Unmarked spoilers ahead.
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- Bad Breath from every Malboro variant ever. Causes all status ailments, potentially leaving your entire party paralyzed, bleeding to death, and attacking each other from a single attack.
- Final Fantasy X gives us Great Malboros that uses this as its opening gambit. Wouldn't be a problem if it didn't also get "Ambushed!" every single time. With the characters now poisoned, confused, and blinded, they will now constantly attempt to kill one-another only to miss and take poison damage, which does 1/4th of their maximum HP. This makes poison essentially a 4 turn doom. Frequently you will die without having been given a single chance to do anything. Especially annoying since this actually makes your party worse as it gets better - if you have a high Evasion, your only chance to get un-confused - the Greater Malboro's bite - keeps missing.
- Final Fantasy VIII comes in second as far as Malboro terror goes only because this game's version doesn't always ambush the party, providing a window of opportunity to run away. Unless you've specifically loaded your party's junctions toward resisting Berserk and Confusion at a bare minimum, it's a chance you'll want to take, since like in FFX this game's Malboros almost always lead with Bad Breath and it's potent enough to leave you watching helplessly as your party kills themselves.
- Averted in Final Fantasy IV, where being immune to one status effect meant immunity to Bad Breath.
- Final Fantasy VII has it bad too. Sure, the Malboro doesn't get a free first turn in this version, but in this game its only attacks count as magic, so when it uses Bad Breath to put the entire party to Sleep (if neither of your party is equipped with a ribbon or a sleep protection), its other attacks damage you without waking you up, so you can just sit there and watch your slumbering party members die off one-by-one. If you want Bad Breath to hit you, learning the Blue Magic, it won't use it. Enjoy your half-hour battle. On the other hand...
- Final Fantasy XII nerfs it. It only causes Blind, Silence and Slow, but the game also has Putrid Breath, which has an even wider range of statuses (nearly all of them) and Curse, which gives you Poison, Sap (constant health drain), Disease (no healing) and Confuse. The game also has Cloying Breath, which inflicts Sleep and Slow. Also see Sporefall below.
- Final Fantasy Tactics A2 nerfs Bad Breath to only inflicting Blind, Silence and Poison in a short conical range. It's not the one you need to worry about. There's a variant of the Malboro called the Cassie with an attack called Honeyed Breath that has the same range as Bad Breath. The difference? 100% chance of charm on every target that isn't immune. Enjoy watching your team kill each other over the next half hour.
- Any Final Fantasy game with 10x Needles, where x>=4. One-Hit KO that can't be blocked.
- Coeurls usually have Blaster attack, that they use with surprising frequency, and which either Stops or instantly kills whoever it hits.
Final Fantasy I
- Astos. RUB/Death. Instant death to a party member. And in this game (in earlier versions at least) you cannot resurrect characters during battle, or even outside of a town, via any means except a very impractical late-game spell (which, unfortunately, you don't have yet), and it's a long trek back to the nearest town even if you win. Hope he didn't hit your Fighter or White Mage.
- WarMECH's NUCLEAR/Atomitize attack. Unless you've leveled up enough to be ready for the final boss, it stands a good chance of taking out any wizards in your party, and reducing your meat shields to a fraction of their hit points. If it managed to ambush you and used this attack in its free turn, just accept that some total party kills were simply meant to be.
- It's not enough that Chaos, the Final Boss, averts No Cure for Evil. Oh no, he can manage to use CURE4/Curaja, the most potent cure spell in the game, which instantly restores all of his hit points. The only thing keeping him from abusing this and his One-Hit KO and Total Party Kill moves (of which he has several) to become impossible to kill is A.I. Roulette.
- Mindflayers' standard attacks are this, because they carry a chance of inflicting a One-Hit Kill regardless of damage.
Final Fantasy II
- If the characters' health is partivularly high, then normal attacks from enemies that drain health become this, since they follow the same rule Blood Sword does - each hit deals additional damage equal to 1/16 of target's health. Players who did not level agility and evasion, expecting their HP and defence to carry them are in for a rude awakening with those guys.
- Normal attacks from Parasite-type enemies, simply because they have the audacity to drain MP with their normal attacks.
- Any high-level status inflicting spell that target the whole party.
- The Coliseum have Specters, who will either cast Sleep VI or petrify the entire party, leading to a cheap game over.
- The imps have a nasty habit of spamming Confuse XVI. Unless at least half your party is immune to confusion, it's a crap shoot every time you meet them. And sometimes you meet groups of eight at once.
Final Fantasy III
- Garuda's "Lightning" attack deals high lightning damage to the entire party; at the time you fight him, it's most likely three-quarters of your max HP. Even if you bring a party filled with Dragoons (his weakness) and use Jump right off the bat, there's still the chance he'll go first, use Lightning, and leave you with a party one hit away from death.
- Even if he doesn't use it first round, you'll be praying he does the following round, because if he doesn't, when your Dragoons land, they'll get hit by Lightning. It's an extremely difficult battle because there's little you can do but keep jumping and hope that the turn order works in your favor.
- Cloud of Darkness' Particle Beam deals lots of damage. And by "lots" we mean instant death to your entire party unless you defeat four other tough bosses. If she uses it twice in the same turn, you're pretty much screwed.
- Amazingly enough, this is a little better than the original Famicom version. In that, DarkCloud used FlareWave every round, every. Single. Round. It hits all four characters for 2000+ damage, in a game where, if you leveled up a character to level 50 with the best stat growth for HP, he might have 4500 HP. In order to have a chance of winning, you have to have two Sages casting nothing but Cure 4 (Curaja) every round on all your party members. And if one of those Sages goes down before you kill DarkCloud...well, fuck.
