These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
On the non-battle tracks side, we also have, among others, World of Scattering Flowers, a slow and sad piece perfect for the deaths during which it is played, and Land of Sand and Time, a very catchy and desert-like theme that plays in Ancheim.
Now take all those great songs and turn it Up to Eleven with the live concert. Each theme is handled so amazingly well that it's eargasm incarnate! Songs like The Flying Airship, the main battle theme, Under the Flag of the Duchy and the final boss themes, sound amazing when done live!
Awesome Art: Several backdrops (Ancheim, Florem, Ancheim, the warped cliff where you fight Mephilia etc) are gorgeously detailed. Then there's Akihiko Yoshida, who drew the promotional art and main character designs, but that's not all. Different artists helped design different job asterisk characters eg Atsushi Ohkubo designed Lord De Rosso and Einheria, helping to convey a unique aesthetic for them. The full list of artists is staggering.
Artemia, despite her high HP, tends to go down quickly due to her weakness to Fire. And not only is Fira buyable in the nearest town, but also a rod that poweres up Fire attacks. She only has one particularly threatening attack, and it requires multiple BP. She's a Flunky Boss, but unlike her sister (see That One Boss) she never summons any more.
Barbarossa has an extremely simple AI pattern that can be reduced to a non-issue simply be alternating Default and Brave, has a weakeness (in this case Lightning) and isn't even a Flunky Boss. His Shell Splitter (Defence Down) - Double Damage combo would be threatening... if he targeted them both at the same character, which he rarely ever does.
Surprisingly, very late in the game, the Status Ailment Team in Eternia Central Command. Put on Fairy Ward on the first turn and you make them 2/3 less useful. Their AI pattern is always fixed to inflict status ailments no matter if they work or not.
Gigas Lich, the fourth crystal boss certainly counts as this. Compared to the three before, his only gimmick is buffing his stats slightly every turn, which you can easily take care of with a White Mage's dispel. Half the time he doesn't even attack with his increased stats, preferring to use death or fear spells, and by that point you should have equipment to negate either. Heck, as an undead foe, use Big Pharma on him to get paid money to damage him, or use One More for You on him to decrease his BP, even to the point of making him completely unable to attack you. If you have one, you can even bravely second an elixir to kill him in one move. Story-wise he's in between Braev and Alternis, who have more plot importance overall.
With the right skill and job combinations, some of the boss defense groups you encounter in Chapter 8 can be pathetically easy to beat due to each group's Crippling Overspecialization. Brave Points Galore, The Iron Wall, and The Powerhouse groups consist of bosses who can only do single target damage, so a use of the Karai skill on a party member with very high defense can tank their hits while your DPS kills off their support. Much of Ailment Hell's threat can easily be neutralized with Fairy Ward. The only group that's NOT a total pushover is Mega Magic, since their skill combinations are just plain unfair.
Cliché Storm: Not that this is a bad thing. While guilty of this (particularly with some of the villains), the game has a lot of charm and many likeable characters. There's also the fact that the situation's only a cliche storm on the face of it; in fact, setting things up like this seems to be part of the proper villain's plan, so that you act the way they want you to. The actual situation gets way more complicated later on.
Qada is the Black Blades Medic, but his actions make him more like a biological weapons expert. He released toxic gas in Eisenberg that wiped out many people, friend and foe. And uses nearly dead enemy bodies as test subjects. It is very satisfying to see Kamiizumi slice him down, the first two times around.
DeRosa uses a toxic perfume with pheromones in it to attract women and then drain them of more pheromones to make more toxin, all in a bid to power. He's also the reason Florem became a Vice City which worships beauty instead of the bastion of Crystalism that Agnés remembers, rendering most of its Always Female citizens shallow and ripe for his taking. And these actions, mentioned in the Does This Remind You of Anything? entry on the main page have a rapey subtext to them.
It all comes to a head in chapter 7. In this chapter most of the Jobmasters have Heartwarming Moments abound. These three though? They instead plot to usurp the duchy with a biological weapon, then distribute a cure for the non-jobmaster populace to secure a One Hundred Percent Adoration Rating and take over Eternia. In fact that chapter also has Einheria task the party with arresting these three, knowing that as fugitives of Eternia they could do more than Einheria ever could. When Alternis Dim passes by their cell after the party locks them up, he reads their crimes and all but throws away the key.
Airy's battle themes all have 'Wicked' in the title. It's very easy to see why. Killing the party thousands of times over, mocking them personally about their character flaws, pretending to be possessed just to yank Agnès's chain... and that's not even getting into her motive being to let her master destroy what's essentially Heaven.
