The Final Fantasy III Walkthrough and Battle Tactics Guide
Version 2.5
Djibriel, November 2005

"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     A Flippin' Contest!
11.0     Final Fantasy VI Junkie links and contact information
12.0     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 FlameEater 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 Doom and steal that Safety Bit and learn that
      ForceField Lore.
      I noticed that I used 'Confuse/Confused' and 'Muddle/Muddled' to indicate
      the same thing. The game calls the affliction Muddled, so I went with
      that.

- 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  (02/28/2013)
      As promised, I closed down the contest. The acrostic is still there...
      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.
      I further improved on the Ice Dragon and Red Dragon strategies by
      adding that the Muddled monsters that are also Clear will never heal
      themselves, a trick sadly inapplicable in the GBA version of the game.
      I fixed a wrong monster formation from the Floating Continent.
      I 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
      Metamorph through Magicite items, but neglected to change this in the
      document. Here you go!
      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 SoulDancers 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.

- 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 corrected a mistake where I say you should Sketch Harpy for Aero,
      but you should Sketch Harpiai instead (or no bird at all).
      I had shamefully neglected to include random encounters for three places:
      the long stairway and empty tube room in the IMRF, the Eastern Mountains
      of Crescent Island and the lands around WoR Kohlingen.

- Version 2.1  (06/14/2011)
      A very small update to complement an update of the GBA document, version
      2.1 features snazzy desert encounter information in section 4.30.2.

- Version 2.0  (02/27/2011)
      After much thought, I decided to merge the documents. In addition, I
      changed some lay-out for the better. All tabs were removed in favor of
      multiple spaces to ensure txt/html synergy. Probably the most notable
      change (except for the merger, obviously) is the fact all chapters now
      contain a treasure list!


Version History (old World of Ruin document):

- Version 1.2  (07/08/2006)
      I mentioned that Tri-Dazer is a good idea versus Umaro, which it isn't as
      Umaro absorbs Ice-elemental attacks. Fixed.
      Expanded and most notable corrected the Charm description. I said that
      a Charmer can switch Charmees, which is not the case; the second target
      of a Charm attack just won't be hit until the first one has died.
      Expanded on how to obtain more Genji Helmets and why I list five
      characters with Genji Helmets and two with Red Caps in section 4.70.1. In
      fact, now that I mention it, I gave a Genji Helmet to Cyan where there was
      a Circlet earlier; when I looked over it I noticed it's entirely possible,
      and how I love to spite people :P
      Added section 8.16, Siegfried/Ziegfried.
      Fine, you pansies. Added the controversy about Owzer in section 4.61.2
      I rewrote 4.71.1, "Kefka's Tower: Preparation and explanation". Boy, was
      that crappy. The current writing gives you exactly what all three parties
      face in both scenarios (Party #1 going left or right) to clear up any
      confusion.
      Updated Thanks and Credits section.
      Unbelievable; I missedn an ENTIRE SECTION. You're all almost as braindead
      as me for not noticing before I did. Section 10.0 "Final Fantasy VI Junkie
      links" has been added, and what previously was section 10.0 is now section
      11.0. Sure, section 10.0 may be a Copy/Paste from the other half, it's
      still important if you ask me.
      Removed some rubbish I had placed at the very end which concerned itself
      with to wide a margin (81 on several occasions!).

- Version 1.1  (07/05/2006)
      First revision. They're always the most rough ones.
      I made a lot of spelling and grammar corrections, obviously. Fixed the
      ones that were pointed out to me.
      Some spacing problems, too. Fixed, again.
      Corrected the amount of Coral needed in Ebot's Rock. It's 22, not 21.
      Updated Thanks and Credits section.
      Added the attacks of both KatanaSoul and Master Pug in their respective
      sections. Whoops...
      Noted the Nut Eater/Rhodox & Poppers connection which may explain their
      resistance to the Suplex Blitz technique.
      Added the existence of an X-Potion in Cyan's Dream. I forgot a treasure,
      shame on me.
      Added a religious note on Goddess and her background/symbolic role.
      Added section 8.15, Timeline
      Added RNG evaluation on all bosses.
      Added a note about the spikes in the Phoenix Cave.
      Added the existence of a few bugs, including
       - MagiTek Armor in Cyan's Dream may linger after its apprioriate
         appearance
       - Magic Urn responds to the wrong statuses
       - Spikes damage Petrified characters
      Added some Anthology Bestiary information on Woolly, NecroMancrs, Kiwok,
      Guardian and Allo Ver.

- Version 1.0  (06/30/2006)
      Initial Release


Version History (old World of Balance document):

- Version 1.7  (3/9/2006)
      Mainly just an update to incooperate the fact the WoR walkthrough has been
      released. Added links towards the document and its Table of Contents in
      sections 4.0, 5.0, 6.0, 7.0, 8.0 and 9.0
      Gave a slight addition to the Love Sonata learning grounds in 6.3

- Version 1.6  (3/9/2006)
      Reversed version history in order to make the new updates appear on top.
      Why I didn't do that earlier defies all logic.
      Fixed some minor errors in section 4.28.4 (the second fight with Ultros)
      Fixed a few errors, mainly data errors, that were pointed out to me
      Worded some things on the FC walkthrough better so it would be less
      confusing.
      Changed the version at the top of document to 1.6, for which you might
      think 'duh' or something horrible like that. Fact is, I forgot to do so
      with the 1.5 update :/
      Updated Thanks section

- Version 1.5  (1/11/2006)
      I need to stop needing to ninja-update. I left an unfinished new section
      in 1.4, section 8.8, so I fixed that.
      Fixed section numbers in the Version History
      Added how Seize/Poison/Regen-Seizure never acts on the same interval
      Fixed a line that implied that Break stops HadesGigas from counter-
      attacking (which it does not).
      Mentioned how Imped monsters can use the Imp spell where I previously
      said they couldn't.

- Version 1.4  (1/8/2006)
      Fairly obvious lay-out and formatting overhaul after the kind of folks
      of the GameFAQs General FAQ Contributors Board - unblinded by the actual
      content of the document - discovered it could really use some improvement.
      Inserted primary physical and magical attacks in the 4.3.1 and 4.3.4
      sections
      Fixed all colon problems
      Fixed an error in the explanation about Golem's Earth Wall
      Added information about dying, running and letting the timer run out
      when fighting Imperial soldiers before the Banquet.
      Added a note about Condemned its behavior on the Cursed Shld and Cursed
      Ring.
      Added the location of the hidden Tent in the Impresario Car of the
      Phantom Train
      Noted how you can forever be devoid of the Coin Toss Relic in section 8.3
      Added the existence of the wizard/ghost character in Zozo and Narshe's
      Classroom after obtaining Magicite
      Expanded section 7.6, Magitek to include all other effects the Armor has
      on your characters.
      Expanded in the Status Ailment section to include prevention of Black
      Belt counter-attacks and True Knight protection where necessary.
      Discussed the uses of Dried Meat when reaching Mobliz
      Added attack descriptions from the Dance command
      Added the alternate way to do Blitz techniques, which doesn't involve
      diagonals
      Added how you can go back for the Commander and Vector Pup Rages and the
      treasure in that secret tunnel by taking Locke through the hidden back
      door of the house of Duncan's Wife.
      Mentioned how the Memento Ring is now called the Safety Ring/Safty Ring
      in the PSX releases.

- Version 1.3  (12/9/2005)
      Eheheh....I left a small note to myself at the start of the guide, so this
      version is mainly there to remove the 'Mandrake' at the start.
      Added information about the Thief Glove in the 4.26.2 section.

- Version 1.2  (12/8/2005)
      Changed every 'Kotesu' into 'Kotetsu'
      Corrected GhostTrain's stats
      Added a note about Espers removing Clear status in section 9.0
      Re-inserted correct solution to the Contest
      Corrected typo on TunnelArmr's AI script
      Corrected the Matthew/Matthias mix-up in section 6.5
      Corrected Mandrake's behavior under Stop in section 4.41.2
      Updates Thanks section once again

- Version 1.1  (11/21/2005)
      Fixed several typos.
      Distinguished the two Joker Dooms in Setzer's Slot ability section.
      Changed the link to Master ZED's Slot ability guide.
      Added contact information in section 11.0
      Added Ctrl + F to the Slang section in 3.0
      Added a Rare Items section
      Changed the information on the Telstar song; how dares the internet
      give me misinformation!
      Added the Japanese Moogle names in section 4.3.1
      Added Relm's and Strago's Step Mine to the honest Intangir strategies.
      Added Kamog's equipment being given to you
      Added some information about Shadow's and Cyan's oriental weapons
      Added information about the secret bridge in South Figaro
      Added extensive information about the Kutan bug where you miss out on
      Celes and obtain Kutan the Moogle instead
      Added a lot of names in the Thanks section

- Version 1.0  (11/14/2005)
      Initial Release

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

I was tired. And I was sick and tired of always being sick and tired.

I can't really tell you when it started, because I wasn't around when it did. It
probably started innocently...a friend invited a friend over to come play his
new SNES game. "That armored guy with the sword is awesome!", a pimple-cheeked
girl with glasses but with a radiant smile would say. "Dispatch kills everything
he touches!", she would add. The guy would sigh.

"This guy is much better. He kicks all kinds of ass with Fire Dance. It looks so
cool, too!" This boy, who'd later grow up to be one of the most successful
failures of his lifetime, loved Sabin with all his teenage heart.

Neither knew that they started a great tradition. And by 'great', I mean
'unwanted, horrible'. Illiterates would somehow manage to drool over the
keyboard in such a way it created a post that stated that Gau sucks. Good men
wasted good time countering said horror. Locke was awesome because of his Speed,
only he wasn't. Cyan has great equips, only he doesn't. Or did he? Gogo was
awesome because he could equip any skill by going to the status screen. But that
was just practical on paper, some said. Others weeped over this statement, which
they considered a lie fueled by hate and lack of a social life. Others had a
social life and claimed that it wasn't all that important as long as you had
fun. Heh.

In short: there were debates. And here's something funny to consider; you'd
think that numbers, data output, logical solutions and expectations would be
beyond personal interpretation. A common Dutch saying states that "one cannot
argue about opinions". That's the biggest load of feces ever to hit the scene
of sayings, I think. You can argue about opinions, you can't argue about facts.
So, you'd think that in a game where the same Dispatch in the same situation
always results into the same damage output, there'd be little place for debate.

Ugh.

Besides, it was time somebody took this task upon himself. There's so much known
about this game, yet even the best walkthroughs were almost entirely, but not
quite, unlike the walkthrough they were supposed to be. So here it is! I've
prophesized on numerous occasions that I would never write a document like this
on the basis of the fact I would go bat-shit crazy and wouldn't be able to
stop typing, making the document a behemoth of unreadable gibberish (most likely
consisting out of Relm fetishism and little bits of info nobody in their right
mind find amusing).

But what is this document you're seeing? Does it really contain everything? Is
it some kind of Hitchhiker's Guide to FF VI? The Encyclopedea CCLV VIea? The
Kamog 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 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

This is my fourth document meant for public release, and as I was with the
other three, I'm pretty excited about it. My other projects will both be very
helpful for this guide; while the Level # Lore Guide will be only moderately
useful and the Sketch Guide just managed to confirm what everybody already
knew, a lot of walkthroughs contain a string of question marks concerning Gau
and his Rage ability and my Rage Guide taught me exactly what to fill in
those question marks.

Now, I've basically gotten two kinds of responses about the Rage Guide. Most of
it was very positive, and I'm thankful for that. It's great to see the document
being linked to all the time (get this: almost as often as the How to Blitz
Guide!). But there are a few who've said that my guide contains a major flaw;
I'm too talkative. I elaborate and fill it with too much information. You see,
there's a reason for that. Everybody has his own personal little fetish; mine
is Final Fantasy VI. I've played the game to death and know far more about it
than could ever be considered healthy. I want all that information to shine
through in my documents, as I personally think it's awesome to know all those
things. Also, I tend to waste lines on introductions, puns and other stuff that
could have been left out. That's mostly for personal pleasure. As the bored,
soulless eyes of your high school math teacher can tell you, explaining stuff
that's incredibly basic to you tends to be less fun than, say, sharing a beer
with friends or having incredibly awesomely crazy sex. With a woman.

You're looking at the most complete walkthrough that exists out there, I can
make that statement without false modesty. But 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.

One that's generally been called the best one before this one was written is
Atom Edge's Walkthrough. It can be found at GameFAQs, but is at the time of
writing three years old. Slightly outdated, but it features all of the commonly
asked questions and lists a lot of more obscure items.


**********************************
 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.

Question: I noticed you used the terminology from the older SNES versions. I
hope you're aware of the fact there are PAL-versions available in Europe and
US and the US have even seen an Anthology release where it's offered together
with FFV. Why not adapt the names to that game? They're slightly different,
and as they were changed from the original, obviously what was meant to happen.

Yes, I am aware. Sadly so, in fact. I think Master ZED said it best when he
mentioned how he took the PSX port as a personal insult. They did close to
nothing to fix old bugs, inserted a couple of new ones, raped Ted Woolsey's
legacy by using the entire translation with a couple of minor changes while
removing his name from the credits, and gave us a game with sound and graphics
INFERIOR to the SNES game that was released five years prior to the PSX release:

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

Also, Anthology has three different names for each monster; In-battle the names
were shortened to 9 characters, in the Rage List there were with the normal
ten, and in the Bestiary they were a shocking 8. All SNES names can be easily
recognized when you've only been playing/are playing Anthology, as it doesn't
take a genius to know that Mithril and Mythril are the same material and that a
Fenix Down is the same as a Phoenix Down.

To conclude, the PSX blows. The SNES has died, long live the SNES!

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.

ID (Instant Death) attack:

Instant Death attacks are attacks that check for the Instant Death protection
bit. Most of the time, these attacks set Wound (Doom, Snare, ectera), but other
attacks also use this feature, most noticeably percentage-based attacks like
Demi and Cyclonic. Several Petrifying spells will check for ID next to Petrify
protection and the oddball Overcast and the level-halving attack Dischord also
check for it. The X-type ID of the Assassin, Trump, Striker, Wing Edge and the
dicing effect of the Scimitar also check for ID protection. The following
attacks are ID attacks:

Roulette, Break, Demi, Doom, Quartr, W Wind, X-Zone, Atom Edge, True Edge,
Demon Eye, Cleave, Slash, Antlion, Cave in, Cokatrice, Snare, Snowball, Sonic
Boom, Air Anchor, Chain Saw's ID attack, X-Fer, Condemned, Dischord, L.5 Doom,
Roulette, Blaster, Cyclonic, Grav Bomb, Overcast, Shimsham, SabreSoul, Star
Prism

Note that this makes Joker Doom the only Wound-setting attack that doesn't
check for the bit, and Dread the only 'normal' Petrify-setting attack that
doesn't check for ID protection.

**********************************
 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 Whelk
 4.2.1 Old Man's House
 4.2.2 Escape through the mines
 4.3.1 Defending Terra from Marshal
 4.4.1 Classroom for the Beginner
 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 Lete River
 4.10.2 The first fight with Ultros
 4.11.1 Choosing a scenario
 4.12.1 Scenario Terra/Edgar/Banon: Lete 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: Imperial Camp and Doma
 4.13.3 Scenario Sabin: Telstar and 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: Specter and the Phantom Train continued
 4.15.3 Scenario Sabin: The battle with GhostTrain
 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: Veldt Hunting
 4.17.4 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 TunnelArmr
 4.21.1 Defending the Esper from Kefka
 4.21.2 Rider
 4.21.3 The battle with Kefka
 4.22.1 Narshe
 4.23.1 Traveling to Kohlingen and optional trip to the Veldt
 4.23.2 Figaro Castle
 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 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 (Celes' Opera Performance)
 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 Base near the Mountains
 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: Sraphim
 4.34.2 Airship Exploitation: Auction House: Golem and ZoneSeek
 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 Narshe
 4.35.2 Lone Wolf persecution and recruiting Mog
 4.35.3 Dance lessons, including Water Rondo
 4.36.1 Cave to the Sealed Gate
 4.36.2 Coin 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 Base near the Cave to the Sealed Gate and
        Setzer's cutscene
 4.39.1 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 FlameEater
 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 AtmaWeapon
 4.45.4 Kefka's Betrayal
 4.45.5 Escape from the Floating Continent
 4.45.6 The battle with Nerapa 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  Tzen; the Collapsing House
 4.49.1  The Serpent Trench
 4.49.2  The tail of the Serpent Trench; Mobliz
 4.49.3  The fight with Phunbaba
 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 Crimson Robbers
 4.51.3  Pursuing Gerad and the Crimson Robbers; Cave of Figaro
 4.51.4  Pursuing Gerad and the Crimson Robbers; Figaro Castle
 4.51.5  The fight 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 Colosseum
 4.53.3  Daryl's Tomb
 4.53.4  The fight with Presenter
 4.53.5  The fight 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
 4.54.4  Airship Exploitation: Obtaining Palidor
 4.54.5  Airship Exploitation: Visiting Jidoor
 4.54.6  Airship Exploitation: The Auction House
 4.54.7  Airship Exploitation: Fanatics Tower
 4.54.8  Airship Exploitation: Thamasa
 4.54.9  Airship Exploitation: Doom Gaze
 4.55.1  Narshe
 4.55.2  Narshe's Snowfields; the battle with Ice Dragon
 4.55.3  Narshe's Snowfields; the battle with Tritoch
 4.55.4  Umaro's Cave; the battle with three Pugs
 4.55.5  The battle with Umaro
 4.55.6  The Moogle Raid
 4.55.7  Round two: Dragon's Neck Colosseum
 4.56.1  The battle with Phunbaba
 4.57.1  Following the pigeon
 4.57.2  Mount Zozo
 4.57.3  The battle with Storm Drgn
 4.57.4  Cyan Garamonde
 4.58.1  The Veldt
 4.58.2  The Cave of the Veldt and Allo Ver
 4.58.3  The battle with SrBehemoth
 4.59.1  Thamasa and the Colosseum 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 Dirt Drgn
 4.62.4  Gungho's assignment; Ebot's Rock
 4.62.5  The battle with Hidon
 4.63.1  Another Colosseum 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 fight with Master Pug
 4.65.2  The Ancient Castle and the battle with KatanaSoul
 4.65.3  The battle with the Blue Drgn
 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 Cursed Shld
 4.68.3  Gau and his father
 4.69.1  The Fanatics Tower and the battle with White Drgn
 4.69.2  The battle with MagiMaster
 4.70.1  End-game character evaluation
 4.71.1  Kefka's Tower: Preparation and explanation
 4.71.2  Kefka's Tower: Reconnaissance
 4.71.3  Kefka's Tower: The source of all Magic
 4.71.4  Kefka's Tower: The Final Battle
 4.72.1  The Ending

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

  Opponents:
  Guard, Lobo, Vommamoth

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]

This is also a good time to pop open the menu and go to Config to select your
Bat(tle) Speed and Bat(tle) Mode. A low Battle Speed will make monsters wait
shorter periods of their time between turns, making the game more difficult.
Setting it to '6' is most advantageous for you. The Battle Mode sets whether or
not the game's opponents stop attacking when you are choosing attacks from a
menu. Setting it to 'Wait' gives you breathing room to select your attacks.

Monster formations:
Lobo
Lobo, Lobo
Guard, Guard
Lobo, Guard, Guard (forced Pincer attack)
Vomammoth, Vomammoth, 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:

MithrilBlade
Buckler
Leather Hat
LeatherArmor

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
Lobo, Guard, Guard monster formation. The next one will feature Vommamoth.

These monsters will start using Blizzard, 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 with Battle and !Bear Claw.

Although they have the second-highest Battle Power 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
Blizzardy 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 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 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 Lobo; this is unavoidable.

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

  Opponents:
  Were-Rat, Vaporite, Repo Man, Whelk

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. Not Vermin, but vermin. Note
the difference.

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

Monster formations:

First cave:
Were-Rat, Were-Rat, Were-Rat (10/16)
Were-Rat, Repo Man (6/16)

Second cave:
Repo Man, Vaporite (6/16)
Vaporite, Vaporite (5/16)
Were-Rat, Were-Rat (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 Were-Rat and Repo Man, in the second, Vaporite. Were-Rat
absorbs Poison, so while it may be tempting to use an MT spell against the
largest group of enemies you're facing, don't. Vaporite absorbs Lightning, so
in any battle you find one, avoid Bolt Beam like the demonic plague it is.
Electricity fails at success, anyway.

Repo Man...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 X-Fer, 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. Vicks 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 Whelk
**********************************

Whelk (shell)
Level: 4, HP: 50000, MP: 120
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Tincture (always)
Absorbs: Lightning
Special: !Hit : Battle x 4
Vulnerable to: Nothing
Attacks: Mega Volt

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

This battle is quite simple. Vicks 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 your very first boss battle.

The shell and the head are two separate entities. The shell will do nothing as
long as you won't attack it, but every time you do damage, it will counter
with Mega Volt. Mega Volt 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 "Gruuu".

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 TekMissile. Wait until the head has retreated and appeared again.
Repeat. Whelk should be dead by now if you fought all the battles against the
Narshe guards; if not, just go for another round.

Whelk 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 Tincture the
shell provides. Since the shell only has 120 MP, he can only use six Mega Volt
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 a Tincture AND a 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:
  Were-Rat, Vaporite, Repo Man

  Container contents:
  Fenix 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 Were-Rat and Vaporite with
a single Fight 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:
Repo Man, Vaporite (6/16)
Vaporite, Vaporite (5/16)
Were-Rat, Were-Rat (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 Vaporites should be taken care of
with an MT Fire spell, as should a double Were-Rat. Start the Repo Man/Vaporite
battle off with an MT Fire spell and finish Repo Man off with a physical. You
can't do anything about !Wrench now, so suffer in silence. 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.

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 Fenix Down it now contains is nice,
the Pod Bracelet Relic it transforms into later will be much nicer.

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 MithrilKnife
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 Christope, general Celes Chere. A cozy bunch.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.3.1   Defending Terra from Marshal
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Lobo, Vommamoth, Marshal

  Miscellaneous items:
  Mithril Pike (Mog), Mithril Shld (Mog), MithrilKnife (common Marshal 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 Empire is evil, the Returners are fighting the
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)
Mithril Pike; Mithril Shld

Kupek - (Terra's level + 3)
Mithril Pike; Buckler

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

Kumama - (Terra's level + 1)
Mithril Claw; Buckler

Kuku - (Terra's level - 2)
Flail; Buckler

Kutan - (Terra's level + 1)
MithrilBlade; Buckler

Kupan - (Terra's level + 3)
Full Moon; Buckler

Kushu - (Terra's level + 3)
Chocobo Brsh; Buckler

Kurin - (Terra's level + 1)
Mithril Pike; Buckler

Kuru - (Terra's level + 1)
MithrilBlade; Buckler

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

They're all collected in three teams. These are the teams; behind the names of
the Japanese Moogles for RPGone players.

Locke's group:
Locke       Lock
Kupek       Moglin
Kupop       Mogpu
Kumama      Mogchi

Mog's group:
Mog         Mog
Kuku        Morul
Kutan       Mogtan
Kupan       Mogul

Kushu's group:
Kushu       Mogshi
Kurin       Mogpon
Kuru        Mugmug
Kamog       Zummog

Preparation: Equip Locke with the equipment you snatched from Terra; the Buckler
will be especially nice. You can put Kupop, Kuku, Kupan and Kamog 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:
"Couldn't hold out...?!  Uh oh..."

Monster formations:
Lobo, Lobo, Marshal
Vomammoth, Lobo

Marshal
Level: 8, HP: 420, MP: 150
Steal: MithrilKnife (common), Win: Potion (always)
Weakness: Poison
Special: !Charge: Battle x 2
Sketch : !Charge, Battle
Control: Battle, !Charge, Bolt 2
Vulnerable to: Imp, Petrify, Death, Condemned, Mute, Berserk, Muddled, Sleep,
Slow, Stop
Attacks: Battle, !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 Vomammoth and the Lobo formation.
Aim all attacks on the Vomammoth at first, then the 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 Dusk 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 Dusk Requiem, a Dance he will learn as soon
as he has fought one battle here. The Dusk 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 - Kills one enemy, prevents final counters
2/16 12.50 % Elf Fire - ST magical, Fire-elemental attack
1/16  6.25 % Pois. 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 Marshal. 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 Marshal with Locke until you have a
MithrilKnife. If you have trouble with the actual 'killing' part of the Marshal
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 Dusk 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 Lobo and then focus your attack on Marshal. 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 spell 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 Marshal battle, remove Mog's MithrilPike and Mithril
Shld. Equip the Shield on Locke if you're fighting Marshal with him.

For some trivia knowledge some would appreciate, Kuku is Mog's girlfriend. Kuku
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 Kuku's
weakness: she's a woman. Family-friendly support group-evading explanation:
although lacking in combat experience, Kuku shows some proverbial nuts by going
with her lover anyway. At any rate, the Moogle Charm you'll find later in the
game, a Mog-exclusive Relic, is supposed to be given to him by Kuku. The only
proof of this off-game knowledge lies in its Japanese roots: Kuku was called
Moruru there, and the Moogle Charm the Moruru's Charm.

Also, the Japanese Creation Data Collection Book supposedly clearly says the
Moogle Charm is a "crystal ball charm given by his lover, Moruru". I've never
seen it myself and wouldn't recognize Japanese if it exploded from my stomach
like the aliens in the aptly-named movies with Sigourney Weaver, but I have
no reason to doubt it either.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.4.1   Classroom for the Beginner
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Lobo

  Container contents:
  Sleeping Bag, Tonic, Tincture, Monster-in-a-box (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.

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. Environmental 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 Lobo. Have Terra Defend (press right when in the command menu)
and Locke Steal until you've gotten that Tonic. You know you want it. Kill him
with violence.

Find the Tincture in the yellow pot in Environmental 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 Tonic in
there. Now, exit.

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

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

  Opponents:
  Leafer, Dark Wind, Sand Ray, Areneid

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 MithrilKnife on Terra. She won't use it,
gods no, But it's still a 4 point increase in Battle Power, and I don't see why
the hell not. Keep the Mithril Shld 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 Fight command. In the desert,
put Locke in the Front Row, and keep Terra in the Back Row.

Monster formations:

Grasslands:
Leafer (10/16)
Leafer, Leafer, Dark Wind (6/16)

Forest:
Leafer, Leafer, Dark Wind (10/16)
Leafer, Leafer, Dark Wind, Dark Wind (6/16)

Desert:
Sand Ray, Sand Ray (5/16)
Areneid, Areneid, Areneid (5/16)
Sand Ray, Areneid, Areneid (5/16)
Sand Ray, Areneid, Areneid, Areneid (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 Tonics. 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 Gold Pieces 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, Fenix Down, Soft, Tonic

  Miscellaneous items:
  AutoCrossbow

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 Mithril Shld 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 Mithril Shld 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:
Tonic          50
Tincture     1500
Antidote       50
Soft          200
Echo Screen   120
Fenix 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 GP for the Weapon Shop.

Weapon Shop:
AutoCrossbow  250
NoiseBlaster  500
Bio Blaster   750
 Buy a NoiseBlaster and a Bio Blaster; you have obtained an AutoCrossbow 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 Tonic, Antidote, Soft, and Fenix
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 Matron 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 Matron 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 MithrilPike
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!

In the Japanese game, Edgar calls Kefka a Mage Warrior of the Empire. 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 MithrilBlade.
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:
  M-TekArmor

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:
M-TekArmor, M-TekArmor

M-TekArmor
Level: 8, HP: 210, MP: 250
Steal: Potion (rare), Tonic (common), Win: Potion (common)
Weakness: Lightning
Status: Safe
Special: !Metal Kick, Battle x 1.5
Sketch : Tek Laser, Battle
Control: Battle, Tek Laser
Vulnerable to: Mute, Berserk, Muddled, Sleep, Slow, Stop
Attacks: Battle, !Metal Kick, Tek 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 Muddle, 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; Tonics and Potions are nothing to get excited
about, but Fight removes the Muddled status. Terra should pump out ST Fire
spells. It'll get you a 'hilarious' scene. I guess it looked good on paper.
For those of you emulator players, Edgar and Locke are supposed to hide behind
the menu when Terra goes 'Stop swooning!'.

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

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

  Opponents:
  Hornet, Crawly, Bleary

  Container contents:
  Fenix Down, Tincture x2

  Miscellaneous items:
  Remedy (rare Crawly 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, Bleary, Bleary, Bleary, Hornet (10/16)
Hornet, Crawly, Crawly (6/16)

Second cave and third cave:
Crawly, Crawly, Crawly (6/16)
Bleary, Bleary, Crawly (5/16)
Hornet, Hornet (5/16)

Note: if you didn't use Terra's Magic spells in the battle against the
M-TekArmors, 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 Battle and !IronNeedle.
Crawly are horribly defenseless creatures, but something about Crawly monsters
I find particularly repulsive, so I don't feel bad about killing them. When you
confuse them with NoiseBlaster, they might try to use the Magnitude8 attack, but
they have insufficient MP.

Bleary are the only creatures here that *might* stand through a single
AutoCrossbow attack. They can force you to sleep when you look in their eyes
with !Slumber, but you'll have killed them before they get a chance to use
an attack like that.

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 Crawly with his AutoCrossbow. If you don't meet Bleary
monsters, have Terra simply Defend and Locke Steal while you're waiting for
Edgar's turn to come up. When Bleary 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 AutoCrossbow. If you're scared you wasted GP on the Bio Blaster, you'll
gain use for it soon enough. If there's a choice, always try to Steal from
Crawly. A Tonic is a Tonic, 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
(Fenix Down upstairs, two Tinctures 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 GP, 1000 GP, 1500 GP, Antidote, Elixir, Eyedrops, Fenix Down, Green
  Cherry, Hyper Wrist, RunningShoes, Soft, Tonic x3, Warp 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:
Tonic          50
Antidote       50
Soft          200
Eyedrop        50
Echo Screen   120
Fenix Down    500
Sleeping Bag  500
Tent         1200
 You might want to buy one or two Soft potions, as it *is* possible to
accidentally get a Petrified character in a bit, and you'll want something to
counter its effects.

Weapon Shop:
Dirk          150
MithrilKnife  300
MithrilBlade  450
RegalCutlass  800
NoiseBlaster  500
Bio Blaster   750
 Buy a RegalCutlass and give it to Terra. Give the MithrilBlade 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 MithrilKnife. You can buy the two non-AutoCrossbow Tools for
Edgar if your ignorant brother saved after the Figaro Castle experience without
buying them there.

Armor Shop:
Buckler       200
Heavy Shld    400
Hair Band     150
Plumed Hat    250
Cotton Robe   200
Kung Fu Suit  250
 Buy two Heavy Shlds, three Plumed Hats, a Cotton Robe, and a Kung Fu Suit.
Equip them with Optimum.

Relic Shop:
Sprint Shoes 1500
Goggles       500
Star Pendant  500
Jewel Ring   1000
True Knight  1000
 Buy three Star Pendants and a Jewel Ring. True Knight and Sprint Shoes I'll
leave up to you. Goggles are entirely useless so unless you want to obtain as
many Items as possible, ignore them. Equip a Star Pendant on every character.
The Jewel Ring, despite what its descriptions says, only 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.

The True Knight is a Relic that allows characters to take physical hits for
characters that are Near Fatal; it is characterized as a book containing the
Knight's code.

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)
Fenix Down   - Fenix Down
Tonic        - X-Potion
Antidote     - Tent
Eyedrop      - Remedy
Tonic        - Revivify
Green Cherry - Tent
Soft         - Elixir
Warp Stone   - Fenix Down

There's a Tonic in the barrel between the Weapon and Armor Shop. I suggest
skipping this one; you've got plenty of Tonics, but X-Potions will always be
nice to have. There's an Eyedrop 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 Tonic that becomes a Revivify (leave it), the Green
Cherry behind the Chocobo Stable becomes a Tent (grab the Cherry) and the Soft
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 Fenix 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 RunningShoes. The Hyper Wrist boosts Vigor, increasing your physical attack
power; the RunningShoes gives you inherent and unremovable Haste status. I
suggest giving the RunningShoes 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 GP, 1000 GP, 1500 GP, 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 Warp Stone. It'll become a Fenix Down later, but Warp Stones are
infinitely cooler at this stage of the game than Fenix Downs will ever be.
Finally, there's a Tonic 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:
  Rhodox, Rhinotaur, GreaseMonk

  Miscellaneous items:
  Mithril Claw (rare Rhinotaur 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:
Grass:
Rhinotaur (6/16)
GreaseMonk, GreaseMonk (5/16)
Rhodox, Rhodox, GreaseMonk (5/16)

Forest:
Rhodox, Rhodox, Rhodox, Rhodox (6/16)
Rhinotaur, Rhodox, Rhodox (5/16)
Rhinotaur, GreaseMonk, Rhodox, Rhodox (5/16)

Fairly standard stuff, now. GreaseMonks take more damage from Bio Blaster than
from AutoCrossbow, so use that on double GreaseMonks. They'll just attack
physically and won't start using !LodeWrench 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.

Rhodox are obscenely boring creatures as they do nothing but Battle under
any circumstance. The only interesting thing to note about them is the fact that
they cannot be Suplex'd. 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.

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

Any monster fight should include Edgar using AutoCrossbow (double GreaseMonk
can be taken down easier with Bio Blaster, 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 GreaseMonks in one hit as well
with the AutoCrossbow.

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

  Container contents:
  Tonic

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 Tonic
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:
  Vaporite, Brawler, Trilium, Tusker, Cirpius, Ipooh, Vargas

  Container contents:
  Atlas Armlet, Guardian, Tent x2

  Miscellaneous items:
  Bandana (rare Brawler steal), Mithril Claw (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:
Brawler, Brawler (10/16)
Tusker, Tusker (6/16)

Slopes:
Cirpius, Cirpius, Cirpius (11/16)
Tusker, Cirpius, Cirpius, Cirpius (5/16)

Great slopes:
Trilium, Trilium (10/16)
Trilium, Tusker, Cirpius, Cirpius (5/16)

Foot of Mount. Koltz:
Brawler, Trilium, Vaporite, Vaporite (10/16)
Tusker, Tusker (6/16)

This is highly frustrating for console players, but Brawler 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 AutoCrossbow 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').

Brawlers, 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
version was Holy Moon Sword. Way to boringify an attack, Woolsey.

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 AutoCrossbow; when they come with a Tusker you'll want to
confuse them until one of them has petrified the Tusker with either !Beak or
the Break spell.

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

Trilium, lastly, are annoying because they Poison you with !Bane 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 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 Guardian! 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 Atlas Armlet. The Atlas Armlet is much better
that the Hyper Wrist; while the Hyper Wrist boosts a stat used for physical
damage calculation by 50 %, the Atlas Armlet simply boosts your physical damage
by 25 % period. Equip it on Edgar to boost his AutoCrossbow. With the Atlas
Armlet equipped, Edgar should be taking everything out in one hit except for
Tuskers, 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 Atlas Armlet from Edgar and give it to
Locke; give his RunningShoes to Terra. Equip Edgar with the Hyper Wrist or, if
you have it, the True Knight. 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 Near Fatal. 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: Potion (rare), Potion (common)
Weakness: Fire
Special: !Claw: Battle x 1.5
Sketch : !Claw, Battle
Control: Battle, !Claw
Vulnerable to: Imp, Mute, Slow, Stop
Attacks: Battle, !Claw

Vargas
Level: 12, HP: 11600, MP: 220
Steal: Mithril Claw (rare), Tonic (common)
Weakness: Poison
Special: !Doom Fist: sets Condemned, Battle x 1.5
Sketch : !Doom Fist, Battle
Control: Battle, !Doom Fist
Vulnerable to: Slow, Stop
Attacks: Battle, !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 Battle and !Claw.
Vargas will casually switch between Battle and Gale Cut in a Battle-Gale Cut-
Battle rhythm. Dance to it. After every 50 seconds, he will taunt you cruelly by
saying: "Come on. What's the matter?" and use Battle 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!! Off with ya now!". 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 "Mortal attack: 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 AutoCrossbow, and Terra use ST Fire spells on the
Ipooh you looted. After you've taken care of the Ipoohs, switch to the
Bio Blaster 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 Bio Blaster 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 Pummel 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://members.shaw.ca/yoshi6400/HowToBlitz6400.txt

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
Vaporites here, which seem horrible misplaced in space. AuraBolt is the
strongest ST attack you have at this point; take advantage of it. Only after
you annihilated everything non-Tusker on screen though. If you have a Bandana
and/or Mithril Claw in your inventory, give it 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:
  Rhodox, Rhinotaur, GreaseMonk

  Miscellaneous items:
  Mithril Claw (rare Rhinotaur steal)

Monster formations:
Rhodox, Rhodox, GreaseMonk (6/16)
GreaseMonk, GreaseMonk (5/16)
Rhinotaur, Rhodox, Rhodox (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 Mithril Claw, 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's Vargas? Where's my husband?
SABIN (looking down): Master was... Vargas...
DUNCAN'S WIFE: I'll never understand Vargas... Fortunately, my husband taught
               his most secret techniques to you.
SABIN: For 10 years you've treated me like a son. I am eternally grateful!

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

  Container contents:
  Antidote, Air Lancet, Fenix Down x2, Green Cherry, Potion, Tincture, True
  Knight, 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 Fenix Down in the chest in the room you woke up in.
Go out and head up. You'll find three chests here: a True Knight, another Fenix
Down, and an Air Lancet, 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 Tincture.

Furthermore, there's a Green Cherry in the pot in the conference room (the one
with the large table) and a 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: "Someone dropped a scrap of paper..." and you'll
get two options:
         Toss it in the trash.
         Leave it there.
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:
"BANON: Who did this? Who left this piece of paper here?" 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:
Eyedrop        50
Tonic          50
Potion        300
Tincture     1500
Echo Screen   120
Sleeping Bag  500
Tent         1200
Sprint Shoes 1500
 This is the first shop you can actually buy Potions at, so if you're low on
them, it might a good idea to stock up on some. A few Eyedrops 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 another 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: "Scum! You're Returners!"

If you declined Banon's offer three times, Terra will walk back into the Hideout
and mutter: "Hope... How can 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 Lete 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 Lete 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 Lete River later in the game,
so now you know where you'll want to go.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.10.1   Escaping over the Lete River
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Pterodon, Nautiloid, Exocite, Ultros

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 Atlas Armlet/RunningShoes to Edgar, Hyper Wrist and
True Knight 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:

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

Welcome to Lete River. The first rule of Lete River is: you don't talk about
Lete River. The second rule of Lete River is: you do not talk about Lete River.
The third rule of Lete River is when Banon goes down, the game is over. If Banon
receives Wound 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 fell..."

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 Battle 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 Safe status), so the AutoCrossbow and Fight commands will do
little here. Also, after three turns he'll turn on Banon for a Battle attack,
so BEWARE.

Pterodon are the strongest enemies here. They can use Battle, execute !Wing to
set Seizure on the party the second turn and can actually use Fire Ball the
third one, which is an MT Fire-elemental attack and particularly dangerous.
Pterodon 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 AuraBolt to deliver damage, and have Banon use Health 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
Lete River. However, there are many ways to Rome, and many ways to travel the
Lete 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)
Pterodon, Exocite, Exocite (1/4)

Monster Formation Pack # 2
Pterodon, Pterodon (3/4)
Nautiloid, Exocite, Pterodon (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 Pterodon, 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 'eerie glow'
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 Lete 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, Battle x 1.5
Vulnerable to: Slow, Stop
Attacks: Battle, !Ink, Tentacle

"Uwee hee hee Game over! Don't tease the octopus, kids!"

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 saying: "Uwee hee hee Game over! Don't tease the octopus,
kids!" and using a Battle attack.

Then, if 10 seconds have passed (and they will have), he'll say "Delicious
morsel! Let me get my bib!" 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 Battle, !Ink or an ST Tentacle in
that very same turn; if not, he'll spread the happiness with an MT Tentacle/
follow up with Battle/!Ink/ST Tentacle, wait a turn, and THEN hate Sabin for
his body.

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

Then, he'll say "Y you frighten me!" and use an ST Tentacle attack on Banon,
from where he'll start at his first MT Tentacle-Battle/!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 Fire Dance Blitz, he will
say "Yaaooouch! Seafood soup!" 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
Def. skill to reduce the power of Tentacle when you know they'll be targeted
by it. Have Banon use Health at all times, as his Fight 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 AutoCrossbow, and Sabin use AuraBolt. IF he knows Fire Dance at this point,
it's stronger than AuraBolt, but if you're highly leveled like that, you
probably don't need to worry about anything.

If you defeat him, he'll go  "Th that's all, friends!" 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 Edge, and the ability to de-equip, most likely
freeing an Atlas Armlet and RunningShoes.

Locke: Iron Helmets, a Ribbon, one pair of Earrings, a Thunder Rod (if you
left the Fenix 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 MithrilGlove, a Barrier Ring, Green Berets, a set of Earrings, a Sniper
Sight, a Tintinabar 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: Lete River continued
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Pterodon, Nautiloid, Exocite

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

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

Monster Formation Pack # 2
Pterodon, Pterodon (3/4)
Nautiloid, Exocite, Pterodon (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 Pterodon Muddled, take Nautiloid with an ST Fire spell, and Exocite with
the AutoCrossbow. 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:
  Leafer, Dark Wind

You rode that Lete 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 sets of Earrings, and have Edgar stick to
Atlas Armlet/RunningShoes.

Monster formations:

Grasslands:
Leafer (10/16)
Leafer, Leafer, Dark Wind (6/16)

Forest:
Leafer, Leafer, Dark Wind (10/16)
Leafer, Leafer, Dark Wind, Dark Wind (6/16)

Desert:
Sand Ray, Sand Ray (5/16)
Areneid, Areneid, Areneid (5/16)
Sand Ray, Areneid, Areneid (5/16)
Sand Ray, Areneid, Areneid, Areneid (1/16)

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

For some extra fun, you can take Banon to the hidden Chocobo Stable south of
Figaro Desert. He's not a permanent character and was never given a 'rider'
sprite, but it is called when you put him as the lead character and order a
ride. Garbage with maximum entertainment (I'll admit there's a possibility
that Garbage - the Band does make for an even better evening, but I've never
actually heard anything by them to my knowledge).

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

  Opponents:
  Were-Rat, Vaporite, Repo Man, Dark Side, Spectre, Rinn, 1st Class, Wild Rat

  Container contents:
  Rune Edge

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:
Were-Rat, Were-Rat, Were-Rat (10/16)
Were-Rat, Repo Man (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, 1st Class, 1st Class, Wild Rat, Wild Rat (6/16)
1st Class, 1st Class, 1st Class (5/16)
1st Class, Wild Rat (5/16)

Both 1st Class and Wild Rat monsters attack physically only, so there's little
point in explaining what it is that they do. 1st Classes 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:

Dark Side, Dark Side (3/4)
Dark Side, Spectre, Rinn, Rinn, Rinn (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 Dark Side enemy.

Lo and behold, as there is a small chance (25 %) you will actually encounter the
interesting Spectre and Rinn. There's no reason you want to meet them and
killing them is very easy, but you'll make them appear on the Veldt so you don't
end up with a needlessly incomplete Rage list. Spectre 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 Edge*. 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 RegalCutlass, as the Rune Edge 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 Edge 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 Edge is
now.

Monster formations:
Repo Man, Vaporite (6/16)
Vaporite, Vaporite (5/16)
Were-Rat, Were-Rat (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, Beakor, CrassHoppr, Rhobite

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 Earrings, AuraBolt kills everything in one shot anyway, so
a power boost isn't needed. Beakor's !Duster can Poison you, so that's why I
advise a Star Pendant. Clever, no?

Monster formations:

Grass:
Beakor (6/16)
Rhobite, Rhobite, Rhobite (5/16)
Beakor, Rhobite, Rhobite (5/16)

Forest:
CrassHoppr, CrassHoppr, Stray Cat, Stray Cat (5/16)
Rhobite, Rhobite, Rhobite, Rhobite, Rhobite (5/16)
Beakor, Beakor, Stray Cat (5/16)
Beakor, Stray Cat, CrassHoppr, CrassHoppr (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:

Tonic          50
Fenix Down    500
Tent         1200
Plumed Hat    250
Shuriken       30
Inviz Edge    200
Shadow Edge   400
Sprint Shoes 1500
 I suggest you buy 99 Shurikens from him. 2970 GP is not that much, and it'll
stop any worrying about the limit of Shadow's attacks for a good while. Also,
buy 5 Inviz Edges and 5 Shadow Edges. 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: "Whoa...
The dog just can't stand 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 Atlas Armlet 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.

A little note on his Imperial weapon: some have seen this as a hint that Shadow
is originally from the Southern continent, possible from Vector. 'Imperial'
was never the weapon's name in the Japanese game; there it was called the
Kunai, which should make anime otaku smile with recognition. It's *the* generic
ninja weapon.

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 Inviz Edge. This makes him
invulnerable for the remaining journey on the Overworld Map. Throw Shurikens
and AuraBolts 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: Imperial Camp and Doma
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Soldier, Templar, Doberman, M-TekArmor, Leader, Grunt, Cadet

  Container contents:
  Barrier Ring, MithrilGlove, Remedy, Star Pendant, Monster-in-a-box (Telstar)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Black Belt (common Leader drop), Green Beret (guaranteed Telstar 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.

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 Shld, Plumed Hat or even an Iron Helmet
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:
[SWDTECH-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 Soldiers), but it's of little use, as you'll be
forced to fight Soldiers in the near future anyway. I suggest you simply go
for the leader.

Leader
Level: 12, HP: 456, MP: 20
Win: Fenix Down (rare), Black Belt (common)
Status: Safe
Special: !Axe: Attack * 1.5
Attacks: Battle, !Axe

The leader, surprisingly called 'Leader', 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 Leader.

Cyan should be in the Back Row, so Leader's attacks shouldn't really hurt him.
Cyan's # 1 SwdTech skill, Dispatch, will deal sufficient damage to easily kill
Leader before Leader can come anywhere near killing Cyan. SwdTech skill # 2,
Retort, will make sure that the Leader is killed in one hit. SwdTech skill
# 3 works as well, although it takes needlessly long.
Make sure you end up with a Black Belt rather than a Fenix 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 a Soldier, Soldier, M-TekArmor
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! The top won't open. Right...
             (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. 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
AuraBolt damage increase. Now, walk back into the tent with two chests.

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

- The left one contains one of NASA's old-time prides: the first active
communications satellite, the first satellite designed to transmit telephone
and high-speed data communications, as well as the first privately owned
satellite. Joe Meek wrote a song about it. In short: the Telstar. 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: Telstar and Imperial Camp continued
**********************************

Telstar
Level: 14, HP: 1800, MP: 250
Steal: X-Potion (rare), Win: Green Beret (rare), Green Beret (common)
Weakness: Lightning, Water
Status: Float
Special: !SonicBlast: sets Muddled
Vulnerable to: Slow, Stop
Attacks: Battle, !SonicBlast, Dischord, Schiller, Megazerk, Tek Laser, Missile

Telstar will normally use Battle, !SonicBlast, Schiller, Tek Laser, and Missile
to make your life harder than it already is. Every ninth turn it takes, Telstar
will use Dischord to halve a character's level.

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

Finally, Telstar will counter any Blitz attack with Megazerk, 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
AuraBolts. If you didn't have a Ribbon, he will be Berserked by Telstar's
Blitz-counter, Megazerk. 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
Telstar's magical attacks will be striking Shadow, removing the Clear status.

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

After talking to Kefka for the third time, he'll run off and sends Soldier,
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
RunningShoes 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: Eeoooa! Be you friend or enemy?!
SABIN: Ouuuch! ...didn't MEAN to step in there...

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 Fight and
33 % shot at Dispatch. 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:

Grunt, Grunt, Grunt (3/4) / Grunt, Grunt, Grunt, Grunt (1/4)
Grunt, Grunt, Grunt (3/4) / Grunt, Grunt, Grunt, Grunt (1/4)
Cadet, Grunt, Grunt

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 Heal Force (obviously
Shadow wasn't touched at all; he's a non-generic ninja). Use Heal 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:

M-TekArmor
Soldier, Soldier, M-TekArmor
M-TekArmor, M-TekArmor

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, Areneid, Stray Cat, Beakor, CrassHoppr, Rhobite

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 here’s over. I’ve earned my fee!
SHADOW: Ta-ta...!

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 (especially PSX), 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.

As far as Relics go, I advise a Genji Glove/Black Belt and Front Row Sabin and
a Back Row Cyan with Barrier Ring and MithrilGlove. Shadow can have those
RunningShoes and Atlas Armlet.

Monster formations:

Grass north of Imperial Camp:
Beakor (6/16)
Rhobite, Rhobite, Rhobite (5/16)
Beakor, Rhobite, Rhobite (5/16)

Grass south and west of Imperial Camp:
CrassHoppr, CrassHoppr, CrassHoppr (6/16)
Stray Cat, Stray Cat, Stray Cat (5/16)
Beakor, Stray Cat, CrassHoppr, CrassHoppr (5/16)

Forest:
CrassHoppr, CrassHoppr, Stray Cat, Stray Cat (5/16)
Rhobite, Rhobite, Rhobite, Rhobite, Rhobite (5/16)
Beakor, Beakor, Stray Cat (5/16)
Beakor, Stray Cat, CrassHoppr, CrassHoppr (1/16)

Desert:
Sand Ray, Sand Ray (5/16)
Areneid, Areneid, Areneid (5/16)
Sand Ray, Areneid, Areneid (5/16)
Sand Ray, Areneid, Areneid, Areneid (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, Poplium

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 screen 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
Battle, !Pause (which sets Stop) and Fire Wall, 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 Dispatch, Shuriken, and AuraBolt. Use Potions when you are
hit with an unlucky Fire Wall 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 console 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  The Phantom Train
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Hazer, Whisper, Over-Mind, Bomb, Ghost, StillGoing, GhostTrain, Ziegfried*,
  Specter

  Container contents:
  Earrings, Fenix Down x2, Sniper Sight, Monster-in-a-box (Specter)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Hyper Wrist (guaranteed Specter drop), Tent x3 (2 hidden, one guaranteed
  GhostTrain drop)

* Is called Siegfried in the SNES release, but is more commonly known as
Ziegfried on the forums for various reasons, and the Anthology release calls
him Ziegfried as well. Jay for reality imitating art imitating reality, I guess.

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 portions of the entire Phantom Train):
Whisper, Whisper, Hazer (5/16)
Bomb (5/16)
Whisper, Whisper, Whisper, 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 Impresario's working area
in the far back. This is it:

(     LOCOMOTIVE    )
(  SAVE POINT CAR   )
( SPECTER CAR, POSH )
(ZIEGFRIED CAR, POSH)
(   RESTAURANT CAR  )
(  MAGIC SWITCH CAR )
(   LEAP OVER CAR   )
(   NO ESCAPE CAR   )
(HUMEROUS TUMBLE CAR)
(    STARTING CAR   )
(  IMPRESARIO CAR  )

Whispers are emissaries from a magical world. They use Battle, as is the wont
of monsters, and Demi, a spell that halves your amount of current HP. It's
pretty annoying. This is also the first monster you'll see with inherent
Seizure 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, Whispers just
waste away in their own misery.

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

Hazer 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, !Invizap damages.

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

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 Exploder,
which harms you as much as the Bomb in question has for current HP. Luckily,
as Exploder 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 Whispers before anything else, as their Blaze
and/or Demi attacks are the biggest threats you face.

It's feasible that your Sabin has learned Fire Dance by now.

While you must've leveled him to level 15 for Fire Dance to be an option,
and while level 15 is over leveled at this point, it's not entirely dramatically
high. Bombs absorb Fire/Fire Dance, so refrain from using it when facing them.
AuraBolt is more powerful on a single target, but both feed off the weaknesses
that seems inherent to all undead enemies: Fire and Pearl. You'll learn to use
Fire Dance, I'm sure. Give Shadow the RunningShoes, as his ST attacks will be
the most important ones. MithrilGlove/Atlas Armlet Cyan in the Front Row,
AuraBolt 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 Fenix 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 Fight, Possess,
and Item. Since he has no weapons, his Fight 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 Death Protection, Evade, or Magic Block. The ghost comes equipped
with NO equipment, and only one Relic: the Relic 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 Tonics and Potions
and kill it instantly with Fenix Downs. If it has fallen in battle, you cannot
revive him (the Fenix 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
Impresario (also: why the hell is this guy called 'Impresario'?), 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:
Whisper, Hazer, Hazer, Hazer (6/16)
Whisper (5/16)
StillGoing, StillGoing, StillGoing (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:

Tonic          50
Potion        300
Antidote       50
Green Cherry  150
Fenix 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:
Whisper, Hazer, Hazer, Hazer (6/16)
Over-Mind, Over-Mind (5/16)
Over-Mind, StillGoing, StillGoing (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 Over-Mind, 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: Food! Chop! Let's go slop the hogs!
CYAN: A...are you going to be okay if you eat THIS?
SHADOW: ......Interceptor...are you hungry?
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 a
set of Earrings. Swap one of Sabin's Relics with it, as you'll need the boost
in Aurabolt power in a bit.

Monster formations:
Whisper (6/16)
Bomb, Bomb, Hazer, Hazer (5/16)
Whisper, StillGoing, Hazer, Hazer (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.

Ziegfried
Level: 7, HP: 100, MP: 5
Steal: Win: Green Cherry (rare), Green Cherry (common)
Special: !Hit: Battle x 1.5
Vulnerable to: Petrify, Death, Condemned, Mute
Attacks: Battle

After the introduction between you and Ziegfried is done, it's fighty time.
Ziegfried 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
(Slash doesn't work!). You'll get a Green Cherry for your troubles.

Ziegfried 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, Ziegfried continuously refers to himself as
Mr. Me. It gets really annoying really quick. Anyway, the pansy has been beaten.

Ziegfried runs off with the treasure - tata! 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 compartment is lined up with four chests; rejoice. From right to
left, they contain a Fenix Down, Sniper Sight (you can ignore this Relic for
now, nothing evades your physicals at this stage of the game, and you're not
using them anyway), Fenix Down, and a Monster-in-a-Box. How frightening.

