13 Weeks of Final Fantasy: Ridiculously Broken Attacks

Week One: Personal Experiences
Week Two: Our Heroes
Week Three: Best Song Ever
Week Four: Gameplay Wallbangers
Week Five: The Big Bad

Week Six: Ridiculously Broken Attacks

SPOILER ALERT!! This feature by its very nature contains spoilers for every Final Fantasy game. If you don’t want your cherry popped, make sure to skip the bits about games you haven’t played yet.

Final Fantasy games are about bouncing numbers. The whole point of the game is to get as many numbers bouncing as you can, as often as you can, and to make them as big as you can. Some numbers are white, others are green or red… the newest one has fancy gold numbers.

The best numbers are 9s. If you see lots of bouncing 9s, that means you’re doing a good job, so obviously the attacks that get you the most 9s are the best ones in the game. This week’s entry is about these delicious, wonderful broken attacks and all the gorgeous bouncing 9s they generate.

IFinal Fantasy I: FAST + Bl.BELT
Damage Potential: 2000+

The original game is pretty tame, all things considered. The number of monsters with more than a thousand HPs can be counted on one hand, and any attack that can land a couple hundred damage is already very powerful. Magic in this game is generally not a viable option for dealing damage, and status effects are virtually non-existant. Physical attacks, therefore, are the name of the game.

Physical attacks in FF1 are calculated like so: a character can land a number of hits per round determined by his HIT% rating. Each hit has the chance to critical, and critical hits deal double damage while ignoring defense. Most monsters have some defense, so a critical hit is at least slightly better than two normal hits, and often lots better. Since more hits = more crits, and one crit > two hits, the best damage in the game comes from classes who can generate a lot of hits (and therefore a lot of crits). That’s where the fourth level black magic spell FAST comes in. This spell doubles the number of hits a character can do, generating a lot more crits and sending their damage potential straight through the roof. Twice as much HIT% means way more than twice as much damage.

Nobody can get more hits than the Monk class, which back in the day was called the Bl.BELT. A high-level Bl.BELT could get seven or eight hits naturally, as long as he using was his bare hands… ten or more at max level. His natural attack power also never stops increasing with his level, unlike equipment-using classes that tend to plateau. Throwing FAST at a high-level Bl.BELT puts so much power in his fists that he can kill anything in the game with a single shot. Even though he’s the “worst” broken attack in the series, he’s one of the esteemed few who can take the final boss out in a single round.

It’s worth noting that you can promote a Bl.BELT into a MASTER, but this doesn’t do anything but give him a new sprite. With FAST backing him up, he can destroy anything in the game either way.

IIFinal Fantasy II: Blood Sword
Damage Potential: 6,000+

Pretty much everything about Final Fantasy II can be described as “ridiculously broken”, and the truth is a lot of it is to the player’s advantage. Everyone knows the trick where you beat on your own guys until they all have max HP. Less well-known is the trick where you get a spell that builds your MP, which is pointless because that spell ensure you always have infinite MP anyway. Playing the game with one character instead of four ensures that one character’s stats are so high nothing can ever kill him. Both the white and black magic sets have an instant death spell that can be powered up to the point where they’re guaranteed kills.

But none of that creates bouncing 9s, so I don’t care about any of it. The game mechanics don’t care about it either, apparently; the most disgustingly abusable thing in the game has nothing to do with leveling up or training spells or sequence breaking. All you have to do is find, then equip, a weapon. Specifically, a Blood Sword.

The Blood Sword doesn’t work on everything. It deals damage to a target based on how much HP it has; the higher its HP total, the more damage it will deal. Hey, you know who tends to have lots and lots of HPs? The last boss! With a Blood Sword on hand, you can literally kill FF2’s final boss in just a couple rounds of regular attacks. All you have to do to prepare is make sure your guy has trained at least a little bit with swords. This isn’t a big deal, considering most of the game’s good weapons are swords to begin with.

There are two Blood Swords in the game, and FF2 lets you dual-wield weapons, so you have the choice of giving both of them to one guy or spreading them around a bit. If you’re playing the game on Dawn of Souls, though, you might consider equipping one on Ricard just before he makes his tear-jerking noble sacrifice, so he can put it to use against the bosses in the post-game bonus dungeon.