Ending Fatigue: Oh boy... Once you are caught in the "Groundhog Day" Loop, there is nothing new to do except kill the job masters again, kill the bosses of the crystals again, and re-awaken (or not) those. And you will have to do this 4 more times in order to unlock the True Ending. Needless to say, the last part of the game gets tedious because of this, and makes it like an otherwise very good game is overstaying its welcome. The For The Sequel edition, however, added new scenes between the Jobmasters in the 7th and 8th Chapters, which does mitigate this a bit, and in their final fights in Eternian Central Command in Chapter 8, everyone gets new abilities or uses different strategies than usual. This is a good example of having too much of a good thing. The boss fights are widely praised as highlights of the game, but several chapters of non-stop boss encounters later, it just gets gratuitous.
There are several potent combinations, but Stillness (neither the player or the enemy takes any damage for 2 turns) from the Spiritmaster class is probably the worst offender. Coupled with the right setup (e.g. Hasten World ability, or My Hero from a performer) it can make the party impervious from any kind of damage; the only real thing to watch out for are status effect, and those can be countered with the right accessory/armor, or just have the Spiritmaster cast Fairy Ward.
Although there's a random element to it you can get guests via the on-line functionality who are orders of magnitude stronger than your party. Using summon ally to get them to help you can make defeating early bosses absolutely trivial as they'll one shot them.
Freelancer/Performer: My Hero followed by three Mimic, giving your whole party 4 BP one turn out of two (unless you carry Hasten World, in which case it's available every turn), and since it costs nothing else than BP, can be used indefinitely.
Red Mage/Black Mage: Group-Cast All with BP Recovery equiped on everyone gives similar results to above: you can cast a status effect such as Poison on your entire party up to 3 times and gain up to 6 BP out of it and spend the remaining turn to cure it right away with Esuna or Poisona before it does any damage to you. Unlike the above example, it still costs some MP to use unless you want spend some of those extra turns to steal MP from the enemy in some way, but assuming you don't need other forms of healing, you can stay 3 turns ahead of the enemy permanently. However, it does tend to get less effective later on when your characters need higher magic defense for surviveability's sake and with too high of a magic defense, you won't be able to inflict Poison on whoever is using this setup on a regular basis, causing them to lag behind from the rest of the party. This obstacle can be somewhat overcome with the Arcanist's Status Ailment Amplification ability, though it will still miss on caster classes on occasion.
Swordmaster/Pirate: Free Lunch, which makes your skills cost no MP to use for two turns and Double Damage/Amped Strike, which do 2 and 4 times your normal physical attack damage but cost 25% and 50% of your MP to use respectively. It's also one of the first of the Game Breaker combos you can get (Chapter 3) and makes all other combinations almost entirely irrelevant. A party with 3 of these plus a Spiritmaster/White Mage combo can curbstomp their way through anything that isn't immune to physical damage.
Pirate itself is a pretty powerful job, and with the right setup (such as a Natural Talent monk), can do 9999 damage early on multiple times in a single turn. It's fairly useful as well, with the various debuffs weakening your enemies.
Spiritmaster is probably one of the most exploitable jobs in the game: Enigma means elemental attacks do nothing, Fairy Ward completely blocks statuses (including self-inflicted ones, such as Life or Death from the Dark Knight, meaning the latter can boost itself to 150% in every stat for free), Stillness is probably the most scandalous one, since it means the player, if they can manage to be faster than the boss, just has to attack, cast stillness before the boss can act, buff themselves until it runs out, then attack, then cast stillness... It's recommended to couple it with Fairy Ward though since it doesn't block statuses. Coupled with a Performer/Freelancer, it can be pulled off from the very first turn.
Dark Knight/Spell Fencer: Drain completely mitigates the Dark Knight's Cast from Hit Points handicap (unless you're pitted against an Undead), meaning the player can use Rage (which spams Black Bane on enemies up to 5 times or until their HP drops to 1) with impunity. The Dark Knight is also a rather powerful class, and three uses of Black Bane easily wipes out most random encounters (save those immune to Dark attacks), which means if the character has Self-Restore from the Vampire class, the player can walk away from most encounters basically unscathed. Furthermore, if you add Templar's BP Limit Up, use the Black Mage/Red Mage combo to get them to maximum BP and follow Rage with Life or Death to restore your BP mid-turn, you can squeeze out 2 additonal Rages for a ridiculous damage potential that's only matched by a very high-leveled Ninja that manages to trigger Swordmaster's Multitask for all of their attacks.
Conjurer: Although it's the last class in the game you can get, Obliterate means you can grind with zero effort as it automatically kills the enemies (save bosses) 20 levels weaker than you and thus consistently triggers every PG, EXP and JP bonus, meaning you'll be getting 50% more of each after 10 battles in a row. Conviniently enough, it also comes with an ability that increases the EXP you get from enemies, although by that point you've probably saved enough cash for a Growth Egg that does it better and doesn't stack with the ability, not to mention EXP is probably the one thing you'll need the least of as described on the main page.
