Kefka's Tower, Klimax Edit
Take Company 1 down to the balcony, then take the newly spawned right door. Advance north through the factory until you come to a room that is part factory and part palace. A Palactory. Run up the red carpet to meet with the third and final of the Warring Triad.
|Boss Fight: Goddess|
Easy again? Throw whatever hopes you had of a nominally challenging Warring Triad boss out the window, because Goddess is no different from her rivals. She does have a great boss sprite though. At least we can always look to the three gods as the typification of coolness, if not difficulty.
Being the emblem of the Thunder element, Goddess makes three. She has the lowest HP of the trio, but she makes up for it with an attack plan that might have meant trouble for us six pages ago: She uses Entice to inflict a special kind of confusion on the party, one that can't be healed by items and spells - only death. Attacking her normally may result in a frightening counter called Overture which forces the target (always a man; Goddess must be some kind of feminist, but since when do feminists dress like Lady Godiva?) to take damage in her place when an ally attacks normally. Should that happen, DO NOT attack her. It won't have a pretty ending.
Apart from those status moves, she can use Thundara, Thundaga, Flash Rain, and Quasar, which you might learn as a lore. But that would mean that you have Strago in your Party 1, which also means that you need to get back on your stool in the corner. Her signature move (one of them at least) is Cloudy Heaven, used after being damaged eight times, which will cast doom on the entire party. Don't worry yourself about it: with that 44,000, all the doom spells in the world won't save the Goddess from her vacant seat in oblivion.
We get the legendary Excalibur for winning, a hugely powerful blade that far outranks the weapons we received from Fiend and Demon. Now that all three Gods of magic have been killed, the way to Kefka stands open. The party inelegantly tells you via fourth-wall telepathy that Kefka has drained the statues of their mystical power, making himself the God of Magic. Save at the flashing light that has appeared, and walk up through the doors to the switch on the floor. Switch back to Party 3, and have them walk forward to step on their switch as well. Now for party 2, in the centre. Save at the save point, but don't yet jump down the hole leading to the final switch. Here is where we prepare for the Final Boss.
Once the final team steps on their respective square, a long cutscene will commence in which we meet with Kefka for the first time since the Floating Continent incident. Afterwards, the battle will begin immediately, which means we have no time to equip everyone. The first thing I must mention is the last clash is fought in four stages, with Lord Kefka being the closing fight. After one phase is completed, every person who has been knocked out will be removed from the front line, to be replaced by a fifth, sixth, or even seventh party member (at least one person needs to survive, obviously, or you'll get the usual Game Over screen). The person is decided by you - just before the battle begins, you get to place everyone in order from 1-12. Choose wisely: You'll want your best warriors and mages forming the vanguard, and each person after that ought to be assembled in order of usefulness. Hopefully, no one will die, but you should prepare for the worst to happen in case it does. My motto: Something always goes wrong.
Everyone needs to be equipped. Everyone. Even number 12, who probably won't see the fight at all, must be given the best equipment left over in case he's miraculously called on for the last fight. Pity that he gets such terrible leftovers. You don't need to equip espers, since there's no AP to be gained up here, but you can whack 'em on if they make up a small part of your battle plan. Locke has to be in your first team of four. That's a rule. Every aspect of the first two battles has an Elixir to steal, and the third battle has two enemies, one with an Ultima Weapon to take, and the other with the Ragnarok - that weapon that we passed up back in Narshe for the more useful Ragnarok esper. The last one has a Megalixir to steal, too. Make sure that Locke survives until then. Actually, lets make that a rule besides. Locke must survive. Every battle, make Locke's life your prime concern. He should also have the Thief's Bracer on, while I'm still on it.
Once you decide who will get to go first, (and you can decide whoever you want) give them all their equipment based on the roster. When everything's ready, save again, step into the space, and walk on the switch.
The God of Magic Edit
Three green tractor beams lift the parties up to the pinnacle of Kefka's titular tower.The man of the hour greets us himself, appearing in a graphically delightful rotating square pyramid. Keffie lays his newfound omnipotence on thick with a few parlour tricks, telling us how we're all worthless pawns that are destined to be killed. Terra tells him that all life will end, but new life will be born in the interim, and the cycle can continue. Kefka, having lost all semblance of sanity, disagrees. He thinks that since everyone will die eventually anyway, he should just hurry them on their way to an inevitable death by destroying them with the Light of Judgment.
Terra argues a bit more, then everyone lends their voice to the cry of what it means to exist. Kefka's having none of that, makes one of the best lines in the game, and proceeds to fuck up the world of Ruin even more with his great ray of light, all with that satisfying theme of his playing in the background. After the scene, you get the opportunity to assemble your team of twelve. Remember to put Locke in the first four! After you hit confirm, the battle for the fate of the world (of Ruin) begins.
|Final Boss Fight: Visage, Long Arm, Short Arm|
Here we go, first battle of the set, accompanied by an entire four-piece medley of grandiose proportions called 'Dancing Mad', arguably the best composition of the series. About the boss, Kefka has created a tower of bio-machine like creatures to defend him, all of which he's decorated with likenesses of his face. What a humble guy!
