In Dissidia Final Fantasy and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, the various icons on the story mode boards are known under the blanket term "Pieces," and are broken down into several subtypes—Player Pieces, Reward Pieces, Battle Pieces, End Pieces and Support Pieces. There are also two special types of tiles: Locked Areas and Enigma Tiles. In terms of map completion for the storylines, the player is required to interact with every piece on each board at least once during a playthrough to achieve 100% completion, in addition to receiving all the map rewards for the storyline.
The Player Piece is the player's icon, representing the player's position on the board. The Player Piece's appearance is that of whichever character the player is playing as. The player can only interact with other pieces when they are in one of the four tiles adjacent the Player Piece.
In Dissidia a white outline on a tile represents the player's Home Area. Moving the Player Piece out of the home area costs a Destiny Point. When a player interacts with another piece their Home Area changes to their current location.
The Assist piece is a piece representing the player's Assist character. The Assist is usually a predetermined character depending on the gateway, however in the Epilogue of the Light to All storyline and in Confessions of the Creator, the Assist is randomly selected from a list of characters not in the player's party.
Engaging the Assist Piece on the board normally starts a short conversation between them and the player character. However on Confessions of the Creator, the Assist will fight the player if engaged. The Assist will always be at level 100 and after the battle the Assist will be removed from the map regardless of the result and the player must continue without the help of the Assist for the remainder of the floor.
Reward pieces grant the player various items and Summonstones when interacted with. There are four main types of Reward Pieces:
Treasure Chests are initially represented on the board by a yellow and brown treasure chest icon. When opened they give the player a preset equipment piece or accessory, and in Dissidia 012 may also award Map Skills.
In Dissidia, after a treasure chest is opened the first time, on subsequent playthroughs of the storyline its icon will turn red and black, and reward the player with a small amount of PP or a random trade accessory when opened. In Dissidia 012 some enemies hide inside of red chests in "Confessions of the Creator" - these enemies are very high level but, when they are defeated, the player claims rare accessories or Lufenian equipment from the chest.
Rare Chests are represented by a gold and blue treasure chest. They are different from normal Treasure Chests in two ways: they do not reappear on subsequent playthroughs once opened, and the items inside are usually of higher quality than normal chests. Some rare chests are only spawned when enough Story Points are earned in prior playthroughs, while others are placed behind Special Locked Areas. In Dissidia 012 rare chests only appear in "Confessions of the Creator."
Summonstones are represented by large red crystal orbs. They grant the player a predetermined summon when taken, and do not reappear on later playthroughs. In Dissidia two appear per storyline, but one is behind a Special Locked Area and cannot be taken on the initial playthrough. In Dissidia 012 the majority of Summonstones are purchased from moogles, and the handful of Summonstones located in gateways are not protected and are free to claim on the initial playthrough.
The Moogle Icon only appears in the first stage of Inward Chaos. When the player interacts with it the first time, a cutscene plays and the player receives the Moogle summon. The moogle icon can be encountered on subsequent playthroughs, and will reward the player randomly with 300 PP, a Superslick, or a Mog's Amulet. In Dissidia 012 moogles also appear in some dungeons in "Confessions of the Creator." One such icon awards the Moogle summon like in Inward Chaos, while another icon, found in the final gateway, fully heals the player's party in preparation for facing Feral Chaos.
Moogle Chalices are exclusive to Dissidia 012. They are rare reward pieces that come in two varieties, silver and gold. Silver chalices instantly double the player's current KP earned in the Gateway, while gold chalices triple it.
Support Pieces come in two types in Dissidia: Ethers and Potions. Potions restore the player's HP to full and fill their EX Gauge. Ethers only appear in Dissidia and randomly replace any Map Skills the player has used with new Map Skills. The continuous skills Invisible and Regen are not replaced, nor is Blink if its effect has been activated but not used up.
In Dissidia 012, the Phoenix Down appears to revive a KOed party member in storylines where the player travels with a party, generally within multi-floor gateways.
Locked Areas are tiles the player cannot pass until they are unlocked. Red locked areas unlock after the player has defeated a specific battle piece or a specific number of battle pieces. Gold locked areas (known as Special Locked Areas) guard rare chests and summonstones, and only unlock after earning enough Story Points, and thus cannot be unlocked in the first playthrough.
In Dissidia 012, locked areas are represented by a glowing gold icon, and only appear in "Confessions of the Creator". They are unlocked when the player rescues the mured moogle and returns to these gateways.
Emblems appear only in Dissidia 012, and come in three varieties: a red circle with a downwards-pointing arrow, a blue circle with an upwards-pointing arrow, and a purple circle with a question mark. Emblems activate when the player icon stands on them and effect one or both of the combatants in battle.
Blue emblems bestow beneficial effects on the player or detrimental effects on the opponent, such as giving the player five times their base Bravery at the start of the battle. Red emblems help the opponent or hinder the player, such as reducing all physical damage to zero. Purple emblems effect both or neither characters, and includes varied effects such as awarding an extra KP in battle or raising the Stage Bravery. Emblems only take effect when the player's character stands on them; they are not active when an opposing Battle Piece is positioned over an Emblem.
