and a very experienced and somewhat aged Elezen couple. What happens to them? The party of four splits up very acrimoniously when the leader dies after the conjurer (his fiance, who takes it very poorly) couldn't do her job in the very first dungeon, the Roegadyn's party all die offscreen in the third dungeon because they got too eager for glory, and the Elezen couple actually manages to survive and warn the player about the dangers of being too headstrong. Even the guild masters are moved to comment that, yes, there are other stories going on around you - that doesn't mean they end happily.
In the first big storyline cutscene in regular play (around level 5) you see the Crystal not only talking to you, but several other Adventurers at the same time. You're one of The Chosen Many.
Hide Your Children: Averted. No explicit violence is done upon children, but some of the storyline moments feature child characters very prominently (Gridania's main story especially), young characters find themselves in serious danger more than once, and the game does not shy from exploring the consequences.
Hold Your Chocobos: Everywhere. That exact phrase makes an appearance more than once, but the game is rife with Eorzean metaphors/slang, some awkward and forgettable (for instance, every instance where "cat" would be used is replaced with "coeurl"), some plain (Characters swear by the Twelve Gods and use phrases like "Gods be good")...and some spectacular.
Lalafell NPC: Disaster follows that man like a behemoth chasing a butterfly.
Geva: He doesn't have the sense the gods gave a chocobo's arse.
Holiday Mode: The Starlight Celebration event, also the Moonfire Festival.
Hunk: Male Highlanders, to contrast with the more bishonen Midlanders.
Hyper Space Arsenal: Wherein your off-hand equipment is stored. Main hand too, with the '/display mh off' command.
Idle Animation: Many beastmen enemies will do things like stretching their arms, rolling their shoulders, or conversing with one another as long as they are not active in combat. The trope can lead to a hilarious scene where you can walk in on two beastmen talking to each other, kill one of them, and see the second beastman still carrying on their conversation as if nothing ever happened.
Informed Loner: While the game is consistent with the solitude preference of male Miqo'te they state is canon (there are very few male miqo'te NPCs)...the fact that the catboys are very popular for players to make means that the throngs of PC!catboys one encounters makes their loner traits seem a bit off and unusual.
Infinity–1 Sword: There's several weapons that are rare, powerful, and are usually found as loot. However, relic weapons trumps all.
Infinity+1 Sword: A Realm Reborn has relic weapons for each class and you have to go through a Chain of Deals (with a mixture of item gathering and boss fights) in order to get the weapon restored to their former glory. There's also stronger versions of the relic weapons that literally have a "+1" in their name, though the 2.1 patch changed it to [Relic Weapon Name] Zenith. Gladiators and Paladins also get an Infinity Plus One Shield to go with their swords.
Interface Screw: The Hydra boss has an attack that can cause you to lose complete control of your character, forcing you to watch helplessly as they run in random directions. Siren's Charm effect not only makes you lose control of yourself, you are also forced to sit and watch your character attacking your own party members.
The City-State of Ishgard has been at war with giant man-eating dragons for 200 years.
Bahamut, Final Fantasy's King of Dragons, is revealed to be inside the second moon at the end of 1.0; his release from there motivates A Realm Reborn, as he devastates the world.
Invisible to Normals: In this setting, most people can't see moogles unless they choose to be seen — the effect is complete enough that if a moogle picks something up in front of them, they'll notice nothing amiss instead of suddenly seeing an object floating on its own. Certain people (including the A Realm Reborn player character) can see moogles even when they're hidden, however.
Jerk Ass: Various NPCs/questgivers qualify, but two notable examples are Silvairre in the Archer questline (at least initially; he gets better as the story progresses), and Professor Erik in the Monk Job questline.
Jiggle Physics: It's very subtle and more realistic than most other games to the point where you'd have to zoom in and look closely to see it but it is there.
Journey to the Center of the Mind: The Echo is an ability granted to those few who witnessed a strange, meteor shower-like event in the sky, which occurred at the beginning of the game's main storyline. Those possessed of the Echo have the ability to touch people's souls, and experience their memories as if they had been present at the time. This is, of course, not time travel, but the actions of a person with the gift inside an "Echoed" memory will permanently alter the memories of the person the Echo is used on.
Those capable of detecting the Echo's use (often by having the gift themselves) will occasionally recognise an unfamiliar person in their memories and realise what's going on. Those with this ability who haven't given their permission - such as Raya-o-Senna - of course consider this very, very rude.
