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    In General 
  • FFI through FFVI all unfortunately share the same annoying NPCs who wander aimlessly around towns or castles and can block you. Such characters basically wander back and forth or in random directions about a small area, and you have no means of pushing them out of your way or passing through them (though later games tried to address this by having these characters speed up when you pushed against them which does help somewhat). All too often you'll get blocked in an alley and unable to move until said character decides to finally move left, or forced to follow a slowly moving character down a tight alley (the line of townsfolk in Zozo, for example).

    Final Fantasy II 

Final Fantasy II

  • The "Leveling" system is infamous for being among the worst in the entire series. You do not gain traditional EXP from killing monsters. Instead, characters level skills based upon use. Therefore, you must use each individual magic in order to increase its level. HP works in a similar fashionó you gain more by being hit. The issue there is the game doesn't differentiate between monsters or players. A common tactic for players is to beat up their own party at the start of the game.
    • In the NES version, your stats can level down if you don't use a skill tied to that stat enough. Haven't cast magic in a while? Your Intelligence will drop. The PS1 version (Final Fantasy Origins) still carry this rule but, fortunately, the following remakes have fixed things.
  • The NES version files your key items in your hugely limited inventory, where they consume a valuable slot for the whole game. Most expert players will skip picking up the airship pass from the office in the mines in favour of using exploits to cheese their way past the Beef Gate instead, because the inventory slot is more valuable.
    • Trap rooms. Instead of simply having in dungeon traps, the game has it where the doorway to the next level of a dungeon is found from usually several doors, all but one being "fake" rooms that lead to small rooms where the enemy rate jumps significantly, turning the each step into a battle. This is already frustrating, but the game forces you almost to the center of the room, meaning it can take four to five fights to even escape. Combined with how difficult 2 is, and it means a player can lose progress not because they made a mistake, but because the game punished the player for something out of their control.
  • The constant switching of the fourth party member turns the game into a far more frustrating experience due to how each character has different stats and specializations when you get them. It makes each time you gain a new one, or regain a previously playable one, time consuming because you need to make sure they have stats comparable to the three heroes. This can get frustrating for ones like Minwu, who joins early for a short time, leaves for a good chunk of the game, and than rejoins for a bit with his stats mostly the same.

    Final Fantasy III 

Final Fantasy III

  • The adjustment period when changing jobs. It varies in length; as low as two for transitions between jobs of like specialty, but up to ten if you're switching from a magic-oriented to a physical-oriented job, during which time the character has lowered stats. Combined with the fact that jobs have levels independent of character levels, it rather encourages players to lock into a handful of preferred jobs rather than sink time into experimentation.
  • In the NES version, attempting to flee would cause that character's defense stat to drop all the way down to zero, meaning that if you had every member of your party try to flee while facing four or more enemies, it could very easily result in a Party Wipe. The DS version got rid of this mechanic, mercifully.

    Final Fantasy IV and The After Years 

Final Fantasy IV

  • In the original SNES version, the inventory only has a limited number of slots and puts healing items, equipment and key items into one place. This makes inventory management a pain and one has to repeatedly throw items away to make room for new ones or head back to the Fat Chocobo over and over. The DS version has no inventory capacity.
  • Outside of battle, healing magic only restores a set amount of HP, meaning one requires multiple usages of Curaga or Curaja to completely restore the party's HP. Later versions change the HP-amount to be dependent on the caster's Spirit attribute.
  • After reaching Level 70, attribute bonuses are random. Meaning one could get a decent amount of stats increased upon leveling up, maybe only one or two points in a specific stat or even decrease stats. Fortunately, the DS version has this changed to be based on the game's Augment Ability system, but good luck figuring that thing out without having a handy guide.
  • Augments themselves, if one finds them and knows how to use them, due to having the capability of rendering the game a complete joke and reducing each party member to "build-your-own-guy".
  • The process to obtain the best armour in the game (or, in the DS version, continue one of the game's most amusing added sidequests) combines all the most loathed mechanics in the game - you need to get the 1/64 Rare Drop from an ultra-rare monster, in one of the game's many Boss in Mook Clothing dungeons, the game never giving you the means to defend more than one or two of your party members from the all-party Berserk spell the enemy casts as soon as you encounter it, and the only way to speed up the grind being an item that is... another 1/64 Rare Drop. Even the most ardent fans of FFIV's (otherwise rock-solid) battle mechanics find this quest too depressing to bother with.

Final Fantasy IV: The After Years

  • The Moon Phase System. When the moon is at a certain phase, it alters a character's stats. If your main party consists of a certain warrior class, you'll be finding yourself wasting Tents until you get the moon phase you need. If that weren't enough, it changes on its own if enough time passes since the last shift, even without having your characters sleep.

    Final Fantasy V 

Final Fantasy V

  • Rare steals. First, the chance of a rare steal is less than 4% (5/128, to be exact) and this means using !Steal repeatedly, all while the enemy is trying to kill you. This includes bosses; if you don't get that rare steal while you were fighting the boss, too bad, that item is gone forever. And one can only steal 1 item per enemy, so if you got the common steal, the battle will have to be restarted. The one bright spot is the Reset spell, which allows you to restart the battle.
  • Rare drops are just as bad. Couple the above less-than-4% chance of obtaining it, with Permanently Missable Content and apply this to a post-battle drop, which is a one-chance thing. You didn't get it, you need to restart the battle.
  • In the SNES version, you can only run on the map if one of your characters has the Sprint ability equipped. This requires some grinding of the Thief class (only a little, to be fair), and is a punishing loss in a game where you only have one changeable ability slot per character (unless they're a Freelancer, when they have... two) and four characters. Somewhat mitigated by Freelancers gaining all passive abilities from mastered classes, meaning if you master the thief class you'll automatically be able to Sprint even without the ability equipped, but this still means you need to devote to mastering the thief (it takes a while) and keeping said character as a Freelancer or Mimic.
  • The spell limitations on the battle screen. Even if a character has fully mastered one (or all) of the various mage classes you still need to have that specific command on their menu list to use spells of that type. In theory this makes sense, but in practice since you can just easily swap an ability for the command long enough to use said spell it's one acceptable break from reality that could have been done just to save having to shuffle commands and having your equipment changed just to cast a spell. Made worse by Blue magic, which cannot be cast at all from the status screen, which is very biting since White Wind, the best healing spell in the gamenote  can only be cast inside combat.

