YMMV / Final Fantasy XIII

  • Angst Dissonance:
    • Hope is 14, and went through a hell of a Trauma Conga Line that includes seeing his mom fall to her death, finding out he's basically a dead man walking, and being forced to rely on a bunch of strange adults (one of which he blames for his mother's death) for protection as the government tries to hunt them down and kill them. Yet fans hate him for his Freak Out and angsting.
    • In the midst of her 21st birthday, Lightning is hit with the crappiest two weeks of her life and is trying to cope with a few metric tons of grief and guilt over what's happened to Serah and herself, and only starts to actually get a grip on things in the later chapters of the game. A faction of fans point to her Jerkass qualities as grounds to criticize her for her behavior and dismiss her later Character Development.
  • Anticlimax Boss: The final form of Orphan is... less than impressive when compared to its monstrous and extremely powerful first form, arguably due to the absence of Barthandelus and its unintimidating voice. Nevertheless, it is still somewhat challenging.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: If the player visits Aggra's Pasture and examines one of the big sheep, you get a cutscene. Vanille walks up to it, asks repeatedly if it's mad, shoves her hand in its coat, and then bodily yanks off a chunk of wool while the others stand around, asking what the hell she's doing—then the screen goes black and gives you a message "You obtained [type of] Wool!" like you've just found a key plot artifact. But there's no sidequest—all this is just to tell you that you can get a new kind of compounding item.
  • Counterpart Comparison:
    • Fans have sparked this between Lightning and Aqua—both are Lady of War Magic Knights, but whereas Lightning is a Knight in Sour Armor, Aqua is a Friendship Freak. Depictions of the two of them together are not hard to find, including one of them using the outfit or a trademark pose of the other. Fang occasionally gets included for a Power Trio.
    • A subplot involves the youngest member of the team having a grudge against a tall guy in a trench coat and hat who accidentally killed his mother. Am I talking about Hope and Snow, or Ken and Shinjiro?
    • Japanese fanartists like to draw comics that have Lightning and Serah meeting (and occasionally swapping with) another tough gal who's fiercely protective of her Nice Girl sister, Faris and Lenna.
  • Earworm: "Make my wish come true, let darkness fade to light..."
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Nora Estheim, Hope's mother, for being an Action Mom and making quite the impact compared to her then-cowardly son.
    • Jihl Nabaat. In addition to being Evil is Sexy, her smooth villainy and her twisted role in Sazh's backstory left quite the impression. There are still people upset that Jihl didn't have a bigger role, especially since early trailers played her up as a major antagonist. Demands that she should have been faced in battle were also heard, and met with XIII-2 at least.
    • Sazh himself. He's unfailingly nice and funny, with a tragic past during the thirteen days to boot that doesn't drive him over the Despair Event Horizon. Even if people don't like the game or anything about it, odds are they'll at least admit that they liked him.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: Let's see, we'll start with the fal'Cie Anima (conveniently cross shaped) l'Cieifying everyone, then blowing up the Hanging Edge, and freezing Lake Bresha. Oh, and it's made of hundreds of church bells that ring while an opera sings a melancholy tune. And that's just the prologue.
  • Evil is Sexy: Jihl Nabaat, the bespectacled PSICOM officer with considerable assets.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Hope/Lightning, or Hoprai, has apparently gotten to be the most popular couple in the game. Or at least the one that's attracting the most Fan Art.
    • For the fans that hate Hope, Fang/Lightning ("Flight") is probably the ship of choice for her.
    • Also Fang/Vanille, thanks to plenty of subtext.
    • Gadot is always paired with Snow amongst the gay fandom.
    • Amusingly, Serah and Snow, the only canon couple, is not particularly well-liked by a majority of fans. There's no real hate it seems, but no particular like either.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: Careful not to let yourself forget that Hope hates Snow; if you do, several scenes and lines suddenly look a little suspicious.
    Vanille: Couldn't tell him? Nothing'll change if you don't do anything.
    Hope: Words won't change anything. Next time we meet, he'll learn exactly how I feel.
