Previous Part: The Blackjack

Storyline text and attempted translations from...

Final Fantasy VI

帝国首都ベクタ  Imperial Capital Vector  | | . . . .  VECTOR

"The Empire "Gestahl"" plays, adding to the gloomy mood that the rusty girders all over the town already give off. Parts of the town are too overrun with Imperial soldiers to navigate safely. Bumping into any of the guards starts a battle, and even a win gets the party kicked back to the entrance to town.

『あぶない、あぶない… "That was a close one..." Danger...danger...

Going too far north results in a run-in with some soldiers manning a big giant robot.

帝国兵「リターナーのザコめ! Imperial Soldier: Returner scum! SOLDIER: Returner scum!
ここは、とおさん!! I won't let you through here!! Won't let you pass!!

Don't even bother attacking. The completely invulnerable Guardian just mocks any puny attempts to damage it:

むだだ! Don't waste your effort! No use!

I'm tempted to just say "resistance is futile" here.

Anyway, in the main part of town, soldiers take special care to completely block off one track to the side.

Ahead is the Sorcery Research Laboratory.
No trespassing!
Magitek Research Facility.
No Entry!

Some lines from selected townsfolk:

They say General {Celes}
switched to the Returner side...
even though their cause is hopeless.
General {CELES} turned traitor!
Why? The other side's sure to
いいって、いいって… それより
You're Returners, right?
It's okay, it's okay... Anyhow, want
me to tell you some good info?
Imperial soldiers get the ability to use the
power of magic at the Sorcery Research
Laboratory. I hear the research lab's
Dr. Cid is a genius...
And one more bonus tidbit...
They say that Cefca guy is one of the
sorcerers made by Dr. Cid early on.
It's said they still had technical problems,
and while his sorcerous powers wound up
being extraordinary, his mind broke down...
You're Returners?
Not a problem by me. Shall I tell
you something neat?
All the soldiers in the Magitek
Research Facility can use magic!
That Prof. Cid is truly a genius!
Here's one for you...
That guy Kefka? He was Cid's
first experimental Magitek
But the process wasn't
perfected yet. Something in
Kefka's mind snapped that

博士 (hakase), the term used with Cid's name, refers to the holder of a doctorate degree (or an expert in general), not a medical doctor. And, of course, "all the soldiers there can use magic" means something very different from "the soldiers go there to gain magic".

おっと! 今のは忘れてくれ。
General Leo's a good man.
On the other hand, Cefca's...
Whoops! Forget I said that.
General Leo's a good man.
Compared to him, Kefka's a...
Oh! What am I saying?!
Rumor says that in the research lab they're
extracting the power of magic from monsters...
Could it be true?
Is it true they extract magic
from monsters inside the
General Leo doesn't have the power of sorcery.
That's what I call a real military man.
I like it.
General Leo refused a Magitek
infusion! He's a warrior's

One person in town throws guards at the party if they say they haven't pledged loyalty to the Empire, but beating the guards earns free healing there any time. The inn is also "free", but the innkeeper may steal 1000 gil while they sleep. Additionally, there's a boy in town who will heal them (even incapacitated characters, in a minor oversight), but only one hit point at a time.

Eventually, the party comes across a man half-hidden behind a large crate.

: Shh!
 I'm a Returner sympathizer.
 I've heard about you.
I'm a Returner sympathizer!
I've heard of you!
: Climb onto the girders from this box and
 sneak into the Sorcery Research Laboratory
 while I distract the Imperial soldiers.
While I distract the soldiers,
climb onto the steel tower
from this box, and enter the

When the party indicates their readiness, the man walks toward the guards, moving oddly.

Man: Wheeee!
 Ahve gotton awl drunk!
Imperial Soldier: Hey, you're in the way!!
MAN: I...I'm gonna be sick!
SOLDIER: Get outta here!
 は き そ う だ 
Man: Wheeee...
 Gunna pyoooke
Imperial Soldier: Gimme a break...
MAN: Urghh...
Gonna toss it all...

While the soldiers escort the man to the side of the walkway, Lock and the others slip by on the girders.

