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Player Punch / Final Fantasy

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  • Final Fantasy II
    • Your party has a rotating fourth slot for guest characters - almost all of them end up dying. And even when they don't, the player is left to think so, for a while.
    • The Dreadnought's destruction of several towns, despite not seeing it. The murderous airship takes off and, upon entering the town, it is completely in ruins. The player can even talk to a few survivors, including at least one newly orphaned child. The Emperor was just a general RPG villain, right?
    • The aftermath of the Cyclone. It leaves towns as nothing more than gray patches on the world map and there's no chance to even enter them anymore or talk to survivors. Because there aren't any. And this leaves only Flynn and a few distant places like Salamand and Mysidia standing. Yes, the Emperor has managed to destroy most of human civilization.
  • Final Fantasy III the Kraken is overall very unremarkable. Except that he killed your guide, a defenseless maiden, in cold blood. The only upside is, that the player is allowed immediate retribution for this event.
  • Final Fantasy IV
    • The game begins with a player punch. A small town is raided and attacked... by the protagonist and his army! Granted, the protagonist isn't feeling all that happy about following this order, but that doesn't lessen the impact it has.
    • Shortly after, when sent to the village of Mist by order of the king, Cecil and Kain need to kill a mist dragon to enter the village. And, upon entering, the package that they were supposed to deliver explodes into a ring of Bomb monsters and destroys the village. The only survivor is a little girl, Rydia, who rightfully hates you for causing this. Oh, and that dragon you just killed? That was her mother. You Bastard.
    • The various Heroic Sacrifices throughout the game, all player punches in themselves. Even if all of them are fine after their obviously-must-be-fatal sacrifices, except for Tellah.
  • Final Fantasy V
    • Shortly after gaining the first Crystal's shards, the party travels through the Walse Canal and Syldra - Faris' best (and maybe only) friend in her pirate life - pushes the ship out of a whirlpool and sinks into it herself, much to Faris' dismay. She fortunately managed to survive that, but Syldra reappears after the events in the Walse Tower and saves the party from drowning, only to leave again, this time dying for real. And that last cry, after the screen fades to black, is heartwrenching. Fortunately, once Exdeath merges the two worlds, she is resurrected as a Summon.
    • Galuf's death. He forces himself to move, despite Exdeath's paralyzing spell, because he attacked Krile and begins to beat the crap out of him. And he continues to fight, even after Exdeath's first attack takes Galuf's HP down to 0, while continuously being hit with the most powerful spells. And after Exdeath is sent packing, the party tries to heal Galuf, but is ultimately unsuccessful. Pleading for her grandfather to not die, Galuf gives his crystal shards to Krile and begs the party to take down Exdeath. The player is quite happy to fulfill that wish.
    • After Exdeath merges the two worlds, he gains the power of the Void and attacks places just for fun. And his first target is Tycoon Castle, where he tries to kill Lenna, but her wind drake sacrifices itself, to keep her safe. Then Exdeath goes for Bartz's hometown, the Ancient Library, the Moogle Forest and other places of emotional importance, which makes Bartz snap. And then Exdeath does the same, just before the final dungeon, to Galuf and Krile's kingdom.
  • Final Fantasy VI
    • The death of General Leo. Despite being on the Empire's side, Leo was a reasonable general and sympathetical character, who went up against Kefka and tried to protect as many innocent people as he could. And the game lets you play as him for this part.
    • The first half of the game setting up Kefka as the worst villain possible. His enslavement of Terra; an attack on Figaro because Edgar was mocking him and unhelpful; poisoning Doma's water supply, which also killed off the Empire's soldiers that were held in the castle; the slaughtering of Espers; the murder of General Leo and Emperor Gestahl. And all of that was before Kefka sundered the world apart and obtained Godhood!
