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Drawing closer, Tonberry attacks with his Cleaver. From a distance he'll attack with Step Mine. Defend with Vanish and Golem.

Final Fantasy VI PlayStation Bestiary entry

The Tonberry, also called Pug, is an elusive enemy in Final Fantasy VI (1/16 encounter rate inside the Yeti's Cave), and the only random encounter in the dungeon that doesn't inflict Imp. However, it is powerful and should not be underestimated.




Tonberry uses Traveler every turn, doing Defense-ignoring damage to a party member. It counters every attack with Knife, doing heavy physical damage, followed by Traveler. This combo will likely kill any party member it hits unless they are at a very high level.

Tonberry is vulnerable to the Imp spell, which will prevent it from using Traveler, but it will always get a critical hit with its normal attacks while imp. It is also susceptible to Petrify. The Break spell will fail because Tonberries are immune to Death, but Gau's Deepeye Rage works, as its Dread Gaze attack (which inflicts Petrify) does not check for Death protection like Break does.

Coliseum setup[]

A way to win against Tonberry with low-level characters is to take one with 255 Defense and put him/her in the back row with a Ribbon or Jeweled Ring. The main problem with Tonberry is that it will use Traveler when hit or killed, and the player might not be able to withstand the attack unless they have high HP from the Muscle Belt and/or Red Cap.

If the player cannot get their HP higher than Traveler's damage, they will have to ensure it can't be used, as Tonberry will always counter the player's physical or magical attack with it, and there is no reliable method of healing. Equipping a Black Belt allows one to counter Tonberry's attack if damaged, but the Tonberry will still use Traveler upon its death.

Damage from Poison status is not regarded as attack from the player, and thus a Tonberry killed by Poison will not cast Traveler. The player can use a weapon that inflicts Poison: Poison Rod, Venom Claws and Scorpion Tail. When the battle begins, the player should use the escape command to prevent the character from doing normal attacks, and instead rely on counterattacks from the equipped Black Belt. After the character counterattacks and poisons the Tonberry, the player can wait and hope for the Tonberry to die from poison and not from the character's counterattack. Because the counterattack does not acivate if the player suffers no damage, players pursuing this strategy should aim for a high but not perfect defense.

To max out a character's defense, one can take advantage of the imp equipment. For example, Sabin can use Venom Claws. After turning him into an imp, the player can equip him with Tortoise Shield, Saucer and Reed Cloak, which will raise his defense to 261.

Another way to stop Tonberry from using Traveler is to drain its massive pool of MP, which will take hundreds of turns. The player can wait until it uses all of its MP via Break spells (which the player should be protected against with Ribbon or Jeweled Ring), while holding L and R to have the character try to run away so they won't attack.

If the character is strong enough to survive a single Traveler strike, an effective strategy is equipping the Master's Scroll and Black Belt. Since the Tonberry has a 66% chance of opening with either Attack or Knife, this gives the character a good probability of killing the Tonberry immediately by counterattacking and following with a normal attack.


Number Enemies Encounter flags Introduction flag Musical theme Magic AP
Normal Back Surrounded Side
253 Tonberry Y Y N Y Sides, individual Battle 7

AI script[]

Normal script[]

Attack Turns:
1st Turn: Traveler (100%)

If attacked by anything: Knife (100%)

Traveler (100%)

Coliseum script[]

Attack Turns:
1st Turn: Attack (33%) or Knife (33%) or Break (33%)

If attacked by anything: Knife (100%)

Traveler (100%)

If killed by any attack: Traveler (100%)

Other appearances[]

Triple Triad[]

115a Tonberry.png

Tonberry appears on a Triple Triad card in the version playable via Final Fantasy Portal App.


Pug is an obsolete term for an "elf" or "hobgoblin".

Related enemies[]