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Video Game / Final Fantasy V

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"Enough expository banter! Now, we fight like men! And ladies! And ladies who dress like men! For Gilgamesh...IT IS MORPHING TIME!"

The fifth entry into the bladder-weakeningly popular Final Fantasy series, and the second 16-bit game, released in 1992.

Per usual, the crystals that sustain the forces of nature are under attack, which unites four strangers in a quest to preserve them. They each gain powers from the spirits of ancient heroes contained within the crystals, hence the job-changing mechanic. The five playable characters are:

  • Bartz Klauser, a wanderer most often accompanied by his trusty chocobo, Boko
  • Lenna Charlotte Tycoon, a Princess who is alarmed by the disappearance of her father, which coincides with a meteor crashing just outside their kingdom
  • Galuf Doe, an amnesiac old man who awakens at the crash-site with a Gut Feeling saying he need to find the crystals
  • Faris Scherwiz, a seemingly-pretty-boy pirate who joins for personal reasons
  • Krile Mayer Baldesion, a Nature Hero who resides on another planet

The heroes discover that the destruction of the crystals is part of a dark warlock's plan to escape his imprisonment. In the past, he came scarily close to destroying his homeworld, only to be stopped and sealed away by a team of warriors. Now, the madman is looking to return and conquer both worlds.

The game featured a refinement of Final Fantasy III's job system: All four "Freelancers" (previously "Onion Kids") are carbon copies of each other in battle. Without a Job Crystal equipped, there's only a 2-4 point difference in stats between them, aside from Faris who's the requisite Mario. (It doesn't really amount to anything beyond who moves first when sharing a job.) You assign them jobs to endow them with stat boosts and skills, but with a twist: Skills mastered by one job can be equipped on the empty 'slot' of another. Mastering any job grants a Freelancer all of the stat boosts and passive skills from said job, e.g. the Monk's "Counter", the Samurai's "Shirahadori", or the Ninja's "Dual-Wield". Active skills such as magic still need to be equipped.

Squaresoft were hesitant to release the game outside of Japan, believing the job system to be too complex for western audiences. At one point, there were plans to market the game as Final Fantasy Extreme to contrast it to the softer Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, a game created specifically for the western market. Ultimately, however, the 1992 version for the Super Famicom remained exclusive to Japan and was only made available to English-speaking gamers years later as a fan-translated ROM. When it finally met with re-release on the PlayStation (as one-half of Final Fantasy Anthology in 1999), the glacial load times and poor translation prevented people from enjoying it the way they should.

In 2006, Square Enix released Final Fantasy V Advance for the Game Boy Advance; a near-perfect port of the original Super Famicom cart. Advance offered some bonus content along with a new translation and added humor, which, along with Bartz and Exdeath appearing in Dissidia, made its increasingly-positive reception possible. New features included a Boss Rush, a Bonus Dungeon, more superbosses, and four extra jobs.

It is one of the few games in the main series (and certainly the earliest) to have an Expanded Universe. In 1994, a four episode OVA entitled Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals was released, set 200 years after the events of the game and focusing on Bartz's descendant.

Advance was ported to iOS and Android in 2013 with other enhancements, such as analog control and redrawn job sprites/spell effects. This port was added to the Steam store for PC towards the later end of 2015 but would later be delisted in 2021. A remastered version in the Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster series was released on November 10th, 2021. On April 19, 2023 the Pixel Remaster version was brought over to the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4.

You can read a full synopsis here. Tropes specific to individual jobs go on the Character page.

This game contains examples of:

