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Final Fantasy Brave Exvius is a Free-to-play game in the singularity-defyingly popular Final Fantasy series. It is the fourth global mobile title, after Final Fantasy: All the Bravest, Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade, and Final Fantasy Record Keeper.

Two knights of the nation of Grandshelt on the world of Lapis, Rain and Lasswell, are journeying on their airship, investigating rumors of trouble and discord when they suddenly see a vision of a girl imploring them to help, as the Crystal of Earth is under assault. When they get to the shrine where the crystal is kept, they encounter a Black Knight who declares himself to be "Veritas of the Dark", out to destroy the crystals that stabilize the world. Rain and Lasswell quickly take arms against the threat, aided by the fact that they have the power to summon "visions" to help in their quest — manifestations of heroes of old, many from worlds far distant to Lapis...

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Developed and maintained by A-lim in Japan and Gumi internationally, it's a Recycled WITH CRYSTALS! version of Brave Frontier, featuring a number of the same gameplay mechanics hybridized to a more "Final Fantasy"-like experience, such as walkable town and dungeon maps and a spell and ability system more akin to the SNES and PS1-era Final Fantasies.


Final Fantasy Brave Exvius contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Badass: As is standard for Final Fantasy crossovers, several characters that appear in this game are considerably more powerful than they were in their original games. One of the most blatant cases is Dark Knight Cecil, who gains a ridiculously massive power increase in this game to make him a physical powerhouse, whereas his Paladin form (which is in the game and is effective as a Stone Wall) would be more effective approximately 15-30 minutes after getting it in his original game.
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  • A Day in the Limelight: All of the main characters besides Rain have short stories to complete after finishing Season 1. These entail what everyone has been doing in-between Seasons 1 and 2, and players who own the Season 2 versions of those units can unlock new abilities for them by completing each mini-campaign.
  • A.I. Breaker: Several boss enemies are scripted to always respond in a particular way to a given action. If the player is able to exploit this in some fashion, the bosses in question frequently become pushovers. One very notable example is Season 2's Hyoh of the Delta Star - if he has no buffs up, he spends his turn applying them. Dispelling them every round means he'll never take an action, preferring instead to reapply his buffs. Dispelling abilities are rather common and affordable - nearly everyone with some degree of white magic has Dispel on their spell list, many melee fighters have the similar Fingersnap ability, four different espers grant one of those two abilities when equipped, and finally a damage-plus-dispel ability is a reward for clearing a sidequest in the Gilgamesh trial.
  • A.I. Roulette: How the computer generally uses abilities in the Arena — while certain abilities will be favored depending on what the player has done (e.g. using healing spells if the CPU team has taken a sizable amount of damage, using spells to decrease elemental damage if the player is using elemental sources of damage), there's still an element of random chance involved.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Averted - for every character that has Fashionable Asymmetry, they have distinct sprites for facing left versus right. During the first season, Rain and Fina are the most notable cases of it, but by Season 2, the entire main party has it to varying degrees.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: Fina starts getting hit with this when the heroes finally arrive in Dirnado, and her memories start to return. It seems she once met Rain when he was a boy... and she was significantly nastier decades ago.
  • Animal Theme Naming: The various Vaults (with the elementally/colorfully named keys) were all put together by a group of thieves, Raven, that named themselves after all sorts of animals. The only exception to the rule is Shade, which is a secret name. He's actually the third Raven.
  • Another Side, Another Story: In story events, you get to see the story from the perspective of others Rain has met on his journey, often as allies. Sometimes as villains.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • If you exceed the item cap in any category (items, materials, summons, etc.) as a result of being rewarded items of that type, you won't lose them. The game will instead force the player to either clear out enough items to get back under the cap or purchase additional slots to raise the cap. By the same token, if you try to redeem messages with items that would exceed the cap, the game will prevent it until you have the space.
    • On the Dark Symphony banner, every pull gets you one Glittering Shard. You need 5 of them to pull Kitty Ariana, in effect guaranteeing her if you spend 25,000 Lapis.
    • The Step-Up banners give prizes for each 5,000 lapis you spend on a 10+1 pull. in order, you get a 10% Trust moogle, a guaranteed 4* from the banner, a random 5* unit, a 10% chance 5* ticket, and finally a guaranteed 5* unit from the current banner.
    • With the addition of 3* espers, expeditions were added that give supercite for enhancing espers, corresponding to the pair of espers released (Siren and Ifrit, for example). These expeditions are always available apart from the three standard expeditions, are always ranked B, always use Tents to increase the success chance, and always take twelve hours. While they provide very little supercite individually (it would take about five months to gather the necessary amount to awaken one pair, ignoring potential bonuses from "Great/Amazing" successes), it still provides a much faster path to fully-leveling espers than the Chamber of Crystals or any other source of magicite. The Chamber of Crystals was also made into a permanent feature of the Vortex with an additional stage that has a chance to drop supercite.
    • In response to the 7-star system, Gumi implemented a 5-star select ticket feature. Trading in 10 tickets allows the player to get any non-limited 5-star of their choice that has a 7-star form, provided at least two weeks has passed since they were first introduced. The tickets themselves are very hard to acquire, with only two being available in the monthly King Mog events. The grind is grueling, but it becomes dramatically easier to get that 5-star unit you need to round out your party.
    • The unit limit served as a major restriction for a long time, as it would be easily clogged by cactaurs and pots with actual units taking up a comparatively small fraction of the space. Even with the ability to fuse enhancer units, even a maxed out unit limit would require a lot of condensing. Gumi finally addressed this by splitting regular units and enhancer units into two categories with their own unit limits, effectively doubling unit inventory.
    • The same update that added the trust coin system, allowing you to trade maxed Trust mastery units for coins that can be in turn traded for rare items, added the Moogle Cave expedition, which allows you to increase the TM value of five different units every four hours, three times a day. Though it still takes several months to max out a unit (four or six, depending on base rarity), it makes getting the coins somewhat easier.
    • Starting with the Xenogears event, the game introduced Unit of Choice tickets for limited-time collaborations. This guaranteed a unit of the player's choice from the banner through running the event and spending Lapis (usually taking one lap of the step-up or 15,000 Lapis to obtain the three remaining). This caused a lot of relief from the fans.
    • The second Tower of Zot event offered a new experiment in bundles. Unlike most events, which involved step-ups as a safety net, they released a bundle that guaranteed a single copy of Black Mage Golbez for $75.
  • Anti-Grinding: To keep players from grinding for money and experience until they hit the level cap in an exploration area, each such area has a set number of random encounters, usually divided into two zones. Once the player has fought all the battles in each zone, no more enemies will spawn.
  • Anti Poop-Socking: Via the FarmVille system of almost everything requiring Energy, which regenerates 1 point every 5 minutes. Arena/Colosseum fights and raid bosses require a token orb to fight, with orbs regenerating every hour to a maximum of 5.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: You're limited to five characters plus a companion unit belonging to another player, regardless of how many visions you may have stored. Arena and Coliseum battles don't allow companions. The Chamber of Arms allows ten units: five as the main party and five as backup which can be swapped out each turn. However, companions and duplicate units are forbidden.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: In the Land of the Crystals, Nichol talks to Veritas of the Light and notes that people generally fight for two reasons - to take something they want/need, and to defend something they already have. He then asks Lightlord which of the two would be accomplished by continuing to fight. It actually gets through, and Lightlord makes a genuine Heel–Face Turn.
  • Attack Reflector: The Reflect buff causes any magic attack that would hit the target to bounce back at the opposing team, either to the individual that used it or the entire party if it's an AoE attack. In addition, if someone in your own party has the buff and you deliberately target them with magic (healing, for example), it will hit the enemy instead. It doesn't work against spells which ignore a portion of magic defense, such as Ultima, and most level 8 spells will also bypass it. Dispel magic trumps it.
  • Back from the Dead: At the start of Season 2, the other Veritas are mysteriously revived under Raegen's leadership. Later revealed to be revived when Dark Fina sacrificed herself to become the Earth Crystal. Separately, it was revealed that Rain died in the final fight of Season 1 and was revived as well.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Played for Laughs - after finally defeating Veritas of the Dark for good and saving the last crystal, Jake proposes a celebratory hug to Lid. To everyone's shock, Lid actually agrees... and promptly hugs Fina.
  • Balance Buff: Some units received new (or buffed) skills as part of a transition from Japan to Global. For example, Rem transforms from a Master of None to a strong magical finisher with Dagger Boomerang, and she gains Dual Wield Daggers innately as opposed to getting them from enhancements in JP. Even strong units like Roy or Wilhelm aren't immune from buffs.
  • Barrier Change Boss:
    • From the main campaign, the two forms of the amoeba boss will buff themselves in response to magic/elemental or physical attacks while debuffing the other. However, if you try to switch from one to the other without using Dispel to clear the previous buff, the buffs will stack and the amoeba will become practically invincible.
    • Hein from the Hein's Castle event has a blanket immunity to all elemental attacks (200% resistance). During the battle, he'll occasionally debuff either his fire, ice, or lightning resistance down to -50%.
    • The Shadow Lord from The Shadow Lord Invades event has extremely high physical and magic resistance. Every three turns, he'll hit himself with a 98% debuff to whichever one is currently not debuffed, while also casting Dispel on himself to clear the last one and whatever other debuffs you've hit him with. At the same time, he'll cast a team-wide Silence if it's a physical debuff and Blind if it's magic.
    • Tolfidan from the Conqueror of Izander event will debuff one of four elemental resistances depending on his current HP. Above 75%, it's wind. Above 50%, it's earth. Above 25%, it's water. Finally, for the final 25%, it's light.
    • The esper Phoenix, in his 2* form, will debuff his fire, lightning, wind, and light resistance. If you use one of those elements on him, he'll dispel and debuff his ice, water, earth, and dark resistance. Rinse and repeat. If he's hit with fire four times (one per turn) while his fire is debuffed, the rotation will stop. This also serves to disable his self-healing, which restores him to full health if he's dropped below 40%.
  • The Battle Didn't Count: Even though the story won't progress unless the player wins, it's not unusual for story foes to just get up and suddenly demonstrate the ability to just shrug off whatever damage they did and knock the entire party to their knees, even if the player barely took damage during the actual fight. This becomes particularly frequent in Season 2.
  • Barrier Warrior: Mystea and Shylt's skillsets revolve entirely around protecting themselves and their allies, with Mystea being the first unit able to guard the entire party against magic attacks. Their sprites are even dominated by a Beehive Barrier.
  • Behind the Black: Towns and exploration maps run wild with this — every single one has at least one hidden path obscured by details from the camera viewpoint but would logically be visible to the characters.
  • Black Knight: Veritas of the Dark takes his fashion cues from the judges of Final Fantasy XII to the point of threatening to be an Expy. The other Veritas follow suit. And moreover, this time the elaborate armor is a plot point.
    • Hyoh fills this role in Season 2, and is similar to Darth Vader, complete with Laser Blade. In reality, he is Rain, who is working to change the empire from within.
  • Blatant Lies: Lasswell's Sand In My Eyes excuse rings so hollow that even Fina, she of Laser-Guided Amnesia with no grasp of civilization, doesn't buy it.
  • Blood Knight:
    • According to the trophy descriptions, several of the visions were more interested in fighting than anything else. At least one, Artemios, took this to Hunting the Most Dangerous Game.
    • Most of the Veritas and Eight Sages were this, with Fina joining the side of Hess only so she could fight against the strength of the Veritas. One has to wonder if the Aldore wasn't absolutely right in banishing these people for fear of all of the world's power being concentrated in a select few bloodthirsty warriors, as if having so much power given to so few people weren't dangerous enough even if they were sane, well-intentioned soldiers.
  • Bonus Boss:
    • The White Dragon, the Demon Chimera, the Brachiosaur, and the Erinyes on the Farplane. Unlike every other fight, attempting these fights requires no energy expenditure (except if you want a rematch after winning), and defeating them for the first time gives Infinity +1 equipment. Friend units are locked out, but the bosses are easy enough to beat after playing the game for a bit. Although most weapons have fallen to Power Creep, the rest are usable in the current meta.
    • The Chamber of the Fallen was the first section of the Vortex dedicated specifically to challenging bosses. These bosses follow a traditional fight model, costing NRG and allowing you to bring a friend unit. They may be a boss rush, or just one series of bosses. Defeating them gives Infinity +1 equipment, but they have special missions for 10% Trust Moogles, more infinity +1 equipment, and strong abilities. All were considered very strong upon release, and though some have fallen to Power Creep, everything from Gilgamesh on up is still respectably difficult.
    • The Chamber of Arms on the Farplane also contains bonus bosses. There are thirteen bosses in total released over the course of 8 months. Unlike the conventional Farplane fights, these take NRG to complete as well. What distinguishes these are that you can take ten units instead of six. Items and friend units are banned, as are duplicate units. At the start of each turn, you're given the option to swap units to and from your five-man party as you see fit. They're some of the toughest battles in the game, and have the same special missions as the Chamber of the Fallen fights.
    • Limited Vortex events are usually capped off with a limited boss fight during the final week, which plays out similar to a boss fight in the Chamber of the Fallen. Their difficulty varies, though on average they aren't quite as tough as the Fallen bosses.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Some levels have bosses that look exactly like the mooks of that area, only with much higher health and stronger attacks. These can end up being some of the more difficult fights, as these upgraded mooks often come in groups to make up for the fact that their attacks haven't changed, making it harder to neutralize them without a herd-hitting debuff attack.
  • Boss Rush:
    • The March of the Beasts trial has nine battles consisting of various bosses, all of which you have to beat to win. It's one of the easier trials, but getting the optional missions can be difficult over such a stretch.
    • The Torturous Trio trial pits you against Elafikeras, Echidna, and Bloody Moon in that order. All three are identical to their individual trials, but you have to go through all three without resting. If you can beat Bloody Moon you can likely beat all three, but part of the problem is that Bloody Moon's strategy discourages the use of black magic, while Elafikeras is best defeated with wind-based black magic. Echidna, meanwhile, throws around status effects that you also have to guard against. During the first day, the fight could be beaten by escaping from Bloody Moon (the hardest boss), but fighting it after is a challenge in and of itself.
    • Most story events have a boss rush as their bonus stage, with a 10% rainbow ticket as its final reward. These originally ramped in difficulty, with some reaching the same difficulty levels as end-game content, but have largely tapered off since Cid's event.
      • The bonus round of The Color of Heartlessness story event pits you against the upgraded forms of the Brachiosaur, Greater Demon, and Intangir from the Chamber of the Indignant. Each has its own set of missions to complete, and like the Torturous Trio trial there's no rest period. It seems to have been put up solely to demonstrate what a monster 7* Hyoh, who was released with the event, can be as a pair, though it's certainly doable without him.
