Several installments in the Final Fantasy series utilize separating their storylines into chapters, also known as episodes or acts. Most chapters end with a boss battle.
In it's original release on mobile phones in Japan, The After Years was separated into 13 chapters. Each chapter focuses on a different character, with the exception of Gathering's Tale and the two Final Tales, which are the final areas of the game.
- Prologue: Return of the Moon
- The player controls Ceodore as he takes his trial of knighthood.
- Ceodore's Tale: Last of the Red Wings
- Rydia's Tale: The Eidolons Shackled
- The player controls Rydia as she investigates the Eidolons and the Dark Crystals.
- Yang's Tale: The Master of Fabul
- The player controls Yang as he investigates a meteor impact and heads to Baron.
- Palom's Tale: The Mage's Voyage
- The player controls Palom as he tutors Leonora in Black Magic.
- Edge's Tale: The Pulse of Babil
- The player controls Edge's apprentices, the Eblan Four, before Edge himself goes to the Tower of Babil.
- Porom's Tale: The Vanished Lunar Whale
- The player controls Porom as she travels with Palom as he trains to be a sage in flashbacks, and in the present goes to Mount Ordeals to find Kain.
- Edward's Tale: Star-Crossed Damcyan
- The player controls Edward as he investigates the impact crater and travels to Baron.
- Kain's Tale: Return of the Dragoon
- The player alternates control between Ceodore and the Hooded Man as they travel to Damcyan, and Kain as he joins with the Mysterious Girl and attacks Fabul and Damcyan.
- Lunarian's Tale: The Blue Planet That Was
- The player takes control of the Man in Black and Fusoya to discover the source of a disturbance on the moon.
- Gathering's Tale: The Moon's Gravity
- The player takes control of Rydia, Luca, Edge and the Man in Black as they travel the world to save the other party members and free the Eidolons so they can enter Baron Castle.
- Final Tale, Part One: True Moon
- The heroes head to the True Moon, and the player forms their own party to explore the Subterrane and awaken Cecil from a mysterious dazed condition.
- Final Tale, Part Two: Planet Eater
- With Cecil restored, the party ventures into the Depths to recover the Crystals and have their final battle.
When the game was translated and released on the Nintendo Wii, the Prologue, Ceodore's Tale and Kain's Tale were merged together, and the three final Tales were merged into one called "The Crystals". In the Complete Collection release for PSP, Ceodore's Tale remains merged into the Prologue as one Tale, but Kain's Tale is stand-alone again, and the three final Tales are also still merged.
When playing Kain's Tale, the player can import data from the Prologue/Ceodore's Tale to retain character levels and items gained in Ceodore's Tale. In the final Tales, the player can import data from all their finished Tales, and may or may not have access to some of the side-characters, depending on if they completed the other Tales or not and the fates of some characters during the playthrough of those Tales.
In the mobile and Wii releases of the game, additional chapters must be purchased for play and can be played or not in any order the player likes. In Complete Collection Ceodore's Tale is begun when the player selects New Game, after which all tales except for the Lunarian's Tale and The Crystals will be available for play in any order. Completing all these tales unlocks Lunarian's Tale, which when completed unlocks The Crystals.
Crisis Core is separated into eleven chapters, which relate to one assignment of Zack's as a SOLDIER, including a training mission and the missions that promote him to a top SOLDIER.
- The first chapter is a virtual reality training mission for Zack overseen by Angeal. Its boss is a Behemoth.
- The second chapter is a mission to Wutai, which ends the war. Its boss is Ifrit.
- The third chapter is the exploration and search for Genesis in Banora Village. Its boss is Bahamut.
- The fourth chapter is a search for Dr. Hollander in the Sector 5 Reactor. Its boss is a fight against three Shinra robots.
- The fifth chapter revolves around the meeting of Zack with Aerith. Later, Genesis attacks the Shinra headquarters and Zack has to protect Hojo. Its boss is Bahamut Fury.
- The sixth chapter is an assignment in Modeoheim. In this chapter Genesis is fought, but its final boss is Angeal Penance.
- The seventh chapter includes an attack by Genesis forces to Junon. Its boss is a Shinra spider-robot.
- The eighth chapter is the farewell between Zack and Aerith before he leaves to Nibelheim.
- The ninth chapter holds the events of the famous Nibelheim Incident. Its boss is Sephiroth.
- The tenth chapter features Zack's escape from Nibelheim, reaching his hometown of Gongaga Village. Its boss is Hollander.
