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This page covers tropes found in Dissidia Final Fantasy, tropes A to M. You can find tropes N to Z here.


  • Action Command: During the EX Bursts. While most are button mashing or inputting a sequence of buttons, Squall and Tidus use the systems from their own games (with Ultimecia and Jecht having obvious variants). Onion Knight, Gabranth and Shantotto have unique non-button-mashing systems with Shantotto and Onion Knight using a menu based command system while Gabranth uses the Quickening system from XII.
    • And in Dissidia 012 the tradition continues. Lightning uses a series of four attacks from her Gestalt mode, each one involving a different input and in a randomized order. Tifa has a slot-machine style system where timed button presses stop the reels. Vaan uses the Quickening as Gabranth does. Laguna uses a first-person shooting style attack to fill up a bar and finish with the GREATEST ATTACK EVER! Yuna uses basic timed button presses. And lastly, Gilgamesh must select the Excalibur out of the mix of swords (the others being Excalipoors) on a revolving reel.
  • Adaptational Badass: Garland is the best example of this. Remember he said "I will knock you all down" in the original Final Fantasy and ended up being a pushover? Well, now he's a hammy Blood Knight with a BFS. Firion, the Emperor and the Warrior of Light have been upgraded from little to no personalities to being a Hot-Blooded rebel, a Magnificent Bastard, and Knight in Shining Armor, respectively.
    • Laguna is getting shades of this treatment in Dissidia 012. So while he remains Adorkable and silly in the plot, gameplay-wise, it looks like the man is to firearms what Firion is to conventional arms and indeed possesses one of the greatest attacks ever.
    • Who would've thought that the humble port town Onrac was once a world spanning empire that was the FF equivalent of Nazi Germany?
  • Advertised Extra: Despite Gabranth and Shantotto appearing in trailers, the opening and on the game cover for Dissidia 012 on equal footing with the rest of the cast, they only appear in optional scenes in the Reports, and a small handful at that--they play absolutely no role in the main storyline.
  • AI Breaker: Many AI opponents have serious troubles dodging Yuna's Energy Ray and Mega Flare. One can level Yuna from level 30 to 100 in about an hour by abusing this.
    • Kefka can do this too, provided the area is big enough for him to stay at a distance and lob spells. Due to the AI's preference for dodging instead of blocking, it's inevitable they'll dodge the wrong way eventually.
  • AI Roulette: The game randomly determines the equipment of the AI in Quick Battle and Arcade mode, and sometimes the equipment set-up they give your opponent is horrible. Sometimes you'll face an opponent with an awesome equipment set, great Boosters and accessories that all work well together. Other times, you'll face a heavy physical fighter equipped with Excalipoor (physical attacks do 0% damage), Ensanguined Shield (HP:95%, Brave starts at 0), or the Bone Mail (cannot absorb EX Force), equipment which is generally useless except in very specific character builds. The AI is also liable to equip eight or nine random Boosters with one or two "Special" accessories (Boosters only enhance Normal accessories), thereby making their Boosters useless. Or you could get the AI equipping a bunch of otherwise great EX Force accessories like Pearl Necklace, Gold Hourglass, Gravitorb... then equip the forementioned Bone Mail so they can't absorb EX Force, rendering those accessories useless. They'll also equip accessories to boost magic damage to physical fighters and physical damage boosting accessories to mages.
    • In Dissidia 012, the AI still does all this and also combines EX-boosting accessories with Assist boosting accessories. EX-boosting accessories reduce Assist effectiveness and vice-versa, resulting in the AI equipping accessories that more or less cancel out each other's effects.
  • An Aesop: Several across the Destiny Odysseys, mostly about friendship, trust, companionship, loyalty and following one's heart.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: Onrac
  • And Now for Something Completely Different: Dissidia takes an all new turn on the Final Fantasy franchise by essentially making the gameplay more akin to a fighting game.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Unlike every other board in the game, Shade Impulse Chapter 4 has no Destiny Points nor Story Points, meaning that the player can attempt Chaos however many times they need to without worrying about being scored on it. They can also flee from him and rearrange their equipment and abilities without penalty.
    • This is done for every level in Dissidia 012. With Destiny Points swapped for KP, there's never any penalty for fleeing from battle, so if you challenge an enemy and realize you're in over your head you can run from then, rearrange your equipment, perhaps find a way around them, and try again when you're ready. The only penalty you face is losing your chain if you fight enemies with a chain skill, which is more your choice as a player that you tried to chain enemies for more KP and weren't cut out for it.
  • Anyone Can Die: Dissidia 012 has a body count not seen since the likes of Final Fantasy II: All of the original ten heroes except for Warrior of Light die (due to the rules of the war, they get better), while Lightning, Kain, Tifa, Laguna, Vaan and Yuna are (a hair's breadth shy of being) Killed Off for Real. Meanwhile on the side of the villains, Kuja, the Cloud of Darkness and Exdeath also die, Sephiroth commits suicide, and Jecht performs a Heroic Sacrifice leaving him an Empty Shell until the next cycle. However, due to the Foregone Conclusion of the game the effect is somewhat diminished.
    • Depending on how you interpret the ending of the story mode to fit with the story revealed in the Reports, it could be that all the Heroes (save for Warrior of Light) are just magical copies of the original characters, and what they think is getting to return to their home worlds is actually reaching obsolescence and being Killed Off for Real.
  • Arch Enemy: Naturally, the hero-villain pairs.
    • Dissidia 012 pushes The Emperor into this position towards Yuna, Tidus and Jecht. The other five new characters get one of the original ten villains as their designated enemy too--Vaan and Kefka, Tifa and Ultimecia, Laguna and the Cloud of Darkness, Kain and Exdeath, and Lightning and Garland.
  • Armor Is Useless: Most of the people you fight in the story mode have things like Charred Helms and Rusted Armor that actually end up LOWERING their stats.
    • In Dissidia 012 in their new third outfits, Garland, Golbez and Exdeath take off their armor, Gabranth switches out his suit of plate mail for a lightweight army uniform with armored plates, and Zidane dons a suit of knight armor. None of these outfits have any effect on their gameplay.
  • Armor of Invincibility: The Genji equipment, Snowpetal combination, and Adamant equipment--all Level 99, all give the highest stat boosts of their armor type. Also the Maximillian, which ties with other armor for the highest HP booster in the game and tacks on +20% physical defense.
  • Artificial Human: The Manikins, Warrior of Light, Chaos, and Cosmos as well. The first game played with the idea that all the main characters are just advanced Manikins, but it's debunked in Dissidia 012 with other characters wondering this for themselves and discovering otherwise through various means.
  • Art Major Physics: As in the grand Squeenix tradition. For this installment, though, the natural-law-breaking is not just confined to cutscenes--see the jumping tropes and awesomeness-related tropes below.
  • Artistic Age: When it comes to the heroes, it can be really hard to tell the difference between who's in their teens and who's in their early twenties. The most egregious are probably Bartz (20) and Squall (17)--if you didn't know how old they were, you'd probably think Bartz was the younger one. It's not really helped by the fact that Squall's voice actors from both the Japanese and English version of the Kingdom Hearts games, in which he is indeed in his mid-20s, reprised their roles.
    • Also, it was mentioned that Tidus was redesigned to look younger, nevermind that at 17 he's actually on the lower end of the age scale. Compare to say, Cloud, who was unchanged and is 21.
    • And from the sequel there's Laguna who, at 27, doesn't look much older than the other heroes, on average a good 10 years younger than he is.
  • Ascended Extra: Cid of The Lufaine. SO much. In his original game, he was an extra who was never even seen in the original release of the game, and only added with remakes to fulfill the Running Gag of a Cid in each game. In Dissidia? In Dissidia, he's The Narrator, but more importantly, he started the conflict and is working with Shinryu and Cosmos.
    • Manikins in general are more important in Dissidia 012. In Dissidia they were little more than an excuse to have non-plot-relevant battles between big confrontations; now the good guys are constantly on the run from them, they actually show up in cutscenes, and stopping the flow of them becomes an important part of the plot.
    • Shinryu as well, from optional Bonus Boss in Final Fantasy V to one of the key players in the conflict.
      • Final Fantasy V in general has become a lot more important than one might think of the "silly self-parody" game in the series. Or, at least, the Rift and the Void are. Especially in Dissidia 012, where the Rift becomes a core component of the 012 story.
  • Ascended Glitch: In the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VI, there was a glitch that allowed you to equip any item as a helmet, and the best item to be used as a helmet was a drill. In Dissidia, there's a Machine equipment set, with the piece that goes into the Helmet slot being a drill.
  • Ascended Meme: The Emperor's death cry of "uboooooar!" is now his cry when defeated.
    • Square Enix shows in Dissidia 012 that they are well aware of Exdeath's status in the fandom after the first game. First, cue the puns about the VOID:

 Kuja: "Your existence is voidable."

