Final Fantasy IX

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"You don't need a reason to help people."
Zidane Tribal, "Virtue".

The ninth entry into the rib-rendingly popular Final Fantasy series.

Final Fantasy IX is a return to the series' roots and the classic Medieval European Fantasy worlds, after the more futuristic approach of Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII. Both graphically and story-wise, it set a new standard for the games that followed it. Particularly, Final Fantasy IX is known for combining a sunny and light-hearted visual atmosphere with a very mature and thoughtful It Got Worse story. The game is additionally a celebration of Final Fantasy's origins, and contains many, many references to Square Soft's earliest few installments.

The main character is Kid Hero Zidane Tribal, a Loveable Rogue and Gentleman Thief with a dash of Chivalrous Pervert thrown in. He initially comes across as a simple kid whose goals in life seem limited to talking to girls, helping strangers, and making a quick buck wherever he can. Having been adopted as a child by his band of thieves, he can't remember his earliest years or where he was born, but he doesn't let it bring him down. Zidane's story begins when he arrives at the Alexandria royal palace in hopes of kidnapping Princess Garnet by force, only for the princess to ask him to kidnap her -- to which he gladly complies. He's happy to travel with the young woman and show her what the world is like.

And then he witnesses the death -- and even genocide -- of people from nearly every town he visits. It turns out there's a man (yes, man) named Kuja running around, who has his sights set on Princess Garnet's dormant summons -- and will murder for them. Things get much, much worse in the second half of the story, when Zidane discovers the truth of his origins and his purpose on the planet. In the middle of the carefree, sunny atmosphere of the game, a plot slowly unfolds that explores the themes of genocide and What Measure Is a Non-Human? -- in a thoroughly mature, respectful way.

The other main characters are:

  • Princess Garnet til Alexandros XVII, going by her undercover nickname of Dagger. Perhaps the most sheltered Rebellious Princess ever to exist, she runs away from home to find help for her increasingly evil mother, Queen Brahne. Once she witnesses the atrocities her mother has committed, she is torn between her love for her mother and her desire to help her kingdom. It takes a while, but she falls in love with Zidane. She's hybrid White Mage / Summoner, with more of a focus on summoning.
  • Vivi Ornitia, the resident Black Mage. He quickly realizes, to his utter horror, that the things chasing Garnet look exactly like him. Because of the nature of Black Mages, a good deal of his story is his learning to deal with emotions and with his own existence. He's nine years old, painfully shy, and a genuinely sweet child.
  • Adelbert Steiner, Garnet's loyal bodyguard, eventually divided between his duties to the princess, to the queen, and to doing the right thing. Zidane takes great pleasure in ruffling his feathers. Starting out as a Knight class, his deep respect for Vivi allows him to become an effective Magic Knight when the two work together.
  • Eiko Carol, a Summoner/White Mage, leaning a bit more towards the White Mage side (despite being played off as a bigger summoner than Garnet in story). Having spent a lot of time alone with a group of moogles, she tries to supplant Garnet as the main love interest, despite being six years old.
  • Freya Crescent, the Dragoon Knight who has a Nice Hat and is a Burmecian (an anthropomorphic rat). She is searching for her loved one, Sir Fratley. Has a past with Zidane.
  • Quina Quen, a genderless chef who's a little too ugly to be the game's obligatory cute thing. S/he is a Blue Mage who learns magic by eating enemies. Neutral to the core, his/her only concern is with eating. S/he offers a hedonistic, carefree point of view to the journey.
  • Amarant Coral (Salamander in the Japanese version), the resident Monk/Ninja. A mercenary who bears a grudge against Zidane, who's responsible for his status as a wanted man.

The story focuses on the characters' efforts at self-discovery. Vivi must learn what he is and why he exists, as well as what this means for his life. Zidane must learn what he is as well, and how this has to do with The Man Behind the Man, Kuja, and his friend Vivi. Garnet must learn the truth about her mother, her own origins, and the nature of the eidolons that are her birthright. Steiner must learn what honor and duty truly mean, when those he is loyal to stand opposed to one another, and his loyalty may be invoked to betray itself.

Freya must learn what's truly important in life, and what it means to lose a loved one, and most of all, how and why to go on fighting. Quina must learn about being a true gourmand, by sampling flavors from all over the world. Eiko must learn that True Companions are more than just grabbing who you want for yourself, and that being on the losing end of a love triangle doesn't mean being alone. Amarant must learn that strength isn't the ability to crush one's foes, and that the most elusive power of all is a thing he may never even understand.

Final Fantasy IX was highly praised for being challenging, but extremely user-friendly. There is no penalty for leveling up, acquired skills can never be lost again, chocobos for encounter-free travel are very easy to come by, and optional scenes are just that: optional. The plot, too, is much less of a Mind Screw than that of previous games, staying comfortably away from too much symbolism but still featuring some wonderfully surreal elements. Criticism of the game tends to focus on its "softer" art style, as well as the Character Focus on Garnet and Vivi to the exclusion of some other characters. As a whole, the game is seen as a very solid installment of the series, suited for hardcore gamers and new fans alike. The game was the least successful of the three offered on the original PlayStation, selling 5.3 million copies (Final Fantasy VIII sold over 8 million, and Final Fantasy VII over 10 million; Final Fantasy X would go on to sell 6.3 million), despite retailing for considerably less due to the imminent release of the PlayStation 2.

Additionally, Vivi is one of the most popular characters in Final Fantasy history. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the ultimate woobie can destroy the biggest of monsters despite being nine years old. He had a somewhat one-dimensional cameo in Kingdom Hearts 2 as a result of his popularity.

This was the final Final Fantasy game of the Playstation cycle, and of the 20th century.

Tropes used in Final Fantasy IX include:

A-H[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Action Girl: Freya and Beatrix. Garnet and Eiko have their moments as well.
  • Adipose Regina: Queen Brahne
  • Aerith and Bob: The game seems to favor the females where this is concerned, with a touch of Viewers Are Geniuses (Garnet and Freya) and Bilingual Bonus (Eiko). Various minor characters are named Marcus, Dylan, Michael, Lowell, Mary, Crista, Hal, Jane, Andrea, and so on.
    • If you keep up with Mognet, Moogle names include Kumop, Mogki, Kuppo, Mocchi and... Suzuna?
    • The residents of Conde Petie have the most mundane names you'll see in any Final Fantasy. It comes with the accent...
    • In a short scene early in disc 4, the Black Mages decide to name their chocobo... Bobby Corwen. [1]
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Although the Black Mages are intended as mindlessly obedient killing machines, their programming eventually breaks down and they each start to develop their own quirky personalities.
  • Alice Allusion: Alice is the name of the potions seller in Lindblum; one quick quest in disc 3 involves searching Lindblum for three different potions, ask the weapons seller about it and he'll say "did you ask Alice?"
  • Alien Lunch: Eiko has the option of adding an oglop to the stew she makes during the cooking sequence. The party will not react very well to this.
  • All Part of the Show: The Tantalus production of "I Want to Be Your Canary" twice, once in the beginning and once at the very end.
  • Almost-Dead Guy: A few Burmecian soldiers take this role.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Alexandrian army.
  • Anchors Away: Boss Hillgigas uses one as a brass knuckle.
  • Anti-Anti-Christ: Zidane Tribal.
  • Apocalypse How: What Kuja does to Terra at the end of disc 3-- it's implied to be of the Class X type or close to it, which would make him the only villain in the series so far to succeed in actually destroying a world, although Kefka did manage to completely conquer a planet and shatter all resistance through a similar apocalypse AND become a God, so the jury's out on who was the more successful.
    • Kuja was also in part responsible for destroying Burmecia, Cleyra, and Lindblum. He didn't have a direct hand in it, but he did supply the Black Mage army for Queen Brahne and got her the Eidolons from Garnet. If he and Bahamut didn't get accosted by Alexander, he would have destroyed Alexandria as well.
    • He later attempts a class Z in Memoria, and almost succeeds at causing it.
  • Apocalypse Wow: The FMV scene in which the above happens.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: No more than four characters at a time. The game employs various other tropes to enforce this.
    • Since in most cases the parties are naturally separated from each other, or formed based on immediate need in the story, it's usually a Justified Trope.
    • Can be rather egregious though, as at one point Marcus leaves about three seconds before the rest of the party show up, so Steiner can join them with no issues.
  • Artificial Human: Arguably, the Black Mages. Less arguably, the Genomes.
  • Artistic Age: Probably one of the most extreme examples out there.
  • As Long as There Is Evil: Said by Necron during its Technicolor Death.

Necron: "This is not the end. I am eternal... ...as long as there is life and death..."

  • Ass Kicks You: Hilgigars does his, with the help of a flying leap. It's called "Hiphop".
  • Attack Its Weak Point: There is an enemy on the way to Cleyra called Sand Golem, which will revive over and over again no matter how many times you defeat it. You have to destroy its Core in order to defeat it for good.
  • Auction: Several items can be obtained by participating in the auctions at the Treno Auction House.
  • Auto Revive: One of the learnable skills for all characters and a spell of Quina's and Amarant's.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Excalibur II is the most powerful weapon in the game, but due to the requirements not worth getting for any reason other than the challenge of it. The main issue is the damage cap. Steiner can easily hit for 9999 damage without Excalibur II, so skipping a huge chunk of sidequests to reach almost the end of the game in under 12 hours ultimately makes you weaker for no real noticeable benefit other than slightly improving Steiner's non-trance normal attack damage by a very slight amount.
    • Although it is beloved of speedrunners of this game for good reason...
  • An Axe to Grind: Bounty hunter Lani fights with an axe.
  • Babies Ever After: Vivi's "children" in the ending sequence. Also, a Moogle couple in Gizamaluke's Grotto and a pair of Burmecian refugees who make it to Lindblum. Moogles and Rat-people breed very quickly and develop even quicker, given that the kids are old enough to walk by the time Zidane returns.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Beatrix and Steiner do this at one point. As do Freya and Beatrix.
  • Badass: Kuja, arguably more so than any other villain in the entirety of the Final Fantasy series due to his Magnificent Bastard status (although some may disagree due to his appearance).
    • Badass Adorable: Eiko, being only 6, and Vivi, who's also the ultimate Iron Woobie.
    • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Steiner, in pretty much all his scenes he's shown to be a naive, narrow minded, semi-incompetent untrusting man obsessed with duty. But in battle, he's the strongest party member and eventually trusts Zidane and the others, seeing them as worthy friends.
    • Badass Normal: In Trance, each character gets an upgrade to their unique skills that lets them become extraordinary power. Not Steiner though, he just gets three times as strong.
    • Badass Beard: Amarant sports a goatee, while the eidolon Ramuh has one that reaches the floor.
    • Badass Boast: Beatrix gives one when fought for the first time:

Beatrix: "I once killed a hundred knights single-handedly... To me, you two are nothing more than insects."

