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Final Fantasy: Record Keeper is a Freemium game for mobile devices that's based on the mythril-munchingly popular Final Fantasy games. It is the second game of this style in the series, following All The Bravest.

The story centers around a great kingdom whose livelihood thrives off a library of records, and within those records, which take the form of paintings, are the tales of brave heroes of the past (AKA stories of past Final Fantasy games). All is well until one day, the paintings mysteriously begin fading, throwing the entire kingdom into chaos. Dr. Mog, the head librarian of the kingdom, believes something is afoot, and enlists his finest protégé, the Record Keeper Tyro, to restore the paintings and save the kingdom. To do so, he must travel into the realms of the paintings attuned by Dr. Mog and relive the struggles of the past stored within the records.

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The game is separated into worlds representing each Final Fantasy game, which is then divided into portraits that represent an area or dungeon in each game, and overall acts as a summary for each game. These compromise the bulk of dungeons, called "Realm Dungeons". Weekly events called "Challenge Dungeons" spotlight a few particular characters and associated story sequences. There are also numerous higher-difficulty dungeons that have less to do with stories and more to do with paintings corrupted by particularly evil forces and house dangerous enemies.

Gameplay in Record Keeper uses the old-school Active Time Battle System. Players control a party of five characters, each able to equip two abilities with a limited number of charges, and each having their own Soul Breaks, the game's Limit Break system. As the player completes dungeons and earns rewards, they can use Orbs and Crystals to craft and hone their equippable abilities, use Scarletite and Adamantite to upgrade their equipment, use Motes and Crystal Water to improve characters' stats and even expand their ability pool, and earn Record Materia that give characters unique abilities in battle. They can also complete Magicite Dungeons that reward them Magicite, summonstones the player can equip to call Magicite into battle to support the party.

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The playable cast spans the entire Final Fantasy franchise, around 200 currently, each with their own equipment draw, ability pool, and Soul Breaks with associated Relics.

    Recruitable Characters (Sorted by Synergy) 
Note: Characters in italics are, as of November 2018, available only in Japan.

  • Core
  • I (and Mobius)
    • I: Warrior of Light, Garland, Sarah, Matoya, Master Monk, Thief
    • Mobius: Wol, Echo, Meia
  • II: Firion, Maria, Leon, Minwu, Gordon, Leila, Ricard, Josef, Guy, Emperor Mateus, Scott, Hilda
  • III: Luneth, Arc, Refia, Ingus, Desch, Onion Knight, Cloud of Darkness, Aria Benett
  • IV series
    • IV: Cecil Harvey (Dark Knight), Cecil Harvey (Paladin), Kain Highwind, Rydia, Rosa Joanna Farrell, Edward Chris von Muir, Yang Fang Leiden, Palom, Porom, Tellah, Edge Geraldine, Fusoya, Golbez, Cid Pollendina, Rubicante, Barbariccia
    • IV: The After Years: Ceodore Harvey, Ursula
  • V: Lenna Charlotte Tycoon, Galuf Halm Baldeison, Gilgamesh, Bartz Klauser, Faris Scherwiz, Exdeath, Krile Mayer Baldeison, Dorgann Klauser, Famed Mimic Gogo, Xezat Matias Surgate, Kelger Vlondett
  • VI: Terra Branford, Locke Cole, Celes Chere, Mog, Edgar Roni Figaro, Sabin Rene Figaro, Shadow, Cyan Garamonde, Gau, Setzer Gabbiani, Strago Magus, Kefka Palazzo, Relm Arrowny, Leo Christophe, Gogo, Umaro
  • Compilation of VII
    • VII: Cloud Strife, Barret Wallace, Tifa Lockhart, Aerith Gainsborough, Red XIII, Yuffie Kisaragi, Cait Sith, Vincent Valentine, Sephiroth, Cid Highwind, Reno, Rufus Shinra, Rude, Elena
    • Crisis Core: Zack Fair, Angeal Hewley
    • Dirge of Cerberus: Shelke Rui
  • VIII: Squall Leonhart, Rinoa Heartilly, Quistis Trepe, Zell Dincht, Selphie Tilmitt, Irvine Kinneas, Seifer Almasy, Laguna Loire, Edea Kramer, Raijin, Fujin, Kiros Seagill, Ward Zabac, Ultimecia
  • IX: Zidane Tribal, Garnet Til Alexandros XVII, Vivi Ornitier, Adelbert Steiner, Freya Crescent, Quina Quen, Eiko Carol, Amarant Coral, Beatrix, Kuja, Marcus
  • X series
    • X: Tidus, Yuna, Wakka, Lulu, Kimahri Ronso, Rikku, Auron, Jecht, Braska, Seymour Guado
    • X-2: Paine
  • XI: Shantotto, Ayame, Curilla V Mecru, Prishe, Lion, Aphmau, Zeid, Lilisette
  • XII: Vaan, Balthier, Fran, Basch fon Ronsenburg, Ashelia B'nargin Dalmasca, Penelo, Gabranth, Larsa Ferrinas Solidor, Vayne Carudas Solidor, Reks
  • XIII series
    • XIII: Lightning, Snow Villiers, Oerba Dia Vanille, Sazh Katzroy, Hope Estheim, Oerba Yun Fang, Serah Farron, Cid Raines, Jihl Nabaat
    • XIII-2: Noel Kreiss
  • XIV: Y'shtola Rhul, Thancred Waters, Papalymo Totolymo, Yda Hext, Minfilia Warde, Alphinaud Leveilleur, Cid nan Garlond, Haurchefant Greystone, Estinien Wyrmblood, Ysayle Dangoulain
  • XV: Noctis Lucis Caelum, Gladiolus Amicitia, Iris Amicitia, Prompto Argentum, Aranea Highwind, Ignis Scientia
  • Tactics series
    • Tactics: Ramza Beoulve, Agrias Oaks, Delita Heiral, Ovelia Atkascha, Mustadio Bunansa, Goffard Gaffgarion, Cidolfus Orlandeau, Rapha Galthena, Marach Galthena, Meliadoul Tengille, Alma Beoulve, Orran Durai
    • Tactics Advance: Marche Radiuju, Montblanc
  • Type-0: Ace, Deuce, Nine, Machina Kunagiri, Rem Tokimiya, Queen, King, Cinque, Sice, Seven, Jack, Cater, Eight
  • Beyond
  • Kingdom Hearts: Sora, Riku

Note that due to frequent updates (the Japanese version is always ahead of Global), game features mentioned anywhere may not yet be available in your version of the game, weren't available when you used to play it, or may even be outdated in your version at this point.

Final Fantasy: Record Keeper provides examples of:

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    A 
  • Absurdly Low Level Cap: The standard level cap is only 50 and you can reach it fairly easily, at which point you can use Memory Crystals to raise the cap to 65, 80, and finally 99. Even free-to-play players have an excess of time and resources to reach this cap, and the game still has plenty of content at that point that will still pose a challenge.
  • Actually Four Mooks: The generic bosses in Cecil's event become this in the Elite versions of the bosses.
  • Adaptational Badass: A number of characters who are usually noncombatants are made combatants here and can hold their own against others. Notable of the group is Minfilia, who is quite notable for being quite useless among the player base of Final Fantasy XIV, but is given a powerful supporting Paladin specialization with high ranks in White Magic, Knight, and Support.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Record Keeper essentially acts as a summary of every game, with the permanent Realm dungeon exploration being condensed into only fights and stories being reduced to a short blurb before and after each dungeon.
    • Some time-limited events take this Up to Eleven, summarizing the Realm dungeons, which are already distilled versions of the game they're based on. Legendary Plunder is one for the FFVI realm (with the only divergence being Phoenix Cave at the end) while the A Planted SeeD event is one for the FFVIII realm.
    • The 2018 new addition, Record Dungeons, are yet another example of this trope. This time, Tyro and Elarra are inserted into the plots of the various main games, but are treated as In-Universe characters (for example, new recruits to AVALANCHE or Returner-aligned spies in the Gestahlian Empire) helping the main protagonists follow the timeline (while avoiding disrupting them) in corrupted paintings. Not even Tyro nor Elarra fully understand how distilled their adventures are, as sometimes they bounce from one time period to another in an instant (for example, from helping Terra join the Returners to the next half of the game in the World of Ruin, recruiting Terra again in Mobliz).
    • For some reason, Rocket Town and Wutai are combined.
  • After-Combat Recovery: Only when you clear (or retreat from) a dungeon. You can also heal at the camp between stages for a Mythril, though this is never worth it since the same Mythril could be used to revive your party, restore your ability uses, and get a temporary stat boost on top in case you do end up dying.
  • An Axe to Grind: Axes are fairly common and are usable by several characters, including Gilgamesh, Ramza, and Luneth. Strangely, Golbez gets them as an option as well, despite them being a very questionable choice for most mages. One of his unique relics is an axe which greatly boosts the wielder's magic stat, which only he can make full use of.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: A Wardrobe Record feature was introduced via an update, which allows players to collect alternative outfits for existing characters, then change them at will. These alternate outfits are typically based on the characters at different points in time in their home game or home series, such as Garnet's Significant Haircut and Cloud and Tifa's Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children uniforms. A notable exception to this rule is Tyro's "Black-Robed Keeper" outfit, which is based on the Black Cloaks from the Kingdom Hearts series.
  • Anti-Frustration Features
    • When a dungeon contains a boss, the game will give you a rundown of the boss's strategy, including elemental affinities, what status ailments can work on it, powerful attacks it will use and when, and so forth. This gives you ample warning to prepare your party appropriately for what's to come. As of the November 2017 update, players can now view this in the Pause menu during combat.
    • Most status ailments will wear off over time if you don't heal them, so you don't have to bring Esuna to every dungeon for fear of Mooks that may have status attacks. When a boss prominently uses status ailments, the game warns you about it.
    • Many of the bonus Challenge Dungeons, including multiplayer Raids, Torment Dungeons, and Jump Start Dungeons, don't deduct the Stamina used to challenge them until you actually complete them, as they usually take a lot of Stamina to complete but are so difficult that you may not be up to the task. This also means no penalty for fleeing the dungeon to change up your party before trying again.
    • In multiplayer Raid battles, if a player disconnects, the party leader will assume control over their characters; even if all three disconnect. However, if the leader disconnects, the battle is forfeit.
    • If you collect the Wardrobe Record for a character you don't have yet, you'll also get that character's Hero Record in conjunction with their Wardrobe Record.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: A classic Final Fantasy trope, applied once more here with 5 characters maximum. This limit is especially noticeable during Record Dungeons, where more than 6 characters are clearly involved in a fight (and, in fact, they can be switched in and out before the battle) but only 5 are active.
  • Arbitrary Mission Restriction: Dungeons have a "Mastery" ranking system, judged by damage taken, KO'd party members and number of actions taken. All boss stages are ranked on whether any party members were knocked out, with additional requirements like "exploit X's weakness to a certain element", "inflict a certain Status Effect on X", "defeat X before it uses its Signature Move", etc.
  • The Artifact:
    • The Core classes. They were designed as Crutch Characters, offering diversity in your roster in the early game when you have limited characters, and could be phased out once you got more options since on their own the Cores have terrible stats and poor ability pools. They had use in the game's early days, when events released characters one or two at a time and you only sporadically recruited new characters in the Realm Dungeons. These days, though, events are very generous with new characters (events that include five are fairly common), the Newcomer Dungeons let you recruit several VII, X, and XIII characters, and in February 2018, the Realm Dungeons were updated to massively increase the number and frequency of characters you recruit by doing them. A new player jumping into things can easily get their hands on a wide variety of characters very early on and then will be left wondering why the game keeps throwing them the useless Core characters that they have no need for. Now, they seem to only exist for Self Imposed Challenges and to collect powerful Record Materia from them.
    • The weekly Challenge Events. For a long time they were a way to gain new characters and also gave easy access to old ones, since the Realm Dungeons only gave out characters at limited intervals while Challenge Events could have up to five at a time that are deep in the Realm Dungeons (or even not there at all). Later, they also became a good sources of Orbs and Motes as higher difficulties were added with such items as rewards. In the 2018 metagame, the Realm Dungeons throw tons of characters at you quickly, the Power-Up Dungeons and Mote Dungeons allow you to farm Orbs and Motes regularly, and the game has become so full of characters that new ones tend to come very sparingly and typically one at a time. The result is that Challenge Events don't have much to offer players except their completion Mythril and the Relic Banners that accompany them.
    • Dark Knight Cecil and Paladin Cecil as separate characters. They were released simultaneously in the first FFIV event, one of the first limited-time events ever. Since then characters who undergo class changes or significant ability and appearance changes (Kain, Yuna, Rydia, Lightning) have their alternate outfits added as Wardrobe Records, and their abilities expanded or ignored. Cecil's Dark Knight and Paladin forms have grown to both be perfectly viable party members, and he's the only character to have two different incarnations as separate party members.
  • Artificial Brilliance: Without specific targets designated, characters will pick targets based on the AI attached to the ability they're using, and it's mostly pretty competent, to the point you very often don't need to pick targets yourself and can trust the computer to do so. HP-restoring abilities will auto-target the party member with the lowest HP percentage, status-healing abilities will auto-target a party member with status ailments, and status buff abilities target characters who don't already have that buff. On the offensive front, most damaging abilities target enemies with the lowest HP percentage, wtatus-inflicting abilities will target an enemy without that status already (presuming there is one), and Dispel will auto-target any enemy with stat buffs.
  • Art Shift: Fairly common, especially in the case of earlier games that have received Updated Rereleases. The game constantly swaps between showing 16-bit battle graphics and screenshots of the game in question, which may look completely different (or in the case of V and VI, not at all). Most prominent is the first three games, which do this threefold: The in-dungeon backgrounds are from the Updated Rereleases, the music is 8-bit, and the battles are 16-bit.
    • FFII dungeons are odd about this: some enemy sprites are taken from the 16-bit versions of the game, while others have their Famicom sprites redrawn in 16-bit.
  • Ascended Glitch: Of a sort. In Final Fantasy IX, there was a small oversight that allowed stat gains earned by Guest-Star Party Member Marcus to transfer over to Eiko. In this game, Marcus can be used to unlock "Eiko Legend Motes", which can in turn be used to increase Eiko's stats, and were the first such Motes to be created.
  • Assist Character: Roaming Warriors. They are characters selected and outfitted by other players, and can be chosen and taken with you into dungeons. While you have a Roaming Warrior equipped, you can use that character's equipped Soul Break twice per dungeon. If you like a particular Roaming Warrior, you can Follow them, which will make them show up on your Roaming Warriors list very frequently and available for use once per day.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • An update gave Yuna "Guns" as a possible Weapon option, but since she's a White Mage, she actually has no use for most of them, Tiny Bee or other magic guns notwithstanding. That said, Tiny Bee in and of itself also falls into this category, as it syncs up poorly with Yuna's designated role (White Mage/Summoner), and it's infamously in possession of what's commonly considered one of the worst Burst Soul Breaks in the game.
    • Dualcasting Record Materia. The idea sounds awesome, a chance to instantly dualcast a matching ability for free. The catch is that almost all of them only have at most a 15% success rate, far too low to be reliable, and the character is probably better off just equipping something to boost their stats and/or damage output. Averted by Legend Materia that can dualcast, as they tend to have much higher success rates and have their own dedicated slots; the trick with most of them is getting your hands on the Relic that holds them.
    • Any 5★ Black Magic aside from Chain Magics. Meteor and Flare are very powerful spells in the mid-game, but late-game fall off because they have one hit (still bound by the damage cap anyway) and are non-elemental. The devs agreed, as a 2017 update changed Meteor, Flare, and the White Magic Holy, to deal multiple hits of damage; Meteor now provides decent crowd control for mobs and Flare, while still non-elemental, deals more hits than the Chain Magics and has a higher overall base damage multiplier, making it a preferable option against bosses that resist all elements.
    • Ultima, the recurring top-tier black magic spell and a major plot point in FFII, is pretty useless here, and got upgraded to "entirely useless" after the November 2017 update. It hits all enemies for three hits of non-elemental damage, but has low power compared to other top-tier spells and has no element in a metagame defined and balanced around elemental abilities. Chain Magics have higher power and more hits (and are elemental) against single enemies, while against groups of enemies Meteor is almost as powerful and also hits three times. And both of these are 5★ spells while Ultima is 6★, so materials to hone them are much easier to come by.
    • Reraise allows a character to instantly revive upon death, but it's a 6★ which means using Crystals to hone it, when there are many more 6★ abilities far more useful. That aside, many Soul Breaks cast Reraise on the entire party, and there's also many that cast Last Stand on the party, which is even better.
    • Now, Arbiter's Apocrypha isn't an inherently bad Relic on its own; it's a solid Stat Stick for Tyro and its Overstrike still gives Mastery Stats, which is always good for him. However, the Overstrike Soul Break it comes with is widely considered the worst Overstrike in the entire game. It deals one Overflow hit and gives Boostga, which doesn't sound too shabby on its own. The issue is that the Overflow hit has a lower multiplier than any other Overstrike in the game, on a character with Master of None-level stats. The majority of players see it hit for anywhere between 4000 and 7000 damage, which for an Overstrike is nothing short of inexcusable.