Battle Pieces represent manikins, and initiate a battle with the player when interacted with. There six types of Battle Pieces:
Normal Battle Pieces are represented on the board by a single gray icon. They are low-level manikins and usually have either no equipment, or equipment that lowers their stats. They are slow with small movesets, often only two or three Bravery attacks and one or two HP attacks.
Hard Battle Pieces are represented by a gray icon with a pair of swords crossed behind it. These manikins are higher-level and may use equipment and accessories. They have larger movesets and are more difficult to defeat.
Strange Battle Pieces are represented by a distorted gold icon. They have low HP (mainly just 1 HP) but enter battle either with a high amount of Bravery, or a Summonstone capable of lowering the player's Bravery and evade attacks more often. Their movesets vary in size and they can be dangerous to face due to their mentioned gimmicks.
Expert Battle Pieces are represented by large brown icons. These manikins are at a much higher level than others and could be considered minibosses. They utilize a variety of equipment and accessories and have large movesets, and may use Summonstones. They often guard treasure chests or Summonstones.
Ultimate Battle Pieces are represented very large gray icons with spikes on their shoulders. They are the strongest type of manikin, and are often at a higher level than even the bosses of the story mode. They have high-level equipment and strong movesets, always have a Summonstone equipped, and are very strong opponents.
In Dissidia, they only appear on subsequent playthroughs of a storyline when the player has accumulated enough SP on prior playthroughs. In Dissidia 012, they only appear late in the Confessions of the Creator mode and are Level 100+. An ultimate battle piece also appears in Lightning's story, but it is only on Level 26.
Party Battle Pieces are a Battle Piece represented by a three-headed green-tinted icon, and only appear in Dissidia 012. They represent a battle against a party of enemies, and engaging them will force the player to fight several enemies in a row. The player may choose to face these enemies Round Robin or Tournament style.
In Round Robin, the party members in the first slots of the two parties fight, then the second members, and so forth. When all battles are concluded the team with the most victories wins. If the player wins enough battles to have the majority, such as three victories against a five-member team, the remaining battles are skipped and the player wins KP for them as though they fought and were victorious. In Tournament, the first two characters in the parties fight, and when one is defeated the next person in line steps in to fight in their place. This continues until one party is entirely defeated. In Round Robin, only the party members who may potentially fight receive Exp from battles (ie, only the first three party members when fighting a party of three enemies), while in Tournament all party members gain exp.
Mirror Pieces are special Battle Pieces represented by a tall white icon, and only appear in Dissidia 012. They are immune to chains, cannot be Berserked, and the player wins no KP for facing them. Battling them pits the player against a mirror image of their current party or player, with the opponent(s) equipped with the same moveset, abilities, equipment, accessories, summon, and assist of the player's character(s). Party battles against these are Round Robin by default, where the player can normally press L to change party battle rules against Party Battle Pieces, there is no option against Mirror Pieces.
Berserk Battle Pieces are a Battle Piece sub-type, and may be either Normal, Hard, Strange, Expert or Ultimate. They have their normal icon tinted pink and will instantly battle the player when they stand beside them if they do not use the Blink or Invisible Skill beforehand. On the board, using an item on the board or destroying a Battle Piece will turn all Battle Pieces adjacent the player's icon Berserk, provoking them to attack instantly unless one of the two mentioned Skills are in effect. In Dissidia, Chaos and Cosmos Pieces will turn Berserk like Battle Pieces if the player takes an item or defeats an enemy while next to them, although this is not the case in Dissidia 012 as these pieces representing real characters are only fought at the end of a gateway.
Mauve tiles with a question mark written on them are known as Enigma Tiles. These tiles contain a map piece, but the identity of the map piece is concealed from the player and is only revealed when they either engage it or move their home area adjacent to it. Enigma tiles do not appear in Dissidia 012.
End Pieces come in three types: Cosmos Pieces, Chaos Pieces, and the Stigma of Chaos. The Stigma of Chaos ends the stage or gateway when interacted with, while Chaos Pieces represent a battle with a Warrior of Chaos, and Cosmos Pieces trigger a battle with a Warrior of Cosmos. In some stages a Cosmos Piece or a Chaos Piece must be defeated to end the stage instead, and no Stigma of Chaos appears. In the bonus storylines Inward Chaos and Distant Glory, the Stigma of Chaos will not appear to end the stage at first until certain enemies are defeated.
In Dissidia 012, the Cosmos Piece is only used in Treachery of the Gods Chapter 5, to denote the entrance to Order's Sanctuary where the Warrior of Light is fought. In all other storylines when a Warrior of Cosmos is fought, a fourth end piece, the Enigma Piece, is used to represent them. This piece is also used during Chapter 3 of Main Scenario 013 placed as if the Phantasmal Harlequin manikin were the boss, but immediately after it is defeated the player faces Cloud as the true boss.
The Mirror Piece model is present in the game data for the original Dissidia, but is not used. Another unused Battle Piece model also exists, a Normal Battle Piece with a samurai-esque covering over the top. It is unknown what this model would have been used for; as it is not in the final game. A third unused model appears to be a prototype Moogle Chalice, with the same basic shape and swirl designs on it as the chalices, but being orange instead of silver or gold and lacking the moogle sitting in the cup. A possible explanation is that it may have been an Elixir or some other restorative item, as it appears similar to the Ether.