An amazingly good series of RPGs by Squaresoft. Final Fantasy 1, 2, and 3 were for the old 8-bit Nintendo, but only the first one made it to the english-speaking world.

Final Fantasy 4, 5, and 6 were for the Super Nintendo. FF5 is considered the best of the series by many, but it never made it outside Japan until the release of Final Fantasy Anthology. FF4 came to the USA as FF2 for the Super Nintendo, after being modified to make it easier for the American gaming audience. FF6 made it to the US as FF3.

FF7 was released in September of 1997 for the Playstation, marking the beginning of the 3D Final Fantasy era. FF8 came out two years later. There has been a trend in the Final Fantasy series towards more realistic-looking characters and futuristic themes; however Final Fantasy 9 goes back (somewhat) to the old ways - Yoshitaka Amano is doing art again, and the characters are young and cartoony.. but still 3-D.

The Final Fantasy universe is, like so many other things, soon to be a major motion picture. A fully computer-generated feature film, called "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within", is due out July 13, 2001.

The world is veiled in
darkness. The wind stops,
the sea is wild,
and the earth begins to rot.
The people wait,
their only hope, a prophecy....

'When the world is in darkness,
Four Warriors will come....'

After a long journey, four
young warriors arrive,
each holding an ORB.

Platform: NES
Date: 1987

You began by choosing a party of four, of any class. Each class would, eventually, undergo a class change:

Typical parties consisted of the Fighter, White and Black Mages, and either the Thief or Black Belt. The Thief cannot steal in this game (all later Thiefs can, though).

The game begins outside Coneria. You learn that the Princess has been kidnapped by Garland. Kill him in the Temple of Fiends, rescue the Princess, and the king has a bridge built for you.

Afterwards, you travel to Pravoka, a town controlled by pirates. Beat the pirates and you get the ship.

With the ship you can go to Elfland, where you learn the the Elf Prince is sleeping and won't wake up. The Dark Prince in the North Castle says he can help you if you get his Crown from the Marsh Cave. The Marsh Cave is really hard, and you have to kill some wizards to get the Crown. Bring the Crown to the Dark Prince and he turns into Astos, the Dark Elf. Kill him and you get a Crystal, which you can take to Matoya the witch, who needs it to see. She'll give you the Herb to wake the Elf Prince. When he awakens, he'll give you a Key, which will unlock all the rooms you've encountered so far.

Go back to Corneria, in one of the chests you'll find TNT. Take the TNT to Nerrick in the Dwarf Cave and he blasts a channel for you to pass through to the west.

The first port you encounter should be Melmond. The town's been ravaged by a Vampire in the Earth Cave. Kill the Vampire, he drops the Ruby. Feed the Ruby to the Titan in another cave and he lets you pass, where you will find Sarda the Sage. He gives you a Rod, that you can use to pry up a Plate in the ground behind where you killed the Vampire. Continue farther into the Earth Cave and you'll find Lich, the Fiend of Earth. Kill Lich, yay.

You can then go to Crescent Lake and get a Canoe (river travel) from the Circle of Sages. With your canoe, you can go to the Ice Cave to get the Floater, which lets you unbury the Airship. Now, you can do whatever you want.

After all that, go back to the Temple of Fiends and use the Lute you got from the Princess and go back in time 2000 years. Venture down into the temple, kill the fiends all over again and then kill Chaos, their boss. Oh, by the way, this part is hard as hell.

Return to the Final Fantasy Metanode....

The first in the long-running series of games by Squaresoft1. So named because it was to be Hironobu Sakaguchi's2 final game after several lukewarm attempts (King's Knight comes to mind...).

The plot is simple. You play the part of four anonymous heros, known throughout the world as the Light Warriors of legend, that each hold a dimmed Orb. Each is an Orb of the Elements, one for each of fire, water, air, and earth. At one time, these Orbs glowed brightly, and the land was safe... but now their power is diminished, drained by evil Fiends, and the lands are in chaos. The earth rots, the winds are wild, the seas are angry, and fire is uncontrollable. It is your duty to defeat these villains and return the world to order. And as you do, you find out that they themselves aren't the originators of all of this evil, but a rather demonic chap named Chaos.

Although many sub-quests appear along the way, the main plot is simple, if confusing in it's entirety. As you play on, you learn that the Fiends started appearing two thousand years ago, but have weakened. To try and regain their former glory, they send a lackey, Garland (whom you defeated in the very first dungeon) back into the past. In the past, Garland melds with the powerful fiends, and becomes Chaos. You then yourselves, as the Light Warriors travel back in time yourselves and defeat Garland/Chaos again. After doing so, you are thrown back into present day, and because Chaos and the Fiends were defeated before they could do any actual harm, the world is saved and, to this timeline's inhabitants, has always been this way. Nobody's heard of the 'Light Warriors', and your orbs shine brightly.

This confused a lot of people. Not to mention it being a good example of a Time paradox, and why you must be very careful when dealing with Time Travel in a story.