IIIFinal Fantasy III: Double Shurikens
Damage Potential: 6,000+

Most FF games with job systems are built around the idea that every job has some use or function, and that aspects of one job can be carried over to affect another. Final Fantasy III has a more primitive take on the idea, though: each new set of jobs pretty seamlessly replaces the set before. By the endgame there are really only two viable jobs: the Ninja, which can equip any weapon or armor, and the Sage, who can cast any magic spell. Every single person who has ever played the original FF3 has assigned two Ninjas and two Sages to their endgame party.

The reason Ninjas are so amazing has to do with their ability to equip the game’s most damaging weapon: the Shuriken. These things can do several thousand damage a pop, but there’s a catch: if you attack with one equipped, it disappears forever. You can swap gear mid-fight, so you can keep replacing lost Shurikens for as long as your supply holds out. They’re expensive, but it only takes a handful of them to bring down any of the endgame bosses. The final boss in particular boils down to a giant pile of Shurikens and Curajas. Some people see this as a failing in a game so full of interesting job choices. Me? I’m too busy being all like what bitch? ninja stars in ya faaaaace to care.

Ninjas and Sages are toned way down in the DS version, to the point where you may well not want to use them at all in the final dungeon. The broken strategy there involves grinding for super-rare drops and leveling up the one class that doesn’t get good until L97, though, so we can just pretend it doesn’t exist.

IVFinal Fantasy IV: Fuma Shuriken / Knife
Damage Potential: 2,000+ / 9,999

The trend of magic being comparatively weak continues in Final Fantasy IV, although it’s weak for different reasons. It’s actual damage output is fine; the game’s strongest summon can pull close to 7,000 damage. It takes forever to cast, though, and uses up a huge chunk of your summoner’s MP. Plus, magic attacks have a tendancy to trigger some pretty nasty counter-attacks. Physical hits are well and good, but a bug in the original version of the game prevents anyone from actually administering a critical hit, so they’re always going to be average at best.

Except for Edge, who continues the trend of one-shot attacks ruling the day. They streamlined the system a bit; Shurikens and their ilk are now accessible via the “Throw” or “Dart” command (depending on which version you’re playing). Thrown weapons ignore defense and always hit, and if you have the money to spare a stock of Shurikens is a great alternative to Edge’s regular attack.

Two such throwables stand above the rest, though: the Fuma Shuriken, purchasable for the low low price of 50,000 gil per, and the Knife, which is only available at the end of a slightly counter-intuitive sidequest. The Knife is so powerful that, if it could be equipped, it would be the strongest weapon in the game hands-down. As it is, it’s good for a one-time-only shot of max damage: 9,999.

In the first English translation of the game the Knife was called the “Spoon”, which makes it at least twice as great. Either way, it’s FF4 tradition to open up on the final boss by throwing silverware at it. I’m sure that statement applies to no other boss anywhere.

The real value of Throw is the way ATB works. Because the move comes out so quickly, Edge can get right back in the rotation and Throw something else next round. It’s very possible he can get two or three ninja stars off in the time it takes his gal-pal Rydia to summon Bahamut once. And if it turns out he has nothing left to Throw? Edge just happens to be the only character in the final party who is immune to the “no criticals ever” bug, so his regular attack will just randomly do a few thousand extra damage for no apparent reason.

XIFinal Fantasy XI: Samurai
Damage Potential: 2,000 – 12,000+

Final Fantasy XI is difficult to measure on this scale because, like all MMOs, the emphasis is on team-based gameplay. Doing a lot of damage is only part of the equation, yeah? I understand, though, that when it comes to pushing out damage-per-second, one of the most desirable classes is the Samurai. I’ll try not to get too technical here, but I have to first explain two game concepts: TP and Skill Chains.

TP is a little bar you have under your HP and MP. It increases as you attack bad guys up to a cap of 300%. Anytime your TP bar is over 100% you can spend all of it to use a Weapon Skill, which is a more powerful (and usually elemental-based) attack. If multiple people in the team have high enough TP, they can chain their attacks together to form a Skill Chain. So I would start the chain by using my Weapon Skill, then you’d immediately follow it up with one of a complementing elemental affinity. Our target takes damage three times: first from my Weapon Skill, then from yours, then from the resulting Skill Chain which manifests afterwards.

You can link Weapon Skills and trigger Skill Chains as long as everyone in the group has TP. There are complex flow charts and whatnot involved in this process, but here’s the important bit: the Samurai’s class ability is to link his own Weapon Skills together and get Skill Chains all by himself.

