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The Dragon's Neck Colosseum

Guide by  Djibriel
Contributor
Edited by  Death Penalty
Contributor

The Colosseum is but a dream in the World of Balance, but once you reach the World of Ruin, the proprietor has a thriving gladiatorial combat center - with prizes! Fighters from all over the world gather here to test their skills against each other, as do several creatures. The stakes? Rare relics, priceless weaponry, the greatest of armor. Whatever you have, it can be found at the Colosseum twice as sturdy or sharp.

First, let's scout around here. Ultros is a receptionist now; he warns you about Typhon and is a pest like usual, but doesn't attack you, in a surprising turn of events. The real Siegfried resides in a room where he warns you of his imposter (yes, you can fight Siegfried in the Colosseum, but not immediately). The last Imperial soldier is also here, and he gives you a hint about 'talking to the Emperor twice'. Strange, since the Emperor is quite thoroughly dead. In the Japanese game, this soldier mentions he gave this info to a certain friend of he'd met earlier: A friend with a bandana.

How does the Colosseum work? First, you bet an item. An opponent will rise to meet your challenge based on which item you bet: You will always meet the same opponent for any given item. You'll lose your bet item regardless, but if you win, you'll be given an item in return, which is often greater than the one you bet in the first place. If you cast OTeleport in-battle or are Sneezed out of the battle, you'll keep your bet item.

In battle, your characters will act as if they were Confused, yet they will attack only the 'normal' targets. This means that characters in the Colosseum will never use Item, Revert, Throw, Control, Slot, Leap, Def., or Possess. Item and Throw are great to have listed as such, as you don't have to have a chance of using that single Megalixir or throwing a unique weapon away. You can't run away successfully in the Colosseum (you'll just start running but will never get anywhere - you won't lose any turns though) but the OTeleport spell does work.

Not all items can be traded for superior goodies here; most weak or common items will pit you against Typhon, who will promptly use Sneeze to end the battle (you can defeat him, but it'll take a long while before you'll even come close). If Typhon Sneezes you away, the battle is considered a draw and you'll keep the Item you wagered.

This guide covers some of the more interesting trades you can make at various points of the game. You can also see a sortable full list of wagers.

Early Visits

It's possible to visit and fight at the Colosseum as soon as you've recruited Edgar in the WoR. At this point, here's what you can do to make your life better, or at least different:

Easy wins:

Win
Wager
Opponent
Strategy
Equip Setzer with the GamblerDice you bought in Kohlingen. Relics, equipment, it's not needed. The RelicHeiji's Jitte Relic is a negative factor as that could make him win while losing some money as opposed to making him win without any unnecessary downsides. Every time Setzer's turn comes up, he tosses out his GamblerDice and wins.
See above!

Doable wins:

Win
Wager
Opponent
Strategy
Equip Sabin with two ClawBurning Fists and a RelicRibbon. If Great Malboro uses Sneeze, the battle is over and you'll still have your SwordFlametongue. Eventually, Sabin's ClawBurning Fists will pound Great Malboro into burning pulp and you'll have won a new sword, the SwordOrganyx.
Equip Sabin with two ClawVenom Clawss and a RelicBlack Belt. Make sure you Save, as this battle will be over soon, regardless of its outcome. All Sabin needs at a decent level is two Fight commands; all that Glasya Labolas needs if Sabin is at a decent level is two !Uppercuts. The RelicBlack Belt increases your chances at killing him before he kills you.
Dark Force has about 9000 HP, and has a 1/4 chance at using OWhite Wind. Odds are you don't have the offensive strength to take him down before he takes you down. What you'll want to do is rely on your Instant Death weapons, as that's what Dark Force is susceptible to. Setzer's GamblerViper Darts weapons, paired up with a RelicGenji Glove if possible, can take him out easily, as can a SwordSoul Sabre.
If you think you really don't need full RelicRibbon coverage (and you really don't, to be honest), you can bet a RelicRibbon for a RelicGold Hairpin in order to fight a Dark Force (possibly with the intent of swapping it with a RelicDragon Horn later).
If you chose the RelicGold Hairpin over Mog earlier or decided you weren't going to use that RelicRibbon anyway, you can easily trade your RelicGold Hairpin for a RelicDragon Horn right now. For strategy, just take a look at what I said earlier.

