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  • MacGuffin Delivery Service: Late in the 3.0 story line, the Warrior of Light and their allies discover that the Big Bad, Archbishop Thordan VII, is seeking Azys Lla, an ancient Allagan facility, and that a key to it is located in the Sea of Clouds. There, they discover that it was consumed by the primal Bismarck. So the Warrior of Light does what they do best: they slay the primal and retrieve the key. Naturally, the Archbishop and the Ascians arrive, incapacitate the Warrior with dark magic that renders them helpless, and take the key, gaining uncontested access to Azys Lla.
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  • Magic Feather: During the final Crystal Mean quest for Blacksmith/Armorer/Goldsmith, you help Iola get back her father's ring from a loanshark who is asking for an obscene amount. A Nu Mou helps you out by giving you an enchanted ingot with the idea that you will craft it into a ring that you'll trade for the other ring with. When you show it to him, he instantly becomes enamored with it and quickly trades you the other ring for it. Iola's assistant assumes the metal was somehow enchanted to make him become obsessed with it, but the Nu Mou clarifies that his obsession with the ring was purely because of the Warrior of Light's craftsmanship. The enchantment on the ring is actually a curse that will soon cause the loan shark's financial situation to take a downward turn. The assistant is disturbed at this revelation.
  • Marathon Level:
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    • Castrum Meridianum and Praetorium, the final dungeons in 2.0, can take a good hour or so just to complete due to their length and cutscenes. A patch made the cutscenes completely unskippable, so you'll have to set aside some time if you plan to tackle those dungeons. The roulette that contains the two dungeons does give higher rewards to compensate the longer run time however.
    • Going for the 200th floor in the Palace of the Dead. Even if you start from the 51st floor, it'll still take you several hours to reach if you don't take a break. You can take a break on every 10th floor and return another day, but just having one Total Party Wipe will end your run (and you'll also be locked out from the floors beyond 100 if you wiped earlier) and you'll have to restart from the beginning to have another shot. Heaven-on-High, which is also another deep dungeon, softens the blow by only having 100 floors total.
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    • The Ultimate tier fights are all much longer than the average raid length. The average raid length is about 10 minutes or so. The shortest Ultimate, the Weapon's Refrain, is about 15 minutes. The Unending Coil of Bahamut, the longest ultimate fight thus far, is twenty minutes long. And there are naturally no checkpoints, so you have to clear the entire fight in one go.
  • Market-Based Title: Each expansion has its own Japanese title:
    • A Realm Reborn is Shinsei Eorzea (Eorzea Reborn)
    • Heavensward is Souten no Ishgard (Heavenly Ishgard)
    • Stormblood is Guren no Liberator (The Crimson Liberator)
    • Shadowbringers is Shikkoku no Villains (Villains of Pitch Darkness)
  • Mass Super-Empowering Event:
    • A massive amount of people who witnessed a meteor storm back in 1.0 was gifted with some form of the Echo, allowing them to, at the very least, fight against primals without fear of being tempered by them, with some Echo gifts further developing into unique branches. Shadowbringers reveals witnessing the same meteor shower is a pre-requisite for awakening the Echo, as it causes a Ghost Memory of the Amaurotine's final days to stir in the soul of reincarnated Ascians, which is why it seems random as to who it actually awakens. It also makes people able to hear the voices of Hydaelyn and Zodiark, instead of being something gifted by them as was thought for the longest time. Another one happens in 5.2, and Elidibus states outright it doesn't even have to be a real event; an illusion works just as well, and Hydaelyn is all too happy to pull comets down from space to create the same effect when she needs new Warriors of Light.
    • In Heavensward, it's revealed that, technically, everyone who is in Eorzea, regardless if they're a native or an immigrant from another part of the world, has been washed in Bahamut's leftover aether from his destruction, giving 2.0 summoners an excuse as to why they can access the Dreadwyrm Trance even if they didn't witness the Calamity or kill Bahamut in the Binding Coils.
  • The Magic Versus Technology War: The Eorzea vs. Garlemald conflict seems to be this. The former being people that use magic in their day to day lives while the latter being people that are unable to cast any magic whatsoever. Outside of Ironworks Industries and the airships (both of which are mainly headed by a Garlean defector), Eorzea's technology is rather low compared to the Garleans.
  • Magitek: Present and accounted for. The Garleans use all manner of high tech weapons and gadgets, up to and including magitek armor.
  • Mana Burn:
    • There are a few enemies that can damage your TP (what physical classes use to execute attacks), though they're blessedly rare. It used to be averted for MP, but patch 2.1 added the Zu fight in the Pharos Sirius—the boss will spawn additional monsters called Zu Cockerels, which will drain MP, and naturally almost always head for the healer first.
    • The final boss of Alexander: Gordias (Savage) uses an attack called "Perpetual Ray", which in addition to doing a lot of damage, will also drain 30% of MP and TP if not stunned properly.
    • The last enemy before the final boss in the hard version of the Great Gubal Library can use Magick Hammer, which cuts your HP, MP, and TP in half if you get caught.
  • Mana Potion: Ethers, Hi-Ethers X-Ethers, and Max Ethers restore varying amounts of MP with the high quality versions restoring more than their normal counterparts. Elixirs can also restore MP along with HP.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The Garleans make use of many Magitek-powered mechs. Azys Lla is swarming with Allagan security robots.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class: Each class has something that sets them apart well-enough to be considered this, but Ninja and the New Jobs in Heavensward take the cake, see the character page for specifics.
    • Fishing is this among the gathering classes, working entirely differently from the ground up. Until Heavensward, it didn't even have any abilities that use GP.
    • Blue Mages, introduced in Version 4.5, differ from every other combat class in the game in significant ways. Unlike other jobs introduced from Heavensward onwards, it starts at level 1 (as opposed to 30 with the Heavenward jobs and 50 with Stormblood) and was introduced with a level cap of 50 (as opposed to 70 with other jobs, as of Stormblood). Furthermore, instead of learning new skills through leveling up and completing job-related quests, Blue Mages earn new skills by defeating monsters that possess specific skills they can replicate. Because of the sheer versatility of the class, it doesn't fit anywhere into the traditional Damager, Healer, Tank trinity. As such, they cannot use the Duty Finder to form parties for Dungeons and Trials without being in a pre-formed and/or undersized party first.
  • Medieval Stasis: Invoked. The Ascians have a habit of triggering Calamities whenever civilizations manage to develop significant power, whether through magic, technology, or both. As a result, most of Hydaelyn's history is characterized by medieval-to-early-Renaissance levels of social and technological developments interspersed with brief ages of prosperity before the next Apocalypse How goes off and humanity is forced to start over again. In the most recent cycle, firearms are a recent development and most of the more advanced technology fielded by the likes of the Garleans wasn't developed independently, but rather reverse-engineered from Allagan relics, and they frequently note that even they don't entirely understand how it all works.
  • Megaton Punch: Final Heaven, the level-3 Limit Break for Monks, takes the form of an explosive punch.
  • Men Are Strong, Women Are Pretty: As is typical of the genre, with Lalafell characters being the only exception, given that both male and female Lalafell fall under the same brand of Generic Cuteness. Roegadyn women are taller and more muscular than the women of other races, but still fall into this when compared to Roegadyn men. This trope gets taken to the extreme by the Au Ra, who as a race are split between small, petite women with delicate features, and fierce, towering men.
  • Merchant City: Each city state has an area dedicated for business, but Ul'dah is all about merchants and even the leaders of the city are composed of merchants.
