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Final Fantasy VI Walkthrough

Written by  Djibriel

1.43: The Espers Gather


Enemies: Bonnacon, Land Grillon, Adamankary, Mandrake, Venobennu, Ultros

Treasures: ArmorChocobo Suit, RodHealing Rod, ArmorTabby Suit, X-Potion

Lore: OWhite Wind

Remember when you died in a fire? That didn't happen. Shadow came in and saved the day, just to rescue his dog. He decided he might as well just spare your sorry lives while he was in the neighborhood. Or so he would have us think. Wotta guy, eh? We now know that Thamasa is the village of the Magi's descendants. Or, to stick with the Latin roots, the Magorum descendants. During the War of the Magi, Magicite-powered humans called Magi fought alongside of normal humans and Espers. When the war ended, the Espers retreated and the humans hated the remaining influence of the magical: The Magi. They were forced to flee, and just as the Espers founded the Esper World, so did the Magi found Thamasa. Their descendants have lost some of the magical potency of their ancestors after those thousand years, but they're still powerful enough to actually use the magic the world had, until recently, forgotten for so long.

As soon as Strago mentions that the mountains to the west might be worth a look, Shadow takes off. It seems that he will 'search for the Espers his own way.' You shouldn't forget that despite the fact Shadow has fought alongside of you, he is a moral-deficient individual, employed by the Empire, whose interests are still rather questionable. He's breaking a direct order for no apparent reason. Highly suspicious. Also highly obnoxious for strategic consistency.

With Strago in your party, you get the new mission of finding Espers in the mountains. Nice. Relm offered to join, but despite her prominent naming screen, was refused entry into the party, which even has a free spot for her. Obviously we'll never see her again.

There's a Relic hidden in Strago's house on the second floor: Hidden in the bulge in the left wall, it's near the small table with the two chairs surrounding it. This Relic, the RelicMemento Ring, is at this moment entirely useless to you. If you're playing the PSX release, this is one of those rare situations where they changed something, and poorly. For PSX it's called a 'Safety Ring'. At least, that's what it says when you grab it here; if you check your inventory or try to equip it, it'll speak of a 'Safty Ring'. Nice.

When you're done, take a nice and uneventful nap at the Inn and head out to the mountains. Thus, a typical Byronian hero accompanies the half-Esper magical prodigy and the elderly sage in search of immensely powerful beings. Glad to know we're back on track with traditional storytelling in the Western heritage. If we find the powers we seek, we can get the peace the Returners have fought so hard for. Maybe. Start by making sure your equipment and Espers are comfortable. It isn't a bad idea to summon EsperPhantom at the very start, as most attacks are physical here. RelicJeweled Rings and RelicRibbons are nice to protect against the Petrifying Special of one of the monsters on the slopes, though, as this particular monster also has the power to remove your Invisible status.

There are five entirely new monsters roaming these mountains, two in the caves and three on the slopes.

Bonnacon is a palette swap, and any resembling an Urok can be nothing but very, very weak. An RelicEarring-boosted multi-target OFire spell tends to take them all out (although at lower levels, you might need a follow-up multi-target spell: Boo). They share the caves with Adamankary monsters. Rather soon for a palette-swap in this case, don't you think? You only just met Briareus at the foot of these mountains. That's just not right. There's no penetrating this creature's hide (unless it's with barrier-piercing physical attacks, obviously). You'll want to stick to magical attacks when opposing them. Don't ever use Attack, ever, as they have a one/third chance of using Snort, which will break your ever-so-fragile invisibility.

On the slopes, you'll find a brilliant new enemy called Venobennu. They attack physically only, having a small chance of trying to poison you with !Featherdust. After they've taken three turns, they'll use OWhite Wind, but only if there's some two of them on-screen; when alone, they'll never use OWhite Wind. The first time OWhite Wind appears, have Strago stand there and observe; he'll learn the magnificent move. Witness the power of Blue Magic!

Also, check out the Land Grillon. Remember Nettlehopper? Remember Grasswyrm? I'm sure you don't, as both are dull as heck. Land Grillon have a more diverse color pattern, but fail to impress on all other levels.

