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  • Damager, Healer, Tank: Enforced. Every class is specifically assigned one of three roles - Tank, Healer, DPS - and the "Duty Finder" auto-matching feature will slot players into either a "Light Party" consisting of one Tank, one Healer, and two DPS, or a "Full Party" of double that (sometimes replacing the second Tank with a fifth DPS) depending on the content. There is some flexibility with cross-class abilities (and the healer classes have offensive spells for solo play to begin with) so these requirements don't apply to premade groups. Also the 3 categories of skills your chocobo can learn.
    • Despite these pre-assigned roles, everyone is expected to maximize their damage output while performing their role in the party. No other job makes this damage focused formula more obvious than warrior, whose DPS can rival some DPS jobs.
    • Averted with Blue Mage. Since this job is highly versatile due to the breadth of skills they can learn from monsters, they don't fit into the three roles, and as such, cannot join random parties in Duty Finder.
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  • Damned by Faint Praise: When starting a new crafting class, your work on the first few quests is generally regarded as "Not bad for an amateur". Inverted in the Goldsmith's Guild quests. The Genius Ditz Guildmaster tries to be encouraging, but her assistant pronounces your first work "Unfit to make a chamberpot" and your second "An affront to the gods themselves". When you turn in the level 10 quest, he replies "I've seen worse", which is immediately Lampshaded as a sign that he likes it.
  • Dance Battler: The Vanu Vanu, a beast tribe that appears as large, bird like humanoids of substantial girth perform a number of Haka like dances. In battle, when they aren't attacking, they even perform a haka with weapons drawn.
  • Dangerous Device Disposal Debacle: At the end of the 3.3 story quests, Alphinaud and the Warrior of Light toss Nidhogg's eyes into the nearby abyss — which predictably end up in the hands of the Ascians by their next appearance. It wasn't explained until 3.5 that they were expecting them to be destroyed in a torrent of eternally clashing wind and water aether that resides at the bottom of the abyss in question. Defied much later, the next time Team Good gets their hands on the things — Estinien notes that they're completely depleted of aether anyway, but takes no chances and destroys them for good on the spot.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Dark Knight class, introduced in Heavensward, is played as a defender of the weak and downtrodden from corrupt elements in the Holy See. Played with, since the actual quest is far more about just how "evil", or not, a person's "dark" emotions and desires are.
    Dark Knight Job Description: "... their greatswords act as beacons to guide the meek through the darkness."
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    • The Black Mage job storyline delves into just how unsavory the powers of void and destruction are, which can nontheless be wielded for a noble cause. The spell Foul is dark themed.
    • Played Straight in the Shadowbringers expansion, where the Warrior of Light must become the Warrior of Darkness to fight the encroaching calamity caused by light.
  • Darkest Hour:
    • Before the Fall – Part II (Patch 2.55). The wards surrounded Ishgard are broken, opening it to Dravanian attack; Sultana Nanamo Ul Namo is assassinated, and the Warrior of Light and the Scions are framed for it; Lolorito and the Monetarists seize control of Ul'dah; Ilberd and the Crystal Braves turn traitor; Raubahn loses his arm in a fight against Ilberd; the Scions, including Minfilia, sacrifice themselves one by one to help you escape; the Rising Stones is taken; the Hope Spot of a united Eorzea shatters; all that’s left of your strongest companions is Tataru, Alphinaud, and Yugiri, huddled in a cold room in Camp Dragonhead. Even Tataru’s attempt to cheer your team up is heart-wrenching. The Stinger twists the knife even further: Lord Lolorito is hinted to have helped plan Nanamo’s murder; the Ascians are still plotting and have turned their sights on Coerthas; Urianger has been in contact with Elidibus; and as the Warrior of Light looks upon the gates to Ishgard, Midgardsormr is at your side, taunting you.
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    • Prelude in Violet (Patch 4.4): It seems as though the Eorzean Alliance is poised to strike a massive blow against Garlemald. Suddenly, however, the Scions have a painful experience wherein a mysterious voice warns them of a coming catastrophe, after which they begin to fall comatose one by one. To make matters worse, the founding emperor of Garlemald is revealed to be an Ascian, the Empire has started using deadly chemical weapons against their enemies, and a new war is breaking out between the Empire and Ala Mhigo shortly after the conquered nation regained its freedom.
    • On a comical note, during the Further Adventures of Hildebrand, you have to massage an elderly villain (who has already forgotten who you are) until he falls asleep, steal his armor off his sleeping body, and leave him in the middle of a wilderness filled with bears and morbols. Your journal notes that this may be the lowest point in the Warrior of Light's career.
    • "A Requiem for Heroes", the last MSQ questline of Stormblood leading into Shadowbringers: War has completely broken out after Eorzea ends all diplomacy attempts with Garlemald after learning Emperor Varis's ultimate goals. After claiming victory for the Alliance, the Warrior of Light and Alisaie hear the voice yet again, with Alisaie losing consciousness, leaving the Warrior of Light as the last Scion left standing who has heard the voice. Afterwards, Elidibus!Zenos takes the field, and the Warrior of Light engages them. Just as they are about to cinch victory once more, they are called away, with Elidibus ready to kill them, to another plane of reality where they learn of the First, an alternate world that is about to be destroyed by the power of Light. After recovering (it is only thanks to Estinien and the good people of House Fortemps that they escaped death), they prepare to venture into another world that is on the brink of utter ruination. With the Warrior of Light gone to another world, and the Scions incapacitated, Eorzea's future as the Garlean Empire breaths down its neck has never been less certain...
  • Darker and Edgier: The final arc of the 2.0 Hildibrand story, believe it or not. It starts with you being informed that the charismatic and (mostly) benign Thief of Many Faces has resorted to murder and procured alchemical powder that zombifies victims, and it just gets worse from there. The thief is revealed to be Ellie and her previously unseen sister Cecy, who are descendants of Sil'dih, Ul'dah's sister city that was wiped out several generations ago. History attributed them to horrible magic and alchemy, but in reality in was Ul'dah who made the powder and the destruction of Sil'dih was just a senseless war of extermination. They were driven to vengeance out of hatred towards Ul'dah, and especially the "arbiters of truth" who perpetuated falsehoods about Ul'dah's history to keep the city from looking bad. Also, the ending gives us another disturbing revelation about Primals in the form of Gilgamesh summoning Enkidu as one completely by himself.
    • The game itself is this compared to XI. While that game's main quest and its various expansions ended on unambiguous happy endings or, at the very least, a Bittersweet Ending, XIV loves to subvert the happy endings of their initial main quests by having the post-launch main quests end in an unambiguous Sudden Downer Ending that involves the heroes suffering devastating, tragic losses, most, if not all of their victories being either undone or rendered completely pointless, the Warrior of Light seemingly powerless against the new threat, and the Ascians coming closer and closer to their ultimate goal of resurrecting Zodiark.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Some questlines feature side characters from other questlines prominently.
    • Alisae, who is absent through most of the ARR MSQ, is a key character in 2.0's Binding Coil of Bahamut questline.
    • Briardian, the deutertagonist of the 2.x Hildebrand questline, plays an important role in 3.0's Scholasticate questline.
    • The MSQ for Stormblood is a big one for one of the Scions: Lyse - who had been going by her sister's name, Yda, until the end of the Heavensward MSQ. The story of Stormblood follows Lyse as she aids - then later leads - the Ala Mhigan resistance.
  • Deadly Gaze: Several enemies can cause paralysis or petrification with a gaze attack. You can typically avoid such an attack by running out of its area of effect, but there's also a second way of avoiding the attack as well; don't look. Simply turning around and not facing the monster lets you avoid their gaze attack every single time, which is a method that was also used in the Final Fantasy Tactics series.
  • Death Is Cheap: A lot of character deaths in the main scenario have a tendency to not stick, either because the character in question is stated to have suffered only 'nearly' fatal wounds or are simply brought back to life. One very notable example is Nanamo Ul Namo, whose death near the end of the 2.x storyline leads directly into the events of Heavensward and had far reaching ramifications. It is later revealed, however, that she had not actually been poisoned, but had been given a sleeping potion that merely put her into a death-like slumber; she is given an antidote, and is back in action in Heavensward. Only a handful of deaths have actually stuck, including Gaius's lieutenants (save for Nero), Haurchefant, Ysayle, Thordan, the Heaven's Ward, and Papalymo.
  • Decomposite Character: Due to the fact Tiamat is in this universe a subject to Adaptational Heroism, her previously planned for this game design was used for two other bosses, Hydra and Five-Headed Dragon, respectively. Although Tiamat was for long connected with the Hydra enemy group, and the original Two-Headed Dragon was already an Expy of her.
