The Final Fantasy VI Advance Walkthrough and Battle Tactics Guide
Version 2.5
Djibriel, August 2007

"It doesn't seem fair, does it?"
     "Who says life is fair?"

- Final Fantasy IIIus ad

..."The OC guide to beating the game while rabid and one-armed making clever
use of a wall"

- Imzogelmo


Contents

No number: Contents
           Foreword (11/14/2005, by Imzogelmo)

 1.0     Version History
 2.0     Introduction
 3.0     Set-up of the document, and slang you're going to start recognizing
 4.0     The Walkthrough
 5.0     Menus and Game Options: As boring as a concrete floor in math class
 6.0     Characters. Poor saps.
 7.0     Game mechanics; real quick, I promise
 8.0     Not Infrequently Asked Questions
 9.0     Espers and their Magicite
10.0     Final Fantasy VI Junkie links and contact information
11.0     Credits; People I love because they've done things I wanted them to do

No number: Disclaimer

**********************************
 Foreword (11/14/2005, by Imzogelmo)
**********************************

  The year was 1994.  Until that time, humanity seemed a bleak existence --
why, the 20th century alone saw the world ravaged by two world wars, a tense
period known as the Cold War, and various regional conflicts.  Finally, in the
latter decades of the century, a new ray of hope emerged -- the video game.
Instead of fighting and killing one another, now mankind could do so
vicariously or, if it was preferred, two could team up and do battle against
a fictional foe.

     Like all forms of expression, the video game underwent many reformations
(or generations) before the recipe became "just right."  Several genres of game
sprang into being:  platform games, shoot-em-ups, action/adventures, sports,
puzzlers, fighting games, and RPGs.  Each type of game appealed to a different
type of player or interest, and all the while advances were being made both in
capacity of games' data and complexity of the hardware used to run it.  By the
early 1990's, the types of presentation that would work with a given genre
were well-established, and players could afford to specialize in a particular
genre without narrowing the field of games too greatly.

     That brings us back to 1994, or, as Nintendo called it, "The year of the
cartridge."  In that year, _Final_Fantasy_VI_ was released, and there was much
rejoicing.  The genre was RPG; the fictional foe was the evil Emperor Gestahl,
and later, the pompous nihilist Kefka.  Sure, there were other RPGs before it,
but none that struck the perfect balance of character similarity vs. diversity,
importance of storyline vs. gameplay, and plot linearity vs. non-linearity.

The depth of characters and robustness of the game engine (plus the time
investment required to fully explore the nuances of the game) made this one of
the highest-rated games in terms of replayability.  Furthermore, the vivid
graphics and moving musical score made it a complete experience, not just a
game.

    "But it is just a game!" I hear someone in the back say.

    No, it is not just a game.  In the fast-paced world where information is
old as soon as it can be emailed, a video game generally has a very small
window of time that it is considered new or exciting.  For the early history of
video games that may not have been so true, but for the entire history of this
game, the internet has been a very influential medium for discussion among
players. For many fans of the series, this is still the greatest game, in spite
of the hype surrounding some of its successors.  So no, it is not "just a game"
-- it is a culture.  And like many great cultures, it needs great works to
explain, enhance, and record its story.

    To document every piece of useful (and no-so-useful) data on a culture --
that's a difficult task.  Many approximations have come forward, but always
they have had inaccurate, inconsistent, or insufficient information.  That is
not meant as an insult on previous guides -- like I said, it's difficult.
Much information has been uncovered through deliberate playing and replaying
of the game, through hacking its internal code and data, and through combined
effort of its many fans.  This guide seeks to improve upon and surpass all
previous attempts.  This guide seeks to be the great work of which I speak.
This guide covers _everything_.

**********************************
 1.0 Version History
**********************************

Version History:

- Version 2.5  (02/07/2014)
      Still at it? Don't I have a job or a family or something?
      Upgraded some things, mainly due to some experimentation with games where
      no characters get KOd.
      Rewrote the Rizopas section.
      In the Phantom Train, there is a compartment with two hidden items, a
      Tent and a Fairy Ring. This compartment can be accessed from two
      consecutive cars in what is a strange but apparantly intentional event.
      Described it in this new version.
      I missed a treasure! There was an Ether to be found in WoR Mobliz.
      Where I previously advised to obtain Sabin ASAP in the WoR without much
      further discussion, I've discovered the merits of not doing so. I now
      explain the advantages and disadvantages of your choices.
      I fixed a monster formation pack in the Phantom Forest. It was not
      correct.
      Added a note on how enemy NPCs respawn once during Kefka's Raid on the
      snowy hills of Narshe.
      I improved the Flame Eater section with the Rasp strategy and some notes
      on Grenade.
      Added a note on the possibility of training Celes, Edgar, Setzer and Gau
      at the start of the WoR to inflate the level of the other characters to be
      recruited.
      Improved and streamlined the Colosseum sections.
      Made a lot of changes to the chapters detailing Kefka's Tower. Mostly I've
      made the party transition moments more obvious, broke up the endless list
      of monster formation chances and monster descriptions into room-by-room
      bits and give a simple and functional example of possible teams that allow
      Locke and Strago to face Fiend and steal that Safety Bit and learn that
      Forcefield Lore.

- Version 2.4  (02/28/2012)
      It never ends! A quick update, this.
      Implemented a note about the way the Floating Continent handles available
      monster formations for you to fight.
      Added a note on Shadow lacking Interceptor protection when walking to
      Thamasa when you didn't recruit him in Sabin's scenario or Kohlingen.

- Version 2.3  (02/28/2012)
      Most importantly, I guess, is that I combed the document for any lingering
      SNES-era name with Ctrl + F. It was boring, but I did it for you.
      I wrote down all the moments where your character's levels are
      recalculated based on the party average, as well as all moments where
      characters are automatically de-equipped when they leave your team. I
      scattered notes about these phenomena where appropriate.
      Added some bits and pieces from the German translation of this game.
      Thanks for your interesting take on the game, herr Andreas Wollny!
      I strongly get the impression that it was translated from Japanese, not
      any English translation. Some noteworthy and fun bits and pieces came
      out of it.
      Fixed a wrong monster formation for the Floating Continent.
      Fixed a northeast/northwest mix-up in the WoB Kohlingen chapter.
      I knew for a while that you couldn't get rare items from Ragnarok's
      Metamorphose through Magicite Shards, but neglected to change this in
      the document. Here you go!
      Brushed up the Dragon's Den section in all kinds of ways, mostly typos and
      minor strategy adjustments such as Skull Dragon Redux using Lv. 5 Death.
      Added some other things across the board, such as using Valor to
      circumvent Ultima Buster's Ultima spell, making sure to get a Genji Helm
      from Gilgamesh, and added some "hilarious" insults about monsters I
      dislike here and there.
      Included obtaining Gogo as a possible part of the game-breaking "Moogle
      Raid"
      Discovered and added that the jailer in Figaro Castle also takes note of
      the latest in Figaro Esper research after you read the queen's diary in
      the Ancient Castle.
      Fixed a comment where I mention Blade Dancers are vulnerable to Dischord,
      which they are not.
      Added some notes on your "options" when controlling Edgar for the first
      time. We can only assume Edgar doesn't want to enter Narshe because he's
      afraid they'll hound him for his royal autographs.
      Fixed a whole slew of typos and bits where I confuse left and right, most
      notably in the Soul Shrine section. It was quite a mess.

- Version 2.2  (04/06/2012)
      Lots of small updates lately... think of it as a new way of keeping
      information up-to-date, web 2.0, stuff like that! Because the update
      features a lot of small updates, here's a list:
      Due to some self-imposed challenges I re-evaluated some write-ups and
      improved, I think, the sections on Deathgaze and Mandrakes.
      I added info on how the global timer on the Floating Continent will abort
      battles when the place is about to blow.
      I made three (!) interesting changes to the Phoenix Cave section:
      I had overlooked a Teleport Stone chest which has been added, clever
      maneuvering can get you past some spikes with only 400 HP damage (not 800
      as I claimed) and I added some info on how random encounters are twice as
      rare in the Phoenix Cave.
      I corrected a mistake in 1.14.1 where I advise a Heavy Shield - the least
      ninja-like of equipment - on Shadow while he cannot make use of it.
      I added a strategy for the Red Dragon when you lack Fire-resistant
      equipment.
      I fixed a mistake in section 8.8, where I previously missed how MP gain
      when leveling differs between the SNES and GBA release.
      I corrected a mistake where I say you should Sketch Vasegiatta for Aero,
      but you should Sketch Marchosias instead (or no bird at all).

- Version 2.1 (06/14/2011)
      A relatively minor update. The missing desert encounters were added in
      section 4.30.2 and an oversight was corrected in section 8.12. In the
      new Advance release, the old Veteran enemy (renamed Ahriman in the new
      translation) no longer takes double damage from the Man-Eater), making
      that bit of info likely the most obscure change made by the remake team
      thusfar discovered. I also removed a shameful comment amount Shield
      Dragon's inherent Reflect status, because it has no inherent Reflect
      status.

- Version 2.0 (02/26/2011)
      After much thought, I decided to merge the documents. In addition, I
      changed some lay-out for the better, added Bestiary numbers for the
      monsters encountered and fixed some random tidbits not worth mentioning.


Version History (old World of Ruin document):

- Version 1.0 (02/01/2008)
      That's much better. The walkthrough now spans the World of Ruin from
      beginning to end, including the Dragon's Den, the Soul Shrine and
      Omega Weapon. The added chapters include 7.74.1 t/m 7.77.1. In addition,
      some clarification was given on certain GBA-only bugs, such as
      Leap/Gigantuar and the item duplication bug.

- Version 0.9  (01/06/2008)
      Initial release. This document is primarily a kind of upgrade over my
      FF VI walkthrough for the SNES. Version 1.2 was used as a basis. You can
      check the SNES document for a longer version history. The version number
      is 0.9 to indicate that it is not complete yet; the Dragon's Den and
      Soul Shrine sections are still to be written. In addition, I've decided to
      boycot the KO label and just call it Death; it may not be as retarded as
      Psyche, but I still don't like the sound of it.

Version History (old World of Balance document):

- Version 1.2  (12/28/2007)
      Fixed the missing monster formations in the IMRF and the Esper's gathering
      place. In addition, the shops have been straightened out (there's gotta be
      a system, y'know) the format of the monster formations has been made
      entirely consistent and I've replaced every 'esper' with 'Esper' again. I
      was taken aback shortly by the new translation, but decided I didn't like
      it. This bodes ill for the Coliseum spelling in the WoR document...

- Version 1.1  (12/6/2007)
      With some minor corrections, this was the debut version to appear at
      GameFAQs

- Version 1.0  (10/17/2007)
      Initial release. This document is primarily a kind of upgrade over my
      FF VI walkthrough for the SNES. Version 1.7 was used as a basis. You can
      check the SNES document for a longer version history.

**********************************
 2.0 Introduction
**********************************

Hi, I'm Djibriel. 'Sup?

A very important thing to realize about this document is that it's a
translation of a SNES-based document which can be found elsewhere on this site.
Too bad for you lot it was done by the document's original author, that being
me, so you have little room for complaining about translation 'errors' and my
apparant inability to capture the original document's air. Don't forget, oh
perfect reader, I know you better than you know yourself >:)

The original document was first released in November 2005, and we're roughly
two years down the road now. It may seem weird to some that 'simply 'adapting
the original 1381 kB file took about as long as writing the monstrosity in the
first place, but you'd be surprised at how much work it is! Saint Jerome and
Ted Woolsey would've shared my pain I'm sure, had they not both passed away 16
centuries ago.

At the very start of this document I'd like to mention that none of this would
have ever happened if there weren't so many righteous characters out there who
advised my walkthrough to people on the message boards, who e-mailed me just to
say they enjoyed the FAQ in one way or another or otherwise made me feel like
I didn't spend all this time just for personal enjoyment... I had a market to
work for. Hotels around the globe replaced their Holy Bible with a printed
version of the Battle Tactics Walkthrough. Rumors have comely women carry
snippets of my guide in their panties to feel sexier and more confident. Like
Stephen King and Robert Jordan, I had to struggle to deliver my ultimate work
before Death's ever-fickle hand took me in its grip. Before you, you see the
results. The all-inclusive Walkthrough and Battle Tactics Guide for Final
Fantasy VI Advance.

But what is this document you're seeing? Does it really contain everything? Is
it some kind of Hitchhiker's Guide to FF VI Advance? The Encyclopedea CCLV VI
Supremea? The Cosmog Sutra, where you'll learn all about Tantric Gameplay
(lasts for hours; winning the battle is NOT the main goal)? I think the best
mental image of the document can be extracted from all the following possible
titles that have passed the revue while creation of the original document was
still a process of the present:

(by PrattDaBard, of which the last part of his name is more apt than the middle
part will reveal)

"The Spoiler-Filled Walkthrough"
"The Ecumencial FF3 Encyclopedia"
"The Compendious FF3 Companion"
"The Un-Restricted FF3 Reader"
"FF3: an Exhaustive Exhortation"
"The All-Inclusive FF3 Compendium"
"The Far-Reaching FF3 FAQ"
"FF3 for Fools"
"A Discursive Dissertation on FF3"
"A Panoptic FF3 Primer"
"FF3: The Liberal Lexicon"
"The Hefty FF3 Handbook"
"The Full FF3 Folio"
"Djibriel's Dictionary"

(by Imzogelmo)

"Everything You Always Wanted to Know about FF3 (But Would've Got Flamed for
Asking)"
"640 KB Ought to be Enough for Anybody" (ed: 640. Heh)
"The FF3 Bible"
"Detailed Journal of Information By Resolute, Industrious Exploratory
Learning" (ed: I especially loved this one, people with thinking brains can
figure out why)

(by assassin)

"Mages are from Thamasa, Warriors are from Doma"
"An Idiot's A-Z guide to FF3: from Albrook to Tzen"
"Gestahl: The Man, the Dog, the Legend"
"101 Easy Pet Care Tips for your Emperor"
"Just Hold it 'til Vector: A Globetrotter's Guide to Bladder Control"
"I Feel Safe in Suits: Gary Newman's Easy Tutorial to Dancing in Magitek"
"Djibriel's Humility Fest"

--Warning

At the time of writing I have written four documents in total, all meant for
Final Fantasy III for the SNES and/or Final Fantasy VI Advance for the GBA.
Though the Level # Lore and Sketch Guides are more novelty knowledge than
anything, grabbing my Rage Guide off the shelves could be a worthy addition,
even though all directly important information is given in this document as
well.

My style is verbose. This document is meant for players who like to take their
time for games, who like to know background information, a little extra
suspense, detailed explanation for equipment choices and technique formulas.
It doesn't matter if you're a first-time player or a veteran FF junkie as it
gives both basic descriptions and advanced info, but as long as you like to
dive in there, it's cool.

However, if you're repelled by overly verbose descriptions, if you like your
walkthroughs clean and quick and to the point with tables and abbreviations and
all that, there are other documents for you. The one I'd like to specifically
mention is the one written by Lufia_Maxim. As you can read in its final
chapter, it was greatly influenced by this very, at the time untranslated
document. It's got all but the useless info and it's only half the size, so he
must've been doing something right.


**********************************
 3.0     Set-up of the document, and slang you're going to start recognizing
**********************************

First off: if you have a question, I've answered it. That's the premise we're
working with here. If the question you have seems oddly GENERAL to you, as in:
is of influence through the entire game, you won't find it in the Walkthrough;
you will find it in the FAQ at the bottom. So, if you want to know about stats,
or what-does-this-do or something, go there.

Obviously, this document will use the new translation used by the GBA version
of the game. Boo for Ted Woolsey, give it up for Tom Slattery!

Super Famicom/SNES:
Release Data
Final Fantasy VI Square Enix 04/02/94 JP
Final Fantasy III Square Enix 10/20/94 US

PAL version:
Release Data
Final Fantasy VI (w/FFX Demo) Sony Interactive Studios America 03/01/02 EU
Final Fantasy VI Square Enix 03/11/99 JP

Anthology:
Release Data
Final Fantasy Anthology Electronic Arts 05/17/02 EU
Final Fantasy Anthology Square Enix 09/30/99 US

GBA:
Release Data
Final Fantasy VI Advance Square Enix 11/30/06 JP
Final Fantasy VI Advance Nintendo 02/05/07 US
Final Fantasy VI Advance Nintendo 06/29/07 EU

Slang:

Ctrl + F:

That most holy of combos, the road to salvation. Had enough of the ridicule of
those more adapted to today's lifestyle than you? Have you been bossed around
by the 'elite' for far too long? Don't take it out on the naturally superior,
but Physician, heal thyself: Ctrl + F is the search function. Learn to love it
like your long-lost little brother.

ST:

Single-target. It targets a single target.

MT:

Multi-target. It targets multiple targets, in most cases all.

LLG:

Low Level Game. A playthrough in which the level of the characters is kept
as low as possible. The current lowest score has been an average of around 7.2,
ranging from 6 to 13.

NMG:

Natural Magic Game. Called a challenge while it's really not, it just prevents
you from equipping Espers and items which teach spells. Naturally learned Magic
and Lores are allowed.

!Special:

It's great to have an obvious distinction between spells and Special attacks,
the modified physical attacks which either set a status effect, do x times
as much damage as the normal physical attack or drain HP/MP. Every Special
I've listed in this document (that's quite a lot) is preceded by an exclamation
point to identify it as such. My Sketch Guide already featured this. The
exclamation point doesn't find any feedback in the game whatsoever, and isn't
canon in the current other documents out there, but I felt it was a good idea.

One-hit KO attack:

One-hit KO attacks are attacks that check for the one-hit KO protection bit.
Most of the time, these attacks set KO (Death, Snare, ectera), but other
attacks also use this feature, most noticeably percentage-based attacks like
Gravity and Cyclonic. Several Petrifying spells will check for one-hit KO next
to Petrify protection and the oddball Cloudy Heaven and the level-halving
attack Dischord also check for it. The X-type one-hit KO of the Assassin's
Dagger, Viper Darts, Ichigeki, Wing Edge and the dicing effect of the
Zantetsuken also check for one-hit KO protection.

The following attacks are one-hit KO attacks:

Roulette, Break, Gravity, Death, Graviga, Tornado, Banish, Zantetsuken (Odin),
Shin-Zantetsuken (Raiden), Demon Eye (Catoblepas), Oblivion, Tiger, Antlion,
Cave in, Cockatrice, Snare, Snowball, Sonic Boom, Air Anchor, Chainsaw's one-
hit KO attack, Banisher, Doom, Dischord, Lv. 5 Death, Roulette, Blaster,
Cyclonic, Gravity Bomb, Cloudy Heaven, Shamshir, Sabre Soul, Star Prism

Note that this makes Joker's Death the only KO-setting attack that doesn't
check for the bit, and Dread Gaze the only 'normal' Petrify-setting attack that
doesn't check for one-hit KO protection. In addition, while Diabolos' Dark
Messenger attack and Gravija are both percentage-based attacks, neither checks
for immunity to one-hit KO attacks.

(Enemy) Meteor, (Umaro) Snowstorm:

Both Meteor and Snowstorm, as attacks, have two incarnations in this game.
There's the Meteor spell, an unblockable spell that deals non-elemental
barrier-piercing damage to all targets. And then there's the enemy attack
Meteor, which is blockable to the point of being rather inaccurate but a lot
more powerful. When I'm talking about the spell Meteor, I'll just call it
Meteor. The enemy attack Meteor is called "(enemy) Meteor" in this document to
differate between the two.

In addition, there are two kinds of Snowstorm attacks. The enemy attack
Snowstorm, which is a weak MT Ice-elemental attack used by the Megalodoth
monsters at the beginning of the game. And then there's Umaro's Snowstorm,
which is far stronger but not Umaro-exclusive. Gau has access to the attack
through, for instance, the Black Dragon Rage. The first will be called
Snowstorm, the latter "(Umaro) Snowstorm".

Redux:

The Dragon's Den features eight new elemental dragons. They're called exactly
the same and they look exactly the same. To differate between the two sets of
dragons, I've given the Dragon's Den version the title 'Redux'. It sounds
cool, and it helps :) It's Latin for 'brought back', and if anything, it
references Apocalypse Now: Redux, which is an awesome movie.

**********************************
 4.0     The Walkthrough
**********************************

Table of Contents:

 4.1.1   Prelude: The attack on Narshe
 4.1.2   Prelude: The newly dug mineshaft
 4.1.3   Prelude: The battle with Ymir
 4.2.1   Old Man's House
 4.2.2   Escape through the mines
 4.3.1   Defending Terra from the Guard Leader
 4.4.1   Adventuring School
 4.4.2   Traveling to Figaro Castle
 4.5.1   Figaro Castle
 4.5.2   Fighting off Magitek power
 4.6.1   Traveling through Figaro Cave
 4.7.1   South Figaro
 4.7.2   The Overworld Map around South Figaro
 4.8.1   Sabin's Hut
 4.8.2   Mt. Koltz
 4.8.3   The battle with Vargas
 4.9.1   Traveling to the Returners' Hideout
 4.9.2   The Returners' Hideout
 4.10.1  Escaping over the Lethe River
 4.10.2  The first fight with Ultros
 4.11.1  Choosing a scenario
 4.12.1  Scenario Terra/Edgar/Banon: Lethe River continued
 4.12.2  Scenario Terra/Edgar/Banon: Traveling to Narshe
 4.12.3  Scenario Terra/Edgar/Banon: Narshe
 4.13.1  Scenario Sabin: Meeting Shadow and finding the Imperial Camp
 4.13.2  Scenario Sabin: The Imperial Camp and Doma
 4.13.3  Scenario Sabin: Satellite and the Imperial Camp continued
 4.14.1  Scenario Sabin: Traveling to the Phantom Forest
 4.14.2  Scenario Sabin: The Phantom Forest
 4.15.1  Scenario Sabin: The Phantom Train
 4.15.2  Scenario Sabin: Apparition and the Phantom Train continued
 4.15.3  Scenario Sabin: The battle with the Phantom Train
 4.16.1  Scenario Sabin: Traveling to Baren Falls
 4.16.2  Scenario Sabin: Baren Falls
 4.16.3  Scenario Sabin: Traveling over the Veldt to Mobliz
 4.17.1  Scenario Sabin: Mobliz
 4.17.2  Scenario Sabin: Recruiting Gau
 4.17.3  Scenario Sabin: Crescent Mountain
 4.18.1  Scenario Sabin: The Serpent Trench
 4.18.2  Scenario Sabin: Nikeah
 4.19.1  Scenario Locke: South Figaro
 4.19.2  Scenario Locke: Secret Underground Passge of South Figaro
 4.20.1  Scenario Locke: Traveling to Figaro Cave
 4.20.2  Scenario Locke: Figaro Cave
 4.20.3  Scenario Locke: The battle with Tunnel Armor
 4.21.1  Defending the Esper from Kefka
 4.21.2  Hell's Rider
 4.21.3  The battle with Kefka
 4.22.1  Narshe
 4.23.1  Traveling to Kohlingen and optional trip to the Veldt
 4.24.1  Kohlingen
 4.25.1  Traveling to Jidoor
 4.25.2  Jidoor
 4.26.1  Zozo
 4.26.2  Chainsaw Riddle and Zozo continued
 4.26.3  The battle with Dadaluma and the meeting with Ramuh
 4.27.1  Magicite and Owzer's Mansion in Jidoor
 4.28.1  The Opera House
 4.28.2  The Dream Oath
 4.28.3  Stopping Ultros
 4.28.4  The second fight with Ultros
 4.29.1  The Blackjack
 4.30.1  Albrook
 4.30.2  Traveling on the Southern Continent
 4.30.3  The Imperial Observation Post
 4.30.4  Tzen
 4.30.5  Maranda
 4.31.1  Vector
 4.31.2  Imperial Magitek Research Facility; Magitek Factory
 4.31.3  Imperial Magitek Research Facility; The Pit
 4.31.4  The battle with Ifrit and Shiva
 4.31.5  Imperial Magitek Research Facility
 4.31.6  The battle with Number 024
 4.31.7  Imperial Magitek Research Facility; Mine Cart Ride
 4.31.8  The battle with Number 128
 4.32.1  Escaping Vector
 4.32.2  The battle with the Cranes
 4.33.1  Zozo; Terra's flashback
 4.34.1  Airship Exploitation: Seraph
 4.34.2  Airship Exploitation: Auction House: Golem and Zona Seeker
 4.34.3  Airship Exploitation: Locating Grenade
 4.34.4  Airship Exploitation: Obtaining Gaia Gear
 4.34.5  Airship Exploitation: Intangir
 4.34.6  Airship Exploitation: Veldt hunting
 4.34.7  Intermezzo; Espers 101
 4.35.1  Allied Narshe
 4.35.2  Lone Wolf persecution and recruiting Mog
 4.35.3  Dance lessons, including Water Harmony
 4.36.1  Cave to the Sealed Gate
 4.36.2  Gil Toss and Cave to the Sealed Gate continued
 4.37.1  Esper rampage; Snake Eyes
 4.38.1  Vector; Imperial palace
 4.38.2  The Banquet
 4.38.3  Items of the Imperial Observation Post and Setzer's cutscene
 4.39.1  Departing from Albrook
 4.40.1  Traveling to Thamasa; Crescent Island
 4.40.2  Thamasa
 4.40.3  The Burning Mansion
 4.40.4  The battle with Flame Eater
 4.41.1  Leaving Thamasa
 4.41.2  Crescent Island's Eastern Mountains
 4.41.3  The third fight with Ultros
 4.41.4  Relm and the Espers' gathering place
 4.42.1  Epilogue
 4.42.2  Leo versus Kefka
 4.43.1  Airship Exploitation: Rage and Lore hunting
 4.43.2  Airship Exploitation: Doma Castle
 4.44.1  Preparation for the Floating Continent
 4.44.2  Imperial Air Force
 4.44.3  The fourth fight with Ultros
 4.44.4  The battle with Air Force
 4.45.1  The Floating Continent
 4.45.2  Gigantos and the Floating Continent continued
 4.45.3  The decisive battle with Ultima Weapon
 4.45.4  Kefka's Betrayal
 4.45.5  Escape from the Floating Continent
 4.45.6  The battle with Nelapa and Exit

 4.46.1   Intermezzo; The Solitary Island
 4.46.2   Intermezzo; Saving Cid
 4.47.1   The World of Ruin
 4.47.2   Albrook
 4.48.1   En route to Tzen
 4.48.2   Tzen; the Light of Judgment
 4.48.3   The Collapsing House
 4.49.1   The Serpent Trench
 4.49.2   The tail of the Serpent Trench; Mobliz
 4.49.3   The battle with Humbaba
 4.50.1   The head of the Serpent Trench; Nikeah
 4.51.1   South Figaro; Gerad and the Crimson Robbers
 4.51.2   Pursuing Gerad and the Crimon Robbers
 4.51.3   Pursuing Gerad and the Crimon Robbers; Cave of Figaro
 4.51.4   Pursuing Gerad and the Crimon Robbers; Figaro Castle
 4.51.5   The battle with the Tentacles
 4.52.1   Figaro Castle
 4.52.2   En route to Kohlingen
 4.53.1   Kohlingen
 4.53.2   Dragon's Neck Coliseum
 4.53.3   Darill's Tomb
 4.53.4   The battle with Angler Whelk
 4.53.5   The battle with Dullahan
 4.54.1   Airship Exploitation: Visiting Maranda
 4.54.2   Airship Exploitation: The Overworld Map
 4.54.3   Airship Exploitation: Master Duncan; completing Sabin's training
 7.54.4   Airship Exploitation: Obtaining Quetzalli
 4.54.5   Airship Exploitation: Visiting Jidoor
 4.54.6   Airship Exploitation: The Auction House
 4.54.7   Airship Exploitation: Cultist's Tower
 4.54.8   Airship Exploitation: Thamasa
 4.54.9   Airship Exploitation: Leviathan
 4.54.10  Airship Exploitation: Deathgaze
 4.55.1   Narshe
 4.55.2   Narshe's Snowfields; the battle with Ice Dragon
 4.55.3   Narshe's Snowfields; the battle with Valigarmanda
 4.55.4   Umaro's Cave; the battle with three Tonberries
 4.55.5   The battle with Umaro
 4.55.6   The Moogle Raid
 4.55.7   Round two: Dragon's Neck Coliseum
 4.56.1   The battle with Humbaba
 4.57.1   Following the pigeon
 4.57.2   Mount Zozo
 4.57.3   The battle with Storm Dragon
 4.57.4   Cyan Garamonde
 4.58.1   The Veldt
 4.58.2   The Cave of the Veldt and Death Warden
 4.58.3   The battle with the Behemoth King
 4.60.1   Thamasa and the Coliseum once again
 4.61.1   Jidoor; Owzer's Mansion
 4.61.2   Owzer's Mansion, the Magic House
 4.61.3   Owzer's Mansion, the battle with Chadarnook
 4.62.1   Obtaining Strago
 4.62.2   Bulking up the Thamasian Two
 4.62.3   The battle with Earth Dragon
 4.62.4   Gungho's assignment; Ebot's Rock
 4.62.5   The battle with Hidon
 4.63.1   Epic of Gilgamesh; Get Rich or Die Tryin'
 4.63.2   Epic of Gilgamesh; the battle with Gilgamesh
 4.63.3   Another Coliseum trip
 4.64.1   Doma Castle
 4.64.2   Cyan's Soul
 4.64.3   Cyan's Soul; the battle with the Dream Stooges
 4.64.4   Cyan's Dream; the Phantom Train?
 4.64.5   Cyan's Dream; Mechanical mines
 4.64.6   Cyan's Dream; Doma Castle
 4.64.7   Cyan's Dream; the battle with Wrexsoul
 4.65.1   The road to the Ancient Castle and the battle with Master Tonberry
 4.65.2   The Ancient Castle and the battle with Samurai Soul
 4.65.3   The battle with the Blue Dragon
 4.66.1   Triangle Island
 4.66.2   The world inside of the Zone Eater
 4.66.3   Wake me up before you Gogo
 4.66.4   The Steal command regained
 4.67.1   Phoenix Cave
 4.67.2   The battle with the Red Dragon
 4.68.1   Locke Cole
 4.68.2   Narshe revisited with Locke; Ragnarok and the Cursed Shield
 4.68.3   Gau and his father
 4.69.1   The Cultist's Tower and the battle with Holy Dragon
 4.69.2   The battle with the Magic Master
 4.70.1   Finding the hay in the needlestack; the battle with Gigantuar
 4.71.1   End-game character evaluation
 4.72.1   Kefka's Tower: Preparation and explanation
 4.72.2   Kefka's Tower: Reconnaissance
 4.72.3   Kefka's Tower: The source of all Magic
 4.72.4   Kefka's Tower: The Final Battle
 4.73.1   The Ending
 4.74.1   The Epic-Level challenge: Mission Briefing on the Dragon's Den
 4.75.1   The Epic-Level challenge: The Seals of Ice, Wind and Earth
 4.75.2   The Epic-Level challenge: The Seals of Water and Fire
 4.75.3   The Epic-Level challenge: The Cloister of Trials and the Seal of
          Darkness
 4.75.4   The Epic-Level challenge: The Seal of Heaven
 4.75.5   The Epic-Level challenge: The Seal of Lightning and the Treasure Room
 4.75.6   The Epic-Level challenge: The battle with Kaiser Dragon
 4.76.1   The Soul Shrine
 4.77.1   Omega

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.1.1   Prelude: The attack on Narshe
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Guard (#1), Silver Lobo (#2), Megalodoth (#3)

Narshe, a coalmine city that manages its own business and cares not for the
war that is waged far away, has stumbled upon a mysterious find in their mines.

The Empire, the all-consuming power-hungry nation to the far south of the world,
has learned of this.

-Command to the Empire Force in particular.
-Commence to launch the attack on Narshe, the coal mines city.

Three of their most dangerous units are dispatched to claim this discovered
treasure for the glory of the Empire and by all means necessary. Three soldiers
of the Empire, piloting Magitek Armors, are sent out. One of them is a very
special soldier of the Empire, and a future unlike any other is waiting for her.

Preparation: Put all your characters in the Back Row. Magitek attacks, being
MAGICAL BEAMS and all, won't suffer from the 50 % damage reduction, but you'll
be reaping the benefits soon enough. From the reduced damage you'll be taking,
that is.

To learn about Magitek attacks: [MAGITEK-LINK]

Monster formations:
Silver Lobo
Silver Lobo, Silver Lobo
Guard, Guard
Silver Lobo, Guard, Guard (forced Pincer attack)
Megalodoth, Megalodoth, Guard, Guard

This is the prologue of the game, and it concerns you, being overpowered,
blasting your way through poor defenseless Narshe. Enjoy the Magitek powers
while they last.

You can't really touch equipment right now. Ogle your mystery girl and her
Imperial Starsky and Hutch buddies, as the situation is about to change. For
trivia knowledge, this is the equipment of your generic soldiers:

Mythril Sword
Buckler
Leather Cap
Leather Armor

Any offensive attack you perform at this point results into Death on the other
side. With this in mind, the choice is simple. If Terra comes up, have her use
the MT Bio Blast attack. The Imperial soldiers can make themselves useful by
using any of the three beams; they are identical in power and are always
fatal, so it doesn't matter what you do. After you've leveled, you can use
Terra's Cure out-battle to restore HP. Use it once with an MT effect and you're
set. Do the same after the forced pincer attack you had to endure from the
Silver Lobo, Guard, Guard monster formation. The next one will feature
Megalodoth.

These monsters will start using Snowstorm, an MT Ice-elemental on you as soon
as Terra (or, if not available, a randomly decided party member) has a level
equal to or higher than 7. This is not the case when you encounter them now,
so they will only attack you physically.

Although they have the second-highest Attack in the game, the fact they're
level 1 effectively screws them out of any significant damage output. If you're
in the Back Row, you'll see them doing 0 damage. Savor the sight; it'll be a
while before you see it happening again on a physical attack. For extra fun,
try using Confuser against them; it'll give you a little taste of what
Snowstormy violence will be sent your way later in the game. For imminent death
on their side of the battlefield, Bio Blast works well enough as it kills all
four targets instantly.

There is a maximum of 5 battles and a minimum of 2 battles to be fought in
this part of Narshe. When you enter, you can try to go right of the Inn. A
single Silver Lobo will be sent after you.

You have no choice but to press on. You will encounter two Guards when you try
to pass the Inn, there's no avoiding them.

There are lines of what appear to be vents on the ground. You've been following
the vertical line, you now come across a horizontal line of vents. If you stand
on the tile where the two cross, two Silver Lobos will be sent after you, and
then two Narshe Guards. You can avoid this by going around the tile in question.

If you pass the Item Shop, you'll be caught in a Pincer attack of two Guards
and a Silver Lobo; this is unavoidable.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.1.2   Prelude: The newly dug mineshaft
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Wererat (#4), Spritzer (#5), Bandit (#6), Ymir (#266 & #267)

You've entered a newly dug Mine Shaft in search of the Esper you're supposed to
retrieve. You're up for some vermin in the mines.

Preparation: Still in the Back Row, are we? There's nothing interesting here to
do, so let's move on.

Monster formations:

(First Cave)
Wererat, Wererat, Wererat (10/16)
Wererat, Bandit (6/16)

(Second Cave)
Bandit, Spritzer (6/16)
Spritzer, Spritzer (5/16)
Wererat, Wererat (5/16)

You're past the town of Narshe. You can be proud of yourself; you just killed
a number of brave men, undoubtedly with a happy life and a family. Faintly, you
can hear an orphan crying.

You can pretty much blast your way through these monsters too. In the first
cavern, there are Wererat and Bandit, in the second, Spritzer. Wererat
absorbs Poison, so while it may be tempting to use an MT spell against the
largest group of enemies you're facing, don't. Spritzer absorbs Lightning, so
in any battle you find one, avoid Thunder Beam like the demonic plague it is.
Electricity fails at success, anyway.

Bandit...This little goblinoid (is that a word?) is one messed-up little dude
with self-destructive tendencies of the worst kind: the kind that can hurt you
as well. Every time you'll hurt it without killing it, there's a 33 % chance
he'll use !Wrench on himself. If, however, you dealt a fatal blow to him and
he decides to execute that !Wrench, he'll find that he can't actually attack
himself. Nay, one cannot attack the dead. Only on the GameFAQs Board, and
that's limited to kicking and horses. He'll fling the tool in your direction
instead. Avoid this by using Banisher, or try to not care.

At this point, it may be a good idea to train your question-mark beauty
up to level 5. The battles are not threatening, you can heal yourself for free
and the levels of future characters depend on the level of the green-haired
girl.

Eventually, you'll come across a barrier. Biggs will knock it down for you, but
as soon as you want to continue a Narshe guard rushes out with quite a nasty
surprise...

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.1.3   Prelude: The battle with Ymir
**********************************

Ymir (shell)
Level: 4, HP: 50000, MP: 120
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Ether (always)
Absorbs: Lightning
Special: !Hit : Attack x 4
Vulnerable to: Nothing
Attacks: Megavolt

Head (Ymir's head)
Level: 6, HP: 1600, MP: 1000
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Hi-Potion (always)
Special: !Slime: sets Slow
Vulnerable to: Nothing
Attacks: Attack, !Slime

This battle is quite simple. Biggs and Wedge will alert each other about the
grave importance of avoiding attacking the shell at all costs. When they're
done, you can move in for your very first boss battle.

The shell and the head are two separate entities. The shell will do nothing as
long as you don't attack it, but every time you deal damage, it will counter
with Megavolt. Megavolt won't be strong enough to actually kill a character
at full HP, but it will be strong enough to do so in two hits.

The head will just attack physically and on occasion slow you down with !Slime.
After every 10 seconds, it'll 'retreat in its shell', i.o.w. disappear from the
battlefield. He'll keep this up for 10 seconds, and he'll pop out again. Both
actions are accompanied with an oh-so-sinister "Grawwwk...".

Your strategy? The main thing to avoid is selecting an attack on the head just
when it retreats. It's because of this it's best to just go with one attack for
each character in one period of 10 seconds. When you can move, make your
generic Imperial soldiers attack with a Beam-class attack and the mysterious
girl use Magitek Missile. Wait until the head has retreated and appeared again.
Repeat. Ymir should be dead by now if you fought all the battles against the
Narshe guards; if not, just go for another round.

Ymir is, to be honest, nothing more than a big sign saying: "You see, this game
isn't about mindless violence...it's about strategy, about good thinking".
Yeah...

Note: If you are beyond the shame of any man, you can go for the Ether the
shell provides. Since the shell only has 120 MP, he can only use six Megavolt
attacks. After this, it is helpless. If you whittle down its 50000 HP and make
sure you kill both the shell and the head with one attack (use a calculator!),
you'll get both an Ether AND a Hi-Potion, and it'll only have cost you over an
hour and your dignity.

In the second cave, you finally come across the object of your mission: the
dug-up Esper. But as soon as you get near it, the mind-slave of your party acts
very weird indeed, and it's not long after the two soldiers grow suspicious
they are removed. Note that we can't say for sure the Esper killed them or
simply warped to some place, but we never ever see them again.

Alone, the Esper does *something* to Terra. Her Magitek Armor explodes
underneath her, and all turns to an inky black.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.2.1   Old Man's House
**********************************

  Container contents:
  Elixir

  Miscellaneous items:
  Sleeping Bag x2

You wake up alone, scared, and confused. An old man has found you in the
mines and has nursed you back to health. To make matters worse, you have to
flee as soon as there's somebody to explain the situation to you. Such plot
device! You get the fact that Narshe guards outside are trying to get to you.
Scones will not be involved in the meeting, so you'd better make a run for it.

Preparation: Remember when you were in the Back Row? Let's stick to that.

When you awoke, you received two Sleeping Bags (from Arvis, we could assume).
Sleeping Bags are like Tents, but for one person only. They completely restore
HP/MP and remove any status ailment except for Zombie, but are only usable on
a Save Point or the Overworld Map.

Before you go, grab the Elixir in the clock.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.2.2   Escape through the mines
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Wererat (#4), Spritzer (#5), Bandit (#6)

  Container contents:
  Phoenix Down, Sleeping Bag

Remember those kick-ass attacks you just did? Yeah, about those? They're gone.
Your party members have been magically consumed, and your magical tank of
happiness exploded under your seat. Everything you love is finite. But don't
fear too much, for a Final Fantasy tradition of old is about to set in: you can
now hurt stuff with pointy things that you push into them using your muscles.
Use it to your advantage.

Preparation: If you're in for some leveling, I suggest moving to the Front Row.
You'll take more damage, sure, but you can also kill Wererat and Spritzer with
a single Attack command now, which is much more MP-friendly in the long run. If
you seek to breeze through, stick to the Back Row and use Fire. Out-of-battle
Cure is your friend. You can use the Sleeping Bag to restore HP and MP on the
Save Point.

Monster formations:
Bandit, Spritzer (6/16)
Spritzer, Spritzer (5/16)
Wererat, Wererat (5/16)

These monsters and monster formations seem awfully familiar, don't you think?
The difference is, though, that now you're by your lonesome, without magical
machines of malice and maniacal maiming under your command. I guess we can
do it the old-fashioned way, then. Double Spritzer should be taken care of
with an MT Fire spell, as should a double Wererat. Start the Bandit/Spritzer
battle off with an MT Fire spell and finish Bandit off with a physical. You
can't do anything about !Wrench now, so suffer in silence.

There are two chests here. Feel free to grab the left one; it contains a
Sleeping Bag. Later it turns into an Elixir, which is much better, but you can
steal them in large quantities by then so there's no need to wait. It'd be best
to leave the right chest alone; while the Phoenix Down it now contains is nice,
the Guard Bracelet Relic it transforms into later will be much nicer. You may
want to raise Terra's level to 6 or 7 here; since Terra is alone she will grow
quickly, and you can use the Sleeping Bags to restore HP and MP on the Save
Point.

When you're past the two chests and the Save Point (did you save? Saving is
good, word on the street says even Jesus saves!), remove Terra's Mythril Knife
and Buckler, and press on.

The Narshe Guards will corner Terra, but she has a plan: quickly, she
collapses down a conveniently thin layer of rock that caves in underneath her.
One could argue this isn't so much a plan as it is sheer luck, but I'm willing
to give our heroine some credit here.

Three flashbacks will be seen now: Terra getting her Slave Crown from Kefka,
Terra being tested as the Imperial weapon she was meant to be, Terra at an
Imperial parade. Behind the Emperor here, from left to right: Kefka Palazzo,
general Leo Christophe, general Celes Chere. A cozy bunch.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.3.1   Defending Terra from the Guard Leader
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Silver Lobo (#2), Megalodoth (#3), Guard Leader (#278)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Mythril Spear (Mog), Mythril Shield (Mog), Mythril Knife (common Guard Leader
  steal)

Locke arrives to the game! Locke and the old man chat about bygones and
memories past, while the old man (still anonymous) takes care of some
exposition. Basic points: The Gestahlian Empire is evil, the Returners are
fighting the Gestahlian Empire, and Narshe should join the Returners but, right
now, has not done such a thing.

Locke manages to reach Terra before the Narshe guards do, which is a good thing
all in all. Terra is still unconscious, so She Needs To Be Rescued.

Locke is your new permanent character. That naming screen sure is a dead give-
away, is it not? You can now control him using your controller. It won't be
for long though, as the half dozen enemies, which come storming into the place,
will ensure Terra is captured and Locke smacked around.

But lo and behold, there are eleven Moogle friends for you to exploit as well!
Sadly, you cannot enter their equipment. Except for one, Mog. How bizarre.
Here's the rundown of the Moogles:

Mog - (Terra's level + 6)
Mythril Spear; Mythril Shield

Moglin - (Terra's level + 3)
Mythril Spear; Buckler

Mogret - (Terra's level + 1)
Morning Star; Buckler

Moggie - (Terra's level + 1)
Mythril Claws; Buckler

Molulu - (Terra's level - 2)
Chain Flail; Buckler

Moghan - (Terra's level + 1)
Mythril Sword; Buckler

Moguel - (Terra's level + 3)
Moonring Blade; Buckler

Mogsy - (Terra's level + 3)
Chocobo Brush; Buckler

Mogwin - (Terra's level + 1)
Mythril Spear; Buckler

Mugmug - (Terra's level + 1)
Mythril Sword; Buckler

Cosmog - (Terra's level + 3)
Boomerang; Buckler

Note that all level adjustments stem from the average of all characters, not
just Terra and Locke. This means that (for instance) Molulu is only 2 or 3
levels below Terra, not 5.

They're all collected in three teams. These are the teams:

Locke's group:
Locke
Moglin
Mogret
Moggie

Mog's group:
Mog
Molulu
Moghan
Moguel

Mogsy's group:
Mogsy
Mogwin
Mugmug
Cosmog

Preparation: Equip Locke with the equipment you snatched from Terra; the
Buckler will be especially nice. You can put Mogret, Molulu, Moguel and Cosmog
in the Back Row, as their weapons will still do full damage. Now, head into
battle. Already know which team you want to use for the boss battle; read
below. Try to avoid fighting with this group, and catch the other monsters with
your inferior groups. If you fail, the monsters will reach Terra, prompting
Locke to say: "No...! I failed her..."

Monster formations:
Silver Lobo, Silver Lobo, Guard Leader
Megalodoth, Silver Lobo

Guard Leader
Level: 8, HP: 420, MP: 150
Steal: Mythril Knife (common), Win: Hi-Potion (always)
Weakness: Poison
Special: !Charge: Attack x 2
Sketch : !Charge, Attack
Control: Attack, !Charge, Thundara
Vulnerable to: Imp, Petrify, KO, Doom, Silence, Berserk, Confused, Sleep,
Slow, Stop
Attacks: Attack, !Charge, Net

There are two battles here. First, I'll talk about the battle you engage in
when you meet the walking monsters. This is the Megalodoth and the Silver Lobo
formation. Aim all attacks on the Megalodoth at first, then the Silver Lobo.
Don't bother using Steal with Locke; they carry nothing of importance. If you
use Mog's party, you will notice that Mog learns the Twilight Requiem after one
battle. Have him use this Dance for the other battles, as it kills stuff dead
very seriously.

For information about Steal and how it works: [STEAL-LINK]

Mog's Dance skill is limited to the Twilight Requiem, a Dance he will learn as
soon as he has fought one battle here. The Twilight Requiem will have the
following random effects every turn:

7/16 43.75 % Cave In - Removes 75 % of target's current HP
6/16 37.50 % Snare - Sets KO to a single enemy, prevents final counters
2/16 12.50 % Will o' the Wisp - ST magical, Fire-elemental attack
1/16  6.25 % Poisonous Frog - ST magical, Poison-elemental attack, also sets
             Poison

Unless both Mog's team and Locke's team have been beaten down severely, there's
no good reason to use the four-generic-Moogle party against the Guard Leader.
Between the other two, the choice is up to you. As you cannot get a Game Over
in this part of the game - a defeated party is sent back to a certain point
with all characters at 1 HP - you can always fight Guard Leader with Locke
until you have a Mythril Knife. If you have trouble with the actual 'killing'
part of the Guard Leader battle (Power-wise, not moral-wise), Mog has extremely
dangerous attacks to offer, so you can use him for that.

If you picked Mog's team, the Twilight Requiem will make short work of the
fight regardless. If you picked Locke's team or the third and inferior party,
you will want to kill one Silver Lobo and then focus your attack on the Guard
Leader. As long as he's not alone, he won't use !Charge, an extremely strong
physical attack that can kill weaker units in the Front Row. He will, on the
other hand, use the Net attack to stop some of your party members. You can try
to stall if Locke is hit if you want to.

Before you engage in the Guard Leader battle, remove Mog's Mythril Spear and
Mythril Shield. Equip the Shield on Locke if you're fighting the Guard Leader
with him.

For some trivia knowledge some would appreciate, Molulu is Mog's girlfriend.
Molulu is the weakest Moogle you'll find here and stands next to Mog on the
battlefield on the second position of his group. Male chauvinist pig
explanation of Molulu's weakness: she's a woman. Family-friendly support group
-evading explanation: although lacking in combat experience, Molulu shows some
proverbial nuts by going with her lover anyway. At any rate, the Molulu's Charm
you'll find later in the game, a Mog-exclusive Relic, is supposed to be given
to him by Molulu. Previous english releases did not make this connection,
though it existed in the original Japanese game.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.4.1   Adventuring School
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Silver Lobo (#2)

  Container contents:
  Ether, Potion, Sleeping Bag, Monster-in-a-box (Silver Lobo)

It was going to happen regardless of your wishes. This is the place where the
game is explained to you. They should've just listed the GameFAQs URL in my
opinion, but hey. It's Square. You shouldn't expect anything from them when it
comes to logic.

If you really want to learn about general Battle Mechanics: [BATTLE-LINK]

Preparation: There will be one battle against the weakest opponent in the game.
Try finding your chi or something. I hear it's located within you.

Monster formations:
Silver Lobo

When you enter, the first thing you'll see is a man standing over a bucket.
While normally I wouldn't advise you to go near people bending over buckets,
let alone drink anything those buckets may contain, this specific bucket
contains water from a Recovery Spring, magical springs that heal HP, MP, and
remove all status effects.

There are three rooms in this building. Field Science is the one to the far
right, and it's where the only monster here is located. Open the chest to fight
a single Silver Lobo. Have Terra Defend (press right when in the command menu)
and Locke Steal until you've gotten that Potion. You know you want it. Kill him
with violence.

Find the Ether in the yellow pot in Field Science and open the chest in Battle
Tactics (middle door) for a Sleeping Bag. Then, be bold and walk straight into
Advanced Battle Tactics. There's a chest containing a Potion in there. Now,
exit.

The guy in front of the door advises you to skip Advanced Battle Tactics. What
a Potion-hogger, eh?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.4.2   Traveling to Figaro Castle
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Leaf Bunny (#7), Darkwind (#8), Sand Ray (#9), Alacran (#10)

Having been dissed by a Narshe guard, you have no choice but to pursue a
career in fighting for the greater good. Locke was told to bring Terra to the
king of Figaro, and so he does. Castle Figaro lies in the middle of the desert,
denying the rules of logic and reason. You need to cross the Overworld Map in
order to reach it. Hold me.

Should you try to enter Narshe, a Narshe guard will rush to the scene and
inquire to your name. You quickly run off.

Preparation: Equip the newly acquired Mythril Knife on Terra. She won't use it,
gods no, But it's still a 4 point increase in Attack, and I don't see why
the hell not. Keep the Mythril Shield on Locke; he has more Hit Points,
granted, but he will be taking more damage as well. For the battles against the
grassland and forest monsters, it would be best for both Terra and Locke to sit
safely in the Back Row, as neither of them will be using the Attack command. In
the desert, put Locke in the Front Row, and keep Terra in the Back Row.

Monster formations:

(Grasslands)
Leaf Bunny (10/16)
Leaf Bunny, Leaf Bunny, Darkwind (6/16)

(Forest)
Leaf Bunny, Leaf Bunny, Darkwind (10/16)
Leaf Bunny, Leaf Bunny, Darkwind, Darkwind (6/16)

(Desert)
Sand Ray, Sand Ray (5/16)
Alacran, Alacran, Alacran (5/16)
Sand Ray, Alacran, Alacran (5/16)
Sand Ray, Alacran, Alacran, Alacran (1/16)

There are two kinds of battles here. There are the desert battles and the
non-desert battles. The non-desert battles are no threat to you. If Locke
comes up first, have him Steal. It'll get you moderately useless junk,
solely limited to Potions. If Terra comes up, an MT Fire spell kills everything.

Desert battles are different. In here, you'll face danger. And sand in your
boots. If you come across a double Sand Ray formation, have Locke Steal
(Antidotes!) and Terra use an ST Fire spell, which should take one down in a
single hit. Repeat for the other. If, however, you come across more than two,
an MT Fire spell followed by a physical from Locke kills. Do just that. Don't
waste more than one Fire spell in one battle unless you're close to the castle.
Hey, did you know that the Sand Ray was based off an actual creature, the
Trilobite? They're related to crabs, scorpions and spiders, but are extinct
due to the fact they failed at life in general.

There's a Chocobo Stable hidden in the forest south of the desert. There's no
reason to go there whatsoever. The owner will charge you 100 Gil to rent-a-
bird. If this seems insane to you, remember that this is the same guy who hides
his own shop in the woods. And here I was thinking you'd want to promote your
shop if it depended on your amount of customers. I'll never understand
capitalism.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.5.1   Figaro Castle
**********************************

  Container contents:
  Antidote, Gold Needle, Phoenix Down, Potion

  Miscellaneous items:
  Auto Crossbow

You've reached Figaro Castle. Everybody's mighty polite. There's not a whole
lot to do here. Walk on. In the farthest room, Edgar Roni Figaro is casually
lounging in his throne.

Before you talk to Edgar, put Locke in the Front Row (if you hadn't already)
and take his Mythril Shield from him. He'll leave.

Edgar hits on you! Oh my, I can't see that working out. After the failing of
his charmings, he leaves, leaving Terra to question her sexuality.

When controlling Terra, equip the Mythril Shield on her and put her in the
Front Row as well. There are two shops here, an Item shop and a Weapon shop:

Item Shop:
Potion                 50
Ether                1500
Antidote               50
Gold Needle           200
Echo Screen           120
Phoenix Down          500
Sleeping Bag          500
Tent                 1200
 There's really not anything that you need to buy here. You could buy a Tent or
two if you have the money, but you'll need 1250 Gil for the Weapon Shop.

Weapon Shop:
Auto Crossbow         250
Noiseblaster          500
Bioblaster            750
 Buy a Noiseblaster and a Bioblaster; you have obtained an Auto Crossbow by
talking to Edgar. One should wonder where Edgar keeps his hands if he has the
power to sneak stuff in your inventory without you noticing, especially since
he's the token pervert of this game. Haha, now that was a mental image that
delivered big funny!

Make sure to find the Potion, Antidote, Gold Needle, and Phoenix Down in the
castle. All of them are easy to find so I won't bother pointing them out to you.

Try to find the High Priestess of the castle; she is located in the left wing
of the castle. She'll tell you all about the rather tragic past of the Figaro
throne; twin brothers. Twins. Poor Figaro. Luckily, Sabin Rene Figaro ran away
leaving his brother as the sole monarch, as things should be. In the Japanese
game, she also states here that Sabin was smaller and weaker than Edgar when
they were children.

When the High Priestess is done telling her story, you can find Edgar again,
who has returned to his throne. In the hallway, you meet the second man of the
Figaro army, the Chancellor. Have a chat, by all means.

As soon as Edgar starts to make small talk again, he is disturbed by the
gravest of messages; Kefka Palazzo, a big man of the Empire, is coming for a
visit, and something tells you he won't be wanting any of your scones.

When controlling Edgar, keep him in the Front Row and equip Mog's Mythril Spear
on him. As this is the first time you're actually handling Edgar, this might
be the perfect time to learn about his fighting powers:

If you'd like to learn about Tools: [TOOLS-LINK]

Edgar defies the Empire! He blatantly lies to Kefka when he asks if he knows
anything about Terra, the girl who 'stole something of minor importance'. The
only thing she stole was the Empire's dignity! Zing!

Edgar calls Kefka Emperor Gestahl's court mage. Does that mean that Kefka knows
Magic as well?

Now that you're controlling Edgar, you can explore some of the castle and even
exit, traveling back to Narshe. Edgar can't enter Narshe though, because...
uhm...y'know. Stuff. Logical reasons. If I still have to explain it to you,
you'll never understand. Edgar will just exit Narshe and blink a few times if
you try. So just talk to Locke once you're done with Kefka, and we'll pretend
this option doesn't exist.

Now, when you're controlling Terra again, take hold of that Mythril Sword.
What a switch-happy game it is. You can follow Locke now if you want to.

You'll notice that Terra is one level, if not two, behind Locke. Edgar will be
even stronger. If you want to equal the situation out a little, you can choose
to leave the castle and fight some solo-Terra battles outside. I advise you
do the training in the forest, though, as the desert enemies might !Numb you
and grant you a Game Over of Death. You might opt to rent a Chocobo to return
to Figaro Castle, too.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.5.2   Fighting off Magitek power
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Magitek Armor (#279)

That night: misfortune! Kefka has royally screwed Figaro's alliance with the
Empire up its currently non-existent ass. For a moment, all seems hopeless, but
Locke had a plan! Turns out Edgar and the Chancellor had taken this possibility
in account. But see, I know it's Locke's plan, because his music is playing.
Anyway, you escape your castle while said castle is digging its way through the
desert. No, I don't know either why they didn't do that right away, before
the bad guys set it on fire. You're now being chased by the Magitek Armors.
We saw how powerful they are, remember? You are going to die a painful but
mercifully quick death.

Preparation: You did the preparation thing in the castle, right? All one can do
at this moment is pray to whatever god you worship.

Monster formations:
Magitek Armor, Magitek Armor

Magitek Armor
Level: 8, HP: 210, MP: 250
Steal: Hi-Potion (rare), Potion (common), Win: Hi-Potion (common)
Weakness: Lightning
Status: Protect
Special: !Metal Kick, Attack x 1.5
Sketch : Magitek Laser, Attack
Control: Attack, Magitek Laser
Vulnerable to: Silence, Berserk, Confused, Sleep, Slow, Stop
Attacks: Attack, !Metal Kick, Magitek Laser

It turns out that, like Uruk-Hai, Magitek Armors are about as laughably
incompetent in combat as they were awesome out of it. For this battle, the main
objective is to avoid being hit. The enemies are susceptible to Confuse, so use
that knowledge to your advantage. By which I mean the Noiseblaster. Have Edgar
use it as soon as possible and keep them confused during the rest of the battle.

Simply let him bide his time if both are still confused and it's his turn to
move again. Locke should Steal; Potions and Hi-Potions are nothing to get
excited about, but Attack removes the Confuse status. Terra should pump out ST
Fire spells. It'll get you a 'hilarious' scene. I guess it looked good on paper.

Terra's Magic and their own self-destructive tendencies (Magitek Laser hit
themselves for super-effective damage) will grant you victory. Bravo Figaro!

By the way, you won't believe the "son of a submariner" versus "son of a
sandworm" discussions out there. You can recognize survivors by their thousand
yard stare.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.6.1   Traveling through Figaro Cave
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Foper (#11), Hornet (#12), Urok (#13)

  Container contents:
  Ether x2, Phoenix Down

  Miscellaneous items:
  Remedy (rare Urok steal)

Figaro Castle is gone, and you still can't go to Narshe...I guess it's time to
quest further into Edgar's Lands, Figaro, to reach the Returners' Hideout.
Terra should be useful in their battle against the evil Empire, which is evil.

Preparation: Everybody in the Back Row again. I know it gets boring now, but
I promise I'll eventually let you keep characters in the Front Row. If you're
wondering why Back Row characters still take reduced damage even when there's
nobody in the Front Row to protect them - which is the initial point of being in
the Back Row - then I have no satisfying answer.

Monster formations:

(First Cave)
Hornet, Foper, Foper, Foper, Hornet (10/16)
Hornet, Urok, Urok (6/16)

(Second Cave and Third Cave)
Urok, Urok, Urok (6/16)
Foper, Foper, Urok (5/16)
Hornet, Hornet (5/16)

Note: if you didn't use Terra's Magic spells in the battle against the
Magitek Armors, you still can trigger the 'flipping-out' scene in normal
battles.

Throughout the cave you retain this possibility, but once you step on the tile
just in front of the exit, the ability to see the scene is lost if you haven't
already.

Hornets are Floating creatures, but that doesn't make any difference at this
point of the game. They attack physically with Attack and !Iron Stinger.

Urok are horribly defenseless creatures, but something about Urok monsters
I find particularly repulsive, so I don't feel bad about killing them. Besdies,
!Digestive Fluid sets Sap, of which I'm no fan. When you confuse them with the
Noiseblaster, they might try to use the Magnitude 8 attack, but they have
insufficient MP.

Foper are the only creatures here that *might* stand through a single
Auto Crossbow attack. They can force you to sleep when you look in their eyes
with !Forthy Winks, but you'll have killed them before they get a chance to use
an attack like that. They may try to use Dread Gaze when confused, a Petrifying
attack, but it will fail due to insufficient MP. Their name is likely a
bastardization of 'faux pas', which is French for 'not done'.

Edgar is a very nice addition to your team. In fact, I'd say he's horribly
overpowered at this stage of the game. Time to take advantage of it! Edgar can
one-hit KO Hornet and Urok with his Auto Crossbow. If you don't meet Foper
monsters, have Terra simply Defend and Locke Steal while you're waiting for
Edgar's turn to come up. When Foper does in fact make an appearance, have Locke
still Steal, Terra use a single MT Fire on the group, and Edgar finish it off
with his Auto Crossbow. If you're scared you wasted Gil on the Bioblaster,
you'll gain use for it soon enough. If there's a choice, always try to Steal
from Urok. A Potion is a Potion, but a Remedy is a Remedy, if you know what I
mean!

As far as chests go, there are three in this cave. I know you're just dying to
grab them, but desist and cease! Know that the amount of chests you shouldn't
get is about to rapidly decrease, and these items, while 'meh' at this point
(Phoenix Down upstairs, two Ethers downstairs) will transform into rad items
in the near future. I advise you to let them be.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.7.1   South Figaro
**********************************

  Container contents:
  500 Gil, 1000 Gil, 1500 Gil, Antidote, Elixir, Eye Drops, Gold Needle, Green
  Cherry, Hyper Wrist, Hermes Sandals, Phoenix Down, Potion x3, Teleport Stone

You've reached South Figaro! Great. This is the first town you arrive in where
you don't try to slaughter innocent inhabitants, so you should be able to shop,
sleep at Inns, steal stuff from houses, talk to NPCs, the usual RPG to-do
list. How awesome.

Item Shop:
Potion                 50
Antidote               50
Gold Needle           200
Eye Drops              50
Echo Screen           120
Phoenix Down          500
Sleeping Bag          500
Tent                 1200
 You might want to buy one or two Gold Needles, as it *is* possible to
accidentally get a Petrified character in a bit, and you'll want something to
counter its effects.

Weapon Shop:
Dagger                150
Mythril Knife         300
Mythril Sword         450
Great Sword           800
Noiseblaster          500
Bioblaster            750
 Buy a Great Sword and give it to Terra. Give the Mythril Sword to Locke.
You'll be switching to a better weapon in no time, but for the time being, it's
a free upgrade from the Mythril Knife. You can buy the two non-Auto Crossbow
Tools for Edgar if your ignorant brother saved after the Figaro Castle
experience without buying them there.

Armor Shop:
Buckler               200
Heavy Shield          400
Hairband              150
Plumed Hat            250
Cotton Robe           200
Kenpo Gi              250
 Buy two Heavy Shields, three Plumed Hats, a Cotton Robe, and a Kenpo Gi.
Equip them with Optimize.

Relic Shop:
Sprint Shoes         1500
Silver Spectacles     500
Star Pendant          500
Jeweled Ring         1000
Knight's Code        1000
 Buy three Star Pendants and a Jeweled Ring. Knight's Code and Sprint Shoes
I'll leave up to you. Silver Spectacles have an actual purpose in this GBA
release of the game (as opposed to earlier versions where the Darkness status
did close to nothing). They are, however, still crummy as Darkness isn't a
dangerous status ailment. Equip a Star Pendant on every character. The Jeweled
Ring protects against Petrify. Because you won't be able to get yourself
Petrified unless you level Terra up to level 68 (she learns the Break spell at
that point) or take tremendously stupid actions when facing Cirpius, you can
just let the Relic rest in your Inventory. You'll need it later on.

Hidden Items: Like in the first cavern you explored with a lone Terra, there
are items hidden here that are best left untouched for a while. Here's a list
of the items in South Figaro:

(items now)    (items they become)
Phoenix Down   - Phoenix Down
Potion         - X-Potion
Antidote       - Tent
Eye Drops      - Remedy
Potion         - Holy Water
Green Cherry   - Tent
Gold Needle    - Elixir
Teleport Stone - Phoenix Down

There's a Potion in the barrel between the Weapon and Armor Shop. I suggest
skipping this one; you've got plenty of Potions, but X-Potions will always be
nice to have. There's an Eye Drops in a box north of the entrance to the port,
and an Antidote in the barrel just above it. They become a Tent and Remedy
respectively, so it doesn't really matter what you do. The barrel next to the
Chocobo Stable contains a Potion that becomes a Holy Water (leave it), the
Green Cherry behind the Chocobo Stable becomes a Tent (grab the Cherry) and the
Gold Needle in the box to the far southwest corner of the town becomes an
Elixir  (definitely leave this one to change).

Enter the large house in the northwest corner of South Figaro. You'll enter
through the left door; exit through the right door. In one of the barrels you
see here, there's a Phoenix Down.

Continue behind this corner of the house and you'll find yourself in a hidden
room! Search the clock for an Elixir. Now, go back in the house and go up the
stairs.

In one of the rooms, there will be a man writing a letter (who is he writing
to? I'm sure it's not important. Couldn't be the enemy, anyway). Behind the
bookcase, you'll find a secret entrance to a staircase, which leads to another
staircase. Follow it in the next screen. Now, go all the way to the right until
you're facing a wall. Now, go all the way down to the bottom. You should be out
of sight now. Now, go right to enter a secret area with a Hyper Wrist and a
pair  of Hermes Sandels. The Hyper Wrist boosts Strength, increasing your
physical attack power; the Hermes Sandels gives you inherent and unremovable
Haste status.

I suggest giving the Hermes Sandels to Locke and the Hyper Wrist to Edgar. If
you had some Sprint Shoes equipped on either, you can just pass it to Terra.
Exit. Going up will take you two a room with three doors. The first is empty,
the second one contains a Save Point, and the third one contains four chests,
respectively containing 500 Gil, 1000 Gil, 1500 Gil, and nothing. I, for one,
believe the last one is symbolic for the meaning of life. Exit.

On the town wall, there's a group of three barrels you can see when standing
near the Chocobo Stable. Find your way there (stairs are near the Armor Shop)
and grab a Teleport Stone. It'll become a Phoenix Down later, but Teleport
Stones are infinitely cooler at this stage of the game than Phoenix Downs will
ever be. Finally, there's a Potion in the house of the old servant of the
richest man in town. I figured I'd save the best for last.

Other stuff to do: In the Pub, there will be a dark man with a dog near the
counter. Talking to him will make you be able to name him. Shadow sure is
mysterious. If you thought he was going to join your party now, think again.
This guy is a ninja; they don't bother in RPGs unless you're at least past the
first serious town.

In the Japanese game, an old man in the Pub will also say that 'you' (Edgar)
look like one of Duncan's students, which is the first hint there that Sabin
went off to train under Master Duncan.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.7.2   The Overworld Map around South Figaro
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Belmodar (#14), Unseelie (#15), Mu (#16)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Mythril Claws (rare Belmodar steal)

You've had your fun in South Figaro, bought some new armor, equipped some
Relics, and met a mysterious stranger with the name of Shadow. I'd say it was
worth it.

But, time to move on. Go straight north, as there's something of interest
there. But woe to those who seek to cross the Overworld Map!

Preparation: You prepared in South Figaro. Still keep everybody in the Back Row.

Monster formations:

(Grasslands)
Belmodar (6/16)
Unseelie, Unseelie (5/16)
Mu, Mu, Unseelie (5/16)

(Forest)
Mu, Mu, Mu, Mu (6/16)
Belmodar, Mu, Mu (5/16)
Belmodar, Unseelie, Mu, Mu (5/16)

Fairly standard stuff, now. Unseelies take more damage from Bioblaster than
from Auto Crossbow, so use that on double Unseelies. They'll just attack
physically and won't start using !Mythril Wrench until they're alone, which
they probably will never be. The Anthology Bestiary claims they're Imperial
maintenance troops. It's official media, but one wonders why Imperial
maintenance troops would wander off into the lands to smack people with
wrenches as opposed to, say, carry out maintenance to Imperial stuff.

Mus are obscenely boring creatures as they do nothing but Attack under
any circumstance. The only interesting thing to note about them is the fact
that they cannot be struck by Meteor Strike. A character you'll meet in the
future  can lift trains, hold up houses and whatnot, but he cannot lift this
squirrel up in the air. It makes sense when think about it while you're drunk.

Belmodars are the first genuinely dangerous-looking creatures you meet. They
attack with Attack and !Rush, and counter Magic spells with a 1/3 shot at
using Megavolt, so don't do that. You'll want to try to Steal a Mythril Claws
from him; it's a weapon none of your characters can equip...yet.

Any monster fight should include Edgar using Auto Crossbow (double Unseelie
can be taken down easier with Bioblaster, though), Locke Stealing and Terra
using Defend and Cure outside of battle when needed. When your level is
decently high (9), Edgar should be taking out Unseelie in one hit as well
with the Auto Crossbow.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.8.1   Sabin's Hut
**********************************

  Container contents:
  Potion

The three of you come across an odd hut in the middle of nowhere. Obviously,
you choose to explore it and take a nap if nobody is around. Let's just hope
the beds and spoons are decently sized, or some *bear* might come for you. It's
a Goldilocks/FF VI cross-reference!

The flowers, stove, and dishes all draw a comment from Edgar. What is he
talking about? We can rest assured it's a woman, however, since no man would
profile himself through tea and domestic ornament like this. There's a Potion
in the bucket.

Egads! He was talking about his long-lost twin brother, Sabin. Outside, Edgar
will show his double-headed coin to an old man and ask if he's seen 'this guy'
(Sabin) before. Sabin has headed into Mt. Koltz; his mentor has been killed,
and the mentor's son, Vargas, is missing too. Nice.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.8.2   Mt. Koltz
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Spritzer (#5), Zaghrem (#17), Trillium (#18), Gorgias (#19), Cirpius (#20),
  Vargas (#280), Ipooh (#281)

  Container contents:
  Main Gauche, Gigas Glove, Tent x2

  Miscellaneous items:
  Bandana (rare Zaghrem steal), Mythril Claws (rare Vargas steal)

Mountains are always nasty to cross, and Mount Koltz is no exception. You will
be attacked, spied upon, and tested severely. Also, a boss fight at the end I
might add. If that sounds fun, you're doing well.

Preparation: I think this section will grow in usefulness once the game
progresses. In the meantime, I feel like I should say something about the Back
Row and in what fashion everybody should be in it.

Monster formations:

(Caves)
Zaghrem, Zaghrem (10/16)
Gorgias, Gorgias (6/16)

(Slopes)
Cirpius, Cirpius, Cirpius (11/16)
Gorgias, Cirpius, Cirpius, Cirpius (5/16)

(Great Slopes)
Trillium, Trillium (10/16)
Trillium, Gorgias, Cirpius, Cirpius (5/16)

(Foot of Mount. Koltz)
Zaghrem, Trillium, Spritzer, Spritzer (10/16)
Gorgias, Gorgias (6/16)

This is highly frustrating for console players, but Zaghrem enemies carry
Bandanas, which are incredibly hard to obtain right now. They're rare steals,
and the common steal is empty. This means that you automatically have a 7 in 8
chance to fail at your Steal attempt. It's a slightly stronger helmet for
Locke, Terra, and a character you're about to obtain, so if you're really
adamant/near the entrance anyway/playing on an emulator, try to get three of
them. For killing them, the Auto Crossbow works great. If it doesn't outright
kill them, you can finish them off with Back Row physicals or an MT Fire spell
(although you should really be saving your MP in this 'dungeon').

Zaghrem, by the way, are martial artists who have turned to a life of evil,
using their combat skills for personal gain. It's like the Dark Side, only
different. Their Special, which you never get to see unless you bring a
late-game character around to use Sketch on them, is called !Punch; the
Japanese SNES version was Holy Moon Sword. Way to boringify an attack,
Flattery. You Woolsey wannabe.

Note that since you're stealing Bandanas, which are basically handkerchiefs
you put on your head, you're sending your brave heroes to steal and
subsequently wear on top of their heads: other people's snotrags.

Cirpius are potentially the most dangerous, but never live up to that promise.
If you allow them to take three turns, they have a rare chance of using !Beak,
which sets Petrify on a character. A triple Cirpius formation can be killed in
one go with the Auto Crossbow; when they come with a Gorgias you'll want to
confuse them until one of them has petrified the Gorgias with either !Beak or
the Break spell.

Gorgias' are the only real threats here. They have stronger physicals
comparable to Guard Leader's pounding, and they have a 1/3 chance at countering
every Attack command. Don't use it. An MT Fire spell and an Auto Crossbow round
kills them.

Trillium, lastly, are annoying because they Poison you with !Poison Touch. They
only use it the first round though, after which they'll take two turns by just
attacking you physically. This means you can easily use an Antidote or the
Poisona spell first and kill them second.

The first slopes feature no enemies, so you can safely walk into the cave. The
cave is straightforward. The other side takes you to another slope, with
monsters this time. You see a chest there, but you can't reach it.

This cave has two 'hidden' passages to treasure. The first is to the south of
the entrance. Around the square-ish bulge, you can reach an exit where you can
open the chest you saw earlier. It's a Main Guache! It's the first weapon with
a stat boost you see, and it's a better weapon for Locke. Go back in.

To the right of the path/stairway, there's a hidden passage into another room,
which holds a chest containing the Gigas Glove. The Gigas Glove is much better
that the Hyper Wrist; while the Hyper Wrist boosts a stat used for physical
damage calculation by 50 %, the Gigas Glove simply boosts your physical damage
by 25 % period. Equip it on Edgar to boost his Auto Crossbow. With the Gigas
Glove equipped, Edgar should be taking everything out in one hit except for
Gorgias', which can be finished with an ST Fire. Locke should Steal.

Continue up the wooden pathway. Outside, you walk around two slopes and reach
two entrances into the mountain. Now, for the first time, you'll see a shadow
figure leaping away from you. Who could it be? Mystery.

The first entrance takes you to a chest with a Tent, the second one continues
your way through Mt. Koltz.

Misty slopes with a bridge this time. The bridge looks like it might collapse,
but it doesn't. Ever. Unlike that one bridge from King's Quest; you'd get a
point every time you'd cross it, but while you were having a blast collecting
points, a big goofy grin on your young face, it would suddenly go down. Bad
pun, the end.

The next room contains a Save Point, and when you leave it, you'll be on what
I've dubbed as the Great Slopes at the Monster formations section. Follow them
all the way down, and...

...eventually you'll meet the shadowy figure that has been stalking your every
move. It's Vargas. He believes you have something to do with Sabin, so he
commences his violence.

You get to hurt him now. Obviously you made sure that your HP is high enough
for boss battles, as is Terra's MP. Take the Gigas Glove from Edgar and give it
to Locke; give his Hermes Sandals to Terra. Equip Edgar with the Hyper Wrist
or, if you have it, the Knight's Code. The first one will give you a slight
increase in offensive power, and the latter will make sure that Edgar takes
physical damage for characters in Critical. It's a matter of personal
preference as neither should really be of any significant use.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.8.3   The battle with Vargas
**********************************

Ipooh
Level: 11, HP: 360, MP: 60
Steal: Hi-Potion (rare), Hi-Potion (common)
Weakness: Fire
Special: !Claw: Attack x 1.5
Sketch : !Claw, Attack
Control: Attack, !Claw
Vulnerable to: Imp, Silence, Slow, Stop
Attacks: Attack, !Claw

Vargas
Level: 12, HP: 11600, MP: 220
Steal: Mythril Claws (rare), Potion (common)
Weakness: Poison
Special: !Doom Fist: sets Doom, Attack x 1.5
Sketch : !Doom Fist, Attack
Control: Attack, !Doom Fist
Vulnerable to: Slow, Stop
Attacks: Attack, !Doom Fist, Gale Cut

Two Ipooh bears initially protect Vargas; you can't harm him until you
have killed the Ipooh. Ipooh attack physically only, with Attack and !Claw.
Vargas will casually switch between Attack and Gale Cut in a Attack-Gale Cut-
Attack rhythm. Dance to it. After every 50 seconds, he will taunt you cruelly
by saying: "Come on! What's the matter?" and use Attack twice, as if to insult
you. What a bastard.

Once he hits 10880 HP - that's after 720 damage - he will start getting bored
with you and exclaim: "Enough of this! I'll send you all to the great beyond!".
Just then, a new character will appear. It's Sabin Rene Figaro, long lost heir
to the throne of Figaro and twin brother to Edgar.

It seems that Vargas misunderstood the outcome of a successor issue of Duncan,
their master and father to Vargas. Vargas turned to patricide, and here Sabin
is complimenting Vargas on his FINE SPIRIT. Morals these days, let me tell
ya... Anyway, Vargas executes "Blizzard Fist!" Blasting all inferior warriors
of the field, the battle is up to Sabin alone. In the Japanese version,this
attack was called 'Super Wind Tsunami Fist', which makes a whole lot more
sense.

When Sabin has appeared and Vargas hits 10368 HP - that's 512 more damage -
Sabin will lament about his master's teachings. You'll have to use a Blitz to
win this battle. Once the primary Blitz technique has been used, Vargas will
...die or run, it's kind of vague. At any rate, Vargas is never to be heard
from again.

Your strategy? When you engage Vargas, try to pick some Ipooh possessions
with Locke, have Edgar use Auto Crossbow, and Terra use ST Fire spells on the
Ipooh you looted. After you've taken care of the Ipoohs, switch to the
Bioblaster with Edgar, have Terra on stand-by for an MT Cure spell for every
Gale Cut that is sent your way. After a successful Steal attempt with Locke,
have him attack. The Bioblaster will do the bulk of your damage
anyway, so it's probably not justified to take a turn moving to the Front Row
and take more damage there.

Eventually, Sabin will crash the party. PAY ATTENTION, AS YOU ARE ABOUT
TO DO THE MOST COMPLICATED THING INVENTED IN VIDEO GAME HISTORY. That's right,
you're about to execute a Blitz technique. Follow on-screen commands closely.
Write them down. Remember. After you've completed a Raging Fist technique,
you've won your battle.

If you'd like to learn more about Blitz: [BLITZ-LINK]

If your life is a complete, miserable failure, try this:

http://www.gamefaqs.com/portable/gbadvance/file/930370/46958

So there you have it! It's a sad and symbolic story, the rivalry of Sabin and
Vargas. As a son to Duncan, he was forced to pursue a career in martial arts,
even though Vargas resented it. When Master Duncan, after training (among
others? It's not clear) Sabin and Vargas for 10 years, decides he's too old to
uphold the title of Master any longer, he decides that Vargas should be his
successor.

However, somehow Vargas understood that Sabin would be his father's follow-up.
The cause of this misunderstanding is never explained, and much like how Judas
betrayed Jesus to his death, so did Vargas betray his father and took care of
him. After that he went searching for Sabin, who knew that it was Vargas who
was supposed to be the next Master. Believing that Edgar had something to do
with Sabin, he attacked them, which led to the stand-off between Sabin and
Vargas, from which Sabin emerges victorious.

Little can be said about your Mount Koltz experience with Sabin. You can meet
Spritzers here, which seem horrible misplaced in space. Aura Cannon is the
strongest ST attack you have at this point; take advantage of it. Only after
you annihilated everything non-Gorgias on screen though. If you have a Bandana
and/or Mythril Claws in your inventory, give them to Sabin.

Oh yeah, and there's a Tent in the chest, but you can't miss it.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.9.1   Traveling to the Returners' Hideout
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Belmodar (#14), Unseelie (#15), Mu (#16)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Mythhril Claws (rare Belmodar steal)

Monster formations:
Mu, Mu, Unseelie (6/16)
Unseelie, Unseelie (5/16)
Belmodar, Mu, Mu (5/16)

After descending from Mount Koltz, you'll find yourself on the Overworld Map
again. The Returners' Hideout is to the north. I won't bother explaining the
battles and how Sabin fits in here; you were fully capable of handling them
without a 400 damage producing righteous killing machine, so I suspect you'll
do just fine. If you still don't have a Mythril Claws, try going for one here.

You can, if you want to, hike back to South Figaro with Sabin in your party,
which will get you a small cutscene with Duncan's wife. It's not very
impressive and it's needlessly time-consuming, but if you're like me, you'll
wind up doing it anyway:

Duncan's Wife: Sabin, where are Vargas and Duncan...?
Sabin: Vargas...turned on our master... Vargas, he...
Duncan's Wife: Oh, Vargas... Why would you do such a thing? But my husband was
able to pass his techniques along to you, Sabin... I'm sure he'd have no
regrets.
Sabin: For the past ten years you've treated me like a son. I'll never forget
all the things you've done for me!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.9.2   The Returners' Hideout
**********************************

  Container contents:
  Antidote, Air Knife, Ether, Green Cherry, Hi-Potion, Knight's Code, Phoenix
  Down x2, White Cape

  Miscellaneous items:
  Gauntlet OR Genji Glove (Banon)

Once you enter the Hideout, you'll have to follow a Returner and enter the door
he points you to. Enter and watch the cutscene. There's a Greek mythology
reference here (a rather obvious one) and a symbolic position for Terra. How
neat. When the scene's over, you're by yourself again.

Hidden Items: You can find a Phoenix Down in the chest in the room you woke up
in. Go out and head up. You'll find three chests here: a Knight's Code, another
Phoenix Down, and an Air Knife, a stronger weapon for Locke that's also Wind-
elemental. A hidden passage to the right of the three chests (walk around them)
leads to a White Cape. Be sure to grab it. In the bucket and pot, which are
standing next to each other, you can find an Antidote and a Ether.

Furthermore, there's a Green Cherry in the pot in the conference room (the one
with the large table) and a Hi-Potion in the save point room.

If you examine the top-right part of the large conference table, near Sabin,
Terra'll crouch down and say: "There's a scrap of paper lying here..." and
you'll get two options:
         Toss it in the trash.
         Leave it.
If you toss it in the trash, nothing will happen. If you leave it there, and
Banon calls the Returners around the table for a meeting, he'll freak out, say:
"Who threw this here? Don't you people know what a wastebasket looks like?" and
throw it away himself. This makes Terra laugh (which, incidentally, probably is
the only time Terra laughs in a long, long time as far as I can recall). This
whole thing is supposed to be a Japanese joke that didn't port so well in the
transition. Nobody has ever been able to explain to me why exactly this is
supposed to be funny, so let's move on.

There's an Item Shop here:
Eye Drops              50
Potion                 50
Hi-Potion             300
Ether                1500
Echo Screen           120
Sleeping Bag          500
Tent                 1200
Sprint Shoes         1500
 This is the first shop you can actually buy Hi-Potions at, so if you're low on
them, it might a good idea to stock up on some. A few Eye Drops are also nice
if you think those black sunglasses are just SO 1983.

Other stuff to do: You need to talk to your three companions before you can
talk to Banon. You find Locke immediately upon crawling out of bed, Sabin is in
the conference room and Edgar in the Save Point room where you met Banon
earlier. You can now exit the Returner Hideout and talk to Banon. Now, you'll
have to make a choice. If you immediately want to go for the offer, you'll get
a Gauntlet. If you decline, you can get a Genji Glove from the Returner walking
around in the storage room. If you decline three times, you'll get a Genji
Glove from from that same Returner in the middle of some important
conversation. You'll want to pick the Genji Glove, trust me. Granted, the
Gauntlet is more of a rarity, but that doesn't mean it's also better (it
isn't).

You could, with Terra alone, hike back to Mt. Koltz. However, there will be an
Imperial soldier guarding the entrance who'll chase you out on the World Map
if you talk to him: "You! You're Returners!"

If you declined Banon's offer three times, Terra will walk back into the
Hideout and mutter: "Hope... How could anyone put their hope in me?". Just
then, a wounded Returner stumbles in with Banon. Locke, Edgar and Sabin come
rushing in, Locke leaves for South Figaro and Terra, Edgar, Sabin and Banon
will be going to Narshe through the back door, the Lethe River. A Returner
quickly sneaks into the conversation to give you a Genji Glove (truly one of
the few acceptable reasons to interrupt important dialogue) and off you go.

If you did anything else, there'll be a meeting. Banon gets angsty about
Magitek power, failing to realize that on the two occasions Magitek power
has been employed so far, it accomplished NOTHING. Banon kinda steers towards
the 'we need Magic too' topic when a wounded Returner stumbles in. Returners,
assemble! Locke goes off to stop Imperial Forces in South Figaro by his
lonesome and Terra, Banon, Edgar and Sabin will escape via the Lethe River,
raging river of the wilderness.

After the sequence has played out, you've had Locke split (don't worry, his
equipment is in your inventory) and Banon added. The fact that you couldn't
name him should tip you off to his inferior status in your party. Although
he's a PC in battle, you cannot access his Equipment and Relic screen. His
equipment:

Punisher
-
Magus Hat
Silk Robe

Don't immediately go to the raft; go up and remember where you came out.
You'll need to find the hidden access to the Lethe River later in the game,
so now you know where you'll want to go.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.10.1  Escaping over the Lethe River
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Lesser Lopros (#21), Nautiloid (#22), Exocite (#23), Ultros (#282)

The Empire invaded South Figaro (notice how Edgar didn't respond *whatsoever*
to that notion?) and is coming to the Hideout. We must run like the wind.
We'll escape using a raft and the flowing water that carries it. Fun!

Preparation: Everybody in the Back Row. You can strip the Star Pendants from
your characters and apply Gigas Glove/Hermes Sandals to Edgar, Hyper Wrist and
Knight's Code to Sabin, and a White Cape to Terra. There's nothing remotely
useful you can put in Terra's second Relic Slot (you'll want to have those
Sprint Shoes in your inventory, and you won't be walking anyway).

Monster formations:
Okay, this is rather complicated to do right here, so I'll explain it a few
paragraphs down the line.

First, I want you to exit the hallway you find yourself in through the northern
entrance. Not only will you now know where you can find it from the Returners'
Hideout, you can also walk over to the room where Terra woke up in and find the
wounded Returner in bed. If you stand beneath the chest here, you'll catch the
poor sap having a nightmare:

The Empire! The Empire's invading! (cue 'Troops march on')
(Troops march on fades out)
"What the...? ...Sleeptalking?"

You can trigger this cutscene every time you re-enter the room :P

Welcome to Lethe River. The first rule of Lethe River is: you don't talk about
Lethe River. The second rule of Lethe River is: you do NOT talk about Lethe
River.

The third rule of Lethe River is when Banon goes down, the game is over. If
Banon receives KO status, you'll get a Game Over. Protecting Banon should be
your first priority. If you fail, you'll get a neat message saying, "Banon has
fallen..."

Fun fact: if you level Terra up to level 68 before meeting Banon, you can set
Petrify with the Break spell she learned and make him invincible. Then again,
if you're leveled like that, you really needn't worry in the first place.

Exocite is your average physical attacker. He seems to have a specifically
strong, instinct-based hatred for the elderly, as after every six turns, he
will always target Banon for a single Attack. You should have turned
Exocite in little bits of Exocite nuggets by then, though.

Nautiloid is more annoying. Rather than doing damage with his Special, !Ink
sets Dark, which is a useless thing to do but still looks rather stupid on
your characters. To top that, his Defense is very strong (partly thanks to
an inherent Protect status), so the Auto Crossbow and Attack commands will do
little here. Also, after three turns he'll turn on Banon for an Attack,
so BEWARE.

Lesser Lopros are the strongest enemies here. They can use Attack, execute
!Wing to set Sap on the party the second turn and can actually use Fireball the
third one, which is an MT Fire-elemental attack and particularly dangerous.
Less Lopros should be subdued by Noiseblaster at all times and taken out first
if possible.

The strategy is simple. Keep the monsters at bay with Noiseblaster, use Fire
and Aura Cannon to deliver damage, and have Banon use Pray to recover from any
damage you might have taken.

As soon as you decide to hop on board the raft, you'll be taken down the
Lethe River. However, there are many ways to Rome, and many ways to travel the
Lethe River. At two points in the trip, you'll be asked to pick a direction.
Each direction has an influence on the monsters you face.

Here's the run-down of your possibilities:

Monster Formation Pack # 1:
Nautiloid, Exocite (3/4)
Lesser Lopros, Exocite, Exocite (1/4)

Monster Formation Pack # 2
Lesser Lopros, Lesser Lopros (3/4)
Nautiloid, Exocite, Lesser Lopros (1/4)

Start:
(Invoke Battle with # 1)
You'll reach the Straight/Left/Right decision.

You'll want to pick Left for the shortest time of passing through and the
potentially least amount of battles. If you're going for the most battles, or
want to make sure you encounter a Lesser Lopros, obviously pick
'Straight'.

Straight:
(Invoke Battle with # 1 50 % of the time)
(Invoke Battle with # 2)
(Invoke Battle with # 1 50 % of the time)
(Invoke Battle with # 1 50 % of the time)
(Invoke Battle with # 1)

Left:
Invoke Battle with # 1 50 % of the time)
(Invoke Battle with # 1 50 % of the time)
(Invoke Battle with # 2 50 % of the time)

Right:
(Invoke Battle with # 1)
(Invoke Battle with # 1 50 % of the time)
(Invoke Battle with # 1 50 % of the time)

Regardless of your choice, you will end up at a small cave with a Save Point
in it.

(Invoke Battle with # 1)
You'll reach the Up/Left decision.

Up:
(Invoke Battle with # 2 50 % of the time)
(Invoke Battle with # 1 50 % of the time)
(Invoke Battle with # 1 50 % of the time)
You're back at the Up/Left decision.

Left:
(Invoke Battle with # 2 50 % of the time)
A cave with a mandatory Save Point. Last Save Point you can get the 'strange
light fills the air' speech at!

From second Save Point to exit:

(Invoke Battle with # 2 50 % of the time)
(Invoke Battle with # 1 50 % of the time)
Ultros Battle if you haven't fought him before.

At the end of the Lethe River ordeal, you'll encounter what looks like the
ultimate Nautiloid, a huge purple octopus who goes by the name of Ultros...

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.10.2  The first fight with Ultros
**********************************

Ultros
Level: 13, HP: 3000, MP: 640
Weakness: Fire, Lightning
Special: !Ink: sets Dark, Attack x 1.5
Vulnerable to: Slow, Stop
Attacks: Attack, !Ink, Tentacle

"Gwee-hee-hee... You're up the creek without a paddle! And I'm not gonna let
you through! ...Does that make me a bad octopus?"

Ultros is a tough bastard whose Tentacle attack can be a huge pain if you're
playing the game without over leveling. Everybody *must* be in the Back Row. If
you are a moron and played with any of your characters in the Front Row, fix
that.

He'll start by delivering his intro speech and using an Attack.

Then, if 10 seconds have passed (and they will have), he'll say "Oh, that one's
a tasty morsel! I'd love to get my tentacles around her... *sluuuuuurp*!" and
target Terra with an ST Tentacle attack. If at his next turn another 10 seconds
have passed, he'll say "Muscle heads? Hate 'em!" target Sabin with an ST
Tentacle attack and use an MT Tentacle attack on his next turn, followed by
either Attack, !Ink or an ST Tentacle in that very same turn; if not, he'll
spread the happiness with an MT Tentacle/follow up with Attack/!Ink/
ST Tentacle, wait a turn, and THEN hate Sabin for his body.

His next turn is devoted to an Attack and either an Attack, !Ink or ST or
MT Tentacle attack in the same turn.

Then, he'll say "Your ugly mug gives me the creeps!" and use an ST Tentacle
attack on Banon, from where he'll start at his first MT Tentacle-Attack/!Ink/ST
Tentacle turn again.

Also, every time he is targeted by a Fire-elemental attack, which at this
stage is either a Fire spell from Terra or Sabin's Rising Phoenix Blitz, he
will say "Yeeeouch! Seafood soup is NOT on the menu!" and counter with an !Ink
attack.

...yeah, it's a talkative guy.

Beating Ultros down is relatively simple if you pay close attention to his
AI script. Have at the very least Terra and Banon in the Back Row using their
Defend skill to reduce the power of Tentacle when you know they'll be targeted
by it. Have Banon use Pray at all times, as his Attack is nothing to consider
seriously (even though he possesses a snazzy weapon that you won't get on other
characters for a long, long time from now).

For damage output, have Terra use her Fire spells, Edgar fire off arrows with
the Auto Crossbow, and Sabin use Aura Cannon. IF he knows Rising Phoenix at
this point, it's stronger than Aura Cannon, but if you're highly leveled like
that, you probably don't need to worry about anything.

If you defeat him, he'll go "*sploosh*! *blub blub*..." and escape underwater.
Sabin won't like this and he'll go after him; sadly, Sabin does not consider
he's more of a 'land-based' guy and Ultros appears to sane people as a
generally aqua-themed creature. In other words: Sabin is dead in the water.
Pun!

P.S.: On Ultros being 'obviously' aqua-themed, I suppose several people now
think that Lovecraft's Cthulhu is entirely capable of surviving on land. But
as it is generally held into account that whoever sees Cthulhu will turn mad
within an instant, it still can be said that no SANE man will assume a
squid-like creature to be land-based, and my statement still stands.

He'll rise and feed upon your brain and soul and is more powerful than anything
you could begin to comprehend.

Cthulhu will rise.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.11.1  Choosing a scenario
**********************************

There were initial plans for a normal menu screen where you could select your
scenario from, but I guess they figured this would be more fun. They were
right. Unlike the previous Mog, you can't access this guy's equipment or
relics, so don't bother. It's here that you'll need to decide what scenario to
do first. Here's a quick list what you can gain from each scenario:

Terra/Edgar/Banon: a Rune Blade, and the ability to de-equip, most likely
freeing a Gigas Glove and Hermes Sandals.

Locke: Iron Helms, a Ribbon, one Earring, a Thunder Rod (if you left the Phoenix
Down alone when you passed through the Cave of Figaro with Edgar,
Locke, and Terra). Ends with a boss fight, so it's dangerous to de-equip at the
end.

Sabin: a Mythril Glove, a Barrier Ring, Green Berets, an Earring, a Sniper Eye,
a Tintinnabulum and the ability to buy new equipment, including Magus Hats,
Iron Armor, Silk Robes, and Bandanas. Ability to de-equip at the end.

Now, I would advise you take the scenarios in the following order:
Terra --> Sabin --> Locke

Terra's scenario is a cinch where no extra items are needed by a long shot.
However, it does contain some strong Relics you can't free until you've played
through it. Therefore, Terra's scenario first. Now, Locke's scenario could use
Sabin's items and vice versa...but the fact that Locke's scenario is probably
the more difficult of the two, and you can't properly de-equip at the end of
Locke's scenario, made me advise Locke's scenario last.

On to the three scenarios: I'll handle them in the same order I advise you to
take them in.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.12.1  Scenario Terra/Edgar/Banon: Lethe River continued
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Lesser Lopros (#21), Nautiloid (#22), Exocite (#23)

Preparation: Ain't nothing you can do, lil' missy.

Monster Formation Pack # 1:
Nautiloid, Exocite (3/4)
Lesser Lopros, Exocite, Exocite (1/4)

Monster Formation Pack # 2
Lesser Lopros, Lesser Lopros (3/4)
Nautiloid, Exocite, Lesser Lopros (1/4)

(Invoke Battle with # 2 50 % of the time)
(Invoke Battle with # 1 50 % of the time)
(Invoke Battle with # 1 50 % of the time)

With Sabin gone, battles will take a little longer. Not to worry, though. Keep
the Lesser Lopros Confused, take Nautiloid with an ST Fire spell, and Exocite
with the Auto Crossbow. Have Banon on stand-by. You should be used to these
guys by now.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.12.2  Scenario Terra/Edgar/Banon: Traveling to Narshe
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Leaf Bunny (#7), Darkwind (#8)

You rode that Lethe River (more commonly known as 1337 River by flourishing
people around the world...by which I mean flowers of ACNE) like a professional.
You're right in front of Narshe; this should be a cinch.

Preparation: Keepin' it in the Back Row there? I promise this is going to
change. If you did any of the other scenarios before this one, upgrade your
equipment, give Terra one or two Earrings, and have Edgar stick to Gigas Glove/
Hermes Sandals.

Monster formations:

(Grasslands)
Leaf Bunny (10/16)
Leaf Bunny , Leaf Bunny, Darkwind (6/16)

(Forest)
Leaf Bunny , Leaf Bunny, Darkwind (10/16)
Leaf Bunny , Leaf Bunny, Darkwind, Darkwind (6/16)

(Desert)
Sand Ray, Sand Ray (5/16)
Alacran, Alacran, Alacran (5/16)
Sand Ray, Alacran, Alacran (5/16)
Sand Ray, Alacran, Alacran, Alacran (1/16)

You can just slaughter these guys left and right however you please; MT Fire
spell or Auto Crossbow, your pick.

In other versions of the game, you could send your party to the hidden Chocobo
Stable south of the desert and witness Banon's lack of rider sprite. They fixed
it so that Terra takes over whenever a Chocobo's involved. Boo.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.12.3  Scenario Terra/Edgar/Banon: Narshe
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Wererat (#4), Spritzer (#5), Bandit (#6), Valeor (#30), Wild Rat (#31),
  Darkside (-), Specter (-), Eukaryote (-)

  Container contents:
  Rune Blade

Now, that was ridiculously easy; I told you this scenario was nothing to get
your underwear in a twist about. After some Narshe Guards show you disrespect
(remember to murderalize them later for that), it's up to you to find an
alternative entrance. Luckily, you remember that secret entrance from the
start of the game. No, yes you do. The one to the left?

Preparation: You should've done that on the Overworld Map. Life does *not*
start and stop at your convenience. Games do, though, so you can do it anyway.

Enter the cave and walk through it. You'll recognize it as being the one Locke
carried the unconscious Terra through.

Monster formations:
Wererat, Wererat, Wererat (10/16)
Wererat, Bandit (6/16)

You'll walk over a snowy slope. You can see Narshe already to the right of
you, but you still can't reach it. The next cave contains new enemies:

Monster formations:
Wild Rat, Valeor, Valeor, Wild Rat, Wild Rat (6/16)
Valeor, Valeor, Valeor (5/16)
Valeor, Wild Rat (5/16)

Both Valeor and Wild Rat monsters attack physically only, so there's little
point in explaining what it is that they do. Valeors are the highest-ranking
maintenance troops in the Empire. What the hell are all the Imperial guys
doing in places where there's nothing for them to maintain?

Pass through it. On the other side, you'll encounter the Dreaded Security Check
Point. From the Japanese game, you could have learned this is a testing place
for Narshe Guards. Who made it? Who creates something like this *period*, let
alone in a desolate cave like this, punishing the weakest fighters in the game
to follow its path with legions of undead monstrosities? Drunken wizards? Frat
boys who find little pieces of Magicite and, being too poor to buy the pretty
girls a drink, try to impress by feats of magic?

So here's the deal. Follow the path of the sparkle thingy. Abandon knowledge
of the will o' the wisp and DO follow this one. If not, nine revolving lights
will quickly surround you. If you manage to tag the yellow one, you'll be given
a chance to get back on track. If not, you will have to fight a battle:

Darkside, Darkside (3/4)
Darkside, Specter, Eukaryote, Eukaryote, Eukaryote (1/4)

Suffice to say, if you mess up here, you'll have to fight a battle. Now, I was
assuming that you acted on mistake and you were incapable of avoiding this
bold act. However, it should be noted that you'll probably want to fight this
illuminating magical sphere, as this is the only place where you'll find the
nefarious Darkside enemy.

Lo and behold, as there is a small chance (25 %) you will encounter here the
interesting Specter and Eukaryote. There's no reason you want to meet them and
killing them is easy, but you'll make them appear on the Veldt so you don't
end up with a needlessly incomplete Rage list. Specter has a rare Ice Rod for
stealing, but you sadly lack Locke at the moment.

Intruding further into the dark, cold mines will allow you to come across
the location where the Moogles live.

Resuming your quest will get you past the chest in this room; reach it and
open it to obtain the Rune Blade*. It's is stronger then your current blade.
Unfortunately, it consumes 12 to 18 MP to inflict a critical hit every time, so
grab onto your few MP and stick with the Great Sword, as the Rune Blade is
horribly cost-inefficient at this stage of the game.

* Actually, it would make more sense to just leave it here. Despite the fact
that the Rune Blade allows Terra or Celes to do more damage than she could do
without it, you probably will never use it. Much later, the treasure here will
change into a Ribbon, which is much better at that time than the Rune Blade is
now.

Monster formations:
Bandit, Spritzer (6/16)
Spritzer, Spritzer (5/16)
Wererat, Wererat (5/16)

When you walk out of the Moogle Den, you're pretty much done. Keep ignoring
any closed chests you might encounter; their contents haven't changed yet.
When you're out of the cave, you can safely de-equip everything. That just was
Scenario # 1... hope you liked it.

The Old Man has been given a name! His name is Arvis. Nothing much has changed
in Narshe; they're still neutral even though the Empire attacked them, they
haven't really done anything with the Esper, and are a generally indecisive
bunch.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.13.1  Scenario Sabin: Meeting Shadow and finding the Imperial Camp
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Stray Cat (#32), Aepyornis (#33), Nettlehopper (#34), Chippirabbit (#35)

So, Sabin was thrown off the raft and separated from his 5-minute friends.
Getting back to Narshe is going to be tedious, as you have no idea which way
to go. Your only hope is to find somebody who can point out the way...

Preparation: Keep Sabin in the Back Row. White Cape and a Star Pendant.
Even if you do have an Earring, Aura Cannon kills everything in one shot anyway,
so a power boost isn't needed. Aepyornis' !Featherdust can Poison you, so
that's why I advise a Star Pendant. Clever, no?

Monster formations:

(Grasslands)
Aepyornis (6/16)
Chippirabbit, Chippirabbit, Chippirabbit (5/16)
Aepyornis, Chippirabbit, Chippirabbit (5/16)

(Forest)
Nettlehopper, Nettlehopper, Stray Cat, Stray Cat (5/16)
Chippirabbit, Chippirabbit, Chippirabbit, Chippirabbit, Chippirabbit (5/16)
Aepyornis, Aepyornis, Stray Cat (5/16)
Aepyornis, Stray Cat, Nettlehopper, Nettlehopper (1/16)

You start near a little house. Walk over to it. If you couldn't figure that
out by yourself, I advise you to equip a Gun Relic in your mouth and use Pull
The Trigger for offense.

Here, there are three main points of interest. The guy you met in South Figaro
is here, there's a green soldier-type merchant on a chocobo who comes in and
leaves pretty quickly, and there's a house to go in.

First, go over to the merchant. He has a nice set of items for you:

Potion                 50
Phoenix Down          500
Tent                 1200
Plumed Hat            250
Shuriken               30
Invisibility Scroll   200
Shadow Scroll         400
Sprint Shoes         1500
 I suggest you buy 99 Shurikens from him. 2970 Gil is not that much, and it'll
stop any worrying about the limit of Shadow's attacks for a good while. Also,
buy 5 Invisibility Scrolls and 5 Shadow Scrolls. You probably won't ever need
any more.

Now, go over to Shadow (you can talk to his dog from various angles and watch
Sabin hide behind several objects, that always gets a kick out of me: "Don't get
too close... He doesn't like strangers."), chat with him, and accept him in
your party.

I guess I should note it's not required as such; you can perfectly well finish
the scenario without him. It's just that there's no reason whatsoever to ignore
him, as not only is he a great asset to your team at this stage, he also comes
with some Ninja Gear on him, which is great armor for now. Your additions to
his equipment should be a Buckler and a Plumed Hat (you can buy the latter
from the merchant if you have none to spare). Like I mentioned in the
preparations, you'll want an Gigas Glove and a filler Relic on him, such as the
Hyper Wrist. Stick him in the Back Row, as the very purpose of throwing
something is ignoring the distance between you and the target.

Since this is the moment Shadow is officially a party member, it'd be nice to
know what it is that he does in battle. Learn it: [THROW-LINK]

Entering the house will be difficult. You'll need to locate the door. It's
hidden somewhere on the front side of the house itself, so look carefully.

Inside the house, you can touch the stove for a neat little scene about how
crazy this guy in fact is, but there's nothing remotely useful for you to do
here otherwise. Make sure you talk to the Crazy Old Man in question several
times, as his lines change.

There are moments in the game Shadow has the annoying tendency to have a chance
of running off after every battle. I'll explain that when that chance actually
presents itself. For now, Shadow is your loyal sidekick. In other words, Shadow
will NOT run out on you right now.

On the Overworld Map, all violence directed at you is physical. In the first
battle you fight with Shadow, have him Throw an Invisibility Scroll. This makes
him invulnerable for the remaining journey on the Overworld Map. Throw
Shurikens and Aura Cannons at your heart's delight; you'll find there's little
strategy in this scenario as most of your fights consist of taking hits and
returning ST one-hit KO's.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.13.2  Scenario Sabin: The Imperial Camp and Doma
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Captain (#36), Imperial Soldier (#37), Templar (#38), Magitek Armor (#279),
  Doberman (-), Soldier (-), Officer (-)

  Container contents:
  Barrier Ring, Mythril Glove, Remedy, Star Pendant, Monster-in-a-box
  (Satellite)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Black Belt (common Captain drop), Green Beret (guaranteed Satellite drop)

It seems there is an Imperial obstruction in the way. This is the Imperial
Camp Shadow talked about, the one that will have to overcome the defenses of
Doma at some point in the near future. We'll have to try to sneak past it.

Preparation: Keep Sabin in the Back Row, as well as Shadow if you brought him.

As soon as you enter the Imperial Camp, a cutscene will ensue. It becomes
apparent that general Leo is leading the attack on Doma, and that he's pretty
popular with the soldiers. Kefka, on the other hand, is expected to drive Leo
out of the mission, becoming a general himself, a thought that inspires fear in
the soldiers. Also, Doma is being attacked. Right now.

By the way, the German translation calls the two soldiers "Major Möhre" and
"Korporal Kartoffel", or "Major Carrot" and "Corporal Spud".

The scene switches to Doma, where chances of overcoming the attack are slim.
The retainer however, Cyan Garamonde, has a daring plan: rush out of the castle
to kill the leading officer; this might send the soldiers scurrying off for the
time being.

After the scene, you are in control of Cyan. Equip Cyan with fancy new
equipment you can offer him (Heavy Shield, Plumed Hat or even an Iron Helm
if you went through some pains in Locke's scenario already).

I suggest you take a moment to check up on the character that is Cyan:
[BUSHIDO-LINK]

Outside, eight Imperial soldiers are banging their heads against the walls of
Doma in a sophisticated attempt to infiltrate it. The leading officer does
nothing. You can pick a fight with any of the wandering Imperial soldiers
(which will trigger a battle with two Imperial Soldiers), but it's of little
use, as you'll be forced to fight Imperial Soldiers in the near future anyway.
I suggest you simply go for the leader.

Captain
Level: 12, HP: 456, MP: 20
Win: Phoenix Down (rare), Black Belt (common)
Status: Protect
Special: !Axe: Attack * 1.5
Attacks: Attack, !Axe

The captain, surprisingly called 'Captain', will sometimes use !Axe in between
his normal physicals. He has a 33 % of countering any damage with !Axe, and
that wraps it up for Captain.

Cyan should be in the Back Row, so Captain's attacks shouldn't really hurt him.
Cyan's # 1 Bushido skill, Fang, will deal sufficient damage to easily kill
Captain before Captain can come anywhere near killing Cyan. Bushido skill # 2,
Sky, will make sure that the Captain is killed in one hit. Bushido skill
# 3 works as well, although it takes needlessly long.

Make sure you end up with a Black Belt rather than a Phoenix Down; the Black
Belt is a nice Relic at this point of the game, and you can't get another one
for quite some time.

When you're done playing around with petty officers, and the Imperial Soldiers,
despite their overwhelming number, have decided it would be best to flee, the
scene switches back to Sabin and Shadow.

Proceed to explore the Imperial Camp. To the left is an Imperial soldier
marching around; engaging him will get you an Imperial Soldier, Imperial
Soldier, Magitek Armor battle. This walking soldier will re-spawn every time
you leave and enter the Imperial Camp, by the way.

To the left are a seemingly passive guard dog and a chest in the large military
tent. You'll be given three options when examining the chest:

Urrgh! It won't open.
             (Kick it.)
             (Hit it.)
             (Leave it.)

- If you Kick it, the guard dog outside will be alarmed and will attack you,
triggering an attack:

Monster formations:
Doberman, Doberman, Doberman (3/4)
Doberman, Doberman (1/4)

They're the only Dobermans you'll ever see in the game, so if you're still
cruising for the perfect Rage list, this is the option you'll want. Dobermans,
strangely, do NOT appear in the Bestiary. After Kicking it, the chest is open.
It contains a Star Pendant.

- If you Hit it, you'll fool an Imperial soldier by pretending to be a
NEKO NEKO KAWAII. I meant a cat. After the soldier has disappeared, you'll be
able to open the chest, which contains a Star Pendant.

- If you Leave it, nothing will happen, unlike, say, leaving your wife.

If you're done in this part of the Imperial Camp and are ready to continue,
you'll come across a cutscene in which general Leo is called home to Vector by
Emperor Gestahl, leaving Kefka in charge.

You can get up and stretch you muscles for two steps before Leo and Kefka meet
before your eyes. Kefka and Leo do NOT get along. Leo hasn't disappeared from
your sight for a second when Kefka orders the poisoning of Doma's water supply,
which not only goes against the laws of honor and war, but will take out several
Imperial prisoners within the walls of Doma castle. Even given your
current position, you cannot allow this to happen.

You'll be fighting a character Kefka, who runs after taking one hit. He'll
simply smack you over the head with his Morning Star if you let him, so getting
your ass kicked isn't even terribly interesting in this case.

Don't immediately follow him all the way; there are important things to be done:

- In a tent, there are two chests. Ignore them for now, walk behind this tent.
Automatically, you'll jump off a ledge in walk into another Tent. Here, you'll
find a Barrier Ring; swap it with Sabin's Star Pendant. He can enjoy the slight
Aura Cannon damage increase. Now, walk back into the tent with two chests.

- The right one contains a Mythril Glove, which you can ignore for the rest of
your life.

- The left one contains one of NASA's old-time prides: the Satellite. If you
already completed Locke's scenario, give the Ribbon to Sabin at this point.
If not, give him the Genji Glove and move him to the *gasp* Front Row.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4.13.3  Scenario Sabin: Satellite and the Imperial Camp continued
**********************************

Satellite
Level: 14, HP: 1800, MP: 250
Steal: X-Potion (rare), Win: Green Beret (rare), Green Beret (common)
Weakness: Lightning, Water
Status: Float
Special: !Supersonic Wave: sets Confused
Vulnerable to: Slow, Stop
Attacks: Attack, !Supersonic Wave, Dischord, Scintillation, Mega Berserk,
Magitek Laser, Missile

Satellite will normally use Attack, !Supersonic Wave, Scintillation, Magitek
Laser and Missile to make your life harder than it already is. Every ninth turn
it takes, Satellite will use Dischord to halve a character's level.

After 25 seconds of fighting, Satellite will call two Imperial Soldiers to aid
him. 55 seconds later, he'll call in three Imperial Soldiers to help him (if
there are Imperial Soldiers from the previous calling still standing, he'll
fill the number to 3), and 120 seconds later, he'll call four Imperial Soldiers
(once again, he fills the screen up to four Soldiers anyway).

Finally, Satellite will counter any Blitz attack with Mega Berserk, making sure
that Sabin will be Blitz-less in this battle, like an animal.

Shadow should be Throwing Shurikens while Sabin can keep on pumping out
Aura Cannons. If you didn't have a Ribbon, he will be Berserked by Satellite's
Blitz-counter, Mega Berserk. It should be noted that Shadow will, for the first
time, be vulnerable to attacks here as there's a large chance at least one of
Satellite's magical attacks will be striking Shadow, removing the Invisible
status.

After the fight, you win a Green Beret. Equip it on Sabin and swap his White
Cape with the Mythril Glove (don't worry, it'll soon fade into the non-existence
it was created for). Return Sabin to his Back Row Aura Cannon self
and move on. Following Kefka further will get you into another battle with
character Kefka. Have Shadow re-apply his Invisible status if you lost it
versus Satellite.

After talking to Kefka for the third time, he'll run off and sends Imperial
Soldier, Imperial Soldier, Templar, Templar at you. If Shadow is still visible,
take care of that problem. Have Sabin Defend and keep his own HP up, while
Shadow takes out the enemies one by one (Templars first). There's a large
chance they will use strong physical counters on you, and Shadow can avoid all
of them.

After Kefka breaks the universal honor code and Cyan learns that everything he
loves is subject to Poison, you gain control of the good knight. Equip the
Hermes Sandals on him and another nice filler Relic. You don't really have a
choice but to go downstairs and watch Cyan rush into the royal chamber. The King
of Doma (whose name is King Doma; I like to think his first names are 'King of')
is dying. Then, he dies.

Do not go into the door to the right when you leave the royal chamber. It
contains graphic adultery, you hear? Instead, go on do the bottom of the screen
and see two doors there. Pick the right one and enter. There's a Remedy in a
pot here. Talk to the Doma Sentry you see in this room, and try to explore the
available door next to him. It seems the statement about 'survivors' was too
hopeful. When you're done, put Cyan in the Front Row and enter the room I
previously forbid you to enter.

You regain control of Sabin and Shadow once the scene is done. You can't exit
left, as there's poison there (although you'll learn in a little while
there's good distance between the Imperial Camp and Doma Castle, plot device
laughs in the face of logic). No choice but to help Cyan! For some extra fun,
try talking to Cyan when between the two attacking Imperial soldiers:

Cyan: Grrr! Art thou an enemy as well!?
Sabin: Ouch! Probably shouldn't have gotten in the middle of that...

Too bad you don't lose HP there; that would amuse my bitter, bitter self.