Jecht: "Your chances are void unless you come and get me."

Shantotto: "Your defeat is una...voidable." (yes, the pause and the emphasis are just how she says it)

Prishe: "You make such a big deal outta nothing really."

 Tifa: "Can you keep up with me, ya big oaf?"

Onion Knight: "Catch me if ya can!"

    • A possible case could be made for Kain's declaration that he'll show the Manikins "the difference between [them], and a real man!". It Makes Sense in Context, but it's a rather pointed remark considering the "Real Men" machinima for the first game, and Kain's status as a Memetic Badass.
    • Jecht says to Shantotto in 012 "thought you was a ball". Tarutaru punting is a little-known joke among Final Fantasy XI fans thanks to the race being so small.
    • And while not direct reference, some of the cutscene titles in the Theater in Dissidia 012 appear to be nods to lines from the original game that went memetic, such as "Smack Dab in the Middle of Enemy Territory" and "Turning Darkness into Hallowed Light".
  • Assist Character: The most notable new feature in Dissidia 012. You can summon another character to perform either a Brave or HP attack, which will vary depending of whenever the opponent is on the ground or mid-air.
  • Autobots Rock Out: Dissidia 012's "God in Fire"
  • Awesome but Impractical: EX Bursts. Sure they look cool, but using them instantly depletes your EX Gauge and many characters get significant bonuses to their damage output in EX Mode that they can make better use of. In Dissidia 012, where their damage has been nerfed heavily and thus are treated like Finishing Moves best used when the gauge is almost depleted.
    • Gilgamesh's EX Mode in particular locks his weapons so his attack effects aren't random, but if you're unlucky enough to get weapons like the Battle Axe, which does random weapons, or Excalipoor which only does 1 damage per hit, you're probably wishing to go back to normal mode where you randomly get a nice boost.
    • Many of the flashier and cooler moves in the game are too slow to hit reliably and thus are near useless. For instance Lightning's Army of One is her personal Limit Break, but it has a huge start-up time and ultimately does less damage than her simpler, faster Smite and Launch attacks. And the EX Mode special attacks like Time Crush, Black Fang and Heartless Angel are pretty much impossible to use. Starfall is about the only Charged Attack you can use reliably because the Emperor is a Trap Master, but even then it takes time to set up the traps needed to keep the opponent occupied while it charges. And if they have an Assist, well then it's back to useless.


  • Back From the Brink: In the intro, you're told in plain terms that Cosmos has all but lost the war; the 10 heroes are all left of what was presumably a vast army, and Chaos still has legions of Mannikins at his disposal. Despite these odds, the heroes defeat the forces of Chaos to the last man. This thematic element carries over into the gameplay as well, see that page for details.
    • Dissidia 012's main story, in fact, details exactly how the Warriors of Cosmos fell into the above-mentioned predicament.
  • Badass Baritone: Oh, so many. Chaos is freakin' Keith David, Peter Beckman, the voice of Golbez, is godly, and in Dissidia 012, Liam O'Brien returns as Kain (which is particularly notable here because Kain's ridiculously deep voice in the DS remake of Final Fantasy IV was seen as Narmy; now he's 100% sexy).
  • Badass Boast: Most of the heroes get one right before their final battle in their Destiny Odyssey path.
    • Some of the victory quotes after normal fights qualify.

 Jecht: "There's no shame in losin' to me!"

    • Likewise some of the attack audio cues and lines during EX Bursts:

 Kuja (casting Seraphic Star): "I'll bring this to an end!"

Jecht (during his EX Burst): "This is my show!"

    • Kain specializes in these.

 Exdeath: So, you offer your life in exchange for theirs?

Kain: Of course not. I offer yours.

 Exdeath: I'm afraid that time runs short for you.

Kain: Truly. Then let us make this quick.

 Lightning: If you're coming, I wanna see you fight harder than you ever have.

Kain: Then you've nothing to fear.

  • Badass Crew: Cosmos and Chaos chose their teams well. Pick any Badass trope listed under its index, and odds are at least one member on either team fulfills it.
  • Bag of Sharing: Dissidia considers the armaments and accessories won/found/purchased over the course of the game to belong to the player, not any one character, meaning not only that every character, no matter their alignment, has access to the entire inventory, but that if the player owns but one, say, Longsword or Robe, it can be equipped by any number of characters in the game, simultaneously. Likely an Anti Frustration Feature, given that the game has 22 (31 in 012) playable characters and that outfitting all of them separate would be a chore and a half, plus some of the game's accessories are one-of-a-kind--namely, the Boosters.
  • Battle Theme Music: Three from each Final Fantasy.
    • The final battle theme subverts the usual Final Fantasy Final Boss music as it's only moderately fast paced and with hopeful-sounding lyrics. The second part of the battle has much faster-paced music, but retains the hopeful lyrics.
      • And in Dissidia 012, Square Enix adds more with a fourth song from each Final Fantasy save for XIII, and stacks even more on top of THAT with DLC music packs.
    • Though some aren't really battle themes. 8-bit town music anyone?
  • Beef Gate: In Confessions of the Creator in 012, your characters, assuming you didn't do any level grinding outside the storylines, are going to be in the Level 30-40 range, maybe reaching 40-50 if you played on a calendar day that gave them bonus exp. Running straight to the Chasm in the Rotting Land will see you thrown into a multi-floor gateway full of Level 80 enemies, and not only will you be out-leveled but you'll likely be poorly equipped. Going through the other optional gateways and exploring the world to gain levels and trade accessories is highly advised.
  • The Berserker: Instead of having a Limit Break or other such signature attack as his EX Burst, Feral Chaos just chases down the completely helpless opponent and beats the hell out of them until he executes the final attack.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Dissidia 012, which is just this side of Crisis Core when it comes to Downer Endings--the new characters die fighting off a giant swarm of Manikins.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Cloud and Tidus in Firion's story.
    • Zidane in Squall's story, Onion Knight in Terra's story, although these later two might have arguably not been needed (except for the fact that the game only allows one-on-one battles).
  • Bizarrchitecture: Rift Castle, especially the Ω version, where parts of the building constantly teleport around in weird positions; you're quite likely to see the main foundation with a bridge to nowhere stacked on top of one of the areas it should connect to, close to an upside-down tower floating in the middle of nowhere.
  • BFS: Garland, Cloud, Sephiroth, Squall, Tidus and Jecht. Bartz also briefly dual-wields Cloud's Buster Sword and Squall's Gunblade in a cutscene before fighting Exdeath.
    • Garland's sword (which looks like he borrowed it from Nightmare) is so enormous that it dwarfs Cloud's Buster Sword when the two of them fight in the opening of the first game. It's certainly big enough to knock them all down.
      • Garland's sword doesn't just dwarf Cloud's sword, it dwarfs Cloud!
    • But Chaos beats them all with the swords surrounding Brink of Madness, each of which are easily three. Stories. Tall. At least. And he gets big enough to use them during his EX Mode.
    • Jecht is notable for using the sword only in his HP attacks. His Bravery attacks are mainly punch/kick combos.
  • Book Ends: With a hint of a non-musical Dark Reprise, as well. The player's first (indirect) introduction to Kefka in the 012 storyline is in the fight between Vaan and Terra--Terra then being magically enslaved to Kefka and used as a weapon of war. Before the fight and in the introductory quotes, she inhumanly says she will "destroy" Vaan. In the end of the 013 storyline, the last we see of Kefka is a boss fight--preceded by Kefka insanely chanting "destroy, destroy, destroy, DESTROY!"
  • Boring Yet Practical: Some of the attacks you start with just aren't very good, but on the other hand, some characters' default attacks can be devastating and highly effective under the right conditions. And some of the less visually flashy attacks in the game can be among the most powerful.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: The Ultimate Battle Pieces. They are often stronger than the stage bosses, boasting very powerful equipment and strong movesets, and always have a summon with them. In Confessions of the Creator, the Ultimate Battle Pieces that appear are over Level 120+. You may weep now.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall- Referenced when initiating Gilgamesh's Ex Burst, who crashes into the screen, shattering it.
  • Broad Strokes: Dissidia 012 makes it fairly clear that the characters have each been pulled from their original games, and the Reports go very in-depth on the origins of the Warrior of Light, Chaos, Cosmos, and Cid of the Lufaine. The Reports also heavily imply that their respective origin stories tie into the backstory of the original Final Fantasy Garland and the Four Fiends. The problem is the hints are vague enough to be left to interpretation, and if the story of Dissidia is directly intertwined with the story of the original Final Fantasy, there's a lot of retcons going on for the latter to make this possible. According to Word of God, Dissidia is a prequel to Final Fantasy, but due to the Timey-Wimey Ball and a few more hints[1], it could also be seen as something of a sequel.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: Inward Chaos in the first game, and Main Scenario 000 in Dissidia 012.
  • Bullet Time: Caused by executing "EX Revenge", allowing you to freely smack the opponent around for a short time.