    Final Fantasy VI 

Final Fantasy VI

  • This game has at least one in several implementations for each character.
    • The manual says that Terra's Morph ability lasts longer with every use, when it actually lasts longer with enemies killed, but can still be depleted.
    • Mog's Dances and Gau's Rage make them uncontrollable; and Gau's Rages often make no sense in terms of attack, either, with a housecat having the best physical attack in the entire game or the mighty Intangir tending to commit suicide.
    • Gau's Rage acquisition is probably the worst mechanic in the entire game, beyond the effectiveness of the Rages themselves. Mog and Strago learn their specials simply from being in a battle under the right condition, but Gau has a special mechanic just to use his special mechanic. The party needs to travel to the Veldt, and in a fight with a creature Gau has never studied from before, use the specific Leap command. After a few random battles later, Gau will eventually reappear, having learned the skills of the monsters he leapt upon, as well as those of the monsters that were there when he reappeared. Of course, why he can learn the skills of the monsters that were around for his return and not any that he's simply fighting is never explained. As bad as it sounds in theory, it's much, much worse in practice. The area where he can learn skills (The Veldt) has dozens if not hundreds of unique fights, so it can be a LOT of grinding to find specific monsters. Every time Gau returns, you have to sit through a long dialogue where he reminds you that he's your friend and that he wants to travel with you once more. You will also gain no XP while grinding on the Veldt, only some gold and minor items, and not even those if Gau left or returned in those fights. Finally, the part where you first meet Gau is the 3rd part of an already long sequence following Sabin where you're wanting to get back to the main story, so Gau adds on even more padding. While his skill acquisition can be delayed until (a decent bit) later once you get the airship, you'll probably need him trained in a few decent monsters skills to get through the challenging fight to defend Banon and the Esper in Narshe, which occurs shortly after you acquire him.
    • Sabin's Blitz is supposed to mimic a fighting game, but the input never has to be mirror-reversed if Sabin is caught in a pincer formation or back-attack. Doing rotation movements is difficult with a D-Pad, and four of his techniques require rotation. And the game never tells you that all but two of his techniques run off his initially-low magic stat.
    • Relm's Sketch ability mimics a monster's ability, which would be helpful, if monsters were actually weak to their own attacks outside of the one mandatory cutscene, where it actually does something. It also hits the wrong side of the Health/Damage Asymmetry, in that it uses the monster's stats to determine damage, while it would usually be preferable to use Relm's (especially if the attack is magical).
    • Cyan's Bushido techniques are some of the best and strongest in the game and make him a really good party member. Except that one needs to let the bar charge up to the level of technique one wants to use and the player cannot do anything while charging, making the entire party a sitting duck, even if one uses Haste. This was remedied in the iOS and Steam versions where you pick a technique and the bar charges on its own while you're free to attack with your other party members.
    • Shadow randomly leaving the party. The first time is workable, he doesn't leave until after the Imperial Camp, and you can just run from encounters until you reach the Phantom Train, at which point he can't leave anymore. However, nothing excuses the second trip. He joins up in Kohlingen, charging you 3000 gil first of all, and from there up until you meet Ramuh, he has a chance to leave at any time after any battle. Imagine walking all the way from Kohlingen to Zozo, and as you enter town, you get into a battle after which Shadow leaves. Your choices now are to trek all the way back to Kohlingen, then to Narshe, to get a fourth party member, then come all the way back, or you can traverse one of the hardest areas of the game with a party of only three people. And if you have the insane idea to recruit him after Zozo and before the Opera House, he leaves during the performance, trapping you with three people all the way through the trip to Vector.
  • Having to give up a Relic slot on one character for the Sprint Shoes that allow you to move at a non-glacial pace on the map. At least you have double the amount of available slots compared to V.
  • The run mechanic, so much so that often it's not a viable option. It's surprisingly difficult to escape from most battles, as it tends to take quite a while of holding the run buttons while the enemies pick at you one by one and the damage adds up, and your party members can escape from battle individually and leave others behind still in combat. It's easy for all your party but one to escape, leaving him to be ganged up on and drained of his health.
  • Buying anything from the Auction House in Jidoor. There are a few very useful items to get, but you will have to deal with a ridiculous amount of sequences of a kid getting his pampering dad to buy him one of two different pieces of junk. There are no options to skip or fast forward through these sequences, and they will happen an unlimited number of times making attempting to buy the items you need a crapshoot of the RNG. This could have been easily averted had they had each of these two auctions items occur only once.