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  • Absurdly High Level Cap: Leveling up is so infrequent in this game that Level 99 is pretty much an impossibly far number.
  • Actually Four Mooks: Happens with the battles against Gilgamesh's mooks at the Big Bridge and Xezat's fleet, but then is reverse when you leave castle Bal for the first time; three monster sprites come charging at you, but only one enemy is actually fought.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Lilliputian Lyric casts Mini on enemies.
  • Advanced Ancient Acropolis: Both Catapult and the Ronka Ruins, which were constructed by the Ancients. Ronka Ruins flies and has missile/laser defense cannons as well as a teleportation pad (although it breaks after being used for the first time in a thousand years).
  • Affectionate Parody: This is not a game that takes itself seriously, especially with the Game Boy Advance release's spin. Exdeath seems to have been turned into a generic Evil Overlord for the purpose of poking fun at how outrageously hammy and over-the-top such characters tend to be. There's also a fair bit of Lampshade Hanging, especially when Ghido expresses his distaste for Parrot Exposition and Idiot Heroes.
  • After the End: The second world. Unlike the first world, it is covered in marshy wastelands and deserts, with a much smaller ratio of plains and forests. There are exactly five pouplation centers: two castles, one fortified valley, and two incredibly remote villages. Scholars in Surgate will tell you that this state is a result of Exdeath's original rampage.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: A female NPC in Bartz's hometown very clearly loves him but Cannot Spit It Out.
  • All the Worlds Are a Stage: The game has the path to the depth of the Void, which is said to consume the world and so contains many locations that, if they aren't the actual previous locations that have been absorbed, are similar to previous locations.
  • Alternate World Map: Partway through the game you end up on a new planet with a new world map. Then both of those planets are merged into one planet with a third map.
  • Already Done for You: Exdeath sends out a number of demons to guard the tablets the party needs for their Infinity Plus One Swords. When you get to the bottom of Istory Falls, Leviathan takes care of the problem for you and becomes an optional boss battle if you want him as a summon.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Whether the pirates are looking left or right, their eye patch is always on the visible eye.
  • Ambiguous Situation: One from the ending: canonically, does Gilgamesh survive the game? He appears to sacrifice himself against Necrophobe if the latter gets reduced to under 10,000 HP at the end of a character's turn...but since Necrophobe is the last boss before the Final Boss, it's not unreasonable to be able to take him from above that hit point threshold to dead in a single move (usually via dual-casting or rapid fire), which prevents the scene with Gilgamesh from triggering. Since Gilgamesh doesn't appear or get discussed at all afterwards regardless, it's unclear (and even his canon appearances in other games could have happened before he returns to fight Necrophobe, so those aren't a clue either).
  • Amnesiac Hero: Galuf cannot remember anything except for his name and that he needs to visit the Wind Shrine for some reason.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Galuf has to go through Castle Exdeath alone because the other three have been captured and he's rescuing them. This can be problematic if you haven't given him a good build for soloing.
  • And the Adventure Continues: At the end of the game, the Warriors of Light ride off into the distance, setting out on a new adventure to protect the re-formed crystals.
  • Animal Motifs: Dragons. The game's logo features one, and three main characters have a benevolent dragon as a companion—Lenna and Krile each have a bond with a wind drake, while Faris has the sea-dragon Syldra. Their relationships with their dragons also feature in several major plot events.
  • Another Dimension: The final dungeon takes place in the Interdimensional Rift. Time doesn't pass inside and it's full of places that were consumed by the Void.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature:
    • A handy cue: If you browse for equipment in Tule before Faris joins the party, she will somehow sense this, dash into the shop (so you can outfit her without guesswork), then run all the way back to the pub.
    • V is moderately challenging, but surprisingly forgiving when it comes to job choice. Some bosses will kick your ass if you don't, say, bring multiple healers, but there's seldom a save point far away, so if you're coming up short, just formulate a new strategy with new jobs. Random encounters can usually be felled with any combination of jobs, so long as it's not terribly unbalanced.
    • Endgame builds are all well and good, but the rest of the game is meant to be explored with normal jobs. Might as well enjoy them. Players need only bother with mastering them once the Rift enemies make it relatively painless.
    • Freelancer:
      1. For mastering a job, Freelancers get all of its innate abilities apart from Berserk or Undead (for practical reasons), even though it seems like Berserk should be an innate ability of the Berserker job.
      2. Stat bonuses don't stack: If you master the Black Mage, then that Freelancer will have the same Magic power as a Black Mage. If you then master the Summoner, it will switch to the Magic power of a Summoner, since the Summoner has more. Conversely, stat bonuses carry over, but stat penalties do not; there is no drawback to mastering jobs, apart from the time investment.
      3. Once you master a job, its innate abilities are passed onto the Freelancer and Mime. This means that certain abilities, including Learning, will be automatically used by Freelancer/Mime. However, if Bartz masters the Blue Mage job, only he will be able to Learn or cast Blue Magic as a Freelancer; the others must also master the job in order to get the same benefit.
    • Monk has a ludicrous amount of HP for someone who's tied to the medium armor set. The Kaiser Knuckles accessory is worth 25 levels' worth of damage (+50 attack), and is perfect for keeping the Monk around for longer.
    • Blue Magic doesn't have levels. Just as anyone with Sing can perform any song the party was ever taught, anyone with Blue can cast any Blue Magic anyone in the party was ever hit with while they had Learning equipped in some fashion. Learning can be set on other jobs; setting it on four characters will make training it faster and less tedious. Most Blue Magic that appears in Bartz's World is also available in Galuf's World, so it's not too late to start Learning. If you are still concerned, there is a boss near the end of the game who is capable of using all but two Blue Magic spells. Casting certain Blue Magic on Azulmagia will cause him to Learn them and start using them on your party. So, as long as that boss is still alive, you haven't permanently missed any of them yet.
    • The Flail is picked up in the Ship Graveyard. It deals random damage and misses often. But it does full damage from the back row, and for the moment it is the strongest weapon available for a White Mage. Once the Morning Star shows up in the Forest of Moore, the White Mage merely does terrible damage instead of rolling-on-the-carpet-laughing damage.
    • Mystic Knight's Spellblade overrides elemental weapons. This can be good or bad. For instance, casting Mute on the Air Knife will cause it to lose potency as a Wind attack.
    • Red Mage's Dualcast isn't innate (command abilities never are), but it comes packaged with the first three levels of Black and White Magic. If a character has Dualcast and their Black Magic is only at level 3, then Black Magic is a waste of space because it will not provide them with additional spells.
    • If the game designers are to be believed, bells are used to whack enemies over the head, which makes a lot more sense than their sound being damaging. However, they still work as long-range weapons for a Geomancer.
    • Necromancer's Vitality and Stamina are incredible, especially for what is a spellcasting job. They'll certainly need it, since they can't heal normally due to having a permanent "Undead" status. Said status also differs from Bone Mail's own Undead property: Necromancers can be raised when they die in battle, Bone Mail wearers cannot.
    • Galuf's World turns out to be much easier than expected, mostly because of the sudden availability of Hi-Potions and good sources of Gil.
    • The Anthology menu has a "Memo" feature, which is a temporary save file. You can save anywhere, with or without a Save Point, but it is erased when you turn off the console. Slots 1 and 2 are your memory cards, and each can hold quite a few saves. (This menu will also have a random character from the game pop up when you boot the game up, including a chocobo.)
    • Like the others in the series, the Pixel Remaster has both a quick-save option that works anywhere, and an auto-save for screen transitions that can be used to rescue a failed boss battle or an unlucky encounter.
    • A later update to the Pixel Remaster added a special attribute to the Brave Blade that allowed it to slowly regain power as long as the player fought several battles in a row without fleeing, making it more competitive with the Chicken Knife rather than be a strictly inferior option.
  • Apocalypse How: The breaking of the Crystals throws the elements all out of whack, which would gradually result in a Class 6. Exdeath gaining the Power of the Void threatens a Class X.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The crystals are linked up with generatora to amplify their power. The villagers in Tule helpfully note that this helps them navigate the seas faster.
  • Arc Number: 5. This is the fifth installment in the main series, it has five playable characters, and each of them have five-letter names, at least in the GBA version.
    • Not to mention the number of characters who show up to help you start the final battle equal to five as well.
    • There are five different battle themes as well: Random Encounter, Boss Battle, Decisive Battle (the music that plays over the Exdeath boss fights, including the final one as a tree), Clash on the Big Bridge (plays when crossing the bridge after Castle Exdeath, and then becomes Gilgamesh's theme), and Neo Exdeath (the final boss theme for when HE shows up).
    • Meta version: This game was originally released five years after the original game.
  • Aristocrat Team: All five playable characters are royalty, since Bartz's father could have been king.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack: Off-Guard halves the target's Defense.
  • Armored But Frail: Skull Eaters have a single hit point, but they're tough enough to shrug off all but the strongest of attacks, and are particularly Resistant to Magic.
  • Armored Villains, Unarmored Heroes: Exdeath is a Tin Tyrant and The Dragon Gilgamesh is in samurai-esque armor. Although it doesn't apply for the whole game thanks to many heavy armor jobs, Bartz and co. are liable to go through the final dungeon in their Freelancer outfits.
  • The Artifact: Since the Pixel Remaster lets you call up the world map whenever you want, the World Map item you find in the Ship Graveyard is useless outside of 100% Completion.
  • Artwork and Game Graphics Segregation: Faris looks very different in-game compared to her concept art. In the official art, she has white hair, tied up in a ponytail, and dons a black Badass Longcoat over a flowing white blouse with black thigh-high boots. In-game, meanwhile, she has pink hair, which she keeps down, and wears a blue coat over a light blue dress, brown boots, a green scarf, and a green headband on her forehead.
  • A Storm Is Coming: The pre-credits sequence alludes to this. The beginning cutscene of the game has several characters realize that the wind has stopped, heralding the disaster to come.
  • Avoid the Dreaded E Rating: Averted with the E-rated GBA version (IV and VI were E10+), despite at least one instance of profanity (see Precision F-Strike below).
  • Automatic New Game: The SNES version puts you right into the opening cutscene, but this was changed for the remakes.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Most jobs tear it up against random encounters, but struggle against bosses. Blue Mage and Mystic Knight are the opposite: jobs that are wasted on randoms, but have little trouble confounding bosses. Even Mystic Knight looks very pedestrian when pitted against opponents with no clear weakness, like Exdeath.
    • Dualcast eats truckloads of MP. Terrific for boss fights, but too expensive for random encounters.
    • Quick sounds nice in theory. In practice, you won't ever have a need for it which justifies the absurd cost of using it on the reg. A fair number of those extra turns are spent restoring the MP they spent on Quick.
    • The Beastmaster's drawback is that they can only hold one shot. It's one Hell of a shot, but it's not a job which sees regular use. It's a 'save a monster attack for a boss' kind of job.
    • Gladiator might be good if you're facing a group of enemies and want to eliminate them quickly; but Zeninage, Summon, Bladeblitz, and Combine are better in that regard because since deal more damage. Cannoneer is a better source of cost-free, multi-target damage since they don't factor in weapons.
    • Necromancers target all enemies (for the most part) and don't lose damage for it, making them more akin to Summoners than Black Mages. They can blow away random encounters and some bosses like they're not even there. The problem is the fact that this job is obtained only after having completed the post-game campaign, a case that the other Advance-exclusive jobs were at least spared from. They're still a huge upgrade from Oracle, though.
    • Mastering Black, White, or Time Magic is not necessary and even a waste of AP, especially a mastered Time Mage.
  • Babies Ever After: Not any of the Light Warriors—Boko and Koko.
  • Background Music Override: "Clash on the Big Bridge" plays nonstop throughout the battle and overworld segments of the eponymous bridge.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • Hiryu and Syldra come back as summons after the worlds merge, the former as Phoenix, the latter as herself.
    • Any party member(s) killed in the final battle will be revived during the ending.
  • Backup from Otherworld: The Warriors of Dawn and King Tycoon hold off Exdeath's attack to allow the party to take him on.
  • Balance Buff: The Ancient Sword is fixed in the Advance correctly drains enemy Strength by inflicting Old status. In the SNES version it's bugged and only drains Agility, making it useless.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: The Samurai job's Shirahadori ability.
  • Barrier Change Boss:
    • As you might guess, Liquid Flame (a giant shapeshifting pillar of fire) has a weakness to Ice element. The only problem is that Liquid Flame's 'Hand' form is immune to Ice; probably not something you would expect.
    • Archeoaevis, Melusine and, in the GBA Updated Re-release, Omega Mk.II. In an example of Guide Dang It! and Trial-and-Error Gameplay, whenever the bosses change weaknesses, they slide off screen and then back on, the direction indicates the new elemental weakness. For the first, the weakness is hardly an issue, especially since you can Learn 1,000 Needles in the same area, the 2nd form can be killed via Level 5 Death.
    • The Carbuncle battle will initially have players stumped on how to proceed. The boss starts out in Reflect mode. Although Summons pierce Reflect, they don't do much damage to Carbuncle. Meanwhile, Carbuncle bounces spells off itself at the whole party, starting with "ra* magic and proceeding to a more nasty assortment as it takes damage. However, Carbuncle briefly switches over to a second form during the battle, one which is weak against a lot of different elements and statuses.
  • Beef Gate: You can enter the Sealed Castle long before it becomes relevant to the plot, but it's trickynote  to get past that damn Shield Dragon, which is very hard to kill until you're an appropriate level. Or just Control him.
  • Begin with a Finisher: The Superboss Shinryu always opens the fight with Tsunami, a powerful water-elemental attack that hits the entire party for massive damage.
  • Behind the Black: As with the previous two games, hidden passages are found by running into the right patch of wall. One of the Thief job's passive abilities is making them visible.
  • Bequeathed Power:
    • In a sense, the Crystals give the heroes the powers of the ancient warriors after they shatter, via jobs in shards.
    • More traditionally, Galuf grants Krile all of his experience and job levels after he dies.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: Karlabos' Tail Screw reduces its target to single-digit HP, which is kind of crazy. Cray Claw does the same.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The most common mob in the Ship Graveyard are the reanimated skeletons of sailors. Since they're undead, a White Mage can offensively useful; they have enough MP that it's not a waste throwing a few Cure spells around. Lots of fog, as well. For old-school players who played the emulated version long ago, they probably remember and hate this area, since they couldn't see where Bartz was going without futzing around with layers on older emulators.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Dawn Warriors and King Tycoon get one at the end. Or rather, their spirits do when they rescue the party from the Void and hold it back long enough for the final boss fight to get started.
  • Big "YES!": The PS1 version. Every time you win a battle, you get a "YESSSS!" It's not even the weirdest thing this translation gets wrong.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The boss "Azulmagia". His name consists of two Spanish words, "azul"="blue", "magia"="magic". See Power Copying below.
    • Lenna's name is changed to Reina in Anthology. Reina is Spanish for "queen".
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The script for the US PS1 release is quite lacking.
    • "Lenna" becoming "Reina".
    • "Sarisa" becoming "Salsa".
    • The "Wyvern" enemy becoming "Y Burn".
    • The "Adamant Golem" enemy becoming "Adamngolem".
    • Translating Karlabos (which in itself is supposed to be "Karabos", an archaic Greek word for "crayfish") as "Karl Boss".
    • "Tonberry" was translated into "Dingleberry".
    • The unofficial SNES ROM translation wasn't free of face-palming errors by a longshot either. Examples include calling the Circlet helmet "Socklet" and several errors that reveal that the dialog and battle/menu translation teams weren't on the same page, such as the boss "Stoker"/"Stalker."
  • Bond Creatures: Most of the summons (the ones you don't buy in the shop) work like this, lending the party their powers after a battle to prove their worthiness.
  • Book Ends:
    • After defeating Exdeath, the party will end up at outside of Tule post-game, the very first town the player visit early in the game.
    • Lenna provides the first and last line of the game.
  • Books That Bite: All the enemies in the Library of the Ancients. It's not the books themselves as much as the fact that demons have gotten into the lower stacks and attack from books.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • It's kind of hard to pick a bad job from the Wind Crystal.
    • Shiva and the Ice Rod are safely available 10 minutes after getting Summoner, and become the best offensive option until Ifrit and Fire Rod—and the MP savings with Shiva translates to more castings.
    • A Beastmaster can stick with Catching physically powerful enemies. Most of those will use an altered version of Attack, but since monster attacks using Catch are independent of a Beastmaster's level, it does tremendous damage.
    • If a Chemist is relying on Mix to attack, they will normally use Succubus Kiss instead of Dragon's Kiss, mainly because Turtle Shells take a lot less time to farm than Dragon Fangs.
  • Boss Banter: Gilgamesh is the most talkative enemy, but Exdeath and some of his Void minions can be pretty chatty as well.
  • Boss Bonanza: There are numerous bosses for the final dungeon. You got Calofisteri in the forest area, optional boss Omega in the waterfalls, Apanda in the library, Azulmagia, Catastrophe, Halicarnassus, Twintania, and as well as six Alte Roite mini-bosses in the castle area, then ultimate Chest Monster Shinryu, Necrophobe and final boss Exdeath in the last area.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing:
    • The Red/Blue/Yellow dragons, when you first encounter them; they've all got upwards of 6,000 HP at a point when the party is dealing about 500 per hit. That's not too bad, but they can hit back really hard. Fittingly, they are located in Castle Exdeath. To add insult to injury, you may encounter multiples of them stacked in the same visible area on the screen.
    • Jackanapes, found in the basement of Walse Castle. These devils have attacks can easily kill or severely weaken party members. Their evasion and defense stats are also high, and they absorb all but one element. Oh, and they give only 1 gil for your hard efforts, so it's better to run away...unfortunately, Jackanapes takes too long to run from and will kill someone before escaping. You're supposed to use the flee command from a Thief. An NPC explicitly states going down there is unsafe and you shouldn't even think about stealing the treasure down there, while another NPC advises you to run if you encounter them, both of which are clues. They are however vulnerable to Level 5 Death.
    • Death Claw disguises himself as a Sergeant at the end of your escape from the exploding Castle Karnak.
    • There's also Dhorme Chimera in the desert north of the library. Their physical attacks do insane damage; they hit for 450 HP of damage when you have about 400. They then cast Aqua Breath, dealing 300 HP of damage to the entire party. That being said, Aqua Breath makes a great Disc-One Nuke if you can get hit with it and live.
    • The Sandcrawlers in the second world. They have absurd amounts of HP for the area they're in, 15,000 to be precise. They also frequently use Maelstrom to reduce the party's HP to single digits. Mercifully, they go down with two uses of Aqua Breath after residual damage from your other party members.
    • Ditto with the Tot Aevis. The amount of HP it has is more than TWICE that of the Sandcrawler!
    • Skull Eaters. While they only have 1 HP and often flee from battle, when they DO choose to attack, somebody WILL die. They hit for 4 digit damage at a time when most party members will be in the 400 or 500 range. Attacking them with physical attacks is futile, as they have high evasion and even if you do connect, it's often blocked for 0 damage. If they're attacked with magic, they summon in five more of themselves. You can, however, take them out reliably with the Geomancer's Gaia command.
    • Prior to Exdeath's Castle, you have the cave with the infamous Gil Turtle if you press your luck and Schmuck Bait hard enough in a hidden side passage. The Gil Turtle is a zombie enemy that has extremely high HP for that point and does a lot of damage. You might need some practice for it.
    • The Sealed Castle Kuza comes with a few to make every visit unpleasant. The Kuza Beasts outside have high HP and only attack with ????/Lifebreak, so expect to be one-shotted at least once. Inside are Shield Dragons who are practically immune to or counter everything besides patient use of the Control command. Later, Exdeath's Soul joins the mix as one of the strongest mooks and specializing in instant death attacks. While nobody is sure what Exdeath's Soul is supposed to be, the dungeon music keeps playing rather than the battle music to show he's special.
    • And finally, the Tonberries. They are introduced in this game as the toughest monsters you can encounter in Istory Falls. Never let them get close to your characters. Ever.
  • Boss Rush: The Cloister of the Dead just a 'Boss Rush' mode where you fight most of the previous bosses with slightly higher stats.
  • A Boy and His X: Every party member except Galuf has an animal companion that they bonded with sometime before the game—Bartz and Boko, Lenna and Hiryu, Faris and Syldra. Krile gets two, her wind drake and her moogle.
  • Bragging Rights Reward:
    • No, you don't have to master every job. But if you do, you get three stars on top of your Freelancer! Which is a nice aesthetic bonus, if anything.
    • Necromancer. It's classic FF thinking: Defeating an optional superboss gives you something that would've been cool way back when, before you had to power up to beat a superboss. By the time you get there however, you've got barely anything to use your new toy on. Yeah there's some new spells, but you can basically hang it up once Enuo is dead. The alternative is, You beat the hardest challenge in the game, nothing else can be of use to you, so here's nothing. Congratulations! There's a gauntlet dungeon after that, which happens to be the Cloister of the Dead, but it just mainly comprises of bosses you've already fought before.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Exdeath loves this. He forces it on an NPC guard, the Queen of Karnak, and King Tycoon to get them to break the Crystals. Later, Melusine the demon does this to Lenna.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Midway through the battle with Gilgamesh at Exdeath's Castle, Gilgamesh tells the party "Now it's time we fight like men! And ladies! And ladies who dress like men!"
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: One pub dancer directly addresses the player and tells them to join in.
  • Breather Episode: For the Final Fantasy franchise at large; this lighter, more gameplay-focused title fits right between two epic-style installments.
  • Brick Joke: When you visit Carwen during your hunt for legendary weapons and spells, the couple in Carwen is still there talking about a big dragon seen flying overhead. Only this time the wife insists that she saw it while her husband says it's crazy talk.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: The Sealed Temple seems like a random Game Over screen sometimes. It has a room similar to the Pyramid of Moore with the Mecha Heads, but they’re all Omegas! Screw that noise. The bosses were designed with Spellblade and Rapid Fire in mind, so they know how to counter them. In addition, the status ailments being thrown around in there will make Ribbon-less Mimes more of a liability.
  • Build Like an Egyptian: The Ancients' architecture in general, and in particular the Pyramid of Moore (in the Shifting Sand Land, of course).

