Previous Part: Express Recruiting

Storyline text and attempted translations from...

Final Fantasy VI

Characters collected in this section: Shadow (if available), Relm, Stragus

Bosses covered in this section: King Behemoth (both), Chadarnook

獣ケ原の洞窟  Beast Plain Cave  | | | . . . . . . . . . .  CAVE IN THE VELDT

Remember the new cave on the Beast Plain? Let's go there. "The Phantom Forest" plays throughout. Shortly after entering, a dog walks up. Interceptor?

『ついてこい、って事か? "He wants us to follow him?" You're...coming with us?

So follow the dog, but be careful of the monsters.

On that note, there's not much variety here, just the Toecutter in packs of one or two, and rarely a Gorchimera. The Toecutter is weak against Flame and Wind, while the Gorchimera has no weakness but can be easily neutralized by its vulnerabilities to 'slow', 'sleep', and 'stop'. Gau should Rage Magna Roaders (the brown type, found near the botton of the Rage list) for Level 4 Flare, since both enemies are level 36, or Sprinter or Marchosias (Harpiai) for Aeroga against Toecutters.

A group of thieves makes camp in here. They have some potentially interesting information.

この前、3人で獣ケ原へいったら
獣のようなかっこうをした少年に
あったぜ。
When three of us went to the
Beast Plain earlier, we met a
boy that looked like a beast.
We 3 recently went hunting on the Veldt. We saw some weird kid there dressed all in hides...
なぜか、4人でいくと
あえないんだよな、これが。
For some reason, we can't find him
when all four of us go together, see.
For some reason he never came near when all 4 of us were together.
その少年を仲間にするために
おいらはいつも、ここでるすばん。
ふん、どうせおいらは、のけものさ。
I always stay behind here so they
can get that boy to hang with them.
Hmph, I'm always the outcast anyway.
Reduce the number of people in your party if you want him to approach you.
獣ケ原の北にある森には
でっかい恐竜がすんでいる。
むちゃくちゃに強いヤツで
人間の力じゃ、ゼッタイにたおせない。
……でも、たおせたら
みんなにじまんできるぜ、きっと。
In the forest north of the Beast Plains
live some hugeass dinosaurs.
They're crazy strong and there's no way
mere human strength could beat them.
...but if you did beat them, you could
brag to everyone, that's for sure.
In a forest north of the Veldt dwells a frightful dragon.
I suppose no human could ever defeat it...but oh, how free we would be if someone could...

恐竜 (kyouryuu), Japanese for "dinosaur", literally means "fearsome dragon", so the mistranslation is understandable to some extent, but it's particularly unfortunate due to the Eight Dragons being a Thing of Some Importance. And also consider that "dinosaur" itself literally means "fearsome lizard", so yeah. Though that still doesn't explain where the last sentence came from.

There's a Fury Ring for Umaro nearby that boosts his strength, adds some more elemental defenses, and lets him use his allies as weapons, somehow without hurting them in the process. Search around in some unseen passages to find... a chest with a monster inside.

As the name suggests, Death Penalty loves to use instant death attacks, but ironically has no protection against them, or petrification. Use ○ Break for a quick win, and the Atomic Ray spam that comes if the battle drags on will never become a problem. That's a very good thing, considering that Death Penalty has the highest magic power (55) of any enemy in the game. Sketching will yield its otherwise unused special attack, Dead End, killing it just as dead and making Sketch actually useful for a change. Stealing isn't worth the Potion (common) or High Potion (rare) that it nets, but Death Penalty will always drop the Tiger Fangs, Mash's best general-use weapon.

Thanks to a semi-infamous mixup, this battle uses the incorrect monster formation. This has two effects worthy of note. The immediate one is that you won't earn an LP for winning. The more important one is that this formation cannot appear on the Beast Plain, so you'll never get the Rage for Death Penalty even though it exists, and you can't get potentially unlimited Tiger Fangs by fighting it repeatedly. The Rage is nothing special, though, and you can always steal more Tiger Fangs from Grand Behemoths in the final dungeon if you want, so it's not a total loss.

Also, since I somehow overlooked this for the longest time, I'll point out that the NA version name, Allo Ver, is just "all over" with the space moved. It always made me think of "aloe vera" instead, though, and that just doesn't make any sense.

Find the Ichigeki Blade further in, then see Interceptor standing guard over a familiar wounded figure. If Shadow survived the Mystic Continent, then he's the one here, otherwise Relm is here instead. Use the save point, then continue on for a closer look.

『ひどいケガだ… "Such awful wounds..." Look at those wounds...

Unfortunately, a large monster takes advantage of the distraction to attack. Honestly, they should have seen that coming. King Behemoth mostly attacks with ○ Blizzara, ○ Blizzaga, and ○ Holy, with Meteor (enemy spell) thrown into the mix at lower health. Meteor is also used as a counter to ○ Holy or ○ Flare, with a glitch causing the next attack after that to provoke a second Meteor counter, so don't cast those spells. Its weaknesses are Flame and Poison, and it absorbs Ice.

There are some interesting odds and ends in the combat script. When afflicted with 'kappa' status, it uses doubled-up (full-power and auto-critical) normal attacks for three rounds, then casts ◎ Kappa to cure itself, unless also affected with 'reflect' at that time. Combine 'kappa' on the monster with invisibility on the party to avoid damage, and you're set, especially if you also take advantage of its vulnerabilities to 'slow' and 'stop'.

King Behemoth doesn't like efforts to use 'reflect' status, and will attack with Devilish Claws to remove it.