Cyan will fight automatically in this battle, having a 66 % of using Attack and
33 % shot at Fang. Sabin and Shadow can stick to their trusted ST power-
blows, and you'll win the day without breaking a sweat in the battle formations
you have to go through:

Soldier, Soldier, Soldier (3/4) / Soldier, Soldier, Soldier, Soldier (1/4)
Soldier, Soldier, Soldier (3/4) / Soldier, Soldier, Soldier, Soldier (1/4)
Officer, Soldier, Soldier

After all is said and done, you get to run around in Magitek Armor again! How
sweet it is! Heal any damage done to Sabin and Cyan with Healing Force
(obviously Shadow wasn't touched at all; he's a non-generic ninja). Use Healing
Force anyway, as his invisibility can, believe it or not, become a negative
factor in the near future. Put Cyan back in the Back Row and blast your way
through any opposition with whatever beam you can use. Everything kills
everything, to be blunt. The helpless opposition:

Magitek Armor
Imperial Soldier, Imperial Soldier, Magitek Armor
Magitek Armor, Magitek Armor

When you're done, leave. This is, by the way, a good strategy for a large
portion of your life, although it doesn't seem to work as effectively after
you've taken what you want from girls.

Finally! You've managed to sneak through an Imperial Camp without the loss of
your life. Of course, you didn't so much 'sneak through' as simply murdered
everybody you saw, which was half of the Camp's population. Still, you live.
That's good.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.14.1  Scenario Sabin: Traveling to the Phantom Forest
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Sand Ray (#9), Alacran (#10), Stray Cat (#32), Aepyornis (#33), Nettlehopper
  (#34), Chippirabbit (#35)

Having broken out like a bad case of acne, your only hope to reach Narshe is
to travel through a dark forest to the east of Doma Castle.

Preparation: Save, darn you! Now that Sabin is no longer alone and scared, there
is little direct reason for Shadow to linger. That means that starting
from your escape from the Imperial Camp, he may randomly decide to leave you
after every battle, taking all your equipment he's got equipped with him:

Shadow: My job is done. I've earned my pay.
Shadow: So long...

It's just a 1/16 chance though (which, by the way, is in NO way influenced by
the order you performed the scenarios in, there are many myths and
misconceptions about that). I can say that in a short while, there will be a
situation in which Shadow will no longer be able to escape, but you'll need to
make it there with Shadow at your side, preferably. This can be reached by:

a) Saving beforehand and relying on your luck
b) Killing Shadow until the party reaches said destination.
c) Running from every battle

If you're playing the game on an emulator, I suggest the first (you can always
Quick Save after every battle and Quick Load when Shadow decides it's time to
hit the road). If you're playing on a console (PSX or GBA), I advise you to
simply run away for the time being. The monsters give crap Experience, they
drop nothing interesting and there is absolutely no penalty to fleeing in this
game.

Monster formations:

(Grass North of Imperial Camp)
Aepyornis (6/16)
Chippirabbit, Chippirabbit, Chippirabbit (5/16)
Aepyornis, Chippirabbit, Chippirabbit (5/16)

(Grass South and West of Imperial Camp)
Nettlehopper, Nettlehopper, Nettlehopper (6/16)
Stray Cat, Stray Cat, Stray Cat (5/16)
Aepyornis, Stray Cat, Nettlehopper, Nettlehopper (5/16)

(Forest)
Nettlehopper, Nettlehopper, Stray Cat, Stray Cat (5/16)
Chippirabbit, Chippirabbit, Chippirabbit, Chippirabbit, Chippirabbit (5/16)
Aepyornis, Aepyornis, Stray Cat (5/16)
Aepyornis, Stray Cat, Nettlehopper, Nettlehopper (1/16)

(Desert)
Sand Ray, Sand Ray (5/16)
Alacran, Alacran, Alacran (5/16)
Sand Ray, Alacran, Alacran (5/16)
Sand Ray, Alacran, Alacran, Alacran (1/16)

You know how to handle the wildlife here. You can travel to Doma Castle, but
you'll find it occupied by Imperial troops so you cannot enter. Just travel
to the forest to the southeast.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4.14.2  Scenario Sabin: The Phantom Forest
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Ghost (#40), Poplium (#41)

Welcome to Phantom Forest, called the Forest of Illusion in the Japanese game.
After entering the forest, something quickly seems...off. Eyes from the
darkness leering at you. Sounds from places you can't keep your eye on. You
being on fire.

Preparation: Shadow's still a possible run-away, so keep him down if that's
your strategy.

Monster formations:

(First and Second Screen)
Ghost (10/16)
Ghost, Poplium, Poplium (6/16)

(Third and Fourth Screen)
Ghost, Ghost, Ghost (10/16)
Ghost, Ghost, Poplium, Poplium, Poplium (6/16)

Ghosts are unfriendly, generally unpleasant, Undead, and they hate you. Every
first turn will be a Fire spell or nothing, but the second turn can contain
Attack, !Time Freeze (which sets Stop) and Dancing Flame, a very strong ST Fire
-elemental attack that will probably shave off 150 HP.

Poplium are waiting to be relieved from this unlife they're doomed to suffer
through. They attack physically and if they're feeling particularly grumpy they
might even use !Cling to slow you down.

This is, strategy-wise, a very boring and straightforward part of the game.
Sabin, Cyan, and Shadow all have ST attacks that can take out all enemies in
one hit. Keep up with Fang, Shuriken, and Aura Cannon. Use Potions when you are
hit with an unlucky Dancing Flame or when your HP is running low due to other
causes.

You will find a Recovery Spring you will automatically heal yourself in. Make
sure to kill Shadow again if you're a SNES player. Think: "Take this,
nemesis! A Shuriken to the face! Oh, wait. Fitting as it is for my dark,
brooding character, I myself am my nemesis. My physical agony is without
boundaries."

Always stick to the next exit on the top of the screen; other exits will lead
you in circles. Laugh at their attempts to trick you.

Eventually, you'll reach a train. The train was destroyed in the recent war
between Doma and the Empire, and Sabin will talk about survivors and taking
looks. Cyan will freak, but we're used to that by now and pay little attention
to him as we climb aboard.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.15.1  Scenario Sabin: The Phantom Train
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Cloud (#42), Angel Whisper (#43), Oversoul (#44), Bomb (#45), Living Dead
  (#46), Apparition (#47), Siegfried (#48), Phantom Train (#284)

  Container contents:
  Earring, Phoenix Down x2, Sniper Eye, Monster-in-a-box (Apparition)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Hyper Wrist (guaranteed Apparition drop), Tent x3 (2 hidden, one guaranteed
  Phantom Train drop)

Preparation: You can revive Shadow now as, trapped on the Phantom Train as
he is, he won't run away anymore. You'll want to keep hold of your high-tech
reviving utilities, as a Save Point is nearby.

Monster formations:

(Outside entire Phantom Train)
Angel Whisper, Angel Whisper, Cloud (5/16)
Bomb (5/16)
Angel Whisper, Angel Whisper, Angel Whisper, Angel Whisper (5/16)
Bomb, Bomb, Bomb (1/16)

Behold, the Phantom Train! This is the first area where we'll fight multiple
monsters that regularly use spells; learn to love it.

The Phantom Train is a luxury, a transportation device unlike any other. Pulled
by a locomotive, the Train features a Save Point, two train wagons for the rich,
a restaurant wagon, and five normal wagons with the Conductor's working
area in the far back. This is it:

(      LOCOMOTIVE     )
(   SAVE POINT CAR    )
(APPARITION CAR, POSH )
( SIEGFRIED CAR, POSH )
(    RESTAURANT CAR   )
(   MAGIC SWITCH CAR  )
(    LEAP OVER CAR    )
(    NO ESCAPE CAR    )
( HUMEROUS TUMBLE CAR )
(     STARTING CAR    )
(    CONDUCTOR CAR    )

Angel Whispers are emissaries from a magical world. They use Attack, as is the
wont of monsters, and Gravity, a spell that halves your amount of current HP.
It's pretty annoying. This is also the first monster you'll see with inherent
Sap status. The undead were supposed to be healed by this status, so this
was supposed to be a recovering opponent. Instead, due to a bug, Angel Whispers
just waste away in their own misery.

Living Dead are warrior zombies possessed by an evil spirit. Nice. They attack
physically and with !Slip Touch, which sets Sap. They're inherently boring
and mediocre.

Cloud monsters are NOT undead. This is a surprising feat for a creature on
the Phantom Train, and I don't really know why this is. They cast Drain to
little avail, as you'll be doing one-hit KO's against them, but it's a nice try.
Also, !Unseen Strike damages.

Oversouls are undead skeletons born from a coalescence of hatred. Also, they're
most rude. Every second turn they take can make them use Dread Gaze, an attack
that sets Petrify on a single target. If they're alone they won't ever use Dread
Gaze but they can use !Insanitouch, which sets Confused and is potentially even
more dangerous than Dread Gaze.

Bombs are mostly found when you're walking outside, and they have nothing to
do with the Phantom Train and its destination. If they attack at all, they
use Blaze, a strong Fire-elemental attack they can either aim at a single
character or at the entire party. Always go for Bombs first, but never allow
yourself to hit them with a non-fatal attack as they could use Self-Destruct,
which harms you as much as the Bomb in question has for current HP. Luckily,
as Self-Destruct is all about self-destruction, the Bomb will be dead.

Even though a great variety of attacks will be sent your way, there's very
little you can do about them. Continue to use your powerful ST attacks, and
have Shadow target Bombs and then Angel Whispers before anything else, as their
Blaze and/or Gravity attacks are the biggest threats you face.

It's feasible that your Sabin has learned Rising Phoenix by now.

While you must've leveled him to level 15 for Rising Phoenix to be an option,
and while level 15 is over leveled at this point, it's not entirely dramatically
high. Bombs absorb Fire/Rising Phoenix, so refrain from using it
when facing them. Aura Cannon is more powerful on a single target, but both
feed off the weaknesses that seems inherent to all undead enemies: Fire and
Holy. You'll learn to use Rising Phoenix, I'm sure. Give Shadow the Hermes
Sandals, as his ST attacks will be the most important ones. Mythril Glove/Gigas
Glove Cyan in the Front Row, Aura Cannon Sabin in the Back Row with a White
Cape and Barrier Ring.

Once you decide to board the train, there's no going back. The door will close
behind you and the train will start moving. Examine the door, and Cyan will
explain about the Phantom Train, which brings the deceased to the afterlife.
Business must be small, with all them Phoenix Downs.

Monster formations:
Bomb (10/16)
Bomb, Bomb, Bomb (6/16)

When you're done gasping and shaking in fear, head to the right. You'll walk
out of the train car and, if you keep that button down, into a new one. You'll
see a ghost here. Talk to him and have him join your party! It's only temporary,
but I'll discuss the White Robed a bit:

The ghost joins on a level quite similar to yours, and can use Attack, Possess,
and Item. Since he has no weapons, his Attack is horribly weak. Possess is a
quirky command that is only seen here; Possess will remove both the caster and
the target from the battle. The caster is gone from the party after the battle
ends. This command has a 3 out of 8 chance of succeeding against every target,
regardless of one-hit KO protection, Evasion, or Magic Evasion. The ghost comes
equipped with NO equipment, and only one Relic: the Lich Ring. This turns the
wearer into an Undead creature, which is exactly the story behind the temporary
character. This means you will *hurt* the poor bastard with Potions and
Hi-Potions and kill it instantly with Phoenix Downs. If it has fallen in battle,
you cannot revive him (the Phoenix Down will miss). Outside of battle,
however, you can heal with restorative items. If a temporary ghost character
dies, he will be removed from the party.

If you haven't brought Shadow, you can recruit two Ghost characters. You'll
always obtain the stronger one first, and should you have left Shadow behind or
allowed him to run off, a weaker one will come second.

Enter the cabin. If you look at the switch, you'll see a cutscene in which
Cyan's fear or machinery is once again displayed in a humorous manner. If you
examine the book, you'll see some dialogue. If you talk to the Conductor, you
can ask some questions. In the top-left corner of the car, there's a hidden Tent
just waiting for you to be discovered.

If you leave again, you'll see another ghost. If Shadow left you/if you haven't
bothered with him at all, you can have this guy join you too, although this
second ghost is always significantly more useless.

Monster formations:
Angel Whisper, Cloud, Cloud, Cloud (6/16)
Angel Whisper (5/16)
Living Dead, Living Dead, Living Dead (5/16)

Okay, to the left we go! This is where the Locomotive is located, which we need
to shut down. In the next train car, you see all sorts of ghosts. Some will
attack you, some will want to join you, and some will want to sell you items.
You shouldn't really benefit from the items, but if you feel you could use extra
from the following, be my guest to search them out:

Potion                 50
Hi-Potion             300
Antidote               50
Green Cherry          150
Phoenix Down          500
Sleeping Bag          500
Shuriken               30

Ghosts that attack you are either:

Ghost (3/4)
Ghost, Ghost, Ghost (1/4)

So don't worry about that.

When you exit the train car to the left, you can use a ladder to climb up the
car you just abandoned and come across an air vent you fall through should you
stand on it. How rad! How entirely useless!

Going into the next train car will be a suicidal plan, as it turns out. Just
seconds after you entered, a ghost will appear from behind and block your path
back. There are no other exits. It's time to fight the bugger! Like all other
ghosts that have attacked you when you talked to them, this is either a single
Ghost or a triple Ghost formation.

When outside, you will be cornered by a mob of angry undeads. And they're not
doing the moonwalk either! Time to escape. The roof, however, fits the role of
upper surface completely and provides no means of exit. Then, Sabin gets an
idea, which apparently requires Cyan to 'come'. Who knows what those years of
training have been good for? You escape, Shadow and the ghost carefully secured
in your back pocket. Or something.

Monster formations:
Angel Whisper, Cloud, Cloud, Cloud (6/16)
Oversoul, Oversoul (5/16)
Oversoul, Living Dead, Living Dead (5/16)

The ghosts pursue! Instead of making this a kick-ass pursuit scene, you can
simply flick a switch to detach the rear train cars. Do so. Remember, this has
no consequences for the otherwise innocent, as the only thing you do is trap
dozens of souls in the mortal realms, denying them passage to the afterlife,
including, but not limited to, those nice guys who wanted to sell you items and
help you on your quest. But hey, you're the good guys, right?

Once back inside, you can swap the same switch to clear your path. What, is this
some kind of MAGICAL switch that can do whatever you want it to do? Is
this some kind of MAGICAL world you play this game in? Balderdash! Humbug, I
say! This is the train car you want to be in to find Oversoul, as they don't
appear on earlier or subsequent train cars.

The next train houses the Dish of the Damned! The Food of the Forgotten! The
Cuisine of the Con...demned! Sitting at the middle table will make a ghost
waiter serve you some food. Cyan will spaz out (he does that a lot) but you'll
be fully healed, just like a meal in real life. You can repeat this for a less
dramatic but more personal scene by switching lead characters the next time(s)
you sit down:

Sabin: All right! Dinner time! I'm gonna eat till I burst!
Cyan: Is this train's food tr-truly safe to eat?
Shadow: ... Interceptor... Are you hungry, too, boy?
Ghost: *gobble*... *snarf*... *slurp*... the Ghost will just go bananas on the
food. It's a hoot to see, seriously :D

You can't exit to the left, so go out and walk around the train car. Don't
forget to go back in the other side and open the chest behind the waiters for an
Earring. Swap one of Sabin's Relics with it, as you'll need the boost in
Aura Cannon power in a bit.

Monster formations:
Angel Whisper (6/16)
Bomb, Bomb, Cloud, Cloud (5/16)
Angel Whisper, Living Dead, Cloud, Cloud (5/16)

You can't go around the next train car, so just get in! There are two
compartments in this train car. The first one houses a chest, but as soon as
you face it from the front (you can't open it from the side), you will hear an
ominous voice! Of course, there's really no indication the voice is ominous, so
I'm just making that up.

Siegfried
Level: 7, HP: 100, MP: 5
Steal: Win: Green Cherry (rare), Green Cherry (common)
Special: !Hit: Attack x 1.5
Vulnerable to: Petrify, KO, Doom, Silence
Attacks: Attack

After the introduction between you and Siegfried is done, it's fighty time.
Siegfried has 100 HP and opens with a flurry of eight weak physical attacks.
Chances are your Black Belt character or Interceptor kills him before he
finishes all eight, but if that's not the case, you can just do whatever
(the Tiger Bushdio skill doesn't work!). You'll get a Green Cherry for your
troubles.

Siegfried is impersonating the legendary swordsman Siegfried and had hoped to
scare you off rather than actually having to fight you in any kind of serious
battle. In the Japanese version, Siegfried continuously refers to himself as
Mr. Me. It gets really annoying really quick. Anyway, the pansy has been beaten.

Siegfried runs off with the treasure - Au revoir! Don't worry if you just missed
the biggest kick-ass Gamma Sword just there; the chest isn't really a
chest with contents anyway. The next room in the compartment appears empty, but
this is not the case. See those two empty tiles to the left of the bench? The
left one contains a Tent; just face it and press action. The right one contains
a Fairy Ring, but you can't obtain it since you can't face it. Stupid
programmers are the scourge of gaming. :(

On to the next car! Once again, it's a posh car with two compartments. The first
compartment is a copy of the compartment with the Tent and Fairy Ring in the
previous car. If you left the Tent in the previous car, you can pick it up in
this car; if you picked it up there, it's obviously gone in this one as well.
It's a bit weird you basically walk into the same compartment from two
different train cars, but it seems to be intentional. It's a magic train,
whatever.

The second one is lined up with four chests; rejoice. From right to left, they
contain a Phoenix Down, Sniper Eye (you can ignore this Relic for now, nothing
evades your physicals at this stage of the game, and you're not using them
anyway), Phoenix Down, and a Monster-in-a-Box. How frightening.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.15.2  Scenario Sabin: Apparition and the Phantom Train continued
**********************************

Apparition
Level: 19, HP: 1500, MP: 10000
Steal: Win: Hyper Wrist (rare), Hyper Wrist (common)
Absorbs: Poison, Weakness: Fire, Holy
Status: Undead
Special: !Lightning: Attack x 2
Sketch : !Lightning, Attack
Control: Attack, !Lightning
Vulnerable to: Slow, Stop
Attacks: Attack, !Lightning, Blizzard, Leech

This is Apparition. According to the latest Anthology release (I imagine
somebody reading this in 2050 and laughing...laughing!), this is the ghost of a
murdered person. Oh my.

Apparition has normal access to three attacks: Attack, the Blizzard spell, and
Leech, which drains HP. If you damage Apparition, he will hate you for it and
get a 33 % shot at attacking his attacker with !Lightning, which is nothing even
remotely like Lightning-elemental.

There are a number of ways to kill this thing humiliatingly easy, but the Top 2
of cheap tactics go right against my game ethics. Of course, there's taking
advantage of Square's assumption that even though it's supposed to be a rather
difficult enemy, it still should be vulnerable to a Phoenix Down scoring a one-
hit KO. Also, you're traveling with a ghost that is capable of delivering a one
-hit KO on everything. But I'll take that not only are you too good for the
Phoenix Down move, you also don't want to lose your cool ghost guy just yet.

So, when the battle begins, wait for Cyan's third Bushido skill, Tiger. Don't
move with Sabin and Shadow or even the ghost; just skip to Cyan and use Tiger.
It'll halve his current HP and should do 750 damage. Follow up with an Aura
Cannon and a Shuriken and you should be done. You'll get a Hyper Wrist for your
troubles, which is hardly satisfactory. Then again, it wasn't much trouble.
Before you can reach the next car, your ghost companion(s) will leave you.

...How troublesome.

The next car contains a Save Point. Save. That is its point.

Finally, you made it to the locomotive. Rather than making puns with 'loco' (or
worse, with 'motive'), I'll just say that the engineer's compartment will make
Sabin and Cyan excited before they even set as much as a single step within it.
Sounds promising! In the top-left and the bottom-left corners of the room, you
can read that you need to shut the first and third pressure valves. All three
are now open, so just flip the first and third one, and go outside near the
smoke stack. Before you operate, you should expect a major fight coming up.
As preparation, move everybody to the Front Row and equip any Ribbon you might
have. Equip the White Cape on Cyan (switch with Hyper Wrist).

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.15.3  Scenario Sabin: The battle with the Phantom Train
**********************************

Phantom Train
Level: 14, HP: 1900, MP: 350
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Tent (always)
Absorbs: Poison, Weakness: Fire, Lightning, Holy
Status: Undead
Special: !Wheel: Attack x 2
Vulnerable to: KO
Attacks: Attack, !Wheel, Acid Rain, Diabolic Whistle, Saintly Beam

The Phantom Train will start with the battle with either a physical attack,
!Wheel, or Diabolic Whistle. The next four turns will be spent at using normal
physical attacks and his Special !Wheel; the fifth turn will be Diabolic
Whistle, but only if there are at least two characters still alive.

After every 15 seconds of battle, Phantom Train will use either Acid Rain (2/3)
or Saintly Beam, an attack that deals MT Holy-elemental damage to your party.
Finally, if Phantom Train has been damaged, he has a one in three chance of
using !Wheel.

For trivia, Saintly Beam used to be Phantom Train-exclusive until Holy Dragon
Redux showed its pasty face for the Advance release. Given it's such a nasty
move in that fight, it's occurance here at least shows the Phantom Train was on
the right track. I came up with that pun in the subway!

The fight against Phantom Train can be real easy and real bad, and it all
depends on his Diabolic Whistle attack. This sets one random status ailment on
your party out of the following: Darkness, Poison, Imp, Doom, Berserk, Confused,
Sap and Slow. Due to a GBA-exclusive bug, you can circumvent all
effects from this attack by equipping a Relic which protects against Imp (such
as the White Cape). It should've still applied other status ailments in that
case, but it doesn't.

The ones you need to be concerned about are Imp, Berserk, and Confused. If one
of your characters is Imped, you'll want to use Hi-Potions to damage Phantom
Train. Hi-Potions inflict 250 worth of HP damage, which is superior to your
crummy Imped Attack command. Smack your Confused characters, as there's nothing
more fatal than Confused characters, especially when they have access to Rising
Phoenix or barrier-piercing attacks.

The Phantom Train battle is very much like the Apparition battle in the sense
that using a Phoenix Down is the coward's way out, and that the strategy
revolves around allowing Cyan to start the battle with his third Bushido skill,
Tiger. After this, have Sabin come in with an Aura Cannon and Shadow with
Shuriken. A lot of people have dubbed it 'hilarious' to have Sabin use Meteor
Strike on the Phantom Train. If you want to see a tiny sprite lift a huge train,
be my guest.

After the fight is over, you're in for the most dramatic moment of your life. If
you don't actually have a life, that is. Cyan Garamonde, who has lost
everything he ever lived for, has to come face to face with his departed wife
and son, only moments before the Phantom Train forcefully takes them away. I
suppose it's only justifiable Cyan is slightly in shock after this.

You'll be able to leave after a set period of time. Shadow: "Best leave him
be."

After all has been said and done, you find yourself on the Overworld Map.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.16.1  Scenario Sabin: Traveling to Baren Falls
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Stray Cat (#32), Aepyornis (#33), Nettlehopper (#34)

Monster formations:
Nettlehopper, Nettlehopper, Nettlehopper (6/16)
Stray Cat, Stray Cat, Stray Cat (5/16)
Aepyornis, Stray Cat, Nettlehopper, Nettlehopper (5/16)

You've escaped the Phantom Train and find yourself at the southern edge of the
Phantom Forest. To your right is Baren Falls, a great waterfall you must get
past to reach the Veldt, which is full of dangerous monsters. It seems Sabin's
scenario is packed with landmark-esque obstacles.

Preparation: Shadow, once again, may run away. Also, he will depart anyway in a
very small bit; de-equip him of his equipment and relics. Give the Ninja Gear
and Hermes Sandals to Sabin and pass the Gigas Glove to Cyan. If you're still
suffering from bad status afflictions from Phantom Train's Diabolic Whistle, a
Tent might be appropriate. Don't forget to move all but your Black Belt
character to the Back Row.

Wait for Sabin's Rising Phoenix to kill everything or, should you lack it, slave
away with those ST slayers you've grown so familiar with. Make sure to
fight Stray Cats here if you haven't before, as they will prove most useful.

Simply walk into the cave to the east and head all the way to the falls. Sabin
and Cyan will discuss your bad situation and Shadow will leave you here. If he
still had any of your equipment on him, he'll take it with him. He'll be missed,
but you'll get an even better character in a bit, so don't feel too bad about
it.

You could return to the Phantom Forest, but there's really no point; you'll just
find yourself walking through some familiar screens of the Phantom Forest
and you'll eventually reach the other side.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.16.2  Scenario Sabin: Baren Falls
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Opinicus Fish (#49), Rhizopas (#285)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Remedy (guaranteed Rhizopas drop)

Lacking your favorite ninja, your first course of action is hurling yourself
down a waterfall packed with rabid piranhas with crazy spell casting abilities.
I'd say it's clear who the brains in that operation was.

Preparation: You're still set. If you have a Black Belt, it's really useful
in this fight.

Monster formations:
Opinicus Fish, Opinicus Fish, Opinicus Fish, Opinicus Fish, Opinicus Fish,
Rhizopas

Yeah, you read that right, but it's more of a data thing. What you'll see
on-screen is monster formations of Opinicus Fish x2, Opinicus Fish x3 and
Rhizopas. What'll happen here is that you'll be fighting Opinicus Fish for 60
seconds before Rhizopas appears. Which pack of Opinicus Fish monsters pops up
entirely depends on which Opinicus Fish you killed last, but it shouldn't really
concern you, as the normal Opinicus Fish are extremely weak.

What you do in the first 60 seconds is entirely up to you. If you want little
fuss, you can just wait the 60 seconds out in the first battle, kill all but
one, heal up with Potions for the Rhizopas confrontation, and kill the last
bugger. On the other hand, Opinicus Fish know a rare Potion drop, so if you want
a shot at as much of those possible, kill as much Opinicus Fish as you can
handle. Since Opinicus Fish only have 10 HP even a Back Row Attack command kills
them, so do that. It's the fastest way. If you don't care about inferior healing
liquids, it's good form to try and kill the last Opinicus Fish with a Black Belt
counter, leaving both Sabin and Cyan with a full ATB bar versus Rhizopas.

Rhizopas
Level: 13, HP: 775, MP: 39
Steal: Win: Remedy (rare), Remedy (common)
Absorbs: Water, Weakness: Lightning
Status: Float
Special: !Bite: Attack x 1.5
Vulnerable to: Berserk, Confuse, Sleep, Slow, Stop
Attacks: Attack, !Bite, Blizzard, El Niño, Megavolt

As soon as Rhizopas it's time to bring the noise hardcore-like. The first turn,
he'll use Attack, !Bite or Megavolt, followed by either another physical or a
66% shot at casting the Blizzard spell. On the second turn, this little guy has
access to the El Niño attack, which will deal up to 250 damage to both Sabin
and Cyan. Your best bet is to go all-out offensive to make sure Rhizopas never
lives to see its second turn.

While Rhizopas has very decent magical defense, Aura Cannon still out damages
Raging Fist (and Rising Phoenix, but that should be obvious). Tiger doesn't
work, so just go with Fang.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.16.3  Scenario Sabin: Traveling over the Veldt to Mobliz
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Most everything you've seen so far; it's the Veldt, man!

You've managed to survive the Seafood of Death, and now you're on the Veldt. You
came across a strange boy, dressed in animal hides. Life is strange.

Preparation: Re-equip that Black Belt if you took it off.

Welcome to the Veldt! Here, random encounter monster formations are reproduced
for you to fight. You will not gain Experience Points, and its main purpose is
obtaining Rages for Gau, the character you will have to name. I'll explain that
in a bit.

For now, you'll be able to name Gau. I'll call him Gau.

For now, you'll have to go find Mobliz, to the east. You'll fight battles in the
meantime, and there's a chance you'll see Gau appear when you're done. You
probably don't want to hurt the guy, but you can't run from him (the buttons
will do nothing), so your only option is to smack him over the head to cause
him to flee. The alternative is fleeing from the random encounters themselves,
if possible.

You've reached Mobliz? Good!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.17.1  Scenario Sabin: Mobliz
**********************************

  Container contents:
  Elixir

  Miscellaneous items:
  Tintinnabulum (Wounded lad quest)

Mobliz is a great backwater village supporting itself through hunting. Or
something. There are some great shops here, so take a look around.

Weapon Shop:
Mythril Knife         300
Mythril Sword         450
Mythril Claws         800
Kotetsu               800
 You'll want to buy a Kotetsu for Cyan, or two if you want to make him a Genji
Glove/Black Belt character (which is a wise decision).

Armor Shop:
Buckler               200
Heavy Shield          400
Plumed Hat            250
Magus Hat             600
Bandana               800
Iron Helm            1000
Kenpo Gi              250
Iron Armor            700
 Buy two Heavy Shields, two Magus Hats, another Plumed hat, and two Iron
Armors. The Iron Helms are ridiculously expensive and you find better
alternatives in a short while.

Item Shop:
Dried Meat            150
Potion                 50
Hi-Potion             300
Eye Drops              50
Green Cherry          150
Phoenix Down          500
Tent                 1200
 You'll want to buy at least one Dried Meat, as you'll need it to trigger a
necessary cutscene. Dried Meat is basically a healing potion that heals a
character for 150 HP (so it's inferior to normal Hi-Potions), but has the added
property of also healing Undead monsters/characters (instead of hurting them
like Potions and Hi-Potions do).

Relic shop:
Sprint Shoes         1500
White Cape           5000
 It's never a bad idea to have White Capes ready, as they make grand
filler relics. Make sure you leave 2500 Gil in your wallet, at least.

Hidden Items: There is an Elixir hidden in the clock of the carrier pigeon
house.

Don't bother paying the Inn fee; you can sleep at the bed in the back of the
Relic shop. Take a look at the two kiddos in love; Duane and Katarin will make
a more significant appearance in the future.

There's a wounded lad from Maranda residing in Mobliz. He left the army when
he heard they were heading for Doma, but was busted up for his insolence. They
broke every bone in his body for leaving, to be more precise. Poor lad indeed.
Him being here makes sense because Mobliz is in no way on route when traveling
from Vector to Doma. Anyway, he has a honey in Maranda, and you can help him
with it! He receives letters from her, but can't write back. Do it for him,
I say!

You'll have to send a total of five letters over there:
A letter
A record
Some Potion (which will not be taken from your inventory)
Another letter
A book

You can't send new stuff if the wounded soldier hasn't gotten any reply; he gets
a reply whenever you've:
- slept at the Inn
- have talked to the salesman of the Item Shop
- have talked to the salesman of the Weapon Shop
- have talked to the salesman of the Armor Shop
- have talked to the salesman of the Relic Shop
- have let the scholar show you the Serpent Trench

That makes NO sense whatsoever, I am completely aware of that. After you've
sent the five letters, the poor guy gives you a Tintinnabulum, a nice filler
Relic and extremely rare, which gives the illusion it's actually more useful
than it in fact is. If you're wondering what the hell exactly a Tintinnabulum
is, it's probably derived from 'tintinabulation' which means 'ringing'. I can
add that the Japanese game calls it a Cat's Bell; I guess we're supposed to
assume that with every step the Tintinnabulum lets out a chime and heals the
wearer a little.

Once you're done dancing and prancing in Mobliz, head to the Veldt again.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.17.2  Scenario Sabin: Recruiting Gau
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Veldt encounters

The weird kid called Gau repeatedly said he was hungry, but you had nothing to
help him with. Fortunately, Mobliz offers you the possibility of buying food,
unlike other towns. Because that makes sense.

Preparation: Equip the Genji Glove and Kotetsu Katanas on Cyan and keep him in
the Front Row, or stick with Back Row Cyan if you don't have a Genji Glove. The
other Relic should be the Black Belt if you have the Genji Glove; while Fang
still out damages Cyan's Attack (it's pretty close), the counterattack
will kill most critters here.

You're bound to run into a few battles here, and you're bound to come across
Gau while doing so. You'll need both Sabin and Cyan alive for him to appear.
Feeding him a Dried Meat (just use it on him) will trigger a long, long, yet
surprisingly un-boring cutscene in which Gau joins you.

Learn the basics of Gau: [RAGE-LINK]

Gau arrives, like a baby, completely naked (and screaming nonsense). Equip him
with what you have, which probably is a Buckler, Bandana, and Kenpo Gi. You
will want to swap Sabin's Mythril Shield with Gau's Buckler as Gau will have to
be in the Front Row and can use the extra defense. Not only does Gau return to
his spot in the team in the Front Row at all times, his physicals are important
enough on the Veldt to warrant Front Row. As far as Relics go, you should have
a Gigas Glove free. Set the other Relic slot up with a filler Relic (White
Cape is nice).

Gau joins with a few Rages already: Zaghrem, Exocite, Hornet, Silver Lobo,
Magitek Armor, Belmodar, Cartagra, Wererat, and Angel Whisper. Zaghrem is nice,
and Belmodar has its distant uses, but for the real good stuff (and there really
is a lot of good stuff for Gau to Rage, make no mistake), you'll want to
obtain these:

Darkwind        Break           inherent Float
Trillium        Bio             absorbs Water
Alacran         !Numb (Stop)
Spritzer        Blaze           absorbs Lightning, inherent Float, Undead
Oversoul        W. o' the Wisp  absorbs Poison, Undead
Stray Cat       !Cat Scratch
Guard Leader    Wind Slash
Lesser Lopros   Fireball        inherent Float
Mu              Snare
Templar         Fira            inherent Protect
Cloud           Thundara        one-hit KO protection
Satellite       Sonic Boom      inherent Float, one-hit KO protection
Bomb            Blaze           absorbs Fire, inherent Float

The most important ones right now are Darkwind, Trillium, Alacran, Templar
and Guard Leader/Lesser Lopros.

If you completed Locke's scenario already, Acrophies is just as good as Alacran
for the purpose it's designed for.

Really, unless you want to obtain as much Rages as possible, you can ignore
other monsters. Keep in mind that Leaping at monsters such as Silver Lobo and
Gorgias is just losing control of Gau's Leaping for the time being, which could
make him miss out on the others.

Guard Leader has the strongest MT attack you can possess up to now: Wind Slash.
He is, sadly, especially elusive due to the way the Veldt works, so don't feel
too bad if you leave the Veldt without having met this one. Obviously, no Rage
is mandatory, but keep in mind that Gau's usefulness exceeds all other
characters if you find the right Rages, and sucks beyond belief if you don't
invest the time in him.

Satellites still drop Green Berets, which are superior Helmets for everybody.
Terra and a mystery character soon to be introduced (I'm talking about Celes)
have an acceptable alternate option in the Magus Hat, but ideally, you'll want
to stick around until you've won another three Green Berets (you'll find one
extra before long).

When you're done chasing Gau around, stick him in the Back Row as the next
dungeon will have him rely on magical attacks and go visit Crescent Mountain,
located to the southeast. Gau has a gift for you there, and a bloke in Mobliz
mentioned you could reach Nikeah by jumping into the raging current of the
Serpent Trench. Who knows, those might be connected somehow!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.17.3  Scenario Sabin: Crescent Mountain
**********************************

  Miscellaneous items:
  Potion (Gau)

Upon entering the cave, Gau will fail to do the one thing he was enlisted for.

Let's take a look around. To the right side of the plateau you're standing on,
you can see a little cutscene (7 steps up, 1 step to the side from the entrance)
that is entirely useless. To the left, you'll see a little square
sticking out where Gau will find you a Potion (which, believe it or not, is
actually added to your inventory!). Proceed and you'll come across a ridge you
can walk up on.

All the way left, another cutscene will ensue where Gau will scare Sabin out of
500 Gil (which is removed from your amount of money). If you had less than
that, Cyan will magically possess the remaining Gil instead of Sabin and
nothing will be removed.

Proceeding further will allow Gau to find the diving helmet! Many a philosopher
has pondered over the impossibility of three men sharing the same helmet, but
none have found a satisfactory answer. Regardless, the cutscene will take you
outside and plunge you into the cold, cold waters of the Serpent Trench.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.18.1  Scenario Sabin: The Serpent Trench
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Anguiform (#50), Aspiran (#51), Actinian (#52)

  Container contents:
  Green Beret, X-Potion

Narshe is a long way if you take the wrong turn at the Lethe River! Having
passed through an Imperial Camp, the lands of Doma, the Phantom Forest, Baren
Falls, and the Veldt, you now need to reach Nikeah where a ferry should be
available to take you to South Figaro and finally deliver you close to Narshe.
But the Serpent Trench is a raging current with violent monsters hunting for
you...

Preparation: Make absolutely sure you have a fully equipped Gau, as there are
two rather nasty monsters waiting for you here.

There are three monsters here. You can really forget about Actinian; his
physicals shouldn't really bother you that much, and whenever you meet a triple
Actinian monster formation, Fang, Aura Cannon/Rising Phoenix and the Templar,
Bomb, or Lesser Lopros Rages go well with that.

Anguiform are dangerous not only because they have a murdering physical attack
in !Garrotte, which is actually as painful as it sounds, but especially
because they like to use Aqua Breath when they are alone. Aqua Breath is an
extremely strong MT Water/Wind-elemental attack that will hurt for about
170-200 HP damage. Not nice. You should kill with Rising Phoenix if possible,
but if you lack it, you should be careful. Gau's MT attacks don't guarantee a
KO on multiple Anguiforms. Take them out as fast as possible with Aura Cannon,
Fang, and either Trillium (absorbs Aqua Breath and has very decent offense)
or Cloud/Ghost (Thundara slaughters any Anguiform period).

Aspiran are the trickiest. Whenever you meet them, keep hold of your precious
secondary commands as Aspiran will counter any damage not inflicted by the
Attack command with a 33 % shot at Gigavolt for about 330-350 of damage to
whatever hit him. Unless you gained more levels then you normally should, that
kills you. Counter this with your Genji Gloved character to (Cyan was the wisest
option) kill it or use Belmodar/Spritzer Rages, as they will allow Gau
to absorb Gigavolt.

This is the 'map' of the Serpent Trench and the effects it will have for you:

Monster Formation Pack # 1:
Actinian, Actinian, Actinian (3/4)
Anguiform (1/4)

Monster Formation Pack # 2
Anguiform, Actinian, Aspiran (always)

Monster Formation Pack # 3
Anguiform, Anguiform (3/4)
Actinian, Actinian, Actinian, Aspiran, Aspiran (1/4)

Start:
(Invoke Battle with # 1)

You'll get the choice of going either to the Left or to the Right. The Left
features more monsters and a certain encounter with all the creatures of the
Serpent Trench, the Right features a small cave with an X-Potion chest in it.

Left:
(Invoke Battle with # 2)
(Invoke Battle with # 3)

Right:
(Invoke Battle with # 2)
(Cave with X-Potion)

Here, the two paths will reunite. However, no battle is fought before you are
presented with yet another choice. Left again means monsters, Right again means
treasure.

Left:
(Invoke Battle with # 2)
(Invoke Battle with # 3)

Right:
(Invoke Battle with # 3)
(Cave with Green Beret. You'll have to stand on a certain tile to let the
water out in this cave so you can proceed)

After this, you'll safely reach Nikeah.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.18.2  Scenario Sabin: Nikeah
**********************************

  Container contents:
  Elixir

Nikeah is small town that thrives on their ports and ferries. There used to be
remote access to the lands of Doma, but due to a recent rockslide, the path
there is blocked (imagine, if that hadn't been the case you could've just
walked to the west for a while when it was just Sabin and you had found a way
home).

Weapon Shop:
Mythril Claws         800
Kotetsu               800
Mythril Spear         800
 You can buy another Mythril Spear here if you wish, but you won't really use
the Attack command with Edgar and the character That Might In The Future Join
You And Wield Lances To Boot will have a better weapon by then, so you can save
your money.

Armor Shop:
Heavy Shield          400
Plumed Hat            250
Magus Hat             600
Bandana               800
Iron Helm            1000
Kenpo Gi              250
Silk Robe             600
Iron Armor            700
 You should've bought everything available here a while ago, with the exception
of the Silk Robes. Buy two of them.

Item Shop:
Potion                 50
Hi-Potion             300
Echo Screen           120
Smoke Bomb            300
Green Cherry          150
Phoenix Down          500
Sleeping Bag          500
Tent                 1200
 How's your supply of Hi-Potions and Phoenix Downs looking? If you're low on
them, it's never a bad idea to stock some of them up. Also, you might want to
buy a few Smoke Bombs, as you don't have any of them right now and they could
prove useful in the future.

Relic shop:
Silver Spectacles     500
Star Pendant          500
White Cape           5000
Fairy Ring           1500
 The only thing this guy has going for him is his collection of White Capes.
You could buy one if you pulled enough Gil from your Veldt hunting (which means
over 10000 Gil), but you might as well leave him.

There's an Elixir hidden in the clock of the Inn, as always. Take it. Finally,
there's an awesome scene between Cyan and the hooker of the local Pub; you
haven't lived a satisfying life without having seen it. In the Japanese game her
position as Girl of Entertainment is stated much more blatantly, while
Sabin will state how he knows plenty about girls.

When you're done in Nikeah, strip the boys of their gear and Relics, then put
them on the ferry to South Figaro. Your scenario is over. Time for pie.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.19.1  Scenario Locke: South Figaro
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Heavy Armor (#24), Cadet (-), Merchant (-)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Iron Helm (rare Heavy Armor steal), Main Gauche (rare Merchant steal)

Locke has somehow managed to stall the actions of an entire army, safeguarding
the Returner Hideout...for now. His mission now is to get to Narshe, but South
Figaro is under strict martial law and nobody is allowed to leave, not even
Imperial Troopers themselves. But somehow, Locke has to find a way...

Preparation: Equip the Genji Glove and Gigas Glove on Locke, and stick him with
Ninja Gear and a Green Beret. Front Row for now. Obviously, if you haven't done
the Sabin scenario yet, it'll be a Genji Glove/Gigas Glove with Bandana and
Kenpo Gi. You see why it was a good idea to do Locke's scenario last?

Note: You can skip this entire section of the game by using a bug. This results
into you missing the Rare Item Cider, never obtaining Celes as a character for
the entire game and getting the Moogle Moghan and lacking Runic on Gogo when you
recruit him. I wouldn't advise it in the slightest, especially because it
forces power-leveling (Locke needs to defeat the boss by himself where he
really isn't supposed to be able to do that, and as you might know Celes needs
to solo a small bit of the game by herself). But it's a humorous alternative
really. If you want to learn exactly how to do all this:

[MOGHAN-LINK]

A Magitek Armored soldier has blocked the normal entrance to the rest of town.
There are two ways to continue:

- In the Item Shop, there's a Merchant. He insults you be stating your actual
profession, so obviously you'll need to kill him. By successfully Stealing his
item (either a Plumed Hat or a Main Gauche), you also steal his clothes. After
the battle is over, you'll be in Merchant outfit. If you just beat him up
instead of Stealing his clothes, you'll be plain Locke after the battle and
you'll have gained nothing from the brawl. Once dressed up as a Merchant, you
can go to the house of the servant (he was the waiter, to be precise) of the
richest man in town and peacefully walk through to the other side of town.

- OR, you could just bust up the Heavy Armor guarding the area. This is
extremely risky and is prone to failure if you're not slightly high-leveled. The
other way is definitely the way it was meant to be done.

Once in the rest of South Figaro, your plan is simple. Mug a soldier and walk
out of town in soldier's clothes. Remember where you found the Teleport Stone
here? Walk up the perimeter wall and go over to the three barrels. There's a
Cadet walking around. Engage in a fight with him and Steal one of his items;
once again, you'll walk off with his garment.

Another option is using a secret passage even the game designers forgot while
creating this scenario for you: there's a big building that's built over the
water here; it's the to left of the Armored trooper, and on the other side
you can see it's the Inn/Cafe. Behind the part that's built over the water is
a secret bridge you can use to walk over the water. You circumvent having to
steal from the Cadet here, and if you're a match for the Heavy Armor you can
circumvent stealing clothes entirely.

The only soldier you can convince is the one near the Chocobo stable, and the
exit is still prohibited. Oh well, might as well gather some more information
in the Pub; you learned from the soldier near the Magitek Armor that Narshe is
the next target of the Imperial Army, who knows what else you might learn?

The Pub is bustling with activity! Chatting here will tell you there's an
Imperial general held captive somewhere in South Figaro for treason, and there's
talk of a secret passage out of South Figaro from the rich man's house.
Too bad you can't enter it. But there also seems to be a secret passage from
the rich man's house to another house in town, and what house could be more
logical than the one of the servant? Better charm that old coot with some Cider
to see if he talks.

Go downstairs and you'll find the merchant who continuously brought Cider to the
old man when you first visited South Figaro with Edgar and Terra.
Obviously, he says something that will make you want to beat him up. Since
you're still in the outfit of an Imperial Soldier, you'll want to steal his
clothes again (else that kid won't let you pass). If you accidentally beat him
up, there's always a merchant waiting for homicide in one of the rooms of the
Inn.

Bring the Cider (which, by the way, is a Key Item) to the old servant and he
will reveal the existence of a secret passage. He cannot remember his own
password, nor is he willing to walk five steps to go over to his grandson and
tell him it's okay. You'll have to go downstairs and guess.

Or, I could just tell you the correct password is 'Courage'. You're in the
secret passage to the rich man's house! Once you arrive, you'll see the clock
you robbed earlier from his Elixir. If you didn't do that with Edgar and Terra,
do so now. Exit, walk around to the door, and enter. Go up to the second floor.
The right room has a girl saying something about 'Winding the Clock'. Guess
that's what the kids call it these days, eh? The left room contains a grieving
rich man, showing how capitalism ruins a man. Find the secret passage behind the
bookcase and descend.

Halfway to the basement, you will be asked to change your clothes. Doing so will
turn you back into plain Locke. It doesn't really matter what you do. Walk
on.

The next cutscene was subject to much debate. In all other versions of the game,
Celes is smacked around quite a bit by the soldier, eventually falling to the
floor. For the new GBA game, this scene was removed from all versions of the
game, including the Japanese version. Tom Slattery, the translator of the VI
Advance game for the English release, explained in an interview that this
decision was made to make the game fit the lowest maturity rating. Oh well.

If you were plain ol' Locke or in Merchant mode, you'll hide in the rafters;
if you're disguised as a soldier you'll simply give a salute.

(Locke still disguised as a trooper)
Celes: Aren't you a little short to be an Imperial trooper?
Locke: What? Oh...the uniform.

(Locke still disguised as a merchant)
Celes: What could you possible hope to pebble in a place like this?
Locke: Oops! Forgot I was still wearing these clothes.

(Locke in normal-mode)
Celes: And you are...

Since Celes is now introduced to your party, it might be a good idea to read
about her special skill, Runic: [RUNIC-LINK]

When you're done being the chivalrous young male protagonist (Final Fantasy
players should be used to that), it's time to bust out. Celes points out that
the soldier has something you want. Take it. I love how morals stop you from
progressing at this point. :P

Don't forget to equip Celes; she was wearing nothing but a Hairband. If this is
your last scenario, her equipment is best off looking like this: Great Sword/
Rune Blade, Heavy Shield, Green Beret, Silk Robe. If you haven't, it'll
be Great Sword, Heavy Shield, Plumed Hat (or Bandana if you went through the
trouble of stealing it), Leather Armor. Keep Celes in the Back Row; she'll like
it there. Walking out of the room there are two more doors for you. The second
one contains a Save Point (for Saving) and the third room is a room you
should've looted earlier. A lot of junk, a ticking clock, and a clock that isn't
ticking.

Wind it with the Clock Key, and a cabinet will move, revealing a door.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.19.2  Scenario Locke: Secret Underground Passge of South Figaro
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Commander (#25), Vector Hound (#26)

  Container contents:
  Earring, Great Sword, Heavy Shield, Hi-Ether, Iron Armor, Ribbon, X-Potion

Way to go, Locke! Not only did you find a passageway out of South Figaro, you
also won a powerful new ally. As a former general, Celes is bound to have a
huge amount of information you can use. Also, she appears to be able to cast
Magic, like Terra.

Preparation: If you haven't equipped Celes, you're in trouble.

Monster formations:
Commander, Commander, Commander (6/16)
Vector Hound, Vector Hound (5/16)
Vector Hound, Vector Hound, Commander (5/16)

The strategy here is simple: both Celes and Locke need to equipped in such a
fashion that they can both take out one enemy in one hit. Typically, that
means Celes with an Earring and the Blizzard spell and Locke with the Gigas
Glove. The Genji Glove isn't necessary unless you're level 10 or lower and
would just be harmful to your defense.

Vector Hounds are the more durable enemies, but even they should fall to a
single attack. When a Vector Hound is alone, it will Flee, so take out
Commanders first so you have to kill one less living thing. If everything looks
good, simply try to nab some extra items with Locke (nothing to get excited
about, sadly) while having Celes kill all with two MT Blizzard castings. It's
the most effective way, but don't do it all the time, as her MP isn't high
enough to take such a constant toll.

Walking through this underground passageway can be frustrating; there are a few
rooms seemingly blocked from your path. There is always a hidden path there,
though. I tried describing the locations, but since there's no real stable
point here, I failed miserably. The only pointer I can give you, though, is
the stairs leading to an even lower location; there are two chests here, one
containing a Hi-Ether and one containing an X-Potion. Below the one with the
X-Potion is a hidden chest containing a Ribbon. Be sure to grab it.
All other, more visible treasures in the passageway itself include Iron Armor,
Great Sword, an Earring, and a Heavy Shield.

Make sure to find all items. The battles can be a tad boring due to their
repetitiveness, but Locke and Celes tend to come to Narshe with the lowest
levels so the extra experience doesn't really hurt.

When you're done, you can leave. You'll see another set of stairs to the
south of the stairs you're using to escape; that's the only room you can't
gain entrance to. It's the basement of the house where Duncan's wife lives,
and should you enter the basement from her house you'll find a Save Point there
which you can't seen now.

Now you're in South Figaro again, but you have no options besides escaping.
You can talk to the Imperial Trooper who was pursuing Locke in the beginning
of the scenario, but he will be completely incapable of recognizing either
the person he was chasing a while ago and/or a famous general of his own army.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.20.1  Scenario Locke: Traveling to Figaro Cave
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Belmodar (#14), Unseelie (#15), Mu (#16)

You've finally escaped South Figaro. Now it's all about reaching Narshe,
tracking back to where you came from through the Cave of Figaro, Figaro Desert,
and into Narshe. Unlike Terra, neither Locke nor Celes are infamous in the town,
so walking into Narshe should be a piece of cake.

Preparation: Nothing new here. Keep at it. I trust you took the liberty of
equipping better equipment where you saw it fit.

Monster formations:

(Grasslands)
Belmodar (6/16)
Unseelie, Unseelie (5/16)
Mu, Mu, Unseelie (5/16)

(Forest)
Mu, Mu, Mu, Mu (6/16)
Belmodar, Mu, Mu,  (5/16)
Belmodar, Unseelie, Mu, Mu,  (5/16)

You know the drill by now. Kill with Blizzard spells and pointy knives. Belmodar
will still counter spells with Megavolt, so lay off it when you meet
one. Your goal is to reach the cave entrance to the East (Mount Koltz is still
blocked by Imperial Troopers, and you have no business going to the Returner
Hideout anyway). You can rest in Sabin's hut if you're hurt (or if the prospect
of Locke and Celes sleeping together gives you a funny feeling in your
stomach).

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.20.2  Scenario Locke: Figaro Cave
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Cartagra (#27), Acrophies (#28), Gold Bear (#29), Tunnel Armor (#283)

  Container contents:
  Ether, Thunder Rod, X-Potion

  Miscellaneous items:
  Air Knife (common Tunnel Armor steal), Elixir (guaranteed Tunnel Armor drop)

This is one of those nasty Changing Caves (caves that change). Not only do chest
contents turn into other chest contents before you can say "Glachenspiell
Gazette", monsters also change. No more inferior caterpillars who sport a
fetish for attacking you; instead, land crabs will hound your steps. No more
cycloptic furries, or even oversized bees to make your life miserable. Nay,
purple trilobites inject poison and bears straight from El Dorado wrap their
expansive paws around your neck. Danger!

Monster formations:
Cartagra, Acrophies, Acrophies (5/16)
Gold Bear, Acrophies (5/16)
Acrophies, Acrophies (5/16)
Cartagra, Cartagra, Cartagra (1/16)

Only, not really. The only thing that makes this dungeon somewhat annoying is
the fact you only have two characters. !Poison Barb is more a nuisance than
anything else (use an Antidote or the Poisona spell, whichever you seem to have
more resources for; out of battle, a Star Pendant can cure the Poison status by
equipping it and removing it), while !Numbclaw can prolong the battle. The only
strong attack you need to fear is !Gouge coming from Gold Bear, but as long as
you keep your HP up, there's no need to worry.

Both Acrophies and Cartagra fall to a single ST Blizzard spell. Acrophies also
falls to Locke's physical. Cartagras have a nasty Protect status that makes
them pull through single physicals, so let Celes concentrate on them. Gold Bear
monsters will have to be taken down with two hits unless you're high-leveled or
equipped with the Genji Glove. Cure when needed, as logic applies once again.

You know the way. You could pick up an X-Potion from the chest to the west. The
other chests will still become better later on so I'd leave them for now. The
only real choice you should make is the chest on the upper level; it's a Thunder
Rod now and will become a Hero's Ring later. The Thunder Rod can be
broken during the next boss fight, pretty much insta-killing the thing, after
which it's gone. The Hero's Ring will serve you very well in the future though.
I'd go for the Hero's Ring just because the Thunder Rod is in no way necessary
to make it through Tunnel Armor, but it's up to you.

You heard strange noises all the time. You might have mistaken this for the
rumbling of your stomach or the pleasant murmur of Russian tanks rolling
through the streets, but nothing could be less true; it was a boss following
you!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.20.3  Scenario Locke: The battle with Tunnel Armor
**********************************

Tunnel Armor
Level: 16, HP: 1300, MP: 900
Steal: Bioblaster (rare), Air Knife (common)
Win: Elixir (always)
Weakness: Lightning, Water
Special: !Drill: Attack x 2
Vulnerable to: Nothing
Attacks: Attack, !Drill, Fire, Thunder, Poison, Magitek Laser

Tunnel Armor is a scripted battle, more or less; it forces you to use Celes as
a Runic user while Locke should Attack, Attack, Attack!

Runic is a brilliant command that allows Celes to absorb most spells and a
number of enemy moves. Obviously, you've already read all about it; if you
haven't, here you go: [RUNIC-LINK]

Tunnel Armor is boring. He uses Attack, !Drill, Fire, Thunder, and Poison to
hurt you. If he hits 384 HP, he'll swap the possibility of casting Poison for
the ability to fire off Magitek Lasers. If he's been damaged, he'll sometimes
counter with Attack.

Have Celes under continual Runic during this fight. If your enemy casts a
spell, have her use it as soon as possible. If the enemy uses a physical attack,
just have Celes wait; there'll be a magical attack around the corner.
Locke should try to steal something as long as Tunnel Armor still has anything
(if you steal a second Air Knife, and Locke still has a Genji Glove with a Main
Gauche equipped, you can use the second Air Knife by equipping it mid-battle).
Have Locke use a Hi-Potion if either Locke or Celes' HP is a tad low (the
strongest attack he'll be able to successfully use is !Drill, which hits for
slightly over 100 HP worth of damage on a Genji Glove wearing, Front Row
Locke). Otherwise, he should simply attack. Eventually, you'll beat the
burrowing fiend, and you'll be good to go!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.21.1  Defending the Esper from Kefka
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Heavy Armor (#24), Fidor (#53), Corporal (#54), Hunting Hound (#55), Hell's
  Rider (#286), Kefka (#287)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Mythril Vest (common Hell's Rider Steal), Hi-Ether (common Kefka Steal),
  Elixir (rare Hells' Rider & rare Kefka Steal), Peace Ring (guaranteed Kefka
  drop), Remedy (guaranteed Hell's Rider drop)

Reality split the Returners into factions, but due to the power of Friendship
and Plot Device, they all found their way to Narshe to re-unite. And lo and
behold, it was just in time to thwart the execution of evil plans! As Locke
learned in South Figaro, a detachment from the Empire led by Kefka is planning
to do what Terra and her two companions were unable to: obtain the mysterious
Esper located in Narshe. For no particular reason at all, it was moved to the
snowy hills behind Narshe, so it is here that the seven of you will have to make
a stand. Obviously, Narshe guards will not be helping you whatsoever.

Preparation: You have an abundance of equipment and seven characters to equip
it on. I'll give a brief overview on how to treat the seven characters now
that the good relics seem surprisingly small in number:

Terra - Back Row
Great Sword
Heavy Shield
Magus Hat (if you have more than five Green Berets, equip one of them on Terra)
Silk Robe
Earring

Edgar - Back Row
Mythril Spear
Heavy Shield
Green Beret
Iron Armor

Locke - Front Row
Air Knife/Main Gauche
Air Knife/Main Gauche
Green Beret
Ninja Gear
Genji Glove

Celes - Back Row
Great Sword
Heavy Shield
Magus Hat (if you have more than six Green Berets, you psycho, equip one here)
Silk Robe

Sabin - Back Row
Mythril Claws
Buckler
Green Beret
Kenpo Gi

Cyan - Back Row
Kotetsu
Heavy Shield
Green Beret
Iron Armor

Gau - Front Row
Empty
Mythril Shield
Green Beret
Kenpo Gi
Earring

The Relics...I'll leave this one up to you. I'd really advise an Earring on Gau,
as he'll be doing monster MT magical damage. If you have Rising Phoenix,
equip an Earring on Sabin as well. Hermes Sandals are great for those you want
to attack first: either Locke (for Stealing before killing) or Gau (for killing
ASAP). Gigas Glove is nice for those you'll be doing physical with (Locke,
Cyan; NOT Edgar), and the Black Belt is only worth it on Locke.

The teams! The monster hitters at this point of the game are Edgar and Gau.
Edgar's Bioblaster, that one Tool you kept ignoring, will now hit the weak spot
of a lot of enemies here and will take them down in one hit. You can complement
him with a weaker character, so I would suggest Terra; her Fire spells are
starting to become really poor when talking damage output, and Edgar will like
the Cure spells.

Gau rules this part of the game even more than he rules most parts. He will be
doing superior MT damage when using Lesser Lopros' Fireball or Guard Leader's
Wind Slash, and is by far the best choice for both 'boss battles' you'll be
battling. Gau should be the core of your superior team, and should be
complemented by the other two characters that have things to offer besides
damage: Locke (for Steal) and Celes (for Runic).

This leaves us with Sabin and Cyan. If Sabin knows Rising Phoenix, this team
will more than make up for its lack of Cure spells; if not, this is easily the
weakest team out of the three. Both Cyan and Sabin will have sufficient ST
damage without the ability to heal beyond Hi-Potions, so they'll require your
maintenance.

As soon as you are done with equipping everybody, talk to Banon to make your
teams. My personal choice, as I've explained, is the following:

1. Edgar, Terra
2. Locke, Celes, Gau
3. Cyan, Sabin

When you're done, Kefka will appear with a frighteningly large amount of enemy
soldiers at his disposal. They will line up and start walking to you. This is
very much like defending Terra from the Guard Leader's minions; if the soldiers
reach Banon, it's Game Over. An important distinction here is that every moving
NPC here will respawn once, meaning you'll actually fight twice as many battles
as there are NPCs you see at first.Your job is to protect. Block all three
pathways to him with your three teams and have out-battle control over the one
with Sabin and Cyan (as you'll be needing to feed them Potions outside of
battle).

An alternate strategy is forming a four-headed party who rushes to Kefka ASAP.
You'll miss out on some Experience Points, and you won't be able to farm Mythril
Vests and Hi-Ethers, but it's quicker. For this mission, I would go with Locke,
Celes, Gau and either Sabin or Cyan.

Monster formations:

Green Soldiers:
Corporal, Corporal, Corporal, Corporal (3/4)
Hunting Hound, Corporal, Corporal (1/4)

Brown Soldiers:
Fidor, Corporal (3/4)
Heavy Armor, Corporal, Corporal (1/4)

Racing Brown Soldier:
Hell's Rider (always)

Kefka:
Kefka (always)

The battle strategy here is simple. If you have a strong MT character (Gau,
possibly Sabin, Edgar against Corporals), let them do their killing. Strong ST
characters (Locke with Genji Glove, Sabin, Cyan) should pick apart. Weak
offensive characters (Locke without Genji Glove, Terra, Celes) can support the
general party by Stealing and Curing.

Corporals fall to Bioblaster and are generally weak units. Avoid the Attack
command against them as their strong point is !Swing, which they'll only use to
counter Attack with.

Hunting Hounds, like their palette swaps, Flee when alone. In a Corporal x2,
Hunting Hound monster formations you can take out the Corporals and ignore the
dogs if you like.

Fidor dogs are heavily armored brutes that will probably survive single attacks
if they're not really strong ones. They only get stronger when alone (they
will start using !Pounce every time as opposed to only 33 % of the possible
times), so weaken them/kill them first before you finish of the rest. If Locke
is facing these things, he can steal a common Phoenix Down from them.

Heavy Armor are opponents you still recognize from Locke's scenario, where they
were used as more-or-less unbeatable monster you had to run around. Here, you'll
have to defeat them, which is considerably easier given the fact you
have more than one character to work with. When Celes is in your party, the
Imperial tank will recognize her and fear her magic, prompting him to use
Magitek Barrier, which sets Protect and Reflect. You weren't using Blizzard
anyway (unless you've been a naughty boy), so that shouldn't be that much of a
concern. Don't start using Cloud or Templar, though.

After the two waves of 'normal' enemies are over, there are but two opponents
left after the massacre: Hell's Rider and Kefka. Rider is surfing around Kefka
so you'll need to take him out first.

This might be a fun time to learn about your character's feelings at the moment;
you can talk to the lead characters of the teams (you can obviously
switch around). Here's what they have to say:

Terra: Kefka... Is he the one who put the slave crown on me...?
Locke: Curse the Empire! I'm not gonna let them walk all over people!
Celes: My past is behind me... I have nothing to do with the Empire now!
Edgar: Kefka...! What do you hope to gain from all this?
Sabin: It's time to put everything Master Duncan taught me to use...
Cyan: I will avenge the people of Doma!
Gau: Gau fight hard!
Banon: If they reach me, we've lost. It's all up to you!

There's no Game Over here unless you let the soldiers reach Banon, in which
case he'll go:

BANON: We've failed... This is the end...

If a team is entirely killed, the characters will find themselves with 1 HP on
the spot where the Save Point used to reside. This means that you can engage a
battle, get yourself killed, and engage again. This also means you can Steal
from what is supposed to be a single encounter time after time. Hell's Rider has
a common Mythril Vest, a piece of armor everybody can equip that is
superior to everything so far but the Ninja Gear. There's also a rare Elixir.
Kefka features the same rare Elixir and common Hi-Ethers, a superior version to
the insanely expensive Ether. I'd advise you to steal three Mythril Vests
(you'll take one Ninja Gear along) and as many Hi-Ethers as you want.
Hi-Ethers are very rare, very useful, and you're not going to get unlimited
amounts of them until the late WoR, and even then it's a huge stretch to try to
obtain them. I've dubbed it the OnionRider trick, so make me proud and mention
it wherever you go! You see, because like an onion, Hell has layers, and you
peel several Mythril Vests off of him?

Remember now, OnionRider.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.21.2  Hell's Rider
**********************************

Hell's Rider
Level: 14, HP: 1300, MP: 170
Steal: Elixir (rare), Mythril Vest (common), Win: Remedy (rare), Remedy (common)
Weakness: Fire, Poison
Special: !Silver Lance: Attack x 3
Vulnerable to: Petrify, KO, Doom, Silence, Berserk, Sleep, Slow, Stop
Attacks: Attack, !Silver Lance, Venomist, Reverse Polarity

Hell's Rider is a durable bastard who has an extremely strong physical attack in
!Silver Lance, which he also uses to counter a successful Steal attempt with.
Every fourth attack he has a 1/3 chance of using Venomist, an inaccurate MT
Poison-elemental attack that also sets the Poison status.

Gau can take him out in a single hit with Mu's Snare and the Break spell
from Darkwind and/or Commander. If you have nothing along those lines, his
Alacran's !Numb and Acrophies' !Numbclaw will stop him in his actions. If
you lack Gau (shame on you), Cyan's Tiger works great if used first, and any
combination of your strongest attacks should suffice. He can also counter any
Attack with Reverse Polarity on that character, so that's kinda silly to
do.

Now, this is, finally, the confrontation with Kefka. He enslaved Terra's mind,
set fire to castle Figaro, and destroyed Cyan's life. It's time to give him
some payback for all that he's done.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.21.3  The battle with Kefka
**********************************

Kefka
Level: 18, HP: 3000, MP: 3000
Steal: Elixir (rare), Hi-Ether (common), Win: Peace Ring (always)
Special: !Hit: Attack x 1.5
Vulnerable to: Slow, Stop
Attacks: Attack, Blizzard, Blizzara, Thunder, Poison, Drain, Confuse, Flee

Kefka is vulnerable to Stop, so have Gau Rage Alacran and/or Acrophies for best
results. Always have Runic in place, as he knows some very powerful spells
that can one-hit KO your characters when focused in an ST blast, regardless of
row. Have your other character(s) give it their best shot. Terra's Fire cannot
be used with Runic in place so she should focus on her other powers; she can
cast Magic when Celes isn't on Runic stand-by or simply wield the Rune Blade to
some very nice result. Locke should Attack, Edgar should unload his Auto
Crossbow, Sabin relies on good old Aura Cannon, Cyan can use Fang or his fourth
Bushido, Flurry, if he has access to it, and that's about it. The battle is
slightly anti-climactic when you consider the implications of it, but you'll
pull through. When Kefka is defeated, he'll manage to escape (leaving behind a
swanky new, Peace Ring).

And that was that.

Terra leaves behind the equipment she had on her, thoughtfully.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.22.1  Narshe
**********************************

  Container contents:
  5000 Gil, Earring, Elixir, Hyper Wrist, Reflect Ring, Thief's Bracer, Thief's
  Knife

  Miscellaneous items:
  Ice Rod (rare Specter steal)

After killing the main part of their defensive force in the beginning of the
game and being denied entrance two times in subsequent parts, it is finally
time to embrace all that Narshe has to offer. It is quite a city indeed. To
the west, there are the caves where the Moogles live. To the north are the
coalmines and the passageway leading into the snowy mountains where you
protected the Esper. The city itself, independent as it is, has many great
items to offer you.

This is the first time you have to make a choice between your seven characters.
Whom to take, whom to leave behind? Since it mostly depends on personal
preference, I will write from now on knowing that you could have every character
combination possible (although I will expect you to have four party
members).

As far as best characters at this point go, I'll do my best:

Edgar buys two great new Tools in a short while, which definitely beat all
other options. Edgar is a must-have at this point in the game.

Sabin should reach level 15 if he hadn't already and learn Rising Phoenix, a
great MT attack that puts the significant hurt on pretty much everything.

Gau is an offensive maniac at this point, only hindered by the fact he only
uses the Awesome Attack 50 % of the time. However, he does have access to stuff
like auto-Protect, !Cat Scratch, Bio, and !Numbclaw. If you found even one third
of the Rages I recommended earlier, Gau is a much better choice then
whatever is left.

I'd definitely recommend these three characters for this scenario, as they'll
have the easiest time coming through. If you didn't pick any of Gau's Rages,
though, his only saving grace is Zaghrem, which frankly, still puts him above
Cyan but doesn't make him superior to Locke and Celes.

Celes is a nice addition to your team as a Cure user. You have all the
offensive power you could ever need with Flash (Edgar's new MT damage Tool) and
Rising Phoenix, so the fact she can't really damage stuff efficiently doesn't
hurt her case. She'll also make a fine asset to the boss battle of the scenario,
although nowhere near the usefulness of a good Raged-up Gau with
Alacran or Acrophies.

Locke doesn't have any offensive power to bring to your team either, but his
purpose is the Steal command (obviously). There are quite a few rare Steals
that are worth your time, and where Celes heals with Cure, Locke simply adds
an extra restorative item to your team in every battle.

Cyan is the worst character right now. The only thing he can do is offense,
and not only do you not need it, Bushidos are horrible at this part of the
game. Fang is so-so and while Cyan learns Flurry, you either have to
charge it up while the Figaro Brothers attack (in which case there's nothing
to Slam left in most cases) or while all other characters are on hold, which
disrupts the flow of the battle. Also, Flurry is far inferior to Flash
and Rising Phoenix (although it makes an above-average ST attack, for all that's
worth).

Finally, you *could* choose to leave Narshe with only three characters and pick
up an old 'friend' in Kohlingen: Shadow. Shadow will randomly leave you
throughout the entire scenario, and is therefore a risky investment. I would
only consider him when playing on an emulator (in which case I'd still pick
Locke over him). Battle-wise, Shadow is a straight offense man. Very acceptable
ST damage still comes from Thrown Shuriken, and he has extremely strong MT
damage at the cost of 500 Gil a toss (you can obtain elemental scrolls in
Kohlingen as well, but they are very expensive at 500 Gil a piece).

In the end, my personal recommendation is a team consisting of Edgar, Sabin,
Gau, and Locke. If you're playing on an emulator, Locke is an even better
addition as you have control over what he steals (just abuse those Save
States). On a console, it's really a personal toss-up between Locke and
Celes.

Weapon Shop:
Great Sword           800
Mythril Claws         800
Kotetsu               800
Mythril Spear         800
Air Knife             950
Chain Flail          2000
Moonring Blade       2500
 New weapons here include the Chain Flail and the Moonring Blade. The Chain
Flail is a weapon for Terra and Celes; Terra is gone and Celes will still do
more damage with and Blizzard spell than with the Chain Flail. It's an entirely
useless weapon, but you might want to buy it for completeness' sake. It deals
the same amount of damage from the back row, so it has that going for it, but
since the possible wielder at this point (Celes) loses the ability to Runic and
shouldn't be attacking anyway, it's still a moot point. Blizzard spells do cost
MP where a Chain Flail attack does not, so in theory (when you're stupid), it
could have its use. The Moonring Blade is a weapon for Locke that allows him to
do full damage from the Back Row; a superior weapon without this feature can be
found somewhere else. I'd buy one, as you may want to use it.

Armor Shop:
Mythril Shield       1200
Magus Hat             600
Bandana               800
Iron Helm            1000
Silk Robe             600
Iron Armor            700
 Finally, Mythril Shields for everybody! Buy one for the entire team (as in:
your current team of four characters and you probably already have one). All
other items were previously obtainable.

Relic Shop:
Sprint Shoes         1500
Jeweled Ring         1000
Fairy Ring           1500
Barrier Ring          500
Mythril Glove         700
Knight's Code        1000
 The first Relic shop that sells those crappy near-death Protect/Shell relics!
If you must do anything in this shop, I suggest you mock the owner of the relic
shop. Do not leave this place with at least three Relics that protect against
the Stone status (a Ribbon is one, Jeweled Rings for the rest).

Item Shop:
Potion                 50
Hi-Potion             300
Ether                1500
Gold Needle           200
Phoenix Down          500
Smoke Bomb            300
Sleeping Bag          500
Tent                 1200
 Especially if you don't bring Celes, Hi-Potions might come in handy, so keep an
eye out for your stock. Phoenix Downs are ever useful, so make sure you have
a few of those to throw around if necessary.

Hidden Items: In the clock in the Elder's House, you'll find an Elixir. A
helpful peasant allows you to take his stuff. While normally that'd include
such useless trinkets as paled paintings and broken silverware, what will be
offered here is very nice indeed: in the small shack, you'll find the following:
5000 Gil, a Thief's Knife, an Earring, a Reflect Ring, a Thief's
Bracer and a Hyper Wrist. The Thief's Knife is Locke's superior weapon I was
talking about. The Thief's Bracer doubles his Steal success rate; the treasure
hunter is quite hyped at this point!

If you walk to the north, where you entered the coalmines to find the Esper
with Terra and co., you'll catch a glimpse of a being, dressed in white fur.
Maybe at some point in the future you'll learn who, or what, it is.

Remember that elusive battle formation you hunted for in the caves of Narshe,
the one with Specter and Eukaryote from the security checkpoint? Well, guess
what: Specter has a rare Ice Rod for you to steal, and with Locke, you finally
have access to it. Granted, without an emulator the odds are far too small, but
while the Ice Rod is a weapon you cannot currently equip on anybody, you can
break it for massive damage in battle, and it's nice to have at this point.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.23.1  Traveling to Kohlingen and optional trip to the Veldt
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Leaf Bunny (#7), Darkwind (#8), Sand Ray (#9), Alacran (#10)

Terra flew off. Not only do you personally care for her well being, she is still
a key player in your struggle against the Empire; she must be retrieved
or it will be a major setback for the Returners. Witnesses say they a soaring
light, heading west... The western continent is accessible with Figaro Castle,
the subterranean taxi. It's time to split your team between those who will seek
Terra, and those who stay behind should the Empire attempt another attack to
obtain the Esper. And now, you travel...

Preparation: I'm not going to bother listing the enemies to Figaro Castle this
time, as they only things they'll be able to do by now are rolling over and
dying. You have three Earrings now; split them between those of your party who
can use it (Sabin, Gau, and Edgar). Celes' damage will be subpar anyway, so
trying to make something out of it will be a waste of Earrings. If you have
the Genji Glove, Locke and Cyan (in that order) will benefit from it, possibly
paired with a Black Belt (although you'll want to equip that Thief's Bracer on
Locke).

-There is one small 'side-quest' you can perform before going further to
Kohlingen and beyond, and that's taking Gau back to the Veldt to have him learn
some new Rages. The two new Rages of interest are Anguiform and Aspiran.
Anguiform performs Aqua Breath, which although weaker than Wind Slash on
multiple targets, will nail the weakness of much more monsters later on.
Aspiran, whose Gigavolt is an obscenely strong magical attack that sometimes
goes MT (far surpassing Aqua Breath and Wind Slash in that aspect) or ST (far
surpassing...anything. For comparison, it's almost as strong as a Fira
spell...when the latter is HITTING A WEAKNESS). It's not entirely necessary as
Gau's attacks are already stronger than whatever your other characters are
capable of, and there will be a more rewarding time for Gau to visit the Veldt
in the near future, but it never hurts to boost offense.

To visit the Veldt, take the Cave to South Figaro and pass through Mt. Koltz.
You'll find the Returner Hideout again, and in Banon's Room, you can find the
hidden passage to the raft. Jump on it, and after the same battles you had to
fight earlier, you'll now take the path Sabin took when he drifted off. You
find yourself near the hut of the crazy man again. Walk to and through the
Phantom Forest (no Imperial Camp or Phantom Train this time) and jump down
Baren Falls (no battles here either). You're on the Veldt now. Leap around
until you're satisfied. Jump down the Serpent Trench and wind up in Nikeah.
Take the ferry to South Figaro and you're on known territory. Oh yeah, and
you're smuggled out of South Figaro in a chest; that never ceases to amuse the
kids.

Weapon Shop:
Auto Crossbow         250
Noiseblaster          500
Bioblaster            750
Flash                1000
Drill                3000
 In Figaro Castle, there are new Tools for sale! Flash is a non-elemental MT
magical attack, so your Earrings on Edgar will shine even more. Drill is an
attack like Fang, Raging Fist, and Shuriken; physical, barrier-piercing, and
non-elemental. Drill beats Fang and Raging Fist in power, though. Since Edgar
is king, you can put him as the lead character to obtain a discount; the
merchant will whine regardless but will ONLY give a discount of Edgar is your
leader. If you lack Edgar in your party but have Sabin, the merchant will
notice even that...but regardless of Sabin's position, no discount for you.

At this stage, the Meteor Strike Blitz will start becoming more dangerous than
Aura Cannon when Sabin is without Earrings. With Earrings, the damage difference
is marginal, but you'll want to get used to using Meteor Strike when
only one monster is on the battlefield (it will do double damage when only one
target remains).

On Meteor Strike: Code-wise, it would be better to say that it deals half
damage when more than one opponent is on the battlefield. However, since
Meteor Strike can never target more than one opponent at a time, it would seem
like it deals double damage when only target is around, and that's also how at
least one Square-approved piece of media.

Cyan will learn Flurry on level 15. The charge time becomes noticeable now,
and the result, four hits on random targets whose total add up to be the same
as Drill's damage, is hardly worth it. I would advise Cyan to stick to Fang
and Attack (Fang is slightly stronger, but Genji Glove Attack is targetable).

If you take either Edgar or Sabin to Figaro Castle, this will draw a reaction
from them:

Edgar: Sabin should come back here with me one time... (should Sabin still be
in Narshe)
Sabin: Ah, this is just like old times! I'm gonna wander around for a bit!

If you go sleep at the Inn of Figaro Castle with both Edgar and Sabin, the
tragic past of the Figaro Throne will be revealed in a touching scene. There's
a more logical moment to see this scene in the future though, so I'll list it
then.

When you're done, have the man in the room left from the entrance ship you to
Kohlingen.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.24.1  Kohlingen
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Sand Ray (#9), Alacran (#10), Fossil Dragon (#56), Vulture (#57), Iron Fist
  (#58), Bloodfang (#59), Rock Wasp (#60), Paraladia (#61)

  Container contents:
  Elixir, Green Beret

You've safely arrived on the other side of the mountains, on an exciting new
continent. Oh, the monsters!

Monster formations:

(Grasslands)
Bloodfang, Vulture, Bloodfang (6/16)
Bloodfang, Bloodfang (5/16)
Vulture, Vulture (5/16)

(Forest)
Paraladia, Paraladia, Rock Wasp, Rock Wasp, Rock Wasp (6/16)
Paraladia, Vulture, Iron Fist (5/16)
Iron Fist, Iron Fist, Rock Wasp, Rock Wasp (5/16)

(Desert)
Sand Ray, Alacran, Alacran (6/16)
Fossil Dragon (5/16)
Sand Ray, Sand Ray (5/16)

I'll explain about the monsters when you need to cross the Overworld Map in
earnest.

Kohlingen is a nice town without anything significantly wrong with it. It
doesn't house any gargantuan frozen serpents, it's not being overrun by the
Empire, it doesn't consist of hunters, dogs, and Mickey Mouse Club rejects;
Kohlingen is your average village where the sun shines and the grass grows (the
non-narcotic kind). But since that doesn't attract any tourists, you'll quickly
notice that Kohlingen houses crazy people, preserves dead people, and has
assassins in every Inn, not unlike whatever the hell the Russians did to
Moscow after Lenin died.

Weapon Shop:
Air Knife             950
Chain Flail          2000
Moonring Blade       2500
Shuriken               30
Flame Scroll          500
Water Scroll          500
Lightning Scroll      500
Invisibility Scroll   200
 On actual weapons, they have nothing new for you. What is interesting is the
fact you can buy scrolls here (yes, they are scrolls. Ninja scrolls. I know
that sounds like 'Dental Plan of Doom' or 'Waffle of Power', but they are
actual Ninja scrolls. I can't help it). At 500 Gil a piece, they are really too
expensive for you to buy in mass amounts. If you chose to hire Shadow, buy a
few Flame Scrolls. All three are equal in power and only differ in their
element, and the Fire-elemental ones are just the most useful.

A note on the scolls for those interested: ninja magic/ninjutsu is a factor in
earlier and later FF games, but since this game only offers a single secondary
ability to every character, the game designers decided to relate Shadow's
ninjutsu abilities to items and have him use them with his Throw command, even
though you don't really throw scrolls.  Since Shadow is one of the two
characters (next to Cyan) who is almost exclusively based on Japanese warfare
culture, I'll give some translations of his techniques.

                        Japanese name       Direct translation

Flame Scroll            Katon               Fire release
Water Scroll            Suiton              Water release
Lightning Scroll        Raijin              Swift Lightning
Shadow Scroll           Kage Bunshin        Shadow Clone
Invisibility Scroll     Konoha Gakure       Hiding in leaves

...believe it!

Armor Shop:
Mythril Shield       1200
Magus Hat             600
Bandana               800
Twist Headband       1600
Iron Helm            1000
Silk Robe             600
Iron Armor            700
 The only new item of interest here is the Twist Headband. The Twist Headband is
a ridiculously expensive helmet that is inferior to the Green Beret. If you
have any characters that can equip it without having a Green Beret for them,
you might consider buying one (Note that you'll get another Green Beret
somewhere in this city).

Item Shop:
Hi-Potion             300
Ether                1500
Holy Water            300
Antidote               50
Green Cherry          150
Phoenix Down          500
Sleeping Bag          500
Tent                 1200
 If you brought Locke instead of Celes, this might be a good time to make sure
your amount of Hi-Potions doesn't drop to one-digit levels. Never travel without
less than 5 Phoenix Downs and less than 20 Hi-Potions, as they're always useful.
The most important are the Holy Waters; carry a few at ALL times, as the Zombie
status they cure can only be healed by Tents and Holy Water and Tents are just a
waste to use just for that.

Hidden Items: In Rachel's House, there is an Elixir in the clock. If you want
the Elixir with Locke in your party without having to see the scene, know that
the scene is triggered when you cross the tile directly in front of you after
you've entered the house. You can walk around it if you want to.

To the northwest is Rachel's House, who has a history with Locke. If Locke is
in your party, you'll learn more about his tragic past. If he isn't, you will
learn NOTHING, like you always do when you make mistakes.

Locke: I... I couldn't protect her...
(switch to a cave. Locke and a girl are walking through it)
Rachel: Locke! What are we off to find today?
Locke: It's almost your...
Locke: There's supposed to be an amazing treasure hidden somewhere in this
mountain. We're gonna find it!
(Locke crosses a wooden bridge, but it starts to collapse underneath him.)
Rachel: Locke! Look out!
Locke: RACHEL!!!
(Locke jumps down)
(switch to Rachel's house. Rachel is lying in bed, Locke is standing next to
her)
Locke: Rachel! Are you awake?
(Rachel gets up out of bed)
Rachel: ... ...? I... I can't remember anything...
(switch to the outside of Rachel's house. Locke is thrown out. A man appears in
the doorway)
Rachel's Father: Get out of my house! It's your fault Rachel lost her memory!
Locke: Wait! Just let me talk to her...!
(Rachel appears as well)
Rachel: Please, just go away! I don't know who you are, but my parents get upset
whenever you come here!
(Locke is standing outside of Rachel's house, alone. A man with the appearance
of an outlaw walks up to him)
Rachel would be better off without you hanging around, Locke. She's going to
have to make a new start of it. With you here, she can't even do that...
(Locke slowly walks off, out of town)

Back to the present:

Locke: "A year went by... When I finally returned, I found out that Rachel had
been killed in an Imperial attack. Her memory had returned just before she died.
The last thing she said was...my name. I never should have left her side. I... I
failed her..."

To the northeast, there is a large mansion that houses two points of interest.
If you sneak through the back entrance (you'll see the door when you're in the
house, and you can walk around the house to find the hidden door there), you'll
find a Green Beret hidden there (the chest is visible, but barely; it's hidden
behind the armor).

If you descend to the cellar, you'll meet a crazy man who apparently keeps a
body lying around, preserving it. Since the necrophilia jokes are all too
obvious, I won't make them. It IS an interesting fact that there are FOUR scenes
where an old man watches over a lifeless body of a girl. But I digress;
if you have Locke, you can add some more story to him, and Celes will make a
short but important star performance when she's also in your party.

(Upon entry)
"Oh, Locke! It's been a while! Ages even! Oh, that? Worry not, worry not! Your
treasure's quite safe! Hee-hee-hee..."

(When examining Rachel's body)
"It's a good thing I'd just happened to have finished this herbal concoction
back then! Now she'll never age a day! Hee-hee-hee... Had to use my herbs, I
did! Couldn't very well refuse with you begging me like that...
(cut to a flashback in the very same room)
Locke: You're sure the stuff will work?
Of course, of course! The love of your life will sleep here just like this
forever... ...and ever...and ever! Hee-hee-hee...
Locke: If there were a way to...call her spirit back...
A way to call her back, eh? ...You mean like that legendary treasure? Hee-hee-
hee... Oh yes, I suppose if you had that...you might be able to bring her
around! Gwee-hee-hee-hee!"
(End flashback)

I... failed her...
(Exit Locke. All team members follow him out)

If Celes is present:
(Celes comes back, takes a look at Rachel, and bows her head)
Celes: Locke...

He will refuse to divulge the secret when you lack Locke, though:

"That? Oh, that's Locke's... ...Dear me, I almost spilled the beans!
Hee-hee-hee..."

In the Inn, there's Shadow waiting for you! For 3000 Gil, he will offer to join
your team as long as there's room for him (otherwise, he'll simply tell you to
piss off). His merit in this scenario has been discussed earlier; I just want to
stress again that Shadow might leave you at all times after every battle, taking
your equipment with him. His level, however, has been adjusted to the average
level of all recruited characters (but not Terra). Also, you now have finally
access to the infamous Shadow's Dreams! If you want to learn about them, go to
the end of the document where I talk about them.

A burned house here is inaccessible. A 'glowing monster' destroyed it; it
seems Terra made a visit to Kohlingen and flew off again. But where? No sense
doubting, as there's really only one place to go. A random NPC saying that the
strange, glowing creature left to the south removes any hesitation you might
have. We're off to Jidoor, to the South.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.25.1  Traveling to Jidoor
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Sand Ray (#9), Alacran (#10), Fossil Dragon (#56), Vulture (#57), Iron Fist
  (#58), Bloodfang (#59), Rock Wasp (#60), Paraladia (#61)

  Container contents:
  Hero's Ring

While searching for Terra, you were told Terra went to Jidoor. But reaching
Jidoor is not an easy task, as the road to Jidoor is a long and dangerous one.

Preparation: Since you didn't really improve equipment-wise, stick to what you
know.

Monster formations:

(Grasslands to the North)
Bloodfang, Vulture, Bloodfang (6/16)
Bloodfang, Bloodfang (5/16)
Vulture, Vulture (5/16)

(Grasslands to the South)
Iron Fist, Iron Fist, Rock Wasp, Rock Wasp (6/16)
Vulture, Iron Fist (5/16)
Rock Wasp, Rock Wasp, Rock Wasp, Rock Wasp (5/16)

(Forest)
Paraladia, Paraladia, Rock Wasp, Rock Wasp, Rock Wasp (6/16)
Paraladia, Vulture, Iron Fist (5/16)
Iron Fist, Iron Fist, Rock Wasp, Rock Wasp (5/16)

(Desert)
Sand Ray, Alacran, Alacran (6/16)
Fossil Dragon (5/16)
Sand Ray, Sand Ray (5/16)

Before you go all the way to Jidoor, let's take a look at some features this
part of the game provides! A man in Kohlingen told you about his brother to
the north, at Dragon's Neck, who dreams of building a coliseum. You'll want to
pay this so-called lunatic a visit, as one of his buckets houses an ever-so-
precious Hero's Ring, a ring featuring the image of a roaring lion. It is a
Gigas Glove and an Earring combined. They work on every character, but are
especially nice on those who use both magical and physical attacks, such as
Edgar and Gau.

The desert is dangerous! While most battles will just feature the same critters
you faced on the other side of the mountains, you're more than likely to meet
a Fossil Dragon before long. These undead dragons have witnessed their own bones
bleaching in the sun, being polished by the never-ending sand storms of
the desert. They have a fatal attack in !Bone (for which you'll need a Holy
Water to cure), and Sandstorm is a nasty attack that deals about 200 HP worth
of damage to your entire party. It's easily evaded, but at this point, your
team isn't going to avoid an old man in a wheelchair, so watch out. Beating one
will get you 1870 Gil though, so it's worth the challenge if you're low on
cash. The easiest way to take care of them is using a Phoenix Down or Holy Water
(you can buy three Phoenix Downs or six Holy Waters from one battle, so
it's a feasible strategy that goes easy on the wallet), but if you lack those,
it's up to your most powerful attacks. Steal a Phoenix Down/Holy Water with
Locke, Drill a hole with Edgar, Sabin can deliver massive pain with Aura Cannon
(it's super-effective), Celes can make little difference regardless besides an
MT Cure when a Sandstorm attack kicks in, Cyan can use Tiger early on or
deliver a Fang later, and Gau's Dark Side, Anguiform, Templar and Mu are
extremely effective.

In the forest near the would-be Coliseum is a Chocobo Stable. If you don't
feel like traveling and doing battle, you can always rent one here and reach
Jidoor on a whim. To be honest, the monsters here, as well as their
corresponding Rages (excluding Rock Wasp, which only appear near Jidoor
anyway), are worth crap so you're not really missing out.

The grasslands and forests are littered by useless enemies who are just waiting
for you to kick their Attack/!Special asses. The most dangerous ones are Iron
Fists, crazy monks gone wild. Wild for BEADS! When they're alone they will use
Stone, a horrid spell that not only will do 8 times as much damage to you when
you're the same level as the caster (in Iron Fist's case, 15) but will also
Confuse anything that survives it. If you're level 15 and are hit with Stone,
you die (it's over 1300 HP worth of damage, folks). If you're not and you're
still hit, you go medieval with Auto Crossbow, Rising Phoenix, Wind Slash, and
whatnot on your own party members. You'll want to avoid this scenario at all
costs; kill Iron Fists first. Two legs bad.

All other enemies are generally unassuming. Bloodfang and Paraladia can poison
you, so watch out, and give them priority over Rock Wasp bugs. These simple
pests prolong the battle by putting you to sleep. They're easy enemies and
you should destroy them.

Rising Phoenix and Flash rule supreme as heavy-hitting MT spells that can either
seriously weaken or kill anything they touch with consistent effort.
Wind Slash, Gigavolt, and Aqua Breath performed by Gau are going to kill
everything when they occur. Let these characters do the hitting and have other
characters run utility work. Celes can absorb Shamshir with Runic, so you might
want to have her ready with it, should those two meet. Locke can Steal some
rather uninteresting healing potions and Cyan can waste time in your party.
That may seem harsh, but I told you this would be the case, so you obviously
brought him along to do just that :) There's a peninsula to the south of
Jidoor, leading to a sole building. This is the Opera House, and it's closed.
Closed. No, it's closed. Honest.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.25.2  Jidoor
**********************************

  Container contents:
  Ether

Remember that day? Remember that day you went to visit your aunt's eccentric and
rich sister, who had those beautiful crystal-like glasses you wanted to
have so very, very bad? And remember when you told your mom and she told you
that you would never ever earn enough money to buy one, no matter how hard you
tried?

This is like a city full of those rich sisters, but this time you *can't* punch
them in the face and take what you like from them.

Weapon Shop:
Kiku-Ichimonji       1200
Kaiser Knuckles      1000
Kodachi              1200
Moonring Blade       2500
Flame Scroll          500
Water Scroll          500
Lightning Scroll      500
Shadow Scroll         400
 New weapons! The Kaiser Knuckles are new weapons for Sabin, and they're
Holy-elemental. Aside from being fairly legendary throughout a lot of Final
Fantasy games, they're also somewhat, but not entirely, useless. I do suggest
you pick up two of them, as there will be one scenario where they will come in
handy.

Kiku-Ichimonji are new Knives for Cyan. If you have Cyan in your party, you
probably made a Genji Glover/Black Belt out of him; two Kiku-Ichimonji improve
his usefulness. Kodachi blades for Shadow; disregarding the fact you're unlikely
to actually have him on the team, the fact any Thrown Shuriken will surpass any
held blade in damage will make sure the Thief's Knife is superior to equip. May
be less of a non-factor if you brought Locke AND Shadow and have felt the
necessity to equip the Thief's Knife on the treasure hunter.

Armor Shop:
Mythril Shield       1200
Twist Headband       1600
Mythril Vest         1200
Ninja Gear           1100
White Dress          2200
 Jidoor sells expensive new stuff. First and foremost, you'll notice Mythril
Vests for sale. You should already have enough of them, but if you don't have
enough to keep the Cyans and Edgars in your party pleased, you could get some.
The Ninja Gear was thus far an exclusive item you kinda forgot to return to
Shadow when he left, but it's likely the majority of your party can enjoy
this thing. Finally, the White Dress: if you have money, buy two. The White
Dress kicks ass, giving a hefty Magic Boost and solid Magic Defense.

Relic Shop:
Peace Ring           3000
Barrier Ring          500
Mythril Glove         700
Earring              5000
Knight's Code        1000
Sniper Eye           3000
 This if the first time you can buy noteworthy nice Relics! Earrings are for
sale in Jidoor. After the many new weapons, potions, scrolls, whatever, it's
unlikely you have a lot of money to spare. If your party can really use a third
Earring (say, if you brought Gau, Edgar, Sabin, and Celes), consider
buying one.

Item Shop:
Hi-Potion             300
Ether                1500
Antidote               50
Gold Needle           200
Holy Water            300
Phoenix Down          500
Echo Screen           120
Tent                 1200
 Stock up on stuff you feel like you need. It's very simple!

Hidden Items: All the way to the north is a massive mansion that wouldn't
really stand out as an attraction in a cheesy amusement park (where,
surprisingly, nobody really amuses him/herself). There's an Ether in a bucket.

Time to explore the town! There's precious little to explore, actually; like
actual rich people, it's all appearance and little content. Remember the huge
mansion to the north; the owner of it is Owzer, a famous art lover. The Auction
House is closed for the time being; a convenient plot device employed to tell
you that whatever you can buy here shouldn't be available yet. The NPCs are
generally useless here, but there are three points of interesting to derive from
them:

*1 Terra apparently headed north, into the mountains. That's where Zozo is.
*2 People in Zozo lie. They lie!
*3 The inhabitants of Zozo also steal.

Why would Terra use her newfound ability to travel by air to go to what sounds
like the slums of Jidoor, detached, full of American Presidents? It will
forever be a mystery. Or not, because you're about to find out.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.26.1  Zozo
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Iron Fist (#58), Harvester (#62), Hill Gigas (#63), Gobbledygook (#64), Veil
  Dancer (#65), Dadaluma (#288)

  Container contents:
  Brigand's Glove, Burning Fist, Chainsaw, Ether x2, Hermes Sandals, Hi-Potion,
  Potion, X-Potion

  Miscellaneous items:
  Dragoon Boots (rare Harvester steal), Thief's Bracer (rare Dadaluma steal),
  Thief's Knife (rare Dadaluma drop & rare Veil Dancer steal), Gigas Glove (rare
  Hill Gigas steal)

  Magicite:
  Cait Sith, Kirin, Ramuh, Siren

Upon entry of Zozo, the image you had of it quickly abandons you. You expected
poor people; you encounter pure madness. Staggering through the buildings are
madmen mumbling about minutes, hours, and seconds. The exotic dancers wield
arcane spells no human is to possess. Bulking giants attack you, shaking the
ground with every 20-ton step. Corpses rot on the street. Towering
constructions reach into the sky. And somewhere in this chaos, Terra is waiting
for you.

Preparation: You should've equipped all new pieces of armor before entry. If you
have Gau in your party, make sure his first Rage is something Float inducing
such as Ghost, Lesser Lopros, Aspiran, or Hornet. It will protect at least him
from the dreaded Magnitude 8 you may encounter here. Save. Zozo is the most
dangerous place you'll set foot into for a while, so make sure you're not caught
with yer shorts down.

Monster formations:

(Outside)
Gobbledygook, Gobbledygook, Gobbledygook, Gobbledygook (5/16)
Hill Gigas (5/16)
Harvester, Gobbledygook, Gobbledygook (5/16)
Hill Gigas, Harvester (1/16)

(Inside)
Veil Dancer (5/16)
Veil Dancer, Harvester, Harvester (5/16)
Harvester (5/16)
Veil Dancer, Gobbledygook, Gobbledygook, Gobbledygook (1/16)

First off, how to treat the enemies here. It's incomprehensible why these
cretins wield destructive power of Magic; there's certainly not a plot-related
explanation given. But regardless, these inhabitants aren't going to give you
random advice, allow you to raid their homes and take 300 Gil they contained in
that bucket for over three generations, or sell you new stuff. They are here to
kill you. It's up to you, but I'd say we kill them right back.

Veil Dancers should be your first concern, period. If they are alone, they start
casting Fira, Blizzara, or Thundara. Always. A focused ST level 2 spell
will probably kill a character. An MT spell will hurt your entire party more
than anything you've encountered so far. Take them out ASAP when they're alone.
If they come with other opponents, try to see if you can steal more Thief's
Knives from them and then end their lives.

Hill Gigas is your second large concern. They just hit stuff, hard. If you keep
your HP up, they're not going to kill you, but keep in mind that a weakened
character can quickly fall victim to a devastating physical blow like the ones
Hill Gigas delivers. If you kill one, there's a 33 % chance they will end
things with a Magnitude 8 attack. This hurts about as much as an MT level 2
spell, and since I just spent quite some words detailing the fact you want to
avoid that at all costs, know that once again this is the case. You can avoid
this fate by changing the giant into an Imp with Celes, or let him sink in a
Snare attack, only employable by a well-trained Gau. Darkwind is also an
efficient way of dealing with the wall of muscle, but Break won't stop the
Magnitude 8 attack. Cross your fingers and make sure you have four Potions or
Celes' Cure spell ready.

Harvesters are next. They're weak fighters, but when allowed to take a third
turn, they will use Shadow's Throw technique to hurl either a Dagger or a
Mythril Knife at you. This is crazy high ST damage that's likely to take a
character down in one shot. It ignores defense and Row, so if you see it, you're
in trouble. The only way to dodge around these flying blades of death is
the Invisible status.

And that's where our fourth and final random encounter comes in! Gobbledygook
are Zozo's cannon fodder; useless pieces of Hit Points that run into your sharp
objects and die from them. Compared to their fellow monsters here, they are
doubly pathetic. They serve a grand purpose, though. If you have any means of
setting Confuse, use it! Edgar's Noiseblaster is far and entirely superior to
Gau's Zaghrem Rage (Stone), but if you lack Edgar, you have precious little
choice should you want to employ this. A confused Gobbledygook has a 33 % chance
of casting Vanish at a random character of yours. The Invisible status
remains after battle and makes you immune to all physical attacks sent your
way, including items Thrown by Harvester. Two characters under Invisible is
good, three is grand, but four is generally unconceivable as you can't control
which character gets to be the target, and a Vanish spell on an Invisible
target is just going to remove the status.

So, welcome to Zozo! If you walk a bit into the town, you'll notice there are
three buildings here. The one you passed is the smaller building, which has some
treasure on top. The door says 'Cafe'. All the way to the north is a small
building with only a clock to set. The final and remaining tower is what could
be defined as the main dungeon, a construction even Gaudi didn't dare dream of.
Twisted, man. I'll call the three buildings the Small Tower, the Chainsaw Tower
and the High Tower, for readability. Not that hard.

Enter the Small Tower first. A Zozo crook shouts gibberish over his counter.
Ignore him and continue to ascend. You'll meet a split here: a door to the left
and one to the right. The left one takes you nowhere, like studying philosophy.
The right one takes you outside, where you climb a frightening stairway to the
next level. Here, the left door is rusted shut and the right one opens to reveal
an Ether. Now, you can track back!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.26.2  Chainsaw Riddle and Zozo continued
**********************************

The Chainsaw Tower is the one you were meant to explore last. The trick is
that there is a mysterious clock; its time you can set. By collecting clues
from the Zozo inhabitants, you could discover the time you needed to unlock a
secret treasure. Here are all the clues you can find:

That clock doesn't have a minute hand. Of course, it never points to the right
time, anyway!

(This 'that clock' means the one nearby. Examining it will get you the message,
'The clock's hand is pointing at the 2...')

The second hand on my watch is pointin' at 30.
The seconds? They're divisible by 20!
My watch's second hand is pointing at the 4.
Time, you say? It's 4:00.
Don't listen to the others! Trust me, it's 8:00!
Oh, it's 10:00! I'd better be getting home.
It's already 12:00.
It's 2:00.

With the options presented to you when trying to set the clock to the right
time, it's clear that the hour must be 6:00, as all other options are stated
by lying Zozo pigs. The seconds are NOT divisible by 20, and it's not 0:00:30.
The minutes can be narrowed to only one option; the man who tells you there is
no minute hand on THAT clock proceeds to say it isn't on the right time. Talking
to the clock will reveal that the (minute) hand is standing on the two,
i.o.w. 0:10.

At any rate, after some trying here and there, it's clear that the real time is
either 6:10:10 or 6:10:50. Regardless, after you've tried one of them you know
what the real answer is: 6:10:50. When you reset the time to match this, a wall
will slide away to reveal another pathway to a chest containing the Chainsaw.
It's a powerful new Tool for Edgar that is basically Drill on crack with the
annoying 25 % tendency to try to go for an instant-kill, which has a small
chance of missing, and always misses against targets immune to one-hit KO.
For a comparison between Chainsaw and Drill, go to the end of this document
and search for the 8.2 section.

Now, for the High Tower! It's the one to the southwest, with the Relic shop
logo above the entrance. When you enter, another politician in the making is
waiting for you to listen to his crap. Leave him. You take a stairway outside
to enter the second level, where cycloptic thieves run rampant. There are a
total of seven of them, repeating themselves in an endless polonaise of decay
and horror. Walk amongst them to leave. Now you're outside again!

At the end of the first set of stairs, you can face south and be asked if you
want to use the Crane. Using the Crane will simply let you descend to the
previous level. The Crane was probably installed so you could easily return to
the ground without having to wade through the thieves. Maybe the designers
figured it would in fact be impossible to return by those means; by clever
navigational skills it's very much possible though. Pressing on, stair after
stair, will get you to a dead end! Granted, there was a room with a Brigand's
Glove on the way, but you cannot proceed. Time to pick up an ancient Zozo trick:
jumping between buildings. There is a small black entrance above the door you
passed through to get outside. Enter it and face the west. Now, walk over there
and jump! Twice!

The Brigand's Glove, by the way, is a Relic for Locke that allows him to change
his Steal command into Mug, which is basically Attack + Steal. The Thief's
Bracer also boosts the chances of stealing through Mug, and the chances of
stealing are just as high for Mug as it is for Steal. The only downside (and
very rarely upside) of Mug is that it makes the weapon lose some special
powers. None of the weapons you have at this point will lose any effect, but
the following weapons do:

- The Ultima Weapon; Becomes a normal 255 Attack blade
- Ichigeki, Assassin's Dagger, Wing Edge and Viper Darts will not execute X-
  type one-hit KO any more.
- The Zantetsuken won't slice enemies, ever.
- The Man-Eater won't double damage on 'Human' targets.
- Blood Sword and Soul Sabre won't absorb respectively HP and MP and do normal
  damage instead. The Soul Sabre's damage will be reduced by Defense.
- Rune Blade, Ragnarok, Lightbringer, Punisher and the Organyx can't execute
  the MP-powered critical hit; in addition, the Organyx can't break on you.
- No random extra damage from Hawkeye and the Sniper; the throw graphic won't
  be used either.
- Dice and Fixed Dice become worthless due to the 2 and 3 Hit Rate for them,
  while graphic glitches ensue.
- The Valiant Knife loses defense-ignoring properties and doesn't add the (max
  HP - current HP) damage.
- Kazekiri won't cast Wind Slash.

You get back inside on the other side of the building and continue to travel.
Ignore the first partly hidden set of stairs to your left; it will only take
you behind some counter. The second one gets you to your needed destination:
further. There is a Hi-Potion and an Ether hidden in two pots here. Leave.
Time to leave this detour building and jump back to the normal one, which has
a girl on top. According to the Zozoian below. Or, NOT, so it is. Still
with me here? Jump again and you'll find yourself in a huge set of swirling
stairs. Climb them. When you find yourself outside again, climb those stairs
too. Don't forget to find the Burning Fist hidden in the small chamber here;
the door is obvious. Eventually, you will reach Dadaluma.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.26.3  The battle with Dadaluma and the meeting with Ramuh
**********************************

Dadaluma
Level: 22, HP: 3270, MP: 1005
Steal: Thief's Bracer (rare), Jeweled Ring (common), Win: Thief's Knife (rare),
Twist Headband (common)
Weakness: Poison
Special: !Sweep: sets Sap
Vulnerable to: Imp, Petrify, Doom, Silence, Sleep, Slow, Stop
Attacks: Attack, !Sweep, Jump, Protect, Shockwave, Item (Potion), Item
(Hi-Potion), Throw (Dagger), Throw (Mythril Knife), Steal

Dadaluma is...yeah, what the hell is he anyway? He's a crazy lying dog like the
entire population of Zozo, as he charges at you as soon as he's finished saying
he's going to let you by unharmed. He's some hybrid between a martial artist
and a thief: the love child of a Harvester and an Iron Fist on steroids.
Most of his attacks are physical, and his most powerful ones are him Throwing
Daggers and Mythril Knives. Your Invisible characters are relatively safe if he
doesn't expose them with Shockwave, which is a weakish attack with the power to
hit your Invisible targets. When he's taking enough damage to dive below 1920
HP, he'll use either a Potion or Hi-Potion three times and cast Protect on
himself. That's only slightly annoying for Locke, as all other characters are
going to attack either with barrier-piercing attacks or those that are magical
of nature.

There are some more twists and turns to Dadaluma's battle script! When you've
hurt him with the Magic command two times, he will Throw one weapon and Jump
in the air, being temporarily untouchable. He'll come down to damage a character
for some minor physical hurting. He won't do all this if he has the
Slow status, but since the only way to set it is by using Gau's Poplium Rage,
there are much better things to set on Dadaluma.

If you've hit him with the Attack command four times, he will Throw TWO
weapons. Such violence. Obviously, you're never going to use Attack that much,
but if you brought Locke AND Cyan and went Attack-happy for some reason, watch
out. Finally, after 30 seconds, he will call some aid. God knows he needs it by
then, if he's not dead already. He'll whistle for two Iron Fists that you'll
never face alone and are thus deprived of their one and only strength: Stone.
Dadaluma won't be able to whistle when he's Silenced, but you can't silence him
at this point of the game, so there's no avoiding it.

So yeah, you can imagine what to do. Try to nick that rare Thief's Bracer with
Locke. Edgar can play with his new equipment (like you did when you grew hair
in weird places...don't deny it). Aura Cannon with Sabin. Cyan's Flurry will
be better before Dadaluma has cast the Protect spell on himself, but Fang
comes out victorious after he's successfully done so. Even when Protect isn't in
effect, the wait time might make Fang more appealing to you. Celes' Imp
spell can seriously cripple Dadaluma, as it actually works on him. His
physicals will now always do twice as much damage, but his Shockwave/Throw
days are over, so if you have any characters under Invisible, you're destined to
win. Have her pose as a back-up Cure caster if necessary, and if you choose
not to turn Dadaluma into an Imp, you'll want her ready with Runic to disable
Protect for the Lockes and Cyans of this world. Gau's Alacran and Acrophies
Rages will set Stop on Dadaluma, turning him completely useless. Trillium
offers Bio, on the other hand, which will hit for CRAZY damage. Shadow can
simply toss his stuff; his Scrolls (especially when Earring-boosted) will come
out stronger than his Shuriken, but you might not want to waste them on an easy
fight like this.

Yeah, when all is said and done, after a dungeon like Zozo a final boss like
Dadaluma fails to impress anybody.

Stepping over the battered corpse of the Bandit King, you find yourself in a
large room. There are two chests here, containing rather nice items: an
X-Potion and a set of Hermes Sandals. But most importantly, it houses Terra.

I advise you to simply watch the scene yourself, and don't forget to take all
your new sources of happiness and power with you. Before I go to the next part
of the walkthrough, though, I want to leave you with what Gau would say had you
brought an actual solo-Gau party to Ramuh, as it's one of the bits of dialogue
that never ceases to amuse me in its brilliance:

Gau: Terra...she okay?
Gau: Espers...live other world...right?
Gau: Why you not tell people you Esper?
Gau: Gau hear fairy tale... People...Espers...before, live same place!
Gau: Ma-gi-tek Re-search Fa...ci-luh-tee? ...Your friends there?
Gau: Ra...muh... You leave...not come back?
Gau: Waoooh...

Note that this guy, later in the game, has trouble saying 'yes'.

There's a couple more character sentences:

Upon entry:
Cyan: Is Lady Terra all right?
Celes: Is Terra okay?

Celes: But don't Espers live in another world?
Locke: But my grandma told me that humans and Espers once lived side by side...
Of course, that was only a bedtime story...
Celes: ...Huh? The Magitek Research Facility? Your people are in there!?

Shadow: You old fool... Why throw it all away...?
Cyan: He's...gone, isn't he?
Celes: Ramuh... Why...?
Cyan: He sacrificed himself to give us the strength with which to fight the
Empire...

From now on, there will be a wizard/ghost character roaming the streets of
Zozo as well as the Adventuring School in Narshe to explain how Magicite works.
What great news!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.27.1  Magicite and Owzer's Mansion in Jidoor
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Vulture (%57), Iron Fist (#58), Bloodfang (#59), Rock Wasp (#60),
  Paraladia (#61)

As it turns out, Terra is apparently safe in Zozo. All she needs is more time
to understand her newfound powers. Ramuh, the ancient Esper of Lightning, in
the meantime, begged you for a favor. The Empire's forbidden might, Magic, is
extracted from Espers held within the city of Vector, in the Magitek Research
Facility. Releasing them or otherwise disabling the flow of Magic to the Empire
would deal a serious blow to its offensive forces. To top that, Ramuh's plea
is understandable; no conscious being should be held into submission and tested
on like this.

But the Empire knows better than to allow offensive forces into their lands, and
after conquering the entire continent, they disabled any means of traveling
to the Southern Continent. So how will these Returners reach Vector? Jidoor
might hold some answers.

Preparation: Your choice of team is more limited now, as both Locke and Celes
are forced into your party. It's too bad, as both are relatively weak characters
at the moment. But hey, forced is forced. Know that physical attacks, unless
barrier-piercing, are almost entirely useless in the next scenario, so Cyan is
out from the get-go (Fang fails to measure up to your other offensive options,
and Flurry is going to be laughable most of the time). Shadow is still in the
Kohlingen Inn if you haven't recruited him earlier, but he will leave at a
crucial point where, even while you technically CAN go back to Narshe, will be
most annoying. Shadow is out.

It boils down to Sabin, Edgar, and Gau. If you haven't trained Gau, it's no
contest and you'll want to bring the Figaro brothers. If you have, it's no
contest and you'll want to add Gau. Seriously, he is *obscenely* strong
at this point of the game (provided you go Rage Hunting in a bit, anyway).
Between Edgar and Sabin, I'd definitely pick Edgar over Sabin. They're about
equals in offense at this point, but Edgar has the option of using the
Noiseblaster, and being able to target will be a damn useful function before
long.

If you picked Gau, you'll want to pick some new Rages from the new monsters
you encountered. Useful Rages include: Anguiform, Aspiran, Rock Wasp, Veil
Dancer, Gobbledygook and Hill Gigas. Hill Gigas' Magnitude 8 will be stronger
than Wind Slash in MT damage, but it cannot hit Floating targets. Anguiform and
Aspiran both hit the weakness of pretty much everything in the next real
dungeon, so don't feel complete until you've found them. Route to the Veldt,
Copy/Paste from the previous section:

To visit the Veldt, take the Cave to South Figaro and pass through Mt. Koltz.
You'll find the Returner Hideout again, and in Banon's Room, you can find the
hidden passage to the raft. Jump on it, and after the same battles you had to
fight earlier, you'll now take the path Sabin took when he drifted off. You
find yourself near the hut of the crazy man again. Walk to and through the
Phantom Forest (no Imperial Camp or Phantom Train this time) and jump down
Baren Falls (no battles here either). You're on the Veldt now. Leap around
until you're satisfied. Jump down the Serpent Trench and wind up in Nikeah.
Take the ferry to South Figaro and you're on known territory. Oh yeah, and
you're smuggled out of South Figaro in a chest; that never ceases to amuse the
kids.

Also, you've received Magicite! Magicite are awesome little gems that allow you
to summon the corresponding Esper once a battle, learn the spells the Magicite
teaches, and even give you a stat boost when you level up! For a more detailed
descriptions of Espers and how do and do not work, there's a section towards
the bottom of the document.

I will not fail to mention THIS, though: To unequip an Esper, select a black
slot from the Esper list. There are too many creatures out there that, after
having consumed a meal consisting entirely out of Doritos and feces, nose-type
a "how to unequip Espers" topic. Because, typing the message and waiting for the
often verbally violent and inaccurate response somehow takes less time in their
dimension of madness than simply trying the option, which has always seemed to
me as a product of logic.

Monster formations:

(Grasslands)
Iron Fist, Iron Fist, Rock Wasp, Rock Wasp (6/16)
Vulture, Iron Fist (5/16)
Rock Wasp, Rock Wasp, Rock Wasp, Rock Wasp (5/16)

(Forest)
Paraladia, Paraladia, Rock Wasp, Rock Wasp, Rock Wasp (6/16)
Paraladia, Vulture, Iron Fist (5/16)
Iron Fist, Iron Fist, Rock Wasp, Rock Wasp (5/16)

I speak too much! Your job is to find a proper means of transportation towards
the Empire. By now, you'll probably stare at the lead character of your party,
going, and here I quote one of the best films recently created, Napoleon
Dynamite: "Before we get started on our new project, I have a few concerns.
First off, I'm concerned about your transportation situation." See, you need to
go to Vector, capital of the Empire. This city is on a continent, and while you
are also on a continent, it's sadly an entirely different one. While Celes is
wearing a bathing suit, swimming is not an option. Maybe you can get yourself
a ship in Jidoor? Money buys anything, right? Except for happiness. Happiness
and actual quality coffee, when you're living in America. Starbucks my ass.

While walking to Jidoor, you'll be surprised to note that every battle ends with
an added message of you obtaining Magic AP! That's good.

When you've reached Jidoor, you may want to rest at the Inn. The guy standing
in front of the counter has some new info about this guy called 'the gambler',
who likes operas. Kind of the dumbest thing ever, talking to strangers ABOUT
strangers, no? At Owzer's place (you know, that huge mansion? The mansion to
rule them all?), you'll find somebody called the Impresario. He's having a bad
time. Talk to him and grab the letter on the way out.

Resume: The Impresario (trivia: his name is Dancho) is the Big Chief of the
Opera. Everybody loves that place, especially because of Maria, the very sexual,
the very tight. Setzer Gabbiani, world-cruising playboy of a gambler
that he is, has announced in a private letter to the Impresario that he will
kidnap Maria right from the stage. The Impresario doesn't want Maria to be
kidnapped; bad for business, nor does he want to call off the next show; bad
for business. Dancho's in a tight spot. Oh, the troubles of capitalism.