    Compilation of Final Fantasy VII 

Final Fantasy VII

  • The original Japanese version only allows you to manage the Materia of characters currently in your party, except at a couple of story points (e.g. before Cloud's dual with Rufus). This makes party member management into the world's dullest Fox-Chicken-Grain Puzzle where you can't even remember who's holding what, especially in the passages of the game where Can't Drop the Hero means you only get one flexible party slot. Since you can only swap party members at Save Points or on the Overworld, you'll also have to backtrack if you accidentally give someone on the bench a spell you need. As a result, the English version and the Final Fantasy VII International Updated Re-release add an extra menu, Exchange, that allows you see all available characters and what Materia they have equipped, and swap it around freely, even if you're nowhere near a Save Point. Cloud even lampshades this tweak in his tutorial narration, acknowledging the popular demand that led to the menu's addition and advising the player to keep it secret from those playing the vanilla game.
  • Summons are cool-looking, but their MP cost is far too high to compensate for what they actually do, being simply strong elemental magic but three times as expensive and taking fifteen times as long. Only four of the Summons in the game have much utility (Choco/Mog, Hades, Phoenix and Knights of the Round), and of those, one is only useful in conjunction with a Support Materia.
  • Similarly you cannot skip the Final Boss's Supernova animation. Two minutes of waiting for a glorified Percent Damage Attack.

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

  • The impossible to dodge cutscene attacks that bosses are fond of using, especially in Hard mode. The most flagrant Hard Mode example being in mission 5-1-2 (a fight with Bahamut) where Megaflare (the cutscene attack) will kill you in one hit if you take the mission shortly after gaining access to it, in spite of the game calling its difficulty "Normal". Yes, a mission that's impossible without specifically preparing for the inevitable one hit kill by an undodgable attack is just normal....
    • Even worse in the fight with the Superboss, Minerva. Yes, it's meant to be tough. But do you think an undodgable cinematic attack that has a good chance of dealing 99999 damage AND removes your Raise status is a little broken?
  • The DMW system randomizes when Zack levels up, when his Materia levels up (as well as which ones level up, and how much), when he can perform Limit Breaks, and randomly heals him or gives him temporary stat buffs. While leveling up isn't entirely randomnote , the ability to level up Materia and execute Limit Breaks relying on random chance is ridiculous.
  • All encounters are on fixed places, even if you cannot SEE them. This means you can accidentally re-enter a "conflict" as soon as you have "resolved" another, simply because you took one step in the wrong direction. It is possible to avoid MOST fixed encounters by hugging the correct ledge/wall, but some are unavoidable, specially during "open world" maps. After hours playing the game you will likely cringe every single time you hear "Activating Combat Mode!"

    Final Fantasy VIII 

Final Fantasy VIII

  • The Junction System has the steepest learning curve of any equipment system in a Final Fantasy title. The drab visual design of the menus does not help.
  • The Draw System is easily exploitable, and grinding for spells is slow and painful. There's a Magic Booster system in the 2013 PC release that gives you 100 of most low and mid level spells, but while many fans either like it or think it takes away from the challenge, others believe that its addition proves that the Draw System was poorly designed to begin with.
  • Triple Triad has a few rules which are disliked for various reasons. Since rules change and spread depending on where in the world you play, many players find themselves pulling their hair out dealing with scrappy rules catching on, or else going to great lengths to stop rules from spreading at all.
    • There's the Random rule, which automatically selects 5 random cards for your hand, instead of allowing you to select cards manually. The problem can be mitigated considerably by Card Modding or throwing away any weak cards that come into your hand, but it's still irritating, especially if you're trying to complete the Queen of Cards sidequest (which requires you to lose specific unique cards to her).
    • The Same and Plus rules increase the complexity of the game greatly, and can allow either player to turn their opponent's overwhelming advantage into a crushing defeat at the last second. Then again, there are people who love these rules for those exact reasons.
  • The Final Boss selects your party for you at random. Not even Squall is immune from this. And given how easy it is to swap Junctions from character to character, you probably don't have six characters' worth of spells stocked up, much less proper GF coverage. It's possible to change your layout by killing your own members and waiting until they're "absorbed into time" and replaced with someone you want to use, but if that happens to your favorite party members, they're gone forever.
  • It only takes exactly 1000 EXP to level up in this game across all levels, making getting to level 100 with a character much quicker than any other FF game. However, the enemies level up as you do. Poor uneducated players that grinded to level 100 early on learned this the hard way...

