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That One Sidequest / Final Fantasy

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Every fantasy has its sidequest that brings players to their limit.

Final Fantasy IV

  • Pink Tail, an ore needed to get the best armor in the game. It's randomly dropped by Pink Puffs/Flan Princesses, which only appear in a single room in the final dungeon, and have only a 1-in-64 chance of appearing in a random battle. And even then, the Pink Tail itself is a 1-in-64 chance drop... if it drops an item at all, which is a 1-in-20 chance. There are players who have fought hundreds of battles against the Pink Puffs without receiving a single Pink Tail.
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  • The original Japanese version, and subsequent remakes for all regions, applied the 1-in-64 drop rate to not only Pink Puffs, but also to four optional Summons for Rydia, and nearly every character's best weapons. The fact that the enemies that drop the last appear more often than Pink Puffs is only a slight upside.

Final Fantasy V

  • The elusive 'perfect game' is a recipe for frustration, even if the player realizes early on that it's impossible to succeed without a handy guide. Even with a guide, several enemies are apparently designed to mess with the desired completion.
    • Famed Mimic Gogo at the bottom of the Sunken Walse Tower is basically the entire reason nobody begrudges a perfect runner to resort to emulators and savestates. Famed Mimic Gogo has a rare steal: Gold Hairpin. They epitomize Boring, but Practical, and the player will want to have as many of them as they can get their hands on, even without a perfect run. And the entire game only has three, including this one. The problems with Famed Mimic Gogo lie in where he's fought: at the very bottom of the Sunken Walse Tower, where the player has only a certain amount of time to be in or risk getting a Game Over. And defeating Gogo requires a full two minutes, out of the total of seven the player is given, which have to be counted out after stealing the Gold Hairpin. If the player ends up getting his common steal, which is worthless, the player will need to cast Return to reset the battle to the very beginning... and the GBA version has a bug in Return so that it didn't reset the countdown timer!
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    • Shell Bears are an uncommon encounter in the basement of Castle Exdeath, which have a rare Spear item as its rare steal. What makes this so particularly infamous is that the Spear item is absolutely worthless at this point in the game, is weaker than even the weakest spear bought in the previous shops, and it becomes unobtainable if the player doesn't get it before the castle's illusion is dispelled.
    • The boss fight in the Great Forest of Moore is a group fight against four Crystals, which each of them having a chance of dropping an Ash item. Ash itself is worthless to have outside of having a perfect item list.
    • Twintania, the third-last boss of the entire game, has two separate 'versions' — one where he's charging his ultimate attack Gigaflare, and one where he isn't. The former has a one-shot rare steal, and the other has a one-shot rare drop. So even if the player manages to pull off the rare steal, they still need to survive Gigaflare and get that lucky drop.