  • Came from the Sky: Galuf arrives via meteor. So do three other characters later on, each of them trying to get to a Crystal before it shatters. Apparently it's the standard method of interplanetary travel; they never explain how they got the idea.
  • Carrying the Weakness:
    • Grand Mummies drop Hi-Potions.
    • Necromancers drop Holy Water.
    • Objets d'Art, which are made of stone, drop Gold Needles, which instantly kill stone enemies.
  • Cast from Lifespan: This is basically what Galuf does. As he keeps fighting Exdeath while already in KO status, the character sprite looks older and older until finally actual death results that a Phoenix Down can't cure.
  • Cast Speciation:
    • Their stats in the beginning are what you'd expect: totally average. The base number for all stats is 24, which is modified by each character's job (which is nothing in this case), along with a slight bonus for each of the four. For example, Bartz gets an extra +4 Strength and +3 Vitality. He is best suited for dishing out and taking punishment.
    • The Gladiator is the only job where the elementals granted to the characters come into play. Each Gladiator also resembles a Summon within the game: Bartz to Odin or Bahamut, Lenna to Shiva, Faris to Syldra, and Krile to Carbuncle.
    • At the start of the game, Lenna is notable for the mystery surrounding her missing family members and the risks she'll take to help dragons. This shifts when Krile joins, because Krile can talk to animals. Lenna-focused scenes become much more about her family, while Krile becomes more prominent in scenes that feature the animal companions. They intersect when Krile helps Lenna connect to the spirit of her fallen dragon, which becomes Phoenix.
  • Cave Behind the Falls: One of the tablets is located behind Istory Falls.
  • Central Theme: Legacy. The crystals give the five heroes jobs from the past, and their parents plus Galuf eventually die and leave the future in their capable hands.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Downplayed. While the game is generally lighthearted, the tone gradually shifts to a more serious one, once Exdeath becomes actively involved. By the end of the first world all world leaders are either incapacitated or killed, the second world has all surviving original Warriors of Dawn also perish, and the merged world has the majority of towns sucked up in the Void.
    • However, the game still has humour and charm, and the heroes do not give up.
  • Challenge Run: The Switch and PS4 versions of Pixel Remaster have options to adjust experience and AP gain, including halving it or turning it off to make the game harder.
  • Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: Not to the extent that later games do it; every character is in their job outfit on entering battle and can't change during. However, they remain in their Freelancer attires outside of battle and revert back immediately if they get KOed. This is distinct from the previous games with a Job System, which had overworld sprites for every job.
  • Chemistry Can Do Anything: Chemists get double healing from potions & ethers, and can combine items to emulate Black, White, and Time Magic.
  • Chekhov's Gag: A running gag is that approaching and using the various pianos scattered across the game world would cause Bartz' piano skills to "level up" until he eventually manages to master it. This is needed to be done so that one can get the Infinity +1 Sword song for the Bard job, "Hero's Rime", from a bard NPC within Crescent.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • At one point, Krile mentions she got a splinter. A while later, the villain Exdeath transforms and reveals he was hiding as the splinter the whole time.
    • When the Water Crystal breaks into shards, there's one shard you aren't able to reach, due to it being on a ledge. The tower sinks without you getting that shard. Much later in the game, when you have access to a submarine, you can revisit the sunken Walse Tower, and fight Famed Mimic Gogo for that shard you weren't able to get before. Turns out it contained the Mime job.
    • You can see two of the Fire Crystal shards fall down, but for some reason you only get three of the five shards after the crystal shatters. Only a bit later on do you locate the last two, which turn out to have been swallowed by a Black Chocobo on Crescent Island and grant the ability to use Ranger and Bard.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: When the main characters encounter the Siren, she attempted to put them into a Lotus-Eater Machine by showing them illusions of their loved ones. The only reason why it didn't work on Galuf was because he was suffering from amnesia. It counts as this trope because the one the Siren showed him, the one she claims to be Galuf's grandchild, is Krile, the fifth protagonist of the story, before she's even introduced within the story proper.
  • Chest Monster: As is typical of FF games, some treasure chests are booby-trapped with monster encounters. A good example is escaping a castle after the Fire Crystal is shattered; you have 10 minutes to get out before the castle explodes, so, naturally, every chest in the castle has an enemy in it alongside the chest's treasure. On top of that, the semifinal chest in the Rift prior to Exdeath and the last trap treasure chest that can be opened has one of the two superbosses, Shinryu, waiting to pop out and ensnare anyone who opens it.
  • Chokepoint Geography:
    • The game starts you off on a chocobo. There's nothing to do but investigate a nearby meteor. The road to Tule is impassable due to fissures forming from the impact. Tremors cause a cave to open up, but not before you regroup with Galuf and Lenna; now it's your only way out of the canyon. It turns out that pirates operate out of these caves. The helmsman will offer to steer you to the Wind Shrine. You don't have to go there yet, but the shrine is at the northeastern shore of the lake you're on. All you can visit right now is Tule, the Pirate Hideout, the Wind Shrine, and Torna canal, the last being closed due to lack of traffic.
    • The Island Shrine sits in the middle of the sea and is surrounded by mountains, so you can't explore it in Bartz's World. The Fork Tower is sealed up in Galuf's World, so you can't enter it. In the Merged World, you can breach the Island to lower the Tower's defenses.
  • Chronically Crashed Car: In a way. Let's just say that you go through vehicles in this game at the same rate that you do characters in Final Fantasy IV. Having your current mode of transportation get destroyed tends to keep you going where the story wants you to go, but it's still irritating when the ship you just got three minutes ago is fated to be lost right when you reach your intended destination.
    Crescent NPC: Your ship got sucked into the whirlpool? Aha-ha! Totally unlucky!
  • Classical Elements Ensemble: Each character represents and has an affinity for one of the elements and its corresponding essence. Lenna is water/devotion, Faris is fire/courage, Galuf is earth/hope, and Bartz is wind/passion.
  • Clean Dub Name: Butz became Bartz for the English releases.
  • Cloak of Defense: The Elven Cloak is worn as an accessory, but otherwise behaves exactly like a shield by stopping physical attacks when it activates.
  • Collapsing Lair:
    • You have to rush out of Karnak Castle in ten minutes, although it's because someone else broke the crystal instead of the boss battle you just won. There are numerous treasure chests that were previously blocked off, but each one also has a monster attached and you still have random encounters, plus one last boss battle at the gate.
    • The Ronka Ruins are also fled posthaste because when the Earth Crystal shatters there's no power source for them to stay airborne. This time it's done in a cutscene.
  • Combinatorial Explosion: The real meat and potatoes of this game's Job System lands on your plate when a character gains enough ABP in a Job and "masters" it. This allows them to use the abilities of that Job on another Job, and with over 20 different Jobs this allows for a lot of wild and powerful combinations. Freelancer and Mime encourage this as well, as they also gain the passive boosts from all of that character's mastered Jobs (sans the negative ones, like Berserker's... well, Berserk status), and they also have additional skill slots over the regular Jobs.
  • Comm Links: The Whisperweed.
  • Controllable Helplessness: There are several moments where the player is forced to wait for something else to happen, although this was changed in the Pixel Remster so that the scene would proceed with player input.
    • You can make Bartz run around all you want after the party is tossed into the dungeon at Karnak. But there's no way to open the door or talk to Cid Previa in the next cell—you just have to cool your heels until he blows a hole in the wall.
    • When Xezat dies in the Barrier Tower, Galuf insists on waiting in the cavern. At that point, the only option is to walk around or just wait with him; you can't get back into the submarine until he accepts the truth and agrees to go.
    • After the death of Galuf, the only thing the player can do is have Bartz interact with Krile. This will result in her sitting up, but trying to talk to her again only results in a "..." from her. (This also seems to be bugged in the GBA version, where she remains collapsed on the ground.) This fits in with the Gameplay and Story Integration of the whole sequence, because it's unlikely any of them would be able to do anything after going through all of that. You simply have to wait until Galuf's spirit calls out to Krile.
  • Cool Chocobo: Boko. He can carry three people, while jumping over chasms, and is a ladies man.
  • Cores-and-Turrets Boss: Soul Cannon has three targets to attack. The first target is the Cannon itself, which slowly counts down and fires a Wave Cannon which removes half of your max HP and inflicts Sap status, whereby your health slowly decreases over time. The other two targets are Launchers. They both only have one attack: they repeatedly fire missiles at your party that remove half of your current HP. They also inflicts Old status.
  • Cosmic Keystone: The crystals.
  • Cowardly Boss:
    • Like many games in the series, the first boss has a Defend Command: it will counterattack if you hit it at the wrong time.
    • Three Holes, three possible entry points for Sandworm. Targeting a Hole when the worm hides underground will result in your character hitting nothing but air, followed by a Demi spell. Its only other moves are Quicksand and a melee attack, both of which do negligible damage, but repeated use of Demi will seal your fate. In addition, the Sandworm is always classified as being in the back row when taking melee damage, regardless of where it emerges.
  • Crescent Moon Island: The sea under Crescent Island is the location of the ancient ruins where the party first finds the airship. The island is also home to the Black Chocobo, a very rare Chocobo species that was thought to be extinct.
  • Crippling Overspecialization:
    • A number of monsters have a nasty response prepared when hit with weapons. Since the Knight never uses anything but swords, this leaves them wide open to counter-attacks in some places, the worst example being the Great Sea Trench. The reliance on swordplay makes them susceptible to enemies that can buff their own Defense.
    • Monk is a World 1 job because they never actually increase in worth. Their inability to use weapons largely cancels out their damage.
    • Thieves aren't the best combatants. Unlike the Bard (who can Hide) and White Mage (who has Shell status and plenty of healing magic), the Thief simply has to tank damage and guzzle stolen Potions. This is probably the job where Strength matters the most, since they have no way to boost damage, and the base stat is so very low for a melee-based job. Returning players won't need to use Find Passages since they know where all the hidden rooms are.
    • No job in the game is as static as the Berserker. They can't even use the Earth Hammer and Rune Axe effectively due to their atrocious Magic. They lose to everything due to being unable to do stuff like Summon...heck, Berserkers can't even use Item. They are particularly screwed by back attacks, as they'll be stuck in the back row and unable to change their position.
    • Dragoons don't benefit from equipment skills, since Jump only boosts spear damage and they already have armor and shield proficiency. Spears are incompatible with Two-Handed and Spellblade. On top of that, Dragoons don't mesh well with Cover and Counter, since they spend half the battle not being there.
    • The Dancer is stuck in a weird hybrid role; not quite a melee-focused job, but not quite a spellcaster either. Sword Dance does tremendous damage...when it lands. Sword Dance doesn't happen often enough to give to melee characters. Since Lamia's Tiara is a hat which only Magi can equip, you can't boost your odds on other jobs.
  • Crisis Catch And Carry: Bartz carries Galuf this way to escape the Barrier Tower after knocking him unconscious to prevent him from going into the basement to rescue Xezat, who's trapped there at the time, while the tower itself is mere moments away from exploding.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: The first monster you encounter in the game is the Goblin. It only has 16 HP, which you can one-shot if you are armed with just about any weapon from the very beginning, save bare-handed on any job but Monk. They barely even bother you early on, hitting you only for a couple HP at the start and no-selling you after a while. However, if you are able to capture one as a Beastmaster (not easy, given it's easy to kill it and you have to get it down to 1 or 2 HP), its Release attack is Flare, the most powerful black magic spell in the game. This gives you an early high-damage attack that works very well with many bosses up the very end of World 1.
  • Crutch Character:
    • Freelancers have great Defense at the start, but they're still shaky in terms of actual HP.
    • The Wind Crystal jobs are awesome in the beginning, but can wane later on. A party of all Black Mages can get you through the next two areas just fine, but it gets cumbersome afterward. Knights and Monks can survive for quite a while without any need to cross-job, unless you want to want to cast Sleep on certain bosses—at which point they just sit around doing nothing. White Mages can't kill much of anything, but they are way more efficient than a collection of Potions and Antidotes. Thief and Blue Mage are really up for debate, since neither is good at smashing things with a sword.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: By proxy of You Can't Thwart Stage One, this is in full effect for most of the game from the beginning.
  • Dance Battler: This game introduced the Dancer job — and, surprisingly, it's actually really, really good. The "Dance" command is almost stupidly handy.
  • Dark Is Evil: The Void that Exdeath is after. It's a hungering entity that nearly destroyed the world in ages past. However, the ending narration reveals that the Void is where everything came from in the first place.
  • Dead Character Walking: A rare plot-related example occurs when Galuf successfully fights off Exdeath at 0 HP. He dies immediately after that, though.
  • Deader than Dead: The party tries to use healing spells and items to bring Galuf back, including Raise and Phoenix Down, but they don't work.
  • Deadly Ringer: Bells are one of the weapon types in this game, used by the Geomancer job. Exactly how they hurt the enemy is unclear; the game animates the weapon's use by drawing a line of bells from the attacking Geomancer to the target, which then takes damage.
  • Death or Glory Attack: Roulette will either kill a member of the enemy party or one of your characters.
  • Death Mountain: North Mountain is a little unstable and full of poison flowers. Drakenvale has this reputation in the game thanks to its zombie dinosaurs and man-eating plants.
  • Deconstructive Parody: The Tin Tyrants, Parrot Exposition, and foolish heroism from the previous four games are continued here, but the Tin Tyrant is absurdly bombastic, points out that the heroes have no idea what they're trying to even stop him from doing, and the Mr. Exposition complains that the protagonist keeps repeating everything he says.
  • Depending on the Artist: The main characters have two designs. One set is by Amano, the other is Super-Deformed art by Kazuko Shibuya. While in the previous and next games the SD designs are usually just simpler versionsnote  everyone here looks entirely different, from hair color to clothing. The GBA remake added portraits based on Amano's version, and the mobile release did the same but with much more detail (but keeping the Shibuya designs for the sprites). An IPS patch for the GBA version adds portraits that resemble the sprites. Crossover games like Dissidia and Theatrhythm have compromised by blending the two designs: e.g., Faris has the sprite's hair and eyes, but the Amano clothing.
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • If you're concerned about Boko, you can return to the pirate cave and trace his footprints. There, you find the pirates carried him to the berth to recover. In the Anthology version, Boko broke his leg while trying to find Bartz in the cave, whereas in the GBA version, he collapsed from exhaustion.
    • The Walse chapter is cutscene-heavy, and it kicks off with one immediately after boarding the ship. When the scene ends, you'll see your ship has automatically moved out a bit. Doesn't affect anything since there's no random battles here, but it's a cool minor detail.
    • If you visit Castle Bal between Barrier Tower and visiting Ghido, Krile is still down with her psychic migraine. If you go between Ghido and Moore Forest—which requires you to go halfway around the world and switch transport—she'll tell you that she's feeling better.
    • If the player doesn't visit Castle Surgate until after going through the Barrier Tower, you get a brief piece of dialogue where Galuf breaks the news that Xezat has died.
    • In the remote chance that someone should get all the way to the final boss, listen to his speech, watch several locations get sucked into the Void, get sucked into the Void themselves, escape, and then NOT fight the final boss but instead backtrack all the way to the entrance of the final dungeon you'll see a message explaining that time reversed, so you can still visit the places Exdeath sucked into the Void during his speech.
  • Derelict Graveyard: No sooner does the party set sail for Walse than their ship is ambushed and Syldra dies saving them. With no dragon to keep them on-course, the ship drifts into a nest of zombies: the Ship Graveyard. This is the first 'proper' dungeon in that it's decently long. The party has to navigate wrecked ships, which involves inside and around them.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: The second two crystal shatterings. You do manage to reach the Fire Crystal in time to stop the possessed person trying to destroy it—and then a new possessed person breaks it anyway. At the Earth Crystal, the touching family reunion is interrupted because the heroes didn't hit the "off" switch on the machine in time.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Veterans swear by Blue Magic, partly because they like using weird skills.
  • Disability Immunity: Galuf's amnesia saves him (and the rest of the party) from the Siren, since he doesn't recognize the illusory loved one she shows him, which allows him to break free and snap the others out of their illusions.
  • Disappeared Dad: Dorgann and King Tycoon. Bartz explicitly mentions the former in flashbacks, and since his dad's a more significant figure than his mom, only Dorgann gets a unique sprite. King Tycoon has a very strange relationship to Bartz and company: it's unclear whether he's an agent of the Dawn Warriors, or just a resident of Bartz's World with knowledge of Exdeath.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: The battle against Exdeath at the end of the second world, complete with the early plot segments in the third world being almost like a playable epilogue. That said, Exdeath is the final boss...just in a different battle.
  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: The flying ruins (where the last crystal is; Bartz, Lenna, and Faris follow Galuf to World 2 after that), and Castle Exdeath.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • Death Claw, a Blue Magic spell which can be learned from the game's sixth boss, reduces the target's HP to single digits and inflicts paralysis. Quite a few bosses aren't immune to it.
    • 1000 Needles. Doing 1000 damage is great when most non-boss monsters have triple digit hit points.
    • The Fire Rod, Ice Rod, and Thunder Rod. You can buy them from Karnak (the 4th town in the game), and at first they seem useless. If you use an equipped rod as an item (pressing up at the top of the items list using the items command to find the equipped rod), you can break it for an instant -ga spell. If you didn't break the rods, you'd only be at the second tier of the spells, picked up at the same point. There are a few more items throughout the game, like the Staff of Light which drops from only one enemy and not commonly, you can break a Staff of Light for a free casting of Holy.
    • The Beastmaster job has the unique ability to Catch and Release monsters who will use unique attacks based on the monster caught. As a precursor of sorts to Gau's Rages, if you know which monsters to catch and how, they can use powerful attacks that far exceed the power level of the player characters. Examples include Flare before even going to the second world or Almagest the moment you step into it. Even ones that just use basic Attacks can deal over 1000 damage when you first unlock the job.
  • Dismantled Macguffin: It turns out the entire planet was split as a way to seal the Void.
  • Doomed Hometown: Lix (Bartz) and Castle Tycoon (Lenna and Faris) both get cast into the Void late in the game; the latter becomes the entrance to the final dungeon. Castle Bal (Krile) also gets tossed in the cutscene right before the final battle.
  • Dragon Rider: Tycoon's royalty keeps a friendly dragon (wind drake), which becomes a vehicle for the party. When they meet Krile later, she also has a wind drake that the party uses as a vehicle. Both wind drakes play significant roles in the characters' backstories.
  • Easing into the Adventure: One of the more common encounters around the Wind Shrine are a group of Nutkins. They're handy for farming 2 AP opposed to 1 AP from most other battles. They were also nice enough to include Elixer drops in the very first dungeon.
  • Easter Egg: In the releases that have the Oracle as a job, if a party member becomes a Zombie right as they use Predict, they get a humorous "zombie prediction" instead.
    "Do you think I'm pretty?"
  • Easy Level Trick: Almost every boss in the game has a trick that lets you beat them easily, whether it's a particular combination of abilities or an unusual weakness (such as the Blue Magic boss near the end committing suicide via Exploder if it's used on them.) Exploiting these is crucial to a Low-Level Run.
  • Effortless Achievement: The PC version rewards the "Customer Appreciation" achievement when starting up the game for the first time.
  • Eldritch Ocean Abyss: The Great Sea Trench. Although the dungeon is located underwater, the characters can breathe in it. Likewise, the enemies are not aquatic, but still grotesque-looking, such as brain-like blobs, large worms, and lumps of bones attached to the ceiling, all of them known as "Unknown".
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The Catapult is located under the mouth of Crescent Island's bay, a handy place for your airship to dock and for the party to get some free lodging.
  • Empty Levels: Contrary to other games in the series, you do not gain stats upon leveling up. Leveling only raises HP, MP, and determines what you call down when using the !Animals and !Gaia commands. Stats are determined by your current gear and the maximum stats of the strongest jobs you have mastered (and as such, you only need to master Monk, Thief, and Oracle to do this). However, your level does factor into damage and spell formulas.
  • Endgame+: The Sealed Temple added in the GBA re-release. It was also included in the mobile version.
  • Epilogue Letter: Written by Krile to explain what everyone's been doing in the year since the final battle. Or, if she fell in the last battle, someone else.
  • Escape Battle Technique: Thieves can learn the Flee command, which allows you to escape instantaneously without fail. Great for getting past all those damn Jackanapes in Walse Castle.
  • Event-Driven Clock: It pulls it twice, once in an exploding castle and once in an underwater dive. In the former, the challenge was less getting out in time and more fighting some minibosses for bonus items while getting out. In the latter, one had to stall out a Puzzle Boss.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: When fighting one-on-one against Galuf, Exdeath mistakenly assumes that he is being driven by anger and hatred. Not so.
  • Evil Living Flames: This game features Liquid Flame, the guardian of the Fire Crystal. It's a creature made entirely out of fire that starts the battle in a humanoid form, but can also change shape to resemble either a hand or a fiery tornado, giving it different attacks and weaknesses.
  • Evil Plan: The game is split into two of these by Exdeath (the first to free himself, the second to rise to power).
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: The four Barrier Towers that generate the shield on Castle Exdeath; fortunately you only need to enter one. The game has a few other tall tower dungeons, but they're not evil.
  • Evolving Weapon The Brave Blade and Chicken Knife make their debut here. The Brave Blade weakens every time you run from a fight (including the ones before you get the sword) and the Chicken Knife gets stronger (but you randomly flee from battles when you attack with it); you have to pick one or the other.
  • Excuse Plot: The story, though simplistic compared to other installments, is nevertheless well-liked for being just plain fun and still having well defined character arcs.
  • Expy: The famous two of this game's Super Bosses, Shinryu and Omega, who reappear in later titles, can be seen as being partly based on opponents from previous games:
    • Shinryu to Dark Bahamut from the previous Final Fantasy game. Both are Superbosses, who are fought in the game's final dungeon, and guard the Infinity +1 Sword Ragnarok. As a bonus, the strenghtened version of him from the Gameboy Advance re-release, Neo Shinryu, has one of Bahamut's characteristc moves, Gigaflare.
    • Omega on the other hand has strong similarities to the prototype Super Boss of the whole series, Warmech. Warmech is a cybernetic being that exceeds other bosses in strength, and like Omega, is connected to a powerful dragon. Like Omega can be found with Shinryu, Warmech appears in Tiamat's lair. And in Final Fantasy XII, Omega Mark XII, is actually even called a Warmech, directly tying Omega to the Final Fantasy I Bonus Boss.


