Gau is a playable character in Final Fantasy VI. As a Feral Child, Gau fights by mimicking the behavior of monsters, allowing him to use a wide variety of attacks, but doing so puts him into a berserk-like state when he becomes uncontrollable and acts on his own.

Battle[edit | edit source]

Stats[edit | edit source]

Gau's stats are all around high. His Strength is the third-highest in the game and his Speed, Stamina, and Magic are above average. He has the second-best Evasion after Shadow and the best Magic Evasion. His only stat that is lacking is his Defense, which is mediocre, but Gau has access to the most physically defensive armor in the game, covering for this shortcoming.

To compensate for his inability to equip a weapon, Gau's natural attack power is much higher than any other character's—his base Battle Power is 99, when most characters don't exceed 20.

Name Initial Stats
Strength 44
Speed 38
Stamina 36
Magic 34
Attack 99
Defense 44
Evasion 21%
Magic Defense 34
Magic Evasion 18%
Escape Success 5
HP Gain 45
MP Gain 10
Level Averaging +2
Level HP MP EXP +
2 56 14 32
3 68 18 96
4 82 23 208
5 99 28 400
6 119 34 672
7 141 40 1056
8 165 47 1552
9 191 55 2184
11 246 72 3936
12 276 81 5080
13 311 91 6432
14 350 101 7992
15 394 111 9784
16 444 121 11840
17 498 131 14152
18 555 142 16736
19 616 153 19616
21 748 175 26360
22 817 186 30232
23 889 198 34456
24 965 210 39056
25 1044 222 44072
26 1126 234 49464
27 1212 246 55288
28 1302 259 61568
29 1397 272 68304
31 1596 298 83184
32 1697 311 91384
33 1799 325 100088
34 1901 339 109344
35 2004 353 119136
36 2108 367 129504
37 2214 381 140464
38 2321 396 152008
39 2429 411 164184
41 2650 441 190416
42 2763 456 204520
43 2877 472 219320
44 2993 488 234808
45 3110 504 251000
46 3229 520 267936
47 3349 536 285600
48 3471 553 304040
49 3596 570 323248
51 3854 603 364064
52 3985 618 385696
53 4118 632 408160
54 4252 645 431488
55 4388 657 455680
56 4525 668 480776
57 4664 678 506760
58 4806 687 533680
59 4950 695 561528
61 5242 708 620096
62 5390 713 650840
63 5540 718 682600
64 5692 724 715368
65 5845 730 749160
66 6000 737 784016
67 6156 744 819920
68 6314 751 856920
69 6474 759 895016
71 6796 775 974536
72 6951 783 1016000
73 7102 791 1058640
74 7247 798 1102456
75 7387 805 1147456
76 7523 812 1193648
77 7655 818 1241080
78 7781 824 1289744
79 7901 830 1339672
81 8131 841 1443368
82 8241 846 1497160
83 8349 851 1552264
84 8454 856 1608712
85 8556 861 1666512
86 8656 866 1725688
87 8754 871 1786240
88 8849 877 1848184
89 8941 883 1911552
91 9119 895 2042608
92 9206 901 2110320
93 9291 908 2179504
94 9374 916 2250192
95 9456 925 2322392
96 9536 935 2396128
97 9619 946 2471400
98 9705 958 2548224
99 9793 971 2637112

Equipment[edit | edit source]

Gau is unique among the party in that he cannot equip weapons, save for the universal Impartisan that has low battle power unless he's under the Imp status. Despite this, the Impartisan does have an important use for how it interacts with Gau's relics.

Gau's armor options are limited to lightweight gear. Because he lacks an ultimate weapon obtainable in the Dragons' Den, Gau has an "ultimate armor" instead, the Dueling Mask, which increases all his stats by 6, his HP by 25%, and halves elemental damage.

Gau is one of three characters able to equip the Snow Scarf, the best armor in the game with Defense and Magic Defense surpassing all other armor save for the Reed Cloak, which is only active under Imp status and only trumps the Snow Scarf by 10 Magic Defense. With the Snow Scarf and Dueling Mask, Gau is the bulkiest character in the game even before additional benefits from a shield are taken into account.

Three relics of note for Gau are the Genji Glove, the Gauntlet, and the Master's Scroll. The effects of these relics affect not only Gau's normal attacks, but also special physical attacks, such as Cat Scratch and Critical. The Genji Glove and Gauntlet only take effect if the user is equipped with a weapon, which is where the Impartisan has utility for Gau since it is the only weapon he can use. With these relics, Gau's physical attacks can hit twice, deal additional damage, or hit four times.

Weapons[edit | edit source]

Universal

Armor[edit | edit source]

Shields Helmets Body Armor

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Gau using a Rage.

Gau's special ability is Rage, which lets him mimic the behaviors of monsters. When fighting on the Veldt, Gau has the Leap command whose use instantly ends the battle and removes Gau from the party. A time later when fighting on the Veldt, Gau will reappear at the end of a battle and, if not attacked, will rejoin the party having learned the Rages of any enemies that were in the enemy formations when he Leapt and when he returned.

