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See also: FE Memes & Slang (Credit: Ribbonquest)

1200 Strats

Reflect Killing Zeromus with a (potentially partial) party with just over 1200 HP.

Reflect kills Zeromus by putting wall on every living party member with starveils and then triggering Counter nukes with items. Survives Big Bangs by nerfing them, having more than 1200 HP, and heals up between big bangs. Require a specific agility setup and access to a number of j-items. Takes around 10 minutes to defeat Zeromus. See more details here: boss_fights

Agility Anchor/Relative Agility/RA/RA[number]

The number of ATB ticks required for a character or enemy to get a turn. ATB calculation is based on a number the runner can manipulate (though some flags make it easier to manipulate than others). When used as RA1 (or any other number), refers to the number of ticks

Final Fantasy 4 uses the Active Time Battle (ATB) system to determine character turns. The number of ATB ticks required for a character or enemy to get a turn is based on the agility anchor. The agility anchor can be changed based on flags, but the default is the center slot character. Characters and enemies with higher agility scores than the Agility Anchor require fewer ATB ticks to get their turn until the maximum speed is reached referred to as RA1. That character's turn can come up once every 1 ATB tick.

For more details, see: Relative Agility.

A more detailed explanation of how the ATB system works can be found here ATB System.

Back Row Glitch

Glitching the game to permanently give a character the long range bit.

Equipping a long range weapon on a character sets the long range bit on a character, which ignores penalties of attacking from the back row and attacking an enemy in the back row. If this glitch is enabled, removing a long range weapon on a character does not unset the long range bit. See more details here: Back Row Glitch

Big Bang into Meteo Combo

Also known as the Wombo Combo or the Combo Platter.

This is a feared sequence of events that can happen in the final stages of the Zeromus battle. When Zeromus is in his Nuke phase and usee big bang, he can tip into Meteo Phase via a direct damage counter. When this happens, the party can take up to 3900 damage back-to-back, thanks to the fact that meteo is a part of a chain sequence for Zeromus. There is also a potentially more deadly Wombo Combo, where this phase transition occurs directly after a black hole, lowering your damage output of your berserkers and removing berserk, causing Zeromus to act more quickly without your party buffering your actions. This combo is particularly deadly to teams without white mages.

To avoid the Wombo Combo, you can carefully count damage and notice when phase changes occur. Although there is no direct visual indication for a phase change, there will be a slight delay as the game processes the counter script. If your healer is going to be taking an action immediately after Zeromus, you must cast cure 4 before Zeromus's Big Bang animation begins, or the cure 4 will not occur before Meteo. If a zerker is in turn order before your healer, you can cast cure4 during the Big Bang animation to ensure the heal happens before Meteo. Nerfing the Big Bang will also diminish the potential damage of the combo to 2400, but will likely sacrifice a random party member to Zeromus's counter Nuke.

Once in Meteo phase, it is fairly easy to keep your team alive as long as you have one character berserked.

BS/Battle Speed

The amount of actual time it (based on passing in-game frames) required for the game to advance the ATB one tick

Battle Speed affects how long the player has to input a command before automatically passing the turn to allow the AI to process actions. Typically adjusted when a runner needs more time to input commands to avoid losing turns. battle_speed

Crumble Skip

Refers to players using a Kamikaze item to kill a boss and skip the crumble animation that happens at the vanilla Milon Z, Kainazzo, Valvalis, Rubicant, and Elements positions. Also works in the Zeromus fight, but does not save any time, just changes the !done timing from the flash/crack that is normally used to Zeromus starting to fade away.

Boss fights with multiple enemies do not crumble at any of the above locations, so there is no value in using the technique against them. (e.g. Baron Guards on the Baron throne never crumble, even though Kainazzo or D Mist would)

D.Machine/D.Money/D$ Grind

Killing repeated Searcher summoned D.Machine enemies in the Giant of Babil for a large amount experience in one fight

After doing an encounter manipulation in order to get a specific random encounter Giant of Babil, players will setup to have a Searcher enemy summon a late game enemy called ‘D.Machine’. This party almost always has a way to cast the Weak spell on the D.Machine and will use that to kill multiple D.Machines in one fight as the fight is reasonably non-threatening even to low level parties if done properly. See more details here: dmachin

Eddy Strats

Reflect killing Zeromus with Edward due to hide avoiding damage from Big Bangs

A Reflect kill using only Edward to damage Zeromus with mostly triggered counter nukes from Zeromus while hiding Edward from every Big Bang. Requires a large number of starveils and prefers to have specific j-items to trigger counter nukes. Also requires a very specific agility setup and a double slow effect on Zeromus. Takes around 15-20 minutes. See more details in Kirchin's Low level Boss Strategy Reference Guide.