Mandrakes are without a doubt the most dangerous creatures this mountain has to offer. The Anthology Bestiary says their vines are made out of metal, but that's not important right now. Every second turn, they may use !Stonetouch, which sets Petrify to the poor fool that suffers it. The Invisible status, a RelicRibbon and/or a RelicJeweled Ring will help you stay soft and limber. The second great annoyance they are capable of is their ability to retaliate against any damage you inflict with a 33% chance of using a Leech attack, draining about 300 HP worth of damage from you and dispelling your Invisible status. OStop spells stop their Leech counter-attacks, or you could even opt to simply run from them. OFira spells are especially effective versus them.

The entrance of the mountains lies north of the forest here. The entrance wasn't here before, if you were wondering, so you haven't been missing anything. The first room houses a chest with a RodHealing Rod - keep hold of this one. The RodHealing Rod is a spiffy Rod that heals all targets, be it living or undead. At this point of the game, a Front Row character using it is likely to fully heal the target character (it'll do about 1000 HP worth of curing). Personally, I think the supposed equippers of a RodHealing Rod, Strago and Relm, will usually be too busy doing the exact same thing with a single-target OCura spell, which still allows them the convenience of equipping an offensive weapon, but there are people out there who are in love with the RodHealing Rod because it's MP-free. Much later in the game you can trade your RodHealing Rod for a weapon that is so awesome I'm even at a loss for coming up with a quip to describe how awesome it is. Just kidding, I have one, but it's so awesome that it cannot be put into type. So yeah, definitely don't ever sell the thing. For trivia, the RodHealing Rod was at one time intended to auto-target your party under Attack. Instead, they only succeeded in making it auto-target your party under Throw, though for some reason this would automatically result in Shadow's death. In the GBA release, they simply cut their losses and removed the property whatsoever.

The cave opening to the north and left will just link to each other, so take the right one (to the right). You'll see a quick 'unrecognizable' red flash dash from the corner of your eye, but that's just foreshadowing being a jerk.

In the slopes here, you can find Venobennu monsters. You'll want to meet them at least once to learn OWhite Wind. OWhite Wind is a full-party healing move that cures for the same amount of Hit Points the caster currently has. This sounds like a silly move, as you'd guess the more you're damaged, the more you need healing, and that's exactly when this move tends to be useless (if Strago is near-fatal, OWhite Wind will do essentially nothing). OWhite Wind is very useful though, as it can heal characters with RelicReflect Rings and surpasses Runic.

If you cross these slopes and enter a new cave, you see the red movement again. What's with your eyes these days? The new cave can be easily passed through; you see a lot of broken pathways here, but you can't reach them anyway. The next room houses three golden statues. Strago will freak out when he sees them and begin to explain. Remember when Kefka talked about reviving the Statues, and how fun he thought that was going to be? Better learn about them, then. These golden icons are mere representations of the real Warring Triad, and even these shimmer with power. Strago muses that perhaps the Espers came here to bask in this power so familiar to them (and obviously, this is where it's said the Espers were created all this time ago). There is a message inscribed in the bases of the statues that explains much more of why they're important.

As soon as you intend to leave, a familiar octopod crashes the party. It's Ultros. Laugh or die. He mentions something about Siegfried (calls him 'big brother' in the Japanese version), throws a semi-smart retort to Locke's comment (he jumped at him a little bit too, it seems that Locke has become his personal nemesis since they met on stage), and attacks you.

Bestiary #299
Magic Atk.
Mag. Def.
Mag. Evade
Stolen Items
Dropped Items
Common: Dried Meat
Status Immunities
Elemental Immunities
Elemental Absorb
Elemental Weakness
Command Immunities
Ultros isn't very hard this time around. He starts the battle off with the message "Thought you wouldn't see me again? I've got more lives than I do arms!" He'll normally use Attack, !Ink, Stone, and Tentacle. After every minute of battle, he'll use Hailstone, a percentage-based attack that removes 75% of your current HP.

Every other turn, he'll start by taking a little slither in your direction. Once he has slithered eight times, he uses a particularly nasty spell: Either OAqua Breath or Magnitude 8. You can easily take both (especially the latter if you're equipped with ArmorGaia Gear, as you should be), but you can make him back off one slither if you hit him three times with a Magic spell (not a Lore, however). Not that that's really advisable, but I'll explain that in a minute.