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

Specter
Level: 19, HP: 1500, MP: 10000
Steal: Win: Hyper Wrist (rare), Hyper Wrist (common)
Absorbs: Poison, Weakness: Fire, Pearl
Status: Undead
Special: !Lightning: Battle x 2
Sketch : !Lightning, Battle
Control: Battle, !Lightning
Vulnerable to: Slow, Stop
Attacks: Battle, !Lightning, Ice, Raid

This is Specter. 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.

Specter has normal access to three attacks: Battle, the Ice spell, and Raid,
which drains HP. If you damage Specter, 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 Fenix 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 Fenix
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 SwdTech, Slash. Don't move
with Sabin and Shadow or even the ghost; just skip to Cyan and use Slash.
It'll halve his current HP and should do 750 damage. Follow up with an AuraBolt
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 GhostTrain
**********************************

GhostTrain
Level: 14, HP: 1900, MP: 350
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Tent (always)
Absorbs: Poison, Weakness: Fire, Lightning, Pearl
Status: Undead
Special: !Wheel: Battle x 2
Vulnerable to: Death
Attacks: Battle, !Wheel, Acid Rain, Evil Toot, Scar Beam

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

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

The fight against GhostTrain can be real easy and real bad, and it all depends
on his Evil Toot attack. This sets one random status ailment on your party out
of the following: Dark, Poison, Imp, Condemned, Berserk, Muddled, Seizure, and
Slow.

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

The GhostTrain battle is very much like the Specter battle in the sense that
using a Fenix Down is the coward's way out, and that the strategy revolves
around allowing Cyan to start the battle with his third SwdTech skill, Slash.
After this, have Sabin come in with an AuraBolt and Shadow with Shuriken.
A lot of people have dubbed it 'hilarious' to have Sabin use Suplex on the
GhostTrain. 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 GhostTrain 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: Leave 'em alone."

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, Beakor, CrassHoppr

Monster formations:
CrassHoppr, CrassHoppr, CrassHoppr (6/16)
Stray Cat, Stray Cat, Stray Cat (5/16)
Beakor, Stray Cat, CrassHoppr, CrassHoppr (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 RunningShoes to Sabin and pass the Atlas Armlet to Cyan. If you're still
suffering from bad status afflictions from GhostTrain's Evil Toot, a Tent might
be appropriate. Don't forget to move all but your Black Belt character to the
Back Row.

Wait for Sabin's Fire Dance 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:
  Piranha, Rizopas

  Miscellaneous items:
  Remedy (guaranteed Rizopas 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:
Piranha, Piranha, Piranha, Piranha, Piranha, Rizopas

Yeah, you read that right, but it's more of a data thing. What you'll see
on-screen is monster formations of Piranha x2, Piranha x3 and Rizopas. What'll
happen here is that you'll be fighting Piranhas for 60 seconds before Rizopas
appears. Which pack of Piranha monsters pops up entirely depends on which
Piranha you killed last, but it shouldn't really concern you, as the normal
Piranhas 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 Tonics for the Rizopas confrontation, and kill the last
bugger. On the other hand, Piranhas know a rare Tonic drop, so if you want a
shot at as much of those possible, kill as much Piranha as you can handle.
Since Piranha only have 10 HP even a Back Row Fight 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 Piranha with a Black Belt counter,
leaving both Sabin and Cyan with a full ATB bar versus Rizopas.

Rizopas
Level: 13, HP: 775, MP: 39
Steal: Win: Remedy (rare), Remedy (common)
Absorbs: Water, Weakness: Lightning
Status: Float
Special: !Bite: Battle x 1.5
Vulnerable to: Berserk, Muddled, Sleep, Slow, Stop
Attacks: Battle, !Bite, Ice, El Nino, Mega Volt

As soon as Rizopas it's time to bring the noise hardcore-like. The first turn,
he'll use Battle, !Bite or Mega Volt, followed by either another physical or a
66% shot at casting the Ice spell. On the second turn, this little guy has
access to the El Nino 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 Rizopas never
lives to see its second turn.

While Rizopas has very decent magical defense, AuraBolt still out damages
Pummel (and Fire Dance, but that should be obvious). Slash doesn't work, so
just go with Dispatch.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 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 Doom, 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:
  Tintinabar (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:
MithrilKnife  300
MithrilBlade  450
Mithril Claw  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 Shld    400
Plumed Hat    250
Magus Hat     600
Bandana       800
Iron Helmet  1000
Kung Fu Suit  250
Iron Armor    700
 Buy two Heavy Shlds, two Magus Hats, another Plumed hat, and two Iron
Armors. The Iron Helmets are ridiculously expensive and you find better
alternatives in a short while.

Item Shop:
Dried Meat    150
Tonic          50
Potion        300
Eyedrop        50
Green Cherry  150
Fenix 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 Potions), but has the added
property of also healing Undead monsters/characters (instead of hurting them
like Tonics and 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 GP 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 Tonic (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 Tintinabar, 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 Tintinabar 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 Tintinabar 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 Knives 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 Dispatch
still out damages Cyan's Fight 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 Kung Fu Suit. You
will want to swap Sabin's MithrilShld 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
an Atlas Armlet free. Set the other Relic slot up with a filler Relic (White
Cape is nice).

Gau joins with a few Rages already: Brawler, Exocite, Hornet, Lobo, M-TekArmor,
Rhinotaur, Trilobiter, Were-Rat, and Whisper. Brawler is nice, and Rhinotaur 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:

Dark Wind (inherent Float, Break)
Trilium (Bio which is a strong ST/MT Poison-elemental spell)
Areneid (!Numb sets Stop)
Vaporite (absorbs Lightning, inherent Float, Blaze)
Over-Mind (absorbs Poison, Elf Fire which is a strong ST Fire-elemental attack)
Stray Cat (!Catscratch = Battle * 4)
Marshal (Wind Slash which is a strong MT Wind-elemental attack)
Pterodon (inherent Float, Fire Ball, which is a strong MT Fire-elemental attack)
Rhodox (Snare, which is the most accurate ST Wound-setting attack you have now)
Templar (inherent Safe, Fire 2)
Hazer (Bolt 2)
Telstar (inherent Float, ID protection, Sonic Boom)
Bomb (absorbs Fire, inherent Float, Blaze)

The most important ones right now are Dark Wind, Trilium, Areneid, Templar
and Marshal/Pterodon.

If you completed Locke's scenario already, Primordite is just as good as Areneid
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 Lobo and Tusker
is just losing control of Gau's Leaping for the time being, which could make him
miss out on the others.

Marshal 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.

Telstars 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:
  Tonic (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 Tonic (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 GP (which is removed from your amount of money). If you had less than that,
Cyan will magically possess the remaining GP 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, Aspik, Actaneon

  Container contents:
  Green Beret, X-Potion

Narshe is a long way if you take the wrong turn at the Lete 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 Actaneon; his
physicals shouldn't really bother you that much, and whenever you meet a triple
Actaneon monster formation, Dispatch, AuraBolt/Fire Dance and the Templar, Bomb,
or Pterodon 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 Rake when they are alone. Aqua Rake is an
extremely strong MT Water/Wind-elemental attack that will hurt for about
170-200 HP damage. Not nice. You should kill with Fire Dance 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 AuraBolt,
Dispatch, and either Trilium (absorbs Aqua Rake and has very decent offense)
or Hazer/Ghost (Bolt 2 slaughters any Anguiform period).

Aspik are the trickiest. Whenever you meet them, keep hold of your precious
secondary commands as Aspik will counter any damage not inflicted by the Fight
command with a 33 % shot at Giga Volt 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 Rhinotaur/Vaporite Rages, as they will allow Gau to absorb Giga
Volt.

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

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

Monster Formation Pack # 2
Anguiform, Actaneon, Aspik (always)

Monster Formation Pack # 3
Anguiform, Anguiform (3/4)
Actaneon, Actaneon, Actaneon, Aspik, Aspik (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:
Mithril Claw  800
Kotetsu       800
Mithril Pike  800
 You can buy another MithrilPike here if you wish, but you won't really use
the Fight 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 Shld    400
Plumed Hat    250
Magus Hat     600
Bandana       800
Iron Helmet  1000
Kung Fu Suit  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:
Tonic          50
Potion        300
Echo Screen   120
Smoke Bomb    300
Green Cherry  150
Fenix Down    500
Sleeping Bag  500
Tent         1200
 How's your supply of Potions and Fenix 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:
Goggles       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 GP from your Veldt hunting (which means
over 10000 GP), 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:
  HeavyArmor, Merchant, Officer

  Miscellaneous items:
  Iron Helmet (rare HeavyArmor steal), Guardian (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 Atlas Armlet 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/Atlas Armlet with Bandana and
Kung Fu Suit. 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 Kutan 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:

[KUTAN-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, 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 HeavyArmor 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 Warp Stone here?
Walk up the perimeter wall and go over to the three barrels. There's an Officer
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 Officer here, and if you're a match for the HeaveyArmor 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.
A cutscene wherein Celes makes her unflattering introduction is shown. I imagine
it has inspired lemon writers all around the world.

Fun trivia: The Japanese game had the 'leave her' options phrased something like
'Looking at her is good enough'.

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: You're awfully short for a soldier.
LOCKE: Oh, I forgot I was wearing a uniform!

(Locke still disguised as a merchant)
CELES: What do you hope to peddle down here?
LOCKE: Oops! Forgot I was 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 Hair Band. If this is
your last scenario, her equipment is best off looking like this: RegalCutlass/
Rune Edge, Heavy Shld, Green Beret, Silk Robe. If you haven't, it'll be
RegalCutlass, Heavy Shld, Plumed Hat (or Bandana if you went through the trouble
of stealing it), LeatherArmr. 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, Vector Pup

  Container contents:
  Earrings, Ether, Heavy Shld, Iron Armor, RegalCutlass, 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 Pup, Vector Pup (5/16)
Vector Pup, Vector Pup, 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 some Earrings and the Ice spell and Locke with the Atlas
Armlet. The Genji Glove isn't necessary unless you're level 10 or lower and
would just be harmful to your defense.

Vector Pups are the more durable enemies, but even they should fall to a single
attack. When a Vector Pup is alone, it will Escape, 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 Ice 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 an 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,
RegalCutlass, Earrings, and a Heavy Shld.

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*.
And than he calls YOU blockheads. Craziness.

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

  Opponents:
  Rhodox, Rhinotaur, GreaseMonk

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:

Grass:
Rhinotaur (6/16)
GreaseMonk, GreaseMonk (5/16)
Rhodox, Rhodox, GreaseMonk (5/16)

Forest:
Rhodox, Rhodox, Rhodox, Rhodox (6/16)
Rhinotaur, Rhodox, Rhodox (5/16)
Rhinotaur, GreaseMonk, Rhodox, Rhodox (5/16)

You know the drill by now. Kill with Ice spells and pointy knives. Rhinotaur
will still counter spells with Mega Volt, 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:
  Trilobiter, Primordite, Gold Bear, TunnelArmr

  Container contents:
  Thunder Rod, Tincture, X-Potion

  Miscellaneous items:
  Air Lancet (common TunnelArmr steal), Elixir (guaranteed TunnelArmr drop)

Monster formations:
Trilobiter, Primordite, Primordite (5/16)
Gold Bear, Primordite (5/16)
Primordite, Primordite (5/16)
Trilobiter, Trilobiter, Trilobiter (1/16)

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!

Only, not really. The only thing that makes this dungeon somewhat annoying is
the fact you only have two characters. !PoisonBarb is more a nuisance than
anything else (use an Antidote or the 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 !Numblade 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 Primordite and Trilobiter fall to a single ST Ice spell. Primordite
also falls to Locke's physical. Trilobiters have a nasty Safe 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 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 Ring will serve you very well in the future though. I'd go for the Hero
Ring just because the Thunder Rod is in no way necessary to make it through
TunnelArmr, 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!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.19.2  Scenario Locke: The battle with TunnelArmr
**********************************

TunnelArmr
Level: 16, HP: 1300, MP: 900
Steal: Bio Blaster (rare), Air Lancet (common)
Win: Elixir (always)
Weakness: Lightning, Water
Special: !Drill: Battle x 2
Vulnerable to: Nothing
Attacks: Battle, !Drill, Fire, Bolt, Poison, Tek Laser

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

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]

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

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 TunnelArmr still has anything (if you
steal a second Air Lancet, and Locke still has a Genji Glove with a Guardian
equipped, you can use the second Air Lancet by equipping it mid-battle). Have
Locke use a 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:
  Fidor, Rider, Trooper, Bounty Man, HeavyArmor, Kefka

  Miscellaneous items:
  MithrilVest (common Rider steal), Ether (common Kefka steal), Elixir (rare
  Rider & Kefka steal), Peace Ring (guaranteed Kefka drop), Remedy (guaranteed
  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
RegalCutlass
Heavy Shld
Magus Hat (if you have more than five Green Berets, equip one of them on Terra)
Silk Robe
Earrings

Edgar - Back Row
MithrilPike
Heavy Shld
Green Beret
Iron Armor

Locke - Front Row
Air Lancet
Air Lancet/Guardian (depends on what you were able to steal from TunnelArmr)
Green Beret
Ninja Gear
Genji Glove

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

Sabin - Back Row
MithrilClaw
Buckler
Green Beret
Kung Fu Suit

Cyan - Back Row
Kotetsu
Heavy Shld
Green Beret
Iron Armor

Gau - Front Row
Empty
MithrilShld
Green Beret
Kung Fu Suit
Earrings

The Relics...I'll leave this one up to you. I'd really advise Earrings on Gau,
as he'll be doing monster MT magical damage. If you have Fire Dance, equip
Earrings on Sabin as well. RunningShoes are great for those you want to attack
first: either Locke (for Stealing before killing) or Gau (for killing ASAP).
Atlas Armlet 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 Bio Blaster, 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 Pterodon's Fire Ball or Marshal'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 Fire Dance, 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 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 Marshal'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. There are 12

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 Mithril
Vests and Ethers, but it's quicker. For this mission, I would go with Locke,
Celes, Gau and either Sabin or Cyan.

Monster formations:

Green Soldiers:
Trooper, Trooper, Trooper, Trooper (3/4)
Bounty Man, Trooper, Trooper (1/4)

Brown Soldiers:
Fidor, Trooper (3/4)
HeavyArmor, Trooper, Trooper (1/4)

Racing Brown Soldier:
Rider (always)

Kefka:
Kefka (always)

The battle strategy here is simple. If you have a strong MT character (Gau,
possibly Sabin, Edgar against Troopers), 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.

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

Bounty Man dogs, like their palette swaps, flee when alone. In Trooper x2,
Bounty Man monster formations you can take out the Troopers 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 Fenix Down from them.

HeavyArmor 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 TekBarrier,
which sets Safe and Reflect. You weren't using Ice anyway (unless you've been
a naughty boy), so that shouldn't be that much of a concern. Don't start using
Hazer or Templar, though.

After the two waves of 'normal' enemies are over, there are but two opponents
left after the massacre: 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...He stuck that crown on me?
LOCKE: Bloody Empire!! We are your worst enemy!
CELES: I'm free... The Empire can't control me!
EDGAR: Kefka...grr...What's he up to...?
SABIN: Master Duncan's techniques mustn't fail me.
CYAN: I will avenge the people of Doma!!
GAU: GAU hit hard!!!
BANON: We're history if they reach me! Good luck!

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

BANON: Couldn't hold out!? I have a bad feeling about this...

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. Rider has a
common MithrilVest, 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 Ethers, a superior version to the
insanely expensive Tincture. I'd advise you to steal three MithrilVests
(you'll take one Ninja Gear along) and as many Ethers as you want. 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!

Remember now, OnionRider.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.21.2  Rider
**********************************

Rider
Level: 14, HP: 1300, MP: 170
Steal: Elixir (rare), Mithril Vest (common), Win: Remedy (rare), Remedy (common)
Weakness: Fire, Poison
Special: !SilverPike: Battle x 3
Vulnerable to: Petrify, Death, Condemned, Mute, Berserk, Sleep, Slow, Stop
Attacks: Battle, !SilverPike, Virite, R. Polarity

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

Gau can take him out in a single hit with Rhodox's Snare and the Break spell
from Dark Wind and/or Commander. If you have nothing along those lines, his
Areneid's !Numb and Primordite's !Numblade will stop him in his actions. If
you lack Gau (shame on you), Cyan's Slash works great if used first, and any
combination of your strongest attacks should suffice. He can also counter any
Fight attack with R. 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), Ether (common), Win: Peace Ring (always)
Special: !Hit: Battle x 1.5
Vulnerable to: Slow, Stop
Attacks: Battle, Ice, Ice 2, Bolt, Poison, Drain, Muddle, Escape

Kefka is vulnerable to Stop, so have Gau Rage Areneid and/or Primordite 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 Edge to
some very nice result. Locke should Fight, Edgar should unload his AutoCrossbow,
Sabin relies on good old AuraBolt, Cyan can use Dispatch or his fourth SwdTech,
Quadra Slam, 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 GP, Earrings, Elixir, Hyper Wrist, Sneak Ring, Thiefknife, Wall Ring

  Miscellaneous items:
  Ice Rod (rare Spectre 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 Fire Dance, 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-Safe, Catscratch, Bio, and Numblade. 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 Brawler, 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
Fire Dance, 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 Areneid or
Primordite.

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, SwdTechs are horrible at this part of the
game. Dispatch is so-so and while Cyan learns Quadra Slam, 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, Quadra Slam is far inferior to Flash
and Fire Dance (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 GP a toss (you can obtain elemental scrolls in
Kohlingen as well, but they are very expensive at 500 GP 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:
RegalCutlass  800
Mithril Clase 800
Kotestu        800
Mithril Pike  800
Air Lancet    950
Flail        2000
Full Moon    2500
 New weapons here include the Flail and the Full Moon. The Flail is a weapon
for Terra and Celes; Terra is gone and Celes will still do more damage with
and Ice spell than with the 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. Ice spells do cost MP where a Flail attack
does not, so in theory (when you're stupid), it could have its use. The Full
Moon 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:
Mithril Shld 1200
Magus Hat     600
Bandana       800
Iron Helmet  1000
Silk Robe     600
Iron Armor    700
 Finally, Mithril 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
Jewel Ring   1000
Fairy Ring   1500
Barrier Ring  500
MithrilGlove  700
True Knight  1000
 The first Relic shop that sells those crappy near-death Safe/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, Jewel Rings for the rest).

Item Shop:
Tonic          50
Potion        300
Tincture     1500
Soft          200
Fenix Down    500
Smoke Bomb    300
Sleeping Bag  500
Tent         1200
 Especially if you don't bring Celes, Potions might come in handy, so keep an
eye out for your stock. Fenix 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 GP, a ThiefKnife, a pair of Earrings, a Wall Ring, a Sneak Ring and a
Hyper Wrist. The ThiefKnife is Locke's superior weapon I was talking about.
The Sneak Ring 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 Spectre and Rinn from the security checkpoint? Well, guess what:
Spectre 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:
  Leafer, Dark Wind, Sand Ray, Areneid

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 Sneak Ring 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 Aspik. Anguiform
performs Aqua Rake, which although weaker than Wind Slash on multiple targets,
will nail the weakness of much more monsters later on. Aspik, whose Giga Volt is
an obscenely strong magical attack that sometimes goes MT (far surpassing Aqua
Rake and Wind Slash in that aspect) or ST (far surpassing...anything. For
comparison, it's almost as strong as a Fire 2 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:
AutoCrossbow  250
NoiseBlaster  500
Bio Blaster   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 Dispatch, Pummel, and Shuriken; physical, barrier-piercing, and
non-elemental. Drill beats Dispatch and Pummel 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 Suplex Blitz will start becoming more dangerous than AuraBolt
when Sabin is without Earrings. With Earrings, the damage difference is
marginal, but you'll want to get used to using Suplex when only one monster is
on the battlefield (it will do double damage when only one target remains).
On Suplex: Code-wise, it would be better to say that it deals half damage when
more than one opponent is on the battlefield. However, since Suplex 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 Quadra Slam 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 Dispatch
and Fight (Dispatch is slightly stronger, but Genji Glove Fight is targetable).

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

SABIN: This's like old times! I have to wander around for a while!
EDGAR: If only SABIN were here...(if Sabin is still in Narshe)

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, Areneid, FossilFang, Vulture, Iron Fist, Red Fang, Mind Candy,
  Over Grunk

  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:
Red Fang, Vulture, Red Fang (6/16)
Red Fang, Red Fang (5/16)
Vulture, Vulture (5/16)

Forest:
Over Grunk, Over Grunk, Mind Candy, Mind Candy, Mind Candy (6/16)
Over Grunk, Vulture, Iron Fist (5/16)
Iron Fist, Iron Fist, Mind Candy, Mind Candy (5/16)

Desert:
Sand Ray, Areneid, Areneid (6/16)
FossilFang (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 Lancet    950
Flail        2000
Full Moon    2500
Shuriken       30
Fire Skean    500
Water Edge    500
Bolt Edge     500
Inviz Edge    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 GP a piece, they are really too
expensive for you to buy in mass amounts. If you chose to hire Shadow, buy a
few Fire Skeans. 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

Fire Skean              Katon               Fire release
Water Edge              Suiton              Water release
Bolt Edge               Raijin              Swift Lightning
Shadow Edge             Kage Bunshin        Shadow Clone
Inviz Edge              Konoha Gakure       Hiding in leaves

...believe it!
Armor Shop:
Mithril Shld 1200
Magus Hat     600
Bandana       800
Head Band    1600
Iron Helmet  1000
Silk Robe     600
Iron Armor    700
 The only new item of interest here is the Head Band. The Head Band 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:
Potion        300
Tincture     1500
Revivify      300
Antidote       50
Green Cherry  150
Fenix 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 Potions doesn't drop to one-digit levels. Never travel without
less than 5 Fenix Downs and less than 20 Potions, as they're always useful.
The most important are the Revivifies; carry a few at ALL times, as the Zombie
status they cure can only be healed by Tents and Revivies 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: ...wasn't able to...save her when she needed me...
(switch to a cave. Locke and a girl are walking through it)
RACHEL: LOCKE! What are we off to find today?
LOCKE: Soon, you'll...
LOCKE: You're not going to believe what awaits us up here! Come on, it's worth
       a fortune!
(Locke crosses a wooden bridge, but it starts to collapse underneath him.
RACHEL: LOCKE! Look out!
(Rachel rushes towards Locke and pushes him off of the bridge, just as it
collapses. Rachel tumbles downwards instead.
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 DAD: Get outta here! It's your fault she's lost her memory!
LOCKE: Wait a minute! She said "Yes!" We were gonna...
(Rachel appears as well)
RACHEL: Go! I don't know who you are, but ever since you came here my parents
have been upset!
(Locke is standing outside of Rachel's house, alone. A man with the appearance
of an outlaw walks up to him)
You'd best leave Rachel alone. She's going to have to make a new start of it.
LOCKE... Your being here doesn't help.
(Locke slowly walks off, out of town)

Back to the present:

"A year passed... When I returned here, I learned that Rachel had perished in an
Imperial attack. Her memory returned just before she passed away. The last
thing she uttered was... my name... I should never 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 (much as I ignored any Aspik puns). 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! Is that you, LOCKE? It's been a while! Uh? Oh, that?! Worry not! Your
treasure's quite safe! Uwa, ha, ha!"

(When examining Rachel's body)
"I used some herbs to put her into suspended animation. She won't age a day!
Uwaa, ha! That's what you wanted, right? Had to use my herbs, I did!"
(Cut to a flashback in the very room you're standing in)
LOCKE: Rachel...
LOCKE: You mean those herbs have actually saved her?
Of course! The love of your life will sleep here like this forever. Kwa, ha, ha!
LOCKE: What if there were some way to...call her back?
If you could call her back... ...she'd come back! Wah, ha, ha! I'm sure you'll
find something that'll bring her around! Kuha, ha, ha!!"
(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! Almost spilled the beans! Kwa, ha!"

In the Inn, there's Shadow waiting for you! For 3000 GP, 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 'creature of light' 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
creature of light 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, Areneid, FossilFang, Vulture, Iron Fist, Red Fang, Mind Candy,
  Over Grunk

  Container contents:
  Hero 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:
Red Fang, Vulture, Red Fang (6/16)
Red Fang, Red Fang (5/16)
Vulture, Vulture (5/16)

Grasslands to the south:
Iron Fist, Iron Fist, Mind Candy, Mind Candy (6/16)
Vulture, Iron Fist (5/16)
Mind Candy, Mind Candy, Mind Candy, Mind Candy (5/16)

Forest:
Over Grunk, Over Grunk, Mind Candy, Mind Candy, Mind Candy (6/16)
Over Grunk, Vulture, Iron Fist (5/16)
Iron Fist, Iron Fist, Mind Candy, Mind Candy (5/16)

Desert:
Sand Ray, Areneid, Areneid (6/16)
FossilFang (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 colosseum. You'll want to
pay this so-called lunatic a visit, as one of his buckets houses an ever-so-
precious Hero Ring, a ring featuring the image of a roaring lion. It is an
Atlas Armlet and Earrings 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 FossilFang 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 Revivify to
cure), and Sand Storm 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 GP though, so it's worth the challenge if you're low on cash. The
easiest way to take care of them is using a Fenix Down or Revivify (you can buy
three Fenix Downs or six Revivifies 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 Fenix Down/Revivify with Locke, Drill a hole with
Edgar, Sabin can deliver massive pain with AuraBolt (it's super-effective),
Celes can make little difference regardless besides an MT Cure when a Sand Storm
attack kicks in, Cyan can use Slash early on or deliver a Dispatch later, and
Gau's Dark Side, Anguiform, Templar, and Rhodox are extremely effective.
In the forest near the would-be Colosseum 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 Mind Candy, 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 Battle/!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
Muddle 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 AutoCrossbow, Fire Dance, 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. Red Fang and Over Grunk can poison
you, so watch out, and give them priority over Mind Candy bugs. These simple
pests prolong the battle by putting you to sleep. They're easy enemies and
you should destroy them.

Fire Dance and Flash rule supreme as heavy-hitting MT spells that can either
seriously weaken or kill anything they touch with consistent effort. Wind Slash,
Giga Volt, and Aqua Rake 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 Shimsham 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:
  Tincture

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:
Forged       1200
Kaiser       1000
Kodachi      1200
Full Moon    2500
Fire Skean    500
Water Edge    500
Bolt Edge     500
Shadow Edge   400
 New weapons! The Kaiser Knuckles are new weapons for Sabin, and they're
Pearl-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.

Forged are new Knives for Cyan. 'Forged' is one of the few translation choices
I really feel missed the point. The Japanese called them Kikuichimonji, and
that is the name I shall honor them by, dammit! Regardless, if you have Cyan
in your party, you probably made a Genji Glover/Black Belt out of him; two
Forged Knives 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 Thiefknife
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 Thiefknife on the treasure
hunter.

Armor Shop:
Mithril Shld 1200
Head Band    1600
Mithril Vest 1200
Ninja Gear   1100
White Dress  2200
 Jidoor sells expensive new stuff. First and foremost, you'll notice Mithril
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
MithrilGlove  700
Earrings     5000
True Knight  1000
Sniper Sight 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
set of Earrings (say, if you brought Gau, Edgar, Sabin, and Celes), consider
buying one.

Item Shop:
Potion        300
Tincture     1500
Antidote       50
Soft          200
Revivify      300
Fenix 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 a Tincture 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:
  Harvester, SlamDancer, HadesGigas, Iron Fist, Gabbldegak, Dadaluma

  Container contents:
  Chainsaw, Fire Knuckle, Potion, RunningShoes, Thief Glove, Tincture x2, Tonic,
  X-Potion

  Miscellaneous items:
  DragoonBoots (rare Harvester steal), Thiefknife (rare Dadaluma drop and rare
  SlamDancer steal), Atlas Armlet (rare HadesGigas steal), Sneak Ring (rare
  Dadaluma steal)

  Magicite:
  Kirin, Ramuh, Siren, Stray

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, Pterodon, Aspik, or Hornet. It will protect at least him from the
dreaded Magnitude8 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 the buildings:

Gabbldegak, Gabbldegak, Gabbldegak, Gabbldegak (5/16)
HadesGigas (5/16)
Harvester, Gabbldegak, Gabbldegak (5/16)
HadesGigas, Harvester (1/16)

Inside the buildings:
SlamDancer (5/16)
SlamDancer, Harvester, Harvester (5/16)
Harvester (5/16)
SlamDancer, Gabbldegak, Gabbldegak, Gabbldegak (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 GP 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.

SlamDancers should be your first concern, period. If they are alone, they start
casting Fire 2, Ice 2, or Bolt 2. 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 ThiefKnives
from them and then end their lives.

HadesGigas 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
HadesGigas delivers. If you kill one, there's a 33 % chance they will end
things with a Magnitude8 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. Dark Wind is also an
efficient way of dealing with the wall of muscle, but Break won't stop the
Magnitude8 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 Dirk or a
MithrilKnife 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
Clear status.

And that's where our fourth and final random encounter comes in! Gabbldegak 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 Muddled, use it! Edgar's NoiseBlaster is far and entirely superior to
Gau's Brawler Rage (Stone), but if you lack Edgar, you have precious little
choice should you want to employ this. A confused Gabbldegak has a 33 % chance
of casting Vanish at a random character of yours. The Clear status remains
after battle and makes you immune to all physical attacks sent your way,
including items Thrown by Harvester. Two characters under Clear 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 a Vanished 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 left one opens to reveal
a Tincture. 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 has no minute hand. It's never pointing to the right time anyway!

(This 'that clock' means the one nearby. Talking to it will get you the message,
'Hand's pointin' at the two.')

Clock's second hand's pointin' at 30.
The seconds? They're divisible by 20!
The second hand of my watch is pointing at four.
Time? It's 4:00.
You can trust me! It's 8:00.
10:00! Time to go home!
It's already 12:00.
It's now 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 Instant Death.
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 Thief 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 Thief Glove, by the way, is a Relic for Locke that allows him to change his
Steal command into Capture, which is basically Fight + Steal. The Sneak Ring
also boosts the chances of stealing through Capture, and the chances of stealing
are just as high for Capture as it is for Steal. The only downside (and very
rarely upside) of Capture 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 Atma Weapon; Becomes a normal 255 Battle Power blade
- Striker, Assassin, Wing Edge and Trump/Doom Darts (dependent on game version)
  will not execute X-type ID any more.
- The Scimitar won't slice enemies, ever.
- The Man Eater won't double damage on 'Human' targets.
- Drainer 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 Edge, Ragnarok, Illumina, Punisher and the Ogre Nix can't execute the
  MP-powered critical hit; in addition, the Ogre Nix can't break on you.
- No random extra damage from Hawk Eye 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 ValiantKnife loses defense-ignoring properties and doesn't add the
  (max HP - current HP) damage.
- Tempest 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 Potion and a Tincture 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 Fire Knuckle 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: Sneak Ring (rare), Jewel Ring (common)
Weakness: Poison
Special: !Sweep: sets Seizure
Vulnerable to: Imp, Petrify, Condemned, Mute, Sleep, Slow, Stop
Attacks: Battle, !Sweep, Jump, Safe, Shock Wave, Item (Tonic), Item (Potion),
Throw (Dirk), Throw (MithrilKnife), 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
Dirks and MithrilKnives. Your Vanished characters are relatively safe if he
doesn't expose them with Shock Wave, which is a weakish attack with the power to
hit your Clear targets. When he's taking enough damage to dive below 1920
HP, he'll use either a Potion or Tonic three times and cast Safe 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 Fight command four times, he will Throw TWO weapons.
Such violence. Obviously, you're never going to use Fight that much, but if
you brought Locke AND Cyan and went Fight-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 Muted, 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 Sneak Ring with
Locke. Edgar can play with his new equipment (like you did when you grew hair
in weird places...don't deny it). AuraBolt with Sabin. Cyan's Quadra Slam will
be better before Dadaluma has cast the Safe spell on himself, but Dispatch
comes out victorious after he's successfully done so. Even when Safe isn't in
effect, the wait time might make Dispatch 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 Shock Wave/Throw
days are over, so if you have any characters under Clear, 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
Safe for the Lockes and Cyans of this world. Gau's Areneid and Primordite Rages
will set Stop on Dadaluma, turning him completely useless. Trilium offers Bio,
on the other hand, which will hit for CRAZY damage. Shadow can simply toss his
stuff; his Skeans (especially when Earrings-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 RunningShoes. 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:

TERRA...she ok?
Espers...from other world?
Why hide fact you Esper?
GAU hear fairy tale. People...Esper once live together peacefully...
MagiTek Research Facility...? There...your people?
R.a.m.u.h...You leave...?
Awoooo...!

Note that this guy, later in the game, has trouble saying 'yes'.

From now on, there will be a wizard/ghost character roaming the streets of
Zozo as well as the Classroom for the Beginner in Narshe to explain how
Magicite works. What great news!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.27.1  Magicite and Owzer's Mansion in Jidoor
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Vulture, Iron Fist, Red Fang, Mind Candy, Over Grunk

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 (Dispatch fails to measure up to your other offensive
options, and Quadra Slam 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, Aspik, Mind Candy, SlamDancer,
Gabbldegak and HadesGigas. HadesGigas' Magnitude8 will be stronger than Wind
Slash in MT damage, but it cannot hit Floating targets. Anguiform and Aspik 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, Mind Candy, Mind Candy (6/16)
Vulture, Iron Fist (5/16)
Mind Candy, Mind Candy, Mind Candy, Mind Candy (5/16)

Forest:
Over Grunk, Over Grunk, Mind Candy, Mind Candy, Mind Candy (6/16)
Over Grunk, Vulture, Iron Fist (5/16)
Iron Fist, Iron Fist, Mind Candy, Mind Candy (5/16)

Desert:
Sand Ray, Areneid, Areneid (6/16)
FossilFang (5/16)
Sand Ray, Sand Ray (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 Points! 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:
  Sewer Rat, Vermin, Ultros

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 (Celes' Opera Performance)
**********************************

Scene 1
         Oh my hero, so far away now. Will I ever see your smile?
             Love goes away, like night into day. It's just a fading dream...
         I'm the darkness, you're the stars. Our love is brighter than the sun.
             For eternity, for me there can be, only you, my chosen one...
         Must I forget you? Our solemn promise? Will autumn take the place of
             spring?
         What shall I do? I'm lost without you. Speak to me once more!

             ...here you pick up the flowers.
             Climb the stairs to the balcony high atop the castle. Raise the
             flowers to the stars.
(Hurry! You have just moments before Scene 2 starts!
 The Impresario)

Scene 2

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're outta here! The orchestra stops. BAD.

(I wish I...)     --> I wish I...uh? The orchestra stops. BAD.
(I'm the darkness)--> success! GOOD.

(Must I...)       --> success! GOOD.
(Prince Ralse...) --> Prince Ralse...yeah, so? I hate him! Everyone does. 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: "Uhnn...not in time...We messed up.", 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), 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 "You don't have enough acting ability to
convince your own mama!" 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 right ahead.
SABIN: Uh?
       Why's everyone singing?
CYAN:  Going somewhere?
       I'm going to relax!
GAU:   Pretty song!

And if you brought Shadow, against all possible odds and rules of logic:
IMPRESARIO: Your friend left. Said he'd have fallen asleep in another
            5 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 'Surprise!'.

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:
Vermin, Sewer Rat, Sewer Rat (3/4)
Sewer Rat, Vermin, Sewer Rat, Sewer Rat, Vermin (1/4)

The Vermin monsters (yellow) are the main problem, the Sewer Rats (black/green)
the lackeys. If you take out all the Sewer Rat while one or two Vermin 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.

Vermin are weak against Ice, so if Gau can Rage SlamDancer, 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: Battle, !Ink, Fire, Drain, L.3 Muddle, Imp Song, Acid Rain, Mega Volt,
         Tentacle

Before you try to hurt Ultros, make sure your Ramuh-wearing character is
equipped with an Earring (or two). If you have a Fire Knuckle-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 Muddled,
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 Scan 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 SwdTech skills with
Acid Rain, a nasty Water/Poison-elemental attack that sets Seizure. I'd advise
against using those skills, especially because Sabin will inflict more damage
with the Fire Knuckle then he will with his Blitz attacks (unless it's Fire
Dance, unless he's hitting with the Fire Knuckle 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 = Battle Ink (Special) or Tentacle
2 = Battle (33%) or Fire (66%)
3 = Battle (33%) or L.3 Muddle (66%)
4 = Battle or Mega Volt or Drain

But none of this should really matter, honestly. Because if you even get to see
Acid Rain or L.3 Muddle, 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 Bolt 2, have him cast it. Otherwise, just attack. Edgar's Chainsaw
inflicts very decent damage, and I've said enough about Sabin's Fire Knuckle to
make the impression I actually want you to use it. Cyan should ignore his
SwdTech command and act like Locke. Gau, finally, can pick a Rage like Aspik
or Hazer for direct violence (Aspik is godly), or Primordite/Areneid 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 Bolt 2 spell coming from someone who probably hasn't learned
Bolt 2 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-Battle 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:

"Long time no see! You've changed! Did ya miss me?" (Battle Commence)
"Here! Over here!"
"I ain't no garden-variety octopus!"
"Havin' fun?"
"Have ya read it?"
"How sweet it is!" (Marvin Gaye quote?)
"Here! Over here!"
"I ain't no garden-variety octopus!"
"I ain't ready ta go yet."
"Imp! Pal! Buddy!" (Imp Song)
"What an unlucky day! Adios!" (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 were told your ship is the finest vessel in the world.
LOCKE: And that you were the world's most notorious gambler...
CYAN: I'm one of Doma's Knights. Please, help us.
SABIN: My brother's the King of Figaro. Cooperate, and you'll be well rewarded!
(But only if the brother in question isn't there)
EDGAR: I'm the King of Figaro. If you cooperate, you'll be well rewarded...
(See? Sabin sounds kind of redundant next to Edgar)

Then, he is converted from a rather pro-Empire guy to a full-fledged Narshesque
(or Swiss) I-don't-knower:

CELES: Stop thinking of yourself. Many towns and villages have been smashed
       by the Empire.
LOCKE: The Empire's also totally rotten! It's using magic to enslave the world.
EDGAR: The Empire and my realm were allies...
SABIN: The Empire'll end up owning you!
CYAN:  ...I lost my friends...and 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.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.30.1  Albrook
**********************************

  Container contents:
  Elixir, Potion, Tincture

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
Atma Weapons; one a sword, one a monster.

I'M SURE WE'LL NEVER MEET EITHER OF THEM.

Weapon Shop:
Forged       1200
Poison Claw  2500
Epee         3000
Blossom      3200
Shuriken       30
Fire Skean    500
Water Edge    500
Bolt Edge     500
 The Weapon shop has Epee swords (which you can ignore if you want to as
neither Celes nor Edgar will ever use it), Forged Knives for Cyan that you
previously bought in Jidoor (right?), and Poison Knuckles for Sabin, of which I
recommend you buy two. You can leave Shadow's Blossom Dirks for now, as he's
not around and you'll be able to buy more of them later.

Armor Shop:
Head Band    1600
Bard's Hat   3000
Mithril Vest 1200
Ninja Gear   1100
White Dress  2200
 The Olde Armore Shoppe sells nothing of value other than Bard's Hats. 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 Evade rating, the Bard's Hat raises
MP by that very amount and gives a 10 % bonus on your M.Block 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, unless you
think evasion is better than endurance.

And yes, the chests in the Armor Shop are now, and will under any circumstance
be, empty.

Relic Shop:
Goggles       500
Peace Ring   3000
Earrings     5000
Sniper Sight 3000
Wall Ring    6000
Amulet       5000
 The Relic Shop has Amulets and Wall Rings. The Amulet will be kind of a
necessity in later dungeons, but you can wait for now. Make sure to grab
four Wall Rings here, though. These Wall 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 Ring; you might want to buy another one or even two. Earrings are
great damage boosters.

Item Shop:
Potion        300
Tincture     1500
Eyedrop        50
Remedy       1000
Revivify      300
Fenix Down    500
Tent         1200
Warp 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 Potion in a
barrel next to the Inn. A hidden Tincture 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:
  FossilFang, ChickenLip, Joker, Ralph, Wyvern, WeedFeeder, Bug

  Miscellaneous items:
  DragoonBoots (rare Wyvern steal), Mithril Rod (rare Joker drop), Tiger Mask
  (rare Ralph 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
camp 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? Swapped a possible Kaiser with that Poison Claw?
All done? Make sure you have Sneak Ring 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)
WeedFeeder, WeedFeeder, WeedFeeder (6/16)
Ralph, Ralph (5/16)
Ralph, Wyvern, Wyvern (5/16)

(Southwest and East grasslands)
Ralph, Joker (5/16)
Ralph, Wyvern, Wyvern (5/16)
Joker, Joker, Joker (5/16)
ChickenLip, ChickenLip, ChickenLip, ChickenLip, ChickenLip (1/16)

(Forest)
Ralph, Wyvern, ChickenLip, ChickenLip (10/16)
ChickenLip, ChickenLip, ChickenLip, ChickenLip, ChickenLip (6/16)

(Desert)
Bug, Bug, Bug (5/16)
FossilFang, Bug, Bug, Bug (5/16)
FossilFang, FossilFang (5/16)
Bug, Bug, Bug, Bug, Bug, Bug (1/16)

There's a plethora (expensive word: + 500 Exp.) of dangerous monsters around.
WeedEaters are entirely like CrassHopprs, 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.

Ralph are simple Battle/Special cannon fodder, only they're kinda sturdy and
tend 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 Magnitude8). 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 Bolt 2, 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
Mithril 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 DragoonBoots for any Lockes you might have in your party, which sell for
a whole bunch of moola.

ChickenLip 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 Stray 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 FossilFang, 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 Battle, 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 Ralph and Wyvern monsters, don't
let ChickenLip or Wyvern alone, both are weak to Ice attacks, summon Siren
when you meet Jokers (and Wyvern and ChickenLip 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 Base 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 Full Moon.
Mithril Helmets for sale, featureless helmet for everybody but Sabin.
Black Belt Relics for sale.

Maranda:
Boomerangs for sale, a slight improvement over the Full Moon.
Tridents for sale, a Water-elemental Pike.
Mithril Helmets for sale, featureless helmet for everybody but Sabin.
Mithril Mail for sale, better armor for Cyan and Edgar.
Free Remedy and Revivify to find!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.30.3  The Imperial Base near the Mountains
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Commando, Mega Armor, ProtoArmor

Monster formations:

(Walking soldiers)
Commando, Commando, Commando, Commando (always)

(Armored soldiers)
Mega Armor, ProtoArmor (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 Commando soldiers, and the Armored soldier is a ProtoArmor/Mega Armor
combo.

Note on the four Commando: 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,
Commando 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 Lancet    950
Full Moon    2500
Epee         3000
Boomerang    4500
 The Weapon Shop offers nothing you can use other than the Boomerang. The
Boomerang is a slightly better version of the Full Moon, so if you were using
it I suggest you replace it.

Armor Shop:
Bard's Hat   3000
Mithril Helm 2000
Mithril Vest 1200
Ninja Gear   1100
White Dress  2200
 The Armor Shop has Mithril equipment! However, you have plenty of Mithril
Shields from Narshe, and you could've obtained enough Mithril Vests from Rider
earlier. So, if you played smart so far, the only feature of meaning is the
Mithril Helmets. It has a slight defensive boost over the Green Beret and the
Bard's Hat, 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:
Earrings     5000
RunningShoes 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:
Potion        300
Tincture     1500
Eyedrop        50
Green Cherry  150
Echo Screen   120
Revivify      300
Fenix 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:
  Remedy, Revivify

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 love hasn't sent me back any letters since he's been gone.
                  I'm sick with worry...
Sent a letter:    A letter came from him! He's all right!
Sent the record:  He sent me a record! I'm so happy!
Sent the Tonic:   He sent some Tonic for Mom! He's so kind!
Sent 2nd letter:  A letter came from him! He's all right!
Sent the book:    He sent that book! I'll read it every evening, before bed!

If you sent an item, received her next request and DIDN'T respond to that
letter, Lola will also say 'My love hasn't sent me back any letters... etc.'

Weapon Shop:
Mithril Pike  800
Trident      1700
Poison Claw  2500
Epee         3000
Boomerang    4500
 The Weapon Shop has three new weapons. The Trident, a Water-elemental Pike you
might want to use later in the game, the mandatory Epee, and the Boomerang you
could've found in Tzen. On the whole, buy a Trident and leave.

Armor Shop:
Bard's Hat   3000
Green Beret  3000
Mithril Helm 2000
Mithril Vest 1200
Mithril Mail 3500
 The Armor Shop has Mithril Equipment as well, but they're a little better at
it. There's only one feature of interest if you visited Tzen earlier: the
Mithril 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 Revivify 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:
  Commando, Garm, ProtoArmor, 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:

Garm, Garm, Commando, Commando (3/4)
Garm, Garm, Commando (1/4)

The Armored troopers will be:

ProtoArmor, Pipsqueak, Pipsqueak (3/4)
ProtoArmor, ProtoArmor (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 GP during the night. If you don't have 1000 GP
you'll see the man sneak around in the night, but the 'Stole 1000 GP!' 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 Clear, you can't spin
Joker Doom 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 Muddle 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:
Forged       1200
Poison Claw  2500
Epee         3000
Blossom      3200
 You shouldn't need anything here. If you haven't bought a Blossom Dirk yet,
now's your chance. The Blossom Dirk 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 Blossom is Wind-elemental.

Armor Shop:
Head Band    1600
Bard's Hat   3000
Mithril 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)
Garm, Garm, Commando, Commando (3/4)
Garm, Garm, Commando (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 (Commando and two Garm, or two Commando and
two Garm) 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:
  Pipsqueak, Commando, Garm, ProtoArmor

  Container contents:
  Blizzard, DragoonBoots, Flame Sabre, Gold Armor, Gold Helmet, Gold Shld, Tent,
  ThunderBlade, Tincture, Remedy, X-Potion, Zephyr Cape

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 Battle Power is useless; if your Locke runs around with a
Boomerang, you might as well switch it to a Thiefknife as neither will do even
a remotely impressive amount of damage but the Thiefknife has added benefits
for it. The same goes for Epee swords, although you can't really get anything
with an added bonus on Celes/Edgar yet.

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 Bolt and Bolt 2
Summon attacks, which especially means Ramuh right now.
Flash, Drill, Chainsaw
Pummel, Suplex, AuraBolt, Fire Dance
Dispatch, Retort, Slash
Rage-inflicted magical attacks, which besides Magic, includes Aspik's Giga Volt,
Anguiform's Aqua Rake, Marshal's Wind Slash and HadesGigas' Magnitude8.

Not useful:
Fight
AutoCrossbow
Quadra Slam
Rage-inflicted physical attacks, which include Specials such as Catscratch.

So yes, try to boost your magical attacks. Cyan will be especially boring and
useless here, as Dispatch starts to definitely lack in power and is only ST.
Locke, unless he can get in an acceptable shot, like casting Siren or a Bolt
spell, should do nothing but Steal (wear a Sneak Ring; Thief Glove nigh useless)
and use some Potions, if necessary. If you have a Gau around who can Rage
Anguiform, you should just wait for him to use Aqua Rake 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/Fire Dance 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 Bolt Fist. Bolt Fist will
kill everything it touches, and it's not random like Gau's Aqua Rake. 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 Tinctures
to keep it up.

Monster formations:
(First room)
Garm, Garm, Commando, Commando (6/16)
Garm, Garm, Commando (5/16)
ProtoArmor, Pipsqueak, Pipsqueak (5/16)

(Second room)
Pipsqueak, Pipsqueak, Pipsqueak, Pipsqueak, Pipsqueak (6/16)
ProtoArmor, ProtoArmor (5/16)
Garm, Garm, Commando (5/16)

The most common foe is the one you found earlier in the Imperial Camp and
strolling the streets of Vector: Commando. 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.

Commandos are often accompanied by Garm dogs. They're canine versions of the
Commando, 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 Fire Dance Blitz; they will never use it unless they're
alone, and you're bound to take them on with MT attacks anyway, right?

The metallic vermin of the IMRF are the Pipsqueak 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 Fire Dance
and Aqua Rake.

The Empire is about to bring a new kind of MagiTek Armor, but they have created
nothing but prototypes for them yet; the ProtoArmor is the pure chassis of the
new model, but fully operational. Its powers over the standard MagiTek Armor
include, besides the standard electricity-based Tek 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
Schiller - also used by the Telstar - 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, Schiller and Launcher,
both more dangerous than Missile, will only be carried if the ProtoArmor is
either alone or has just been targeted by a Fight 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 Flame Sabre. It's a nice
Fire-elemental sword that mildly boosts your Magic Power; 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 - a Tincture - 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 ThunderBlade 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 Flame Sabre, 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 DragoonBoots.
Going up the ladder near it will get you (through a door) to the chest you
passed earlier, which will contain a Gold Shld. It's also the way out if you
still want to pussy out of the mission. Descending the stairs near the
DragoonBoots 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 Gold Helmet. 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 Gold 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 Blizzard sword, a blade made entirely
out of never-melting ice and the Ice-elemental equivalent of the Flame Sabre and
ThunderBlade, and the Zephyr Cape, which is basically an inferior version of the
White Cape Relic.

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, Flan, General, Rhinox, Gobbler, Shiva, Ifrit, Number 024

  Container contents:
  Break Blade

  Miscellaneous items:
  Blizzard (common Number 024 drop), Drainer (rare Number 024 steal), Flame
  Sabre (rare Number 024 drop), Magicite (rare Flan steal), Rune Edge (common
  Number 024 steal)

  Magicite:
  Bismark, Carbunkl, Ifrit, Maduin, Phantom, Shiva, Shoat, 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 Statues, as if this would be of
great value to him. What are these Statues?

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 Rhodox' 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
Wall 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: Bolt, Poison, Wind, Pearl, Earth and Water,
         Weakness: Fire
Special: !Hit: attack x 1.5
Vulnerable to: Slow
Attacks: Ice, Ice 2, Rflect, Blizzard

Ifrit
Level: 21, HP: 3300, MP: 600
Steal: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Fire, Nullify: Bolt, Poison, Wind, Pearl, Earth and Water,
         Weakness: Ice
Special: !Hit: attack x 1.5
Vulnerable to: Slow
Attacks: Battle, Fire, Fire 2, Fire 3, 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 Fire 2
spells and a deadly Blaze attack that ignores Wall Rings and Runic blade
alike. If provoked by three Magic spells from you, he will charge up for a
massive Fire 3 attack, which you'll want to avoid at all costs if you're not
fully protected from the spell by Wall Ring, Celes' Runic, or Gau's possible
inherent Fire-elemental absorption.

Shiva, the Ice Queen, will come at you with the more basic Ice and Ice 2 spells,
on occasion switching on performing a nasty Blizzard attack, which isn't as
strong, but penetrates Wall Rings and Runic. If damaged she can be quick to
retort with an Ice 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
Ice and Ice 2 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 an
Atlas Armlet. Celes can cast an Ice 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 Wall Rings). Sabin can Pummel Ifrit and perform Fire Dance when
Shiva's around. Locke has no business being a thief in this battle, and might
as well grab the Blizzard against Ifrit (he might pull off the random Ice spell)
and the Flame Sabre against Shiva (or plain cast the Fire spell if he knows it).
Cyan's Dispatch 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 Brawler, 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 Wall
Rings here. The Runic blade, more often than not, catches a counter-Ice
while letting the Ice 2 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
Ice 2 and Fire 2 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, Pipsqueak, Pipsqueak (5/16)

(Tube Room)
Gobbler, Rhinox, Gobbler (6/16)
Gobbler (5/16)
Rhinox, Rhinox (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 L.3 Muddle, casting L.4 Flare, and casting L.5
Doom. They are bitches if you let them be. The spells will do what you would
have kind of guessed they did: L.3 Muddle confuses any character whose level
is divisible by 3, L.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 L.5 Doom...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 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
Bolt 2 if you have it. If you brought Edgar, NoiseBlaster works very well, and
like you could expect, Gau's Anguiform-induced Aqua Rake 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, Cure 2,
but they won't make a lot of use out of it, as they're often being too dead to
use it.

Gobbler. What a name. I didn't know a gobbler was hunter's slang until Barry
Bales, bass player and harmony vocalist for Alison Krauss and Union Station
showed his love for the ol' lead-in-the-head of the turkey. So yes, we're
dealing with turkeys here. Is it any surprise the Gobbler 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 Shimsham attacks non-stop. It makes for a great
MP-refiller for Celes, as it's basically a 20 MP gain every turn the Gobbler
takes.

The horned demons from the underworld I was talking about are called Rhinox.
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 BaneStrike, but it's not until
their solitude arises they start showing their true colors, which are very,
very, incompetent. When alone, the Rhinox tries to cast the overly cheap Life 3
spell, the spell that grants an automatic revive of a fallen character right
after he dies. Sadly, the spell takes 50 MP, and Rhinox only has 35. So sorry.
Their incredible defense, Death protection, and Lightning-absorbing can make
them tedious to take down; a combination of Flash and Fire Dance, not mentioning
the trusted Aqua Rake, 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 Break Blade. The Break Blade sadly lacks in special
stat bonus properties, but makes up for it with having impressive Battle Power
and a rather interesting randomly cast spell in Break, a petrifying move. At
this point, if any of your characters stuck with Stray 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: Drainer (rare), Rune Edge (common); Win: Flame Sabre (rare),
       Blizzard (common)
Special: !Overflow: sets Muddled
Vulnerable to: Imp, Sleep
Attacks: Battle, !Overflow, Fire, Fire 2, Ice, Ice 2, Bolt, Bolt 2, Scan, Cure,
Cure 2, Aqua Rake, Sun Bath, Cave In, Ice Rabbit, Acid Rain, Fire Ball,
Magnitude8, WallChange, R. Polarity, 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 Commando? 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 Wallchange. Wallchange 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 = Ice, Ice 2
Weakness Ice = Fire, Fire 2, Fire Ball
Weakness Lightning = Aqua Rake, Acid Rain
Weakness Poison = Cure, Cure 2
Weakness Wind = Magnitude8, Cave In (Here's where Float comes in handy)
Weakness Pearl = Battle, R. Polarity
Weakness Earth = Sonic Boom, Gale Cut
Weakness Water = Bolt, Bolt 2

Here's what he'll do. He'll simply strike you physically for 30 seconds. Then,
he'll do his first Wallchange. If you manage to strike his weakness then
(discover it with a Scan spell), he'll perform it again. Even if you just let
him perform another 30 seconds of action, he'll perform another WallChange.
After he has performed a Wallchange for three times, he'll go haywire, even
though you haven't destroyed him, reading 'System error', calling up Ice
Rabbits (the more successful branch of the Lagomorph family), enjoying Sun
Baths, and finding his true self with the Scan spell. After 30 seconds of
this, he'll snap out of it again, starting over as if he had cast his first
Wallchange 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 Stray's Imp spell. Alone, they severely
cripple him; together, they are an unstoppable force. Keep him 'Psyched' AKA
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 Edge or Drainer,
both are nice additions if nothing else. I'd especially go for the Drainer 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.