リフレクの効果がきえた Reflect's effect faded. Effect of "Rflect" vanished

It won't use that more often than once every three or four turns, but that still means less magic flying at you. It's also incapable of removing 'reflect' from a Reflect Ring, which could prove useful.

Eventually, King Behemoth will fall, but the battle isn't over yet.

後ろに敵の気配! There's an enemy behind us! Enemy's coming from behind!

More literally, 気配 (kehai) is generally used as a (possibly vague) feeling that someone or something is there, or signs of such presence, sometimes in a sixth sense sort of way. In a situation like this, it could be noises or smells coming from the monster that tip them off to its presence.

もう一体、モンスターが現われた! Another monster appeared! Another monster appeared!

A second King Behemoth comes up from behind, this one brown where the first was gray. It's also undead and much more of a physical fighter, and is weak against Flame and Holy, but absorbs Poison. Note the shared weakness if fighting with a Rage. However, this one also has a glaring vulnerability to insteat death attacks, at least the ones that work against undead monsters. Use something like ○ Dejon or the Air Anchor (or just revive it) to end this quickly.

Otherwise, look out for lots of physical attacks, plus some ○ Death, Meteor, and the 'sleep'-inducing Sleeping Gas attack. If someone falls asleep, King Behemoth will follow up on its next turn with a series of four attacks in one turn.

4連打!! Four-hit combo!! 4 attacks!!

Steal a Murasame (rare) from the gray one. The brown one has nothing to steal, but will drop a Behemoth Suit. The gray one will also drop an item, but it's glitched and will have different possibilities depending on which version of the game you're playing.

The game data indicates that both of them drop a Behemoth Suit, which would give you two, except for the glitch. Basically, the game switches the enemies by switching formations, and has the two monsters in different slots so that you'll get drops from both. The problem is that when it goes to find the items for the gray one, that slot is blank in the current formation, but the game does the lookup anyway using the code for blank instead of an actual monster ID, so it gets data from a meaningless (but at least nonrandom) memory location instead of from the correct monster data. The NA SNES versions end up using a Thunder Blade (ThunderBlade) as the common drop and a Jewel Ring as the rare drop. The Japanese SFC version instead gets a Valiant Knife (which was supposed to be unique) as the common drop and a Shinobi Garb as the rare drop. This bug is reportedly fixed in the Playstation and GBA versions.

Also, if you abuse Vanish/Dejon or something similar to kill the gray one in a way that breaks the combat script, the brown one will never appear, which means it won't appear on the Beast Plain, you can't get its Rage, and your source of unlimited Behemoth Suits is gone. However, since this avoids changing the formation, you will at least get the intended Behemoth Suit drop in this case. Funny how one glitch can circumvent another.

『ここで手当てはムリだな。
……、しかたがない。
飛空艇でサマサの村まで運ぼう。
"We can't treat these wounds here.
...there's not much choice. Let's use the
airship as transport to Thamasa Village."
We can't do anything for her here.
Let's take her back to Thamasa using the airship.

And so the party takes Shadow or Relm elsewhere to recover.

Did Shadow have a run-in with Rule 63? No, this is just one of the better-known translation gaffes, thanks in part to how well Japanese (and how poorly English) avoids pronouns where they aren't really necessary. I hear that the GBA remake "fixes" this by replacing "her" with "him" and thus implying that Relm is male if she's here. While she is sort of a tomboy, and most players are likely to save Shadow anyway, that doesn't really work either.


サマサの村  Village of Thamasa  | | | . . . . . . . . . .  THAMASA

Congratulations, Shadow or Relm is now safe from the big bad behemoth and in bed recovering. It's not a peaceful rest, though. Each has a dream of the past...

『うなされているな… "Must be a nightmare..." You were having a nightmare...

Note that this line is in present (not past) progressive tense, is said before we see the dream (not after the character wakes), and is made as an undirected remark (not spoken to the character). "You" and "were having" are both wrong here.

If Shadow, the setting appears to be Thamasa. Clyde, as seen in Shadow's other dreams, is leaving the village. A dog rushes up to him.

  俺をつれもどしに……
  だが、戻るわけにはいかん…
  おまえは、娘といっしょに
  平和な世界で生きるがいい
  Come to bring me back...?
  But I can't go back...
  You should live with the girl,
  in a peaceful world.
You came to fetch me...
But I won't be coming back...
I want you, and the girl,
to live in a peaceful world...

"The girl" can also translate as "my daughter" here.

He runs the rest of the way. The dog hesitates, then follows after a last look back.

If Relm, the setting is in her house in Thamasa. Stragos hops around and waves his arms, apparently trying to snap her out of a funk, but she actively ignores him. The dog also present gets more of a reaction, though.

  パパは……?
  パパはどこ行ったの?
  もう、帰ってこないの?
  Daddy...?
  Where did daddy go?
  Won't he ever come back?
Papa...?
Where'd he go?
Is he ever coming back?

Stragos looks down, but doesn't answer. The dog gives one last look back, then runs out of the house.

Is it just me, or are those the same event from different viewpoints?

Either way, Interceptor stays by the bed after the dream ends. The others decide to leave.

『ここで、しばらく休ませよう。 "We'll let them rest here for a while." Let's rest here for a moment.

Relm remains unconscious a bit longer.

「……… : ......... ......

Come back after a bit for a little more of a response if she's the one injured. Shadow, however, recovers consciousness immediately.

『だいじょうぶか? "Are you okay?" Are you okay?

If Shadow.