      • Similarly, the Lion of the Mysterious Woods event features the six Bomb party, the White Dragon, and the Greater Demon. Unlike the last event, the on-banner 7* is a powerful bard.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Some levels have bosses that look exactly like the mooks of that area, only with much higher health and stronger attacks. These can end up being some of the more difficult fights, as these upgraded mooks often come in groups to make up for the fact that their attacks haven't changed, making it harder to neutralize them without a herd-hitting debuff attack.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: When standing off with the Sworn Six in front of the final crystal, the party notes that the Veritas have powered up their armor. Fearing that they won't have the power to stand against them without it, Sakura summons her old Veritas of the Bolt armor and re-dons it, preparing for the fight. It turns out Sir Raegen also felt this was necessary - it turns out he is the one currently using the Veritas of the Frost armor, leading to the question of just who is using Raegen's old armor as Veritas of the Dark.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Lapis can be used to replenish energy, refill arena and raid orbs, and summon new units. While the game does provide many free opportunities for lapis, which can be turned into more high-level visions and equipment, players can also just buy a pile of it to quickly level up.
  • Brutal Bonus Level:
    • The Realm of the Dragon King, available once the final boss of the first season is cleared. It's not plot-critical, but it's a massive exploration dungeon (so much so that, by using a tent, a player can set a waystation that can be restarted at with its own sidequests) where even the weakest enemy present has hit points in the hundreds of thousands. Their attack stats are on par with their hit points, all of them get multiple actions per turn in combat, about half of them are immune to Standard Status Effects (so while some fights can be cheesed with use of poison, paralysis, and stone, many cannot), many of them have outright One-Hit KO attacks on top of other very powerful attacks, and it's the one area on the world map where enemies can get a preemptive strike. If the RNG is particularly merciless, a large and powerful group of foes can get the drop on the party and perform a Total Party Kill before the player has a chance to do anything. Furthermore, the encounter rate is higher and there are twice as many encounters per section, at a minimum. Oh, and continues are barred. The rewards for clearing this are a chance to get Bahamut as an esper as well as the recipe for an improved version of the Dragon Killer materia.
    • Season 2 adds Madam's Manor in Paladia. What it lacks in the sheer scale of the Realm of the Dragon King it makes up for in difficulty. In addition to the volume of enemies and preemptive attacks that make the Realm difficult, each floor has specialized enemies that are designed to lethally counterattack against certain skills (physical, magical, etc.) while also being extremely resistant to those skills. In addition, each floor has a boss on par with some Vortex trials.
    • Story events in the Vortex have two extra stages, each costing 90 energy to play through. These are significantly more difficult than the past stages and have decent rewards for beating them, such as Trust moogles. Older versions of story events had the story play all the way through to the last stage, so it can be assumed the change was made to make the story content more accessible to all players while keeping the rewards available for those capable of completing the entire event.
    • The Six Realms are the Season 2 equivalent of the Realm of the Dragon King. It is much easier to unlock, only requiring you to be Rank 108 and complete a Multi-Mook Melee in the Town of Moraque. It is similar to the Realm of the Dragon King in that the mooks can get pre-emptive strikes and have powerful status effects (including instant KO attacks). The mini-bosses are fairly easy, aside from one that has an AoE Death attack used at a 50% threshold. Unlike the Bahamut fight, the Asura fight requires you to go through all six dungeons before unlocking her. It also doesn't help that one of the missions for the initial exploration requires Lasswell's Season 2 form, which is a gacha unit that the friend list doesn't provide. The final boss, Asura, is arguably the hardest fight in the game. She has a variety of fixed attacks that bypass cover, strong magical attacks requiring powerful buffs (or a magical cover tank) to survive, and a specific pattern provoking a powerful retaliation when not followed. While the esper herself is largely underwhelming, the materia she drops from her mission is invaluable.
  • But Now I Must Go: Water Maiden Luka gives a speech like this halfway through Rain's journey in Olderion, in order to clean the toxins from the sacred lake. It initially looks like a Heroic Sacrifice, but it's eventually clarified to just be a process that takes a few years to complete, after which a return will be made. Though getting a little lucky in the gacha will have her aiding your cause quite a bit earlier. Luka emerges to pray just in time for the final battle against the Chaotic Darkness.
  • The Cameo: About half of the visions are characters from earlier Final Fantasy games. Brave Frontier, Secret of Mana, NieR: Automata, King's Knight, Tomb Raider, Just Cause, Star Ocean, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, and Xenogears characters also appear. This isn't just the heroes; prominent NPCs and villains join the fray. The strangest cameos, however, are Ariana Grande and Katy Perry.
  • Cap:
    • The various forms of inventory (units, items, materials, etc.) start with a cap of 150, which can be increased with lapis or vouchers (up to 1,500 for units, 500 for the rest). Friends start at five and cap at 130, both by spending lapis and with a small amount granted as rank up rewards. Crafting previously had slots which allowed up to four of any given category to be crafted at a time, but this was removed and crafting time was eliminated.
    • Each unit has cap on its possible rarity and a level cap based on that rarity. Units summoned with friend points won't exceed a cap of three stars, while those summoned in other ways can reach up to six and units that start off at five stars can be upgraded to seven. The level caps for each rarity are 15, 30, 40, 60, 80, 100 and 120.
    • In the Player Versus Player arena, damage for a single attack of any type is capped at 999. This includes attacks that have multiple hits; for example, a basic attack that hits twice would do 500 damage for one hit and 499 for the other. Note that abilities which count as multiple attacks (Barrage, Dual Wield, Dualcasting, etc.) apply the cap to each individual attack, rather than the whole set. Fixed Damage Attacks are likewise capped. Percent Damage Attacks are just disabled, as they would be easy damage otherwise. However, there is a workaround — chained attacks increase the damage of a hit by 10% (30% if elemental) for each hit in the chain, up to a maximum of 300%, regardless of whether or not the damage done will surpass the cap. With a large enough setup chain, a single attack can be made to do up to 3996 damage (finishing a chain with an esper or Rikku's Sunburst, for example).
    • The win streak bonus in the arena caps at 18%, equal to 10 straight wins.
    • Each ability-based stat buff has a cap of 300%, which was later increased to 400%. This also applies when calculating equipment attack boosts from traits like Doublehand, True Doublehand, and True Dual Wield.
    • The maximum amount of gil a player can have is 100 million. It seems like a lot, but it's easier to earn than one might think.
  • Character Select Forcing:
    • Enforced in some later Colosseum and event fights — monsters will frequently have immunities to various effects of top-ranked units to encourage other builds. Resistance to Gravity and Damage-Increasing Debuff abilities go from "almost unheard of" in the plot to suddenly everywhere in the optional fights.
    • Missions occasionally require the use of certain moves or characters. For characters, this is limited to those obtained through story progression, so at worst they'll be underpowered. Moves, however, can be more problematic. Some moves can be crafted or obtained through espers then attached to whatever character you want, but others are exclusive to certain classes or even specific characters in extreme cases. For example, the move Fire Blade is only learned naturally by Ronaldo, a 2* unit from the standard summon pool, or found in a locked chest in the Town of Mitra, requiring a key.
      • Story events usually require certain characters from the event, although the game does make it easier by providing one. The only case where one is not provided is the Six Realms, where a mission outright requires Pyro Glacial Lasswell in the party.
    • The Training the Soul story trials are a literal version of this trope. You cannot bring a friend, and you are limited to five of the seven free Season 1 units. The rewards are exclusive equipment relating to Rain, Lasswell, and Fina (that also grants extra abilities to them, such as Mana regeneration). Much of the difficulty comes from the fact that you have to use units that are sub-par compared to other visions.
    • The Short Stories in the Vortex require that you bring along the story unit relevant to the story you're playing through, though you get to bring along whatever other units you feel like. The exception is Fina's story, which requires you to use only her story unit for the final battle.
    • Exchange events allow you to bring any units you please, but will reward bonus currency if you bring units from the accompanying summon banner. Generally, 3* base units give a 50% bonus, 4* give 75%, 5* give 100%, and 7* fused units give 200%. This encourages players to summon the relevant units and then run a team of them to maximize their currency gain and make purchasing items easier. This is easier said than done in some cases, as the on-banner units may not synergize as well. Of particular note is the Castle Hein event, which featured a boss practically immune to physical damage while the on-banner units were primarily support units with Onion Knight as a physical attacker.
    • The Chamber of Arms allows ten units because the bosses within tend to swap between physical and magical immunity depending on which phase they're in, so the player has to prepare teams for both eventualities.
  • Cognizant Limbs: Several bosses have limbs that are counted as its own creature and can be targeted individually. The giant flower boss template (such as the Antenolla from the Chamber of the Fallen) has the flower distinct from the roots, a vine, and the leaves, while the giant squid boss template (such as the Achiteuth from the Grandshelt Catacombs) has several tentacles that can be targeted. Some machine bosses also have this, most notably in the case of the Chamber of the Fallen's Aigaion.
  • Combination Attack: There are two ways these come together. If attacks land at pretty much the same time, a Spark Chain will be triggered, powering up the attacks in question. If attacks with elemental affinities land within a very close window of each other, an Elemental Chain will trigger. In each case, the subsequent attacks will receive a damage boost. This is particularly relevant in the arena; see above under Cap, and became the overall meta once Orlandeau was released.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: In non-Arena battles, computer opponents don't require MP to use any of their spells or abilities. This is most obvious in battles where the computer uses black magic spells available to the player (like the Veritas fights), when the player can use Osmose and the like to zero out their magic points and still have to deal with a rain of -aga level spells. The only reason the computer opponents seem to have a limit to their magic points is to keep the player from abusing Osmose to have unlimited magic points themselves.
  • Consolation Prize: In Raid events, you earn points and Raid currency even if you lose, the amount being equal to the percentage of the boss's health you managed to shave off. You don't get any gold, exp, or rank exp, however, and the stage missions go uncompleted.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The "Time for Revenge" event ends with spoiler: a play-by-play of the beginning scene of the game, except you're fighting as Veritas of the Dark against Rain and Lasswell.
    • Blossom Sage Sakura's ability, White Light's Protection, is a call back to her story event, and is the spell Roselia was working on before her death.
  • Continuity Snarl: In the Leviathan recruitment event, Nichol is implied to not know that Leviathan released Luka from her duty purifying his waters, as he asks about her wellbeing and whether she has been freed now that Leviathan is in Paladia. Come the 2nd Anniversary side stories and Nichol was the one who negotiated for her release in the first place.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity:
    • Most bosses have a standard immunity to Death and Petrify, both being a guaranteed KO against enemy units. Immunity to all status effects is fairly common, especially for the headline boss fights in the Vortex, but lesser bosses tend to be vulnerable to at least some of them. Gravity and its variants also won't work.
    • More challenging bosses in the Vortex tend to be immune to breaks, or at best are only vulnerable to one type (Gilgamesh can only be MAG broken, for example).
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Lasswell's parents were knights killed in the line of duty; Sir Raegen raised Lasswell in memory of his fallen comrades. This consequently has Lasswell feeling much more affection towards his benefactor than Rain, said benefactor's oft-ignored son. It helps him bond with Emma, the little girl the party finds on Kolobos searching for her mother or more specifically, searching for the truth about her mother's death.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Lampshaded in the Inferno Hollow, where Rain keeps asking why Lasswell wears his heavy coat inside a hot cave.
  • Cosmic Keystone: The eight elementally-aligned crystals. There's much that isn't known about them at first, but it is known that something very bad will happen to Lapis if they're destroyed. In addition to being magical prisons for the Eight Sages of Hess, they create a barrier that separates Lapis from Paladia, and the two would violently merge if all eight are destroyed. Most of the plot of the first season involves Rain and Lasswell trying to keep the Sworn Six of Paladia from destroying them, with the game kicking off with the destruction of the first, the Crystal of Earth. The last part of the first season's plot is Rain and crew scrambling to figure out what to do when they're all destroyed.
  • Counter Attack:
    • Several units have counters, and the counters are more varied in most games. Yes, the standard "counter a physical attack with another physical attack" is present, but there are also physical counters to magic attacks, magic counters to magical attacks, and even two characters, an equippable unit-specific ability, an accessory, and an equippable ability that can heal as a counter. Other characters can counter with breaks, Imperils, MP refresh, or buffs.
    • Numerous bosses have special retaliatory skills they will used if attacked in certain ways. For example, the Two-Headed Dragon will hit your party with a massive debuff if it is hit with any damaging ability.
  • Crippling Overspecialization:
    • Combined with Healing Magic Is the Hardest, this affects white mages hard. The hardest hit by Squishy Wizard are all healers, most have no physical attack to speak of, and most of them lack any damage-dealing skills or spells outside of abilities granted by espers (and Banish, which is fortunately the Trust Master reward for a very common friend-point summon unit).
  • Crossover: With Brave Frontier, Secret of Mana, NieR: Automata, King's Knight, Tomb Raider, and Dragon Quest so far in both the Global and Japanese versions. Japan has had several other crossovers, including with Monster Hunter and Bravely Default.
  • Crutch Character: Any vision that maxes out at four stars will be excellent early on, but they'll hit a wall around the end of Lanzelt. Even still, a couple of them are good at certain party roles if the player can't find a suitable five-star vision with that role. Most prone to landing in this role are Cyan for physical damage, Vivi and Shantotto for magical damage, and Maria for healing. They tend to be a Glass Cannon in later areas, though.
  • Cult: The event "Guardian of the Order" centers around a cult that controls monsters and sacrifices children to the Crystals. Rain and Lasswell are two of these children.
  • Cute Kitten: Although Nyalu isn't a literal kitten, she believes she is one. The game gives her cat-based animations as well.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: In the "Conspiracy to the Throne" event, how do Amelia and Shera contend with the plot to hire an assassin to kill him before he's officially crowned Emperor of Zoldaad? Pay Shine double what his Sinister Minister offered. It helps that Shine is actually Amelia's sister. Also, given that Shine helps out after the contract is over, there's a suggestion that she simply supports Shera as well.
  • Damage-Increasing Debuff: There are multiple spells and abilities that can lower a foe's defense and spirit (physical and magical resistance, respectively). There is also the Imperil spell, which specifically lowers elemental resistance and thus increases damage from any elemental source. There are other abilities that lower one specific elemental resistance (the most notable being Orlandeau and Agrias's Divine Ruination and Veritas of the Dark's Dark Punishment).
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: The game's "Yes/No" confirmations are ordered "No/Yes", which can cause people to instinctively agree while assuming it will be a denial.
  • Darkest Hour: In the final part of the first season, when Chaotic Darkness, a Vision of the negative emotions of humanity is first beaten, Chaotic Darkness takes on an amalgamated form that No Sells all of the party's attacks and swallows them all into darkness. Rain, the last to succumb, doesn't know what else he can do. All of the people in the world, particularly those Rain met personally, invest their hopes in Rain prevailing. The light of hope shows Rain where his friends are, and Evan comes in with a Big Damn Heroes entrance on the Invincible to bring Rain's crew out of the abyss and take on Chaotic Darkness once and for all.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Lasswell's more than willing to make snide comments about the current situation, with Rain being his most frequent target. Dark Fina joins in later.
  • Death-or-Glory Attack: Several characters, as well as anyone who equips the Odin esper, have access to an attack that does massive damage, but it has a 50% chance of missing. Taken Up to Eleven by Zile's ultimate technique, Exploding Shell, which is a massive attack that has a 26.5 times multiplier... but 80% of the time, said attack multiplied 26.5 times hits the player's party. Even if you mitigate that with reraise or mirage (or if you get unlucky and the enemy can mitigate the damage somehow, if he connects properly), setting up Exploding Shell requires 3 rounds of preparation and all of his unboosted magic points, so Zile commits to the one attack and is nigh useless otherwise.
