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Final Fantasy XIV / Tropes A to C

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  • 100% Heroism Rating: The Player Character. This comes to your advantage after you are framed for regicide at the end of 'Before the Fall'. NPCs all over the world will comment on how they still believe in you despite the accusations, and it's later revealed that the Crystal Braves' campaign to hunt you down fails tremendously due to the sheer amount of trust that the general populace has in you. Indeed, when you first speak to Merlywb in Heavensward, she specifically says that she and Kan-E-Senna demanded irrefutable proof, because the populace would riot if things were revealed as is.
    • This continues into Shadowbringers: while the player starts off as an "unknown" adventurer thanks to the First being almost completely independent from the "main" setting, three-fourths of the way through the plot they and their allies can rally almost the entire population of the First to the cause of destroying the leaders of the Sin Eaters, the Lightwardens.
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  • 30-Day Free Trial: The original version of the free trial had a 14-day limit. The current version removes the time limit, but you're still capped at level 35, as well as having several limitations on interacting with other players (to prevent people from abusing it for Real Money Trade and other ToS-violating activities).
  • Absolute Cleavage: Several outfits that the female Player Character (and a few NPCs) can wear fit this trope. The most notable example is the variations of the Bard's Artifact Armor.
    • Like the Chainmail Bikini trope in the rest of the game, this is mostly averted; mage gear is long, flowing robes no matter what gender you are, and tank gear is just as big and bulky for both males and females.
    • Played straight with Scylla and Scylla's armor from the Syrcus Tower dungeon. Which features a long, fur covered robe that exposes a lengthy vertical section of the body, from neck to navel. Averted for the male version.
  • Abusive Precursors: The Allagans left behind endless amounts of incredibly dangerous technology, Bahamut sealed in Dalamud being the most well known, though there are others like the Weapons and the entire Crystal Tower which is inhabited by an omnicidal clone of the Emperor Xande and his mad scientist aide with the goal of opening a world-destroying portal to the void. And then Heavensward brings in Azys Lla, a floating continent powered by three sealed primals of unknown power, which also have violent security systems, murderous Chimera beasts that were made to be anything from beasts of battle to housepets, and millenia old hostages of the Meracydian dragons as well as their Matriarch Tiamat, trapped in an undying stasis until the world itself ends. The Fractal Continuum even contains a museum to all these "Accomplishments". All in all, it's clear that the Allagans had completely cast off morality and it was probably for the better that the earthquake that heralded the fourth umbral era wiped them out.
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  • Adaptational Heroism: In the Return to Ivalice raid series, you get an echo flashback at one point that shows Delita to be a much more unambiguously heroic character who clearly cares for Ramza and wants to send his soldiers to help save Ramza (who sacrificed his life to prepare a future Warrior of Light to stop the monster he couldn't). In the source game Delita was Ambiguously Evil and to this day people debate how much he truly cared for Ramza (or anyone else besides his dead sister).
  • Adaptational Wimp: Once again, in the Return to Ivalice raid series, you learn near the end that Ramza's party was unable to defeat Ultima, with most falling in battle and those who remained, namely Mustadio, Agrias, Orlandeu, and Ramza himself, sacrificed themselves to become ghosts, all the former remaining at the Monastery to keep Ultima sealed and test anyone who would face her, and Ramza entering a piece of Magicite to instruct future Warriors of Light of what must be done. In the source game, Ramza's party was fully able to destroy Ultima on their own.
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  • Adaptation Expansion: In Final Fantasy VI, the Warring Triad were always together collectively and known as Fiend, Demon, and Goddess. In XIV, each of the Triad gets their own name and backstory: Sephirot the Fiend, Sophia the Goddess, and Zurvan the Demon.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: It is implied that a scaled beastman in Bronze Lake forces his way to the camp's springs, exposes himself, and does... stuff to himself in front of other bathers. When a Storm Sergeant confronts the troublemaker about it while trying to ban him from the springs, the beastman claims his actions are his "ritual bathing dance". The two characters then fight each other and you can assist the sergeant if you choose to do so since it's a FATE.
    • One of the delivery quests has you escorting a Mamool Ja dancer (possibly the same one) to instruct some of Costa Del Sol's consorts. He starts doing the same "ritual dance" and it cuts to black. When the screen comes back into focus, the dancers run away screaming and the nearby guard falls to her knees in horror.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal:
    • Like all little liars, Lalafell love to litter letters like this:
    Lalafell Female: Does your world want for a wealth of wordplay and wit? An abundance of alliteration, assonance aplenty and a soupcon of sibilance to seal the deal? Well, you were warned.
    • In fact, some Lalafell naming conventions cause their names to do this as well. For example, female plainsfolk Lalafell have names that follow a syllable pattern of ABB AB (e.g. Losisi Losi), therefore the first syllable of their first name will always match the first syllable of their surname.
    • The fishermen's guild's guildmaster Wawalago (also a lalafell) speaks entirely in alliteration.
    • Also applied liberally to otherwise nameless filler NPCs (Glowing Goodwife, Mocking Miner, Positively Pungent Pirate, etc.)
  • After the End: This is sort of the gimmick of A Realm Reborn; it wasn't a particularly big apocalypse, but it did change the world and you're playing through its aftermath.
    • This is also revealed to be the situation, after a fashion, for the Amalj'aa in patch 2.1; it turns out that there are actually Amalj'aa who have not been tempered by Ifrit. They're such a tiny minority, however, that the race as a whole seems doomed to mindless servitude to Ifrit forever and the best the "Brotherhood of Ash" can hope to accomplish is to try and prevent their fanatical kin from doing too much damage. Reversing the effects of the tempering is impossible, so it has to end in either containment or slaughter. It is also hinted that some of the Amalj'aa aren't tempered and follow their brethren anyway while some have thoughts of deserting for the Brotherhood of Ash because they view them as the stronger side of the war (though they never get to join the group due to one of the Brotherhood members seeing the deserters as people who are too easily swayed by anyone that has the most power and could easily turn against them if the tide of the war tilts).
      • Before patch 2.1, there were hints of some Amalj'aa not following Ifrit's influence or going with their kin's way of worshiping Ifrit. One Amalj'aa spends his time hiding from people because he knows that everyone would mistake him as another Ifrit worshipper and could possibly be killed as a result.
    • Note that there's been at least six of these. The world's state tends to move between the Golden Age of the Astral Eras, and After the End of the Umbral Eras. The length varies, as well; 1.0 started during the 6th Astral Era, which is noted to have lasted close to 1600 years, then moved to the seventh Umbral Era after the fall of Dalamud. This Umbral Era lasts five years until the conclusion of the 2.0 release stories, when the city leaders declare the Umbral Era is over and the 7th Astral Era has begun.
    • Shadowbringers takes place a hundred years after the whole of the First fell to an overabundance of Light, except for Norvrandt, and it's not doing so good.
  • A.I. Roulette: NPCs in Triple Triad games have this due to their decks always containing powerful cards. Without the induced random behavior, the AI would crush unprepared players or back others into a corner every time.
  • Alien Invasion: Midgardsormr, who sired all the dragons of Eorzea, and Omega, who chased him.
  • Alien Sky:
    • In 1.0, Hydaelyn had an unusually bright starfield and two moons, although the second was very small and difficult to see at certain times of night and moonphases. A less common, non-in-your-face instance of the trope.
    • Near the end of the original version, the smaller moon, Dalamud, grew larger — and redder — as part of the final storyline before A Realm Reborn. It turned out That's No Moon!, but a massive artificial satellite created by the ancient, far more advanced Allagan Empire during the 3rd Astral Era. One of Garlemald's generals went rogue and poured aetheric energy into it to make it crash down to the earth - and when it was stopped, it turned out to also be an ancient prison for Bahamut.
    • Azys Lla in Heavensward has a perpetual orange/yellow/green sky.
    • The First, the primary setting of Shadowbringers, has a sky that is perpetually bright shades of pink and gold.
  • All Deserts Have Cacti: Averted, at least as far as normal vegetation goes. The deserts in this game are extremely realistic, and have proper vegetation in the different areas. Only one desert has any regular cacti at all. Cactuars, however, are a perennial fixture of every desert area in the game.
  • All Religions Are True: So far, every religious system seen in-game has foundation in reality. The Twelve do heed Louisoix's call at the end of Legacy and there are multiple instances of Kami manifesting themselves, whether it is Susanoo being summoned from 3 specific treasures being gathered together or Tsukomu's possession of a Kojin doll (which it turns out no one can see is alive besides Kabuto and the Warrior of Light). And then there is the Top God Hydaelyn who talks to the Warrior of Light multiple times throughout the game. And then there is Zodiark...
    • Subverted with Primals, as they aren't actually avatars of the gods, they are simply Aether given shape and form by the desires of the gods' followers. This comes as quite the blow to Ysayle, who honestly thought she was channeling the will of Shiva.
    • In Shadowbringers (MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD) It's revealed that Hydaelyn and Zodiark are actually archprimals created by the ancient Ascians.
  • All There in the Manual: There's two backstories on Square's website that show what several major characters have done before the events of the game. Tales from the Calamity shows what city-state leaders and the Scions did before the adventurer came into the picture for 2.0 and Tales from the Dragonsong War showcases what the major characters from 3.0 were doing before the expansion happened.
    • The king of examples of this for XIV is Encyclopaedia Eorzea, a 302 page book released by Square Enix in 2016 that is up to date on lore through Patch 3.3 that covers an utterly staggering amount of information ranging from people of interest (some of which hadn't even been introduced in the game proper yet), talk of the lands, the foundations of the world, basic aetherology, and even things like the military structure of the Grand Companies. For someone hungering to know everything they can about Eorzea, there is no better manual than this.
    • Players may be wondering what ultimately happened to Fordola after the battle with Lakshmi, as she simply returns to her cell and is not heard from again. The second to last Tale from the Storm shows that she was conscripted by Raubahn into a special Primal hunting unit (with cameos by the Immortal Flames summoners from the Summoner questline) since her artificial Echo makes her immune to the mind control abilities of Primals. She is given a cursed collar that will strangle her to death if she attempts to escape, but she seems content enough with where she is (to the point of saving the thaumaturge who has control over said cursed collar when he was wounded when she could have killed him and ran).
  • Alt Itis: Notably averted for the most part. The game allows players to play as each of the classes on a single character. The fact that every class and job can use a few skills from other classes if the character has them (and must use them in some cases to stay competitive, like Provoke for tanks and pretty much every skill for crafters) even encourages this. Then there's the Armory Bonus, which grants an experience bonus to any combat classes at a lower level than your strongest one (doubling your experience for classes below level 70, then a 50% bonus beyond that). One of the few situations where this would be played straight however is if a player wants to play on multiple worlds, since even with the world visit system, a character is still tied to a single data center and, except in cases of moving from a "congested" world (one that is recognized as having a disproportionate amount of players) to a "preferred" world (one recognized as needing more players and gives incentives for new characters), can't transfer to another as their primary world without paying a fee.
    • As of Stormblood, it is no longer advantageous to level alternate jobs in this manner, as the aforementioned "cross-class" skills are now immediately available to anyone filling the role (tank, healer, or one of the three types of damage dealers). However, there is still very little advantage to creating secondary characters relative to other games in the genre.
  • Always Night: Northern Thanalan seems to be under an eternal dusk, possibly due to the constant smog that the ceruleum processing plant produces.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The final boss of the Heavensward story quests, King Thordan, is fought in Azys Lla's Singularity Reactor. Over the course of the battle, the arena is awash in various colors while fighting the Knights Twelve, while one of Thordan's more powerful attacks changes the background to show the planet of Hydaelyn from space.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Characters with blue and green skintones are a common sight, being a racial trait of the Sea Wolves, Keepers of the Moon and Duskwight; while Hellsguards can have dark red skin. Heavensward shows that Au Ra of both of clans are capable of very odd skin tones like fire red, grass green, grape purple, or obsidian black.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Common among female Roegadyn. They are taller and more muscular than the women of other races, but unlike their menfolk, instead of hugely bulky physiques they have very feminine proportions. Female Hyur highlanders can also count to a lesser extent.
  • An Adventurer Is You: The ARR release puts a rather large emphasis on the roles of the character classes (Tank, Healer, and DPS).
  • Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: Soul Crystals are a type of Power Crystal which can automatically impart knowledge, power and abilities onto the holder just by having one, with more skills 'awoken' by level up and quests which test the player character's mastery of the job it imparts. Mostly, though, they are just relics that the developers don't like keeping around but can't abandon now due to the lore and extensive game mechanics built around them - that lore is a convenient excuse for how the expansion content jobs start at a high level, though.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The truth behind the Forever War that has been plaguing Ishgard for a thousand years, suppressed by the church.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: In Stormblood patch 4.3, there is a brief instance where you get to play as Alphinaud while fighting off Garleans within the Burn. Every patch afterwards so far has since featured a similar instance, respectively playing as Y'shtola while fighting the Azim Steppe tribes again in 4.4, as Hien trying to fend off a reborn Zenos in 4.56, and Thancred holding back Ran'jit on his own in 5.0.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: A standard reward for most quests which you'll rely on for better armor if you're not planning to buy from shops or other players. Many of the limited time events also reward you with unique outfits that aren't exactly combat material, but are for showing off instead.
  • And You Were There: The Rising 2015 event features the Wandering Minstrel, the producer Naoki Yoshida's Author Avatar, helping you defeat various bugs, and then bring a shard from one of them to a small squad of Wandering Something or Others, all based on different members of the development team. The game than has you meet the actual Naoki Yoshida in what is implied to be an alternate dimension. Naturally, the two look identical, outfit aside.
  • Animal Motifs: Every class has a certain animal that their PvP gear takes after. Additionally, after completing 200 end-game full party instances (such as Extreme mode primals, and raids like Binding Coil or Alexander) tanks get a mount fitting to the class' motif (bears for Warrior, lions for Paladins, panther-like Coeurls for Dark Knights).