Hardly doable wins:

Win
Wager
Opponent
Strategy
Yojimbo's three bad habits are all Instant Death-related. He has a 25% at using !Tradeoff every turn, which kills you. He also can cast Condemned, giving you only a limited time to off him. The worst part is that he will always use !Tradeoff when he dies. High Magic Block increases the chance to circumvent that guaranteed !Tradeoff, but you won't be able to deal enough damage in that case. If you really want to give this battle a shot, my personal luck has always been with Sabin, dual ClawVenom Clawss, and a RelicWhite Cape. It's a slim chance, but it's as good as it gets at this point and the RelicDragon Horn is really awesome.

An explanation on the new items you can obtain here:

The Rename Card is a 'secret' item that can only be found by fighting at the Colosseum. It enables you to rename one of your characters, after which it disappears.

The SwordOrganyx is a very odd weapon. It's stronger than what you've seen so far, and uses MP to inflict Critical hits. It can deal an incredible physical blow for only 12 to 19 MP a hit. In fact, it deals more damage on a critical blow than two SwordEnhancers. Sadly, there is also a downside to the SwordOrganyx. Namely, it can break while being used, and the chance is pretty big: an average of 28%. It's determined by taking a random number between zero and the last digit of the attacker's HP, plus one. If that digit is zero, bye-bye sword. You don't really want to risk losing your precious SwordOrganyx; on the other hand, if you can't use it, what good does it do for you? There is one way to circumvent the whole breaking thing without it losing its charm; use the RelicBlack Belt! When countering, the SwordOrganyx will never break. So, the best way to use the SwordOrganyx is equip it on Celes and/or Edgar, stick to level 2 spells and/or Tools and swing the SwordOrganyx only in self-defense.

The KnifeMasamune is simply superior to the KnifeMurasame. The RelicGrowth Egg (Experience Egg) doubles the Experience Points gained by the wearer. Two RelicGrowth Eggs don't stack, and only the wearer receives twice as many Experience Points. The RelicDragon Horn is a beauty. Whenever the wearer uses a Jump command (by either wearing RelicDragoon Boots or by being picked up by the EsperQuetzalli Esper you'll find later), the wearer won't come down once but twice (75% of the time), thrice (18.75%), or sometimes even four times (6.25%).

After Some Airship Travels

Welcome (back) to the Dragon's Neck Colosseum, a monument to combat. You've had a nice trip around the world, so it's time to bet your newly acquired prizes to gain more prowess in combat.

Easy wins:

Win
Wager
Opponent
Strategy
Weredragon is weak, but has a 1/3 chance of casting ODeath. Equip a RelicReflect Ring to reflect it back at him (he's vulnerable to instant death). Any strong attack will take him out.

Doable wins:

Win
Wager
Opponent
Strategy
75% of the time, Death Machine will cast ODeath. Death Machine itself is also vulnerable to Instant Death attacks. Grab a RelicReflect Ring and equip it, and send in a warrior with weapons with intant-death properties; Setzer's GamblerViper Darts or the SwordSoul Sabre will do. If your character attacks, Death Machine can counter with up to four Blaster attacks. Thus, if your character damages Death Machine without killing him, the battle is over. With this in mind, start running as soon as you enter the fight! Your character will just run and never attack. He obviously won't succeed in running away, and but he will Reflect Death Machine's ODeath spell for the win.
Aspidochelon is a joke. He has little HP (3210), little Defense, and a weakness against Holy-elemental attacks. Sabin equipped with two ClawDragon Clawss, a RelicBlack Belt, and ArmorGaia Gear is almost sure to win. His Slide attack will be absorbed by the ArmorGaia Gear, so the only worry is Surge, of which Sabin can take at least two before rolling over and dying. If you want to be really sure, try getting an ShieldIce Shield first so that you absorb both Slide and Surge.
It's better to hold out on this battle until after you've gotten yourself an ShieldIce Shield so that your character can absorb Flash Rain. If you have a HelmetSaucer to equip or perhaps a ShieldTortoise Shield, that method should work too (Flash Rain is Ice/Water, despite its Lightning-elemental appearance). Edgar would make a nice RelicDragon Horn Dragoon with an ShieldIce Shield in this fight. Test Rider isn't really something to worry about.
has little HP and weak defenses. Sending in Sabin with dual ClawDragon Clawss and a RelicBlack Belt will guarantee you victory unless Sabin pulls off a Soul Spiral.
An alternate route to SpecialBone Clubs and ArmorRed Jackets. Fighting Glasya Labolas has been described above.
Gorgimera is a mean upgrade from the Chimera. He can use Surge (strong), OAero (even stronger), and Flare Star, which will kill you unless you have any way of nullifying it/absorbing it. Send in a character with a ShieldFlame Shield, as he or she will be protected from both Surge and Flare Star. An ShieldIce Shield is not as smart as OAero will do double damage to such a target. Dragoon Edgar works best.
Galypdes is a big bird. It uses Battle, !Flap, Shimsham, and Cyclonic. You can't protect against the latter two yet, so just send in Dragoon Edgar and hope for the best. If you don't have him, I regret to inform you that instant death attacks don't work against this bird and you won't win the battle.

