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    A 
  • Anticlimax Boss:
    • Reno at the end of Countdown to Destruction FFVII event. He pales in comparison to what came before and spends more time incapacitating characters than hurting them; as long as you keep up with the Pyramids, he's a relatively easy enemy.
    • The Dark Knight, whenever it appears in an event. If you remember the original boss fight or Google it, you will quickly realize that you can opt to not fight him. Cecil dies immediately after twenty of his turns, and simply holding out against him and healing is the preferred strategy. Later versions such as the D260 version ditch the "wait and it'll die" strategy and go straight to the offensive, however.
    • In their respective realm dungeons, Zorn and Thorn can cast Meteor and Flare, but only when one of them empowers the other. Either will stop casting his spell when hit with any attack, and it's extremely easy to alternate your attacks between both of them.
      • However, in a bonus gauntlet from the "Road to the Holy Land" event, they wielded single and multi-target spells that could be used without empowering either.
    • Goldor from the 10 Million Players Celebration event. The boss description touted his attacks as all inflicting 1000 damage and his immensely high Defense and Resistance. As it turns out, his DEF and RES were 99,999,999...and his HP was 50. It's even more anticlimactic with a DEF/RES-ignoring attack.
    • Any boss that has single-target physical or magical attacks. Draw Fire/Retaliate and Reflect or Runic Blade makes not taking damage possible. It even allowed people to solo certain ++ or +++ bosses with core Samurai.
    • FFXIII's Hecatoncheir, like in his home game, uses Looming Wrath and then a barrage of attacks, but here his delay is so long that a decently-leveled party can kill him before he can land another hit. In the Defying Destiny event, however, Looming Wrath's delay was set to one second.
    • After the nightmare that was Mote Dungeon Ifrit, the next Mote Dungeon featured Dahaka, which was much, much easier. Less powerful attacks, lower durability, and a stagger-at-random mechanic that not only drops its defenses considerably but makes it weak against every element.
    • Ultimate++ Garuda, from the "Lady of the Vortex" event, mostly because of an anticlimactic gimmick: like in her home game, she summons Razor Plumes that, if not destroyed in time, damage a central pillar and boost her ultimate attack. If two or more Plumes hit the pillar, her Ultimate Aerial Blast deals a fixed 6000 damage, divided between all party members.
    • Nemesis was the first Superboss... and was completely susceptible to the Drawtaliate strategy. Run a Drawtaliate character with Cloud USB1 as your RW, a full team with Double Hit, and keep targeting your retaliator as he himself smashes the boss' HP. The coming of Awakening Soul Breaks made this even worse, as now the boss can be beaten as it barely touches your party.
  • Arc Fatigue: With the game entering its fifth year on the market, Magicites and the story unfolding with them have been around for more than half of its lifetime, slowly being rolled out one element at a time a couple months at a time, across four tiers of power. Not only do Magicites take a lot of grinding to level upnote , but each successive tier tends to be a jump in Power Creep, and the story around Magicites trickled out as players could defeat them. When 6* Magicites were added many players protested because they were sick of Magicites already and wanted DeNA to come up with something new for the next challenge, and the story of the Magicite arc had been given a satisfactory conclusion in Dark Odin as an All Your Powers Combined Final-Exam Boss.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • When Tidus's water-elemental OSB relic got a water-damage boost effect, many players cried foul because no other OSB relics had it; thus, existing OSB relics were buffed with realm synergy-exclusive elemental boosts.
    • In the main series Flare, Holy, and Meteor, are often some of the most powerful spells in the game, but they're nearly useless in this game because they only deal one hit, and Flare and Meteor are non-elemental so they can't be combined with Elemental Infusion or Imperil effects to increase their damage. A 2017 update changed them to deal multiple hits, making them much more practical.
    • In general, if the game ever has a service delay or some sort of glitch that impacts gameplay significantly, DeNA will post a notice to the effect of "we're sorry for the error, have a few Mythril as our apology." It's to the point that some players expect Mythril to be given out if they find such an error.
      • One of the most extreme examples of this came in the wake of the 2017 30th Anniversary event. The event had a 30 Relic Draw and a Crystal Tower Relic Draw, both of which let players pick a free bonus Relic from a list in addition to the normal draw. After a maintenence update in October changed the free Relics available, some players were unamused as they had been waiting to take their free Relic and wanted one no longer available, or had already taken theirs but would have preferred one of the new ones. Either way, it had also been specified that the available Relics would not change for the event's duration. DeNA's apology was to let all players pick two Relics from the lists, and the lists were updated to include the Relics from before the update while still having the ones from after the update. This placated most players just fine.
    • The autumn Renewal Dungeons in 2017 made a whole slew of old events available for a limited time, so new players could catch up on what they've missed. Though see Broken Base further down.
    • With the game entering its fourth year, significant and sought-after gameplay balancing updates in the Japanese version hit the Global version sooner than they used to, instead of waiting for the same events and banners they came with which takes around six months. The most significant of these is the Daily Draw update which was released a good 4-5 months early.
    • Magicites are a contested gameplay element because it takes a lot of Level Grinding to get them to Level 99 and max out their stats through inheritance. This is not helped by the 3* and 4* Magicite bosses randomly dropping one of three Magicites, taking up more time as you need fighting them to get the one you want. The 5* Magicite bosses each only drop one specific Magicite shard, and the 3* and 4* bosses were latter buffed to drop multiple copies of their main reward, both of which severely cut down on the amount of grinding needed to farm all the Magicite you need.
    • Since its introduction the mechanics for Brave Commands in Ultra Soul Breaks was seen as dismissable, as you started at Lv.1 and had to charge it up all the way to Lv.3 to get the most of these. The last week of November saw a Global-exclusive balance change that allows these Brave commands to start at Lv.2, meaning that it now takes less turns to prime a proper Brave Command and you even get some time left to unleash a second one before its effects expire, making Brave Ultras much more useful and reliable. Four months later, it was JP's turn of receiving the buff.
    • Remember the FFXI Ultra Soul Breaks that never came outnote ? The Queen of the Dance event that accompanies the FFXI Neo Torment finally saw those seeing the light of day in Global. It took over a year, but DeNA finally gave XI their long overdue respect on that missing banner, after a long time of even denying the Realm Draws of those relics.
    • The Record Laboratory is essentially this in gameplay mechanic form: it's a permanent feature that allows you to use newly-added Lenses that are gained from clearing events, Record Dungeons and getting duplicates of equipment you already have from Relic Draws to directly select a vast majority of older Soul Breaks for your characters, including Unique, Super, Burst, Overstrike and Ultra Soul Breaks as well as a Legend Materia Relic (usually their first one, but some have their second one when their first one is outdated enough to not meaningfully contribute toward their role in the current meta, such as Paladin Cecil's first LMR that boosts his Defense with every hit taken when a good number of enemies have defense-piercing attacks and Knight abilities that require high Defense to deal maximum number of hits are in the minority, so his selection includes the LMR that lets him start the battle with Holy Infusion) without having to rely on Random Number God. While the selection might be somewhat outdated, it's still an extremely useful way to get old Soul Breaks for dungeons like Torments, for general use, such as the much-praised Edge's Eblan Doppelganger or simply to give characters an extra boost to their main offensive stat via mastering old Soul Breaks they don't possess yet.
  • Awesome Music: Despite what the game may imply, what with all of the recycled tracks from past games, it does get exclusive remixes.

    B 
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Ramza. He's beloved for being one of the best characters in the game, with excellent stats, versatile ability options, and several top-tier Soul Breaks such as Shout. However, he's detested as being representative of the developers' tendency to favour and overpower specific characters as well as Shout being a sign of massive Power Creep.
    • Onion Knight and Orlandeau. Some players like the fact that they're Purposefully Overpowered to match their strength in their original games, while others dislike that they're far superior to numerous other existing characters, especially when many major Tier-Induced Scrappies haven't received any attempt to make them worthwhile.
    • Beatrix. There's a number of players out there who loathe her for the amount of attention she gets compared to other FFIX characters and her difficult boss battles as mentioned in the Creator's Pet section but she also has many fans many of whom are generally FFIX fans that are generally excited when ever she gets a new relic and pull for her.
  • Breather Boss:
    • Ralvuimago seems quite threatening, with a Life Draining counter-attack, but after each physical attack, he goes into a counter stance where he does absolutely nothing and is not triggered by magic, but his Resistance goes so far up it's better to just sit, buff and heal.
    • Gi Nattak in the Old Torment Dungeons: unlike the other Nightmare bosses, all the damage in his boss fight is magical, easily mitigated and even absorbable by Runic/Grand Cross, the Soul Fires can be silenced, Gi Nattak's Graviga and the Soul Fires' possession attacks are easily nerfed by Instant KO resistance and all of the above are weak to wind, a common element in higher-end relics.
    • FFI's Old Torment boss Astos is regarded as the easiest Old Torment boss even with the CM. Like Gi Nattak he only uses magic attacks so you can save room for other abilities. And they don't even hurt that much under Shellga and Magic Breakdown. He's not even that fast and although he can use haste, it can easily be dispelled. His most dangerous moves are his various Status effects except that his Blind and Silence attacks are only used once and can easily be removed with accessories and Enkidu Magicite and Slowga can be removed with a Hastega SB or RW. His easiness is probably justified in that FFI synergy is incredible rare even compared to FFII and FFIII.
    • Nightmare Atomos is refreshingly easy compared to the other Nightmare bosses. In theory, it should be challenging - it frequently hits your whole party with high damage attacks, and in the second phase requires you to destroy Amethyst gems lest it eat them and then start destroying you with powerful spells. Thing is, Atomos is susceptible to Slow and Interrupt, and has low speed to start with. So in reality you'll probably just get hit with a Comet in the beginning and then start wailing on him like a punching bag while stunlocking him to death. It's entirely possible to beat it without triggering phase 2 until Atomos reaches 30% health.
    • Nightmare Guardian is pretty easy too. His schtick is that he spawns with three attachments, two Launchers and the Wave Cannon, and the Wave Cannon will target party members for Wave Cannon, doing massive damage to them, and increasing the number of targets at the fight wears on, with the Guardian also regenerating its attachments at set HP points. The catch is that killing the Launchers and Wave Cannon is very easy; just bring along a strong summon (they counter physical and black damage attacks, but not summons) and it can wipe out all three of them in one or two castings, leaving the Guardian alone to be wailed on, and while it will still counter physical and black magic damage, the damage from it is pitiful.
    • Tiamat in the Wind Fortress, thanks to her lack of Petrify resistance being carried over from FFI. Just spam Break and Break Strike until it sticks for a low effort boss.
    • Among the 5* Magicites, Hecatoncheir is considered the easiest, to the extend a player may not even need a Chain Soul Break to defeat him. While he's still a Lightning Bruiser who hits hard, he doesn't hit as hard as other characters, and a well-defended party with a competent healer can keep up with him well enough. Also, as the Earth Magicite, Hecatoncheir is weak to Wind, and the Wind-elemental Cloud happens to be one of the most broken characters in the game; with proper support, he can solo Hecatoncheir. With help from Bartz and Zidane with their stronger kits, especially their Awakenings, the fight gets even easier.
