Previous Part: Surreal Sidequests

Storyline text and attempted translations from...

Final Fantasy VI

Bosses covered in this section: Master Tonberry (chest), Samurai Soul (chest), Blue Dragon, Holy Dragon, Magic Master

フィガロ城  Figaro Castle  | | | . . . . . . . . . . .  FIGARO CASTLE

A thief mentioned rumors of an ancient castle under the Figaro Desert, so let's try taking Figaro Castle back underground and see if anything happens.

Is this stratum... somehow odd?
We got caught on... something.
There's something odd about this stratum...
It's as if we've bumped into something...

Stop the castle and head to the opening in the dungeons to find a strange cave...

Subterranean Cave  | | | . . . . . . . . . . .

"The Serpent Trench" plays. Expect monsters, of course. Most in this area are weak against Holy but have innate 'reflect', so weapons like the Holy Lance work well. Chests in the cave contain an Ether Turbo, a Wing Edge, Death's Cards, a Magicite Shard, and an X-Potion, but watch out for the one that contains the Tonberry Master, the deadliest monster found in a treasure chest anywhere in this game, and one of only a few to have boss music.

Like the Tonberries in the chest in Umaro's cave, the Tonberry Master will gradually approach, using Carving Knife (800% damage) when it gets too close, though it only retreats partway after that. Unlike those Tonberries, it also uses Barrier Change with every step, and that's as annoying as ever. It also uses Pacing Damage as a random counter attack, which can be quite deadly, depending. Furthermore, its attacks vary depending on its current weakness, covering seven of the eight elements, so comprehensive resistance is a big help. However, it's vulnerable to 'sleep', so knowing that and taking advantage should make the battle go smoothly. Add in some 'slow' and 'poison' for good measure, though note that the poisoning isn't likely to do any good if Barrier Change has occurred.

More specifically, the attacks it uses are: ○ Blizzaga when weak to Flame, ○ Figa when weak to Ice, ○ Tornado when weak to Thunder, ○ Quake when weak to Water, Great Tidal Wave when weak to Earth, ○ Thundaga when weak to Wind, ○ Bio when weak to Holy, and ○ Holy when weak to Poison. All attacks but Carving Knife are magical and require MP, so depleting it is also an option, but keep in mind that Pacing Damage only costs 1 MP for monsters.

Steal an Elixir (common) or Last Elixir (rare), and win for the Gladius, a powerful Holy dagger that nearly any character can use.

Continue on to find a save point at the bottom of one stairway, with another stairway leading deeper inward.

Ancient Castle  | | | . . . . . . . . . . .

Hey, there's a castle lying in ruins here.

『ここは……? "Where are we...?" What the...?

The screen scrolls upward, then takes on a sepia tint as the music stops. Several soldiers emerge from the gates, with the screen shaking. Magic blasts them off their feet, and another soldier steps out.

: A Genjuu attack!!
 Deploy our Genjuu too!!!
It's an Esper attack!
Let's show him some of OUR Esper magic!

The flashback fades, returning the focus to the party.

『1000年前の…… "A thousand years ago..." A 1000 years in the past, a battle was waged here...

The flashback resumes, now inside the castle.

: No Genjuu of ours are
 left but Sir Odin!
: Are his wounds healed?
Only Odin is here!
Are your wounds healed?
: We don't have much choice...
 We fully entrust the final
 deciding battle to Sir Odin...
We're fresh outta options.
We'll have to leave this battle in Odin's hands...

The flashback fades, again returning the focus to the party.

『魔大戦でほろびた都市…… "A city destroyed in the Great Magic War..." A city, ruined during the War of the Magi...

The flashback resumes in another indoor area. A knight on horseback faces a group of cloaked figures.

       斬鉄剣!  Zantetsuken!           Atom Edge!

Charging forward, the knight cleaves them all in half. Another cloaked figure enters and faces off with the knight.

       斬鉄剣!  Zantetsuken!           Atom Edge!

But it doesn't work. The cloaked figure taunts, then rushes him. The knight turns grey.