  • Denser and Wackier: The Hildibrand quests are this to the rest of the game, being much more lighthearted and comedic in nature.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • Early on in the main story line, you meet a party of adventurers that give their healer, Edda, a hard time due to her lack of skills as a healer. Sounds like a jab at the players who gone through similar situations, but it then takes a nasty turn. Avere, Edda's fiance and the party's tank, dies in Tam-Tara Deepcroft, causing the surviving party members to blame Edda for her incompetence. The archer of the group even flats out admit that she only stuck with the group because it had a healer. Much later on, you find out that Edda is planning to hold a wedding inside the same dungeon that her fiance died in and when you eventually find her, she uses dark magic to revive Avere, though he takes the form of a monster. Edda is so broken that her mind is filled with insanity while her face has a creepy smile.
    • In Patch 3.4, you run into a Kobold named Gu Bu who is seeking to prevent the revival of Titan to protect his parents. The Warrior of Light, Alphinaud and Alisaie join in on his quest, ultimately leading to the room where Titan is brought in. There, Gu Bu finds his parents' bodies and, in his grief, accidentally summons a child-like Titan. Though Titan is defeated, everyone is unsure of poor Gu Bu's mental state and are worried he might need to be killed if he was Tempered.
    • At the end of the 3.x storyline, Ilberd exploits the desperation of the Ala Mhigan resistance, sicking magitek armors on the battered freedom fighters before using their despair, combined with his death while holding the aether-packed eyes of Niddhogg, to summon the primal Shinryu.
    • In Stormblood, you learn that Fordola's inability to think things through ended up leading to the daughter of the Qalyana Ananta tribe's broodqueen end up being taken hostage and later killed, sending the broodqueen into this trope and summoning Lakshmi. She's so far gone that she can't accept the fact that daughter, though alive thanks to the Primal, will never truly be alive and plots revenge against the Resistance when the Warrior of Light is forced to kill Lakshmi.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • The game has several points where the dialogue changes to acknowledge that the person you're talking to should know you already:
      • This isn't too surprising for the first three dungeons, where the adventurer's guild rep will acknowledge it if they're the one you've been working with in the early game... but even the Little Ladies' Day 2014 seasonal event had Serendipity give a special comment when starting it if you'd already joined the Goldsmith's Guild beforehand.
      • One of the craziest examples of characters recognizing you happens under one certain circumstance. During 2.55, there's a point where Tataru wants to become an Arcanist to learn how to fight. When you visit Thuebegrym to check up on her, she tells you that she's currently embarked on a trial. If you haven't unlocked Arcanist yet she explains the trials to you. If you have and have leveled past that point, she gives an As You Know. However, there's a third dialogue if you're an Arcanist and haven't done the quest yet, where she explains the trial and then suggests that you and her accomplish it together to aid your mutual training. Considering that you can get to level 5 and get the quest done in ten minutes at the least, the amount of thought put into interactions like these is mind-boggling.
      • Being a Dragoon unlocks some unique dialogue when Estinien turns up in Heavensward after playing a part in the job questline and trying to kill you. Zigzagged throughout the rest of the plot as the existence of another Azure Dragoon is variously mentioned or forgotten.
    • Tending to crops while the weather is clear leads to an animation involving your character watering them. If it's raining, they just turn the soil.
    • Characters wearing certain types of robes or dress-like outfits will ride mounts with both legs draped over the same side (although sometimes characters will just retain a normal riding position and make their robes clip through everything).
    • When using linkpearls, everyone puts their hand up to their ear. The developers remembered that Miqo'tes have cat ears that are higher up on their head, so Miqotes raise their hands higher up to those ears that all the other races who have normally placed ears.
    • In the Weeping City of Mhach, the Ozma Shade casts Doomsday that will instantly kill everyone if they don't beat it and return to Ozma fast enough. In the slight chance that you manage to avoid the attack by having dead players revive at the right time. Ozma will then endlessly pelt the survivors with smaller meteors that give stacks of Magic Vulnerability Up until they die as well. It has to be seen to be believed.
    • Multiple Trials have mechanics that will instantly wipe the party if you have too few members. Titan EX for instance will trap two members of the party in stone coffins that will explode and instantly kill the trapped player if it isn't destroyed fast enough. This means if your party drops to 2 players and he casts that skill, your run is done. However, if you turn on the "less than full party" option which removes the level sync, such mechanics will be changed or removed. Titan's rock prison for instance will not instantly kill the person trapped inside, allowing for solo runs to be done.
  • Developer's Room: 2015's "The Rising" anniversary event adds one (called "The Eighteenth Floor") to the game world for the duration.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: The end of the Little Ladies' Day questline for 2014, in which the doll loses the contest after all your effort. This ties into the themes of the quest line, but the fact that there's absolutely no explanation for how or why the doll goes from a steadily increasing lead to losing in the space of half a quest pushes the affair into this category.
  • Difficulty Spike:
    • The Non Player Characters you race against in the chocobo races gradually become more difficult as you rise in the ranks. The difficulty increase isn't too bad, but by the time you start racing in the R-80 races or higher, the AI becomes more aggressive by instantly using abilities to counter any debuffs you inflict on them, their own chocobos can outperform yours, and you won't be spared any mercy when it comes to the items being used against you.
    • Two notable spikes are the dungeons Brayflox's Longstop and the Stone Vigil. The earlier dungeons tend to be fairly straightforward, with mechanics generally limited to avoiding telegraphed attacks and killing newly-spawned monsters; their focus is getting players used to their role in the party and working as a group. The aforementioned dungeons begin to kick things up a notch, introducing fundamental mechanics to begin preparing players for endgame content. Wipes are not uncommon among new players.
    • The Steps of Faith trial is a huge wake up call to players who got used to the simple mechanics that the story quests threw their way. The trial calls for several mechanics to be used all at once and winning the fight requires more than just poking the boss to death or avoiding AOE tells. The trial leaves very little room for error to boot, so one too many screw ups means you basically lost and a single player who isn't paying attention or isn't doing the mechanics correctly can also cost the party.
    • The Heavensward expansion ups the difficulty across the board, although you are most likely to notice it when you face off against the first new Primal, Ravana.
    • This happens again in Stormblood, where mechanics introduced in raids are thrown in the mix.
      • By a lot of accounts, the level 69 dungeon is a lot more difficult than the dungeon after it. The reason being that the 2nd boss has a mechanic where if you do not get it right, your party will end up killing itself. And the only way to get it right is to look at the flavor text of the boss's buffs (who does that?). The 3rd boss lays down a gauntlet of AOE attacks, some of which you may have to prioritize which one's worth avoiding and which one's worth taking the hit.
    • The Final Boss for Stormblood is considered to be a massive difficulty spike for many due to the sheer amount of mechanics to deal with and having very little room for mistakes.
    • The new class quests for Stormblood's Red Mage and Samurai also suffer from this early on. You don't actually have to be at Stormblood to unlock them, able to start playing as them as soon as you reach level 50 and talk to the relevant NPC, and they give gear that is sufficient for the starting level 50 and the level 52 quests for them. Problem is, while they don't require you to be at Stormblood to unlock them, their quests are still designed as if they do - once you hit the level 54 quest, the amount of damage the enemies do skyrockets, without a player stuck in the pre-Heavensward section of the game being able to do much about being killed in four hits beyond gradually grinding out tomestones for better gear.
    • After Deltascape and Sigmascape were considered to be relatively easy on normal difficulty. Alphascape kicks up the difficulty a lot in comparison. V1 is not too hard and V2 is not terrible, but V3 is very intense and V4 is about the same. V3 is particularly hard as the boss has 2 attacks that require you to know where its larboard and starboard side are at any given moment, and then figure out where they are in the opposite direction moments later, with the attack coming out rather fast and with floor markers that essentially just exist to tell you whether you made it to the right position or not before damage hits.
  • Dirty Cop: Ul'dah's Brass Blades, mostly. One poor Lalafell By-the-Book Cop is horrified when he runs to tell his captain of a number of Blades involved in some local thuggery and finds that the captain was in on the job too. Everyone pretty much knows how corrupt they are, and the Blades don't bother covering up their activities that much as a result.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Nidhogg seems like he will be the Big Bad of Heavensward, as much of the quest is an attempt to either make peace with him or failing that put him down. Then you defeat him in battle. But the story is only half over, and the real villain, the Heavensward led by the Archbishop, step into focus. And then Nidhogg returns and becomes the true villain of the entire Heavensward expansion.
  • Disney Death: Despite previous appearances (and a rather grisly death scene), Nanamo ul Namo is found to have been merely placed into a deep slumber by the poison in her wine, rather than death. She is revived by a rescued Raubahn midway through the Heavensward storyline.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons: Heavensward introduces T-Rexes to the setting, they can usually be found in areas tangentially related to dragons. Word of God is that they're a lesser dragonkin, which means that they share an ancestry, but lack sentience like true dragons.