Also, Celes is the 'spitting image' of Maria, it seems. I never quite understood
this expression. Two women and saliva doesn't sound too bad, but it just seems
kinda out of place in a game like this. So yeah, world's most popular fetish
aside, you need to go to the Opera House, where you'll try to set up a meeting
with Setzer, pilot of the world's only airship, the Blackjack (off-game
knowledge!).

Once you reach the Opera House (don't tell me you needed any more info on the
monsters occupying the way there), all will be self-explanatory. So, allow me to
skip to the next thrilling action sequence, which involves the favorite
FF VI scene for many.

Not me, though.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.28.1  The Opera House
**********************************

 Opponents:
 Stunner (#66), Goetia (#67), Ultros (#289)

So here's the plan. Instead of Maria, who hid her pretty self somewhere, Celes
will perform the Dream Oath, the massively popular opera about Draco and Maria
(seems like the opera star and her part share the name), a story of love, war,
honor, and as bad luck gives us, a squid. Ultros followed you here. The reason
is not clear; it's not so much revenge for beating him, as it's entirely
possible to use a team that features none of the characters you used to fight
him the first time. But let evil be evil as long as you stop it. Celes needs
to be successfully abducted here, and we can't have any octopi ruining the
plan.

Preparation: Celes de-equipped herself when she changed into Maria's opera
get-up, so if she was carrying anything other party members might be able to
use, that's great. Make sure that one of your remaining party members has
Sprint Shoes equipped if you're playing one of the SNES versions.

The Impresario predicted Setzer would arrive in the first scene, and as Setzer
is an undependable scoundrel who has no ties in life and has much to gain by
surprising the Impresario in his abduction in as many ways possible, the
prediction can be nothing but 100 % accurate. So, Celes needs to survive only
through the first scene before she gets her proverbial homerun! Here's what she
has to do:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.28.2  The Dream Oath
**********************************

Scene 1

O my hero, my beloved,
Shall we still be made to part,
Though promises of perennial love
Yet sing here in my heart?

I'm the darkness, you're the starlight
Shining brightly from afar.
Though hours of despair,
I offer this prayer
To you, my evening star.

Must my final vows exchanged
Be with him and not with you?
Were you only here to quiet my fear...
O speak! Guide me anew.

...This is where you pick up the flowers. Climb the stairs and toss the flowers
from the highest balcony.

(Be sure to finish by the end of the interlude! There isn't much time before
the start of Scene 2.)

- Impresario

At least, that's what the score says. Listen to it; it makes sense. Celes will
be given three options during her play concerning the proper lines, and then has
to successfully climb some stairs and lift flowers. Quite a workout! Here's
what the options will do:

(Oh my hero...)   --> success! GOOD.
(Alas, Draco...)  --> Alas, Draco! You have left me... The orchestra stops. BAD.

(I wish I...)     --> I wish I...uh? The orchestra stops. BAD.
(I'm the darkness)--> success! GOOD.

(Must my...)      --> success! GOOD.
(Prince Ralse...) --> Prince Ralse will be my groom. I know... that this isn't
                      the right line. The orchestra stops. BAD.

Now, you walk the stairs, talk to the phantom Draco three times, pick up the
flowers, and stand on the far end of the balcony. If you fail to do this in
time, Celes says: "Ah, I'm too late! So much for that...", the orchestra stops
and that's BAD.

Every time you mess up the Opera (you mess up the lines, you don't move around
fast enough, Ultros does his thang, you are defeated by Ultros in combat), the
Opera is halted and you find yourself outside of the building, where you can go
back in to plead for another chance. After you mess up the first time, you get
three chances. That's a total of four tries to get it right. If you fail four
times, evolution hasn't been kind to you and you receive the message "It looks
like you weren't exactly born to be on stage..." and get an actual Game Over.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.28.3  Stopping Ultros
**********************************

So, that's Celes' part. You can do it. Meanwhile, Ultros has decided to kill
the woman on stage with the combined terror of weight and gravity, which he told
Locke with a letter. Because that's useful for your chances of actually
pulling it off, you see. Before you alert the Impresario, make sure to talk to
your fellow characters. Amusing!

Edgar: Go on! Give her some encouragement!
Sabin: Huh? Why's everyone singing?
Cyan: Where art thou going? Thou should relax and enjoy the show!
Gau: Uwao! Pretty song, pretty song!

And if you brought Shadow, against all possible odds and rules of logic:
Impresario: Your friend left. Said he'd fall asleep if he had to sit here for
more than five minutes...

I'm sure a lot of you folks thinks that's awesome. You have five minutes to
reach the lever on the right side of the Opera House, flip it, go to the
rafters, which are accessible on the left side of the Opera House, fight your
way through some annoying rats, and stop Ultros.

So do it! Flip the far right switch in the room to the right. For you left/right
analphabetics out there, I'll lay it out for you:

Switch 1   Switch 2    Switch 3       Super Switch!

Switch 1 makes a sound like a dog barking.
Switch 2 turns out the lights in the opera hall, causing the crowds to make
little eyes in the darkness.

Switch 3 opens a hole directly under you, causing you to slide on stage! You
immediately get off by hopping on the heads of the crowd, bursting in the
entrance hall of the Opera House, where the lead character will strike a pose
and say 'Whew!'.

I suppose all three switches are pretty amusing, but there's imminent squashing
and you can't shrug that off, so what you'll want to flip is the Super Switch.
Now, sprint all the way to the far left room (you'll pass the Impresario again)
and pass the door (which would be locked if you hadn't flipped the switch in the
far right room). Now, you're on the rafters. Don't fall down now.

Haha, you can't fall down! You can, however, fight rats and get kicked out of
the Opera House for another try if you lose. So, you don't want that.

Each rat will trigger a battle, which contains either:
Goetia, Stunner, Stunner (3/4)
Stunner, Goetia, Stunner, Stunner, Goetia (1/4)

The Goetia monsters (yellow) are the main problem, the Stunners (black/green)
the lackeys. If you take out all the Stunners while one or two Goetia still
live, they'll call more, prolonging the battle. So have Edgar, Locke and Genji
Glove'd Cyan and/or Sabin go for the ST kill on those before you try to engage
in MT slaughter.

Goetia are weak against Ice, so if Gau can Rage Veil Dancer or Darkside, that
might be a good idea too. They have nothing worth stealing, so don't waste time
there. It's said it's actually possible to get by without having to fight a
single group of rats, but you'll skip both their Rages (not that good, I'll
admit, but you can *miss* them for the sake of the Savior), and it's damn hard
to boot.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.28.4  The second fight with Ultros
**********************************

Ultros
Level: 19, HP: 2550, MP: 500
Steal: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Water, Weakness: Fire, Lightning
Special: !Ink: sets Dark, attack x 1.5
Vulnerable to: Slow, Stop
Attacks: Attack, !Ink, Fire, Drain, Lv. 3 Confuse, Imp Song, Acid Rain,
Megavolt, Tentacle

Before you try to hurt Ultros, make sure your Ramuh-wearing character is
equipped with an Earring (or two). If you have a Burning Fist-wearing
Sabin, he should be in the third or fourth position, as that'll make sure
he'll face Ultros' back at the start of the match. Make sure that your party
is covered in Peace Rings/Ribbons, as Ultros has the ability to set Confuse,
which is serious business.

Ultros is back and he's better and badder then ever. Only not really, because
he actually has less HP than he did when you first met him. To compensate, he
has quite a few spells to throw at you, and has a nasty Command Script that
gives him the power to, at the worst situation possible, actually take 10197 HP
of damage before going down. Here's how that works:

Ultros has four positions. He starts at Position 1. Every time he takes two
rounds, he'll make a comment, switch to another position and start using
different spells. Now the story and our eyes will have us believe that it's
one Ultros, hopping about; the game treats this battle as one with four
Ultros', each with his own set of 2550 HP. If you hurt Ultros but let him
escape to a different position, you can Libra him and see he will again have
2550 out of 2550 HP. At least, that's what you would see if this Ultros didn't
yield a "Can't probe target" message. So, the trick is to kill him as quick as
possible, before he can move around at all.

For the record, he will go like this:

1 - 3 - 2* - 4 - 2 - 1 - 4 - 2 - 3**

** = Here, he makes four attacks before he moves on to 2* again.

So what does Ultros do? He counters Blitz techniques and Bushido skills with
Acid Rain, a nasty Water/Poison-elemental attack that sets Sap. I'd advise
against using those skills, especially because Sabin will inflict more damage
with the Burning Fist then he will with his Blitz attacks (unless it's Rising
Phoenix, unless he's hitting with the Burning Fist in the back of Ultros).
After every minute of battling, Ultros will use Imp Song, which changes the
living characters on one side of him into Imps. This is very annoying and yet
another reason to deal with Ultros as quickly as possible.

Finally, his attack pattern is this, depending on his position:
1 = Attack, !Ink or Tentacle
2 = Attack (33%) or Fire (66%)
3 = Attack (33%) or Lv. 3 Confuse (66%)
4 = Attack or Megavolt or Drain

But none of this should really matter, honestly. Because if you even get to see
Acid Rain or Lv. 3 Confuse, let alone Imp Song, you've already missed the goal
and are in actual danger of losing the battle if you're either inexperienced or
unlucky. So here's what to do to prevent that.

Locke is fairly useless; Ultros has nothing to steal whatsoever. If Locke knows
Slow or Thundara, have him cast it. Otherwise, just attack. Edgar's Chainsaw
inflicts very decent damage, and I've said enough about Sabin's Burning Fist to
make the impression I actually want you to use it. Cyan should ignore his
Bushido command and act like Locke. Gau, finally, can pick a Rage like Aspiran
or Cloud for direct violence (Aspiran is godly), or Acrophies/Alacran for
causing Stop if you want to prevent him from changing position rather than
killing him outright.

Unless it's Sabin, summoning Ramuh takes priority over anything else. It's
basically a Thundara spell coming from someone who probably hasn't learned
Thundara yet. The only scenario I can see where the above strategy wouldn't
automatically mean you toasted the guy before he could move a muscle is a
rather low-leveled Locke, Cyan, and Gau team where Gau just didn't feel
like doing his non-Attack. If this is the case, have Cyan and Locke
support Gau and cure their own Imp status should this become a problem. Ultros
really isn't that much of a deal if you take him down with as much brute
force in as little time you could do; if you allow him to wander, he could
become quite a nuisance. You'll get a Green Cherry for your troubles at the
end.

His lines, because there are people who love him as much as I dislike the guy:

"It's me again! Long time no see! Did ya miss me?" (Battle Commence)
"Here! Over here!"
"I ain't no garden-variety octopus!"
"Havin' fun yet?"
"You called?"
"You must hate it when I show up... Too bad!"
"Don't worry, I ain't goin' nowhere!"
"Imp! Buddy! Pal! " (Imp Song)
"Thwarted again! I feel like such a sucker. Well, kids, hate to ink and run...
... but I AM an octopus!" (Defeat)

Having stopped the threat that threatened the plan, the plan comes together!
Setzer, quite possibly the most awesome character out of video game history as
far as looks and style go, swoops down, grabs Celes, and in one awesome spin
gets her out of her opera gown, into her normal clothes, and entirely tied up.
Wow. And to know that there are some, who shall remain nameless, who at one
time had problems with bra clasps!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.29.1  The Blackjack
**********************************

My God, Setzer is awesome. He's a world-traveling albino pirate who kidnaps
this game's equivalent of Kylie Mynogue to marry her on his own casino-zeppelin.
His airship-crash-induced facial scars only make him more of a special case and
nicely compliment the rather gothic black trench coat he got way before the
Wachowski brothers had even dreamed about bending spoons that aren't there and
bullet-time and whatnot.

Sadly, he gets punked by a band of unlikely heroes the world has never seen
before. First, he is persuaded by you to listen to your tale of woe rather than
kick you off his property:

Celes: Wait! We heard that your ship is the finest vessel in the world.
Locke: And that you were the world's greatest gambler...
Edgar: I'm the king of Figaro. If you help us, you'll be well rewarded...
Sabin: My brother's the king of Figaro. If you help us, I can ask him to reward
you. (only if Edgar isn't there)
Cyan: I am a warrior of Doma. Please, I humbly beg for thy aid!

Then, he is converted from a rather neutral guy to a full-fledged Narshesque
(or Swiss) I-don't-knower:

Celes: You're not the only one suffering. The Empire has been toppling towns and
villages left and right...
Locke: They're abusing their Magitek power and trying to take over the world.
Edgar: My kingdom was allied with the Empire...until recently.
Sabin: Maybe you want to be a slave to the Empire, but I sure don't.
Cyan: I lost my friends, my family... (he gets all sad after this)

Finally, he is joining your cause! It was inevitable after all; you gave him
a name and whatnot. Celes will fool him with a double-headed coin. If Edgar's
present, he'll give the coin to her. If Sabin is also present, he'll shout at
his brother for a bit for obvious reasons (and if they're not obvious, you
didn't take them to sleep at Figaro Castle, am I right?). The coin in question
is a coin from Figaro, displaying Edgar's face on one side and Sabin's face on
the other. You'll see it in action in the credits... but enough about this.
You hitched a ride to the Empire. Go Returners.

As soon as you get out of the Blackjack, you can re-enter the ship to see its
full interior. From this point on, you can take advantage of Setzer's crew
and their sweet services. There's a healing guy and an item guy. The item guy
sells:

Item Shop:
Hi-Potion             300
Ether                1500
Holy Water            300
Phoenix Down          500
Remedy               1000
Smoke Bomb            300
Teleport Stone        700
Tent                 1200
 Good-for-nothing albino pirate gamblers only sharing with the rest of us for
profit...

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.30.1  Albrook
**********************************

  Container contents:
  Elixir, Ether, Hi-Potion

You're finding yourself next to an entirely new town. This is called 'hinting'.
Square wants you to go in. Do it.

Note: Don't forget to re-equip Celes. We don't want her running around naked.
Well, I've seen enough GameFAQs posts that say that some of you would, but
that's talking 'naked', not "naked".

Albrook is one of the three major towns the Empire invaded and currently
occupies. The Imperial troopers here won't directly recognize you, and won't
attack you outright. If you try to enter the port, the Magitek Armored soldier
will prevent your entry by means of hitting you. No Hit Points will be lost,
don't worry. Most soldiers will show themselves as patriotic pigs, and most
inhabitants of Albrook will sigh and moan about their lot. The only useful
information you receive here is that coming from a portrait painter and two
scholars. The painter tells of a portrait he must do of the Emperor himself
(you'll come across this painting in your travels later, where it serves a
special purpose). The first scholar will talk about the fact that the monsters
on the continent have only weak magical power (which is a flat-out lie as some
of them have the power to outright create several new interesting ways to
urinate for you if you don't watch out). The other one is talking about two
Ultima Weapons; one a sword, one a monster.

I'M SURE WE'LL NEVER MEET EITHER OF THEM.

Weapon Shop:
Kiku-Ichimonji       1200
Venom Claws          2500
Bastard Sword        3000
Sakura               3200
Shuriken               30
Flame Scroll          500
Water Scroll          500
Thunder Scroll        500
 The Weapon shop has Bastard Swords (which you can ignore if you want to as
neither Celes nor Edgar will ever use it), Kiku-Ichimonji for Cyan that you
previously bought in Jidoor (right?), and Venom Claws for Sabin, of which I
recommend you buy two. You can leave Shadow's Sakura  for now, as he's
not around and you'll be able to buy more of them later.

Armor Shop:
Twist Headband       1600
Priest's Miter       3000
Mythril Vest         1200
Ninja Gear           1100
White Dress          2200
 The Olde Armore Shoppe sells nothing of value other than Priest's Miters.
They're the magical equivalent of the Green Berets; where Green Berets raise HP
by 12.5 percent and give you a 10 % bonus on your Evasion rating, the Priest's
Miter raises MP by that very amount and gives a 10 % bonus on your Magic Evasion
rating. It's a popular choice for obtaining a god-like assembly of equipment
later in the game, but right now, you're probably better off with the Green
Berets as an HP boost is more useful than an MP boost and you'll be taking much
more physical hits than magical ones.

And yes, the chests in the Armor Shop are now, and will under any circumstance
be, empty.

Relic Shop:
Silver Spectacles     500
Peace Ring           3000
Earring              5000
Sniper Eye           3000
Reflect Ring         6000
Amulet               5000
 The Relic Shop has Amulets and Reflect Rings. The Amulet will be kind of a
necessity in later dungeons, but you can wait for now. Make sure to grab
four Reflect Rings here, though. These Reflect Rings will make a few boss
battles in the future much easier.The main attractions at the moment though are
Earrings; Earrings are almost universally useful. You should have four Earrings
and a Hero's Ring; you might want to buy another one or even two. Earrings are
great damage boosters.

Item Shop:
Hi-Potion             300
Ether                1500
Eye Drops              50
Remedy               1000
Holy Water            300
Phoenix Down          500
Tent                 1200
Teleport Stone        700
 Items of +2/+2 using. First Remedies for sale ever.

The Cafe is plain awesome. I wish there was a place over here that played
Johnny C. Bad continuously; I wouldn't go there because I'd go stark raving mad,
but it be nice to have around, just because.

Items are hidden throughout the town. There's the mandatory Elixir in the clock
in the hallway connecting the Armor Shop and the Cafe. There's a Hi-Potion in a
barrel next to the Inn. A hidden Ether in the pot of the Weapon Shop closes
the deal.

On the whole, Albrook is a rather disappointing hole of a town, not at all worth
the hassle of the whole having-Celes-abducted-by-a-flying-albino thing. So I
suggest we explore the rest of the continent.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.30.2  Traveling on the Southern Continent
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Fossil Dragon (#56), Litwor Chicken (#68), Joker (#69), Don (#70), Wyvern
  (#71), Grasswyrm (#72), Bug (#74)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Dragoon Boots (rare Wyvern steal), Mythril Rod (rare Joker drop), Tiger Mask
  (rare Don steal)

Welcome to what we like to call the Southern Continent. Vector in the middle,
Albrook to the south, Tzen to the north, Maranda to the West, and an Imperial
Observation Post seemingly built to protect a mountain range to the East. As is
the tendency of games like the one we're talking about here, a new continent
features new enemies that are stronger than the ones seen before.

Preparation: Re-equipped Celes? Make sure you have Thief's Bracer on Locke, as
the upcoming monsters might actually have something worth stealing. If any of
the characters knows Float, cast it on the party. If not, have Gau (if present)
Rage Hornet or a similar Rage that is Float-inducing.

Monster formations:

(Middle and West Grasslands)
Grasswyrm, Grasswyrm, Grasswyrm (6/16)
Don, Don (5/16)
Don, Wyvern, Wyvern (5/16)

(Southwest and East Grasslands)
Don, Joker (5/16)
Don, Wyvern, Wyvern (5/16)
Joker, Joker, Joker (5/16)
Litwor Chicken, Litwor Chicken, Litwor Chicken, Litwor Chicken, Litwor Chicken
(1/16)

(Forest)
Don, Wyvern, Litwor Chicken, Litwor Chicken (10/16)
Litwor Chicken, Litwor Chicken, Litwor Chicken, Litwor Chicken, Litwor Chicken
(6/16)

(Desert)
Bug, Bug, Bug (5/16)
Fossil Dragon, Bug, Bug, Bug (5/16)
Fossil Dragon, Fossil Dragon (5/16)
Bug, Bug, Bug, Bug, Bug, Bug (1/16)

There's a plethora (expensive word: + 500 Exp.) of dangerous monsters around.
Grasswyrms are entirely like Nettlehopper, only they're red. They're just as
weak to Fire as their green brethren are, they're just as silly in their
physical attacks and berserking attempts with their Special, and they're just
as likely to find themselves in several flaming pieces on the cold earth before
an even remotely long time.

The Don is simple Attack/Special cannon fodder, only it's kinda sturdy and
tends to take more than one attack to kill. Also, they have a rare Tiger Mask
steal, a nice Helmet for Sabin and/or Gau that you probably want to swap for
the Green Beret (but only for the sake of being able to; I'd still say the
Green Beret is the better choice of the two). For a bit of trivia, their
Anthology Bestiary mentions these dogs were created as a test of using Magitek
power. But then again, the Bestiary is so full of shit I tend to ignore it
despite the fact it's official Square statements.

Jokers are bastards. They're floating, so they're immune to your strongest MT
attack (Gau's Magnitude 8). If you allow them to take more than one turn, they
start casting Acid Rain on the entire party, which you'll want to prevent. If
they're alone, they start casting Thundara, which you will really want to
prevent. Summoning Siren is a very good idea if you run into them, as doing so
removes the threat of both spells. Noiseblaster also works well. Rarely, they
will drop Mythril Rods. You didn't have those yet. If you were greedy, you'll
have three different kinds of Rod already, and nobody can equip them. Beautiful.

Wyvern are... NOT FLOATING. They have wings, and they are called 'wyvern', a
word commonly reserved for flying serpents of death. They are in a flying
position in their sprite, which was specifically designed to capture the very
nature of the beast in one pose. Yet, not floating. It's a mockery of the
concept of wing itself. Wyvern are monsters who will use Cyclonic when they're
alone, a percentage-based attack that will remove 93.75 % of the targets
current HP. And Cyclonic hits all characters. Don't let this happen. They have
rare Dragoon Boots for any Lockes you might have in your party, which sell for
a whole bunch of moola.

Litwor Chicken are the silliest and potentially the most deadly of the monsters
found on the continent. When they're alone, they cast Quake. Surely, they
must've abandoned all hope of getting out of the battle alive, as it hurts them
as well. Quake is a seriously powerful spell: an Earth-elemental,
barrier-piercing spell that hits every target on screen as long as it isn't
Floating. If you kept Cait Sith around long enough for any of your characters to
learn Float, be sure to cast it if you are still touching the ground. Otherwise,
they're weak to Ice and look silly.

The desert houses Fossil Dragon, and you should be used to their presence by
now. If not, Ctrl + F the thing. Bugs are also found circling their bodies.
Bugs are annoying because they tend to go out with a BANG: a BANG of petrifying
their killer. Only if they were killed by Attack, and only if they were alone,
and only 33 % of the time, but still... Avoid it, as that's good.

To sum it up: Have Locke try and steal from Don and Wyvern monsters, don't
let Litwor Chicken or Wyvern alone, both are weak to Ice attacks, summon Siren
when you meet Jokers (and Wyvern and Litwor Chicken if you're not feeling
confident about your ability to take them out first. Siren stops Quake and
Cyclonic as well) and don't do drugs.

It's by no means mandatory or even very beneficial to visit the other three
locations before going into Vector, but it doesn't hurt to do it in any
way and it gives more back story to the game. It's up to you to decide if you'll
want to do it. Here are the benefits of investing the time:

The Imperial Observation Post near the Mountains.
Eh...you get to fight monsters that have glands on their back that secrete
Tents. A lot of them. You'll be fighting them anyway in the next serious
dungeon.

Tzen:
Boomerangs for sale, a slight improvement over the Moonring Blade.
Mythril Helms for sale, featureless helmet for everybody but Sabin.
Black Belt Relics for sale.

Maranda:
Boomerangs for sale, a slight improvement over the Moonring Blade.
Tridents for sale, a Water-elemental Spear.
Mythril Helms for sale, featureless helmet for everybody but Sabin.
Mythril Mail for sale, better armor for Cyan and Edgar.
Free Remedy and Holy Water to find!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.30.3  The Imperial Observation Post
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Sergeant (#76), Proto Armor (#78), Mega Armor (#93)

Monster formations:

Walking soldiers:
Sergeant, Sergeant, Sergeant, Sergeant (always)

Armored soldiers:
Mega Armor, Proto Armor (always)

Yeah, it's called differently, but the name kinda reveals its purpose so we
wouldn't want that yet. All you'll find here is a truly impenetrable Imperial
Base, blocking access to whatever lies on the other side. You can fight the
walking people here. The normal soldiers, regardless of color, will turn out
to be four Sergeants, and the Armored soldier is a Proto Armor/Mega Armor
combo.

Note on the four Sergeants: this is an easily controllable battle where you
don't really have to fear sudden KO's creeping up on you. The thing is, though,
Sergeants have a Tent for common steal. So, you have the option of complete
restoration after every battle if you steal one. I tend to linger a while. It
builds my amount of Tents to about 20 and gains some sweet spells in the
meantime.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.30.4  Tzen
**********************************

Tzen is a small town. Used to be an independent town, a monarchy no less. The
Empire has slaughtered the royal family, and Tzen is currently under
even more Imperial watch than Albrook is. There...really isn't much to say
about Tzen.

The soldiers will be useless and passive as they were in Albrook, the citizens
friendly and helpful. One will tell about an Imperial weapon called the
Guardian, which can't move by itself but is extremely powerful. Oh well, we can
always make a run for it should we come across it. Another man tells of a gate
in the mountains to the East. The mountains were heavily guarded and
impenetrable for you; could it be that the Empire is looking for something
there?

Weapon Shop:
Air Knife             950
Moonring Blade       2500
Bastard Sword        3000
Boomerang            4500
 The Weapon Shop offers nothing you can use other than the Boomerang. The
Boomerang is a slightly better version of the Moonring Blade, so if you were
using it I suggest you replace it.

Armor Shop:
Priest's Miter       3000
Mythril Helm         2000
Mythril Vest         1200
Ninja Gear           1100
White Dress          2200
 The Armor Shop has Mythril equipment! However, you have plenty of Mythril
Shields from Narshe, and you could've obtained enough Mythril Vests from Hell's
Rider earlier. So, if you played smart so far, the only feature of meaning is
the Mythril Helms. It has a slight defensive boost over the Green Beret and the
Priest's Miter, but it isn't worth the loss of those two its special properties
in my opinion. And it's flat-out worse than the Tiger Mask.


Relic Shop:
Earring              5000
Hermes Sandals       7000
Black Belt           5000
Amulet               5000
 Nice Relics for sale in Tzen. The Amulet is the first store-bought item that
protects you from the Zombie status. You'll need it later, but not now. All
other Relics are filler relics.

Item Shop:
Hi-Potion             300
Ether                1500
Eye Drops              50
Green Cherry          150
Echo Screen           120
Holy Water            300
Phoenix Down          500
Tent                 1200

You might want to grab a Chocobo in the hidden Chocobo Stable in the forest to
the east of Tzen.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.30.5  Maranda
**********************************

  Container contents:
  Holy Water, Remedy

Maranda, Maranda... what do we know about Maranda? The last to fall against
the Empire, it was general Celes Chere herself who led the attack to conquer the
continent. It's still slightly trashed from the attack. Like Tzen, many of
the city's young men were led to fight in the army of the Empire. The wounded
man you found in Mobliz was one of them, and his darling Lola still lives here.
Lola lives in a little house in Maranda, and if you'll speak to her, her
response depends on your actions in Mobliz:

Didn't help shit: My beloved hasn't replied to my letter... I'm sick with
worry...
Sent a letter:    He wrote me back! He's all right... Oh, thank goodness...
Sent the record:  He sent me a record! I'm so happy!
Sent the Potion:  He sent a potion for Mother... He's so kind...
Sent 2nd letter:  He wrote me back! He's all right... Oh, thank goodness...
Sent the book:    He sent me the book he'd been reading! I've been reading a
                  little bit every night before bed. I'll treasure it forever!

If you sent an item, received her next request and DIDN'T respond to that
letter, Lola will also say 'My beloved hasn't replied to my letter... I'm sick
with worry...'

Weapon Shop:
Mythril Spear         800
Trident              1700
Venom Claws          2500
Bastard Sword        3000
Boomerang            4500
 The Weapon Shop has three new weapons. The Trident, a Water-elemental Spear you
might want to use later in the game, the mandatory Bastard Sword, and the
Boomerang you could've found in Tzen. On the whole, buy a Trident and leave.

Armor Shop:
Priest's Miter       3000
Green Beret          3000
Mythril Helm         2000
Mythril Vest         1200
Mythril Mail         3500
 The Armor Shop has Mythril Equipment as well, but they're a little better at
it. There's only one feature of interest if you visited Tzen earlier: the
Mythril Mail, heavy defensive equipment for Celes, Cyan, and Edgar. I wouldn't
recommend it on Celes though, as the White Dress is only slightly less
protective and gives a very nice Magic bonus. Finally, let's not forget about
the fact this is the first time you see Green Berets in shops. It's not like
you shouldn't be swamped in those buggers by now, but hey.

Item Shop:
Say what? This town doesn't have one! I believe that makes it the only town
ever, ever, ever in this game. Crazy world. Let's not start on Zozo, as that's
a dungeon rather than a town.

If you want two free items, find the Holy Water in the bottom crate west of the
south exit and find the Remedy in one of the two crates near the arguing couple.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.31.1  Vector
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Sergeant (#76), Belzecue (#77), Proto Armor (#78), Guardian (-)

Well, here you are, deep in the heart of the Empire. Vector is the capital of
the Empire and houses its two most important structures: the Imperial Palace,
home to Emperor Gestahl, general Leo Christophe, and general Kefka Palazzo, and
the Imperial Magitek Research Facility, where the very source of Magic is
somehow obtained under the eyes of master scientist Cid del Norte Marguez.

There's a lot to do here. I'll discuss it feature by feature:

In the part of town closer to the Imperial Palace (to the north), soldiers
roam the streets. The normal troopers will be:

Belzecue, Belzecue, Sergeant, Sergeant (3/4)
Belzecue, Belzecue, Sergeant (1/4)

The Armored troopers will be:

Proto Armor, Onion Knight, Onion Knight (3/4)
Proto Armor, Proto Armor (1/4)

The Inn is not very trustworthy. The guy behind the counter looks like a Zozo
bum, and sure enough, after he's offered you the room free, there's a 50 %
chance he'll come and steal 1000 Gil during the night. If you don't have 1000
Gil you'll see the man sneak around in the night, but the '1000 Gil was
stolen!' message won't pop up and no money will be lost.

No, you're better off going to the slim house to the left of the Inn, where an
old woman will ask you to pledge your allegiance to the Empire. If you do so,
all will be fine. If you refuse, she will send two... Narshe Guards after you?
After you have beaten them, she will offer you a free healing service every
time you talk to her, much like a Recovery Spring.

A less successful way of healing yourself is going over to the running kid, who
was subject to one of Cid's experiments and now has the power to heal with the
Cure spell. Sadly, he's not very good at it, and will be able to only heal 1 HP
at the time. He can also 'heal' the dead without actually reviving them; the
only chance in the game you'll be able to see a dead character with above-0 HP.
The Weapon Shop and Armor Shop sell nothing you couldn't buy in Albrook.

The inhabitants of Vector are, understandably, pro-Empire, but will provide you
with information nonetheless. You learn that general Leo refused a Magitek
infusion, where Kefka was Cid's first experiment, which supposedly turned him
into the ranting fool he now is. Imperial soldiers on the higher regions of
town will recognize you and engage in a fight. Every time you either win or run
away, you'll find yourself on the southern edge of town again.

If you managed to elude all the troops and you try to enter the Imperial Palace
to the far north of the city, you'll be heard by an Imperial Soldier within the
Palace, and you hide. If you walk away again, a member of the Imperial Special
Force will send Guardian after you.

Guardian is invulnerable in the true sense of the word. You can't damage him
in any way, he's immune to any status effect including Invisible, you can't
normally spin Joker's Death against him; you name it. He's the very model of a
plot device that looks like an enemy: Can't go here, sonny. The only way out of
this battle that doesn't include running yourself is using Confuse on somebody
who is about to use a Smoke Bomb; the Smoke Bomb will target Guardian, and you
cause Guardian to run away itself. This has the same effect as running away
yourself, though.

Weapon Shop:
Kiku-Ichimonji       1200
Venom Claws          2500
Bastard Sword        3000
Sakura               3200
 You shouldn't need anything here. If you haven't bought a Sakura blade yet,
now's your chance. The Sakura was called the Sakurafubuki in the Japanese
game; 'sakura' is cherry blossom' and 'fubuki' is blizzard. Elegant and
graceful like the sakura, destructive and ruthless like a blizzard; the perfect
ninja warrior. Note that the Sakura is Wind-elemental.

Armor Shop:
Twist Headband       1600
Priest's Miter       3000
Mythril Vest         1200
Ninja Gear           1100
White Dress          2200
 This Armor Shop is exactly the same as the one in Albrook, so you shouldn't see
anything new.

Item Shop:
Heh, yeah. No Item Shop here either, I guess Maranda wasn't all that unique.

Now, make sure you're fully healed before you engage in the rescue mission of
a lifetime.

Monster formations:

Facility Guards:
Belzecue, Belzecue, Sergeant, Sergeant (3/4)
Belzecue, Belzecue, Sergeant (1/4)

Three soldiers guard the road to the Imperial Magitek Research Facility,
and you can't just smack them around in broad daylight in the middle of Vector.
Luckily, and old man standing behind some crates is a sympathizer of the
Returners and offers you his assistance. While he pretends to throw up (great
plan, sport), you sneak behind the soldiers' back on the metal rafters. Just
walk into the crates and you'll jump onto them, automatically walking over to
the other side of the human barrier. If you come too close near the soldiers
now, a battle will be triggered (Sergeant and two Belzecue, or two Sergeants and
two Belzecue) so try not to do that. If you want out, though, it's the only
way.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.31.2  Imperial Magitek Research Facility; Magitek Factory
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Onion Knight (#75), Sergeant (#76), Belzecue (#77), Proto Armor (#78)

  Container contents:
  Dragoon Boots, Ether, Flametongue, Golden Armor, Golden Helm, Golden Shield,
  Icebrand, Tent, Thunder Blade, Remedy, X-Potion, Zephyr Cloak

Unbelievable. You managed to reach Vector and actually made it into the IMRF
(Imperial Magitek Research Facility) itself. But you didn't think it would go
unguarded, did you? The IMRF not only is the laboratory where Cid del Norte
Marguez strolls ever onwards in the mysteries of magic, making the Empire both
more dangerous and more despicable by the second; it's also the building where
the Magitek Armors are created. Each machine is a nature-perverting hybrid of
metal and magic, designed and infused for the sole reason to kill. You're
walking into THE power source of the Empire. No, I don't think it will be
unguarded at all.

Preparation: Everybody in the Back Row. This is a theme-based dungeon, and the
theme is "If ye can't top 200 Defense, you ain't no kinda man." If a physical
attack isn't specifically barrier-piercing, it will be like butting your head
against a wall to try to break it. So, Front Row is useless. Genji Glove is
useless. A weapon's Attack is useless; if your Locke runs around with a
Boomerang, you might as well switch it to a Thief's Knife as neither will do
even a remotely impressive amount of damage but the Thief's Knife has added
benefits for it. The same goes for Bastard swords, so if you have a Rune Blade
granting you that extra 10 % Evasion, go for it.

So yes, if it can't penetrate defenses and has a physical nature, you'll be
hard-pressed to find a use for it. I think it might be wise to give a quick
recap on what's useful here and what's not:

Useful:
Magic, especially Thunder and Thundara
Summon attacks, which especially means Ramuh right now.
Flash, Drill, Chainsaw
Raging Fist, Meteor Strike, Aura Cannon, Rising Phoenix
Fang, Sky, Tiger
Rage-inflicted magical attacks, which besides Magic, includes Aspiran's
Gigavolt, Anguiform's Aqua Breath, Guard Leader's Wind Slash and Hill Gigas'
Magnitude 8.

Not useful:
Attack
Auto Crossbow
Flurry
Rage-inflicted physical attacks, which include Specials such as !Cat Scratch.

So yes, try to boost your magical attacks. Cyan will be especially boring and
useless here, as Fang starts to definitely lack in power and is only ST.
Locke, unless he can get in an acceptable shot, like casting Siren or a Thunder
spell, should do nothing but Steal (wear a Thief's Bracer; Brigand's Glove is
nigh useless) and use some Hi-Potions, if necessary. If you have a Gau around
who can Rage Anguiform, you should just wait for him to use Aqua Breath and
stall with Noiseblaster, Runic, Cure, and Steal, as he will end the battle when
he attacks with it. If you're low-leveled, some Earrings might help. If you
lack Gau and/or his Anguiform Rage but have the Figaro brothers, a Flash/Rising
Phoenix combo with some Earrings behind it should end all. If you lack both,
use some more sneaky tactics and attack to your best insight concerning the
enemies.

The ultimate way of dealing with enemies here is having a character with
(1 or 2) Earrings, especially Celes, summon Ramuh for Judgment Bolt. Judgment
Bolt will kill everything it touches, and it's not random like Gau's Aqua
Breath. However, it will cost you 25 MP per summon, so unless you switch Ramuh
around (which is a lot of trouble as it slows spell learning down) you'll have
to use Ethers to keep it up.

Monster formations:
(First Room)
Belzecue, Belzecue, Sergeant, Sergeant (6/16)
Belzecue, Belzecue, Sergeant (5/16)
Proto Armor, Onion Knight, Onion Knight (5/16)

(Second Room)
Onion Knight, Onion Knight, Onion Knight, Onion Knight, Onion Knight (6/16)
Proto Armor, Proto Armor (5/16)
Belzecue, Belzecue, Sergeant (5/16)

The most common foe is the one you found earlier in the Imperial Observation
Post and strolling the streets of Vector: Sergeant. Their most attractive
feature is their common Tent Steal, and otherwise they're very straightforward.
Cid programmed them with Program 65, which, when executed, will silence the
target for the duration of the battle. Their set of elemental weaknesses is
rather strange; humans tend to succumb to Poison where machines are more likely
to have a problem with Lightning and Water. Maybe this and the fact that
they're apparently programmed is a hint they are some kind of cyborgs? At any
rate, normal cannon fodder you have to plow through.

Sergeants are often accompanied by Belzecue dogs. They're canine versions of the
Sergeant, really. Cid's program for them was Program 95, which ignites
madness in the target, confusing them for the rest of the battle. Same
weaknesses, same treatment. Don't worry too much about them confusing your
Sabin when he is about to execute a Rising Phoenix Blitz; they will never use
it unless they're alone, and you're bound to take them on with MT attacks
anyway, right? The name 'Belzecue' is taken from Dante's Inferno, wherein
Belzecue was a leading demon.

The metallic vermin of the IMRF are the Onion Knight robots. They're small,
have little HP, are kinda weak, and only attack in large numbers. To compensate
for their lack in offensive power, Cid set them up to use Program 55, one that
turns the target into the illustrious Imp creature that is incapable of doing
anything that is more than a little unlike rolling over and dying. The Flash
Tool alone will finish them off without a lot of trouble, let alone Rising
Phoenix and Aqua Breath.

The Empire is about to bring a new kind of Magitek Armor, but they have created
nothing but prototypes for them yet; the Proto Armor is the pure chassis of the
new model, but fully operational. Its powers over the standard Magitek Armor
include, besides the standard electricity-based Magitek Laser, a missile support
unit to fire off either a single Missile or go for the massive Launcher
attack to attack multiple targets simultaneously, a blinding flash of light
called Scintillation - also used by the Satellite - to blind the offensive
party, and Cid's personal touch, Program 35, which by magical means fuels the
body to deliver physical damage. To properly dispose of these tanks, Siren is
massively useful to halt all magical attacks, should you not wish to wait for
their demise before disabling them. Noiseblaster works too. Besides,
Scintillation and Launcher, both more dangerous than Missile, will only be
carried if the Proto Armor is either alone or has just been targeted by a
Attack command, which was foolishness to begin with.

You are now entering what the Bestiary gives as the Magitek Factory: the part
of the building where the Magitek Armors are being created. What you'll want to
do first is go all the way to the left, through a pipe, on a conveyer belt,
to a chest that contains, oh sweetness, a Flametongue. It's a nice Fire-
elemental sword that mildly boosts your Magic; give it to either Celes or
Edgar (where Edgar probably has the slight preference as you'll be using him
more). You'll notice a crane going back and forth. Face the crane, and when it's
on your side, quickly jump onto it with the Action button to let it carry
you across the gap. Over here, you'll see two pipes where the ends that are
facing the gamer kinda look like eyes. You'll want to enter the right one first
to obtain access to the chest - an Ether - before climbing back and allowing
your party to climb down the left one.

The stairs will drop you on another conveyer belt, which drops you off near a
chest and another pipe. The pipe will take you back should you want it to (with
an elevator! Oh, my!), but you probably won't. Grab the chest - X-Potion. The
path downwards will get you exactly nowhere (you can't make that elevator go
down to where you are), so get on the conveyer belt that takes you further
into the factory.

It delivers you to another chest! The Thunder Blade is waiting for you. If
you had an Edgar or Celes left to equip it on, do so (there's really no point in
switching it with the Flametongue, but if it pleases ye...). Move down a
little and there'll be another chest. Such treasury! It's a Remedy. Get on the
newly visible conveyer belt and don't forget about the chest you see on the way
down; we'll be coming for it later.

There's a slight break from the conveyer belt here. Continuing right on will
simply get you to advance the dungeon, but you'll miss treasures! Rather
nice ones, actually, although nothing can compare to blades of which the first
one is on fire and the second one has electric currents running through it.

To the bottom-left is the first accessible chest, which contains Dragoon Boots.
Going up the ladder near it will get you (through a door) to the chest you
passed earlier, which will contain a Golden Shield. It's also the way out if you
still want to pussy out of the mission. Descending the stairs near the
Dragoon Boots chest again, you'll want to go all the way to the right (just past
a crane that has no use here) and all the way to the bottom, where you'll
see a door leading to a chest containing a Golden Helm. Exit the door and go
all the way to the right, where you'll see a small chamber of which only the
inner wall is visible. Here, a chest is hidden with Golden Armor. Exit the room
and walk up the stairs for the Tent in the chest. Hike back to the place where
the conveyer belt dropped you off in this room, but don't continue just yet; go
up the stairs above the conveyer belt. You'll meet plenty of crates here (with,
as your sharp eye has probably noticed, the Imperial Logo on 'em). There's a
hidden entrance to the right just below the fifth crate. If you're having
trouble finding it, face the first crate you come across, take five steps down,
all the way to the right, one step back. Go down a while and you'll see the
hidden chamber with two chests; one the Icebrand sword, a blade made entirely
out of never-melting ice and the Ice-elemental equivalent of the Flametongue and
Thunder Blade, and the Zephyr Cloak, which boosts both Evasion stats by
10 % and introduces a spiffy cape animation when you block something with it to
boot.

If you're done, it doesn't matter if you hike back or continue down; if you go
down, you'll fall out of the end, and a while later, appear at the end of a
pipe close to the conveyer belt you were just thinking of continuing.

Get on the conveyer belt and simply walk on until you meet a friendly face,
by which I mean a certain kind of friend who would like to hit you in the
abdomen with a rather large and heavy object and who would enjoy extra ice in
his drinks.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.31.3  Imperial Magitek Research Facility; The Pit
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Trapper (#79), Flan (#80), General (#81), Destroyer (#82), Lenergia (#83),
  Ifrit (#290), Shiva (#291), Number 024 (#292)

  Container contents:
  Stoneblade

  Miscellaneous items:
  Blood Sword (rare Number 024 steal), Flametongue (rare Number 024 drop),
  Icebrand (common Number 024 drop), Magicite Shard (rare Flan steal), Rune
  Blade (common Number 024 steal)

  Magicite:
  Bismarck, Carbuncle, Catoblepas, Ifrit, Maduin, Phantom, Shiva, Unicorn

Kefka. You don't get to fight him or even confront him this time, and all he
basically does is prove with his power-horny monologue what you already knew;
the facility houses Espers, and magic is being drained from them. There's one
thing that clings to you, or at least *should* cling to you, like one of those
little corn skins between your teeth or barely noticeable migraine during your
important exam; Kefka mentions reviving the Warring Triad, as if this would be
of great value to him. What is this Warring Triad?

Preparation: Nothing special, as the monsters, while changing, will also be
annoyingly much like the ones you met earlier in their high regard of
physical defense. Except for a tiny few, but hey, they're zeroes.

Monster formations:
Flan, Flan, Flan, Flan (10/16)
Flan, Flan, Flan, Flan, Flan, Flan (6/16)

Great Scott(y, 1920-2005), would the famous Cid del Norte Marguez wade through
tiny metallic leprechauns, stumble over conveyer belts, and fly up on ascending
cranes to his lab every single day? Remove the semi-futuristic crazy scientists'
lab setting and he'd have to be Mary bloody Poppins, wouldn't he?
But I digress. You made it past the factory...at least, it seems you did. Take
a look around. You're standing in some kind of...death room. Skeletons
everywhere, two lifeless Espers who you saw thrown down here. One could pick a
nicer spot for a picnic.

First, the layout. The blue Esper, Shiva, is blocking a door. She (the
Anthology Bestiary at least confirmed she's female) won't respond to your calls.
There's another door, leading to a small room with no purpose one could
easily pinpoint (although there's a Save Point glowing on the ground).
A hook provides you escape from the room...but all is not silent in the
halls of the dead. The red Esper, Ifrit, stirs. And blue goop, all around you,
appears to move by itself, splitting and sinking into the tiles.

Flan are this game's incarnation of the Pudding, the Jello, the Blobra...
they're in every game; semi-liquid monsters who are not particularly dangerous
but are rather a pest to take on due to their extreme physical protection and
oft-changing elemental weakness. FF VI Flan are entirely unlike their
counterparts. FF VI Flan are immune to all the non-basic elements, and their
defense is, well, pathetic. A Defense rating of 13. That's...just great. Take
them out any ol'way you want, but take note; these monsters have had time to
feast upon the 'useless' corpses of many Espers thrown here; they might have
some Magicite Shards on them. In cooking, flan is a custard-like dessert
originating from Spain, and is popular in former Spanish colonies such as Latin
America, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico. So there you go.

Flan, by the way, appear in two kinds of group. The first is your average
four-headed party. The second appears to be only a single Flan enemy, but
when you kill it, two more will appear. If you kill those, three more will
appear, until you've killed them. If you kill the first Flan or the last of
the two Flan with Gau's Mu's Snare, you won't get any more Flan down your
throat.

Now, it's time to turn our attention to the two Espers here. Equip as many
Reflect Rings as you have (obviously, one on every character is plenty) and face
them.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.31.4  The battle with Ifrit and Shiva
**********************************

Shiva
Level: 21, HP: 3000, MP: 500
Steal: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Ice, Nullify: Thunder, Poison, Wind, Holy, Earth and Water,
         Weakness: Fire
Special: !Hit: attack x 1.5
Vulnerable to: Slow
Attacks: Blizzard, Blizzara, Reflect, Snowstorm

Ifrit
Level: 21, HP: 3300, MP: 600
Steal: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Fire, Nullify: Thunder, Poison, Wind, Holy, Earth and Water,
         Weakness: Ice
Special: !Hit: attack x 1.5
Vulnerable to: Slow
Attacks: Attack, Fire, Fira, Firaga, Blaze

The battle against Ifrit and, if you allow it, Shiva, is not your classic
battle of good vs. evil. Nay, two scared, dying members of an abused race turn
like a dog in a corner on whoever comes near them. Ifrit, the fire Esper, and
Shiva, the ice Esper...eternal counterparts.

Ifrit, the fire Djinni. Next to a physical attack, he performs Fire and Fira
spells and a deadly Blaze attack that ignores Reflect Rings and Runic blade
alike. If provoked by three Magic spells from you, he will charge up for a
massive Firaga attack, which you'll want to avoid at all costs if you're not
fully protected from the spell by Reflect Ring, Celes' Runic, or Gau's possible
inherent Fire-elemental absorption.

Shiva, the Ice Queen, will come at you with the more basic Blizzard and Blizzara
spells, on occasion switching on performing a nasty Snowstorm attack,
which isn't as strong, but penetrates Reflect Rings and Runic. If damaged she
can be quick to retort with an Blizzard spell, and when hit three times with a
Magic spell herself she will cast a Reflect spell on one of your characters,
which will send any Blizzard and Blizzara spell she will cast on you back at
her, healing her.

The trick here is to defeat one of them. If this happens, the Espers will
realize they're not fighting someone coming for their death and they will
sense Ramuh's soul near you. However, you can't just focus on one just like
that, as you will only fight one at a time. Every time bit 3 reaches an amount
of 5, they'll switch in for the other. The quickest approach may lie in
taking Ifrit down before he can call on Shiva, but that may not always be
possible. Bit 3 is incremented when:

a) the Esper is damaged by any means
b) the Magic skill is used on them

Their Defenses are through the roof, much like most opponents you've faced so
far. You know how to deal with that, although these magical beasts also take
no damage from elemental magic unless it's their own element (which they'll
absorb) or their weakness.

So, you can forget about your Magic skill. If you're sure you won't be able to
pull off a Blitzkrieg against Ifrit anyway, you might want to start the battle
off with a Slow spell if you have it, else it's a wasted turn as it increments
bit 3. Drill/Chainsaw does great damage, especially when backed up with a Gigas
Glove. Celes can cast an Blizzard spell (Runic, with frequent counter-spells,
doesn't work as well as you'd think and is entirely redundant if you are fully
protected by Reflect Rings). Sabin can Raging Fist Ifrit and perform Rising
Phoenix when Shiva's around. Locke has no business being a thief in this battle,
and might as well grab the Icebrand against Ifrit (he might pull off
the random Blizzard spell) and the Flametongue against Shiva (or plain cast the
Fire spell if he knows it). Cyan's Fang is the only thing he CAN do with some
success, useless cretin that he is. Gau's irresponsible nature makes him kind
of a Janos in this battle. With other characters backing him up, the wisest
course of action will probably be Zaghrem, as it's non-elemental, magical
damage against both targets.

Along with the violence, summoning Kirin to aid you throughout the battle and
casting a lot of Cure spells is a probably a great idea as you may not have
Reflect Rings here. The Runic blade, more often than not, catches a counter-
Blizzard while letting the Blizzara spell slip by.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.31.5  Imperial Magitek Research Facility
**********************************

When all is done, Ifrit and Shiva will realize their position and will offer
themselves to you as Magicite. It's possible to leave the Magicite of Ifrit
here and miss it forever; note that there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to
do so. I say you grab Shiva and Ifrit and equip them if you think their x 5
Blizzara and Fira spell learn rates look yummy to your tummy. Shiva's Rasp and
Osmose spells do not hurt your cause at the slightest; Rasp is a great tactical
spell, and Osmose simply means you won't need any MP-restoring potions
anymore. Ever.

Monster formations:

(Stairs)
Trapper, Trapper, Trapper (6/16)
General, General (5/16)
General, Onion Knight, Onion Knight (5/16)

(Tube Room)
Lenergia, Destroyer, Lenergia (6/16)
Lenergia (5/16)
Destroyer, Destroyer (5/16)

Rather then using the crane to escape, I suggest you press on and open the door.
On the other side are stairs. A whole mother lode of them. You'll find
new enemies here, of which the most dangerous ones are the Trapper robots.

Trapper robots care not for personal safety or any kind of intelligence or
battle skill. They care for nothing; as robots, they are nihilists. They perform
only three tasks: casting Lv. 3 Confuse, casting Lv. 4 Flare, and
casting Lv. 5 Death. They are bitches if you let them be. The spells will do
what you would have kind of guessed they did: Lv. 3 Confuse confuses any
character whose level is divisible by 3, Lv. 4 Flare casts a Flare-like attack
on every character whose level is divisible by 4, which means pure sonic death
at this stage of the game, and Lv. 5 Death...well, it kills any character whose
level is divisible by 5. If you find that all your characters are level 18, you
might want to go back and steal some Magicite Shards from the Flan until you've
collectively reached 19, and if your level is 15 or (especially) 20 you'll want
to do this, as you'll never make it. To take care of Trappers with utmost
efficiency, summon Ramuh or cast Thundara if you have it. If you brought Edgar,
Noiseblaster works very well, and like you could expect, Gau's Anguiform-
induced Aqua Breath kills them with death.

Generals, finally, are mere humans. Their Defense is high but not sky-high, and
they're normal and weak to Poison attacks. Unleash the new-found fury of Ifrit
and Shiva if you want; they are unassuming compared to the enemies you've found
so far. They have restorative powers in an actual spell they learned, Cura,
but they won't make a lot of use out of it, as they're often being too dead to
use it.

Lenergia. Is it any surprise the Lenergia appears to be so weak, especially next
to horned demons from the underworld? They're unassuming opponents you can
take down any way you want, but know that when left alone, they start attacking
with Shamshir attacks non-stop. It makes for a great MP-refiller for Celes, as
it's basically a 20 MP gain every turn the Lenergia takes.

The horned demons from the underworld I was talking about are called Destroyer.
I hope I didn't get you all worried; stress is bad. And they're not that
dangerous once you get to know them. They make silly physical swipes with their
claws, and on occasion try to poison you with !Poison Strike, but it's not until
their solitude arises they start showing their true colors, which are
very, very, incompetent. When alone, the Destroyer tries to cast the overly
cheap Reraise spell, the spell that grants an automatic revive of a fallen
character right after he dies. Sadly, the spell takes 50 MP, and Destroyer only
has 35. So sorry. Their incredible defense, one-hit KO protection, and
Lightning-absorbing can make them tedious to take down; a combination of Flash
and Rising Phoenix, not mentioning the trusted Aqua Breath, will get the job
done.

The room you enter after the Stairs of Seeming Infinity contain five vacant
tubes; three to the top of the screen, two to the bottom. Hidden to the left of
the bottom-left tube is a Stoneblade. The Stoneblade sadly lacks in special
stat bonus properties, but makes up for it with having impressive Attack and a
rather interesting randomly cast spell in Break, a petrifying move. At
this point, if any of your characters stuck with Cait Sith long enough to learn
Float, have him or her cast it on the party (this can be done outside of
battle), as when you continue, you meet the... yes, what the hell is this guy?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.31.6  The battle with Number 024
**********************************

Number 024
Level: 24, HP: 4777, MP: 777
Steal: Blood Sword (rare), Rune Blade (common); Win: Flametongue (rare),
       Icebrand (common)
Special: !Overflow: sets Confuse
Vulnerable to: Imp, Sleep
Attacks: Attack, !Overflow, Fire, Fira, Blizzard, Blizzara, Thunder, Thundara,
Libra, Cure, Cura, Aqua Breath, Sunbath, Cave In, Arctic Hare, Acid Rain,
Fireball, Magnitude 8, Barrier Change, Reverse Polarity, Sonic Boom, Gale Cut

On one hand, machines tend to have that crippling weakness to Lightning, or at
the very least a Program ## move somewhere to dish out. This guy has neither.
He uses spells and wields swords, so you'd almost assume he was a human if it
hadn't been for a 'System error!' message he is able to produce in the middle
of battle. A cyborg, then, like the Sergeant? We can only guess. Fact remains
Number 024 is a darned interesting opponent that is no real challenge even if
you forget about his status ailment weaknesses, but is so darn versatile we
still love him anyway.

The guy's main move is Barrier Change. Barrier Change shuffles all the elemental
properties of the caster and picks one element to set as its weakness. Then, it
sets one element as the element it absorbs. First effects: you'll never know
what exactly your elemental attacks will do; 75 % chance they'll do nothing,
12.5 % chance they'll heal him, 12.5 % chance they'll do double damage.
Conclusion: waste of time, think of alternative means of violence. But # 024
adapts his fighting style according to his weakness. Here are his moves:

Weakness Fire = Blizzard, Blizzara
Weakness Ice = Fire, Fira, Fireball
Weakness Lightning = Aqua Breath, Acid Rain
Weakness Poison = Cure, Cura
Weakness Wind = Magnitude 8, Cave In (Here's where Float comes in handy)
Weakness Holy = Attack, Reverse Polarity
Weakness Earth = Sonic Boom, Gale Cut
Weakness Water = Thunder, Thundara

Here's what he'll do. He'll simply strike you physically for 30 seconds. Then,
he'll do his first Barrier Change. If you manage to strike his weakness then
(discover it with a Libra spell), he'll perform it again. Even if you just let
him perform another 30 seconds of action, he'll perform another Barrier Change.
After he has performed a Barrier Change for three times, he'll go haywire, even
though you haven't destroyed him, reading 'System error', calling up Arctic
Hares (the more successful branch of the Lagomorph family), enjoying Sunbaths,
and finding his true self with the Libra spell. After 30 seconds of this, he'll
snap out of it again, starting over as if he had cast his first Barrier Change
of the battle.

But you won't have to see all this madness. The Sleep spell, taught to you by
Siren, works on the fiend, as does Cait Sith's Imp spell. Alone, they severely
cripple him; together, they are an unstoppable force. Keep him sleeping and make
sure you only cast Magic. If that blasted neutral Tapir shows up and awakens
him, cast Sleep again as soon as possible. If Gau is among your forces, just
have him relax. Try to steal with Locke; Rune Blade or Blood Sword, both are 
nice additions if nothing else. I'd especially go for the Blood Sword if you 
have any choice in the matter, as it's quite unique. In the end, # 024's Hit 
Points will run out, and he will die. Victory dance, coffee et thou.

It seems this Number 024 was guarding the room where the remaining Espers are
being subdued in their test tubes. We know that Ramuh, Kirin, Siren, and Cait
Sith escaped, which might explain the empty test tubes we saw earlier. In this
room, six Espers fuel the Empire's power. Meet Bismarck and Maduin, Unicorn and
Catoblepas, and Phantom and Carbuncle. There's a lever over there. It's a
fictional universe; I'll be damned if the most prominent button or lever in the
room isn't at least slightly self-destructive. Use it.

Watch the scene now.

That moment was...disturbing in quite a few ways. First, before the eyes of Cid
himself, we revealed the secret of Magicite, one that he apparently did not
know yet. The Magicite handed itself to you, safe for the moment from the
Empire, but only as long as you manage to stay out of their hands. And you're
still in the heart of Vector.

Then, Celes' true loyalty is questioned. We can assume she has sworn an oath or
two, oaths not cheaply dismissed. Cyan, who has waged war with the Empire
already and has shown more knowledge about Celes than anyone else, has never
trusted her and almost carelessly dismisses the scene as an inevitable one:
"Hmph. I knew she was not to be trusted!" Locke, whose bond with Celes has
been the strongest so far, is not happy with the situation.

Amidst it all, Kefka has made another appearance and shows the upper hand until
Celes warps her, Kefka, and the Armored soldiers out of the room. This still
proves nothing on the subject of her allegiance, by the way; it's reasonable
to assume she just couldn't bear being the witness of their direct death.
The Espers have ruptured their tubes, something they apparently could only do
as Magicite, and spilled dangerous fluids. The IMRF shakes on its foundations.
Time to save your own lives first and ponder important questions later. Join
Cid on the elevator, and abandon the place.

Note: In the Japanese game, Cid casually states that there are hundreds of
Espers rather than the 26 you eventually obtain.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.31.7  Imperial Magitek Research Facility; Mine Cart Ride
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Magna Roader (purple) (#84), Magna Roader (red) (#85), Number 128 (#293),
  Right Blade (#294), Left Blade (#295)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Kazekiri (rare Number 128 steal)

Cid: Oh, what have I done...? There's no excuse for it, no matter how much Kefka
may have threatened me...

Cid: Draining the life energy from Espers just to make people stronger...

Cid: You've helped me come to a decision. I'm going to talk to the emperor and
make him realize how foolish this whole war is!

I've always thought that Cid comes off very clean very quick in this game. Cid
del Norte Marquez is a ruthless scientist who experimented on scientist beings
in an attempt to remove their very life energy to the benefit of the Empire.
Just because as a scientist he feels the war should be stopped doesn't he mean
he feels even the slightest remorse at his actions per se; he regrets them being
used for military purposes, apparently, but shows no regret on his glorious
victories in the field of science.

Preparation: Celes, the poor lass, was de-equipped upon her exit from your
party. You'll want to keep everybody in the Back Row here and equip everyone
to their best possible ability, as the next opponents will not have as much
Defense as those you've seen just now. You've obtained six new Espers, and
you can check them out if you want. There's NO WAY you'll learn new spells
before the next boss, but their effects can be nice. I really, really suggest
equipping Phantom, as his Ghostly Veil attack can turn the entire party
invisible, which is a good thing against both the monsters and the boss you're
about to face.

When you arrive, you're bound to notice the Save Point waiting for you there.
Cid plays another emo-card by declaring himself as the almost-daddy of Celes,
and how sorry he feels her life was dedicated to warfare. Before he can go on,
though, Kefka is heard close by, and Cid pushes you into a mine cart. Now,
a warning about the upcoming scene: if you're on acid, don't do it. Mindfuck.
I guarantee it. I'm not sure what the graphic designers were thinking here, but
it can only be interpreted as one of those paintings of which close inspection
only reveals rubbish, while standing away a long distance you'll suddenly
notice it's a fish! Or a tree! Or even Jesus! At any rate, abstract gaming is
not pleasant.

I think it's supposed to be some kind of underground railroad from the
perspective of a viewer in a speeding mine cart, but I'm not sure.

Right now, you'll face five monster formations before the eventual boss, without
time to heal or change equipment in between. These monster formations can
either be:

Fight #1 and #3:
Magna Roader (purple) (75 %)
Magna Roader (purple) Magna Roader (red) (25 %)

Fight #2, #4 and #5:
Magna Roader (purple) x2 (75 %)
Magna Roader (red) x4 (25 %)

For the SNES game, there was this elaborate explanation possible as to one could
make sure to encounter red Magna Roaders. The specifics of the red Magna's in
the Advance incarnation is not clear at all, but you shouldn't be worried as
it's only relevant if you're a deadpan completionist or LLG-er. If you're one
of those and are bummed out now, Save and try.

Anyway:

Purple Magna Roaders are big and weak. Red Magna Roaders are small and weaker.
Purple Magna Roaders wield Fire and Fira spells, both horribly weak. Red Magna
Roaders attack with Blizzard and Blizzara spells. Both monsters are cannon
fodder with especially low amounts of Defense. Their spells are more annoying
than dangerous (as they prevent you from summoning Phantom at the start of the
five monster formations and gain invulnerability for the time being).

Make sure you're fully prepared - or AS fully prepared as possible - when you
leave the fifth monster formation behind you. The next battle will be
unpleasantly like being difficult. Here's how to pull that off nice and
professional-like. Step one: Silence the remaining opponent(s). Step two: summon
Phantom. Note that Heal up with Potions and Hi-Potions until you're at full
health. Smack the last Roader down. You're good to go.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.31.8  The battle with Number 128
**********************************

Number 128
Level: 23, HP: 3276, MP: 810
Steal: Kazekiri (rare); Win: Tent (always)
Absorbs: Ice
Special: !Red Feast: Drains HP, attack x 1.5
Vulnerable to: Berserk, Slow
Attacks: Attack, !Blood Feast, Blizzard, Haste, Net, Blaster, Atomic Rays,
Shockwave, Gale Cut

Left Blade
Level: 22, HP: 700, MP: 470
Steal: Ether (rare); Win: Phoenix Down (common)
Absorbs: Ice
Special: !Slash: attack x 2
Vulnerable to: Petrify, KO, Doom, Slow, Stop
Attacks: Attack, !Slash, Shamshir

Right Blade
Level: 21, HP: 400, MP: 150
Steal: Ether (rare); Win: Phoenix Down (common)
Absorbs: Ice
Special: !Rapier: attack x 1.5
Vulnerable to: Petrify, KO, Doom, Slow, Stop
Attacks: Attack, !Rapier

Number 128 is not so much a human with the cybernetic parts in him but a robot
with flesh on it. I've only ever seen one thing that vaguely reminded me of it,
and that was during a Hellraiser movie. You know, horror. To top it, he's
stronger than anything you've ever encountered so far. There are three
attacking parts here, and only three party members. The absolute worst part
is the fact he carries a very rare sword on him, a sword that will remain
useful throughout the entire game, of which only two exist; one in a chest
you'll find two dungeons from now, one as a rare steal on this very opponent.
It's by no means horrible if you don't obtain it, but it's really nice if you
do.

There are two blades. Left Blade and Right Blade. They're to the left and right
of Number 128. Hence their name. They attack physically every round, and throw
in a mean Special if you're in bad luck. If you kill them, they'll be back
within 15 seconds. Left Blade knows Shamshir, which is especially dangerous as
it reveals invisible characters.

The main body is the worst, as you could imagine. Physical strikes more
powerful than those of the blades, a Special that drains HP, the ability to
cast the Blizzard spell, and cast a Net over a character. The latter two reveal
invisible characters. But when both blades are killed, he gets really mean.
He will cast Haste on himself to increase his amount of turns and starts using
almost exclusively magical attacks. Gale Cut and Atomic Rays are both MT
attacks, and Atomic Rays hurts quite a bundle. Shockwave is an attack you saw
earlier on Dadaluma, and Blaster is its most dangerous move; while inaccurate,
it will simply kill any character it does hit. If you are under the influence
of Invisible, you get a Game Over.

So here's the strategy if have Phantom at your disposal and/or have summoned him
earlier: ignore the blades and try to focus on the main body. Locke should
use Hi-Potions or Phoenix Downs when necessary, and spend all other turns
trying to get that Kazekiri blade. He's a good character to cast Slow spells if
he can use them; focus them on the blades to slow them down. Edgar is reliable
and powerful with Drill or Chainsaw, but his brother not so much. If Sabin
doesn't know the Thundara spell, I suggest Rising Phoenix. Eventually it will
take out the blades, but Phantom gave us a head start at the very least, and
you can always summon him again if you entered the battle while invisible. With
Cyan, it's the same, only with Fang. If you obtain the Kazekiri for him, equip
it and simply Attack the body. Gau can Rage Anguiform to be sure to hit the
body every Aqua Breath, or Rage Aspiran if you're feeling lucky. Gigavolt is
stronger, yet not always MT. A few tips remaining:

- If (most of) your party is revealed and you can still summon Phantom, do so.
  Invisibility is definitely a positive status as long as you can keep at least
  one blade around at all times.
- Counter his Haste spell with a Slow spell from your side when possible.
- If you find yourself in the rare position of having Catoblepas equipped but
  not Phantom, summon the piglet Esper right away. There's a rather large
  chance he'll take out both blades in one go.

Number 128 is one of the most dangerous opponents of the game given its
relative setting, and if your luck is just really, really bad it's
possible to die even if you're a rather experienced player, especially if
you're trying to get the Kazekiri.

A note about the common Phoenix Downs you get from the blades; you'll never get
them. The blades will always ripple away, which is an action before they
disappear. As such, you'll only make them disapppear, you never actually kill
them.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.32.1  Escaping Vector
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Onion Knight (#75), Sergeant (#76), Chaser (#86), Crane (#296), Crane (#297)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Debilitator (rare right Crane steal)

Well, officially, the mission was a success. You penetrated the Imperial
Magitek Research Facility. You didn't so much rescue the eight Espers you
managed to find, but took their Magicite remains as per their request. Nobody on
your side died. Cid is just a scientist, but his promise to try to persuade
the Emperor is a glimmer of hope. Yet, the loss of Celes weighs heavily, and
you're not out of Vector yet.

Monster formations:
Chaser, Trapper, Trapper, Trapper (5/16)
Sergeant, Sergeant, Sergeant, Sergeant (5/16)
Chaser, Onion Knight, Onion Knight, Onion Knight (5/16)
Onion Knight, Onion Knight, Onion Knight, Onion Knight (1/16)

Preparation: Equip the Kazekiri on Cyan if you haven't already. You can once
again go for a simply what's-best set-up, as neither impossibly high
Defense nor insane flurries of physical attacks are present now. Summoning
Bismarck will be very useful in the next boss battle (don't worry; it'll take
a while before there's another boss fight after it), so you might want to equip
it. The Flametongue and Thunder Blade should not stay equipped (go with Icebrand
instead), and any Burning Fist should be swapped with Venom Claws.

Your infiltration didn't go unnoticed, and you have Imperial forces chasing
you down. The aptly named Chaser robot is one of them. Chaser robots rain
death from above, so it's your task to, you know, kinda geyser death from below.
Even from below, I think it's more of a raining motion, but I couldn't
think of anything that rains upside-down. Unless you're in Australia. Heh.

Back to Chaser robots. They're the last of Cid's protective metal golems you'll
meet. Chaser robots can shoot Magitek Lasers and weaken opponents by use of
Dischord (which halves their level, as I explained with Satellite, the palette
swap). It can also attack with a Plasma attack, which is actually very powerful.
Plasma is ST, luckily, so if one of your characters dies you can simply revive
him. If you encounter them alone, their death will cause three Trappers to
appear (unless you kill him with Gau's Mu Snare), and if you meet him with three
Onion Knights already present, take him out first, as he will just continue to
call more if you take them all down.

Save at the Save Point if you want to. You can stroll into the Magitek Factory
again here, but one of the pipes collapsed, so you can't go very far. The fact
that even this part is shaking hints at the fact the entire building is going
down; this was more than you could've hoped for. Simply run down the rails and
you'll meet up with Setzer. The Empire was becoming paranoid, and the hustle and
bustle in Vector alarmed him. He notices the lack of Celes, but understands
the need to escape. The four of you rush out of Vector, freedom nigh.

Not nigh enough. Kefka plays a last card in a final attempt to stop you from
escaping.

Cyan: Gah! What are those mechanical monstrosities!?
Edgar: I don't like the looks of those things!
Sabin: Whoa! What're those!?
Gau: Uwao! Waou!!!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.32.2  The battle with the Cranes
**********************************

Cranes. I don't know about the 'countries' you guys live in, but here in the
Netherlands, cranes are not an uncommon sight if there's building going on.
They tend not to attack us, though. These two attack in pairs, can use Magic,
and can significantly screw you up if you're not careful. You have one
character you couldn't equip beforehand: Setzer. I'll talk a bit about the
Cranes.

Setzer comes with the following equipment:
Cards
Mythril Shield
 -
Mythril Vest

That's pretty shitty. Fun fact: Setzer's not wearing a helmet because in the
SNES and PSX releases of the game, he was wearing a Bandana, a piece of headgear
he can't equip. He. Just. Can't. Anyway, if you want to know about Setzer's
abilities, take a look at [SLOT-LINK].

There are two Cranes, and they're not completely the same.

Crane (right one)
Level: 24, HP: 2300, MP: 447
Steal: Debilitator (rare), Hi-Potion (common)
Absorbs: Fire, Weakness: Lightning, Water
Special: !Wrecking Ball: Attack x 2
Vulnerable to: Slow
Attacks: Attack, !Wrecking Ball, Fire, Fira, Firaga, Thundara, Magnitude 8,
Magitek Barrier

Crane (left one)
Level: 23, HP: 1800, MP: 447
Steal: Noiseblaster (rare)
Absorbs: Lightning, Weakness: Water
Special: !Wrecking Ball: Attack x 1.5
Vulnerable to: Slow
Attacks: Attack, !Wrecking Ball, Thunder, Thundara, Fira, Gigavolt, Magnitude 8,
Magitek Barrier

The right one is fire-based. It will attack physically and use the Fire and
Fira spell. When hit by a Fire-elemental attack of any kind, it will charge,
going through "THERMAL REACTION LEVEL: 1" to "THERMAL REACTION LEVEL: 2" and
finally to "THERMAL REACTION LEVEL: 3 UNLEASHING THERMAL ENERGY" at which point
it will target the entire party with a Firaga spell. When alone, it will boost
its defenses with Magitek Barrier, which as you know, grants both Protect and
Reflect, protecting it from Magic spells. After one minute of fighting, the
message "The crane shakes the deck!" will appear and the Crane will perform a
Magnitude 8 attack. Finally, every third time it has been damaged, it will
perform a Thundara spell on the other Crane, charging it. It has a rare
Debilitator steal that you might want; it's another Tool for Edgar.

The left one is pretty much the same, only lightning-based. From
"ELECTRIFICATION LEVEL: 1" it will pass through "ELECTRIFICATION LEVEL: 2" and
"ELECTRIFICATION LEVEL: 3 Electrical energy unleashed!" performing an MT Giga
Volt attack. All other features are the same, only it will cast a Fira spell on
the other crane every third time it has been damaged.

If you brought Gau and he knows how to perform the Anguiform Rage, you're in
luck, as the Aqua Breath attack is incredibly powerful in this battle, up to the
point where an Earrings-boosted Aqua Breath will probably kill one Crane in
one hit. Do NOT let him enter a Rage that performs either Fire or Lightning
based attacks, and don't let him enter a Rage with a special attack that is
Reflectable. Locke can do little here but try to Steal the Debilitator from
the right Crane. Focus on one Crane at the time where possible. Drill/Chainsaw
and Aura Cannon are songs often sung right now, and Cyan can enjoy his Kazekiri
Knife. Setzer is easily the weakest link at this point, lacking in proper
equipment. Just try to nail a diamond or Chocobo on your first spin; that will
make for the most consistent damage output.

The Cranes are not as hard as Number 128 was, and you're bound to gain the upper
hand if you don't make any mistakes. Now, it's time to fly to Zozo. Let's
see what Terra has been doing in the meantime; with Celes gone, we need Terra
to fill the role of ex-Imperial magic woman.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.33.1  Zozo; Terra's flashback
**********************************

When you arrive in the sanctuary Ramuh prepared for Terra, one of the pieces of
Magicite you took from the Imperial Factory starts to glow, much like
Valigarmanda did when it and Terra crossed paths. It's Maduin, and he inspires a
memory in Terra...

As Maduin, you relive the history of Terra's birth. Maduin is the Gate Keeper
of the Esper world, whose job is to make sure whatever needs to stay out stays
out. A youthful Esper, alarms you there's something going on (the alpha
version of this document stated this was Yura. While I still believe this is
accurate, it's never stated so I won't do so here). The gate is near Maduin's
cave, to the north. The strong winds of the day have already alarmed the Elder
of the Esper World, who has explained them as an ill omen.

Walking around the Esper World gives you the following responses from the
ancient Espers:

Hey, Maduin! How have you been?
Good evening, Maduin!
Is it your turn to watch the gate, Maduin?
This is one nasty storm...Be careful, Maduin
There's an ominous air about this evening... (the Elder)

When you reach the gate, you see a collapsed girl - a human girl. Choosing to
let her lay there simply won't continue the plot, so take her with you.

After she has been installed in her bed to rest, the Elder has come to see her.
The Espers are not happy about her arrival; humans and Espers don't mix. While
the day has cleared, the moods of the Espers have not.

Walking around the Esper World gives you the following responses from the
ancient Espers:

Everyone is worried...
The barrier between our worlds must've weakened over the past millennium.
I heard there's a human girl in the village!
Do you have any idea what you've done?
For centuries, no human has wandered into our world. Why has this happened now,
after all these years?
We ought to kill it right away. Humans and Espers are incompatible...
(The Youth, standing guard near the gate) Elder's orders...no one passes
through the gate.

Talking to the girl will wake her up. Her name is Madeline. Maduin gives her a
pendant for no apparent reason, perhaps as a gift of good will. Terra carried a
Pendant when she invaded Narshe, and kept it with her ever since...

When Maduin wakes up, he quickly notices Madeline is gone. The Elder is waiting
outside, concerned about the situation, and while outside one Esper laments on
the worst possible scenario ("If the humans learned of our powers and decided
to try to make use of them... That would be a terrible thing indeed."), another
one saw Madeline go to the gate. Try to catch up with her. Apparently, she
slipped by the guard, as he has no idea what's going on.

In a declaration of love that is more sudden than the infamous Neo/Trinity
thing from the Matrix, Madeline decides to stay behind with Maduin. They
have a baby, and it is Terra.

Two years later, the same winds of ill fate howl through the Esper World, and
the Empire marches in. They beat up and take several Espers. Amidst the chaos,
Madeline takes her chance and tries to escape with Terra. It seems she could not
live in the Esper World as much as she wanted. When Maduin tries to catch
up with her, tragedy ensues...Terra is taken by the Empire, Madeline is killed
by the Emperor, and Maduin's fate is sealed to suffer in the heart of the
Empire at the hands of Cid.

When Terra wakes up, it's time to go. Regrouping is done. Time for action.

From this point on, Terra finally gains access to a second skill: Morph. Learn
all about it here: [MORPH-LINK]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.34.1  Airship Exploitation: Seraph
**********************************

  Magicite:
  Seraph

We're free to do what we want now. This is the glorious moment I cherish in
all the Final Fantasy games I've ever played; first time on the airship. The
Blackjack is waiting for your instructions. Nothing is off-limits. Well, except
for Vector. Guardian is waiting for your arrival, and there's no way to gain
entry to Vector now. Joker Death, due to a bug explained in [SLOT-LINK] can be
used against Guardian to gain 'victory', but it'll still be there afterwards,
simply triggering another battle.

In Tzen, a crook is hiding in the trees next to the Relic shop. During your
mission in the Imperial Magitek Research Facility, this guy managed to sneak
out a piece of Magicite, and he's offering to sell it to you now. 3000 Gil is
not a lot of money, and even though the Esper Seraph doesn't teach you any
spells you couldn't have obtained from other Espers, her learning rates are
much more user-friendly. Seraph is far and above the best White Magic Esper
you'll get for quite a while. You can wait until after a certain point of the
story at which point he'll offer you the 'stone' for only 10 Gil (With the world
falling apart like it is, I guess it doesn't do me much good to hold on to this
glowing stone...). I advise just buying it right now.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.34.2  Airship Exploitation: Auction House: Golem and Zona Seeker
**********************************

  Magicite:
  Golem, Zona Seeker

In Jidoor, the Auction House is finally open. It's not so much the bidding
here that's annoying. You'll be asked two times if you want to over the current
prize; if you say no, you don't get the item, if you say yes two times, you get
the item. It's just that there are two items right now you want: two pieces of
Magicite. Golem and Zona Seeker are waiting for your capable hands. Here's how
the Auction House works.

There's a 50 % chance the item up for bidding is "a gorgeous pair of" Angel
Wings, a Relic that gives you the automatic ability to Float. If it's not, we
continue.
Then, there's a 50 % chance it's a walking, talking Chocobo. You can never buy
this 'item' no matter how much you pay, as the father will always buy it. But
if this item isn't the Chocobo, we continue.
Then, there's a 50 % chance it's the Golem Magicite! Nice. Try to buy it. If
you already bought it earlier, or the item isn't Golem, we continue.
Then, there's a 50 % chance it's the Zona Seeker Magicite. Good. If you already
bought this item, or if it still isn't this item, we continue.
If it's none of the above, it's an Angel Ring. Period.

So in the end, if you haven't bought any of the pieces of Magicite yet, the odds
will be as following:

Angel Wings 50 %
Chocobo 25 %
The Magicite Golem 12.5 %
The Magicite Zona Seeker 6.25 %
Angel Ring 6.25 %

If you bought Golem:

Angel Wings 50 %
Chocobo 25 %
The Magicite Zona Seeker 12.5 %
Angel Ring 12.5 %

If you bought Zona Seeker:

Angel Wings 50 %
Chocobo 25 %
The Magicite Golem 12.5 %
Angel Ring 12.5 %

If you bought both:

Angel Wings 50 %
Chocobo 25 %
Angel Ring 25 %

Don't worry; if another person buys a piece of Magicite, it will have a chance
of appearing next time you pay the Auction House a visit. Prices are as
follows:

Angel Wings 10000 Gil
The Magicite Golem 20000 Gil
The Magicite Zona Seeker 10000 Gil
Angel Ring 20000 Gil

If you don't have enough money, fly the Blackjack to an area where Fossil Dragon
monsters appear; they give great amounts of money and you should be able to
handle them pretty easily by now.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.34.3  Airship Exploitation: Locating Grenade
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Bomb (#45), Grenade (#73)

Monster formations:
Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb (10/16)
Bomb (5/16)
Grenade (1/16)

In the large forest west of the Veldt, only Bombs seem to appear. There is
a rare chance you'll encounter a Grenade, though. Fighting one gets you
nothing, but if you want a complete Rage list and/or Beastiary, you'd better
have met one, as you will never come across one by following the story only.
Note that the Grenade will possibly appear in a boss battle in the future,
where it can get a Bestiary entry but never a Rage possibility.

I suggest you bring Edgar, as he has brilliant means of taking them all out in
one shot, and at least one character with Cure and/or Cura, as no matter how
repetitive Blaze will seem in a while, it still hurts.

Grenade enemies have 3000 HP, but very poor Defense and Magic Defense. Target
them with Ice-elemental attacks and just whatever you have. One-hit KO
attacks work well, though he is immune to Petrify. If you use Attack on him,
he can use Self-Destruct on you, which is likely to kill the initial attacker,
so try to avoid it. If he uses !Mesmerize, you have little choice in the matter
unless you manage to use Dispel before the situation gets too serious.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.34.4  Airship Exploitation: Obtaining Gaia Gear
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Briareus (#94), Devourer (#95), Chimera (#96)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Gaia Gear (rare Briareus steal), Golden Armor (rare Chimera drop)

Monster formations:
(Grasslands)
Devourer, Briareus (6/16)
Briareus (5/16)
Briareus, Briareus (5/16)

(Forest)
Devourer, Devourer, Devourer (6/16)
Chimera (5/16)
Chimera, Devourer, Devourer (5/16)

On the continent to the east of the Veldt, there are three new monsters:
Briareus and Devourer on the grasslands and Devourer and Chimera in the forest.
I'll tell you how to deal with them when you actually need to go there.
Ctrl + F their name if you're feeling uneasy. The Briareus have a rare
Gaia Gear you can steal from them, and there's nothing in the Common slot, so
you can just keep trying. Chimera drop the alternate nice armor, the Gold
Armor, for your Edgars and Cyans. Gaia Gear especially will be VERY nice to
have at the next dungeon, and this is the only way of obtaining it.

To the north of this continent is the town of Thamasa. The Inn charges
outrageous fees, the Weapon and Armor Shop will refuse to help you (we reserve
the right to deny service blah blah), and you aren't getting anything out of
anybody; info, items, nothing. We'll come back here someday.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.34.5  Airship Exploitation: Intangir
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Leaf Bunny (#7), Darkwind (#8), Intangir (#97)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Magicite Shard (rare Intangir steal)

Monster formations:
(Grasslands)
Leaf Bunny, Leaf Bunny, Darkwind (6/16)
Leaf Bunny (5/16)
Intangir (5/16)

(Forest)
Intangir (6/16)
Leaf Bunny, Leaf Bunny, Darkwind, Darkwind (5/16)
Leaf Bunny, Leaf Bunny, Darkwind (5/16)

On the small triangle-shaped island to the northeast of the World Map,
you'll find lots of Leaf Bunnies and Darkwind enemies. However, you'll also find
Intangir monsters. Intangir are massively powerful, absorb all elements, and
are invisible. They confuse a lot of first-time players. When you damage them,
they retaliate with an (enemy) Meteor attack, which is likely to actually kill
anybody it hits, as it will damage for over 900 HP.

Though previous versions of the game allowed you to kill Intangir easily with
that shadiest of all tactics, Vanish/Death, the current versions rightfully
keeps you from doing so. The only ways to kill an Intangir now are to either
keep it continuously subdued with Stop or use Joker's Death against it. As for
damage output while the Intangir is stopped, here's what to do. Since his
Defenses are very good and he absorbs all elements, good choices against
Intangir are Edgar (Drill), Sabin (Meteor Strike) and Cyan (Fang). Later in the
game, should you want to return for extra-hard MP grinding, Relm's Sketch
results into a 75 % shot at Traveler, which is also a powerful attack to use
against Intangir, but keep in mind that Sketch always misses monsters under the
effects of Invisible. Strago can just use it from the Lore menu, obviously.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.34.6  Airship Exploitation: Veldt hunting
**********************************

It's a great time for the hunting down of some new Rages. You have a whole
set of new spells to learn, Espers to use, monsters to see...have fun. Great
new Rages include:

Anguiform       Aqua Breath     inherent Darkness
Aspiran         Gigavolt        inherent Float
Rock Wasp       !Sleep Stinger  inherent Float
Veil Dancer     Blizzara
Gobbledygook    Vanish
Hill Gigas      Magnitude 8
Litwor Chicken  Quake
Chimera         Aqua Breath     lots of status immunities, one-hit KO
                                protection
General         Cura            inherent Protect
Magna Roader    Bio             inherent Haste
Destroyer       Reraise         inherent Protect, one-hit KO protection
Briareus        Cyclonic
Intangir        Transfusion     inherenst Invisible, Protect, Shell, Haste,
                                Regen and Float, but you'll have to keep it
                                from using the self-destructive Transfusion
                                attack with Silence before Gau initializes the
                                Rage

Golden oldies:

Darkwind        Break           inherent Float
Trillium        Bio             absorbs Water
Alacran         !Numb (Stop)
Spritzer        Blaze           absorbs Lightning, inherent Float, Undead
Oversoul        W. o' the Wisp  absorbs Poison, Undead
Stray Cat       !Cat Scratch
Guard Leader    Wind Slash
Lesser Lopros   Fireball        inherent Float
Mu              Snare
Templar         Fira            inherent Protect
Cloud           Thundara        one-hit KO protection
Satellite       Sonic Boom      inherent Float, one-hit KO protection
Bomb            Blaze           absorbs Fire, inherent Float

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.34.7  Intermezzo; Espers 101
**********************************

Finally, now that you have all the Espers you'll have for quite some time, I'll
give some pointers on how to wisely handle Espers:

At first, it's important to note that there are basically two kinds of people
when it comes to Magicite. There are the characters that need Espers to teach
them the valuable spells to damage opponents with, and the characters that can
damage just fine on their own and would rather benefit from supportive spells.

Terra, Locke, Celes, and Relm are all characters that, in the World of Balance,
will have a hard time comparing themselves to the other characters in terms of
damage as long as you haven't made sure that they know a level 2 spell or Bio.
They need it to survive. For this purpose, it's useful to teach them at least
one level 2 spell as soon as possible (Ifrit and Shiva excel at this), and then
bring in a supportive Esper for this newly found magic nature (Zona Seeker or
Shiva, both teach the Osmose spell, while Rasp too is nice to have on them).
You can expand the pool of options to another level 2 spell or perhaps even more
of them, but as soon as you have two, it would be wise to start thinking
of tacking on Seraph, Golem, or Unicorn, as Cura is a nice asset to any
character, and these characters are definitely making use of Earrings anyway
(unless you have made gross errors).

The characters who don't depend on damage from the spells can, if they want to,
take one or more level 2 spells from Espers, but will generally find that their
special skill surpasses the Magic spell in almost every way (no MP cost,
stronger, that kind of thing). The major exceptions to this rule are Gau, Mog,
and Setzer, who could use at least one strong magical attack that always hits
and isn't bothered by a factor of randomness. So, these guys will want to focus
on supportive Espers. Siren teaches three spells that are all very useful to
have around at all times, as does Phantom (granted, Gravity sucks, but both
Vanish and Berserk can be tactically brilliant...especially when combined). At
some points in the game, the possession of Break and/or Death spells can really
save you a lot of trouble, so Catoblepas is definitely a consideration if you're
done with Siren and Phantom.

Golem is good on everybody as Cura, like I said, is always an asset, while
Stop especially can be a great spell for everybody. Cait Sith is not as good as
its fellow starters, but while Imp and especially Float can take a while to
learn and the very nature of Confuse makes you want to ridicule it, Float can
be damned handy to have around as preparation for a dungeon with Earth-
elemental creatures, and Imp can disable quite a few dangerous enemies.

All other Espers - Bismarck, Kirin, Carbuncle - their summons can be useful
in some situations, but their spells don't specifically merit any interest, so
I'd say you should mainly use them if you have a character who's already filled
with good spells and you are in need of a rogue Float caster. I've yet to find
a specific use for the Reflect spell as long as Carbuncle's MT Ruby Light and
Reflect Rings exist, Bismarck teaches subpar spells at insane learning rates,
and Kirin just kinda fails at anything other than being summoned.

One last piece of advice: a lot of people are looking to learn Magic without
gaining levels. The two best places to gain Magic AP without Experience
are the Veldt and Triangle Island, where the Intangir roam. Triangle Island
is more efficient, but if you're using Gau there's a large advantage involved
when walking on the Veldt.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.35.1  Allied Narshe
**********************************

  Miscellaneous items:
  Gold Hairpin (Lone Wolf)

Well, it's Narshe again. The first time Terra came here, she was violently
pulled out of the clutches of the Empire. The second time, she was again
touched by Valigarmanda and lost control of her self. Narshe has not been a good
city to Terra at all; let's hope it has some good news this time.

And so it appears! Narshe, ever-doubting about their role in the war, has
finally decided to stand with the Returners against the Empire. A plan is
revealed wherein Narshe and Figaro team up to make for war. But the Empire, even
without the ever-increasing number of Magitek Armors, is a force far greater
then Narshe and Figaro combined. The gate needs to be opened; the Espers need to
be contacted. Surely, they would be willing to aid against those who have
wronged their species so much. Terra is the necessary link; a new mission is
given.

Narshe is once again bustling with activity! New weapons and equipment are being
sold in the stores for the upcoming war.

Weapon Shop:
Poison Rod           1500
Trident              1700
Boomerang            4500
Morning Star         5000
Hawkeye              6000
Sakura               3200
 In the Weapon Shop, there's a new kind of Rod: the Poison Rod. You can let it
rest for now. The Morning Star is a Back Row weapon for Celes and Terra, simply
an upgraded version of the Chain Flail. Make sure to get one. The most
interesting sell here is the Hawkeye for Locke. The Hawkeye has a 50 % chance of
doing 1.5 damage (no visual effect) to non-Floating enemies and 3 times as much
damage against Floating enemies (it will appear to be thrown). Very nice. Buy
one, or two if you feel you want to use Locke and the Genji Glove together.

Armor Shop:
Golden Shield        2500
Priest's Miter       3000
Green Beret          3000
Mythril Helm         2000
Tiara                3000
Golden Helm          4000
Mythril Mail         3500
Power Sash           5000
 The Armor Shop sells new equipment as well. Golden Shields and Golden Helms for
the heavy-equippers (you still have to get Golden Armors from the Chimera
if you want them), a Tiara for Terra (the first actual helmet I'll simply
recommend over the Green Beret), and Power Sash for those guys whose name isn't
Edgar or Setzer.

Relic Shop:
Earring              5000
Sniper Eye           3000
Hermes Sandals       7000
Reflect Ring         6000
Black Belt           5000
 Nothing new here, but if you feel like you could use some of the above, don't
hesitate.

Item Shop:
Hi-Potion             300
Ether                1500
Phoenix Down          500
Green Cherry          150
Tent                 1200
Flame Scroll          500
Water Scroll          500
Lightning Scroll      500

 There's nothing remarkable here other than the fact this is the first town that
sells Shadow's scrolls when he isn't a possible party member. Except for
Albrook. Isn't that a weird notion to make, then? Yes.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.35.2  Lone Wolf persecution and recruiting Mog
**********************************

But this isn't all. One odd character has chosen to take advantage of the
situation of Narshe: Lone Wolf, the infamous thief, has paid a visit.

Lone Wolf is a character from FF V, and if not, at least so similar to him
there's bound to be a conscious running theme here. FF V's Lone Wolf was a thief
locked up in a dungeon in some castle. He looked like a humanoid wolf. A
werewolf, as they appeared more in the game, though Lone Wolf has no obvious
connection to them and it's even possible it's just a guy with a mask. You had
the option of releasing him, but he would just take three treasures you would
then be unable to obtain later in the game.

The old man who gave you his treasures earlier (remember, the house with the
Thief's Knife and Thief's Bracer in it?) worries about the treasure he didn't
give you; the locked chest. If you are kind enough to take a look for him,
you'll just see Lone Wolf running off with its contents. Never mind Lone Wolf's
name is "Wolfram von Stibitz" (Stibitz = pilfer) in the German translation,
this is serious business you guys.

Follow Lone Wolf to retrieve the treasure! He escapes to the mines. The path
is straightforward. On occasion, you'll see Lone Wolf running from you. And
eventually, you'll have him cornered, but the situation is looking grim, as
Lone Wolf has taken a Moogle hostage.

If you try to approach, Lone Wolf will threaten to kill the Moogle. Sweaty
mongoloids whose basic garment consist entirely out of underpants will tell you
that you can recruit Mog by trying to walk over to Lone Wolf over and over and
over until you loose patience and spam message boards, but this is humbug. The
trick here is to simply stand still at the spot you automatically back away
to. After a while, the Moogle will be able to free itself, and in the struggle
that ensues, both are thrown over a side of the cliff. Will you help the
Moogle, or will you try to obtain the treasure you initially came for?

The treasure is a Gold Hairpin, a Relic that cuts your MP usage in half. It's a
Relic I only find useful when playing a Low Level Game, as you will be able to
cast spells you otherwise don't have the MP for. One additional consideration
is that when Mog joins now, he will join with 5 levels higher than your party
average. This advantage will likely get smoothed over thoughout the game. If
you ignore him here and recruit him at a later date, he will have that five-
level lead at that later stage. On the other hand, there is one Mog's Dances
that can only be acquired when you recruit him now. In a normal game, the
better (and morally superior) choice is helping the Moogle.

The Moogle is an old acquaintance of yours, the leader of the gang of Moogles
who helped Locke save Terra. To top that, he appears to be able to talk,
something no other Moogle can do. Apparently was contacted by Ramuh at a time
and was told to join your cause. He joins your cause, and runs off to your
airship.

Mog is the unofficial mascot of this game, and everybody thinks he's bloody
adorable. Myself, I just appreciate him as one of the strongest characters the
game has to offer. Right now, his main power lies in his special ability,
Dance, with which he summons awesome power from the very terrain around him and
the animals that live there to put the hurt on your enemies. Let's go collect
Dances for him, and on the way, I'll explain how Mog works.

[DANCE-LINK]

Wasn't that easy?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.35.3  Dance lessons, including Water Harmony
**********************************

Go to the Blackjack and change your party so it includes Mog. You'll notice his
level is very high: 5 levels higher, in fact. Equip him (you'll see he uses
Lances, mostly) and head out to the open sky.

- Land in front of Narshe and fight some Leaf Bunnies on the grasslands to make
  him learn the Wind Rhapsody. Stride into the forest for the Forest Nocturne
  and enter the desert for the Desert Lullaby.
- Now, get back on the Blackjack and fly to South Figaro where you can climb
  Mt. Koltz. On the slopes, Mog will learn the Earth Blues (possibly the
  most universally useful Dance). If you didn't pick up the Twilight Requiem
  while protecting Terra earlier, you can head in one of the caves to learn it.
- Fly the Blackjack to Zozo and fight a battle there; the Love Serenade will be
  Mog's.
- The Dance that is the hardest to obtain, and the only actually missable
  Dance in the game, is the Water Harmony. There are currently two places where
  Mog can learn it: on the Lethe River and in the Serpent Trench. Both take you
  along a one-way route to a radically different place. A while from now,
  there's a single boss battle which takes place underwater (GBA version only!)
  where you can bring Mog to learn the Water Harmony. I suggest you learn the
  Dance now. Here's the quickest way:

Land in front of Baren Falls, and leap down the raging waters. Don't worry,
there won't be any Opinicus Fish to worry about this time. Walk across the Veldt
and enter Crescent Moutain. Jump in the Serpent Trench to re-appear in Nikeah.
Grab a Chocobo in the local Stable (to the north) and ride the big bird all the
way to Baren Falls again.

Now, you've gained 6 or 7 out of 8 Dances in very little time; that's a 75 or
87.5% increase right there! That's more than Cyan can say; he probably has
gained about one Bushido since you recruited him, lazy hobo that he is.

We've concluded Mog's training. Let's see if we can advance the plot now.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.36.1  Cave to the Sealed Gate
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Outcast (#87), Provoker (#88), Zombie Dragon (#89), Antares (#90), Lich (#91),
  Ninja (#112), Kefka (-)

  Container contents:
  Assassin's Dagger, Elixir, Genji Glove, Heiji's Jitte, Hi-Ether x3, Magicite
  Shard x3, Kazekiri, Tent, Ultima Weapon, X-Potion

  Miscellaneous items:
  293 Gil (hidden), Amulet (rare Outcast steal), Angel Wings (rare Ninja steal),
  Fuma Shuriken (rare Ninja drop), Invisibility Scroll (hidden), Remedy
  (hidden), Water Scroll (hidden)

The Empire has abducted several Espers about 20 years ago, and kept an Imperial
Base around to guard the Sealed Gate. The Espers sealed it from the inside, so
there's no way for the Empire to actually get in. But you have to try for the
Returners. So now it's your mission to sneak through this Imperial Observation
Post and pass through the cave to reach the Sealed Gate and...Yeah, do what
exactly? Terra seems like the most likely way of getting contact. Let's see what
we can do when we get there.

Preparation:

First: Once again, I want to stress how nice it is if you collect four sets of
Gaia Gear, which you can rarely Steal from Briareus on the grassland of the
continent East of the Veldt. Thank you for your patience!

Now, Relics are important in the first few parts of this dungeon. One of the
enemies can cast Fire, Fira and Firaga (!) so Reflect Rings are very handy,
especially since Firaga is really powerful and could kill you. Peace Rings/
Ribbons are great to equip against this very same enemy's Confuse-setting
Special. You can buy additional Peace Rings and Wall Rings in Albrook if you
so desire.

Time to choose a new four-headed party out of your eight-headed available party!
Mog is the most powerful party member at this point; those five extra levels
don't hurt his cause, and his Water Harmony Dance cleans house like nothing
before in the next dungeon. El Niño equals death to the most common and most
dangerous enemy. A much surer way of making fatal hits is giving Dragoon Boots
to Mog and equipping a Trident. Sabin is another great choice; go for either a
Genji Glove and two Kaiser Knuckles or an Earring and Aura Cannon spamming.
Edgar's Chainsaw with a Gigas Glove is another great asset to your team. Terra
is a mandatory character, so there's little to choose there (although she is
very weak at this point). Cyan, Kazekiri or not, is simply strategically unfit
for the next dungeon. Gau is great if he knows Anguiform or Chimera Rages, but
not quite as good as the other characters. Setzer's Slot is too unreliable at
this moment, and he needs to pull something like Dive Bomb or Mega Flare out of
his *cough* nose to finish off Outcasts, so he's a bad choice. Locke, finally,
is simply too weak without heavy Relic-boosting. He can, however, steal many
Phoenix Downs from Zombie Dragons, and rare Amulets from Outcasts.

In Terra's case, I'd especially advise you to allow her to have some private
moments with Shiva, as that's the fastest route to a powerful spell that isn't
Bio or Fira (both are useless in the upcoming dungeon).

If you have Gaia Gear, equip it. If you have four sets of it, I suggest you swap
Edgar out of the party - he can't equip it - and replace him with Gau (or one of
the others; it really doesn't matter that much as long as it isn't Cyan, as he
can't equip it either).

Monster formations:
(First cave)
Lich, Lich, Lich (6/16)
Provoker, Provoker (5/16)
Lich, Provoker, Antares (5/16)

(Basement 1)
Outcast, Outcast, Outcast (6/16)
Provoker, Provoker (5/16)
Provoker, Provoker, Lich, Lich (5/16)

(Basement 2)
Antares, Antares, Antares (6/16)
Zombie Dragon (5/16)
Zombie Dragon, Outcast, Outcast (5/16)

(Basement 3)
Outcast, Outcast Outcast (6/16)
Zombie Dragon, Zombie Dragon (5/16)
Zombie Dragon, Outcast, Outcast (5/16)

You need Terra for this mission. As your party leader will point out if you
try to enter without her:

"The Espers wouldn't give us the time of day without Terra... We'd better bring
her along."

Terra, in the meantime, isn't a happy camper. She needs some support, as when
she enters the Imperial Camp by herself she'll go: "...I know I can do this, but
still... I really don't want to go there all alone..." and will refuse to
continue.

First three rooms are partly filled with monsters you won't find in the rest of
the dungeon: Provoker, Antares, and Lich.

Provokers are nasty upgrades of your average Angel Whisper. They absorb Fire-
elemental attacks, and have a one-third chance of countering any attack that
damages them with Imp Song. Sadly, Siren stands helpless against them, so
you'll just have to try to kill them in one hit. Aura Cannon, Chainsaw,
Blizzara, double Kaiser, all works great.

Antares are small scorpion-like creatures with no real special power. They
can put you to sleep with !Dreamstinger, and have a slight chance of countering
attacks with a Magnitude 8 spell, for which it has insufficient MP. Way to go
there, champ. Strong MT attacks are particularly helpful here, like Flash,
Chocobo Stampede, Magnitude 8, Sandstorm, you name it.

Liches are the worst, man. They can start the battle with !Insanitouch. Confused
characters are never a good idea; with a little luck you can snap them
out of it before bad things happen, but chances always exist you'll have to
swallow a Rising Phoenix or something before you do. To top this madness, they
can cast Fira with considerable power and can even cast Firaga. Their Firaga
attacks taste like burning. :( You'll want to avoid that. You can't shut them
up with Siren or Silence. If you have Edgar, Noiseblaster can confuse them to
buy you enough time to kill them. Charge for Lich immediately. You won't meet a
lot of them, so there's no shame in using a Phoenix Down or Raise spell if you
run into one, although an ST Blizzara spell or something might be more cost-
efficient.

If your level is really low, make sure you have four Reflect Rings, and keep
them on your characters at all times. This should prevent Lich's spells from
hurting you. Like I said before, Peace Rings and Ribbons protect nicely against
!Insanitouch.

Every step you take after those three rooms consist out of only two enemies:
Zombie Dragon and Outcast. Zombie Dragons are bigger, so you'd assume they're
more dangerous. Such folly. Reflect Rings are useless once you get into Zombie
Dragon territory, and status-prevention Relics can be removed as well as
Outcast's !Glare just sets Darkness and Zombie Dragon's !Bone attack, while
setting the dangerous Zombie status, is so rare and used so late you shouldn't
even see it.

Zombie Dragons just attack physically, unless you wait a really, really long
time until they have a slight chance of turning a character into a Zombie with
!Bone. Zombie Dragons are the only enemies in this blasted cave that don't
absorb Fire, so if somebody knows or learns Fira here (Terra learns it
naturally at level 22), use it to great effect. Otherwise, you know how to
handle monsters now. Gau can flush Zombie Dragons nicely with Mu's Snare.
Locke can steal Phoenix Downs from them most of the time.

Outcasts are entirely different. They have a move called Liveshaver, an
obscenely strong attack. It's an Earth-elemental attack that functions entirely
like Drain; drains HP, can't drain more then the caster is damaged anyway.
Since it's such a strong attack at this point, the Outcast will most likely
drain all their lost HP. If both his lack of HP and the targets possession of
it allows it, Liveshaver can do up to 750 damage; unless you are equipped with
Gaia Gear, in which case you don't need to worry as you'll absorb the attack
and the Outcast will damage itself. If you're equipped with Gaia Gear, there's
no need to worry about specific tactics as you can just pound away. But
without, the highest priority when facing Outcast is this: YOU WANT TO TAKE
THEM OUT IN ONE SHOT. This way, they have no chance of casting Liveshaver (You
cannot Silence the bastards). If you brought Locke with you, definitely try to
Steal four Amulets here; they are a common steal, so it requires little work.

You can one-hit KO them in a multitude of ways, but you'll have to make an
effort to have at least one of the following on the team. Earrings/Aura Cannon
is a good one, while Genji Glove/Double Kaiser is a nice alternative.
Jump/Trident works well on Edgar or Mog, although the latter might enjoy
Dancing the Water Harmony better; El Niño not only kills Outcast, it sends them
flying in the bloody Clouds of Magellan. Aqua Breath, sadly, probably isn't
strong enough at this point, even with a Hero's Ring or Earring behind it.

If you did bring Gaia Gear for all your boys and girls, Gau can make
Briareus's Cyclonic work to great effect as every opponent is vulnerable to
one-hit KO attacks. Sure, Wyvern works just as well, but since we got the
Gaia Gear from Briareus enemies in the first place, let this be a tribute. ;)

When you arrive at the Imperial Base, there are no soldiers around. That's
mighty suspicious, as reasonably argued that can only mean two things: the
soldiers are somewhere else, preparing for an attack, or the Empire has decided
they will let you go the Sealed Gate, of which can come no good. Still, you
press on.

Boy, is it HOT in this cave. The Cave to the Sealed Gate is a volcanic area,
and the monsters have adapted to it. The first room has a chest already! It
contains the Assassin's Dagger, a brilliant semi-Thief's Knife that randomly
kills in one hit. The comparison with the Thief's Knife comes from the fact it's
both Locke/Shadow only and gives stat boosts, making it a nice option if
you don't plan on using Attack anyway. The Assassin's Dagger revives the Undead
though, all the time, so I wouldn't suggest equipping it here (even if you
weren't going to use it, Thief's Knife's special abilities are better).

The next room has another chest, this one containing a Kazekiri blade. If you
hadn't stolen one from Number 128, this is the only one you'll find in the
game barring end-game Soul Shrine adventures. It has a 50 % chance of nulling
the special effects of the physical strike and casting Wind Slash instead. It's
pretty much the most interesting weapon Cyan will ever get his hands on, so
cherish it (for all the lack of Cyan I tried to talk into you).

Next room is a 'puzzle': Every 1.5 second or so, the pathway changes from one
state to the other. Explaining how to get across would be folly, as not only
would my hints just confuse, it's not that hard. The chest to the right
contains an X-Potion, and the chest to the bottom contains the Heiji's Jitte
Relic, a Relic that changes Setzer's ability from Slot into Gil Toss. A little
talk on Gil Toss:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.36.2  Gil Toss and Cave to the Sealed Gate continued
**********************************

If you think throwing coins is a rather silly way of doing damage, it has been
featured in FF V as a grossly overpowered attack and finds its roots in Japanese
folklore. The Heiji's Jitte, you see. Zenigata Heiji was a kind of 'Sherlock
Holmes' during the samurai era who stopped/killed his foes by throwing a coin at
them. A Jitte is a specialized weapon specifically designed to catch an
opponent's blade, used in the day by the law inforcement to disarm criminals.
What Heiji's Jitte has to do with Heiji's coin throwing antics remains a
mystery.

Gil Toss, while more consistent, is inferior to Slot, especially when Setzer is
equipped with Earrings, as he should be. Imagine the Flash Tool for an
indication of the amount of damage to one or two targets, but Coin Toss actually
splits the damage between the amount of targets, so the more targets,
the weaker it turns out. Besides that, there's no way of boosting it other than
level, AND it costs you money every time you use it by a

Amount of gold used = Level * 30

ratio. There are times -- in the future -- where it'll be worth it to equip the
Relic, but not now.

The exit of the room is to the bottom-right of the screen. Here, you come across
a choice: right or dead ahead. Going to the right will get you to a
chest with a Hi-Ether in it. Grab it, hike back, and continue. You'll want to
go up the diagonal nature-crafted stairway and you'll reach a bridge with a
switch next to it. If you press the switch, the bridge will collapse under you
and you'll fall down, but no HP damage will be done, and you 'hear a distant
sound'. Going to the left and up will get you to a chest with...a Genji Glove!
A very kick-ass Relic indeed. If you have the equipment and the characters, you
can add a double Trident Attacker to the party this way, eliminating the
Jumping time. Go back and continue this time.

You'll see a plateau with two switches, and a bridge with a switch next to it.
Go over to the two switches on the plateau. The left switch opens the door to
a Save Point and a chest with a Tent in it; the right switch triggers a battle
with a Ninja and accomplishes otherwise nothing (you won't ever make this Ninja
appear on the Veldt). If you decide to fight the Ninja, make sure you heal
yourself, as he's bound to get in at least one Thrown Scroll. The best way of
dealing with the Ninja is by utilizing one-hit KO attacks; the Death spell
should do the trick, otherwise the Mu Rage or Twilight Requiem will offer a
large chance. If you don't want to rely on luck, he's weak to Lightning, so
Thundara and Gau's Aspiran's Gigavolt work well. He doesn't have that many HP,
and when he dies, he will talk about hidden treasures in the 'plaza beneath the
grand stairway'. Few people seem to know actually what he's talking about there,
but yours truly naturally does so don't worry.

The switch on the bridge (doesn't that sound like a Dr. Seuss novel to you?) is
mandatory this time, as it will create a large stairway. Egads, a GRAND
stairway I might add.

Behold, the plaza! This already is the plaza the Ninja risked his life for,
littered with treasure. This is where they are:

Invisibility Scroll: One step down and one step to the left from the lowest
stairway tile.
Gold Needle: Six steps down from the Invisibility Scroll.
293 Gil: Three steps up from the treasure chest visible here.
Water Scroll: Three steps down and three steps to the right from the lowest
stairway tile.

The chest here contains an Hi-Ether. Let's move on. When you enter the little
cave, you'll have to find your way up through a hidden tunnel, but a monkey with
brain cancer could do that, so I won't be helping you. When you emerge,
you can open the chest for an Elixir.

This part is kind of frustrating to 'pin down'. There are two stepping tiles
in front of you. The first one accomplishes about as much as I know about
car mechanics: absolutely nothing. It creates a stairway to a featureless little
six-tile area. The second stepping tile breaks a bridge apart to the
chest; you can walk around it or step on it anyway and go another route I'll
point out in a bit. The chest in question contains not an item or a monster,
but a switch. Switch-in-a-box. Heh. Flick it, or don't, it doesn't do anything
remotely interesting.

Going down will get you to another stepping tile. This one is more of a friend
to you; it opens a door to a small cave with four chests: two Magicite Shards,
an Hi-Ether, and the ULTIMA WEAPON.

The Ultima Weapon is a nifty sword that's more special than useful. A scholar in
Albrook mentioned it, remember? It was created during the War of the Magi,
along with a monster with the same name. Meeting the sword was the better
choice, I think.

The Ultima Weapon will do rather weak, barrier-piercing damage at this point of
the game when the wielder is at his maximum HP; its damage is partially based
on the max HP/current HP ratio where the Ultima Weapon will do more damage when
the wielder at full health and almost no damage when the wielder only has a few
HP left. TheUltima Weapon gains strength with the wielder's level, and can
achieve three lengths, depending on the damage output (it changes from short
to medium beyond 500 HP damage, and from medium to long at 1000). I wouldn't
equip it at this point. Points of interest:

- The Ultima Weapon is rather famous for starring in the horrid legend where
  you Throw this weapon for an instant kill against the final boss. You can't
  throw the Ultima Weapon.
- When you combine the Ultima Weapon with Mug, it will lose its special
  damage formula and it'll become a normal sword with an Attack of 255,
  which is rather nice. Most people will argue this is a bug, though.
- INCREASE YOUR ULTIMA LENGTH WITH NATURAL ENHANCERS. It's folly. Much like the
  male reproductive organ, there are legions who claim there are fast and easy
  ways to increase its performance. The urban myth includes wearing Green
  Berets or Red Caps and equipping Muscle Belts, all to increase maximum HP and
  boost that blue thing. It doesn't work, as it's the ratio that's important,
  not max HP.
- Isn't it wicked? It's like a lightsaber.

Let's walk over to the new pathway. You'll encounter a switch you have to
press to raise land to the right of you so you can cross it. Here's a switch
as well; if you stepped on the bad stepping tile earlier, you can press it so
you can walk over to the chest.

The switch, by the way, would block your path IF you had stood on the two
useless/bad stepping tiles earlier, and only as long as you didn't fight a
random encounter. I really don't know why programmers even bother with things
like this.  Moving on will get you a chest with a Magicite Shard. From here on,
it's a straight path to the Sealed Gate.

Finally, there you are. Nobody's too comfortable with the place:

Locke: Beyond there is the Esper world...
Cyan: What an eerie place...
Edgar: From here on out, it's all up to you, Terra...
Sabin: We're counting on you, Terra...
Setzer: Oh, what am I doing in a dreadful place like this...?

As usual, Gau and Mog are entirely forgotten by their creators. As soon as
Terra wants to call out to the Espers: a burden! Kefka has followed you here,
hoping you'd be able to open the Sealed Gate and deliver more Espers to the
Empire. Folly! How could you have been so foolish!? Time to put the hurt on
Kefka!

Like in the Imperial Camp, you fight a human Kefka. I won't bother really
listing what he does and how you should handle it, as the fight ends as soon
as you do anything to Kefka, be it helpful to him or damaging. For trivia
purposes, I'll list his moves, though: Poison, Fira, Dischord, Attack, Rasp,
Slow, and Special. He doesn't actually HAVE a Special attack though, as he's a
character, so instead, the attack name pop-up will display nothing, Kefka will
take one step forward and raise his arms (like Gau performing a Special), and
without any attack animation, the attack will miss. Oh yes, and don't use
Magicite Shards, as those cancel on characters, including opponent characters.

During the battle with Kefka, Terra manages somehow to explore contact with
the Espers behind the Gate. The door opens, but something is wrong; rather
than asking what you want, several Espers bolt out the door, flying off,
sending shockwaves of power through your body. When they are gone, the door
closes behind you and is blocked with an eerily skull-like barricade of rocks.
Terra urges you to get out when she awakens, and maybe it's wise to follow
her advice.

The cave has a new exit; take it for a shortcut. Make sure that you've collected
all the treasures you wanted, as once you get out of the cave and board the
Blackjack, there's no going back in unless you go out of your way to do so
(ominous foreshadowing).

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.37.1  Esper rampage; Snake Eyes
**********************************

Once you pass through the Imperial Base and find your ally at the other end,
he'll tell you that the Espers have flown to Vector. You were planning to have
them attack it anyway, but it's doubtful if this is the best outcome...

The ill-news bringer depends on whoever is in your party, but starting from the
most likely one, the game works down the list from Locke to Cyan, Edgar, Sabin,
and finally Setzer. Actually, it's quite impossible for you to encounter Setzer
here, as you'll at the very worst have a Terra/Locke/Cyan/Edgar party, in
which case it's still Sabin who delivers the news. Ah, goddess of unnecessary
coding!

Immediately afterwards, you find yourself flying to Vector. But you start
feeling some vibration, and it isn't the good vibration Marky Mark & The Funky
Bunch and the Beach Boys used to sing about. No sih, not at all:

It's such a good vibration
It's such a sweet sensation

No sih, not at all.