Final Fantasy IV and The After Years
- Big Bang from Zeromus. Deals lots of damage, and any survivors suffer continual hit point loss. The Bonus Boss version of Zeromus in the GBA version, Zeromus EG, can do this move two times in a row.
- In the GBA version, a glitch can happen against Zeromus EG, where his Big Bang gets stronger and used more often in a row as he loses life. If you use codebreaker to set your party's health to 9999, it won't save you. Once your damage starts to cause an integer overflow on him (healling him rather than hurt him), his next Big Bang will cause 9999 points of damage on the ENTIRE PARTY.
- The DS version makes Meteor and Whirl into these. While in the original game, Zeromus's final phase Meteo did pitiful damage, this version's Meteor does damage comparable to Big Bang. In addition, his end phase now has Whirl, which drops all party members' HP to single digits unless they used Jump or Hide beforehand. Coupled with Big Bang's Sap effect, Whirl can end the battle instantly, and Meteor comes right after if anyone survives.
- The dungeon that leads to Zeromus has the Blue Dragon/Blue D's' Ice Storm/Blizzard, which deals nasty damage faster than Rosa can heal; Red Dragons' Thermal Rays, which pretty much do the same thing; and Luna Dragon/Lunasaur, who casts Bad Breath... as an Area of Effect spell. In fact, Luna Dragon/Lunasaur is hardcoded to start one shotting your party members if the fight lasts too long: considering they wind up being confused and blinded at the same time, rendering them unable to hit themselves out of it, it feels more like a Mercy Kill when it does so.
- The Brachioraidos' high stats make any of its attacks this. It starts out with Scorch which not only outspeeds your entire party, but is instant death. After a bit, it'll begin counting down from 3. Fail to stop the countdown and you'll be hit with a Mega Flare which, if you don't have Reflect on at least one member, is a guaranteed Total Party Kill.
- In the DS version, Dr. Lugae loves to use Reversal Gas right when your caster finished charging up a big spell. Reverse Gas changes if a move hurts or heals every character, so if your were going to use that -aga level spell to heal your party? Congrats! You just nuked them into the ground. Were you gonna try to nuke him instead? So sorry, you just healed him for a good chunk of his health!
Final Fantasy V
- Almagest from Neo Exdeath and Neo Shinryu. It's Holy-elemental, which is practically impossible to resist, and deals absurd damage to your entire party, then drains the health of any survivors. The only way to survive it is to have a Job with a very high HP stat, or a Shell barrier active. And in the case of Neo Shinryu, even having both at once may not be enough.
- Encircle, from pretty much any enemy that uses it (thankfully, not many of them). It erases a character from the battle, which means they're effectively dead, and it's impossible to reverse the effects of it once it's been cast (except by ending the battle). The only way to stop it is with the Aegis Shield, which only has a 1 in 3 chance of actually succeeding, and only on the character targeted by the attack; it's very unlikely you'll have four Aegis Shields. Oh, and one of the enemies with access to this move is Omega.
- And in case Omega wasn't satisfied with Encircle, it can also use White Hole, an attack that instantly kills and petrifies any target it hits, meaning you'll have to either Dualcast Raise and Esuna or waste two turns bringing them back.
- Shinryu's Tidal Wave, which he always uses at the start of battle. Didn't bring Water protection or a way to Berserk him? Enjoy around 8000 damage to everyone. It left so big an impact on players, this attack reappeared in pretty much every game where Shinryu is, and he (almost) always opens the battle with it.
Final Fantasy VI
- Kefka's Forsaken/Goner isn't so bad on its own. It's a non-elemental AOE that's practically impossible to defend against, but doesn't do that much damage. The problem is that he loves using it right after his "Heartless Angel/Fallen One", which reduces everyone's HP to 1. Hope you remembered to cast Life 3/Reraise— or had a Lakshmi/Starlet Esper queued right after the Heartless Angel lands. Oh, and the only reason it does so little damage is because it's affected by magical resistance. If it wasn't, it would do even more damage than Ultima.
- Not helping matters is that Kefka has a share of other nasty attacks. Trine/Train inflicts Darkness and Silence and will screw you over. He can use Vengeance/Revenger, which will remove all positive statuses, even Life 3/Reraise. And Hyperdrive will deal damage comparable to the aforementioned Forsaken.
- When you face Kefka, you line up your allies in twelve. The first four are your initial party, and after that, if you defeat one stage of the final boss with anyone dead, stone, or zombie, they will be replaced. Did we mention that the third stage of this boss likes to use a petrification attack as a final attack? (This is beatable: Just equip everyone with the right relic, but still...)
- The Magic Master/MagiMaster uses Ultima as its last attack. Hope you used Life 3, which you can only get on That One Sidequest. (Ultima is survivable, but requires a lot of level grinding — more than you need to beat anything else). Or you could just use Rasp and Osmose to drain his MP, killing him while preventing the Ultima; or use the Palidor/Quetzalli esper to only kill the one that gives the final blow).
- In the Advance remake, the Holy Dragon's souped-up form in the Dragon's Den will dualcast Heartless Angel with Southern Cross. That's a total party kill unless you used reraise, which is unlikely, since the dragon gives no prior warning to this combo. Worse, you have to trek through the entire Dragon's Den again!
- Stun/Seize, used by the tentacle monster in Figaro Castle. It causes slow, and if a slowed party member is hit with Grab/Seize, then the tentacle grabs him and leeches off his or her health, as well as taking them out of battle for a couple turns. And there's four Tentacles, when you have three characters max at that point in the game. There is a way to counter it, thankfully; equipping Hermes Sandals/Running Shoes on Celes and Sabin will auto-Haste them, preventing the tentacles from grabbing that character. Good luck figuring it out yourself, though.