  • Antagonist Title: Zig-zagged. Heavensward is revealed to be this, when the Heavens' Ward—the bodyguards of the Archbishop of the Church of Ishgard—and their leader, Archbishop Thordan VII, step into the Big Bad role. Later, after the Heavens' Ward is defeated the trope is averted. When the narrator of the events, Edmont de Fortemps, speaks of the uneasy peace and an unknown future that man and dragon face together, Edmont likens as going heavensward toward a better tomorrow, and hoping that future unborn generations will continue to do so.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Failing a solo quest battlefield related to the main story or your class grants you a buff called "The Power of the Echo" if you decide to try again without logging off. The buff increases your maximum HP, healing potency, and attack power for the quest you failed on in order to give you a slightly better edge. Once you complete the quest, the effect goes away. The effect also kicks in for certain quests requiring a party of players and the effects will stack every time the party wipes out so that people aren't tempted to Rage Quit.
    • Gear repairs from menders won't cost the player any money if they are at level 10 or below, which greatly helps new players get into the game without feeling too frustrated about having to watch their gear durability when they don't have much money.
    • It can be a pain for the Arcanist branch to keep moving their pets in AoE heavy fights. Pets have an 80% damage reduction from most forms of AoE damage. It doesn't protect them from the possible status debuffs the AoE can deal, but they get the Rouse ability which makes them immune to these effects (in inclusion to increasing damage/healing by a large amount). This changed with the release of 5.0, where pets can't be harmed at all.
    • Internet connections aren't always stable. If a player is in a dungeon with a party and they get disconnected, they can jump back in without any progression lost, assuming that the party hasn't kicked you out or left the dungeon yet.
    • Abilities with positional requirements make up most of the DPS of melee classes, and not landing them properly is a huge DPS loss. For enemies who are too massive or stands so that their back or flank is never accessible (such as the Demon Wall and Cloud of Darkness) their entire hitbox counts for both their flank and back. This also counts for every enemy in the Deep Dungeons such as Palace of the Dead and Eureka exploratory missions, as the nature of the dungeon/exploratory mission and group composition may leave you without a tank.
    • Many abilities have a charge time during which you cannot move, with moving cancelling the ability. However, you are given about a second of leeway, so if you move with about a second left in your cast time, you will still cast the spell, which is useful in fights that force you to move a lot.
    • Sometimes furniture placement in houses can get very cramped and leave little room to move around. If you keep running into a piece of furniture, you'll eventually walk through it so you can get around it.
    • If you are KO'd in a duty and leave said duty in that state, you'll automatically be revived to full health. Originally, this was not the case.
    • If you queue for a matched group for Palace of the Dead and end up placed with a group that's already in progress, your temporary level will be boosted to match theirs.
    • Inventory space doesn't always have room, especially if you like to hold onto your things. Gear obtained from seasonal or special events can either be stored in the armoire, which has unlimited space, or can be tossed away and be bought back later through the calamity salvager found in each city.
    • The mom bomb boss encountered in the Palace of the Dead has an attack that is guaranteed to wipe the party unless you can stun her. There's a lesser bomb monster whose explosion can stun the boss, which helps parties that don't have a stun skill.
    • Given the large amount of instanced content required for progress, it was obviously imperative to make sure newbies can form a party without trouble. The duty roulettes give players a reason to redo old duties, and the first-time bonus gives them a reason to educate newbies instead of kicking them or ragequitting.
      • With the addition of Wondrous Tails to earn random end-game trinkets, it adds another newbie helping incentive. Wondrous Tails has 16 requirements that involves running a duty (e.g., a level 50/60 Dungeon, a Primal, etc.) and you can complete up to 10. Completing one puts a sticker on a bingo-like board in a random position. Helping someone who is new to the duty earns you second chance points, which can be spent retrying a duty slot (so you can farm a low level dungeon if you want) or shuffling the placement of the stickers in hopes of getting something better.
    • During A Realm Reborn and Heavensward, getting knocked out of the arena by bosses like Leviathan and Titan would remove a player from the rest of the battle. Starting from Stormblood, ring outs instead have your body show up in the middle of the arena, so the healers can raise you.
    • Initially, as long as a Dark Knight had Darkside active, their MP would tick down. This meant that pauses in battles (generally from a boss switching mechanics) forced the player to watch their MP grind away while they just stood therenote . Stormblood changed it so that instead of gradually losing MP, the Dark Knight lost their MP regeneration in battle.
    • Grand company squadrons that you take into dungeons are already tough enough to micromanage in the middle of a fight. To ease the burden, your squad doesn't use TP and MP and they are not affected by boss fight mechanics such as standing in an electrified pool of water.
    • If your Free Company has a house in a district you do not currently have access to, you will still be allowed to teleport to the ward where your company house is located.
    • To curtail players buying plots of land in housing districts and never actually using them, an auto-demolition system was implemented in late 2015: players who purchase a plot of land and do not build a house on it or access that house in 45 days will have their homes automatically demolished and their housing plot relinquished for other players to buy. This system has been suspended as of late 2018 due to the addition of new data centers in the US and EU.
    • To further ease the frustrations over housing, developers implemented new measures in 4.2 pertaining to the housing system (which also added several new housing plots). Namely, players were limited to having only one personal house and one Free Company house at a time, so as to prevent incidents such as when two players bought out a whole ward between themselves and allow more players access to plots. Additionally, once the new plots were added, access to purchasing them was limited to Free Companies initially: purchases for individual players were suspended for a few weeks to ensure Free Companies were able to access them. Finally, once a plot is relinquished (either due to player choice or auto-demolition), the plot would be unavailable for purchases for a randomly determined amount of time ranging from thirty minutes to twenty-four hours, so as to curtail the practice of players selling their plots for exorbitant prices.
    • Defeating the last boss in any level 51-59, 61-69, or 71-79 dungeon is guaranteed to reward you with a piece of equipment that you don't have for your current class, helping lessen the need to run a specific dungeon more than once to get certain loot.
    • The Armory Bonus system makes levelling your alternate classes a lot easier. Whenever you play as a class that isn't your highest levelled one, you receive double the experience for everything, effectively making the time taken to level each class half as long as the original.
    • Frontlines is a 3-team match where each team normally consists of 3 8-player alliances, for a total of 72 players. If a smaller number of players are waiting in the queue long enough, the match will start anyway, so they aren't waiting for hours to make up numbers that clearly aren't coming. There's entire alternate rulesets for this scenario.
    • A very early-game quest emphasizes the necessity of wearing level-appropriate attire to survive by requiring you to present yourself to an NPC while wearing a hat, shirt, pants, gloves and shoes that each have an item level of at least 5. Owing to how difficult it can be for first-time players to get the necessary clothing to pass this quest, a character's starting chest, pants, gloves, and boots are already at the requisite level - even if you don't know about this and never end up choosing a hat from a side- or class quest reward, you just need to buy one from the merchant right next to this NPC.
    • Most bosses require you to complete the entire fight in a single run. However, the savage versions of each tier of Omegascape's final bosses (Neo Exdeath, God Kefka, and Omega M-F/Omega Weapon are essentially 2 bosses in one, and phase 2 is especially brutal. So if the party wipes upon reaching phase 2, they start from there for the rest of their time in the instance.
    • Chaos Savage has a mechanic where the the DPS have to drop to zero HP within a certain time period while the healers and tanks have to heal to max HP in that same time period. To make this more feasible, the DPS cannot be healed so long as their debuff is up.
    • Facing enemies was a bit unwieldy when it came to spellcasting. It was quite common for casters and healers to have their casts interrupted if their target moved to the side or behind them. By Stormblood, you now automatically keep track of the target so your attacks don't get canceled out.
    • In 4.3, the dev team added a new Duty Roulette- the Normal Raid Roulette. This ensures that players trying to play the patch raid content are no longer locked out of ever completing them, like they were originally with the Binding Coil of Bahamut. In general, the massive rewards for the Duty Roulette also ensure that older content will always be played, so that players will never get stuck on the story or have a chance to miss out on any of the dungeons or Trials.
  • Anti Poop-Socking: There are a number of features that attempt to make the game more 'casual friendly' and reduce the ability of 'hardcore' players to outpace those playing more casually or with less time to play.
    • 1.0 had Guardian's Favor: points could be spent, upon initiating a quest, to increase Discipline experience income until the objectives are complete. Burns out if used at every possible opportunity over more than a couple of days and has to be allowed to regenerate. This was replaced in patch 1.21 with an inn, where you get an experience boost from resting in a private room. Along with A Realm Reborn, this was removed.
    • 2.0 now has sanctuaries. Spending time (even while logged off) in cities, inns and safe zones builds up an EXP bonus, indicated on the EXP bar by a shaded section (blue if it's enough to last to the next level-up, a darker yellow otherwise).
    • Allowances for levequests (sort of randomized quests that can provide some easy chunks of EXP) are granted for every character in the same intervals. There are also daily caps on certain rewards and daily objectives.
    • The highest-end gear for any given time is limited by a weekly cap; raid levels can only be cleared for treasure once a week each, while smaller tokens provided by regular dungeons and content have a similar limitation. The hardcore crowd gets two (or more) ways to gear up, while casuals don't get left behind.
      • Previous end-game content also receives a massive reduction in cost and the previous Tomestones, which are used as end-game currency and rewarded from various high-end duties in small amounts, become obsolete. Except for Poetics, which becomes universal for all old items that could be purchased with Tomestones. You can even exchange the obsolete ones for Poetics.
      • If gear or tomestones get obsoleted due to a content patch, the lockout and caps usually go away or get more relaxed. For example, to get a current raid tier weapon, you have to get 7 tokens (meaning 7 weeks minimum of doing the raid). But when the next raid tier comes out, that requirement drops to 4.
    • Patch 4.1 massively reworked the Veteran Rewards that were given to subscribers. Initially, players were forced to bear lengthy subscriptions to obtain popular costumes based off of previous legendary Final Fantasy characters, dealing with random trinkets along the way. 4.1 changed it so that the only Veteran Rewards players acquire through subscriptions are just those costumes, with them being given just for subscribing for the requisite number of days (e.g. the Strife gear is now unlocked as soon as you subscribe for at least 60 days of playtime, rather than only after actually playing for those 60 days), with previous Veteran Rewards purchased through Achievement Certificates (one gained for every 50 achievement points when you talk to the NPC who deals in them), allowing players to not be punished for unsubscribing for a time and allowing all of the veteran rewards to be acquired within a year (the last reward is at 330 days; with the maximum amount of subscribed days at once being 180, at quickest, a player could get all the rewards in five months by subscribing for 180 days after five months of playtime).
  • Apocalypse How: Class 0: Eorzea has been ravaged by the fall of Dalamud and the awakening of Bahamut, but civilization bounces back in the five-year time span between the end of 1.0 and A Realm Reborn.
    • The various mirror shards of Hydalen can experience an aetheric imbalance that will cause them to merge back with the Source world. This resulting in a very nasty Class X scenario for those shards, completely destroying them in the process.
    • In Shadowbringers, the First was on the verge of a Class 6 due to the Flood of Light. If it wasn't for the intervention of Minfilia and the Warriors of Darkness, the entire world would have been consumed. Now only Norvrandt remains, but even with the Flood stopped, it's dangerously close to experiencing the aforementioned Class X Rejoining scenario due to the impending Eighth Umbral Calamity on the Source.
      • Speaking of which, we find out the Crystal Exarch comes from a Bad Future where the Eighth Umbral Calamity has happened. With the Flood of Light on the First causing an aetheric thinning on the Source, it causes the Garlean Empire's chemical weapon Black Rose to become extremely potent, spreading like a virulent plague and wiping out all life throughout the star. By the time the Crystal Exarch was sent back, Eorzea had suffered a Class 2 scenario with no end in sight.
      • The Ascians' homeworld suffered a Class X as a result of their creation magicks running haywire and tearing their world asunder, followed by the summoning of, and subsequent battle between, Hydaelyn and Zodiark. When Hydaelyn dealt the finishing blow to Zodiark, it caused the world to be split into fourteen fragmented dimensions: the Source and its reflections, including the First.
  • Arc Number: Each Legion of the Garlean Empire that is featured in a story arc is numbered after the previous Final Fantasy title it draws elements from.
    • The VIIth Legion of Legacy was lead by Nael who succeeded in Project: Meteor, referencing Sephiroth's goals with Meteor in Final Fantasy VII.
    • Gaius van Baelsar leads the XIVth Legion and is the main threat for A Realm Reborn, remaining self contained.
    • The VIth Legion in Heavensward is lead by Regula Van Hydrus who is attempting to exploit the power of the Warring Triad, the same deities featured in Final Fantasy VI. In a little bit of a twist, Van Hydrus is based most heavily on General Leo Cristophe from that game, rather than Kefka Palazzo like many players expected following Nael's example.
    • The XIIth Legion, led by Emperor Varis's son Zenos yae Galvus, administers the conquered territory of Ala Mhigo, recalling the themes of foreign occupation and royal intrigue from Final Fantasy XII.
    • The number XIV bears even more special significance come Shadowbringers. Zodiark, and the world at large, was split into one 'Source', and 13 reflections of itself, as Hydaelyn's power is to divide... or, at least, that's what Emet-Selch and the other Ascians believe. And in the past, the Ascians had a Convocation of 14, the 14'th of which is heavily implied (though not confirmed) to be the soul that became the Warriors of Light.
  • Arc Words: "Hear. Feel. Think" in A Realm Reborn, which are Hydalen's words to the Warrior Light.
    • "For those we have lost and for those we can yet save" crops up repeatedly throughout the Heavensward expansion, culminating in the Warrior of Light being able to say that this is what they will fight for near the end of the post expansion patches, and still occasionally popping up beyond that.
  • Armor Is Useless: Depends on the job. Casters and other squishies can have plate or chain clad gear, but it doesn't give the armor stats it looks like it would. The Shisui fending set is literally just a swim suit, but provides good tank stats for its respective level, proving that cosmetics don't matter.
  • The Artifact:
    • invoked Producer Naoki Yoshida has gone on record as hating the system of classes advancing into Jobs at level 30, considering it an unnecessary stepping stone at best and a technical nightmare at worst, and has said that if it wouldn't have to lead to massive changes to the job stories (soul crystals, flow-breaking as they are, do at least provide a decent explanation for the player character becoming an Instant Expert at a new job, especially the expansion ones which start at or above level 30) and leveling experience as it is, he'd much rather players just start at their chosen job, something he's shown by having every post-2.0 class except Rogue start as full jobs instead of classes.