Note: If you want to go for a perfect game, it's nice if you fight one more
battle before entering the next room WITH CELES AS YOUR LEADER. This is
important.

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 Stray
escaped, which might explain the empty test tubes we saw earlier. In this room,
six Espers fuel the Empire's power. Meet Bismark and Maduin, Unicorn and
Shoat, and Phantom and Carbunkl. 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:
"CYAN: See! I knew she couldn't 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:
  Mag Roader (purple), Mag Roader (red), Number 128, RightBlade, Left Blade

  Miscellaneous items:
  Tempest (rare Number 128 steal)

CID: Kefka has used me...used the Empire. What have I done...?

CID: The life-energy of those Espers...

CID: You've helped me come to a decision. I'm going to talk to the Emperor and
have this stupid war stopped!

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 Fader 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:
One purple Mag Roader, one red Mag Roader
One purple Mag Roader
Two purple Mag Roaders.
Four red Mag Roaders.

Novalia Spirit has, during the writing of this guide, found out what influences
the appearance of the critters. I'll be explaining what you'll want to do in
certain situation for several reasons:

a) It's important knowledge to Low Level Gamers, who obviously want as little
forced Exp. points down their throat as possible.
b) It's important knowledge to perfectionists, as it *is* possible to completely
miss out on the red Mag Roaders, locking their Rage away from you forever,
useless as it may be.
c) Because I want to, dammit.

If you don't Save your game and reset:

- If you followed my advice and fought a battle earlier with Celes as the leader
  and then entered the Magicite room, you can just talk to Cid here and the
  first opponents you'll meet are one purple Mag Roader and one red Mag Roader.
- If you didn't and your last battle didn't feature Sabin or Cyan as leader,
  put Sabin or Cyan as your leader now for red Mag Roaders.
- If your last battle before the Mine cart ride featured Edgar, Gau, Sabin,
  Cyan or Celes as leader, you can free your first character slot and you'll
  meet Red Mag Roaders.
- If none of the above can be applied to you (you brought Locke, Edgar, Gau and
  kept Locke as team leader the entire time), you can Save your game and reset
  and free your first characters lot.
- An alternate method lies in casting Imp on your leader during the Mine Cart
  ride.

If the name has you confused, 'Mag Roaders' is short for 'Magnum Roaders'. If
your Latin is slightly rusty, that's basically saying 'Great Roaders'. What we
have here is the monsterized version of Hell's Angels.

Purple Mag Roaders are big and weak. Red Mag Roaders are small and weaker.
Purple Mag Roaders wield Fire and Fire 2 spells, both horribly weak. Red Mag
Roaders attack with Ice and Ice 2 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: Mute the remaining opponent(s). Step two: summon
Phantom. Heal up with Potions and Tonics 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: Tempest (rare); Win: Tent (always)
Absorbs: Ice
Special: !Red Feast: Drains HP, attack x 1.5
Vulnerable to: Berserk, Slow
Attacks: Battle, !Red Feast, Ice, Haste, Net, Blaster, Atomic Ray, Shock Wave,
Gale Cut

Left Blade
Level: 22, HP: 700, MP: 470
Steal: Tincture (rare); Win: Fenix Down (common)
Absorbs: Ice
Special: !Slash: attack x 2
Vulnerable to: Petrify, Death, Condemned, Slow, Stop
Attacks: Battle, !Slash, Shimsham

RightBlade
Level: 21, HP: 400, MP: 150
Steal: Tincture (rare); Win: Fenix Down (common)
Absorbs: Ice
Special: !Rapier: attack x 1.5
Vulnerable to: Petrify, Death, Condemned, Slow, Stop
Attacks: Battle, !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 RightBlade. 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 Shimsham, 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 Ice 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 Ray are both MT attacks,
and Atomic Ray hurts quite a bundle. Shock Wave 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 Clear,
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
Potions or Fenix Downs when necessary, and spend all other turns trying to
get that Tempest Knife. 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 Bolt 2 spell, I suggest Fire Dance. 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 under Clear. With Cyan, it's the
same, only with Dispatch rather than AuraBolt. If you obtain the Tempest for
him, equip it and simply Fight the body. Gau can Rage Anguiform to be sure to
hit the body every Aqua Rake, or Rage Aspik if you're feeling lucky. Giga Volt
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 Shoat 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 that Tempest.

A note about the common Fenix Downs you get from the blades; you'll only get
them if you kill the main body TOGETHER with (one of) the blades. So, if you
kill the main body and the blades have HP, they'll die but drop nothing; if the
blades are dead and you kill the main body, you get nothing. Think Whelk.
Focusing on getting those two Fenix Downs is folly, though.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.32.1  Escaping Vector
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Pipsqueak, Chaser, Commando, Crane, Crane

  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)
Commando, Commando, Commando, Commando (5/16)
Chaser, Pipsqueak, Pipsqueak, Pipsqueak (5/16)
Pipsqueak, Pipsqueak, Pipsqueak, Pipsqueak (1/16)

Preparation: Equip the Tempest 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
Bismark 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 Flame Sabre and ThunderBlade should not stay equipped (go with Blizzard
instead), and any Fire Knuckle should be swapped with a Poison Claw.

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 Tek Lasers and weaken opponents by use of
Dischord (which halves their level, as I explained with Telstar, 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 Rhodox Snare), and if you meet him with
three Pipsqueaks already present, take him out first, as he will just continue
to call more if you take them all down.

Now that you have access to both Vanish, the spell that can make any target
invisible at your command and Doom, the instant-death attack, through
respectively Phantom and Shoat, it's time to tell you a little about the horror,
the absolute horror that is commonly known as Vanish/Doom, but has many
incarnations. It's kinda lengthy, but definitely worth reading, so here you go:

[VANISHDOOM-LINK]

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: Whoa! What IS that?!
EDGAR: Something horrible's coming!!
SABIN: Uwaaoo! What in the...?
GAU: Gau! GAU go!!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 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
Mithril Shld
Bandana
Mithril Vest

That's pretty shitty. Fun fact: Setzer can't equip the Bandana, so as soon
as you take it off of him, you'll never get it back on. I hears once that this
was some inside joke for the developers to indicate that Setzer wouldn't be
found dead wearing the same thing as Locke, but who knows how true that is.

There are two Cranes, and they're not completely the same.

Crane (right one)
Level: 24, HP: 2300, MP: 447
Steal: Debilitator (rare), Potion (common)
Absorbs: Fire, Weakness: Lightning, Water
Special: !Iron Ball: Battle x 2
Vulnerable to: Slow
Attacks: Battle, !Iron Ball, Fire, Fire 2, Fire 3, Bolt 2, Magnitude8,
TekBarrier

Crane (left one)
Level: 23, HP: 1800, MP: 447
Steal: NoiseBlaster (rare)
Absorbs: Lightning, Weakness: Water
Special: !Iron Ball: Battle x 1.5
Vulnerable to: Slow
Attacks: Battle, !Iron Ball, Bolt, Bolt 2, Fire 2, Giga Volt, Magnitude8,
TekBarrier

Vanish/Doom: No
Immunity to Clear status.

Joker Doom: Yes
TekBarrier screws with the RNG, but you shouldn't see it if you're going for
Echo Screen/Joker Doom anyway. (I'll explain all this in a bit, or if you want
to know right now, you can go to [SLOT-LINK2])

The right one is fire-based. It will attack physically and use the Fire and
Fire 2 spell. When hit by a Fire-elemental attack of any kind, it will charge,
going through "Heat source LV 1," to "Heat source LV 2," and finally to "Heat
source LV 3 - Unleashed thermal energy!" at which point it will target the
entire party with a Fire 3 spell. When alone, it will boost its defenses with
TekBarrier, which as you know, grants both Safe and Reflect, protecting it from
Magic spells. After one minute of fighting, the message "The crane shook the
deck!" will appear and the Crane will perform a Magnitude8 attack. Finally,
every third time it has been damaged, it will perform a Bolt 2 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 "Electrified
LV 1" it will pass through "Electrified LV 2" and "Electrified LV 3 - Unleashed
electric energy!" performing an MT Giga Volt attack. All other features are the
same, only it will cast a Fire 2 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 Rake attack is incredibly powerful in this battle, up to the
point where an Earrings-boosted Aqua Rake 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 AuraBolt are songs often sung right now, and Cyan can enjoy his Tempest
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 Tritoch
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:

You okay, Maduin?
You're the Gate Keeper, Maduin?
Strong winds... Be careful, Maduin.
This evening is an ill omen... (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 here's feeling uneasy.
The link between worlds has surely weakened over the past 1000 years.
They say a human girl's here...
Do you even know what you've done?
Why has this happened now after all these years?
(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 Madonna. Maduin gives her a
pendant for no apparent reason, perhaps as a gift of good will. Maduin says
it somehow helps protect the Esper World, but that's a bit of info that Ted
Woolsey put there for us and was never featured in the original game. Terra
carried a Pendant when she invaded Narshe, and kept it with her ever since...

When Maduin wakes up, he quickly notices Madonna is gone. The Elder is waiting
outside, concerned about the situation, and while outside one Esper laments on
the worst possible scenario ("If this generation of humans knew about our
abilities... And decided they wanted to utilize our powers... It would be a
total disaster!"), another one saw Madonna 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, Madonna 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,
Madonna 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, Madonna 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: Sraphim
**********************************

  Magicite:
  Sraphim

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 Doom cannot be produced against Guardian, if you were
wondering. But there are plenty of things to be done before actually going to
Narshe.

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 GP is
not a lot of money, and even though the Esper Sraphim doesn't teach you any
spells you couldn't have obtained from other Espers, her learning rates are
much more user-friendly. Sraphim 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 GP (The world's
going to heck in a hand basket...just look at this weird stone!). I advise just
buying it right now.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.34.2  Airship Exploitation: Auction House: Golem and ZoneSeek
**********************************

  Magicite:
  Golem, ZoneSeek

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 ZoneSeek 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 Cherub Down, 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 ZoneSeek 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 a Cure Ring. Period.

So in the end, if you haven't bought any of the pieces of Magicite yet, the odds
will be as following:

Cherub Down 50 %
Chocobo 25 %
The Magicite Golem 12.5 %
The Magicite ZoneSeek 6.25 %
Cure Ring 6.25 %

If you bought Golem:

Cherub Down 50 %
Chocobo 25 %
The Magicite ZoneSeek 12.5 %
Cure Ring 12.5 %

If you bought ZoneSeek:

Cherub Down 50 %
Chocobo 25 %
The Magicite Golem 12.5 %
Cure Ring 12.5 %

If you bought both:

Cherub Down 50 %
Chocobo 25 %
Cure 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:

Cherub Down 10000 GP
The Magicite Golem 20000 GP
The Magicite ZoneSeek 10000 GP
Cure Ring 20000 GP

If you don't have enough money, fly the Blackjack to an area where FossilFang
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, Grenade

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, you'd better have met one,
as you will never come across one by following the story only.

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 Cure 2, 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. Instant-Death
attacks work well, though he is immune to Petrify. If you use Fight on him,
he can use Exploder 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:
  Baskervor, Chimera, Cephaler

  Miscellaneous items:
  Gaia Gear (rare Baskervor steal), Gold Armor (rare Chimera drop)

Monster formations:
(grasslands)
Cephaler, Baserkvor (6/16)
Baskervor (5/16)
Baskervor, Baskervor (5/16)

(forest)
Cephaler, Cephaler, Cephaler (6/16)
Chimera (5/16)
Chimera, Cephaler, Cephaler (5/16)

On the continent to the east of the Veldt, there are three new monsters:
Baskervor and Cephaler on the grasslands and Cephaler 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 Baskervor 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:
  Leafer, Dark Wind, Intangir

  Miscellaneous items:
  Magicite (rare Intangir steal)

Monster formations:
(grasslands)
Leafer, Leafer, Dark Wind (6/16)
Leafer (5/16)
Intangir (5/16)

(forest)
Intangir (6/16)
Leafer, Leafer, Dark Wind, Dark Wind (5/16)
Leafer, Leafer, Dark Wind (5/16)

On the small triangle-shaped island to the northeast of the World Map,
you'll find lots of Leafers and Dark Wind 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 a Meteo attack, which is likely to actually kill anybody
it hits, as it will damage for over 900 HP. Due to the questionable existence
of that shadiest tactic of all, Vanish/Doom, you can kill him without having to
run away by casting Doom (which will send Meteo after the killer), or having
Gau Rage Rhodox for Snare, which does the trick cleanly.

If you want to defeat Intangir without succumbing to the Dark Side, here's
another strategy. Intangir is vulnerable to the Stop ailment. Cast Stop and
wail on him for half a minute. Since his Defences are very good and he
absorbs all elements, good choices against Intangir are Edgar (Drill), Sabin
(Suplex) and Cyan (Dispatch). Relm's Sketch results into a 75 % shot at
Step Mine, which is also a powerful attack to use against Intangir, but keep
in mind that Sketch always misses monsters under the effects of Clear. 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, Aspik, Mind Candy, SlamDancer, Gabbldegak, and
HadesGigas, all that you could've obtained earlier, and Cephaler, ChickenLip,
Chimera, General, Intangir, Mag Roader (purple), Rhinox, and Baskervor.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.34.7  Intermezzo; Espers 101
**********************************

This is, by the way, a perfect time to learn about two of the most obscure
tricks in the game: The WoB Ragnarok trick and Echo Screen/Joker Doom. Learn
all about it here: [SLOT-LINK2]

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 (ZoneSeek 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 Sraphim, Golem, or Unicorn, as Cure 2 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, Demi sucks, but both Vanish
and Bserk can be tactically brilliant...especially when combined). At some
points in the game, the possession of Break and/or Doom spells can really save
you a lot of trouble, so Shoat is definitely a consideration if you're done
with Siren and Phantom.

Golem is good on everybody as Cure 2, like I said, is always an asset, while
Stop especially can be a great spell for everybody. Stray 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 Muddle 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 - Bismark, Kirin, Carbunkl - 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 Rflect spell as long as Carbunkl's MT Ruby Power and
Wall Rings exist, Bismark 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 Points 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  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 Tritoch 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
Hawk Eye     6000
Blossom      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 Flail. Make sure to get one. The most interesting
sell here is the Hawk Eye for Locke. The Hawk Eye 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:
Gold Shld    2500
Bard's Hat   3000
Green Beret  3000
Mithril Helm 2000
Tiara        3000
Gold Helmet  4000
Mithril Mail 3500
Power Sash   5000
 The Armor Shop sells new equipment as well. Gold Shlds and Gold Helmets for
the heavy-equippers (you still have to get Gold 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:
Earrings     5000
Sniper Sight 3000
RunningShoes 7000
Wall 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:
Potion        300
Tincture     1500
Fenix Down    500
Green Cherry  150
Tent         1200
Fire Skean    500
Water Edge    500
Bolt Edge     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.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 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
Thiefknife and Sneak Ring 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.

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 Rondo
**********************************

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 Leafers on the grasslands to make him
  learn the Wind Song (casually named Ind Song in the Anthology release; way to
  go, chumps!). Stride into the forest for the Forest Suite and enter the
  desert for the Desert Aria.
- 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 Dusk 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 Sonata will be
  Mog's.
- The Dance that is the hardest to obtain, and the only actually missable
  Dance in the game, is the Water Rondo. There are two places where Mog can
  learn it: on the Lete River and in the Serpent Trench. Both take you along a
  one-way route to a radically different place. 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 Piranhas 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 SwdTech 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:
  Ing, Apparite, Coelecite, Lich, Zombone, Ninja, Kefka

  Container contents:
  Assassin Dagger, Atma Weapon, Tempest, Coin Toss, Elixir, Ether, Genji Glove,
  Magicite x3, Tent, X-Potion

  Miscellaneous items:
  239 GP (hidden), Amulet (rare Ing steal), Cherub Down (rare Ninja steal),
  Ninja Star (rare Ninja drop), Inviz Edge (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 Base 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 Baskervor 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, Fire 2 and Fire 3 (!) so Wall Rings are very handy,
especially since Fire 3 is really powerful and could kill you. Peace Rings/
Ribbons are great to equip against this very same enemy's Muddled-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 Rondo Dance cleans house like nothing before
in the next dungeon. El Nino equals death to the most common and most dangerous
enemy. A much surer way of making fatal hits is giving DragoonBoots to Mog and
equipping a Trident. Sabin is another great choice; go for either a Genji Glove
and two Kaiser Claws or an Earrings and AuraBolt spamming. Edgar's Chainsaw
with an Atlas Armlet 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, Tempest 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 H-Bomb or Sun Flare out of his *cough* nose
to finish off Ings, so he's a bad choice. Locke, finally, is simply too weak
without heavy Relic-boosting. He can, however, steal many Fenix Downs from
Zombones, and rare Amulets from Ings.

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 Fire 2 (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)
Apparite, Apparite (5/16)
Lich, Apparite, Coelecite (5/16)

(Basement 1)
Ing, Ing, Ing (6/16)
Apparite, Apparite (5/16)
Apparite, Apparite, Lich, Lich (5/16)

(Basement 2)
Coelecite, Coelecite, Coelecite (6/16)
Zombone (5/16)
Zombone, Ing, Ing (5/16)

(Basement 3)
Ing, Ing, Ing (6/16)
Zombone, Zombone (5/16)
Zombone, Ing, Ing (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..."

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 can do it...But why do I
feel so wretched?" and will refuse to continue.

First three rooms are partly filled with monsters you won't find in the rest of
the dungeon: Apparite, Coelecite, and Lich.

Apparites are nasty upgrades of your average 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. AuraBolt, Chainsaw, Ice 2,
double Kaiser, all works great.

Coelecites are small scorpion-like creatures with no real special power. They
can put you to sleep with !HypnoSting, and have a slight chance of countering
attacks with a Magnitude8 spell, for which it has insufficient MP. Way to go
there, champ. Strong MT attacks are particularly helpful here, like Flash,
Chocobop, Magnitude8, Sand Storm, you name it.

Liches are the worst, man. They can start the battle with !Mad Touch. Muddled
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 Fire Dance or something before you do. To top this madness, they can cast
Fire 2 with considerable power and can even cast Fire 3. Their Fire 3 attacks
taste like burning. :( You'll want to avoid that. You can't shut them up with
Siren or Mute. 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 Fenix Down or Life spell if you run into
one, although an ST Ice 2 spell or something might be more cost-efficient.

If your level is really low, make sure you have four Wall 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 !Mad
Touch.

Every step you take after those three rooms consist out of only two enemies:
Zombone and Ing. Zombones are bigger, so you'd assume they're more dangerous.
Such folly. Wall Rings are useless once you get into Zombone territory, and
status-prevention Relics can be removed as well as Ing's !Glare just sets
Dark and Zombone's !Bone attack, while setting the dangerous Zombie status,
is so rare and used so late you shouldn't even see it.

Zombones 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.
Zombones are the only enemies in this blasted cave that don't absorb Fire, so
if somebody knows or learns Fire 2 here (Terra learns it naturally at level 22),
use it to great effect. Otherwise, you know how to handle monsters now. Gau
can flush Zombones nicely with Rhodox' Snare. Locke can steal Fenix Downs from
them most of the time.

Ings 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 Ing 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 Ing 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 Ing is this: YOU WANT TO TAKE THEM OUT IN ONE SHOT. This way, they
have no chance of casting Liveshaver (You cannot Mute 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/AuraBolt 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
Rondo better; El Nino not only kills Ing, it sends them flying in the bloody
Clouds of Magellan. Aqua Rake, sadly, probably isn't strong enough at this
point, even with a Hero Ring or Earrings behind it.

If you did bring Gaia Gear for all your boys and girls, Gau can make
Baskervor's Cyclonic work to great effect as every opponent is vulnerable to
Instant Death attacks. Sure, Wyvern works just as well, but since we got the
Gaia Gear from Baskervor 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 dirk, a brilliant semi-ThiefKnife that randomly kills
in one hit. The comparison with the ThiefKnife 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 Fight anyway. The Assassin revives the Undead though, all the
time, so I wouldn't suggest equipping it here (even if you weren't going to
use it, ThiefKnife's special abilities are better).

The next room has another chest, this one containing a Tempest blade. If you
hadn't stolen one from Number 128, this is the only one you'll find in the
game. 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 Coin Toss Relic,
a Relic that changes Setzer's ability from Slot into GP Rain. A little talk
on GP Rain:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.36.2  Coin 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 Coin Toss Relic is 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.

GP Rain, 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
an 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 Fighter 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 Skean. The best way of
dealing with the Ninja is by utilizing Death-based attacks; the Doom spell
should do the trick, otherwise the Rhodox Rage or Dusk Requiem will offer a
large chance. If you don't want to rely on luck, he's weak to Lightning, so
Bolt 2 and Gau's Aspik's Giga Volt 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:

Inviz Edge: One step down and one step to the left from the lowest stairway
tile.
Remedy: Six steps down from the Inviz Edge.
2000 GP: Three steps up from the treasure chest visible here.
Water Skean: Three steps down and three steps to the right from the lowest
stairway tile.

It should be noted here that the 2000 GP isn't actually 2000 GP, but
293 GP, the Remedy is a Soft Item, and if you buy them, they're called Water
Edges and not Skeans. Nice, trustworthy game designers.

The chest here contains an 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 Ether, and the ATMA WEAPON.

The Atma 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 Atma 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 Atma Weapon will do more damage when
the wielder at full health and almost no damage when the wielder only has a few
HP left. The Atma 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 Atma 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 Atma Weapon.
- When you combine the Atma Weapon with Capture, it will lose its special
  damage formula and it'll become a normal sword with the Battle Power of 255,
  which is rather nice. Most people will argue this is a bug, though.
- INCREASE YOUR ATMA 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 is the Esper World...
CYAN: What an eerie place...
EDGAR: From here on, it's all up to TERRA...
SABIN: We're counting on you, TERRA...
SETZER: Why'd you bring me to such an awful place!?

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, Fire 2, Dischord, Battle, 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, 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...Something happened...
LOCKE: I'm sure the Espers were headed for Vector...
CYAN: I could feel the warrior spirits of those Espers!
EDGAR: Somehow we need to tap in to the power of those Espers...
SABIN: Let's see what's become of the Empire! Hurry!
SETZER: Urghh! For the time being, I don't own the skies...
MOG: ...puuh...
GAU: ...ooh...GAU...high place...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:
  Commando, Sp Forces, Mega Armor

  Container contents:
  Back Guard, Gale Hairpin, Revivify, Tincture, X-Potion

  Miscellaneous items:
  Tintinabar (banquet performance), Charm 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 Commando
unit, and every Armored trooper that confronts you is a single Mega Armor.
Bio spells and barrier-piercing attacks work great against the Commando units;
Instant Death attacks work nicely (including Break). As far as the Mega Armor
goes, Instant Death attacks go well against him too (although he has Petrify
protection for Break). He may counter Fight attacks with Tek 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 Warp Stone/Warp 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 Commando) 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: Imagine! All of us here together, sharing a meal! First we must have
a toast!

2             ^ To the Empire...
1             ^ To the Returners...
5             ^ To our hometowns...

GESTAHL: As you know, Kefka's in jail for war crimes. What shall we do with him?

5             ^ Leave him in jail...
1             ^ Pardon him...
3             ^ Execute him...

GESTAHL: I truly apologize about the poisoning of Doma. No one 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 CELES!

Any other questions for me?

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             ^ One more question please!
(Every question you ask will get you 2 points, but the same question asked
twice will cost you 10 points)
0             ^ Okay.

0             ^ One more question please!
0             ^ Let's talk about Espers...

GESTAHL: My Empire's been decimated by the Espers that emerged from the sealed
         gate.
         They're acting spiteful. Unless they're stopped, they'll rip the
         world asunder!

5             ^ Yes, the Espers have gone too far.
2             ^ But you unleashed their power!!

GESTAHL: After the Espers went on their rampage, I knew I couldn't go on with
         my war. I asked myself why I had started it in the first place.
         By the way...
         About those questions you asked me...which did you ask first?

             ^ 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 seem a bit tired. Care for a rest break?

0             ^ Yes, let's take a break.
0             ^ Let's keep talking.

(Here, you'll get the option of walking about a bit and talking to the Sp.
Forces, who will challenge you. You get 5 points for kicking Sp. Forces
in their bathing suit area within 2 minutes. If you fail, you get 0 points).

Shall we begin again?

0             ^ Yes
0             ^ No

GESTAHL: Is there anything you wish to hear me say?

3             ^ That all you really want is peace.
5             ^ That your war's truly over.
1             ^ That you're sorry...

GESTAHL: We must make for Crescent Island aboard the freighter from Albrook.
             Will you accompany me?

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 you at Doma? ...I'm SURE I did... So that was General Leo...

LEO: You! You're CYAN, liege to the king of Doma! Please forgive me for not
     being there to stop Kefka...
CYAN: ... ... That wasn't 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, a Special Forces 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 Base 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 Base near the Cave to the Sealed
        Gate is opened. This is very nice. You get a Tintinabar 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 Base near the Cave to the
        Sealed Gate is opened. This is very nice. You get a Tintinabar from the
        Emperor! He likes you! You get a Charm Bangle from the Special Forces
        unit you are talking to! He wants to have your man-babies! Run like the
        wind!

Well...

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:
Blizzard/ThunderBlade
Gold Shld
Tiara
White Dress
Earrings, Earrings

Locke
Atma Weapon
Hawk Eye
Green Beret
Power Sash
Genji Glove/Thief 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 a
Back Guard Relic (tiny earrings with built-in speakers), an X-Potion, a Gale
Hairpin, a Revivify, and a Tincture. 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 to the south of the Empire. A MagiTek Armor hauling ship
plies the waters between...there and Crescent Island...We'll penetrate the
Imperial base. You deal with the Espers!
SABIN: Can we really trust the Empire?! I have an awful feeling about this...
CYAN: Never will I be able to forgive Kefka...
GAU: Smells like parents' house here...why so familiar?
MOG: Kupo!
BANON: Could Gestahl have meant such a thing? Team up with the Empire to track
down an Esper...  Hmm...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.38.3  Items of the Imperial Base near the Cave to the Sealed Gate and
         Setzer's cutscene
**********************************

  Container contents:
  8000 GP, 13000 GP, 20000 GP, Back Guard, Cherub Down, Cure Ring, Elixir x2,
  Ether, Flame Sabre, RunningShoes, Wall Ring, X-Potion

Other than the fact Gau seems to remember things about the house he was
supposedly thrown out of immediately after his birth, 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: Wow, what a ship!
SETZER: That landing really messed up the engine. It'll take a while to fix...
CID: I'll help. No machine can stump me!
SETZER: Don't touch anything!
CID: Go kill time in the casino! I can speed this crate up!
SETZER: ...... You little...!! Get outta my sight!
CID: But I could really make this thing hum...!
(Exit CID)
TERRA: You love this ship, more than anything, huh?
SETZER: Actually, when I was young there was something I was mad about...
TERRA: ...huh?
SETZER: In my youth I dreamed of having the world's fastest airship.
TERRA: You mean......
SETZER: At that time there was a young girl who piloted the Falcon, the fastest
vessel ever made. Sometimes we were the worst of rivals...but other times we
were the best of friends. We always egged each other on to go faster and higher.
When she disappeared along with her ship...I felt like I lost my spirit.
SETZER: ...Poor Daryl...

After the scene:  SETZER: Repairs aren't finished yet. You'd better take the
                  boat from Albrook.

Note: In the Japanese version, Cid mentions how the Blackjack could be faster
by removing the casino in its belly. This is what Setzer can't take.

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: and
X-Potion, a Cherub Down, an Ether, a Wall Ring, RunningShoes, an Elixir,
a Cure Ring, and a Back Guard, together with 8000 GP + 13000 GP + 20000 GP =
41000 GP. There's a hidden chest with an Elixir hidden by the south wall, and
there's a Flame Sabre 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  Albrook
**********************************

  Container contents:
  Warp 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
Warp 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.

Doing so 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:
  Chimera, Baskervor, Cephaler

  Miscellaneous items:
  Gold 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)
Cephaler, Baserkvor (6/16)
Baskervor (5/16)
Baskervor, Baskervor (5/16)

(forest)
Cephaler, Cephaler, Cephaler (6/16)
Chimera (5/16)
Chimera, Cephaler, Cephaler (5/16)

The monsters here are pretty interesting. The only one you need to worry about
right now is Baskervor, as you don't need to go through the forest, but you
might want to, so I'll take a look at them too.

Baskervors 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 Baskervor is damaged, there's a 33 % chance it will
counter with Sneeze, an odd attack that basically forces the target to run.
There's nothing you can do about it, sadly.

Cephaler, to me, stand out because of their overwhelming usefulness with Rage-
centered SCC games. Cephaler is one of the two monsters that combine a Special
with Death Protection on Gau, which is very nice. As opponents, they stand out
for their great physical defense (auto-Safe) 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 Cephaler 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 Rake on a regular basis and Blizzard, Fire Ball,
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
Bserk 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, Eyedrops, Fenix Down, Green Cherry, Soft

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 GP 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 Soft item in the bottom barrel near the Relic shop, an Eyedrop in the
middle barrel near the Item shop, and a Fenix Down in the upper barrel next to
the Inn.

Armor Shop:
Gold Shld    2500
Tiger Mask   2500
Tiara        3000
Gold Helmet  4000
Mystery Veil 5500
Power Sash   5000
Gaia Gear    6000
Gold 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, Gold 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:
Mithril Rod   500
Fire Rod     3000
Ice Rod      3000
Thunder Rod  3000
Morning Star 5000
Hawk Eye     6000
Stout Steap 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 Stout Spear 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 Battle Power. :)

Relic Shop:
Earrings     5000
Sniper Sight 3000
RunningShoes 7000
Wall Ring    6000
Black Belt   5000
DragoonBoots 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:
Tonic          50
Potion        300
Tincture     1500
Remedy       1000
Warp Stone    700
Revivify      300
Fenix 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:
  Balloon, Grenade, FlameEater

  Container contents:
  Fire Rod, Ice Rod

  Miscellaneous items:
  Flame Sabre (common FlameEater steal)

  Lores:
  Exploder

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, Mithril Shld, Bard's Hat 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 (Hawk Eye
is sufficient with an Atlas Armlet).

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 Rake, 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, 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 Exploder 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 Ice 2 spell, Aqua Rake, Shiva's Gem
Dust) and use physical attacks for the three.

You can either use the Muddle spell, Stray's Cat Rain attack, or the Stone
Lore (MT) to confuse Balloon monsters, in which case they're likely to use
Exploder on each other. This will make Strago learn Exploder, 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 Fire 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 ZoneSeek helps for the battle, as does Kirin
(as usual). Try to equip as many Wall Rings as possible; you're bound to have
two from treasures. You can circumvent the Wall Rings by equipping Carbunkl, 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 FlameEater
**********************************

FlameEater
Level: 26, HP: 8400, MP: 480
Steal: Flame Sabre (common)
Absorbs: Fire; Nullify: Lightning, Poison, Pearl, Earth; Weakness: Ice
Special: !Hit: Battle x 1.5
Vulnerable to: Slow
Attacks: Fire, Fire 2, Fire 3, Safe, Rflect, Fire Ball, Bomblet

Vanish/Doom: No
Immunity to Clear status.

FlameEater starts the battle by using Bomblet. The move Bomblet itself doesn't
really do anything (although it removes your Clear status if you had it on you),
but it's always followed by FlameEater summoning allies. FlameEater can summon
from two to four Balloon monsters and even a Grenade. He will always start
with four Balloons.

FlameEater is basically a massive floating flame, so you could expect him to
have a fire-based AI script. He normally uses Fire spells and Fire Ball attacks,
while countering one third of your damaging attacks with a Fire 2 spell. After
you've damaged him six times, he'll cast Safe and Rflect on himself (unless he
already had Reflect on him), at which point he will bounce Fire 2 and Fire 3
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 Demi or Quartr (a spell you're unlikely to
have), he would have retorted with a Quartr or Flare spell of his own; sadly
for FlameEater, you can never actually hit him with Demi/Quartr, as he has
Death protection. Silly programmers.

The strategy is simple and Ice-based. Cast Slow as soon as you can. If you have
Kirin or ZoneSeek equipped, start it at the start of the battle. If you're
not covered in Wall Rings, Carbunkl may come in handy; the Rflect status
make you immune to FlameEater's Fire 2 counters. Try to steal his Flame Sabre
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 FlameEater summons allies, use a powerful MT attack like Shiva's
Gem Dust, Aqua Rake, or an MT Ice 2 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 Doom, but immune to Break. Don't use Fight on it, as it may
counter with Exploder. 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 Ice 2
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 Morph, 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 FlameEater
alone by switchting the targeting to your allies, then back at FlameEater again.

An alternate strategy that you may find useful if you have enough Rasp casters
is casting Rasp. FlameEater has only 480 MP and dies once they're gone. At
normal levels, you will have killed FlameEater before he starts with the
Safe + Rflect business. If you have one or two characters capable of casting
Rasp, this is the better strategy.

FlameEater 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 Mage Warrior's descendents. During the War of the
Magi, Magicite-powered humans called Mage Warriors 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 Mage Warriors. They were
forced to flee, and much like the Espers founded the Esper World, so did the
Mage Warriors 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 east might be worth a look,
Shadow splits. Outside, it seems that he will 'search for the Espers in 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:
  Slurm, Insecare, Adamanchyt, Mandrake, Abolisher, Ultros

  Container contents:
  Chocobo Suit, Heal Rod, Tabby Suit, X-Potion

  Lores:
  Pearl 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. Jewel 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 Clear status.

Monster formations:

(Caves)
Adamanchyt, Slurm, Slurm (6/16)
Adamanchyt, Adamanchyt (5/16)
Slurm, Slurm, Slurm, Slurm, Slurm (5/16)

(Slopes)
Abolisher, Abolisher (6/16)
Mandrake, Insecare, Insecare (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:

Slurm. Anything resembling a Crawly 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 Adamanchyt monsters. Rather soon for a palette-swap
in this case, don't you think? You met Baskervor at the foot of these mountains.
That's just not right. Adamanchyt 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 Fight, ever, as they have a one/third chance of
using Sneeze, breaking your ever-so-fragile invisibility.

On the slopes, a brilliant new enemy is called Abolisher. They abolish nothing
but your lack of Pearl Wind Lores, I dare say! They attack physically only,
having a small chance of trying to poison you with !Down Dust. After they've
taken three turns, they'll use Pearl Wind, but only if there's some two of them
on-screen; when alone, they'll never use Pearl Wind. The first time Pearl Wind
appears, have Strago stand there and observe; he'll learn the magnificent move.

Also, Insecare. Remember CrassHoppr? Remember WeedFeeder? I'm sure you don't,
as both are dull as hell. Insecare have 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 !Petritouch, which
sets Stone to the poor fool that suffers it. The Clear status, a Ribbon and/or
a Jewel 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 Raid attack, draining about 300 HP worth of damage from you and
dispelling your Clear status. Stop spells stop their Raid counterattacks, or
you could even opt to simply run from them. Fire 2 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 Heal
Rod (keep hold of this one!).

The Heal 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 Heal Rod, Strago and Relm, will usually be
too busy doing the exact same thing with an ST Cure 2 spell and still having
room for an offensive weapon, but there are people out there who are in love
with the Heal Rod because it's MP-free.

Regardless, much later in the game you can trade your Heal 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.

Heh, or Throw it. There's a bug in the game that makes the Heal Rod with the
Fight command auto-target the enemy, and selecting the Heal Rod with Throw will
make it auto-target the Thrower. Obviously, this was supposed to be the other
way around, but if you haven't heard of this game being fuller with bugs than
MTV is with non-music videos, you've been living in Ignorantville, capital of
Lack-Of-Information.

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 Abolisher monsters. You'll want to meet them
at least once to learn Pearl Wind.

Pearl 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, Pearl Wind will do
little). Pearl Wind is *very* useful though, as it is a move that can heal
characters with Wall 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 Statues, 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 birth of magic...
Three goddesses were banished here. In time, they began quarreling, which led to
all-out war.
Those unlucky humans who got in the way were transformed into Espers, and used
as living war machines...

The goddesses finally realized that they were being laughed at by those who had
banished them here.
In a rare moment of mutual clarity, they agreed to seal themselves away from
the world.
With their last ounce of energy, they gave the Espers back their own free will,
and then transformed themselves...
...into stone. Their only request was that the Espers keep them sealed away for
all eternity.

The Espers created these statues as a symbol of their vow to let the goddesses
sleep in peace.
The Espers have sworn to keep the goddesses' power from being abused.

As soon as you intend to leave, a familiar octopod crashes the party. It's
Ultros. Laugh or die. He mentions something about Ziegfried (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, Battle x 1.5
Sketch : Tentacle (rare), Tentacle (common)
Vulnerable to: Slow, Stop
Attacks: Battle, !Ink, Fire 3, Ice 3, Bolt 3, Safe, Haste, Aqua Rake, Stone,
Magnitude8, Tentacle, Lode Stone

Ultros isn't very hard this time around. He starts the battle off with the
message "I was just thinking about you! I've more lives than I do arms!" He'll
normally use Battle, !Ink, Stone, and Tentacle. After every minute of battle,
he'll use Lode Stone, 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 Rake or Magnitude8. 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 Safe
on himself. "Hope I'm not making a nuisance of myself! So sorry!" Yes.
Once you've cast five spells on him, he'll go red and the screen will say:
"Ultros's form has changed! Beware his tri-elemental attack!" There's not so
much a tri-elemental attack to be feared, though. It means that any
Fire-elemental spells will be countered by Fire 3, Ice-elemental spells by
Ice 3, and Lightning-elemental spells by Bolt 3.

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...I'm
nothing more than a stupid 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/Safe 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 Hawk Eye(s) (you can
cast Bserk on Locke if you feel like you can miss the controllable nature of
him). Terra can wield Flame Sabres and/or ThunderBlades 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.

You could end this battle with Vanish/Doom and Relm will still be there, taking
all the credit. :)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 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 Shoat is a generally quick road to success.

She starts with the left list of equipment, and I'd advise the right one:

Chocobo Brsh        Fire/Lightning/Ice Rod (in that order)
Mithril Shld        Mithril Shld
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?

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,
a 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
Aegis Shld
Gold Helmet
Gold Armor
Atlas Armlet
Offering

Leo has awesome equipment and has quite a high level. The Emperor called him
his greatest warrior; it shows. Due to the Offering Relic, he attacks four
times rather than one time with the Fight command, and an Atlas Armlet really
boosts his damage with it. His special skill, Shock, is an MT non-elemental
magical attack.

This Kefka uses several attacks, including Battle, Poison, Drain, Bio, and
Fire 3. Strategy isn't really important, as you can't really lose this battle.
If Leo is in the Front Row, his Fight command will do more damage than Shock.
You can use Magicite items 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.

Less-then-serious intermezzo: When Edgar and Relm meet, Edgar will say, "you've
grown up entirely too fast...lighten up, okay?", which can be explained as
some contemplation of his youth. The Japanese game does this differently, and
it's probably the best-known of Woolsey's censorship: In the Japanese game,
Relm calls Edgar a randy man. Edgar, after asking Relm how old she is (10),
says to himself: That's just criminal. Don't even think about it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.43.1  Airship Exploitation: Rage and Lore hunting
**********************************

  Lores:
  Condemned, Dischord, L.3 Muddle, L.4 Flare, L.5 Doom, Pep Up, Roulette,
  Step Mine

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 Statues, 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. Your leading party member
will call Strago a 'monumental bag of hot air'. That's nice.

I am Gungho. Warrior extraordinaire from the town of Thamasa.
First time I've been back in a while, and the village looks trashed. What on
earth happened?
(Probably your team leader, although there's no indication) I've got STRAGO on
my side now, but what a monumental bag of hot air!
When you were younger you hunted Hidon, the legendary monster. But you quit
before you found it...

With Strago (you can head back, change, enter again):

I am Gungho. Warrior extraordinaire from the town of Thamasa.
First time I've been back in a while, and the village looks trashed. What on
earth happened?
STRAGO: G...Gungho?!
GUNGHO: Is that you, STRAGO? Have you come back to hunt Hidon?
GUNGHO: He'll never change. That's who he is!
When you were younger you hunted Hidon, the legendary monster. But you quit
before you found it...
STRAGO: I didn't really quit! It's just that, well, the monster lives only on
Ebot's Rock, which has been submerged for some time.
GUNGHO: You never could give me an honest answer.
GUNGHO: What a buffoon!!

Now you're airborne and you're simply dying to stop the Emperor from doing
nasty things with the Statues, 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: I'm all right. I'm sure peace is within our grasp!
LOCKE: I can't believe we played a major role in it all!
CYAN: The Empire deserves the worst!
EDGAR: We can't be smug. We must be thinking of our strategy.
SABIN: Let me at the Empire!
CELES: I was one of the Empire's generals, but I still know evil when I see it.
STRAGO: In all my travels, and in all my years...
RELM: I know. Let me draw their portraits!
SETZER: What's the most important thing in life? Being free of obligations!
        Otherwise, you lose the ability to gamble...
MOG: Kupoppo!!
GAU: GAU become 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:

- Condemned
Rummage around on the Veldt until Gau encounters and Leaps a Zombone. When you
get Gau back, have him Rage Zombone. His special attack is Condemned, and Strago
will learn it if he's paying attention.

Condemned sets a timer over the target's head and uses an automatic unblockable
Doom spell if the timer runs out. Monsters can be immune to both Condemned and
(Instant) Death, mind. Rather useless.

- Dischord
Meet either a Chaser or a Telstar on the Veldt. Telstar 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 Instant Death, Dischord will fail. This makes for a very interesting
Vanish/Dischord combo on bosses. The best use of Dischord lies in stealing;
lowering an opponent's level increases your chances of stealing.

- L.3 Muddle
Try to meet up with a Trapper (the hanging robots from the IMRF, remember).
They will randomly and happily use L.3 Muddle.

- L.4 Flare
It's like with L.3 Muddle, only you need to make sure that L.4 Flare doesn't
kill your entire party.

- L.5 Doom
Trappers, Trappers, Trappers, Trappers. And waiting.

- Pep Up
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 Pep Up.
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 Pipsqueak
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 Doom spell (targets that are
immune to Instant Death survive the attack). I'm sure you can get Roulette
targeting down to a science, but it's not really worth it.

- Step Mine
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.
GreaseMonks, when confused, will somehow -- while drooling and flailing their
arms around and being generally amusing to look at -- use the Step Mine attack.

Step Mine 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 Coelecite and Ing.
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:
  Beads, Elixir, Ether, Fenix Down, 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 an 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 Fenix Down and
some Beads. Beads are more useless than Goggles. Forget them.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 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 Rondo, meeting some
snazzy elusive monsters, buying more weaponry -- this is the time. Stock up on
Fenix Downs, as they're always useful. I specifically want you to have four
sets of Gaia Gear, and four Bard's Hats are nice as well.

I'd like to direct you to Kohlingen now, as I want you to buy a good amount of
Skeans. Maybe 40 Bolt Edges and 20 Fire Skeans. You can laugh in the face of
Water Edges, as they are useless. The entire deal of 60 new scrolls will just
cost you 30000 GP, which isn't that much.

Also, tip for the future: if you have excess money at this point, you might
consider buying a few Blossom Dirks, 10 or so. They make for excellent ST
Wind-elemental Throw objects, the best there are.

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 Goddesses 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 Grey 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 Morphed. 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 Tempest 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
  Noise Blaster. 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 ChickenLip for full-party healing, Edgar's MT
  Muddle 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 Hawk Eyes and an Atlas Armlet 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 Blizzard, Flame Sabre, and ThunderBlade are interchangeable, as are
Green Berets and Bard's Hats. Green Berets give slightly more HP, Bard's Hats
a tad more evasion and MP. It's your choice.

Terra
Blizzard, Gold Shld, Mystery Veil, Gaia Gear, Earrings, Back Guard/Earrings

Locke
Hawk Eye, Hawk Eye, Green Beret, Gaia Gear, Genji Glove, Sneak Ring

Edgar
Blizzard, Gold Shld, Green Beret, Gold Armor, Hero Ring, Earrings

Sabin
Fire Knuckle, Mithril Shld, Green Beret, Gaia Gear, Earrings, Earrings

Cyan
Tempest, Tempest, Green Beret, Power Sash, Hero Ring, Genji Glove

Gau
Empty, Mithril Shld, Green Beret, Gaia Gear, Hero Ring, Earrings

Celes
ThunderBlade, Gold Shld, Mystery Veil, Gaia Gear, Earrings, Back Guard/Earrings

Setzer
Darts, Gold Shld, Green Beret, Gaia Gear, Earrings, Earrings

Mog
Stout Spear, Gold Shld, Green Beret, Gaia Gear, Earrings, Earrings

Strago
Thunder Rod, Mithril Shld, Green Beret, Gaia Gear, Earrings, Earrings

Relm
Thunder Rod, Mithril Shld, Mystery Veil, Gaia Gear, Earrings, Earrings

If you're all properly equipped, let's roll.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.44.2  Imperial Air Force
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Sky Armor, Spit Fire, Chupon, Ultros, Air Force, Laser Gun, MissileBay, Speck

  Miscellaneous items:
  Debilitator (rare MissilyBay steal), Elixir (rare Spit Fire steal), Czarina
  Ring (guaranteed Air Force drop), X-Ether (rare Laser Gun steal)

Monster formations:
Sky Armor, Sky Armor, Spit Fire (3/4)
Sky Armor, Spit Fire (1/4)

"Uh, oh!!!"
"The Imperial Airforce (IAF)!"
"We're surrounded!"
"Let's give 'em a bloody lip!"

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 Spit Fire and a single Sky
Armor, or a Spit Fire 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 "Something...curious ...approaches!!" 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 Tek Laser or
!Backlash, but if one is alone, he might even consider firing a Missile or
two.

Spit Fires are the scourge of the LLG player. Every turn, he has a 33 % chance
of using Absolute 0, an MT Ice-elemental attack. If he's alone, he has a 33 %
of using Diffuser, an MT Lightning-elemental attack that is about half as
effective as Absolute 0 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 Spit Fire its Special), so make sure one of your
characters has it. Summon Siren, listen to her Hope Song, loot the buggers if
you have Locke with you (rare Elixirs on Spit Fire, and the common Tincture
isn't half bad either), and kill them all. Wind Song (home Dance!), Cyan's
Tempest blades and Gau's Marshal 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
L.5 Doom, should use it to take out any Spit Fire monsters right away. L.4
Flare affects Sky Armor, but that's probably far too expensive.

It's worthy of note that the Spit Fire, 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! Trust me!"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.44.3  The fourth fight with Ultros
**********************************

Chupon
Level: 26, HP: 10000, MP: 40000
Steal: Dirk (common)
Absorbs: Fire, Weakness: Ice, Water
Special: !Hit: sets Poison
Sketch : !Hit, Battle
Vulnerable to: Mute, Berserk, Sleep, Slow, Stop
Attacks: Battle, Fire Ball, Sneeze

Ultros
Level: 26, HP: 17000, MP: 8000
Steal: Dried Meat (common)
Absorbs: Water, Weakness: Fire, Poison
Special: !OctopusInk: sets Dark, Battle x 1.5
Sketch : !OctopusInk (rare), Battle (common)
Vulnerable to: Slow
Attacks: Battle, !OctopusInk, Tentacle

Vanish/Doom: Yes
Only on Ultros, though. Chupon has immunity to Clear status.

Joker Doom: No.

Ultros is an absolute joke this time, with a very simple script and weak stats.
He has three attacks: Battle, !OctopusInk, 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, Chupon. "Ultros: I lose AGAIN! Well,
today I've brought a pal! Mr. Chupon! Come on down!" From here, he'll keep
attacking like he used to, only he'll talk about the monstrosity now.

"Ultros: Mr. Chupon's taciturn, but terribly powerful!"
"Ultros: Better not irritate him! He gets hungry when he's irritated "
"Ultros: I was drowsing the other day when Mr. Chupon gnawed on my head!
He needed something to polish his teeth on! "

Chupon is nothing to worry about either. His attacks are unassuming, his stats
fairly weak: Battle and Fire Ball are past their prime. When he dies, he'll use
a final Sneeze attack on everybody. Gezondheid!

Strategy? Psh. Summoning Phantom at the very start takes care of Battle and
!OctopusInk, and you can Bserk or Mute Chupon as soon as he comes down. You're
invulnerable. Not that a normal Cure or Cure 2 casting couldn't prevent any
kind of danger, but...on the offensive side, Fire 2 and Bio work very well on
Ultros (yes, he suddenly traded his Lightning-weakness for a Poison one), and
Chupon can suck down some Ice 2 spells. It's just acceleration material though,
as this is a very easy battle.

Chupon 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 'Death to its creator' from Muslim-extremists.

Remember the five Mag 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: Czarina Ring (always)
Weakness: Lightning, Water
Special: !Hit: Battle x 1.5
Sketch : !Hit (rare), Battle (common)
Vulnerable to: Nothing
Attacks: Tek Laser, Diffuser, WaveCannon

Laser Gun
Level: 24, HP: 3300, MP: 335
Steal: X-Ether (common)
Weakness: Lightning, Water
Special: !Hit: Battle x 1.5
Sketch : !Hit (rare), Battle (common)
Vulnerable to: Slow, Stop
Attacks: Tek Laser, Diffuser, Atomic Ray

MissileBay
Level: 25, HP: 3000, MP: 7000
Steal: Debilitator (rare)
Weakness: Lightning, Water
Special: !Hit: Battle x 1.5
Sketch : !Hit (rare), Battle (common)
Vulnerable to: Slow, Stop
Attacks: Missile, Launcher

Speck
Level: 25, HP: 420, MP: 285
Steal: Amulet (rare)
Weakness: Lightning, Water
Status: Freeze, Runic
Special: !Hit: Battle x 1.5
Sketch : !Hit (rare), Battle (common)
Vulnerable to: Slow, Stop
Attacks: None

Vanish/Doom: No
Immunity to Clear status (all four opponents).

Joker Doom: Yes
Atomic Ray and WaveCannon screw with the RNG. Laser Gun can start the battle
with Atomic Ray, so when that happens you can forget all about Joker Doom.
WaveCannon shouldn't make an appearance if you're going for Echo Screen/
Joker Doom anyway.

The parts to this battle: Air Force, Laser Gun (the part to the right of Air
Force), and MissileBay (the part below Air Force).
MissileBay 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 Tek Laser and Atomic Ray. If it hits 1536 HP - after taking
1764 HP damage - it loses the Atomic Ray option, but gains Diffuser, which is
slightly weaker than Atomic Ray.

Air Force itself will just use Tek Laser and Diffuser. When Laser Gun dies, a
Speck will be released. Speck 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:

Display message: "Count 6!"
Display message: "Count 5!"
Display message: "Count 4!"
Display message: "Count 3!"
Display message: "Count 2!"
Display message: "Count 1!"

At this point, it will use WaveCannon, 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 WaveCannon, it'll start couting again, but it'll start
at Count 3 now.

The first thing on your mind is taking out MissileBay. If you have Locke
in the party, try to Steal for as long as he's around; MissileBay has a rare
Debilitator you probably don't have yet. ZoneSeek is a brilliant summon here,
as the Shell status can really help you out in this battle, and once MissileBay
is gone, you can safely summon Kirin to override all Seizure effects with the
positive Regen blessings.

- If you have Terra on the time, I definitely believe Morph 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, Bolt 2 if possible.
- The same goes for Celes; Runic isn't justified in the battle, as she'll take
  one Tek Laser while she lets other attacks past her.
- Gau should enter either Chimera or Rhinox Rage. Chimera's Aqua Rake 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 Ray might
  appear. Aspik's Giga Volt will be absorbed by Speck once it arrives, so
  Chimera is definitely the way to go. Rhinox, on the other hand, will absorb
  Tek Laser, Diffuser, and WaveCannon while being immune to Missile and
  Launcher. If you have the time and manage to take out Laser Gun, Rhinox wins
  you the battle.
- Locke's usefulness in this battle is limited. If he knows Bolt 2, 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 one of the few finite items in the game, and MissileBay's
  Debilitator might prove useful if you didn't nick it from Crane earlier.
- Sabin isn't especially helpful in this fight; Fire Dance is all he can do.
  If Sabin knows Bolt 2, it takes preference over his Blitz abilities.
- The same goes for Edgar, although his Drill/Chainsaw attacks can take out a
  Speck very quickly. Bolt 2 will do more damage to Air Force than his Tools
  will.
- Setzer should fire off Slot attacks if he doesn't know Bolt 2. H-Bomb and Sun
  Flare are more powerful than Bolt 2, but you're likely to mess around with
  Lagomorph and 7-Flush more than you'll see diving squadrons of death or the
  King of Dragons coming to your aid, so Bolt 2 will be better to stick to.
- Strago can simply fire off Aqua Rake attacks rather than Rage like a madman
  for it, so do just that. Aqua Rake is more powerful than Bolt 2, mind. If
  Strago is level 25 at this point, he can hit for a LOT of damage on Air Force,
  Speck and MissileBay if Stone connects.
- Cyan should use his Tempest blade(s), as his SwdTech 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 Sun Bath
  always nice. If you feel like taking a gamble you can go for Water Rondo.
  El Nino and Plasma will both hurt VERY badly, and Wild Bear has the added
  advantage of removing Seizure (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 Speck 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 MissileBay, use your speed-reducing grey magic on Laser Gun and focus
all spells on Air Force. No Speck, no WaveCannon, no fuss.

