Welcome to Part 17! I've just cooked up a shiny new Template for this walkthrough! Yeah, like you care!
This part is a little shorter, but is a huge event in the storyline and really, just a long movie.
The Warring Triad Edit
Approach the summit of the Floating Continent and confront Kefka and Gestahl. Now, if you didn't bring her (and I told you not to), Celes will automatically join your party. Gestahl summons the power of the Triad and paralyzes your party, knocking Celes aside. As she gets up, Gestahl urges Celes to join him and Kefka and rule the world. Kefka hands her a sword and orders her to kill you. Now, this is really annoying because Celes and Kefka both have classic lines that the GBA version cut out, so here's the scene with the original, better lines.
Celes approaches you and lifts up the sword, only to lower it a moment later and whisper "I wish I'd never been born". Following this, she promptly spins around and stabs Kefka. He's genuinely shocked at the sight of his own blood, not really hurt but really pissed off. Or, as Super NES Kefka said it...
"I hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate HATE you! Grrr!"
Really, that one of Kefka's (many) iconic lines, how could they cut that out? Well, his hate speech aside, Kefka stands between the Triad and demands they unleash their power. Gestahl panics and warns Kefka about about awakening the Triad, but Kefka tells him off. In an alternate screen, Gestahl finally realizes the depths of Kefka's insanity and tries to put an end to him, but it's about ten walkthrough sections too late. Despite his strongest spells, Gestahl's attacks are merely an exercise in futility.
See, the Triad was absorbing Gestahl's magic because Kefka was within their field of power. Before the eyes of the horrified Gestahl, Kefka orders the Triad to use their power and destroy him. Bolts of energy slam down and narrowly miss Gestahl. The old man runs about trying to avoid their strikes, but in the end...with a triumphant laugh, Kefka watches as an energy bolt hits Gestahl head on. The former Emperor collapses.
With a final scowl, Kefka pitches Gestahl's fatally wounded body off the edge of the Continent. Celes confronts him but is knocked aside. Then, Kefka walks up to the Triad and moves their formation. Their magic field quickly destabilizes, but it's Shadow to the rescue. He jumps in and pulls Celes to safety before trying to move the Triad back into place. Kefka and Shadow end up deadlocked, and the weakened magic field lets your party free themselves. Shadow tells you to run, and a burst of energy flings you away.
Now, if the above was too much reading for you, let me summarize: Kefka controls the source of all magic! RUUUUUN!!!
Escape from the Floating Continent Edit
You've got six minutes to escape to the eastern end of the island, so glue that thumb to the B button and put that auto-sprint through its paces. The only enemies you find in this are are Naudes, who like to Freeze your party members and also Mutes them. It's Ice-element, so a Fira spell or two should put them down. With Celes, Terra and Relm, you command the three best Mages in the game, so killing them is no trouble at all, they're just there to stall you. If you have any, Smoke Bombs can be used to avoid battles altogether, along with the Teleport spell if anyone knows it.
It's a fairly linear path right, until you see a pearl chest. Head down and right, then up to get it, going for it directly causes the ground to collapse and you can't get it at all. It's an Elixer. Now, equip someone besides Terra with the Carbuncle Esper. Then inspect the nearby glowing star.
The Nelapa has auto-Reflect, and casts Doom on your party, setting a timer that will kill them when it hits 0. It may sound strong, but it isn't. Cast Carbuncle, then Morph Terra and group-cast Thundara or Blizzara on your party - Nelapa is weak to both and cannot stand up to such power. It will die easily to this type of strategy.
Now go to the very end of the land and you'll see the airship below and get a message. Choose to wait, walk left a step, then back and wait again. Now just stand here and wait out the clock. In the next leg of the game, Shadow will permanently join you if you wait for him. He shows up with 5 seconds left on the clock, so wait and you can get him later. If you jump now, he won't escape and he'll die. Murderer. Obviously, given the two alternatives, you'll want Shadow. I'm not sure if there's a minimum for the amount of time left when you arrive at the exit, but as long as there's at least a minute left, you're good. When Shadow shows up, you automatically jump onto the Blackjack.
Watch as the world shifts and explodes. As the Blackjack flies away, a shockwave of energy hits it, shattering the deck and sending most of your friends flying through the air. With a final torrent of fire, the main continent explodes and splits apart...and then the caption appears...
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