  • Distinction Without a Difference:
    • The intro to the Frontlines plot contains this lovely explanation of circumstances:
      Yellow Serpent Flyer: It's less “war” and more “organized violence to resolve a territorial dispute.”
    • The Griffin well, his body double assures you that he and his did not smuggle vast quantities of crystals to summon a primal. No, they smuggled them to trade to the Amalj'aa for military aid, and they will use the crystals to summon a primal.
  • Divide and Conquer: This becomes the plan of attack against Lord Zenos in Stormblood. Since the Alliance and Resistance just can't beat the full might of Garlemald head on, they plan to rekindle active rebellion in Doma as well as Gyr Abania to force Zenos to fight a war on two fronts and stretch out his resources.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: In the Dark Knight class line, when you and Sidurgu learn that Rielle has Dravanian power inside of her (something that is normally obtained by drinking dragon blood, considered a gigantic heresy in Ishgard), Sidurgu awkwardly tries to comfort Rielle saying that she isn't a bad person if she was force fed dragon blood. It almost sounds like he was trying to comfort a rape victim who contracted something.
  • Double Unlock: Patch 2.1 enforced the trope in spades for many end game quests. Not only do you have to meet certain criteria to unlock the quests, but now you also need to meet the minimum average gear level to be able to take on the quest. The change was most likely made to counter people who were charging other players (through gil) to carry them through the tough fights so that they can win easily without needing to worry about having good gear.
  • Do Well, but Not Perfect: Though it should only ever really matter in overleveled unsynced play, there are certain Extreme and Savage bosses where you have to pace your damage, as you can potentially shoot straight past certain mechanics that have to be done, causing the boss to instant wipe the party. Ifrit Extreme is probably the earliest example of this. If you ignore the needles Ifrit spawns and push his health to a certain threshold, he will instantly cast his party wipe attack regardless of how much time was left on the needles.
  • Downer Ending:
    • The Legacy storyline ended like this: The Bad Guy Wins, Bahamut is free, one of the more well known characters is (presumably?) killed off, and a large majority of Eorzea's population is laid to waste. A Realm Reborn makes this more of a Bittersweet Ending.
    • The A Realm Reborn storyline ended this way too: The Sultan of Ul'dah, Nanamo Ul Namo, is poisoned; the player is framed for her murder; General Raubahn Aldynn loses his left arm in an attempt to avenge her death and gets branded a traitor for it; the Crystal Braves seize Mor Dhona from the Scions of the Seventh Dawn in a Monetarist-backed coup; all of the Scions save yourself, Tataru, Urianger, Yugiri, and Alphinaud are missing; and the Ascians decide to accelerate their plans for Ishgard as a result.
    • Heavensward also ends on a downer note: Not only do you find out that Ilberd is The Griffin who started the False Flag Operation against the Empire at Baelsar's Wall, but he did so in order to cause as much death and destruction to summon a Primal more powerful than Bahamut. In order to give the Scions more time to figure out how to deal with the Primal, Papalymo sacrifices himself to call upon the Twelve to put it in a cocoon, similar to the same magic Louisoix cast upon Bahamut. This leaves Yda utterly devastated and the Scions now have to figure out how to deal with it before things get too out of hand.
    • Stormblood The scions are comatose. The empire has recreated the weapon of mass destruction "Black Rose" which Gaius destroyed. The empire may have pulled back but only due to internal matters and are planning to field the "Black Rose" against the Eorzean Alliance as soon as possible. Emperor Varis, who in recent scenes has been swallowing his pride and biting his tongue after finding himself no more than an acian pawn against his will, now sports a Slasher Smile after his most recent interaction with them. The rebellion's allies are shaken as rumour has spread that the Warrior of Light fell in battle. Zenos (in a new body) is carefully laying out plans to retake his position and is gunning for you. Elidibus (In Zenos's body) demonstrates that he is far more powerful than the already powerful Zenos ever was and it's revealed he is also gunning for you. A calamity is just on the horizon. In all of this the only hope in sight is a mysterious masked figure (who put the scions into a coma) who claims to represent only path to prevent said calamity from destroying the world.
  • Dramatic Wind: Some of the more free-flowing garments will billow dramatically while a player is casting magic.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: One of the late game 2.0 quests has you dressing up as soldier from The Empire in order to sneak into their base. However, you're only given the chest piece and visor, which is apparently good enough to fool the soldiers since you can wear anything else with the required gear. Or wear nothing at all!
  • Drowning My Sorrows: There's an untargetable NPC on the bottom floor of the Forgotten Knight Inn in Ishgard draped over the bar counter mumbling incoherently with a tankard in his hand. The barkeep tells you that the man recently lost his little girl to sickness, and to let him mourn.
  • Dualvertisement:
    • In 2016, FFXIV collaborated with another MMO, Phantasy Star Online 2, to bring costumes to the latter game, in addition to an exclusive boss fight with Odin.
    • In September 2017, FFXIV did cross-promotion with Yo Kai Watch, where players could earn a Yo-Kai Watch for their character to win, as well as Yo-Kai minions and weapons based off of each Yo-Kai.
    • In 2018, Square Enix teamed up with Capcom to bring in Monster Hunter: World, with Rathalos being a new trial and mount, along with various items inspired from the game. And while not customizable, the Palico is obtainable as a minion.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: When touring Kugane, Hancock talks about how brutal the Sekiseigumi are and warns them not to piss them off, lest they decide to join their old friend Teledji Adaledji. The player character and the Scions react in shock as Hancock laughs.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?:
    • Despite being living proof that you felled Ifrit, a primal god, some quest givers still treat you as nothing more than a common adventurer and/or they have you do tedious/menial tasks to prove your worth before deciding to help you. Even the city guards will still threaten to kick you out/put you in jail/etc, even if you've reached a point in the story where everyone is singing praises about all of your accomplishments.
    • The story quest to fight Titan zig-zags this a bit. Most of the quests involved are preparations for what seems to be little more than an ill-timed banquet. It turns out, however, that while the NPCs involved know exactly what you're capable of and the importance of what's going on, they also saw a lot of friends die when they themselves fought Titan a few decades ago, and want to be absolutely sure you're up to the task and know what you're getting into before sending you into danger. It's also turned around on you at the end of that quest line, where it turns out the banquet you've been helping them put together turns out to be in honor of you.
    • Other times, characters will remember you from past quests you participated in. Someone who has completed the level 50 job quests will receive glowing praise from the guild members and job trainers. For the Lost City of Amdapor, the White Mage trainer will be happy to learn that a player who has done any of the White Mage quests is taking up the cause of clearing it out.
    • Averted with Legacy players who played during 1.0 for the main story line. Even with the Laser-Guided Amnesia, the various Grand Company leaders often remark that you look familiar, citing that you remind them of the Warriors of Light note . Minfillia notes that she remembers you, but asks that you keep it a secret for the safety of the Scions. Cid, during his combined use of help from the player's power of the Echo, and his own Third Eye, remembers you, and his complete history, of helping flying the Legacy players into battle against Nael Van Darnus. By the time the player completes The Praetorium, Hydaelyn restores the memories of the others, they're all ecstatic to remember the Legacy player as one of the Warriors of Light who disappeared 5 years ago.
      Raubahn: No wonder he/she seemed so familiar! He/She is one of the Warriors of Light! What are you smiling at Cid? You knew, didn't you?
      Cid: (grins) Oh, sorry, did I forget to mention our friend was one of the Warriors of Light? Saved Eorzea, twice, you know.
    • Averted harshly as of the 2.3 patch cycle, your exploits have made you a Living Legend that gets showered with praise almost everywhere you go. Even doing the errands in the dungeon-unlocking quests aren't because they don't respect you, it's because they respect you too much and know that you above all people will succeed in helping them.
    • Averted even with now with Holiday specific NPCs. Players who participated in the 2014 Valentines day event, will be greeted warmly as an old friend by Lady Lisette de Valentione again in later events.
    • Averted after the events of patch 2.55. Despite your character being branded a murderer of the Sultana and traitor of Ul'dah, the people who know of your exploits refuse to have the wool pulled over their eyes and many express support to your character, even some of those of the Brass Blades and Crystal Braves who were part of the actual plot. Because of this, your character can freely walk around the major cities despite the events that happened during the quest suggesting that you should be getting locked up on-sight.
    • This gets very heavily deconstructed during the Dark Knight job quest chain: you've always had a voice in the back of your head frustrated at helping people and receiving little or no thanks or sometimes even being punished for it, in particular what happened to you in Before the Fall, where your deeds didn't mean squat to the monetarists who saw you as simply a pawn. This anger and frustration just needed a spark of the darkness to be able to manifest in a significant way - the brutal, pragmatic Anti-Hero Fray.