Here’s the ideal process as it was described to me:

  1. The Samurai starts out with a full meter of 300% TP. He opens by using the Sekkanoki ability, which allows him to use Weapon Skills for 100% TP instead of the entire bar. He can use Sekkanoki once every five minutes.
  2. He uses three Weapon Skills, scoring three hits and getting two Skill Chains.
  3. Next he uses his Meikyo Shisui ability, which instantly fills his TP meter all the way. He can use this ability once every two hours.
  4. This gets him three more hits and three more Skill Chains.
  5. He then immediately uses an item called an Icarus Wing, which grants another instant 100%, plus the ability Meditate, which regenerates 100% TP over 15 seconds. Icarus Wings are expensive and can only be used once every two hours, but Meditate will be ready again in only three minutes.
  6. He uses this last 200% for another two hits and two Skill Chains.
  7. He then collapses in a pile of exhaustion.

That’s eight Weapon Skills and seven Skill Chains. Pretty neat trick! Of course the cooldowns on Meikyo Shisui and the Icarus Wing prevent him from doing this in every fight, but Sekkanoki and Meditate pop often enough to allow for shorter versions of the sequence often enough to be worthwhile. Now all he needs is someone to tank the hate off him…

IXFinal Fantasy IX: Thievery / Dragon Crest / Frog Drop / Limit Glove
Damage Potential: 9,999

If you’ve noticed the trend so far, it’s that each new FF game came up with some new and exciting way to pile on more and more damage. FF4 actually had a few ways to hit the damage cap of 9,999, though the Knife alone could do so consistently. Well, FF5’s new trick was to ramp up the damage output by allowing multiple hits. I don’t mean in the FF1 sense where your hits were all calculated together; each hit was calculated separately and, more importantly, could individually hit the damage cap. You’ll see it when you get further down the page — stuff really started to get out of hand.

Final Fantasy IX did a lot of things to rein the series in a bit, such as neutering summons and limit breaks, dialing down the power of ultimate weapons, and giving each character a unique but limited set of abilities. In addition, it’s impossible for you to ever land more than a single hit at a time; you have four dudes in your party, and at best those dudes can each reach the damage cap once.

Fortunately for you, three such dudes can touch the damage cap with skills that are calculated on controllable game elements rather than pesky things like stats. The first was Zidane’s Thievery attack, which did more damage the more you stole from bad guys. If you were diligent in robbing everyone in sight for the whole game, Thievery would already be pretty mighty by the time you learned it, and of course once you capped it you could guarantee those glorious quadruple-9s whenever you wanted. Quina has Frog Drop, which deals damage based on how many frogs s/he’s caught in the annoying swamp mini-game. And Freya has Dragon Crest, which deals damage based on the number of dragons you’ve killed over the course of the game. It just so happens that the best monsters to grind out EXP on are dragons. How convenient!

Admittedly, it takes a lot of training to get these three skills to the point where they are guaranteed to dish out max damage every round… but no more work than some of the nonsense other games in the series force you to go through for your shinies. Even if you only take them half the way there, though, that’s still incredibly strong compared to most of the rest of the stuff in the game.

If you don’t like to catch frogs, Quina has a second guaranteed-9,999 attack called Limit Glove. You can learn this practically right after s/he joins the party, but there’s a catch: it only deals that amazing damage when s/he is down to 1 HP. That can be arranged with a bit of set-up and a little luck, so if you don’t mind resetting a few times to get it right before each boss encounter so you can steamroll the game with a risky super-attack, be my guest.

XIIFinal Fantasy XII: Haste + Berserk + Tournesol
Damage Potential: 10,000 – 18,000+

Like FF11, Final Fantasy XII‘s battles take place in real time. This means there is a strong emphasis on sustained rather than burst damage, and the effects of buffs and debuffs are greatly emphasized. So while you can spend five or ten minutes stringing together a long-ass Quickening chain and praying for Mist Charges, you’re better off just learning how your equipment and magic works so you can build a solid, survivable party that can keep the damage flowing.

You’ve read about games that calculate multiple hits as part of one attack, and you’re about to read about games that calculate multiple hits separately as long as you know what abilities or items to use. FF12 splits the difference: multiple hits are a built-in function of your regular attack, but they’re calculated separately. The way they work is certain types of weapons have a chance to chain into another hit automatically. Some such weapons have the ability to do this over and over again, which means you’ll commonly land two or three hits and sometimes score four or five or more. The benefit to these chains is the attacker doesn’t have to wait for his ATB bar to fill back up in between attacks.