Final Fantasy VI

  • The Auction House. If the player wants the Zone Seek/Zona Seeker and the Golem magicite, they need to go here. In itself not challenging, but very tedious because it involves sitting through the auctions, and either of them appearing only has a very small chance. The GBA version also required the player to win the auction for a sword to get the Gilgamesh magicite to appear. And while the player can assure that the magicite will be the next auction item by talking to an NPC outside of the Auction House, the magicite costs 500,000 gil. And even if the player has only bought minimum gear, they may just barely have 300,000 gil at that point.
  • Getting Mog to join as a party member is a Guide Dang It! in itself, but he is a great partymember to have before going to the Esper World. And Umaro won't join as a partymember, unless Mog is in the player's active party.
    • And then there's his elemental dances, which are unlocked by having Mog fight in battles with specific backgrounds. In itself easy enough, except for Water Rondo. There's only one time when the player is fighting with a water background, and that was when going through the Serpent Trench. And that location is no longer available in the World of Ruin, meaning that any player that may not have known this or didn't get Mog into their party until they were in the World of Ruin, are being taunted by that empty space in his Dance list. The GBA port and later versions add a single extra opportunity to get the Water Rondo in the World of Ruin: the fight with Leviathan, which is itself fairly obscure, and once it's defeated, it's gone for good.
  • The Fishing Minigame at the very beginning of the World of Ruin. The player is supposed to catch fish by hand to give as nourishment to a bed-ridden Cid. In order to help Cid get healthy again, the player needs to only catch and give him the fastest fish, and there's a total of four different speeds of fish in this little section. And the fastest one doesn't always spawn. There's also the factor that there's an unspoken time-limit, depending on the number of steps the player takes between feedings. And the biggest problem of this entire thing... is that the game never informs the player that this is a minigame or that there is a background mechanic going on. Nothing indicates one fish is better than the other. And if the player fails, Cid dies. However, a lot of players prefer to have Cid die because it leads to Celes' attempted suicide and regaining hope of finding her friends, specifically Locke, after seeing a seagull with Locke's bandanna around its wing. Many players consider this a much better and emotional scene to have than if the player manages to save Cid.
  • Strago and his learning of Lores. The worst is Force Field, which is only used by Doom in Kefka's Tower. This boss is at the end of the dungeon, right before the final boss himself, and the tower is traversed with your protagonists separated into three parties. This means that if the player didn't know which party ends up facing which boss, they need to teleport out of the dungeon and go through the whole place again. And considering the high-powered monsters and the tower being a Boss Rush in itself, this is just aggravating.
  • Intangir. Not at all hinted at in the guides or the game, but it's invisible, extremely powerful, heals from any elemental damage — meaning all magic except for Stone and a few Rages are useless, uses Meteo/Meteor, and then turns invisible again. Pointless when used as a Rage for Gau, but if the player wants 100% completion for his Rages, Intangir needs to be fought. And Intangir only appears in the World of Balance. And has more HP than the final boss for the World of Balance. There was a glitch in the original version that meant the player could defeat it in one turn, but that was no longer an option in the GBA version.
  • The Phoenix Cave. The player switches between two differen parties to traverse through the cave, and if one party's members die, the other party dies, too. The cave is filled with some powerful enemies, including the notorious Face/Phase that could use 1000 Needles/Blowfish, which had a glitch that could corrupt saves, and even finding the place was difficult! And to make matters worse, the player has to go through it for two of the best weapons, the best shield, one of the best healing spells, the best attack spell, and getting Locke to rejoin the party.
  • Doom Gaze/Deathgaze specalizes in One-Hit Kill attacks and runs away after sustaining a certain amount of damage, though it thankfully does not heal between encounters. And how is it even encountered? By randomly flying around the World of Ruin in the airship. He isn't exactly hard to fight, but incredibly tedious.
  • The Dragon's Neck Coliseum. It's where the player finds some of the best items in the game, including the Infinity +1 Sword. The coliseum requires the player to bid an item and choose an available partymember into the arena to fight one-on-one. The problem with the coliseum arises when the player realizes that the chosen partymember is then controlled by RNG and not player input. Several partymembers are even known for outright committing suicide because of the RNG, and losing a battle means the player lost the item they placed as their bid, meaning a reload to not lose a potentially unique item. Add to the fact that the player needs to bid specific items to get the best items from the coliseum, and nothing letting the player know what the to-bid items are, is it really any wonder the coliseum is hated?
  • The Dragon's Den in the GBA version. It's a highly confusing dungeon filled with powerful monsters and mini-bosses that rival the final boss in terms of difficulty, rematches against the eight Legendary Dragons that are much stronger than they were before, and the boss of the place is the absolutely nasty Kaiser Dragon. And if the player wants 100% completion, they need to go through this place twice, as Kaiser Dragon will be replaced with another boss in the form of Omega Weapon.

Final Fantasy VII

  • Getting all the Enemy Skills. Trine is only used by bosses, and you only get it after you have killed the last boss that uses it — unless one waits to complete the Pagoda sidequest until after the last enemy Skill Materia is gotten. There is only a singe chance to get Pandora's Box. And Chocobuckle is worse as the player may think to sell the Chocobo Lure Materia upon having Knights of the Round Table or if the party is too strong. And in this series entry, the enemy skill has to hit the partymember with the Enemy Skill Materia equipped and they have to survive it.
  • Chocobo breeding! One big Guide Dang It! mixed with a Luck-Based Mission, and a side of Squick. And if the player has sold their Chocobo Lure Materia? Forget trying this.
  • Emerald Weapon. The player has twenty minutes to cut down 1 million HP, although the time-limit can be removed with the Underwater Materia... but finding that is a Guide Dang It! in itself, and it's utterly useless beyond this one use. And Emerald weapon has a horrible attack called Aire Tam Storm, with its damage being based on how many Materia the party is equipped with. And since Emerald Weapon is fought near the end of the game, it's practically guaranteed for the attack's damage to be a One-Hit Kill if the player doesn't know about this.
  • Sunken Gelnika. A completely optional location, but it's a prime source for some rare Materia and stat-boosting items. And in order to get those, the player needs to fight unique creatures that require several max HP-sucking Demi spells, before they can be brought down through normal attacks. And they can easily wipe the party out, unless the player has been Level Grinding.
  • Tackling Wutai as soon as it becomes available, since it causes the first leg of the sidequest to be absolutely brutal. The party has been stripped of all Materia, meaning no magic, summons or skills. And the place is filled with Demonic Spiders, like Thunderbirds that can use a devastating multi-target attack that easily leads to a Total Party Kill or the bugs being able to render themselves immune to physical attacks. And then you have Rapps.....