  • Franchise Original Sin: Most Final Fantasy games in the past have been fairly linear. Through a combination of geography and plot reasons, you're often stuck proceeding to the lone next town or dungeon you can find, with only the occasional sidequest until you get to near the end of the game, when the world opens up to you (usually when you get the airship). This game's linearity however, is heavily criticized because the overworld and actual dungeons to navigate have been removed, leaving many areas of the game as literal straight lines, with little choice of what to do or where to go but forward.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: During the fireworks scene in Bodhum, Snow says to Serah, "Our engagement is way bigger news." When they do tell Lightning about Serah becoming a l'Cie and their engagement the next day, Lightning doesn't believe in them largely because of the engagement, thinking it's made up as an excuse so they can get married.
  • Game Breaker:
    • The full ATB skills can be outright devastating if used properly. Lightning's Army of One seems to stand out among them due to how many things you can do to capitalize on its effectiveness. Snow and Fang's attacks can take out oretoise legs with ease, and Vanille's Death is...well, Death, but unlike previous entries, Death also deals a lot of damage if it doesn't work.
    • While most buffs manage to be fairly useful, Haste stands out as being incomparably so, and will become a staple of every major battle you get in. Even better, the AI knows this, and AI Synergists will prioritize using Haste before all other buffs.
  • Goddamn Bats: Flanitors in the early game in groups of two or more will drive you up the walls. Thanks to being stuck with only two party members, your damage output will be hard-pressed to outpace the endless healing they help each other with.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: When Hope tags along with Vanille at the Vestige, he has a go at Snow for wanting to save Serah, asking how he could help a l'Cie when they are the enemy. We don't find out until later that Vanille was a l'Cie all along, and stood next to him in silence as he ranted about how much hated them... ouch.
    • This actually extends all the way up to Fang's introduction, with the whole party (save for Vanille) constantly talking about how horrible Pulse and Pulse l'Cie are, thanks to an upbringing leading them to believe that. Fang understandably gets a little sick of it.
    Literally everyone at one point or another: "Pulse is hell."/"Pulse is hell on Earth"
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The cynical Hope's hostility towards the heroism-obsessed Snow becomes this when both of their voice actors, Vincent Martella and Troy Baker would later provide the voice of Jason Todd, whom has a similar grudge against Batman. Adding to it is that Troy Baker would also go on to voice Bruce Wayne in Batman: The Telltale Series.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Lightning isn't exactly a saint, but she's had a hard time raising Serah after their parents died.
    • Fang might not be the nicest person around, but in the ending she goes into crystal stasis with Vanille to hold up Cocoon.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Lightning again. Probably comes from being very attractive and without a canon Love Interest.
  • Les Yay: Fang and Vanille come very close to crossing the border between subtext and text. The ending practically makes it canon.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Sazh apparently committing suicide, horrifyingly dramatic though it may be, is pretty obviously not going to stick since it comes directly after he obtains his Eidolon.
  • Lost in Medias Res: A common criticism of the game's opening.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Barthandelus may be one of the most guile and competent villains in the series. He manipulates everyone, Cocoon civilians, the Sanctum, PSICOM, other fal'Cie, and of course the party, in a plan spanning five centuries. And while the result wasn't what he wanted, his plan worked perfectly. He's so good that even when the party knows he's manipulating them and setting them up, they go along with it because they have no choice, he's forced their hand in some manner.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Sazh's Chocobo. Just check WMG if you don't believe it.
    • Fang is the Sexy-Female-Dragoon-Aussie version of Chuck Norris, AKA: Chick Norris.
    • Two words: Snow. Villiers. As one YouTube comment puts him:
    Snow is goddamned awesome. He punches monsters in the face to get strong enough to punch bigger monsters in the face. He faces beasts, abominations, god-like beings and Lightning's wrath to save his fiance. He nearly gets killed protecting Hope's life and STILL protects him after Hope made it clear he wants to kill him, and he rides a motorcycle made of women! If this dude was any more bro, the game would be about him (and Sazh) instead.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Moe: Vanille is a cute and kind girl with a huggably tragic past.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Barthandelus callously shattering the crystallized Dajh and Serah prior to the final confrontation has been met with revulsion. Granted, this was just an illusion, but still.
    • Jihl was already a manipulative bitch for taking away Dajh from Sazh for being a Cocoon l'Cie, and allowing PSICOM soldiers to open fire at Nautilus of all places. But then she manipulates Sazh into letting him kill Vanille because she was partially responsible for Dajh becoming a l'Cie in the first place. Her reaction? To sit back and watch, because she thinks it would be amusing to see one l'Cie kill another.