The game is also a little sneaky about its use. Prior to the Echo being explained when the player character is invited to join the Path of the Twelve, the Echo receives very little suggestion. As its use is preceded only by a soft 'whoosh' noise and a very subtle screen effect, often with no change in location whatsoever, it is only in retrospect that many players will realise certain events early in the story were actually their experiencing NPCs' memories.
Jump Physics: You can't change directions after you jump and you can only jump about two feet high, though jumping doesn't serve any purpose other than leaping up a low ledge to save yourself time when traveling. However, falling off a cliff will make you suffer fall damage and great heights will leave you with just a single point of HP after you land. If you suffer massive fall damage while engaged with an enemy, the HP to One safeguard won't kick in and you can wind up KOing yourself from fall damage alone.
Kick the Son of a Bitch: Livia's death, Cid pities how she died whining and reliving the trauma of being a war orphan, but after her exceedingly callous and brutal purge of the Waking Sands, many fans think dying in fear and despair was just what she deserved.
Leeroy Jenkins: It wouldn't be an MMORPG without the trope. There's always at least one person who will run ahead of your group and pull hate from every enemy in the area, causing him to get a beatdown so fast that the healer can't keep up. Made worse if said player is not a tank.
Let's Split Up, Gang: The Crystal Tower has several areas where all 3 party groups must split up in order to complete the objectives. You're only separated by several feet so you can still be in reach for healing from another group, but not close enough to actually help out completely in a fight. Other areas will have invisible barriers to prevent people from healing other alliances.
Level Grinding: At the game's original launch, Square Enix tried to blunt this trope with a fatigue system where as you earned experience the amount of experience you earned would very gradually decrease until you would earn nothing at all. Fatigue would diminish while a character was inactive, but the system was still generally unpopular with the people that played enough to be affected by it, and it was ultimately removed in patch 1.18.
Limit Break: Introduced in ARR: Each Role gets a different Limit that starts at level 1 in a light party (four people), 2 in a full party (eight people), and gains another bar when fighting the last boss of an instance, allowing up to level 3, the limits are:
Tanks: Warriors and Paladins get a No Sell that drastically reduces damage they take. At level 3 it becomes a full-party shield.
Magic DPS: AoE damage, at level 1 and two, it's a Kill Sat and rain of comets, at level 3 it becomes the series' iconic Meteor spell.
Melee DPS: Braver, level 2 is Omnislash but called Blade Dance, level 3 however is Final Heaven.
Healer and Physical Ranged DPSnote Currently only Archer, though there's strong evidence they'll be adding a gun-using class at some point: A giant wave of healing, becoming more effective at level 2, at level 3, the range and healing is increased even more, and it also gains a raise effect, reviving all dead party members.
Lip Lock: The few voiced cutscenes don't have lip animations that even come close to matching the dialogue in any language, just generic Mouth Flaps that start when a line's audio does and stops when the line ends with no pauses. The problem is the Japanese lines are much longer than the English ones, and the localization team didn't write around that fact, so quite a lot of the English audio is spoken very slowly and unnaturally to make sure the audio starts and stops with the Mouth Flaps.
Little People: Lalafell, the spiritual successors of the Tarutaru.
Lost Forever: A good deal of the content related to the 7th Umbral Era storyline was permanently removed from the game upon the release of ARR (2.0), as it was intended as a reward for players sticking with the game during the rebuild. This goes from relatively minor Lodestone achievements (some of which were only available between 2 patches!) to several storyline quests. There is also a unique Goobbue mount that could only be obtained in that time. Many seasonal event rewards also fall under this.
Lost in Translation: One that caused some major xenophobic Epileptic Trees, the Japanese fanbase was "pleasantly" surprised to discover that Chocobosnote Always spelled チョコボ/Chocobo in both Japanese and English were renamed to the Kanji for "Horse-bird/馬鳥" by the development team. This, combined with the announcement of a Chinese release and the hiring of a Chinese localization team to translate it after the game was released, led to the natural assumption by some that the entire development of the game was outsourced to China. This is despite the FFXI development team basically transferring entirely to this game. Then, when the fanbase screamed bloody murder about this, they were renamed "Chocopos" before quickly being corrected a final time. Er, whoops. Thankfully, since the new producer took over, his first priority has been to keep players of all regions informed and listen to their suggestions.
The Lost Woods: The Black Shroud, or Twelveswood, where lies the city of Gridania. The trope was clearer in 1.0, where the region was a giant gridlike maze and more fuss was made about the semi-sentience of the forest, but elements of this are still plenty evident.
