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Disc One Nuke / Final Fantasy

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    Final Fantasy I 
  • Final Fantasy I expected players to head towards the Earth Cave and hunt down the first major boss once the game's third or so Broken Bridge is dealt with, opening up the whole sea to sail in. One can instead use this newfound freedom to seek out Crescent Lake, and the town where you'll get yet another exploration item once you've defeated the fiend of earth. While you can't get the canoe until after dealing with the Earth Cave, you can still take advantage of the slightly better equipment in the shops. A second example occurs afterward once you obtain said canoe. Instead of using it to reach the volcano where the next fiend resides, you can attempt to get though the Ice Cave first, getting the airship and opening up pretty much the entire game world. You can also use the canoe to skip straight to the Castle of Ordeals and get a few good magic items there, and the item that'll let you class change once the airship is available.

    Final Fantasy II 
  • Barehanded attacks increase in damage as their skill level rises. In the early game, the boost from barehanded levels easily outpowers weapon upgrades, letting you tear through high-defense enemies with little trouble. By the late-game, barehanded is Cool, but Inefficient: not using a shield reduces a character's Evasion, using a shield halves barehanded damage, and dual-wielded Infinity-1 Swords will do more damage than barehanded unless your barehanded skill is ridiculously high.
  • Captains, enemies which normally show up as mid-late-game mooks, are stationed at Fynn throughout most of the game. Once Minwu was acquired, crafty players could down Captains with liberal application of magic and receive the Flame Bow, a fairly powerful weapon for the early game, and the Toad Tome, which could effectively one-hit kill nearly anything in the rest of the game, including some bosses, and with a little abuse of the game system, even the final boss.
  • The area to the west of Fynn has enemies somewhat more powerful than one should be fighting at that stage in the game. They drop many items, mostly spell tomes, which can be used or sold at a premium.
  • Speaking of Mysidia, once the canoe is acquired, a crafty player could make their way there by going south from the Altair region.. This usually required exploiting tricks to avoid enemy encounters, but allowed powerful enemies with excellent drops, and a town stuffed full of end-game equipment to buy.

    Final Fantasy III 
  • In Final Fantasy III (at least in the NES Version) it's possible to get the very best Gear after you arrive at the first village in the game. The glitch required to abuse is rather tedious, but even getting the best gear for just one of your four characters makes the whole game incredibly easy to finish.
  • The Shade spell is a more straightforward example. It can be learned quite early in the game, and will trivialize as many difficult encounters in the next dungeon as you have 4th level spell charges. It's balanced only by the fact that turning your entire party into Wizards so that they can all cast it will leave them insufficient to finish off the crippled horde. The difference in difficulty between tackling the Elder Tree dungeon with and without Shade is staggering.

    Final Fantasy IV 
  • A minor glitch that involves using a tent as you step onto the Mist Village tile allows you to bypass it and head into the desert and beyond without recruiting Rydia and losing Kain. While this will cause the game to crash if you progress too far, it also allows you to skip the Mist destruction Event Flag and actually explore the town (when you re-enter from the desert side), giving you access to some very high level gear for that point in the game. Giving the Polymorph Rod (Or Dancing Dagger if you're willing to splurge 5,000 GP) and Tiara (Gold Hairpin) to Rydia will turn her into an overpowered Crutch Character for the entirety of her child runnote .
  • Another minor glitch allows you to duplicated equipped weapons and shieldsnote . While this is useful throughout the game (particularly as you can equip Edge with two Masamunes), it's most useful early in the game as a much faster means of farming additional money and allowing you to stock up on curative items and the normally prohibitively expensive ethers, as well as combined with the glitch above to quickly save 5,000 GP for the Dancing Dagger.