Final Fantasy I is intresting in many ways. It improved upon the genre of Console RPG created by Dragon Warrior, and sold like gangbusters in the US when it came out3.

The game had a fairly loose flow to it. It was linear up until you opened up a canal from the interior sea to the outer ocean with some TNT, but then it became pretty non-linear. It is the only game in the series to do this.

Oddly enough, being the first game in the series, it started a few of the games-long streaks of 'traditional elements'. It started the Elemental orb/crystal theme that was in every game through Final Fantasy V. The omnipresent spells of FIRE, ICE, and LIT are created, as are the Prelude, 'Bridge Theme'4, and Victory Theme musics. Both Excalibur and Masamune also originate in this game. Also within is the ubiquitous Airship.

Sadly, the game is the only one not to have Cid within it.

1 Then called Square Co. LTD.
2 Not to mention Square's last game to boot. They were really in dire straits ;)
3 Unfortunatly, it's success didn't bring us another game in the series until Final Fantasy IV, which was called II in the states.
4 Known as such by fans because it is played as you cross the bridge after completing the first dungeon, while a short monolouge and opening credits roll by.

The name of the game

The name "Final Fantasy" could, in retrospect, be seen as a reference to the fact that no Final Fantasy game is truly a sequel to the last. The characters are introduced, and with your guidance they act out the tale, defeat the villain, and save the world - then we never hear from them again. Maybe their names will come up again, after all, there will always be another Cid and a new generation of Chocobos and Moogles, but once you get to the screen where you have to press reset*, these characters' story is over, forever. They have had their place in the history of their world, of the FF series, and in video games on the whole, and there is no more to be told.

That's not the real reason, though.

Once upon a time in the 1980s...
SquareSoft, the Japanese video game developer which is responsible for many, many great games, was running out of money. If their next title, a role-playing game unlike almost any seen before on a console, was a failure, then Square would probably go bankrupt. Square's employees saw the impending end of their employment and dissolution of the company, and thus they expected their newest game to be their last. Final Fantasy was a huge hit, however, and the name stuck.

Today Square even applies the title to games not originally designed for the FF series, because of the tremendous name-recognition it's acquired. For instance, IIRC, either the Final Fantasy Legend or Final Fantasy Adventure games for the Game Boy were actually from the Seiken Densetsu series. Also, Final Fantasy Mystic Quest for the SNES was actually from the Crap series.

* The screen where you have to press reset is a feature that many recent games sadly lack, even when they don't have second quests that would prevent it.


The original Final Fantasy is a difficult game. It does not have many of the luxuries and refinements of the later FF games. Many of the points of difficulty can be seen as features the game is lacking, or flaws in its design, but these things make the player's role in the game that much more complicated, and force the player to pay closer attention to many facets of the game that are largely automatic in more recent FF games.

Of course, this difficulty doesn't in any way make Final Fantasy I necessarily better than others in the series - much of the difficulty that I'm talking about is side-effects of decisions made by the game's designers, and not the results of a conscious effort to challenge the player. Many of these things WERE seen as flaws, and thus have not appeared in any FF game since.
Also, the game had an even worse, more ridiculous plot that recent FF games, and the characterizations and character development that make the recent games an absolute joy to play (until they get into metaphysical nonsense) are nonexistant.
FFI is still a heap of fun, though, and a good ol' 8-bit challenge.

Examples of Difficulty:

If you order two of your party members to attack the same enemy, and the first one kills it, the second character will not move on to the next enemy as they do in later games - they will make a strike against the fallen enemy, resulting in an "Ineffective" message instead of an amount of damage dealt. You can save a lot of time in battle if you keep track of the approximate amount of hit points common enemies have, and don't have your characters pile on an enemy that is near death, therefore preventing ineffective attacks.

You encounter random monsters as you travel in the ship.

In shops, you are not given a preview of how weapons, armor, etc. will affect your characters - you must buy items, equip them, and then see how it affects your stats. Careful management of equipment can save or ruin your game when, for instance, one of your mages runs out of MP, but will still deal an appreciable, though not exceptional, amount of damage - if you haven't neglected your mages' weaponry.

For most of the game, you'll never have enough money for all the magic spells you want - that's right, you have to BUY magic. You don't get to learn it while fighting battles, and it's not just given to you, ever.
There is no Phoenix Down, or any other item that revives dead characters and is available from the start of the game. If one of your characters dies, and you haven't had the opportunity to buy the LIFE spell yet, you have to get back to the nearest town and pay up to get the character revived.

The All-Mage Challenge

There is an incredible challenge to be had in FFI if you choose the correct party. By "correct" I mean "weak", of course. If you choose a party of all black or white mages, you will always be at a loss for good physical attacks. You'll always have the white mage's Masamune to look forward to, but by the time you get that, you'll be practically at the end of the game. A party of mixed black and white mages is actually a pretty good choice, but that kind of affirmative action just doesn't provide the kind of mindbreaking challenge you expect from the age of incredibly difficult NES games. It's easy to completely concentrate on magic with them, since you have a good balance between offense and defense, and don't have to worry about your white mages doing the former or your black mages doing the latter.

