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The 0 HP character bug is a bug, where a player character is alive at 0 HP.
In the NES version the glitch is possible to activate by having a dead character leave and then rejoin the party. It can only be done with Gordon and Leila, because they are the only characters who rejoin the party at some point. Outside of battle, the 0 HP character is treated as alive, and can be healed and equipped, although they are in the back row by default (as with any dead character). In battle, 0 HP characters can take any action, although they will be truly dead by the next turn if their HP stays at 0.
If Raise is used with a 0 Vitality/Spirit character outside of battle, it can produce a 0 HP living character. In the SNES version, getting into a battle with such a character will revert the character to Knocked Out and make them unable to be revived during battle, while in the Advance version, the character will be revived with 1 HP.
The game has a glitch, which allows players to keep a character alive with 0 HP, thus becoming invincible unless healed or attacked by a character. Methods for triggering this bug include:
- Doom + Jump – If Jump is used as the timer for Doom is close to 0, and if the battle ends before the character lands, but the timer runs out while the character is in the air, the glitch will activate. There is a bugfix patch that players can use to fix this version of the bug on the SNES version.
- Zombie + Petrify – When the Petrify status is inflicted on a character under Zombie status, if the Holy Water is used to cure the Zombie status, then the Petrify status is cured, the glitch will activate. There is a bugfix patch that players can use to fix this version of the bug on the SNES version.
- Zombie + Rippler – If Rippler is used to exchange statuses between an entity with the Zombie status and an entity without the Zombie status, the glitch will activate. There is a bugfix patch that players can use to fix this version of the bug on the SNES version.
- Zombie + Tapir – If Tapir is used on a character who is not under the Sleep status, the glitch will activate. There is a bugfix patch that players can use to fix this version of the bug on the SNES version.
- If all characters are killed in the Coliseum, the player can walk around with a party of dead people until they encounter a battle outside of the Coliseum, when it becomes an instant Game Over.
- In the mobile version, in a battle where Gau is attempting to return to the party when having leapt on the Veldt, if one is hit by Zombie and kills all other party members, chasing Gau away, the player returns to the world map with all party members at 0 HP.
A similar glitch occurs in Final Fantasy XII that involves a character dying during an Esper's Dismiss command animation, right when the character's action is about to begin, trapping them in a state of being flagged defeated, but remaining on the field.