  • Mercy Invincibility: Averted. Players and enemies can rack up massive amounts of damage to themselves if they are hit with multiple attacks at once. Being revived after losing all your HP doesn't protect you from further attacks, which makes it possible to be downed again as soon as you get up; that reason alone is why most players choose to accept a revive later when the coast is clear. This makes using the level 3 healer limit break difficult because you don't get to wait to accept the resurrection. You get up right then and there taking whatever attacks happen to be pointed in your direction. However, patch 2.1 changed the revive mechanics where players can move sooner after being revived and they have a few seconds of invulnerability to prevent being knocked out again. They are still vulnerable to the unsavory secondary effects of any attacks during this time, such as knock-back, petrification, paralysis, heavy, etc.
    • Played straight in the fight against Alexander, the party members who enter the timegates will receive mercy invincibility when they return to the main fight to prevent them from being killed off by a poorly timed Mega Holy.
  • Mercy Kill: It is the policy of the Eorzean Alliance to put down anyone who becomes tempered by a primal. Anyone tempered will become utterly and completely devoted to the cause of the primal that tempered them, and will do everything in their power to bring the primal more aether crystals and bodies to be tempered as well. There is no known way to removed a tempering, and the tempered can't be allowed to serve the primals, so being euthanized is the only solution the Alliance sees. It doesn't help that those that are tempered are often enemies of the primals, so they would no doubt wish to be put out of their misery than be forced to serve their enemy.
    • The policy becomes a real concern in a post-Heavensward patch. A kobold child accidentally summons Titan in his grief after seeing his parents' dead bodies, killed by the other kobolds as a sacrifice to Titan. Afterwards, he is completely unresponsive to anyone's attempts to talk to him. This makes everyone worry he has been tempered and would have to be put down if so. After a while, he does start responding to Alisaie's attempts to get him to respond, leaving everyone hopeful that he is indeed himself still.
    • This is also a policy in some parts of the First. In the deserts of Ahm Araeng is a small settlement called the "Inn at Journey's Head", where volunteers take care of those who have been corrupted by the light, offering them sympathy and hospice. When they are close to turning into sin eaters, the volunteers prepare a final meal for them that is laced with poison, so that they may die before transforming into a dangerous monster and spare them any further suffering.
  • Meta Twist: Near the end of the Return to Ivalice raid series, Alma starts getting called by the voice of Ultima, a demon that lives beneath Orbornne Monastery. Eventually Ultima straight up possesses her and pulls her through a magical portal. Players of Final Fantasy Tactics may think that Ultima plans to use Alma's body as her new host to escape imprisonment. Then it turns out Alma was little more than bait, Ultima plans to use the body of YOU, the Warrior of Light, to escape imprisonment. When Ramza succeeds in saving Alma from being taken through a portal to the monastery depths, Ultima happily grabs Ramza instead.
  • Metal Slime:
    • The Goblin Adventurer rarely appears in the Aquapolis and never attacks the party. If he is attacked, he'll actively run away to make it harder to hit him and if he is not slain in time, he'll teleport to escape. If the party does manage to kill him, he can drop up to 30,000 gil and also drops a ton of elemental crystals and clusters (items needed to craft). The Canals of Uzair and the Dungeons of Lyhe Ghiah have similar enemies in the form of Namazu Stickywhiskers and Gold Whiskers in the former, and Fuath Tricksters in the latter.
    • Inside the Palace of the Dead are some passive Korrigan mobs that give a lot more experiencenote  then the other mobs on the floor, likely to drop Silver Chests if a Pomander of Fortune was used and dies in one hit; the catch is that they need a Pomander of Alteration to spawn and that there is a chance that the same Pomander will spawn the more deadly Mimics instead.
  • Mighty Glacier:
    • Gladiators/Paladins use heavy armor and shields.
    • Marauders/Warriors fit the trope even better, with heavy armor and hard-hitting two-handed weapons.
    • Heavensward brings us the ponderously-slow, weighted swings of a Dark Knight's claymore.
    • Shadowbringers introduces the gunbreaker that's more of a Lightning Bruiser: able to take the hits and rack up the damage in return.
  • Minigame Zone: The Manderville Gold Saucer has a variety of minigames and events to partake in, including Chocobo Racing, basketball, strongman games, and Triple Triad.
  • Mini-Mecha: Magitek armor stands about twice as tall as the average hyur male.
  • Misfit Mobilization Moment: The open world events called FATEs tend to cause this. Success usually depends on everyone knowing what they should be doing without a word spoken.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Adamantoise and related species are not native to Eorzea, and are suspected of being smuggled from Thavnair. There's also quest where you have to eradicate Thavnairian diremites due to fears that they might become an invasive species.
  • Mix-and-Match Weapon: Gunblades, a Final Fantasy staple, are present as the weapon of choice for the Garlean Empire, essentially consisting of long muskets with a blade along the underside of the barrel. The Gunbreaker job in Shadowbringers also use gunblades of their own, albeit of a different design that function more like regular swords that forego long-range projectiles (while the class does have a ranged attack like the other tanks, it takes the form of a Sword Beam rather than firing the gun at an enemy) with a firing mechanism that flash-heats the blade and casts a variety of supportive spells, not dissimilar to the weapon's depiction in Final Fantasy VIII.
  • Mondegreen: Over two years passed between the debut of the theme Answers and Square-Enix posting the official lyrics online so fan-copies of the lyrics circulated online were full of these, especially in the overlapping choral parts (here's one for comparison).
    • A lot of the music with lyrics from the Alexander raids are hard to understand due to the amount of distortion the voices have. Fans joke that they got Exponential Entropy wrong, despite being an ear worm of a repeated lyric most of the time.
    • Rise gets it even worse due to it being a case of Something Something Leonard Bernstein. With the release of the "Far Edge of Fate" soundtrack, the official lyrics have been released, but it still doesn't make the song any easier to understand.
  • Money Spider: Zig-Zagged. Enemies usually don't drop gil when defeated, but they do drop a small amount if you fight them in a dungeon. However, certain dungeons don't have enemies drop gil at all and have the bosses drop a large amount of gil when defeated instead. The Goblin Adventurer encountered in the Aquapolis is a straight example where he can potentially drop 10,000 to 30,000 gil upon defeat.
  • Monster Whale: Bismarck, the Primal worshiped by the Vanu Vanu as "the White", is a massive, whale-shaped monster with no eyes, wing-like fins covered in feathers, and a massive gaping maw with More Teeth than the Osmond Family. Unusually for this trope, this whale flies, forcing the Warrior of Light to do battle with it atop an airship.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Goobbues have three rows of teeth in very large mouths.
  • Morph Weapon: The lore bit for the Ragnarock Zodiac Weapon states that it was originally a fiend's sword. When a hero took the weapon after slaying the beast, it eventually transformed into a battle ax to better fit its new master.
  • Morton's Fork:
    • The Ishgardians' preferred method of hunting down those they believe to be traitors, reflecting the real life witch-hunting practice of "dunking." They take the accused to a cliff and throw them off. The innocent will die, be remembered as heroes and given a proper burial. The guilty will transform into a dragon or call on their dragon allies to save themselves, at which point they will be shot and killed by waiting archers.
    • A more lighthearted variation comes from the story quest "A Hero in the Making", where you're sent off to travel to sequential remembrance services in all three city-states to hear speeches about their respective Grand Companies before deciding which one you wish to join. Tataru says that Gridania is supposed hold its speech first, while Ul'dah holds its one second, then Limsa Lominsa third, but also claims that "with your record of impeccable timing and luck, the schedule may well change in favor of your preferred travel plans" - sure enough, you're given the objectives for all three speeches at the same time and can listen to them in whatever order you please.