Merchant: BP drink is hilariously powerful since money is rather easily accessible (see the tricks below). Pharmacy is also totally broken against anything Undead, as it lets you buy as many Phoenix Downs in-battle as you want for a piddling 100 pg each. If you know a certain trope, you'll know why this is so useful.
The Mammon Elixir glitch: One of the Nemeses accessible in the Norende Village, Mammon (lvl 25), carries either an Ether or a debug Elixir (its effects are the same but it's listed separately from the regular ones), which can be stolen, then sold for 25 000 PG (instead of the mere 1875 PG from the normal ones). Since one can run away from Nemeses fights, the player just has to challenge Mammon, steal it, then flee, and do it over and over to rapidly build up a fortune. Square-Enix stopped distributing Elixir Mammons; although the existing ones can still be spread by players.
Another way to gain a lot of money with little to no player interaction is to combine Vampire's Chomp with Merchant's Big Pharma on an enemy with a lot of HP but little offense: Chomp reduces the target's HP to 1, while Big Pharma restores the target's HP and nets you as many PG as the HP restored. With the right enemy and some form of MP-free healing, you can just leave the game running on autobattle for several hours and walk back to several million PG.
Arcanist + anything that can cause Poison (either Black Mage, Red Mage, Salve-Maker, or Vampire) cheeses anything that isn't immune to Poison (which is actually a lot, including the majority of the bosses): Hit them with Poison, then Exterminate for over 7000 damage. (9000 if Gloom is equipped, and it doesn't have resistances and/or high magic defenses... though it will usually still do more than anything could heal.) It may actually be one of the most broken things overall, due to how bosses work- the 'High-Jump Hasten World' combo isn't ALWAYS infallible, and a lot of the other strategies rely on the foe using either single target attacks or doing something very specific that CAN mess up. Arcanist isn't like this- the key to the Arcanist's entire strategy is Poison. Normally, people would just forget about Arcanist at that point because most RPGS have taught us status affects are useless for the player to use. After all, what boss can be poisoned? Most, actually. The great thing about Bravely Default is a majority of the bosses are human. Almost every human, save some specific humans such as Qada who revolve their strategies around being partially healers, are susceptible to poison. Give it a couple of turns, and eventually poison WILL work. And when it does, Exterminate rips bosses apart. This is what makes Arcanist so broken- it isn't about reacting to bosses or relying on specific markers, it's just about having someone shield the Arcanist, having a healer ready, and the Arcanist itself.
Some bosses, like the Templar, are only able to attack one party member at a time. The Ninja learns an ability to force an enemy to target a particular teammate that they can cast every turn for no cost. The Swordmaster learns an ability that allows them to nominate one enemy against whom they will perform a hugely powerful counter attack against a selected enemy if attacked that by them that turn, which also has no cost. With another party member on healing duty, you can shut them down entirely. Or if you really want to break some bosses, giver that Swordmaster the Spell Fencer's Drain ability or a blood sword, now every counter attack will likely fully heal them which means both that you don't need to waste a turn healing them and that any attack that doesn't either one shot the samurai or bypass counter will be utterly negated no matter how many are used in a row. Slap a ribbon on them and there is very little that can stop them (with the added benefit of single target status spells like Death being focused onto the one party member who's now immune).
As mentioned above, Time Mage's Hasten World can really break the game in half to a degree that even the strongest Bonus Boss can be defeated by setting the game on autobattle: it increases the amount of BP gained per turn to 2 for both allies and enemies, which can allow you do things like spam Valkyrie's High Jump on an enemy that's completely unable to do anything about it since the party collectively blasts off at every chance they get before the enemy can get a turn in, or making sure that the Spiritmaster can spam Stillness right when it wears off.
At the very least in the demo, there's a powerful combo that renders most fights a breeze: The Ninja's Utsusemi Ninjutsu (One free evade) and Transience ability (Counter at double power with a successful evasion) combined with the Red Mage's Turn Tables ability (Bonus BP when evading) keeps your party from most damage while still enabling them to attack multiple times in a turn. The only danger for this combo comes from magic-wielding monsters (of which there are few in the demo) and monsters that attack multiple times in a turn (which can be healed during their negative BP turns).
The Utsusemi combo also completely breaks several bosses that only have physical attacks and never Brave, such as the keystone dragons. Combine Utsusemi with Ringabel (best agility) and Hermes Sandals (+10 agility), use Utsusemi once, hit Y to auto-battle, and walk away and get a snack. While it does rob your other party members of EXP/JP, you can always grind later.
