Previous Part: Betrayal

Storyline text and attempted translations from...

Final Fantasy VI

The Airship Blackjack  . . . . . . . . . . .

This is a good time to take another side trip to add to available skills, particularly for Stragus and Gau. In fact, those objectives combine rather nicely, with the wide variety of monsters on the Beast Plain benefitting them both, while Relm's Sketch may be able to help with drawing out a few skills you might not see otherwise. Don't try to Sketch Gau, though, since Bad Things can happen in some versions of the game.

Work on those Genjuu too. I'd suggest making sure everyone has, at a minimum, a healing spell, a -ra level offensive spell, ◎ Aspir, and a few utility spells for variety. Give at least Tina and Celes ○ Bio as well, since it will come in handy later.

If you did well enough at the banquet earlier, you can also go loot Doma Castle now. There's not much of value there given that the evade bug makes the All-Seeing Rosary useless, but it couldn't hurt to go anyway.

Anyway, a new option at the helm of the airship goes to the new destination:

(魔大陸に向かう) (Head for the Mystic Continent) (Find the Floating Continent)

Japanese materials apparently refer to it as the "Enchanted Continent", which... hmm. I think I prefer that, actually.

{Setzer}: We're boarding the Mystic Continent!
"Three people stay above!
 Everyone else get inside!"
{SETZER}: Quick!
Let's jump onto that thing!
Only 3 allowed in your party.
The others must stay on board.

The party formed must have exactly three members in order to continue. "Save Them!" begins playing for dramatic effect, since, of course, it's not going to be that simple. Flying mechs approach almost immediately.

 ( 帝 国    空 軍)
 It's the Imperial Air Force!"
"They've cut us off!
 We're taking them on!"
Uh, oh!!!
The Imperial Airforce (IAF)!
We're surrounded!
Let's give 'em a bloody lip!

The bit in parentheses is just "Imperial Air Force" in kanji, the same phrase having been written above in a phonetic approximation of English.

Groups of Sky Armor and Spitfire enemies attack periodically, always surrounding the party. They leave time between battles to heal, though.

Kill or 'silence' the Spitfires first to avoid the most dangerous attacks here (Absolute Zero, and the weaker Diffusion Laser when alone). Both enemies take extra damage from Thunder and Wind, which you can easily take advantage of. Mog's Dances group the airship deck together with grasslands, so Wind Rhapsody will always work, and since it combines the potent recovery of Sunbathing with solid offense in Wind Scythe and Plasma, both of which strike weaknesses, it should work wonderfully. Gau should Rage Guard Leader for Wind Scythe, and Cayenne has a good chance of the same when attacking with the Kazekiri Blade. Lock can steal Ethers from either and the occasional Elixir from Spitfires with some luck.

On a side note, since the Empire clearly has no shortage of flying machines, I'm leaning toward the idea that airships used to be relatively common but are now considered obsolete. Possibly any others previously in service were destroyed over the course of the war.

After a while, an odd pink thing comes into sight.

『前方から変なやつが!! "Something weird from up ahead!!" Something...

The odd pink thing lands at the aft end of the deck, and Orthros hops off. Ugh, not again.

ほんと! ほんと!
This is our last battle.
It's true! It's true!
No, really,
this is our LAST battle!
Trust me!

Actually... he's right about that.

As usual, Flame works well, though the Thunder weakness has been replaced with a Poison weakness. Tactics don't really matter much, since he has no interesting attacks, though you can hit him with 'slow' if you like. Just 4,200 damage triggers an event.

Ugh, might be losing again...
But today I've got a
strooooong ally!
Grand Master Typhon, come on out!
I lose AGAIN!
Well, today I've brought a pal!
Mr. Chupon! Come on down!

The weird pink thing arrives.

Grand Master Typhon doesn't talk much,
but he's incredibly strong!
Mr. Chupon's taciturn,
but terribly powerful!
The master's scaaary if you get him maaad!
Seriously, he's teeerrifying!
You guys might get eeeaten!
Better not irritate him!
He gets hungry when he's
The other day, I was dozing off
and I got my head gnawed on.
The master's teeth HURT!
I was drowsing the other day
when Mr. Chupon gnawed on
my head!
He needed something to
polish his teeth on!