    Final Fantasy V 
  • In Final Fantasy V there are multiple such things. First is the blue magic Death Claw, which lowers an enemy's HP to a single digit and paralyzes it. Many bosses aren't immune to it, and that spell can be learned from two fairly early bosses.
  • Also from Blue Magic is the spell Level 5 Death. This spell instantly kills anything with a level divisible by 5, which allows you to bypass a number of otherwise annoying enemies, easily grind job points at a higher rate than anywhere else outside The Very Definitely Final Dungeon as early as the start of act 2, and (if you have another Blue Mage with the level-halving Dark Spark spell) defeat one of the most difficult story bosses in the game in a single turn.
  • Again from Blue Magic is the Goblin Punch ability, which is likely to be the very first Blue Magic you'll ever learn. It's a 0 MP cost skill that has the same power of a basic attack, except it is unnafected by evasion, positioning penalties, negative properties of weapons and also has an unique property of dealing massive damage if both you and your target are the same level. In other words, it's basically your normal attack, except better in every single way, and there's no reason to not spam it whenever possible.
  • Then there's the Barehanded ability. This Level 2 skill from the Monk class gives any class who equips it the power of a Monk when fighting unarmed. Give this to your mage, and suddenly the wizards aren't squishy no more.
  • The Death Sickle can be obtained as soon as the player has access to Crescent Island. The weapon is a rare drop from the Harvester enemy. The Death Sickle has a 33% chance of inflicting instant death. Much like Death Claw above, many bosses are not immune to instant death. This can make the rest of World 1 and most of World 2 a cake walk. However, the trade off means having a Berserker or Freelancer on your team.
  • Mastering the Thief and Monk classes will, in effect, double the base Strength, Agility, and Stamina of the Freelancer class, and as they are starting classes a patient player with some time to kill can pull this of fairly early in the game by grinding some high AP enemies. You can then have a party of Freelancers with whatever various assigned abilities you want to have an absurdly fast, strong, and barehanded party. This will ultimately be detrimental if you use it constantly (as you won't be able to level up your classes, which is a necessity) but being able to swap to such powerful characters on demand will make bosses and tricky areas a breeze for most of the game.
  • The earliest Peninsula Of Power in the game is the U shaped hunk of land right outside the Torna Canal, where you can face Bandersnatches and Bighorns for between 60 to 180 EXP per battle, and 1 to 3 APB. Since you can ride the ship straight to Torna to resupply or to the Wind Shrine to use their free recovery pot whenever you need there's little risk outside of getting unlucky of dying. Start with a party of Monks until you learn Brawl and are strong enough to One-Hit KO them (around Level 10), then use that to boost up your other classes as high as you want, allowing you to have overleveled classes until well into World 2.
  • Geomancers are not very useful in battle without being extremely careful and lucky, as the trade-off for having a 0MP attack is that it casts a random arena-based attack on a random target(s) meaning the attack can easily fail you at the worst of times. That is until you are faced with the Skull Eater enemy that is nearly impossible to damage, can easily One-Hit KO a party member (doing over 1000 HP damage at a time you have around 600 HP), and casting a spell on it causes it to multiply into five. Gaia never misses, doesn't trigger it's multiplication, delivers an instant kill, and is free to use. As these creatures give 5 AP a pop, a patient player can grind up and master their classes before even visiting World 2.

    Final Fantasy VI 
  • A minor trick in the very beginning involves killing Vicks and Wedge and using just Terra, who can easily one-shot every enemy party with Bio Blast and infinitely heal herself with Heal Force (until she looses the Magitek Armor), to do a bit of Level Grinding while soaking up thrice the experience and leveling up much quicker. Since new party members levels are relative to your current party when they join (typically being one or two levels higher or lower), this will make every party member much stronger than normal for quite a while and every fight up until at least Ultros will go down without any resistance.
  • Edgar's "Tools" command starts off extremely useful with the Auto Crossbow. Edgar not only has one as soon as he's recruited, but it deals damage to everything on the screen, does full damage from the back row, and costs nothing to use. Most early encounters with Edgar in the party will go down in one turn. Even after the story and party both expand, the Auto Crossbow remains a very viable alternative to just attacking.
  • The Genji Glove, which allows Dual Wielding and effectively doubles a character's offensive output, can be had very early with only a little bit of Guide Dang It!. Throw it on an offensively unremarkable character like Locke and have fun one-shotting anything you randomly encounter for most of the World of Balance. In the SNES version, the Evade glitch (which makes shields useless anyway) means that its only weakness is obviated.
  • Gau is a character built around the concept of a Disc One Nuke. He mimics the attack of monsters, letting him use level two magic long before your other party members even begin to learn first level magic, and from there until the second half of the game can usually consistently stay one-step ahead of the abilities of the rest of the party. The only catch is the game doesn't tell you which monsters teach him which attacks, and finding a specific monster to teach him a specific attack can take hours.
  • Fairly early on you'll come to a part where you're escaping the Returners hideout with a temporary party member who can heal the entire group for free every round. You escape via raft with several branches in a river where you can choose which path you want and one set of selections puts you in a loop. In the first battle, make sure you use abilities which don't consume MP and Banon's Heal ability then you can just tape down the confirm button and walk away to grind levels. Since you're moving on the raft, random encounters will trigger and Banon can heal everybody up for free and you're in a loop so you'll keep going indefinitely. Left overnight, you'll wake up with a party in the level 50-60 range which can faceroll most of the game.