  • Calling Your Attacks: The characters just don't shut up while fighting. Justified, in that considering the way the game works (camera angles, the sheer size of the stages, etc.), the vocalization can be the only cue a player gets as to what's coming after them, and with some of these moves, a complete blindside can just really ruin your whole day.

 "Ahahahahahaha! HEAVENS!" [grunt] "WAUGH! HUAH!!" [sword to the face] '*

  • Camera Screw: The indoor arenas suffer from this the most, with the camera getting hung up on the walls pretty often.
    • This is particularly problematic in Dissidia 012 when fighting in the Phantom Train--the arena is a single train car, and while particularly roomy as trains go it's still a train car. The camera will swing through the ceiling and walls freely, and they'll turn somewhat transparent so you can see inside, but there's still a lot of hang-ups.
    • The worst case has to be when air dashing toward an Ex Core that's behind you. If your camera was positioned just right, it'll get stuck above you, at about a 60 degree angle with you heading toward the bottom of the screen. And it will attempt to rotate each half of the screen in opposite directions, resulting in a fairly trippy looking effect until you reach the core, or one side wins.
  • Captain Ersatz: In-game, a Moogle sends you a chain of letters about "Moglamesh", "Mogka", "Mogbez" and "Mogmos", among many other character, each named just as horrible as the last.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Right. So the majority of the main heroes and villains are male (and attractive) in this series. This trope was inevitable.
  • Censor Steam: A real-life example; the Cloud of Darkness is covered up by clouds of dark smoke on the Dissidia 012 English website.
    • Even funnier is the NA box art. She's covered up, not by the title, but by the RATING. The game's rated T. Make up your own joke here.
  • Character Exaggeration: Everyone, to an extent. It's probably a necessary evil, since almost two dozen main heroes and main villains wouldn't stand out from each other unless their unique traits weren't made more glaring. As well, a lot of the Destiny Odyssey storylines are meant to parallel the plot and character development of their hero's original game, so you've got to squeeze 30-40 hours of character growth into a five-stage level that will take a couple hours tops. Things are gonna be glossed over and left out.
  • Character Focus: Warrior of Light and Firion play the largest role in the overall storyline among the heroes, with Firion and/or his Wild Rose appearing in more than half the storylines. On the Chaos side Garland, The Emperor, and to lesser extents Ultimecia and Golbez play the largest roles of the villains. The Emperor in particular has such a large role in the plot he could easily be The Dragon if not for Garland.
    • In Dissidia 012, the six new additions get the most screentime, while the original ten heroes are Demoted to Extra to varying degrees--Terra, Tidus, Firion, and the Warrior of Light are the only ones who feature prominently in the main storyline. The Onion Knight and Squall appear in one gateway each as Assists, Cecil, Bartz and Zidane get brief cameos, and Cloud doesn't appear at all. The Reports show more of their actions during the 12th cycle, but even then they don't do much.
  • Chekhov's Gun: To an extent, the World Map in Dissidia 012. At first you're likely to think that the fact it looks like the world map from the original Final Fantasy is just another Mythology Gag, but once you get into the Reports and discover the backstory of the game, it turns out there's an in-universe explanation for this.
    • When completing the Epilogue chapter of the 12th cycle storyline, you can see a series of floating islands leading up to a volcano, but the passage leading to them is blocked. You later revisit the area in the Epilogue of the 13th cycle story, as it turns out that volcano houses Chaos's throne.
  • Cherry Tapping: Can be present in abundance, naturally--weak attacks, low-level characters versus high-level ones, the option of going without equipment--and indeed this form of Cherry Tapping is vital to one of the game's Peninsula of Power Leveling exploits. However, the best example of this so far seems to be Gilgamesh's EX Burst in Dissidia 012. With most of the characters, even doing their EX Burst imperfectly results in decent, if lesser, damage before the HP hit. However, with Gilgamesh, failing his EX Burst means that it is performed with the Excalipoor instead of the Excalibur, leading to the flashy Limit Break dealing exactly four points of Brave damage. However, if the opponent already only has single-digit HP remaining...
  • Colony Drop: Sephiroth has access to the Black Materia, and the Meteor can get pretty damn big. A variation with Jecht, who can procure a giant meteor-like rock out of nowhere and throw it at you. The Emperor has his signature attack, Starfall, which has an ungodly long charge time to make up for the fact that it's borderline impossible to dodge once it's pulled off. Cloud also has a minor one, "Meteorain". Terra and Onion Knight also have the Meteor spell; theirs are smaller than Sephiroth's, but it's how you use it that matters, not the size.
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience: The Manikins of each game share a color, for example light blue for Final Fantasy V, red for VI, purple for VIII, and so forth. The Crystals are also uniquely colored to a degree--light blue, pink, aquamarine, dark blue, purple, red and black, green, silver, yellow-orange and blue.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer
  • Comeback Mechanic: The summon Magic Pot changes your Bravery into that of your opponent's. If your opponent is able to land a finishing blow on you, odds are you can do the same to your opponent with Magic Pot.
  • Combo Breaker: In original Dissidia, activating EX Mode in the middle of an opponent's combo would do this; in Dissidia 012 it's changed. Now it slows down time for everyone but yourself in a mode called "EX Revenge" without putting you into EX Mode and burns up all of your EX meter, but can save you from the opponent and set them up for a nasty counterattack. Additionally, you can use your Assist to take an incoming hit for you (though doing so will lock your Assist Meter for a time).
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Par for the course in a fighting game, of course, but the computer-controlled characters can do things that are flat-out impossible for human players to do, like equipping ridiculously rare equipment long before the player can craft it, equipping gear for which they haven't reached the level requirement, knowing attacks at levels lower than the player learns them, and they often equip multiple copies of accessories that the player is only allowed to use one of. They also get a bonus to their Bravery if the player is at a lower level, the larger the gap the bigger the boost. The player gets the same when fighting weaker opponents, but how often will you be doing that?
    • Chaos is a SNK Boss, so he does a lot of cheating. Zero-start up attacks let him counter your attacks instantly, his HP attacks require precise timing to avoid properly, he has his own customized set of equipment that have a stat boost dependent on his level, ensuring his stats are as high as can be "fair", and he heals fully during the three-battle match, while players begin the next fight with however much HP they managed to retain in the last fight. If the player loses any of the three battles with Chaos, they have to start the match all over again. Chaos can only be fought in the smallest stage in the game, which has only a ground floor. Chaos's attacks are some of the largest in the game, with wide areas of effect. His attacks take up so much of the stage that it's nearly impossible to dodge, largely because there's nowhere to dodge to.
      • Chaos' unique summon Shinryu. Normally, players can call a summon once per battle. Shinryu can be summoned as many times as Chaos wants to use him, and can choose his effect, because Shinryu mimics the effects of other summons and powers them up. If Chaos really wanted to he could summon Shinryu three times in a row, activating an effect to cut your Brave in half every two seconds, doubling his own Brave instantly, and then lock his Brave so your attacks can't damage him.
      • The battle with Chaos is a bit easier in Dissidia 012: if you die on the second or third phase of the battle you start over from that phase, and you can have up to five characters in your party so if one dies you can continue with the next and Chaos will retain whatever HP damage the defeated character did to him.
    • There is one occurrence of "justified" cheating, if that makes sense. The Laguna ghost the player fights is a Squall in the Level 20 range, equipped with Level 20 armor, but a level 94 weapon. This is justified because the weapon is a Machine Gun, Laguna's signature weapon in Final Fantasy VIII. Its still technically cheating, but there's an actual reason in this case.
    • In Dissidia 012, special Emblems on the boards trigger certain effects in battle, like increasing your Bravery, making Boosters stronger, increasing the critical hit rate of certain attacks, and so forth. In the "Confessions of the Creator" storyline, enemies are often positioned in such a way to force you on an Emblem with a detrimental effect, like disabling your equipment, starting you with no Bravery, and making physical or magical attacks do no damage. This is in addition to the other cheating described above: these mentioned enemies that you must face with no equipment will be over level 100 with top-grade equipment and accessories. Oh, and with most of the Emblems, at least the detrimental ones, only you suffer these drawbacks: should the enemy be positioned on an Emblem, it won't take effect on them.
    • If the AI uses the "random" Moogle summon, it actually knows what exactly what effect it will give them. This is because the AI only uses their summon under certain circumstances, such as Hecatoncheir when they're close to Break. Thus they will only summon Moogle under the circumstances they would normally use the summon the Moogle will copy.
    • It's more than a little odd that the moment you start using Exdeath the computer almost exclusively starts using HP attacks.
  • Commonplace Rare: Get yer Onions here! Only 5 Megalixers![2]
  • Continuity Nod: All over the place. Onion Knight's alternate costume even references the DS version of FFIII by looking like Luneth.
    • 012 goes even farther, using costumes for characters in games that aren't even in FF continuity, like Cloud's Kingdom Hearts outfit. They're all named as well, in case you were confused. And my god, the line-dropping!
    • And then confined to Dissidia 012, gateways in the same location usually keep the same names between storylines and have similar board layouts, though the positioning of objects on that board varies.
  • Continuity Snarl: The original Dissidia had Garland state outright Chaos will send him back in time to become Chaos, thus tying the plot of the game into the original Final Fantasy. The Reports, which spoke of a child bred for war, were thus taken to refer to Garland. However, Dissidia 012 instead has Chaos as that child, which instead of just being implied is stated outright in his Museum profile. However, the Reports still have Garland's inner thoughts that he becomes Chaos and summons his past self from the future to become the next Chaos.
  • Cool Mask: It's all about the helms: Garland, Golbez, Dark Knight Cecil, Exdeath, Gabranth.
    • Particularly so in Gabranth's case. His EX Mode's appearance change simply consists of him putting on his helmet (and Dual-Wielding his weapon), and he goes from being laughably weak to an unstoppable force of destruction, capable of utterly shaming Chaos.
  • Crisis Crossover: Nothing like the end of a world to get a bunch of Final Fantasy characters to beat the crap out of each other.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Especially in the pre-Crystal battle cutscenes, the villains (and heroes, sometimes) exhibit crazy powers that they can't use in-game. Just watch as Ultimecia chain-teleports out of Squall's way and then does what is basically her EX Burst without junctioning Griever. Or watch The Emperor surround Firion on all sides with electric spheres and detonate them in an inescapable explosion. Or heck, watch Terra cast Teleport!
    • To be honest, though, the game (excluding the aforementioned examples) tends to avert this trope for the most part, which is a rarity in the series.
    • And some of those FMV/cutscene-only abilities got implemented as new attacks in 012. For example, check out Emperor Mateus' Dreary Cell HP Attack, the same move he uses on Terra in the opening movie and on Firion during their battle at the end of Firion's Destiny Odyssey.


