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The Lethe River, also known as Lete River, is a river in Final Fantasy VI that flows through the World of Balance. It starts in the Sabre Mountains and flows through the mountains and has two discharges: one near the port city of Nikeah and the other is near Gau's father's house. The river runs into a lake close to Narshe. It passes by the Returner Hideout, and the Returners built rafts to escape in an emergency.

The river, along with most of the Sabre Mountains, is gone in the World of Ruin and appears to have sunk beneath the ocean.


Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)
FFVI PC Ultros 1st

The party encounters Ultros in the Lethe River.

When news reach the Returners that the Gestahlian Empire has invaded South Figaro, Terra, Edgar, Sabin, and Banon escape on a raft down the river. They approach Narshe, but have to fight Ultros on the way who sticks a tentacle to Terra's leg. Sabin leaps into the water to fight Ultros off, and is washed down another tributary of the river. Terra, Edgar and Banon continue on to Narshe, while Sabin washes ashore at Gau's father's house.

Spoilers end here.


Navigating the river

The Lethe River has two points at which the player party has to choose a path. At the first spot, all three paths converge at the first of two save points, but the other path puts the party in a loop if they choose to go up.

Going down the Lethe River a second time puts the party at Gau's father's house. This is useful if the player wishes to return to the Veldt before acquiring the airship, though it makes for a long journey on foot.

Level up strategies

The player can ride the loop infinitely if they wish to level grind before fighting Ultros. If playing the SNES edition, it is possible to exploit this using a turbo controller to level up automatically.

Experienced players tend to play a low-level game through the first half. When doing this, repeatedly fleeing battles to avoid leveling-up can leave the player short of money. The Lethe River offers an early solution in the form of Banon.

After using the first save point on the river the player should go round and round the looped river section and have the party members whittle down the enemies so there is only one enemy left that requires one hit to kill. Banon should then use Pray on the party. As soon as he starts to cast it, the rest of the party should try to flee the battle. They will be cured before they can flee, and leave Banon to deal the killing blow, get all the Experience Points, level up quickly, become strong, and earn gil.

This method reverses the normal game strategy where the tougher party members would try to protect Banon, making Banon a powerful protector. Leveling him up will not affect the levels of other regular playable characters who are not currently in the group, which would be the case if Sabin, Edgar, or Terra were receiving experience and gaining levels.

Banon can also be used this way in the caves at Narshe, when the player selects the Banon-Edgar-Terra scenario.

Mog's Dance

Mog can only learn Water Harmony by battling on a water terrain. If the player recruits Mog in the World of Balance, they can go down the Lethe River with him in the party to let Mog learn the dance.

In the Advance and subsequent versions, if the player misses the opportunity to learn the dance here, they will get a second chance to learn it in the battle against Leviathan in the World of Ruin.


Other appearances

Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade

FFAB Lethe River FFVI Special
Castle Cornelia PSThis section about a location in Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade is empty or needs to be expanded. You can help the Final Fantasy Wiki by expanding it.

Final Fantasy Record Keeper

Lethe River was featured as the only dungeon for the Challenge Event Monster in the Lethe?. Later, A Fateful Coin Toss briefly returned to the location on Sabin's path.



In Greek mythology, Lethe was one of five rivers in the underworld, as well as the name of a spirit associated with the river. The spirit Lethe was the spirit of forgetfulness and oblivion, and drinking the water of the river caused forgetfulness. The Lethe River was portrayed in the Divine Comedy as a river in Purgatory, which Dante drank from to wipe memories of sin from his mind, preparing him to enter Heaven.

Lethe is also the Greek goddess of Oblivion.


  • There is no music for Lethe River. Instead there is the ambient sound of rushing water.
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