Odin: Not bad...
 Never expected you to petrify me...
ODIN: Don't do it...
You can't turn me into Magicite...

A tip of the hat to Final Fantasy V, where a Break-enchanted sword is the best way to beat Odin, though the real trouble is stealing from him first...

The flashback fades again, and the usual music resumes.

"I've heard of it in ancient legends...
 A master sorcerer and the Genjuu Odin
 battled in the castle's great hall..."
There's an ancient legend...
It tells of a battle between
Odin and a powerful sorcerer
that took place in a great
hall of the castle...

Search to the right of the main door to find a room with the Punisher, an oddball rod that tries to be a fighter's weapon. To the left is another door, this one with another monster in a chest that gets boss music.

Samurai Soul has all sorts of interesting and potentially nasty things in its script, but simply inflicting 'confusion' or using Sketch should finish the battle in short order, as each has a decent chance to yield Assassination Sword, killing it dead despite instant death immunity.

Attacks faced if fighting conventionally include Katon, Suiton, Raijin, Murder Gale, Shockwave, and Thousand Needles. It responds to every six Battle commands by using Assassination Sword on a random character. Every three uses of Magic or Memorized Techniques are met with Throwing an Asura or Kunai (over 8000 damage to a single character), then using Coin Toss (3660 total damage spread evenly across all allies) on the next turn. Additionally, after forty seconds of battle, Saumrai Soul pulses, gaining 'decoy' and 'reflect' status (but due to 'slow' immunity, fails to gain 'haste' as scripted).

サムライソウルはパワーをあげた Samurai Soul increased power. KatanaSoul's power up!

Samurai Soul is weak against Poison and vulnerable to 'poison'. Take advantage of this if using instant death doesn't seem sporting.

Steal for a Murasame (common) or Ame no Murakumo (rare), and win for the Proof of Initiation, an accessory that (in short) makes fighters hit four times at half damage per hit. This has plenty of potential, but works best with weapons boasting unusual abilities that aren't negated by it.

On a side note, this is the only monster in a treasure chest that you can run away from. Don't run away from it. The chest will remain open, preventing you from initiating battle again, and you'll never be able to get the item.

Enter the castle proper to find Odin's petrified remains.

Odin shattered and
became magicite...
      Odin turned into a
        Magicite shard...

Odin kills all enemies (or tries to) when summoned, (slowly) teaches ○ Meteor, and is the only Genjuu to provide an agility bonus on level up.

Look around to find an Ether Super in a bucket, as well as chests containing a Gold Headdress and the Snowstorm Orb. The orb enables Umaro's Snowstorm attack when worn and gives him a magic bonus to help back it up. Of more storyline interest is the sparkling book in one room.

Gems sparkle on a book's cover...
"Princess's Diary"
...I do indeed love Odin-sama...
A thing which cannot be allowed...
But none can bind a person's heart.
Still less my heart, which longs
for him with his lofty heart...
None can censure me...
When this battle ends...
I shall surely...
pour out these feelings of mine...
A book,
with a gem-
encrusted cover...
Queen's Diary
I realize, now, that I am in love with Odin...
This...breaks every rule of our society.
But my heart longs for this noble, elegant man.
How could anyone blame me?
After the fighting is over I'm going to bare my soul to him...

If present.

{ティナ}「人と幻獣の恋…… {Tina}: Love between human and Genjuu... {TERRA}: Love between a human and an Esper...

That seems to be all that's here, but is it?

フィガロ城  Figaro Castle  | | | . . . . . . . . . . .  FIGARO CASTLE

After finding the castle buried underground, talk to the scholars in the library.


Amazing that a millenium-old city
was buried under this desert...
I tried investigating ancient writings
to learn more about that city.
I don't know what this means, but...

"When the princess rises and takes five steps..."
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...

Well, this bears investigating.

Ancient Castle  | | | . . . . . . . . . . .

Search five steps down from the throne on the righthand side of the screen to find a hidden switch that opens a secret passage in the princess's room. Here, we find that...