An all-black mage party is harder to deal with. You've got plenty of offense in whatever spells you decide to buy, but for healing you're stuck with potions. It's still a slow, hard fight, though, because your MP is very low at the beginning of the game, and potions cost money. It's possible to succeed with a party of those cute little shadowy guys, but it will involve a lot of tedious leveling.

An all-white mage party is even worse. You have plenty of healing, since you've got magic and potions at your disposal, but you have nearly no potential for attack. All you've got in the way of weapons to begin with is your stupid little mage stick, and IIRC there is ONE (1) white spell that does damage in the game. You will level, a LOT. You will die, a LOT. But if you beat Final Fantasy I with a party of four white mages, then you will have completed what may be the most challenging single trip through any video game. It's probably not worth it.

A friend of mine, David Amagai, has beaten Final Fantasy with four White Mages. He is a madman, by the way.
The Solo Challenge

For an even sicker challenge playing FF1, try to beat the game using just one party member. To do this, start a new game, choose the class of your character, and name him or her. The rest should be all the same class, and named 'Dead'. As the game begins, go into Corneria and buy weapons and armor for your one character, and equip them. Then, proceed out into the woods surrounding Corneria and execute the three Dead characters.

The challenge, obviously, is to beat the game then without reviving anyone. Of course, you could revive the three dead characters at any time, but what's the point if you're just going to cheat? Anyway, your choice of character class for your solo hero is very important. It's easiest (although it's hardly easy) with a Red mage, as they are able to use white magic, black magic, and still be a relatively powerful hand-to-hand fighter. Arguably the most difficult class is the white mage, due to their extreme lack of offensive capabilities, or the thief, due to their inability to heal without potions.

I have never personally done this, nor have I even really tried. I can assure you, though, that it would be very, very hard.

The Final Fantasy series brought to us from Square Soft is a set of long, well constructed Role Playing Games.
Each game is a new adventure, usually with five or more major characters that have never been seen in a previous Final Fantasy, or at least, have not been the same character.

The first 6 FF games were all set in medieval worlds, with thieves, mages, warriors and other professions used by the main characters. Each Final Fantasy was unique except for those characteristics. But when FF7 was released to the world, we all noticed a whole new game.
Here was no standard Final Fantasy game, here was something new - totally different. We were introduced to a futuristic setting, new methods of fighting, spell casting, and character abilities. No longer were we using different varieties of mages that could use only certain types of magic or restrictive character professions! We could choose which character could do which abilities and most importantly, we had more control over the game.

But following FF7 came a new, even more spectacular Final Fantasy game. FF8 was released to us, and once again, we were placed in a futuristic setting - it was almost becoming a trend. The plot was easier to follow than that of Final Fantasy 7's yet the characters were given much more depth, and the player was able to relate to the characters in at a never seen before level in a FF game. The junctioning / fighting system however, in some peoples eyes, was far too difficult to comprehend. And with that in mind, Square Soft produced Final Fantasy 9.

Final Fantasy 9 could only be seen to be a combination of the "Old School" format of Final Fantasy and the newer FF7 and 8 games. This time, the player is sent into an unknown time setting, where there are flying machines, yet only basic weapons. Perhaps one could say it was nearing the industrial stage, but not yet there. Final Fantasy 9 brings a new fighting system into play, that is fairly similar to Final Fantasy 8, yet incorporates the professions of the early Final Fantasy series, which does limit the player to in some ways, but with the added "New school" techniques, the limitations are marginalised to a large degree.

I would like to begin by referring you elsewhere, for clarification of several points. There are more Final Fantasy games than you'd think, but this writeup is going to be an overview of the series as a whole. If you feel that this writeup is incomplete, or lacks some pertinent information, please feel free to /msg Devon_Hart with any questions, comments or suggestions you might have. Final Fantasy is an ambitious and huge title, and the corresponding node is no less frightening. Further, as more information becomes available pertinent to the series as a whole, this writeup will be updated.

A long time ago, in Japan, there was a company called Square Co. LTD., but they weren't a very happy company. They were facing some amount of financial woes; they were making games for the Famicom Disk System, but they were modest hits at best. They needed a major hit, to boost profits and sales. Hironobu Sakaguchi thought that a game like Enix's Dragon Quest, or Dragon Warrior, would be a great way to do that. So, Square Co. LTD. put all their somewhat meagre resoures into a game tentatively titled "Final Fantasy".

That first game, released for the Nintendo Entertainment System on December 18, 1987 in Japan, and July of 1990 here in North America, was a gigantic success. The game wasn't your basic, run-of-the-mill get-the-princess and save the day tale: it had a complex, involved plot, when laid against that of Dragon Quest or Dragon Warrior. This idea - that story is as important to the gameplay as cool spells and graphics - is what's kept millions of players playing. There aren't too many companies that can boast such high sales, like Final Fantasy VII selling six million copies, and Final Fantasy VIII selling just under that. Even though in the United States, Final Fantasy 2 and Final Fantasy 3 were not released, that didn't stop anyone from buying Final Fantasy IV when it was released as Final Fantasy 2 on the 16-bit Super Nintendo Entertainment System. After that, the rest is history: we would anticipate, and lose sleep over not only the playing of the games, but the wait for the big release of the now-matured Squaresoft's latest releases on Sony Playstation. The very first game for the 8-bit NES set the precedent for follow-up console roleplaying games (RPG), and it is the standard by which all console RPGs to date are measured. Further, there are perhaps no other roleplaying franchises that have been so lucrative: there is a set of CDs containing Final Fantasy music, and even a big budget movie, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.

