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Headscratchers / Final Fantasy

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This page is intended for Headscratcher entries concerning the whole series or information that cross over multiple games of the series. For specific Headscratcher entries, please go to or create each game's own page

  • Square is having a hard time staying afloat, and are going bankrupt... and they decide that the best thing to do is throw every last cent they have left on what they are certain is their last game? I'm no expert on economics, but I'm pretty sure that if they were so sure they were doomed, that money could have gone toward something else. True, FFI was a hit and saved them, but they didn't know that then.
    • So, you say you don't know much about economics, and you're criticising the economic decisions of a company 20 years ago that ended up saving the company. A bit of Monday morning quarterbacking, don't you think?

      Unless you actually do have a better idea for what they could have done, it's not your place to say they made the wrong choice, now is it?

  • And, as we've already started: Black Mages bug me. More specifically, hume Black Mages, as it was shown already that Nu Mous aren't like that. So, what's wrong with the Black Mages face that it gets blackened in such a way that no other job that uses a big hat also get? Is it some kind of curse or anything or simply Square-Enix had to put up with bad resolution sprite designs from FF 3 and never had the guts to say "okay, that's it, let's give these guys some faces for a change, okay"?
    • My personal assumption was that it was some kind of mask.
    • They had faces in X-2. They keep them faceless in the less serious games because it's an iconic character design.
      • X-2 was serious?
      • Boner money is serious business.
    • It's an artifact from the NES/SNES era. As such, Square can't just get rid of it because that would enrage the fans. Besides, as pointed out up here, the shadowy faces are indeed an iconic part of Black Mage character design.
      • I go with Eight Bit Theater's story: Black Mages are so fuggin' hideous that without the hat to obscure their faces their unique brand of ugly would warp reality.
      • More than simply iconic, the classic Black Mage is arguably the most iconic design in the entire series. Chocobos and moogles are the only real competition for that title.
    • FF III DS had black mages with normal faces.
  • 'Nother little question: how do races(species?) simple "appear" out of nowhere in Ivalice. It was okay from FFT to FFTA, since FFTA is a whole different concept — in the first, Ivalice is a real world; in the latter, it's inside a book or something —, but how to explain the absence at all of Seeqs on FFTA (as opposed to FFTA2) or FFT(as opposed to FFXII)?
    • Did you forget that every one of those games takes place in a different part of Ivalice and perhaps in a different time period as well?
      • Oh, that explains a lot. But damn, is Ivalice big or isn't it, eh?
      • Wow that was fast. And yes, Ivalice is probably the biggest universe to ever appear in the Final Fantasy series.
      • And let's not forget that Ivalice is spoken of as only a continent as opposed to the entire world.
      • It's been written that some games take place in a DIFFERENT Ivalice. That's not confusing at all, right?
      • It's the same Ivalice and Vagrant Story also takes place there.
      • Not a different Ivalice, just a different part, as see here.
      • But ... wait. If all these games take place in the same world, just different places/times, how do they explain the different magic systems? In Vagrant Story using magic condemned your soul to an incomplete death and people fought for control of the Darkness, FF12 magic was powered by Mist and magicite, and FFT probably had its own system too. How do these conflicting magic systems work in a single world?
      • Different regions have styles of magic, with different conditions and sources. Alternatively, its a matter of the games not taking place at the same time, and new styles of magic being invented.
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    • In addition to space, FFTA could take place long before FFT. If you look at the map description for I think Sweegy Woods in FFT, it mentions that Moogles used to live there, but are now extinct. Obviously, all the other species did as well or went into hiding or something similar.
      • Precisely. FFT takes place after an apocalypse.
    • Concerning the changes between games: FFTA happens in an alternate Ivalice and depending on your interpretation of the ending Marche doesn't want to kill everyone despite wanting to go home, so the grimoire creates the normal Ivalice for him, thus letting his friends like Montblanc live on. Then you have FF12 -> FF12: Revenant Wings -> FFTA2 -> Some kind of apocalypse -> FFT. The creator made Vagrant Story too and has said that it isn't in the same continuity, it's just filled with Fanservice, coming out soon after FFT.
  • Exactly how does mixing the colors black and white make red? Shouldn't it make gray or silver or some other shade?
    • Because their magical powers have nothing to do with the colors they wear?
    • Maybe it's due to the hardware limitations of ye olde NES? Nobody wants to crap on the nostalgia, after all.
    • It's probably because the colors of magic work differently than the colors of light.
    • I notice that the mages in the original Final Fantasy and Dragonlance have something similar to each other...notice the evil mages in Dragonlance all wear Black robes...and the good mages wear white robes. Meanwhile, the neutral mages are - you guessed it - red. Did the writers of Final Fantasy like that idea of Red being the "Neutral" from Dragonlance (I don't know when Dragonlance was originally made, other than the 80s...when Final Fantasy showed up), or was there some idea somewhere that stated Red was sort of "Neutral" that both the writers of Final Fantasy and Dragonlance got the idea from, or did they both conveniently think of the same idea without having any idea of the other? (It's not the first time. If I recall, Sir Isaac Newton and someone else thought of Calculus at the same time)
      • Dragonlance came first (Dragons of Despair published in 1984, Final Fantasy I in 1987). A magic weapon called the Dragon Lance (or Dragon Whisker) appears in Final Fantasy II onwards, too.
    • Black mages aren't evil and are known for wearing blue and yellow. No black mage actually wears black, it's just the magical face-obscuring shadow.
      • Telephone for you. It's Lulu. Remember her?
      • Huughh urghhh urgghh. He's talking about the character class, obviously, and in FFX ANYONE can learn black magic, not just Lulu.
      • Maybe it's because their magic is around hurting most fictional portrayals of black magic is, while White magic is about helping people?
    • Also, Red Mages fight. They get swords, instead of just books and staves. Red=blood. Er, blood=red. Ergo, combat mage=red. Red Mages are the Jack of All trades, not just of magic. The mage part just means they can use magic.

