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What An Idiot / Final Fantasy

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  • Final Fantasy IV:
    • After defeating Cagnazzo, the party becomes trapped in a corridor as the walls start to close in on them. They can't escape because the doors are locked.
      You'd Expect: Since the party has two members capable of using Black Magic, at least one of them would think to destroy the wooden doors with fire magic so they could escape, or use the Warp spell to teleport to the castle entrance. And since the party also has two people capable of using White Magic, one of them would think to teleport out of Baron Castle completely with the Exit spell.
      Instead: Palom and Porom petrify themselves to stop the walls from closing in. And since they became stone of their own free will, Esuna doesn't bring them back. They do get better eventually, but there were far smarter ways to escape the trap than that.
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    • Cecil procures the Crystal of Earth in exchange for Rosa's safety. When confronting Golbez on the Tower of Zot to actually make the exchange, Golbez shows up with Kain, but not Rosa.
      You'd Expect: Seeing that Golbez hasn't exactly shown himself to be trustworthy — he makes you climb his tower full of dangerous enemies before the exchange even happens — that Cecil would insist Golbez either give him Rosa first, agree to make the trade at the same time, or at the very least make sure Rosa is physically present during the exchange.
      Instead: Cecil hands over the crystal immediately, without Rosa there. Golbez responds to Cecil's demand for Rosa with "Rosa? Who's that?". It's even worse in the Nintendo DS version because you can actually read the map leader character's thoughts when opening the menu; Yang, for example, thought the deal was fishy yet he didn't say a word.
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    • In the DS version: The party finally defeats Golbez thanks to Rydia's Big Damn Hero moment as his body lays down on the floor after a battle to defend one of the remaining dark crystals.
      You'd Expect: The party would take the crystal and move it somewhere else so that Golbez wouldn't be able to locate it anymore. Keep in mind that Golbez is someone who survived after taking the strongest black magic spell and they can still see his body in this version so you'd expect they would take precautions.
      Instead: The party leaves Golbez' body as it is without securing the crystal after a few reunion moment. As expected, Golbez stands up and teleports away with the crystal.
    • The party is getting ready to travel to the moon on their Cool Starship. After numerous fights and trials, the party is finally ready to take down the Big Bad.
      You'd Expect: Cecil to maybe say a few words of encouragement and get down to business with his trusted and capable allies.
      Instead: Cecil orders Rosa and Rydia off the ship claiming it's "too dangerous" because they're girls and all. Rosa and Rydia happen to be the party's primary healer and an obscenely powerful Summoner who can conjure a dragon to melt faces, respectively. They are the two most essential members of the party, with Cecil and Edge, the two claiming they should stay behind arguably being the most expendable. The girls have to resort to sneaking aboard the ship as it takes off in order to save the team from their stupid deaths all in the name of chivalry.
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  • In Final Fantasy V, one of the four Warriors of Dawn, a werewolf named Kelgar, decides to challenge Bartz over a misunderstanding.
    You'd Expect: Kelgar to actually stop and listen to what Galuf and the rest of the party are trying to say. Then, once things are explained, tone down the machismo a little because he's way past his prime.
    Or: Bartz to not hit him as hard as he possibly can.
    Instead:: They insist on fighting, and Bartz wallops Kelgar so hard he's bedridden. And then dies a short while later.
  • Final Fantasy VI
    • Kefka and Emperor Gestahl have Celes dead to rights on the Floating Continent, with her friends in the player's party paralyzed by the magic of the Statues. The Statues are godlike objects that are the source of all of the world's magic, so there's no escape for them.
      You'd Expect: That Kefka or the Emperor would just kill Celes, since she's already betrayed them before, expressed no desire to return to the Empire, and has even actively tried to halt their plans by joining the Returners. Or, if they want to be really sadistic, use the Statues to hold her in place while she's Forced to Watch her friends die.
      Instead: They offer Celes the chance to join them again by having Kefka giving her a sword, which she uses to stab Kefka with. And then, Kefka goes so insane at seeing his own blood, he then tries to use the Statues to kill Celes, with the Emperor trying to stop him.