- The eleventh and final chapter takes place at Banora Underground and ends with the defeat of Genesis.
Dirge of Cerberus is separated into 12 chapters:
- Chapter 01: Sea of Flames
- Chapter 02: Showdown in the Wastes
- Vincent and Reeve travel to Edge, but are attacked by Guard Hounds on the way.
- Chapter 03: Silent Edge
- Vincent arrives in Edge, where he meets Shalua Rui. He is attacked by Rosso the Crimson, but escapes by transforming into Chaos.
- Chapter 04: Headquarters Under Siege
- The WRO Headquarters is attacked by Deepground. Vincent manages to quell the invasion by defeating the Tsviets, Shelke the Transparent and Azul the Cerulean.
- Chapter 05: Manor of Despair
- Vincent infiltrates the Shinra Manor in Nibelheim, where he is attacked by Rosso the Crimson, who takes the Protomateria from him. Before she has a chance to kill him, Vincent is rescued by Yuffie Kisaragi. Cait Sith is temporarily playable in this chapter, as Reeve uses him to investigate Deepground presence at a Mako Reactor.
- Chapter 06: Deepground Strikes Back
- Yuffie takes Vincent back to the WRO Headquarters, which is once again being attacked by Deepground. Vincent attempts to save Shalua and Shelke from Arch Azul, but Shalua is killed while trying to ensure Shelke's safety.
- Chapter 07: The Shera
- Vincent and the others are rescued from the destroyed headquarters by Cid Highwind's airship, the Shera. Reeve then tells everyone of Deepground's intentions and the plan he has to stop them.
- Chapter 08: Midgar Assault/Fight for the Central Complex
- The WRO begin their assault on Deepground controlled Midgar with the help of Cloud Strife, Tifa Lockhart, and Barret Wallace. Vincent heads through the Train Graveyard and encounters Rosso the Crimson once more. He defeats her for the final time and continues through Midgar.
- Chapter 09: An Empire in Ruins
- Vincent arrives at the ruins of Shinra Headquarters to find an elevator to take him to Mako Reactor 0. He encounters Azul the Cerulean and manages to kill him using Chaos.
- Chapter 10: Shinra's Dark Secret
- Vincent arrives in Mako Reactor 0. He treks through the area and finds Nero the Sable, who he defeats, rescuing Shelke and encountering Yuffie in the process.
- Chapter 11: Beginnings
- Vincent heads deeper into the Reactor, where he fights Nero the Sable again. Vincent beats Nero and finds Weiss the Immaculate at the center of the Reactor. It is revealed that Weiss is actually being controlled by Professor Hojo who has him attack Vincent. After a long fight, Vincent defeats Weiss. Nero appears and becomes one with his brother, finally killing Hojo once and for all.
- Chapter 12: Omega & Chaos/A Finale Chaotic
- In the final chapter of the game, Vincent transforms into Chaos and fights his way to the top of the newly formed Omega. At the top, he finds Weiss once more, who merges with Omega to create Omega Weiss. Vincent defeats Omega Weiss and saves the world.
Final Fantasy X-2 is separated into five chapters. Ending a chapter ends the possibility of completing any remaining Missions for that chapter, which are usually, though not always, only available within a specific chapter or chapters.
Chapter 4 is generally the shortest Chapter, as it consists of visits to only two locations, with most other material available through optional conversations using devices known as CommSpheres, made available based on which locations the player chose to visit in Chapter 3.
In the Japanese version Chapters are labeled as Story Levels in the save menu (Story Lv).
- Chapter 1 begins with Yuna's concert in Luca and ends with the Gullwings stealing the Awesome Sphere from Kilika Temple. It also serves as a re-introduction to the world of Spira, as the player is able to visit each location to learn what has changed since the end of Final Fantasy X.
- Chapter 2 begins with the revelation of Vegnagun and the player needing to decide whether to return the Awesome Sphere to New Yevon or the Youth League. It ends with the Gullwings being forced to fight Bahamut in the Bevelle Underground.
- Chapter 3 begins with the Gullwings having to defeat the Aeons at the Temples of Yevon. It ends with Yuna being thrown into the Farplane by Ixion and meeting Shuyin there for the first time.
- Chapter 4 revolves around planning a "second" (first was impostor's) concert performed by Yuna at the Thunder Plains, with most of the communication with other regions of Spira done through CommSpheres. It ends with Lenne's surprise emergence through the Songstress Dressphere during the concert.
