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.
YMMV: Final Fantasy XII
Alternate Character Interpretation: Is Vayne a pro-active patriot doing what he needs to do to secure Archadia's future and free mankind from the control of Occuria, or is he a power-hungry autocrat out for world domination and willing to get rid of anyone or anything in his way?
On the subject of the Occuria, are they Well-Intentioned Extremist Gods who wanted what was best for mankind or royally Jerkass Gods who wanted to abuse their power over mankind and continue to keep them on a tight leash?
Americans Hate Vaan: Oh yes they do. But in Japan, fan demand and outcry was so intense that the new rep for FFXII in Dissidia Duodecim is Vaan, no matter what Americans may think.
Complaining About Games You Don't Play: "The game plays itself! You can put down the controller and walk away!" Anyone who has actually played the game knows the above becomes true only once you've found all the necessary Gambits for it to be possible, which isn't until very late in the game. And even then, most some of the optional bosses have enoughchangingtactics that they require constant player input.
Also the Gambits are completely optional, and from a Min-Maxing standpoint, a complete waste of license points.
While people can play without gambits at all, it makes battles extremely repetitive with the constant inputting of commands and most enemies by the halfway point of the game have lots of HP, which makes manual commands painful to repeat over and over. Bonus bosses like Hell Wyrm and Yiazmat have millions of HP, which means the gambit feature is really there to save you time and your sanity.
Complete Monster: Judge Bergan, Vayne's yes-man and Blood Knight of the Judge Magisters. Although he does arguably Pet the Dogonce - calling out Judge Drace for bad-mouthing Judge Zecht in her tongue-lashing of Vayne - this doesn't win him any sympathy when he crosses the Moral Event Horizon later on. His first appearance in the manga adaptation only seems to elaborate on what a vile bastard he is.
Contested Sequel: More so than most, and to a greater degree among the fandom than the critics— primarily due to the battle system and the subtlety with which the story is presented (leading some to believe it has no story at all).
Demonic Spiders: Scads of them. Perhaps the most infamous and dangerous though are the Entites and Elementals. Most areas have one that appears and is entirely docile, it just floats around casting buffing spells on itself occasionally. But if you cast a magic spell in range of them, they go ballistic, casting Silencega and Sleepga to incapacitate your party, Fearga to drain everyone's MP to 0, Dispelga to remove your buffs, and they spam Level 3 magic attacks like Firaga, Thundaga, Aeroga, Darkga, etc. And not only do they pack a lot of HP, but they're immune to all but one element, making a lot of your offense useless. Of course though, they usually drop rare items, often a specific item for each one, which you need to trade it to get the best weapons of the game as the Bazaar. Elementals are slightly less Demonic than Entites due to lower HP and weaker spells, but are still probably going to kill you if you provoke them unawares.
Ending Fatigue: It just drags before the end. This is not helped by the Pharos being one of the longest obligatory dungeons in the series, and before that the trek to and through Giruvegan and the Great Crystal also being very long.
Abusing a semi-exploit to spawn the rare monster Dustia repeatedly can bring your level to insane heights before you enter the Giza Plains. Most areas in FFXII are blocked off by Beef Gate, and the Dustia trick can allow you to increase your power even further with steals and rare drops from monsters you have no right to be able to fight. Among the crazy pieces of equipment you can get:
You can get the most powerful weapon in the game, the Zodiac Spear, as soon as you get the Dawn Shard. That's less than a quarter of the way through the game. It does take a lot of level grinding to survive the trip to its location (and even then you have to flee your way through the areas because attempting to fight the enemies would not go well at all), but once you have the spear, the rest of the game becomes ridiculously easy until near the end.
The Nihopalaoa, an accessory that when equipped causes all recovery items used by the character to have the opposite effect, can be this. Against several marks and bosses (an infamous example being Judge Bergan), throwing a remedy with it equipped will completely incapacitate the enemy by inflicting them with every single status effect they are vulnerable to, allowing you to hack and slash at them with no consequences. Against any mooks vulnerable to instant death, throwing a phoenix down will kill them instantly and has no chance of failing like an ordinary Death spell.