- The Goddess's Cloudy Heaven/Overcast attack. It inflicts everyone with a count-down timer which up to this point most players know it means instant death when it goes off. Reraise/Life 3 should take care of that right? Except this one has a twist: it causes zombie, which is as good as dead but is only curable with Holy Water. If you try to Take a Third Option and kill the party member to null the countdown, they're zombied. If you cure the zombie status but that character dies still, they're zombied. The only thing that prevents the zombie effect from happening is if you're party is equipped with relics that prevent instant-death, not the zombie status effect.
- Magnitude 8 from the Hades Gigas/Hill Gigas in Zozo. Does a good chunk of damage to the whole party at a time when you've got one magic healer on your team at best.
Compilation of Final Fantasy VII
- Sephiroth's Supernova, which divides the party's hit points by 16 and can inflict confusion and mute. It also takes a minute and a half to sit through. However, it can be noted that Supernova is a percentage based attack, so it cannot actually kill you... and it's kind of cool-looking, at least the first time he uses it.
- There's also Bonus Boss Emerald Weapon's Aire Tam Storm, which deals 1,111 damage per materia equipped on the target party member. Since nobody mentions this little detail it almost always does maximum damage, and since it targets everyone, well... You'd better have Phoenix and Final Attack equipped. And if you know the trick, it becomes trivial to take out half of its hit points in retaliation. Still a Guide Dang It! on the first play through, but one you can use to your advantage.
- Bonus Boss Ruby Weapon also has quite an annoying That One Attack in Whirlsand, which removes one character from battle, basically making them permanently dead for the rest of the battle. He can use this attack two times in a row if you're not prepared. You have to wait until Ruby Weapon buries its claws in the sand, and start the battle with two members dead to dodge Whirlsand. Still, not an ideal start one would like for the battle. Not to mention that if you try to use Knights of the Round on it, it'll retaliate with Ultima.
- One of Rapps' attack is Aero 3. At that point in the game, it'll be a one hit kill, since you have no materia thanks to Yuffie stealing them all, and as a result, you can't use Enemy Skill Big Guard to at least minimize the damage you get from this boss. You'll need Barret's Mindblow to stop him from attacking with that move, but good luck trying to figure that out without knowing beforehand.
- Carry Armor's Lapis Laser hits the entire party and is terrifyingly powerful. As you damage Carry Armor, it Turns Red and starts spamming Lapis Laser, eventually using it every turn. Even with Big Guard active, it tends to take over a third of your properly leveled party's HP off.
- The true issue with Carry Armor is an attack that gives it its name, every once in a while it'll come over to one of your party members and grab them. Requiring you to destroy the arm holding them to release them. If you don't it'll do damage to the captured party member by smacking the party member against itself. You can't heal or use barrier on the party member as long as it's grabbed and any buffs that were cast are nullified once the party member is grabbed, it can do this twice (because it has two arms natch) and parties are in groups of three often leaving you with a single character braving through lapis laser and Carry Armor's attacks.
- Flare deals a few thousand damage even through a MBarrier. What makes it worse is that you will meet enemy encounters with multiple Flare-users before completing half the missions, so you most likely won't be able to interrupt them all. Time to build your HP+ 999% and max Spirit materia.
- Worth noting is that the damage effects of Flare and Ultima can be completely negated with a well-timed dodge. Madly flipping through the air does have its uses. If the damn things didn't time/space out their attacks so you would roll out of one straight into another...
- Delta Attack is an attack used by the Movers, harmless-looking fluffy balls in the final dungeon. It involves them floating, following you and using consecutive thunderbolts to hurt you. If you don't roll around madly to avoid it the best you can, you will end up dying. Note that while the attack looks Lightning-elemental, it actually isn't, which can lead to death if you expect Lightning protection to work.
Final Fantasy VIII
- The bonus bosses have some annoying attacks. First is Light Pillar, which instantly kills one party member with 9999 damage. This isn't too bad, you can fix that quickly enough with a Phoenix Down or the Revive command. They also have Gravija, which deals percentage-based damage. Can't kill you, but makes it easier to die unless you heal fast. There's also an attack called Megiddo Flame which does 9998 damage. The game assumes that by the time you're facing a Bonus Boss, you're good enough to have 9999 HP and a repertoire of healing spells, which is pretty much the only way to survive that attack. But the worst of them all is Omega Weapon's Terra Break. It is a more powerful clone of the Meteor spell, which randomly divides ten attacks across your party. Now, Meteor isn't too bad, if you're lucky, it'll hit someone with lots of HP or spread the damage out evenly enough that your party survive, and the ten hits don't do much damage anyway. But Terra Break is not like that. Terra Break is like a physical-attack version of Meteor, except each hit does upwards of 3000 damage, damage which is not mitigated by your Vitality stat like most physical damage is. Even if your entire party has 9999 HP at the time, without proper preparation, it is nearly impossible to survive. Your only options are to make your party invincible with items, or had everyone summon their GFs beforehand to absorb the damage. You can also cast Protect on the entire party to halve the damage of each hit, but that won't ensure that your whole party remains standing. Alternatively, assuming you have GFs that still know the otherwise useless Defend command, you can order your party to Defend against the attack, which will nullify the damage completely. And even then, you have to know where Terra Break comes up in Omega Weapon's attack sequence.
- The aforementioned Light Pillar is not that bad when Omega Weapon uses it, as Omega has a set pattern of attacks and will at most use it once at a time in a predictable moment. Ultima Weapon, while weaker than Omega on the overall, will use it randomly, and it's much faster than Omega. If the A.I. Roulette decides it wants to spam it three times in a row, you've pretty much got an unavoidable Total Party Kill, unless you have invincibility on someone.