    • King Behemoth and Belias are also among the easier ones. All 5* Magicite bosses have a gimmick where every few turns they enter an "Enraged Mode" where they get some sort of passive status buff, and the only way to break them out of it is to hit them with an Overstrike attack. However, King Behemoth's and Belias' Enraged Modes lower their defense, in exchange for a boost to their damage output. But that doesn't actually mean much; the two rely primarily on physical attacks for their offense and are the magic-weak Magicites, so the player can stick their mages in the back row for a defense boost, and players will want to bring Power Break(down) to counter their ATK buffs, and together these simple preparations sap a lot of the benefits their Enraged Mode grants. The result is that, if the player can keep up with their damage output well enough, their Enraged Mode is actually a downgrade, boosting the player's damage output and causing them to just die quicker.
    • Leviathan is considered possibly the easiest 6* Magicite. His unique gimmick is that he inflicts Doom on the party at the start of the battle and uses various attacks that lower the Doom counter or set it to 5 or 10 seconds. However, he also provides a mitigation mechanic in that he regularly spawns Air Bubbles that can be attacked to increase the Doom timer. His other gimmick is that he can inflict Stop, but he does it very rarely, always targets the same three characters, and his Mind stat is pathetic, so characters with even only a modest Mind stat of their own will be immune to Stop. Beyond Doom and Stop, his attacks don't hurt as much as the other 6* Magicites, his uses of Lightning Diffusion are buried deep in his attack script save for one instance when he enters his second phase (most other 6* Magicites use their Diffusions early each phase or recast it at both phase changes), and his only way of bolstering his defenses are to cast Protect and Shell on himself one time, as opposed to raising his Lightning resistance or lowering the party's Lightning attack (which most other 6* Magicites do at least one of). This makes Leviathan a much simpler and easier boss than his brethren, especially in comparison to the Magicite that preceded him, Ramuh.
  • Breather Level:
    • Centra Excavation Site - Final Fantasy VIII: after several dungeons in which you fought quite hard bosses (including the Black Widow and Diabolos), this dungeon is fairly straightforward, with rather simple enemies to defeat and, most of all, absolutely no boss.
    • Lenna's Event, "The Fire Crystal Awakens", was a cakewalk to complete compared to Rinoa's event "To Slay a Sorceress" which preceded it. Plus the currency system employed made it much easier to get the things you want most, including getting Lenna herself fairly quickly along with some strong equipment from the same realm.
    • This was also the case with Cecil's event. After the trouble people had with the Countdown to Destruction event, this event dialed down the difficulty by having many monsters weak to fire and holy damage, as well as being much easier to kill than the previous event. It was not unheard of for players to run through the entirety of Cecil's event, then double back and finish the last of Countdown to Destruction with the acquired gear, levels, and characters.
    • Garnet's event, "The Princess of Alexandria", turned out to be ridiculously easy after the first Tidus event, "Operation Mi'ihen", due to many of the "bosses" being more like regular enemies, and many of them being hardly or not at all resistant to One Hit Kills.
    • Like Centra Excavation Site, the event dungeons without a boss tend to be a breeze even on Elite.
    • Cecil's encore event, "Light and Darkness Returns", is absurdly easy, due to all but the last two bosses requiring no other strategy than "beat the crap out of it until it dies" (they didn't even bother writing any advice, just throwing in some of the generic loading screen hints), and half the dungeons not containing any boss at all. Its bonus battles were also one of the easier sets, having only 3 bosses (Both Scarmiglione forms and the Dark Knight) compared to the 4 or 5 that other events tend to have.
    • The "Flames of Vengeance" FFXIV event. There are only four stages with no Elite or alternate versions and the event hands out previously non-existent FFXIV stuff. The bosses themselves are a bit tough, yet manageable up until ++ Ifrit.
    • "Sworn By Steel", Meliadoul's introductory event, is one of the easiest ones in recent memory as a whole: it has no battles with annoying gimmicks beyond there being multiple opponents, every battle with dedicated boss can be ended by killing them, it's host to probably the easiest U++ battle in the entire game with the boss having _less_ HP than in the ++ battle and the A+/Jump Start battles feature a boss that only has 250k/300k HP, which is extremely low at this point of the game. The only even remotely difficult battles in this event are the U+/A+ multiplayer battles and even those are average at best.
    • The 30th Anniversary Dungeons. Each segment is a simple boss fight that costs only 1 Stamina and pays out with rare accessories. The ultimate prize, gotten from beating a boss that's just as easy as the others, is also a useful Ultra Soul Break weapon for Tyro. The Crystal Tower dungeon is a bit more difficult, but only to the level of "may actually present a challenge", and it's nothing like the brutal bonus dungeons usually seen in events.
  • Broken Base:
    • Pre-patch, Vit0. Is it an extremely cheap way for weak players to kill Nintendo Hard event bosses, or is it a perfectly legitimate, if questionable, strategy that allows weaker players to acquire the gear and materials to become legitimate players? Post-patch, was the decision to patch out Vit0 a perfectly justified removal of a Game-Breaker strategy that required little effort, or did it alienate players unable to consistently keep up with the inevitable Power Creep as the result of time constraints?
    • Any Boring, but Practical strategy involving a high-powered character capable of mid-tier Combat, such as Cloud, paired with the Retaliate ability gets some of this flak as well for being overly relied on, although less so since it's almost as good as Vit0 was, albeit on a different scale, and unlike Vit0, utilizes both strategy and legal game mechanics as opposed to a programming flaw. Retaliate became a little more accepted after one of Dr. Mog's tips explained it in-game, meaning the developers were well aware of it and even encouraged it as a way to avoid enemy counters, since your own counterattacks can't be countered.
      • Even the old Retailiate strategy got phased out, as stronger and stronger Bonus Bosses get introduced, and the damage output of Retaliate, Drawtaliate (using Draw Fire to force enemies to attack the Retaliate user), and Advantaliate (combine the Advance Assist Character, which skyrockets attack power in exchange for crippling defense, with Retaliate, and even the wimpy White Mage can hit the damage cap with basic attacks by attacking the Retaliator) can't keep up; on top of that, many bosses are starting to gain skills and attacks that outright No-Sell Retaliate, making the strategy less and less useful. Amusingly enough, the introduction of new abilities, Legend Materias and Soul Breaks has actually made the Retaliate strategy useful again under specific circumstances: if you have a party consisting of characters with Legend Materias that allow them to start the battle with Haste and no cast time on their first three actions, access to a Cloud USB Roaming Warrior or have it natively and a way to buff your party's Attack and critical damage, you can combine them to do massive amounts of damage to anything that doesn't wipe out your party before you're done setting it up, which admittedly doesn't take very long thanks to the large number of instant turns.
    • Some players tend to argue between each other on which version of the game is superior to the other. While it is normal that the Japanese version is ahead of the Global version in terms of content, some players feel that it is unfair that the Global version didn't get the same events as the Japanese version (and especially certain contents, like some FFXI relics), as some of these events were skipped (the real point of contention being that several abilities which were added during those events are absent from the Global version as a result). On the other hand, Global events tend to be more generous when it comes to orbs and mythril (in an effort to reduce the gap between the two versions), and the Global version got quite a few quality of life upgrades way sooner than Japan, making the game's challenges easier as a result.
      • The difference of contents between GL and JP is fuel for many a Flame War. While GL has the six-month foresight, more leeway on mythril than JP and exclusive stuff like the Gem Item Shop, GL also has lost on stuff, namely: assorted Uniques for some characters, some abilities (that wouldn't make any difference with the current meta, actually), Kimahri's Record Dive (don't ask how this happened), Collabs in general (as many of them are for mobile games with cases of No Export for You), and finally, Tama and Enna Kros. The last one of those is even an egregious case as DeNA indeed had a chance to use the reissue of the first Collab to bring these characters to GL with World of Final Fantasy Maxima. Some other things, like FFXI's Ultras for Ayame, Zeid and Prishe, or Morrow's gang and relics, took over a year to be addednote , further fueling the flames. With this into account, just insinuating to GL players that JP has it better than them will spark a furious war. On the JP side, you can even see outright disdain for GL players among English speakers.
      • The most heated argument is about the gacha system: while odds of getting a 5★ in Japan are 13% with a rolling gacha mechanic, Global only has 10% without a rolling gacha mechanic (said mechanic was added during the Japanese version of Tellah's event, whereas it wasn't added to the global version when the same event took place). As a result, some Global players are feeling cheated and are asking to be treated the same way as Japan, whereas other players are fine with the way things are and think that this kind of reaction is players acting entitled or just whining. When some players sent De Na e-mails asking them why the Global version didn't get some abilities and the rolling gacha mechanic, the company handwaved the questions and answered that each version should be considered as different games altogether, only adding fuel to the fire. Thanksfully, the drop rate was increased to 12% during Terra's event, to 12.875% during the Advent Children event, and to 13% during the Soul Breakout, although the rolling gacha mechanic is still missing.
    • Boundless Nemesis. A boss that requires near-memorization of its attack patterns, has abilities that reduce party members' ATK (thus making the battle hugely biased towards mage parties), and is completely unwinnable without a specific effect only obtainable from certain Soul Breaks—and the two uses of a Roaming Warrior won't last the battle. Players are split on eagering anticipating and preparing for the challenge or being off-put by the heavily-Luck-Based Mission nature of the boss.
    • The autumn 2017 Renewal event, which made a massive number (around 80 in total) of older event dungeons available for a limited time. The catch is that if you had done the event dungeons during their original issue, you couldn't redo them now for the awards again. While newer players loved being able to get all the missed content, older players felt cheated by not being able to re-acquire the First Time and Mastery rewards, particularly the Mythril which is comparatively more valuable now than before, as there are far more and far stronger Soul Break Relics to pull from Relic Banners with much better mechanics. Then there's veteran players who point out that older players who have played long enough to have seen these events on their original runs have also had several months of Daily Dungeons and login bonuses to power up on, advantages that newer players don't have.
    • The Kingdom Hearts χ collaboration event. Not only is Kingdom Hearts itself a matter of contention among the Final Fantasy fanbase, the event is a simultaneous worldwide event, which means that (assuming the banner isn't neutered in Global) Riku will drop with Dark Aura, the first Ultimate Overstrike Soul Break in Global (or Arcane Overstrike, as they are known now). While the much appreciated Soul Break Gauge rework would arrive with the update, a few players aren't particularly happy about AOSBs potentially debuting on a character that gets zero Realm Synergy in any relevant content outside of his own event.
    • Brave Ultras tend to be a matter of contention due to how they work, as described in Author's Saving Throw above. JP players simply ignored the new mechanic and just wished them away, with those being eventually phased out by Awakened Arcanes and the old-fashioned Ultras with EX Modes and Chases. GL players, who got an exclusive buff to the mechanic by the end of November 2018, loathed the mechanic before the buff, but now wonder why this of all upgrades was exclusive to GL for four months until DeNA decided to bring the buff to the JP server, but agree that this makes those Ultras much more useful and, in the case of Y'shtola, puts her in competition with the game's current top healers.