    B 
  • Background Music Override: When you're in FFV's "Big Bridge" Realm Dungeon, instead of having overworld music, battle music, and a victory fanfare, the famous "Battle on the Big Bridge" track from the game plays over everything.
  • Bad Powers, Bad People: The Darkness abilities. Every villain character has full 5★ access to them, and they include physical and magical attacks, often carrying Power at a Price.
  • Bad Powers, Good People:
    • On the flipside, a multitude of heroic characters have access to Darkness abilities, including Leon, Dark Knight Cecil, Golbez (at least in TAY), Vincent, Edea, Jecht, Cid Raines, and Riku. Also getting Darkness through Record Dive are Luneth, Shantotto and Basch.
    • Any sort of equipment from a villain can be equipped on anyone. Most notably the Carnelian Signet, which is an accessory that boosts +15 Attack and provides Fire resistance and can be equipped on anyone. In the original game it came from, it was used to blow up Rydia's village of Mist. This can make for some interesting combos, like slapping Kefka's cloak on Terra, the Masamune on Cloud, or Gilgamesh's hood on Bartz.
    • Estinien's Ultra Soul Break shows him tapping into the Eye and blood of Nidhogg, a genocidal, revenge-obsessed dragon from Final Fantasy XIV, to strengthen his abilities.
  • Badass Driver: Laws of physics apparently don't apply to the Fenrir; in Cloud's first Burst Soul Break, Fenrir Overdrive, he manages to do several drive-bys with the Fusion Swords, then does aerial cartwheels on a motorcycle. His second BSB, Cloud Cycle, combines this with Car Fu, as he jumps off his bike mid-attack, has it zoom around driverless as he slashes at the enemy before finally having it crash into the enemy and explode as he finishes off the attack with a final slash.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: There are several, representing a majority of the games in the series. Josef, Tifa, Refia, Sabin, Galuf, Zell, Amarant, Yang and Snow fight with their hands and have access to Monk abilities, though they can all use weapons as well.
  • Bash Brothers/Battle Couple: Occasionally encouraged — characters who were close in their original title may have Soul Breaks in this game that synergize particularly well together.
    • Terra is a Fire-elemental mage, while Locke is a Fire-elemental warrior. Locke's Soul Breaks tend to debuff enemies and lower their Fire resistance, while Terra's Soul Breaks buff her and infuse her with Fire.
    • Cloud is a Wind-elemental fighter whose Soul Breaks infuse him with Wind, and his USB "Ultra Cross Slash" grants him 100% critical hit rate. Zack is a Wind-elemental fighter whose Soul Breaks lower the enemy's resistance to Wind, and his CSB "Lucky Stars" boosts the Attack, Wind-elemental damage, and critical hit damage of allies. Together they two form a perfect combo with Zack's Soul Breaks acting to maximize Cloud's damage output.
    • Squall is a powerful Ice-elemental warrior, and Rinoa is a powerful Ice-elemental mage.
    • Zidane and Marcus are both Wind-elemental thieves that can debuff enemies, but Zidane's Soul Breaks Infuse him with Wind while Marcus' lowers the enemy's Wind resistance.
    • Tidus is a Water-elemental fighter who has Soul Breaks to infuse him with Water, while Wakka is a Water-elemental fighter who has Soul Breaks that lower the enemy's Water resistance and debuffs their stats.
    • Serah and Snow are both Ice-elemental characters, Serah a mage while Snow is a warrior.
  • Bonus points to this couple for having CS Bs(Magic 150 and Physical 99 respectively).
  • Battle Theme Music: Each game's own unique battle themes are reused when battling it out inside their respective portraits or dungeons. Boss battle music from each game is also retained as well. Initially, the victory fanfare was always the Final Fantasy V fanfare, but a later update added the fanfares from each respective game which play within their portraits.
  • The Berserker:
    • Luneth's early Advance Unique Soul Break sacrificed defense for a massive boost in attack power.
    • There are Record Materias such as Fran's Seething Mist, which cause the character to start off every battle berserked. This is in reference to a specific battle in Final Fantasy XII where Fran loses control of herself and spends the entire next battle Berserked.
    • Gau's Soul Breaks are this. Rage locks his moveset into spamming the same attack over and over and over again.
    • The Heavy Combat school is based on this job along with the Viking Job.
  • Black Knight: Several such FF characters, like Garland, are playable here with their own gameplay quirks:
    • Leon can use 5★ Knight and Darkness abilities, plus 3★ Black Magic.
    • Dark Knight Cecil has his own character slot and unique gear, and the highest HP pool of any character. Golbez also technically counts, able to use 5★ Knight abilities and equipment like axes and heavy armor.
    • Gabranth is officially labeled a Paladin, able to use 4★ White Magic and 4★ Knight abilities.
  • Black Mage: The core Black Mage, obtained in the early game, is quite useful, with a respectable magic stat that can help you clear early dungeons until you get someone better - and he's still worth grinding to LV65 for the Mana Spring Record Materias, which restore black magic ability uses when entering a new battle. Meanwhile, Lulu and Vivi are restricted to black magic, while Rinoa, Terra, Rydia and Maria can use every black magic spell in the game and more.
  • Blade on a Stick: Spears and polearms can be equipped not only by Dragoons such as Kain, Freya, and Fang, but also a handful of other warrior-type characters and a few of the mages as well.
  • Blow You Away: Wind-type abilities, such as Aero Strike, Wind Slash, and Wind Jump. Tyro's Cyclone Grimoire is an aversion, as despite the fact that it aesthetically looks like a twister, it actually deals Non-Elemental Magic Damage. These are getting more numerous as they go on.
  • Bonus Boss: Most Challenge Events have bonus battles released three days after launch, with increasingly difficult Boss Only Levels starting at Ultimate+ difficulty and going all the way to Apocalypse ++.
  • Boring, but Practical: Several abilities meet this description.
    • In a broader sense, as you'll want to save your abilities and Soul Breaks for the bosses most of the time, normal battle strategies will often consist mostly of just physical attacks and Auto-Battle.
    • The entire Combat school in general. Don't own a Support (yet)? There's some cheap 3★ Breaks that function almost as well. Want to do some cheap damage? Charge, Pound, Launch, and in particular Lifesiphon are all no-nonsense, decent non-elemental damage that are relatively cheap to hone for how useful they are (Launch can carry players through the mid-game while Lifesiphon is useful throughout the end-game, a full rarity lower than corresponding abilities). A plurality if not majority of physical characters have some access to this school, with 4★ access in particular being valued for Lifesiphon. The tradeoff is that Combat is difficult to boost and therefore falls out of use (besides Lifesiphon) in the end-game — only a few characters like Cloud and Noctis are built to boost the non-elemental damage that the school provides.
      • Double Cut is a Combat Ability that deals two physical attacks, and that's it. It's cheap to create and hone, the combined damage total is decent (equal to 3★ Breaks), and in strategies revolving around the Retaliate ability, it counts as two attacks, allowing you to proc Retaliate twice with a single move. Tempo Flurry is the 3★ Celerity version, which is a direct upgrade since it also has a 20% chance of inflicting Slow per hit.
      • Full Charge and Barrage are the Up to Eleven version of this trope. If Full Charge can be sped up to compensate for its long cast time (notably with Power Chain), it's stronger than Barrage. When honed, either allow you to do Super Soul Break-level damage per cast.
    • EnElement Legend Materia, which start a character off infused with an elemental affinity. Nothing fancy, but this can be a huge boon to their damage output if they rely on elemental attacks, and thus considerably speeds up battles.
    • Just like in Final Fantasy X, Quick Hit is this. It deals 2 hits that are each stronger than the basic attack and it casts instantly. This allows the character to move up the queue and use other Abilities sooner, and it also functions as a good way to build up Soul Break gauge with characters that don't have access to Combat school, which includes most ninjas. Unfortunately, being a 5★ ability, it's extremely difficult to make, and takes at least 110 Major Wind Orbs to hone it to a level where it is useful.
    • Aforementioned Power Chain is very similar to Quick Hit in practical use: spam it and it's a strong instant cast attack that gains Soul Break gauge at Lifesiphon-tier rates.
    • Revive. 2★ Support Ability, and basically functions as a poor man's Raise, except it gets four base uses and a White Mage doesn't have to use it (almost any character can), which allows them to slot another Ability that Raise would normally take up. The only difference is that Raise can target enemies, which allows you to One-Hit Kill Undead-type enemies if they aren't immune to instant death.
    • Attack replacement Record Materia, which change the normal Attack command into some ability. There are numerous examples, but some of the most commonly used include Lightning's instant attack (basically, a Quick Hit with auto-attack level damage). Others include various AoE abilities for farming, letting mages contribute in auto-battles while conserving abilities, or auto-healing for longer fights.
    • Shadow's Soul Breaks, from his early SSB to his upgraded BSB. They're an incredibly common sight on Roaming Warrior lists due to their instant cast damage and high DPS. The modern Daily Dungeon format of just two dungeon nodes is easily handled by a single physical character using Shadow's BSB and spamming the AoE command.
    • Cloud's USB, Ultra Cross Slash. It's pretty standard for a USB, and its EX Mode is relatively straightforward, giving 100% Crit, +30% Phys. Damage, and Overflow on non-Soul Break attacks. The last bit is the kicker, as it allows Cloud to burst vastly higher than other physical attackers and get maximum mileage out of single-hit Abilities where they would otherwise be less useful on other characters due to other characters being bound to the damage cap on normal Abilities.
    • Noctis's SSB, Gladiolus Link. It deals six hits to a target, casts instantly, and removes charge time from the party's next action. The damage is negligible, but the true prize is the instant cast charge it gives the party, and it casts instantly itself, too.
    • Sentinel's Grimoire. In a meta dominated by Burst, Ultra, Overstrike, Arcane Overstrike Soul Breaks, and Glints, Sentinel's Grimoire is a very early release plain old Unique for Tyro. However, even in modern meta, Sentinel's defense boosting effect is lifesaving, and many players can still attest to carrying a pocket Sentinel as a Roaming Warror for those really tough bosses. It later gets an upgrade in the form of a USB, Divine Veil Grimoire, which, in addition to doing what Sentinel does, adds Protectga, Shellga and Hastega, making for an insanely powerful buff.
  • Boss Banter: Much of the pre-battle and mid-battle dialogue was retained for many bosses, although much of it will only show up if you have certain characters on your team when the boss is encountered. For example, if Cyan is on your team when you fight Kefka, he'll vow to avenge the people of Doma. If Terra is also present, she'll ask him why he used a mind control device on her.
    • Cid Raines's battle is the Up to Eleven version of this. If you bring a party consisting only of Final Fantasy XIII characters who are all Level 65 or higher, you will get to read a condensed version of the appropriate cutscene. The "condensed" version is two minutes long. This in a game where typical boss battles are about the same length, give or take.
  • Boss Rush: A regular feature of "Challenge"-type events, and present in some regular dungeons as well.
    • In the painting "Dollet (Withdrawal)" and the "A Planted SeeD" event (Final Fantasy VIII), you have to fight the X-ATM092 (also known as Black Widow) no fewer than four times in a row.
    • Final Fantasy VII's "Pagoda Tower", which covers Yuffie's sidequest for her best Limit Break, tops the X-ATM fight and has you fight five bosses in a row.
    • The first portrait of the Final Fantasy IX realm has a boss for each level: the Masked Man, Steiner, Steiner and some mooks, and Steiner and a Bomb.
    • The end of the "To Slay a Sorceress" Event: you have to fight two bosses in a row, Seifer and Edea. The Elite version of the Event ups the ante and pits you against three bosses: Iguions, Seifer and Edea. Unsurprisingly, this is considered a difficult level; good luck trying to Master it on Elitenote .
    • Event + Stages, unlocked by clearing all of the Elite Dungeons in a particular event. Every single stage is a boss fight, although each boss has fewer HP than normal.
    • Giant of Babil, Part 1 in Final Fantasy IV consists entirely of rematches with the four Archfiends. Thankfully each one drops an Ether to keep you from running out of abilities too quickly.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: Ultra Nemesis is the only boss who explicitly has almost no reward if you manage to beat him. The only prize you can get for killing him is... 500,000 Gil and your name and the party you defeated him with in the official strategy website. This is probably to counterbalance the fact that he's one of the hardest bosses in the game. And that's saying something.
    • That being said, since high-end ability honing and equipment upgrading is ridiculously expensive and because the Gil reward was by far the largest amount you can get as many times as you want, many people who sunk massive amounts of money into the game to get multiple copies of every relic so that they could combine them to highest possible grade made use of the opportunity to use said relics to defeat Nemesis repeatedly for the Gil reward.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: You can spend money to buy Gems, which are used to increase inventory space, heal your party between fights and, most of all, try your luck at Relic draws in order to get better equipment. The Mythril you get from finishing dungeons for the first time, as a login bonus and from events serves the same purpose and is usually interchangeable, although the exact conversion ratio varies slightly depending on the context.
  • Butterfly of Doom: Discussed during chapter 1 of the Record Dungeons (Untrodden Paths) — specifically, when Tyro and Elarra witness Nora Estheim's death in Final Fantasy XIII. Elarra wishes to undo Nora's death, but Tyro warns her not to do so, as they're both instructed by Dr. Mog not to alter the events that happen within the corrupted paintings, lest it brings out horrific consequences.

    C 
  • The Cameo: If you know where to look during the animation of Alma's Burst Soul Break, "Wisdom of Orbonne", you can find Tyro hidden behind a bookcase.
  • Can't Catch Up: Averted. While nearly every character starts as Overrated and Underleveled when you first get them (except Orlandeau from Tactics), the game supplies numerous methods of power-leveling your fresh characters, typically Growth Eggs, to get those new characters up to speed and in a usable state.
  • Cap: Damage caps at 9999 on any given hit. Attacks with the Overflow propertynote  are able to bypass the 9999 limit and hit even harder, although the damage for Overflow attacks caps at 99999 instead.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Edgar Figaro, in usual fashion. Elarra is quite offended by his behavior, but Tyro justifies it as Edgar being Edgar.
  • Cast From Hitpoints:
    • The combat ability Bonecrusher shaves off some of the user's health for a heavy physical attack.
    • Dark Knight Cecil's 'Gore-stained Blade' Record Materias, which increase the damage basic attacks do at the cost of some health.
    • Darkness abilities are mostly this (namely Crimson Cross and Sanguine Cross).
    • Various Soul Breaks, like most of Dark Knight Cecil's Soul Breaks (see a pattern?).
  • CCG Importance Dissonance:
    • To avoid confusing players, the developers initially tried to use weapons with unique names for Soul Break relics, and particularly signature or powerful weapons. But as the game kept going and more Soul Breaks were added to characters, this had to be abandoned. This results in oddities where weapons that were the strongest of their kind in their home games are outclassed by what in the home game was Vendor Trash, but here is more powerful.
      • Rydia's Dragon Whisker and Mystic Whip, the strongest Whips in IV, have a Unique and Super Soul Break for her. Meanwhile her Overstrike Soul Break is on the Wizard Rod, a mid-powered Rod from the sequel.
      • The Brave Blade, potentially the strongest sword in V and the sword Bartz is commonly portrayed with in spinoffs, is merely a Unique Soul Break weapon for him, making it outclassed by not only the Excalibur and Ragnarok, the next two strongest swords in FFV, with his Super and Burst Soul Breaks respectively, but also the Great Sword, a midgame store-bought weapon that gives him his third Burst Soul Break, and even its counterpart, the Chicken Knife, which granted him his Ultra Soul Break and considered Bartz's best relic.
      • Krile's Fire Lash, which was almost useless in V, contains a Super Soul Break that gives great buffs. Meanwhile the Magus Rod, the most powerful rod in V, has a Unique (and a pretty useless one at that).
      • Terra's Apocalypse, her Infinity +1 Sword in the GBA version of Final Fantasy VI, has her Ultra Soul Break, which fits perfectly. Meanwhile the Minerva Bustier (one of the best armor pieces in VI) and Maduin's Horn (her ultimate weapon in Dissidia) give her a Unique and Super Soul Break, but the Blood Sword, a mid-game weapon that was fairly useless, has her Overstrike Soul Break. Her Arcane Overstrike is on the Durandal, a weapon not even in her original game.
      • Danjuro, the strongest dagger in XII, is one of the weakest weapons in this game. It was released as one of the first 5★s and is now an obsolete off-banner relic and one of the 3 random starter weapons. Meanwhile, the Orichalcum Dirk, a middle-of-the-pack dagger, contains Vaan's Burst Soul Break, Ark Blast, widely considered one of the best debuffing Soul Breaks in the game.
      • Lightning's signature Blazefire Saber has Blaze Rush, a Unique Soul Break, and her XIII-2 gunblade, Overture, has her first Burst Soul Break, Requiem of the Goddess. Her Overstrike Soul Break, Thunderfall, is on the Gladius and her second BSB, Focused Bolts(which adds a weakness to lightning damage), is on the Enkindler, mid-tier weapons and whole unremarkable ones.
      • Hope's Ninurta in XIII is a first-tier (out of three) weapon and widely considered to be one of his worst boomerangs — here, it's his Burst Soul Break.
      • In Final Fantasy Tactics, the Platinum Sword is an unremarkable sword that comes in an awkward time and gets outpaced by Power Creep. Heck, if you're leveled up, you can skip it. In this game, it gives Ramza the infamous Shout, which was one of the first examples of a Game-Breaker Soul Break the game would have.
      • Played with in some cases. Sephiroth's Masamune is weak and obsolete, but this was changed by the release of the Masamune-Shinuchu. It's the same sword, except with a Burst Soul Break and blood on its hilt.
    • Characters can fall victim to this too, with their prominence in the franchise not reflecting their power.
      • In VII, Cid, Barret, and Cait Sith, are playable characters and are just kinda average here in their roles. Shelke, a supporting character from the Dirge of Cerberus spinoff, is considered one of the best Support characters in the game.
      • Echo is just a Fairy Companion to the main character of a Final Fantasy mobile spin-off, she got a Relic that endowed upon her a Soul Break that gave the entire party DEF and RES boosts and Hastega. Not to mention this ability could be stacked on top of pre-existing Soul Breaks such as Sentinel Grimoire, which had players scratching their heads at why a basically-unknown side character got one of the best Soul Breaks in the game. This was later rectified pre-release with a quick change that made the buff to be explicitly anti-MAG only, vastly reducing its viability.
    • Attacks likewise can fall into this. Ungarmax, Barret's strongest Limit in VII, is merely a Super Soul Break here.
  • Changing Gameplay Priorities: Very much so.
    • Initially, players need to increase their stamina pool by completing Classic paintings, and will create new abilities only to complete quests and conditions to get Mastery in a dungeon (such as a Black Magic spell), without honing them too much since orbs are scarce, and you can just auto-battle most encounters. However, once you reach higher level Classic and Elite paintings, honing your abilities becomes very important in order to beat the bosses, and damage mitigation slowly but surely becomes mandatory in order to survive. Players then have to farm orbs during daily dungeons in order to be able to create and hone useful abilities, most of them 3★, starting with the Power/Armor/Magic/Mental Break abilities, Black Magic and Curaga. The next step includes difficult to hone abilities, such as some summons, 4★ Black Magic and 4★ Support abilities, such as the Breakdown ones. And the final step includes honing 5★ abilities, like Full Break, Thief's Revenge, and Saint Cross. Once you have all the abilities you need, priority will probably go to completing Record Spheres, which means delving into Mote Dungeons.
    • Farming Gil is mandatory at the beginning in order to be able to improve your abilities and equipment. Once you hit the end-game content though, you'll probably have enough money you don't need to worry about gil, until it's time to hone those Rank 5/6 abilities or equipment pieces.
    • The release of USBs and bosses with higher defense is intended as a shift from BSBs to abilities as your main source of damage: while abilities have a limited number of uses and may take a good number of hones before you can use them often enough for them to be useful, they generally have noticeably higher damage multipliers and a good number of EX modes that USBs provide are tailored towards specific types of abilities, some of which can't be found on that character's BSBs.
    • Also applies to the order in which you'll do dungeons. Early on you'll want to focus on the Classic Realm Dungeons and maybe dip into the Elite versions a bit. As you win your way up you can go deeper into Challenge Events and Raid Dungeons, and use the 3★ Motes from the latter to complete some first-tier Record Spheres. Eventually you'll plateau with a party of Level 80 characters, so it's time to start eking out wins against the "Ultimate" bosses in Challenge Events to win Memory Crystal Lode IIIs to push the party to Level 99. With that you can more reliably beat the 160 and 220 Raid bosses and start farming 4★ Motes from Mote bosses for second-tier Record Spheres. With lots of high-level characters and abilities, the next hurdles are Nightmaress, Magicites, and Torments, which bring additional complications along with the high power levels they expect from you.
  • Character Select Forcing: Invoked with the FFIX boss Valia Pira. It's Bloodstones gimmick from the original game was translated into Record Keeper as triggering one Bloodstone for each of your party slots that doesn't have a FFIX character in it. The more party slots without FFIX characters, the stronger its magic gets. If you didn't bring any of those characters, it then tops it off by becoming immune to all elements.
  • Charged Attack: The Heavy Physical Ability School. Heavy Physical requires the player to gain stacks of Heavy Charge through the Heavy Charge or Grand Charge Abilities, or other methods such as Cloud's Sonic Break (KH) BSB Burst Mode. Corresponding Heavy Physical Abilities can be used, and the number of hits they inflict are based on the Heavy Charge Rank of the user, and Heavy Charge resets after the Ability is used, requiring the user to re-stack Heavy Charge Rank to make the most out of Heavy Physical Abilities.
  • Colony Drop: Has almost become a Running Gag since the 3rd year of FFRK.
    • Sephiroth's iconic ability returns here with his Black Materia Soul Break. Sephiroth uses the Black Materia to call Meteor, which drops in from the sky and deals several hits of Dark magic damage.
    • Maria's Meteor XVI summons a massive meteor that does massive damage. Taken Up to Eleven with her OSB, Kerplode XXXII, which summons an even bigger meteor that's shown destroying the entire planet.
    • Krile's later Overstrike tries to top Maria's OSB by showing her riding the meteor, which covers the entire screen when it lands.
    • Rinoa's Arcane Overstrike "settles" for dropping a comet on the planet, tilting it out of orbit, and causing permafrost on its surface.
  • Combat Exclusive Healing: Did you beat the stage before healing your Squishy Wizard? You'd better hope your healer has a full ATB gauge at the start of the next fight, since you can't use your healing spells in between gauntlets and healing at the camp costs Mythril. Slightly lessened by the fact that the last enemy in a wave can drop a healing powerup.
  • Combat Medic:
    • Quite a few traditional White Mages in the game have shifted towards offense like Vanille, Minwu, and Arc with some of their latest Soul Breaks. Meanwhile, Rem is a White Mage with Soul Breaks focused on offense, and Yuna and Garnet have always been White Mage-Summoners with some relics bent toward support, others bent towards offense.
    • Lots of Paladins like Cecil (Paladin), Beatrix, Ceodore, and Minfilia are offensive-focused but have respectable White Magic access to be a supporting healer.
    • Characters such as Mog and Rosa also qualify thanks to their weapon selection, though with combat much less emphasized than medic.
    • Can also be amusingly invoked via Record Synergy. Record Synergy ups the overall stats of any appropriate weapon, including Attack. This tends to make Rods and Staves roughly as strong as Daggers, or potentially swords. So you may find cases like your White Mage beating the life out of monsters effectively by smacking them with a staff, at least if you remembered to put them in the front row.
    • If you pull a Beatrix relic, anyone who can wield swords can become one due to the large MND boost.
  • Combinatorial Explosion: With the absolutely massive amount of characters in the Final Fantasy franchise, Record Keeper gives fans the chance to beat up their favorite bosses with their Final Fantasy dream team.
  • Common Place Rare: You can find Daggers, Swords, Rods, and Staves for miles around, but you know you've got something when you have a Japanese sword, a pistol, a harp, a hairpin, or god forbid a sports ball.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: Averted, at at least zigzagged. While there are some straight examples (see the YMMV page for them), the developers design higher-level content so as to be impossible to complete it with all the same party. One party of regulars will get you through Realm Dungeons and Challenge Events fine, but anything more difficult than them, you'll need to change it up.
    • Nightmare Bosses are Puzzle Bosses that expect you to bring teams able to play along with their gimmick based on a certain school of abilities; not doing so tends to be more difficult or outright punishing.
    • Magicite Bosses enforce Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors hard and expect you to bring teams able to pick on their elemental weakness, since they resist all other elemental damage.
    • The second wave of Torment Dungeons have the bosses gain an escalating stat buff and resistance to debuffs and elemental damage for each off-Realm character in the party; for the optimal fight, you're expected to bring a party of five characters from the native realm.
    • The Crystal Tower event type forbid you from using the same party members twice in a run of the Tower, so (equipment and abilities aside) you need to be able to field four battle-ready parties to beat all four bosses the Tower pits you against.
  • Composite Character: The Warrior of Light for the Warriors of Light once again, as a holdover from Dissidia: Final Fantasy. While the summaries for Final Fantasy I refer to the Warriors of Light as a group, the Warrior of Light still represents the whole of them. Strangely, his own character profile conflicts with this, as it refers to him as a single character. His profile also displays his "official art" as the 8-bit Warrior from the NES era.
  • The Computer Is a Lying Bastard: A somewhat minor but still annoying example regarding the Magicites: there's actually 2 different formulas for calculating their effects, with the main Magicite and half of sub Magicites' total stats being used to calculate the effectiveness of the stat-boosting passive abilities, but the actual combined stats visible on their stat screen is the main Magicite and 1/4th of the sub Magicites' total stats, which is what's used to calculate the power/duration of their attacks/buffs when summoned, when the opposite would be far more intuitive.
  • Continuity Nod: Bosses are generally faithful to the original game, making them much easier to defeat the first time if you remember them well. You're encouraged to use equipment from the same games and rewarded if you can beat certain challenging bosses with it.
  • Cool Bike: The Fenrir, Cloud's personal ride from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. If you have the 1st Fusion Sword, you can give it to Cloud to unlock Fenrir Overdrive, where Cloud boards the Fenrir and breaks out the Fusion Swords to utterly demolish enemies.
  • Cool Sword: Quite a few of them, including some character-specific ones, such as the Buster Sword and Masamune.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Since you're limited to ten abilities total (two per member), a character who is very good at one role is often less preferable to a character who can easily fit multiple roles, such as offense and healing/mitigation.
    • Palom, Vivi, and Lulu. They collectively tie with each other and Edea for the second-highest Magic in the game. However their stats otherwise are pathetic save for Resistance and they only have access to Black Magic and Witch for abilities, making them useless in any dungeon where you don't need offensive magic.
  • Critical Hit Class: Due to how critical hit mechanics in the game work, there's two sides of this trope. Critical hits do +50% damage normally, but some effects can boost that damage buff. Thus there's many characters who can boost critical hit ratio for themselves and/or allies, and many who can boost critical hit damage, but only a few can do both.
    • Monks. One of the first 5-star abilities, Exploding Fist, was slightly weaker than average but had increased critical rate. They have Elemental Rushes for Fire, Earth, Ice, and Lightning, with the same critical hit rate boost.
      • Refia, Zell, and the Master from the original Final Fantasy all have Burst Soul Breaks that boost their critical hit chance, while Refia and the Master have Ultras that boost critical hit damage, and Zell and the Master have Ultras that let them do chase attacks on critical hits. Refia and Zell also have Legend Materia that trigger on critical hits; Refia's boosts her Attack and Zell's gives him three turns of Quickcast.
      • Ursula, Galuf, Tifa, Amarant, Jecht, and Snow aren't as dedicated to the trope as those three, but still have several Soul Breaks to boost critical hit rate, and/or Burst Soul Breaks with Burst commands that have higher critical hit rates. Prishe gets a Soul Break that boosts critical hit damage instead.
    • Samurai later developed into this, with their elemental 5-star abilities Warring Flame and Warring Frost possessing a much greater critical chance than Monk abilities (50% vs 20%) but requiring Retaliate status.
      • Cyan got a set of Soul Breaks similar to the Monks listed above; a Burst that boosts critical hit rate and an Ultra that boosts critical hit damage.
      • Cloud's Ultra Soul Break guarantees critical hits for its 15 second EX Mode duration, and grants him 50% critical hit rate. His Burst Soul Break Fenrir Overdrive has an (unnoted in the game) 80% critical hit rate on its Burst commands.
      • Firion, Gilgamesh, and Sephiroth, all have Soul Breaks that boost critical hit rate.
  • Crutch Character:
    • After the first tutorial dungeon, you're given the core Black Mage and White Mage, who unlike most other Cores are passable at their jobs and can serve the player well until they obtain a proper Black Mage and White Mage.
    • Zigzagged with Cloud throughout the overall game's history. He's the first named character and physical attacker the player receives, his skillset gives him strong and flexible options early on, and as a bonus he can unlock Rarity 5 Spellblades with Motes. As new tiers of Soul Breaks are introduced, Cloud tended to intro each one (Supers, Bursts, Overstrikes) and after a honeymoon period as the posterboy for Power Creep, he ends up with an eventually-outdated Soul Break for its tier. Since the third year of FFRK (and after another honeymoon period of enjoying one of the strongest Ultras in the entire game), Cloud has settled into this trope once more as the game shifted toward Magicites while he's relegated a non-elemental skillset. Later Wind-based Cloud relics attempted to break him out of this trope and settle him into a more conventional Wind DPS role.
    • Zigzagged with Burst Soul Breaks. If you lack the resources to craft and hone abilities for a character, you'll often find yourself relying on their Burst to give them a way to fight in longterm battles, since Burst commands have infinite charges and fighting with them will probably recharge the Burst in time to cast it again. However, Burst commands tend to have lower power than normal abilities, and use up Soul Break charges that could be used for more powerful Ultra Soul Breaks, which increasingly have additional effects that trigger when using certain abilities but (for assorted, complicated reasons) don't synergize well with Burst abilities. However, this is not a universal rule, as many characters have Burst Soul Breaks that remain powerful in spite of their Power Creep, and they can keep up with Ultra-favoring characters just fine; Cid Raines and Vaan are two of the most famous examples.
  • Cut-and-Paste Environments: The game is generally good at averting this, as there are a large number of backgrounds, and within the same realm, unless the following addendum is applicable, the same background is usually never reused twice, unless two dungeons take place in the same area for plot reasons. However, generic areas such as "caves" and "underground passageways" tend to recycle the same two or three backgrounds for convenience's sake. The daily dungeons are particularly guilty of this.