- Chapter 5, being the final chapter, allows the player to attempt to complete Missions in order to achieve Episode Complete for all locations. It ends with the party traveling to the Farplane to defeat Shuyin and Vegnagun, restoring peace to Spira.
- See also: Datalog/Events
Final Fantasy XIII is separated into thirteen chapters, which correspond to one of the locations explored in each game, with exception of Chapter 11, which has Gran Pulse as its setting. Every time a player completes a chapter they earn an achievement.
- Chapter 1 is set in Hanging Edge.
- Introduction to game and takes place here and we are introduced to five of the main characters. Basics of combat system and interaction with environment are also explored.
- Chapter 2 is set in Pulse Vestige.
- Characters travels through the Vestige, eventually ending up as l'Cie.
- Chapter 3 is set in Lake Bresha.
- Characters discover they have gained magical powers, as a result of their l'Cie status. Party gets separated after finding crystallized Serah. The sixth and final main character is also initially introduced as "Woman" ("Mysterious Woman" in Datalog) in the dialogue box.
- Chapter 4 is set in Vile Peaks.
- Party splits to two: one group goes to Gapra Whitewood and the other one moves to Sunleth Waterscape.
- Chapter 5 is set in Gapra Whitewood.
- First party travels through the bio-engineered woods, intending to travel through Palumpolum in order to reach Eden.
- Chapter 6 is set in Sunleth Waterscape.
- Second party travels through the nature reserve towards Nautilus.
- Chapter 7 is set in Palumpolum.
- First party arrives and meets up with the two main characters last seen in Lake Bresha, with the "Woman" being properly introduced.
- Chapter 8 is set in Nautilus.
- Second party arrives and attempts to escape capture, but their efforts are in vain.
- The first party goes to rescue the second party. However, the second party manages to escape confinement and eventually meet up with the first party. Primarch Galenth Dysley is unmasked as the fal'Cie Barthandelus, the game's true villain.
- Chapter 10 is set in Fifth Ark.
- The party escapes the airship and arrive to a Pulsian armory, stowed beneath Eden.
- Chapter 11 is set on Gran Pulse.
- The party escapes Cocoon, only to crash land on Gran Pulse, where they search for a way to defeat Barthandelus.
- Chapter 12 is set in Eden.
- The party navigates through Cocoon's capital, defeat the military leader, and approach the fal'Cie Eden.
- Chapter 13 is set in Orphan's Cradle.
- The party travels through the Cradle to stop Barthandelus and Orphan. In the wake of the fal'Cie's defeat, Cocoon begins to descend towards Pulse, but the lives of the party members and thousands of civilians are saved by the intervention of Ragnarok.
The story of Final Fantasy XIII-2 is divided up into six chapters, called episodes in-game. Also included are two side story episodes and an epilogue episode.
- Episode 1: A World Without Cocoon
- Leaving is set in New Bodhum -003 AF-.
- Episode 2: Unseen Intruder
- The Giant is set in the Bresha Ruins -005 AF-.
- Episode 3: Part 1 - Prophecy of Hope
- Episode 3: Part 2 - Oathbrand
- Episode 4: Skyborne Paradise
- Restoration is set in Academia -400 AF-.
- The Tower is set in Augusta Tower -200 AF-.
- New Life is set in Academia -4XX AF-.
- Episode 5: Time Marches On
- The Void Beyond -??? AF-.
- The Void Beyond: New Bodhum.
- A Dying World -700 AF-.
- New Bodhum -700 AF-.
- Extra Episode: Sazh's Story: Heads or Tails? is set in Serendipity
- Extra Episode: Snow's Story: Perpetual Battlefieldis set in The Coliseum -??? AF-.
- The Last Episode: Promised Eternity
- The Promised Future -The Ark- is set in Academia -500 AF-.
- Valhalla -??? AF-.
- Another Beginning: Lightning's Story: Requiem of the Goddess is set in Valhalla -??? AF-.
Beginning new episodes also earns the player achievements and trophies.
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Final Fantasy Type-0 is divided into eight chapters.
- Chapter 1 - Three Hours That Changed the World (第一章 開戦、運命の三時間, Daiisshō Kaisen, Unmei no 3jikan?)
- Chapter 2 - Raise the Vermilion Banner (第二章 朱雀の旗が立つとき, Dainishō Suzaku no Hata Ga Tatsu Toki?)
