Previous Part: Magical Mayhem

Storyline text and attempted translations from...

Final Fantasy VI

竜の首コロシアム  Dragon's Head Coliseum  | | | . . . . . . . . . .  COLOSSEUM
This is the Dragon's Head Coliseum.
Those confident in their skills gather from all
over the world to wager items and fight here.
This is Dragon's Neck Colosseum. Champions from all over the world come here to fight for prizes.

The oddball brother seems more like a visionary now, judging by his success.

I'm the owner of the coliseum.
The world is finally brimming with war.
I have the satisfaction of being able
to build the coliseum I longed for.
It's all thanks to Cefca-sama.
This is my colosseum.
Finally, the whole world is at war! I'm so happy!
And I owe it all to Kefka!

They offer an explanation of how this works.

At this coliseum we bet items to fight.
First, choose which item you're going
to wager from the ones you have.
Once you choose an item to bet,
your combat opponent will be
displayed, so select a member
from your party to compete.
Once you choose the member to
fight, a one-on-one battle with the
monster occurs. The catch is that the
battle will be processed automatically.
The item you wager is forfeited
as your entry fee. However, if
you beat your combat opponent,
you'll get an even better item.
And that's it.
We fight for items, etc. here. First choose the thing you want to wager.
Next, your opponent will appear. Choose someone from your party to fight this opponent.
A one-on-one auto-battle will then take place. The item you wagered covers your participation fee.
If you win, you'll be rewarded with an even better item! That's all there is to it!

As the bit about an entry fee suggests, it's more accurate to say that you're using an item to pay for the chance to win a (usually) different item than to say that you're wagering it. The item selected is gone whether you win or lose, though you do keep it if the battle ends prematurely with no winner.

The part about automated battles is easily the most frustrating thing about the coliseum. Characters and monsters in arena battles act as though under 'confusion' status, except that targeting is not reversed. This means that monsters will use a random selection from their Control command list each turn, and player characters will randomly use any available command except Item, Revert, Throw, Control, Slots, Leap, Defend, Summon, and Possess. Expect to see plenty of idiotic spells cast. Mash, Gau, and Stragus may even occasionally suicide thanks to their skill sets. Gogo and Umaro have a limited advantage here in that you can customize Gogo's commands to eliminate the most pointless options, and that Umaro just does what he always does.

Also note that all usual monster counterattacks still apply.

Your best bet in general, once you have the necessary equipment, is to set up a character with at least 128% MEvd, which means virtual invulnerability. Certain enemies will fall just as easily to more specific tactics, like using instant death weapons against some monsters, or killing Cactuars with Dice.

Supposedly, the more valuable the
item you wager, the more amazing the
item you get when you win the battle.
The more precious the item wagered, the better your prize will be!

That's true to some extent, but there are any number of valuable or even unique items that just get you junk, while some things that seem fairly insignificant yield surprisingly worthwhile prizes.

Siegfried: I hear an impostor using
 my name has shown up lately.
 Don't you be fooled.
SIGFRIED: Someone's been pretending to be me!
Don't be fooled!

That might explain some of the pathetic Siegfrieds seen elsewhere. This Siegfried isn't anywhere near as much as a pushover as the one fought much earlier, or as cowardly as the one looting treasures in the Figaro cave. Though weak against every element, he has 32,760 hit points, 'protect' status, and immunity to instant death. Furthermore, he may use Metal Cutter (basically ○ Thundaga with a bit less accuracy and minus the element) and Hyperdrive (which ignores defense like ○ Flare, but is nearly twice as strong, can't be blocked or evaded, and causes 'slip' status on top of that). Siegfried technically has a Rage, but coliseum battles don't activate formations for the Beast Plain, and he'll never show up anywhere else, so you can never learn it.

There's a familiar face by the entrace, too.

Orthros, at the reception desk?
He couldn't pay off his debts so I decided
to put him to work as a receptionist.
It'll take about a century to repay it all.
Ultros is your receptionist?
He couldn't pay his debt, so I put him to work!
I figure he'll be here about another 100 years.
 そうそう… しょうもないアイテムを
Orthros: Me, the great Orthros, working
 the reception desk at a coliseum...?
 Oh, how pitiful.
 And by the way... don't bother
 betting worthless items...
 Great Master Typhon will come
 out and give you guys a beating!
ULTROS: Look at me!
I'm a receptionist!
G'fa, ha, ha!
Now, you'd better watch what ya bet, or master Chupon'll just come and take it from ya!