    D-F 
  • Damage-Sponge Boss:
    • A couple of bosses fit squarely into this category, such as Norg ("Balamb Garden" event) and JENOVA (Elite painting and "The JENOVA Project" event).
    • Yiazmat (Transcendent) from Autumn Fest 2018 cranks it Up to Eleven and beyond by copying its HP to the T from Final Fantasy XII. All 50,112,254 hit points worth. However, to counteract this, players can break the damage cap by default and characters will periodically enter the Awaken Super Mode that multiples their damage output by 10x, halves damage taken, and doubles ATB and cast speed.
  • Dance Battler: An entire school of abilities, usable by characters such as Mog, Lenna, Rikku, and Penelo.
  • Degraded Boss: In the first FFIX event, Black Waltz and Sea Lion were the final boss. In the second event, they're bosses early in the event.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    • Character outfits appear as equipment, in different, overlaping parts. For instance, "Kefka's Guise" is merely the base robes, there's also "Kefka's Cloak" and "Kefka's Gloves", and "Kefka's Plume" appears as an accessory. Sephiroth has "Sephiroth's Coat" and "Sephiroth's Glove", as well as "Executioner" for his pants that frequently appear as a separate outfit for him, and "Hero's Belt" is an accessory that is the belt from his Dissidia design.
    • There are four different versions of the Buster Sword: Cloud has the VII version as well as the Kingdom Hearts version wrapped in bandages, Zack has the Crisis Core design, and Angeal has the "Hewley Buster" which is just the Crisis Core Buster Sword surrounded by feathers.
  • Depleted Phlebotinum Shells: Machinist abilities in a nutshell. It can be inferred that Gun-based Spell Blade abilities run off of these as well.
  • Drop the Hammer: Powerful hammers are available to use, albeit by very few characters like Paladin Cecil and Galuf.
  • Dual Boss:
    • Biggs and Wedge in Final Fantasy VIII. Biggs appears alone, and will be joined shortly by Wedge. It is strongly advised to not attack Biggs while waiting for Wedge, since he will counterattack and regenerate his health when Wedge arrives anyway.
    • Magissa and Forza in Final Fantasy V. Magissa appears alone as well, but calls in Forza after a while.
    • Ultros and Typhoon in Final Fantasy VI.
    • The Shiva sisters, Nix and Streya, from Final Fantasy XIII look like one, but you are fighting them as a single entity, and you can only attack Nix.
    • Black Waltz No. 1 and the Sealion in the "Princess of Alexandria" Final Fantasy IX event. Black Waltz No. 1 will cast Blizzard on Sealion if it runs low on health, or summon another Sealion if it dies. You won't win the fight unless you off Black Waltz No. 1 first.
    • Steiner and Bomb is something of this, except Steiner is completely oblivious of the volatile monster behind him. The Bomb is something of a faux-time limit, as it will Self-Destruct when it grows large enough, dealing damage to the entire party and Steiner. Not only will the damage knock your party off its feet if you're not properly prepared, you need to finish Steiner before Self-Destruct activates for a bonus objective.
    • Gilgamesh and Enkidu make their appearance in both V dungeons and events! Finishing Enkidu off first elicits a humorous misunderstanding from Gilgamesh at the end of the fight.
  • Diminishing Returns for Balance: The soft/hardcaps on main damage stats work this way: once you reach the softcap, any additional increase to that stat has a much lower overall effect and no stat can be boosted more than 2.5 times its base value.
    • The Magicite passive bonuses also function this way: any extra copies of any given passive skill only have half the effectiveness of the previous copy, rounded up, meaning that if you have 5 passives that give 10% more damage to an element each, the total damage increase isn't 50%, it's 10+5+3+2+1 or just 21%, meaning that stacking any passive past 3 copies generally isn't worth it.
  • Dub Name Change: Any of these that were present in the original games is present here. There are also some new ones; for example, the "Job" characters in Japan are known as "Core" characters elsewhere. Tyro is also known as Decinote  in Japan, and "History" and "Force" in the Japanese version were converted into the much more sensible "Classic" and "Elite" in the international version.
    • The various Bonus Dungeons were also renamed between versions, some of them somewhat pointlessly: Abyss Dungeons are now called Nightmare Dungeons, Nightmare Dungeons are now called Torment Dungeons and the Full Throttle battles are now called Jump Start battles.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: The "Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary" dungeons put players up against the first boss of every realm dungeon, with the boss representing Record Keeper being the final boss of the first Event Dungeon, the Dark Knight... which was Japan's first event dungeon. Global's first event dungeon was based on Final Fantasy VII, which left some players confused.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Biggs and Wedge first appear in the limited-time, higher-difficulty "Pharos at Ridorana" event that was part of the Autumn Festival 2018 event in Global note . They properly introduce themselves to the protagonist in the permanent Record Dungeons, which have a set lineup and can, eventually, be accessed by all players.
  • Early Game Hell: Downplayed over time thanks to quality-of-life improvements. Some of the earliest players (but not launch players, some of whom benefited from promotions giving them Warrior and Tidus at the very beginning of the game) had to slog through the early game with only Tyro, Black Mage, and White Mage as playable characters. Core Characters (besides Tyro, who remains situationally useful) such as the two mages were fragile and died in a few hits. There was little character variety and some were gated behind limited-time, permanently missable content. There were no guaranteed 5-star items per Rare Relic Draw (there are now), dungeon rewards were limited, some Realm Dungeons are still poorly balanced with misleading difficulty, and the Roaming Warrior system was limited or even non-existent for a while.