    Final Fantasy IX 

Final Fantasy IX

  • The Trance system, largely because of how uncontrollable the transformation is. It can take several hours of fighting in-game to charge up Trance, and when charged you immediately enter Trance, and then when the current battle is over the gauge completely depletes. Imagine this — your Trance bar is almost filled, when you order an attack on an enemy in a random encounter. Before the attack goes through, the enemy attacks, the Trance bar fills, and the character enter Trance. They attack and kill the enemy, the battle ends, Trance gauge is depleted. This will happen. That's also not getting into how unbalanced the Trance abilities are between various characters; Quina just gets to use Eat on enemies with higher health and Steiner gets an attack power buff, while Eiko and Vivi get Dualcast and Zidane becomes a god of destruction able to deal massive damage to enemies for trivial amounts of MP.
  • Quina's "Eat" ability. It instantly kills the enemy and possibly earns Quina a new ability, however it will only work if the enemy is at 1/4 of its health, a rather small window. Oftentimes whittling down the enemy's health will result in accidentally killing it. It doesn't help that a lot of the powers can be collected from enemies when you first meet Quina, meaning you don't yet have Scan to determine how much health they have left.
  • The card game, Tetra Master, qualifies too. Particularly because first time one plays the game is during the very beginning of the game and there's a half hour long tutorial with unlimited consequence free practice games available, and since the game doesn't come up much during the actual plot, they aren't expecting to have to win a couple of games to progress the storyline. Moreover, playing it the way it looks like it ought to be played (stronger cards beat weaker ones) doesn't help you much, because there's some kind of random element to it, to the point where even FAQ writers haven't been able to fully figure out how the mechanics work. Back when PlayOnline.com still existed, at least it revealed that strength of the cards is based off their Hexidecimal Code values. The one time you're forced to play it to progress the plot is the only time in the entire game where being good at it gets you anything besides more useless cards. Finally, the only Tetra Master card that does anything outside the minigame (which allows you to rename your party members if you show it to a specific NPC) can be found without ever playing it.
  • The HP in the game being capped at just-below five digits and, even for the lowest-level characters, HP starts at three digits. There are several segments in the game, where one has no access to any character with a healing or revival spell/technique. And if one does have such a character in the party, the spells cannot be accessed due to 'anti-magic fields' in the area or because your healing mage is technically available but broken. And Phoenix Downs in this game only restore single-digit HP.
  • The fact that being killed does not negate the Zombie status. It prevents the character from being revived, until it is removed and Remedy does not work on it.
  • Stop does not wear off with time, making it one of few games in the series where a party afflicted with Stop faces the Game Over screen. There is also a worse version of the Poison status called Venom, which combines the slow HP drain of Poison with the effect of Stop and adds a slow-MP-drain on top of that.
  • The Overly Long Fighting Animations can be quite tedious, as well as the long camera pan around the battlefield at the beginning of every random encounter.
  • During the mid-point of the game, Dagger will frequently fail to perform actions, instead presenting you with a "Can't concentrate" message. When Garnet goes through a broken phase note , she becomes useless in battle. She completely loses her ability to go into Trance and has a random chance of skipping her turn, because she is incapable of focusing. It also doesn't help that the other white mage of the party has gone missing. Fortunately, you can still use Garnet's magic outside of battles. While justified based on story-related reasons, from a gameplay standpoint this renders one of the stronger mages in your party (the primary summoner at that) effectively useless.
  • The stealing mechanic can drive players up the wall, they're widely hated due to how luck based it can be. Most enemies carry up to 4 items to steal, ranging from common to rare and bosses, naturally, tend to hold the better items. Even with add-on abilities that increase the success rate of stealing, it still doesn't help a lot. Almost every boss has several items and the more rare ones are harder to steal. Rare items have a 16/256 success rate in being stolen and very rare items just have a 1/256 odds. note  While the majority of the items from bosses can either be found/bought/synthesized later on, you will pull your hair out trying to get the best items early so that your characters can have stronger stats and/or learn abilities sooner. Stealing from Beatrix is doubly painful because all of her battles are timed and once she decides to end the fight, any items you didn't steal are Permanently Missable.

    Final Fantasy X 

Final Fantasy X

  • The Chocobo Race minigame. No player has not raged at the horrible mechanics in this minigame. In the race, one rides a barely-controllable Chocobo and needs to beat the NPC opponent's time in racing - picking up balloons on the track removes 3 seconds off of your time, whereas being hit by seagulls who come out of nowhere adds 3 seconds to your time. And if the player wants Tidus' best weapon? You need to obtain a time below 0:00 seconds! Meaning a preferably perfect run of the race, with only picking up balloons and not getting whomped by a seagull.
  • Monster Catching. In order to complete the Monster Catching sidequest, the player needs to catch 10 fiends of every area in the game. Problem is that some encounters are so rare, that the player could spend hours running around and trying to find this rare monster. Tonberries are notorious, as they reside in the hardest area of the entire game and, without weapons that can break the damage cap or summoning Aeons, one is essentially screwed. Worst part is that the player needs to have specific weapons equipped for a character to even be able to catch a monster and needs to do the last hit for the monster to count as caught.
  • Dodging lightning bolts in the Thunder Plains. Getting hit is bad enough, as it throws Tidus back a few paces, and the player can make it through somewhat easily enough by just dodging a few lightning bolts. But if they want Lulu's crest to power up her best weapon, the player needs to dodge two-hundred (200) lightning bolts. Consecutively. The erratic pattern of the lightning bolts makes this obnoxious enough, and this area has random encounters, so attempting this without a No Encounters weapon is just begging for a hole in the wall. Oh, and don't even think of switching screens, because if you do, your count gets reset and you get to do that whole thing all over again. And no, nothing in the game actually tells you how many bolts you've dodged already.
  • Blitzball itself. The first half of the game revolves around it and the player is thrown into a tournament game of Blitzball, with no real preparation, except an in-game manual just beforehand, which is a vague description of what goes on. The player is also immediately pitted against a team that, stat-wise, is so much better than your team that winning the game is practically luck-based.note  The only upside is that winning this game is optional, so whether you lose or win makes no difference, except for one minuscule scene. And the game was inevitably soured for most players, especially when one learned that, in order to get Wakka's other Overdrives or best weapon, you have to play hours upon hours of Blitzball.
  • Lulu's Overdrive mechanic requiring fast rotating of the right analog stick. Any player of the original Mario Party knows that this results in blistered palms and broken controllers. And yes, this is unchanged in the PS3/PS4 version.
  • Unskippable Cutscenes. As amazing as the cutscenes are, the fact that the series is infamous for throwing bosses at the player, with no saving in-between, makes this a horrible combination. So be prepared to not only fight the same boss again, but also to watch the very long cutscene leading up to the battle. And this issue was not fixed in the HD Remaster, despite it being one of the biggest complaints of the game.

