Final Fantasy is one of the longest running franchises in gaming history, with 15 main titles under its belt. Not to mention the huge number of spin-offs and sequels that have shared (and tarnished) the name. The established video game franchise has sold over 130 million copies, and has amassed a large, devoted fan base that has spent countless hours trying to figure out all the nuanced tricks of all the titles in the series.
However, even after so many years, the mechanics of Final Fantasy continue to show their complexity, with different strategies and tactics that can virtually change how you play the game. This list compiles a variety of glitches, techniques, and concepts that are often overlooked. Some of these nuances date back to the very beginning of the series in Final Fantasy I, while others deal with Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy XV. Here are 25 of the most obscure tricks from the Final Fantasy series.
25 Death Penalty Overflow Glitch (FFVII)
The Ultimate Weapon of Vincent Valentine is the Death Penalty, a rifle found in Lucrecia's Cave. The weapon starts out quite weak, but gets stronger the more enemies Vincent kills. Most gamers might prefer to switch to another weapon early on, but sticking with this rifle can prove to be extremely lucrative in the long run. You need 768 kills from Vincent to reach a 1.0X damage multiplier, but if you grind heavily (and we do mean *heavily*), the Death Penalty's damage output will overflow, causing each enemy to die in a single shot. This includes the WEAPON super bosses.
If you're looking for a number, you need a total of 65,536 kills from Vincent to trigger this particular glitch. So... good luck with that.
24 Infinite Sprint (FFXV)
First off, it's recommended that you enable the option to show the stamina bar from the menu. This nifty little trick can be performed without the additional UI, but in order to get the timing of it right, it's way easier to have a visual indication instead of paying close attention to Noctis' movement.
As you hold the left stick/O button to sprint, keep a close eye on the stamina bar. Just before it depletes, let go of the left stick/O button, and press it again. If done correctly, Noctis will flash green and the stamina bar will fill up again, allowing you to pretty much sprint for infinite periods of time. This particular trick is a great way to build up Gladio's Survival skill.
23 Lucky 7s (FFVII)
The developers at Squaresoft added a nice little Easter Egg in Final Fantasy VII regarding the number —go figure— seven. If a character's HP lands exactly on 7777, then a special in-battle message will show, and said character will proceed to go on an all-out barrage of 64 uninterrupted hits, each landing exactly 7,777 damage (for a total of 497,728 damage).
This effect can go both ways, with enemies dealing out 7,777 damage as well if their HP happened to hit this particular sweet spot. A character that has both Poison and Lucky 7s status will also receive 7,777 poison damage every turn. Both situations can be quite lethal for the player, although the chances of any one of these occurring are quite slim.
This tactic has proven to be quite effective against Emerald and Ruby WEAPON, both of whom have massive amounts of HP.
22 Aura Exploit For Unlimited Limit Breaks (FFVIII)
Final Fantasy VIII arguably has some of the most awesome limit breaks in the entire series, from Squall's Lion Heart, to Zell's Duel, to Selphie's The End (one of the weirdest limit breaks to ever grace any Final Fantasy game ever). The game also has 'Aura,' a spell that increases the frequency of these limit breaks. The probability still isn't a hundred percent... or so you think.
You see, like in most RPGs you can skip a turn in order to open another party member's battle menu in Final Fantasy VIII if their ATB gauge is also full. However, if a particular character has Aura cast on them, then you can mash triangle until their limit break prompt is triggered (this can be done even if the other party members have a full ATB gauge), allowing you to pretty much endlessly spam limit breaks as long as Aura remains active.
21 Kill Phantom Train In One Turn (FFVI)
The Phantom Train serves as the boss of a rather memorable dungeon in Final Fantasy VI, which involves the party of Cyan, Sabin and (optionally) Shadow trekking through its various carriages, fighting demons and spirits until you reach the main engine. This fight can be fairly challenging (especially if you don't have Shadow in your party, since Phantom Train uses an annoying status-afflicting attack called Evil Toot/Diabolic Whistle if there are only two members in your party)... that is, unless you know a simple trick to defeat this boss in one go.
You see, the Phantom Train is an undead enemy, which means that curative items damage it instead. So just simply use a Phoenix Down on it and laugh victoriously as the boss dies in one turn. Or y'know, you could also suplex the bastard since video games are awesome that way.
20 Blitzball Exploit (FFX)
Blitzball is one of the most well-developed and enjoyable minigames in Final Fantasy X, in what can only be described as an aquatic version of soccer. However, there are understandably a lot of players who'd prefer playing the actual game instead, which is why it's quite frustrating when you find out that a number of useful items and Wakka's Overdrive, Slots can only be obtained by completing these challenges. However, there's a simple exploit to get past this.