    • The Emperor trying to stop Kefka is another What an Idiot! moment, too. After trying to cast several spells, Gestahl's magic doesn't work, which is because Kefka is standing in the barrier created by the three Statues. And Kefka even tells Gestahl this, point blank.
      You'd Expect: That Gestahl would try something else, like drawing a sword or a different weapon, seeing as how Kefka literally just explained why magic wasn't going to work.
      Instead: Gestahl keeps trying magic, uselessly, until Kefka fries Gestahl with thunderbolts, then kicks him off of the Floating Continent to let him fall to his death.
  • Final Fantasy VII:
    • The Ancients create a world-destroying object which, if used, summons a giant meteor to come and destroy the Planet. However, they need a way to keep this object from falling into the wrong hands, because if it did, said evildoer could use it to... summon a giant meteor to come and destroy the Planet.
      You'd expect: They wouldn't make such a thing in the first place, since it has no apparent productive use.
      Instead: They make their entire temple itself the world-destroying object, and as a security measure, design it so that anyone who activates the mechanism to shrink the temple down to usable size gets crushed inside. Because villains never have minions that they consider expendable and likewise, if the right hands come by, the mechanism tries to kill them anyway.
      However: It is revealed in one of the later compilation works that the Planet has a mechanism for taking the lifestream and sending it to space as a last-ditch effort to save itself, so Meteor isn't as self-destructive as it seems at first.
    • The party actually manages to get the world-destroying object back from the villain before he is able to use it. Cloud, having figured out by now that he shouldn't be the one holding onto the thing, gives it to another party member, with instructions that he shouldn't give it to anyone, no matter what.
      You'd expect: This order would be interpreted as "Don't give it to anyone for any reason, especially me." Especially since there is no reason at all why the main character would ever need the thing for anything. It's an albatross, and the only reason the party is hanging onto it is to keep Sephiroth from getting his hands on it.
      Instead: The main character predictably falls under the villain's mind control again and casually asks for the world-destroying object back, which is quickly and cheerfully given. He then gives it to the villain, who promptly summons the giant meteor to destroy the world. ...while the Shinra goons that have been chasing them through the whole game are standing RIGHT THERE!!
    • The party obtains the Black Materia from the above mentioned deathtrap, and they are even told outright by the villain that he needs it for his plan to wreck the planet.
      You'd expect: The party to destroy it right then.
      Or: If that proves impossible, then get as far away from Sephiroth as possible or at least hide the Materia someplace where he can't get to it.
      Instead: They don't even make the attempt to destroy the thing and pursue Sephiroth as usual, and actually bring it with them. The result, the party pretty much hands it over to the villain on a silver platter.
    • A lesser act of stupidity, but extremely blatant nonetheless. At Wall Market, Cloud and the girls finish "interrogating" Don Corneo and are on their way out. Corneo asks them to wait a second.
      You'd expect: Cloud and the others to just keep walking. Getting that intel was the only reason Tifa went to Corneo in the first place, and Cloud and Aeris were only there for her. Now that they have it, they have no reason to stick around and a very big reason to get to Sector 7 immediately.
      Instead: Cloud stops in his tracks and hangs around long enough for Corneo to drop the trio into a trap door. The time spent fighting Aps and then going through the sewers and the train graveyard could have been better spent saving Biggs, Wedge, and Jessie, and getting to the top of the control pillar in time to throw Reno off before he could tamper with the controls. Smooth moves, spiky-haired boy.
  • Final Fantasy VIII:
    • Rinoa comes up with plan to neutralize Sorceress Edea's powers during an important military mission being run by her father: put a bracelet that can neutralize Edea's magic on the wrist of the sorceress. The plan is well meaning but so poorly thought out that Quistis outright laughs at it. Rinoa is then told that this is Not a Game, and that she should stay where she is.
      You'd expect: Rinoa to either do as she's told, or make an argument as to why this plan could work during this particular time.
      Instead: Rinoa decides to be rebellious and go to the sorceress alone so that she can put the neutralizing bracelet on Edea herself. Rinoa does this right before her dad locks the door to her room and Quistis, Zell, and Selphie come in due to Quistis getting her turn to hold the Idiot Ball. Once Rinoa manages to reach the sorceress and enact her plan, it's clear she has no idea what she's doing.