    • Cid's death, especially if the player (unknowingly) caused it. It occurs shortly after Celes wakes up and learns that a year has passed since Kefka destroyed the world. There used to be a group of survivors, but they all died or committed suicide in the meantime, leaving Cid and Celes the only ones on that tiny island. That alone is already a player punch, but then Cid and Celes decide to keep living as family. And if Cid dies, Celes is distraught with grief that she heads up to the cliff the others have jumped off of and tries to commit suicide herself! Fortunately, a seagull with Locke's bandana gave Celes enough hope to live, after all.
    • Locke's past with Rachel. They used to be engaged, but when she saved him from a fall, she ended up getting amnesia and couldn't remember him anymore, screaming at him to leave her alone, because his presence upset her father. Bad enough as that is, Locke learned that Rachel died in an imperial attack on her town and he wasn't there to save her, before learning that she regained her memories just before her death and uttered his name.
    • Gau's mother died during childbirth and his grieving father abandoned in him on the Veldt, because he couldn't deal with him. Gets worse if the player goes through with the optional scene of Sabin and Cyan trying to reunite Gau with his father. They groom him, teach him to be a bit less wild and bring father and son together... only for the father to call Gau a monster that killed his wife, in front of Gau!
    • Post-sundering, the town of Mobliz is filled with nothing but children and a couple of teenagers, who all lost their parents during the catastrophe.
    • Relm is a adorable little girl with Strago as her grandfather. We never find out what really happened to her parents until it is revealed that Shadow is her father and had left his wife and daughter out of depression for not having mercy-killed his best friend. And, just to really rub it in, Shadow is the only permanent team member that does not survive the game, being either killed by not waiting for him on the Floating Continent or end up being crushed in Kefkas tower willingly. Especially because - even if the player never finds out any of this - Shadow does know exactly about Relm since his dog reacted kindly to her, yet still decides to stay. If a player finished the game once, then plays again and finds all this out, it is a painful Foregone Conclusion about how everything will end.
  • Final Fantasy VII
    • The death of Aerith, including her theme playing over the occuring boss battle and the following funeral scene. There's also a scene of visiting Aerith's adoptive mother after.
    • Shinra destroying Sector 7 of the Slums, as a means of destroying Avalanche and manipulating the cityfolk into thinking that Avalanche did it themselves and labelling them terrorists. The fact that Jessie, Biggs and Wedge die in front of the player just before this event makes it worse. And for bonus points on top of that, Jessie thinks that she deserves to die, because of all the deaths that had been caused by Avalanche. You know, your employers.
    • Crisis Core is a prequel to the game and stars Zack. And anyone who played VII, knows that Zack dies at the end of the story. Even when knowing that it will happen, the game makes it worse, because the game forces you to play through that final battle, showing you how Zack fights, but gets exhausted as wave after wave of soldiers comes at him and how his mind is slowly broken, making him forget the people who were important to him... only to remain stuck on Aerith.
    • There's also the Modeoheim mission midway through the game, where Zack is sent to kill his mentor, and considered big brother/father figure, Angeal. Zack has to kill Angeal, who is practically begging for death. And even later, the events of Nibleheim, where Zack needs to fight Sephiroth, who had become one of his few dear friends.
  • Final Fantasy VIII
    • The first visit to Selphie's hometown of Trabia. Majority of the people are sick or injured and a lot of them have died and already been buried at the graveyard. The fact that one can draw Zombie magic from one of the graves is just morbidly funny.
    • Odin's fate, if one recruited him before fighting Seifer in Lunatic Pandora.
  • Final Fantasy IX
    • The mindless Black Mages aboard an airship. They all resemble the party member Vivi, and they get annihilated by the boss one by one when trying to protect the party.
    • The destruction of Cleayra and Lindblum, thanks to Queen Brahne's Eidolons. The former is horrible, because it's performed by Odin, a summon that most players have likely used in previous games and was generally righteous. And the former lets the player see the inhabitants getting sucked into the abyss within Atomos.
    • Vivi's voiceover saying his goodbye to everyone in the ending.