    • Orphan crosses it when he transforms the party into Cie'th.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • Flanitors. Sirens are already annoying, but at least in real life they pass by and grow quiet. These, however, just don't stop until you kill them. And there are a LOT of them in the area. And they heal each other while making this noise.
    • The continuous alarm that blares while you're onboard the Palamecia and the only time it ceases is when you access the menu. Code Red, Code Green, Code Purple, whatever, fine, but somebody shut off that damn alarm!
    • Vanille's voice for some, with some particularly hating on the English dub.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • That is one satisfying breaking sound every time Lightning finishes her gestalt with Zantetsuken. BAM-BAM-SMASSSSSHHHHH
    • Whenever you fill the stagger bar, particularly on a very resistant enemy.
  • Never Live It Down: Lightning punches Snow twice in the same scene, early in the game at a time when she's particularly angry at him. Yet it went memetic, and for it you'd think Lightning spends the game decking Snow over and over.
  • No Yay: Just before their confrontation at Oerba, Dysley assumes the appearance of Serah and gives Snow a big hug. Pass the brain bleach, please.
  • Porting Disaster: The PC version of Final Fantasy XIII is fraught with issues, most notable being awful, backwards performance. An upgrade in hardware can make the game run worse, and any kind of HUD popup is liable to tank the framerate.
  • Squick: The Hope and Lightning Ship Tease is not very subtle and is sweet in some ways... a reminder though that Hope is 14, and a lot of the Ship Tease is Lightning acting as his Parental Substitute. Add in that "Nora" is the Greek word for "Light", and suddenly the squick of a potential romance with them hits.
  • Surprise Difficulty: This is one of the handful of Final Fantasy games you can't load up your favorite characters with overpowered spells and weapons and blast through the game easily after a bit of Level Grinding. The usual Absurdly High Level Cap is avoided, with a cap on the Crystarium throughout the game that gets raised a bit higher at set points. This puts a limit on how strong your party can be at a given point, and even once you're allowed to begin training the party in all six roles, some are clearly better than others at set roles, and no one character is the best at everything. All in all, the game forces you to plan out your Paradigms, observe the flow of battle and switch Paradigms to react to enemy behavior, and know each party member's strengths and how to use them best.
    • Yet, with death being a slap on the wrist and the restart being a start+select button press, you don't really need to think too hard; but rather just find the answer to the question, making XIII feel more like a puzzle game.
  • That One Attack:
    • Barthandelus' Destrudo in his first battle. Unless you shore up your defenses (usually not enough at worst, barely enough at best) or unload enough damage on him to weaken his attack (which you can do several times), it can easily lead to a Total Party Kill.
    • Orphan has three; two in the first form and one in the second. Merciless Judgement can't kill, but it will knock you down to critical HP, is a cutscene-esque attack that you can't change Paradigms in the middle of, and he starts the fight with it. Progenitoral Wrath is an instant death attack with a high success rate, so god help you if you have a Sentinel as your party leader. Temporal Hole resets the chain gauge; and that form can't be damaged unless it is staggered. And you're on a time limit.
    • Bay and Roar from the oretoises and Screech from the ochus. Not only are they extremely powerful and quick and remove buffs, but the former ones also Daze the entire party, preventing the player from moving until cured or struck. The former can only be done with items and Esuna, which only target one character, and the latter is a death sentence since Daze also increases the damage of the next hit.
    • 10,000 Needles. Exactly What It Says on the Tin, and like the above, it removes buffs and can inflict Pain and Fog.
  • That One Boss:
    • Barthandelus is quite a formidable opponent, particularly in his first and second incarnations. He has loads of HP and enjoys dropping a Doom timer on your party leader, so your damage had better be top notch.
    • The battle with Cid Raines is a very difficult one at the time the player is required to fight him, since he's more than capable of taking out any unprepared player in one swoop, and can apparently cast Doom if the player takes too long to defeat him, ouch!
      • However this can be a Curb-Stomp Battle with the right set up, get him to stagger point and unleash Odin on him, the battle can be over in as little as four minutes, and just for comparison the expected time for the battle? 36 minutes. Or alternatively, build up his stagger point without being outright damaging (ie Sab/Rav/Rav instead of Com/Rav/Rav) and then when fully staggered, lay into them before he can transform (juggling him helps a bunch).
    • Each player seems to find at least one Eidolon battle to be a pain in the ass. Key words being "at least."