    • After Quistis shoots down Rinoa's aforementioned plan and then relocates her team to the gate where they'll be stationed during the very important military mission, she feels sorry for what she said, and wants to apologize to her.
      You'd expect: Quistis would apologize after the mission is over.
      Alternatively: She leaves her teammates and heads back alone and send Zell or Selphie to do the mission for her. After all, how many people does it take to throw one switch at the proper time?
      Instead: All three of them abandon their post and run back together, get locked in Rinoa's room because of her father, and only get back in position in the nick of time thanks to a serendipitous hidden passage into the sewers.
    • Irvine is tasked with assassinating Sorceress Edea during a celebratory parade after she kills the former president. Later in the game you find out that Edea is the one who raised most of the party, Irvine included, at an orphanage when they were kids. Irvine is the only one who remembers this.
      You'd expect: Him to tell the party about this and the fact that he might have qualms against shooting the woman who raised them in the face.
      Instead: He doesn't tell them, chokes up and can't kill her, compromising the mission and putting everyone in danger.
  • Final Fantasy IX:
    • Princess Garnet is kidnapped by Zidane and his crew under the order of Cid, the ruler of Lindblum (though Garnet wanted to get taken anyway). The reason for the kidnapping was to protect Garnet from her own mother, a queen that had gone mad with power. Garnet talks to Cid about her mother and hopes he can do something. Cid assures her that everything will be fine and he'll form a plan to deal with her mother. Garnet wants to go with Zidane to Burmecia so she can see why her mother attacked the kingdom. Zidane and Cid tell her that it's too dangerous and she could be killed.
      You'd expect: Garnet would stay put in Lindblum and let her companions get to the bottom of the situation without risking her life as Alexandria's princess.
      Instead: She laces everyone's food except Steiner's with sleeping weed to knock them out so that she can return to Alexandria herself to talk to her mother. This results in Garnet being put under a knock-out spell by Kuja, having her eidolons extracted from her in order to be used by her mother for war, and then being set up for execution due to her "treason". If it wasn't for Zidane overhearing Brahne's plans to kill her own daughter, Garnet would have been dead.
  • Final Fantasy X:
    • At one point, Rikku - aiding the party's escape - produces a flash grenade and yells "Cover your eyes!" as she tosses it at the villains.
      You'd Think: Everyone in the immediate vicinity would cover their eyes, as instructed (including the villains, who are normally intelligent enough to know they should probably listen to the Al Bhed girl tossing bombs).
      Instead: Seymour grabs the Villain Ball and stares straight at the bomb at his feet for a good two seconds before it goes off, temporarily blinding him.
    • Tidus is warned by multiple party members that he should not say that he's from Zanarkand, since the city was destroyed a thousand years ago by Sin. The city is currently completely uninhabitable, strong fiends roam around the place, and it's supposed to be the final destination for summoners. Auron even tells Tidus a convenient excuse is to say he's suffering from Sin's toxin, which can cloud a person's memories.
      You'd expect: Tidus to keep all of that in mind. The first time he told Wakka that he was from Zanarkand, Tidus was met with odd stares and confused reactions, but mentioning Sin's toxin got him off the hook, so Tidus has already seen this excuse work.
      Instead: He completely forgets the warnings. Not only does Tidus constantly mention he's from Zanarkand, it's usually one of the first things he says when he meets someone new.
  • Final Fantasy X-2:
    • Yuna and the Gullwings find a special Sphere, concerning Vegnagun and hidden secrets that New Yevon is holding onto. Both the Youth League and New Yevon want this sphere, and the Gullwings need to decide who to hand it over to.
      You'd Expect: The Gullwings would Take a Third Option by copying what's on the sphere and hand it over to both groups. Yes, Yuna is the High Summoner, so her word would probably carry more weight than anyone else's, but she could explicitly say she's refusing to take sides and remain neutral. Or, if she doesn't want to do that or can't copy the sphere, she could just tell both groups what the Sphere contained.
      Alternatively: The Gullwings could simply not hand over the sphere at all as an attempt to truly remain neutral while saying that this conflict is not making things any better.