  • Defeat Equals Friendship: Espers will join and give Rain's party a significant boost in stats and abilities, but they (in Final Fantasy tradition) want to test Rain and his party first.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Things look like they've finally gone Rain and crew's way after the first part of Pharm. They've defeated five of the Sworn Six, with Raegen successfully defeating the sixth, the crystal is still in one piece, and all of the other known threats to the world's stability stopped. That's when Sol and Behemoth, two of the Eight Sages of Hess, suddenly show up and shatter the last crystal while Rain's party are discussing what to do next. It's not completely out of left field, as the Eight Sages were a known entity, with one being Fina and another being Dark Elf, it was rather sudden as the two aforementioned Sages were at least shown awakening, whereas Sol and Behemoth just suddenly appear.
  • Difficulty Spike:
    • In Story Mode, the game slaps you with this hard once you hit the second half of Dirnado. While the bosses prior to this were tanky but manageable, the ones after the Dwarven Mines both hit like trucks and take Scratch Damage from most attacks unless you've started to get your characters to 5* and high levels, with matching quality gear. For the Colosseum, this hits hard in the Advanced section, where enemies suddenly gain immunity to Gravity spells and have the Stone Wall spike in stats that monsters gained as of Dirnado.
    • In Vortex events, the jump from Pro to Elite is punishing. Bosses are typically twice as strong at the least with more than double the health. If your team doesn't have several Trust Master rewards amping them up and/or a very capable friend unit, expect to get stomped. This isn't as bad with the exchange events, which are typically easier than standard Vortex missions.
    • With the introduction of 3* espers, Siren starts off as a relatively normal boss with a measly 1.2 million HP, single-target Sleep, and Water-based magic attacks with a non-elemental threshold attack, nothing too difficult for a party capable of beating the latest story missions. The next on the list, Ifrit, has 50 million HP, has hard-hitting physical and magical fire attacks, and opens with a 100% fire resistance debuff that he'll reapply every so often. Beating this one basically requires a magic tank designed to completely nullify fire damage. If you don't have that, you better have beaten Gilgamesh and obtained Bushido Freeform, else it'll be a wipe.
  • Diminishing Returns for Balance: In the Arena, the amount of points you earn for winning a battle is determined by how many points your opponent has. If their points are 1.5 times higher than yours or greater, you earn 150 points. Half or less and you only get 50. The practical effect of this is that it becomes increasingly difficult to earn points at higher ranks, while lower ranks can earn points up to three times as fast.
  • Disc-One Nuke: Two of the rewards for clearing out early content are two units at the 5-star rarity - Ashe (who learns several useful recovery/damage hybrid moves, one of which also is a good introduction to the chaining mechanic) for clearing the tutorial, and Lightning (whose Dual Wield and elemental coverage can clear large portions of the Season 1 content) for clearing through 2/3 of the game's first continent. While still useful, however, both have largely been phased out of the top-tier meta (although Ashe, with duplicates, still sees a lot of play in the Arena, and Lightning has some usefulness in teams built around Quick Hit chaining).
  • Disappeared Dad: Rain's father, Sir Raegen, hasn't been seen in years. Rain isn't exactly looking forward to any reunions, though. He hasn't disappeared at all. In reality he's Veritas of the Dark. Or Veritas of the Frost. But he was really just himself all along.
  • Draw Aggro: Draw Attacks, a passive ability that causes the unit to be the target of enemies much more often. It's also in the form of Provoke, an active ability that Golem can bestow upon anyone. Various other units have this too. Inverted with Camouflage, which makes the unit much less likely to be targeted.
  • Dual Boss: In the final level of the Fire Shrine, you have to battle Veritas of the Dark and Veritas of the Flame at the same time.
  • Dual Wielding: The Dual Wield skill allows any character that has it to wield two weapons, so long as those weapons do not have a two-hand requirement (bows and harps are the primary examples, with others being scattered across various weapon groups). Any character using it attacks twice and abilities that deal physical or hybrid damage (and a few magic ones) will be cast twice for the cost of one. Limit bursts don't fall in this category. Attack is calculated independently for each weapon (contrary to the character's attack stat), but if either weapon has elemental damage and/or causes status effects or some kind, those traits are shared by both weapons. This can be obtained in several ways:
    • Materia: Zidane's Dual Wield materia grants the ability to any unit equipped with it. Loren's Awesome Swordsman does the same, except with a 15% ATK boost when using a katana, sword, great sword, or dagger (checked individually, so a 30% boost if using two different weapons that qualify). Mediena's Quintessence is functionally similar to Loren's Awesome Swordsman, except it gives 15% MAG bonuses for equipping rods or robes (again checked individually).
    • Equipment: Gilgamesh's Genji Glove accessory, Abel's Bowie Knife dagger, and the Second Knife dagger from the Easter event grant the ability while equipped. Camille's Aqua Blade grants Two-Blade Stance, which allows any other regular sword to be wielded in conjunction with it. Jiraiya's Clan Master Headband is similar to the Aqua Blade in that it grants a limited version to allow for two katanas to be equipped. Finally, the Automatic Pistols from the God of Chaos battle allow it and any other gun to be used as a pair.
    • Innate to character: Onion Knight, Lightning, Luneth, Nyx, 2B, and A2 all have innate Dual Wield learned at various levels. Loren has an innate Dual Wield with the added bonus of a 30% ATK/DEF/SPR boost. King and Medius (after enhancements) can dual-wield guns. Amelia can dual-wield guns and fists (the latter after enhancements). Helena and Lara Croft can dual-wield any combination of guns, throwing weapons, daggers, and whips. Rem and Emilia can dual-wield daggers. Pyro Glacial Lasswell can dual-wield katanas and great swords. Finally, Kelsus can dual-wield fist weapons.
  • Dummied Out:
    • The Ayaka event introduced a new hybrid format. This was a mix between story events (that provided a short story) and the Mog King events. After finishing the short story about Ayaka and Gouken, you farmed Ayaka's stages for candy materials, used them to craft memory candies, and from there, you turned them into the Minister of Moogles to get materials that were normally dropped in story events (like Giancrysts and Purecrysts). Despite Purecrysts being unprecedently easy to obtain, this style flopped. Most people ran story events for the high drop rates for low-end crystals, which were the main source of the bottleneck for enhancements. In short, the event saw a low repeat rate once people got enough Purecrysts and Giancrysts, and it was dummied out in both Global and Japan.
    • Some wondered why there was an extra space after the Global-exclusive 5-star units (like Fryevia, Olive, and A2). The spaces seemed arbitrary until Japan's 2nd anniversary, when 7-star units were revealed. The purpose of these "skipped slots" became clear: they were placeholders for their future 7-star forms. This has big implications, possibly foreshadowing a future NieR: Automata collaboration, and showing that Gumi had this system planned for a long while.
  • Dying Town: Ghost Port Kolobos is still active, but it's mostly in ruins, and the residents make it clear that it's not going to be able to keep up much longer.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: As long as you keep up on your gear and awaken your units, you'll find that any given enemy usually won't survive a simple barrage of normal attacks from your team. Bosses, on the other hand, have a lot of health and do much more damage. This effect becomes more apparent the further you progress. If you don't have a decent buffer/debuffer combo by Dirnado and especially Olderion, expect to suffer one wipe after another as the bosses hit you with full party elemental magic and multiple physical attacks in a row.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: In general, the elements are paired (fire/ice, lightning/water, stone/air, light/dark), and something that uses one element will be weak to its pair. It's worth noting that not everything resists its own element; they just take extra damage from the opposite element. Espers share this trait: any resistances they grant are paired with an equal weakness to the opposing element, though some espers are neutral in all elements. Certain missions exploit this by forcing you to equip an esper that will weaken you against a particular boss if you want credit.
  • Elves vs. Dwarves: "A Promise Beyond Time" reveals that this is fully in effect for most elves and dwarves in the past of the world of Brave Exvius; the first part of the past timeline of the event shows Ruggles the dwarf and his struggles with Bran the elf (while Bran's wife, Lunera, is not at all concerned with such issues and quickly befriends Ruggles).
  • Evolving Attack: Both Limit Breaks and Summon Magic. When a unit or an Esper improves in star ranking, their unique limit/magic attack becomes more flashy and graphically intense to correspond with a more powerful effect. Awakenings, when introduced, also introduced this to learned abilities; crysts found in events/Chamber of Gems and in-game currency are needed to evolve these.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: All over the place in Season 2. Lasswell now rocks the topknot ponytail, while both Lid and Jake have cut their hair down considerably shorter. In each case, it's a more no-nonsense hairstyle as the team of seasoned warriors is now invading a new world in search of Rain.
  • Expy:
    • Most characters and situations are call-backs to various Final Fantasy games.
      • Wilhelm takes a lot of inspiration from General Leo and similar characters, being a sympathetic, loyal Imperial general who is very loyal to someone who wants to improve the Empire but ultimately cannot betray it directly. (Good thing you've got the power of visions, then, which allows him to sidestep that!) The game even calls attention to it by his Trust Master reward, which became the best shield stat-wise available when released. The previous best shield? The one that's the Trust Master reward for General Leo.
      • Sol and Chaotic Darkness are, respectively, Expies of Xande and Cloud of Darkness. Sol is, like Xande, a once-wise mage driven to insanity, who creates enough of an imbalance in light and dark to summon an Eldritch Abomination. Even the way the heroes beat the Chaotic Darkness is a call back to Final Fantasy III: they lose to said Eldritch Abomination, are swallowed into it, but everyone they met helps them escape.
    • Jean is very obviously a female version of John Rambo, even down to the name. Her Trust Master reward is even a machine gun very similar in appearance to the one he carried on the front of First Blood.
    • The second Christmas event, Eternal Winter, is an Expy of Frozen. One of the items available for purchase is outright implied to be Elsa's gown, complete with "Let It Snow!" as an ability.
  • Hasiko, the Incarnation of Hatred from the first Global Fan Festa raid, is similar in design to Hisako from Killer Instinct.
  • Fake Balance:
    • Despite all weapon masteries not stacking, Gumi decided that Letters and Arms would stack anyway. At the time of its release, the only magic sword released was Enhancer, which has only 21 MAG (as much as a low-level rod from Grandshelt). The next MAG sword (Silvia's Sorcery) was released about eleven months after Ingus. On release, a mage with Letters and Arms and Enhancer was about equal to a mage using 2 Omnirods and stacking MAG+30% materias. This made sword mages viable. However, four months after the release of Letters and Arms, Global got an exclusive character, Fryevia, who had a 112 MAG sword. If you were lucky enough to pull a Fryevia, her Needle TMR took away the main drawback (low weapon passives) of MAG swords. This got more obscene once Silvia and Drace were released, making high-MAG swords much more accessible due to her lower rarity. Because Letters and Arms is the only stacking Mastery in the game, sword mages have drastically higher MAG than non-sword mages. For example, Ashe, a 4-star base, has the third-highest MAG of all mages in the game when equipped with her best possible loadout. With her best equipment, this means she has a MAG advantage that rivals multiple 5-star bases in the game.
      • This is somewhat obsolete due to the variety of magical Masteries available.
  • Fake Ultimate Mook: Several foes are very large and detailed, but they're just common encounters that aren't any appreciably more difficult than others around them. The Ziggurat Gigas in later sections of the Isle of Kolobos is a great example — a large sprite that looks more impressive than several bosses, but the only thing making it stand out from other encounters is a slightly higher hit point count (which is negated by being weak to electricity in the area where the lightning Summon Magic is found).
  • Faking the Dead: Near the end of The Color of Heartlessness, Hyoh is thought to have killed Domino and Shatal, with even Nazuu, who was skeptical of his loyalty, reporting their deaths. However, it's later revealed they're still alive, likely because Hyoh only made it look like he killed them. Of course because Shatal is now a traitor, he joins Domino and the Children of Hess.
  • Fascist, but Inefficient: Despite having 700 years to solidify its rule and crush all opposition with their advance technology, Aldore has been fighting remnants of Hess, other rebels, and more opposing its regime since it won the war.
  • Fetch Quest: A good number of sidequests in the game involve going out, getting a hold of something, and going back to the appropriate person. The most expansive one is the Vault series of sidequests; a group of thieves hid a number of element-themed keys around the world, and Rain and his crew are tasked with finding each one, able to move onto the next set of element keys after finding all of the current ones. Each key unlocks a reward, and there's an additional reward for using each key of an element. There are five sets of these keys, with 65 rewards available for finding each key, and a final quest consisting of five more fetch quests after completing all five Vaults.
  • Fixed Damage Attack:
    • Cactuars are around, so naturally their 1000 Needles attack is on-hand. Played for Laughs in the Cactuar fight in the fights used to showcase the Season 2 upgrades for story characters - that one uses 10 Needles (doing, yes, 10 damage, in a game where even the weakest friend-point summon at level 1 has three-digit hit points).
    • Xon's Toxic Dagger and Rikku's Sunburst are two more examples, among several others. Setzer's Dice attacks have a 20% chance of dealing damage as low as 1 or as high as 77,777. Inverted with some limit breaks and skills that do a fixed percentage of the target's maximum hit points as healing.
  • Foregone Victory: The first four stages of the King Mog raid event are impossible to lose unless you have a means of intentionally killing your entire party. King Mog never fights back. Instead, he'll sneeze one of your characters out of the fight every three turns, then run away when there's only one left. This counts as beating the stage, but you get less coins than you would have for winning. Once you've unlocked the final stage, he'll become a proper boss fight.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Most of the esper summon animations involve the esper in question breaking through the game UI in some way before doing their thing, with some of them being more explicit about it than the others. Several of the offensive CG limit breaks (for example, Pyro Glacial Lasswell's) also involve breaking through the game UI and slashing/charging at the player.
  • Freemium: There's nothing stopping a player from just downloading the free app and making progress without purchasing extra items or lapis. That said, the game will regularly remind the player that extra items or lapis is just a few clicks away.
  • Friendless Background: Fina was apparently trapped in the Earth Crystal all this time, so Rain and Lasswell, the first two she contacts upon being freed from it, are her crutch as she learns about the world.
  • Gainaxing: A common feature for most female units in the game. Notable examples include Domino, Summer Lid, and Barbariccia.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • The 2.3.0 update had a litany of these on release. The app became unstable, frequently crashing, map text was corrupted, the chests in the new Autumn Moon exploration were only open-able on the first level, and the new boss, Sheratan, did not transform properly, and her cap was below threshold. Most horribly of all, logging into the game resulted in a bugged interface, needing a complicated series of steps to make the game accessible again. This took an extended maintenance to update, yet continued to have problems. To fix this, they had yet another extended maintenance, but this went unannounced in-game and was only posted on their Facebook page.
    • The Misty Bamboo Forest mission has a three minute timer. If you play it then switch immediately to the Arena, the timer will carry over, ending the match at three minutes regardless of turns taken.
  • Gathering Steam: Several attacks gain in power when you cast them in succession. Comet and Meteor are two examples.