    Final Fantasy XI 

Final Fantasy XI

  • Player Versus Player, for several reasons:
    • Many matches of PvP turn into 1v1 matches, even though the game is based almost entirely on party play, turning most team matches into insane free-for-alls.
    • Many job combinations are horribly ill-suited for solo play in the first place. A Bard/anything will likely be turned into paste in one-on-one.
    • Swapping equipment has harsh penalties, and while it's to prevent players being untargetable, the game is almost bursting with players that swap equipment all the damn time in order to perform perfectly.
    • Very few players even have a large interest in PvP, and most of those people are on one server.
    • And due to the lack of interest in PvP, the classes are largely unbalanced. Paladins have a large inherent advantage against melees (especially PLD/RDM) and a skilled Red Mage can beat pretty much any class.

    Final Fantasy XII 

Final Fantasy XII

  • AI party members hold still when charging spells, thus if you try to move through an area while gambits for your party members to cast spells are active, they'll get spread out behind you and have to run to catch up. Characters can move while charging spells, they only need to hold still once they actually cast the spell, but the AI still stays put.
  • No one likes the Chops sidequest in Archades. For some reason pieces of wood are considered a status symbol in Archades, and people tend to pass around chops as thanks for aid, so you have to do enough good deeds to earn enough chops to take the air cab, which will refuse to take you anywhere without chops. Thus you have to run back and forth talking to people, relaying specific messages to specific people, getting chops in thanks. With a guide it can still take half an hour, and without a guide it'll probably take double that time, since it's often counter-intuitive to figure out which messages have to be relayed to whom. And to add further insult, in-story you shouldn't even have had to do this quest at all; Balthier gave some chops to Jules to pass along to you, but Jules decided to pocket them and make you get your own.
  • The way treasure containers work is infamously terrible. First, there's a random chance for a container to spawn or not. Then there's a chance for the container to contain gil or an item. Then the game looks at one of two potential items to be in the container. The result is that every treasure container has one of three potential treasures, if it spawns at all, and the Diamond Armlet accessory changes those contents entirely. Oh, and just because the developers hate you: some containers contain the "good" items in their normal loot pools, while the Diamond Armlets don't, so wearing it all the time to ensure good stuff will cheat you out of rare items. The Zodiac version thankfully simplifies this; containers either contain gil or an item, and the Diamond Armlet changes the item inside to randomly be a Knot of Rust or a Meteorite (or in a few end-game locations, some other item). The Zodiac version also gives certain treasure chests a 100% chance of its contents, usually an ability or equipment pieces, so wearing the Diamond Armlet won't cause you to miss out.
  • The Bazaar. As the Guide Dang It! entry on the main page explains, it is impossible to figure out without a guide how to unlock the various items there, or where you can get the loot items that can unlock them.
  • Effect Capacity. Every action save for normal attacks and some enemy-exclusive Technicks has a hidden value of 1, 2, 4, or 8 Effect Capacity. Effect Capacity basically determines how many actions can be used at once: if enough actions are being taken that the Capacity hits 8, no other actions with Capacity can be performed. While this was a necessary limitation to ease strain on the PS2's hardware by not letting too many special attacks animate at once, the developers rather obviously used it to introduce some Fake Difficulty too, as several spells and items with simple animations have high Capacities. In the late game thanks to this mechanic, get used to seeing party members charge spells, and then sit there doing nothing for several seconds while they wait for someone else's spell to finish casting. It also makes enemies with Level 3 spells deceptively difficult, as most Tier 3 spells have 4 capacity and Darkga and Graviga have 8. Finally, normal attacks don't have Effect Capacity, so in a battle with multiple enemies, one of them casting Darkga can prevent your healer from casting any healing spells while the rest of the enemy mob keeps attacking normally on top of Darkga's damage. The removal of this mechanic in the PS4 version was met with much rejoicing among players.
  • Summoning and using espers sounds totally badass until you see the annoying limitations they have that prevent them from being fun to use. Espers are under AI control, cannot be controlled manually, and they have their own set of gambits that cannot be adjusted. Their Limit Break is activated usually when their timer is nearly finished or if their HP gets low, but some espers have incredibly obtuse and convoluted ways of activating their special moves such as requiring both the summoner and the esper to have less than 20% of their max HP or having the summoner being afflicted with petrifaction. Naturally, you are never told how to find these triggers. Espers also retain their elemental weaknesses and will crumble like paper if a strong enemy exploits it. If either the summoner or the esper's HP hits zero, the esper is dismissed and you've effectively wasted a mist charge. The international and HD remaster versions of the game allows espers to be controlled by the player and their special attacks can be executed at any time, but their gambits are still set in stone.
  • Traps, a mechanic in this game where certain areas will have invisible traps that when you step on them will cause an effect, such as full-party Blind, Sap, Silence, Confusion, drains all your MP, rejuvenates all nearby enemies, or cause a massive explosion that will likely send your health into the red if it doesn't outright wipe your party. Traps also reset if you leave an area and come back, and the only way to avoid them is by using an accessory slot on a special item to make you immune to traps, or to constantly have Float active. The worst time to get hit with a trap is probably when you're trying to flee through a map to get through quickly, only to run over 20 traps along the way.