魔導工場  Sorcery Factory  | | . . . .  MAGITEK FACTORY

Everything is metal, there are machines everywhere, and 2-14 "Devil's Lab" plays. Most of the foes here heavily resist physical attacks, so the ability to use magic comes in handy. Very much so.

Note that certain character skills also count as magic attacks, and others simply ignore defense. Useful abilites include Cayenne's first three sword skills, Edgar's Bio Blast or Sunbeam (for groups) and Drill or Chainsaw (for single targets), any of Mash's skills, and any Rage Gau knows with a magic or magic-like attack. If you've returned to the Beast Plain since first getting him, Di Olveda (Anguiform) with its Aqua Breath works wonders. Also, several elemental swords hidden in the factory give Lock or Celes a chance to cast free magic when attacking (or Edgar, but he already has his Machines).

Also note that you can easily steal Tents from the common Sergeant enemies. Feel free to stock up.

Eventually, the party comes across Cefca, and quickly ducks out of sight behind a nearby crate.

 そして… … …
Cefca: I'm a god...
 Heee, hee, hee, hee...
 I'll collect more Genjuu...
 extract the power of sorcery...
 and... ... ...
 revive the Three Warring Gods!!!
KEFKA: I'm all-powerful!
Hee, hee, haw!
I'm collecting Espers!
I'm extracting magic!
And... ... ...
I'll restore the...Statues!

He laughs maniacally for a while, then walks over to some humanoid, but clearly non-human, creatures nearby.

Cefca: Looks like your sorcerous
 power's drained dry already...
 Now you're useless!!
KEFKA: You've been completely
drained of your powers!
Now you're useless to me!
ケフカ「おまえも、いらない!! Cefca: I don't need you either!! KEFKA: And you! Take a hike!

He flings them both down a conveyor belt that leads somewhere below, then leaves. The party goes down the belt to investigate and finds both creatures, but attempting to talk to them results in a flash of energy, and they attack, tag-team style. One of them, Ifrit, looks demonic and uses Flame attacks, and the other, Shiva, resembles a blue-skinned woman and uses Ice. Celes can negate many of their attacks with Magicseal Sword, but not all.

Be careful about using magic, as Ifrit is weak to Ice and absorbs Flame, but Shiva is weak to Flame and absorbs Ice, and both have immunity to all other elements. The two will switch with each other every five times they are attacked, and each may also counter each hit taken, Ifrit with ○ Fire and Shiva with ○ Blizzard. Additionally, they'll use a special counter on a random character (Shiva casting ◎ Reflect and Ifrit casting ○ Figa) every three times they're damaged through the Magic command, giving another reason to attack other ways, though magic of the correct element undeniably works well. 'Slow' also works on both.

For Gau, I recommend Heavy Infantry (Templar) for ○ Fira. Sure, it heals Ifrit, but what heals Ifrit heavily damages Shiva, and you only need to beat one of them. Other Rages with comparable Flame attacks, such as Bomb with the slightly stronger Blaze, have nasty weaknesses that can get Gau killed, while Heavy Infantry is only weak against Poison and has 'protect' status as a (largely useless in this battle) bonus. Veil Dance for ○ Blizzara also works if you've been back to the Beast Plain since Zozo, but since Shiva can't take damage as well as Ifrit, Flame is a better choice anyway. Other elements have no effect, physical attacks won't do much good against their high defense, and there's not much available in neutral magic damage at this point, so yeah... On the other hand, ○ Fira and Magicseal Sword don't mix.

Once either one runs out of HP—note that it's neither necessary nor even possible to beat both—they finally try talking.

あなた方は誰……? Who are you people...? Who're you...?

Ifrit appears.

俺達と同じ力を感じる…… I sense power like ours... I sensed a kindred spirit...

That's assuming Shiva was the active opponent. Swap the above two lines if Ifrit was out when the battle ended.

You have Ramuh's power...?
You have Ramuh's power...?

The battle ends, and the conversation continues.