Soulcage:' "I have seen the end of my thousand-year life, and it is not now. You cannot stop me. It is futile to even try."

  • Baleful Polymorph: Regent Cid cheated on his wife Hilda, and she turned him into an oglop as revenge. After a failed attempt of curing him, he was turned into a frog.
  • Bastard Understudy: Kuja to Garland.
  • Battle Couple: When Steiner and Beatrix do this at the beginning of Disk 3, you can just FEEL their love growing for each other on the battlefield.
    • Zidane and Garnet also grow close through their travels, which feature many fights.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Done in the Black Mage village to get to a chest in the item seller's bedroom.
  • Berserk Button: Lani takes great pride in her beauty. When you fight her, she initially starts out focused on Dagger, but if you physically attack her, she'll fly into a rage and shift her attacks to whoever hit her.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Vivi. Especially while preparing to reduce Black Waltz No. 3 into a pile of charred feathers.
    • Eiko is protected by Maduin, Garnet by Bahamut, Quina will EAT YOU, and Zidane is a nice easy going guy- 'til you piss him off or threaten his friends. Actually, if you meet any nice people in Gaia, treat them like kings. They can tear your damn face off. Hell, that friendly Moogle who provides save-and-tent services while traveling on foot will threaten to knife you if you deliberately waste his time.
  • BGM Override: The naming sequence for You Are Not Alone below. Also applies for urgent scenes like fighting your way through Cleyra to the chapel and through Alexandria castle to save Dagger.
  • Big Bad: Technically, Garland is the actual Big Bad for most of the game despite Queen Brahne and then Kuja being presented as such. However, Kuja snatches the mantle for real late in the game when he kills Garland. And that's all before the Giant Space Flea From Nowhere gets involved...
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: The Siege of Cleyra, the Iifa Tree battle, Bahamut's assault on Alexandria. The Siege of Burmecia was also implied to be this.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Sir Fratley at Cleyra. Marcus and newly-depetrified Blank in the Alexandria dungeon when Zidane busts out Garnet. Zidane at Alexander (saving Dagger from a crumbling castle).
  • Big Eater: Quina, along with the whole Qu tribe.
  • Black Screen of Death: Played with during some ATEs. Like the time two Conde Petie dwarfs greet a regular visitor of theirs, a self-aware black mage. Or one of Eiko's Moogles fishing up Quina.
    • This is sometimes done to hide non-existing animations - while solving the moving maze of the Desert Palace, a white screen is used instead to transition to changed pathways.
  • Black Sheep: These days, Square Enix seems to treat this particular game as one for the wider franchise. It's one of only two main-series games to have never gotten either a full retail remake for another system (and even the PSN release took forever to come out compared to the others) or a dedicated spinoff product. This may have something to do with Hironobu Sakaguchi's contentious departure from Square, however, and possible lingering legal issues.
    • The irony, of course, being that this is generally considered one of the better games in the franchise, especially in retrospect, and people were clamoring for a PSN release for a long time, with not a few people wondering what modern technology could do for the game.
    • That being said, Takeshi Arakawa has openly said he'd like to make a sequel, so some people in the company do love the game... but the higher-ups seem to keep quashing remake and sequel ideas.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Baku and Lani (who is even first described as "Boisterous Woman").
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Beatrix likes to finish her battles with Climhazzard and Stock Break, which reduces your entire party's HP to 1, before walking away laughing.
  • Bonus Boss: Tantarian, Master Quale, Hades, and Ozma, the giant marble OF DOOM!
  • Book Ends: The game began with Tantalus coming to Alexandria to perform "I Want To Be Your Canary", and ended the same way, too.
    • In a way, the friendly Yan. It's the only friendly enemy not immune to damage so you can kill it and still receive its 50 AP prize. However at over 65,000 HP it has the most HP of any enemy or boss in the game, and counters all attacks with a powerful group-hitting physical move that inflicts Silence.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Grand Dragons. The first time you can encounter them, they will likely annihilate you faster than you can say "THUNDAGAAA!" Of course, it'll be your own damn fault, considering that they live in an optional area, and a Moogle will shout a warning to you if you try to go there.
    • Yans are the strongest random encounter in the game and can cast Meteor to boot. Don't judge a mook by its cover. Again, though, completely optional, out-of-the-way area.
  • Boss-Only Level: The Hill of Despair, where you fight Necron.
  • Boss Remix: Beatrix's battle theme.
  • Boss Rush: The Four Guardians Of Terra, although at first only one, Lich, is actually fought (the other three were taken down offscreen). You do get to challenge them all in Memoria in a Call Back to the final dungeon of Final Fantasy I; at special points along the path, you are suddenly thrust into battle against one of them, with absolutely no indication of a boss encounter beforehand. Thankfully, save points are placed in between these encounters.
    • At the end of Disk 3, you also fight the Silver Dragon, Garland, and Kuja one after another, separated only by cutscenes and dialogue.
  • Bounty Hunter: Amarant before he joins the party, and his partner Lani. In Treno, Amarant has a bounty on his head.
  • Break the Cutie: Poor, poor Garnet.
  • Breather Episode: The beginning of disc 3. Everyone in your party who's not Garnet or Steiner gets a brief holiday in Treno.
    • Once you defeat Lani at the beginning of Fossil Roo, the story is free of boss battles until after you've visited a village free of encounters, another village free of encounters, back to the first one again, and reached the end of a mountain path.
  • Brick Joke: Gysahl pickles.
    • Going near the fountains in the Conde Petie inn will cause the inn regulars to bring up the HP/MP restoration springs and the wishing fountain in Treno, both of which you come across one disc earlier... and promptly dismiss them as bull.
    • Returning to the Moogle couple in Gizamaluke's Grotto in disc 2, 3 and 4 adds a baby Moogle each time.
  • Bright Is Not Good: Ozma, essentially a big colorful swirly ball, is basically what happens when God has an abortion. It's the toughest boss in the game, and totally optional.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: Qu's Marsh.
  • Bubbly Clouds: Chocobo's Air Garden.
  • But for Me It Was Tuesday: Amarant holds a grudge against Zidane for copping out of a challenge by framing him for a crime he didn't commit and using the distraction to flee. He isn't too happy to hear that Zidane doesn't remember it either...
  • But Thou Must!: You get a humorous outburst as a reward for answering negatively to a question 64 times at the beginning of the game. (It was probably a way to test the counting variables.)
    • Most choices in this game take this direction, plot-centric or not. Just try turning down the Mognet thingy the first time you select it...
  • Cain and Abel: Kuja as Cain and Zidane as Abel.
  • Call Back: To the previous eight games in the series.
  • Can't Catch Up: This can happen to Freya shortly after your party reunites in Disk 3 unless you take the time to evenly level her up again. It wouldn't be a problem, except the plot expects you to use her more later on (in the Desert Palace/Oeilvert and Pandemonium, specifically), and she can become a liability if she's not trained.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: The final dungeon is the only exception, although you still control him on the field. However, there are times when simultaneous events (such as Garnet's travels) allow you to control other characters instead.
  • Capital City: Alexandria, Lindblum and Burmecia.
  • Card Battle Game: Tetra Master. Pretty fun once you get the hang of its hexadecimal rating system. Not nearly as infuriating as Triple Triad with its rules, although some find the fact that the rules are never explained in game or in the manual to be frustrating.
    • The rules are explained in the game. Just talk to Alleyway Jack on your first visit to Alexandria (when you're controlling Vivi).
  • Central Theme: All living things strive to live. Don't obsess over stopping the inevitable, but focus on what you can accomplish with the time given to you.
  • Chained by Fashion: Cerberus.
  • Chainmail Bikini: The standard uniform for female Alexandrian soldiers.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: When entering Trance, most characters gain the ability to use powerful magical abilities. Steiner, on the other hand, just gets three times as strong! Add in that his endgame weapons are almost all Holy type, and Dark enemies should just give up when Trance Steiner's around.
  • Chef of Iron: Quina fights with a toque blanche and cooking implements. S/he also helps Eiko make a delicious meal for everyone in Madain Sari and gives her cooking advice, and at the end of the game can be found working in Alexandria's kitchens.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The castle of Alexandria, which is actually the Alexander eidolon.
    • Similarly, Eiko's dress-up wings, given to her by her grandfather (making them summoner tribe relics) apparently have nothing to do with her flying to Garnet's side to summon Alexander.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The little boy Vivi befriends at the beginning of the game, for starters.
    • Eiko's personal Moogle turns out to be Maduin.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Subverted - despite Garnet listening to Zidane explain to Vivi how to escape from a potential kidnapper, when this actually happens to her, she only remembers what to yell. And then is promptly captured.
    • The Knights of Pluto's talents become this when you have to send them out on different assignments when Kuja attacks Alexandria. [3]
  • Chest Monster: Mimics.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Zidane.
  • Chokepoint Geography: Conde Petie.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Zidane, again. Check out the page quote: it's his life motto/Catch Phrase.
    • He also inspires it in his friends to varying degrees.
  • Climax Boss: Meltigemini, Garland.
  • Cloning Blues
  • Cognizant Limbs: Kraken's tentacles.
  • Collection Sidequest: Stellazzio coins, mini-figurines, coffee and Chocobo-treasures.
  • Combat Tentacles: Stroper and Kraken have them.
  • Combination Attack: Vivi and Steiner's Sword Magic, Zorn and Thorn's Twin abilities.
  • Competitive Balance: Despite that everyone has their own job class; they can all be very useful if one invests time into them. The only "imbalance" is that the more plot-driven parts of the game wind up leaving Freya and Steiner far behind everyone else.
  • Cool Airship: The Hilda Garde III, the Invincible, and the summon/boss Ark.
    • The Hilda Garde II subverts the trope by being (in-universe anyway) the first and so far only Uncool Airship in Final Fantasy history.
  • Cool Boat: Blue Narciss.
  • Corridor Cubbyhole Run: At the beginning of Fossil Roo, involving a chariot-like automaton that can somehow PHASE THROUGH all the obstacles holding you up.
  • Cosmetic Award: Collecting all three types of coffee rewards you with the Mini Prima Vista figurine key item.
  • Counter Attack: One of the standard skills for physical fighters. And Quina.
  • Creative Closing Credits: A Credits Montage of the game's FMVs play over the credits.
  • Creepy Child: The two kids that Zidane knows in Lindblum might be this. One actually present a pair of trick sparrow wings (trick sparrows are starter-level monsters) as his entry qualification into Tantalus, then survives meeting the Zaghnol during the Lindblum Hunting Festival (thanks to Zidane and Freya's Big Damn Heroes) only to claim "I coulda beaten 'im".
    • It's implied that he stole the Trick Sparrow wings, which might mean he could have stolen them from someone else who had killed a Trick Sparrow, not necessarily killed it himself and taken them. The thing about the Zaghnol was most likely just childish egotism, or trying not to look weak in front of Zidane.
  • Critical Hit: Your party members deal these sometimes. Enemies can deal these out, too, albeit rarely.
  • Crowded Cast Shot: The beginning of disc 3, with all of Tantalus and The Last DJ Dr. Tot back in Alexandria. Benero and Zenero even meet up with their third twin.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Maliris. No, seriously.
  • Damsel in Distress: Garnet and Eiko. Though Eiko tends to subvert this trope more often than she invokes it, even beating Zorn and Thorn in a fight after they kidnap her.
  • Darker and Edgier: Despite the art style, colorful settings and generally whimsical first disc, this game is rife with dark themes that may make it a top contender for most depressing game in the series. The villains commit genocide with varying levels of success (the lowest level being "about half"), almost every kingdom you go to is either invaded, destroyed or both, an entire planet is destroyed (and the other was pretty much its life support), the woobie-riffic characters experience existential angst that makes Cloud look absolutely normal in comparison, no less than three Heroic BSODs occur, and the party actually dies at the end. They get better, but still.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Alexander (a recurring summon in the Final Fantasy series) gets to kick a lot of ass, just as he did in Bahamut Lagoon, the PSX remake of Final Fantasy VI and Final Fantasy XIII. Someone at Square loves this character.
  • Death Equals Redemption: As she lays dying from her horrible injuries after Kuja betrays her and annihilates her airship, Brahne tearfully begs Garnet for forgiveness and admits that she's been a monster and a horrible mother.
  • Decade Dissonance: Burmecia when compared to Lindblum and Alexandria.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Subverted. Amarant decides to tag along out of trivial curiosity once beaten in battle. Friendship is established after Zidane doubles back to find him after he left the party.
  • Dem Bones: Skeletons are common enemies in disc one.
  • Designer Babies: All of the Genomes of Terra, including Kuja, Zidane and Mikoto.
  • Desperation Attack: Steiner's Charge! ability.
    • Quite a few moves like Steiner's Minus Strike and the Pumpkin Head enemy skill deal more damage when the caster is near death. Zidane even has a Sacrifice ability that he's not meant to live through (see The Dulcinea Effect below).
    • Quina's Limit Glove skill, which does a guaranteed 9999 damage as long as Quina has exactly 1 HP.
  • Determinator: Zidane. Finding out that he's an alien? Meh. Reveal that he was supposed to be Kuja's nastier successor? Annoying, but he'll still cite the Power of Friendship before charging the apparent Big Bad. Having his soul ripped out by said Big Bad to make him more pliable? He'll wangst out his nose, stagger around like a drunk, push away his friends... and still go after the guy who was responsible for everything.
  • Difficulty Spike: The game looks pretty easy but then all of a sudden in Disc one, you get thrown with Gizamaluke.
  • Disc One Nuke: One of Quina's Blue Magic spells is Limit Glove, and you can learn it on Disc One. Get Quina to revive at exactly 1 HP from Phoenix Downs. Equip Antibody on everyone, and if you got it at Lindblum, the Coral Ring on Quina so it doesn't die. When the Moogle in Gizmaluke's Grotto tells you it's dangerous out in a place, go there. Stay on the plains to meet up with a Grand Dragon. If you are lucky enough to get Limit Glove on it twice without dying, start watching your levels FLY.
    • An even better one is Lv5 Death, which can also be learned on Disc One. It kills any enemy whose level is a multiple of five, no questions asked. Grand Dragons are level 60. Further elaboration is unnecessary.
    • And as a Disc Two Nuke, Ramuh. Normally a spell power of 31 makes him effective enough, but when he does the full summon animation his spell power is 32 plus 1 for each Peridot you have. It turns out about five minutes after you acquire Ramuh you enter a dungeon where the Griffen, a common enemy, often drops Peridots. Take an hour or two to farm the gems and Ramuh's full summon will One Hit KO everything up until the end of the disk. Then teach Garnet High Tide so she enters Trance faster under which conditions all summons are guaranteed to do their full animations...
  • Disc Three Final Dungeon: Pandemonium castle.
  • Doomed Hometown: Madain Sari, Alexandria, Burmecia, Lindblum, the entire planet Terra.
  • Double Weapon: Zidane's secondary weapon is a Swallow (a dual-bladed halberd or sword,) including his Infinity+1 Sword.
  • Dronejam: Averted, you can run through NPCs in tighter corridors.
  • Drop the Hammer: Cinna fights with a hammer.
    • And won't even let anyone use it in construction efforts. May cross over with Companion Cube.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: This is done to Blank at the start of the game to make room in the party for Dagger after the heroes escape from Evil Forest. He gets better, though.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: Kuja.
  • Dual-Wielding: Zidane's first weapon of choice is two daggers.
  • Dual Boss: Black Waltz No. 1 with Sealion, and Zorn & Thorn.
  • Duel Boss: Scarlet Hair
  • Dug Too Deep: Probably explains the absence of the mole people and the presence of various dragons in Mt. Gulug.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: To be expected when you consider Zidane's personal creed up there as the page quote, but aside from learning the "Protect Girls" ability (which will let him take the damage for any women on the team), you get this line in particular.

