The game borrows very heavily from the tabletop game Dungeons & Dragons First Edition. The list of monsters and their attacks are nearly identical to the bestiary from that game. Five of the character classes are the same: Fighters, Monks, Thieves, White Wizard (Clerics), and Black Wizard (Magic-User). The magic system is similar, with many analogous spells and the same level-based spell charge system.
In all releases, you can obtain a world map by pressing B (or Circle) and Select at the same time. This is a hint given to you early on in Matoya's Cave; take what the brooms have to say and spell it backwards.
Fire, earth, air and water are the classical elements, which were believed by the ancient Greeks to be the constituents of the universe. However, the concept of classical elements likely began earlier, and a fifth element, "aether" was later added to describe stellar objects. The Hindus also had a similar concept of elements.
The Nintendo Power strategy guide for this game stated that certain weapons did additional damage to certain enemies (Coral Sword vs. water enemies, for example). This is not true in actual gameplay due to a bug that make all enemies weak against nothing. This only applies to the original NES version; these weapons perform their intended effects in subsequent versions of the game.
Along the same lines, there are certain spells that do nothing at all! These include the Black Magic spells Temper, Saber, and Lock. Lock2, a supposedly more powerful version of Lock, in fact does the opposite of what it was intended to do: it makes the enemies harder rather than easier to hit.
Due to a programming glitch, there is an invisible person in Cornelia Castle in the NES version.
Nintendo Power ran a contest in which the object was to obtain a photograph of a battle screen on which WarMech was shown. WarMech is an enemy that appears randomly and very rarely along the long bridge leading to Tiamat in the Flying Fortress. It is believed that WarMech started the tradition of placing very difficult but optional enemies towards the end of a Final Fantasy game.
Arylon the Dancer, the price of the Power Staff, and the tombstone of Erdrick are intended to be answers to questions in a sort of "scavenger hunt" contest by Nintendo Power that appeared shortly after Final Fantasy came out in the US.
Erdrick is the hero of legend in the Dragon Quest series, and main competition (at the time) of the Final Fantasy series. In the Japanese and Dawn of Souls versions, Link (of The Legend of Zelda) was the name on the tombstone.
The humor website Seanbaby.com named the Vox spell one of the "Most Useless Powerups in Video Game History", along with such classics as the Feather from Milon's Secret Castle and the Cloak of Invisibility from Wizards & Warriors. Contrary to what is implied by the article, there are enemies that use the Mute spell in the game, but they are so rare as to make an anti-mute spell useless.