Hardly doable wins:

Win
Wager
Opponent
Strategy
Chaos Dragon has three attacks that are prone to screw you over. !Cinderizer will kill you if it connects. Disaster turns you into a Confused Imp, which pretty much means it's over. OMeteor is just outright strong. You won't' be able to take two and live to tell the tale. Your best bet is to send in Dragoon Edgar and hope for Battle/OMeteor. Chaos Dragon has quite some HP but weak defenses, so while you'll die in most cases, it's worth dying a few times to get to the ArmorRed Jackets in the end.
Outsider is vulnerable to instant death, and that's your savior. Outsider uses Battle, !Ruin, OFlare, and OBanish. !Ruin kills you if it connects. OBanish kills you if it connects. Every time you hurt Outsider, he's going to respond with ShurikenShurikens, ShurikenFuma Shurikens, or ShurikenPinwheels down your throat. Send in Setzer with dual GamblerViper Dartss and a Relic and you should be winning more battles than you lose. Sadly, you're just gonna have to rely on the X-type instant death kicking in, or else you'll see Setzer eating dust like it's 1311 B.C.
Fiend Dragon has four attacks, the first of which is the common Battle. While Battle normally wouldn't be that much of a threat, it will prove most fatal to your character in this battle. His second move is N. Cross, which has a small chance of freezing you. S. Cross, which is a strong Fire-elemental attack, is another of Fiend Dragon's attacks. The last and perhaps the nastiest of its attacks is Fallen One, an unblockable attack that sets your character's HP to 1. Equip a ShieldFlame Shield (a ArmorRed Jacket or ShieldIce Shield won't be sufficient) on Dragoon Edgar. The only way you can be killed is by receiving a Battle attack with 1 HP remaining. The best you can do is pray that doesn't happen and that S. Cross heals you back up whenever you reach that level.

An explanation on the new items you can obtain here:

The SpecialRising Sun is a SpecialMoonring Blade upgrade. It's weaker than the SpecialSniper Special weapon and can only be gotten *later* than it. It's a passageway item at the Colosseum and should only be collected for that very purpose.

The SpecialBone Club is equally useless. Only one character, Umaro, can equip it, he comes with one and cannot be (un)equipped anyway. Another passageway item collected for completion and betting at the Colosseum.

The ArmorMinerva Bustier is the piece of Armor you'll wind up keeping on Celes and Terra for the remainder of the game because it's the BEST armor in the game. Fire, Ice, Lightning, and Wind are nullified, and Water, Earth, Holy, and Poison only deal 50% as much damage. To top it off, it grants the wearer an all-round stat boost (+1 Vigor, +2 Speed, +1 Stamina and +4 Magic Power for dessert) and 10% additional Magic Block. ArmorMinerva Bustier's special effect is granting the wearer 25% extra MP. In other words, you'll want this on your armored girls.

The ArmorRed Jacket is Sabin's ultimate Armor. Sadly for Sabin, it's the second-worst piece of ultimate Armor in the game. It nullifies any Fire-elemental attack and is superior to ArmorDiamond Vests and ArmorCrystal Mail and all that, but comes nowhere near other end-game pieces of equipment and has no special effect. It's also useful on Edgar for a short while, I might add.