  • Blue Mages are supposed to be the kinds of mages who learn their own family of magic from watching others do it, right? How come they have to be hit with it before they can actually learn it, most times? (Quina can eat enemies, and Quistis uses them from items)
    • No, they are the kind of mages that learn their magic by absorbing it from their opponents, thus they have to be hit by magic, eat the creature that has that magic or learn it from an item. Or at least that's how I can understand from the way Blue Mages work on most games.
    • Keep in mind that Strago is a subversion. All he needs to do is see the attack to learn it. Just make sure he's not Blinded, Wounded, Muddled, Zombied, or whatever else might prevent him seeing it.
      • Theoretically, they would be able to learn non-blue magic that way, wouldn't it?
      • Yes, and, theoretically, White Mages could learn Black Magic; since Red Mages can learn both, they can't be much different, can they? theoretically yes, but magic in FF just doesn't work that way.
      • My guess is that Blue mages can learn Black and white magic...but simple "Firaga", "Curaja" and "holy" Bore blue mages...they don't want just that, anyone can do that! They wanna learn how to ruin opponents mana, they wanna slash you up with sabres, they wanna absorb abilities from monsters and use White Wind and Mighty Guard. That'll teach those silly white mages.
      • oh yeah...white mages can learn black magic and vice versa. That was Rydia on the phone right there, and the tactics mages.
    • Keep in mind that blue mages can't learn everything their enemies might hit them with. Many enemies have various bizarre attacks that have the same effect on a blue mage as they do on anyone else, it's just that the blue mage doesn't learn them. Attacks like Mighty Guard, Aqua Breath, 1,000 Needles, LV 5 Death, and more are staples of blue magic in the series. This is just Wild Mass Guessing, but maybe there's something about specific techniques that allows a blue mage to learn them?
  • This is moreso with RPGs in general, but how come certain classes can't equip certain weapons? It's particularly egregious that the Black Mage can't equip swords, but he can equip knives. They're the same thing, only a sword is longer! Granted, you can say that it's from the class's rules, but what sense does it make to the characters in the game? Personally, if I were a White Mage, I'd pick up a BFS and stab the villain with it instead of using a hammer.
    • Swords and knives are not the same thing in that their different sizes and weights mean your fighting style with one won't be the same as your fighting style with the other. Try fencing with a knife.
    • Saying swords and knives "are the same thing" is wrong, plain and simple. Hell, two swords of equal length but different styles alone are going to be very different weapons to wield.
      • OP: Well, I meant that knives like Daggers look like shorter Short Swords, but you did make a good point. But, then how come all classes can equip the Masamune? Even the Black Mages and White Mages can use it, so why can't they use the other swords?
      • My guess is because it's the Infinity +1 Sword of the game and Square wanted to make sure the player could use it with any party configuration.
    • Training. Mages tend toward simple weapons because most of their time is spent learning magic, rather than the arts of war. But if you still insist, go out and spend the $450 get yourself a (cheap) blade, and a log. Then try to get the blade to bite into the wood with a horizontal swipe.
    • Partly due to gameplay purposes, and partly due to stories. Do you think that having the Infinity +1 Sword would be any good for someone who wasn't trained how to use that kind of stuff? It's best for them to use the Infinity plus one spell. Weapons do no good if you have no knowledge to use them, or if they're too heavy for you to lift. As for gameplay...Same reason mages are typically a Glass Cannon and have crappy physical attack power. If the mage is capable of outdamaging the warrior with the same weaponry, what exactly would be the point of even having the warrior even bother to pick up their sword or do anything but stand in the way and soak up hits? It's to keep them from being overpowered as hell. Even if the characters in Final Fantasy XIII can do every role, they can't attack for 9999 damage and then heal for that amount within just two turns, you have to switch them to that role. Or, it's fully possible, but they receive penalties for doing it (like say, you don't have the feat to use exotic weaponry, so you take a roll penalty, and you don't have a very high magic stat so a magic attack deals less on a non-magic-user)

  • Where the heck did the word "Esuna" come from?
    • From the progression of "Poisona" to null Poison, "Blindna" to null Blind, "Esuna" will null all Status.
      • I suspected as such, though it does seem like something obscure that most people wouldn't get.
      • It's basically Japanese being kept as is for elegance's sake; "esu" is essentially how the language would pronounce the letter S alone, so the spell is technically S-na, but that wouldn't be an elegant choice of word.

  • What's with the Running Gag of starting every Final Fantasy article with something like "bone-crushingly popular" or "ball-bustingly popular"?
    • It just happened, people thought it was funny enough to keep.

  • When a character dies in a cutscene, why don't other people just use a Phoenix Down on them like in battle?
    • Phoenix Downs don't actually raise the dead, just revive unconscious people.
      • Then why does someone say in Final Fantasy XII that "The undying phoenix is said to call back souls from the heavens, but to win the attention of such fabled bird, you must give up a feather as an offering."?
      • Flavour text. Just sounds cool.

  • In games that don't have phoenixes, where do Phoenix Downs come from?
    • Perhaps the legend/myth of the phoenix. The real world doesn't have phoenixes, but we still have the myth of them being birds to do with resurrection. Perhaps in FF worlds without them, they simply named reviving potions after similar legends.

  • For a series with lots of icons, why are beings that you can call upon for help named so many different things throughout the series? and why are some of those names repeated, driving more the point home? Summons, Espers, Guardian Force, Aeon and of course, Eidolons.
    • Simple, they're given new names based on the plot of whichever entry it is so that they can wither play a part in the story or add more flavor and culture to its world.