Luck-Based Mission: Crafting high-quality items. Between the failure rates of moves that increase quality and the complete randomness of item condition (normal, good, or excellent) and the fact that you can't back out of crafting without losing your materials and the fact that getting high-quality materials to increase your base odds of getting a high-quality item is also dependent on the whims of the Random Number God... It's a nightmare.
Mana Burn: There are a few enemies that can damage your TP (what physical classes use to execute attacks), though they're blessedly rare. It used to be averted for MP, but patch 2.1 added the Zu fight in the Pharos Sirius—the boss will spawn additional monsters called Zu Cockerels, which will drain MP, and naturally almost always head for the healer first.
MeatShield: Gladiators use heavy armor and shields, pugilists have a defensive stance. The more shield-based actions are were originally under a sub-class named Sentinel, which leveled up separately from Gladiator despite the obvious pairing. This was because shields can also be used by the magic-wielding classes while wielding wands rather than staves, however now one has to raise Gladiator in order to have access to shield abilities in other classes.
Mercy Invincibility: Brutally averted. Players and enemies can rack up massive amounts of damage to themselves if they are hit with multiple attacks at once. Being revived after losing all your HP doesn't protect you from further attacks, which makes it possible to be downed again as soon as you get up; that reason alone is why most players choose to accept a revive later when the coast is clear. This makes using the level 3 healer limit break difficult because you don't get to wait to accept the resurrection. You get up right then and there taking whatever attacks happen to be pointed in your direction. However, patch 2.1 changed the revive mechanics where players can move sooner after being revived and they have invulnerability for a short time to prevent being knocked down again.
Misfit Mobilization Moment: The open world events called FAT Es tend to cause this. Success usually depends on everyone knowing what they should be doing without a word spoken.
Mundane Made Awesome: The "In The Company of Heroes" quest is this on its face, in essence making a quest out of enjoying the celebration that you had set up, worth eight thousand experience points by itself, and even ramps it up further at one point when you taste the meal you provided for the party.
And Lampshaded by your fellow Scion, Y'shtola, who thinks they're wasting time on the frivolity of the Hidden Purpose Test, with the threat the hero has to face is looming with little time to spare.
My Rules Are Not Your Rules: Player characters have fixed rules on how quickly they can cast their spells and how much cooldown they have following casts. Computer enemies can cast much faster and in more rapid succession. The result is especially scary for light armor wearers, who often have less magic defense than casters or tanks, but with Squishy Wizard-level HP. Enemy AI also have infinite MP (you can absorb their MP all you want and they'll never run out) while players have to rely on Regenerating Mana to keep up.
Enemies can also randomly inflict Heavy (slow movement) on you when you're trying to run away no matter what ability they are using. Players have to rely on their spells/abilities to cause Heavy.
Mystical White Hair: The Leveilleur twins (Alphinaud and Alisaie) have unexplained white hair, and somehow they have an clear picture of the mystical things going on in the world.
One of the major changes planned for version 2.0 (see Nothing Is the Same Anymore) is a total revamp of the game map, which will be explained in game by a major catastrophe that will bring the "Seventh Umbral Era". This major catastrophe was basically Meteor. It then turned out to be Bahamut.
One of the planned mounts available for players in ARR is the Magitek Armor.
Arcanists resemble Evokers, and are also a stepping stone to the proper Summoner job class.
Several of the Pugilist class quests have guildmaster Hamon 'Holyfist' that shares several parallels with Tellah the Sage from Final Fantasy IV in that both are crippled by their age and recover their memories. Hamon's story is a lot less of a Tear Jerker than Tellah's was.
The 2014 Heavensturn seasonal event featured NPCs who referred to chocobos as "horsebirds", a translation which caused no small amount of controversy in 1.0. (See the Lost in Translation entry above.)
Name Order Confusion: An unusual in-setting example. All characters have a first and last name. For most peoples of Eorzea, this follows Western naming orders, where the first name is a personal name, and the last name is a clan or family name (in the case of Elezen and Roegadyn), a family name or business title (Hyur), or part of a personal name (in the case of Lalafell). The exception is Miqo'te Seekers of the Sun, who put their clan name at the very beginning of their first name before the apostrophe. For female Keepers of the Sun, the last name is an extreme version of a patronymic. (It's literally just their father's name, completely unmodified) For Keepers of the Moon, it's a standard familial surname, save that it's matrilineal instead of patrilineal.note Male Keepers of the Moon don't actually have their own names in the sense we'd consider it — they share their mother's full name, with an apostrophe-separated suffix on the first name indicating what birth order of son they are — first son uses 'a, second son uses 'to, and so on through different suffixes. For Seeker of the Sun males, however, the last name indicates whether the character is a Tia (non-breeding male) or Nuhn (breeding male), a status that can change multiple times over one's life and which does not reflect general leadership status. Seekers thus can find themselves being called "Mr." Tia, although no Seeker NPCs make this mistake.