    Nowadays, it's fairly easy to start the game. Characters are thrown at you at an alarming frequency (i.e. some characters are unlocked multiple times, turning into Growth Eggs) throughout Realm Dungeons (which number at over 800) and have preset Roaming Warriors that are useful, if old. Event Dungeons still allow the classic Roaming Warrior summons, allowing players to one-hit early bosses with Overstrike Soul Breaks. There's even a set of Newcomer Dungeons for even more Growth Eggs, character unlocks, and upgrade materials. Characters can be summoned at any time with a plentiful and steady (though still technically time-limited) supply of blank Hero Souls and blank Memory Lodes. Finally, the Acolyte Archive makes the process even easier via sets of guided-tutorial missions that give rewards on their own, and when all the missions in a given book are complete, the player is given a free Relic Draw with a specialized drop pool with a selectable relic from another pool, giving everyone access to a number of useful staple Soul Breaks, including party buffs, healing SBs and a guaranteed Sentinel's Grimoire, the latter of which is actually the only possible relic in the free draw you get it from to stress its importance. Another feature that lets new players catch up faster than before are the revamped Newcomer banners, which cost less than 1/3rd the price of a normal 11x draw for the first time, only have Soul Breaks from BSB and up and there's one for every official realm in the game.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In the 2016-2017 timeframe, elemental attacks became a major focus of strategy, with EnElement and ImperilElement Soul Breaks encouraging teams specializing in a single type of elemental damage, a strategy encouraged by the release of Chain Soul Breaks that add a damage multiplier too a specific type of elemental damage. Accordingly with this, each character is generally associated with one or two elements via their Soul Breaks. Before this idea solidified, Soul Breaks tended to be a bit more erratic in effect. This leads to oddities now, like Celes' Spinning Edge SB dealing Wind damage when her elements are Ice and Holy, or Yuffie's Landscaper dealing Earth damage when her element is Water.
  • Easter Egg:
    • Certain Soul Breaks will have a slight change in their animation if you use certain Dress Records.
    • Prompto's Ultra Soul Break, Trigger Happy, ends with Prompto taking a selfie with the enemy party. If you have Noctis in the party when the USB is cast, Noctis will also appear in the selfie.
  • Elemental Powers: Characters usually specialize in one via their Soul Breaks and sometimes associated Relics and Record and Legend Materia. Many Soul Breaks come with EnElement (boost damage from attacks of the matching element) or Imperil (lower enemy's resistance to the element) effects to encourage team synergy, Imperiling enemies with an elemental weakness that everyone can pick on. Chain Soul Breaks further the idea, adding a damage multiplier to attacks of a particular element that increases every time damage of that element is inflicted to an enemy; with an entire team of fighters armed with elemental attacks, this is a significant increase to their damage output.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: Sometimes this is encouraged, if not outright mandatory, to achieve a "Mastery" ranking for a level. The Magicite dungeons in particular are set up like this: each of the 6 Magicite bosses has a weakness to a specific element, and once you defeat one, you gain Magicite of that element, allowing you to use it against the next boss in line: the summon effects of the boss Magicites also follow this weakness pattern, not only doing damage that matches the intended boss's weakness, but also protecting you against that boss's main element.
  • Everything's Better with Samurai: Samurai is one of the ability classes in the game, specializing in area-of-effect physical attacks.
  • Excuse Plot: The game does have a story, which the opening sequence details, but it's really just a justification for allowing players to re-enact their favorite moments from the series with dream teams of their favorite characters. The addition of Magicite Dungeons marked the start of an aversion to the trope, as there is a story arc going on with them that plays out as the player completes the Dungeons, and they hint at a Big Bad Sealed Evil in a Can lurking on the horizon. The later addition of Record Dungeons further saw an aversion to the trope, with a story told through full sprite-based cutscenes instead of just character portraits talking back and forth.
  • Fight Woosh: A dramatic zoom in and 16-bit sound effect plays whenever you start a stage within a dungeon.
  • Fire/Ice Duo:
    • Locke specializes in Fire, while Celes specializes in Ice, and both have Holy as an off-element.
    • Played with for Squall and Rinoa; they started off as Ice characters, but Rinoa expanded into Earth and Squall into Fire, allowing them to achieve this dynamic in a muddier way. This also means that Squall can achieve the trope himself with his dual Fire/Ice focus.
    • Balthier has Fire while Fran uses Ice.
  • Fire/Ice/Lightning:
    • As usual, the iconic Fire, Blizzard and Thunder spells are present, alongside their upgraded forms and Summon/Spellblade equivalents. The Machinist ability class has "Offering" and "Snipe" abilities in the three elements as well.
    • Like usual, Valigarmanda is a Summon that deals tri-elemental Fire, Ice, and Lightning damage.
    • Matoya and Montblanc specialize in tri-elemental magical Soul Breaks. Palom and Shantotto focus in Lightning and Vivi specializes in Fire, but they also each get several Soul Breaks that incorporate the other two elements for at least the initial damage.
    • Steiner and Sora specialize in this as Spell Blade users, with their Soul Breaks dealing tri-elemental damage, and Sora even has three Legend Materia that grant him Haste and EnElement for each of them. The 2018 Autumn Fest brought Cloud his Cherry Blossom attack from Tactics, which deals tri-elemental damage. Ignis has Analysis Sting which deals tri-elemental damage.
    • Delita and Dr. Mog take it up a notch with Soul Breaks that deals Fire, Ice, Lightning, and Holy damage.
  • Fire/Water Juxtaposition:
    • Edge focuses on Water, while his archenemy Rubicante of course uses Fire.
    • Tidus specializes in Water, while his Archnemesis Dad Jecht specializes in Fire (and Dark).
  • Flanderization:
    • Characters who had only a vague association with some sort of elemental force in their original game have their association with it ramped up here for purposes of giving them an elemental affinity to theme their Soul Breaks around.
      • Final Fantasy II, the Sunfire was kept in Kashuan, so its Princes Gordon and Scott become dedicated Fire-elemental characters here.
      • Rydia in Final Fantasy IV had a multitude of Eidolons, but her iconic one is the Holy-elemental Mist Dragon; here her story associations with Leviathan and Titan result in her being a Water and Earth Summoner, and of her three Holy options, two of them associate her with Asura, not the Mist Dragon.
      • The Final Fantasy V Gogo was found in the Sunken Walse Tower and this is a Water-elemental character here.
      • In Final Fantasy VI, Fire was Terra's innately learned spells but she could learn all spells like every character, but this game makes her a pure Fire mage. Locke's only association with Fire was a connection to the Phoenix Magicite; here he's a Fire-elemental fighter and several of his Soul Breaks evoke Phoenix imagery. Strago's staring Lores were Stone and the Wind/Water-elemental Aqua Breath but he otherwise had a wide variety of Blue Magic abilities; here he's a focused Water-elemental with Wind and Earth as secondary elements. Edgar had several Tools in his game, one of the first of which was the Poison-elemental Bio Blaster, and thus he's a Poison-focused character here with a secondary focus on Fire and Lightning. Sabin had multiple elemental Blitz commands, but he's tied more heavily to the Fire element due to the Rising Phoenix Blitz.note 
      • Cloud had one Limit that involved Wind, that being Finishing Touch. Here Wind is his dominant elements, along with Darkness thanks to Kingdom Hearts relics. Zack had no Wind association at all, but became a Wind character here for the Bash Brothers trope. Vincent had four transformations, each with their own elemental attack. But being that Galian Beast is the one he begins with, here it's the only transformation he exhibits and he's a Fire-focused character for it.
      • Squall is an Ice Queen personality known for being cold and detached, so he gets Ice as an element here, and then Rinoa and Laguna also became Ice for their connection to him. Irvine had Flame Shot and Zell had Burning Rave as Limit attacks, and Fire is their main element here.
      • Ramuh featured prominently in a story sequence in IX, but had no significance when it finished other than being the first Eidolon Garnet could summon in normal gameplay; he's the focus of most of her Soul Breaks here, that build her as a Lightning-elemental character. Vivi had a wide array of Black Magic spells in his home game, but one of his iconic moments in the first disc is fighting the Black Waltz with a Fire spell, so he gets to be a Fire-focused mage here.
      • The Final Fantasy X cast is an odd case of the entire cast being Flanderized, due to the title's prominent usage of water imagery — Tidus, Wakka, Rikku, Kimahri, and Paine are all Water-elemental fighters, and Lulu is an Ice-elemental mage who has Water as a secondary element.
      • In Final Fantasy XII, all Quickenings were non-elemental, but plenty had elemental imagery that allows for this trope. Balthier's first Quickening is Fires of War, so he becomes a Fire-elemental character (his other Quickenings were Water and Earth). Fran's third Quickening was Ice, so she gets Ice as her element here. Basch has no particular association with Holy in his original title, his Quickenings implied a Dark and Fire connection, but here he's a Holy Knight with a few Dark options.
      • Final Fantasy XV, Ignis had the Fire-elemental Sagefire for one of his Techniques, but his other Techniques, including his own gameplay style in his DLC episode, had a Fire/Ice/Lightning theme focusing on exploiting elemental weaknesses. Record Keeper makes him a Fire-focused character with a couple options for tri-elemental damage.
    • Like Dissidia: Final Fantasy, several characters who were Red Mages in their base games are made either pure physical attackers or pure mages. Even Squall and Lightning, who can use low-mid-tier Black and White Magic abilities, don't have even any unique relics that increase their Magic or Mind.
    • Characters tend to be sorted into possessing elemental affinities based on their job and nothing more. Record Keeper treats Wind as the primary attacking element of the Thief ability school, with Fire as a less-common element, so most Thief-type characters get Wind or Fire-elemental Soul Breaks, like Thief (FF 1), Faris, Locke, Zidane, Marcus, and Vaan. Repeat for every ability school — anyone that was a Knight in their original title, or even just acted like a Knight in-story, gets Holy as their primary element here, such as General Leo, Beatrix, Basch, and a prominently majority of Tactics characters.
    • As far as Record Keeper is concerned, the only notable thing about Josef is his Heroic Sacrifice. His first relic Soul Break, Noble Sacrifice, KO's him to provide a large Attack buff to the remaining party; his first Record Materia, Self-Sacrifice, boosts Attack and Defense while causing Sap on the user. His second relic Soul Break? Avalanche, alluding to the cause of his death. His third? Hero's Snow Field. Where he died. His second Legend Materia? Triggers at critical health to heal the entire party by 55% of their maximum health and give them Last Stand, but it gives Josef a 15 second Doom timer. Its name? Fitting End.
    • An odd case comes from Hope and Vanille of FFXIII. While Vanille had higher Strength and HP than Hope in their home game, here Hope has the higher HP and Attack while Vanille is a typical White Magician Girl. Also, their roles are reversed - Hope is the Black Mage, while Vanille is a White Mage.
  • Flunky Boss: Some bosses will be accompanied by enemies. Depending on the boss, the enemies themselves could qualify as minibosses.
  • Forced Level-Grinding: Not present for the most part, but Events are very blatant about this. Many events have an Elite Dungeon or a Boss Rush whose boss requires a certain character to not be KO'd; what this means is that you have to bring them anyways and they must survive, and Raising or Reviving them doesn't count. However, the character in question is almost always a character that was just released for that event, except for encore events. In the cases of Elite or EX, you will need to powerlevel them to at least Level 50 if you want even a chance of that character surviving the encounter.
  • Four-Element Ensemble: The typical Water/Fire/Wind/Earth quartet referenced through the series appears here.
    • The Final Fantasy III DS heroes each symbolize these elements, in keeping with the original game; Luneth is Wind, Arc is Water, Refia is Fire, Ingus is Earth. The Onion Knight meanwhile has magic-focused Soul Breaks that deal damage in these four elements, and his Ultra Soul Break lets him do a follow-up attack when casting magic of those elements.
    • Played with for the Final Fantasy V central heroes, who embodied one each of the elements in their home game. Galuf is Earth, which matches the home game, but Faris is Wind here while she represented Fire in V, Lenna is a healer with no elemental affinity but is supposed to represent Water, and Bartz embodied Wind in V but has all four elements to himself here. A later event for V tried to rectify this; Faris and Bartz got new Ultras that give them Fire and a Wind focus, respectively, while Lenna got a new healing Soul Break that buffs the party's resistance to Water and Ice. Their new Soul Breaks are even named after the elements and particular virtue associated with them as spoken in Final Fantasy V when they were chosen as the Warriors of Light.
      • Bartz is a Spell Blade fighter who specializes in the elements thanks to his home game: he gets a Burst Soul Break dedicated to each element, and his Ultra Soul Breaks, Overstrike Soul Break, and Arcane Overstrike, deal quad-elemental damage, and his Ultras have effects that encourage use of Spellblade abilities in those elements too.
  • Fragile Speedster: Tidus has above-average Attack and a great Speed stat, but his Defense and Resistance stats are noticeably lower than the average Warrior-type character, which prevents him from holding his ground in long fights without reinforcement. Tifa and to a lesser extent Lightning also fall into this category. Most Thieves and Ninjas, despite having the ability to attack from the back row, are these.

    G-K 
  • The Gambler: While card-wielders Setzer and Ace technically count, they have different party roles, with Setzer as a debuffer, and Ace as a mage centered on fire spells. Their Soul Breaks do have lucky elements - two of Setzer's Soul Breaks have a small chance to double their hit count, while Ace's Ultra Soul Break gives him chances to follow up all fire attacks with any of three powerful fire spells.
  • Game-Breaker: Referenced and invoked by Cidolfus "T.G. Cid" Orlandeau, the infamous Game-Breaker from Final Fantasy Tactics. He can use every relevant Physical skill in the game, with solid stats overall and one of the highest Attack stats in the game. His Overstrike Soul Break has a 15x damage multiplier and grants him a buff that cuts his casting times to a third; his Burst has strong holy and dark commands and one-shots anything not immune to Instant Death. However, it's not hard for other characters to catch up and Orlandeau, while effective, is just one character in a game reliant on proper team strategy.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • Galuf is an Earth-elemental Monk while Krile began as a Fire-elemental mage. Krile later got Earth-elemental tools, reflecting how in Final Fantasy V she inherited Galuf's skillset to take his place in the party when he died.
    • In the Record Dungeons, Terra's Soul Break when fighting Humbaba is "Finding Love", whose name and animation directly references the scene immediately afterward, where she realizes her feelings for the children of Mobliz and that they gave her the will to fight to defend them.
  • The Generic Guy: The "Core" classes are pretty much job archetypes from the series, with the exception of Tyro, the Player Character. Story characters from other main titles are usually way more powerful, with better weapons, armors and selection of abilities, not to mention better stats.
  • Glass Cannon: Generally, monks and black mages depend purely on their attack power: mages rely on abilities with limited stock, and monks can only wear light armor for defense.
    • Several characters, like Locke, Tifa, Tidus and Lightning have great speed and attack stats, but still have more trouble taking damage than dishing it out.
    • Vivi is the best black mage in the game, but has the lowest defense and HP. His second Record Materia also boosts his magical power, but further lowers his defense and resistance.
    • Vincent, despite his Core-level defense, is one of the strongest mages, with access to black magic, summons and Darkness abilities.
  • Good Powers, Bad People:
    • As of his release, Exdeath was the fourth-strongest Black Magic user in the game. He also has White Magic 5★ and a higher Mind stat than any non-5★s, including the core White Mage.
    • Gabranth, a major villain in FFXII, can use 4* Knight abilities aside from 5* Darkness.
    • Heroes' equipment can be equipped on villains too. Terra's pendant can be used on Kefka, and Cloud's Guise can be used on Sephiroth.
    • Gaffgarion is a Dark Knight, with abilities to match. His Burst SB commands, both dark-elemental, heal his teammates and restore their ability uses while still damaging enemies.
  • Guest Fighter: Sora and Riku from Kingdom Hearts appear as playable characters that could be permanently unlocked during a limited time crossover event.
  • Guide Dang It!: Certain bosses get "out of reach" from melee attacks, and can only be hit with magic or ranged physical abilities. It's not easy, though, to figure out which physical abilities are ranged without common sense or Trial-and-Error Gameplay.
    • A far more common example of this is (de)buff stacking: there are a ridiculous amount of buffs that stack in somewhat logical but arbitrary ways, but the game never mentions this at any point: basically, each (de)buff has its own internal ID, and as long as 2 buffs have their own unique ID, they can stack. What makes this counterintuitive is that instead of always wanting the (de)buffs that affect the largest number of different stats, you instead want as many (de)buffs that affect as many combinations of stats as possible, making (de)buffs that affect rare stat combinations the best overall.
  • The Gunslinger: Characters who can equip Guns, like Lightning, Irvine, and Sazh, can be this if you give them one. Unfortunately, since Guns are incredibly hard to come by, this makes the latter two, who can only use Guns as an alternative to Daggers, difficult to use unless you're lucky enough to get your hands on one and unpopular with players.
  • Harder Than Hard:
    • Each daily dungeon, Collector event and Survival event has 6 difficulty levels: Easy, Normal, Hard, Heroic, +, and ++, the latter usually (with Sunday being the exception) being drastically more difficult than the others, but dispenses much better prizes.
    • Events typically feature challenging extra stages after you clear the regular stages, each of which is labelled with an increasingly exaggerated difficulty title. You start with EX, then you go onto EX+, EX++, EX+++, Ultimate, Ultimate+ and Apocalypse.
    • Magicites are designed to be the hardest persistent content the game currently has to offer: they have massive stats that can't be lowered to any meaningful degree with Breaks and require you to either completely focus on the element they're weak against, make use of strong non-elemental abilities to do damage or reduce their resistance to an element you can capitalize on the best. They also do massive amounts of damage as expected, with 3000-4000+ being the average amount of damage you take from 4* Magicites' strongest attacks even with full mitigation and resistance to their main element, and if you take too long to kill them, they become enraged and spam their strongest attacks every turn until either they or your party are dead. Finally, almost all of them have some kind of a gimmick that you need to prepare for in addition to having good sources of damage and healing, such as extremely powerful counters, being able to temporarily avoid your attacks, using Standard Status Effects that are hard to avoid due to having to use an accessory slot to reduce their massive damage, a Last Ditch Move, a powerful opening move or reducing your offensive stats while increasing their own. 5* Magicites naturally take this to the next level, with much higher overall stats and an Enrage mode that they enter perioidically, the effects of which depend on the specific Magicite, but it'll generally make them much deadlier and/or harder to deal damage to and can only be cancelled by attacks that deal 5-digit damage to them.
    • The revamped Torments make 3* and 4* Magicites look like a joke: their easiest difficulty is between 3* and 4* Magicites in difficulty, and the hardest difficulty has 2 million HP, double the HP of anything else in the game with massive stats to match, and using characters that don't match the Torment boss' realm is heavily penalized, with even a single off-realm character for the hardest difficulty outright halving the damage the boss takes and removing their elemental weaknesses entirely. Like Magicites, you only get a set number of turns to deal enough damage to them in each phase, or they'll use a move that results in a Total Party Kill, which they proceed to spam every turn afterwards if you somehow survive it, and to even survive their normal attacks, you might need to forego element-boosting gear over armor that gives you the highest possible raw stats. Thankfully, beating them is intended as a long-term goal and there's a number of things that help a good deal with them: their attacks and what party members they target each turn is completely scripted, you have a permanent Wall status throughout the fight that lasts even through death, Dr. Mog provides you with an unique Chain Soul Break that lets you chain every attack regardless of type or element as long as the character belongs to the right realm and even if you're unable to beat the boss, you can still get partial rewards for every 10% of their HP you deplete from 50% HP onwards.
  • Healer Signs On Early: The first character you have, Tyro, can equip White Magic (like everything else) and can easily handle healing. Completing the first tutorial dungeon immediately grants you the Core White Mage until you can get a proper one. Fortunately you can obtain Aerith off of the second dungeon's elite difficulty.
  • Herd-Hitting Attack: Several attack skills and Magic (including most Summon Magic), but particular mention goes to the Bard's Zealot Record Materia, which gives the equipped character the ability to hit every enemy in the opposing party at the same time with the basic Attack command, but the damage per target is reduced. Orlandeau's God Amongst Men Record Materia also has the same effect, but it also gets slightly stronger the less targets there are, although it's still weaker against single targets than the normal Attack command. Leo's One Against Many likewise allows the basic attack to hit all enemies at the same time and unlike the above 2 examples, there no damage penalty, but to compensate, it has probably the longest cast time out of any attack in the game.
  • Hero of Another Story: The concept of the A Fateful Coin Flip FFVI event. The usual dungeon format of having a "Normal" and "Elite" version of the event on separate screens is abandoned in favor of separate stories for Sabin and Edgar, with dungeons specific to each based on their roles in the original game.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: The battles against Beatrix in the Final Fantasy IX realm are supposed to be this. Whenever she runs out of health, she uses one of her powerful Seiken abilities (either Stock Break or Climhazzard) before "dying".
  • HP to 1:
    • The player version of Gravija. Don't expect it to be useful against pretty much every boss, though it's useful against stronger Elite Dungeon trash mobs when Instant KO isn't available.
    • In the Alexandria Castle, Pt. 2 boss round, Beatrix uses Climhazzard when defeated - but it's just for show. She can, however, use it in mid-battle; that will bring your whole party to 1 HP and destroy your Damage Taken rating. Thankfully. she only uses it if you wait enough turns.
    • Archaeoaevis uses Maelstrom to hit the entire party with this. Thankfully, it can miss individual characters, and it only uses it after it has gotten back up for the last time. Rushing it during this final phase can usually end the fight before it has a chance to hit a wounded character.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Nightmare Dungeons, a collection of faded Records buried deep underground beneath the kingdom that may hold a vital clue towards discovering the truth behind the faded Records. Each of the Dungeons are crawling with absurdly powerful and insanely difficult foes, but if you can restore the Records, you can gain the ability to create extremely powerful and rare Abilities, such as the 5th tier White Magic Curada, the Neo Bahamut Summon, and the almighty Ultima Black Magic.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: Thanks to the Record Synergy system, any weapon can become this in its respective realm. That puny 1★ FFIX Dagger with 4 Attack (20 at Level 10)? Watch as its Attack skyrockets to 74 in FFIX dungeons!
    • People were given the Excalipoor for April Fools' Day, which gave a stat boost of one.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: Characters with their unique equipment are guaranteed to steamroll enemies in their respective Realms. Terra's Enhancer has 82 Attack and 110 Magic at Level 20, nearly double in FFVI dungeons, and even more if combined with other Enhancers. Still, you have to be really lucky in the Relic Draw to pull that off; or blow some money on the game, if the Random Number God is in a good mood.
  • Jack of All Trades: Onion Knight fits this trope to a T. He can use any equipment (even books) and can use 5★ Celerity, Combat, Support, Ninja, Black Magic, and White Magic... with Record Dive. Until you complete enough spheres and level him up to 92 and onward, he is a Master of None.
  • Joke Item: True to its source, the freebie Excalipoor is this. It only gives one single point to all stats, never gaining any more no matter how far you upgrade it. Just to hammer the fact home, two out of three times (in Japan, Global only got one at the same time JP got their third copy) it was given out was on April 1st.
  • Kaizo Trap: Some bosses unleash one last AOE attack upon defeat. In some cases, this is actually inverted, with bosses immediately opening the battle with an attack (like Bahamut in the FF IV dungeons); in these cases, it's actually possible for the boss to be Unwinnable if the whole party enters the fight with low enough health.
  • Kid Hero: Some characters are young children like in their home games; Rydia and Hope have Wardrobe Records of their adult forms.
  • Knife Nut: Daggers are a common weapon, usable by every character. Among them are the Maneater from Final Fantasy VI and the Danjuro from Final Fantasy XII. If you pull a mage dagger, like Triton's Dagger or the Dagger of Resolve, then anyone becomes a battle mage, especially in realm.