{シャドウ}「心配するな。
 これしきのキズ。
 それに、こいつが見はっててくれる
 から安心だ。
{Shadow}: Don't worry.
 These wounds are nothing.
 Besides, he's standing guard,
 so I can rest easy.
{SHADOW}: No need to worry. It's just a scratch.
Also, he's gonna stand guard,
so you just relax.

If Relm.

{リルム}「まだ、ちょっと…
 でも、だいじょうぶ。
 インターセプターがいるから。
{Relm}: I'm still kinda...
 But I'll be fine.
 Interceptor's here.
{RELM}: I'm still a bit groggy...
But I'm okay. Interceptor always makes me happy!

Either way, Interceptor steps forward and barks a few times as if to give reassurance. Head out and come back later, and the patient may have recovered and left.

Shadow is straightforward. Just leave and re-enter the village.

あの、黒い服を着た男の人ですが
コロシアムに行く、と言って
出ていってしまいました。
That man in the black clothes
left, saying he was going to the
coliseum.
If you're looking for the man dressed all in black, he left for the colosseum.

Interceptor has also left.

Relm is more complicated. Apparently, you need to come and go a few times, making sure to walk over one of several unmarked spots along the way. Just stay on the path by the main entrance to the village and things should work out.

ある日、ジドール貴族の使いと
なのる人がきて、あの女の子を
つれていってしまいました。
Someone claiming to be a messenger
for a Jidoor aristocrat came one day
and took that girl with him.
One day, a man working for an aristocrat in Jidoor came and took that young woman back with him!

Also, Interceptor will be wandering around outside.

One more thing before leaving town.

エボシ岩が50年ぶりにうかんだの。
世界大破壊の地震のせいかしら?
村の北にいけば、見られるわよ。
Eboshi Rock surfaced for the first time in fifty years.
Did the apocalyptic earthquakes cause it?
You can see it if you go north of the village.
For the first time in 50 years, Ebot's Rock is above water!
Head north of town if you want to see it.

If only Stragus were here to hear about that...


竜の首コロシアム  Dragon's Head Coliseum  | | | . . . . . . . . . .  COLOSSEUM

2-12 "Johnny C Bad" plays here. The Coliseum gets its own section later on with related dialog and useful wagers to make.

For now, just worry about Shadow. Someone in the bar here mentions a fighter looking for the Ichigeki Blade found in the Beast Plain Cave, and Shadow headed for the coliseum when he left Thamasa. So, once he's rescued and recovered, head here and try wagering the Ichigeki Blade. You'll face Shadow, who sadly has no equipment on and can't even Throw anything. That should make for an easy win, though the outcome is identical even if you manage to draw or lose.

『どうしてこんなところに?
{シャドウ}「俺に残されたのは
 戦いだけの修羅の道…
"Why are you in a place like this?"
{Shadow}: The only thing left to me is
 the path of bloodshed in combat...
What're you doing here?
{SHADOW}: The only thing I know how to do is fight...
『いっしょに行かないか?
{シャドウ}「そうだな…
"Would you come with us?"
{Shadow}: I suppose...
Why not come with us?
{SHADOW}: Well...
{シャドウ}「修羅の道…
 きわめてみるか。
{Shadow}: The path of bloodshed...
 might as well go all-out.
{SHADOW}: First I need to see how far I can get here...

Shadow joins, permanently this time, with Interceptor helping protect him as long as the glitchy effects of the Ripple enemy spell don't get to him.

On second thought, one relevant line before leaving:

俺は帝国兵!
…の生き残り。
バンダナをまいた、おまえたちの仲間に
とっておきの情報を教えてやったぜ。
「皇帝に2度話しかけろ」
ガストラ皇帝が秘宝を隠した場所の
ヒントだ。
どういう意味かは知らん。
I'm an Imperial soldier!
...or at least survived being one.
I gave some special information to
a bandana-wearing buddy of yours.
"Talk to the emperor twice."
It's a hint to where Emperor
Gastra hid a secret treasure.
I'm not sure what it means.
I'm an Imperial Trooper!
Probably, the last of 'em...
I have some valuable information for you!
Talk to the Emperor twice.
Use this when you've found the place where the Emperor hid a secret treasure.

Shadow's Dreams  | . . . . . . . . . . . . .

In addition to the dream after his rescue, Shadow can have four other dreams. These appear in order, one at a time, with a random 50% chance, by resting in nearly any bed at any point with him in the active party. This includes the brief times that he may join the party back in the World of Balance, but seeing any then is unlikely unless recruiting him in Kohlingen, as normal beds are rarely available when he's required.

Anyway, the first dream starts with a black screen, a man in a brown cape, and strange noises. No, the game isn't glitching out. After a few seconds, with more strange sounds, another man appears, this one with spiky hair and an eyepatch. He approaches the first man, who steps back.

ビリー「クライド…あいぼうの……俺を
 よくも……殺したな… 
 お前も……俺のところに来いよ……
 なあ クライド … 
Billy: Clyde... how dare you...
 kill me... your partner...?
 Come here... and join me...
 Come on, Clyde...
BARAM: Clyde...I'm...
done for...
F...find me here...
Please, Clyde...

Since he's apparently dead, this amounts to telling Clyde to die too. Someone's feeling guilty.

Billy vanishes, leaving Cylde to step forward and look around in confusion. He also disappears, though the noises continue as the dream lasts several seconds longer.

The more coherent second dream takes place in a dark forest with a train in the background.