Nerf: Patch 2.1 nerfed a lot of things, such as Holy and Medica II having reduced power and a dungeon having a reduction in the Mythology Tomes awarded.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Garlean Empire successfully manage to conquer Ala Mhigo, but accidentally make things far worse for both themselves and the entire planet: they kill off the guardian Midgardsormr, which opens some Sealed Evil in a Can and allows the beastmen to summon their primals. Not only are the primals themselves such an unknown factor that the Garlean Empire wants them eliminated just as a precautionary measure, but the process of summoning a primal distorts the natural flow of aether so much that- left unchecked- it could destroy the ecosystem of the world. Nice job, Empire.
No Flow in CGI: The Lightning Strikes event has an odd case of it being averted, but then not. Lightning's outfit features a long cape, and on Lightning herself, the cape's fabric physics work much the same as they did in her home games. However, with PC clothes fabric physics, at least to the extent needed for Lightning's cape, are nearly non existent, so when female PCs obtain the outfit for themselves, instead of foregoing the cape, it is tucked into the belt, to make it's stiffness less obvious, and possibly keeping it from clipping.
Not Screened For Critics: Reviewers were asked not to review the game for about a month after release so that Square Enix could fix some issues they should have fixed in beta.
Not So Different: The speeches given by Kan-E-Senna of the Gridanians and Nael van Darnus share an uncanny amount of similarities—viewing the world as "tainted" by a "disease" or pollution that requires cleansing and purification.
Though for some reason they still use the adjective "demonic" to refer to them at times. The quest to finish Haukke Manor uses it to refer to someone.
Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Word of God states that this will happen in the storyline to increase the sense of danger and excitement in the world. From a meta perspective, this is also happening to the game, which is and will continue to undergo massive changes to mechanics and gameplay to try and fix the numerous issues it had at launch. For A Realm Reborn the game has been redone from top to bottom, with all game systems revamped or changed completely and major graphical improvements.
Obvious Beta: Final Fantasy XIV 1.0 was released lacking so many features, and with so many known serious game design problems, that it was more of an obvious alpha. Unusually, the developers actually apologized for it and canceled subscription fees until it was deemed to be up to snuff —- essentially, putting it right back into beta. The game was eventually rereleased in a much more complete form as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.
Obvious Rule Patch: Patch 2.1 brought about changes to certain items to prevent people from farming them and selling them for lots of gil by making said items much easier to obtain.
Oh Crap: Invoked by Y'shtola in the beginning of 1.0's Limsa Lominsa storyline, when a sea serpent attacks the ship she and the player are on.
Y'shtola: Gods Forfend.
Omniglot: Those possessed of the Echo, as a consequence of their ability to touch the souls of others, are capable of speaking and understanding most any language.
One-Gender Race: There are plenty of male Miqo'te, but nearly all of them live in solitude. Even the females rarely end up living in cities. As for female Roegadyn, they exist; one important NPC is a female Roegadyn. They are playable in A Realm Reborn, along with female Highlander Hyur.
One-Hit Kill: Each Primal has some sort of mechanic or condition during its later encounters that must be fulfilled to reduce their Astral Flow damage down to survivable numbers. Complete failure to do so means an unavoidable 9999 damage hit.
Ultima Weapon in the second round will cast Ultima after a few seconds once its HP is low. If Ultima pulls off the move, everyone is hit for unblockable high damage that no one can survive.
One Size Fits All: With a handful of exceptions, player characters do not need to worry about whether a given piece of equipment will fit or not.
Only One Name: Averted. Unusually, especially for an MMORPG, player characters have both fore and surnames. This makes Final Fantasy XIV one of the few MMO's wherein players can share a name besides Phantasy Star Online/Universe, although in those games, name-sharing was achieved by identifying characters by database ID rather than an input name.
Only Sane Primal: In a weird sort of way, Ramuh counts as this, as he is the only one of the primals that doesn't wish to temper or destroy the other races of Eorzea. He is still dangerous, but only to those who encroach on his territory, something the Gridanians are glad not to do. He even tells the sylphs that the only time they should summon him is when the forest is in danger.
Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: In A Realm Reborn, very few characters with a British accent manage to keep it for an entire scene (sometimes not even for an entire sentence).
Our Elves Are Better: Hard to call. All we currently know about the Duskwights can be summarized as "marginalized people who live underground," and while Gridania is full of Wildwood, its whole schtick is being a fusion of elezen and hyur, which problematizes the "xenophobic and superior to humans" trait common in typical "better" elves (problematizes, not averts, because the Gridanians have their own xenophobia problems). The major elezen civilization of Ishgard is currently closed to outsiders (i.e., players) and not much about them exists in the lore right now. We'll have to wait until (and if) Square Enix decides to release more information about them.
Our Zombies Are Different: They're blue-skinned and have glowing tattoos covering their body and a hunger for brains, though they don't share any differences in animation compared to players. They seem to be able to recover intelligence and personality after they've been around for some times, but they don't lose their hunger for brains, which makes them a big problem. One of the FATEs in Thanalan involves you dealing with a band of zombies who have become extremely dapper thanks to a Back from the DeadHildibrand, who thinks he's a zombie due to digging himself out of his own grave.
Outrun the Fireball: Your character, after beating the Final Boss, escapes the explosion from the ruins of the Empire's base by fleeing in a mech.
Pick Up Group: One of Square-Enix's goals with FFXIV is to make these more probable and successful, thanks to the new questing system used by the Duty Finder. The Duty Finder basically lets a player pick a quest, then wait for the game to find other players in proper roles to appear who are also looking to play the same quest. Patch 2.1 takes it a step further by adding the Party Finder feature, which allows players to create a party with specific roles and goals of their choosing, thus making it easier for people to find groups that cater to their needs.
Beyond dungeons and duty finders, higher level FATEs tend to work like this, especially ones with Notorious Monsters. Someone has to tank that thing's damage...which means someone has to heal the tank...meanwhile someone has to actually kill the thing...and there you have it. Sometimes it's an example of beautiful teamwork and camaraderie among people who have never seen each other before nor ever will again. Sometimes it's not so pretty.
Pintsized Power House: Lalafellin Disciples of War. Just because they come up to your knee and look adorable in their armor doesn't mean they can't knock you on your ass.
Power Crystal: In the original version of the game, big ones called 'aetherytes' recover your HP and MP and let you start guildleve quests, small ones are elemental and used for crafting. In A Realm Reborn, the aetherytes are now used exclusively for travel.
The Power of Love: According to Brother E-Sumi, this is the reason the mask made for Dunstan by Fye protected him from death during the Rite of Cleansing.
Power-Up Food: There's numerous types of food available to get (from soups, to breads, to cookies, and more!) and all of them give temporary stat boosts and boosted EXP for half an hour. Food is a common quest reward and the Culinarian job allows you to make your own food.
Precursors: The Allagans. If the Binding Coil of Bahamut is any indication, the Allagans were far more advanced than even the Garleans, who are currently the most advanced civilization known in present day Eorzea, or other civilizations that existed during the Allagan's era. They are nowhere to be found in present day, at least for now, and its unknown how a race so advanced could disappear overnight, but remnants of their technology and history still remain.
Prestige Class: Patch 1.21 added a "Job System" on top of the already implemented Disciplines. Jobs are more speciated variants of the game's base classes that can equip less skills at once, but have stronger equipment and personal abilities to compensate. Current jobs Call Back to the job classes of the various Final Fantasy games (bar the Bard, a strange hybrid of the traditional party-buffing singers and distance-fighting archers.
Privateer: Merlwyb appears to have invented this in Eorzea, talk about the town in Limsa Lominsa indicates that the pirates now work for her and are ordered to prey on Garlean ships, and this is part of why Merlwyb is so powerful.
Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Amalj'aa were revealed to have originally been this in the A Realm Awoken patch. While most of the Amalj'aa are serving under Ifrit's influence, the rest of the race live a warrior lifestyle where they only fight people that try to get in their way and they live and die by the ways of a warrior in order to maintain their honor. The problem being... Ifrit's taken a good ninety-percent-plus of the Amalj'aa at this point, and the PWRGs are a tiny minority at this point, which is a fact they deeply lament, and is the reason the survivors now refer to themselves as the "Brotherhood of Ash". The tribe are also open to taking in people who are not the same race as long as they uphold the tribe's values.
Punctuation Shaker: Miqo'te. Their names make extensive use of apostrophies (supposedly something to do with easy address while hunting) which follows a set of elaborate rules that are different for each of the two main clans and are related to tribal affiliation, parentage and birth order. Ironically, in 1.0, player characters couldn't name their characters this way due to naming restrictions. A Realm Reborn remedied this.