You'll get a Czarina Ring for your trouble, which is about as useless as
something you'd consider quite extraordinarily useless.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.45.1  The Floating Continent
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Ninja, Apokryphos, Behemoth, Brainpan, Dragon, Misfit, Gigantos, Wirey Drgn,
  AtmaWeapon

  Container contents:
  Beret, Murasame, Monster-in-a-box (Gigantos)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Cherub Down (rare Ninja steal), Cure Ring (rare Apokryphos steal), Elixir
  (common AtmaWeapon steal, rare Gigantos steal and guaranteed AtmaWeapon drop),
  Genji Glove (rare Dragon steal), Hardened (guaranteed Gigantos drop), Ninja
  Star (rare Ninja drop), Ribbon (rare AtmaWeapon steal), RunningShoes (rare
  Behemoth steal)

  Lores:
  L.3 Muddle, L.4 Flare, L.5 Doom, Blow Fish

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 Catscratch 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 Shoat). Shadow's main power lies in his Skeans
now, so Earrings rather than Atlas Armlets.

Monster formations:
Ninja, Ninja (10/64)
Brainpan, Misfit, Apokryphos, Brainpan (10/64)
Dragon (6/64)
Behemoth, Misfit, Misfit (6/64)
Behemoth (5/64)
Apokryhpos, Misfit, Misfit (5/64)
Apokryphos (5/64)
Wirey Drgn, Wirey Drgn, Wirey Drgn (5/64)
Apokryphos, Apokryphos, Apokryphos (5/64)
Brainpan, Brainpan, Brainpan (5/64)
Behemoth, Behemoth (1/64)
Ninja, Ninja, Wirey Drgn (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 throw one of the three Skeans and very rarely
use a normal Battle attack. Lightning-elemental attacks get them very quickly,
as do Instant Death attacks. You can Imp them, but that won't stop them from
using Skeans (Imps can still use Items). Rarely they will drop a Ninja Star,
which are upgraded Shuriken. Save them for later.

Apokryphos are odd little demon-buggers who attack physically only, until
there's only one left. A lone Apokryphos will counter any damage you do with
L.5 Doom, L.4 Flare, or L.3 Muddle. 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 Apokryphos out first (or all at the same time). If you
find yourself stuck against a lone Apokryphos, Break and other Instant Death
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 Apokryphos' MP
to 0 kills him. Mute/Hope Song also works. You can rarely Steal Cure 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 !Take Down 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 !Take Down. Luckily, you can use Petrification
and other Instant Death attacks to go around this. They're weak to Ice, and
Ice2 will deal a nice amount of damage, but ID attacks like Doom, Shoat's
Demon Eye, and Gau's Rhodox 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. Ice2 is
a powerful spell on them, and Strago's L.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 Blow Fish, 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 Skeans 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
Blow Fish 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 (with a maximum HP of 7000, that can become very painful), Blizzard
and Cold 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 Sneeze.
There's danger all around here, and they're immune to Instant Death 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
Bolt2, Giga Volt (although you'll probably want to lay off Rages against Dragon
as the random physical attack will wake him up), and Bolt Edges work very well.
If Locke or Shadow with one or two Thiefknives is in the party, Steal from
every Dragon you encounter. Even one extra Genji Glove is nice.

Misfits are Ing palette swaps, and once again, they are imMuteable 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 Ing, so
take advantage of that. Break and Rasp both kill Misfit in one hit when they
connect (Break sometimes misses).

Wirey 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 Stray'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 Instant Death attacks on one at a time.
They CAN use Cyclonic themselves when they're alone, so keep that in mind.
Shoat'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 Dispatch is better than any Fight attack you'll pull off
with it.

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: Hardened (always)
Status: Safe
Special: !Throat Jab: Battle x 5
Sketch : !Throat Jab (rare), Battle (common)
Vulnerable to: Imp, Petrify, Death, Condemned, Mute, Berserk, Slow, Stop
Attacks: Battle, !Throat Jab

Vanish/Doom: Yes
No restrictions.

Joker Doom: Yes
No restrictions.

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 Battle and !Throat Jab while countering any damage you do with two
Battle attacks and a !Throat Jab. That's a lot of physical damage. If you
self-applied the Clear status like I advised, you're invulnerable in this fight.
If you're fighting him, Instant Death attacks work best. L.5 Doom offs him
easily, as do Break, Shoat's Demon Eye, Snare (Rhodox Rage), and Doom. 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/Doom combo if you're evil enough. For all your trouble, you get a
Hardened, a stronger Dirk for Shadow without the Assassin's Instant-Death
property. Since you should not be using Fight at all, I recommend sticking to
your current blade, which should be either the Thiefknife or Assassin.

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. AtmaWeapon. 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 the Coin Toss on Setzer if he's on your team and
equip Wall Rings, if that's possible.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.45.3  The decisive battle with AtmaWeapon
**********************************

AtmaWeapon
Level: 37, HP: 24000, MP: 5000
Steal: Ribbon (rare), Elixir (common), Win: Elixir (always)
Status: Float
Special: !Full Power: Battle x 2
Sketch : !Full Power (rare), Battle (common)
Vulnerable to: Slow
Attacks: Battle, !Full Power, Fire 2, Bio, Flare, Quartr, Quake, W Wind, Rasp,
         Mind Blast, Flare Star, Meteo, Blaze

Vanish/Doom: Yes
No restrictions.

Joker Doom: Yes
Flare, W Wind, Rasp, and Meteo all screw with the RNG, but the only one you
need to worry about is Flare, as that can be cast right away.

AtmaWeapon 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. AtmaWeapon 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
Atma... ...I am pure energy...and as ancient as the cosmos. Feeble creatures,
GO!" and then simply pound your character into submission with Battle, 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
Wall Rings and the like. This is, until he reaches 12800 HP, at which point
he'll start casting Bio, Quake, or Meteo, use either Battle or !Full Power, use
an MT Fire 2 spell, and end with Mind Blast, an AtmaWeapon-specific attack.

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: Dark, Zombie, Poison, Imp, Petrify, Condemned, Mute, Berserk,
Muddled, Seizure, 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.

After Mind Blast, AtmaWeapon will get even stronger. The message "Vast energy
focused" will appear, and AtmaWeapon will give himself Safe, 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 AtmaWeapon 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/Meteo, etc.

When you knock him below 6144 HP, he'll start using another set of spells:
Battle, Quartr, W Wind, 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, if you ignore Vanish/Doom and its many
ill-conceived brethren. In both scenarios you'll want your party covered in
Wall Rings. Celes shouldn't need to use Runic until the final stage of
AtmaWeapon when he gains the ability to cast Quartr, as that can be absorbed
by Celes' Runic blade yet flies past Wall 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 Battle, Flare and Blaze, with which ZoneSeek and
Wall 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 ZoneSeek 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 Wall 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 (Ice 2 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 Hawk Eyes to fight with for the duration of the fight.
Edgar can use Drill and Sabin AuraBolt for superior damage.

Mog's Dance is up for debate. The Earth Dance is the home Dance, so it will
never fail, and it also has the most damaging attack of all of Mog's attacks:
Land Slide. The Water Rondo, on the other hand, has a more constant damage
output, as both El Nino (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 GP Rain. Even with double Earrings, his
level 2 spells are inferior to GP Rain and his Slots aren't very useful in
this fight. 7-Flush can't compare to GP Rain, Chocobop misses entirely due to
AtmaWeapon's inherent Float and the other attacks are too rare to consider an
option.

Cyan's Quadra Slam out damages Dispatch, so try to have other characters attack
while you wait for Quadra Slam to load. It might be safer, if you're less
experienced, to simply stick to Dispatch 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 some Earrings, a level 2 spell
will outdamage Dispatch.

Strago's Aqua Rake attack is the strongest he'll be able to do. If you equipped
Wall Rings, his Pearl Wind move will be very nice to have around. Step Mine
might be stronger than Aqua Rake, 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 Rake, 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 Edge), Chimera (Aqua Rake),
Bomb (Blaze) or Ing (Lifeshaver). Ninja is the strongest offensively, but you
probably didn't go back to pick it up. Ing is very defensive; since it makes
Gau absorb Fire-elemental attacks, it's inherently Floating and gives the Undead
property, Ing will protect against Fire 2, Bio, Quake, Blaze, Flare Star and
quite a few of the Mind Blaster-induced status ailments. 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 Battle attacks
Gau uses, damage output will be higher overall.

After AtmaWeapon 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 Statues.
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 Goddesses glow 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
Goddesses have bestowed upon him, nothing happens. The field of the Goddesses
absorbs all Magic sent their way (even Merton, which is unRunicable!). Kefka
gains control over the slowly reviving Statues 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
Statues. 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:
  Naughty, Nerapa

  Container contents:
  Elixir

  Lores:
  Condemned, Roulette

Monster formations:
Naughty (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 Wall Rings if you listened to my advice.
Keep them on! If Celes joined your party just now, give one to her as well.
The Wall Rings protect from the Ice 2 spell the Naughty enemies cast, and it
will be nice to have against the boss here as well. Shadow's equipment has been
added to your inventory.

Naughty 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 Battle, !Hit, Ice 2, Blizzard, and Cold Dust. Sadly,
they can use Cold Dust on the first turn, disabling a character. If you hit
them with a Magic spell, they have a 33 % shot at using Mute. Note: this is NOT
the Spell Mute; it's a monster attack with the same name, animation, and
effect. A largely useless alternative, though this Naughty-only Mute 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 Escape.

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 Naughty's weakness to Fire, Lightning, and Pearl. L.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 Nerapa and Exit
**********************************

Nerapa
Level: 26, HP: 2800, MP: 280
Absorbs: Fire, Nullify: Poison, Wind, Earth, Water Weakness: Ice, Lightning,
                                                             Pearl
Status: Reflect, Float
Special: !Hit: Battle x 1.5
Sketch : !Hit (rare), Battle (common)
Vulnerable to: Death, Condemned, Berserk, Muddled, Stop
Attacks: Battle, Fire 2, Fire 3, Condemned, Roulette, Fire Ball

Vanish/Doom: No
Immunity to Clear status.

Joker Doom: Yes
Fire Ball and Roulette both mess with the RNG. Who are you kidding? Trying to
obtain Joker Doom for Nerapa is like spending large sums of cash on learning
how to make your own solar-powered shotgun with poisoned slugs so you can take
care of your rodent problem.

The big sparkle's name is Nerapa. 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 Condemned 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 Nerapa (or a Naughty) 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 can't run!" and after casting
Condemned 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 Battle, Fire 2, Fire 3, and Fire Ball. Very spooky. Fire 3 actually
hurts a bit.

Now HERE'S a hoot: If you hit Nerapa with six Fight commands, he'll use
Roulette. Next to the fact that Roulette can actually take Nerapa himself down,
the mere thought that Nerapa could even survive six Fight attacks is laughable
by itself. You'd need a Heal 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 Pearl. 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 Rhodox 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 Doom 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 Giga Volt, or AuraBolt, or Gem Dust, or
what have you. Nerapa has 2800 HP. If you played your cards right, you were
doing 2800 in one attack back there against Atma Weapon.

Once you've beaten Nerapa, 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 Kamog, 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:
  Peepers, EarthGuard, Black Drgn

  Miscellaneous items:
  Elixir (Peepers steal), Megalixir (EarthGuard 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)
Peepers, Peepers (10/16)
Peepers, Peepers, Peepers (6/16)

(desert)
EarthGuard, Peepers, Peepers (10/16)
Black Drgn (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 Seizure, they more
likely than not will perish before they make a move. If they do manage to take
a turn, it's either Battle, !Tail (Battle * 1.5), or Pearl Wind, for which
Peepers don't have enough MP for.

EarthGuard only has one attack: !PoisonTail, which sets Poison. However,
EarthGuard shares the fate of Peepers: 1 HP, inherent Seizure. Wandering into
the desert without an Amulet or Ribbon is incredibly stupid, so !PoisonTail
shouldn't affect you.

Black Drgn is the only actual opponent with a fighting chance on the island.
The first turn can already feature Sand Storm; the second turn Sand Storm and
!BonePowder. Sand Storm is the thing to watch out for; Celes is by her lonesome,
so she takes quite some damage here. You can instantly defeat Black Drgn by
casting a Life spell on him. Personally I don't consider it a shadowy tactic
when the undead monster in question lacks Death protection (like Black Drgn),
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 Fire 2.

Note: Peepers have a rare Elixir steal and EarthGuard 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 (slow moving). Decreases Health bar by 16 when fed to Cid.
A Rotten Fish (medium speed). Decreases Health bar by 4 when fed to Cid.
Just a Fish (medium speed). Increases Health bar by 16 when fed to Cid.
A Yummy Fish (fast moving). Increases Healthy bar by 32 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 Rotten Fish, and a Yummy Fish, Cid will gain (-16 - 4 + 32 =) 12
points of health.

231 - 255 My dear, I ... feel I'm not going to be around much longer...
201 - 230 CELES, thanks for all you've done for me!
161 - 200 HackAck!! I feel a little better!
121 - 160 Cough...wheeze...I can't bear this any longer...
 91 - 120 I...I'm not long for this cruel new world ...
 61 -  90 My worst nightmare is to think of you alone here on this wretched
          island ... hack ... wheeze!!
 31 -  60 Cough...hack...ACK!! While I can still talk, I...wheeze...pant...want
          to thank you...cough!
  0 -  30 Good-bye...

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 feel much better! Thanks, Celes!" and leave the
bed.

CELES: What's up?
CID: CELES...the project that kept me going over the past year is down below.
Go have a look at it!

At this point, you can indeed take the look Cid urges you to take. It's a raft!

CELES: Granddad.
CID: CELES... You must leave this place. You have to find your friends!
CELES: I know... But I'll bring 'em all back to meet you!
CID: That LOCKE fellow, too, no doubt...

(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
"Good-bye...". 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 else...
       W...what's the matter?
CELES: Cid...
CELES: No...NO!!
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: Those others who were here...when they were feeling down they'd take a
     leap of faith from the cliffs up north...perked 'em right up!

CELES: Everyone's gone.... Even LOCKE, who promised to watch over me...
       The world's slowly ebbing away...

Celes, closing her eyes, hesitates a moment. Then, she throws herself off the
cliff.

In the American 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. In the Japanese game, she remembers Cid's words on how
almost everybody has killed him or herself. One person dove off this very cliff.
Nintendo at the time felt this was unfit to release to the American audience
and had the Remake team change it to a more... positive moment.

Celes comes to at the same beach she used to catch fish on. A bird is beside
her.

CELES: Phew... Why did you nurse me back to health? Did I ever ask you to help
       me?!
CELES: A bandana??? No...it can't be...
CELES: Hey, you! Where'd you get this?! Is the person who healed you still
       alive? Answer me!

(The bird flies off)

CELES: He's alive... LOCKE's still alive!!!

If the unexplained magical healing properties of the bird confuse you,
the Japanese game just states the bird protected Celes. How exactly it did THAT
is as mysterious as the bird healing her, though.

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 need to leave! The others are surely waiting for you! Find the stairs
next to the stove. Down them lies your road to freedom.
             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:
  Mesosaur, Gilomantis, Peepers, Chitonid, Gigan Toad, EarthGuard, Black Drgn,
  Osprey

  Miscellaneous items:
  Elixir (rare Peepers steal), Megalixir (rare EarthGuard 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 Jewel
Ring will do). Try to apply the Clear 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
Mesosaur, Mesosaur (10/16)
Gilomantis, Mesosaur (6/16)

Wastelands, east
Lunaris, Lunaris (10/16)
Chitonid, Gigan Toad, Gigan Toad (6/16)

Wastelands, west
Lunaris, Osprey (10/16)
Osprey, Chitonid, Gigan Toad (6/16)

Forest
Mesosaur, Mesosaur, Mesosaur, Mesosaur (10/16)
Gilomantis, Gilomantis, Mesosaur (6/16)

Desert
EarthGuard, Peepers, Peepers (10/16)
Black Drgn (6/16)

Mesosaur is a small dinosaur whose name is derived from the prefix 'meso', which
means 'middle'. Mesosaurea in our world were little swimming buggers 'famous'
for being the first land-based animals to return to the sea; in this world, they
are Battle/Special cannon fodder with a weakness to Ice. This is note-worthy;
dinosaurs and lizards in general have a weakness to Ice. Mesosaurea will use
Escape unless they are by themselves, in which case they'll stand to fight. !T.
Lash causes Seizure.

Gilomantis use Battle. When they are targeted by Fight, they sometimes use
!Sickle, 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. Gigan Toads are cool. See, they're toads, and they're gargantuan. This
makes them inherently violent, attacking with Battle, !Croak (damage), Slimer
(sets Slow, looks spiffy), and Rippler. Rippler is an attack of utmost danger,
but Gigan Toad lacks the MP to pull it off.

Lunaris is Lobo WoR style. Rather than using !Bite to inflict damage, they use
!Face Bite 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.

Osprey 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 Shimsham attack if you use Magic on it.

Chitonid is normal Battle/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 Sneeze. This tends to come into play if you employ a fatal
MT attack to the entire monster party. Take out Chitonid first.

Just walk around here and kill stuff with your attacks. Should you have Clear
status and lose it again due to Slimer, Sneeze, or Shimsham, re-apply it. Kill
Chitonid first, never use Magic on Osprey, and don't linger with Gigan Toads
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:
Flame Sabre  7000
Blizzard     7000
ThunderBlade 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 Ninja Stars; 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 GP.

Armor Shop:
Gold Shld    2500
Bard's Hat   3000
Green Beret  3000
Gold Helmet  4000
Gold Armor  10000
 Nothing new here, and nothing you should specifically want any more of.

Relic Shop:
Sprint Shoes 1500
Atlas Armlet 5000
Earrings     5000
Barrier Ring  500
MithrilGlove  700
True Knight  1000
Wall Ring    6000
Jewel 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 Jewel Ring or a Ribbon, definitely buy
a Jewel Ring here.

Item Shop:
Potion        300
Tincture     1500
Fenix Down    500
Revivify      300
Remedy       1000
Sleeping Bag  500
Smoke Bomb    300
Warp Stone    700
 If the Floating Continent was harsh on your supplies, you can restock some now.
Make sure you have some Revivifies, and 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 Potion in
the barrel next to the Inn, a Tincture in the pot in the Weapon Shop, an
Elixir in the clock in the Relic Shop/Cafe, and a Warp 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:
  Mesosaur, Gilomantis, Peepers, Chitonid, Gigan Toad, EarthGuard, Osprey

  Miscellaneous items:
  Elixir (rare Peepers steal), Megalixir (rare EarthGuard steal)

Monster formations:

Grasslands
Mesosaur, Mesosaur (10/16)
Gilomantis, Mesosaur (6/16)

Wastelands, east
Lunaris, Lunaris (10/16)
Chitonid, Gigan Toad, Gigan Toad (6/16)

Wastelands, west
Lunaris, Osprey (10/16)
Osprey, Chitonid, Gigan Toad (6/16)

Forest
Mesosaur, Mesosaur, Mesosaur, Mesosaur (10/16)
Gilomantis, Gilomantis, Mesosaur (6/16)

Desert
EarthGuard, Peepers, Peepers (10/16)
Black Drgn (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: "Come on!! Please help!" 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       1000
Poison Claw  2500
Flame Sabre  7000
Blizzard     7000
ThunderBlade 7000
Fire Knuckle10000
 It's nice to have two of each Claws. The Kaiser is too weak at this point, so
you can ignore it. If you don't have two Poison Claws stock up until you do,
and you're bound to miss at least one Fire Knuckle. Grab it, as a boss battle in
the future could use double Fire Knuckles.

Armor Shop:
Gold Shld    2500
Beret        3500
Tiger Mask   2500
Gold Helmet  4000
Power Sash   5000
Gold 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:
DragoonBoots 9000
Sneak Ring   3000
Black Belt   5000
Back Guard   7000
Sniper Sight 3000
Peace Ring   3000
Jewel Ring   1000
Amulet       5000
 Sneak Rings for sale are new, but they don't help you. What you do want is a
Jewel Ring if you still haven't bought one. Last chance, honest.

Item Shop:
Potion        300
Tincture     1500
Green Cherry  150
Fenix Down    500
Echo Screen   120
Revivify      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) Must have irritated Kefka...
(Merchant) There are monsters inside! They keep petrifying everyone who goes in
           to help. You using suitable Relics?
(Old man) We resisted Kefka, so he unleashed his Light of Judgment on us!
(Old woman) Hurry, or the house'll collapse!

Before you get near the mansion, set Celes up like this:

Break Blade/Blizzard/ThunderBlade/Flame Sabre
Gold Shld
Mystery Veil
Gold Armor/Gaia Gear
Black Belt (vital!)
Jewel 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...I...I'm losing my grip...Keep up the fight, brother!" 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:
  HermitCrab, Pm Stalker, Scorpion

  Container contents:
  Drainer, Heal Rod, Hyper Wrist, Magicite, Pearl Rod, Tincture, Monster-in-a-
  box (Pm Stalker x4), Monster-in-a-box (Pm Stalker x4)

  Magicite:
  Sraphim

Preparation: Black Belt and petrification protection, right?

Monster formations:

Scorpion, Scorpion, Scorpion (10/16)
HermitCrab, HermitCrab, Pm Stalker (6/16)

The Scorpion is the main annoyance in this house while the HermitCrab 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 Fight three times takes
a long time when time is of the essence. Hence the Black Belt; Scorpions will
use !Doom Sting (sets Condemned) followed by Battle, so there's plenty of
physical attacks to take advantage of, especially because Celes is alone
anyway.

HermitCrab have two attacks to fear. The first is Net; you may remember it
from your fight against Marshal 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 HermitCrab is
alone and damaged by you. Sadly, this scenario includes MT killing everything
on the battlefield. Protect yourself from ridicule and enjoy that Jewel Ring or
Ribbon I advised you.

Pm Stalkers are cannon fodder with a nice name; Pm stands for Post Mortem.
Still stalking. 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 Seizure hit inflicts). That's it. You can take them all out
with an MT Fire 2 spell or Ifrit's Inferno.

Use Fight and enjoy your counters during Scorpion battles, and MT Fire 2 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 AutoCrossbow 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 Heal Rod; make absolutely sure you grab it. Turn left and you'll
see a chamber with a chest in it. The chest contains a Pearl Rod; go out the
same way you got in. Continue to the left and you'll see two chests. The one
in reach contains a Tincture, the one near the stairs leading downwards
contains a monster-in-a-box (Pm Stalker 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 Pm
Stalkers. The one room here you didn't pass through contains a Drainer 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 Sraphim yet, now's your chance to do so for only 10 GP.
The world's going to heck in a hand basket... just look at this weird stone!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.49.1   The Serpent Trench
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Mesosaur, Gilomantis, Chitonid, Gigan Toad, Osprey, Delta Bug, Bloompire,
  Lizard, Buffalax. Black Drgn

  Miscellaneous items:
  Drainer (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
Mesosaur, Mesosaur (10/16)
Gilomantis, Mesosaur (6/16)

Wastelands, west
Lunaris, Lunaris (10/16)
Chitonid, Gigan Toad, Gigan Toad (6/16)

Wastelands, east
Lunaris, Osprey (10/16)
Osprey, Chitonid, Gigan Toad (6/16)

Grasslands, Serpent Trench
Bloompire, Bloompire, Lizard (6/16)
Bloompire, Bloompire (5/16)
Buffalax (5/16)

Wastelands, Serpent Trench
Buffalax, Delta Bug, Delta Bug (10/16)
Delta Bug, Delta Bug, Delta Bug, Delta Bug (6/16)

Northwest wastelands, Serpent Trench
Delta Bug, Delta Bug, Delta Bug, Delta Bug (6/16)
Buffalax, Lizard (5/16)
Bloompire, Bloompire, Delta Bug (5/16)

Forests, Serpent Trench
Bloompire, Bloompire, Lizard (6/16)
Bloompire, Bloompire (5/16)
Buffalax (5/16)

Three new monsters on the Serpent Trench:

Buffalax are sickly animals that attack out of desperation. If you wait for four
turns he'll swap his normal Battle attack with a !Riot, Battle, Battle combo.
Gasp thrice! !Riot is merely Battle * 1.5, so there's Nothing to worry about.
If he's hit by a Magic spell, he might counter with Sun Bath. So don't.

Delta Bug uses Battle, !Rush (Battle * 1.5) and Mega Volt. Mega Volt is entirely
too weak to worry about, but it does remove Clear 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 Fire 2
spells and/or the Fire Dance Blitz is the way to go.

Bloompire are the most dangerous enemies here. They can start the fight off with
Battle or !Energy Sap, which sets Zombie. The second turn can feature the Bio
spell, which you don't want. The thing about Bloompire 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 Fire 2 spells and Fire
Dance 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 Bug appear, Fire Dance is a good idea to clean them all up in
one go, as is an MT Fire 2 spell, if you lack Sabin. Buffalax 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 Sun Bath. Bloompire 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 Bug and Bloompire can remove
your Clear status with Mega Volt 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:
  Phunbaba

  Container contents:
  Fenix Down

  Lores:
  Blow Fish

  Magicite:
  Fenrir

[PHUNBABA1-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 Ring, Genji
Glove, and two Poison 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 Wall Ring
and a Hero 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 Fenix 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 Phunbaba is coming! You heard about Phunbaba in
Albrook, a demon from the ancient world. Terra goes out to defend the children.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.49.3   The fight with Phunbaba
**********************************

Phunbaba (# 1)
Level: 26, HP: 60000, MP: 10000
Absorbs: Lightning, Weakness: Poison
Special: !Solar Plex: Battle x 3
Sketch : !Solar Plex, Battle
Control: Battle, !Solar Plex
Vulnerable to: Nothing
Attacks: Battle, !Solar Plex, Bolt 2, Bolt 3, Blow Fish

Vanish/Doom: Yes
No restrictions

This battle is a scripted battle. Terra won't be able to deliver any damage
as Phunbaba is blessed by the same kind of invulnerability as WoB Guardian was.
Terra can slave away with physicals: 0 damage. She can cast Fire 2, Bio, and
Drain: 0 damage (although she'll obtain HP from Drain). Terra is supposed to
lose here. So, don't use Morph or Elixirs or anything.

There is a way to circumvent the fixed outcome of the fight, and that's by
using Vanish/Doom. This is only possible in the SNES versions though, as Square
made the Vanish spell miss against this Phunbaba 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.

Phunbaba (# 2)
Level: 26, HP: 28000, MP: 10000
Absorbs: Lightning, Weakness: Poison
Special: !Solar Plex: Battle x 3
Sketch : !Solar Plex, Battle
Control: Battle, !Solar Plex
Vulnerable to: Nothing
Attacks: Battle, !Solar Plex, Bolt 2, Bolt 3, Blow Fish, Escape

Vanish/Doom: Yes
No restrictions

Joker Doom: No.
The game prevents you from spinning 7-7-7 in this battle.

This is better. Phunbaba will start the battle with a physical, be it either
Battle or !Solar Plex. Then, he'll start using Bolt 2 and Bolt 3 spells;
finally, he can use Blow Fish, which is ill received, as 1000 damage is nothing
to laugh at when it's coming for you. Phunbaba'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 Poison 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 Earth Wall if they have him
equipped. If Sabin is weak, you should break the Runic guard to cure him. Smack
Phunbaba 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, Ice 2) as quickly as you can. Fighting
this guy with Celes only is a risk as no matter what you do, Blow Fish is very
dangerous and Phunbaba 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 Doom here. The best Dance is Earth Blues, while the home dance, Wind Song
is nigh worthless. Vaporite absorbs Bolt 2 and Bolt 3 while dealing acceptable
damage, although a purple Mag Roader Rage with a Wall Ring is better.

After Phunbaba 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 Phunbaba's dropped necklace. Equip it if no
other Espers appear to teach better spells at the moment (X-Zone is nice, but
not as strategic as Stop, Vanish, Mute, 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 Phunbaba and recruit Terra.
Read all about that here: [PHUNBABA2-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.

Weapon Shop:
Rune Edge    7500
Flame Sabre  7000
Blizzard     7000
ThunderBlade 7000
Enhancer    10000
 You probably already have at least one Rune Edge (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 three. 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% MBlock, which in this game, what with the Evade
bug and all, is very, very nice indeed. I suggest you grab three and put two of
them on Celes with a Genji Glove. The Enhancer really is a great weapon, and
could be considered a weapon you want to keep equipped until the very end of
the game in certain scenarios.

Armor Shop:
Diamond Shld 3500
Bard's Hat   3000
Green Beret  3000
Diamond Helm 8000
Gaia Gear    6000
Power Sash   5000
Diamond Vest12000
 Entirely new items for sale in this Armor Shop! Victory galore. I'd grab
one Diamond Shld, but don't equip it on Celes as her dual Enhancers will be
much nicer. Ignore the Diamond Helm entirely; there are better helmets out there
still (Mystery Veil, Bard's Hat, 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
Cure Ring    8000
Zephyr Cape  7000
Gale Hairpin 8000
Hyper Wrist  8000
Beads        4000
Amulet       5000
Czarina Ring 3000
 "You took one look at me and thought I was a loser, right? You're obligated
to buy from me now!" Oddest sentence of the entire game, if you ask me. Anyway,
his merchandise isn't very special, except for the fact he has Beads for sale,
whose only use lies in saving them up for the next Mardi Gras. Also, Cure Rings
for sale; they were 20000 GP in the Auction House, so it's a relative bargain
here. Cure Rings still suck though, and you could've gotten all the Cure Rings
you ever wanted back on the FC. Other items for sale that previously weren't
include Zephyr Capes (useless; White Capes are better, period), Gale Hairpins
(one is enough), and Czarina Rings (Cute, those trigger-spell-when-Near-Fatal
Relics, but hardly useful).

Item Shop:
Potion        300
Tincture     1500
Soft          200
Fenix Down    500
Revivify      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 Cafe.

In the Cafe, 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: What's going on, here? Brother!!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.51.1   South Figaro; Gerad and the Crimson Robbers
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Commander, Vector Pup

  Container contents:
  Elixir, Fenix Down x2, Revivify, 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
Stout Spear 10000
Enhancer    10000
Gold Lance  12000
 The only new item here is the Gold Lance. As you could guess, it's a Lance
stronger than the Stout Spear. While I think the Gold Lance looks kinda nice in
combat, I would still prefer the Enhancer over the Gold Lance any day, so I
won't tell you to buy one now, as in the next boss battle, the weapon with the
highest Bat. Pwr will be automatically equipped on a character. Since the
Enhancer provides the important benefit of 20 Mblock% while the Gold Lance
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 Shld 3500
Bard's Hat   3000
Green Beret  3000
Diamond Helm 8000
Gaia Gear    6000
Diamond Vest12000
DiamondArmor15000
 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 GP 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,
Beads and the like. Although nothing will be said, you'll get a 50% discount
if Edgar is your leading party member.

Relic Shop:
Goggles       500
Star Pendant  500
Fairy Ring   1500
Amulet       5000
RunningShoes 7000
Wall Ring    6000
Cure Ring    8000
Czarina Ring 3000
 There's nothing here that you want. Two RunningShoes 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:
Potion        300
Tincture     1500
Eyedrop        50
Echo Screen   120
Fenix Down    500
Revivify      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:

- The four members of the Crimson Robbers can be found all over town. Here's
what they have to say:

"We're storming Figaro Castle! That treasure's rightfully ours!" (two)
"Some guy came through here a little while ago looking for some secret
treasure."
"Souvenir of the Empire, anyone?!" (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 "We may be thieves, but at least we
have goals in our lives!" 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: "For each life lost, a new one arrives to fill the
void! Okay! Nothing's gonna stop us!" (guy runs off) & "Oh...! That person!"
(girl runs off)

- Commander and Vector Pup 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:
  Sand Horse, Maliga, Latimeria, Nohrabbit

Preparation: If you have Float, cast it on your party. That's about it.

Grasslands
Nohrabbit, Nohrabbit, Nohrabbit (always)

Wastelands
Maliga, Maliga, Nohrabbit, Nohrabbit (always)

Desert
Maliga, Maliga, Maliga (6/16)
Sand Horse, Sand Horse (5/16)
Sand Horse, Maliga, Maliga (5/16)

Forest
Latimeria (10/16)
Latimeria, Nohrabbit, Nohrabbit, Nohrabbit (6/16)

Nohrabbit 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, Cure 2, and Remedy, and for some reason unknown
to man they cast it on you... when hit by Fight. Under normal circumstances
you'll find them smacking you with Battle or !Carrot (Battle * 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?

Maliga is just an upgraded version of Exocite. Battle, !Scissors, a chance
at a double !Scissors when they are alone. !Scissors is boring Battle * 1.5
shtuff. Exocite were water-based, but these wretches occupy the deserts; they
are weak against Ice and Water.

Latimeria resembles Anguiform, but that's where the similarities end. Anguiform
had an exceedingly strong Special; Latimeria has the normal Battle * 1.5
!Wind-Up attack. Instead of being a creature of water and using Aqua Rake,
Latimeria uses Magnitude8 on a regular basis. Weak against Lightning and
immune to ID. Finally, Discovery Channel Fact: a Latimeria is a fish! Why the
hell they made it a land crawler defies reason.

Sand Horse is the most dangerous enemy here. Under normal circumstances they
will repeatedly use Sand Storm or possibly !Clamp (Battle * 5!), and if they're
alone they start using Battle. You'd assume they would want to keep their
stronger attacks for the more dire situations, but oh well. Sand Horse 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 Latimeria's Magnitude8, so just pound away there. Use
Fight on Nohrabbit whenever you can, their healing will do you a lot of good.
The only threat is Sand Horse; do them in with a Rasp spell or something you
know will do significant ST damage. Summoning Bismark 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, Cruller, NeckHunter, Dante

  Container contents:
  Ether, Hero Ring, X-Potion

Preparation: A lot of monsters here will try to set the Muddled status on you,
so equip Relics that protect against Muddled 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 X-Zone on themselves
and give you a Game Over.

Cave of Figaro
NeckHunter, Cruller, Humpty, Humpty (10/16)
Dante (6/16)

Recovery Spring
Humpty, Humpty, Humpty, Humpty (6/16)
NeckHunter, NeckHunter (5/16)
Dante (5/16)

Corridor from Recovery Spring to Figaro Castle
NeckHunter, NeckHunter (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: Ziegfried!
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. Battle and - ugh - !Hug (sets
Muddled) 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: Fire 2. 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 Fire 2 and Battle, and if you keep him
around long enough he can use Slimer and !BrainStorm (sets Muddled). Weak to
Fire.

NeckHunter uses !Mad Sickle (sets Muddled) and Battle. 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 Battle and !QuartzPike (Battle * 3), and
he sometimes counters Magic spells with L. 3 Muddle. Dante is slightly more
durable than the other enemies in the cave, so it might be nice information to
have that the Life 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 'Muddled'. Almost all enemies
can set it, and with new spells such as X-Zone, Muddled gets all the more
dangerous. Wear Peace Rings and/or Ribbons to prevent the horror. Boost Sabin's
Fire Dance or perhaps even Air Blade (which he learns at level 30) with a pair
of Earrings or a Hero Ring; Fire Dance offs all Humptys and Crullers. Celes
can take care of the remaining NeckHunter with her Enhancer(s). If Dante is
ever encountered cast Life, 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 Ether,
an X-Potion, and a very awesome Hero Ring. A HERO 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 Ziegfried 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 Ziegfried. 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 Ziegfried
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, Cruller, Drop, NeckHunter, Dante, Tentacle, Tentacle, Tentacle,
  Tentacle

  Container contents:
  Crystal Helm, Ether, Gravity Rod, Regal Crown, Soul Sabre, X-Potion

Preparation: Keep the Peace Rings/Ribbons on there.

Figaro Castle basement
Humpty, Humpty, Humpty, Humpty (6/16)
NeckHunter, NeckHunter (5/16)
Dante (5/16)

Engine Room
Humpty, Humpty, Humpty, Humpty (6/16)
Drop, Drop, Drop (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?

Drop 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 !Mad Signal every turn, which sets Muddled if you let it. If you use
Fight to damage it, it'll counter with Battle. Refrain from that, and kill
them with Magic spells (they're weak to Lightning-elemental attacks) and
Blitz techniques.

Pushing on will take you up the stairs, but you can't go out of the castle or
on the exterior; 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 Quartr,
an X-Potion, and an 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 Regal 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 Drop 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.
RunningShoes disables a large part of the boss' strategy, so equip them on both
Sabin and Celes if possible. Wall 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 Shld/Mithril Shld
Mystery Veil
DiamondArmor
Wall Ring
RunningShoes
Esper: Golem/Siren/Fenrir

Sabin
Fire Knuckle
Diamond Shld/Mithril Shld
Regal Crown
Diamond Vest
Wall Ring
RunningShoes
Esper: Golen/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 fight 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: !Seize: sets Slow
Vulnerable to: Poison, Petrify, Mute, Slow
Attacks: Battle, !Seize, Poison, Bio, Seize, Discard, Entwine

Tentacle (bottom-left)
Level: 32, HP: 6000, MP: 700
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Ice, Water, Weakness: Fire
Special: !Seize: sets Slow
Vulnerable to: Poison, Death, Condemned, Slow
Attacks: Battle, !Seize, Poison, Bio, Seize, Discard, Entwine

Tentacle (top-right)
Level: 33, HP: 5000, MP: 600
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Lightning, Water
Special: !Seize: sets Slow
Vulnerable to: Poison, Petrify, Mute, Sleep, Slow
Attacks: Battle, !Seize, Poison, Bio, Seize, Discard, Entwine

Tentacle (top-left)
Level: 34, HP: 4000, MP: 500
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Earth, Water
Special: !Seize: sets Slow
Vulnerable to: Petrify, Slow, Stop
Attacks: Battle, !Seize, Poison, Bio, Seize, Discard, Entwine

Vanish/Doom: No
Immunity to Clear status (all four opponents).

Joker Doom: 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 Seize, the attack
both !Seize and Entwine are centered around.

What does Seize do? Seize grabs a character and renders it completely helpless.
During a period of about 30 seconds, the Tentacle that used Seize 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: Battle, !Seize 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 Battle. However, whenever a character is
Slowed, a Tentacle will always use the Seize attack and will grab the character
from which it drains HP. The Tentacle that has grasped a character doesn't
perform attacks, and the character that is Seized cannot act. This lasts for
about 30 seconds, at which point the Tentacle will use Discard to remove all
the effects of Seize. Slow was removed when the Seize attack was used.

This is why RunningShoes are so nice: with inherent Haste, both !Seize and
Entwine will never work and thus Celes and Sabin will never be Seized during
the battle.

Start the battle off by summoning one or both of your physical protection
Espers, Fenrir and/or Golem; both protect against Battle and, more importantly,
!Seize. Employ Edgar's Bio Blaster 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 Doom on the bottom-left Tentacle to dispatch it instantly. Obviously, the
newly acquired X-Zone also works, but Doom's Hit Rate is superior and the
Doom 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 Mute
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 Ice 2 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 Cure 2 spells to keep your HP up will suffice. If Sabin knows Air
Blade, 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
Doom or X-Zone has taken care of the bottom-left Tentacle, Ice 2 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 "Don't treat us like strangers anymore!". 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: There's only one little problem, eh, brother!

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 Regal 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 Drainer. It also has a 25% chance of casting
Doom with every hit. It is a strange hybrid between a physical attack and a
magical attack. It runs off Vigor, the wielder's Row matters, it's damage is
boosted by an Atlas Armlet. 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.

Item Shop:
Potion        300
Tincture     1500
Antidote       50
Eyedrop        50
Echo Screen   120
Fenix 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:
AutoCrossbow  250
NoiseBlaster  500
Bio Blaster   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 GP. And it's
only 2500 GP 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:
  Sand Horse, Maliga, Harpiai, Deep Eye, Bogy, Muus

  Miscellaneous items:
  Magicite (rare Muus steal)

  Lores:
  Aero, Pep Up

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 Colosseum, which I'll discuss later. To the west,
there's Kohlingen and Daryl'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 Daryl's Tomb anyway;
it's just a featureless bulge in the ground which offers no exciting activities.

Monster formations:

(Desert)
Maliga, Maliga, Maliga (6/16)
Sand Horse, Sand Horse (5/16)
Sand Horse, Maliga, Maliga (5/16)

(Grasslands)
Harpiai (10/16)
Muus (6/16)

(Forest)
Harpiai, Deep Eye, Deep Eye (6/16)
Deep Eye, Deep Eye, Deep Eye, Deep Eye, Deep Eye, Deep Eye (6/16)
Muus, Muus, Muus (5/16)

Wasteland:
Bogy, Bogy (10/16)
Deep Eye, Muus, Muus, Deep Eye (6/16)

Harpiai looks pretty dangerous; the last time we saw a sprite that big on a
random encounter was the dreaded Behemoth. Harpiai's a big wimp though, so
no worries! It uses Battle, !Nail (Battle * 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 Pearl Wind. With 1500 HP, all you should do is kill it pretty quickly.
It's weak to Wind-elemental attacks, so Sabin's Air Blade technique gets the
job done, as does the usual violence.

Deep Eye is one of those odd monsters that attacks you, and continues to use
Escape every other turn. Every first turn they may lunge at you to use Battle
or let you sink into that hypnotizing eye of theirs to use !Dreamland
(sets Sleep). And yes, every second turn means 33% Escape. Kill them all
quickly with Fire-elemental attacks such as an MT Fire 2 spell and Fire Dance.
The interesting thing about Deep Eye is the fact they make for a Rage that
uses the Dread attack, but the special property of Dread (only checks for
Petrify protection, not ID protection) isn't important right now, so I'll
talk about it later.

Bogy is boring. !Oogyboog (Battle * 2) sounds kinda retarded too. Inherent
Safe 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 Muus 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 Muus is as staggeringly dumb as
2006's Samuel L. Jackson flick 'Snakes on a Plane'. It may randomly use Pep Up,
also as a counter to your Magic spells. Muus will never use Pep Up when it's
the last monster standing on the field, and will solely use Battle and !Gunk
(Japanese roots: Icky Sticky Goo) to set Slow. Like Flan monsters, Muus 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 Clear is
Harpiai's Aero, and quick acting and/or Mute setting prevents it from
occurring. Sabin's Fire Dance Blitz technique helps against the Deep Eyes
where his Air Blade is very effective against Harpiai.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 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 man with a 'quaint' way of talking passed through Kohlingen
recently. 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 Colosseum now praises him as a visionary; apparently, the
Colosseum has been built! We should definitely check it out some day. Also, a
mean guy is fighting there looking for a weapon called the Striker. 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.

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:
Potion        300
Tincture     1500
Antidote       50
Fenix Down    500
Revivify      300
Remedy       1000
Sleeping Bag  500
Tent         1200
 Buy some Revivifies; 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 Shld 3500
Bard's Hat   3000
Green Beret  3000
Diamond Helm 8000
Diamond Vest12000
DiamondArmor15000
 More of the same, but now that Setzer has joined your party you can use some
more of it. I suggest you buy a DiamondArmor and a Diamond Shld; the Green
Beret is still a superior Helmet to the Diamond Helm, and doesn't cost you
anything.

Weapon Shop:
Darts       10000
Dice         5000
Trump       13000
Enhancer    10000
Gold Lance  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 Trump weapon is oddly misnamed by Ted Woolsey; they look like darts
in-battle, while a later weapon called the Doom Darts look like cards. The
PSX version has this sorted out again, calling Trump the Doom Darts and vice
versa. If this whole thing confuses you, take a look at section 8.13 for more
information. At any rate, the Trump has the X-type Instant Death ability, like
the Assassin Dirk. The next dungeon will be crawling with Undead enemies, making
the Trump entirely useless. They'll have some use in Colosseum though, so if
you feel like going there in a moment, buy two.

- The Gold Lance could be bought earlier, but I advised against it as you would
want the Enhancer its +7 Magic Power and + 20% Magic Block. 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 Gold
Lance 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 GP 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 Colosseum
**********************************

Welcome to the Dragon's Neck Colosseum, 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 Colosseum at least twice
as sturdy and sharp.

First, let's scout around here. Ultros is a receptionist now; he warns you about
Chupon 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 Colosseum, 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. In the
Japanese game, this soldier mentions he gave this info to a certain friend of
his earlier, a friend with a bandana.

How does the Colosseum 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 Warp in-
battle or are Sneezed out of the battle, you'll keep your bet item.

Your characters act like they are Muddled, but attack the 'normal' targets.
That means that characters in the Colosseum will never use Item, Revert, Throw,
Control, Slot, Leap, Def., 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 Colosseum
(you'll just start running but will never get anywhere - you don't take any
turns though) but the Warp spell does work.

Not all items can be traded for superior weapons here; most weak or common
items will pit you against Chupon, who will promptly use Sneeze to end the
battle (you can defeat him, but it'll take a long while before you'll even come
close). If Chupon Sneezes 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:

 ** Flame Sabre - Ogre Nix          Opponent: Evil Oscar
 ** Tintinabar - Exp. Egg           Opponent: Dark Force
  * Elixir - Rename Card            Opponent: Cactrot
  * Fenix Down - Magicite           Opponent: Cactrot

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
Colosseum. It enables you to rename one of your characters, after which it
disappears.

The Ogre Nix 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 Ogre Nix. 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 Ogre Nix; 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 Ogre Nix will never break. So, the best
way to use the Ogre Nix is equip it on Celes and/or Edgar, stick to level 2
spells and/or Tools and swing the Ogre Nix in self-defense. To be fair, the
Ogre Nix isn't that great or important a weapon.

The Exp. Egg (Experience Egg) doubles the Experience Points gained by the
wearer. Two Exp. Eggs don't stack, and ONLY the wearer receives twice as many
Experience Points.

- Flame Sabre - Ogre Nix     Opponent: Evil Oscar
Equip Sabin with two Fire Knuckles and a Ribbon. If Evil Oscar uses Sneeze,
the battle is over and you'll still have your Flame Sabre. Eventually, Sabin's
Fire Knuckles will pound Evil Oscar into burning pulp and you'll have won a
new sword, the Ogre Nix.

- Tintinabar - Exp. Egg      Opponent: Dark Force
Dark Force has about 9000 HP, and has a 1/4 chance at using Pearl 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 Trump weapons, if possible paired
up with a Genji Glove, can take him out easily, as can a Soul Sabre.

- Elixir - Rename Card      Opponent: Cactrot
- Fenix Down - Magicite     Opponent: Cactrot
Equip Setzer with the Dice you bought in Kohlingen. Relics, equipment, it's not
needed. The Coin Toss Relic is a negative factor as that could make him win
while losing some money as opposed to making him win without any downsides.
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   Daryl's Tomb
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Orog, Osteosaur, Mad Oscar, PowerDemon, Exoray, Presenter, Dullahan

  Container contents:
  Crystal Mail, Czarina Gown, Exp. Egg, Genji Helmet, Man Eater, Monster-in-a-
  box (Presenter)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Dragon Claw x2 (guaranteed Presenter drop and Presenter (head) drop)

  Lores:
  Blow Fish, Sour Mouth

First room
Osteosaur (10/16)
Orog, Orog (6/16)
Orog, PowerDemon, PowerDemon (1/16)

Main room
Mad Oscar, Exoray (6/16)
PowerDemon (5/16)
Exoray, Exoray, Exoray (5/16)

Lower level
PowerDemon, Exoray, Exoray (6/16)
Mad Oscar (5/16)
Mad Oscar, 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 Revivifies like
it's going out of style.

Osteosaur. Osteo means 'bone', so it's an apt title. He sure looks rather
terrifying; he appears in my top 10 rather-not-meet-IRL list anyway, just below
2004 pop idol Ashlee Simpson. Osteosaurea have three attacks. Battle and !Fossil
(sets Zombie) should be obvious, but ChokeSmoke is an entirely new attack.
ChokeSmoke sets Zombie, but only hits characters with the Wound status. In
other words, it can only revive characters as Zombies. Used without intelligent
AI script, it's almost always a wasted turn. Osteosaur is your run-of-the-mill
undead opponent, weak against Fire and Pearl and whatnot. No biggy.

Orog looks awesome. Every turn, it can use up to three (!) !Zombite attacks,
which set Zombie. When damaged, it may retaliate with Battle; if harmed by
Magic spells, a Bio spell may be sent your way. Aside of their looks and
awesome Zombifying skills, Orog 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 Revivify.

PowerDemon's Special is called !Daze Dance and, in a shocking change of style,
drains HP rather than setting Zombie. So, does PowerDemon lack the power of
Zombie-setting? Nay, not at all. The rarely seen Soul Out attack can target
a single character and turn him or her into a Zombie. Yawn. Furthermore,
PowerDemon has 'Flare' written all over it, in its Rage, Sketch, and Control
attacks. Luckily, PowerDemon will never actively use it against you.

Exoray are the most common in here. They can use Battle, !DoomPollen (sets
Zombie), and Virite, but they will only use Virite when alone. Since you should
be covered in either Amulets or Ribbons, Virite'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 Daryl's Tomb is Mad Oscar. They are the most sturdy
of the monsters here and use, besides Battle and !Drool (sets Seizure), Sour
Mouth, an attack that sets Dark, Poison, Imp, Mute, and Muddle 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.

I suggest dual Fire Knuckles on Sabin, as he will kill every target with it
on a remotely decent level, including Mad Oscar. A Black Belt/Ogre Nix combo
on Celes works very nicely (make sure she's in the Front Row here). If you
didn't bother to grab the Ogre Nix at the Colosseum, just give her an Earrings
Relic (or Hero Ring, obviously) and spam Fire 2 spells all over. Edgar can use
Tools to inflict consistent damage (give him dual Enhancers if you
like). His DragoonBoots/Dragon Horn/Gold Lance is less intelligent as you'll
need one of those Relic slots for an Amulet/Ribbon. Setzer is the weakest link
at the moment. GP Rain does more damage than 7-Flush/Chocobop with double
Earrings behind them, so if you ever wanted to use GP Rain 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 Trump, as that
will just revive every monster but Mad Oscar (who IS susceptible to its
X-type Instant Death).

Push through the first room. Make sure you meet an Osteosaur here, as well as
an Orog. 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 Helmet, 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 (Czarina Gown). The
Czarina 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 Colosseum 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. This is supposed to be the final revelation Daryl had while piloting
her airship, the revelation that cost Daryl 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 Exp. Egg in Daryl's Tomb:

Find the "Exp. Egg" hidden in a back room in the third basement...

Go to the room where you found the Czarina 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,
Presenter, which uses a ground-based attack. Make sure Float is set, and be
sure to equip Shoat (Golem's nice too).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.53.4   The fight with Presenter
**********************************

Whelk Head (Presenter Head)
Level: 31, HP: 9845, MP: 1600
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Dragon Claw (always)
Absorbs: Ice, Lightning, Water, No effect: Poison, Weakness: Fire
Special: !Petriblast: sets Petrify
Sketch : !Petriblast, Battle
Control: Battle, !Petriblast
Vulnerable to: Petrify, Death, Condemned, Mute, Sleep, Slow, Stop
Attacks: Battle, !Petriblast, El Nino, Mega Volt

Presenter
Level: 19, HP: 9230, MP: 1600
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Dragon Claw (always)
Absorbs: Ice, Lightning, Water, Weakness: Fire
Status: Float
Special: !Hit: Battle x 1.5
Sketch : !Hit, Battle
Control: Battle, !Hit
Vulnerable to: Petrify, Death, Condemned
Attacks: Battle, Blow Fish, Mega Volt, Giga Volt, Magnitude8.

Vanish/Doom: Yes
The shell only. You'll only get one Dragon Claw though, so it's a bad move.

Joker Doom: Yes
Blow Fish screws over the RNG. It won't use Blow Fish until the second turn
though, so you should be able to set up Echo Screen/Joker Doom before it
comes around.

There are a few oddities about this thing. First off, it's supposed to be a
scary Whelk 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. Presenter 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 Claw 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 Battle,
!Petriblast, El Nino, and Mega Volt 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.
Battle, Mega Volt, and Blow Fish may appear at all times, and especially Blow
Fish should be watched out for. When the head has been retracted, it'll stop
using these attacks and switch over to Magnitude8. Whenever the shell is
damaged, it has a 33% chance at retorting with Giga Volt.

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 Presenter is the only source for Dragon Claws
in 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. ZoneSeek helps against Mega Volt, Giga Volt, and El Nino. Golem
and/or Fenrir protect against Battle and !Petriblast. You could have Celes on
Runic stand-by for Mega Volt and Giga Volt, 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 X-Zone and using Shoat's 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 X-Zone/Demon Eye will hit it. Remember,
this is NOT a bug exploit; the shell is susceptible to ID attacks, and
setting Clear just makes sure it hits, what it was always supposed to do.
Sadly, we can't apply Sleep or Stop to make sure X-Zone/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 X-Zone, 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 Pearl-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 Daryl 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 fight 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 DragoonBoots. Equip
  a Gold Lance. Put him in the Back Row.
- The boss is weak against Fire-elemental attacks, so Sabin's dual Fire
  Knuckles will take good care of him here. Give him a Hero Ring (or Atlas
  Armlet) and RunningShoes to accompany his bashing. A more defensive option
  would be sticking him in the Back Row and let loose with Fire Dance.
- Celes' Ogre Nix/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 RunningShoes on Celes
  to keep up with his spell casting.
- Setzer should just run utility. Give him the Coin Toss 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
Status: Float, Haste
Special: !Morn Star: Battle x 2
Vulnerable to: Nothing
Attacks: Battle, !Morn Star, Cure 2, Ice 2, Ice 3, Pearl, L? Pearl, Reflect???,
Absolute0, N. Cross

Vanish/Doom: Yes
No restrictions.

Joker Doom: Yes
Pearl messes with the RNG. It doesn't use Pearl until its second turn though,
not counting its L? Pearl attack he starts the fight with. In other words, it's
no big deal as you can set up Echo Screen/Joker Doom well before that happens.