This tier has three parts to it, the face, the right arm, and the left arm. The left arm isn't really shorter than the right, it's an "optical illusion". Err, more to the point, the arms can either attack, or use Shockwave/Razor Gale (depending on the arm), while the Visage can use Sapping Strike, Reverse Polarity, Magnitude 8 and Dread Gaze to inflict petrify on one person. He uses Dread Gaze an awful lot if he has low HP, so be prepared to throw out Gold Needles when you require. Each have their own weakness, so you can attack each individually in their weak points with the relevant spells, OR you can attack with Ultima, like a normal person would. Just ultima ultima ultima. Ultima with quick, ultima with Soul of Thamasa. Ultima ultima ultima is the trick to this fight and the rest.
If you kill Visage last, he'll use Quake to hit the entire team for high damage, but this damage can be rendered null and void by casting float on everyone. Locke doesn't need to steal during this fight, just so you know, but he does need to survive.
|Final Boss Fight: Tiger, Magic, Machine, Power|
Is that blue guy naked?! What about that guy on the far left? Is that supposed to be a naked Kefka? Move over Sephiroth, we've got a new sex toy for all the fangirls to slobber over. You can even fantasise that the big pipe snaking between his legs actually belongs to him. Gross, yeah I know. Same drill with the steals, and same with the weaknesses: everyone has a different weakness, but everyone's weak to ultima. As you can see, we're not healed between battles. That's okay, so long as Locke's still around.
Tiger, the poor animal with a big blue arse on its head, is the most dangerous opponent here. It can use Flare Star, Northern Cross and Southern Cross at will, and can potentially use Zombie Touch in its final moments. Magic is the nude Kefka look alike on the left will, true to its name, only use magic. He casts plenty of spells, but just cast silence on him and he won't be bothering you for the rest of the fight. Machine is the pile of technology to the blue guy's left, and will use Magitek attacks like Diffractive Laser, Gravity Bomb, Delta Attack and Atomic Ray, and Absolute Zero. Vulnerable to Stop, which makes him usless as well as the left guy. Last one is Power, Mr. Baboon Ass himself, who only uses physical attacks.
Whenever someone is killed they will use their own final attack to farewell you, so cast Reraise on the entire team if you don't want to lose anyone. It'll probably be for nothing, but remember the motto.
|Final Boss Fight: Lady, Rest|
These guys are awesome looking, and the battle they fight in is made awesomer (??? - Mental note - trademark that word) by the third movement of Dancing Mad, which is absolutely the best of all four. But forget all that, the most important thing here is that it's time for Locke to make his due: have him steal from Lady, the saintly female creature at the top of the tower of wacky whatchacallits. She has the Ragnarok, and you want it NOW. She has a very small amount of HP, so be careful not to kill her, all right? It will take a few tries to steal that sword, but it's beyond worth it.
Lady is supposed to be killed first, since if Rest is done in before her, she will bring it back with an arise spell. The only other moves she has is White Wind and Repose (inflicts death). After you steal that sword, get rid of her. Rest, her partner, has the Ultima Weapon to steal, if you want a second (you probably do, since it's a great strength to have in the bonus dungeon. He has powerful spells like Meteor, Doom, Meltdown, Tornado and Trine; there's no way to defend against this properly, so heal, and heal often. Cast reraise on the entire team before you kill it, since Rest's final death move is a repose or two.
This battle is probably the easiest of the three so far, since there's only two targets, and they can't hurt you too bad if you play it smart and safe with your curagas and arises. And Ultima, of course. No one can stand before the spell of spells.
|Final Boss Fight: Kefka|
Here he is, y'all. The man behind the mayhem, Kefka Palazzo, God of Magic. I have to admit, this is one fine boss sprite. Amongst all the Final Fantasies, I think only Necron might come close to this. I also like the juxtaposition of the celestial Kefka on a golden background to the creepy pile of monsters hidden in the dark that waits below him.
Kefka gives us one last monologue before the bloodshed can begin. He reflects on the birth and decay of life, death, and dreams, and declares that he shall destroy them all. He gives us that whooping laugh of his, oddly distorted by his insanity, before the true contest begins.