    • Also averted at the end of Stormblood where the soldiers at the base military camp in The Lochs will pause to turn and cheer you on if you walk by. Even the Grand Company leaders will stop what they're doing to acknowledge your presence.
    • Played deliberately straight during one quest during the Ivalice raids storyline. At one point you ask Jenomis if there is anything you can do to help while he is working on researching a place you are looking for, he tells you his theater troupe's writer needs your help. As the entire troupe is filled with Garleans (who are sort of defectors), they don't seem to really know or care who you are, and the writer sends you on a very long and tedious quest for a bottle of very rare wine. When you finally come back with it, it turns out he just wanted it to celebrate his wedding anniversary with his wife, and they ultimately don't even drink the wine. And to add insult to injury, Jenomis and Ramza basically tell you to stop screwing around when you get back since there are more important things to be doing than hunting down a wine bottle. The Warrior of Light is pretty clearly pissed at the end of all of it.
    • Played with in regard to the Disciples of the Hand quests. While later quests will acknowledge your achievements within that disciple, they will never acknowledge anything else. This is particularly egregious when the people in question act like they have no idea who you are, for example the level 50 Culinarian quest has you meet the Sultana.
  • Duel Boss:
    • In one of the story quests for patch 2.3, you fight a paladin from the Scions of the Seventh Dawn as a way to show the children from Doma how you fight your enemies. Halfway through the fight, the paladin's thaumaturge friend joins the fray to assist him and turns the fight into a Dual Boss. Neither of the two people show regret when you defeat them and they take their loss gracefully.
    • The climax of 3.2's story, the Grand Melee—a friendly mock battle between the city-states of Eorzea to welcome Ishgard once more to the Eorzean Alliance—ends in one between Flame General Raubahn and the Warrior of Light.
    • Quite common for class quests, such as the level 30 Lancer one.
  • Dungeon Town:
    • The Dravanian Hinterlands serves as this. What was once the settlement of the Sharlyan scholars is now an abandoned town filled with crumbling ruins, overgrown fauna, rabid wildlife, and the Illuminati goblins.
    • At the end of the Stormblood launch MSQ, the final dungeon takes place in the streets of Ala Mhigo, with the players fighting through Imperial forces before contending with Zenos.
  • Dwindling Party:
    • The Scions' numbers rise and fall throughout 2.x and don't really stabilize until about 3.5 - the Garleans murder a bunch of them and hold most of the main Scions hostage (you don't find out that two of them escaped capture until around when you rescue the rest of them); they recover just in time for everyone to scatter when they're accused of regicide and don't fully reunite until 3.4. By the end of 4.0, half of the original Scions have been replaced — Minfillia (who Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence), Papalymo (who performed a Heroic Sacrifice) and Yda/Lyse (who quits the group to lead the Ala Mhigans in rebuilding their country) are replaced with Alphinaud, Alisaie and Krile — and the other half is up in the air.
    • This also happens concerning the Omega sidestory. When you go into the Interdimensional Rift for the Deltascape portion, it's the Warrior of Light, Cid, Nero, Biggs, Wedge, Alpha and Midgardsormir. When Deltascape ends, Biggs and Wedge are injured by Omega and taken out of the team. When Sigmascape concludes, Nero finally collapses due to being attacked by Omega and Midgardsormir goes to sleep when he expends his energy freeing the Warrior of Light.
    • Starting in 4.4, the Scions begin falling into deep slumbers with their souls torn from their bodies one by one. First Thancred, then Y'shtola and Urianger, then Alphinaud, then finally Alisaie, leaving only the Warrior of Light and Krile remaining among the "major" members of the Scions by the end of 4.5 part one.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Before Krile Baldesion was mentioned at the end of the 2.1 story, Minfilia makes a linkpearl call to her after the escape from Castrum Centri. It's hard to spot because it's going on in the background while Alphinaud's talking.
    • Hildibrand's mother Julyan gets hit on by Ultros in the patch before her official introduction.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Even ignoring the massive difference between 1.0 Legacy and 2.0 onwards, there are several mechanics in A Realm Reborn and its expansions that don't quite fit with newer systems.
    • Titan and Ifrit, the first two Primals you fight during 2.0, were never present in Legacy because of the 2011 Sendai earthquakes.
    • The Main Scenario Duty Roulette, which only uses the last two quests of 2.0. It hasn't been removed and is really only there for a nice supply of Poetics. The reward had since beefed up generously to compensate for its Unskippable Cutscene.
    • The Job system and Soul Crystals, already so flow-breaking and unnecessary that producer Naoki Yoshida has gone on-record stating he hates the system with a passion and would love to get rid of it, was once even more flow-breaking and unnecessary by having a secondary requirement that the player had to level a second, often completely-unrelated class to level 15 before the one they already had at level 30 could advance to a Job; for instance, Gladiator could only become a Paladin if you also had, of all things, Conjurer at level 15. While the secondary class requirement was removed early in the Stormblood patch cycle, the overall system remains only because removing it would require massive reworking of the classes and rewrites for the starting class/job storylines; as far as post-release classes go, Rogue is the only one that doesn't start as a full Job (and, in a double example, the only non-limited class added after the initial release that you can't actually start as, owing to the story reason for its introduction in 2.4), with the classes added in the later expansions (Heavensward's Astrologian, Dark Knight and Machinist, Stormblood's Red Mage and Samurai, and Shadowbringers' Gunbreaker and Dancer) and patches (Blue Mage) all giving you a Soul Crystal from the get-go.
    • Quests in 2.0 get very heavy on fetch quests, which can quickly grate on players, especially in the section immediately after your first visit to Coerthas where a quest to acquire a single elemental crystal spirals into getting three of them. Usage of items to store other items for quests is another example in itself, as some of these require you to go through every individual step of acquiring the container, setting it down, opening it, stuffing the other item in, closing it back up, and then grabbing the container again, with only some understanding what exactly you need from the first "use container on item" interaction. Later quests have toned down the ridiculous amount of item-fetching, and what remains has been streamlined to let you just get there, grab the item in one interaction, and go.
    • Normally, to prevent Sequence Breaking, mobs in instanced duties lack the "leash" that causes overworld mobs to give up and de-aggro after you've dragged them too far from their spawn point. For some reason, Copperbell Mines is an exception — this dungeon, and just this one dungeon, not the two before or any after, retains the leash.
    • In contrast, Legacy originally didn't have mobs in the overworld at all - you could go wherever you wanted almost from the very beginning, only locking quests behind level requirements. Irritatingly, the developers overcompensated when adding them in ARR, and several quest objectives will now happily and repeatedly send you into dens filled with dozens of hostile mobs that you will have to clear out just so they don't interrupt you when you attempt to actually perform the objective.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: It took being betrayed and losing many friends, but the resolution of Ishgard's story sees Man and Dragon finally co-existing once more, Ishgard's corrupt theocracy replaced by a Republic senate of both noble and commoners who immediately make the city a better place, and there's a long series of side quests that involves retracing your steps to find out how sincerely and massively you've made the world a better place. And while there are quite a few casualties in the battle with Nidhogg, the worst that happens to a named character is Hraesvelgr losing a wing, but as an impossibly powerful elder wyrm it proves little more than an annoyance once he heals. After the events of Before the Fall, it's beautiful to finally see your efforts bear fruit, turning Ishgard into the closest thing Eorzea has to utopia.
  • Eat Me: The trick to defeating Cerberus in World of Darkness is when it breaks free, one party stands in a ball of magic it throws up that shrinks you, and then deliberately let it swallow the alliance whole to attack its stomach lining, causing it to throw you up and stunning it so the other alliances can bind it again. This only works if you're shrunken, though - if not, he tears you open for a One-Hit Kill.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors:
    • Averted in the current game. Even from the start, it only applied to players via elemental resistance stats, but they turned out to be so useless that they were removed in patch 4.2. The game otherwise has had no proper elemental weaknesses, which is an odd thing to see considering that the Final Fantasy franchise made elemental weaknesses a common strategy to exploit. You can cast Fire on a Bomb monster (which are usually composed of fire) and it will take normal damage. Word of God says having no elemental strengths or weaknesses was intentional so that all classes could have a fair shot in battle and not be outdone by certain classes.
    • Originally played straight in a few instances in regards to poisonous or non-biological creatures being immune to the Archer's Venomous Bite attack, or the Arcanist's Damage Over Time spells, though this was changed shortly after the release of 2.0.