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 L? Pearl. This is a strong Pearl-
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 GP. 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
Ice 2, Ice 3, and Pearl. When he detects any characters in your party with
the Reflect status, he'll use Reflect??? on your entire party. It will display
"???? on wall-protected person", setting Dark, Mute, and Slow on every character
with the Reflect status. If he dives beneath 10240 HP, he'll use Cure 2
instantly once. If he passes through four normal turns, he'll regain the
ability to cast Reflect??? and/or Cure 2 if the situation calls for it. Finally,
whenever you hit him, there's a 33% chance he counters with Battle. Oh, my.

If you damage him eight times, he'll get four turns where he uses nastier
spells. Ice2 and L? Pearl can make another appearance, but so can !Morn Star,
Absolute0, and N. Cross. You can't Runic your way out of these new spells,
which makes them harder to stop. N. Cross, while being vulnerable to Runic,
is the most dangerous of the five.

N. Cross sets the Freeze status ailment, which you could already encounter in
the fight versus Naughty, who could set it with Cold Dust. N. Cross is MT, but
uses an 'interesting' way to determine if it hits or not. After it checks if
it hits or not (after Clear, Magic Block, 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. ZoneSeek is nice should Absolute0 make an
appearance, as is Golem or Fenrir for !Morn Star and Battle counters. Have
Celes use Runic, continuously. If she isn't wearing RunningShoes, 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 Fire Knuckles. If Celes is absorbing one of Dullahan's spells, sneak a Bserk
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 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 are Mana Points, as you get Magic
              Points after battles. Whatever.

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 Daryl. Sadly, Daryl
pulled an Icarus on Setzer and wrecked herself, together with her airship, the
Falcon. Funny: the Japanese version of 'Or do you like chewing in my wake?' is
'Or do you like staring at my ass?'

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
Doom Gaze. If you manage to defeat Doom Gaze (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 Doom Gaze now, take a look at [DOOMGAZE-LINK]. Even if you choose to
ignore Doom Gaze until such time you can more easily slay him, you may still
run into him. Know that he starts every fight with L.5 Doom (so certain
parties may face an instant Game Over) and that he can be run from, so some
Warp 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 if you recruited Sabin earlier,
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. Warp 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.

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
SwordBreaker16000
Falchion    17000
Fire Skean    500
Water Edge    500
Bolt Edge     500
Inviz Edge    200
Shadow Edge   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 new Dirk not suited for any of your characters. Sadly, the
SwordBreaker took a serious blow from the Evade bug; since it's main advantage
was a + 30% Evade - which obviously won't be affecting anything now - it's
just a useless piece of Battle Power. The Falchion is useless as-is too, but
there's one large reason why you should buy Falchions. You see, they can be
bet at the Colosseum 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 Skeans for a
moment; you have nobody to Throw them now anyway.

Armor Shop:
Crystal Shld 7000
Crystal Helm10000
Oath Veil    9000
Dark Gear   13000
Tao Robe    13000
Crystal Mail17000
 Maranda features Crystal equipment! Excellent! Buy two Crystal Shields if you
don't want to go for Flame Shields at the Colosseum 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 Dark Gear is
great for Sabin. The Tao 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
DiamondArmor, so get that for characters who still carry around that ancient
piece of rubbish.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.54.2   Airship Exploitation: The Overworld Map
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Brachosaur, Tyranosaur, Harpy, Tumbleweed, Reach Frog, Hoover, Cactrot,
  Crawler, Sprinter, GloomShell, Geckorex, Spek Tor, Mantodea, Prussian,
  Zone Eater, Doom Gaze

  Miscellaneous items:
  Economizer (rare Brachosaur drop), Imp Halberd (rare Tyranosaur drop and rare
  Mantodea steal), Imp's Armor (rare Sprinter drop and rare Tyranosaur steal)
  Ribbon (rare Brachosaur steal), Titanium (rare Tumbleweed steal), TortoiseShld
  (rare Geckorex drop and rare Geckorex steal), X-Potion (rare Spek Tor steal).

  Lores:
  Aero, Blow Fish, L.5 Doom, Pearl Wind, Rippler, Step Mine

  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 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.

Here's a neat little navigational chart for you if you're ever lost on where
to go. Yeah, so it's no Paint Shop Pro, 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 Colosseum
2 - Duncan's House
3 - Daryl'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 - Fanatics 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.

***
South-eastern continent (Thamasa):

Grasslands & Forest:
Harpy (10/16)
Harpy, Prussian (6/16)

Wastelands:
GloomShell, GloomShell, GloomShell (10/16)
Prussian, GloomShell (6/16)

Harpy:
Attacks physically with Battle and !Grip. Harpy rarely uses Aero to attack as
well. When hit by a Magic spell, it might counter with a Battle or Cyclonic
attack.

GloomShell:
GloomShell is weak to Ice-elemental attacks and acts like the HermitCrab
monsters you faced earlier (with Celes most likely, trying to save that kid in
Tzen); Battle and the Stop-setting Net attack are used, and when a single
GloomShell is non-fatally damaged it may use !Rock, which sets Petrify.

Prussian:
Uses nothing but Battle and !Bear Hug to attack physically. Prussian is pretty
boring, but it has a kick-ass Rage for Gau to offer (Land Slide, no elemental
weaknesses) so make sure you meet one.

***
South-western continent (Jidoor, Zozo, Maranda)

Grasslands:
Crawler, Crawler, Crawler (10/16)
Geckorex, Geckorex, Reach Frog (6/16)

Desert:
Hoover (10/16)
Cactrot (6/16)

Forest:
Reach Frog, Reach Frog, Reach Frog, Reach Frog (10/16)
Mantodea, Mantodea (6/16)

Wastelands:
Crawler, Crawler, Crawler (10/16)
Mantodea, Sprinter, Spek Tor, Spek Tor (6/16)

Reach Frog:
Ol' RF 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
Morph, 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. RF uses Battle or !Tongue
(Seizure) the first round, a Jump attack the second, he'll come down the third
turn, and uses either Battle or Rippler the fourth. Loop from there. RF is weak
to Ice-elemental attacks and vulnerable to ID attacks, so do whatever floats
your boat there.

Hoover:
Without over-leveling, Hoovers are strong enough to kill you. They give 5 Magic
Points and quite a lot of Experience Points, but you probably want to stay out
of the desert at this moment.

Hoovers 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 Sand Storm
counters and their amount of MP is too large to deplete every time you
encounter one. Note that Hoover is protected from Petrify, so Break's superior
Hit Rate to Doom isn't going to help you. Avoid percentage-based attacks, as
they allow counters. Muddle, Stop and Bserk can help in keeping Hoover subdued
while you make with the Doom spells.

You may think that I'm being anal about these counter-attacks. This is entirely
justified, make no mistake. While Sand Storm is an attack that is easily
evaded, it's still three times as dangerous as Hoover's physicals. You'll simply
want to evade it. If you have all characters protected with Thunder Shlds,
Paladin Shld, and/or Minerva or simply 128 MBlock%, it doesn't really matter
what you do as you'll laugh in the dusty, non-existing face of Sand Storm. What
has an eye, but no face? A tornado. Amaze your friends!

Cactrot:
Cactrots give 10 Magic Points, which make them great spell teachers. However,
not every character can easily dispatch them, and since they share the desert
with the Hoover enemies, reaping the benefits at this moment may be too
dangerous for your team.

Cactrots are little 3 HP buggers who use Blow Fish on you every turn (and ten
times Blow Fish 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 Pummel 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 Battle and !Feeler, which sets Poison. When alone,
Crawlers start to use the level-halving Dischord attack and Raid, 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 Step Mine on each other.

Sprinter:
If you Muddle them, they start using Cyclonic on themselves! Sprinters are
vulnerable to such ID attacks. They may use Pearl Wind to restore HP, !Drainbeak
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) an Imp's Armor, 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].

Geckorex:
Another land-roaming lizard that mainly stands out due to it being the source
for another piece of Imp equipment, that being the TortoiseShld it rarely
drops. Geckorex is a basilisk of some sort; it attacks physically and uses
!Petriglare 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. Geckorex have 5000 HP and are quite sturdy, so you might
want to take advantage of that.

Spek Tor:
Spek Tor 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, Spek Tor will be gone very soon from the
battlefield. When you confuse them, they may use Acid Rain, which kills them
all. Spek Tor 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. Spek Tor attacks physically only,
by the way, so nothing to mention there.

Mantodea:
Theoretically, Mantodea is merely Battle/Special cannon fodder. I should
mention here that Mantodea's Battle 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 Clear status is definitely a plus. !MindReaper
just takes away MP, but since Mantodea NEVER uses MP-reliant moves, it'll
always do 0 damage unless you used Rasp or Osmose on the massive mantis.

***
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
plenty of monsters that probably will kill you at this stage of the game.
There's no good reason to dive in there now.

Now here's an odd monster indeed. It absorbs Ice-elemental attacks, is weak
against Pearl-elemental attacks, and nullifies all other elements. And all it
seems to use is a rare Demi spell and the Engulf attack. Engulf is pretty much
the same as Sneeze; 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 Engulf 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.

***
North-eastern continent (Dinosaur forest, crazy man's hut):

Grasslands:
Sprinter, Sprinter, Spek Tor, Spek Tor (10/16)
Tumbleweed, Tumbleweed, Tumbleweed, Tumbleweed (5/16)
Mantodea, Sprinter, Spek Tor, Spek Tor (1/16)

Wastelands:
Crawler, Crawler, Crawler, Crawler (6/16)
Crawler (1/16)
Crawler, Crawler, Crawler (5/16)

Forest:
Tyranosaur (10/16)
Tyranosaur, Tyranosaur (5/16) (fixed Pincer)
Brachosaur (1/16)

Brachosaur:
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 !Swing (Battle * 6). Next to Battle, 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 Dark, Imp,
Condemned, Mute, Muddle, and Float), Meteor (non-elemental barrier-piercing
spell that hurts a lot), Sneeze (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 Brachosaur 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 Economizer drop too (sets the MP cost of
every Magic spell and Lore technique to 1). Now, however, this is not an option.

Tyranosaur:
The opponents in the fabled Dinosaur Forest are tough. Brachosaur is a rare
freak occurrence, while Tyranosaur are dangerous enough as-is. Tyranosaurea have
incredible physical strength, which is especially bad since not only can they
channel this in a !Bite attack (Battle * 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, Tyranosaurea 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 Ice 2 and Ice 3 spells and Tritoch's Tri-Dazer 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 Imp Halberd 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 L.5 Doom attacks, though you won't be
able to cast it if you've followed the walkthrough so far. They use Battle and
!Blinder, which sets Dark. 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:
Geckorex, Geckorex, Reach Frog (5/16)
Reach Frog, Reach Frog, Reach Frog, Reach Frog (5/16)
Mantodea, Mantodea (5/16)
Mantodea, Sprinter, Spek Tor, Spek Tor (1/16)

Wastelands:
Crawler, Crawler, Crawler, Crawler (6/16)
Crawler (5/16)
Crawler, Crawler, Crawler (5/16)

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?

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 Raid 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.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 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: Bum Rush. Sabin would have learned to perform it
himself at level 70, but this sure is quicker. Bum 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 Bum 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:
"Look out! Move! Cough...wheeze... Darn this old body... Hey...you deaf?"
By accessing the menu when Duncan has leapt once or twice, you can make him
restart; this way, you can have him jump into the black void around his house...
Man, that's WAY deep down Lewis Carroll's rabbit hole if you ask me. :P

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 7.54.4   Airship Exploitation: Obtaining Palidor
**********************************

  Magicite:
  Palidor

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 feel much
better! Thanks, 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 Palidor, one the greatest summons the game has to
offer and a great Haste 2 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     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 Gold Lance, which means an upgrade for our new Dragoon Edgar. Buy one. The
Crystal is just another plain sword whose base power is inferior to the Ogre
Nix 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 Ogre Nix/
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 Hawk Eye, 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
Dark Hood    7500
Crystal Helm10000
Dark Gear   13000
 The Circlet is a nice Helmet with an all-round stat boost: +2 Vigor, +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 Regal Crown, Genji Helmet), so just
buy one and stick it on the unfortunate sap who still went with that ancient
Green Beret. The Dark Hood 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 Dark Gear for Sabin is nice, though. In short: buy one
Circlet and a set of Dark Gear if you didn't buy Dark Gear earlier in Maranda.

Item Shop:
Potion        300
Tincture     1500
Fenix Down    500
Revivify      300
Remedy       1000
Warp 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:
Czarina Ring 3000
Guard Ring   5000
Atlas Armlet 5000
Cherub Down  6300
 The interesting new Relic called 'Guard Ring' sets Safe 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 Nightshade 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:
  Hero Ring, Zephyr Cape

  Magicite:
  Golem, ZoneSeek

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 1/1200 of an airship. Debates rage over
the fact if this is a piece of the Blackjack or a scale model of an airship;
OBVIOUSLY it's the latter and the other side is stupid in the head, but it's
up to you what you want to see in it. Regardless, you cannot buy either of
these items. The reason you're here is the Hero Ring. You can buy ONE Hero Ring
here, for 50000 GP. The Zephyr Cape is also exclusive, but since the Zephyr
Cape is more expensive here than in WoR Nikeah (3000 GP more expensive, in
fact), don't bother shooting for it here. Once you buy the Hero 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 a Hero Ring. If you already
  bought it earlier, or the item isn't the Hero 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 ZoneSeek 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 Cape. 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:

Hero Ring 50%
1/1200 of an airship 25%
The Magicite Golem 12.5%
The Magicite ZoneSeek 6.25%
Zephyr Cape 3.125%
Imp Robot 3.125%

If you bought both Espers, but not yet the Hero Ring:

Hero Ring 50%
1/1200 of an airship 25%
Zephyr Cape 12.5%
Imp Robot 12.5%

If you bought the Hero Ring and both Espers:

1/1200 of an airship 50%
Zephyr Cape 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 Hero Ring or the Zephyr Cape, it will have a chance of appearing
next time you pay the Auction House a visit. Prices are as follows:

Hero Ring 50000 GP
The Magicite Golem 20000 GP
The Magicite ZoneSeek 10000 GP
Zephyr Cape 10000 GP

That means, by the way, that the Zephyr Cape is ridiculously overprized in the
Auction House, as it's just 7000 GP from the small 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.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.54.7   Airship Exploitation: Fanatics 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
GP. This is what he has to say if you pay his the full price:

Hooey!!!!
Right, here's the scoop:
Beneath the Desert of Figaro lies an ancient castle loaded with treasure.
By the way, an old man who lives in the Weapon Shop in Narshe is looking for
you...

One more stop before Maranda, 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 Doom Gaze, 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
Dark Hood    7500
Light Robe  11000
Diamond Vest12000
 Do you remember I told you about the Tao Robe? Well, the Light Robe is like the
Tao 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:
DaVinci Brsh 7000
Gravity Rod 13000
Pearl Rod   12000
Trump       13000
Gold Lance  12000
Man Eater   11000
Shuriken       30
Ninja Star    500
 Like all Brushes, the DaVinci Brush is about as useful as a 'hurt me' sign in
an ass-kicking contest. You can buy one or two Pearl 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 Pearl Rods, against Doom Gaze).
All the other weapons have been revealed to you. I also want you to buy some
Ninja Stars; they turn into nice items at the Colosseum, and make nice attacks
when you obtain Shadow. 99 Ninja Stars are actually *less* costly than that
single Hero Ring you purchased in Jidoor, so don't feel too irresponsible when
you overstock on them.

Relic Shop:
Barrier Ring  500
Fairy Ring   1500
Wall Ring    6000
Jewel Ring   1000
Czarina Ring 3000
Guard Ring   5000
Peace Ring   3000
Cure Ring    8000
 Rings! RINGS! For the love of God, they have every Ring Relic available. Except
for Hero Rings. And Sneak Rings. And Memento Rings. And Cursed Rings. And Rage
Rings. And Relic 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:
Potion        300
Tincture     1500
Fenix Down    500
Revivify      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 Colosseum before we dive into
an actual dungeon for a change.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.54.9   Airship Exploitation: Doom Gaze
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Doom Gaze

  Lores:
  Aero, L.5 Doom

  Magicite:
  Bahamut

To find Doom Gaze... yeah, finding Doom Gaze tends to be a pain. There are 4096
'tiles' on the Overworld Map. Doom Gaze possesses one of them. If you cross that
tile with the Falcon, Doom Gaze will attack you. Doom Gaze will remain on the
same tile until you fight him; if he escapes, he'll possess another random tile.
Altitude doesn't matter.

You'll just want to fly around, searching for him. Make SURE that you watch
your levels; Doom Gaze will instantly kill any character whose level is
divisible by 5, so a group where two or more characters are vulnerable to L.5
Doom 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? If you're playing a ROM, you can download
Terii's Doom Gaze finder here (it's dead easy):

http://www.rpglegion.com/ff6/dgf/index.htm

When you find him, you'll fight him.

[DOOMGAZE-LINK]

Doom Gaze
Level: 68, HP: 55555, MP: 38000
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Ice, Poison, Weakness: Fire, Pearl
Status: Float, Shell, Safe
Special: !Bane Claw: sets Poison
Sketch : !Bane Claw, Battle
Control: Battle, !Bane Claw
Vulnerable to: Nothing
Attacks: Battle, Ice 3, Doom, Aero, L.5 Doom, Escape

Vanish/Doom: Yes
No restrictions. HOWEVER, Vanish/X-Zone, Vanish/Atom Edge, Vanish/True Edge,
Vanish/Cleave and Vanish/Snare all result into the final bit of 'Doom Gaze has
died' not being set (as that's his final 'counter', so to speak), meaning that
you won't gain the cutscene at the end. This means no Bahamut Magicite either.
What you DO get: Doom Gaze will have gained back all HP and will be still
available for you to defeat, so you'll have gained nothing in the end. Other ID
attacks won't result in this situation, so Vanish/Doom and Vanish/Antlion and
such are all fine.

Joker Doom: Yes
Free RNG shooting, as nothing Doom Gaze uses complicates matters.

Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

"When the world was ripped apart, many long-sealed monsters were released...
Phunbaba...Doom Gaze..."

"I saw Doom Gaze soaring through the sky! I'd rather take an acid bath than
fight that thing!"

"I saw a monster floating in the sky! It looked just like a fish."

"You're gonna love this! Doom Gaze can't restore his HP after battle!"

You've heard it all over the world... Doom Gaze 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. Doom Gaze is a
relatively simple, yet tough opponent, so prepare well.

Doom Gaze will start every battle by using L.5 Doom; 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.
Doom Gaze may cast an Ice 3 or Doom spell the first turn, and may cast Doom or
use Aero the second. After every two turns (not counting the initial L.5 Doom),
Doom Gaze has a 66% chance of using Escape to flee the battle. When damaged,
it may counter with Battle, as all bosses tend to do.

Wall Rings are extremely potent to equip as they'll protect the party from
the Ice 3 and Doom spells, and Thundr Shlds or the Minverva 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 Doom Gaze will likely give
you. Note that since Doom Gaze can be run from, and he won't use Aero until
the third turn, you could potentially run after every second turn Doom Gaze
takes and only suffer from Battle attacks throughout your epic struggle with
the fish look-a-like.

So there's inherent Safe and Shell, a weakness to Fire- and Pearl-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 Doom Gaze, they're a blessing;
since spells executed by breaking Rods gain a barrier-piercing property, you'll
be able to break Fire Rods for a barrier-piercing Fire 2 spell and Pearl Rods
for a barrier-piercing Pearl 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 Safe and the strict time window imposed on this battle.
Sabin's Bum Rush pierces Doom Gaze's Shell status, so it'll be quite potent;
the same goes for Setzer's GP Rain, 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 Doom Gaze, and the Io Rage will also
make the Rager immune to Aero.

If you choose to break Pearl Rods or not, as long as you chuck out as many
barrier-piercing attacks as humanly possible, Doom Gaze will eventually fall
as with Wall Rings and nullifying of the Wind element, he's really got nothing
on you.

Doom Gaze 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 Sun 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, Wizard, Nastidon, Psychot, Mag Roader (yellow), Mag Roader
  (brown), Red Wolf, Tritoch, Ice Dragon

  Container contents:
  Elixir, Pod Bracelet, Ribbon

  Miscellaneous items:
  Fire Rod (rare Wizard drop), Force Shld (guaranteed Ice Dragon drop), Ice
  Rod (rare Wizard steal), Moogle Charm (hidden on wall behind Mog), Thunder
  Rod (common Wizard steal)

  Magicite:
  Tritoch

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 Bum 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. 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 Muffler (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.

Narshe:
Nastidon, Red Wolf, Red Wolf (5/16)
Red Wolf, Red Wolf, Red Wolf (5/16)
Test Rider (5/16)
Nastidon, Nastidon (1/16)

Northern mines and first cave of Western mines:
Mag Roader (yellow), Mag Roader (yellow), Mag Roader (brown) (10/16)
Mag Roader (yellow), Mag Roader (brown), Mag Roader (brown) (6/16)

Western mines:
Wizard, Wizard, Wizard (5/16)
Wizard, Wizard, Psychot, Psychot, Psychot (5/16)
Red Wolf, Red Wolf, Psychot, Psychot (5/16)
Psychot, Psychot, Psychot, Psychot, Psychot, Psychot (1/16)

Nastidon's don't absorb Ice-elemental attacks. They don't even use them. They're
just silly Battle/!Grab cannon fodder. They have inherent Safe, 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 Red Wolf. Attacks include Battle and !Rush (Battle * 1.5).
They will, to me, be forever infamous because they are one of the two
monsters that give a Battle/Special Rage with Death Protection. They are
entirely uninteresting as opponents, however.

Test Rider is another Battle/Special opponent. Its Special is !Gold Lance
(Battle * 3). Much like its palette swap Rider, Test Rider will counter
Steal (and in his case, also Capture) attempts with a !Gold 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 Mag Roader is inherently Hasted like the red Mag Roader was.
The first turn consists out of Battle or !Rush (Battle * 2), the second
turn out of Fire-elemental spells (Fire or Fire 2). Due to a bug, the brown
Mag Roader takes over a part of another monster's AI script (Wild Cat),
causing it to counter all damaging attacks with a chance at Battle, and
rarely using Fire Ball when damaged while alone.

The yellow Mag Roader lacks the purple Mag Roader's inherent Safe. 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 (Ice and Ice 2).

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 Mute or Osmose (first turn), Rasp
or Stop (second turn), or Muddle or Sleep (third turn). When they are hit by a
spell themselves, they can counter with !Doom Step, 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 Fire Rod drop. They're the only source for these
three elemental Rods in the WoR (apart from the rare Ice Rod on Spectre on the
Veldt...bleh).

Psychots 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.

L.4 Flare works on every single one of the above enemies! Sadly, you probably
lack access to the Lore command. Instead, Sabin's Air Blade should be pumped
up as much as possible (you probably already had an Hero 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 Psychot 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 Ice 2 spell
is the way to go versus large Psychot groups.

Before you go into the derelict city of Narshe, you can visit the Classroom
for some free healing. Also:

"Welcome to this classroom. We'll be here for you even if the world should
crumble."

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!
(naming screen)

If you did recruit him in the World of Balance, he'll get smart on you and
say:

MOG: Kupoppo! You're alive! I thought you were all feeding the worms, kupo!
Kupohoho! Let's go!"

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 Moogle Charm, a little crystal ball given to Mog by his now
deceased girlfriend, Kuku. No wonder our little furry friend was lost in
thought...

The Moogle 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 Moogle 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 Fanatics 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 Edge 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 Pod Bracelet, which
is a poor man's version of the Marvel Shoes (it only sets Safe and Shell, not
Haste and Regen like the Marvel Shoes add to that).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.55.2   Narshe's Snowfields; the battle with Ice Dragon
**********************************

Snowfields:
Wizard, Wizard, Wizard (5/16)
Wizard, Wizard, Psychot, Psychot, Psychot (5/16)
Red Wolf, Red Wolf, Psychot, Psychot (5/16)
Psychot, Psychot, Psychot, Psychot, Psychot, Psychot (1/16)

If you want to abuse the Moogle 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 Fanatics
Tower and Kefka's Tower:

Fanatics Tower: a Force Armor, an easy battle with the White Drgn from which
you'll win a Pearl Lance upon your victory, a Genji Shld, 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 Coronet, the Fixed Dice,
a Minerva, a Tack Star, an Aegis Shld, a Force Shld, an easy battle with the
Gold Drgn 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 Jazz. It's a rather crummy Dance considering it's WoR-only, but Surge
looks sweet and works especially well against the Psychot 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 Shld (always)
Absorbs: Ice, Weakness: Fire
Special: !Hit: Battle x 2
Sketch : Fire 3, Ice 3
Control: Battle, !Hit
Vulnerable to: Poison, Mute, Berserk, Muddled, Slow
Attacks: Battle, Surge, N. Cross, Absolute0

Vanish/Doom: Yes
No restrictions.

Joker Doom: Yes
Nothing Ice Dragon uses influences your RNG. It's your call.

Ragnarok's Metamorph: Yes

12.5% chance to obtain one of the following:

Crystal
Crystal Shld
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, Gold Dragon is about as silly, while White 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 Nerapa,
obviously.

What does Ice Dragon do? He can use all three spells normally. If you damage
him, he might counter with Battle. If he dies, he might use one final Surge
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 Bserk 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 Clear status is the Dusk 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 Muddled
through Muddle or the NoiseBlaster, then casting Vanish on the Ice Dragon
so he can't smack himself out of the confusion. You've won right there!

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 Leafer or the purple Mag 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 Absolute0 and Surge attacks will hurt
real bad. The Mute status effect prevents N. Cross and Absolute0. If, for some
reason, you don't opt for Bserk/Phantom, try setting Slow, Poison, and Mute (a
neat way of doing this is casting Rflect on the guy and have Strago/Gogo
execute Reflect???, but that's just novelty). Equip the easily obtained Ice
Shields, Flame Shields, Snow Mufflers, 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 Tritoch
**********************************

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 Tritoch the Esper attacks you.

Tritoch
Level: 62, HP: 30000, MP: 50000
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Ice, Nullifies: Lightning, Poison, Wind, Pearl, Earth, Water,
         Weakness: Fire
Special: !Hit: Battle x 1.5
Sketch : !Hit, Battle
Control: Battle, !Hit
Vulnerable to: Nothing
Attacks: Ice 3, Rasp, Cold Dust

Vanish/Doom: Yes
No restrictions.

Joker Doom: Yes
Rasp and Cold Dust both mess with the RNG. Since Tritoch can use Rasp in the
very first round (has a 66% shot at it, actually), you're probably hard-pressed
to successfully pull of Joker Doom in this battle.

Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

Tritoch is attacking you. That's not very nice of him. Luckily, he has very
little to damage you with. Ice 3 is his only offensive spell, and as most of
your party is easily covered in Flame Shields, Ice Shield, 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 Ice 3 spell by another 33%).

What Tritoch does is all very basic. He attacks normally with the above three
spells, although he hardly ever uses Cold Dust just like that. Whenever Tritoch
is hit by a Fire-elemental attack, he has a one-third chance of casting Rasp.
Also, whenever Tritoch is hit by either SwdTech, Tools, Blitz, Lore, Sketch,
or Rage, he has a one-third chance of casting Cold 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 Fire 2 here. Sabin's Fire Dance is weaker
on a single target and may allow a Cold Dust attack, but if Sabin lacks Fire 2,
just go ahead. If you brought Gau, the Toe Cutter Rage (Shrapnel) works great
because it inherently absorbs Ice 3. A Rage like Scrapper is also great,
providing you can combine it with an Ice Shld or Snow Muffler 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, ZoneSeek can help you
out there. Haste on the entire party (now with the Haste2 spell, brought to you
by Palidor) 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 Ice 3 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 Tritoch, 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 Tritoch: He teaches level 3 spells, which is sweet; sadly, he does so
at a x1 rate which is decidedly slow. So Tritoch's summon attack, Tri-Dazer,
will actually be your strongest magical attack on character as Celes and Terra
for a while. Tri-Dazer, 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-Dazer 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 Pugs
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Pug, Tomb Thumb, Anemone, Ceritops, Poppers, Kiwok, Pugs, Umaro

  Container contents:
  Gauntlet, X-Ether, Monster-in-a-box (Pugs x3)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Minerva (rare Pugs steal and rare Pugs drop)

  Lores:
  Step Mine

  Magicite:
  Terrato

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.

Upper two levels
Poppers, Poppers, Poppers, Poppers (5/16)
Kiwok, Poppers, Poppers, Poppers (5/16)
Kiwok, Ceritops (5/16)
Pug (1/16)

Umaro's room
Anemone, Anemone, Anemone, Anemone (5/16)
Ceritops, Tomb Thumb, Tomb Thumb (5/16)
Anemone, Anemone, Tomb Thumb (5/16)
Ceritops, Ceritops, Ceritops (1/16)

Poppers are Rhodox palette swaps. Like Rhodox, they're un-Suplexable; 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 Poppers' Stone attack may; they have a 33% chance of
using it in their second turn. Not only does the Stone attack set Muddled 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 Poppers, 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 Fire Dance or the newly acquired Tritoch 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 Rhodox/Poppers
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 Rhodox' and Poppers' non-Suplexable 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.

Kiwok are boring. Their Special, !Pick, 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 Kiwok and Poppers.
Kiwok are called 'leaders of the little monsters' by the Anthology Bestiary.
What that's supposed to mean is left to anybody's imagination.

Ceritops are pretty sturdy with inherent Safe, 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 (Battle and !Pal Maker, which sets *gasp*
Imp), so take your time, they're not very dangerous. They have a mouth-watering
Rage, though (inherent Safe, Lightning-absorption, ID protection, Giga Volt).

Pug. 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 Step Mine. Since Step Mine 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 Pug, it will counter with a !Cleaver attack, which is
eight times as strong as his normal Battle attack (which he never uses) - an
incredible blow - AND another Step Mine 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 Sour Mouth. It'll start to do automatic criticals now, so if
you're not under the influence of Clear you should do so ASAP. Now, you can just
pound it without fear. The quickest ways to a dead Pug are Fire-elemental
attacks and the Deep Eye Rage. Since Pug is immune to ID attacks, but not to
Petrify, most petrification attacks will fail where Dread will work. It has a
rare Tintinabar drop, which is pretty spectacular, but as a Pug 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 Mega Volt; they both are weak to the
element and absorb it, so not even the Debilitator can make Mega Volt hurt an
Anemone. If an Anemone is all by itself though, it'll start to use Giga Volt on
the party every turn, so you'll want to avoid that. Weak to Fire, like you
suspected.

Tomb Thumb 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 Muddled-protection for Stone. Summon Phantom at some time or
just cast Vanish a couple of times; invulnerability is the goal here. Poppers'
Stone isn't cast until the second round and Giga Volt and Imp Song only when the
enemies in question are alone (don't allow it). Pug's Step Mine is unavoidable,
but you can set Imp, possibly revive the fallen characters, and quickly re-apply
Clear. Fire-elemental attacks rule here, but the only strong one you probably
have at this point is Tritoch's Tri-Dazer. Fire 3 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 Clear status. Siren is nice to equip as well, but only necessary if
you can't set Imp or Mute in any way. Now, open the chest. As you may have
guessed, 'tis a monster-in-a-box.

Pugs (x3)
Level: 62, HP: 30000, MP: 50000
Steal: Minerva (rare), Win: Minerva (rare)
Absorbs: Water, Weak against: Fire
Special: !Knife: Battle x 8
Sketch : !Knife, Battle
Control: Battle, !Knife
Vulnerable to: Imp, Mute, Slow
Attacks: Battle, !Knife, Pearl

Vanish/Doom: Yes
No restrictions.

Joker Doom: Yes
Pearl messes with the RNG, but it's only used as counter to the Magic command,
so you won't see it if you're going for Echo Screen/Joker Doom.

Ragnarok's Metamorph: Yes
12.5% chance of obtaining one of the following:

Imp Halberd
TortoiseShld
Titanium
Imp's Armor

Pugs are the more powerful yet more easily defeated version of Pug. They simply
walk up to you and use Battle 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 Pearl.
Their Pearl spell is fairly weak and not even a direct threat, but it does
remove the Clear 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 Clear. Mute the lot, cast an MT Bio, and cast a Haste 2 spell on them to
speed up the Poisoning. They're weak against Fire, so the newly acquired summon
attack, Tri-Dazer, packs a nice punch. The battle really revolves around
staying invincible. Gau's Io Rage is really grand, as the Pugs' 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 if you don't have two yet; the
only situation in which you need more than one Minerva is a team that features
both Terra and Celes, but it doesn't hurt. Do know that due to the Pugs' high
level and the Minerva 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 Terrato 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
Special: !Tackle: Battle x 3
Sketch : !Tackle, Battle
Control: Battle, !Tackle
Vulnerable to: Poison, Berserk, Sleep, Slow
Attacks: Battle, !Tackle, Jump, Item (Green Cherry), Snowball, Surge, Blizzard,
         Lode Stone

Vanish/Doom: No
Immunity to Clear status

Joker Doom: Yes
Snowball and Lode Stone mess with the RNG, but neither is used in the first
40 seconds of battle, so you should be fine.

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 Battle, !Tackle, and Blizzard. 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 Seizure), Surge, or Lode Stone (ID attack that takes off 75% of the targets
current HP). Umaro may counter Fire-elemental attacks with either !Tackle or
Blizzard, 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:

"Power 100 times up!
Defense up
Mag Def up
Speed up
Recovery up"

This means that Umaro sets Safe, Shell, Haste, and Regen on himself. Sadly for
Umaro, he has Seizure 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 Bserk 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.
Fire 2 spells work just fine, as does Sabin's Bum 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 "Ooh..." 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 Rage 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 Muffler. Granted, the
Snow Muffler 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 KO with a Fenix 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
Rage Ring nor Blizzard Orb, so the best Umaro right now is one equipped with
an Atlas Armlet (Hero 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 Warp 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 Terrato as well. Terrato isn't as powerful as Tritoch,
almost nothing is weak to the Earth element and he doesn't hit Floating targets,
but Terrato's Earth Aura *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 Shld, Air Anchor, Coronet, Fixed Dice, Force Armor x2, Force Shld,
  Gauntlet, Genji Shld, Hero Ring, Minerva, Nutkin Suit, Red Cap, Ribbon,
  Stunner, Safety Bit, Tack Star

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 the Moogle
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 Fanatics 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 Doom/Snare/Atom Edge do not.

While in the Air Anchor room, remove your Moogle Charm and walk around! The
only battles here feature Magic Urn. Not only do they heal you with a multitude
of potions, they also Escape 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 Cure 3 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 Shield and oddball TortoiseShield), respectable
Magic Defense, and 20% Magic Block added to the wearer.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The door in the third part of the stairway contains the Stunner, 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
Colosseum tactics against the likes of Chupon and Siegfried, who are both
vulnerable to the ailment and very hard to defeat by other means. The room also
features the White Dragon; you can defeat him now if you want for a Pearl
Lance: [WDRAGON-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 Muffler and oddball Imp's Armor), has great elemental advantages
(50% Fire, Ice, Lightning, Wind, and Earth-elemental damage) and an added 30%
Magic Block.

The Force Armor is inferior to the Minerva in every way except for the MBlock,
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 Sonic Dive and for console
players hours upon hours of MP-draining), skip ahead to [MAGIMASTER-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 the Moogle 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 Coronet,
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 Offering, 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 Warp Stone, the
Warp 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. Continue to find a split in the road. Go
up to grab the Tack Star 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 Tack Star 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 Bserk 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]. Warp 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 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
the Moogle Charm, engage a Zone Eater (it won't kill Mog) and have it Engulf
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 Colosseum
**********************************

Welcome to the Dragon's Neck Colosseum, 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 Shld        Opponent: Outsider
  * Flame Shld - Ice Shld        Opponent: IronHitman
 ** Murasame - Aura              Opponent: Borras
 ** Aura - Strato                Opponent: Rhyos
 ** Strato - Pearl Lance         Opponent: Aquila
*** Ninja Star - Tack Star       Opponent: Chaos Drgn
 ** Tack Star - Rising Sun       Opponent: Opinicus
  * Rising Sun - Bone Club       Opponent: Allosaurus
 ** Bone Club - Red Jacket       Opponent: Test Rider
 ** Sniper - Bone Club           Opponent: Borras
  * Czarina Gown - Minerva       Opponent: Sky Base
*** Rename Card - Marvel Shoes   Opponent: Doom Drgn

For a casual playthrough, I suggest the following. Get one Red Jacket by
betting one Ninja Star, bought in Thamasa, and continuing down the line until
you win a Red Jacket. If you haven't obtained a Minerva earlier, do so now by
betting your Czarina Gown. Marvel Shoes are the bee's knees, and Rename Cards
are easily obtained from Elixirs. With a 128 % Mblock setup on Celes, they are
easily acquired from Doom Drgn. If you declined the Moogle Raid, you will be
able to reach this benchmark after the next dungeon, when you obtain a Force
Armor.

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 Fire 2 spell
at a x5 rate and will cast an unblockable, barrier-piercing Fire 3 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 Block 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 Ice 2 spell
at a x5 rate and will cast an unblockable, barrier-piercing Ice 3 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 Block makes it come out superior in my book.

The Aura is simply superior to the Murasame. If you're disappointed by the
sudden lack of legendary weaponry in your inventory, don't fret; the Aura is
actually the Masamune, stupidly translated by Ted Woolsey. You can trade it
away for an even more powerful Strato right now.

The Strato, or 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 third-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 Battle Power over the Aura.

The Pearl Lance is a Pearl-elemental Lance that gives a +3 on Magic Power
and has a 25% at casting Pearl every time you Fight with it or on every
last Jump attack the wielder makes. The Pearl Lance is argued to be the best
Lance out there, because the only one higher in Battle 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 White Drgn.

The Tack Star 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 Colosseum is your
source for them. The damage increase over the Ninja Star probably isn't worth
all the effort, but the Tack Star can be bet away in the Colosseum for other
items.

The Rising Sun is a Full Moon upgrade. It's weaker than the Sniper Special
weapon and can only be gotten *later* than it. It's a passageway item at the
Colosseum 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 Colosseum. It can be sold for a
purse full of 10000 GP.

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 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, Pearl, and Poison
only deal 50% as much damage. To top it off, it grants the wearer an
all-round stat boost (+1 Vigor, +2 Speed, +1 Stamina and +4 Magic Power for
dessert) and 10% additional Magic Block. 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 Pugs in Umaro's Cave, you might
have found one or more already.

Marvel Shoes are grand. They set Safe, 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 Seizure, and
basically makes sure that a character will stick around longer and act faster
than he or she normally does. Marvel Shoes are great filler Relics; while
Marvel Shoes take a spot that a Hero Ring can't take, some prefer the
defensive route to the offensive one.

- Falchion - Flame Shld      Opponent: Outsider

Outsider is vulnerable to ID, and that's your savior. Outsider uses Battle,
!Ruin, Flare, and X-Zone. !Ruin kills you if it connects. X-Zone kills you if
it connects. Every time you hurt Outsider, he's going to respond with Shurikens,
Ninja Stars, or Tack Stars down your throat. Send in Setzer with dual Trumps 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 Shld - Ice Shld      Opponent: IronHitman

IronHitman 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
Spiraler. If you have a Safety Bit, you can use it to protect against the
Dischord attack.

- Murasame - Aura            Opponent: Borras
- Sniper - Bone Club         Opponent: Borras

Celes with perfect Mblock will be immune to all of Borras' physical attacks,
so she is sure to win the match. If you don't have that, I suggest Setzer with
the Coin Toss and a Relic that sets Safe, like the Guard Ring you can purchase
in Jidoor. This is a superior route to Bone Clubs and Red Jackets.

- Aura - Strato              Opponent: Rhyos

Rhyos is a mean upgrade from the Chimera. He can use Surge (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 Surge and Flare Star. An Ice Shield is not as
smart as Aero will do double damage to such a target. Dragoon Edgar works
best.

- Strato - Pearl Lance       Opponent: Aquila

Aquila is a big bird. It uses Battle, !Flap, Shimsham, 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.

- Ninja Star - Tack Star     Opponent: Chaos Drgn

Chaos Drgn has three attacks that are prone to screw you over. !Cinderizer will
kill you if it connects. Disaster turns you into a Muddled 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
Battle/Meteor. Chaos Drgn 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.

- Tack Star - Rising Sun     Opponent: Opinicus

Opinicus is a joke. He has little HP (3210), little Defense, and a weakness
against Pearl-elemental attacks. Sabin with two Dragon Claws, a Black Belt,
and Gaia Gear is almost sure to win. His Slide attack will be absorbed by
the Gaia Gear, so the only worry is Surge, of which Sabin can take at least two
before rolling over and dying. If you want to be really sure, try getting
an Ice Shld first so you absorb both Slide AND Surge.

- Rising Sun - Bone Club     Opponent: Allosaurus

Allosaurus is weak, but has a 1/3 chance of casting Doom. Equip a Wall 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 Titanium to equip or perhaps a TortoiseShld,
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.

- Czarina Gown - Minerva     Opponent: Sky Base

75% of the time, Sky Base will cast Doom. Sky Base is also vulnerable to
Instant Death attacks. Grab a Wall Ring and equip it, and send in whoever.
If your character attacks, Sky Base can counter with up to FOUR Blaster attacks.
If your character damages Sky Base 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 Doom
spell to win.

- Rename Card - Marvel Shoes Opponent: Doom Drgn

Doom Drgn has four attacks: Battle, which normally wouldn't be that much of
a disaster, yet will prove fatal in most cases in this battle. N. Cross, which
has a small chance of freezing you. S. Cross, which is a strong Fire-elemental
attack. And Fallen One, 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 a
Battle attack at 1 HP. You just need to pray that doesn't happen and that
S. Cross heals you back up whenever you reach that level.

To finish off, an impression what my team looks like at this point:

EDGAR
Pearl Lance  Flame Shld
Regal Crown  Red Jacket
Dragon Horn  DragoonBoots

SABIN
Dragon Claw  Ice Shld
Circlet      Red Jacket
Hero Ring    Earrings

CELES
Enhancer     Enhancer
Mystery Veil Minerva
Hero Ring    Genji Glove

SETZER
Trump        Ice Shld
Genji Helmet Crystal Mail
Hero Ring    Earrings

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.56.1   The battle with Phunbaba
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Phunbaba

  Container contents:
  Ether

  Lores:
  Blow Fish

Whom to bring? Celes is great to bring; Runic is nice if you don't have enough
Wall Rings to satisfy the entire party, and Celes's Minerva nullifies Phunbaba'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 Bum Rush.
Gau's not very useful, as his random physicals will disturb Phunbaba from his
Sleep status, and the same goes for Umaro.

Assuming you haven't fought Phunbaba earlier, you still have some things to do,
which you can read about here: [PHUNBABA1-LINK]

Assuming that you fought Phunbaba earlier and talked to Terra in Mobliz:

[PHUNBABA2-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 Phunbaba 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 'awful
husbandry'. Note that the 'husband' part was part of the localization; teenage
pregnancy is bad enough, but in a couple that's not married yet? Unheard of,
according to Square.

At any rate, Phunbaba attacks again. Duane sticks to Katarin, Terra refuses to
fight once more, and the kid asks you to rid the world of Phunbaba 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. Wall Rings
will really help here, especially if you lack the Runic ability on your team.
Obviously, people with a Thunder Shld and/or the Minerva bustier don't need a
Wall Ring, as they absorb (Thunder Shld) or nullify (Minerva) Bolt 2 and Bolt 3
anyway. If you brought Umaro and already found a Blizzard Orb, equip it on him;
not that his Storm attack is specifically strong in this battle, but the
Blizzard Orb nullifies Lightning-elemental attacks.

Phunbaba (BabaBreath)
Level: 31, HP: 26000, MP: 10000
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Lightning, Weak against: Poison
Special: !Solar Plex: Battle x 3
Sketch : !Solar Plex, Battle
Control: Battle, !Solar Plex
Vulnerable to: Nothing
Attacks: Battle, !Solar Plex, Bolt 2, Bolt 3, Blow Fish, BabaBreath

Vanish/Doom: Yes
No restrictions.

Joker Doom: No
It's impossible to spin 7-7-7 in this battle; the game prevents it.

Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

Phunbaba (final)
Level: 31, HP: 26000, MP: 10000
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Lightning, Weak against: Poison
Special: !Solar Plex: Battle x 3
Sketch : !Solar Plex, Battle
Control: Battle, !Solar Plex
Vulnerable to: Sleep
Attacks: Battle, !Solar Plex, Bolt 2, Bolt 3, Blow Fish

Vanish/Doom: Yes
No restrictions.

Joker Doom: Yes
Blow Fish messes with the RNG, but he doesn't use it until the third turn
anyway.

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 Phunbaba approaching. You do battle with him. The first
round, he'll throw a Battle or !Solar Plex attack. The next round consists out
of Bolt 2 or Bolt 3, and the third round is Bolt 2, Blow Fish, or Battle.
It loops. As soon as it hits 15360 Hit Points, it'll counter the first attack
you throw at him with a double BabaBreath attack. BabaBreath is a Phunbaba-only
attack that's exactly the same as Sneeze; it only looks different. Phunbaba
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 BabaBreath only once and die. This is odd,
as the thing going on here is that you can't really handle Phunbaba. Sure, you
pound on him for a while, then he disables two of your characters just like
that.

On the offense, Phunbaba is temporarily resistant to the Sleep status so that
doesn't work. Focus on your strongest attacks; Sabin's Bum Rush, Mog
and Edgar's Jump attacks, Setzer's GP Rain attack (his Fixed Dice are
stronger if you have them), Cyan's Quadra Slam technique, what have you. If you
brought Gau to the scene, !Catscratch at decent level (30 and above) is the best
bet versus Phunbaba for Gau. Tyranosaur's Meteo's decent, followed by Harpiai's
Aero and Trilium's Bio. Vaporite absorbs Bolt 2 and Bolt 3, which is a great
defensive choice if you didn't bring Wall Rings or a Runic user. Keep in the
back of your head that Vaporite is undead, though. Rhinox isn't, but that
really kills Gau's offense in the matter. Woolly absorbs the Lightning-elemental
spells and has superior offense in Ice 3, 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 Blow Fish) from this battle.

Anyway, despite your perfect set-up and the little amount of damage Phunbaba
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 Morphed 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 Wall
Ring and likely lacks the Minerva bustier as well, it can be a good idea to cast
Shell or Rflect on her in this battle, even though she already takes half as
much damage from the attacks due to her Morphed 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, Phunbaba 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 Morph 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,
Terrato's, or Tritoch's spells, and equip the Minerva 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. 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 Woolly, 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 GP, 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.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.57.2   Mount Zozo
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Ursus, Luridan, Scrapper, Punisher, Borras, Storm Drgn

  Container contents:
  Aegis Shld, Gold Hairpin, Ice Shld, Red Cap, Thunder Shld

  Miscellaneous items:
  Bone Club (rare Punisher steal), Thief Glove (rare Scrapper steal), Force
  Armor (guaranteed Storm Drgn drop), Muscle Belt (rare Borras steal), Rising
  Sun (common Punisher steal)

  Lores:
  Aero, Pearl Wind

  Magicite:

Monster formations:

(Caves)
Ursus, Punisher (6/16)
Borras (5/16)
Ursus (5/16)

(Bridge slope)
Punisher, Scrapper, Punisher (6/16)
Luridan, Luridan, Luridan, Luridan, Luridan, Luridan (5/16)
Borras (5/16)

(Slope before Cyan's settlement)
Luridan, Luridan, Luridan, Luridan, Luridan, Luridan (6/16)
Luridan, Luridan, Luridan (5/16)
Borras, Ursus, Scrapper (5/16)

Borras are upgraded HadesGigas. They don't use Magnitude8 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 Borras' Battle, 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 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 Colosseum appearances. They take two turns attacking normally, and
a third turn in a frenzy of !Pummel (Battle x 2) and up to two Battle attacks.
They're Floating, like all thief opponents, and weak against Poison, like all
humans.

Scrapper are strong Brawler-type enemies, but unlike Brawler and Iron Fist lack
the ability to utilize the Stone attack. They have inherent Haste and attack
with either Battle or !Knife (Battle x 1.5). They also counter any damaging
attack with either Battle or !Knife. They have a rare Thief Glove steal. Great.
In the Sketch, Control, and Rage department, Scrapper has access to Elf Fire,
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
Harvester (removes Dark, Poison, Petrify, Mute, Muddle, Seizure, Sleep, Slow
and Stop), and on the fourth turn, it may use Kitty (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-Harvester/Kitty
turn, Luridan will either use Battle or !Horn (Battle 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 Fire 2 spell, and Gau's MT magical violence in Harpiai's Aero also works
wonders (Quake misses...why are they Floating?).

Ursus are bears. They don't damage you; they just Steal GP 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. Ursus, 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 Ursus you can't execute now, but will be able to do
later. Bring Relm with the Cat Hood equipped, and have either Relm herself or
Gogo Control an Ursus. Now, just go ahead and damage it a little with something
minor like a Bolt spell, and heal him afterwards. Some of the time, he'll
counter with Steal. Now, since Ursus will Steal an incredible amount of money
over time, and the Cat Hood doubles all GP obtained, you'll get your own money
back twice. I'll remind you when you have the Cat Hood. :)

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 Drgn here. For
some trivia, all monsters have a high Evade rating. You don't notice due
to the Evade bug, but you were really supposed to lay off the blockable
physical attacks here.

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
Shld. 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 Shld, and eventually up again.

The Thunder Shld 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 Shld. Boy, the treasure
in this dungeon really rocks, I tell you. The Aegis Shld is a shield primarily
for magical attacks; its Magic Defense is better than the Genji Shld and
its Magic Block% is also higher (40% is better than 20%, no?). It's not as
good as defender against magical attacks as the Force Shld, and not as good
against physicals as the Genji Shld, 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 wearers, people with the Cat 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's and Thunder Shlds where
possible now, and Golem/Fenrir and ZoneSeek are great to have around to summon.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.57.3   The battle with Storm Drgn
**********************************

Storm Drgn
Level: 74, HP: 42000, MP: 1250
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Force Armor (always)
Absorbs: Wind, Weakness: Lightning
Status: Float
Special: !Wing Saber: Battle x 3
Sketch : Pearl Wind, Aero
Control: Battle, !Wing Saber
Vulnerable to: Nothing
Attacks: Battle, !Wing Saber, Aero, Wind Slash, Rage, Cyclonic

Vanish/Doom: Yes
No restrictions.

Joker Doom: Yes
Nothing Storm Drgn uses messes with the RNG.

Ragnarok's Metamorph: Yes
12.5% chance of obtaining one of the following:

Crystal
Crystal Shld
Crystal Helm
Crystal Mail

Storm Drgn is the toughest dragon out of the bunch, and the specific scourge of
the average LLG players, because one of Storm Drgn's attacks is the
non-elemental, unblockable Rage attack, which you can't prevent Storm Drgn from
using. Luckily, you probably have at least one Minerva wearer in your
party at this point, and you just found a Thunder Shld 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 Drgn can use three attacks normally: Battle, Wind Slash, and Rage. Rage
and Wind Slash are about alike in power and they're both unblockable. Rage,
however, is non-elemental where Wind Slash is Wind-elemental. As soon as
Storm Drgn dives beneath 15360 Hit Points, he'll drop Wind Slash and Rage for
more physicals (he'll start using !Wing Saber 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
Wounded or in the air due to a Jump attack). Cyclonic, as you know from Wyvern
and Wirey Drgn, 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 Drgn uses. ZoneSeek's Wall really helps against Wind Slash and Rage,
but you should invest in individual Shell castings if you don't have ZoneSeek
ready. Now, you'll want to use Rasp a few times to take care of Storm Drgn's
MP; when it's gone (you can check with Scan, or keep track with a calculator),
Storm Drgn won't be able to cast Aero or Cyclonic in it's 'dangerous' phase. If
one of your party members has learned the Haste 2 spell from Palidor, by all
means.

Now, just start beating him! Terra's Morph can help boosting the damage
of her spells (and halve the damage done by the magical spells, even though
only Rage should ever damage Terra is you've played your cards right). Since
Storm Drgn is weak against the Lightning-element, Bolt 2, Tri-Dazer, and Bolt 3
all hurt very nicely. Storm Drgn 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-, Bolt-, 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. I hope I can correct a
great wrong. Your boyfriend, who you thought was in Mobliz, passed away some
time ago. I have been writing in his stead... We humans tend to allow the past
to destroy our lives. I impore you not to let this happen. It is time to look
forward, to rediscover love, and embrace the beauty of life.

You have so much of life left to live...

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: Machines for Dummies,
Machines explained through comics, Overcome your fears of machines today and the
Big Book of understanding machines) which supposedly cured Cyan's fear of
machines and a "Book of Secrets", 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 "Book of
Secrets" 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
SwdTech skills in your absence. Empowerer (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. Stunner is basically
Cyan's version of Sabin's Air Blade, much like Dispatch is Cyan's version of
Sabin's Pummel. Stunner 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 Block or
Evade stat.

With Quadra Slam still being there for you, Cyan's SwdTech skills truly are
something to fear; it's the bloody charge time that holds you back. Waiting for
SwdTech # 6 takes 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 (Meteor)
Ninja (absorbs Poison, inherent Float, Water Edge)
Wirey Drgn (inherent Safe and Float, Cyclonic)
EarthGuard (Big Guard)
Mesosaur (Step Mine)
Gilomantis (ID protection, Shrapnel)*1
Osteosaur (absorbs Poison, Undead, X-Zone)
Orog (absorbs Poison, Undead, Pearl)*2
PowerDemon (absorbs Poison, Undead, Flare)
Red Wolf (ID protection, !Rush (Battle x 1.5))
Mag Roader (brown) (inherent Haste, L.4 Flare)
Ceritops (absorbs Lightning, ID protection, inherent Safe, Giga Volt)
Luridan (inherent Float, Land Slide)*3
Scrapper (absorbs Poison, inherent Haste, Elf Fire)
Black Drgn (absorbs Poison, Undead, Storm)*4
Punisher (inherent Haste and Float, Bolt 3)

*1 Shrapnel 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
   Fire 2, Giga Volt, and attacks like that.
*2 Pearl is a Pearl-elemental spell that you will later learn from an Esper.
   It's slightly weaker than a level 3 spell.
*3 Land 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 Storm is exactly what you get when you invent an Ice-elemental Skean and
   make it not a Skean. Notable as one of Umaro's attacks, it's his strongest
   Ice-elemental attack until Gau gets his greedy little hands on Woolly.