- Omega Weapon also uses Lv5 Death. The maximum level for your characters in Final Fantasy 8 is 100.
- Diablo's gravity attacks. It drains your parties health rapidly, especially considering you are probably fighting him early in the game, and he is pretty darn quick to attack again with his normal strikes, which WILL finish you off. The only way around this is to Blind him, but that always takes several casts to work, and unless you grinded Blind spells in a specific battle earlier in the game, you may be out of luck.
- Also in VIII, Ultimecia's Hell's Judgement spell that will put the entire party's HP down to one and she will use this often. Interestingly, this otherwise devastating attack can make the final battle a cinch, giving the whole party (or what's left of it) an opportunity to spam Limit Breaks. If ever there was a time to use the total-party-invincibility-granting Holy Wars that you've been hoarding, this would be it.
- Ultimecia's unnamed Time Compression related move that completely deletes one of your Magic Stockpiles at random. This can instantly render one of your characters completely helpess or useless.
Final Fantasy IX
- Grand Cross, used by Necron and by various other Final Fantasy Final Bosses.
- The magic spell Curse from the same game also has the same effect while adding in significant damage. Bonus Bosses Hades and Ozma use this spell (without warning in Ozma's case).
- Ozma has Those Two Attacks. Curse is as above: harsh damage plus a grab bag of all the Standard Status Effects you haven't immunized your characters against. Meteor, however, turns the whole battle into a Luck-Based Mission, as it deals slightly random damage, but will most often inflict 9999 damage on all party members. Did we mention Ozma likes to cast Meteor followed by Curse? Enjoy.
- Trance Kuja's move Flare Star is incredibly annoying. He can continuously use the move many times with others up his arsenal dealing heavy damage to the entire team, bound to have at least one party member killed from it. Even though the move itself is avoidable, it's still a very lethal attack.
Final Fantasy X and X-2
- Yunalesca has an attack called Hellbiter that does a good share of damage to each party member and causes mass zombie status. And what's your first reaction upon seeing your entire party in a state of near death? For more fun, this attack is followed up later in the battle by an attack which kills any non-zombie characters. Oh, and watch out for Mind Blast too.
- Seymour Flux's aptly named "Total Annihilation" will one-shot your party if you don't use Shell first. If you can't kill Anima in time, "Oblivion" will break you. Pretty much any attack that one-shots aeons is one of these, but if you're facing an enemy that does this, you're probably just using them for their Overdrives.
- Sin's Overdrive Giga-Graviton not only takes the party out, but it takes out the airship you're on for an automatic Game Over, putting a fixed round limit (16 rounds) on a battle you basically have to start with magic only (Sin is out of range of physical attacks aside from Wakka's, which limits you to using magic or long-ranged Overdrives until he gets close enough).
- Dark Yojimbo's Zanmato overdrive. Did you have a summon out? You live this time. Did you not have a summon out? Congratulations, your party's dead, and your Auto-Life crumbles like a biscuit hit with a hammer.
- Dark Magus Sisters' overdrive, Delta Attack, deserves a mention too. It deals six hits of higher Damage Cap and like Dark Yojimbo's Zanmato it removes Auto-Life. While it can be performed only when all three sisters are fought together, are alive and have their overdrive bars fully charged, if you're unable to run away farther from them during minigame they'll get an ambush on your party with them being ready to perform it.
- Evrae's Poison Breath will damage your entire party and leave you with a serious poison status that will probably kill in a couple of turns. Also, you don't have Yuna in this battle which means you can't use neither your healer or your Aeons to take the damage.
- All of the Monster Arena Bonus Bosses have some frankly ridiculous attacks, but special note goes to Fenrir's Fangs of Hell, which is a guaranteed One-Hit Kill against the target. Even if the victim has armor with Deathproof on it. And since Fenrir's Agility is cranked up to high heavens, it is possible that Fenrir will use this move two or three times in a row. Thankfully it can be dodged, but good luck to get high enough evasion or weapon with Evade and Counter on it.
- The Shinryu's Eraser attack that instantly petrifies a character and, like Fangs of Hell, punches through any status immunity the target has. This wouldn't be too bad, but this fight takes place underwater, meaning the petrified character instantly shatters and cannot be replaced for the rest of battle, and the attack cannot be dodged. The only saving grace is the fact Shinryu stops using it once there is only one party member left.
- Nemesis, the final Bonus Boss of the Monster Arena, has an attack that is aptly named Armageddon. It's a straight-up Total Party Kill that is unblockable, unavoidable, and not telegraphed in any way. In order to defeat Nemesis, you will need Auto-Life, as otherwise Nemesis can just cause an instant Game Over in one attack with nothing you can do about it. While it is also possible to sacrifice an aeon to protect yourself from it, you will need to know that it's coming - either being very lucky or memorizing Nemesis' exact attack sequence.
- Penance, International/PAL's version Bonus Boss has Judgment Day. It is performed only when both of its arms are alive, is guaranteed to kill the whole party and should you have Auto-Life, the arms will finish you off. The main point of this fight is to prevent this attack.
- Dark Magus Sister's Delta Attack is at it again. It is a party-wide HP to 1 and Mana Burn (to zero, mind you) rolled in one package. Hope you have an Alchemist ready to use some recovery items, otherwise you might be screwed.
- Likewise, Dark Yojimbo's Zanmato. Pretty much the same deal as above, except it generously leaves you with one MP.
- Mushroom Cloud and Pernicious Powder. Pretty much Marboro's Bad Breath, it also lowers the stats of a party to one sixth if it doesn't kill you outright. Not good considering what enemies it appears with.
- Anything that inflicts Confusion in this game. X-2's flavor of Confusion not only causes the victim to attack allies, but just straight up use attacks, skills, and items indiscriminately. Like, for example, use a Megalixir on That One Boss that you were one hit away from defeating.