      Instead: Yuna decides to give the sphere over to only one faction, and whichever faction she doesn't support grossly overreacts by branding her and her team as traitors to their cause. It takes Yuna managing to turn the collective opinion of Spira's populace against the conflict itself that convinces the rival factions to finally cool their jets.
  • Final Fantasy XII: Judge Ghis manages to extort the Dawn Shard, a piece of deifaced nethicite, out of the party's possession and sends them on their way. The Archadian Empire, who he serves, has the Midlight Shard as their basis for their own manufacturing of nethicite, and the Dusk Shard which they got off of Vaan in an earlier event. So he should know very well what it can do. He also got a demonstration as one of his spells was cancelled when he tried to off the party via You Have Outlived Your Usefulness.
    You'd expect: Judge Ghis to just fly the Leviathan straight back to Archades with the nethicite in tow.
    Instead: Ghis hooks the nethicite up to his ship's engines to see what kind of power it possesses. This drives Fran completely berserk, and she tears through Vossler's forces before the party has to step in to shut him down. This is the less significant effect, though; the nethicite also siphons all the power from the ship's engines in record time. The party escapes aboard the Shiva before everything goes pear-shaped, with both the Leviathan and the entire fleet accompanying it being decimated in the equivalent of a magical thermonuclear blast, killing Ghis and everyone on board the ships in one shot. In short, the curiosity of the judge perking up at exactly the wrong time caused the end of him and his plans.
  • Final Fantasy XIII-2 has Caius making an attack to provoke Noel to kill him.
    You'd Expect: Noel will just drop his sword to prove his point of not wanting to kill.
    Instead: He puts his sword nearly at his chest. Since he won't do it, Caius just grab his hand to stab himself with it.
  • Final Fantasy XIV:
    • The Au Ra flee from The Empire after losing their homeland to them. The Au Ra arrive at Ishgard, hoping to find safety in the fortified city. While the Au Ra look mostly human, they also possess horns and scales on their bodies, which makes them look like a dragon and the people of Ishgard are currently at war with dragons.
      You'd expect: Everyone in Ishgard to at least listen to what the Au Ra had to say since they weren't being aggressive.
      Instead: The Au Ra are slain by Ishgardian soldiers just because the Au Ra people look like dragons to them (even women and children were slain). This causes some Au Ra to extract a revengeful kill on their attackers and at least one other cooks up foul experiments to make the people in Eorzea suffer.
    • Inquisitor Guillaime (really a heretic in disguise) obviously is not pleased to have the adventurer, Cid, and Alphinaud, whom are in search for their airship, in Whitebrim Front.
      You'd Expect: For Guillaime to do as much as he can to ensure that they are able to locate their airship. After all, the sooner they find it, the sooner they will leave. He even tells them to find it and leave as soon as possible.
      Instead: He constantly gets in their way whenever they could find a lead in locating their airship. Even turning some of the people of Whitebrim against them. This leads to Alphinaud to focus his attention to Guillaime himself. Eventually leading to his deception to be revealed...
    • The mages of ancient Mhach are in the middle of a brutal war with Amdapor. Their most powerful mage have recently (and VERY reluctantly) summoned an incredibly powerful demon from the void called Diabolos. His summoner warns the people of Mhach of the dangers related to this creature and warns them to only keep him around as a deterrent from attacks by Amdapoor or Nym.
      You'd Expect: The Mhachi to heed the warnings of their most powerful and knowledgeable mage and summoner.
      Instead: Not only do they ignore the warnings against using him as an actual weapon, which in turn leads to the Calamity of Water and ushers in the Sixth Umbral Era, they ignore the warnings about trusting the words of the Obviously Evil demon from the void, taking advice from the creature on how to summon, enthrall, and restrain voidsent. Unsurprisingly, Diabolos' instructions were purposefully flawed and the Voidsent eventually managed to break free and rebel against their former captors, slaughtering many as they tried to escape the aforementioned Calamity of Water which caused a great flood.
    • The Garlean Empire want to eradicate the world of primals since said primals absorb the world's aether, which can kill the planet if left unchecked. They know that Eorzea is also combatting the primals.