Ah, but what if you could make the ATB bar fill so fast that it’s like the character is getting a constant chain? Well, you have good ol’ Haste, sure, which makes the bar fill twice as fast. That’s pretty much a given by now, though. But FF12 sneaks another one in on you: Berserk status typically increases a target’s attack power at the expense of making him/her uncontrollable. In FF12, however, it also has the effect of speeding up the ATB bar. Thanks to the Gambit system putting the characters on autopilot anyway, you probably won’t even notice the character being uncontrollable — stack Haste and Berserk on him, give him a super-duper weapon, and let him rain damage down on whatever poor bastard happens to be standing around.

The question then becomes, which weapon to use? The Zodiac Spear is a good choice, if you’ve been following a FAQ and know which treasure barrels to avoid. Masamune is good too, but its got increased chaining ability built right into it, so you might want to leave it on a character you can still give orders to. Tournesol might be your best bet. Sure it’s locked up behind several hours of treasure hunting — but treasure hunting is fun! And besides, by the time you find something stronger there won’t be anything left in the game to kill.

However you plan to deck out your Hulk-like killing machine, he’ll be able to do in just a few seconds what it would take you a dozen MP bars and several minutes of Mist Charging to accomplish with a Quickening chain. Hopefully the smart play is obvious here.

VFinal Fantasy V: Dual Wield + !Spellblade + !Rapid Fire
Damage Potential: 32,000 – 79,992

Okay, it’s time to get stupid. Starting with Final Fantasy V the game changes from “do a lot of damage with one hit” to “do a lot of damage with one hit, and do a lot of hits”. You do this by combining various aspects of some of the game’s fancier jobs: Ninja, Ranger and Mystic Knight. It takes hundreds of ABPs to get the required abilities, but there are so many good ABP-farming spots in the game that it’ll go by in a blink.

As a Ninja you want to learn the ability Dual Wield. This is a passive ability that allows a hero to equip two weapons instead of a weapon and a shield, giving them an extra hit and potentially doubling their damage output right there.

Next you want to switch to Mystic Knight and learn the !Spellblade command. This command lets you cast any offensive magic spell you know on your weapon, granting elemental attributes or status effects. The more levels of !Spellblade you learn, the stronger the spell you can apply, until eventually you’re blessing your sword with things like Flare and Holy. So a Ninja with !Spellblade or a Mystic Knight with Dual Wield can easily get two attacks on an opponent’s weak point. Not too shabby.

But we can do better. Your next trick is to switch to Ranger and learn !Rapid Fire, a command that lets you attack four times in a row. This is one of the most expensive abilities in the game, and the Ranger class is kind of lackluster overall, but tough it out. Trust me.

Once you have these abilities, you’re set. Switch your hero back to Freelancer, and he’ll get the passive bonuses of every other class he’s mastered — including Dual Wield. Freelancers can equip two commands instead of one, so they can use !Spellblade and !Dual Wield simultaneously. That’s four attacks, each of which gets two hits, and each of which hits an elemental weakness. Or has the properties of Flare or Holy. Or tries to turn the monster to stone. You know, whatever floats your boat.

I won’t lie: hitting the 9,999 damage cap with any single attack in FF5 is pretty difficult, so you probably won’t see the full extent of this strategy’s potential in most cases. Still, it can destroy all of the game’s toughest bosses in a single application. And we’ve only gotten a little nuts…

VIFinal Fantasy VI: Soul of Thamasa + Celestriad / Genji Glove + Master’s Scroll
Damage Potential: 49,995 / 79,992

One of the favorite pasttimes of hardcore Final Fantasy VI fans is to discuss the ideal stat gains granted by various Espers at level-up. Each and every one of these people is a psychopath. FF6 literally has so much crazy broken stuff that a perfectly average party can obliterate anything with just the proper application of relics.

First off there’s stuff like Wind God Gau and Psycho Cyan, which are hilarious glitches that break the battle system on such a fundamental level that it might as well go straight to the victory music. Square went and ruined everyone’s fun by fixing these in the GBA version of the game, though, so you can’t use them anymore. Booo. But that’s okay! Even in the realm of legitimate stuff, you really only need to answer one question: do you want to deal 9,999 damage five times in a row? Or eight times?