After the 1990 release of Final Fantasy, the U.S. and Canada did not have to wait long for its "sequel". In November of 1991, Final Fantasy II was released. (It was Final Fantasy IV in Japan. For further information, see The Final Fantasy Numbering System.)

This game contains some of the most memorable moments in all gaming history, with the "You spoony bard!" reference (and others I'm sure are even more brilliant) and some of the best characters Square has ever imagined. That traitorous Kain, noble Cecil, and heroic martyrs Palom and Porom are only a small portion of the people encountered in this game. All the characters in this game are memorable, even some of the villains, like Golbez in all his Darth Vaderish glory, and Rubicant, the fiend of Fire, who is honorable enough to heal your team to full health before he tries to kill them all. And, of course, Zeromus, evil incarnate, who you manage to unleash on yourself and have to fight at the end of the game.

There were two major changes in gameplay from the three FF games preceding it: Active Battle and unique character abilities. Active Battle meant that the game was no longer truly turnbased, in that characters and enemies attacked at the same time, although this usually meant that your Healer (typically Rosa, a White Wizard) with 25 HP left would die while you tried to get her a potion. Each character was given a unique ability as well. For instance, Cecil could defend weak players with his own body, Rydia could Summon monsters, and Kain could jump, an attack that would skip a turn, but he couldn't be attacked while in the air, and his attack was super-strong. One other detail differed from the first game, too: your team was constantly revolving, new characters joining and leaving (and dying) as the story progressed.

With the release of Final Fantasy III in the U.S., Squaresoft had created a monster of a game. With as many secrets as you could want - two secret characters and many secret espers and weapons - this game still provides many hours of gameplay, and has an unthinkable amount of replay value. Until the release of their non-series game Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy III had little competition. Everyone had a copy of FFIII.

Surprisingly, Squaresoft had succeeded on many different levels with this installment to the series: even more diverse character abilities, a more complex and, at moments, powerful storyline, and even more beautiful music. The amazing Nobuo Uematsu had created a masterpiece score, which paved his way to fame with the scores for Final Fantasy VII and VIII. The monsters were a little weak, however: characters like "Repo Man", who threw wrenches, or its more powerful counterpart, Gabbledegak, who threw Goldwrenches. Or even a bear who would steal money from you.

As Squaresoft found its way to the Playstation console, they recognized the opportunity for great things, at least for the Final Fantasy series. Final Fantasy VII (released September 1997) and VIII (released September 1999) had amazing sales, and the games were huge in scope: where Nintendo and Super Nintendo releases were one cartridge, the Playstation releases were three and four CDs, respectively.

There are substantial writeups on these games already, so please see Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy VIII, and Final Fantasy IX. One important note to make on the Playstation releases is that Final Fantasy IX marked the return of classes and magic, rather than the pseudo-science fiction angle prevalent in VII and VIII, and also the movie, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.

No video game franchise has had as much of a following as Final Fantasy, and as widespread success. When contrasted against Nintendo's Mario franchise, it's fairly clear to see: no one bought Mario-related orchestral music, or knew the names of perhaps a dozen villains (Seifer, Sephiroth, Golbez), minor recurring characters (Cid, Biggs, Wedge), and places (Corneria, Lunatic Pandora, Baron). The next two Final Fantasy installments are in the works: ten and eleven in the series. Fans will expect nothing less than the best, and they will receive it. Final Fantasy X is to be released on Playstation 2, just one more system that Squaresoft has ported to. The Final Fantasy franchise will undoubtedly port to more consoles, and experience more success. It never fails.

As noder Devon_Hart notes above, Final Fantasy is a huge, ambiguous title. However, there is a common thread that binds a majority of them together.

Nearly every single Final Fantasy game is entirely abusable. No, by abuse, I'm not talking about smashing/shattering the game cartridge/CD against that risqué Chobits poster on your wall after obstinately neglecting to save for two hours and getting ambushed by a Marlboro that uses Bad Breath on its first turn; I'm talking about taking advantage of glitches and the connection to the game play.

There are a smattering of deficiencies, unbalances and bugs ranging across almost the entire, winded series. While the severity of these flaws differs from game to game, many of them allow a near comical domination over their respective games' battle systems. It should go without saying that taking advantage of these programming mistakes and general unbalances does take a large portion of the strategy and planning out of the games.

So why would you want to disregard the fundamental rules Square obviously intended to have in place and abuse a Final Fantasy's battle system like this? Two reasons. First, much (if not all) of the tedious leveling can be thrown completely out the window. Second, there is some sort of narcissistic enjoyment one gets for executing hordes and swathes of puny foes with little of no effort (think Diablo II).