  • Gender-Blender Name: The Olderion trio. One of Olderion's water temple guardians is named Elle. Despite how feminine that appears to anyone who speaks a language that heavily borrows from Latin, he is consistently referred to as male. Nichol, Elle's brother, also counts — the spelling is a shortening of "Nicholas," but has the same katakana and is pronounced very close to one of its feminine forms, "Nicole". Luka, their sister, is a male name in eastern Europe. The trend finally breaks with Ellie, Elle and Arsha's daughter.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • The esper Bahamut can do incredible damage with its AoE Megaflare and has powerful elemental attacks, but its physical and magical defenses are so weak that most strategies to beat it involve killing it on the first turn.
    • Glacial from the Fallen Ice Bird trial is similar, possessing even weaker defenses and a whopping 1,000% Fire weakness. However, Glacial gets a preemptive attack to hit your party with massive Ice/Wind damage and summons backup, so you have to survive at least one round before one-shotting it.
    • Vanille is a relatively mediocre unit in most cases, capping at five stars and her only role being a buffer/reraiser. In the Arena, however, her Limit Burst is very popular for troll builds. When fully leveled, it has a 89% chance of instantly killing every unit on the opposing team. Paired with magic tanks and Limit Burst fill enhancers, Vanille can usually fire off her Limit Burst by her second turn. Cait Sith and Suzume share similar levels and limit bursts, while Vincent is a bulky 7-star unit that can do the same with slightly reduced effectiveness (70%).
  • Gray and Gray Morality: Subverted with the backstory of Paladia. Although the war was fought over different ideals and saw people on both sides die, Aldore instigated the war against Hess and had set it up to get rid of their champions the Eight Veritas after they tried to find a peaceful solution to the war. Aldore sent the land the war took place on to the world of Lapis, decimating and killing off most of Lapis inhabitants to ensure their control is undisputed. Once achieved the entire nation became a dictatorship ruled by Aldore's Emperor. While Hess did do some unsavory things, such as converting unwilling beings into Espers like Tetra Sylphid, they fought for the right of independence from Aldore's tyranny.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Several side missions require killing a specific kind of enemy a certain number of times. In some cases, they are uncommon-to-rare spawns that only show up in particular regions on that continent. Unless you happen to have gotten lucky finding them before and remember the locations, you'll probably end up looking up their locations online. The quest to kill Hungers is a notable example, as Hungers only spawn in one specific sub-level on that continent, very rarely at that. It isn't until two continents later that you can find a reliable source.
    • Revive Kills Zombie is in effect, but targeting enemies with white magic spells requires the player to realize that the "Select Target" button below the characters is actually a button and not just an instruction. This is not listed anywhere in-game or on the developer's site.
    • By the same token, you can press and hold on any unit to see a complete breakdown of all their current buffs/debuffs, status ailments, and enfeeblements, something the game never tells you. Furthermore, using this method allows you to target allies with your attack abilities, which is useful if you want to wake up a sleeping or confused unit and don't have access to a non-violent means of doing so. It also allows dispel abilities to be used on your own units.
    • The King Mog raid actually has a secret level to it, where Mog King fights back. Unlocking it is a completely different story, though. To unlock it, you need to have your entire party use an exclusive ability to play with King Mog. Then, you have to use the badmouth ability that is unlocked until he gives up and runs away. This unlocks the final stage, where he actually fights back.
    • One that fortunately only comes up with sidequests is "Defend". "Defend" is both a basic guard action any unit can do in battle (simply swipe down on a character's status bar), and an enhanced guard ability available only to certain units. Several sidequests require use of Defend, which can confuse players unfamiliar with the ability (as a sidequest, it always means the ability).
  • Harder Than Hard: The Yensa Sandsea event introduces a new "Legend" difficulty to the normal lineup. It costs a whopping 40 energy to play, and has difficulty on par with the ELT version of a raid boss. It's not insurmountable, but it's definitely a step up from normal exchange events.
  • Healing Magic Is the Hardest:
    • Early in the game, units good at healing were fairly uncommon, period, and the ones with access to the strongest healing spells were much rarer than ones with access to the strongest attack spells. In particular, revival magic remains rare, with only about a couple dozen characters (only Fina, as of being able to reach 6-star form as part of the one-year anniversary, is not randomly summoned) capable of learning such, and usually it's at higher levels.
    • As the game's advanced, this has been ameliorated to some degree by the introduction of more healers, particularly Refia and Luka, who are both reasonably common appearances in the gacha... but those two still take a while to come into their own as healers, and only really "turn on" fully once they reach 6* ascension. (Refia doesn't even natively learn a heal until the level cap for her 4* form, despite having plenty of cleanses.) Rem is arguably a vastly more powerful healer, but she is a 5* base. Y'shtola is too, but she is only available during FFXIV events (though this has the upshot of her being available for free).
    • The Global version itself tried to further relieve this a bit with the exclusive character Aiden, who is a 3* base available from the lapis gacha and is thus not terribly difficult to acquire. He gets Esuna and Cure very early on, and isn't terribly difficult to level... but unfortunately, his final heal is an odd duck due to randomness, and his cap being 5* makes him much more limited in application than Rem, Y'shtola, Refia or Luka.
    • Averted with Ayaka, who can do pretty much any sort of healing your heart desires. She has access to Curaja (a full heal in all but name), Dual White Magic, Reraise, Full-Life, Dispelga, and Esunaga. She also has an AoE Full-Life and an MP refresh, but are abilities.
      • Even she isn't limited by this trope. Her Limit Burst is amazing at full level: it heals your party to full, revives your party with 100% HP, and is the only thing that can cure every ailment in the game (including Stop and Charm). However, it costs a staggering 56 crystals to use (compared to the usual 16).
  • Heel–Face Turn: While Garland, Emperor, Cloud of Darkness, Golbez, Exdeath, Kefka, Kuja, Vayne, Glauca, Adam, and Eve were villainous in their home games, they're always trusted visions here. Within the backstory of Brave Exvius, several of the visions from the world's backstory were also explicitly villains, or at the very least at war with Rain and Lasswell's home of Grandshelt. Played with concerning Fina, who seemed like a villain initially until the party sees a brief glimpse of her past.
    • Even the Veritas become summonable Visions in this game.
  • Herd-Hitting Attack:
    • Mostly the bailiwick of mages with higher level spells, but warriors with access to Bladeblitz, Scattershot, and Multiburst can do one with physical strikes. Most limit bursts also function as one.
    • Notably, one of 2* Odin's gimmicks is giving a character access to Bladeblitz. Diabolos can do the same with Darkside, and Tetra Sylphid can do it with Wind Slash.
  • Heroic BSoD: Late in the trip through the Isle of Kolobos, Rain finds the zombified remnants of his crew attacking him, and the guilt over their deaths has him freeze. Lasswell snaps him out with a good question — said deaths happened on an entirely different continent; how did their bodies get to Kolobos?
  • He's Just Hiding!: In-Universe, this is the prevailing attitude of Lasswell and Raegen at the end of Season 1, with both sure that Rain, who disappeared after confronting Sol to dispel the Chaotic Darkness, is still out there.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The Lordless Castle was a literal example, with only Bran and Lunera living there.
    • The Lost Village of Marlo, which requires finding a secret path out of Wolfsgang Peak to even access. Several unique items are available there, including the first shop where star quartz can be traded.
    • The Sorcerer's Hideaway is on the same concept, but is unlocked by talking to a certain NPC in the Mysidia Underground.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: Given that they frequently replace horses in use in Final Fantasy games, perhaps it's not surprising that several characters say "Hold your chocobos" at various points.
  • Holiday Mode: In addition to holiday-themed content (such as limited-time summons and missions against holiday-themed foes like Frostor, the killer snowman), many of the icons (including the launch icon for the game) will get a holiday-themed makeover around major holidays celebrated across countries.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: In Artemios's, one of the game's visions, backstory, he started out as a simple archer whose skills were so great he was called on regularly to assassinate humans. Eventually, he came to enjoy it so much that he couldn't stop and started killing people indiscriminately, and had to be put down himself. In the actual game, he's so blood thirsty that he'll break the fourth wall and directly threaten you when you level him up through the fusion system.
  • Hybrid Monster: As per Final Fantasy tradition, several monsters (most prominently, the Chimera boss and its palette swaps, which are a lion/goat/dragon combination similar to its mythological origin) are mashups of several different creatures. The also describes the final form of Chaotic Darkness, the Final Boss of Season 1, with parts/the whole bodies of at least eight different monsters forming its body.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: The event missions can have up to six different difficulty levels:
    • Beginner (BGN)
    • Intermediate (INT)
    • Advanced (ADV)
    • Professional (PRO)
    • Elite (ELT)
    • Legend (LGD)
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: Scattered around the towns and exploration maps are locked chests which require magic keys to open. Nothing in these chests is necessary to progress (even for the optional missions, there are alternatives), but they do contain useful and rare treasures. The only way to obtain the keys is to craft them using two rare items (one is a potential byproduct of crafting abilities, the other a 50% likely drop from a rare Piñata Enemy) or purchasing a batch using lapis.
  • I Gave My Word: Lasswell and Rain discuss how important a knight's commitment and honor are — to the extent that they are honor-bound to oppose their liege if he turns out to be evil.
  • Irony: The Trust Master reward for most characters makes sense — a powerful weapon or ability that's thematic for the character. Exdeath? His reward is Holy — and he's one of the very few characters with an innate weakness... you guessed it, to holy damage.
  • Item Caddy:
    • The Pharmacology passive ability improves the power of used items, and the Drink command gives the user a wider range of items that can be used.
    • Ilias and Mel are the clearest examples of this trope. They can use Salve to make single-target item effects AoE. Ilias also has innate Drink, an upgraded version of the Pharmacology passive, which stacks with the original, and a wide range of support tools. While Salve is designed to only work with Potions and Ethers, a Good Bad Bug makes this useful. By targeting someone with an item, using Salve, and backing out to using an item, it targets them.
    • On the obtaining side of this drope, the game gives many options. Montana, Paul and Pirate Jake double the gil dropped. Locke and Pirate Jake both have abilities that boost the drop rate of normal items, and Pod 153 replicates this well. Xon increases rare item drop rates, but anyone with the Great Raven's Cape can do the same. It is unknown if each of these stacks with itself.
  • Item Crafting: As the game progresses, recipes for equipment, items, and abilities are found in the world in treasure chests and as rewards for missions.
  • Joke Item: The Angel Slayer is a two-handed short sword earned by beating the Tower of Lezard Valeth. At 180 ATK, it certainly sounds like an impressive weapon. The catch is that it has a damage variance of 1% - 110%, making its effective DPS a fraction of advertised.
  • Jumped at the Call: Rain is not one to let a chance at heroism go by.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: In general, the most powerful weapon available in a given story area will be a katana. Only a few characters — samurai, ninjas, and Lasswell — can use them, though. This doesn't end up holding true for events and Trusts, however, as greatswords and spears generally outpace katanas a bit, and some regular swords have slightly overtaken them.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Fina remembers nothing before contacting Rain and Lasswell in the game's opening. Veritas of the Dark hints that there's some commonality between him and her, though.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler:
    • The Memory of Aquapolis banner featured a playable character who is a Walking Spoiler Dark Fina. The character is also now part of the general summoning pool, meaning you can see her in friend lists and possibly pull her well before the plot introduces her.
    • Relatedly, finding out that visions aren't related just to dead people and that even the living can become visions was a pretty big reveal during the Olderion arc and some of its related side story events, with the discovery that Luka can still help you out despite being at the bottom of a lake a major triumphant moment... and she's in the general gacha as a pullable unit, and as a 4* to boot, so she's not even that rare. For people starting in 2017, it's entirely conceivable to pull her while you're still on Lanzelt, three whole continents before you even meet her for real. If acquired early and leveled, this point is also spoiled by the unit descriptions for Charlotte, Mercedes, and Lawrence, along with a plethora of other units.
    • Relatedly again, later FFBE-centric side story events feature the idea of visioning into recent events as a major plot point, and are accessible long before it's relevant in the main story, so you'll be able to see characters like Shera, Wilhelm, and more of Jake's crew long before you get to them in the plot, depending on when you start. On top of that, the rest of the corporeal party will be in the event, so you'll see Lid, Nichol, etc. long before gaining them as characters. The events even spoil the main plot point of Season 2, with S2 Lasswell leading the party and everyone openly talking about Rain being gone.
    • This trope gets taken Up to Eleven with the appearance of Pyro Glacial Lasswell, complete with Rain's sword, hinting that something happened to him (spoiler: it did. Specifically, he died, and got better, and took on a Secret Identity). Gumi even promoted this in their news and released an update video to promote him. All of the future versions of the main characters and Raegen have been released as well. Japan gets the rest of the armorless Sworn Six, Hyoh, and Akstar.
    • The beach-themed versions of Fina, Lid, and Dark Fina are unlike the other seasonal units in that they remain in the general gacha pool. A new player could theoretically draw any of them (and get spoilers on the unit screen about them) right from the get-go. The Halloween characters do the same as well, although those are only available during Halloween events.
    • For newcomers to the game, summoning any of the Sworn Six of Paladia in the gacha can serve to ruin major plot points from all over the first season. While Darklord, Flamelord, and Lightlord are very rare 5-star visions (and thus have a very low chance of appearing to present spoilers), Heavenlord, Waterlord, and Earthlord are 4-star visions, and thus much easier to draw even outside of their banner events.
    • A major plot twist in the Season 2 campaign — namely, the fact that a certain character was another character's Secret Identity — was hinted at when said two characters (Hyoh and Rain) were featured, and received 7-star upgrades, on the same summoning banner.
    • Similarly, Akstar and Zeno of the Beta Star shared a banner in the Global version of the game, spoiling the reveal that Akstar was the party's enemy all along.
  • Lethal Lava Land: About half of Zoldaad is covered in potentially active volcanoes, and a stretch of desert bordering it. This leads to much of the nation's militarism; they have significant resource problems because of how much of their land is nigh-uninhabitable.
  • Level-Up at Intimacy 5: The Trust Master mechanic. Any summoned vision has a trust value which maxes out at 100%. This value has a chance to raise by 0.1% after completing a level, or can be artificially raised by fusing a vision with Trust Moogles or other copies of itself, the latter being faster but more difficult to obtain. The higher the unit's trust value, the more likely it is that the player will gain an extra item after completing a level, which is guaranteed at 100%. Full Trust Mastery also grants a special ability or item unique to that unit, which can then be equipped on any compatible unit you choose. Many of these items and abilities can only be obtained via Trust Mastery and are appropriately powerful, with the rarer summons typically having better rewards. Maxed units can also be traded for trust coins, which can in turn be traded for rare items like 5-star summoning tickets.
  • Level Up Fill Up: Each time you rank up, your NRG is refilled, all orbs (raid, arena, etc.) are refilled, and you get 100 Lapis. Any excess NRG you have rolls over, but excess orbs do not.