- Chapter 3 - Weapons of Mass Destruction (第三章 大量破壊兵器の時代, Daisanshō Tairyō Hakai Heiki no Jidai?)
- Chapter 4 - The Last Queen's Return to Oblivion (第四章 最後の女王、烏有に帰す, Daiyonshō Saigo no Joō, Uyūnikisu?)
- Playable on Disc 2. The leaders of Concordia and Rubrum are called to the Milites capital for the peace agreement, but Queen Andoria of Concordia is assassinated and Class Zero is framed. It concludes when they have escaped all the way to abandoned Lorican territory and are taken back to Suzaku by an airship.
- Chapter 5 - The First Battle of Judecca (第五章 第一次ジュデッカ会戦, Daigoshō Daiichiji Judekka Kaisen?)
- Playable on Disc 2. Milites and Concordia have formed an alliance and begin a simultaneous attack on Rubrum. Following Suzaku's reclaiming of the Eibon region, they begin a simultaneous counterattack, starting with the battle against Soryu in Judecca. It ends with the defeat of Shinryu Celestia.
- Chapter 6 - Terra Mortis - Khalia's Decision (第六章 死の大地 カリヤの決断, Dairokushō Shi no Daichi Kariya no Ketsudan?)
- Chapter 7 - Fate of the Crystal - The Endless Battle (第七章 クリスタルの興亡～終わりなき戦い, Dainanashō Kurisutaru no Kōbō ~ Owari Naki Tatakai?)
- Playable on Disc 2. Alexander destroyed the boundaries leading into Byakko territory, giving Suzaku the upper hand. After conquering the Rilochy Province, after which Concordia surrenders, Suzaku captures the Milites capital. It ends with the second defeat of Qator and Gabriel, after which Suzaku has conquered all territories in Orience.
- Chapter 8 - Verdict: Finis (最終章 フィニスという判決, Sai Shūshō Finisu to Iu Hanketsu?)
- Playable on Disc 1. Because Suzaku has conquered all the world, Finis begins and Lulusath Warriors are sent to end all life on Orience. The original twelve members of Class Zero are taken to the site where Cid becomes the l'Cie Arbiter of the Lulusath, and after surviving his trials, they defeat him and end the war in Orience.
- Optional Chapter 8 - The Place of the Final Judgement
- An alternate scenario during the final mission in Chapter 8. Class Zero choose to become l'Cie, though it soon results in their defeat. The player will receive a Game Over.
- True Chapter - Beyond the Horizon of Six Hundred Million
Final Fantasy Tactics is separated into four chapters:
- Chapter 1: The Meager
- Ramza's backstory with Delita and Argath is explored. Its final boss is Argath.
- Chapter 2: The Manipulative and the Subservient
- Revolves around the history of Princess Ovelia and her impact on the history of Ivalice. Its final boss is Cúchulainn.
- Chapter 3: The Valiant
- In this chapter the battle of Ramza against the Templar Knights begins. It ends at Riovanes Castle with the battle with Elmdore and his assassins.
- Chapter 4: In the Name of Love
- At this chapter the War of the Lions takes place, and also includes the final battles of Ramza against the Templar Knights at Mullonde and the Necrohol of Mullonde as well, and ends with the defeat of Ultima at the Airship Graveyard.
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Dissidia's story is divided into the ten Destiny Odyssey stories, which each follow a different character:
- Follows Warrior of Light's quest as he searches for the Crystals and encounters various villains.
- Follows Firion's quest as he ends up traveling alone and tries to understand and explain why he fights.
- Follows Onion Knight's quest as he and Terra follow a mysterious energy source.
- Follows Bartz's quest after he is captured and fights to escape enemy territory.
- Follows Terra's quest as she tries to come to terms with her volatile powers.
- Follows Cloud's quest as he tries to find a reason to fight.
- Follows Squall's quest as he leaves Bartz and Zidane behind to pursue Ultimecia alone.
- Follows Zidane's quest as Bartz is captured during a treasure hunt and Zidane seeks to rescue him.
After the Destiny Odyssey storylines are completed, Shade Impulse is unlocked:
- In the aftermath of Cosmos's death, the heroes pursue the villains to discover why.
- The Emperor reveals his hand in Cosmos's death, and the heroes go after him to avenge the goddess.
- With the world sliding into oblivion, the heroes defeat the final few villains on their way to fight Chaos
- The heroes fight the final few manikins before facing Chaos.