      • This has since been adjusted with the Stormblood 4.0 patch: it's no longer necessary to level an unrelated secondary class to 15 in order to obtain the Job. The primary class still needs to be brought up to 30, though, followed by the Job questline, which is part of why the (comparatively clunky) Soul Crystals are still a thing, the other being the rare quest that, in a possible double instance of this trope, requires a class specifically rather than a class or its advanced job (e.g. "Unicorn Power" can only be completed as a Conjurer, and not as a White Mage).
    • One-handed wands and rods for Conjurer/White Mage and Thaumaturge/Black Mage were used in 1.0. They are used again in 2.0, but even halfway through 2.x's level cap they are shelved in favor of two handed weapons that give the user better stats overall. Because of this, shields on magic classes are also phased out, remaining entirely for Gladiator and Paladin's use.
    • Resistances to elements and damage types were an element used quite a bit in 1.0, but are rarely used in 2.0 and later except for a few boss fights that use them to hamper the players, and there were mechanics involved to counter these. Come patch 4.2, elemental resistances have been removed entirely, including the elemental resistance screen in your character profile and all elemental materia.
    • Crafter stats. Disciples of the Hand used to have a primary stat they worked off of, similar to the combat classes. This is still seen in the game, with the classes in question gaining whichever stat they worked off of at a higher rate than other Disciples, e.g. Armorer gaining noticeably more Strength than a Culinarian or Alchemist, but ultimately it means nothing, as your abilities as a Disciple of the Hand are now based entirely on the stats of your gear.
    • Attribute Points. A holdover from Legacy, you would gain a bonus point to put into any attribute when you leveled past level 10. However, because of the way the game works, putting it in any stat other than the primary used for your Class/Job was a waste of the point. Furthermore, people who played Summoner and Scholar either had to split the points between Intelligence and Mind (remember, the base class for both is Arcanist), giving them less of a bonus overall, or had to buy an item from their Grand Company to reset their points and adjust to avoid crippling themselves from one of their two possible roles. Come Stormblood, bonus attribute points were removed entirely in favor of the game automatically giving you stat points for whatever your class actually uses.
    • Aetherial gear are common drops in early dungeons, which differs from standard equipment by some randomization to their stats. This randomization ended up being so minor and such a non-factor in making them unique or worthwhile that even by the post-release patch cycle, they stopped adding aetherial gear to the game, and it never drops in any non-2.0 dungeons. The only reason aetherial gear remains relevant in 2.x content onward is because they're treated as "Unique" items, which means they can be traded in at your Grand Company for seals once you're at Sergeant Second Class.
    • The PvP aspect of the game used to have its own materia. Similar to elemental materia above, it was removed in Stormblood and can no longer be acquired. Despite this, an NPC in the Wolves' Den keeps his name as "Storm Sergeant (Materia Provisioner)".
    • Castrum Meridianum and the Praetorium are unique among dungeons in that they are the only ones in the entire game that require eight players, a requirement typically reserved for all subsequent trials and smaller raids. Both are also much longer than any other dungeon and rival some 24-player raids. As such, they tend to be very rarely revisited in comparison to all other dungeons. Starting with Heavensward, the finale of the MSQ has consisted of a normal 4-person dungeon followed by a raid. In Stormblood, a special "Main Scenario" roulette was added specifically for Castrum Meridianum and the Praetorium, and the cutscenes for them became unskippable. To compensate for the length of these dungeons, the roulette rewards for them are substantially greater than those of other roulettes.
    • Heavensward added the ability to fly on certain mounts in the new areas added in the expansion if you can find and unlock all of the aether currents in a map area after the story gives you an aether compass. This includes a new mount roulette button specifically for calling on flying mounts, though there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of need for such a distinction when, out of over a hundred available mounts, less than a quarter of them are not flight-capable. Even your starting chocobo can be taught to fly after you get the aether compass, despite the twin facts that yellow chocobos are consistently presented across the series as being entirely flightless, and the game acknowledges this as the reason for also giving you a black chocobo which can - and that's not getting into the various other clearly-not-flight-capable mounts that can fly anyway, including the Magitek reaper acquired for beating 2.0 and several varieties of bear.
    • Race exclusive gear. When starting as a new character, your character will have a set of clothes on their backs based on what race and gender you chose. This starter gear is the only set that has race restriction and is never used on anything else. To a lesser extent is gender-exclusive gear, which after an update now consists entirely of the starting race-exclusive gear, undergarments, and the occasional event outfit (mostly summer-themed ones). There's even an NPC in the three city-states who sells extra copies of the starting gear, and between the combined race and gender restrictions, the only reasons to do so are replacements after you change race/gender with a fantasia or multiple copies to dye them different colors.
    • Primal fights having a normal difficulty mode. Ifrit, Titan, and Garuda are all fought in the main story with only a party of four instead of the usual party of eight all future primal fights would have. The normal mode primals have very few mechanics compared to their harder versions, although they can still trip up new players. Hard mode primals were a thing in 2.0 mostly as a way to give players at the endgame new gear to obtain and also a requirement for players seeking to obtain their relic weapons. Patch 2.1 would introduce the extreme difficulty for primals which have become the mainstay ever since and all story based primal fights are labeled under "hard". The hard versions of Ifrit, Titan, and Garuda are the only primals that offer loot drops from that difficulty while all future hard mode primals would give nothing, leaving the extreme version to be the one that offers loot.
    • Inns were used as a way to build up rested EXP before ARR, allowing players to build up a buff for their EXP gains as long as they logged out at an inn. Nowadays, any city or major settlement is considered a sanctuary and is given the same rested EXP bonus. Inns are still in the game and have been used in cities appearing in the expansion packs, but they're not longer the only place that can give you rested EXP.
    • The ability to lock onto targets beyond just having them selected, so your character and the camera focus on them without being able to face other directions. This is a holdover from Legacy, where it was the only way to target. As of ARR it is not only unnecessary, it can be actively harmful, as locking onto a target means your character keeps facing towards the target no matter what, meaning moving away from them for AOE mechanics is done by a slow backwards-walk, and looking away for other mechanics is outright impossible while locked on.
    • Guildleves were a good source of EXP grinding since 1.0. By Heavensward, EXP from dungeons were given a huge boost while leves weren't. Levequests were made for the Heavensward zones, but most preferred to do dungeons for more EXP gains. There were also temple leves that made the quests slightly harder for better rewards, but said rewards weren't high enough to justify the cost of 10 leves just to start one temple leve. By Stormblood, levequests were completely omitted for battle classes, leaving only gatherers and crafters being able to use them.
    • Spiritbinding your gear was a great way to get materia in 2.0, but it was a bit random on which ones you could get. By the later 2.x quest lines, much less the release of Heavensward, materia was practically given away as quest rewards and methods of obtaining materia outside of spiritbinding increased significantly. That being said, spiritbinding is still in the game, mostly as a way to make materia to sell off.
    • The Binding Coil of Bahamut is the only raid series that doesn't have a normal mode. The Coil was made with only one difficulty in mind and is on par with most savage raids that came after it. The Coil did have its own savage version made for turns 6-9, which made it even more difficult, but it wasn't received well, thus no other turns of the Coil ever received a savage version. Likewise, when the Normal (8-man) Raid roulette was introduced, the Binding Coils are conspicuously absent from the roulette pool.
    • Scholar and Summoner are the only jobs that branch off from a class. On top of this, leveling up one of the jobs would also level up the other, so you'd have cases where a well seasoned Summoner could have Scholar at the same level and have no idea how to play that role. Back when attribute point bonuses were a thing, putting your points into certain stats for one job would carry over to the other. For a player that played both Summoner and Scholar meant that one of their jobs would always be gimped unless they reset their points every time. The developers went on the record saying that making the two jobs this way was a balancing nightmare and would be something they'd never repeat ever again.
    • Gear that take up multiple slots were used fairly often in 2.0. Casters would get cowls that took up the body and head slots while tanks got armor sets that took up both body and head or both legs and feet. It was quickly dropped post 2.0 due to how annoying it got for players that got better gear, but could not wear them if they still had the multi-slotted gear equipped. It also made using said gear as glamours quite troublesome.
    • From 2.0 through the end of Stormblood, tank Jobs were given two different stances, colloquially referred to as "tank stances" and "DPS stances" (such as the Paladin's "Shield Oath" and "Sword Oath"). Tank stances would increase aggro generated from attacks while DPS stances increased damage, but the damage buffs from DPS stances were never as significant as the aggro gained from using tank stances, so DPS stances only ever saw use when soloing. As of Shadowbringers, DPS stances have been removed, so all tanks now only have one stance for generating aggro. In parties with multiple tanks, this means switching main tanks and off-tanks is simplified: all one needs to do is toggle their stance and let the new main tank take aggro.
    • Tactical Points (TP for short) are a resource utilized by non-magical combat classes in a very similar way to MP for magic classes, the key differences being a flat recharge rate that continued even in combat (barring status effects that negated it) and a universal cap of 1000. In practice, TP is a non-issue for single-target combos, but limits the usage of ranged and area-of-effect physical actions, forcing the party to use TP-recovery abilities on several occasions. Additionally, some classes utilized both MP and TP, like Paladins, Dark Knights, and Red Mages: these classes used both TP for physical attacks and MP for magic attacks, forcing players in those classes to manage two different resources. TP has been removed as of Shadowbringers, with most physical weaponskills being no longer restrained by TP costs, while the spells are now bound to MP which is given a universal cap of 10000. In addition, role actions that revolved around TP have been removed.
    • Riding maps, while difficult to acquire (requiring 250 Allied Seals for one area's map, when the daily hunt marks get you only 64), are incredibly useful, increasing the speed of your mounts in a specific area further than the speed increases from story progression, and thus worth the effort to acquire in ARR. They become significantly less so in the expansions, which include the ability to fly for less effort (simply attune to aether currents through exploration or quests) and greater reward (flying is still faster than having mount speed increases from both story progress and a riding map, both in pure speed and the ability to just fly over obstacles rather than finding the one way to pass that obstacle that's a malm away from where you came at it from). Despite this, you can still purchase riding maps for every area introduced in the expansions, despite there being little to no point barring maybe Stormblood areas (since they use the same type of seals as Heavensward). Shadowbringers addressed this, going so far as to even not include mount speed increases through story progression for its new areas, since flying is never far behind (only one aether current for any given area is ever locked behind story progression), and actually making them useful for specific areas due to how acquiring them works.note 
  • Artificial Stupidity: A lot of class quests would be much easier if the NPC companions you're meant to keep alive would just step out of the way of enemy attacks the way any sane player would. This gets ridiculous when said NPC stands there shouting orders such as "It's rampaging! If you value your life, stay out of its sights!"... while standing in the path of heavily telegraphed attacks again, and again, and again.
  • Artistic License – Animal Care: The aquariums you can place as furniture and display fish in are way too small. This album shows off every fish in the game as of 4.36 in an extra-large tank — the extra-large fish just barely physically fit in the tank, and even the medium fish look a bit claustrophobic.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Due to an Ascended Meme, it's accepted as canon that all bears in Eorzea can fly. They don't have wings or anything, they just can.
  • Attract Mode: The "End of an Era" cinematic plays if you sit at the title screen for a few minutes.
    • Heavensward replaces it with a cinematic summarizing the story so far, through patch 2.55.
    • Stormblood and then Shadowbringers replace that with their respective trailers.
  • Auto-Revive: The final boss in the hard version of the Lost City of Amdapor has this in effect twice, so it effectively has three life bars. In floors 51 and beyond in the Palace of the Dead, there's the Pomander of Resurrection that grants an auto-raise effect to the party, but it only revives the first player that is knocked out rather than reviving multiple players.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Pomander of Resolution in the Palace of the Dead transforms you into Kuribu, an angel that can blast enemies with Divine Judge. The attack can hit multiple enemies and inflict stun, but the attack has to be "aimed" with a targeting circle and it's not too helpful if the enemies are moving too much to stand still. It also has a lengthy cast time of nearly 3 seconds (much shorter if you happen to have Haste or the arrow buffs from Astrologists) and you'll drop the cast if you have to move to avoid being struck by enemy attacks. While Divine Judge can do massive damage to dark and undead enemies, said enemies usually don't appear until around floors 91 to 100. But it's pretty much mandatory against the floor 100 boss.
  • Background Music Override:
    • Riding music for mounts is a minor version, as it only does this for overworld areas when outside of combat - towns with their own themes that don't restrict you from riding at all still play their music - and there's a toggle option to turn it off entirely.
    • To emphasize that you're deep within enemy territory, the themes of the Garlean and Beast Tribe strongholds continue playing through battles.
    • The entire final area of Heavensward, Azys Lla, foregoes battle music. As do many of the later dungeons (earlier ones did not have any background music at all, while a few hardmodes used a Variable Mix approach) except for the boss battles. Similarly in Shadowbringers the final zone The Tempest, has a similar effect, making a heavy contrast with it's very chill theme and the actual fighting.
    • During the Lightning event, the FATE events she spawns with begin with their normal music, only to be replaced with "Blinded By Light", the battle theme from XIII, once she appears proper.
  • Back Stab: Attacking monsters from the flanks or behind gives you slight bonuses such as an increased critical hit chance or improved accuracy. Certain attacks automatically deal more damage if used from the correct position, and others may be ineffective if used from the wrong position.
    • The Lancer and Pugilist classes (and their Job counterparts Dragoon and Monk) are the only classes in ARR to receive direction-dependent special attacks; however, all classes still receive the same small overall acc/crit boosts to all of their attacks by striking from the flank or behind. As a result of this, tank classes tend to need the highest accuracy stat to consistently strike their targets, due to the fact tanks are usually stuck attacking the front of the target.
    • The Rogue class introduced in patch 2.4 of ARR has two versions of this. "Trick Attack", which can only be used when they're using the "Hide" ability, deals an attack with 400 potency and increases the target's Damage Vulnerability for 10 seconds when used from the rear of a target (compared to 240 potency and no added vulnerability to the target from the front). The other is "Assassinate", which can only be used against enemies below 20% HP, and has the Rogue quickly vanishing, then reappearing on the shoulders of their target before stabbing them in the neck with both daggers, and hopping back down to their starting position. Oddly, their former "Sneak Attack" ability was more of a face stab. Before it was removed with the release of Stormblood, the reasoning for Sneak Attack being enhanced by using it from the front was handwaved by members of the Rogue Guild - according to them, any half-decent enemy would expect a rogue to sneak up behind them and stab them in the back. Few, however, expects to see a Rogue appear out of nowhere right in front of them before stabbing them in the face.