150 of the 255 items in the game will result in facing Typhon for an Elixir. This is the leading cause of draws, since Typhon is the game's fastest opponent and has a 75% chance to use Snort each turn, blowing your combatant out of the battle. It's possible to win with a lot of offense and some luck, but usually you'll just waste your time and have your item refunded. The AI script actually has him always using Snort every round, but that doesn't matter here in the coliseum. Like Siegfried, he technically has a Rage, but you can never learn it since he'll never show up on the Beast Plain. That has got to be an oversight.

Prizes to Earn

This doesn't cover every potentially advantageous trade, but here are some of the more useful things to aim for. Where possible, all chains start from items that can be purchased or obtained in unlimited quantity from monsters.

(sword) Lightbringer
Ragnarök ⇒ Lightbringer

If you chose the Ragnarök sword instead of the magicite, the only reason not to trade up for the Lightbringer is that the latter's randomly cast ○ Holy can become a liability in some situations, unlike the former's ○ Flare. Other than that, the Lightbringer does everything the Ragnarök does, plus has a perfect hit rate, ignores row, and provides an additional 4 agility and 20 MEvd (and 20 evade).

(spear) Holy Lance
(Murasame ⇒) Masamune ⇒
 Ame no Murakumo ⇒ Holy Lance

Good for both wielding and throwing. You can also get them from the Holy Dragon when it reappears on the Beast Plain, but this way may be more reliable than a rare steal from an infrequent encounter.

(katana) Masamune
Murasame ⇒ Masamune

Might as well upgrade that blade you won on the Mystic Continent, right? You can also steal extra Murasame blades from Kamuy in Gogo's cave if you're lucky.

(katana) Ame no Murakumo
(Murasame ⇒) Masamune ⇒ Ame no Murakumo
Holy Lance ⇒ Ame no Murakumo

And another upgrade for Cayenne's weaponry. Extra Masamune blades can be stolen from Bodyguard in the final dungeon, if you don't want to start from the Murasame. This is also quite good for throwing, though Sa Gojō's Spear is better.

(rod) Wizard Rod
Heal Rod ⇒ Wizard Rod

The Wizard Rod is a great weapon for all three characters who can use it, but there's only one available normally. The game has two Heal Rods, though, and did you really need both?

(shuriken) Kazaguruma
Fuuma Shuriken ⇒ Kazaguruma

Though not the most powerful throwing weapons available in unlimited quantity, Kazaguruma are still potent projectiles. You can buy Fuuma Shuriken, so supply is not an issue.

(special) Bone Club
Sniper ⇒ Bone Club

The Bone Club itself is useless except as part of a wagering chain, but some people like to fill out their inventories, and this is a straightforward way to get one, using a buyable item.

(sword) Ogre Nix
Flametongue ⇒ Ogre Nix
Icebrand ⇒ Ogre Nix
Thunder Blade ⇒ Ogre Nix

A powerful but fragile weapon only obtainable in the coliseum or by morphing certain enemies. All three elemental swords are for sale in the WoR, so it's easy enough to get them.

(shield) Flame Shield
Falchion ⇒ Flame Shield
(Crystal Mail ⇒) Ice Shield ⇒ Flame Shield

Since both the Falchion and the Crystal Mail are available in stores, there's no reason not to have a full set of these once you can beat the enemies faced.

(shield) Ice Shield
Crystal Mail ⇒ Ice Shield
(Falchion ⇒) Flame Shield ⇒ Ice Shield

The Flame Shield's icy counterpart. Both are invaluable when facing certain opponents, but do be careful since each also carries a weakness.

(shield) Thundergod's Shield
Genji's Bracer ⇒ Thundergod's Shield
Genji's Shield ⇒ Thundergod's Shield

Superior in defense to the Flame and Ice Shields, and lacking any weakness, the Thundergod's Shield works well in any situation. Genji's Bracers can be stolen from Dragons with a little luck. You could also wager Gauntlets instead, but there are only a few of those in the game.