  • Limit Break: Each character has a limit meter, which fills based on how many gems are picked up after an enemy is hit. When filled, it allows a character to do some splashy effect. Most are attacks, though some are various buffs or heals. They also get stronger with regular use, though this is even slower than Trust Mastery grinding unless supplemented with Burst Pots.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Averted. The chaining meta has a fair balance between physical and magical units. Both get access to multiple-hit attacks that pile up the damage, some of which hit multiple enemies and/or boast elemental damage. Also, physical skills get used twice for the price of one use if Dual Wield is equipped, while magical spells (or abilities) can only be cast twice and spend Mana on both casts if Dualcast is equipped or they have an ability that allows them to dualcast certain abilities. Physical units are both more economical and have wider application of use, but Gumi seems to be making an effort to balance it out with Global-exclusive units and rewards taking advantage of Magic. Trance Terra's enhancements were released early, making her a top-tier chainer, Grim Lord Sakura could dualcast her Grim abilities, and Barbariccia gave 5-star mages a strong chaining spell in Tornado and two powerful finishing skills in Aeroja and Sunder.
  • Literal-Minded: Fina doesn't get turns of phrase at all, but as she was sealed in a crystal for countless years, she's a bit new to figures of speech.
  • Loads and Loads of Sidequests: Much of the action in the game is helping out random villagers with various issues, be it collecting 20 Bear Asses or finding lost items. Rewards vary from easily obtained items to recipes for valuable equipment.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • For level missions that require defeating an enemy a certain way (magic, limit burst, etc.), you can easily get around the restriction and still earn credit by killing the enemy with whatever you please and then tacking on the relevant attack at the very end. For example, an enemy that must be defeated by magic can instead be killed with a large physical chain with a weak magic set to land after the chain has finished. This is because the game tracks the condition by the enemy's health being reduced past zero, even if it's zero to begin with. The technique does take careful timing, however, as performing it too early won't earn credit and the computer will cancel it out if you perform it after the enemy's health is already zero, especially in the case of magic and espers.
    • The Arena has conditions each week which ban certain types of moves — combos, some or all magic, healing, etc. — and a blanket ban on instant death and Percent Damage Attack moves. However, espers and Limit Breaks are never banned, even if their effects would violate these conditions. This allows certain units and espers to get around the restrictions, though obviously they're not as convenient as moves that can be used each turn. Counter attacks can also beat the restrictions.
    • Aside from Save Scumming, there is an exploit involving Setzer's Cursed Card and two units with Hide or Lie Low equipped with Rikku's Pouches. Have one Hider use Hide/Lie Low, the other units do whatever they're meant for, and finally have Setzer target the party with Cursed Card. Cursed Card will Petrify the entire party save the absent unit. While Petrified, units cannot be attacked or even targeted, except by spells/abilities meant to cure the condition. On the next turn, the hiding unit comes back and cures everybody using Panacea. The other Hider uses Hide, everyone else attacks or heals MP, and Setzer uses Cursed Card on the party again. This creates a perpetual cycle where the entire party is considered effectively dead or removed from battle, leaving no valid targets for your enemy to attack. While not intended, this makes the system rife for abuse.
    • The way Entrust works leaves it rife for abuse. Instead of doing it on a crystal-by-crystal basis, Entrust fills by a percentage. For example, a freshly-pulled Larsa could Entrust a full LB gauge to a fully-powered Ayaka, despite her LB costing almost 5 times as much. Its culmination was a popular strategy to kill Omega by stacking an underleveled unit with as much LB crystal filling as possible and having them Entrust to a powered-up Olive every turn. This allowed her to spam her LB every turn for massive damage with impunity, killing Omega fairly easily.
  • Lost in Translation: Has become more common from around Pharm on. Characters (like Nichol and Loren) are misgendered, for example, and lines are misattributed. Most notably, in the Guardian of the Order event, the team constantly refers to a group of religious cultists as "churchgoers".
  • Lower-Deck Episode:
    • The "A Promise Beyond Time" event is one — it concerns two concurrent plotlines that don't even mention any members of Rain's party at all. One concerns the elven ruins explored in the second part of Gronoa and the last days of the elves that lived there, and the other concerns an adventurer trying to piece together what happened to the elves. It gives much background as to what happened on the continent once it became a desolate poison-choked landscape.
    • Generally most story events focusing on the featured visions of the week. The only one that isn't is the Veritas of the Dark event, which is a direct call-back to the beginning of the story and actually has Rain and Lasswell as bosses.
  • Low-Level Advantage:
    • There is one advantage to using a lower-star version of a vision — their Limit Break can be maxed out with fewer uses than in a higher star form. That said, weaker visions have a smaller level cap for their Limit Break, so you'll have to grind it one way or another, and reaching the maximum level is still a very long grind without using pots. This was eventually patched out, making the grind identical regardless of the unit's star level.
    • Players with lower ranks reach the next rank faster, replenishing their energy and orbs. In the arena and during raids, this means a lower ranked player can play more often than one with a higher rank and possibly end up with a better score, by virtue of being able to replenish their orbs faster.
  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • The Enchanted Maze is a variety of one. There are no bad results — even the worst case scenario gives the player a metal minitaur, a metal giantaur, and two items useful for awakening units. However, getting lucky with the RNG provides two each of every variety of metal cactuar, a gil snapper, a mini burst pot, and the drops from three minituars, plus an assortment of items to awaken units. The Intermediate version is even more of one — it gives better rewards and even allows a player to make two wrong guesses before booting them out, and the bare minimum acquired will be two metal gigantuars, a king gil snapper, and the chance to collect a couple awakening items twice. However, the fewer wrong guesses made, the better the rewards. If a player manages to get incredibly lucky and guess the correct path each time, they get a half-dozen metal gigantuars, three king gil snappers, two burst pots, the drops of three minituars, and the aforementioned assortment of awakening items, including a few six-star awakening materials.
    • In some cases, clearing a level without one of your characters being knocked out can wind up as this. If an encounter that has this as a victory requirement contains a boss with a variation on the Death spell, then you can only hope that the RNG doesn't screw you over or that you're able to take out the enemies before they can use it. The first battle against Odin is a notable example, as he has a AoE Death move which he uses as a threshold attack. Beating that mission requires overwhelming force to kill him without his threshold attack triggering.
    • The Skeleton King gets a mention. He has a chance to drain your MP, restore his, and/or spam powerful AoE attacks against you in the same turn. The punishing nature of his attacks, the outright circumvention of the main strategy to defeat him, and the specific combination makes the strategy for winning "don't get a bad beat". Completionists had an especially tough time, especially considering there was a brief glitch to get another missable item.
    • The Realm of the Dragon King randomly gives enemies a preemptive attack. If certain enemies get this, you may find your entire party getting wiped without any ability to save yourself.
    • The Fallen Ice Bird trial falls squarely under this trope. The battle is simple enough in theory, as Glacial and its minions have incredibly low defenses and an extreme weakness to fire attacks. However, Glacial gets a preemptive attack which allows it to hit your entire party with massive damage, including an Ice attack that is all but guaranteed to wipe three members of the party. If the boss survives the next turn, it summons two more minions and imbues Ice to everyone's physical attacks — which it has complete immunity from. The damage adds up very quickly. The strategy to beat it boils down to hoping your DPS units survive the first assault and knocking out Glacial on the first turn.
    • Diabolos's 3-star trial is easy enough after dealing with his Gravigas, but after 50%, it turns into pure luck. He gains the ability to randomly cast an AoE Dispel, AoE Full Break, or AoE physical barrier. Running physical units like Orlandeau makes the fight a roll of the dice.
    • The Venomous Vines of Death combines punishing damage and breaks with heavy RNG, especially after passing 60% health in the first phase. Once that threshold is passed, he has a 33% chance of using Swallow (ST Death), Freeze Prey (ST magic damage, Stop, and Reflect), or Malboro Song (ST magic damage and Berserk) every turn. Swallow isn't a problem with proper gear, and Freeze Prey is annoying but manageable due to your tank still having an action. Malboro Song is debilitating, and in effect forces you to go without a provoke tank (or, if you only brought one, any tank) for a turn, which can be fatal. The second phase also has some RNG with the Mini Malboro sets. Despite each big Malboro resisting a different type of attack, the primary strategy is to slowly grind through one phase and quickly beat down the other. This strategy is especially annoying, especially considering the second phase's Mini Malboro spawns are random. You will either get a set of 2 physically resistant Malboros and 1 magically resistant Malboro or 2 magically resistant and one physically resistant. Players bringing one type of DPS are in for a significantly longer fight if they get the wrong set of Mini Malboros. And even if they do, the possibility of them chaining (or even sparking) Bad Breaths looms over the battlefield.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father:
    • At the end of the Olderion arc, Veritas of the Dark is revealed to be Raegen, Rain's father.
    • Happens again about a third of the way through Pharm, Veritas of the Waters is revealed to be the distant ancestor to Nichol, Luka, and Elle.
  • Made of Evil: At the end of the Land of the Crystals storyline, Sol summons a vision made of the collective evil of all mankind all throughout history, the Chaotic Darkness.
  • Magikarp Power: Some of the visions are quite powerful, but they start with practically no abilities.
    • Most extreme is Exdeath. He's not only extremely sturdy, but he's one of the most powerful mages in the game. However, he can't learn any attack magic other than Gravity (a Fixed Damage Attack that can't be a killing blow) until he gets about halfway through leveling as a four-star vision. He won't have any other innate attack spells for 66 levels. He also gains levels on the slowest experience track, amplifying the trope's effect.
    • Many former 5-star max units become this. Rain and Paladin Cecil. Rain even going up to his 5* form pales when compared to a lot of the popular Physical Vision characters, having fairly mediocre stats and no real notable skills. At his 6* form, Rain gains access to a skill with the same debuff as Full Break, as well as his own unique "Leadership" buff, which is essentially the Cheer and Focus skills in one, making him an amazing Support option for any party that even outperforms some Premium units. Cecil, on the other hand, goes from a tank outclassed by General Leo or Amarant to arguably the best Stone Wall in the game at his 6* form (primarily rivaled by Warrior of Light). At 5*, Cecil has issues serving as the tank since he lacks an effective option to Draw Aggro on his own compared to the other two having the Draw Attacks Passive. At 6*, not only does Cecil gain passives that allow him to cover 75% of attacks (even taking 2 Ao E hits when covering an ally) with a Defense and Spirit boost included, but he also gains access to Curaja to supplement healing (which can be helpful given his HP Pool at high levels and he benefits from Spirit boosting for magic tanking) and Focus if you need someone to buff the Squishy Wizards he's covering. And to top it off, Cecil's Limit Break is upgraded from a DEF/SPR boost to include an Attack buff for the party, making Cecil one of the few units some players consider Limit Grinding.
    • Randi from Secret of Mana takes the trope to new heights. As a 5* base vision he was unremarkable up until he received his 6* awakening and the abilities that came with it including a super fast limit-bar fill skill, his Power Charge now doubling his stats and giving him 3 new supercharged moves, and an out of the box Doublehand that stacks with the Trust Master Reward. (In Japan, Doublehand stacks with itself, making a doublehand build Randi crazy overpowered.) Players in the Global version would probably be underwhelmed after pulling him at first aside from passives (increased damage against beasts, dragons, undead and fairies), but with a little luck and patience, you will be rewarded with one of the most potent physical units in the game.
    • Healers in general run into either this or Crutch Character — some healers, like Aiden, get useful heals quickly, but their power wanes at higher levels. On the other end of the scale is Refia — she has to be awakened at least once to get any hit point restoration outside of equipped espers/materia, but once she's maxed out after two awakenings, she is in the running for the most potent white mage in the game.
    • In trademark fashion, Onion Knight fits this by way of stats, which at his base rarity of 5*, are at max level, more in line with those of a 3* unit (1200 HP, ~60MP/ATK, ~40 everything else). By 6* max level he becomes one of the highest ATK units in the game, gains access to a suite of passives, chaining moves and element damage/resistance actives. He becomes even better with his Trust Master Reward, the Onion Sword, the strongest non-element sword in the game, which also unlocks his strongest on-demand chaining move, Onion Cutter.
  • Mana Burn: Osmose and related skills drain the opponent's MP to refill the user's. The amount drained is based on the type of skill used and the associated damage type. Some bosses have much stronger versions that can completely zero out a single unit or sometimes the entire party.
  • Marathon Boss:
    • Aigaion in the Chamber of the Fallen can take hours to complete, depending on how much damage you can do and your ability to survive each turn. This is notable in that even the tougher bosses beyond it don't take nearly as long to kill if you have the strength to do so.
    • Any boss that has the gimmick of "phases" where they can lower their defenses under certain circumstances can be fought instead with Fixed Damage Attack moves (buffed out by elemental chaining and equipped "killer" abilities), bypassing the absurd defense but instead turning the fight into one of these. Most prominent is the fight to upgrade Carbuncle to a three-star esper - one popular method is to simply rely on non-dark and non-light elemental chaining capped with Setzer's Dice or Double Dice to whittle away at its health. While effective and comparatively easy, it's also notoriously slow - it's not unusual to need over 100 rounds with this method.
  • Marathon Level:
    • Story events in the vortex are modeled after the world map, but each area must be completed in a single run, and all the mission rewards can only be earned if you can complete the entire thing. Each area has five sections, each with two (later three) missions to complete. The player must have enough NRG to complete the entire area, or at least have the patience to wait for it to regenerate for each section. This can cost up to 90 NRG for the final area. The rewards are well worth it, though, ranging from awakening materials to summon tickets and moogles.
    • The Brutal Bonus Level Realm of the Dragon King can take far longer to complete than an average exploration. All the exploration levels are interconnected, and unlocking them individually requires trekking through one to set up a base camp in another. This means the length is already twice as long on the first playthrough. On top of that, there's between two and three times the amount of random encounters in each section, all of which are far tougher than any normal exploration. The cherry on top, however, is the Eternal Summit. One of the missions requires you to kill all the Shadow Bahamuts in the entire realm (that's seven shadows spread across seven areas) and then defeat Bahamut.
  • Mass Monster Slaughter Sidequest: Sidequests that don't fall under the 20 Bear Asses list typically fall under these - kill X number of a certain species. Despite the fact that it's usually a monster that's supposedly causing trouble in one particular area, any of that species, regardless of where it spawns, is fair game - given that some monsters are rare spawns in certain areas but common spawns elsewhere, this is fortunate.
  • Master of None: Units generally at best have two areas in which they're capable — even then, it's generally more like "good at one, and passable backup in another if need be." Units that attempt a balance at more than that typically lag — Fran gets hit hard by this as she attempts four things (physical attack, magical attack, support magic, and healing magic) and generally falls flat at all of them compared to specialists.
    • Averted for late-game content. Fitting many roles into six slots requires this to some degree.
  • Mirror Match:
    • As more characters have been added to the gacha, these have become more and more likely to happen (especially since levels can be replayed, either for extra lapis from sidequests or for drops). The first instance where this was possible was in Olderion, where Mercedes was added to the gacha just a few weeks after she first appeared as a boss fight. This has since included all of the Sworn Six of Paladia.
    • Furthermore, in the Tournament Arc in the second half of Gronoa, the player can use the same characters they are supposed to be fighting against, and can summon the same visions as the opponent if they desire. This can also come into play for events based on prior Final Fantasy games — for example, since Kefka was in the gacha from the beginning, it was quite possible to bring him in to fight against the Kefka who was an event battle for the Final Fantasy VI event — in fact, to encourage the Mirror Match, Kefka was given an additional awakening when the event launched.
