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Final Fantasy IV party members Escaping a random encounter.

Escape (とんずら, Tonzura?), also known as Run, Flee and Runaway, Run Away (にげる, Nigeru?), is a command in the Final Fantasy series that allows party members to try and escape random encounters.

The most common way to escape a random encounter is by pressing down two buttons on the game controller or the console. For the titles on the PlayStation, this is done by simultaneously pressing L1 and R1. The Game Boy Advance titles require pressing L and R. Some games use a single button.

Escape can only be employed in battles with normal enemies. The player cannot usually escape from storyline enemies and bosses, though there are a few exceptions. Some fixed encounters and monster-in-a-box encounters also cannot be escaped from.

Escaping varies between games. In some, when one member flees, the others will. In others, the members flee individually and the battle will not end until any remaining party member(s) flees or gets knocked out.


Final Fantasy[]

Individual party members may choose to flee while others can still fight. Pressing the shoulder buttons sends the entire team fleeing. If one character is successful in fleeing, the entire party flees with them.

Running is always successful in a preemptive attack, and never possible in inescapable battles. Running is successful if:

Running is bugged on the NES and it loads something else instead of the runner's level:

  • Slot 1: Slot 3's Status byte.
  • Slot 2: Slot 4's Status byte.
  • Slot 3: Identifier for entity that attacks third, either 0-8 or 128-131.
  • Slot 4: Depending on the ones digit of Slot 4's HP, 128-137.

So, someone in Slot 1 or 2 will usually be able to run if their Luck is 15 or higher and the character in slot 3 or 4 has normal status. Enemies can always run.

They will if:

Final Fantasy II[]

Individual characters can flee while others can stay and fight. Pressing the shoulder buttons sends the entire team fleeing. If one character is successful in fleeing, the entire party flees as well.

Final Fantasy III[]

The command Run, present on the majority of the jobs, makes the user attempt to run from battle. Should it fail, the user will lose a turn and their Defense will fall to 0 until their next turn.

In the 3D Remake versions, Run Away is issued to the entire party by holding the shoulder buttons and no longer reduces Defense. Jobs that could previously use the Run command can now use Guard.

Final Fantasy IV[]

Escaping from battle is issued by holding R in the 3D versions. When escaping there is a chance of the party dropping gil equal to 1/4 of the amount they would have received if all of the initial enemies in the battle would have been defeated. The party will not drop gil if they escape by the spell Teleport or the Ninjutsu ability Smoke.

Final Fantasy IV -Interlude-[]

Escape allows the party to escape the battle. The party may drop gil after successfully escaping from battle, although there are alternatives methods of escaping without losing gil, like casting the White Magic spell Teleport or the Ninjutsu spell Smoke.

Final Fantasy IV: The After Years[]

Escape allows the party to escape the battle. The party may drop gil after escaping although this can be avoided through alternatives like casting the White Magic Teleport or the Ninjutsu spell Smoke.

Final Fantasy V[]

The player can escape by holding L and R or by using the Thief ability Flee, the Time Magic spell Teleport, or the Ninja ability Smoke to escape instantly.

If all party members use the Hide command, the party will instantly flee unless it is an inescapable battle. The weapon Chicken Knife has a 25% chance of forcing the party to flee whenever the user attacks with it. If all of the party members are Berserkers, the player is unable to escape. Every time the player escapes, the power of the Brave Blade goes down, and the power of the Chicken Knife goes up.

Final Fantasy VI[]

Escaping in Final Fantasy VI.

Holding the shoulder buttons causes all characters to run. Each character escapes individually until there is no one left. This is determined by a hidden "Escape Success" value for each party member (this value is 0 in side attacks; otherwise, the value is equal to double the number of enemies present, though some enemies add 6 instead of 2 to the equation).

Each character's "running modifier" is as follows:

Once every 2 seconds the game will check if the the party is trying to run. If they are, each character's "run success" value increases, depending on the character and a random number between 1 to a value listed above. If a character's "run success" value is greater than or equal to the "Escape Success" value, and if the character's ATB gauge is full, the character will escape. If not, they will keep trying to escape and their "run success" value will increase 2 seconds later. The game prevents characters that are afflicted by Zombie, Petrify, KO, Sleep, Stop, and Trance from getting a run animation. It oddly counts the Trance status as among those ineligible for running, but not those afflicted by Freeze.

Final Fantasy VII[]

Escaping in Final Fantasy VII.

To escape from a battle, the player has to simultaneously hold R1 and L1 or [Page up] and [Page down]. The animation has the characters face the opposite way of the enemies and run on the spot. If the player succeeds in escaping the characters will flee off the screen and the character models will fade. Characters in certain statuses will not change their animation when fleeing: Death, Paralyzed, Petrify, and Stop. The party cannot escape if every member has at least one of these statuses. Characters in the Confuse status will run while spinning. Characters cannot flee from bosses (see also: inescapable battles glitch). A player cannot escape an ambush until all enemies on one side are defeated.