The ShieldIce Shield is a shield that, well, absorbs Ice-elemental attacks. It nullifies damage done by Fire-elemental attacks, and the wearer will receive twice as much damage from Wind-elemental attacks. It teaches the OBlizzara spell at a x5 rate and will cast an unblockable, barrier-piercing OBlizzaga spell when used in combat, after which it breaks. Its Defense rate is 1 point above that of the ShieldFlame Shield, which basically serves the same purpose. It's inferior to the ShieldCrystal Shield in terms of Defense and Magic Defense, but the elemental properties and the extra 10% Magic Block make it come out superior in my book.

The KnifeMurakumo, or Ame no Murakumo (Sword of the Billowing Clouds, or shortened as Heaven's Cloud), is the strongest weapon from Japanese mythology. Here, though, it's a rather uninteresting weapon and the third-strongest weapon Cyan gets to lay his hands on without crossing the border of weapons he can normally equip. It's a very simple upgrade in Battle Power over the KnifeMasamune.

The LanceHoly Lance is a Holy-elemental Lance that gives a +3 on Magic Power and has a 25% at casting OHoly every time you Fight with it or on every last Jump attack the wielder makes. The LanceHoly Lance is argued to be the best Lance out there, because the only one higher in Battle Power doesn't have a random spell casting clause.

The ShurikenPinwheel is the ultimate throwing star. It eh.... yeah, it damages. A lot. You can't really buy them anywhere, they are hardly ever found in chests, and and their only appearance on an enemy is as a rare steal from a late-game enemy, so the Colosseum is your source for them.

The ShieldFlame Shield is a shield that, well, absorbs Fire-elemental attacks. It nullifies damage done by Ice-elemental attacks, and the wearer will receive twice as much damage from Water-elemental attacks. It teaches the OFira spell at a x5 rate and will cast an unblockable, barrier-piercing OFiraga spell when used in combat, after which it breaks. Its Defense rate is 1 point below that of the ShieldIce Shield, which means it basically serves the same purpose. It's inferior to the ShieldCrystal Shield in terms of Defense and Magic Defense, but the elemental properties and the extra 10% Magic Block, as with the ShieldIce Shield, make it come out superior in my book.

RelicMiracle Shoes are grand. They set Safe, Shell, Haste, and Regen on a character. This will make him or her take only 2/3 of the damage every attack normally does that isn't barrier-piercing, grants an immunity to OSlow and Seizure, and basically makes sure that a character will stick around longer and act faster than he or she normally does. RelicMiracle Shoes are great filler Relics; while RelicMiracle Shoes will require a slot that a RelicHero's Ring could've filled, some prefer the defensive route to the offensive one.

Recovering Shadow

Shadow's just a stone's throw away. Fly the airship to the Colosseum, and remember that notion about the DirkIchigeki. Once you bet it, you won't find a monster fighting you for it (after you've fought this battle, or if you haven't met the criteria so far, this'll be Typhon), but the merciless mercenary himself: Shadow. Shadow is a complete pushover; unequipped, unarmed, and unable to use the Throw command in the Colosseum, Shadow is pathetic. But it doesn't even matter if you win or not; whether you win, lose (equipped a RodHealing Rod or something, right?), or OTeleport out of battle with the aptly named spell, Shadow will join you afterwards. And it's permanent this time!

Poor Shadow, though; his only joy left in this world is to fight. At least we can turn this into a positive force now that he intends to face Kefka. And boy, does he do it well! Skeans are very strong, and now you have the finances to really buy them en masse. SkeanFlame Scrolls often nail elemental weaknesses especially well, so buy lots of those and a few of the other ones to make them feel appreciated.

Now you're here at the Colosseum, you might as well bet the ArmorBehemoth Suit nobody can equip yet for the ArmorSnow Scarf. I told you above how to defeat the Outsider that guards it, so go find it if you're having trouble. The ArmorSnow Scarf is awesome, awesome, absolutely awesome equipment for both Mog and Gau.

The Late-Game Trip

Sure, why the heck not, eh? Most of the below described items are "provided you have them" or "provided you want them", but I have to put them somewhere and this seems like a nice place. I'll go easy on you and start out with the really helpful ones!

Win
Wager
Opponent
Strategy
Siegfried has three attacks: a 50% chance of using Battle, a 25% chance of using Shrapnel (which is rather painful), and a 25% chance of using HyperDrive, which will most likely kill you. There's no way to circumvent it other than Runic, which isn't reliable enough. HyperDrive is a non-elemental barrier-piercing magical attack that cannot be Reflected. Coming from Siegfried, who is hyped as the greatest warrior that isn't in your team or called Kefka Palazzo, the move delivers around 7200 damage. Your best bet is to take advantage of his vulnerability to the Stop status; equip the DirkKagenui, RelicDragoon Boots, RelicDragon Horn, and as much MBlock% raising equipment as you can can find on Shadow. If you're in luck, a random OStop spell coming from the DirkKagenui will kick in and disable Siegfried long enough for you to kill him.