Typhon, the deadliest monster in Greek mythology, was also the father of Orthros.

This doesn't really change things much, though. Typhon usually just attacks, occasionally using Fireball for variety. He's weak against Ice and Water, and vulnerable to 'silence', 'berserk', 'slow', and even 'sleep' and 'stop', so if you feel like disabling him, it's easy enough.

Lock can steal Jerky from Orthros and a Dagger from Typhon, if you think it's worth the trouble.

Nothing noteworthy happens until Typhon falls, but as soon as that happens, he Snorts the whole party out of battle and off the airship entirely!

Midair  . . . . . . . . . . .

Okay, now it's time for the real boss. The party faces the Air Force enemy, along with its Laser Cannon (at right) and Missile Pod (at bottom). Thunder and Water inflict extra damage against all parts, while 'slow' and 'stop' work on the two weapon turrets.

The Missle Pod uses the annoying Missle attack, with the possibility of the worse Launcher when at or under 1,536 of 3,000 health. Relm can wear a Memento Ring for immunity to both, but that doesn't help anyone else, so take out the Missle Pod first. Try to steal a Weakmaker before you do, however. Though it's a rare steal and may take many attempts, the ability to create weaknesses is likely worth the trouble, so use that 'stop' vulnerability to your advantage.

The Air Force itself uses Sorcery Laser (67%) or nothing (33%) each turn, switching to Sorcery Laser (33%), Diffusion Laser (33%), or nothing (33%) each turn if it loses either turret. The Laser Gun uses Sorcery Laser (67%) and Atomic Ray (33%), switching to Diffusion Laser (67%) and Sorcery Laser (33%) at low (1,536 of 3,300) health. Celes's Magicseal Sword works on all of these attacks, though it's unlikely that she'll be able to negate everything.

If the Laser Cannon is destroyed, the Air Force adds a new target to the battle...

Air Force released a Bit.
The Bit absorbs magic!
Air Force launched a Speck.
A Speck absorbs magic!

...and begins a countdown.

カウント 6 Count 6 Count 6!
カウント 5 Count 5 Count 5!
カウント 4 Count 4 Count 4!
カウント 3 Count 3 Count 3!
カウント 2 Count 2 Count 2!
カウント 1 Count 1 Count 1!

When the countdown finishes, Air Force uses Wave Cannon, a powerful Thunder attack that targets all characters and cannot be reflected or sealed. Meanwhile, the Bit absorbs any sealable magic the party tries using, similar to Celes's Magicseal Sword, but always active.

The Bit has few hit points, but boasts high defense and sucks up most normal spells, so use things like Edgar's Drill and unsealable magic attacks to kill it. Alternately, leave the Laser Cannon intact and you'll never have to worry about either the Bit or Wave Cannon, though how practical this is depends on your party.

On that note, most characters will do well to stick with ○ Thundara unless the Bit is out, though the Thunder Blade, Thunder Rod, and (to a lesser extent) Trident and Kazekiri Blade are also effective. Stragus can use Aqua Breath instead, as can Gau (through Chimera), since it's stronger, hits everything, and can't be sealed. Stoning is also an option if Stragus is level 25, and if you prefer the defensive route for Gau, Destroydar (Rhinox) makes him virtually unstoppable, with lousy offense as a tradeoff. Mog's Wind Rhapsody remains effective, though Wind Scythe won't work as well without the weakness to strike. Water Harmony works better once you get past the initial risk of failure, with El Niño and Plasma both inflicting hefty damage.

Besides the Missle Pod's Weakmaker (rare) already noted, Lock can steal an Ether Super (common) from the Laser Cannon, an Elixir (common) from the Air Force, and an Amulet (rare) from the Bit.

Win for a Princess Ring, and after all that everyone somehow finally lands on the continent in the sky.

Trivia: The game data includes countdown messages for 10, 9, 8, and 7 as well. The line for 10 is particularly interesting:

波動ほう! びょう読み開始!!
カウント 10
Wave Cannon! Begin countdown!!
Count 10
Wave cannon! Count down!!
Count 10!

It appears that the countdown was originally meant to start from 10, then they later dropped it to 6, but forgot to move the initial message.