  • Damage Sponge Boss. Feral Chaos is intended to be this, having over 120,000 HP and all, but his Level 1 equipment makes your Bravery attacks actually quite powerful since his defenses are lower than the Level 120 enemies you've fought to get to him. As a result building up Bravery is pretty easy, and his HP doesn't last all that long. Even without rigged builds relying on Iai Strike, Wall Rush or Exp to Bravery, you can kill him in about five minutes. Using one of those builds? Under a minute.
    • Of the final bosses of 012, four of them are around the same level as your characters, the 20-24 range, but have Level 60 armor to give them an extra 2000 HP on you. The only one that doesn't is the actual Final Boss Garland, because he's at Level 39 and thus his HP is that high innately without the need for high level armor. He also comes with a lot more Bravery than the first four too, so Breaking him is harder.
  • Darker and Edgier: Dissidia 012 compared to the original. Jecht ends up Brainwashed and Crazy, Warrior of Light is prepared to forfeit the war, Cloud is subjected to a Curb Stomp Battle with Chaos, and the characters are overwhelmed, outnumbered and disorganized against the Manikins. Oh yes, and we get a Bolivian Army Ending with those six new characters you cheered for dying to try and stop the Manikins from overwhelming Cosmos. You spend much of the game up to that point watching the other characters drop like flies in the meantime--even if someone doesn't die on-screen, you're still told about it.
    • The original Dissidia, the bonus storyline Inward Chaos was just a gauntlet of all playable characters with maxed-out equipment and levels, and had a very weak Excuse Plot. Dissidia 012's bonus storyline Confessions of the Creator decides to show us what happens when the Powers That Be get annoyed with you and decide to Mind Rape you by trapping you in a recreation of your worst nightmare.
    • Chaos' new theme, God in Fire (Begins about three minutes in), very dark and bitter compared to The Messenger, and if you followed the chaos reports, It's pretty much telling you Dissidia Chaos' tragic backstory in song form.
  • Dark Reprise: Sort of. The villains get their own version of the Victory Fanfare. It's in a minor key, begins with a rock riff, and overall has a "mwahaha, evil has won" feel to it.
  • David Versus Goliath: On the whole the Warriors of Cosmos are outclassed in many ways by the Warriors of Chaos. This is supported by the Chaos rules set.
  • Daydream Surprise: Gilgamesh's ultimate triumph over Bartz turns out to be his fantasy of how the fight's going to go, right before he emerges from the Void to discover that Bartz can't remember him at all.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Garland: "Am I to be a prisoner of these stupid plans again?" And Squall snarks in his thoughts a lot, such as when he encounters the Warrior of Light: "What a dazzling fellow."
    • In 012, with the introduction of pre-battle banter, a lot of characters turn into Deadpan Snarkers. Especially Kain.
  • Death or Glory Attack: Sephiroth and Emperor both have attacks that call a giant meteor to slam opponents to the ground. This obviously does a lot of damage, but they can't defend themselves while charging up the attacks, leaving them very vulnerable. In their EX Modes, Ultimecia, Golbez, and Sephiroth get one of these each--the attacks paralyze enemies, Break enemies, and sap their Brave to 1, but again, have a very long charge time and they've no defense while they charge up.
    • Fortunately, in the US version, they can move with normal speed while charging their attacks. In the original Japanese version, their movement is cut in half while charging up, making them borderline Awesome but Impractical.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: In Dissidia 012, everything but the characters is in greyscale during EX Revenge.
  • Designated Villain: Chaos. Once you get into the backstory you find out he really isn't evil at all--he's just doing what Garland, Cid, Cosmos and Shinryu have told him to do, and as such this is pretty much an Invoked Trope. It just happens he looks like a monstrous demon, and most of the warriors he calls to serve him are villainous.
    • Justified in the Reports for Dissidia 012, which explain that Chaos was used as a weapon of war, and the event that brought him and Cid to the world Dissidia takes place in was horrifyingly traumatic and anger-inducing. It makes sense that his appearance would be terrible and suited for violence.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Rhymes on a Dime is Shantotto's favorite trope. Yet the game has far fewer then most would hope. They Just Didn't Care some fans would guess, but they need only look into the sound test. For though her win quotes are just one line. When placed together they fit just fine. Ohohoho!
    • An example that doubles as Player Punch: the inclusion of Aerith allowed Square to show off a particularly nasty sense of humor... and they sure as hell didn't miss the chance to pull such a cruel joke.[3]
    • In terms of gameplay, many accessories are very hard to acquire, requiring numerous Elixir-type items to trade for in bulk in Dissidia, or being found only in Confessions of the Creator in Dissidia 012. However, players figured out an easier way to acquire them was to equip them on their character, then save this build as a Friend Card and fight it to win the accessories over and over through Battlegen. That Friend Cards can be saved as zipped folders and uploaded to the internet to be shared and downloaded in Dissidia 012 just made it easier, and numerous friend card downloads exist to allow the player easy access to rare and powerful items. Unfortunately, the dev team anticipated this, and most of the rare accessories you're fighting these Friend Cards to acquire have a very, very low chance to be won through Battlegen, meaning you're looking at using a build dedicated to boosting Battlegen rate, and fighting them over and over because you can't know if you won the items you wanted until you end the battle and see your spoils.
  • Diagonal Cut
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The heroes singlehandedly defeat the final boss from their respective games. And of course you defeat a god that can supposedly destroy the world at the end.
    • Firion and Bartz use punch attacks in Chase Sequence, while Jecht has Triumphant Grasp: so against Chaos, they can literally punch out Cthulhu!
      • For Jecht you mean like THIS?
  • Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: The only way you can describe the conversation between Laguna and Cloud of Darkness. Makes a lot more sense when you discover Cloud of Darkness's motivation: to maintain the endless cycles. Telling Laguna how to defeat the Manikins would ultimately lead to the equilibrium that had maintained the previous 11 cycles. Except she didn't know about the crystals.
  • Disc One Nuke: In Dissidia 012, provided you have an internet connection and a USB cord for your PSP, you can eliminate a lot of grinding. Dissidia 012 allows players to export and upload to the internet their friend cards, and unlike regular opponents, every single accessory a ghost opponent has can be battlegen'd. To make the deal even sweeter, the creator of the friend card can remove their ghosts' ability to block and dodge, almost all of their attacks (if the ghost is Gabranth, they can have absolutely no way whatsoever of ever hurting you), and, for the finishing touch, equip them with a Training Ring, which reduces Bravery to 0 and all damage by 100%. Do this to a level 100 character with good equipment and accessories, and you have created a level-up prize pinata. True, this was anticipated, so a lot of the really valuable stuff is very time-consuming to get, but there's a lot of stuff overlooked, and with some player creativity (and a battlegen build), items like Gold and Silver Angels, ingredients for high-end equipment and accessories, and even the infamous Iai Strike build can be gotten in half the time or less it would take to make them the old-fashioned way.
    • Downloading Prologus and completing all its achievements can get the player get a Midgar Flower and over fifty Chocobo Colognes when they begin Dissidia 012 and import their save data. Gil is won is smaller quantities compared to the first game, so the player can sell the Colognes for 100 gil a piece and buy themselves equipment that would otherwise be too expensive first-thing in the game.
  • Divine Chessboard: Cosmos versus Chaos, with the heroes and villains as their pieces.
  • Dramatic Pause: Some of the characters sound like they're trying to imitate William Shatner and do a very, very bad job.