Final Fantasy VIII

  • The Queen of Cards sidequest, though it sounds straightforward at first. The player needs to trade unique Triple Triad cards to the Queen of Cards, so her artist father can create new, unique cards. But the player can't just give the cards to her, no, they need to be lost to her by playing Triple Triad. And during the card game, she'll likely use the Random draw rule and one of any number of bizarre trade rules that makes the player lose half of their other unique cards, which need to be won back the hard way. Every time she wins or loses a unique card, she moves to a randomly-selected, new location somewhere on the world map, with only a vague hint on where she could be. And the cards she requests, and the new uniques her father creates, are distributed to random NPCs around the world with no indication where their locations are, either.
    • While all the cards the Queen of Cards quest wants can be obtained by Left Diamond Girl abord the Ragnarok in Disc 4... just to be able to challenge this girl requires the player to have completed two vaguely hinted sidequests (the CC Group and the Chocobo Forests), and to even realize the Ragnarok is available on Disc 4, when everything in the game indicates that it's not. And then to find the convoluted path that takes the player to the Ragnarok.
  • The Obel Lake sidequest, in which Squall must talk to a mysterious shadow hidden in an inconspicuous lake on the world map, who gives vague clues to find even more vague clues at insignificant locations. These clues lead to rocks with seemingly random letters on them that create an anagram when grouped together. Finally, the end of the quest gives a Three Stars as its treasure, which teaches a GF the ability to cast three spells for the cost of one. And it's not even worth it because this can be obtained elsewhere.
  • The minigame where the player has to treasure hunt by talking to different rocks, and hope they lead to the treasure in the field of nothing but different colored rocks.
  • Several sidequests with Centa Ruins and Chocobo Forests. The former has the player go through the ruins and defeat Odin under an unnerving time-limit, then battle dozens of powerful Tonberries in order to summon and defeat the extremely powerful Tonberry King (and none of this is hinted at in-game). The latter requires finding several, annoyingly secluded forests throughout the world map and solving confusing puzzles within, with the only in-game help being an incredible douchebag that is more likely to lead the player into the wrong direction.
  • The Deep Sea Research Facility. The initial challenge of defeating two Ruby Dragons and then Bahamut in a sequence is not particularly challenging, if the player knows what they are doing and solve the puzzle quickly. The second challenge of reaching the Bonus Boss at the bottom of the dungeon is significantly harder and can be a nightmare to the unprepared, since it involves a resource-management puzzle to even reach the lowest level and the boss. Better to have saved at the beginning, lest everything be wasted. And the puzzle has two solutions, with the easier resulting in the player wading through unavoidable monster encounters after another. And just to add insult to injury, the save point at the bottom is hidden. Make sure to junction Move-Find.

Final Fantasy IX

  • Excalibur II. It requires a ridiculous speed run of the game, and it's found in the final dungeon, after majority of sidequests have become unavailable. And if the player has completed the game fast enough to reach it, they likely didn't experience much of the game. The PAL version was an incredibly bad offender of this, as the game played slower, but the timer was still going at a normal pace... it's so hard that it was believed to be impossible on the PAL version of the game for years! And locking non-speed running players out of it can be considered evil, too.
  • Gaining all of Quina's skills, as seems to be the norm for most blue mages. Instead of being hit by the enemy skill, Quina must 'Eat' the enemy. Which she can only do when the enemy's HP is dropped to at least 12,5% (or 25%, if Quina is Tranced), then using the command, and with no indication if the enemy in question will give a skill at all.
  • Getting the highest score in Tetra Master. There are a hundred different cards, and the player can carry 100 at once. For max points, the players needs to get 1 of each, some of which can only be used by one player in the entire world. If the right one is found, it may still require several plays to get him to use the wanted card. And even if it's used, the player needs to win that round and have card turned into their color by the end of the battle to get it. And battles are often decided randomly, so that doesn't help. Then the player needs a different arrow combination on each of their cards. If two cards have the same combination, the player earns less points, even if both are unique otherwise. And then the player needs to get each card to rank A. And getting cards to get ranked up, even to rank X is pretty tedious. And, worst of all, there isn't even a reward for doing this. Nothing, except the score shown on the player's card menu.