When Gau uses a Rage, he takes on that enemy's elemental and status affinities, including innate statuses and immunity to statuses. This includes statuses that normally cannot be afflicted on the party: undead and dying at 0 MP. The latter only occurs if Gau's MP is reduced to 0 while under Rage; if his MP is already 0, he will be unaffected until an attack damages his MP. Each individual elemental affinity of a Rage will overwrite Gau's affinity to that element only if his equipment offers inferior protection—an enemy that is immune to fire-elemental damage would overwrite resistance to fire, but not absorption.

While in Rage status, Gau becomes uncontrollable and will randomly perform a normal attack or a special attack each turn, with a 50% chance of either. Rage continues until Gau is KO'd or until the battle ends. If Gau is KO'd and revived, the elemental and status affinities of Rage will not persist, with the exception of Float.

Gau's Rages make him perhaps the most powerful character available in the World of Balance. He can access tier-two magic spells well before the party gains access to magicite, and can perform powerful physical attacks. Later in the game Gau can easily access earth, water, and wind spells, elements not easily available to other party members, and he can cast top-tier magic, including Meteor.

However, Gau's viability in the late game suffers due to his uncontrollable nature—while he can use powerful abilities, other party members can perform similarly and so do reliably without giving up player control. Gau's Rages do not become useless, but using him can be risky if the player needs a party member for a different task than what his current Rage locks him into doing.

Two popular Rages for Gau are the Stray Cat and Magic Urn. The Stray Cat's special attack, Cat Scratch, is a powerful Level 6 attack. Magic Urn absorbs all elemental damage and its special attack is Curaga, which, supplemented by Gau's powerful equipment, makes him difficult to kill and allows him to support the party with healing magic. While other Rages can be more efficient, the Stray Cat Rage is a simple but effective option that can carry Gau through the game comfortably, as it can deal several thousand damage and even hit the damage cap as Gau trains up his Strength.

Because Gau does not have an Attack command, he has no Desperation Attack. He also cannot use the Jump command; equipping the Dragoon Boots will do nothing.

"Wind God Gau"[edit | edit source]

A particularly powerful strategy for Gau was so effective that it was removed from all versions of Final Fantasy VI after the original Super NES release. Equipping Gau with the Merit Award to enable him to use a wider range of equipment allows him to use the Kazekiri ("Tempest" in the Super NES translation), which has a chance to cast Wind Slash when attacking. The coding to randomly use Wind Slash is identical to the coding for casting spells when attacking that other weapons have, but is a separate mechanic, and because of this it is not disabled when using the Master's Scroll.

With this combination and the Stray Cat Rage, Gau will attack four times every turn, and each attack has a chance to use Wind Slash. Further, if Gau uses Cat Scratch, his attacks will be much stronger and the Wind Slash cast from them will also be more powerful. This allows Gau to reliably hit all enemies for maximum damage, potentially multiple times each turn. The only drawback is that the strategy is much less effective against enemies that are immune to or absorb wind-elemental damage, but very few enemies in Final Fantasy VI are. This strategy was nicknamed "Wind God Gau" by the fanbase.

The PlayStation Anthology release made Gau unable to equip the Merit Award, but the "Wind God Gau" strategy was not entirely gone, as Gogo could also do it, just less effectively since he has poorer stats and cannot equip magicite for level up bonuses to his Strength. The Game Boy Advance version made both Gau and Gogo unable to equip the Merit Award, and the mobile and Steam versions retain this.

Enemy[edit | edit source]

Gau can be encountered as an "enemy" on the Veldt if he had Leapt previously and not returned yet and the party has fewer than four members. As long as the battle is not a back attack, side attack, or pincer attack, there is a chance Gau will appear after the monsters are defeated. He can be attacked and even killed during this time, but if the player does not attack him, he will speak up and rejoin the group with the Rages of any monsters present in the battle he leaped and the battle he returned in.

Quests[edit | edit source]

Recruitment[edit | edit source]

Gau is recruited in the World of Balance by purchasing dried meat from Mobliz and then using it on Gau in battle when he appears. After a cutscene, he will join. When Gau uses Leap to leave the party, he will eventually appear at the end of a battle on the Veldt and rejoin as long as the party has an empty slot for him. He will not appear if the party is full.

In the World of Ruin, Gau will appear at the end of battles on the Veldt as if he had used Leap and rejoins the party as he would normally.

Story role[edit | edit source]

Gau has unique dialogue when meeting Ramuh in Zozo, but because the game checks for his presence last when determining what dialogue to display, his unique dialogue will only trigger if he is the only party member.

In the World of Ruin, taking Gau to the house on the Veldt with at least him and Sabin in the party leads to a series of cutscenes where Sabin deduces the old man living there is Gau's father and dresses him up to introduce them. Completing this quest does not have any gameplay impact or rewards.

Low-level play[edit | edit source]

When Gau is Leapt on the Veldt, including the start of the World of Ruin, his levels are not included in the algorithm that calculates the levels of new and rejoining party members based on the average level of the currently recruited party members. This gives Gau important utility in low-level playthroughs as there are many scripted battles and unavoidable battles that reward experience points. To keep the party's levels as low as possible, players can fight these battles with Gau, allow him to level up, and then Leap him onto the Veldt so his level will not be included when determining the levels of newly joining characters.

Gallery[edit | edit source]


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