Final Fantasy XII
- Sporefall from Elder Wyrm. Inflicts on the order of 8 status ailments with a large area of effect, probably hitting your entire party unless you really know what you're doing. If you're not prepared, by the time you've recovered from these ailments, it's probably close to casting it again.
- Note that all of the status effects from Sporefall can be cured with upgraded remedies or Esuna, which you do have access to at this point...all of them except Oil, which you're likely to ignore the first time because it doesn't seem to do anything. What does it do? Makes you extremely weak to Fire damage. What's the Elder Wyrm's other favourite attack? Fireball. Boom, KO.
- And the one for regular enemies is Curse— this one move can make any enemy into a demonic spider. It works by hitting your party—all of them—with a mana-free (so you can't silence the enemy or drain its magic), unblockable, unevadeable status bomb that inflicts poison, sap, confusion, and disease—that last one is exceptionally fun, as it means max HP is always equal to current HP, meaning a character cannot be healed while Diseased. Disease needs a special item or spell to remove it, and another spell to remove the other status effects. If a Diseased character dies, rezzing them leaves them with 1 HP and disease, yes, STILL in effect. Because Ribbons are stupidly, horrifyingly rare in this game, you will only be able to protect against ONE of these ailments—if any monsters (plural, they come in groups) who use this attack can be available long before protective armor is. Basically? If three or more of these status effects stay on your party for more than, oh, three seconds? Death. If you are caught without fully upgraded Remedies? Death. No accessories to protect against confusion? Death. Command priority unkind to you? We're so sorry. Zodiac Age partially remedies this by giving you possibility to steal Ribbons from Trial Mode at your leisure relatively early as well as giving them Regen, but it is still damn annoying.
- Though as bad as that is, there is two small saving graces with that attack: 1)it can only hit each character in succession, even if it affects everyone in an area, and 2) the animation for curse precedes the actually status-inflicting attack. All you really need is one Ribbon, and once the game says the enemy used Curse, wait for the animation to start, jump into the inventory screen and equip the Ribbon on the character about to get hit. Once the Immune message pops up on the character, give the Ribbon to the next victim. Granted, this still relies on finding even one horrifyingly-rare Ribbon, and setting the Gambits so the characters won't die while you watch the animations. Also, it is possible to block Disease with Bubble, meaning having Bubble Rings will make you immune to it.
- The Final Boss has Flare attacks. Mega Flare isn't too bad, but Giga Flare Sword can be nasty and Tera Flare is even worse]]. For the record, the latter deals 4000+ damage to everyone, in a game where the maximum is, without Bubble, around 6500. Worse yet, you can't prevent it because the boss will use both Palings before pulling this off. Hope you didn't neglect your secondary members too much otherwise this attack alone can finish you off.
- Growing Threat is used by some bosses to double their level, and thus their damage output.
- Zalera's Kill. Three guesses on what it does. Spammed often if you don't understand how the battle is to be fought. In addition to Kill, Zalera seems to be the math instructor from hell. Any spell he has is a level based disabler of some sort, and his ultimate attack is a group wide instant death spell. Don't worry, it won't kill you if your level isn't a prime number... which is the only way to not get hit by all of his other level-based spells. You can beat Zalera by just knowing not to be a prime, or a multiple of 3, 4, or 5.
- Divide used by some ghost enemies such as Necrophobe. Enjoying a fight against Death and Doom-spamming ghost that likes to teleport out of your range? Hope you like fighting one more!
- Zodiark's Darkja, which blinds and does an instant kill. You can absorb the darkness, block the blind status, but you will have nadda for the instant kill effect. Luck will almost never be on your side after it is cast.
- Chaos's Aeroja. It deals wind damage and confuses. Not so bad since your allies will snap out of it with a bonk to the head right? Normally so; except in Chaos's battle, you can't use physical attacks at all. So you can't snap yourself out of confusion if all three allies are confused in the fight.
- Ultima's Holyja. It deals holy damage and causes Reverse. Ultima then casts Renew on your team shortly after Holyja (no charge time required) causing an instant kill. If Reflect is on your team when it happens...
- Yiazmat's Reflect and Renew strategy... if not caught, you can heal the boss of all of his HP. all 50,000,000 of it.
- Yiazmat's basic attack becomes this once his health becomes very low (enough to cast above Reflect on your party). Why? His attack has 5% chance of an instant kill, in case of combo this chance is per each hit, and on low health he gets combos very frequently up to 12 hits, meaning assuming the damage didn't get the victim before (which is really possible only with Reverse), (s)he still has only about 54% chance of walking away.
- Any sort of barrier or paling that a boss may put up on himself. An impregnable defense that only goes down over the course of time? Enjoy your unnecessarily long boss fight.
- By the end of the game pretty much any enemy that can cause confusion will be extremely dangerous. Your party members will be strong enough to effortlessly one-shot each other with physical attacks, so a single confused ally can wipe out the rest of the party in just two turns. In theory this should be more than enough time to cure thim - except that the command priority always gives a huge advantage to physical attacks. Even if you see an enemy casting confusion on a character and immediately tell both of the other two to throw him a curative item there is still a good chance that he will wipe them both out before they can perform the action.
- This can be mitigated by the fact the game allows you to switch equipment of your team at any time, even in the middle of combat, so you can switch weapon of confused character to something much weaker. In fact, there is an entire class of weapons called Measures, which seem to serve no other purpose than to hit other party members with them, as they deal little damage and grant positive status buffs upon target.
- Time Requiem is a monster-exclusive spell that inflicts Stop over a wide area. Hope your party members weren't too close together, or else you're going to be there for a while.