    L 
  • Last Chance Hit Point: The Last Stand effect, granted by certain Soul Breaks, keeps a character alive at 1% HP if they take a hit that would otherwise knock them out. This status is generally preferable to skills and spells that revive characters, since it still protects you from dying against multi-hit attacks and you don't lose your buffs.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Don't play this game if you don't want most of the plots of every main series Final Fantasy game (and then some) spoiled for you.
  • Legacy Character: Once again, Mog and Cid.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Nowadays the game is balanced enough that most characters are taken seriously for whatever niche (however small) they occupy with their Soul Breaks, though some niches are significantly worse than others. Core characters, however, are still are Joke Class with terrible stats and no relevant Soul Breaks. Still, some of the most daring players have tackled even Magicite dungeons with well-honed abilities and these terrible units — Heavy Physical attacks, for example, are still nearly as deadly when used by the Viking as they are by another, objectively stronger unit.
  • Lethal Joke Item:
    • Realm Synergy will buff up even the most useless of equipment. See Infinity -1 Sword.
    • On Halloween, players got the Pumpkin, a thrown 5★ item with a unique graphic. It's a powerful weapon, especially with a synergy bonus. Most importantly, there is a glitch that gives the weapon high Evade (seemingly stolen from the Witch's Hat, which has 0 Evade), which makes it very strong.
    • The Witch's Hat is useful even without Soul Breaks - it had high magic at the time and a shared Magic boost Soul Break. This is a common theme for holiday equipment - a candlestick had an AOE Cure and Santa's mittens had a small Boostga.
  • Level Cap:
    • Characters start at a Level 50 cap, which can be expanded by possessing their respective Memory Crystals. A Memory Crystal bumps it to 65, Memory Crystal II bumps it to 80, and Memory Crystal III brings it to 99, which is the actual limit.
    • 1★ gear (weapons and armor) can go up to Level 3, 2★ gear can reach Level 5, 3★ gear can go to Level 10, 4★ gear can reach level 15, 5★ gear can go to Level 20, 6★ gear can go to level 25 and 7★ gear can go to level 30. 6★ and 7★ equipment can only be gained through combining. Any max level gear can be combined with another copy to increase its rarity and give it a new level cap of the corresponding rarity, and any given piece of equipment can be combined twice, adding a "+" to the name of the item each time.
    • Reforging allows 3★, 4★, and 5★ equipment to go up to another level. With 6★ equipment, 8★ is now a thing.
  • Level Up Fill Up: Characters who level up in a dungeon get their HP and skill uses restored, which can be used to your tactical advantage if you don't want to use Mythril to do so.
  • Lightning/Fire Juxtaposition:
    • Edgar branched from Poison into a tri-elemental Poison/Fire/Lightning character. His Burst Soul Break comes with two commands; one is Poison/Fire and lowers the enemy's Lightning resistance, the other is the same thing for Poison/Lightning.
    • Braska, who has several Soul Breaks centered on Ifrit and Ixion, and thus they do dual-elemental Fire and Lightning damage. His default Soul Break is just Ixion, but he has Super Soul Breaks with just Ifrit. His Ultra Soul Break gives him periodic casting of "Firebolt Barrage" which deals dual-elemental damage.
  • Limit Break: Known in this game as Soul Breaks, every character, including the "Core" characters, has access to at least one. Most Soul Breaks consume two bars of the Soul Gauge, which can be built up by dealing or receiving damage. All Soul Breaks, except Shared ones, are tied to equipment until they're "mastered", at which point they become permanently tied to the character and (except for Uniques) provide a permanent stat boost. There are ten types of Soul Breaks:
    • Default Soul Break: A character's starter Soul Break. Usually weak, rarely worth using unless you have nothing better.
    • Shared Soul Break: Permanently tied to equipment; can be used by any character.
    • Unique Soul Break: Specific to its respective character.
    • Super Soul Break: A buffed-up Unique, usually with higher damage potential and additional effects like buffs and debuffs.
    • Burst Soul Break: Activates Burst Mode on entry, which buffs stats and replaces a character's Attack and Defend commands with exclusive abilities.
    • Overstrike Soul Break: An extremely powerful attack that can break the damage limit.note 
    • Ultra Soul Break: Adds powerful support effects. DPS characters have access to EX Modes, which usually outdamage BSBs.
      • Brave Ultra Soul Break: Similar in power to normal Ultra Soul Breaks but instead of an EX Mode, they instead allow the character to enter Brave Mode, which changes their Attack command to a Brave command which can be powered up by using abilities belonging to a specific school in 3 levels, the effects of which ranging from powerful single attacks that can break the damage cap, a large number of weaker attacks that also have a special effect, a party heal with a special effect to a variation of any of the above.
    • Chain Soul Break: Applies a timed "chain" effect to offensive skills of a certain element to multiply their damage for each successive hit. These come in 2 varieties: the older ones deal damage on their own and give some sort of party-wide support effect as well as a 20% boost to all damage of that element and the ones that don't give any supporting effects, deal twice the number of initial number of hits, while newer ones trade the extra hits and damage for a strong party ATK/MAG buff, a 50% boost to all damage of that element and a higher max chain count of 150 compared to 99 of the older types of chains.
    • Glint: A weaker type of SB that always casts instantly and provides a powerful support effect, usually a stackable elemental infusion or an ability damage boost. Costs one bar to cast and can be used up to three times per battle.
    • Arcane Overstrike Soul Break: A stronger, multi-hit Overstrike SB with three overflowing hits or twenty weaker hits with an overflowing final hit. Takes three bars to cast, and can only be used once per battle.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Significantly downplayed, but still in effect in a general sense. Physical attacks and their damage formulas have a relatively low cap on ATK that is easily reached by a single strong boost. Magical attacks will need usually need multiple buffs to hit their full potential, partially because of the higher MAG cap, but will be rewarded proportionally for hitting these requirements. Early in the game's history this divide was more pronounced, due to limited ability hones and no Burst Soul Breaks (and the few Bursts that mages had at the time included powerful 6-hit Commands that required even higher MAG), but in end-game content today both are quite comparable as more and more supporting relics and effects have been added to equalize them.
  • Lightning Bruiser:
    • Lightning, Gau, Tidus, and Zack are both among the fastest and hardest-hitting characters in the game. With access to both 5★ Celerity and 5★ Combat, they can combine Powerchain (which eliminates the charge time of the next ability used) and Full Charge (a powerful multi-hit attack with a long charge time) for devastating effect.
    • Snow has access to 5★ Combat, 5★ Monk, and 5★ Knight, three of the most useful offensive skillsets. He's the second-fastest 5★ Monk (only slightly behind Zell), the fastest 5★ Knight by a significant margin, and the most durable Monk in the game (roughly tied with Sabin, but with better armor options).
    • Zell, who's the fastest Monk in the game. In addition to 5★ Combat and 5★ Monk, he has 4★ Celerity, which Record Dive can boost up to 5★, giving him access to the aforementioned Powerchain/Full Charge combo. His Burst Soul Break also gives a party crit buff, a version of Dark Bargain, and gives him a 4-hit Powerchain command.
    • Dragoons tend to fall into this category, possessing high Speed stats and having access to the powerful Dragoon Jump and Lightning Dive abilities.
  • The Load:
    • This can happen to some characters (namely low-level party members and most of the Core classes regardless of level) in dungeons that are too difficult, as a player may have to focus time on keeping them alive instead of fighting the enemy.
    • Many of the final levels of a Challenge event have a bonus condition or Cid Mission that requires you to bring the new character from the event to the dungeon and make sure they aren't KO'd during the boss battle. Realm Synergy does help, but you'll wind up having to level grind the character in question anyways. Growth Eggs become quite handy in these situations.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: With the entire series to draw on, it is to be expected. As of the first half of 2018, the international version alone has 220 playable characters, with an additional six currently available only in the Japanese version, for a grand total of 226.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: Needless to say, if you lack access to stable, high-speed internet, you will be hanging around the "Downloading..." screen a lot. The game tries to keep you occupied by showing a couple character profiles, and you can only find the profiles for the Core characters, Tyro, Dr. Mog, and Cid on the loading screen.
  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • This being a Freemium game, there is a gacha prize machine for high-level equipment and Soul Breaks known as the Relic Draw that is based on chance.
    • Any score objective for boss battles based on getting a status effect to stick to a boss.
    • Not getting anyone killed by One-Hit Kill moves if they are present.
    • Any score objective for boss battles about killing them before they use a certain attack.
    • Any battle in which it is necessary to set up some mitigationnote  before the boss acts, especially for Ultimate battles in which you must avoid losing too many medals (including for Damage Taken) if you want Mastery.
    • Mote Dahaka was the definition of this. The boss is strong, but is unable to act and has its defense lowered at times when you hit it (as a nod to staggering in Final Fantasy XIII). How to trigger it? Pray you do — sometimes it staggers early and is never a threat, sometimes the opposite.
    • Bartz in A Worthy Foe (Ultimate+) is a particularly egregious example of this. No mitigator/healer with full ATB? Prepare to reset, because Bartz always opens with at least two Monk Kicks that hit for 3000~4000 damage apiece on your whole party.
    • Nightmare Kaiser Dragon gets a special mention. It's not that bad, provided you have enough DPS to get through his third AOE spam phase. But mastering it? You need to hit two specific phases out of six. And if the gacha didn't give you Neo Almagest, a heal (or utility) with Magic Blink, or full Fire resistance accessories, you need to beat him in three phases to avoid his closing salvo. That's about a 20% chance of getting the phase set you need. It's unique in that there are no controllable factors to master the fight - you either get Water and Lightning or you fail.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me:
    • Shields are a subclass of armor that can be equipped.
    • Some Soul Break animations invoke this, like Tyro's Sentinel's Grimoire and its massive protective shield. Meanwhile, the Warrior of Light's Ultimate Shield has him leave his sword behind to Shield Bash his enemy multiple times and finish with a giant one out of Hammerspace.

    M 
  • Magic Knight: The game classifies some characters as Physical/Magic Hybrids... with varying degrees of accuracy, from a gameplay perspective.
    • Some characters have "Hybrid" Soul Breaks, which will deal physical or magical damage, depending on if the user's Attack or Magic is higher. Such characters include Gogo, Vincent, Reno, Rude, and Vayne. While their innate stats may slightly lean them towards physical or magical builds, they're typically just fine with going the other way if you have the equipment for them, and their ability pool is versatile enough to accommodate them both ways.
    • Onion Knight is an interesting example; only his Overstrike is classified as a Hybrid attack. Otherwise he has an Ultra Soul Break to buff physical parties, an Ultra to buff magical parties, and his Burst providers lesser buffs to both at once and gives physical and magical burst commands. He also has a unique Legend Sphere where both his Legend Materia are at the end of the board; one lets him dualcast Celerity abilities, the other dualcasts Black Magic abilities. He also has a massive physical and magical ability pool.
    • Lots of characters that are otherwise physically inclined can utilize at least some minor White or Black Magic. How good they are at it varies depending on stats and ability access. For example, Sephiroth and Lightning can use Rarity 3 Black Magic, but their Magic stats are terrible and there aren't any Rarity 3 Black Magic abilities worth using anyway.
      • Celes is a good example of the trope, able to use 3★ Combat abilities, 4★ Black Magic and 3★ White Magic, plus rods and staves for more magical power, on top of her innate 5★ Spellblade usage and the best Resistance stat in the game. However, all of her Soul Breaks focus on her physical attacks.
      • Golbez can not only use 5★ Black Magic abilities, but also 5★ Knight, 3★ Combat, and 5★ Darkness, and equip such gear as axes, heavy armor and shields. But the game focuses entirely on his magic side in Soul Breaks.
    • Ninjas by nature fit this trope in gameplay — their 5-star abilities are split between magical and physical abilities, and Stitch in Time benefits both. While most Ninja characters are physically inclined, their Ninjutsu magic ignores Resistance on its targets, which compensates a lot for poor Magic stats.
    • Darkness abilities downplay this trope. There's lots of Darkness abilities in both physical and magical categories, but most characters who can use Darkness abilities are pretty clearly defined as either physical or magical based on their stats. Only a handful of characters have both the Attack and Magic to make use of both types of Darkness ability, the most prominent ones being Vincent and Vayne, naturally.
  • Magic Music: The Bard class of abilities, available to the Bard (naturally), Edward, Kefka, Eiko, Rikku, Thancred, and Tyro. The instrument weapons available to these same characters also attack this way. Some Soul Breaks also qualify, such as Garnets "Song of Memories", both of the Bards "Valor Minuet" breaks and Mogs "Heroic Harmony".
  • Magikarp Power:
    • As usual, FFIII's Onion Knight has terrible stat growth, struggling to reach 1000 HP and 50 in all stats when even the weakest mages at his level have about triple that. Level him up to 93, though, and his stats skyrocket, with a growth of 1000 HP and 40 in all other stats until level 99. With his wide range of usable abilities, you can build him into a better Tyro; while he has innate 3* ranking in all usable ability types, he needs to get the unique event-exclusive Onion Motes to unlock their respective Record Spheres and reach 5*.
    • Several Burst Soul Breaks have mechanics that allow them to grow stronger after initially being weak.
      • One type, used by Firion and Reno, gives them a command that initially deals one hit, but each usage of it makes the next use deal an extra hit, stacking up to a total of eight hits.
      • Another type, used by Garland, Squall and Sora, has a primary command that only deals two hits, but gives them a stat buff that boosts the number of hits their secondary command deals, starting at four and rising to seven. Fusoya, Kefka, and Ultimecia, have magical variants of this idea; theirs max out at six hits. Raijin and Thancred have a variant where their secondary command grows stronger as the primary command is used, but loses its stacks of charge once it gets used.
      • Sabin's Burst command has a unique mechanic where it grants him a buff to Attack and Defense, and the buff increases each time he uses it again, stacking up to eight times.
      • Some commands deal more hits depending on the user's stats, a common one being used by Maria, Edea, and Papalymo, where it deals three-to-six hits depending on their Magic stat. Prishe has a variant where the number of hits rises depending on how many Monk abilities she's used. Warrior of Light and Gladio have once where the number of hits depends on their Defense stat.
  • Marathon Boss:
    • Some elite bosses take a long time to kill, especially if you have been unlucky with the gacha. Worse, HP bars were not visible in the Global version of the game for a while.
    • "Ultimate", a special type of Event fight that exceeds even +++ fights, feature massively powered up "Ultimate" versions of previous boss fights, now overhauled with enough HP to fill an Olympic swimming pool.
    • And "Ultimate+" bosses have even more.
  • Marathon Level:
    • Most portraits have 3 regular stages and a boss stage, but some are a lot longer. However, long dungeons tend to be broken up into several portraits to make it easier.
    • Survival events tend to be this. The key is to survive as many stages as possible on a suitable difficulty level, progressively multiplying the reward currency as you go. While every stage is just one battle, most of them are bosses, and Potions/Ethers are extremely rare.
    • The + bosses, and some higher levels, are a boss rush.
    • The Ultimate+ in Cait Sith's event was a marathon of three bosses from the Battle Arena.
    • All Torment fights function like this: before you fight the boss, you have to fight 4 or 6 waves of greatly-buffed normal enemies which can be a huge drain on your resources, meaning you need to manage them well before you fight the actual boss, although this also gives you a chance to build up your SBs and cast your buffs before the actual boss fight. Thankfully if it looks like you can't finish the boss battle and weren't in too bad of a shape at the beginning of it, you can S/L to redo just the boss fight instead of having to go through the entire gauntlet from the beginning.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: The entire point of the game, which is explained by the characters and realms existing within records of famous events and battles. The game pulls from all areas from the franchise, from the first Final Fantasy I, to Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, to Final Fantasy XIV, making for one massive Massive Multiplayer Crossover.
  • Master of None:
    • Gordon originally was like an enhanced Red Mage, being able to cast both 3★ White and Black Magic along with 5★ Support abilities, but his inability to equip rods stunted his potential. Balance changes later increased his physical strength and gave him 4★ White Magic, finally averting this trope.
    • Irvine, on one hand, is very flexible with the abilities he can use. On the other hand, his weapon selection consists of daggers and guns, the former being inferior to other weapons (especially since he's too squishy for the front row) and the latter being incredibly rare, which makes it hard to justify using him.
    • Red XIII's skillset consists of 5★ Support, 4★ Black Magic, 3★ Combat, and 1★ White Magic. However, due to his extremely limited weapon and armor options, it's very difficult to optimize his Attack or Magic, let alone both, and there are several other Support users with much better equipment and ability options.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class:
    • Onion Knight begins with access to six types of ability, but only up to Rank 3. His Record Dive, like Tyro's, has twelve jobs in it, divided into two groups of six. As he masters his Record Spheres, he unlocks the ability to equip up to Rank 5 of his available abilities. Further, beginning each Sphere requires an Onion Mote, a stat mote unique to the Onion Knight that is acquired through certain III Event Dungeons. Then you get into his Legend Spheres, which have a unique layout, and instead of one weak Legend Materia and a strong one at the end, he has both his Legend Materia at the end and they're both great.
    • Sora is a downplayed example. He's perfectly normal until you get a look at his Legend Spheres, where he has four Legend Materia; the standard weak one in the middle of the grid, a strong one at the bottom of the grid, and it's flanked by two more with similar effects.
  • Medium Blending: The game frequently mixes 16-bit graphics with animations that wouldn't even be remotely possible on 16-bit hardware.
  • Metal Slime: Treasure Pots that appear in the daily and special event dungeons and the Cactaur variants that appear in special event dungeons.
  • Microtransactions: The player can buy gems which can be used to increase inventory space, refill Stamina, give the Relic Draw a whirl, heal in the middle of a dungeon, or fully revive a defeated party with a buff added on top. Mythril shares the same purpose, but is handed out sparingly by the game through completing dungeons or as Login Bonuses.
  • Mistaken for Romance: In the Corrupted Painting, Aerith refers to Elarra as Tyro's girlfriend. Tyro is quick to protest, but Aerith points out that he's blushing as he says it.
  • Mistaken for Spies: When Tyro and Elarra arrive in the Final Fantasy VI Corrupted Painting, they are immediately confronted by Biggs and Wedge, who assume they are going with them to Narshe. After they encounter the Esper and Terra, Tyro, and Elarra are saved by the Returners, the latter two are assumed to be double agents who were secretly working against the Empire. Tyro is surprised by the sudden development, but he plays along to avoid suspicion.
  • Money for Nothing: While a beginning player might have Gil issues early on, it is given out in droves, especially during Orbfests and from Magic Pot dungeons, and every single thing that requires Gil also requires some other, rarer, consumable that will be the real limiter. Gil seems only to exist because it's so ubiquitous in the Final Fantasy games; after a while, you can pretty much entirely ignore your Gil total: while there are some common things that can cost a large amount of Gil to do such as converting a large amount of orbs to a higher grade or honing 5* or 6* abilities, you generally don't do either of those too often and in case you ever do run low on Gil, chances are you have a large number of weapon and armor upgrade materials lying around you can sell.
  • Money Spider: The enemies in the Gil daily dungeons. Other enemies can drop Gil sometimes, but you'll more often acquire Gil from dungeon completion bonuses and selling other items.
  • More Dakka: Irvine's Fast Ammo Soul Break, which allows him to unleash ten standard attacks upon random targets all in a single turn. It's even more devastating against single-target bosses, as this easily allows him to evade damage cap limits. The Machinist school in general specializes in this, as it has a non-elemental 10 hit ability Rapid Fire and 6 hit fire, ice and lightning-elemental Snipe abilities.
    • Most Soul Breaks are this now. Ones to note are Assault Rush (Zack), Element of Treachery (Balthier), and various other 8-hit SBs. Most damage-dealing single-target USBs and some more recent BSBs deal at least 10 hits by default, with some of them doing up to 12, 15, 17 or 18 hits, and the multihit variety AOSBs always deal 21 hits in total.
  • Multi-Melee Master: Firion and Gilgamesh, who have the largest selection of weapon options, making it easy to outfit them for Record Synergy.
  • Musical Nod: Recurring music aside, a few original tracks for the game are reminiscent of classic tunes and jingles.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Once again, there is a Cid. He's Demoted to Extra in this game, since he only appears when you pop open the Equipment or Ability menus.
    • Need a new name? Never fear, Namingway is here!
    • A work in progress page of most of them can be found here.