    Final Fantasy XIII Trilogy 

Final Fantasy XIII

  • The fact that Transformation Is a Free Action is not observed by the characters in-battle. The first time your party switches Paradigms in a fight, the camera zooms in on each of them and they strike a pose while the enemy is still fighting. Better make sure to switch to healing before you desperately need it.
    • A (very minor) consolation is that this happens only once every other Paradigm Shift. If the first Shift has the camera focus on each party member in turn, the next Shift will show all three changing at the same time, effectively reducing the amount of time you're standing still by about 60%. If you are thrown airborne, the camera will also not change.
  • For the first time in the series, the entire party loses if the leader gets KOed. So if any battle has all the enemies decide to focus on your main character, make sure to keep them at full HP or retry the battle.
  • The Quake spell is the only offensive spell in the game that requires a consumable gauge (the TP gauge), which is better saved for things like Libra or summong Eidolons. But Quake is the only way to deal Earth-elemental damage in the entire game, outside of summons. Fortunately, most enemies are not weak to Earth to begin with, but the ones that are, are often Demonic Spiders. And making use of (elemental) weaknesses makes up a big part of the staggering mechanic, which lets the party deal tons of damage. Fortunately, the sequel removes the Earth element entirely.
  • Customization earns quite some flak for three reasons. First, money is exceptionally hard to obtain, as battles do not drop Gil and the best drops to sell are usually held by really strong monsters, making Weapon customization difficult to do as it requires a lot of money. Second, its system of balancing EXP Multiplier and points is convoluted. Third, nothing in the game hints at the target time for battles being lowered the higher upgraded your weapon is. So the player can inadverdently shoot themselves in the foot by making great weapons, but not finishing battles soon enough to get 5 Stars, which results in better upgrade material being dropped.

Final Fantasy XIII-2

  • While it fixes a lot of the previous game's mechanics in the battle system, the added monster catching aspect is a scrappy mechanic itself. It's basically a Luck-Based Mission on whether the player gets a Monster Crystal from fighting a monster. Sometimes, the Random Number God is kind and lets you get a crystal after one or two fights, other times it will force you to fight the same enemy at least a dozen times.
  • The casino's slot-machine is based on actual luck. No matter what you do, nothing really influences the chance of getting 777 and a nice pay-off, meaning the player could spend hours upon hours of dropping coins into the thing just to get a big enough pay-out to get the Lucky Coin fragment. And using the Auto-Play option for the slot-machine doesn't help much, either. Tie a rubber-band to it, go away for a few hours and check to see if you got lucky.
  • The "Hands of Time" Temporal Rift puzzles. Do you suck at math? Yes? Do we have a minigame for you! Some of them have a time limit that will generate a new puzzle if it expires. And there are no fixed solutions, since the puzzles are generated, though this is mitigated by the fact that many solver applets are available. Of course, that doesn't improve the mechanic itself; it just makes it less annoying for those who don't like it. Also, there's a silver lining in that no Hands of Time puzzles turn up in the main story, so they're totally optional if you aren't going for 100% completion.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

  • Synthesizing and upgrading Abilities. The higher an Ability's level is, the more damage it does, so one would want to increase their strength, especially against Chocobo-Eaters and Earth-Eaters. Downside: synthesizing means you need to have multiple of the same Ability to merge them, raising their points enough so that it's ready to be leveled up. So the player needs to grind monsters for the same Ability over and over, to get enough multiples to merge. The worst offender is Elementaga, the highest tier of the four-elemental spell, which is only dropped by the Final Boss. On Hard Mode.
  • The spawning of the Rare Forge, a traveling NPC, who sells some of the best garbs in the game. He spawns randomly each hour, in any of the four locales - with five spawn points per locale - and he cannot spawn in the locale the player's currently at. Looking for this guy on purpose will waste the limited time the game gives, so one can only hope to honestly just stumble over him at one point. And it's not uncommon to go an entire playthrough without ever knowing he exists.