Also in the demo, a Valkyrie with Crescent Moon, 2-Handed and a Mythril Spear on your fastest character can make gaining PQ, EXP and JP ridiculously fast and easy. With this setup, go to the southern part of the map, past the dungeon to a little shore. There you will always encounter 6 Chompers which are pretty strong, can poison you, but usually run away. Use Brave to have your fastest character cast two Crescent Moons and watch them all go down before they can even blink. Keep at it for a while and soon you'll be gaining 120 Job Points a fight. (Also recommended to have your 2nd fastest character do the same thing in case the first fails to KO them all. As long as they attack before the enemy gets a chance to act, you win.)
Heres another one if you need money and XP. Simply set a character as a Ranger or Ninja, perhaps one of each, and give both of them Sword Magic with the Merchants More Money which allows you to get more money and it stacks with others. Simply use a full four braves, using the first on both to add the enemies weak element and then do attack and watch as you murder enemies and get massive amounts of gold!
Templar: Rampart can make several tedious bosses, such as the dragons to open Vampire Castle, into little more than setting the game on autobattle and waiting for them to die, since when combined with the aforementioned Hasten World, it can be cast every turn for no mana. It turns pretty much any boss reliant on physical attacks into a pushover.
The Rise From Dead auto-ability. It has a very high success rate (at least 50%) and strongly mitigates the disadvantages of using the low HP enhanced attacks like minus-strike provided you keep at least one character with HP higher than the relevant boss can one shot and frees your white mage up for other things. For added fun See You in Hell can also be equipped.
Arguably the most game breaking combo for the final bosses is Two Monks with the Dark Knight skills, a White Mage with the Spiritmaster's skills and Hasten World, and a Pirate. The set up is rather easy: Have the each character use enough brave to have -4 and employ Stillness to go two whole turns of not being damaged while you whittle away their HP using a combination of the Monk's PhoenixFlight then spam Minus Strike to deal a full 9999 damage through the entire fight. Thanks to Stillness they can't be damaged since their attacks will be faster then the enemy thanks to the Pirates Shin Smash which lowers their speed while the Pirates can use Torrent to deal great damage on the final boss.
Three Monks with Vampirism skills, and a Vampire with Medication skills. Set Natural Talent, HP 20% Up, Drain Attack Up and Rise From Dead to your three Monks, and HP 20% Up, Drain Attack Up, Rise From Dead and anything that increases speed on your Vampire. When a battle starts, set your Monks to use Blood Thirst, and your Vampire to Brave to max and use Compounding to mix Beast Liver and Dragon Fang to make Giant's Drafts for your party. Nothing will be able to kill you short of instant death attacks, with even those being negated by Rise From Dead, and any damage you take you'll instantly recover with Blood Thirst, which is based off of regular damage, which itself is increased by using Natural Talent. There are only two drawbacks to this method. The first is that your Vampire won't be doing any significant damage (no Natural Talent), and they'll usually be the one dying often. The second is that this makes fighting dreadfully boring.
The Vampire's Battle Thirst can be pretty debilitating to normal enemies if done right. With Drain Attack Up, it will steal 2 BP instead of 1, and if you can get all enemies in the battle down to -4 BP before they can act...they will never get to do so, because you can just keep draining their BP when they start getting close to 0. You usually won't even run out of MP, thanks to Magic Thirst.
As mentioned under Metal Slime on the main page, there is an enemy that you can steal Megalixirs from that you can repeatedly encounter. This is game-breaking enough on its own, considering that it's not that hard to maximize your stock of them, but the Salve-Maker has an ability—Turn Toxic—that lets you make a healing item do damage instead. So you could have four people with the relevant skillset and have them each Brave 4 times and spam a total of 16 toxic Megalixirs, dealing 159,984 damage to every enemy in the battle, or potentially even more if you use Bravely Second with Attack Item Amp active (which makes attack items do 1.5x damage, thereby making each Megalixir used during Bravely Second do 14,998 damage to every enemy instead of 9999). In fact, if you can manage to manipulate the turn order precisely enough, that could theoretically be done with one Megalixir and 15 uses of Mimic.
Good Bad Bugs: There is a way to continuously add villagers in the demo by talking to an NPC who gives you an extra one once you progress far enough in the demo, quit the game to the title screen and reload your save: since Norende's progress is saved seperately from the main save file, you can get more villagers every time you repeat the progress. This has somewhat limited use though since the demo version's Norende maxes out a lot quicker than the main game's Norende and you can only carry over up to 20 villagers from the demo, which you can get with the main game's Update Data feature in 4-6 days.
Satan[+] is a huge obstacle to beat through normal means, with physical attacks not being very effective against his 9999 Defense cap which will force you to rely on magic and Pierce M. Defense. However, if you use a Friend Summon with high enough power, the damage it will deal won't heal him, but it will somehow make his HP fall down right into the negatives (which is outright impossible to do in the game even), allowing you to simply toss a small normal attack and watch it keel over. This guarantees you'll get an Unearthly Bun.