    Compilation of Final Fantasy VII 

Final Fantasy VII

  • The Enemy Skill materia is this, in general. If you know what you're doing, you can get three powerful attacks (Beta, Trine, and Aqualung), the best defense spell in the game (Big Guard), and one of the best healing spells in the game (White Winds) — all before the end of the first disc.
    • Getting Beta from the Zolom is easy, and can be done as soon as you reach the swamp. Elemental + Fire Materia on the armor, put everyone in the back row, give everyone the Sadness status with Tranquilizers, then Poison the Zolom to add damage and he'll be chucking Beta in no time. Some luck is involved in not having the character with the Enemy Skill Materia get tail-whipped out of the fight, but you can just reset and try again. Once Beta is learned, throw it right back at the Zolom to finish it off and proceed to nuke that first disc. As an added bonus, it literally looks like a nuclear explosion.
    • You can get the Big Guard (aka Mighty Guard) Enemy Skill, the best defensive spell in the game, from the enemies along the beach near Costa del Sol. It puts Haste, Barrier, and Magic Barrier on your entire team in a single action, and much earlier than the Time and Barrier materias become available. Plus it saves you the necessary level grinding to get those materia up to par.
    • As soon as you get the buggy, drive around in the desert until you encounter a Harpy, and learn Aqualung from them. You might need Mighty Guard to survive it, but that's no problem, since the Beach Plugs on the nearby beaches know it. Aqualung will kill practically every mob in a single shot from there to the end of disc one.
    • The Chocobuckle enemy skill from wild chocobos counts, if you're playing the original Japanese version. It's obtained about the same time Beta becomes available, and costs only 3 MP. It deals damage equal to the number of times you've run from battle multiplied by the caster's level, so by escaping 100 times or so, you can easily be doing four-digit damage before you reach Junon. Being a Game-Breaker, later releases nerfed it to only deal damage equal to the number of times escaped (which makes it virtually worthless).
    • Even the basic Matra Magic enemy skill, the first skill you can acquire seconds after stepping out of Midgar, qualifies in terms of how big a leg up it gives your spellcasting characters. Normal spells can only target all enemies at once by linking them with All Materia, and even then only as many times per battle as the Materia's level. Matra Magic, along with Beta, Trine, and most of the other Disc-One Nuke enemy skills, targets all enemies at once every time it's cast, which is a massive advantage against large enemy groups. White Wind and Mighty Guard, similarly, will target the whole party at once and thus save large amounts of casting time, but the advantage Enemy Skill has over normal magic is evident from the very first skill you can acquire with it.
  • Gaining your first level 2 or 3 Limit Break is a matter of how many times that character has dealt the killing blow to an enemy. Gaining the second one at each level just requires using the first one a certain number of times. It takes about 300 kills for each character to gain their first level 3 Limit Break, which can be done very early in the game with a little effort. These are almost all gamebreakers, to varying degrees. Barret and Cloud's level 3 limit breaks can be obtained in the starting area. It's just a matter of patience. The infinite parade of soldiers will drop enough potions to keep your HP up.
    • Cloud's 3/1 limit break, Meteorain, fires 6 shots at random targets, each doing 1.5x his normal attack damage. While this is powerful against a group of mooks, it's utterly catastrophic when you're only fighting one enemy, such as a boss, and all six shots are guaranteed to target him. Even the "hard" disc 1 bosses like Lost Number and Demon's Gate can go down in one hit!
    • Aeris' 3/1 limit break, Planet Protector, makes the party invincible for a short time. This can assist greatly in gaining the aforementioned game-breaking enemy skills, as well as being powerful in its own right against boss monsters. Her ultimate limit break, Great Gospel, combines this with full recovery.
    • Aeris' 'Fury Brand' limit break is potentially even more powerful. It empties Aeris' limit bar and automatically fills the limit bar of the other two party members. Not only is this incredibly useful for grinding limits and putting out large amounts of damage, but if the other two party members are on their third tier of limit breaks, it can be used to fill their limit gauges at an increased speed.
  • If you're loaded with cash, very lucky, and have the patience of a saint, you can grind through the Battle Arena and get the Omnislash item on Disc 1, just before the Temple of the Ancients. Bear in mind that you're attempting this without the Ribbon, which leaves you vulnerable to many of the Arena's more sadistic reels. The sheer irritation is enough to make it a Bragging Rights Reward as well. After the hell actually getting Omnislash entails, Level Grinding Cloud's limit so you can actually use it is paradise. Hop off in the part of the Mideel area you can reach and battle your weaselly guts out, you masochistic champion.
  • Tifa's Powersoul, which can be acquired on Mt. Nibel. On its own, it's not impressive, with attack power that's on par with weapons you get near the beginning of the game. However, Tifa's damage potential will be doubled if her health is critical, quadrupled if she's under the Death Sentence status effect, and both multipliers can stack. By leaving her with low health and casting the Death Sentence Enemy Skill on her at the beginning of every battle, Tifa turns into a Glass Cannon that can end every fight in a matter of seconds throughout the remainder of Disc 1 and much of Disc 2.

