It's hard to fathom all of the work it must take to make a massive role-playing game with a huge world, dozens of hours of content, and a story that is as long as about seven feature-length films. Even with teams of hundreds of people including QA testers and the like, it's impossible to catch every typo, continuity error, bug, glitch, or other type of mistake in games of such an epic scope.
Multiply the work of just one RPG by 30 or so, and it's no wonder that the entire Final Fantasy franchise (include spin-offs) has had its fair share of mistakes. In the early days, many of them were the result of translation mix-ups as there was often only one or two people tasked with translating entire games. But even since that aspect of it has become less of an issue, mistakes of all kinds persist in FF games, sometimes only being noticed by the hardcore, obsessive fans who play each game over and over again, front to back, and top to bottom.
While this list focuses primarily on the mainline FF series--meaning the numbered FF games through FFXV—we also wanted to touch on a few of the spin-offs as well since those have become just as important to the fabric of the FF legacy as the "core" games have. And while we feel there aren't a ton of spoilers here, especially for the newer installments, we still advise you to proceed at your own risk as far as that goes.
25 This Translation Are Bad (FFVII)
The PlayStation era was when game translations started to turn a corner and get a lot better overall, but that isn't to say that things weren't still pretty rough those first few years. For as much text as FFVII had, the translation was good for the most part, but a few pretty glaring mistakes still slipped through.
The first big one was the infamous "This guy are sick," spoken by Aerith when she encounters the guy in the tunnel in the Midgar slums. And poor Jenova has her only line in the entire game plagued with the misspelling "Beacause..."
24 What's In His Mouth? (FFX)
Some of the most charming moments in FFX come from the scenes where Tidus is basically teaching the sheltered Yuna to loosen up and be more of a normal person—well, except for the whole laughing scene. Yuna should ignore his advice on that one.
In the scene where Tidus is teaching Yuna to whistle, the voice actor playing him clearly already has his fingers in his mouth for a line or two before Tidus is shown putting his fingers in his mouth.
23 Free Turns For Everyone (FFIV Advance)
FFIV was when the Active Time Battle—ATB for short—system was first introduced into the series, in which battle turns are determined by a ticking down meter rather than giving players unlimited time to make a move.
In the Game Boy Advance remake of FFIV, a glitch led to both players and enemies given extra turns for no apparent reason. When a player gets an extra turn, nobody is complaining... but when an enemy gets one, a glitch suddenly feels much less harmless.
22 Ragnarok And A Hard Place (FFVIII)
Airships have long been a staple of the FF series, generally coming at a later point in the story when the game has determined that the player should finally get access to the entire map and travel to places that were previously impossible to reach.
But in FFVIII, if you're not careful with where you land airship Ragnarok, something else becomes impossible to reach—the inside of the ship. Landing it too close to a building or other structure can cause it to get stuck and not let you board it, forcing you to reload your last save to continue.
21 The Sketchy Sketch (FFVI)
While it's understandable that glitches and bugs can be missed when they are triggered by a specific and obtuse series of events or actions that would've been almost impossible for QA testers to have thought to try, sometimes there are really big issues that are much less forgivable to have missed.
Relm's Sketch ability in FFVI is so bug-ridden and unwieldy in the SNES original that most players just don't risk using it at all. Among the many glitches that can come from using the ability include effects as serious as having your entire save file become corrupted!
20 Look At Tifa's Eyes For Once (FFVII)
If there is any character in the history of the FF franchise that probably has to most often redirect the male gaze to her eyes from other parts of her anatomy, it is FFVII's Tifa. To that end, there's a good chance that some of you with less self-control probably never bothered to notice that she actually has red eyes. Well, sometimes she does.
Despite her having red eyes in her original appearance and written as such in her bio, in various appearances in other games her eyes are sometimes mistakenly colored brown without explanation.
19 Goddess Of What Now? (FFXIII Trilogy)
After its disappointing first entry, FFXIII ended up redeeming itself by becoming its own trilogy and getting much better with its second and third installments. By the end, protagonist Lightning proved herself to be among the upper echelon of FF leads. Still, there are some sloppy continuity issues between the three games in this sub-series of the franchise.
One of the more noteworthy errors comes by way of the character Etro, who in FFXIII-2 is described as the Goddess of Time, yet in Lighting Returns she has inexplicably become the Goddess of Death. Stay in your lane, girl.