ビリー「ひゃっほー!!
 やったぜ!クライドよ。
クライド「1000000ギルはあるぜ!
 楽しいねェ!強盗人生も。
Billy: Yahoo!!
 Clyde, we've done it!
Clyde: We've got 1,000,000 gil!
 A robber's life can be a lot of fun!
BARAM: Yahoooo!
We did it, Clyde!
CLYDE: A million GP!
What a blast! I love this!
ビリー「そろそろ名前を
 考えなきゃいけねえ。
クライド「名前?
ビリー「コンビの名前さ。
 俺は考えてあるんだ。
クライド「何だ?
ビリー「{シャドウ}だ!
 どうだ、かっこいいだろ?
Billy: It's about time for us to
 come up with a name.
Clyde: Name?
Billy: A name for our band.
 I've thought of one.
Clyde: What is it?
Billy: {Shadow}!
 Nice ring to it, huh?
BARAM: Guess it's time to change our name.
CLYDE: Our name?
BARAM: We need something more...appropriate.
BARAM: Such as...?
BARAM: ... {SHADOW}!
Not bad, huh?

Billy vanishes, and everything but Clyde fades out. He walks to the middle of the screen. A high-pitched sound plays.

クライド「世紀の列車強盗団
 {シャドウ}か……
Clyde: {Shadow}, the train robbers
 of the century...?
CLYDE: Great train robbers of the century...
{SHADOW}...?

Third dream. With the background a blank black screen, the barely visible outline of Clyde approaches another barely visible outline lying on the ground.

クライド「しっかり目をあけろ!
ビリー「俺はどうなってる?…はァ はァ
 …これ…俺の血か?
クライド「だいじょうぶ、心配するな。
Clyde: Get your eyes open!
Billy: What the? ...*gasp* *gasp*
 ...this... it's my blood?
Clyde: You'll be fine, don't worry.
CLYDE: Open your eyes!
BARAM: I'm scared...hack, cough...
Is...is this MY blood...?
CLYDE: You're gonna be okay!

The scene lightens enough to show that they're on a riverbank.

ビリー「ゆだんしたよ……
 すまねえ……
クライド「しゃべるな!町につくまで。
ビリー「俺にはわかってるよ。
 俺の血だろ…これ?もうダメだよ。
Billy: I got careless...
 Sorry...
Clyde: Don't talk! Not until we hit town.
Billy: I know better.
 It's my blood... right? I'm done for.
BARAM: I've let you down...
I'm sorry...
CLYDE: Save your strength.
We're almost to a town.
BARAM: You don't have to pretend. I know. I've lost...too much blood.
ビリー「さあ行け!
 足手まといの俺にかまうな。
クライド「しかし!
ビリー「つかまってもいいのか!
Billy: Go on and go!
 Forget me, I'll just slow you down.
Clyde: But!
Billy: Don't you care if you get caught!?
BARAM: Get going!
I'm gonna slow you down.
CLYDE: But...!
BARAM: You wanna get caught?

Clyde starts to leave, but a high-pitched sound plays as Billy stops him.

ビリー「行く前に……
 そのナイフで俺をさしてくれ。
Billy: Before you go...
 stab me with that knife.
BARAM: Before you go...
You have to use your knife...
クライド「そんなこと……
ビリー「つかまったら
 どんな仕打ちを受けるか
 知っているだろう?
俺はそんな目にあいたくねえ。
うでをさわってみろ。
Clyde: I couldn't...
Billy: You know what kind of
 treatment I can expect if I
 get caught, don't you?
I don't wanna deal with that.
Feel my arms.
CLYDE: WHAT!!!!
BARAM: Think what they'll do to me if I get caught.
I don't want to go through that. Do me this favor.
ビリー「震えているだろ?
 生まれて初めてさ…
 ガキみたいにガタガタ震えるのは。
 だから、しょんべんチビって
 恥ずかしい思いをする前に
 お前のその手で……
クライド「無理だ!
Billy: Shaking, right?
 First time in my life...
 I'm shaking like a little kid.
 So before I embarrass myself
 like some bedwetting brat,
 you need to...
Clyde: I can't!
BARAM: Are you...shaking?
I can't believe it!
You're acting like a coward!
Come on, you weakling!
Grab a knife and...
CLYDE: I CAN'T!

Billy (Baram) is the one shaking, not Clyde.

Clyde starts to run away, but a high-pitched sound plays as Billy shouts him to a halt.

ビリー「クライド!!! Billy: Clyde!!! BARAM: Clyde!!!
クライド「すまない…… Clyde: Sorry... CLYDE: I'm sorry...

A strange noise plays as Clyde runs off, Billy yelling at him.

ビリー「クライド!!
 よくもーーー!
Billy: Clyde!!
 HOW DARE YOU!
BARAM: Clyde!
How dare you!?

Remember when Edgar said Shadow was capable of killing his best friend? Looks like he wasn't quite right about that.

Fourth dream. Clyde staggers into a blurry village. A familiar town square comes into focus as he collapses under a tree. A dog comes up to him, then runs off to fetch a woman.

「もし……もし
 しっかりして。
: Hello... hello?
 Pull yourself together.
Hey...HEY!
Stay with me now!
クライド「ここは……?
「サ…マ……という小さな村よ。
 さあ しっかり!
Clyde: Where am...?
: Tha... ma... ... a small village.
 Come on, pull yourself together!
CLYDE: Where...am...?
A small village called Thama...
Hang in there!

It seems he wasn't coherent enough to quite catch the name of the village, or maybe she was hesistant to say it clearly, but we know where he is, right?

And that's Shadow's backstory, or at least all of it that the game reveals.


ジドールの町  Town of Jidoor  | | | . . . . . . . . .  JIDOOR

3-10 "The Magic House" now plays in town, a track that combines aristocratic with spooky. Once Relm recovers after being saved from the Beast Plain Cave, or immediately upon reaching the World of Ruin if Shadow was in the cave instead, she ends up here, so let's try asking around.