    • Played straight in the Palace of the Dead with the Pomander of Resolution, which transforms the user into an angelic being and can blast enemies with a holy based spell. Said spell does massive damage towards dark and undead based foes. Strangely, the White Mage's Holy spell does not have the same effect.
    • Downplayed in the Forbidden Land, Eureka. Enemies have elemental alignments, and you have a magia board slotted with magicite that gives you an elemental alignment, but only the configuration of your magia board comes into play; the elements of the attacks you use are irrelevant.
  • Elevator Action Sequence:
    • The first two phases of the final boss in A Realm Reborn take place in an elevator that conveniently never ends.
    • Additionally, Turn 4 of The Binding Coil of Bahamut pits a full party against several waves of enemies on an ever-descending elevator, in the grandest tradition of Square's SNES titles like Chrono Trigger.
  • The Empire: The Garlean Empire is a somewhat more realistic version of the trope than the usual, as it only managed to conquer one of the other nations before the remaining three banded together to stop the invasion more or less before it began.
  • Endless Daytime: Due to the flood of light within the First World, it is perpetually day time in the few areas that haven't been claimed by the light.
  • Endless Winter: Ever since the fall of Dalamud, the northern land of Coerthas has been trapped in one of these. Worse, an unnatural wall of ice has blocked off the only pass from the Central Highlands to the rest of the region. The storyline of Patch 2.3 hints that Shiva, the primal of ice may be involved in a lot of the region's problems. The release of Heavensward, has since allowed players to explore the Coerthas Western Highlands, which have fared even worse: most of the lakes and rivers are frozen over, and nearly all the old settlements are abandoned ruins.
  • Enemy Mine: A quest named Enemy Mine has you forming one of these with the Red Wasp Gang and Coeurlclaw Poachers in Gridania, they mention having heard the stories about you and look forward to fighting you, but they choose to help you for the time because they hate the Garleans more and the fact the one who let them through the borders was a traitorous Wood Wailer.
  • Empathic Weapon: Implied for the Zodiac Zeta weapons. During your quest to create one, every Mahatma attached to the weapon gives it some form of sentience (juxtaposition, conviction, etc.) from a lore perspective and said sentience is what makes the Zodiac the true arm used by the Zodiac Braves.
  • Epic Fail: In the FATE quest "Giant Enemy Crab", the Qiqirn brought the monstrous Karkinos into the area so they could harvest its eggs. Unfortunately, they didn't realize Karkinos was male. Or that the gigantic crab would eat every other egg in the area.
  • Escort Mission: Several side quests involve you calling an NPC every few steps to get him/her/it to follow you to the destination while protecting them from enemies. Luckily, the escort missions are not frustrating. Some story quests also have an NPC that must remain alive for the fight. If the NPC is slain, the boss will unleash a One-Hit Kill on your party.
  • Everybody Laughs Ending: The end of the 2.2 Hildibrand Quest chain at Hildibrand and Briarden's antics.
  • Everyone Is Bi: At least a lot of them. Several story key characters seem to develop romantic feelings for the Warrior of Light (explicitly for at least two of them), no matter what the Warrior's gender is. There also doesn't seem to be any prejudice towards same-sex couples in general in the game's world, quite a number of Non Player Characters being actually involved in same-sex romantic or physical relationships. Some in-game negative reactions appear towards interracial couples instead, as seen with the two male lovers involved with the Wanderer's Palace quest, one being a Hyur and the other a Miqo'te. They state they were kicked out of their village for being lovers, seemingly setting their village to be homophobic, but it's quickly revealed the outrage was because they were different species - the fact that they're gay goes entirely unmentioned.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs:
    • The raptor type foes that you encounter in the Black Shroud, who can also use an ice breath attack. You can even get a baby raptor for a pet!
    • The Mamool'Ja inside of Wanderer's Palace (Hard) have dinosaur like combat pets they use for fighting or riding into battle
    • Heavensward added in Tyrannosaurus rex, the earliest of which you'll probably see upon entering the Mouth of Morn in the Dravanian Forelands.
    • Eureka Anemos brought with it a T. rex mount. A flying rex! The flying was literally obligatory, as all mounts added since Heavensward have been flight-capable, but just to be sure, the Mount Guide gives it a Hand Wave about exposure to the island's "turbulent aether".
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: So are Apkallus.
  • Everything's Cuter with Kittens: You can get a baby Coeurl, which comes with a red ribbon and a bell. It even plays with the wolf pup if another player has theirs out.
  • Everything Fades: Defeated enemies will fade out of existence after a few seconds. Most bosses also evaporate in dark purple and black smoke after their defeat. Often justified in that primals are magical manifestations enchanting the world around them, And thus consist entirely of aether.
  • Evolving Weapon: The Relic Weapons can be made stronger with different items and quest lines as you progress. From the base level to Zenith, to Atma, Animus, Novus, Nexus. Then, the relic is transformed into it's Zodiac version, which then upgrades to the final stage, Zodiac Zeta. Heavensward continues this process, with players who possess a Zodiac Zeta weapon having a jump start on the new versions of the weapons.
  • Exact Words: After Garlemald makes a temporary truce with Doma, Asahi tries to reignite hostilities on grounds to the effect of "a Doman summoned an eikon". Never mind that the Doman in question is his sister, a high-ranking member of the Garlean government, and doing this on Asahi's orders. The letter of the agreement has been broken, and Asahi wants war, damn it!
  • Excalibur: This wonderful weapon reappears in this game, too! Excalibur is a Gladiator/Paladin weapon and is part of the Zodiac Braves weapon line. It gains an upgrade, the Excalibur Zeta, which makes it the strongest of the A Realm Reborn-originating GLD/PLD weapons, trumping the Augmented Garland Ironworks Sword. When Heavensward released, a mission allows you to transform the Excalibur Zeta into the Animated Hauteclaire.
  • Excuse Plot: While the game itself has an amazing, very well written, and enjoyable story, the PVP battlegrounds have an excuse plot. It is a major plot point in the game's story that the 3 grand companies (factions) are allies. The PVP battlegrounds basically go "Yes, we're allies. But these ruins were found that each of the companies wants to get to first, so we're fighting over them. Want to come help?" Even the NPC acknowledges that it is a Hand Wave so that the game could have PVP.
  • Exposed to the Elements:
    • Averted and lampshaded by Alphinaud in Coerthas, part of the reason he wants the problems there sorted out quickly is because he expected everything to go much more smoothly and is not dressed for the weather.
    • Averted in Heavensward, upon leaving Camp Dragonhead, and crossing the Steps of Faith to enter Ishgard for the first time, Alphinaud and Tataru are shown wearing heavy winter coats. Quite useful, as they cross the bridge in the middle of a heavy snow storm. A few story quest latter, and Tataru, having taken up weaving, has made Alphinaud a brand new outfit that provides much better protection from the elements than his old one.
    • Averted as well by Minfilia - unlike Alphinaud, she's smart enough to wear a heavy winter coat to Coerthas on her first visit there.
    • Played straight to the point of exaggeration with Player Characters. You can run all about the frozen lands of Coerthas, wearing as little as your underwear, or swim wear, and not a single shiver will be seen. In fact, when you yourself are playing through the 2.0 storyline quests in Coerthas, the armor available as quest rewards typically consists of either heavy suits of armor for Tank classes (which themselves, being made of a lot of metal, would be even worse in such a climate without a lot of insulation to keep the wearer warm) and ridiculously-skimpy harnesses for everybody else.
    • Averted by many Coerthan and Ishgard NPCs. A few shop keepers can be seen shivering despite wearing heavy coats.
    • Played for laughs during the Heavensward Hildibrand questlines: when the player first encounters Godbert Manderville near Falcon's Nest, he's dressed snug and warm, as is his wife, and exhorts the player character to do the same. As the quest continues, though, he gradually strips down until he's in only his trademark skivvies.
  • Exclusive Enemy Equipment: Certain boss characters use weapons that look pretty cool, but they could never be obtained by the players. When the Gold Saucer was released in patch 2.5, many of the enemy exclusive weapons became available to be used by the players and are only obtainable as a prize in the Gold Saucer. The stats on said weapons are very average and many weapons clearly outperform them, so their main purpose is for glamour.
  • Expy:
    • The playable races are, for the most part, visually very similar to those of FFXI, though the non-human races seem to have been made more human-like. Roegadyn are visually similar to Galkas, but without tails, more evenly proportioned bodies (i.e. their legs and feet aren't as small as Galkans), and have females (Galkans in FFXI were male only, that reincarnated upon death). Miqo'te facial features are more human like in compared to Mithras in most cases, though a few (and even players) can appear more or less cat like. Lalafells stand slightly taller than Tarutaru, and again, have more evenly proportioned bodies. The Elezen are perhaps the least changed from the Elvaan, but often slightly less muscular in appearance, instead having a somewhat more agile look to them.