So, one final word before cataloguing these manipulatable errors. I consider these abuses to be the game play equivalent of a story spoiler!! If you really enjoy the battle system for one of these games, you might want to have finished them at least once before looking at these. Or, if you're stuck at a boss somewhere, maybe not. Without further ado...

  • Final Fantasy II

    How it's supposed to work

    Instead of gaining levels through experience, the characters gain skills with weapons or magic depending on their actions in battle. For example, having Firion swing a sword around a bunch makes him better at using swords, having Maria getting beat down by a giant turtle (but survive the battle) will net her more HP, casting Cure repeatedly raises that character's Cure potentcy, etc etc.

    Why it doesn't

    Final Fantasy II has one of the most embarrassingly broken battle systems ever to be released as a retail commercial product. Due to several programming errors, you can essentially have a group ready to fly through a majority of the game just by fighting monsters around the first town. I'd recommend doing this trick for a few hours right at the very absolute beginning, saving, then loading up the tweaked save instead of ever starting a new game from scratch.

    Whether you're playing this on original Famicon, NES emulator or in the strangely unfixed Playstation update, it's all the same and it's reeeeal simple.

    1. Make sure the character being tweaked isn't the last person to take commands in a battle
    2. Go get into a battle
    3. Choose Fight (or the desired spell you wish to improve) and confirm the attack. This brings the weapon being used or spell up 1 or more skill point(s)
    4. Instead of choosing commands for the rest of the group, press the cancel button to return to the character being tweaked
    5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 one hundred times, then finish the battle
    6. The character's skill with the weapon they had equiped or magic spell being used will go up one level
    7. Repeat the process until the desired weapon skill or spell is maxed out at level 16. As long as you have up to date weapons, everything (including bosses) should die in about 1 hit until near the end of the game.

    And wait! That's not all! The previous trick just builds up skills, but what about HP and MP? Yes, the amazingly inept quality assurance team for FF II overlooked another abusable piece of the battle system.

    1. When you reach the mage town Mysidia, buy the "Swap" spell from the magic shop
    2. Return to the earliest towns in the game and get into a battle
    3. Have one character cast Swap on the extremely low level enemies to switch their HP and MP values
    4. Finish the battle. The character that cast Swap will gain Max HP and Max MP as they 'lost' the requiste amount HP and MP to warrant a bonus.
    5. Repeat the process with the other characters, heal up at an inn and start over

  • Final Fantasy IV

    How it's supposed to work

    You have a weapon. This weapon follows the regular laws of physics dictating it can only be in one place at one time.

    Why it doesn't

    There is a bug which allows you to duplicate one handed weapons. The early advantage to doing this is you can then proceed to sell the duplicates and buy whatever you want that's available with the dirty gil. Late in the game, however, you can pull off some powerful tricks with the ninja Edge. For example, you can wantonly throw spare Excaliburs at monsters for a heaping of damage. Even better, you can duplicate Edge's best weapon, the Masamune, and put one in each hand for maximum ninja beatings.

    To duplicate items:

    1. Equip the weapon you want duplicate on a character
    2. Get into a battle and choose the 'item' command for the character who has equiped the weapon being duplicated
    3. Scroll down until you see an empty slot in your inventory. Select the empty slot.
    4. Scroll up all the way until you see what that character has equiped in both hands. Choose the weapon being duplicated, thus effectively placing it in that empty slot.
    5. Run away immediately after exiting the item menu
    6. Open up the menu screen, select Equip and choose the character that was holding the item.
    7. Re-equip the item being duplicated. Then unequip it. There should now be one in your inventory and one still in the hands of the character, thus making two.

  • Final Fantasy V

    How it's supposed to work

    Bosses are mean, nasty creatures that you have to struggle to defeat.

    Why it doesn't

    There is a Blue Magic spell by the name of "Death Claw," available for learning quite early. Until late in the game, Death Claw reduces nearly every boss' HP to single digits (basically killing them).

    Make sure one or more characters is either in the Blue Mage class or has learned the Blue Mage skill "Learning". At the end of the sequence where Karnak Castle is about to explode, you fight a mini boss that uses Death Claw. Learn it from him.

    Use it liberally on random enemies with too much HP and try it on every boss you run into. It'll work often until around the beginning of the Third World.

  • Final Fantasy VI

    How it's supposed to work

    Bosses are mean, nasty creatures that you have to struggle to defeat.

    Why it doesn't

    99.9% of the enemies in the game have the potential to be killed by casting Vanish and Doom, two early game spells. The esper Phantom teaches Vanish and the esper Shoat teaches Doom.

    To PWN3D teh emeniess!!1, first cast Vanish on the target. Being 'vanished' has two properties: 1. The character or monster that is vanished cannot be hit with normal attacks and 2. the character or monster will 100% always be hit by the next magic spell that it is targetted by. Therefore, after casting Vanish on the enemy, simply cast Doom for a nice clean 100% chance insta-kill. If Doom doesn't work, try the spell X-Zone. It probably will. The only foe I can think of that this trick doesn't work on at all is the final boss.