    • As the game tends to do, one sidequest in Shadowbringers has the Warrior of Light themselves lampshading the frequency in which they're given an option to say one of two or three things, only for that option to not matter.
    Konogg: Everyone knows you're the soul of generosity! A sinner who cannot help but render aid to his/her fellow sinner in their hour of need! Not for fame or fortune or any other reward, but simply for the joy of it! Am I wrong?
    Warrior of Light: ...This is another one of those moments where it really doesn't matter what I have to say, isn't it?
  • Motivation on a Stick: The fat chocobo mounts have their riders dangle a head of Gysahl Greens in front of them. To get the fat chocobo to fly, the vegetables are swapped out for a nice rich slice of cake.
  • Muggles Do It Better: The Garlean Empire are composed of people who cannot use magic due to their genetic makeup. The Garleans make up for their shortcomings by being highly advanced in weapons and technology and they do it a lot better than most of the nations in Eorzea.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The "In The Company of Heroes" quest is this on its face, in essence making a quest out of enjoying the celebration that you had set up, worth eight thousand experience points by itself, and even ramps it up further at one point when you taste the meal you provided for the party.
    "Tasting the exotic feast triggers a divine revelation. In that brief transcendent moment you glimpse the true form of reality, comprehend its fleeting nature, and cry out to the heavens in celebration." Even playing the victory theme from the original NES/Famicom version of Final Fantasy I.
    • And Lampshaded by your fellow Scion, Y'shtola, who thinks they're wasting time on the frivolity of the Hidden Purpose Test, when the threat the hero has to face is looming with little time to spare.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Character size, physique and musculature is entirely cosmetic and racial stats matter a fraction of a percentage at the highest levels, when the main stats are in the thousands. A Lalafell can hit just as hard as a Roegadyn or male Au Ra when assigned a heavy hitting melee job. The reverse is also true. Anyone can be potent with magic, regardless of the race's cultural affinity for it.
  • Musical Pastiche: Good King Moggle Mog's theme is an obvious riff on "This Is Halloween".
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Several minor antagonists (especially those met early on in the story) come to regret their actions and turn themselves in to the authorities. Gaius also has this in the form of shock when he realises the true destructive potential of the Ultima Weapon.
    • In "Corpse Groom", Paiyo Raiyo admits to the player that he hated the fact he decided to agree with Edda Pureheart's grief-stricken assumption that she caused her fiance's death.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules:
    • Player characters have fixed rules on how quickly they can cast their spells and how much cooldown they have following casts. Computer enemies can cast much faster and in more rapid succession. The result is especially scary for light armor wearers, who often have less magic defense than casters or tanks, on top of Squishy Wizard-level HP. Enemy AI also have infinite MP (you can absorb their MP all you want and they'll never run out) while players have to rely on Regenerating Mana to keep up.
    • Battling an NPC at a game of Triple Triad has shades of this. You're not allowed to have multiple rare cards in your deck for balance purposes, but an NPC is free to use as many rare cards as they please, making some of them become Unwinnable unless you can get better cards or play the regional rules in your favor.
    • This can actually work out in your favor, sometimes. As an example, enemies with Area of Effect spells and abilities will have cast times for them, even if the player's version of the same spell or ability doesn't, simply so that players have a chance to get out of the way.
    • If you are turned into a toad, imp, or chicken, you won't be able to do anything (the imp does have a unique attack but that's it). In the Palace of the Dead, you can turn monsters into a toad/imp/chicken, but they can still attack you.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Every beast tribe has a fringe group with sympathetic motivations that accept help from the players;
    • Amalj'aa: The Brotherhood of Ash are a clan of Proud Warrior Race Guys who put their faith into their own power, living a harsh minimalist lifestyle that guarantees only the strongest come out on top. They accept the player character's aid because they despise the mainstream Amalj'aa for relying on Ifrit to give them power and comfort, and seek to topple their primal worshipping brethren as well as find a cure for Tempering.
    • Sylph: The Sylph are an inversion as they've always been kind-hearted, and evil Sylph only became an entity after the botched summoning of Ramuh five years ago. The player is actually introduced to the good sylph early on as part of the main story, but the main arc of the Sylph questline has you foiling Touched Sylph pranks as well as Garlean infiltrators, all while learning of a "chosen one" who will decide the fate of the Sylph as a whole.
    • Kobolds: The Kobolds of the 789th order are... the bottom of the barrel. While Kobolds as a whole are hard-working devotees of Titan, the 789th are full of slackers and cowards who would prefer to cheat their way to a higher rank. The player helps them in their endeavors to become a higher ranked order so that they can strike against the leader of the 13th order, one of the major leaders of the race as a whole (which is okay, since he's kind of a jerk)... and also because the Roegadyn who asks you to help them just finds them so pathetic that she feels the need to whip them into shape.
    • Sahagin: The Sahagin of Novv's Clutch don't desire war with humanity like most of their kind do, they just want to be left alone to raise their children in peace. They enlist aid of the player character to help them protect the children and fight off a cruel warband called the Coral Tridents (who aren't above hurting said children), while also showing the world that there are Sahagin who don't want to kill everything that walks on the land in hopes of forming some kind of alliance with Limsa Lominsa.
    • Ixal: The Ixal of Ehcatl Nine are crafters who find war with humans and trying to please Garuda a pointless effort; instead they spend their time building a special airship, so that they can fly above the clouds as they once did when all Ixal had wings.
    • Gnath: The Non-mind Gnath are a splinter group detached from the Gnath's Overmind, having individual perspectives, thoughts, personalities, and tastes. They mainly seem concerned with ubiquitous (for them) sensory experiences, relishing bizarre and unique foods when compared with the other Eorzean races - though being unique from each other, they can disagree on the subjectivity of those experiences.
    • Vanu Vanu: Split into two factions, the war-like Vundu, and the peaceable Zundu. The Zundu lead a monk-like ascetic lifestyle, concerned with the harmony of the body and spirit in juxtaposition to the natural world. Each member of the Zundu must pass a coming-of-age ceremony to determine the skill and ability they'll be able to contribute to the broader community. The Zundu reject the aggressive nature of their Vundu counterparts, seeing the Vundu's worship of the primal Bismarck as misplaced devotion made to a corruption of the Vanu Vanu's creation god.
    • Kojin: they divided into two factions: the Blue, which are merchants and traders, and the Red, which are fighters and mercenaries who sided with the Garleans. Once Doma has been freed, the Blue were cut off from their treasure hoard by the Red that remained loyal, and create a team to help find and bring back new treasure.
  • Multiplayer-Only Item: The game contains a set of abilities for each class that are only usable in PvP and cannot be used in PvE.
  • Named Weapon: The ten relic weapons (and their Zodiac incarnations):
    • The reliquary longsword Curtana, sister blade to the lost Oathkeeper. Paired with the Holy Shield.note 
      • Curtana transforms into the Zodiac Weapon Excalibur, paired with the Aegis Shield.
    • The heavy war axe Bravura, crafted to aid the users strike with its weight.
      • Bravura transforms into the Zodiac Weapon Ragnarok.
    • The Sphairai, metal knuckles designed in a coeurl motif, with aether-channeling crystals to enhance the user's strikes.
      • The Sphairai transforms into the Zodiac Weapon Kaiser Knuckles.
    • The heavy spear Gae Bolg, whose dragon motif aids dragoons in executing jumps.