If the player takes the ball and stays behind their own team's goalie, then the opponent will not make a move to take the ball back. This exploit is especially handy against the Luca Goers, who are notorious for being a huge pain in the ass to beat. By taking the lead early on, one can stay behind the goalkeeper and stay there until the clock runs out, resulting in an easy win.
19 Hidden Blackjack Mini-Game (FFIX)
Final Fantasy IX is a great game, and personal favorite of many long time Final Fantasy fans who found the charming, light-hearted and nostalgic tone of the game to be a welcome respite from the recent broody, dark titles that Squaresoft had been churning out (Final Fantasy VI, VII, VIII). The game was chock full of throwbacks, secrets, easter eggs, and some extremely obscure quests (one of which we'll get to in a bit). In fact, the constant barrage of secrets never stopped — even when the game was finished.
At the end of the game, once the 'The End' screen is reached, the player can enter a secret button combination which goes as follows: R2, L1, R2, R2, Up, X, Right, O, Down, Triangle, L2, R1, R2, L1, Square, Square, Start. Doing so will trigger a secret Blackjack mini-game.
18 15 Puzzle: The Hidden Mini-Game (FF)
Being the first game in the series, it's understandable why the original Final Fantasy doesn't have that many secrets when compared to the rest of the titles in the series. However, the developers at Square still didn't pull any punches when it came to programming vague, hard-to-find secrets in their brand new IP.
While the method to access this hidden mini-game might vary with every different version of the title, the general thumb of rule is to press the A/X and B/O buttons together multiple times once the player acquires the ship. This will allow access to a mini-game called '15 Puzzle,' where the goal is to align the blocks in numerical order. Depending on how quick the puzzle is solved, the player is treated to a bevy of useful items and equipment.
17 Refine Bahamut Triple Triad Card Into 100 Megalixirs (FFVIII)
Bahamut is an optional boss in Final Fantasy VIII, but he should be encountered nevertheless for a bunch of reasons. He is arguably one of the most useful GFs in the game, with unique abilities that can only be gained through him, including the capacity to create some of the most powerful spells in the game.
However, a huge reason as to why most Final Fantasy veterans choose to fight this iconic summon is because of its extremely lucrative drop. While the Triple Triad Card that he drops (aptly named 'Bahamut') is pretty decent, the real reason for acquiring this card is to get the 100 Megalixirs that are obtained after refining it. Essentially, getting this card makes the rest of the game a cakewalk (unless you plan on fighting Omega Weapon, that is).
16 The Vanish-Doom Exploit (FFVI)
Vanish is a nice trick to have up your sleeve when you're up against a particularly tough enemy. The spell bestows the Invisible status, which lets a character evade any physical attack, although they'll be rendered visible again if hit with a magic attack. In the SNES version, however, this spell can be used for a very cheap and easy-to-use exploit.
While some enemies —and almost all bosses— have immunity against instant death, this can be overridden by casting Vanish on them, followed by Doom. This will result in an instant death, leading to most boss fights turning from fairly challenging to downright comical encounters.
This exploit was later fixed in the GBA and Android/iOS versions, since apparently having fun is a crime.
15 Early Justice Monsters 5 Equipment Exploit (FFXV)
Early on in your journey in Final Fantasy XV, you'll find one of the many Crow's Nest Diner's southwest of Hammerhead. Inside this diner is a 'Justice Monsters 5' pinball machine, which can provide some extremely lucrative items early on to make your trek through the starting chapters of the game less grueling (provided you have some much-needed patience).
After starting the game, focus your attention on the bumper in the middle of the screen instead of the monsters. By building up a high combo, you can trigger a roulette sequence where, by getting all three gold boxes, you can increase your treasure chest count by 5. If you spend enough time on this machine, you can get some pretty sweet items and equipment which can be a huge help, especially early on in the game.
This is not the only time that Justice Monsters 5 can be extremely useful...
14 Justice Monsters 5 Gil Exploit (FFXV)
Unlike other Final Fantasy games, you don't get any gil in Final Fantasy XV by defeating monsters. This will pretty much leave you broke for most of the game until you reach Chapter 9, where —with some patience and a sizable investment— you can completely negate your gil problems.
Go to the Palsino St. Station in Altissia, where you'll find a Justice Monsters 5 machine that costs 10,000 gil to play. By increasing the treasure chest count on this machine to 99, you can obtain an item called 'Wind-Up Lord Vexxos.' This item can be used in Elemancy to create extremely potent magic that can break the damage limit ... or you can just sell it to a vendor for 500,000 gil and never have any money problems ever again.
13 Using Knights Of The Round On Jenova SYNTHESIS (FFVII)
Jenova SYNTHESIS is the last boss form of Jenova that you fight before the penultimate battle with Sephiroth. The battle isn't particularly hard, but if you still choose to defeat the boss with the Knights of the Round (you *scrub*), then the programmers decided to add a little surprise for you for next two boss fights.