    Bonus!! For more information on taking advantage of bad programming in this game, see Final Fantasy VI evade bug.

  • Final Fantasy VII

    How it's supposed to work

    You have an item. This item follows the regular laws of physics dictating it can only be in one place at one time.

    Why it doesn't

    Yes, this is another item duplication trick due to bad programming. Unfortunately, this trick isn't available until very close to the end of the game. It's still very useful for a few things.

    You can quickly get 99 Chocobo greens of your choosing and build uber-fast racing Chocobos easily. An even better use of this abuse is getting 99 megalixers. With all the megalixers you need, you don't have to fuck around trying to steal them from the eternally dangerous and obnoxious Tonberries. Obviously, you go ahead and feed the megalixers to Magic Pots like nobody's business and graciously accept the mountainous experience and AP they give in return.

    To duplicate items, you need the "W-Item" materia which is found in Midgar's sewers at the end of disc 2.

    1. Equip the W-Item materia on somebody
    2. Get into a battle
    3. Select the W-Item command and scroll down to the item being duplicated
    4. Because of W-Item, you can use a certain item twice. Just use the item being duplicated ONCE, then press the cancel button
    5. Use the item again, and press cancel again. You should notice that you're actually gaining the item being used after cancelling. Repeat until you have 99 of the item.

  • Final Fantasy VIII

    How it's supposed to work

    It's not. Ha. The battle system for VIII is even more broken than the terrible bugged one for II. It's not so much programming errors with VIII as much as it is bad design flaws.

    Why it doesn't

    You could very easily beat the game with just Squall alone. He's so much more powerful than anyone else, it's ridiculous. To take advantage of Squall's unbalanced power, do the following:

    Bring his HP down until he's in the "danger" range, where he kneels down and the HP digits turn yellow. Press the "skip turn" button repeatedly until he gets a limit break. Use Renzokuken. When his turn rolls around again, repeat the process and use Renzokuken again. Afterwards, be sure to NOT heal him. Let him suffer in yellow HP and slam enemies with the limit break the entire game.

    Icing on top of the cake: Raise Squall's strength stat by junctioning your best spells available to it and/or giving him +20%, +40% or +60% strength bonus abilities. This is priority one. Max it out at 255 ASAP.

    Raise Squall's following stats the very same way in this order: Speed, elemental defenses (use 100 Ultimas for the best effect), Defense/Magic Defense and Evade.

    Okay, now for even more bonuses that really unbalance the game.

    • In Balamb (the city not the Garden), immediately buy "Cottage" items until you're out of money. Use the ability that converts items into Recovery spells and convert the Cottages into Curagas. Junction the Curagas to HP. With this trick, I've had two characters at 3500 HP about 4 hours into the game.

    • Get the Guardian Force Diablos by using the magic lamp Cid gives you after Zell and Selphie join your party. Learn "Encounter-Half" and "Encounter-None". Since gaining experience is actually bad in this game (monsters level up based on Squall's level), there's nothing to lose by avoiding all the fights. Whoo! No more useless random encounters!

    • If you like the Triple Triad card game, be sure to play Ellone in the Space Station. Win the Laguna Card from her and convert it into 100 Heroes. A Hero is an item that makes one character invincible for about 3 turns. The last boss is freakin' toast if you do this.

  • Final Fantasy IX

    How it's supposed to work

    As you progress through the game, you fight progressively stronger monsters which give you progressively better experience. Until you're strong enough to defeat these monsters, however, it will be impossible to kill them.

    Why it doesn't

    With a few hours of preparation, you can take down some Grand Dragons on disc 1! Killing your first Grand Dragon on disc 1 means you get about 7 level ups per character. Subsequent Grand Dragons give a level per battle until around level 40ish. I stop there as level 40 can take you all the way to the middle of disc 3 without any resistance. Theoretically, you can get to level 50 with a little more work and never bother with leveling again. Anyway, here's how to kill some Grand Dragons.

    Near the end of disc 1, your party consists of Zidane, Freya, Vivi and Quina. Make sure you win the Coral Ring in the hunting tournament in Lindblum, then go to the Chocobo Forest to the east of Lindblum. Play the amazingly stressful but entertaining mini game, Chocobo Hot and Cold, until you get the chocograph that reads:

    "Small Beach (Reef)-It's a beach on a small island! A great place to vacation, kupo."

    This is on an island in bay east of Lindbulm. Your chocobo needs to be able to walk on rivers to get it. Inside is a chest that gives you an Oak Staff which teaches Vivi the Bio spell.

    Next, go to the shoreline on the north rim of the continent, past Burmecia and west of Cleyra. There should be enemies called Nymphs that Quina can eat to learn the Blue Magic "Night".

    Teach Quina and Vivi the "insomniac" ability from the Coral Ring. Next, go to the part of Gizamaluke's Grotto where the Moogles that like Kupo Nuts live. Climb up the rope to the plateau on the world map and save your game.