    N-O 
  • New Game+: The October 12, 2017 maintenance featured Renewal Dungeons, essentially a bunch of older Challenge Events reissued for new players that weren't around for their original run. Many of them became cakewalks, thanks to stronger Soul Breaks and abilities, higher level caps and other mechanics that weren't available at the time.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: After entering a Corrupted Painting and helping Cecil save Rosa from a severe case of desert fever, the Corrupted Painting suddenly erupts with magical energy and causes a huge explosion, which is depicted burning a hole straight through a mountain. When Dr. Mog arrives, he gives Tyro a hell of an earful after finding out what he and Elarra were up to.
  • No Fair Cheating: Like in his original game, the multiplayer battle against Omniscient lets you cast Berserk on him, which stops him from casting magic altogether—but here, doing so will cause him to do 99999 damage with every attack, and you can't avoid it.
  • Nostalgia Level: The game could very well be renamed "Final Fantasy Nostalgia Level: The Game". The game lets you relive key boss fights with your favorite characters, with music from many Final Fantasy games playing all the while. Some characters and bosses (such as Ultros) will even repeat their iconic lines.
  • Not Completely Useless:
    • Abilities and Soul Breaks that revive characters are very useful in Co-Op Multiplayer battles where Save Scumming isn't an option, whereas in single player they're typically a sign of unfamiliarity with the system.
    • Status Ailments past the first few hundred Realm dungeons and other permanent content are much less useful as more and more time-limited bosses become immune to all of them. Still, whenever a new boss shows up with a weakness, expect players to break open the rarely-used ability glass.
    • Some Cid Missions or fights in general are difficult enough that unconventional strategies are encouraged. A very common example in second year of the game's history was to look at the list of Magic Knights, find someone with any magic access even if their natural stat was terrible, and then turn them into a mage since Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards holds true at low-Relic/buff play. Darkness physical units turned into magical ones using Cid Raines' Burst Soul Break as a Roaming Warrior were very common.
  • Not the Intended Use:
    • The strategy for Retaliate involves attacking your own allies to proc it manually instead of negating and countering the enemy's single-target attacks. Retaliate doesn't discriminate between enemy and ally attacks, so the user will always strike the enemy. However, this tactic was later recognized in-game as a legitimate strategy.
    • The game includes a "battle reload" option as an anti-frustration feature that allows you to restart a battle from the top if your game crashes unexpectedly as opposed to simply losing the spent Stamina. However, there is no distinction between "unexpected crash" and "force close", so this feature is very commonly abused as a form of Save Scumming to circumvent bad RNG when a battle starts turning sour. Like Retaliate, this has become a legitimate strategy — the game now has an in-game button in the pause menu to restart the fight as a convenience feature over closing the entire game, while still disallowing players from restarting if they lose their entire party.
    • Other than for a select few extremely difficult enemies that flat out prevent fleeing, any boss that has a 1 point stamina cost and who doesn't actively attack your party for the first 2 turns or so is susceptible to an exploit commonly called "hit and run", which involves attacking the boss normally for a turn and then fleeing the battle: since all your party stats are carried over between battles within the same dungeon, this allows you to build up your Soul Break gauges for your entire party at a negligible stamina cost and without having to use up any of your abilities or risk losing any HP in the process, allowing you to fight the boss at full SB bars, although naturally this can be extremely tedious to do since you need to repeat this up to 30 times to gain 3 full SB bars.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • The more you advance in the game, the more enemies you will meet who can use attacks able to instantly KO a character, with Coeurls being the first ones to show up.
    • Break and Death do this to enemies, the former of which inflicts Petrify, which technically counts as a KO. Of course, not a lot of bosses are actually vulnerable to either.
    • Pressure Point is this for Monks, as it has a moderate chance of inflicting Instant KO, although if you whiff the instant death, you still get a hard-hitting attack for the effort.
    • The CPU's Globe 199 attack in "Giant of Babil, Part 2" in the Final Fantasy IV realm. If you kill both the Attack Node and Defense Node before the CPU, it will use Globe 199, which will hit a single party member for 9999 damage, defenses and armor be damned.
    • Yunalesca's Mega Death gets around this by dealing a guaranteed attack that deals damage equivalent to your max HP on any party member who isn't Sapped.
    • Once you get to the 2nd-strongest version of Nemesis, he gets Transcendent Ethereal Cannon, an attack that inflicts a guaranteed 99,999 damage on a single target. Get as far as the final form, and he additionally gains Ruin Ultimate upon dropping below 40% HP, which is guaranteed 99,999 damage on all characters and cuts through Blink, and if you survive, your party gets Sapped just for it.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted in many, many cases.
    • Rydia and Garnet's Soul Breaks call on different versions of existing summons, stronger than just their respective Ability. Unlike the generic abilities, though, each of them have their Soul Break mimic a summon animation from its game; i.e. if Garnet summons Ramuh with the Storm Staff, he'll rise atop a giant rock pillar as in FFIX.
    • There are 4* and 5* versions of the Rune Axe from FFIV; the latter unlocks Golbez's Unique Soul Break.
      • Almost the case with the FFVII Masamune; the 4* version is named Masamune Blade.
    • And then there are the legacy names; Dr. Mog and Mog, Dr. Cid and the five playable Cids, the mimics named Gogo and (separated by one letter) Sarah and Serah Farron.
    • Even the Core generics aren't immune: the Thief in Core and the Final Fantasy I Thief are separate characters with the same "name".
    • Though not really a legacy name, the names of Rikku and Riku are almost identical.
  • Original Generation: Tyro and Elarra are the only characters not to originate from a previously existing Final Fantasy title (Dr. Mog and Cid notwithstanding).
  • Overly Long Fighting Animation: It's no Supernova, but some of the better Soul Break animations, especially Burst Soul Breaks, get absurd.
  • Overrated and Underleveled:
    • Sort of, as every new character always joins at Level 1. However, the Realm Synergy bonus tends to make them immediately viable in those realms, and the experience boost from that also helps them catch up to speed easier.
    • No such luck for the "Core" classes however, who also tend to be overshadowed by named characters in their field.
    • Averted by Orlandeau, who is the only character in the entire game who starts at Level 50 if he was obtained during the event that first made him available.

    P 
  • The Paladin: The Warrior of Light, Cecil, Beatrix, Gabranth, and Agrias all serve this role, with access to all Knight abilities and high-tier White Magic.
  • Pause Scumming: Higher-level players tend to run battles this way to reduce input delay and take time to change strategies.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling:
    • The Sunday daily dungeon, particularly on ++.
    • Flan Fest 2015 was an unintentional (and unfortunately, temporary) example that came in the Celes event, by way of a genocide of Flan. To explain, the format of this event was survival, where you could see what type of opponent was next in line to determine whether or not you wanted to continue. Through resetting until they showed up, the first match of Hard mode could sometimes consist of a pack of five Flan, which could then be killed by a single multi-hit attack. A champion rank victory against these unfortunate Flan would net a party 30,000 EXP for the cost of 4 stamina. The process of resetting then repeated until another pack of Flan appeared. Many players eschewed the intended rewards after getting Celes and instead took advantage of leveling, resulting in a good boost to many rosters' average level.
    • "Festival of Gold", full stop. Every enemy in this event was basically a Metal Slime, as they dropped oodles of EXP, Gil, and Upgrade Materials, with up to over 70,000 EXP on Heroic for a single three-Round set. What made this even better is that all of the enemies were Glass Cannons and dropped like flies if you got the initiative, even if you brought a Level 30 party on Heroic, allowing your characters (especially "Core" characters) to quickly burn through levels before the ridiculous number of Growth Eggs obtained from both rewards and enemy drops.
    • Averted completely with the "Festive Fantasy" event in December of 2015; despite claiming to offer "tons of EXP, Gil, and Orbs," the event only delivers on the latter two, while skimping on Experience. This has left many players rather angry.
    • Orb Fest, which give XP, Gil, Upgrades, and Orbs at a very efficient rate. Each one (except Festive Fantasy) was seen as some sort of Peninsula of Power Leveling.
    • The low-level FFIV Fabul Castle realm dungeon has battles that cost 1 Stamina each, making it a perfect spot to grind Record Materia drops.
    • The Submerged Ruins 1 in Record Dungeons Chapter 2. It is by far the fastest way to level Tyro and Elarra up to the first max level which is 30. As shown here.
  • Percent Damage Attack:
    • Gravity, which halves the target's current HP. Good luck getting it to stick on something you actually want to use it on. The boss version of Gravija reduces your party's HP to 1/4, and is used most infamously by Diabolos. The player version of Gravija is a subversion, since it simply drops the target to 1 HP. Again, good luck getting it to stick on something you want to use it on.
    • Cripple, which is a Physical-type attack that reduces the target's HP by a quarter.
    • Spherimorph's Press attack cuts the party's HP by half.
    • Though you wouldn't know it at first, a good number of bosses have an attack that is secretly this, at least partially. It's mostly noticeable when a boss launches a giant attack on the party, and somehow, Lv. 45 and Lv. 12 characters are missing the same chunk of health bar.
      • Interestingly enough, most attacks of this type count as a type of instantkill attack, which means that you can avoid them by wearing accessories that resist KO.
  • Piñata Enemy: Magic Pots that are found in the revamped daily dungeons will drop the highest-ranked rewards that are linked to the dungeons themselves (e.g. Major Orbs). They are also relatively easy to kill.
  • Play Every Day: You are rewarded with one Mythril and one other reward for each day you log in. There is also a rotating carousel of Power-Up Dungeons that let you snag rare Orbs and Crystals, and certain events give additional login bonuses that provide their own unique rewards.
  • Power at a Price:
    • Josef's Self-Sacrifice Record Materia boosts the user's Attack and Defense, but causes Sap on the user. His unique Soul Break, Noble Sacrifice, KO's him to give a massive attack boost to the entire party.
    • Ricard's Dragoon's Determination RM causes Sap like Josef's, but gives the greatest boost to Attack from any Record Materia.
    • Gore-Stained Blade I and II, Dark Knight Cecil's Record Materias. Both boost the equipped character's Attack, but eats at their HP when they strike. Gore-Stained Blade II in particular takes 5% of the user's HP when they attack, which would kill the user in 20 turns, the number of turns it also takes the Dark Knight to self-destruct in his boss battle.
    • Darkness abilities. Sacrifice something (like HP, defense, or cast Doom on yourself), and you'll get a stronger attack and/or an attack/magic boost.
  • Power Creep:
    • Soul Breaks in general, usually just in time for a new kind of Soul Break to come out.
      • Super Soul Breaks were explicitly billed as even stronger Soul Breaks than the Unique ones that came before. Then Burst Soul Breaks came that were even better and gave characters powerful Burst Abilities.
      • Initially averted when Ultra Soul Breaks first came out, as both Ultras and Bursts had their uses, but it kicked in over time. Ultras became designed to synergize with ability usage for increased DPS, and comboing them with a Burst is too slow since this demands the use of two Soul Breaks. Several Ultras have effects that depend on ability rank, for which Burst abilities count as Rank 1
      • Averted by Overstrikes and Chains, though, as they were intended to provide tactical variance in Soul Breaks and not to supplant Ultra Soul Breaks as the dominant type. Overstrikes and Chains themselves then fell victim to this trope when Arcane Overstrike Soul Breaks were added that deal multiple hits, and a second wave of Chain Soul Breaks gives more buffs on cast, a bigger boost to elemental damage (50% instead of 20) and have a higher chain count (150 over 99). Overstrikes avoided being completely useless though, as Arcane Overstrikes need more of the Soul Gauge to be used and can only be used once per battle, while normal Overstrikes have no limit.
    • In the game's early days, Full Charge was a powerful ability due to hitting four times for heavy damage, and Crystals to craft and hone Omega Drive were rare. That isn't a problem now so Full Charge has been completely forgotten in favor of Omega Drive, and even Omega Drive isn't that impressive on characters that aren't Cloud.
    • Perhaps the biggest sign of this trope is the Nightmare Bosses. When they came out they were designed to be the toughest challenges the player could face, Puzzle Bosses with high HP and unique fight gimmicks that demanded proper party set-ups and strategies to beat them. These days it's possible to just brute force your way through many of them and kill them in a few turns.
    • Ramza's Shout and Tyro's Sentinel Grimoire used to be game defining Soul Breaks; not so much anymore.
      • Shout was notable for giving the party Hastega and +50% ATK, a massive boon. These days Hastega-type Soul Breaks are extremely common, and many of them come with stat boosts attached. Ramza himself even got the Burst Soul Break Battle Cry, which is exactly like Shout but it casts a little quicker and gives Ramza Burst commands to go with it.
      • Sentinel Grimoire is a bit of an odd case. It's still very useful, but the game balance has evolved to the party it's necessary to survive top level content, so the developers give you a copy of the Relic that contains it through the Acolyte missions, Magicite and Mote dungeons give it to you as a Roaming Warrior, and the second wave of Torment dungeons treat the party as through its effects are permanently active. To keep Tyro himself from being outdone, though, he got Divine Veil Grimoire that is Sentinel Grimoire plus Hastega, Shellga, and Protectga.
  • Power Fist: Fist weapons are this, and can only be used by Monk-like characters and one anthropormorphic feline.
    • Averted with monks like Jecht and Yda, who can use swords.
  • Powers as Programs: Like in the game they originated from, Record Materia functions this way, although instead of granting abilities to characters, it instead gives them passive bonuses to a specific stat or type of attacks, allow you to start a battle with a specific positive status or boost your abilities in a specific way, such as restoring ability uses at the start of the battle, replacing your normal attack with a stronger ability or giving you a chance to use abilities belonging to a specific school multiple times in a row; other perks R Ms give are chances to double experience in battle and building up the SB bar by using normal abilities or the attack command, or taking damage. They are acquired by breaking a character's level cap for the first time at level 50, breaking it a second time at level 65 and then getting it as a random drop from a battle and getting the character to level 99. Some characters also have an additional fourth Record Materia that they get either randomly after breaking their level cap for the first time or by meeting a specific requirement.
  • Power Up Letdown: Noctis' Armiger Mode - activated by his personal 6★ Relic, Sword of the Father - cuts his cast times to a third and gives him a Stoneskin buff equivalent to 30% of his max HP. Unfortunately, taking enough damage for that causes Armiger Mode to wear off; with how hard bosses hit in this game, it's pretty useless without support casters. On the other hand, his Ultra SB grants him a 100% Stoneskin buff.
  • Promoted to Playable: Some characters who were Guest Star Party Members in their home title, like Sephiroth and Beatrix, become this in Record Keeper. Villains (or just antagonists) like Golbez, Exdeath, Kefka, Reno, Jecht, and Cid Raines are also available to use.
  • Puzzle Boss:
    • Any boss who has a puzzle element in their home game usually has it implemented in Record Keeper in some way. This is especially notable with the XIV bosses as almost every boss in that game had some gimmick.
    • Cagnazzo in the Multiplayer Anniversary fight only takes a single point of damage from any attack. The trick is to let him continuously assault you while in his "Tsunami" phase until his protection wears off, at which point every attack deals overflow damage, but if you use lightning to knock him out of his water, like you're supposed to do in a normal Cagnazzo fight, it starts over.
    • The second wave of Torment bosses are a roundabout example of this. They don't feature any particular gimmicks to their fights, but their attack patterns are 100% scripted with no variables, allowing a player to predict which attacks they will use and who will be the target, so they can strategize accordingly.
    • Various fest superbosses are usually an example of this:
      • Ozma has 5 distinct phases with various properties such as magical and physical immunity and the Dr. Mog Roaming Warrior available for the fight can be used to counter each of them in some way, but you only get a limited number of uses that aren't enough to deal with all 5 phases and thus you must overcome most of them on your own.
      • Zeromus EG has an unique timer mechanic where the ingame timer starts at 30 seconds and it can be manipulated to count forwards or backwards by attacking the orbs present in the fight, with Zeromus also perioidically doing so as well as speeding up the timer: depending on the current amount of time on the clock on a scale of 0 to 60 seconds, he takes more damage from magical and physical attacks, respectively, if the timer passes 15, 30 or 45 seconds, he uses an attack that Dispels your party and if it reaches 0 or 60 seconds, he uses a Total Party Wipe attack. After you deplete his HP, he'll set the timer to count towards either 0 or 60, whichever's closer, heal back a part of his HP and destroy the orbs, meaning you only have as much time left as it takes for the timer to count to 0 or 60 to defeat him. The Dr. Mog Roaming Warrior unique to this fight can be used to freeze the timer to its current count for 3 seconds.
    • The Nightmare Bosses are the biggest example of this:
      • Ultima Buster becomes immune to all magic and gains permanent Reflect, and counterattacks physical blows with a One-Hit KO. You need to damage it by attacking the Mana Sphere it summons, the Sphere reacting in different ways to different elements, variably healing the party, damaging Ultima Buster heavily, or damaging itself heavily with some residual damage to Ultima Buster. Every few turns Ultima Buster absorbs energy from the sphere; when the sphere is destroyed, or if it gets to the fourth charge turn, Ultima Buster uses Nightmare Ultima to deal heavy damage to the party, depending on how much energy it absorbed before it attacked.
      • Demon Wall targets three of your party with a curse, and will eventually cast Nightmare Gravija on them. Attacking it with those three cursed characters will stall Nightmare Gravija and make it retarget the curse to start the cycle over. The two characters not targeted with the curse can get by attacking the arms, because if they attack Demon Wall itself it will cast Nightmare Gravija sooner. Attacking the arms with a cursed party member gets them hit with Annul to sap their ability charges.
      • Evrae Altana counters physical attacks and you lose medals for using black magic, so White Mages are the way to go. Casting Esuna on him to cure his Poison status stops him from using Nightmare Poison Breath, and he summons four mirrors to power up his Photon Spray in different ways, but you can cast Esuna or Dispel on them to nullify their power-up effects for a short time. Additionally, all enemies in the fight are treated as undead, allowing White Mages to deal proper damage to them with Cure spells.
      • Neo Bahamut counters Black Magic and physical blows, so you're supposed to bring summons to the fight. He cycles through Fire, Ice, and Lightning stages where he'll have a vulnerability to the opposing element (Ice, Fire, Water), but if hit with the element he resists he'll spawn an Energy Orb. Once he falls to half health he'll stop cycling and start spamming Megaflare and Gigaflare, while preparing to absorb the orbs to cast Nightmare Gigaflare. At this time the orbs become vulnerable, and if you can kill them all at once with a summon attack, they explode and damage Neo Bahamut. As a final twist, if you avoid hitting him with his resistance in the cycling phase and so don't spawn any Energy Orbs, he'll end the cycling phase with a Nightmare Gigaflare anyway.
      • CPU's Attack and Defense Nodes create barriers that greatly lessen the damage the CPU takes while also providing healing and attacking support. Using Break abilities on them can deactivate the barriers. The CPU itself also counts down to using Nightmare Quadruple Foul to cripple the party with Poison, Blind, Silence, and Sleep. The only way to stop it before the countdown hits zero is to kill both Nodes at once. However, the second time this happens it causes the CPU and Attack Node to spam their strongest attacks continuously, quickly wiping you out, so in practice it's a Timed Boss to beat the CPU in its second phase before it finishes the countdown.
      • The Tonberries move slowly towards your party and do more damage the closer they get, but depending on the color of the glyph they're currently standing on, any Stun, Slow or Stop-inflicting attack is guaranteed to work on them: the more turns the Tonberries were allowed to take in total, the stronger the King Tonberry's main attack.
      • Kaiser Dragon changes elemental weakness every few turns and a shift in weakness is followed by a powerful elemental attack: hitting the crystal that appears in the middle of the fight with an elemental attack greatly increases your party's defense towards that element and makes them weak towards the opposite element, but the crystal only has a limited number of a charges that're depleted when it's hit by elemental attacks and you need at least 3 charges by the end of the fight to be completely protected from Kaiser Dragon's Last Ditch Move, Nightmare Meltdown.
      • The Guardian distributes a random number of target locks amongst your party, which indicate the current targets of its strongest attack. However, these target locks can be moved around by any action taken by a party member that has one, including healing an ally or attacking the Guardian to make it target itself.
      • Necrophobe spawns 4 barriers that cast a special version of Doom on 4 of your party members and greatly increase the amount of damage dealt and taken by Necrophobe: these barriers can be toggled on and off with a specific Break ability.
      • Atomos summons a random grouping of gemstones that he'll proceed to suck up and consume, which each one having a different effect on him. You can destroy the gemstones beforehand to prevent it, but they will react with a respective attack when you do so.
      • Valigarmanda summons orbs that you need to destroy to prevent him from using his strongest attack. He also gains a pair of elemental barriers that reduce damage from the respective element, with immunity to that element if both barriers are the same color: you can disable these barriers by attacking them with the element they're weak to, and if you disable both barriers at the same time, additional enemies are summoned that can use powerful attacks against your party if left alone, but they can also restore your ability uses if killed quickly enough.
      • Omega Weapon summons green and red Mana Spheres that allow him to use his strongest attack if left alone, but they react when attacked, depending on the physical position of the party member that attacked them. Green Spheres heal the party when KO'd by someone in front of them, or heal Omega Weapon otherwise; the Red Spheres deal heavy damage to Omega Weapon when KO'd by someone in front of them, but otherwise they deal heavy damage to the party member that attacked them.