      You'd Expect: The empire would talk to Erozea's leaders on how to tackles the primal problem or at least find a way to get the empire and the Eorzean nations to unite.
      Instead: They invade Eorzea for conquest and aim for complete genocide of the beastmen tribes (even those who are not affiliated with the primal worshipping ones). This has the Eorzean Alliance teaming up to resist the empire while the beastmen become desperate and summon stronger versions of their gods out of desperation, which screws over everyone. This is eventually justified in Patch 4.4 when its revealed that since the empire's founding, their leaders have been controlled by the Ascions the whole time.
    • Ysayle, a young girl affected by the Dragonsong War, gets a vision regarding Shiva and the dragons. Seeing the truth, she tries to make things right in the war by siding with the dragons. This is also around the same time where she obtains the Echo and is taught by the Ascians on how to summon a primal onto herself via Willing Channeler.
      You'd Expect: Ysayle to find more information about the truth she witnessed.
      Instead: She aids the dragons in attacking Ishgard and believes herself to be the reincarnation of Shiva that is destined to be with the dragons. It comes to head in the end of 2.5 where she dispels the magical barriers on the Steps of Faith so the dravanian horde can attack Ishgard.
      What Happens: The Warrior of Light calls her out for her actions and reminds her that she gotten a lot of innocent people killed. Estinien reminds her that the dragons are not willing to parley for a peace talk and that he had to grow up with the fact that dragons destroyed his family and village. Hraesvelgr is very quick to remind Ysayle that she is not the reincarnation of Shiva, who was Hraesvelgr's soulmate, and the form she uses to "summon" her is nothing more than her own delusional ideals. The Awful Truth puts her in a Heroic BSoD.
    • In Stormblood. the Ananta summon Lakshmi after the Garleans kill the Ananta's broodmother's child. The Warrior of Light, Alisae, Alphinaud, and Lyse sneak in to see the primal talking to her followers, which consists of the broodmother being upset that her child's soul was not restored and the primal wanting more offerings.
      You'd Expect: Alisae to stay quiet and continue to observe.
      Instead: She goes out in the open the call out Lakshmi for being a false god and tell the Ananta to not listen to her since they would only experience more sadness and sorrow. Not only are the enemy alerted to the hero's presence, Lakshmi attempts to temper the group, which forces Alphinaud to dive tackle his sister out of the way while the Warrior of Light uses his Echo to take the brunt of Lakshmi's attack and prevent their friends from being tempered. Alisae does admit later on that she was extremely foolish and stupid for what she did and felt like she had to speak up since she knew all too well on what it as like for a parent to lose a child.
    • During the events leading up to the liberation of Doma, Yugiri hears that Zenos is coming to Doma for a status report. In an Out-of-Character Moment, she breaks her stoicism and grows very angry when her allies tell her that she shouldn't try to assassinate Zenos since he curb stomped everyone previously, the player included. Yugiri, who hails from Doma herself, wants to kill Zenos right then and there since he made Doma a living hell for its people.
      You'd Expect: Yugiri would listen to the voices of reason or at least think of a better plan for confronting Zenos.
      Instead: She chooses to attack Zenos in the middle of the night by herself. The player character joins her so that she doesn't get herself killed. Predictably, Zenos curb stomps her and soundly defeats the player character a second time. Both would have been killed off if it wasn't for the villagers and Alisae coming in to aid them. The player and Yugiri both get chewed out for their reckless behavior, which has alerted the empire to their presence.
  • Final Fantasy Brave Exvius: Jake leads a rebel group that is attempting to overthrow Emperor Sohze, who seems to have lost his sanity and is engaging in stupid warfare. To invade the capital he has the plan to destroy the Fire Crystal, which the Emperor is using to make weapons.
    You'd Expect: He'd tell the heroes what he was planning, at which time the party would explain that breaking the crystals was destroying the world, and then together they could find another way to cease weapon production.
    Instead: Jake works with the party, then seems to betray them by shattering the crystal they'd just been fighting to protect from Veritas of the Dark and Veritas of the Flame, which causes the world to be one step closer to destruction.

Example of: