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Preparing for Kefka's Tower

Guide by  Djibriel
Contributor
Edited by  Death Penalty
Contributor

Character Configurations

Characters

For this section, I'll be discussing how each character should be performing at this point in the game, just to give you some comparison and advice. I won't be assuming anything too spectacular, like SwordLightbringer or ShieldPaladin's Shield, as I can't really expect you to have it. Most Relic slots will be left empty to whatever you see fit if no Relics are vital to the set-ups we're going for.

As far as the SwordLightbringer goes, you'll want to give it to Locke if you do have it, as the girls really don't need it and Edgar has enough damage potential without it as well. The ShieldPaladin's Shield is best given to a character that otherwise needs ShieldThunder Shields to gain elemental advantages; characters such as Strago, Gogo, and Sabin come to mind (especially because they really enjoy the defensive increases).

A note about the HelmetGenji Helms here. HelmetGenji Helms are often the best helmets you can land on a character, yet they are rare. At the end-game, you should have two HelmetRed Caps, a HelmetHypno Crown, and a HelmetRoyal Crown in your inventory; all can be turned into a HelmetGenji Helm at the Colosseum (HelmetRed Cap to HelmetHypno Crown to HelmetRoyal Crown to HelmetGenji Helm). HelmetRed Caps are superior to HelmetGenji Helms in my opinion, the HelmetHypno Crown is usable in a natural magic game and the HelmetRoyal Crown is plain garbage in the end. All said, you can have up to five HelmetGenji Helms, but you'll probably only want two or three. In the suggestions I list, I list five characters with a HelmetGenji Helm, as well as two with a HelmetRed Cap. This isn't possible per se. However, you can switch the HelmetGenji Helms between groups, and with the party recommendation I give it's entirely possible. In the final battle, hey, you can't. HelmetCirclets are the best back-up helmets. Gau is the only one who has specific use for a HelmetGenji Helm, since, disregarding oddities such as the ShieldPaladin's Shield, HelmetThornlet and RelicMerit Award HelmetCrystal Helm, he needs it to reach 255 Defense.

Terra

"Normal" Setup
Magic Block Setup
Vigor: 32
Speed: 36
Stamina: 29
Mag. Pwr: 53
Bat. Pwr: 147
Defense: 200
Mag. Defense: 180
MBlock%: 87
Vigor: 31
Speed: 34
Stamina: 28
Mag. Pwr: 49
Bat. Pwr: 147
Defense: 145
Mag. Defense: 206
MBlock%: 137
Nullifies: Fire, Ice, Lightning, Wind
Resists: Poison, Holy, Earth, Water
Resists: Fire, Bolt, Ice, Wind, Earth

Terra has two good looking setups for the endgame, one that makes her overall more powerful and one that gives her a 128% Magic Block.

Terra kicks all kinds of ass late-game; she gets to wield all the best equips out there; I won't count on your having the SwordLightbringer, but I will count on the ArmorMinerva Bustier being in your inventory. Late-game Terra nullifies four elements and takes half damage from the other four. Her main point of offense is her Magic skillset, obviously, meaning that she can fling the four of the most often exploitable elements - Fire, Ice, Lightning, Holy - with considerable force. A level 3 spell coming from Terra is going to leave a mark given her horribly bloated Magic Power, and her MBlock% isn't too bad either.

Her alternate set-up is to shoot for 128% MBlock (well, higher, but 128 is the highest effective value). Her Defense suffers Greatly in this scenario, but, with only a few moves able to hit you in the first place (Red Dragon's !Eraser, Behemoth King 1's !Evil Claw, Fiend's !Demon Rage, and Tentacle), that's of minor concern. This setup doesn't hog SwordLightbringer or ShieldPaladin's Shield either, so that's a bonus.

Locke

Optimal Setup
Vigor: 42
Speed: 43
Stamina: 33
Mag. Pwr: 31
Bat. Pwr: 159
Defense: 215
Mag. Defense: 169
MBlock%: 12
Absorbs: Thunder
Nullifies: Wind
Resists: Fire, Ice

Pretty much the only remarkable feature of this set-up is the fact it includes the RelicMuscle Belt. Locke lacks any real awesome armor (in fact, he's pretty much the schoolbook average Defensive character), so the RelicMuscle Belt helps to boost him in that regard. In addition, the more HP Locke has to lose, the more power he can channel into that blue blade of happiness he carries around, the DirkValiant Knife. Nothing much else to say, really; Locke can really benefit from the RelicMaster's Scroll if you're looking for another Relic to accompany the RelicMuscle Belt. Note that HelmetRed Cap doesn't stack with the RelicMuscle Belt when it comes to HP boosts. Locke's primary concern is his complete and utter lack of MBlock% (which doesn't quite fit an agile thief such as our Byronian hero), and this is his best shot.

Cyan

Optimal Setup
Vigor: 45
Speed: 31
Stamina: 35
Mag. Pwr: 28
Bat. Pwr: 233
Defense: 220
Mag. Defense: 190
MBlock%: 41

I don't really like this set-up, but then again, I don't really like anything to do with Cyan. This is as good as it's going to get, though. Defense, Magice Defense and Mblock are all normal. The only point of debate is the Cyan's weapon choice. Some claim that, since Fang outdamages the Fight command at all times, you should only consider using a weapon that has an added effect, be it either SwordZantetsuken's 25% slice effect or KnifeKazekiri's 50% Wind Slash attack. If slicing is any kind of option, I find a ODeath spell vastly superior. And Wind Slash? Considering Cyan's 48 Base Power magical attack? Nay, despite that the above philosophy is actually supported by some respected peers, I find that Fight's targetable nature is often more useful than Wind Slash or random instant death, so stick with your strongest weapon. This still applies when you find the more powerful yet featureless KnifeMutsunokami in the near future.

Shadow

Optimal Setup
Vigor: 44
Speed: 44
Stamina: 32
Mag. Pwr: 36
Bat. Pwr: 111
Defense: 216
Mag. Defense: 171
MBlock%: 29
Absorbs: Lightning
Nullifies: Wind
Resists: Fire, Ice

What can I say about Shadow here? Apart from his weapon, his defenses are entirely standard. You'd expect something more evasive and less durable for a Ninja, I'm sure, but this is what the game gives us. You can take Shadow any ol' way you like: Give him two RelicEarring and watch his magical Skeans perform decently, give him a RelicHero's Ring and a RelicHyper Wrist (due to Throw, actually fairly effective) and watch feeble ShurikenShuriken clean house, pass on both ArmorForce Armor and ShieldForce Shield to make for that mad-dodging-Ninja you might think would fit him, I don't really care. Shadow has, as is befitting of a true cold-hearted warrior, no actual weaknesses to defend or extreme strengths to exploit, so have a field day with him.

Edgar

Optimal Setup
Vigor: 59
Speed: 30
Stamina: 34
Mag. Pwr: 32
Bat. Pwr: 214
Defense: 176
Mag. Defense: 210
MBlock%: 51
Resists: Fire, Ice, Lightning, Wind, Earth, Water

A confirmed Hiryuu Dragoon Edgar if I've ever seen one. Obviously there's always the choice of which (if any) piece of Genji equipment to replace with an item that grants elemental properties. I liked this one the best, as it gives Edgar superior Magic Defense (honestly, 210 is really good), and, while his Defense is lacking here, his status as Dragoon makes sure he will take far less physical hits than other characters anyway. Inherent Shell resulting from his shield is nice icing on the proverbial cake, and 51% MBlock is plain solid. Edgar is mainly working his Jump attacks here, which means he's fairly limited to rather uncontrollable and random Holy-elemental damage, but he's very good at it. The only non-Magic skills Edgar may still use are ToolsNoiseblaster and ToolsAir Anchor (possibly ToolsDrill if you want to go for a sure and quick kill when you know the enemy is weakened enough).

Sabin

"Normal" Setup
RelicMerit Award Setup
Vigor: 59
Speed: 44
Stamina: 47
Mag. Pwr: 32
Bat. Pwr: 241
Defense: 209
Mag. Defense: 143
MBlock%: 24
Vigor: 54
Speed: 41
Stamina: 44
Mag. Pwr: 42
Bat. Pwr: 161
Defense: 222
Mag. Defense: 170
MBlock%: 44
Nullifies: Fire

Sabin can shift things just by adding a RelicMerit Award.

With the ArmorRed Jacket as your ultimate armor, you can't expect to be very well suited to take hits, and having a grotesquely low Magic Defense (143) will quickly become apparent. It was a toss-up for me between ShieldThunder Shield and ShieldGenji Shield; Sabin could use the elemental properties, sure, but switching means that Sabin's Mag. Defense drops to 121, which is just plain unacceptable. Since, in this game, extra Defense tends to only matter more if you have a high enough Defense in the first place, Sabin will benefit more from the HelmetRed Cap than the HelmetGenji Helm's superior defenses. The defense in this setup is more or less okay-ish, though slightly lower than most characters. It has horrid MBlock, sadly. On the offense, Sabin is basically a two-trick pony; Razor Gale for multi-target damage and Phantom Rush for single-target damage. Unless you know it'll do the trick or you have a good follow-up move, Razor Gale is pretty obsolete in the final dungeon; you want to kill or disable, not randomly throw damage around (it ain't Seiken Densetsu III, folks). Once again, Sabin relies on his Magic Power, so stick at least one RelicHero's Ring/RelicEarring on him. He will also profit from defensive Relics, such as RelicGuard Bracelet and RelicMiracle Shoes. A RelicMuscle Belt will do the trick as well, in which case it would be worthwhile to swap the HelmetRed Cap for a HelmetGenji Helm.

On the alternate set-up: Some players frown upon the RelicMerit Award, but I feel it will help Sabin greatly in the final parts of this game. At the loss of a single Relic slot and the ability to nullify Fire damage, Sabin gains +10 Magic Power, 13 Defense, 27 Magic Defense, and 20% MBlock. I say Sabin wins with this one. Replace SwordEnhancer with RodMagus Rod where possible for 10% extra MBlock and 33 extra Battle Power.

Celes

"Normal" Setup
Magic Block Setup
Vigor: 35
Speed: 37
Stamina: 32
Mag. Pwr: 50
Bat. Pwr: 151
Defense: 202
Mag. Defense: 178
MBlock%: 89
Vigor: 34
Speed: 35
Stamina: 31
Mag. Pwr: 46
Bat. Pwr: 151
Defense: 142
Mag. Defense: 199
MBlock%: 129
Nullifies: Fire, Ice, Lightning, Wind
Resists: Poison, Holy, Earth, Water
Resists: Fire, Bolt, Ice, Wind, Earth

Like Terra, Celes can also max out her MBlock. The setup is virtually identical.

Celes is entirely like Terra with some very, very subtle stat differences and one major one: Celes has 2 extra inherent Mblock, which means that she needs 10 coming from equipment to reach that perfect 128. This, again, means that Celes can easily pull off Terra's goal of perfect evasion while still making room for a Relic. That's good!

Relm

"Normal" Setup
Magic Block Setup
Vigor: 32
Speed: 42
Stamina: 28
Mag. Pwr: 61
Bat. Pwr: 179
Defense: 216
Mag. Defense: 186
MBlock%: 69
Vigor: 26
Speed: 36
Stamina: 22
Mag. Pwr: 60
Bat. Pwr: 179
Defense: 146
Mag. Defense: 193
MBlock%: 129
Resists: Fire, Ice, Lightning, Earth
Resists: Fire, Ice, Lightning, Wind, Holy, Wind, Earth

Oh, hey, Relm can max that Magic Block too!

61 Magic Power! No doubt about it, Relm is a pure Mage end-game. Sketch sucks beyond all human comprehension, and her physicals are nothing compared to her magical damage output, meaning she won't actually absorb or nullify anything, which is a darn shame. She will still take less damage than most characters, however. On the alternate set-up: A perfect MBlock% set-up. The good thing here is that she only needs one item of value to another character to achieve it; everything else is either store-bought or pretty much Relm-focused anyway. This setup still boasts great Magic Power, and her elemental resistances don't suffer either. In short, it is a far greater set-up than the 'basic' one if you have the goods to spare.

Strago

Optimal Setup
Vigor: 36
Speed: 32
Stamina: 28
Mag. Pwr: 51
Bat. Pwr: 178
Defense: 195
Mag. Defense: 147
MBlock%: 47
Absorbs: Lightning
Nullifies: Wind
Resists: Fire, Ice

Yes, as you can see, late-game Strago's Magic Power doesn't differ much from Terra's, even though the old man's less magically adept than the she ever was; you can thank the Magic-boosting equips for that. Strago is inferior to Terra in his role as Magic wielder, but where Terra has Morph, Strago has Lore. This is only partially useful late-game; OMighty Guard, OWhite Wind, and OGrand Delta (if Strago is OUltima-less). In the end, I'd say Strago isn't the hottest mage around, but, since his Lores do add a certain degree of extra flexibility that Terra lacks (even though it's mostly on paper), Strago isn't completely outclassed. He has pretty bad Magic Defense though, especially considering Strago is a mage himself.

Setzer

"Normal" Setup
Imp-y Setup
Vigor: 36
Speed: 32
Stamina: 32
Mag. Pwr: 29
Bat. Pwr: 19
Defense: 207
Mag. Defense: 182
MBlock%: 51
Vigor: 36
Speed: 32
Stamina: 32
Mag. Pwr: 29
Bat. Pwr: 19
Defense: 255
Mag. Defense: 234
MBlock%: 31
Resists: Fire, Ice, Wind, Earth
Absorbs: Water

Hey, you know how you can turn characters into imps and give them special equipment to make them weirdly powerful? Yeah, Setzer might be better that way at the endgame.

I had a hard time deciding between ShieldThunder Shield/ArmorGenji Armor and ShieldGenji Shield/ArmorForce Armor; the first pair has great Defense and handles Lightning- and Wind-elemental attacks better, while this one resists more elements and has a higher Magic Defense. Since magical attacks tend to be more dangerous at end-game, this setup won the goose. In this setup, Setzer boasts Solid Defense, solid Magic Defense, pretty much standard MBlock, and the GamblerFixed Dice. Setzer will be throwing the GamblerFixed Dice for damage. That means that he's entirely random, especially when paired with the RelicMaster's Scroll, as you can't target specific enemies either that way.

On the alternate set-up: Yes, this will require you to have the Imp status set. Perfect Defense, stunning Magic Defense, Setzer will just be a lot harder to take down. His bane here is a weakness to status ailments, as 31% MBlock isn't that high, and you can't equip a RelicRibbon either, since you need Imp. He'll lose his Magic skillset too, so unless you have three other characters with decent Magic skillsets, the tradeoff might not be worth it.

Mog

Optimal Setup
Vigor: 31
Speed: 37
Stamina: 29
Mag. Pwr: 42
Bat. Pwr: 210
Defense: 255
Mag. Defense: 195
MBlock%: 42
Absorbs: Ice
Resists: Fire

The reason I'm going with this set-up is simply the fact that, gosh-golly Colonel Sanders, I'm afraid we're running out of HelmetGenji Helms. This isn't much of a concern to Mog, though. This is his Dragoon set-up, and it's pretty much his only choice, as the little guy doesn't have the equipment to back him up as a great mage. He does, however, boast perfect Defense, great Magic Defense, and very acceptable Magic Power should you should want to sneak in a spell or see a OHoly spell employed on that ever-precious final Jump attack. He is tad scrawny on the 'elemental protection' category, but, with nigh-200 Magic Defense, it's not that much of a concern.

Gau

"Normal" Setup
Wind God Setup
Vigor: 44
Speed: 38
Stamina: 36
Mag. Pwr: 34
Bat. Pwr: 109
Defense: 255
Mag. Defense: 195
MBlock%: 48
Vigor: 44
Speed: 38
Stamina: 36
Mag. Pwr: 34
Bat. Pwr: 200
Defense: 255
Mag. Defense: 193
MBlock%: 48
Absorbs: Ice, Lightning
Nullifies: Wind
Resists: Fire
Absorbs: Ice
Resists: Fire

Gau has two setups as well, with the second being the mythical Wind God.

In my opinion, the ShieldThunder Shield/RelicWhite Cape combo is superior to ShieldGenji Shield/ Whatever-Relic-you-want-for-255-Defense setup; he's better with the elements and gains immunity to two nasty status ailments. ShieldGenji Shield gives more Magic Defense though. If you're really into Rages, ShieldGenji Shield is the superior option, as you don't need the other shield's elemental properties since you know how to self-apply them at every turn. Anyway, this set-up turns Gau into a tank: 255 Defense means immunity to physical damage that isn't barrier-piercing, and 195 Magic Defense is very high as well. It makes for very nice elemental attributes too, as well as a standard amount of MBlock. In the offensive category, Gau really doesn't have a lot to offer anymore. Rages tend to be inferior to Magic by now, so he'd just be left casting spells with far less power than characters such as Celes and Relm. Gau shines on the defensive side, though.

On the alternative set-up: Wind God! Rage Stray Cat; you'll have a 25% chance of a 200-power Wind-elemental physical, a 25% chance of a 48-power Wind Slash attack, a 25% chance of a 800-power Wind-elemental physical (Catscratch), and a 25% chance of a 198-power Wind Slash attack, which is comparable to EsperCrusader's attack without hitting the caster. With the offering, you'll have four hits, each sporting the above odds. The physicals will be halved in damage, but the Wind Slash attacks will not. The Wind God is very, extremely, obscenely strong and needs to be taken advantage of: Needless to say, I favor this one. I picked a HelmetCrystal Helm for his head since you may want to save the HelmetGenji Helms for other people, and giving one to Gau really doesn't open up any other options concerning 255 Defense.

Gogo

Optimal Setup
Vigor: 29
Speed: 33
Stamina: 22
Mag. Pwr: 38
Bat. Pwr: 181
Defense: 174
Mag. Defense: 120
MBlock%: 56
Absorbs: Lightning
Nullifies: Wind
Resists: Fire, Ice

As you can see, Gogo does not take hits very well. Choosing HelmetGenji Helm over the HelmetRed Cap would have helped its defenses somewhat, but the 25% HP boost will help Gogo more in the long run. A ShieldThunder Shield's elemental resistances really help boost Gogo's survivability, but it's best to stick a protective Relic on there nonetheless. If you go with RelicMuscle Belt, swap the HelmetRed Cap for a HelmetGenji Helm. As far as Offense is concerned, Gogo should totally go with Throw for bosses and Phantom Rush for randoms.

Umaro

Optimal Setup
Vigor: 62
Speed: 33
Stamina: 46
Mag. Pwr: 37
Bat. Pwr: 198
Defense: 217
Mag. Defense: 158
MBlock%: 15
Absorbs: Fire, Ice
Nullifies: Lightning

Yes, Umaro's stats are pretty good, but it's a shame that we can't really take advantage of them. Umaro's Defense is above average, but the flip side of the coin is that you'll want him in the Front Row to deal better damage with his Fight attacks. Magic Defense is obviously sub-par here: Better than the likes of Gogo and Sabin (and even Strago), to be fair, but sub-par nonetheless. The ability to absorb or nullify the three basic elements is great, but on the offensive, Umaro is both strategically unfit and too weak to make a good party member, even with the previously named advantages. Umaro is still superior to a Magic-less Relm or a poorly raised Gau, though.

Party Preparation

Right. When you're fully prepared to tackle the final dungeon, you can fly over there. What does 'fully prepared' mean? Well, here's a little checklist of nice criteria to meet:

  • Make sure you have good equipment on everybody. ArmorCrystal Mail and ShieldMythril Shields are unacceptable. Check out the sections for each character for more detailed advice.
  • Phoenix Downs are great. After all, it's likely not every character knows a ORaise spell, and you will want to respond ASAP to fallen allies.
  • You should have more Gil than you'll know what to do with. Buy some SwordThunder Blades, SwordIcebrands and SwordFlametongues in the Albrook Weapon Shop. They make great ammunition for Shadow and Gogo to Throw against the many bosses you'll be fighting.
  • Speaking of Gil, do you remember OLv. ? Holy? No enemy in Kefka's Tower will ever drop an amount of Gil that's not divisible by 10. This means that when you set the last digit of your Gil stack to 1, you'll gain a multi-target Holy-elemental attack that's as powerful as an multi-targeted level 3 spell. The easiest way of reaching that digit is by obtaining and selling Magicite Shard, which sell for 1 Gil a piece.