Zidane: Yeah! What's there to think about?! She's cute... and she's in trouble. That's all that matters.

  • Dying Like Animals: A rather cruel example of the termite kind: The Burmecians didn't get any warning of the impending attack. Four out of every five Burmecians you encounter either are dead or die right there in front of you.
  • Eat the Dog: Quan's original plan for Vivi. If you find Quan's Dwelling early in disc 2, you can see the eggshell Vivi was hatched from (just like the Dali Black Mages) and a baby bathtub, right next to a cooking pot. Thankfully, Quan changed his mind before trying anything carnivorous.
  • Eldritch Abomination: You've probably never fought an enemy quite like Ozma before. It appears as nothing more than a giant orb of Pure Energy, top half consisting of bright colors swirling clockwise and a bottom half made of dark colors swirling counter-clockwise. It has the most powerful spells in the game and appears in a cave on a floating island that drifts around the world. There is absolutely no indications of what it might be except for the possibility it is, or was, an Eidolon that was sealed away and forgotten long ago.
  • Elite Mooks / Superpowered Mooks: The Black Mages.
  • Emotionless Girl: Mikoto in her initial appearance.
  • Emperor Scientist: Regent Cid. He is heavily involved in several iterations of groundbreaking airship engineering for Lindblum.
  • Endless Corridor: Owl Forest.
  • Enemy Scan: Dagger's Scan ability.
    • Lani also casts Scan on your party, to which she changes her battle strategy afterwards.
  • Everybody Hates Mathematics: Tetra Master uses a power rating system based off of Hexadecimal computer coding. Only through the player guide on Squaresoft's Play Online website was it explained how the system worked.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Garnet. Okay, she's adopted, but is still considered the heir after Brahne bites it.
  • Experience Points
  • Expy: Garland is essentially the evil version of FuSoYa, or a version of Zemus that went unopposed.
  • Extra Turn: Zidane's "What's That!?" ability grants you one if it's used successfully.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Quina will literally try to eat ANYTHING.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Beatrix has a Fatima brand eyepatch over her right eye.
    • Blank seems to have both eyes covered.
  • Eye Scream: A surprising amount of it, during the end of Disc 3 and Disc 4.
    • Hecteyes, which are basically blobs of jellylike pink flesh studded with far, far too many eyes for any one living thing.
    • The architecture on Terra. Yes, it's sort of a Womb Level what with all the seashell and spine and intestinal motifs, but still. What possible purpose could they have had in grafting giant eyeballs onto a teleporter? Points to Garnet for remaining unruffled.
    • The all-time winner, though, is the room on Memoria with the enormous red eyeball looming overhead. It watches you from the background for an entire boss battle...and then. Then. When you're ready to progress to the next room, you have to climb up a rickety staircase and crawl into its giant pupil. Hnnrgh.
  • Faceless Goons: Alexandrian Army.
    • The Black Mages, literally.
  • Failure Knight: Steiner, literally and figuratively, for most of the first half of the game.
    • But still badass as hell with that sword in a straight fight.
  • Fairy Battle: The Trope Namer. They come in two varieties: a Pop Quiz or Helpful Mooks requesting items in exchange for different ones.
  • Fan Service: Dagger/Garnet's yellow outfit ... as seen from the back.
    • Also, Garnet/Dagger's costume when she is in Trance, which consists of a cleavage baring swimsuit.
  • Fight Woosh
  • Final Boss Preview: Kuja at Terra.
  • Five-Man Band
  • Fixed Camera: In battle
  • Fixed Damage Attack: Zidane's Thievery and Lucky Seven, Freya's Dragon Crest and Quina's Frog Drop.
  • Floral Theme Naming: Brahne's ships are named Red Rose and Blue Narciss.
  • Flying Car: Lindblum air cabs, proving that Mist can make vehicles smaller than airships fly equally well. Imagine commandeering one of them for the Festival of the Hunt and going all Grand Theft Auto...
  • Flying Seafood Special: Zombie Whale, Gigan Octopus and Vespal.
    • Emphasis on the word seafood-all three are very tasty and teach some great Blue Magic spells.
  • Foreign Queasine: One of the selections from Eiko's Kitchen ATE involves putting an oglop in the stew.
  • Foreshadowing: The glyphs you see in Zidane's Dyne abilities. If they look alien, it's because they are.
    • A discussion at the Iifa Tree has Kuja tell Zidane:

"Oh, brother... But you're not ready yet!"