 Terra: "I won't let you...get away with it!"

Kuja: "It is likely that...I will hurt you again."

Zidane: "Or is my help...not good enough for you?"

Cloud: "Fighting you...would be meaningless."

  • Doomed by Canon: You know there's some reason Lightning, Kain and the rest aren't around in the 13th cycle.
  • Double Jump: Every character can jump at least twice, and certain equip abilities allow an extra three times on top of that. Zidane's EX Mode ability tacks on ten additional jumps on top of whatever abilities he has.


  • Edge Gravity: Characters performing a dodge on the ground will never fall off the edge of a platform. The AI, seemingly unaware of this, will on lucky occasions fail to dodge a player's attack by repeatedly dodging towards a nearby ledge and failing to move out of the way.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Exdeath and Cloud of Darkness. Also technically Chaos.
  • Oddly-Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: Dissidia [Dissidia 012] 012: Final Fantasy.
  • Elemental Powers: The heroes use the common Fire, Blizzard and Thunder spells. Terra, Shantotto, Bartz, Onion Knight, and the villains have access to higher-tier magic like Holy, Flare, Meteor, and Ultima. Kefka also uses the Fire-Blizzard-Thunder spells, but prefers their higher-tier "-aga" forms over the base forms the heroes use.
  • Embedded Precursor: Upon completion of Dissidia 012's story, you can play a redone version of the first Dissidia's story.
  • Enemy Civil War: While not outright war, the villains clearly do not get along and it isn't uncommon to find them plotting against one another.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: Everyone gains a trail of sparkly magic during their EX Mode. Sephiroth's purple sparkles are particularly amusing.
    • Fun fact: Onion Knight actually has two types of sparkles, depending on what version of his EX Mode he's in. Light blue for Sage, deep purple for Ninja.
  • Evil Counterpart: For EX Bursts, anyway. Golbez, Sephiroth, Ultimecia, Kuja, and Jecht all use the same input systems for their Bursts as their heroic counterparts. The most literal examples are Squall and Ultimecia (compare Squall's "Lion Heart" with Ultimecia's "Sorceress Heart"), and Tidus and Jecht ("Blitz Ace" and "Blitz King", where instead of a Blitzball, Jecht kicks a frickin' meteor!)
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Exdeath and Cloud of Darkness, just due to their Eldritch Abomination nature. Kefka and Kuja also appear to suffer from this, being unable to understand concepts like compassion and trust, and showing confusion at their corresponding heroes' attempts to reach out to them. Quite a few of the villains' plans are mucked up by the fact that Machiavelli Was Wrong.
  • Evil Is Hammy: All of the villains (especially Exdeath), save Sephiroth and Ultimecia. The Emperor is usually cool and collected, but when he breaks out the ham, he does so in epic fashion.
  • Evil Plan: The Emperor's plan for the Warriors of Cosmos to get all the crystlas so that Cosmos' power would die and she'd be able to be killed. Then, by using Jecht's crystal from the previous cycle, he would survive Chaos and the worlds' destruction and become the new god of the universe. It almost works... but Cosmos has the last laugh through a gambit of her own.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Garland, Golbez well, not quite, Exdeath, and Chaos. The last one is voiced by Norio Wakamoto and Keith David, by the way.
  • Expy: It may not have been intentional, but the interaction between Vaan and Onion Knight in one of the Reports of Dissidia 012 resembles Matsumoto and Hitsugaya. Onion Knight even partially resembles Hitsugaya.
    • The Emperor is quite a bit like Seymour (they look alike, use similar weapons, and both have rivalries with Yuna). In fact, when Yuna and Tidus battle him in Dissidia 012's story mode, "Fight with Seymour" is the music that plays.


  • The Faceless: A good number of baddies hide their faces beneath their helms. See below.
  • Fake Difficulty: In Dissidia 012, once you get to the 13th cycle (in other words, the new version of the events of the original game), a "bonus line" is introduced to the enemy gateways. If you don't set your character's level equal to or lower than the recommended level, you'll get a KP penalty and be unable to gain new KP for the Moogle Shops. Made even more frustrating when the character you are restricting to a low level is done so from being at the max level do to data import. Or, inversely, your characters began at level one but you're fighting on a bonus day, resulting in you leveling up faster and going over the bonus lines.
  • Fake Longevity: Stop and think about what you need to do to get all of the weapons--or even just decent weapons.
  • Fan Disservice: Chaos's loincloth. (Then again, Rule 34...)
  • Fan Service: Of both the "sexy" kind and the nerdy kind. The cast is packed full of shapely beautiful women and well-built handsome men, both of the Bishonen kind and the ruggedly manly, and the game is packed with Mythology Gags, Shout Outs and series in-jokes.
    • Just listen to Sephiroth taunting Cloud in the Shade Impulse chapters and try to imagine anyone besides a yaoi fan writing this dialogue. It's impossible.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: It's Final Fantasy. Ranges from Chaos with his lopsided horns to Tidus who is lucky his shoes match each other.
  • Field of Blades: The Brink of Madness stage is a war-torn Mordor full of gigantic sword pierced into the ground. And by gigantic, we mean two to three stories tall. Chaos uses as many as four of said blades at the same time for his ultimate attack.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Cloud vs. Firion, Squall vs. Warrior of Light, and Onion Knight vs. Terra.
  • Fill It With Flowers: Firion's dream is to fill the world with wild roses.
  • Finishing Move: Due to game mechanics, EX Bursts often tend to become these. Less so in the sequel, where EX Bursts are less powerful overall. In both games, though, you get a significant XP bonus for ending the match with a Burst.
  • Five-Bad Band: In fitting with the new characters of Dissidia 012 forming a Five Man Band, their respective rival villains fit into their counterpart roles nicely.
  • Five-Man Band: The games plays with the idea.
  • Foe Yay: The Final Fantasy series always had a thing for making the protagonist's and antagonist's relationship feel... rather personal. Therefore, since this game consists of having the ten main heroes and ten main antagonist of first ten games, it's only appropiate that this game may be the first one to get its very own article of Foe Yay!. Let's all go, yay!
  • Foregone Conclusion: Dissidia 012 is the 12th cycle, and a lot of the events of that cycle were at least referenced during the 13th, so several plot points can be guessed at, if not predicted outright.
  • Foreshadowing: In Laguna's story in Dissidia 012, Vaan and Laguna discuss why Cosmos doesn't use her powers to nuke every Manikin there is, and Laguna reasons it's because she's focusing her powers on the stability of the world and can't afford to divert her energy to fighting. Well, come the end of the 12th cycle...
  • Full Set Bonus