    • The True Final Boss's first form. He has the highest HP of any non-optional boss, causes tons of negative status effects, and has an attack that will always leave each of your non-Sentinel characters with less than 100 HP, unless your characters are poisoned, in which case they'll be dead before the attack animation is even finished.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • One trophy/achievement requires you to five-star every mission, which can be Nintendo Hard unless you have a good grip on the battle system. If you don't, have fun with that.
    • Another potentially frustrating sidequest is getting the Treasure Hunter Trophy, which involves getting every weapon and accessory in the game (thankfully not all at once, just owning each one at some point in the playthrough is enough). It requires an unfathomable amount of cash to do since you need to do a lot of upgrading, plus you need to get at least six of the rare and expensive Trapazohedrons (although there's a trick that allows you to get by with only having to find/buy two). It's not exactly difficult to do, but it takes much longer than anything else in the game and demands that you spend many hours farming Oretoises and Sacrifices.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Many had hoped to see Jihl Nabaat as the main villain or at least an active one and was very disappointed to see her killed off after a total of ten minutes of screentime. So, not surprisingly, those same fans rejoiced in the sequel where, in one of the DLCs, you finally get the opportunity to give Jihl the sound thrashing that's been overdue for years.
    • Hope's mother Nora. Though one can argue her death is what serves as the basis for Hope's growth and storyline, her scenes in the beginning clearly paint her as this stronger-than-she-looks woman that's telling Snow "Moms are tough" and she even saves his life. Then she's fatally wounded (via concussive force of a very-close explosion) and plummets to her death whilst Snow manages to survive the same fall. She's not an Ensemble Darkhorse for nothing.
    • The Menhirrim and Dahaka in Taejin's Tower. Clearly, there should be some kind of backstory about living statues that have been subjugated by a lone fal'Cie in an immense fallen tower, particularly when the Menhirrim actively fight Dahaka, survive, and then depart to fight evil elsewhere. They're never seen again, in this game or the sequel, and the most the Datalog can muster for Taejin's Tower is "idk, maybe Tower of Babel".
  • Wangst: Many players claim Hope is guilty of this, spending a good portion of the game whining about how hard things are and that Lightning's being mean to him. Other people feel that Hope's reaction is perfectly justified as a character but are just annoyed at the writers for going down that predictable path, making it an out-of-universe Pet Peeve Trope. In addition, while it's completely justified, the overtly dragging pacing (there are tons of moments he could've spoke up yet choked) of the arc was something many players were getting sick of enduring in a video game, rather than a movie.
  • The Woobie: Pick a protagonist. Chances are, they'll each get at least one scene in this role. However, see Jerkass Woobie, too.
    • Serah ESPECIALLY. She gets killed to be turned into a McGuffin...TWICE!
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Oddly enough, the fal'Cie. Their actions are detestable, but as is pointed out, they only have one role in life and all their powers, all their being is devoted towards that role, forever and ever and ever. If Screw Destiny is the crux of the game's plot, with the player party trying to defy their focus, shouldn't the same hold true for the fal'Cie? Well, it would be a lot easier to feel sorry for them if they weren't specifically planning to sacrifice the citizens of Cocoon (not to mention the inhabitants of Pulse) in a plan to force Pulse and Lindzei to return. Even Barthandelus has some shades of this, since his final words are expressing relief at his own death. Orphan, however, is downright pitiable. Even accounting for his cruel attempts to coax Fang into becoming Ragnarok and turning the others into Cie'th, the kid has had a pretty rough time - from inception, Orphan was sealed away from Cocoon, the humans he was intended to serve and his fellow fal'Cie in an alternate dimension; from there he was trapped in a permanent state of unbirth, self-aware but unable to act, being used as a living battery to keep Cocoon aloft for for hundreds of years. Little wonder he wants to die after so long in that state. Lightning lambasts him for giving up on life before he was born, but can she really blame him?
  • Woolseyism:
    • NORA is originally a pun of the Japanese term for a stray cat. In the English version, it got turned into No Obligations, Rules, or Authority.
    • Lightning's real name being changed from Éclair to Claire, avoiding stupid jokes about pastries and adding an extra layer to her request to be called Light.
      • It should be noted that in french, éclair also means lightning. The intended first name for Lightning did make sense after all.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/FinalFantasyXIII