    Get into a battle with a Grand Dragon and do the following. Have Quina cast Night ASAP or you'll die. This will put the Grand Dragon to sleep. Then, have Vivi cast Bio repeatedly on the slumbering beast; don't worry, magic won't wake him... yet. He'll wake up automatically after several rounds and proceed to kick your ass if you're unlucky. However, if he doesn't kill you upon waking, have Quina cast Night again. Eventually, he'll die from the repeated Bio spells and poison damage. You'll get massive amounts of experience that you don't really deserve. You bastard.

    Bonus!! See also noder Xmatt's write up in Final Fantasy IX vs. My Chair for abuse of Auto-Regen abilities.

  • Final Fantasy X

    How it's supposed to work

    Rikku's overdrive ability, Mix, is a powerful addition to your already impressive arsenal of destruction. Wakka's overdrive ability, Attack Reels, is also a powerful addition to your already impressive arsenal of destruction.

    Why it doesn't

    One of Rikku's Mix abilities is called Trio of 9999. It bestows herself and two other characters with the ability to do 9999 for every attack. Wakka's Attack Reels ability basically lets him instantly attack 12 times in a row. If you combine these two abilities, Wakka can dish out 119,988 damage in a single turn!

    The easiest way to activate Trio of 9999 is by mixing two "Wings of Discovery". You can find 30 in the semi-hidden Remiem temple bonus Chocobo race. This will give you 15 opportunities to use Trio of 9999 which is more than enough to cover every remaining boss in the game (about 10 more).

    Wakka's Attack Reels can be won by playing and winning tournaments in the Blitzball mini-game.

    The great thing is that this combo is available completely indepedent of leveling up. This means you can race to Remiem temple to get the Wings of Discovery for Rikku without worrying about being strong enough to kill some of the final round of difficult bosses.

    I'm not sure if Square intended for Wakka to be able to kill every monster in the game (except for a handful of super difficult optional bosses) in one hit, but I don't think they did. So thus, I consider this trick to be abuse even though it doesn't take advantage of poor or unintended programming.

  • Final Fantasy Tactics

    How it's supposed to work

    I have a special guest here to explain the abusable glitches in Final Fantasy Tactics.

    Professor Daravon says: "I got a good feeling!there is two instences of using a misaligned plague of a program for cheats. In the game thist is called of Final Fantasy Tactics off course!! Use them in caution when in use, you spoony bard!"

    ...Sorry about that. It's supposed to work like this.

    You have a weapon. This weapon follows the regular laws of physics dictating it can only be in one place at one time. And also...

    You fight enemies in a manner which raises your job points at a slow but steady pace which encourages thought and planning for character building and job class selection.

    Why it doesn't

    Maaaaan, Square just can't get their foot down on counterfeiting items. Here's how to duplicate weapons in FF Tactics.

    1. Get the "Two-Swords" ability for the Ninja Class
    2. Equip the weapon being duplicated in the person's bottom hand slot
    3. Change into a Knight (with Two-Swords ability on)
    4. Go to a store that sells the type of item being duplicated (ie, if you're duplicating a sword, go to a store that sells swords)
    5. Use the "Best Fit" option which should put the weapon you're duplicating into the top hand slot while a weapon of the same type you need to buy will appear in your lower hand slot
    6. Accept the best fit, then move the weapon being duplicated back into the lower hand slot. There should be a dupe in your inventory now.
    7. Repeat the process ad infitium for cash if desired

    There is also an incredibly nuanced glitch involving getting 9999 free job points, but only for certain classes. Be warned: It's very buggy and I believe it can damage your save if you don't do it correctly. This whole process of manipulating this glitch could take a write up in itself as to what works and what doesn't. It's complex. There's a great guide called "JP Scroll Glitch FAQ" on GameFAQs if you need more details.

    Here's the basic premise. You go into the skill learning screen with enough job points to learn a certain ability. Select the ability, but when it says "Do you wish to learn Ability X," don't confirm with yes yet. Instead, hold down the square button and press up and/or down. A weird glitch will then take affect for some job classes. If it does, then say yes. Sometimes, it will give you 9999 job points for that class. Unfortunately, there are varying random effects of doing this, such as losing job points and screwing up classes for characters, so I highly advise saving your game first. Refer to the aforementioned "JP Scroll Glitch FAQ" for more information.

  • Miscellaneous Final Fantasy Abuse

    Evidently there is a way to duplicate weapons in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance by linking two Game Boy Advances and trading items a certain way... However, I've never done this (as I know no one besides myself with a GBA and FFTA) and I don't feel qualified to explain it.

    The original Final Fantasy has an "easy" mode in the Final Fantasy Origins remake which makes the game laughably easy. The game was not intended to be so simple, so I consider it a form of abuse.

    Noder mfk informs me that Final Fantasy X-2 has a fun little accessory called "Cat Nip" which allows your girls to do 9999 while they're in critical condition. Change the job class to gunner, use trigger happy and you can dish out 10k every time you press R1 with this set up. I'll add more once I actually get that far in the game.

