LIkewise, while many of the levels are incredibly well designed such as Block Man's stage (which makes a great tutorial for the double gear system) or Tundra Man's stage, this just makes it more obvious when level design falls short of expectations. Bounce Man's stage may be the single most frustrating stage to appear in a classic Mega Man game, and the flame wall in Torch Man's stage is more frustrating than challenging.
Like most RPGs, the Final Fantasy installments use an experience level system for character advancement, in which experience points are accumulated by killing enemies. Character classes, specific jobs that enable unique abilities for characters, are another recurring theme. Introduced in the first game, character classes have been used differently in each game. Some restrict a character to a single job to integrate it into the story, while other games feature dynamic job systems that allow the player to choose from multiple classes and switch throughout the game. Though used heavily in many games, such systems have become less prevalent in favor of characters that are more versatile; characters still match an archetype, but are able to learn skills outside their class.
With only Link able to see her, Zelda helps him obtain a sword before the two make their way Tower of Spirits. There, Anjean tells the duo that Zelda's body contains a sacred power and that Cole took it in order to serve as a vessel for the Demon King, Malladus. Learning that she can inhabit Phantoms to aid Link, Zelda proceeds to help him restore the tracks and the Tower of Spirits to its former glory.
Fi's spirit may continue to exist within the Master Sword in Breath of the Wild. Princess Zelda reveals to the Great Deku Tree that the Master Sword told her that her destiny was not finished, it convinced her to seal Calamity Ganon herself. In his vision after removing the sword, Link sees Zelda speaking to the Master Sword as if it was a person. She told the Master Sword that its master (Link) would come for it, like Fi whose spirit slumbers within the sword and refers to Link as "master" in Skyward Sword.
However, Cole releases his master before Link and Zelda could stop him. No longer in imprisonment, Malladus possesses Zelda's body, seeking to wreak havoc across New Hyrule and beyond. Using a specially made Phantom, Zelda aids Link in defeating Cole and forcing Malladus out of her body. With Byrne holding Malladus off, Zelda swiftly returns to her body, much to her joy. Immediately though, Byrne is defeated by Malladus, with the Demon King proceeding to use Cole's body as a new vessel. Having little time to spare, Link and Zelda perform a duet using the Spirit Flute and Zelda's sacred powers, with the Lokomo's joining in. Their combined powers significantly weaken Malladus, allowing Link and Zelda to finish him off. Soon after, Zelda joins Link in saying their farewells to the Lokomo, where they learn that Byrne will be reborn, though without the memories of past events. Afterwards, the ending credits show Zelda and Link back to New Hyrule castle, much to everyone's relief.
Character growth determines how player characters learn new abilities and boost their stats. Unlike battle systems, character growth systems are less consistent throughout the series, and players must internalize the systems to make the correct decisions. The only consistent character growth mechanic used in the series has been the level based system where characters raise their level through experience points earned in battle to improve stats and sometimes learn new abilities. Even this system has been excluded from some games, such as in Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XIII, where only ability points are accumulated from battles that can be expended for both better stats and new skills.
The central conflict in many Final Fantasy games focuses on a group of characters battling an evil, and sometimes ancient, antagonist that dominates the game's world. Stories frequently involve a sovereign state in rebellion, with the protagonists taking part in the rebellion. The heroes are often destined to defeat the evil, and occasionally gather as a direct result of the antagonist's malicious actions. Another staple of the series is the existence of two villains; the main villain is not always who it appears to be, as the primary antagonist may actually be subservient to another character or entity. The main antagonist introduced at the beginning of the game is not always the final enemy, and the characters must continue their quest beyond what appears to be the final fight.
The traditional Mega Man boss design is another knock against the Power Gear as a useful ability. Because bosses already have vulnerabilities to certain weapons, there’s no point in amping up the weapons that already easily cut them down, and increasing the damage of weapons that barely do any is like upgrading your Nerf gun to Super Soaker. However, I found two pretty cool uses for the Power Gear. One is that Tundra Man’s T. Storm can be amplified to wipe out all enemies on screen like a more efficient Infinite Gauntlet. People watching me play in the office got a kick out of me hitting what amounted to the “nuke’em from orbit” button when frustration set in. The second is Impact Man’s P. Driver ability, which is a mid-air dash attack which is more useful for getting around because its charged form lets you zoom across the whole screen. See ya, disappearing block puzzle!