  • Failed a Spot Check: At the beginning of the game, Galuf decides that the best way to get a ride on a pirate ship is to steal it. So they sneak aboard, take the helm, and...nothing happens. Turns out there's more to setting sail than just grabbing the wheel, especially when there's no wind and the ship is actually pulled by a dragon.
  • Fairy Battle: The elixir-demanding Magic Pots first appear here. Appeasing them nets you 100 ABP.
  • Family of Choice:
    • Faris, a shipwrecked foundling, describes the dragon Syldra as a sister.
    • By the end of the game, the party as a whole come to see each other as this. Having become True Companions alongside the loss of various members of their blood kin, they act as family from then on. At the end of the game, the You Are Not Alone speech they give to Krile makes it clear.
  • The Fellowship Has Ended: In the Epilogue Letter, Krile explains where everyone went after the Final Battle. Bartz is Walking the Earth with Boko again, Lenna has taken up the throne of Tycoon, Faris returned to her ship, and Krile herself has done some traveling while Bal's throne is in limbo. Despite having gone their separate ways, though, the party reunites at the Guardian Tree to affirm that they'll still be there for each other.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief:
    • As a beginner, you really can't go wrong with Wind Crystal jobs. Knight is a powerhouse who gets access to some of the best swords in the game. Monk has the highest HP of any job, along with Strength. Thief abilities are all about convenience, exposing secret passages and fleeing from monsters. White Mage doesn't get as much status magic, since that has its own job now, but they can still restore loads of health with their large MP reserves. Black Mage is almost always useful since they have one of the highest Magic Power values. Most players avoid Blue Mage the first time out; they won't know which enemy skills are to available Learn, much less how to find the best ones.
    • The tried and true party of two fighters and two wizards still works most of the time. Two Knights will deal ridiculous damage. Have a White Mage trained in Time and a Black Mage trained in Summon. This setup will get you through almost everything, but there are times when you'll need more than one support mage, particularly versus the final boss. Of the twenty or so jobs you're offered, you only really need eight in a normal playthrough.
    • As for character affinities, there's spoilers ahead. Bartz's bonus is slanted towards strength, so you should give him a melee job. Lenna's bonus is geared towards magic, so she'll do well with a mage job. Faris is balanced and can go either way, although she fills the speedster role early on. Gaulf starts out with a focus on Strength and Stamina, but about halfway through the game, his stats change to favor Speed and Magic. Build to focus on his strengths now or later; it doesn't really matter, since jobs > minor stat modifiers.
  • Final Boss, New Dimension: The Void left over Castle Tycoon is a gateway to the final dungeon, the Interdimensional Rift.
  • Find the Cure!: The party has to enter Drakenvale (where no one has ever returned from) to find dragon grass so they can heal Krile's wind drake. Also, King Tycoon spent much of his time trying to find a cure for his terminally-ill wife when Faris and Lenna were children. The only cure they do find is the tongue of a wind drake, and Lenna attempts to kill Hiryu for his tongue (despite him being the Last of His Kind) until her father convinces her not to.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning:
    • Level 1 Black Magic are made up of the following attacking spells: Fire, Blizzard and Thunder. Level 3 and 5 Black Magic are made up of more powerful versions of the three spells.
    • Level 1, 3 and 5 Spellblade uses all its Black Magic counterpart, enhancing the caster's physical attack with the respective spell's elemental powers.
    • Level 2 Summon are made up Shiva (an ice summon), Ifrit (a fire summon) and Ramuh (a thunder summon).
  • Fire/Water Juxtaposition: One of the ways in which Faris and Lenna are foils is their elemental affinity. Brash, coarse pirate Faris is fire, which represents courage. Polite, kind princess Lenna is water, which represents devotion.
  • Fixed Damage Attack: The Blue Magic spell "1,000 Needles" will always do 1,000 damage.
  • Flower from the Mountaintop: The dragon grass required to cure wind drakes grows only on certain mountains.
  • Foreshadowing: Faris is affected by the Siren's illusion of King Tycoon alongside Lenna, foreshadowing the fact that Faris is Lenna's long lost sister.
  • From Bad to Worse: The game's plot. The heroes always get everywhere just in time to see the villains screw everything up before their eyes, meaning both that the world is screwed as the elements die and the Big Bad is freed from his prison. One of your party members dies fighting him, and said villain gains the power to suck up existence into a big vacuum of nothing. However, none of these failures ever discourage the heroes. Amusingly, the basic "heroes lose every time" structure of the plot very closely resembles Final Fantasy IV.
  • Gag Dub: The GBA translation works to make the script much funnier than it has been in the past. Given Final Fantasy V is one of the least serious games in the franchise, this isn't a problem.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • After the assault on the Barrier Tower, you can't use the inn at Surgate because the beds are needed for injured soldiers.
    • The heroes try using Phoenix Downs, Potions, and the Cure spell on the victim of a Plotline Death. It doesn't work, as the victim had been persisting in fighting a boss in spite of having his HP depleted.
  • Gangplank Galleon: The Skeleton monsters are clearly drowned sailors. The boss of Graveyard is the Siren, who woos sailors with illusions of loved ones.
  • Gathering Steam:
    • Even with an arsenal of gear from three Worlds, a Freelancer can't touch the Knight or Monk—let alone the Water, Fire, and Earth Jobs. The real problem is their stats and inability to boost damage, which limits their chance of hitting anything; missing over and over again with Excalibur is not fun. They need to master jobs to be competitive.
    • A Blue Mage has access to a little bit of everything. There are 30 spells in all, more than any other spellbook, and a Blue Mage who hunts them down will be a tough customer, indeed. Support magic like White Wind and Mighty Guard requires a Beastmaster to Learn.
    • Summoner starts out as a Black Mage who can't abuse Reflect on their own party. They're worse than a Black Mage until they learn the Level 2 Summons. Their spells start to hit harder and gain more utility, whereas Black Mage gets situational status effects that aren't very good for the most part.
    • Rapid Fire is the only noteworhy Ranger ability. It requires a lot of ABP to unlock. A casual player won't see it until well into World 2. They consistently struggle with bosses that stronger jobs can overcome. The "Animals" ability is linked to the Ranger's level, with stronger critters becoming available at each factor of 10.
  • Ghost Town: Gohn, Town of Ruin. True to its namesake, the entire place is deserted, and no one has been residing within it for many years.
  • Gimmick Level:
    • The sunken Walse tower. It's underwater, so you have seven minutes to get through.
    • The Fork Tower. Your party is split up, with two members tackling each tower. One team can only use physical attacks, and the other can only use magic.
  • Good Castles, Evil Castles: The castles occupied by the heroes and their allies are made of stone and have a familiar layout. Big Bad Exdeath's castle seems to be an aversion at first, using the same castle tileset as everyone else's but is later revealed to be made out of flesh, bones, and other viscera.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: A character delivers two attacks instead of one while unarmed. Naturally, the damage is usually weak, but they can still score a critical hit.
    • Early on, Monk can learn the Barehanded skill, which grafts their punches onto other jobs.
    • Goblin Punch is Blue spell which is situationally useful. The user gets a huge damage boost (looks to be 8x) when targeting an enemy who's the same level as them.
  • Gotta Catch Them All:
    • The pianos. These are steps in Bartz's journey to become a piano master, which leads to a handsome reward.
    • After you collect all the weapons from the Sealed Castle of Kuza, an earthquake will occur in the sea south of the Phantom village. Go underwater and go to inside the crack then you will be able to get the Gladiator, Oracle and Canoneer jobs. To wit, the Legendary Weapons are:
    1. Excalibur, the Legendary Sword.note  Holy-elemental and increases Strength by 5.
    2. Masamune, the Legendary Katana. Like all katanas, it has an inherent Critical Hit chance, but also casts Haste when used as an item and allows its wielder to invariably go first.
    3. Holy Lance, the Legendary Spear. Holy-elemental and increases Strength by 3.
    4. Rune Axe, the Legendary Axe. Consumes MP to deliver an automatic Critical Hit.
    5. Sasuke's Katana, the Legendary Short Sword. Increases Speed by 1 and gives a chance to automatically parry a physical attack.
    6. Assassin's Dagger, the Legendary Dagger. Increases Speed by 1 and has a chance of inflicting a One-Hit KO.
    7. Fire Lash, the Legendary Whip. Fire-elemental, and has a chance of casting Firaga upon attacking.
    8. Yoichi's Bow, the Legendary Bow. Increases Strength and Speed by 3, and has a chance of inflicting Critical Hits.
    9. Apollo's Harp, the Legendary Harp.Deals extra damage to Undead and Demons.
    10. Gaia's Bell, the Legendary Bell. Has a chance of casting Quake, as well as magnifying Earth-elemental damage.
    11. Sage Staff, the Legendary Staff. Casts Raise when used in battle, deals extra damage to Undead, and increases Holy-elemental damage.
    12. Magus Rod, the Legendary Rod. Increases the damage inflicted by elemental attacks, except for Water- and Holy-elemental attacks.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: The GBA version leaves the Samurai's abilities untranslated. (At least it romanized them...)
  • Gratuitous Princess: All of your female party members are princesses. By the end of the game, this amounts to 3/4's of your party being princesses.
  • Great Big Library of Everything: The Library of the Ancients. It apparently predates the World Sundering that happened a thousand years ago and has information on everything from the ancient warriors to airships. It also has a number of demon-infested books that will attack you (and teach you Blue Magic).
  • Green Aesop:
    • Do not overexploit natural resources, especially when you do not understand them very well.
    • If you learn that disaster will ensue if you don't stop exploiting the aforesaid natural resources, do not ignore or suppress the knowledge for political reasons (as Walse and Karnak found out).
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • The basic spellcaster classes (White, Black, Time) don't really need to be mastered in order to be put to full use. These classes learn their top-tier spells at 280 ABP (250 for Summoner). After that, it's somewhere between 250-500 ABP to get to their final abilities, which aren't worth it at all: the +MP abilities take up an ability slot, even as a Freelancer, and the others aren't worth mentioning. The only reason to master a Mage class is for the Magic stat gains that transfer over to the Freelancer. In case you didn't know, the Freelancer inherits the highest stat boosts from any class you have mastered; if you master Monk, for example, then the base Strength of your Freelancer will be equal to that of your Monk Summoners have the highest Magic bonus, followed by the Black Mage. So, if you plan on mastering Summoner, you focus on unlocking the top Black/White/Time spells and then stop there.
    • Played straight with most Blue Magic, at least as far as getting it at a decent point in the game goes. While some of the spells are flat out told to you in some way such as via a book or from the tutorial guy, most aren't.
  • Hanging Our Clothes to Dry: After swimming through a flooded area in the Ship Graveyard, Bartz and Galuf do this—which is how the party finds out Faris is a girl.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: The first guy you see in Tule village will offer to escort you to the (now-standard) Beginner's Hall. There's not much in here that most JRPG veterans don't already know, and in fact the receptionist will forcibly throw you out if you admit to being an expert and wasting their time. After finding the Wind Crystal shards, a chocobo provides a quick mini-tutorial on learning and equipping abilities.
  • Healing Shiv: The Healing Staff, obtainable within Tycoon Castle heals the equivalent of the Cura spell instead of doing damage if one were to equip it onto a character. This turns into a bit of a Disc-One Nuke, since at the earliest point you can get it, you only have access to Level 1-2 magic, and there's the fact that it inflicts heavy damage on undead enemies.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: A strange case for the Final Fantasy series where you usually get to name everyone, in this game specifically you only get to name Bartz. This also serves as the name for your save file.
  • Helpful Mook: The Magic Pots in the Phoenix Tower. Give them an elixir and they give you 100 AP.
  • Here We Go Again!: When Gilgamesh leaps out in Castle Exdeath, Bartz just shouts "Ah, geez, Gilgamesh!" in exasperation.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Double Subversion with Syldra who comes back despite being killed by the Kraken...but then uses the last of her strength to save the party from drowning. Then she becomes an optional summon in the merged world.
    • The werewolf from Galuf's world who holds off the Fire Crystal chamber's explosion long enough for the party to escape.
    • King Tycoon takes the brunt of the twisted, shattered Earth Crystal's attacks and purifies the shards, dying in the process.
    • Galuf while fighting against Exdeath.
    • Hiryuu from Bartz's world saves Lenna from the void, then waits for the party at Phoenix Tower specifically to sacrifice himself and become the Phoenix summon.
    • Xezat in the Barrier Tower.
    • Gilgamesh near the end of the game:
    Necrophobe: Enough of this! Now die! *hits Gilgamesh with Flare for minimal damage*
    Gilgamesh: *snort* I believe that's MY line! *Self-destructs for 9999 damage*
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: One of the late-game bosses is a Blue Mage and will learn any blue magic you use on him, then use it against you. This is fine most of the time, but if you cast Exploder on him (a spell that sacrifices the caster's life to do heavy damage to one target), he'll immediately use it on you and die, even if you still have three living party members.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight:
    • An exceedingly rare inversion that the fight is hopeless for the boss, not you. It's all but impossible for Exdeath to defeat Galuf when Galuf fights Exdeath alone.
    • Another one is the fight where Gilgamesh uses Excalipoor and does piddling damage to you. Sure is hopeless for him, at least...
  • How Did We Get Back Home?: The party finds themselves outside Castle Tycoon after the second boss battle against Exdeath. They didn't travel back home; the two worlds were combined. Also, the story is only two-thirds done.
  • HP to One: Moves like Death Claw and Maelstrom reduce your HP to single digits.
  • Hyperactive Sprite: This was the last main-series title to have the NPC sprites "marking time" while standing still. This makes the state of the Phantom Village obvious—all the merchants and townspeople are standing perfectly still because they're outside the flow of time.
  • If It Swims, It Flies: The airship comes pre-installed with the ability to both sail and fly. (Later, Cid and Mid give it a submarine function as well).
  • Impassable Desert: The Desert of Shifting Sands. You have to go through a boss fight to get across. It later becomes a casualty of the Crystals' destruction when the party visits it again and finds that the sands have gone still.
  • Improbable Age: Actually downplayed compared to many of the other games; Lenna is the youngest Light Warrior at eighteen and Galuf is a Old Soldier who is actually at a plausible grandfather age. However, Faris is noted to be the youngest pirate captain ever. And fourteen-year-old Krile later takes Galuf's place.
  • Improbable Weapon User: The Samurai class's Zeninage command, which throws coins at the monsters, and is one of the most powerful abilities in the game.
  • Inconsistent Spelling:
    • The Big Bad's name has been variably translated as Exdeath, X-Death, or Exodus. There is also Butz/Bartz.
    • "Krile" has also become a source of this; in Japanese, her name is "クルル", or "Kururu", and it's a little unclear as to how that's even meant to be pronounced, since "-u" kana are often used in place of what would be solo consonants in English. The old fan translation went with "Cara" for clarity, and the official English name became "Krile" in the PS1 and GBA releases. The name also caused pronunciation confusion,
      • "Krile" also gave people trouble with pronouncing it, as a lot of people thought they'd ended up naming her after microscopic crustaceans. It was FFXIV, of all things, that put this little debate to bed: it's pronounced "cry-el", with a slight emphasis on the "Kri", so it sounds similar to "smile". (Which fits her.)
    • The PS1 release named the pink-haired princess "Reina". The GBA release went with "Lenna".
    • The virtue embodying the Wind element has been variously called Curiosity, Quest, and Passion, probably because there's no single word in English that means "the spirit of exploration."
  • Inescapable Ambush: Gilgamesh locks the party into the tower on Big Bridge.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: The Twelve Legendary Weapons count, given that they are readily available through normal gameplay whereas better weapons can be found mostly through side quests.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Chicken Knife when fully charged (by running 255 times in the game). While the Brave Blade has a higher attack power than all other weapons and has Strength +5, the Chicken Knife gets its total damage from Strength plus Agility. While the main drawback is that there's a 25% of running when using the knife, this can be bypassed by using a non-standard attack command, like Mug or Rapid Fire. In addition, it can be used by any job in the game (Brave Blade can only be used by Knights, Freelancers/Mimics, and Gladiators).
  • Inn Between the Worlds: Phantom Village, which vanished a thousand years ago. It got caught in the Interdimensional Rift when the world was split in two and reappears when Exdeath puts them back together.
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Mecha!: The Mecha Heads in the Pyramid of Moore and the Superboss Omega. Both are probably left behind from the technologically-advanced Ancients.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • A few of the first job classes have Faris following the female pattern (e.g. wearing the hood up on the White Mage outfit). The blank magic slots in the menu also make it clear that Castle Exdeath isn't the final dungeon.
      • It's even more obvious in the iOS version, where Faris' sprites for Knight, Monk, and Thief all have noticeable breasts, making it clear she's a woman early on and sapping The Reveal of what little surprise it may otherwise still have had.
    • Zigzagged with the Steam version's achievements. The achievement, "Not Dead Yet", blatantly has the description that Krile inherits Galuf's power, which makes it easy for players to infer the meaning. On the other hand, Galuf has achievements for leveling all the way up to 99 with the pictures hidden to spoil that it's actually for Krile, averting this.
    • After the fight at Exdeath's Castle, the party finds themselves outside Castle Tycoon, and celebrate thinking they've returned home after previously traveling to Galuf's world. A quick look at the world map before you set foot inside the castle shows that the party didn't travel between worlds; instead, the two worlds merged into one.
  • Involuntary Group Split:
    • Subverted in the Ronka Ruins. Galuf is separated during the fall into the dungeon, so the others decide he'll catch up later and start to go off on their merry way—which Galuf overhears. He quickly finds a way into the room.
    Galuf: That was an awfully quick decision to ditch me!
    • Played straight when Bartz and Krile must leave Faris and Lenna behind in Tycoon Castle during the celebration. Faris' departure doesn't last long, but Lenna's does.
  • It's Up to You:
    • The King's retinue are hanging around the Wind Shrine waiting for him, but they aren't completely useless: one guy gives you potions, and there's a gourd which offers free healing.
    • Before shoving off, Faris ditches her men in Tule, telling them to guard the booty. And so a loose end is tied up. No reason why the Light Warriors couldn't travel with the pirates, but whatever.
  • Item Amplifier: The Chemist job doubles the effect of HP and MP restoring items.