    Sources: Playing all these games far too long

  • As of this writing the most current version of the original Final Fantasy game appears on a compilation for the Game Boy Advance (Final Fantasy I & II Dawn of Souls). This version of the game fixes a lot of the problems that existed with the original game, however it creates a few new ones.

    To start this version of the game replaces the graphics with better ones, it appears to be a direct sprite replacement job, as is often done with updates of this type. It looks pretty good and I honestly have no problems with the new graphics at all.

    Final Fantasy has always been the odd one out of the series, it did things differently than the other games and had somewhat of a different feel. With this re-release it seems that they made an attempt to make this game fit better with the other ones, not to mention taking the opportunity to fix some of the most glaring problems in the game. The largest problem with the original game was that of characters making "ineffective" attacks against downed foes. That problem has been removed, as characters will now just attack the next monster down the line, not that your characters will be attacking most foes, but we will get into that later.

    The original Final Fantasy game had a level system that didn't go that high, had no optional dungeons, and used pseudo-Vancian spellcasting (to be more precise it used a mechanic identical to the 3.5 Dungeons & Dragons sorcerer class). However later games in the series were well known for characters getting to truly pornographic levels (60, 70, the sky was the limit), and for using magic/mana points rather than spell slots, not to mention the optional dungeons with the super powerful bosses. So in an effort to fit in with the later series they altered the level system of the game to go up to around 100 or so. To tell you the truth I am not sure how high it goes, you certainly gain levels a lot quicker now, and no limit seems to be in sight when you end up beating the game. They changed the spell slot system to a mana point system, and added four massive optional dungeons. They also added some new items as well, and made a few other small changes in the combat system.

    In expanding the level system they also severely cut down the amount of fights required to go from one level to the next, in fact they did it to a point where you simply didn't have to do any "leveling" at all, and if you bother to do so then you will completely remove the last vestiges of challenge from the game). Don't be surprised if you walk directly from the first town to fight Garland and end up at 4th level by the time you get there.

    Now, when replacing a spell slot and level system (Vancian) with a mana point system you have to be very careful to maintain the balance. The first mistake every newbie does is create a system where the old spell slots are each worth their level in points, and a spell costs that many points to cast. That inevitably creates a system that allows the spellcaster to channel all their points into their best fireball spell, without ever having to be stuck casting those weak first level light spells. Needless to say Square basically did the same thing here. Now the other major problem with mana point systems, and the reason why I personally hate them is because converting magic into something that uses points quickly introduces the idea of a potion (usually blue) that fills those points back up. Having (common and cheap) items that fill your magic back up means that your black mage is NEVER going to run out of spells, even if he does nothing but cast his highest level spell every round. This really increases the power level of the spellcasters, who were previously dead weight kept around for one or two rather crucial abilities.

    In addition to items to fill your mana back up, they also added items that can raise characters from the dead, and super duper healing potions that are actually worth using in combat, which means you don't have much reason to use a cleric anymore. There are also a few new weapons and some one use items that can raise a stat permanently. The stat items are pretty rare though and don't have much effect on the game.

    The interface changes include some welcome ones, such as the ability to walk faster, buy multiple items at the same time and save whenever you want. However there are some changes to the inventory system that seem to be welcome at first, but serve to even further suck the challenge out of the game. In the past you were highly limited in the amount of weapon and armor items that you could carry around, in fact, each character could carry four weapons and four armor items. It wasn't all that unusual to have to drop weapons and armor (permanently) in the middle of a dungeon just to find out what is inside a chest (particularly irksome, since there is this Monty Haul area deep in the game that has a chest with a 1 GP cloak in it). Now the characters can each carry those four, plus the party can carry as many other unassigned items as they want. Another similar change is the fact that characters can now use other character's items in combat, by mid-game this means that every character is able to use about a dozen different spellcasting items at will.

    The game also adds four optional megadungeons that have nearly unbeatable bosses in them. This would have been a great addition to the game if they hadn't totally dropped the ball on them. First off, they are huge, even the smallest one has more content than the entire original game did, and the final one has eighty levels to it. Unfortunately the random encounters (of which you will do thousands) in them are at a level that is too weak to challenge any party high enough level to get to the dungeon in the first place, and too weak to provide any significant experience points for said party. Have you ever walked around in the beginning of the game fighting imps when you are level 20? That is what this is like, just hundreds to thousands of fights without any challenge whatsoever. If you try the final one you might be literally 80th level repeatedly fighting foes more suitable to a 4th level party. True, there are some insanely tough megabosses scattered in these dungeons and some powerful items, but they aren't worth the monotony of spending dozens of hours of your life pressing the A button to fight monsters that aren't capable of damaging you.

    Finally, with everything they did to fix (and ruin) the game, a few things stayed the same. Mainly the fact that all you need to do is grab four spellcasting items, give one to each character and use them all every round. That strategy takes care of all non-boss group style fights in the game in one round, two if you are unlucky. Non-boss single monster fights can never stand to a full round attack from all the characters, so there is no challenge there either.

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