      • Gae Bolg transforms into the Zodiac Weapon Longinus.
    • The Artemis Bow, designed to serve as both weapon and instrument.
      • The Artemis Bow transforms into the Zodiac Weapon Yoichi Bow.
    • The staff Thyrus, treasure of the Cant family, crafted from petrified wood.
      • Thyrus transforms into the Zodiac Weapon Nirvana.
    • The Stardust Rod, a weapon crafted from and containing the destructive power of a meteor.
      • The Stardust Rod transforms into the Zodiac Weapon Lilith Rod.
    • The Veil Of Wiyu, an Allagan-era tome of the summoning arts.
      • The Veil Of Wiyu transforms into the Zodiac Weapon Apocalypse.
    • The Omnilex, a tome containing all of the strategies of the Nymian military.
      • The Omnilex transforms into the Zodiac Weapon Last Resort.
    • The paired ninja-to set Yoshimitsu.
      • Yoshimitsu transforms into the Zodiac Weapon Sasuke's Blades.
  • Nerf: Patch 2.1 nerfed a lot of things, such as Holy and Medica II having reduced power and a dungeon having a reduction in the Mythology Tomes awarded. A hotfix for 2.1 also reduced the difficulty for the Pharos Sirius dungeon due to the enemies being too strong and overwhelming for the intended difficulty. Every other major patch also includes reduced difficulties for certain content so that struggling or new players can catch up to the current content.
    • Heavensward nerfed many AoE attacks that were staples of mobbing. Flare and Holy were hit the hardest as they were made to deal lower damage whenever they hit a new target. Since this expansion also introduced several dungeons that feature impassable roadblocks that only disappear when enemies before them are killed, this was presumably done to discourage speedrunning tactics.
    • Generally speaking, each patch after a raid is introduced adds increasing echo buffs to it, increasing HP, Damage, and Healing by up to 30%. This allows players who are not part of hardcore progression groups to complete the content eventually.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • Done deliberately to preserve a plot twist. Near the end of 2.4, you see the Archbishop of Ishgard sitting at the throne with Lahabrea standing right behind him. This led many people to assume that the old man was being controlled by the Ascians. When Heavensward was released, the story reveals that the roles were reversed; it was Archbishop Thordan manipulating Lahabrea by playing along with his plans, and then betraying him at the last minute by becoming a primal and using Nidhogg's eye to absorb Lahabrea's soul, effectively killing him!
    • Done accidentally for the trailer of Heavensward that shows the Warrior of Light fighting Hraesvelgr. It turns out that the team in charge of the trailer was given the wrong art assets and used Hraesvelgr as the dragon fought by the Warrior of Light instead of Nidhogg, who is the actual antagonistic dragon in the story. By the time the main development team found out about the mistake, it was too late to fix the mistake and they decided to just roll with it.
    • In the trailer for the Under the Moonlight patch, there is a shot of Gosetsu and Zenos clashing swords, making you think Gosetsu may have recovered enough and is going to fight Zenos. In actuality, this all happens during the Tsukiyomi trial, and they are both specters created by Yotsuyu's empowered mind, Zenos to cause her suffering and Gosetsu to protect her. Mechanically, it happens during a phase where you have to quickly kill the Zenos specter while Gosetsu holds him in place.
    • In the Prelude to Violet trailer, it looks like we're going to see some of Sadu's and Magnai's pasts through an Echo hallucination. In truth, these were present-day events given the Echo's screen filter, done to hide that Sadu was a story boss.
    • In the cinematic trailer for Shadowbringers, Urianger calls Y'Shtola "Master Matoya", the name of Y'Shtola's mentor. This had players speculating whether something had happened to her or if Matoya was possessing her body somehow. It turns out to be nothing of the sort, Y'shtola was just taking up temporary residence among a religious tribe that considers saying your true name within the light to be dangerous. She had simply taken on Matoya's name as an alias as was custom within the tribe.
    • In the same trailer for Shadowbringers, a gremlin is seen taunting the Warrior of Light as they are about to be attacked by a massive sin eater. In the game proper, the sin eater shown in the trailer is a semi-common enemy type, rather than the massive final boss-scale threat the trailer played it up to be. There is also no gremlin in the story, and the lines they speak are spoken by another character entirely, Emet-Selch.
    • In the story trailer there was a scene where Estinien and Gaius are seen in the same star-mapped projection of the cosmos and the thirteen shards that the Crystal Exarch uses as part of his info dump on the universe's metaphysics, making it seem like the two would join the Warrior of Darkness' adventures in Novrandt and possibly even be trusts. In the final game this scene is just between the Exarch and Warrior, and while the other two go on to be a Hero of Another Story, neither of them ultimately come to Novrandt.
    • The Hildibrand trailers do not fully reflect what will actually happen in the actual questlines. For example, one shows Hildibrand and Nashu confronting Gilgamesh when in reality, it's you and seven other players who does that.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The Garlean Empire successfully manage to conquer Ala Mhigo, but accidentally make things far worse for both themselves and the entire planet: they kill off the guardian Midgardsormr, which opens some Sealed Evil in a Can and allows the beastmen to summon their primals. Not only are the primals themselves such an unknown factor that the Garlean Empire wants them eliminated just as a precautionary measure, but the process of summoning a primal distorts the natural flow of aether so much that- left unchecked- it could destroy the ecosystem of the world. Nice job, Empire.
    • This being the Garlean Empire, they decide to try and "Fix" that previous foul up, by unearthing Ancient Allegan tech, in the form of the Lunar Transmitter. While testing it, and trying to discover it's purpose, they find out it controls the smaller moon Dalamud, when it performs a Kill Sat attack on the Garlean City they're experimenting the device in, destroying most of it. Cid Garlond decides to perform a Heel–Face Turn and flees to Eorzea to redeem himself, while Nael Van Darnus loses it, and decides he rather use it as a Kill Sat on Eorzea for letting the Beast Tribes and Primals to exist. Except for two problems. Dalamud is A. really Bahamut's prison. And B. as Dalamud get's closer, Bahamut begins to temper Nael Van Darnus with the plan of being released from it. End result, the Battle of Carteneau between the Reformed Eorzea Alliance and the Garlean empire ends with Bahamut freed, and severe casualties on both sides, and the various region permanently changed from the destruction, leading to a 5 year lull in any major aggressive actions aside from the Garleans consolidating, and building bases. Two for Two Empire... *Cue Sarcastic Clapping*
    • Apparently, not able to take a hint that they suck at "saving" the world, the Garleans decide to try yet again for A Realm Reborn's storyline. This time, they unearth the Allagan "Ultima Weapon". With some help from the Ascians, they get it functioning again, and use it to destroy, and absorb the essence of Ifrit, Titan, and Garuda. Except, the Ascians have their own plan in using the power source for the Ultima Weapon, to relearn the spell Ultima and destroy parts of the world with it and bring chaos. While the players do destroy the Ultima Weapon, it's short time of use causes panic amongst the Beast Tribes, who begin summoning even stronger versions of the Primal, with some support from the Ascians. *Face Palm*
    • As if to hang a lampshade on the previous examples, late in the 4.x storyline it's revealed that the root of the Empire's incompetence was deliberately baked into the system by the first emperor, an Ascian who continues to rule from the shadows. And while the current emperor is aware of this, he plays along because he hopes to turn Solus's plot to his own ends of creating a unified world with a single, perfect human race.