    • Most players hate the fact that 6* Magicites require your DPS characters to have a source of Elemental Infusion for them to be able to deal anything beyond Scratch Damage to the boss: while this might not be as big of a problem as it initially seems since Record Laboratory allows you to buy any past Relics you might've missed and get a source of En-element that way, there are still great many characters whose shiny new Awakening Soul Break gives them an Element Boost in multiple elements instead of En-element, immediately making them much less useful in any 6* Magicite fight that they would otherwise excel in. The biggest current offenders of this are Zack (no Element Boost or En-element access of any kind, yet he's custom-made to be paired up with Cloud), Firion (only has En-element for Holy which is his weakest element and the one he has by far the most competition in), Noctis (was entirely non-elemental for the longest time) and surprisingly enough, Orlandeau (his offense is based entirely on high damage multipliers, cast time reductions and automatic critical hits with no Boost or Element access), although Zack and Noctis have been confirmed as later getting a source of En-element and Orlandeau is practically guaranteed to get one by the time the respective 6* Magicite is released.
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    C 
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • In old times it wasn't uncommon to see any team meant to tackle the top-level dungeons having at least one of Tyro, Cloud, Y'shtola, Ramza, and Orlandeau. They also appear a lot as Roaming Warriors, but their functions changed as Power Creep advanced.
      • Tyro will be there for his utility (being able to equip anything lets him be whatever the player needs him to be) and his Divine Veil Grimoire (boost the party's Defense and Resistance, gives the party Hastega, Shellga and Protectga). He may also bring his first Ultra, Warder's Apocrypha (Hastega, Autoheal 2k and Astra), or his newer fourth one, Arbiter's Tome (Hastega, 50% Crit, Hi-Quickcast and a chase that increases Crit chance even more).
      • Cloud will be there for his massive DPS ability, mainly composed of his Ultra Soul Break Ultra Cross Slash, accompanied by his other Ultra, Climirage, and very probably his Glint and Arcane.
      • Y'shtola will be there for healing (her BSB Asylum is a very powerful healing Soul Break, she can use Wrath to charge her SB gauge quickly, and she has a Legend Materia to let her dualcast White Magic abilities) and Stoneskin II (does the same thing as Sentinel's Grimoire). After the Brave Buff, her second Ultra Secret of the Lily has also become valued by mage teams, as it's a mage version of Aerith's Innocent Cure Ultra with the advantage of allowing Y'sh to pull a second instance of Last Stand if she's quick enough. Alternatively, she can Wrath into her Soul Breaks, further enhancing her healing.
      • Ramza will be there for utility (wide variety of abilities including Entrust and Full Break) and Shout/Battle Cry (every party loves a Hastega, and Ramza's comes with an Attack boost and makes profit from a LMR that starts him with Instant Cast 1 and full ATB). His first Ultra also grants Instacast 1 to the party, along with a pretty stackable ATK/DEF/MAG buff. Ramza has also become a physical Holy Chainer with his Flutegrass Memories CSB, and has tools for Holy DPS (Dualcast LMR, USB2 and eventually an AOSB) if needed.
      • Cidolfus will be there for raw power (extremely powerful OSB that can easily deal cap, incredibly broken Burst, Ultra and Awakening Soul Breaks that make him an absolute powerhouse in Holy, Dark and Earth elements).
      • Lately this trope has been averted, as more characters have been getting new and very powerful tools, giving huge variance to the game, and Magicite and Torment fights are made to force players to mount teams around elements or the Realms these bosses pertain to.
    • The Retaliate ability allows players to deal good damages (especially if the Retaliate user is under the effects of Boost and/or Advance), prevents the enemy from counterattacking (they can't counter a counterattack), and characters who ran out of ability usages can still be useful by attacking the Retaliate user, which leads him to counterattack the boss instead of his allies. This playstyle isn't flashy and often a bit tedious to set up, but it remains one of the most useful strategy of the game, effective against almost all the bosses, and you only need one good weapon to make it work.
    • This trope is actively averted with the Crystal Tower events, where a set of characters used in one fight get locked off for all the others. Along with each fight giving out different record synergy, players are encouraged/enforced to rely on a variety of characters.
    • The general party for D??? Jenova SYNTHESIS is Cloud, Aerith, Zack, Cait Sith, and Shelke. Cloud is among the best characters in the game and has his first Ultra Soul Break which allows him to deal up to 99999 damage which helps a huge ammount against her, Aerith is VII's main healer, Zack has his Chain Soul Break which boosts wind DPS and the party's ATK and Critcal damage which is a boon for Cloud along with one of his Imperil Wind soul breaks, Cait Sith is used as a back up white mage to dispel Jenova's Protect and use Shellga as well as using Magicites and the RW, and Shelke acts as an entrust battery for Cloud to get his Soul Breaks going.
  • Creator's Favorite:
    • Unsurprisingly to many, Cloud. He got the first Memory Crystals—I and II—the first Super Soul Break, the first Wardrobe Record and the first Burst Soul Break, and got one of the first Record Dives, four days after the feature was implemented. While he's popular among players, the attention turns off even some of his fans, because he typically gets Boring, but Practical straight-damage Soul Breaks that date quickly.
      • However, his more recent Soul Breaks have brought him up to par: his Wind-elemental second BSB, plus his Ultra Soul Break, which makes all his attacks critical and breaks the damage cap, are so game-breaking that Japan banned Roaming Warriors from endgame content to prevent abuse. The later addition of his second Ultra, and his first Glint and Arcane made this bigger, and Cloud has never bounced back from the Power Creep since then.
    • Final Fantasy IX is often viewed as receiving too much attention compared to other more-popular games. The second Eiko event further stoked this flame by giving the realm its fourth and fifth Burst Soul Burst (not even FFVII had yet received five BSBs at the time) before several realms had even received one Burst Soul Break, particularly with Eiko's event taking place before the teased and heavily-anticipated FFII Guy event.
    • Final Fantasy X also receives a massive number of events, second only to FFVII. Despite this, it gets even more content than FFVII, including having a full third of all of the Wardrobe Records in the game (Yuna is currently the character with the biggest amount of Wardrobesnote ), a second OSB before many realms had even received their first, and Yuna being the one of the first characters to get a second Burst Soul Break.
    • It took only one event for Final Fantasy Tactics to receive this, due to its first characters (Ramza and Agrias) both having exceptional ability options, good stats, and very powerful Soul Breaks (with Ramza's Super Soul Break, Shout, considered a game-changer by many for months). While the new characters of the second event (Delita, Ovelia, and Mustadio) aren't considered as high-tier, Ramza receiving a Burst Soul Break before the Warrior of Light, Firion, or Luneth hasn't helped the matter. With the release of Orlandeau, this has gone Up to Eleven, and Rapha's Burst Soul Break is a poor man's version of Cid Raines's Burst.
    • Bartz. The fandom loved him for a long time due to his Four-Element Ensemble Spell Blade gimmick, but the developers kept pushing him at it. He started with a generic Spellblade Awakening and then got four more specializing him in Wind, Water, Earth, and Fire, and they each came with a Glint+ to give him an Elemental Infusion for the same element. And he has a Glint that gives him Quad Element mode, letting him gain an Elemental Infusion for any of his four elements when he uses a corresponding Spellblade. This not only means that Bartz has five Awakenings when no one else has more than two, but he is the most supported character in the game with more than two dozen Relics to his name. He was also one of the first characters to get a Record Ability when Record Boards were added to the game, and of course it was a 6* Spellblade that hits five times in his four elements, letting him synergize all the pieces of his kit around it.
  • Creator's Pet:
    • Beatrix, a temporarily-playable Recurring Boss in her home game and a divisive character there as well, has already had two events of her own (compared to Kuja and Vivi), got access to Legend Spheres before the female lead Garnet, and was in the second debuting wave of Legend Materia even before Terra, Squall and Cloud. On a banner themed around the significantly less popular Freya, Beatrix's new Ultra Soul Break was slotted first on the list and got a new Burst Soul Break, while Freya only had a single, much weaker Ultra added to the pool besides the typical balance, Legend Materia, and Record Sphere updates.
    • FFIV's Kain also gets accused of this. Starting from the Ceodore event his relics have appeared in every IV event to date and it doesn't help that FFIV had 15+ characters already, and he's one of the few characters to get three 6 star relicsnote  when most protagonists only have two 6-star relics at most. Hell, he even got one of the first Awakening Soul Breaks, though this can be argued as having get powercrept as Lightning and Noctis got theirs later.
    • Tidus has starred in nearly every FFX event since the realm stopped adding new characters. While other characters get new relics, most events still star Tidus, or at least will have a banner with many of his relics.

    D 
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Final Fantasy V dungeons are infamous for these:
      • Page 64 in the Final Fantasy V "Library of the Ancients" dungeon can cast Level 5 Deathnote . Considering that at the time the level cap was 50, and most players will have a couple of characters (if not all characters) at level 50 when attempting that dungeon...
      • The Poltergeist enemies in the FFV dungeons, Lenna's event, and most annoyingly, the Hard mode of the EXP daily dungeon, which makes grinding low level characters an absolute nightmare. They have higher HP than any other enemy there, hit like trucks, are immune to fire, darkness, earth, and lightning and absorb ice damage, can confuse characters, and their two weaknesses, Wind and Holy, aren't easily available as abilities.
      • The Garchimacera, also from FFV, absorb all elemental damage, have enough HP to not die in one shot, and can counter physical attacks with a party-wide Berserk spell that also resets the ATB gauge of the affected characters, even when they were already berserked.
      • In a similar vein, the Crew Dust mobs in the heroic dungeons are seemingly designed to cause as much frustration as possible. It is weak enough on its own, but it has two attacks that turn it into a nightmare: Sap, which does double damage and inflicts sap on the victim, which sucks HP constantly (unlike Poison, which only drains HP in fixed intervals), and the ever-beloved Flash, which could blind your whole party if the odds aren't in your favour, ruining the rest of the run if you relied on non-magic ability users.
    • FFIV's Coeurls can counterattack with Blaster, paralysing a character at best, outright killing him at worst.
    • Platinum Dragons in the Gil Grasslands (Heroic): if they cast Gale, everyone will be reduced to single digit HP, prompting many players to simply reset the battle. That dungeon was later reworked, removing them entirely.
    • Forbidden Final Fantasy VIII. They have an Instant Death attack, and they get a few other annoying Status Effects too.
    • Most of the Final Fantasy III trash mobs have this because of the various status attachments.
    • Due to their vastly increased stats, most Old Torment dungeons had at least one enemy that qualifies as this, either because they attack you in large numbers or because they love to spam powerful attacks that hit your entire party. The worst one of these was probably Etem from the FFXII Old Torment, whose Darkra could wipe out your entire party in a single move if you have the misfortune of fighting one in the first battle and he casts it before you manage to put up any mitigation.

    G 
  • Game-Breaker: Enough for its own page.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The first Final Fantasy Tactics banner had a porting error that lowered drop rates. It was quickly suspected that the drop rates for some items were decreased from the Japanese version, as a lot of people were getting a lot of off-banner items. This banner starred Platinum Sword, which contained Ramza's Shout Super Soul Break, making it a game-breaking relic at the time. This was not touched, but the chances of getting consolation prizes with Soul Break were decreased. This included a 40% Medica with Protectga (the only Lifesiphonable Medica in the game for the next six months) and a 50% Attack/Magic debuff that stacked with almost everything at the time. The player base lashed back immediately, taking to Reddit and Google Play to voice their discontent over DeNA's mistake and alleging a cash grab. However, this can be easily traced back to other 9-item banners from before having the same rates as FFT. De NA likely sloppily ported it over without adjusting for the new flat progressive rates or testing.