北にあるのはアウザーの家だよ。
美術品のコレクターで
特に絵画には目がないんだ。
The house in the north is Auzer's.
He's a collector of artwork, and
is particularly fond of paintings.
The house to the north belongs to Owzer. He's a collector of fine paintings.
この前、ガストラ皇帝に会ったぜ。 
……とは言っても「絵」だけどな。
アウザーさんの家にあるんだが
なかなかよくかけてるよ。
I met Emperor Gastra the other day.
...well, actually, just his portrait.
It's in Auzer-san's house,
and painted quite well.
I saw the Emperor recently!
A painting of him, that is...
It's in Owzer's house.
アウザーは有能な絵かきを見つけて
来ては、家で絵をかかせていたよ。
Auzer found a talented artist to
put to work painting in his house.
Owzer sought out a highly skilled artist to come and paint for him.

I think we know who that is. Head to the mansion to find the lights off and the staircase to the art gallery actively refusing entry. (Assuming Relm is here now. If she's still in the cave, or was there and has not yet recovered, then the lights will be on and nothing unusual will happen.)

来…るな…… Stay... away... Stay...away...

Odd. Maybe this conveniently open book will have some answers.

アウザーの日記が置いてある…
Auzer's journal was left here...
It's Owzer's diary...
久々に大きな買い物をした。
ふつうの絵よりもサイズが大きいので
1階にはかざれそうもない。
あとで置く場所を考えるとしようか。
I made my first big purchase in a long time.
It's a larger size than the usual paintings,
so I can't decorate the first floor with it.
I'll think about where to put it later.
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.
今日、ゾゾから画家がやってきた。
絵を見せてもらったが、まったく話に
ならない。時間のムダだった。
An artist from Zozo came today. I had him
show me his paintings, but they weren't
even worth talking about. A waste of time.
An artist came from Zozo today. He wanted me to see his work. What a waste of time.
階段のところのランプがこわれたので
道具屋で新しいのを買ってきた。
少し高かったが、スイッチひとつで
すぐ明るくなるので気持ちがいい。
The lamp by the stairs broke, so I went
to the item shop and bought a new one.
It was a bit expensive, but it lights up quite
nicely with just the flip of a switch.
Bought a new stairway lamp at the Item Shop. Expensive, but one flip of the switch and everything's bright and cheery.
コーリンゲンから画家を呼んできた。
しかし、私の目にかなうほどのウデでは
なかったようだ。
I called an artist from Kohlingen here.
He didn't seem to have skill enough
to satisfy my eye, though.
I invited over an artist from Kohlingen. About as talented as a bucket...
最近、体の調子がおかしい。
どうやら、あの絵をかかせてからだ。
そういえば最近、地下室の方から
変な音が聞こえるような気がする。
I've been feeling off recently. It seems to
be since I had that painting done. Which
reminds me, I feel like I've been hearing
odd noises from the basement lately.
Something's happening to me.
It started when I had that picture painted...
And I've started hearing odd noises coming from downstairs.
日記はここで終わっていた…… The journal ends at this point... The diary ends here...

That sounds ominous, but regardless, a quick check of the lamp turns the lights back on and makes the staircase behave itself. There seems to be nothing but paintings here, but a few are more than they appear. Let's start with the portrait of the emperor.

    ガストラ皇帝の絵だ…    Emperor Gastra's portrait...  Emperor Gestahl's portrait.

The artist mentioned selling it to Auzer, and also talked about putting something in it. The soldier at the coliseum spoke of talking to the emperor twice. It turns out that the portrait is hiding a letter, found by examining it a second time.

「皇帝の手紙」 を手に入れた
手紙には次のようにかいてある。
秘宝は、山が星型にならぶ所に隠した。
Got the Emperor's Letter.
The following is written in the letter:
I hid the secret treasure where the
mountains align as a pentagram.
         Received the
     "Emperor's Letter."

The letter reads as follows:
The treasure is hidden where the mountains form a star...

Sounds like something worth investigating later on. But let's look at some other paintings.

     きれいな花の絵だ。 A picture of pretty flowers.    A still-life of flowers.
    まるで生きてるようだ… They almost seem alive...    They almost look alive...

That's nice, but... wait, how are they attacking? Bring lots of MEvd and kill them with fire. Quickly, or face the horror of Temptation.

Temptation causes 'charmed' status, which resembles 'confused', but with a few important differences. There's no way to have immunity to it, there's no way to cure it, and affected characters (monsters too) appear normal, other than acting suicidally. The Rage for these gets Temptation, too, making Roflesh Meadow the single most abusable one in the game. Fight and kill them before finishing the area, or the battle won't be available.

That was unexpected. Are all the pictures of pretty things hazardous?

    きれいな女性の絵だ。 A picture of a pretty woman.   Picture of a lovely lady.

Apparently so. Fortunately, the pair of Misty isn't nearly as dangerous as the trio of flowers, and winning reveals a doorway. Enter to find a small but strange dungeon. Most enemies, including the two above, have some kind of animal suit to steal (for Stragus and Relm).

Be especially wary of the Nation Rhythm, which throws pointy objects for massive damage every turn. Hit them with 'confuse', 'sleep', or 'stop' (or 'berserk' if you have nothing more debilitating) to prevent this. Alternately, just give everyone 'transparent' status and try to avoid leaving a Mine Ball or Coeurl Cat alone at any time, since they're the only things in random encounters here that have magic-based attacks, and only use those when no other monsters are alive.