魔大陸  Mystic Continent  . . . . . . . . . . .  THE FLOATING LAND

Note that the location name doesn't actually display, but it's there in the game data.

Finally here. 3-01 "New Continent" plays, an appropriately bizarre track. The land looks strangely organic, like something that belongs in a Zerg base.

"Up ahead are Gastra and Cefca...
 And... the Three Warring Gods."
Kefka, Gestahl...and the Statues are just ahead.

But wait, who's this black-clad figure collapsed nearby?

{Shadow}: Damn the Empire!
 They didn't even hesistate to try killing
 me once they didn't need me...
"We thought you were dead for sure..."
{SHADOW}: Down with the Empire! Once I outlived my usefulness, they tried to off me!
We thought you were a goner!
{Shadow}: How's Interceptor?
"He's okay. Doing well.
 Now let's go."
{SHADOW}: Is Interceptor all right?
He's fine.
Come on, let's go!
{Shadow}: Don't bother with me.
"We can't just leave you here!"
{SHADOW}: Forget about me.
We can't just leave you!

He ends up coming along, and it's a good thing, since this place is crawling with monsters. Make sure to equip him before fighting, though.

Actually, having Shadow join here is completely optional, and skipping him has no effect beyond leaving you short a party member for the area. Also note that since Interceptor is wounded and recovering in Thamasa, he won't appear to block attacks for Shadow. On the plus side, Shadow won't randomly run off on you anymore. Also of note is that he can use that extra Memento Ring you picked up earlier. How curious...

Anyway, the monsters are tougher, as usual. Everyone who can should use Earth Garb, while anyone who can't should be floating. Stragus may be able to pick up a few new spells here, though that's a secondary concern. Behemoths and Dragons are the strongest opponents to appear, but the Behemoths are vulnerable to ○ Break, while 'sleep' and 'stop' work nicely against Dragons. Earth Blues is the native dance, and it works fairly well, so feel free to rock out.

If you're up for a little thieving, this place is a motherlode of accessories. Things to steal include Earring from Koja, Angel's Ring from Apocrypha, Angel Wings from Ninja, Wyrmknight's Boots from Platinum Dragon, Alarm Pierce from Misfit, Hermes's Shoes from Behemoth, and Genji's Bracer from Dragon. These are all rare steals, but none of these enemies have common steals except for the Dragon (which has a High Potion). All of them will also appear on the Beast Plains later, of course, but it's more convenient to stock up now, with more reliable encounters.

Pieces of the terrain will open when approached, adding to the creepy organic feel of the area. While the path isn't entirely straightforward, it's not all that difficult to navigate, either. Keep moving and the way should reveal itself. The occasional large blue orbs are actually treasure chests.

Grab the (unimpressive) Murasame from the first one, then head down some morphing stairs for... another monster.

Gigantos loves him some high-powered physical attacks, but has no magic whatsoever, and drops a Sasuke's Katana, less impressive than it sounds.

Summon Phantom, or throw a Konoha Gakure with Shadow and cast ◎ Vanish on the others, to become invulnerable. Preferably BEFORE the battle, since he opens with three consecutive uses of Throat Jab, which hits for five times the damage of his normal attack. A weakness to Poison, horrible magic defense, and vulnerability to 'poison' status on top of that make ○ Bio exceptionally effective. Alternately, just use ○ Break or any other instant death attack, including Level 5 Death since he's level 25. Steal for an X-Potion (common) or Elixir (rare). Winning also makes the Gigantos appear on the Beast Plain.

Keep exploring, and find a Beret (only good for raising Sketch success rate) near a cave with a save point. Soon after the save point comes an opening in the ground with the Blackjack hovering below.

"The airship's below!"
Go back?
The airship's below!
Do you wish to return?

Jump off for a chance to switch party members, resupply, or take Gau on a last-minute tour of new monsters on the Beast Plain. Leaving does make the party restart from the beginning of the area, but at least now they'll come straight to the continent instead of slogging through a series of battles during the flight.

Shadow will also run off if the others leave, along with anything he has equipped...

{Shadow}: I sold myself to the Empire...
 I don't deserve to fight with you...
{SHADOW}: I sold my skills to the Empire...
I have no right to fight together with you.