  • Gateway Series: A very peculiar example; Record Keeper can act as a gateway for other Final Fantasy games, thanks to the gratuitous Continuity Porn that gets crammed into it. Several players have been known to get into Final Fantasy games they've never picked up before because of Record Keeper.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • In Final Fantasy III dungeons, Cursed Copper and Eye Fang. The former can put your characters to sleep (making you waste an action to wake them), the latter can Blind them. Since Blind's timer is 60 seconds and resets every time a new battle begin, fights against them can be particularly annoying. They also have a rather big HP pool in Elite, so you better hope you have a couple of weapons with FFIII synergy. And there are also the Lilliputians, which tend to show up in large numbers and while they have low HP and don't hit hard enough to actually put the party at risk of dying, have an attack pattern consisting almost entirely of spamming low-damage party-wide spells. This makes them a major nuisance since one bad round with them can quickly result in lost medals for damage taken.
    • In Final Fantasy VI dungeons, Onion Knights. They can counterattack with the Self-Destruct move, inflicting damage proportional to their remaining HP. They are among the first enemies of the game whose role is to stop the player from simply toggling auto-combat and forget their device. Though it can also work in your favor if you didn't quite kill them in one hit, dealing pitiful damage and saving you from having to use another action to finish them off.
    • In Final Fantasy VI Magitek Facility Infiltration (Event), there is the Proto Armor. While they don't kill you, they counterattack with an insanely accurate Flash attack, which is likely to blind at least one character, and might blind your entire party. If you're not geared to cure blindness, or take them out in a single hit, they can ruin the rest of your run.
  • Goddamned Boss:
    • NORG from Squall's first event comes to mind immediately. Imagine a Damage-Sponge Boss with un-Dispellable (at the time) defense buffs. Now imagine invincible add-ons that constantly spam attacks. Bard's RM 2 was essential to this fight.
    • Ifrit from FFXIV's dungeons. Not overly hard, until you realize Vulcan Burst is a thing. This is an AoE Stun attack which can essentially be spammed to prevent you from acting.
    • Baigan on higher difficulty dungeons, thanks to a rather simple trap; if you kill the two arms, the body regenerates them on short notice. If you kill the main body with its arms around, the arms will immediately Self-Destruct and probably kill a party member. Beating him without anyone dying requires carefully weakening the arms without killing them, then killing the arms and main body in rapid succession or even together, and this turns an otherwise dirt simple and weak boss into an exercise in patience.
    • Wrexsoul, especially the Elite version in the Realm Dungeons. This boss can possess your characters, making it untargetable until you hit it. And spams it. Thank God the Neo Torment version dismisses the possession mechanic.
    • All incarnations of Yunalesca, for using a regular attack with innate Dispel, Mana Burn, and essentially requiring you to be Sapped past the second stage of the fight. If you're not? One-Hit Kill that ignores instant KO resistance. Even more pronounced in the Ultimate versions. Even worse in the Neo Torment version, where her Mega Death is actually made to unquestionably kill a party member unless you Magic-Blink it.
    • Ultimate Barthandelus, from Fang's event. He had a one-in-three chance of countering any physical attack with Ultimate Dispel, which dispelled all of your buffs and positive status effects. This would not be a problem if you weren't essentially forced to use two certain characters to master.
    • The first Ultimate+ boss, Hojo. A plethora of Standard Status Effects and powerful counters with a high hit rate make him rather annoying to face.
    • Ultimate Guard Spider from the Crisis Core "In the Footsteps of Greatness" event. It uses an ability that inflicts an unavoidable Stop on everyone in the party at two scripted points in the battle, artificially dragging on what would otherwise be a fairly mundane fight.
    • Ultimate++ Zidane. Has paper-thin defenses. How does he make up for it? Spamming status effects, debuffing your DEF and ATK, and boosting his own. Among these moves is Slow, a self-Haste, and a 40% stacking ATK/DEF reduction, an AoE Slow and Sap that's scripted at 80% health, a 4-hit random target attack with auto-Stun, an attack that has a good chance to Confuse. The first Slow move and Stun also hit through Affliction Break. Yeah.
    • Out of all the 6* Magicites, Ifrit is generally agreed to be the most annoying one to fight: he begins the fight with 4 Pillars of Fire present and when he reaches specific HP thresholds, he uses Perdition Hellfire which deals massive damage by default and is further strenghtened by any pillars currently present when he uses it: with 1, 2 or 3 pillars present, it will also temporarily reduce your party's healing by 30, 50 or 70% and if all 4 pillars are present when he uses it, it results in a Total Party Kill. Killing the pillars before focusing on Ifrit seems like the obvious thing to do then, but that also has another mechanic tied to it: while the pillars themselves do nothing by default, any non-AoE or non-Soul Break attacks will result in Counter Flare which deals a fixed 2000 damage to whoever attacks them, and killing a pillar will cause it to cast Painflare, which deals a fixed 4000 damage and inflicts the character with 3 stacks of Pain, which increases all the damage they take by 10% for every stack. Thus, using a single character to kill all the pillars in a single AoE move will be guaranteed to kill them off via the Painflare counters, forcing you to target each one individually, and if you try to use a magicite to kill one off, the Painflare counter will hit everyone for 3000 damage instead and inflict 2 stacks of Pain on them. He also resummons the pillars in phase 2 and 3, and has a number of attacks that specifically target characters with En-Water, characters without En-Water and characters with the highest Pain, with the latter attack also inflicting Berserk, which can only be mitigated with healers with extremely high Mind stat. In summary, he forces you to waste time killing off the pillars before you can start focusing on him, you need to repeat the process 3 times over the duration of the fight, and an unlucky doublecast might result in multiple Counter Flares or one followed by Painflare which can kill off the character or weaken them too much to survive a followup attack, or it might end up pushing Ifrit's HP low enough for him to use Perdition Hellfire with pillars still present or with the party at too low HP or without Last Stand active to survive it.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • S/L. Any closure of the app leads to a second chance to start the battle from its beginning. Meant to be a failsafe against game crashes, but is used to save-scum. Became an ascended mechanic with the addition of a "fight reset" button in the pause menu.
    • Retaliate probably wasn't expected to be used the way it is now by many players. While the skill's usage may have originally been unintentional, it has been acknowledged by the team; the official strategy site even recommends and explains this Retaliate trick as a solution to one of the bosses!
    • The exploit commonly known as Vit0 is a bug which basically nulls your enemy's defense. To activate it, you need to cast Protect or Shell on the boss, then use an ability which lowers your enemy's physical or magical defense (such as Armor Break), then cast Protect/Shell again on the boss. The resulting effect will be an enemy with absolutley no defense for the whole duration of the armor/resistance debuff, allowing your characters to deal 9999 easily. This exploit is best used with Vanille's second Soul Break Deprotega, which lasts longer than the usual Breaks or even Status Reels. Said bug was patched out in late July 2015 in the international version, with mixed reactions from the playerbase, especially from those who abused it often to cut down top-tier bosses.
    • The concept of "The Forbidden Treasures" event has Dr. Mog giving the player 2 tablets every time the dungeon of the event changes, until the player has 10 tablets at the end of the event. However, the game accidentally gave all 10 tablets at the beginning of the event, and rather than fix it, the people behind the game decided to let it be - while still giving tablets, giving the players a total of 18 instead of 10.
    • The Valiant Knife Bug was the result of a presumable fix to the Final Fantasy Tactics banner's drop rates. While it did fix the drop rates to normal levels, it added a 1% across-the-board chance of acquiring an off-banner Valiant Knife - which is a Super Soul Break relic for Locke. To make things more insane, this Soul Break was as powerful as your average single target SSB, but scaled higher with lower HP. Unlike most other off-banner relics, this relic became the predominant off-banner pull, with rates that are as high as Platinum Sword or Ichigeki itself. This meant that those drawing for Ramza or Agrias's weapons, or the Super Soul Breaks on Relm's banner, left a chance of acquiring a very potent damage Super Soul Break - and with RS for the current event to boot. Drawing on Relm's first banner gave you a great Medica with Heavy Regen and the two best DPS Soul Breaks in the entire game by that time.
    • Dragoon abilities' air time continues to deplete during attack animations. This means that high-level Dragoon abilities that have high power but long air times have their delay shortened considerably by having your other heroes use their attacks while the Dragoon is airborne. Or even by setting the game speed to 5 before an ability animation plays. This was eventually patched out, along with the fixes to Dragoon dualcast that finally allowed the class to properly cast Dragoon abilities twice.
    • The Doom effect on Memento Mori is designed not to overwrite Doom effects inflicted by bosses. However, Doom effects cast by enemies will overwrite the Doom from Memento Mori, which almost always results in the user being granted much more time before they drop dead. This is another bug that got patched out.
    • The SOLDIER Breastplate is hilariously overpowered for Light Armor due to a misprint. When it was released, its Level 30 stats were accidentally given as its Level 20 stats. Japanese law prevents them from fixing this because this was advertised on the relevant banner, so they wound up keeping the broken stats and made them scale accordingly, making it one of the best non-Soul Break Armors in the entire game. Surprisingly, its modified stats were retained in the Global version.
    • Although it's fairly situational, pausing the game and changing the ATB speed mid-battle can give you anywhere from a minor to a significant advantage due to how the system works. One situation where this works greatly to your advantage is any battle where the enemy has extremely high (600+) speed with attacks that have little or no casting time: if you increase the battle speed to 5 while the enemy is in the middle of an attack, their ATB will naturally empty out after their attack as expected, but if your characters are in the middle of casting their attacks, it's more than likely that they'll finish casting them before the boss gets its next turn, allowing them to use their turns before the boss since player actions outprioritize enemy actions if they happen at the same time. This effect is even more pronounced when you have a damage-reflecting effect or Last Stand active: when either of those is triggered, ATB/cast bars continue to fill to some degree, but neither you or the enemy can take any actions until they finish, allowing you to squeeze in extra turns before the enemy gets theirs. The simplest variant of this exploit is when you use an elemental Chain Soul Break: the rate at which it drains at isn't consistent between the various ATB speeds and thus you get up to an effective 8 extra seconds to keep the chain active at speed 5, which can easily results in massive amounts of extra damage.
    • After the maintenance on July 20th 2017, the Keeper's Choice 2 banner was guaranteed to have every relic in an 11x pull be a 5* (or, very rarely, an off-banner 6* Ragnarok-VII) since for whatever reason every single 3* and 4* relic in the pool had been removed, making 5* items the only possible result. The banner was removed from the game later in the day.
    • The November 2017 balance update changed the attack graphics for Thief's Revenge to a flurry of slash attacks, where before it was five individual charge attacks that executed rather slowly. Fans later discovered only the five-hit version of the ability had the new animation, the four-hit and three-hit versions used the old, much slower animation. But this wasn't minded and many said it was appropriate for thieves too slow to get five hits off of it to have to use the slower animation.