    R 
  • Randomized Damage Attack: If you use the Summoner and you need a particular summon, good luck getting Call II to actually do what you want. Downplayed with Call I, which only calls one of two Summons, and both are fairly weak.
    • Setzer's default Soul Break. Either does 1, 22, 33, 44, 555, or 6666 damage.
  • Rank Inflation: Players are graded based on performance at the end of a stage, which takes the form of three ranks: Novice, Expert, and Champion. The number of Medals you earn at the end of a stage is compared against the total number possible, and you are ranked as a result. Novice grants the party only the standard EXP, Expert grants the party +50% of the earned EXP, and Champion grants double the earned EXP.
  • Random Drop: Enemies can drop equipment, Orbs or Gil; occasionally, two of those simultaneously. The last monster in a round may also drop a Potion to heal 10% of party members' HP, a Hi-Potion to heal 20%, or an Ether to restore one or two ability uses.
    • Several Record Materias are random drops obtained only with their respective character in the party. A few only drop in their corresponding realms, and even fewer will only drop through specific conditions.
  • Razor Wind: The Celerity ability Wind Slash presumably involves swinging your weapon so fast it fires a gust of wind to hit enemies. Unlike many physical abilities, Wind Slash is ranged, which allows a normal physical fighter to handle a target out of range if it's not immune to wind.
  • Recurring Boss: Ultros is still at it in the FFVI dungeons, and no worse for wear.
  • The Red Mage:
    • The Trope Namer is one of the available Core characters.
    • Gordon from has similar abilities, but can't equip rods, hindering his Black Magic potential.
    • Hope and Vanille both have access to at least 4★ Black and White Magic, with Hope favoring Black Magic and Vanille leaning towards White Magic. Both also have Summon Magic, though Hope's is 5★ compared to Vanille's 3★.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Record Keeper Biggs and Wedge. The former is a rough-and-tough bulky warrior-type, while the latter is a kind, yet dedicated supporter. This is even reflected in their outfits; Biggs dresses in black with red lining, while Wedge dresses in black with blue lining.
  • Retraux:
    • For all of the Final Fantasy games after VI, as Record Keeper recreates them in 16-bit graphics. Averted for the SNES era games, which it borrows sprites and animations from, and inverted for the NES era games, as Record Keeper updates the sprites from those games to 16-bit, up from 8-bit. Record Dungeons take it one step further and go the extra mile by recreating signature scenes from new and old Final Fantasy games with the 16-bit graphics.
    • The Kingdom Hearts χ collab event also does this for Kingdom Hearts II, as the collaboration also came with an online minigame based heavily on the Gummi Ship minigames from II, where you pilot a Gummi Ship through hazardous territory while destroying Nobodies in your path. The mini-game features faithful 16-bit recreations of the Highwind and the Final Fantasy-themed Gummi Ship models from II, as well as sprites for all of the Nobody enemies in the original mini-game.
  • Revenue-Enhancing Devices: Gems. They can be purchased for real money, and basically function as Mythril substitutes when you lack enough Mythril.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: In full effect here. Several enemies and bosses are weak to Holy damage, and when Dia or Holy isn't an option, a Curaga to the face also makes for a good substitute in most cases. If you can get your hands on Raise, you can turn practically all Undead-type bosses into a complete joke. Thankfully, due to the fact that a good number of characters rely on it as their sole source of healing, the usual effect of Drain attacks being reversed against undead enemies (ie. the enemy gets healed while the character loses HP) isn't present.
  • Rogue Protagonist: The Dissidia Cosmos event pitted players against several heroes of Cosmos, the lead protagonists of their games. Bartz, Zidane, Tidus, and Lightning have also reappeared as Ultimate bosses in events for their respective realms.

    S 
  • Save Scumming: A very common practice if a player doesn't manage to fulfill some Mastery ranking conditions, a key party member gets killed early in the fight due to them being targeted repeatedly or being hit by an One-Hit Kill attack of some kind, or if your ATB bars start low enough and the enemy's start high enough for them to get multiple attacks in before you can cast your buffs. By exiting the game and closing the app, the player can reload any battle from its beginning. This form of save-scumming has been acknowledged and has become a feature — there is now an in-game button in the pause menu to restart the fight as a convenience feature over closing the entire game, while still disallowing players from restarting if they lose their entire party.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty: An update in February 2018 reworked some of the ordering for Realm Dungeons to streamline them and make them easier to access. The result is that some of the Realms jump from difficulty to difficulty in the unlock chain, due to originally being released later but then rearranged to be unlocked much earlier.
  • Self-Referential Humor: Cait Sith's USB, "Danger Dice", which gives Protectga/Shellga/Hastega and hits the entire enemy party with Full Breakdown. Its animation? Cait Sith rolls three dice that turn up all 6's — which proceed to turn into FFRK Relic Orbs that transform into 6★ Relic Orbs and plays the appropriate 6★ animation, complete with jingle.
  • Serial Escalation: It's to the point of a Running Gag with Maria. Her Super and Burst Soul Breaks are Thunder XVI and Meteor XVI, reflecting the spell system of Final Fantasy II where spells capped at Level 16. Then she got her Overstrike and Ultra, Kerplode XXXII and Magma XXXII, going for double the cap at 32. Then she got Meteor Swarm LXIV, raising the bar to 64.
  • Sheathe Your Sword:
    • Although not quite like the original boss, the fight against the Dark Knight from Final Fantasy IV can still be won this way. If you can or are willing to survive 20 turns, Cecil self-destructs instantly, netting the fight.
    • The battle against Famed Mimic Gogo demands this initially, as Gogo will go berserk if you don't "do exactly what he does", ie. nothing. Unlike his home game, you do have to actually fight him afterwards. Subverted in one of the event battles against him where instead of doing nothing, he casts powerful spells at you that you have to mimic if you don't want to anger him, but since you can't use any form of mitigation without angering him, most of your party will be dead by the time he's satisfied. This, in addition to actually having to waste your already limited ability slots on spells that you won't use past the beginning and the orb and money cost of creating said spells to begin with, means that the far more sane method of winning the battle involves just ignoring him and angering him on purpose before he gets any spells off, causing him to start buffing himself instead.
  • Shield Bash: Warrior of Light's BSB, Ultimate Shield. Warrior of Light concentrates energy, then rushes the enemy with his shield seven times. On the final hit, Warrior of Light throws away his shield, grabs the Sentinel's Grimoire shield out of the sky and smacks an enemy on the head with it.
    • The Knight abilities Shield Bash, Aegis Strike, Guardbringer and Earthbringer all follow this motif.
  • Simple Staff: In two flavors: Rods and Staves. Both increase the Magic and Spirit stats, but the former grants a bigger bonus to Magic, while the latter grants a bigger bonus to Spirit. Rods are mainly used by Black Magic users, Staves by White Magic users.
  • Simple, yet Awesome:
    • Cloud Strife is the second character acquired. He starts off powerful—with decent Defense and high HP and Attack—and stays powerful, with a well-rounded weapon roster and a great range of abilities including Spellblade. Unless you snag a 5★ Relic for another physical fighter, Cloud will be your go-to fighter for times to come.
    • Noctis's Soul Breaks grant him useful buffs for his Attack and other stats, cut his casting time, grant him anti-damage barriers and deal multiple non-elemental hits. With enough relics, Noctis can be a capable solo DPS.
    • Dark Knight Cecil can only use Combat abilities, but has one of the highest Attack stats, on par with Cloud and Squall, with a handy Life Drain for a default Soul Break and the highest base HP total in the game.
    • Vivi can only use Black Magic, but has one of the highest Magic stats in the game to go with it.
    • Sephiroth can only equip daggers and katanas for weapons and can only use three useful ability schools, but is one of the best physical fighters with the highest Attack.
    • Tyro and Cloud have Record Materia that lets characters start dungeons with one full Soul Break bar, to give them an edge in boss-only dungeons and higher-level content.
  • Skill Tree: Record Spheres and Legend Spheres work like these: using Motes grants a character permanent stat boosts, plus some minor buffs like elemental damage boosts, elemental or status resistances, and additional ability access. Completing Legend Spheres also gives the character access to their Legend Materia, the first of which usually boosting their main element or function to a moderate degree and the second one giving them a much stronger passive ability, such as giving them a chance to doublecast their main offensive ability type or healing spells, a possible unique follow-up attack for their main offensive actions, increasing the duration of their (de)buffs, starting the battle with a number of powerful statuses, cumulatively increasing their main damage stat with successive actions or being able to enter Trance at low HP as described below.
  • Smug Snake: The FFVIII Red Giant will laugh off every physical hit you land on him and boast that your magic won't work, even if your party is leveled high enough to kill him quickly: the only way to make him stop is to use the respective Breaks on him, even though you might already be doing 9999 damage per hit to him.
  • Something Completely Different:
    • Some dungeons shake up the usual formula, with a weaker boss in every battle or the boss stage coming first.
    • Collection Events have you collect clusters of items dropped from enemies, bosses and completion rewards, to be exchanged for rewards in the event's proprietary shop.
    • Survival Events throw players into a gauntlet of single battles against random enemy formations for Memory Shards. With every victory, you get more Shards, and your stash is multiplied depending on the enemy's level. Winning or leaving the dungeon between rounds banks your rewards into Memory Prisms, and the total number determines your rewards; if your party falls, you lose all Shards earned.
    • The Dissidia: Final Fantasy events. Rather than traditional multi-stage dungeons, each dungeon in both parts was a single fight against the boss.
    • The Crystal Tower events are segmented boss rushes that can be done in any order—but using a character in one battle locks them out of all others to avert Complacent Gaming Syndrome.
    • The "Shinra's Finest" event is a Jump Start gauntlet run of 100 Shinra troopers and mechs, with each wave broken up by minibosses. Unusually, only Sephiroth gets Record Synergy.
  • Spam Attack: A favorite tactic of some bosses and a few Mooks as well. Many popular player strategies also revolve around spamming powerful attacks.
  • Speed Run: Magicite and Torment Dungeons have an additional stipulation that you must defeat the boss as fast as possible to get the best possible rewards. Thus, players are encouraged to build around faster, harder hitting strategies that capitalize on the enemy's vulnerabilities (especially elemental) to burst down bosses in record time.
  • Spell Blade:
    • The Spellblade Ability Class is this, consisting of Abilities that deal Physical Damage and Elemental Damage simultaneously, ideal for melee fighters who want to push out maximum damage by capitalizing on an elemental weakness. However, only a very small pool of characters can actually use Spellblade Abilities, including Cloud, Celes, Squall, Lightning, and of course, Tyro.
    • There are also certain Support Abilities which are Physical attacks with Status Effects tacked on instead. Unlike Spellblade, a much wider range of characters can use Support Abilities.
    • Dragoons can equip special Jumps that are also imbued with elements, such as Wind-type, Ice-type, and Thunder-type Jumps.
    • Sharpshooter abilities are elemental ranged attacks, usable by nearly everyone who can used ranged weapons, and are stronger when used with a ranged weapons (but are still quite usable even with melee weapons.)
  • Spell Levels: Present, of course, being Final Fantasy and all. The standard [spell], [spell]ra, [spell]ga, and [spell]ja tiers exist, mainly for the standard Fire, Blizzard, and Thunder trio and the Cure line, although other spells like Water and Gravity get second tiers, like Watera and Gravija. Some spells like Protect have just a -ga level which affects the whole party instead of just one character like the basic version, while Standard Status Effect spells like Slow have a -ga version that is a lot more accurate.
  • Spiteful Spit: Kefka's OSB involves Kefka throwing statues of the Warring Triad at the enemy to form a gigantic tower, then jumping on top, transforming into his final form and destroying the world... which is followed by Kefka swooping down and spitting on the enemy, which deals one Overflow hit.
  • Squishy Wizard: Most Mage-type characters fall under this, with powerful spells but terrible HP and physical stats.
    • Averted by numerous Magic Knight types that can be decently effective on the physical front while still having great magic. Onion Knight, Golbez, Exdeath, Terra, Celes, Ashe, Vayne, and Iris all fit the bill.
  • Standard Status Effects: The usual Poison, Blind, Paralyze, etc. status can be applied by both your characters and the enemies. However, they avert the usual Useless Useful Spell the series is known for; a lot of bosses are weak to a couple of status effects, as well as Paralyze and Slow, making some abilities like Intimidate very useful. The game actually encourages players to use status effects against some bosses to get a Mastery ranking. This, unfortunately, can turn boss battles into a drag if the player is unlucky and his attacks don't activate the desired status.
    • Amusingly enough, while Doom is something to be dreaded in other games due to its ability to turn any fight into a timed battle, here it functions more like a positive status effect: sure, it'll still kill you when the timer runs out, but a large number of abilities become stronger when you're under the Doom status and due to the fact that most endgame battles are designed to be beaten as quickly as possible, chances are that you'll die far before the countdown itself kills you if you aren't strong enough.
  • Stat Stick: Rods and Staves are essentially useless as weapons. Their only purposes is to give Mages the stats they need for their spells to be effective.
    • Obsolete weapons with Realm Synergy are this. If Sephiroth has Masamune-Shinuchi or Yoshiyuki, you can give Cloud Masamune without any problems.
  • Stance System: A minor example: some BSBs allow the character to either summon some kind of monster to aid them (with the summon itself either having a non-damaging or a defensive effect, if they do anything at all) or to enter a special mode with one of their commands, with their other command becoming powered up as a result. The former usually adds a secondary effect to their other command when the summon is active and using the summoning command when it's active results in a powerful attack that also dispels the summon, requiring you to spend another turn to resummon it, while the latter usually powers up the other command either gradually in multiple stages, or with a single use but at a heavy cost to the character's defenses.
  • Stone Wall: Any character with high-tier Knight abilities. They typically have the highest Defense and HP, and can draw both physical and magical attacks to them with certain abilities.
    • Paladin Cecil is considered the top-tier tank in terms of sheer survivability, and Soul Breaks that can either raise the entire party's Defense or draw all attacks towards him.
    • Any character with Magic Lure/Reflect can draw any single-target Magic and bounce it back on the enemy. Also worth noting that Celes and Exdeath with their Soul Breaks (or anyone who uses a RW) can draw and nullify single-target magic and refill their abilities.
    • Golbez is an interesting magic-based variant of this: his BSB draws both single target physical and magical attacks, and his commands allow him to put up a barrier that nullifies an amount of damage equal to 30% of his maximum HP and use a 4-hit dark-elemental magic attack that heals him by 20% of the damage done by the attack, making him extremely durable while also allowing him to do respectable damage to the enemy.
  • Stylistic Suck: Several of the icons for Gunblade-type weapons just swap around the handle or blade from another icon, sometimes recoloring the blade. However, this is the same way Final Fantasy VIII depicts its Gunblades, with weapon manuals even drawing attention to the fact that they reuse parts from other models.
  • Summon Magic: The Summon Ability School allows particular characters to summon a variety of creatures to assist in combat. These include the usual trifecta of Ifrit, Shiva, and Ramuh, as well as Bahamut, but also special Summons from particular games, such as the Mist Dragon from Final Fantasy IV, Syldra from Final Fantasy V, or Valefor from Final Fantasy X. Only a few characters can use this School of Abilities, including The Summoner, Rydia, Aerith, Garnet, Yuna, and Vanille.
    • Magicite is another form of this: anyone can summon one on their turn, causing it to perform a predetermined attack, and letting it assist the party afterwards with its own attacks at regular intervals.
  • Super Mode:
    • Activating a Burst Soul Break causes the character to enter Burst Mode after the attack, which grants them a spike in overall strength and replaces the Attack and Defend commands with Burst Mode-specific commands unique to every character.
    • Ultra Soul Breaks cause the user to enter EX Mode afterward; unlike Burst Mode, EX Mode doesn't give the character access to special abilities, but it instead grants them powerful passive buffs tailored to their role.
    • Characters with Trance Legend Materia (typically FFIX characters and Terra) can trigger Trance upon dropping to 20% HP or lower, which causes their HP to instantly regenerate back to max and enter a character-specific Trance Mode that enhances their overall stats and grants them a specific buff.
    • Certain Ultra Soul Breaks can trigger Brave Mode, which replaces the character's Attack command with a Brave Ability. Depending on the USB in question, performing a specific action while under Brave Mode causes the Brave Ability to Level Up. You can level it up as many times as you please up to a limit, and then use the Brave Ability to dump all of your charges and perform a powerful Overflow attack.
    • The Yiazmat (Transcendent) fight gives players access to a special ability called Awakening of Historia that automatically casts an Awoken buff on a party member (in a set rotation) every three seconds. When a character is Awoken, they deal 10x more damage, take half damage, and have doubled ATB fill rate and halved cast time.
  • Symbol Swearing: Just like in the original game, all of Barret's swearing higher than Disney-level is censored with a variety of symbols.