    • Samurai from Stormblood has a more minor variation with the Kenki gauge, where the final hit in two of its three primary combos builds the gauge slightly faster if you hit the opponent from a specific direction (from the rear with Gekko and from the side with Kasha).
  • Badass Armfold: You do this when idle on the Slepnir mount. Also, your whole party does this during the victory custcene for the final Midas raid boss, while looking away from its exploding body.
  • Badass Family:
    • The Mandervilles. Hildibrand's kind of an idiot, but he's so tough he survived being shot high enough to reach Dalamud - and then being thrown back after it exploded. Godbert's so awesome as to be something short of a Physical God, and even he's terrified of his wife.
    • The Thaumaturges guild is also run by one, and their storyline heavily involves the one sibling of the seven who isn't badass.
  • Badass Normal:
    • The Garleans, for all their technological prowess, are physically incapable of casting magic. For characters like the main Garlean villains, their fighting styles are pure and simple strength and technique as well as special gun-weapons. Even when you see Garlean soldiers harnessing what appears to be magic, it's coming from one of two sources: their specialized weapons which veer into Magic from Technology, or drafted soldiers from magic-wielding areas like Othard or Ala Mhigo (which is where the tiny number of Lalafells and Miqo'te in their army come from).
    • From downing primals to doomsday mechs with mundane weapons, the hero often feels like this. Also, with a little help of the hero, non-Garleans have successfully fought back against the superiorly-armed Garlean Empire with inferior weapons, save their magic which barely levels the playing field at all.
  • Badass Adorable: The weapons dropped by Good King Moggle Mog XII have names such as "Murderous Mogfists" or "Malevolent Mogwand", and are some of the strongest weapons that can be acquired prior to earning HM Primal/relic weapons. They also make a "kupo" sound whenever drawn, and look like this.
    • The Mogglesguard themselves aren't exactly far off from this either. Seeing a moogle with a sword, shield, and helmet shout "Defend the king, kupo!" is pretty much the pinnacle of the trope.
    • Lalafells in general, especially the second-in-commands of the Pugilist and Rogue guilds.
  • Badass Beard And Mustache: The player can give male PCs facial hair, even if they're a Lalafell.
  • Badass Fingersnap: With their new abilities in Heavensward, bards do this after casting one of their abilities now. As they snap their fingers, the arrow just shot detonates into a dark explosion of magic.
    • Shiva snaps her fingers when casting Diamond Dust.
  • Bad Boss: The Garlean commanders see their soldiers as disposable, and both Nero and Livia shoot their own troops dead at certain points in the story. The game explains that this is because the Garlean footsoldiers are conscripted from the most-recently-conquered nation to stem rebellion, so anything less than blind loyalty may be seen as a sign of dissension.
  • Bad Future: The time period that the Crystal Exarch comes from in Shadowbringers. When Garlemald unleashed Black Rose on the Eorzean Alliance at the same time Norvrandt fell to the Flood of Light, it triggered another Calamity that killed most of the population and caused the survivors to fight each other on a dying world. 200 years later, the descendants of Garlond Ironworks combined technology from Omega and Alexander to modify the Crystal Tower so it could travel between time and dimensions, then sent it and the Exarch back in time to Norvrandt to avert the Calamity.
  • Bag of Holding: Throughout the game, the player is tasked with stuffing some kind of increasingly large animal (or, in at least one case, a fishman) in a bag and bringing it to the questgiver. When this reaches its logical conclusion, the key item tells you to just invoked try not to think too hard about it.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss:
    • The Deltascape 4.0 raid boss is Exdeath. On normal difficulty, it's a pretty straightforward fight with him. On savage difficulty, it seems to just be a harder version of the same fight, as expected. But when he reaches 60% health, he gets sucked into the darkness, only to break reality to return as Neo-Exdeath for the remainder of the fight.
    • The Sigmascape 4.0 boss is Kefka. As in Deltascape, the normal version is a straight-up fight with everyone's favorite Monster Clown, while the Savage fight replaces him midway through with his God Kefka form.
    • Alphascape 4.0 pits you against Omega itself, a second time, as it takes on human forms in one last desperate attempt to understand the Warrior of Light's incredibly power. Again, the Savage version replaces this boss midway through, as they re-merge into a monstrous creature in one even last-ier and more desperate attempt to defeat you.
  • Bait the Dog: Teledji Adeledji is presented in 2.2 as the one sympathetic member of Ul'dah's Syndicate, voting in favor of accepting the Doman refugees into the city and paying for their transportation to Revenant's Toll from his own pocket when that fails. Then 2.3 shows that he merely wished to exploit them to further his own ambitions, and he's actually a heartless schemer who will gladly jeopardize the stability of the Eorzean Alliance and put untold lives at risk in order to get his hands on Omega, an Allagan superweapon whose power eclipses that of the Ultima Weapon.
  • Baleful Polymorph:
    • The Toad status during the fight against Gilgamesh, which makes you unable to do anything but run away from the chickens wanting to peck you to death. There's also the Fire Toad effect when fighting Amon and it has the same effect as the normal Toad effect, but you're a bit bigger, colored red, and can breathe fire to melt the ice cages that imprisons a party member.
    • The 2014 All Saints Wake event has you being transformed into a monster (bat, imp, demon, floating bat eye, and spirit), Minfilia, or one of the 3 city state leaders. The transformation is just an illusion that can be removed at will, though while transformed, you can't interact with NPCs not related to the event and you can't use any of your abilities. You can still do emotes while transformed as another person and yes, you can make the illusion of the city state leaders and Minfilia do the Manderville dance.
      • A similar thing happens in the 2015 All Saints Wake event, which has a couple of illusionists offering children to turn them into monsters. The catch is they don't tell them how to dispel it, requiring the player to dispel their monster forms. At the end of the questline it's revealed that the two illusionists were a couple of imps masquerading as Eorzeans.
    • The fight against Ultros turns players into imps. This works against him (as do most things Ultros does) as it's part of the mechanic that lets you avoid a One-Hit Kill.
    • Fighting the last boss at the hard version of the Sunken Temple of Qarn has the mummy status that damages you over time and getting a stack of 4 transforms you into a mummy where you're forced to run across the room and any party member touching you will get a stack.
    • In Palace of the Dead is the toading trap, turning you into a rather cute, but very helpless, toad. You can then turn this around on enemies with a Pomander of Witching, which turns all monsters in range into a toad, chicken or imp.
    • In Omega - Deltascape V3.0, the Stormblood raid dungeon, Halicarnassus, much like her Final Fantasy V counterpart, has a cone AOE called "Ribbit" which turns any caught in it into a frog. And just like in Final Fantasy V, this is the first move she uses. During the fight, she will create four panels on the ground corresponding to your class role (cross for healer, shield for tank, sword for DPS) that launch you into the sky and deal major damage if you're on the wrong one after about 10 seconds, and she always uses Ribbit at the 5 second mark - being frogged will fail this mechanic, since a frog is neither a tank, healer, nor DPS. But in the final phase, she changes this up: now, all the panels show frogs! Guess what you're supposed to do?
    • This was Mad King Theodoric's preferred way to deal with (people he thought to be) traitors and enemies; having his court thaumaturge twist them into horrible creatures.
  • Bare Your Midriff: All over the place with glamoured costumes, and of course with the coliseum sets, but most notably the iLvl 90 Wyrm's Set for the Dragoon features a fully exposed navel area for no discernable reason.
  • Barrier Warrior: A popular setup for tanks in Legacy was to make use of Thaumaturge's Punishing Barbs and Stygian Spikes with Conjurer's Shock Spikes, which effectively deals equal damage as taken, restores MP for each hit taken, as well as deal lightning damage and stun the enemy respectively.
    • With A Realm Reborn, Thaumaturges and Black Mages can still raise their own defense with Manawall and Manaward to ignore damage temporarily from Physical and Magical attacks respectively. With the launch of Stormblood, the two's effects were combined into just the singular Manaward. They also used to exclusively have Apocatastasis, now a Caster DPS Role ability, which can be used on another party member to increase their Magic Resistance by 20% for a short time.
    • All classes which belong to the Healer role, before 5.0, were able to cast Protect which gave everybody a Beehive Barrier for increased defense.
    • Also in ARR, the Scholar job is this. They also have a single target and Area of Effect Healing spells that also buff party members with a shield equal to the amount healed. Their repertoire also includes Sacred Soil, which raises a large barrier on the battlefield that protects all party members inside of it with a reduction in damage received.
    • The Healer Role Ability Eye for an Eyenote  which has the chance of reducing the attack power of enemies who strike a party member while under its effects.
    • The Astrologian has the ability called "Collective Unconscious" that conjures a protective sphere around him, which greatly reduces damage taken to everybody inside and grants Regen, but is dispelled if the Astrologian moves or performs an action.
    • As of Stormblood, Paladin gets a party-wide mitigation action, while one of Warrior's actions was repurposed to provide the same effect later. By Shadowbringers, all the tanks have this ability to varying degree.
  • Battle Ballgown: Some of the higher-level tank armors qualify as unisex versions of this, such as the Valerian Terror Knight's set, or the Orthodox Fending set, combining heavy armor plating with long, flowing skirts.
  • Battle Theme Music: Where to even begin. There are six regular battle themes, one for each major area and one for dungeons. Then, there are at least three different boss battle themes, four different guildleve themes and the behest theme, not to mention the instanced dungeon theme, beast tribe stronghold theme, a different theme for each Primal battle, and special themes for certain quests such as the lunar transmitter fight or the final job quest.
    • Special mention goes to Gilgamesh who has not one but two variations of Battle on the Big Bridge during his second fight.
  • Beach Episode: The Firefall Faire event rewarded the players with swimsuits and special wallpapers with their characters posing with their new gear. This news was announced with screenshots of female Hyur and Miqo'te, and a Roegadyn, sporting the new outfits on the beach.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: An interesting version occurs at the end of "Every Little Thing She Does is Magitek", when the captured Magitek Armor "Maggie", recently given sentience by replacing its servomechanism with a mammet heart, comes to life and fixes the kink that beleaguered Cid, Biggs and Wedge after Cid and the player defend it from Imperial soldiers coming to retrieve it.
  • Beam-O-War:
    • The final boss of the twenty-four man raid Dun Scaith engages in one with the raid alliance; the raid must output enough damage to eventually force the boss's attack right back at him.
    • Near the end of the Dragonsong War questline, a spectacular beam struggle breaks out when Shinryu's Protostar and Omega's Delta Attack collide.
  • Beef Gate: Any given area in 2.0 can be accessed by a character of any level, even endgame areas filled with 40+ enemies like Northern Thanalan and Mor Dhona. Since quests and equipment are level restricted and exp rewards from higher level FATEs and enemies are scaled down, the most practical reason one would have to run through higher level areas is to get from Gridania to Ul'Dah or vice versa for their regional classes before airship/ferry travel is available.
  • Beehive Barrier: The effects for a lot of the defensive spells/abilities such as Protect feature a tessellating hexagonal motif.
  • BFS:
    • For a class that uses one handed swords, Gladiators and Paladins like to use some rather large bladed ones, such as their relic Curtana.
    • Odin of course brings Zantetsuken, which players can get a version of their own by earning Odin's Mantle. The blade appears in a flash of light whenever drawn, and is about as long as the player character is tall.
    • Dullahan (haunted armors) and Magitek Colossus type enemies carry enormous swords. In the Colossus case, they're basic attacks are cleave attacks which hit whoever is standing right in front of them.
    • Dark Knights wield these types of swords as their primary weapon, with said swords being at least as tall as the person wielding them, if not slightly bigger.
  • Big Ball of Violence: This is how the showdown between Zo Ga and Gi Gu at the end of the Kobold beast tribe quest series begins, complete with cartoon-like sound effects. However, after one insult too many gets directed at Gi Gu (from his lover, no less, though she was only trying to help), he steps up his game and puts Zo Ga down.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Haukke Manor.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Can be invoked by you or any other player when a battle seems to be lost, only for someone else to come in and save everyone.
    • Also invoked at the very end of the main story. The magitek armor that you converted to your side comes rushing in to aid you in escaping the impending explosion after you beat the Final Boss.
  • Bigger on the Inside: Alexander from outside is already very large, no doubt about it, but its insides are the size of at least a small city. Justified in that Alexander is a reality warping primal.
  • Bilingual Bonus: For Japanese players (and other non-English speaking players), the lyrics in the boss themes tend to be this as nearly all the songs are in English despite being a Japanese game. The boss of 4.3 partially inverts it by being the first boss theme to contain any Japanese lyrics, which is fitting since it's sung from the perspective of Yotsuyu, who is from the game's fantasy equivalent of Japan, but even it has English lyrics as well. And each theme tends to explain the motivations or background of the boss being fought, so understanding them is definitely a nice bonus.
  • Bird Run: Ninjas do this while their weapons are unsheathed. Most do the "arms swept back" variant, while Lalafells do a flat-out arms-extended version.
  • Bishōnen Line:
    • Zigzagged in the second and final battle against Nidhogg in Heavensward. His first form just has him as a dragon fighting the party, and during the second phase he takes on a form that resembles Estinien with several draconic aspects. But during the final phase of the fight he returns to his dragon form, albeit with bright red demonic-looking features.
    • Played straight with Omega in Stormblood. Alphascape 3.0 has players fight Omega itself in its iconic robot form, while the next raid, Alphascape 4.0, has players fight against the core of Omega, which takes the form of both a strikingly handsome man and a strikingly beautiful woman. Justified as Omega is stumped at how a supposedly weaker lifeform as the player can best it in battle, so it decides to try adopting a humanoid form like the player character and fight them on equal footing.
    • Also played straight in Shadowbringers with Innocence, Vauthry's One-Winged Angel form: halfway through the battle, he transforms from a Fat Bastard into an otherworldly beautiful angel.
  • Bishounen: Every Elezen, almost every Miqo'te, a good number of Hyur, certain Lalafell and practically the point of Au Ra ladies. Of course you can make your character one as well.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In 4.3's MSQ, the prisoner exchange is successful, but Yotsuyu is manipulated by her brother into recovering her memories and going on a rampage. When the Warrior of Light stops her, Asahi beats her to death and reveals he purposely sabotaged the exchange to reignite the Doma-Empire War. Asahi gets his just desserts when Yotsuyu kills him with her dying breath, but she dies hopeless she will ever escape her past. And then the Scions learn an Ascian gave Asahi his orders.
  • Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: Gets completely bonkers with the Au Ra. Most of the races of Eorzea don't feature that much difference between the sexes save for maybe a bit of difference between male and female Roegadyn, but the Au Ra run with this horse: the men are fully half-again as tall as the women and have well over twice as much body mass, as well as far more prominent facial scales and much more imposing horns. Even their animations are wildly different, with the men being very aggressive in their body language and the women being far more demure and delicate. While the men are clearly draconic, the women could very easily be mistaken for midlander Hyur, if not for their (much smaller) tails.
  • Black and Gray Morality: The Monetarist faction of the Syndicate, one of Ul'dah's chief political groups, especially during the Legacy story line. To them, everything was about profits or costs, even whether to form an alliance with Limsa Lominsa and Gridania prior to the fall of Dalamud. At least one member flat out voiced it would be better if they actually bribed or allied with the Garleans as a possible expansions of trades would open up. Additionally, one quest, secretly given by Raubahn through an trusted Immortal Flame member, tasked the player with stopping a Syndicate member's plan to release dangerous animals into Little Ala Mhigo's refugee camp, as a sort of underground gladiatorial battle for the amusement of corrupt betters.
    • Events of "A Realm Awoken" show that the reason why there was no Teleport Aetheryte built at the Vesper Bay base of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn was specifically because the Scions refused to become their lackeys, hoping to put a financial squeeze on the Scions. And while "Into the Maelstrom" shows that the Syndicate does have some viable concerns, profit is still a key factor to them. Worse yet, a fair number of them are trying to overthrow the reasonable and kind Sultana, and have already bribed and corrupted significant portions of the Paladin order sworn to defend her, and trying to assassinate the ones who won't be bribed.
    • 2.3's "Defenders of Eorzea" reveals that the one Syndicate member who supported letting the Domans stay in Ul'dah planned on using them and the refugees from the wars with the Garleans to stir up riots between them and Ul'Dah, to get a bill through that would let him claim large portions of the Carteneau Flats. Why? Because Omega Weapon is there, and he wants it, as it's rumored to be stronger than even Bahamut! And because he's using various loopholes, despite committing blatant treason, he can't be arrested for it.
    • 2.5 Part 2, shows that with probably the sole exception of Godbert Manderville (who is seen using his money towards good causes, such as paying for the gifts as part of Eorzea's Christmas Expy, the Starlight Festival, and building the Gold Saucer to create jobs and housing for refugees and the poor). The rest of the syndicate has absolutely zero qualms of seizing power by any means necessary and takes a happy leap into the abyss. Poisoning the Sultana, framing the Scions and Warrior of Light for her death, seeking to split the Eorzean alliance, killing innocents, and forcing the survivors of the Scions, and adventurers to flee for Ishgard is all just business for power and fortune to them.
  • Black Comedy: Lampshading the endlessly-repeating nature of FATEs, one quest-style FATE in the Central Shroud involves a woman whose boyfriends have been eaten by Lindwurms on the way back from fishing so many times that she can't actually remember their individual names anymore.
  • Black Mage: The Thaumaturge's advanced job. Gives access to some rad-tastic spells (including Flare) and considered among the best class in terms of pure damage output. You can also get their iconic Final Fantasy outfit, which is pitch black with only some purple decs here and there and hides the whole body, save for the right eye (the left is hidden by an Eyepatch of Power).
  • Blah Blah Blah: The Monk job unlock quest has the character forced to put up with an arrogant historian who has hired the PC to replace his monk bodyguard who probably left for the same reason. Half of the historian's unwanted dissertation is replaced with <blah blah>.
  • Body Horror: In Sastasha hard mode, the pirates inside have been horribly mutated. The standard goons have had their heads turned into jellyfish and some beg you to kill them. The consorts have been mutated into naga, and Captain Madison has been mutated into a ten-foot tall Cthulhu-esque squid-man. At the very end of the quest, an NPC states that this is the logical conclusion of aether infusion, and in their case, it was most likely Leviathan punishing them for failing to hold Sastasha the first time. Naturally, the revelation that something like this can happen disturbs everyone involved. (Everyone previously thought that level of aether exposure was akin to radiation poisoning in the real world - it'd simply kill you outright after making you violently ill.)
    • In Shadowbringers, we're treated to the sight of Tesleen being turned into a Sin Eater. She starts vomiting solidified light aether, leaking it from her eyes, and finally transmogrifies into a twisted monstrosity with an all-too-human face.
  • Booby Trap: Some dungeons have traps that will sic monsters on you. Treasure chests that you find outside of dungeons via treasure maps will also unleash monsters on you the moment you interact with the box.
    • Also incredibly common whenever you interact with objects for any quest. Though depending on the quest objective its not much of a surprise. Some objects are also surrounded by a purple aura which triggers monster spawns when you step into instead, but that's even less of a surprise after the first time.
  • Book-Ends: The very first song a player hears, Answers, plays during Bahamut's escape from Dalamud and the lyrics speak of the chaos and tragedy his release and attack creates over Eorzea. The final theme that plays for the battle with Bahamut Prime in the Final Coil uses the same song. And given what you've learned of Bahamut's torture at the hands of the Allagans, the lyrics to it now fit him and dragonkind better.
    • Applies also for 1.0/Legacy players. On their first log in, a meteor shower appears and they hear a ghostly version of Answers. The end of 1.0 ends with the End of the Era cut scene mentioned above, of meteors raining down from Dalamud and Answers playing.
    • The 2.0 storyline (For new players at least) opened with the player entering their chosen starting city on a chocobo-drawn carriage. The finale in patch 2.55 ends with them leaving Ul'dah via chocobo carriage, fleeing to Ishgard to seek asylum after being set up by the monetarists, framed for murder, and the scions having held off your retreat.
      • Another example concerning the 2.0 storyline itself, before the patches, is that the first cut-scene upon making a character is them in an ethereal realm, encountering a hooded figure, where the pulls out a shining version of their job's relic weapon to fight. The cutscene after defeating the Final Boss of 2.0 has the player character encounter Lahabrea in the same realm, and by using the wills of Hydaelyn and the allies up to this point, pulls out the same weapon to finish off Lahabrea.
      • Another bookend involving carriages is when you are riding into your town of choice at the start, a man you are riding with asks you why you became an adventurer, with you being able to choose between Power, Fame, or Wealth. In the ARR patches, at one point you are riding in a carriage with the Doman refugees, and their kids ask you why you became an adventurer. You get to choose from the same 3 options as at the beginning.
    • The final bosses of Heavensward's first and final story dungeons are both griffin themed. The first dungeon, Dusk Vigil, has an actual griffin as it's final boss. The final dungeon, Baelsar's Wall, has the Ala Mhigan revolutionary who goes by the title of "The Griffin"
    • The beginning of your tenure in Ishgard began at the battle for the Steps of Faith, and was also your first way into Ishgard. And the saga of the Dragonsong War comes to an end in the same place, with Nidhogg meeting his ultimate end on a destroyed section of the bridge.
      • Speaking of the the final battle against Nidhogg, the eye that Hraesvelgr loans to Nidhogg to start the Dragonsong War one thousand years prior is the same eye he loans to the player to defeat Nidhogg and end the war.
    • 2.x story ends with 2.5's Before the Fall, with the actions taken by Ilberd and the Monetarist forcing the Warrior of Light and remaining Scions to move to Ishgard, due in part to Ilberd's desire to free Ala Mhigo at all cost. 3.x ends with 3.5's The Far Edge of Fate, with Ilberd launching a rogue assault on Baelsar's Wall and his summoning of Shinryu, which forces the Alliance to take action by activating Omega and launching the liberation of Ala Mhigo before the Garleans launch a retributive attack against Eorzea.
    • The very first Main Story Quest in Shadowbrigners begins by talking to Tataru in the Rising Stones. The last Main Story Quest (for 5.0 at least) is completed by, again, talking to Tataru in the Rising Stones.
  • Bonus Boss: Every trial has an extreme version that serves as this. They are strictly non-mandatory and aren't part of any extra story, most of them are even non-canon, just a minstrel's retelling of the actual events. But for completing them, you can get special gear and sometimes even a special mount. And if you collect all the Extreme mounts from an expansion, you get a mount for that too.
    • Stormblood has 2 super bosses that only the most dedicated of player will be able to conquer. The entry requirements are already stringent enough as one must complete the entire savage version of an Omegascape raid to access one which is no small feat in itself. And the fights themselves are very demanding, the most challenging content so far in the game even.
      • For defeating Exdeath Savage, you gain access to the Unending Coil of Bahamut, a Marathon Boss that pits you against Twintania, Nael Deus Darnus, Bahamut, all three together, then a golden version of Bahamut. A successful run generally takes about 20 minutes to complete and it demands that you understand mechanics that all appeared in the original Binding Coils.
      • For defeating Kefka Savage, you unlock The Weapon's Refrain, a big gauntlet that pits you against in rapid succession Garuda, Ifrit, Titan, Lahabrea, and finally the Ultima Weapon. Surprisingly, the fight is not quite the Marathon Boss that Unending Coil is, but it is much denser and mechanics occur much more rapidly, leading to a fight that is equally challenging.
  • Bonus Dungeon: Each expansion has an optional raid series that consists of 12 bosses that are essentially trials, except they tend to be more complicated and involved than the standard primal fight. The real bonus dungeon however is the Savage version of said bosses. They all tend to be rather difficult with more strict mechanics and a hard enrage, meaning you have to kill them within a time limit. Completing them gets you the best gear available for the content level along with possibly a special mount, but otherwise is completely optional and have no story elements to them, unlike the normal versions of the raid. The Binding Coil of Bahamut however does not have a savage version; it only has one version but is challenging enough that is basically the savage version to begin with. It was too hard for many players who wanted to experience the story line, which is presumably why they have a story version available for future expansions (though even the story version tends to be harder than any MSQ trials).
    • Each expansion also contains a second raid series that are more properly like raids from other MMOs, a dungeon with a series of bosses that are faced with 24 players instead of the standard 8. While not as difficult as any of the Extreme or Savage fights, they do tend to be punishing to players who don't know the mechanics.
    • Technically speaking most of the 4-man dungeons don't have to be completed to progress the Main Story. Cutter's Cry, Aurum Vale, Pharos Sirius, Dusk Vigil and all the Hardmode version of various dungeons are examples of this. However they make great leveling spots and the level 50-60 ones all give out Tomestones.
  • Bonus Feature Failure: The Atma relic weapons are statistically the exact same as the Zenith relic before it, only with the glow removed and the textures getting new colors. Considering that the items needed to make an Atma weapon only come from Random Drops, Atma weapons are underwhelming. It isn't until you go to the higher tiers for your relic that the weapon will actually improve. You can choose to ignore the relic weapons entirely and go for suitable alternatives.
  • Boring, but Practical: The Conjurer's Cure spells. When playing as the healer in the party, 95% of your actions will be nothing but spamming Cure spells on your party. However, constant healing is what will keep everyone alive.
    • That said, by the endgame White Mages have enough individual healing spells to make things a bit more fun. But then going right back to this trope, most damage you'll do soloing as a White Mage will come from spamming Holy constantly, which does excellent damage in inclusion to being AoE and stunning the targets that are hit, which can serve as a form of damage mitigation in itself.
    • The Paladin's Sword Oath stance. It allows a second auto attack while the stance is active. While usually scoffed at, compared to the other DPS stances for Tanks, it actually has the highest overall damage gain, since auto attacks against a mob make up roughly 30-40% of a Tank's damage.
  • Boss Arena Idiocy:
    • Many examples. But the most glaring one is the All-Seeing Eye, the first boss of Dzemael Darkhold. He would be impossible to beat if he picked a room that wouldn't conveniently had crystals all around that take away his invincibility.
    • Garuda, meanwhile, can potentially invert this into Player Arena Idiocy - there's a set of stone pillars that you need to duck behind to avoid getting one-shotted by her powerful Mistral Song attack, but the pillars will take damage and eventually be destroyed. If she's tanked too close to the pillars, her area-of-effect attacks will hit and destroy said pillars, leaving you no cover. The pillars simply being present on the battlefield also weakens Garuda's special attack, Aerial Blast.
  • Boss Arena Urgency: The final boss of the dungeon Amaurot, an Eldritch Abomination called Therion, has an ultimate attack that covers the entire arena except some tiny little outcrops on the edge. However, every time it executes this attack, one of those outcrops shatters and falls into the abyss, and if you take too long to kill it, you can run out of them.
  • Boss Bonanza: It's a Final Fantasy title, so it's to be expected after all.
    • In The Praetorium, which concludes the first part of the story about the Garlean Empire, you will face a ton of bosses. You will start with a Mark II Magitek Colossus halfway in the dungeon. Nothing too alarming, it's an easy boss. However, once you reach Nero, prepare yourself, because from then on it's solely boss fights one after the other, and, including Nero, you will have to face no less than 5 bosses: Nero, Gaius, Ultima Weapon Part 1, Ultima Weapon Part 2, and Lahabrea.
    • Labyrinth of the Ancients, is this as a whole. It's divided into 4 areas, each with 2 to 4 fights occurring in sealed arenas, with the fight at the end of each area ending in a boss fight with different fight mechanics to them.
    • The Unending Coil of Bahamut features a fight against Nael deus Darnus, Twintania, and Bahamut, one after another. Then they have to fight all at once, before the party finally faces off against Bahamut Prime.
  • Boss Subtitles: The bosses in Shadowbringers have this. And much like the Trope Codifier The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the final boss averts this and is simply introduced without unnecessary fanfare as Hades.
  • Boss Remix:
    • The final boss theme of A Realm Reborn, "Ultima", is a remix of "One Blood", a cutscene track that plays primarily when a Primal is being summoned.