Ifrit: Impressive...
Shiva: No surprise when you consider
 Ramuh entrusted his powers to them...
IFRIT: Hmmm...
SHIVA: Well, Ramuh DID entrust
them with his power.
Ifrit: The others were all captured by
 Gastra and are being drained of their
 sorcerous powers here...
 I, too, was placed in the beakers of this
 research lab, and my powers drained...
IFRIT: Gestahl has grabbed our
friends and is trying to drain
them of their power.
I, too, suffered my turn in one
of the glass tubes...
Shiva: Those whose sorcerous powers run out
 are thrown away here. Only death follows...
 We don't have long to live now, either...
SHIVA: They drained our
powers, then threw us away
We haven't long to live...
: We and Ramuh are siblings,
 with three opposing powers.
 If Ramuh entrusted you with his
 power, so too do we...
We will follow Ramuh's lead,
and give to you our power...

Like Ramuh, they go out with a flash of energy, leaving behind magicite.

     The others, too...
     don't have long to live...
     They will most likely...
     lend you their powers...
Our friends are all gone...
We haven't much time left...
No choice but to entrust you
with our essences...


 Got the Ifrit magicite.

    Received the Magicite


 Got the Shiva magicite.

    Received the Magicite

There's a room with a save point nearby, then it's time to head deeper into the building.

The room with the empty glass tubes has a Break Blade hidden in the bottom left corner.

Number 024 guards a doorway and can change its elemental resistances, but should pose little difficulty, especially with good non-elemental attacks.

Number 024 initially has no strengths or weaknesses, and only uses normal attacks or an occasional Overflow (causes 'confusion'). Things get more interesting when he starts using Barrier Change, which will give him a random elemental weakness but grant immunity to all other elements. Number 024's abilities will also change depending on the weakness chosen: Ice attacks when weak to Flame, Flame attacks when weak to Ice, Water attacks when weak to Thunder, Thunder attacks when weak to Water, Wind attacks when weak to Earth, Earth attacks when weak to Wind, physical attacks (or Reverse Polarity) when weak to Holy, and healing spells when weak to Poison. Strike the weakness or let enough time pass, and he'll use Barrier Change again. However, after three uses...

システムエラー発生! A system error has occurred! System error!

At this point, Number 024 will for three turns randomly cast either Sunbathing, Mountain Hare, or ◎ Library on himself before returning to the usual attack pattern... in theory. But any further use of Barrier Change during this period will restart these "error" turns, and the time-based one happens often enough that he tends to get stuck in this attack pattern. Finally, Number 024 may strike back with a normal attack when damaged at any point during the battle.

As for alternate tactics, try casting ◎ Kappa on him (Celes level 13+, or learn from Cait Sith). This will disable most of his special moves, but his attack power will remain unchanged and he'll always get critical hits, so it's a mixed bag. You can also kill him by draining his MP (using ◎ Raspir and ◎ Aspir from Shiva), but the usual method probably goes faster. It gets better, though. 'Sleep' status works on Number 024, and Siren teaches ◎ Sleepel almost ridiculously quickly. Avoid physical attacks, and odds are you can keep him asleep the entire battle. Combine with 'kappa' status for further amusement. Gau's Brain Sugar (Mind Candy) Rage can also inflict 'sleep', in case you don't have the spell or wish to attempt a no-magic challenge.

Steal for a Rune Blade (common) or a Blood Sword (rare). Number 024 will also drop either an Icebrand (common) or a Flametongue (rare).

The next room has six glass tubes with a Genjuu floating in each one. "Another World of Beasts" plays. The party notices a prominent switch on the far side of the room, and of course activates it.

 しかし… われわれの命はもう長く
Genjuu: You're trying to help us...?
 But... we don't have long left
 to live anymore. Just like Ifrit...
 we shall die and aid you...
ESPER: You want to help me...
But... I haven't long to live.
Just as Ifrit did before me,
I'll give to you my power...

Like the others, they turn into magicite with a bright flash.

シド「そこで、なにをしている! Cid: You there, what are you doing!? CID: What are you doing there?

A person in a strange yellow lab suit comes up an elevator to the side, runs into the room, and looks around.

シド「こ…これは!? Cid: Wh... what the!? CID: W...what's this!?

He runs around the room some more, looking more closely at the stones.