Terra: The Espers... They were...angry...
Locke: The Espers probably headed straight for Vector...
Cyan: I could feel the warrior spirit in those Espers.
Edgar: Somehow we need to convince the Espers to lend us their aid.
Sabin: We should hurry and check out the situation in the Empire. I'm a little
       worried...
Setzer: Blast it! I guess the skies'll have to wait...
Mog: ...Kupo.
Gau: ...Oooh...Gau...high place...oooh... ...not good...don't like...

You'll find yourself near Maranda. Absolutely nothing has changed in this
town, so you might as well go find the hidden Chocobo Stable and hike to Vector.
The Stable is hidden in the narrow part in the forest to the East of Maranda.

As you can see when you arrive, Vector is in ruins. Seems the Espers smacked it
around with a club called 'Destruction'. The Returners are, without any
apparent reason, exposing themselves to the Empire now that it seems weakened.
I'm sure they won't call the soldiers on you, sillies. Even Banon and Arvis are
here. Banon will declare you mad for even bringing up the option of talking
with Espers; clearly, they are barbarians whose bones are filled with violence
and manslaughter.

Entering the Imperial Magitek Research Facility will accomplish exactly
nothing, as you can't.

Entering the Imperial Palace, however, will get you an Imperial escort who
will take you to the Emperor himself.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.38.1  Vector; Imperial palace
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Sergeant (#76), Imperial Elite (#92), Mega Armor (#93)

  Container contents:
  Alarm Earring, Ether, Gale Hairpin, Holy Water, X-Potion

  Miscellaneous items:
  Tintinnabulum (banquet performance), Ward Bangle (banquet performance)

It appears that the Emperor has changed from the power-hungry antagonist to the
sorrowful ally! The Espers destroyed his town, his pride. He's been severely
punished already for his arrogant lust for control and domination; but can a
man change so quickly, so completely? For now, you can do what Cid has asked
you to do, and try to warm the hearts of Imperial Soldiers. At the very least,
it'll give you something positive to do until you can start negotiations with
the Emperor.

There are 24 soldiers to talk to. You have four minutes: 4:00. Later on in
this part of the game, you are rewarded for your behavior in the Palace; it
starts here. You get a point for every soldier you talk to, and another five for
every soldier you manage to convert by shoving his testicles upwards
through his throat. For maximum enjoyment and treasure, you'll want to talk to
all of them (you can skip 3 of the passive ones without any penalty). Skip any
treasure chests for now; you can get them a little while later when the
seconds aren't of any importance.

Every normal trooper who wishes to fight you turns out to be a single Sergeant
unit, and every Armored trooper that confronts you is a single Mega Armor.
Bio spells and barrier-piercing attacks work great against the Sergeant units;
one-hit KO attacks work nicely (including Break). As far as the Mega Armor
goes, one-hit KO attacks go well against him too (although he has Petrify
protection for Break). He may counter Attacks with Magitek Laser and
non-fatal Magic spells with Missile, so be wary.

If you die, you don't get a Game Over but you'll find yourself out-battle after
a red flash. You'll get the 1 point for talking to the soldier but not the 5
points for defeating the soldier. If you escape the battle by running, using
Smoke Bombs or the Teleport Stone/Teleport spell, you'll find yourself out-
battle after a green flash, and you'll get 1 point but not the other 5. You
can't run from Mega Armor regardless. If you let the timer run out during a
battle, there's a blue flash and you'll get 1 point but, again, not 5.

Walk right ahead and talk to the first four soldiers. Take a turn to the right
(from your view). Ignore the first door for now; it houses Kefka, who talks too
much for your precious time to be wasted on him. Go up the stairs and enter the
door on this floor. In this room, you can talk to a soldier, a Special Forces
unit, and a soldier in the bathroom. Get out of the room and go up the stairs.
Here, you enter the balcony of the palace. You can talk to five soldiers here,
and one soldier in the cabin on top (which you might recognize as the one
where Kefka released the Cranes from) wants to fight you. Fight him (it's a
single Sergeant) and press on. Enter the door to the other side of the little
cabin on top.

In here, there's a wandering soldier. You should be at 14 by now. Go further
down. Enter the first new door. There are four wandering soldiers below the
soldier in the bed and one above. One of the four wants to fight you; do so.
When you have talked to all in the room, enter the bathroom, where another
soldiers wants to fight you. You're on 21 now. Get out, ignore the next door
(treasure only), and go out of the palace. There are two soldiers here and an
Armored soldier who wants to fight; it's a Mega Armor now. Kill it and you
have the final, 24th soldier.

44 points maximum.

Dinner time!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.38.2  The Banquet
**********************************

At the great Banquet, where you'll settle manners with the Empire, removing the
very core of the conflict, you'll be repeatedly allowed to fill in gaps in the
conversation. Your choice influences how much the Emperor likes you, and how
much he'll reward you for showing up. It's like trying to hit on that hot girl
at the bar, only with me showing you what works well and what will get you
slapped in the face. Here we go:

Gestahl: At last, we can all be together, sharing a meal at the same table! Let
us make a toast! To what shall we raise our glasses?

2             ^ To the Empire.
1             ^ To the Returners.
5             ^ To our homelands.

Gestahl: As you may know, I've imprisoned Kefka for his crime of using poison
against Doma. What do you think should be done with him?

5             ^ Leave him in jail.
1             ^ Pardon him.
3             ^ Execute him.

Gestahl: I tam truly sorry about what occured in Doma. No one ever dreamed Kefka
would use poison.

1             ^ What's done is done.
5             ^ That was inexcusable.
3             ^ Apologize again!

Gestahl: By the way...With regard to General Celes...

1             ^ Was she an Imperial spy?
5             ^ Celes is one of us!
3             ^ We trust her whether she spied or not.

Was there anything else you wanted to ask?

2             ^ Why'd you start the war?
2             ^ Why do you want peace now?
2             ^ Why'd we have to talk to your men?

Gestahl: With your permission, I'd like to talk about the Espers...

0             ^ I still have a few things to ask.
(Every question you ask will get you 2 points, but the same question asked
twice will cost you 10 points)
0             ^ Okay.

0             ^ I still have a few things to ask.
0             ^ Okay, let's talk about the Espers...

Gestahl: The Empire has been decimated by the Espers that emerged from the
         Sealed Gate. They're just too powerful... If we don't do something,
         they'll tear the entire world apart!

5             ^ They have gone a bit too far...
2             ^ You're the one who brought them here in the first place!

Gestahl: When the Espers came through on their rampage, all of my ambitions
         faded in an instant. Now I find myself asking why I ever wanted that
         much power in the first place. Of course, there is no excuse for the
         atrocities I committed in the name of conquest. By the way...what was
         that first question you asked me a minute ago?

              ^ Why'd you start the war?
              ^ Why do you want peace now?
              ^ Why'd we have to talk to your men?

(if you answer correctly, you get 5 points. If not, 0 points for you)

Cid: You must be getting tired... Why don't we take a short break?

0             ^ (Take a break.)
0             ^ (Keep talking.)

(Here, you'll get the option of walking about a bit and talking to the Imperial
Elite, who will challenge you. You get 5 points for kicking Imperial Elite in
their bathing suit area within 2 minutes. If you fail, you get 0 points).

Resume the conversation?

0             ^ Yes
0             ^ No

Gestahl: Is there anything you wish to hear me say?

3             ^ That you really want peace.
5             ^ That your war is truly over.
1             ^ That you're sorry.

Gestahl: I have a Magitek armor transport ship moored in the port of Albrook...
         I had hoped to send it to Crescent Island with all haste. Would you
         please go on board?

3             ^ Yes
0             ^ No

(If you first answer no, and then answer yes, you won't get the 3 point
increase).

And this is it.

49 points to earn at the Banquet. Plus 44, that's 93. Nice.

The negotiations were a success! You are to be dispatched, now employed of all
things by the Empire of all empires, to seek out the Espers who destroyed
Vector. General Leo Christophe will accompany you. Depending on your party,
you'll see old acquaintances meet again:

Sabin: Didn't I see that guy in Doma...? Oh, right...! He was the one with
principles... So...that's General Leo, eh?

Leo: Isn't that...!? Cyan, retainer to the king of Doma! Please, forgive me for
not being there to stop Kefka...
Cyan: ... What happened was not your fault.

If you're done, Terra gets on a solo mission... until Locke mixes himself in it
again. That guy has a serious problem with being left behind, it seems. Locke
and Terra will go to Crescent Island to search for the Espers. Congrats.

When you leave, an Imperial Elite unit will come up to you, and reward you for
your troubles in the Palace:

Always: South Figaro is liberated. You gain nothing but your pride for it.

50-66:  South Figaro is liberated. You gain nothing but your pride for it. Doma
        Castle is liberated. Some minor items AND your pride. Things are
        looking up!

67-76:  South Figaro is liberated. You gain nothing but your pride for it.
        Doma Castle is liberated. Some minor items AND your pride. Things are
        looking up! The locked house in the Imperial Observation Post near the
        Cave to the Sealed Gate is opened. This is very nice.

77-90:  South Figaro is liberated. You gain nothing but your pride for it.
        Doma Castle is liberated. Some minor items AND your pride. Things are
        looking up! The locked house in the Imperial Observation Post near the
        Cave to the Sealed Gate is opened. This is very nice. You get a
        Tintinnabulum from the Emperor! He likes you!

90-93:  South Figaro is liberated. You gain nothing but your pride for it.
        Doma Castle is liberated. Some minor items AND your pride. Things are
        looking up! The locked house in the Imperial Observation Post near the
        Cave to the Sealed Gate is opened. This is very nice. You get a
        Tintinnabulum from the Emperor! He likes you! You get a Ward Bangle
        from the Imperial Elite unit you are talking to! He wants to have your
        man-babies! Run like the wind!

Well then, if you'll excuse me...

As soon as you have your new Locke/Terra combo (something probably not seen
since you tried to locate Figaro Castle in the desert south of Narshe), you'll
notice that you have received the items all other characters were equipped with.
That's nice. For equipment, I'd advise something like this:

Terra:
Blood Sword/Blizzard/Thunder Blade
Golden Shield
Tiara
White Dress
Earrings, Earrings

Locke
Ultima Weapon
Hawkeye
Green Beret
Power Sash
Genji Glove/Brigand's Glove

Roaming the Imperial Palace, you can now find the things you skipped earlier in
your rush to be helpful for the Empire. They're hard to miss, and include an
Alarm Earring (tiny earrings with built-in speakers), an X-Potion, a Gale
Hairpin, a Holy Water, and an Ether. Also, you can find Kefka in jail, who's so
annoyed he's about to go soil himself.

You can find your former party members all over Vector:

Edgar: Albrook's a port town to the south of the Empire. The plan is to leave
for Crescent Island from Albrook on a transport ship carrying Magitek armor...
We'll keep a close watch on the Empire. You deal with the Espers!
Sabin: Is it really safe to trust the Empire? I have an awfully bad feeling
about this...
Cyan: I will never be able to forgive Kefka...
Gau: Smells like cider... Smells like old man......?
Mog: Kupo!
Banon: So, that's what Gestahl said... Team up with the Empire to look for the
Espers... Hmm...

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.38.3  Items of the Imperial Observation Post and Setzer's cutscene
**********************************

  Container contents:
  8000 Gil, 13000 Gil, 20000 Gil, Alarm Earring, Angel Ring, Angel Wings, Elixir
  x2, Flametongue, Hermes Sandals, Hi-Ether, Reflect Ring, X-Potion

Other than the fact Gau seems to remember things about his father who supposedly
threw him out seconds after he was born, you notice here that Setzer
is missing. I can divulge here that Setzer is not in Vector at all; he's on the
Blackjack, over at Maranda. Together with Cid, he's repairing his beloved
airship. You can go over there if you want to and watch the often missed and
delightful scene between the two. This is it, if you're lazy:

(Setzer is fixing things in the engine, Cid is standing around, likely in awe
or admiration)
Cid: This is a nice ship you've got here! Setzer: The shock from our crash
really banged up the engine. It's gonna take a while to fix...
Cid: Let me help you! I know my way around an engine!
Setzer: I think I'll pass.
Cid: You know, we could really speed this baby up if we axed the casino and
streamlined her a bit...
Setzer: ...That's not open to discussion. Now, will you please get out of here?
Cid: Oh well... Would've been at least twice as fast, too... Maybe three
times...
(exit Cid)
Terra: You really love this ship, don't you? Setzer: It may be hard to believe,
considering how I live now, but I used to be a driven man.
Terra: ...Really?
Setzer: I wanted to make this the fastest ship in the world, and fly it across
the open sky... That was always my dream.
Terra: Is that any different from what you're doing now? Setzer: Back then,
there was a person who kept me working towards my dream... The pilot of the
Falcon, the fastest airship ever made. At times we were friendly rivals, and at
times we were simply friends. We'd always talk about our dreams... Like which of
us would be the first to sail beyond the sky to the stars. But then she vanished
along with the Falcon, and that was the end of youthful dreams.
Setzer: ... Darill...

After the scene:  Setzer: The repairs will take some time. You're going to have
to take a boat from Albrook.

Anyway, the real new treasure lies in the Imperial Base at the Cave to the
Sealed Gate. Enter the house, and prepare to be stumped; the Empire has made
a great gesture of good will with this gift. The chests here include: an
X-Potion, an Angel Wings Relic, a Hi-Ether, a Reflect Ring, Hermes Sandals,
an Elixir, an Angel Ring, and an Alarm Earring, together with 8000 Gil + 13000
Gil + 20000 Gil = 41000 Gil. There's a hidden chest with an Elixir hidden by
the south wall, and there's a Flametongue in the stove.

If you want to, you can go and visit Tzen and Maranda; there's really nothing
for you there, but you can see how both towns have been abandoned by the
oppressive Imperial forces, and how glad everybody is that the war is finally
over.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.39.1  Departing from Albrook
**********************************

  Container contents:
  Teleport Stone

At any rate, as soon as you can get to Albrook, you'll find the entry to the
port open. You immediately appear next to two crates, of which one contains a
Teleport Stone. General Leo is discussing with subordinates here; he tells you
to go and take a rest at the Inn, but not before 'introducing' you to two
'strangers': The first is Shadow, the second another general of the Empire,
General Celes Chere. Locke spazzes out and Celes runs off. You can bask in
Shadow's idea of humor for a while before acknowledging Leo has made
arrangements, and you can rest at the Inn free.

If you ignored Shadow both with Sabin and in Kohlingen, this is the first time
you'll meet him. So as opposed to 'friendly' banter, he'll say "I'd better let
this guy stretch his legs before he gets cooped up on the boat..."

Resting at the Inn will trigger a sad cutscene in which Locke and Celes exchange
their names and offer charged silences to each other.

When morning comes, the freighter takes off.

A lot is afoot during the night.

When the morning comes, everybody is already awake. You can learn from the
soldiers that rumors say magic still exists on Crescent Island -- clearly folly
-- and you can talk to Leo for your mission briefing.

General Celes and General Leo will try to gain information, while Terra, Locke,
and Shadow are dispatched by themselves. There's a town to the north called
Thamasa, so it might be a good idea to try to learn something there.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.40.1  Traveling to Thamasa; Crescent Island
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Briareus (#94), Devourer (#95), Chimera (#96)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Golden Armor (rare Chimera drop)

You've been dropped off at the southern end of Crescent Island. Shadow, now
under employment by the Empire, aids you in your search, and you can at least
be certain he won't run out on you this time. Also note that if you never
recruited Shadow in Sabin's scenario or Kohlingen, Interceptor will not protect
Shadow in battle on Crescent Island, due to an oversight of the game.

Preparation: Be sure to equip Shadow in the latest fashion fads, and it might
be useful to have him equip a nice Esper like Siren to unlock his Magic ability.
If you decide to stay around and fight some monsters for whatever reason, summon
Phantom; it will be very nice.

Monster formations:
(Grasslands)
Devourer, Briareus (6/16)
Briareus (5/16)
Briareus, Briareus (5/16)

(Forest)
Devourer, Devourer, Devourer (6/16)
Chimera (5/16)
Chimera, Devourer, Devourer (5/16)

The monsters here are pretty interesting. The only one you need to worry about
right now is Briareus, as you don't need to go through the forest, but you
might want to, so I'll take a look at them too.

Briareus are turtle-like monsters that only attack physically. I've mentioned
them earlier for their rare Gaia Gear Steal, a nice addition to your equipment
options. If a single Briareus is damaged, there's a 33 % chance it will
counter with Snort, an odd attack that basically forces the target to run.
There's nothing you can do about it, sadly.

Devourer, to me, stand out because of their overwhelming usefulness with Rage-
centered SCC games. Devourer is one of the two monsters that combine a Special
with one-hit KO protection on Gau, which is very nice. As opponents, they stand
out for their great physical defense (auto-Protect) and the fact they rarely
employ Ultros' Tentacle attack, which makes them the only random encounter
monsters to use it. Tentacle is a very strong attack, so take out Devourer as
soon as possible.

Crescent Island's Magnum Monster is Chimera. They have a lot of HP, are
invulnerable to all prominent status effects, and torment the party with magical
MT attacks, which include Aqua Breath on a regular basis and Blizzard, Fireball,
and Cyclonic when they're alone. Don't take Chimera for granted; keep your HP up
and don't go easy on him. The only way out of a head-on fight is casting Berserk
on him; his physical attacks also hurt, but if you're quick, you can simply
shrug it off with Phantom.

In short, if you act quickly with Chimera around (he'll always take at least
one turn before he employs a magical attack), Phantom gives you invulnerability.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.40.2  Thamasa
**********************************

  Container contents:
  Echo Screen, Eye Drops, Gold Needle, Green Cherry, Phoenix Down

As soon as you enter Thamasa, you'll notice strange things going on. There's an
unfriendly atmosphere, and the Innkeeper charges insane amounts of money (well,
1500 Gil a night is very expensive!). But hey, at least the shops are open now!
Also, three free items are lying around town: There's an Echo Screen in the
top barrel next to mayor's house, a Green Cherry in the barrel next to Strago's
house, a Gold Needle in the bottom barrel near the Relic shop, an Eye Drops in
the middle barrel near the Item shop, and a Phoenix Down in the upper barrel
next to the Inn.

Armor Shop:
Golden Shield        2500
Tiger Mask           2500
Tiara                3000
Golden Helm          4000
Mystery Veil         5500
Power Sash           5000
Gaia Gear            6000
Golden Armor        10000
 The Armor Shop is open! You can finally buy your Gaia Gear if you were too
lazy to Steal it earlier. Also, the Mystery Veil, a great helmet for Celes and
Terra that you'll want to equip for a long time from now. Also, Golden Armor,
but you really don't want to buy more, as the next dungeon, which you'll be able
to choose party members for, will need Gaia Gear wearers anyway.

Weapon Shop:
Mythril Rod           500
Flame Rod            3000
Ice Rod              3000
Thunder Rod          3000
Morning Star         5000
Hawkeye              6000
Heavy Lance         10000
Darts               10000
 The Weapon Shop is also open. Rods for SALE now? Such folly. I suggest you buy
an Ice Rod; leave it at that as far as Rods are concerned (you'll understand
why later on). New weapons also include a Heavy Lance for Edgar and Mog, and
Darts for Setzer. While I can guarantee you none of these characters will really
use those weapons, it doesn't hurt to boost their Attack. :)

Relic Shop:
Earring              5000
Sniper Eye           3000
Hermes Sandals       7000
Reflect Ring         6000
Black Belt           5000
Dragoon Boots        9000
Sprint Shoes         1500
 Nothing new here, really, although the general layout is nice. All Relics here
are nice to have as supplementary stuff.

Item Shop:
Potion                 50
Hi-Potion             300
Ether                1500
Remedy               1000
Teleport Stone        700
Holy Water            300
Phoenix Down          500
Tent                 1200
 Item Shop. You can shop for Items in the Item Shop. It's what the name tries to
indicate, silly.

Someone advises you to talk to the old man who lives on the edge of town. It's
to the northeast of the plaza. In here, you'll meet a strange man indeed...

Meet Strago Magus, and his lovely adopted granddaughter Relm Arrowny. While
Strago is explaining to you that he has no idea whatsoever what Espers are
(even though he's supposed to be the expert in town), Relm barges in and asks
if they can 'use magic too'. How odd! How terribly, terribly odd! Relm proceeds
to not be mauled up by Interceptor, instead seemingly befriending him.
Disappointed yet suspicious, you leave the house.

Around town, odd things happen. Behind Strago's house, you can interrupt what
appears as a Cure casting, and behind the large mansion a kid is practicing
what looks like fire magic. How can this be? Regardless, it's been a tough day,
I'd say we'd better take a nap at the Inn, which has suddenly taken on a much
more customer-friendly pricing...

Important note: Before you take your nap, de-equip Shadow of his equipment,
Relics and most importantly, of his Esper. All set? Good. If you don't do this,
he'll take it all with him when he goes, not to be seen for a while.

In the middle of the night: panic! Strago wakes you up as he needs your help;
Relm is trapped inside the mansion, and it's on fire! It's getting progressively
worse. You go with the old man, while Shadow stays behind. This isn't what he is
paid to do, so he doesn't do it. You can't access his equipment and Magicite in
the next mission, so that's great.

Outside, Strago shows you exactly what you've been 'suspecting' so far. He tries
to use magic to calm the flames. The entire population of Thamasa tries to use
magic to calm the flames. They fail. Strago goes in, and you rush after him.
This all makes sense, as if all else fails, try to stab the flames with your
weapons. It'll do some good.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.40.3  The Burning Mansion
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Grenade (#73), Balloon (#98), Flame Eater (#298)

  Container contents:
  Flame Rod, Ice Rod

  Miscellaneous items:
  Flametongue (common Flame Eater steal)

  Lores:
  Self-Destruct

The mansion is on fire, and somewhere is a scared little 10-year-old waiting to
be rescued by you. Her adoptive grandfather, despite the fact IT'S NOT POSSIBLE,
has magical powers. This turns out to be an odd night indeed.

Preparation: You have a new party member: Strago. I'll explain in a bit what
he's all about, I'll first explain how to properly handle him. He's a mage, but
in this dungeon, he'd do well to preserve MP, as his magical skills are grossly
overkill. I suggest you equip him with an Ice Rod, Mythril Shield, Priest's
Miter or Magus Hat, and some Gaia Gear. As far as Espers go, Shiva is a
brilliant pick, as she teaches five spells that are all very useful in this
dungeon and for Strago is general. Also, equip Locke and Terra with Blizzard
blades (Hawkeye is sufficient with a Gigas Glove).

Monster formations:
(Wandering Flame)
Balloon, Balloon, Balloon (3/4)
Balloon, Balloon, Balloon , Balloon, Balloon, Balloon (1/4)

(Trap Door)
Balloon, Balloon, Balloon, Balloon (always)

Strago is the FF VI Blue Mage. His special skill is called Lore, with which he
can use several monster attacks. Learn all about them here:

[LORE-LINK]

Right now, he knows Aqua Breath, a powerful MT Water/Wind-elemental attack,
Stone, an inaccurate attack that deals non-elemental damage and does 8 times
as much damage if the attacker and target have the same level (remember Gau
during the Narshe Raid?), and Revenge Blast, of which the damage output is
simply caster's maximum HP - caster's current HP, dealing the damage the caster
currently has on him.

All the roaming flames here indicate flame monsters: Balloon. Letting them
touch you means either a battle with three Balloons, or a battle with six
Balloons. Balloons rarely use Self-Destruct and attack physically otherwise, so
I suggest summoning Phantom or casting Vanish during the first battle. Use an
MT attack to finish off the six Balloons (MT Blizzara spell, Aqua Breath,
Shiva's Diamond Dust) and use physical attacks for the three.

You can either use the Confuse spell, Cait Sith's Cat Rain attack, or the Stone
Lore (MT) to confuse Balloon monsters, in which case they're likely to use
Self-Destruct on each other. This will make Strago learn Self-Destruct, an
attack he will hopefully never, ever have to use, as it's horrid; it kills the
caster, and all it does is damage equal to the caster's current HP to a single
target. If Strago is level 22, Stone will do fatal damage to the Balloons
because of Stone's same-level destruction properties.

The first two rooms are straightforward. The third room has two doors standing
next to each other.

The left one opens to expose four flames leaping out, catching you in a four-
headed Balloon monster formation that is a fixed Pincer attack. This happens
every time you try to enter the door. The right one allows you to continue.

In this room, two more doors:

The right door takes you to a room with a chest in it containing a Flame Rod.
The left one allows you to continue.

In this room, two more doors:

The right one takes you to a room with a chest in it containing an Ice Rod.
The left one allows you to continue.

The next room is simply a hallway. It opens into the largest room of the house,
where the source of the blaze is located. If you take one step into the room,
it will attack you. Equipping Zona Seeker helps for the battle, as does Kirin
(as usual). Try to equip as many Reflect Rings as possible; you're bound to have
two from treasures. You can circumvent the Reflect Rings by equipping Carbuncle,
but while that doesn't take any Relic slots, it's not what a sane man would call
permanent.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.40.4  The battle with Flame Eater
**********************************

Flame Eater
Level: 26, HP: 8400, MP: 480
Steal: Flametongue (common)
Absorbs: Fire; Nullify: Lightning, Poison, Holy, Earth; Weakness: Ice
Special: !Hit: Attack x 1.5
Vulnerable to: Slow
Attacks: Fire, Fira, Firaga, Protect, Reflect, Fireball, Bomblet

Flame Eater starts the battle by using Bomblet. The move Bomblet itself doesn't
really do anything (although it removes your Invisible status if you had it on
you), but it's always followed by Flame Eater summoning allies. Flame Eater can
summon from two to four Balloon monsters and even a Grenade. He will always
start with four Balloons.

Flame Eater is basically a massive floating flame, so you could expect him to
have a fire-based AI script. He normally uses Fire spells and Fireball attacks,
while countering one third of your damaging attacks with a Fira spell. After
you've damaged him six times, he'll cast Protect and Reflect on himself (unless
he already had Reflect on him), at which point he will bounce Fira and Firaga
spells off of his own barrier until it's faded (he'll go back to regular
programming at that point.

Also, if you would hit him with Gravity or Graviga (a spell you're unlikely to
have), he would have retorted with a Graviga or Flare spell of his own; sadly
for Flame Eater, you can never actually hit him with Gravity/Graviga, as he has
one-hit KO protection. Silly programmers.

The strategy is simple and Ice-based. Cast Slow as soon as you can. If you have
Kirin or Zona Seeker equipped, start it at the start of the battle. If you're
not covered in Reflect Rings, Carbuncle may come in handy; the Reflect status
make you immune to Flame Eater's Fira counters. Try to steal his Flametongue
with Locke; you don't really need it, but there's no harm in it and Shadow can
always chuck it in some poor creature's face or face-like appendage.

Whenever Flame Eater summons allies, use a powerful MT attack like Shiva's
Diamond Dust, Aqua Breath, or an MT Blizzara spell to take care of them all.
If a Grenade is summoned, note that it has 3000 HP but poor defenses. It's
vulnerable to Death, but immune to Break. Don't use Attack on it, as it may
counter with Self-Destruct. Try to take it out ASAP, as its !Mesmerize attack
may set Berserk on one of your guys.

First priority would be not dying, second priority is attacking with Blizzara
spells and Ice-elemental weapons (especially dual Ice Rods!), and making sure
he doesn't get all Reflective on you if you are spamming spells. If Strago is
level 26, you can't pass up the opportunity to deal illegal amounts of damage
with Stone. A short-cut to victory is to let Terra Trance, then break the Ice
Rod you found. It will automatically target the entire enemy team, but even
with Balloons or a Grenade present you can focus the icy blast on Flame Eater
alone by switchting the targeting to your allies, then back at Flame Eater 
again.

An alternate strategy that you may find useful if you have enough Rasp casters
is casting Rasp. Flame Eater has only 480 MP and dies once they're gone. At
normal levels, you will have killed Flame Eater before he starts with the
Protect + Reflect business. If you have one or two characters capable of
casting Rasp, this is the better strategy.

Flame Eater is a simple boss who's likely to go down easy on you. To sum it all
up: "Attacks are the best attack." (RedDemon).

When you've put it out, you find Relm in the back of the house. Just in time
to be buried beneath flaming rubble with her.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.41.1  Leaving Thamasa
**********************************

  Miscellaneous items:
  Memento Ring (hidden)

Remember when you died in a fire? That didn't happen. Shadow came in and saved
the day, just to rescue his dog. He decided he might be able to spare your
sorry lives free. Wotta guy, eh?

Thamasa is the village of Magi's descendents. During the War of the Magi,
Magicite-powered humans called Magi fought alongside of normal humans and
Espers. When the war ended, the Espers retreated and the humans hated the
remaining influence of the magical: the Magi. They were forced to flee, and
much like the Espers founded the Esper World, so did the Magi create Thamasa.
Their descendents have lost a slight tough of their magic after the 1000 years,
but they're still powerful enough to actually use the magic the world has
forgotten for so long.

As soon as Strago mentions that the mountains to the west might be worth a look,
Shadow splits. Outside, it seems that he will 'search for the Espers his own
way'. You shouldn't forget that despite the fact Shadow has fought alongside of
you, he is a morally lacking person directly employed by the Empire, whose
interests are still rather questionable. He's breaking a direct order for no
apparent reason. Highly suspicious. Highly, highly suspicious. In a strange turn
of events, Shadow kindly leaves behind the equipment and Magicite he had
equipped.

With Strago in your party, you get the new mission of finding Espers in the
mountains. Nice. Relm offered to join, but despite her prominent naming screen,
was refused entry into the party, which even has a free spot for her.

I'M SURE WE'LL NEVER SEE HER AGAIN.

There's a Relic hidden in Strago's house, on the second floor: hidden in the
bulge in the left wall, it's near the small table with the two chairs
surrounding it. This Relic, the Memento Ring, is at this moment entirely useless
to you. You should know that in the PSX release, they changed the name of this
Relic to 'Safety Ring'. At least, that's what it says when you grab it here; if
you check your inventory or try to equip it, it'll speak of a 'Safty Ring'.

When you're done, take a nice and uneventful nap at the Inn and head out to the
mountains.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.41.2  Crescent Island's Eastern Mountains
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Bonnacon (#99), Land Grillon (#100), Adamankary (#101), Mandrake (#102),
  Venobennu (#103), Ultros (#299)

  Container contents:
  Chocobo Suit, Healing Rod, Tabby Suit, X-Potion

  Lores:
  White Wind

Thus, a typical Byronian hero accompanies the half-Esper magical prodigy and
the elderly walking-encyclopedia-on-monsters-and-their-behavior-with-magical-
powers to what they hope will be a place filled with Beasts of Doom. If this
is achieved, we can get the peace the Returners have fought so hard for.

Preparation: Make sure your equipment and Espers are comfortable.
It's wisdom to summon Phantom at the very start, as most attacks are physical
here. Jeweled Rings and Ribbons are nice to protect against the Petrifying
Special of one of the monsters on the slopes, though, as these are the same
monsters that have the power of removing your Invisible status.

Monster formations:

(Caves)
Adamankary, Bonnacon, Bonnacon (6/16)
Adamankary, Adamankary (5/16)
Bonnacon, Bonnacon, Bonnacon, Bonnacon, Bonnacon (5/16)

(Slopes)
Venobennu, Venobennu (6/16)
Mandrake, Land Grillon, Land Grillon (5/16)
Mandrake, Mandrake, Mandrake (5/16)

There are five entirely new monsters roaming these mountains, two in the caves
and three on the slopes. They are:

Bonnacon. Anything resembling an Urok palette-swap can be nothing but very,
very weak. An Earring-boosted MT Fire spell tends to take them all out (although
at lower levels, you might need a follow-up MT spell).

They share the caves with Adamankary monsters. Rather soon for a palette-swap
in this case, don't you think? You met Briareus at the foot of these mountains.
That's just not right. Adamankary are named like that because their hide is
hard. Hard like ADAMANTINE. There's no penetrating it (unless it's with barrier
-piercing physical attacks, obviously). You'll want to stick to magical attacks
with them. Don't ever use Attack, ever, as they have a one/third chance of using
Snort, breaking your ever-so-fragile invisibility.

On the slopes, a brilliant new enemy is called Venobennu. They attack physically
only, having a small chance of trying to poison you with !Featherdust. After
they've taken three turns, they'll use White Wind, but only if there's some two
of them on-screen; when alone, they'll never use White Wind. The first time
White Wind appears, have Strago stand there and observe; he'll learn the
magnificent move.

Also, Land Grillon. Remember Nettlehopper? Remember Grasswyrm? I'm sure you
don't, as both are dull as hell. Land Grillon has a more diverse color pattern
on them, but fail to impress on all related issues.

Mandrakes are without a doubt the most dangerous creatures this moutain has
to offer. The Anthology Bestiary says their vines are made out of metal, but
that's important right now. Every second turn, they may use !Stonetouch, which
sets Petrify to the poor fool that suffers it. The Invisible status, a Ribbon
and/or a Jeweled Ring will help you stay soft and limber. The second great
annoyance with them is the fact they'll retaliate any damage you do with a 33%
chance of using a Leech attack, draining about 300 HP worth of damage from you
and dispelling your Invisible status. Stop spells stop their Leech counter-
attacks, or you could even opt to simply run from them. Fira spells are
especially effective versus them.

The entrance of the mountains lies north of the forest here. The entrance wasn't
here before, if you were wondering. The first room houses a chest with a
Healing Rod (keep hold of this one!).

The Healing Rod is a spiffy Rod that heals all targets, be it living or undead.
At this point of the game, a Front Row character using it is likely to fully
heal the target character (it'll do about 1000 HP worth of curing). Personally,
I think the supposed equippers of a Healing Rod, Strago and Relm, will usually
be too busy doing the exact same thing with an ST Cura spell and still having
room for an offensive weapon, but there are people out there who are in love
with the Healing Rod because it's MP-free.

Regardless, much later in the game you can trade your Healing Rod for a weapon
that is so kick-ass they might have called it +7/+7 Weapon of kick-ass for all
I care, so definitely don't EVER sell it.

For trivia, they once made a half-assed attempt at making it auto-target your
party under Attack. They simply succeeded in making it auto-target your party
under Throw, in which case the Healing Rod resulted in efficient death on the
hapless victim of Shadow. In the GBA release, instead of fixing this, they
simply removed the property whatsoever, making it target the enemy in all
instances.

The cave opening to the north and left will just link to each other, so take
the right one (to the right). You'll see a quick 'unrecognizable' red flash
dash from the corner of your eye, but that's just the shadows being a bitch to
you.

In the slopes here, you can find Venobennu monsters. You'll want to meet them
at least once to learn White Wind.

White Wind is a full-party healing move that cures for the same amount of
Hit Points the caster currently has. This sounds like a silly move, as you'd
guess the more you're damaged, the more you need healing, and that's exactly
when this move tends to fail (if Strago is near-fatal, White Wind will do
little). White Wind is *very* useful though, as it is a move that can heal
characters with Reflect Rings and surpasses Runic.

If you cross these slopes and enter a new cave, you see the red movement again.
What's with your eyes these days? The new cave can be easily passed through;
you see a lot of broken pathways here, but you can't reach them anyway.

The next room houses three golden statues. Strago will freak out when he sees
them, and explain about the Statues. Remember when Kefka talked about reviving
the Statues, and how fun he thought that was going to be? Better learn about
them, then.

These golden icons are mere representations of the real Warring Triad, and even
these shimmer with power. Strago muses that perhaps the Espers came here to bask
in this power so familiar to them (and obviously, this is where it's said the
Espers were created all this time ago).

The following is inscribed in the statues:

The dawn of magic...
Three gods descended from the heavens. Fearing one another's power, the gods
began to war.
Those mortals caught amongst their fighting became Espers, and were forced to
fight endlessly as slaves to the gods.

Realizing their power begot naught but strife, the gods at last agreed to seal
away their strength.
With the last of their fading magic, the gods returned the Espers' free will,
then turned themselves to stone.
The last words they left to the Espers were these: "Never must we be woken."

In reverence towards the gods were these statues made, and in prayer that their
power would ne'er again be stirred.
Let them serve as a warning to future generations of the three gods who once
descended from the heavens...

As soon as you intend to leave, a familiar octopod crashes the party. It's
Ultros. Laugh or die. He mentions something about Siegfried (calls him 'big
brother' in the Japanese version), throws a semi-smart retort to Locke's
comment (at whose body he jumped a little, Locke's his personal nemesis since he
met him on stage), and attacks you.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.41.3  The third fight with Ultros
**********************************

Ultros
Level: 25, HP: 22000, MP: 750
Steal: White Cape (common)
Absorbs: Water, Weakness: Fire, Lightning
Status: Float
Special: !Ink: sets Dark, Attack x 1.5
Sketch : Tentacle (rare), Tentacle (common)
Vulnerable to: Slow, Stop
Attacks: Attack, !Ink, Firaga, Blizzaga, Thundaga, Protect, Haste, Aqua Breath,
Stone, Magnitude 8, Tentacle, Hailstone

Ultros isn't very hard this time around. He starts the battle off with the
message "Thought you wouldn't see me again? I've got more lives than I do arms!"
He'll normally use Attack, !Ink, Stone, and Tentacle. After every minute
of battle, he'll use Hailstone, a percentage-based attack that removes 75 % of
your current HP.

Every other turn, he'll start by taking a little slither in your direction.
Once he has slithered eight times, he uses a particularly nasty spell: either
Aqua Breath or Magnitude 8. You can easily take both (especially the latter if
you're equipped with Gaia Gear as you should be), but you can make him back
off one slither if you hit him three times with a Magic spell (not Lore).
Not that that's really advisable, but I'll explain that in a minute.

When Ultros reaches the low grounds of mere 15360 HP, he'll cast Haste and
Protect on himself. "I know what you're thinking... Man, that was cheap! Sorry,
so sorry!" Yes. Once you've cast five spells on him, he'll go red and the screen
will say: "Ultros alters his body composition! Use elemental attacks at
your own risk!" This means that any Fire-elemental spells will be countered by
Firaga, Ice-elemental spells by Blizzaga, and Lightning-elemental spells by
Thundaga.

As soon as you bring down Ultros to 10240 HP, a cutscene will trigger to bring
in Relm. She'll chat with Ultros, and some moments later - after the obviously
hi-la-rious cutscene has passed - will join you on your side against Ultros. If
you use her Sketch ability on him, Ultros will say: "How can this be? I'm just
a...washed-up old octopus?" and leave.

The strategy is pretty straightforward. I wouldn't bother with offensive
spells whatsoever if I were you (other then two Slow spells, one to start off
with and one to counter his Haste/Protect combo with). If you have Golem's Stop
spell, use it to great effect and cast it every time you see Ultros taking
another turn. Strago's Rods, should they have the Fire or Lightning element,
will do decent damage overall (especially when that random spell steps in).
Ultros Floats, so Locke can horribly abuse that with his Hawkeye(s) (you can
cast Berserk on Locke if you feel like you can miss the controllable nature of
him). Terra can wield Flametongues and/or Thunder Blades to hurt Ultros a
bundle. If Strago's level is 25, he can rock out with his rock out; Stone will
do major damage. Try to Steal his White Cape, as it's basically free and
generally useful. End the battle with Sketch if you want to.

Even if Relm never shows up in-battle, she'll still take all the credit for the
victory :p

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.41.4  Relm and the Espers' gathering place
**********************************

Relm's ability is Sketch, and I dare say it's the worst ability in the game.

If you're interested in the reason, go to [SKETCH-LINK]

Right now, I suggest you give Relm an Esper to teach her a good spell pronto.
Shiva is perfect, but Strago is probably still struggling with it, so either
Ifrit or Catoblepas is a generally quick road to success.

She starts with the left list of equipment, and I'd advise the right one:

Chocobo Brush                Flame/Thunder/Ice Rod (in that order)
Mythril Shield               Mythril Shield
Plumed Hat                   Mystery Veil/Tiara
Silk Robe                    White Dress/Gaia Gear

She comes equipped with a Memento Ring; you found one earlier in Strago's house.
It can be equipped by two people, of which Relm is one. Another character you
already know can also equip it, but it's not Strago, and who could possibly be
protected by Relm's dead mother besides Relm herself? Checking its properties
reveals this character is Shadow...

The next room contains a Save Point and three tiles that look like they might
cave in underneath you. These cave in underneath you. The top one takes you to
a place in the broken walking bridge maze where you can go to the slopes at
two places and find two nice pieces of equipment: The Chocobo Suit and the Tabby
Suit. Equip Strago and Relm accordingly. You can jump off to a familiar path.
The loose tile to the far right will take you to an X-Potion, and the loose tile
to the bottom-left will advance your path to the Espers. After you pass this
last slope, you enter a room brimming with magical energy...

The Espers have indeed gathered in this mountain, and they don't look too
friendly. They've stopped Strago and Relm from leaving and are slowly
surrounding you. Even though they have the plot power to wipe three members of
your party from this world like excrement from a boot, you still prepare for
battle; until an Esper who once discovered Terra's mother face-down near the
entrance of the Esper World, and who even longer ago was human, recognizes the
power within Terra and saves the day. It's Yura.

The Espers are talking peace and non-carnage now. The Espers were gathering
near the Sealed Gate, plotting how to rescue their captured comrades. It took
them 18 bloody years; way to go, champs. Just at that time, in a great
coincidence, Terra called out to the Espers and, according to Yura, it was her
who opened the gate. As we knew from Terra herself, Espers in our world tend
to go bat-shit bat-fucking crazy, and that's what happened to Yura and his
merry friends. And now they're here, feeling sorry about it all.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.42.1  Epilogue
**********************************

Epilogue time! Every conflict has been resolved, the war is over, the Espers
have been calmed down, everybody is happy. Leo and Yura apologize much like
two lovers who just came out of an argument (I didn't mean what I said about
your mother and the way she smells!), and Locke makes a light-hearted innuendo
about Celes.

Everybody smiley face. The End.

Kefka appears. Or is it? How is this possible? Isn't he stuck in jail? Did he
escape? Did the Empire set you up and was Kefka released? Is everybody safe?

Within seconds, he has sent Magitek Armors on you that have taken all your
party members down, killed three Espers, knocked Leo out cold, and has caused
general unhappiness. Damn his eyes! During the conversation of Kefka and Leo,
it becomes clear that the Empire did set you up. When Shadow heard you
mentioning the Espers being at the Eastern Mountains, he most likely reported
to the Emperor, who sent Kefka and a Magitek Armor division to Thamasa
as soon as possible. Who knows what he has done to your friends in the
meantime.

As Leo Christophe, you wake up. Leo can't leave town, as where ever he ventures,
the Guardian will attack him, leaving him no choice but to turn back. Houses are
all empty (though you can just shop away; it's like a Wal-mart policy). You
*can* pick up the Memento Ring with him if you haven't already, but there's
little point. There's one sensible thing to do. Leo Christophe never got himself
a naming screen, which bodes ill for the upcoming battle, but he'll be damned if
he won't act honorably. Talk to Kefka and fight him. He is a disgrace to the
Empire.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.42.2  Leo versus Kefka
**********************************

Crystal Sword
Aegis Shield
Golden Helm
Golden Armor
Gigas Glove
Master's Scroll

Leo has awesome equipment and has quite a high level. The Emperor called him
his greatest warrior; it shows. Due to the Master's Scroll Relic, he attacks
four times rather than one time with the Attack command, and his Gigas Glove
really boosts his damage with it. His special skill, Shock, is an MT non-
elemental magical attack.

This Kefka uses several attacks, including Attack, Poison, Drain, Bio, and
Firaga. Strategy isn't really important, as you can't really lose this battle.
If Leo is in the Front Row, his Attack command will do more damage than Shock.
You can use Magicite Shards for miscellaneous effects, but it bears no purpose
whatsoever and is just wasting resources. Once you 'kill' Kefka, he'll put on
a nice show that stars Gestahl, and then he proceeds to actually murder general
Leo Christophe.

The next few scenes are not positive to your chances of making a positive
action. All the remaining Espers bolt through the gate to attack Kefka, and he
kills them all. He leaves you alive, but it's hinted at that he backstabbed
Shadow as well. Thanks to Edgar, your party members were able to save
themselves from imminent death, but Banon, Arvis, a lot of Narshe guards, and
the majority of the Returners have apparently been killed in Vector, though.

All in all, a rotten day.

You leave Interceptor behind in Thamasa. Note that the levels of Cyan, Edgar,
Sabin, Setzer, Gau and Celes are re-averaged, but not in the usual style of
simply taking the average of all recruited characters. The new lowest level is
the average of the levels of Terra, Locke, Strago, Relm and due to a bug, Mog,
so they should be even more up to speed than they otherwise would be. In
addition, if Gau was Leapt away on the Veldt prior to the whole shtick in the
Cave to the Sealed Gate, he will now be back on the Blackjack.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.43.1  Airship Exploitation: Rage and Lore hunting
**********************************

  Lores:
  Doom, Dischord, Lv. 3 Confuse, Lv. 4 Flare, Lv. 5 Death, Transfusion, Roulette
  Traveler

As soon as you find yourself outside of Thamasa, you'll want to board the
Blackjack. A cutscene in which bad things happen is triggered. Gestahl and Kefka
have reached the Warring Triad, and have apparently used them to set afloat the
continent of the Cave to the Sealed Gate, creating a massive airborne weapon
from which Gestahl can probably wreck havoc without fearing any kind of
retribution. This is bad shit.

Change to a party without Strago in it, and head back into Thamasa. You can find
Gungho, an old acquaintance of Strago, near the Inn. The man does little but
call Strago a 'monumental coward'. Nice.

I am Gungho, Thamasa's most renowned monster hunter. I come back here for the
first time in ages, and the place looks like it's been through a war! What in
the world happened?

Seems you're letting Strago fight with you, but I should warn you... the man's
a monumental coward. Back when you were young, you tried so hard to hunt
Hidon...but then you gave up and quit before you found him.

Note: Ofcourse, that last line could be Gungho muttering to himself, imagining
himself talking to Strago. However, since this dialogue was faulty in the SNES
version, it's more likely this is just a screw-up.

With Strago (you can head back, change, enter again):

I am Gungho, Thamasa's most renowned monster hunter. I come back here for the
first time in ages, and the place looks like it's been through a war! What in
the world happened?

Strago: G-Gungho!?
Gungho: Oh, Strago! Have you come back to hunt Hidon?
Gungho: You haven't changed a bit, have you?
Back when you were young, you tried so hard to hunt down Hidon...but then you
gave up and quit before you found him.
Strago: I didn't quit! It's just... I sort of... I mean... The thing lives in
Ebot's Rock, and after the place sunk, well... Gungho: Always have to make
excuses, don't you?
Gungho: You're pathetic!

Now you're airborne and you're simply dying to stop the Emperor from doing
nasty things with the Warring Triad, but there's no rush, and there are quite a
few things to do right now. First, enjoy your massive pool of character options:

Terra: Don't worry. I'm sure a peaceful future is right around the corner!
Locke: We'll bring peace back to the world...no matter what!
Cycan: I cannot forgive the Empire...
Edgar: I'm not just sitting here playing games! ...I'm thinking up our next
strategy!
Sabin: Let me at the Empire!
Celes: I may have served as a general to the Empire, but I still know evil when
I see it.
Strago: I traveled around the world, too, in my younger days...
Relm: Hey! Do you want me to paint your portrait?
Setzer: What's important to me...? Bah! If I were attached to things, I couldn't
gamble!
Mog: Kupoppo!
Gau: Gau get stronger on the Veldt.

The world is barren of Imperial activity. Vector and the Imperial Palace are
completely deserted, and there are no soldiers in Albrook anymore. Albrook is
rather overshadowed at the moment, as the Floating Continent is right above
them. I don't see why they would want to linger there; if I had a floating
landmass the size of Belgium floating over my head, I think I'd high-tail it to
Germany before long.

- More Lores. I'll explain how to get as many Lores as you can at this point
  of the game:

- Doom
Rummage around on the Veldt until Gau encounters and Leaps a Zombie Dragon. When
you get Gau back, have him Rage Zombie Dragon. His special attack is Doom,
and Strago will learn it if he's paying attention.

Doom sets a timer over the target's head and uses an automatic unblockable
Death spell if the timer runs out. Monsters can be immune to both Doom and
(Instant) Death, mind. Rather useless.

- Dischord
Meet either a Chaser or a Satellite on the Veldt. Satellite will *always* use
Dischord after he's taken nine turns, Chaser will use it randomly.

Dischord is an attack that halves the target's level. If the target is immune
to one-hit KO, Dischord will fail. The best use of Dischord lies in stealing;
lowering an opponent's level increases your chances of stealing.

- Lv. 3 Confuse
Try to meet up with a Trapper (the hanging robots from the IMRF, remember).
They will randomly and happily use Lv. 3 Confuse. If Gau already learned the
Trapper Rage, Strago can learn it from the feisty kid.

- Lv.4 Flare
It's like with Lv. 3 Confuse, only you need to make sure that Lv. 4 Flare
doesn't kill your entire party.

- Lv. 5 Death
Trappers, Trappers, Trappers, Trappers. And waiting.

- Transfusion
Make sure you have encountered at least one Intangir, and go Rage-hunting on
the Veldt. When Gau learns the Intangir Rage, he can execute it to use
Transfusion. Strago will learn it, although I can't see a use for it whatsoever.

- Roulette
Make sure you have Relm in your party for this one. Try to find Onion Knight
enemies on the Veldt. If you Sketch one, there's a 75 % chance it will cast
Roulette. Strago can watch and learn.

Roulette basically lets the cursor spin around. If you hit the action button,
it'll slow down and deliver an unblockable Death spell (targets that are
immune to one-hit KO survive the attack). I'm sure you can get Roulette
targeting down to a science, but it's not really worth it.

- Traveler
Fly over to South Figaro. You can take a walk there and enjoy the freedom of the
town for a moment, but the real treat lies just outside of its borders.
Unseelie, when confused, will somehow -- while drooling and flailing their
arms around and being generally amusing to look at -- use the Traveler attack.

Traveler is a brilliant attack with fixed damage. It's non-elemental, barrier-
piercing, and the direct output of a simple mathematical formula:

The damage you deal = Number of steps taken / 32

The amount of MP it costs you = Amount of minutes played / 30

In case you were wondering, whenever monsters use this attack they use YOUR
amount of steps for it. That's hardly fair. It's like tax money, only they
use it to spy on you rather than help your poor family members through the
winter.

Update: Hollywood Narrator gave me some information about US politics So, for
US readers: It's like tax money!

Also: new Rages! New monsters you'll want to Leap include Antares and Outcast.
Below is the old list of monsters you're still interested in.

Darkwind        Break            inherent Float
Trillium        Bio              absorbs Water
Alacran         !Numb (Stop)
Spritzer        Blaze            absorbs Lightning, inherent Float, Undead
Oversoul        W. o' the Wisp   absorbs Poison, Undead
Stray Cat       !Cat Scratch
Guard Leader    Wind Slash
Lesser Lopros   Fireball         inherent Float
Mu              Snare
Templar         Fira             inherent Protect
Cloud           Thundara         one-hit KO protection
Satellite       Sonic Boom       inherent Float, one-hit KO protection
Bomb            Blaze            absorbs Fire, inherent Float
Anguiform       Aqua Breath      inherent Darkness
Aspiran         Gigavolt         inherent Float
Rock Wasp       !Sleep Stinger   inherent Float
Veil Dancer     Blizzara
Gobbledygook    Vanish
Hill Gigas      Magnitude 8
Litwor Chicken  Quake
Chimera         Aqua Breath      lots of status immunities, one-hit KO
                                 protection
General         Cura             inherent Protect
Magna Roader    Bio              inherent Haste
Destroyer       Reraise          inherent Protect, one-hit KO protection
Briareus        Cyclonic
Intangir        Transfusion      inherenst Invisible, Protect, Shell, Haste,
                                 Regen and Float, but you'll have to keep it
                                 from using the self-destructive Transfusion \
                                 attack with Silence before Gau initializes the
                                 Rage

Antares         Magnitude 8      absorbs Fire
Outcast         Lifeshaver       absorbs Fire and Poison, inherent Float,
                                 Undead

There are not a lot of new monsters here, but you'll probably be here anyway, as
you're hunting for Lores. Aren't you? You disturbed excuse of a human being.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.43.2  Airship Exploitation: Doma Castle
**********************************

  Container contents:
  Elixir, Hi-Ether, Phoenix Down, Prayer Beads, X-Potion

Doma Castle! Doma Castle was occupied all this time, but back when Emperor
Gestahl was punking you, you were very nice to him and he opened up Doma Castle
for you. Doma Castle has generally little and valueless treasure for you.
You can find a Hi-Ether, an Elixir in the alarm clock in a bedroom, an
X-Potion in the room Cyan found his dead wife and son in, and when you go
outside on one of the walls, you can find a little room with a Phoenix Down and
some Prayer Beads. Prayer Beads were broken in all versions but the Advance one,
so allow me to talk about them a bit:

Prayer Beads give the character +20 % Evasion, which is a nice effect by itself.
However, it goes on. When a physical attack is performed on a character with
Prayer Beads, the hit rate of that attack is halved. Attacks that always
hit due to a perfect hit rate or another circumstance will still always hit.
Prayer Beads allow a character avoid a lot of physical hits this way.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.44.1  Preparation for the Floating Continent
**********************************

Now, I'm going to have to give you a spoiler, as otherwise I'd be constantly
busy with trying to get you to do things while I can't explain why they're
particularly useful. Here we go:

After the next dungeon, you will NOT be able to visit this world again. So, if
there are things you have yet to do -- obtaining the Water Harmony, meeting some
snazzy elusive monsters, buying more weaponry -- this is the time. Stock up on
Phoenix Downs, as they're always useful. I specifically want you to have four
sets of Gaia Gear, and four Priest's Miters are nice as well.

I'd like to direct you to Kohlingen now, as I want you to buy a good amount of
Ninja scrolls. Maybe 40 Lightning Scrolls and 20 Flame Scrolls. You can laugh in
the face of Water Scrolls, as they are useless. The entire deal of 60 new
scrolls will just cost you 30000 Gil, which isn't that much.

Also, tip for the future: if you have excess money at this point, you might
consider buying a few Sakura blades, 10 or so. They make for excellent ST
Wind-elemental Throw objects, the best there are.

If you've been a good boy so far, check out the Bestiary under the Config menu
option. Having followed this walkthrough, you should have filled the Bestiary
for 33 %, possessing a solid block of exposed monsters from 1 (Guard) to 103
(Venobennu). If you miss one, I helpfully shift your attention to the Bestiary
checklist in section 8.0.

When you're done with whatever you want to do, go to the Floating Continent.

Let's see here. As replacement for the Espers you stole from their Facility in
Vector, the Empire, by the name of Kefka, has obtained a lot of new Magicite.
Before long, this might be a real problem. The problem that is existent right
now, though, is the fact that Gestahl is up there on his cozy Floating Island,
with the power of three ancient gods at his disposal. He doesn't need Magicite,
Magitek Armor, or honorable generals. All he needs is the wish to flail the
flesh off your face with a thousand flaming arrows and urinate on the bloody
ribbons of what once was your body, and so it shall be done.

Eh, we can always try to stop him. We've got an albino who throws coins.

Preparation: Whom to bring to the FC?

It's hard to give proper advice concerning your party for the next round.
First off, you can only take three. Second off, going easily through the
majority of the dungeon is largely dependent on your Magic skills; the more
prepared (especially with effect magic) the better. A few pointers (not at all
meant to discuss every character):

- Terra is a person who relies on Magic. When properly equipped, she can always
  make herself known on the battlefield. Plus, she has the uncanny ability
  to go all Rambo on monster's asses when she's in Trance. Definitely a solid
  contender, especially in boss battles.
- Celes is, like Terra, a character who is decent in the dungeon and very good
  against the boss fights. Her Runic ability really helps at some point in the
  next dungeon, but as she is forced into your party at some point later in
  the dungeon anyway, bringing Celes means that you'll have to do an
  (admittedly easy) part of the dungeon with three characters rather than four.
- Cyan, as always, should stay behind. He tended to be subpar, now he's just
  plain bad. He would have a moment against the IAF, as his Kazekiri blades
  make for great Wind Slash spammers, but after that, it's a never-ending quest
  of pain and misery. He can't even equip Gaia Gear.
- Edgar can't equip Gaia Gear either, but he makes up for it with his
  Noiseblaster. A lot of opponents on the Floating Continent can be easily
  subdued with this Tool, including the source of Lifeshaver. Though chances
  are you still might get hit by the attack, it's not quite disastrous enough
  to warrant that much caution. Though full party Gaia Gear is nice and allows
  you to have Gau Rage Litwor Chicken for full-party healing, Edgar's MT
  Confusion move definitely isn't a bad idea.
- Mog reigns supreme over all character, especially if you waited until now to
  pick him up and he's five levels above you. Make sure to allow him to learn
  at least Siren's spells to start with, though.
- Should you take Mog, I would advise against Gau, as you don't want to lose
  control over two characters in the same party. His Rage ability makes for an
  unnecessary random factor anyway.
- Locke is rather weak, a guy who needs dual Hawkeyes and a Gigas Glove if
  he's going to leave a mark. Fact of the matter is though, the next dungeon
  contains a monsters with a rare Genji Glove steal, something some people go
  absolutely wild for. And no, you won't find them anywhere else.

It's really just a matter of preference. If pressed, I'd go for a Mog/Terra/
Locke party, but that's assuming they know some spells. It's up to you.

Equipment example:

- Note that Icebrand, Flametongue, and Thunder Blade are interchangeable, as are
Green Berets and Priest's Miters. Green Berets give slightly more HP and Evasion
while the Miters raise your MP and increase your Magic Evasion. I'd lean towards
the Berets, but it's your choice.

Terra
Icebrand, Golden Shield, Mystery Veil, Gaia Gear, Earring, Earring

Locke
Hawkeye, Hawkeye, Green Beret, Gaia Gear, Genji Glove, Thief's Bracer

Edgar
Blood Sword, Golden Shield, Green Beret, Golden Armor, Hero's Ring, Earring

Sabin
Burning Fist, Mythril Shield, Green Beret, Gaia Gear, Earring, Earring

Cyan
Kazekiri, Kazekiri, Green Beret, Power Sash, Hero's Ring, Genji Glove

Gau
Empty, Mythril Shield, Green Beret, Gaia Gear, Hero's Ring, Earring

Celes
Thunder Blade, Golden Shield, Mystery Veil, Gaia Gear, Earring, Earring

Setzer
Darts, Golden Shield, Green Beret, Gaia Gear, Earring, Earring

Mog
Heavy Lance, Golden Shield, Green Beret, Gaia Gear, Earring, Earring

Strago
Thunder Rod, Mythril Shield, Green Beret, Gaia Gear, Earring, Earring

Relm
Thunder Rod, Mythril Shield, Mystery Veil, Gaia Gear, Earring, Earring

If you're all properly equipped, let's roll.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.44.2  Imperial Air Force
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Sky Armor (#104), Spitfire (#105), Typhon (#300), Ultros (#301), Air Force
  (#302), Laser Gun (#303), Missile Bay (#304), Bit (#305)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Debilitator (rare Missile Bay steal), Elixir (rare Spitfire steal), Princess
  Ring (guaranteed Air Force drop), X-Ether (rare Laser Gun steal)

Monster formations:
Sky Armor, Sky Armor, Spitfire (3/4)
Sky Armor, Spitfire (1/4)

Uh-oh!
It's the Imperial air force!
They've got us surrounded!
We're going to have to engage them!

So it seems you still haven't gone through every last one of the Imperial
soldiers just yet. You'll have to fight four battles in succession now. Each
battle can either consist of a single Spitfire and a single Sky Armor, or a
Spitfire and two Sky Armors. It's always a forced pincer, but that's okay, as
they have little damaging physical attacks to take advantage of it with. In
between, you have some moments to use Items and whatnot. Then, you note how
"There's something strange up ahead! It's coming this way!" You have to fight
another two battles against the IAF. Then, Ultros hops off whatever it is that
approached you, and his mere presence inspires you to pull out his brains
through his nostrils. And if he doesn't have the latter, we can always make
holes for that very purpose.

Sky Armors are the weaker of the two. Normally, they simply use Magitek Laser or
!Reverse Thruster, but if one is alone, he might even consider firing a Missile
or two.

Spitfires are the scourge of the LLG player. Every turn, he has a 33 % chance
of using Absolute Zero, an MT Ice-elemental attack. If he's alone, he has a 33 %
of using Diffractive Laser, an MT Lightning-elemental attack that is about half
as effective as Absolute Zero is, so I don't know what's up with that.

The strategy is very simple. Siren just stops these guys from doing any damage
whatsoever (not counting Spitfire its Special), so make sure one of your
characters has it. Summon Siren, listen to her Lunatic Voice, loot the buggers
if you have Locke with you (rare Elixirs on Spitfire, and the common Ether
isn't half bad either), and kill them all. Wind Song (home Dance!), Cyan's
Kazekiri blades and Gau's Guard Leader Rage all offer a chance at Wind Slash,
which kills all enemies (on both sides of you, that is). Strago, if he has
access to Lv. 5 Death, should use it to take out any Spitfire monsters right
away. Lv. 4 Flare affects Sky Armor, but that's probably far too expensive.

It's worthy of note that the Spitfire, the proud top model of the Imperial Air
Force, is not Floating. And we figured those Wyvern were bad. Ugh.

"No, really! This is our last battle! Honest!"

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.44.3  The fourth fight with Ultros
**********************************

Typhon
Level: 26, HP: 10000, MP: 40000
Steal: Dagger (common)
Absorbs: Fire, Weakness: Ice, Water
Special: !Hit: sets Poison
Sketch : !Hit, Attack
Vulnerable to: Silence, Berserk, Sleep, Slow, Stop
Attacks: Attack, Fireball, Snort

Ultros
Level: 26, HP: 17000, MP: 8000
Steal: Dried Meat (common)
Absorbs: Water, Weakness: Fire, Poison
Special: !Octopus Ink: sets Dark, Attack x 1.5
Sketch : !Octopus Ink (rare), Attack (common)
Vulnerable to: Slow
Attacks: Attack, !Octopus Ink, Tentacle

Note that you can't normally spin 7-7-7 in this battle. It's still possible
to get ahold of the offensive Joker's Death by using the trick described at
[SLOT-LINK].

Ultros is an absolute joke this time, with a very simple script and weak stats.
He has three attacks: Attack, !Octopus Ink, and Tentacle, so we're back to
basics. If he reaches 12800 HP -- that's about 5000 damage, something a Bio
spell coming from a normally leveled Earrings-boosted Terra can do in ONE hit
-- he will complain and call his buddy, Typhon. "Ultros: Looks like I lose
again! But today I brought along a buddy of mine! Mr. Typhon! Come on down!!!"
From here, he'll keep attacking like he used to, only he'll talk about the
monstrosity now.

"Ultros: He's not so great with words, but his strength'll blow you away! Heh-
heh..."
"Ultros: I'd try not to make him mad... He gets hungry when he's irritated."
"Ultros: You know, just the other day I was taking a snooze, when he came along
and decided to start gnawing on my head. Let me tell ya-the guy's got sharp
teeth!"

Typhon is nothing to worry about either. His attacks are unassuming, his stats
fairly weak: Attack and Fireball are past their prime. When he dies, he'll use
a final Snort attack on everybody. Gezondheid!

Strategy? Psh. Summoning Phantom at the very start takes care of Attack and
!Octopus Ink, and you can Berserk or Silence Mr. Typhon as soon as he comes
down. You're invulnerable. Not that a normal Cure or Cura casting couldn't
prevent any kind of danger, but...on the offensive side, Fira and Bio work very
well on Ultros (yes, he suddenly traded his Lightning-weakness for a Poison
one), and Typhon can suck down some Blizzara spells. It's just acceleration
material though, as this is a very easy battle.

Typhon sneezed you off the ship! And if he didn't, you probably tripped after
completing that obscene victory dance of Vanish/Doom. You fall of the Blackjack,
tumbling down towards the Floating Continent. It's like the Satanic Verses, only
with less Jihad-inducing properties.

Remember the five Magna Roader fights in a row, with their ultra-violent and
dangerous gang leader at the end with two fully self-conscious and sentient
arms? It's going to be like that again. The head of the IAF is a big machine
thingy called Air Force. I wouldn't know if it's piloted or just a sentient
machine or what; all I know is it's attacking me with very powerful spells I'm
not too fond of. Let's take a look at him.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.44.4  The battle with Air Force
**********************************

Air Force
Level: 25, HP: 8000, MP: 750
Steal: Elixir (common), Win: Princess Ring (always)
Weakness: Lightning, Water
Special: !Hit: Attack x 1.5
Sketch : !Hit (rare), Attack (common)
Vulnerable to: Nothing
Attacks: Magiek Laser, Diffractive Laser, Wave Cannon

Laser Gun
Level: 24, HP: 3300, MP: 335
Steal: X-Ether (common)
Weakness: Lightning, Water
Special: !Hit: Attack x 1.5
Sketch : !Hit (rare), Attack (common)
Vulnerable to: Slow, Stop
Attacks: Magitek Laser, Diffractive Laser, Atomic Rays

Missile Bay
Level: 25, HP: 3000, MP: 7000
Steal: Debilitator (rare)
Weakness: Lightning, Water
Special: !Hit: Attack x 1.5
Sketch : !Hit (rare), Attack (common)
Vulnerable to: Slow, Stop
Attacks: Missile, Launcher

Bit
Level: 25, HP: 420, MP: 285
Steal: Amulet (rare)
Weakness: Lightning, Water
Status: Freeze, Runic
Special: !Hit: Attack x 1.5
Sketch : !Hit (rare), Attack (common)
Vulnerable to: Slow, Stop
Attacks: None

The parts to this battle: Air Force, Laser Gun (the part to the right of Air
Force), and Missile Bay (the dark red part below Air Force). In the SNES game,
the Missile Bay was light grey like the Laser Gun. Why they decided to change
*that* of all things will forever be a mystery.

Missile Bay fires off Missile attacks. If it gets weak and reaches 1536 HP -
that's after taking 1464 HP damage - it might get a shot at using Launcher.
Laser Gun uses Magitek Laser and Atomic Rays. If it hits 1536 HP - after taking
1764 HP damage - it loses the Atomic Rays option, but gains Diffractive Laser,
which is slightly weaker than Atomic Rays.

Air Force itself will just use Magitek Laser and Diffractive Laser. When Laser
Gun dies, a Bit will be released. Bit is an opponent that takes no turns;
the only thing it does is floating on constant Runic stand-by, absorbing all
your Magic spells. At this point, Air Force will try to self-apply Haste status
(and fail, as he's immune to Slow) and start counting down:

"COUNT:6"
"COUNT:5"
"COUNT:4"
"COUNT:3"
"COUNT:2"
"COUNT:1"

At this point, the Bit will leave the battlefield and Air Force will use Wave
Cannon, a very strong MT Lightning-elemental attack. By this point, you should
be fully healed though, so you won't die from it if all is well. After Wave
Cannon, Air Force will launch another Bit and start counting again from 6.

In old versions, the Bit remained and after the first time, Air Force would
start counting from 3. Why the changes were implemented is anybody's guess;
Bit doesn't absorb Wave Cannon whatsoever, so Bit's removal during Air
Force's use of Wave Cannon is just weird.

The first thing on your mind is taking out Missile Bay. If you have Locke
in the party, try to Steal for as long as he's around; Missile Bay has a rare
Debilitator you probably don't have yet. Zona Seeker is a brilliant summon here,
as the Shell status can really help you out in this battle, and once Missile Bay
is gone, you can safely summon Kirin to override all Sap effects with the
positive Regen blessings.

- If you have Terra on the time, I definitely believe Trance is justified in
  this battle, as it's one of the hardest in the game, in my opinion. Have her
  focus on her strongest spells, Thundara if possible.
- The same goes for Celes; Runic isn't justified in the battle, as she'll take
  one Magitek Laser while she lets other attacks past her.
- Gau should enter either Chimera or Destroyer Rage. Chimera's Aqua Breath hits
  quite hard on all targets, and it's superior to Anguiform because that would
  self-apply a weakness to Fire-elemental attacks in a battle where Atomic Rays
  might appear. Aspiran's Gigavolt will be absorbed by Bit once it arrives,
  so Chimera is definitely the way to go. Destroyer, on the other hand, will
  absorb Magitek Laser, Diffractive Laser and Wave Cannon while being immune to
  Missile and Launcher. If you have the time and manage to take out Laser Gun,
  Destroyer wins you the battle.
- Locke's usefulness in this battle is limited. If he knows Thundara, he can do
  some decent damage, but if not you should let him run utility as otherwise
  his turns will be pretty much wasted (none of the opponents here are
  Floating; go figure). He can try to Steal if he has nothing better to do;
  Laser Gun's X-Ether is an extremely rare item in the game, and Missile Bay's
  Debilitator might prove useful if you didn't nick it from Crane earlier.
- Sabin isn't especially helpful in this fight; Rising Phoenix is all he can
  do. If Sabin knows Thundara, it takes preference over his Blitz abilities.
- The same goes for Edgar, although his Drill/Chainsaw attacks can take out a
  Bit very quickly. Thundara will do more damage to Air Force than his Tools
  will.
- Setzer should fire off Slot attacks if he doesn't know Thundara. Dive Bomb and
  Mega Flare are more powerful than Thundara, but you're likely to mess around
  with Mysidian Rabbit and Prismatic Flash more than you'll see diving squadrons
  of death or the King of Dragons coming to your aid, so Thundara will be better
  to stick to.
- Strago can simply fire off Aqua Breath attacks rather than Rage like a madman
  for it, so do just that. Aqua Breath is more powerful than Thundara, mind. If
  Strago is level 25 at this point, he can hit for a LOT of damage on Air
  Force, Bit and Missile Bay if Stone connects.
- Cyan should use his Kazekiri blade(s), as his Bushido are horrible,
  absolutely horrible. A disgrace to the very essence of a special skill.
- Relm's Sketch is even worse. If you can't use powerful Magic with her like
  Terra and Celes, she should equip a Thunder Rod and simply attack with it.
  She's a 10-year-old girl slapping a machine with a rod, but it's still
  superior to Sketch.
- Mog's home dance here is the Wind Song. Wind Slash is decent and Sunbath
  always nice. If you feel like taking a gamble you can go for Water Harmony.
  El Niño and Plasma will both hurt VERY badly, and the Racoon has the added
  advantage of removing Sap (slim though that chance may be).

Heal regularly, keep your defenses up, and you'll defeat Air Force in no time
at all. If you're really having trouble, you can break Thunder Rods. Something
to remember if you're playing the game blindfolded. Or simply blind. Poor lad.

An alternate strategy if you picked three characters that all heavily rely on
Magic (Locke, Relm, Celes, for example) is this. Since you want to avoid the
presence of Bit here, don't kill Laser Gun. However, you can stop his attacks
for long periods of time if you combine the Slow and Stop status ailments on it.
Kill off Missile Bay, use your speed-reducing grey magic on Laser Gun and focus
all spells on Air Force. No Bit, no Wave Cannon, no fuss.

You'll get a Princess Ring for your trouble, which is about as useless as
something you'd consider quite extraordinarily useless.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.45.1  The Floating Continent
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Brainpan (#106), Misfit (#107), Apocrypha (#108), Dragon (#109), Platinum
  Dragon (#110), Behemoth (#111), Ninja (#112), Gigantos (#306), Ultima Weapon
  (#307)

  Container contents:
  Beret, Murasame, Monster-in-a-box (Gigantos)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Angel Wings (rare Ninja steal), Angel Ring (rare Apocrypha steal), Elixir
  (common Ultima Weapon steal, rare Gigantos steal and guaranteed Ultima Weapon
  drop), Fuma Shuriken (rare Ninja drop), Genji Glove (rare Dragon steal),
  Hermes Sandals (rare Behemoth steal), Ribbon (rare Ultima Weapon steal),
  Sasuke (guaranteed Giganos drop)

  Lores:
  Lv. 3 Confuse, Lv. 4 Flare, Lv. 5 Death, 1000 Needles

Welcome to the Floating Continent! The Floating Continent is one of the most
fun and dangerous dungeons in the game, so if you're not enjoying it, I suggest
you quit the game. ;) Kefka and Gestahl are standing with the Statues, sadly
on the other end of the Floating Continent. You'd better high-tail it there
as fast as possible, as who knows what they're about to do. On the other end,
you're likely to die once you get there. But hey, you caused this mess, better
try to clean it up as well.

Shadow is waiting for you. Although to the untrained eye, it seems like Shadow
is more or less 'severely wounded and unable to go anywhere else' rather then
'tricking you with awesome ninjutsu skills of yore'. At any rate, Shadow bears
a personal grudge to the Empire, and goes with you to get his revenge. You also
notice that Shadow can equip the Memento Ring, which would appear to have been
a Relm-only Relic. Hmm.

Important detail: Since Interceptor is in Thamasa, he obviously will NOT be
defending Shadow in-battle at this moment. You can't go back to Thamasa and
pick up Interceptor now that you know where his owner is at, either.

Preparation: Equip Gaia Gear where possible, and stick everybody in the Back
Row unless it's vital for their strategy (and quite frankly, I can't think of
anybody fitting that profile but Gau, and even he should be in the Back Row
and ignore his !Cat Scratch urges in favor of other ones). Make sure you have
nice Espers on everybody, and set Shadow on his path of supportive Espers (I'd
suggest you move from Siren to Catoblepas). Shadow's main power lies in his
Scrolls now, so Earrings rather than Gigas Gloves.

Monster formations:
Ninja, Ninja (10/64)
Brainpan, Misfit, Apocrypha, Brainpan (10/64)
Dragon (6/64)
Behemoth, Misfit, Misfit (6/64)
Behemoth (5/64)
Apocrypha, Misfit, Misfit (5/64)
Apocrypha (5/64)
Platinum Dragon, Platinum Dragon, Platinum Dragon (5/64)
Apocrypha, Apocrypha, Apocrypha (5/64)
Brainpan, Brainpan, Brainpan (5/64)
Behemoth, Behemoth (1/64)
Ninja, Ninja, Platinum Dragon (1/64)

Note that this is the only dungeon that handels monster formation encounters
somewhat differently. When the game determines you'll fight a monster formation
based on the usual roster (four possible monster formations with one rare 1/16
encounter), it actually makes another check to make you fight any one out of
four possible formations. This raises the least common denominator for
formation odds from 16 to 64 as it were, since within the normally rare 1/16
encounter, the odds are again 1 in 4 you'll find one of the four formations
within that 1/16 chance, resulting in a 1/64 chance.

You've met a Ninja earlier, in the Cave to the Sealed Gate. What went down
then still goes down here. They use one of the three ninjutsu Scrolls and very
rarely use a normal Attack. Lightning-elemental attacks get them very quickly,
as do one-hit KO attacks. You can Imp them, but they'll still be able to use the
Scrolls (Imps can still use Items, or any attack which doesn't use MP). Rarely
they will drop a Fuma Shuriken, which are upgraded Shuriken. Save them for
later.

Apocrypha are odd little demon-buggers who attack physically only, until
there's only one left. A lone Apocrypha will counter any damage you do with
Lv. 5 Death, Lv. 4 Flare, or Lv. 3 Confuse. Ideal for Strago if he hasn't
learned all of those attacks yet, but annoying on your party. Try to circumvent
the possibility by taking Apocrypha out first (or all at the same time). If you
find yourself stuck against a lone Apocrypha, Break and other one-hit KO
attacks can kill it without provoking any kind of counter in any way, and an
even better way of doing that is the Rasp spell, as reducing Apocrypha's MP
to 0 kills him. Silence/Lunatic Voice also works. You can rarely Steal Angel
Rings from them.

Behemoths are legendary Final Fantasy monsters, and in this dungeon they may
just be the most dangerous monsters you can encounter, especially so because
they can appear in tandem. This means two Behemoths in one fight. They tend
to use physical attacks, but their Special !Beatdown is very strong. If they
are alone (which they often are), they'll counter any damage you do by having a
66 % chance at countering with !Beatdown. Luckily, you can use Petrification
and other one-hit KO attacks to go around this. They're weak to Ice, and
Blizzara will deal a nice amount of damage, but KO attacks like Death,
Catoblepas' Demon Eye, and Gau's Mu Rage-induced Snare are by far the easiest
way out of an encounter with Behemoth monsters.

If you are forced to fight them head-on, you're in slightly more trouble, but it
still can be done with relative ease. If you have Vanish around or Phantom
equipped, make everybody invisible before attacking. Heal regularly. Blizzara is
a powerful spell on them, and Strago's Lv. 4 Flare is especially fruitful
here.

Brainpan monsters are bloody annoying. They randomly Stop one of your characters
with !Smirk, and when they are alone, they will use 1000 Needles, an attack that
will always deal 1000 HP of damage. Strago can learn it if he's around. The
proper way of treating them is mass attack: They are weak to Fire and Lightning,
so Shadow's Scrolls should severely cripple them in a small amount of time. Try
to Steal some Earrings if Locke is around; any amount lower than 24 is a bad
amount. Brainpan are also nice for Sketching, by the way, as both !Smirk and
1000 Needles will be unhappily received at the other end of the battlefield.

Dragon! Dragons are even more dangerous than Behemoths, when left unattended.
They're also very famous for being the only source of Genji Gloves besides those
that chests and events give you (which is often not enough to satisfy some
players). If you run into one, your first action should be disabling him, as his
attacks include !Tail (which is his Special and will likely kill you), Revenge
Blast (with a maximum HP of 7000, that can become very painful), Snowstorm and
Freezing Dust, an attack that will Freeze one character solid and disable it.
Every time a Dragon has been damaged, it'll have a 33 % chance of using Snort.
There's danger all around here, and they're immune to one-hit KO attacks. To
handle them, cast either Sleep or Stop on them, possibly both, and try to shave
off as much HP while he's incapacitated. He's weak to Lightning, so Thundara,
Gigavolt (although you'll probably want to lay off Rages against Dragon as the
random physical attack will wake him up), and Lightning Scrolls work very well.
If Locke or Shadow with one or two Thief's Knives is in the party, Steal from
every Dragon you encounter. Even one extra Genji Glove is nice.

Misfits are Outcast palette swaps, and once again, they are inSilencable
bastards that use Lifeshaver. Luckily, at this point, you should be entirely
clothed in Gaia Gear no matter what you did, and Edgar and Setzer should just
keep themselves healed. They're weak to Fire, which is a great plus over the
original Outcast, so take advantage of that. Break and Rasp both kill Misfit in
one hit when they connect (Break sometimes misses).

Platinum Dragon is the last random encounter monster we'll see in this dungeon.
Imagine Wyvern, Floating, with a very high amount of Defense. That's basically
it. The trick to defeating them easily is turning them on each other.
Noiseblaster and Cait Sith's Cat Rain will make them randomly use Cyclonic on
each other, after which you can simply pick them apart with any ol' MT attack
you have. If you lack MT confusion devices, you can try to Sketch them if Relm
is around for Cyclonic, or simply use one-hit KO attacks on one at a time.
They CAN use Cyclonic themselves when they're alone, so keep that in mind.
Catoblepas's Demon Eye can take care of them all if you have him equipped,
although he might miss sometimes.

Pick up Shadow, and after some "I am not worthy" dialogue he will join your
party for the time being. Note that bringing Shadow along is entirely optional,
although not bringing him is just not very smart.

Walk to the right, and a passageway will automatically open for you. This is a
theme in the dungeon; a lot of passageways will open or have to be opened. Walk
on and you'll open another passage. Now, you'll come across a blue orb to the
north of you; these are the Floating Continent's version of chests. Open it for
the Murasame, which does NOT live up to its name in this game and should not
be equipped, as Fang is better than any Attack you'll pull off with it. Should
you have brought Cyan and find yourself using nothing but Bushido anyway, the
Murasame's 10 % Evasion boost is nice.

Now, you'll encounter again what seems like a dead end. To the north, a
stairway will open into a bulge in the landscape, and to the south, one will
open towards a blue orb if you near it. You'll want to grab the blue orb
first, but not until after you've finished at least one battle and have
summoned Phantom to open this orb with an invisible team.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.45.2  Gigantos and the Floating Continent continued
**********************************

Gigantos
Level: 25, HP: 6000, MP: 1120
Steal: Elixir (rare), X-Potion (common), Win: Sasuke (always)
Status: Protect
Special: !Throat Jab: Attack x 5
Sketch : !Throat Jab (rare), Attack (common)
Vulnerable to: Imp, Petrify, KO, Doom, Silence, Berserk, Slow, Stop
Attacks: Attack, !Throat Jab

You see, the blue orb holds the monster-in-a-box Gigantos, a purely physical
fighter that can kill Front Row character in one go with !Throat Jab. Gigantos
will start the battle off with THREE !Throat Jab attacks, and continue to switch
between Attack and !Throat Jab while countering any damage you do with two
Attacks and a !Throat Jab. That's a lot of physical damage. If you self-applied
the Invisible status like I advised, you're invulnerable in this fight.

If you're fighting him, one-hit KO attacks work best. Lv. 5 Death offs him
easily, as do Break, Catoblepas's Demon Eye, Snare (Mu Rage), and Death. You
can, of course, toy with him a little bit; try to steal his rare Elixir or
common X-Potion. He's vulnerable to Stop as well, so for ensured victory, you
can use a Stop/Death combo if you're evil enough. For all your trouble, you get
a Sasuke blade, a stronger weapon for Shadow without the Assassin's Dagger's
one-hit KO property. Since you should not be using Attack at all, I recommend
sticking to your current blade, which should be either the Thief's Knife or
Assassin's Dagger.

Now, enter the bulge, which will swallow you and deliver you at another point in
the dungeon. Go down and you'll come across an odd stone that you need to stand
on to proceed. The landmass will expand, allowing you to cross where your path
was previously impeded. Just walk over to the other side of this part, as
there's only one way that gets you anywhere (another bulge you need to enter).
The bulge delivers unto you a decision when you arrive and notice two new
bulges. The right one takes you nowhere, so the left one it is. Left = right,
what a world.

The new delivery point immediately features a new stone to step on, so you do
that. It lowers some part in front of you, but you can't reach that now. Go
back and find the other stone waiting for you. You'll need to activate the
obvious stepping-stone for another obvious obstacle, see. Continue and now you
can reach the lowered part. Walk on and on, to the left, down, right and then
northwards until you reach yet another stepping-stone. It'll reveal a familiar
bulge, but before you enter it, you should go down the stairway below you for a
Save Point and open the blue orb to the right of you, which contains a Beret.
The Beret is a nifty helmet for Relm that increases her Sketch success, allowing
her to be entirely useless with it more often than before. I'd stick to the
Mystery Veil. If you're done, continue.

You'll be asked if you want to return to the Blackjack now. There's no real
reason to unless you're really out of resources, as at this point, you've almost
completed the dungeon, and should you return to the Blackjack and fly up to the
Floating Continent again, you'll have to do the entire dungeon again. Plus,
Shadow will leave here and won't return to your party until you're back on the
FC, where he will be waiting in the same spot as he was when you found him there
for the first time (although he will be brooding rather than suffering face-
down). If you do decide to hop off, remember that Shadow will take the equipment
and Esper he has on him with him.

Pressing on opens another pathway, where a beast is waiting for you. A beast
created long, long ago, during the War of the Magi. A beast of mass destruction.
A beast of pure power. Ultima Weapon. Before you fight him, have somebody cast
Float on those in your team that lack Gaia Gear if possible (Gau, as always, can
self-inflict it), equip Heiji's Jitte on Setzer if he's on your team and equip
Reflect Rings, if that's possible.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.45.3  The decisive battle with Ultima Weapon
**********************************

Ultima Weapon
Level: 37, HP: 24000, MP: 5000
Steal: Ribbon (rare), Elixir (common), Win: Elixir (always)
Status: Float
Special: !Full Power: Attack x 2
Sketch : !Full Power (rare), Attack (common)
Vulnerable to: Slow
Attacks: Attack, !Full Power, Fira, Bio, Flare, Graviga, Quake, Tornado, Rasp,
         Mind Blast, Flare Star, (enemy) Meteor, Blaze

Ultima Weapon is quite a challenge. Not quite as disgustingly horrible as Air
Force, but you could maim the two cannons off Air Force and he'd be at your
mercy as long as you had something to do about Speck. Ultima Weapon starts
like a rather tough monster, and as he has the most HP of any normal monster
so far (Intangir excluded), he'll be quite the little troublemaker.

His normal battle script from the start consists of saying: "My name is
Ultima... I am power both ancient and unrivaled... I do not bleed, for I am but
strenght given form... Feeble creatures of flesh... Your time is nigh!" and then
simply pound your character into submission with Attack, Flare, and Blaze.
Flare is a snazzy new spell you're probably not familiar with yet. Flare is
non-elemental and barrier-piercing, yet can be protected from with Reflect
Rings and the like. This is, until he reaches 12800 HP, at which point he'll
start casting Bio, Quake, or (enemy) Meteor, use either Attack or !Full Power,
use an MT Fira spell, and end with Mind Blast.

Mind Blast is an MT attack that randomly selects a character four times
and sets on them one randomly selected status ailments out of the following
possibilities: Darkness, Zombie, Poison, Imp, Petrify, Doom, Silence, Berserk,
Confuse, Sap, Sleep, Slow, and Stop. If a character is never chosen, he
won't be affected by the spell; if a character was randomly selected three
times, he'll get three randomly selected status ailments set on him. As you
can imagine, you can come away from this attack with relatively minor damage,
or with some fairly severe damage. It might be a good idea to summon Unicorn
if you have it after Mind Blast has been used.

Due to a GBA-exclusive bug, you can circumvent all effects from this attack by
equipping a Relic which protects against Imp (such as the White Cape) or
gaining Imp immunity with a Rage. It should've still applied other status
ailments in that case, but it doesn't.

After Mind Blast, Ultima Weapon will get even stronger. The message "Focusing
energy" will appear, and Ultima Weapon will give himself Protect, Shell, and
Haste status and glow an eerie yellow. He'll wait for his next turn and glow
yellow again. That next turn, he'll glow yellow for a long time, some cogwheels
will spin (as the hobby assembly enthusiast, I wonder how the hell they did
that), and Ultima Weapon will use the move Flare Star.

Flare Star is a neat attack. It's fire-elemental and its damage depends on YOUR
level. It multiplies the level of a random party member by 80 and splits the
damage by the amount of characters you have. So, if you have a four-headed
party, all level 25, the damage will be 500 per party member.

After Flare Star, he basically starts over again with Bio/Quake/(enemy) Meteor,
etc.

When you knock him below 6144 HP, he'll start using another set of spells:
Attack, Graviga, Tornado, Rasp, and Blaze. Every time he is damaged in this
stage, he'll have a 33 % chance of countering the attack with Flare. He'll keep
this up until he dies.

You can basically do two things here. In both scenarios you'll want your party
covered in Reflect Rings. Celes shouldn't need to use Runic until the final
stage of Ultima Weapon when he gains the ability to cast Graviga, as that can
be absorbed by Celes' Runic blade yet flies past Reflect Rings.

If a lot of your characters know the Rasp spell (say, three or four), you could
try to Rasp his 5000 MP down to 0 and kill him that way. It will take longer
than HP violence will, but if you just stick with attacking his MP, he'll never
leave the 'safe' area of using Attack, Flare and Blaze, with which Zona Seeker
and Reflect Rings means easy victory. Even without those two, it'll be easier on
you to handle it than the HP violence will.

If you decide to just smack him to death with your ouchies, beware. Start the
battle off with Zona Seeker to soften the blow of his magical attacks. Make
staying alive priority one: Flare can do over 600 damage, so be prepared for a
Flare spell at all times if you're not covered in Reflect Rings. Cast Slow on
him to slow him down.

Try to steal a Ribbon with Locke, and if Edgar is in your party and he can use
a Debilitator; use it until you've nailed a nice weakness to something you can
exploit. Exploit it.

If he uses Mind Blast, cure the most dangerous status ailments and proceed.
If the message "Vast energy focused" appears, use Dispel to remove the
positive status effects (and cast Slow again).

Basically, it's a story of heal first and damage later. Terra, Celes, and Relm
should just use their level 2 spells (Blizzara is, by a very slight margin, the
strongest of the three). Have Locke steal until he has acquired either an Elixir
or a Ribbon, and use Hawkeyes to fight with for the duration of the fight. Edgar
can use Drill and Sabin Aura Cannon for superior damage.

Mog's Dance is up for debate. The Earth Blues is the home Dance, so it will
never fail, and it also has the most damaging attack of all of Mog's attacks:
Rock Slide. The Water Harmony, on the other hand, has a more constant damage
output, as both El Niño (most common attack) and Plasma (2nd most common attack)
will work. In contrast, Earth Blues' Sonic Boom will fail whenever it's used.
I'm leaning toward Earth Blues myself, but it's more a matter of personal
preference.

Setzer will probably want to stick to Gil Toss. Even with double Earrings, his
level 2 spells are inferior to Gil Toss and his Slots aren't very useful in
this fight. Prismatic Flash can't compare to Gil Toss, Chocobo Stampede misses
entirely due to Ultima Weapon's inherent Float and the other attacks are too
rare to consider an option.

Cyan's Flurry out-damages Fang, so try to have other characters attack while you
wait for Flurry to load. It might be safer, if you're less experienced, to
simply stick to Fang and have him run utility work if that's necessary. If you
seriously brought Cyan for some reason I expect you to have taught him at least
one level 2 spell; with one Earring, a level 2 spell will outdamage Fang.

Strago's Aqua Breath attack is the strongest he'll be able to do. If you
equipped Reflect Rings, his White Wind move will be very nice to have around.
Traveler might be stronger than Aqua Breath, but it should also be much more
troublesome on your MP. Try it out and see what hurts more in your case. An
added benefit of Aqua Breath, by the way, is it's dual-elemental nature; if you
brought Edgar, there's a double chance Strago can exploit the Debilitator-
induced weakness with the attack.

Gau's best choices are probably either Ninja (Water Scroll), Chimera (Aqua
Breath), Bomb (Blaze) or Outcast (Lifeshaver). Ninja is the strongest
offensively, but you probably didn't go back to pick it up. Outcast is very
defensive; since it makes Gau absorb Fire-elemental attacks, it's inherently
Floating and gives the Undead property, Outcast will protect against Fira, Bio,
Quake, Blaze, Flare Star and (due to a bug) all the effects of Mind Blast.
If you have level 2 spells on Gau, I'd advise you to use Magic rather than
Rages in this battle, as the level of control will be nice to have and with all
the Attacks Gau uses, damage output will be higher overall.

After Ultima Weapon has been defeated, you get an Elixir for beating him. Shadow
will leave you, taking his equipment with him, and it will only take you five
steps to come face to face with Emperor Gestahl and Kefka.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.45.4  Kefka's Betrayal
**********************************

Before your eyes, Gestahl absorbs more and more of the power of the Warring
Triad. Celes will arrive if you didn't bring her, and in both cases, she will be
spared from Gestahl's paralyzing spell, as Gestahl has an offer to make. Even
after all this time collaborating with the Returners, he is still willing to
allow her to return to his side. It certainly looks like the winning party, but
Celes decides differently.

In other words: DIS!

Celes uses the sword given to her to stab Kefka. The desired effect (death)
does not take place, however. Kefka, in a fit of rage, rushes into the field
in the middle of the Goddesses and commands them to give him power. Nothing
happens. Kefka repeats the statement. The Warring Triad glows a little, about as
enthusiastic about the job as a McDonald's employee on Mondays. Gestahl starts
shouting about actually reviving the statues; according to Gestahl, reviving is
bad. It was Kefka's plan all along though, so what gives?

It's at this point that Gestahl realizes that he cannot have Kefka around;
his practical use is over now that Gestahl has everything he lusted for, and
the man is simply unstable. But when Gestahl tries to use the awesome power the
Warring Triad has bestowed upon him, nothing happens. The field of the Warring
Triad absorbs all Magic sent their way (even Meltdown, which is unRunicable!).
Kefka gains control over the slowly reviving gods and commands them to unleash
their power on Gestahl. They do. Emperor Gestahl, your most important enemy
throughout the game, dies.

After that, Kefka does the unthinkable. Strago warned you earlier about the
Warring Triad. Move them from their spot, and this world they partly created
will go haywire.

At this time, Shadow arrives! Eager to deliver a payback from getting
back-stabbed (and maybe even feeling guilty of being the tool of the Empire),
he rushes in and traps Kefka between the field of the Statues. The paralyzing
spell on your party members is lifted, and it's time to run.

Recap:

Celes stabs Kefka in his body. He reacts by swearing and killing Gestahl, much
like how Bush responded to unaligned terrorist threats by going after Iraq.
Kefka than proceeds to fuck everything up by moving the statues. Shadow arrives
to stop him and tells you to get away; the Floating Continent is going down.
Celes and co. run off while Shadow sacrifices himself to save the planet.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.45.5  Escape from the Floating Continent
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Naude (#113), Nelapa (#308)

  Container contents:
  Elixir

  Lores:
  Doom, Roulette

Monster formations:
Naude (always)

You have six minutes, 6:00, to get off the Floating Continent. Goddess
energy naturally takes on the form of monsters, and you have to plow through
these newly born entities to reach the end (which is also the landing point
of a particularly big sparkle, AKA a particularly powerful new creature).

Preparation: You're still covered in Reflect Rings if you listened to my advice.
Keep them on! If Celes joined your party just now, give one to her as well. The
Reflect Rings protect from the Blizzara spell the Naude enemies cast, and it
will be nice to have against the boss here as well. Shadow's equipment has been
added to your inventory.

Naude enemies are a pain because they take time to defeat and you can't run
from them. They're about wasting time, and they're fairly competent at it.
Their attacks include Attack, !Hit, Blizzara, Snowstorm and Freezing Dust.
Sadly, they can use Freezing Dust on the first turn, disabling a character. If
you hit them with a Magic spell, they have a 33 % shot at using Silence. A
largely useless alternative, though this Naude-only Silence attack will not
bounce from Reflective targets, nor can it be absorbed by Celes' Runic blade.
When you Imp them, their next turn will be spent on de-Imping themselves and
using Flee. Keep in mind that when you always use the Imp spell to make them
run, you'll never get their listing in the Bestiary, so beat one down at least
once.

Since Celes is a mandatory character and she'll be above level 14 unless
you were really going for an LLG, she'll know Imp. I suggest you use it. If
Celes if frozen beforehand and nobody else knows the Imp spell, just take
advantage of Naude's weakness to Fire, Lightning, and Holy. Lv. 4 Flare works
on him as well, so if Strago is around, he'll be able to do quite some damage
with it. Sprint Shoes are great in any situation with a timer; while you
shouldn't need them, they cut back the time you spend walking.

Walk on, and the ground will crack underneath you. You'll make a surprised jump
and can continue. Behind you, the part you just walked on falls off. Dangerous
shit, this dungeon! Walk on, another crack, another part breaks off behind you.
Walk on. Another crack. If you go to the featureless part below you now, a
small part will come off. You'll want to press on, though. You now reach for
a small plateau with a blue orb on it, but when you get near it the ground
cracks beneath you. Should you now simply continue, the part you'll need to
reach the blue orb will fall off. Go around the gap here so you can grab the
treasure: an Elixir. Now you'll see the big sparkle: go over to it and prepare
yourself.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.45.6  The battle with Nelapa and Exit
**********************************

Nelapa
Level: 26, HP: 2800, MP: 280
Absorbs: Fire, Nullify: Poison, Wind, Earth, Water Weakness: Ice, Lightning,
                                                             Holy
Status: Reflect, Float
Special: !Hit: Attack x 1.5
Sketch : !Hit (rare), Attack (common)
Vulnerable to: KO, Doom, Berserk, Confuse, Stop
Attacks: Attack, Fira, Firaga, Doom, Roulette, Fireball

The big sparkle's name is Nelapa. He gets 10 out of 10 for style, but minus
one billion for good thinking. I mean, here you are, with a timer quickening
your pace, and he thinks it's a good idea to cast Doom on the party.

It's like: "If I give them TWO timers simultaneously, they'll have to move
TWO times as fast!" If this is what Japanese logic is all about, I fail to see
how they even managed to make this game work. Then again, it *is* the most
bugged game currently mapped, so I guess that still doesn't say much. To
prove my point, the battle with Nelapa (or a Naude) will automatically
terminate as soon as the global timer hits 0:04 seconds; enough time to still
dive from the Floating Continent to "safety". You won't be able to wait for
that special someone during those few moments, though...

Anyway, being a pompous annoyance "Mwa-ha-ha... You thinkg I'm going to let you
escape?" and after casting Doom on the party, he will now try to attack you. I
very much doubt he won't be looking like a kitten that just came out of your
microwave at this point, but let's give this guy some credit and assume that
he's still standing. He can use Attack, Fira, Firaga, and Fireball. Very
spooky. Firaga actually hurts a bit.

Now HERE'S a hoot: If you hit Nelapa with six Attack commands, he'll use
Roulette. Next to the fact that Roulette can actually take Nelapa himself down,
the mere thought that Nelapa could even survive six Attacks is laughable
by itself. You'd need a Healing Rod or a rat-flail or something in order to pull
that off.

Anyway, back to not insulting this guy into submission (although you could).
He's weak to Lightning AND Ice AND Holy. He's also Floating. Just make sure you
keep in the back of your mind this guy is inherently Reflective, which means
you'll need to resort to your skills and summon attacks. There are literally
hundreds of ways to off this guy, and they're all very easy. Gau's Mu Rage
can enSnare him for a one-hit KO, as can a fatal Chainsaw attack. Bouncing a
few Rasp spells off yourself will kill him. Bouncing a Death spell off yourself
will kill it. You can confuse him; you don't get any more pathetic than that.
Just use your strongest attacks, be it Gigavolt, or Aura Cannon, or Diamond
Dust, or what have you. Nelapa has 2800 HP. If you played your cards right, you
were doing 2800 in one attack back there against Ultima Weapon.

Once you've beaten Nelapa, you can walk over to the edge and the Blackjack will
appear under you.

The airship's below.
Jump!
Wait.

But Shadow is still back there!

If you choose to Jump!!, the entire Floating Continent will come crashing down
with Shadow on it and you will never, ever see him again.
If you choose to Wait!!, you'll do nothing and you'll get the option

Jump!
Gotta wait for Shadow...

every time you walk up the ledge. You'll want to keep standing there. He might
still show up. And he does, once the timer hits 0:04 Shadow will appear, make
a smart remark in the middle of the Tempest of Destruction and Doom you find
yourself in, and will jump down on the Blackjack with you. If you were goofing
off in the menu during 0:04 he still appears if you get out of it between 0:04
and 0:01, but if you wait until time runs out you're just going down.

So, Shadow was going to sacrifice himself to save the planet.

Only:
a) he doesn't sacrifice himself and
b) the planet isn't saved.

In the next cutscene, a lot of bad things happen. Congratulations. You try to
rally in the Esper troops from behind the Sealed Gate; you send them on a
murderous rampage. You try to talk peacefully to them; you deliver them
straight to Kefka. You try to stop Gestahl; you destroy the world. A competent
bunch of heroes, these Returners. Real smart.

Planet: I'm apocalypsing!

As a side note, all equipment from all characters is now de-equipped, but due
to a bug you now receive the equipment of the generic Moogle Cosmog, one of the
Moogles that helped you rescue Terra way in the beginning. This means you win a
Boomerang and a Buckler. For free! So, you know, it's not all bad.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.46.1   Intermezzo; The Solitary Island
**********************************

Rise and shine, commander. Rise and shine.

  Opponents:
  Peeper (#116), Land Ray (#)119, Black Dragon (#121)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Elixir (rare Peeper steal), Megalixir (rare Land Ray steal)

No words can be used to describe the blasphemy of Kefka's act. By moving the
Statues he has shaken the very foundations of this world; earthquakes, tremors,
eruptions and floods ensued. While trying to escape the Floating Continent, the
Blackjack was torn apart from under your feet.

Celes Chere, ex-General of an Empire that may not even exist anymore, wakes up
in a dirty shack. One year has passed the face of time; by a stroke of
coincidence the person who found her and took care of her was none other than
the person who did so during her Imperial-flavored youth: Cid. Cid himself, now,
seems weakened and doesn't seem to possess much will to carry on whatsoever. The
entire population of the island has either passed away or has killed themselves,
so Celes takes it on herself to take care of him for a while; at least it will
keep the ghosts of the past away.

Preparation: Celes is entirely unequipped, so you should help her out a little
in said regard. As far as Relics go, make sure she is equipped with either an
Amulet or Ribbon, as one of the monsters on the Solitary Island uses !Bone-
Powder, which turns a character into a Zombie. This is an instant Game Over
if it hits, so protect yourself from it.

Monster formations:

(Wastelands)
Peeper, Peeper (10/16)
Peeper, Peeper, Peeper (6/16)

(Desert)
Land Ray, Peeper, Peeper (10/16)
Black Dragon (6/16)

Peepers are silly buggers that don't so much classify as monsters as they do
dying animals on a rotten world. With 1 HP and inherent Sap status, they more
likely than not will perish before they make a move. If they do manage to take
a turn, it's either Attack, !Tail (Attack * 1.5), or White Wind, for which
Peepers don't have enough MP.

Land Ray only has one attack: !Poison Tail, which sets Poison. However,
Land Ray shares the fate of Peeper: 1 HP, inherent Sap. Wandering into the
desert without an Amulet or Ribbon is incredibly stupid, so !Poison Tail
shouldn't affect you.

The Black Dragon is the only actual opponent with a fighting chance on the
island. The first turn can already feature Sandstorm; the second turn Sandstorm
and !Bone Powder. Sandstorm is the thing to watch out for; Celes is by her
lonesome, so she takes quite some damage here. You can instantly defeat Black
Dragon by casting a Raise spell on him. Personally I don't consider it a shadowy
tactic when the undead monster in question lacks Death protection (like Black
Dragon), but if you don't want to go for it, you can cast Stop on him (perhaps
combined with Slow so that it really takes its sweet time to wear off) and pound
on him in the meantime with Fira.

Note: Peepers have a rare Elixir steal and Land Ray have a rare Megalixir
steal. Right now, this is of no consequence, as you can't steal; later I'll
point it out again.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.46.2   Intermezzo; Saving Cid
**********************************

Now, you'll have to watch out for Cid's health. There's a hidden health bar for
the guy, which you need to maintain. If you manage to take it up to 256, Cid
becomes permanently healthy; if you allow it to drop down to 30, he will die.
Here's how it goes down:

Cid's health starts at 120.

Every second you spend in any place that isn't the Overworld Map, Cid will
drop his health bar down by 1.

On the beach, there are fish you can catch. You can simply try to grab them
when they come near the tiles you can stand on. There are four types of Fish:

Fish (A delicious fish) (fast) - Increases Healthy bar by 32 when fed to Cid.
Fish (An ordinary fish) (medium) - Increases Healthy bar by 16 when fed to Cid.
Fish (A foul-tasting fish) (medium) - Decreases Health bar by 4 when fed to Cid.
Fish (A fish) (slow) - Decreases Health bar by 16 when fed to Cid.

All of these are Rare items. Once you've captured a kind of Fish, there's no
way to get rid of it other than feeding it to Cid.
The effects of the Fish you have caught are cumulative; if you have captured
(A fish), (A foul-tasting fish), and (A delicious fish), Cid will gain (-16 - 4
+ 32 =) 12 points of health.

231 - 255 I can feel my strength returning.
201 - 230 Celes... Thank you for taking caring of me like this, day after day...
161 - 200 *cough*... I'm starting to feel a lot better.
121 - 160 *cough*... *hack*... I just can't seem to shake this thing...
 91 - 120 I'm afraid...I may not be long for this world...
 61 -  90 No matter what happens to me...you mustn't lose hope! *cough*...
          *wheeze*...
 31 -  60 *cough*... *hack*... Celes...while I can still talk, I...*cough*...
          want to...*wheeze* ...thank you...*gasp*!
  0 -  30 This is the end for me...

Whether or not Cid lives or dies has little impact other than, you know, it's
Cid who lives or dies and Celes who reacts to it. Regardless of your efforts,
Celes will get off the island fairly quickly:

-----
Cid lives
-----

After you've surpassed the 256 limit on Cid's Health bar, he's been successfully
saved from death, he'll say: "I'm all better now! Thank you, Celes!" and leave
the bed.

Celes: What is it?
Cid: Celes... I finally finished the little project I've been working on at
night. Go on downstairs and take a look!

At this point, you can indeed take the look Cid urges you to take. It's a raft!

Celes: Granddad...
Cid: Celes... You have to leave this place. I'm sure your friends are still
alive somewhere, waiting for you!
Celes: ...I know they are. I'll go. But I'll be back! And I'll bring them all
back to see you! Cid: You bring that Locke fellow, too, now, you hear?

(Switch to the beach, where Celes has dragged the raft to. She waves Cid goodbye
and leaves the island)

-----
Cid dies
-----

After you've hit 30 or below and Celes is in the room, Cid will say "This is the
end for me...". If you enter the room with Cid's health at 30 or below, Cid will
be dead.

(Cid:) ...
Celes: Granddad... You have to eat, or... Wh-what's the matter? Granddad...
Celes: Cid...
Celes: No! ...No!!! You promised you'd stay here with me!
Celes: Granddad, answer me! Tell me you're just joking!

(Celes flees the cabin, crying. Slowly, she crosses the Overworld map to a cliff
to the north, which you could enter earlier. Here, she finds a lifeless bird.
By examining it, a memory of Cid arises)

Cid: The other people who were here with us all gave up hope... One after the
next, they flung themselves from the northern cliffs in despair...
Celes: Everyone's gone... Even Locke... There's nothing left for me in this
world.

Celes, closing her eyes, hesitates a moment. Then, she throws herself off the
cliff.

In the American SNES version, Ted Woolsey was forced to make Celes' moment here
a 'leap of joy'. What you're seeing here though, is Celes giving it all up and
trying to commit suicide.

Celes comes to at the same beach she used to catch fish on. A bird is beside
her.

Celes: Uhhhn... Were you watching over me? Why would you want to help someone
like me? I've already given up hope...
Celes: This bandana... It couldn't be...!
Celes: Hey, little bird... Where'd you come from? Is the person who wrapped your
wound still alive? Please, tell me...!

(The bird flies off)

Celes: He's alive... Locke's alive!

If you go inside Cid's shack now, you'll find a letter on the ground. By
examining it, you'll learn it says:

You must leave this island. Somewhere out there, your friends are waiting for
you. Go down the stairs by the stove. The road to your freedom awaits...
          Love, Granddad

After pulling the raft from its resting place, Celes stands on the beach and
laments.

Celes: I'll make you proud of me, Granddad...

(Off she goes.)

- The debate over Cid's life is surprisingly adamant when you take into
  consideration that it doesn't really affect gameplay. Most people tend to
  think letting Cid die is the best way out of the situation; not only is
  catching fish a tedious enterprise, the consequences of Cid's demise give
  depth to the character of Celes. Others try to keep him alive for the sole
  reason that he is one of the major NPCs and this game's Cid.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.47.1   The World of Ruin
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Fafnir (#114), Killer Mantis (#115), Peeper (#116), Murussu (#117),
  Gigantoad (#118), Land Ray (#119), Luna Wolf (#120), Black Dragon (#121),
  Rukh (#122)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Elixir (rare Peeper steal), Megalixir (rare Land Ray steal)

Staying on an island with nothing but sickly animals to keep you company is
not what anybody would consider leading a rich and fulfilling life. It's time
to see how badly this world has turned out; if the Empire is still standing
with Kefka leading it, if any of that rogue squadron of Returners has survived;
in other words, if there is still hope.

Preparation: You can take your Zombie-protection off now if you want.
Replace it with something that protects against Petrify for now (Ribbon or
Jeweled Ring will do). Try to apply the Invisible status ASAP as it protects you
from anything if you're smart. Since the enemies here are actually worth a damn,
you'll want to equip a Morning Star and move to the Back Row if the whole Vanish
thing isn't working out for you for whatever reason.

You wake up near Albrook. You can go in right away, but for now, I'll give a
quick run-down on the monsters in the area.

Monster formations:

(Grasslands)
Fafnir, Fafnir (10/16)
Killer Mantis, Fafnir (6/16)

(Wastelands, east)
Luna Wolf, Luna Wolf (10/16)
Murussu, Gigantoad, Gigantoad (6/16)

(Wastelands, west)
Luna Wolf, Rukh (10/16)
Rukh, Murussu, Gigantoad (6/16)

(Forest)
Fafnir, Fafnir, Fafnir, Fafnir (10/16)
Killer Mantis, Killer Mantis, Fafnir (6/16)

(Desert)
Land Ray, Peeper, Peeper (10/16)
Black Dragon (6/16)

Fafnir stems from Norse mythology, being a greedy dwarf turned dragon to better
hoard his treasure, being ultimately slain by the hands of your generic Norse
hero. In this world, Fafnir is Attack/Special cannon fodder with a weakness to
Ice. This is note-worthy; dinosaurs and lizards in general have a weakness to
Ice. Fafnir will Flee unless they are by themselves, in which case they'll stand
to fight. !Tongue Lash causes the Sap status.

Killer Mantis use Attack. When they are targeted by Attack, they sometimes use
!Kama, which is a more advanced way of inflicting damage or something. I
wonder, if not with their sickles, how they normally attack you. They seem to
have a wicked sharp stinger; maybe they slash with it. Regardless, they are kind
of boring.

Heh. Gigantoads are cool. See, they're toads, and they're gargantuan. This
makes them inherently violent, attacking with Attack, !Croak (damage), Sticky
Goo (sets Slow, looks spiffy), and Rippler. Rippler is an attack of utmost
danger, but Gigantoad lacks the MP to pull it off.

Luna Wolf is Silver Lobo WoR style. Rather than using !Bite to inflict damage,
they use !Face Chomp to blind (although I can't imagine a bite to the face that
blinds and doesn't actually hurt as well). Stuff to plow through.

Rukh is the only monster that actually is worth a damn right now. Not only
can it pull off a !Beak attack in its third turn to petrify you, it will rarely
retort with a Shamshir attack if you use Magic on it.

Murussu is normal Attack/Special stuff (!Carapace damages. Also, !Carapace
refers to the dorsal section of an exoskeleton or shell found in a number of
animal groups!) with one annoying habit: if it's by itself, it can counter any
damaging attack with Snort. This tends to come into play if you employ a fatal
MT attack to the entire monster party. Take out Murussu first.

Just walk around here and kill stuff with your attacks. Should you have
Invisible status and lose it again due to Sticky Goo, Snort or Shamshir, re-
apply it. Kill Murussu first, never use Magic on Rukh, and don't linger with
Gigantoads and you should be invulnerable.

Eh...yeah. You'll want to go into Albrook now.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.47.2   Albrook
**********************************

Welcome to Albrook. It's nice to see there are still some signs of civilization
left. It's time to gather some info on this strange new world; after all, it
can't be expected everybody took a full year's nap.

Weapon Shop:
Flametongue          7000
Icebrand             7000
Thunder Blade        7000
 You should be both familiar with and possessive of these weapons, but if you
for one reason or another want to have more of them, you can buy them here.
I'd be a tight-ass about my cash right now if I were you, though. These weapons
should be noted for their great use with the Throw command; they are basically
elemental Fuma Shuriken; if you have great amounts of cash in the future, you
can Throw these for insane damage if the target is weak against the element. For
now, keep hold of your Gil.

Armor Shop:
Golden Shield        2500
Priest's Miter       3000
Green Beret          3000
Golden Helm          4000
Golden Armor        10000
 Nothing new here, and nothing you should specifically want any more of.

Relic Shop:
Sprint Shoes         1500
Gigas Glove          5000
Earring              5000
Barrier Ring          500
Mythril Glove         700
Knight's Code        1000
Reflect Ring         6000
Jeweled Ring         1000
 These must be tough times if a Relic shop owner can get away with selling
rubbish like this. If you don't have a Jeweled Ring or a Ribbon, definitely buy
a Jeweled Ring here.

Item Shop:
Hi-Potion             300
Ether                1500
Phoenix Down          500
Holy Water            300
Remedy               1000
Sleeping Bag          500
Smoke Bomb            300
Teleport Stone        700
 If the Floating Continent was harsh on your supplies, you can restock some now.
Make sure you have some Holy Water, and note that Sleeping Bags are at the
moment cheaper versions of Tents, as you're traveling by your lonesome.

Hidden Items: If you haven't picked them up in the WoB, there's a Hi-Potion in
the barrel next to the Inn, an Ether in the pot in the Weapon Shop, an Elixir in
the clock in the Relic Shop/Cafe, and a Teleport Stone in one of the crates on
the docks. Also, two empty chests in the Armor Shop.

Smiling happy people, walking on sunshine. Only kind of not. Albrook turned
into a rather depressing mess of a town. The situation is bad. Kefka is ruling
the world. Monsters abound. Albrook's port, once a thriving capital of aquatic
travel and trade, is derelict. Your only hope is the rumor of a man who
passed through Albrook recently, a man with the same shimmer of hope in his
eyes. Hardly constructive, but worth a shot. The Japanese game makes specific
mention of a 'monk' here. Albrook doesn't seem like a place to hang around in
anyway.

It's time to leave. It's time to see what became of Vector, Maranda, and Tzen.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.48.1   En route to Tzen
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Fafnir (#114), Killer Mantis (#115), Peeper (#116), Murussu (#117),
  Gigantoad (#118), Land Ray (#119), Luna Wolf (#120), Black Dragon (#121),
  Rukh (#122)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Elixir (rare Peeper steal), Megalixir (rare Land Ray steal)

Monster formations:

(Grasslands)
Fafnir, Fafnir (10/16)
Killer Mantis, Fafnir (6/16)

(Wastelands, east)
Luna Wolf, Luna Wolf (10/16)
Murussu, Gigantoad, Gigantoad (6/16)

(Wastelands, west)
Luna Wolf, Rukh (10/16)
Rukh, Murussu, Gigantoad (6/16)

(Forest)
Fafnir, Fafnir, Fafnir, Fafnir (10/16)
Killer Mantis, Killer Mantis, Fafnir (6/16)

(Desert)
Land Ray, Peeper, Peeper (10/16)
Black Dragon (6/16)

Back on the Overworld Map, you'll soon notice that Vector is no more and has
been replaced by a tower. This is Kefka's seat, from where he rules the
world. That's nice. Maranda has been broken off the continent to the west.
Luckily, Tzen is still there.