Kefka does not want for powerful attacks - he begins with Heartless Angel, a Fiend Dragon favourite, which reduces everyone's HP to 1. Curaga will fix that, no sweat. He's got all three Ga spells, Trine (inflicts blind and silence: get the remedies ready), and Havoc Wing, a physical attack so strong that it will almost always kill the character targeted by it. Maybe not if they're over-levelled, but haven't we had that convo already? Kefka starts his second stage after about half his HP is gone. He will start to charge up his ultimate attack, an overelaborate magical blast called Forsaken which is more for show than anything else. What you really should be afraid of is Ultima - it's the one thing in the entire final dungeon (apart from the Heartless Angel) that can blow you away without a second thought. It can be avoided with reraise, though. After he gets to around 1000 HP left, Kefka will use Ultima more frequently, and maybe even Meteor and Hyperdrive (Gargantuan damage on one target).
Despite all that, despite his impressive attacks and pretty battle animations, Kefka is weak. Weak masters beget weak minions, and that is exactly what has happened here. His HP is too low to be feared (Fiend's was higher for Christ's sake), and our own arsenal of badass magical facility can't be ignored. Not even by the Gitche Manitou of magic. If Kefka really was the font of all magic, then why did he allow us to build up all this strength? Cast quick, then cast ultima twice with the Soul of Thamasa attatched, sprinkle on a Phantom Rush or Chainsaw, and the fallen angel will disintegrate into a million little fragments. The only reason I gave him the medium rating was because your team might've been exhausted when you fought him (plus, Ultima is pretty hard to recover from).
That does it! Surprisingly, the garrulous clown has nothing much to say when fading into nothingness. Isn't he at least somewhat happy that he's slipping into the same death that he's enjoyed inflicting on everyone the past year? Hm. Guess we'll never know. I like to think that his last words were: "At least I killed Gestahl!"
Ending and Epilogue Edit
The great tower of rubble begins to collapse, (the two others that you didn't bring along show up, but they're not important enough to listed outside of parentheses) and the party makes a flat chat for the Falcon. Terra turns into an esper, but falls over. Clumsy bitch. The magicite we've used over all this time begins to crumble and fade into the wind, since Kefka was the God of magic, and since he's dead, all things magical have to die too. Terra's half esper, which complicates her position. Will she die as her summon-half does? Or will she remain in her human form? Correct answer: Human form, but with the esper form's choice of clothing.
The next few minutes of the ending involves everyone escaping the collapsing ruins of Kefka's testament to destruction. It shows every main character we've played as as they flee. It's kind of fun in a way, since people who have never interacted before get to talk to one another, like Cyan and Edgar, or Gogo and Celes. I'll spare you the details of what everyone does, #1 because I can't type that fast, and #2 because it just isn't that interesting. Shadow is worth talking about, however. If you did that Clyde + Baram sidequest from earlier, you'd know that Shadow is still feeling guilty over leaving his friend to die in unthinkable agony. I'd like to say who the fuck cares, but I guess Shadow cares more about 5 minute characters than I do. This is just dumb though: Unable to live with the knowledge that Baram died and he didn't, Shadow stays behind in the crumbling building as everyone leaves, presumably dying to reunite with his deceased pal. I know he feels bad, but he's got a daughter for fuck's sake. How'd ya think she will feel? I know I wasn't that kind to her in the walkthrough, but she deserves better than just Strago, damn it! At least Interceptor lives. I'll drink to that.
Guess who the last player is? YOU. Yep, YOU. Mmhm, my skills as a walkthrough writer really came in handy back in that tower, I must say.
The group escapes, and elsewhere in Mobliz, Katarin gives birth. The knocked up teenager? Yeah, that one. Everyone wakes up on the Falcon (when were they knocked out?) and they discover Terra alive in her human form, having been able to connect herself with the children of Mobliz with their love and devotion. Poorly written... but I guess I'll just look the other way for now. I do a lot of that, huh? I think it would have been better if Terra had a genuine love interest though, like Setzer. It's not like Darill's coming back anytime soon, and they're of an age, so why the hell not? Terra Gabbiani has a nice ring to it, wouldn't you say?
The credits play, but nothing exciting happens. The Falcon just flies over the sea with some seagulls gliding alongside it. This part just keeps going and going and going, but at least you have a 21 minute musical spectacular to listen to, courtesy of the man himself, Nobuo Uematsu. First Dancing Mad, now this? Very impressive.
Last thing to do is have everyone fly over their homelands to wrap up their respective stories. Terra waves to the children of Mobliz, where Katarin has given birth, Relm waves to the people of Thamasa, Locke to the people of Kohlingen, Sabin and Edgar to the people of Figaro (the castle, not the shitty town), and no one else does any waving because they have no homes, or their homes where destroyed. Did we have to end it on such a sad note?
More nature shots, more revisiting places that we've been too... and that does it. It's over.
Hooray! The game is over! Ah - well, not quite. Save the cleared game data after the the end screen disappears, and you can play forward into the final part of the game: The Bonus Dungeon! See you there, everyone!