    T 
  • Taken for Granite: As usual, the Petrify status ailment. While the afflicted can still be damaged and restored with Stona or Esuna, it's functionally identical to a KO, but does not penalize your medal rewards.
  • A Taste of Power:
    • Meta example — because the Kingdom Hearts event was balanced around the Japanese version, it gave Global players access to Arcane Overstrikes and Glints a month before their scheduled debut in the 3rd Anniversary Celebration, their first D260 event boss in Cloud, and a D220 Trickmaster raid with better rewards than normal.
    • During the second encounter against Humbaba, Terra starts the fight in Trance and has two Soul Break stocks charged, allowing her to open the fight with her Finding Love BSB.
  • Temporary Online Content: Missed an event that ran for about a week? Too bad. Very rarely has limited-time content ever returned — in the Global version (and not in the Japanese version at all), as of 2018, there has only been two rerun events ("Renewal Dungeons") that unleash a pack of old dungeons again for newer players to complete. And even these events do not include the oldest events, ever, nor special events like Festivals.
  • Theme Naming: Soul Breaks are often named in a way that echo the character's other, canonical Limit Break-type attacks, if any, or otherwise call to mind their home abilities.
    • Tyro's Soul Breaks include Grimoire, Tome, Apocrypha, or other synonyms for "book" in their names.
    • Just like in Dissidia, the Cloud of Darkness' attacks are all some variant of Particle Beam with a suffix slapped in front of the attack.
    • Cyan's Soul Breaks all bear the "Bushido" suffix, since they're based on his Bushido commands in VI.
    • Cloud's later Soul Breaks include Climirage and Sonic Braver, echoing his other attack names Climhazzard, Sonic Break, and Braver. He also got Sonic Blade from Kindom Hearts. Yuffie got "Freewheeling" for her skills, like Freewheeling Bloodfest, Freewheeling Gauntlet, and Freewheeling Reflection.
    • Squall's Dissidia attacks, mostly based on his VIII Finishers, included Revolver Drive, Fated Circle, and Blasting Zone; here he has Blasting Drive, Blasting Aura, Brutal Blast, Revolver Drive, Revolver Aura, Fated Fang, and Fated Aura. Rinoa's Soul Breaks almost universally bear the "Angel Wing" prefix.
    • Several of Beatrix's Soul Breaks use the Seiken prefix, while some of Steiner's use Sword Art.
    • Tidus' Overdrives in X included Slice & Dice, which Dissidia made Theme Naming already with "Dart & Weave" and "Cut & Run"; Record Keeper continues the trend with "Slash & Splash" and "Quick & Rush". Wakka's attacks include "Aurochs" after Auroch Reels, his best Overdrive, and Lulu has "Fury" Soul Breaks after her Overdrive. Jecht's Soul Break are prefixed "Jecht" or "Ultimate Jecht", but this is true to his original game anyway.
    • While not fitting any particular "theme", XII's cast has Soul Breaks that evoke the naming conventions of their Quickenings. For instance, Ashe has Northswain's Glow, Heaven's Wrath, and Maelstrom's Bolt; Record Keeper gives her Thunder's Echo, Dusk's Decree, Empyrean's Edict, and Lodestar's Gleam
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The Bonus Boss Nemesis's strongest form has Transcendent Ethereal Cannon, an attack that always hits for 99,999 damage.
  • This Is My Story: The Trope Namer line is repeated word-for-word during the Final Fantasy X Corrupted Painting.
  • Time-Limit Boss:
    • Technically, every boss fight is one: taking too much damage or too many actions to end the fight will hurt the battle's ranking.
    • Any fight that involves Doom, such as FFVI's Nelapa and the Eidolons from FFXIII.
    • Magicite bosses are not only timed for rewards, but the bosses themselves get stronger after a few turns. If you take too long, they spam their strongest attacks until the battle is over, which restricts more time-consuming strategies focused around Soul Break charges and/or damage reflection.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Edgar tells Terra that no human is born with powers like hers. Lampshaded immediately by Tyro.
    Tyro: Poor choice of words, Edgar.
    Edgar: Forgive me.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman:
    • The usually-benched Core characters get special Bravery Synergy in Crystal Tower dungeons and some other special events, letting them pull their weight properly.
    • To a lesser degree, bringing in other underused characters from certain games for events and tough portraits where they have Record Synergy as well. All Nightmare Record fights are also tailored for specific types of characters, not only because of the synergy they get, but also because most of the Nightmare bosses have gimmicks that either greatly reduce damage from all but one type of attacks or always counter those attacks with something that makes using them suicidal, such as a full-party Death spell.
    • Using a character simply because their Soul Break has a damage type or Status effect needed for a ranking requirement that isn't very easy to find for newer players, like Earth and Dark.
    • Aria's Burst Soul Break and Ultra Soul Break have cushioning effects against Fire attacks; the Burst raises the party's Fire resistance and the Ultra grants everyone a barrier that absorbs up to their max HP in Fire damage. Against most enemies, Aria is just another White Mage; against an enemy who specializes in Fire attacks, Aria suddenly becomes your best option for healer. Lenna, Aerith, and Alma, got similar resistance-buffing Soul Breaks for Ice, Dark, and Holy, respectively, but only Aria has an Elemental Stoneskin effect.
  • Token Good Teammate: General Leo's event is called "A Light Among Shadows," eluding to his role as this in the original game.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Sinspawn Ammes, the Warm-Up Boss of Final Fantasy X, was impossible to lose against because his only attack is Gravity. Well, around here, he still uses only Gravity... But now he's a Flunky Boss who can summon an endless horde of Blue Sinscales whose Spines attack will chew through an underleveled party if you're not careful.
    • Of all people, Palmer from Final Fantasy VII. Originally a Zero-Effort Boss, in this game he actually has decent attack power on top of having loads of health, and is a downright Marathon Boss on Elite. And he doesn't get hit by a truck either. This is taken Up to Eleven with the Masters of the Planet event, where he's an Ultimate boss with Shinra mooks he can resummon and a devastating AOE Fixed Damage Attack when he's on low health.
    • Mote Ifrit. The first boss from FF 8 gets jacked up to 255 difficulty and released. That's 85 levels higher than an Ultimate+ boss. Widely considered the hardest boss in the entire history of the game - maybe even harder than Parade Float. To give you an idea of how powerful he is, one banner in all of the FF 8 events since has been dedicated to beating him.
    • The Ultimate fights in the events are generally this, most of them taking a pre-existing boss and souping up their power and giving them new moves.
    • In VI, the Returners attempt to escape by Chocobo from Figaro Castle after Kefka's attack, and are quickly caught up to by two soldiers in Magitek Armor. In the Record Dungeon version of the cutscene, the party is seen evading a Macross Missile Massacre on Chocobos before being surrounded by two Magitek Soldiers moving at Super Speed.
  • Translation Correction: Most of the names are preserved from their English language source material, but some are very quietly rectified. For example, what was "4x Cut" in Final Fantasy VII became "Quad Cut" in Cloud's Burst Mode.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay:
    • In the early days of the game, achieving bonus conditions in boss fights was largely this, since you had no way to check them beforehand. Due to the wide range in variance in bonus conditions, it was somewhat difficult to score Champion ranks on bosses without looking it up on the internet first. A later update subverted this by adding Dr. Mog's Tips to the Dungeon Info, which allows you to check the bonus conditions for any boss fights prior to fighting the boss or even entering the dungeon.
    • Can still crop up here and there with regular enemies, especially if you aren't prepared to deal with stone or instant-kill attacks.

    U-V 
  • Undesirable Prize:
    • Equipment from Final Fantasy XII came to be viewed as this due to their sheer abundance, and are now usually either sold or used as upgrade fodder. Worse, there were no FFXII dungeons at all for months, so the lack of Record Synergy made them useless.
    • Josef's Giant Gloves, for their Noble Sacrifice Soul Break; Josef KO's himself to buff the party's Attack. A buff that many other Soul Breaks can give without killing the user, including two more that Josef himself can learn. It does have some use just as a Fist weapon, but even then there's dozens of Fists stronger than them (including three more from II, so Realm Synergy won't solve much).
    • Yuna's Tiny Bee is universally considered the worst Burst Soul Break relic in the game. Its SB, Trigger Happy, has no usage on her; its initial damage and its first Burst command are weak non-elemental magic hits, and its second Burst command is a weak group healnote . As just a weapon on its own, its stats plain suck; Yuna has access to Rods and Staves that afford her much better stat boosts, and any Mage you may want to have high Magic or Mind for can find better boosts on better guns.
    • Y'shola's Nirvana Zeta has been deemed the worst USB relic in the game, with Goddess's Mercy. It grants the party Shield, High Regen and Instant Cast 1 to the user. Shield only protects you from a single hit of any kind, High Regen is an underwhelming heal on its own and Instant Cast 1 is largely pointless, as her BSB has an instant heal command by default. If you had any doubts remaining about its awfulness, it's also the only USB available in the predetermined Realm Dungeon Roaming Warrior lists for dungeon difficulty 99 and up, when every other RW available is a Super Soul Break.
    • Most Legend Materia Relics feel innately less useful than Soul Breaks by default, especially if you have no SBs for that character to begin with, and only some specific types of them are desired after, mostly the ones that let the character start the battle with En-element or give them a chance to dualcast their most used ability school or element, but by far the worst Legend Materia Relic in the game so far belongs to Fran. It gives her a 30% chance to interrupt enemies with her Support abilities if she has a bow equiped, which is ridiculously underpowered for a number of reasons: it requires a specific weapon type, a specific ability school, the chance for it to trigger is far too low to be useful, anything it might be useful on is invariably immune to its effect, all damaging Support-type abilities are Breaks, which have been phased out in exchange for more effective Dance abilities that don't last as long and spamming said Breaks every turn generally isn't what you want to be doing with your Support characters nowadays anyway as they're generally used more as way to generate SB gauge for other characters.
  • Useless Useful Spell:
    • Some of the Soul Breaks could be considered this, mainly those of the Core characters. Both of the Knight's Soul Breaks, for instance, buff his own defense. Some are also only useful against multiple enemies and therefore fall into this against most bosses. Particularly, Josef's exclusive Soul Break involves boosting his allies' Attack, but KOing himself in the process, which is ill-advised for any fight that involves not taking KOs. Some of them found their niche with the Roaming Warrior feature, which can be used by any character and bypasses charging the Soul Gauge, but there's still a lot of competition on that front.
    • White/Black Magic that inflicts Status Effects, as well as their particular remedies, tend to be this outside of very specific situations since each character can only equip two Abilities, and many can't equip the right ones at all. For example, it's quite pointless to equip Stona in a dungeon that doesn't involve Petrify, although it may be highly necessary for any dungeon that does. And even then, those remedial White Magics are generally outmoded by Esuna, which cures practically every status except for Doom.
    • Early 6-star abilities tend to be this. Ultima is outclassed by Dark Zone, a 5-star Darkness skill, and Crushdown is outclassed by various other 5* abilities for DPS. The most glaring example is Reraise - a useless status effect that revives your party member without buffs and at low magic, and is outclassed anyway.
    • Overstrikes fall under this category to some degree. Straight DPS, without any utility or hone extension connected, does not hold up well by itself, and Overstrikes will probably need some sort of Enelement SB to hit 99999 on high-powered enemies.
      • Nevertheless, they can be very useful to end the fight quickly — many bosses get much nastier when they get to critical HP. Building several SB gauges on a character with Overstrike and finishing the boss with two or three casts is a valid strategy. They're also one of the most straightforward methods of defeating Magicite bosses due to the combination of their high damage multipliers and the Magicites' massive defenses that can't be lowered in any reasonable manner outside of elemental imperils.
  • Vancian Magic: Except for Soul Breaks, the game uses this system for all special abilities, magic included.
  • Victory by Endurance: Many bosses boil down to this, especially the bonus bosses, due to your abilities only having so many charges before you have nothing but the basic Attack and Defend commands left. Typically boss fights boil down to "boost the party with every buff you can, sap the boss with every debuff you can, and unleash hell on them until your White Mage can't keep up with their damage output anymore." This is also a major reason why healing and buffing Soul Breaks are so critical to success in the late game and bonus dungeons — attacking the boss isn't the hard part, surviving their attacks is.
  • Video Game Demake: The game could be considered this for the 3D Final Fantasy games.
  • Villain Protagonist:
    • Your roster can include Golbez, Gilgamesh, Exdeath, Kefka, Sephiroth, Reno, Kuja, Garland, Edea, Gabranth, Raines, Jecht, the Emperor and Cloud of Darkness.
    • Some events also encourage this by giving Record Synergy to this set of characters, usually the Dissidia events where you fight the heroes.
  • Violation of Common Sense:
    • Quite rarely, one of the bonus conditions for a boss fight will include not using an element they're weak against, which can make certain fights drag out longer than expected if you want an extra three medals for not using their weakness. This is oftentimes justified if said weakness triggers a Counter Attack.
    • If a (usually Event) boss has a bonus condition that involves preventing a certain character from being KO'd, you need to bring that character along for it to count. This is sometimes impossible the first time around when you need to defeat said boss to unlock the character in the first place.
    • Yunalesca requires the party to be Sapped most of the fight lest you be subject to Mega Death, which is a One-Hit Kill against non-Sapped party members. This sounds wholly counterintuitive unless you played Final Fantasy X, where the same attack required the party to be Zombified to avoid it.
    • The anniversary celebration for multiplayer pitted the players against Cagnazzo, with a vague warning that "something is different about him." Said difference is that he's immune to damage, and hitting him with lightning when he summons water to him will trigger a Cycle of Hurting where he loses his water and then gets it back a few turns anyway. You have to just let him keep summoning more and more water and survive his onslaught until he tires himself out and becomes vulnerable to damage. Such a pity that you probably won't come to this conclusion on your own, as every version of Final Fantasy IV and appearance of Cagnazzo in this game have hammered into you that lightning is the way to go against him.
    • A number of characters have a Trance-type second Legend Materia, which triggers when their HP falls to 20% or lower, healing them back to full and giving them a number of useful buffs that stack with all other buffs in the game, often including an effect that reduces their cast times to 1/2 or 1/3 for the duration of the Trance. Thus, due to the overall focus in killing enemies as quickly as possible in high-end content, chances are that instead of attacking the enemy, you'll instead use one of your first turns to smack the poor Trance user to critical health so that they can kill the enemy that much quicker.
  • Visual Pun: The official website for the Japanese version accompanies the "Back to Top" button with a sprite of the "Dragoon" Core Character. As in, you're Jumping to the top of the page.

    W-Y 
  • Wake-Up Call Boss:
    • Vargas in Mt. Kolts (FFVI). You can't hit him until you kill his bears, and he can use Gale Cut, an attack which will hit your entire party. He is weak to Blind, Stop, and takes more damages from poison attacks, but chances are your team won't be sufficiently prepared when you meet him for the first time (and that is assuming you can craft those abilities at all). His Elite version is also quite a challenge.
    • Sinspawn Ammes in Zanarkand (FFX) will be the player's first exposure to a Flunky Boss.
  • Warm-Up Boss: Guard Scorpion from Final Fantasy VII, in a weird sort of way. It's much too powerful for just Tyro, but it hardly matters if the player attempts to survive. After a certain point, Dr. Mog notices that it's overwhelming Tyro, and lends the player Bahamut to tear it apart with a Mega Flare.
  • Weapon of Choice: Every character can equip multiple weapon types, but only the ones they would be able to wear in the game they come from or are suitable proxies for the more outlandish preferences. There are a few exceptions, such as Daggers, usable by everyone (but generally weak), and for the sake of balance some characters gain access to weapons they never wielded, such as Wakka, who can use Bow weapons on top of Throw ones. Tyro can equip everything, and Book weapons are almost exclusive to him (they can be also equipped by Onion Knight and Alphinaud). On the other side of the extreme, characters from games that had no real restrictions (like II, III and V) do become more specialized in their roles and weapon selection.
    • This trope also tends to backfire spectacularly on a few characters, especially Support-heavy ones, who would otherwise be great on any team if not for their extremely limited weapon selection. The worst offenders are usually:
      • Irvine, who would be an excellent Support ability user, if it wasn't for the fact that he can only equip Daggers and Guns as weapons, and his mediocre Defense makes him a liability on the front row. Guns are among the rarest weapons of the game, and even if you manage to get your hands on one, chances are it'll only be useful if you are able to exploit Realm Synergy (unless it is a 5★ one).
      • Red XIII, who is a Jack-of-All-Stats, able to use 3★ Combat, 4★ Black Magic (upgradeable to 5) and 5★ Support abilities. He initially stood out for being the only character unable to use Daggers, leaving him with only two choices among weapons: Fists, which are fairly uncommon, and Hairpins, which are very rare. A later upgrade let him use daggers, making him a little more viable as a support character, although it's difficult to build him as a Black Mage unless you have the right hairpin.
      • Sazh is practically in the same boat as Irvine in nearly all areas: 5★ Support, 3★ Black and White Magic, and 2★ Combat, but also can only use Daggers and Guns. However, he can use Armor, something Irvine lacks, which gives his subpar Defense a great boost.
      • The Bard also only has two weapon choices, Daggers and Harps. Like Irvine, he's not front row material, although he at least gets a 3★ Harp from the same portrait to use. Which will probably be the only one you'll see for a long time.
    • Averted with Firion whose whole shtick is that he can use lots of different types of weapons, including things like Rods and Staves that don't really make sense on a physical fighter. Onion Knight has also a very large selection.
  • Weapon of X-Slaying: This is more or less how Record Synergy works; by bringing a Relic that originates from a particular part of the series into its corresponding realm (i.e. bring the Buster Sword into a VII dungeon), that Relic gets a substantial stat boost. This applies to characters as well. It's easier to get a leg up on your enemies by bringing the right Relics and characters into a dungeon with you.
  • Whip It Good: There are a handful of whips in the game, though they are generally limited to a few magician girls (Cloud of Darkness, Rydia, Ursula, Faris, Krile, Relm, Quistis, Selphie and Nabaat) — plus Tyro and Onion Knight.
  • White Mage:
    • The White Mage is one of the first characters the player can recruit. Her default Soul Break heals the whole party, and unless you begin playing during an event featuring a healer character, she'll be your best healer for a long time.
    • Aerith can use every White Magic spell of the game, has a very high Spirit stat, and her second Soul Break heals the whole party, making her a perfect fit for this role.
    • Lenna is geared toward this role, though she leans a bit more toward Combat Medic since she can wield Bows and use Black Magic, albeit less effectively. She even wears her White Mage outfit and both Soul Breaks are healing effects. She also can use Dances to inflict AOE debuffs on enemies.
    • Vanille also leans more in this direction, though like Lenna, her high Magic stat allows her to skillfully wield 4★ Black Magic and 3★ Summons. She has slightly less Mind than Lenna or Aerith, but only by a few points, and she still gets access to 5★ White Magic.
    • Garnet is primarily a Summoner, but just like in her home game, she's a very skilled White Mage. She can wield Rods and 4★ White Magic alongside her 5★ Summon Magic.
    • Yuna can be best described as "Garnet, but better", which is unfortunate as Garnet was literally introduced a month prior. Yuna not only gets access to 5★ Summons, but she also gets 5★ White Magic, which enables her to wield Holy, and her Mind tops out at 143, the highest in the game, making her the de facto White Mage, although she gets a terrible base Soul Breaknote  to balance it out a little.
    • Rosa, Y'shtola, Penelo, and Mog are white mages that double as supports. The first two can use Support abilities outright, and Y'shtola even has a massive defense-buff Soul Break. Meanwhile, Penelo and Mog can use 5★ Dance abilities, to allow for AOE debuffs.
    • Finally, Minwu has the highest Mind stat in the game and lots of instant-cast healing Soul Breaks.
      • Also Arc.
    • White Mages generally get formulaic Bursts that cast Curaga on your party on use, and then have single-target Curaja and weak party heal as their commands. This is then tweaked for specific bursts. Particularly lauded are Y'shtola (casts a shield on entry, nullifying 30% max HP damage to each character, AND her Curaja command is instant), Eiko (comes with party-wide critical chance buff, significantly upping damage in physical parties), or Vanille (her entry is instant and she has strong holy-elemental attack instead of Curaja).
    • Thanks to the increased number of damaging white magic spells, a number of the above characters have shifted their focus from healing to dealing holy-elemental damage: Minwu and Arc have a second BSB that focuses entirely on dealing holy-damage with a damaging and a healing command, and both of them have an USB that either allow them to doublecast any white magic spell or give them a follow-up attack after dealing holy damage to an enemy.
  • Wolverine Publicity:
    • Of course, Cloud is the first named character to be recruited, after Tyro and the core Black and White Mages.
    • Until the release of the Newcomer Dungeons, Lightning and Tidus were event-exclusive, and otherwise could only be obtained from the Hall of Rites.
    • The Prelude chapter of Record Dungeons prominently features some of the most popular entries in the franchise: Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy XIII, and Final Fantasy IV.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Heavily employed by the FF14 version of Ifrit in his Boss Banter and Odin in FF 8. Faithful to the original encounter as usual though it stands out more here.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: Several characters have dual Dark and Holy-elemental affinities.
    • The Cloud of Darkness is a dedicated Dark character, but has Soul Breaks that deal Dark and Holy damage.
    • Defied for Cecil; while he became this trope in canon and in Dissidia, his Dark Knight and Paladin forms are separate jobs here, and each focuses in their natural element.
    • Zigzagged for Basch: He has a few Soul Breaks that deal Dark damage, including one that's both Dark and Holy, but he's otherwise a Holy-focused character and can't even equip Darkness-type abilities.
    • Cid Raines is a dedicated Yin Yang Bomb, with all his Soul Breaks, including his Burst commands, dealing dual-elemental damage, and his Legend Materia grants him a chance to dualcast Dark or Holy-elemental commands. However, in practice he's mostly a Dark-elemental character, because he has no access to Holy attacks outside of his Soul Breaks. A later event gives him a Soul Break that infuses him with Dark, cementing him as leaning that way between the two elements.
    • Orlandeau has Dark/Holy Soul Breaks, one of which lets him automatically dualcast Dark or Holy commands, as does his Legend Materia. He has the skillset to use both well too, thanks to having Knight 5 for Holy and Darkness 5 for Dark.
    • Rem's Soul Breaks are Dark and Holy, but she leans to Holy with an EnElement for it.
  • The Worf Effect: During the second encounter with Humbaba, Celes, Sabin, Tyro, and Elarra are seen absolutely hammering Humbaba with multiple high-level Abilities and Soul Breaks. Humbaba, completely unfazed, uses Humbaba Breath and forces Celes and Sabin to retreat. Terra then jumps in and Trances to assist Tyro and Elarra in finishing the fight.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Characters such as Lenna, Terra, and Lightning retain the improbable hair colors they had in their original games.

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