    • Several of the battle themes in Heavensward, the final one included, quote "Dragonsong". The same can be said for non-battle themes, though.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: The entire war between the Dragon Horde of Dravnia and Ishgard falls into this. The Dragon Horde, lead by Nidhogg, want revenge for the Ishgardians betraying and killing his sister Ratatoskr all to take her eyes and gain power, something all agree was a terrible Kick the Dog given Ratatoskr was an advocate for humans. However, because Dragons have longer lifespans and can maintain all their memories, Nidhogg is consumed by a desire for vengeance and will do anything to achieve it, even having a Forever War with the city just to let them suffer, all while bullying the other Dragon Hordes. Meanwhile, the people of Ishgard betrayed and killed Ratatoskr for her eyes, but once that first generation passed, the people were lied to about why the war began and thus have lived through the Dragons attacking for many decades now, to the point where their leader has been able to hide the truth of the war from all but his elite guards. While the people of Ishgard caused the conflict, by the time the expansion rolls around, there are so few who know the truth that now an entire nation is suffering for something out of their control and thus have lost many innocent people over something they had no part of. The key to resolving the war is for the player to take out those causing the Forever War and let both groups approach each other on equal footing.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Eorzean technology limits them primarily to the classic iron ball shooting cannons (with Ishgard using specialized versions that mount 4 barrels, and another high powered one that launches huge metal lances at dragons), and twin barreled musket pistols. Yet, aside from a very short recast time (less than 3 seconds) on the quad cannons when they're used, not a single person is ever seen reloading these guns. The Garleans have entered what seems to be pre-modern Gun tech (revolvers primarily) which is a bit more justifiable, but even they seem to not be constrained and shoot way more rounds than the typical revolver can hold. The one person who has ever averted this was Gaius with his arm grenade launcher/cannon, during a cut scene in 1.0, and that was only because it was a signal flare round to a nearby aerial gunship to fire an explosive round at Circle of Knowing that were fighting him.
    • Back in 1.0, anyone using ranged physical weapons (Gladiators Throwing daggers, Marauders throwing axes, Lancers javelins, Pugilists chakrams, and arrows for Archer) had to buy stacks of ammo, much like in Final Fantasy XI. However, with 2.0, Yoshi and the team felt this was unfair (especially to Archers) since it made some classes much more expensive to play than others. In response, among the changes from Legacy to A Realm Reborn, all ammo was removed from the game, giving Archer's Bottomless Quivers that come automatically with their bows, and the melee classes had their ranged throwing attack turned into a high TP cost attacks where they throw a weapon or shield at the enemy, before quickly returning to them with no negative effects (except Pugilists which have no throwing attack).
    • Justified for the Machinist. They have a device on their belt called an aetherotransformer, which converts the latent energy in air into ammo for their gun. This is still used to justify things that shouldn't be possible, including weapons that are clearly breech-loading, single-shot designs loading three specialized bullets at once or being able to fire automatically to hit multiple enemies with one weaponskill.
  • Bottomless Pit: The fight against Titan has your party standing on a pillar whose walls are quickly destroyed part way in the fight. Get knocked off the edge and it's an instant KO for you with no way for your party to revive you. The fight against the Demon Wall also has bottomless pits on the sides.
    • Also featured against Leviathan Extreme, and against Ravana in 3.0.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Zig zags. Many rewards you get for earning certain achievements are purely for show and are not suitable for use in battle. You can show them off while remaining battle-ready by using glamours, though. The rare loot dropped by currently endgame content is also effectively bragging rights only until the next major content patch rolls around, giving the powerful gear some use.
    • The rewards from PvP are also this. At best they're on par with cutting edge gear, but with much more grinding involved.
    • Zigzagged with the Relic Weapons - the Relic Weapons are stronger than the Tomestone weapons you can pick up, but it's easier to pick up the Tomestone weapons than it is to grind the Relic Weapons. Thus, weaker variations of the Relic Weapons will be trumped by the Tomestone weapons.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: The Gold Saucer has a specialty on watered wine and wined water according to one NPC that works at the place.
    "The Manderville Lounge offers a variety of specialty drinks, including wine, water, watered wine, and a Gold Saucer original─wined water."
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Dark Knights who are paying close attention may notice something important as they go through the various class quests. The Journal. Whereas the Journal is fairly stoic usually, the Dark Knight journal entries, particularly the 30 to 50 and 60 to 80 ones, break down immensely, with the Warrior of Light's emotional and mental breakdown coming through, Fray and the Warrior of Light speaking in the plural (and to each other), and Fray noticing plot points well in advance and trying to warn you. The final quest for 80's journal entry in the Inn's "The Unending Journey" book even sarcastically quips about it all.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Averted. Head producer Yoshida stated that he has no intention of allowing players to buy items that makes the game easier for themselves and any items that Square does sell will purely be for fashion.
    • It's mostly averted, however there is one exception in the ability to buy additional Retainers, NPCs that have 200 storage spaces, are used to put items up on the market boards to sell, and can be leveled to run 'Ventures' where they bring back things ranging from crafting materials (both common and rare) to rare minions, and several other desirable items. It's a subtle boost to your capabilities in that you can carry more, sell more, and get more back via Ventures, but ultimately not as big a deal as it could be.
    • However with Stormblood, Square introduced a way to pay to skip 2.0 and 3.0 content and to instantly level any class up to 60. These don't come cheap though: the cost to skip to Stormblood and level up a class to 60 costs almost as much as the game itself with all of the included expansions. And this is per character. This system was likely implemented as a way so that veterans who want to play as an alt on Stormblood don't have to go through the entire story line again. Of course, there's nothing stopping newbies from paying their way to skip.
  • Brick Joke: The quest to first get into Sastasha is called 'It's Probably Pirates.' The quest to get into the Hard Mode version of the dungeon - 35 levels later - is called 'It's Definitely Pirates.'
    • Relatively early on in Stormblood, Alisaie mentions that during her off time, she found a pastry shop that was really good and promises to treat the Warrior of Light and Lyse to after everything is over. While doesn't come up again in-game, said trip is the subject of one of the Tales from the Storm. However, the Warrior of Light was running late, so the story is between Alisaie, Lyse, and Y'Shtola. The Warrior of Light does make an appearance at the very end, though only briefly to allow players to insert their Warrior of Light in without any text changes, aside from a gender toggle on the site.
    • At the beginning of the Omegascape raid series, when Jessie meets Alpha for the first time, she is completely taken by how adorable he looks and immediately wants him to join Ironworks so she can monetize his appearance by selling mammets in his likeness. At the very end of the story, as a reward for saving the world from a horde of monsters to be unleashed by Omega, she gives you your own Alpha mammet.
  • Broke Episode: In one of the Tales from the Shadows, Estinien ends up penniless in Kugane after getting dragged on a wild goose chase by Orn Kai to find the legendary dragon Seiryu (with the mission being extra pointless since Seiryu isn't actually a dragon but a powerful snake spirit). He is forced to become a greeter at a restaurant in Kugane as the owner believes that Orn Kai will attract business. When Tataru and Krile find him, Krile can barely stop herself from laughing at his situation.
  • Broken Bridge: Heavensward has paths to other areas blocked off with a rockslide until you progress further in the plot, to which the blockage mysteriously vanishes - except for between Idyllshire and the western half of the Dravanian hinterlands, where a goblin will blow up the blocked path with bombs.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Most if not all of the guildmasters for the Disciplines of the Hand. Severian (alchemy) and Beatin (carpentry) are probably the most notable in this regard.
  • But Thou Must!:
    • When you reach the end of the Zodiac quest, you're told that there's only a 1.4% chance note  that melding the relic with the materials you gathered will actually work and you'll lose the relic if it goes bad. You have the option to continue or to back out, but saying no will have Gerolt call you a spineless wimp for backing out and he has your relic worked on anyway.
    • The majority of dialogue options is basically a variation of "Yes, I will help you", though there are many reply choices that are basically sarcastic quips while still agreeing to help the person in question.
  • Bystander Syndrome: The entire nation of Ishgard has consistently refused to help the Eorzean Alliance when they've needed them the most. When Dalamud was threatening to fall, Ishgard stood by and did nothing. In the aftermath of the Calamity, the Empire picked up the pieces and threatened Eorzea once more; and once again, Ishgard ignored the Alliance's pleas for help. In patch 2.4, it's revealed that the reason Ishgard will not aid the other city-states is because A) they can't spare any soldiers since they're too busy fending off dragons, and B) as far as they're concerned, as long as they're not attacked whatever happens beyond their borders is not their problem (which also explains why they allow the Ixal to roam free and even set up a permanent settlement of their own at Natalan, since it's Gridania that they threaten, not Ishgard). It's only when they get the news that Shiva was summoned that the higher ups begin to reconsider their stance.
  • Call-Back: Dozens. Of note is a remix of the battle theme from Final Fantasy II used in two different quests. It's also used for battles against Elite Marks from the Hunt, and miscellaneous battles held under silly circumstances, (in example, almost every non-Duty Finder encounter during the Hildibrand side quests.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp":
    • As did Vana'diel before it, Eorzea measures things in ilms, fulms, yalms, and malms, which seem to be equivalent to inches, feet, yards, and miles, respectively. This is also done with weight, as in "An onze of prevention is worth a ponze of cure."
    • Lightning is referred to as "Levin" (an archaic word for lightning), while Thunder and Electricity keep their normal wording. This is notable because it changes Ramuh's title to "The Lord of Levin", which may confuse people at first, and lightning storm weather effects are referred to in the in-game coding as "Levinstorm".
    • Each of the orders of animals are referred to as something ending with "kin". You have Beastkin (mammals), Scalekin (reptiles), Cloudkin (birds), Wavekin (anything from the water), Vilekin (insects), as well as Seedkin (living plants like Treants or Morbols).
    • Demons are called Voidsent. This is because they are, quite literally, sent from the Void, the Void being an Alternate Universe where darkness overpowered light and consumed all.
    • Similar to the Voidsent, the Angelic Abominations that plague Norvrandt in Shadowbringers are called Sin Eaters.
  • Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": In addition to various monster examples: all the playable races, not just the Hyur, but the Elezen, Miqo'te, Rogaedyn, Lalafell and Au Ra as well, are called "human" in the game's earlier publicitynote . However, since launch, the convention seems to have become 'the spoken' or 'sentients' instead.
    • There are also numerous examples of animals that have little in common with what we normally think of. For example, Pelicans are green, wingless birds, eight feet tall at the shoulder with razor sharp beaks and long, hooded necks.
  • Calling Your Attacks: One that is really easy to miss, but during the final battle against them, Omega decides to simulate humanity as best it can, with all of its imperfections and illogical choices. During the battle, this includes calling out the name of one of its attacks to see if it increases its effectiveness.
    Omega M/F: <blip> Evaluating necessity of vocalization component. TREMBLE BEFORE MY COSMO MEMORY!
    Omega M/F: Reproducing vocalization. COSMO MEMORY!
  • Came Back Wrong: A couple of instances in the story.
    • Tam-Tara Deepcroft (Hard) has Edda using dark magics on the head of her fiance to bring him back to life, only for him to come back as a monster. Edda doesn't mind it at all due to her crossing the Despair Event Horizon.
    • Heavensward reveals this to be the fate of the Elder Primal, Bahamut. His sister Tiamat reveals that he was slain by Allagan forces, and in her grief the Ascians offered to bring Bahamut back - as a primal. He did come back, but as a "shell of his former self." To this day, Tiamat punishes herself for her choice.
    • Y'Shtola and Thancred both are hit with this in Heavensward as well — Y'Shtola used the spell Flow in order to teleport herself and Thancred away from the Brass Blades and Crystal Braves, but since the spell was infamous for its poor usage, the two didn't get out of it unscathed — Thancred has apparently lost his ability to use magic, while Y'Shtola - after you have to gain the help of Gridanian conjurers to pull her back out of the Lifestream - lost her eyesight, and the spell she uses to see is slowly killing her.
  • Camera Lock-On: You can have the camera focus on a specific target or player instead of yourself, for easier tracking. This is an artifact from 1.0, when it was the only type of targeting, and is almost never useful, but occasionally looks kinda cool.
  • Camera Screw: Especially if you're playing on console, the camera in Leviathan Extreme is easily mistaken for a Sahagin sympathizer. Leviathan's dives and bodyslams onto the arena (which are effectively instadeath/permadeath mechanics in the second half of the fight) are telegraphed for dodging by a plume of water signaling where he'll charge from. However, the camera doesn't pan back far enough to show every possible position, so you have to attempt to locate and then dodge the plume while wildly spinning the camera as fast as you can. Eventually a DPS check and ground based AoEs during these dives and slams are added to make this more... "fun."
    • For a while, boss fights inside dungeons would have nasty cases of camera screw when the barrier blocking your escape got in the way of the camera since it was treated as a solid wall. This made some fights more difficult than it should have if the fights required you to take the battle near the barrier. A patch rectified the problem by allowing the camera to pass through the barrier. Nevertheless, some fights still retain camera issues because of other objects around the arena, particularly the overly-tall fence preventing you from falling out of the arena for the first half of the fight against Ravana.
  • Can't Argue with Elves: With Dragons actually - ironically, the elves are on the side of people who can't do the arguing. Hraesvelgr's pain always seems to trump everyone else's whenever you talk to him. Though it is true that the Ishgardians are the ones who originally started the war, almost everyone currently living is completely unaware of that due to the lies they had been told all their lives, and they have all lost loved ones too in the war against dragons. And though even Ysayle is furious at Hraesvelr's hypocrisy in giving Nidhogg one of his eyes, ultimately she is the one who has to apologize to Hraesvelgr and vow to make up for the sins of the past. And when you come to him later on for his help against Nidhogg, you can't bring up the fact that both sides have lost a lot in the war, you just have to convince him that your side will do better.
  • Cap:
    • All class levels are capped to level 50, with each respective expansion increasing that by 10 (currently up to 80), and allagan tomes (currency earned in dungeons and raids to purchase high level equipment) are capped to 2000. Additionally, there's a weekly cap on the most valuable tomes of the season where players can only earn a maximum of 450 tomes, which prevents players from obtaining the endgame gear too easily. If you play the free trial, you're capped at level 35 instead.
    • It isn't merely combat gear and the associated end-game currency that comes with a cap. Heavensward also brings us Blue and Red Scrips, currency for end-game gathering/crafting classes. Like the esoterics tomestones, Red Scrips also come with a 450 weekly earnings cap. This was changed a bit in Stormblood where blue scrips were removed, red scrips having no limit on how much per week you can earn, and yellow scrips became the new 450 per week limit.