    H-J 
  • Heartwarming Moments: Some of the Soulbreak animations can be quite touching.
    • Galuf's and Krile's BSB. Galuf's references his solo fight against Exdeath and his death which qualifies as a Tear Jerker, but Krile's BSB is a continuation of Galuf's BSB which has him supporting her while she blasts the enemies with fireballs.
    • Agrias' USB1 animation is a Ship Tease between her and Ramza as they perform a dual attack against the target.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The Masamune, which appears as a katana in almost every FF game, was made into a standard sword for Firion's Super Soul Break since he couldn't equip katanas. The next FFII event not only gave him access to katanas but also full access to Samurai abilities.
    • The dungeons that were known in Japan as "Abyss Dungeons" were renamed "Nightmare Dungeons" in Global. Later, Japan released a new type of dungeon called... "Nightmare Dungeons" (which were renamed to "Torment Dungeons" for Global).
    • The Excalibur II from Final Fantasy IX is notoriously hard to find, and powerful. In-game, it is far from the strongest of swords, holding the power to one of the worst Ultra Soul Breaks in the game.
    • In times past, "Kingdom Hearts collab" was always thrown around half-jokingly and was a minor meme among the FFRK playerbase. This made players all the more shocked when a Kingdom Hearts collab actually happened.
  • Junk Rare:
    • Notoriously, Tiny Bee. A Burst Soul Break Relic for Yuna that has no business being on a White Mage/Summoner type character, has poor damage output, and a BSB and Burst Mode that are just straight-up weak.
    • Kingdom Key. Not that it's an inherently bad weapon in and of itself, and you get three free copies to upgrade it, but only two characters in the entirety of the game can use Keyblade weapons (not even Tyro can use them), and chances are, if you wanted to put Sora and Riku in your team, you would have already pulled on their banner to get better Keyblades for them. All in all, while it's not terrible, it just eats inventory space in the end.
      • The Wishing Star keyblade from the second collab may be even worse. It's a single 6* Keyblade given to players in celebration of the event, and it boosts Fire, Lightning and Ice damage. The thing? It gives nothing aside from these boosts, only Sora sees real use from it, and its stats are pitiful for a 6* weapon. Some players felt this weapon would better serve its purpose as "rainbow poop" for Artifact Weapons rather than proper use.

    M-P 
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Bartz and Sora. When their Awakenings dropped in 2019, they broke the metagame over their knees, as together they cover six of the game's main eight elements and can bring ridiculous DPS in them. Even in the third-tier Torments, which heavily penalize the player by buffing the boss for bringing in an off-realm character (and this was before the 2020 nerf to Torments), Bartz and Sora were strong enough that they could still pull their weight and even carry a team to a sub-30 win. As for Magicites, the 5* rank is plain screwed, because even in their off-elements the two can still break the damage cap and again carry teams to sub-30 wins.
    • Cloud. With the right team behind him it's possible for him to beat anything. That's not a meme, it's proven fact.
  • Memetic Loser:
    • Generally, any character the ends up Out of Focus and falls victim to Power Creep will become the subject of mockery until the developers give them new toys. This was especially prominent in the game's earlier years when new character additions were common; as events of course tended to focus on the new character in the Relic Banner, it was more likely that pre-existing characters would slip further and further behind the more competition they had to fight against for notice.
    • Dr. Mog is widely mocked for how his strategy tips for bosses tend to be useless. Several verge into Captain Obvious territory, like "bring healing to survive its powerful attacks" or "use Break skills to lower the enemy's stats".note  Event-exclusive bosses are particularly bad about this, either because their gimmicks are supposed to be a surprise, or there's no gimmick to worry about, the boss just has high stats and is very powerful; for these bosses, Dr. Mog will claim he has no idea what to expect from the fight, and/or will basically say "this boss is super-dangerous, so go all out with everything you have to defeat them". Some event bosses set Dr. Mog as the Roaming Warrior using "Record of the Water Crystal", which is basically shorthand for "the Roaming Warrior button does whatever the developers want it to do to make this fight's gimmick work", and universally its effects are never explained to players before the fight. With Dr. Mog becoming playable, players have a chance to exact revenge by making him fight the bosses he's been clueless about for years.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Truly the darkest age."note 
    • Any boss vulnerable to Lightning attacks is suggested to be even more vulnerable to Lightning.
    • "No one said the future would be easy."note 
    • "Your X against mine!"note 
    • Lightning is a 5★ Celebrity.note 
    • "Tyro master race".note 
    • Beating a Magicite dungeon for the first time nets you various amounts note  of Magicite, which helps you beat the next Magicite boss in clockwise order, has already drawn comparisons to Mega Man.
    • Joking about pulling Tiny Bee. note 
    • Mocking the game's terminology with phrases like "slightly more", "significantly more", "much more", etc.note 
    • "Better than a Bard Mote."note 
    • ©Disneynote 
    • "lolbio"Explanation 
    • Washing Machine. Explanation 
    • DeNA intern strikes again.note 
    • The reveal of "Synchro" as a new type of Soul Break after Awakenings invited a deluge of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's jokes.
  • Never Live It Down: For many players, Josef is stuck under the shadow of Noble Sacrifice, a Soul Break that KO's him to provide a buff many characters (including the top-tier Ramza) can provide without any downside and often with added benefits. Since he's been buffed and received new tools that are much better, he's started to cast off his reputation. This culminated in the Ice Fat Black Chocobo event, which finally turned Josef into real DPS material with a new USB, Glint, and Dualcast LMR.
  • Play the Game, Skip the Story: Initially played straight, as there wasn't much of a plot in the first place, but triumphantly averted by the Magicite and Record Dungeons - plenty of praise has been given to the Record Dungeons and its cutscenes for the charming dialogue, fun character interactions, detailed spritework, and great animations.
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    R 
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Core characters may have awful stats, but if you're willing to grind them, they get excellent Record Materia: the Black Mage, White Mage and Summoner have RMs that restore one use to an ability of their respective types upon the start of a battle. All their Memory Crystals are also found in regular Elite Realm Dungeons, while most named characters only get their from timed events. It also helps that some of those Cores have very useful RM 99 Materias, such as Warrior's, which is basically a copy of Cloud's Truthseeker.
    • Summons were widely seen as not worth the investment for the longest time, requiring an investment of some of the hardest resources to acquire for what was essentially black magic that hit all enemies but had half as many uses. While they DID do more damage, most equivalent Black Magic hit the damage cap anyways. Eventually Summons were buffed to have multiple hits, drastically increasing their usefulness.
    • With a few exceptions, the initial wave of 6* abilities from Nightmare Dungeons and Empowered Spheres had mostly been Power Creeped into uselessness. A fifth year update buffed many of them, giving many of them elemental properties, stat buffs, or other benefits. While not all of them are viable for end-game content now, they're far more useful than they were before. Ultima in particular got a huge benefit, becoming Omni-elemental and opening a lot of possibilities for Black Mages by giving them a 6* Holy, Dark, and Poison spell at once. The update also saw Penalty Snipe and Quadruple Foul become Poison and Non-elemental, making "lolbio" less of a joke now that it has 6* attacks.
    • The entire FFII cast (save for Leon) was viewed by many as the weakest of the series, not helped by how the low frequency of FFII events meant the cast were often lacking in new relics and Soul Breaks. Then came an FFII event that gave four members Burst Soul Breaks (Firion, Maria, Leon, and Minwu) and excellent Super Soul Breaks to the rest (save for Ricard) along with sorely needed stat buffs (particularly Minwu's Mind and Leila's Speed) and ability improvements. While Leila and Ricard fell behind onto the Power Creep, they eventually got new Ultras that bumped them back into utility status.
    • Gordon started off as a Master of None Red Mage-type character who was too limited magically (limited to 3✩ White and Black, and couldn't even equip rods to use the latter effectively) and too squishy for a physical attacker. He received a major buff to his Attack and durability, a solid AoE debuff Soul Break, and later received 4✩ White Magic and a stacking buff SSB to further increase his versatility. The FFII event that came with its respective Mirage fight also gave the Realm's Chain Soul Break to him, plus a Glint and an Haste+Instacast 1 LMR.
    • Firion's Soul Breaks all lend him towards a Holy-elemental build, except he has no access to Knight abilities, the sole ability school with any physical Holy commands. In order to maximize his damage potential, Firion would have to combine one of his Infuse Holy Soul Breaks with his Burst Soul Break, which has no Infuse Holy effect of its own but is the only way he can access Holy attacks. The developers retooled him to focus on Samurai abilities in the Fire and Ice elements, which he can work with, and then later just gave him 5★ Knight so he can put his Holy affinity to work too.
    • While Shadow managed to keep up with the game's rhythym, it became obvious that he was falling behind as Edge and Yuffie got better tools for the class, while he didn't. The 4th Anniversary saw that problem fixed by giving Shadow a new USB that gives him the same buffs as Yuffie's USB2, Chase included, and a much-needed Relic Materia to help him accumulate Physical Blinks for his Ninja Meta, as well as his own Arcane Soul Break, which bounces him back into competition... While leaving Edge behind.
    • On release, Mog was unfavorably compared to Core characters because his skill set was limited to 3★ White and Black Magic, he couldn't equip rods or staffs to boost his Magic, and despite having 5★ Dancer access, there were no Dance abilities in the global client upon his release. A later update, however, buffed him into a good support mage with access to 4★ White Magic plus rods and staves, and a BSB that boosts Magic and Mind on entry. Come the Mirage Bait FFVI event, and Mog becomes the Chain holder for his Realm, with a Quickcast 3 LMR to help starting the fight.
    • Gau was long overlooked, because most of his Soul Breaks revolve around the Rage mechanic from his home game, which means that he'll become uncontrolable for a set number of turns and use a random ability from a pool of abilities, making him extremely unreliable. Then in 2018 he got his Ultra Soul Break "Dried Meat Boost", which grants him 100% critical hit rate, lets him dualcast Combat and Celerity abilities, and doesn't involve Rage in any way. Sudden Gau became an extremely effective DPS machine, with jokes being cracked he was T.G. Cid's long-lost son.
    • Cloud, who was considered a Crutch Character for a very long time due to having a mediocre skillset and getting the first relics of any type (which meant he would inevitably be Power-Creeped by future relics), eventually received access to 5✩ Samurai abilities and a new BSB that surpassed his long-obsolete original BSB. The June fest went the extra mile and gave him numerous tools to allow him to play with his main element, making Cloud basically the best Wind physical DPS in the game. The Fourth Anniversary (The second Kingdom Hearts collab brought part of this a month earlier to GL) went the extra mile and strengthened his Dark abilities, as well as his Heavy Physical play, making Cloud extremely proficent in that element.
      • It also took three months for him to get an Awakening Soul Break of his own, but when it came in the fest following the 4th Anniversary, it paid off, allowing Cloud to become even more powerful. That said, he was also one of the first characters to get a Glint+/Superglint relic, which is a zero-cost copy of his Mako Power normal Glint.