  • Justified Tutorial: A concerned Lenna tries to follow her dragon-riding father on foot, only to be knocked unconscious when the meteor lands. Bartz comes across her being menaced by two Goblins. Uh oh! Better step in. There's little to this, since Bartz lacks a job or even a name at this point.
  • Killer Rabbit: Skull Eater, a steel grey version of the friendlier Nutkin. These squirrels do not subsist on nuts and have developed a taste for flesh. They are nigh-unkillable, will typically move first, and can wipe out your party members in one hit. The Sealed Temple in the re-release adds a blue cousin called the Soul Eater!
  • Lame Pun Reaction: When Bartz and Galuf exchange jokes at the Castle of Bal, the former groans at one of the latter's puns.
    Galuf: Listen up - before you knew me as a king, you knew me as a friend. Just "Galuf" is fine.
    Bartz: Understood, Just Galuf!
    Galuf: ...Don't push it, kid. Here in Bal, bad jokes like that will get you PUNished...
    Bartz: [groan]
  • Last Lousy Point: The Advance jobs. It comes down to whether you plan to do the Sealed Temple and where you plan to master them. If you don't plan on doing the Sealed Temple and instead want to grind Movers like usual, there's little point in mastering the new jobs. (Although Combine and Bladeblitz + Flare Spellblade does high damage to Neo Exdeath.) If you want to beat the Sealed Temple or master jobs before the Rift, you might as well master the bonus jobs, too. At least it's easy to power them up quickly, so completion-minded players can top them off before shelving their perfect files.
  • Legendary Weapon: The twelve legendary weapons. They are weapons. They are legendary. There are even twelve of them.
  • Leitmotif: Aside from Gilgamesh's famous theme, there's Big Bad Exdeath's theme, The Evil Lord Exdeath. It's also heard in his boss fight theme.
  • Lethal Joke Character:
    • Geomancers retain their mook-shredding abilities from Final Fantasy III, albeit toned down, and they make Castle Exdeath a little easier to traverse. On that same note, Chemists die in two hits from a stiff breeze but their action ability contains several Good Bad Bugs.
    • Goblins, the very first weakest mook in the game, will cast Flare (one of the strongest spells in the game) if caught using the Beastmaster's "Catch" ability.
  • Lethal Joke Item:
    • The Excalipoor is a Shoddy Knockoff of the legendary Excalibur that always only does 1 damage if used like a normal weapon, but it has several useful quirks. First of all, it will deal several thousand points if thrown with the Ninja's "Throw" ability, as the 'always deals 1 damage' quirk is in addition to its decent attack power, and "Throw" uses the attack power for its damage calculation. It'll be lost if you do this, so it's Too Awesome to Use in this fashion. Secondly, the Blue Magic spell "Goblin Punch" will ignore its normal damage restriction (weak unless the target and user are the same level) and deal tons of damage normally, as it is based on the equipped attack power. Finally, because 'always deals one damage' is literal, it never misses. This makes it useful against Skull Eaters (enemies with 1 HP and ridiculously high evasion) and weakening Crystelles (which have 3 HP and use Mighty Guard when released) to catch them.
    • The debate rages on: Brave Blade or Chicken Knife?
      1. Players fundamentally don't run from random encounters. There is not a single enemy in V you ever need to run from if you are properly prepared, and Brave Blade rewards your foresight and valor.
      2. The Knife's unique damage formula means it generally does more damage at max power than the Brave Blade. It doesn't lock you out of a basic game mechanic (fleeing from battles) or two action commands (Flee and Smoke) to protect its power; it rewards your cunning strategy, with no negative reinforcement. The Blade argument would hold more water if the Knife actually forced you to run, but it doesn't: it will not lose power by not running, and you are free to power it up at your leisure. Brave Blade, on the other hand, forces you NOT to run under threat of permanent power reduction. Only two classes (one in the original) can equip the Brave Blade, besides a Freelancer, of course. Chicken Knife does not discriminate: almost every class can use knives, and many get a lot of value out of a powerful one.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Fork Tower requires the party to split in two, with one team using only physical attacks and the other using only magic.
  • Level Grinding: If you want to master a few Jobs before entering the final dungeon (where you can find enemies that give a lot of AP but no EXP), expect to do a lot of this. It isn't required if you don't run from most battles/use smart class setups though. All but required to get the last ability of the Red Mage, Dualcast, which requires 999 ABP.
  • Level-Map Display: The map is a special item you need to find on the Ship Graveyard. However, once obtained it can be accessed anywhere.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to its predecessor and successor, but it still isn't all happy due to lots of loved ones dying.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Omega. Without defense-ignoring attacks such as Rapid Fire, 1000 Needles or Thundaga Spellblade, odds are every physical attack will miss it completely (or do zero damage if they do connect). Rapid Fire ignores Omega's high physical Defense and Evasion. Without it, good luck causing it to lose even 1 HP.
  • Life Drain: Vampire can be Learned by a Blue Mage. It maxes out their HP by draining the difference from a target. Just be sure not to cast it on the Undead.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards:
    • The hefty HP counts of Knight/Berserker/Dragoon/Samurai backed by the survivability of White Mage, or the firepower of Black Mage. Magic will generally out-damage melee if you are smart about it, and magical healing is generally the best in the game; items can't keep up most of the time.
    • Mimes can equip any armor in the game, excluding Ribbons, but on offense, they are limited to knives, rods, and staves. If they want anything else, they need to set an Equip ability. Freelancers are better at fighting and adapting to situations. Mimes are superior at spellcasting. The lack of strong weapons will not hamper someone who specializes in magic.
  • Locked Door: Zok is the guy who built a canal between Tule and Walse. He's known Lenna since she was a child. He says there is a nest of monsters inside the canal, and the key has gone missing. That last part turns out to be a lie, however: he admonishes Bartz to watch over the Princess before handing it over.
  • Long-Range Fighter:
    • The Knight's Blood Sword counts as a magical attack. This means the damage isn't halved by Back Row.
    • Thief has access to boomerangs that can be used from the back row. Most often they will be using daggers, though, since there are so few weapons that fall into this category.
    • Blue Mage can Learn Goblin Punch. Most of the time, it's just "Attack", but it does full damage from the back row without removing the target's Sleep or Confusion, at the cost of exactly 0 MP.
    • Mages, Chemists, and Mimes may find themselves switching to a Flail, attacking from the back and casting spells as needed.
    • Thor's Hammer can only be found in the Interdimensional Rift. The Berserker throws it at opponents, just like in the Norse legends. It's a powerful, Back Row OK weapon.
    • Ninja can sit in the back row lobbing Shurikens or boomerangs.
    • Beastmaster has no problem whipping their way through dungeons from the safety of the back row. They're one-handed weapons, too.
    • Geomancer has two options: attacking with bells and casting Gaia. These deal damage based on Magic power instead of Attack power or Strength.
    • The Ranger's bows are very good weapons.
    • Dragoon is a heavy armor job with long-range weapons, namely spears.
    • Long Reach allows the Gladiator to attack from the back row without penalty.
    • Cannoneer has a magic cannon. It can be used from the back row with no penalty.
  • The Lost Woods: The Great Forest of Moore, which is only accessible by submarine and requires a magic "key" in the form of a branch to properly enter.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father Faris is Lenna's sister. And while Bartz knows the identity of his father ahead of time, he doesn't know that he's a hero from another world who fought alongside his companion Galuf.
  • Magic Knight:
    • The Red Mage Job is proficient with many weapons and has access to both White and Black Magic, but its stats are substandard compared to the other jobs you have access to (i.e. it doesn't excel at anything) and Red Mages cannot use the most powerful White/Black spells.
    • The Mystic Knight Job has the ability to imbue its swords with spells for an entire fight, greatly increasing melee damage (especially if abusing Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors), or getting a ridiculous number of chances to inflict Status Effects such as Stone or Poison for a very low cost.
  • Magical Library: Library of the Ancients, where there are possessed books, a book split in two by the splitting of the worlds, and a book that burns other books...
  • Magic Music: The Bard job found near the end of Bartz's world. Blue Mage has a few Songs of their own: Pond's Chorus, Lilliputian Lyric, and Moon Flute.
  • Magikarp Power: Freelancer, the starting job, has no special attributes and unimpressive stats. However, it automatically learns almost every support ability from jobs that have been mastered, plus it applies their highest stat bonuses without the accompanying penalties. Combined with an extra ability slot and the ability to use any equipment, Freelancer eventually becomes one of the most powerful and flexible jobs.
  • Magitek: The Crystal machines in the Wind Shrine and Walse Tower, the Fire-Powered Ship before the Fire Crystal breaks, and a third crystal machine in the Ronka Ruins that allows the place to fly.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Dragon grass in the Second World, which led to the extinction of wind drakes there. It goes back to normal after the party beats it, but Krile's wind drake still requires heavy persuasion to eat it.
  • Mana Drain:
    • The Blue Magic spell "Magic Hammer" cuts the target's MP in half. It ruins the day of several bosses who rely on spells.
    • The "Mysterious Waltz" Dance and the Black Magic spell "Osmose" will drain MP from enemies and give it to the caster.
  • Mascot Mook: Tonberries and Magic Pots are introduced in this game.
  • Master of All: Innate skills, when mastered, are inherited by the Mime and Freelancer jobs. Note that not all passive abilities are innate: Knight-mastered Bartz con't pass Cover on to his other jobs, nor will Geomancer-mastered Faris pass on the ability to avoid map traps.
  • Metal Slime: Skull Eater, a gray palette swap of the much wimpier Nutkin. It inflicts 1000+ damage at a point where your max HP is going to be half that. Thankfully, it has a probability of using Escape immediately after you run into it, awarding you 5 ABP for free. There are several strategies for farming ABP off of them. For instance, they can be killed by a thrown scroll, which are always dropped by the common Thunder Anemone enemy. While useful for learning some cheaper abilities, it is not an ideal way to get everyone's ABP Up.
  • Merchant City: Phantom Village. It's packed full of merchants, and you can buy the best gear in the game there.
  • Merged Reality: This is Exdeath's goal, because the world was split by ancient heroes to seal away the destructive power of the Void. It also involves destroying the Crystals, which screws over everyone.
  • Metal Slime:
    • The 'Skull Eater' enemy is nearly impossible to hit, has a remarkably high attack, and is generally nigh-impossible to defeat unless you use a Geomancer's ability - and get lucky, use the Blue Magic spell "1000 Needles", use Control to make it eat its own skull (don't think too hard about how that works), or attack it when equipped with an Excalipoor. Its encounter also gives 5 AP, more than any other non-boss monster at that point in the game. Oh, and it also summons four more if you attack it with a magic based attack that can't kill it.
    • Movers, found in the final dungeon, also count. 6% encounter rate, 10,000 HP and they instantly end the battle if you don't kill them fast enough. They also give you 199 AP and 150000 Gil if you manage to both find and kill a pack of Movers before they run away on you. Of course, in the Game Boy Advance version, there's an exploit that lets you encounter Movers whenever you want...
    • The Stingray, a rare enemy in the lake near Carwen in the Merged World, which can drop one of the strongest whips in the game, and has a valuable Blue Magic spell to teach. Like with the Movers, you can use an exploit to find them easily.
  • Mistaken for Granite: The stone gargoyles guarding the four tablets.
  • Mistaken for Spies: The party is imprisoned in Karnak for purportedly being in league with the Werewolf that came out of the meteor before. (But it turns out the Werewolf wasn't even an enemy to begin with).
  • Money for Nothing: Once you run out of things to buy, there's nothing to do but throw the rest at monsters.
  • Money Spider: The wolf packs outside Karnak drop 625 gil per battle, they are the only encounter in the forest, and they are easily defeated by fire-elemental attacks, allowing players to reequip the party with the town's signature mythril weapons with only a little bit of effort.
  • Monster Misogyny: The monsters in Torna Canal will only attack the female party members. (Which foreshadows Faris' true sex).
  • Mortality Ensues: Apparently a consequence of wielding the Void.
  • Multi-Melee Master:
    • Freelancers can equip any and all weapons and armor. This is the main perk of the default job, and honestly, this alone can make Freelancer one of the better classes in the game simply due to how much awesome equipment there is.
    • Gladiator has a powerful class left over. They have a staggering collection of weapons to choose from, second only to what the Freelancer can wield: all swords (including the Brave Blade), spears, axes, and bows. This class can also equip Heavy or Medium armor as the situation dictates.
  • Multiple Endings: Unique in that depending on which of the four characters are left capable of fighting at the end of the final battle, the ending changes, with any actions taken or abilities gained before that point having no bearing on the ending whatsoever. Any characters who were Dead or Petrified at the end of the fight lack the strength to actually escape the void with the rest of the party. This alters the dialogue and some of the later scenes to show that, even though the world is at peace, the survivors still mourn the loss of their friends, until the Warriors of Dawn make them come Back from the Dead.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
    • "You have mastered the piano!!! All others quake in fear at your superhuman keyboard manipulation skill!"
    • Galuf regaining his memories fully is accompanied by a dramatic fanfare and announcement. It makes the following scene all the more touching.
  • My Name Is ???:
    • It's not until he is introduced to Lenna that the main character is recognized by his player-given name.
    • ???? deals damage equal to how much HP the caster has lost. This normally means instant death if a boss uses it, as they have much more life than Light Warriors do.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Bartz's Dragoon outfit resembles Kain almost exactly. His and Galuf's Mystic Knight duds also resemble Minwu's. Krile's White Mage outfit also resembles a Devout.
    • Though no official dragoons exist in the present day (aside from whoever is using the job), Tycoon has a number of elements that match the usual associations with dragoons. King Tycoon and Lenna share a close bond with a friendly dragon as does Faris with a different dragon, King Tycoon's helmet is stylized with dragon wings, and his middle name is Highwind—the surname for the two previous dragoons in the franchise.
    • Faris resembles another purple haired pirate girl from a previous game, Leila from Final Fantasy II.
    • The party go to the crystals in the reverse order of the Chaos Fiends in the first Final Fantasy game: wind, water, fire and earth.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The fight against the Crystal seals. Exdeath has a good hearty laugh at the Light Warriors after that one.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: The strongest relationships in the game are the familial bonds between the party members and the heroes that came before. Apart from a Stupid Sexy Flanders moment involving Faris and a couple of very minor Ship Tease moments, there's no Official Coupling.
  • Non-Elemental: Several spells, including Comet and Meteor, the Flare family, and, even more bizarrely, Aquabreath.note 
  • Non-Indicative Name: The town known as Istory in most translations is called Easterly in the PlayStation translation, despite the fact that it's one of the westernmost towns in the game.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: Several.
    • If the one-minute time limit runs out on fighting the summon Odin, he instantly stops the fight, delivers a fourth-wall breaking line, and then delivers one final sword slice, booting you to the title screen.
    • If there's a timer on screen, you will die if it hits 0:00. Examples include the run from the exploding Fire Ship, and diving down to the Submerged Water Tower.
  • Noob Cave: The Wind Shrine is a very short dungeon, full of Goblins and the like. As a small reward for trying stuff out and exploring, there's a false wall which acts as a shortcut.
  • "No Peeking!" Request: While the party is getting through the Ship Graveyard, they stop at a safe room to change out of their soaked clothing. Lenna goes into another to change, and warns the guys not to peek. This leaves poor Faris (who the party still thinks is male) to change with the other Bartz and Galuf, which leads to her Gender Reveal.
  • Notice This: There are two types of abilities in this game. Command abilities have an exclamation point (!) in front of that ability, such as !Attack. This means that to use this ability, you must do manually activate it. Passive abilities are automatic, and they do not have (!) in front of the name. For example, take the ability Counter. When you are attacked, the Counter automatically kicks in, and you attack that opponent without wasting a turn.
  • NPC Roadblock: After defeating the boss in the Water Crystal chamber and watching the crystal shatter, the beaten-up soldier there manages to get back up...only to collapse right in the doorway, calling out his last words to Galuf before dying. This is done so you can't leave before the tower is sunken.
  • Number of the Beast: Jackanapes, an enemy very difficult to kill and who gives nothing on defeat but 1 gil, have 666 HP.
  • Oculothorax: The boss Catastrophe found in the Rift.
  • Ominous Floating Castle:
    • The Ronka Ruins, large enough to count as a Floating Continent as well.
    • The castle in the Interdimensional Rift. There are parts where you have to walk over empty air.
  • One-Hit KO: Odin's Zantetsuken, the Samurai's Iainuki command and the Death, Banish and Level 5 Death spells.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Skull Eaters only have 1 HP, but they compensate with extremely high evasion and defenses.
  • Opening the Sandbox: The Fire and Earth Crystals broaden your options dramatically. V isn't really the same as III where it's just a question of which jobs to use when. It's more like Tactics where it's about finding natural combinations to mix and match. You rarely if ever want to have multiple characters in the same job, or even learning abilities from the same job.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: The werewolves of Quelb aren't Forced Transformation victims, just humanoid wolves with a touch of Proud Warrior Race Guy. They're allies to the party.
  • Our Sirens Are Different: The Siren of the Ship Graveyard uses illusions of the party's loved ones to steal their souls.
  • Outside-the-Box Tactic: The only practical way to defeat Bonus Boss Odin is to use petrification attacks, which will instantly kill him.
  • Overnight Age-Up: The Old status effect causes the inflicted to age rapidly, lowering the player characters' stats until they hit 1 and lowering monsters' levels and Speed.
  • Overrated and Underleveled: The new jobs found within the Sealed Temple. In an optimized run of the game, everyone is already using super-busted stuff by the time you unlock these jobs due to the fact that they come way too late to be of much value, and most of what they do have to offer doesn't mean much anyways; Gladiator isn't bringing anything you can't already do since it is outclassed by Ranger's Rapid Fire and Samurai's Zeninage, Necromancer can't even be obtained until you beat the Sealed Temple, and Oracle is just too unpredictable and contradictory of what one would expect out of a job with the highest Magic in the game to be anything to write home about. Cannoneer by all account is the only worthwhile Advance-exclusive job since it allows for some Chemist-level shenanigans. The new jobs are fun to play around with for a bit as a change from the usual set if nothing else.