    • At the conclusion of the quest around Amdapor Keep Hard Mode, it is speculated that before the Warrior of Light's previous visit, the cultists inhabiting the site had already performed the rites and incantations to summon the voidsent and dark powers that have twisted the local wildlife since then. The only thing missing was a blood sacrifice, which the Warrior of Light unwittingly provided by coming in and slaughtering them all. Whoopsie!
    • The ending of Heavensward has a couple. While Archbishop Thordan VII and his Heaven's Ward was able to not be tempered or manipulated by the Ascians, their transformation into Primals by draining Azys Lla weakened the seal on the The Warring Triad, three ancient Elder Primals. For contexts sake, Bahamut, the being that razed a continent to the ground was just one Elder Primal. Real good job creating your "world of order" there. The Warrior of Light also arguably has one, their overpowering might forces the Ascians in a desperate bid to balance Light and Dark to summon the Warrior of Dark, the champion of their dark god.
    • In Shadowbringers, the plan to dispel the Light threatening to destroy Norvrandt is to have the Warrior of Light destroy the Lightwardens and absorb their power, the heroes believing that Hydaelyn's blessing would prevent them from turning into another Lightwarden. Unfortunately, about halfway through the process, it turns out that the blessing was not protecting them, and that the accumulated Light would eventually turn the Warrior into a sin eater. They continue on regardless, for lack of a better plan (and with the Exarch having his own plan to perform a Heroic Sacrifice to ensure the Warrior doesn't turn).
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Late in the 3.1 story line the priests in Ishgard take some refugees hostage, as they disagree with the revelation that their ancestors started the dragonsong war and do not want peace between Ishgard and the dragons. One of these priests dangles a child above a large drop and then lets her go...only for her to be saved by a dragon which had been invited to visit Ishgard. How this event is perceived by the people of Ishgard is not clear, but it is likely this has put the priest's cause back quite significantly.
    • In The Stinger of Shadowbringers Zenos essentially derails the Empire's plans to use Black Rose by driving Elidibus out of his body followed by killing Varis. He states that he doesn't want the Warrior of Light to be killed by cowardly weapons.
  • No Final Boss for You: Played entirely for laughs at the expense of the player. Reaching the 200th floor in the Palace of the Dead has a monochrome looking area that seems to appear rather peaceful with grass, trees, and some weird structures. At the end of the path is a bench you can sit on and an orange orb. Interacting with the orb automatically renders the duty complete, along with the usual victory fanfare. All you have to do is touch the orb to beat the 200th floor! No boss fight at all!
  • No Flow in CGI: The Lightning Strikes event has an odd case of it being averted, but then not. Lightning's outfit features a long cape, and on Lightning herself, the cape's fabric physics work much the same as they did in her home games. However, with PC clothes fabric physics, at least to the extent needed for Lightning's cape, are nearly non existent, so when female PCs obtain the outfit for themselves, instead of foregoing the cape, it is tucked into the belt, to make it's stiffness less obvious, and possibly keeping it from clipping.
  • Non-Indicative Name:
    • "Rabbit Pie" is made from marmot meat. The item description lampshades this, and clarifies that it is "formed to resemble a rabbit, but not necessarily containing any meat of leporine origin".
    • "Warrior's Stew" boosts craftsmanship and control, which are crafting-exclusive stats useless to warriors.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: All the bosses in the Deltascape areas during the Omega raid look like updated versions of their original Final Fantasy V incarnations, which are bright, colorful, and have really exotic designs compared to the standard character models that, while still colorful, are rendered more realistically. Even the chocobo Alpha looks vastly different compared to normal chocobos by looking brighter and more cartoony along with having cartoony eyes. Exdeath takes it a step further where his Fire III, Thunder III, Blizzard III, Flare, and Holy spells have their animations look more like how they did in Final Fantasy V than how they would have looked in this game.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: In the Steps of Faith and Limitless Blue trials. Fail the former, and you watch as the boss destroys the gates to Ishgard, unable to stop him. Fail the latter, and the giant whale primal who had been whittling away at the island you were fighting it atop finally eats you.
  • Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: The All Saints' Wake events heavily imply that the Great Gourd, the legendary evil patron of the holiday who would lead hordes of monsters to torment humanity... is actually just interested in trying to make sure everyone has a good time, whether monster or otherwise. It's not clear if it did a Heel–Face Turn at some point, the legends were exaggerated or outright false, or they were accurate but the result of misguided early attempts by the Gourd to achieve its ends.
  • Not So Above It All: In the Hildibrand questline, Inspector Briardien, the cool-headed, suave Foil to our favorite buffoon, eventually gets fed up with his incompetence and stupidity and starts chasing him around in a rage.
    • During the Stormblood Hildebrand questline, Hildebrand infiltrates a private meeting as a geisha. Nearly everyone in the room is confused and angered by his presence. Everyone except Yojimbo, hired to guard a priceless treasure for the host. Yojimbo proceeds to be completely smitten with Hildebrand in makeup. Notably, Yojimbo has never been treated as a comical character in the franchise before this and has generally had an air of coolness and professionalism about him.
  • Not So Different: The speeches given by Kan-E-Senna of the Gridanians and Nael van Darnus share an uncanny amount of similarities—viewing the world as "tainted" by a "disease" or pollution that requires cleansing and purification.
    • In a similar vein the Brotherhood of Ash and Gaius' talk of achiving victory through Honor Before Reason, conquests and refusal of the power of gods and primals are very similar.
    • The primals constantly try to temper the Warrior of Light, only to fail due to the power of the Echo. They then imply that the Warrior of Light has already been tempered, by Hydaelyn. Given the player's actions, which include devotion to the light and utter trust in the good will of Hydaelyn, there's probably some truth to the claim. In Shadowbringers, after it is confirmed that Hydaelyn is indeed an elder Primal, Ardbert brings up this possibility.
    • Speaking of Tempering, In 1.0 we are treated to some scenes of Gaius and Nael brainwashing people to their cause. A process quite similar in effect.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: For the bulk of the game, the goblins were very much the comic relief of the game's beast tribes, obsessed with explosions and possessing a sprawling conspiracy dedicated to keeping secret the process of cheesemaking. Even the appearance of Alexander in 3.05 didn't help, with the raid swiftly becoming seen as That One Level by much of the playerbase. And then 3.2 brought us the second wing of Alexander. Completing it reveals that the leader of the Goblin Illuminati, Quickthinx Allthoughts, had restored Alexander because it had the potential to rewrite history. A potential that he had already begun to utilize.
  • Not-So-Small Role: Throughout the role quests in Shadowbringers you get to know the original Warriors of Light from the First, seeing their pasts via the echo. By the end you'll have a general idea of all of them... save one, an elf woman who is in each of the flashbacks but never elaborated on. After finishing all 4 role quests, she comes up, in a big way.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You: If you're not in combat, you can never be brought below one HP by falling damage, no matter how long the drop. If you are in combat, on the other hand, it is entirely possible to die from falling damage. Rogues/Ninjas have a trait that lets them take less falling damage, but a great drop will still wreck them. The Stormblood expansion introduced deep water, but in an aversion of Soft Water, it hurts just as much.
  • Not the Intended Use:
    • Cleric Stance was an ability for healers that let them swap their Intelligence (magic power) and Mind (healing power) stats around so that they can do damage comparable to a DPS class. The intended purpose behind the ability was to let players be able to defend themselves properly when playing solo, but skilled players started to use the ability in dungeons and raids to boost the damage output by the party and then turn Cleric Stance off when they needed to properly heal. The developers noticed how people were using Cleric Stance in group content and were impressed by it, but they still make content without taking healer DPS into account so that healer players aren't forced to DPS in order to clear content. However, the devs did take action against the use of cleric Stance in PvP by disabling the skill for that mode since healers that could DPS and heal made them too strong in comparison to other classes.