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

  • The missions. If you attempt them as soon as they become available, they can give you good rewards in the form of equipment, Materia and EXP. But they're way too hard, you say? Well, the thing is, every time you kill an enemy in this game, you gain some EXP. And if you lose a mission, you still retain all the EXP you gained in said mission. As long as you manage to kill at least one enemy in the mission, you can keep trying over and over and gradually get stronger and stronger, until the main game becomes a cakewalk.
    • It's a bit of a Guide Dang It!, but if you check the locker that Kunsel tells you to near the start of the game 20 times, Kunsel will give you the Cursed Ring, an accessory that gives a pretty decent boost to stats in exchange for not allowing you to use the DMW (which is where all the Limit Break attacks are). Since the random nature of the DMW tends to be more harmful than helpful, equipping the Cursed Ring allows Zack to breeze through most of the early game at minimal inconvenience, and even helps with the aforementioned missions.
    • It takes a lot of skill, but if you can manage to unlock and beat mission 4-2-6 (which is done by beating the 4-x-x missions prior to it, in order, most of which are ranked Very Hard when first unlocked) as soon as you unlock them, you unlock the Wutai Secret Shop, which sells two Materia that break the game apart when combined - Status Strike and Hell Blizzaga. Equipping these both on Zack at the same time means that your regular attack will have a small chance to One-Hit Kill enemies - a chance that increases as the Materia in question level up. By taking both these Materia back to mission 4-1-6, you can farm EXP from the enemies like there's no tomorrow. This also enables you to level other Materia very fast, giving you some powerful abilities to go with your increased stats.

    Final Fantasy VIII 
  • Creative use of the Triple Triad card game and a card-to-item converting ability (along with various item-to-item converters and item-to-spell converters) could get you most of the powerful spells and even the ultimate weapons before the end of disk one; using the 'Card' ability to turn monsters into cards also counts, but you probably won't be meeting anything worthwhile at that point. This, though, literally takes hours, almost as long as it would take to get them "honestly". Many players did it for the pure joy of defeating even the end-of-disk boss in one move.
    • You can quickly grind out Siren's L-Mag RF (which barely takes twenty minutes of random battles) and spend your first couple of SeeD paychecks on Tents and Cabins, which refine into Curagas. It's really easy to have 3000+ max HP on one of your characters after the second dungeon. Then, keep your characters with 3000+ max HP in the 500-900 HP range (at least during Disc 1). This will allow them to use their Limit Break attacks frequently while still leaving them with enough life to survive most enemy attacks.
    • You can also grind out Siren's ST-Atk-J, which lets you junction status magic to your normal attacks. Enter Diabolos, which lets you refine status magic from items. Refine a whole lotta Softs into Breaks, junction them to status attack, and suddenly every attack you make has a chance to Petrify enemies. Then shortly after arriving at Dollet you can farm Saw Blades to refine into Death spells, which are even better for this strategy.
    • The PC port included a separately opened mini-game (actually a port of the Japanese Pocketstation mini-game) that would play itself (though you could also play actively). If you let it run for a few days, then you'd have a buttload of items. Then you could open the main game and transfer those items, which included stuff you couldn't even find in the main game (like the Ribbon ability, and the Mog summon). And if you'd copied the savefile before transferring, you could abuse this to the absolute extreme.
    • The Quistis card is available from one of the male Trepies in the cafeteria as soon as you take control of Squall. If you manage to win it you can convert it into three Samantha Souls, which in turn will can be turned into 180 Triples. Junction them to Squall and Zell's strength stat for a MASSIVE boost. You only need Card Mod and Time Magic Rf, both of which are quickly learned.
    • Want to refine those high level cards on disc one for powerful items and magic but don't want to lose a one of a kind card? If you defeat the CC Card Group, a side quest available as early as Disc 2, the members will appear on the Ragnarok during Time Compression and they will play ALL cards, including player and GF cards you refined or didn't find earlier.
    • With enough patience facing off against high-level Triple Triad players around Balamb, you can stockpile Abyss Worm cards, which refine into 20 Tornados, one of the end-game offensive spells. Junctioning it to Strength will send your attack power through the roof, letting you kill even bosses with just normal attacks in a couple rounds.
    • With about three hours work, you can get Squall's second best weapon before leaving Balamb. The cards needed are all held by the more difficult card players within Garden. The other characters can't get anywhere near as huge of a boost.
    • It's very possible to get Squall's best weapon, which also unlocks all of his Limit Breaks, halfway through Disc 1, if you know the specific enemies to farm for the parts.
  • Similar to the aforementioned Siren's L-Mag RF, the GF Carbuncle is obtained nearly at the end of Disc One - right by the end, in fact - but once you have it, you need never worry about gil again, especially useful with other refining abilities. Its ability to refine Tents and Cottages into Mega-Potions, which sell for significantly more than the cost of the materials, eliminates any point of SeeD rankings beyond bragging rights.