"Even the princess...
 was turned to stone..."
Even the Queen was turned to stone...
"The stone is..."
A tear comes...
From the stone...?
The magicite Odin levels up...
becoming the magicite Raideen!
  The Magicite "Odin" gains
             a level...
  and becomes the Magicite

Odin and his agility bonus are gone, but Raideen is the only source of the arguably overpowered ◎ Quick spell.

There aren't any random encounters down here. Maybe the dragon ate them all. Yes, there's a dragon. Throw on some waterproofing and have at it.

Unsurprisingly, the Blue Dragon uses and absorbs Water while sporting a weakness to Thunder. Though it also uses physical attacks with some frequency, the lack of variety should make it easy to deal with. Gau should Rage Aspilance for appropriate absorption paired with the powerful 1000 Kilovolts attack. If partial to status effects, 'slow' and 'poison' will work. However, avoid using 'haste' status on the party, since the dragon tends to steal it.

Specifically, if any character has 'haste' status, the Blue Dragon will, at most once every few turns, cast ◎ Slow on itself followed by Ripple on that character to swap status effects, unless it already has 'haste' or 'protect' status. You could also set this off deliberately if Stragus is in the party and hasn't learned that skill yet, and he can learn the Great Tidal Wave the dragon opens with as well.

If you feel like playing with the Kappa equipment set, this is a great battle for it, thanks to the absorption. Give someone 'kappa' status, equip with Sagojou's Spear, Carapace Shield, Dish, and Armor Kappa, optionally combining with the Wyrmknight's Boots and Wyvern's Horn, and the battle should be a breeze.

Beat the dragon for the Zantetsuken, which is, appropriately enough, Odin's weapon. It has a random chance to slay its target outright, even undead monsters, and is probably the best weapon for Cayenne, since the only more powerful one he can naturally use is otherwise completely unremarkable.

The connection did not fare well in translation, making this a "Scimitar" with no apparent link to Odin's "Atom Edge" or Raideen's "True Edge". They could have called it the "Slicer" and made Raideen's summon something like "Neo Slicer" to preserve the upgraded feel, and all without exceeding any character limits.

     8竜 あと3ひき Eight Dragons: Three more left       3 dragons left.

Unused combat text for this dragon:

Blue Dragon called an ally!
Summoned the Earth Dragon!
Blue Dragon called its pal!
Dirt Dragon summoned!

Okay, this time that's everything.

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

Once confident in the party's stock of magic and equipment setup, consider warily returning to this tower. Bring plenty of supplies.

This is the tower of the Cefca Fanatics.
I hear that on the top floor is one heck of
a treasure...
But you can't use anything but magic inside.
Unless you can use super strong magic,
you'll be toast in no time if you try climbing it.
The members of the "Cult of Kefka" live in this tower.
There's something wondrous atop it!
You can only use magic attacks inside, so unless your magic's strong, you'll never make it to the top!

And there's the problem with this place. Both a good command of magic and good defense against it will be all but essential.

All characters except Gogo and Umaro will have Magic (or Chain Magic if using a Soul of Thamasa) and Items as their only commands (other than Change and Defend, of course). Gogo keeps Mimicry, keeps Items if set, and gets Magic if Battle (not Magic) is set. Stragus's Memorized Techniques are NOT available despite conceptually being magic, and neither are any other magic-like abilities. The exception is that Umaro acts no differently from usual, which can be an advantage but is typically not worth the unpredicability or the lack of equipment options. Characters (and monsters) in 'berserk' status will also attack physically as usual.

Physical attack and defense are useless (unless tossing 'berserk' or a Sonic Dive into the mix), so focus on enhancements and magical defenses. Load up on all the elemental immunities and absorptions, or at least resistances, possible. Force Shields are made for this place, and the oddball Kappa equipment set works well too, since its impressive magic defense works regardless. The Hero's Shield, Force Armor, and Minerva Bustier are other excellent equipment choices, but then, they always are, so no surprise there. Status immunity (Ribbon) is another good thing to have, as is immunity to instant death (Safety Bit or Memento Ring). Reflect Rings may also help, and many guides go as far as to insist that everyone wear one at all times, but some enemies will bounce spells off themselves or use unreflectable magic, so don't assume that's nearly enough to ensure safety.