  • Missing Secret: On the status screen, there are four orbs to designate what magic can be equipped by a character. White is for healing magic and curative magic (and Light-based attacks). Black is for direct damage spells. Green is for buffs and debuffs. And blue... is unimplemented and serves no purpose.
  • Money for Nothing: The rate at which money can be acquired outstrips the increase in shop prices somewhere around the end of the first island, and that's if you don't do any vortex missions that allow money farming (the Gil Snapper's Cave event every few weeks is an easy 2 million gil at the least). Attempted to be averted by some extra bundles, which allow a player to purchase materials and metal cactuars for in-game currency as opposed to real-world currency or lapis. The cost of enhancing characters also increases dramatically as their level goes up and getting the last 10 levels for a 6-star unit can cost as much as getting them from 1 to 50, if not more, though still a drop in the bucket all things considered. Ability awakening is genuinely expensive, up to 1 million gil per enhancement in some cases, though certainly not difficult to earn. Expeditions serve as a steady drain, costing far less than ability awakening but quick to add up as you queue new ones. This problem is more pronounced for players that don't spend real money for lapis, as they have less units to spend the money on and thus can reach the cap a lot faster.
  • Money Sink:
    • The Global-exclusive Expedition system heavily leans towards this. You can dedicate some of your units, cash, and items to a mission which can take anywhere from three hours to an entire day. The cheap D/C/B-class expeditions give marginally useful rewards, such as items that duplicate certain useful spells/abilities and magicite that can be farmed in exploration maps. However, if the player is willing to finance the A/S-class expeditions, they can get 6-star awakening materials, high-end ability awakening materials, and even Trust Moogles. However, the latter is distinctly more expensive, and units need to be much more powerful in order to ensure a decent chance of success. Expect to drop a bunch of in-game currency to farm these.
    • Ability awakenings, full stop. In addition to the crysts necessary for awakening, they cost a considerable amount of gil, up to a million for the +2 awakenings. The upgrades can be well worth it, though. The most extreme examples are Agrias, who goes from a poor Orlandeau clone to a near copy for just under 3 million, and Queen, who can be upgraded from a somewhat disappointing 5* base to a useful Support unit at a cost of 7 million.
    • The 7-star meta in general functions as this. Beyond using up an extra five-star base to upgrade a unit that hit level 100, it also costs 3 million gil to change the unit from a level 100 six-star to a level 101 seven-star. Gaining levels beyond that requires an absurd amount of experience (over six million to go from level 119 to 120), strongly pushing players to spend the money to fuse metal cactuars to further power their units.
    • In terms of Lapis, the slot limit for units/materials/etc. seems to have been designed to encourage the player to dump Lapis into expanding them, almost as much as the game's gacha system itself. It's very easy to reach the cap in any one category, requiring an expansion unless you're willing/able to sell off or use them. At 100 Lapis per five slots, it's a very expensive investment, though at least it stays maxed once you pay for it.
  • Mordor: Gronoa, the sixth continent Rain travels to, is a desolate land where almost nothing natural grows, a poisonous miasma covers everything (and gets thicker as it goes higher, which limits airship travel), and the only civilization possible is found in a pair of underground towns.
  • Multi Shot:
    • Barrage, which does four full-powered strikes on foes. Its power, even at its 16 MP cost, makes any unit with it formidable.
    • Many characters' regular attacks can be considered as this. Lightning and Seven, for example, hit 5 times in 1 normal attack. If you have Dual Wielding on any character, all of their melee abilities will be used twice in a row, doubling the hitcount: Queen from Final Fantasy Type-0 is the absolute queen of this, as she has an unique skill that lets her attack 5 times in a row. If combined with Dual Wielding, this means her 5-hit normal attack will be used 10 times in a row, easily making it the longest attack animation in the entire game.
    • Chaining skills, which are becoming more common, are another form of this.
  • My Future Self and Me:
    • If you can summon multiple copies of the same unit with different star rankings, nothing's stopping a player from just using both at the same time. Done quite literally with Cecil, as both his dark knight and paladin selves are visions, each with radically different stats and abilities. In fact, the two work quite well together.
    • All of the story units, plus Dark Fina, are affected by this trope as well. Technically, since the vision of Dark Fina is implied to be the Dark Fina from 700 years ago, the trope is literal here too.
      • If you've been playing for a while, you can field an entire team of Finas, all with different forms. There are seven Fina units in the game: Fina, Dark Fina, White Witch Fina, Beach Time Fina, Seabreeze Dark Fina, Cheerleader Fina, and Lotus Mage Fina.
    • Ariana Grande is affected, having four separate forms of her own.
    • Taken literally with the CG story units, who are all 5-star base versions of the main five characters of Season 2. Also taken literally with Raegen and Veritas of the Dark.
  • Mysterious Waif: Fina, the girl who was trapped in the Earth Crystal, has no memory of her past, and who accompanies Rain and Lasswell in part because she has a vague feeling that she should.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Several of the visions are cameos from previous Final Fantasy games, and they'll make references to their home games in various places. For example, Edgar will flip and catch a coin in his victory pose, and Maria will call to Guy, Firion, and Leon when leveled from the menu screen.
    • One important to the plot for the series as a whole: the number of different characters named Cid that are interested in airships is given a nod when Rain, Lasswell, and Fina reach Dilmagia, where most of the world's airships are built. It turns out that there's levels of skill for airship engineers, and the master airship engineer is called "Cid," neatly explaining why so many Cids are interested in airships. The current top candidate for Cid, a woman named Lid, joins Rain's crew. And the original Cid, who helped build the airship Invincible (which is itself a Mythology Gag for Final Fantasy III), is Veritas of the Heavens.
    • Zoldaad's first part intermingles plot points from Final Fantasy V (using the energy of the Fire Crystal for industrial and military purposes) and Final Fantasy VIII (a rebel resistance, an important orphanage, and an assault on a transmission tower ending with a battle against X-ATM092). Its other part adds Final Fantasy II (rescuing a royal prince/princess from a power-hungry emperor, and pitting you against a Behemoth).
    • Nichol's brinksmanship with Veritas of the Light, where the former gambles with the latter with their fates over a coin flip, has some very strong parallels with Celes' recruitment of Setzer in Final Fantasy VI. Right down to the one offering the coin flip using a double-headed coin, and the latter seeing through it but agreeing anyway, albeit for different reasons.
    • During the "Out For Vengeance" side story, when Tomoe shouts at Akstar to wait, he responds "Do I look like a waiter?"
  • Naked First Impression: Fina appears to Rain and Lasswell this way, albeit floating in a crystal.
  • No Campaign for the Wicked: Averted with the "Time for Revenge" and "Memories from the Battlefield" side stories, which detail the preparations of the Veritas. "Time for Revenge" follows Veritas of the Dark and Veritas of the Flame as they prepare for their assault on the crystals, with the last chapter being Darklord's assault on the Earth Crystal from the game's opening. The last battle, in fact, is a re-enactment of the Hopeless Boss Fight at the beginning of the game... from the viewpoint of the Darklord. "Memories from the Battlefield" deals with the doings of the Veritas shortly after Aldore effectively exiled them to the world of Lapis, following Veritas of the Light primarily with Waterlord and Boltlord joining her.
  • Nostalgia Level: Several special dungeons are based on other Final Fantasy titles, and they do more than just reference them with names — the scenery is updated versions of the original, and the music (both while wandering and in-battle) is from the original game that the map is based on. In the case of Inside the Giant of Babil, it even uses the same dungeon layout as the original game, and the Dreadnought level includes options for asking terms to enemy soldiers (though this starts a battle since they're Imperial grunts that you just shouted "Wild Rose" at) or showing items (as in showing the pass to the guard to bypass a battle).
  • Not-Actually-Cosmetic Award: The game has a trophy system, with tangible benefits for earning them. In addition to getting money, items to power up espers, and lapis, gaining enough achievements unlocks crafting recipes for some very useful items. The strongest accessory in the game is gated behind earning nearly every trophy.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: During the Tournament Arc, the Jake/Lasswell and Dark Fina/Rain battles happen offscreen without player input, with the latter winning in both cases. Rain also goes unfought even though Lasswell does not, though his final clash with Lasswell is at least shown as a cutscene.
  • One-Hit KO: Death spells and the like are present as usual, and inflicting Petrify on an enemy (except in the Arena) will instantly kill them.
  • Original Generation: A huge number of the visions are new to the setting, with backstories related to various locales in the game. Some of these function as Foreshadowing as to what's happening in those countries — Ludmille and Carrie in particular give hints about what Zoldaad and Dilmagia, respectively, are like, possibly well before Rain gets to visit them depending on when they get summoned. And then, of course, there's summoning as visions living, plot-relevant characters who are otherwise unable to join Team Rain as physical people, with the likes of Luka, Shera, Wilhelm and the rest of Jake's rebel crew being among the most prominent examples.
  • Parental Neglect: To hear Rain tell of it, Sir Raegen was not an attentive or caring parent at all. Raegen's obsessions lay entirely elsewhere.
  • Party Scattering: Precisely how it happened isn't revealed immediately except, of course, that Rain's disappearance is explained in the ending of Season 1, but the beginning of Season 2 shows that Lasswell and Fina have been separated from the others, and they're trying to reunite with their companions. They catch up to Lid and Jake in the first chapter, and with Nichol and Sakura in the second.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling:
    • The entire purpose of the Chamber of Experience in the Vortex of Desires — in each of the four chambers, the enemies give experience well beyond what enemies of that difficulty would ordinarily provide.
    • The Cactuar Dunes, a now-regular weekend event, is an indirect version. Each level pits you against waves of incredibly easy to kill Metal Cactuar and their larger forms. For each one you kill, you get a Metal Cactuar unit corresponding to the version you killed. Those units can then be fused to whatever unit you feel like to grant them experience. The overall experience gain is much greater than the Chamber of Experience, and it has the benefit of allowing you to level up a unit without having to bring them into a difficult battle (for example, a newly awakened unit that would otherwise die in a few hits). The only drawback is having to spend gil to fuse them to your units.
    • For about a week, the very first Dark Espers trial on Beginner was precisely this. If you have Bushido Freedom, 120 MP, and a powerful Orlandeau friend, you can solo the 10 stamina trial and get that one unit 130,000 EXP. However, Bushido Freedom is gated behind the previous trial's no item mission, which is even harder.
    • The Earth Shrine is unintentionally this. Because Trust Master points are gained at a flat rate regardless of the difficulty or energy cost of a given battle, the very first level (which costs only 1 NRG and has just two parts) is ideal for grinding Trust Master points. It's not exactly quick, taking approximately 10,000 battles to reach full Trust Mastery for any given unit.
  • Percent Damage Attack: Gravity spells cut the target's HP by a certain percentage, generally 50 or 75 percent depending on the version. There are a few other attacks with similar properties.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • Any items from special Vortex events can only be earned while the event is active. Once the event is over, that content is lost to the player unless Gumi decides to do a rerun of the event. Conversely, said items can also only be earned once, so players who cleaned out the event on the first go-around won't be able to earn copies.
    • Characters that are holiday-themed or Crossover characters from non-Final Fantasy titles are only obtainable during their events. If you fail to get one while the events are going on, you're never getting that character. This can be particularly frustrating for the ones with a base rarity of five stars, as the odds of getting a five-star unit draw are extremely low... and you might instead draw a unit with a maximum of five stars (this was eventually patched out, though it affected the Halloween and Christmas summons), which might be a duplicate of something you've already raised from three stars. While paying for more draws is an option, it only improves the odds.
    • The Chamber of Arms is a minor example. Each trial has two difficulties: Easy and Hard. Once you complete Easy, it is replaced by Hard and can never be attempted again, potentially costing you any mission rewards you failed to complete. Fortunately, all of the mission rewards can either be bought in shops or earned through other means, so it's not a big loss.
  • Piñata Enemy:
    • Minituars, which are rare spawns in any exploration dungeon, have two possible item drops — one of the ingredients for Interchangeable Antimatter Keys (and are the only source for said ingredient outside of events or rarely as a bonus after clearing a level with a high-trust unit) and Star Quartz, which can be traded for extremely rare items in the Hidden Elf Village. In the rare dungeons (sometimes offered as limited-time bonuses), gil snappers, metal cactuars, and burst pots also serve this purpose, being easy to defeat and turning into units that are to be redeemed for money or experience, respectively.
    • During King Mog exchange events, the higher difficulty levels will occasionally have an extra round featuring one or more of a special enemy which will drop a massive amount of event currency when killed, but with a spawn chance of no greater than 5%. In some cases (most notably, all three of the Final Fantasy Type-0 events), this will instead be replaced by a Metal Slime (with similarly great rewards).
  • Player-Exclusive Mechanic: In the Arena, the computer will never use Dualcast or similar abilities, never use revival or One-Hit KO abilities (limit bursts are an exception), and never summon espers. This keeps the fight from dragging on forever by stopping the AI from raising its fighters, and keeps some of the more dangerous espers out of their hands (2* Odin, for example, can One-Hit KO an entire party if summoned).
  • Play Every Day: The game uses this in several ways.
    • All normal missions and most vortex missions require energy, which caps at a certain point and regenerates at a rate of one per five minutes when reduced below that cap, encouraging the player to log in every so often to avoid wasting it.
    • Raids and the Arena/Colosseum use raid and arena orbs respectively, which cap at five and regenerate one per hour.
    • The Arena has five daily participation rewards, which don't require the player to win to earn them.
    • There is a daily reward for simply opening the game up. These are frequently items that otherwise would cost real-world money, like extra summons or more lapis.
    • There are six daily quests (eight on weekends) which grant various rewards. These quests include doing story levels, explorations, any vortex level, Colosseum fights, and giving gifts to friends. Common rewards are extra energy, a small amount of rank experience, and lapis. One quest is usually dedicated to whatever the current headline vortex mission is and gives a bonus appropriate to that mission.
  • Plot Detour:
    • The Isle of Kolobos more or less functions as this. It's a stop-off for the ship they hope to take to Dirnado, and it focuses more on helping a little girl deal with her parents' absence due to them being killed, and only briefly ties back into the main plot with a comrade of Veritas appearing in the last mission of the area. If not for the appearance of Ramuh, the entire area would be Filler. Oh, and the ship that Rain, Lasswell, and Fina take gets shipwrecked by the esper Leviathan, more or less defeating the whole point.
    • On a smaller scale, Charlotte's quest has you chase her around from continent to continent all the way back to Grandshelt, getting her out of sticky situations until you get her exclusive shield. At least this is optional.
    • After collecting all keys, the Raven sidequest opens up. This requires a series of random quests from each vaultkeeper, until you get the Raven's Cape. This is also optional, but the rewards are decent.
  • Popularity Power: This seems to be the main criteria by which units are selected to gain a 7-star ascension. It's not universal, though; out of the main boy band of Final Fantasy XV, only Ignis can reach 7 stars; and no Final Fantasy VII character has yet to gain such lofty heights. (Of course, Gumi may simply be withholding such ascensions until the time is right.)
  • Power Creep: A main feature, like most gacha games.