  • Parrot Exposition: Lampshaded by Ghido when Bartz starts doing it to him, prompting him to notice, "It seems there is quite the echo in here".
  • Passing the Torch: A theme within the game is the Warriors of Dawn passing down their duties to the Warriors of Light, which is further driven home right before the Final Battle.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: Hey, no need to panic! You can easily catch up with any job you've neglected.
    • You can do your grinding in the Ship Graveyard right before the ship's cabin. Two Undead Husks yield 3 AP, and there's a mob of three different enemies that yield 2 AP. You may want to wait until you can kill these things with bells and katanas, though.
    • There is a literal peninsula in the First World, the southern one by the western entrance of the Torna Canal, where it is possible to encounter a party of three Bandersnatches which will give 3AP and a decent amount of experience points. It's a good spot for getting a job level or two in early before moving ahead in the game.
    • Grinding AP in Bal Castle's basement by slaying Objet D'Arts is doable in World 2. There's only 1 enemy type, and it's vulnerable to Lvl 5 Death, the Soft/Gold Needle item, and has an elemental weakness to thunder. It is slow but can easily wipe out your party without said spell/item, though.
    • Sealed Castle Kuza in World 2 has the Shield Dragon. While extremely dangerous (19,999 HP, has high strength and Zombie Breath), if you can Control it (made easier after Drakenvale once you get the Hypno Crown), you can kill it in four turns by just having it use Blaze. It yields the most experience and ABP individually in World 2, allowing you to grind quickly. Moreover, Catching one gives you Almagest...which is only used by the Final Boss (excluding the bonus content)
    • Though the Great Sea Trench houses horrifying enemies (some which can inflict Doom), they're all remarkably undead. Every single one. By this point, a Bard will have Requiem, dealing massive damage against undead enemies for no MP cost at all. Has it been mentioned Requiem is a free Bard song that can be placed on anybody's command list and used as long as they aren't silenced? Enjoy the minimal effort grinding as you purge the area of Unknown with ease.
    • The area just before the Final Boss: every encounter yields at least 30 AP, and if you're lucky, as much as 100.
  • Percent Damage Attack: Missile reduces the target to 1/4 of their current HP.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • There are the summons/weapons/anything else that vanish once you switch planets. Ramuh is actually available in the final dungeon if you missed him early on, but he's the only one; Shiva, Carbuncle, and Catoblepas are truly gone forever if you didn't get them sooner.
    • In Karnak, once Exdeath activates the palace's self-destruction, not only can all the castle's previously blocked off chests be missed (which is incredibly easy to happen, since you only have 10 minutes to escape), but the Boss Battle against Iron Claw can be missed entirely if you accidentally kill his human form before killing his wolves, and you may want to fight him as it's the earliest opportunity to pick up the Death Claw Blue Magic spell.
  • Piñata Enemy: Bartz's Worlds has the Jachol Cave. It's populated by cute "Nutkins" who always yield 2 AP. A mage using a melee attack (dealing a 10th of the damage from a dedicated fighter) will easily knock out its 20 HP. Staying there too long will cause Skull Eaters to appear...
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: They do act like pirates under Faris' leadership by plotting to hold Lenna for ransom, but after that they head to the pub or stick around the hideout. Not that they can do much pirating without their ship.
  • Pit Trap: The Geomancer can have you covered on these.
  • Player Headquarters: The Catapult.
  • Plot Coupon That Does Something: The Crystal shards become the foundation of the battle system. They also re-form as the Crystals in the end, restoring the worlds' ecosystem.
  • Powers as Programs: The Job system.
  • Power at a Price: In the backstory, Enuo lost his invulneribility when he gained the Power of the Void, allowing heroes to defeat him. When Exdeath is defeated in his tree form, he loses control of the Power of the Void, transforming into Omnicidal Maniac One-Winged Angel Neo Exdeath, which probably caused him to lose his Healing Factor.
  • Power Copying:
    • The Blue Mage Job learns spells by getting hit by enemy attacks and permanently copying them, though it can only learn specific moves.
    • The boss Apocalypse/Azulmagia has access to a good chunk of the Blue Magic list, and he is able to learn more by getting hit by almost any Blue Magic spell he doesn't know yet. Yes, this includes Exploder.
  • Power of the Void: Trope Namer.
  • Power Up Letdown: Switch your Mages to something new once they get max out their Magic abilities to their Level 6 level. All Mages have one extremely crappy final ability after learning the spells, and you only see a lasting benefit from mastering the Summoner.
  • Powerful, but Inaccurate: Axes can potentially deal 150% of their listed damage and treat the target's Defense as 25% of its normal value, but they're less accurate that most other weapons.
  • Precision F-Strike: In the Game Boy Advance version, Galuf calls Xezat an ass. That version is E-rated, despite the GBA versions of IV and VI being E10+, in which "ass" would be less of this trope.
  • Precursor Heroes: The four Dawn Warriors (of whom Galuf is one) who sealed Exdeath thirty years ago and help the party. Also, Enuo and the Void were sealed by twelve legendary heroes who left their weapons behind, and the job classes are also based on the abilities of ancient heroes.
  • Prestige Class: If you are going for the Freelancer/Mime route and want the best stats and skills, then you need to plan ahead and try to build them up slowly, since level grinding is not feasible at the early stage.
  • Pretty Princess Powerhouse: Lenna, despite being a Princess Classic in demeanor, never shrinks from action. Her sister Faris is this too, even if she doesn't want to admit it at first. Oh, and then there's Krile, at Galuf's side on Big Bridge long before she gets his party slot.
  • Primordial Chaos: The Void.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "I AM...PIANO...MASTER!!!"
  • Puzzle Boss: It’s almost a boss rush from start to finish, with different jobs required to use a new approach on each boss. From 6 enemies that will revive each other if you kill them one at a time (requiring you to beat them all at once, or keep killing them until they run out of MP), to Barrier Change Bosses (and there are a lot of them), to the most annoying of all, a boss who will create clones of himself that he will rapidly switch between. Since you can't tell which is which though, you'll have to resort to guesswork or multitarget attacks...which you shouldn't use because then the boss will counter with his own Party Wipe attack. And in the GBA re-release, it gets even worse in the Bonus dungeon, where you have a boss that will revive itself over and over again. The only way to defeat it is to heal it to death, or hammer/drain away all its magic.
  • Random Effect Spell: The "Call" ability will cast a random Summon spell for free, the "Critter" ability will call a random forest creature to assist in battle, and the "Earth" ability will utilize a somewhat randomized environmental attack.
  • Rapid Aging: Unique to this game is the "Old" status ailment: the victim's hair turns white and their level (and stats) steadily decrease until they do pitiful damage and take a lot. The only surefire way to deal with this is to kill off that character since, even when it stops, they'll have reduced stats until the end of battle.
  • Real Men Hate Affection: Although they don't seem to actually hate it, Bartz, Galuf, and Faris are all absolutely terrible at expressing it towards each other. When Galuf questions Bartz about why he, Lenna, and Faris left their world without a way back to help Galuf protect his, Bartz can only manage to mutter " particular reason." They're not nearly as awkward when they talk to Lenna or Krile.
  • Rebellious Princess: At the end of the game, Faris leaves Tycoon Castle to return to piracy.
  • Recurring Riff: "Ahead on Our Way".
  • The Red Mage:
    • One of the final classes in Bartz's Wotld is the Red Mage. They learn the coveted Dualcast ability which might be worth pursuing.
    • If you put a little work into Blue Mages, they can be real powerhouses, particularly if you slap their skills onto a more powerful class. Tanks make better use of, say, Vampire, White Wind and maybe ????. Mages are better at casting Aero. And so on.
  • Revive Kills Zombie and Soft Kills Statue. Used to incredibly painful effect by a boss in the bonus dungeon - curative magic is the only way to effectively damage him, as he counters every attack with casting Death on himself, fully healing him.
  • Roaming Enemy: Type 1. Omega roams around the waterfall cliff in a random pattern so it's possible (if ticklish) to sneak around him. The Mecha Heads in the Pyramid of Moore behave in a similar manner, but given the narrow confines not as easy to avoid. The Aspises in the same location are Type 3, triggered when walking past a certain type of wall panel.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Lenna. And Faris. And Galuf. And Krile. And if Bartz's father had stayed on his world Bartz would have been a prince, so he kind of counts, too. So basically, everyone in the party.
  • Rules of the Game/Let's Split Up, Gang!: In Fork Tower, the party splits up to climb two towers. In one of the towers, everyone has incurable silence status, making them incapable of using magic. In the other tower, every monster automatically counters any physical attack by resetting the battle (unless you disable their counterattacks with the Berserk spell).
  • Rule of Seven: After finishing the Wind Shrine, you have seven jobs available, including the Freelancer (but most players ignore that one for now).
  • Rush Boss: Uniquely for a series otherwise famed for its use of Damage-Sponge Boss, bosses in Final Fantasy V can typically be killed in a few turns (especially the ones with a weakness or if the player has a strong party set up, a good chunk can be done in 1 if you have the right ability), but can kill the party just as quick. This makes it surprisingly well suited to a portable format.
    • You can kill Magissa before she calls her husband which saves you a very hard boss battle at the cost of decent experience.
  • Sand Is Water: The Desert of Shifting Sands.
  • Save Both Worlds: Or rather, save them after they re-merge.
  • Scary Scorpions: Torna Canal is another super-short dungeon, navigated by ship. It's guarded by a giant scorpion named Karlabos.
  • Schizo Tech:
    • Your vehicles embody this trope. You go from an animal-drawn wooden ship to a steam-powered ship that's wooden above and futuristic factory below to an ancient wooden airship (that also has a high-tech underpinning) to a high-tech submarine to finally being able to transform your half-wooden airship into an identical high-tech sub.
    • And that doesn't even count any of the Advanced Ancient Acropolises. Nor how the makers of the steam-ship and submarine live in waterside medieval stone castles, even though all wooden-decked boats in the game are armed with cannons which render them obsolete.
  • Schmuck Bait: A side path in a cave where the player seems to randomly acquire 10 gil, and double the previous amount every step if they continue (20, 40, 80, 160, etc.) may lead greedy/genre blind newbies right into the maws of the Gil Turtle - an optional boss that, while manageable if you know what to expect and prepare accordingly, is sure to catch said newbies off-guard. He gives you 5000 gil if you can kill him, and you may have to fight him more than once if you want to really push your luck, but the final step has over 40,000 gil and then a dead end; there's no fights on the way back.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Great Forest of Moore once had a tree that was used to seal away countless evil souls and monsters. Eventually, the concentrated evil within the tree turned the tree evil. It became sapient, twisted into a human shape, and left the forest to terrorize the world. That tree is Exdeath, who itself was later sealed by the Warriors of Dawn.
  • Sealed Evil in Another World: 30 years prior to the game's events, the Four Dawn Warriors managed to defeat ExDeath, following him to another world. While one of the warriors objects to sealing the enemy there, he eventually relents, though choosing to remain in order to watch over the seal. Turns out that the Dawn Warriors' world and the world where Exdeath was sealed were originally one, split apart to contain The Void. Exdeath's goal is to re-merge the worlds to access the Void.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: The Twelve Legendary Weapons.
  • Secret Character:
    • Mime. Sharp-eyed players will notice a job crystal lying just out reach when the Water Crystal breaks. That's not a graphical error; circumstances prevent the party from retrieving it until the worlds are merged.
    • As for the Advance jobs: Gladiator is broken (random chance to deal Critical Hit or max cap elemental damage), Cannoneer is also broken thanks to its Combine mechanic, and Oracle's Predict can be exploited. However, Gladiator and Oracle both have their own problems that severely reduce their relevancy: Gladiator is made redundant due to other broken combinations having already existed before back in the SNES era like dual-wielded Rapid Fire, especially when taking Spellblade into account, and none of the Oracle's abilities take advantage of their high Magic (so a level 1 character as Oracle would do the same damage as a level 99 Oracle using those abilities). Meanwhile Necromancer — while a much better alternative to Oracle, even with the downside of having to rely on Death or White Wind for healing due to being permanently undead — is obtained too late to be of any use.
  • Self-Deprecation: In the GBA version, an NPC possibly mocks Square's racing game Chocobo Racing, the tedious Luck-Based Mission minigame of Final Fantasy X, and/or the long, tedious chocobo breeding and racing side quest in Final Fantasy VII (required to get the strongest summon materia in that game):
    "Wouldn't chocobo racing be totally extreme? ...No, I guess not."
  • Sequence Breaking: Three of the four tablets are optional; you can just skip them and go directly to the Very Definitely Final Dungeon as soon as you get the Global Airship back.
  • Serious Business: If you tell the receptionist at the Greenhorn's Club that you're not a greenhorn, she will kick you out of the door so hard that you hit the trees across from the building.
  • Shaped Like Itself: When Bartz is asking Ghido about what the twelve legendary weapons are, the latter snarkily responds at one point by saying "Yes, the twelve legendary weapons. They are weapons. They are legendary. There are even twelve of them."
  • Sheathe Your Sword: In order to beat Famed Mimic Gogo, you have to do absolutely nothing for 2 minutes. Attacking him at all will cause him to kill you pretty much instantly.
  • Shields Are Useless: Later abilities allow the Knight to sacrifice shields for sword strength.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The GBA translation is full of these, ranging from references to A Streetcar Named Desire to Pokémon.
    • In the Legend of the Crystals translation, Xezat says "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." to explain why he went down to the generator room knowing it would kill him.
    • The game itself is a big homage to the movie version of The Neverending Story. Being spread out over so many gopher quests (and limited by SNES era graphics) is what keeps it from being too obvious.
      • Faris' sprite resembles a palette-swapped Atreyu. She has scenes screaming as her trusty steed sinks off to her death. In fact, four of the five protagonists lament while their pet/ride gets put out of action with varying permanence.
      • The villain wields the Power of Nothing, erasing parts of the world. Made harder to notice by the many translations calling it everything from the Power of the Void to the Power of Mu.
      • More in line with the book version, there is a werewolf set up as one of the villains. But unlike Gmork, this one is on your side.
      • You have to search out and get advice from an ancient, talking, moss-covered turtle. Though Ghido's physical resemblance to Morla is only visible in his concept illustration due to sprite size.
      • While it doesn't look like a big, fluffy dog, this is the only FF where you ride a flying dragon.
      • The game's ending copies the movie's as closely as copyright laws allow it. The world has been consumed by Nothing, leaving the heroes floating through space. Luckily the Mac Guffins they had with them the whole time restore it. Cue flash forward with sequences of zooming across the landscape on a dragon, complete with waving to friends on horse(?)back.
      • The classic Final Fantasy theme has always been similar to Atreyu's Quest from the movie soundtrack. And then there are all the pale, sometimes luminescent towers in the series.
  • Sidequest: It's a Final Fantasy game, most of the tablet Fetch Quest is actually optional.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: Odin when summoned.
  • Situational Damage Attack: Goblin Punch is normally very weak, but the damage will be multiplied by 8 if the user and target are of the same level.
  • Situational Sword: Some Blue Magic spells have "Level [value]" in their names, meaning they only work if the target has a multiple of the specific Level value. For example, Level 5 Doom only works on targets whose level is a multiple of 5.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Initially played straight with Lenna being the only female in the party with the male Bartz, Galuf and Faris, then subverted when Faris is revealed to be female, making it a Gender-Equal Ensemble, and then ultimately inverted when Galuf dies and is replaced by his granddaughter Krile.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Used to chilling effect with the song "Music Box", which as the name suggests feels like an innocent music box tune out of childhood, and it indeed plays in a flashback sequence to Bartz's childhood with his parents...which ends with his mother fatally collapsing to the floor, all the while this "cheerful" tune keeps playing.
  • Starter Equipment: The main problem with Lenna and Galuf is their equipment. Lenna starts with a measly Knife, and Galuf with his bare fists. Both pale in comparison to Bartz's Broadsword. Bartz will almost always one-shot everything, whereas Lenna and Galuf usually need to kill an enemy together. This is a bit awkward, since Lenna is the quickest to act, and Bartz goes second. Faris isn't too shabby, coming in with a shield and decent EXP.
  • Stock Ness Monster: Syldra - hey, she's a plesiosaur!
  • Stripperiffic: Melusine and Calofisteri.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: King Tycoon is very obviously acting suspicious when you meet him in the airborne Ronka Ruins. Considering that the last time you saw him, he lured you into a trap, you have already seen one monarch possessed by a monster to get to the crystals and destroy them, and when you find him stopped by the guardian of the earth crystal, he just tells you to "Make yourself useful and kill it," the fact that no one seems to voice any suspicions of him until after you have done so is a serious Idiot Ball moment. Granted, he is Lenna and Faris's father, so their judgement is clouded, but neither Bartz nor Galuf says anything until after you have defeated the last guardian and given him access to the earth crystal.
  • Suicide Attack: Self-Destruct can be Learned from Bombs, among others. It causes the caster to explode like a Bomb monster.
  • Superboss: Omega and Shinryu are both very difficult optional bosses in the Very Definitely Final Dungeon (the former can be seen on a rock wall walking back and forth much like enemies in the Pyramid of Moore, the latter is in a rigged chest that is the next to last one the team can find and open prior to the Necrophobe and Exdeath boss fights). The re-release's Bonus Dungeon, the Sealed Temple, has upgraded forms of these two, as well as a host of others, including Enuo.
  • Super-Deformed: The in-game sprites and job artwork.