Of course, Mog can use Moruru's Charm to skip all but the boss battles, but where's the fun in that? Either way, here's a quick rundown of the enemies encountered in the tower. The HP of each numbered enemy is ten times the level in its name (which is NOT its actual level).

Magic Level 10: Little purple warlocks. They're undead, fragile, and have no interesting attacks. Target the Flame weakness, or revive them. ◎ Raspir and ○ Dejon work too.

Magic Level 20: Pudgy little mages in mustard robes. These have innate 'reflect' and no weaknesses, and like to use nasty spells that include ○ Graviga and ○ Dejon. A ○ Dejon of your own is probably the best way to handle them.

Magic Level 30: Dancers in green. No particularly interesting attacks. Petrify them for a quick kill, or take advantage of their Poison weakness.

Magic Level 40: Floating with umbrellas. They may counter with status magic, but ○ Break and ○ Drain are their only offense. Use Thunder against them.

Magic Level 50: Lichs with big pink smoke clouds. Not too impressive, so hit them with Flame or Holy, or revive them.

Magic Level 60: Awkwardly posed blue ones. Beware of ○ Quake, ○ Tornado, and ○ Holy. Use ◎ Silence to cripple them, then kill with Flame.

Magic Level 70: Fiery mages. They use the -ga attack spells and have innate 'reflect'. Use ○ Dejon to save yourself the trouble of trying to bounce spells at them.

Magic Level 80: Ladies in orange. These respond to 'reflect' status on allies or enemies, changing tactics to bounce offensive or healing magic as appropriate. ○ Break makes short work of them, though.

Magic Level 90: Evil, evil, flying witchy things. These have innate 'reflect' and love to use ○ Flare, ○ Meteor, and ○ Melton. All ignore magic defense, and all but the first are also unreflectable. You can use elemental defenses to avoid damage from the last one, but it also heals them, so it's still annoying regardless. There's no quick and dirty way to kill these, but you can make things easier by bouncing ◎ Stop off someone. Naturally, ○ Ultima works too, but that goes without saying.

Magic Pot: Purple goblins in jars. Aside from being a shout-out to FF5, these are actually friendly. They use healing items on your party (or revival magic if someone's downed), but may run away after each action or when attacked. Additionally, they absorb every element and are immune to every status ailment possible. Make sure to encounter some, since they appear on the Beast Plain, and Gau gets all these defensive benefits plus ● Curega with the Rage.

Enter the door in the first section to find a Safety Bit, then search to the right of the chest as suggested by the thief in Maranda to find a hidden switch. This opens another room a floor down that contains the Air Anchor, Edgar's final Machine, with the oddball effect of a delayed instant-death that can't miss, barring immunity. The Air Anchor room also contains no enemies except Magic Pots, so feel free to take advantage of that. The second segment of the tower has a room with a Genji's Shield, then the third has a Kagenui for Shadow and a roaming dragon for killing.

The Holy Dragon is a pushover if properly prepared. The only actions it can take are casting ○ Holy normally and ◎ Dispel as a counterattack. It absorbs Holy and has no weaknesses, but the status vulnerabilites are glaring. Not only do 'slow' and 'stop' work, but so does 'silence', shutting it down completely. It's sad, really.

Steal (with a berserked character and a Thief's Knife) for an X-Potion (common) or Holy Lance (rare). Winning also gives a scripted Holy Lance.

「ホーリーランス」を手に入れた! Got a Holy Lance!      Got "Pearl Lance"!
     8竜 あと2ひき Eight Dragons: Two more left       2 dragons left.

Unused combat text for this dragon:

Holy Dragon called an ally!
Summoned the Red Dragon!
White Dragon called its pal!
Red Dragon summoned!

