* AnticlimaxBoss: Borghen, the foul arch-traitor who assisted the Empire in taking the heroes' hometown and thereby resulting in the deaths of their parents, turns out to be the weakest boss in the game by a mile. In fact, the boss monster the party just fought, the Adamantoise, was far more dangerous. Moreover, after his death he sets off a trap that causes the death of [[spoiler:Josef]], meaning that this wimp also gets the honor of being the first Final Fantasy bad guy to kill off a playable character. The Emperor also fits this trope when you fight him in the Cyclone, where he's a pushover (though he turns into a killing machine for [[spoiler:his turn as the final boss.]])
** [[spoiler: Which makes one wonder if he didn't [[ILetYouWin throw the fight on purpose]] as part of his EvilPlan.]]
* AwesomeMusic: The ending theme, "Finale," is one of the most tender and moving for any ''Final Fantasy'' title. It was also released as a vocal version titled "Love Will Grow."
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: The giant beavers at the bottom of the Ice Cavern. Aside from giving a chance to helpfully inform us that "Guy speak beaver," they have absolutely no relevance to the plot or to anything else in the game, but nevertheless you must talk to them to proceed. They were meant to have been the series' first appearance of Moogles, one of several races encountered in the world, but were ultimately DummiedOut.
* CompleteMonster: [[TheEmperor Emperor Mateus]], the [[BigBad primary villain]], is the [[EvilOverlord ruler of Palamecia]]. A tyrant defined by his arrogance and {{greed}}, Mateus unleashes the LegionsOfHell to attack the innocent peoples of the world and aid him in his quest of total [[TakeOverTheWorld global domination]], [[DespotismJustifiesTheMeans seeking to destroy all those who won't submit themselves to his iron-fisted rule]]. In order to remove the threat of the island of Deist and their Wyvern-riding warriors, the Dragoons, Mateus poisoned the Wyverns' water supply, wiped out the creatures, then exterminated the weakened Dragoons. He also enslaved the peoples of Salamand and Bafsk, the latter of which he forced to construct the Dreadnought, an air warship which he uses to rain death upon cities that oppose him. Following the Dreadnought's destruction, Mateus instead uses a massive Cyclone to completely obliterate the towns of Paloom, Altair, Gatrea and Poft, killing all within. Dying in the attempt to wipe out Fynn as well, Mateus's soul was split into a dark half and a light half. The dark half [[HellHasNewManagement conquered hell]], returned to the world of the living, murdered the last Dragoon, Ricard, and revealed his new intention to [[OmnicidalManiac destroy the world]] with his newfound power. Meanwhile, Mateus's light half seized the throne of heaven, and, after briefly pretending to be a pure being to tempt the souls of four heroes who had died in the war against him, vows to grant them eternal suffering once they realize [[LightIsNotGood the light half of Mateus's soul is just as evil as his dark half]].
* DemonicSpiders:
** A few creatures fit this description, but Chaos Riders from Soul of Rebirth are the worst example. Insanely high defence and magic defence (you'll be lucky to inflict any damage at all); maxed out spells like Confuse, Slow and, worst of all, Osmose[[note]]Unlike the other spells, Osmose never misses and it always drains 120-150 MP, no matter how much LevelGrinding you've done[[/note]]; a tendency to attack in groups and a powerful ''draining'' physical attack if it were to run out of MP.
** Anything that can inflict Confusion. They usually target everyone, cast it almost every round, and unlike in later games, your characters don't snap out of it upon being hit. Your confused characters will never target the enemies and take quite a few rounds to return to normal, and late in the game you're often doing so much damage that your characters can kill themselves in a matter of seconds, meaning that navigating certain dungeons is a matter of whether or not you get ambushed by these things. (The Mysidian Tower is the worst, having two enemies that can do this- Mini-Satana and Devil's Bloom.)
** Cockatrices make their ''glorious'' return from the original ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyI''. They still inflict stone, which is still an effective instant-kill. They do this on contact. And come in packs of 6. Your party size is only 4.
** Sorcerors and Wizards that first appear in the Coliseum halfway through the game. You have a 3/64 chance of running into them (along with Captains and Sergeants, which are hard on their own), and they love party-wide status and damage spells, such as Curse, Toad, Stop, Confuse, Break, Warp, Death, Osmose, Drain, and Flare (most of which they drop as tomes upon defeat). Sorcerors can also cast Haste on the Captains and Sergeants to kill you, and Wizards have high HP and defense. If you didn't get the Ribbon from the [[ThatOneBoss Lamia Queen]], you're as good as dead.
** The Hill Gigas in the Deist Cavern hits as hard as the Captain, if not harder, and has tons of HP compared to other enemies in the dungeon, and can appear in groups of two. If you can't run or inflict Curse on them, they will crush your entire party.
* EarWorm: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgkPCmV8nmA That goddamn eerie yet catchy mid-boss music used in the remade versions of the game.]]
* EnsembleDarkhorse:
** Minwu. The developers took notice and turned him into a BreakoutCharacter in the remakes, making him the focus on a secondary storyline unlocked after the game that takes place in the afterlife.