  • Take It to the Bridge: Namely, to the Big Bridge. The Army of Bal marches on it to assault Castle Exdeath, though they're forced to retreat by a Hostage Situation. The party flees back across on foot after escaping and fights a number of monsters that jump onto the screen before running into a boss battle with Gilgamesh. The iconic background music for the area becomes Gilgamesh's leitmotif for the rest of the game and for nearly every other appearance in the franchise. After the worlds merge, the bridge ceases to be an independent location but serves as a path to the Island Shrine.
  • Taking You with Me: Karlabos goes down without much of a fight. Its last act is to drag poor Syldra down to the murky deep. This leaves the party adrift for a while, as they have no way to propel the ship forward.
  • Tech Points: Job skills are learned with ABP (Ability Points). Once a skill is learned, it can be assigned to the empty ability slot for any other job, whether it's active or passive. It isn't always proportional to Experience Points, so you need to go to a different Peninsula of Power Leveling to gain in each.
  • Thematic Sequel Logo Change: V's logo features a drawing of a wind drake (a type of dragon) in purple and blue, an endangered species in-game.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: For Gilgamesh during an optional fight near the end of the game, and for the Dawn Warriors when saving the party from the Void just before the final battle.
  • Threat Backfire: Gilgamesh responds to a certain overused, clichéd and villainous threat (this happens during the scene listed as "stupid sacrifice" above) with his immortal answer...
    "That's MY line!"
  • Tiered by Name: In the remake, there is Omega Mk.II, which is not only stronger than the original Omega but is also 22 levels lower than the original.
  • Time-Limit Boss: A lot.
    • Odin provides an intriguing battle. Odin gives you 60 seconds to beat him, and he does some light damage throughout. When it hits zero, Odin uses Zantetsuken and instantly kills the whole party.
    • The Guardian of the Sealed Temple has a set amount of turns before it fires its Wave-Motion Gun, killing your party.
    • Famed Mimic Gogo, sort of; you have a time limit on the whole dungeon, and you can only win the battle by waiting it out.
    • The castle that's burning down and only gives you a set amount of time to escape also gets topped off with a boss; Iron Claw.
  • Time Master: Time Mages make their first appearance in the series here, and are arguably more powerful than in any future game due to spells like Return (which resets the battle to the beginning for the cost of 1 MP), and Quick (which lets you do two actions in a row, instantly, without interruptions).
  • Timed Mission: The returns to Karnak Castle and Walse Tower are timed; Karnak is about to explode and Walse Tower is now underwater. You have 10 minutes to escape Castle Karnak (every chest left in the castle is booby-trapped with monsters) and get past the boss at the front gate. As for Walse Tower, you have 6 minutes to get through it before you drown, and you need a good deal of time left on the bottom floor to finish the conversation with Gogo for the last crystal shard, Mimic (the enemies are the same, but obscured by the water; run from them.) For the latter, you CAN use Exit to leave after dealing with Gogo.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Dragon Fangs should be used responsibly.
  • Treacherous Checkpoint: The last save point is guarded by a boss that only reveals himself when you first try to use the save point.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay:
    • The Level 2 Old, Level 3 Flare, Level 4 Demi, and Level 5 Death spells only hit monsters whose levels are multiples of the appropriate level. This is probably why the Blue Mage gets the ability Scan, but until that you need to rely on the Libra spell or bestiary.
    • The Blue Magic spell Level 5 Death is difficult to obtain because to obtain it, a Blue Mage has to be hit by it, but since you get your full party early and all start at Level 1, Level 5 Death is likely to cause instant game over the first time you encounter it. Worse, to learn the spell, you have to have a Blue Mage with a level x 5, so the only way to learn it is to unbalance your party levels or wait until Lenna sits out a dungeon (which generally leaves her two or three levels below everyone else, so she'll either be the only victim or survive it so she can revive the others).
    • The Mix command.
    • Because you can only enter battle with a limited number of skills selected, new territory always carries a risk of a monster who will wipe you out. Especially since the game is full of bosses in mooks clothing with very specific weaknesses.
    • And if you run, hope you were aiming to get the Chicken Knife instead of the Brave Blade. The game's strongest weapon depends on a factor they never tell you.
  • True Companions: The party, helped by the fact that there isn't any switchout as there is in later games. At least, not in the same way.
  • Twist Ending: The crystals are restored by the Power of Friendship and the Dark Is Not Evil side of the Power of the Void.
  • Two Halves Make a Plot: Each of the two parallel worlds has one half of an ancient book. When the worlds merge, the two halves do likewise.
  • The Unfought: In Istory Falls, it looks like you're about to get into a Boss Fight with an unnamed minion of Exdeath, then Leviathan, the Istory Falls' real boss, appears and one-shots him.
  • Universal Driver's License: This game averts Final Fantasy's common use of this for watercraft (one member of the party is a pirate and thus can be assumed to know what they are doing), but plays it straight for the airship and submarine for that matter.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Bartz and Faris. Strictly speaking it was all on Bartz as he is infatuated by her beauty several times in the game, but it's not reciprocated. Each time happens when her Bifauxnen facade is pierced. Galuf doesn't count because he only shows interest once and never again.
  • Updated Re-release: Four. the Playstation version adds an FMV introduction to the game, as well as the first English translation. The GBA version adds four new job classes and some Bonus Dungeons to the mix, along with a much better-regarded English script. The iOS/Android port has redone sprites and spell effects but otherwise is nearly identical to the GBA release. The Pixel Remaster version for mobile and Steam cuts out the bonus content added with the GBA version onward, but features updated versions of the original sprites, widescreen support and several quality of life changes.
  • Useless Item: On SNES, PSX and Pixel Remaster, the Ash item first obtained in the Forest of Moore, only exists to fill the inventory, and if thrown deals less damage than the elemental scrolls obtainable much earlier in the game. Downplayed in the versions with Cannoneer, as using Ash with !Combine allows you to blind enemies such as Shinryu.

