Well known for what it did for JRPGs, Final Fantasy in North America, and its great cast of characters, Final Fantasy VI is a title everyone should play through at least once. However, in my recent playthrough on the Gameboy Advance version, I found that it was difficult to find a single resource for preparing for the end game.
With that in mind, I’ve put together three ways to efficiently prepare your party of 12 for Kefka’s final test (these all work in the World of Ruin). While there is much variety in how you can build up your characters, these tips should be general enough that you can use them to mold how you see fit.
#1 Utilize the Dragon’s Neck Coliseum for Critical Items
It’s no secret that the Coliseum, located in the northwest area of the map, is ripe for some abuse in getting critical relics and other items. Specifically, there are three match-ups to set up. In case you are unaware, you wager an item in the Coliseum, choose one character that will fight (without your control) against an enemy determined by the item. Thus, you can set up battles for proper stealing or chaining to get the best items.
The Celestriad is going to make your life a lot easier, especially when grinding according the tips below. The relic reduces the cost of all spells to a meager 1 MP for anyone who equips it.
While you can grind dinosaurs to hope for a rare drop, I found it MUCH more efficient to use this method to assemble multiple Celestriads in a fairly quick and painless way.
The basic chain is this: Wager Holy Lance -> Battle Galypdes, steal Celestriad -> Win and receive Murakumo -> Wager Murakumo -> Defeat Death Machine -> Win Holy Lance -> Repeat.
Luckily this chain simply goes back and forth, and neither creature is particularly difficult. The key to making this efficient is setting up the right character for thieving the Galypdes.
To fight the Galypdes, you don’t control your character, therefore you will equip Gogo (how to unlock him if you dont have him) with three Steals (so he will have Mimic, Steal, Steal, Steal). Then, you equip him with the Brigand’s Glove relic, so that the Steals turn into Mugs, adding damage to each steal attempt. While you may pickpocket some Phoenix Downs, the Mugs will whittle down the beast while picking up some Celestriads along the way.
The next step is to then wager the newly won Murakumo, which will begin a fight against Death Machine. The secret for this fight is to take a strong physical fighter, such as Sabin, and equip him with the Reflect Ring relic. Most of the time, the Death Machine will cast its namesake, Death, only for it to reflect back and instantly kill the Machine. You then win back the Holy Lance and the happy cycle begins over again.
The Minerva is a great item for female magic users like Terra. The Regal Gown…not so much. This is an easy switch for an upgrade that will go a long way.
Wager Regal Gown -> Battle Death Machine (see tactics above) -> Win Minerva Bustier.
The Muscle Belt is great to boost the HP of characters, which can combine well with Ultima Weapon or other items that increase in power with relative HP.
Again, we are going to rely on stealing, so we will want to set up Gogo as described above. We are also going to need a bit of extra coin to purchase some Snipers.
Wager Sniper-> Battle Glasya Labolas, Steal Muscle Belt -> Win Bone Club. Continue to Wager Sniper’s until you have enough Muscle Belts.
This one might be a bit tricky depending on how much HP you can stack on Gogo. Make sure to save beforehand, as the Glasya can hit with a couple Uppercuts in a row, ending the battle quickly.
Best Level Grinding Spot
Most likely, you can get towards the FFVI endgame without really having to worry about leveling or grinding. However, when you need to up everyone’s power for the final battle, you are going to need an efficient grinding spot.
After some trial and error, the best spot I have found is the wooded patch just north of Jidoor.
The basic loop is to only have one or two party members. Ideally the character has the spell Vanish, but if not, simply equip the Phantom esper. Fight a random battle outside the woods and cast Vanish or Phantom on one or both party members and flee.
Once Vanished, fight random battles in the woods. None of the enemies have the ability to hit you while you remain vanished, although they might do a status switch if your characters are much lower level and cannot kill them off quickly. The Vanished characters must then use Fire, Blizzard, or Ultima spells to remain vanished but to kill their foes. Add a Growth Egg and watch the levels fly up.
Best Esper Grinding Spot
While not quite as efficient as the level spot above, the desert area just south of Maranda is a great spot for quickly leveling Espers on your characters.
For this cycle, you will need a full party, and they will need to at least have some levels and gear.
You will fight against two types of enemy – the Cactuars and Slagworms.
Cactuars have incredibly high evasion, and will use 1000 Needles to deal 1000 damage at a time. To avoid any accuracy issues, use other action commands like Blitz, Bushido, or Tools. You can also equip other members with the Sniper’s Eye to guarantee hits. It only has 3 HP, so one Drill will take it down. Cactuars are great for Espers as they drop 10 Magic Points per battle.
More tricky are the Slagworms. These bad boys have some high HP and big attacks. However, they are not immune to Death. The quickest way to kill them is to have everyone try to cast Death, and also to equip Thunder Shields. You can also just try to flee and wait for Cactuar encounters, but Slagworms give 5 Magic Points, and when Death hits the battle takes one round.
WARNING: Once you have killed 10 Cactuars, beware going to the southern portion of the desert. Doing so will trigger a battle vs a huge cactuar boss which is best avoided. Just stick to the north desert and you will be fine.
While there are some resources out there, I found myself reading through multiple old forum posts and older guides. These tricks I tested myself and found success, so I wanted to compile them in one place.
Also of note, these are strategies for the newer releases of FFVI, such as the Advance and iOS versions. In the original release, there are some better tricks (mostly involving X-Zone) that can make grinding even more efficient.
Have you played FFVI? What were your secret spots? Did you ever grind? Comment below!