Quickenings (the game's equivalent of limit breaks/overdrives) can be this. You can easily get them early on and if you have atleast three people in your party they can be used to insta-kill most bosses for a large chunk of the game, made worse by the fact that you can use them the moment the boss shows up rather than having special trigger conditions like limit breaks in previous games. On top of that, If you get access to all 3 quickenings for a character, it TRIPLES their MP, allowing them to have a seemingly endless supply of spells.
Ashe + Masamune + Genji Gloves + Buffs = You pretty much made weapons obsolete.
Genius Bonus: The Occuria speak in iambic tetrameter. The rebel of their number speaks in iambic pentameter. This may be a reference to Shakespeare's Macbeth, in which the Witches speak trochaic tetrameter (four feet, alternating stress, starting with a stressed syllable) to help illustrate their otherworldly nature.
Giruvegan has other examples, especially one at the very end of the map - the Way Stone which teleports you to the Occuria's realm is described as "Empyrean", which, either as either a noun or an adjective, refers to the sky or heavens. Any time after the storyline event, that same device becomes "Tellurian", which is an adjective meaning "of or relating to, or inhabiting the earth." Fridge Brilliance kicks in when you see where it takes you.
Goddamned Bats: The Abysteels from the Henne Mines. Seriously, those things will bite you in half. The Baknamies from Nabudis also get a mention, though depending on your level they may be closer to Demonic Spiders.
If you plan to do all the subquests, pretty much all enemies become this as you backtrack through old dungeons to find Bonus Bosses.
A certain undead rare enemy that is in an area accessible very early in the game can be killed continuously with one Phoenix Down and made to respawn by leaving the area before the EXP numbers appear from the defeated enemy. This can be used to level up Vaan (who is the only character at this point in the game) very quickly, as well as make a lot of money from its item drops.
Using the Break spell on enemies in certain areas can cause them to respawn indefinitely, leading to power-leveling and making a lot of money.
Using Break also lets you avoid breaking your chain-level when a random enemy of the wrong type butts its head into your killing spree.
The reason usually given for hating this game more than the others is its battle system. It's basically a cry of They Changed It, Now It Sucks from fans who loved the random encounters and separate battle screen used in earlier games and considered them definitive of Final Fantasy.
Magnificent Bastard: Vayne Solidor. His various coups are at the heart of the story, and even in death he managed to free mankind from the Occuria.
Memetic Mutation: "I'm Captain Basch fon Ronsenberg, of Dalmasca!" "Don't Believe Ondore's lies!"
"I play the leading man, who else?"
"I know something of cages."
Moral Event Horizon: Judge Bergan's ruthless massacre on Mt Bur-Omisace - he kills civilians, refugees and even the Gran Kiltias Anastasias. Partly to assert his and Vayne's strength, and partly because he can. Though it's somewhat implied that he was being possessed by Venat (to strengthen Ashe's resolve against the Empire), so YMMV.
Most Annoying Sound: Although the voice acting is generally superb, 'Marquis' is regularly and consistently mispronounced by every character that utters it, and it gets to be pretty grating.
Though considering the quality of the script, how specific this "mistake" is, and that the pronunciation used in the game is an accepted way of pronouncing the title, it's more likely a stylistic choice than an actual error.
The iconic Victory Fanfare, which is reserved for major bosses this time around.
Needs More Love: A lot of people hate this game for the standard reasons — "It's a Square-Enix game", "It's not -other Final Fantasy game-", and of course Vaan. While the game is a big departure from other games in the series, it still has a good, if different, battle system, a very complex storyline playing on political intrigue and moral ambiguity, and a very deep and engaging world full of lore to study and optional areas to explore.
Nightmare Fuel: There is an Optional Demon Wall boss, which is much stronger and just difficult to beat altogether in case the last Demon Wall boss bored you, with very little time in store. If you haven't finished this Demon Wall before the time runs out, it'll give you a terrifying Game Over by crushing your party into the giant wall behind them. The way the game decides to show the player this scene is just plain freaky as well; the screen will cut to the other side of the wall, so you can't see what's happening on the side with your characters and the boss, and said wall shakes once the Demon Wall slams your party toward it, finishing off with a black fade.
"Curse" for normal enemies and some bosses. Inflicts Confuse, Poison, Sap and Disease on all characters at the same time. Many Game Over screens were seen when trying to get to the last of the Pharo's Subterranean Levels, where there's a chance that an enemy which has this ability will rise from the corpse of a recently slain foe.