When Ultros reaches the low grounds of mere 15360 HP, he'll cast OHaste and OProtect on himself. "I know what you're thinking... Man, that was cheap! Sorry, so sorry!" Indeed. Once you've cast five spells on him, he'll go red and the screen will say: "Ultros alters his body composition! Use elemental attacks at your own risk!" This means that any Fire-elemental spells will be countered by OFiraga, Ice-elemental spells by OBlizzaga, and Lightning-elemental spells by OThundaga.

As soon as you bring Ultros down to 10240 HP, a cutscene will trigger to bring in Relm. She'll chat with Ultros, and some moments later - after the obviously hi-la-rious cutscene has passed - will join you on your side against Ultros. If you use her Sketch ability on him, Ultros will say: "How can this be? I'm just a...washed-up old octopus?" and leave.

The strategy is pretty straightforward. I wouldn't bother with offensive spells whatsoever if I were you (other than two OSlow spells, one to start off with and one to counter his OHaste/ OProtect combo with). If you have EsperGolem's OStop spell, use it to great effect and cast it every time you see Ultros taking another turn. Strago's Rods, should they have the Fire or Lightning element, will do decent damage overall (especially when that random spell steps in). Ultros Floats, so Locke can horribly abuse that with his SpecialHawkeye(s) (you can cast OBerserk on Locke if you feel like you can sacrifice controlling him). Terra can wield SwordFlametongues and/or SwordThunder Blades to hurt Ultros a bundle. If Strago's level is 25, he can rock out with his rock out; OStone will do major damage. Try to Steal a RelicWhite Cape, as it's basically free and generally useful. End the battle with Sketch if you want to. Expand Full Strategy

Even if Relm never shows up in-battle, she'll still take all the credit for the victory. Kids these days. Relm's ability is Sketch, and I dare say it's the worst ability in the game. Right now, I suggest you give Relm an Esper to teach her a good spell pronto. EsperShiva is perfect, but Strago is probably still struggling with the whole learning thing, so either EsperIfrit or EsperCatoblepas will make for a generally quick road to success. She starts with the equipment on the left; I'd advise upgrading to the equipment on the right:

BrushChocobo Brush -- RodFlame Rod/RodThunder Rod/RodIce Rod (in that order of preference)
ShieldMythril Shield -- ShieldMythril Shield
HelmetPlumed Hat -- HelmetMystery Veil/HelmetTiara
ArmorSilk Robe -- ArmorWhite Dress/ArmorGaia Gear

She also comes equipped with a RelicMemento Ring; you found one earlier in Strago's house. It can be equipped by two people, of which Relm is one. Another character you already know can also equip it, but it's not Strago. Odd. Who else could possibly be protected by Relm's dead mother? Checking its properties reveals this character is Shadow...

The next room contains a Save Point and three tiles that look like they might cave in underneath you. These cave in underneath you. The top one takes you to a place in the broken walking bridge maze; here you can head to the slopes and find two nice pieces of equipment: The ArmorChocobo Suit and the ArmorTabby Suit. Equip Strago and Relm accordingly. You can jump off to a familiar path. The loose tile to the far right will take you to an X-Potion, and the loose tile to the bottom-left will advance your path to the Espers. After you pass this last slope, you enter a room brimming with magical energy...

The Espers have indeed gathered in this mountain, and they don't look too friendly. They've stopped Strago and Relm from leaving and are slowly surrounding you. Even though they have the plot power to wipe three members of your party from this world like excrement from a boot, you still prepare for battle; until an Esper who once discovered Terra's mother face-down near the entrance of the Esper World, and who we know based on the game's lore to have once been human herself, recognizes the power within Terra and saves the day. It's Yura.

The Espers are talking peace and non-carnage now. The Espers were gathering near the Sealed Gate, plotting how to rescue their captured comrades. It took them eighteen bloody years; way to go, champs. Just at that time, in a great coincidence, Terra called out to the Espers and, according to Yura, it was her who opened the gate. As we knew from Terra herself, Espers in our world tend to go absolutely off-the-wall crazy, and that's what happened to Yura and his merry friends. And now they're here, feeling sorry about all that.

Caves of Narshe: Final Fantasy VI
Version 6
©1997–2019 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

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