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:

ChickenLip/Cluck. You should have ChickenLip from the WoB, but Cluck 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.

Meteo 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 Meteo slightly
more of a feat then Quake is (you'll have to go in the woods and fight yourself
a Tyranosaur), 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 Meteo 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 ChickenLip-Cluck and Tyranosaur. Harpiai's
Aero is a Wind-elemental level 3 spell on all targets. Gilomantis shares its
power and is non-elemental, but may appear ST or MT which adds a level of
randomness. As for ST damage, Prussian's Land Slide is a great option, as is
Punisher's Bolt 3. 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 Allo Ver
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Rhyos, Toe Cutter, Allo Ver, SrBehemoth (living), SrBehemoth (undead)

  Container contents:
  Rage Ring, Striker, Monster-in-a-box (Allo Ver)

  Miscellaneous items:
  BehemothSuit (guaranteed SrBehemoth (undead) drop), Murasame (rare SrBehemoth
  (living) steal), Poison Rod (rare Toe Cutter drop and common Toe Cutter
  steal), Tiger Fangs (guaranteed Allo Ver drop)

  Lores:
  Condemned

Monster formations:
Toe Cutter (10/16)
Toe Cutter, Toe Cutter (5/16)
Rhyos (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 Pearl Lance here. Celes's Runic ability comes
in handy in the boss battle here too. For the random encounters, those who have
learned Fire 3 are excellent.

Toe Cutter is a big nasty Gilomantis upgrade. Toe Cutters 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 Battle over and over again,
countering every attack with a 33% shot at !Doomsickle (drains HP). Take them
out with Fire- or Wind-elemental attacks. Sabin's Air Blade works really well
on them, Cyan's Tempest Knife hurts them badly (although you'll want a Genji
Glove/Hero Ring combination to ensure death), and L.4 Flare also hits the spot
(the little brown Mag Roader's Rage allows Gau to cast it; it's all the way to
the bottom of the Rage list). Air Blade and L.4 Flare should be boosted by
Hero Rings and/or Earrings.

Rhyos 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 Rhyos will get all fired up. He'll start with !Rage
(Battle * 2), and use three of the following attacks: Blizzard, Fire Ball,
Giga Volt, Magnitude8, or Aqua Rake. 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 Cave otV: Harpiai works wonders on the Toe Cutters, but the
brown Mag Roader with L.4 Flare (bottom) is grand on all monsters here. Quake
is less desirable because it removes Clear even when Floating, and Meteo 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. One of the members will talk about a 'frightful dragon' that
no human is able to defeat. He's not talking about one of the elemental dragons
here, but about a rare random encounter: the Brachosaur, the most dangerous
random encounter in the game. I'll talk about that bastard when we get there.
In this same room is a chest that contains the Rage Ring, a Relic that allows
Umaro to absorb Ice-elemental attacks (which he already did anyway due to the
irremovable Snow Muffler 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 Rage
Ring takes care of all the elemental resistances Umaro is ever going to get,
and with the added offense, you really want the Rage 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 Allo Ver.

Allo Ver 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 Points in this battle and providing you
with more Tiger Fangs before the final dungeon, but he does neither.

Allo Ver
Level: 19, HP: 8000, MP: 8000
Steal: Tonic (common), Potion (rare), Win: Tiger Fangs (always)
Absorbs: Poison, Weakness: Fire, Pearl
Status: Undead
Special: !Dead End: sets Death
Sketch : !Dead End, !Dead End
Control: Battle, !Dead End, !Dead End, !Dead End
Vulnerable to: Petrify, Death, Condemned, Muddled, Slow
Attacks: Doom, Condemned, Atomic Ray

Vanish/Doom: Yes
Note that Allo Ver is Undead, so Doom will just restore his HP.

Joker Doom: Yes
Atomic Ray screws over the RNG, but you shouldn't see it be used anyway.

Ragnarok's Metamorph: Yes
12.5% chance of obtaining one of the following:

Remedy
Remedy
Remedy
Remedy

Here's the deal. Every turn, Allo Ver will use Doom, Condemned, or do
nothing. He also may counter every damaging attack you make with a Doom 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 Allo Ver is ID attacks. As soon as
you enter battle, have somebody cast Break or X-Zone. You may want to revive
a character if he fell to Allo Ver's first turn Doom spell, but Break is
definitely the way to go. I don't recommend Edgar's Air Anchor because Allo Ver
may counter the Tool with a Doom spell, which you don't want. Regardless, Allo
Ver 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 Doom and
Condemned will heal the Rager and Atomic Ray will be absorbed.

After you've defeated Allo Ver, you can equip the non-elemental Tiger Fangs 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 Striker. The Striker is a rather
feature-less weapon with the Assassin's X-type ID ability.

It's a weapon you heard about earlier; a 'mean guy' in the Colosseum 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 SrBehemoth
**********************************

SrBehemoth (living, blue)
Level: 43, HP: 19000, MP: 1600
Steal: Murasame (rare), Win: Jewel Ring (rare), ThunderBlade (common)*1
Absorbs: Ice, Weakness: Fire, Poison
Status: Undead
Special: !Evil Claw: Unblockable Battle + Removes Reflect
Sketch : !Evil Claw, !Evil Claw
Control: Battle, !Evil Claw
Vulnerable to: Imp, Slow, Stop
Attacks: Battle, !Evil Claw, Ice 2, Ice 3, Pearl, Imp, Meteo

Vanish/Doom: Yes
No restrictions. However, I'd like to point out that using Vanish in combination
with X-Zone, Odin's Atom Edge, Raiden's True Edge, the Cleave SwdTech or Snare
would have rather bad results; it will prevent the second SrBehemoth from coming
around, which will rob you of a Rage and the ability to obtain more than one
BehemothSuit and Snow Muffler as opposed to infinite. Since the BehemothSuit is
the best armor for Relm and Strago, and the Snow Muffler the best armor for Gau
and Mog, you really don't want this to happen.

Joker Doom: No/Yes
You can't spin 7-7-7 in this battle; the game prevents it. As soon as you
face off against the second SrBehemoth, 7-7-7 becomes an option.

Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

*1 Note that the game data says that this guy gives you a BehemothSuit 100% of
the time, which is how it is supposed to be. However, they overlooked something
with the data concerning the switch between the two SrBehemoths, so the items
from the first SrBehemoth get grabbed from some random data location. In the
US SNES versions, this means you either get a Jewel Ring or a ThunderBlade.
I currently have no information about the Japanese game or the PSX port,
although I've heard rather unconfirmed mentioning of a ValiantKnife and an
Oath Veil. My ROM image copy of RPGone's version 1.2 translation had a rare
Ninja Gear and a common ValiantKnife, but I dare not say if that goes for all
of their patches or the Japanese game in general.

SrBehemoth
Level: 49, HP: 19000, MP: 9999
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: BehemothSuit (always)
Absorbs: Poison, Weakness: Fire, Pearl
Status: Undead
Special: !Hypno Gas: sets Sleep
Sketch : !Hypno Gas, Fire 3
Control: Battle, Battle, Battle, Battle
Vulnerable to: Death, Condemned
Attacks: Battle, !Hypno Gas, Doom, Meteo

Vanish/Doom: Yes
Note that the yellow SrBehemoth is Undead, so Doom will just restore his HP.

Joker Doom: Yes
No restrictions.

Ragnarok's Metamorph: Yes
12.5% chance of obtaining one of the following:

Cursed Ring
Cursed Ring
Thornlet
Relic Ring

The blue SrBehemoth, despite his appearance, is almost a pure spell caster.
He'll normally attack with Ice 2, Ice 3, and Pearl spells which all hit with
considerable force. If he hits 10240 Hit Points, he'll get more Ice 3 spells
than before and throw Meteo in the mix, which hurts a bundle (around 1000 on
every character, pretty much the same force Intangir used to throw Meteo
attacks on you).

If a character of yours is under the influence of Reflect, he'll target the
character and use !Evil Claw to remove the Reflect status (the message "Effect
of "Rflect" vanished" 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 !Evil Claw turns and normal
AI script turns. Note that characters with Wall Rings still yield the "Effect
of "Rflect" vanished" notion yet keep the status.

If SrBehemoth 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 Battle 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 SrBehemoth is hit by the Pearl spell, he'll counter with Meteo period. Sadly,
due to a bug, this overrides the other normal counter, that of having a 33%
at countering with Battle on every other damaging attack, so the next attack
will also be countered with a Meteo attack. In other words, the Pearl spell
eventually sends two extra Meteo attacks down your throat, so don't do it. The
Orog and White Drgn Rages cast Pearl; ignore them.

What to do? The best way to deal with the blue SrBehemoth is a combination of
Imp and Stop. Now, give it everything you have. Cast Haste 2 to speed up the
process. Summoning Fenrir or Golem helps protect against stray physicals from
his side. Fire 2 and Fire 3 really hurt him. Gau's Scrapper Rage gives Gau
inherent Haste and makes him use Elf Fire; 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. Bum Rush, Fixed Dice, Dragon Horn Jumps,
you know what works.

When you finally defeat SrBehemoth, he'll ripple away and the battle is over.
But no! SrBehemoth'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 SrBehemoth is a little simpler. He'll just use Battle, !Hypno Gas, the Doom
spell, or Meteo. He won't use Doom until the second turn, and Meteo 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 Battle attacks
(of which the first one is sure to land). That's about it.

The undead SrBehemoth's one weakness is the ID attack. He can be killed by
X-Zone, Snare, and the Air Anchor Tool, and is hurt by Slash, Demi, you name it.
Since SrBehemoth's first turn isn't dangerous and he has no dangerous counters,
the Air Anchor really is a great option to use. The Dusk Requiem coming from
Mog houses both Cave In and Snare which both truly cripple the massive menace.
Since SrBehemoth is Undead and lacks ID protection anyway, the Life spell is a
glorious option; the Life spell also works on Undead with ID protection mind
you, but here it feels less like raping the system. :) When the battle is over,
SrBehemoth will ripple away again. He's now a rather indestructible monster that
roams the Veldt, attacking you every now and again. He leaves a BehemothSuit
behind every time you meet him though, so it's really not all bad.

After the battle, you'll crouch down and your party's leader will say: "We
can't do anything for her here. Let's take her back to Thamasa using the
airship." apparently Woolsey let Shadow die on the Floating Continent and found
Relm here, prompting him to use 'her' in the translation. Forum newbies have
grabbed the opportunity at many occasions to point out that Shadow is actually
female, which simply isn't true; this was never his line. In the PSX game,
this was 'fixed'; the line is now turned towards a male subject, making Relm a
boy. Oh Square remake team, is there anything you can't mess up?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.59.1   Thamasa and the Colosseum 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 fetch me...
But I won't be coming back...
I want you, and the girl, to live in a peaceful world...
(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)
Papa...?
Where'd he go?
Is he ever coming back?
(Strago looks down, not answering)

The character will now just lie in bed, recovering from the wounds.

SHADOW: No need to worry. It's just a scratch. Also, he's gonna stand guard,
        so you just relax.
RELM: I'm still a bit groggy... But I'm okay. Interceptor always makes me
      happy!

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 Colosseum, as indicated by the guy who previously talked
about Doom Gaze: "If you're looking for the man dressed all in black, he left
for the colosseum.".

If you saved Relm things will be ever so slightly more complicated.
She can now be in Jidoor: "One day, a man working for an aristocrat in Jidoor
came and took that young woman back with him!". 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 Blackjack to the Colosseum, and
remember that notion about the Striker. 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 Chupon), but the merciless mercenary
himself: Shadow. Shadow is a complete pushover; unequipped, unarmed, and unable
to use the Throw command in the Colosseum, Shadow is pathetic. But it doesn't
even matter if you win or not; whether you win, lose (equipped a Heal Rod or
something, right?), or Warp out of battle with the aptly named spell, Shadow
will join you afterwards. And it's permanent this time (Shadow fans: yata!).

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! Skeans are very strong, and now you have the
finances to really buy them en masse. Especially Fire Skeans 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 Colosseum, you might as well bet the BehemothSuit
nobody can equip yet for the Snow Muffler. The Snow Muffler is awesome,
absolutely awesome equipment for both Mog and Gau. It's a scarf! Its great
defensive properties allow Mog and Gau to reach the maximum 255 Defense, it
absorbs Ice-elemental attacks and halve Fire-elemental attacks.

- BehemothSuit - Snow Muffler      Opponent: Outsider

Outsider is vulnerable to ID, and that's your savior. Outsider uses Battle,
!Ruin, Flare, and X-Zone. !Ruin kills you if it connects. X-Zone kills you if
it connects. Every time you hurt Outsider, he's going to respond with Shurikens,
Ninja Stars, or Tack Stars down your throat. Send in Setzer with dual Trumps 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.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.61.1   Jidoor; Owzer's Mansion
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Dahling, Nightshade, Still Life, Wild Cat, Crusher, SoulDancer, Vindr,
  Chadarnook

  Container contents:
  293 GP, Moogle Suit, Relic Ring, Soft, Tincture, Tonic

  Miscellaneous items:
  Moogle Suit (rare Dahling steal and rare SoulDancer steal), Nutkin Suit (rare
  Nightshade steal), Tabby Suit (rare Wild Cat steal), Super Ball (rare Crusher
  drop and rare Crusher steal), Chocobo Suit (rare Vindr steal)

  Magicite:
  Starlet

[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 SrBehemoth 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
Nightshade and Dahling 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 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 Fire Skeans 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. It's my largest painting yet, so I won't be
  able to put it with the others. I'll decide later where to display it.
- An artist came from Zozo today. He wanted me to see his work. What a waste of
  time.
- Bought a new stairway lamp at the Item Shop. Expensive, but one flip of the
  switch and everything's bright and cheery.
- I invited over an artist from Kohlingen. About as talented as a bucket...
- Something's happening to me. It started when I had that picture painted... And
  I've started hearing odd noises coming from downstairs.

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 NightShade enemies yet, the painting won't respond
anymore. It's a battle with three NightShade enemies, which are well known
through their Rage; both the Rage and the AI Script of these flowers feature
the Charm attack. Charm sets a Muddled-like status, with a few differences.

- First off, since it's not the Muddled status, you can't protect against it.
  Charm works on *everything* as long as it connects (Charm has a Hit Rate of
  80, meaning that it'll have but a rough 80 % chance of connecting on a target
  with no Magic Block).
- 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 Charm spell creates a bond between the Charm caster and the
  target. If the 'caster' of the Charm attack dies, the affected target will
  turn back to normal. If the caster of the Charm spell tries to attack with
  Charm on another target, it'll miss as long as the other Charmed target is
  still alive. Due to a bug, when one Charmer 'steals' the Charmee of another
  Charmer, this other Charmer - while not having a Charmee anymore - won't be
  able to Charm another target until his stolen Charmee is dead.

Needless to say, Charm cripples every boss as it will completely disable their
AI Script and they will start to attack themselves. Anyway, using Charm in
a boss battle is just evil and sucks the fun out of the entire deal... so just
don't use it.

Back to NightShade. They're immune to every status ailment you throw at them,
and can use Charm 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 Fire Skeans, Tritoch's Tri-Dazer, and Fire 2 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 Battle and !Poison Pod (sets Poison) attacks for the most part,
and that characters hit by Charm 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 Colosseum 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:

The treasure is hidden where the mountains 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: The repairman, at last!
"Uh, no. I was wondering if you knew anything about Emperor Gestahl’s map..."
Aged Man: Map...?!  Everyone’s askin’ ’bout that map!
"Pardon?!"
Aged Man: Little while ago, some guy wearin’ a bandana asked for the map.
So I told him!
"W...where is it?"
Aged Man: It’s where the mountains form a star-shape! You should have just come
out and asked me. No need to be 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 Dahling opponents.
Dahling use their first turn to set a status ailment, with either the Mute spell
or the !Sightless Special, which sets Dark. The second turn will feature either
the Ice 2 or Bolt 2 spells. When a Dahling has been damaged, she may use a
Cure 2 spell *on the attacker*. I'm pretty sure that the AI scriptwriter
intended for Dahling to use the Cure 2 spell on herself but forgot that counter
attacks are typically carried out on the attacker, regardless of the spell's
initial targets. Dahlings 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. Dahling 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 Dahlings 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 Warp spell can help you leave this place...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.61.2   Owzer's Mansion, the Magic House
**********************************

Monster formations:
SoulDancer, SoulDancer, Crusher, Crusher (6/16)
Vindr, Vindr (5/16)
Vindr, Vindr, Wild Cat, Crusher, Crusher (5/16)

Wild Cat are cats. They have a rare Tabby suit steal, and they attack
physically. Due to a bug, they may use Fire Ball when alone (this was never the
intention; Fire Ball was supposed to be a rare brown Mag Roader counter).
Normally it just attacks with Battle and !Pounce. Its name might ring bells
of that nasty Fidor Special, but Wild Cat's !Pounce is unassuming (Battle * 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, !Blow (Battle * 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 Mag Roader Rage (L.4 Flare) can really put a dent in their hides.

SoulDancer 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 Fire 2) 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) can do up to 1750 worth of damage, and remember that it's
almost always non-elemental (Air Lancet is Wind-elemental so Thunder Shld
wearers and Minerva 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 Clear status can make you avoid the
attacks of SoulDancer. This is what she'll do:

1st round: Dirk or MithrilKnife
2nd round: MithrilKnife or Guardian
3rd round: Air Lancet or Thiefknife
4th round: Thiefknife or Assassin
(loop)

Also, she counters any damage done to her with !Red Dance, which drains very
little HP. She has a rare Moogle Suit steal too. Ways to cripple her include
Berserk, Muddled, Sleep, and Stop. NoiseBlaster and Stray's Cat Rain help
tremendously.

Vindr 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 Clear, and
don't let Wild 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 SoulDancer 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 Relic Ring that lies there. The Relic Ring
is a Relic that makes the user of it undead. This basically means that healing
spells will hurt and the Doom spells and the eventual effect of the Condemned
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 SoulDancer and four
Wild Cats. You won't get from the chests what the game says:

What it says:   2000 GP     Potion       Ether   Remedy
What it is:      293 GP      Tonic    Tincture     Soft

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:
Battle, !Bane Kiss (sets Poison), Lullaby (an MT Sleep-inducing attack that's
admittedly annoying), and Condemned, which Still Life uses to counter every
blow he takes. Go all out with strong attacks against him; Bum Rush,
Fire Skeans, Tri-Dazer, you know what hurts. He has a rare FakeMustache 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 Condemned 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

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 Starlet 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 Starlet 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 Starlet painting to save the life of Owzer so you can take Relm
with you. Owzer begs you to keep the Starlet painting intact. Whatever.

Before you talk to him, equip Thunder Shlds on as many characters as possible.
Non-Minerva wearing characters take priority, as the Minerva bustier nullifies
the Lightning element (which is what concerns us here). The Force Shld and Force
Armor both halve damage done by the element, and Umaro's Rage 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 TortoiseShld, Titanium,
Imp's Armor, and Snow Muffler 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 Muffler and the Rage Ring really takes care of the majority of
the opponent's attacks.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.61.3   Owzer's Mansion, the battle with Chadarnook
**********************************

Chadarnook (Starlet)
Level: 37, HP: 56000, MP: 9400
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Pearl, Water, Weakness: Fire
Special: !Doom Kiss: sets Condemned
Sketch : !Doom Kiss, Battle
Control: Battle, !Doom Kiss
Vulnerable to: Slow
Attacks: Battle, !Doom Kiss, Lullaby, Charm, Phantasm

Vanish/Doom: Yes
Both targets are vulnerable to the Clear status.

Joker Doom: 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, Pearl
Special: !Hit: sets Condemned
Sketch : !Hit, Battle
Control: Battle, !Hit
Vulnerable to: Slow
Attacks: Battle, Bolt 2, Bolt 3, Flash Rain

Vanish/Doom: Yes
Both targets are vulnerable to the Clear status.

Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

Interesting trivia; the Japanese game showed much more skin on the Starlet
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 Starlet,
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 Starlet painting. It'll use either Battle or the
dreaded, blasted Charm attack. Fortunately, the effects of Charm 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 (Bolt 2 and Bolt 3) 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 Starlet
painting's timer is also used when Chadarnook checks his 40 seconds, so if you
faced Starlet 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 Starlet a few times in a row.

Attacking Starlet is bad. Not only is it pointless (as soon as you deplete
Starlet's HP, she'll just regenerate; she's immortal), it's rather dangerous, as
Starlet has a mean counter. 33% Battle, 33% not doing anything, and 33%
Phantasm.

Blast Phantasm. 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 Seizure, only it's so dangerous because it ISN'T Seizure. 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 Cure Ring or Marvel Shoes) will be removed. Trying
to set the Regen status on a character with the Regen spell or Kirin's Life
Guard 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.

Starlet, by the way, will also attack normally after her first appearance; her
arsenal consists out of Battle, !Doom Kiss (sets Condemned), the dreaded Charm,
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 Starlet picture, than
quickly throw whatever you have when the demon appears. He is extremely weak
to Fire-elemental and Pearl-elemental spells, as he has a weakness to the
element and its Magic Defense really isn't that stellar.

Terra and Celes's Fire 2 and (preferably) Fire 3 spells will really hurt
Chadarnook (Fire 3 takes priority over Pearl, too), but keep in mind that
because Chadarnook absorbs Lightning-elemental spells, Tritoch's Tri-Dazer will
be absorbed. Shadow's Fire Skeans should be boosted by Hero Rings and Earrings
to ensure a lot of damage, although it should be noted that the much more
expensive Flame Sabres will hurt much more. Setzer should throw his Fixed Dice
around if possible; if not, Fire 2, Pearl, and Fire 3 take priority over the
Coin Toss-induced GP Rain. Sabin should stick to Bum 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 Pearl 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 Starlet 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 Pearl-elemental attacks, breaking a Fire
or Pearl Rod on the fiend inflicts great amounts of damage. Absolutely one of
the best fights to do so.

You can't do anything when Charm connects, and you can't do anything when
Phantasm connects. Fenrir/Golem will help against the physicals (especially
!Doom Kiss can be a pain), while the Haste 2 spell is an asset as always. If
you have a few characters unprotected from Chadarnook's attacks, ZoneSeek's
Wall 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
Starlet, you finally gain access to the Cure 3 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 Fanatics 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, Big Guard, Blow Fish, Dischord, Sour Mouth, Pep Up, 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 FakeMustache 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, Muddled, 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 Coronet 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 Muddled, 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 Cold Dust, Flare Star,
Death-setting Specials, and the like. Control is great to get a particularly
powerful enemy out of the way (Brachosaur 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 Earrings than with a FakeMustache; I'll mention the
usefulness of the Control ability when it should be mentioned. For now, if you
have a FakeMustache, 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 Moogle Charm to raid Kefka's Tower earlier,
you should have a Coronet by now. Equip it for increased Control chances. Also,
the Japanese name of the FakeMustache 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 Blow Fish, take him to the desert just south of
  Maranda, where Cactrot will use it every single turn it attacks. Make sure you
  can take Cactrot out after he uses Blow Fish, though. With Relm on your side,
  both Sketch and Control grant access to Blow Fish itself, which kills the
  Cactrot.

- Now for one of the greater Lores you'll find: Aero, the Wind-elemental MT
  level 3 spell-like attack. Find a Harpy near Thamasa; you can't NOT fight
  a Harpy in the forests. You can Muddle or Control Harpy for Aero, and you
  can even wait for it to use the attack randomly. Harpiai 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 L.4 Flare
can connect). This is all until you get Strago's strongest Lore GrandTrain, but
until then, Aero is for you.

- If you missed Pearl Wind for some obscure reason, you can also find it on
  Harpiai (uses randomly) and Sprinter (uses randomly).

- The Pep Up 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 Muus ad infinitum; just wait for them
  to use Pep Up. You can force them with Control, but unless they're alone it
  shouldn't take them long. Don't Sketch them; Relm executing Pep Up will kill
  her.

Yeah... Pep Up 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 Pep Up, his role on the battlefield is over. Really,
you should be very, very desperate if you use this attack.

- Sour Mouth can be learned from Mad Oscar in Daryl'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 Sour Mouth, its in Mad Oscar's
  Control menu and he'll use it pretty often when he's alone. If you meet any
  Orog opponents down the way, L.5 Doom offs him quite carelessly.

Sour Mouth sets a lot of status ailments: Dark, Poison, Imp, Mute, Muddled, 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 Sour Mouth, you're bound to hit him
in some form or another. A funny thing about Sour Mouth is that while it may
set Imp, the sprite of the monster will not change because of it.

- Big Guard. You'll really want to go with Sketch here. If you're really scared
  of the Sketch bug, make sure that you're either level 23 or level 16 and up
  with a Beret equipped. Meet an EarthGuard in the desert and Sketch it. A 75%
  chance of the painting using Big 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 EarthGuard Rage on the Veldt, and keep Strago
  around for when Gau casts Big Guard through the EarthGuard Rage.

Big Guard is, quite simply, pretty neat. It sets both Safe and Shell on all
party members, even in a Side Attack. It's a superior version of the ZoneSeek's
Wall attack I've been mentioning so often; the MT Safe 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 Clear status. Now, fly over to Jidoor and enter the
  forests to the north. Mess around until you meet up with four Reach 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 Morph status
(Muddle/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 Muddle/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 Poltrgeist (Image, Float, Haste, Safe), Goddess
(Haste, Shell), and Doom Gaze (Float, Shell, Safe). Oh yeah, and the Rippler
attack is the only way to get rid of Countdown status (not counting completely
random attacks such as Wild Bear).

So for a quick reference, the Lores you could have obtained so far include:

Condemned   Big Guard   L.3 Muddle  Rippler
Roulette    Revenge     Step Mine   Stone
Aqua Rake   Pearl Wind  Dischord    Exploder
Aero        L.5 Doom    Sour Mouth
Blow Fish   L.4 Flare   Pep Up

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 BehemothSuit; 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 SrBehemoths before
long. The BehemothSuit 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 Block,
Superior Defense and Magic Defense to every other helmet (except for oddballs
Thornlet and Titanium), and 50% damage reduction against Fire-, Lightning-,
Ice-, Pearl-, Earth-, and Wind-elemental attacks. And, if all that wasn't
enough, it doubles the GP gained from random battles. If that doesn't sound
like a sweet deal, there is no pleasing you.

How to get it? It's Colosseum material. The opponent is the Allosaurus, an
unassuming giant lizard whose only dangerous attack (the Doom spell) can be
easily circumvented with a Wall Ring. The trick here is to find the item the
Allosaurus is willing to fight for: an Imp Halberd. There are two ways to find
them, and both are nasty at this point. One is finding a Mantodea (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
Thiefknife equip, which isn't that great. Chances are very low. Make sure you
are all set with the Clear status, as otherwise Mantodea's physicals will rip
you apart VERY quickly. You can increase your chances a little by abusing the
bug that is Vanish/Dischord. Keep the Mantodea you're stealing from healed, as
you don't want it to die without giving you the Imp Halberd 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 Imp Halberd is for the
Tyranosaur in the Dinosaur forest to the north of the Veldt. Tyranosaurs 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
Sour Mouth Lore, and kill them as quick as you can with Ice-elemental spells.
Don't bring uncontrollable characters, as they will snap the Tyranosaurs out of
their snoozing (sure, Dance won't, but Dance sucks here). If you meet a
Brachosaur, run like a madman. Save often, as Brachosaur is this game's Warmech.
It presents death unto you, if you catch my drift. I'd consider the Mantodea
method far superior, honestly.

- Imp Halberd - Cat Hood     Opponent: Allosaurus

Equip a Wall Ring against his Doom spell, and a Star Pendant, Fairy Ring, or
Ribbon against !PoisonClaw. The reflected Doom spell may work on Allosaurus,
but it doesn't really matter, as Allosaurus 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 Dirt Dragon.

Before you go, make sure you have Cherub Down 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 Dirt Drgn
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Dirt Drgn

  Miscellaneous items:
  Magus Rod (guaranteed Dirt Drgn 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 Dirt Drgn wants with the artistic bags of hot air of this place. Regardless,
dragons are dangerous and need to be killed with violence.

Equip Cherub Downs or Gaia Gear on every character before you go in. If you
have Gau in your team and a decent Float-inducing Rage (Harpiai, 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 Dirt Drgn.

Dirt Drgn
Level: 53, HP: 28500, MP: 16500
Steal: X-Potion (rare), Win: Magus Rod (always)
Weakness: Wind, Water
Status: Float
Special: !Honed Tusk: Battle x 5
Sketch : Magnitude8, Bolt 3
Control: Battle, !Honed Tusk
Vulnerable to: Poison, Sleep, Slow
Attacks: Battle, !Honed Tusk, Quake, Magnitude8, 50 Gs, Slide

Vanish/Doom: Yes
No restrictions.

Joker Doom: Yes
Nothing Dirt Dragon uses has an effect on the RNG. Yippee.

Ragnarok's Metamorph: Yes
12.5% chance of obtaining one of the following:

Crystal
Crystal Shld
Crystal Helm
Crystal Mail

The Dirt 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, Dirt Drgn wouldn't have been that crazy of a challenge.
We may well never know.

Every 20 seconds, the Dirt Drgn will use his 50 Gs attack, a Dirt Drgn-only
move that removes the Float status on all targets. Irremovable Float, like the
one given by the Cherub Down 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 Battle or ground-based; Quake always misses Dirt Drgn himself, and the
Magnitude8 and Slide 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 Dirt
Drgn's !Honed Tusk and Battle attacks. Strago's Big Guard should also help in
that department. Haste 2 is great as always, and Kirin doesn't hurt either.
Cast a combination of Sleep and Slow on the Dirt Drgn as well; remember that
Sleep can also be set with Strago's Sour Mouth attack, which also sets Poison
on the Dirt Drgn. Now that you've been bulked up plenty, and the Dirt Drgn is
vulnerable in his extended slumber, it's time to start the magical offense.

If you want to keep Dirt Drgn 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 Cherub Down,
I should mention that Rages like Harpiai, Ninja, Hornet, and Luridan really help
(especially Harpiai). Strago's Aero packs a proverbial wallop, and Shadow's
Water Edges are pretty strong. If you don't care for the Sleep status, Thrown
Blossoms are extremely painful to Dirt Drgn. Sabin's Bum Rush still gets the
job done as always, and is superior to Air Blade 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 Dirt Drgn. His Wind Song is also an option; Wind
Slash is weaker than El Nino, but you might prefer Wind Song's 6/16 Sun Bath
to Water Rondo's 6/16 Plasma attack. All other characters should just stick
to Magic spells. Umaro should be kept AWAY from this battle, as usual. His
presence makes the Sleep status strategy rather impossible.

After you've defeated the Dirt Drgn, you'll obtain a Magus Rod, which gives the
same +7 Magic Power as the Enhancer does, but gives a 30% Magic Block bonus
where the Enhancer only gives a 20% increase. The Magus Rod is sweet and
is to be preferred over all other rods.

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 Shld
Circlet     BehemothSuit
Hero Ring   Earrings

Relm (Magic-focused)         Relm (Control-focused)
Pearl Rod   Aegis Shld       Pearl Rod    Aegis Shld
Cat Hood    BehemothSuit     Coronet      BehemothSuit
Hero Ring   Earrings         FakeMustache RunningShoes

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.62.4   Gungho's assignment; Ebot's Rock
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Warlock, Displayer, Slatter, Cluck, Eland, Hippocampus, Opinicus, Hidon,
  Hidonite, Hidonite, Hidonite, Hidonite

  Miscellaneous items:
  Thornlet (rare Hidon steal)

  Lores:
  GrandTrain

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.

(First cave, Save Point area, and Living chest area)
Slatter, Warlock, Eland (5/16)
Slatter, Slatter (5/16)
Warlock, Cluck, Cluck, Eland, Eland (5/16)
Hipocampus, Cluck, Cluck, Cluck (1/16)

(Main room)
Opinicus, Opinicus (5/16)
Displayer (5/16)
Opinicus, Hipocampus, Eland (5/16)
Hipocampus, Hipocampus, Hipocampus (1/16)

There's a theme here; warp stones in the dungeon, and every monster here has
both a rare Warp Stone steal and a rare Warp Stone drop. That's just nice.
And it's dark like a black steer'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 Pearl spell, which is
all it uses for attacking. It may try to drain back some of
his lost MP with !MagicDrain, but he'll be attacking you with the Pearl spell;
rarely over !MagicDrain 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 Displayer needn't worry you. It looks dangerous, but 'tis not. It may
randomly use ChokeSmoke 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 Battle x 2 damage rather than setting Zombie. Common Undead
weaknesses in Fire and Pearl.

Slatter BEARS a close resemblance to Prussian, 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 Slatter are rather boring, you haven't had
enough sleep. They attack with Battle and !Choke (Battle * 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% Shimsham through
Sketch, Cave In through Rage) while being immune to it themselves.

Cluck are upgraded ChickenLip. 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, Cluck has a 33% chance at using !Lick, which
sets Petrify and is to be avoided.

Elands...the little bastards are weak versus Lightning, and attack with Battle
and !Stench, which sets Muddled. 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. Eland is Dutch for moose. Don't do drugs!

Hipocampus is nothing. Hippocampus is a lot of things: a mythical sea horse,
half horse (the front) and half dolphiney-like or whatever (the back). It's
the Latin name of the family of seahorses too, and it's also a part of the
brain (humans have two Hippocampi). Hipocampus is nothing but a monster in FF
VI. It attacks with Battle and !Clamp, which sets Seizure. It may counter
any Magic attack with the Poison-/Water-elemental Acid Rain which sets Seizure,
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.

Opinicus is another name derived from a chimera-like fictional monster; head
of an eagle, body of a lion, the tail of a camel. Or, like, a stupid suffering
fanged bull, like in this game. They are VERY similar to Buffalax, almost so
much there's no doubt it's intentional; just like Buffalax they will use
nothing but Battle for four turns before letting loose with Battle, Battle,
!Riot, which once again is Battle * 1.5 like Buffalax' Special !Riot. When hit
by Magic, Buffalax responded with Sun Bath; Opinicus responds by casting Wind
Slash. The main difference is the fact that Opinicus 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 Fader of Vanish. Now, don't
let Cluck be the last monster on the battlefield, don't cast Magic on Opinicus,
and kill Hipocampus 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 capitalized to differentiate from the
item Warp Stone) 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 GrandTrain? 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), Warp Stone (common), Win: Warp Stone (always)
Absorbs: Poison, Weakness: Fire, Pearl, Earth
Status: Undead
Special: !Hit: Battle x 1.5
Sketch : !Hit, Battle
Control: Battle, !Hit
Vulnerable to: Slow
Attacks: Battle, Poison, Bio, GrandTrain, Virite, ChokeSmoke, Raid

Vanish/Doom: Yes
Since Hidon is Undead, Doom will restore the bastard. Use X-Zone if you want to.

Joker Doom: Yes
Virite and Raid both screw the RNG, but they won't be used by Hidon unless he's
alone. Go right ahead.

Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

Hidon attacks with Battle and Bio. That's what he does. He has a 33% shot at
Bio there, and a 66% one at Battle. 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 Wound status), Hidon will try to revive the fallen
character as a Zombie with the ChokeSmoke 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 GrandTrain, which will deal between 900 and 950 damage on your
sorry ass. 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
Virite (the MT Poison-elemental attack that misses a lot yet looks funky) and
Raid (the non-elemental HP draining spell). 80 seconds after the last Hidonite
perished, Hidon will call all Hidonites back into existence if all fell. If
you kill them all again, Hidon will cast GrandTrain again, and then revive them
again.

Throw up your barriers where possible (Haste 2, Big Guard, Golem/Fenrir, Kirin)
and set Slow on Hidon. Evasion of physical attacks is doubly important, as all
the Hidonites will try to set nasty status ailments on you with their Specials.
Now, it's time to take care of the Hidonites. While Bahamut's Sun Flare attack
is by far the best way to take care of them all at once, well-timed doses of
Cyan's Stunner attack, possibly paired with Edgar's AutoCrossbow or Flash
Tools, should get the job done. The most difficult Hidonite 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 Step Mine 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 Warp 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
Titanium on Imps. On the downsides, the Thornlet grants inherent Seizure 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 GrandTrain! As soon as that's all over, it's time to
defeat this wretched being. Tritoch's Tri-Dazer attack, Fire 2, Fire 3, and
Quake spells really hurt, as does Shadow's Fire Skean. Having Shadow Throw a
Flame Sabre, Gravity Rod, or Pearl Rod hurts Hidon very badly. Mog or Edgar as
Dragon Horn Dragoons paired with a Pearl Lance also deal great amounts of
damage. Mog should definitely refrain from using Dances; the Dusk Requiem
sucks. Bum 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 Step Mine. Obviously, if Strago is
level 43, his Stone attack beats all other options (except for Fire 3). Cyan
should probably stick to his Quadra Slam SwdTech skill, unless he has Fire 3.
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. Scrapper is nice enough, as it
allows Gau to absorb Poison, Bio, and Virite. Inherent Haste and Elf Fire
is good enough too. If you're not too concerned about that Poison ailment,
have Gau engage ChickenLip (don't forget to cast Float on yourselves beforehand,
since ChickenLip 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 GP 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: "Hidon's appeared
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 21
Coral for the living chest that has also reappeared. Re-fighting Hidon is
only important if you either haven't learned GrandTrain from the first fight
or need a Thornlet, possibly to wager at the Colosseum 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 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   Another Colosseum 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!

*** Heal Rod - Magus Rod         Opponent: Pug
 ** Cat Hood - Merit Award       Opponent: Hoover
  * Thornlet - Mirage Vest       Opponent: Opinicus
*** Minerva - Czarina Gown       Opponent: Pug
  * Nutkin Suit - Genji Armor    Opponent: Opinicus
 ** Snow Muffler - Charm Bangle  Opponent: Retainer
  * Sneak Ring - Thief Glove     Opponent: Tap Dancer
 ** Gauntlet - Thunder Shld      Opponent: Vectagoyle
  * Genji Glove - Thunder Shld   Opponent: Hemophyte
*** Megalixir - Tintinabar       Opponent: Siegfried

You should know all items except for the Merit Award (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 for a Czarina 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 Shlds (save one of each if you're going for
that 'perfect' end-game item list). You CAN steal Thunder Shlds in the final
dungeon, but it's a long way there.

- Heal Rod - Magus Rod       Opponent: Pug
- Minerva - Czarina Gown     Opponent: Pug

Pug is a bastard in the Colosseum. The trick here is that he will counter any
damage done to him with both !Cleaver (Battle * 8) and a Step Mine attack.
Death doesn't stop him from countering, and as it's highly unlikely you'll be
able to survive two Step Mine attacks (not even mentioning the !Cleaver attack
here), you must take down Pug in one shot, which is hard, as he's quite durable
and not vulnerable to ID. Obviously, he also attacks normally, with Battle,
!Cleaver, and the Break spell. First off, you'll want a Wall Ring, Jewel Ring,
Ribbon, Safety Bit, or Memento Ring to protect against Break. Second, make sure
you can survive the !Cleaver/Step Mine combo; Muscle Belts and Red Caps increase
your HP for Step Mine, and you'll either want to evade or nullify !Cleaver
entirely, so a high MBlock percentage or 255 Defense does the trick. On the
offense, the Offering is almost required, either with the Fixed Dice or a
ValiantKnife, whatever you have.

- Cat Hood - Merit Award     Opponent: Hoover

Hoover 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 Battle, !Crush (Battle * 5), Sand Storm, and Quake. Every damage
done will by countered with up to two Sand Storm attacks. Equip a Cherub Down
for the Quake spell, and a Thunder Shld to nullify the Sand Storm 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; Offering, possible
Genji Glove, and weapons with either the X-type ID property or the
Scimitar. Remember that the random Doom spell from the Soul Sabre and the Doom
Darts won't work with the Offering.

- Thornlet - Mirage Vest     Opponent: Opinicus
- Nutkin Suit - Genji Armor  Opponent: Opinicus

I discussed Opinicus earlier, so I won't do that now.

- Snow Muffler - Charm Bangle Opponent: Retainer
I discussed Retainer earlier, but the situation's so much different now I'd
like to mention him again; get your MBlock as high as possible on a character
that's bound to inflict a lot of damage on the guy. Fixed Dice, Offering,
Force Shld, Force Armor, Bard's Hat, and White Cape. The chances are pretty
good Setzer will outlive a Retainer this way.

- Sneak Ring - Thief Glove   Opponent: Tap Dancer
All Tap Dancer does is Battle, !WaistShake (sets Muddled), Slow 2, and Haste 2.
255 Defense and a Peace Ring/Ribbon to protect against !WaistShake and you're
set.

- Gauntlet - Thunder Shld    Opponent: Vectagoyle
Battle, Giga Volt, Aqua Rake, and Blaze. A combination of Thunder Shld 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 Spiraler.

- Genji Glove - Thunder Shld Opponent: Hemophyte
Hemophyte looks pretty neat, but that doesn't stop him from sucking all-round
in the Colosseum. Battle, !CursedGaze (sets Seizure), and Shock Wave are all
too useless to worry about, and Pearl can be reflected by a Wall Ring. Equip
one and win.

- Megalixir - Tintinabar     Opponent: Siegfried
Siegfried has three attacks: a 50% chance at Battle, a 25% Shrapnel 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 Stunner, DragoonBoots,
Dragon Horn, and as much MBlock% raising equipment as you can put on the guy.
If you're in luck, a random Stop spell coming from the Stunner will kick in
and disable Siegfried long enough for you to kill him.

And yes, that's a gun he's holding. Sweet, eh?

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 Muffler, and the female-only
equips (Minerva 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.
  An Enhancer/Magus Rod rather than the Tiger Fangs and a Genji Armor as
  opposed to the Red Jacket can really help him out both offensively and
  defensively.

- Gau has all the Defense and Magic Defense he could ever dream of, so it's
  just the weapons that's important here. Yes, with the Merit Award, Gau can
  suddenly equip weapons! In general, I've found that the Sniper (store-bought
  in Jidoor) is the best option for Gau to wield; it bumps his Battle Power up
  to the maximum of 255, randomly (50%) deals 3 times as much damage to
  Floating targets and 1.5 as much to other targets, and it's easy to acquire.
  Sadly, Gau cannot equip the Merit Award in the PSX releases of this game.

- Finally, Gogo can use the boost in armor as well; the Tao Robe and Dark Gear,
  both tied as most Defensive armor (Tao Robe is flat-out better, though), are
  even worse than the Red Jacket. The Genji Armor fits him nicely, and it gets
  a lot easier choosing SwdTech this way (although you shouldn't, as it blows as
  hard as ever).

Most players kinda frown upon using the Merit Award as it has the potential of
turning every character into a clone of each other. And yes, with the Merit
Award, a combo of Illumina, Force Shld, Bard's Hat, 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. :)

Gau and the Merit Award (and Gogo a little, sure):

So for the entire WoB and a large chunk of the WoR, Gau has been a guy who uses
an insanely strong magical attack 50 % of the time. But hey, times have changed;
all your characters are capable of this insane MT violence and Gau just has his
255 Defense to back him up. Does this mean he is offensively crippled? NO! Or
yes, if you're playing PSX. The key to offense on Gau in the latest stages no
longer comes from overpowered Rages. It comes from the Merit Award.

I can divide this section in two parts. First off, there's the Wind God. Wind
God Gau is easily set-up: give him the Merit Award and a Tempest for a weapon,
and have him Rage Stray Cat. Gau's physicals rise in power, there's that in the
first place. However, the Wind Slash attacks he produces are also affected by
the !Catscratch damage multiplier, so when a Wind Slash kicks in a !Catscratch
attack Gau performs what's basically a 192 Base Power MT attack with NO split
damage. To compare, Aero on multiple targets effectively has a Base Power of 62.
That's pretty freaking insane. Combine the Wind God with the Offering to have
him rise to unspeakable levels of damage (when he isn't whipping out puny
physicals). If no Offering is present, a Hero Ring works well enough.

But it needn't stop there with the Merit Award fun. Against bosses, pick an
elemental weakness and equip a weapon accordingly. Pearl Rod !Catscratches hurt
a LOT when they're hitting a weakness, let alone the Pearl x 4 that may kick in
25 % of the time. On Floating targets without elemental weaknesses (or multiple
on different parts, such as in the final battle), the Sniper rules supreme.
Versus human bosses, the Man Eater is also a great option as it works just as
well as exploiting a weakness.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 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 Fenix Downs, and if
you're planning to bring Shadow (which is a good idea), make sure you have
over 30 Fire Skeans 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; GrandTrain 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 an 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 Fenix Down and
some 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 Curley, Larry, and Moe. This is all a
reference to the Three Stooges with the same name, a well-known American comedy
act in the forties. 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.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.64.2   Cyan's Soul
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Allosaurus, Critic, Pan Dora, Parasite, Barb-e, Curly, Larry, Moe

  Lores:
  Condemned, L.? Pearl, Pearl Wind, Roulette

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.

Barb-e, Critic (5/16)
Critic, Pan Dora, Pan Dora, Pan Dora (5/16)
Allosaurus, Parasite, Parasite, Parasite (5/16)
Allosaurus (1/16)

Allosaurus is a crazy dino, that's for sure. It does nothing but try to
poison you, and let's be honest with ourselves here Allo; 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 !PoisonClaw
and attack with Virite. Allosaurus is weak against Fire- and Pearl-elemental
attacks and is vulnerable to ID attacks. The Anthology Bestiary mentions that
Allosaurus is 'normally' human, but transforms into an Allosaurus in-battle,
spewing poisonous breath (Virite).

Critic 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 L? Pearl (33% chance), and
every third turn may contain Condemned (33% chance). If you want to, wait
around until she has taught these Lores to Strago. Other attacks include
Battle and !Slip Seed, which sets Seizure. She's a rare breed, having no
palette swaps whatsoever. She's also rather weak defensively; Condemned
shouldn't worry you, Roulette is a nuisance that's quickly recovered from and
L? Pearl, should it connect, won't do all that much damage (about 550 when
hitting multiple normally-equipped targets, 1100 on a single one).

Pan Dora 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; Evil Toot
may set one out of the following status ailments on every party member: Dark,
Poison, Imp, Condemned, Berserk, Muddled, Seizure, 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 Evil Toot attacks. Ribbons are a must. The other
attack that's nasty is Absolute0; 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 shouldn't be that much of a concern.

Parasite are Aspik palette swaps. They're almost entirely alike. They attack
with Battle and !Mind Stop, which sets Stop (Aspik's !Numbspines also did this).
Every Fight command will be countered with a 66% shot at Giga Volt, 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.

Barb-e 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. Barb-E 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 Love Token attack. About Love Token:

Love Token forces the affected character to take physical hits for the caster,
like the caster is a Near Fatal character and the affected has a True Knight
equipped. The affected will only absorb Fight/Battle 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 Mute. Barb-e'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 Muddle are NOT nice when you're by yourself.
Fire-elemental attacks are really strong, so Tritoch's Tri-Dazer, Fire 3,
Fire Skeans, and Fire Dance should help you combat these pests. That Ribbon
really is necessary; it protects against Barb-e's Imp and !Slap, Allosaurus's
attempts at poisoning you, and Pan Dora's Evil Toot horror. You can protect
against Roulette and Condemned with Memento Rings on Shadow and Relm, and
Safety Bits and Relic Rings on the rest.

If you're shooting for a full Rage list for some reason, make sure to encounter
Critic and Allosaurus 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
**********************************

Curley
Level: 47, HP: 15000, MP: 2000
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Fire, Weakness: Ice, Water
Status: Float
Special: !Hit: Battle x 2
Sketch : !Hit, Battle
Control: Battle, !Hit
Vulnerable to: Sleep
Attacks: Battle, Fire 2, Fire 3, Slow, Stop, Mute, Rflect, Life 2, Pearl Wind,
         Delta Hit

Vanish/Doom: Yes
No restrictions.

Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

Larry
Level: 47, HP: 10000, MP: 2000
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Ice, Wind, Weakness: Fire
Status: Float
Special: !Hit: Battle x 2
Sketch : !Hit, Battle
Control: Battle, !Hit
Vulnerable to: Death, Condemned, Mute, Muddled, Slow
Attacks: Battle, Ice 2, Ice 3, Rflect, Delta Hit

Vanish/Doom: Yes
No restrictions.

Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

Moe
Level: 47, HP: 12500, MP: 2000
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Lightning
Status: Float
Special: !Hit: Battle x 2
Sketch : !Hit, Battle
Control: Battle, !Hit
Vulnerable to: Berserk, Stop
Attacks: Battle, Bolt 2, Bolt 3, Safe, Haste, Rflect, Shell, Cure 2, Delta Hit

Vanish/Doom: Yes
No restrictions.

Joker Doom: Yes
Mute and Life 2 could screw with your RNG, but Mute won't be used by Curley
until the second turn and Life 2 only appears when either Larry or Moe bites
the dust.

Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

Curley is the strongest of the three Dream Stooges, and also the most vital
one to take down. He has a random shot at casting Pearl Wind every now and
again, which heals the other Stooges and himself. Even worse, he will cast
Life 2 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 Curley will always immediately make sure this
is never the case with Life 2). When he's hit four times by a Magic spell,
he'll cast Rflect on himself and start bouncing Fire 2 and Fire 3 spells
off himself. When all three Stooges are alive, he'll cast Delta Hit every
30 seconds; Delta Hit 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 Fire 2 spell.

Larry 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 Mute, and Muddled is
crippling too. He's the Ice-elemental of the three. Like Curley, he'll cast
Delta Hit when all three Stooges are there and 30 seconds have passed since
the beginning of the battle/the last time Delta Hit appeared. He'll cast
Rflect when he's hit by Magic four times and start reflecting Ice 2 and Ice 3
spells off himself. Larry will normally just attack with Battle; he'll
start using Ice 2 and Ice 3 spells when one Stooge is down. He'll counter with
a 33% Ice 2 spell. The interesting thing about Larry is that he may run away
in the middle of a battle. When one of the Stooges is down, and Larry 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.

Moe 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 Hit after 30 seconds, will cast Rflect on himself
after four Magic spells, and start casting Bolt 2 and Bolt 3 on himself which
bounce off; normally he uses support spells (Safe, Shell, Haste, and Cure 2),
but he will start to cast offensive spells (Bolt 2 and Bolt 3) when one of
the Stooges is down. Might counter any attack with a Bolt 2 spell. The boring
one of the three.

A note about Delta Hit: when the global battle timer reaches 30, the first
Stooge to act will attack with Delta Hit. 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 Hit will appear, not three.

How to fight this battle? Set Mute on Larry (the Mute spell is obviously the
most prominent way, but Strago's Sour Mouth is also a highly acceptable means;
it'll also set Muddled) and Berserk on Moe (with the Bserk spell, possibly).
Don't kill off Larry with a quick Doom spell just yet; our main priority is
Curley. Cast a Sleep spell on him (once again, Sour Mouth works there) and
pound him with magical attacks, preferably Ice-elemental attacks. When he's
dead, abuse Larry's vulnerability to ID attacks and dispatch of him quickly.
What you have left is a Berserked Moe who is no threat whatsoever.

It's really an easy battle; barriers like Big Guard, Haste 2, Moon Song,
Earth Wall, and Life Guard are nice, but really not necessary. You don't get
any items for beating the Dream Stooges, but you'll get 6 Magic Points.

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, Rain Man, Suriander, Pan Dora, Parasite, Barb-e

  Container contents:
  Flame Shld, Genji Glove, Ice Shld, X-Potion

Inside the cars:
Rain Man, Rain Man (5/16)
Samurai, Rain Man, Rain Man (5/16)
Barb-e, Samurai, Suriander (5/16)
Suriander, Pan Dora, 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 !Fatal, 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.

Rain Man are crazy on the elementals. Weak to Ice, Pearl, and Water, almost
every character should be able to nail these guys' weaknesses one way or
another. They attack with physical attacks (!Umbrawler sets Sleep) and Flash
Rain, the MT Ice-/Water-elemental attack. Not very strong, but strong enough
to worry about. When Rain Men are alone, they'll use Bolt 3, which is even
more of a nuisance. Their vulnerable to the Muddled status, so the NoiseBlaster
and the L.3 Muddle Lore keep them busy while you kill them.

Suriander surely surprises scarce sources; boring beyond borders, bestowing
bruises by Battle, sometimes Sneeze. It also uses !Yawn (sets Sleep).
ID-protected. The bloated creature is weak to Pearl-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 Sneeze attack, take advantage of
that.

(     LOCOMOTIVE    )
(  SAVE POINT CAR   )
(      MAZE CAR     ) - Contains an Ice Shld
( LUMP OF METAL CAR ) - Contains a Genji Glove and a Flame Shld
(   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 Shld
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: "Memorize the positions. This knowledge might save you."
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:
  Sky Cap, PlutoArmor, Io

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 Fight 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 Heal Force.

Monster formations:
Io (6/16)
PlutoArmor, PlutoArmor (5/16)
PlutoArmor, Sky Cap (5/16)

PlutoArmor attacks with Battle, !Crash (Battle x 2), and Tek Laser. When it's
alone it'll start using the nastier machine attacks you'll be recognizing by
now: Launcher and Shrapnel (and Tek Laser, still). When hit by Fight, it may
counter with either Launcher (on the entire party) or Shrapnel (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).
Shrapnel really is powerful and Launcher annoying as hell (for those of you
that forgot, Launcher = 8 x Demi on random targets), so don't let PlutoArmor
alone.

Sky Cap is much less dangerous. It'll use R.Polarity and Tek Laser. When alone,
it may start to attack with Missile - but compared to PlutoArmor's Launcher,
that's nothing - and !SlipAnchor, which sets Seizure.