Final Fantasy XIII Trilogy
- Merciless Judgment, employed by the final boss, Orphan. It's basically like Supernova, except it can kill you unless you have nearly full health or a sentinel on your team. Oh yeah, and it resets the boss' stagger meter.
- Dies Irae. The first form of Orphan tends to use this move when you're close to defeating it. It can be an instant Game Over if your party leader doesn't have full health.
- The Adamantoises generally don't have attacks that don't suck, but the worst by far is Roar. It deals horrifying damage to ALL party members, and, worst of all, tends to inflict Daze on at least one party member. Daze prevents a character hit with it from performing any kind of physical or magical attack. If it lands on the healer or the leader, or anyone at all if the damage from Roar KOed some characters...well, you're screwed. Everything else the toises have can be dealt with simply, but the best strategy for handling Roar is to kill the monster before it uses it. Good luck with that.
- Barthandelus' Destrudo. Total Party Kill unless you can damage him enough while he's charging, which is never hinted at anywhere. Granted, it takes forever to charge, and you really don't need to hit him that hard to weaken it, but woe be unto you if you figured the long-ass charge time was ideal to swap to a defensive paradigm to heal and reapply your buffs. Also, and even more infuriating, it resets his stagger meter.
- Every attack used during the second fight with him. His basic laser attack can cause Fog or Pain, Apoptosis neutralizes any buffs and debuffs you've cast, Thanatosian Laughter devastates your party, and Cursega and Dazega for obvious reasons. The third and final fight with him is a damn joke, but Thanatosian Laughter is even more dangerous.
- Dahaka's Diluvian Plague, which causes a whole host of status ailments and dispels any buffs you've cast. He also has several powerful elemental spells, the worst being Aeroga.
- Wladislaus' Mounting Contempt. It first inflicts Deshell and Deprotect, and then hits the target with a terrifyingly powerful attack. If either of the status ailments stick, it's pretty much a guaranteed kill to anything but a Sentinel.
- Orphan's second form's Temporal Hollow. Doesn't do much, dispels a few buffs and debuffs, and resets the boss' stagger meter...except said boss can't be damaged except when it's staggered...and its AI is set to use Temporal Hollow when you approach stagger...and you're on a strict time limit for this fight.
- Vercingetorix's Wicked Whirl. If you're not in a Sentinel-heavy paradigm, Wicked Whirl will tear you up, and you only get a few seconds' warning to swap; even with Tortoise (3 Sentinels) it'll leave you in dire straights. It gets worse towards the end of the fight, when he'll start spamming it; he initially uses Imprenetrable Aura immediately afterwards (he's invincible, buffs and regens for its duration, but doesn't attack you; itself a candidate for That One Attack), later he'll keep attacking after using Wicked Whirl, and the rest is all down to luck that he leaves your party leader alone. Putrescence is also problematic, as it dispels the buffs of whoever it's cast upon.
- For a lowly mook with an obnoxious attack, there's the Falco Velocycles you fight with just Snow and Hope. When a popup reads Gatling Gun, smart players immediately switch Snow to Sentinel and get Steelguard ready, because it is about to badly injure Snow or KO Hope.
- Sunder used by some Behemoths after they stand up. Usually by the time you meet these Behemoths, this particular attack is too strong for your party to survive without being taken to critically low HP, and even then the Behemoth can just cleave the rest of the HP away.
- Proto Behemoths met in the Final Dungeon are actually harder than the Final Boss due to this attack being able to one shot your whole party, unless you are way beoynd the levels needed to take down some of the hardest optional bosses. The only way to have a fair fight is to kill it before it manages to stand up, which you probably can't do by the time you first arrive here.
- In fact, even its regular cleave attack will probably one shot any party member the first time around.
- Chaos Bahamut's Megaflare. If you're a bit banged up, this will wipe the entire party, and even if you're at full health, it still does horrifying Wound damage, slicing off up to a third of your party's total HP, unless you knew it was coming.
- The Giga-, Tera-, and Exaflare combination attacks used by Jet/Garnet/Amber Bahamut put Megaflare to shame.
- Oh man, the final boss fight is made of these. Garnet Bahamut's Anti Force dispels any buffs you try to cast (except Reraise). Jet Bahamut's Dying Sun has a very quick casting time and is extremely powerful. Amber Bahamut is probably the weakest, but its Apparition Ray is still not something to mess around with.
- Caius' Chain Break. It resets the chain gauge, and he can use it pretty much whenever he feels like it. It's less deadly and more just irritating, although it can be problematic in the Paradox Scope fights.
- Raspatil's Aleph Zero, which is a fairly typical nuke attack that can tear you up if you don't have a defensive paradigm to swap to.
- The final boss has four forms, and the fourth one casts Heartless Angel, which will reduce you to one (1) hit point if not blocked. To make it more annoying, he is vulnerable during the long charge time, and you won't want to waste any of that time by putting your shield up early.
- Said final boss can also use Hypernova, which is notable the one attack you can't block, since it's a cutscene attack (and once it starts, you can't switch schema until it hits). Woe be to players who get targeted with this in a low HP schema.
Final Fantasy XIV
- The final boss of Cutters Cry, a Chimera, has an attack that is fairly hard to keep track of for a early, level 39ish Dungeon. The attack in question involves either running into the boss to avoid being hit by lightning and getting the stunned status effect, or running away to avoid being hit by ice damage. The main issue is that you are warned only by it saying that bosses eyes are violet or blue, violet being run in, and blue being run out. For new players this is a difficult mechanic to remember because few bosses have used patterns like this, making it hard to keep track of.