Note: As soon as you enter Tzen, you'll be sucked into a side-quest from
where you'l emerge with Sabin. If you do not have either a Ribbon or a Jewel
Ring on you, it is a bad idea to do this now; head back and purchase one in
Albrook.

But even if you are fully capable of completing the next bit, there are
reasons to skip this section. There are advantages and disadvantages to
consider; it's a World of Ruin dilemma. I'll list them here, but they may
contain some minor spoilers:

Advantages of skipping:

- The next dungeon and the trek towards it will be completed with Celes alone
  if you skip your visit to Tzen, making her level up faster. Since other
  character's level depends on your current team's average (at this point only
  Celes) you will recruit other characters at a higher level automatically.
- If you skip this side-quest, you will wind up with four characters whose
  level has been determined once you gain a new mode of transportation. This
  allows you to easily train these four characters, at which point you can
  recuit the others at the suitably inflated level.
- Makes eventually completing this side-quest easier with more people on your
  team, though this is quite trivial

Disadvantages of skipping:

- Makes the next dungeon and the trek towards it somewhat harder, though it's
  not a difficult part of the game even with Celes only.
- Makes an optional side-quest at this point, that allows you to obtain an
  Esper a bit earlier, significantly more difficult to the point it may not
  be wise to attempt it.
- Inflates Celes' level and with that other characters. This is basically
  a good thing, but it prevents you from training these character's levels
  with the level-up boosts you'd potentially like to give them.

For a first-time or somewhat casual player, I'd recommend diving into Tzen;
it's on the way and Celes has been lonely long enough.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.48.2   Tzen; the Light of Judgment
**********************************

When you step up the stairs, a disaster occurs! The Light of Judgment hits the
town, and it quickly becomes clear that a child is trapped in one of the
collapsing houses. Holding up the mansion is a familiar face: Sabin Rene Figaro,
wandering heir to the throne of Figaro! It's good to see him still alive, but
the situation asks for action. Leaving is impossible, as a citizen will ask you
to stay and help: "Please help him! I'm begging you!" As soon as you stand in
front of the door Sabin will start talking to you and a timer will start, so
let's see what you can do beforehand:

Before you enter the house to save the child, you *can* get some healing at the
Inn (you won't spend the night, but you'll get some sparkly action going on)
and you can shop at the three shops Tzen has to offer.

Weapon Shop:
Kaiser Knuckles      1000
Venom Claws          2500
Flametongue          7000
Icebrand             7000
Thunder Blade        7000
Burning Fist        10000
 It's nice to have two of each Claws. The Kaiser Knuckles are too weak at this
point, so you can ignore them. If you don't have two Venom Claws stock up until
you do, and you're bound to miss at least one Burning Fist. Grab it, as a boss
battle in the future could use double Burning Fists.

Armor Shop:
Golden Shield        2500
Beret                3500
Tiger Mask           2500
Golden Helm          4000
Power Sash           5000
Golden Armor        10000
 Berets for sale, so you could buy one if you missed it at the FC. The rest of
the merchandise here is old news.

Relic Shop:
Dragoon Boots        9000
Thief's Bracer       3000
Black Belt           5000
Alarm Earring        7000
Sniper Eye           3000
Peace Ring           3000
Jeweled Ring         1000
 Thief's Bracers for sale are new, but they don't help you. What you do want is
a Jeweled Ring if you still haven't bought one. Last chance, honest.

Item Shop:
Hi-Potion             300
Ether                1500
Green Cherry          150
Phoenix Down          500
Echo Screen           120
Holy Water            300
Sleeping Bag          500
Super Ball          10000
 In this time of turmoil, an entirely new item has appeared in the Item Shop:
the Super Ball. Unseen by many, shunned by many, forgotten by many, the Super
Ball is an item that deals damage in combat to random target for a random
amount of damage. To be more precise:

Super Ball deals 256, 512, 768, 1024, 1280, 1536, 1792, or 2048 HP damage
against 1, 2, 3, or 4 randomly decided targets. If it the same monster is
targeted twice by the Super Ball, he is hit twice, meaning that the damage can
exceed 2048 HP.

In short: Super Balls are very expensive, entirely random and most of the time
not impressive enough to warrant its usage. Yes, in theory a Super Ball could do
a total of 4 x 2048 = 8192 damage against a single target, which is insane at
the moment, but I've never seen it do even remotely that kind of damage. Buy one
if you want to fill your inventory, but you won't find a lot of use for them in
most circumstances.

When you're done shopping while everybody else is panicking, try to save the
child by entering the house. For curiosity's sake, I've listed the responses
given by the running townsmen and women if you manage to catch their attention:

(Guy)       All this, just because someone acted against Kefka's will...
(Merchant)  There are monsters inside that house! They keep petrifying everyone
            who goes in to help. You'd better have some relics that'll keep you
            safe!
(Old man)   We refused to bow down to Kefka, so he unleashed the Light of
            Judgment on us!
(Old woman) Hurry, or the house'll collapse!

Before you get near the mansion, set Celes up like this:

Stoneblade/Icetongue/Thunder Blade/Flametongue
Golden Shield
Mystery Veil
Golden Armor/Gaia Gear
Black Belt (vital!)
Jeweled Ring/Ribbon (likewise!)

As soon as you stand in front of the door, you'll have your conversation with
Sabin and the timer (6:00) will start running. If you are still outside of the
house while the timer runs out, you get a Game Over: your screen will display
Sabin saying: "I can't...hold out... ...any longer... Brother...the rest is up
to you!" in an entirely black background. It doesn't matter if you're outdoors
or indoors: Game Over, man. Better get in there and save that child.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.48.3   The Collapsing House
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Zokka (#123), Nightwalker (#124), Scorpion (#125)

  Container contents:
  Blood Sword, Ether, Healing Rod, Holy Rod, Hyper Wrist, Magicite Shard,
  Monster-in-a-box (Nightwalker x4), Monster-in-a-box (Nightwalker x4)

  Magicite:
  Seraph

Preparation: Black Belt and petrification protection, right?

Monster formations:

Scorpion, Scorpion, Scorpion (10/16)
Zokka, Zokka, Nightwalker (6/16)

The Scorpion is the main annoyance in this house while the Zokka is the most
dangerous. Meeting three Scorpion monsters will make you want to use MT magic
violence, but their Magic Defense is through the roof, you don't have any
barrier-piercing attacks at your disposal and using Attack three times takes
a long time when time is of the essence. Hence the Black Belt; Scorpions will
use !Lethal Sting (sets Doom) followed by Attack, so there's plenty of
physical attacks to take advantage of, especially because Celes is alone
anyway.

Zokka have two attacks to fear. The first is Net; you may remember it
from your fight against Guard Leader way, way back. Net stops, which is bad if
you want to hurry (you want to hurry). They won't use it until their third turn
though, so no worries as you will have killed them by then. Their other
dangerous attack is !Rock. It petrifies, and is only used when a Zokka is
alone and damaged by you. Sadly, this scenario includes MT killing everything
on the battlefield. Protect yourself from ridicule and enjoy that Jeweled Ring
or Ribbon I advised you.

Nightwalkers are cannon fodderg. They will use Drain, which is sad as this
prevents total invulnerability by means of Vanish. It tends to do either 0 or 6
damage (6 is the damage a single Sap hit inflicts). That's it. You can take
them all out with an MT Fira spell or Ifrit's Hellfire.

Use Attack and enjoy your counters during Scorpion battles, and MT Fira spells
or similar kinds of violence will suffice against everything else.

Note: If you started this scenario later, you should have more characters.
Edgar's Auto Crossbow is very nice against the Scorpions, so you don't really
need the Black Belt on anybody. Make sure everybody is protected against
Petrify though. I could talk and talk about your options if you have other
characters, but since this entire bit was designed to be doable with only
one character, a full team will have so little trouble here that explaining
what to do would be insulting your position as a person capable of abstract
thought.

If you walk through the hallway, you'll come across a chest at the end. This
contains a Healing Rod; make absolutely sure you grab it. Turn left and you'll
see a chamber with a chest in it. The chest contains a Holy Rod; go out the
same way you got in. Continue to the left and you'll see two chests. The one
in reach contains an Ether, the one near the stairs leading downwards contains
a monster-in-a-box (Nightwalker x4).

Go down the stairway and go up to the high living room or whatever it is. The
right chest contains a Magicite Shard, in the middle is the kid (grab it),
and the left chest contains, again, the same monster-in-a-box of four
Nightwalkers. The one room here you didn't pass through contains a Blood Sword
in a chest. Grab it if you like. Leave this mess.

Upstairs and to the bottom is one chest you missed: it contains a Hyper Wrist.
Grab it if you have the time, there's really no use for yet another one of
these Relics. Sell it or something. If you're done, get out.

Outside, the kid is safe and so is Sabin. There's hope! Yatta! Etcetera. Sabin
joins the party. Note that at the end of the world, all characters except for
Celes where removed from the roster, so to speak, so that Sabin's new WoR
level will be calculated based on the average level of re-recruited characters
only, in this case only Celes. This will be the case for all characters you
(re-)acquire in this brave new world.

If you haven't bought Seraph yet, now's your chance to do so for only 10 Gil.
With the world falling apart like it is, I guess it doesn't do him much good to
hold on to this glowing stone...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.49.1   The Serpent Trench
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Fafnir (#114), Killer Mantis (#115), Murussu (#117), Gigantoad (#118), Luna
  Wolf  (#120), Black Dragon (#121), Rukh (#122), Delta Beetle (#126), Vampire
  Thorn (#127), Lizard (#128), Devoahan (#129)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Blood Sword (rare Lizard steal)

This part, again, is optional. You get another Esper out of it, an encounter
with another of your friends, and a boss battle. If you want to press on
immediately, there's no rush and you can always get back later.

In the tail of the Serpent Trench lies Mobliz, a town that got fried by the
Light of Judgment earlier. Maybe it's time to take a look It's not exactly on
your way, but... do you even have anywhere specific to go now?

Preparation: Equip an Amulet or Ribbon on Celes and Sabin! One of the monsters
can turn you into a Zombie in the very first turn, and you'd be surprised how
easy a Game Over is to obtain when one character is chewing on the brains of
another.


Monster formations:

(Grasslands)
Fafnir, Fafnir (10/16)
Killer Mantis, Fafnir (6/16)

(Wastelands, west)
Luna Wolf, Luna Wolf (10/16)
Murussu, Gigantoad, Gigantoad (6/16)

(Wastelands, east)
Luna Wolf, Rukh (10/16)
Rukh, Murussu, Gigantoad (6/16)

(Grasslands, Serpent Trench)
Vampire Thorn, Vampire Thorn, Lizard (6/16)
Vampire Thorn, Vampire Thorn (5/16)
Devoahan (5/16)

(Wastelands, Serpent Trench)
Devoahan, Delta Beetle, Delta Beetle (10/16)
Delta Beetle, Delta Beetle, Delta Beetle, Delta Beetle (6/16)

(Northwest wastelands, Serpent Trench)
Delta Beetle, Delta Beetle, Delta Beetle, Delta Beetle (6/16)
Devoahan, Lizard (5/16)
Vampire Thorn, Vampire Thorn, Delta Beetle (5/16)

(Forests, Serpent Trench)
Vampire Thorn, Vampire Thorn, Lizard (6/16)
Vampire Thorn, Vampire Thorn (5/16)
Devoahan (5/16)

Three new monsters on the Serpent Trench:

Devoahan are sickly animals that attack out of desperation. If you wait for four
turns he'll swap his normal Attack with a !Rage, Attack, Attack combo. Gasp
thrice! !Rage is merely Attack * 1.5, so there's nothing to worry about. If he's
hit by a Magic spell, he might counter with Sunbath. So don't.

Delta Beetle uses Attack, !Slam (Attack * 1.5) and Megavolt. Megavolt is
entirely too weak to worry about, but it does remove Invisible status, and
that's annoying. Let's see here... its name comes from the Greek symbol Delta,
which was a triangle. I'm introducing you to a whole new world here, am I not?
MT Fira spells and/or the Rising Phoenix Blitz is the way to go.

Vampire Thorn are the most dangerous enemies here. They can start the fight off
with Attack or !Life Drain, which sets Zombie. The second turn can feature the
Bio spell, which you don't want. The thing about Vampire Thorn is their
defenses: 254 Defense, 254 Magic Defense. They compensate by having only 12 HP,
but still. Since they're undead, the best way to penetrate those defenses is by
an MT Cure spell on them. Celes is bound to know it. Otherwise, MT Fira spells
and Rising Phoenix can get the job done if tweaked a little. Check how strong
your flaming is to learn if this is a better option for you.

Whenever Delta Beetle appear, Rising Phoenix is a good idea to clean them all up
in one go, as is an MT Fira spell, if you lack Sabin. Devoahan is also weak to
Fire-elemental attacks, so if you find a lone Celes facing one, just go with
that element and hope he doesn't use Sunbath. Vampire Thorn is best disposed of
with an MT Cure spell (on them, obviously). It's a good idea to cast Vanish
on yourself; while the second turn of both Delta Beetle and Vampire Thorn can
remove your Invisible status with Megavolt and the Bio spell, respectively, but
you shouldn't let it come that far.

Find the bridge to the Serpent Trench and walk up to the tail. When you're
almost there, you can find a Chocobo Stable in the forest just south of the
town of Mobliz. Regardless, you're here: Mobliz.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.49.2   The tail of the Serpent Trench; Mobliz
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Humbaba (-), Humbaba (-)

  Container contents:
  Phoenix Down

  Lores:
  1000 Needles

  Magicite:
  Fenrir

[HUMBABA1-LINK]

Preparation: There will be a boss battle here, so I want you to prepare for it.
Ideally, you have Sabin with you, who I suggest you give a Hero's Ring, Genji
Glove, and two Venom Claws. Equipping Golem on either will be a good asset.
Just keep Celes the way you like her, but make sure she can use Runic.

If you don't have Sabin, the next battle will be very tough. Equip a Reflect
Ring and a Hero's Ring, and save on the Overworld Map. Definitely have Golem on
Celes if she's flying solo here.

When you enter Mobliz, two dogs will start barking and a kid comes running out
of a house before re-entering it. Before you follow him, grab the Phoenix Down
on one of the three barrels by the other burned house. You can take a nap in the
bed of the abandoned Relic Shop for HP/MP restoration.

When you enter the house, you can grab the Elixir in the clock if you didn't in
the WoB. Go down the stairs to find a whole bunch of kids, Duane and Katarin and
...Terra! But as the cutscene progresses, you'll learn the situation is more
complicated than 'hey-ho, let's go', and Terra refuses to leave. When you go
outside (before you do, make sure you're fully equipped for the fight), a kid
will come screaming in that Humbaba is coming! You heard about Humbaba in
Albrook, a demon from the ancient world. Terra goes out to defend the children.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.49.3   The battle with Humbaba
**********************************

Humbaba (# 1)
Level: 26, HP: 60000, MP: 10000
Absorbs: Lightning, Weakness: Poison
Special: !Solar Plexus: Attack x 3
Sketch : !Solar Plexus, Attack
Control: Attack, !Solar Plexus
Vulnerable to: Nothing
Attacks: Attack, !Solar Plexus, Thundara, Thundaga, 1000 Needles

This battle is a scripted battle. Terra won't be able to deliver any damage
as Humbaba is blessed by the same kind of invulnerability as WoB Guardian was.
Terra can slave away with physicals: 0 damage. She can cast Fira, Bio, and
Drain: 0 damage (although she'll obtain HP from Drain). Terra is supposed to
lose here. So, don't use Trance or Elixirs or anything.

There once was a way to circumvent the fixed outcome of the fight, and that's by
using the Vanish/Doom trick. This is only possible in the SNES versions though,
as Square made the Vanish spell miss against this Humbaba in the PSX versions.
But it doesn't matter if you lose or win by cheating (it doesn't get you any
items or MP either); the outcome will be entirely the same. Terra will be lying
on the ground, facedown, and whoever came for her (most likely Celes and Sabin,
but anything is possible) comes to her aid.

Humbaba (# 2)
Level: 26, HP: 28000, MP: 10000
Absorbs: Lightning, Weakness: Poison
Special: !Solar Plexus: Attack x 3
Sketch : !Solar Plexus, Attack
Control: Attack, !Solar Plexus
Vulnerable to: Nothing
Attacks: Attack, !Solar Plexus, Thundara, Thundaga, 1000 Needles, Flee

Joker's Death: No.
The game prevents you from spinning 7-7-7 in this battle.

This is better. Humbaba will start the battle with a physical, be it either
Attack or !Solar Plexus. Then, he'll start using Thundara and Thundaga spells;
finally, he can use 1000 Needles, which is ill received, as 1000 damage is
nothing to laugh at when it's coming for you. Humbaba's name, if you're
wondering, comes from the old Babylonian heroic poem 'Gilgamesh'. He was a
monster there. He got killed, too.

If you have a Celes/Sabin team, have Sabin use his dual Venom Claws for great
damage. Don't bother with Celes her damage output; have her on Runic standby.
Both should start the battle by calling up Golem's Earthen Wall if they have him
equipped. If Sabin is weak, you should break the Runic guard to cure him. Smack
Humbaba with Sabin's fists until he runs off.

If you have a solo Celes party, summon Golem to start, and fill all other
turns by casting Bio (or, lacking Bio, Blizzara) as quickly as you can. Fighting
this guy with Celes only is a risk as no matter what you do, 1000 Needles is
very dangerous and Humbaba can kill you. If you're low at HP, sneak in an X-
Potion or Elixir.

Any other team needs little guidance; you've obviously been around the world,
have collected at least four characters, and have better equipment than you need
to have. Bio spells come in handy. What else is there to say? Setzer can't spin
Joker's Death here. The best Dance is Earth Blues, while the home dance, Wind
Rhapsody is nigh worthless. Spritzer absorbs Thundara and Thundaga while dealing
acceptable damage, although a purple Magna Roader Rage with a Reflect Ring is
better.

After Humbaba storms off, Terra once again claims she won't be able to fight
for you. When you try to leave, the kid at the entrance gives you your first
new gem of happiness: the Esper Fenrir. The Japanese game makes mention of the
Fenrir Magicite being a part of Humbaba's dropped necklace. Equip it if no
other Espers appear to teach better spells at the moment (Banish is nice, but
not as strategic as Stop, Vanish, Silence, etc.).

Note: If you already found the Falcon at this point, you can simply leave
Mobliz and return to finally put a permanent stop to Humbaba and recruit Terra.
Read all about that here: [HUMBABA2-LINK]

Leave. We're going to the head of the Serpent Trench now; you can grab a Chocobo
from the Chocobo Stable in the forest, it's ideal for long cross-country hikes
like this.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.50.1   The head of the Serpent Trench; Nikeah
**********************************

Welcome to Nikeah! Being pretty much the least important town in the entire WoB,
some have chosen to mock it for its useless northern part where only the Inn is.
Truly, Nikeah is not the best-looking town you've come across so far, but the
in-game equivalent of total blasted doomsday just happened; I don't think we
can judge less-then-perfect aesthetics right now.

As soon as you enter Nikeah, you are assaulted by a strange man who turns out to
be an ex-Returner. This guy is GBA-exclusive! Boy, aren't you giddy with odd
anticipation right now! The good man introduces the existence of the four GBA-
exclusive Espers Leviathan, Cactuar, Gilgamesh and Diabolos.

"Hey, aren't you...? You were with the Returners, right? Me, too! I thought
everyone else had been wiped out! I don't know if there's anything I can do for
you now, but I did hear something you might be interested to know...
Apparently, four Espers escaped from that Magitek Research Facility not long
before you guys snuck in there. There's no way of knowing if they're still
alive, but if you could find them, I bet they would lend you their power!"

Weapon Shop:
Rune Blade           7500
Flametongue          7000
Icebrand             7000
Thunder Blade        7000
Enhancer            10000
 You probably already have at least one Rune Blade (either from grabbing the
chest in the Moogle Cave or from Stealing it from Number 024 back in the day),
but they are actually for sale now. Don't buy them; even with their MP-driven
auto-critical they are not as strong as a normal blow from the great new weapon
that's also for sale: the Enhancer. Grab two. What does the Enhancer do? First
off, it gives a +7 bonus to your Magic Power, which is very nice, Also, it
grants the wielder an extra 20% Magic Evasion, which is also very nice. I
suggest you grab two and put one on Celes. The Enhancer really is a great
weapon, and will serve you well until the very last parts of the game.

Armor Shop:
Diamond Shield       3500
Priest's Miter       3000
Green Beret          3000
Diamond Helm         8000
Gaia Gear            6000
Power Sash           5000
Diamond Vest        12000
 Entirely new items for sale in this Armor Shop! Victory galore. I'd grab
two Diamond Shield, though it's likely either Cels or Sabin will be dual-
wielding at the moment. Ignore the Diamond Helm entirely; there are better
helmets out there still (Mystery Veil, Priest's Miter, Green Beret). Grab ONE
Diamond Vest and give it to Sabin. There'll be something nicer for Celes in a
short while and Diamond equipment is crazy expansive (who would've guessed,
huh).

Relic Shop:
White Cape           5000
Angel Ring           8000
Zephyr Cloak         7000
Gale Hairpin         8000
Hyper Wrist          8000
Prayer Beads         4000
Amulet               5000
Princess Ring        3000
 The kid's merchandise isn't very special, except for the fact he has Prayer
Beads for sale, one of the most useful Relics in the game, not to mention their
'special effect' during Mardi Gras. Also, Angel Rings for sale; they were 20000
Gil in the Auction House, so it's a relative bargain here. Angel Rings still
suck though, and you could've gotten all the Angel Rings you ever wanted back on
the FC. Other items for sale that previously weren't include Zephyr Cloaks, Gale
Hairpins (one is enough), and Princess Rings (Cute, those trigger-spell-when-
Critical Relics, but hardly useful).

Item Shop:
Hi-Potion             300
Ether                1500
Gold Needle           200
Phoenix Down          500
Holy Water            300
Remedy               1000
Sleeping Bag          500
Tent                 1200
 Stock up if you want.

Word on the street says that Figaro Castle has had an accident and that the
South Figaro ferry is about to leave. However, if you talk to the captain of
the ship, hoping for a lift, he tells you the ship belongs to the Crimson
Robbers, the thieves that escaped the cells of Figaro Castle when it had the
accident. They're in the Pub.

In the Pub, talking to all of them reveals their story. Stuck in jail, they had
the fortune of being freed by sandworms. Their boss perished, but their new
leader Gerad will lead them into Figaro Castle to get their booty back. The
thieves all leave the Cafe, but on-board they are still waiting for Gerad,
who's still somewhere in town.

When you walk into town, the lost king of Figaro is seen! However, he insists
he is Gerad, the cunning leader of the Crimson Robbers. It seems the fact
'Gerad' is an anagram of 'Edgar' is mere coincidence. Follow him every time
he tries to walk off, and eventually you'll sneak onto the ferry.

Note: A lot of people find it strange that Sabin doesn't specifically react to
this semi-Edgar. One could blame the fact Sabin isn't a mandatory character
at this point, but few know there actually IS a line for Sabin at this point,
it's just never accessed in the game. Here it is:

Sabin: Is this some kind of joke, Edgar?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.51.1   South Figaro; Gerad and the Crimson Robbers
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Commander, Vector Hound

  Container contents:
  Elixir, Holy Water, Phoenix Down x2, Tent x2, X-Potion

South Figaro had only a taste of freedom again when the world collapsed. Invaded
by the Empire, martial law, a king who has run off leaving other people to
govern, an apocalypse; South Figaro has had it rough. But the people here
haven't given up hope. They're rebuilding the houses and managing their affairs
as good as they can. We could admire this kind of determination.

Weapon Shop:
Trident              1700
Heavy Lance         10000
Enhancer            10000
Golden Spear        12000
 The only new item here is the Golden Spear. As you could guess, it's a Lance
stronger than the Heavy Lance. While I think the Golden Spear looks kinda nice
in combat, I would still prefer the Enhancer over the Golden Spear any day, so I
won't tell you to buy one now, as in the next boss battle, the weapon with the
highest Attack Power will be automatically equipped. Since the Enhancer provides
the important benefit of 20% Magic Evasion while the Gold Spear doesn't, it's
better to keep it out of your inventory. Although nothing will be said, you'll
get a 50% discount if Edgar is your leading party member.

Armor Shop:
Diamond Shield       3500
Priest's Miter       3000
Green Beret          3000
Diamond Helm         8000
Gaia Gear            6000
Diamond Vest        12000
Diamond Armor       15000
 I told you to hold off buying new equipment for Celes in Nikeah: the Diamond
Armor is the reason. I suggest you buy two if possible; your Gil will be running
fairly low by now, but you'll thank me for it in the future. You could try
selling some stuff you're sure you'll never use again, such as Hyper Wrists
and the like. Although nothing will be said, you'll get a 50% discount
if Edgar is your leading party member.

Relic Shop:
Silver Spectacles     500
Star Pendant          500
Fairy Ring           1500
Amulet               5000
Hermes Sandals       7000
Reflect Ring         6000
Angel Ring           8000
Princess Ring        3000
 There's nothing here that you want. Two Hermes Sandals will be nice in the
future, but you should already have at least two of them from chests. More
importantly, make absolutely sure you don't leave before you have enough Amulets
to protect four party members against Zombie (Ribbons also do this). This is
vital. Although nothing will be said, you'll get a 50% discount if Edgar is your
leading party member.

Item Shop:
Hi-Potion             300
Ether                1500
Eye Drops              50
Echo Screen           120
Phoenix Down          500
Holy Water            300
Remedy               1000
Tent                 1200
 Stock those stockings if your stockings need stocking.

The first time you arrived here, there was plenty to do. Now, the action in
South Figaro is slightly less. Points of interest:

- "Not too long ago when I was out sailing, I saw a huge shadow pass by beneath
the water." An NPC reference to one of the four new Espers; the king of the
seas, Leviathan! You can't find him yet, though.

- The four members of the Crimson Robbers can be found all over town. Here's
what they have to say:

"We're breaking into Figaro Castle! That treasure belongs to us!" (two)
"A young guy just came through town searching for a legendary treasure with the
power to bring back the dead." (Pub)
"We won't stop till we get our treasure back!" (Standing over at an abandoned
MagiTek Armor)

The middle line there is rather odd for a thief that just escaped from jail,
got to Nikeah and now just returned to South Figaro. In addition, a
'normal' South Figaro inhabitant says "Those men may be thieves, but at least
they're working towards a goal. We could learn a thing or two from that." which
in the SNES was about himself (we may be thieves, etc.). There's no saying
for sure, but it's likely those lines were accidentally swapped around.

- A couple sexing each other up in the trees at the edge of town can be
disturbed if you want to: "Lives may be lost, but new lives can be born as well!
I'm just doing my part!" (guy runs off) & "Oh...! I can't believe him!" (girl
runs off)

- Commander and Vector Hound opponents can still be found in the dungeon where
Celes and Locke escaped from in the WoB. This is obviously an error as there's
really no story-related reason for them to be there anymore.

- The little daughter of the richest man in town, who mentioned the Clock Key
earlier in the WoB, now talks about jumping and turtles. Crazy talk from a crazy
person, probably.

- Duncan is still alive! His wife informs you that he's meditating just north
of Narshe. If there's some time in the future, we should definitely get Sabin
to Duncan. We owe that to Sabin.

When you find Gerad in the room of the Inn, he'll immediately leave and take
the Crimson Robbers with him, still insisting that he is not Edgar. Still,
Edgar or not, you'll want to follow him to see what his plans for Figaro Castle
are. If it's Edgar, you'll want to know what the hell is going on; if it's not,
we should defend the property of Figaro in Edgar's absence.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.51.2   Pursuing Gerad and the Crimon Robbers
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Sandhorse (#130), Cancer (#131), Oceanus (#132), Desert Hare (#133)

Preparation: If you have Float, cast it on your party. That's about it.

Monster formations:

(Grasslands)
Desert Hare, Desert Hare, Desert Hare (always)

(Wastelands)
Cancer, Cancer, Desert Hare, Desert Hare (always)

(Desert)
Cancer, Cancer, Cancer (6/16)
Sandhorse, Sandhorse (5/16)
Sandhorse, Cancer, Cancer (5/16)

(Forest)
Oceanus (10/16)
Oceanus, Desert Hare, Desert Hare, Desert Hare (6/16)

Desert Hare is one of the few enemies in the game with a Magic Power high enough
to supersede that of your characters (30), but you needn't fear; the only
spells these guys cast are Cure, Cura, and Esuna, and for some reason unknown
to man they cast it on you... when hit by Attack. Under normal circumstances
you'll find them smacking you with Attack or !Carrot (Attack * 1.5, and the
name is subject of ridicule by itself), but why bunnies would want to cure you
upon slaughter is just silly. There were healing bunnies in FF V as well, but
they tended to actually help themselves. Maybe it's a reflex reaction?

Cancer is just an upgraded version of Exocite. Attack, !Pincer, a chance
at a double !Pincer when they are alone. !Pincer is boring Attack * 1.5
shtuff. Exocite were water-based, but these wretches occupy the deserts; they
are weak against Ice and Water.

Oceanus resembles Anguiform, but that's where the similarities end. Anguiform
had an exceedingly strong Special; Oceanus has the normal Attack * 1.5
!Corkscrew attack. Instead of being a creature of water and using Aqua Breath,
Oceanus uses Magnitude 8 on a regular basis. Weak against Lightning and
immune to ID.

Sandhorse is the most dangerous enemy here. Under normal circumstances they
will repeatedly use Sandstorm or possibly !Clamp (Attack * 5!), and if they're
alone they start using Attack. You'd assume they would want to keep their
stronger attacks for the more dire situations, but oh well. Sandhorse is weak
against Ice and Water like most desert dwellers, but its most prominent weakness
is Rasp; it dies automatically when its MP reaches 0, and with only 100 MP,
any Rasp spell should do one in.

Float should circumvent Oceanus' Magnitude 8, so just pound away there. Use
Attack on Desert Hare whenever you can, their healing will do you a lot of good.
The only threat is Sandhorse; do them in with a Rasp spell or something you
know will do significant ST damage. Summoning Bismarck will take care of them,
but you probably have better things to do than equip that sub-par fiend of an
Esper.

Enough dilly-dallying around. There really isn't anything on the entire
continent that deserves our interest, so let's head into the Cave of Figaro,
where we can assume the Crimson Robbers also headed.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.51.3   Pursuing Gerad and the Crimon Robbers; Cave of Figaro
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Humpty (#134), Cruller (#135), Neck Hunter (#137), Dante (#138)

  Container contents:
  Hero's Ring, Hi-Ether, X-Potion

Preparation: A lot of monsters here will try to set the Confuse status on you,
so equip Relics that protect against Confuse like Ribbons or Peace Rings. This
is quite important, especially now that your characters are getting stronger;
while you freeze in panic your twirling characters may cast Banish on themselves
and give you a Game Over.

Monster formations:

(Cave of Figaro)
Neck Hunter, Cruller, Humpty, Humpty (10/16)
Dante (6/16)

(Recovery Spring)
Humpty, Humpty, Humpty, Humpty (6/16)
Neck Hunter, Neck Hunter (5/16)
Dante (5/16)

(Corridor from Recovery Spring to Figaro Castle)
Neck Hunter, Neck Hunter (6/16)
Humpty, Humpty, Humpty (5/16)
Cruller, Humpty, Humpty (5/16)

The first thing you see in the Cave of Figaro is an old acquaintance: Siegfried!
He explains it's wise to stay behind and let him - master swordsman that he is -
clear all the monsters out of your path. He goes off to complete this goal, but
since the last time we saw him he was all bark and no bite, it's more like him
to keep you out of his way while he goes off to collect treasure that you would
otherwise obtain. No time to linger and wait for something to happen, time to
press on!

Note: No matter how long you wait here, nothing will happen.

Humpty is just really, really fat. Never mind that jolly Buddha or that figurine
of the goddess of fertility; Humpty is a grotesquely obese little bugger with as
much to offer to the eye as a festering wound. Attack and - ugh - !Hug (sets
Confuse) are among his arsenal. Also, he's undead. What wretch has taken it onto
himself to revive only the broadest of men?

Cruller knows spells. One to be exact: Fira. I'd love to comment on other
features of it, but... what the hell is it? A glibbering mass of goo and
internal organs, or so it seems. Humpty at least had the decency to be overly
disgusting in a humanoid form; Cruller can't even take that to its defense.
Anyway, Cruller can start battles with Fira and Attack, and if you keep him
around long enough he can use Sticky Goo and !Brainstorm (sets Confuse). Weak to
Fire.

Neck Hunter uses !Mad Sickle (sets Confuse) and Attack. That's about it. They're
probably supposed to be thieves or something; humans in dungeons almost never
make sense in RPGs. They're susceptible to ID, they're Floating, and they're
weak to Poison.

Dante. Named after the Italian writer of La Divina Commedia (which is said to
have been one of the sources of inspiration for this game by some fans), Dante
is kind of weird. He's Undead, but doesn't absorb Poison. In fact, he's weak
against it! His attacks consist out of Attack and !Crystal Lance (Attack * 3),
and he sometimes counters Magic spells with Lv. 3 Confuse. Dante is slightly
more durable than the other enemies in the cave, so it might be nice information
to have that the Raise spell puts a stop to his existence. Stop, ironically,
also puts a stop to his existence, but it'll wear off so you'll want to hurt him
in the meantime.

Here's the strategy. The theme of this dungeon is 'Confuse'. Almost all enemies
can set it, and with new spells such as Banish, Confuse gets all the more
dangerous. Wear Peace Rings and/or Ribbons to prevent the horror. Boost Sabin's
Rising Phoenix or perhaps even Razor Gale (which he learns at level 30) with a
pair of Earrings or a Hero's Ring; Rising Phoenix offs all Humptys and Crullers.
Celes can take care of the remaining Neck Hunter with her Enhancers or a Poison
spell. If Dante is ever encountered, cast Raise, Stop or do whatever normally
works. This cave isn't too difficult to plow through.

You know what the cave looks like. If you have left all the chests alone (and
I've been advising you to do so, haven't I?), they should now contain an
Hi-Ether, an X-Potion, and a very awesome Hero's Ring. A HERO'S RING, rock on!
Just walk to the other end; once you get there you'll notice its blocked, but
you'll also notice the Crimson Robbers know a way into Figaro Castle regardless.

Also: The guy once had a turtle.

After the Crimson Robbers have disappeared and Siegfried has followed them,
you're free to pursue both by jumping on the turtle. Use the action button for
that. You can think back to the little daughter of the richest man in South
Figaro again; this is the second time she's given good advice.

In the next room, you'll find an empty corridor with four chests that already
have been looted. Darn that Siegfried. Press on; we might be able to catch up
with him.

In the next room, a crossroad! If you go up, you'll come across Siegfried
opening a chest. As soon as he spots you, he runs off with the contents of the
chest, never ever to be seen again. You can't follow him; just let him go. If
you press on you come across what appears to be a dead end; a hidden passage to
the bottom lets you exit, though.

And then, the scenery changes.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.51.4   Pursuing Gerad and the Crimon Robbers; Figaro Castle
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Humpty (#134), Cruller (#135), Dropper (#136), Neck Hunter (#137), Dante
  (#138), Tentacle (#310), Tentacle (#311), Tentacle (#312), Tentacle (#313)

  Container contents:
  Crystal Helm, Hi-Ether, Gravity Rod, Royal Crown, Soul Sabre, X-Potion

Preparation: Keep the Peace Rings/Ribbons on there.

Monster formations:

(Figaro Castle Basement)
Humpty, Humpty, Humpty, Humpty (6/16)
Neck Hunter, Neck Hunter (5/16)
Dante (5/16)

(Engine Room)
Humpty, Humpty, Humpty, Humpty (6/16)
Dropper, Dropper, Dropper (5/16)
Dante (5/16)

As soon as you enter, relief washes over you like a giant sea of... water. It's
Figaro Castle. Gerad seems oddly sympathetic towards a swooning local before
running off. Seriously, can we even still assume Gerad is *not* Edgar? But why
this farce?

Dropper is probably Edgar's home-built security system or something, there's no
other explanation of automatic mechanical beings here. They do nothing but
use !Crazed Signal every turn, which sets Confuse if you let it. If you use
Attack to damage it, it'll counter with Attack. Refrain from that, and kill
them with Magic spells (they're weak to Lightning-elemental attacks) and
Blitz techniques.

Pushing onward will take you up the stairs, but you can't go out of the castle
or to the exterior areas; we're submerged here, remember? The only choice is to
walk into the engine room, which was hitherto forbidden territory. You'll come
across Figaro soldiers all over; obviously, the lack of food and fresh air has
taken its toll.

Simply ascending two stairs will take you into a room with four chests
containing, from right to left, a Crystal Helm (don't bother equipping it), a
Gravity Rod (what is it with Rods that new ones always appear when nobody can
equip them?), which is an Earth-elemental weapon that randomly casts Graviga,
an X-Potion, and a Hi-Ether. If you enter the door to the far left, you'll be
able to go up some stairs, enter a door, and grab a Royal Crown, which you
should equip on Sabin if he is around.

Trace back your steps to the room with the four chests, and enter the middle
door. Pass through the corridor and behold: the engine that drives Figaro
Castle, its best-kept secret. However, the engine seems to be crawling with
...something. It must be the source of Figaro Castle's inability to move around
lately. The Crimson Robbers themselves seem rather worried by it.

Before you gently tap the shoulder of Gerad and kindly ask what the hell is
going on here, you should know that this is the only room in the game where
you can find Dropper enemies. Their Rage is useless and they are entirely
uninteresting other than their elusive nature. Also note that if you brought
Celes here, without Sabin, this is good place to level up if you want to.

Talking to Gerad means the start of a boss battle, so let's prepare.
Hermes Sandals disables a large part of the boss' strategy, so equip them on
both Sabin and Celes if possible. Reflect Rings and/or Relics that provide
immunity to the Poison status will come in handy as well. Summoning Golem and/or
Fenrir is a great idea, as is Siren. So, the following party will be greatly
prepared:

Celes
Enhancer
Diamond Shield
Mystery Veil
Diamond Armor
Reflect Ring
Hermes Sandals
Esper: Golem/Siren/Fenrir

Sabin
Burning Fist
Diamond Shield
Royal Crown
Diamond Vest
Reflect Ring
Hermes Sandals
Esper: Golem/Siren/Fenrir

This is a forced Side attack by the way; know that the battlefield will
look like this:

Character #3    Tentacle        Tentacle        Character #1

Character #4    Tentacle        Tentacle        Character #2

If you didn't pick up Sabin in Tzen earlier, it's possible that you engage in
a 'Side attack' while only attacking from the front (Edgar is automatically
placed in the first slot convenient, so he'll be either #1 or #2 {if Celes was
in #1} if you didn't pick up Sabin).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.51.5   The battle with the Tentacles
**********************************

There are four Tentacles in the upcoming battle:

Tentacle (bottom-right)
Level: 31, HP: 7000, MP: 800
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Fire, Weakness: Ice, Water
Special: !Stun: sets Slow
Vulnerable to: Poison, Petrify, Silence, Slow
Attacks: Attack, !Stun, Poison, Bio, Grab, Release, Entwine

Tentacle (bottom-left)
Level: 32, HP: 6000, MP: 700
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Ice, Water, Weakness: Fire
Special: !Stun: sets Slow
Vulnerable to: Poison, Death, Doom, Slow
Attacks: Attack, !Stun, Poison, Bio, Grab, Release, Entwine

Tentacle (top-right)
Level: 33, HP: 5000, MP: 600
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Lightning, Water
Special: !Stun: sets Slow
Vulnerable to: Poison, Petrify, Silence, Sleep, Slow
Attacks: Attack, !Stun, Poison, Bio, Grab, Release, Entwine

Tentacle (top-left)
Level: 34, HP: 4000, MP: 500
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Earth, Water
Special: !Stun: sets Slow
Vulnerable to: Petrify, Slow, Stop
Attacks: Attack, !Stun, Poison, Bio, Grab, Release, Entwine

Joker's Death: Yes
Nothing the Tentacles use screws with the RNG.

What's the point of this battle? There are four Tentacles. It gets rather
confusing because each Tentacle has its own set of status immunities and
elemental properties. But there is one thing that all Tentacles have in common;
the attacks they perform, of which the most noticeable is the Grab, the attack
both !Stun and Entwine are centered around.

What does Grab do? Grab seizes a character and renders it completely helpless.
During a period of about 30 seconds, the Tentacle that used Grab holds the
character and gradually drains his or her HP. It's a weird little formula. It's
non-elemental and barrier-piercing and has a 5/8 chance of dealing about 60 HP
of damage every interval (which means that damage is taken less regularly if
the Tentacle is slowed and more often if Hasted).

Tentacles just use their normal attacks: Attack, !Stun to set Slow, Entwine
as an MT means of setting Slow, Poison and Bio. If they're damaged, they have
a 33% chance of countering with Attack. However, whenever a character is
Slowed, a Tentacle will always use the Grab attack and will seize the character
from which it drains HP. The Tentacle that has seized a character doesn't
perform attacks, and the character that is Grabbed cannot act. This lasts for
about 30 seconds, at which point the Tentacle will use Release to remove all
the effects of Grab. Slow was removed when the Grab attack was used.

This is why Hermes Sandals are so nice: with inherent Haste, both !Stun and
Entwine will never work and thus Celes and Sabin will never be Grabbed during
the battle.

Start the battle off by summoning one or both of your physical protection
Espers, Fenrir and/or Golem; both protect against Attack and, more importantly,
!Stun. Employ Edgar's Bioblaster to Poison up to three of the Tentacles. If
one of your characters has Siren equipped, send her out to stop the Poison and
Bio spells of two of the Tentacles. Now the MT offenses and defenses have been
cast, it's time to kill off one Tentacle at a time.

Cast Death on the bottom-left Tentacle to dispatch it instantly. Obviously, the
newly acquired Banish also works, but Death's Hit Rate is superior and the
Death spell is more MP-efficient.

If you summoned Siren, the most dangerous Tentacle right now is the top-left
Tentacle, as that's the only Tentacle capable of casting Poison and Bio. Cast
Stop if you have it, and focus Edgar's Drill and Sabin and Celes's level 2
spells on it until it dies. If you didn't summon Siren, you should cast the
Silence spell on both the bottom-right and top-right Tentacles. If this isn't an
option, it's best to kill the most fragile Tentacle first: the bottom-right
Tentacle. Drill and Blizzara will kill it very quickly.

Now, the remaining Tentacles are left to your imagination. Don't bother with
Antidotes when a character is Poisoned; the battle won't take that long, so
sticking to Cura spells to keep your HP up will suffice. If Sabin knows Razor
Gale, stick to that, have Edgar focus on his Drill attacks, and keep Celes
around to whip out a level 2 spell that isn't absorbed whenever possible. When
Death or Banish has taken care of the bottom-left Tentacle, Blizzara is
absorbed by none of the Tentacles).

The fight against the Tentacles can be a pain, but only if you don't prepare
properly. You'll pull through.

When the battle is over, Edgar will explain his situation. If Sabin is around,
he'll say "You could've told us.". The Crimson Robbers will flee the scene with
their treasure, assuming Gerad must have been eaten by the Tentacles. Edgar
decides to let them go (the Japanese game makes clear their 'booty' was useless
rubbish anyway) and shows he wants to stop Kefka like the others.

Sabin: Let's go shake things up again!

As soon as you can move, equip Edgar with two nice Relics. His headgear will
probably be the Crystal Helm you picked up earlier; you can swap it with a
Green Beret or Sabin's Royal Crown if you want.

In the treasure chamber, you'll see eight emptied chests. Looks like the
Crimson Robbers had quite a lot of items taken from them by the Figaro law
enforcement. On the armor in the middle, you can find a Soul Sabre, which is
basically an MP-version of the Blood Sword. It also has a 25% chance of casting
Death with every hit. It is a strange hybrid between a physical attack and a
magical attack. It runs off Strength, the wielder's Row matters, it's damage is
boosted by a Gigas Glove. However, it's damage is reduced by the target's
Magic Defense and Shell. If you have Osmose, there's no real reason to equip
it, so let's get out.

When you emerge from the engine room, the old man who handles subterranean
travel will say "Nonsense! It's been fixed! Next stop, the surface!" I always
thought this was a weird line until I realized it's probably supposed to be
a reply to Sabin's words he spoke over at the engine.

Thus, Figaro Castle rises amidst the golden sand of Figaro Desert. But we've
already seen there's nothing more here, so before you do anything else I suggest
you take Figaro Castle to a shiny new continent: time to travel to Kohlingen
once more.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.52.1   Figaro Castle
**********************************

Welcome to Figaro Castle! It's been a rough day, so I suggest you take a nap
for some free healing. If you didn't see the Figaro brothers cutscene earlier,
Sabin will be off as soon as you advance up in the castle and you can't access
the two towers of the castle because two soldiers are telling you to take a
nap. They're not being very subtle over at Square.

During the night, a cutscene. I won't bother describing it as it's mandatory,
and you can look up additional info in the characters section. Needless to say,
childhood nostalgia grabs the Figaro brothers, and the memories of days long
gone only strengthen their resolve to stop Kefka.

One of the girls in the guest room tells you about the Cult of Kefka. If ever a
loved one of a person in the Cult would come to its aid, however, he or she
might just snap out of it. Interesting.

On the left tower of Figaro Castle, there's a funny man, who'll say: "I hear
that some fanatical members of the Cult of Kefka insist on spelling Kefka's
name with Cs instead of Ks. That just seems silly to me. Kefka's Kefka.
He's still the same villain, no matter how you spell his name!" That's a bit
of fourth wall breaking there, as that's Slattery making a comment about
FFIII purists who adhere to the Japanese names. The German version's amusing
as well, calling Kefka a 'Teufel' (devil) and calling his soul (translated)
"darker'n a behemoth's tookus on a moonless prairie night", a nice little Big
Lebowski reference.

Item Shop:
Hi-Potion             300
Ether                1500
Antidote               50
Eye Drops              50
Echo Screen           120
Phoenix Down          500
Remedy               1000
Tent                 1200
 What can I say? If you need anything, grab it here. If you have Edgar as your
leading party member, you get a 50% discount.

Weapon Shop:
Auto Crossbow         250
Noiseblaster          500
Bioblaster            750
Flash                1000
Debilitator          5000
Drill                3000
 A new Tool is for sale here! If you didn't Steal a Debilitator during the
battle against the Cranes or Air Force, here's the thing for 5000 Gil. And it's
only 2500 Gil if you have Edgar as the leading party member!

Now, let's get the hell out and see what's happening in Kohlingen.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.52.2   En route to Kohlingen
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Sandhorse (#130), Cancer (#131), Bogy (#139), Marchosias (#140), Deepeye
  (#141), Mousse (#142)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Magicite Shard (rare Mousse steal)

  Lores:
  Aero, Transfusion

If you're still enjoying the sun of Figaro, it's time to take Figaro Castle
to the other side of the oceans. When you arise and leave the castle, you'll
notice three dots on your Map: one to the north and two to the west. To
the north is Dragon's Neck Coliseum, which I'll discuss later. To the west,
there's Kohlingen and Darill's Tomb. The northern-most one is Kohlingen. You
want to go there now. Who knows what kind of interesting things are awaiting
you there (I do, for one)? There's nothing for you now at Darill's Tomb anyway;
it's just a featureless bulge in the ground which offers no exciting activities.

Monster formations:

(Desert)
Cancer, Cancer, Cancer (6/16)
Sandhorse, Sandhorse (5/16)
Sandhorse, Cancer, Cancer (5/16)

(Grasslands)
Marchosias (10/16)
Mousse (6/16)

(Forest)
Marchosias, Deepeye, Deepeye (6/16)
Deepeye, Deepeye, Deepeye, Deepeye, Deepeye, Deepeye (6/16)
Mousse, Mousse, Mousse (5/16)

Wasteland:
Bogy, Bogy (10/16)
Deepeye, Mousse, Mousse, Deepeye (6/16)

Marchosias looks pretty dangerous; the last time we saw a sprite that big on a
random encounter was the dreaded Behemoth. Marchosias' a big wimp though, so
no worries! It uses Attack, !Talon (Attack * 1.5, you shouldn't ever see it
unless you're waiting for it as it may appear every fourth round), Aero, which
admittedly hurts pretty badly (it's like a Wind-elemental MT level 3 spell),
and White Wind. With 1500 HP, all you should do is kill it pretty quickly.
It's weak to Wind-elemental attacks, so Sabin's Razor Gale technique gets the
job done, as does the usual violence.

Deepeye is one of those odd monsters that attacks you, and continues to use
Flee every other turn. Every first turn they may lunge at you to use Attack
or let you sink into that hypnotizing eye of theirs to use !Dreamland
(sets Sleep). And yes, every second turn means 33% Flee. Kill them all
quickly with Fire-elemental attacks such as an MT Fira spell and Rising Phoenix.
The interesting thing about Deepeye is the fact they make for a Rage that
uses the Dread Gaze attack, but the special property of Dread Gaze (only checks
for Petrify protection, not ID protection) isn't important right now, so I'll
talk about it later.

Bogy is boring. !Growl (Attack * 2) sounds kinda retarded too. Inherent
Protect and immunity to ID attacks makes it slightly durable, but since in the
extended period of time Bogy is allowed to live it accomplishes nothing of
significance, you can just pound away until it dies.

I'd love to give Mousse a little credit as life is tough enough if you lack
a backbone in the literal sense of the word. You'd miss out on massages,
which if you ask me is like sex, only it doesn't make a mess or anything and
you don't have to pay for it/have awkward moments when you break up/actually
do anything yourself if you don't want to (Editor's note: the writer of these
lines is nowhere near as much a chauvinistic pig as he would have you believe).
But in the end, it's clear as day that Mousse is as staggeringly dumb as
2006's Samuel L. Jackson flick 'Snakes on a Plane'. It may randomly use
Transfusion, also as a counter to your Magic spells. Mousse will never use
Transfusion when it's the last monster standing on the field, and will solely
use Attack and !Gunk (Japanese roots: Icky Sticky Goo) to set Slow. Like Flan
monsters, Mousse nulls the effect of every elemental attack that isn't Fire-,
Ice- or Lightning-elemental.

In the end, the only attack that could hurt you if protected by Invisible is
Marchosias' Aero, and quick acting and/or Silence setting prevents it from
occurring. Sabin's Rising Phoenix Blitz technique helps against the Deepeyes
where his Razor Gale is very effective against Marchosias.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.53.1   Kohlingen
**********************************

Kohlingen! The last time you passed through here on a mission you were trying
to find Terra. Right now, you're pretty much trying to find everybody.
Kohlingen is another example of a city in despair. Nothing seems to work out
anymore in this world.

Points of interest in Kohlingen:

- A girl mentions a 'charming' man passed through Kohlingen recently, a man who
kept calling people 'thou'. This must be Cyan! It's good to hear that old man is
still kicking. We should pick him up when we have the chance, never mind his
sub-par skills in combat ;).

- To the north, a woman and a little girl are staring at a tile. They planted
some seedlings there, and are trying to see if anything comes from it. Results
so far have been disappointing. If you stand on the tile, they will reprimand
you and you quickly jump off.

- An old woman can show you a flashback of WoB Kohlingen. Ah, nostalgia...

- A Narshe Guard tells you that Narshe has been forsaken and completely overrun
by monsters. Poor Mog...

- The old man who told you earlier of his crazy (younger, btw) brother who
wanted to build a Coliseum now praises him as a visionary; apparently, the
Coliseum has been built! We should definitely check it out some day. Also, a
mean guy is fighting there looking for a weapon called the 'Itchy Gekcy'. Handy
info, lady. We're always looking for interesting new ways to be murdered.

- Sadly for Celes, Locke isn't anywhere to be seen in Kohlingen. The man who
preserves Rachel figures he's returned to his quest of finding the restoration
relic to revive Rachel. In other words: find the treasure, and you'll find
Locke!

But the main attraction in Kohlingen is waiting for you in the Pub, drinking
his troubles away: Setzer Gabbiani. What was once a dashing pirate with more
bravado than the entire city of Jidoor combined is now a broken man burping
into his wine, brooding over his lost wings.

Celes snaps him out of it; the sight of a beautiful woman hasn't lost its
appeal for Setzer, apparently. Hope fills his heart, and he mentions another
airship, in a tomb nearby. He shows you the way. We've got us another mission
statement!

On your way out, you run across the Narshe guard again, who has also been
inspired by Celes's words. The mysterious Esper that was dug up at the very
start of the game is still in Narshe. We might just be able to wake it up
and harness its power in the struggle against Kefka!

Item Shop:
Hi-Potion             300
Ether                1500
Antidote               50
Phoenix Down          500
Holy Water            300
Remedy               1000
Sleeping Bag          500
Tent                 1200
 Buy some Holy Water; 20 is a nice amount of have. Surely, you have Relics to
protect against Zombie so you don't need to heal the status, but you can never
be too safe when it comes to Zombies. If Night of the Living Dead has taught
us anything, by the gods, it is that.

Armor Shop:
Diamond Shield       3500
Priest's Miter       3000
Green Beret          3000
Diamond Helm         8000
Diamond Vest        12000
Diamond Armor       15000
 More of the same, but now that Setzer has joined your party you can use some
more of it. I suggest you buy a Diamond Armor and a Diamond Shield; the Green
Beret is still a superior Helmet to the Diamond Helm, and doesn't cost you
anything.

Weapon Shop:
Darts               10000
Dice                 5000
Viper Darts         13000
Enhancer            10000
Golden Spear        12000
 There are three weapons of interest here, and two new weapons for Setzer for
sale! I'll discuss the Dice last, as they require the largest introduction.

- The Viper Darts has the X-type Instant Death ability, like the Assassin's
Dagger. The next dungeon will be crawling with Undead enemies, making the Viper
Darts largely useless. They'll have some use in Coliseum though, so if you feel
like going there in a moment, buy two.

- The Golden Spear could be bought earlier, but I advised against it as you
would want the Enhancer its +7 Magic Power and + 20% Magic Evasion. Since the
Jump command is about to take a great power-up and Lances are, as opposed to the
normal 50% boost, twice as effective with Jump, you'll probably want the Golden
Spear for Edgar.

- The Dice are a very weird weapon. Allow me to pass judgment first; the Dice
are not worth it. The Dice completely ignore any normal kind of physical damage
formula (which is why they are always placed all the way down when choosing
a Weapon in the Equipment screen), and instead do the following:

When attacking with the Dice, two dice will be rolled on the target. The
result of the dice determine the damage in the following manner:

First dice roll * second dice roll * 2 * level

Sadly, the Dice are rigged against Setzer, much like his Slot command is
rigged against him: 1, 2, 3 and 4 have a 3/16 chance of being rolled, while
5 and 6 only have a 2/16 chance of being rolled.

Fighting with the Dice makes for an unblockable, barrier-piercing attack (as
the target's Defense isn't factored in the damage calculation whatsoever).
While the Dice will be ideal in a bit, they are a consistently poor choice of
weapon as the damage output is, on average, inferior to your normal weapons at
this time.

You should buy one, though, as 5000 Gil isn't that much and you'll want
to use them before you get another chance to buy them.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.53.2   Dragon's Neck Coliseum
**********************************

Welcome to the Dragon's Neck Coliseum, a monument to combat. Fighters from all
over the world gather here to test their skills against each other, as do
several creatures. The stakes? Rare relics, priceless weaponry, the greatest
of armor. Whatever you have, it can be found at the Coliseum at least twice
as sturdy and sharp.

First, let's scout around here. Ultros is a receptionist now; he warns you about
Typhon and is a pest like usual, but doesn't attack you, in a surprising turn of
events. The real Siegfried resides in a room where he warns you of his imposter
(yes, you can fight Siegfried in the Coliseum, but not now). The last Imperial
soldier is also here, and he gives you a hint about 'talking to the Emperor
twice'. Strange, since the Emperor is quite thoroughly dead. Also, he mentions
he passed this info to a bandana'd friend of yours. And within strange aeons, we
may yet find Locke...

How does the Coliseum work? You bet an item. An opponent will rise to meet
your challenge, always the same opponent for the same item. You'll lose your
bet item regardless, but if you win, you'll be given an item in return, an item
often greater than the one you bet in the first place. If you cast Teleport in-
battle or are Snorted out of the battle, you'll keep your bet item.

Your characters act like they are Confused, but attack the 'normal' targets.
That means that characters in the Coliseum will never use Item, Revert, Throw,
Control, Slot, Leap, Defend, or Possess. Item and Throw are great to have listed
as such, as you don't have to have a chance of using that single Megalixir or
throwing a unique weapon away. You can't run successfully in the Coliseum
(you'll just start running but will never get anywhere - you don't take any
turns though) but the Teleport spell does work.

Not all items can be traded for superior weapons here; most weak or common
items will pit you against Typhon, who will promptly use Snort to end the
battle (you can defeat him, but it'll take a long while before you'll even come
close). If Typhon Snorts you away, the battle is considered a draw and you'll
keep the Item you wagered.

At this point, here's what you can do to make your life better. Difficulty
is measured in * symbols; more *'s means more problems:

 ** Flametongue - Organyx           Opponent: Great Malboro
 ** Tintinnabulum - Growth Egg      Opponent: Dark Force
  * Elixir - Rename Card            Opponent: Cactuar
  * Phoenix Down - Magicite Shard   Opponent: Cactuar

An explanation on the new items you can obtain here:

The Rename Card is a 'secret' item that can only be found by fighting at the
Coliseum. It enables you to rename one of your characters, after which it
disappears.

The Organyx is a very odd weapon. It's stronger than what you've seen so far,
and uses MP to inflict Critical hits. It can deal an incredible physical blow
for only 12 to 19 MP a hit. In fact, it deals more damage on a critical blow
than two Enhancers. Sadly, there is also a downside to the Organyx. Namely,
it can break while being used, and the chance is pretty big: an average of 28%.
Here's how that's decided:

[0..(last digit of attacker's HP + 1)] = 0

At any rate, you don't really want to risk losing your precious Organyx ; on
the other hand, if you can't use it, what good does it do for you? There is one
way to circumvent the whole breaking thing without it losing its charm; use
the Black Belt! When countering, the Organyx will never break. So, the best
way to use the Organyx  is equip it on Celes and/or Edgar, stick to level 2
spells and/or Tools and swing the Organyx  in self-defense. To be fair, the
Organyx isn't that great or important a weapon.

The Growth Egg doubles the Experience Points gained by the wearer. Two Growth
Eggs don't stack, and ONLY the wearer receives twice as many Experience Points.

- Flametongue - Organyx         Opponent: Great Malboro
Equip Sabin with two Burning Fists and a Ribbon. If Great Malboro uses Snort,
the battle is over and you'll still have your Flametongue. Eventually, Sabin's
Burning Fists will poundGreat Malboro into burning pulp and you'll have won a
new sword, the Organyx. An alternate strategy includes Setzer with two Viper
Darts, as Great Malboro is vulnerable to ID attacks.

- Tintinnabulum - Growth Egg    Opponent: Dark Force
Dark Force has about 9000 HP, and has a 1/4 chance at using White Wind. Odds
are you don't have the offensive strength to take him down before he takes you
down. What you'll want to do is rely on your Instant Death weapons, as that's
what Dark Force is susceptible to. Setzer's Viper Darts, if possible paired
up with a Genji Glove, can take him out easily, as can a Soul Sabre.

- Elixir - Rename Card          Opponent: Cactuar
- Phoenix Down - Magicite Shard Opponent: Cactuar
Equip Setzer with the Dice you bought in Kohlingen. Relics, equipment, it's not
needed. The Heiji's Jitte Relic is a negative factor as that could make him win
while losing some money as opposed to making him win without any downsides. You
know, because Slot won't be used in the Coliseum? Every time Setzer's turn comes
up, he tosses out his Dice and wins.

At any rate, do what you feel like investing time in and leave again. No items
mentioned here are a truly significant improvement of your current team, and we
have an airship to recover.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.53.3   Darill's Tomb
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Borghese (#143), Malboro (#144), Cloudwraith (#145), Exoray (#146), Skeletal
  Horror (#147), Angler Whelk (#314 & 315), Dullahan (#316)

  Container contents:
  Crystal Mail, Genji Helm, Growth Egg, Man-Eater, Regal Gown, Monster-in-a-box
  (Angler Whelk)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Dragon Claws x2 (guaranteed Angler Whelk drop and guaranteed Angler Whelk
  shell drop)

  Lores:
  Bad Breath, 1000 Needles

Monster formations:

(First Room)
Skeletal Horror (10/16)
Borghese, Borghese (6/16)
Borghese, Cloudwraith, Cloudwraith (1/16)

(B2F)
Malboro, Exoray (6/16)
Cloudwraith (5/16)
Exoray, Exoray, Exoray (5/16)

(B3F)
Cloudwraith, Exoray, Exoray (6/16)
Malboro (5/16)
Malboro, Exoray (5/16)

Preparation: The theme of the dungeon is Zombie! Of the five random encounter
monsters present in this dungeon, four have the power to turn your characters
into a Zombie. This is serious business, so you should definitely equip Relics
to prevent this madness, even though the monsters here drop Holy Water like
it's going out of style.

Skeletal Horror. He sure looks rather terrifying; he appears in my top 10
rather-not-meet-IRL list anyway, just below 2004 pop idol Ashlee Simpson.
Skeletal Horrors have three attacks. Attack and !Moldy Bone (sets Zombie) should
be obvious, but Crypt Dust is an entirely new attack. Crypt Dust sets Zombie,
but only hits characters with the Death status. In other words, it can only
revive characters as Zombies. Used without intelligent AI script, it's almost
always a wasted turn. Skeletal Horror is your run-of-the-mill undead opponent,
weak against Fire and Holy and whatnot. No biggy.

Borghese looks awesome. Every turn, it can use up to three (!) !Zombie Touch
attacks, which set Zombie (gasp). When damaged, it may retaliate with Attack; if
harmed by Magic spells, a Bio spell may be sent your way. Aside of their looks
and awesome Zombifying skills, Borghese is rather boring. He's undead like
almost everything in here, and has the normal weaknesses for it too. May drop an
Amulet (12.5% chance) as opposed to the standard Holy Water.

Cloudwraith's Special is called !Mysterious Dance and, in a shocking change of
style, drains HP rather than setting Zombie. So, does Cloudwraith lack the power
of Zombie-setting? Nay, not at all. The rarely seen Soul Extraction attack can
target a single character and turn him or her into a Zombie. Yawn. Furthermore,
Cloudwraith has 'Flare' written all over it, in its Rage, Sketch, and Control
attacks. Luckily, Cloudwraith will never actively use it against you.

Exoray are the most common in here. They can use Attack, !Deadly Pollen (sets
Zombie), and Venomist, but they will only use Venomist when alone. Since you
should be covered in either Amulets or Ribbons, Venomist's Poisoning effect will
be lost on you, sticking Exoray with a weak, inaccurate Poison-elemental attack.
Stick to what works against them, as they are as undead as the rest.

The only living enemy in Darill's Tomb is Malboro. They are the most sturdy
of the monsters here and use, besides Attack and !Drool (sets Sap) Bad Breath,
an attack that sets Darkness, Poison, Imp, Silence and Confuse and can be
learned by Strago in the future. Even with an Amulet, that turns one of your
characters into a sleeping Imp that cannot even cast the Imp spell.

Note that Bad Breath falls to a larger bug introduced in the GBA games; attacks
which *also* set the Imp status will fail entirely when Imp immunity is
registered. This means that while a character wearing a White Cape should still
be vulnerable to Bad Breath's other effects, Bad Breath will miss alltogether.

I suggest dual Burning Fists on Sabin, as he will kill every target with it
on a remotely decent level, including Malboro. A Black Belt/Organyx combo
on Celes works very nicely (make sure she's in the Front Row here). If you
didn't bother to grab the Organyx at the Coliseum, just give her an Earring
Relic (or Hero's Ring, obviously) and spam Fira spells all over. Edgar can use
Tools to inflict consistent damage (give him dual Enhancers if you
like). His Dragoon Boots/Dragon Horn/Golden Spear is less intelligent as you'll
need one of those Relic slots for an Amulet/Ribbon. Setzer is the weakest link
at the moment. Gil Toss does more damage than Prismatic Flash/Chocobo Stampede
with double Earrings behind them, so if you ever wanted to use Gil Toss now's
the time. You can't logically have double Earrings anyway, as you'll want an
Amulet/Ribbon in there somewhere. Don't attack with Setzer's Viper Darts that
will just revive every monster but Malboro (who IS susceptible to its X-type
Instant Death).

Push through the first room. Make sure you meet an Skeletal Horror here, as well
as a Borghese. Both have acceptable Rages you might just want to use.

As soon as you enter the main chamber of the tomb, you'll notice you can go
in five different directions. Oh, the difficulty! I'll tell you where you want
to go though, so no worries. First, let's dive into the bottom-right path for
some quick chesty action: it's a Genji Helm, the strongest piece of heavy
headgear in the game (and Crystal equipment hasn't even appeared on sale yet!).
Equip it on Setzer or Edgar; it even beats the disgustingly over-used Green
Beret.

Now, get in the top-right room. This looks like just a tombstone in a deserted
room, but examine the tombstone and another passageway opens! It leads to
a skeleton button of some sort. Push it to raise the water level in a room.

Trace back your steps to the main room, and dive into the bottom-left room.
You'll come across a chest (Crystal Mail, something for Celes, Setzer, or
Edgar), go down some stairs and come across another chest (Regal Gown). The
Regal Gown is a Relm-exclusive piece of Armor that, sadly, isn't all that
good. You can bet it later for a Minerva Bustier at the Coliseum though, which
is pretty much the best option for some characters including Celes. Enter the
door to come in a watery room with another skeleton button. Press it to open
a door you can't reach. Trace back to the main room, and go through the door in
the middle, leading inwards.

Here, another turtle! Had you not pushed skeleton button # 1, you couldn't have
stepped on the turtle. Now, the faithful reptilian carries you across.

On the other side, another skeleton button! Press it, and the water level of
the room you pushed skeleton button # 2 in raises to your aid, carrying
another turtle. But don't hop on just yet. Go down for now, and you arrive in
a room with four tombstones.

ERAU    QSSI

DRLO    WEHT

Collect all four inscriptions, and have a look at it. From bottom-right to
top-left, backwards, it reads 'the world is square'. I've always found this to
be the surprisingly beautiful jewel in the unholy and disgusting crown of Ted
Woolsey (adopted by Slattery). This is supposed to be the final revelation
Darill had while piloting her airship, the revelation that cost Darill her life:
not only is the Overworld Map square, which she might have seen from high above,
the name of the company that created the game was at the time also Square, which
would make the world 'Square' as well.

In the Japanese version, it was an entirely different pun. One way, it read
'rest in peace'. The other way, it read 'rot and wither'. Very dark. Very
gothic.

Go back to the main room, and find the top-left room. Had you examined the
tombstone in this room earlier, upon choosing to carve something would have
given you a "Nothing appropriate comes to mind..." Now, you get to choose
between the four inscriptions you read earlier. Start from the beginning of
the backwards sentence (THEW, OLRD, ISSQ, UARE) and you'll be rewarded with the
Game Over music and the secret of the hidden Growth Egg in Darill's Tomb:

I have hidden the Growth Egg in the side room on the third basement level...

Go to the room where you found the Regal Gown (bottom-left room, down the
stairs) and find the hidden passage to the chest there. Obviously, this was an
option from the start, but I always thought this puzzle was pretty neat and
didn't want to spoil it for you. >:)

Go back to where you traced back for the inscriptions, and cross the water
with the turtle. You'll enter a new room, with a Save Point and two chests.
The right chest contains a Man-Eater dirk.

The Man-Eater deals double damage to every opponent with a humanoid appearance.
To learn about the opponents this includes, follow [MANEATER-LINK].

Now, MT Float your party, because the left chest contains a monster-in-a-box,
Angler Whelk, which uses a ground-based attack. Make sure Float is set, and be
sure to equip Catoblepas (Golem's nice too).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.53.4   The battle with Angler Whelk
**********************************

Angler Whelk
Level: 31, HP: 9845, MP: 1600
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Dragon Claws (always)
Absorbs: Ice, Lightning, Water, No effect: Poison, Weakness: Fire
Special: !Petriblast: sets Petrify
Sketch : !Petriblast, Attack
Control: Attack, !Petriblast
Vulnerable to: Petrify, Death, Doom, Silence, Sleep, Slow, Stop
Attacks: Attack, !Petriblast, El Niño, Megavolt

Angler Whelk (Shell)
Level: 19, HP: 9230, MP: 1600
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Dragon Claws (always)
Absorbs: Ice, Lightning, Water, Weakness: Fire
Creature Type: MP Kill
Status: Float
Special: !Hit: Attack x 1.5
Sketch : !Hit, Attack
Control: Attack, !Hit
Vulnerable to: Petrify, Death, Doom
Attacks: Attack, 1000 Needles, Megavolt, Gigavolt, Magnitude 8.

Joker's Death: Yes

There are a few oddities about this thing. First off, it's supposed to be a
scary Ymir upgrade, at which it fails. Second, notice how the shell is
Floating but the head isn't? The tale of a creature whose head was too heavy
to carry hasn't been new since Catoblepas, but I've never seen it applied to
a snail before. Angler Whelk also made an appearance in the 1996 Square game
'Bahamut Lagoon' which never hit the shores of America. Same name, same sprite,
has a tendency to appear when you destroy buildings with Thunder-techs.

Also, the game designers made a little mistake we're going to exploit here; we
were never supposed to obtain more than one Dragon Claws from this fight, but
we're getting two. Just watch me.

The AI script of the head is simple. If you damage the head two times, it'll
retract into its shell, disappearing from the battlefield. It'll remain there
for 20 seconds, at which point is comes out again. It'll use Attack,
!Petriblast, El Niño, and Megavolt without too many difficulties to it, so be
ready for any of them at all times.

The shell attacks by itself, and is no longer just an object of counters.
Attack, Megavolt and 1000 Needles may appear at all times, and especially 1000
Needles should be watched out for. When the head has been retracted, it'll stop
using these attacks and switch over to Magnitude 8. Whenever the shell is
damaged, it has a 33% chance at retorting with Gigavolt.

The strategy we're aiming for is simple. If one of the parts dies, the other
one dies as well, but will NOT give us the item. Thus, if we want both Dragon
Claws (and we certainly do, as the Angler Whelk is the only source for Dragon
Claws in the game, and we won't meet another one until the very very very last
of the game), we have to kill them both at the same time.

First, our defenses! If you didn't cast Float earlier, do so at the start of
the battle. Zona Seeker helps against Megavolt, Gigavolt, and El Niño. Golem
and/or Fenrir protect against Attack and !Petriblast. You could have Celes on
Runic stand-by for Megavolt and Gigavolt, but it's not worth it. Now, let's
kill this snail.

Since both targets are susceptible to Instant Death attacks and Petrify, the
two best strategies are using Banish and using Catoblepas' Demon Eye. However,
we don't want to take any chances, do we? First, if you have the Vanish spell,
cast it on the shell to ensure that Banish/Demon Eye will hit it. Remember,
this is NOT a bug exploit; the shell is susceptible to ID attacks, and
setting Invisible just makes sure it hits, what it was always supposed to do.
Sadly, we can't apply Sleep or Stop to make sure Banish/Demon Eye works on
the head, because both attacks check for the target's Stamina (in which case
those steps are ignored). So, we'll just have to take our chances here. Since
Demon Eye is more accurate than Banish, it takes preference. If the head is
missed, I suggest you reload the game.

When you're done, equip both Dragon Claws on Sabin. They are Holy-elemental,
so they still do massive damage to everything in the tomb. Not that it's really
that big of a deal now, since we're about to leave it; in the next room, we
finally come across the tombstone of Darill herself. Examining it triggers a
boss battle, which in my opinion is one of the better yet more redundant boss
battles of this game.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.53.5   The battle with Dullahan
**********************************

Before you do, I want you to throw around your equipment and Relics, as
Dullahan (the boss) is rather tough and entirely unlike the random encounters
you've been facing so far.

- If you have a Dragon Horn, throw it on Edgar with some Dragoon Boots. Equip
  a Golden Lance. Put him in the Back Row.
- The boss is weak against Fire-elemental attacks, so Sabin's dual Burning Fists
  will take good care of him here. Give him a Hero's Ring (or Gigas Glove) and
  Hermes Sandals to accompany his bashing. A more defensive option would be
  sticking him in the Back Row and let loose with Rising Phoenix.
- Celes' Organyx/Black Belt set-up, if you had it, will be useless. She will
  be using Runic almost non-stop, so equip her defensively. Dual Enhancers are
  a good choice. Since Dullahan is pretty fast, I suggest Hermes Sandals on
  Celes to keep up with his spell casting.
- Setzer should just run utility. Give him the Heiji's Jitte to make sure he can
  just do constant damage when he doesn't need to do anything else. Two sets of
  Earrings and the Slot command also do the trick, but this isn't nearly as
  strong at this point and wastes more Relic slots.

Also, make sure that none of your characters possess a level that is evenly
divisible by the last digit of your party's gold. I'll explain why later.

Dullahan
Level: 37, HP: 23450, MP: 1721
Steal: Genji Glove (rare), X-Potion (common)
Absorbs: Ice, Weakness: Fire
Creature Type: MP Kill
Status: Float, Haste
Special: !Morning Star: Attack x 2
Vulnerable to: Nothing
Attacks: Attack, !Morning Star, Cura, Blizzara, Blizzaga, Holy, Lv. ? Holy,
         Reflect ???, Absolute Zero, Northern Cross

Joker's Death: Yes

Dullahan is badass. Although he looks like he'd rather impale you with that
lance of his any day, he's an almost exclusive spell caster with inherent Haste.
Both his spells and Magic Power are relatively strong, so expect a challenge
here. Its name comes from an ancient spirit from Irish mythology: a headless
horseman who only travels to collect somebody's life. Its carriage is made of
bone, its horses have flaming eyes, and it will stop at nothing...

Dullahan always starts the battle off with Lv. ? Holy. This is a strong Holy-
elemental attack, in terms of power similar to level 3 spells. Its drawback
is that it will only hit targets whose level is divisible by the last digit
of your Gil. This is why I told you to make sure that it never hits; it leaves
quite a mark.

Under normal circumstances, he'll just focus on his three main spells, being
Blizzara, Blizzaga and Holy. When he detects any characters in your party with
the Reflect status, he'll use Reflect ??? on your entire party. It will display
"Holy cast if level is divisible by ?.", setting Darkness, Silence and Slow on
every character with the Reflect status. If he dives beneath 10240 HP, he'll use
Cura instantly once. If he passes through four normal turns, he'll regain the
ability to cast Reflect ??? and/or Cura if the situation calls for it. Finally,
whenever you hit him, there's a 33% chance he counters with Attack. Oh, my.

If you damage him eight times, he'll get four turns where he uses nastier
spells. Blizzara and Lv. ? Holy can make another appearance, but so can !Morning
Star, Absolute Zero and Northern Cross. You can't Runic your way out of these
new spells, which makes them harder to stop. Northern Cross, while being
vulnerable to Runic, is the most dangerous of the five.

Northern Cross sets the Freeze status ailment, which you could already encounter
in the fight versus Naude, who could set it with Freezing Dust. Northern Cross
is MT, but uses an 'interesting' way to determine if it hits or not. After it
checks if it hits or not (after Invisible, Magic Evasion, the usual), it
randomly misses from 0 to 4 characters. This makes sure that even when all
characters are normally hit, you'll almost never see a party entirely frozen.
That is good, as it's basically mega-Stop and you cannot protect against it AT
ALL. Remember that the fastest way to dispel the Freeze status is to hit the
party with a Fire-elemental attack; the Fire spell is obviously the best one.

There are two strategies you can employ. I'll list them both, as both should
be perfectly fail-safe if you know what you're doing. Here they are:

Strategy # 1: Hit Points

This is the strategy where we use violence to end Dullahan. First off, let's
set up our available defenses. Zona Seeker is nice should Absolute Zero make an
appearance, as is Golem or Fenrir for !Morning Star and Attack counters. Have
Celes use Runic, continuously. If she isn't wearing Hermes Sandals, make sure
you cast the Haste spell on her. Now, let's get to the violence! Your main
damage dealers here are Sabin and Edgar. Sabin should be in the Front Row with
two Burning Fists. If Celes is absorbing one of Dullahan's spells, sneak a
Berserk spell on Sabin for increased damage. If Edgar is equipped with the
Dragon Horn, have him Jump. If not, stick to Tools; you can see what I want to
do with him. Setzer should just stand by and use Hi-Potions on hurting
characters. Since Celes should pretty much absorb all of Dullahan's attacks, you
should be safe from his attacks. In the end, you should prevail.

Strategy # 2: Magic Points. Or I suppose they could be Mana Points.

Dullahan dies if you rasp away his MP. Thus, the entire offensive arsenal you
get to use in this strategy is Rasp. The advantage of the strategy is that if
you have two to four Rasp casters, you'll find that the battle is over far
quicker. Its downside is that it DOES require that many Rasp casters, and that
since Rasp is vulnerable to Runic, you can't protect yourself against Dullahan's
attacks and have to regularly heal.

On a normally raised party, I find both strategies equally satisfying; it's
your pick, really.

After you've defeated Dullahan, a passageway will be opened. Walk behind the
tombstone to enter the final part of this dungeon, a long stairway leading
downwards that is as much descending into Setzer's memory as anything...

This tells the story of two rivaling friends. Setzer was about 18 here; not
yet a gambler, but an airship enthusiast with the dream of building the fastest
ship in the world, a dream he shared with his friend Darill. Sadly, Darill
pulled an Icarus on Setzer and wrecked herself, together with her airship, the
Falcon.

Upon ascending from the waters, Celes will spot - gasp - a bird. In the sky!
A bird in the sky! This must be an omen. She quickly urges you to follow it,
to the town of Maranda. So Setzer does.

When you fly around, there's a change you'll be attacked by the monster called
Deathgaze. If you manage to defeat Deathgaze (and you will in the future),
you'll be rewarded with the Bahamut Magicite, which teaches the Flare spell.
Defeating him at this stage is a complicated feat, though. If you want to know
about Deathgaze now, take a look at [DEATHGAZE-LINK]. Even if you choose to
ignore Deathgaze until such time you can more easily slay him, you may still
run into him. Know that he starts every fight with Lv. 5 Death (so certain
parties may face an instant Game Over) and that he can be run from, so some
Teleport Stones may be in order.

Another important note: It is at this point that Gau's new WoR level is
calculated, based on the average of Celes, Edgar, Setzer and possibly Sabin.
That means that if you leveled to level 99 and then recruited Gau, he would
still be found with the average level of the party you used to defeat
Dullahan.

If you really, truly want to gain access to Gau ASAP, that can be done. All
you have to do is get rid of a party member, fly over to the Veldt and meet
him there. However, how do you tell a party member to buzz off without his or
her feelings? Fly over to Kekfa's Tower north of Albrook, descend into it and
skip to the third party, to the far right. The Falcon's hook should fly over
every now and again; you can grab it without having to set a step. Teleport
spells and Stones also work. Setzer will be piloting the Falcon by himself
now, and you can go below deck to assemble a team of your choosing. There you
go.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.54.1   Airship Exploitation: Visiting Maranda
**********************************

Welcome to Maranda. The last time you visited Maranda it was one of the
occupied towns, generally featureless, safe for Lola, the girlfriend of the
wounded lad in Mobliz.

A lot of random information is blurted out by the townspeople here. A thief
mentions he visited the tower of the Cult of Kefka, and one of them used to
mumble 'to the right of the treasure chest' in his sleep. Since none of the
thieves ever made it past the first room, we should examine that place should
we ever get there.

Now, the bird turned out to be a carrier pigeon for Lola; according to Aishya,
the girl running circles below Lola's house, she's been receiving a lot of
letters lately. Once you enter her house, you find dozens of silk flowers here.
Also, a letter seemingly written by the wounded lad in Mobliz, but that's
impossible. Somebody must be posing as him. Accept the 'mission' of sending a
carrier pigeon out as a reply so we can track the source of this imposter.
Note that you'll briefly get the Rare item Lola's Letter:

"Thank you for always sending me flower! How are you feeling? I'm worried about
you..."

The pigeon flies across the ruined lands of this new world until it reaches
a town to the north of Jidoor, and although the world map has changed a lot,
this town can be none other than Zozo.

Weapon Shop:
Gravity Rod         13000
Swordbreaker        16000
Falchion            17000
Flame Scroll          500
Water Scroll          500
Lightning Scroll      500
Invisibility Scroll   200
Shadow Scroll         400
 You've already found a Gravity Rod, and since it was entirely uninteresting
back then I'm sure you can figure out you really don't need another one. The
Swordbreaker is a great new Dirk for a few characters you haven't obtained at
the moment; since it grants the wielder +30% Evasion, it has great situational
use. The Falchion is useless as-is, but there's one large reason why you should
buy Falchions. You see, they can be bet at the Coliseum for Flame Shields. And
Flame Shields can be bet for Ice Shields. So ideally, you'll just buy four of
them and transform all of them into Flame Shields (you don't really need Ice
Shields if you have Flame Shields as Flame Shields nullify Ice-elemental
attacks). Forget about the Scrolls for a moment; you have nobody to Throw them
now anyway.

Armor Shop:
Crystal Shield       7000
Crystal Helm        10000
Oath Veil            9000
Black Garb          13000
Magus Robe          13000
Crystal Mail        17000
 Maranda features Crystal equipment! Excellent! Buy two Crystal Shields if you
don't want to go for Flame Shields at the Coliseum later on, and two pieces of
Crystal Mail as well. Equip them on those that can use it. The Oath Veil is
probably supposed to be the ultimate girly helmet, but since it's inferior to
both the Circlet and the Mystery Veil, just leave it. A nice set of Black Garb
is great for Sabin. The Magus Robe is pretty much the programmer's solution to
the fact that Strago and Relm really didn't get any store-bought pieces of armor
(monster hides like Chocobo Suits and Tabby Suits are never store-bought). Also,
it's the ultimate equipment for a character not yet introduced, but we'll solve
that problem when we get there. The Crystal Mail is boring yet superior to
Diamond Armor, so get that for characters who still carry around that ancient
piece of rubbish.

"Do you know what a cactuar is? I'd been hunting the little varmints last time
I was out in the desert, when all of a sudden, a huge one attacked me! A monster
of that size has to have some good treasure. I'd bet my right eye on it!"

Near the entrance of Maranda, an odd-coloured NPC is waiting for you. I'm not
saying that just because he's got a different color he's inferior or anything.
Don't get me wrong. It's just...you know, it's so obvious he was imported,
that's all. And he really does do a good job cleaning, picking fruit and taking
care of the local Cactuar problems, and he sends his family back home good
money, so nobody's complaining.

Right! Anyway, he's talking about one of the four new Espers as you might have
guessed. You can meet the requirements for fighting the required fight easily
enough, but there's just no chance you'll defeat *raspy voice* The Gruesome
Gigantuar now, so I won't bother describing everything related to him just yet.
If you want to learn about the strongest sentient succulent right now, visit
[GIGANTUAR-LINK].

Okay, no, we're done here. Let's go.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.54.2   Airship Exploitation: The Overworld Map
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Brachiosaur (#171), Tyrannosaur (#172), Tumbleweed (#173), Leap Frog (#174),
  Slagworm (#175), Cactuar (#176), Crawler (#177), Sprinter (#178), Basilisk
  (#179), Lycaon (#180), Greater Mantis (#181),  Vasegiatta (#196), Gloomwind
  (#197), Purusa (#198), Zone Eater (#195), Deathgaze (#331)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Celestriad (rare Brachiosaur drop), Impartsian (rare Tyrannosaur drop and
  rare Greater Mantis steal), Reed Cloak (rare Sprinter drop and rare
  Tyrannosaur steal), Ribbon (rare Brachiosaur steal), Saucer (rare Tumbleweed
  steal), Tortoise Shield (rare Basilisk drop and rare Basilisk steal), X-Potion
  (rare Lycaon steal)

  Magicite:
  Bahamut

"Take a few steps...you're bound to run into one!"

Yes, the random battles on the Overworld map. Now that you practically START
with the Falcon before you've explored so much of the Overworld Map, you never
actually need to fight these guys. However, there are quite a few monsters here
you won't find anywhere else, so even if it's for something trivial as a full
Rage list and Bestiary or just for meeting them, I'll try to give a run-down on
which enemies appear where. You can skip it if you want to.

In other words: needless violence against grazing animals! It's a shame there's
no option in this game where you can simply stay on the Falcon while blasting
level 3 spells on defenseless livestock down below for Experience Points.

Here's a neat little navigational chart for you if you're ever lost on where
to go. Yeah, Paint Shop Pro it ain't, but I tried my best and one of today's
most famous writers already said you couldn't bake a pie out of shit no matter
how hard you try.

    1        2
          6
    4        7     8
  3  5
       9     A B
                   C
          D

   E          F       G
  H       K
 I    J     L
             M

       N               P
                       O

1 - Dragon's Neck Coliseum
2 - Duncan's House
3 - Darill's Tomb
4 - Kohlingen
5 - Figaro Castle (location 1)
6 - Narshe
7 - Crazy man's house
8 - Triangle Island
9 - Figaro Castle (location 2)
A - Nikeah
B - Doma Castle
C - Cave of the Veldt
D - South Figaro
E - Zozo
F - Cultist's Tower
G - Mobliz
H - Jidoor
I - Opera House
J - Maranda
K - Tzen
L - Kefka's Tower
M - Albrook
N - Solitary Island
O - Thamasa
P - Ebot's Rock

For the record, the grasslands are the green tiles, the wastelands the grey
ones.

Monster formations:

***
South-eastern continent (Thamasa):

(Grasslands & Forest)
Vasegiatta (10/16)
Vasegiatta, Purusa(6/16)

(Wastelands)
Gloomwind, Gloomwind, Gloomwind (10/16)
Purusa, Gloomwind (6/16)

Vasegiatta:
Attacks physically with Attack and !Talon Grab. Vaegiatta rarely uses Aero to
attack as well. When hit by a Magic spell, it might counter with a Attack or
Cyclonic attack.

Gloomwind:
Gloomwind is weak to Ice-elemental attacks and acts like the Zokka monsters you
faced earlier (with Celes most likely, trying to save that kid in Tzen); Attack
and the Stop-setting Net attack are used, and when a single Gloomwind is
non-fatally damaged it may use !Rock, which sets Petrify.

Purusa:
Uses nothing but Attack and !Bear Hug to attack physically. Purusa is pretty
boring, but it has a kick-ass Rage for Gau to offer (Rock Slide, no elemental
weaknesses) so make sure you meet one.

***
South-western continent (Jidoor, Zozo, Maranda)

(Grasslands)
Crawler, Crawler, Crawler (10/16)
Basilisk, Basilisk, Leap Frog (6/16)

(Desert)
Slagworm (10/16)
Cactuar (6/16)

(Forest)
Leap Frog, Leap Frog, Leap Frog, Leap Frog (10/16)
Greater Mantis, Greater Mantis (6/16)

(Wastelands)
Crawler, Crawler, Crawler (10/16)
Greater Mantis, Sprinter, Lycaon, Lycaon (6/16)

Leap Frog:
Ol' LF here is pretty famous among the bug hunters of this game; with the broken
Rippler attack that swaps more statuses than it should (such as cuties like
Trance, Rage, Dance, and Shadow's Dog Block) and the ability to use a Jump
attack, this is probably the most bug-infected opponent you face. You shouldn't
notice them if you're playing 'normally' though. LF uses Attack or !Tongue
(Sap) the first round, a Jump attack the second, he'll come down the third
turn, and uses either Attack or Rippler the fourth. Loop from there. LF is weak
to Ice-elemental attacks and vulnerable to ID attacks, so do whatever floats
your boat there.

Slagworm:
Without over-leveling, Slagworms are strong enough to kill you. They give 5
Magic AP and quite a lot of Experience Points, but you probably want to stay out
of the desert at this moment.

Slagworms are dangerous and prone to cause you pain, death, and mild discomfort.
They're big defensive weakness is their lack of Death Protection, which should
be exploited. Causing HP damage is just going to cause mean double Sandstorm
counters and their amount of MP is too large to deplete every time you
encounter one. Note that Slagworm is protected from Petrify, so Break's superior
Hit Rate to Death isn't going to help you. Avoid percentage-based attacks, as
they allow counters. Confuse, Stop and Berserk can help in keeping Slagworm
subdued while you make with the Death spells.

You may think that I'm being anal about these counter-attacks. This is entirely
justified, make no mistake. While Sandstorm is an attack that is easily evaded,
it's still three times as dangerous as Slagworm's physicals. You'll simply want
to evade it. If you have all characters protected with Thunder Shields,
Paladin's Shield, and/or Minerva Bustier or simply 128 Magic Evasion %, it
doesn't really matter what you do as you'll laugh in the dusty, non-existing
face of Sandstorm. What has an eye, but no face? A tornado. Amaze your friends!

Cactuar:
Cactuars give 10 Magic AP, which make them great spell teachers. However,
not every character can easily dispatch them, and since they share the desert
with the Slagworm enemies, reaping the benefits at this moment may be too
dangerous for your team.

Cactuars are little 3 HP buggers who use 1000 Needles on you every turn (and ten
times 1000 Needles in a single turn if you wait to long killing them). At this
stage, Edgar can easily take care of them with a Drill or Chainsaw attack, or
have Sabin unleash a Raging Fist Blitz technique. Setzer's Dice work too.
Everything else misses if it can, or will do only 1 HP worth of damage.

Crawler:
Crawlers stand out because they are so very, very annoying. They rank up there
with those guys who chew their gum too loudly, or obnoxious girls who just
don't get that yes, you can get too pushy, especially if you manage to accompany
every word you say with a little bit of spit that goes flying in my face, thank
you very much. Crawlers use Attack and !Feeler, which sets Poison. When alone,
Crawlers start to use the level-halving Dischord attack and Leech, which drains
HP from you (if it isn't obvious). Ice-elemental attacks and ID attacks are
their bane, and MT Confusion (such as the Noiseblaster) is a great move, as they
will start using Traveler on each other.

Sprinter:
If you Confuse them, they start using Cyclonic on themselves! Sprinters are
vulnerable to such ID attacks. They may use White Wind to restore HP, !Osmose
Beak which strangely enough drains MP (it tends to do nothing since they hardly
ever consume their own MP), and of course attack physically too. They may drop
(1/8 chance) a Reed Cloak, a piece of armor that absorbs Water-elemental
attacks and has EXTREMELY grand Defense and Magic Defense, although it only
grants the Defense aspect when the wearer has the Imp status. You can read more
about all this here: [KAPPA-LINK].

Basilisk:
Another land-roaming lizard that mainly stands out due to it being the source
for another piece of Imp equipment, that being the Tortoise Shield it rarely
drops. Basilisk attacks physically and uses !Stone Gaze to set Petrify. In Rage,
Control and Sketch attacks, petrification abilities run rampant. It's immune to
Petrify, obviously. Ice-elemental attacks as usual (all lizards are weak to the
element) and non-Petrification inducing ID attacks work too. Basilisks have 5000
HP and are quite sturdy, so you might want to take advantage of that.

Lycaon:
Lycaon is a ferocious little critter that pounces into combat despite the
fact an emo singer's bad hair day could knock it out cold. With 250 HP and no
special amount of defenses, Lycaon will be gone very soon from the
battlefield. When you confuse them, they may use Acid Rain, which kills them
all. Lycaon grants Ragers a great skill in the Blaster attack, which is
an ST/MT ID attack that, unlike pretty much every other ID attack, doesn't
check for Stamina. This doesn't mean much except for the fact that Stop/Blaster
and Sleep/Blaster combos DO always work. Lycaon attacks physically only,
by the way, so nothing to mention there.

Greater Mantis:
Theoretically, Greater Mantis is merely Attack/Special cannon fodder. I should
mention here that Greater Mantis'Attacks have the power to one-hit destroy
a single character by pure damage output. You'll want to avoid that, and when
hunting in these regions, the Invisible status is definitely a plus. !Mind
Reaper just takes away MP, but since Greater Mantis NEVER uses MP-reliant moves,
it'll always do 0 damage unless you used Rasp or Osmose on the massive mantodea.

***
Triangle Island:
Zone Eater (always)

Zone Eater:
Yeah, you'll want to lay off this guy for a while. Not that it's going to kill
you, but strangely enough, it will transport you to a dungeon where you'll
encounter plenty of monsters that probably will kill you at this stage of the
game. There's no good reason to dive in there now.

It's an odd monster indeed. It absorbs Ice-elemental attacks, is weak against
Holy-elemental attacks, and nullifies all other elements. And all it seems to
use is a rare Gravity spell and the Inhale attack. Inhale is pretty much the
same as Snort; it removes a single character from battle. If you run away
with some characters 'in the body of Zone Eater', you'll just find them in
your party at the end. If you kill the thing after some of your characters
have been eaten, likewise.

However, if your entire team fell victim to the Inhale attack, you'll find
yourself in one of the worlds this Zone Eater ate; a cave, filled with
humans (or at least, humanoids) bent on your destruction for some reason
that doesn't involve logical thinking. Best be on your guard.

***
North-eastern continent (Dinosaur forest, crazy man's hut):

(Grasslands)
Sprinter, Sprinter, Lycaon, Lycaon (10/16)
Tumbleweed, Tumbleweed, Tumbleweed, Tumbleweed (5/16)
Greater Mantis, Sprinter, Lycaon, Lycaon (1/16)

(Wastelands)
Crawler, Crawler, Crawler, Crawler (6/16)
Crawler (1/16)
Crawler, Crawler, Crawler (5/16)

(Forest)
Tyrannosaur (10/16)
Tyrannosaur, Tyrannosaur (5/16) (fixed Pincer)
Brachiosaur (1/16)

Brachiosaur:
This is THE strongest random encounter in the game, and you absolutely
positively don't want to mess with one at this time. It has the properties
you'd expect: over 46000 HP, extremely high level (77), immune to every single
status ailment you could throw at it including ID attacks and some very, very
strong Special in !Spin (Attack * 6). Next to Attack, which you'll normally
see (and which leaves quite a bruising all by itself), it can use some very
strong attacks and spells, including Disaster (which it can MT, sets Darkness,
Imp, Doom, Silence, Confuse and Float), Meteor (non-elemental barrier-piercing
spell that hurts a lot), Snort (a god-send in this battle, as it means you
get to embrace the sweetness of life for a little longer), and Ultima. Ultima is
like Meteor only so much stronger it'll do over 5000 HP worth of damage to every
character you have. Unless he or she is alone, in which case you'll get to
see the novelty of a monster inflicting 9999 damage to a character.

In the future, you could beat Brachiosaur with Relm's Control skill, a few
other dirty tricks or just plain kill the bastard with violence before it can
do the same to you. There's a decent enough reason to do so too, as it has
a rare Ribbon for Stealing and a rare Celestriad drop too (sets the MP cost of
every Magic spell and Lore technique to 1). Now, however, this is not an option.

Tyrannosaur:
The opponents in the fabled Dinosaur Forest are tough. Brachiosaur is a rare
freak occurrence, while Tyrannosaur are dangerous enough as-is. Tyrannosaurea
have incredible physical strength, which is especially bad since not only can
they channel this in a !Bite attack (Attack * 8), they also occasionally
double-team your party from both sides, and that is NOT as sexy as it sounds.
When a monster attacks from behind, its physical attacks will do more damage and
become unblockable (although Interceptor and Golem can block these attacks, the
Image status is useless in this aspect). On top of that, Tyrannosaurea have the
power to cast the Meteor spell, which damages the entire party for over 1500 HP.
To stop this madness, cast a combination of Sleep and Slow on these dangerous
dinosaurs and pound away with magical attacks. Ice-elemental attacks are the
bomb, so Blizzara and Blizzaga spells and Valigarmand's Tri-Disaster really put
the hurt on these babies.

I wouldn't advise going in the Dinosaur Forest right now, but if you HAVE to
have an Impartisan right now, Save beforehand and make sure you know how to
make your opponents snooze the battle away. If not, there's no chance you'll
survive an encounter.

Tumbleweed:
These strange creatures fall easily to Lv.5 Death attacks, though you won't be
able to cast it if you've followed the walkthrough so far. They use Attack and
!Blinder, which sets Darkness. When alone, a Tumbleweed may use Lifeshaver to
recover HP. They're weak to Fire-elemental attacks and vulnerable to ID, so
take advantage of the knowledge that you have.

***
Northern continent (Narshe, Duncan's House)

(Grasslands)
Basilisk, Basilisk, Leap Frog (5/16)
Leap Frog, Leap Frog, Leap Frog, Leap Frog (5/16)
Greater Mantis, Greater Mantis (5/16)
Greater Mantis, Sprinter, Lycaon, Lycaon (1/16)

(Wastelands)
Crawler, Crawler, Crawler, Crawler (6/16)
Crawler (5/16)
Crawler, Crawler, Crawler (5/16)

One niche tactic I'd like to mention now is the following. If you didn't
pick up Sabin in Tzen already, you should now have Celes, Edgar and Setzer
on your team. Pick up Gau from the Veldt if you haven't already. You now have
the four characters whose level is already determined; the levels of the
rest is calculated when you recruit them. You can train these four now if
you'd like, and pick the rest up at a higher level. You'll lose out on stat
increases from Espers, but it sure is handy recruiting characters at bloated
levels!

Best way to train is roaming the grasslands around the Dinosaur Forest.
Set Clear to the lot; you are now immune to all attacks except for Crawler's
Dischord and Leech and Tumbleweed's Lifeshaver, all of which are attacks they
will only use when they're alone. Make sure to tackle these guys with
MT violence and they'll never touch you.

Nothing new here. I can absolutely understand you're anxious to get the boring
stuff out of the way and start pumping up! How does an all-game ultimate Blitz
technique sound?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.54.3   Airship Exploitation: Master Duncan; completing Sabin's training
**********************************

We have our wings back! And as opposed to last time we got some improved
transportation situation, we have almost the entire world left to explore.
The story obviously directed us to Maranda, but not only is there so
much to do before following the carrier pigeon to Zozo, some of it is even
easier than the quest we were put on in Maranda. So, allow me to give you some
pointers as to where you want to go first.

Duncan is alive! His wife told us that, and Sabin probably is anxious to see
his old master again and hear how it went down. Duncan's wife told us that
Duncan was meditating north of Narshe. If you can't find Narshe right now,
it's on the continent to the north of the 'head' of the Serpent Trench. Narshe,
like it was before, is a dent in the mountains on the map. To the northeast
of Narshe, you can find five trees on the map that form a Greek cross (+).
Duncan's located on the middle tree.

If you bring Sabin here, Duncan will come out and laugh off Sabin's worries.
He'll then proceed to teach Sabin the eighth and final Blitz technique, the
ultimate martial arts attack: Phantom Rush. Sabin would have learned to perform
it himself at level 70, but this sure is quicker. Phantom Rush is, contrary to
what you would believe, a MAGICAL attack, meaning that it can (and should) be
boosted by Earrings. It's barrier-piercing and non-elemental and extremely
strong, far surpassing anything the rest of your party can do right now (except
maybe a lucky 4-hit combo with the Dragon Horn, but Phantom Rush is constant).

The Japanese game calls it the Illusion Battle Dance, which as you would expect
is a lot cooler sounding than its American incarnation.

If you go to Duncan with a party lacking Sabin, you'll see him jumping around:
"Duncan: Move it! You're in my way! *cough*... *wheeze*... Darn this old body of
mine... Won't do what I tell it to anymore..."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 7.54.4   Airship Exploitation: Obtaining Quetzalli
**********************************

  Magicite:
  Quetzalli

Let's see how (the corpse of) Cid is doing! If you find Cid on the Solitary
Island, you'd think he would grab the opportunity of flying over to civilized
areas; you can't take him, however. If he lives, he'll just say, "I'm all better
now! Thank you, Celes! " and continue to walk around his little cabinet like a
senile. If he died, his letter is still there. Who would've moved it? Then
again, who put it there in the first place? Mysteries.

Time to ponder them over at the beach. But gasp, something has washed ashore:
a piece of Magicite! 'Tis Quetzalli, one the greatest summons the game has to
offer and a great Hastega spell tutor. You'll like it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.54.5   Airship Exploitation: Visiting Jidoor
**********************************

Let's fly over to Jidoor for a moment now. Jidoor is still a thriving town,
filled with people who find the end of the world a moderate inconvenience and
an interesting new art theme. I don't think you need to be even near white
trash to hate these guys with a passion.

Walking around town, you hear that the bird you saw is one of the many carrier
pigeons that have been flying to Maranda lately. Way back, when the world was
still a shining square of happiness, Sabin and Cyan met up with a wounded lad
in Mobliz who corresponded with his girlfriend in Maranda by means of these
feathered friends. Sadly, Mobliz was hit by the Light of Judgment, and the
wounded lad was killed.

The other story of the day is concerning Owzer. Something is up with the guy;
he had a fine new painter arrive at his house - a little girl. Could this be
little Relm Arrowny? If you let Shadow live on the FC, you can already dive
into Owzer's Mansion for the answer to that question, a dungeon, a boss, a new
Esper and a character regained. I've got it planned for later times, but if
you're impatient, you can take a look at [OWZER-LINK]. For now, you'll want to
buy a few things here regardless:

Weapon Shop:
Man-Eater           11000
Partisan            13000
Crystal Sword       15000
Sniper              15000
 Interesting new weapons here! Allow me to describe them. You know the Man-
Eater. When fighting certain foes, a double Man-Eater strike will be superior to
whatever you have, but these foes are generally not too much to worry about, so
buying another one is probably a waste of money. The Partisan is superior to
the Golden Spear, which means an upgrade for our new Dragoon Edgar. Buy one. The
Crystal Sword is just another plain sword whose base power is inferior to the
Organyx but superior to the Enhancer; it doesn't give any stat boosts and
there's no real reason to attack with it. Don't buy it and stick to Enhancers or
Organyx/Black Belt. The only interesting feature about the Crystal Sword is that
General Leo equipped it when he fought Kefka. The final weapon is the Sniper.
It's an upgrade over the Hawkeye, with the same 50% chance of doing 1.5 times
as much damage against normal enemies and triple damage against enemies with
the Float status. It's a great weapon to equip, but nobody right now can use it
so just forget it for now.

Conclusion: Buy a Partisan, than leave. :P

Armor Shop:
Circlet              7000
Black Cowl           7500
Crystal Helm        10000
Black Garb          13000
 The Circlet is a nice Helmet with an all-round stat boost: +2 Strength, +1
Speed, +3 Stamina and +4 Magic Power (which really is the only important one).
Everybody can equip one, but everybody but one has superior Helmets at this
moment (Celes's Mystery Veil, Edgar/Sabin's Royal Crown, Genji Helm), so just
buy one and stick it on the unfortunate sap who still went with that ancient
Green Beret. The Black Cowl is rubbish, superior to the Circlet in Defense by
1 single point and inferior to it in all other ways. Forget about the Crystal
Helm as well. A set of Black Garb for Sabin is nice, though. In short: buy one
Circlet and a set of Black Garb if you didn't buy Black Garb earlier in Maranda.

Item Shop:
Hi-Potion             300
Ehter                1500
Phoenix Down          500
Holy Water            300
Remedy               1000
Teleport Stone        700
Sleeping Bag          500
Tent                 1200
 Buy stuff, it's good for you. Weren't you paying attention to the voices in
your head? LIVE BUY CONSUME DIE.

Relic Shop:
Princess Ring        3000
Protect Ring         5000
Gigas Glove          5000
Angel Wings          6300
 The interesting new Relic called 'Protect Ring' sets Protect on your character.
Basically, the Relic cuts the damage of physical attacks by 1/3, always. Sadly,
physical attacks are past their prime at this stage of the game, so its
usefulness is kind of low. If you like the thought of a physical powerhouse who
can withstand all blows, buy and equip one to whomever you feel should benefit;
you're better off focusing on offense though.

If you plan to use Gau, there's something you can do make absolutely sure you
get one of his best Rages relatively quickly; enter Owzer's Mansion, read the
diary if you want, turn on the lights near the stairs and examine the flower
painting for a fight with three Rafflesia enemies. This only applies if Shadow
survived the Floating Continent; if he didn't, the house will just be lit and
empty for now. More information can be found at [OWZER-LINK].

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.54.6   Airship Exploitation: The Auction House
**********************************

  Miscellaneous items:
  Excalipoor (Auction House), Hero's Ring (Auction House, Zephyr Cloak (Auction
  House)

  Magicite:
  Golem, Zona Seeker

In front of the Auction House, a GBA-exclusive NPC lingers. "I heard they're
going to put a rare sword up for auction. I can't decide if I should bid or
not." As soon as you've spoken to the guy, the rare sword Excalipoor becomes
an option in the Auction House. Since we can't afford it yet and we do want
other things, I suggest ignoring the bloke for now.

The Auction House got a makeover! New items are for sale here. No longer does
that talking Chocobo bother you. Sadly, TWO new useless items have been added
to the collection: an Imp robot and a 1/1200 scale airship. You cannot buy
either of these items. The reason you're here is the Hero's Ring. You can buy
ONE Hero's Ring here, for 50000 Gil. The Zephyr Cloak is also exclusive, but
since the Zephyr Cloak is more expensive here than in WoR Nikeah (3000 Gil more
expensive, in fact), don't bother shooting for it here. Once you buy the Hero's
Ring, it won't appear again. If you didn't buy the Espers earlier, you'll want
to do that now, too, although I don't see why you should've skipped on that
earlier.

- There's a 50% chance the item up for bidding is the Excalipoor. If you
  didn't talk to the NPC outside, already bought it earlier, or the item isn't
  the Excalipoor, we continue.
- There's a 50% chance the item up for bidding is a Hero's Ring. If you already
  bought it earlier, or the item isn't the Hero's Ring, we continue.
- Then, there's a 50% chance it's a 1/1200 of an airship. You can never buy
  this 'item' no matter how much you pay, as the father will always buy it. But
  if this item isn't the 1/1200 of an airship, we continue.
- Then, there's a 50% chance it's the Golem Magicite! Nice. Try to buy it. If
  you already bought it earlier, or the item isn't Golem, we continue.
- Then, there's a 50% chance it's the Zona Seeker Magicite. Good. If you already
  bought this item, or if it still isn't this item, we continue.
- Then, there's a 50% chance it's a Zephyr Cloak. If you already bought this
  item, or if it's not the Zephyr Cape, we continue.
- If it's none of the above, it's an Imp Robot. Period. You can never buy the
  Imp Robot, as the father will always buy it.

So in the end, if you haven't bought any of the pieces of Magicite yet, the odds
will be as following (assuming you didn't unlock the Excalipoor yet):

Hero's Ring 50%
1/1200 scale airship 25%
The Magicite Golem 12.5%
The Magicite Zona Seeker 6.25%
Zephyr Cloak 3.125%
Imp Robot 3.125%

If you bought both Espers, but not yet the Hero's Ring:

Hero's Ring 50%
1/1200 scale airship 25%
Zephyr Cloak 12.5%
Imp Robot 12.5%

If you bought the Hero's Ring and both Espers:

1/1200 scale airship 50%
Zephyr Cloak 25%
Imp Robot 25%

Yeah, that means you can completely raid the WoR Auction House until nothing
but useless junk is left. Don't worry; if another person buys a piece of
Magicite, the Excalipoor, the Hero's Ring or the Zephyr Cloak, it will have a
chance of appearing next time you pay the Auction House a visit. Prices are as
follows:

Excalipoor 500000 Gil
Hero's Ring 50000 Gil
The Magicite Golem 20000 Gil
The Magicite Zona Seeker 10000 Gil
Zephyr Cloak 10000 Gil

That means, by the way, that the Zephyr Cloak is ridiculously overprized in the
Auction House, as it's just 7000 Gil from the kid merchant in Nikeah. If you
don't have enough money, fly the Falcon to the desert south of Maranda, where
you'll be able to make a lot of quick cash fighting Cactuars.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.54.7   Airship Exploitation: Cultist's Tower
**********************************

In Figaro Castle, we heard about the Cult of Kefka, which is located in the
middle of the Serpent Trench, where they have erected a giant tower in Kefka's
honor. From thieves you've heard there are treasures unheard of up there, but
the going is rough. Trying to climb the tower right now would be stupid, but
we can take a look regardless, right?

What the hell? It seems that one of our former party members, Strago Magus,
has lost his heart in despair. One of the Cult of Kefka, he doesn't respond
to you at all. We heard earlier that a loved one should be able to break through
this self-inflicted barrier. If we could manage to find Relm, we should bring
her over here to see if we can break the spell on Strago.

The thieves here are sitting at the foot of the tower, not because they think
Kefka is their Speshul Boy but rather because of the treasures on the tower;
so close, yet so far... It's revealed the most wondrous thing is at the very
top, and one of the thieves offers you a secret for the insane sum of 100,000
Gil. This is what he has to say if you pay his the full price:

"Oh, thanks! You're too generous! Right, the scoop... There's an ancient castle
buried beneath the desert of Figaro...and no doubt loaded with treasure! By the
way, I heard the old man who lives in the weapon shop in Narshe was looking for
ya..."

One more stop before continuing for realz, the last populated city we haven't
been to yet: Thamasa!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.54.8   Airship Exploitation: Thamasa
**********************************

Sadly, neither Strago nor Relm is present, so all we can do here is take a look
at the equipment they have to offer and talk to the townspeople.

One woman mentions how Ebot's Rock is above water. As soon as we can convince
Strago back on our side, we should bring him back to Thamasa. There's another
mention of Deathgaze, but that's about it. Pay your respects to General Leo's
grave for a moment, and then go shop.

Armor Shop:
Mystery Veil         5500
Circlet              7000
Black Cowl           7500
Luminous Robe       11000
Diamond Vest        12000
 Do you remember I told you about the Magus Robe? Well, the Luminous Robe is
like the Magus Robe, only inferior in every single way. Do I hear somebody say
'redundant'? Yes, I believe I do. It was me. If you want to have as many Items
as possible, buy one. If not, don't. All other items are familiar to you.

Weapon Shop:
Da Vinci Brush       7000
Gravity Rod         13000
Holy Rod            12000
Viper Darts         13000
Golden Spear        12000
Man-Eater           11000
Shuriken               30
Fuma Shuriken         500
 Like all Brushes, the Da Vinci Brush is about as useful as a 'hurt me' sign in
an ass-kicking contest. You can buy one or two Holy Rods extra as they make
great equips for Strago and Relm once you get them and everybody can break them
(there's actually a brilliant moment to break Holy Rods, against Deathgaze).
All the other weapons have been revealed to you. I also want you to buy some
Fuma Shuriken; they turn into nice items at the Coliseum, and make nice attacks
when you obtain Shadow. 99 Fuma Shuriken are actually *less* costly than that
single Hero's Ring you purchased in Jidoor, so don't feel too irresponsible when
you overstock on them.

Relic Shop:
Barrier Ring          500
Fairy Ring           1500
Reflect Ring         6000
Jeweled Ring         1000
Princess Ring        3000
Protect Ring         5000
Peace Ring           3000
Angel Ring           8000
 Rings! RINGS! For the love of God, they have every Ring Relic available. Except
for Hero's Rings. And Memento Rings. And Cursed Rings. And Berserker Rings.
And Lich Rings. Oh shucks, so they don't have every Ring Relic available.
Give me some credit for distracting you from seeing that I don't have anything
useful to say about this Relic Shop!

Item Shop:
Hi-Potion             300
Ether                1500
Phoenix Down          500
Holy Water            300
Remedy               1000
Smoke Bomb            300
Sleeping Bag          500
Tent                 1200
 Potions! POTIONS! For the love of...I'm not getting away with this trick again,
am I? How about another movie quote concerning consuming items? Choose Potions.
Choose a chest. Choose a command. Choose Smoke Bombs, Crystal Mail and matching
Helmets. Choose your future. But why would anyone want to do a thing like that?

Now, get out. It's time for one more trip to the Coliseum before we dive into
an actual dungeon for a change.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.54.9   Airship Exploitation: Leviathan
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Leviathan

  Lores:
  Tsunami

  Magicite:
  Leviathan

Leviathan was named after the 'Leviathan, or The Matter, Forme and Power of a
Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil' written by fictional comic book tiger
Thomas Hobbes. The book deals with the structure of society, wacky inventions,
the distribution of common-wealth and a gruesome description of death by
drowning, likely the cause of the reference. It's the first new Esper we'll
ensnare in our quest, but we'll have to make some preparations if we don't want
to end up, like Hobbes' distopic vision, drowned in "dark and erroneous
doctrines, also, buttloads of water".

Leviathan is the King of the Sea, and thus attacks with mass Water-elemental
attacks we won't survive unless we have a way of absorbing or nullifying his
attacks. This opportunity lies in the pieces of Imp equipment scattered across
the world as random drops by monsters.

The following bit assumes that you'd like to go out and hunt down some of
these pieces of equipment. It's much easier when you can Steal, though.
You'll get this chance at some point, so feel free to skip Leviathan until
that time if you don't want to hope for drops and probably gain some levels
down the road.

[LEVIATHAN-LINK]

There are four pieces of Imp equipment (that's an entire set), this being the
Impartisan (non-elemental Lance every character but Umaro can equip), the
Tortoise Shield, the Saucer helmet, and the Reed Cloak, all of which sport
incredible Defense and Magic Defense while absorbing Water-elemental attacks
and teaching the Imp spell at a x1 rate. They don't fully work unless you have
the Imp status, though.