And yes, that's a gun he's holding. Sweet, eh?
Tonberry is a bastard in the Colosseum. The trick here is that he will counter any damage done to him with both !Cleaver (Battle * 8) and a OTraveler attack. Death doesn't stop him from countering, and, as it's highly unlikely you'll be able to survive two OTraveler attacks (not even mentioning the !Cleaver attack), you must take down Tonberry in one shot, which will be hard since he's quite durable and not vulnerable to instant death attacks. Obviously, he also attacks normally, utilizing Battle, !Cleaver, and the OBreak spell. First off, you'll want a RelicReflect Ring, RelicJeweled Ring, RelicRibbon, RelicSafety Bit, or RelicMemento Ring to protect against OBreak. Second, make sure you can survive the !Cleaver/OTraveler combo. RelicMuscle Belts and HelmetRed Caps increase your HP in preparation against OTraveler and you'll either want to evade or nullify !Cleaver entirely, so a high MBlock percentage or 255 Defense does the trick. On the offensive side, the RelicMaster's Scroll is almost essential, either with the GamblerFixed Dice or a DirkValiant Knife, whatever you happen to have.
See... immediately above.
Aspidochelon has been discussed before. Scroll up, dear reader.
Slagworm is, if I'm not mistaken, the toughest enemy out there that's still vulnerable to instant death. Consequently, this is really what you'll want to take advantage of. He'll randomly use Battle, !Crush (Battle * 5), Sand Storm, and OQuake. Every type of damage will by countered with up to two Sand Storm attacks. Equip a RelicAngel Wings with Slagworm's OQuake spell in mind and a ShieldThunder Shield to nullify the Sand Storm attacks. If you can pair this with 255 Defense (Mog), you can't lose. If you can't obtain invulnerability, it's best to go all-out offensive: RelicMaster's Scroll, possibly the RelicGenji Glove, and either the SwordZantetsuken or weapons with the X-type instant death. Remember that the random ODeath spell from the SwordSoul Sabre and the GamblerDeath Tarot won't work with the RelicMaster's Scroll.
I discussed Yojimbo earlier, but the situation's so much different now I'd like to mention him again. Get your MBlock as high as possible on a character that's bound to inflict a lot of damage. GamblerFixed Dice, RelicMaster's Scroll, ShieldForce Shield, ArmorForce Armor, HelmetPriest's Miter, and RelicWhite Cape are all recommended. The odds are pretty good that Setzer will outlive a Yojimbo this way.
If you've not figured out Aspidochelon yet, that's your problem.
All Amduscias does is Battle, !WaistShake (sets Confuse), OSlowga, and OHastega. 255 Defense and a RelicPeace Ring/RelicRibbon to protect against !WaistShake and you're set.
Battle, Giga Volt, OAqua Breath, and Blaze are the moves used by Vector Chimera. A combination of ShieldThunder Shield and ArmorRed Jacket insures against all the powerful attacks here, so send in Edgar with this equipment and you're set. Sabin's good too, though he might use Soul Spiral.
Demon Knight looks pretty neat, but that doesn't stop him from sucking in all categories. Battle, !CursedGaze (sets Seizure), and Shock Wave are all too useless to worry about, and OHoly can be reflected by a RelicReflect Ring. Equip one and win.

You should know all items except for the RelicMerit Award. The only circumstance under which you should want to trade a ArmorMinerva Bustier for a ArmorRegal Gown is when you have more than two ArmorMinerva Bustier and you want to have all items in the game at the end. I've never found a good use for the RelicGauntlet either, and, in my opinion, the RelicGenji Glove has outlived its usefulness as well. A lot of players are googoo for RelicGenji Gloves, so they may not agree with me when I say that you should turn those Relics into awesome ShieldThunder Shields (save one of each if you're going for that 'perfect' end-game item list). You can steal ShieldThunder Shields in the final dungeon, but that's still a long ways from "now."

Caves of Narshe: Final Fantasy VI
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