Fu and Friends, Palom and Friends

A Zeromus strategy that relies on obtaining Nuke for FuSoYa and combining that (or Nuke) with 1200 strats. FuSoYa can direct cast Nuke up to the point where Zeromus would refill his HP, at 45,000 damage dealt (16,000 remaining), at which point he can switch to reflecting Nuke to finish the fight. In addition to starveils, most players will want an Elixir or Ether2, or even a SomaDrop, to give Fu more damage potential to end the fight more quickly. With these items, you typically do not see a second big bang with good anchoring and lower battle speed. Characters that easily get to 1200 HP or can supplement with high attack damage are frequently desired as friends, such as Edge who can dart or Rydia and Palom whose viruses are both instant cast and faster than most other item or spell animations.

Palom and Friends is a variant that uses Palom and fully bluffs him to maximum wisdom to cast virus at low levels, and is typically a supplement to 1200 strats.

Half Tower

Also known as the Penguin8r Special

Clearing the Supercannon room in Lower Babil with the Tower Key and not clearing the boss on the top of Lower babil for the key item. See also keyless_tower

Hook Route

A path underground that requires fighting through two well above overworld strength bosses in order to access the underworld.

Named because it requires the Hook Key Item to move the Hovercraft to Eblan Shoals to get access to Eblan Cave and upper Babil. In contrast to the other way underground (dropping the Magma Key into the Well in Agart), Hook Routes tend to be very demanding of runners as they are frequently required to fight bosses with comparatively undergeard and underpowered party members

Hybrid Strats

Hybrid strats refer specifically to using a berserker and a magic user in the Zeromus fight to maximize damage and avoid as many big bangs as possible, with the goal of having a quicker Zeromus fight by minimizing big bangs and animations to heal and recover from them. By supplementing berserker damage, you can also avoid the dreaded Wombo Combo Typical hybrid strats utilize Nuke or White, but Lit-3, Ice-3, and Fire-3 are also viable. This strategy will typically tip Zeromus into phase 2 and then Meteo phase, but advanced hybrid strats can nullify berserker damage by using a unihorn, silver staff, stop, or a reflected moonveil so that reflected magic can finish off Zeromus in phase 1. Hybrid strats are most often utilized when the damage per round of your berserkers is under 8,000 damage. Care must be exercised with extremely low damage parties to avoid casting magic on your own party after Black Hole is used by Zeromus.


Party character abilities disabled in the SNES Final Fantasy 4 US release but are in the Japan version. These are: Dark (DK Cecil), Heal (Edward), Recall (Tellah), Pray (Rosa), Power and Bear (Yang), Bluff (Palom), Cry (Porom) and Regen (FuSoYa).


Consumable Items not usable in the SNES Final Fantasy 4 US release but are in the Japan version. J-items list

Keyless Tower

Clearing the boss at the top of Lower Babil for a key item when the player does not have a Tower Key. See Also half_tower

Life Glitching

Casting Life1 on a dying enemy with either a potion or spell cast to get credit for an additional enemy kill.

If Life1 or a Life potion is cast on a dying non-boss bit enemy, the game attempts to revive the enemy. However, Life1 works by giving HP based on the target’s vitality stat. If that target’s vitality is 0, the Life1 animation will play but the target will immediately die, which gives extra rewards if the target was an enemy. The Life Staff cannot be used for life glitching.

Life2 is not affected by the target’s vitality and will always revive targets not immune to revive effects with maximum health. Only using life1 on enemies is considered a glitch and will be disabled by toggling the -GLife flag; Life2 is always usable on non-boss bit enemies. See more details here: life_glitch

Life Locking

Manipulating Asura’s Script to always cast Life1 (grey face).