    • Irvine was considered one of the worst Supports in the game, mainly to due limited weapon selection and poor SBs. However this perception started to change when he got the first Hyper Break SB (Full break but with a mind debuff) in the game which stacks with Full Break and Breakdowns. And then he got his BSB, considered to be one of the best debuff BSBs at the time, very close in power to Vaan's. While Breakers fell behind in the Power Creep due to resistant Torment and Magicite bosses, the Fourth Anniversary found new things to do with Irvine by giving him Bygone Days, one of the first Realm Chains.
    • Wol was considered one of the worst characters in the game for being a Master of None who performed poorly in all of his skillsets because he was capped at 4★ for most of them, with his soul breaks being bad or mediocre at best. The "Prophecy of Hope" event that came with the Final Fantasy I Neo Torment buffed him considerably by giving him a decent DPS Ultra Soul Break, and buffing his Support to 5★ plus giving him a Haste + IC3 Legend Materia, making him another valuable Entrust Bot in the game. He also gets a second Burst Soul Break that works much like Ramza's Battle Cry while boosting his Heavy Physical game, and a better Earth/Holy elemental Brave Ultra.
    • Snow and Josef are considered bad DPSes as Monks with focus on the Ice element, which only has a single 5★ ability with real bad damage potential at that. While none of them are outright bad (Josef and Snow having good buffing Soul Breaks and a Chain and Radiant Shield in Snow's case), their ability pool outside that makes them poor choices for the elements they're relegated to, forcing them to off-element roles for DPS or just outright support for Snow. Fortunately the 6★ Monk ability Ironfist Ice got added, giving them an all-around much better option to play to their elemental focus as Monks.
      • Snow eventually got a XIII event dedicated to him that brought his Awakening, Diamond Geyser, his Arcane Crushing Ice Fist, and his Superglint Icicle Guard, which made Snow finally suitable for DPS and a competition against Eight. Meanwhile Josef took a little more time, but the Ice Fat Black Chocobo event rescued him for good by giving him an Ultra that gives Ice Infusion, Ice Radiant Shield and Imperil Ice all at the same time, a Glint that also grants him a Chase move, and a Dualcast LMR, which finally puts Josef on the map and makes him a decent character after years of suffering under the Memetic Mutation his death in Final Fantasy II caused in Record Keeper.
    • Noctis was heavily overlooked because of the insistent focus DeNA gave for him on Non-Elemental attacks, in a game that favors elemental attacks over anything else; JP's 2018 year-end fest saw that problem come to an end with Noctis' Awakening Soul Break, which fixes his lack of elements by giving him three elements, the same ones used by Gladiolus, Prompto and Ignis. To complement this, Noctis also got access to 5★ Samurai and Heavy, which allows him to play with Fire and Earth, as Lightning was already available via his 5★ Celerity and Dragoon. Noctis also got a new Arcane Soul Break that also uses those elements, and both these tools make good use of his second Glint released in the 2018 Summer Fest in GL. All these finally put Noctis on the competition as a DPS.
    • Kimahri is hampered by Master of None stats, a very bad weapon selection (Daggers and Spears only) and a lackluster ability selection (5★ Dragoon, 4★ Combat, 4★ Support, 3★ Black Magic). The one place he could shine is as a Dragoon, but his affinity is Water and there are no Water abilities for the class, and Kimahri isn't any better at being an off-element Dragoon than anyone else. Then a 4th year X event gave him an Awakened Arcane Soul Break that gives him No Air Time and the usual AASB buffs, a Glint that infuses him with Water and gives him three turns of No Air Time, and most importantly of all, adds a Water-elemental Jump ability to the game. At last Kimahri achieved proper utility as the game's first and only Water-elemental Dragoon, and he has the tools to be good at it.
    • The Daily Draw used to be a pathetic joke of a feature that only gave out useless 1★ and 2★ equipment with the possibility of getting 5★ or 6★ equipment from it being a ridiculously nonexistent 1/10000 and 1/100000 chance respectively, but the September 28 2018 update gave it a much needed update and the chance to get 5★ and 6★ equipment from it is now 11% and 3% respectively, which is about equal to a single pull from any other banner and infinitely more useful since it also includes all the newest relics from past banners and is free.

    S 
  • The Scrappy:
    • Dr. Mog, who forces the player to go through the worst instances of the game UI to trade mythril to him.
    • Most of the Core characters that aren't named fall into this: their stats are mediocre and anything they can do, a named character can do better. Only a few Core characters (Viking, Sage and Magus) are even viable in combat, with the others being too much of a liability in battle without a benefit to their weaknesses. Their only saving grace can be their record materias which can grant very useful bonuses, but it requires the player to level them up.
    • Beatrix is loathed by a number of players for being a blatant Creator's Pet as a playable character, her status as an immensely cheap and unfair That One Boss, and (much like her original game) every battle against her being a Heads I Win, Tails You Lose affair.
    • Global players have a particular dislike of Braska as well. The trio of Jecht, Auron, and Braska are significantly more popular in Japan, while many Global players see Braska as a pointless addition to a realm that already gets enough attention and events. It doesn't help that Braska's ability options are exactly the same as Hope's, making him seem even more pointless.
    • Machina is already divisive as one of the main characters of Final Fantasy Type-0, but he gets it worse in Record Keeper, being considered a very subpar Earth Spellblade. Not helping matters is his Ultra, Awakening, which gives the dreaded Assault Mode to him. It's a good buff overall, with a Chase and Quickcast, but the problem lies that it fades as soon as anything touches Machina. In the current endgame where bosses now find ways to bypass the Dual Blink this Ultra also gives, it makes every utility this USB would have had moot. And you thought Noctis had it bad with his Armiger.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • The menu interface is very slow, often requiring a second or two to load when going between different menus, and when viewing lists of things like characters, equipment, and materials, it also takes a moment when scrolling down the page. This also means collection events and orb trade-ins are tedious, because every time you complete a transaction, you're sent back to the top of the menu and need to scroll back down.
    • The "Optimize" button in the party menu is a joke. It'll assign abilities, Record Materia and Legend Materia almost at random, equip a character with their highest level Soul Breaks even if they don't synergize with each other, and it'll equip equipment based on stat boosts ignoring resistances and boosts to elemental damage and status effects. It's easier to just equip each party member manually one at a time, because you'll probably have to do that anyway. Optimize was later retooled to be better, but is still inferior to just taking the time to equip the party manually.
    • The Valia Pira bloodstone mechanic in FFRK is adapted as each non-IX character counting for one bloodstone (and thus making Valia Pira stronger, giving it access to more dangerous attacks, and making it immune to all elements if all five party members are non-IX characters). Whereas using characters in their home realms gives a relatively minor advantage, Valia Pira is the only boss that actively punishes players for using whatever characters they want. It was even worse when Valia Pira appeared as a ++ boss, since this mechanic made it completely impossible to master without having a decently-levelled IX character.
    • Weapons like gun-arms or dolls, which are limited to only a very small handful of characters, often merely Tyro and their original wielder. Many are considered an Undesirable Prize due to being nearly-worthless as synergy equipment for other characters. Blitzballs are a particularly despised weapon type, as since all blitzball users can equip normal thrown weapons, blitzballs amounts to thrown weapons that are arbitrarily exclusive to one realm's characters. Keyblades are even worse, as they are so exclusive to Kingdom Hearts characters that not even Tyro can equip it. The 6★ Shooting Star players received with the second collab? Most players just used it for upgrading another weapon or improving Rainbow Shards, because the only character who would want to use it anyway (Sora) has much better weapons than it.
    • "Armiger"-type Soul Breaks. Noctis introduced the idea with his Ultra and Overstrike, which grant him a damage-absorbing barrier, and Machina got a variant that grants him a shield that absorbs two hits of any damage. The gimmick is they grant the user a nice buff of some sort while the barrier or shield up, but only while it's up — when it falls, the buffs are lost. Against high level content, even the damage-absorbing barriers will fall in a couple turns with the damage output of bosses, or it could be overwriten by another Soul Break that grants damage barriers, and the shield will only absorb two hits of any damage type before falling. The buffs that Armiger-type Soul Breaks grant are typically just on-par with other Soul Breaks anyway, making it seem like their users are being given the short end of the stick.
    • Several high-tier commands and all Soul Breaks remove the HUD during their animation. This unfortunately means that if you try to input a command to a character just as one of these animations begins, not only will your command likely not go through, but your input will be delayed because you have to tap the icon again once the HUD reappears. This can also happen multiple times to the same character if the rest of the party happens to attack in sequence. In timed battles against high-level bosses that can wipe out the party with a single attack, this delay can cost you the fight. Magicites are even worse about this, because they appear every few seconds without warning and can really screw up your rhythm.
    • Magicite grinding was for a long time the most tedious, frustrating, time-consuming mechanic in the game. Getting a Magicite to Level 99 requires 4 copies of it to break the level cap three times, so you'll have to fight a Magicite boss at bare minimum twelve times to get four copies of each Magicite stone it drops, but that's only a best case scenario because the drops are random, so you'll have to refight the boss over and over to get the Magicite you want. And when Magicites first came out, fighting them required A: 60 Stamina, and B: use of a Magic Stone, of which you only get one a day and can hold no more than 15. This resulted in players having to waste Stamina they could have spent doing other things to fight Magicite bosses over and over hoping they drop the random Magicite they want before they run out of Magic Stones. Over time, the removal of Magic Stones, Stamina reduction to 20, and increasing the number of Magicites the bosses drop, made Magicite grinding much more manageable.
    • The Magia Upgrade system is cool in its conception, giving you a system to "level" your charavters further when they hit Level 99, but its execution is flawed. Grinding Magia takes a long time, and once you hit 50 it starts taking five or more fights to get one point — for the maximum level of 2,400, a character would have to do over thirty thousand battles. Further, the boost Magia gives isn't really worth it — one point into HP just gives you 5 HP, so even at a max of 100 Magia into the HP stat, it's only 500 more HP. For other stats and elemental damage, buffing Soul Breaks and Magicite tend to boost them already, and with the game making stacked buffs come at decreasing returns as you keep stacking, it's often just not worth it. The result of this is a system that demands a ton of Level Grinding for very little benefit. Most players either ignore Magia or use macro programs to run the Fabul Castle dungeon over and over without having to do it manually.
    • Trying to do multiplayer fights with other people is an exercise in frustration. There's no way to communicate with them beyond stamps, and individual player lag means they may not see it until its too late. This means that even when you have three competent teammates with good characters, they probably won't be able to cooperate very well and will step over each other's toes in casting things like healing, buffing, and so forth. On the upside most multiplayer battles are fairly easy, but the Bonus Boss 350 battles pretty much require players to plan and communicate outside the game.
  • Scrappy Weapon:
    • Giant's Gloves, a weapon for Josef, kills him to grant a large attack buff to the rest of the party. Even before attack boosting soul breaks became more prevalent, it wasn't regarded as very useful since its use would tank the medal score (since most missions have "avoid being KO'd" as an objective), the player would have to waste time reviving him, and he himself wouldn't benefit from it.
    • Tiny Bee has an infamous reputation for being useless and showing up in relic draws a lot. It's a gun weapon... for Yuna, a White Mage, so its damage is below-average in her hands. Its initial burst use does little damage and its burst skills are just as underwhelming.