  • Gambit Pileup: Pretty much every villain has his/her own secret scheme s/he's working on while pretending to work with the other minions of Chaos.
  • Game Breaker: Firion's EX Mode (Blood Sword) and Bartz's EX Burst (Spellblade Dual-Wield Rapidfire) are both nods to gamebreakers in their original games.
  • Game Mod: Numerous texture hacks have sprung up that alter the appearances of characters to various purposes: some hacks are just palette swaps, others are meant to directly transform a character's appearance into someone else. Unsurprisingly, a number of the latter for Kingdom Hearts characters. Cloud and Sephiroth are common targets for texturing due to their BFS and Badass Longcoat. Though not as widespread, texturing entire arenas is possible too, such as the Chaos Shrine textured as Castle Oblivion.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: The original game made frequent references to characters venturing deep into enemy territory or going off alone after travelling with others, which was pretty much impossible to show since there's only 10 arenas usable for story telling and thus there's never a consistent sense of distance between them. With the world map in Dissidia 012 it is far clearer when characters split because they actually do it, and characters heading into enemy turf actually head to the Lands of Discord now.
    • Dissidia 012, the summonstones the player finds in gateways note they come and go as they please and will refuse the player's commands unless it suits them. This is because the summons the player finds are the Auto versions, which come under pre-set conditions and can't be called manually.
    • Also in 012, in the Epilogue of Light to All, the player finds no enemies outside of gateways, the teleport stone to the main continent is gone, and the Omega arenas begin to be used in battle. The party alludes to the main continent being destroyed (hence no teleport stone to it), the enemies outside the gateways being caught in the world's destruction, and the Omega arenas are attributed to the same.
    • A meta-example, Cecil learns more Dark Knight attacks than Paladin attacks at earlier levels, and his Paladin moves come at later levels, roughly reflecting his class change in his original game. Assuming you don't level him up prior to his storyline, he'll probably begin to get to that point in level at the end of the storyline, and during all prior cutscenes of his story before facing Golbez he appeared as a Dark Knight, then shifts into Paladin to face Golbez.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: To get through the storylines, of course the player wins their boss battles, but the cut scene right after often shows the villain standing up unharmed and walking away. A particularly noteworthy example is Firion's battle with Jecht, where after the fight ends, Jecht is casually stretching and goading Firion to keep fighting, while Firion is kneeling and panting! This has sparked some dispute over whether Terra beat Cloud, or if Warrior of Light beat Sephiroth, for the same reasons as above.
    • And then there's Gameplay And Gameplay Segregation--A lot of the equippable weapons in the game are used in-battle by characters already regardless of what they have equipped. For example, you need to get Squall to Level 100 to equip his Lionheart, but his EX Mode will say "Equipped Lionheart" regardless of level.
    • A slightly more meta example of Gameplay and Story Segregation occurs in 012. While Tidus, Terra, Cloud and Jecht are initially on different alignments in the story mode, functionally, they're still on their proper teams from the original game, as evidenced by the backgrounds of their EX Bursts and their victory themes.
  • Giggling Villain: Kefka (naturally) and Sephiroth of all people (a maddening little "Hmm-hmm-hmm" that he does constantly), primarily. In fact, about half of the villains' Dodge "quotes" are this, with the exception of Garland ("NICE TRY!"), Golbez, Kuja ("WELL NOW!"), Gabranth, and Chaos.
  • Glass Cannon: The "Gold" Manikins have little to no HP (often just a single point left) but ridiculously enhanced Brave and an aggressive, fast AI; you can kill them in one hit, but good luck actually connecting.
    • Dissidia 012, the Final Strike and Ancient Weapon equipment sets. Final Strike gives considerable boosts to your EX and Assist, but the three armor pieces are Level 1 so you have pitiful defenses. Ancient Weapon has high-level stats for all four pieces and grants an offensive boost of 50%, but with a penalty of:40% defense.
      • The infamous Iai Strike accessory build. Reduce your character's level to 1, remove their equipment, and then equip Smiting Soul along with level and equipment-centric Boosters. Against level 91+ enemies, you can achieve a Multiplier of 99.9 with the right Boosters, resulting in guaranteed Iai Strikes that will put you at 9999 Bravery with one attack. However, you also have a Level 1 character with no equipment, and a 20% defense penalty due to the Smiting Soul, multiplied by 99.9%. Though if you factor in a Safety Bit...
    • Gabranth to a degree. He's a Lightning Bruiser in terms of combat once he gets into EX Mode, but landing an Assist attack on him will inflict EX Break and deplete his gauge.
  • Global Currency Exception - Dissidia 012 has a number of moogles floating around the map, each of which can sell you a variety of items. Instead of accepting gil, they use the KP (Kupo!) that you accumulate inside enemy gateways.
  • A God Am I: Kefka lampshades how many villains (including himself) believe themselves to be gods or aim to becomes them after getting particularly flustered at Sephiroth.

 "He's just another sadist with a god complex. Like that's anything special."

  • Golem: The Manikins, artificial soldiers in the shape of the various characters, commanded by Chaos. The Chaos Reports reveal that they are the result of failed attempts to give physical bodies to spirits drifting through the Rift.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Let's see: characters, cleared chapters, summons, accomplishments, battlegen items, weapons, equipment, accessories, icons, Cosmos reports, Chaos reports, mastered abilities... this could take a while...
  • Guide Dang It: Standard fare for a Final Fantasy game. Some examples include where to get most of the trade accessories, the passwords for the Ghost battle cards that drop the aforementioned accessories, how to properly time the attacks of some characters (especially Jecht), and more. Almost mocking are some of the game's 151 Accomplishments, some of which state outright what to do to complete them, others of which give only vague hints like "trust the totema" or "the end of the journey".
  • Groundhog Day Loop: As the Chaos Reports reveal, the cycle of Dissidia had already happened 12 times before when the heroes finally break it during the 13th time through.
  • Grind Boots: Nearly all of the stages have "grind bars" of some sort. What they look like depends on what stage you're on, the can be arcs of light, walls, stone ridges, or the freaking Lifestream itself!.


  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: With characters like Garland and Kefka in the mix, it's inevitable.

 Garland: Nothing but a jester!

Kefka: You battle-obsessed nimrod!

  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Given this is based on games that follow the trope anyway.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Garland is knocked down by Zidane who was created by a Garland from another world/universe/reality.
    • In game example: Most magical Bravery attacks can be reflected back at the opponent, damaging them and potentially Breaking them as though it were your own attack. Some projectile-based HP attacks can also be deflected, allowing Terra to be killed by her own Meltdown, or--the one you're most likely to see--the Emperor killed by his own Flare.
    • Certain summon effects can easily backfire, like Kraken (switches the Bravery of both fighters after a period of time) or Marilith (freezes opponent's Bravery after a period of time).
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: an optional one at the beginning of Dissidia 012. You say you've "mastered Dissidia" to that Moogle? Come and get your ass kicked. Strictly speaking it isn't entirely hopeless, as a player using cheats successfully defeated the opponent, proving that victory is at least hypothetically possible. However given the massive strength difference it would take mastery of the game far beyond reasonable levels to win fairly.
  • Ho Yay: It's what happens when you have an 4:1 male-to-female ratio in the cast.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Averted by Firion, who is shown carrying his weapons. And he carries a lot of weapons. Everyone else plays this fairly straight (they carry their weapons in battle, but other cutscenes have them no where to be seen), but this is exemplified by Bartz, who constantly summons and dismisses everyone else's weapons as needed.
    • In the sequel, Lighting also averts it by carrying her Gun Blade in a holster behind her at her waist (just like her original game, her victory pose is putting it away) while Vaan is up there with Bartz due to the sheer number of weapons he summons, though they're all unique to him.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Oh man, where do we start? Combined with all of the Mythology Gag humor, this is what makes up just about half of the game. Shining examples:
    • Quistis claiming equipment and accessories are the most important thing in combat (Final Fantasy VIII caught a lot of flak for not including equipment at all)
    • Cecil stating that Golbez is not the same as Exdeath (It's a running gag in FF fandom that the two look the same and have roughly the same plot battle scenes. True, Cecil was talking about morality here, but still...)
    • This statement showing Kefka's meta-humour:

 "[Sephiroth's] just another sadist with a God complex... like THAT'S something special!"

    • When facing Yuna, Squall will ask her "Can't you fight alone?" This is coming from the guy who couldn't use items in battle without junctioning a GF first.