18 Cid Is A Liar (FFIII DS)
Given the 16 year span between its original 1990 Famicom release and the 2006 DS remake, Final Fantasy III took the longest of any game in the series to be localized in English, finally bringing every mainline FF game to the rest of the world.
With this in mind, the game's story and script had plenty of time to be polished to an impeccable shine—which makes this glaring oversight that much less forgivable. When Cid tells the original story of the four children, it is full of inconsistencies with game's overall mythology that should've been caught in editing.
17 The Invisible Woman Of Cornelia (FFI)
Perhaps one of the most successful Hail Marys in history was Final Fantasy, a last ditch effort so save a then-fledgling company that ended up spawning a franchise that would live on for decades. Had FFI flopped, Squaresoft might have disappeared...just like an NPC in Cornelia.
There is a room in Cornelia that appears empty, but walking to the middle of it and pressing the action button results in a conversation with a seemingly invisible person. Originally referred to as the "Invisible Man of Cornelia," it was later discovered to actually be a female NPC behind this infamous glitch.
16 Any...Day...Now... (FF Tactics)
The Final Fantasy franchise has had way more spin-offs than mainline games at this point, but perhaps the most beloved of them all is strategy title Final Fantasy Tactics first released for PS1.
To be fair, FFT has a fair amount of little glitches and bugs, as is par for the course for such a complex game--but one stands out for how ridiculous and inexplicable it is. During a specific cutscene, when the text scroll gets to the phrase "little money," the speed at which the words are typed out slows to an excruciating crawl. And nobody... really... knows... why... it... happens...
15 Not Bringing The Thunder (FFIX)
After FFVII and VIII drove away a lot of the classic FF fans who preferred the more medieval style of the older games, Square tried to bring them back with FFIX. Perhaps racing to get the game out in the final days of PS1's relevancy, FFIX has its fair share of quirks and bugs.
One such bug is the skill Thunder Slash, a powerful late-game attack that is equippable by several characters, including Steiner. Only, Steiner's accuracy with the skill is set at 0% for no apparent reason, making it inexplicably worthless for him to learn.
14 Telling A Tale About The Tail (FFVII)
If you played Final Fantasy VII when it first came out, you almost certainly fell victim to a delayed tip for the first boss that had you doing the exact opposite of what the game was trying to advise you.
First, you get the message "Attack while it's [sic] tail's up!" And so you do...and are immediately counterattacked by the boss's powerful laser. It is only then that you finally get the rest, and most important part, of the message: "It's gonna counterattack with its laser." Maybe say it a little faster next time, Barret!
13 Tricky Teleporting Tidus (FFX)
Square had a lot to live up to for Final Fantasy's PS2 debut—especially after the company burned us all with The Bouncer—and against all odds, Final Fantasy X exceeded all expectations. FFX wax the most polished installment to date, but that doesn't mean it was without its errors.
In the cutscene where the crew first rests in Besaid and then the proceeding gameplay segment, Tidus is seen sitting in the Crusader's Lodge...and then Wakka's hut...and then the Crusader's Lodge again, in a complete continuity breakdown.
12 Red Moon Conundrum (FFIV)
Much is made of the airships in the FF series. Generally, they represent a very specific point in the game where you are now permitted to travel to areas that were previously inaccessible to you, presuming that those areas are only accessible for those with an airship.
In FFIV, we are led to believe that it takes an airship to reach the Red Moon. So how, then, are Fusoya and Golbez magically waiting on the Red Moon despite the fact that we left them behind when we took our airship to get there?
11 How'd That Ballroom Get Here? (FFVIII)
During its peak years, scenes from FF games were often used to illustrate the best of what was possible with the entire medium of video games, and the beautiful ballroom dance scene from FFVIII was one of the most famous examples of this. There was just one problem: Where did that massive ballroom come from?
When you're walking around Balamb Garden, there are no signs for a ballroom, no space where a huge ballroom would be, no locked doors that might lead to a ballroom. So where exactly is it, and how do you get to it?
10 That Poor Beetle (FFXI)
Final Fantasy XI was initially a very divisive entry in the series, primarily because of the decision to number it like a traditional FF game rather than just calling it Final Fantasy Online. Considering the PC servers for the game are still active 17 years later, it clearly found an audience.
As with any MMO, FFXI has had numerous glitches and bugs, most of which end up being patched out eventually. But one strange one involved a beetle enemy that had a rear-facing front foot, and despite many players noticing it, it went unfixed for 13 years!
9 A Wandering "I" (FFVII)
It can't be overstated what a huge deal Final Fantasy VII was when it was released, sitting among only a dozen or so games in history that can be considered truly industry-changing. In spite of a vocal minority at the time and a tiresome backlash in the years that followed, many people used the term "masterpiece" to describe it.
In fact, the game's packaging even confidently used that adjective—except that, in the first print of the game, the "i" in the word "masterpiece" was in a random spot, floating off on its own. This was fixed in subsequent re-pressings.
8 Banon? Where's Banon? (FFVI)
There is a lot going on in the plots of most FF games, and the stories often struggle to come together as a cohesive whole. This is especially evident in the series' tendency to have plot threads that are introduced and either don't come to a logical conclusion, or just don't really conclude at all.
In the first half of FFVI, Returners leader Banon is set up as a key character in the story...until he isn't. The writers must've gotten bored with Banon, as he seems to just inexplicably disappear from the story for the entire second half of the game.
7 Doing The Unstuck (Dissidia FF)
Given how badly things often go when a non-fighting game franchise has a fighting game spin-off—Castlevania Judgment, Sonic The Fighters, Star Wars: Masters of Teräs Käsi, et al—the world was justifiably skeptical of Dissidia Final Fantasy. But against all odds, it turned out to be pretty good, even spawning solid sequels.
Like most PSP games, however, Dissidia had some polish issues. In particular, when navigating the forest section of Mirage Sandersea, it is possible to get stuck in the environmental terrain to the point that a reload is the only fix.
6 A Magical Exception (FFVIII)
In Final Fantasy games, as with many RPGs, there is often a disconnect between the "rules" outside of battles and within them. A big one, of course, is being able to revive characters within battle—but when a character perishes during a game's story, suddenly Phoenix Downs and the like don't work.
FFVIII has an example of this during your visit to the D-District prison. The game tells us there is an anti-magic field around the prison that prevents spells from being used, but that goes out the window for any battles you have there.
5 Tseng Is Back, Back Again (FFVII)
Advent Children is a movie that is supposed to be a canonical sequel to the events of FFVII. With that in mind, fans were surprised to see the character Tseng show up in the film when they thought he was finished off by Sephiroth during the game.
As it turns out, the line that we thought indicated the ending of Tseng's life was slightly lost in translation. Instead of another character referring to how Sephiroth "did [her] boss in," which seems to suggest fatally, the line should've just said how badly he got beat up.
4 Don't Say It If You Don't Mean It (FFX)
In the old days of RPGs, the games themselves often didn't tell us a single thing about any of the weapons, spells, or items and left it up to player experimentation to figure it all out. While that isn't the case anymore, in FFX the explanations that are there sometimes lie to you.
Both Kimahri's Thrust Kick and Shiva's Heavenly Strike are described by the game as having effects that they don't actually have, as is the Tetra Elemental item. Guess we're back to trial and error again to figure this stuff out...
3 You Get An Airship, And You Get An Airship... (FFIX)
What's with Final Fantasy games forcing the player to wait for many hours and jump through all these hoops to get airships to get around but then letting other characters freely travel where ever they want without one? How exactly do Zidane, Dagger, and Tantalus get back to Alexandria after Hilda's rescue without a boat or airship?
The only other way they could've have gotten there is via a Gargant, but no Gargants take that route. "Because magic" is probably the explanation that Square would give us if we asked them about it.
2 The Parade Must Go On (FFVIII)
Sorceress Edea is one of the more interesting characters in the history of the FF franchise, even if it's not hard to see her side-switching coming a mile away. And next to FFVIII's ballroom scene and its incredible opening cinematic, the most breathtaking setpiece in the entire game is the parade that the people throw for Edea.
What's weird is that they still go ahead and throw her said parade immediately after witnessing her assassinate President Deling right in front of them. Sure, Deling wasn't well-liked, but still—maybe at least postpone her parade while Deling's corpse is still warm?
1 A Tragic Moment Meets Tragic Continuity Errors (FFVII)
It's hard to argue against the tragic demise of Aerith at the hands of Sephiroth being the single most impactful moment in FF history. Those who were "lucky" enough to have the moment come as a surprise for them will especially vouch for the gravity of the scene.
Given the shock of the scene, you'd be forgiven for missing the many continuity errors that happened during it. In particular, both Aerith's pink hair bow and Sephiroth's white gloves disappear and reappear throughout the relatively short scene. Maybe such a major scene should've been more carefully edited?