Final Fantasy X

  • Finding all 26 Al Bhed journals that translate the Al Bhed subtitles. The problem is that several of them are permanently missable if the player isn't thorough in their search. Especially easy to miss is the one found in Home, a place that is full of enemies, and is considered annoying to get through because of a constant background noise alarm that has been dubbed The "I'm annoying, huh?" Guy.
  • The annoying and frustrating things the player has to do to not only obtain the Infinity +1 Sword for each party member, but also the mirror needed to unlock the chests for them, as well as the two sigils needed to power those weapons up. The HD Remaster turned several of them into That One Achievement.
    • Playing hours and hours of Blitzball, which was already a hit-or-miss game for most players because of its very different gameplay change, and lack of decent explanation of mechanics before the one, plot-mandated game of it is played. The only upside is that playing Blitzball not only gets Wakka's best weapon and one of his sigils, but it's also how the player can unlock his other Overdrives.
    • Dodging 200 consecutive lightning bolts. It's an annoying mechanic in the Thunder Plains, but the worst part is that nothing in the game indicated that dodging lightning bolts even leads to anything except for the party to not be knocked back a few paces. And there's also the annoyance that changing the screen resets the counter. And Thunder Plains was a very encounter-heavy area, so attempting to do this without a No Encounter weapon is not a good idea.
    • Rikku's sigil itself isn't difficult to get, but tedious because it involves a lot of walking in the Bikanel Desert based on weird inscriptions on a stone a good hike away from the nearest savepoint. Even with a No Encounter weapon equipped, there will be a lot of walking going on.
    • The butterfly minigame. The player needs to run down certain paths in the Macalania Woods, touching only blue butterflies on the way and avoiding the red butterflies, all while there's a very short timer going on. And the paths are given Depth Deception camera angles, with a filter that makes distinguishing colors tough even on players without colorblindness.
    • Getting the weapon for Yuna requires getting every treasure from each Trial the player had to go through at the temples. The game is kind enough in having the first temple be somewhat easy to get the treasure from, and the one temple the player cannot re-enter has the treasure be required to get to complete. But the player is on their own with the others, and some of them had a lot of back-and-forth with spheres to get the treasure. And if the player didn't get those early, they might be greeted by Dark Aeons, as mentioned below.
    • The Chocobo Racing minigame. This thing is so obnoxious, players wonder if the person in charge of creating it had some personal vendetta going on. The player is racing the Chocobo Trainer and needs to pick up balloons on the track (taking 3 seconds off the timer), but avoid getting hit by seagulls (adding 3 seconds to the timer) that like to appear suddenly. It gets worse because the Chocobo Racer likes to jostle with the player and mess up their position, the Chocobo is difficult to control, and to get the Sun Sigil for Tidus's best weapon, the player must achieve a racing time of under 0:00:00!
    • Getting the mirror to unlock the weapon chests is slightly better. First, the player must find a hidden temple on the Calm Lands, and win a Chocobo racing game that is, fortunately, much simpler than the above one to get the mirror. Then the player must go back to the Macalania Woods and start a quest about a missing NPC, find them, and leave. Then return immediately because, in the transition time of screens, another NPC went missing and must be found on glittery paths in the woods that are easy to miss because the woods themselves are decorated enough to overlook them.
  • European players and those that got the HD Remaster got heavily penalized for not getting the crests in locations as they were available, as backtracking to them often found the path blocked by a Dark Aeon. These things are incredibly difficult bosses, with most of them not being able to be defeated by a party unless they have almost cleared the entire Sphere Grid. And this didn't just apply to places with crests, but just finding all of the Jecht Spheres that unlock Auron's Overdrives. One is in Besaid, where this version had Dark Valefor in front of it.