    • In general, each new iteration of an end-game raid begins with a loot cap (typically limited to one roll per player per week), that is then lifted shortly before or upon release of the next stage of that raid.
      • This was also the case for the higher-level Binding Coil of Bahamut, with the added restriction of loot chests becoming fewer in number with each successful clear by parties composed of the same (or mostly the same) players that'd previously cleared it between each weekly rollover period. Until the loot restrictions were lifted, this ultimately meant that not all members of a raid would even have a chance at gear week to week. This also applies to other savage raids that were introduced later.
    • There are also caps on the maximum level players can be in duties and FATEs, with the Level Sync mechanic temporarily lowering the level to it (also affects equipment, and locks out abilities learned at levels beyond that limit).
      • In a later 2.x ARR patch, an overall item level sync was instituted on most story and level 50 dungeons. While a player's level and character stats were always synced down, the stats on weapons and gear still applied. Thus, most content listed as a Hard Mode proved not to be quite so hard at all, and nowadays virtually all dungeons and trials at or below a level 50 character requirement will see equipment stats reduced to an equivalent 110 gear level.
    • Retainers: You can only have two without paying extra (and if you do pay, you can still only have up to eight), and their class level, if assigned one, is capped at the player's level in that same class.
    • Zones have a hard cap on how many players can be in the area at the same time. If the zone is full, no one can enter it until other players leave. Alleviated somewhat by the use of instances of high-traffic areas like Mor Dhona and most places introduced in a new expansion, so if one instance is full you can try entering a different instance.
    • Consumable items and crafting materials had a cap of 99. Stormblood would increase the cap to 999.
    • Damage output is capped to 999,999, which can only be reached through ridiculously powerful logo actions to overkill elementally-disadvantaged monsters in Eureka, though a handful of enemies in Stormblood can also inflict this much damage. Shadowbringers bumps up the cap to 9,999,999.
  • Cat Folk: The Hrothgar race, introduced in Shadowbringers. As large and burly as male Roegadyn, but with fur, claws, and heads like large cats such as lions or tigers.
  • Cat Girl: The Miqo'te race. Think Mithra from Final Fantasy XI, minus the characteristic noses (though they can be added during character creation), with more slender ears and tail variation, and a different culture. Also, unlike the Mithra, playable Miqo'te aren't all cat girls - male Miqo'te were made playable at the same time female Hyur Highlanders and Roegadyn were due to fan outcry.
  • Cat Ninja: A Miqo'te with the 'ninja' job class is literally this.
    • Since the Rogue class is a prerequisite for Ninja, V'kebbe from the rogue's guild is a good example too.
  • Caustic Critic: Some of the Discipline of the Hand guildmasters. Geva (Leatherworking) and Gigi (Goldsmithing) in particular. If not the guildmasters, there is almost guaranteed to be another guildmember NPC to fill that role.
  • Chainmail Bikini: While averted with almost all gear in the game, the Coliseum equipment for mage and melee classes definitely fit into this trope. According to Word of God, these were a throwback to 80s fantasy tropes.
    • It's worth noting that examples of this trope apply equally to both men and women; if it looks like a Chainmail Bikini on a female character, it'll look like that on a male character.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The finale of the Hildibrand story has an absolutely epic one. You remember those Zombies you found Hildibrand teaching the finer points of being gentlemen? Upon hearing that their "overlord" was at risk of dying for good, they go and help him stop the phantom thief's plot to start a Zombie Apocalypse by reminding the other mindless thralls of their benevolent leader. Ellie's reaction when she sees the zombies closing in on your party doing Hildibrand's signature pose is to scream and fall over.
    • The main story has a big one in regards to Ishgard. Around the 2.0 story line, you're told that Ishgard is completely closed off to outsiders and they refuse to let anyone visit them. By 2.55 you're branded as a fugitive in Ul'dah due to you being set up for assassinating Nanamo and the other city-states won't let you seek refuge with them. Alphinaud then realizes he can use Ishgard's xenophobia to his and the player's advantage by requesting asylum, knowing that Ishgard owes them after they had gotten help dealing with Shiva and the dragon horde.
    • The Carpenter questline in Heavensward starts with you returning the haft of an Ishgardian spear found in the Shroud to the son of its former owner. The spear itself is largely forgotten as you help said son attempt to reclaim his family's honor by crafting him weapons with which to bring down the dragon Nguruvilu, but it comes back in a big way at the end: it's found in the debris of a trap that failed to snare the beast, proving that the man's father did indeed die a noble death in combat and revealing that Nguruvilu still has a weak spot in his hide where the spearhead was embedded.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The merchant in your transport, the man you always first talk to after making a character in ARR, comes back in a big way. He helps get you away from Ul'dah after being framed for the assassination of Sultana Nanamo, literally the entire game from his first appearance. It's such a big callback that he even gets a voice actor during it.
  • Cherry Blossoms:
    • Though they're actually peach blossoms, these appear around the cities as part of the 'Little Ladies' Day' celebrations, presumably playing off the upcoming Girl's Day festivities in Japan.
    • The Lancer Class' attack 'Chaos Thrust' has those pink petals erupting everywhere as you flail that spear.
    • The Pugilist Class skill 'Fists of Wind' has a swirl of pink petals when you activate it.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe:
    • King Moggle Mog and Shiva are summoned as primals, and greatly expand the definition of the term "primal" since they never existed as primals previously. Mog and Shiva's existence came about because, as Yda had put it, their subjects prayed and believed in them a lot until they became real. Shiva is a notable case since, unlike Mog existing from a legend instead of being a real figure, she was a living person many years ago, but she returns as a primal due to Iceheart and her heretics fully believing that Shiva siding with the dragons was the right choice and envisioned her as such. Overall, the same principles apply to these two as to Eorzea's five recurring primals- Ifrit, Titan, Garuda, Leviathan, and Ramuh- in that sufficient prayer and vast quantities of aether will summon them into the world.
    • Also comes up in the Manderville storyline as Gilgamesh ends up accidently summoning his old friend Enkidu in primal form by merely wishing to see him again near a couple dozen cases of crystals.
    • Heavensward ultimately explains that all primals are actually this: constructs fueled by desire and prayer and tremendous quantities of aether and crystals. Ysayle the Lady Iceheart—who manifested Shiva in patch 2.4's story—approaches the elder dragon Hraesvelgr, who loved the original Saint Shiva, and declares herself Shiva's reincarnation, using her primal summoning as proof. Hraesvelgr completely shuts down this line of thought, declaring it as no more than the product of Ysayle's fervent belief and desire.
    • The Heavensward main story concludes with the ultimate example of this: Archbishop Thordan VII and his twelve Heavens' Ward bodyguards create and manifest the primal Knights of the Round, the original King Thordan I and his Knights Twelve, who have been worshiped by the Church of Ishgard for centuries.
    • This is the in-universe explanation for how fantasias, potions which allow you to re-create your character's physical appearance, work - they drink the potion and subsequently change appearance, including their race and even gender, because they believe hard enough that their appearance has changed. The Reveal in Shadowbringers that the Warrior of Light is an Ascian puts this in a rather different light, as Ascians are known to be able to shape their bodies to suit their desires.
  • Class and Level System: Of the Final Fantasy Tactics "one character can play whatever class they want at any time" variety, with aspects of a Point Build system. At the start of Legacy's service, it featured a "physical level" that determined extra stat points and whatnot, on top of each individual class level - this was later disposed of in favor of basing everything off of each individual class.
    • Unusually, crafting and gathering professions are classes as well, complete with their own "weapons" and a lot of equipment with bonuses to either.
  • Cliffhanger: The 3.1 quest line ends with Urianger entering an alliance with Elidibus while a third party watches (judging by the red trimmed boots shown likely to be Alisaie), and the revelation that Yda and Papalymo are still alive and planning a new offensive against the Empire.
  • Climax Boss: Interestingly, from a narrative standpoint, the Knights of the Round serve as this despite the fact they are the final boss of the expansion. Narratively though, the story is only about half over by the time they are taken care of, and almost immediately after, Niddhog possesses Estinien and returns to be the true Big Bad of the Heavensward storyline.
  • Color Wash: The game has a slight gray tint that dulls out the colours of the whole game.
  • Combination Attack: How a Limit Break works. Every party member's actions build up the party's Limit Gauge. When a Limit Break activates, the other party members will raise their arms up as though freely giving some of their power, while the initiating member channels the combined energy to use the Limit Break. Additionally, the Melee DPS and Magic DPS limit breaks have their damage calculated by the entire party's attributes and gear.
    • During the ending of 2.0, when Lahabrea is defeated he and the player are pulled into the crystal realm where Hydaelyn brings the Scions of the Seventh Dawn and the leaders of Eorzea together. Super charged by the crystal's light they all strike Lahabrea all at once to finish him and free Thancred. It's the one moment in the entire story where Lahabrea goes oh crap.
      Lahabrea: (after being forcibly expelled from Thancred's body by the Player's Weapon of Light attack) "What?!" (looks up, and mouth opens in fear as he sees Hydaelyn's crystal form, the Player, Scions, and Leaders of Eorzea glowing with aura's of pure light. They shout a battle cry and charge at him together) "The Light! It binds them! They are too many!"
  • Comically Missing the Point: In the lead-in to the Kobold beast tribe quests, despite the extremely insulting tone of a captured kobold's description of the 789th, the Red Swallows assume he's describing them as the "worst" as in "most dangerous." As quickly becomes clear when you encounter them, if you didn't pick up on it earlier, he meant "worst" as in "least good" — incompetent, lazy, cowardly, least good.
  • Comm Links: Linkpearls are used just like in FFXI, you also stay in contact with NPC organisations with whom your character is signed linkpearls ones given you by their representatives.
  • Complete-the-Quote Title:
    • There's a quest about halfway through the main storyline titled "All Good Things", referencing the saying "All good things must come to an end." Having just triumphed over Titan, you return to the Scions' safehouse to report in person. And you find the aftermath of a brutal Garlean attack, with only one survivor who hangs on just long enough to tell you what happened and where to go. Worse, the Garleans were there specifically looking for you.
    • The last quest of the 2.5 storyline (and, by extension, of A Realm Reborn) is titled "Before the Dawn". Given all the horrible things that have happened by the time you get there, it's easily the Darkest Hour of the story.
    • In Shadowbringers, the solo duty "When It Rains" sees the Crystarium soldiers desperately trying to fend off a Sin Eater horde, while you and the Scions rush out to try to save them. There's nothing you can do to save about half the soldiers in the field. The following cutscene featuring Ardbert is just as heartbreaking.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Triple Triad returns from Final Fantasy VIII and you can duel NPCs in the world to win cards. Some NPCs will leave you screaming in rage as they blatantly cheat. The NPC uses the Random rule? Enjoy having only one decent card and everything else is 1-star rarity while the NPC has almost a full hand of 2-star or higher. The NPC uses Random and Order? Watch as you're forced to play your best card first OR you don't get the first move and your best card never gets played because it's last in your hand. When the rule for hiding cards is in effect, it only seems to affect you because the NPCs know what cards you have, but you can't see theirs.
    • Perhaps the worst part is that the computer routinely uses illegal decks - players can only have one "rare" (e.g. a named character) card in their hand. Higher level computer opponents will routinely use four or five such cards. (Many of these opponents also have gimmick rules specifically intended to make them beatable, but it's still frustrating that it's impossible to match them power-for-power.)
  • The Computer Is a Lying Bastard: When you feed your chocobo snacks in order to get its feathers to change colors, the game will say "X's plumage will change in Y hours." This is only a half truth. What the game doesn't tell you is that you have to keep feeding your chocobo until you get the message "X is growing new feathers!" and only then will its feathers change colors in the stated time frame. A patch changed the plumage message to say that there's a possibility that your chocobo's feathers will change in X hours, but once again, it's still a half truth.
    • A minor one occurs in 3.4 during the fight against The Warriors of Darkness. After beating them up for a bit, the leader uses Holmgang on your entire party while the player version only allows one target to be affected. This ends the fight and triggers a cut scene.
    • The NPC that is in charge of the relic quest lines post Zenith also plays the trope straight for the Atma portion. After beating the RNG and acquiring 12 Atmas, taking them to the NPC has him infuse your relic weapon with them, making it an Atma weapon. Said NPC boasts about your relic having newfound strength, yet an Atma relic gains no stat boosts at all, making it just a Zenith relic with a different coat of paint. Even worse, it will be given a higher item level despite being completely identical stat-wise.
    • The end of the Zodiac questline is a rare benevolent version of the trope. After getting the required materials, you are told several times that you only have a 1.4% chance of successfully converting your relic weapon to a Zodiac weapon and you will lose your weapon completely if the process fails. The success rate will always be 100% and the drama about the low chance is the developers making fun of how ridiculous the steps for the relic had gotten.
  • Continuing Is Painful:
    • Zig zagged. Being knocked out leaves you with two options: return to your home point/start of the dungeon or wait for another player to revive you. Being revived lowers your strength, dexterity, intelligence, and mind by 25% (Weakness) for a bit but gets you right back into the action. Returning to your home point or the dungeon's entrance does not leave you with any penalties other than the damage to your equipment and possibly wasted time, but you must travel back to where you were before you were defeated. In the case of dungeons, returning to start while your party is fighting a boss will leave you locked out of the boss room until the fight is finished. However, if you're knocked out again while under the Weakness status, getting revived again puts you under the Brink of Death status, which lowers your stats by a whopping 50%.
    • Getting knocked out in the Eureka instance puts you on a 10 minute time limit to be revived or you're automatically returned to the starting point with a hefty EXP loss and a potential to actually level down. The loss is higher at higher levels.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: The Twinning in Shadowbringers is the culmination of a number of previous plot arcs, with the common thread being the involvement of the Garlond Ironworks. It reveals how exactly the Crystal Tower was able to come to Norvrandt: the Ironworks of the Bad Future took Cid's notes and research on Alexander and Omega to enable the tower to traverse through time and space. The dungeon's music even emphasises this, with its main theme combining the Crystal Tower theme and Omega's theme eScape, and the final boss's theme being a rock cover of Locus, the first boss theme from the Alexander raids.
  • Continuity Nod: During the Warrior of Light and Aymeric's dinner towards the very end of Heavensward, the Warrior of Light will stare for a while at the butler who is preparing tea for them, with Aymeric oblivious of what is causing this reaction. Considering that the last time the Warrior of Light had a private meeting with an important figure led to an assassination attempt through poison, their reaction is rather understable, and many players share their sentiment of wariness.
