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A fixed encounter, also known as spiked tiles when referring to games comprised of sprites, refers to a method of entering a battle. Fixed encounters differ from the basic random encounters due to their fixed nature; a fixed encounter starts when a player steps on a certain tile or interacts with a certain object.
Fixed encounters are the normal method for engaging in a boss fight, and will occasionally be accompanied by dialogue, scripted actions or, in later titles, cutscenes.
There are two common uses for fixed encounters, the first being to enter a surprise battle against bosses or stronger enemies. The second use is to impede the player, or to protect an area such as a Treasure Chest. Fixed encounters cannot be protected against with No Encounters abilities.
Fixed encounters are only of note in earlier games in the series where random encounters were the norm. As the series started moving away from random encounters in Final Fantasy XI, it could be said that every encounter in the modern games is a fixed encounter.
|Chaos Shrine||N/A||Gargoyle x2-3|
|Marsh Cave||B3||Piscodemon x2-4, Anaconda x2-6|
|Western Keep||N/A||Mummy x2-6, Wraith x2-6|
|Cavern of Earth||B1|
|Earth Elemental, Hill Gigas x1-2, Lizard x0-3 |
|Fire Elemental x1-2, Lava Worm |
|Cavern of Ice||B2|
|Dark Wizard x1-4, Evil Eye|
|Citadel of Trials||2F|
|Clay Golem x1-3 |
|Sunken Shrine||2F||Sea Scorpion x1-6, Sea Snake x2-5, Sea Troll x2, White Shark x1-2, Sahagin Prince x0-1, Water Elemental x1-3, King Mummy x1-5, Mummy x1-8, Cockatrice x1-8, Pyrolisk x1-8|
|Waterfall Cavern||N/A||King Mummy x1-5, Mummy x1-8, Cockatrice x1-8, Pyrolisk x1-8|
|Mirage Tower||3F||Blue Dragon|
|Old Chaos Shrine||B1|
B1 of the Cavern of Earth is notable for having the entire left side of the entrance covered in spiked tiles against either the Hill Gigas or Lizard encounter, making it a popular place for Level grinding.
The player must interact with the spirits for the fiends, Lich, Marilith, Kraken and Tiamat, and the arch fiend, Chaos, in order to trigger these events.
Fixed encounters are heavily used in Final Fantasy II, often in the form of numerous trap rooms found in many of the game's dungeons. Trap rooms are rooms comprised of many spiked tiles that the user cannot avoid. Since the player starts in the center of the room, and the tiles all possess a high chance of an encounter, the player must usually endure two battles to exit. Due to the high encounter rate, however, they are often used as effective level grinding points.
Also, in the Lunar Subterrane, there are various weapons the player can interact with that trigger difficult boss fights, the most notorious amongst these being Dark Bahamut, who guards the mighty Ragnarok sword for Cecil. There are also various chests in the dungeon that will trigger battles as well.
Many boss fights are fought using fixed encounters. When escaping Karnak Castle, a seemingly normal encounter against a Sergeant and two Cur Nakk enemies ensues, which later reveals itself to be a boss fight against the Iron Claw.
In the Advance version, the Gigantuar can be fought as a fixed encounter in the desert outside of Maranda. The player must first speak with thief wearing blue as you enter the town, then kill ten or more Cactuar before the Gigantuar appears. His tile is in the southwest corner of the desert, one step above the lowest edge, just to the left of the southern point.
Deathgaze isn't a random encounter, but every time the player takes off in the airship in the World of Ruin, it has a fixed location on the world map that changes once the player lands the airship. Finding him is merely a matter of locating which portion of the world map he is hiding on while flying the airship.
The first battle of the game is a fixed encounter between Cloud Strife and two MPs. Should the player decide to charge in the front door of the Shinra HQ, the party must defeat two Grenade Combatants. Also in the Shinra building, the party is attacked by three Mighty Grunts on floor 59 upon approaching the elevator to floor 60.
In the Cave of the Gi, stepping on the giant spider webs that block the path will initiate a battle with a Stinger. The battle against the Materia Keeper in Mt. Nibel is fought by running into the enemy.
The Icicle battles fought inside Gaea's Cliff are fought by running into the area beneath the icicles. Getting knocked back by the wind in the Whirlwind Maze forces the party to defeat a Wind Wing. When on the train that takes the player to North Corel from Mt. Corel during the Huge Materia mission on Disc 2, the player faces an encounter on every carriage they jump on. There are several fixed encounters with Underwater MPs and Submarine Crew in the Underwater Reactor at Junon.
The various battles with Ultimate Weapon on the World Map are fixed encounters when the Highwind moves into it, as with the Ruby Weapon. The same can be said for the Emerald Weapon when hit with the Submarine.
Crisis Core has many fixed encounters over the course of the storyline. Some fixed encounters cause enemies to appear and immediately engage Zack, others cause enemies to appear and wander an area, beginning a battle when approached.
The encounters whereupon the player witnesses the UFO? flying across the screen carrying an object are triggered by stepping on a specific area on the world map, and trigger even with the Enc-None ability equipped, making them fixed encounters. After seeing the UFO four times, the player can find it in another fixed encounter on the plateau above Grandidi Forest, right above the Chocobo Sanctuary. After defeating the UFO? the player can meet PuPu in a fixed encounter by visiting the site where Balamb Garden used to be.
In the Deep Sea Research Center, should the player choose to have Zell open the final door instead of using Steam Pressure, the party will have to fight several fixed encounters against fairly strong enemies on the way to Ultima Weapon.
Fixed encounters are used in Memoria. When traveling through the linear dungeon, the player will enter in four different fights in fixed positions against each of the guardians of Terra. This is reminiscent of how the Four Fiends of the original Final Fantasy are fought as fixed encounters at the end of the four final floors. Pandemonium is also home to three fixed encounters: the first against an Amdusias, the second against an Abadon, and the last against a Shell Dragon.
Several spots in Cleyra are also fixed encounters, when heading down the trunk as well as when saving the civilians, if the player choose the wrong path. Additionally, on the way up to Cleyra, the party can fight Sand Scorpion enemies if they allow the character to sink in quicksand. In Mount Gulug, there are three separate fixed encounters with Red Dragons.
In the Evil Forest, while escaping from the forest, there are two specific points where there are fixed encounters with Plant Spider enemies, and in the Ice Cavern, the enemy Wyerd is a fixed encounter if the player were to step into an icy gust. On the world map, if the player chooses a wrong sinkhole when trying to enter the Desert Palace, the player can constantly fight an Antlion.
During the Festival of the Hunt, all encounters are fixed encounters. In Alexandria, while entering the castle and escaping during Disc 2, the party can fight several Alexandrian Soldiers, as well as a Bandersnatch. In Burmecia, there are three fixed encounters with Mimics, and in Gizamaluke's Grotto, the player can fight three Black Mages in a fixed encounter.
In the International, PAL and HD Remaster versions, Dark Anima can be fought at the entrance after the player has control of the airship. Dark Anima will appear after completing the Target minigame again. This is available after viewing the campfire scene at start of Zanarkand Ruins. Each failed attempt triggers a battle composed of all fiends found in the Mountain Cave in a strict order, starting with Bandersnatch's group, finishing with Behemoth, and then back to Bandersnatch.
Cocoon was described as "scripted battles" as opposed to Gran Pulse's "random encounters". However both worlds have their enemies present on the field map and making a physical contact with them results in a battle.
Throughout Ashura's Base, the player can encounter fixed encounter or random encounters inside, such as if the player walks into enemies, talks to them, or they walk into them. They'll engage into a battle with the enemies found in the area.