      • Healers in general can do some basic DPS so healers can do quests and fates without needing a party or needing to switch to another class to advance the storyline. The developers are adamant that all content is created with the healer (and tank) doing 0 DPS. This hasn't stopped the more hardcore players in the playerbase from insisting that healers juggle their role and that of a DPS during dungeons.
      • Similarly, Tanks originally had a buff that would cause them to do 20% less damage in exchange for taking 20% less damage and generating threat — tank stance. The same hardcore players would insist that tanks need turn this ability off in dungeons to increase their DPS. In Shadowbringers, this ability was retooled to be a pure threat generation buff, and the increased defense became a passive that cannot be turned off.
    • Tanks using accessories that boosted strength was something the developers didn't expect to happen. Since most raid scenes have high DPS checks, tank players would forego vitality based accessories in exchange for strength ones since vitality only boosted HP while having more strength meant the tank can do more damage, kill things faster, and maintain aggro. Patch 3.2 changed the tank design by having their attack power be based on their vitality stat so that tank players would use vitality based gear to boost their HP while still being able to do a decent amount of damage. This seemed to be a quick fix, however, as in 4.0 strength once again became the primary damage stat for tanks with careful consideration to game balancing.
    • Before it was changed in 5.0, the Warrior ability "Raw Intuition" caused the Warrior to automatically parry all attacks from the front, but always take crits from the side and rear. That latter was meant as a Necessary Drawback, but it turned out to also apply to heals — so if the healer stood behind the tank, you had guaranteed critical heals for 20 seconds.
    • An In-Universe example from the second battle of the Omega raid. Knowing that you're going up against the gravity-manipulating Catastrophe, Nero lends you a magitek levitation device to give you an edge. Afterwards, he notes that the device was not intended for use on living creatures.
    • When used in instanced content, Return will warp you back to the entrance of the instance. This is probably meant for players who have gotten turned around and have no idea where they're going — but at a certain point in Haukke Manor, it's the fastest way to move forward, as the next objective after beating the second boss is right by the entrance.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: The demons aren't demons, they're "voidsent". Usually. For some reason they still use the adjective "demonic" to refer to them at times. The quest to finish Haukke Manor uses it to refer to someone.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Many of the playable areas from 1.0 were revamped in 2.0 and was justified by the Calamity caused by Dalamud/Bahamut. This mostly meant a lot of large areas were sealed off in some manner while others got some touch ups to make them fit with 2.0's direction, but Coerthas gotten the biggest change by becoming a frozen wasteland when it was once a mountainous region filled with lush grass and trees, along with certain old areas being sealed off. The Coerthas Western Highlands, once it was made open by 3.0, also shows how much had changed since 1.0; not only is everything frozen over, but a lot of the old settlements are now frozen wrecks. Even an atheryte in one of the old settlements is frozen solid and knocked over to show that things have changed and are probably never going back to how it used to be.
    • On the positive end of the spectrum, the end game settlements (Mor Dhona in 2.0 and Idyllshire in 3.0) started off as derelict villages, but with each major content patch showed the settlements building up into respectable towns in their own right. Idyllshire in particular, as it hits some of the characters slightly hard (as it likely won't be the same for them), but they end up accepting what's become of it because the alternative would've been worse.
  • NPC Random Encounter Immunity: Averted, Lampshaded, and then made into part of a questline. Mor Dhona is a high-level area (with level 40+ aggressive monsters), but that's fine since most of the people who go there are badass adventurers, including the NPCs. But when exhausted Doman refugees are forced to relocate to that area, you have to escort them because they explicitly can't handle the wildlife.
  • Obvious Beta: Final Fantasy XIV 1.0 was released lacking so many features, and with so many known serious game design problems, that it was more of an obvious alpha. Unusually, the developers actually apologized for it and canceled subscription fees until it was deemed to be up to snuff —- essentially, putting it right back into beta. The game was eventually rereleased in a much more complete form as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.
  • Obvious Rule Patch:
    • Patch 2.1 brought about changes to certain items to prevent people from farming them and selling them for lots of gil by making said items much easier to obtain.
    • Collectable Synthesis: "Use existing recipes to create collectables without increasing step count." Those last four words mean you can't toggle it on and off mid-craft to freely fish for Good or Excellent conditions.
    • The 2018 Moonfire event had platforming challenges and a jumping puzzle, both which were ruined by players using mounts to troll others by blocking the paths and using multi seater mounts to carry friends across and to the top. The event's return in 2019 added a unique debuff where players could not summon or ride mounts when doing the platform challenges.
  • Oh, Crap!: Invoked by Y'shtola in the beginning of 1.0's Limsa Lominsa storyline, when a sea serpent attacks the ship she and the player are on.
    Y'shtola: Gods Forfend.
    • Happens frequently with each patch of A Realm Reborn.
      • 2.0/2.1: Bahamut is beginning to awaken, and the Crystal Tower reveals there is something more powerful than Ultima Weapon up in the tower.
      • 2.2: Lahabrea is still alive, and the Ascians are pitting every side against each other, the Sahagin summon Leviathan, and implications that the power of the Echo isn't just a blessing of Hydaelyn, and that there are others out there with it who can also use it to Body Surf like the Ascians. Also Bahamut has managed to enthrall Louisoix.
      • 2.3: Due to the Scions taking in the Doman refugees back in 2.2, Refugees from the Ul'dah region are now trying to also take them in, which is beyond the Scions capabilities. To make matters worse, it's discovered that the three city-states have been hiding info that they discovered parts to Omega Weapon, and that Teledji Adeledji is only supporting the refugees to lay claim on areas of Mor Dhona to gain control of Omega Weapon for himself, while stirring up discontent to cause conflict. Additionally, the Tempered Sylphs have summoned Ramuh, and he intends to judge Eorzea for causing such conflict that it frightens his followers. Additionally, it would appear the Ascians are making their move now in Ishgard, influencing further conflict between them and the heretics.
      • 2.4 The Garlean War of Succession has ended, putting the very capable, and conquest hungry Varis, grandson to First Emperor Solus zos Galvus in charge. Additionally, a spy in the Immortal Flames is exchanging information to both the Monetarist of the Syndicate, as well as the Garleans. On top of that, it's discovered through the Ishgardian heretic Iceheart, that Hydaelyn is speaking to her as well, and those with the Echo can channel the power of Primals to themselves and remain in the control. And if word of that ability reaches Garlemald, their policy against gods and primals will have them moving faster to restart the conquest of Eorzea for a fourth time. To top it all off, Sultana Nanamo, is planning to dissolve the Syndicate and Sultana in a last ditch effort to give power to the common people of Ul'dah by trying to turn it into a republic, knowing full well conflict and up rising may start in response to such a move.
      • 2.5 Midgarsomr awakens from what turned out to be a long sleep and not death. After defeating him and earning an audience with him, he destroys the crystals and removes Hydaelyn's blessing of light in favor of his own. To make matters worse, a new Ascian named Nabriales attacks the scions and, learning that you're no longer protected by the light, immediately goes to raid the Rising Stones and kidnaps Minfilia. After defeating him in combat, the player manages to trap him in the white auricite and, using Louisoix's staff, destroys him for good at the cost of Moenbryda's life and the white auricite. And while all of this is going on, the dragons are answering a call from one of Midgarsormr's first children, and the Dravanian hordes are readying an assault on Ishgard that the temple knights aren't sure their army can handle...