Final Fantasy X-2

  • The sidequest to obtain the Lady Luck Dressphere, which involves the Sphere Break minigame. This minigame is incredibly difficult to any player that is not very good, and fast, at math. If the player starts this in Chapter 3, but fails to win against Shinra initially, there's a 50% chance of the Dressphere being given in the same chapter or a 75% chance in Chapter 5, though it's debateable if Shinra is easier or harder to defeat then. However, if the player is aiming for the Mascot Dressphere, Shinra must be defeated in Sphere Break in Chapter 3.
  • The Cactuar searching sidequest from X is back with a vengeance. This time, however, it encompasses the entirety of Spira, so have fun to decipher cryptic messages to find the little green buggers. There is still an annoying (if optional to complete) minigame to play, and the sidequest is capped off by two bosses, one of which is truly hard Marathon Boss capped only by those from Via Infinito.
  • Getting the Mascot Dressphere itself. This requires the player to get Episode Complete in every area available in the game by Chapter 5. This requires a very convoluted, incredibly precise path to do certain things in each Chapter for each area. Attempting to work at getting the Dressphere, especially on a New Game, and not relying on carried over percentages to make up any missed differences on New Game Plus, is so bad that the player can already lock themselves out of getting it in the first five minutes of gameplay, to the point that it spawned the memetic line of "Check the freaking moogle". And even the Episode Complete are notorious because a bug meant that, if the player left the Episode Complete scene for Zanarkand as the last one to observe because the location is at the bottom of the area list, it didn't actually count as Episode Complete.

Final Fantasy XI

  • Relic weapons. You just have to be lucky enough to have the correct base relic drop during a Dynamis run, buy over a hundred million gil worth of Dynamis currency (and your linkshell will at best give you a discount since selling currency is how Dynamis runs are funded), convince your linkshell to take the time to beat up a foe that Randomly Drops a certificate you need, then convince them to stop after beating up fifteen other bosses to try to defeat an easily bored Metal Slime that drops the final ingredient. Easy, right?
  • Then there are the Near Eastern equivalents, the Mythic Weapons. First, you have to beat the Treasures of Aht Urghan storyline and complete every Assault mission, including getting to floor 100 of Nyzul Isle, and get the desired base weapon from Nyzul Isle (each Randomly Drops from bosses) just to open the quest. Then you have to beat up eight endgame bosses across Aht Urghan. Then you have to beat all the Assaults again, buy or acquire tens of millions of gil worth of Alexandrite, earn 150,000 tokens in Nyzul Isle (which in practical terms means doing it without buying any items), and earn 100,000 ampules of therion ichor in Einherjar. Then you have to acquire three proofs which randomly drop from the three penultimate bosses in a long ladder of bosses. Finally, you have one last boss fight to complete, solo — and if you manage to screw this part up, you have to get those last three random drops again. Even easier, right?
  • As for quests that sane players actually regularly perform, the journey to obtain the Utsusemi: Ichi spell probably qualifies. It entails collecting a large number of randomly dropped items (between about 100 and 200, depending on the item) to gain notoriety in a far-away settlement. Then one needs to travel to this settlement and take on a final quest, involving traveling through an area infested with aggressive, high-level enemies. The real challenge in this barrage of quests is that it is not only very tedious, but also quite dangerous and difficult for newer characters. And what bites the hardest is that you need this spell if you are going to try the Ninja job class for any given reason.