(shield) Genji's Shield
(Genji's Bracer ⇒) Thundergod's Shield ⇒ Genji's Shield

While it lacks any elemental defenses, Genji's Shield has the best stats of any shield you can get in unlimited quantity, and anyone (except Umaro) can use it. You can also steal Thundergod's Shields from Muud Suud in the final dungeon if that seems like less trouble than amassing Genji's Bracers.

(helm) Cat-Ear Hood
Sa Gojō's Spear ⇒ Cat-Ear Hood
Dish ⇒ Cat-Ear Hood

The game's best headgear, though unfortunately only Relm can use it. If necessary, you can use a Carapace Shield to get a Dish and an Armor Kappa to get a Carapace Shield.

(armor) Mirage Vest
Crown of Thorns ⇒ Mirage Vest

The Crown of Thorns isn't easy to come by, being primarily obtained as a rare steal from Hidden or by morphing certain enemies, but this is the only way to get a Mirage Vest.

(armor) Red Jacket
Sniper ⇒ Bone Club ⇒ Red Jacket

At least those Bone Clubs are useful for something. The Red Jacket isn't great, but it's not bad either, and if nothing else, it's Mash's best armor.

(armor) Genji's Armor
(Sleepy Cat Suit ⇒ Chocobo Suit ⇒ Moogle Suit ⇒)
 Nutsin Suit ⇒ Genji's Armor

The top armor stat-wise for many fighters. Steal from nearly anything in Auzer's mansion for more suits.

(armor) Snow Muffler
Behemoth Suit ⇒ Snow Muffler

If you spent some time on the Beast Plain after beating King Behemoth, you should be drowning in Behemoth Suits. Trade in a few to get godly protection for Gau and Mog. Joined with some other powerful equipment, it lets them laugh off any physical damage that doesn't ignore defense.

(accessory) Wyvern's Horn
Behemoth Suit ⇒ Snow Muffler ⇒
 Warding Bracelet ⇒ Wyvern's Horn

The Wyvern's Horn in the Phoenix Cave is the only one you'll ever find without fighting in the coliseum. Get a few extras if you like to Jump.

(accessory) Miracle Shoes
Elixir ⇒ Rename Card ⇒ Miracle Shoes

Combining four beneficial status effects in a single accessory can come in handy. The only downside I'm aware of is that 'regenerate' status can throw off the delaying effect of certain instant-death effects.

(accessory) Grow Egg
Elixir ⇒ Rename Card ⇒ Miracle Shoes ⇒
 Tama's Bell ⇒ Grow Egg

In case you feel like power leveling, this is probably the best way to get extras of the double experience accessory.

(accessory) Brave Ring
Protective Bracelet ⇒ Brave Ring

Steal extra Protective Bracelets from Dragonfiends in the final dungeon. Also note that the prize for wagering a Brave Ring is a Protective Bracelet, so you can swap them back and forth if you want, but the Miracle Shoes also obtained here are generally superior to the bracelet.

(accessory) Medal
Sa Gojō's Spear ⇒ Cat-Ear Hood ⇒ Medal

Some of the game's more unusual equipment leads to this accessory that allows any character (except Umaro) to use nearly any equipment. It's particularly useful for Gau, since he's normally without a weapon but can easily reach maximum attack power with one, and many special weapon effects combine with and gain benefit from Rage special attacks. The Kazekiri Blade often works well.

Rename Card
Elixir ⇒ Rename Card

Mostly useful for further wagering, but you can play around with name changes if you like.

Antidote ⇒ Elixir
Eyedrops ⇒ Elixir

Or any of many other items. Those listed are the cheapest if you feel like challenging Typhon for an Elixir. Whether it's worth the effort and frustration is debatable. Go all-out offense if you try it.

Magicite Shard
Phoenix Tail ⇒ Magicite Shard

If you like randomness, or don't have the Ragnarök magicite but want to try for an outside chance of morphing enemies anyway, these are for you.

Previous Part: Magical Mayhem

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