- Bad Breath, from Morbols and their cousins. It's so virulently debilitating it might as well be a one-hit-kill move. How bad is it? Bad Breath can cause Poison (HP slowly drains), Blind (attacks miss more often), Silence (can't use magic), Paralysis (you randomly freeze in place and any attacks you were using are interrupted), Heavy (slower movement), Slow (casting time and recharge for spells and skills take longer), Determination Down (damage taken is increased while attacking and healing is less effective), and Maximum HP Down (self explanatory). Esuna can cure it all, but it only removes one debuff at at time. Gets even worse if you encounter a Malboro during your dig of the Alexandrite maps; not only does the monster have the usual Bad Breath attack, but it will inflict Bind (can't move) on you first before using Bad Breath so that you can't avoid its attack. Unless you can quickly cause Stun to stop Bad Breath or use Esuna/Crutch to free yourself, you're screwed. For this particular variant of morbol, abilities that afflict Silence will also stop its Bad Breath, when it doesn't for any other kind of morbol.
- During the early days of Stormblood, Final Boss Shinryu was noted for his very first attack wiping unprepared parties only seconds into the battle. Tidal Wave deals massive knockback, you see, and the arena doesn't come with railings to keep you safely on the platform. Due to this, players might assume that, like their fight with Leviathan, they need to stay away from Tidal Wave, instead doing so throws you off the platform and kills you outright.
- Construct 7 from the Ridorana Lighthouse raid is notorious for its "Computation Mode," which reduces each player's HP to single digits and requires them to stand in zones that boost their HP to fulfill certain values (divisible by 2, 3, or 5.) Success gives a damage buff, while failure increases damage taken. Not only does the debuff put extra strain on healers, who already have to heal thousands of HP to each player to survive the raid-wide AOE that immediately follows, but beating the DPS check is nearly impossible without a majority of the raid gaining the damage buff. "Computation Mode" returns in the second phase, only this time, it can ask players to turn their HP into prime numbers.
- Suzaku from the Hells' Kier Duty, is infamous among Duty Finder groups due to the opening mechanic of her fight; Scarlet Ladies. After barely a minute of being able to DPS her, she will spawn in several Phoenixes that target the DPS and go after them, something not uncommon at a glance. However, if the Phoenixes are not killed quick enough, they explode and do massive AOE damage to the whole raid, one of these is enough to kill all but the main tank. The issue with killing them though is that as soon as they rush the DPS, Suzaku does a cone AOE right behind her, meaning that the party will have to move to avoid, meaning Caster DPS is locked out of their abilities and thus have to rely on being able to make it safely to the side to avoid them. Worse is that if you do not kill them in the same spot, usually the middle, Suzaku will drop large feathers that do an AOE, and any Phoenix's killed where the feathers fall are revived and the mechanic starts again. This mechanic is often cited as the reason people hate the fight, since this occurs barely even two minutes into the fight, while the rest of the fight is much easier by comparison.
- Alphascape V3.0 Omega has one attack that the community hates with a passion; Star/Larboard Wave Cannon. The attack is a cone like AOE that attacks either Omega's right, or left side, while placing a Vulnerability Up debuff on any player hit. The main issue players have is simply the name — not everyone immediately recognizes the nautical terms "starboard" and "larboard". Even those who do have difficulty figuring out quickly because the terms are so similar — real-world sailors long ago retired the term "larboard" in favor of "port" for exactly this reason. Making this worse is that Omega immediately rotates 180 degrees and follows it up with a second one — and since "Starboard" and "Larboard" are from his perspective, you have to quickly figure out whether to stay put or move to the other side to dodge the next one. This attack alone is considered the reason the fight is hard, as nothing else in the fight is as difficult to figure out as that. The developers seemed to realize this and in the next major new boss fight that featured a mechanic similar to this, Mustadio in the Return to Ivalice Raid's Orbonne Monastery, his attack just flat out says "Left Gun" or "Right Gun", which is much easier to remember and easier to avoid.
- Thunder God Cid's "T.G Holy Sword" attack from the "Return to Ivalice Raid: Orbonne Monastery", takes Confusion Fu to a new degree. The attack is actually one of three moves, but they all share the same name, the way to tell what to do involves his animations. If he plants his swords down and leans in, you need to run into the platform to dodge the attack. If his swords point to a platform, each of the platforms he points out will be struck, meaning you need to run to a different one. If he stabs into the platform, you need to run to the pact to avoid it. All this the player has to remember from watching his animations, something new players heavily struggle with.
- Orlandeau also has Shadowblade, an attack that places an AoE on one player from each alliance that causes a slowly-expanding sphere to appear where each player was when it went off. The spheres explode if they touch, giving a stack of strong Bleed to the entire raid for each sphere (since you need two to touch, it's always at least two stacks of Bleed). Not too bad, but after his ultimate attack, he starts placing the AoEs on two members of each alliance, with very little room for error. He also always follows this attack up with Duskblade, which requires at least six players in each alliance alive to survive.
- Elidibus as the Warrior Of Light has Ultimate Crossover, which will instantly kill the entire party and has no way to be dodged. The only way to avoid it is for a Tank to use a Level 3 Limit Break. It should be noted that no other regular, non-Extreme Trial boss ever required a Tank's Level 3 LB to survive before him, so there's no real way to prepare for it other than to know this beforehand. Doubles also as a Kaizo Trap, as he only uses it after his first phase is over. Die, and you have to start from phase 1 all over again, survive and a checkpoint will be made after the attack.
- The Extreme mode version also adds Quintuplecast, which has Elidibus cast five spells: one that damages any players that are moving, one that damages any players standing still, one that requires players to stack together, one that requires players to spread around the boss, and one that damages any players looking at a specific party member. The tricky part is that each spell is cast immediately after the last in a random order, which can only be determined by looking at the icons displayed during the cast bar.