Attack Power and Defense of these items are reduced to 1 when they are
equipped on a character that is not an Imp. Magic Defense, Evasion and Magic
Evasion do still work, as does the elemental properties and the spell teaching.

The two relevant pieces of equipment for now are the Tortoise Shield and the
Reed Cloak. The Impartisan doesn't let you absorb Water-elemental attacks, and
you can only get the Saucer by betting a Tortoise Shield at the Coliseum at
this time. The Tortoise Shield is the better of the two. You're basically
giving up an equipment slot for Water absorption, but the Tortoise Shield also
gives the wearer 30 % Evasion and Magic Evasion, and the fight versus Leviahtan
is a fight where Evasion is key.

You'll want to collect either a Tortoise Shield or Reed Cloak for all four of
your characters. On the grasslands (not the grey wasteland!) of the Northern
Continent around Duncan's abode, you have a 5/16 chance of meeting two Basilisks
(which drop Tortoise Shields) and a Leap Frog and a 1/16 chance of meeting a
formation with a Sprinter which may drop a Reed Cloak. On the North-Eastern
continent where the hut of the Crazy Man is located, there's a 10/16 chance of
meeting two Sprinters and a 1/16 you'll meet a formation including a single one.
In other words, the second location has a higher chance of coughing up one of
the necessary pieces, but it'll always be a Reed Cloak, not the Tortoise Shield.

By the way, you'll most likely win the fight with one or two characters down,
so if you find the treasure hunting a tedious enterprise, you can quit early if
you want to.

When you're done, take the Falcon to Nikeah and opt for a boat ride to South
Figaro. Make sure you've got the relevant pieces equipped, as well as Fenrir,
Golem and Prayer Beads across the board. Halfway the cruise, you'll be attacked.

"Wh-what's going on!? Is that some kind of sea monster?

Leviathan
Level: 91, HP: 32000, MP: 7000
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Water
Special: !Entangle: sets Slow
Sketch : !Entangle, Attack
Control: Attack
Vulnerable to: Nothing
Attacks: Attack, !Entangle, Aqua Breath, Tsunami, El Niño

Joker's Death: Yes
Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

Yes! Leviathan attacks as you thought he would. He'll start the battle with a
Tsunami attack, a powerful MT Water-elemental attack. Every 20 Doom intervals
he'll attack with two Tsunamis. In between, he'll use powerful physical attacks
and attack with Aqua Breath and El Niño. Whenever struck by a Magic spell or
Lore, he'll counter with a full-screen El Niño attack; whenever struck by
anything else, he'll counter with !Entangle.

The strategy is simple. Since we've prematurely taken care of Tsunami, Aqua
Breath and El Niño, all we have to worry about is dealing with his physicals.
Fenrir and Golem will make sure you won't be genuinly struck by them for a
while. Prayer Beads increase your Evasion pretty high, having your characters
dodge over half of his blows. Whenever Leviahtan manages to land an attack a
character will be especially hurtin' due to lacking proper Defense, but that's
nothing a Cura or Raise spell can't fix.

Though you might be tempted to unleash the fury with Lightning-elemental
attacks, Leviathan isn't weak to the element. Your damage options are good
enough; Phantom Rush and Edgar's Dragon Horn Jump are your main damage dealers,
while Celes and Setzer can run utility and cast a level 2 spell or use Gil
Toss when they have nothing better to do.

It's not a hard fight by a long shot if you're well prepared. When you're done,
new Esper! Leviathan's Tidal Wave attack is the most powerful MT Water-elemental
attack in the game, and the most powerful MT attack you have at the moment
(BAR-BAR-BARring Setzer's Slot outcomes). Leviathan teaches Flood at a x2 rate,
which is real darn nice. Flood is *the* attack to use if you need a full-screen
attack or whenever you need a Magic spell to fly past Runic or Reflect. Did I
mention it hits all monsters even when in a Pincer?

You need to take the ferry once again to return to the Falcon.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.54.10  Airship Exploitation: Deathgaze
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Deathgaze

  Lores:
  Aero, Lv. 5 Death

  Magicite:
  Bahamut

To find Deathgaze... yeah, finding Deathgaze tends to be a pain. There are 4096
'tiles' on the Overworld Map. Deathgaze possesses two adjecent tiles. If you
cross one of those tiles with the Falcon, Deathgaze will attack you. Deathgaze
will remain on the same tile until you fight him; if he escapes, he'll possess
another two random adjecent tiles. Altitude doesn't matter.

You'll just want to fly around, searching for him. Make SURE that you watch
your levels; Deathgaze will instantly kill any character whose level is
divisible by 5, so a group where two or more characters are vulnerable to Lv. 5
Death should be trained a little. Listen to some good music while you're at it;
Searching for friends (the theme playing when flying the Falcon) gets repetitive
after a while. May I suggest Soulwax, partly because they're awesome, partly to
boost European economy?

When you find him, you'll fight him.

[DEATHGAZE-LINK]

Deathgaze
Level: 68, HP: 55555, MP: 38000
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Ice, Poison, Weakness: Fire, Holy
Creature Type: MP Kill
Status: Float, Shell, Protect
Special: !Venom Claw: sets Poison
Sketch : !Venom Claw, Attack
Control: Attack, !Venom Claw
Vulnerable to: Nothing
Attacks: Attack, Blizzaga, Death, Aero, Lv. 5 Death, Flee

Joker's Death: Yes
Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

"Many ancient monsters that had long been sealed away were released when the
world was ripped apart... Humbaba, Deathgaze...even the eight legendary
dragons."

"I saw Deathgaze soaring up among the clouds the other day! I'd hate to think
what would happen if some poor sod in an airship ran across that thing..."

"I saw a huge monster fly across the sky. It looked like a giant bat!"

"I stumbled across something incredible—— Deathgaze's little secret! ...He can't
recover his health after battle! If you just keep fighting him over and over,
you should be able to wear him down and eventually defeat him."

You've heard it all over the world... Deathgaze soaring over the skies of this
new world, terrorizing all in its path. An ancient demon who knows no remorse;
no satisfactory pack of unlikely heroes can let this go on. Deathgaze is a
relatively simple, yet tough opponent, so prepare well.

Deathgaze will start every battle by using Lv. 5 Death; Safety Bits and Memento
Rings protect against it if your level is right (or wrong, depending on your
interpretation), but you likely don't have the former and can't use the latter.
Deathgaze may cast a Blizzaga or Death spell the first turn, and may cast Death
or use Aero the second. After every two turns (not counting the initial Lv. 5
Death), Deathgaze has a 66% chance of using Flee to escape the battle. When
damaged, it may counter with Attack, as all bosses tend to do.

Reflect Rings are extremely potent to equip as they'll protect the party from
the Blizzaga and Death spells, and Thunder Shields or the Minerva Bustier help
out against Aero. When these defensive measures have been taken, it's just a
matter of inflicting as much damage in the few turns that Deathgaze will likely
give you. Note that since Deathgaze can be run from, and he won't use Aero
until the third turn, you could potentially run after every second turn
Deathgaze takes and only suffer from physical Attacks throughout your epic
struggle with the giant bat look-a-like.

So there's inherent Protect and Shell, a weakness to Fire- and Holy-elemental
attacks to consider, he absorbs Ice- and Poison-elemental attacks and no status
ailment vulnerabilities to exploit. How are we going to take this guy down as
good as possible?

Breaking Rods was always powerful, but against Deathgaze, they're a blessing;
since spells executed by breaking Rods gain a barrier-piercing property, you'll
be able to break Flame Rods for a barrier-piercing Fira spell and Holy Rods
for a barrier-piercing Holy spell (the latter is much more powerful). They
will inflict tremendous amounts of damage.

Other options may not be as optimal. Dragon Horn Jumpers will find their Jump
attacks are hindered by Protect and the strict time window imposed on this
battle. Sabin's Phantom Rush pierces Deathgaze's Shell status, so it'll be
quite potent; the same goes for Setzer's Gil Toss, though it's quite a lot
weaker in practice. If you brought a Rager into this battle, the Io Rage will
serve you well; Flare Star will inflict 9999 damage to Deathgaze, and the Io
Rage will also make the Rager immune to Aero.

If you choose to break Holy Rods or not, as long as you chuck out as many
barrier-piercing attacks as humanly possible, Deathgaze will eventually fall
as with Reflect Rings and nullifying of the Wind element, he's really got
nothing on you.

Deathgaze will take a long time to take down if you're not breaking Rods, and
you may have to find him quite a few times if your level is low. However, once
you defeat him, you'll gain the Magicite remains of the Bahamut Esper. That's
good! Not only does the god-king of all dragons teach Flare at a x2 rate
(Flare is very powerful, barrier-piercing and non-elemental!), his summon
attack Mega Flare is EXTREMELY powerful, barrier-piercing, and non-elemental.
You'll enjoy him on your side. Trust me.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.55.1   Narshe
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Test Rider (#182), Wizard (#183), Lukhavi (#184), Psychos, Magna Roader
  (yellow) (#185), Magna Roader (brown) (#186), Psychos (#187), Garm (#188),
  Valigarmanda (#320), Ice Dragon (#340)

  Container contents:
  Elixir, Guard Bracelet, Ribbon

  Miscellaneous items:
  Flame Rod (rare Wizard drop), Force Shield (Ice Dragon drop), Ice Rod (rare
  Wizard steal), Molulu's Charm (hidden on wall near Mog), Thunder Rod (common
  Wizard steal)

  Magicite:
  Valigarmanda

Note: The story wanted you to go to Maranda and follow the pigeon to Zozo, and
I sent you around the world to optimize your equipment, learn Phantom Rush,
etcetera and so on. I haven't sent you in any dungeon. However, for various
reasons, I believe it's better gameplay-wise to dive into Narshe first and get
down in Zozo second. You get Mog and an entirely new (and hidden) character out
of it, you get access to level 3 spells, and get a Relic that allows you to
circumvent random encounters, giving you access to some items that you weren't
supposed to obtain yet, this being the [MOOGLE-RAID]. It's really a sweet deal
all in all, but you ignore the story flow here, and miss out on one little
detail of the story as well (which I'll give when the time comes, but you won't
see it on-screen).

Whom to bring? People with Ice-elemental protection other than shields are
preferred if you don't have enough shields to cover for the entire party. The
Minerva Bustier (Celes, Terra) or Snow Scarf (Gau, Mog) are examples. Otherwise,
characters that can deal strong Fire-elemental damage are good to bring along.

Everything started at Narshe and its Esper. Although the Esper is still
residing in the snowy mountains, Narshe has changed a lot. Arvis is most
likely dead; we haven't heard from him since the Empire backstabbed you while
Terra and Locke were searching for the Espers near Thamasa. The Narshe Guards,
always a force of justice, have been utterly destroyed altogether.

Monster formations:

(Narshe)
Lukhavi, Garm, Garm (5/16)
Garm, Garm, Garm (5/16)
Test Rider (5/16)
Lukhavi, Lukhavi (1/16)

(Northern Mines and First Cave of Western Mines)
Magna Roader (yellow), Magna Roader (yellow), Magna Roader (brown) (10/16)
Magna Roader (yellow), Magna Roader (brown), Magna Roader (brown) (6/16)

(Western Mines)
Wizard, Wizard, Wizard (5/16)
Wizard, Wizard, Psychos, Psychos, Psychos (5/16)
Garm, Garm, Psychos, Psychos (5/16)
Psychos, Psychos, Psychos, Psychos, Psychos, Psychos (1/16)

Lukhavi don't absorb Ice-elemental attacks. They don't even use them. They're
just silly Attack/!Claw Swipe cannon fodder. They have inherent Protect, so
they're more or less similar to those Bogy enemies you encountered earlier. The
way to go is MT magical attacks; they're weak against Fire-elemental attacks.

The same goes for Garm. Attacks include Attack and !Bodyslam (Attack * 1.5).
They will, to me, be forever infamous because they are one of the two
monsters that give a Attack/Special Rage with Death Protection. This is no
big deal in any version but the SNES game though, for reasons that'll take you
many a night to ponder. They are entirely uninteresting as opponents, however.

Test Rider is another Attack/Special opponent. Its Special is !Golden Lance
(Attack * 3). Much like its palette swap Hell's Rider, Test Rider will counter
Steal (and in his case, also Mug) attempts with a !Golden Lance strike.
Sadly for Test Rider, there really isn't a good reason to try to steal his
items (a rare Partisan) so he won't be doing anything with it. When Sketched,
Controlled, or Raged, Test Rider suddenly grants access to Flash Rain, but
he will never use it on your party.

The brown Magna Roader is inherently Hasted like the red Magna Roader was.
The first turn consists out of Attack or !Slam (Attack * 2), the second
turn out of Fire-elemental spells (Fire or Fira). It rarely uses Fireball when
damaged while alone.

The yellow Magna Roader lacks the purple Magna Roader's inherent Protect. What's
left is a monster that's all facade and only possesses skill in rolling over
and dying. It uses physicals in the first turn (33% !Wheel), Ice spells in
the second (Blizzard and Blizzara).

Wizards are annoying. They are mages in the classical sense of the word, almost
exclusive spell casters while sporting low Defense and high Magic Defense. They
use annoyer tactics; they cast Confuse or Osmose (first turn), Rasp or Stop
(second turn), and Confuse or Sleep (third turn). When they are hit by a
spell themselves, they can counter with !Fallen Footsteps, which sets Zombie.
They're also remarkable for their items: they have a common Ice Rod and a rare
Thunder Rod for stealing and a rare Flame Rod drop. They're the only source for
these three elemental Rods in the WoR (apart from the rare Ice Rod on Specter on
the Veldt...bleh).

Psychos' are coalescences of psychotic energy. And they hate you. The thing
to remember about them is that they absorb Fire; none of your current massive
damage dealers deal Fire-elemental damage, but still. Ice is their weakness.
I'd like to make some neat brain freeze puns, but I can't think of any. Just
do it.

Lv. 4 Flare works on every single one of the above enemies! Sadly, you probably
lack access to the Lore command. Instead, Sabin's Razor Gale should be pumped
up as much as possible (you probably already had an Hero's Ring/Earrings combo
on Sabin, but if you hadn't this is the time to make it so). It kills and/or
severely cripples most enemies here, and those that remain can be taken care of
with Edgar's Flash, an MT level 2 spell, whatever. Test Rider and Psychos are
the only notable exceptions; you're better off with a Bio spell or with the Rasp
spell against TR (Test Rider dies when its MP reaches 0), and an MT Blizzara
spell is the way to go versus large Psychos groups. Obviously Leviathan's Tidal
Wave cleans house like you read about, but it's a tad expansive.

Before you go into the derelict city of Narshe, you can visit the Classroom
for some free healing. Also:

"Welcome to our school for budding adventurers. We're always here to help you
find your way in the world...or at least what's left of it."

That's just nice. We were told that the owner of the Weapon Shop was looking
for us. Sadly, the door is locked, and as Lone Wolf told us, only a treasure
hunter could pick that lock. Lacking Locke, we can do nothing but leave the
town of Narshe again and dive into its mines; perhaps Mog is still around, and
is willing to offer us his help.

Remember how you snuck into the town of Narshe with Terra, Edgar, and Banon
and came across the Moogles doing so? We're going to do just that. While facing
the city entrance, walk to the left, past the Classroom, to the hidden switch
to the far left. Open up the cave. Just follow the path; there are no new
surprises. The Security Checkpoint is gone, however. Eventually you'll come
across Mog. If you didn't rescue him in the WoB, he'll get his introduction
scene again:

Kupo!!!
Don't scare me like that, kupo!
(naming screen)

If you did recruit him in the World of Balance, he'll get smart on you and
say:

Mog: Kupoppo!!! I thought you'd all died, kupo! I'm so glad you're alive, kupo!
I'll help you fight, kupo!

Regardless, after Mog says he's a friend of the sasquatch that you could have
spotted during the World of Balance, the screen fades to black for a while. If
you had three characters, Mog will now be in your party; if you had four
characters, he'll be waiting for you at the Falcon. If this happened (and it
most likely did, as you've been a good boy), go find the Falcon and switch Mog
with whomever you want out of your party. Honestly, I think Setzer is the
weakest link at this point, but as Mog makes a great Dragoon, you can switch
one Dragoon with another and switch Edgar out of your team.

Regardless, do examine the wall Mog was staring at when you found him. You'll
receive the Molulu's Charm, a little crystal ball given to Mog by his late
girlfriend, Molulu. No wonder our little furry friend was lost in thought...

Molulu's Charm is a great relic. It has no use in-battle whatsoever, but
does grant you one small thing; it allows you to circumvent random battles
entirely. A blessing for every SNES player and downright immediate salvation
for PSX players, the Molulu's Charm has its tactical use. You can dive into
dungeons and grab great items that you weren't supposed to receive until you
were man enough to tackle the dungeon itself. Put in practice, this usually
means the items of the Cultist's Tower (except for the prized object at the
very top of it) and a lot of items from Kefka's Tower. A second option would
be to let Mog tackle one half of the dungeon requied to reintroduce a certain
treasure hunter back into the party, a feat that unlocks some of the game's
best equipment and some of its most powerful spells as well. Since the other
half of the party will have to overcome great danger I have saved that
dungeon for a more appropriate time in this walkthrough, but you can skip
to 4.67.1 if you want to take a look at the Phoenix Cave right away.

If you left the Rune Blade in the WoB, grab the Ribbon in the chest in this
room.

Armed with Mog, it's time to head into the mountains and locate the dormant
Esper that you haven't been able to properly contact since the beginning of the
game. Head out of the mines and head into the mountains, like you did when you
first tried to rescue Mog. Exit by the normal exit, which enters into Arvis'
old house. On your way, you should pass two chests. If you didn't rob them of
their contents earlier, they should contain an Elixir and a Guard Bracelet,
which is a poor man's version of the Miracle Shoes (it only sets Protect and
Shell, not Haste and Regen like the Miracle Shoes add to that).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.55.2   Narshe's Snowfields; the battle with Ice Dragon
**********************************

Monster formations:

(Snowfields)
Wizard, Wizard, Wizard (5/16)
Wizard, Wizard, Psychos, Psychos, Psychos (5/16)
Garm, Garm, Psychos, Psychos (5/16)
Psychos, Psychos, Psychos, Psychos, Psychos, Psychos (1/16)

If you want to abuse Molulu's Charm now, skip ahead to [MOOGLE-RAID]. Don't
worry; both dungeons you'll be visiting will be visited later for another
good reason. For a quick list if what you'll obtain from raiding the Cultist's
Tower and Kefka's Tower:

Cultist's Tower: a Force Armor, an easy battle with the Holy Dragon from which
you'll win a Holy Lance upon your victory, a Genji Shield, a Safety Bit, and the
Air Anchor, which is Edgar's eighth Tool.

Kefka's Tower: a Red Cap, a Nutkin Suit, a Gauntlet, a Hypno Crown, the Fixed
Dice, a Minerva Bustier, a Pinwheel, an Aegis Shield, a Force Shield, an easy
battle with the Gold Dragon from which you'll win a Crystal Orb upon your
victory, a Force Armor and a Ribbon.

With Mog in your party, get back into Narshe and go find the snowfields. This
is your first chance to learn Mog's last Dance (save it for me... eheheh), the
Snowman Rondo. It's a rather crummy Dance considering it's WoR-only, but
Avalanche looks sweet and works especially well against the Psychos monsters you
find here.

In the snowfields, you'll find the Ice Dragon.

Ice Dragon
Level: 74, HP: 24400, MP: 9000
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Force Shield (always)
Absorbs: Ice, Weakness: Fire
Creature Type: MP Kill
Special: !Hit: Attack x 2
Sketch : Firaga, Blizzaga
Control: Attack, !Hit
Vulnerable to: Poison, Silence, Berserk, Confuse, Slow
Attacks: Attack, Avalanche, Northern Cross, Absolute Zero

Joker's Death: Yes
Ragnarok's Metamorph: Yes

12.5% chance to obtain one of the following:

Crystal Sword
Crystal Shield
Crystal Helm
Crystal Mail

Go ahead and gawk at those status vulnerabilities if you like. However, I can't
say that the Ice Dragon is the weakest of the eight brethren; as you'll see in
the future, the Gold Dragon is about as silly, while the Holy Dragon is even
worse. Ice Dragon can be fairly easily screwed over though. Sadly for Ice
Dragon, his element is easily absorbed, his amount of HP rather low, and his
status vulnerabilities downright horrible, but I'll try and treat Ice Dragon
with the same amount of dignity I firmly believe everybody deserves. Except for
Nelapa, obviously.

What does Ice Dragon do? He can use all three spells normally. If you damage
him, he might counter with Attack. If he dies, he might use one final Avalanche
attack before rolling over, but that's about it. Honestly, Ice Dragon might
very well be THE least interesting boss in the game.

How to stop him? There are tons of ways! It doesn't really matter who you
bring here. All you need is the Berserk spell and the Esper that teaches it,
Phantom. Set Berserk on Ice Dragon, summon Phantom, and sit back. Use Poison
or Bio to set Poison on the freezing fiend, and even Haste if you like; it will
only speed up the Poisoning, as you're immune to everything he does. If you
brought Mog, make sure you don't execute a Dance; the only one that doesn't
have an inherent chance to remove your Invisible status is the Twilight Requiem,
which is pretty much useless (3/16 chance you'll damage him once you get it
working).

A slight variation is setting Poison to the Ice Dragon, setting Confuse
through the Confuse spell or the Noiseblaster, then keeping him occupied
with that status for as long as it takes for him to die from the Poison hits.
You've won right there! Sadly, Ice Dragon was made immune to the Vanish
spell in the GBA version.

Gau's (or Gogo's) Io-induced Flare Star attack will do 9999 damage every
time it appears at any level the caster is on, while Leaf Bunny or the purple
Magna Roader make Gau and Gogo absorb the Ice-elemental attacks without any
equipment. If you brought Edgar, you can tease the Ice Dragon by trying to
make Poison his weakness (if you get it, Poison will take off about 3200 damage
a hit at the peak of its glory).

If you have the equipment and the status ailments to throw around, Ice
Dragon is a joke. If you don't, his Absolute Zero and Avalanche attacks will
hurt real bad. The Silence status effect prevents Northern Cross and Absolute
Zero. If, for some reason, you don't opt for Berserk/Phantom, try setting Slow,
Poison, and Silence (a neat way of doing this is casting Reflect on the guy and
have Strago/Gogo execute Reflect???, but that's just novelty). Equip the easily
obtained Ice Shields, Flame Shields, Snow Scarfs and/or Minerva Bustier and you
won't feel a thing from Ice Dragon's attacks. Golem should be more than
sufficient for Ice Dragon's physical attacks, but you can humiliate him extra by
summoning Fenrir over Golem.

Once you've defeated the Ice Dragon, you'll receive a Force Shield.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.55.3   Narshe's Snowfields; the battle with Valigarmanda
**********************************

Pushing on, you'll come across a Save Point where you can use a Tent if you
need one. In the next screen, you'll walk across a bridge that takes you to
the mysterious Esper from the beginning of the game, the same frozen entity
that prompted Terra to morph into her Esper form earlier and (possibly)
overlooked Lone Wolf's taking hostage of Mog. As you come near it this time,
it seems that the Esper has had it with the waiting itself. An eerie glow
surrounds it, and Valigarmanda the Esper attacks you.

Valigarmanda
Level: 62, HP: 30000, MP: 50000
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Ice, Nullifies: Lightning, Poison, Wind, Holy, Earth, Water,
         Weakness: Fire
Special: !Hit: Attack x 1.5
Sketch : !Hit, Attack
Control: Attack, !Hit
Vulnerable to: Nothing
Attacks: Blizzaga, Rasp, Freezing Dust

Joker's Death: Yes
Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

Valigarmanda is attacking you. That's not very nice of him. Luckily, he has very
little to damage you with. Blizzaga is his only offensive spell, and as most of
your party is easily covered in Flame Shields, Ice Shields, or Minerva Bustier,
the spell will do nothing to them. If you lack the above equipment for all
characters, it's worthy of notice that the Thunder Shields and Force Shields
both halve damage done by Ice-elemental attacks (and the Force Shield grants
the wearer inherent Shell, reducing the Blizzaga spell by another 33%).

What Valigarmanda does is all very basic. He attacks normally with the above
three spells, although he hardly ever uses Freezing Dust just like that.
Whenever Valigarmanda is hit by a Fire-elemental attack, he has a one-third
chance of casting Rasp. Also, whenever Valigarmanda is hit by either Bushido,
Tools, Blitz, Lore, Sketch, or Rage, he has a one-third chance of casting
Freezing Dust to freeze the violator.

The strategy the game wants you to follow is clear. Fire-elemental Magic is the
key. You will mainly be casting Fira here. Sabin's Rising Phoenix is weaker
on a single target and may allow a Freezing Dust attack, but if Sabin lacks Fira
and Phantom Rush, just go ahead. If you brought Gau, the Twinscythe Rage
(Metal Cutter) works great because it inherently absorbs Blizzaga. A Rage like
Devil Fist is also great, providing you can combine it with an Ice Shield or
Snow Scarf on the Rager. The Io Rage is even better as it will consistently deal
9920 damage every time Gau uses Flare Star and inherently nullifies Ice-
elemental attacks, but it's unlikely you have it at this point.

There's little strategy involved, as the battle as too easy. If you somehow
didn't bring any equipment with elemental properties, Zona Seeker can help you
out there. Haste on the entire party (now with the Hastega spell, brought to you
by Quetzalli) can shorten the time a character is Frozen; hell, just cast a Fire
spell on the afflicted and watch him turn back to normal. Celes' Runic can
absorb the Blizzaga and Rasp spells; it won't be necessary if you prepared
enough, but if you haven't it's a great idea.

As soon as you defeat Valigarmanda, he starts talking! Blast, he could've done
that earlier and saved us a lot of trouble. "You know Terra, you're a half-
Esper, and the Empire is evil and has abused you. Go side with the Returners.
Here's my Magicite, it teaches level 3 spells so you fry anything on your path.
Good luck! Oh, and don't stick Skittles up your nose."

Regardless: an opening in the cliff. You can hop into it. RPG wisdom tells us
that the 'No' option isn't going to get us treasure.

A note on Valigarmanda: He teaches level 3 spells, which is sweet; sadly, he
does so at a x1 rate which is decidedly slow. So Valigarmanda's summon attack,
Tri-Disaster, will actually be your strongest magical attack on character as
Celes and Terra for a while (in the GBA game you're playing it's equalled by
Leviathan). Tri-Disaster, though, is an odd attack; it's tri-elemental; Fire-,
Ice- and Lightning-elemental and about as powerful as a level 3 spell. How does
this work? If a creature absorbs one of the elements, it absorbs the entire
attack. If a creature nullifies one of the elements, it nullifies the entire
attack. If a creature is weak against one of the elements, it is weak against
the entire attack. So, you'll want to use Tri-Disaster against enemies that are
weak to Fire, Ice, or Lightning, but don't absorb or nullify any of them.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.55.4   Umaro's Cave; the battle with three Tonberries
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Tonberry (#189), Onion Dasher (#190), Anemone(#191), Illyankas (#192),
  Knotty (#193), Tzakmaqiel (#194), Tonberries (#321), Yeti (#322)

  Container contents:
  Gauntlet, X-Ether, Monster-in-a-box (Tonberries x3)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Minerva Bustier (rare Tonberries drop, rare Tonberries steal)

  Lores:
  Traveler

  Magicite:
  Midgardsormr

Whom to bring? Mog is great, as he's needed to obtain the 'sasquatch muscle' you
meet later on. Otherwise, the same people that did well in 4.55.1 will do well
again here; the main danger of the cave monsters is Imp-setting where you need
White Capes/Ribbons for anyway.

Monster formations:

(Upper Two Levels)
Knotty, Knotty, Knotty, Knotty (5/16)
Tzakmaqiel, Knotty, Knotty, Knotty (5/16)
Tzakmaqiel, Illuyankas (5/16)
Tonberry (1/16)

(Skull Room and Tonberries Chest Room)
Anemone, Anemone, Anemone, Anemone (5/16)
Illyankas, Onion Dasher, Onion Dasher (5/16)
Anemone, Anemone, Onion Dasher (5/16)
Illyankas, Illyankas, Illyankas (1/16)

Knotties are Mu palette swaps. Like Mu, they cannot be Meteor Struck; I
continue to wonder if they're just sitting in holes in the ground or ripple into
our existence from a maddening rift in the space-time continuum. If this
question doesn't confuse you, the Knotty's Stone attack may; they have a 33%
chance of using it in their second turn. Not only does the Stone attack set
Confuse on a successful hit, it will also completely make you to eat dirt if
your characters are level 33; it's the same level as Knotty, and as you know,
Stone deals 8 times as much damage when the level of the caster and the target
as equal. Just make sure this doesn't happen by taking them out ASAP; they're
weak to Fire, so Rising Phoenix or the newly acquired Valigarmanda can help.
Noiseblaster also works like a charm. An MT charm, to be precise. :P

Another theory I'd like to credit Suonymona for mentions that Mu/Knotty are this
game's version of FF V's Nut Eaters/Skull Eaters. They're both squirrel-like in
appearance the colors are consistent (brown for the weaker, grey for the
stronger). Since Sabin has a childhood fear of 'Nut Eaters', maybe the Mu's
and Knotty's non-Meteor Strikeable nature doesn't come from the fact they are
unable to be lifted, but rather comes from the fact Sabin can't bring himself to
perform the attack on them. This wouldn't explain Gogo's behavior, though.

Tzakmaqiels are boring. Their Special, !Peck, sets Imp. Weak against Fire like
everything in the cave, it doesn't really matter if you torch them or just
use other kinds of violence. The Sketch command has a 3/4 shot at pulling
Cyclonic from this freaky bipod, which works against both Tzakmaqiel and
Knotty. Tzakmaqiel are called 'leaders of the little monsters' by the Anthology
Bestiary. What that's supposed to mean is left to anybody's imagination.

Illuyankas are pretty sturdy with inherent Protect, Death protection, and the
ability to absorb your Lightning-elemental attacks. They're weak against Fire
and really don't do anything special AI-wise (Attack and !Friendmaker, which
sets *gasp* Imp), so take your time, they're not very dangerous. They have a
mouth-watering Rage, though (inherent Protect, Lightning-absorption, ID
protection, Gigavolt).

The Tonberry. The notorious creatures that look like they're waddling over
for a hug yet intend to flay the flesh from your skull while you're still alive.
They have a lot of Hit Points (8000) for a normal monster and possess two very
strong attacks. Every round, it will use Traveler. Since Traveler is
unblockable, non-elemental, and barrier-piercing, there's no protection from it.
I can't predict how much damage it will do, but 1700 is a fair guess, I'd say.
Every time you damage a Tonberry, it will counter with a !Knife  attack, which
is eight times as strong as his normal Attack (which he never uses) - an
incredible blow - AND another Traveler attack. It slaughters you left and
right! How to deal with one? The trick is the Imp status! Turn it into an Imp
with the spell or Bad Breath. It'll start to do automatic criticals now, so if
you're not under the influence of Invisible you should do so ASAP. Now, you can
just pound it without fear. The quickest ways to a dead Tonberry are Fire-
elemental attacks and the Deepeye Rage. Since Tonberry is immune to ID attacks,
but not to Petrify, most petrification attacks will fail where Dread Gaze will
work. It has a rare Tintinnabulum drop, which is pretty spectacular, but as a
Tonberry encounter by itself is rare enough, it's hardly a good source to find
them.

Anemone are pretty passive enemies. When with other monsters, they will merely
use !Imp Touch every now and then, which sets Imp. If they've been damaged,
they will heal themselves a little with Megavolt; they both are weak to the
element and absorb it, so not even the Debilitator can make Megavolt hurt an
Anemone. If an Anemone is all by itself though, it'll start to use Gigavolt on
the party every turn, so you'll want to avoid that. Weak to Fire, like you
suspected.

Onion Dashers are monsters I find specifically annoying for no apparent reason.
Their Special is called !Dash, and it doesn't set Imp; it sets Haste! That's
why they use it on themselves every second turn, too. Otherwise, it's just
physical attacks when they're with others or Imp Song when they're alone. You've
only seen Imp Song as a counter-attack so far, so I should point out that Imp
Song is actually an MT attack.

So, slap on as many Ribbons as you have and give White Capes to the other
characters. You don't want to be turned into an Imp, and Ribbons are nice
in the aspect of Confuse-protection for Stone. Summon Phantom at some time or
just cast Vanish a couple of times; invulnerability is the goal here. Knotty's
Stone isn't cast until the second round and Gigavolt and Imp Song only when the
enemies in question are alone (don't allow it). Tonberry's Traveler is
unavoidable, but you can set Imp, possibly revive the fallen characters, and
quickly re-apply Invisible. Fire-elemental attacks rule here, but the only
strong one you probably have at this point is Vligarmanda's Tri-Disaster. Firaga
spells clean house though.

Umaro's Cave is a cave with two themes. The first theme is out-battle, and it's
pitfalls. Bloody, bloody pitfalls. They're not there to make you land on
poisoned spikes or anything, but they do keep you from getting treasure. The
other theme is Imp. Every monster here has the ability to turn you into one
of those blasted Kappa water sprites.

When you land, you have access to three parts of the cave. The far right one
just leads you to a pitfall, so you have no business there. The one in the
middle leads you to a chest with an X-Ether (the upper chest). Grab it and then
return to the first cave you entered. Now, enter the far left cave-mouth. Make
sure you don't stand on the two dark tiles there, as they are pitfalls. Walk
around until you get a random battle. Make sure to end it with four characters
with the Invisible status. Siren is nice to equip as well, but only necessary if
you can't set Imp or Silence in any way. Now, open the chest. As you may have
guessed, 'tis a monster-in-a-box.

Tonberries (x3)
Level: 62, HP: 30000, MP: 50000
Steal: Minerva Bustier (rare), Win: Minerva Bustier (rare)
Absorbs: Water, Weak against: Fire
Special: !Knife: Attack x 8
Sketch : !Knife, Attack
Control: Attack, !Knife
Vulnerable to: Imp, Silence, Slow
Attacks: Attack, !Knife, Holy

Joker's Death: Yes

Ragnarok's Metamorph: Yes
12.5% chance of obtaining one of the following:

Impartisan
Tortoise Shield
Saucer
Reed Cloak

Tonberries are the more powerful yet more easily defeated version of the
Tonberry. They simply walk up to you and use Attack every time they take a step.
If they're right in front of you - have taken eight steps - they use !Knife and
return to their original position. If you hit them with a Magic spell, they
counter with Holy. Their Holy spell is fairly weak and not even a direct threat,
but it does remove the Invisible status, which opens you up to their physical
attacks.

When you fight them, do whatever you want, so long as you make sure you stay
under Invisible. Silence the lot, cast an MT Bio, and cast a Hastega spell on
them to speed up the Poisoning. They're weak against Fire, so the newly acquired
summon attack, Tri-Disaster, packs a nice punch. The battle really revolves
around staying invincible. Gau's Io Rage is really grand, as the Tonberries'
level is really high. You know what hurts by now, I assume. If you have a
character with the Steal command, you could try to nick a Minerva Bustier if you
don't have two yet; the only situation in which you need more than one Minerva
Bustier is a team that features both Terra and Celes, but it doesn't hurt. Do
know that due to the Tonberries' high level and the Minerva Bustier being a rare
Steal, it really makes for a small chance of success; you need to be at least
level 50 for a chance of success.

Once you're done, you cleared the entire top floor so it doesn't matter if you
go back to the first cave and enter the middle cave-mouth to descend the stairs
to the lower level or just fall through a pitfall. Regardless, find the Gauntlet
in the chest here and push on. It's an easily maneuverable cave and you should
reach the stairs before long. Ascend to find a switch. Ignore it; it triggers
a pitfall right where you're standing. The next switch also does this, but
allows you to enter a new part of the cave.

This is the room of the sasquatch that Mog and various townspeople from Narshe
were talking about earlier. The stairs up just lead to the point where you
could see Umaro the sasquatch in the WoB and forces you to fall down there. It's
a long hike back, and we still have work to do here. Examine the bone carving
in the middle of the room to find a piece of Magicite in it! Once you choose
to remove the remains of Midgardsormr from the carving, an enraged yeti comes
for you! You should know better than to mess with art...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.55.5   The battle with Umaro
**********************************

Umaro
Level: 33, HP: 17200, MP: 6990
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Ice, Weak against: Fire, Poison
Creature Type: Humanoid
Special: !Tackle: Attack x 3
Sketch : !Tackle, Attack
Control: Attack, !Tackle
Vulnerable to: Poison, Berserk, Sleep, Slow
Attacks: Attack, !Tackle, Jump, Item (Green Cherry), Snowball, Avalanche,
         Snowstorm, Hailstone

Joker's Death: Yes
Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

So, you've had three major battles with relatively easily defeated monsters with
a weakness to Fire, so the game designers decided to add something new here.
Sadly, the game designers lost the dictionary and forgot the meaning of the word
'new', and as a result Umaro is, yet again, a relatively easily defeated monster
with a weakness to Fire.

Umaro employs all kinds of freaky attacks to try to damage you. Normally,
he'll use Attack, !Tackle, and Snowstorm. He uses physical attacks only when
only one character is alive, but I see no reason for that to occur other than in
a SCC. Every 40 seconds (when 2 or more characters are alive), Umaro will either
use Snowball (an unblockable ID attack that halves the target's current HP and
sets Sap), Avalanche, or Hailstone (ID attack that takes off 75% of the targets
current HP). Umaro may counter Fire-elemental attacks with either !Tackle or
Snowstorm, and every other kind of damage with !Tackle. Every third time Umaro
is hit by a Magic spell, he'll use a Jump attack.

The interesting part of this fight is the Green Cherry Item. When you
use it on him or he uses it himself (automatically when he reaches 10240 HP),
he will glow red and the following message will appear:

Energized!
Defense increased!
Magic Defense Increased!
Speed incrased!
Healing increased!

This means that Umaro sets Protect, Shell, Haste, and Regen on himself. Sadly
for Umaro, he has Sap immunity, so you never get to see Regen in action. The
appearance of the Green Cherry means Dispel time for you! Dispel will remove
all of his power-ups (so will Strago's Rippler Lore, by the way).

Umaro is a very easy opponent. Since he has Berserk vulnerability, you can set
it with the Berserk spell, summon Phantom, and effectively win the match right
there. If this is not amongst your pool of options, combining Sleep with Slow
should really cripple him too. If status ailments are too cheap for you, Umaro
is simply weak enough to defeat with damaging and healing when appropriate.
Fira spells work just fine, as does Sabin's Phantom Rush, Dragon Horn Jump
attacks, you name it.

After the battle is over, Umaro will be sitting in a corner, looking sad and
pummeled. But hey, you broke his statue and, dunno, pummeled him, so I guess
that makes sense. If you walk over him, don't be afraid; he won't attack you
again. If you didn't bring Mog, he'll just go "Oooh..." and continue to sit
there. If this happens, you can just return to get Mog and talk to him later;
he'll still be sitting there.

If you did bring Mog though, he'll go talk to Umaro. In a stunning display of
taking advantage of the mentally disabled, Mog orders Umaro to join your cause.
He'll stomp off to find the Falcon and wait there for you. You don't have to
have Mog in your party to use Umaro, and using a Green Cherry on the character
Umaro has no special effect over removing Imp like it always does. If you would
like to learn more about Umaro, follow [UMARO-LINK].

Umaro, as a character, is generally considered the weakest character in
the game. His stats are awesome, that's not the problem, and his Tackle and
Character Toss attacks are nothing to scoff at. Not to mention the fact that
with the two Relics made specifically for him (the Berserker Ring and Blizzard
Orb) he absorbs Fire and Ice while nullifying Lightning, taking care of the
three basic elements in the game. Then why is Umaro still considered the weakest
link?

First off, you can't access his equipment. He's stuck with a feature-less,
non-elemental Bone Club in his right hand and the Snow Scarf. Granted, the
Snow Scarf is arguably the best armor to be 'stuck with', but this means that
Umaro cannot adapt to a situation. He needs at least one Relic slot for a
sufficient damage output, which doesn't help him. He can't learn or cast
Magic like all the other characters, and can receive no Esper boosts, as he
can't equip them. He's uncontrollable from the beginning, so he can never react
to a surprise Death with a Phoenix Down or fall back as a utility character.

In short, Umaro is a completely one-dimensional character. This immediately
explains his popularity by many first-time players; it's hard to go wrong with
him. Every character can be tweaked to be superior to Umaro, but you have to
know how in some cases, while it's impossible to go really wrong with Umaro;
you bring him into battle; he'll do impressive damage.

For now, if you've followed the walkthrough so far, you'll have neither the
Berserker Ring nor Blizzard Orb, so the best Umaro right now is one equipped
with a Gigas Glove (Hero's Ring works, but Umaro won't benefit from the increase
in magical damage) and a Gauntlet. Since Umaro comes without a shield anyway,
the Gauntlet raises both the offense (his normal physicals only, not Tackle
and Character Toss) and defense of the raging snowman.

Now, you can just cast the Teleport spell to get out. Or walk, do whatever
pleases you. The path Umaro took is the only way to leave Umaro's caves.

Note: You just obtained Midgarsormr as well. Midgarsormr isn't as powerful as
Valigarmanda, almost nothing is weak to the Earth element and he doesn't hit
Floating targets, but Midgarsormr's Abyssal Maw *is* stronger than your level 2
spells so it's a nice Esper to summon for Terra/Celes/Relm/Strago if they
haven't learned any truly powerful magic yet.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.55.6   The Moogle Raid
**********************************

  Container contents:
  Aegis Shield, Air Anchor, Force Armor x2, Force Shield, Fixed Dice, Gauntlet,
  Genji Shield, Hero's Ring, Hypno Crown, Kagenui, Minerva Bustier, Nutkin Suit,
  Red Cap, Ribbon, Safety Bit, Pinwheel

Note that this section is entirely optional and in fact hardly what you're
'supposed' to do, feel free to skip it. It's the abusing of a no-encounter
Relic to gain all sorts of late-game treasure from three dungeons you're not
quite ready for. It *really* helps out.

[MOOGLE-RAID]

The following needs you to have Mog in your party, equipped with Molulu's Charm.
It's the entire point of the quest, silly! Since you'll be walking anyway, might
as well equip Sprint Shoes.

The first stop is the Cultist's Tower. We see Strago prancing 'round like
before, but now we go right past him, onto the Tower.

On the first part of the stairway, there's a door we can enter. Enter and raid
the chest; it contains a Safety Bit. The Safety Bit protects the wearer from
Instant Death-magic; it's basically a Memento Ring for everybody. But wait a
minute, didn't that thief in Maranda mention how one of his companions mumbled
'to the right of the treasure chest'? The thieves can never have gone too far,
so you'd better check it out. Press the action button when standing to the
right of the treasure chest. Something rumbles, and when you leave the door
another one has appeared below you! When you enter this one, you can find
a chest containing an Air Anchor, Edgar's final Tool.

The Air Anchor does the following. Once an enemy is hit by the Air Anchor, it
is allowed one more turn, after which it dies. It never misses, unless the
target is immune to Instant Death attacks. The Air Anchor also deals damage,
which is entirely redundant (as no damage will be done if it misses, and the
damage is useless if the target dies the next round anyway). I myself have
always liked the Air Anchor because it never fails and you can focus attacks
on other opponents while you know the Anchored one has been taken care of;
others will claim the Air Anchor is a scrubby Tool that allows for another
attack while so many other ID attacks like Death/Snare/Zantetsuken do not.

And thus was born the Air Anchorman; the legend of Edgar Roni Burgundy.

While in the Air Anchor room, remove your Molulu's Charm and walk around! The
only battles here feature Magic Urn. Not only do they heal you with a multitude
of potions, they also Flee on their own after a while. They have a kick-ass
Rage (allows Gau to absorb all eight elements regardless of equipment and
immunity to all status ailments while casting Curaga half the time), so you'll
want to meet them at least once.

We press on! The door in the second part of the stairway contains a Genji
Shield, which is a nice enough shield; third-best Defense in the game (lower
than the legendary Paladin's Shield and oddball Tortoise Shield), respectable
Magic Defense, and 20% Evasion and Magic Evasion added to the wearer.

The door in the third part of the stairway contains the Kagenui the second-most
powerful Dirk for Shadow. It has a 25% chance of casting Stop every time a
strike is made, but gives nothing in terms of fringe benefits. Famous for
Coliseum tactics against the likes of Typhon and Siegfried, who are both
vulnerable to the ailment and very hard to defeat by other means. The room also
features the Holy Dragon; you can defeat him now if you want for a Holy
Lance: [HDRAGON-LINK].

The door in the fourth and last part of the stairway contains a Force Armor.
The Force Armor is a great piece of armor, especially for those characters
that have no other interesting pieces to equip (Locke, Cyan, Edgar, Setzer, and
Shadow). It doesn't really have that much on Defense (inferior to Crystal Mail),
but it's quite good on Magic Defense (only inferior to Genji Armor, rare
Snow Scarf and oddball Reed Cloak), has great elemental advantages (50% Fire,
Ice, Lightning, Wind, and Earth-elemental damage) and an added 30% Magic
Evasion.

The Force Armor is inferior to the Minerva Bustier in every way except for the
Magic Evasion, so don't equip it on the girls; it's a genuine toss-up for the
boys, though. The Genji Armor is sturdier in both the Defense and Magic Defense
department and gives all-round stat boosts to boot; the Force Armor makes for a
more evasive character that is better suited to deal with elemental magical
attacks. I prefer the Force Armor for non-specific boss battles and the Genji
Armor for random encounters myself, but it's up to you.

The top part of the Tower, where the 'wondrous' item lies, should be off-limits
to you at this point; you can try to defeat the boss, but it's an enormous
hassle to defeat the guy at this stage. If you want to try the pain-in-the-ass
way (which for emulator users means juggling with Quetzalli's Sonic Dive and for
console players hours upon hours of MP-draining), skip ahead to [MAGICMASTER-
LINK]. If not, just hike all the way back, which is my least favorite part of
this game by far.

Next and final stop, Kefka's Tower!

Put Mog with Molulu's Charm in party # 1, and fill up the other two positions.
You won't be using them, so don't worry about which characters to take.

Walk around with Mog. You'll first come across a chest containing a Hypno Crown,
which boosts the wearer's Magic Power by 4 and raises the success rate of the
Control ability (Relm's upgraded Sketch). Walking on gets us into a familiar
area, a part of the Imperial Palace. Open the chest for the Fixed Dice (which
makes Setzer eternally more appealing than he was so far).

The Fixed Dice are Dice, but better. Dice sucked always, but the Fixed Dice is
a better damage dealer than Setzer's other weapons on average (unless extreme
circumstances appear, but meh). The main differences include the fact that the
Fixed Dice have THREE Dice to multiply with, and upon the situation of three
equal rolls (1-1-1, 2-2-2, etc.) the outcome is once again multiplied by the
number rolled. Finally, the damage output of the Fixed Dice aren't cut down by
the Master's Scroll so Setzer can deal four of these attacks from the Back Row
with the relic equipped.

Now, walking on will get you to a dead end, so either use a Teleport Stone, the
Teleport spell, or switch to one of your characters and touch the Crane to get
out. Now, put Mog in party # 2 and continue raiding.

The first chest you find is rather messily stacked on the background in the
second room. It contains a Minerva Bustier. Continue to find a split in the
road. Go up to grab the Pinwheel in the chest, and then go down. You'll find
yourself in the jail of the Imperial Palace, where Kefka was locked up when you
were on the mission to find the Esper for a peace conference. A monster sits in
Kefka's jail; ignore it for now and get out. You'll fall down. Go up the
stairs to find two pipes. The right one takes you back to the Pinwheel room,
the left one allows you to continue. You'll find a Force Shield in the chest
you see upon tasting fresh air again. Go down; don't bother with the two doors
for now, and get to the far bottom-left to find a Force Armor in a chest. Get
back to the two doors. The left one takes you to a button on the floor and
a chest containing a Ribbon. Get out and take the right door. You can find
the Gold Dragon waiting for you here, but no more chest contents. If you have
the Berserk and Vanish spells, you can take him with Mog only; an average party
at this point also can. If you want to take the dragon on now, take a look at
[GDRAGON-LINK]. Teleport out.

Now, get Mog in party # 3. Walk downwards. Going to the left will clearly take
you past three chests: a Red Cap (awesome), a Gauntlet, and a Nutkin Suit.
Continuing down the logical path will eventually take you to a part of the
derelict Magitek Factory. Pick the chest for a Hero's Ring and try to find the
Aegis Shield hidden to the south. If you're playing on an emulator, simply
disable layer 2 to see the path. If you're a console player, do the following:

Go down into the darkness to the left of the spinning whatever-it-is.
- Go all the way down
- Go all the way to the right
- Go all the way down
- Go 1 step up
- Go all the way to the left
- Go all the way down
- Take a few steps to the right and grab the Aegis Shield
- Go back into the darkness and go all the way to the right
- Go up and to the right until you don't go any further
- Go all the way to the left, and all the way up to re-appear

This is it! You've raided Kefka's Tower as far as you could. There's plenty
more, but you'll need three thoroughly prepared parties to go further so
there's a time for that later.

Finally, it's possible to get a secret character really early. It's a fun
character in a rainbow-coloured burqa that can perform ALL the skills, giving
you Steal back among other options. There's a few neat treasures as well. All
you gotta do is fly over to the Triangle Island to the northeast, take off
Molulu's Charm, engage a Zone Eater (it won't kill Mog) and have it Inhale Mog.
When inside, follow your heart:

 [EARLY-GOGO]

When you pick up Gogo this early, make sure to check out the chapter detailing
the Steal command in the World of Ruin.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.55.7    Round two: Dragon's Neck Coliseum
**********************************

Welcome to the Dragon's Neck Coliseum, a monument to combat. You've had a nice
trip around the world, obtained two fluffy mascots and probably used one of them
to steal everything that wasn't nailed down. It's time to bet your newly
acquired prizes to gain more prowess in combat. Again, more *'s means more
difficulty.

*** Falchion - Flame Shield         Opponent: Outsider
  * Flame Shield - Ice Shield       Opponent: Metal Hitman
 ** Murasame - Masamune             Opponent: Glasya Labolas
 ** Masamune - Murakumo             Opponent: Gorgimera
 ** Murakumo - Holy Lance           Opponent: Galypdes
*** Fuma Shuriken - Pinwheel        Opponent: Chaos Dragon
 ** Pinwheel - Rising Sun           Opponent: Aspidochelon
  * Rising Sun - Bone Club          Opponent: Weredragon
 ** Bone Club - Red Jacket          Opponent: Test Rider
 ** Sniper - Bone Club              Opponent: Glasya Labolas
  * Regal Gown - Minerva Bustier    Opponent: Death Machine
*** Rename Card - Miracle Shoes     Opponent: Fiend Dragon

For a casual playthrough, I suggest the following. Get one Red Jacket by
betting one Fuma Shuriken, bought in Thamasa, and continuing down the line
until you win a Red Jacket. If you haven't obtained a Minerva Bustier earlier,
do so now by betting your Regal Gown. Miracle Shoes are the bee's knees, and
Rename Cards are easily obtained from Elixirs. Check the strategy and see how
much patience you have for them. Obtaining four Flame Shields and four Ice
Shields won't be truly relevant until you can access the bonus content.

An explanation on the new items you can obtain here:

The Flame Shield is a shield that, well, absorbs Fire-elemental attacks. It
nullifies damage done by Ice-elemental attacks, and the wearer will receive
twice as much damage from Water-elemental attacks. It teaches the Fira spell
at a x5 rate and will cast an unblockable, barrier-piercing Firaga spell when
used in combat, after which it breaks. Its Defense rate is 1 point below that
of the Ice Shield, which basically serves the same purpose. It's inferior to
the Crystal Shield in terms of Defense and Magic Defense, but the elemental
properties and the extra 10% Magic Evasion makes it come out superior in my
book.

The Ice Shield is a shield that, well, absorbs Ice-elemental attacks. It
nullifies damage done by Fire-elemental attacks, and the wearer will receive
twice as much damage from Wind-elemental attacks. It teaches the Blizzara spell
at a x5 rate and will cast an unblockable, barrier-piercing Blizzaga spell when
used in combat, after which it breaks. Its Defense rate is 1 point above that
of the Flame Shield, which basically serves the same purpose. It's inferior to
the Crystal Shield in terms of Defense and Magic Defense, but the elemental
properties and the extra 10% Magic Evasion makes it come out superior in my
book.

The Masamune is stronger than the Murasame but lacks the Evasion boost, which
with Cyan's Fang Bushido is really the only use you'll get from one of his
weapons. I only suggest trading away your Murasame if you plan on getting a
Holy Lance now.

The (Ame no) Murakumo (Sword of the Billowing Clouds, or shortened as Heaven's
Cloud), is the strongest weapon from Japanese mythology. In FF VI, it's a rather
uninteresting weapon and the fourth-strongest weapon Cyan gets to lay his hands
on without crossing the border of weapons he can normally equip. It's a very
simple upgrade in Attack Power over the Masamune.

The Holy Lance is a Holy-elemental Lance that gives a +3 on Magic Power and has
a 25% at casting Holy every time you Fight with it or on every last Jump attack
the wielder makes. The Holy Lance is argued to be the best Lance out there,
because the only one higher in Attack Power doesn't have a random spell casting
applied. You may have found already if you took Mog lootin' in the Fanatic's
Tower and went toe to toe with the Holy Dragon.

The Pinwheel is the ultimate throwing star. It eh.... yeah, it damages. A lot.
You can't really buy them anywhere, they are hardly ever found in chests, and
they only appears as a rare steal on a late-game enemy, so the Coliseum is your
source for them. The damage increase over the Fuma Shuriken probably isn't worth
all the effort, but the Pinwheel can be bet away in the Coliseum for other
items.

The Rising Sun is a Moonring Blade upgrade. It's weaker than the Sniper Special
weapon and can only be gotten *later* than it. It's a passageway item at the
Coliseum and should only be collected for that very purpose.

The Bone Club is equally useless. Only one character, Umaro, can equip it, he
comes with one and cannot be (un)equipped anyway. Another passageway item
collected for completion and betting at the Coliseum. It can be sold for a
purse full of 10000 Gil.

The Red Jacket is Sabin's ultimate Armor. Sadly for Sabin, it's the second-
worst piece of ultimate Armor in the game. It nullifies any Fire-elemental
attack and is superior to Diamond Vests and Crystal Mail and all that, but
comes nowhere near other end-game pieces of equipment and has no special effect.
It's also useful on Edgar for a short while, I might add.

The Minerva Bustier is the piece of Armor you'll wind up keeping on Celes and
Terra for the remainder of the game because it's the BEST armor in the game.
Fire, Ice, Lightning, and Wind are nullified, and Water, Earth, Holy, and Poison
only deal 50% as much damage. To top it off, it grants the wearer an
all-round stat boost (+1 Strength, +2 Speed, +1 Stamina and +4 Magic Power for
dessert) and 10% additional Magic Evasion. Its special effect is granting
the wearer 25% extra MP. In other words, you'll want this on your armored
girls most of the time If you defeated the Tonberries in Umaro's Cave, you might
have found one or more already.

Miracle Shoes are grand. They set Protect, Shell, Haste, and Regen on a
character. This will make him or her take only 2/3 of the damage every attack
normally does that isn't barrier-piercing, grants an immunity to Slow and
Sap, and basically makes sure that a character will stick around longer and act
faster than he or she normally does. Miracle Shoes are great filler Relics;
while Miracle Shoes take a spot that a Hero's Ring can't take, some prefer the
defensive route to the offensive one.

- Falchion - Flame Shield       Opponent: Outsider

Outsider is vulnerable to ID, and that's your savior. Outsider uses Attack,
!Dispatch, Flare, and Banish. !Dispatch kills you if it connects. Banish kills
you if it connects. Every time you hurt Outsider, he's going to respond with
Shurikens, Fuma Shurikens or a Pinwheel down your throat. Send in Setzer with
dual Viper Darts and a Black Belt and you should be winning more battles than
you lose. Sadly, you're just gonna have to rely on the X-type ID kicking in, or
else you'll see Setzer eating dust like it's 311 B.C.

- Flame Shield - Ice Shield     Opponent: Metal Hitman

Metal Hitman has little HP and weak defenses. Sending in Sabin with dual Dragon
Claws and a Black Belt will guarantee you victory unless Sabin pulls off a
Soul Spiral. If you have a Safety Bit, you can use it to protect against the
Dischord attack.

- Murasame - Masamune           Opponent: Glasya Labolas
- Sniper - Bone Club            Opponent: Glasya Labolas

This is a battle of persistance. With the new and improved (read: working)
Prayer Beads, you can stuff a character with some Prayer Beads, stick him/her
in the Back Row and wait for it. GL has incredible Evasion himself, so you'll
have to count on unblockable/magical attacks to land, such as Bio, Setzer's Gil
Toss, Edgar's Tools, etc. Miracle Shoes help, as does a Protect Ring. This is
a superior route to Bone Clubs and Red Jackets. Your best bet is probably
Setzer with Heiji's Jitte, some Prayer Beads and Fixed Dice (or Dice if you
don't have those).

- Masamune - Murakumo           Opponent: Gorgimera

Gorgimera is a mean upgrade from the Chimera. He can use Avalanche (strong),
Aero (even stronger), and Flare Star, which will kill you unless you have any
way of nullifying it/absorbing it. Send in a character with a Flame Shield, as
he or she will be protected from both Avalanche and Flare Star. An Ice Shield is
not as smart as Aero will do double damage to such a target. Dragoon Edgar works
best.

- Murakumo - Holy Lance         Opponent: Galypdes

Galypdes is a big bird. It uses Attack, !Flap, Shamshir and Cyclonic. You can't
protect against the latter two yet, so just send in Dragoon Edgar and hope for
the best. If you don't have him, I regret to inform you that ID attacks don't
work against this bird and you won't win the battle.

- Fuma Shuriken - Pinwheel      Opponent: Chaos Dragon

Chaos Dragon has three attacks that are prone to screw you over. !Incinerate
will kill you if it connects. Disaster turns you into a Confused Imp, which
pretty much settles the score. Meteor is just very strong. You won't' be able to
take two and live through it. Your best bet is to send it Dragoon Edgar and hope
for Attack/Meteor. Chaos Dragon has quite some HP but weak defenses, so while in
most cases you'll die, you really want to pull through a few times to get to the
Red Jackets in the end.

- Pinwheel - Rising Sun         Opponent: Aspidochelon

Aspidochelon is a joke. He has little HP (3210), little Defense, and a weakness
against Holy-elemental attacks. Sabin with two Dragon Claws, a Black Belt,
and Gaia Gear is almost sure to win. His Landslide attack will be absorbed by
the Gaia Gear, so the only worry is Avalanche, of which Sabin can take at least
two before rolling over and dying. If you want to be really sure, try getting
an Ice Shield first so you absorb both Landslide AND Avalanche.

- Rising Sun - Bone Club        Opponent: Weredragon

Weredragon is weak, but has a 1/3 chance of casting Death. Equip a Reflect Ring
to reflect it back at him (he's vulnerable to ID). Any strong attack will take
him out.

- Bone Club - Red Jacket        Opponent: Test Rider

It's better to wait until after you've gotten yourself an Ice Shield so you
absorb Flash Rain. If you have a Saucer to equip or perhaps a Tortoise Shield,
that works too (Flash Rain is Ice/Water, despite it's Lightning-elemental
looks). Edgar would make a nice Dragon Horn Dragoon with an Ice Shield in this
fight. Test Rider isn't really something to worry about.

- Regal Gown - Minerva Bustier  Opponent: Death Machine

75% of the time, Death Machine will cast Death. Death Machine is also vulnerable
to Instant Death attacks. Grab a Reflect Ring and equip it, and send whoever.
If your character attacks, Death Machine can counter with up to FOUR Blaster
attacks. If your character damages Death Machine without killing him, the battle
is over. So, start running as soon as you enter the fight! Your character will
just run and never attack. He won't succeed in running away, and just Reflect
the Death spell to win.

- Rename Card - Miracle Shoes   Opponent: Fiend Dragon

Fiend Dragon has four attacks: Attack, which normally wouldn't be that much of
a disaster, yet will prove fatal in most cases in this battle. Northern Cross,
which has a small chance of freezing you. Southern Cross, which is a strong
Fire-elemental attack. And Heartless Angel, which is an unblockable attack that
sets your character's HP to 1. Equip a Flame Shield (Red Jackets or Ice Shield
won't be sufficient) on Dragoon Edgar. The only way you can be killed is
receiving an Attack at 1 HP. You just need to pray that doesn't happen and that
Southern Cross heals you back up whenever you reach that level.

To finish off, an impression what my team looks like at this point:

EDGAR
Holy Lance      Flame Shield
Royal Crown     Red Jacket
Dragon Horn      Dragoon Boots

SABIN
Dragon Claws    Ice Shield
Circlet         Red Jacket
Hero's Ring     Earring

CELES
Enhancer        Crystal Shield
Mystery Veil    Minerva Bustier
Hero's Ring     Prayer Beads

SETZER
Viper Darts     Ice Shield
Genji Helm      Crystal Mail
Hero's Ring     Earring

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.56.1   The battle with Humbaba
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Humbaba (-), Humbaba (#309)

  Container contents:
  Hi-Ether

  Lores:
  1000 Needles

Whom to bring? Celes is great to bring; Runic is nice if you don't have enough
Reflect Rings to satisfy the entire party, and Celes's Minerva Bustier nullifies
Humbaba's Lightning-elemental attacks. Sabin is a great addition to your team as
he'll be able to a lot of damage without disturbing him from his sleep with
Phantom Rush. Gau's not very useful, as his random physicals will disturb
Humbaba from his Sleep status, and the same goes for Umaro.

Assuming you haven't fought Humbaba earlier, you still have some things to do,
which you can read about here: [HUMBABA1-LINK]

Assuming that you fought Humbaba earlier and talked to Terra in Mobliz:

[HUMBABA2-LINK]

This is a good time to check in on the kids in Mobliz again. That pigeon can
wait for just a little bit longer (don't worry, we'll get with the pigeon next)
and the last time we saw Terra, she wasn't doing so hot. Personal problems,
loads of responsibility, and the ancient demon Humbaba stampeding around would
get the average nineteen-year old girl down, I'm sure.

As soon as you enter Mobliz, nothing happens. The dogs have gotten used to you,
so they don't bark. Descending in the orphan's shelter will teach you that the
three older kids in town are gone; it seems that amidst all of the disaster,
safe sex wasn't a priority for Duane and Katarin. Katarin's pregnant, Duane
had thought of a better future than sitting in a dump of a town with his
knocked-up 17-year old girlfriend like so many fine young men of our generation,
and Terra... Where the hell is Terra? Best search around town.

The Relic Shop's derelict, although there's a nice bed for you to sleep in if
you feel like it. The only other standing house contains a dog that quickly
sneaks off behind a bookcase and Duane, who laments. Follow the dog and you
discover the haven within the haven; Terra and Katarin have retreated here to
discuss the existence of the baby. Duane comes in to apologize for his whatever
the hell he did wrong.

At any rate, Humbaba attacks again. Duane sticks to Katarin, Terra refuses to
fight once more, and the kid asks you to rid the world of Humbaba once and for
all. With ten young eyes pointed at you, do you really have a choice? Before
you go out, you can grab an Ether from the yellow pot here, so there's that
choice.

Before you go out, make sure you're properly equipped and healed up. Reflect
Rings will really help here, especially if you lack the Runic ability on your
team. Obviously, people with a Thunder Shield and/or the Minerva Bustier don't
need a Reflect Ring, as they absorb (Thunder Shield) or nullify (Minerva)
Thundara and Thundaga anyway. If you brought Umaro and already found a Blizzard
Orb, equip it on him; not that his Snowstorm attack is specifically strong in
this battle, but the Blizzard Orb nullifies Lightning-elemental attacks.

Humbaba (Breath)
Level: 31, HP: 26000, MP: 10000
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Lightning, Weak against: Poison
Special: !Solar Plexus: Attack x 3
Sketch : !Solar Plexus, Attack
Control: Attack, !Solar Plexus
Vulnerable to: Nothing
Attacks: Attack, !Solar Plexus, Thundara, Thundaga, 1000 Needles, Humbaba Breath

Joker's Death: No
It's impossible to spin 7-7-7 in this battle; the game prevents it.

Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

Humbaba (final)
Level: 31, HP: 26000, MP: 10000
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Lightning, Weak against: Poison
Special: !Solar Plexus: Attack x 3
Sketch : !Solar Plexus, Attack
Control: Attack, !Solar Plexus
Vulnerable to: Sleep
Attacks: Attack, !Solar Plexus, Thundara, Thundaga, 1000 Needles

Joker's Death: Yes
Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

This isn't all that difficult, so I'll make it kinda quick. You rush out of
the house to find Humbaba approaching. You do battle with him. The first
round, he'll throw a Attack or !Solar Plexus attack. The next round consists out
of Thundara or Thundaga, and the third round is Thundara, 1000 Needles or
Attack. It loops. As soon as it hits 15360 Hit Points, it'll counter the first
attack you throw at him with a double Humbaba Breath attack. Humbaba Breath is a
Humbaba-only attack that's exactly the same as Snort; it only looks different.
Humbaba targets two random characters and blows them away. They will also be
removed from your party and can be found at the Falcon later. Here, the battle
ends.

If you somehow managed to completely circumvent this event by doing more than
15360 damage in one turn, he'll use Humbaba Breath only once and die. This is
odd, as the thing going on here is that you can't really handle Humbaba. Sure,
you pound on him for a while, then he disables two of your characters just like
that.

On the offense, Humbaba is temporarily resistant to the Sleep status so that
doesn't work. Focus on your strongest attacks; Sabin's Phantom Rush, Mog
and Edgar's Jump attacks, Setzer's Gil Toss attack (his Fixed Dice are
stronger if you have them), Cyan's Flurry technique, what have you. If you
brought Gau to the scene, !Cat Scratch at decent level (30 and above) is the
best bet versus Humbaba for Gau. Tyrannosaur's (enemy) Meteor's decent, followed
by Marchosias; Aero and Trillium's Bio. Spritzer absorbs Thundara and Thundaga,
which is a great defensive choice if you didn't bring Reflect Rings or a Runic
user. Keep in the back of your head that Spritzer is undead, though. Destroyer
isn't, but that really kills Gau's offense in the matter. Baalzephon absorbs the
Lightning-elemental spells and has superior offense in Blizzaga, but chances are
slim you chose to pick up Gogo before Terra. Your Mages and lesser-trained
characters have the Bio spell to use, and if any character has learned Quake
than it is pure Magic (don't forget to cast Float, obviously).

Note that since this battle fades out rather than actually ends, Strago won't
be able to learn any Lores (aka 1000 Needles) from this battle.

Anyway, despite your perfect set-up and the little amount of damage Humbaba
will be able to do, you still get your face handed to you on an IKEA silver
platter according to the storyline. No fair.

So, Terra comes to save you! Sensing that her friends are in danger or something
cheesy like that, she rushes to the rescue, unleashing the Esper within herself
on her way. Round two.

Now, you stand there with one or two less characters you picked beforehand, but
with a permanently Tranced Terra as a replacement. Just continue to attack him.
If Terra knows the Bio spell, have her use it. Since Terra doesn't have a
Reflect Ring and likely lacks the Minerva Bustier as well, it can be a good idea
to cast Shell or Reflect on her in this battle, even though she already takes
half as much damage from the attacks due to her Tranced state. The Sleep status
ailment works now, so have one of your characters cast it if possible and focus
on magical attacks only. Before long, Humbaba will fall.

Interesting tidbit: this is actually the only battle in the entire game you can
see the fallen Esper Terra sprite in. In normal situations, Terra will
automatically Revert when she is killed, but not so in this battle.

After the battle, the kids of Mobliz rush out of the houses to celebrate the
victory, but instead of their Mama, they find a naked purple furry. They hide
behind barrels for safety. One of the toddlers recognizes Terra and all
surround her. Terra, meanwhile, has concluded that pacifism isn't the way to
enlightenment and decides to fight for her loved ones, the children of Mobliz.
When the scene is over, we can leave Mobliz behind; we can only hope that all
will go well for them, and that the upcoming baby will never represent this
world reborn when the credits roll.

I wouldn't get my hopes up for that last one, by the way.

An important note to make before we really go back on the Falcon, by the way,
is the fact that as of now Terra will receive TWICE as much Trance time for
every Magic Point she gains. That's awesomely sweet. Terra is entirely like
Celes on her set-up and the way you should treat her; teach her Bahamut's,
Midgarsormr's or Valigarmanda's spells, and equip the Minerva Bustier on her no
matter what you have in mind.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.57.1   Following the pigeon
**********************************

Finally, it's time to get on with the story and get busy with the pigeon you
were prompted to deal with all these aeons ago.

Whom to bring? The Minerva Bustier is great against the boss you'll fight, so
Celes and Terra are nice choices if you have up to two Minervas Bustier. Sabin
is still a magical powerhouse, but Dragoon Edgar, Dragoon Mog, and Fixed Dice
Setzer are pretty powerful too. If Gau has something like Magic Urn or
Baalzephon I'd bring him along. Never mind Umaro. It comes down to the
characters you have proper equipment for, really.

First stop, if you still remember, is Maranda, where the carrier pigeon first
took us. Some pigeons surround Lola's house, and as we enter we find the entire
room covered in beautiful silk flowers. Lola claims that her boyfriend, the
wounded lad in Mobliz has sent them all, but we just visited that place; that
poor guy was killed when Kefka attacked the town with the Light of Judgment.
So, who has been deceiving this girl, keeping her hopes up? Examining the
letters reveals that the handwriting of it resembles the handwriting of Cyan,
who like no other, knows the pain of loss.

Lola asks you if you can attach her reply to a carrier pigeon. Accept, and
you'll receive the Rare item "Lola's letter". You can examine it to read the
first two lines (Thanks for all the flowers, I'm worried about you...) Go
outside and find the pigeon waiting for you near Lola's house; attach the
letter (obviously, you'll lose it) and you'll see it fly across the Overworld
Map to Zozo. It seems our characters have incredible eyesight if they can track
a single bird that far.

Jump on the Falcon and fly over to Zozo. Zozo still houses the same opponents
as it did in the WoB, but I'm not going to comment on them again, as they're no
real threat to you anymore. In Zozo, you find the pigeon resting for a bit near
the entrance; pushing it a little makes it fly on, over, and behind the Small
Tower. Up there, you may remember one of the doors being rusted shut; you
could climb up there and experience this fact if you want to, but we're better
off looking on the ground for help. Besides, didn't that one guy in Maranda
say how the honest merchant here might be able to help us out one day?

The honest merchant is willing to help us for a price; for 1000 Gil, we can buy
some Rust-Rid. He won't sell you the Rust-Rid if you haven't sent the pigeon
all the way, so make sure you did that. The Rust-Rid is a Rare Item you gain
if you pay the man. Climb up the stairs, and find the door that was rusted
shut. You use the Rust-Rid, and presto: a new dungeon.

The same merchant also gives you the tip of equipping 'sniper whatchamacallits'.
This is only a good idea if you plan on using the Fight command, which is about
the only physical attack that isn't unblockable you'll ever use. If you bring
Gau or Umaro here, that might actually be a good idea; otherwise you'll find
it's a waste of your relic slot.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.57.2   Mount Zozo
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Mugbear (#148), Devil Fist (#149), Luridan (#150), Punisher (#151), Glasya
  Labolas (#152), Storm Dragon (#341)

  Container contents:
  Aegis Shield, Gold Hairpin, Ice Shield, Red Cap, Thunder Shield

  Miscellaneous items:
  Bone Club (rare Punisher steal), Brigand's Glove (rare Devil Fist steal),
  Force Armor (guaranteed Storm Dragon drop), Muscle Best (rare Glasya Labolas
  steal), Rising Sun (common Punisher steal), Thief's Bracer (rare Mugbear
  steal)

  Lores:
  Aero, White Wind

Monster formations:

(Caves)
Mugbear, Punisher (6/16)
Glasya Labolas (5/16)
Mugbear (5/16)

(Bridge Slope)
Punisher, Devil Fist, Punisher (6/16)
Luridan, Luridan, Luridan, Luridan, Luridan, Luridan (5/16)
Glasya Labolas (5/16)

(Slope Before Cyan's Settlement)
Luridan, Luridan, Luridan, Luridan, Luridan, Luridan (6/16)
Luridan, Luridan, Luridan (5/16)
Glasya Labolas, Mugbear, Devil Fist (5/16)

Glasya Labolas are upgraded Hill Gigas. They don't use Magnitude 8 and don't
absorb Earth-elemental attacks either; they're just really powerful physically
and have a lot of HP. It has a very nasty Special in !Uppercut, which is five
times as powerful as Glasya Labolas' Attack, and has two chances of attacking
you every turn. Finally, they have a rare Muscle Belt steal; the Muscle Belt is
a Relic that raises your max. HP by 50%, which really helps you defensively.
They're nice targets for a Dread Gaze attack (has ID protection but no Petrify
protection) too.

Punishers are boring. They're stronger versions of the Harvesters you met down
in Zozo, but not nearly as interesting. They counter Steal with Steal. You can
Steal a common Rising Sun or rare Bone Club from them, which are limited to
them and Coliseum appearances. They take two turns attacking normally, and
a third turn in a frenzy of !Clobber (Attack x 2) and up to two Attacks. They're
Floating, like all thief opponents, and weak against Poison, like all humans.

Devil Fist are strong Zaghrem-type enemies, but unlike Zaghrem and Iron Fist
lack the ability to utilize the Stone attack. They have inherent Haste and
attack with either Attack or !Switchblade (Attack x 1.5). They also counter any
damaging attack with either Attack or !Switchblade. They have a rare Brigand's
Glove steal. Great. In the Sketch, Control, and Rage department, Devil Fist has
access to Will o' the Wisp, but he won't use it normally.

Luridan's crazy! Just crazy, I tell you! It knows two silly terrain attacks
only normally accessible through Mog's Dances. On the third turn, he may use
Forest Healing (removes Darkness, Poison, Petrify, Silence, Confuse, Sap, Sleep,
Slow and Stop), and on the fourth turn, it may use Meercat (MT, sets Haste).
Exactly why a violent delta-shaped bug like Luridan has power over nightingales
and young felines is left to anybody's imagination. On every non-Forest Healing/
Meercat turn, Luridan will either use Attack or !Ram (Attack x 2). Since
Luridan tends to travel in large packs of either three or six, the continuous
pounding gets rather painful on the whole. They can be quickly dispatched by a
decent MT Fira spell, and Gau's MT magical violence in Marchosias' Aero also
works wonders (Quake misses...why are they Floating?).

Mugbears are bears. They don't damage you; they just Steal Gil from you. This
was never a problem with other monsters that did this (Harvester, Dadaluma), as
they never ran, so you just got the money back in the end. Mugbear, however,
will flee the second turn when given the chance. He'll try to Steal from you in
the first turn, and counter any damaging attack you throw at him with a shot at
a Steal attack, so chances are you really want to take him down ASAP. Sleep,
Stop, and Berserk all work on him, and they're weak to the Fire element.

Also, there's a trick with Mugbear you can't execute now, but will be able to do
later. Bring Relm with the Cat-Ear Hood equipped, and have either Relm herself
or Gogo Control a Mugbear. Now, just go ahead and damage it a little with
something minor like a Thunder spell, and heal him afterwards. Some of the time,
he'll counter with Steal. Now, since Mugbear will Steal an incredible amount of
money over time, and the Cat-Ear Hood doubles all Gil obtained, you'll get your
own money back twice. I'll remind you when you have the Cat-Ear Hood and need
the money :)

All of the attacks of the monsters in Mt. Zozo are physical, so all you have to
do is summon Phantom once or cast Vanish enough times to cover the entire
party and you're more or less done until you reach the Storm Dragon here. For
some trivia, all monsters have a high Evasion rating. You don't notice due
to the fact almost none of your attacks are blockable physicals, but those that
use them will find they miss often.

As you enter, you'll find a giant cave with wooden bridges going everywhere
and nowhere. If you go up, you'll reach a dead end because both bridges here
have collapsed. Go all the way to the left to find a chest containing an Ice
Shield. If you go down a little, you'll find a wooden bridge going down and a
chest containing a Red Cap, a brilliant piece of headgear that raises HP by
25%. I love and suggest it on every character that's not wearing a Mystery
Veil at this moment. Follow the bridge downwards and it'll take you to
a long set of stairs going down, to the left, past a chest containing a
Thunder Shield, and eventually up again.

The Thunder Shield is the best elemental shield there is. Unlike its Flame and
Ice brethren, it has no elemental weakness, and next to absorbing Lightning-
elemental attacks and nullifying Wind, it also halves damage done by Fire-
and Ice-elemental attacks. I'd advise it over, say, the Genji Shield if your
set-up can use some elemental resistance.

Going up will get you past a chest with an Aegis Shield. Boy, the treasure
in this dungeon really rocks, I tell you. The Aegis Shield is a shield primarily
for magical attacks; its Magic Defense is better than the Genji Shield and
its Magic Evasion is also higher (40% is better than 20%, no?). It's not as
good as defender against magical attacks as the Force Shield, and not as good
against physicals as the Genji Shield, but it's a great shield on both areas.
Although its lack of elemental properties makes it primarily a great choice
for people who get their elemental properties from other sources (in other
words, that's mostly Minerva Bustier wearers, people with the Cat-Ear Hood, or
Force Armor).

Outside, in the opening to the far left, you'll find a chest with a Gold
Hairpin. The other exit takes you outside on the slopes of Mount Zozo, over
a bridge. In the next cave, you find a Save Point and a button tile. If you
stand on the button tile, a chest you can't reach opens to release the Storm
Dragon, who flies freely around. Equip Minerva Bustiers and Thunder Shields
where possible now, and Golem/Fenrir and Zona Seeker are great to have around to
summon.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.57.3   The battle with Storm Dragon
**********************************

Storm Dragon
Level: 74, HP: 42000, MP: 1250
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Force Armor (always)
Absorbs: Wind, Weakness: Lightning
Status: Float
Special: !Wing Sabre: Attack x 3
Sketch : White Wind, Aero
Control: Attack, !Wing Sabre
Vulnerable to: Nothing
Attacks: Attack, !Wing Sabre, Aero, Wind Slash, Leaf Swirl, Cyclonic

Joker's Death: Yes
Ragnarok's Metamorph: Yes
12.5% chance of obtaining one of the following:

Crystal Sword
Crystal Shield
Crystal Helm
Crystal Mail

Storm Dragon is the toughest dragon out of the bunch, and the specific scourge
of the average LLG players, because one of Storm Dragon's attacks is the
non-elemental, unblockable Leaf Swirl attack, which you can't prevent Storm
Dragon from using. Luckily, you probably have at least one Minerva Bustier
wearer in your party at this point, and you just found a Thunder Shield you can
equip on any given party member (except for Umaro, useless piece of muscle that
he is), so you have at least two party members that nullify the Wind element.

Storm Dragon can use three attacks normally: Attack, Wind Slash, and Leaf Swirl.
Leaf Swirl and Wind Slash are about alike in power and they're both unblockable.
Leaf Swirl, however, is non-elemental where Wind Slash is Wind-elemental. As
soon as Storm Dragon dives beneath 15360 Hit Points, he'll drop Wind Slash and
Leaf Swirl for more physicals (he'll start using !Wing Sabre here): Aero and
Cyclonic. Aero is about 1.2 times as powerful as Wind Slash, but 2.4 times as
powerful when used on a single target (which will only happen if all the other
characters are Dead or in the air due to a Jump attack). Cyclonic, as you
know from Wyvern and Platinum Dragon, is an MT percentage-based attack that will
remove 93.75% of the targets current HP. Memento Rings and Safety Bits block the
effects of Cyclonic, as do Rages with the ID Protection property.

At the start, summon Golem or Fenrir to protect against the physical attacks
Storm Dragon uses. Zona Seeker's Magic Shield really helps against Wind Slash
and Leaf Swirl, but you should invest in individual Shell castings if you don't
have Zona Seeker ready. Now, you'll want to use Rasp a few times to take care
of Storm Dragon's MP; when it's gone (you can check with Libra, or keep track
with a calculator), Storm Dragon won't be able to cast Aero or Cyclonic in
its 'dangerous' phase. If one of your party members has learned the Hastega
spell from Quetzalli, by all means.

Now, just start beating him! Terra's Trance can help boosting the damage
of her spells (and halve the damage done by the magical spells, even though
only Leaf Swirl should ever damage Terra is you've played your cards right).
Since Storm Dragon is weak against the Lightning-element, Thundara, Tri-Disaster
and Thundaga all hurt very nicely. Storm Dragon is rather strong and not to be
taken lightly, especially since he won't succumb to your status ailment spells,
but with the proper set-up, you shouldn't have a lot of problems.

When the fight ends, you'll have defeated another dragon and obtain a Force
Armor, which is great against magical attacks and halves the damage done from
Fire-, Lightning-, Ice-, Wind-, and Earth-elemental attacks.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.57.4   Cyan Garamonde
**********************************

After the battle, you can simply pursue you path without any kind of difficulty.
Eventually, you'll reach a room filled with the same silk flowers you found
in Lola's house, and a letter on a desk that reads:

Dear Lola,

I am writing to beg for your forgiveness. I am guilty of perpetuating a terrible
lie. I have only now realized the error of my ways, and taken up this quill in
hopes of correcting a great wrong. Your boyfriend, who you believed to be in
Mobliz, passed away some time ago. I have been writing to you in his stead.
We humans have a tendency to become trapped in the past and refuse to move on.
I implore you not to let this happen. Now is a time for you to look forward,
and rediscover love and all of the other joys of life...

              Cyan

Also, there's a locked chest. When we leave through the opening to the right,
we see Cyan send a letter and recite a poem; when he notices you, he declares
his alliance to your cause once again and freaks out about you seeing his
silk flowers and reading his letters. It seems the year of solitude has hardly
changed him. If you brought three characters, Cyan is now in your party; if
not, he'll be waiting on the Falcon for you.

If you go outside, you'll see something shimmering; it turns out to be the
key to Cyan's secret chest. You can go back in and open the chest. You'll find
two books here: a Machinery Manual (Japanese game: Machinery for Dunces, A
Pictorial Guide to Machines, Everything about Machines and Machines for the
Mechinically Disinclined) which supposedly cured Cyan's fear of machines and a
book called "Bushido in the Bedroom", of which he's very possessive. If you have
Cyan in your party at this moment, he'll make a small scene in which he takes
this item from your party leader. The Japanese game just called this "Bushido
in the Bedroom" a naughty magazine. So it's a fact, poetry-writing heart-broken
samurai get lonely too. :P

If you take Cyan to Lola, he'll exchange the "Everything's going swell here in
Mobliz"-letter with the letter you read in Mount. Zozo. Lola will talk a little
about her feelings and exclaims how she wants to meet this man who wrote all
the letters; if you brought Cyan and at least one other party member, he or
she will be about to break the secret when Cyan steps in and prevents the truth
from surfacing, telling Lola to enjoy life.

Case closed.

Cyan, if you've been following the program a bit, probably learned two new
Bushido skills in your absence. Dragon (which you may have already seen in
the WoB, level 24) is an attack that drains both HP and MP in a single strike
using some dragon-related power. It's strong enough to restore Cyan back to
full in both aspects if you don't level too high, so unless the damage drained
is hampered by the target, it's a great restorative move. Eclipse is basically
Cyan's version of Sabin's Razor Gale, much like Fang is Cyan's version of
Sabin's Raging Fist. Eclipse is slightly stronger, non-elemental, and has a
rough 55% chance of setting Stop if the struck opponent is still alive and
vulnerable to the ailment: it's a random 140/256 chance ignoring any kind of
Magic Evasion or Evasion stat.

With Flurry still being there for you, Cyan's Bushido skills truly are something
to fear; it's the bloody charge time that holds you back. Waiting for Bushido #6
akes a really long time; even if you skip to all the other characters and input
the commands for their long-animation attacks, Cyan won't always be done
charging when the other characters are done, and at this point, the opponents
have often already been defeated.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.58.1   The Veldt
**********************************

The Veldt has altered a bit. You no longer have access to the town of Mobliz
when walking on the Veldt, Crescent Mountain has disappeared and a new cave,
mysteriously called the Cave of the Veldt has appeared.

It's been quite a while since you picked up some new Rages, so I suppose it's
time to go check up on our friend Gau again. You won't have to rescue him or
do anything special to recruit him; just go fight on the Veldt with any party
that has a free spot and he'll have the same ol' 57.5% chance of appearing
like always. You've met a great load of monsters, so I'll give a quick rundown
on the good ones you can look for.

I'd like to advise you to enter the Cave of the Veldt and complete it
before you start hunting for new Rages, since it unlocks two worthwhile
new Rages and introduces a recurring monster on the Veldt that drops some
really good stuff.

Behemoth         (enemy) Meteor
Ninja            Water Scroll      absorbs Poison, inherent Float
Platinum Dragon  Cyclonic          inherent Protect and Float
Land Ray         Mighty Guard
Fafnir           Traveler
Killer Mantis    Metal Cutter      Instant Death protection
Skeletal Horror  Banish            absorbs Poison, Undead
Borghese         Holy              absorbs Poison, Undead
Cloudwraith      Flare             absorbs Poison, Undead
Magna Roader (b) Lv. 4 Flare       inherent Haste
Illuyankas       Gigavolt          absorbs Lightning, inherent Protect, Instant
                                   Death protection
Behemoth King    Firaga            absorbs Poison, Undead
Luridan          Rock Slide        inherent Float
Devil Fist       W. o' the Wisp    absorbs Poison, inherent Haste
Black Dragon     (Umaro) Snowstorm absorbs Poison, Undead
Punisher         Thundaga          inherent Haste and Float

*1 Metal Cutter is a non-elemental magical attack about as powerful as a level 3
   spell. Under Rage, it randomly changes between an ST and MT spell, much like
   Fira, Gigavolt, and attacks like that.
*2 Holy is a Holy-elemental spell that you will later learn from an Esper.
   It's slightly weaker than a level 3 spell.
*3 Rock Slide is an ST non-elemental barrier-piercing attack that's about
   1.25 times as powerful as a level 3 spell on a single target. Superior to
   Flare in all ways, it was already Mog's second-strongest Dance attack.
*4 (Umaro) Snowstorm is exactly what you get when you invent an Ice-elemental
   Scroll and make it not a Scroll. Notable as one of Umaro's attacks, it's his
   strongest Ice-elemental attack until Gau gets his greedy little hands on
   Baalzephon.

On how to use Gau in the WoR: It's a common notion that while Gau rocks people's
socks in the WoB with his incredible offensive abilities, he's just a tank in
the WoR while the offense is lacking. This is only partly true, however. For
fairly far into the WoR, Gau's special attacks are still powerful enough to
make most forms of MT damage pale in comparison. The most noticable picks on a
good ol' fashioned MT violence Gau are:

Litwor Chicken/Medusa Chicken. You should have Litwor Chicken from the WoB, but
Medusa Chicken is just a slight alternative (absorbs Poison, but lacks ID
protection). Quake never misses unless the targets floats, and also hits your
side, so you'll want to make sure to always have Floating characters when using
this Rage. When the opponents get hit and you don't, this is pretty much the
best choice you have.

(Enemy) Meteor is about as strong as Quake, hits all enemies and all enemies
only AND is non-elemental. What's the problem then? Not only is obtaining
(enemy) Meteor slightly more of a feat then Quake is (you'll have to go in the
woods and fight yourself a Tyrannosaur), it also misses 20 % of the time. That's
bad. On Floating targets, or when Quake doesn't work for any other reason, I
suggest (enemy) Meteor over pretty much everything else because of its pure
power.

If you can use neither, there's a slew of options waiting for you that are
pretty good but not quite as good as Litwor Chicken/Medusa Chicken and
Tyrannosaur. Marchosias' Aero is a Wind-elemental level 3 spell on all targets.
Killer Mantis shares its power and is non-elemental, but may appear ST or MT
which adds a level of randomness. As for ST damage, Purusa's Rock Slide is a
great option, as is Punisher's Thundaga. The Punisher Rage will also induce Gau
with auto-Haste and auto-Float, which doesn't hurt its case in the slightest.

Always boost by Earrings!

If you feel like your new Gau has been pumped up enough, find the newly formed
Cave of the Veldt.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.58.2   The Cave of the Veldt and Death Warden
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Gorgimera (#153), Twinscythe (#154), Death Warden (#155), Behemoth King
  (living (#317) Behemoth King (undead) (#318)

  Container contents:
  Berserker Ring, Ichigeki, Monster-in-a-box (Death Warden)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Behemoth Suit x2 (guaranteed Behemoth King drop x2), Murasame (rare Behemoth
  King (living) steal), Poison Rod (rare Twinscythe drop and common Twinscythe
  steal), Tigerfang (guaranteed Death Warden drop)

  Lores:
  Doom

Monster formations:

Twinscythe (10/16)
Twinscythe, Twinscythe  (5/16)
Gorgimera (1/16)

Whom to bring? Gau's a great choice here, as you can practice his new Rages
here (which are great if you have some of the proper ones). Edgar's excellent to
bring if you got his Air Anchor already and also great if you don't, as is Relm
(although you probably don't have her yet). In Edgar's absence, Mog's a nice
addition as well; it's about the Holy Lance here. Celes's Runic ability comes
in handy in the boss battle here too. For the random encounters, those who have
learned Firaga are excellent.

Twinscythe is a big nasty Killer Mantis upgrade. Twinscythes absorb Ice-
elemental attacks and have ID protection. To top it off, they have just enough
HP to survive most MT spells, so it's hard to clean them up easily. On the
offense, they're nothing to worry about; they just use Attack over and over
again, countering every attack with a 33% shot at !Drainsickle (drains HP). Take
them out with Fire- or Wind-elemental attacks. Sabin's Razor Gale works really
well on them, Cyan's Kazekiri katana hurts them badly (although you'll want a
Genji Glove/Hero's Ring combination to ensure death), and Lv. 4 Flare also hits
the spot (the brown Magna Roader's Rage allows Gau to cast it; it's all
the way to the bottom of the Rage list). Razor Gale and Lv. 4 Flare should be
boosted by Hero's Rings and/or Earrings.

Gorgimera are very elusive, but pretty dangerous when you do encounter them.
They have over 7000 Hit Points, no weaknesses and have ID protection, so they'll
stay a while when you meet them. For three turns they'll just attack physically,
but on the fourth turn Gorgimera will get all fired up. He'll start with
!Rampage (Attack * 2), and use three of the following attacks: Snowstorm,
Fireball, Gigavolt, Magnitude 8, or Aqua Breath. Three, that hurts pretty bad.
You can stop this madness by casting a combination of Sleep, Slow and/or Stop
on the monster, stopping his actions entirely (if you lay off of the physical
attacks).

Gau's Rages in the CotV: Marchosias works wonders on the Twinscythes, but
the brown Magna Roader with Lv. 4 Flare (bottom) is grand on all monsters here.
Quake is less desirable because it removes Invisible even when Floating, and
(enemy) Meteor may miss.

As soon as you enter, you'll see a familiar yet inhuman face: Interceptor! He'll
retreat into the cave, so you'll want to follow him. To the right is nothing
anyway.

In the next room, you'll meet a group of four hunters who live in the cave.
They'll talk of Gau and tell you that he won't approach if you're with four
party members. In this same room is a chest that contains the Berserker Ring, a
Relic that allows Umaro to absorb Ice-elemental attacks (which he already did
anyway due to the irremovable Snow Scarf on him), nullify Fire-elemental
attacks, and add the Character Toss attack to his options. To learn more about
the Character Toss attack, take a look at [UMARO-LINK]; it's basically an
improved Umaro Tackle, a non-elemental barrier-piercing physical attack that
requires another party member to work. Me, I like to believe he shouts, in
Sasquatch gibberish: "MAN TORPEDO" before every hurl. That would amuse. Leave
through the door. The Berserker Ring takes care of all the elemental resistances
Umaro is ever going to get, and with the added offense, you really want the
Berserker Ring on Umaro at all times.

You'll end up in a place where you can go to the bottom and to the left. To
the left (you'll have to navigate blindly for a few steps to reach it) is a
chest containing a monster-in-a-box, the deity of Death called Death Warden.

Death Warden was never supposed to be a one-time battle, but due to a formation
mix-up, this is the only time you'll fight him. He was supposed to appear on
the Veldt, providing you with Magic AP in this battle and providing you with
more Tigerfangs before the final dungeon, but he does neither.

Death Warden
Level: 19, HP: 8000, MP: 8000
Steal: Potion (common), Hi-Potion (rare), Win: Tigerfang (always)
Absorbs: Poison, Weakness: Fire, Holy
Creature Type: Humanoid, Undead
Special: !Dead End: sets Death
Sketch : !Dead End, !Dead End
Control: Attack, !Dead End, !Dead End, !Dead End
Vulnerable to: Petrify, Death, Doom, Confuse, Slow
Attacks: Death, Doom, Atomic Rays

Joker's Death: Yes
Ragnarok's Metamorph: Yes
12.5% chance of obtaining one of the following:

Remedy
Remedy
Remedy
Remedy

Here's the deal. Every turn, Death Warden will use Death, Doom, or do nothing.
He also may counter every damaging attack you make with a Death spell as well
(33%). If you allow him to live for more than a minute, he'll cast eight
consecutive Atomic Ray spells, which coming from his rather spectacular Magic
Power (50!) means death to everybody who isn't specifically protected from Fire
-elemental attacks.

Don't bother with damage. The weakness of Death Warden is ID attacks. As soon as
you enter battle, have somebody cast Break or Banish. You may want to revive
a character if he fell to Death Warden's first turn Death spell, but Break is
definitely the way to go. I don't recommend Edgar's Air Anchor because Death
Warden may counter the Tool with a Death spell, which you don't want.
Regardless, Death Warden is really more of a regular enemy than he is a boss, so
you shouldn't have any trouble with him. The Lich Rage makes any Rager
invulnerable, as Death and Doom will heal the Rager and Atomic Ray will be
absorbed.

After you've defeated Death Warden, you can equip the non-elemental Tigerfang
on Sabin if you like (if only for the extra increase in Magic Power), and trace
back your steps a little and take the southern path this time. The path will
take you a long way, but eventually you'll come across a room with a chest
and a switch. The chest contains the Ichigeki. The Ichigeki is a rather
feature-less weapon with the Assassin's Dagger's X-type ID ability.

It's a weapon you heard about earlier; a 'real tough fellow' in the Coliseum was
looking for it. That's of little concern to you at this time; we still haven't
found Interceptor yet. If you touch the switch, a new path opens up for you to
take. Once you take the path: shock and awe! It's Shadow, and he's not looking
healthy. If you didn't wait for Shadow at the Floating Continent, he's not
here, but it will be Relm who's lying facedown on the rocks on the cave. In
both cases, Interceptor will be standing guard, waiting for you to come over
and help the both of them. Ascend the stairs, and you enter a room with a Save
Point. Do your Save Point stuff and enter the room.

While you're examining the wounded person, you're attacked from behind by a
behemoth-like monster. Bollocks.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.58.3   The battle with the Behemoth King
**********************************

Behemoth King (living, blue)
Level: 43, HP: 19000, MP: 1600
Steal: Murasame (rare), Win: Behemoth Suit (always)
Absorbs: Ice, Weakness: Fire, Poison
Special: !Devil Claw: Unblockable Attack + Removes Reflect
Sketch : !Devil Claw, !Devil Claw
Control: Attack, !Devil Claw
Vulnerable to: Imp, Slow, Stop
Attacks: Attack, !Devil Claw, Blizzara, Blizzaga, Holy, Imp, (enemy) Meteor

Joker's Death: No/Yes
Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

Behemoth King
Level: 49, HP: 19000, MP: 9999
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: BehemothSuit (always)
Absorbs: Poison, Weakness: Fire, Holy
Creature Type: Undead
Special: !Hypno Gas: sets Sleep
Sketch : !Hypno Gas, Firaga
Control: Attack, Attack, Attack, Attack
Vulnerable to: Death, Doom
Attacks: Attack, !Hypno Gas, Death, (enemy) Meteor

Joker's Death: Yes
Ragnarok's Metamorph: Yes
12.5% chance of obtaining one of the following:

Cursed Ring
Cursed Ring
Thornlet
Lich Ring

The blue Behemoth King, despite his appearance, is almost a pure spell caster.
He'll normally attack with Blizzara, Blizzaga and Holy spells which all hit with
considerable force. If he hits 10240 Hit Points, he'll get more Blizzaga spells
than before and throw (enemy) Meteor in the mix, which hurts a bundle (around
1000 on every character, pretty much the same force Intangir used to throw
(enemy) Meteor attacks on you).

If a character of yours is under the influence of Reflect, he'll target the
character and use !Devil Claw to remove the Reflect status (the message "Reflect
removed." will appear) and return to his normal AI script. If multiple
characters are under the influence of Reflect, he'll go down from character #1
to character #4, switching between !Devil Claw turns and normal AI script turns.
Note that characters with Reflect Rings still yield the "Reflect removed."
vanished notion yet keep the status.

If Behemoth King is turned into an Imp, it'll respond to that by changing its
AI Script. He'll now receive auto-criticals from being turned into an Imp and
start using two Attacks every turn for three turns, after which it'll cast the
Imp spell to try and remove the Imp status. He won't try to do this if he has
the Reflect status at this moment, though.

If Behemoth King is hit by the Holy spell, he'll counter with (enemy) Meteor
period. Sadly, due to a bug, this overrides the other normal counter, that of
having a 33% at countering with Attack on every other damaging attack, so the
next attack will also be countered with an (enemy) Meteor attack. In other
words, the Holy spell eventually sends two extra (enemy) Meteor attacks down
your throat, so don't do it. The Barghest and Holy Dragon Rages cast Holy;
ignore them.

What to do? The best way to deal with the blue Behemoth King is a combination of
Imp and Stop. Now, give it everything you have. Cast Hastega to speed up the
process. Summoning Fenrir or Golem helps protect against stray physicals from
his side. Fira and Firaga really hurt him. Gau's Devil Fist Rage gives Gau
inherent Haste and makes him use Will o' the Wisp; it's great for the battle. If
you don't have access to either the Imp or Stop status ailments, Celes's Runic
can really help if you brought her. Phantom Rush, Fixed Dice, Dragon Horn Jumps,
you know what works.

When you finally defeat Behemoth King, he'll ripple away and the battle is over.
But no! Behemoth King's hatred for all things good has allowed him to survive
death itself and return as an undead being to try to wreak havoc once more.
Oh noes. Everybody runs to the other side of the screen, but don't fear; your
Row is still intact (even though it doesn't look like it and it'd be entirely
logical if Row hadn't been intact), so you don't have to change.

This Behemoth King is a little simpler. He'll just use Attack, !Hypno Gas, the
Death spell, or (enemy) Meteor. He won't use Death until the second turn, and
(enemy) Meteor until the third turn (after which he resets back). If he
successfully uses !Hypno Gas on a person, he'll target that person next for four
consecutive Attacks (of which the first one is sure to land). That's about it.

The undead Behemoth King's one weakness is the ID attack. He can be killed by
Banish, Snare, and the Air Anchor Tool, and is hurt by Tiger, Gravity, you name
it. Since Behemoth King's first turn isn't dangerous and he has no dangerous
counters, the Air Anchor really is a great option to use. The Twilight Requiem
coming from Mog houses both Cave-In and Snare which both truly cripple the
massive menace. Since Behemoth King is Undead and lacks ID protection anyway,
the Raise spell is a glorious option; the Raise spell also works on Undead with
ID protection mind you, but here it feels less like raping the system. :) When
the battle is over, Behemoth King will ripple away again. He's now a rather
indestructible monster that roams the Veldt, attacking you every now and again.
He leaves a Behemoth Suit behind every time you meet him though, so it's really
not all bad.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.60.1   Thamasa and the Coliseum once again
**********************************

Back in Thamasa, we're helping the poor wounded character through a difficult
dream. Here's the dream if you rescued Shadow from the Cave on the Veldt:

(Clyde leaves a house that resembles Strago's house in Thamasa. A dog
follows him and tries to stop him)
You came to try and stop me...
I'm sorry, but I can't turn back, boy...
Stay here with my daughter... You both deserve to live in peace...
(Clyde leaves. The dog, after looking back at the house and barking, follows
him)

Now, here's the dream if you left Shadow to die at the Floating Continent and
found little Relm Arrowny in the Cave on the Veldt:

(Strago and Relm are standing on the top floor of their house in Thamasa)
Daddy...?
Where'd Daddy go?
He's coming back...isn't he?
(Strago looks down, not answering)

The character will now just lie in bed, recovering from the wounds.

Shadow: It's only a scratch. I've had worse. And I've got this guy watching over
me.
Relm: It still hurts a little... But I'm okay. Interceptor's here with me.

That's great. You're back in Thamasa now, but there really isn't anything new
to do here since the last time you visited the place, so just leave. As soon as
you leave Thamasa, the character you rescued will depart as well. Shadow will
have departed for the Coliseum, as indicated by the guy who previously talked
about Deathgaze: "If you're looking for that man who was dressed all in black,
he already left. He said he was going to the coliseum.".

If you saved Relm things will be ever so slightly more complicated. She can now
be in Jidoor: "One day not long ago, a man came here saying he worked for an
aristocrat in Jidoor, and left with that little girl!". However, it's not a
fixed occurance. In order to make Relm appear in Jidoor, you need to step on one
of three specific tiles and exit Thamasa, re-enter, step on one of those tiles
again, and exit again (which is a given). This process sounds far more unnatural
than it comes to most players; one of these tiles lie on the stone path leading
out of Thamasa to the southern exit, so as long as you follow that one, you'll
be fine.

It's time to go pick them up, I'd say.

Shadow's just a stone's throw away. Fly the Falcon to the Coliseum, and remember
that notion about the Ichigeki. Once you bet it, you won't find a monster
fighting you for it (after you've fought this battle, or if you haven't met the
criteria so far, this'll be Typhon) but the merciless mercenary himself: Shadow.
Shadow is a complete pushover; unequipped, unarmed, and unable to use the Throw
command in the Coliseum, Shadow is pathetic. But it doesn't even matter if you
win or not; whether you win, lose (equipped a Healing Rod or something, right?),
or Teleport out of battle with the aptly named spell, Shadow will join you
afterwards. And it's permanent this time (Shadow fans: yatta!).

Poor Shadow, though; his only joy in this world left is to fight. At least we
can turn this into a positive force now that he intends to face Kefka himself.
And boy, does he do it well! Scrolls are very strong, and now you have the
finances to really buy them en masse. Especially Flame Scrolls often nail
elemental weaknesses, so buy lots of those and a few of the other ones to make
them feel appreciated.

Now you're here at the Coliseum, you might as well bet the Behemoth Suits
nobody can equip yet for some Snow Scarfs. I told you earlier how to defeat
the Outsider that guards it, so go find it if you're having trouble. The Snow
Scarf is awesome, absolutely awesome equipment for both Mog and Gau. Its great
defensive properties allow Mog and Gau to reach the maximum 255 Defense, it
absorbs Ice-elemental attacks and halve Fire-elemental attacks.

- Behemoth Suit - Snow Scarf       Opponent: Outsider

Outsider is vulnerable to ID, and that's your savior. Outsider uses Attack,
!Dispatch, Flare, and Banish. !Dispatch kills you if it connects. Banish kills
you if it connects. Every time you hurt Outsider, he's going to respond with
Shurikens, Fuma Shurikens or a Pinwheel down your throat. Send in Setzer with
dual Viper Darts and a Black Belt and you should be winning more battles than
you lose. Sadly, you're just gonna have to rely on the X-type ID kicking in, or
else you'll see Setzer eating dust like it's 311 B.C.

- Rename Card - Miracle Shoes      Opponent: Fiend Dragon

If you succeed in obtaining at least one Snow Scarf, you can finally set up
a character to defeat one of the most intimidating opponents in the Coliseum,
the Fiend Dragon. Give either Mog or Gau the Snow Scarf, a Genji Helm and
Flame Shield. Mog's best; if you chose Gau, give him an additional Mythril
Glove. You should have your character at 255 Defense. Give Mog Dragoon Boots
and a Dragon Horn or Hero's Ring, or give Gau a Hero's Ring to go along with
the Mythril Glove. Stick your character in the back row. You can now tank
it out with Fiend Dragon; your character will be immune to physical attacks,
absorb Southern Cross, and Heartless Angel and Northern Cross will never kill
you.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.61.1   Jidoor; Owzer's Mansion
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Misty (#156), Rafflesia (#157), Still Life (#158), Coeurl Cat (#159), Crusher
  (#160), Blade Dancer (#161), Caladrius (#162), Chadarnook (#319), Chadarnook
  (-)

  Container contents:
  293 Gil, Ether, Gold Needle, Lich Ring, Moogle Suit, Potion

  Miscellaneous items:
  Moogle Suit (rare Misty steal), Nutkin Suit (rare Rafflesia steal), Tabby Suit
  (rare Coeurl Cat steal), Super Ball (rare Crusher drop and rare Crusher
  steal), Moogle Suit (rare Blade Dancer steal), Chocobo Suit (rare Caladrius
  steal)

  Magicite:
  Lakshmi

[OWZER-LINK]

First off, to enter this dungeon, you must have done two things. You must've
either saved Shadow at the Floating Continent, or let Shadow die there and have
saved Relm from the Behemoth King in the Cave on the Veldt. If you let Shadow
die and haven't saved Relm yet, Owzer's Mansion will be empty, yet lit up, and
the Rafflesia and Misty paintings will not respond to your presence.

Whom to bring? Uncontrollable characters are very poor in the boss battle at
the end, so I'd advise against Gau and Umaro. Also, due to the time delay, I'd
add Mog to the category as well as neither his Dances nor his Jump attacks are
very useful there. Minerva Bustier wearers are favored once again, and if you
already have a character that can Steal, that'd be grand (although the chance is
small). I'd go for something like Terra, Shadow, Celes, and Sabin, but it's up
to you. Shadow is AWESOME in this dungeon; Earrings-boosted Flame Scrolls kill
pretty much everything, and the boss is weak to Fire, too.

When you enter the house, it will be dark inside. No sign of Relm or Owzer to
be seen. Obviously if you saved Shadow earlier you don't even know Relm is
supposed to be here, but you'll never get more evidence than you have now and
you'd get all pissy if I entirely skipped two characters because the game
doesn't tell you where they are.

When you try to ascend the stairs to go to the art collection, a mysterious
force holds you back. Stay...away...yeah, we're not going to listen to that.
When we're at the foot of the stairs again, a diary appears. Here's Owzer's
diary:

- Just spent an absolute fortune on a new painting. It's quite a large one, so I
  won't be able to put it on the first floor with the others. I'll have to think
  about where to display it later.
- An artist came from Zozo today. Showed me his "work." What a waste of time.
- Lamp on the stairwell was broken, so I bought a new one at the item shop. Twas
  a tad pricey, but now everything's all bright and cheery with just a flip of
  the switch.
- I invited an artist here from Kohlingen. Skills weren't quite up to par... I
  guess it's asking too much to expect a painter to have more talent than a wet
  sponge.
- I've been feeling strange lately. Ever since I had that picture painted...
  I've been hearing things, too——strange sounds. They seem to be coming from the
  cellar.
- The diary ends here...

That's just swell. Something's up all right. At least we discovered how to get
the room back to normal; just flip the switch on the stairway lamp and the room
will light up, and you'll be able to proceed up the stairs. There are three
paintings worth discussing here.

The first one is the painting of the pink flowers. When you examine them, they
will come alive and attack you! Note that once you've completed this dungeon
and you haven't fought the Rafflesia enemies yet, the painting won't respond
anymore. It's a battle with three Rafflesia enemies, which are well known
through their Rage; both the Rage and the AI Script of these flowers feature
the Entice attack. Entice sets a Confuse-like status, with a few differences.

- First off, since it's not the Confuse status, you can't protect against it.
  Entice works on *everything* as long as it connects (Entice has a Hit Rate of
  80, meaning that it'll have but a rough 80 % chance of connecting on a target
  with no Magic Evasion).
- Second, the character or monster affected won't show any indication of being
  under the influence. Monsters won't look the other way, and characters won't
  spin right round.
- Third, it's not dispelled when you use a physical attack.
- Fourth, the Entice spell creates a bond between the Entice caster and the
  target. If the 'caster' of the Entice attack dies, the affected target will
  turn back to normal. If the caster of the Entice spell tries to attack with
  Entice on another target, it'll miss as long as the other Enticed target is
  still alive. Due to a bug, when one Enticer 'steals' the Enticee of another
  Enticer, this other Enticer - while not having a Enticee anymore - won't be
  able to Entice another target until his stolen Enticee is dead.

Needless to say, Entice cripples every boss as it will completely disable their
AI Script and they will start to attack themselves. Anyway, using Entice in
a boss battle is just evil and sucks the fun out of the entire deal... so just
don't use it.

Back to Rafflesia. They're immune to every status ailment you throw at them,
and can use Entice on the very first turn. What you'll want to do is go head-on
with every kind of strong violence you have; they're specifically vulnerable to
Fire-elemental attacks, so Flame Scrolls, Valigarmanda's Tri-Disaster and Fira
work very well. They have a rare Nutkin Suit for Stealing, but as this battle is
pretty dangerous you'll probably don't want to bother. Just hope that they'll
stick to their Attack and !Poison Seed (sets Poison) attacks for the most part,
and that characters hit by Entice will stick to weaker attacks.

The second painting of interest is the painting that has replaced the Ultros
painting in the WoB; it's the portrait of Emperor Gestahl that he didn't
want, so Owzer decided to buy it and hang it up here. The 'last Imperial
trooper' at the Coliseum told you to talk to the Emperor twice, so examine the
portrait twice; the second time, you'll obtain the Rare Item "Emperor's Letter",
which reads as follows:

Where the mountais form a star...

Could this be the grand treasure of the Empire, the ancient relic with
restoration abilities? We should definitely inform Locke once we find him, or
we may even meet him while we're there, who knows. Whenever you have obtained
the Emperor's Letter after talking twice to the portrait in Owzer's Mansion in
Jidoor, but before you have recruited Locke, the following dialogue will appear
when you talk to the old man who lives alone on the northeast continent:

Aged Man: Oh! You finally come to do those repairs?
"No, actually I was wondering if you knew anything about Emperor Gestahl's
map..."
Aged Man: The emperor's map...? Seems like that's all anyone wants to talk about
these days!
"Pardon?"
Aged Man: Little while back, another repairman wearing a bandana came here
asking the same thing... So I told him!
"Then...where is it!?"
Aged Man: It's where the mountains form a shape like a star... Sheesh! Why
didn't you just ask me from the beginning? No need to be so shy!

If you want to witness this holy grail of hidden cutscenes, fly the Falcon to
the north-eastern continent. There's two white dots indicating a location on
this continent; the northernmost one will take you to a solitary house, where
the Aged Man lives.

For the record, this 'map' is never mentioned outside of this cutscene, and
neither is there ANY information about why our characters apparantly decide
this guy should know something about Gestahl's possessions and he actually
does. It's just weird. Time to press on!

The picture of the lovely lady comes alive as well, as two Misty opponents.
Misty use their first turn to set a status ailment, with either the Silence
spell or the !Eyeshadow Special, which sets Darkness. The second turn will
feature either the Blizzara or Thundara spells. When a Misty has been damaged,
she may use a  Cura spell *on the attacker*. I'm pretty sure that the AI
scriptwriter intended for Misty to use the Cura spell on herself but forgot that
counter attacks are typically carried out on the attacker, regardless of the
spell's initial targets. Misties are nothing to fear. They have a rare Moogle
Suit Steal. You'll notice this is a theme in this dungeon; most monsters have an
animal suit Steal. Misties are, unlike most paintings, weak against Poison and
not against Fire, so you can use Bio or strong attacks of other kinds to
dispatch them.

Once you defeat the Misty opponents, the painting will be entirely destroyed
to reveal a door. Enter to find more darkness and a stairway going down.

Beware children, not even your Teleport spell can help you leave this place...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.61.2   Owzer's Mansion, the Magic House
**********************************

Monster formations:

Blade Dancer, Blade Dancer, Crusher, Crusher (6/16)
Caladrius, Caladrius (5/16)
Caladrius, Caladrius, Coeurl Cat, Crusher, Crusher (5/16)

Coeurl Cat are cats. They have a rare Tabby suit steal, and they attack
physically. Due to a bug, they may use Fireball when alone (this was never the
intention; Fireball was supposed to be a rare brown Magna Roader counter).
Normally it just attacks with Attack and !Pounce. Its name might ring bells
of that nasty Fidor Special, but Courel Cat's !Pounce is unassuming (Attack *
1.5) and shouldn't be feared.

Crushers look unassuming. Fact of the matter is, they're really kind of not.
2095 HP isn't that unassuming, !Direct Hit (Attack* 5) isn't that unassuming,
and the Lifeshaver attack it uses when alone isn't that unassuming. It has a
common Super Ball steal which makes it the only random encounter enemy here that
doesn't have an animal suit for stealing. Kill it with fire; if you brought Gau
his brown Magna Roader Rage (Lv. 4 Flare) can really put a dent in their hides.

Blade Dancer is supposed to be a magician of some kind; with a stellar (for
monsters) Magic Power of 30 and up to three spells in its Control menu (Drain,
Osmose, and Fira) it seems likely that she will also attack magically, right?
Wrong. She attacks by Throwing Dirks. You may still remember the last time you
met an opponent with this ability; it was Dadaluma, and it was obscenely strong.
You should survive the weaker Dirks, but the stronger ones (the strongest one
being the Assassin's Dagger) can do up to 1750 worth of damage, and remember
that it's almost always non-elemental (Air Knife is Wind-elemental so Thunder
Shield wearers and Minerva Bustier wearers take no damage from it), barrier-
piercing, Row-ignoring, and unblockable damage. The Image status doesn't help,
and Golem doesn't catch the flying blades; only the Invisible status can make
you avoid the attacks of Blade Dancer. This is what she'll do:

1st round: Dagger or Mythril Knife
2nd round: Mythril Knife or Main Gauche
3rd round: Air Knife or Thief's Knife
4th round: Thief's Knife or Assassin's Dagger
(loop)

Also, she counters any damage done to her with !Blood Dance, which drains very
little HP. She has a rare Moogle Suit steal too. Ways to cripple her include
Berserk, Confuse, Sleep, and Stop. Noiseblaster and Cait Sith's Cat Rain help
tremendously.