Harsher in Hindsight: The people of Caldisla giving Ringabel his name. This initially seems like a playful jab at his amnesia, but then it's revealed that just before Ringabel showed up in town, Alternis had been roaming Caldisla helmet-less, helping out in hunts and making friends here and there. When Ringabel does show up, everyone just thinks he's being funny acting like he's forgotten everything. Jerks. Though in truth, Alternis never stated that he gave them his name in the first place.
Florem is basically Ringabel's dreams come true in regards to all the women found there. Look up his past, and you'll find out he had a bad childhood in there.
Hilarious in Hindsight: After freeing the party from Eternia's dungeons, Edea mentions in a conversation that there are two men in love with her. Ringabel is a given, and the other is Alternis. This is shortly before The Reveal that they're the same person.
The mild bowdlerization of a couple of revealing costumes (done — in conjunction with bumping up the characters' ages by a few years — mainly to mitigate the fact that the two female leads were originally underage by American standards) sent certain parts of the internet into a rage.
To a slightly lesser extent, the Bravely Second feature has split the base. Some view it as an entirely optional and unneeded feature for newbies, while others consider it a Pay to Win alternative that shouldn't exist in the first place.
The fact that chapter 4 and beyond almost entirely consists of backtracking is also becoming a point of contention.
Ringabel: Rgh! It's massive and hard! You alright, Edea?
Love to Hate: Red Mage Fiore DeRosa. He's such a despicable, dirty sociopath (and an incredibly difficult boss) that killing him in the first world is incredibly satisfying. And somehow, beating his smug ass in the loops doesn't lose its satisfaction.
Due to the odd title that conveys no information on what the game is about, it's not uncommon to see the game referred to using different but similar names, usually synonyms like Courageously Standard or simply words that start with the same letters like Baker Dozen.
Agnès' "Unacceptable" has become pretty Meme worthy. People often use it with fanart depicting Agnès ripping apart monsters guarding the crystals while saying it, and not to mention all of the Lemongrab references (Like this one).
In a similar vein to "Unacceptable!", Edea has her commonly used "Mrgrgr!" growling/grumbling sound become memetically popular, complete with fanart and crossing with the "Gununu!" meme from Strawberry Marshmallow.
Most Annoying Sound: When awakening the crystals. The constant interruptions of Agnès and Airy can really start to grate on ones nerves. Especially since it happens for EVERY crystal, across multiple worlds.
If you play the game with the Japanese audio you may or may not want to rip Victoria's head clean off her ax crazy shoulders. Especially after she kills Olivia in chapter 2.
Narm: Depending on how many friends you have, the horror of the worlds being destroyed at the end of the game might end up being a bit undercut depending on whose world dies. "Oh no! Not Friend-bot's world! Anyone but Friend-Bot!"
Narm Charm: Some of the voice acting is either stilted, over-the-top, or otherwise badly directed, but it actually adds to the SNES/PS1 throwback nature of the game.
At the end of the game, Ouroboros devours entire worlds of alternate Luxendarcs with their own versions of the characters you've come to know and love... and then he culminates it by devouring the world of one of your friends. Asshole.
Captain Knight Owen early on. The man who saves you after your entire village and life are swallowed up in an instant. He offers you shelter and gives you hope and courage to go on. He's killed by Heinkel while trying to defend the king. It really hits home later on when you see how it's affected his father the innkeeper right afterwards as well as and later on in the story.
Olivia also counts, she was all Agnès had as far as family would go. Agnès desperately searches for her knowing she's in danger but her whereabouts are unknown. You finally find her and have a brief reunion with her only for Victoria to try to kill Agnès. Olivia makes a Heroic Sacrifice and takes the hit for her.
Scrappy Mechanic: The random Speed modifier. Long story short, every character has their Speed modified by a number ranging from -10 to +10 each turn. First of all, nothing in the game explains this at all. Second, this means to ensure a character moves before someone else, their Speed has to be at least 21 points higher than that character. Third, this means that strategies that require people to move in a certain order can be ruined if someone moves out of order by chance. Finally, some of the Bonus Bosses can have their Speed increased by as much as 20, meaning to move before them, you need to have at least 31 more speed than them.
It is actually possible for enemies to move twice in a row if everyone on the battlefield is close enough in Speed. Bad enough when it's a normal enemy, worse if it's a boss...and worse still if it's Lord DeRosso, whose strategy revolves around getting everyone down to low HP and then performing a Total Party Kill. Normally, after he uses Graviga or the like, you can heal off most of the damage before he goes again. But if the random numbers should just so happen to fall in such a way that DeRosso goes after all player characters on one turn and before them all on the next? Good luck getting around that, unless you know beforehand that such a thing could happen and bring some speed buffs or debuffs. Or if you find the Hermes Shoes that he keeps in a chest in his castle and put those on your healer.