Cid: ...Genjuu are able to leave behind
 raw power when they die...?
 The power held in these stones is several
 times... no, several hundred times the
 power drawn directly from Genjuu...
CID: So...Esper magical power
can only truly be transferred
when one of them passes

I hereby dub the NA line "woefully inadequate".

The stones burst free of the tubes and converge on the party.

     魔石を手に入れた      Got magicite.     Received Magicite!

This gives the party the Unicorn, Madin, Catoblepas, Phantom, Carbuncle, and Bismarck magicite.

Celes steps forward.

{Celes}: Dr. Cid.
Cid: General {Celes}!
 Who are these suspicious folk?
 Your subordinates?
{CELES}: Professor Cid.
CID: General {CELES}!
And who might these dubious
characters be? Your troops?
{Celes}: No.
 That's not it, I...
Cid: I heard you slipped into the
 group plotting revolt, as a spy...?
{CELES}: No...
You see, ...
CID: Can it be true that you
came here as a spy, seeking to
cause an uprising?!

I could never make sense of Cid's NA line here. Now I know why. It doesn't make sense. He's not asking whether Celes came here as a spy to cause a rebellion. That's just silly. The rumor he heard says that she infiltrated and is spying on the Returners, a rather more reasonable conclusion.

{Lock}: !?
{LOCKE}: !?

Before Celes can respond, Cefca's deranged clown laughter interrupts.

ケフカ「なるほど!! 魔石か!!
Cefca: So that's it!! Magicite!!
 Now you've done it, Dr. Cid!!
KEFKA: So that's it!
Cid, you miserable blockhead!
Cefca: General {Celes}!!
 Come on, that's enough acting.
 Bring their magicite over here.
KEFKA: General {CELES}!!
The game's over.
Bring me those Magicite shards!
{Lock}: {Celes}!
 You were tricking us!?
{Celes}: No!
 Believe me!
You...deceived me?!
{CELES}: Of course not!
Have a little faith!

If present, Cayenne adds his two pence.

{Cayenne}: I knew the woman
 could be trusted not!
{CYAN}: See!
I knew she couldn't be trusted!

Cefca hops around and laughs some more.

Cefca: Hee, hee, hee!
 Suits {Celes} perfectly...
KEFKA: G'hee, hee, hee!
She has tricked you all!
{CELES}, that's so...YOU!
{ロック}「俺には… … …
{Celes}: {Lock}...
 Believe me...
{Lock}: I... ... ...
Please believe me...
{LOCKE}: I... ... ...

I'm amazed that he's considering taking Cefca seriously... "Cefca" and "serious" don't even belong in the same sentence, unless it's something like "Cefca has some serious problems." Maybe Cid's comment lends the notion some credibility.

ケフカ「今だ!! Cefca: Now!! KEFKA: NOW!!

Two soldiers ride up on that fancy magic armor the Empire's so proud of.

ケフカ「みな殺しにしろ!!! Cefca: Kill them all!!! KEFKA: Exterminate all of them!

They attack. Cid, already to the side, runs. Celes is also to the side, and barely jumps out of the way. The others collapse, and the music fades.

{Celes}: {Lock}... 
 Now it's my turn to protect you...
 let this help you believe...
Let me protect you for once...
Maybe now...
Now you'll believe me...

Celes jumps back into the action and starts casting a spell.

Cefca: {Celes}!
 H... hey!
 Stop that!!!!
W...what are you doing?
Stop it!!!

The spell warps Celes, Cefca, and the soldiers away. The rest of the party slowly gets up, starting with Lock.

{ロック}「{セリス}… {Lock}: {Celes}... {LOCKE}: {CELES}...
Cid: *cough*, *cough*...
 What happened?
CID: Ooh, ooh...
What happened?

The room starts rumbling.

Cid: This is bad!
 That shock has started the
 capsule energy backwashing.
 It's dangerous here!
CID: This is a disaster!
Your fighting has caused the
capsules to rupture! Their
contents are spilling out!
シド「急げ! こっちじゃ!! Cid: Hurry! Over here!! CID: Quick! Over here!

Cid rushes back to the lift that he rode when he arrived. The others follow.

Previous Part: The Blackjack

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