Passing directly in front of the painting of a chair will suck the party in for a forced battle, but only the first time.

The only interesting chest contents in the area are a Moogle Suit (through the left door) and a Ring of the Dead (in an obvious passage behind one wall). The suit makes Stragus or Relm appear as a Moogle in combat as an interesting side effect, while the ring has the unusual effect of making its wearer effectively undead.

Navigate past the door maze (pick left) and the monster-trapped floating chests, and fight Naracamicie, fairly unremarkable except for its Death Sentence counterattack, in yet another haunted painting to open the way onward.

Interesting how the painting of Maria keeps changing which way she's facing.

Save if desired, then take the righthand door to finally find Auzer (the left door just dumps you out a few rooms earlier). Relm is here too, working on a painting.

アウザー「た、たのむ…… 
 あの絵を助けてくれ……
『あの絵…!?
アウザー「わしの…
 わしの大事な女神の絵に
 魔物がとりついて…
『魔物!?
アウザー「…そうじゃ。
 しかもこいつが絵の中に隠れて
 なかなか姿をあらわさない…
Auzer: I b-beg of you...
 Save that painting...
"The painting...!?"
Auzer: There's...
 a monster possessing my
 precious goddess painting...
"A monster!?"
Auzer: ...that's right.
 And on top of that it's hiding inside
 the painting and rarely shows itself...
OWZER: P...please...
Help that painting!!
The painting!?
OWZER: It's...there's a monster hiding in my prized painting of a goddess...
A monster?!
OWZER: Yes...
And now it's nearly impossible to get it to show itself...

The screen flashes.

{リルム}「キャッ!
アウザー「{リルム}!
 女神の絵に攻撃しちゃいかん。
 とんでもない事になるぞ!
{Relm}: Eep!
Auzer: {Relm}!
 You can't attack the goddess painting.
 That would be outrageous!
{RELM}: Ahhhhh!!
OWZER: {RELM}!
We can't attack this masterpiece! It would be inexcusable!
チャダルヌーク「グフフフ…… 
  またジャマが入ったか……
 こいつは久しぶりにいい絵だわい…
 誰にもジャマはさせんぞ!!
Chadarnook: Ghu fu fu...
 Here comes another hindrance...
 I haven't had such a fine painting in ages...
 I won't let anyone get in my way!!
CHADARNOOK: G'fu, fu, fu...
Who're these numbskulls?
No one...NO ONE...is going to remove me from this fine new painting!!

Battle ensues. You start off facing the painting itself rather than the spirit possessing it.

In the NA release, she's one of several censored enemies, given a thicker and less skillfully drawn extra layer of mist. Even the original showed less than an average bikini, though, so I'm not sure what the big deal was. Apparently, the Playstation port lacks the added mist but it's back again in the GBA port.

あくりょう
この絵の女は、わしがいただいた……
そう簡単には返さないぜ……
Evil Spirit:
I have claimed the woman in this picture...
I won't give her back so easily...
DEMON:
The girl in the picture is mine!
You can't have her!

As Auzer said, rule #1 of this battle is Do Not Attack The Painting. It does no good (she just comes back to life even if her HP are depleted), and will often provoke a counterattack, which may be the unique Poltergeist attack. Poltergeist sets a special status effect on all characters that resembles 'slip', but seems to inflict damage significantly more often (or maybe repeated uses just stack), is completely unpreventable and incurable, and removes 'regenerate' status even if granted by an accessory. It also has a special casting message:

死ぬまで体力がへり続けるぞ Your health will keep dropping until you die. Casts away your energy 'till......

Instead of attacking, wait, and the evil spirit will switch in. Bring protection against Thunder to better survive its attacks, and also against Ice or Water for Flash Rain later into the battle. Attack with Flame or Holy for best results. The monster and goddess will keep switching places with little warning, so try to make sure not to input an attack unless it's certain to hit the right target. This should go without saying, but avoid anything that makes a character uncontrollable (Umaro, Rage, or Dance) or has a significant delay before striking (Jump or Quetzal's Sonic Dive).

More concretely, the demon hides and exposes the goddess every four times it's attacked (not reset if the goddess appears due to the timer), or whenever the elapsed time since the start of combat reaches a multiple of 40 seconds (unfortunately, this does not mean 40 seconds since it most recently appeared, and it's not unusual for it to show itself and then immediately hide again because of the timer). The demon comes out of hiding after the goddess takes a certain number of turns. At the beginning of combat or after the demon hides in response to attacks, the goddess gets one turn, which has a 33% chance of being Temptation—fortunately, 'charmed' status goes away when the demon comes back out—but will more often just be a normal attack. If the demon hid because of the timer, the goddess instead gets three turns. The first one is again Temptation (33%) or a normal attack (67%), the second may be a normal attack or Kiss of Death (physical, sets 'death sentence') or Lullaby (attempts to set 'sleep' on all characters), and the third may be Kiss of Death (33%) or just a normal attack (67%). Bring Ribbons and Safety Bits if you want.

The demon's actions mix normal attacks with ○ Thundara and ○ Thundaga. After taking 14,640 damage, it changes patterns, cutting back on normal attacks and abandoning ○ Thundara in favor of using Flash Rain almost half the time. It may counter with ○ Thundara during either attack pattern.

You can also kill Chadarnook by draining its magic points, but with 7,600 MP compared to only 30,000 HP, it's not worth the bother. A more interesting unorthodox strategy combines Reflect Rings with Edgar's Weakmaker to give it a weakness against it's own Thunder spells, but Temptation could still cause problems.

Nothing dropped and no items to steal, so just try to kill it quickly and cleanly.