    Final Fantasy XIV 

Final Fantasy XIV

  • Rage quit penalties. Anyone that ditches a party on a quest will get slapped with a 30 minute timeout, which means that player cannot sign up for any quest on the duty finder until their 30 minutes are up. While the mechanic does help curb rage quitting, it also punishes players that want to leave due to the party being trolls or the party simply being bad and can't finish the quest. The 30 minute penalty also applies globally, which means that even if you are in a premade party, you can't do a quest with your friends at all until the timer runs out.
  • Teleportation fees. You have to pay a small amount of gil if you want to teleport to any city whose aetheryte you attuned to and the fees can rack up quickly if you teleport a lot, even if you take advantage of every measure to reduce it.
    • The gear repair fees are arguably worse. While players can theoretically repair their own gear, you'd have to be an incredibly bored sadomasochist to bother, as it's much faster and not any more expensive to just get an NPC mender to do it for you. This adds exactly nothing to the gameplay beyond requiring one to take a minute to track down a Mender. And if you space out and forget to repair your gear for long enough and then join up on an ill-fated dungeon run/trial fight, subsequently die a bunch (which causes your gear to wear out faster, the only penalty for dying besides the embarrassment), and your gear breaks, you lose a large portion of the stats on it until you get it fixed. Unless you have the materials on you and the appropriate craft leveled to fix it yourself (and no one has the materials on them), you have to leave whatever instance and find a Mender in order to fix it. All in the name of regulating the in-game money supply, which could just as easily have accomplished by not having every trash mob in every dungeon inexplicably bleed gil, or is already done by the above teleportation costs.
  • FATEs, which stand for Full Active Time Events. Said events are randomly generated everywhere and are usually "kill all monsters" or "gather items for this NPC". The better you perform in the events, the more experience points, gil, and company seals you can earn. FATEs are good for low level characters, but are a pain for high level players that need the events to level grind due to the RNG of the events popping up. It also doesn't help that many seasonal events are also based around the FATE mechanic.
    • There are two FATEs that spawn King Behemoth and Odin and they require a lot of people to come together to take the bosses down. It is not unusual to see hundreds of players trying to fight the super bosses all at once, which can cause massive slowdown for many people. The problem was so bad that the boss characters would sometime fail to appear on many peoples' screens, making it impossible to attack them. Square did attempt to alleviate the issue by giving the bosses higher priority for character rendering, but the zerg rushes that follow can still cause issues.
  • The entirety of the Relic Weapon quest line that powers up your Infinity +1 Sword to higher levels is a nightmare of RNG and grind. Finishing the initial leg of the quest required some effort, but was doable within a reasonable amount of time - you acquired the original, broken weapon, collected a few materials through event fights, fought a few open world monsters, and finally capped it off with easily-obtainable items purchased with end-game dungeon currency. It was when the Atma portion of the quest was reached that the entire chain quickly devolved into a mind-numbing experience. Tasked to locate 12 Atma crystals (randomly dropped from any FATE you participate in, with 1 unique Atma per zone), it was quickly discovered that the RNG drop rate was so terrible that one player could spend hours grinding in a single area and receive nothing, while incredible luck would mean another player could find all the Atma in equal or even decidedly less time. Worse still, the second half of the quest demanded you collect 9 books to give your weapon its true power (the Atma quest doesn't even do that, merely raising the weapon's item level) and every book carried an original price tag of 1500 mythology tomes to purchase, out of a 2000 tome cap. Although Patch 2.4 alleviated some of the pain by boosting the drop rates of the Atma crystals and reduced the amount of tomestones needed to purchase the books, the tomestones used for purchase were changed from Mythology to Soldiery, and the overall ease of acquiring them was limited compared to gathering Mythology. While the Atma books were, fortunately, a quest item and located in your key items inventory, the Atma crystals were treated as regular loot - capable of accidentally being discarded or sold. Worse yet, each Atma corresponds to a single Zodiac sign (Atma of the Crab, Archer, Fish, etc.) and took up a single inventory slot apiece, much like weapons and armor. It was only much, much later that Atma of the same type would stack together, but by that point the utility of obtaining a Relic Weapon was more or less moot.
    • The Novus portion of the relic quest line cuts out the RNG in exchange for materia farming. You need 75 pieces of Alexandrite and 75 pieces of materia to power up your relic. Said materia are easy to obtain or buy from other players until you start using the higher grade materia, which are a lot more difficult to come by, involves some RNG in terms of what kind of materia you get, and you forking over a ton of gil on the market board if you want to buy high level materia from someone. Assuming one did manage to obtain all the materia and Alexandrite, the very next step involved "Light" farming - tasked with obtaining 2000 Light to power up the weapon, at a time when completing the entirety of a 24-player raid would only yield 8 points, and most other activities granting perhaps 1 or 2 at most.
      • The Zodiac weapon, which is the transformation of your relic weapon, is even more absurd by combining everything hated from the previous relic quests into one ball of "we enjoy watching players suffer." Hope you loved farming for the low drop rate Atmas because now you get to do it again for sixteen items needed for your Zodiac weapon and they can only be acquired by running the very lengthy dungeons! You'll also need several hundred thousand gil just to purchase a few key items needed for the quest, over 6000 Soldiery Tomestones for another item, and 60,000 grand company seals for a different item. Hope you also took up some crafting classes because now you'll need to get items that can only be obtained through crafting and desynthesis!
      • And hopefully you actually enjoyed the 2.0 run of relic quests, because they basically copy/pasted the procedure for the 3.0 relic quests. There's still FATE farming (though that can be skipped if you turn in a Zodiac weapon that is now completely useless due to the incessant, perfectly vertical gear progression), there's a fat materia requirement, there's a need for an absurd amount of tomestones, and there's a stage that requires running the rather effortless linear hallways that pass for dungeons. Though at least the dungeon runs are part of a repeatable subquest that guarantee you the item you want, rather than in the 2.0 version where it was completely random.
  • Loot drops. By itself, the mechanic isn't bad, but when combined with a weekly lockout, it's a pain in the ass. For the Binding Coil of Bahamut, whatever item you obtain locks you out from rolling on more loot until the next week's reset. You have the potential of never seeing the gear you need to get while constantly passing on gear you could use for your other classes so that you don't get locked out from your most wanted gear. While chunks of the coil had their loot restrictions lifted, the gear becomes heavily outdated by then. The Crystal Tower segments also went through a similar problem.
  • Crafting scrips, and indeed, high-level crafting/gathering and collectibles in general for the Heavensward expansion. While specialty nodes for gatherers appeared for a small window in the ARR release, these windows allowed enough time for players to travel to different zones and gather the items they needed. The new nodes, however, only appear for roughly 55 real-time seconds, and are far enough away from zone Aetherytes that it is literally impossible to gather from more than one node at a time...all of which are only available twice per in-game day.
    • This is compounded by the fact that the collectible minigame involves using a series of skills in a precise order which not only renders the item gathered unfit for use in any crafting, but each item acquired takes up a single inventory slot, and, if any deviation in said minigame occurs, means that it is impossible to recover from and either means losing another collectible or wasting the node entirely. Collectibles must be of a certain rarity value (achieved through the minigame) to have any XP value as a turn-in, or be worth any amount of end-game scrip currency.
    • Collectibles also impact crafting classes, who must engage in the same type of minigame upon making an item to turn in, if they wish to see any moderately level-appropriate XP rewards or acquire any scrips. The terrible thing for crafters is that it is extraordinarily difficult to make the items needed without first having the gear and tools to acquire said items, which requires acquiring those same items to make the gear, which requires having the gear to begin with, which necessitates obtaining the items...
  • Eureka: Anemos turned out to be one entire scrappy mechanic. Any mob a but a couple levels above you will immediately murder you. The only decent way to make any exp gains is to FATE (now called "Notorious Monsters" hoping to piggyback off nostalgia from the much better Final Fantasy XI) farm, the scrappy mechanic that will not die. Meaning the only way to get levels is to follow the zone's "zerg" from FATE to FATE. But if you're under the recommended level for a FATE, you'll get less exp and none of the drops you need to upgrade gear, meaning lower level players are left in the dust. Also, you'll lost a fat load of exp if you get killed and don't get a raise after level 10, and getting one-shot is almost guaranteed to happen to, say, a level 12 player trying to follow people to the level 18 FATE just to get some goddamn exp so they can get what they need for their 4.0 relic (yep, FATE farming is ONCE AGAIN a staple of the relic quests, just in case you were worried Yoshi-P had an original idea within the last five years) to put the entire ordeal behind them.