    Final Fantasy IX 
  • It is possible in Final Fantasy IX to net nearly every character's best or second-best weapons by abusing the Chocobo Hot-and-Cold digging side-quest. If you abuse it enough to gain the flying chocobo you can even enter other continents prematurely which causes the game to bug out and skip a large chunk of the plot. This was fixed in the greatest hits version of the game, but there are still some decent prizes to be found from early Chocographs - in particular, the Oak Staff, which teaches Vivi Stop, Bio and Drain and can be obtained from the Small Beach Chocograph, well before it becomes available anywhere else.
  • Quina's Limit Glove Blue Magic spell does a guaranteed 9999 damage if your HP is 1. This is still a one-hit kill on bosses well into the second disk. Plus, you can get it almost immediately after you get Quina (assuming you go to Qu's Marsh on Disc 1 and get them then, rather than waiting until Disc 2 when they join automatically) - just eat a Mandragora in one of the forests near Chocobo's Forest. Then simply get Quina knocked out, save, use Phoenix Down on Quina, and keep reloading and reviving until they eventually get revived with 1 HP, and proceed to obliterate everything in your way. You can even use this to kill Grand Dragons on Popos Heights (up the vine in Gizamaluke's Grotto), enabling your party to gain a ton of levels early on.
  • Speaking of Chocobo's Forest, if you're extremely patient, you can get the Robe of Lords by saving up enough points in Chocobo Hot and Cold, on the first disc. The game describes this as "The greatest robe", and it's not kidding - this is the best armour for mages in the game, bar none. The catch? You need 10000 points to get one, which, if you try for it immediately after getting to Chocobo's Forest, will mean literal hours of playing said minigame in order to amass enough points for it.
  • There's a Bonus Boss in Alexandria Castle's library, Tantarian. If you beat this Boss, you will be rewarded with the Running Shoes, an accessory that teaches Auto-Haste status on your party. It's possible to fight Tantarian as early as Disc 2, although he would certainly be a challenge then.
  • Quina him/herself could probably qualify as a living Disc-One Nuke, which is why he/she is actually an optional party member in Disc One that you have to go a little bit out of your way to get. For those looking to learn Blue Magic skills specifically, but having trouble reducing the enemy's HP enough so Quina can eat it without killing the enemy outright, the Blue Magic spell Matra Magic, obtained by eating a Trick Sparrow (which are very common and early-encountered enemies), has a 20% chance of reducing the target's HP to 1, making it perfect for those tricky-to-eat enemies. You can use this trick to make getting all those powerful Blue Magic spells from the weaker enemies a lot easier.

    Final Fantasy X and X- 2 

Final Fantasy X

  • If you invest enough in O'aka's store, you can obtain several weapons with the "Stone Touch" ability as early as the Mi'ihen Highroad. It doesn't even matter whether the weapon in question is usable by a damage dealer (can be Lulu's doll or Yuna's staff). With a 30% chance to petrify virtually every non-boss enemy from that point onward, random encounters and grinding become absurdly easy.
  • If you're patient, by the time you leave Besaid you can abuse the sphere grid to the point where you can have Lulu and Yuna's Ga level spells which basically allows you to one shot or heal completely in every standard enemy encounter until at least half way through the game. You can also get hold of Tidus's Blitz Ace Overdrive by hitting the Besaid mooks 70 times with his regular limit breaks - something that's child's play once you replace his stoic default setting (which increases the Overdrive gauge every time he takes damage) with Warrior (which increases every time he inflicts damage.)
  • Tidus can acquire a high-tier Overdrive mode right at the very beginning of the game, "Loner". Have him KO Auron during the very first encounter with the Sinscales, as these do not attack you. Then have Tidus use Defend/Block until he learns the mode. Loner Mode boosts the Overdrive Gauge much faster than the mode you start with (Stoic). Handy for getting the Blitz Ace Overdrive mentioned above.