お、おのれ……
こんなはずでは……
Wh-why you...
This cannot be...
I...I'm...
This can't be......

The following unused line might have been intended to appear if the painting ran out of health before the spirit.

アウザー「だめじゃ!だめじゃ!
 わしの大事な女神の絵に
 キズがついたらどうするんじゃ!?
 魔物だけをねらうんじゃぞ!
Auzer: Don't! Don't!
 What if you damage my
 precious goddess painting!?
 Aim only for the monster!
OWZER: No! Noooo!
You can't ruin this painting of my revered goddess!
Aim only for the monster!!

It's gone. That's better. And the lights are back on now, too.

{リルム}「おーい!
 魔物はくたばったから安心しろよ。
{Relm}: Hey!
 The monster's dropped dead so chill.
{RELM}: Hey!
Relax! The monster croaked!
アウザー「おかげで助かった…
 なんせ、命より大事な絵じゃからの。
{リルム}「へーえ。
 命よりも大事なんだ。
Auzer: Thanks to you, it's saved... the painting
 is more precious than my life, after all.
{Relm}: Oh really.
 More precious than your life.
OWZER: Thanks for saving the day! This picture's more precious to me than my own life!
{RELM}: Huh?!
What are you talking about?
『ところで…
 どうしてあの絵に魔物が…?
アウザー「競売場で買ってきた石を
 見ていたら、急にラクシュミの絵が
 ほしくなっての。
それから、いろんな画家にかかせたが
どうもパッとしない。
ちょうどその時、街で{リルム}の
うわさを聞いての。
さっそく、ここへ連れてきて
ラクシュミの絵をかかせたんじゃ。
……ところが、かいている途中の
絵に、魔物がとりついた。 
きっと…
あの石の魔性に引きよせられたんじゃ。
"By the way... why was there
 a monster in that painting...?"
Auzer: Looking at a stone I bought at
 the auction house gave me a sudden
 urge to have a painting of Lakshmi.
Since then I've had all sorts of artists
paint one, but none could satisfy me.
It was around that time that I heard
rumors of {Relm} in the town.
I brought her here at once and had
her paint Lakshmi for me.
...but when she was in the middle of
painting, the monster possessed it.
It must have been...
lured here by the stone's magic.
Now...what was a monster doing in that picture?!
OWZER: It all started when I bought a stone at the Auction House.
I took one look at it and suddenly felt I needed a portrait of Starlet.
I asked several artists, but none could muster enough skill.
It was then that I heard about {RELM}'s amazing ability.
I brought her here, and put her to work.
But while she was painting, that thing came along...
It must have been enticed here by that stone.
『その石はどこに…?
アウザー「その石か? 
 そこの本だなにしまってあるが…
"Where is that stone...?"
Auzer: The stone? I've put it away
 in the bookshelf over there...
Where is the stone...?
OWZER: The stone?
Over on that bookshelf.

The following unused line makes me wonder what else you might have gotten here.

アウザー「おいおい、そっちじゃない。
 そいつは命の次に大事なもんだ。
だが、助けてもらった礼じゃ。
それもくれてやるわい。
Auzer: Hold on now, not that one.
 That's nearly as important as my life.
But as thanks for having you help
me, I'll give you that as well.
OWZER: Hey, not that.
That's priceless!!
But...seeing as you saved my hide, I'll give it to you as well.

Relm refuses to let the others leave without the stone.

{リルム}「ねーねー。
 石は持ってかないの?石は。
{Relm}: Hey, hey!
 The stone! Aren't you taking it?
{RELM}: The stone...!
Won't you take the stone?!

So go ahead and take it.

『これは魔石…
アウザー「もうあんな目にあうのは
 こりごりだ。タダでやるから
 持っていってくれんか。
"This is magicite..."
Auzer: It's brought me more than enough
 trouble already. I'll give it to you free of
 charge, so would you take it away?
This is Magicite...
OWZER: Phew. I don't need any more bad luck. Just take it and go!
 「魔石ラクシュミ」を手にいれた  Got the Lakshmi Magicite.     Received the Magicite
             "Starlet."
{リルム}「{リルム}行くよ。
 でも心配しないで……必ずこの絵を
 完成させるために戻ってくる!
アウザー「ああ…{リルム}や……。
 いつまででも待っておるからの……
{Relm}: I'm going.
 But don't worry... I'll be sure to come
 back and finish this painting!
Auzer: Ahh... {Relm}...
 I'll wait as long as it takes...
{RELM}: I have to go!
But fear not, I'll be back to finish this painting!
OWZER: I'll be waiting for you!

The following lines go unused.