    • Another bit is how the elevator-leaves in the Iifa Tree only responded when Zidane touched them. The Tree just didn't know the difference between genomes.
    • Letting the Cleyran priest take you on a tour of Cleyra will show you the correct evacuation path you must direct the civilians to later on.
    • The two themes you hear the most turn out to be significant to the story. The game loading screen is the Leitmotif of Terra, the world map theme is Melodies of Life, a.k.a. the song of the lost summoner tribe; both are hints to Zidane and Garnet's origins.
    • One young dwarf in Conde Petie says that he and his bride will go to the Sanctuary and engrave their names. Where do young lovers normally engrave their names? That's right, on trees.
  • Fork Fencing: Quina fights with big forks.
  • Freak-Out: Kuja has one of these at the end of Disk 3.
  • Full Boar Action: The Zaghnol is vaguely recognizable as one.
  • Funetik Aksent: The dwarves have ambiguously Scottish accents.
  • Fungus Humongous: Myconids, along with the landscape of Terra.
  • Funny Animal: in a world where the civilians are sometimes large badgers or blue tapirs, it's not surprising that Zidane looks less out of place than Vivi.
  • Game Breaking Bug: After just the right amount of progression through the game, it's entirely possible to obtain the Golden Chocobo through Chocobo Hot & Cold. If you begin to fly and visit the Chocobo's Paradise before you gain permanent control of an airship, you * WILL* skip over 2/3rds of the entire story (effectively passing up Disc 2 entirely and most of Disc 3) and leave Garnet/Dagger in a permanent Mute status for the rest of the game.
    • Anyone care to verify this? Because this troper has always noticed that the chocographs that advance Choco's abilities are unobtainable until you've progressed past certain points--Mene will tell you there are no more chocographs to be found in this event. For example, Mountain and Ocean abilities only become available after obtaining the Blue Narciss in Disk 3. Furthermore, the plot isn't advanced by accessing certain areas, it's advanced by the plot: Acquiring the Blue Narciss lets you visit Esto Gaza, but that doesn't mean you can go down into Mount Gulug to rescue Eiko before she's even kidnapped.
  • Genius Ditz: The Knights of Pluto are an entire unit of these. While they're generally portrayed as incompetent, they all have their own specific talents - detective work, writing, gunnery, etc.
  • Genre Savvy / Dangerously Genre Savvy: Zidane and Kuja. One of the more brilliant aspects of FFIX is the fact that the protagonist and antagonist are both fully aware of their roles. Zidane is convinced that he's a swashbuckling hero long before the rest of the characters start noticing that bad guys end up dead around him. Likewise, Kuja has no delusions that he is the bad guy of this story. His love of theatrics and hamming it up isn't just for show. Kuja is a fan of romantic fiction, and uses this to stay one step ahead of everyone at all times.
    • Hell, when Kuja finds out a few truths, he becomes The Starscream to stay alive.
    • And Garnet realises that the plot to kidnap her will advance the plot and goes along with it, even if it wasn't her plan.
  • Gentleman Thieves: Tantalus.
  • Get on the Boat: Blue Narciss in disc 3.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Rubber Suit armor, which can only be worn by female party members....
    • And this conversation between Zidane and Dagger:

Dagger: Oh...um... How were you planning to abduct me?
Zidane: We were gonna put you to sleep with sleeping weed, then kidnap you. It's mostly used for kids, but a big dose can knock out an adult just as easily.
Dagger: I guess you didn't need it, since I came along on my own. Hey... Would you mind giving me some? I've had a hard time sleeping lately.
Zidane: Um, I don't think that's a good idea. You might get addicted. Maybe all you need is some company, eh?
Dagger: Oh, please. Do you think I'm that naive?

    • The Stroper. With its head design. And it droops over upon defeat. Of course Soft will bring it down..
  • Giant Enemy Crab: The Clipper enemy.
  • Giant Eye of Doom: Cool Ship Invincible has one on the bottom.
  • Giant Space Flea From Nowhere: Perhaps the most notable example: Necron, the Final Boss. Once you defeat Kuja, the Big Bad, Necron, who has never before been mentioned or even hinted at, shows up.
    • Taharka, literally.
  • Giant Spider: Carve Spiders.
  • Gimmick Level: Ipsen's Castle, where attacks with your strong weapons will be weak, and attacks with your weak weapons will be powerful.
  • Give Me Your Inventory Item: Purpose of the Fairy Battles.
    • And then there's the Gimme Cat, an enemy monster that purposely invokes this trope so that you'll fork over a rare accessory in the hopes of a major reward... only for it to mock you for your gullibility and run away. Of course, unlike all of the other Fairy Battles, which have gentler music playing in the background, when the Gimme Cat appears, the normal battle music plays. If this musical cue didn't clue you in, it's your own damn fault. But fortunately, you have the power to reset your console.
  • Go Back to the Source: The party's last voyage is into Memoria, an illusory world created by the memory of the planets Gaia and Terra...and then into the Crystal World, where the wellspring of life itself resides.
  • A God Am I: Kuja, after he achieves his Trance. The scariest part is while he doesn't say this line exactly, it's functionally true.
  • God Save Us From the Queen: Brahne appears to embody this trope, although you learn later on in the game that she started out as a decent person, whom Kuja corrupted through his manipulation and promises of power.
  • Going Through the Motions
  • Golden Snitch: or rather the golden-brown Zaghnol in the Hunters' Festival in Lindblum. Averted with the Chocographs in Chocobo Hot & Cold since the points aren't the real objective in that game.
  • Gonk: Queen Brahne, who's morbidly obese and blue for no apparent reason (unless she's related to Cuchulainn), making the revelation that she's not really Garnet's mother make TOTAL sense... until you realize that Garnet was adopted *because* she looked like the deceased princess, and nobody in the kingdom ever seems to question her parentage, although there are a few people who are surprised that a beautiful girl like Garnet could come from Brahne.
  • Good Is Dumb: Averted during the (sadly) short sequence in which you finally get to control Beatrix, and she's just as ridiculously powerful in your hands as when she curb stomped your whole party. The only change is that her sword skills don't reduce all enemies HP to 1 anymore.
    • Her MP is also dramatically lower than it is when you fight her (as you can discover by using Quina's Magic Hammer to attempt to reduce it to stop her using her sword skills... doesn'twork)
  • Graceful Loser: Necron doesn't really mind his defeat. After all, he is eternal...
  • Greed: Queen Brahne's motivation (along with a little push) to wage war on Mist Continent.
  • The Grim Reaper: He's back, and this time, he has scale armor.
    • Also Kuja, as an "Angel Of Death". It's what he was created for in the first place, after all (along with Zidane and Mikoto).
    • Necron, possibly. His Japanese name is the Darkness of Eternity, which would hint at the "force of nature" explanation.
  • Grotesque Cute: Quina might have been intended as this, but the honor goes to the oglops (combining the best known features of houseflies and cockroaches) and those gargants. Aww...
  • Grotesque Gallery: Meltigemini and hell, Queen Brahne.
  • Guest Star Party Member: Beatrix, the members of Tantalus.
  • Guide Dang It: Any number of obscure secrets and fiddly requirements for non-obscure ones, along with the rules of the card game. Not only that, but many of these tips weren't even in the official guide - they were restricted to Square's PlayOnline Web site, with notes in the book to check the site for information that hadn't made it to print. Thus, FFIX is one of the only games whose Guide Dang Its have Guide Dang Its.
    • Certain details about the game's battle mechanics are explained only in vague terms, if at all. For example, the "Add Status" support ability, which adds status effects (poison, confusion, etc.) to melee characters' attacks, only works on Zidane if he is equipped with daggers; if he is using a sword, he must instead use the ability "Soul Blade" to achieve the same effect. The game never mentions this fact, leaving you to blunder onto it by chance. In addition, fixed-damage attacks like Dragon's Crest and Thievery provide no clues about how their damage is calculated; if you didn't already know how they worked, you'd have no way of finding out. The in-game help doesn't even tell you what Six Dragons does, inviting you to "see for yourself"!
    • This is one of the game with more Guide Dang Its in the franchise despite being the one with the most extensive in-game help system.
  • Handicapped Badass: Beatrix may count, given she's obscenely powerful and a master swordsman, despite only having one eye.
  • Happy Ending: For the most part.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Unusually frequent in this game (Beatrix and Kuja love to pull out an instant-win attack after you think you've beaten them).
  • Healing Shiv: the Healer skill enables you to heal others with your normal attack. The right equipment also allows you to heal your party with offensive magic spells. However, Healer is also a Useless Useful Spell, as your "healing attack" still figures in defense values. Thus, when you equip your weak white mage with the Healer skill, she can only heal 30-40 HP (in a game where 9999 is the limit) with each hit because her attack is so weak and your party's defense is so high. The broken Auto-Regen ability provides the same range of healing... automatically, every few seconds.
    • It pays to note that Amarant can also learn healer; which makes it useful if you need to heal in Oeilvert (especially against Ark when you need to get its items).
  • Healing Spring: The last appearance of this trope in the series.
  • Hell Hound: Cerberus.
  • Hello, Insert Name Here: Steiner remains the only Final Fantasy character that the player can change the surname for. You also get to change Garnet's nickname rather than her real name, causing some players to call her Garnet 'Garnet' or 'Princess' when it comes time to give her a stealthy nickname.
    • It may be too late for a nickname for Amarant since it's after the fact that he tells you his title is "the flaming Amarant". Oh the possibilities...
  • Heroic BSOD: Dagger/Garnet, after the destruction of Alexandria. Also Vivi after finding out the origins of the Black Mages and Zidane later in the game.
    • Averted with Freya. The tragic end to her 5 year search puts her out of commission for all of 5 seconds.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Zidane almost instinctively makes one to save Kuja from being crushed by the Iifa tree.
  • Hidden Depths: Amarant has a lot of these, to the point where his character arc can go entirely unnoticed by a few players.
  • High Altitude Battle: United Alexandrian and Lindblum airship fleet versus Kuja's Silver Dragons in disc four.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Brahne is deep fried by her own summons.
  • Horned Humanoid: Eiko and Princess Garnet/Dagger.
  • Hot Chick with a Sword: Beatrix.
  • HP to One: Quina's Matra Magic. Also Stock Break and Climhazzard, but only when used on you.
  • Humble Goal: Quina joins your party just to travel the world and sample new foods.