...but will wait at the entry point to rejoin the party when they return.

{Shadow}: We meet again. {SHADOW}: We meet again.

A massive beast bars the way forward.

My name is Ultima...
the ultimate power made in antiquity...
I am not life, but power...
Be gone, feeble creatures!!
My name is Atma...
I am pure energy...
and as ancient as the cosmos.
Feeble creatures, GO!

Remember the mention of two ancient weapons called Ultima Weapon? This is the one that's not a magic glowing sword. Expect to face a wide variety of powerful attacks. Ultima Weapon has no weaknesses or resistances, so attack with anything. Its only meaningful status vulnerability is 'slow'.

Technically, 'slip' will also work, but the only ways you could possibly set it at this point are having Gau Rage Adamancarry for Acid Rain (unimpressive for damage), or getting Shadow to use Shadow Fang (impractical), so it hardly matters.

To begin with, Ultima Weapon will only use normal attacks, ○ Flare, or occasionally Blaze. ○ Flare is the most dangerous since it ignores magic defense, but you can at least reflect or seal it, unlike the other two attacks.

After falling to 12,800 health (of 24,000 hit points), things heat up, with ○ Bio, ○ Quake, or (enemy) Meteor, then a normal attack or more likely a Full Power! (double damage physical), then a multitargeted ○ Fira. After that comes Mind Blast, which sets random status effects on random characters (equip every Ribbon you have), and then the thing starts glowing.

ぼう大なエネルギーが集中する Vast energy gathers. Vast energy focused

This adds 'protect', 'shell', and 'haste', so toss in a ◎ Dispel if available or at least recast ◎ Slow. Two turns of glowing later comes Flare Star, an unusual defense-ignoring multitarget Flame spell that determines its damage based on the level of a random target and the total number of targets. Have a full party for best results, and expect to be underwhelmed if you're playing a low-level game. Once Flare Star goes off, the pattern repeats.

After falling to 6,144 hit points, Ultima Weapon changes tactics again, unless currently charging for Flare Star (the sequence must finish before anything new happens). Now, in addition to normal attacks and Blaze, you have to worry about ◎ Raspil, ○ Graviga, and even ○ Tornado, which will always miss Ultima Weapon thanks to its instant death immunity. The only ways you can gain similar immunity are with the Memento Ring (Relm and Shadow only) and certain Rages (Gau only). Ultima Weapon also has a chance to counter all attacks with ○ Flare during this phase. Try to finish the battle off quickly at this point.

Reflect Rings will deal with some of those attacks, but won't do a thing against others, and will also interfere with healing. Your call.

Most characters will do the most damage with -ra level spells. Stragus will do better with Aqua Breath, while Mog should probably use Earth Blues or Water Harmony. Gau might want to try Chimera for Aqua Breath and instant death immunity. Alternately, Frab Evol (Ing) has Lifeshaver, absorbs the various Flame and Poison attacks you'll see, and has immunity to a number of the status ailments Mind Blast can cause, but don't forget that it's also undead. Lifeshaver means he heals himself while attacking, though, so that should take care of recovery. Ultima Weapon has permanent 'levitate' status (probably to avoid its own earthquakes), giving Lock's Hawkeye good potential, too. Try creating some useful weaknesses with Edgar's Weakmaker, if available. This battle makes Sketch particularly worthless, yielding just a normal attack most of the time or Full Power! if you're lucky.

Alternately, Ultima Weapon dies if it runs out of MP, which actually makes sense given its introduction, so you could use ◎ Raspir and ◎ Aspir for offense instead. With its 5,000 MP, this takes longer, but avoids the more dangerous attacks introduced as its HP drops.

Steal an Elixir (common) or Ribbon (rare), and win another Elixir as a guaranteed drop.

{Shadow}: I sold myself to the Empire...
 I don't deserve to fight with you...
{SHADOW}: I sold my skills to the Empire...
I have no right to fight together with you.

Shadow leaves, again.

You can still return to the airship if you want, but note that after beating Ultima Weapon, Shadow will no longer be waiting to rejoin the party when you return, leaving you a member short when returning through the area.

Previous Part: Betrayal

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