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 (Battle x 3)
for three consecutive turns; !Crush isn't that powerful. The fourth turn, it'll
either use WaveCannon or Diffuser. 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
Heal Force and Bolt Beam in this dungeon, as Bolt Beam hits the weakness of
all the enemies here. TekMissile is more powerful than Bolt Beam though, so
Terra should stick to that. All enemies can be taken out by Terra's X-Fer, and
both PlutoArmor and Sky Cap fall for Confuser. PlutoArmor can be crippled by
status ailments such as Mute, Stop, and Berserk while Sky Cap 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 crossa 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, Rain Man, Suriander, Pan Dora, Parasite, Barb-e, SoulSaver, WrexSoul

  Miscellaneous items:
  Pod Bracelet (guaranteed WrexSoul drop), Memento Ring (rare WrexSoul steal),
  Aura (obtained from Cyan)

  Magicite:
  Alexandr

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.

(Everywhere, including the Save Point room and the throne room)
Rain Man, Rain Man (5/16)
Samurai, Rain Man, Rain Man (5/16)
Barb-e, Samurai, Suriander (5/16)
Suriander, Pan Dora, 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:)  Excellent concentration! With a little more practice, you'll be
         Doma's best fencer!
(Owain:) Yippee! Papa praised me! I'm gonna go tell Mama!

Outside, near the moat, to the right:

(Cyan and Owain by the side of the moat)
(Owain, jumping up and down:) Papa...fishing is boring!
(Cyan:) This is part of your training. We must all learn patience.
(Owain, calming down:) I love fishing!

Inside, in the room where Cyan found Elayne and Owain dead:

(Elayne:) Sweetheart... ... Do you love me?
(Cyan, spazzing:) What do you want from me? A soldier doesn't say things
                  like that!
(Cyan, calmed:) I... ...I...loveth you. ...More than anything...
(Owain, appearing from the bed:) I heard that! Yipee! "I loveth you...I loveth
                                 you!... Papa loves Mama!"
(Elayne:) Owain!! Hush!!
(Owain:) I heard that!
(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 an 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 Fenix Down and some 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: Pod Bracelet (always)
Absorbs: Fire, Pearl, Weakness: Ice
Special: !KarmicBlow: sets Condemned
Sketch : !KarmicBlow, Battle
Control: Battle, !KarmicBlow
Vulnerable to: Nothing
Attacks: Battle, Bolt 3, Zinger

Vanish/Doom: No
Immunity to Clear status

SoulSaver
Level: 41, HP: 3066, MP: 566
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Fire, Pearl, Weakness: Ice
Special: !MagicDrain: Drains MP
Sketch : !MagicDrain, Battle
Control: Battle, !MagicDrain
Vulnerable to: Petrify, Death, Condemned, Berserk, Muddled, Slow
Attacks: Battle, !MagicDrain, Fire 3, Ice 3, Bolt 3, Rflect, Cure

Vanish/Doom: Yes
No restrictions.

Joker Doom: 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 SoulSavers are the goons. At the start of the battle,
WrexSoul will cast Zinger 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 Wound, Petrify, or Zombie status. When he's out he'll
just sit there for a while, attack with Battle or casting Bolt 3. When either
one or two SoulSaver(s) has the Reflect status, he'll cast Bolt 3 on it so
it'll bounce off to your party. Like any proper boss, he'll counter Fight with
a 33% shot at Battle.

The SoulSavers 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 !MagicDrain to drain you of your
MP (and with a 50 Battle Power, their !MagicDrain is really quite strong).
They'll cast Rflect on themselves as soon as WrexSoul is around, allowing him
to cast Bolt 3 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 X-Zone. The SoulSavers restore themselves over and over again, but
when you successfully suck both SoulSavers into the parallel dimension with
X-Zone, they can't do that and you'll just win the battle. The downside here
is that you won't win the Pod Bracelet from WrexSoul, as you never actually
defeat him.

Normally, you'll just want to completely ignore the SoulSavers. Minerva
wearers take no damage and anybody with an elemental shield should take
very little damage all-round anyway (ThundrShlds are the best, as Bolt 3 is
cast most often). First, throw up the usual barriers; Haste 2, Earth Wall,
Big Guard, Moon Song, Life Guard, whathaveyou. Now, just check each character
by killing him/her and reviving him/her. Strago can commit easy suicide with
Exploder (careful: Pep Up removes him from the battle; you don't want that).
Shadow can throw Ninja Stars 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 Fight 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 Soft or Remedy Item or
Remedy spell. If the targeted character doesn't have too much MBlock,
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 Ice 3 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 Ninja Stars
(Blizzard Swords hurt a LOT), and Edgar's Drill are good ones. Barrier-piercing
attacks can even by MT'd; Sun Flare, GrandTrain, and Gau's Tyranosaur-induced
Meteo attacks hurt badly. If you have the Flare spell, it's better than an
Ice 3 spell if you have the choice. The pure magicians here should cast
Flare or Ice 3, or simply resort to attacking. If Strago hasn't learned
GrandTrain (or Quasar) yet, Step Mine 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 Bum
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 Block
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 Aura Knife, and now that Cyan has cleared his soul and redeemed himself,
he'll gain control over ALL the SwdTech skills he hasn't acquired yet, up to
#8, Cleave. Contrary to fairly popular belief, he won't just learn Cleave;
he'll learn all SwdTech skills. It's likely you'll gain SwdTech skills #7
and #8 at this point. Number 7, Quadra Slice, is a physical, barrier-piercing
attack that hits four times and is pretty powerful; a level 40 Cyan with a
Hero Ring will reach a total of 8000 damage. Cleave 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 Alexandr, the only Esper to teach
the Pearl spell.

If you play the game like me, you turned the Murasame you found on the Floating
Continent into an Aura, the Aura into a Strato, and the Strato into a Pearl
Lance a long time ago, and this Aura is the first strong Knife you see again. Do
turn it into a Strato at the Colosseum (fight a Rhyos) if this is the case;
Cyan will appreciate it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.65.1   The road to the Ancient Castle and the fight with Master Pug
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Figaliz, Goblin, Enuo, Master Pug

  Container contents:
  Doom Darts, Ether, Magicite, Wing Edge, X-Potion, Monster-in-a-box (Master
  Pug)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Gradius (guaranteed Master Tonberry drop)

  Lores:
  CleanSweep, L.5 Doom, L.4 Flare, L.3 Muddle, Step Mine, Dischord

If you had paid one hundred thousand GP to one of the thieves at the foot of
the Fanatics 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 Pearl element is very
strong here, though. Pearl 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,
Blow Fish, 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 L.3 Muddle,
L.4 Flare, L.5 Doom, and Step Mine here (if you missed it earlier), as well as
a Lore that's probably new to you, CleanSweep.

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.

(All three caves, but not the Save Point room)
Enuo, Goblin, Figaliz (6/16)
Enuo, Enuo (5/16)
Goblin, Figaliz, Figaliz (5/16)

Figaliz is short for Figaro Lizard. They're entirely too much like Crawler
enemies, only much harder to take down. !Gunk causes the Poison status, and
they'll use either Raid or Dischord. He doesn't have a weakness to the Pearl
element, so I would suggest barrier-piercing magical attacks and physical
attacks of any kind; ID-attacks such as Gau's Wild Cat-induced Blaster attack,
X-Zone, and Cyan's Cleave SwdTech will get the job done. Remember that Figaliz
is Reflective though, so Doom and Break will bounce.

Goblin is a nasty enemy that delights in attacking physically with some force.
Battle isn't that tough, but !Zap (Battle x 4) really packs a punch. Whenever
a Goblin is alone, he will start casting L.3 Muddle, L.4 Flare, or
L.5 Doom 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 Goblin's weaknesses
by attacking with Pearl Lances, Dragon Claws, and Pearl Rods. The random
Pearl 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 Battle or !Slime, which sets Slow. When an Enuo is
alone though, it'll use Aqua Rake or CleanSweep, a new Lore for Strago.
Wretched Defense, weakness to Pearl and ID attacks; abuse them at your heart's
content.

CleanSweep is an MT Water-elemental Lore for Strago. You're probably wondering
why you need another one of those; Aqua Rake is already there. The trick is
that:

A, CleanSweep isn't partly Wind-elemental,
B, CleanSweep hits both sides in a Pincer attack, and
C, while CleanSweep is weaker, it doesn't split damage on multiple targets,
   making it stronger than Aqua Rake versus multiple targets. Aero 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 and Trump's X-type ID property,
and the fact it deals the same amount of damage from the Back Row. The chest
to the right contains an 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 Pug, the toughest monster-in-a-box you'll
find in this game.

Master Pug
Level: 73, HP: 22000, MP: 1200
Steal: Megalixir (rare), Elixir (common), Win: Graedus (always)
Absorbs: Water
Special: !Cleaver: Battle x 8
Sketch : !Cleaver, Battle
Control: Battle, !Cleaver
Vulnerable to: Poison, Sleep, Slow
Attacks: Battle, !Cleaver, Bio, Fire 3, Ice 3, Bolt 3, Pearl, Quake, W Wind,
CleanSweep, Step Mine, WallChange

Vanish/Doom: Yes
No restrictions.

Joker Doom: Yes
Pearl and W Wind both screw over your RNG, but won't be used on MP's first turn.

Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

Master Pug is very mean. He'll start the battle off with a Battle attack, but
then the madness begins. Every 15 seconds, Master Pug takes a step forward.
After seven steps he'll use !Cleaver 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 !Cleaver is used.

Every step is accompanied with the ever-frustrating WallChange attack. Master
Pug 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:        Fire 3      (66%)
Weakness to Fire:       Ice 3       (66%)
Weakness to Wind:       Bolt 3      (66%)
Weakness to Pearl:      Bio         (66%)
Weakness to Lightning:  W Wind      (66%)
Weakness to Poison:     Pearl       (66%)
Weakness to Water:      Quake       (66%)
Weakness to Earth:      CleanSweep  (66%)

One of the worst parts, though, is his Step Mine 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 Pug, 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;
Strago's Sour Mouth Lore also works (sets Poison too, by the way).

When you're done, you win a Graedus, a Pearl-elemental Dirk that can be
equipped by pretty much everybody. It's a powerful weapon but doesn't have any
interesting properties. Its Pearl-elemental nature can make it useful in
this dungeon, though.

The only other chest in this cave contains the Doom Darts, 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 X-type ID property, but it doesn't
boost any stats. In the PSX releases, you'll find the Trump here; it's the
same weapon, but called Trump in the recent releases (while the WoR Kohlingen
store-bought Trump is called Doom Darts there).

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 shard of Magicite (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 KatanaSoul
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Samurai, Suriander, Lethal Wpn, Boxed Set, Figaliz, Goblin, Enuo, Barb-e,
  KatanaSoul, Blue Drgn

  Container contents:
  Blizzard Orb, Gold Hairpin, Punisher, X-Ether, Monster-in-a-box (KatanaSoul)

  Miscellaneous items:
  Offering (guaranteed KatanaSoul drop), Scimitar (guaranteed Blue Drgn drop)

  Lores:
  CleanSweep, Blow Fish, L.5 Doom, L.4 Flare, L.3 Muddle, Dischord, Rippler

  Magicite:
  Odin, Raiden

(Outside of the Ancient Castle)
Goblin, Figaliz, Figaliz (6/16)
Goblin, Goblin (5/16)
Barb-e, Samurai, Suriander

(Inside of the Ancient Castle)
Lethal Wpn (5/16)
Boxed Set (5/16)
Boxed Set, Boxed Set, Figaliz, Figaliz (5/16)
Boxed Set, Boxed Set, Boxed Set, Boxed Set (1/16)

If you forgot, Barb-e, 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.

Lethal Wpn looks totally badass. With 9200 it's got quite the amount of HP,
it's immune to every status effect except for ID (and Condemned) and has some
nasty attacks up its sleeves. Normally this is where I say he will normally
use Battle and !Metal Arm (Battle * 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 Diffuser. Launcher is
the worst out of the bunch (Diffuser 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 X-Zone
flies right past that, as does Gau's Wild Cat/Spek Tor-induced Blaster attacks,
his Rhodox-induced Snare, ID coming from weapons like the Assassin and Striker,
etc. If you lack all that, focus on Lightning- and Water-elemental attacks
that defy the existence of Reflect; Water Edge, Tri-Dazer, Aqua Rake, you know
what to do.

Boxed Set 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 Battle/!Mirror Orb (Battle * 3)
zealot, he'll switch to Cold Dust and Meteo when alone. Meteo will hurt real
badly, just across the 1000 HP line. Cold Dust induces Freeze like always and
is a pain in the ass. A common weakness to Pearl-elemental attacks and ID
attacks combined with a low Defense rating should make it obvious how to
treat this bugger. You can Mute them, so if you're not sure about them you
could always summon Siren or have Strago use a Sour Mouth attack to stop them
from using their most dangerous attack. Of special note is the fact that both
L.3 Muddle and L.5 Doom will work on these guys (also on the Figaliz 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?

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 Edge and Ogre Nix, it has an MP-driven auto-critical.
It doesn't have any real uses except if you brought Relm or a GrandTrain-less
Strago along in this dungeon, as it's the strongest attacking Rod there is
(although the Pearl Rod is hitting a weakness most of the time at this point).

To the left is a chest containing the legendary Offering, one of the most
talked-about Relics in the game. Guarding this item is a monster-in-a-box,
KatanaSoul. I talked about Master Pug being the toughest monster in a box, but
KatanaSoul is up there, competing for that title.

KatanaSoul
Level: 61, HP: 37620, MP: 7400
Steal: Strato (rare), Murasame (common), Win: Offering (always)
Weakness: Poison
Special: !SlayerEdge: sets Death
Sketch : !SlayerEdge, Battle
Control: Battle, !SlayerEdge
Vulnerable to: Poison, Muddled
Attacks: Battle, !SlayerEdge, Blow Fish, Shock Wave, Item (Fire Skean), Item
(Water Edge), Item (Bolt Edge), Throw (Ashura), Throw (Imperial), GP Rain

Vanish/Doom: Yes
No restrictions.

Joker Doom: Yes
Blow Fish and Water Edge screw over the RNG. Water Edge has a 33 % chance of
being KatanaSoul's starting attack.

Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

First off a note of doom: KatanaSoul 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
Offering you win when you're still living and he's not.

KatanaSoul 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 Battle,
any of the three offensive ninja scrolls (Fire Skean, Water Skean, or Bolt
Edge), and Gale Cut, Blow Fish, or Shock Wave. 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 "KatanaSoul's power up!" will appear, and he will self-
apply the Image and Reflect statuses, making him immune to every blockable
Fight 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 Fight, Magic, and Lore with a Battle, but that's not the purpose
of his counter script there; when hit six times by Fight, he'll use
!SlayerEdge on a random party member, which is a simple one-hit Wound 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 Imperial (weakest ninja Dirk) or Ashura (weakest 'katana'
Knife) at a random party member, doing about 8000 damage to him/her. He'll then
spend the next turn using Setzer's GP Rain, dealing exactly 915 HP worth of
damage to four party members (1220 to three if one is still down from the thrown
blade).

KatanaSoul's glaring weakness is the combination of vulnerability to the
Muddled status and its own Special, !SlayerEdge. By setting Muddled with the
Muddle spell, Strago's Sour Mouth Lore, Stray's Cat Rain, Edgar's NoiseBlaster,
or whathaveyou, KatanaSoul has a 50% chance of killing himself with
!SlayerEdge. Sketching nets you a 25% shot at !SlayerEdge 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; Big Guard (for Shell) or
ZoneSeek's Wall, Haste 2, Kirin's Life Guard, etc. Golem and Fenrir help
against !SlayerEdge, but you shouldn't see it directed at you anyway.

Now, let loose with your characters. There's no reason to use Fight, Magic, or
Lore on KatanaSoul. Terra, Celes, and Strago should really just wait out this
battle. Attack with Bum Rush Blitzes, Cyan's SwdTech skills (Quadra Slice is
nice), Jump attacks, the Drill Tool, etc. If you're really unlucky and
brought all the wrong characters, just Fight (!SlayerEdge every sixth Fight
attack isn't all that bad). When KatanaSoul 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 Pod Bracelet or Marvel Shoes).

After KatanaSoul dies, you'll receive an Offering! The Offering is often
misused and - dare I say it - abused. So, it's time to sit down and discuss
the Offering a little.

What does the Offering do? It makes Fight attack four times in a row rather
than one. It also makes every Fight attack become unblockable. The Offering
Fight 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 Tempest'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 Offering
would better stick to Fight as things like Quadra Slice, Drill, Suplex, and
Pummel all halve in power.

An often-heard combination is Genji Glove and Offering, 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 Bum Rush, Quadra Slice, 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 Offering? The odd weapons. The damage
outcome of the Fixed Dice isn't cut by the Offering, so Setzer equipped with
the Offering and the Fixed Dice will become exactly four times as powerful as
a non-Offering Fixed Dice Setzer, all for the loss of only a single Relic slot.
The same goes with Locke's ValiantKnife, but I'll explain about that weapon
when you get there. Cyan's Tempest 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 Scimitar)
don't lose their ID properties, so you'll have four consecutive shots at a 25%
immediate dispatch. Thiefknives still attempt to steal and Hawk Eye/Sniper will
still randomly inflict more damage.

A quick note about the Thiefknives: the game can only store a single stolen item
per attack, so if you combine the Offering with Thiefknives 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:

You found an ancient text at the library, right?

And one of the scholars up in Figaro Castle will change his line to this:

Ancient texts I'm studying speak of a 1000 year-old city beneath the sand.
I wonder what this means, "...when the queen stands and takes 5 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 True Edge and tutor of
the awesome Quick spell.

Also, the Blue Drgn.

If you have any Imp equipment (TortoiseShld, Titanium, Imp's Armor), throw
it on! The Blue Drgn is all about Water-elemental attacks, and that's what
Imp equipment absorbs. Don't equip Ice Shields, as Aqua Rake will hit twice
as hard when you don't have any Imp equipment; Flame Shlds are even worse,
as they are weak against Water-elemental attacks in general. Thunder Shlds are
great as they null the effects of Aqua Rake (as it's part Wind-elemental) and
halve all damage done by Flash Rain (as it's part Ice-elemental); Force Shlds
halve the damage done by Water-elemental attacks in general, too. Minerva
wearers shine once again; they null Aqua Rake and Flash Rain and halve
damage done by all other Water-elemental attacks. Snow Mufflers of Gau, Mog,
and Umaro will allow them to absorb the Flash Rain attacks. Relics protecting
from Seizure (that'd be Ribbon, Cure Ring and Marvel Shoes) are great, too.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.65.3   The battle with the Blue Drgn
**********************************

Blue Drgn
Level: 65, HP: 26900, MP: 3800
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Scimitar (always)
Absorbs: Water, Weakness: Lightning
Special: !Hit: Drains MP
Sketch : Blaster, Ice 3
Control: Battle, !Hit
Vulnerable to: Poison, Slow
Attacks: Battle, Slow, CleanSweep, Aqua Rake, Rippler, Acid Rain, Flash Rain

Vanish/Doom: Yes
No restrictions.

Joker Doom: Yes
Blue Drgn won't use attacks that screw over the RNG. As long as you don't
either, you'll be fine for the J. Dooming.

Ragnarok's Metamorph: Yes
12.5% chance of obtaining one of the following:

Crystal
Crystal Shld
Crystal Helm
Crystal Mail

As soon as the battle starts, the Blue Drgn will attack with CleanSweep. If
Strago is in your party and hasn't learned CleanSweep from either the Enuo
random encounters or the Master Pug enemy yet, you're set. Normally the
blasted creature will attack with Battle and Acid Rain; believe me,
Seizure will get very annoying very quickly if you don't have protection
against the status. When Blue Drgn dives beneath 16384 HP, he'll also start
attacking with Aqua Rake and Flash Rain. Every 40 seconds, Blue Drgn will
have stored enough water for a CleanSweep attack as well. All in all, you
will be continuously pounded by MT attacks. Every Magic spell or damaging
attack may be countered by Battle, as usual.

The difficult part of Blue Drgn's AI script is the Rippler spell. To put it
simply (or as simply as possible), Blue Drgn 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 Drgn isn't already affected by the Haste status.
3: If Blue Drgn isn't affected by the Safe status.
4: If it has been two turns ago (not counting the 40-second CleanSweep attack)
    that Blue Drgn used Rippler.

If all those conditions are met, Blue Drgn 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; Big Guard, Wall,
Life Guard, Earth Wall, Moon Song, 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; Tritoch's Tri-Dazer isn't absorbed, so that works; Bolt 3 is
stronger, though. Bolt Edges work great, but ThunderBlades 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 Bum Rush beats all, like usual. Setzer's GP Rain
is still stronger than Slot, while the Fixed Dice (especially when paired
with the Offering) is superior to both of them. Cyan can't really do his
job as usual (you can set him up as a utility man). Gau's Aspik Rage
allows him to absorb all Water-elemental attacks while making him attack
with Giga Volt, a strong Lightning-elemental attack that will really
hurt Blue Drgn. Actaneon and Exocite also allow Ragers to absorb Water-
elemental attacks.

You know, it's not really that the Blue Drgn is weak; no, with regular MT
magical spells with some power behind them and no crippling status
vulnerabilities, the Blue Drgn 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 Bum Rush and Dragon Horn Dragoons weren't enough, you get to use
Fixed Dice/Offering, equip armor like the Minerva and Cat Hood, and get access
to all the awesome no-questions-asked attacks such as GrandTrain and Bum
Rush.

When you have defeated the Blue Drgn, you'll be rewarded with the Scimitar,
one of Ted Woolsey's biggest goofs. The Japanese name of Odin's attack is
'Zantetsuken', 'Iron Cutting Blade'. The Scimitar was also called Zantetsuken;
the Scimitar is therefore Odin's weapon. The link is lost on the average
American/European gamer though, as Scimitar/Atom Edge doesn't ring any
immediate bells other than the slicing effect of both. 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 Scimitar does).

With Raiden obtained and the Blue Drgn 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]

"The island is home to a monster that could suck up an entire ocean. What do
you suppose might happen if it sucked you inside? That much I don't know!"

Now here's an odd monster indeed. It absorbs Ice-elemental attacks, is weak
against Pearl-elemental attacks, and nullifies all other elements. And all it
seems to use is a rare Demi spell and the Engulf attack. Engulf is pretty much
the same as Sneeze; 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 Engulf 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, Ogor, Wart Puck, Karkass, Tap Dancer, Woolly

  Container contents:
  Ether, FakeMustache, Genji Armor, Hero Ring, Magical Brsh, Tack Star, Thunder
  Shld, Zephyr Cape

  Miscellaneous items:
  Ashura (common Ogor steal), Morning Star (rare Wart Puck steal), Imperial
  (common Woolly steal), Murasame (rare Ogor steal), Tack Star (rare Covert
  steal), Hardened (rare Woolly steal), Soul Sabre (rare Karkass 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 Shld is a grand on everybody you can find; NEVER use Ice Shlds and
Flame Shlds, as the former is weak to Wind Slash and the latter is weak against
the Water Edge (and both will appear here). Equips Ribbons where possible;
you'll want something to block Ogor's !Zombite (Zombie) and Karkass's !Figaro
Tea (Imp). The Ribbon also protects against the Woolly's !Frenzy, which sets
Berserk, but that's not really a threat.

Monster formations:

All caves except the last:
Karkass, Karkass (5/16)
Wart Puck, Ogor (5/16)
Tap Dancer, Covert, Covert (5/16)
Woolly, Woolly, Karkass, Karkass (1/16)

Gogo's spot:
Ogor, Ogor (5/16)
Covert, Ogor (5/16)
Wart Puck, Wart Puck (5/16)
Tap Dancer, Woolly (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 Skean at you (all three may appear).
MT'd, Wind Slash and the Skeans are equally strong. When hit by a Thrown weapon,
Covert will respond by Throwing a Shuriken or Ninja Star of himself; avoid this
at all cost. Finally, every Fight attack may make Covert use !Disappear on
himself, which sets Clear. Cast Sleep, Stop, Slow 2, or Bserk 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 Pearl so the appropriate Pearl spell will
serve you well here coming from a decent caster.

Ogor is annoying, as he will use up to three !Zombite attacks every turn,
which can quickly turn very fatal for you if you're not protected from Zombie.
When hit by a Magic spell, Ogor has a 33% chance of countering with the Bio
spell, and every other kind of damage may be countered with a Battle attack.
Ogor is weak to Lightning- and Pearl-elemental attacks, and both Stop and
Bserk will stop him from using those blasted !Zombites.

Wart Puck: the only non-humanoid enemy in the cave. As much Battle/Special
cannon fodder as they come this far in the game. !Yawn sets Sleep and is
randomly used next to Battle, every turn. When hurt, Wart Puck may counter with
an annoying Sneeze attack, so you'll want to take Wart Puck out in one shot to
make sure nobody misses out on Magic Points. Immune to ID and every status
ailment except for Sleep, your best bet is an ST Fire 3 spell as Wart Puck is
weak to Fire-elemental attacks.

Karkass, like all Ing palette swaps, is a pain. The only Undead random encounter
immune to ID attacks (outside of the Fanatics Tower); Karkass is the superior
opponent. Every Fight attack may be countered by Battle, every Magic spell
will be countered by either a Bolt 3, Break, or Flare spell, and everything
that damages Karkass and is neither Fight nor Magic will be countered by a
Lifeshaver attack. In between of all the counter-attacks, Karkass will only
use !Figaro Tea, which sets Imp. Use Life spells to take them out cleanly,
and strong Fight attacks also work (you'll want to avoid the magical counter-
attacks, they're quite strong). Since Karkass is weak against Pearl-elemental
attacks, so next to Fixed Dice, Pearl Lance Dragon Horn Dragoons are very nice
(note that Jump will be countered by Lifeshaver if the Karkasses survive the
slaughter).

Tap Dancer uses Battle and !WaistShake, 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."

Woolly 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 Fight,
they'll counter with Battle. 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
Pearl (normal reaction). There's no reason to be equipped with ANY weapon that's
not non-elemental or Pearl-elemental at this point, but anyway. Woolly make
a great Rage, casting Ice 3 randomly and absorbing six elements (the Fire
weakness tends to be overruled by Gau's Snow Muffler), 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 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 Brsh for Relm to the left (like all Brush weapons: utter
crap). The Genji Armor is the ultimate heavy-class armor. Minerva 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 MBlock and
all), but all in all, Genji Armor is awesome.

To the far left is a chest containing a FakeMustache. 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 Cape. Wait for the ceiling to fall, and before it moves back up again,
grab the next chest, a Hero 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 Tack Star 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 Shld. 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 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 Warp Stone or the Warp 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 Tao Robe, which
stinks. It gives a + 5 to its Magic Power and + 10% MBlock, 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 GP. 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 Helmet/Dark Hood). Since it has NO elemental
resistances whatsoever this way, and it comes nowhere near pulling off the
Force Shld (a Defense rating of 130? Are you insane?), I suggest a Thunder
Shld. An Aegis Shld 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 (Pod Bracelet, Marvel Shoes,
hell, even Guard Ring) really helps.

What skills to give to Gogo? Let's face it; the thing isn't too hot on the
stats. Worst Vigor 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, Pearl) in quite some power, and it's
targetable.

Gogo makes as adequate a Stealer as Locke. It can equip the Sneak Ring, and
only the character's level is used in the Steal chance, so there's no problem
there.

Gogo will probably never use SwdTech. Not only does it require you to use a
blade with the SwdTech ability (probably the Graedus), 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 AutoCrossbow,
Flash outclassed by GrandTrain and Air Blade, and we don't get excited over
MT poisoning anymore either. What's left in Tools? MT unblockable Muddled
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 Shld for an Aegis Shld 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/Tao Robe combo, that's a +12 on Magic Power right there.
Bum Rush hurts a LOT, and Air Blade isn't too bad.

Lore's eh...multiple status effects from Sour Mouth is great, Big Guard is
great, Pearl Wind isn't directly influenced by Gogo's bad stats either, and
GrandTrain is pretty darn powerful so even when Gogo's GrandTrain 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, L? Pearl, CleanSweep) 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
GP Rain 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 (Sun 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 Thiefknives, unsupported by Sneak Rings; Gogo can Steal as often as
it likes, without inflicting damage, with twice as much success as Shadow ever
had thanks to the Sneak Ring it can equip. Here's a list of worthwhile Steal
moments you so far lacked the abilities for:

Owzer's Mansion:
Dahling:    rare Moogle suit, common Empty
Wild Cat:   rare Tabby Suit, common Empty
Crusher:    rare Empty, common Super Ball
SoulDancer: rare Moogle Suit, common Empty
Vindr:      rare Chocobo Suit, common Empty

Daryl's Tomb:
Mad Oscar:  rare X-Potion, common Empty

Zone Eater cave:
Covert:     rare Tack Star, common Shuriken
Ogor:       rare Murasame, common Ashura
Wart Puck:  rare Dried Meat, common Flail
Karkass:    rare Soul Sabre, common MithrilBlade
Woolly:     rare Hardened, common Imperial

Cave of the Veldt:
Toe Cutter: rare Empty, common Poison Rod

Cave to the Ancient Castle:
Enuo:       rare X-Potion, common Empty

Mt. Zozo:
Scrapper:   rare Thief Glove, common Empty
Punisher:   rare Bone Club, common Rising Sun
Borras:     rare Muscle Belt, common Potion

Ebot's Rock:
Hidon:      rare Thornlet, common Warp Stone

Veldt:
White Drgn: rare Pearl Lance, common X-Potion
Nightshade: rare Nutkin Suit, common Empty
Still Life: rare FakeMustache, common Empty
Pm Stalker: rare X-Potion, common Empty
Pugs:       rare Minerva, common Empty

Overworld:
Brachosaur: rare Ribbon, common Empty
Tyranosaur: rare Imp's Armor, common Empty
TumbleWeed: rare Titanium, common Empty
Reach Frog: rare Tack Star, common Potion
Lizard:     rare Drainer, common Empty
Peepers:    rare Elixir, common Empty
Geckorex:   rare TortoiseShld, common Empty
Spek Tor:   rare X-Potion, common Empty
EarthGuard: rare Megalixir, common Empty
Mantodea:   rare Imp Halberd, common Empty
Prussian:   rare Full Moon, common Empty
Muus:       rare Magicite, common Empty

Of special interest:

- The animal suits you can steal in Owzer's Mansion eventually lead to a Genji
  Armor in the Colosseum, 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 SoulDancers. You can
  Control them or set Clear to the entire party to facilitate the process.

- Four Ribbons are grand, but be sure to bring Control along for Brachosaur, 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, Sneak Ring or not. You might
  want to use Vanish/Dischord to increase your chances as Brachosaur's level 77
  is pretty difficult to overcome. Vanish/Dischord is still a bug though, so if
  you think that's yucky, you don't have to.

- Be sure to have four pieces of Imp equipment. Best to steal four Titaniums
  from TumbleWeeds. Since they'll never use magical attacks unless they're
  alone, you can set Clear on your entire party and steal all four before you
  start to kill them.

- Imp Halberds from Mantodea. If Shadow with the Thiefknives 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 Battle Power, and they turn into
  Cat Hoods (which turn into Merit Awards) at the Colosseum. Sweet!

- Trying to Steal a FakeMustache from Still Life is the only way to having
  more than one character with the Control command.

- Ogor is the source of Pearl Lances and Strato, if you don't have enough of
  those. Steal until you've found a Murasame, and bet in the Colosseum until
  you've won the weapon you want.

- EarthGuards 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
  EarthGuards have inherent Seizure 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, Seizure won't
  damage EarthGuard so you can have more Steal attempts. Slow just prolongs
  the moment. Sleep doesn't stop Seizure 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 Borras,
  and he has a normal Potion in the common slot. You'll just have to try a lot,
  I suppose.

Done? You might want to dive into the Colosseum 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:
  Uroburos, Phase, Parasoul, Chaos Drgn, Sea Flower, Aquila, Necromancr,
  Trixter, Red Dragon

  Container contents:
  Dragon Horn, Ribbon, Warp Stone x2, Wing Edge

  Miscellaneous items:
  Economizer (rare Aquila steal), Strato (guaranteed Red Dragon drop)

  Lores:
  Blow Fish, L.4 Flare, L.? Pearl

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 wayward spirits', 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 Offering 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 Gem Box, the Illumina, and the Paladin Shld (although you should
not have them yet).

Basic floors:
Phase, Phase (5/16)
Phase, Parasoul, Necromancr, Necromancr (5/16)
Trixter, Trixter, Necromancr (5/16)
Aquila, Chaos Drgn, Chaos Drgn (1/16)

Lava floors:
Trixter, Trixter, Trixter (5/16)
Sea Flower, Sea Flower, Sea Flower, Sea Flower, Sea Flower (5/16)
Chaos Drgn, Uroburos, Sea Flower, Sea Flower (5/16)
Uroburos, Sea Flower, Sea Flower (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 Uroburos from its palette swap Bloompire. Uroburos 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, Uroburos
absorbs Fire-elemental attacks, and has a rare Fenix Down to both Steal and
find afterwards. Oh yeah, on the offense he uses Bio spells every second
turn and !Doom Touch (which sets Zombie) on the fourth. Loop afterwards,
obviously.

Phase uses Battle and !Smirk, which sets Stop. When alone, it'll start using
Blow Fish which deals 1000 damage as always, and whenever it's damaged it'll
have a 33 % chance of retorting with Blow Fish too. Try to take them out in
a single shot; Ice 2 and Ice 3 spells work like a charm.

Parasoul are annoying as they may use their Special !Spin Slice on their first
turn, which sets Muddled. 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 Nino on you, which is
about twice as powerful. Weak against Ice and vulnerable to ID.

Chaos Drgn 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 Drgn using Disaster, an attack that
you probably haven't seen; it can be MT'd and sets Dark, Imp, Condemned, Mute,
Muddle, and Float. Its second turn has it use !Cinderizer one-third of the time,
a Special that sets Death.

Sea Flowers are kinda annoying. They often attack in large numbers and have
quite a few Hit Points (4200) for cannon fodder. Also, their Special !Feeler
sets Poison. Mass Ice- and Lightning-elemental attacks are the way to go;
X-Zone also gets the job done very nicely.

Aquila is famed for its rare Steal, the Economizer, 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, Aquila 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 Shimsham attack (which you can have Celes absorb with her
Runic blade, just to be on the safe side).

Necromancrs, according to Anthology, are unfortunate mortals that have been hit
by a !ZombiStick attack. They're like vampires; a spreading plague over the
lands. Necromancrs are extremely dangerous, make no mistake about that. Why?
They can use !ZombiStick on their very first turn, which obviously sets Zombie.
That's annoying enough, but it doesn't stop there. Every time Necromancr is
damaged, even if it IS fatal, it may counter with a Demi or Quartr spell on the
character that damaged it. Also, when only a single Necromancr is alive, it will
drop its normally physical-oriented AI script and randomly cast Doom, X-Zone and
Flare spells, which are all bad. Their Flare spells deal around 1000 damage. The
way to go at them is Life spells: Necromancers are Undead. Since Life spells
don't damage you won't have to worry about the counter-attacks, so as long as
you make sure no Necromancr is left alone you shouldn't need to see their wrath
in action.

Trixters are the only opponents in this volcano that don't absorb Fire. They
like to use it, though. They'll normally use Fire 2 spells for the hell of it.
If you use Rflect spells, they'll get into all kinds of crazy shenanigans, too.
If any of your characters has Reflect status, they'll start casting Cure 2,
Rflect and Haste spells on you; if any of them has the Reflect status, they'll
start casting Fire, Fire 2 and Fire 3 spells on themselves. Very fun. They
have incredibly high Magic Defense, so stick to physical attacks, especially
Pearl-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 Warp Stone; note that the pathway
          is partially obscured by a rock ceiling. Return, andGo down (ignore
          the spike-guarded chest (it's empty) and go to the right and up.
          Stand on the pressure tile there, 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 Ziegfried 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: Strato (always)
Absorbs: Fire, Weakness: Ice, Water
Special: !Eraser: Unblockable Battle + Removes Reflect
Sketch : L? Pearl, Fire 3
Control: Battle, !Eraser
Vulnerable to: Poison, Muddled, Slow
Attacks: Battle, !Eraser, Fire 2, Fire 3, Flare, L.4 Flare, Fire Ball,
         S. Cross, Flare Star

Vanish/Doom: Yes
No restrictions.

Joker Doom: Yes
Flare, Fire Ball and S. Cross all screw with the RNG. Fire Ball can be used on
the first turn.

Ragnarok's Metamorph: Yes
12.5% chance of obtaining one of the following:

Crystal
Crystal Shld
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 Muddled status, the Fire element is the one most easily
protected against. The Red Jacket, Ice Shld, Minerva, and Blizzard Orb nullify
it, the Flame Shld and Rage Ring absorb it, and if those resources aren't
enough, the Force Shld, Thunder Shld, Cat Hood, Snow Muffler, 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 L.4 Flare attack, he's still
fairly easy.

Every 40 seconds, Red Dragon will use a particularly powerful attack; either
S. Cross, Flare Star, or L.4 Flare. Flare Star still deals Fire-elemental damage
based on your level, S. Cross is just a strong MT Fire-elemental attack and
L.4 Flare deals non-elemental barrier-piercing damage to every character whose
level is divisible by 4.

Normally, Red Dragon switches between Fire 2 (66%) and Fire Ball (33%). When
he reaches 10240 HP (which is after having absorbed 19760 HP damage), he'll
switch to Fire 3 (66%) or a Flare spell (33%). All these spells except for
Fire Ball 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
SrBehemoth and his !Evil Claw attack. !Eraser removes the Reflect status, but
not when the status is inherent (through Wall Rings or Rage). Like most bosses,
the Red Dragon has a 33% Battle 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 Life Guard is useful as always, Haste 2, Big Guard,
you name it). When you're done, start casting Rasp! You can check if he's
out of MP with Scan 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 Ice 3 spell, thrown Blizzard swords (or Water
Skeans), the usual Bum Rush and Dragon Horn Jump attacks, whatever works. Note
that Tri-Dazer is absorbed, though. You can toy around with Muddled 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 Moogle Charm for a no-encounter second party. If so,
you came here without any equipment that absorbs Fire. Wall Rings help against
Fire 2, but Fire Ball deals around 400 damage to all, and S. Cross deals a
whoppin' 2000 damage to all. You can still win, though. Edgar can both Poison
(Bio Blaster) and Muddle (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. If you can cast the
Vanish spell, you can cast on the Red Dragon when he's Muddled; he'll stay
Muddled forever, since he won't hit himself. If not, you'll have to keep
reapplying. 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 Muddle at level 32, and if you have no other characters with the
Muddle spell, Stray can help out at least once in a pinch. Good luck!

At the end, it's an easy battle. The Strato 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, Fenix Down, Flame Shld, ValiantKnife, 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 Fenix Down, an X-Ether, an Elixir, a Flame Shld, and Locke's
primary source of pride, the ValiantKnife. Note that there were but four
empty chests in the Phoenix Cave; the Fenix 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 Shld for elemental resistances.
If equipped with the ValiantKnife, the Red Cap is especially nice on Locke, as
it indirectly boosts its average damage output with the ValiantKnife.

On the offense, there are three weapons worth nothing for Locke:

The Sniper. Remember the Hawk Eye from the late WoB? The Sniper is exactly that,
only with updated Battle 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 strongest normal weapon. Back Row compatible, +7 to both
Vigor and Speed (which both matter little), +1 to Stamina, +2 to Magic Power
and the Assassin'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:

ValiantKnife. The first noticeable feature of this awesome weapon is the fact
it is barrier-piercing. Every strike is stronger than a Pummel or Dispatch
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 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 Cursed Shld
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Test Rider, Nastidon, Red Wolf

  Miscellaneous items:
  Cursed Shld (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 Fanatics 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. 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% MBlock. You can bet it at the Colosseum for the
Illumina, which gives +7 on all stats, has the same MP-driven criticals ability,
randomly casts Pearl with twice the power of a normal Pearl spell (due to the
automatic criticals; Flare doesn't get to enjoy a power boost), has Back Row
compatibility and gives 50% MBlock.

I'd advise the sword unless you're really bent on a 254-item list, as you can
learn Ultima in another way.

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 Shld, 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 Shld as the counter is semi-tied to gaining Magic Points, which
Gogo doesn't gain at all.

Equipping the Cursed Shld is bad. It makes the equipped character weak to all
elements, and LOWERS all stats by 7. Also, it gives the equipper inherent
Muddle, Berserk, Seizure, Mute, and Condemned. 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/Relic Ring combo (the
Ribbon protects against all but Condemned, and the Relic Ring makes sure you're
revived when the counter reaches that final 0), or get it to work to your
advantage by equipping the Heal Rod and possibly the Offering for mad healing.

There's two little vintage strategies I want to mention here that include the
Cursed Shld:

One:
Relm/Strago/Gogo, Cursed Shld, no Ribbon, Heal Rod, possibly Offering. 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 Shld on Gau
or Gogo, as well as the Peace Ring, then Rage Intangir. The Peace Ring will
prevent Berserk and Muddle, and the Intangir Rage will make the Cursed Shld
bearer absorb all elements, as well as provide protection from the Condemned
timer. The Cursed Shld' Mute-inflicing nature will prevent the Intangir Rager
from casting Pep Up. The Rager, alongside the elemental and status ailment
protection, also gains inherent Safe, Shell, Haste and Clear. Congratulations,
you have created a creature that does almost nothing and will never die. Like a
pet rock!


The Paladin Shld is awesome. It allows the equipped to absorb Fire, Ice,
Lightning, and Pearl 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 (TortoiseShld on an Imp beats it) and
third-best Magic Defense rating (TortoiseShld and Force Shld beat it) and + 40%
MBlock 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 Shld 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 EarthGuard's !PoisonTail
and Black Drgn's !BonePowder.

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 Illumina at the Colosseum; aside from Ragnarok's random
Flare being non-elemental and Illumina's random Pearl being Pearl-elemental,
there is NO reason to stick to the original sword;

- Ragnarok - Illumina        Opponent: Didalos
Didalos attacks with Battle, Flare, Flare Star, and Blaster. If you equip a
Wall Ring and a Safety Bit/Memento Ring, Flare, and Blaster are not a threat
anymore; a Flame Shld/Ice Shld or the Minerva bustier takes care of Flare Star
and the Fire Wall Didalos sometimes uses to counter Fight attacks with. Battle
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 Illumina
OR the Paladin Shield; choosing the Esper over the Sword is a legitimate
choice, and obtaining the Paladin Shld 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! Yep, you were tops!
SABIN: That's why we...
AGED MAN: Quick! Fix that chair! Then you can use it to reach the roof.

At this point, Sabin leaves the house, the party splits up, and Sabin says:
"You don't suppose... Can this 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, could this be your father?
GAU: Uooo...
SABIN: Come on, GAU. It's true, right?
GAU: ...fffatherrr...?
SABIN: Yes. This is definitely your father.
GAU: ......??? ...GAU's...father?! Oooogauooooo!
SABIN: Right!! Let's go tell your father the news! He needs to know you're his
       son!
SABIN: Just a minute... We can't just go there with you looking like this.
SABIN: I know! Let's go to Jidoor and give you a make-over!

(The gang is now at the Inn in Jidoor. Gau is standing at the table)

SABIN: No, GAU! Don't eat with your fingers!
GAU: Yaoooo...
SABIN: Don't say "Yaoooo" when you mean "Yes!"
GAU: Ho!
SABIN: ......

(The gang is now at the Item Shop in Jidoor. Everybody's busy)

(If you recruited Terra:)

TERRA: How do you like these? Wait! What about those?
- "Hm...oh well..."
TERRA: Did you say something?
(Sabin freaks out and hides behind the counter)
- "N...no! Nothing..."
- ...Uh huh...

(Always)

CELES: Which is it gonna be? Oh! This is nice...but...Do you think it becomes
       GAU?
- "Well..."
CELES: What?!
(Sabin freaks out and hides behind the counter)
- "...Nothing..."

(If you recruited Cyan, and he is not in your active party:)

CYAN: What a jaunty hat!
- "Not at..."
CYAN: Wait a minute! Where's the hat?
"......"

(Always)

(Gau now wears what appears to be some ridiculously bright red suit)
SABIN: This is it!
(GAU:) Me go to funeral?
SABIN: Perfect! Functional yet sporty! Done!
"I don't think..."

(If Setzer is not in your active party:)

SETZER: Phew! Completely lacking in fashion...
SETZER: Excuse me, sir. Could you order some clothes like the ones I'm wearing?
Impossible!
SETZER! How dare you think of sticking him in that kinda getup?!

(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 got it! A tuxedo, silk hat...and... ...a rose in his teeth!
LOCKE: I think that's overdoing it just a bit...He should have a bandana on his
       head!
(Gau pretty much now wears what Locke is wearing, admiring the red bandana
on his head)
EDGAR: What's so great about a bandana? Most of the time I see 'em tied around
       dogs at the beach!
LOCKE: HEY! What do you mean by that?

(Locke attacks Edgar, and sounds of punching and eventually the good old
cartoonish birds-around-the-head sound the Muddle 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: The repairman, at last!
"Uh, no. I was wondering if you knew anything about Emperor Gestahl's map..."
AGED MAN: Map...?!  Everyone's askin' 'bout that map!
Pardon?!
AGED MAN: Little while ago, some guy wearin' a bandana asked for the map. So I
          told him!
W...where is it?
AGED MAN: It's where the mountains form a star-shape! You should have just come
          out and asked me. No need to be 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 Fanatics Tower and the battle with White Drgn
**********************************

  Opponents:
  White Drgn, Magic Urn, L.10 Magic, L.20 Magic, L.30 Magic, L.40 Magic, L.50
  Magic, L.60 Magic, L.70 Magic, L.80 Magic, L.90 Magic

  Container contents:
  Air Anchor, Force Armor, Gem Box, Genji Shld, Safety Bit, Stunner

  Miscellaneous items:
  Crystal Orb (rare MagiMaster steal), Megalixir (guaranteed MagiMaster drop),
  Pearl Lance (White Drgn drop and rare White Drgn steal), X-Potion (common
  White Drgn steal)

Welcome to the Fanatics 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 Fanatics 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:

Fanatics Tower inside:
L.90 Magic (5/16)
L.50 Magic (5/16)
Magic Urn, Magic Urn (6/16)

Air Anchor room:
Magic Urn, Magic Urn (always)

Top and fourth tier:
L.90 Magic, L.80 Magic (5/16)
L.80 Magic, L.80 Magic (5/16)
L.90 Magic, L.60 Magic (5/16)
Magic Urn, Magic Urn (1/16)

Third tier:
L.60 Magic, L.30 Magic, L.10 Magic, L.10 Magic (5/16)
L.70 Magic, L.70 Magic, L.50 Magic (5/16)
L.70 Magic, L.50 Magic, L.40 Magic (5/16)
Magic Urn, Magic Urn (1/16)

Second tier:
L.50 Magic (5/16)
L.40 Magic, L.50 Magic, L.60 Magic (5/16)
L.30 Magic, L.20 Magic, L.10 Magic (5/16)
Magic Urn, Magic Urn (1/16)

Bottom tier:
L.10 Magic, L.20 Magic (5/16)
L.30 Magic, L.30 Magic, L.30 Magic (5/16)
L.40 Magic, L.20 Magic, L.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 a Tincture, the second turn a Potion or Elixir, and the third
turn a Tincture or an Ether. If any of your characters has Wound set, it'll use
a Fenix 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 Soft item (due to a bug, it responds
to Safe in the PSX versions). After it has used an item, it has a 33% at fleeing
the battle using Escape; 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
Bserking a character, casting Drain, Meteor, or Ultima or summoning Bahamut,
Maduin, Ragnarok, or Palidor. If you smell great Rage potential here, you're
absolutely right.

L.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 Pearl, while absorbing Poison. Vulnerable
to Mute, non-Reflective, Floating. No threat to a Wall Ring party.

L.20 Magic casts ID attacks. Demi, Quartr, and Break the first turn, Demi,
Quartr, and X-Zone the second turn (loops afterwards). X-Zone is the most
dangerous by far. He counters every damage done with either a Rasp, Muddle, or
Safe spell. Weak to Poison, vulnerable to ID, Reflective. One of the more
dangerous enemies here to a Wall Ring party; make sure you take them out
quickly.

L.30 Magic casts level 2 spells, and will counter every damage done with either
an Imp, Osmose, or Rflect spell. Weak to Poison, absorbs Pearl, non-Reflective.

L.40 Magic casts Drain, Break, or Vanish every turn. He will counter
your attacks with either Mute or Sleep. Floating, weak to Lightning, absorbs
Poison, non-Reflective, vulnerable to Mute.

L.50 Magic is your typical undead mage, casting Poison, Bio, and Doom the first
turn, and spends the next turn casting either Remedy (33%) or Dispel (66%)
on a monster. When damaged, it will retort with either a Bserk, Slow, or Haste 2
spell. Undead, weak to Fire and Pearl, absorb Poison, vulnerable to ID and Mute,
non-Reflective.

L.60 Magic casts Quake, W Wind, and Pearl. When damaged, he'll cast Osmose,
Slow 2, or Regen on a single character. Weak to Fire-elemental spells, absorbs
Ice-elemental spells, Floating, vulnerable to ID and Mute. Non-Reflective.

L.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 Mute.

L.80 Magic is finally an opponent with some sophistication; she's a lady, after
all. She'll cast Cure 2, Remedy, 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 Cure 3, Cure, or Life 3 (which
can't be Reflected...poor confused gal). When damaged while monsters with the
Reflect status are around, she'll cast Stop, Dispel, or Pearl on a monster. If
she's damaged with NO Reflective targets around, she'll do nothing. Weak to
Poison, non-Reflective, vulnerable to ID.

L.90 Magic is the strongest random encounter here. The first three turns
may feature Flare, Meteor, or Merton. Meteor is the most dangerous of
these three, but Merton is especially annoying, as L.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, Bolt 3, or Life 3. Reflective, Floating,
vulnerable to Stop.

So yeah. I've never found much satisfaction in the Fanatics 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
L.10 Magic      -               Yes             Yes             -
L.20 Magic      Yes             -               -               -
L.30 Magic      -               -               -               -
L.40 Magic      -               -               Yes             Yes
L.50 Magic      -               Yes             -               -
L.60 Magic      -               -               Yes             Yes
L.70 Magic      Yes             -               -               -
L.80 Magic      -               -               -               -
L.90 Magic      Yes             -               -               Yes

Mute, Berserk, Stop:

L.10 Magic: Mute, Berserk
L.20 Magic:
L.30 Magic: Berserk
L.40 Magic: Mute
L.50 Magic: Mute, Stop
L.60 Magic: Mute
L.70 Magic: Mute, Stop
L.80 Magic:
L.90 Magic: Berserk, Stop

How to handle them:

L.10 Magic: a Life spell
L.20 Magic: X-Zone or Break spells (bounce off Wall Ring characters)
L.30 Magic: Break spells
L.40 Magic: Mute
L.50 Magic: a Life spell
L.60 Magic: Mute
L.70 Magic: X-Zone or Break spells (bounce off Wall Ring characters)
L.80 Magic: Break spells
L.90 Magic: Stop (bounce off Wall 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 Bolt 3 on all four or your Wall Ring characters to
hit them.

Whom to bring? That really depends. Know that the Fanatics 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, Bolt 3, Stop, Mute, Life, 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: Wall Rings are VITAL. You WILL want a Wall 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, MagiMaster. Also, know that you'll be casting and receiving Magic spells
only, so that Battle 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 Wall Ring.

Also, make sure you cast Float on the party. A surprise Quake is easily
countered but can be equally painful.

Notes: At the Fanatics Tower, Fight 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 Fight command as that'll turn into Magic (while its Magic command
will be removed). Umaro doesn't suffer a bit from the Fanatics Tower's
strange effect, as he will perform normally. When Berserked, characters will
just use Fight.

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 Doom/Snare/Atom Edge 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 Escape 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
Cure 3 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 Shield and oddball TortoiseShield), respectable
Magic Defense and 20% Magic Block added to the wearer.

The door in the third part of the stairway contains the Stunner, 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
Colosseum tactics against the likes of Chupon and Siegfried, both vulnerable
to the ailment and very hard to defeat by other means. What the room also
features is the White Dragon.

[WDRAGON-LINK]

White Drgn
Level: 71, HP: 18500, MP: 12000
Steal: Pearl Lance (rare), X-Potion (common), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Pearl
Special: !Hit: Battle x 1.5
Sketch : Flare, Pearl
Control: Battle, Pearl, Pearl, Pearl
Vulnerable to: Mute, Slow, Stop
Attacks: Pearl, Dispel

Vanish/Doom: Yes
No restrictions.

Joker Doom: Yes
Of course, the first time you fight him, it's on the Fanatics Tower where Slot
is not available. On the Veldt, it's still possible. Pearl screws over the RNG,
too, and may be used on the very first turn.

Ragnarok's Metamorph: Yes
12.5% chance of obtaining one of the following:

Crystal
Crystal Shld
Crystal Helm
Crystal Mail

Wow. There is SO little I can say about White Drgn here. He casts up to three
Pearl 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 Mute. That's all there is to
it, just cast a Mute spell and you're done. You don't have to bother with Slow,
Stop, and all that, just cast Mute 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 Thiefknives and go for
White Drgn'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 Wall Ring. If Mog doesn't know the Mute spell, equip Siren so Mog can
summon her for her Hope Song attack. Now that White Drgn is at Mog's mercy,
just attack until he's dead.

When you're done, you get a Pearl Lance from an event afterwards. This is to
make sure you don't get a Pearl Lance every time you see the White Drgn on the
Veldt: YES, the cretin appears there! Makes quite a solid Rage too, casting
Pearl 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 Muffler, and oddball Imp's Armor), has great elemental advantages
(50% Fire, Ice, Lightning, Wind, and Earth-elemental damage) and an added 30%
Magic Block.

The Force Armor is inferior to the Minerva in every way except for the MBlock,
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 Gem Box 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 Gem Box (or Soul of Thamasa, as it was called in the Japanese game) 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 Gem Box is totally
sweet, and a kind, loving mistress who's not afraid of the leather if you're
not, I might add.