  • I Am Your Opponent: Warrior of Light to Sephiroth. Zidane to Garland. Ultimecia to Firion. The Emperor to Tidus... Basically, this happens a lot.
  • Improbable Age: In the first game, the oldest hero with an explicit age (Cloud) is twenty-one. The Warrior of Light, who doesn't have a canon age can't be much older, if indeed he is older at all. Firion, by the way, is 18. Most don't know because it's hidden so deep in old Japanese game books.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Garland's massive sword which can be extended on a chain, split in two and transform into an axe. Also Squall's Gunblade.
  • Infinity-1 Sword: Rather literally, depending on the build you're using the more generic Level 99 weapons, (Heaven's Cloud, Excalibur II, Earthbreaker, Nirvana, to name a few), are superior to the exclusive Level 100 weapons as mentioned below. If you really want to get out there, the Level 85 Imp Equipment and Level 81 Heike equipment have their uses too.
    • Special shoutout to the Lufenian gear:- it was a reward from the Bonus Dungeon in the original, in 012 it's farmable in Confessions of the Creator and will be your best gear until you get to the optional multi-floor gateways where you can get the trade materials needed to trade for comparable equipment.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: Firion, Cloud, Squall, and Tidus get theirs from their games during their EX Modes. Also, Bartz gets the Brave Blade for the final attack of his EX Burst.
  • Instant Expert: Since Experience Points are assigned in real time, characters can level up in the middle of a battle: and do, with associated increases to their stats. This is particularly noticeable if you use the Exdeath level grinding technique, where after landing an HP attack your own HP will jump up a thousand points or more as you level up several times at once.
  • Insurmountable Waist High Fence: Actual characters, of all things, in Dissidia 012. In some Gateways your Assist character will block access to enemies or other items, forcing you to go around them instead of you being able to just get them to move.
  • Interactive Narrator: The narrator is actually Cid of the Lufaine. In the secret ending, he carries on a conversation with Cosmos. His position as narrator is actually justified in the Chaos Reports. He sold his body in a deal with Shinryu for power over the conflict.
  • Interface Spoiler: In Dissidia 012 Team Cosmos now has a blue backdrop for the EX Bursts, while Team Chaos keeps the orange backdrops. Terra, Cloud and Tidus have a blue backdrop while Jecht has an orange one, despite their change in alignments. Of course the respective Heel Face and Face Heel Turns are a Foregone Conclusion.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: Though game is coy about how the continuities work.
  • Ironic Echo: When Squall returns Bartz' feather to him, he speaks Bartz' line when he gave Squall the feather before. Thus miming the mime.
    • In Shade Impulse, shortly before fighting the Emperor:

 Emperor: Insects may swarm, but they are insects nonetheless.

      • And then, after beating him (if you happened to be playing as Firion):

 Emperor: How could I lose... not once but twice? Who are you?

Firion: Just a swarm of insects.

      • Some other characters will have their own Ironic Echoes for the Emperor:

 Cecil: Insects with a sting.

Bartz: I heard you call us insects!

Cloud: Just another bug.

  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": The "012" in Dissidia 012 is spelled "Dissidia 012". The proper Latin pronunciation is "duodekim", with a hard "c", but the trailer voice-overs pronounce the game title "duodesim". Cue debates.


  • Jump Physics: Everyone gets at least one double jump, and certain characters are themselves an exercise in giving gravity the finger.
    • Those would be the cast of FFIX; Kuja glides regularly and Zidane's EX mode has ten jumps.
    • And naturally, Kain Highwind, who's signature attack and EX Burst are jumps of varying height.
  • Just Between You and Me: The villains simply cannot resist invoking this trope, though it's a good thing since a lot of the plot would be much more vague if their side of the story wasn't explained. The only villains who don't invoke this are the Cloud of Darkness and Sephiroth, who prefer to deliver their rivals a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, Jecht, who has no secret schemes to talk about, and Kefka (in Shade Impulse, at least), who seems to taunt the heroes about having knowledge about what they did to Cosmos, but if they wish to know, decides not to tell as a means of further taunting.


  • Kill'Em All: The reason that Dissidia 012 focuses on the new characters is that the old ones drop like flies in the main storyline, and eventually the newbies don't make it out alive either. It's a good thing Death Is Cheap in the Dissidia universe because otherwise the final stand would be a Downer Ending to rival Crisis Core.
    • And then in Confessions of the Creator, an alternate nightmare universe where the cycles kept going, Feral Chaos killed all summoned warriors, even his own, and the only thing that kept Cosmos from sharing their fate is Cid intervening and sealing her where Chaos couldn't reach her.
  • Koan: One type of the materials required to make each character's ultimate weapon has a Koan relating to each of the characters', well, character. Some can be seen as Ice Cream Koans, though.
  • Kudzu Plot: Dissidia had a fairly simple plot on the surface, with the Reports and two bonus storylines hinting at a deeper mythos. Then Dissidia 012 ran away with it all--alternate universes, human cloning, retcons to the story of the original Dissidia, and general confusion. This isn't helped by the story being told in fragments between the three storyline modes and the Reports. Having it all written down in order helps one make sense of it, but even then it's pretty confusing, and there's still plot holes left unfilled.
    • There's a bit of confusion over Chaos's origins, mainly that some sources in-game say Garland was sent back in time to become him, while others say Chaos was an advanced Manikin. Careful analysis of the Reports, however, seems to imply that the two Chaoses are not the same being--Garland thinks that the Chaos of Dissidia needs a name some day, which would indicate that he named it Chaos after the demon he became, which would also explain the conflicting origins. Also, Garland could be considered an Unreliable Narrator--sure he tells Chaos later in the game that he will be sent back in time to become Chaos, but considering the constant purifications the two have gone through that twisted Chaos's memories, maybe Garland's have been likewise distorted. Of course from there you could consider everyone an Unreliable Narrator since it's shown even Cid's memories are not protected, so who knows if anything you're told by anyone is the truth.