アウザー「
 不思議な力がやどっておる。
くさった世界を救うための
ただ一つの希望……。それが
この子の絵にはあるんじゃ。
『その世界に光を取り戻すためには
 {リルム}の力が必要なんです。
Auzer:
 A mysterious power dwells within.
The only hope for saving
this rotting world... it lies
in this girl's paintings.
"We need {Relm}'s help to bring
 the light back into this world."
OWZER:
What a tremendous gift!
This young lady's pictures just might help salvage this rotting world of ours!
We need to take {RELM} with us!
She might just be our only chance to restore the sunny days of our not-too-distant past!
アウザー「…ゴホッ……ゴホ…
{リルム}「じじい! 
 だいじょうぶか!?
アウザー「本当に戻るのかのお?
『……わからない。
 でも…このままでは
 世界は確実に破滅する……
アウザー「破滅……か。
『もう時間がないんだ。
 だから{リルム}を……
Auzer: ...*cough*... *cough*...
{Relm}: Geezer!
 Are you okay!?
Auzer: Will it really come back?
"...we don't know.
 But... the world will definitely
 go to ruin as things stand..."
Auzer: Ruin...
"There's no time left.
 So, {Relm}..."
OWZER: Cough...hack...
{RELM}: Old man!
Are you all right?!
OWZER: You think things will ever be as they were?
...We don't know...
but if we don't try...
OWZER: We'll lose everything...
We haven't much time.
We need {RELM}'s help now...
アウザー「もう一度だけ…… 
 {リルム}をだかせてくれんか…
Auzer: Would you let me hug {Relm}...
 just one more time...?
OWZER: Let me at least hug her
one last time...
アウザー「…{リルム}や…
 ゴホッ…
 またここへ戻ってきてくれるか?
 そして……また
 わしのために絵をかいてくれるか?
Auzer: ...{Relm}...
 *cough*...
 Will you come back here again?
 And... will you paint for me again?
OWZER: {RELM}...
Cough...Hackack...
Will you come back some day?
And paint me another of your masterpieces?
{リルム}「まかしといてよ。
アウザー「よしよし……
 いい子じゃ……
{Relm}: Leave it to me.
Auzer: Good, good...
 Good girl...
{RELM}: I'll come back.
OWZER: Thank you...
Such a nice girl!

Maybe it seemed a bit too pedophiliac...


Tower of the Cefca Fanatics  | | | | . . . . . . . . .

Stick Relm in the party and land the airship next to the tower built on the Serpent's Way near Nikaea.

The (spoilerific thanks to showing the World of Ruin to begin with) map provided with the game documentation calls this the "Fanatics' Tower." However, it has no in-game name, and the word "fanatics" never once appears in the NA version of the game, which calls them the "Cult of Kefka" instead.

3-12 "Fanatics" plays at and inside of the tower. The line of fanatics pacing around the tower includes Stragus, but Relm will have none of that.

{リルム}「こらあ!
 くそじじー!!!
 しゃきっとせんかあ!!!
{Relm}: Hey!
 You rotten old geezer!!!
 Can't you hold yourself together!?!
{RELM}: You!!
You old fool!!!
You're still standing?!

Stragus leaps out of formation to land next to Relm, and the music fades out.

{ストラゴス}「{リルム}!
 {リルム}なのかあ!!
 生きておったか!!!
{Stragus}: {Relm}!
 {Relm}, it's you!!
 You're alive!!!
{STRAGO}: {RELM}!
Is that you, my dear?
You're alive!!

Relm seems a bit overwhelmed, but quickly regains her composure. "Relm" starts playing.

{リルム}「バカね。おじいちゃん。
 元気だしてよ。
{ストラゴス}「おお……
 わしはてっきり……
{リルム}「おじいちゃんより先に
 いくわけないでしょ!!
 このおいぼれ!! ふふ!
{Relm}: Grampa, you idiot.
 Cheer up.
{Stragus}: Ohh...
 I was so sure...
{Relm}: Like there's any chance
 I'd go before you do, grampa!!
 You senile old fool!! *giggle*!
{RELM}: Idiot!
Of course I'm all right!
{STRAGO}: Oh...
I'm so happy...
{RELM}: Did you think I was gonna check out before you, old man?! Ah, ha, ha...

Stragus looks shocked. Relm just laughs.

{ストラゴス}「あいかわらず
 口の悪い子じゃ。
 ……うれしいぞい。
{リルム}「またいっしょにいこうよ。
 みんなといっしょに!
{Stragus}: And you're just as
 foul-mouthed a girl as ever.
 ...I'm glad.
{Relm}: Let's be together again.
 With everyone else!
{STRAGO}: You're as foul-mouthed as ever, bless your heart!
{RELM}: Come along now...
We're all glad to see you!

Stragus springs over to the others.

{ストラゴス}「うおー!
 元気が出てきたぞい!
 よ~し、わしもがんばるぞい~!!!
{Stragus}: Oh!
 I'm feeling energetic!
 Okay, I'll give it my best shot, too!!!
{STRAGO}: Whoa!
Well I'll be...
All right, make room for me!

And so Stragus rejoins. I'll cover the tower itself later, after recruiting the final character and collecting more equipment.

If you're not ready to tackle the tower yet but take Mog up with Moruru's Charm to loot treasures, avoid the room at the very top. Approaching the chest there results in a boss battle on the roof that you'll want to be well-prepared for. Contacting the dragon roaming one room will also result in a boss fight.

Before we leave, one of the thieves here has (expensive) information that may prove useful.

秘密のお宝ネタを教えてやろうか?
100000ギルでいいぜ?
Want me to give you a lead on secret
treasure? 100,000 gil will do the trick.
For 100000 GP I'll tell ya 'bout a secret treasure!
きまえがいいねえ! 
情報だ…
フィガロの砂漠の下には、古代の城が
あるらしい。きっとお宝だらけだぜ…
それと、これは聞いた話なんだが…
ナルシェの武器屋に住む老人が
おまえたちをさがしてるらしい…
How generous of you!
Here's the info...
Beneath the Figaro Desert supposedly lies an
ancient castle. It's bound to be full of treasure...
Also, this is just what I heard, but...
apparently the old man living in the Narshe
weapon shop is looking for you guys...
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...

The cultists never bother to fill in the gap Stragus left in their line. It's also amusing to try talking to them repeatedly. They won't respond, but will (very) briefly stop moving if disturbed at the right moment. Especially with a turbo controller, it's possible to foul them up quite a bit.



Previous Part: Express Recruiting

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