    • Averted with Sheratan, especially involving tanks. Despite AoE physical cover tanks being highly sought after, the fight does not feature any AoE physical moves to cover. If you have a Provoke tank, you can just have a provoke tank and a cover tank to take the edge off of him. Ironically, this makes Cecil a better tank for her than Warrior of Light (who was infamously hyped and delayed for two months as the next step above Cecil) due to having a significantly higher chance to proc his ST Cover.
    • Lampshaded by the developers after the game matured. By the time it had ben available to global audiences for 2 years, there was a plot flag which allowed you to obtain a character after beating one of the game's earliest campaign dungeons. That character? Lightning, the very first character to get to six stars and once the most powerful unit in the game.
    • Former TMR staples like the Ribbon and Dual Wield can now be purchased outright during King Mog events, often for a pittance.
  • Powers as Programs: Several abilities can be acquired as equipment, which then can be placed on any character with ability slots (which is most of them). Some can be equipped by anyone, while others require ratings for particular levels of magic.
  • Power Equals Rarity: the game actually did not feature this at the start. While certain characters were obviously more powerful than others, because only certain ones could be ascended to the then-maximum quality of 6 stars, there was no particular correlation between a unit's rarity — IE, the number of stars it started at and thus the ease with which it could be obtained — and its maximum quality; meta-defining units like Cecil (the best tank), Exdeath (the best mage), Cloud of Darkness (the best physical attacker) and Roselia (the best healer) could all be obtained at 3-star rarities and then ascended via (extensive) Level Grinding. All of this changed with the addition of the 7-star ascensions. The only units that can reach 7 stars start at the 5-star rarity, the hardest rarity to obtain; under normal circumstances, pulling on the gacha will yield a 5-star unit between 3% and 5% of the time. See Purposely Overpowered for what happens after that.
  • Power Glows: The general way you can tell if a premium unit has a higher star rating is to see if anything is brightly colored and glowing. The lower level versions of a unit will be fairly standard, while glowing weapons and auras flare up around the stronger versions. For those that have multiple upgrades, the glow naturally increases with each upgrade.
  • Powerup Letdown:
    • Increasing the level of limit bursts generally improves the effectiveness by just 5% (or 1% for limits that provide buffs/debuffs). Depending on the star rating of the unit, it can take weeks to get just a marginal improvement on a limit burst's power. This is probably why expeditions offer Burst Pots on a regular basis, and a King Burst Pot every two weeks if you hit the relic requirement.
    • This hits sometimes when characters gain new awakenings, particularly when they don't gain significant stat boosts or they get abilities that synergize poorly with what the character could already do. The 6-star awakening of Black Cat Lid was particularly notable for combining both of these problems (weak stats, pitiful inherent stat boosts, and getting inherent dualcast when learning almost no magical spells whatsoever outside of Protectga and Shellga and being much more easily geared towards a physical support role).
    • The Berserk status effect boosts a character's attack power but locks them into normal attacks. 3* Ifrit has this as an optional trait and the Avenger dagger automatically casts it on the unit that equips it. Normal attacks are practically useless in any serous battle, so there is absolutely no reason to ever use this status effect. It's so bad, in fact, that several bosses will deliberately cast it on your units, since nothing in the game protects against it and an auto-attacking unit is as good as a unit doing nothing at all.
  • Promotional Powerless Piece of Garbage:
    • Magitek Armor Terra, who was a free gift for early players. She's a three-star unit that's given for free right off the bat, when even Rain and Lasswell are still just two-star units. However, her skills very quickly lag in power, as she's stuck with what are effectively rebranded versions of the basic level 1 spells, and her stats start to lag after the first area. Not only that, but she can only awaken once, to a four-star unit. Finally, she doesn't have a Trust Master reward at all. In comparison, if you draw her, Terra without the armor has better stats, access to high-level healing and fire magic, can be raised to six stars, and has one of the most powerful spells in the game as a Trust Master reward.
    • The Fan Festa units were 5-star max versions of all of the main characters (except Rain and Nichol). Before the second anniversary, Gumi gave one copy at their Fan Festa events. Since the 6-star meta was well-established, the units themselves were impractical to use. Each unit was assigned to a specific event all around the world, making a full set of two units nearly impossible to complete. They did give out a full set to everyone for their second anniversary.
  • Purposely Overpowered: 7* units are improved versions of 5* base units that get dramatic boosts to their specialty, special bonuses when equipping their own Trust Master reward, and come with a Super Trust Master reward that is extremely potent. In exchange, they are only really valuable in pairs: creating one requires having two copies of the requisite 5* unit (one to ascend and the other to consume as a reagent), and getting the STMR requires an additional two copies to fuse into the 7*. The odds of doing this are... pretty low.note 
  • Raised by Wolves: Pretty much Fina's entire existence was being sealed in the Earth Crystal. Once it's gone, Rain and Lasswell have to give her a crash course on how the world works. This turns out to not be entirely true.
  • Random Encounters: In exploration maps and events, you can be attacked any time while on the map. However, the encounters will eventually run out if you do enough of them, to prevent grinding without spending energy.
  • Randomly Drops: Not an issue with items, as all have about the same drop rate, and the drop rate in general is very high. However, summons from the gacha are always randomly generated, and this can be particularly frustrating with special summons (which require a rare item or lapis to get) if it regularly gives you low-end units like Shadow or Fran rather than Terra or Vaan.
  • Rare Candy:
    • The Metal Cactuar (also, the Minituar, Gigantuar, and the King Minituar versions of it) exist solely as a giant experience boost to whichever unit gets fused with it. This greatly reduces the pain for several Magikarp Power units.
    • There are also Pots of various stats (based off the recurring Magic Pot enemy) and Trust Moogles to increase the inherent stats and the trust rating, respectively, but those are extremely rare — so far, in the international version, the former are only rarely available outside of Arena awards, and typically one 10% version of a Trust Moogle is available per event.
    • Liquid Metal Slime is a Dragon Quest XI unit that serves as a very specialized Provoke tank. However, if fused to another unit, it provides 3 million XP, enough to bring any 6* unit from level 1 to 100 instantly. By comparison, a King Metal Minituar gives a mere 100,000 when fused.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Rain is the charismatic and emotional leader, while Laswell is content to be the more reserved and analytical second-in-command in their unit. They even demonstrate this as they get stronger — Rain develops a red aura and learns the Fire line of spells, while Lasswell develops a blue aura and learns the Blizzard line of spells. Lid and Nichol also function as this, with their hair colors even appropriate for their roles — Lid is a Fiery Redhead, and Nichol is The Stoic with blue hair.
  • Regional Bonus: The Global version has gained a number of exclusive, FFBE-original characters or variants of existing ones, particularly in 2017. Notable examples include Halloween variants of the six lead characters, Valentine's versions of Luna and (somehow) Artemios, original Chinese-themed characters dancer Ling and Chocobo rider Yun (as Chinese New Year's limited characters), with non-holiday original characters including Olive the Cannoneer, Fryevia the Spell-fencer, Xon the Thief, Reberta the Dragoon, and Zyrus the dragon-hunter Black Mage. In addition, the NieR: Automata event added A2 and Eve.
    • It's worth noting that some of the Global-exclusive units (Olive, White Knight Noel, Fryevia, A2, and Reberta most notably) are considered some of the most powerful units in the entire game, to the point that many Japanese players are jealous that they're exclusive to Global so far. It helps that their mechanical design has clearly been informed by lessons learned from the JP version, and their kits are well-designed and allow them to do their jobs in a party in a much easier fashion than other, similar characters. (Having incredibly strong Trust rewards helps, too.)
      • These Global-exclusive characters are starting to come to Japan, albeit in a heavily altered fashion. Reberta is a hybrid finisher, Ling is a weaker enhanced Soleil, and Xon is an unusable DPS unit. This caused a bit of controversy, as people were opposed to units advertised as exclusive to Global being used at all.
    • Another bonus available to the global version is that several characters are capable of being buffed further there than in the Japanese version. Perhaps the prime example would be Medius — in Japan, he can cap at a five-star rating and has very little going for him beyond a good ability to drive up combos. However, in the global version, not only can he reach six-star rating (with attendant higher level cap), he gains new abilities that buff out both his combo potential and his base damage, and he even gets exclusive awakenings, including being the first three-star unit capable of innate Dual Wield (Miyuki became the second nearly a year later). He may be outshined by several more powerful units (particularly the global exclusives, nearly all of the five-star base rating characters, and a good number of four-star base rating characters), but Medius is a fairly common draw that can hold a solid place in a party until the player starts getting very lucky with the random character drops. Also worth noting is Cerius, an otherwise forgettable Green Mage in JP who learns Dualcast, a 50% Dark resistance buff, and auto-Refresh in Global. Her enhancements make her bar-ga spells have a full 100% resistance. In short, she becomes arguably better than Marie, a 5-star base.
    • The Global version now has a new feature absent from the Japanese version - an Expedition system, in which unused units can be sent out on dispatch missions (similar to those in the Final Fantasy Tactics games) for experience and rewards. Rewards can range from simple consumable items to Trust Moogles and stat-increasing Pots. Units also get experience points regardless of whether or not the expedition was successful.
    • Having said that, the Japanese version has a number of characters who have yet to hit the global market, including most of the cast of Final Fantasy VII. However, these are subject to whatever changes or delays Gumi feels.
    • Japan also gets some collaborations, most notably with the Dragon Quest franchise based off of a JP-only game (although both events were repurposed as collaborations with the 11th game and brought over into Global) and the full Mana series.
  • The Remnant: The remnants of Hess left over from the war in Paladia have become little more than terrorists causing randon violence just as extreme as the tyranny of Aldore.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: As per Final Fantasy tradition, Cure spells and potions damage undead, while Raise spells and Phoenix Downs are a One-Hit KO on them. You just have to figure out how to target enemies with them. This even applies to most undead bosses (they don't get the Contractual Boss Immunity to any variety of One-Hit KO until near the end of the first season).
  • Rush Boss: Malboro fits as this in all but name. Every fourth turn, he will use Bad Breath (which causes high damage and every status effect to your party) and Devour, which removes one party unit from battle for two turns. This increases to every third turn once he crosses the 50% threshold, which makes Malboro a rush boss in all but name. The introduction of new units and mechanics has rendered this far more manageable, but in his introduction it was seriously problematic.
  • Sand In My Eyes: Lasswell isn't crying when leaving Emma after protecting her on her mini-quest. Just the sea spray in his eyes, honest. Nichol is only slightly more believable when he says that there's mist on his face when his sister has to leave to purify Lake Dorr.
  • Save Scumming:
    • If the app crashes or is deliberately closed in the middle of a battle, it allows you to restart that battle from the beginning of the last turn. On your turn, this is a useful method of cancelling out inputs, allowing you to reset a turn for various reasons (testing damage output, achieving a mission you messed up, etc). If done on an enemy's turn, however, the turn will play out exactly the same. This method also does not work for manipulating certain luck-based skills on your turn: if Setzer's Double Dice landed an unfavorable roll on your turn, no amount of resetting will change the outcome.
    • Some fights, most notably Ultros and Typhon, have anti-save scum that automatically resets to their most powerful attacks after a reload.
    • This entirely averted in the Arena, where any closure of the app is treated as a forfeit. This caused a lot of grief due to Arena's early buggy state, which was filled with crashes.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The "Fate of the Dragoon" event follows the legacy of the Dragon's Village and its role in keeping the dragon sealed, eventually dealing with the fairy of Hess that unsealed it.
  • Secret Test of Character:
    • While most of the other espers are relatively uncaring about the state of the world, Ramuh does care, but pretends not to in order to test Rain's commitment.
    • It turns out that the extended Tournament Arc put on by Veritas of the Frost is one. It's actually Raegen in the armor; he's testing Rain and his companions in part to make sure that they're strong enough to overcome the Sworn Six.
  • Serial Escalation: With events, the included difficulty levels increase over time. In the earliest events, there would be three difficulties — Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. As Power Creep started to affect the game, two more were added — Pro and Elite. With the massive proliferation of six-star units, increasingly good gear, and the increased chance of acquiring a five-star base unit, a sixth difficulty — Legendary — has been added.
  • Set Bonus: 7* units gain special abilities when equipped with their own Trust Master rewards, such as increased attack or greater damage modifiers on their skills.
  • Sharing a Body: Fina shares a body with her dark form until Mysidia, when warping into Fina's mind to bring Light Fina back splits the two.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The "Mighty Hammer" that can be obtained through the Tower of Crystal event gives its user a large boost in hitpoints and attack power, makes their attacks lightning elemental, and looks suspiciously like Mjolnir.
    • One of the side quest have you try young lady's kiss to cure others from frog spell, a black mage that you save says it's not that bad being a frog, but then says "it's not easy being green".
    • The Expeditions have various pop culture references and memes. Stranger Stuff is a direct reference to Stranger Things, the Crab Battle mission references a Metal Gear Solid fan video, and Just Cause, which directs you to aimlessly explore, directly references the sandbox video game of the same name. A Certain Set of Skills, which involve finding and rescuing a kidnapped girl, is a callback to Taken.
    • The Christmas event is an Expy of Frozen. In addition, Kryla's attack animation, which involves her sprinkling magic powder into her cauldron, is identical to Salt Bae.
    • In The Color of Heartlessness Domino unwittingly references the theme song to Kingdom Hearts I, Simple and Clean.
    • The Gil Snapper's four-star form is a Gil Snapper with a baby Gil Snapper on its shell. Its five-star form adds another, even smaller Snapper atop the previous one. In other words, its Turtles All the Way Down.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: There are certain moves that remain useful even as you level up and acquire more powerful units. For a time, Raging Fist was useful as an efficient (3 MP) partial defense ignoring attack (and can be put on any unit by giving them the Ifrit esper, found in the first area of the game). For any powerful unit lacking in area attacking skills (see: Orlandeau), equipping them with Odin after having the latter learn Bladeblitz, which simply does the job for a reasonable cost (14 MP), will enable them to one-shot basic mobs. Not too shabby.
  • Skill Tree: A numerous amount of fighters have a modified version of this trope. Using a certain skill will unlock the next step in the tree. Most notably, Prishe, Yda, Goken, and Cagnazzo use this for certain moves.
  • Socialization Bonus: You can choose to borrow a copy of a unit from another player (each player can designate which one) when going into a quest or exploration and use their abilities to get through it. This not only gives extra firepower, but both players get bonus points that can be redeemed for a free vision summon. If you add that person to your friends list, though, not only is the bonus doubled for both players, but you'll be allowed to use the borrowed unit's limit break and equipped esper as well. During events, any unit that provides a bonus to drops for the event will do so to anyone who borrows it as well.
  • So Last Season:
    • New units are periodically released, and there's almost always at least one that completely overshadows most, if not all, earlier units at a given role.