Stop Helping Me!: In addition to Airy stopping to tell the player how to awaken the crystals even after you've done it 24 times already mentioned above, after the first world where she actually offers useful advice she does nothing afterwards but whine about wanting the party to awaken the crystals for the next 4 worlds every time you enter the menu.
Surprisingly Improved Sequel: In the sense that it's a Spiritual Successor to The Four Heroes of Light. BD fixes basically every mechanical problem that game had, especially the targeting issues and making the "multiple actions in a turn" system a lot smoother and more intuitive. It even addresses some of the plot issues many players had, in that the party doesn't split up or bicker fruitlessly for the first part of the game.
Dr Qada's Dark Breath is downright unfair since it works exactly the same way as the player version does. It deals fixed damage (so Default won't help) equal to the amount of HP the user has lost. This it totally balanced for player characters, but when used by bosses, Health/Damage Asymmetry rears its ugly head. Take out even as little as 5% of his HP and Dark Breath will do enough damage to One-Hit Kill anyone in your party twice over. So what for the player is a desperation attack, becomes an unavoidable, unblockable guaranteed instant kill for Qada. He does tend to Brave his BP into negative when using it, but having to keep wasting turns reviving gets annoying fast.
Likewise Alternis's Minus Strike does the same exactly same thing and is even more blatantly unfair because unlike Dr Qada, Alternis will NEVER use brave when using it. This means he will use it, take out a character, and then next turn do it AGAIN. To make matters worse: Once he starts dying, he'll stop using all other attacks and use it. It's extremely unfair because it means every turn your force to use a turn reviving a character instead of killing him.
Rusalka's Seep/Dark Flow. It does massive damage to everyone to the point of being a Total Party Kill if you don't Default, especially if any characters were hit with another attack that debuffs their defense. And it can still easily take a good 900 HP or more of what might be maybe 1200 or so at that point in the game. And then it summons three clones of the boss that have no immediately evident way to distinguish them from the real one (hint: the real one is the one with a different amount of BP, or the only one with a health bar shown if you used Examine beforehand). In fact, arguably all of Rusalka's attacks aside from the basic physical one could qualify: the other two can inflict Charm status and debuff your defense, and yes, the thing can do them up to 4 times in a row thanks to the clones.
Kikyo's Shippujinrai is another example of being near useless on players as enemies rarely have low enough health that a priority strike makes a huge amount of difference, but when she uses it, it can jump past healing spells or defensive abilities. Add to the fact that Kikyo will use brave to attack twice, and she can bring even a defaulting character down easily.
Airy's Acedia, which makes you weak to all elements and acts as a full-party Dispel. Goodbye, buffs that you spent the last 4 turns setting up; hello, follow-up attacks that deal huge damage to the entire party.
Fiore de Rosa, in no small part due to the Revenge ability he has, which may give him BP whenever you attack him, which he can use to multitask his way through your party. He can hit you with physical attacks, blast your party with thunder-element spells, inflict a few different status ailments, and will heal himself for a decent chunk of HP over and over again. You need to be able to withstand his attacks while also being able to do enough damage to overwhelm his healing spells. Also, Edea starts off the fight charmed, so you have to waste a turn dispelling her.
Profiteur also qualifies, as his Takeover attack hurts at that point in the game and there's no way to reduce its damage. In the various loops he's even worse because his stats are scaled to match yours. Plus, unless you're very overleveled, his Takeover damage is tuned so that your party members cannot take two at once. Usually, Profiteur won't attack the same person twice with Takeover, but if you're really unlucky he can just suddenly decide to kill somebody with two shots. What makes his fight worse is that he's not alone. Khint is a spell fencer who will either use a fire sword to deal high damage to one of your party members, or a silence sword that can disable your casters. His attack power is high enough that he can finish off any party member already weakened by Takeover hits.
Mephilia uses Summon Magic to deal a massive damage attack to your entire party every 3 turns (the game doesn't keep track of the turn number, so you have to count them yourself), and is a Flunky Boss capable of endlessly summoning flunkies. And to make things worse, one of her flunkies is capable of causing Confusion. You're supposed to fight her after Artemia, but both sidequests open up at the exact same time, so it's easy for an unprepared player to accidentally run into her first. (While the dungeon leading up to her is perfectly manageable by a low level party, Mephilia herself is not.)
Chaugmar, the goddamn Mark of Doom. He's surrounded by a barrier that sets both his defences to 9999. He only removes the barrier every four turns or so, just before using an outrageously powerful attack targeting your entire party that will wipe you out if you don't Default (or Jump). Then you only have a very small window to do as much damage as you can before he puts the shield back up. Worse he can heal himself by stealing your HP as well as stealing your MP and worst of all your BP. Fortunately damage dealing items are Fixed Damage Attacks and harm him. I hope you bothered to level that Salve-Maker class you just got or managed to level up Monk enough to learn Pressure Point, which deals massive damage and ignores defense.