  • Final Fantasy X
    • Operation Mi'hen in its entirety:
      • This is the first attack by Sin after it is made apparent that Sin is Jecht, the player character's father. Thus, there is a sense of both responsibility and helplessness during the following cutscenes of the destruction.
      • The Crusaders, Al-Bhed and the Church of Yevon are all putting their differences aside and working together to fight Sin. And it first looks like Sin is hurt by their attacks, but then shrugs everything off and kills practically everyone. To hammer the point home, the player is given A Taste of Power in the form of temporarily adding Seymour to the party for a boss battle, but even then the battle is against a small fraction of Sin's power, proving how useless the protagonists are at that point.
      • Luzzu and Gatta, those two guys the player encounters throughout the first third of the game, serve as a bit of exposition and have their share of history, but one of them dies during Operation Mi'hen. Oh, and it's you who actually decides which one will die. And it's one simple scene that might or might not be viewed, which decides this. If Gatta is the one who dies, it's Tidus (the player character) who sees his lifeless body fall at the beach. If Luzzu is the one who dies, he is mentioned to have been ripped in two by Sin, which Gatta saw first hand, and is now too traumatized to finish his sentences.
      • It is implied beforehand, and made explicit afterwards, that Seymour, Kinoc, and the highest ranking members of the Church of Yevon knew the operation would never work, and were using it as an opportunity to kill off rivals and consolidate support for their methods as the only way to defeat Sin. The player learns of their knowledge after having walked through all of the devastation and seen the loss.
      • The loss is made personal to the player's party, and thus the players, via Chappu: Wakka's brother, Lulu's former love, and a youth who looked like Tidus, whose sword Tidus now holds. The last time an operation like this was done, it led to his death, causing Wakka and Lulu to have misgivings and a brief argument shortly before it.
      • The quiet moment during which Tidus wake up on the beach after the slaughter, sees some of the corpses and has to walk among these corpses, while the already sad Song of Prayer music is playing. It culminates with him finding Gatta. Depending on the player's choice (see above), Gatta will either be in a state of shock or Tidus will find him sit against a rock, thinking he's unconscious. Only to find out that Gatta's already dead when his body falls.
    • After getting to know a friendly Al Bhed and learning of the Al Bhed's settlement of "Home" as that race's, the Summoners', and the party's potential only safe haven, the party sees it over the horizon, only to discover it is burning and damaged, set upon by the Church of Yevon and infiltrated by soldiers and fiends. It is so lost to conflict that the only recourse is to evacuate and detonate it. The surviving Al Bhed now must integrate into a society which includes people that fear and despise them, and the same religion that attempted genocide against them blames them for other violence in the world.
    • The entire population of Ronso living at their homeland on the sacred Mount Gagazet (except the Blitzball team, Kimahri and others not at home) being slaughtered by Seymour. It occurs off-screen, but that doesn't make Seymour revealing it any less horrible, as they did it to keep him away from the party and Seymour mocks their deaths.
    • Tidus being told that the Final Summon will result in Yuna's death. Serves as an in-universe punch to Tidus, too, who now thinks of all the lighthearted things he said to Yuna about defeating Sin to have been horribly hurtful to her.
    • Tidus being nothing more than a dream and the knowledge that, if the party manages to kill Sin, he will cease to exist, keeping he and Yuna, the two point-of-view characters who fell in love, from having a happy finish to their story even without the Final Summon.
  • Final Fantasy X-2
    • If the player doesn't answer certain questions right for the Ronso, the third Chapter has the Ronso prepare to slaughter the remaining Guado, as payback for Seymour having annihilated majority of their race in the previous game. As it's optional, the player can decide to fight the Ronso, to stop their rage.. or decide to let them be, at which point the Guado will be slaughtered and this can be viewed on commspheres in the next chapter. You Bastard.