Caladrius' are the strongest of all small birds. And with 885 HP, the same
petrification abilities through !Beak like Cirpius and the so-so Acid Rain
set in Control, Sketch, and Rage, that's not all good news for the small
birds in general. If for some reason you have trouble killing them in one
shot, Fire is their weakness (as it is of all small birds). They have a rare
Chocobo Suit steal, befitting of their feathered nature.

Strategy is simple yet again: have everybody under the influence of
Invisible, and don't let Coeurl Cat and Crusher enemies alone. Invincibility
is nice.

As soon as you've descended the stairs, you find more paintings. That's just
great. These don't seem so threatening though; how could you be attacked by
a painting of a door or a chair? But the joke's on you... If you get to close to
the painting of the chair, the painting will suck you in, onto the chair,
where you'll be attacked by a previously absent old lady. The old lady turns
out to be a Blade Dancer accompanied by her four cats. How's that for a
stereotype? If you smack her around, she'll take her place on the chair and
leave you alone. After you leave and re-enter the room, it'll just be a
harmless painting of a chair again.

When you continue, you see two doors. The left one leads to a chest containing
a Moogle Suit! The Moogle Suit is just another animal suit, stronger than the
Chocobo Suit but weaker than the Nutkin Suit. It nullifies Poison though, and
gives a nice +5 on Magic Power. The best part, though, is the fact it changes
the in-battle sprite of the wearer into that of a Moogle, which is totally
sweet and has given seed to over a dozen 'weird glitch' topics from
people who didn't make the Moogle Suit-Moogle sprite connection.

The right door takes you to...three more doors. Nice. First, make sure you go
around the doors and grab the hidden Lich Ring that lies there. The Lich Ring
is a Relic that makes the user of it undead. This basically means that healing
spells will hurt and the Death spells and the eventual effect of the Doom
status will restore HP back to full. It can make for a nice combo if the
equipped also has a weapon with X-type Instant Death; he or she can always
restore his/her own HP back to full with one swing of a blade. Anyway, between
the three doors, you'll want to pick the far left one. If you enter one of the
others, you'll find yourself being thrown out of the door painting you saw
earlier. If you've completed this dungeon, you won't even be able to enter
the other two doors; they'll just be locked.

Just continue, and don't wonder where you are. It doesn't make sense. When you
enter a door, you'll suddenly find yourself in a new area with...floating
chests. If you stand on the shadow of the floating chests, they'll come down and
you'll be attacked; in every instance, it'll be a single Blade Dancer and four
Coeurl Cats.

What it is:    293 Gil          Potion          Ether           Gold Needle

If you're done toying around with the floating chest and gawking at the painting
of Maria that appears to change every time you look at it, go examine the
picture of the battle armor; it will be another battle, with a creature called
Still Life.

Still Life pretends to be a semi-boss, but is not. It looks very weird, he's got
that much going for him; it appears to be a cloud of smoke with green lips
that comes from behind a painting. It has four attacks up its proverbial sleeve:
Attack, !Poison Kiss (sets Poison), Lullaby (an MT Sleep-inducing attack that's
admittedly annoying), and Doom, which Still Life uses to counter every blow he
takes. Go all out with strong attacks against him; Phantom Rush, Flame
Scrolls, Tri-Disaster, you know what hurts. He has a rare Fake Mustache Steal,
the Relic that turns Relm's Sketch ability into Control. You'll meet Still
Life on the Veldt, so you'll be able to Steal one later if you want to. Just
pound him now, he doesn't have enough HP to make Doom a nuisance.

Once Still Life has been defeated, a door will appear. The door, as you've been
getting used to now, leads to more doors. Use the Save Point to your advantage
and take the door to the right; the door to the left will throw you out of a
door somewhere in a wall you saw earlier.

You've finally found Owzer now, but he's changed quite a bit; from your average
aristocrat pretty boy, he's changed into a coughing blob of a man who looks
surprisingly much like Jabba the Hutt. Or any other Hutt, I guess they're all
alike.

Another theory states that the scholar-type guy you meet in the WoB isn't Owzer
at all, and that Owzer always was a generally inhuman fat blob with a frogface
for no apparant reason. Who apparantly lives somewhere in his house where other
people can't reach him and despite his wheezing, sickly appearance went out of
the house on a fairly regular basis to locate artists. It's not my theory, so I
may sound slightly subjective here...then again, it *is* a silly theory :P
The German translation calls the scholar-type guy a "Butler" quite explicitly,
but you may decide for yourself if you want to count that as canon.

When Owzer came across another piece of Magicite in the Auction House, he
bought it and felt the irresistible urge to obtain a painting of the Esper
therein contained. The large painting of the Esper Lakshmi created by Relm
came alive like all of her artwork, but with an added problem this time; the
demon Chadarnook arrived, enticed by the magic of the Magicite and the painting.
He possessed the living Lakshmi painting and started to have an evil influence
over all of Relm's paintings, the reality within Owzer's Mansion and finally
Owzer himself.

Relm, by the way, is still painting the painting; it's not quite done yet, as
you'll learn later. Regardless, it's time to remove the evil demon Chadarnook
from the living Lakshmi painting to save the life of Owzer so you can take Relm
with you. Owzer begs you to keep the Lakshmi painting intact. Whatever.

Before you talk to him, equip Thunder Shields on as many characters as possible.
Non-Minerva Bustier wearing characters take priority, as the Minerva Bustier
nullifies the Lightning element (which is what concerns us here). The Force
Shield and Force Armor both halve damage done by the element, and Umaro's
Berserker Ring nullifies the element, even though that furry muscle package is
quite useless in this battle. Protection from Water and Ice is also nice, as
Flash Rain may appear in the next battle, although Lightning takes priority. The
Tortoise Shield, Saucer, Reed Cloak and Snow Scarf allow you to absorb the
attack, while the Minerva Bustier also nullifies it. It's a real dang shame
Umaro's uncontrollable nature is, in fact, uncontrollable by nature, as the
combination of his inherent Snow Scarf and the Berserker Ring really takes care
of the majority of the opponent's attacks.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.61.3   Owzer's Mansion, the battle with Chadarnook
**********************************

Chadarnook (Lakshmi)
Level: 37, HP: 56000, MP: 9400
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Holy, Water, Weakness: Fire
Special: !Last Kiss: sets Doom
Sketch : !Last Kiss, Attack
Control: Attack, !Last Kiss
Vulnerable to: Slow
Attacks: Attack, !Last Kiss, Lullaby, Entice, Poltergeist

Joker's Death: No
Spinning 7-7-7 is impossible in this fight.

Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

Chadarnook (Demon)
Level: 41, HP: 30000, MP: 7600
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Lightning, Weakness: Fire, Holy
Creature Type: MP Kill
Special: !Hit: sets Doom
Sketch : !Hit, Attack
Control: Attack, !Hit
Vulnerable to: Slow
Attacks: Attack, Thundara, Thundaga, Flash Rain

Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

Interesting trivia; the Japanese game showed much more skin on the Lakshmi
image. No nipples or anything horrifying and ungodly like that, but still, more
skin.

Now here's an odd encounter. It's a living painting of the Esper Lakshmi,
possessed by the demon Chadarnook. Even if you don't care about art in general
or Owzer's pathetic pleas, there really isn't any point to damaging the
painting; as soon as Chadarnook is exorcized, it won't be a threat anymore. So,
the strategy is clear to us; wait until Chadarnook shows his face, and hurt
it until it dies. We've been doing an awful lot of hurting so far, so we should
be prepared soundly.

You'll start out facing the Lakshmi painting. It'll use either Attack or the
dreaded, blasted Entice attack. Fortunately, the effects of Entice are undone
whenever your opponent changes, so it's not as much a bother as it could have
been. After that first turn, the demon will make itself known.

Chadarnook attacks with Lightning-elemental spells (Thundara and Thundaga)and
the confusing Flash Rain; sparkly as it may look, it's actually Ice- and Water-
elemental and has nothing to do with Lightning. He won't use Flash Rain until
he starts getting weaker though; when he hits 15360 HP (after taking 14640 HP
worth of damage, in other words), to be precise. The demon Chadarnook will
always hide when he has been damaged five times, and after 40 seconds.
Unfortunately, (and possibly unintentionally), it seems that the Lakshmi
painting's timer is also used when Chadarnook checks his 40 seconds, so if you
faced Lakshmi for 35 seconds and the monster changes, Chadarnook will only be
there for a second or five before returning. This is particularly frustrating,
as you'll have put in all your commands as soon as Chadarnook appeared, making
you attack Lakshmi a few times in a row.

Attacking Lakshmi is bad. Not only is it pointless (as soon as you deplete
Lakshmi's HP, she'll just regenerate; she's immortal), it's rather dangerous, as
Lakshmi has a mean counter. 33% Attack, 33% not doing anything, and 33%
Poltergeist.

Blast Poltergeist. Seriously. It's an MT attack that sets the super-duper-
special HP Leak status on a target, which can only be seen in this battle. It's
the same as Sap, only it's so dangerous because it ISN'T Sap. This means you
can't protect from it with Relics, you can't override it by setting Regen, and
you can't cure it in any way. As soon as HP Leak is set, any current Regen
status (even if it's from a Angel Ring or Miracle Shoes) will be removed. Trying
to set the Regen status on a character with the Regen spell or Kirin's Holy Aura
attack will accomplish nothing. All in all, the constant HP dropping gets
annoying quickly, and even dangerous if you don't watch your HP. Don't be afraid
to spend some turns healing even when it isn't immediately necessary.

Lakshmi, by the way, will also attack normally after her first appearance; her
arsenal consists out of Attack, !Last Kiss (sets Doom), the dreaded Entice,
and the surprisingly crippling Lullaby, which (as you know) sets Sleep on all
characters.

So what to do? You should be covered in equipment that protects against
Chadarnook's Lightning-elemental spells, and possibly against that Flash Rain
attack too. Patiently wait out the first turn against the Lakshmi picture, than
quickly throw whatever you have when the demon appears. He is extremely weak
to Fire-elemental and Holy-elemental spells, as he has a weakness to the
element and its Magic Defense really isn't that stellar.

Terra and Celes's Fira and (preferably) Firaga spells will really hurt
Chadarnook (Firaga takes priority over Holy, too), but keep in mind that
because Chadarnook absorbs Lightning-elemental spells, Valigarmanda's Tri-
Disaster will be absorbed. Shadow's Flame Scrolls should be boosted by Hero's
Rings and Earrings to ensure a lot of damage, although it should be noted that
the much more expensive Flametongues will hurt much more. Setzer should throw
his Fixed Dice around if possible; if not, Fira, Holy, and Firaga take priority
over the Heiji's Jitte-induced Gil Toss. Sabin should stick to Phantom Rush
regardless of his spell selection, where Edgar is probably better off sticking
to Drill unless you're really sure that when he lands from a Dragon Horn Jump,
he'll be landing on the demon (in which case, with the Holy Lance, he'll be
doing a LOT of damage). The same really goes for Mog; his Dances are useless, as
he will also attack the Lakshmi painting when he's in a trance. Stick to spells
if you don't want to risk Jump attacks (or just plain don't have the right
equipment). Cyan is horrible, as often before, as his charge times mean you
waste a lot of time in a battle where speed is top priority. Gau and Umaro
(while certainly hard to take down) suffer from the uncontrollable nature. Gau
should stick to his Magic spells if possible, while Umaro should be... Yeah,
killing him in the middle of battle seems a little harsh, so you might be better
off setting Stop on him if you for some reason defied me and brought him here.

Since Chadarnook is weak to Fire- and Holy-elemental attacks, breaking a Flame
or Holy Rod on the fiend inflicts great amounts of damage. Absolutely one of
the best fights to do so.

You can't do anything when Entice connects, and you can't do anything when
Poltergeist connects. Fenrir/Golem will help against the physicals (especially
!Last Kiss can be a pain), while the Hastega spell is an asset as always. If
you have a few characters unprotected from Chadarnook's attacks, Zona Seeker's
Magic Shield attack can help. Basically, throw up your barriers and go all-out
offensive when the demon is around while making sure your HP stays in the four
digits at all times where possible.

After you've defeated Chadarnook, all will return to normal. You'll learn that
Chadarnook was probably enticed by the 'weird stone' Owzer bought at the Auction
House, and he asks you to take it. It's on the right part of the shelf. With
Lakshmi, you finally gain access to the Curaga spell! Relm also follows you out.

It's possible you now have access to Relm's upgraded special skill: Control!
If you want to learn all about it, check out [CONTROL-LINK].

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.62.1   Obtaining Strago
**********************************

You learned from a man in Figaro Castle that people under the spell of the Cult
of Kefka could be freed by meeting a loved one; with Relm in your party, we can
try to turn Strago Magus back to our side. At the sight of the little girl,
he leaps up in joy; no single word about his year of despair crosses his lips
as he demands a primary spot in your party. Just like all the other characters,
he joins your current party if there's room for him, and is placed on the Falcon
if there's not. Regardless, the next parts of this walkthrough will be
dedicated to raising both Relm and Strago to acceptable and even respectable
levels of might on the battlefield, so I suggest you make a party that includes
Relm and Strago (and no uncontrollable characters).

If you were wondering, you still don't really have what it takes to tackle
the top warrior of the Cultist's Tower, so it's useless and rather suicidal to
go all the way up there.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.62.2   Bulking up the Thamasian Two
**********************************

  Lores:
  Aero, 1000 Needles, Mighty Guard, Dischord, Bad Breath, Transfusion, Rippler

First, I want to look at the Control command. There's a respectable chance you
gained access to it so far; if you obtained a Fake Mustache from mugging
Still Life, or already dove into the Zone Eater dungeon that I'll discuss quite
a bit later in this document, you have this command at your disposal.

[CONTROL-LINK]

Control allows Relm to control a monster. What does this mean? The monster will
stop its normal AI script. It'll still use counters though. Relm's hold over
an opponent's psyche doesn't end until the opponent in question is attacked
physically or either the Controlled or the Controllee obtains one of the
following status ailments: Sleep, Confused, Berserk, Death, Petrify, Zombie,
Freeze, or Stop.

The chance of Control working is exactly the same as Sketch working, and
is based on both the Controller's level and the level of the opponent you're
trying to Control. The Hypno Crown Helmet raises Relm's Control success
percentage, where the Beret raised Sketch success rate.

When Relm is controlling a monster and it's her turn to act, you'll get the
choice between the four (or less) Control commands of the monster she's
controlling instead. The Control commands are also the ones a monster randomly
uses when Confused, and most of the time there's some reason to the attacks
found there. Regardless, Control can be a strategic choice when you know what
monsters are worth controlling; most of the time the 'monster stops attacking
until I say so' is the sweetest part of the deal, but sometimes the Control
commands really include some sweet attacks like Freezing Dust, Flare Star,
Death-setting Specials, and the like. Control is great to get a particularly
powerful enemy out of the way (Brachiosaur comes to mind), or to have an
unlimited amount of Steal attempts without you having to worry about a thing.

I'd say that for the loss of a Relic slot, a Relm with a good Magic arsenal is
better off with a second Earring than with a Fake Mustache; I'll mention the
usefulness of the Control ability when it should be mentioned. For now, if you
have a Fake Mustache, equip it, as the Control ability helps getting you Lores
(although it won't grant access to Lores you couldn't already obtain anyway;
it just makes life easier).

Two more notes; if you used Mog's Molulu's Charm to raid Kefka's Tower earlier,
you should have a Hypno Crown by now. Equip it for increased Control chances.
Also, the Japanese name of the Fake Mustache is "Dancho's Mustache"; Dancho was
the name of the Impresario of the Opera House. Why a taped-on mustache allows
you to control monsters is beyond logic. I'd mention something about Adolf
Hitler, his mustache, the Germans, and how they're the missing link between
animals and human beings if I wasn't so scared of the "Du werdest eine
Krankenschwester brauchen"-like retorts.

Now, it's time to reap the benefits of this strange new world; new monsters,
new attacks, new Lores. I'll discuss them step by step.

- If Strago hasn't yet learned 1000 Needles, take him to the desert just south
  of Maranda, where Cactuar will use it every single turn it attacks. Make sure
  you can take Cactuar out after he uses 1000 Needles, though. With Relm on your
  side, both Sketch and Control grant access to 1000 Needles itself, which kills
  the Cactuar.

- Now for one of the greater Lores you'll find: Aero, the Wind-elemental MT
  level 3 spell-like attack. Find a Vasegiatta near Thamasa; you can't NOT
  fight a Vasegiatta in the forests. You can Confuse or Control Vasegiatta for
  Aero, and you can even wait for it to use the attack randomly. Marchosias
  near Kohlingen may also use it randomly, and can also be forced to use the
  spell through Sketch (75% chance) and Control.

Aero is slightly more powerful than a level 3 spell in both MT and ST
situations. Don't let the Wind element blow you away (heh); very few enemies
are actually weak to the element, and those tend to be weak monsters too.
But don't be discouraged; even though teaching Strago the level 3 spells is
a good idea for elemental flexibility, Aero should be Strago's main form of
attack unless elemental properties declare otherwise (or if you know Lv. 4 Flare
can connect). This is all until you get Strago's strongest Lore Grand Delta, but
until then, Aero is for you.

- If you missed White Wind for some obscure reason, you can also find it on
  Marchosias (uses randomly) and Sprinter (uses randomly).

- The Transfusion attack is entirely pointless and about as useful as jamming a
  pencil up your left eye socket and running around in a classic 'Kiss the cook'
  outfit while religiously chanting Madonna's breakthrough single Holiday. In
  other words, you'll never actually use it, but it's fitting of Strago's
  character. Near Kohlingen, you can find Mousse ad infinitum; just wait for
  them to use Transfusion. You can force them with Control, but unless they're
  alone it shouldn't take them long. Don't Sketch them; Relm executing
  Transfusion will kill her.

Yeah... Transfusion  fully heals the targets MP, removes all negative status
ailments except for Imp and Freeze (I'm counting Berserk as negative for the
moment), and heals the target for the same amount of HP as the target currently
has (which seems odd). The downside? It kills the caster and removes him from
battle entirely. When Strago casts Transfusion, his role on the battlefield is
over. Really, you should be very, very desperate if you use this attack.

- Bad Breath can be learned from Malboro in Darill's Tomb near Kohlingen. It's
  wise to equip Relics that protect against Zombie in the short while you're
  in the Tomb. Sketch will get you a 75% shot at Bad Breath, its in Malboro's
  Control menu and he'll use it pretty often when he's alone. If you meet any
  Borghese opponents down the way, Lv. 5 Death offs him quite carelessly.

Bad Breath sets a lot of status ailments: Darkness, Poison, Imp, Silence,
Confuse, and Sleep, to be precise. It's ideal if you want to cripple an opponent
but don't quite know what he's protected against; with Bad Breath, you're bound
to hit him in some form or another. A funny thing about Bad Breath is that while
it may set Imp, the sprite of the monster will not change because of it.

An additional note for you GBA crazies out there: never more apparant than when
wielding Bad Breath is the bug that lets attacks miss alltogether if Imp
immunity is discovered. Should you execute Bad Breath on a monster immune to the
Imp status, it should've just applied all the status ailments the target was
vulernable to. Instead, Bad Breath'll just miss alltogether. Such a shame.

- Mighty Guard. Meet a Land Ray in the desert and Sketch it. A 75% chance of the
  painting using Mighty Guard. You can also quickly cast Stop on it, if the
  first character coming up knows the spell and isn't capable of using Sketch.
  If for some reason you really don't want to use Sketch, you can also meet it
  once, make Gau learn the Land Ray Rage on the Veldt, and keep Strago around
  for when Gau casts Mighty Guard through the Land Ray Rage.

Mighty Guard is, quite simply, pretty neat. It sets both Protect and Shell on
all party members, even in a Side Attack. It's a superior version of the
Zona Seeker's Magic Shield attack I've been mentioning so often; the MT Protect
isn't that useful with Fenrir and Golem around, but certainly doesn't hurt you a
bit.

- The last Lore easily obtainable for now is Rippler. First, make sure your
  party is covered in the Invisible status. Now, fly over to Jidoor and enter
  the forests to the north. Mess around until you meet up with four Leap Frogs.
  They have a 33% chance of casting Rippler every third turn; that's after the
  landing from their Jump attack.

Rippler trades statuses. It takes all of the statuses of the caster and removes
them if possible (Relic/equipment-induced statuses will remain) and applies it
to the target is possible (immunities may prevent it). In turn, it takes all of
the target's statuses and removes them if possible, and sets them on the caster
if possible. Ideally, Rippler trades YOUR status ailments for THEIR positive
statuses. Sadly, Rippler is prone to all kinds of more or less disturbing bugs;
the most obvious one being that it trades far more statuses than it was ever
supposed to, giving you the ability to trade Terra's Trance status
(Confuse/Rippler) on other characters, as well as Shadow's Dog Block. A monster
taking Dog Block from you and than dying will remove Interceptor from you
PERMANENTLY. Another character stealing Dog Block from that very same enemy or
directly taking it from Shadow by means of Confuse/Rippler will obtain
Interceptor equally permanently. Just make sure you don't lose him forever, you
wouldn't want that. Ideally, if you don't mind to abuse bugs, you'd want
Interceptor on Gogo in the future (he can use the extra protection, and his
superior equipment-boosted Magic Power makes sure Interceptor hits extra hard).

Rippler as an attack isn't exactly hot stuff. It can copy some positive statuses
from a few rare bosses such as Demon (Image, Float, Haste, Protect), Goddess
(Haste, Shell), and Death Gaze (Float, Shell, Protect). Oh yeah, and the
Rippler attack is the only way to get rid of Doom status (not counting
completely random attacks such as Raccoon).

So for a quick reference, the Lores you could have obtained so far include:

Doom            Mighty Guard    Lv. 3 Confuse   Rippler
Roulette        Revenge Blast   Traveler        Stone
Aqua Breath     White Wind      Dischord        Self-Destruct
Aero            Lv. 5 Death     Bad Breath      1000 Needles
Lv. 4 Flare     Transfusion

This section is called 'Bulking up the Thamasian two', so you might be
wondering by now how we're going to bulk up Relm. There are three things that
can be done to her (eh... gameplay-wise), and they're all equipment. One's
the Behemoth Suit; if you don't have two already, make sure you spend a while
on the Veldt as there's NO doubt you'll run into one or two Behemoth Kings
before long. The Behemoth Suit is also for Strago, by the way. The second thing
we'll be doing for Relm is defeating another elemental dragon for his great item
drop, but we'll get to that in a minute.

No, the only thing we can really do for Relm specifically now is obtaining her
best piece of headgear. +2 to Speed, +4 to Magic Power, 10% extra Magic Evasion,
Superior Defense and Magic Defense to every other helmet (except for oddballs
Thornlet and Saucer) and 50% damage reduction against Fire-, Lightning-,
Ice-, Holy-, Earth-, and Wind-elemental attacks. And, if all that wasn't
enough, it doubles the Gil gained from random battles. If that doesn't sound
like a sweet deal, there is no pleasing you.

How to get it? It's Coliseum material. The opponent is the Weredragon, an
unassuming giant lizard whose only dangerous attack (the Death spell) can be
easily circumvented with a Reflect Ring. The trick here is to find the item the
Weredragon is willing to fight for: an Impartisan. There are two ways to find
them, and both are nasty at this point. One is finding a Greater Mantis (your
best bet is the forest to the north of Jidoor) and trying to steal one. It's a
rare steal, and your best thief you currently have is Shadow with a double
Thief's Knife equip, which isn't that great. Chances are very low. Make sure you
are all set with the Invisible status, as otherwise Greater Mantis' physicals
will rip you apart VERY quickly. Keep the Greater Mantis you're stealing from
healed, as you don't want it to die without giving you the Impartisan first.
You can go on for eternity without danger of dying, but it will probably take a
long time indeed.

The other option is the rare, 12.5% chance drop the Impartisan is for the
Tyrannosaur in the Dinosaur forest to the north of the Veldt. Tyrannosaurs are
extremely dangerous random encounters that are widely known for the fact they,
in tandem, give the most Experience Points of any random encounter in the game.
On the second turn, they may use Meteor, which will take off about 1500 HP worth
of damage on every character. Quickly cripple them with a Sleep spell or the
Bad Breath Lore, and kill them as quick as you can with Ice-elemental spells.
Don't bring uncontrollable characters, as they will snap the Tyrannosaurs out of
their snoozing (sure, Dance won't, but Dance sucks here). If you meet a
Brachiosaur, run like a madman. Save often, as Brachiosaur is this game's
Warmech. It presents death unto you, if you catch my drift. I'd consider the
Greater Mantis method far superior, honestly.

- Impartisan - Cat-Ear Hood             Opponent: Weredragon

Equip a Reflect Ring against his Death spell, and a Star Pendant, Fairy Ring, or
Ribbon against !Venom Claw. The reflected Death spell may work on Weredragon,
but it doesn't really matter, as Weredragon is too weak to give special
thought to.

Now, let's go find the ultimate rod of the game, which carries Strago's last
name and is the sure-fire drop of one of the elemental dragons, the Earth
Dragon.

Before you go, make sure you have Angel Wings Relics for those characters that
can't equip Gaia Gear. If you sold some of it, you can still buy more in the
Armor Shop in South Figaro.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.62.3   The battle with Earth Dragon
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Earth Dragon

  Miscellaneous items:
  Magus Rod (guaranteed Earth Dragon drop)

There's commotion in the Opera House? Only one year after the Wandering Gambler
threatened to kidnap the star of the Dream Oath, a dragon saw it fit to enter
the Opera House and make it his den. Or something; I don't know what the hell
the Earth Dragon wants with the artistic bags of hot air of this place.
Regardless, dragons are dangerous and need to be killed with violence.

Equip Angel Wings or Gaia Gear on every character before you go in. If you
have Gau in your team and a decent Float-inducing Rage (Marchosias, Ninja,
Hornet, Luridan, to name a few), he shouldn't need one, as Rage-induced Float
status is equally irremovable.

Do you remember the four switches in the right wing of the Opera House? If not,
here's a modified copy/paste from the best guide released in years:

Switch 1   Switch 2    Switch 3       Previous Super Switch.

Switch 1 makes a sound like a dog barking.
Switch 2 turns out the lights in the opera hall, causing the crowds to make
little eyes in the darkness. Funny!

Switch 3 opens a hole directly under you, causing you to slide on stage! Where
you previously immediately got off by hopping on the heads of the crowd,
bursting into the entrance hall of the Opera House, where the lead character
would then strike a pose and say 'Surprise!', you'll now be granted access to
the subject of the Impresario's distress, the Earth Dragon.

Earth Dragon
Level: 53, HP: 28500, MP: 16500
Steal: X-Potion (rare), Win: Magus Rod (always)
Weakness: Wind, Water
Status: Float
Special: !Honed Tusk: Attack x 5
Sketch : Magnitude 8, Thundaga
Control: Attack, !Honed Tusk
Vulnerable to: Poison, Sleep, Slow
Attacks: Attack, !Honed Tusk, Quake, Magnitude 8, 50 Gs, Landslide

Joker's Death: Yes
Ragnarok's Metamorph: Yes
12.5% chance of obtaining one of the following:

Crystal Sword
Crystal Shield
Crystal Helm
Crystal Mail

The Earth Dragon is fairly unique; he's the only elemental dragon that doesn't
absorb his own element (instead, he uses the Float status to circumvent almost
all Earth-elemental damage). Why they chose to do this is beyond me, as even
with Quake healing, Earth Dragon wouldn't have been that crazy of a challenge.
We may well never know. Oh well, they saved it for the Redux version :)

Every 20 seconds, the Earth Dragon will use his 50 Gs attack, a Earth Dragon-
only move that removes the Float status on all targets. Irremovable Float, like
the one given by the Angel Wings and Float-inducing Rages, will not be removed.
Given the fact that Earth's G is, as you might expect, 1 G, 50 G is plain
crazy; you'd effectively become 50 times as heavy as you normally are. Shadow
would suddenly become 7250 lbs, for instance. But enough with the first-grade
science.

He has a one-third chance of countering any damage done to him with the dreaded
!Honed Tusk attack, which really is quite strong. Any other attack he uses is
either Attack or ground-based; Quake always misses Earth Dragon himself, and the
Magnitude 8 and Landslide attack should either miss or heal you if you've been
smart up until now.

Start the battle off by throwing up your barriers. Golem and Fenrir are
particularly useful, as the only real threat in this battle should be Earth
Dragon's !Honed Tusk and Attacks. Strago's Mighty Guard should also help in
that department. Hastega is great as always, and Kirin doesn't hurt either.
Cast a combination of Sleep and Slow on the Earth Dragon as well; remember that
Sleep can not be set with Strago's Bad Breath attack in the GBA release, which
will always miss due to the Imp-related buggery. Now that you've been bulked up
plenty, and the Earth Dragon is vulnerable in his extended slumber, it's time to
start the magical offense.

If you want to keep Earth Dragon sleeping, keep Gau busy with Magic spells. Back
Row Gau with 255 Defense and a Float-inducing Rage is invulnerable, but it may
come at the cost of fallen party members. If you don't really care too much,
as all characters are either draped in Gaia Gear or protected by Angel Wings,
I should mention that Rages like Marchosias, Ninja, Hornet, and Luridan really
help (especially Marchosias). Strago's Aero packs a proverbial wallop, and
Shadow's Water Scrolls are pretty strong. If you don't care for the Sleep
status, Thrown Sakura are extremely painful to Earth Dragon. Sabin's Phantom
Rush still gets the job done as always, and is superior to Razor Gale even
though it doesn't exploit a weakness. Mog's Water Rondo is a superior
alternative to Jump attacks if you're going for a snoozing Earth Dragon. His
Wind Rhapsody is also an option; Wind Slash is weaker than El Niño, but you
might prefer Wind Rhapsody's 6/16 Sunbath to Water Rondo's 6/16 Plasma attack.
All other characters should just stick to Magic spells. Any strong mage capable
of wielding the Flood spell taught by Leviathan will make a large impact. Umaro
should be kept AWAY from this battle, as usual. His presence makes the Sleep
status strategy rather impossible.

After you've defeated the Earth Dragon, you'll obtain a Magus Rod, which gives
the same +7 Magic Power as the Enhancer does, but gives a 30% Magic Evasion
bonus where the Enhancer only gives a 20% increase. The Magus Rod is sweet and
is to be preferred over all other rods... no matter how the Magus Rod was robbed
of the unfair advantages it possessed in the SNES and PSX releases.

Now we've gotten all the normal Lores we can easily gather, and optimized our
equipment, it's time to dive into Thamasa for two things; Strago's ultimate
Lore, and some quality Esper time that both Thamasians desperately need and
deserve. Just for kicks, I'll give you an example of what my Thamasians look
like at this point:

Strago
Magus Rod       Thunder Shield
Circlet         Behemoth Suit
Hero's Ring     Earring

Relm (Magic-focused)            Relm (Control-focused)
Holy Rod        Aegis Shield    Holy Rod        Aegis Shield
Cat-Ear Hood    Behemoth Suit   Hypno Crown     Behemoth Suit
Hero's Ring     Earring         Fake Mustache   Hermes Sandals

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.62.4   Gungho's assignment; Ebot's Rock
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Warlock (#231), Mahadeva (#232), Sorath (#233), Medusa Chicken (#234),
  Creature (#235), Moonform (#236), Aspidochelon (#237), Hidon (#332), Erebus
  (#333), Erebus (#334), Erebus (#335), Erebus (#336)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Thornlet (rare Hidon steal)

  Lores:
  Grand Delta

Whom to bring? Strago is mandatory, really. You just obtained Relm, and her big
weakness is her lack of Esper time, so why not help her a little and bring
her along as well? Thievery is nice to have access to at some point of the
next dungeon, so either Shadow or Locke/Gogo is a welcome addition. Ragers
are welcome as well, so why not bring Gau?

To the north of Thamasa, on a small island, is Ebot's Rock. It's closed for
now.

As soon as you cross between the Armor Shop and the Item Shop, Relm will get
excited about being back in Thamasa. However, not all is well at the home
front; Gungho, Strago's former battle partner, took on Hidon, the legendary
beast Strago hunted together with Gungho when he was young. Hidon was
submerged under water together with the entire Ebot's Rock, but now that it
has resurfaced, Gungho went ahead and tried his best. Now, he's been defeated
and is bed-ridden. After listening to Gungho's pleas, Strago decides to go,
and after a while, accepts Relm's help.

Note that after this part, Strago is required to actually complete the dungeon
that is Ebot's Rock. Relm, however, is not.

Monster formations:

(First Cave, Save Point Area, and Living Chest Area)
Sorath, Warlock, Creature (5/16)
Sorath, Sorath (5/16)
Warlock, Medusa Chicken Medusa Chicken, Creature, Creature (5/16)
Moonform, Medusa Chicken Medusa Chicken, Medusa Chicken (1/16)

(Main room)
Aspidochelon, Aspidochelon (5/16)
Mahadeva (5/16)
Aspidochelon, Moonform, Creature (5/16)
Moonform, Moonform, Moonform (1/16)

There's a theme here; teleport stones in the dungeon, and every monster here
has both a rare Teleport Stone steal and a rare Teleport Stone drop. That's
just nice. And it's dark like a behemoth's tookus on a moonless prairie night.

The Warlock is an annoying little...warlock. Evil and vile throughout, it
makes a mockery of the holy light by attacking with the Holy spell, which is
all it uses for attacking. It may try to drain back some of his lost MP with
!Magic Drain, but he'll be attacking you with the Holy spell; rarely over
!Magic Drain normally, constantly while alone. The Warlock's Defenses are also
very strong; Defense is high, Magic Defense extremely so. Barrier-piercing
attacks should be your main priority against him; you might even use the Stop
spell to make sure he doesn't hurt you in the meantime.

The Mahadeva needn't worry you. It looks dangerous, but 'tis not. It may
randomly use Crypt Dust on the second, fifth, eighth (etc.) turn but it will
be a wasted turn like always; it's Special is called !Rib, and unlike what you
would expect, does Attack x 2 damage rather than setting Zombie. Common Undead
weaknesses in Fire and Holy.

Sorath BEARS a close resemblance to Purusa, wouldn't you agree? See, it's
funny because... Oh man, I'm too funny to BEAR with. Again! If you haven't
figured out that I'm stalling because Sorath are rather boring, you haven't had
enough hibernation. They attack with Attack and !Choke (Attack * 1.5). They're
not very powerful with it. The only interesting thing to say about them is the
fact they take a distant liking to percentage-based attacks (75% Shamshir
through Sketch, Cave In through Rage) while being immune to it themselves.

Medusa Chicken are upgraded Litwor Chickens. Weak to Ice like their WoB
brethren, but they also absorb Poison-elemental attacks. They have Quake written
all over them, in Sketch, Control, and Rage alike; they'll have a 33% at using
it when alone. Every second turn when not alone, Medusa Chicken has a 33% chance
at using !Lick, which sets Petrify and is to be avoided.

Creatures...little bastards are weak versus Lightning, and attack with Attack
and !Stench, which sets Confuse. Unlike Humpty, they're not Undead, and that's
why they don't absorb Bio attacks either; Control, Sketch and Rage all grant
access to the spell. Creature is NOT a name. Don't do drugs!

Moonform is nothing but a monster in FF VI. In the real world though, it's used
to describe the shape of our planet's moon. It attacks with Attack and !Mouth
Clamp, which sets Sap. It may counter any Magic attack with the Poison-/Water-
elemental Acid Rain which sets Sap, and any other attack with the much more
powerful Ice-/Water-elemental Flash Rain attack. Both attacks also feature the
Sketch and Control possibilities, and Rage features Flash Rain. The best way to
deal with them is by casting Rasp; they have 82 MP and will die from sub-zero
MP, leaving them unable to use final counters.

Aspidochelon is another stupid suffering fanged bull, like y'know, the other one
on the Serpent Trench. They are VERY similar to Devoahan, almost so much there's
no doubt it's intentional; just like Devoahan they will use nothing but Attack
for four turns before letting loose with Attack, Attack, !Rage, which once again
is Attack * 1.5 like Devoahan's Special !Rage. When hit by Magic, Devoahan
responded with Sunbath; Aspidochelon responds by casting Wind Slash. The main
difference is the fact that Aspidochelon is Undead, with the standard elemental
properties of Undeads too.

So, the strategy is clear. Cast Float on everybody to protect against a stray
Quake attack, and make everybody invisible with Ghostly Veil of Vanish. Now,
don't let Medusa Chicken be the last monster on the battlefield, don't cast
Magic on Aspidochelon and kill Moonform with Rasp and you're invincible here
until Hidon.

On the dungeon:

You missed them so far, right? Blasted, damned-for-all-time in-dungeon warp
stones. Oh yeah, and it's real dark here, so naturally you can't see further
than a few tiles around you. Great, now all we need are some annoying enemies
at every corner we'd rather not fight since we're busy carrying around key
items to actually get anywhere and we've found one of the more frustrating
dungeons of the game.

Here's the deal. The first warp stone (not to be confused with a Teleport Stone,
mind) takes you to a living, talking chest that won't grant you passage since
he's hungry. He's also a chest, lacking opposable thumbs, abstract thought, or
even the most rudimentary of senses. Let's face it; bossing around other people
to bring him food is really his most effective way of feeding himself. Your task
here is to feed him enough Coral, the stuff of magic you find in the chests all
around Ebot's Rock.

In every chest, there's an equal 25% chance you find one of the following:

1 piece of Coral
2 pieces of Coral
3 pieces of Coral
5 pieces of Coral

The talking chest will let you pass on two conditions. One: you need to have
Strago. If you don't have Strago in your party, you can feed him all you want,
but won't accomplish anything, either for you or for the chest. He eats, like
so many young people of our time, because he's unhappy. It's a destructive
and endless cycle of finding consolation in the very weakness he despises.
I yap. Two: You need to feed him 22 pieces of Coral IN ONE GO. If you feed him
18, he'll send you off for more, and you still need to feed him 22 pieces of
Coral again.

So, while you scurry off to find a pencil and a slip of paper to write down how
much Coral you're finding all around, I'm going to try to explain how the
layout of Ebot's Rock is constructed.

Just kidding. Every warp stone has up to four different locations it can warp
you to. They're all in the same room, and in most cases there's only one
warp stone to walk towards after possibly raiding a chest. There's no possible
advantage of knowing where you are; warp, open chest, warp. Repeat if necessary.

In the end, you'll have your 22 pieces of Coral and you can go 'find' the
talking chest. It's up to luck how soon you come across it, obviously. Feed it,
and you're allowed to continue.

Finally, Hidon! The mere sight of the horrid creature sends shivers down
Strago's spine. Can we assume Strago knows that this creature can teach him
the most powerful of Lores, the fabled Grand Delta. The Japanese game sure
mentions it, so it's time to pound him for great, sweet justice.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.62.5   The battle with Hidon
**********************************

Hidon
Level: 43, HP: 25000, MP: 12500
Steal: Thornlet (rare), Teleport Stone (common), Win: Teleport Stone (always)
Absorbs: Poison, Weakness: Fire, Holy, Earth
Creature Type: Undead
Special: !Hit: Attack x 1.5
Sketch : !Hit, Attack
Control: Attack !Hit
Vulnerable to: Slow
Attacks: Attack, Poison, Bio, Grand Delta, Vemonist, Crypt Dust, Leech

Joker's Death: Yes

Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

Hidon attacks with Attack and Bio. That's what he does. He has a 33% shot at
Bio there, and a 66% one at Attack. If you hit him with something, he has
a small chance of countering with the Poison spell. Whenever a character dies
in-battle (as in, the Death status), Hidon will try to revive the fallen
character as a Zombie with the Crypt Dust attack, which will fail if the fallen
character is immune to the Zombie status ailment. When Hidon is alone, his
first turn will be spent on glowing an eerie yellow and attacking with the
magnificent Lore Grand Delta which will deal between 900 and 950 damage on your
sorry asses. After that, you'll notice that Hidon is particularly mean when he's
by himself; he'll start attacking with all kinds of crazy spells, including
Venomist (the MT Poison-elemental attack that misses a lot yet looks funky) and
Leech (the non-elemental HP draining spell). 80 seconds after the last Erebus
perished, Hidon will call all Erebus back into existence if all fell. If
you kill them all again, Hidon will cast Grand Delta again, and then revive them
again.

Throw up your barriers where possible (Hastega, Mighty Guard, Golem/Fenrir,
Kirin) and set Slow on Hidon. Evasion of physical attacks is doubly important,
as all the Erebus will try to set nasty status ailments on you with their
Specials. Now, it's time to take care of the Erebus. While Bahamut's Mega
Flare attack is by far the best way to take care of them all at once, well-timed
doses of Cyan's Eclipse Bushido, possibly paired with Edgar's Auto Crossbow or
Flash Tools, should get the job done. The most difficult Erebus to dispatch of
is the one in the lower-left corner; inherently Reflective, absorbs all
elements, ID protection. Shadow's stronger throwing Stars work well against him,
as does Strago's Traveler attack, Setzer's Fixed Dice, and Edgar's Drill. Also,
don't forget to throw around stealing attempts until you've stolen something
from Hidon; the common steal is a meager Teleport Stone, but its rare steal is
the Thornlet, an elusive item that, provided you choose the Ragnarok sword over
the Ragnarok Esper in due time, can only be found here.

The Thornlet is a piece of Headgear that's odd. The only thing it has going for
it is the fact that its Defense is superior to everything, not including the
Saucer on Imps. On the downsides, the Thornlet grants inherent Sap to the
wearer (thorns inflict pain) and has NO Magic Defense whatsoever. The Thornlet,
as my verdict says, should be ignored. Your only reasons for getting one could
be completing your Item list as much as possible and betting it later for a
Mirage Vest.

Now, behold the power of Grand Delta! As soon as that's all over, it's time to
defeat this wretched being. Valigarmanda's Tri-Disaster attack, Fira, Firaga,
and Quake spells really hurt, as does Shadow's Flame Scroll. Having Shadow Throw
a Flametongue, Gravity Rod or Holy Rod hurts Hidon very badly. Mog or Edgar as
Dragon Horn Dragoons paired with a Holy Lance also deal great amounts of
damage. Mog should definitely refrain from using Dances; the Dusk Requiem
sucks. Phantom Rush and Fixed Dice are reliable as always. Strago and Relm
themselves really need to use their Magic skillset; if Strago's selection is
extremely poor, I would suggest Aero or Traveler. Obviously, if Strago is
level 43, his Stone attack beats all other options (except for Firaga). Cyan
should probably stick to his Flurry Bushido skill, unless he has Firaga.
Why you would want to train Cyan enough to have him learn a level 3 spell
boggles all normal minds, but I suppose it's a possibility. Gau has a few
options, but most of them are kind of odd. Devil Fist is nice enough, as it
allows Gau to absorb Poison, Bio, and Venomist. Inherent Haste and Will o' the
Wisp is good enough too. If you're not too concerned about that Poison ailment,
have Gau engage Litwor Chicken (don't forget to cast Float on yourselves
beforehand, since Litwor Chicken uses Quake). Finally, Magic Urn turns Gau into
an ever-present tank that heals your party. Nice. And Umaro? Just let him go,
man.

After the fight, Strago will giggle like a little girl and run off to tell his
friend. Gungho seems surprised and oddly vital when hearing the news, and both
growling old men stay up late to celebrate. Relm, like the stereotype demands,
is smarter and more mature than her old grandpa, and explains to the moronic
player that, gasp thrice, Gungho was faking his wounds.

When the player regains control over the party, you may or may not notice that
the party hasn't been healed from the fight against Hidon, although they did
spend the night in Thamasa. Possibly some of your characters are still poisoned,
so you might as well take them to the 1 Gil Inn and heal them with a decent
nightly rest. Ah sleep, thou sweet mistress.

A pretty important note here: outside of Strago's house, Gungho will walk
around. Normally he'll just ask you if everything's okay, but every time you
talk to him, there's a 12.5% chance that he'll say: "I heard someone saw Hidon
at Ebot's Rock again!". As soon as Gungho says this, Hidon will indeed
appear on his original spot. To reach him, you'll have to gather another 22
Coral for the living chest that has also reappeared. Re-fighting Hidon is
only important if you either haven't learned Grand Delta from the first fight
or need a Thornlet, possibly to wager at the Coliseum for the odd Mirage Vest.
It should also be noted that after the first time you defeat Hidon, Strago is
no longer required to find Hidon.

Now, you probably taught Relm at least the level 3 spells or Flare while still
being equipped with that awesome Cat-Ear Hood and possibly the awesome Magus
Rod, and Strago has the best MT damage of any character at the moment, so we can
all celebrate their Thamasian existence.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.63.1   Epic of Gilgamesh; Get Rich or Die Tryin'
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Onion Dasher (#190), Siegfried (#238), Gilgamesh (#347)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Genji Armor (rare Gilgamesh drop), Genji Glove (common Gilgamesh steal),
  Genji Helm (common Gilgamesh drop), Genji Shield (rare Gilgamesh steal),
  Merit Award (win from Onion Dasher)

  Lores:
  Aero, Dischord, 1000 Needles, Quasar, Revenge Blast

  Magicite:
  Gilgamesh

Befitting of a monument of war, Dragon's Neck Coliseum is packed with mighty
brawlers. Shadow, the merciless mercenary himself, competed here. Siegfried,
the greatest swordsman of this age, is its champion. Sometimes all you could
hear were flat, hard packing sounds over the yelling, or the wet choke when
someone caught their breath and sprayed 'Stop'. But now, a new challenger has
appeared, one who felt he was too good for a mere 16-bit console. Gilgamesh,
a mysterious demon-man who travels through dimensions in search of rare swords,
has found Dragon's Neck Coliseum. Being one of the four 'new' Espers available
to the player, all we have to do is make him fight us.

Even though we've found some extraordinary weapons on our travels so far, it
won't spark the interest of Gilgamesh. The only thing this guy'll fight for is
a weapon called the Excalipoor, and it's up for grabs in the Auction House in
Jidoor. Well, grabs... It's up for 500000 Gil. That's a lot of moolah. If you're
half-way there, you did more fighting than you could've done. To collect wealth
en masse, there are two tips for your mission for them greens, being lean mean
money-making-machines fighting fiends.

When in poverty, beat up a cactus! Cactuars will give 10000 Gil when you kill
them (dunno why). It's twice that amount with Relm's Cat-Ear Hood around. It's
certainly the normal guy's route, but there's a more subtle one, unknown to most
and not involving cactuar genocide.

Okay, here's the inside scoop, baby-dolls. Whenever you win a battle with the
Cat-Ear Hood equipped, your Gil income doubles. That's part one. Whenever an
opponent steals Gil from you and you manage to kill it before it runs off, that
Gil is returned to you after the match. That's part two. The combinations of
these parts is what makes the plan work. Mt. Zozo Mugbears may Steal Gil from
you. They may Steal 8724 Gil from you, to be exact. Control one with Relm and
start healing it. Whenever you damage or heal it, it has a 33 % chance of
countering with another Steal attempt. Whenever you heal it, you make sure
it doesn't die just yet. Every batch of stolen Gil is returned twicefold at the
end of the battle. Repeat if necessary.

In front of the Auction House in Jidoor, a GBA-exclusive NPC lingers. "I heard
they're going to put a rare sword up for auction. I can't decide if I should bid
or not." As soon as you've spoken to the guy, the rare sword Excalipoor becomes
an option in the Auction House. It'll have a 50 % chance of appearing, but only
if you've spoken to the man outside. When it appears, you can simply keep
bidding and buy it. The Excalipoor may look like the holy sword Excalibur, but
with a measly 1 Attack Power and no stat boosts, it'll do you little good. Hey,
we can always try to bet it at Dragon's Neck, right?

"Excalipoor? Yes, that is indeed a rare blade. Apparently, someone's been making
off with rare swords from the coliseum... You'd best keep an eye out."

You know, keeping an eye out? Like Sauron?

Before you go in to wager your useless sword, make sure you save. The boss
you'll fight has a 87.5% chance of dropping a Genji Helm when you defeat him,
and you really want to make sure you get it. Also note that you can steal a
common Genji Glove from this boss, but you'll have to be at least level 38
and wearing a Thief's Bracer to even stand a chance. Something to consider
before you go in.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.63.2   Epic of Gilgamesh; the battle with Gilgamesh
**********************************

A guy came to the Coliseum for the first time, his ass was a wad of cookie
dough. After a few weeks, he was carved out of wood. And the eighth and final
rule? If this is your first night at the Coliseum, you have to wager.

- Excalipoor - Merit Award              Opponent: Onion Dasher
Though Gilgamesh will come even if you lose the battle, this is an excellent
opportunity to get your hands on a Merit Award. Also, should you lose, you'll
start the battle with a character down, which is a hindrance. The Onion Dasher
attacks physically and may Haste you with his !Dash attack, but the only
threat he poses is by wielding his Traveler attack. You can't really protect
against it, so make sure you deal enough damage fast, as Onion Dasher has very
little HP.

"Hey, that's quite a rare sword you've got there..."

"I think..."

"...I'll take that sword for my own!"

If you've lost, technically, Gilgamesh should've brawled it out with the Onion
Dasher. Regardless, he'll come after you. Y'know to clench his thirst. His
thirst for GLORIOUS BATTLE! Such combat savvy!

Gilgamesh
Level: 97, HP: 38000, MP: 3200
Steal: Genji Shield (rare), Genji Glove (common), Win: Genji Armor (rare),
       Genji Helm (common)
Creature Type: Humanoid
Special: !Blade Dance: Attack x 1.5
Sketch : Attack, Hastega
Control: Attack
Vulnerable to: Nothing
Attacks: Attack, !Blade Dance, Protect, Shell, Haste, Aqua Breath, Aero,
         Dischord, 1000 Needles, Revengle Blast, Stone, Quasar, Revenge Blast,
         Throw (Lightbringer), Throw (Ragnarok), Throw (Zantetsuken), Throw
         (Mutsunokami)

Joker's Death: Yes
Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

Gilgamesh will attack fast and furiously with both physical attacks and a wide
selection of Strago's Lores. Especially annoying are Dischord and Stone when
they land, as it's unlikely you're protected from their effects. Revenge Blast
may simply kill a character, sucks to be you. Quasar is a new Lore which was
previously off-limits to Strago until the very last dungeon. It's exactly like
Grand Delta, only it's cheaper on Strago's MP and not quite as powerful. Coming
from Gilgamesh, Quasar will deal around 1100 damage to all characters, so make
sure you're never below that point.

When you've pounded a semblance of sense in Gilgamesh' thick skull, he'll
rethink his strategy and start fighting 4 reelz. As soon as you see Gilgamesh
cast Protect, Shell and Haste on himself, know that he'll have entered his
second stance. Starting from that point, Gilgamesh will Jump (1st round) and
land, use four physical attacks in quick succession (2nd turn), Throw either a
Lightbringer or Ragnarok (3rd turn) and Throw either a Zantetsuken or
Mutsunokami (4th turn). Loop from there. The physical attacks are all just
physical attacks, but each of the four blades will deal 9999 non-elemental,
barrier-piercing and unblockable damage. That is, without the Invisible status!

Here's the strategy. Make sure you're prepared for the fight and have saved, as
the fight with Gilgamesh at this point is quite a challenge. Make sure to bring
Strago for a chance of learning Quasar, and his Mighty Guard, White Wind and
Grand Delta will make a nice addition. Throw up your defensive barriers ASAP,
they'll be needed. Hastega, Mighty Guard, Golem and Fenrir, what have you. Keep
yourself healed and try to keep up, which should be entirely doable. Never allow
a character to be Confused longer than he/she has to, and quickly revive
characters fallen from Revenge Blast or other forms of violence.

When Gilgamesh casts his defensive spells, turn to Phantom or the Vanish spell.
If you manage to apply it, you've won your battle. Sweet! Naturally, make sure
you haven't told Mog to Dance or have Gau stuck in a Rage capable of targeting
his allies; while Magic Urn would provide superior defense to most of Gilgamesh'
attacks, Curaga's tendency to reveal the hidden is somewhat of a burden in the
second part of the fight.

On the offense, it should be noted that Gilgamesh has great amounts of Defense
and Magic Defense. Any magical attack which isn't barrier-piercing will have a
hard time making a noteworthy impact. So stick with physical attacks and
abominations such as Grand Delta and Flare. Sabin's Phantom Rush is especially
powerful at this point in the fight.

A small trivia note on Mog is that his home dance is the Wind Rhapsody, not the
Love Serenade, which makes little sense. Then again, nobody really cares.

When you're done, you'll find yourself with a Merit Award and the Gilgamesh
Magicite!

This could also be a great time to discuss the Merit Award. What does the
Merit Award do? It allows the wearer to equip any weapon and any armor except
for animal hides (Relm/Strago equips), the Snow Scarf, and the female-only
equips (Minerva Bustier and Mystery Veil among others). It does take up a Relic
slot though, so what characters would benefit enough from the expanded pool of
options to sacrifice a Relic slot for?

- Sabin's weapons are nothing special. A few minor stat boosts, that's all.
  In addition, his best armor is the Red Jacket, which next to nullifying
  Fire does nothing special and has a sub-par Defense and Magic Defense rating.
  A Swordbreaker/Magus Rod rather than the Tigerfangs and a Genji Armor as
  opposed to the Red Jacket can really help him out both offensively and
  defensively.

- In simpler times, Gau and Gogo could equip the Merit Award as well, both to
  great effects. Those times are long gone, though, forever erasing the
  existence of the glorious Wind God Gau. Behold reason #37 why the 21th
  century is making us miserable.

Most players kinda frown upon using the Merit Award as it has the potential of
turning every character into a clone of another. And yes, with the Merit
Award, a combo of Lightbringer, Force Shield, Priest's Miter, and Force Armor is
all too easy to pull off. I just figure that this way, we're still tasteful
while helping out the characters we love. :)

The Gilgamesh Magicite teaches Quick (awesome!) and Valor (awesome!). Valor is
pretty much the remedy for the fact that physical attacks suck compared to
magical ones most of the time. Valor targets all allies and allows every first
physical attack that character uses come out with triple power. That's to be
taken quite literally. This goes for odd attacks such as Cyan's Tiger Bushido
(which now deals 150 % the target's current HP), Setzer's Gil Toss, you name it.
It'll only boost the first strike in a multi-strike attack such as Cyan's
Flurry. Note that for the few MT physical attacks (Auto Crossbow and Gil Toss),
only one target will receive three times as much damage.

Gilgamesh himself, when summoned, can attack with each of his four blades.
Masamune is a non-elemental barrier-piercing attack. Excalibur is a Holy-
elemental attack. The Excalipoor will only deal 1 damage to all targets.
Gilgamesh' combo attack with his partner Enkidu is a massively powerful non-
elemental barrier-piercing attack. The chances of each attack appear to be
25 % chance each, but since I don't speak ARM7TDMI assembly I can't be
absolutely sure.

Boy, that was a wild ride. We're here now, let's see if we can do some other
stuff here.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.63.3   Another Coliseum trip
**********************************

Sure, why the hell not, eh? Most of the below described items are "provided
you have them" or "provided you want them", but I have to put them somewhere
and this seems like a nice place. I'll go easy on you and start out with the
really helpful ones!

*** Healing Rod - Magus Rod             Opponent: Tonberry
 ** Cat-Ear Hood - Merit Award          Opponent: Slagworm
  * Thornlet - Mirage Vest              Opponent: Aspidochelon
*** Minerva Bustier - Regal Gown        Opponent: Tonberry
  * Nutkin Suit - Genji Armor           Opponent: Aspidochelon
 ** Snow Scarf - Ward Bangle            Opponent: Yojimbo
  * Thief's Bracer - Brigand's Glove    Opponent: Amduscias
 ** Gauntlet - Thunder Shield           Opponent: Vector Chimera
  * Genji Glove - Thunder Shield        Opponent: Demon Knight
*** Megalixir - Tintinnabulum           Opponent: Siegfried

You should know all items (if you're rusty on what they do and where to get
them, you can Ctrl + F the document). The only reason you should want to trade
in a Minerva Bustier for a Regal Gown is when you have more than two Minerva
Bustiers and you want to have all items in the game at the end. I've never found
a good use for the Gauntlet, and in my opinion the Genji Glove has outlived its
usefulness as well, but there are a lot of players googoo for Genji Gloves, so
they may not agree with me when I say you can turn those Relics into the awesome
Thunder Shields (save one of each if you're going for that 'perfect' end-game
item list). You CAN steal Thunder Shields in the final dungeon, but it's a long
way there.

- Healing Rod - Magus Rod               Opponent: Tonberry
- Minerva Bustier - Regal Gown          Opponent: Tonberry

Tonberry is a bastard in the Coliseum. The trick here is that he will counter
any damage done to him with both !Knife (Attack * 8) and a Traveler attack.
Death doesn't stop him from countering, and as it's highly unlikely you'll be
able to survive two Traveler attacks (not even mentioning the !Knife attack
here), you must take down Tonberry in one shot, which is hard, as he's quite
durable and not vulnerable to ID. Obviously, he also attacks normally, with
Attack, !Knife, and the Break spell. First off, you'll want a Reflect Ring,
Jeweled Ring, Ribbon, Safety Bit, or Memento Ring to protect against Break.
Second, make sure you can survive the !Knife/Traveler combo; Muscle Belts and
Red Caps increase your HP for Traveler, and you'll either want to evade or
nullify !Knife entirely, so a high Evasion percentage or 255 Defense does the
trick. On the offense, the Master's Scroll is almost required, either with the
Fixed Dice or a Valiant Knife, whatever you have. You probably have none of
those.

- Cat-Ear Hood - Merit Award            Opponent: Slagworm

Slagworm is, if I'm not mistaken, the toughest enemy out there that's still
vulnerable to ID. This is really what you'll want to take advantage of. He'll
randomly use Attack, !Crush (Attack * 5), Sandstorm, and Quake. Every damage
done will by countered with up to two Sandstorm attacks. Equip some Angel Wings
for the Quake spell, and a Thunder Shield to nullify the Sandstorm attacks. If
you can pair this with 255 Defense (on Mog), you can't lose. If you can't
obtain invulnerability, it's best to go all-out offensive; the Master's
Scroll, possible Genji Glove, and weapons with either the X-type ID property or
the Zantetsuken. Remember that the random Death spell from the Soul Sabre and
the Death Tarot won't work with the Master's Scroll.

- Thornlet - Mirage Vest                Opponent: Aspidochelon
- Nutkin Suit - Genji Armor             Opponent: Aspidochelon

I discussed Aspidochelon earlier, so I won't do that now. Instead let's move on!

- Snow Scarf - Ward Bangle              Opponent: Yojimbo

I discussed Yojimbo earlier, but the situation's so much different now I'd
like to mention him again; get your Evasion as high as possible on a character
that's bound to inflict a lot of damage on the guy. Fixed Dice, Master's Scroll,
Prayer Beads, Green Beret, etc. The chances are pretty good Setzer will outlive
a Yojimbo this way.

- Thief's Bracer - Brigand's Glove Opponent: Amduscias

All Amduscias does is Attack, !Booty Shake (sets Confuse), Slowga, and Hastega.
255 Defense and a Peace Ring/Ribbon to protect against !Booty Shake and you're
set. The only question remains...what WAS she going to do with all that junk,
all that junk inside her trunk?

- Gauntlet - Thunder Shield             Opponent: Vector Chimera

Attack, Gigavolt, Aqua Breath and Blaze. A combination of Thunder Shield and Red
Jacket takes care of all the powerful attacks here, so send in Edgar with this
equipment and you're set. Sabin's good too, though he might use Soul Spiral.

- Genji Glove - Thunder Shield          Opponent: Demon Knight

Demon Knightlooks pretty neat, but that doesn't stop him from sucking all-round
in the Coliseum. Attack, !Cursed Gaze (sets Sap) and Shockwave are all too
useless to worry about, and Holy can be reflected by a Reflect Ring. Equip one
and win.

Megalixir - Tintinnabulum               Opponent: Siegfried

Siegfried has three attacks: a 50% chance at Attack, a 25% Metal Cutter which is
rather painful, and a 25% Hyperdrive, which kills you. There's NO circumventing
it other than Runic, which isn't reliable enough. Hyperdrive is a non-elemental
barrier-piercing magical attack that cannot be Reflected. Coming from Siegfried,
hyped as the greatest warrior that isn't in your team or called Kefka Palazzo,
it delivers around 7200 damage. Your best bet is to take advantage of his
vulnerability to the Stop status; equip on Shadow the Kagenui, Dragoon Boots,
Dragon Horn, and as much Magic Evasion raising equipment as you can put on the
guy. If you're in luck, a random Stop spell coming from the Kagenui will kick in
and disable Siegfried long enough for you to kill him. You can only meet the
awesome Siegfried here, and defeating him is the only way of filling the
Bestiary with his entry.

And yes, that's a gun he's holding. Sweet, eh?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.64.1   Doma Castle
**********************************

Now, there are a few side-quests left before there's really nothing better to
do than break into Kefka's domain, and we've still got a disturbing lead to
follow before we can answer to Celes's desperate wishes to reunite with Locke.
With Cyan on our side, the fact that demons appear to roam around in Doma Castle
has some meaning; we could check it out at the very least. Where's Doma Castle
you ask? You can ask the old lady in Maranda, but I'll tell you anyway: to the
east of the 'head' of the Serpent Trench, where Nikeah is located.

Make sure that you have quite a few Green Cherries and Phoenix Downs, and if
you're planning to bring Shadow (which is a good idea), make sure you have
over 30 Flame Scrolls as well.

Cyan is mandatory for this part. I can see from your shocked faces that after
all the Cyan-bashing I did in the past, not only are you all heavily convinced
of the fact he's horrible, this is also the reason you never really bothered to
raise him. Little to no Esper time, no doubt? Not to digress; you don't really
have to fight with him. :P

Whom to bring? Terra is especially nice; I really advise you to bring her.
You're probably sick of Strago and Relm by now, but if you want to take
advantage of their newly acquired powers, be my guest; Grand Delta really is
powerful, and there's a new Lore to be learned here as well. Shadow is great,
as his Throw attack is targetable. The same goes for Setzer, but only if you
have his Fixed Dice. Do NOT bring along Gau and Umaro; they'll have major
trouble with the final battle here, which also means that YOU will have major
trouble. I wouldn't really advise Edgar and Mog either, as the final battle is
yet again an annoying peek-a-boo situation where you don't want to sit around
waiting for them to come crashing down when you don't want them to.

As soon as you enter Doma Castle, nothing seems odd. But hey, both the guy in
Thamasa and the young man in Nikeah mentioned that the demons came after
nightfall. If you haven't found the Doma Castle treasures in the WoB, you can
do so now: You can find a Hi-Ether, an Elixir in the alarm clock in a bedroom,
an X-Potion in the room Cyan found his dead wife and son in, and when you go
outside on one of the walls, you can find a little room with a Phoenix Down and
some Prayer Beads. If you're done raiding the halls of the dead, find the
bedroom where the option of sleeping will be presented to you. Do so if you're
ready for the dungeon. Make sure you have a decently powerful character in the
fourth slot (or in the third if Cyan's in the fourth slot).

When the night has ended (don't worry, you've been healed), you will all get
up. But wait, what's this? Cyan remains silent. When you go over to check on
him, three creatures that look like little boys appear. They introduce
themselves as the Dream Stooges, being Laragorn, Curlax and Moebius. Dunno what
the story with Curlax and Moebius is, but I've heard Laragorn is in love with
an immortal Lelf and can command an army of Lundead, so we'd best be careful.
Regardless, the Dream Stooges leap into Cyan's mind. Or something, whatever.
You'll quickly notice this entire ordeal is 73% Lewis Carroll, 26% water, and a
tiny bit of magic.

You leap after them. OFF the Veldt!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.64.2   Cyan's Soul
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Weredragon (#208), Alluring Rider (#211), Pandora (#212), Parasite (#213),
  Coco (#214), Curlax (#323), Laragorn (#324), Moebius (#325)

  Lores:
  Doom, Roulette, White Wind, Lv. ? Holy

You start out with the character that was in the fourth slot of your party when
you went to sleep; if this was Cyan, it'll be the character in the third slot.
If you brought Gogo the mimic here and don't start out with him, you can see
him lying around mimicking Mog's colour scheme; while this fits his role of
copycat nicely, it's most certainly a bug. There are detached stairways of
unidentifiable material all around the place and a lot of doors. The entire
room looks like you've been sniffing Ether (and you might have) recently, and
you're by yourself.

Monster formations:

Coco, Alluring Rider(5/16)
Alluring Rider, Pandora, Pandora, Pandora (5/16)
Weredragon, Parasite, Parasite, Parasite (5/16)
Weredragon (1/16)

Weredragon is a crazy dino, that's for sure. It does nothing but try to
poison you, and let's be honest with ourselves here; that's just not very
honorable for a giant lizard with fangs and claws, now is it? At least try to
eat them. At any rate, the only thing it'll try to do to you is use !Venom Claw
and attack with Venomist. Weredragon is weak against Fire- and Holy-elemental
attacks and is vulnerable to ID attacks. The Anthology Bestiary mentions that
Weredragon is 'normally' human, but transforms into a Weredragon in-battle,
spewing poisonous breath (Venomist).

Alluring Rider is your gal if you neglected Strago a little during the WoB and
brought him along for this ride. Every first turn may feature Roulette (33%
chance), every second turn may feature the as-of-yet unseen Lv. ? Holy (33%
chance), and every third turn may contain Doom (33% chance). If you want to,
wait around until she has taught these Lores to Strago. Other attacks include
Attack and !Sap Seed, which sets Sap. She's a rare breed, having no palette
swaps whatsoever. She's also rather weak defensively; Doom shouldn't worry you,
Roulette is a nuisance that's quickly recovered from and Lv. ? Holy, should it
connect, won't do all that much damage (about 550 when hitting multiple
normally-equipped targets, 1100 on a single one).

Pandora is Undead. Also, while they look like the least dangerous enemy,
they're the worst. There are two attacks you have to watch out for; Diabolic
Whistle may set one out of the following status ailments on every party member:
Darkness, Poison, Imp, Doom, Berserk, Confuse, Sap and Slow. Since they always
appear in triple formation here, it can be quite bad if one or two character(s)
have to swallow up to three Diabolic Whistle attacks. Ribbons are a must. The
other attack that's nasty is Absolute Zero; it's a straightforward Ice-elemental
attack, but can deal about 500 damage to multiple normally equipped characters
and 1000 on a single one. Revenge Blast shouldn't be that much of a concern.

Parasite are Aspiran palette swaps. They're almost entirely alike. They attack
with Attack and !Mind Stop, which sets Stop (Aspiran's !Numbspines also did
this). Every Attack command will be countered with a 66% shot at Gigavolt,
which is a strong attack but fails to impress here, as Parasite's Magic Power
is a stunning 1. 1000 HP and weak to Fire-elemental attacks. As Freud would
tell you, the Parasite is a metaphor for a giant penis commanding you to
sleep with your mother. Hey, don't look at me. It's science.

Coco smoked in the Japanese game. She stopped for the US kids, though.
Smoking is bad for you! Ranging from bad breath and yellow teeth to an empty
wallet, smoking is nothing but trouble. It's also damn well enjoyable after a
long day might I add. Coco resists all status ailments (maybe she can get
away with smoking due to Lung Cancer immunity, I dunno), and has an annoying
tendency to use an Imp spell at the start of every battle. Her second turn
may feature either the Drain spell or the Overture attack. About Overture :

Overture forces the affected character to take physical hits for the caster,
like the caster is a Critical character and the affected has a Knight's Code
equipped. The affected will only absorb Attacks and Special attacks; other
attacks, physical or not, will be ignored.

Anyway, heal the Imp status if it was set and then pound her as soon as
possible with your strongest attacks. Any damage done will be countered by a 66%
shot at !Slap, which sets Silence. Coco's Defense is rather poor and she's weak
to Poison-elemental attacks, protected from ID, and immune to every status
ailment but Slow and Stop.

Whatever character you brought, it's vital you equip a Ribbon on him. Status
ailments like Stop and Confuse are NOT nice when you're by yourself. Fire-
elemental attacks are really strong, so Valigarmanda's Tri-Disaster, Firaga,
Flame Scrolls and Rising Phoenix should help you combat these pests. That Ribbon
really is necessary; it protects against Coco's Imp and !Slap, Weredragon's
attempts at poisoning you, and Pandora's Diabolic Whistle horror. You can
protect against Roulette and Doom with Memento Rings on Shadow and Relm, and
Safety Bits and Lich Rings on the rest.

If you're shooting for a full Rage list for some reason, make sure to encounter
Alluring Rider and Weredragon here as you won't be able to return to this place
later. The other monsters can be found at other locations, too.

They should encounter any enemy they want to here while they can, because you
can't go back to this place after you leave...

When you wake up, it's near a Save Point so you can save. To the left are three
doors. It would take a very large block or boring text to describe where all
the doors are leading, so here's a neat schematic!

#0:  Starting point, #1 (left door),  #2 (middle door),  #3 (right door)
#1:  Character, #4 (door)
#2:  #12 (door to the right), #13 (door to the left)
#3:  #8 (left door), #10 (right door)
#4:  #5, (top door) #6 (bottom door)
#5:  #8 (left door), #10 (right door)
#6:  #7 (door)
#7:  #5, (top door) #6 (bottom door)
#8:  #9 (door)
#9:  #8 (left door), #10 (right door)
#10: Character, #11 (door)
#11: #12 (door to the right), #13 (door to the left)
#12: Save Point, #1 (left door),  #2 (middle door),  #3 (right door)
#13: Final door, battle with the Dream Stooges.

Explanation: both of your unconscious characters are guarded by a Dream Stooge.
When you arrive, the Dream Stooge chickens out and runs off, as he's without
his brothers; you reunite with your fallen comrade in arms and press on. If
you found both characters, you can trigger the battle with the Dream Stooges
at the final door; if you haven't collected all characters, nothing will happen
there.

The easiest path through this madness is this:

#0 - #1 - #4 - #6 - #7 - #5 - #10 - #11 - #12 - #13

In plain English: Walk over to the three doors, and pick the left one. You
scare off the Dream Stooge and find a character here. Leave through the door.
Take the top door in the next section, which leads to two doors right next to
each other. You'll want to take the right door, which leads to another Dream
Stooge, who runs off and reunites you with your final character. Exit through
the only door here, and walk over to the door to the far right in the next
section. This door will lead you to the final door, standing between three...
things. Out leap the three Dream Stooges, ready to do battle.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.64.3   Cyan's Soul; the battle with the Dream Stooges
**********************************

Curlax
Level: 47, HP: 15000, MP: 2000
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Fire, Weakness: Ice, Water
Creature Type: Humanoid, MP Kill
Status: Float
Special: !Hit: Attack x 2
Sketch : !Hit, Attack
Control: Attack, !Hit
Vulnerable to: Sleep
Attacks: Attack, Fira, Firaga, Slow, Stop, Silence, Reflect, Arise, White Wind,
         Delta Attack

Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

Laragorn
Level: 47, HP: 10000, MP: 2000
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Ice, Wind, Weakness: Fire
Creature Type: Humanoid
Status: Float
Special: !Hit: Attack x 2
Sketch : !Hit, Attack
Control: Attack, !Hit
Vulnerable to: Death, Doom, Silence, Confuse, Slow
Attacks: Attack, Blizzara, Blizzaga, Reflect, Delta Attack

Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

Moebius
Level: 47, HP: 12500, MP: 2000
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Lightning
Creature Type: Humanoid, MP Kill
Status: Float
Special: !Hit: Attack x 2
Sketch : !Hit, Attack
Control: Attack, !Hit
Vulnerable to: Berserk, Stop
Attacks: Attack, Thundara, Thundaga, Protect, Haste, Reflect, Shell, Cura, Delta
Attack

Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

Joker's Death: Yes

Curlax is the strongest of the three Dream Stooges, and also the most vital
one to take down. He has a random shot at casting White Wind every now and
again, which heals the other Stooges and himself. Even worse, he will cast
Arise on a fallen comrade when he notices they're down. He'll attack with the
status-inducing spells when all three brothers are alive, and with the
Fire-elemental offensive spells when a comrade has been slain (which is a
useless bit of the AI script, as Curlax will always immediately make sure this
is never the case with Arise). When he's hit four times by a Magic spell,
he'll cast Reflect on himself and start bouncing Fira and Firaga spells
off himself. When all three Stooges are alive, he'll cast Delta Attack every
30 seconds; Delta Attack is an unblockable ST attack that sets Petrify
(doesn't work on targets immune to Petrify, obviously). He has a 33% chance
of countering any of your attacks with a Fira spell.

Laragorn is the weakest of the three Dream Stooges; his amount of HP is the
lowest and his status vulnerabilities are horrible; as if Death wasn't enough,
he's an almost exclusive spell caster susceptible to Silence, and Confuse is
crippling too. He's the Ice-elemental of the three. Like Curlax, he'll cast
Delta Attack when all three Stooges are there and 30 seconds have passed since
the beginning of the battle/the last time Delta Attack appeared. He'll cast
Reflect when he's hit by Magic four times and start reflecting Blizzara and
Blizzaga spells off himself. Laragorn will normally just attack with Attack;
he'll start using Blizzara and Blizzaga spells when one Stooge is down. He'll
counter with a 33% Blizzara spell. The interesting thing about Laragorn is
that he may run away in the middle of a battle. When one of the Stooges is
down, and Laragorn has been hit by four Magic spells, he'll run away. After 30
seconds (if you haven't won the battle yet), he'll return; his HP is back to
maximum, but MP hasn't changed and any status ailments you might've set are
still there.

Moebius is the middle child, and the only one without an elemental weakness. His
bane is the Berserk status, and he has the Lightning-element. Like his
brethren, he casts Delta Attack after 30 seconds, will cast Reflect on himself
after four Magic spells, and start casting Thundara and Thundaga on himself
which bounce off; normally he uses support spells (Protect, Shell, Haste, and
Cura), but he will start to cast offensive spells (Thundara and Thundaga) when
one of the Stooges is down. Might counter any attack with a Thundara spell. The
boring one of the three.

A note about Delta Attack: when the global battle timer reaches 30, the first
Stooge to act will attack with Delta Attack. After that, the global timer is
set to 0, so the other two Stooges won't use it. In other words, every 30
seconds only ONE Delta Attack will appear, not three.

How to fight this battle? Set Silence on Laragorn (the Silence spell is
obviously the most prominent way, and note that Strago's Bad Breath will fail
always due to Laragorn's Imp immunity) and Berserk on Moebius (with the Berserk
spell, possibly). Don't kill off Laragorn with a quick Death spell just yet; our
main priority is Curlax. Cast a Sleep spell on him and pound him with magical
attacks, preferably Ice-elemental attacks. When he's dead, abuse Laragorn's
vulnerability to ID attacks and dispatch of him quickly. What you have left is a
Berserked Moebius who is no threat whatsoever.

It's really an easy battle; barriers like Mighty Guard, Hastega, Howling Moon,
Earthen Wall, and Holy Aura are nice, but really not necessary. You don't get
any items for beating the Dream Stooges, but you'll get 6 Magic AP.

After you've killed the Dream Stooges, you've taken care of the problem you
came 'here' for, but you still have to find a way to get out of here. The
door the Dream Stooges guarded is still open, so you might as well pass
through.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.64.4   Cyan's Dream; the Phantom Train?
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Samurai, Al Jabr, Suriander, Pandora, Parasite, Coco

  Container contents:
  Flame Shield, Genji Glove, Ice Shield, X-Potion

Monster formations:

(Inside)
Al Jabr, Al Jabr (5/16)
Samurai, Al Jabr, Al Jabr (5/16)
Coco, Samurai, Suriander (5/16)
Suriander, Pandora, Parasite, Parasite (1/16)

You're now somehow traveling through Cyan's mind, searching for a way out.
You're on a train now; since Cyan has really little experience with mechanical
things, it's safe to say this is a memory of the Phantom Train. We'd best
be on our guard; Cyan's mind is not devoid of the demons that torture him,
and they don't leave us alone either.

A few new enemies here. Samurai are very odd. Weak to Poison like most humans,
their Defenses are horrible. And I mean just horrible. Worse physical Defense
than Flan enemies, worse Magic Defense than Ultros #4. Every second turn they
may use !Slay, so take them out quickly. It'd be very hard to take them out
slowly, mind, but you never know. ID-protected, by the way.

Al Jabr are crazy on the elementals. Weak to Ice, Holy, and Water, almost
every character should be able to nail these guys' weaknesses one way or
another. They attack with physical attacks (!Spinning Umbrella sets Sleep) and
Flash Rain, the MT Ice-/Water-elemental attack. Not very strong, but strong
enough to worry about. When Al Jabrs are alone, they'll use Thundaga, which is
even more of a nuisance. Their vulnerable to the Confuse status, so the
Noiseblaster and the Lv. 3 Confuse Lore keep them busy while you kill them.

Suriander surely surprises scarce sources; boring beyond borders, bestowing
bruises by Attack, sometimes Snort. It also uses !Yawn (sets Sleep).
ID-protected. The bloated creature is weak to Holy-elemental attacks and
vulnerable to the Sleep status, so if you want to make sure none of your
characters get blown away by his omni-counter Snort attack, take advantage of
that.

(     LOCOMOTIVE    )
(  SAVE POINT CAR   )
(      MAZE CAR     ) - Contains an Ice Shield and an X-Potion
( LUMP OF METAL CAR ) - Contains a Genji Glove and a Flame Shield
(   SAVE POINT CAR  )
(    INACCESSIBLE   )

To the right of you is a train car you can't enter. You can go up the ladder,
but it serves no purpose. To the left of you is a train car, desolate of
everything but a Save Point. Just pass through it.

When you're outside again, you'll see a quick cutscene where Cyan escapes
from a ghost, oddly similar to the scene in the game where Sabin and Cyan
escape the ghosts. You can't enter the new train car until the scene is over.
You can use the ladders to completely circumvent this car, but you don't want
to do that, as you'll miss out on two treasures and an important hint.

This new train car brings a chest, firmly locked away between two crates and
a hole in the floor. When you flip the switch to the right of it, the left
crates will move. However, after 4 seconds the crate will move back if you
haven't raided the contents. If you fight a battle left of that crate (in the
immediate horizontal line) the crate will move again; alternatively, if you
enter the menu screen immediately to the right of it (stand next to the crate),
it will also move.

The easiest solution would be flicking the switch twice; at the second time the
right crate will move, no questions asked, and will remain there until you
leave the train car. The chest contains a Genji Glove.

Further on is another chest, but you can't reach it; an empty chest will always
block your path. The trick is to walk over to the closed chest to the left;
opening it will get you the Rare item 'Lump of Metal', which you can use to
pin the empty chest to the ground and walk around it to grab the Flame Shield
in the chest.

Finally, make sure that you flick the other switch in this train car too; three
out of the six chests will close (flicking again will open them all up again),
and the book says: "One would do well to remember the positions... Such
knowledge could be one's salvation."

What is this, the Kama Sutra?

Very well:

 0 0 x
 x x 0

0 = Open
x = Closed

This next train car is a nasty one. It's a maze, with three switches that all
change the furniture to block off your path and/or the other switches. Grab
the Ice Shield and the X-Potion in the slightly hidden chest first. There are
four switches in this car; the left-most switch isn't important right now, so
it's

 #1   #2   #3

The order to handle the switches in is this:

#3, #1, #3, #2, #3, #1

Now, your path is blocked off again by a wall, and there are six chests here,
not unlike the chests you saw earlier. Flicking the switch appears to do
nothing whatsoever. Close the chests like you saw earlier:

 0 0 x
 x x 0

0 = Open
x = Closed

Flicking the switch will clear the path. You can walk outside to find another
train car with a Save Point, and finally the caboose; the switches here do
absolutely nothing. When you leave the room, you will warp out of this train
and into a new section of Cyan's Dream.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.64.5   Cyan's Dream; Mechanical mines
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Schmidt (#209), Pluto Armor (#210), Io (#211)

So, this is the part where Cyan's still lingering fear of machines resides.
Hulking, steaming technological horrors lunge for you, and the worst part is
that your abilities are crippled by the fact that you are, in fact, riding
one of those mechanical monstrosities yourselves. Yes, you're all covered in
Imperial Magitek Armor. Terra is the only character that will be able to use
all eight attacks. If you brought Gogo, give him the Attack command in the
Status menu so he can use Magitek as well. Umaro (and Berserked characters)
will randomly choose a Beam-class attack and will never use Healing Force.

Monster formations:

Io (6/16)
Pluto Armor, Pluto Armor (5/16)
Pluto Armor, Schmidt (5/16)

Pluto Armor attacks with Attack, !Ram (Attack x 2), and Magitek Laser. When it's
alone it'll start using the nastier machine attacks you'll be recognizing by
now: Launcher and Metal Cutter (and Magitek Laser, still). When hit by Attack,
it may counter with either Launcher (on the entire party) or Metal Cutter (on
the attacker itself), but this is only possible on the Veldt or when combining
the Imp and Berserk status ailments on a character (which you don't really
want). Metal Cutter really is powerful and Launcher annoying as hell (for those
of you that forgot, Launcher = 8 x Gravity on random targets), so don't let
Pluto Armor alone.

Schmidt is much less dangerous. It'll use Reverse Polarity and Magitek Laser.
When alone, it may start to attack with Missile - but compared to Pluto Armor's
Launcher, that's nothing - and !Anchor, which sets Sap.

Io is most noticeable for its Rage, which allows the Rager to attack with
Flare Star. It will either do nothing (66%) or attack with !Crush (Attack x 3)
for three consecutive turns; !Crush isn't that powerful. The fourth turn, it'll
either use Wave Cannon or Diffractive Laser. Io's a little harder to take down,
but little threat.

The strategy, you ask? There's little, here. Know that the Beam attacks are
about as powerful as level 2 spell, so if you have level 3 spells they'll be
more powerful than the Magitek attacks. You'll always want to switch between
Healing Force and Thunder Beam in this dungeon, as Thunder Beam hits the
weakness of all the enemies here. Magitek Missile is more powerful than Thunder
Beam though, so Terra should stick to that. All enemies can be taken out by
Terra's Banisher, and both Pluto Armor and Schmidt fall for Confuser. Pluto
Armor can be crippled by status ailments such as Silence, Stop, and Berserk
while Schmidt really isn't a threat at all.

Just walk around a while, there's only one path to take. As soon as you discover
that you're walking around in circles, turn back and approach the situation
from a different angle; start walking clockwise. Eventually you'll arrive at a
slope you haven't seen before, and you'll see Cyan cross a bridge. As soon as
you try to follow him, the bridge will collapse underneath you.

Awesomeness: the game gives a Magitek Armor to your leader in the dungeon. If
you switch leaders, the new character will also gain Magitek Armor, but the
other character won't lose it. When you exit this part, the Magitek Armor is
taken from the leader, but not from the other three character. Thus in the next
scene in this section, those characters will appear in Magitek Armor in the
cutscene. Neato!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.64.6   Cyan's Dream; Doma Castle
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Samurai  (#205), Al Jabr (#206), Suriander (#207), Pandora (#212), Parasite
  (#213), Coco (#214), Wrexsoul (#326), Soul Saver (#327)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Guard Bracelet (guaranteed Wrexsoul drop), Memento Ring (rare Wrexsoul steal),
  Masamune (obtained from Cyan)

  Magicite:
  Alexander

You fall into a recognizable room; the guest chambers of Doma Castle, where
you spent the night before Cyan was invaded by the Dream Stooges. You've gained
a mission objective now; next to simply escaping Cyan's mind, it seems that
his personal demon can be actually battled; Wrexsoul, a composite monster
made up of angry spirits, is its name. It's time to seek out this demon, so
Cyan can find redemption, and you can get the hell out.

Monster formations:

Al Jabr, Al Jabr (5/16)
Samurai, Al Jabr, Al Jabr (5/16)
Coco, Samurai, Suriander (5/16)
Suriander, Pandora, Parasite, Parasite (1/16)

When you can move again, it's time to fulfill the request of Elayne and Owain,
Cyan's wife and child. They're right, he doesn't deserve this, sub-par combat
skills be damned! When you walk around, you can find three small cutscenes
which all show a proud moment out of the past of Cyan Garamonde, retainer to
King Doma.

Outside, near the moat, to the left:

(Cyan and Owain are jumping at each other, the sound of metal on metal)
(Cyan:)  Thou hast grown quite strong! With a little more practice, thou wilt be
         Doma's finest swordsman!
(Owain:) Yippee! Dad told me I'm strong! I'm gonna go tell Mom!

Outside, near the moat, to the right:

(Cyan and Owain by the side of the moat)
(Owain, jumping up and down:) Dad...fishing is boring!
(Cyan:) This is but another part of thy training. Patience is something we all
        must learn.
(Owain, calming down:) ...I love fishing!

Inside, in the room where Cyan found Elayne and Owain dead:

(Elayne:) My dear... Do you love me?
(Cyan, spazzing:) What art thou asking me!? A warrior does not speak of such
                  things!
(Cyan, calmed:) I...love thee. I love thee more than anything...
(Owain, appearing from the bed:) Yay! I heard that! "I love thee, I love thee!"
                                 Dad loves Mom!
(Elayne:) Owain!
(Owain:) I heard what Dad said to Mom!
(Owain runs off)

If you haven't gotten the treasures from Doma Castle in the real world so far,
you can even obtain them here: you can find a Hi-Ether, an Elixir in the alarm
clock in a bedroom, an X-Potion in the room Cyan found his dead wife and son
in, and when you go outside on one of the walls, you can find a little room
with a Phoenix Down and some Prayer Beads.

Wrexsoul is waiting for you in the throne room, sitting on the throne with
Cyan lifeless on the ground next to him. The confrontation is inevitable.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.64.7   Cyan's Dream; the battle with Wrexsoul
**********************************

Wrexsoul
Level: 53, HP: 23066, MP: 5066
Steal: Memento Ring (rare), Win: Guard Bracelet (always)
Absorbs: Fire, Holy, Weakness: Ice
Special: !Doom Strike: sets Doom
Sketch : !Doom Strike, Attack
Control: Attack, !Doom Strike
Vulnerable to: Nothing
Attacks: Attack, Thundaga, Fury

Soul Saver
Level: 41, HP: 3066, MP: 566
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Fire, Holy, Weakness: Ice
Creature Type: Humanoid
Special: !Magic Drain: Drains MP
Sketch : !Magic Drain, Attack
Control: Attack, !Magic Drain
Vulnerable to: Petrify, Death, Doom, Berserk, Confuse, Slow
Attacks: Attack, !Magic Drain, Firaga, Blizzaga, Thundaga, Reflect, Cure

Joker's Death: No
You can't spin 7-7-7 in this battle.
Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

Wrexsoul is obviously the main baddy here whom you'll have to defeat. The
ironically called Soul Savers are the goons. At the start of the battle,
Wrexsoul will use Fury and leave the battlefield to invade one of your
characters. He won't re-appear for you to damage him until the character
he invaded receives Death, Petrify, or Zombie status. When he's out he'll
just sit there for a while, attack with Attack or casting Thundaga. When either
one or two Soul Saver(s) has the Reflect status, he'll cast Thundaga on it so
it'll bounce off to your party. Like any proper boss, he'll counter Attack with
a 33% shot at Attack.

The Soul Savers are the bane of this battle. Virtually immortal, they'll
regenerate as soon as you kill them off. Normally they'll just sit there,
slinging the level 3 spells at your with ridiculously small amounts of effect.
Whenever they hit 16 MP or less, they'll use !Magic Drain to drain you of your
MP (and with a 50 Attack Power, their !Magic Drain is really quite strong).
They'll cast Reflect on themselves as soon as Wrexsoul is around, allowing him
to cast Thundaga on them for damage on you. On all other turns that Wrexsoul is
around, they'll spend time casting Cure spells on Wrexsoul for double-digit
amounts of healing (in other words; neglectable).

Before the normal, honest tactics, the usual method of winning this battle is
casting Banish. The Soul Savers restore themselves over and over again, but
when you successfully suck both Soul Savers into the parallel dimension with
Banish, they can't do that and you'll just win the battle. The downside here
is that you won't win the Guard Bracelet from Wrexsoul, as you never actually
defeat him.

Normally, you'll just want to completely ignore the Soul Savers. Minerva Bustier
wearers take no damage and anybody with an elemental shield should take
very little damage all-round anyway (Thunder Shields are the best, as Thundaga
is cast most often). First, throw up the usual barriers; Hastega, Earthen Wall,
Mighty Guard, Howling Moon, Holy Aura, whathaveyou. Now, just check each
character by killing him/her and reviving him/her. Strago can commit easy
suicide with Self-Destruct (careful: Transfusion removes him from the battle;
you don't want that). Shadow can throw Fuma Shuriken or Shuriken to do
unblockable and non-elemental damage, while Setzer's Fixed Dice serve the same
purpose. If you don't have these characters, just go ahead with spells and
Attacks where you can; Flare and Break are great for killing party members
(provided it hits); Flare has a superior Hit Rate, but with Break you've
actually killed a party member and can bring him/her back without any HP loss
with a Gold Needle or Remedy Item or Esuna spell. If the targeted character
doesn't have too much Magic Evasion, Strago's Stone attack can probably take
him/her out in one hit; remember that Stone does 8 times as much damage when
the target shares the caster's level, which is a likely case.

Whenever Wrexsoul appears, act fast and furious! His Magic Defense is a
stunning 220, which makes sure that if a magical attack isn't barrier-piercing,
it'll have to be an Blizzaga spell coming from Morphed Terra to do a lot of
damage. Breaking Ice Rods and/or Ice Shields nets you barrier-piercing attacks,
so if you lack power in your team that's an option. Ideally you'll want to
stick to targetable attacks: Setzer's Fixed Dice, Shadow's Fuma Shuriken
(Icebrands hurt a LOT), and Edgar's Drill are good ones. Barrier-piercing
attacks can even by MT'd; Mega Flare, Grand Delta, and Gau's Tyrannosaur-induced
(enemy) Meteor attacks hurt badly. If you have the Flare spell, it's better than
a Blizzaga spell if you have the choice. The pure magicians here should cast
Flare or Blizzaga, or simply resort to attacking. If Strago hasn't learned
Grand Delta (or Quasar) yet, Traveler is his best option (dual Ice Rods are also
an option here, if you don't mind unusual set-ups). Celes's Runic really doesn't
help that much, as the level 3 spells aren't a real threat, so just keep on
attacking and healing with her. Sabin's only hope at leaving a mark is Phantom
Rush, with which you can only hope will hit Wrexsoul itself. Umaro just rage.

In the end, the Wrexsoul battle isn't really dangerous; it's just very
annoying, especially if you have your characters geared towards Magic Evasion
and are doing quite well in the area. Your own characters can be surprisingly
hard to take down.

After Wrexsoul has been defeated, Cyan will have a chance to talk to his
departed wife and child. They gave him the courage to face his pain and
despair, but even then, it turned out it was too strong for him. With your
help though, he has exorcized Wrexsoul. The love of his wife and child
transforms into the image of a blade, which Cyan grasps...

Back out, in the real world, the blade has been added to your inventory as
a lousy Masamune, and now that Cyan has cleared his soul and redeemed himself,
he'll gain control over ALL the Bushdio skills he hasn't acquired yet, up to
#8, Oblivion. Contrary to fairly popular belief, he won't just learn Oblivion;
he'll learn all Bushdio skills. It's likely you'll gain Bushdio skills #7
and #8 at this point. Number 7, Tempest, is a physical, barrier-piercing
attack that hits four times and is pretty powerful; a level 40 Cyan with a
Hero's Ring will reach a total of 8000 damage. Oblivion is just Instant Death to
everything that's vulnerable to it. The trick with both moves is that while
they are grand, you really have to wait to reach them, even by inputting the
commands of the other characters first.

As a finishing touch to this scenario, you can walk into the throne room and
find the Magicite remains of the Esper Alexander, the only Esper to teach
the Holy spell.

If you play the game like me, you turned the Murasame you found on the Floating
Continent into an Masamune, the Masamune into a Murakumo and the Murakumo into a
Holy Lance a long time ago, and this Masamune is the first strong Knife you see
again. Do turn it into a Murakumo at the Coliseum (fight a Gorgimera) if this is
the case; Cyan will appreciate it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.65.1   The road to the Ancient Castle and the battle with Master Tonberry
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Figaro Lizard (#218), Devil (#219), Enuo (#220), Master Tonberry (#328)

  Container contents:
  Death Tarot, Hi-Ether, Magicite Shard, Wing Edge, X-Potion, Monster-in-a-box
  (Master Tonberry)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Gladius (guaranteed Master Tonberry drop)

  Lores:
  Tsunami, Lv. 5 Death, Lv. 4 Flare, Lv. 3 Confuse, Traveler, Dischord

If you had paid one hundred thousand Gil to one of the thieves at the foot of
the Cultist's Tower, you'll have heard of an ancient castle somewhere under the
desert of Figaro, which is supposedly loaded with treasure. Now we're not
greedy, but for eh...improved success chances or something; it'd be a good idea
to take a look.

Whom to bring? The theme of the next dungeon will be magical resistance.
The caves leading to the castle and the castle itself will be filled with
monsters with inherently Reflective tendencies and crazy Magic Defense, making
any non-barrier-piercing magical attack useless. The Holy element is very
strong here, though. Holy Lance Dragoons are great. So is a Sabin with dual
Dragon Claws, suffering on the Defense as he may be in that case. Gau and Umaro
are decent choices too, as their uncontrollable nature is no hindrance
whatsoever in the next part of this fine game. Strago can learn Rippler,
1000 Needles and Dischord here, which is hardly a point, as he can learn
all three on the bloody Overworld Map too; but he can also learn Lv. 3 Confuse,
Lv. 4 Flare, Lv. 5 Death and Traveler here (if you missed it earlier), as well
as a Lore that's probably new to you, Tsunami.

Make your team and fly the Falcon over to Figaro Castle, which is probably
on the Kohlingen side of the sea at this point. Send it over to the Figaro
desert, and it will reach a bumpy part of the journey where the old man
piloting the castle will ask you if you want to investigate. Boy, do we ever.

Walk over to the dungeons, where the hole the sandworm that freed the Crimson
Robbers created is still present. You can use it exit the castle and enter the
caves leading to the Ancient Castle.

Monster formations:

Enuo, Devil, Figaro Lizard (6/16)
Enuo, Enuo (5/16)
Devil, Figaro Lizard Figaro Lizard (5/16)

Figaro Lizard. They're entirely too much like Crawler enemies, only much harder
to take down. !Venom causes the Poison status, and they'll use either Leech or
Dischord. He doesn't have a weakness to the Holy element, so I would suggest
barrier-piercing magical attacks and physical attacks of any kind; ID-attacks
such as Gau's Coeurl Cat-induced Blaster attack, Banish, and Cyan's Oblivion
Bushido will get the job done. Remember that Figaro Lizardis Reflective though,
so Death and Break will bounce.

Devil is a nasty enemy that delights in attacking physically with some force.
Attack isn't that tough, but !Swipe (Attack x 4) really packs a punch. Whenever
a Devil is alone, he will start casting Lv. 3 Confuse, Lv. 4 Flare, or
Lv. 5 Death every second turn, and a shot at Blaze in between. Control, Sketch,
and Rage are filled up with level 3 spells, too. Their Defense is horrid, so
their respectable 5555 HP isn't as bad as it seems. Abuse Devil's weaknesses
by attacking with Holy Lances, Dragon Claws, and Holy Rods. The random
Holy spells won't do anything, but the physical strikes themselves will get
the job done nicely. ID attacks works as well.

Enuo is a boiling glob of slimy mucus with certain powers over water. Normally
it'll just attack with Attack or !Slime, which sets Slow. When an Enuo is
alone though, it'll use Aqua Breath or Tsunami, a new Lore for Strago.
Wretched Defense, weakness to Holy and ID attacks; abuse them at your heart's
content.

Tsunami is an MT Water-elemental Lore for Strago. You're probably wondering
why you need another one of those; Aqua Breath is already there, not to mention
Leviathan's Flood spell. The trick is that:

A, Tsunami isn't partly Wind-elemental like Aqua Breath
B, Tsunami hits both sides in a Pincer attack unlike Aqua Breath, and
C, while Tsunami is weaker, it doesn't split damage on multiple targets,
   making it stronger than Aqua Breath versus multiple targets. Flood beats both
   by far, so it's more or less trivia knowledge, but hey.

In the room you first enter, there are two chests. To the left is a chest
containing a Wing Edge, the strongest 'Special' weapon for Locke. It's main
selling points are a + 7 to Speed, the Assassin's Dagger's and Viper Darts'
X-type ID property, and the fact it deals the same amount of damage from the
Back Row.

The chest to the right contains a Hi-Ether. There are three exits below; it
doesn't really matter which one you take, but the middle one and the far right
one take you directly to a monster-in-a-box while you have to walk around for it
when leaving through the far left one.

If you came in through the middle door, don't fret; you can walk through the
wall to reach the chest you see. The chest you see to the top-right of this
cave is the chest containing Master Tonberry, the toughest monster-in-a-box
you'll find in this game.

Master Tonberry
Level: 73, HP: 22000, MP: 1200
Steal: Megalixir (rare), Elixir (common), Win: Gladius (always)
Absorbs: Water
Special: !Knife: Attack x 8
Sketch : !Knife, Attack
Control: Attack, !Knife
Vulnerable to: Poison, Sleep, Slow
Attacks: Attack, !Knife, Bio, Firaga, Blizzaga, Thundaga, Holy, Quake, Tornado
Tsunami, Traveler, Barrier Change

Joker's Death: Yes
Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

Master Tonberry is very mean. He'll start the battle off with an Attack, but
then the madness begins. Every 15 seconds, Master Tonberry takes a step forward.
After seven steps he'll use !Knife on a random character and retreat
halfway, meaning that he'll just have to take four more steps after that to
reach the position where !Knife is used.

Every step is accompanied with the ever-frustrating Barrier Change attack.
Master Tonberry casts his spells in conformation his weakness, not unlike Number
024 way back in the day. Here's what he'll use:

Weakness to Ice:        Firaga          (66%)
Weakness to Fire:       Blizzaga        (66%)
Weakness to Wind:       Thundaga        (66%)
Weakness to Holy:       Bio             (66%)
Weakness to Lightning:  Tornado         (66%)
Weakness to Poison:     Holy            (66%)
Weakness to Water:      Quake           (66%)
Weakness to Earth:      Tsunami         (66%)

One of the worst parts, though, is his Traveler counter to every damaging
attack you perform. Depending on your actions and style of playing this game,
that can do a lot of damage.

The way to victory lies in his status ailment vulnerabilities. Cast Sleep on
Master Tonberry, and pair it up with Slow as well. If you have enough people
with control over the Rasp spell, you might try removing all his MP first;
better safe than sorry, right? If you're done with that or simply don't want to
bother, start attacking him with magical attacks. Physical attacks will wake
him; stick to magical ones only. It's highly possible you manage to kill him
before he even wakes up once. If he does wake up, just cast Sleep again.

When you're done, you win a Gladius, a Holy-elemental Dirk that can be
equipped by pretty much everybody. It's a powerful weapon but doesn't have any
interesting properties. Its Holy-elemental nature can make it useful in
this dungeon, though.

The only other chest in this cave contains the Death Tarot, Setzer's most
powerful 'normal' weapon. Like the Wing Edge, it deals the same amount of damage
from the Back Row and has the Assassin's Dagger's X-type ID property, but it
doesn't boost any stats.

You'll want to exit to the left of the screen to find another cave with two
chests. They contain an X-Potion (to the left) and a Magicite Shard (the
one to the bottom). The big feature here is the grand stairway leading into
a random encounter-less room with a Save Point and another stairway going up.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.65.2   The Ancient Castle and the battle with Samurai Soul
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Samurai (#205), Suriander (#207), Coco (#214), Armored Weapon (#216), Lunatys
  (#217), Figaro Lizard  (#218), Devil (#219) Enuo (#220), Samurai Soul (#329),
  Blue Dragon (#338)

  Container contents:
  Blizzard Orb, Gold Hairpin, Puniser, X-Ether, Monster-in-a-box (Samurai Soul)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Master's Scroll (guaranteed Samurai Soul drop), Zantetsuken (guaranteed Blue
  Dragon drop)

  Lores:
  Tsunami, 1000 Needles, Lv. 5 Death, Lv. 4 Flare, Lv. 3 Confuse, Dischord,
  Rippler

  Magicite:
  Odin, Raiden

Monster formations:

(Outside of the Ancient Castle)
Devil, Figaro Lizard, Figaro Lizard (6/16)
Devil, Devil (5/16)
Coco, Samurai, Suriander

(Inside of the Ancient Castle)
Armored Weapon (5/16)
Lunatys (5/16)
Lunatys, Lunatys, Figaro Lizard, Figaro Lizard (5/16)
Lunatys, Lunatys, Lunatys, Lunatys (1/16)

If you forgot, Coco, Samurai, and Suriander could all be encountered in Cyan's
Soul, so I won't have to explain them here. You can Ctrl + F to 4.64.2 if you
want to learn about them.

Armored Weapon looks totally badass. With 9200 it's got quite the amount of HP,
it's immune to every status effect except for ID (and Doom) and has some
nasty attacks up its sleeves. Normally this is where I say he will normally
use Attack and !Metal Arm (Attack * 2) when he's with other monsters, as that's
what his AI script says. However, you ALWAYS encounter this thing by itself,
so it'll just randomly use Missile, Launcher, or Diffractive Laser. Launcher is
the worst out of the bunch (Diffractive Laser may hurt if your Magic
Defense/resistance to Lightning isn't all that hot). You'll want to use ID
attacks against the fellow; he's inherently Reflective like almost everything
here, but Banish flies right past that, as does Gau's Coeurl Cat/Lycaon-induced
Blaster attacks, his Mu-induced Snare, ID coming from weapons like the
Assassin's Dagger and Ichigeki, etc. If you lack all that, focus on Lightning-
and Water-elemental attacks that defy the existence of Reflect; Water Scroll,
Tri-Disaster, Flood, you know what to do.

Lunatys  is a sweet enemy as well. Inherently Reflective and Floating, you'll
be hard-pressed to take this guy out with any kind of magical attack (as you're
used from monsters around here). Normally a Attack/!Electrode  (Attack * 3)
zealot, he'll switch to Freezing Dust and (enemy) Meteor when alone. (Enemy)
Meteor will hurt real badly, just across the 1000 HP line. Freezing Dust induces
Freeze like always and is a pain in the ass. A common weakness to Holy-elemental
attacks and ID attacks combined with a low Defense rating should make it obvious
how to treat this bugger. You can Silence them, so if you're not sure about them
you could always summon Siren or have someone cast Silence to stop them
from using their most dangerous attack. Of special note is the fact that both
Lv. 3 Confuse and Lv. 5 Death will work on these guys (also on the Figaro Lizard
monsters often accompanying them). If you brought Strago, you're in luck.

When you approach the derelict halls of the ancient castle, once the proud
monument of a civilization destroyed in and by the War of the Magi, the
character most suited to know the legend will speak of the attack, and the
legend of the magnificent battle between Odin and a powerful sorcerer of his
time. Maybe we will be able to find the remains of Odin inside? For those
interested, the one to talk will simply be the characters with the lowest data
number, an order you can also see in shop and character selection screens. This
is why it will be Cyan or Sabin who'll do the talking rather than Strago most
of the time.

Before you enter the main hall, there are two more or less hidden doors to
the left and right of the large doors. To the right is an already open door
leading to a chest containing the Punisher. The Punisher is a weapon that you
haven't seen since Banon wielded it, and now it's special power can finally be
seen. Like the Rune Blade and Organyx, it has an MP-driven auto-critical.
It doesn't have any real uses except if you brought Relm or a Grand Delta-less
Strago along in this dungeon, as it's the strongest attacking Rod there is
(although the Holy Rod is hitting a weakness most of the time at this point).

To the left is a chest containing the legendary Master's Scroll, one of the most
talked-about Relics in the game. Guarding this item is a monster-in-a-box,
Samurai Soul. I talked about Master Tonberry being the toughest monster in a
box, but Samurai Soul is up there, competing for that title.

Samurai Soul
Level: 61, HP: 37620, MP: 7400
Steal: Murakumo (rare), Murasame (common), Win: Master's Scroll (always)
Weakness: Poison
Creature Type: Humanoid
Special: !Assassin Blade: sets Death
Sketch : !Assassin Blade, Attack
Control: Attack, !Assassin Blade
Vulnerable to: Poison, Confuse
Attacks: Attack, !Assassin Blade, 1000 Needles, Gale Cut, Shockwave, Item (Flame
Scroll), Item (Water Scroll), Item (Lightning Scroll), Throw (Ashura), Throw
(Kunai), Gil Toss

Joker's Death: Yes
Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

First off a note of doom: Samurai Soul is unique in the fact that he's a monster
in a box you can run from. Doing so hurts your game though; you won't be
able to fight him when you return to the chest, and thus you'll miss out on the
Master's Scroll you win when you're still living and he's not.

Samurai Soul is the perfect hybrid between a Samurai and a Ninja, as will become
apparent by his AI script. Normally, his attacks will consist out of Attack,
any of the three offensive ninja scrolls (Flame Scroll, Water Scroll or
Lightning Scroll) and Gale Cut, 1000 Needles or Shockwave. This isn't half bad
for an opponent, but nothing spectacular either. It's when he's aggravated that
he becomes lethal. When you battle him for longer than 40 seconds, he'll pump
himself up. The message "Samurai Soul's power increases!" will appear, and he
will self-apply the Image and Reflect statuses, making him immune to every
blockable Attack for the duration of Image and most Magic spells for the
duration of Reflect. He'll also try to set Haste, but with inherent Slow
immunity it will fail. Sad thing.

He may counter Attack, Magic, and Lore with an Attack, but that's not the
purpose of his counter script there; when hit six times by Attack, he'll use
!Assassin Blade on a random party member, which is a simple instant Death attack
with an admittedly poor Hit Rate of 100. When hit three times by either a
Magic spell or Lore attack (this includes 1 Lore and 2 Magic, for instance),
he'll Throw either an Kunai (weakest ninja weapon) or Ashura (weakest katana) at
a random party member, doing about 8000 damage to him/her. He'll then
spend the next turn using Setzer's Gil Toss, dealing exactly 915 HP worth of
damage to four party members (1220 to three if one is still down from the thrown
blade).

Samurai Soul's glaring weakness is the combination of vulnerability to the
Confuse status and its own Special, !Assassin Blade. By setting Confuse with the
Confuse spell, Cait Sith's Cat Rain, Edgar's Noiseblaster or whathaveyou,
Samurai Soul has a 50% chance of killing himself with !Assassin Blade. Sketching
nets you a 25% shot at !Assassin Blade too. Exploit this weakness for a far
easier battle.

If you're looking for more of a challenge or for some other reason don't want
to muddle the poor warrior into defeat, here's what you'll want to do. First,
throw up your barriers. Focus on the magical side; Mighty Guard (for Shell) or
Zona Seeker's Magic Shield, Hastega, Kirin's Holy Aura, etc. Golem and Fenrir
help against !Assassin Blade, but you shouldn't see it directed at you anyway.

Now, let loose with your characters. There's no reason to use Attack, Magic, or
Lore on Samurai Soul. Terra, Celes, and Strago should really just wait out this
battle. Attack with Phantom Rush Blitzes, Cyan's Bushido skills (Tempest is
nice), Jump attacks, the Drill Tool, etc. If you're really unlucky and
brought all the wrong characters, just Attack (!Assassin Blade every sixth Fight
attack isn't all that bad). When Samurai Soul powers up, Dispel removes all
three positive statuses immediately. If you want to be evil, you can break the
no-Lore rule one time and steal all three with Rippler (provided Strago's not
prancing around with something like a Guard Bracelet or Miracle Shoes).

After Samurai Soul dies, you'll receive a Master's Scroll! The Master's Scroll
is often misused and - dare I say it - abused. So, it's time to sit down and
discuss the Master's Scroll a little.

What does the Master's Scroll do? It makes 'Attack' attack four times in a row
rather than one. It also makes every Attack become unblockable. The Master's
Scroll Attack is also smart; it will never hit defeated opponents when there are
still living ones on the battlefield. That's all good.

It also removes random spell casting (but not Kazekiri's Wind Slash) and
criticals (including MP-driven criticals), which is kinda bad in most
situations.

The downside is that it halves the power of EVERY physical attack of the person
equipping it. This makes sure that every person equipped with the Master's
Scroll would better stick to Attack as things like Flurry, Drill, Meteor
Strike and Raging Fist all halve in power.

An often-heard combination is Genji Glove and Master's Scroll, allowing for
eight physical strikes. Is it really that good? It delivers quite a lot of
damage most of the time, and it looks flashy to see eight attacks in a row.
However, you sacrifice two Relic slots and the ability to equip a shield here,
and that's a lot of sacrificing. And is the damage really that good? Hardly.
It's up there with a single Phantom Rush, Flurry, and luckier Dragon Horn Jump
attack, sure, but that's about it. And once again, you're really being hurt
defensively here.

Then what are the better uses of the Master's Scroll? The odd weapons. The
damage outcome of the Fixed Dice isn't cut by the Master's Scroll, so Setzer
equipped with the Master's Scroll and the Fixed Dice will become exactly four
times as powerful as a non-Master's Scroll Fixed Dice Setzer, all for the loss
of only a single Relic slot. The same goes with Locke's Valiant Knife, but I'll
explain about that weapon when you get there. Cyan's Kazekiri's Wind Slashes
won't decrease in power either, but even when all four hits turn into a Wind
Slash attack, the damage won't be stellar. Weapons with the X-type Instant Death
feature (and the Zantetsuken) don't lose their ID properties, so you'll have
four consecutive shots at a 25% immediate dispatch. Thief's Knives still attempt
to steal and Hawkeye/Sniper will still randomly inflict more damage.

A quick note about the Thief's Knives: the game can only store a single stolen
item per attack, so if you combine the Master's Scroll with Thief's Knives
you'll only obtain the last item you succesfully stole. All others have been
removed from the monsters but are not in your inventory.

Let's press on. Inside, it'll be just a big hallway you have to cross. The
next room is the throne room, with the statue of Odin in the middle of it.
Petrification was the quickest strategy versus Odin in FF V, for trivia
knowledge; now, you can add the Odin Magicite to your inventory by talking to
the statue. The pathway to the right, right next to the thrones, takes you to
a room with two chests: a Blizzard Orb for Umaro and a Gold Hairpin for
absolutely nobody in particular.

Also to the right, a little south of that very pathway is another pathway
leading to the queen's room. There's an X-Ether in the bucket, but what really
draws your attention is the sparkle on the bookcase. It turns out to be the
queen's diary; it seems that the queen and Odin had a little romancin' air going
on there. If Terra is in your party at this point, she'll step away from the
party to look sad and say, "Love between a human and an esper..."

At this point, the jailer in Figaro Castle will change his line to:

It seems they discovered an ancient text in the library.

And one of the scholars up in Figaro Castle will change his line to this:

"To think that a thousand-year-old city would be lying buried beneath the sands
of this very desert! I found a short passage about the city in an ancient text,
but I haven't been able to make much sense of it. "When the queen stands and
takes five steps..."

The Queen's throne is the one to the right. Face the throne, take five steps
downwards, and press the 'action' button to make the castle rumble and shake
for a slight moment there. Now, re-enter the queen's room to find that a
stairway has appeared, leading even further down.

This new hallway is devoid of random encounters, but there are two things
of interest here; first, the petrified remains of the queen herself. If you
have collected the Magicite of Odin and interact with the statue, a tear
will come from the stone to drop upon his remains, turning it into Raiden,
the Odin upgrade with the superior summon attack in Shin-Zantetsuken and tutor
of the awesome Quick spell.

Also, the Blue Dragon.

If you have any Imp equipment (Tortoise Shield, Saucer, Reed Cloak), throw
it on! Like Leviathan, the Blue Dragon is all about Water-elemental attacks, and
that's what Imp equipment absorbs. Don't equip Ice Shields, as Aqua Breath will
hit twice as hard when you don't have any Imp equipment; Flame Shields are even
worse, as they are weak against Water-elemental attacks in general. Thunder
Shields are great as they null the effects of Aqua Breath (as it's part Wind-
elemental) and halve all damage done by Flash Rain (as it's part Ice-elemental);
Force Shields halve the damage done by Water-elemental attacks in general, too.
Minerva Bustier wearers shine once again; they null Aqua Bustier and Flash Rain
and halve damage done by all other Water-elemental attacks. Snow Scarfs of Gau,
Mog, and Umaro will allow them to absorb the Flash Rain attacks. Relics
protecting from Sap (that'd be Ribbon, Angel Ring and Miracle Shoes) are great,
too.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.65.3   The battle with the Blue Dragon
**********************************

Blue Dragon
Level: 65, HP: 26900, MP: 3800
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Zantetsuken (always)
Absorbs: Water, Weakness: Lightning
Special: !Hit: Drains MP
Sketch : Blaster, Blizzaga
Control: Attack, !Hit
Vulnerable to: Poison, Slow
Attacks: Attack, Slow, Tsunami, Aqua Breath, Rippler, Acid Rain, Flash Rain

Joker's Death: Yes
Ragnarok's Metamorph: Yes
12.5% chance of obtaining one of the following:

Crystal Sword
Crystal Shield
Crystal Helm
Crystal Mail

As soon as the battle starts, the Blue Dragon will attack with Tsunami. If
Strago is in your party and hasn't learned Tsunami from either the Enuo
random encounters or the Master Tonberry enemy yet, you're set. Normally the
blasted creature will attack with Attack and Acid Rain; believe me,
Sap will get very annoying very quickly if you don't have protection
against the status. When Blue Dragon dives beneath 16384 HP, he'll also start
attacking with Aqua Breath and Flash Rain. Every 40 seconds, Blue Dragon will
have stored enough water for a Tsunami attack as well. All in all, you
will be continuously pounded by MT attacks. Every Magic spell or damaging
attack may be countered by Attack, as usual.