Dissidia 012's main storyline - Treachery of the Gods - is divided into 8 chapters allowing the player to control one character at a time and then in the final chapter - have a party of 5 set characters to control.
- In this chapter, the player controls Lightning as she starts to search for her crystal and discovers Kain's betrayal.
- In this chapter, the player controls Lightning as she reaches the Sanctuary.
- In this chapter, the player controls Kain as he lays Firion "to sleep".
- In this chapter, the player sets up a party consisting of all the characters, and Kain as an Assist as they travel to destroy the Manikins - which they succeed in doing, but at the cost of their lives.
After completing the Epilogue, Main Scenario 013 Light to All is unlocked. The Light to All storylines are the same as the original Dissidia's Destiny Odyssey storylines, adapted to the new Dissidia 012 game mechanics and placed in a different order to reflect the approximate chronological order of events in them, rather than in order of original game. Completing all ten Light to All chapters unlocks the Epilogue, which is a combination of all four chapters of Shade Impulse similarly adapted to the new gameplay as the previous storylines were.
Upon completing Light to All, Main Scenario 000 Confessions of the Creator is unlocked. The player can also unlock it after completing Treachery of the Gods by purchasing it in the PP Catalog for 2000 PP.
The story is divided into ten chapters, plus an alternate final chapter:
- Intro: On the Precipice of Despair
- Tiz Arrior wakes up following the destruction of his hometown, Norende, and comes to meet new friends: the vestal of wind Agnès Oblige, the mysterious amnesiac young man Ringabel, and the young daughter of the Grand Marshal of Eternia Edea Lee.
- Chapter 1: Sit & Stay are Tricks for Dogs
- The party arrives in the town of Ancheim, and sets out to reawaken the Crystal of Wind. In the process, they meet the old Sage Yulyana.
- Chapter 2: One Day, Beneath a Blue Sky
- After the Eschalot is rendered unable to fly by Alternis Dim, the party is forced to go to the Temple of Water on foot.
- Chapter 3: Beloved Bonds
- With the awakening of the Crystal of Water, the oceans are purified, allowing the party to go to the continent of Eisenberg, where the Crystal of Fire is located. They also take part in a civil war between the Shieldbearers and the Swordbearers.
- Chapter 4: Black and White
- After the party gains control of Grandship, they travel to Eternia, where the final crystal is located. On their way, they encounter and confront Edea's father, Braev Lee.
- Chapter 5: Yesterday's Scenery
- After crossing the Holy Pillar, the party seemingly finds themselves back in time. The crystals are once again shrouded in darkness, and the Great Chasm still stands where Norende once was. With no other option, the party sets out on Grandship to awaken the crystals again. They eventually learn that they didn't travel back in time, but to an alternate Luxendarc.
- Chapter 6: A World of Echoes: Equal, Chapter 7: A World of Echoes: Dash and Chapter 8: A World of Echoes: Circle
- Throughout those three chapters, the party finds themselves traveling to different Luxendarcs every time they cross the Holy Pillar after awakening the crystals, forcing them to start over again. Nonetheless, they press onwards, finding more and more answers regarding their situation, the orthodoxy, Luxendarc as a whole, and most importantly, Airy.
- The End: Bravely Default
- Airy finally achieves her objectives, and reveals her true nature to the party: she is an agent sent by Ouroboros to trick the vestals into awakening the four crystals and opening the Holy Pillars of countless Luxendarcs, in order to link them all together and grant Ouroboros enough power to gain access to the Celestial Realm, and remake reality in his image. She transforms into a larval monster and attacks the party aboard Grandship. After a grueling battle, Airy retreats to the Dark Aurora, but the party chases after her and eventually defeats her and Ouroboros thanks to Lester DeRosso and Sage Yulyana's help.
- Finale: Lying Airy
- This alternate final chapter can only be reached if the player insists on pressing X during one of the Rituals of Awakening in Chapters 5 through 8. Airy demands Agnès stops the ritual, for the crystal might break. Agnès refuses to listen, and breaks the crystal, but the party is promptly slain afterwards by Airy in her monstrous form. After being revived thanks to Agnès's pendant, the party head out to the Dark Aurora to where Airy retreated, and defeat her after a grueling battle. However, she claims with her final breath that her death means nothing, for the crystal Agnès destroyed will eventually reform, allowing Ouroboros to carry out his plan.