If the character in question is more magically-oriented, equip them with a Soul of Thamasa and a Celestriad (known in my childhood as the Gem Box and Economizer). The former allows the hero to cast two spells per round instead of one; the latter reduces the MP cost of every spell to one. Next, teach that person the Quick spell, which grants the caster a special status effect that gives them two immediate actions. This lets them cast five spells in a row, and you know? I’d just go with Ultima/Ultima/Ultima/Ultima/Ultima if I were you. Normally no character would have enough MP to pull this off, but with the Celestriad the whole package is no more expensive than a simple Fire spell.

If the character is more of a fisticuffs type, the road is shorter and more rewarding. Giving them a Genji Glove and a Master’s Scroll (which I first knew as the Offering) essentially re-creates FF5’s !Rapid Fire shenanigans; Genji Glove allows you to carry two weapons, Master’s Scroll grants you four attacks. The difference is that FF6 has much more powerful weapons, including the god-like Ultima Weapon, which increases in power based on your level and HP total. All of the components to this strategy are obtained early and easily, which means you can be knocking out kickass eight-hit combos a few adventures into the second world.

You could take things a step further by having a physical attacker cast Quick on himself, getting sixteen hits instead of eight… but unless you’re equipped with a Dirk or something there’s nothing in the game that requires that much punishment. Don’t get greedy, son.

VIIFinal Fantasy VII: Fury + Ultima Weapon + Omnislash
Damage Potential: 120,000 – 149,985

For most of Final Fantasy VII, limit breaks are powerful but not game-breaking. You can, however, double the amount of limit breaks you see by inflicting Fury status on everyone in your party. An afflicted character’s limit meter fills up twice as fast, meaning twice as many super attacks. So all we need is an incredibly powerful limit break, and we’re set!

How does a string of fifteen guaranteed critical hits strike you?

Omnislash is Cloud’s final limit break. Getting it requires him to learn all his lower-level limits (a trivial task) and then using an item he can win from the Gold Saucer battle arena (somewhat more difficult).

That’s already good enough, but it gets better: FF7 grants each of its characters an ultimate weapon with a unique ability. Cloud’s is the Ultima Weapon, which (like its grandpa from FF6) deals damage corresponding to his HP. It’s got eight materia slots on it, room for enough HP Plus materia to boost Cloud’s HP to 9,999 and still have spots left over for Slash-All or Double Cut or Added Effect + whatever-you-fancy. The real star of the show, though, is seeing that limit bar fill up and stacking so many 9s on a boss you can’t even fit ’em all on the screen.

Now, there’s going to be some groaning in the comments about uber-powerful materia builds. “What about First Attack + Knights of Round!”, they’ll shout. Or, “I have a build that lets you attack everything eight times and steal from them and poison them and steal HP and MP too!”

Sure sure, if you want to bore yourself to death watching a 90-second animation every fight, or if you want to go old and grey while grinding AP in the goddamn Mover room. Me? I’ll spend an hour in the battle arena then knock Ruby WEAPON out with a couple rounds of wicked super-attacks, thanks.

VIIIFinal Fantasy VIII: Aura + Def 0 + Duel
Damage Potential: 199,980 – 1,140,000+

Welp, we’re officially down the rabbit hole — we’ve broken the million damage mark. Don’t get too excited though; Final Fantasy VIII makes you work for them sweet, sweet 9s.

Once again, limit breaks are the end-all of super-attacks. This time, though, there are no namby-pamby bars to fill up. FF8 decides whether or not to give you access to your limit break with an opaque calculation involving things like how much HP you have, whether or not any of your teammates are turned to stone, aerial flux viscosity, position of Jupiter in Aries, etc. There’s a positive status effect that can help you out, though, which increases the chance you’ll see a limit appear: Aura.

There’s also a questionable game mechanic you can exploit here. FF8 lets you pass an active character’s turn by pressing a button, letting your other characters input commands. When it comes back around to your first guy again, the game chugs out a new calculation for the whole limit break thing. If no other characters are ready, though — for example, if they’re dead, or busy readying other commands — the game just closes the active character’s window momentarily then re-opens it. An Aura’d character can get easy access to limits by doing this even if the party is at full HP and in perfect health.