Final Fantasy X-2

  • The International version/HD Remaster has the Psychic dressphere, rewarded by winning Shinra's Fiend Arena, which is available since Chapter 1. Its support skills grant immunity to both physical and magic attacks (from every element), making the character immune to anything but Standard Status Effects, which can be amended through a Ribbon.
  • Also from International/HD Remaster is the Creature Creator. It is a nice spot for Level Grinding without any penalties (you can't get a Game Over here unless under certain special circumstancesnote ), and you can capture Fiends that could make the early game a breeze (at the cost of having one, two or all your party members getting sidelined). Finishing certain Fiend Tales (by leveling them up to a max of 5, then releasing that Fiend) would unlock better Fiend combinations in the arena that have better experience and Gil rewards, and some others would provide free items for you to splurge, including even accessories.

    Final Fantasy XII 
  • Final Fantasy XII allows many opportunities for this, through its minor aversions of the Sorting Algorithm of Evil which place certain high-level enemies in early areas of the game. By beating up on these enemies during the time at the start of the game when the player only has Vaan, one can take advantage of Leaked Experience to power up all the other characters before even getting them. This enables a determined player to raise their characters to the levels they'd normally be at game's end in just a few hours. A bit later in the game, provided one has a strategy guide, one can enter the Necrohol of Nabudis to obtain the game's most powerful weapon about a fourth of the way through the main storyline.
    • The powerful Quickening attacks are available as soon as you buy them from the License Board. Without too much grinding you can have all 3 Quickenings for each character before Raithwall Tomb. You can then use Quickening chains to curb-stomp bosses well into the Act 2.
      • With three Quickenings each, even That One Boss opponents like the Elder Wyrm and Tiamat rapidly dissolve in an orgiastic CGI display that resembles an orbital strike more than a sword fight.
    • Along the same lines as the Zodiac Spear is the Arcturus, the second most powerful gun in the game and achieved only through selling things to the Bazaar. You get it by selling 2 Yensa Fins (poaches from Yensas and Bull Yensas in the Yensan Sandsea), 2 Wyvern Wings (rare steal from the Wyvern Lord hunt in the Yensan Sandsea, strange since respawning enemies equals respawning loot, you can, with plenty of patience, steal dozens of wings from this one-of-a-kind, 4-winged creature...and it can still fly...), and a Salamand Halycon (rare steal from Salamand Entite in the...I'm sure you can guess where). How soon can you get all these things? About 1/8 of the way through the game, just after escaping the now-destroyed airship Leviathan and the story takes you to the Yensan Sandsea.
      • With a little patience and luck you can grab a Gladius, a wind-elemental dagger with a respectable 45 attack power, as soon as you enter the Giza Plain, although it's less suicidal to do it once you've acquired Basch and the Sleep spell. Sneak into the Westersand and chain 20 wolves to spawn a Lindbur Wolf. The wolf can kill a party member in one hit, but if you run back and forth between the wolf's zone and the zone next door, spamming sleep, blind and steal with each member, it's likely one of them will take and you'll snag a Gladius. This dagger is amazing, effective almost up to the Paramina Rift, relatively easy to license, and extremely fast. It's best acquired before Raithwall's tomb, as it's elementally super-effective against the Urutan-Yensa, of which you will have to kill approximately ten bajillion before you finish the Sandseas.
    • XII is full of opportunities to sequence break and obtain weapons and equipment that are not typically available until much later in the game. Because the game adjusts most monsters' stats relative to your level, a sufficiently powerful armor can allow characters whose level is in the single digits take virtually no damage. If they are using powerful weapons, they can deal thousands of damage as well. Powerful equipment is central to a "122333 Challenge" game, where all the characters are left at their initial levels.
    • Stage 2 of the Lhusu Mines, a level 35-40 area, has two chances to jump 2-5 stages above the weapons you'll likely be wielding at around that point. The Zwill Crossblade that can be dropped randomly by the Goddamned Bats is two stages above the highest dagger you likely have access to, the Orichalcum Dirk, but more impressively, a chest in the room where you kill the Antlion has a chance to contain a Fomalhaut, which lets your gunner skip the Spica, Antares and Arcturus guns entirely. Virtually every enemy between Rabanastre and Archades will then drop in one round, two if it's flying, from the Fomalhaut's 3000 HP damage output.
    • After completing the Tomb of Raithwall, you can return to the Barheim Passage and find a certain Rare Game enemy in a previously-inaccessible area. You can steal from it the Deathbringer, a sword with 90 attack (at a time when your weapons will be closer to 40) and a chance to inflict instant death with every attack (making grinding quicker).
    • The Zodiac Age edition features Trial Mode, in which you run through a gauntlet of enemies with all the stats and items from a normal-game save file of your choosing. Nothing is stopping you from advancing past enemies you are fighting at that point in the game, allowing you to steal/poach stronger equipment from later-game monsters, after which you must clear the level so that the autosave can save your progress with it in your inventory, after which you can load the normal game with the item in your inventory. You do, however, still have to unlock the license spot for it. Of note is the Karkata, the Knight's ultimate 1h sword, which has On-Hit Confuse and 94 strength, and has a 3% chance of being stolen from the Flowering Cactus as early as Stage 3.