Final Fantasy XV
- Ravus' tentacle attack. It can hit Noctis anywhere in the arena, can't be parried and is preceded by a very easy-to-miss tell. If it connects it's almost guaranteed to put Noctis into critical health, but making it worse is that it inflicts Stop, preventing you from healing or being rescued until it wears off. Adding insult to injury, Noctis will fall over after Stop wears off, and he has to get back to his feet before he can activate that Hi-Elixir you desperately selected. At any point during all this, Ravus can use any one of his other, equally devastating attacks and instantly kill you. All you can do is pray he targets one of your teammates instead until it's over.
- The Ronin-type Daemons have a barely telegraphed, very fast and surprisingly long reaching sword slash that just kills you instantly if it hits. Not "put into Danger state" - just instant death out of nowhere.
Final Fantasy Tactics series
- Wiegraf's signature move is Hallowed Bolt, a long-rage Holy-elemental attack that takes effect instantly. Because the battlefield in which you fight Wiegraf - alone, mind you - is so small, he can hit you with it on the first turn. A second hit from Hallowed Bolt will kill you, no matter what class Ramza is or what equipment he has. Literally the only way to survive Hallowed Bolt is to heal after every hit (Auto-Potion and Lifefont are both godsends for this), and then boost your speed stat up high enough that you can kill Wiegraf before he uses it. Agrias and Cid both have Hallowed Bolt, but they never get to use it to completely own a duel in the way Wiegraf does.
- Shirahadori, a reaction ability as opposed to an attack, can get super annoying when you're attacking the Marquis Elmdore, as he has a high chance of automatically blocking any of your physical strikes. This is another move you can use for yourself with the samurai class.
- Suffocate, an One-Hit KO move used by Celia and Lettie that never misses. Bad enough on its own, but during the Riovannes Roof battle, you fight Celia and Lettie with Rapha as a guest, and her death will lead to a Non Standard Game Over.
- Blood Suck is a rare but extremely nasty status effect. It turns the target into an undead vampire who goes crazy and starts sucking the life out of nearby targets—friends or enemies. And friends get turned to vampires too if they get Blood Sucked. If your whole party is vampirized it's game over! Status effects usually don't spread, let alone game-ending ones.
- Adrammelech's Firestream . In a battlefield which is much longer in one direction than the other, having a very powerful attack that hits a straight, unbounded line in one direction is a bit too much.
- Sheol from Illua. This slows down the player while speeding up Illua and giving her Regen. By the time you get your turn again, she's taken several turns and probably recovered most of her health.
- The Gold Hourglass spell used by almost every enemy in the Bonus Dungeon, Brightmoon Tor. Does damage to your whole party and casts Slow on them. The enemies will each get roughly half-a-dozen turns before you get to go. Oh, and bear in mind the enemies in this dungeon ALWAYS get to go first, so you can start the battle then go jogging for half-an-hour or so until your turn comes up again.
Dissidia Final Fantasy series
- Chaos has several attacks like this. First is Divine Punishment, in which he summons exploding flame pillars around your character, stabs you with a flying sword, and then deals HP damage with an enormous explosion. People new to this fight will die to this move a lot before finding out the trick.note . In phase 2 and on, he has Demonsdance: a long string of combo hits that hit you for HP damage several times within the combo (and if he's used his summon to freeze his Brave value so it doesn't go down...) and can kill you in seconds.note Finally, his last phase gives him Scarlet Rain; a merciless shower of meteors for insane damage.note They can all be dealt with, but they are easily Chaos's most unfair tricks.
Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light
- Quite possibly the most notorious attack in the game is without a doubt, Asmodeus's Sidewinder ability. Not only does it deal massive damage (to everyone in the party no less) but it can also inflict nearly every single status move in the game, bar petrify (which he can already do, no less). And the worst part is that its spammable. You better pray to the high heavens your healer doesn't get silenced.
- Beelzebub's "Fall of angels" if not stopped, can dish out massive damage that almost always KO's your party. Thankfully it takes a few turns to charge up, giving you a small window of opportunity to stop it, which will result in the hilariously named "Beelzeteor' which damages him significantly. However his defences get a serious buff during that time, so you need to hit him with as much power as you can throw at him.
- In the same boat as Beelzebub, Leviathan has an attack called Tsunami that takes quite a few turns to charge up. If you don't stop him before he finishes charging it up, you're going to at the receiving end of a an attack that is more than capable of wiping out your entire party, should you not have anything to resist water. Likewise, Leviathans defences are buffed during this period, making it rather hard to bust through.
- The final boss has an ability appropriately named "Big Bang" which not only dishes out a veritable ass-ton of damage, but is also spammable. This can be incredibly infuriating to lose to, given how far you have to travel through the final dungeon to get to him.
- Airy's second form has Acedia, which removes all buffs on all party members and makes them weak to all elements. That is bad enough on its own, but the boss can sometimes decide to Brave and use Acedia followed by Flare or Zeta Flare, which does extra damage thanks to your newly-acquired fire weakness.
- Any and all attacks that deal damage equal to the enemy's lost HP. Qada's Dark Breath and Alternis's Minus Strike are not fun to get around, especially since you do not have access to Reraise until the loops begin (or if you use the Salve-Maker's Font of Life compound, but that won't help against Qada for obvious reasons).
- Rusalka, the second crystal boss, has a combination attack that more or less forms the main gimmick of the battle: Seep causes it to vanish into the floor, making it completely invulnerable, and then Dark Flow makes it pop back up, deal roughly 900-1000 HP damage to the entire party (by this point, everyone will likely only have around 1100 or 1200), and spawn three clones that have less HP but can do every other attack that the boss can, including defense debuffing and Charm-inflicting. And if you don't know the trick to tell the boss apart from the clones, the battle can take forever because you keep hitting the wrong one.