    • This can also affect past events which get a redux. New events are usually balanced against the units and Trust Master rewards that are currently available. However, events that are rerun aren't updated, so their difficulty is balanced against the units and rewards of that time, which are often inferior to the current game. For example, when The Crystal Tower made its first appearance, there were at most a half-dozen units that could awaken to six-star status (most of which could only be found as rare five-star summons) and only a very small handful of weapons that broke +100 strength. When it was rerun, many more units could reach that status (including several that could be acquired at common three-star rarities, like Exdeath or Cloud of Darkness), more units had higher stats and stronger abilities in general, and available gear in general had higher stats. The monster difficulty, however, wasn't adjusted — monsters at ELT difficulty were in many cases easier than what prior events featured at PRO (the previous level) difficulty. Likewise, the Vision of Bahamut trial was respectably difficult when first released. However, when it got a redux, magic tanks and more sources of damage mitigation had been added to the game, making its killer Megaflare little more than an annoyance and thus vastly reducing the difficulty of the trial, to say nothing of the actual Bahamut having since been released as an obtainable esper through an even more challenging battle than the trial.
  • The Stoic: Lasswell doesn't like to show what he's feeling at all. This bites him hard when going through the desert, as he nearly collapses rather than admit that he's thirsty.
  • Stone Wall: What happens with most of the monsters when the party first arrives in Dirnado. Rather than stretch Underground Monkey and Palette Swap to ridiculous levels, the beginning areas are filled with leveled up versions of monsters from earlier levels. However, while their defensive stats and hit points have improved, their offenses have only marginally increased. Fights aren't dangerous for the most part, but they're also not fast.
  • Sudden Sequel Heel Syndrome: In season 2 of the story Rain, the protagonist of season 1, becomes Hyoh of the Delta Star, a major villain.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: Kanshou and Bakuya from the Festival of Love event are immune to magical and physical attacks, respectively, and possess DEF/SPR so high that they barely take any damage from their respective weakness. However, each turn they grant special skills to two of your units that sharply drop their defense for one turn, making them extremely vulnerable to damage. The catch is that Kanshou and Bakuya only provide skills that render the other one vulnerable, not themselves, so you have to kill both on the same turn. For added difficulty, the optional missions require beating the pair with those special skills, which do a flat 50,000 damage on each hit (~1.8% of their health).
  • Taking the Bullet:
    • The Cover and Sentinel abilities, which have a chance at intercepting attacks aimed at other characters. These can be combined with Draw Attacks and Provoke to greatly reduce how much most of the party gets targeted. Later, Cecil gets Saintly Wall (which has an even higher proc chance and defense boost).
      • Other units (like Warrior of Light and Mystea) have covers that can protect all allies from physical or magical damage, though these are active abilities that must be used beforehand. Illusionist Nichol can even make any unit cover allies' physical attacks (with a 100% proc chance).
    • In-story, Rain's mother Sophia dies blocking a magic attack Veritas of the Light was trying to use on her husband.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill:
    • If an enemy takes a hit when their health is at 0%, an "Overkill" message will display to notify the player. As noted in Loophole Abuse, this mechanic is useful in getting around certain mission requirements.
    • Elafikeras from The Legendary Stag trial has to be beaten in eight turns or else it will kill your entire party. To do this, it has two skills. The first casts 100% Death on the entire party. The second casts 100% MP drain on the entire party, does 99,999 fixed damage to the entire party, and fully heals Elafikeras. Then it casts the second skill again. Added together, this makes it so even a unit with both Death immunity and Reraise will be killed. Even if you manage to keep your party alive in spite of all that (see the Hide/Petrify exploit in Loophole Abuse), you will never be able to take out Elafikeras' 80 million HP in one turn.
  • Temporary Online Content: Missed an event that ran for about a week? Too bad.
  • Timed Mission: The Misty Bamboo Forest mission has a three-minute timer. In that time, you have to hit as many collection points as you can, defeat the mermaid, and/or beat the random encounters. If the timer runs out or you die, you get to keep everything you collected up to that point and get the rank experience, though you don't get unit experience in the latter case.
  • Time-Limit Boss: Elafikeras from The Legendary Stag trial has to be beaten within eight turns. If not, it will cast a full restore on itself and hit the party with enough damage to kill them several times over (no Reraise cheesing).
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential:
    • All visions and espers have multiple ratings, in number of stars. Any vision or esper not yet at their maximum rating can reset their level and increase their rating, opening up new powers to be learned. For visions, this requires spending some gil and expending some items. For espers, though, it requires another fight. On a more meta level, some earlier units gain the ability to further awaken, allowing select units to gain new use after previously being subjected to So Last Season. Both versions also have had many visions gain a boost to their abilities, albeit at the cost of loads of gil and event-exclusive crystals.
    • Ability awakening can grant this in several regards. Sometimes, what were previously useless abilities or one heavily hit by So Last Season will get dramatic boosts upon enhancement. Soleil is probably the shining example — a buffing unit mostly noted for being substandard at her main task compared to what tanks and healers could do as a side note suddenly, thanks in part to global exclusive buffs to those buffs, became able to provide some of the best buffs in the game while simultaneously debuffing a foe, and whose abilities start comboing with each other for extra effectiveness. Awakening took her from "substandard even at her release" to being one of the best buffing units in the game.
    • The second anniversary added the Steel Castle Melfikya event, which allows the player to enhance their equipment by fighting through a series of ten battles. Weapons can be given various passive traits (basic stat increases, auto-casting defensive spells, etc), up to a maximum of three. However, enhancements are randomly determined after each victory, and each battle costs an orb that only regenerates once/hour unless the player pays for a recharge.
  • To Be Continued: The plot is released episodically, with new areas released over time (usually on a monthly basis). Wherever the story missions end is where the message is displayed. The Japanese version of the game is a few chapters ahead of the international version.
  • Too Awesome to Use:
    • Cactaurs and pots can become this, if you don't have units you think are worth investing them in. This can be problematic, as they count as units and will take up spots in your total unit count. Mercifully, cactaurs and pots were made fusable for the second anniversary, alleviating this problem considerably.
    • After completing Season 1 of the story, the game gives a 100% Trust Moogle. Most tend to save it for a 5-star unit with a powerful TMR (like Gilgamesh or Loren) or a unit that needs their TMR to succeed (like Onion Knight or Grim Lord Sakura).
    • The king of these is the Prism Moogle. Available from the Trust Coin exchange store, it can be fused with a unit-specific Trust Moogle to obtain that TMR without actually pulling the unit in question. If you've managed to pull a moogle to a 5-star unit, you can pick up some of the game's most powerful equipment without having to summon anything. In exchange, the Prism Moogle costs 10,000 Trust Coins, equal to 100 3-star units and twice as expensive as anything in the shop, and you can only buy one even if you can afford it.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • The season 2 re-released story units are this, for the most part. Most of these units are top-tier at their roles (and are 5-star bases), and some overlooked story units get an update.
    • Any unit that gets a further awakening or ability awakening that synergizes with their skillset. Soleil was notable for this; see below.
    • The Chamber of the Indignant features stronger versions of the bosses from the Tower of Earth in the Farplane, as well as some of the weaker Chamber of the Fallen bosses.
  • Tournament Arc:
    • A significant portion of season 1's Gronoa, where the Frostlord forces everyone to face off against each other. Turns out it's Raegen's plan to get everyone at fighting strength for the final battle.
    • Season 2 features the Aldore Orders, with the prize for winning being entry into the Emperor's elite squad, the Orders. Lasswell and crew join in order to get close enough to fight and potentially defeat the Emperor. While they do technically win, events force them to retreat and the party fractures.
  • 20 Bear Asses: Several missions require obtaining forging materials/Vendor Trash for people. Some of these are just items harvested from glowing points on exploration maps, but most are enemy drops. One particularly confusing one involves collecting raptor feathers. It's quickly discovered that not all birds have feathers... but apparently, some bats do.
  • Underground Monkey: In fine Final Fantasy tradition, palette swaps of earlier enemies exist in unusual locales. Perhaps the most stark example is the desert sahagin, a desert-dwelling version of an aquatic species.
  • Unstable Equilibrium: The story mode starts out difficult for a beginning player, but over chapter and season breaks, during which the player can collect more powerful equipment from events and so forth, the rate at which the player grows more powerful quickly eclipses the difficultly of the story levels, to the point that a seasoned player will tear through every boss like tissue.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Lampshaded in the beginning of Season 2. The five non-Vision Sworn Six of Paladia show up with Raegan at the beginning of Season 2, and Veritas of the Light confirms that all five of them are Back from the Dead, but that she isn't going into detail as to how that happened or for what specific purpose. It's later given a little more context as everyone believes that Dark Fina revived them before becoming the Earth Crystal, but not too much beyond that is clear.
  • Useless Useful Spell:
    • Averted, as most enemies do not have immunity to status ailments. Even the ones that do typically only are immune to one or two. One of the things that makes Exdeath so effective is that his Limit Break, in addition to damage, can inflict up to four random status effects on each enemy, including Petrify.
    • As materia, even high-end magic spells rank incredibly low on the Trust Master Reward priority ladder, as they occupy precious slots better allocated for stat boost materia (in particular, MAG for offensive spellcasters and SPR for healers). Even though six-star spellcasters such as Trance Terra and D. Fina have holes in their elemental -aga spell coverage, it's better to use materia to boost their stats and work with what they have, as they already have other spells/skills that more than make up for it.
  • Vendor Trash: While all of the items dropped are useful either in Item Crafting or in improving units, the volume at which they pile up in the later part of the game turns them into this as well. This goes double for raid materials, which are only useful in crafting items from their specific raids and quickly clutter up the player's inventory.
  • Victor Gains Loser's Powers: In certain trials, it is possible to earn the boss's signature move as an optional mission reward. For example, Wicked Moon's Crazy Day can be earned by doing ice, earth, light, and dark damage during the trial. The moves exist as materia which can be equipped by any unit. Curiously, the moves don't always behave the same way. When Crazy Day is used by Wicked Moon, it's an AoE debuff, while the player's version is a full spectrum elemental imperial for a single enemy.
  • Victory by Endurance: In the Arena, battles are limited to ten turns to prevent drawn-out stalemates. If you wind up in a situation where outright beating your opponent is impossible (a Stone Wall like Cecil blocking attacks, for example), you can still win by managing to have one more fighter standing than your opponent does, or at least doing more damage.
  • Video Game Stealing: There are skills to steal both items (Steal) and money (Pilfer) from foes. Amongst visions, Zidane is perhaps the most skilled, with not only the highest rates of success, but the ability to steal money and items at the same time. For those playing the global version who got lucky during the Easter season (or super lucky after, when the banner with increased drop rates ended), Xon is the absolute master — he not only has a 100% success rate at stealing, but he can steal both money and items from every opponent simultaneously and do damage at the same time with his Waylay skill. He's also only the second thief (Mercedes was the first) able to be upgraded to six-star form.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Lasswell is typically unsparing towards Rain, and Rain isn't exactly afraid to comment back, but the two are steadfast companions.
  • Walking Spoiler: Hyoh of the Delta Star, the new hot-shot of the Orders. After the conclusion of Season 1, he appears just as Rain disappears, and the party is off to find him. He looks suspiciously similar to Rain, fights like Rain, and even shared a step-up with Awakened Rain outside of the story.
    • Akstar's event introduces a new Global-exclusive character, Zeno of the Beta Star. Zeno is his true identity.
  • We Help the Helpless: One part of the code of conduct for a Knight of Grandshelt is to assist whoever is in need. This is the in-story reason for Rain and Lasswell to accompany Fina, as well as the reason they so willingly perform Loads and Loads of Sidequests.
  • Weak, but Skilled:
    • Warrior of Light has across the board middling stats for a base 4* unit, including defense, something not helped by a surfeit of passives, but has one of the most impressive defensive and support kits. The former can be remedied by the right equips, and thankfully, he has a wide range of options for several different kinds of builds. His enhancements further make him one of the most versatile tanks in the game, if not quite as hardy as a 5* base.
    • Firion also has several elements of this - for a vision that caps at six stars, his stats are on the low side (in large part because he's a three-star base), but his wide range of bonuses against classes of enemies, the ease at capping a chain with his Fin Briar, his very wide range of weapons to be equipped, and the relative affordability of his ability awakenings means that he can be rather effective as a finisher in many cases.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Rain's father was a legendary knight by the name of Sir Raegen, and Rain feels resentful in part because he feels his father never really showed affection or pride in Rain.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Dirnado: Veritas of the Heavens is revealed to be the first Cid. Who's revered as a god in Dirnado.
    • Olderion: Veritas of the Dark is revealed to be Raegen, Rain's father.
    • Gronoa: Raegen is not the present Veritas of the Dark. He is the present-day Veritas of the Frost, and defected to Rain's side. This leaves the question of who the current Veritas of the Dark is.
    • Pharm 1: Veritas of the Dark is revealed to be a vision of Raegen from 700 years ago summoned by Veritas of the Light. Just as the crystal is saved, Sol and Behemoth King, two of the Eight Sages, destroy it.
    • Georl 1: Hyoh, the fast-rising Delta Star, is introduced. He looks suspiciously similar to Rain and has an energy-based version of the Crimson Saber.
    • Georl 3: Sol is alive, and looking to continue his fight with Rain.
    • Crystalis 3: Hyoh is defeated in one shot by a cloaked man, who turns out to be Rain. Hyoh is heavily implied to be a vision of some sort.
    • Town of Visectrum 2: Akstar is revealed to be Zeno of the Beta Star.
    • Magistellus: Rain and Lasswell's clashing bloodlines and ideologies lead Rain to part ways with the group and officially reveal himself as Hyoh of the Delta Star. It turns out the Hyoh he fought before was actually Nagi of the Iota Star acting as a decoy.
  • Wham Line: After the events of the Water Temple, "Nice to see you again, Raegen." The mysterious speaker later revealed to be Sakura, a former comrade isn't only providing the shock with the revelation that Sir Raegen is still alive, but to whom the line is addressed. It's Veritas of the Dark, making him Rain's father and Lasswell's mentor.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: For once, the main characters are the ones to do it — at the climax of the Fire Shrine, Rain and his friends not only fight off Veritas of the Flame, but Veritas of the Dark teaming up with Flame. And for the first time, the heroes manage to repulse the Veritas without them shattering the crystal. So what happens? Jake shatters the crystal to prevent Zoldaad's military junta from using its power to build up military might. Rain and allies waste no time calling out that action.
  • Whole Episode Flashback:
    • The "Guardian of the Order" event details an incident surrounding a rash of kidnappings that was investigated by Lady Loren, a compatriot of Raegen's in the Knights of Grandshelt, about a decade or so before the events of the main plot. Rain and Lasswell appear as young children early on and are two of the kidnap victims.
    • Most story events involve this. The most relative to the plot are the Veritas of the Dark/Earth/Flame events and the Gronoa/Zoldaad crew event.
  • Zero-Effort Boss:
    • The unit-introduction events for the season 2 story units pit the player's party, joined by the headline unit as a companion, against a Cactuar which does so little damage that there is no unit in the game it could possibly kill unless you let it. The point is to try out the headline unit's moveset while having the rest of your party defend so the battle doesn't end too quickly.
    • The "30 Million Downloads" raffle is even more so. The raffle pits you against a single Golden Bomb that immediately explodes, killing itself and dealing no damage to you. The "battle" only exists to serve as an entry ticket for the raffle. The same "fight" is later used for the Rank EXP map in the King Mog's Lost Maps subset of vortex quests.

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