I-P[edit | hide]

  • Identity Amnesia: Sir Fratley.
  • Idle Animation: Zidane does some stretching exercises, Garnet fluffs her hair out, and Steiner in particular almost dozes off.
  • I Got You Covered: During the enormous airship versus dragons battle at the end of the game.
  • Implacable Man: No matter what you do to Quina, regardless of if he ends up getting lost in a dungeon, getting left in the middle of a city being blown up by friggen ODIN, dropped into a river, or whatnot, he WILL come back somehow. You can't get rid of him or kill him off for good no matter what you do.
  • Important Haircut: Dagger gets one. So important that it's even shown as a FMV scene. Doubles as a Call Back to the end of disc 2.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Black Waltz No. 1 rains icy death upon you with a jingle bell. This may well be a reference to the Final Fantasy V Geomancer job, which uses a bell as its primary weapon and could easily attack with a deadly blizzard in a place like the Ice Cave.
    • And of course there's Eiko's flutes and Quina's forks.
  • Indy Hat Roll: In regular (Zidane escaping the Evil Forest) (with an airship).
    • Notice who Zidane's barely clinging to as the airship makes it through the gate? That's right, Mr Nice Hat Vivi himself.
  • Indy Ploy: Kuja's goal for most of the game is to enslave an eidolon that he can use to destroy Garland and establish his rule over both Terra and Gaia. Interference by Zidane and Garland ruins these plans, but Kuja develops a new plan that involves seizing control of the power contained within the Invincible and using it to make himself...invincible, so to speak.
  • Infant Immortality: during the attack on Cleyra, Zidane has to choose which way the refugees flee from the black mage army. Even if you make nothing but wrong choices, the two Burmecian kids survive.
  • Infernal Retaliation: Using fire spells against Soulcage is ill-advised. Use Life instead.
  • Informed Flaw: The Knights of Pluto are mocked as being incompetent...and they are in the first part of the game. Later on, though, they come through in a major crisis when Alexandria is destroyed. One of the soldiers poking through the rubble of Alexandria Castle mentions that the Knights ensured that there were very few casualties of the invasion.
  • Instrument of Murder: Eiko's flute.
  • Insufferable Genius: Beatrix before her Heel Face Turn.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Dali has an annoying example, where you actually need a key to get over it (and that can be easily missed and Lost Forever).
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: Actually bells, which not only open doors, but also shatter after doing so.
  • Interface Spoiler: Garnet's spell list contains the names of several summons, a few of which are well-known Final Fantasy staples - she just doesn't have the MP to cast them, and won't for some time. It's still a fairly large clue about her origin.
  • Interspecies Romance: Zidane and Garnet. Genome and summoner, respectively.
  • Irony: Zidane and Blank dress up like the Knights of Pluto in order to blend in inside the palace so they can kidnap the Princess. Garnet mistakes them for soldiers and so runs away from them, thus starting the whole fiasco that got the Theatre Ship crashed and Blank petrified. The irony here is that if Zidane and Blank hadn't been so careful in their plan (i.e. just knocking the guards out and sneaking in wearing their normal clothes), Garnet would have recognised them and gone with them immediately.
    • Also Situational Irony that Tantalus thought up a very complicated plan to kidnap the Princess when she was planning on stowing away on their ship anyway.
  • Item Crafting: Synthesis shops.
  • It Got Worse: Pretty much the entire first two discs of the game are you asking "what next?" and the game answering you by blowing up a town or incapacitating a major character in some way (imprisonment, coma, death), culminating with the destruction of Alexandria and Garnet's Heroic BSOD. Things ease up a little there, true your party is captured but they escape, but it's a short relief before Kuja's origins become a major plot point...and once you get to Terra things pick up with where they left off and keep getting even worse.
  • It Runs on Nonsensoleum: The Mist. Not only a power source for vehicles, but spawns monsters if left alone. Yeah.
  • It's All My Fault: Dagger blames herself for the destruction wrought on the Mist Continent, and otherwise feels a very heavy sense of responsibility, beating herself up for not living up to her own standards. Zidane and Eiko manage to cheer her up later on.
  • Karma Houdini: Beatrix. She's guilty of war crimes, crimes against sentient races and petty larceny. All she ever does is ask forgiveness and the whole issue is dismissed. It helps, though, that she's the only reason Dagger and co. escape Brahne, and then she fights to keep the citizens of Alexandria safe and leads an airship charge against an army of giant burny otherwordly dragon death. Seeing as she does all that to earn redemption, this may be more of a case of Easily Forgiven.
  • Killer Rabbit: The Bandersnatch, which also has More Teeth Than the Osmond Family.
  • Knight, Knave, and Squire: Steiner, Zidane, and Vivi, respectively.
  • Lady of War: Beatrix and Freya.
  • Large Ham: Kuja.
    • Again, Zidane's no slouch in that department either. Must run in the, er, family?
  • Last of His Kind: Eiko and Garnet, last of the Summoners.
  • Lawful Stupid: Steiner might as well be the poster boy for this trope. He eventually pulls his head out halfway through the third disc.
    • In fact, his last line to Zidane notes his deep respect for the thief and thanks him for all he's done for Garnet and the world.
  • Lethal Joke Item: One would think it would be insanity to use tents (powerful healing items) on enemies. It turns out that pitching tents hits them with many negative status effects, as well as healing them. Do this at the start of a battle, and it makes the fight much easier.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Steiner and Quina mainly serve as the comic relief, but prove themselves to be valuable allies when they actually get into a fight.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: The characters split up early in the game to fit in with the Arbitrary Headcount Limit.
  • Like You Were Dying: Vivi and the other Black Mages, who have very short lifespans. Also Kuja at the end after his defeat when Zidane tries to rescue him.
  • Limit Break: Trance. As a plot device, no less. Even better, it lasts a few turns instead of just being a single attack.
  • Limited Move Arsenal: The first type, for passive skills.
  • Lions and Tigers and Humans, Oh My!
  • Little Miss Badass: Eiko. Yes, she's six years old and adorable, but don't piss her off, or she will summon a giant monster to annihilate you.
  • The Load/Scrappy Level: Garnet in disc 3, who cannot reliably execute battle commands for plot reasons.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Evil Forest's boss turns the whole place to stone when defeated.
  • Look Behind You!: Zidane's "What's That!?" ability.
    • In the third fight against Steiner, Zidane and co. desperately try to get him to look back, but he stubbornly refuses to fall for such a trick. In this case, he should have listened, since there was a Bomb growing behind him the entire time.
  • Lost Forever: The infamous "Excalibur II" sword, which requires the player to run through almost the entire game in less than 12 hours to obtain. It may necessitate leaving behind several other items and time-consuming sidequests that become unavailable on the final disc.
    • There is a common rumor that you can still get the sword if you let the clock go past 99:99:59 (thus resetting it) and then go to the location before it reaches 12 hours for the second time. This *does* in fact work, but it takes significantly longer than a mere 100 hours of playtime -- the internal game clock actually goes through several iterations of 100-hour cycles before actually resetting to zero. This takes 2^32 ticks, or over two years. And, though it may seem absurd, several players have succeeded in getting the Excalibur 2 (the normal way) together with all the other missable items and sidequests.
      • It can't quite be done on the PAL version of the game, though. This version of the game runs at about 5/6ths the speed of the NTSC version, but the game clock still progresses at the same rate. As a result, PAL players only have roughly "10 hours" instead of 12 to get everything done, and as a result it has been proven to be absolutely impossible to reach the Excalibur II within 12 hours while still getting all of the game's missables. Even with absolutely flawless playing on NTSC, you will not have anywhere close to 2 hours left over (the current speedrun record had about 54 minutes spare).
    • The Sword is just the tip of the iceberg. Anyone who wants to do a 100% completion run of this game has their work cut out for them. Some events (Lookin' at you, Burman Coffee) require deviating from the story, at a precise (read: small, and totally unmentioned) time to get it, not to mention, follow a specific sequence of events to get it even if you do think to wander off. Seriously, this game is DESIGNED to make you want to rip your hair out without a Guide.
  • The Lost Woods: Evil Forest and Owl Woods.
  • Love Letter Lunacy: Eiko enlists Dr. Tot's help to write a love letter to Zidane during her campaign to win him over from Garnet. It's apparently very moving - after Baku loses it, it proves instrumental in getting Steiner and Beatrix together.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The battle against Necron; his ability to take several consecutive turns means that whether you win or lose is largely determined by how often he attacks and what kind of status ailments Grand Cross inflicts upon you. The battle against Kuja isn't quite as bad, but he has a habit of countering every attack with the damaging Flare Star in the latter half of the fight, and can decimate your party if you don't pause to heal up.
    • The Superboss Ozma is an especially blatant example -- its Meteor never misses and usually KO's the whole party instantly. Even if they are saved by Auto-Life, it's possible for Ozma to cast Curse right after it. Good luck.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Not only is Kuja from the same world as Zidane, they were created by the same person, making them something like brothers. Don't ask where Kuja was hiding his tail in that scanty outfit. It's best not to think about it.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Alexander versus Bahamut, Ark's first attack, Zidane's Grand Lethal Dyne skill, and Matra Magic.
  • Made of Iron: Kuja, in the cutscene where he's blasted by the gigantic fireball of Queen Brahne's Bahamut summon. He gets a Minor Injury Overreaction to boot, though instead of freaking out he praises his attacker - "You even managed to hurt me, a little!" Made all the more hilarious by Kuja's extremely scanty and feminine clothing, consisting mostly of a metal jockstrap.
    • And then there's the fight with Kuja at the end of Disk 3, in an aversion of Gameplay and Story Segregation. The first time you damage him, Kuja simply laughs it off, the second time he scoffs at your attacks, and the third time he demands you show him your true power.
  • Magikarp Power: Zidane, Freya and Quina can eventually hit for 9999 damage every time ignoring all defenses and immunities. However, to power the attacks up to that level, Zidane has to Steal successfully several hundred times, Freya has to kill (as in deal the finishing blow) to 100 Dragon-type enemies, and Quina has to catch 99 frogs.
    • In a sidequest providing an example, Chocobo Hot and Cold. When you first begin on Disc 1 you can get a few petty treasures, but once you get the Blue Narciss the subquest explodes, and with patience to find the Chocographs and track them down you can get end-game equipment before you head to the Desert Palace, including armor to teach Vivi and Eiko Flare and Holy.