Rage Quit: Perhaps the most dramatic Rage Quit in the history of video gaming: a shareholder who owned 1% of Square-Enix sold his entire stock portfolio for $26M, stating, "First thing in the morning tomorrow, I intend to instruct those who manage my precious Square Enix stock to arrange to sell all of it. To Square, thank you for the enjoyment of your products up until now, with the exception of this last one. Goodbye." The sale caused a dive in Square-Enix stock, though share prices recovered inside the day.
Rainbow Pimp Gear: Dear God. The dying of armor simply makes it worse, as players can't tell what color an item will be before buying it/accepting it from a quest reward, and don't unlock the ability to dye armor in the first place until level 15. Those first fifteen levels are eye-searing.
If it's not the colors, then it's the type of gear worn. For example, it's possible for a mage player to wear a robe, a pair of tights, sandals, and a straw hat with a flower on it. Even if you have matching colors, they won't matter if you look ridiculous with the kind of gear you wear.
It gets even worse when you get gear that can't be dyed at all; most of the unique gear are unable to be dyed. Hope you enjoy looking gaudy and mismatched!
Raised by Natives: Loohn Gah, a young female Miqo'te, is a part of the Brotherhood of Ash warrior tribe, which consist of nothing but the Amalj'aa lizard beastmen. It's revealed that Loohn, when she was a child, was caught in the middle of a kidnapping raid by a group of Ifrit worshipping Amalj'aa that left her gravely wounded. The leader of the Brotherhood of Ash found her and gave her a choice; die or join their ranks. Loohn chose the latter and she was raised by the Amalj'aa since then, becoming a part of their tribe and a capable fighter. Loohn eventually runs into people from her old hometown who tell her that her parents are worried about her, but she scoffs at them due to finding the Amalj'aa a much closer family and that she also has very few memories of her birth parents to begin with.
Real Money Trade: The highly controversial lack of an Auction House was supposedly to combat the RMTs that plagued FFXI, but as some on forums put it, it threw the baby out with the bath water. Note that RMTs are still in the game even without the Auction House. Of note, however, the Special Task Force Unit that went to town on the RMTers back in FFXI (albeit a bit late) are back in force. Also, in a testament to someone's stupidity, the RMT crowd were actually attempting to sell gil made during the open beta. You know, after Square-Enix had stated categorically that characters and their possessions would not be carried over to the retail version of the game.
Sadly the RMT companies are seeming to get the upper hand. There have been at least four companies with bots who shout, yell and even sent tells like in FF11. What's worse is that the blacklist function has a cap of two-hundred names, which can easily be filled up depending on how much travelling a player does.
Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Ungust and a Traitorous Immortal Flames Soldier, who betray the Player Character and Immortal Flames to the Amalj'aa to be sacrificed to Ifrit, end up being sacrificed as well.
The lambs around La Noscea are the most adorable little buggers you'll ever violently slaughter.
When minions aren't Ugly Cute, they're this.
Robot Buddy: Late in the story you procure a suit of magitek armor and unintentionally give it sentience by using a special stone to power it up; it grows attached to you and performs a heroic sacrifice at least twice before still coming back in the ending to help you Outrun the Fireball when Gaius' base is collapsing.
Scenery Porn: From the beaches of Limsa Lominsa, the sprawling forests of Gridania, to the sweeping deserts of Ul'dah, this game is very, very pretty.
Scenery Gorn: Should you survive a run to Mor Dhona, you'll be greeted by the wreckage of the Garlean mothership from the FMV opening, encircled by the dessicated corpse of a dragon.
In a city to the West of Limsa, there's a Roegadyn named "Immodest Mouse".
In the Twelveswood surrounding Gridania, there is a type of Galago (monkey-creatures) called "Curious Galago".
One vanity pet you can own is a gray cube with legs and wings called the "Demon Brick". It is believed to be a shoutout to World of Warcraft developer Ghostcrawler, who famously expressed his annoyance with theorycrafters by saying they'd use a featureless gray cube for a pet if it gave them a little extra DPS.
A mission that you need to take to obtain a permit to get a Chocobo mount is called My Little Chocobo
A boss FATE has you fighting a giant crab called Cancer. The name of the FATE is It's Not Lupus.
Shoot the Dog: Standard policy in Ul'dah (and, presumably, the other city-states as well) towards people who've been tempered by the Primals is to put them to death. Even if they're innocent victims, the Primals are still feeding off their devotion and becoming more powerful - and more dangerous - as a result, and nobody's found a way to reverse the process.