    Final Fantasy XIII Saga 

Final Fantasy XIII-2

  • It's possible to get the Moogle Throw ability, which enables one to reach out-of-reach treasure chests, several hours before one is "supposed" to have it, which expedites sidequests significantly, gets you awesome loot, and opens up some otherwise inaccessible areas, which may be home to more nukes.
  • But the real nukes are the monsters in your third party member slot. With the assistance of a FAQ or guide, you can find monsters that can last you the entire game in the first area where monsters can be captured—such as the Pulsework Knight, a mighty Sentinel that allows you to survive high-level encounters at a relatively low level.
  • Archylte Steppe. In its entirety. It is a treasure trove. For example—the Red Chocobo and Blue Chocobo, absolutely ideal Commandos and Ravagers, can be fought and caught in Archylte. It'll take some doing, because at the first time you enter the Steppe they're Boss in Mook Clothing-level encounters, but it can be done (the aforementioned Pulsework Knight is very helpful in this). And once you've caught them, consider that due to what must have been a testing oversight, the process of getting Rare Candy to level them up with—getting the mid-tier candies is also going to net you 99 of the high-tier candies, which is more than enough to slingshot them to 99. Difficulty curve, what difficulty curve?
  • If you manage to max level the Dragoon from Augusta Tower 200AF, you will be able to use him through the rest of the game, short of Bonus Bosses. This is because it has 500-600 Attack at a time where you're ideally in the 250s.
  • Snagging a Tonberry from Bresha Ruins 300 AF is very tough, but doable, and you can get into Bresha Ruins 300 AF as soon as you get your first Wild Artefact. While you will need to be powerful enough to stand up to the Tonberry's attacks, a Tonberry is an excellent Commando, much cheaper than Chichu, and with Strength and Magic approaching 1000 at max.
  • The Heads or Tails and Requiem of The Goddess DLC chapters provide you with two very powerful at base Paradigm Pack characters (Sazh and Valkyrie Lightning) and don't require you to grind at all (Heads or Tails has no combat whatsoever, while Requiem of the Goddess uses an independent system). And the best part about all that is that you can complete them right after getting to Historia Crux for the first time. Sadly removed in PC version, as you need to complete the game first before DLC unlocks.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

  • Majority of the DLC outfits that can be bought for real money tend to become this, as you can access them as soon as you complete the tutorial and start Day 1.
    • Cloud's outfit (Soldier 1st Class) gave the powerful locked ability Heavy Slash Lv 2 almost immediately; but it also came with the Slayer enhancement, allowing for a massive damage increase when used on a staggered opponent.
    • The Samurai pack, which included 6 different armors, all with locked abilities, one having Thunder lv2 and Fire lv2; another having Attack lv2 and Guard lv2. All six also came with the enhancement Critical: Regen, allowing you to access the Regen buff.
    • Spira's Summoner is unremarkable outside of it's locked ability - Elementa Lv. ★. And it comes bundled with equipment that boosts magic. Cue all but bosses dying to one or two casts.
  • Outfits that could be accessed virtually immediately as rewards:
    • Mi'qote Dress - Gave the powerful 'Esuna Mediguard' and Magical Slash abilities. It can be obtained as soon as you can get to Yusnaan and do the Chocobo Girl sidequest.
    • Soldier of Peace - Gave access to the insanely powerful Artemis Arrows enhancement. Of course, you need to beat an Aster Protoflorian to complete the quest. Also notable in that it actually scales well in the late-game.
    • Midnight Mauve - A storyline garb, but one that can become extremely useful if aquired early thanks to the Fira lv3 ability.
    • Passion Rouge - Very useful as a support garb thanks to coming with Deprotect/Deshell Lvl 2, status effect resistance and bonus to ATB speed. It's also really easy to get, being sold by a merchant right outside Dead Dunes station for a measly 1250 gil.
  • Any of the storyline weapons, but especially Caius Ballad's greatsword Chaos' Revenge. Of course, you need to beat Caius Ballad first, which is easier said than done.
  • Breaking the Reaver's Shard Blade gives you the chance to get it as a drop. And said blade is really powerful, having 500 in both Strength and Magic (comparable weapons don't appear in shops until day 10), as well as granting Auto-Regen - in the game where otherwise, there are very few ways to cheaply heal. Also, Beating Reaver Ω always grants you Flesh Render (900 Strength and Magic), which will most likely be your best weapon until the very end.