Team Recommendations

Team One
Team Two
Team Three
Locke
Relm
Strago
Shadow
Setzer
Terra
Edgar
Sabin
Gau
Cyan
Mog
Celes

The table to the right is the best overall formation I could come up with. Why is that? I'll explain.

Locke, Terra, and Celes are all on different teams. I figured that Edgar was less likely than the other three to use the SwordLightbringer (it doesn't go with the Dragoon set-up), so this way you'll always have a place for the SwordLightbringer.

Locke, Setzer, and Gau are the characters that will benefit the most from the unique Relic that is the RelicMaster's Scroll; this way, none of them will ever have to go without it as you can switch it around to whichever party currently in use.

The first party is focused around the Control command, although you don't have to use it in order to make the party effective. You can Control monsters with Relm and Steal 'til you drop with Locke. Strago can learn more Lores with Relm around (though this probably won't be much of a concern by now), and his presence conjunction with Shadow's allows for every kind of attack you could want (magical, physical, targetable single-target, non-elemental multi-target). Besides, the Thamasian Duo will appreciate fighting in the same party, right? And maybe Shadow, I guess.

The third party is focused around Cyan. The poor bloke needs it, to be honest. Gau can move automatically during boss fights (which are the only fights where SwdTech will be useful without the OQuick spell), and Mog will spend time in the air as well. Set a Rage on Gau, have Mog Jump, Celes perform a spell, and maybe a monster will use a spell to follow up; Cyan should be around Eclipse and by then. The party could use a little more targetability on the whole, but Celes can do that if you want. It's a very defensive team too; Cyan is the only one who isn't either a 255 Defense tank or a ArmorMinerva Bustier wearer.

The second party is basically what's left. Edgar, Setzer, and Sabin can't target very well (unless you trade in offensive power; Edgar's Tools and Setzer's GamblerFixed Dice without the RelicMaster's Scroll are perfectly targetable), but the team consists of three of the easiest characters to use. The only one who isn't a fan-favorite, Setzer, has the broken GamblerFixed Dice/RelicMaster's Scroll combo to work with. The Figaro brothers, plot-wise, are nice to have together too.

The above is assuming you want to take all twelve 'character' characters with you, and not the hidden characters that can't equip Espers. You can replace Gau with Umaro if you want, and Gogo can pretty much replace any character in the teams, provided you give him the right skills and equipment (RelicMerit Award necessary). Without sufficient Esper Boosts, Gogo and Umaro will probably be the two characters you want to leave behind anyway.

Here's a quick rundown on what each of the three parties will face. Note: Half-way through, there's a switch for party #1. Going left or right affects the paths of all three parties, so I'll give both scenarios here.

Group one will be hampered with the most random encounters in the first part of the dungeon, but doesn't face any bosses before the left/right choice. If #1 goes left, it will have to face off against Fiend; if #1 goes to the right, it'll have to face Goddess.

Group two will meet Ultima Buster and the Gold Dragon. If #1 goes to the left, #2 will have to face Goddess; if #1 goes to the right, it will face off against Demon.

Group 3 will have to defeat Inferno and the Skull Dragon in their travels. If #1 goes left, it will have to face Poltrgeist; if #1 goes to the right, it'll come across Fiend.

Party #1 will fight the most random encounters, but will only have to fight two bosses instead of three. I'd say the #3 party sees the toughest road ahead of it; Inferno is one of those Number 128/Air Force-esque "One Main Man And Two Parasitic Lackeys" bosses who tend to take a lot out of the party.

Our walkthrough has Party #1 go to the left.

Contrary to what is said above, you might not want Locke in Party #1 (it'll ruin his chances of seeing Guardian, and you'll want him to Steal from it). Strago will probably want to face Fiend, so you'll want him to be in Party #1 as long as you follow this walkthrough. If you make an alternate choice, stick him in #3.

All done? Ready. Set. Go.

Caves of Narshe: Final Fantasy VI
Version 6
©1997–2017 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

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