  • Lampshade Hanging: A lot more than you would expect from a Final Fantasy. The ingame manuals have quite a bit of fun with this.
  • Large Ham: Many characters have OVER THE TOP dialogue, particularly Garland and Exdeath.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: The warriors of Cosmos (and maybe Chaos) have varying degrees of this; some can remember a fair amount about their pasts while others only retain snippets. While this was only implied in the first game, Dissidia 012 confirms it, and gives it more explanation. When the warriors of Cosmos and Chaos are summoned to the world (or if they fall and are revived in the next cycle), they lose their memories, but begin to regain them the more they fight.
    • With that said, the losing side of any cycle loses all memory of that cycle, resulting in things like Bartz finding that he can mimic abilities that none of his immediate allies can use.
  • Last Stand: The ending of the main 012 scenario.
  • Late Arrival Spoiler: Though you don't have to have played the main series games to understand the story of Dissidia, it doesn't have any problem spoiling those games, such as casually mentioning that Cecil is a Paladin and he and Golbez are brothers, Gabranth is Basch's Evil Twin, and Garland and Chaos are the same person. Heck, half the characters' EX Modes are spoilers for their respective games: Kuja can enter Trance, Terra is half-Esper, Exdeath is actually a tree, etc. The very existence of the Cloud of Darkness and Ultimecia also count.
  • Legion of Doom: The Warriors of Chaos.
  • Left Hanging: The Reports mention four warriors in a past cycle, one with a deep connection to Shinryu, and the other three were too badly weakened and were destroyed by Shinryu's purification. Though the warrior connected to Shinryu could possibly be Exdeath, since he and Shinryu are so closely related to the Void and come from the same game, the identities of the other three are unknown. It was speculated at one point they could be Shantotto, Prishe and Gabranth, but the official quests Jossed that, so the mystery remains.
  • Limit Break: EX Burst; also referenced in Cloud's and Sephiroth's EX Bursts where the phrase is actually used (since, y'know, the game they hail from is the Trope Namer).
  • Lip Lock: Most of the characters suffer from it to some degree at various times, but Cloud in particular has a horrible case of this, with random awkward William Shatner-esque pauses in the middle of half his lines (contrast with the same actor's performance in Advent Children and Kingdom Hearts, where he... didn't talk... like this). The way Kefka says one of his lines seems to be a parody of this trope.
    • Thankfully, however, the quality of the dubbing is much better in Dissidia 012, including Steve Burton's performance, which doesn't suffer from the awkward pauses this time around. Unfortunately, the higher quality of the new material only manages to highlight how bad the old scenes, which are included in the game, were.
  • Locomotive Level: The Phantom Train in Dissidia 012.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Squall is openly mocked (and in one case, outright attacked by one of the heroes of Cosmos) because he refuses to travel with his companions and fights all of his battles alone. Of course, he has reasons for this beyond selfish solitude. Though initially it appears this is because of Ultimecia, the Warrior of Light also comes to understand this after they fight. Of course, the Warrior of Light is also traveling alone and Squall calls him out on it.[4]
    • Sephiroth also gets a bit of this when refusing to cooperate with the Emperor and Ultimecia.
  • Lost Forever: Though it's closer to Lost And Very Hard To Get Again, in the original Dissidia Cecil, Cloud, Squall and Tidus each had a level one exclusive weapon found in their storylines. These weapons weren't available anywhere else and weren't sold in the shop. If the player made the mistake of selling them, they would later be out of luck because those weapons are needed to craft their respective exclusive weapons, which are made in sequence. For example, sell the Dark Sword from Cecil's story, you can't craft the Mythgraven Blade, and thus can't craft the Lustrous Sword, and can't craft the Cimmerian Edge/Lightbringer. If you lost them, the only way to get the weapons again was to face a low-level character in Quick Battle, reset the match until they equip it at random, then fight them over and over until they dropped it. And by the way, you read that right, Cecil has two Level 100 weapons, do even if you hung onto the Dark Sword, you're still going to need a second one. Thankfully averted in Dissidia 012, where the level one exclusives are all available in the shop.
  • Lost in Translation: The English translators caught a great deal of the allusions to the original translations of the games and fit them in. It just makes it all the more painful to notice the allusions that are Lost in Translation. One example is Ultimecia's victory quote "Reality is harsh, is it not?" being a direct translation of the original Japanese version of Edea's speech, but it ended up only vaguely paraphrasing the original English version of the same line, "This is reality, no one can help you." As another example, the Final Fantasy IV stage is called "Lunar Subterrane," while the stage is quite clearly the moon's surface and not the cavern's under it.
    • Played pretty much straight in the Spanish version of the game, which translated many, many things ignoring whatever they were called when the game appeared on Spain.
      • Even with character names. Sephiroth and Aerith (instead of Sefirot and Aeris) are tolerable, and Ultimecia (instead of Artemisa) a bit less so (the original Japanese name could have been really romanized either way). Calling Zidane "Zidane" instead of "Yitán" is a disgrace though, because: a) Yitán was a more faithful translation of the original Japanese name and b) in Spain you cannot see the name Zidane and not think about the soccer player.
    • An arguable case seen in every version: During the end credits, a montage of all the player characters in their pre-boss-battle cutscenes is shown, with remixed music from the ending themes of their respective games. When it gets to Terra's segment, it plays a remix of of the first part of Final Fantasy VI's ending theme- which just so happens to be a remix of Cyan's Leitmotif. This might have been deliberate, as it was the first part of the original song, but there was also a remix of Terra's leitmotif later in the same song so it's still an odd choice.
    • One could very easily argue that the writers of the Chaos and Cosmos Reports only briefly skimmed a plot synopsis of Final Fantasy I.
    • Shinryu's museum profile in Dissidia 012 listed him as appearing in Final Fantasy XII...and he didn't.
    • Lesser examples exclude simple erroneous translations, like Cecil's Saint's Fall and Kain's Sky Rave, meant to be named after Band attacks in The After Years, Saint Dive and Sky Grinder.


  • Made of Iron: Everyone. Blast them with forbidden ancient magic, slash and impale them repeatedly with swords and spears, crush them with meteors, knock them halfway across the arena face-first into a wall that breaks from the force of the impact. They'll just walk it off. Less so with the manikins, which are shown to visibly shatter into pieces in cutscenes and during gameplay if the HP attack that killed them was close to ground.
  • Malevolent Architecture: The majority of the ? versions of the stages are out to hurt you. For example, the active version of Castle Pandaemonium has spikes popping out of random parts of the ground.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: Duh...
  • Mecha-Mooks, Evil Knockoffs: The Manikins, crystalline clones of each character that make up Story Mode's not-so-random encounters.
  • Meanwhile Scene: The villains run this tropes to its extreme, with about half the dialogue scenes in each Destiny Odyssey storyline focusing on the villains scheming against the heroes, and entire cutscenes in Shade Impulse.
    • Dissidia 012 introduces The Reports, a series of written notes that work like a Cliff Notes version explaining the origins of Cosmos, Chaos, Garland and the Manikins. They also allow you to view scenes that occur parallel to the main story but aren't seen. Kuja's entire character arc for the 12th cycle is contained within these reports, as is Cloud's encounter with Tifa and Golbez's meeting with Cosmos.
  • Medium Awareness combined with Self-Deprecation: Sephiroth and Cloud seem perfectly aware of the fact this is about the 7th or 8th time they've fought each other, and that it likely won't be the last:

 Sephiroth: I must face him and fulfill my obligation.

Cloud: Fighting you... would be meaningless. I'm tired of taking part in pointless battles.

  • Melee a Trois: Subverted when Garland and Kuja decide it's not worth fighting if Jecht is going to join in.
  • Mind Control: At two points in the main story, Terra's mind is taken over by Kefka, forcing her to fight two of her allies, Onion Knight and Cloud. It is also heavily implied that she previously fought on the side of Chaos, under Kefka's control, reflecting her initial situation in Final Fantasy VI.
    • Cloud actually fights her to cool her off, as he later explains. Terra understands and appreciates the fact that he essentially let her beat the crap out of him.
    • Jecht, nearing the end of 012, gets brainwashed by the Emperor and Chaos.
  • Mineral MacGuffin: The Crystals yet again. As an interesting set of throwbacks, each hero's Crystal is modeled after a Crystal, or crystal-like item (Magicite, Materia, Spheres) from their own world, or, failing that, some important motif of their game.
    • Squall's is the only one that looks out of place until you realize they're feathers. And Rinoa has a feather motif.
  • Min-Maxing: All characters have 450 CP with which to equip attacks, action commands like dashes and jumps, and support skills. This means characters like Jecht and Ultimecia will have lots of CP to spare because of their small movesets, while characters with larger movesets like Cecil, Lightning, and Gabranth will have less CP to devote to support skills. Characters with multiple movesets will often also have discounts on CP costs, though.
    • This trope is pretty much the only thing that balances Feral Chaos--his moves are obscenely strong, but they have about twice the CP cost of other characters, and his support and action skills like dodging, dashing, etc, cost more than normal characters. 450 CP goes fast when Bravery attacks are 30 CP and HP attacks are 50. Even with Accessories to boost max CP, it's impossible to equip him with a full set of attacks without sacrificing other skills.
  • Mirrored Confrontation Shot: The box art and PSP theme.
    • The box art itself (the paper insert in the box's plastic cover) is actually reversible, too. One side shows the heroes gathered together; take it out, flip it around, and put it back in, and your box art now has the equivalent shot done by the villains on a black background. [5]
      • There is also a limited edition cover art insert that does the same thing, only with embossed images and more overall aesthetically pleasing but vague art.
  • Mirror Match: In Dissidia 012, a new type of battle piece in the Confessions of the Creator storyline pit you against an enemy party consisting of the same five characters with the same equipment, moveset and support abilities, set in that character's related arena.
  • Mission Pack Sequel: Dissidia 012. Granted the sheer amount of extra content is quite staggering, but it doesn't change the fact that it's almost the exact same game as the first, but with more characters, modes, etc.
  • Mordor: In 012, the Lands of Discord are these, full of nasty-looking lava flows (of course).
  • Mr. Fanservice: And how. Dissidia 012 even added in a "completely shirtless" version of Tidus who runs around in Cycle 012 that way.
  • Musical Nod: All over the damn place, but Zidane is interesting because he does them without actual music. For instance, his story mode is called "Melodies of Life", and he sometimes refers to "a place he has to go back to"...
  • Musical Spoiler: The only way you can truly tell who is the fake Cosmos. The real one appears with a Leitmotif.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules: There are all sorts of rules about what equipment may be used, how abilities are earned, and that sort of thing. None of these rules apply to the computer opponents. Which the game is only too happy to show you in the pre-fight loading screen.
  • Mythology Gag: The game is full of them, enough to fill a here it is.


  1. like Garland recognizing the Warrior of Light when he first sees him after the Warrior was just created
  2. Well, they are essential components of Onion Knight's level 100 exclusive weapon, but still. It's also apparently some kind of essence, not an actual onion.
  3. Yes, Sephiroth is programmed to use Hell's Gate on Aerith whenever she uses Holy. Make of that what you will.
  4. For the curious, Squall travels alone so that he can draw more enemies, thus taking some of the burden off his allies. He gets better.
  5. Even the screenshots on the back are changed. Cloud or Sephiroth showing off an attack, for example.
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