The Global Timer is used to decide when the party can escape. The Global Timer is the timer for the entire battle, and its speed is based on the the battle speed set in the config. The default battle speed is 128, and at max it is 255. A Global Timer Unit is earned for every mark of 8192 the Global Timer reaches. On the fastest battle speed setting, it would take just over 30 ticks for a single Global Time Unit, but on the slowest it would be about 152.

At the end of each Global Time Unit the game checks if the party has been running for at least half the unit's time. If they have not, there is no chance of escaping until the next Global Time Unit has finished. If they have, then further mathematics have to be checked.

The battle will end once the Run Difficulty reaches zero. Depending on the encounter, the Run Difficulty will vary. Usually it is one, but for back attacks, it is usually two, and if encounters include certain enemies it is also higher. Every Global Time Unit the party has been running for at least half the time of, there is a 25% chance of reducing the Run Difficulty by one. If the battle was a preemptive strike, or the party enclose the enemy via a side attack, the Run Difficulty will always reduce by one.

Some enemies use attacks to eject party members from battle. Some of these attacks flag the ejected units as defeated, but some of them flag them as having escaped the battle instead, e.g. Midgar Zolom.

The E.Skill Chocobuckle does damage based on the player's number of escapes. The man at Old Man's House tells the player how many times they have escaped so they can keep track.

Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-[]

Zack can escape from most normal battles by running towards the edge of the battlefield. After several seconds of persistently running against the invisible wall around the battlefield, the battle will end, or a "Can't escape!" message will be displayed if the battle is inescapable.

Final Fantasy VIII[]

Escaping in Final Fantasy VIII.

The player can escape random battles by holding L2 and R2. The player receives EXP from battles even if they escape. The amount of EXP gained from fled battles depends on how much the player reduced the enemies' HP by; if the player does damage equivalent to 50% of an enemy's HP, they will get 50% of the EXP the enemy would normally give when defeated. Earning EXP from petrified enemies works the same. However, the player will not get AP or items for escaped battles. The number of escapes affects the SeeD exam score in the Dollet mission, and the player must escape from the first encounter with X-ATM092.

Holding L2 and R2 makes all party members run. Every second or so, the game will check if a random number between 0 and 255 is less than the battle's "running difficulty" and if that is the case, the party will successfully flee. The running difficulty depends on each encounter, usually being 255 or 128. Bosses always have a running difficulty of 0, meaning escaping is impossible. The player also cannot run from battles in the Deep Sea Research Center if they used Zell to open the door to the Deep Sea Deposit.

It is possible to escape from the UFO? battle and still trigger it again. It is possible to escape from the PuPu battle, but it cannot be encountered again.

Final Fantasy IX[]

Escaping in Final Fantasy IX.

The player can use the L1 and R1 buttons to escape, or use Zidane's Flee Skill to escape instantly. Using the Flee ability causes the party to drop a small amount of Gil (equal to 10% of the Gil held by the opponents); this does not occur when the party runs away manually, although it may take longer than Flee, which allows the party to escape as soon as the move is completed.

The chance to escape from battle by holding L1 and R1 simultaneously is decided by the level average of members in the party (KO'd members included) and the level average of the opponents (dead monsters not included):

Frozen escape from FFX Remastered.png

This check is performed once per second for as long as the player holds L1 and R1. Escape is possible only during the idle time when enemy ATBs are filling. A level 1 party has no chance of escape against any monster or group of monsters whose level average is 51 or higher. The flee animation is not performed if there is another battle animation going on, but if the flee was successful, the character will flee as soon as the animation is finished even if the player has already stopped pressing the flee buttons. When the characters are in the run away animation, they take 50% more damage from physical attacks. If the player tries to escape manually, the frozen party member still assumes the run pose, but fails to leave the battle with others.

The support ability Flee-Gil allows the party to earn some gil even from manually escaped battles, but has no effect on Flee.

Final Fantasy X[]

Run away from battle.


Auron attempting to escape in Final Fantasy X.

Escape is a command ability that allows the character a chance to run away from most non-boss enemies (except Mimic), Lord Ochu, Dark Ixion, and Penance. Characters run away individually, and are not replaced by another character when they do; once all three characters participating in battle are either KO'd, ejected from battle or have escaped, the battle ends. Escape command can either succeed or fail. If a party member escapes and the remaining party is KO'd, it will not result in a Game Over.

The Flee ability allows the entire party to escape the battle in the same situations, and unlike the Escape command, has no chance to fail.

Final Fantasy X-2[]

Run away from battle.

"Help" description

Escaping in Final Fantasy X-2.