Final Fantasy XII

  • Any ultimate weapon sidequest, with the exception of Formalhaut.
  • Getting the Infinity +1 Sword requires a guide, as the player needs to leave four treasure chests alone without being given a hint as to which ones those are. The other way to obtain it is a 1/1000 random treasure chest drop, with that chest being in one of the hardest areas in the game, and also happens to have a requirement of having 10 of 12 summons (not counting Zodiark, who is in this area) of the entire game.
  • Phase 2 of the Hennes Mines, the game's most difficult Bonus Dungeon. It's an hour-long journey through a narrow and confusing dungeon infested with Goddamned Bats, who can stump players that weren't expecting level 60+ enemies. There are no save points, and the end of the mines contains Zodiark, one of the game's three most difficult optional bosses. The reward is getting Zodiark as a summon, but since the character summoning him requires to be under a certain, dangerous status to use the ultimate attack, Zodiark is Awesome, but Impractical.
  • The trek through optional parts of Great Crystal is an exercise of patience. First, all zones look almost the same, so it is easy to get lost and it gets old fast. Second, the getting lost part is exarcebated by the fact that the minimap in this part does not exist at all. Unless you have a guide by your side, you're going to get lost and end up getting shred to pieces by enemies that are only slightly weaker than in optional parts of Henne Mines. There are ton of goodies (especially in Zodiac version, where Hastega is to be found), but most of them are behind forcefields which have to be tagged first by the correct switch and then you have a time limit to run to them and disable them, which the absence of the map makes much, much harder.
  • The ultimate dagger, Danjuro, is dropped by a single Rare Game, which has extremely complicated rules to get it to spawn reliably and those took years to figure out. It spawns only in rooms with a Waystone and requires 30+ kills since the last time a Waystone was used. In an area where every 3 to 6 platforms is a Waystone that you don't know you can't use, if you want Larva Eater to spawn. And then there is the low drop-rate of 3% for Danjuro, and it's a quest that begs to be circumvented by cheating or other means. And the bestiary lies about giving Larva Eater a 1 out of 5 difficulty rating in getting it to spawn... which is technically true, if the player knows how to spawn them.
  • Filling the Sky Pirate's Den is a sidequest made up of other annoying sidequests: finding all 13 espers; completing all Hunts; completing the Bestiary, which has 500 monsters and several of them are rare spawns that may have only a 1% chance of spawning, with one particular set requiring the player to clear two adjacent zones to get the target monster to spawn a total of fourteen times; defeating a dozen hidden, optional bosses in nondescript mazes, with Yiazmat requiring two hours of a speed run with level-99 characters; power-leveling every character about 20 levels above the point needed to fight the final boss; performing all the end-of-combo Concurrences, with nothing in the game telling the player how to do them or how many there are; and fully exploring every map, including unmarked, hidden areas. And to top that off, filling it isn't what gives 100% completion. Completing the den is a pre-requisite for a completely different challenge.
  • Some late-game marks can be also rather nasty:
    • Shadowseer Mark. Normally, to complete a hunt, you have to, barring formalities, get to your mark, which has (normally) a well defined location and specific conditions that are told to you, so it basically just amounts to fulfill those and then slay your target. Not so here. Here, you must complete an entire Bonus Dungeon just to get to your mark, which combines the worst possible case of 20 Bear Asses just to collect enough orbs to unlock next floor with scads of Demonic Spiders and Blackout Basement. Yes, there is not a single floor, there are three, each having to be unlocked. Monsters here are on par with those from bonus sectors of Henne Mines and like to spam all statuses the game offers, along with traps that spring Disease on you. The mark itself is not really hard but it summons other bosses from Pharos, so you're going to fight it for a while.
    • Fafnir hunt, though not to an extent of Shadowseer. Fafnir appears only in Blizzard in one specific location in Paramina Rift. However, it is in a side of said place and the blizzard gets reset to mere snowing if you go through a location that is on the straightest path (and of course you're not told this), so you may end endlessly wandering through the frozen wastelands while trying to fulfill the conditions. The fight itself is also rather hard, as Fafnir has over million HP and likes to use damaging breath attacks that put stop on you.
    • Behemoth King hunt. You need to clear two large areas for it to spawn, and clearing one of them can accidentally lead to spawning of a group of mandragoras that can double their levels until they can oneshot you. Like Fafnir, Behemoth King has over 1 million HP and damaging attacks.
  • Finding Omega Mk. XII. Beating the thing isn't the actually satisfying part, it's just plain tracking it down! Even if the player looks up an actual map and not the shoddy, useless in-game one, the trek is still rather complicated.

Final Fantasy XIII

  • The Bigger They Are... pits the party against a Gigantuar. His only attack is 10,000 Needles, which takes off that much HP, dispels buffs, and has a really high chance of causing Pain and Fog, rendering the character incapable of using physical and magical attacks, respectively. He also has 1 million HP and a high Stagger threshold, and a very low target time. Even if the player manages to defeat it, it's one of the toughest missions to get 5 Stars on.
  • Gaian Grude involves fighting three Tonberries. Have fun.
  • Indomitable Will means fighting two Raktavijas. These Cie'th have an inertial barrier that reduces any attacks to Scratch Damage. They need to be staggered to remove the barrier and really cause some damage to them, but their stagger gauge fills incredibly slowly. And they have some heavy offensive power, too.
  • The mission that pits the party against a Neochu and five Picochus, especially if done at the end of Chapter 11 because of its reward of the Growth Egg, an accessory that doubles the CP gained. Neochu hits really hard and likes to target the leader as soon as the battle starts, before the player's Sentinel has a chance to provoke and get the Neochu to target them instead. It also uses Screech, which causes a huge amount of damage to the party, debuffs them, and buffs the Picochu. If the Neochu uses Screech, the player might as well reset the battle. The Picochus themselves are pretty tough themselves. They are small, fast, and hit hard enough that even Snow as a Sentinel will require a lot of healing to survive. The only upside is that Neochu can be killed by Vanille's Death spell, which leaves the Picochu to be the smaller frustration to deal with.
  • Mission 64, the final mission, that has the party fight a Cie'th with 65 million HP. The Cie'th Stone with this mission is in Oerba, and the target is somewhere completely different, and quite far away. The biggest difficulty in this mission is finishing it because the battle can easily take up to an hour to defeat because of its high HP, which is best reduced by poisoning it. But just poisoning isn't enough because it also attacks with devastating skills, and has a Healing Factor when using its barrier. There's a good reason this is the final mission. The only upside is that the Cie'th Stone for it won't activate until the player leaves Pulse and returns to Cocoon, meaning the player can't start it while underleveled.