Inexplicably, the conceptually unique Holy Dragon will appear on the Beast Plain, giving a chance to steal more Holy Lances. It's also a solid Rage for Gau.

Continue to the fourth section, where the room contains a Force Armor, then on to finally reach the roof, which has a room of its own. Enter to find a chest with the Soul of Thamasa, a unique accessory that disables summoning but allows the user to cast two spells per turn. Equip it on a good spellcaster immediately, since the fanatics have noticed the party's intrusion and block escape as soon as they leave the room (even if the chest was only approached and not actually opened).

   ケフカさまの おたから~
    おたから~ かえせ~
Cefca-sama's treeeeasure...
Give baaaack... the treeeeasure...
  Master Kefka's treasure...
     Return it...   Now...!

A cloaked figure comes up the stairs, flies around a little, then attacks. And so the battle with the Magic Master, quite possibly That One Boss of the game, begins. The battle is a pain for three main reasons. First, it's still in this tower, so actions are limited to magic, items, or uncontrollable characters in the form of 'berserk' or Umaro. Second, every attack against him will be countered with Barrier Change, which means his weakness keeps changing, while every element but his weakness will either heal him or have no effect. Third and most painfully, upon running out of health, Magic Master will cast ○ Ultima. There is no way to prevent this except depleting his 50,000 MP, there is no way to avoid it except by being in the middle of a jump when it occurs, there is no way to seal it because skills are unavailable, and there is no way to block, dodge, or otherwise defend against the damage. With Magic Master's level and stats, the spell will inflict over 5,400 damage at minimum against multiple characters, and if there's only a single target to take the hit, that's 9,999 guaranteed.

Fortunately, his regular attacks are less of a problem despite his high magic power, since all can be reflected, all can be blocked, and all can be absorbed or nullified with the right setup. He favors ○ Figa, ○ Blizzaga, and ○ Thundaga, and throws in an occassional ○ Fira, ○ Blizzara, ○ Thundara, ○ Death, ○ Bio, or ◎ Silence for variety. Use Reflect Rings or appropriate defensive gear, and the bulk of the battle will pose no danger.

The easiest tactic is to equip the party with Reflect Rings, cast ● Reraise on at least one character, and wait. As long as you don't do anything to Magic Master directly, he won't use Barrier Change, leaving him with normal vulnerability to all elements. This means his own spells will eventually kill him. Once he runs out of health, he'll cast ○ Ultima, but everyone with 'reraise' in place will recover, so you win. If you don't have Reflect Rings on or he's already used Barrier Change, just cast ◎ Berserk on him (he's somehow vulnerable) and ◎ Vanish on your characters to avoid all damage until that final spell (status effects are cleared on death, so he'll still cast it despite 'berserk'), then either find his weakness and exploit it if possible or bring him down with non-elemental attacks.

There are a few alternate strategies, too. You can drain his MP until he can't cast ○ Ultima, but take note of that 50,000 total and realize that it isn't going to be quick. You can carefully watch his HP and summon Quetzal when he's on the brink of death, which means victory as long as someone's still in the air when ○ Ultima goes off, but if you mistime it, you're out of luck. Finally, it's possible to raise your health high enough to survive ○ Ultima. If attempting this, aim for over 6,200 hit points, stay healed up, and make sure to have at least two characters alive so that the damage will be halved, otherwise no amount of health will save you.

It's kind of funny that while Magic Master does have high magic power for a monster (25 in a game where few are over 10), it's not the highest, or even in the top five, but in a five-way tie for seventh place.

A 'berserk' character with a Thief's Knife can steal a Crystal Orb (rare) or an Elixir (common). Winning nets a Last Elixir, plus getting to keep that Soul of Thamasa. The fanatics make no further efforts to hinder the party's departure, having left the roof entirely by the time the battle ends. However, the regular random encounters are still there, and it's impossible to warp out of the tower, so have Moruru's Charm handy or else be ready for more battle.

Previous Part: Surreal Sidequests

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