      • The minor patches after 2.5 (2.55-2.57) bring us the poisoning of the Sultana (thankfully, not fatally as it turns out), the betrayal of Scions by the Crystal Braves, the seeming demise of Yshtola, Thancred, Papalymo, Yda and Minfilia (although by patch 3.1 all but Minfilia are known to be alive, and 3.2 shows Minfilia's rather complex fate), the 'exile' to Ishgard's outer periphery of the player, Alphinaud and Tataru - though the player still has the approval of everyone and can even go back to Ul'dah - and finally Midgardsormr in his 'portable' form thinking the player is not going to get shelter in Ishgard and mocking them for it.
      • From Heavensward
      • From the end of the 3.0 storyline into 3.1 Nidhogg has resurrected, using Estinian's body as a host, and intends to ramp up his vicious attacks on Ishguard. The Knights of the Round's attempts to drain the aether from the Warring Triad has resulted in the Triad starting to awaken and break free from their restraints. The Goblin Illuminati has summoned Alexander, a primal so massive and powerful that it's brief existence has created a catastrophic drain on the lifeforce in the Dravanian Hinderlands. Tensions between the upper and lower classes in Ishgard have gotten worse in the wake of Thordan VII's death. And finally, the ascions have called upon the Warriors of Darkness.
      • 3.2 Nidhogg has begun his attacks, making it clear that anyone, man or dragon, who does not join his cause shall be marked as his enemy. The first of the Warring Triad breaks free, grabbing the attention of the 6th Garlean Legion. The Illuminati manages to fully restore the Enigma Codes, allowing them to access Alexander's time magic to undo the damage done to its cores and prepare to alter history in their favor.
      • 3.3 The Ascions have discovered where the eyes of Nidhogg have fallen. The Warriors of Darkness have begun to take actions against the Scions as their attention shifts from Ishgard to them.
      • 3.4 Elidibus has given the Eyes of Nidhogg to the Griffon, knowing full well how someone as filled with rage and a desire for vengeance as he is would use the eyes. Nero tol Scaeva discovers some Allagan ruins in Carteneau and gleefully declares he finally found something, possibly referring either to the Binding Coils, or worse, Omega.
      • 3.5 The Gryphon succeeded in both Summoning the Primal Shinryu and forcing the Eorzean alliance to go to active war with Garlemond once again. In an act of desperation, the Scions of the Seventh Dawn reactivate Omega to combat the insanely powerful primal only have both falling somewhere into Gyr Abanya to eventually reawaken and cause more havoc.
      • For Stormblood
      • At the end of the 4.0 Storyline Though Shinryu is defeated and Zenos is killed, the ascions are seen plotting with the Garlean Emperor. Worse, Omega starts to reactivate in The Yawn.
  • Older Is Better: Present on anything of Allagan origin, thanks to their status as Precursors. They reached levels of technology that far surpass anything made in the game's current era, and so any piece of old Allagan machinery found is guaranteed to be better than whatever Eorzea's best engineers can make.
    • Many endgame bosses utilize "Ancient" variations of staple Final Fantasy spells (such as Ancient Holy or Ancient Quaga) that are clearly better than what the player can do.
    • The final act of Shadowbringers shows that the Ascians' society before the world was split was on a scale near incomprehensible to the Scions, with vast metropolises, no war or conflict, and the citizens being near immortal with The Power of Creation to an extent. Little wonder why Emet-Selch and the other Ascians find the sundered worlds wanting.
  • Once an Episode: During every Hildibrand story arc:
    • A card from the Man of a Thousand Faces will find itself lodged into either Hildibrand or inspector Briardien's heads. 2.3's arc plays with this by the thief throwing a decoy card first, than nailing Hildibrand afterward.
    • During the preview for the next arc, a Coblyn will wander across the screen, even (especially) in areas where it would make no sense for one to be.
    • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: In the conclusion to the 2.5 portion of the Hildibrand storyline, a Coblyn shows up... and gets a card logged in its head.
    • Hildibrand will suffer Clothing Damage.
    • Hildibrand will slam headfirst into the ground with only his legs and lower torso sticking out.
    • Hildebrand will be sent flying into the region the next expansion takes place in (or in the case of the end of the Stormblood questline, sucked into the Rift).
  • Omniglot: Those possessed of the Echo, as a consequence of their ability to touch the souls of others, are capable of speaking and understanding most any language.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: The final boss theme of the seventh umbral era. While there's actual words being sung, a developer stated that the words have no actual meaning behind them because he used a random word generator when making the song.
    • Subverted on the theme of the Aetherochemical Research Facility; what sounds like latin chanting is just plain english masked by the chorus and a very strange pronunciation of the word "fury".
    • Present on the theme of Heavensward's final boss, singing the expansion's Recurring Riff.
  • On the Next: After each of the Hildibrand story arcs, the player gets treated to a teaser of the next one done in this style.
  • One-Gender Race: Downplayed for playable races in 1.0, as there are plenty of male Miqo'te, but nearly all of them live in solitude. Even the females rarely end up living in cities. As for female Roegadyn, they exist; one important NPC is a female Roegadyn. They are playable in A Realm Reborn, along with female Highlander Hyur.
    • The Anantas, which are snakemaiden races native to Gyr Abania plays this trope dead straight, as they are explicitly an all-female race which does not need males to reproduce.
  • One-Hit Kill: Each primal has some sort of mechanic or condition during their battles that must be fulfilled to reduce their Astral Flow damage down to survivable numbers. Complete failure to do so means an unavoidable 9999 (or higher!) damage hit.
    • Ultima Weapon in the second round will cast Ultima after a few seconds once its HP is low. If it pulls off the move, everyone is hit for unblockable high damage that no one can survive.
    • Odin brings back his famous Zantetsuken attack which will instantly kill everyone participating in the FATE battle against him if they don't defeat him in time.
    • In both Labyrinth of the Ancients and Syrcus tower, the third boss from each (King Behemoth in Labyrinth, Amon from Syrcus) have arena wide attacks that will inflict enough damage to kill the entire alliance in one hit, the trick to surviving being that the alliance has to hide behind objects placed on the battlefield from previous attacks of theirs (Comet rocks and allied players frozen in a large chunk of ice respectively) to avoid the damage.
      • Glasya Labolas from Syrcus Tower also has this as a feature. The first version of his attack requires the alliance to interrupt the flow of energy to him to reduce damage from Clockwork Wrights and destroying them, while the second time requires the alliance to position Clockwork Knights to act as linkages on generators charging up pads that launch the alliance to safety to survive the second one.
    • Alexander Prime deserves special mention because it requires the usage of a level 3 tank limit break in order to survive it. Anything else and your party is getting wiped.
    • Many bosses in higher-end content have what's known as a "Tank Buster", which does damage that can take out at least 80% of a Tank's HP if they're full. For anyone else, it's a one-hit kill regardless of how much HP they have.
    • Yojimbo makes a cameo appearance as a boss, and similar to his mechanics as a summon in his home game, he will wipe the party if you let him get paid in full.
  • One Size Fits All: With some absurd degree.
    • With a handful of exceptions, player characters do not need to worry about whether a given piece of equipment will fit or not. This also applies for quests that require you to give a piece of clothing to an NPC; even if you wore a pair of pants made for a Hyur, you can still give them to a Lalafell (the small folk) NPC and they'll magically resize themselves.
      • Lampsided by an NPC outside the Sunsilk Tapistries in Ul'Dah. "One size fits all, or half your money back!"