Now, all six characters have absolutely fantastic limits. Quistis can break the damage limit with one incredible attack, Irvine can stack damage up by consuming ammo, Rinoa can flat-out make the party invincible. Then there’s Zell, who chains martial arts attacks together for big damage. The idea here is that he starts out with piddly hits with lame names like “Heel Drop” and “Booya”*, then move on to more complicated and impressive-sounding stuff like “Meteor Barret” and “My Final Heaven.”

Each of Zell’s attacks has a button combo, and you’re given a set amount of time to punch the button combos in. The timer freezes during attack animations, and if you’re quick, you can get the buttons pressed in a small fraction of a second. Whether you get a little time (two seconds) or a lot (twelve) depends on roughly the same factors as whether Zell gets his limit break in the first place, but the main thing is to be quick.

Here’s where they messed up: Zell has three opening moves which all combo into one of the other opening moves. With a good weapon, strong magic junctioned to his Strength, and a target inflicted with the Def 0 ailment (to which nothing is immune) Zell has no problem getting at or near his damage cap of 9,999 with one of the openers. He has no need for the finishing moves at all! He can just chain two weaksauce attacks together, endlessly, for as long as his time holds out. Ten attacks per second, between two and twelve seconds, thousands and thousands of damage per attack… wow. The mind boggles.

I was around back when folks started calling this trick the “Armageddon Fist”, and the name is apt. Not only can Zell one-shot the final boss with this, but the ungodly powerful superboss as well. I hear if you do it ten times within the span of an hour, it cracks your game disc in half.

* Actually, “Booya” is a pretty rad-tacular name for a karate attack. You go, Zell.

XFinal Fantasy X: World Champion + Attack Reels
Damage Potential: 1,199,988

Well, we’ve pretty much exhausted what we can do with extraordinarily powerful attacks and an absolutely sicknasty number of hits. Just when it seemed like there was nowhere else to go, they went and added another digit. Weapons in Final Fantasy X have abilities, and one such ability is “Break Damage Limit”… which does exactly what you’d expect. Without it, heroes can’t overcome the standard 9,999 cap. For years and years any damage dealt over 9,999 was just zeroed out, but now those wonderful endgame criticals could hit their full potential of 20-30,000 damage or more.

In order to get that sicknasty bonus, the player has to do some pretty sicknasty things. In Wakka’s case, hours and hours (and hours) of Blitzball is required. Absolutely stupid amounts of Blitzball. Which is cool if you dig on some Blitzball, I suppose. I don’t, but man was the prize worth it: the powered-up World Champion… a weapon which ignores defense, can deal 10,000+ damage, grants awesome evasion and allows counterattacks… and gives Triple Overdrive.

That last thing? Yeah, that’s like FF7’s Fury status… only better.

Wakka’s overdrive (or, at least, the only one worth using) is Attack Reels which, if the player is reasonably precise, can grant up to twelve hits. Chances are Wakka’s been using this attack the entire game, but the World Champion takes it from “really good attack” to “holy… holy shit, did that just happen?”

Twelve hits, all of which ignore defense. All of which can (with a fair amount of grinding) land for 99,999 damage. If Wakka’s overdrive bar is set to fill when he attacks, rather than receives damage, he can pull this stunt off several times per combat.

He does this with a rubber ball. A rubber ball covered in saw blades, I grant you, but a rubber ball nonetheless. Nothing else in the game even comes close; the second most powerful attack, Tidus’s Blitz Ace, only connects for a measely eight hits. It’s like, why even bother?

XIIIFinal Fantasy XIII: Kain’s Lance + Genji Glove + Highwind
Damage Potential: 1,999,998

In many ways Wakka’s Attack Reels remains the most powerful thing in the series. Final Fantasy XIII made some changes to the way combat works. It’s not so much about dealing damage, anymore, as it is about chaining attacks together in order to put your target over their stagger threshhold. Once there they’re far more susceptible to your attacks, and you can usually finish them off with just a few more hits. In terms of sheer numbers, though… those glorious golden 9s… Wakka doesn’t hold a candle to Fang.

Everyone in FF13 gets a super-attack that uses up their whole ATB meter. Fang’s is pretty straightforward: she leaps in the air and brings her spear down on the bad guy in an attack remniscient of the oldschool dragoons we all know and love. This deals two hits and scores crazy damage on a staggered foe.

If you’re looking at the little image there and thinking, “Pfft, 176,571 damage? That’s not even one-and-a-half Omnislashes!” you need to understand that you’re looking at a screengrab from my very own endgame save. Fang in my save is extremely weak. She’s using a L26 tier-two weapon, for starters. There are dozens of untouched Strength Nodes on her Crystarium, Most importantly, though, she has no Genji Glove. Which is to say, she can’t break the damage limit.

Yes, in FF13 99,999 is the default cap. Give someone a Genji Glove, though, and they can improve that by a factor of ten. A fully tricked-out Fang with the wind at her back can drop a double-dose of NINE NINE NINE NINE NINE NINE on any bad guy you deem worthy.

That is TWO. MILLION. DAMAGE. If you could use Fang in FF1 you could kill a thousand CHAOSes with this one attack. No amount of CUR4 could save them.

The only thing standing in between you and these twelve golden 9s? Hours of grinding! Gotta level up that weapon and activate all them Strength Nodes, you know. Unfortunately the game is more or less balanced for crazy-stupid attacks like this; Fang can’t even one-shot the last boss, let alone any of the post-game marks. (She’s still way cooler than Wakka, though.)

To be honest, the over-the-top crazy attacks are part of the reason I love Final Fantasy. There’s a lot to be said about the depth and complexity of the more stat- and choice-heavy entries, such as FF12… but man, it just feels good to push a button and make the world explode.

Oooh… next week is the halfway point in this little escapade, isn’t it? Thanks for reading thus far!


16 comments to 13 Weeks of Final Fantasy: Ridiculously Broken Attacks

  • Man, if there’s a unifying theme for your feature, it’s that each one makes me want to go back and play the FF games I haven’t finished. FFIX and FFV are looming ridiculously large at the moment, with FFXII kind of lurking in the background. Honestly, FFXII would probably be at the top of that list if it weren’t for the fact that I was probably 40 hours in on my last playthrough, and my general compulsion to start the game over would cripple me.

    Also, it’s odd but your continued pointing out of just how broken FFI is only serves to make me want to play it more, paradoxically. Maybe I want to play that one as more of a scientific curiosity.

  • dtsund

    Ahhh, yes, mechanics. Loved reading this.

    Just one thing I’d like to add. You may already know this, but if you don’t, I imagine you’ll be amused.

    “Either way, it’s FF4 tradition to open up on the final boss by throwing silverware at it. I’m sure that statement applies to no other boss anywhere.”

    Not so true!


    The NetHack variant SLASH’EM adds an artifact spoon called the Houchou, which, when thrown, instantly kills anything in a single hit. As I understand it, it’s often used to kill Demogorgon. It is, of course, a Final Fantasy IV reference.

  • ThricebornPhoenix

    Nothing else in the game even comes close; the second most powerful attack, Tidus’s Blitz Ace, only connects for a measely eight hits.

    Apparently Anima’s Overdrive does sixteen hits (to all enemies) in the PAL and INT versions. I don’t know how powerful it is, though.

    Fang’s is pretty straightforward: she leaps in the air and brings her spear down on the bad guy in an attack remniscient of the oldschool dragoons we all know and love. This deals two hits and scores crazy damage on a staggered foe.

    And she gets Kain’s Lance? Too bad they put her in a game I don’t particularly want to play, because that sounds pretty badass.

  • DragonShadow

    I’m with Rycar, reading these just makes me want to play Final Fantasy. I already played through FF1, and have downloaded .iso files for FFIX. I might even drag myself through FFVIII after all is said and done!

  • Destil

    Sam was my main in FFXI after the beta before I switched to Rdm, got it into the 50s. A Great katana hit generates 8-12% TP if memory serves and most Sam weapon skills will hit at *least* once or twice. As you do gain TP for those hits (and sometimes if you time it right you can eek our a bit of TP from auto-attack or taking a hit between weapon skills), pushing you into the 9-10 range. Merit points may let you break this further, too. After my time.

    Also, this is most likely what you HAVE to do to unlock the final level cap quest as a SAM (to go beyond level 70), given what a bitch shattering stars tends to be. And that’s only mid-range in the quality of being a total bitch as far as the level 75 unlock quest…

  • Alpha Werewolf

    Reagarding FFX, I don’t have precise details but both Cindy’s(I think) Passado and Anima’s Oblivion do some outrageous damage too.

    • Brickroad

      I’ve heard this but I guess I’ve never tested them firsthand.