That One Level: Giruvegan and the Great Crystal. The former is a long Magical Mystery Doors puzzle full of powerful enemies leading up to a boss. The latter is also a Magical Mystery Doors puzzle full of powerful enemies leading up to a boss, except this time the area is larger, has a very confusing layout and no map, and the Mystery Doors have time limits.
Oh, and Pharos.
That One Sidequest: The Shadowseer mark, which requires you to venture into the Subterra optional dungeon. The area is a three-floor Blackout Basement level where you not only need to navigate darkened rooms that all look the same, but it has lots of strong enemies. To proceed to the lower floors you need to collect special "black orbs" that only appear in this dungeon and place them in altars. These orbs are randomly dropped by enemies, and thus you need to patrol each floor fighting and hoping the enemies drop more orbs until you have enough to continue. When you finally get to the bottom you of course have to fight Shadowseer, who fortunately is not one of those bosses that could be considered That One Boss, but he's still an irritating boss to fight due to an abuse of status-attacks and Fearga which pretty much saps your MP to 0. As a saving grace, after completing each level of the Subterra you can go back up and save.
Uncanny Valley: Especially compared to X, the facial expression and body movements of the cast are much quite fluid and realistic. However their faces look like they have slept in a couple days, or else they really need to wash their faces, and their eyes don't always look very natural.
The worst is the penultimate boss. Vayne Novus falls right into the Uncanny Valley, not only having a freakish looking face but also skin that looks like it's decaying right in front of the player. There were a couple players thinking "Kill it! Kill the demon!" at that almost Nightmare Fuel looking boss.
There's nothing wrong with the main characters' eyes. What do I mean? Zoom in on an NPC's face and you'll see that they didn't bother to let NPCs blink. Now's that unsettling.
Vaan's torso was rendered rather weirdly. Due to how Vaan's abs and chest were shaded, he looks like he is anorexic rather than being in shape.
Amusingly, the mark Orthros, which won't come out if you have any male characters in your party, ignores Larsa as if he wasn't male (due to the event flags ignoring guest members). Presumably this happens with other guests too, but still...
Villain Decay: A rare one in game. Marilith, known by many as one of Final Fantasy's trademark four fiends, is mentioned in the bestiary as a flame spirit in besitaries of yore, but modern bestiaries generally refer to it as a snake with a nasty bite.
Vindicated by History: When the game came out, it suffered from the Broken Base. In recent years, thanks to the mature story, people have grown to tolerate it more. I guess it helps that Final Fantasy XIII took it's place as the most controversial entry.
Visual Effects of Awesome: To this day FFXII's aesthetics, which run on the now outdated PS2's graphics hardware, still hold up today as visually awesome thanks to a meticulous art direction.
The Woobie: Oh Larsa, you poor, poor thing. First, he gives a pretty trinket to a girl he seems to have a crush on, which turns out to be nethicite, which could have possessed or killed her. Then, his brother kills his father, and becomes a bloodthirsty dictator in search of power. This means Larsa to help kill his own brother for the greater good. Near the end of the story, while the other character are looking towards the sky in hopeful poses, Larsa is inside in the dark crying over Gabranth's nearly-dead body.
Whether or not Larsa remembers it is debatable, but Vayne also killed their two brothers as well.
Woolseyism: Thanks to the modern champion of the trope, Alexander O. Smith. The English script, as to be expected of the Ivalice spin-offs, is spectacular, with a distinctive cultural flare via the use of Old English sentence structure and words. The voice cast of the game also reflects the various cultures of the world, the different regions having particular accents, Archadians for example being British.
Which serves as clever Foreshadowing, that Balthier has a British accent...
If you're pretty enough, skin cancer doesn't dare to mar your beauty. Or something.
The world has a messed up environment so perhaps their deserts are not the same as Real Life deserts. Or something.
The manga adaptation provides examples of:
Crowning Moment of Awesome: Since the game showed us the events of the opening sequence from Reks' point of view, we now find out the game had an Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Basch didn't just run into the room and get captured while Gabranth walked in to pose as him. Basch tried to get the king to safety and had a duel with Gabranth in front of him. Even though the battle is a Foregone Conclusion, it is awesome.