  • Void Between the Worlds: The world was split in two for the express purpose of keeping the Void between them, otherwise it would be too accessible to villains and consume everything.
  • Warm-Up Boss: The first boss of the game is the Wing Raptor. It uses its wingspan to block the staircase leading to the King. Its main attack, Breath Wing, deals ~20 damage to everyone at a point where you only have Potions and such.
  • Water Is Womanly: The Water Crystal's essence is devotion, and it chooses Lenna, a kind-hearted Princess Classic.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: The Soul Cannon, and the Updated Re-release's Guardian.
  • Weapon Specialization: Each Job class has its own selection of weapons. The Freelancer can equip all weapons.
  • Whatevermancy:
    • The Geomancer class, which is strange since IRL geomancy is basically feng shui.
    • The Necromancer class is also added in the GBA version, although it's more of a Bragging Rights Reward since you only get it after the end of the Bonus Dungeon.
  • Where It All Began: The quest starts in the Kingdom of Tycoon. The entrance to the final dungeon is the Void that engulfed Tycoon. There are several other Void spaces around the world, but Tycoon's is the only portal to the Interdimensional Rift.
  • Why Won't You Die?: Galuf challenges Exdeath to a fight mano a mano with the rest of the party incapacitated. Exdeath throws countless spells at him and depletes Galuf's HP far past zero. Exdeath becomes increasingly frustrated that Galuf won't go down, even quoting the trope at him. Galuf finally defeats Exdeath (for now) but despite the party's best efforts, he dies shortly after the battle ends.
  • The World Is Always Doomed: The loss of the Wind Crystal alone puts the world in serious peril, due to the damage it would do to the ecosystem. Then the loss of the Water Crystal means marine life is going to go extinct, making the future even more grim. Then the Fire Crystal is lost, pretty much guaranteeing that all life will freeze to death in a century or so. Then the Earth Crystal gets destroyed. Unbelievably, things get worse from that point. Galuf's World gets doomed in much the same fashion, and after that Exdeath gains the power of the Void. Then things get even worse...then it gets better in the Twist Ending.
  • The World Tree: It houses the crystals of Galuf's World. Since evil creatures couldn't get inside it, they were perfectly safe there, until the heroes broke the seal.
    • It probably wasn't all that safe after Exdeath burned the forest to the ground.
  • World Sundering: The two worlds were originally a single one.
  • You Are Not Alone: Done in the ending to Krile by the other heroes.
  • You Are Too Late: This trope is pretty much the plot of the game.
  • You All Look Familiar:
    • There is only a single sprite each for young girls, young boys, male townsfolk, female townsfolk, soldiers, old men, old women, scholars, werewolves, etc. Several named characters get the same generic sprite as everyone else, including young Bartz & young Faris and Bartz's mother. The odd implication of this is that Faris had brown hair as a child, and Bartz had green hair.
    • All ships share the exact same upper deck plan, not counting whether the doors or stairs below go.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Bartz and company's habit of arriving just a second or so too late is uncanny. Basically, should something in the game involve the Crystals in any way, shape or form, expect the heroes to fail at anything other than collecting the crystal's shards.
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already: Late in the game, the Greenhorn's club will, if you tell them that you're not new to this adventuring thing, tell you the secret benefits of the Freelancer and Mime classes. If you give them this answer early in the game though, the receptionist will tell you that they can't have pros scaring the newbies, and literally kicks you out of the club.
  • Zero-Effort Boss: Famed Mimic Gogo can be found deep underneath the Walse Tower. Beating him requires you do absolutely nothing for two minutes, as the idea is for the two of you to mimic each other. If you decide to directly fight him instead, after a few hits he'll proceed to very quickly spam Meteors back to back to flatten the party.

"Boko, let's go!!"


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Final Fantasy 5


Final Fantasy V

Odin must be defeated within a rather stifling time limit of one minute, though he warns the party before the fight.

How well does it match the trope?

4.5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / TimeLimitBoss

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