  • Mana Burn: The Venom status-ailment decreases your MP gradually along with your HP. And paralyzes you to boot.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Kuja to Brahne, and Garland to Kuja... until the beginning of the third disc. And at the end of the disc, on the other hand .
  • Manipulative Bastard: Kuja plays the entire world against itself in his quest for power. He's so good at it that people think he has the power of mind-control, when he's really just giving them enough rope to hang themselves.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Kuja highly enjoys art and luxury. We also see that he owns an extremely wealthy estate in Treno.
    • His Desert Palace displays his impeccable taste in architecture, as well.
  • Matriarchy: Alexandria, a Patriarchy Flip of a monarchy.
  • Matrix Raining Code: One of the first hints to Zidane and Kuja's shared origins shows up in various teleporters and during the Dyne abilities.
  • Meaningful Name: "Kuja" is the name of the ancient Babylonian god of war, most famous for wanting to murder his brother.
    • There's also an arguable shoutout to this in the way Kuja's Trance (which gives him god-like power to boot) turns him red, the standard color of war deities in real world mythology.
    • "Alex-ander" is Greek for "defender of man." Guess what the Eidolon called Alexander does.
    • The idol Lowell Bridges is apparently named for a whole family of well-known Hollywood actors.
  • The Messiah: Zidane.
  • Metal Detector Puzzle: Chocobo Hot & Cold.
  • Mini-Dress of Power: Lani.
  • Mini Game: Tetra Master and Chocobo Hot & Cold
  • Mini Game Credits: You can play a Blackjack minigame after the credits if you put in a certain code.
  • Mirror Match: The Epitaph enemy summons random clones of party members to fight alongside it.
    • And if that person is in your party, it somehow causes a paradox which instantly KOs the person it's a clone of.
  • Mistaken Message: The reason Beatrix and Steiner fall in love with each other... at least in theory. The passive-aggressive Belligerent Sexual Tension was already thick enough to cut with a knife, this scene just happened to be said knife.
  • Moment Killer: Poor Steiner and Beatrix simply don't have a chance when Baku, sneezing loudly, enters the scene...
  • Monster Arena: Knights House in Treno.
  • Monster Town: Black Mage Village.
  • Mood Dissonance: The game's visual style looks very bright and cutesy, but a shocking amount of depressing and violent scenes happen in the game, including war and genocides.
  • Mook Maker: Black Mage factory in Dali.
  • Mr. Exposition: Dr. Tot, Dagger's former tutor, gives a lot of interesting background on summoning and other parts of Gaia's history along with the truth about Dagger's past.
  • Mugged for Disguise: First happens early in Alexandria (see Not My Driver below) and later when Zidane sneaks onto the restricted elevator in Lindblum, all in disc 1.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Fire Shrine guardian Maliris, definitely; Alleyway Jack, not so much.
  • Multiple Endings: Having certain items in your inventory alters the ending very slightly.
  • Mundane Utility: Vivi successfully uses his fire spells to cook food a few times, and he can melt giant icicles blocking treasure chests.
  • My Name Is Not Durwood: Baku can never remember Tot's name. There's a minor Running Gag of him referring to Tot by a different name each time (Toot, Ted, Totty, etc.), followed by Marcus deadpanning "It's Tot", to be completely ignored by Baku.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Vivi's adopted grandfather Quan becomes disenchanted with the traditional Qu way of life and decides to seek new methods of eating and tasting instead of simply gobbling up everything in sight. His fellow Qus are disgusted by his act and disown him, although Quina comes around later on.
  • Mythology Gag: One of the game's reasons for existing.
    • Zidane and Kuja, technically brothers, came from a different world, and were being manipulated by someone there to destroy all life on this world. Sound familiar?
  • Naughty Tentacles: Stroper.
  • Eucatastrophe: Kuja almost succeeds in destroying the universe. Thanks to Zidane and co., this is averted. He only totals one world.
  • Nice Hat: As Always, the Black Mage's pointy hats are awesome, but Freya's and Sir Fratley's hats are also nice.
    • Steiner's conquistador-like helmet.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: First our heroes open the path to Terra (just what Kuja wanted) and later they defeat Garland, allowing Kuja to reach ultimate power. Nice job guys.
  • The Nicknamer: Kuja tends to refer to Garnet as a "canary" and Queen Brahne as an... "elephant-lady."
  • Non-Human Undead: A zombie whale.
  • Non-Mammalian Hair: Regent Cid keeps his mustache when transformed into an oglop and a frog.
  • Noob Cave: Evil Forest.
  • Noodle Incident: Steiner's ATE in Dali Village ends by cutting back to Zidane in the middle of recounting a past exploit to Garnet, much like Jack Sparrow's 'chief' story.
  • Not My Driver: Variation. Steiner's first assignment is to find all eight of the Knights of Pluto - he comes across a ninth. It's Blank, who waits till Steiner finds Garnet to reveal himself.
    • On disc 3, when Kuja's Bahamut fails against Alexander, he summons the Invincible to summonjack it instead... before realising that Garland is at the helm.
  • Not So Different: Vivi compares his fellow black mages first to the toys he sees little kids playing with, and later to the Genomes. Like the toys, the black mages and the Genomes are both created to be the puppets of others, without any will of their own.
  • Not So Harmless: Zorn and Thorn, the annoying jesters, turn out to combine into a relatively tough (and downright scary) boss.
  • Offing the Offspring: Brahne attempts to do this to Garnet in order to obtain her eidolons.
  • Oh Crap: Black Waltz No. 3 when he realizes that he has set his airship on fire.
    • Also, Hades has this reaction before the battle begins if you've already beaten Ozma. Nothing quite as gratifying as seeing one of the most difficult bosses in the game essentially wet himself over the prospect of fighting you.
    • Hey, at least he's genre savvy enough to realize that beating the Superboss means you're the real deal.
  • Omnicidal Maniac/Nietzsche Wannabe/Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Kuja, after finding out he has a sharply limited lifespan.
  • One-Hit Kill: Along with the Death spell, some weapons have an Instant Death ability.
    • Also, anyone affected by the Freeze status ailment is instantly killed if any physical attack connects against them.
    • Heat status is reminiscent of Edgar's Air Anchor and acts as a sort of inverted Freeze -- if the afflicted takes any action, they will be KO'd immediately afterward.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Morrid, even if you ignore his sidequest.
  • Opening the Sandbox: When you receive the Hilda Garde 3 airship, but some sidequests can only be completed after getting the Invincible airship.
  • Opera Gloves: Garnet's princess dress.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Though this time they're green.
  • Our Founder: Lindblum is dotted with monuments to Cid and all his predecessors.
  • Out of Focus: Most of the characters in comparison to Zidane, Garnet, and Vivi, although almost everyone gets their day in the limelight at some point.
    • Pretty much everyone in comparison to Garnet. Sure, the rest of the group gets some notice at one point or another, but Garnet's issues take up the whole of just about every disk. Not to mention the majority of the cutscenes are centered on/about/around her.
  • Outside Context Villain: The Terrans.
  • Overheating: Actually one the game's status ailments: if a character afflicted by it does anything, s/he dies instantly.
  • Overly-Long Fighting Animation: Ark, when summoned, takes two minutes to finish. Regen status continues to heal your party even when the ATB is stopped, making such long attacks a nice potential opportunity to let it heal up your party.
  • Packed Hero: Zidane, Garnet and Vivi fall into the black mage packing machine and get boxed up.
  • Palette Swap: Fairy Battles, Vepals, Wraiths and the crystallized four fiends in Memoria.
  • Parental Substitute: Vivi is adopted by the Qu known as Quan, who becomes a surrogate grandfather to him and teaches the little black mage about the world.
  • Party in My Pocket: The whole party can be seen only when something plot-centric happens.
  • Patrick Stewart Speech: No less than three examples, with the party giving one each to Garland, Kuja and Necron. At least it's lampshaded somewhat in the instance with Garland, who summons one of his mooks and tells the party to "lecture me again when you are on the verge of death."
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: Grand Dragon, meet Quina's Level 5 Death.
  • Petal Power: Freya's Cherry Blossom attack.
  • Petting Zoo People; In addition to the Burmecians, who look like rats, there's a number of other miscellaneous characters, like "Hippo Lady" and her son "Hippaul". A few of the members of Tantalus look like certain unorganized humanoids.
  • Phlebotinum Muncher: Black mages and many other monsters.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Garnet's royal dress. Also, Lani's outfit has a fur-trimmed miniskirt.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Tantalus have a reputation as a band of prolific thieves and con artists, yet they are never depicted as implicitly slitting throats or stealing priceless items from the anyone particularly. Indeed, Regent Cid is a friend of it's leader, Baku, and even uses him as a contracted mercenary (Or even special forces operative, given that it's never specifically mentioned that Cid paid Baku for abducting Garnet). Combine that with Baku's apparent policy of employing street urchins at a young age and teaching them fraternity and strength through tough love (and constant beatings), and it appears that Tantalus are really Just Like Robin Hood.
  • Plot Coupon That Does Something: Two of the major driving plot points are Kuja trying to get a hold of explicit battle commands (First the Eidolons, then the Trance).
  • Pop Quiz: Ragtime Mouse Fairy Battles.
  • The Power of Friendship: Zidane and Vivi and Zidane and Amarant in particular, and it saves Zidane from a very uncharacteristic Wangst-fest Heroic BSOD after his Tomato in the Mirror and ensuing Mind Crush moment late in the game.
    • Also very cruelly played with in the latter scene. Zidane, being the plucky hero, gives moral support to his friends and having the personal motto of "You don't need a reason to help people". Then he finds out that Kuja, the one who has been sadistically responsible for ruining his friends' lives in one way or another, is his older brother and he was created to replace him. If Kuja hadn't ditched him on Gaia as a child, it'd be Zidane doing all those horrible things to his friends and he'd probably be just as smug about it. Ouch.
  • Powerup Full-Color Change: The Trance ability. Zidane's skin (or fur) changes to pink. Vivi's clothes change to white. Steiner's armor gets green details. Freya's clothes change to purple. Quina's skin color changes to black. Eiko gets white clothes and yellow hair. Scarlet Head Amarant becomes Purple Head Amarant. Garnet gets pink skin and yellow hair and clothes.
  • Press X to Not Die: In one Active Time Event, you can evade Alleyway Jack's theft attempt by pressing X at the right time. Trap doors in Ipsen's Castle can also be averted this way.
  • Puni Plush: IX is to this what VIII is to Bishonen.
  • Put on a Bus: Again, the Arbitrary Headcount Limit briefly removes several player characters from the storyline to make room for the party members who still need to join.