Final Fantasy XIII-2

  • The Lucky Coin fragment requires the player to obtain 7,777 coins at the slot machine. Aside from this likely requiring quite a high starting investment of coins, this can take hours of mind-numbing slot-playing, until the game finally takes pity on the player and hands it over. Even the official strategy guide recommends to tie a rubber band around the Autplay button and leaving the game running — even if Autoplay cuts down winning chances by 33%, it's still the kinder solution.
  • The Monster Professor fragment, which requires the player to have fought and defeated every single enemy in the game, not counting DLC enemies. There are dozens of Underground Monkeys in this game, many of which are incredibly unlikely to show up without having the Battlemania fragment skill turned on. This includes the fight against Raspatil, who is a rare spawn in only one, optional location, the battles using the Paradox Scopes, that like to turn out to be much harder than one might believe, and the Archylte Steppe, which has four weather patterns that each have their own share of unique monsters to spawn. Fortunately, the weather pattern can easily be controlled by the player. The worst comes in the form of the battle against the Proto Fal'Cie Adam, whose third form can easily be never met by choosing the right Live Trigger answer, and one area in Academia AF 500, which has one spot that has two unique monster spawns. If the player gets one spawn, they need to close the gate and re-tread the entire area to get back to that spot, and hope the other monster spawns.
  • The quizzes in Academia AF 4XX, counting the Brain Blitz terminals and the Captain quiz. Many of those questions have no in-game hints to help with the answers, and several of them involve knowledge of other Final Fantasy games. And that's not getting into the Brain Blitz terminals having a Red/Black and Left/Right question, where the correct answer depends on how the options are aligned — vertically or horizontally. But those are easy enough to figure out, if one has a guide handy. The extra annoyance with the Captain comes in the form of him spawning in a random location out of several in the area, and the player needs to find him. He has a certain amount of specific locations he will randomly teleport to, after a player has answered a question, and it doesn't matter if the answer was right or wrong. With luck, or a guide, the player will 'only' have to find him four times in the city to get all of his fragments.
  • The sidequest fragment for obtaining 100% on all the maps of the game. Majority of them are pretty simple, but the worst ones are the Augusta Tower and the Academia maps. The Augusta Tower only shows one floor at the time, so the player needs to travel to each floor to see if they got all of them. The Academia one are worse because Academia AF 400 is a Dungeon Town and swarming with unrelenting Cie'th spawns, and certain areas are blocked off. The upside is that this map is identical to Academia AF 4XX, and if the area's map is identical in other time periods, traversing one time period's map to 100% counts for the other ones, too. Except that Academia AF 4XX, while not swarming with monsters and actually being a very pleasant area, has a lot of tiny streets and nooks and crannies that a player might overlook, and wonder where that last freaking point to walk around in is. And then there's Academia AF 500, which is an Unexpected Gameplay Change entirely. There are no real floors, only floating platforms, with some rotating, and the player needs to traverse them to the other end. And getting 100% on this map requires the player to jump to pointless platforms or use the fragment skill that allows for longer, floating jumps to eventually fall into the pits and count the nearby platform as 'explored'. Fortunately, there is no punishment for falling into the pits, as the party gets teleported back to the last platform they were on.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