Shoot the Medic First: Invoked by enemies rather than the players. Nearly every new appearance from enemies that appear as backups for the current enemy or group during dungeon raids and trials will always target your party's Conjurer/White Mage if they had casted Cure or Regen before their appearance. Likewise, if someone is healing large amounts of HP in quick succession, enemies will start to go after that player since rapid and/or massive healing attracts the most hate.
The Wolves' Den PvP arena has the trope played straight by both teams.
Speed Run: Popular at endgame as a means of farming gil and endgame gear currency in dungeons. In 1.0, instanced dungeons offered more rewards and achivements if completed in fifteen minutes or less, leading to all kind of Speed Run strategies.
Status Buff: Every class has some kind of way to increase their power in a fight.
Sticks to the Back: Most two handed weapons work this way. One handed weapons usually stick to the hip.
Stripperiffic: Subligars are already confirmed to return. In addition, some female versions of armor are a bit skimpier, and for some reason the base Elezen male outfit is some kind of inverted shirt—sleeves, but nothing on the torso whatsoever. The developers have also responded to requests for more sexy, or at least better gender defined, gear as requested by fans.
Heavy plate armor worn by gladiators, marauders, paladins and warriors, however, covers up everything, regardless of who's wearing it.
Stupidity Is the Only Option: One section in the hard mode version of Copperbell Mines requires you to jump down an elevator shaft due to said elevator not being functional. The drop is long enough to bring your HP to critically low levels once you hit the ground, but you'll never actually die unless you're in combat. There's no other way to progress but to jump down.
Suspiciously Specific Denial: A quest description in Limsa Lominsa reads "Mordyn would like to make you a completely legal proposition." The person he sends you to talk to welcomes you to "the Seventh Sage, purveyors of the finest spices from the East. All of our products are guaranteed obtained through completely legal means." This turns out to be true - he's "a heavily armed trader" who "engages in a form of trade with Garlean ships." Since the Garleans are waging an aggressive war against Eorzea as a whole, raiding and sinking their supply ships is the only form of piracy that's still legal and officially sanctioned in Limsa Lominsa.
Another quest gives the player a succulent bone to give to a wolf. Said bone "was not made using a plump Lalafell".
Take That, Audience!: A scene with a disbanding party pokes fun at players that bicker at their party for not doing their jobs in battle properly; two of the party members blame the healer for not healing their leader fast enough, getting him killed in the process while the healer blames the victim for running outside of the range of her healing magic.
That's No Moon: Dalamud isn't really a moon but a prison for Bahamut!.
The Unfought: A boss fight with Siren is set up...but you only wind up taking out her minions.
Turns out she's bunkered down in Pharos Sirius in patch 2.1 and can be fought there.
The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Praetorium marks the end of the game's first main story arc of the Garlean Empire having suddenly made their move after the steady build up the entire game. After that the story consists of dealing with The Binding Coil of Bahamut to start a new subplot. Patch 2.1 will pick things up where the main story left off following the player's victory.
Title Drop: From the final cutscene in the main storyline:
The three leaders of the Grand Companies: Let it be writ that on this day...by the light of the Crystal...Eorzea ushered in a NEW era! The Seventh Astral Era is come! And thus ours is a realm reborn!
Parodied with the hairstylist quest where a rather eccentric haircutter declares people that are transformed by his hairstyling work as "A Beauty Reborn".
The Alliance: The Eorzean Alliance that was formed from the unity of the 3 main city states during the first Garlean war that happened 15 years before the start of the game. Events in the Grand Company questlines have you reform the Alliance due to the threat the empire suddenly poses... again.
Took a Level in Badass: The "Midlander" guy in the opening cinematic for the first version of the game. He's a rogue-like archer in the opening cinematic. By the time of the ending cinematic depicting the release of Bahamut, he's clad in heavy armor and wielding a giant axe.
Too Awesome to Use: Averted for high end potions like X-Ethers and Hi-Elixirs, where they used to be too rare for people to want to use freely until patch 2.1 made them a common loot drop for end game dungeons.
Trailers Always Lie: Combat in 1.0 was nowhere near as flashy as in the CGI intro trailer. A Realm Reborn, however, had its combat redesigned to be much closer to that in pre-rendered cinematics.
Timed Mission: Nearly every event has a time limit when you start it and you'll fail the quest if the timer runs out.