R-Y[edit | hide]

  • Rain of Arrows: Freya's Jump when used in trance.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Zidane actually gets a couple of these when in Terra.
  • Rebellious Princess: Dagger. And there's also rebellious prince Puck of Burmecia.
  • Recurring Traveller: Stiltzkin.
  • Redshirt Army: The Cleyran and Burmecian troops.
  • Relationship Reset Button: Freya and Fratley.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: Restorative spells deal damage to the undead, but items don't.
    • A variation exists where a Soft Potion (or Spell) can be used to kill Stone class monsters (like Epitaph or Stroper). They become too soft to live.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Zorn and Thorn often do this.
  • Rings of Death: Amarant's standard Throw-weapons.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Princess Garnet.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Necron serves more of a symbolic meaning than an actual in-story role.
  • Sad Battle Music: Beatrix's fight theme.
  • Sand Is Water: Cleyra.
  • Sand Worm: Land Worm.
  • Save Point: Moogles and later colorful orbs in Memoria.
  • Scary Dogmatic Aliens: The people of Terra are willing to essentially commit genocide on the people of Gaia so that their own world can live longer. Mikoto implies that this isn't even the first time the Terrans have done it.
  • Scenery Gorn: Any location that ends up being laid to waste.
  • Scenery Porn: The game's breathtaking intro. Also many of the locations, such as the party's first visit to Lindblum and Terra.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Some of your more intelligent enemies (and one subterranean serpent) will choose to flee the battle before they're killed off. This gets played for laughs initially.
  • Secret Shop: It's actually a synthesis shop, and it's hidden behind a rock, in the last level, and requires you to fight the owner.
  • Selectively-Lethal Weapon: While all weapons have a random generator that modifies damage to a small degree, Quina's forks deal wildly fluctuating damage.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: Not a bad thing in this case - the mechanics of the game are a little more straightforward compared to the more recent Final Fantasy titles, and the game itself also has a very friendly difficulty curve outside of a couple candidates for That One Boss on the first and second disc. This actually probably makes it a very good game for newcomers - perhaps a better introductory than Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, which was intended as one.
  • Sequel Hook: Did Kuja actually die?
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: After Hilda restores her husband Cid to his (rather dashing) human form, he apologizes profusely for having been a cheating no-good and takes her in his arms. Cue Fade to Black and the "nighttime" musical sting.
  • Sherlock Scan: Eiko thinks she's a master at this, and it does work out (on Dr. Tot) but fails on Quina (who she deduced to be KUJA.)
  • Shout-Out: There are references to all eight previous installments in the series, although some are difficult to find. Here's a link that will save up the walls of text.
    • The Festival of the Hunt in Lindblum draws many parallels to the Running of the Bulls. Some of the locals' attitude towards it even suggests some Testosterone Poisoning has taken place.
    • Queen Hilda breaking the spell and returning her frog husband to his true form with a kiss... What does that remind you of?
    • To Shakespeare: Not only is 'I Want to Be Your Canary' an obvious parallel to Romeo and Juliet, but the play is credited to a Lord Avon - as in Stratford-on-Avon, Shakespeare's birthplace. Also, one of the minor characters in the game is named Puck.
    • This little gem courtesy of Zidane: "No cloud, no squall shall hinder us." Could also double as a Stealth Pun.
    • Zidane is an alien who was sent to the planet in order to wreak havoc, but lost his memory of his origin and ended up turning out to be a pretty nice guy. He then meets his more-or-less brother, who is also an alien and who is decidedly more willing to slaughter everyone on the planet. Oh, and Zidane has a monkey-like tail. Now where have I heard this story before?
    • The sandstorm ritual in Cleyra is basically Riverdance. Sir Fratley's name is a reference to/mistranslation of Michael Flatley, a famous step dancer who is known for performing in Riverdance.
    • Before the encounter with Final Boss Necron, it says "Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering." - Yoda's famous line from The Phantom Menace.
    • When you talk to one of the NPCs in Lindblum, he remarks "Dammit, Jim! I'm a doctor, not a miracle worker!" which is a reference to Leonard "Bones" McCoy's catchphrase from Star Trek: The Original Series (although Bones never actually said "Dammit, Jim" in the show, just "I'm a doctor, not a _____.")
  • Shown Their Work: when it comes to the culinary, Quina knows his shit.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: The Odin summon and Steiner's Iai Strike.
  • Slap-On-The-Wrist Nuke: The second-to-last boss ends the battle with an Ultima spell... the same spell you barely survived the last time it was used.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Forgotten Continent.
  • Sneeze of Doom: Yan's Snort ability.
  • Sniff Sniff Nom: Steiner's consumed something that he initially found disgusting on two occasions - they both paid off.
  • Solemn Ending Theme: Melodies of Life"
  • Speech Bubbles: Every character has them throughout the game, even with the scrolling text in them.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": This game has it in spades. Pick a name, any name. Non-primary characters, equipment, monsters, locations, anything; odds are pretty good that it's been badly maimed.
    • The worst offender is probably the Iifa Tree. That's an I, not an L.
    • Zidane's name (originally romanized as Jitan) is supposed to be Gitan, French for gypsy. Since "ji" is used in Japanese to approximate the "zi" sound, the translators got it wrong.
    • A lot of Shout Outs to other Final Fantasy games were messed up due to incorrect romanisation; for instance, Mount Gulug, which was supposed to refer to Mount Gurgu (written "Gurugu" in Japanese) from Final Fantasy I, and the summon Madeen (written "Madin" in Japanese), supposed to be a reference to Maduin, an Esper from Final Fantasy VI. Madeen's attack, Terra Homing (Terahōmingu), was supposed to be Terraforming. The Fire Guardian Marilith is rendered as Maliris.
    • Averted in the Spanish translation, almost every name is well translated (Zidane: Yitán (The same pronounciation as Jitan). Even Necron name had a better translation ("Tiniebla Eterna", which means "Eternal Darkness", and the real name of Necron was Darkness of eternity)
      • The Spanish translation comes with its own, different problem: while the translations of things from the game itself are well-done, what's totally lost are the allusions to earlier games, since it was only the second game translated in-house and third game translated overall, so they had no series mythology to reference to. The worst offender in this case is "Doga's artifact" which is translated as the equivalent of "Vase of Gauss". Furthermore, the only game they could really reference was VIII, so the rendering of the "Ultima" magic as "Artema" was kept, and from there to the entire franchise (and Kingdom Hearts). The thing is that that translation ultimately comes from the decision to render Ultimecia's name as Artemisa, so yes, a (good) decision about the romanization of the Big Bad of one game in the franchise has as a result the mangling of one major franchise-wide element...especially bizarre since, being a Romance language, "Ultima" in Spanish makes a lot of sense.
  • Sphere of Power
  • Sprite Polygon Mix
  • Squishy Wizard: Heavily averted, magicians actually have some of the best defense in the game.
  • The Starscream: Kuja's original ultimate goal is to destroy Garland with an eidolon and enslave both Gaia and Terra, turning both worlds into his own eternal kingdom. This later changes when Garland reveals that Kuja's lifespan is ultimately limited, which provokes a massive Freak-Out on Kuja's part, and he decides to go from conquering the world to destroying it.
  • Stealth Pun: The location with the tolling bell in Memoria is called "Familiar Memory."
    • The Cleyran sandstorm ritual turns out to be a Riverdance - would that make them river rats?
    • Probably unintentional, but one of Zidane's weapons is named Sargatanas, which could be read as saru katana (Japanese for 'monkey' and 'sword').
    • The Knights of Pluto consisting of nine members.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Variation. When the party first meets Eiko, she flees but they find her hanging on a root. The first thing she screams out is that she "tastes awful", and Zidane assumes that Quina was also thinking of eating her - and he's right.
  • Stripperiffic: Kuja, a male example. Just like all Terran males that aren't Zidane. Oddly enough, the females actually dress fairly modestly in this game, except for Beatrix's Amazon Brigade and Garnet/Dagger's Trance costume.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: Hell, the trope might as well be called "Stupid Sexy Kuja" for the number of fans whose reactions run in that direction. (If they accepted that he was male at all, anyway.)
  • Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum: Kuja. See above.
  • Suicidal Pacifism: The citizens living in the tree display this when Queen Brahne's forces attacks them; they refuse to fight simply because they forgot how to fight after living in peace for so long. The citizens try to reason with the soldiers but most people know how well that turns out.
  • Suicide Attack: The Zombies at the Iifa tree can MELT all over you.
  • Summon Magic: As in VIII, it's a major plot point, albeit a completely different one.
  • Super Prototype: Vivi.
  • Super Soldier: Zidane and Kuja are this, but not because they were built to be different or stronger than the other Genomes, but simply because they have souls.