  • The Last One Standing is a sidequest that the player can grab on a new game, but that cannot be completed until New Game Plus. It requires the player to defeat every Last One enemy, which are super-powered, magenta palette swaps of their enemy type, that appear when the player has defeated a lot of a specific monster type, except for the Last One. This includes Chocobo Eaters and Earth Eaters. There is a slight help in the form of the Bonus Dungeon, which is a 33-Floor dungeon filled with majority of the Last Ones and Ereshkigal, who has to be defeated for this sidequest, too. The player can easily use this to fight most Last Ones in one spot or even skip the floors with Last Ones already defeated, as long as the player knows which floor contains which Last One. The reason this sidequest cannot be finished on New Game is because the final area of the game contains three unique monsters, and a Palette Swap of a monster that has no Last One. The unique monsters must have their Last Ones appear 'the old fashioned way', which takes quite some time due to different spawn rates. However, the final area has no time limit.
  • The sidequest involving fighting Aeronite. This boss can spawn in certain areas of the Dead Dunes, depending on the clock's time, and is incredibly difficult. It has a somewhat convoluted stagger condition, and can be separated into three phases. Even with good garbs and schemata setup, this boss can easily take a long time to defeat because of its massive amount of HP, and it has the annoying aspect of escaping the battle after 3 minutes, unless the player has managed to stagger it. And if that wasn't bad enough, getting to the NPC that gives the sidequest is its own problem. He's located in a specific area of the ruins in the Dead Dunes, and the player needs to find the specific way through the ruins to get to him. The only upside is, if the player has managed to defeat Aeronite before talking to this NPC, the player already has the item drop the NPC is looking for and the quest can be finished immediately.

Final Fantasy XIV

  • Chocobo Challenges: you race chocobos like normal, except now you have designated rivals and the tracks will have set gimmicks for that challenge. The first few are easy as long as you been training your bird, but the very last one is an absolute nightmare since you have to beat three rivals and the track takes place in the Black Shroud, which has a lot of turns, malboros that can reduce your speed, imps that can steal your items, and mandragoas that almost perfectly blend in with the scenery. One rival in particular, Max Power, will always be ahead of everyone else and you'll likely never beat him (even if your chocobo has perfect stats) unless you get extremely lucky with items and the weather being in your favor.
  • Relic weapons again. Due to a requirement on the devs to make them the best weapon available, without being obviously far easier than Savage raiding, the quests to power up a relic weapon tend to get more and more ridiculous. We won't go into full Walkthrough Mode here, but for context, one of the earliest quests was to collect all 12 Atmas, each of which had a random (tiny) chance of dropping if you completed any FATE in the right area.
  • Completionists are likely to have their own horror stories about fishing and completing the sightseeing log. Fishing is a matter of getting to a point during a certain time of day and a certain type of weather, and praying that the Random Number God smiles upon you. Sightseeing logs dispense with the RNG, but they introduce platforming challenges into a game which wasn't exactly built around them.
  • Patch 4.5 released the Blue Mage, a long-desired class which has a couple restrictions on it, like not being able to get past level 50 yet. Many of the abilities are perfectly simple to get, like Thousand Needles. Many of them, like Glass Dance, have a 5% drop rate from boss trials. And you're going to need almost all of the abilities to beat the associated challenges.

Final Fantasy XV

  • Cid's weapon upgrade quests, simply due to the Guide Dang It! nature of the required parts. Chances are high that the player will simply find them on accident, and even then, some only spawn from certain Chapters onwards or in certain locations. And when the weapon and part is actually given for the upgrade, the game doesn't bother to explain that the time passing doesn't help, but that the weapon being done is based on completing a certain number of sidequests, and then resting.
  • Dino's final gem-finding quest requires the player to venture into Costlemark Tower, the toughest dungeon in the game. The place is swarming with powerful monsters, and the player has to go halfway through it to find the place the wanted gem spawns in.
  • The sidequest for Costlemark Tower that involves fighting its boss. There are a ton of Bombs around, there's a tedious block puzzle to go through, and it can take well over 24 in-game hours to complete this sidequest.
  • To Catch A Frog and Rainstorm Duel! Poison Frog Of Wrennath are two hunts that can only be completed in rainy weather. The problem is that weather in the game is entirely random outside of perhaps some odd plot events, so the player could camp over and over, hoping to finally get rain, and then racing to the spawn-point as fast as possible before the weather changes its mind.
  • Catching the Mummy Bass. It spawns in only a specific part of the sea, as part of a particularly large school of fish, and getting it to actually spawn and biting the line are two different pairs of boots. And then comes the hard part of catching the thing! It has far and away the best parameters of any fish in the game, and coupled with Artificial Brilliance in its movement patterns, making it very good at rapidly wearing down the line. Even if the Fishing Skill is maxed out, Noctis is armed with the best gear, and has the 25% line-defense boost from a meal, it's incredibly difficult to catch the Mummy Bass. And catching it can take over five minutes, with the player chipping away its health bar.


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