ANY boss group that has Heinkel in it. By himself, Heinkel isn't much of a threat. However, due to his Protect Ally ability, Heinkel will automatically intercept attacks aimed at any of his allies, which forces you to focus him down first and prevents you from going after the more dangerous targets. As if that wasn't enough, he'll buff his defenses and make it where he takes little damage and allows his team to wail on you.
During the (thankfully optional) chapter 8 Boss Rush, the team with Qada, Mephilia, Ominas and Yulyana is one of the hardest fights in the game: Qada will use Fire Bane on your party, completely overriding any equipment or abilities that grant resistance to fire, and Mephilia will use Promethean Fire, which, combined with Fire Bane, will inflict 9999 damage to your entire party. If, by chance, anybody survives, Ominas' Firaga will finish off your party. It gets better when you realize that, even if you weathered the first storm of flames with Enigma...you just used 3 Bp. You won't get to use enigma again for a while...and Qada WILL spam Fire Bane.
The Black Blades in Chapter 8. Kikyo WILL go first, Barbarossa WILL debuff and then use Amped Strike, and Qada WILL use Dark Breath as much as possible. And they constantly brave while doing so. No big deal, right? Just default or Stillness and then attack when they don't have the BP... except ALSO part of the team is Praline. Who WILL constantly use My Hero to give her entire party 2 BP so they can brave every single turn. But it puts her BP in the negatives, right? Nope. Her version doesn't cost her BP, so she still profits. You're going to have to focus on her first so she doesn't enable constant Brave spamming, which means you'll have to put off taking care of the much more damaging Barbarossa 'til later. Oh, you want to use group attacks? Again, Qada has Dark Breath. It's generally advised to not even so much as touch him because the last thing you want is another enemy that deals massive damage. Oh, you want to put up status buffs with special attacks and just keep the chain going so your increased stats make it easier to survive the onslaught? Good luck. The large amount of actions the boss takes EVERY turn takes so long, even when the animation speed is increased to the maximum, that your special chain will run out after one or two turns. Good luck building up your special moves in such a short time. But the boss gets easier once you start taking them out, right? With less targets? Wrong. This boss has 5 enemies. Where's the fifth? If you take someone out, Swordmaster Kamiizumi comes in to take their place. You better HOPE it was the performer you took out first. Also, the BP buffs she gives doesn't make the enemies stop braving. They WILL still brave. They'll go into the negatives, but you still have to deal with a devastating onslaught every other turn.
The Fire Temple is this for sure. It's the longest non secret dungeon with three layers to it (The Mine, the Volcano, then the temple). The mine isn't bad but the Volcano is a nightmare without the Freelancer's Dungeon Master because the floor will turn red and take a good chunk of your HP away. As if that wasn't enough the pathway is sometimes sucked into lava on purpose, forcing you to go all the way around and risk more damage. It also is a huge level as each section is extremely large and on your first go very confusing. Then you reach the crystal and fight Chaugmar. Thankfully after your first visit you can take a short-cut that makes only the boss left.
The Earth Crystal isn't difficult, but the numerous staircases that lead nowhere, plus a extremely confusing set up on the map, means you'll be spending several minutes lost because you have no clue where the right stairs are.
The Time Mage and Spell Fencer sidequest can be rather annoying to unlock. The last leg of the quest requires you to find a hidden door that will only open at night. While not particularly difficult, it can be tough to figure out since the game doesn't quite give you clear directions on what to do. Also, since the door is only unlocked at night, you'll have to waste time running around in circles in the world map to make time pass.
Similar to the Time Mage and Spell Fencer sidequest, parts of the Red Mage sidequest can only be done at night, and again, the game doesn't make it clear what you have to do. Also, one leg of the quest three has to be repeated times before you can actually progress.
The Pirate sidequest starts with a blue sidequest marker pointing to the House by the Sea, a location on the world map that consists of one screen with a small handful of NPCs in it. One of them mentions seeing a strange ship at night. The sidequest marker then disappears. You have to find the ship in a random location on the world map, usually nowhere near the House by the Sea. Also, it doesn't look like a ship, it looks like a mass of fog. It only appears at night, and night doesn't last very long. When you finally do find it, you're presented with a dialog option where the first option is to run away and the second option is to board the ship. Many players accidentally pick the first option and are forced to wait until the next night and find the ship again, which will probably have moved to a different location. Thankfully, the actual boss is a cakewalk.
The Performer sidequest basically requires you to backtrack to every town you're previously visited up until that point, while your Global Airship has lost its flying capabilities, all to hear tips about singing that are pretty much common sense and culminating in you finding out the one actually useful thing was in the first place you checked all along. All to fight a boss who was literally right in front of you when you started the quest. Unlike many examples of this trope, it's not actually hard, it's just extremely tedious and feels like pointless Padding.