  • Supporting Leader: Cid and Beatrix play this role on Disk 4, leading the airship fleet in the Battle of the Iifa Tree against the thousands of Silver Dragons.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: When asked about Vivi's grandfather Quan, Quale replies "I not know that bigot!" And then, when Vivi questions why Quale looks so similar to Quan, Quale lets slip that they are from the same tribe... and still continues to deny any knowledge of him.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Zidane's plot-centric trance during the first miniboss in Evil Forest.
  • Technicolor Death
  • Tech Points: AP is used to learn skills and abilites.
  • Teleport Spam: Black Waltz No. 2 when it approaches the party.
  • Terminally Dependent Society
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: female Moogles are pinkish and wear pink halter tops. Except for Eiko's personal Moogle.
  • Theme Naming: The Queen in Treno may go by Stella as well, but there's also a Bishop (who owns the synthesis shop and the tower Dr Tot lives in), a Knight (who owns the weapons shop and the creatures in the basement) and a King (who's really the main villain, Kuja).
    • The first and last women in Zidane's life are named Ruby and Garnet.
  • Throwaway Country: Burmecia and Cleyra.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Not just swords, but also staffs, rackets, flutes and forks! Freya also throws her spear during her Jump attack.
  • Timed Mission: Chocobo's Hot & Cold
    • Plot-related examples are the return to Alexandria from Cleyra, and Cid's role in the Desert Palace.
  • Tomato Surprise: Zidane is actually Garland's "Angel of Death" originally sent to destroy Gaia.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: Presumably the book that contains Tantarian.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Elixirs and Dark Matter.
  • Took a Level in Badass: when Eiko's personal Moogle becomes the whole-planets-squeezing Madeen.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Village of Dali, which has a Black Mage factory underground.
  • Trademark Favourite Food: Moogles are kupo for Kupo Nuts, and all Qu love frogs.
  • Transforming Mecha: Ark when summoned.
  • Trap Door: These start to appear in Ipsen's Castle.
  • True Love's Kiss: Hilda gives one to Cid when she releases him from her spell.
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: Fenrir's default attack has this effect.
  • Ultimate Blacksmith: Hades.
  • Underground Level: Fossil Roo, Gargan Roo and Mt. Gulug.
  • Underground Monkey: This game averts this wonderfully, as any enemy is unique and there aren´t Palette Swap foes, with the exception of the vepal, who appears in blue and red.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: You play as Cid in a Red Light Green Light type minigame at one point.
  • The Unfought: Queen Brahne, set up to be the Disc Two Final Boss, is never fought.
    • YMMV on this one, as there's never even the slightest indication before, during, or after that point that she's capable in combat. Contrast to Beatrix, whose battle prowess is mentioned every time her name comes up until the Heel Face Turn.
  • Unknown Rival: Eiko calls herself Garnet's rival to Garnet's face at one point. Garnet's reaction is basically "Huh?"
  • Unwinnable By Mistake: The game's strongest weapon, Excalibur II, can only be acquired by reaching the final dungeon in under 12 hours. However, the European release runs at 50 Hz, while the North American and Japanese releases run at 60 Hz, but the game clock runs at the same speed, essentially letting North American and Japanese players get more done in less time due to the faster frame rate. The record for a perfect run with the Excalibur II is 10.5 hours--which works out to 12.6 hours under the different frame rate, so a PAL perfect run is impossible.
  • Upgrade Artifact: All the equipment in the game.
  • Verbal Tic: After Cid is transformed back to a human, he still tends to make frog and oglop sounds.
    • Of course, there's the moogles too, kupo. (Except for Eiko's personal moogle, the only one with Pokémon-Speak. At first, anyway.)
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Memoria.
  • Victory Pose: Gameplay and Story Integration adds an interesting layer, as characters will refuse to perform their victory poses after a battle if they're feeling depressed or worried due to their current role in the plot. Vivi, Garnet and Amarant are the most prominent examples.
    • Amarant won't do his for ages. Not until he starts to accept the others.
  • Video Game Stealing
  • Villainous Breakdown: Black Waltz 3 and Kuja.
  • Villainous Harlequin: Zorn and Thorn.
  • Villain's Dying Grace: Kuja refuses to let Zidane go down with him during the latter's attempts to save him.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Literally, after Lindblum is invaded by Alexandria - pay attention to what the female soldiers say.
  • The Voiceless: Garnet after her Heroic BSOD.
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: The dwarves. They live on Chokepoint Geography, provide a lead to the Black Mage village, and conduct weddings for your characters. And that's it.
  • "Wake-Up Call" Boss: Master Gizamaluke.
  • Watching Troy Burn: Actually, you get to watch pretty much every city you come to burn.
  • Wave Motion Gun: Ark's second attack and the eye of the Invincible.
  • Weaponized Landmark: Alexandrian Castle.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: About the time Cleyra gets demolished, pretty much the entire sidestory involving Freya, Fratley, and their entire species gets dropped (apart from a couple who show up in Lindblum during Disc 3 if you saved them earlier in the game and an ATE showing the reconstruction of Burmecia, which Freya states that she'll help with after defeating Kuja). Bonus points for them being a literal rodent race.
    • Also happens halfway through the game when you lose half of your party (Freya included). They rejoin you without ever mentioning what they'd been up to.
  • What Is Evil?: Along with mortality, one of the main themes of the story. Is Queen Brahne "evil" or simply misguided? Are Zidane and Tantalus "evil" simply for being thieves, or are they heroic rebels? And the big one: is Kuja evil? He considers himself a Card-Carrying Villain, and delights in mischief, deceit and death, as well as possesses an It's All About Me attitude that borders on sociopathy. However, he is so polite that a long-time captive actually vouches for him, he has a very understandable Freudian Excuse, he winds up switching his views right before his death, and in the end, everything he did was for a cause he was ultimately right to believe in.
  • What Is This Feeling?: Two of the sentient Black Mages experience this with a Chocobo egg that they find and incubate within the village. When a healthy young Chocobo eventually hatches from the egg, its dedicated caretakers are of course excited about the new arrival. Unfortunately, they can't quite understand why liquid should be coming from their eyes--unaware that they are experiencing joy for the first time.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Deconstructed with the Black Mages. Ironically, Black Waltz No. 3 holds this attitude towards them. When Vivi and Steiner angrily confront him for callously slaughtering a group of Black Mages trying to protect Vivi, he brushes it off, claiming many more will be produced anyway.
  • When Trees Attack: Soulcage (evil zombie tree) and Stroper.
  • White-Haired Pretty Boy: Kuja. He even has a matching silver dragon. He also fits the "pretty boy" part to a T, even wearing lipstick and eyeshadow to go with his luxurious flowing tresses and really low pants.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Steiner is terrified by oglops, which are squishy but otherwise harmless insects.
  • Wolverine Claws: Amarant uses them.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Kuja wasn't that bad....all he did was destroy an entire planet and horribly manipulate everyone....OK, maybe he was that bad, but you still have to feel sorry for him in the end.
  • World-Wrecking Wave: The Mist.
  • World Tree: The Iifa Tree, whose roots spread worldwide and can be seen protruding in all the continents.
  • Wretched Hive: Treno's slums.
  • You All Look Familiar: Justified in the case of Black Mages and the Genomes; they are manufactured.
    • Burmecians and Cleyrans all seem to be in uniforms of some kind - but human civilians have no such excuse (or Morrid really has two other triplets in Lindblum).
  • You Are Not Alone: Trope Namer.
  • You Are Number Six: All of the Black Mages. Played for laughs with the actor Lowell's fanclub.
    • Interestingly, Vivi's name could be represented as the roman numerals "VI VI," which would translate as "6 6," qualifying him for this trope as well.
  • You Are Too Late: Zorn and Thorn to Zidane when he busts into the Alexandria dungeon to save Garnet, even if you beat the 30-minute deadline.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Regent Cid learned the hard way that you shouldn't cheat on your wife.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Master Quen discovered that if you imagine it hard enough, you can eat all the food in the world.
    • But, because he didn't eat real food after that, he ended up dead (and apparently in Qu nirvana).
  • You Shall Not Pass: Freya, Steiner, and Beatrix pull one of these when covering Dagger's escape from Alexandria. Though it's initially unclear whether or not they survived, the party soon learns that they lived.
  • You Will Be Assimilated: Essentially the villain's main plan, except between planets and using The Lifestream.
  • You Would Do the Same For Me: When Zidane goes back to save Kuja, he asks Kuja "Wouldn't you do the same for me if you knew I was dying?"

Notes

  1. This is a Shout-Out to Final Fantasy V - the first syllable of each word spells Boco, referring to Bartz's chocobo in that game.
  2. Though getting one-shotted by a Phoenix Down five seconds later kind of ruins it.
  3. The two supersleuths you send to gather information, the artillerist and winner of the cannonball race get to ready the cannons, and the one who can name all the girls is paired with the one who knows the town layout to evacuate the citizens.