As the franchise has grown in popularity, several games have been released that are set within or star a minor character from the universe of The Legend of Zelda but are not directly connected to the main The Legend of Zelda series. Both map versions of the game BS Zelda no Densetsu for the Satellaview (released in August and December 1995) could be considered spin-offs due to the fact that they star the "Hero of Light" (portrayed by either the Satellaview's male or female avatar) as opposed to Link as the protagonist of Hyrule. A third Satellaview game released in March 1997, BS Zelda no Densetsu Inishie no Sekiban (BS The Legend of Zelda: Ancient Stone Tablets) could also be considered a spin-off for the same reason. Other spin-off games include Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland for the Nintendo DS – an RPG released in September 2006 in Japan (Summer of 2007 in the UK) to star supporting character Tingle. A second Tingle game is Tingle's Balloon Fight DS for the Nintendo DS. Here Tingle again stars in this spin-off arcade style platformer, released in April 2007 only in Japan and available solely to Platinum Club Nintendo members. In addition to games in which Link does not star as the protagonist, games such as the shooter game, Link's Crossbow Training (for the Wii), have been considered spin-offs due to the lack of a traditional "Save Hyrule" plot-line. Released in November 2007 as a bundle with the Wii Zapper, this game allows players to assume the identity of Link as he progresses through a series of tests to perfect his crossbow marksmanship. Color Changing Tingle's Love Balloon Trip was released in Japan in 2009 as a sequel to Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland. Hyrule Warriors, a crossover game combining the setting of Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda series and the gameplay of Tecmo Koei's Dynasty Warriors series, was announced for the Wii U video game system in December 2013 and was released in North America in September 2014. Hyrule Warriors Legends, a version for the Nintendo 3DS containing more content and gameplay modifications, was released in March 2016. To commemorate the launch of the My Nintendo loyalty program in March 2016, Nintendo released My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, a Picross puzzle game developed by Jupiter for download to the Nintendo 3DS.
Another common theme is rebellion. The protagonists are often forced to fight a higher power either on a quest for revenge, for freedom or another motivation. The higher power can range from an empire, such as the Gestahlian Empire from Final Fantasy VI, a religion, such as Yevon from Final Fantasy X, or a deity, such as the fal'Cie from Final Fantasy XIII. During the journey to vanquish these powers their threat escalates, until the protagonists free the world of the oppressor(s).
Although he is not actually playable in the Bass and Proto Man modes, he still played a key role in those modes: In Proto Man mode, he was responsible for curing Proto Man when the latter started succumbing to Roboenza, and in both Bass and Proto Man mode endings, it is heavily implied that Mega Man was responsible for taking Wily to the hospital after the latter succumbed to influenza.
Final Fantasy has spawned numerous spin-offs and metaseries. Several are, in fact, not Final Fantasy games, but were rebranded for North American release. Examples include the SaGa series, rebranded The Final Fantasy Legend, and its two sequels, Final Fantasy Legend II and Final Fantasy Legend III. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest was specifically developed for a United States audience, and Final Fantasy Tactics is a tactical RPG that features many references and themes found in the series. The spin-off Chocobo series, Crystal Chronicles series, and Kingdom Hearts series also include multiple Final Fantasy elements. In 2003, the Final Fantasy series' first direct sequel, Final Fantasy X-2, was released. Final Fantasy XIII was originally intended to stand on its own, but the team wanted to explore the world, characters and mythos more, resulting in the development and release of two sequels in 2011 and 2013 respectively, creating the series' first official trilogy. Dissidia Final Fantasy was released in 2009, a fighting game that features heroes and villains from the first ten games of the main series. It was followed by a prequel in 2011. Other spin-offs have taken the form of subseries—Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, Ivalice Alliance, and Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy.
Although Sheik is intended to appear masculine, it is unclear whether Princess Zelda physically transforms herself into a male or simply dresses herself to look like one. When Link encounters Princess Ruto in the Water Temple, Ruto explains, "A young man named Sheik rescued me from under the ice". Later, when Link obtains the Water Medallion, Ruto asks, "If you see Sheik, please give him my thanks". Additionally, a Gossip Stone in the Hyrule Castle Grounds says, "They say that contrary to her elegant image, Princess Zelda of Hyrule Castle is, in fact, a tomboy!"
After Link finds a second Gate of Time and goes to the past, he meets up with Zelda there. It is then revealed that Zelda is the reincarnation of Hylia. She also confesses to manipulating Link's feelings for her (as Hylia) so that he could fulfill his destiny, a deed for which she is very remorseful. In order to maintain Demise's imprisonment, Zelda seals herself. While doing so, Zelda asks Link for him to wake her up when his mission is complete.