In the next fight, the HP of the body of Bizarro Sephiroth will increase by 60000, while the final boss, Safer Sephiroth will have his HP doubled. To put this into context, the original HP value of Bizarro Sephiroth's body is 40000, while Safer Sephiroth has a total of 80000 HP. Of course, if you're going to spam Knights of the Round anyway, then this won't be a huge concern for you scrublord.
Using Knights of the Round isn't the only factor that can change these HP values though...
12 Each Level 99 Character Adds More Health To Sephiroth (FFVII)
If you grinded all of your characters to Level 99 and are planning to fight Sephiroth without any cheap tactics, then be prepared for a long fight. When you fight Bizarro Sephiroth, his body gets a 5000 HP bonus for each Level 99 party member, while his core gets a 1750 HP boost for the same. His other body parts also get a small HP boost for each Level 99 character, but these bonuses are nothing when you compare them to his second form.
Safer Sephiroth gets a bonus of 30000 HP, 2 Attack, 20 Defense, 5 Magic Attack and 16 Magic Defense for every character at level 99. Coupling that with the 80000 HP bonus if you use Knights of the Round on Jenova SYNTHESIS means that you'll be in for one hell of a fight if you decide to fight Safer Sephiroth fair and square.
11 Stealing Dark Matter From Zeromus (FFIV)
Zeromus is the final form of Zemus, the main antagonist of Final Fantasy IV, and the penultimate boss of the game. In the original version on the SNES, one can use Edge's Steal command to obtain a mysterious item called 'Dark Matter' from this boss. It was believed that this item would help in reducing the damage received from Zeromus' Big Bang attack, but these rumors turned out to be untrue.
However, in the DS remake, Dark Matter actually serves a purpose — albeit in New Game+. After reaching the Red Moon, the player can use the Dark Matter they stole on the moon's surface in order to trigger a fight with a new super boss, Proto-Babil (and get completely annihilated in the process). Proto-Babil ain't no joke, that's for sure.
10 Lethe River XP Exploit (FFVI)
Early on in Final Fantasy VI, the player will board a raft in order to navigate the Lethe River, until they reach a point where they have to fight Ultros. The party will be assaulted by enemies while they're traversing the river... but this isn't necessarily a bad thing.
During the raft segment, you are prompted to choose a direction for your raft to travel in. If left unchecked, then the raft will go down the default route, looping back towards its original position. This can be repeated infinitely to spam encounters, and healing won't be an issue due to Banon's Heal command, which restores a fair amount of HP to the entire party with no MP consumption. By repeating this loop for a while, the party can gain a decent amount of levels in a relatively short amount of time.
9 Kill Soulcage In A Single Turn (FFIX)
Soulcage is a boss that is fought when the party is traversing the Iifa tree in order to find Kuja. The boss is fairly difficult, with spells that can cause instant death and afflict the annoying 'Heat' status as well. Casting fire on it causes its leaves to start burning as well, letting it perform a unique attack called 'Fire Blades' that can cause some problems for the party. However, there is one glaring weakness that the boss does have — it's undead.
Yes, just like most of the enemies you encounter in the Iifa tree, Soulcage is vulnerable to curative items and spells, similar to the Phantom Train in Final Fantasy VI. Casting Life or using a Phoenix Down on Soulcage will lead to a quick, easy victory for the party.
8 Casting Berserk On The Magic Master (FFVI)
The Magic Master is a challenging boss fight encountered at the top of the Cultists' Tower after obtaining the Soul of Thamasa, a powerful relic that allows you to use Dualcast. The boss will constantly use Barrier Change to alter his elemental weakness whenever it is attacked. He has a bevy of powerful spells at his disposal that can decimate the party if you're not prepared —unless you cast Berserk, that is.
The Magic Master is not immune to Berserk, and taking advantage of this weakness will nullify pretty much any danger during the boss fight. His powerful magic attacks will be replaced by weak physical strikes, posing little to no threat to the party. The only thing left to do would be to cast Reraise on a party member in order to survive Ultima, an extremely powerful non-elemental spell that the Magic Master will cast before dying.
7 The Nihopalaoa Accessory (FFXII)
The Nihopalaoa is an interesting accessory that is unlocked after completing 10 hunts. After doing so, you can purchase this item from the Muthru Bazaar in Rabanastre for 30,000 gil. This accessory reverses the effect of healing items, which can be extremely useful if used the right way.