[MAGIMASTER-LINK]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4.69.1   The battle with MagiMaster
**********************************

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:
MagiMaster.

Yes, after all the pompous introductions, I suppose we'd better slap him
around a little bit until he allows us to leave.

MagiMaster
Level: 68, HP: 50000, MP: 50000
Steal: Crystal Orb (rare), Elixir (common), Win: Magelixir (always)
Special: !Hit: Battle x 1.5
Sketch : Battle, Battle
Control: Battle, Ultima
Vulnerable to: Berserk
Attacks: Fire 2, Ice 2, Bolt 2, Bio, Fire 3, Ice 3, Bolt 3, Doom, Ultima, Mute,
         WallChange

Vanish/Doom: No
Immunity to Clear status

Joker Doom: Yes/No
Do note though that you can NEVER use the Slot command on the Fanatics Tower,
so you won't actually be able to spin 7-7-7 in the first place.

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 Doom, Bio, or
Mute. 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 MagiMaster has the Reflect status himself,
he will bounce a level 3 spell off of himself every turn; MagiMaster will
never self-apply the status, and there's no reason for you to cast it.

You may have noticed that every spell MagiMaster uses is reflectable; and yes,
that they are. However, the thing with MagiMaster is that not only is the
ULTIMATE mage, he's also fiercely loyal to Kefka. So it's only logical that
MagiMaster 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 MagiMaster,
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 Life 3 at the very least:

Keep yourself draped in Wall Rings at all times, as it will mean you are
invincible. Do NOT attack MagiMaster; as soon as you do this, he will use
WallChange, and he will start countering all your attacks with WallChange
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
WallChange, not even under the torment of his own attacks. Cast Life 3 on all
your characters, and just wait this one out. Eventually, when MagiMaster has
killed himself, he'll cast Ultima, everybody dies and is subsequently revived;
you're free to go.

- You don't have Life 3:

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 Bserk
spell on MagiMaster 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 Scan spell. When he has less than 80 MP, you can kill him.
There you go.

Alternately, you could just damage a lot and summon Palidor; the trick here is
to kill MagiMaster 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
Scan; for optimum damage output, you'll want to equip barrier-piercing weapons
where possible (Atma Weapon on Terra/Celes/Edgar/Locke, ValiantKnife on Locke,
Fixed Dice or Dice on Setzer) to try and circumvent MagiMaster's crazy 250
Defense.

- You don't have Rasp...and you don't have Palidor 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 Wall Ring, Genji Glove, Rune Edge/Ragnarok/Illumina, and the Soul Sabre. The
MP-critical weapon in the Right Hand, the MP draining weapon in the Left Hand.
Now, cast Bserk on MagiMaster, Clear on your party, and Bserk 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?), Bserk a
Heal Rod character to make sure MagiMaster 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 MagiMaster 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   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 Illumina or Paladin Shld, 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 (DragoonBoots/Dragon Horn and all
that are mentioned, as is Rage Ring on Umaro, as not equipping it is folly).

As far as the Illumina 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
Shld is best given to a character that otherwise needs Thunder Shlds 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 Helmets here. Genji Helmets are often the best helmets
you can land on a character, yet they are rare. End-game, you have two Red Caps,
a Coronet, a Regal Crown in your inventory; all can be turned into a Genji
Helmet at the Colosseum (Red Cap - Coronet - Regal Crown - Genji Helmet). Red
Caps are superior to Genji Helmets in my opinion, the Coronet is usable in an
NMG and the Regal Crown is plain garbage in the end. You can have up to five
Genji Helmets in the end, but you'll probably want to end up with two or three.
In the suggestions I list, I list five character with a Genji Helmet, as well
as two with a Red Cap. This isn't possible per se. However, you can switch the
Genji Helmets 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 Helmet,
since disregarding oddities such as the Paladin Shield, Thornlet and Merit Award
Crystal Helmet, he needs it to reach 255 Defense.

Terra                             Terra (alternate 128% MBlock set-up)

Enhancer                          Enhancer
Aegis Shld                        Force Shld
Mystery Veil                      Mystery Veil
Minerva                           Force Armor
-                                 White Cape
-                                 White Cape

Vigor: 32                         Vigor: 31
Speed: 36                         Speed: 34
Stamina: 29                       Stamina: 28
Mag. Pwr: 53                      Mag. Pwr: 49
Bat. Pwr: 147                     Bat. Pwr: 147
Defense: 200                      Defense: 145
Mag. Defense: 180                 Mag. Defense: 206
MBlock%: 87                       MBlock%: 137
Absorbs:                          Absorbs:
Nullifies: Fire, Ice,             Nullifies:
Lightning, Wind
Resists: Poison, Pearl, Earth,    Resists: Fire, Bolt, 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 Illumina, but I *will* count on the Minerva
armor. 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, Pearl - 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 MBlock% isn't too bad either.

Her alternate set-up is shooting for > 128% MBlock. Her Defense suffers
greatly but with only Red Dragon's !Eraser, SrBehemoth's !Evil Claw, Doom's
!Demon Rage, and Tentacle being able to hit you in the first place, that's of
minor concern. Doesn't hog Illumina or Paladin Shld either, so that's a bonus.

Locke

ValiantKnife
Thunder Shld
Genji Helmet
Genji Armor
Muscle Belt
-

Vigor: 42
Speed: 43
Stamina: 33
Mag. Pwr: 31
Bat. Pwr: 159
Defense: 215
Mag. Defense: 169
MBlock%: 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
ValiantKnife. Nothing much else to say, really; Locke can really enjoy the
Offering 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 MBlock%,
which doesn't quite fit an agile thief such as our Byronian hero, but this is
his best shot.

Cyan

Scimitar
Aegis Shld
Genji Helmet
Genji Armor
-
-

Vigor: 45
Speed: 31
Stamina: 35
Mag. Pwr: 28
Bat. Pwr: 233
Defense: 220
Mag. Defense: 190
MBlock%: 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 Mblock are
all normal. The only point of debate is the weapon of Cyan. Some claim that
since Dispatch outdamages the Fight command at all times, you should only
consider using a weapon that has an added effect, be it either Scimitar's 25 %
slice effect or Tempest's 50 % Wind Slash attack. If slicing is any kind of
option I find a Doom 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 Fight's 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 featureless Sky Render
in the near future.

Shadow

Thiefknife
Thundr Shld
Genji Helmet
Genji Armor
-
-

Vigor: 44
Speed: 44
Stamina: 32
Mag. Pwr: 36
Bat. Pwr: 111
Defense: 216
Mag. Defense: 171
MBlock%: 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 Skeans perform
decently; give him a Hero Ring and a Hyper Wrist (due to Throw, actually fairly
effective) and watch feable Shuriken clean house; pass on both Force Armor and
Force Shld 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

Pearl Lance
Force Shld
Genji Helmet
Genji Armor
DragoonBoots
Dragon Horn

Vigor: 59
Speed: 30
Stamina: 34
Mag. Pwr: 32
Bat. Pwr: 214
Defense: 176
Mag. Defense: 210
MBlock%: 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% MBlock is plain solid. Edgar is mainly working his
Jump attacks here, which means he's pretty limited to rather uncontrollable
and random Pearl-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)

Tiger Fangs                       Enhancer
Genji Shld                        Genji Shld
Red Cap                           Circlet
Red Jacket                        Genji Armor
-                                 Merit Award
-                                 -

Vigor: 59                         Vigor: 54
Speed: 44                         Speed: 41
Stamina: 47                       Stamina: 44
Mag. Pwr: 32                      Mag. Pwr: 42
Bat. Pwr: 241                     Bat. Pwr: 161
Defense: 209                      Defense: 222
Mag. Defense: 143                 Mag. Defense: 170
MBlock%: 24                       MBlock%: 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 Shld and
Genji Shld; Sabin could use the elemental properties, sure, but switching means
that Sabin's Mag. 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 Helmet's
superior defenses. Defense is more or less okay-ish, slightly lower than most
characters. Horrid MBlock too. On the offense, Sabin is basically a two-trick
pony; Air Blade for MT damage and Bum Rush for ST damage. Unless you know it'll
do the trick or you have a good follow-up move, Air Blade 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 Ring/Earrings on him (he will also like
defensive Relics such as Pod Bracelet and Marvel Shoes. Muscle Belt works, in
which case you should swap the Red Cap for a Genji Helmet).

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% MBlock. I say Sabin wins here. Replace
Enhancer with Magus Rod where possible for 10% extra MBlock and 33 extra
Battle Power.

Celes                             Celes (alternate 128% MBlock set-up)

Enhancer                          Enhancer
Aegis Shld                        Force Shld
Mystery Veil                      Mystery Veil
Minerva                           Force Armor
-                                 White Cape
-                                 -

Vigor: 35                         Vigor: 34
Speed: 37                         Speed: 35
Stamina: 32                       Stamina: 31
Mag. Pwr: 50                      Mag. Pwr: 46
Bat. Pwr: 151                     Bat. Pwr: 151
Defense: 202                      Defense: 142
Mag. Defense: 178                 Mag. Defense: 199
MBlock%: 89                       MBlock%: 129
Absorbs:                          Absorbs:
Nullifies: Fire, Ice,             Nullifies:
Lightning, Wind
Resists: Poison, Pearl, Earth,    Resists: Fire, Bolt, 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 Mblock, 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. That's good!

Relm                              Relm (alternate 128 MBlock% set-up)

Magus Rod                         Magus Rod
Genji Shld                        Force Shld
Cat Hood                          Cat Hood
BehemothSuit                      Tao Robe
-                                 White Cape
-                                 White Cape

Vigor: 32                         Vigor: 26
Speed: 42                         Speed: 36
Stamina: 28                       Stamina: 22
Mag. Pwr: 61                      Mag. Pwr: 60
Bat. Pwr: 179                     Bat. Pwr: 179
Defense: 216                      Defense: 146
Mag. Defense: 186                 Mag. Defense: 193
MBlock%: 69                       MBlock%: 129
Absorbs:                          Absorbs:
Nullifies:                        Nullifies:
Resists: Fire, Ice, Lightning,    Resists: Fire, Ice, Lightning, Wind, Pearl,
Wind, Pearl, 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 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 MBlock% 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 Shld
Circlet
BehemothSuit
-
-

Vigor: 36
Speed: 32
Stamina: 28
Mag. Pwr: 51
Bat. Pwr: 178
Defense: 195
Mag. Defense: 147
MBlock%: 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
Morph, Strago has Lore. This is only partially useful late-game; Big Guard,
Pearl Wind to heal through Wall Rings and Runic, and GrandTrain 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 Shld                        TortoiseShld
Genji Helmet                      Titanium
Force Armor                       Imp's Armor
Offering                          Offering
-                                 -

Vigor: 36                         Vigor: 36
Speed: 32                         Speed: 32
Stamina: 32                       Stamina: 32
Mag. Pwr: 29                      Mag. Pwr: 29
Bat. Pwr: 19                      Bat. Pwr: 19
Defense: 207                      Defense: 255
Mag. Defense: 182                 Mag. Defense: 234
MBlock%: 51                       MBlock%: 31
Absorbs:                          Absorbs: Water
Nullifies:                        Nullifies:
Resists: Fire, Ice, Lightning,    Resists:
Wind, Earth

Right. I had a hard time deciding between Thunder Shld/Genji Armor and
Genji Shld/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 MBlock, 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 Offering, 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% MBlock isn'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

Pearl Lance
Genji Shld
Circlet
Snow Muffler
DragoonBoots
Dragon Horn

Vigor: 31
Speed: 37
Stamina: 29
Mag. Pwr: 42
Bat. Pwr: 210
Defense: 255
Mag. Defense: 195
MBlock%: 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 Helmets. 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 Pearl 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                               Gau (Wind God set-up)

-                                 Tempest
Thunder Shld                      Genji Shld
Genji Helmet                      Crystal Helm
Snow Muffler                      Snow Muffler
White Cape                        Merit Award
-                                 Offering

Vigor: 44                         Vigor: 44
Speed: 38                         Speed: 38
Stamina: 36                       Stamina: 36
Mag. Pwr: 34                      Mag. Pwr: 34
Bat. Pwr: 109                     Bat. Pwr: 200
Defense: 255                      Defense: 255
Mag. Defense: 195                 Mag. Defense: 193
MBlock%: 48                       MBlock%: 48
Absorbs: Ice, Lightning           Absorbs: Ice
Nullifies: Wind                   Nullifies:
Resists: Fire                     Resists: Fire

In my opinion the Thunder Shld/White Cape combo is superior to Genji Shld/
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 Shld gives more Magic
Defense though. If you're REALLY into Rages, Genji Shld 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 MBlock. 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.

On the alternative set-up: Wind God! Rage Stray Cat; you'll have a 25% chance
of a 200 power Wind-elemental physical, 25% chance of a 48 power Wind Slash
attack, 25% chance of a 800 power Wind-elemental physical (Catscratch), and
25% chance of a 198 power Wind Slash attack, which is comparable to Crusader's
Purifer attack without it hitting you. With the offering, you'll have FOUR
hits, each sporting the above odds. The physicals will be halved in damage, but
the Wind Slash attacks will not be. The Wind God is very, extremely, obscenely
strong and needs to be taken advantage of. I picked a Crystal Helm for his head
since you may want to save the Genji Helmets for other people, and giving one
to Gau really doesn't open up any other options concerning 255 Defense.

Gogo

Magus Rod
Thunder Shld
Red Cap
Tao Robe
-
-

Vigor: 29
Speed: 33
Stamina: 22
Mag. Pwr: 38
Bat. Pwr: 181
Defense: 174
Mag. Defense: 120
MBlock%: 56
Absorbs: Lightning
Nullifies: Wind
Resists: Fire, Ice

Yeah, Gogo does NOT take hits very well. The Genji Helmet over the Red Cap
would have helped its defenses somewhat, but the 25% HP boost will help Gogo
better in the long run. Thunder Shlds 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 Helmet. For the
offense, Gogo should totally go with Throw on bosses and Bum Rush on randoms.

Umaro

Bone Club


Snow Muffler
Rage Ring
-

Vigor: 62
Speed: 33
Stamina: 46
Mag. Pwr: 37
Bat. Pwr: 198
Defense: 217
Mag. Defense: 158
MBlock%: 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
Fight 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.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4.71.1  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 Mithril
  Shlds are unacceptable.
- Fenix Downs are great. Not every character may know a Life spell, and you
  will want to respond ASAP to fallen allies.
- You should have more GP than you'll know what to do with. Buy some
  ThunderBlades, Blizzards and Flame Sabres in the Albrook Weapon Shop. They
  make great ammunition for Shadow and Gogo against the many bosses you'll
  be fighting.
- Speaking of GP, do you remember L? Pearl? NO enemy in Kefka's Tower will
  ever drop an amount of GP that's not divisible by 10. This means that when
  you set the last digit of your GP stack to 1, you'll gain an MT
  Pearl-elemental attack that's as powerful as a MT'd level 3 spell. The
  easiest way of reaching #######1 GP is by obtaining and selling Magicite
  shards, which sell for 1 GP a piece.

Team recommendations:

#1                 #2                  #3
                   (Gold Drgn)         (Skull Drgn)
                   (Atma)              (Inferno)
-------------------------------------------------------(switch decision)
(Doom)             (Goddess)           (Guardian)
                                       (Poltrgeist)

Celes              Terra               Edgar
Locke              Setzer              Sabin
Strago             Relm                Cyan / Gogo
Mog                Shadow              Gau / Gogo

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 Doom and Atma; if #1 goes to the right, they'll
have to face Goddess.

#2 will meet Atma and the Gold Drgn. If #1 goes to the left, #2 will also
face Goddess; if #1 goes to the right, these will face off against Guardian
and Poltrgeist.

#3 will have to defeat Inferno and the Skull Drgn in their travels. If #1 goes
left, these will have to face Guardian and Poltrgeist; if #1 go to the right,
they'll come across Doom.

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 Illumina. 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 Offering; 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 Doom, since that battle is the only
battle in the game he can learn a certain Lore. Doom 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

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4.71.2  Kefka's Tower: Reconnaissance
**********************************

  Opponents:
  Retainer, Dark Force, Steroidite, Doom Drgn, Mover, Madam, Vectaur,
  Brontaur, Land Worm, Scullion, Evil Oscar, Outsider, Hemophyte, Dueller,
  GtBehemoth, Vectagoyle, Fortis, Junk, Innoc, Didalos, Veteran, Sky Base,
  IronHitman, Prometeus, Inferno, Rough, Striker, Gold Drgn, Skull Drgn,
  Guardian, Doom, Goddess, Poltrgeist

  Container contents:
  Aegis Shld, Coronet, Fixed Dice, Force Armor x2, Force Shld, Guantlet, Hero
  Ring, Megalixir, Minerva, Nutkin Suit, Rainbow Brsh, Red Cap, Ribbon, Tack
  Star

  Miscellaneous items:
  Air Anchor (rare Scullion steal), Aura (rare Retainer steal), Aura Lance
  (guaranteed Poltrgeist drop), Break Blade (rare Outsider steal), Chainsaw
  (rare Dueller steal), Crystal Orb (guaranteed Gold Drgn drop and rare Atma
  steal), Drainer (common Atma steal), Excalibur (guaranteed Goddess drop),
  Flame Shld (rare Rough steal and rare Striker steal), Force Armor (common
  Guardian steal), Ice Shld (rare Inferno steal), Minerva (rare Goddess steal),
  Muscle Belt (guaranteed Skull Drgn drop), Sky Render (guaranteed Doom drop),
  Pod Bracelet (rare Doom Drgn steal), Red Jacket (rare Poltrgeist steal),
  Ribbon (rare Guardian steal), Safety Bit (rare Doom steal), Tack Star (rare
  Hemophyte steal), Thunder Shld (rare Steroidite steal), Tiger Fangs (rare
  GtBehemoth steal)

  Lores:
  Condemned, Roulette, CleanSweep, Aero, Blow Fish, Big Guard, Revenge, Pearl
  Wind, L.5 Doom, L.4 Flare, L.3 Muddle, Reflect???, L? Pearl, Step Mine,
  Dischord, Sour Mouth, Pep Up, Rippler, Quasar, Exploder

  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):
GtBehemoth, Evil Oscar, Vectaur (6/16)
Vectaur, Vectaur, Vectaur, Vectaur (5/16)
Brontaur, Evil Oscar (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.

Vectaur is short for 'Vector Dinosaur' or something mind-numbingly unoriginal
like that. They like to attack physically (this includes !Tusk, which is just a
tad stronger than Battle) and use Fire Ball. They're weak to Ice-elemental
attacks like all lizards, but also to Water, so a CleanSweep attack 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
Pearl Wind attacks, which may help you.

Evil Oscar 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 !Demon Kiss attack, which sets Death. When alone, they will use
Sour Mouth, like their tomb-dwelling Mad 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, Doom, or X-Zone, there's nothing to worry about.

GtBehemoths 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 !Hay Maker (Battle * 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 !Hay Maker hurts. I should
add a final note about the fact you can't run from them. Oh yeah, and you can
steal rare Tiger Fangs from them. Tiger Fangs 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 +
Offering + dual Tiger Fangs 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 Evil Oscars and Stop on the GtBehemohts. 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.

Kefka's Tower (garbage caves party #2):
Brontaur, Brontaur (10/16)
Evil Oscar, Evil Oscar, Evil Oscar (6/16)

Brontaur 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 attack coming from a Deep Eye
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 Ray attacks usually found on
machines; Atomic Ray is probably something breath-related or whatever. Their
Special, !Wail, 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 armor. 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 Tack Star 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.

Kefka's Tower (Imperial jail cells):
Hemophyte, Retainer (10/16)
Retainer, Retainer, Dark Force (6/16)

Hemophyte is just one of the biggest anti-climaxes of the game. Honestly, he had
everything going for him. He's like that rich kid from high school who was both
good-looking and athletic and managed to turn up five years later as a meth
addict. Sharing a sprite with the likes of Orog and Ogor - a very awesome sprite
too - Hemophyte the big old scary demon warrior really...doesn't do anything. He
throws ChokeSmoke attacks around, which we have previously appointed THE most
useless attack ev4r when not used with some thought, and when alone, he starts
to use Shock Wave. Shock Wave very well may just be... hang on...yes, THE
weakest monster attack in the game. Counters with !CursedGaze which sets
Seizure, still ranking as #1 laughable status ailment that actually works. Way
to go, pal. Just trash him with what you normally do.

Retainers may very well be familiar faces to you as you could've brawled with
them in the Colosseum. They're not quite as annoying in 'real life', but they
come bloody close and that's bad enough. They attack physically, often two times
every turn. Every fourth turn, a Wind Slash attack may make its appearance,
sometimes even two in a row. The kicker, as always, is that !Tradeoff attack it
pulls out of thin air every time you kill it. The strategy to use here is the
Imp status; set Imp and kill them. The Imp status will transform their physicals
into automatic criticals, but it's worth it. They will still be able to use
Wind Slash, because it costs them no MP. They have the Aura Knife as a rare
steal; you shouldn't need any at this stage of the game, but you can change them
into Strato Knives at the Colosseum, which are stronger weapons for Shadow to
Throw than Tack Stars.

Dark Force is generally hailed as the ultimate Lore resource, and that's for a
good reason too. Dark Force uses all the Lores available to Strago except for
Big Guard, ForceField, GrandTrain, and Pep Up. CleanSweep can only be accessed
by Dark Force when they are Muddled or Controlled. Since this means that Dark
Force can throw a wide array of nasty attacks your way, you'll want to kill
them as quickly as possible. ID attacks work, and especially. L.5 Doom is great
way to accomplish their deaths. Lacking this, X-Zone and Break spells are your
best options. If Strago lacks Lores at this stage, here's Dark Force's AI script
for the ultimate learning experience:

1st turn randomly: Condemned, Roulette, Aqua Rake
2nd turn randomly: Revenge, Pearl Wind, L.5 Doom
3rd turn randomly: L.4 Flare, L.3 Muddle, Reflect???
4th turn randomly: L? Pearl, Step Mine, Launcher
5th turn randomly: Dischord, Sour Mouth, Imp Song
6th turn randomly: Aero, Blow Fish, Exploder
7th turn randomly: Rippler, Stone, Quasar
Loop

The two Lores that you are likely to not know at this stage are Reflect??? and
Quasar; the former is a ridiculously horrible attack that sets Dark, Mute, and
Slow on every Reflective opponent on the battlefield (which would have been
mildly useful one hundred years ago, while scouting the Ancient Castle, a place
you have no business returning too), while Quasar is just a non-elemental,
barrier-piercing attack that would have been extremely fine hadn't it been for
the fact that GrandTrain is better in every relevant way but MP cost.

In the far left cell, there's a monster waiting for you. Fighting it is
entirely optional, and you don't get anything necessarily positive out of it.
Still, it's fun, so go ahead and do it anyway. Cast Float on your party if
you can, and if you have Celes or Gogo in your party, you'll want to make sure
they can use their Runic skill.

Atma
Level: 67, HP: 55000, MP: 19000
Steal: Crystal Orb (rare), Drainer (common), Win: Nothing (always)
Absorbs: Poison, Wind, Pearl, Earth, Water
Special: !Hit: Battle * 1.5
Sketch : !Hit, Battle
Control: Battle, !Hit
Vulnerable to: Slow
Attacks: Battle, Fire 3, Ice 3, Bolt 3, Meteor, Ultima, Quake, CleanSweep,
         N. Cross, Flare Star, S. Cross

Vanish/Doom: Yes
No restrictions.

Joker Doom: Yes
Meteor and S. Cross screw over the RNG. Luckily, not used on the first turn.

Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

Remember when some scholar-type guy told you there were two so-called Atma
Weapons? Strangely enough, you ought to own one and have defeated the other, so
what's the deal with this guy? Clearly, now that Kefka has control over the
Goddesses, he's made them craft an ever-stronger version of the legendary beast
of mass destruction we destroyed a year ago. Or something.

I'm Atma...
Left here since birth...
Forgotten in the river of time...
I've had an eternity to ponder the meaning of things...
And now I have an answer!

Atma isn't THAT interesting. Normally, he uses the level 3 spells, switching to
a N. Cross or S. Cross attack every now and then. When he hits 32640 HP, he'll
revert to Fire 3, Quake, and Meteor spells, and CleanSweep and Flare Star. When
you hurt the fiend, he may counter with Battle, but what Atma is actually doing
is storing the hate he develops from your blows into the ultimate attack:
whenever he is hurt 12 times, he will stop acting and start storing energy:
"Unknown light surrounded Atma!" It'll proceed to glow yellow and do nothing for
two turns before unleashing the strongest attack known to man: Ultima. It hurts
really bad (count on around 2400 HP worth of damage), and you don't want that.

Atma's unique elemental coverage makes Pearl Lance Dragoons useless, so give
them Partisans at the start of the battle. Summon your barriers: Big Guard,
Haste 2, ZoneSeek's Wall, Earth Wall, Moon Song, Life Guard, you know what
works. Don't forget to set Slow on Atma, and you might try Stealing too,
although there's nothing especially grand to obtain in this fight.

Now, keep yourself healed and make sure you only execute the strongest attacks.
Ideally, if you don't have Runic, you want to take out Atma in twelve hits or
less, which makes for a needed average of around 4600 damage a hit. That
shouldn't be TOO much of a problem, right? If it is, there's a few ways around
the situation:

- The Life 3 spell.

- Have a character summon Palidor around the time Atma flashes yellow for the
  second time, making Ultima miss all your characters.

- Don't attack Atma; just set Rflect and keep yourself healed with Heal Rods,
  Potions, and Pearl Wind until his own level 3 spells have damaged him enough
  to lower him in his 'dangerous phase'. Debilitator might help to speed things
  up there. Now that he's already fairly damaged, you should be able to kill
  him before he gets to Ultima.

Obviously, if you do have Runic at your side there's nothing to worry about as
when Atma starts glowing, you can just initiate the Runic skill and watch the
attack be absorbed by the blade. Don't forget that Gogo can equip the Man Eater
or Graedus to utilize Runic as well.

You can use the crushed, bloody remains of the monster to rest, gather your
mind, zone out for a few moments. This hollow carcass is your Fortress of
Solitude, your little haven in the chaotic fast-paced world around you. Yeah,
I'm talking about a Save Point that's now here. When you're done peace-ing
out, exit through the door. Alas, it was a fake! You tumble down towards the
ground. In this new room, you'll fight nothing but Movers and Steroidites.

Kefka's Tower (Imperial stairway):
Mover, Mover, Mover (10/16)
Steroidite (6/16)

Poor Movers; you were really hurt by the Evade bug. The thing about Mover, or
what it was supposed to be, is that they have 254 Magic Defense (that's real
high) and nigh-perfect Evade, so that NEITHER PHYSICAL NOR MAGICAL ATTACKS WOULD
HURT IT! So first, the Evade bug comes around so every Fight commands kills the
hell out of them, and then everybody realizes that all our characters are
crammed full of barrier-piercing and unblockable attacks in the first place.
With 120 HP, you don't need a lot of strategy. Normally, Mover attacks
physically and with !Silencer (take a wild guess), and when alone it uses
Blow Fish and Big Guard. If Strago is around and hasn't learned Big Guard yet,
there is NO reason to leave this area before taking it with him. Spells such as
Meteor solve the Mover problem very quickly, as does GP Rain, the AutoCrossbow
or a Fight command with the Offering equipped.

Steroidite is pretty much the opposite of Mover; more HP than you can shake a
stick at (no, that's just a figure of speech; you could shake a stick at it if
you wanted to) while having crappy Defense. It uses Blizzard and Giga Volt to
attack, while using Cold Dust and N. Cross to freeze your party. Slow and Stop
both work on the guy, and Pearl-elemental spells hit its weakness. Set the
statuses and rough it out. The most notable thing about Steroidite is its rare
steal: a Thunder Shld. Experience tells that you can hardly have enough Thunder
Shlds, especially since they can be transformed into Genji Shlds at the
Colosseum and can be broken in-battle for barrier-piercing Bolt 3 spells.

Go up the stairs into the next room, which is chock-full of pipes going
everywhere. You'll encounter new monsters here as well. You enter through the
far right tube; the one to the left of it takes you all the way back to the
Tack Star room, should you so please (escaping this hellhole and not having
Warp spells or Warp Stones would be your only reason to do so). The far left
tube takes you to outside again, on the trash-slopes. The encounters here can
be dangerous, but they're all vulnerable to ID attacks and the Mute status
ailment. Equipping Siren or Odin/Raiden on a character can really help shutting
them all up in one swoop.

Kefka's Tower (Facility rooms):
Junk, Junk, Junk (6/16)
IronHitman, IronHitman, IronHitman (5/16)
Dueller, Fortis (5/16)

IronHitman's sprite doesn't bode too well for it. And nay, with 2000 Hit Points,
physical attacks and the Dischord Lore there's no reason to fear these tiny
metallic soldiers. They're weak to Lightning. They succumb easily to an MT
Bolt 3 spell, a Tritoch summon, a Bolt Edge, or something along those lines.

Junk is scrap metal with just enough self-conscience to explode when you come
near. That's basically what they do; at the slightest hint of danger, they
sacrifice themselves by using Exploder or Pep Up. There's also a chance that on
the first turn will have them do nothing; if this is the case, there's a small
chance they will use !Parallout on themselves on the second turn, which sets
Clear. Regardless, act fast when you meet them. 2000 HP of damage to a character
isn't something you were really waiting for, so make sure you take them out
ASAP. They're weak machines. Bolt 3 spells and Bolt Edges galore.

Fortis. That's Latin for 'strong' if you don't mind the possible grammatical
inaccuracy. They attack with Fire Ball, Snowball, and Missile. Fire Ball is
entirely too weak to worry about, especially since most of your characters
either absorb or take reduced damage from the attack. Missile is annoying when
it hits, but Snowball especially stands out, as it's unblockable, and it's
unlikely you have characters running around with Safety Bits or Memento Rings.
When struck by a Lightning-elemental attack, Fortis will respond with a !Double
Arm (Battle * 1.5) and Battle attack. Obviously the Battle attack is supposed to
be part of the whole !Double Arm ordeal there.

Where do these armors come from? Who makes them anymore? Who'd be demented
enough to ride around in one to protect a guy like Kefka all day? Senseless as
they may be, Dueller can be a real pain. They have the ability to cast L.4 Flare
and L.5 Doom, and since you don't really prepare for them, you may suddenly
find two of your characters facedown before you blink twice. Whenever damaged,
the Dueller may counter with a Shrapnel attack, which is nasty enough too. The
Mute status followed up with ID spells is the way to go. Dueller has a Chainsaw
as a rare steal, so if you never bothered to grab the thing in Zozo, you can
try your luck here.

You'll arrive on familiar garbage slopes. GtBehemoths and all that, you know.
The next chest you see contains a Force Shld (excellent!) Ignore the doors
for now and go all around the conveyer belts to find a Force Armor in a chest.
Now, find the two doors again and enter the left one that you're seeing en
profile. You're in a room with a chest and a button. Find the Ribbon in the
chest and push the button on the floor. You've now opened up a patch for Party
#1. Leave.

Enter the other door. A small garbage passageway filled with Vectagoyles and
Brontaurs greets you before you exit.

Kefka's Tower (garbage passageway party #2)
Vectagoyle, Vectagoyle (10/16)
Brontaur, Brontaur (6/16)

Vectagoyle. Like 'Vector Dinosaur', this cute quadro-headed freak of nature is
a 'Vector Gargoyle'. They're not as dangerous as the Chimera was when you met
it, and not as cool or elusive as Rhyos. It is immune to all status ailments
though, and has a large pool of elemental attacks that are kinda too weak to
worry about. Blizzard, Blaze, Aqua Rake, and Giga Volt may all appear when
going head-to-head with a Vectagoyle. Four attacks, four heads, there's
probably a link there. When attacked by Fight, they'll often counter with
eh...!Counter (Battle * 2).

You'll wind up in a room where the Gold Drgn is waiting for you. The random
encounters can be dangerous as well, so beware.

Kefka's Tower (Gold Dragon's room)
Veteran, Veteran, Veteran (10/16)
Didalos, Veteran (6/16)

Veteran is all about ID attacks. Condemned and Dread feature its normal AI
script (although, let's be frank here, there's nothing 'normal' about this
grotesque stare on wings), and it has a 1/3 chance of countering Magic spells
with a Roulette attack. Strago fans that haven't had their gambling fix all
month, here's your chance. Veteran lacks elemental weaknesses, has a lot of HP
(10000), and is immune to ID attacks, so taking them out is difficult. Mute or
Berserk kills their threat, and Stop works too. Disable them, attack, and
simply revive the characters that might expire from Condemned. Siren is a great
Esper to have around in this room, since she disables all Veterans in one
summoning (though not Didalos, sadly).

Didalos uses L.5 Doom, which is annoying. It also uses the Bio spell, Virite,
the Demi spell normally and the Reflect??? attack whenever a character is
Reflective. Didalos is the easiest source for the Lore too. Didalos counters
Fight attacks with Fire Wall 1/3 of the time. They're not very special: they're
Undead so a Life spell takes them out quickly. Nifty Metamorph set, I must
admit (Cursed Ring, Relic Ring, Thornlet).

A small note on the Cursed Ring; it is an item that can only be acquired by
betting the Cursed Shield at the Coliseum (not advised) or by summoning
the Ragnarok Esper versus either Veteran, Didalos or the SrBehemoth.
It is a ring adorned with a tiny horned goat's skull, and gives you the
magnificent evil benefit of learning X-Zone at an x5 rate and an inherent
Doom timer. For completionists, it is.

The Gold Drgn should be one of the two still alive if you didn't face it with
Mog alone during a hypothetical Moogle Raid. If so, take it on now to reduce
the number of dragons to one.

[GDRAGON-LINK]

Gold Drgn
Level: 62, HP: 32400, MP: 4000
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Crystal Orb (always)
Absorbs: Lightning, Weakness: Water
Special: !Hit: Battle x 4
Sketch : Ice 3, Bolt 3
Control: Battle, !Hit
Vulnerable to: Poison, Berserk
Attacks: Battle, Bolt, Bolt 2, Bolt 3, Rflect, Giga Volt

Vanish/Doom: Yes
No restrictions.

Joker Doom: Yes
Nothing Gold Drgn uses screws over the RNG.

Ragnarok's Metamorph: Yes
12.5% chance of obtaining one of the following:

Crystal
Crystal Shld
Crystal Helm
Crystal Mail

What does Gold Drgn do? First off, every four Fight commands he gets especially
pissed and the message "Gold Dragon begins to store energy!" will be displayed.
Gold Drgn will spend a turn doing nothing (aka, charging for Bolt 3), and the
very next round, Gold Drgn will cast a Bolt 3 spell on the entire party.
We faced a level 3 spell with fair warning halfway through the WoB, for crying
out loud! If a living character has the Reflect status, Gold Drgn will cast the
Rflect spell on himself and will start bouncing Bolt and Bolt 2 spells off
itself. Every Magic spell can be countered by a Bolt or Bolt 2 spell anyway,
but Gold Drgn will not counter Magic spells when he is charging for the Bolt 3
spell. Normally, Gold Drgn will just attack with Bolt and Bolt 2 spells, and
Giga Volt attacks.

Gold Drgn is an incredibly easy enemy at this point; all of his attacks are
either Battle or Lightning-elemental; Bolt, Bolt 2, Giga Volt, and Bolt 3 are
all vulnerable to Celes's Runic, and Lightning is very easily absorbed or
nullified by equipment such as Thunder Shlds, Paladin Shld, Minerva, or Rage
Ring. The bane of Gold Drgn's existence, however, is Phantom; cast the Bserk
spell on Gold Drgn. Hell, set Berserk in some other way; the neat thing about
late-game battles is that you can do so much. The Sky Cap Rage attack with
Megazerk, and the Insecare Rage with !Wing Whisp, which also sets Berserk. At
any rate, Berserk the Ryuu D'or and summon Phantom (or cast Vanish on the
entire party) to obtain invulnerability.

If you're here with Mog alone, just equip a Thundr Shield and do everything you
can to reduce damage done by physical attacks, such as equipping a Guard Ring
or Pod Bracelet, putting Mog in the Back Row and maximizing his Defense. If Mog
comfortable survives Gold Drgn's attacks, it doesn't really matter what kind of
attacks he uses. Breaking a Poison Rod can be a great help in whittling down
the dragon's HP if you have no other way of significantly putting the hurt on
it.

You'll win a Crystal Orb from the guy. The Crystal Orb could have been obtained
earlier throughout the game (rare Steal from both MagiMaster - Berserk a
character with Thiefknives equipped to steal on the Fanatics Tower - and a
rare Steal from Atma, but this is likely your first encounter. Crystal Orbs
aren't very special; they raise maximum MP by 50%. Yeah, with MP not really
being an issue in this game, and with the existence of Economizer Relics, the
Crystal Orb fails to stand out.

After the battle, you can leave through the door, walk through one small
featureless room, and find yourself into a grand metal hall. There are no
random encounters in this final location. There's a button on the floor on the
far end, but it doesn't seem to do anything by itself.

Kefka's Tower (Imperial corner-room)
Outsider, Outsider, Madam (5/16)
Hemophyte, Retainer (5/16)
Retainer, Retainer, Dark Force (5/16)
Dark Force, Dark Force (1/16)

Madam is a tough opponent, and as she often appears with two Outsiders, things
look even grimmer. I'd say that every battle with a Madam/double Outsider
formation is more dangerous than most of the boss battles you have to engage
in this dungeon. Madam is difficult to describe, as what she basically does is
throw powerful spells around is a manner loosely related to her current
situation. Any time she is damaged, she may cast either Cure 2 on herself/her
party, the Meteor spell on your party, or both. When all monsters are
Reflective, she'll cast Cure 3 on YOUR party, which makes no sense whatsoever.
Getting the enemy party Reflective, though, takes a lot of effort in a situation
where you get nothing out of a Reflective enemy party, so that scenario
shouldn't present itself. In no particular order, the spells she can cast (all
on the targets you'd naturally assume): Cure 2, Cure 3, Remedy, Life 3, the
level 3 spells, Flare, Pearl, Safe, Shell, Regen, and Haste. Oh yes, and she
rarely throws in a completely useless !Sightless attack to blind a character.
All in all, you want to stop those spells. Imp, Berserk, and Stop are all ways
to do just that. Make it a priority when facing that dreaded Madam/Outsider/
Outsider combo, as a Bserk spell never fails.

Outsiders are THE most universally damaging opponents in this game. Not the most
dangerous, as they are easily dispatched, but with inherent Haste, the ability
to use the Throw command every turn, and a Throw counter to every non-fatal
attack you perform, they're more than likely are going to sneak at least ONE
blade down your throat. Every turn, they either Throw a ninja blade or a katana
in this order:

Imperial or Ashura
Kodachi or Kotetsu
Blossom or Forged
Hardened or Tempest
Striker or Murasame

When damaged by the Fight command, any Outsider will respond with a Shuriken;
at every damaging attack that's not a Fight command, they will respond with
either a Ninja Star or a Tack Star. Funnily enough, Outsiders appear to have a
strong yet bizarre sense of honor; if they have not succeeded in killing your
entire party by the time they Throw either a Striker or Murasame, they will
kill themselves with their !Ruin attack. Whenever you meet Outsiders, you want
to stop their actions immediately. You may Muddle them with the NoiseBlaster
of the L.3 Muddle Lore to divert their attention for a moment before attempting
to kill them using X-Zone or Break. They have a rare Break Blade Steal. If, for
some unthinkable reason, you want to go for them, cast Stop to make your life
a lot easier.

If you put this party on the button, you're done with these guys for now.
De-equip all precious items and Espers and switch to Party #3.

********************************************************************************
Switch to Party 3

I won't go over the monsters again, but I'll give the formation odds just so
you know what you can expect.

Kefka's Tower (garbage slopes):
GtBehemoth, Evil Oscar, Vectaur (6/16)
Vectaur, Vectaur, Vectaur, Vectaur (5/16)
Brontaur, Evil Oscar (5/16)

Kefka's Tower (garbage caves party #3):
GtBehemoth, Vectaur, Vectaur (10/16)
GtBehemoth, Evil Oscar, Vectaur (6/16)

You stand in front of moving conveyer belts. Nice. Stand on the left one to
allow it to take you down (the good way). First, you'll come across a door to
the left. There's a chest containing a Red Cap next to the door, and when you
enter the door and fight your way through the passageway, you'll find a metal
ramp which holds up two chests; a Gauntlet to the left and a Nutkin Suit to the
right. This ramp holds enemies such as Innoc and Scullion, which are both quite
tough, so be on your guard.

Kefka's Tower (Gauntlet/Nutkin Suit metal corridor)
Scullion (6/16)
Prometheus (5/16)
Innoc, Innoc, Innoc (5/16)

'Innoc' is short for 'Innocent'. And that's how they kinda work you, too.
You'll come to despise these satellites very quickly, let me assure you. They
attack with !BrainBlast (sets Muddled), Plasma, Cold Dust, and very rarely
L? Pearl. Unless you made a conscious effort to set the last digit of your GP
amount to 1 (so Strago could abuse the move), L? Pearl won't hit very often.
A lot of your characters should nullify or even absorb Plasma, so the main
annoyance is Muddled and Frozen party members. You'll want to Muddle them
with Noiseblasters and/or cast X-Zone to get rid of them. L.4 Flare also works
if the simple "remove HP until I win"-based strategy is your kind of plan.
They're also weak to Lightning- and Water-elemental attacks.

Now HERE'S a modern Prometheus! It stands out because it has no Rage, which is
quite surprising for a random encounter such as Prometheus. It attacks with
!Drill (Battle * 1.5) and Shrapnel, which hurts a bit. When hit by a Fight
command, it may use S. Cross (on the attacker only) and when hit by a Magic
spell, it may counter with N. Cross (on the attacker only, so it hardly ever
actually sets that Freeze status). Prometheus is a durable machine, I'll give
it that, but there's nothing VERY dangerous about him so just pound him. It's
weak to Lightning- and Water-elemental attacks, as you'd suspect. If for some
reason you never Stole or simply bought that Debilitator, you can Steal one
from Prometheus.

Scullion. The last random encounter I got to describe. ;-; And it's all
exciting too! Its most redeeming feature is the fact it has a rare Air Anchor
to Steal, so if you never bothered to go up the Fanatics Tower or forgot to
listen to one-eyed bums in Maranda, here's a shot at the precious Tool. Let's
not forget that Scullion is actually kind of a challenge; it starts the battle
off with !Gamma Rays, which sets Condemned. Shucks. Its attacks may include
more !Gamma Rays, WaveCannon, Launcher, and Grav Bomb, a percentage-based
attack...you've never seen before unless you Raged a Lethal Wpn. It's not that
big of a deal, it just halves your current HP score. When Scullion dies, it
fires off a final Atomic Ray on its slayer, which ST'd can hurt a lot if the
character in question is shield-less, or Gogo or something. Set Stop, cast
Bolt 3 and Throw Water Skeans and all that to kill it.

Get back out and find the other door which (through another featureless room
filled with enemies) to find what appears to be a part of the MagiTek Facility.
The enemies in this section are Fortis, Dueller, and Sky Base, for which great
caution is advised. Siren is a great Esper to summon since she disables all
magical machines instantly (though Fortis' Snowball will still work since it
doesn't cost Fortis any MP).

Kefka's Tower (first garbage passageway party #3)
Brontaur, Brontaur (6/16)
GtBehemoth, Vectaur, Vectaur (5/16)
Evil Oscar, Evil Oscar, Evil Oscar (5/16)

Kefka's Tower (MagiTek Facility)
Fortis, Fortis (10/16)
Dueller, Dueller, Sky Base (6/16)

Sky Base is hell if you don't know how to take 'em. They start every battle
with the L.5 Doom attack to weed out those unfortunate enough to be vulnerable
to it. They then spend three turns using !Mind Slap (sets Stop) or cast the
Doom spell. Their true strength though, is the fact they will counter ANY
damage done to them, besides damage coming from a Fight command,
with up to four (!!!) Blaster attacks. Know that when the initial attacker is
killed in this counter and Sky Base decides to use at least one other
Blaster attack, it'll default to 'random' targeting. This means that your
entire party might be targeted, and I'm talking MT here. Never let this
happen. Take out Sky Base with ID attacks or set the Mute status to
prevent all this from ruining your life.

There's a Hero Ring in the chest, and also a hidden Aegis Shld in this room; 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

Anyway, get on the conveyer belt to continue. When you exit, you'll see a tube
to the left of you. This will suck you in when you stand in front of it and take
you back to the other end of the conveyer belt. Walk past the new Save Point
and save if you must; you're only seven steps away from a surprise boss battle
with Inferno. Down below you'll see an empty chest; it'll always be empty.

Inferno
Level: 67, HP: 30800, MP: 9700
Steal: Ice Shld (rare)
Absorbs: Fire, Weakness: Lightning
Special: !Sobat: Battle x 3
Sketch : !Sobat, Battle
Control: Battle, !Sobat
Vulnerable to: Slow
Attacks: !Sobat, Bolt 2, Bolt 3, Meteor, Delta Hit, Atomic Ray, Giga Volt,
         TekBarrier, Shock Wave

Striker
Level: 67, HP: 11000, MP: 2600
Steal: Flame Shld (rare)
Absorbs: Ice, Weakness: Fire
Special: !Slash: Battle x 2
Sketch : !Slash, Battle
Control: Battle, !Slash
Vulnerable to: Petrify, Death, Condemned, Slow, Stop
Attacks: Battle, Shrapnel

Rough
Level: 69, HP: 8000, MP: 770
Steal: Flame Shld (rare)
Absorbs: Lightning, Weakness: Ice
Special: !Rapier: Battle x 1.5
Sketch : !Rapier, Battle
Control: Battle, !Rapier
Vulnerable to: Petrify, Death, Condemned, Slow, Stop
Attacks: Battle, !Rapier

Vanish/Doom: No
All three parts are immune to the Clear status.

Joker Doom: No
Meteor, Atomic Ray, TekBarrier all screw with the RNG. Atomic Ray may be used
on the very first turn, has a 66 % of showing up in fact.

Ragnarok's Metamorph: No

The battle against Inferno is a rather simple one, although it is frustrating
that the main body and the blades don't share elemental properties. As you
would expect, the main body is the one with all the fancy spells and with the
most HP.

Rough is the left blade, and it just attacks physically with Battle and !Rapier.
Once you destroy it, it'll take 20 seconds to grow back. Striker, the right
blade, is a tad meaner than Rough; next to Battle, it also uses Shrapnel, the
magical non-elemental attack that's as strong as a level 3 spell. Like Rough,
it grows back 20 seconds after you destroy it.

Inferno uses a barrage of magical and mostly elemental attacks such as Bolt 2,
Atomic Ray, Shock Wave, and Giga Volt. When Inferno has both blades, it will use
Delta Hit every 30 seconds. Delta Hit is still an unblockable attack that sets
Petrify, so watch out for it. When Inferno has only ONE blade, it will only use
Bolt 3 and Meteor spells (Meteor is especially nasty). The first time you
destroy both blades, Inferno will use TekBarrier to set both Safe and Reflect
on itself. Every time you damage Inferno, it may respond with a !Sobat attack
that's just annoying.

Your strategy is simple. You have no business caring about Rough and Striker
whatsoever. Cast Slow 2 at the start of the battle and cast Stop spells on both
blades to make sure they are out for a while. Cast Haste 2, and summon ZoneSeek
or call out a Big Guard attack if Strago is around. Now, focus all your offense
on the main body. Let's not bother with Meteor and TekBarrier.

The big weakness of Inferno is the Bolt 3 spell. It's an incredibly strong
Lightning-elemental spell you can easily target to just hurt Inferno (it'll heal
Rough if you MT it), and one or more of your characters should be able to cast
it with considerable power. If Shadow and/or Gogo is around you can have him/it
chuck a few ThunderBlades at the infernal machine for large amounts of damage.
Another possibility if you have spare Thunder Shlds is break those; re-target
the broken shield onto the main body by targeting your own party once, then
switching back to Inferno.

In the end, Inferno is the only 'random' boss of the entire dungeon, and it
isn't incredibly hard if you prepared for the dungeon properly. Sadly, you get
nothing out of the battle with Inferno short of some measly Magic Points.

When you've given this ghost from the past a smackdown, you can continue. You'll
walk through yet another garbage hallway into the garbage clearing again.
Honestly, FF V's final dungeon had a lot of style with the blue crystals and
the infinity of stars and planets in the background; they kinda took a tumble
with the new installment if you ask me. This passageway contains nothing but
Land Worms, by the way.

Kefka's Tower (other two garbage passageways party #3)
Land Worm (always)

Land Worm is a big, big enemy that takes little effort to defeat. It uses the
area around you to crush you: Magnitude8 comes from below, and Lode Stone (that
unblockable 75% ID attack) from above. Rarely it uses !Compress, which is
nothing but an unimpressive physical attack. The only status ailment Land Worm
is protected against is Imp, so Doom/Break/Stop away. How about a Stop/Blaster
combo?

You'll see a chest that contains a Megalixir to your right, and to your left is
a pathway to a new door, a conveyer belt, and an opened chest with a red sparkle
on it.

REMEMBER THIS CHEST IF YOU PLAN TO LEAVE THE DUNGEON AT SOME POINT. After
you've hit this switch once to extend the path for Party #1, leave and return,
the red sparkle will be gone, so you'll have nothing but an open chest to
look for. Don't go through the door quite yet, but go with the conveyer belt;
it'll take you to a chest containing the Rainbow Brsh, the strongest Brush
weapon for Relm. Sadly, it still sucks horribly and is in every important way
inferior to the Magus Rod, which you should keep equipped on her. Now, go
around to enter the door. Through another trash hallway filled with Land Worms,
you'll come across another elemental dragon.

Kefka's Tower (Skull Drgn room and ensuing hallway)
Outsider, Outsider, Madam (5/16)
Hemophyte, Retainer (5/16)
Retainer, Retainer, Dark Force (5/16)
Dark Force, Dark Force (1/16)

It's the last one; it's time to see what this Dragon Seal is all about.

Skull Drgn
Level: 62, HP: 32800, MP: 1999
Steal: Nothing (always), Win: Muscle Belt (always)
Absorbs: Poison, Weakness: Fire, Pearl
Special: !Hit: Removes Reflect (unblockable)
Sketch : Rasp, Battle
Control: Battle, !Hit
Vulnerable to: Nothing
Attacks: Battle, Specter, Elf Fire, Condemned, Disaster

Vanish/Doom: Yes
No restrictions.

Joker Doom: Yes
Nothing Skull Drgn uses increases the RNG.

Ragnarok's Metamorph: Yes
12.5% chance of obtaining one of the following:

Crystal
Crystal Shld
Crystal Helm
Crystal Mail

Skull Drgn...just isn't very threatenig. It's a generally sub par dragon as-is
once you ignore the fact it has no status vulnerabilities to exploit, but
at the very end of the game? It's kind of ridiculous and sad all at the same
time. For Skull Drgn, it's like going against Tiger Woods; doesn't mean its golf
skills stink; it's just that it's Tiger fucking Woods.

Battle, Condemned, Elf Fire, and Specter all feature the first three turns,
Condemned easily the most popular one. Every fourth turn, Skull Drgn may use
Disaster, which is clearly its most crippling attack. It will be randomly
ST'd or MT'd by the semi-Undead dragon, and it sets Dark, Imp, Condemned,
Mute, Muddle, and oddly enough, the Float status. You should know the rest;
one little tidbit about Specter is that the graphic designers never expected
any monster to use Specter, so instead of a graphic of the caster (Skull Drgn
in this case) you'll see a half-baked sprite of your leading party member
instead. Every damage it takes may be countered by Battle.

Throw on Ribbons where possible. You shouldn't need any special protection for
Elf Fire, as it's about as powerful as Fire 2, but you can equip Flame Shlds,
Ice Shlds, Minerva bustier, or a Rage Ring to absorb or nullify the attack. On
the offense, just do whatever you have learned works. Since it's possible
you have Ragnarok's Metamorph at your disposal, you can try that for a quick
win. Fire 3 spells are extremely powerful (more so than the Pearl spell).
Ragers can Rage SrBehemoth to cast Fire 3 and become immune to Condemned (the
eventual death trigger will heal him), and the Imp, Mute, and Muddled status
that Disaster may set (the remaining Dark and Float statuses that will be set
are nothing to worry about for obvious reasons). Gogo should Rage like Gau.
If you bought Flame Sabres for Shadow, those are superior to other weapons
Shadow can throw.

When you're done with the fight and this was, in fact, the last of the eight
dragons of this world, the message "Defeated all 8 dragons...Dragon Seal
broken!!" will appear. The screen will shake, frightful sounds will sound
through the halls of Kefka's fortress, and you'll obtain the last Esper you'll
get: Crusader.

A note about Crusader: the attack it uses when you summon them, Purifier, is
a powerful magical non-elemental attack that targets both enemies and allies
alike. It's a bad idea to summon Crusader in normal situations. It quickly
teaches Meteor at a x10 rate though. Merton is a Fire/Wind-elemental attack
that hits both enemies and allies as well. It's barrier-piercing, but by
absorbing or nullifying the attack with Flame Shlds (absorb) or Thundr Shlds
and the Minerva (nullifies) it can still be a safe spell to cast. It's a bit
weaker than Ultima, but then again, everything is.

Now that you're done, it's time to continue. We must make haste! Go through
the featureless Imperial corner and you'll find yourself in the same grand
Imperial hall as Party #2, and there's a button on your side of the elevated
pathway as well. Stand on it, and when Party #2 is standing on the other button,
you'll see the door opening. Sadly, nobody is there to enter the door; let's
switch back to Party #1, shall we?

********************************************************************************
Switch to Party 1

With both Party #2 and Party #3, we've helped clear the path for Party #1. It's
time to see where it leads. Fortune and fame, perhaps? Walk down to come across
two conveyer belts; the left one goes down, the right one goes up.

Kefka's Tower (garbage slopes):
GtBehemoth, Evil Oscar, Vectaur (6/16)
Vectaur, Vectaur, Vect