    Final Fantasy XV 
  • The Bow of the Clever is one of the secret Royal Arms you can acquire in the game that you can't get from the story. However, the Bow can be acquired as early as Chapter 2, with enough time, effort, and strategy. Although the boss is Level 52, you can easily poison it by using seven Antidotes as a catalyst (which costs 70 Gil) and attack it from a certain spot on the map where he can't reach you. This seems like another Royal Arm until it's combined with Ignis's Overwhelm attack - which allows you to make clockwork out of everything.
    • It can be done even more simply by equipping a ranged weapon and standing in the same spot with the attack button taped down.
  • It takes a damn while and getting it is a major Guide Dang It!, but you can get the Ultima Weapon for Noctis as early as Chapter 3, and it deals an absurd amount of damage in addition to attacking pretty fast and boosting your stats a decent bit. Getting it is extremely simple but confusing: get the Engine Blade to level 4 by upgrading it with Cid. You can find the objects he needs just by exploring the world normally as they're uncommon (including Belvoue Mines for the rusted bit and a table near the central walkway in Old Lestallum under a veranda), but the last item is a rare drop from Duplicorns by breaking their horns. This may sound tedious, but there's actually a hunt in Old Lestallum that has two of these guys, and it's able to be hunted as early as rank two. Your reward is without a doubt the best weapon for Noctis in the entire game.
  • Due to how the magic system works, you can walk around with some seriously powerful magic in the early game. Simply pool all your essence into a spell, use an item that allows Quintcast, and bam: magic that is strong as hell.

    Final Fantasy Tactics 
  • In the original Final Fantasy Tactics, make a character into a White Mage early on, and then use up all the Job Points you acquire to get the Holy spell. You'll generally only be able to use it once per battle because of the high MP cost, but it's pretty much guaranteed to kill whatever it hits in the early part of the game. It's great for dealing with Gafgarion after his Face–Heel Turn.
    • Experience points are rewarded for performing any action on friend or foe, not by defeating enemies of a certain level. For this reason, it's actually possible to reach level 99 in any single battle in the game, since each action rewards 10 experience points, and it takes 100 experience points to reach a new level. Job Points, which are used to master job classes, are gained in the same fashion, so it's also possible to master any class in a single battle.
    • Stealing Gafgarion's Blood Sword the second time you fight him will make any close-quarters fight from then until Chapter IV (including the duel with Wiegraf) a cruel joke, as it allows your strongest physical fighter (probably Ramza) to attack AND heal the same amount of damage simultaneously. With Counter or First Strike you can make someone invincible to any attack that isn't ranged or a One-Hit Kill. The problem with that is that Gafgarion is That One Boss in his own right, and getting a thief close enough to steal the Blood Sword without being killed by said Blood Sword (or frozen in place by the two nearby Time Mages, or riddled with arrows by the Archers, etc.) requires a bit of work on its own.
    • Making a unit a Monk and giving him/her the Knight's Equip Armor ability helps well in the early game, as the considerable boost to HP (the armor) and attack (the Monk class' properties) increases their chance of survival.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance has the Cinquedea weapon which teaches Thieves Steal:Ability, enabling instant mastery of abilities by stealing them from enemy units (instead of careful job rearranging and sending them on about eight missions). It's a reward for reaching level 30 in the Negotiate skill, which normally will happen about 55-60% of the way through the game - however, grinding a series of repeatable dispatch missions can boost this stat without making significant game progress, meaning that you can reach level 30 and get the Cinquedea before the third storyline mission. One of the abilities which can be stolen from that mission's boss is Steal:Weapon (not normally available until around 80% progress) - and at that point, things just get psychotic.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics A2 nerfed many things that broke the game in Advance, but there are new nukes to abuse. Getting the ability to buy tokens in the auction houses early can let you take control of all the regions easily, and then bid on powerful items like 'Zeus Mace' or 'Excalibur'. These auction houses will actually give you even more broken rewards for sweeping the lots subsequent times.
    • It is also possible, by completing the right quests, to gather the trade goods needed to unlock top-end equipment for purchase, right from the get go even.
    • Several of the missions themselves, which were intended for mid-to-late game parties, reward powerful equips outright and can be beaten just a couple of hours into the game, by abusing skills like Mirror Items which are obtained very early with the (ab)use of the two mentioned tricks.
    • Getting a Seeq through the Clan Mates mission. By which time you've probably also got the gear required for Mirror Items. Did someone say 400 damage?
      • Among these are the 'Sequencer' sword and the 'Peytral' armor, strong items on their own right that become even more powerful each time you use a Opportunity Command in battles. With enough 'Opportunity Command' uses, the two items are effectively peerless stat-wise.
    • In fact, any combination of these three examples can be (ab)used almost immediately after you start a new game.


Example of: