Final Fantasy has become one of the most popular video game franchises on the planet. With each iteration, building upon the mechanics and the gameplay of the last, the series has remained to reinvent itself and push the JRPG genre forward with every successive gaming generation.
Multiple reasons have been given for why the series is loved by many. Still, one of the franchise’s most underrated (and unintentional) aspects has been the litany of glitches found within each iteration. While some of these glitches have the potential to be game-breaking, there exist others that are overwhelmingly charming and or over-powered.
These glitches run deep in the franchise; in fact, fans are still discovering new glitches that exist within FF7 to this day! Actually, instead of chatting about these exciting pieces of coding, how about we take a look at a few? Here are ten of the strangest glitches in the Final Fantasy series.
Final Fantasy IV: Second Form Glitch
Found within the 2D versions of the fourth installment of the acclaimed franchise, the second form glitch allows the player to prevent bosses with various forms from transforming. In FFIV, second forms have been programmed onto several bosses as a counter mechanic in response to the player dealing x amount of damage. Because this second form deals in the programming of the game’s various bosses, it can be manipulated by the player and prevented altogether to create an easier battle.
The player must reflect a spell from a character in their party onto the opposing boss to achieve this. Once this is done, the transformation will not occur as the boss or more so; the game’s software won’t recognize the player’s move as something to be countered, thus staying in their base form.
Final Fantasy V: Hidden Zombies Bug
Found in the SNES and Playstation version of the game, this weird/goofy glitch uses Bard’s historically exploited ability, Hide. With this glitch, we find ourselves utilizing Hide and, while a character is hiding during the throes of battle, if the hiding character is targeted with an attack that inflicts the zombie ailment upon them, then that hidden character will be blocked from coming out of the shadows. With the hidden character inflicted with a zombie, the game glitches and prevents the battle from ending (in some cases) and the game freezing altogether.
Final Fantasy IV: The 64 Door Hierarchy Glitch
Were you looking for a glitch that could help you bypass the entirety of Final Fantasy IV? Well, let me introduce you to a simple 64 Door Hierarchy Glitch.
With this glitch, players can manipulate room/map changes within the game, taking advantage of the “go” types, saving the player’s current location, and the “return” types, a return to the previously saved location. Beginning with a value of zero on any map, players can manipulate the aforementioned values on locales in the game that allow the player to increase these numerical values due to the game thinking that the player is using two “go” type room changes as opposed to one “go” type and one “return” type. When the room level increases from 63 to 64, the room type is immediately reset to the beginning level of zero. Then, if a player were to use a “return” type, the level would become -1, creating the infamous glitch in the process.
With a negative value attached to the room/map level, the game essentially breaks and cannot return to a saved location so, instead, when a player does something relatively harmless like altering the game’s menu color, the player is granted free reigns to choose any-in game location they want, bypass any story, and travel there.
Final Fantasy: Peninsula of Power
Like many early JRPGs/RPGs, the first games in the Final Fantasy series use grids on their world map to configure which types of enemies the player would encounter. The enemy and the strength of said enemy would depend heavily on what portion of the grid the player travels upon. Unfortunately, due to technical issues and some development shortcomings, these grids sometimes merge with other grids from other maps, causing the player to encounter enemies from portions of the game they haven’t experienced yet.
These grids were often located on somewhat secluded parts of the map that needed some finagling to get to. Still, once the player achieved this, you would be on a portion of the map that players have since referred to as the Peninsula of Power, with the first one ever to exist found in Pravoka in the first Final Fantasy game. The Peninsula of Power would then be exploited to grind easy experience and Gil.
Final Fantasy VII: Repeating Boss Glitch
Much like the Peninsula of Power, the Repeating Boss Glitch could also be used to farm experience and Gil for your continued journey through Midgar and beyond. When using the glitch, players will challenge FFVII bosses to duplicate the rewards of beating certain baddies such as Lost Number, Red Dragon, and Diamond Weapon.
To activate said glitch, players will need to save their game before walking to a specific locale where the random encounter is located, and once the encounter is revealed, the player would need to set their game. Using another glitch found in FFVII that allows players to skip a random battle when they load their saved file, this glitch would skip the minor random encounter. Then, when the player initiates a battle with a boss encounter, they will be rewarded with fighting the battle twice.
Final Fantasy: Invisible Woman of Cornelia
In other strange glitch news, this one comes courtesy of the OG version of Final Fantasy involving a non-playable character who speaks to you but doesn’t appear on the screen due to a particular bug in the game’s programming; she’s literally invisible. This glitch is strange because she is supposed to be in the room you find her; she has programmed dialogue and is interactable. However, Final Fantasy was programmed to make the characters inside your location visible and characters on the outside invisible as you make your way into the room.
Unfortunately for this Cornelian woman, she was programmed to be visible while you’re inside the room; however, her actual location is outside that room, resulting in her sprite being permanently invisible to the player. Without using game sharks, game genies, action replays, and the like, players could never make the invisible figure appear.
Final Fantasy VI: Opera House Glitch
Did you play the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VI for the Super Famicom? Remember that opera house? Remember those rats along the catwalks? Remember you defeating all of the rats and showing no mercy? Well, what if you had shown some mercy during your play-through? What if you had left precisely one of the rats alive until the World of Ruin? Well, we did! And the Opera House Glitch is a direct result of that act of mercy.
If the player were to leave one rat alive during the World of Ruin and go back and attempt to kill it but is instead bested by the furry creature, then the player would be greeted by a special kind of “Game Over.” However, rather than getting your typical “Game Over” prompt, the player is instead treated with Ultros interrupting the onstage performance. Instead of the player and his squad being present in the World of Ruin, they inhabit the World of Balance. Cool, right? Wrong. Once this glitch completes, the player becomes stranded in the World of Balance and is unable to return to the World of Ruins, thus breaking the game; talk about a literal “Game Over,” right?
Final Fantasy VII: Raid on Midgar Glitch
This next strange glitch is actually quite unnecessary for the average Final Fantasy fan, but if you just so happen to be a speed-runner, then you’re in luck. The Raid on Midgar glitch allows the player to completely bypass all Midgar events in part two of the game and head straight to the scene featuring Cloud and Tifa near Highwind.
To activate this particular glitch, the player will need to wait for Reeve to call Hojo; during this scene, the player will need to simultaneously hold down and right on the d-pad along with the run button during the moment the scene ends and, if executed correctly, the game’s software will be tricked into thinking that the player is making his way towards Hojo operating Sister Ray. It will cause this boss fight to begin, skipping everything in between. Of course, you’ll know it works if Cloud is invisible and there is no music playing.
While this glitch isn’t that useful for the average player, as mentioned earlier, this glitch is, however, most useful for speed-running players. Unfortunately, for the average player, this will ultimately set them up to be severely under-leveled and lack a ton of rewards and items such as the Behemoth Horn for Red XIII. So unless you’re in some kind of hurry, it may be wise not to utilize this glitch.
Final Fantasy VII: The Dancing Tifa Glitch
Well, this next glitch is not overpowering; it’s not a glitch that grants you infinite MP or creates a black hole at the center of the map. No, this glitch is more on the goofy, head-scratching side.
In Final Fantasy VII, when Bugenhagen explains how the lifestream works within the planetarium, players can access a glitch that causes the game to crash and freeze, allowing only one character to continue animating: Tifa. However, the player will still be able to control Tifa utilizing the same animations from her escape from the gas chamber scene, which, out of context, causes Tifa to appear as if she is busting a move. Pretty hilarious, actually.
Since finding the glitch in 1997, what directly causes this strange glitch is still quite mysterious. Some players have found that if you place Cloud at the middle position of the party with Tifa at the bottom position, you could consistently trigger this glitch while others haven’t been so lucky. Nonetheless, you could fix the glitch by resetting your game. Otherwise, you will not be able to progress forward.
Final Fantasy VII: Aerith’s Ghost
One of the strangest glitches in Final Fantasy comes from the Uber-popular FFVII, where Aerith can be seen in the church located in the Sector 5 slums. This infamous glitch is interesting because it is also an actual event in the game. The event can be seen after Mideel and Cloud rejoins the party. The player returns to the church seeing Aerith and the two usual kids, on-screen with Aerith tending to the flowers. However, after the player takes a couple of steps forward, Aerith’s ghost will disappear—an event that is supposed to happen. You’ll notice that the kids’ dialogue is also different when Aerith’s ghost is present and after it retreats.
The glitched event comes in the form of Aerith’s ghost reappearing, this time unintentionally. This glitch makes it possible for in-game models of the characters to appear on-screen in a default position before disappearing and settling into their actual positions. Before the player beats Jenova LIFE, if the player goes to the church, they will see Aerith standing idly in the middle of the room for a brief moment before disappearing entirely from the scene. The characters in the room will correct themselves, and the kids will get into their positions for the scene. Creepy, huh?
To make the situation even eerier, there exists dialogue to an NPC that is supposed to be next to the church near the save point but isn’t seen in-game. Found within the game’s script files, this character has several text boxes that allude to Aerith’s ghost. Some of them being “This woman just disappeared! Right there around the old church” and the infamous “I tell you, it’s one of them….haunted churches! Ohhh…shiver…shake….”