For example, if you use a Remedy on an enemy while you have the Nihopalaoa equipped, you can afflict them with any one of the following status ailments: Sleep, Sap, Immobilize, Disable, Petrify, Confuse, Oil, Stop, Doom and/or Disease. This trick is especially useful against bosses since most of them are vulnerable to at least one of these status ailments. Similarly, using a Phoenix Down on an enemy when you have the Nihopalaoa equipped will kill it instead.
6 The Multi-Party Save Point Exploit (FFVI)
During certain story segments in Final Fantasy, the player will be forced to use multiple parties to clear certain dungeons (the Phoenix Cave, Kefka's Tower, and Dragons' Den). While traversing these dungeons, the player can use an exploit in order to make healing less cumbersome.
To trigger this glitch, one party needs to move onto a save point. Then, once you switch over to another party, you can use tents and sleeping bags for this group as well so long as you don't move them. The exploit will stop working the moment you move the second party.
This glitch is very useful if you only want to explore the dungeon with a single party. By keeping the reserve party near a save point, you can essentially enable your main party to use a tent or sleeping bag anywhere as long as the reserve party stays near a save point.
5 Using Magic Pots To Grind EXP, AP And Gil Late Game (FFVII)
The Magic Pot is an enemy you can find late in the game in the Northern Cave. At a first glance, these enemies might seem impossible to defeat. They're invulnerable to all damage and have the chance to steal any item from your inventory as a counterattack. However, once you play the waiting game with these fiends, you'll find out what they really want.
After a while, these enemies will ask for an Elixir (something you should have an abundance of through judicious application of the W-Item glitch). Once you give them one, they will lose their invulnerability. Kill them quickly in order to get 8,000 EXP, 8,500 gil and a whopping 1,000 AP per Magic Pot defeated.
These enemies (along with Movers) are perfect for grinding lots of AP in a short period of time in order to master your Materia late in the game.
4 The Infamous Nero Brothers Sidequest (FFIX)
Okay, so maybe calling this a 'trick' would be a bit of a stretch. But when it comes to frustratingly vague stuff in video games, this quest takes the cake. The Nero Brothers Sidequest was discovered in 2013 - 13 years after the game's release on the PlayStation.
During the final dungeon, there are certain moments when the player must trigger an event, then come back all the way to the Tantalus Hideout in Lindblum to talk to the Nero family members in order to progress this incredibly obscure quest. After doing this a total of 9 times, the quest will be complete, and your reward will be a fairly useless Protect Ring.
The craziest part about this is that this quest was already listed in the Japan-only Final Fantasy IX Ultimania, but for some reason, the quest wasn't revealed in the West until more than a decade later.
3 Avoid Battles While Driving Around At Night (FFXV)
Eos is a dangerous land to roam around in during the middle of the night, especially if you're just starting out and are highly unprepared to boot. High-leveled daemons can spawn out of nowhere and easily wipe out your entire party. If you're still hell-bent on exploring the land at night though, then there's a way to avoid these encounters.
While driving down the road, you'll see the red encounter bar on the screen and some daemons appearing in front of you on the path. Quickly make a U-turn and drive away from the enemy's attacking range, keeping them in your sights as you do so. As you exit the vehicle and regain control of Noctis, you'll notice that the enemies have despawned. Now all you have to do is just get back in your car and drive past the once-threatening area.
2 Obtain Aranea Highwind As A Permanent Party Member (FFXV)
There's a trick to get the Dragoon, Aranea Highwind, as a permanent party member once she starts helping you out after Chapter 7.
Camp at Cotisse Haven, then wait till midnight and save. Head north and use the Beast Whistle to summon enemies until you spawn an Iron Giant. As soon as you trigger the battle, run as quickly as you can outside the combat radius and fast travel back to the rest area. Once you're back, open the camp menu and wait for Aranea's cutscene to trigger. As soon as it does, select Camp and wait for morning. After that, all you need to do is load the camping autosave, and Aranea will become a (mostly) permanent party member!
This glitch has been patched out in recent updates, but if you really want Aranea in your team then you can wait until she joins and then patch your game.
1 Secret Story Cinematic In Shinra Mansion (FFVII)
Final Fantasy VII has a ton of well-known secrets and exploits (like the optional party members, the W-Item duplication glitch and Lucky 7s). However, a somewhat less-known secret is the cutscene that's triggered in the basement laboratory of the Shinra Mansion on Disc 2, when Cloud returns to the party after returning from the Lifestream.
This short, expository cutscene shows Cloud and his friend Zack Fair, an ex-SOLDIER escaping from the laboratory and hitching a ride on the back of a truck as Zack talks about their future at Midgar. The scene shifts as Zack drags Cloud's comatose body on a cliff, before getting viciously gunned down by the pursuing Shinra troops. This traumatic memory, along with the Mako poisoning, leads to Cloud's brain forming an altered reality where he himself was the renegade SOLDIER-1st Class as he tried to forget Zack.