The escape command is an accessible command given by any dressphere, using Right to change battle menus and select Escape, unless hindered by a status ailment such as Petrify, Stop or the character is KO'd. The character will escape from the battle and cannot be replaced. The entire party can escape simultaneously using the Flee command in the Thief dressphere.

If one or two of the party members have escaped from the battle, and the remaining characters are KO'd, the battle will end, but not result in a Game Over. The player will return to the game, with no experience points earned.

Creatures with no motivation will try to Escape on their turn, if possible.

Final Fantasy XII[]

Escaping in Final Fantasy XII.

Holding R2 has the party put away their weapons, cancel any charging actions, and disable all gambits, allowing the player to flee. Because their weapons are not drawn, they will not run at roughly 5/6 the normal speed, but will not be able to block enemy attacks either. Escaping from battles is made easier by setting the battle speed to slow in the config, causing enemies to take longer to execute commands.

The escape function can sometimes stop enemies from fleeing; some enemies, while in low health, tend to run away. However, if the player presses R2 when this happens the enemy's AI might be reset and it will launch after the party again. This is useful to avoid chasing fleeing enemies across battlefields.

Final Fantasy XIII[]

The player may not escape from battles. The "Retry" function brings the party back to the area before they engaged the enemy, effectively acting as a replacement to the escape system. Retry will also work on boss battles. A known exploit to avoid enemy encounters is to use a Deceptisol to run past an enemy undetected, engage the enemy from the other side anyway before the effect runs out, and then Retry out of the battle, regaining the Deceptisol.

Final Fantasy XIII-2[]

Escaping in Final Fantasy XIII-2.

Enemy encounters are random, and monsters materialize out of thin air to challenge the party. When monsters appear in the player's vicinity the Mog Clock activates. If the player does not want to fight, they can run away from the enemies on the field. If they get far enough away from the monsters in time the monsters disappear and the player has escaped the encounter, but if they run out of time in the Mog Clock the battle will begin anyway. In some areas the player is unable to avoid monsters by running from them, such as in Academia 400 AF, where monsters will keep chasing the player until a battle initiates.

The Retry option appears, but if the player is caught by monsters because they run out of time when they are trying to escape, the Retry option will be sealed for that battle. Winning 50 consecutive battles without using the Retry option earns the player the "No Retreat" achievement/trophy.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII[]

Escape is an EP Ability that costs no Energy Points to use. It is used if Lightning loses a battle, and returns her to the field before the battle occurred, with all the items and EP used in the battle regained. Escape is also used when the player loses a Slaughterhouse battle. Using Escape penalizes the player by taking an hour off the world's time, unless the player is playing in Easy Mode or on the final day.

Final Fantasy XV[]

Enemies are engaged on the field. A red gauge appears when a battle is about to start when the player comes to the vicinity of an enemy. Running away from the enemies at this point can avoid a battle. The player can also run away from an active battle by running from the enemies that eventually give up the chase. In closed areas escaping from enemies is not always possible.

Final Fantasy Mystic Quest[]

Selecting Run causes the party to try and escape the battle. There is a chance this will fail, wasting the turn.

The Final Fantasy Legend[]

Run is one of two basic commands that is available. If the player tries to run, only one party member will attempt to run, yet if this character succeeds or fails, the entire party will do the same. If they fail, all the enemies will get a round to attack the party.

Final Fantasy Legend II[]

Run is one of two basic command available during battle. A successful escape is related to the Agl of the characters, the higher the Agl is the better chance they have at running away from monsters.

Final Fantasy Legend III[]

Run is one of the basic battle commands and gives the player a chance to try and run from the current battle. There is a chance they will fail prompting to lose a turn. It does not work during boss battles. The ability to run away is base on the average agility of the party versus the average agility of the monsters.

Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light[]

The player can escape from random encounters with Wayfarer's abilities Runaway and Escape. Runaway lets the player escape most of the time but it can fail, and using it takes one AP. Escape never fails and costs two AP. Runaway is the default ability on the job, and the player must upgrade the job with Gems to learn Escape.

Final Fantasy Record Keeper[]

When in a dungeon, the player has the option to Retreat from the dungeon. Retreating from the dungeon does not cost the player any items obtained thus far in the dungeon, but they will have to redo all of the stages if the player enters the dungeon again.

While in battle, the Flee option appears in the pause menu. Fleeing a battle forfeits any items gained during the battle, however Stamina used is not regained, characters do not regain HP or ability uses that were lost during the battle, and any status effects inflicted during the battle that remain after battle will not be removed upon fleeing. It is possible to exploit fleeing from battle to accumulate Soul Break points by having characters attack and fleeing before the enemy can inflict any harm to the party, though as this requires expending the stamina cost of the battle each time, it is impractical for battles with high Stamina costs.

Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon[]

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