  • Shrug of God: DeNA's response to Global not receiving certain things, like various collaboration events and their rewards, removing certain Memory Crystals from the Vale of Memories, or rolling gacha. When the community shows backlash, they simply say that things are "working as intended" and that "Global and Japan are two different games". This tends to cause lots of drama in the FFRK community whenever it happens - especially during the Final Fantasy Tactics controversy and the Orb Fest controversy.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: To All the Bravest, Square's previous FF freemium mobile outing that similarly had the player forming a party of past characters to fight. ATB is pretty much considered the worst game in the franchise by fans and critics alike, with critics openly calling it a lazy attempt to cash in on nostalgia with no gameplay beyond mindlessly tapping the screen. Record Keeper, on the other hand, has a lot of depth to gameplay, a massive cast of characters, endless ways to customize them, is a legitimate RPG recognizable as something from the main series, and there's no need at all to spend real money on it. Not only has it got a far warmer reception than ATB, but it considered one of the better freemium games on the market.

    T 
  • That One Attack:
    • U+ Bartz's Monk Kick, an AoE Physical move that, unmitigated, inflicts about 3000 to 4000 damage to the whole party, and Bartz is set to use this attack at least twice at the start of the fight nearly all the time. Many players have either Rage Quit or simply not bothered because of how Monk Kick makes even starting the fight a brain-melting uphill battle against the RNG.
    • Mote Ifrit's Meteor. It's a very powerful AoE attack that can kill most of the party (about 3000 damage with Shellga and Magic Breakdown), and Ifrit has a 20% chance of using it every turn. It's not fun.
    • U++ Daedalus's Pulsar Wave, which has a fairly high chance to inflict Stop which, due to Daedalus's stats, can last over twenty seconds on a non-White Mage. If he landed Stop on your healer or Support, time to S/L.
    • The ultimate attacks of Gaston and Helgenish for the Octopath Traveler collab were broken, both of them missing a damage-reducing 0.5 exponent multiplier from their damage formulas that all other defense-piercing enemy attacks have so they'd hit the 9999 damage cap fairly easy, even with sufficient breaks. The worst part was that they were listed as D180, but hit harder than some magicites.
    • Essentially any attack that inflicts Dispel on the party. Losing Hastega/Protectga/Shellga in the middle of a fight will cripple your party, so unless you know it's coming from the AI script and can get at least Haste back up quickly, getting hit with a party-wide Dispel is often a prelude to a party wipe.
    • Syldra's High Stakes has ended many runs against her and is the biggest reason who she's considered the hardest 5* magicite. It buffs her Defense, Resistance, and Mind & it gives her haste. And she uses it almost immidiately once she enters phase 3. Until Fran's Awakening, there was no person associated with Ice who had a Soul Break to reverse the buff.
    • Ark's Eternal Darkness inflicts a MAG and MND debuff on the party of 99% for three seconds, and the upgraded Savage Eternal Darkness debuffs DEF as well. The DEF debuff is no concern, as Ark will always use EnDark after Savage Eternal Darkness and thus by the time it actually attacks you the debuff will have worn off. But the debuff to MAG and MND will cripple your party's offense for at least one round, possibly two, dragging the fight out longer, wasting valuable time on your party's Burst Modes, EX Modes, Awakenings, etc, and making sub 30 wins more challenging to achieve.
  • That One Boss: There's such a long list that it has earned its own page.
  • That One Level:
    • Torments are what is meant to be this.
    • Most Final Fantasy V Elite dungeons are regarded as the toughest of the bunch.
    • Heroic difficulty daily dungeons, which were meant for characters who broke the level 50 limit, something that wasn't introduced in the english version of the game at their release. They are still doable with a fully leveled to 50 team, but expect some hard encounters. As for the Exp Dungeon, it is very difficult to master it with low level characters, characters already at 50 won't gain any exp, and it is the only dungeon of the game where you can't benefit from synergy. The introduction of memory crystals, allowing characters to break the level 50 limit, made those dungeons more manageable.
    • The "To slay a sorceress" Final Fantasy VIII Event. While the Classic version of the event is manageable, the Elite version gets very quickly insanely hard, with bosses with insane defense and tons of HP (the Archaeosaur alone has around 150'000 HP), and the final battle pits you against 3 boss battles in a row (Iguions, Seifer and Edea). The event was released in the west way sooner than in Japan, without its difficulty being scaled down, resulting in a challenge that most players found absolutely impossible to beat since there was next to no Final Fantasy VIII equipment to exploit for synergy, not to mention the Friend and Materia system weren't implemented yet.
    • Every dungeon with two bosses (or more) can be one in terms of getting a Master rank. On one boss, you can usually afford missing the Champion rank because of a bonus objective. But not on two. Plus you need to conserve your resources more instead of going all out on the one boss encounter elsewhere.
    • Starting from Thamasa, the last dungeons of the elite version of the Legendary Plunder FFVI event. The basic mooks begin getting absurdly powerful and toward the end, they're very capable of one-shotting party members on top of high defense. Each boss becomes That One Boss by being a Marathon Boss with lots of HP; Airship is bad in this regard, as you effectively fight three bosses in that stage, and it's very likely that your skills would be used up on the first two. What's especially glaring is that to master two of the boss battles, you have to not take advatage of their ice weakness. Finally, it all ends with Red Dragon, who not only has lots of HP but can spam powerful fire magic that practically requires Celes' Magic Shield or Tyro's Sentinel Grimoire just to survive. The only saving grace is that the rare Phoenix summon as the grand prize is a first-time reward instead of a mastery reward.
    • Even outside of Jenova-Birth, a lot of the Elite VII Dungeons are absolutely nightmarish. Let's begin:
      • Under Junon: The boss, Bottomswell, is outside of melee range, which outright No Sells melee weapons of any kind like Swords and Katanas, and locks you down to ranged gear like Guns, Bows, and Blitzballs, alongside Magic. If you intend on running this fight with as much Record Synergy as physically possible, the number of ranged VII weapons is extremely low, and the mobs before the boss hit like trucks, forcing the player to stagger through these battles with inferior weapons and weaker characters, as only a few Final Fantasy VII characters can use long-ranged weapons, none of which were available globally in June 2015, when the dungeon released. Getting Champion on all three levels can be very difficult. To make things worse, Bottomswell has an attack which traps a random character inside a bubble. If all of your characters are trapped, you automatically lose the fight. The only way to free them is to cast damage-dealing magic on them, magic you may desperately need to kill the boss. Finally, unless he is under the effect of Sleep, Bottomswell will always use his Tsunami attack when he dies, possibly costing you medals for Damage taken (or, worse, outright killing your characters).
      • Wutai: The dungeon tosses two bosses at you, which is bad enough. The mobs are ridiculously beefy, which is worse. The kicker is that Palmer, who was a joke boss in the original game, is now a tank who just will not die, meaning your Actions Taken score tanks, since tossing everything at him to end the battle leaves you wide open for Rapps, the other boss of the level. And, while not powerful in the strictest sense, he does hit hard enough to take your Damage Taken score down a notch as well.
      • The Temple of the Ancients: Same deal as above: beefy enemies and two ridiculously strong bosses with total party attacks. If you don't bring Protectga and/or Sentinel's Grimoire, winning may not happen.
    • If you've been mowing your way down Classic dungeons with sheer brute force and Curaga, Macalania Woods would like to say hello. It packs two mean bosses: Spherimorph and Crawler. While Spherimorph isn't a Damage-Sponge Boss in the slightest, it's a Barrier Change Boss that shifts elemental weaknesses, which can make it a pain in the ass to deal with if you didn't come properly loaded. It also knows Press, or if you wanna call it something else, Gravija. Then you move onto Crawler, who has its Attack Drone, Negator. Negator stops all of your Magic and Magic-based Soul Breaks as long as it's around, so if you got Pressed and forgot to heal in Stage 4, good luck. Crawler also likes to spam Gatling Gun, a high-powered AoE Physical attack, and it knows Mana Beam, a high-powered AoE Magic attack. It also counters your attacks with Mad Rush, which will absolutely tear through your mages and whatnot, and after so many turns, it respawns the Negator. Come prepared.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • With the game entering its fifth year near the end of 2019 and going into 2020, new character additions have slowed to a trickle, even though several prominent characters from the franchise are still nowhere to be seen.
      • Aside from Ceodore and Ursula, the entire cast of Final Fantasy IV: The After Years is missing. While that game had Loads and Loads of Characters, Ceodore and Ursula still made it in, and many of the others could make cases for their additions to Record Keeper in terms of what utility they could offer the IV realm. Zemus is also pretty assuredly never getting in, since Golbez has long eclipsed him as the iconic Big Bad of the game, and the Mysterious Girl/Maenad is probably not going to make the cut either.
      • From Final Fantasy VI, Banon and Gestahl are absent. While Gestahl's exclusion is understandable given his limited screentime and story role, Banon played a major role in the story of VI and was playable for a span of time. His inclusion here could provide the VI realm a second dedicated healer instead of Relm.
      • Final Fantasy VII has lots of characters missing, though this is inevitably given that the Compilation has a lot of major players. Still, the exclusion of Tseng when Rufus and the other three Turks are here is noticable, same with any of the Tsviets other than Shelke.
      • Final Fantasy XI as a whole gets little attention, since the game was already winding down to its final content additions when Record Keeper was just coming out, and XI has always been a Black Sheep of the series. As a result the realm has very few representatives, particularly no villains. XIV is slightly better off with more characters than XI, but XIV too has infrequent events and few Relics for its characters who aren't Ysh'tola, Papalymo, and Alphinaud.
      • XII lacks Vossler and Reddas for its roster, who were both Guest characters and played important story roles, and Filo, Kytes and Llyud, who were party members in the Real-Time Strategy sequel, Revenant Wings.
      • XIII has only Cid Raines and Jihl Nabaat for its representative villains, with the three main villains of the trilogy (Dysley, Caius, and Lumina) forgotten. While one could argue that Dysley's inclusion may be awkward given he only ever fights in his true form Barthandelus, and Lumina is never shown fighting directly, Caius would be very easy to design a Record Keeper ability set for.
      • Since Tactics, Tactics Advance, Type-0, and even World of Final Fantasy and Dimensions II, have reps in this game, that opens the door for other prominent spin-offs to be included, but they have not been. There have been several Dissidia-themed events, and the PS4 Dissidia is still being updated and the sub-series as a whole remains very popular, but Cosmos, Chaos, Materia, and Spiritus have not been added.
    • A lot of characters are added to the game, get a handful of Soul Breaks to go with their inclusion, and are then forgotten about for years. When they do get more Soul Breaks, it often feels like obligation more than anything else, as though the developers only gave them Soul Breaks because they'd run out of characters in the realm and these guys were saved for last. By the game's fifth year most characters had an Awakening Soul Break at last, but they got them after Synchro Soul Breaks had been the next tier of Power Creep for months, and Awakenings for other characters (who are probably better supported in general) had been out so long that most players probably wouldn't want or need the new tech for these guys.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: A 4th year update overhauled many of the Nightmare bosses — all had the complexity of their unique mechanics simplified in some manner, to the point that some are so trivial as to be ignored, while others had their unique mechanics removed entirely. Considering that Nightmare bosses had already been Power Creeped into irrelevancy, most players are confused why the developers felt the need to outright Nerf the bosses, and mourn the loss of some of the most interesting and well-designed fights in the game, not to mention one of its longest-running features.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • The 'Core' characters are basically designed to be the worst characters in the game. They have terrible stats, shallow movepools (many of them can only use one ability type), and most of them have no Soul Breaks but their starting ones, which tend to suck.