The FATE against Odin takes the trope to the next level; alongside with the standard FATE time limit, when Odin reaches low HP it will begin preparing Zantetsuken. Failure to beat him before the move is readied time results in everyone in the FATE being instantly KO'd and the FATE immediately ending in failure, regardless of the time remaining on the clock.
Turns Red: Ifrit and Garuda get significantly more difficult when you reduce their health below 30%, which is generally the point where an unsuccessful party goes to pieces.
Unscrupulous Hero: 30 minutes in Ul'dah/Thalanan is usually enough to put any discussions of "the good guys" to bed. The Syndicate-backed government is astonishingly corrupt, merchants are often seen openly bullying civilians, and even the Immortal Flames are described as being the most bellicose of the three Grand Companies.
Unwinnable by Design: Dungeons and boss fights all have a time limit and it is possible that you can't win simply because you don't got enough time left to beat them.
Useless Useful Spell: Averted. Most enemies are vulnerable to handful of debuffs and even crippling ones like Stun and Sleep work quite well. Of course, there's stronger enemies and bosses that can resist certain effects.
Utility Magic: Thaumaturgy was originally magic used in funerary rites for the ritual cleansing and preservation of corpses, and was later adapted to combat — for obvious reasons, Player Characters only learn the latter application.
Weapon of Choice: The weapon you use defines your current class. Equip a different weapon, and your Discipline changes. Previously players could also equip any weapon or piece of armor in the game at any level. Logically there is nothing stopping you from equipping that Infinity+1 Sword... except that considering you are a novice Gladiator, your "lack of skill" translates mechanics-wise into any degree of penalties to the weapon's effectiveness, meaning you're not even going to get Infinity–1 Sword-level performance. Gear released later in the original game's life often (but not always) required a certain level and/or class to equip it, which may not be as realistic but makes balancing a lot easier on the developers. The system was dropped entirely in A Realm Reborn in favor of level requirements on all gear.
We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties: The launch of early access and the game itself (A Realm Reborn) a week after that caused Square-Enix's servers to choke, spawning the infamous 1017 error code (world is full) for anyone that tried to get into the game. After a week of maintenance and upgrading the servers, the game is much more accessible now.
A similar problem happened again when A Realm Reborn when on sale on Steam, exacerbated by a large patch scheduled shortly after. This led to multiple oddly-timed maintenance periods over the course of the week.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: If the various dialogues and hints are anything to go by, many of the Garlean Empire's actions were done in order to prevent the end of the world and not out of malicious intent. Then again, they probably could do that without brainwashing people and conquering entire City-States.
Wham Episode: The first one comes while you're still riding the high of defeating Titan. They pop up with some regularity for the rest of the main storyline.
Wham Line: Alisaie has one, that changes the player's entire opinion of her and her brother Alphinaud by revealing that Louisoix is their grandfather.
White Mage: An advanced job class that Conjurers can obtain that grants them abilities like faster spell casting, HP regeneration, MP regeneration, improved healing, and the powerful Holy spell. You'll also get the classic White Mage outfit at some point.
The Worf Effect: Hey, you know the primals? Those hair-pullingly difficult bosses you've been fighting throughout the game? They get taken down in seconds to show how powerful the Garlean superweapon, Ultima Weapon, is. What's more, it absorbs the primals it kills.
Top-Heavy Guy: Titan is built with a massive frame and huge arms, but he has a small waist and short legs. The Amalj'aa beastmen also have a similar build, but it's not as extreme.
Victory Pose: Standard for the Final Fantasy series. Competing a dungeon with your party gets your group doing a victory pose and it gets more awesome when you have a party of 8 people all doing their poses at once. It's the "/joy" emote.
Wake-Up Call Boss: For the storyline quests, Titan. For endgame content, Titan Hardmode.
Weaksauce Weakness: The Amalj'aa are implied to absolutely hate water since they are creatures of flame, thus they don't require water to survive; water acts like a poison to their bodies and even drinking a small amount of water is enough to make them ill. One quest has you beating up a few Amalj'aa and then dousing their heads with a flask of water for pure humiliation.
Wham Line: The game is quite fond of these for big reveals.
One particular one that sent people's heads spinning in 2.1:
The maximum party size was initially 15, but was reduced to 8 in patch 1.17 as it was felt that Zerg Rush tactics took the strategy, and to a lesser extent, the fun, out of such large encounters.
The FATE system encourages zerg rushing by constantly spawning enemies or spawning a super boss in a specific area for a limited time. If you see a FATE taking place, don't be surprised to see a huge swarm of people engaged in battle there.