    Final Fantasy XV 

Final Fantasy XV

  • The Wait Mode, which makes the battles a lot easier and more strategic, is off by default and buried under an option which, in earlier FFs, made the game less fun.
  • The summoning system. Each of the summons has a specific set of conditions under which they will appear, none of which are mentioned to you at any point, but which generally involve one or more of your party being dead or in critical condition. And getting summons to appear is not as simple as holding L2 as the game prompts you to, as you have to do so for 5-10 seconds without getting hit (while Noctis is the only person standing, thus the target for the enemies and incapable of doing more than limping along while in critical condition). And even if you do all that, there's still no guarantee that any given summon will appear.
  • Depending on the control scheme selected, doing actions is set to the X or Circle button, which can make it a pain to pick things up or interact with the environment when you keep jumping or warping by accident.
  • The Regalia Type-F. For starters, you don't get it until after you've beaten the main story, so there's a good chance that you could Fast Travel to the places you need to go anyway. Unlike the other Airships, it takes damage and will cause a Game Over if you crash it. Many players crash it immediately right after they get it into a street light. It's difficult to land it without damaging it, and you can only land it on the road. The only upside is that it has infinite fuel, but considering how cheap fuel is, it's not much of an upside.
  • The lack of hitstun on enemies can be really irritating thanks to the autoattack system. Rather than have enemies react to your blows and be unable to recover from them while you're comboing them, a lot of mid-to-lategame enemies will simply power through your attacks with no reaction to them. This can make your slower attacks feel obsolete, and make a lot of the bossfights feel tedious due to a lack of reaction from the bosses to your warps and other attacks.
  • When the party engages the enemy, is triggers a 'battle zone', a red-outlined area visible on the map (but not the actual world) where if you run outside of this line, you can escape the battle. Part of the issue is, this area is not fixed to the enemy, but instead fixed to the general area that the enemy spawns in. Sometimes, especially with bigger enemies fought in the late-game, such as the Malbodoom or Phalaris, the enemy itself can cross this line due to how quickly and wildly they can attack, which effectively forces the battle to end even if your party is still on top of it. Worst, if this does happen, the enemy immediately regains all its health, and you have to kite the enemy back to the middle to the spawn point and start the entire fight over again.

    Final Fantasy Tactics series 

Final Fantasy Tactics

  • Rapha and Marach's innate skill would assign them a random number of hits to random squares within the 5-square-cross targeting zone you give them. The Random Number God being the Jerk Ass he is, actually hitting anything with this ability is less likely than winning the lottery. As a result, the Hydra monster class is better at their jobs than they are, both because it's easier to restrict their targetting area because their equivalent skills have no vertical tolerance while Rapha and Marach have the default 3, and because the monster's skill has higher minimum and maximum hitcounts than theirs.
  • The fact that support spells can miss is near-universally disliked. Especially since their accuracy can be less than an offensive spell, which doesn't make a lot of sense unless characters are trying to dodge Haste. It does, however, make some sense as a spell's effectiveness is based on the target's Faith stat.

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

  • The law system can really piss people off. Though canny players can turn it to their advantage sometimes (notably, waiting for Charm to be illegal makes the second Totema fight a complete joke), the presence of enemies with red-card immunity puts a sour taste in everyone's collective mouth.

Final Fantasy Tactics A2

  • Laws, again.
    • Specifically certain laws that you may end up violating by an unavoidable accident. Namely "no damage above X, no hitting enemies more than 1 square away, or no critical hits" which you will end up breaking if you accidentally score a Critical Hit because you'll deal more damage than you expected to, will knock the opponent away counting the attack as damaging multiple squares away, or break the law for the Critical itself. Or the No Knockbacks law. Or the No Solitude law, if that was the only character next to you.
    • Many battles have enemies that are scripted to have one or two turns right at the beginning of the battle. Brightmoon Tor has enemies that cast Haste on themselves, doubling the number. One battle combines this with an Escort Mission to create one of the most insulting luck-based missions in video game history.

Others

  • Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light
    • The battle system lets you control what action your characters take, but not which target it will be done to. Do you want to gang up on a Cowpel with physical and magical attacks? Sorry, you can't. Physical attacks always go for the left-most and magic the right-most enemy. Want your White Mage to heal your half-dead tank? They will only heal the one with the least HP, even if said character has barely a scratch on them.
    • The Crown upgrade system. The only way to learn new abilities is by upgrading the crowns with gems, which are only dropped by monsters. Every Level 2 upgrade requires an Amethyst (which you only have a limited supply in the first half of the game) and Level 3 upgrades requires a Diamond (which cannot be found until the last third of the game). And if you upgrade a crown, only the character that did so will benefit from it.

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