    • The same goes for a few monsters and beastmen, though granted, with graphical updates. Goblins are basically HD, updated models of FFXI's. Some ghost type monsters are visually similar to the ones from FFXI, as are leeches. And that's just a partial list.
    • Some of the architecture looks similar as well: Gridania looks similar to Windurst in some ways, and Ul'dah is basically Aht Urhgan in the desert (or, expanding horizons a touch, Rabanastre with the serial numbers filed off). Ishgard is San d'Oria transported to more mountainous, snowy climates, and replacing its ongoing conflict against orcs with dragons instead, and is primarily home to Elezen, focus on knightly forces (even one of their orders is called the Temple Knights, and have similar missions), andis just as devoutly religious. And they are also home to the Dragoon job. The only difference is the head of the nation is not a king, but rather, seemingly the head of the faith to Halone.
    • A lot of the monsters and monster types are flat-out recycled from Final Fantasy XII, even with the same names: mantises, aevises, mirrorknights, feral crocs, even the unique enemies from the Stilshrine of Miriam are reused in the Sunken Temple of Qarn.
    • Thanks to cross over promotional events, several monsters and items from their respective games show up for a limited time in special FATE battles and as rewards. Additionally, The Binding Coil of Bahamut features the Gran Pulse machina Dreadnoughts from Final Fantasy XIII. It's also a FATE fight during the FFXIII crossover event, and has nearly every single ability and attack it had from its original game, including Steam Clean (Removes all debuffs on it) and incredibly high damage Resistance rates.
    • The Ascians are a very weird case. They are named for the Scions of Light from Final Fantasy XII, but their actions, and motivations resemble more those of their evil counterparts, The Scions of Darkness/Espers/Lucavi. Their goal is even pretty much the same as the Lucavi, summoning their God/leader. The God they worship is also named after an FFXII Scion/Esper, Zodiark. They are also extremely similar to the Forsaken from The Wheel of Time: their penchant for labyrinthine self-serving plots even as they all serve the same dark god, their ability to resurrect in a different body if killed, the fact that they can only be permanently killed using a very specific and extremely powerful method, etc.
    • The Au Ra ladies, in particular, have some definite similarities to the Gria of Final Fantasy Tactics A2.
    • For an out-of-series example, the Garlean Empire has a lot in common with the Zaibach Empire of the Vision of Escaflowne. Both sprang from rough, unforgiving landscapes where the people suffered and died as a result of nature or bandits. Both incorporate technology as a means to equal the magicks of the rest of the world and both have a people who are unable to use magic and finally both were propped up by charismatic leaders of humble beginnings who wanted more than their station in life.
      • In a similar vein Doma is very much like Fanelia, both are countries that fell into ruin from a traitor within, both are the home of their world's samurai and eschew lineage in favor of talent and both are seen as a kind of threat to their opposing empire.
  • Eyes Are Unbreakable: Despite the following trope, once removed from a dragon's eye socket, their eyes seem remarkably resilient, with the Azure Dragoon and later the player character able to carry them around and use them without any particular care. And despite the handling, they seem perfectly re-insertable and re-usable by the original owners.
  • Eye Scream:
    • A Great Wyrm's power rests in their eyes. You can naturally draw the conclusion of what happens to several of them. In Heavensward at the end of The Aery we are treated to a scene of Estinien skewering Nidhogg's remaining eye.
    • The touched sylphs threaten to do this to you in a beast tribe quest.
  • False Flag Operation: Happens in 3.5 when "The Griffin" lures the Eorzean Alliance to the Black Shroud's Eastern border with Ala Mhigo, where the Imperials' Castrum Oriens, AKA "Baelsar's Wall" is located. The Alliance is there to defend Gridania from any Imperial aggression as part of their counter attack against the Griffin's otherwise ill-conceived plan to assault and take over the wall. In reality, this is all part of his plan to drag Eorzea into a war with the Garlean Empire, as he uses the build up of forces to launch an attack with Ala Mhigan Resistance members and remnants of the traitorous Crystal Braves, dressed in the Grand Company colors.
    • And that itself turns out to be a ruse by the Griffin, revealing his true identify as Ilberd, to generate enough death, despair, grief, hatred, and sorrow among the Resistance members that joined him being utterly wiped out by Garlean reserve units ordered to attack by his fellow co-conspirators Laurentius and Yuyuhase in Imperial uniforms. All to fuel the creation of a new primal, capable of potentially causing a new Calamity.
  • Fantastic Drug: The 4.X Hildebrand quests concludes with the realization that an affluent Hingan businessmen was using a Hannish drug to exploit the Shinsengumi: "dewprism", a white powdery substance that, even in small quantities, robs its victims of free will and makes them susceptible to the whims of others. One side effect of its use is Red Eyes, Take Warning.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Not as rife as in other fantasy settings that deploy this trope - Eorzea seems to be a very tolerant place indeed, being the racial and cultural melting pot that it is. This is somewhat less so for other places in Hydaelyn, however. The Garlean Empire, for instance, sees all races who have anything to do with the Primals as being in need of purging. This generally just means the Beast Tribes. However, as those gifted with the Echo are in some way connected with the Primals, the Empire seemingly lumps all Walkers of the Path (and thus, the player characters) in with the Beast Tribes on the purge schedule. Also, now that we're getting a good look at Garlean military bases in 2.0, it seems like their military is made up of all the "enlightened" races... except for Lalafell, who are virtually absent in any capacity.note 
    • Further enhancing the questions about Garlean racism is the subplot around Rhitahtyn Sas Arvina, Gaius' Roegadyn praefectus. At one point, Rhitahtyn is assigned to command an entire "castrum", or military base, by his lonesome, and even he finds this potentially questionable since he is afraid the soldiers may not respect his authority for... "reasons". Gaius, to his credit, makes it eminently clear to both Rhitahtyn and everyone else in earshot that he has earned this and that Gaius has absolute faith in his abilities. When Rhitahtyn is killed later on, Gaius is livid with anger and his first assumption is that Rhitahtyn was abandoned by his men because he was a Roegadyn.
    • As of ARR, Ul'dah has expelled all of the "beast races" from the city and refuses to do business with them. A number of FATEs in the surrounding zones have you dealing with Qiqirn and Goblins that have taken to robbery or other crimes as a result.
    • The Duskwights of the Elezen seem to have a tough time of it in Eorzea—there are hardly any Duskwight NPCs, and the few that are there seem to exist to remind the player that... the Duskwights have a hard time of it, especially due to crappy treatment from the Gridanians. So far, they seem to be rather like Roma in caves!.
    • Keeper of the Moon Miqo'te don't have it well in Gridania either, as in the backstory they're a very isolationist and xenophobic tribe, and only recently started to attempt to coexist with other people. Specifically, due to their hunter-gatherer lifestyle clashing with the will of the elementals, continued hunting without their express permission is poaching by law. Friendly Keepers basically have to abandon their way of life to be accepted into the rest of society, which is why there's such a schism in the behavior of Seekers of the Sun (of which we've seen none in the Black Shroud), integrated Keepers, and Keepers who stick to their culture and are labelled poachers for it.
    • This is actually Yugiri's purpose in concealing her face; she is very worried about how Eorzeans will react to her if they actually see her face. Specifically, it seems likely she's afraid of being mistaken for a Beastman, given the reptilian features of the Au Ra, and she may be particularly afraid of encountering an Ishgardian, being mistaken as a Dravanian, and being murdered on the spot. Something that Sidurgu of the Dark Knight job quests will point out did actually happen when the Au Ra were first encountered by the Ishgardians. This is also mentioned by Aquala in the extra White Mage quests where her revenge plot is for everyone who had ridiculed her and her people, along with doing terrible things to them.
    • The Garleans are very fond of calling Eorzeans "savages" simply because said Eorzeans aren't submitting to the will of The Empire, which uses advanced technology to solve all their problems while Eorzea does not.
    • Racism towards the beast tribes depends on where you look. In Eorzea, almost nobody wants them anywhere due to their primal summonings as well as capturing people to have the primals temper them. Gridania has friendly ties with the sylphs while Limsa Lominsa have a barely neutral status with the kobolds due to the Lominsan people having overstepped their boundaries against the kobolds in the past. The Lominsans don't have any issue with the goblins, mamool jas, or the qiqirns and allow them to trade in the city. The "Friends Forever" quest shows just how bad the racism towards beastmen are by having an alchemist kidnap and kill beastmen for his experiments since he knew no one would care if a bunch of beastmen went missing. in Heavensward the Gnath and Vanu Vanu are mostly just territorial while the friendly factions are more willing to interact with the spoken. In Stormblood, the ananta, kojin, lupin, and namazu are very open and friendly with the spoken races and trade with them very frequently.