    • They also make a point of refusing wine that's offered, probably due to getting knocked out by a spiked drink at the first peace conference in 3.2.
  • Cool Airship: Quite a few, befitting a Final Fantasy game.
    • Cid comes along with the powerful Enterprise, which is outfitted with a way to penetrate aetherial winds with corrupted crystals. It later gets upgraded into the Enterprise Excelsior after the Enterprise is damaged trying to get into Aysz Lla
    • The Ishgardians have an airship of their own, but have to call Cid in because they can't get the damn thing to work.
    • You come into your own thanks to Cid called a Manacutter, which is designed the same way as the Enterprise, except with less size. However, because it requires a buttload of mana to get it to work, it only works around Ishgard and later realms.
  • Cool Sword: Players and NPCs both carry around quite a few unique pieces of works. Thankfully, if there's a design you like, you can most likely glamour it onto another weapon so you don't have to worry about losing it.
  • Corrupt Church: From the first moment you see them, it's clear that Ishgard's Holy See breeds their soldiers to be paranoid, mindlessly patriotic Knight Templar, and the Dark Knights exist in lore because the clergy are above the law no matter how reprehensible their deeds. Additionally, you learn midway through Heavensward's story that Ishgard were the ones who started the Dragonsong war. The reason? Sheer envy over the longevity of dragons, and they accomplished that through an unjustified murder of Ratatoskr, which drove Nidhogg insane with grief. In the present day, the current archbishop, Thordan VII, intends to use Nidhogg's eyes and an Allagan-made floating landmass with primals sealed in it to turn himself into a primal of King Thordan and bring the world to heel.
  • Cosmetic Award: Minions, small cute (or Ugly Cute) critters that follow your character around and do absolutely nothing. Some of them can be bought from shops, others are rewards from quests and FATE events.
    • You can also earn pieces of gear for earning certain achievements, but they have terrible stat boosts and are more for looking pretty/showing off by glamoring them over actually useful gear than to be used in combat.
  • Cosplay: Iconic outfits from past games are common rewards. The Lightning Strikes even rewarded players with Lightning's and Snow's outfits, the Labyrinth of the Ancients rewards tanks with the Warror of Light's armor, Setzer's gear can be obtained from the Gold Saucer, and the Veteran Rewards include outfits such as Cloud's from Advent Children, Firion's, Zidane's, and Squall's.
  • Costume Evolution:
    • Enforced throughout the 3.0 MSQ. As missing Scions are found and brought back to the fold, Tataru uses her theretofore newfound sewing expertise to make them new outfits. Thancred instead already arrives wearing a new set of clothes that he acquired shortly before he was found by the Scions.
    • In 4.0, after Lyse reveals herself as the late Yda's younger sister, Tataru also whips up a new outfit for her. Later on, after becoming the leader of the Ala Mhigan resistance, she changes into a traditional red Ala Mhigan dress; the same one shown in the expansion's opening animation.
  • Costume Porn: Armor that's unique and/or high leveled, such as the AF armor or the stuff gotten in dungeons like Copperbell, Brayflox and the Crystal Tower tends to be really pretty and detailed to the stitch.
  • Counter Attack: Certain special attacks only become briefly usable immediately after evading or blocking an attack, such as the Pugilist's Haymaker or the Gladiator's Shield Swipe. Certain abilities can be used to temporarily increase your chances to evade/block, which in turn makes these attacks temporarily more available.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: One of the storyline quests is specifically named this. It's immediately obvious as to why.
    Maerwynn: So, all you need to do is search for the golem, slay it, claim its heart, and use it to bait the spriggan. Oh, and do remember to rub the soulstone against a sufficiently large concentration of amber, say, Amberscale Rock in the Central Shroud. Short of petitioning a mage versed in golem magicks, that is the only way I know to dispel the enchantments woven into a true heart. Eh? Why are you looking at me like that? I had relations with a thaumaturge once, if you must know.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Most of Eorzea is a World Half Full as it heals from the Calamity, but at first glance the Twelveswood, with its few beastmen issues (including one of the only friendly tribes), plentiful resources, and low crime is far better off than the rampant corruption of Ul'dah and the bloodthirsty pirates of Limsa Lominsa. But it turns out that it's that way because the Gridanians have to be at the beck and call of The Elementals, Obstructive Bureaucrats who work on a mentality completely incomprehensible to normal people. In return for free access to the Twelveswood's bounty, the Gridanians have to enforce very harsh laws (poaching is a death sentence, regardless of the circumstances one is driven to it for). You also learn that the conjurers have to petition to heal civilians, as one of the random NPC chatter around Gridania implies they're going to let a twelve year old die of sickness because the elementals said so, and you see a similar situation with the Ala Mhigan refugees during the main quest. There's also far more racism towards the Duskwight Elezen than in most other regions of Eorzea, and the Elementals only just "tolerate" mortals. It's implied that their leader and the "brain" of the Twelveswood, known simply as the Great One, is completely intolerant of the spoken and has to be soothed back to sleep with conjury to prevent him from sending the wildlife to completely raze Gridanian civilization.
  • Creator Cameo: Yoshida, the game's director, appears as the Wandering Minstrel for a few quests and is mainly used afterwards as the means to unlock harder versions of trials you already endured (he also appeared as himself, along with the rest of the staff for The Rising event in 2015). One of the levequests in Northern Thanalan is an ahriman named Fernehalwes‎, who is named after English localizer Koji Fox that goes by the name of Fernehalwes‎ on the official forums and has his avatar as the same type of monster you see him in within the game.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: The entire culture and lifestyle of Ishgard is built around their endless conflict with the Dravanians and little else. For example, Sharlayan Astrology maps the heavens to predict the futures of anyone and learn healing magicks. Ishgardian Astrology, a bastardized version of the Sharlayan art, exclusively focuses on one star(cleverly dubbed the Dragon Star) to predict Dravanian activity.
    • This proves to be a source of some conflict in 3.2, as one of the reason most soldiers want to refuse the peace treaty with Hraesvelgr's brood of dragons is because of the war-focused society and the fact that if the war ends, it will dramatically change their fight-loving and honor-seeking ways. Aymeric eventually solves this by calling for a "Grand Melee", a competition of Ishgard versus the companies of the other three city-states, proving that they don't need to fight dragons to keep their honor and warrior's pride, and helping the transition to an army meant to fight people other than heretics with Ishgard rejoining the Eorzean Alliance.
  • Critical Hit: Happens naturally through random chance, though there's a stat that is dedicated to increasing odds of it happening. Damage that is a critical hit will have a distinctive *PING!* sound effect and a "!" appears next to the damage number. There's also a critical hit for healing. The critical hit mechanics were changed up in Stormblood by introducing Direct Hits, which are mini critical hits that happen more frequently than a normal Critical Hit and is signified by a slightly larger pop up text. It's possible to have both a Critical and a Direct Hit to occur at the same time, which is signified by a "!!" and is very strong when it happens.
  • Crossover: A recurring theme is for characters from other games to "invade" in some way for monthly events.
    • Prominently featured around the game's launch was "Lightning Strikes", promoting the latest entry in the XIII series by having Lightning cameo, and giving players a set of her (or Snow's, for males) gear.
    • Next came Burgeoning Dread and Breaking Brick Mountains, the first involved everyone's favorite pint-sized sociopath, Professor Shantotto. The second involves fighting Brick Golems from Dragon Quest X.
    • While the Crystal Tower is a big reference to Final Fantasy III, almost all the bosses are alternate versions that fit into Final Fantasy XIV's lore. The exception seems to be Cloud of Darkness, whose status as an undying entity that lives within the void between the Final Fantasy universes means that it's likely, though unconfirmed, that this is the same one that appeared in Final Fantasy III and Dissidia Final Fantasy.
    • Not to forget of course, Gilgamesh is back.
    • 2.4's Hildibrand quests have Ultros making an appearance. Apparently the Thaumaturge's Guild accidentally summoned him.
    • A handful of cosmetic items feature the likeness of the slimes from Dragon Quest.
    • Though nothing has shown up in Final Fantasy XIV as of this writing, Square and Sega have revealed a crossover event between XIV and Sega's Phantasy Star Online 2. Currently PSO has received the costumes and a special boss fight against Odin.
    • Between July 26th and October 3rd of 2016, a Yo Kai Watch event ran, allowing you to get several of the Yo-Kai as minions. It came back in September 3 to November 1, 2017, but in an unaltered state, not granting new weapons for the Stormblood-introduced classes.
    • The 3.5 update on January 17 2017 brought along with it a GARO event, which is slated to end with Patch 5.1.
    • The Omega raid questline for Stormblood has players crossing paths with the famous superboss first introduced in Final Fantasy V. In the alternate dimension where the quests take place, players contend with a number of other bosses throughout the series, including (but not limited to) Exdeath, Kefka, and Chaos.
    • An August 2018 even features the Rathalos from Monster Hunter: World(well, the series in general, really).
    • After the world of FFXIV crossed over into Final Fantasy XV, April 2019 brings the event "A Nocturne For Heroes", which sees Noctis crossing over from Eos into Eorzea, contending with Niflheim Magitek Armors and an alternate version of Garuda. Players can also drive around in the Regalia Type-F, the first mount that allows four people to ride at the same time.
    • February 2019 has now announced an alliance raid based on NieR: Automata called "YoRHa: Dark Apocalypse."
  • Crystal Landscape: The lands of Mor Dhona is mostly crystallized due to a event known as the Battle of Silvertear Skies where the Garlean Empire moved to dominate the land of Eorzea with their flying super-dreadnought, the Agrius. Not long after the invasion was started it was ended when the Keeper of the Lake, Midgardsormr, summoned an army of dragons with mutual destruction of both parties. Over the next five years, the fuel used by the airships and the bodies of the decaying dragons caused the land to crystallize and large crystal structures to emerge from the ground.
  • Cut-and-Paste Environments: Previously, the game had enormous expanses of land that re-used some assets to fill out the space—while all MMOs do this to some extent, much ado had been made about this game's usage, which sometimes recycled entire topographical features. The dev team listened, and in ARR, all zones have been split into 3-4 smaller zones with far greater variety and landmarks. The Novice Hall training ground, however, does recycle the map asset used for the Wolves' Den PvP with the only difference being all the walls are removed.
  • Cute Bruiser: Examples pop up quite often, especially Lalafell and Miqo'te. The second-in-command of the Pugilist's Guild is a definite example being both a tiny adorable Lalafell and an effective user of Good Old Fisticuffs.
  • Cute Little Fangs: A trait of the Keepers of the Moon Miqo'te.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Roegadyn aren't monsters, but the men are big, burly giant-like folk that resemble The Incredible Hulk. The women, by that token, are Amazonian Beauties that resemble She-Hulk. The Au Ran ladies, meanwhile, are much, much more obviously this, with the men being nearly as tall as Roegadyn and Elezen, with fierce facial features, but the women are as small and delicate as a Miqo'te. (For the record, Roegadyn and Au Ran men aren't ugly by any stretch of the imagination, just more "monstrous" in a way.
  • Cut Scene: Surprising for an MMO, this game has a lot of these. This is nothing new to players of FFXI, however, aside from the presence of voice acting in some high quality cutscenes, are more prevalent in ARR (though the game isn't fully voiced).
  • Cutscene Incompetence: The player character is always going to be this no matter how many enemies they have slain or if they have the best gear at the time something happened to them. If the player character is in a cutscene, then any fighting that happens in said scene will be carried out by NPCs while the player character merely watches or gets out of the way. Any attacks that hits the player character in a cutscene will always connect (sometimes it doesn't work, depending on the circumstances) and if the scene calls for it, the attack will either knock them out or weaken them. This is made glaringly painful at the end of 2.5 where the player character is arrested for killing Nanamo and when they're freed, they escape instead of fighting their pursuers. On a technical standpoint, the trope is used since the dev team can't exactly make cutscenes be different from each other based on what class the player is currently using and it's also to avoid the issue of scenes of characters getting hurt or killed being nullified by the player being a healer.
    • The player character's cutscene passiveness can also lead to a number of major Why Don't You Just Shoot Him? moments, with two of the biggest being Gaius van Baelsar in ARR, who is allowed to casually walk away from his loss leading to two more boss fights, and The Griffon in Heavensward, who is allowed to monologue for several minutes after losing while he recovers the strength to enact his plan which required him to die anyway.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Generally avoided, but the Futures Perfect quest cutscene is a perfect demonstration of the trope with all kinds of acrobatic moves and non available spells that makes one wish they could actually do half of what's done there.
    • The intro trailer for 1.0 was also heavily criticized for featuring player analogues doing all sorts of things players themselves couldn't hope to do - up to and including a few abilities which were meant for players at the time the video was made but removed by the time the game went live, such as the "En[element]" line of spells for Conjurer note .
    • Played straight with most NPCs later on. In cutscenes they can take down enemies in one or two hits apiece, but when that same NPC is fighting by your side later they seem unable to take down a single mook without your help.
  • The Cycle of Empires: And HOW! The Empires seemingly rise with each Astral Era, and then have their fall marked by an Umbral Era, often started by their very own actions.
    • The Allagan Empire rose via technological skills back in the 3rd Astral Era that surpasses even modern Eorzea and even the Garlean Empire. Unfortunately, after building the Solar Energy collecting Crystal Tower, they began to become decadent. In a desperate ploy, their chief technologist, Amon, experimented in Cloning and bringing back the dead to revive Emperor Xande, the first Emperor of the Allagans. It worked, but Xande, having felt the pain of death itself decided that all of life was fleeting, and thus, it would be better to cast it all into the nothingness of the Void by striking a blood pact with the Cloud of Darkness. A failed experiment involving Dalamud triggered a massive world wide earthquake that buried all of their civilization
    • The ancient civilizations of Amdapor and Mhach was amazingly skilled at White Magic and Black Magic, respectively. However, in their pursuit of ever more powerful magics, they began studying ways to overpower each other, sparking off the "War of the Magi" that drained the planet much of its aether, and weakened the barriers between Eorzea and the realm of the void. White and Black magic have become largely forbidden ever since. The disaster also helped to create the art of Red Magic as survivors of the War banded together and focused on ways to cast magic without using the planet's aether.
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