The Vampire sidequest plays this fully straight. Once again you have to travel all over the world (though thankfully in an airship this time) and battle six dragons: Salamander (Fire), Mizuchi (Water), Wyvern (Wind), Ladon (Earth), Shinryu (Light) and Jabberwock (Dark), each with 99999 hp (on Normal), a multi-target elemental breath attack that causes status effects such as stop, dread, blind, and paralysis, as well as a multi-target attack that not only makes your party weak to the element of said breath attack but negates skills and accessories that make you resistant to them. Afterwards you travel back to the Vampire's mansion, and battle through 7 floors of tough enemies and exposition. Have fun with Cerberuses (who have "Hellfire", which attacks the whole party, and "Payback", which counters single-target physical attacks aka most of them), Magnus Bats (which have "Ultrasonic Wave" that hits the entire party with a chance of causing confusion), and Melusine (which have "Nocturnal Gala" that also hits everyone but instead of causing confusion, it causes charm). Once you make it through all that, then you can battle the boss. Even on Easy, grinding and strategy are an absolute must if you want to survive even the first part.
The Conjurer sidequest can be rather nasty. It requires you to trudge through four boss fights. You'll have to fight Alternis and Braev again, and then you'll suddenly have to fight all three of the Venus sisters AT THE SAME TIME before finally stopping at Yulyana himself. The fight against the Venus sisters can be particularly nasty since it will be the player's first encounter against three bosses simultaneously.
The Eternian Central Command gauntlet in the 5th world is this, as the Job Masters you've been beating up for the past three worlds band together to exploit tactics that the player themselves would use. Special mention, however, must go to the "Mega Magic" group, which is comprised of Ominas, Yulyana, Mephilia, and Qada. Their strategy is simple but extremely effective: have Qada use Fire Bane on your party to create a weakness, and then have everyone else spam fire spells to roast you alive. Thought a Reflect would help? Too bad Mephilia's Summon Magic completely bypasses that, and Yulyana is also capable of setting up a Reflect that a) can bounce back their own Firagas onto an unlucky member of your party that cannot be reflected back, and b) shut down your own magic users. And remember Qada's Dark Breath? Well he spams it all the time here, unlike his solo boss battle where he would only use it after a Default. If you wander into this fight without enough magic defense, prepare to get your butt handed back to you within the first few turns. This is one of those fights where Stillness spam is practically required.
The jury may be out whether it's funny looking or creepy, but Ba;al i the turtle dove makes for a harrowing boss outside of spamming High Jump...and even then, with how speed works and the mass amount of speed you'd have to put into your characters just to make it work (And even then, the strategy can easily fall apart) it's still tough. One of the things that Ba;al i has going for it is the fact that it's a very dumb boss. It has no strategy, it will use useless tactics, but that's what makes it dangerous. You don't know what its next move will be, meaning you may waste your turn preparing for Fall in Love only for for him to use Sweet Dreams. He TENDS not to rely on brute forcing you, but you just don't know. But the other, more devious thing going for it is Fall in Love. There is NOTHING, not a single trick, that blocks Fall in Love. What does Fall in Love do? It takes one of your characters and makes them use mimic on a certain person. This means your Healer will suddenly be copying Edea while she's using a Templar move...meaning your turn that could have gone into healing is now useless because you've been forced to waste it. Your buffer, your mage, your physical damage dealer...all their strategies are made moot. It gets better, though: the only way to stop love is death or Heartbreak, a move Ba;al i uses. The problem is that, despite it not being a very powerful move, Ba;al i's idiocy comes to bite you because you don't know how long you'll have to wait out until he decides to use it. AND then you get to half of his health, and he gains two new tricks. He'll spam his incredibly painful attacks while raising his BP, or even worse, use Triangular. Triangular is love but worse. Two of your characters fall in love with another, and they will fight each other until one is downed or Heartbreak is used. So two of your useful members are simply down. Have fun beating down the Angel Chicken!
What The Hell Costuming Department: Some of the jobs look noticeably weirder than their original counterparts in Final Fantasy, most noticeably male Valkyrie's gray bodysuit with eye-blocking helmet and spearheads around their legs and female Valkyrie's spearskirt, male Arcanist's red and black bodysuit with a tail and female Arcanist's skirt-and-bloomers combination also with a tail, Ranger's mascot head-and-tail combination and Time Mage's cumbersome helmet-and-collar combination that makes their face look like a literal clock face. The former and latter are lampshaded when Einheria accidentally pokes Jackal in the leg with one of her spears, explaining that they exist so that she can do additional damage when she jumps on her enemies and a lot of people mock Eloch's choice in headwear which he insists is the height of fashion.
On top of making the user look like a clock, they also invoke Time Lordfashion◊.
alternative title(s): Bravely Default Flying Fairy