Hurting Asura immediately after Asura casts a will cause Asura’s counter attack to reset Asura’s spell rotation back to the last spell cast. Waiting for Asura to cast Life1 will let the player prevent Asura from healing at all if they can keep attacking immediately after casts Life1. If too many ATB ticks pass, Asura will go back to casting random spells. See more details here: Low Level Asura Strats (from Kirchin)

MacGiant Grind

Killing repeated Searcher summoned Macgiant enemies in the Giant of Babil for a large amount of experience in one fight.

Similar to the D.Machine grind except it does not require the Weak spell but does require a way to deal a large amount of damage quickly as well as not die to the Macgiant punches. See more details here: macgiant

Nerfing Big Bang/Nerfed Big Bangs

Using intentionally triggered counter nukes to reduce the damage of Zeromus’s Big Bang ability to a maximum of 1200 damage.

Zeromus sets different magic powers when casting different spells with Big Bang being cast with the highest magic power. This spellpower is set at a specific time in Zeromus’s script but is changed whenever Zeromus casts nuke. Nerfing Bing Bangs requires a player to trigger Zeromus’s counter nuke with some non-holy element, non-summon spell after Zeromus has used an invisible turn after shaking to set magic power before Zeromus casts the big bang to be queued on Zeromus’s next turn. See more details here: nerfing_big_bangs

Pain Man

Dark Knight Cecil as a boss.

Named by community member pidgezero_one during a particularly brutal community race where Dark Knight Cecil was at the King & Queen Eblan spot on a mandatory hook route to get underground. The high attack scaling at the spot allowed Dark Knight Cecil to absolutely slaughter parties attempting the fight, causing a hard stop for most runners.

Plinking is a technique to help navigate through menus faster than just standard inputs. You press Y or R along with an input, and it's as though you pressed the input multiple times. You can do this with up/down/left/right in screens like the inventory screen, in confirming a target in battle, or confirming a selling an item see this video from TheLCC or this video from Soleras for more.

Reflect Kill

Killing Zeromus by bypassing the post 45,000 damage HP refill script.

Zeromus has 61,000 HP but is scripted to refill their HP to maximum after taking 45,000 damage through a counter script. Reflected spells bypass counters and allow runners to only need to do 61,000 damage to defeat Zeromus.

Run Buffering

Attempting to run in an unrunnable fight to cause a message box to pop up to pause the ATB. See Timer System section of the Battle Systems page for more details the_timer_system

Shop Weighting/Gated Shops

The rules for what shops can sell. Common shorthand for base options are Spro, Sstandard, Svanilla, Swild.

Shops in Free Enterprise sell from a randomized set of items. Some flags will guarantee that certain early shops will always sell certain safety items and some items can only be sold in shops gated by at least 1 key item. See more details here: shop_randomization

Single/Double/Triple dipping​

Number of trips to a location

Commonly refers to Fabul as there are 3 key item checks there: The Fabul Defense, Speaking to Shiela after talking to Yang in the bed in Sylph Cave, and Returning the Pan to Shiela after bonking Yang in sylph cave. Can also refer to other locations such as Feymarch, the Moon, Lower Babil, Baron Castle.


A common form of referring to the experience catch-up mechanic for characters who are five or more levels behind the median party level, when there are five characters in the party. In practice, this is most effective when doing a long grind that occurs in a single encounter, like d machines or a macgiant grind, but can still be very effectively used in other situations. -exp:noboost disables this mechanic.

See exp_distribution.


A method to instantly kill the Odin boss with a lightning element spell the third time Odin raises his sword.

Hitting Odin with a lighting based item or spell the third time he raises his sword in a specific ATB window will trigger a special Odin script which displays the battle message ‘Thunderstruck Odin!’ and instantly kill Odin, regardless of damage dealt. Typically done with hiding Edward and a lightning j-item, but other methods exist.

Treasure Weighting

The rules for the likelihood of treasure chests to have different quality of items. Common shorthand includes Tpro, TStandard, TVanilla, TWild, TWildish

Treasures in Free Enterprise are typically not shuffled but truly randomized; different treasure flags provide different probabilities for treasure contents. See more details here: treasure_randomization

Wyvern Standard Time

Refers to very slow battle speeds, since players will often set battle speed to 5 or 6 in order to be able to get starveils off against Wyvern when she'll be using MegaNuke against the party.

Many thanks to Bakashinobi and Emily's Poorly Drawn Bees for their efforts in putthing this document together!

glossary.txt · Last modified: 2024/05/02 19:05 by wylem