    • The reappearances of the Dark Aeons. Couples as an in-universe one to Yuna, who is still riddled with guilt over having chosen to sacrifice and kill her own Aeons to defeat Sin in the prequel. The first battle, against Dark Bahamut, has music that doesn't help.
  • Final Fantasy XII has a Face–Heel Turn occur with Vossler, after he's helped your party twice.
  • Final Fantasy XIII
    • Serah turning into a crystal very early on in the game. It's heartbreaking to her sister, who is riddled with guilt over having not believed her when she said that she had been turned into a Pulse l'Cie, and to her fiancé Snow, who had sworn to protect her. One can even see Serah crying as she becomes a crystal, clearly scared of what was going on.
    • Halfway through the game, Sazh is reunited with his toddler son, Dajh. Both are happy, only for Dajh to turn into crystal before his father's eyes. This occurs at the same time, as Sazh is told that it's Vanille's fault that everything happened. And Sazh's suicide attempt at the end of the chapter is an extra punch.
    • Dysley revealing himself to be a Fal'Cie, Barthandelus, and telling the party that their mission isn't to save Cocoon, as they thought it was. Their mission is to cause Cocoon's destruction. This is so hard, that it caused Snow to shut up for quite some time.
  • Final Fantasy XIII-2
    • Early in the game, Lebreau yelling at Serah (and, hence, telling the player) that Lightning is dead and cannot protect her anymore. Including a scene of showing the previous game's ending to how it has changed in this timeline, with Lightning suddenly gone.
    • Serah's death at the end of the game. Even when the game flat out told the player that Serah will die if they fix the timeline, it's still a punch because the game trolls the player. The final boss is defeated, Serah and Noel make it to Academia AF 500, where they will now live with everyone, everything seems fine and then Serah gets a sudden vision and dies in Noel's arms. While inappropriately happy music is playing.
    • The extra scene unlocked, if the player manages to collect all Fragments and defeats the final boss. It consists of nothing more than a player punch scene of Caius practically talking directly to the player, mocking them into thinking that the ending could be changed and that he will always succeed.
  • Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
    • What has happened to Snow in the meantime. He's been grieving over Serah for the past 500 years, but remained patron of Yusnaan for the sake of the people, but when Lightning confronts him, Snow has absorbed so much chaos that his l'Cie brand advanced far enough and he begins to turn into a Cie'th during the fight.
    • The scene before the Final Day. Hope comes to talk to Lightning, revealing that he had been abducted by Bhunivelze ages ago and was possessed by him, to use as a puppet and watch over Lightning, as she did his bidding. Hope says that, now that the Final Day is here, he is no longer needed but is happy that he can say farewell to Lightning as himself.
  • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers has six to nine important characters. And out of the three female characters, Amidatelion/Goldenrod is chased by the player as an enemy, only to find out that her reasons for putting people into danger were more sound than first thought and that she wants to join your side. So, when Jegran kills her by turning her into a crystal, it hits pretty hard, as she tells the player how helpful he's been and how much she has learned from him, too.
  • Final Fantasy XV
    • The end of Chapter 1. Everything before was an easy-going, happy road trip for Noctis and his friends, one big trip for them while on their way to Altissia, where Noctis and Lunafreya will get married. There's puns and fun galore, until the news of an attack on Insomnia by the Empire hits. Noctis and the others rush back as fast as they can, but can only get to a hill overlooking the walls of the capital. And the radio reveals that everyone is dead, including King Regis. The only upside is that it's made clear very soon that Luna has managed to survive.
    • Ardyn going out of his way to screw with you by the second half: He kills Luna when you finally reunited with her, makes you attack Prompto which take him out of the party, then bring back Ravus into an abomination begging for death and if it wasn't enough he decides to make replicas of Luna's and Regis' desecrated corpse just for fun.
    • The revelation that Regis and Lunafrey knew that Noctis' destiny was to die for the greater good. Regis knew this, and even his in-game description states that Regis made sure to raise Noctis not as a future king, but simply as his beloved son.

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