The difficult part of Blue Dragon's AI script is the Rippler spell. To put it
simply (or as simply as possible), Blue Dragon will use Rippler IF:

1: One of your characters has the Haste status. If so, target that character;
   if more than one character have the Haste status, he picks the first one
   he meets when going from top to bottom.
2: If Blue Dragon isn't already affected by the Haste status.
3: If Blue Dragon isn't affected by the Protect status.
4: If it has been two turns ago (not counting the 40-second Tsunami attack)
   that Blue Dragon used Rippler.

If all those conditions are met, Blue Dragon will cast Slow on itself and
proceed to use Rippler to try to steal the Haste status and give you the
Slow status instead.

So what to do? Throw up the boring old blah-blah barriers; Mighty Guard, Magic
Shield, Holy Aura, Earthen Wall, Howling Moon, whathaveyou. If you brought
Shadow, you do NOT want him to be the victim of Rippler (Interceptor could be
stolen). Don't apply the Haste status. Attack with Lightning-elemental spells if
possible; Valigarmanda's Tri-Disaster isn't absorbed, so that works; Thundaga
is stronger, though. Lightning Scrolls work great, but Thunder Blades are even
more (read: obscenely) powerful. The same old still works. The mages should
stick to Lightning-elemental attacks. Edgar makes a good Dragon Horn Dragoon, as
usual. Sabin's Phantom Rush beats all, like usual. Setzer's Gil Toss is still
stronger than Slot, while the Fixed Dice (especially when paired with the
Master's Scroll) is superior to both of them. Cyan should, if possible, combine
Quick with his Flurry Bushido. If he can't, he can't really do his job as usual
(you can set him up as a utility man). Gau's Aspiran Rage allows him to absorb
all Water-elemental attacks while making him attack with Gigavolt, a strong
Lightning-elemental attack that will really hurt Blue Dragon. Actinian and
Exocite also allow Ragers to absorb Water-elemental attacks.

You know, it's not really that the Blue Dragon is weak; no, with regular MT
magical spells with some power behind them and no crippling status
vulnerabilities, the Blue Dragon is a fairly solid contender. It's just that
it really begins to show here that your characters are growing more overpowered
by the day. If Phantom Rush and Dragon Horn Dragoons weren't enough, you get to
use Fixed Dice/Master's Scroll, equip armor like the Minerva Bustier and Cat-Ear
Hood, and get access to all the awesome no-questions-asked attacks such as
Grand Delta and Phantom Rush.

When you have defeated the Blue Dragon, you'll be rewarded with the Zantetsuken,
Odin's weapon (whose summon attack is called exactly that, Zantetsuken). Anyway,
it's the only non-Knife weapon Cyan can equip and pretty much his best option
(for all that there his 'ultimate' weapon is slightly stronger, it has no neat
side-effects like the Zantetsuken does).

With Raiden obtained and the Blue Dragon defeated, there is nothing for you
here. You can leave this place and tell the old man in Figaro Castle to advance
with the castle. You can revisit this place any time you want to, as every time
you travel under the sea with Figaro Castle the old man will be surprised by the
oddness of the stratum. That guy must have trouble remembering his wife's
birthday. "You never get me anything nice," she probably complains, but no...
He loves her dearly and means her no harm.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.66.1   Triangle Island
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Zone Eater

Monster formations:
Zone Eater (always)

All the way to the northeast, you can find an island that's shaped like a
triangle. There's two groups of mountains there, some forests... it's where
you possiby fought Intangir in the World of Balance. And you know about that
island?

 [EARLY-GOGO]

"That island is home to a monster that sucks in anything unfortunate enough to
go near it. Wonder what would happen if you got sucked into it? ...Yuck, I don't
even want to think about that!"

Now here's an odd monster indeed. It absorbs Ice-elemental attacks, is weak
against Holy-elemental attacks, and nullifies all other elements. And all it
seems to use is a rare Gravity spell and the Inhale attack. Inhale is pretty
much the same as Snort; it removes a single character from battle. If you run
away with some characters 'in the body of Zone Eater', you'll just find them in
your party at the end. If you kill the thing after some of your characters
have been eaten, likewise.

However, if your entire team fell victim to the Inhale attack, you'll find
yourself in one of the worlds this Zone Eater ate; a cave, filled with
humans (or at least, humanoids) bent on your destruction for some reason
that doesn't involve logical thinking. Best to be on your guard.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.66.2   The world inside of the Zone Eater
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Covert (#199), Kamui (#200), Wartpuck (#201), Shambling Corpse (#202),
  Amduscias (#203), Baalzephon (#204)

  Container contents:
  Fake Mustache, Genji Armor, Hero's Ring, Hi-Ether, Magical Brush, Thunder
  Shield, Pinwheel, Zephyr Cloak

  Miscellaneous items:
  Ashura (common Kamui steal), Chain Flail (rare Wartpuck steal), Kunai (common
  Baalzephon steal), Murasame (rare Kamui steal), Pinwheel (rare Covert steal),
  Sasuke (rare Baalzephon steal), Soul Sabre (rare Shambling Corpse steal)

You find yourself within the Zone Eater cave. To the north is a beam of light;
you can use this whenever you want to leave the innards of the Zone Eater
and face the light of day again. However, for now it might be interesting
to intrude ever further into the bowels of this strange creature. Who knows
what oddities of another world we may find here that may help us in the
struggle against Kefka.

Preparation: A lot of elemental attacks and status ailments are thrown around,
but rather than using full force you'll want to play it defensively this time.
A Thunder Shield is a grand on everybody you can find; NEVER use Ice Shields and
Fire Shields, as the former is weak to Wind Slash and the latter is weak against
the Water Scroll (and both will appear here). Equips Ribbons where possible;
you'll want something to block Kamui's !Zombie Touch (Zombie) and Shambling
Corpse's !Figaro Malt (Imp). The Ribbon also protects against the Baalzephon's
!Frenzy, which sets Berserk, but that's not really a threat.

Monster formations:

(All caves except Gogo's Spot)
Shambling Corpse, Shambling Corpse (5/16)
Wartpuck, Kamui (5/16)
Amduscias, Covert, Covert (5/16)
Baalzephon, Baalzephon, Shambling Corpse, Shambling Corpse (1/16)

(Gogo's spot)
Kamui, Kamui (5/16)
Covert, Kamui (5/16)
Wartpuck, Wartpuck (5/16)
Amduscias, Baalzephon (1/16)

Do you remember those Ninjas from the Floating Continent, bane of our being
that they were? Coverts are like super-Ninjas. Though you'd think that a ninja
smart enough to dress in DARK garments would be inherently superior to those
flailing along in bright-red outfits (screws over the entire 'hide in the
shadow' theme ninjas tend to carry around), Coverts can be a real pain,
especially since Coverts lack the Ninjas main defensive weak point; Covert is
immune to ID attacks. Every odd-numbered turn will be either a physical or Wind
Slash, and every even turn he'll throw a Scroll at you (all three may appear).
MT'd, Wind Slash and the Scrolls are equally strong. When hit by a Thrown
weapon, Covert will respond by Throwing a Shuriken or Fuma Shuriken of himself;
avoid this at all cost. Finally, every Attack may make Covert use !Disappear on
himself, which sets Invisible. Cast Sleep, Stop, Slowga, or Berserk to stop
their magical MT attacks and off them quickly; they're NOT weak to Lightning as
the Ninjas were, but they are weak to Holy so the appropriate Holy spell will
serve you well here coming from a decent caster.

Kamui is annoying, as he will use up to three !Zombie Touches every turn, which
can quickly turn very fatal for you if you're not protected from Zombie. When
hit by a Magic spell, Kamui has a 33% chance of countering with the Bio spell,
and every other kind of damage may be countered with an Attack. Kamui is weak to
Lightning- and Holy-elemental attacks, and both Stop and Berserk will stop him
from using those blasted !Zombie Touches.

Wartpuck: the only non-humanoid enemy in the cave. As much Attack/Special
cannon fodder as they come this far in the game. !Yawn sets Sleep and is
randomly used next to Attack, every turn. When hurt, Wartpuck may counter with
an annoying Snort attack, so you'll want to take Wartpuck out in one shot to
make sure nobody misses out on Magic AP. Immune to ID and every status
ailment except for Sleep, your best bet is an ST Firaga spell as Wartpuck is
weak to Fire-elemental attacks.

Shambling Corpse, like all Outcast palette swaps, is a pain. The only Undead
random encounter immune to ID attacks (outside of the Cultist's Tower and
Dragon's Den); Shambling Corpse is the superior opponent. Every Attack may be
countered by Attack, every Magic spell will be countered by either a Thundaga,
Break, or Flare spell, and everything that damages Shambling Corpse and is
neither Attack nor Magic will be countered by a Lifeshaver attack. In between
of all the counter-attacks, Shambling Corpse will only use !Figaro Malt, which
sets Imp. Use Raise spells to take them out cleanly, and strong Attacks also
work (you'll want to avoid the magical counter-attacks, they're quite strong).
Since Shambling Corpse is weak against Holy-elemental attacks, so next to
Fixed Dice, Holy Lance Dragon Horn Dragoons are very nice (note that Jump will
be countered by Lifeshaver if the Shambling Corpses survive the slaughter).

Amduscias uses Attack and !Booty Shake, which seduces and confuses you.
That'd about it. You don't want to see them appear as they are always paired
with two Coverts, but they're not very dangerous themselves. If you have
Shadow or Gogo Throw something at them, they will counter by Throwing either
an Enhancer or Crystal Sword, so just don't use Throw on them and you'll be
fine.

"This enemy might look like a pierrot entertainer, but his lunatic performance
puts victims into a Frenzy."

Baalzephon is one of the most elusive monsters in the game, as they only appear
randomly at a 1/16 rate in a few rooms where you'll want to breeze through.
As an opponent, they're not very unassuming unless you're very unlucky; they
will just use !Frenzy, which sets Berserk, and when they're targeted by Attack,
they'll counter with Attack. These guys want to counter you into submission
or whatever, I don't know what they're deal is. Anyway, they're big thing is
elemental absorption; they absorb all elements except for Fire (weakness) and
Holy (normal reaction). There's no reason to be equipped with ANY weapon that's
not non-elemental or Holy-elemental at this point, but anyway. Baalzephon make
a great Rage, casting Blizzaga randomly and absorbing six elements (the Fire
weakness tends to be overruled by Gau's Snow Scarf) so you don't want to
leave this place until you've encountered these guys at least once if you're
a Gau fan.

Let's get through this!

Take the stairs down. You'll see another set of stairs going down, but it'll
just take you to a blocked-off path. You'll want to go to the left, to a
crazy pathway of unstable wooden pathways with strange green men walking on
them. Whenever these cretins get a hold of you, they'll push you off the
pathway, so you'll want to jump when they're not around. You'll want to get
pushed off a least once though. This way, you'll reach the other side of the
blocked-off cave below to gather the Hi-Ether and the Red Jacket lying there.

Anyway, here's what the room looks like:

     =======     ==========
        =====x=====  ===x==
   0= ==x===  =====00=== =====

= - Pathway
0 - Chests

On the pathway, there are two chests next to each other: Genji Armor to the
right, and a Magical Brush for Relm to the left (like all Brush weapons: utter
crap). The Genji Armor is the ultimate heavy-class armor. Minerva Bustier is
better by sheer elemental resistances and the MP + 25% bonus, but the Genji
Armor is all-round the most useful armor for the heavy-equipment guys (Locke,
Cyan, Edgar, Setzer, and surprisingly, Shadow). It tends to be outclassed by
stuff like the Force Armor against bosses (for elemental resistances and Magic
Evasion and all), but all in all, Genji Armor is awesome.

To the far left is a chest containing a Fake Mustache. You could have obtained
this thing earlier by stealing it from Still Lifes, but this is the sure-fire
way of getting access to Relm's Control ability. If you want to learn about
that, take a look at [CONTROL-LINK].

If you safely crossed the bridges, you'll now wind up in a room with a Save
Point, devoid of monster formations as rooms like those usually are. Do your
stuff, and equip some Sprint Shoes. Even if you're playing on an emulator I
suggest you in-game Save here, as I've misjudged my actions in the past and
saved just over my own death... Which is bad.

In this next room, I should note first off that there are no monster
formations. Second, you can't access the Menu in this room. Third, there's a big
fucking ceiling falling down every few seconds. If you are crushed under the
ceiling, it's an instant Game Over. You don't want that. So, that's what
the Sprint Shoes are for.

Sprint to the left, and grab the contents of the first chest in sight, a
Zephyr Cloak. Wait for the ceiling to fall, and before it moves back up again,
grab the next chest, a Hero's Ring. Wait in front of it until the ceiling
drops and rises again. Now, sprint as far to the left as you can, take one
step back and two down. You'll be caught safe in a hole in the ceiling now.
Watch the ceiling rise and fall like the chest of your sleeping lover, and
make a run for the final chest, containing a Pinwheel for Shadow. Don't wait
now, just exit below.

There's a little, meaningless cave here with some monsters again! Leave.

A jumping puzzle now. First, take the one-chest path to the left and the two-
chest path above you to reach the pathway near the button; you can jump on the
platform with the action button. It'll extend to extra tiles of pathway: one
for you to leave, and one to reach the treasure. Jump off. Take the same one-
chest path to the left, another one-chest jump, and then a one-chest jump up to
the chest containing a Thunder Shield. Now go around again until you can jump on
the platform with the button again; just take the one-chest jump the left
instead, leading you to a door.

Except for a whole new set of new monster formations without any new monsters,
the point of interest here is the creature draped in fabric standing there.
It's Gogo, the last character you will recruit in this game. After introducing
itself as a master of the simulacrum, it will decide to both hone its own
skills and help you on your quest by joining you in your cause. It'll join
your party now; if you were traveling with less than four characters it'll now
be in your party, if not, it'll be waiting on the Falcon for you.

Gogo's gender is kept a mystery throughout the game, which is why I'll be
referring to Gogo with 'it'. The German version just calls him a man, though.

Gogo's all exciting! If you want to learn about the odd thing that is
supposedly human, you might want to check out [MIMIC-LINK]

For now, you can either use a Teleport Stone or the Teleport spell to get back
out. Or, just hike all the way back and find the pillar of light waiting for
you, if you lack warping means (it's the only way to travel!).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.66.3   Wake me up before you Gogo
**********************************

Just a little talk about what you should do with Gogo now (and for the pun;
I'm mighty proud of it). The best armor Gogo can equip is the Magus Robe, which
stinks. It gives a + 5 to its Magic Power and + 10% Magic Evasion, so it's not
all bad, but compared to the other best equips it's pretty darn lame. You can
buy one in Maranda for 13000 Gil. Its other pieces of equipment? It can equip
the Magus Rod, which is hands down its best option ever. As far as Helmets go,
try to counter its lack of durability in most cases with more HP; if you have
a Red Cap, Gogo will like it a lot. If not, just go with what gives the best
Defense/Magic Defense (Genji Helm/Black Cowl). Since it has NO elemental
resistances whatsoever this way, and it comes nowhere near pulling off the
Force Shield (a Defense rating of 130? Are you insane?), I suggest a Thunder
Shield. An Aegis Shield is an acceptable substitute, although it'll lack
anything elemental-related with that set-up.

As far as Relics go, something to boost its magical damage output would be
fine, and something to help it out defensively (Guard Bracelet, Miracle Shoes,
hell, even Protect Ring) really helps.

What skills to give to Gogo? Let's face it; the thing isn't too hot on the
stats. Worst Strength out of the final bunch (worse than Relm), third-worst
Speed, second-worst Magic Power. So, what have we in the end? A utility
character, mostly.

This makes the Magic skillset excellent for it, as a lot of spells don't
depend on your Magic Power to be effective (status spells, ID spells, reviving
spells, etc.). Plus, while Magic tends to lack in pure power to other damaging
skillsets (which is countered by the high Magic Power of the Magic wielders,
mind, and I'm not counting Ultima and all), it does feature the four most
common weaknesses (Fire, Ice, Lightning, Holy) in quite some power, and it's
targetable.

Gogo makes as adequate a Stealer as Locke. It can equip the Thief's Bracer and
only the character's level is used in the Steal chance, so there's no problem
there.

Gogo will probably never use Bushido. Not only does it require you to use a
blade with the Bushido ability (probably the Gladius), which means getting rid
of the awesome Magus Rod, the ability just plain sucks when you have a free
choice in the matter.

Tools on Gogo is fairly acceptable. However, now that we can freely choose
between skillsets, Drill/Chainsaw is just outclassed by Throw and Auto Crossbow,
Flash outclassed by Grand Delta and Razor Gale, and we don't get excited over
MT poisoning anymore either. What's left in Tools? MT unblockable Confuse
from the Noiseblaster, which is nice enough. Not a top-tier choice in my
opinion, but you can work with it.

Gogo doesn't make as great a Throw ninja as Shadow, but Throw is just plain
awesome. Targetable, very powerful, all elements can be applied, you name it.
Great for bosses really, as you don't want to waste too many resources on ST
damage.

Rage is good on Gogo. Not because of the damage output, as Gau's damage
output started to decline a while ago, and just because Gau gained tank
abilities in return doesn't mean the 50% usage of a spell most characters
can surpass all the time doesn't suck all of a sudden. Flipside, Rage grants
Gogo the elemental resistances and status immunities the frail thing so
desperately needs. With a large enough Rage library and knowledge over it,
you can ditch the Thunder Shield for an Aegis Shield and send him away.

Blitz is Gogo's trump card when it comes to damage. Blitz was designed to work
well on a character with sub-par Magic Power: Sabin. Now, Gogo has even lower
Magic Power that Sabin, but his equipment tends to favor his Magic Power; with
the assumed Magus Rod/Magus Robe combo, that's a +12 on Magic Power right there.
Phantom Rush hurts a LOT, and Razor Gale isn't too bad.

Lore's eh...multiple status effects from Bad Breath is great, Mighty Guard is
great, White Wind isn't directly influenced by Gogo's bad stats either, and
Grand Delta is pretty darn powerful so even when Gogo's Grand Delta is inferior
to Strago's, it still hurts. Yeah, Lore is a good option, although you'll find
that most of the weaker Lores (Aero, Lv. ? Holy, Tsunami) just come out like
a wet fart from Gogo.

I'm not going to discuss Sketch, Slot, Dance as that's all WoB/early WoR
Gil Toss skillsets designed to be outclassed by other means of damage output
(Jump, Magic, Fixed Dice). They're all bad. Runic, in the end, is too
situational to discuss here.

In the end, something like this works:

Mimic
Magic/Rage/Tools
Blitz
Lore

Blitz for ST damage, Lore for MT damage, protection, healing and status ailment
setting, Magic for pretty much the same purpose only superior or inferior in
some ways, and Mimic if something cool just happened (Mega Flare, something
like that).

The choice there depends on what you have and what you know. If your surrounding
party members know quite a few decent spells, Magic is probably the best one out
of the three. If you have the Rages and know your stuff, Rage is the more
strategic option. If you lack good spells and never really bothered with Rages,
Tools is a nice fallback option.

Anyway, this was Gogo. Hope you have fun with the androgynous little bugger.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.66.4   The Steal command regained
**********************************

So, we've just gotten the Steal command back. No more crossing fingers with
Shadow's Thief's Knives, unsupported by Thief's Bracers; Gogo can Steal as often
as it likes, without inflicting damage, with twice as much success as Shadow
ever had thanks to the Thief's Bracer it can equip. Here's a list of worthwhile
Steal moments you so far lacked the abilities for:

Owzer's Mansion:
Misty:            rare Moogle suit, common Empty
Coeurl Cat:       rare Tabby Suit, common Empty
Crusher:          rare Empty, common Super Ball
Blade Dancer:     rare Moogle Suit, common Empty
Caladrius:        rare Chocobo Suit, common Empty

Darill's Tomb:
Malboro:          rare X-Potion, common Empty

Zone Eater cave:
Covert:           rare Pinwheel, common Shuriken
Kamui:            rare Murasame, common Ashura
Wartpuck:         rare Dried Meat, common Chain Flail
Shambling Corpse: rare Soul Sabre, common Mythril Blade
Baalzephon:       rare Sasuke, common Kunai

Cave of the Veldt:
Twinscythe:       rare Empty, common Poison Rod

Cave to the Ancient Castle:
Enuo:             rare X-Potion, common Empty

Mt. Zozo:
Devil Fist:       rare Brigand's Glove, common Empty
Punisher:         rare Bone Club, common Rising Sun
Glasya Labolas:   rare Muscle Belt, common Potion

Ebot's Rock:
Hidon:            rare Thornlet, common Teleport Stone

Veldt:
Holy Dragon:      rare Holy Lance, common X-Potion
Rafflesia:        rare Nutkin Suit, common Empty
Still Life:       rare Fake Mustache, common Empty
Nightwalker:      rare X-Potion, common Empty
Tonberries:       rare Minerva Bustier, common Empty

Overworld:
Brachiosaur:      rare Ribbon, common Empty
Tyrannosaur:      rare Reed Cloak, common Empty
Tumbleweed:       rare Saucer, common Empty
Leap Frog:        rare Pinwheel, common Potion
Lizard:           rare Blood Sword, common Empty
Peeper:           rare Elixir, common Empty
Basilisk:         rare Tortoise Shield, common Empty
Lycaon:           rare X-Potion, common Empty
Land Ray:         rare Megalixir, common Empty
Greater Mantis:   rare Impartisan, common Empty
Purusa:           rare Moonring Blade, common Empty
Mousse:           rare Magicite Shard, common Empty

Of special interest:

- Be sure to have four pieces of Imp equipment. Best to steal four Saucers
  from Tumbleweeds. Since they'll never use magical attacks unless they're
  alone, you can set Invisible on your entire party and steal all four before
  you start to kill them. With these is much, much easier to take down
  Leviathan.

  [LEVIATHAN-LINK]

- The animal suits you can steal in Owzer's Mansion eventually lead to a Genji
  Armor in the Coliseum, which is pretty much the best armor for Locke, Cyan,
  Edgar, Setzer, and Shadow. The animal suit here that takes the least time to
  turn into a Genji Armor is the Moogle Suit from the Blade Dancers. You can
  Control them or set Invisible to the entire party to facilitate the process.

- Four Ribbons are grand, but be sure to bring Control along for Brachiosaur, as
  you will die if you don't. Once you've Controlled one, you'd better be level
  28 as otherwise, you'll never be able to Steal, Thief's Bracer or not.

- Impartisans from Greater Mantii. If Shadow with the Thief's Knives wasn't
  working for you, you can try again to obtain some of these odd weapons.
  They're awesome material to Throw as they have a stellar 254 Attack Power, and
  they turn into Cat-Ear Hoods (which turn into Merit Awards) at the Coliseum.
  Sweet!

- Trying to Steal a Fake Mustache from Still Life is the only way to having
  more than one character with the Control command.

- Kamui is the source of Holy Lances and Murakumo, if you don't have enough of
  those. Steal until you've found a Murasame, and bet in the Coliseum until
  you've won the weapon you want.

- Land Rays are the fabled sources of a rare Megalixir, the item that
  restores HP/MP back to full for the entire party in-battle. However, since
  Land Rays have inherent Sap and only 1 HP, you usually only get to take
  one shot at it. You can counter this by casting Stop and Slow (Stop first);
  since the Stop status halts all other interval-based effects, Sap won't
  damage Land Rays so you can have more Steal attempts. Slow just prolongs
  the moment. Sleep doesn't stop Sap from taking damage, were you wondering.

- Muscle Belts are Relics that increase your HP by 50%. They're great for
  those characters that fail to deliver on the defensive side (Sabin and Gogo)
  to increase durability in battle. Sadly, they're a rare Steal from Glasya
  Labolas and he has a normal Hi-Potion in the common slot. You'll just have to
  try a lot, I suppose.

Done? You might want to dive into the Coliseum one last time now, or hunt some
Rages on the Veldt, I dunno what you feel you've neglected in the past.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.67.1   Phoenix Cave
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Ouroboros (#163), Face (#164), Zeveak (#165), Seaflower (#166), Galypdes
  (#167), Necromancer (#168), Clymenus (#169), Chaos Dragon (#170), Red Dragon
  (#337)

  Container contents:
  Dragon Horn, Ribbon, Teleport Stone x2, Wing Edge

  Miscellaneous items:
  Celestriad (rare Galypdes steal), Murakumo (guaranteed Red Dragon drop)

  Lores: 1000 Needles, Lv. 4 Flare, Lv. ? Holy

Long, long ago, almost a year, you met a man in the Auction House in Jidoor
that talked about a relic that could 'bring back departed souls', but he
had to admit only in the Imperial capital of Vector a relic like that existed.
We haven't met this object of great power yet, but a hidden letter in the
painting of Emperor Gestahl mentioned 'the treasure', lying somewhere where the
mountains form a star. It's more than likely this is the same item, and it's
also possible this is the item Locke has been searching for. We can use all
the power we can get, and with Locke still nowhere to be found, it doesn't hurt
to join him in his quest. Once we get the relic he's searching for, we may be
able to find him.

The Phoenix Cave is indeed hidden where the mountains form a star; just north
of Tzen, where you found Sabin earlier, a large mountain range has a hole right
in the middle, where you can use the 'cancel' button to lower two teams of
four characters down into the dungeon.

You know, this is the first time that it occurs to me it's probably just a
volcano. Square calls it 'Phoenix Cave' and you just stop thinking...

Whom to bring? It's kind of a toss-up. On the one hand, the stronger the
characters you bring, the easier a time you'll have in this dungeon. And make
no mistake, even though it lacks a proper boss battle at the end, this is
pretty much the Zozo/Floating Continent of the WoR; you're used to the royal
treatment, and all of a sudden the battles heat up and you're in danger again.
On the other hand, this is the last dungeon before we dive into the final one,
so you'll want to train the ones you've been neglecting so far. I tend to take
the eight characters with the lowest level, but you might like to bring the
stronger ones and level the weaker ones later.

You now have two parties to control; use the Y button to switch between the
two. Know that there's no shame in sharing the really great equipment between
the two groups; the Master's Scroll is a one-of-a-kind Relic you might like on
Setzer AND Gau while they're both in another party; the same goes for items like
the Red Caps, the Soul of Thamasa, the Lightbringer and the Paladin's Shield
(although you should not have them yet).

Monster formations:

(Basic floors)
Face, Face (5/16)
Face, Zeveak, Necromancer, Necromancer (5/16)
Clymenus, Clymenus, Necromancer (5/16)
Galypdes, Chaos Dragon, Chaos Dragon (1/16)

(Lava floors)
Clymenus, Clymenus, Clymenus (5/16)
Seaflower, Seaflower, Seaflower, Seaflower, Seaflower (5/16)
Chaos Dragon, Ouroboros, Seaflower, Seaflower (5/16)
Ouroboros, Seaflower, Seaflower (1/16)

Most of the enemies here absorb Fire-elemental attacks and are weak to Ice.
Poetic irony that this cave is therefor extra accessible by the one member who
wants it the most, Celes Chere?

You'll recognize Ouroboros from its palette swap Vampire Thorn. Ouroboros shares
its incredible defenses, but isn't Undead so a Cure spell on them won't work.
This time around though, you have plenty of barrier-piercing attacks you can
utilize to straight-up murder their asses. Like most enemies in this cave,
Ouroboros absorbs Fire-elemental attacks, and has a rare Phoenix Down to both
Steal and find afterwards. Oh yeah, on the offense he uses Bio spells every
second turn and !Negatouch (which sets Zombie) on the fourth. Loop afterwards,
obviously.

Face uses Attack and !Smirk, which sets Stop. When alone, it'll start using
1000 Needles which deals 1000 damage as always, and whenever it's damaged it'll
have a 33 % chance of retorting with 1000 Needles too. Try to take them out in
a single shot; Blizzara and Blizzaga spells work like a charm.

Zeveak are annoying as they may use their Special !Whirling Umbrella on their
first turn, which sets Confuse. Every second turn may feature the Ice-/Water-
elemental Flash Rain, which should be absorbed or nullified by a large portion
of your characters by now. When alone, it will start to use El Niño on you,
which is about twice as powerful. Weak against Ice and vulnerable to ID.

Chaos Dragon attacks rarely, but when it does it's probably bad. Most of it's
turns are spent doing nothing; the only exceptions are its second turn and its
seventh turn, after which it spends another five turns waiting before looping.
Its second turn has a 33 % chance of Chaos Dragon using Disaster, an attack that
you probably haven't seen; it can be MT'd and sets Darkness, Imp, Doom, Silence,
Confuse and Float. Its second turn has it use !Incinerate one-third of the time,
a Special that sets Death.

Seaflowers are kinda annoying. They often attack in large numbers and have
quite a few Hit Points (4200) for cannon fodder. Also, their Special !Tentacle
sets Poison. Mass Ice- and Lightning-elemental attacks are the way to go;
Banish also gets the job done very nicely.

Galypdes is famed for its rare Steal, the Celestriad, a Relic which cuts MP
usage for EVERY Magic spell and Lore technique down to 1. Trivia: this means it
actually raises Reflect ??? its MP cost, as it normally takes 0 MP to cast.
Anyway, Galypdes has mean physicals (!Flap hurts especially bad), absorbs Fire
and sometimes uses Cyclonic out of the blue. It may counter damage with a 33 %
chance of using a Shamshir attack (which you can have Celes absorb with her
Runic blade, just to be on the safe side).

Necromancers, according to Anthology, are unfortunate mortals that have been hit
by a !Zombie Stick attack. They're like vampires; a spreading plague over the
lands. Necromancers are extremely dangerous, make no mistake about that. Why?
They can use !Zombie Stick on their very first turn, which obviously sets
Zombie. That's annoying enough, but it doesn't stop there. Every time
Necromancer is damaged, even if it IS fatal, it may counter with a Gravity or
Graviga spell on the character that damaged it. Also, when only a single
Necromancer is alive, it will drop its normally physical-oriented AI script and
randomly cast Death, Banish and Flare spells, which are all bad. Their Flare
spells deal around 1000 damage. The way to go at them is Raise spells:
Necromancers are Undead. Since Raise spells don't damage you won't have to worry
about the counter-attacks, so as long as you make sure no Necromancer is left
alone you shouldn't need to see their wrath in action.

Clymenus' are the only opponents in this volcano that don't absorb Fire. They
like to use it, though. They'll normally use Fira spells for the hell of it.
If you use Reflect spells, they'll get into all kinds of crazy shenanigans, too.
If any of your characters has Reflect status, they'll start casting Cura,
Reflect and Haste spells on you; if any of them has the Reflect status, they'll
start casting Fire, Fira and Firaga spells on themselves. Very fun. They
have incredibly high Magic Defense, so stick to physical attacks, especially
Holy-elemental ones will be succesful.

Let's make the first party you act with Party #1, and the other party, Party #2.
Easy enough, right? Let's dive into this volcano! Since most of the 'puzzles'
in this dungeon consist out of clever switching between the two parties, I've
taken the liberty of including a double hard return every time you switch
parties; it's an eyesore in the FAQ, but really helps in my opinion.

Note about the spikes in the cavern: they deal 400 damage every time you land
or walk on them. They disregard status ailments, so Petrified character may
still be hurt by them. Also, the spikes will NEVER kill a character; if a
character has 400 HP or less, it'll set the amount of current HP to 1.

Party #1: Walk inside of the cave. There are no enemies on the cliff, but there
          is the crane of the Falcon waiting for you; you can grab it any time
          you like to return to the Falcon with all characters aboard.
          Find the pressure tile inside and stand on it; it should open a
          pathway. When you get off the tile it closes again, so you'll have
          to stay put. Change to the other party.

Party #2: Walk inside, and enter the newly opened door. On the other side,
          there's spikes to the top-right, a chest to the left and a passage to
          another pressure tile to the bottom-right. If you try to get the
          chest, you'll fall down through a gap in the floor onto some spikes,
          which deliver 400 HP of damage to your entire party. If you did this,
          you can go around to the bottom, up the stairs and stand on the
          pressure tile to permanently extend a bridge to the chest, which you
          can now open for a Wing Edge. Later, you'll be able to do this
          without taking 400 spike damage. Regardless, you'll want to move your
          party on top of the pressure tile right above the pressure tile #1
          is standing on, and switch to the other party.

There are two options here:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Option A, the shorter route which deals out-battle damage to your party:

Party #1: Take the party over the spikes. If you're smart, you can minimize
          the damage to 400 a character (one spike-tile). To the bottom-right,
          there is a chest containing a Teleport Stone; note that the pathway
          is partially obscured by a rock ceiling. Return, and go down a level
          (ignore the spike-guarded chest, it's empty) and you'll find yourself
          on the lava level. Go to the left and up. Stand on the pressure tile
          there to raise some stones and go back, and trace down the pathway. Go
          all the way (you'll find an empty chest along the way) and switch.

Party #2: Walk over the spikes (they'll deal a total of 1200 damage to your
          party). Go down the stairway to the left. If you haven't picked up
          the Wing Edge in the chest, do so now. If you have or if you're done,
          jump over the newly formed tiles.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Option B, the longer route which doesn't deal out-battle damage to your party:

Party #1: Go up until you, not far from your starting point, come across
          another pressure tile. Stand on it to remove the spikes that were in
          #2's way earlier. Switch.

Party #2: Walk across the disappeared spikes. To your left is a stairway going
          down; you can use it to enter a lower level, so you can re-appear
          again to claim your Wing Edge chest on the other end. The other
          path, a wooden bridge over the lava, is broken off for now, so if
          you grabbed the Wing Edge earlier, there's no reason to go down here.
          On the upper level, you'll want to walk to the far right, where you
          come across a stairway leading to another pressure tile. It removes
          some spikes in the area #1 is standing in. Switch.

Party #1: Finally, some real action with #1! Walk over the disappeared spikes
          until you come across a stairway. Past the stairway is some more
          removed-spikes pathway to a chest, but the chest is Empty! You never
          know, maybe some random scoundrel or even Siegfried might have
          emptied these chests, but maybe it was Locke? Regardless, turn back
          and descend the stairway. On the lower level, there are two
          paths; ignore the right one for now, as to the left is an (empty)
          chest and a pressure tile which causes some rocks to rise out of the
          lava, creating a pathway for #2. Switch.

Party #2: Go the left and descend a level. Now, jump over the newly raised
          rocks to the other side, and again to reach the new area. On the
          other side, there's a chest with some spikes in front of it. You can
          bet your life and limbs to open it, but it'll just appear to be
          empty as the other chest, so don't. Before you enter the narrow
          passage, notice the pressure tile near the big rock blocking your
          path to the right. Stand on it, to cause another passageway to open,
          blocking yours. Switch.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Party #1: There's really no other way to go but down, following the path across
          the lava. You'll come across another chest, but it'll be empty like
          the others. Pressing on, enter the passageway #2 created for you. Go
          around and ignore the path leading over the spikes. Step onto the
          pressure tile, which restores the passageway to make room for #2.
          Switch.

Party #2: For #2, there's a Save Point to the left, but you'll just want to
          stand on the pressure tile just there.

Party #1: Move up and to the left, over the disappeared spikes. You'll come
          across a stairway. Go down the stairway to the lower level. A
          jumping puzzle now! Jump over the rocks to the left, below and to the
          right. Now, the first jumping option takes you to an empty chest; the
          other one takes you to a stairway going up again. You'll come across
          a skeleton switch; flip it to allow all the water from the upper
          level to flow over the lava, solidifying it so you can walk on it.
          Going down the little stairway just shows you that you won't be able
          to go on any further, so switch.

Party #2: To the far left, there's another pressure tile. Stand on it to clear
          the path for #1.

Party #1: Don't go all the way down below so far; there's a boss battle here,
          and you'll want the free option between your two parties. Go up the
          little stairway, and you'll see three pressure tiles: one up, and two
          below. You'll want to hit the single one. Switch.

Party #2: As soon as you get off the pressure tile, you'll clear your own path
          to the other side. You can just go one way, which will take you to the
          solidified lava. You can now get to the unopened chest in the middle,
          which in a shocking turn of events isn't empty but contains a Ribbon.
          Go up the stairway that you couldn't get to by jumping over the
          rocks, and you'll find yourself on the upper level once more. Walk
          under the ceiling that blocks your view over your characters, and
          you'll reach a dead end; or not, as #2 created a pathway for you by
          raising the two rocks. Jump to the other side. Now, occupy one of
          the two pressure tiles that are right next to each other. Switch.

Party #1: Get off the pressure tile and occupy the other pressure tile that's
          has been left. A pathway will clear. On the other side, you'll find
          a stairway leading to the exit of this dungeon.

Party #1 or #2: Can go fight the roaming dragon here now. I should note that
                it's keeping itself near a chest here, which contains a Dragon
                Horn that you might find interesting.

Party #2 or #1: Continue down the only path you can follow. Eventually, you'll
                find the last person you were missing: Locke Cole. And
                he just reached his life-long ambition too; the lost relic that
                is able to restore life, the Magicite remains of the Phoenix
                Esper. The scene switches to the village of Kohlingen.

Note that you can return here later if you want to; there will be a red
sparkle to the right of the Phoenix Esper chest. This is merely a warp sparkle
that you can use to return to the Falcon.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.67.2   The battle with the Red Dragon
**********************************

Red Dragon
Level: 67, HP: 30000, MP: 1780
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Murakumo (always)
Absorbs: Fire, Weakness: Ice, Water
Special: !Eraser: Unblockable Attack + Removes Reflect
Sketch : Lv. ? Holy, Firaga
Control: Attack, !Eraser
Vulnerable to: Poison, Confuse, Slow
Attacks: Attack, !Eraser, Fira, Firaga, Flare, Lv. 4 Flare, Fireball,
         Southern Cross, Flare Star

Joker's Death: Yes
Ragnarok's Metamorph: Yes
12.5% chance of obtaining one of the following:

Crystal Sword
Crystal Shield
Crystal Helm
Crystal Mail

The Red Dragon is red, and lives in a volcano. He's a Fire dragon, in other
words! You'll be laughing now, I assume; not only have you already spotted
his weakness to the Confuse status, the Fire element is the one most easily
protected against. The Red Jacket, Ice Shield, Minerva Bustier, and Blizzard Orb
nullify it, the Flame Shield and Berserker Ring absorb it, and if those
resources aren't enough, the Force Shield, Thunder Shield, Cat-ear Hood, Snow
Scarf and Force Armor all halve damage done by the element. Yeah, even though
the Red Dragon tries to counter this by employing Flare spells and the Lv. 4
Flare attack, he's still fairly easy.

Every 40 seconds, Red Dragon will use a particularly powerful attack; either
Southern Cross, Flare Star, or Lv. 4 Flare. Flare Star still deals Fire-
elemental damage based on your level, Southern Cross is just a strong MT Fire-
elemental attack and Lv. 4 Flare deals non-elemental barrier-piercing damage to
every character whose level is divisible by 4.

Normally, Red Dragon switches between Fira (66%) and Fireball (33%). When
he reaches 10240 HP (which is after having absorbed 19760 HP damage), he'll
switch to Firaga (66%) or a Flare spell (33%). All these spells except for
Fireball can be Reflected, but that may not be the wisest action to take;
every character under the influence of Reflect will be targeted every second
turn by !Eraser, from top character to bottom character, just like the living
Behemoth King and his !Devil Claw attack. !Eraser removes the Reflect status,
but not when the status is inherent (through Reflect Rings or Rage). Like most
bosses, the Red Dragon has a 33% Attack counter to every damage he takes.

What to do? He has a fairly low amount of MP, and all his dangerous attacks
need MP to function. In his less dangerous phase, throw up your barriers (summon
Fenrir and/or Golem, Kirin's Holy Aura is useful as always, Hastega, Mighty
Guard, you name it). When you're done, start casting Rasp! You can check if he's
out of MP with Libra if you can't keep track yourself. You should have crippled
him before his first 40-second attack comes around. Now that Red Dragon is
nothing but a big lizard of fire, attack him with attacks. It doesn't really
matter, as he's pretty much done by now, but the strongest attacks tend to
be Ice-elemental ones; the Blizzaga spell, thrown Icebrand swords (or Water
Scrolls), the usual Phantom Rush and Dragon Horn Jump attacks, whatever works.
Note that Tri-Disaster is absorbed, though. You can toy around with Confuse if
you want, but it's not necessary.

It's possible you figured you'd want Locke ASAP after obtaining the Falcon,
grabbing Mog and his Molulu's Charm for a no-encounter second party. If so,
you came here without any equipment that absorbs Fire. Reflect Rings help
against Fira, but Fireball deals around 400 damage to all, and Southern Cross
deals a whoppin' 2000 damage to all. You can still win, though. Edgar can
both Poison (Bioblaster) and Confuse (Noiseblaster) the Red Dragon. If you
keep Red Dragon continusouly occupied chasing its own tail while being
crippled by Poison, you won't have to endure any of his attacks. You'll have
to keep reapplying, since Red Dragon was made immune to the Vanish spell
in the GBA game. Edgar by his lonesome may not be able to keep up with
Red Dragon since it smacks itself out of it every turn with physical attacks.
Celes learns Confuse at level 32, and if you have no other characters with
the Confuse spell, Cait Sith can help out at least once in a pinch. Good luck!

At the end, it's an easy battle. The Murakumo you get is little to celebrate, as
you should be neck-deep in the buggers if you ever had the wish to do so.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.68.1   Locke Cole
**********************************

  Miscellaneous items:
  Elixir, Flame Shield, Phoenix Down, Valiant Knife, X-Ether, X-Potion
  (obtained from Locke)

  Magicite:
  Phoenix

Locke re-enters the party after having finally completed his life-long task
and finding it to be a futile effort. However, he barely seems to mind; he's
been released, not crushed. With him he brings the remains of the Phoenix
Esper, and the treasures of the Phoenix Cave he collected along the way;
an X-Potion, a Phoenix Down, an X-Ether, an Elixir, a Flame Shield, and Locke's
primary source of pride, the Valiant Knife. Note that there were but four
empty chests in the Phoenix Cave; the Phoenix Down might have been a rare drop
from a monster, but we're still left with a mystery item. Bleh, who the
hell cares? :P

First off, if you haven't yet gotten Gogo by now, this is where the Steal
command re-enters your game. If you want to work it, go check out section
4.66.3 to learn what Steal can do for you now.

Locke has returned to your team! Defensively, there are few things to say.
He has the more or less standard equipment options, which he shares with the
likes of Setzer, Cyan, and Shadow. The Genji Armor is his strongest option,
which is nicely complemented by the Thunder Shield for elemental resistances.
If equipped with the Valiant Knife, the Red Cap is especially nice on Locke, as
it indirectly boosts its average damage output with the Valiant Knife.

On the offense, there are three weapons worth nothing for Locke:

The Sniper. Remember the Hawkeye from the late WoB? The Sniper is exactly that,
only with updated Attack Power to make a stand in the WoR. No stat boosts,
but it does hit for 1.5 as much damage 50%, and three times as much damage
against Floating targets.

The Wing Edge. His second-strongest normal weapon. Back Row compatible, +7 to
both Strength and Speed (which both matter little), +1 to Stamina, +2 to Magic
Power and the Assassin Dagger's X-type Instant Death ability. There are two in
this game, so you could Genji Glove it up if you want. Nice if you're going out
to Steal anyway, but this time Locke CAN dish out damage like other characters,
and that's because of the:

Valiant Knife. The first noticeable feature of this awesome weapon is the fact
it is barrier-piercing. Every strike is stronger than a Raging Fist or Fang
attack coming from him. The second feature is even more important; every strike,
(max HP - current HP) damage is added to the damage you're doing. In other
words, that's what Revenge Blast does; the more hurt Locke is, the more damage
he'll do. It's prone to FF VIII Limit Break-fever - let's walk around while
we're all busted up so we can do three times as much damage as usual - but it
does work. The disadvantage over the other two weapons is the fact it isn't Back
Row compatible and doesn't give any stat boosts.

So, we're complete! Time to take on Kefka? There are two more things to do
here, and we're going to get a few VERY broken items/abilities out of it. Like
that, dontcha?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.68.2   Narshe revisited with Locke; Ragnarok and the Cursed Shield
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Test Rider (#182), Lukhavi (#184), Garm (#188)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Cursed Shield (given to by NPC), Ragnarok (choose the sword when given the
  choice)

  Magicite:
  Ragnarok (choose the rock when given the choice)

Welcome to Narshe! Lone Wolf tipped us off earlier; only a true treasure
hunter could pick the locks of these houses. When Narshe was abandoned for
reasons never explained in the game, the inhabitants were clearly planning to
return, as they locked their stores and houses carefully. Meh, those items
won't be needed by them when Kefka kills them all, so it's only logical we
should be able to take them all. Besides, we need to find the owner of the
Weapon Shop anyway; the thief at the bottom of the Cultist's Tower, where we
found Strago, told us he was looking for us.

Buildings locked include the following:

The Inn. Unlocking this building will get you nothing.

The Item Shop. Same here; there are neither salesmen nor leftover items here.

The Relic Shop. Derelict like a plundered tomb.

The Weapon Shop. Go around the counter and descend the stairs. Here, you'll
find the owner of the shop. He shows you a piece of Magicite, and offers to
forge a weapon out of it. You can choose between the Ragnarok Magicite and the
Ragnarok Sword here. With the addition of some of the GBA tricks you can pull
off, the Ragnarok sword can be obtained infinetely through other means, so the
obvious choice would be to choose the Esper. For a full comparison between
the two, I suggest reading up on them in section 8.10; for a detailed
explanation of the powers of the Ragnarok Esper's summon attack, follow
[METAMORPH-LINK].

In short: The Esper's summon attack is pretty crappy but does grant access to
some rare items you could otherwise get only a very limited amount of, while
the Esper also teaches Ultima at a x1 rate, which is the strongest spell in
the game. On the other hand, the Ragnarok Sword gives + 7 on all stats except
for Speed (where it grants a +3), randomly casts Flare, deals MP-driven constant
criticals and gives 30% Evasion and Magic Evasion. You can bet it at the
Coliseum for the Lightbringer, which gives +7 on all stats, has the same MP-
driven criticals ability, randomly casts Holy with twice the power of a normal
Holy spell (due to the automatic criticals; Flare doesn't get to enjoy a power
boost), has Back Row compatibility and gives 50% Evasion and Magic Evasion.

The house above the Relic Shop has been empty throughout the WoB, but now you
will find an old man sick in bed. He gives you the Cursed Shield, a possessed
shield of awesome power, but useless now due to a curse. It's up to you to
break it and unleash its awesome abilities if you're up to the task.

The curse is broken when the shield is equipped on a living character other
than Gogo for 256 battles. It doesn't matter if the character dies during the
battle, as long as he or she is alive at the end of it. Gogo can't uncurse
the Cursed Shield as the counter is semi-tied to gaining Magic AP, which
Gogo doesn't gain at all.

Equipping the Cursed Shield is bad. It makes the equipped character weak to all
elements, and LOWERS all stats by 7. Also, it gives the equipper inherent
Confuse, Berserk, Sap, Silence and Doom. You wind up with a Berserked
character that hits you every turn with a physical and dies after a while.
You can either counter these effects with a Ribbon/Lich Ring combo (the
Ribbon protects against all but Doom, and the Lich Ring makes sure you're
revived when the counter reaches that final 0), or get it to work to your
advantage by equipping the Healing Rod and possibly the Master's Scroll for mad
healing.

There's two little vintage strategies I want to mention here that include the
Cursed Shield:

One:
Relm/Strago/Gogo, Cursed Shield, no Ribbon, Healing Rod, possibly Master's
Scroll. Every turn, this character will heal random characters. Yeah, it's kinda
cute, but the fact it never got an official name such as 'Spinning Right Round
Relm' or 'Top Man Strago' or something like 'Whirlwind Wee Girl' kinda should
tip you off on the fact that it's not all that useful.

Two:
This strategy requires the elusive Intangir Rage. Equip the Cursed Shield on Gau
or Gogo, as well as the Peace Ring, then Rage Intangir. The Peace Ring will
prevent Berserk and Confuse, and the Intangir Rage will make the Cursed Shield
bearer absorb all elements, as well as provide protection from the Doom timer.
The Cursed Shld' Silence-inflicing nature will prevent the Intangir Rager
from casting Transfusion. The Rager, alongside the elemental and status ailment
protection, also gains inherent Protect, Shell, Haste and Invisible.
Congratulations, you have created a creature that does almost nothing and will
never die. Like a pet rock!



The Paladin's Shield is awesome. It allows the equipped to absorb Fire, Ice,
Lightning, and Holy while nullifying the effects of Earth, Poison, Wind, and
Water. In other words, the wearer becomes entirely immune to elemental attacks.
Add to that the second-best Defense rating (Tortoise Shield on an Imp beats it)
and third-best Magic Defense rating (Tortoise Shield and Force Shield beat it)
and + 40% Evasion and Magic Evasion and you've got yourselves the ultimate
shield right there. The big bonus on top of all this is the fact it teaches
Ultima at a x1 rate to the wearer.

The quickest way to uncurse the Cursed Shield is fighting battles on Solitary
Island. If you want some kind of extra meaning to the hours on the Solitary
Island, you can bring Locke, Gogo, and Shadow to try to steal as many Elixirs
(and possibly Megalixirs) as possible. If you want to go into the desert, be
sure to equip Amulets or Ribbons to protect against Land Ray's !Poison Tail
and Black Dragon's !Bone Powder.

As far as (the) Ragnarok goes, you should take a look at [RAGNAROK-LINK] if
you went with the Esper. If you went with the Sword, you absolutely want to
trade it in for the Lightbringer at the Coliseum; aside from Ragnarok's random
Flare being non-elemental and Lightbringer's random Holy being Holy-elemental,
there is NO reason to stick to the original sword;

- Ragnarok - Lightbringer               Opponent: Daedalus
Daedalus attacks with Attack, Flare, Flare Star, and Blaster. If you equip a
Reflect Ring and a Safety Bit/Memento Ring, Flare and Blaster are not a threat
anymore; a Flame Shield/Ice Shield or the Minerva Bustier takes care of Flare
Star and the Dancing Flame Daedalus sometimes uses to counter Attacks with.
Attack is all that's left, and that's nothing to worry about. Don't send in
Relm; her Sketch attacks will usually make a Quake spell appear, which hurts her
as well.

Obviously, from now on, I won't be assuming that you have either the
Lightbringer OR the Paladin's Shield; choosing the Esper over the Sword is the
legitimate choice, and obtaining the Paladin's Shield is quite a bit of work.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.68.3   Gau and his father
**********************************

This is just a cutscene you're getting nothing out of, but still builds the
character of Gau and strengthens the relationship of Gau and Sabin, so it's
worth watching. It's kinda funny too. Relatively speaking. You'll want to bring,
ideally, Locke and Edgar to accompany Sabin and Gau, as that'll net you the
most individual cutscenes.

If you brought Sabin to the crazy man in the shack by himself earlier, the
following conversation will occur:

Aged Man: Oh, hello again! It's been a while. Let me tell you, those repairs of
yours were top notch!
Sabin: I told you, I'm not——
Aged Man: Now, hurry up and fix that chair over there! You're gonna need to
stand on it so you can fix the roof!


Gau: ...Fa-ther?

At this point, Sabin leaves the house, the party splits up, and Sabin says:
"You don't suppose...? ...Could this guy be Gau's father?"

When you bring both Sabin and Gau to the crazy man, this will happen (with the
same conversation preceding it):

Sabin: You don't suppose... Gau, couldn't that man be your father?
Gau: Uwaoh...
Sabin: Come on, Gau... don't you think?
Gau: Fa-ther...?
Sabin: Yeah. That guy's gotta be your dad!
Gau: ...? ...Gau...dad!? Uwaooo Gau!
Sabin: All right! Let's go tell him! He needs to know you're his son!
Sabin: Wait a minute... This is a once-in-a-lifetime event!
Sabin: We should at least dress you up a bit! Let's go to Jidoor and get you
spiffed up!

(The gang is now at the Inn in Jidoor. Gau is standing at the table)

Sabin: No, Gau! How many times do I have to tell you not to eat with your
fingers?
Gau: Uwao...
Sabin: Don't say "uwao" when you mean "sorry"!
Gau: Yaoh!
Sabin: ...

(The gang is now at the Item Shop in Jidoor. Everybody's busy)

(If you recruited Terra:)

Terra: How do you like these? Wouldn't they look good on him? Oh, but I liked
those other ones so much, too...!
...*mumble*...everything you liked......boy wouldn't even be able to move...
Terra: What was that!?
(Sabin freaks out and hides behind the counter)
N-nothing! Didn't say a thing!
...Whew. That was close...

(Always)

Celes: What to do, what to do... Oh, this is nice! ...But I need something that
would look good on Gau, don't I? Hmm...
Oh, pick something, already...!
Celes: What did you say!?
(Sabin freaks out and hides behind the counter)
...N-nothing!

(If you recruited Cyan, and he is not in your active party:)

Cyan: Now this is a fine and jaunty little hat!
Maybe if he were a clown...
Cyan: What was that? If he wore a crown? Ha! We don't want his father thinking
he's some kind of prince, now, do we?
...

(Always)

Sabin: I know just the thing!
That's a kenpo gi...
Sabin: It's perfect! Functional, yet sporty!
That's, uh...not exactly what I had in mind...

(If Setzer is not in your active party:)

Setzer: *sigh*... Not an ounce of fashion sense among the lot of you...
Setzer: Excuse me, sir. Could you order another set of clothes like the ones I'm
wearing?
Setzer, no! We're trying to make him look better, not worse!

(If both Edgar and Locke are in your active party)

(Gau now wears a 3-piece tuxedo Armani'd be proud to weep over)
Edgar: I've got it! A tuxedo, a silk hat...and a rose between his teeth!
Locke: Talk about overdoing it! Sheesh... I guess we'll have to go with a
bandana on his head after all.
(Gau pretty much now wears what Locke is wearing, admiring the red bandana
on his head)
Edgar: A bandana? I thought we were trying to make him look presentable! Guess
we all know better than to expect any sort of class out of Locke, though...
Locke: What was that!? Why don't you try saying that again?
(Locke attacks Edgar, and sounds of punching and eventually the good old
cartoonish birds-around-the-head sound the Confuse spell makes)

When returning to Gau's father, there's is also another check made. This
dialogue can also be accessed outside the Gau-centric cutscene, but there's no
other logical time to visit this guy so I wanted to include it here.

Whenever you have obtained the Emperor's Letter after talking twice to the
portrait in Owzer's Mansion in Jidoor, but before you have recruited Locke,
the following dialogue will appear when you talk to the old man:

Aged Man: Oh! You finally come to do those repairs?
"No, actually I was wondering if you knew anything about Emperor Gestahl's
map..."
Aged Man: The emperor's map...? Seems like that's all anyone wants to talk about
these days!
"Pardon?"
Aged Man: Little while back, another repairman wearing a bandana came here
asking the same thing... So I told him!
"Then...where is it!?"
Aged Man: It's where the mountains form a shape like a star... Sheesh! Why
didn't you just ask me from the beginning? No need to be so shy!

For the record, this 'map' is never mentioned outside of this cutscene, and
neither is there ANY information about why our characters apparantly decide
this guy should know something about Gestahl's possessions and he actually
does. It's just weird.

The rest of the cutscene is as mandatory, as it is sad, so I won't be giving
the information away here.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.69.1   The Cultist's Tower and the battle with Holy Dragon
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Magic Urn (#221), Level 10 Magic (#222), Level 20 Magic (#223), Level 30
  Magic (#224), Level 40 Magic (#225), Level 50 Magic (#226), Level 60 Magic
  (#227), Level 70 Magic (#228), Level 80 Magic (#229), Level 90 Magic (#230),
  Magic Master (#330), Holy Dragon (#344)

  Container contents:
  Air Anchor, Force Armor, Genji Shield, Kagenui, Safety Bit, Soul of Thamasa

  Miscellaneous items:
  Crystal Orb (rare Magic Master steal), Holy Lance (Holy Dragon drop and rare
  Holy Dragon steal)

Welcome to the Cultist's Tower! We've probably been here before; if not for some
Moogle raiding, we picked up Strago here with Relm earlier. Regardless of the
actions you've taken so far, I've mentioned the Cultist's Tower quite a few
times so far, always advising you to wait with fighting the final opponent on
the very top. Now, it's time for the ultimate showdown of ultimate destiny:
we're going to tackle this huge erect symbol of Kefka's manhood.

Monster formations:

(Cultist's Tower Inside)
Level 90 Magic (5/16)
Level 50 Magic (5/16)
Magic Urn, Magic Urn (6/16)

(Air Anchor Room)
Magic Urn, Magic Urn (always)

(Top and Fourth Tier)
Level 90 Magic, Level 80 Magic (5/16)
Level 80 Magic, Level 80 Magic (5/16)
Level 90 Magic, Level 60 Magic (5/16)
Magic Urn, Magic Urn (1/16)

(Third Tier)
Level 60 Magic, Level 30 Magic, Level 10 Magic, Level 10 Magic (5/16)
Level 70 Magic, Level 70 Magic, Level 50 Magic (5/16)
Level 70 Magic, Level 50 Magic, Level 40 Magic (5/16)
Magic Urn, Magic Urn (1/16)

(Second Tier)
Level 50 Magic (5/16)
Level 40 Magic, Level 50 Magic, Level 60 Magic (5/16)
Level 30 Magic, Level 20 Magic, Level 10 Magic (5/16)
Magic Urn, Magic Urn (1/16)

(Bottom Tier)
Level 10 Magic, Level 20 Magic (5/16)
Level 30 Magic, Level 30 Magic, Level 30 Magic (5/16)
Level 40 Magic, Level 20 Magic, Level 20 Magic (5/16)
Magic Urn, Magic Urn (1/16)

Magic Urn is a kinky enemy. Well...enemy? If it does intend to harm you in the
first place, it seems to assume you're undead. The first turn, it'll use either
a Remedy item or an Ether the second turn a Hi-Potion or Elixir, and the third
turn an Ether or a Hi-Ether. If any of your characters has Death set, it'll use
a Phoenix Down on it (due to a bug, it'll respond to the Reflect status in the
PSX versions). If one is Petrified, it'll use a Gold Needle item (due to a bug,
it responds to Protect in the PSX versions). After it has used an item, it has a
33% at fleeing the battle using Flee; it'll also sometimes flee when you
damage it. With 100 HP, absorption of all elements and status ailment
invulnerability, it's difficult to harm the thing without killing it. If you
have trouble accepting help or simply want to speed things up, the only way of
killing these things is Berserking a character, casting Drain, Meteor, or Ultima
or summoning Bahamut, Maduin, Ragnarok, or Quetzalli. If you smell great Rage
potential here, you're absolutely right.

Level 10 Magic casts level 1 spells every turn, and will counter any damage done
to him by either a Slow, Stop, or Haste spell. They're undead, and have the
normal Undead weaknesses: Fire and Holy, while absorbing Poison. Vulnerable
to Silence, non-Reflective, Floating. No threat to a Reflect Ring party.

Level 20 Magic casts ID attacks. Gravity, Graviga and Break the first turn,
Gravity, Graviga and Banish the second turn (loops afterwards). Banish is the
most dangerous by far. He counters every damage done with either a Rasp,
Confuse, or Protect spell. Weak to Poison, vulnerable to ID, Reflective. One of
the more dangerous enemies here to a Reflect Ring party; make sure you take them
out quickly.

Level 30 Magic casts level 2 spells, and will counter every damage done with
either an Imp, Osmose, or Reflect spell. Weak to Poison, absorbs Holy, non-
Reflective.

Level 40 Magic casts Drain, Break, or Vanish every turn. He will counter
your attacks with either Silence or Sleep. Floating, weak to Lightning, absorbs
Poison, non-Reflective, vulnerable to Silence.

Level 50 Magic is your typical undead mage, casting Poison, Bio, and Death the
first turn, and spends the next turn casting either Esuna (33%) or Dispel (66%)
on a monster. When damaged, it will retort with either a Berserk, Slow, or
Hastega spell. Undead, weak to Fire and Holy, absorb Poison, vulnerable to ID
and Silence, non-Reflective.

Level 60 Magic casts Quake, Tornado and Holy. When damaged, he'll cast Osmose,
Slowga, or Regen on a single character. Weak to Fire-elemental spells, absorbs
Ice-elemental spells, Floating, vulnerable to ID and Silence. Non-Reflective.

Level 70 Magic casts the level 3 spells. When damaged, it'll respond with
Sleep, Rasp, or Shell. Absorbs Fire, weak to Ice and Water. Reflective, but
vulnerable to ID and Silence.

Level 80 Magic is finally an opponent with some sophistication; she's a lady,
after all. She'll cast Cura, Esuna or Haste when a character is Reflective. If
that's not the case, but a monster is Reflective, she'll cast level 3 spells
on all monsters. If nobody on the battlefield has the Reflect status, she'll
just go with Poison or Bio spells. When damaged while characters around have the
Reflect status, she'll counter with Curaga, Cure, or Reraise (which can't be
Reflected...poor confused gal). When damaged while monsters with the Reflect
status are around, she'll cast Stop, Dispel, or Holy on a monster. If she's
damaged with NO Reflective targets around, she'll do nothing. Weak to Poison,
non-Reflective, vulnerable to ID.

Level 90 Magic is the strongest random encounter here. The first three turns
may feature Flare, Meteor, or Meltdown. Meteor is the most dangerous of
these three, but Meltdown is especially annoying, as Level 90 Magic absorbs
Wind. Every fourth turn, the guy can cast a Dispel spell and up to three Flare
spells. When damaged, he may counter with Stop, Thundaga or Reraise. Reflective,
Floating, vulnerable to Stop.

So yeah. I've never found much satisfaction in the Cultist's Tower specific
kind of challenge, but maybe you're going bananas behind your screen, I dunno.
Here's a set of small tables to remind you of the opponents weaknesses:

                Reflective      Undead          Floating      ID-protected
Level 10 Magic  -               Yes             Yes             -
Level 20 Magic  Yes             -               -               -
Level 30 Magic  -               -               -               -
Level 40 Magic  -               -               Yes             Yes
Level 50 Magic  -               Yes             -               -
Level 60 Magic  -               -               Yes             Yes
Level 70 Magic  Yes             -               -               -
Level 80 Magic  -               -               -               -
Level 90 Magic  Yes             -               -               Yes

Silence, Berserk, Stop:

Level 10 Magic: Silence, Berserk
Level 20 Magic:
Level 30 Magic: Berserk
Level 40 Magic: Silence
Level 50 Magic: Silence, Stop
Level 60 Magic: Silence
Level 70 Magic: Silence, Stop
Level 80 Magic:
Level 90 Magic: Berserk, Stop

How to handle them:

Level 10 Magic: a Raise spell
Level 20 Magic: Banish or Break spells (bounce off Reflect Ring characters)
Level 30 Magic: Break spells
Level 40 Magic: Silence
Level 50 Magic: a Raise spell
Level 60 Magic: Silence
Level 70 Magic: Banish or Break spells (bounce off Reflect Ring characters)
Level 80 Magic: Break spells
Level 90 Magic: Stop (bounce off Reflect Ring characters)

On the whole, especially against the weaker opponents, you may just want to
go all-out offensive. Spells such as Meteor and Ultima never fail to deliver
damage no matter who the opponent is, and since nobody absorb Lightning-
elemental attacks, cast Thundaga on all four or your Reflect Ring characters to
hit them.

Whom to bring? That really depends. Know that the Cultist's Tower is very
special, and that ascending the tower means that you will temporarily lose
all your skills except for Magic. Obviously, those with high Magic Power are
favored, but much more important is how much you built up your Magic skillset.
If somebody knows Ultima, bring him or her along no matter what else he or
she has going on; next to that, Meteor, Flare, Thundaga, Stop, Silence, Raise,
and curative and restorative spells are pretty much what you'll be wielding, so
you'll want to bring those with you. Typically, assuming their Magic skillset
is roughly the same, you'll want something like Terra, Celes, Relm, and whoever.
If only one or two characters know Ultima, bring Gogo along so it miraculously
knows Ultima too.

Preparation: Reflect Rings are VITAL. You WILL want a Reflect Ring on every
character. Inherent Reflect status makes climbing the tower much easier, and
is a very important factor when fighting the strongest mage this world has to
offer, Magic Master. Also, know that you'll be casting and receiving Magic
spells only, so that Attack Power of weapons and Defense rating of equipment is
pointless. Equip accordingly. Ribbons are very nice as well, by the way, as
a lot of status ailment spells will be coming your way, sometimes reflected
off barriers thus penetrating your magic shield of justice and sunlight you
call a Reflect Ring.

Also, make sure you cast Float on the party. A surprise Quake is easily
countered but can be equally painful.

Notes: At the Cultist's Tower, Attack is turned into Magic and every secondary
skill disappears. Item's still there, but that's it. If you send Gogo up there,
give it the Attack command as that'll turn into Magic (while its Magic command
will be removed). Umaro doesn't suffer a bit from the Cultist's Tower's
strange effect, as he will perform normally. When Berserked, characters will
just use Attack.

On the first part of the stairway, there's a door we can enter. Enter and raid
the chest; it contains a Safety Bit. The Safety Bit protects the wearer from
Instant Death-magic; it's basically a Memento Ring for everybody. But wait a
minute, didn't that thief in Maranda mention how one of his companions mumbled
'to the right of the treasure chest'? The thieves can never have gone too far,
so you'd better check it out. Press the action button when standing to the
right of the treasure chest. Something rumbles, and when you leave the door
another one has appeared below you! When you enter this one, you can find
a chest containing an Air Anchor, Edgar's most rare Tool.

The Air Anchor does the following. Once an enemy is hit by the Air Anchor, it
is allowed one more action, after which it dies. It never misses, unless the
target is immune to Instant Death attacks. The Air Anchor also deals damage,
which is entirely redundant (as no damage will be done if it misses, and the
damage is useless if the target dies the next round anyway). I myself have
always liked the Air Anchor because it never fails and you can focus attacks
on other opponents while you know the Anchored one has been taken care of;
others will claim the Air Anchor is a scrubby Tool that allows for another
attack while so many other ID attacks like Death/Snare/Zantetsuken do not.

The only battles in the Air Anchor room feature Magic Urn. Not only do they
heal you with a multitude of potions, they also Flee on their own after a
while. They have a kick-ass Rage (allows Gau to absorb all eight elements
regardless of equipment and immunity to all status ailments while casting
Curaga half the time), so you'll want to meet them at least once.

We press on! The door in the second part of the stairway contains a Genji
Shield, which is a nice enough shield; third-best Defense in the game (lower
than the legendary Paladin's Shield and oddball Tortoise Shield), respectable
Magic Defense and 20% Evasion and Magic Evasion added to the wearer.

The door in the third part of the stairway contains the Kagenui, the most
powerful Dirk for Shadow. It has a 25% chance of casting Stop every time a
strike is made, but gives nothing in terms of fringe benefits. Famous for
Coliseum tactics against the likes of Typhon and Siegfried, both vulnerable
to the ailment and very hard to defeat by other means. What the room also
features is the Holy Dragon.

[HDRAGON-LINK]

Holy Dragon
Level: 71, HP: 18500, MP: 12000
Steal: Holy Lance (rare), X-Potion (common), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Holy
Special: !Hit: Attack x 1.5
Sketch : Flare, Holy
Control: Attack, Holy, Holy, Holy
Vulnerable to: Silence, Slow, Stop
Attacks: Holy, Dispel

Joker's Death: Yes
Ragnarok's Metamorph: Yes
12.5% chance of obtaining one of the following:

Crystal Sword
Crystal Shield
Crystal Helm
Crystal Mail

Wow. There is SO little I can say about Holy Dragon here. He casts up to three
Holy spells every turn. When hit by a Magic spell, he has a 66% chance of
countering with a Dispel spell. And that's it. You've seen a palette swap of
the guy earlier, honestly, trying to drone on gets kinda embarrassing right
now.

He casts nothing but spells, and is vulnerable to Silence. That's all there is
to it, just cast a Silence spell and you're done. You don't have to bother with
Slow, Stop, and all that, just cast Silence and attack the guy with offensive
spells. If you're getting low on MP, use Osmose. Try not to swallow anything
sharp while playing, it's the only situation I can imagine where a loss is
actually possible. If you brought either Locke or Shadow, equip Thief's Knives
and go for Holy Dragon's item, as both are nice.

If you arrived here with a solo-Mog party, the strategy is only slightly
different; since you don't want to take any chances, be sure you're equipped
with a Reflect Ring. If Mog doesn't know the Silence spell, equip Siren so Mog
can summon her for her Lunatic Voice attack. Now that Holy Dragon is at Mog's
mercy, just attack until he's dead.

When you're done, you get a Holy Lance from an event afterwards. This is to
make sure you don't get a Holy Lance every time you see the Holy Dragon on the
Veldt: YES, the cretin appears there! Makes quite a solid Rage too, casting
Holy and ID-protected and all.

The door in the fourth and last part of the stairway contains a Force Armor.
The Force Armor is a great piece of armor, especially for those characters
that have no other interesting pieces to equip (Locke, Cyan, Edgar, Setzer, and
Shadow). It doesn't really have that much on Defense (inferior to Crystal Mail),
but it's quite good on Magic Defense (only inferior to Genji Armor, rare
Snow Scarf, and oddball Reed Cloak), has great elemental advantages (50% Fire,
Ice, Lightning, Wind, and Earth-elemental damage) and an added 30% Magic
Evasion.

The Force Armor is inferior to the Minerva Bustier in every way except for the
Magic Evasion, so don't equip it on the girls; it's a genuine toss-up for the
boys, though. The Genji Armor is sturdier in both the Defense and Magic Defense
department and gives all-round stat boosts to boot; the Force Armor makes for a
more evasive character that is better suited to deal with elemental magical
attacks. I prefer the Force Armor for non-specific boss battles and the Genji
Armor for random encounters myself, but it's up to you.

Welcome to the roof of the Tower, where the 'wondrous' item lies. Enter the
little room to find a chest. As soon as you stand in front of the chest,
a bit is set; when you leave the room, with or without the contents of the
chest (the Soul of Thamasa Relic), you're going to be surrounded by members of
the Cult of Kefka and a wizard will come for you, so be prepared.

The Soul of Thamasa turns the Magic command into X-Magic. This means that you
can cast TWO spells in one turn. This is obviously great, and best applied to
those who rely heavily on their Magic skillset. The only drawback is the fact
that you will lose the ability to summon the Esper you have equipped. The Soul
of Thamasa is totally sweet, and a kind, loving mistress who's not afraid of the
leather if you're not, I might add.

[MAGICMASTER-LINK]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.69.2   The battle with the Magic Master
**********************************

So, we've battled mages from level 10 to level 90; at the very top was Kefka's
most treasured item, a gem-covered box containing the very soul of the town
of Thamasa, home to 1000 years of Mage Warrior generations. This prized relic
greatly enhances magical capabilities, allowing you to prepare two spells
simultaneously and casting them in quick succession. The treasure is guarded
though, by what may just be Kefka's strongest henchman. The ultimate mage:
Magic Master.

Yes, after all the pompous introductions, I suppose we'd better slap him
around a little bit until he allows us to leave.

Magic Master
Level: 68, HP: 50000, MP: 50000
Steal: Crystal Orb (rare), Elixir (common), Win: Megalixir (always)
Creature Type: Humanoid, MP Kill
Special: !Hit: Attack x 1.5
Sketch : Attack, Attack
Control: Attack, Ultima
Vulnerable to: Berserk
Attacks: Fira, Blizzara, Thundara, Bio, Firaga, Blizzaga, Thundaga, Death,
         Ultima, Silence, Barrier Change

Joker's Death: Yes/No
Do note though that you can NEVER use the Slot command on the Cultist's Tower,
so you won't actually be able to spin 7-7-7 in the first place. Later, in the
Soul Shrine, you will be able to use Joker's Death.

Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

Yesh. First turn, he casts a level two spell. Then, he casts a level 3 spell.
Then, he casts TWO level 3 spells. After that, another double cast of two level
3 spells. Another turn after, a single level 3 spell, and his last turn
before turning back to the level two spells can consist of Death, Bio, or
Silence. All of this is coming from a spectacular 50 (!!!) Magic Power, which
means that you absorb the attack, have the Reflect status, or die a
gargantuanesqually painful death. If Magic Master has the Reflect status
himself, he will bounce a level 3 spell off of himself every turn; Magic Master
will never self-apply the status, and there's no reason for you to cast it.

You may have noticed that every spell Magic Master uses is reflectable; and yes,
that they are. However, the thing with Magic Master is that not only is the
ULTIMATE mage, he's also fiercely loyal to Kefka. So it's only logical that
Magic Master would be able to cast the strongest spell in the game, Ultima;
and he won't let you go before casting it. As soon as you kill the Magic Master,
he will cast Ultima. It will deal between 5400 to 6100 damage to all of your
characters, and unless you've overleveled (level 53 with Muscle Belt, 58 with
Red Cap, 67 without any HP boosting equipment), that's just going to kill you
deader than Grandma's infamous road kill surprise.

Let's go through a few situations now:

- You're followed the walkthrough, or know Reraise at the very least:

Keep yourself draped in Reflect Rings at all times, as it will mean you are
invincible. Do NOT attack Magic Master; as soon as you do this, he will use
Barrier Change and he will start countering all your attacks with Barrier Change
making him that much harder to take down. He will also counter to his own
spells reflected back at him. If you just keep still, he won't start using
Barrier Change, not even under the torment of his own attacks. Cast Reraise on
all your characters, and just wait this one out. Eventually, when Magic Master
has killed himself, he'll cast Ultima, everybody dies and is subsequently
revived; you're free to go.

- You don't have Reraise:

This one's a tricky pony. You can cast Rasp over and over and over again
until his 50000 MP are all gone; he won't be able to cast Ultima now. You'll
have to keep him alive this way. This is easily done by casting the Berserk
spell on Magic Master while casting Vanish or summoning Phantom to protect
yourself. Now, Rasp away. It'll take a very long while. You can check his MP
score with the Libra spell. When he has less than 80 MP, you can kill him.
There you go.

Alternately, you could just damage a lot and summon Quetzalli; the trick here is
to kill Magic Master with one or more characters in the air. Ultima won't hit
them, so you win. If you want to do this, carefully keep track of his HP with
Libra; for optimum damage output, you'll want to equip barrier-piercing weapons
where possible (Ultima Weapon on Terra/Celes/Edgar/Locke, Valiant Knife on
Locke, Fixed Dice or Dice on Setzer) to try and circumvent Magic Master's crazy
250 Defense.

- You don't have Rasp...and you don't have Quetzalli either. Da-amn Tiffany,
  your personal fetish for self-inflicted torture is your business, but I'd
  suggest you try to keep the painful situations to a minimum. Of course, it's
  not that I myself mind but it's just that you're kind of a disgrace to
  everybody *around* you and quite frankly, I can only take so much before I
  just leave you and your issues alone to enjoy myself on the beaches of
  Florida.

Eh...yeah. Last chance, honest. Equip a character (Terra, Celes, Edgar) with
a Reflect Ring, Genji Glove, Rune Blade/Ragnarok/Lightbringer, and the Soul
Saber. The MP-critical weapon in the Right Hand, the MP draining weapon in the
Left Hand. Now, cast Berserk on Magic Master, Invisible on your party, and
Berserk and Haste on your magical weapon character. Every turn, he or she will
attack and deal (12...19) MP damage. If you're setting this up so you can go do
something else in the meantime (I trust you have taken a liking to your
sanity?), Berserk a Healing Rod character to make sure Magic Master doesn't die
from the physical blows. Honestly, this is going to take AGES.

- You don't have that either?

Why in God's name did you see it fit to come up here anyway? I suppose pulling
the power on your SNES right before Magic Master casts Ultima stops him from
using it. If you're reading this and hope for yet another strategy as this is
the situation you're in, I somehow don't think you thought your cunning plan
all the way through.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.70.1   Finding the hay in the needlestack; the battle with Gigantuar
**********************************

I assume you know Garfield. Y'know, the 'lazy, fat, selfish, orange,
anthropomorphic tabby cat who enjoys eating, sleeping, stealing Jon's meals, and
being mean to Odie by kicking him off the table'? Heh, that reminds me of that
project where they systematically remove Garfield's thought bubbles from every
strip, reducing Jon to a lonely, pathetic, delusional man who rants to his cat
about sock drawers while wearing cowboy hats of various sizes. But I disgress;
what Garfield has with mondays, I have with Gigantuar. Ugh.

[GIGANTUAR-LINK]

  Opponents:
  Slagworm (#175), Cactuar (#176), Gigantuar (#345)

  Magicite:
  Cactuar

"You still haven't beaten those cactuars? Stop poking around! I'm on pins and
needles here!"

"I'll tell you something good if you manage to take down 1O of the little guys,
so give it your best shot!"

"Wow, you managed to take down 1O cactuars, did you? I guess I'd better hold up
my end of the deal!"

"Before, when I was walking through the desert to the south, I spotted a
humongous cactuar. A monster of that size has to have some good treasure. I'd
bet my right eye on it!"

As a whole slew of dummied lines from this game will tell you, the trick here
is to defeat 10 Cactuars (you can check your Bestiary under Config if you want
to know where you are), at which points a single tile on the Overworld Map will
trigger the Gigantuar battle as soon as you step on it. This tile is located
in the middle of the south-western stretch of desert south of Maranda, where
the Cactuars roam.

NOTE: due to a programming oversight, if you fly Gau from the Veldt straight
into the Gigantuar battle, he´ll retain his Leap command. If you execute it,
you won´t have won the battle and you won´t obtain the Magicite, and you'll
have another shot at seeing him. Gau will have returned to the Veldt as he
normally would after a succesful Leap command, but since Gigantuar has no
Rage availabe to him, Gau will be none the wiser.

Gigantuar is the third of the four new Espers. Except it's not really an Esper,
now is it? Look at it's bloated moustachio’d visage. What the hell does it think
is is, a 30-foot Salvador Dali? My hatred of this cross between a giant cactus
and a comically retarded maître d' is only magnified by the fact it's so
difficult to destroy the thing. Even the Rafflesia Rage, usually my solution
to things I dislike profusely, will fail the innocent player when going toe to
needle with this thing.

Gigantuar
Level: 68, HP: 30000, MP: 4500
Steal: nothing (common), Win: nothing (always)
Nullifies: Fire, Weak against: Water
Special: !Knockdown: Attack x 5
Sketch : 1000 Needles, !Knockdown
Control: Attack
Vulnerable to: nothing
Attacks: !Knockdown, 1000 Needles

Joker's Death: Yes
Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

Gigantuar's strategy is so simple. He'll use 1000 Needles twice the first turn,
as well as the second turn. The third turn, he'll use four times 1000 Needles.
Loop. When you damage the thing, it'll have a 66 % shot at countering with
!Knockdown, which ofcourse is stupifyingly powerful. When you manage the kill
the thing, it'll retaliate with ten times 1000 Needles. So the trick isn't
really killing the thing, as any doofus can do it. The trick is to get away with
it. Just like in real life! Fortunately, unlike real life, you can Save just
before the occassion.

You need to be able to do three things if you want to defeat Gigantuar and live
to tell the tale. First, you have to be able to stay alive long enough to
execute great amounts of damage, which means in most cases +2000 HP on every
character. Step two is the great amounts of damage. Gigantuar has perfect
Evasion and Magic Evasion and extremely decent Defense ang Magic Defense, so
unless the attacks you're using are both unblockable and barrier-piercing,
you'll get nowhere. Last, you need to be able to cast Reraise or summon
Quetzalli or Jump, the latter of which is tedious and prone to extreme failure
if you're not playing on an emulator.

Gigantuar's wicked fast, so it's tough to keep up. Bring a Hastega caster to the
fight, and make sure you're able to summon Fenrir to deal with !Knockdown.
Curaga spells are very powerful, and having one or two character with the White
Wind Lore makes a real difference. Being able to cast Arise and Reraise are both
great assests to this battle. Prayer Beads and Hermes Sandals both duplicate
effects you can set in-battle, but if you'd rather have Haste or great Evasive
powers from the get-go, salvation lies in them.

On the offense, you have ample options. Mages are fairly worthless unless they
know how to summon Bahamut or cast Ultima. Combining the Master's Scroll with
Locke's Valiant Knife or Setzer's Fixed Dice makes for great results. Phantom
Rush and Grand Delta are powerful attacks as well. If you brought characters
due to their supportive spell selection but don't want them to be offensively
inept, buy a few Holy Rods to chuck at Gigantuar; the resulting Holy spell will
be both unblockable and barrier-piercing, as is any spell coming from a broken
rod.

Gigantuar has 30000 HP. Try to keep track of it a bit so you can guess when to
Jump. Sadly enough, you really stand the best chances if you just pound away
with Curaga and Reraise while dishing out as much damage as you can. If you
lack Reraise, you'll likely fail. The best approach is to have your first
character Jump and try to off Gigantuar in that same round with your other three
characters using Quick. If you lack both Quick and Reraise but have one
character with +4000 HP (2641 + Muscle Belt) you can even try to outlast
Gigantuar. Never attack, only heal yourself every round. After 90 times having
using 1000 Needles, Gigantuar will be out of Needles, so the only attack you'll
have to worry about as soon as you're going on the offense is !Knockdown, which
Vanish takes care of.

If you fail, no worries. It happens to the best of us. You'll be able to start
over with a better grasp of Gigantuar's move pattern. In the end, you'll
prevail. An alternate philosphy by Linkin' Park statest that in the end, nothing
really matters. Considering you're playing a video game, that's also true.

"You defeated that huge cactuar? Nice work!"

You won't obtain the Gigantuar Esper, but the Cactuar 'Esper', which teaches
Teleport, Vanish and Hastega. All that work for this? Cactuar's summon attack
will deal 1000 damage to all enemies on-screen, but there's a (10 percent?)
chance Gigantuar will appear dealing 9999 damage with his 10,000 Needles?
attack. The only thing Cactuar adds to the list is a +2 Speed on level-up. Yeah,
whatever. Only those who are slow in the head raise speed.

If you hated this entire ordeal, don't feel like an outcast. Nearly everyone
hates Gigantuar, in the way that nearly everyone hates watching old people make
out without their teeth in.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.71.1   End-game character evaluation
**********************************

So, I'll be discussing characters here as they perform at this point, just to
give you some comparison. I won't be advising Lightbringer or Paladin's Shield,
as I can't expect you to have it. Most Relic slots will be left empty if no
Relics are vital to the set-ups we're going for (Dragoon Boots/Dragon Horn and
all that are mentioned, as is Berserker Ring on Umaro, as not equipping it is
folly).

As far as the Lightbringer goes, you'll want to give it to Locke, as the girls
really don't need it, and Edgar has enough damage potential too. The Paladin
Shield is best given to a character that otherwise needs Thunder Shields to gain
elemental advantages; characters such as Strago, Gogo, and Sabin come to mind
(especially because they really enjoy the defensive increases).

A note about the Genji Helms here. Genji Helms are often the best helmets
you can land on a character, yet they are rare. End-game, you have two Red Caps,
a Hypno Crown, a Royal Crown in your inventory; all can be turned into a Genji
Helm at the Coliseum (Red Cap - Hypno Crown - Royal Crown - Genji Helm). Red
Caps are superior to Genji Helms in my opinion, the Hypno Wave is usable in an
NMG and the Royal Crown is plain garbage in the end. You can have up to six
Genji Helms in the end, but you'll probably want to end up with three or four.
In the suggestions I list, I list five character with a Genji Helm, as well
as two with a Red Cap. This isn't possible per se. However, you can switch the
Genji Helms between groups, and with the party recommendation I give it's
entirely possible. In the final battle, hey, you can't. Circlets are the best
back-up helmets. Gau is the only one who has specific use for a Genji Helm,
since disregarding oddities such as the Paladin's Shield and Thornlet, he needs
it to reach 255 Defense.

Terra                           Terra (alternate 128% Magic Evasion set-up)

Enhancer                        Enhancer
Aegis Shield                    Force Shield
Mystery Veil                    Mystery Veil
Minerva Buster                  Force Armor
-                               White Cape
-                               White Cape

Strength: 32                    Strength: 31
Speed: 36                       Speed: 34
Stamina: 29                     Stamina: 28
Magic Power: 53                 Magic Power: 49
Attack: 147                     Attack: 147
Defense: 200                    Defense: 145
Evasion%: 25                    Evasion%: 5
Magic Defense: 180              Magic Defense: 206
Magic Evasion%: 87              Magic Evasion%: 137
Absorbs:                        Absorbs:
Nullifies: Fire, Ice,           Nullifies:
Lightning, Wind
Resists: Poison, Holy, Earth,   Resists: Fire, Lightning, Ice, Wind, Earth
Water

Terra kicks all kinds of ass late-game; she gets to wield all the best equips
out there; I won't count on the Lightbringer, but I *will* count on the Minerva
Bustier. Late-game Terra nullifies four elements and takes 50% from the other
four. Her main point of offense is her Magic skillset, obviously, meaning that
she can fling the four of the most popular elements to be weak against - Fire,
Ice, Lightning, Holy - with considerable force. A level 3 spell coming from
Terra is going to leave a mark coming from her horribly bloated Magic Power,
and her Magic Evasion is pretty stellar.

Her alternate set-up is shooting for > 128% Magic Evasion. Not as awesome as it
was in alternate versions, it's still noteworthy since physical attacks are so
easily repelled by Ferir and Golem. Not a very practical set-up for random
encounters, but some magically included bosses will have major trouble with this
Terra.

Locke

Valiant Knife
Thunder Shield
Genji Helm
Genji Armor
Muscle Belt
-

Strength: 42
Speed: 43
Stamina: 33
Magic Power: 31
Attack: 159
Defense: 215
Evasion%: 35
Magic Defense: 169
Magic Evasion%: 12
Absorbs: Thunder
Nullifies: Wind
Resists: Fire, Ice

Pretty much the only remarkable feature of this set-up is the fact it includes
the Muscle Belt. Locke lacks any real awesome armor (in fact, he's pretty much
the schoolbook average Defensive character), so the Muscle Belt doesn't hurt to
boost him there. In addition, the more HP Locke has to lose, the more power he
can channel into that blue blade of happiness he carries around, the
Valiant Knife. Nothing much else to say, really; Locke can really enjoy the
Master's Scroll if you're looking for that other Relic to accompany the Muscle
Belt. Note that Red Cap doesn't stack with the Muscle Belt when it comes to HP
boosts. Locke's primary concern is his complete and utter lack of Magic Evasion,
but this is his best shot.

Cyan

Zantetsuken
Aegis Shield
Genji Helm
Genji Armor
-
-

Strength: 45
Speed: 31
Stamina: 35
Magic Power: 28
Attack: 233
Defense: 220
Evasion%: 26
Magic Defense: 190
Magic Evasion%: 41
Absorbs:
Nullifies:
Resists:

I don't really like this set-up, but then again, I don't really like anything
on Cyan (or should be something exceedingly heavy and/or spikey, heh). It's
as good as it's going to get, though. Defense, Magice Defense and evasive
abilities are  all normal. The only point of debate is the weapon of Cyan. Some
claim that since Fang outdamages the Attack command at all times, you should
only consider using a weapon that has an added effect, be it either
Masamune's 10 % Evasion, Zantetsuken's 25 % slice effect or Kazekiri's 50 % Wind
Slash attack. If slicing is any kind of option I find a Death spell far and away
superior, and Wind Slash? A 48 Base Power magical attack coming from CYAN? Nay,
while the above philosophy is actually sported by some respected peers, I find
that Attacks' targetable nature is often more useful than Wind Slash or random
ID, so stick with your strongest weapon, also when you should find the more
powerful yet largely featureless Mutsunokami in the near future.

Shadow

Thief's Knife
Thunder Shield
Genji Helm
Genji Armor
-
-

Strength: 44
Speed: 44
Stamina: 32
Magic Power: 36
Attack: 111
Defense: 216
Evasion%: 58
Magic Defense: 171
Magic Evasion%: 29
Absorbs: Lightning
Nullifies: Wind
Resists: Fire, Ice

What can I say about Shadow here? Apart from his weapon, his defenses are
entirely standard. You'd expect something more evasive and less durable for a
Ninja, I'm sure, but this is what the game gives us. You can take Shadow any
ol' way you like; give him two Earrings and watch his magical Scrolls perform
decently; give him a Hero's Ring and a Hyper Wrist (due to Throw, actually
fairly effective) and watch feable Shuriken clean house; pass on both Force
Shield and Swordbreaker to make for that mad-dodging-Ninja you might think would
fit him, I don't really care. Shadow has, as is befitting of a true cold-hearted
warrior, no actual weaknesses to defend or extreme strengths to exploit, so have
a field day with him.

Edgar

Holy Lance
Force Shield
Genji Helm
Genji Armor
Dragoon Boots
Dragon Horn

Strength: 59
Speed: 30
Stamina: 34
Magic Power: 32
Attack: 214
Defense: 176
Evasion%: 4
Magic Defense: 210
Magic Evasion%: 51
Absorbs:
Nullifies:
Resists: Fire, Ice, Lightning, Wind, Earth, Water

Canon Hiryuu Dragoon Edgar, I'd say. Obviously there's always the choice which
(if any) piece of Genji equipment is replaced by an item that grants elemental
properties. I liked this one the best, as it gives Edgar superior Magic Defense
(honestly, 210 is really good), and while his Defense is lacking here, his
status as Dragoon makes sure he will take far less physical hits than other
characters anyway. Inherent Shell coming from the shield is nice icing on the
proverbial cake, and 51% Magic Evasion is plain solid. Edgar is mainly working
his Jump attacks here, which means he's pretty limited to rather uncontrollable
and random Holy-elemental damage, but he's very good at it. The only non-Magic
skills Edgar may still use are Noiseblaster and Air Anchor (possibly Drill if
you want to go for a sure and quick kill when you know the enemy is weakened
enough).

Sabin                                   Sabin (Merit Award set-up)

Tigerfangs                              Enhancer
Genji Shield                            Genji Shield
Red Cap                                 Circlet
Red Jacket                              Genji Armor
-                                       Merit Award
-                                       -

Strength: 59                            Strength: 54
Speed: 44                               Speed: 41
Stamina: 47                             Stamina: 44
Magic Power: 32                         Magic Power: 42
Attack: 241                             Attack: 161
Defense: 209                            Defense: 222
Evasion%: 32                            Evasion%: 32
Magic Defense: 143                      Magic Defense: 170
Magic Evasion%: 24                      Magic Evasion%: 44
Absorbs:                                Absorbs:
Nullifies: Fire                         Nullifies:
Resists:                                Resists:

Yes, with the Red Jacket as your ultimate armor, you can't expect to be very
well suited to take hits, and with a grotesquely low Magic Defense as 143 that
quickly becomes apparent. It was a toss-up for me between Thunder Shield and
Genji Shield; Sabin could use the elemental properties, sure, but switching
means that Sabin's Magic Defense lowers to 121, which is just plain
unacceptable. Since in this game extra Defense matters more if you have high
Defense in the first place, Sabin will like the Red Cap better than the Genji
Helm's superior defenses. Defense is more or less okay-ish, slightly lower than
most characters. Horrid evasiave properties too. On the offense, Sabin is
basically a two-trick pony; Razor Gale for MT damage and Phantom Rush for ST
damage. Unless you know it'll do the trick or you have a good follow-up move,
Razor Gale is pretty obsolete in the final dungeon; you want to kill or disable,
not randomly throw damage around (it ain't Seiken Densetsu III, folks). Once
again, Sabin relies on his Magic Power, so stick at least one Hero's Ring/
Earring on him (he will also like defensive Relics such as Guard Bracelet and
Miracle Shoes. Muscle Belt works, in which case you should swap the Red Cap for
a Genji Helm).

On the alternate set-up: some players frown upon the Merit Award, but I feel
it will help Sabin greatly in the final parts of this game. At the loss of
a single Relic slot and Fire nullifying, Sabin gains here + 10 Magic Power,
13 Defense, 27 Magic Defense, and 20% Magic Evasion. I say Sabin wins here.
Replace Enhancer with Magus Rod where possible for 10% extra Magic Evasion and
33 extra Attack Power.

Celes                           Celes (alternate 128% Magic Evasion set-up)

Enhancer                        Enhancer
Aegis Shield                    Force Shield
Mystery Veil                    Mystery Veil
Minerva Bustier                 Force Armor
-                               White Cape
-                               -

Strength: 35                    Strength: 34
Speed: 37                       Speed: 35
Stamina: 32                     Stamina: 31
Magic Power: 50                 Magic Power: 46
Attack: 151                     Attack: 151
Defense: 202                    Defense: 142
Evasion%: 27                    Evasion%: 7
Magic Defense: 178              Magic Defense: 199
Magic Evasion%: 89              Magic Evasion%: 129
Absorbs:                        Absorbs:
Nullifies: Fire, Ice,           Nullifies:
Lightning, Wind
Resists: Poison, Holy, Earth,   Resists: Fire, Lightning, Ice, Wind, Earth
Water

Celes is entirely like Terra with some very, very subtle stat differences and
one major one; Celes has 2 extra inherent Magic Evasion which means that she
needs 10 coming from equipment to reach that perfect 128. This, again, means
that Celes can pull off Terra's road to perfect evasion while still making room
for a Relic such as Prayer Beads. That's good!

Relm                            Relm (alternate 128 Magic Evasion% set-up)

Magus Rod                       Magus Rod
Genji Shield                    Force Shield
Cat-Ear Hood                    Cat-Ear Hood
Behemoth Suit                   Magus Robe
-                               White Cape
-                               White Cape

Strength: 32                    Strength: 26
Speed: 42                       Speed: 36
Stamina: 28                     Stamina: 22
Magic Power: 61                 Magic Power: 60
Attack: 179                     Attack: 179
Defense: 216                    Defense: 146
Evasion%: 43                    Evasion%: 23
Magic Defense: 186              Magic Defense: 193
Magic Evasion%: 69              Magic Evasion%: 129
Absorbs:                        Absorbs:
Nullifies:                      Nullifies:
Resists: Fire, Ice, Lightning,  Resists: Fire, Ice, Lightning, Wind, Holy,
Wind, Holy, Earth               Earth

61 fricking Magic Power! Yeah, Relm is a PURE Mage end-game. Sketch sucks
beyond all human comprehension, and her physicals are nothing compared to her
magical damage output. On the main set-up, her element protection comes from the
Cat-Ear Hood, meaning she won't actually absorb or nullify anything, which is a
darn shame - she will still take less damage than most characters, however.

On the alternate set-up: a perfect Magic Evasion set-up. The good thing here is
that she only needs ONE item you may want on another character to get there;
everything else is either store-bought or pretty much Relm-focused anyway.
Great Magic Power still, and her elemental resistances don't suffer either.
A far greater set-up than the 'basic' one if you have the goods to spare.

Strago

Magus Rod
Thunder Shield
Circlet
Behemoth Suit
-
-

Strength: 36
Speed: 32
Stamina: 28
Magic Power: 51
Attack: 178
Defense: 195
Evasion%: 26
Magic Defense: 147
Magic Evasion%: 47
Absorbs: Lightning
Nullifies: Wind
Resists: Fire, Ice

Yes, as you can see, late-game Strago's Magic Power doesn't differ much from
Terra's, even though the old man's less magically adept than the moody
shapeshiftress ever was; you can thank the Magic-boosting equips for that.
Strago is inferior to Terra in his role as Magic wielder, but where Terra has
Trance, Strago has Lore. This is only partially useful late-game; Mighty Guard,
White Wind to heal through Reflect Rings and Runic, and Grand Delta if Strago is
Ultima-less. I'd say in the end, Strago isn't the hottest mage around, but
since his Lores do add a certain degree of extra flexibility that Terra lacks,
even though it's mostly on paper, Strago isn't completely outclassed. Pretty
bad Magic Defense though, especially considering Strago is a mage himself.

Setzer                          Setzer (Imp set-up)

Fixed Dice                      Fixed Dice
Genji Shield                    Tortoise Shield
Genji Helm                      Saucer
Force Armor                     Reed Cloak
Master's Scroll                 Master's Scroll
-                               -

Strength: 36                    Strength: 36
Speed: 32                       Speed: 32
Stamina: 32                     Stamina: 32
Magic Power: 29                 Magic Power: 29
Attack: 19                      Attack: 19
Defense: 207                    Defense: 255
Evasion%: 29                    Evasion%: 39
Magic Defense: 182              Magic Defense: 234
Magic Evasion%: 51              Magic Evasion%: 31
Absorbs:                        Absorbs: Water
Nullifies:                      Nullifies:
Resists: Fire, Ice, Lightning,  Resists:
Wind, Earth

Right. I had a hard time deciding between Thunder Shield/Genji Armor and
Genji Shield/Force Armor; the first one has great Defense and handles Lightning-
and Wind-elemental attacks better, this one resists more elements and has a
higher Magic Defense. Since magical attacks tend to be more dangerous end-game,
this won the fair-day goose. Solid Defense, solid Magic Defense, pretty much
standard evasive capabilities and the Fixed Dice. Setzer will be throwing the
Fixed Dice for damage. That means that he's entirely random, especially when
paired with the Master's Scroll as you can't target specific enemies either that
way.

On the alternate set-up: Yes, this will need you to have the Imp status set.
Perfect Defense, stunning Magic Defense, Setzer will just be a lot harder to
take down. His bane here is status ailments, as 31-39% evasive scores aren't
that high, and since you need Imp, you can't equip a Ribbon. He'll lose his
Magic skillset too, so unless you have three other characters with decent Magic
skillsets, the tradeoff might not be worth it.

Mog

Holy Lance
Genji Shield
Circlet
Snow Scarf
Dragoon Boots
Dragon Horn

Strength: 31
Speed: 37
Stamina: 29
Magic Power: 42
Attack: 210
Defense: 255
Evasion%: 40
Magic Defense: 195
Magic Evasion%: 42
Absorbs: Ice
Nullifies:
Resists: Fire

The reason I'm going with this set-up is simply the fact that gosh-golly Colonel
Sanders, I'm afraid we're running out of Genji Helms. This isn't much of a
concern to Mog, though. This is his Dragoon set-up, and it's pretty much his
only choice, as the little guy doesn't have the equipment to back him up as a
great mage. Perfect Defense, great Magic Defense, very acceptable Magic Power
should you want to sneak in a spell or like to see a Holy spell employed on
that ever-precious final Jump attack. A tad scrawny on the 'elemental
protection' category, but with nigh-200 Magic Defense, it's not that bad.

Gau

-
Thunder Shield
Genji Helm
Snow Scarf
White Cape
-

Strength: 44
Speed: 38
Stamina: 36
Magic Power: 34
Attack: 109
Defense: 255
Evasion%: 51
Magic Defense: 195
Magic Evasion%: 48
Absorbs: Ice, Lightning
Nullifies: Wind
Resists: Fire

In my opinion the Thunder Shield/White Cape combo is superior to Genji Shield/
whatever Relic you want for a 255 Defense set-up; he's better with the elements
and gains immunity to two nasty status ailments. Genji Shield gives more Magic
Defense though. If you're REALLY into Rages, Genji Shield is superior, as you
don't need the shield's elemental properties since you know how to self-apply
them at every turn. Anyway, this set-up turns Gau into a tank; 255 Defense means
immunity to physical damage that's not barrier-piercing, and 195 Magic Defense
is very high as well. Very nice elemental attributes too, and standard amounts
of evasive capabilities. On the offense, Gau really doesn't have a lot to offer
anymore; Rages tend to be inferior to Magic by now, so he'll just be casting
spells with far less power than characters such as Celes and Relm. Gau shines on
the defensive side, though.

Gogo

Magus Rod
Thunder Shield
Red Cap
Magus Robe
-
-

Strength: 29
Speed: 33
Stamina: 22
Magic Power: 38
Attack: 181
Defense: 174
Evasion%: 30
Magic Defense: 120
Magic Evasion%: 56
Absorbs: Lightning
Nullifies: Wind
Resists: Fire, Ice

Yeah, Gogo does NOT take hits very well. The Genji Helm over the Red Cap
would have helped its defenses somewhat, but the 25% HP boost will help Gogo
better in the long run. Thunder Shields elemental resistances really help Gogo's
survivability, but it's best to stick a protective Relic on it nonetheless;
if you go with Muscle Belt, swap the Red Cap for a Genji Helm. For the
offense, Gogo should totally go with Throw on bosses and Phantom Rush on
randoms.

Umaro

Bone Club


Snow Scarf
Berserker Ring
-

Strength: 62
Speed: 33
Stamina: 46
Magic Power: 37
Attack: 198
Defense: 217
Evasion%: 18
Magic Defense: 158
Magic Evasion%: 15
Absorbs: Fire, Ice
Nullifies: Lightning
Resists:

Yes, Umaro's stats are pretty good, but it's a shame that we can't really take
advantage of them. Umaro's Defense is above average, but the flip side of the
coin is that you'll want him in the Front Row to deal better damage with his
Attacks. Magic Defense is obviously sub-par; better than the likes of
Gogo and Sabin (and even Strago), but still sub-par. Absorbing or nullifying
the three basic elements is great, but on the offense, Umaro is both
strategically unfit AND too weak to still make a good party member, even with
the previously named advantages. Umaro is still superior to Magic-less Relms or
poorly raised Gaus, though.

So, that's my say on the characters at the final stage. I'm sure your undying
love for everything Sabin might make you want to disagree with me, but I think
this is a fairly solid objective view on the task at hand.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.72.1   Kefka's Tower: Preparation and explanation
**********************************

Right. When you're fully prepared to tackle the final dungeon, you can fly
over there. What does 'fully prepared' mean? Well, the following are nice
additions to your party:

- Make sure you have good equipment on everybody. Crystal Mail and Mythril
  Shields are unacceptable.
- Phoenix Downs are great. Not every character may know a Raise spell, and you
  will want to respond ASAP to fallen allies.
- You should have more Gil than you'll know what to do with. Buy some
  Thunder Blades, Icebrands and Flametongues in the Albrook Weapon Shop. They
  make great ammunition for Shadow and Gogo against the many bosses you'll
  be fighting.
- Speaking of Gil, do you remember Lv. ? Holy? NO enemy in Kefka's Tower will
  ever drop an amount of Gil that's not divisible by 10. This means that when
  you set the last digit of your Gil stack to 1, you'll gain an MT
  Holy-elemental attack that's as powerful as a MT'd level 3 spell. The
  easiest way of reaching #######1 Gil is by obtaining and selling Magicite
  Shards, which sell for 1 Gil a piece.

Team recommendations:

#1                 #2                  #3
                   (Gold Dragon)       (Skull Dragon)
                   (Ultima Buster)     (Inferno)
-------------------------------------------------------(switch decision)
(Fiend)            (Goddess)           (Guardian)
                                       (Demon)

Celes              Terra               Edgar
Locke              Setzer              Sabin
Strago             Relm                Cyan / Gogo
Mog                Shadow              Gau / Gogo


Locke   Setzer  Gau
Relm    Terra   Cyan
Strago  Edgar   Mog
Shadow  Sabin   Celes

Here's a quick rundown on what the three parties will face. Half-way there's a
switch for party #1. Going left or right affects the paths of all three parties,
so I'm giving both scenarios here.

#1 will know the most random encounters in the first part of the dungeon, but
doesn't face any bosses before the left/right choice. If #1 goes left, these
will have to face off against Fiend and Ultima Buster; if #1 goes to the right,
they'll have to face Goddess.

#2 will meet Ultima Buster and the Gold Dragon. If #1 goes to the left, #2 will
also face Goddess; if #1 goes to the right, these will face off against
Guardian and Demon.

#3 will have to defeat Inferno and the Skull Dragon in their travels. If #1
goes left, these will have to face Guardian and Demon; if #1 go to the right,
they'll come across Fiend.

Party #1 will fight the most random encounters, but won't fight any bosses.
I'd say the #3 party sees the toughest road ahead of it; Inferno is one of
those Number 128/Air Force-esque "One Main Man And Two Parasitic Lackeys" bosses
which tend to take a lot out of the party.

This walkthrough has Party #1 go to the left.

This is the best overall formation I could come up with. Why is that? Let's
take a look at my genius:

Edgar, Terra, and Celes are all on different teams. There will always be a spot
on each of the teams to use the amazing Lightbringer. You decide if you want it
on Celes or Locke in their team, though.

Locke, Setzer, and Gau are the characters that will benefit the most from the
unique Relic that is the Master's Scroll; this way, none of them will ever have
to go without it as you can switch it around.

Without giving too many spoilers, the teams are somewhat based on the bosses
they'll face. Strago should be around for Fiend, since that battle is the only
battle in the game he can learn a certain Lore. Fiend also has a great item for
you to Steal, the finite item Safety Bit, so Locke is there to take it.
Obviously, you could swap out Locke for Gogo. The Goddess fight is easier with
ID Protection applied, and sending the two Memento Ring wearers to fight her
makes life easier. Sending Gogo into party #3 is a good idea, since Guardian
has a good Force Armor for you to take if you have a thief.

The above is assuming you want to take all twelve 'character' characters with
you, and not the hidden characters that can't equip Espers. Based on your
style of play, it is possible you have a very weak character in Gau, and Cyan
just plain isn't that great. Swapping either one of them out for Gogo is a good
idea. I don't advise on Umaro in this walkthrough.

All done?

Ready.

Set.

Go.

"It shinnied up like a monkey on a stick - and suddenly its face was pressed
against the tough plastic sheet Will Hanlon had put over each of the pages in
his book. Beverly screamed again and this time Eddie joined her, although his
scream was faint and blue-breathless. The plastic bulged out - later they would
all agree they saw it. Bill saw the bulb of the clown's red nose flatten, the
way your nose will flatten when you press it against a windowpane.

'Kill you all!' The clown was laughing and screaming. 'Try to stop me and
I'll kill you all! Drive you crazy and them kill you all! You can't stop me!
I'm the Gingerbread Man! I'm the Teenage Werewolf!'"

- King, Stephen (1986) It

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.72.2   Kefka's Tower: Reconnaissance
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Yojimbo (#239), Dark Force (#240), Muud Suud (#241), Fiend Dragon (#242),
  Mover (#243), Cherry (#244), Vector Lythos (#245), Primeval Dragon (#246),
  Landworm (#247), Gamma (#248), Great Malboro (#249), Outsider (#250), Demon
  Knight (#251), Duel Armor (#252), Great Behemoth (#253), Vector Chimera
  (#254), Fortis (#255), Junk (#256), InnoSent (#257), Daedalus (#258), Ahriman
  (#259), Death Machine (#260), Metal Hitman (#261), Prometheus (#262), Inferno
  (#348), Rahu (#349), Ketu (#350), Gold Dragon (#339), Skull Dragon (#343),
  Ultima Buster (#351), Guardian (#352), Fiend (#353), Goddess (#354), Demon
  (#355)

  Container contents:
  Aegis Shield, Fixed Dice, Force Armor x2, Force Shield, Gauntlet, Hero's Ring,
  Hypno Crown, Megalixir, Minerva Bustier, Nutkin Suit, Pinwheel x2, Rainbow
  Brush, Red Cap, Ribbon

  Miscellaneous items:
  Air Anchor (rare Gamma steal), Blood Sword (common Ultima Buster steal),
  Chainsaw (rare Dual Armor steal), Crystal Orb (guaranteed Gold Dragon drop,
  rare Ultima Buster steal), Excalibur (guaranteed Goddess drop), Flame Shield
  (rare Rahu steal and rare Ketu steal), Force Armor (common Guardian steal),
  Guard Bracelet (rare Fiend Dragon steal), Ice Shield (rare Inferno steal),
  Masamune (rare Yojimbo steal), Minerva Bustier (rare Goddess steal), Muscle
  Belt (guaranteed Skull Dragon drop), Mutsunokami (guaranteed Fiend drop),
  Pinwheel (rare Demon Knight steal), Radiant Lance (guaranteed Demon drop) Red
  Jacket (rare Demon steal), Ribbon (rare Guardian steal), Safety Bit (rare
  Fiend steal), Stoneblade (rare Outsider steal), Thunder Shield (rare Muud
  Suud steal), Tigerfang (rare Great Behemoth steal)

  Lores:
  Doom, Roulette, Tsunami, Aero, 1000 Needles, Mighty Guard, Revege Blast,
  White Wind, Lv. 5 Death, Lv. 4 Flare, Lv. 3 Confuse, Reflect ???, Lv. ? Holy,
  Traveler, Dischord, Bad Breath, Transfusion, Rippler, Quasar, Self-Destruct

  Magicite:
  Crusader

Since Kefka's Tower is so incredibly large and knows such an incredible variety
in monster formations, monsters and areas, I'm going to lay the monsters down
for you when you reach a room where you start meeting them, okay?

********************************************************************************
Start with Party 1

You'll start with Party #1, the left-most party. You can walk a nice distance
into the dungeon, but you'll have to open the path of Party #1 up with both
Party #2 and Party #3 at one point. Since equipment swapping is tedious, I'd
rather complete its travels in one go. Stay where you are and switch to your
friends in the middle.

********************************************************************************
Switch to Party 2

Kefka's Tower (garbage Slopes)
Behemoth King, Great Malboro, Vector Lythos (6/16)
Vector Lythos, Vector Lythos, Vector Lythos, Vector Lythos (5/16)
Primeval Dragon, Great Malboro (5/16)

Ri-hi-hight, let's get this baby cracking. Naturally, since you're in the final
dungeon and all, you're assuming that these cretins are going to be very, very
tough on you. You're kinda semi-right. They can be mean if you let them, but as
that went for quite a few other monsters out there there's nothing to really
worry about. Since the How-to-Blitz topics have been at a steady 472.3 to 1 rate
to the How-to-defeat-Kefka topics, I've always known that idiots tend to get
filtered out early, so you're capable and all. Let's discuss, man to man.

Warning: this chapter has a lot of monster descriptions because there are so
many of them, and they're so interesting.

Vector Lythos. 'Lythos', that's Latin for stone. And it's not even immune to
Petrification (though only Dread Gaze will work). They like to attack physically
(this includes !Bite, which is just a tad stronger than Attack) and use
Fireball. They're weak to Ice-elemental attacks like all lizards, but also to
Water, so a Flood spell isn't a half-bad idea if you like using obscure attacks
to hit elemental weaknesses. They're immune to ID attacks, and you can Sketch
(75%) and Control them for White Wind attacks, which may help you.

Great Malboro is spunky and nasty. These nasty plants attack physically only
under normal circumstances. When hit by a Magic spell they have a 1/3 chance of
attacking with a !Infernal Kiss attack, which sets Death. When alone, they will
use Bad Breath, like their tomb-dwelling brethren. They absorb every element but
the Fire element, to which they are weak like good little plants. They are
vulnerable to every status ailment too, including Death, so use that to your
advantage. Note that while Magic is usually a big no-no versus these guys, they
will do nothing once they are dead, so FATAL Magic spells yield no counters.
If you're sure you're going to do more than 7000 HP of damage or just cast
Break, Death or Banish, there's nothing to worry about.

Great Behemoths like to think of themselves as bigger, better versions of
Behemoths, but in reality they really, truly are. They attack physically and
with the Meteor spell (shaves off about 1500 HP, which is quite painful) and
counter any damage done by !Haymaker (Attack * 4). They're weak to Ice like
normal Behemoths, but they have ID protection, which certainly makes their omni
-counter all the more annoying. Thankfully, they are vulnerable to Sleep and
Stop. It's a good idea to set one of them before attacking as !Haymaker hurts. I
should add a final note about the fact you can't run from them. Oh yeah, and you
can steal rare Tigerfangs from them. Tigerfangs are fairly pointless on Sabin by
this point, especially if you already have one, but you might appreciate the
novelty behind having more than one. If your one of those Sabin + Genji Glove +
Master's Scroll + dual Tigerfangs crazies, be my guest.

And stop reading. You have learned nothing.

Party #2 starts out in front of a broken conveyer belt. Go down and enter the
door. Use ID attacks on the Great Malboro and Stop on the Great Behemoths. When
you enter the door, you'll enter a cave. You're now in a CAVE made out of 
garbage. Boy, talk about messed up feng shui! Mog's home dance here is the Dusk
Requiem.

(Garbage caves party #2)
Primeval Dragon, Primeval Dragon (10/16)
Great Malboro, Great Malboro, Great Malboro (6/16)

Primeval Dragon has always kinda stood out for me, as it's the opponent most
prone to ID attacks while being immune to ID attacks, if that makes sense. It's
one of the strongest monsters susceptible to the Dread Gaze attack coming from a
Deepeye Rage, and the Ragnarok Esper has a nigh-100% Hit Rate too. For a
dinosaur, it sure knows some funky attacks; it borrowed Lifeshaver from those
blasted flying skeletons and is also able to produce the Atomic Rays attacks
usually found on machines; Atomic Rays is probably something breath-related or
something. Their Special, !Heave, is very powerful too. The Imp status really
cripples them, as does the Stop status. Weak to Ice, as logic would imply.

There's a chest smacked in a random corner, containing a Minerva Bustier. All
the conveyer belts here are broken. You'll come across two doors now; one is
more or less hidden, but both are indicated by the signs hanging over the doors.
The one to the top will get you to a Pinwheel in a chest. To the south, you'll
enter the door and find yourselves in the cells of the Imperial Palace. Seems
like a lifetime ago Kefka was imprisoned here to trick us. The toilets are
broken now... Boy, that really burns me up when that happens.

(Imperial jail cells)
Demon Knight, Yojimbo (10/16)
Yojimbo,