** Ricard Highwind, the [[LastOfHisKind last of the Dragoons]], has also garnered quite the following. Like Minwu, he is predominantly featured in the secondary storyline in the afterlife, and was the inspiration for ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'' MemeticBadass Kain Highwind.
* EsotericHappyEnding: [[spoiler:The ending warmly states that the wounds of the war would heal "in time." Given that about half the world's population centers have been totally wiped out, it's probably going to be a real ''long'' time.]]
* GameBreaker: [[GameBreaker/FinalFantasy Here]].
* GoodBadBugs:
** In the original and [=PS1=] versions, if one selects a move and then cancels it, the game treated it as if you had performed the move, for the purposes of raising stats. Thus it is possible to get astronomically high strength and magic skills almost as soon as you start the game, if your fingers can take it.
** When facing single foes if you set a damage spell to multi target you do 1.5 times as much damage (The formula for the damage is the normal damage plus 50% divided by the number of foes).
* HarsherInHindsight: Given that Leila is effectively [[spoiler:the [[Franchise/StarWars Han Solo]] to Firion's Luke]], that [[spoiler:she is the only party member who suffers a DisneyDeath]] is now quite ironic.
* HilariousInHindsight: When Firion and the others are tasked to destroy the Dreadnought, Gordon laments his weakness compared to the heroes and wonders what a pathetic coward like him can do. Guess who accompanies the party when they finally blow up the Dreadnought?
* MagnificentBastard: The Emperor, who may have the honor of being the most [[{{Determinator}} relentless]] villain in the entire ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series. First off, the game begins with the guy ''unleashing the powers of Hell'' upon the world and conquering a prominent kingdom. Then, he constructs a warship which bombs nearly every town in the game, [[spoiler:kidnaps the female leader of LaResistance, replaces her with a monster and allows the heroes to "rescue" her (who then kills off the King), builds a flying castle that completley ruins nearly every town in the game, and then after being killed by the party, he ''takes over Hell AND Heaven'']] and comes back stronger than before. (Whether this was [[ThanatosGambit on purpose]] [[XanatosSpeedChess or not]] is not clear.) This guy was NOT messing around.
* MemeticMutation:
** The Emperor's weird death cry in the Japanese version: "UBOAR!" (And to a lesser extent, the English version "UNGAAHH!") [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyX Tidus]] lampshades it in ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'', as seen [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhuCSl_8TaI here.]]
** Firion's scene with Hilda ([[spoiler:well, actually a Lamia Queen]]) is popular in Japan as well. His reaction to Hilda's seduction ('Gulp...') has led to him being called 'doutei' or 'virgin' (which rhymes with the Emperor's title, 'koutei').
** Guy speak beaver.
* NeverLiveItDown: While the unorthodox level system has been refined by remakes, to this day this is the ''Final Fantasy'' game known for being the one where you level up by having your party members attack themselves. Unfortunately for the game, this is a perfectly viable strategy too -- the best way to level up skills and spells is to cast them over and over, and your party members are likely much more durable than enemies, sooo...
* NewerThanTheyThink[=/=]OlderThanTheyThink: This game was the origin of a lot of ''Final Fantasy'' standbys. Newer Than They Think is for elements like Cid[[note]]The "Cid of the Lufaine" from FFI is a PosthumousCharacter added in re-releases[[/note]], chocobos, etc., which weren't in ''Final Fantasy I''—this comes as a surprise to a lot of people. And Older Than They Think comes into play with many of the plot elements—the Evil Empire, Bishounen villain who's seeking godhood, essentially, party members being Killed Off for Real, and even the presence of any plot at all—which many people seem to think only started in the SNES and [=PS1=] era.
* PlayerPunch: The towns you visit visibly go through the wringer over the course of the game, thanks to imperial troops and bombarding airships. [[spoiler:After the Cyclone, however, they are ''gone'': just a patch of ruins on the overworld that you can't enter. After being able to visit these places and see their trials for the whole game to that point, knowing that they've been wiped off the map with no survivors...]] ouch.
* PolishedPort: The many remakes and ports of the game do add some content and reduce the annoyances. That said, they don't bring enough improvements to keep the game from being contested even among classic fans.
* ScrappyMechanic: The "Leveling" system is infamous for being among the worst in the entire series. You do not gain traditional EXP from killing monsters. Instead, characters level skills based upon use. Therefore, you must ''use'' each individual magic in order to increase its level. HP works in a similar fashion-- you gain more by being hit. The issue there is the game doesn't differentiate between monsters or players. A common tactic for players is to beat up their own party at the start of the game.
* SeinfeldIsUnfunny: It really cannot be overstated how ahead of the curve this game was in terms of story. A complex cast of characters, an epic plot, and a charismatic and intelligent villain all in a NES-era RPG. You might also recognize these tropes from damn near every JRPG released since then.
* ViewerGenderConfusion: Despite explicitly being called a man in his introduction, Minwu is often mistaken for female. His [[WhiteMage potent healing abilites]] and robes might have something to do with this.

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