    • The resizing also applies to mounts and weapons so that they look proportionally correct no matter who uses them. This gets absurd with the Amalj'aa (a race of 9 foot tall lizardmen) and their bow and arrows. The bow and arrows that the Amalj'aa use are so huge that it would probably be easier for them to just jab the arrows at you like a spear rather than firing them. It gets even sillier with Amalj'aa bosses that appear in FATEs since their model is scaled up to be larger, which also means their weapons get scaled up in size and they attack you with bow and arrows that are nearly the size of a small house.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: Hard to say at this point in the lifespan of Shadowbringers. Determination is a safe stat to enhance with materia, but critical hit or direct hit, whichever the gear set naturally gives the most of can arguably provide better performance. Two jobs could also benefit from completely different materia with the same armor and accessories. For example, a White Mage might want determination for higher normal heals since their healing is so strong, but a Scholar or Astrologian might want critical hit for the bigger shields given by their critical heals.
  • Only One Name: Averted. Unusually, especially for an MMORPG, player characters have both fore and surnames, and have people refer to each appropriatelynote .
  • Only Sane Man: If you think about it, it's hard not to believe that the Scions of the Seventh Dawn are entirely composed of the Only Sane People in Eorzea.
    • In a weird sort of way, Ramuh also counts as this, as he is the only one of the primals that doesn't wish to temper or destroy the other races of Eorzea. He is still dangerous, but only to those who encroach on his territory, something the Gridanians are glad not to do. He even tells the sylphs that the only time they should summon him is when the forest is in danger.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: In A Realm Reborn, very few characters with a British accent manage to keep it for an entire scene (sometimes not even for an entire sentence).
  • Order Reborn: The story line of the Legacy 1.0 "7th Umbral Era" revolved around this. With the Garlean Empire knocking on Eorzea's door, and building it's first fort in Mor Dhona, Castrum Novum (Latin for "The New Fortress"), Gridania, Limsa Lominsa, and Ul'Dah all decide to reform their individual Grand Companies. The three being the Twin Adders, Maelstrom, and Immortal Flames respectively. Which the players join, and help out. However, initially, they each refuse to work with each other, all trying to secure resources for themselves, or refusing to accept assistance. However, as the threat became more dire, the leaders of the Grand Companies, began to question their methods. Between the player's help (with a bit of a push from the Circle of Knowing) they become convinced to put aside their differences, and reform an even greater order, the Eorzean Alliance. This almost backfires spectacularly at the end of the 2.0 storyline, when the leaders of the Grand Companies realize that they have to unite to respond to Garlemald's ultimatum, but fail to realize that they can unite their forces to share the burden of battle, still thinking of the Alliance in terms of their own forces rather than the combined might. As a result, they almost surrender when in fact they are more powerful than the Garlean forces in Eorzea.
  • Orphaned Punchline: There are a few callbacks in Hildibrand's 2.x missions towards the 1.x missions. However, they'd go over your head should you have not played 1.x.
  • Our Demons Are Different: The Voidsent are a seemingly limitless horde of demonic creatures that hail from the Void, which was created when Igeyorhm accidentially triggered a Flood of Darkness in the 13th Shard. They come in many shapes and sizes, and prey on the terror, anguish and misery of the spoken. While most Voidsent are mindless beasts, several of the more powerful ones possess cunning intellect and near-bottomless ambition.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The Dravanian Horde, the ancient enemy of Ishgard, is composed of many different kinds of dragons, from western style dragons to giant turtles. Bahamut himself is the Elder Primal of an ancient dragon horde that existed alongside the Allagan Empire. As far as dragons go, their biology is extremely unique, they don't have the same kind of gender as mortal races, any dragon is capable of asexual reproduction (this makes "mates" like Nidhog and Tioman, or even Hraesvelgr and Shiva, matters of pure, spiritual love instead of carrying on families). They're also capable of changing form many times over their lives and grow into whatever environment they find a taste for (a nondescript hatchling who favors fire will grow into a red fire-breathing dragon, same for ice, poison, lightning, ect. ect). Also, they possess an extremely distorted sense of time because of their long lifespans, which is why the Dragonsong War has continued well beyond when the mortals responsible for starting it have died, to a dragon's mind it may well have happened yesterday.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Reconstructed, implied and avoided. The sort of dwarvish, sort of gnomish Lalafell are an enterprising people known for leading the ore and mining trade as well as most of the Eorzea market, but they pioneer fields such as thaumaturgy/black magic. Played straighter in The First, where they call themselves dwarves and live by a more dwarvish culture of drinking and mining. Their beards are fake though, as much as they obssess about them.
  • Our Elves Are Better: Hard to call. All we currently know about the Duskwights can be summarized as "marginalized people who live underground," and while Gridania is full of Wildwood, its whole schtick is being a fusion of elezen and hyur, which problematizes the "xenophobic and superior to humans" trait common in typical "better" elves (problematizes, not averts, because the Gridanians have their own xenophobia problems). Heavensward introduces players to the inner workings of Ishgard, a primarily elezen civilization that makes a better example for this trope, since its social structure is heavily dominated by elitism, be it because of race (no hyur, the other race prevalent in the area, hold positions of power) or class (the conflict between high and lowborn of Ishgard is second only to their unending war with the dragons). Despite this, Elezen do not have most of the differences from humans a typical high fantasy elf-like race does. They appear to be little more than pointy eared humans with slightly longer lifespans (about 20 years or so longer), making them closer to The Legend of Zelda's Hylians than elves.
    • Viera take the roles that elves normally take, only they generally only associate with their own sex among viera and have rabbit ears. They are dwellers of the forest who generally uphold a strict culture, keep a great many secrets and can easily live 3 times as long as an elezen, whose life expectancy is around 100 to 120 years, considering they live 20 or so years longer than a hyur.
  • Our Mages Are Different: Ninja have Ninjutsu, which draws from the elements around them to deal magic damage, but the damage is entirely based on the ninja's physical damage stats. This can be equated to Eastern magic and mysticism being vastly different. Consequentially, a ninja could benefit from magic buffs and is one of the few truly hybrid jobs.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: Miqo'te Seekers of the Sun are as far from orcs as you can get appearance-wise, but their culture echoes orcs quite well. They exist as a patriarchal society in which there is generally one breeding male per tribe (or Nunh, used in place of a last name) with all the non-breeders called Tia (again, used as a last name.) The title of Nunh can be challenged by a Tia, usually through combat, which need not be lethal but sometimes is. A female's last name is simply her father's first name. Keepers of the Moon miqo'te are matriarchal by contrast.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: They're blue-skinned and have glowing tattoos covering their body and a hunger for brains, though they don't share any differences in animation compared to players. They seem to be able to recover intelligence and personality after they've been around for some time (according to the Encyclopedia Eorzea, the reason zombies regain their personality and intelligence is due to the unstable shift in the aether caused by the fall of Dalamud), but they don't lose their hunger for brains, which makes them a big problem. One of the FATEs in Thanalan involves you dealing with a band of zombies who have become extremely dapper thanks to a Back from the Dead Hildibrand, who thinks he's a zombie due to digging himself out of his own grave.
    • More traditional shambler zombies show up in Pharos Sirius, the revenants of those who were drowned by Siren's song. They also seem to have been mutated somehow by the fallen piece of Dalamud that pierced the lighthouse, and have massive growths of corrupted crystals jutting out of them.
  • Outrun the Fireball: Your character, after beating the Final Boss, escapes the explosion from the ruins of the Empire's base by fleeing in a mech.
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