  • The Fair Folk: The sylph manage to fulfill both ends of the spectrum. Friendly Sylph are relatively harmless and enjoy the company of mortals who can comprehend their rather odd traditions, and also enjoy playing harmless pranks like leaving gifts of fruit in weird places to people they like. Tempered Sylph are much worse, very territorial, they usually don't leave Larkscall, but when they do it's usually to play very cruel, spiteful pranks that could harm or even kill mortals. They also constantly encroach the untempered Sylphs of Little Solace to try to bring them under Ramuh's thrall.
  • Fairytale Wedding Dress: Females players can wear one of these during their ceremony of eternal bonding (AKA wedding) event. They can also wear them after the event has long passed, even into battle!
  • False Reassurance: In Kugane's ijin-gai, Hancock explains that breaches of the peace are strictly forbidden, and violators have been on occasion permanently exiled for a single incident. But that's quite rare... more often, they're executed on the spot.
  • Famous Last Words: Most boss enemies encountered in Dungeons, Raids, and Trials will say something just as they're defeated.
  • Fantasy Axis of Evil: Most of the antagonistic races form this, even if there are far more than five.
    • The Savage: Amalj'aa as a Proud Warrior Race Guy type, Sahagin as a more aquatic version, Ixal as a feathered type. Mamool Ja, a race of mercenaries that doesn't populate Eorzea as much, also fits. The Vanu Vanu, added in Heavensward, also fit the Proud Warrior Race Guy aesthetic.
    • Eldritch: The Voidsent, occupying another realm most of the time but often bleeding into Eorzea.
    • Humanoid: Goblins, by far the most populated Beast Tribe and located all throughout Eorzea. Many of them have peaceful relations with the six races. Outside of Beast Tribes, the Garleans also count, being physiologically different from Hyur.
    • The Fallen: The Touched Sylphs fit this as The Fair Folk type, since regular Sylphs are friendly to Gridania. These Sylphs were tempered by their god Ramuh and now play foul tricks on people. The Tonberries also fit, despite technically not being a Beast Tribe since they were once normal Lalafell from the ancient city-state of Nym who suffered the effects of a plague sent by the nation of Mhach during the War of the Magi and are now filled with rancor towards the other races. Duskwight Elezen are also viewed this way by the other six races sometimes, despite being one of the playable races, possibly due to being Eorzea's version of dark elves.
    • Crafty: Kobolds and Qiqirn, both smaller than the other races. The former has unparalleled skill in alchemy and metallurgy and the latter are usually rogueish and tricky merchants. The Gnath added in Heavensward also fit, due to their Hive Mind and Zerg Rush tactics.
  • Faustian Rebellion: Archbishop Thordan VII plots and successfully executes one against the Ascians who taught him the secrets of Primals and facilitate his plan to rule the world as the legendary King Thordan.
  • Fictional Zodiac: The Twelve in addition to being a pantheon also serves as this. They are each assigned a corresponding month and created characters can pick one of them for flavor purposes.
  • Fighting a Shadow: Primals (and probably the gods of the player races) "exist" in the aether and can't be Killed Off for Real, only re-banished, so to speak, by killing their summoned physical form (or sealed as was the case with Bahamut and the Warring Triad).
  • Filler:
    • After killing Titan and having the Waking Sands ransacked by Garleans, a lot of nothing happens. The main story quest spends roughly 5-7 levels on Cid and Alphinaud's attempts to figure out where the Enterprise is and extract it from the Stone Vigil, hampered at every turn by Ishgard's labyrinth of red tape and isolationist politics. With that finally done, it spends another 3-4 levels sending the player on Fetch Quests across the realm to acquire a specific elementally-aspected crystal. The NPCs get the element in question wrong several times. Finally, you get to fight Garuda, at which point Ultima Weapon shows up and the plot kicks into high gear.
    • This crops up in Heavensward as well. And the most infamous series of quests in 3.0. After surmounting the Mountain Sohm Al and meeting the Moogles of the Churning Mists, they send the Warrior of Light, Estinien, Alphinaud, Ysayle and Kan-E-Senna doing chores before they can meet with Heaesvelgr. Their reason (laziness notwithstanding)? One of the moogles broke the horn needed to call Hraesvelgr to Zenith. Once they do meet Hraesvelger, Estinien opts for Plan B, Kill Nidhogg and the plot moves forward
  • Final-Exam Boss: The final bosses of the Main Scenarios are like this (the Ultima Weapon, the Knights of the Round, and Shinryu, for 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0, respectively), heavily featuring mechanics used by previous bosses.
    • The Ultimate-tier raids, the hardest fights in the game, are essentially this, Up to Eleven: the Unending Coil of Bahamut and the Weapon's Refrain both draw from older boss fights, taking old mechanics and cranking the difficulty, complexity, and sheer speed of them to obscene levels of difficulty.
    • The first phase final boss of last raid in the Return to Ivalice raid series is a final exam of various bosses from the raid series. It gets cranked up a notch when you have to do multiple mechanics in succession as the fight goes on
  • Fire-Forged Friends:
    • Being an MMORPG, the trope is bound to pop up in the game for players at some point. You have no one but strangers (excluding friends) helping you in battles and missions and you'll need every ounce of teamwork to succeed.
    • The Warrior of Light's party in Heavensward becomes this. Specifically, the Warrior, Alphinaud, Estinien, and Ysayle all become much closer despite their differences, as they all seek to end the Dragonsong War. This is what prompts Ysayle to make a Heroic Sacrifice at the climax of the 3.0 story, and allows Estinien to drive off Nidhog's influence in patch 3.3.
  • Fission Mailed: The Aquapolis slams the door shut and sounds an alarm if you chose the wrong door before kicking your party back outside. Sometimes the game will fake you out by having the alarm sound and then having a choir-like sound play along with some rainbow disco lights before opening the door anyway. In a patch, the developers went out of their way to mess with the players by throwing in a fake loading screen transition where the screen fades to black after the alarm, shows the loading spinning wheel on screen, and quickly cut back to the game with the rainbow lights shining.
  • Five-Man Band: The core Scions of the Seventh Dawn form one.
  • Five Races: Each analogous in appearance to XI's races, and each with two clans:
    • Hyur, the closest to normal human beings, and a direct analogue to the Hume race. They are split between:
      • Midlanders, Pretty and common people found all over the world possessing softer features, have generic human names;
      • Highlanders, Dark-skinned and burly people from the Ala Mhigan region, their features are more mature and brutish. Their naming conventions tends to sound fierce with a surname regarding something heroic or a deed they've done.
    • Elezen, the requisite pointy-eared race. They are split between:
      • Wildwood, Fair-skinned Elezen who have settled in the Gridanian forests, possess French-sounding names;
      • Duskwight, Dark-Skinned Elezen who lived in caves until recently, their naming conventions are the same as Wildwood.
    • Lalafell, a "thief race" of halflings. They are split between:
      • Plainsfolk, Friendly and kind people who come from a nation across the sea, possess normal eyes. Their names tend to be redundant and have no surname;
      • Dunesfolk, Eorzean native Lalafell who can have darker skins and possess distinctive glassed over pupils. Their names tend to rhyme, but not share redundancies, and they can possess surnames due to being nobility.
    • Miqo'te, a feline race. They are split between:
      • Seekers of the Sun, Diurnal, tribal, and heavily patriarchal, Seekers possess cat-like slitted pupils and claws (though the latter doesn't show in the game without an item). Seekers have very confusing naming conventions note ;
      • Keepers of the Moon, Nocturnal hunter-gatherers who are matriarchal, possess large dilated pupils and elongated fangs. Compared to Seekers, their naming conventions are easier to remember.
    • Roegadyn, a race of giants. They are split between:
      • Hellsguard, Red to dark skinned people from volcanic mountains, possess a characteristic black mark under their noses. Their naming conventions tend to be an attribute followed by something to do with nature note ;
      • Sea Wolves, Light to blue skinned people from the sea. Their first names are the same as Hellsguard, albeit in their own faux Germanic language and thus more complex. Their surnames are patronymic, being their father's name with syn (for male) or wyn (for female) at the end.
    • Heavenward adds a sixth in the Au Ra, scaled humanoids from the Continent of Othard. Their subraces are:
      • Raen: Light-skinned and peaceful people, their bodies are covered with white scales. They share much of Doma's psuedo-Japanese culture and thus their naming conventions are Edo-period or earlier Japanese.
      • Xaela: Pale, dark or blue skinned people who a live harsh and violent nomadic/tribal lifestyle, their bodies are covered in pitch black scales. Their naming conventions are Mongolian, with 51 known (and potentially many more unknown) different tribal surnames with entirely different cultures and, in some cases, even biology.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: At the end of the Stormblood Hildebrand quest, you face off against Yojimbo. On a big bridge. About half a minute into the fight he reveals himself as Gilgamesh. Cue Battle on the Big Bridge.
  • Five-Token Band: The final boss fight in Halatali (Hard) has you face off against a Hyur Gladiator, Elezen Lancer, Miqo'te Archer, and a Roegadyn Conjurer. Then you face off against a Lalafell Thaumaturge.
  • Flavor Text: Used everywhere, even on items that are one time use (key items) or are a part of a collection (minions). A lot of the flavor text can fall into Deadpan Snarker territory with a pinch of Lampshade Hanging.
  • Fling a Light into the Future: Louisoix's final gambit to attempt to save Eorzea from complete annihilation: fling Eorzea's warriors years into the future to escape the devastation accompanying Bahamut's release from Dalamud.
  • Flowery Elizabethan English: This is a speech pattern shared by Primals, dragons, and even Hydaelyn herself. Generally anything significantly old and powerful speaks in older prose.
  • Flunky Boss: Any boss that summons adds is one, but King Thordan is especially notable, as after a short fight against him, he leaves the battlefield and leaves you to fight his Knights of the Round for the rest of the fight. When he finally returns after his ultimate attack fails, he can do little more than swing blindly at random players until he goes down. In the Extreme version, once he puts up more of a fight once he returns to the field, though he still is aided by his knights.
  • Forced Level-Grinding: Some story quests have minimum level requirements that you must meet. If you do all of the optional sidequests (as well as a decent number of FATEs) then you should be okay for most of the game, but there's a noticeable gap right at the end of the game (Lv.47-49) where there are no new quests and you are forced to grind FATEs or dungeons. Patch 2.1 eased the pain slightly by having beast tribe quests that can be repeated everyday, giving a good source of experience points, and further patches have added many additional quests from 45-49. On the other hand, Heavensward has the same problem towards the new level cap of 60.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Promotional material for the Stormblood expansion showcased Omega as the expansions 8-man raid. This is a clear indication that the Alliance's plan to use XIV's Omega to take down Shinryu at the end of Heavensward is not going to go according to plan...
  • Foreign Cuss Word:
    • The city-state of Gridania, at least, is apparently in love with British expletives, firing liberal ammounts of words such as shite, arse, bollocks. A number of characters also use the word "swive" apparently as a stand-in for the F-bomb.
    • To say nothing of the rogue's guild, whose version of the Thieves' Cant is difficult to comprehend cockney slang, including some creative cuss words that may or may not even be real.
    • By Thal's (bloody) Balls!
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The lyrics to the main theme, Answers, supposedly contained hints about the main plot, though said plot was reworked for ARR, making the original intention lost. In the Binding Coils of Bahamut, you learn about Bahamut and his brood of Merycidian dragons, who despite his rampage, were Tragic Monsters who were killed, captured, tortured, and subjected to an And I Must Scream, making the meloncholy, heartbroken song seem to apply to them as much as the suffering of the Calamity. As well, it sees use at the end of 2.5, when the player's companions have all pulled off a Heroic Sacrifice, Hydaelyn nowhere in sight to help save you, and a sense of despair and hopelessness as you head into Ishgard.
    • During the Black Mage storyline, you meet Kazagg Chah, Dozol Meloc, and Da Za. An Amalj'aa, Ixal, and Kobold respectively who showed that there are those among the beast tribes who are not primal worshipers and are actually friendly before the appearance of Beast Tribe quests.
    • Yugiri takes a temporary leave at the end of the 2.2 quest chain to teach the Limsan underworld about Ninjutsu after learning from Thancred that an organization of "questionable" characters employs a similar fighting style. This foreshadowed both the Ninja job announcement at E3 and how they would extend from the Rogue class.
    • Midgardsomr's statement that the Warrior of Light would not "find salvation" in Ishgard possibly serves as a reminder of a previous stinger that suggested Ascian influence within the nation.
    • The Niddhog eye that Estinien carries with him is red, yet when you first face Nidhogg, his eye is yellow. There is another dragon you meet that has a single yellow eye and a missing one. Hraesvelgr, who supplied Niddhog with an eye even though he had promised Shiva he wouldn't do anything to harm the Ishgardians.
    • Yuyuhase, one of the recruited Crystal Braves, constantly talks about making money from your very first conversation with him. Thus, it shouldn't come as a big surprise that he is one of the Crystal Braves who is bought out by the Monetarists and betrays the Scions.
      • In the same vein, when you try to recruit Landebert, he says word on the street is that the new organisation has already been bought out by the Syndicate. He's right. Alphinaud says he knows and assures the player every coin is being accounted for and will not allow the organisation to fall to corruption, but he doesn't take into account the fact Teledji Adeledji is paying off rogue members behind Alphinaud's back.
    • During the mission line to unlock the Crystal Tower, you encounter Biggs, who is seeking special aethersand to run a special type of airship he and Wedge are designing. This is foreshadowing the Manacutter that is used partway through 3.0
    • Early in the 3.0 storyline, Archbishop Thordan VII converses with the leader of the Heaven's Ward, his bodyguard of twelve elite knights. The camera pulls back and focuses on a round table... The final boss of the 3.0 story is Thordan and those same twelve knights, manifest as FFXIV's iteration of the Knights of the Round. We even see the leader transformed into an imposing figure in heavy armor. This is later compounded upon in The Vault, where players face off against three of the Heavens Ward, all of which transform into their primal form.
    • In the Sea of Clouds, there would be the occasional weather event where the sky became violet and seemingly unnatural. And just outside of the invisible walls for the stage you could make out what looked like an air ship half buried in the clouds. 3.1 would release a new Raid called the Void Ark, taking place on the same ship from the weather event.
    • Asahi's gambit to make life hell for the Warrior of Light and Doma while hiding behind diplomatic immunity? Elidibus used a similar ploy in the 2.x MSQ, and it turns out he suggested it to Asahi.
  • Frame-Up: During the Coerthas arc of the 2.0 main story quest, you must help prove the innocence of an Ishgardian noble who is being framed as a heretic before he is executed by a holy inquisitor. Said inquisitor - or rather, the person imitating the real inquisitor - is revealed to be the culprit, and is a heretic agent working to undermine the Ishgardian faith.
    • The events of 2.55 lead to the Warrior of Light themselves being implicated in the death of the Sultana. While news of this is heavily suppressed and those in the know refuse to believe it's true, that combined with the takeover of Ul'dah by the Syndicate, and Crystal Braves scouring every capital in Eorzea for you forces the player into hiding, and leads directly into the events of the first expansion.
  • Free To Play: After giving away free month after free month, Square decided to replace the development team leaders, and do away with the monthly charges until they could 'provide a plan that outlines a level of enjoyment that will satisfy both us and our customers'. In an interview, the new director Naoki Yoshida also said 'we’ll have reached that point once we've developed a system where we listen to the voices of the players and then communicate back what we are going to do, how we are going to do it, and a deadline for when it will be done.' Subscription fees were reinstated on Jan 6th, 2012 to help pay for the completion of the Realm Reborn version of the game; the fee was suspended again in September of 2012 after new account creation was terminated in preparation for the fall of Dalamud and the end of the world. With the launch of A Realm Reborn, the game fully returned to a subscription-based model.
    • After patch 3.56, the game made changes to its free trial, removing the 14-day time limit and allowing anyone to play for free as long as they want, with several restrictions such as being capped at level 35 for each class.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Edda Pureheart was a sweet-natured conjurer. Then she lost her fiancée during a mission, and the group blamed her for it. She kept her fiancée's head, and after being overcome with grief, resurrects him as a ahriman wearing his decayed face, and sent invitations to the members of her former group for her "wedding", effectively capturing them in the now twisted area of Tam-Tara Deepcroft. During the final fight, she is completly mad, laughing creepily and summoning crawling corpses until she is finally defeated. Liavinne dies, and Paiyo Reiyo barely escapes the whole ordeal alive, only to be seemingly haunted by Edda's ghost. Yoshida mentioned that he would like to use her character again, so this is probably not the last time we see her. Indeed, she ultimately returns as the final boss of the Palace of the Dead.
  • Future Imperfect: It turns out that the other worlds are this. Everyone one of the 13 other worlds branched off from our world, the Source, thousands of years ago. Each of these worlds started off the same way, but each grew in their own way. For example, they may have the same races, but different names for those races. And they may have more extreme changes. In the First, for instance, Lalafellian culture grew in a completely different way, to the point that Lalafels are considered a beast tribe in the First, they are called dwarves and live a very different existence than they do in the Source.
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