      • cantab

        Oblivion is 16 hits in PAL and International, each capped at 99,999. Cindy of the Magus Sisters Passado is 15 hits, same cap on each, but she can’t reliably be commanded to use it.
        Bear in mind, however, that even the original Japan and US versions gave you something like a dozen superbosses that won’t be one-shotted by Attack Reels or PAL Oblivion, culminating in Nemesis with 10 million HP. The PAL version upped the ante further with the Dark Aeons, including Dark Anima with 8 million HP and the ability to use that same Oblivion attack on YOU, and finally Penance with 12 million HP and much better defenses than Nemesis.

        The most broken attack in Final Fantasy 7 has been missed though – “All Lucky 7’s”. If a character’s current HP reaches 7777, they will automatically unleash a barrage of 63 attacks each doing 7777 damage. By judicious use of Potions and Hi-Potions, you only need to exit a battle with the last two digits of your HP being 77 and you can use it next battle. As if that’s not bad enough: one of the game’s superbosses (Emerald Weapon) uses an attack (Aire Tam Storm) that can easily (by everyone carrying only two materia) be made to deal 2222 damage to your party, you can learn an attack (Chocobuckle) and make it deal fixed 2222 damage and use it on yourself, or you can use materia to make a character’s MAXIMUM HP 7777.

  • Zef

    Huh. I distinctly remember scoring Crits with Cecil and Kain waaaay back in the Mist Cave in what was then known as FF II (US.) Those bright flashes surprised me every time and I didn’t know what they meant or what caused them, but they were nice. Thing is, they were relatively common in the early game, but as time went on they became rarer and rarer, and a Lv. 70 Cecil with the Crystal Sword would only Crit once in a blue moon, whereas Edge would Crit at least once per fight.

    But the best thing about FFV’s !DualWield + !SpellBlade + !RapidFire? It’s so hilariously broken, it became Bartz’ signature EX Burst in Dissidia. It’s even named that, and has the “four spinning blades” animation when you perform it.

    • Brickroad

      The FF4 crit bug works like this: once a character leaves your party, they can never score another crit ever in the game. So you’ll see Kain get crits in the Mist Cave, but never again. And Cecil can score crits after his transformation into a Paladin… up until he’s dummied out so Tellah can solo Golbez.

      Edge never leaves once he joins, so he gets crits all the way to the end of the game — except in the very last battle against Zeromus, since he’s dummied out so Golbez and Fusoya can have their little cutscene.

      • Zef

        Aaah, no wonder. I must’ve been misremembering those Lunar criticals as Edge’s, instead. It’s a very unique bug, though, and I wonder what causes it.

        A high-level Nuke (Flare) is a bit of a game-breaker, too. If you get Rydia’s levels high enough, she can pop Nuke after Nuke without worrying about the MP cost, and it’s a near-instant casting, too. It’s only held back by being a single-target spell, but that’s a moot point for the final bosses.

  • Rosewood

    You can do something near-identical to your FFVI magical super-attack in FFX as well, with a combination of sphere grid-hopping and gear enhancements. Get Ultima for Lulu and Yuna, and enhance them with 1 MP and Doublecast. Hastega them with Tidus, and off you go.

    The final bosses of the game are trivial with this setup. Not sure if it’s good enough for the extra content, though.

    • Brickroad

      I totally did that with both Lulu and Yuna! I didn’t do any extra content though, because I was pretty much done at that point.

  • GreatRedSpirit

    You can get multiple attacks in one action in FF9 but it works differently than the usual suspects. Steiner`s Charge! attack causes all characters in yellow HP that can act to automatically and immediately attack at no cost. Bonus: None of these attacks provokes a counter attack except for actually using Charge! which makes it handy against enemies who love to counter. There`s the obvious issue of being in danger of a wipe if the whole party is low on HP but dropping Kuja in two Charges! is worth it. It is also grind free!

  • GreatRedSpirit

    Also forgot to say that the original FF3 has the same Super Duper Over Grindy Absolutely Pointless Onion Knight Power. The stupidly rare dragon enemies in the crystal tower have a stupidly low drop rate for Onion Gear and the only way to get your mileage out of those is to grind to stupidly high levels. Somewhere in the 90`s. It`s completely pointless like you said, but it is in both versions of the game.

    Also you don`t need any Blood Swords for the Emperor in FF2 because you can exploit a glitch and turn him into a toad! I don`t quite remember the process, I think you cast a low level Wall which fucks up his immunities so you can turn him into a toad.

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