    • Non-Elemental abilities and characters. The end-game content is heavily slanted towards teams with an elemental theme, and abilities that don't have an element to slot into a team are undesirable — compared to an otherwise identical ability with an elemental affinity, non-elemental abilities generate less Soul Break gauge (abilities generate more for hitting an elemental weakness), do less damage (they don't benefit from Magicite and Chain bonuses), and don't build the Chain count (which helps raise the entire party's damage output). Omega Drive and Neo Bahamut are the only non-elemental abilities that see any use and even then not a lot. As for characters, the only character who was ever built specifically as a Non-Elemental character was Noctis, who himself was a Tier-Induced Scrappy for it until he got his Awakening and second Arcane Overstrike to give him elemental affinities.
    • Focused debuffers. Most high-level content over a 200 Difficulty feature bosses that are either highly resistant to stat debuffs or plain immune, so it will take multiple turns of stacking different debuffs on the enemy to achieve a noticable effect. While debuffers aren't entirely useless, they're generally undesirable over characters who can buff the party, can Imperil the enemy to an element the party can exploit, or just another DPS character who can make up the damage difference the debuffer would have provided. This status is even worse for characters who have abilities that rely on status ailments, because naturally most bosses are immune to all status ailments. Fortunately there aren't too many of these characters and many of them have been given other tools to avoid Power Creep.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Gordon, throughout the game's development. Now, he is one of the few to have an AoE stacking debuff and an AoE stacking buff. Originally, he was seen as a Red Mage/support hybrid. However, his highest stat was Magic, he couldn't equip Rods, and other supports were better at attacking than him. With enough buffs and useful Soul Breaks, however, he became very useful very quickly.

    U 
  • Underused Game Mechanic:
    • The game has a small pool of options for magical Wind damage. For the first three years of the game there was no 5-star Wind-elemental Black Magic command, meaning the only ways to do Wind-elemental magic damage were through Summons, Ninjutsu, and the 6-star Black Magic Meltdown, which is a one-of-a-kind command. This fortunately was fixed eventually with the addition of the 5-star Tornado and 6-star Chain Tornado as Black Magic spells. As for Wind mages, there's only a handful — Fujin, Alphinaud, Ultimecia, Barbariccia, Terra, and Wedge are the only ones dedicated to Wind, while Onion Knight has some Four-Element Ensemble tools and The Emperor's Awakening lets him run Wind spells. By contrast, physical Wind characters are all over the place.
    • Even worse, the Poison element; DeNA has pretty much gone out of their way to phase it out of the player's arsenal. Characters who started out as Poison specialists have been shifted to other roles that downplay their Poison affinity; Leila has become a generalist Sharpshooter/Thief with a nudge towards Water; Edgar became a Fire/Lightning Machinist; Kefka became a Dark mage; Quistis became a dedicted support buffer; Marcus went from Wind/Poison to focused as Wind support; and Thancred shifted to an Earth Ninja. For gameplay options beyond characters, there's no Poison Magicite, no Poison Chain Soul Break, and viable Poison abilities are limited to just Chain Biora and Poison Leaves. But don't worry, on the upside you'll never need to use the Poison element because no bosses outside of Realm and Challenge dungeons are weak to Poison. The developers even began to take advantage of how little they've utilized Poison; several of the "Neo-Torment" bosses rely on Poison for their offensive, against which there are fewer ways to defend compared to the other elements.
    • Several weapon classes are limited to only a couple of characters, like Red XIII's hairpins, Barret's Gun-arms, Lulu's dolls, or Setzer's Gamblers. The last one was even quietly set aside later; after his first Relic was a Gambler, Setzer's later Relics were classified as Throwing weapons, leaving his first Gambler Relic as the only one of its kind in the entire game. Similarly, Iris' weapons are classified as Throwing, despite them being dolls like Lulu's. Blitzballs are also this, although at least more than one character can actually equip them (Tidus, Wakka, Rikku and Jecht - who can also all equip Throwing weapons).
    • The Witch ability class was introduced around the same time as, and designed to synergize with, Chain Soul Breaks, as they have low power but deal multiple hits to increase the chain count quickly. Then for months afterward they were forgotten, with only two 4✩ and two 5✩ abilities in two elements each, and when they eventually got new abilities, they were just stronger versions of the four they already had before so Witch specialists could avoid Power Creep. Given that the only other dedicated magic schools are Black Magic and Summon, there's plenty of room for a third magic school to offer strategic variance, but it wasn't capitalized on for Witches. When they eventually got a Fire-elemental skill, it was obviously just so Matoya could pull off her Fire, Ice, Lightning focus properly, as no other Witch characters need or want Fire.
    • Ability charge-restoring effects, nicknamed "Ether" by the playerbase. In a game where abilities can only be used so many times, you'd think effects to restore ability charges would be very valuable. However, the game's meta-stragegies have evolved in such a way that Ether effects aren't very useful. If the player has honed their abilities to Rank 5 and runs out of charges against a boss, the battle is either almost over or the party is just not strong enough. That aside, Awakening Soul Breaks allow characters infinite ability charges, making Ethers useless for those characters, and there's always Burst Soul Breaks if you need them. The only characters who would want or need Ether effects are Summoners, since Summon abilities have fewer charges than others, and most top-tier summoners do have access to Ether effects in some way, so there you go.
    • Magicites have stats for how long it takes for them to charge in battle, how long they last once summoned, and how many times they can be used. These stats were the same for all Magicites until the 6* rank came out, and any potential to use variance in these stats to affect Magicite balance and strategy were ignored. And then even with the 6* Magicites, they charge instantly at the downside of lasting a shorter amount of time, but their effects so good that they're just flat better than 5* Magicites in most battles, so this trade-off in functionality only affects in how you use the Magicite, not in offering strategic diversity between 5* and 6*.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • IV has the Archfiends Rubicante and Barbariccia, who, while Ensemble Darkhorses in IV, are still minor antagonists and got into this game over prominent characters in other titles, and even before several characters from The After Years.
    • V has Bartz's late father Dorgann Klauser and his comrades Xezat and Kelger. Bonus Boss Famed Mimic Gogo also got to be made playable, particularly surprising because he was added before the other Gogo that is much more prominent than him.
    • Minor, X Posthumous Character High Summoner Braska beat Seymour and Paine to the roster.
    • From XII, Vaan's brother Reks, a Decoy Protagonist who only features in the prologue, beat Guest Star Party Members Vossler and Reddas into the game.
    • From XIII, Cid Raines and Jihl Nabaat got in before any other villain from the XIII trilogy. Raines was also only the second Cid (after Highwind from VII) to be added, before several prominent Cids who were playable in their home games (which Raines was not).
    • Did anyone really expect Reynn and Lann to show up before characters from Type-0 or The After Years?
    • Sora and Riku, from Kingdom Hearts, got a special event in February 2018, which was simultaneous with Global.
      • On that note, Tyro got his first Wardrobe Record on that event—an Organization XIII robe.
    • Over in Japan, DeNA took a most-wanted villain survey. There were the usual suspects - Caius Ballad, the Cloud of Darkness, the Emperor... and in second place, FFV Bonus Boss Omega.
    • Soul Break example. The 3rd anniversary Fest naturally introduced two new types of Soul Breaks (Glints and Arcane Overstrike Soul Breaks). Often it's a main hero or villain from a realm to be the first to get a new Soul Break type; this event for instance gave these Soul Breaks to Luneth, Terra, Squall, and Lightning. Who was the VII character to get them first? Not Cloud, not Sephiroth, but Yuffie.
    • As for abilities, the 6* Celerity Abyss ability is Northern Cross, an obscure yet powerful enemy attack that only appeared in VI and VII, and the 6* Combat ability Omega Drive was only in the GBA port of VI.
    • When the second Kingdom Hearts events were announced, top picks for new characters were the likes of Kairi, Roxas, one of the Birth By Sleep trio (likely Aqua), or even Xehanort. The new additions from the event were Roxas and Axel.
    • With the Episode Ardyn DLC fast approaching for the end of Final Fantasy XV's run, many expected that the next FFXV event would bring Ardyn to Record Keeper. The March 2019 Report for JP caught players completely off-guard when it announced that it was Cor Leonis who would make his way into the game instead.
    • The monthly report the Japanese version gets would confirm that Rain, Laswell, and Fina would be playable characters on February 14th 2020, which came as an absolute surprise.

    V-W 
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • The sprite work is fantastic. Even games up to the Playstation 3 era, their enemies are recreated in SNES-type graphics as 2D sprites with 16-color palettes. The result is some of the most detailed and defined sprite work of the entire franchise.
    • The Soul Break animations get increasingly over-the-top and flashy with introduction of new types, creating some stunning visuals.
  • Win Back The Crowd: Many players complained about how weak almost the entire Final Fantasy II cast were, and with how little FFII content came around, most felt that DeNA didn't care about fans of the game. Then Guy's event brought many excellent Soul Break relics and gave the entire cast balance improvements, rescuing most of them from the Scrappy Heap, particularly with bringing Firion on-par with the other series main characters.
    • DeNA's month-early announcement to inform the players that there would be an Orb Fest and a Dissidia event reeks of this.
      • The Dissidia event doesn't just reek of it, it pretty much IS a Win Back The Crowd maneuver; Literally none of the collaboration events were released before the Dissidia event. It is no coincidence the Dissidia event came out right after customers were voicing their discontent over the game and were clearly losing their patience over DeNA's actions.
    • During the beginning of 2018, a lot of players in Global grew frustrated at DeNA for a number of thingsnote  Then on February 10th 2018, it was announced that the game was having a collaboration event with Kingdom Hearts χ. An event schedule to happen on February 22nd 2018 for both Global and JP which meant that Global was getting a current JP model banner early with Riku being the first character to get an AOSB for Global(and possibly Glint too). There's a mini game campaign happening as well which includes 10 mythril, and several motes. It brought back a lot of trust of DeNA but not all of it.
    • April 2018 saw, for the first time, DeNA released their fan newsletter publicly (it's typically just sent to MVP players who spent a lot of money on the game), where they directly addressed numerous fan complaints that had been building up and subsequently put action behind their words. Several overdue Japanese-only events came out in rapid succession, Daily Missions were added to the game permanently, they announced plans to make the Relic Draw mechanics more transparent, and mostly just for the heck of it, they gave all players 50 Mythril over a 10 day login bonus. A lot of fans were happy to see their complaints being addressed and fixed.
  • The Woobie: Poor Ricard Highwind. An Ensemble Dark Horse and Memetic Badass in his home game and a major character in the series's history (being the first Dragoon)...and he has an utterly nonsensical ability set, inferior stats, and is the last character to receive a Super Soul Break. To make things worse, he's the last to receive a Soul Break at all in Global.
    • Averted with his Burst Soul Break, which is arguably the best dragoon Burst in the game.
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