Final Fantasy VI Walkthrough
Written by Djibriel
3.1: Mission BriefingThis isn't a side-quest. This ain't no disco, and it ain't no country club either. This is ellll-ayyy. No, wait, that's not right at all. This is a heaping course of game dessert. The majority of the content added for the GBA is contained herein: the Dragon's Den.
In case you'd forgotten this was a game, here are some real only-in-a-game mechanics for you! You've raided Kefka's Tower, fought the bad man himself, are (hopefully) carrying around weapons you stole from whatever the heck it was you fought before Kefka... yet you didn't fight him, he's still there, Magicite still exists. It's hard to say if Celes and her merry men are actually aware that they fought Kefka already, as no indication is given either way. If so, then Shadow has to live with the memory of repeated and successful suicide attempts... he was a dark character to begin with, but this certainly takes it to a new level. Awkwardness aside, we'll need preparation! As I said, while the Dragon's Den is still a cakewalk if you know where to look for entirely-too-powerful combinations, most of you won't want to do that and/or have better things to do than train for levels and spells and thus have a fairly challenging time in the Dragon's Den. Yes, a much more challenging time than in Kefka's Tower. Kefka came a long way, but there's a good reason the dragon, and not the clown, is the Chinese symbol of power and masculinity.
More than anything, the Dragon's Den is one very long dungeon, so ensure you won't run out of consumables. Have 99 Phoenix Downs. Have at least 20 Tents. If you have a few folks out there who lack the Raise/Arise spells, you'll need to have these overstocked. Revival is serious business, after all. Tents are just useful to have in general, but you'll want to make sure you have plenty for this particular run. Take some stuff for Shadow, too: 99 Fuma Shuriken, 99 Flame Scrolls, 99 Water Scrolls, 99 Lightning Scrolls. Shadow's stuff is just there to maximize his damage output. You should be rolling in the Gil by now, you Scrooge McDuck of the World of Ruin. If you feel like a big spender, you can also take this expansion pack along for Shadow: 8 Flametongues, 8 Thunder Blades, 6 Holy Rods. You'll like those against the bosses, I'm sure.
The Relics are of utmost importance, so don't pass up on them. Have four of each of Reflect Rings, Ribbons, Prayer Beads, and Angel Wings. Reflect Rings, Prayer Beads and Angel Wings are store-bought, so no worries there. You should have enough Ribbons, as there were 4 chests holding them so far (5 if you let the Rune Blade rest). Even if you made a boo-boo concerning the Ribbons, you can steal one from Brachiosaur; bring Relm with the Hypno Crown and don't equip a Brigand's Glove and you should be fine as long as you're level 27 or higher.
You can also take along four Tortoise Shields or other pieces of Imp equipment; if you're wondering why, you'll want to take a quick look at the Pimp Your Imp page. Taking along some elemental shields isn't a bad idea, either. Four each of the Thunder Shield, Flame Shield, and Ice Shields will come in handy for various fiends to ensure that you're absorbing and reducing as many types of damage as possible. You can bet a Falchion at the Colosseum for a Flame Shield (fight an Outsider), and a Flame Shield for an Ice Shield (after fighting a Metal Hitman).
You might even want three Ward Bangles, one for each party. The Dragon's Den takes ages to complete, honest to God. Not that you won't love every minute of it, but the countless random encounters might up your level and/or get on your nerves more than you'd care for, and running away is for sissies. For this reason I advise you getting three Ward Bangles, which decrease the frequency of random encounters, by utilizing the Colosseum. A Ward Bangle can be found by betting a Snow Scarf (fight a Yojimbo), which can be found by betting Behemoth Suits (fight an Outsider), which you can find on the Veldt. If you plan on using Molulu's Charm, of course, you'll only need two bangles since Mog's party will fight no random battles at all.
Three or four Lightbringers and a Paladin's Shield are entirely optional in every sense of the word, but they help out tremendously. Getting multiple Lightbringer is nasty, but having them certainly helps out Terra, Celes and Locke a lot in the Dragon's Den. Every time you fight Kefka, you can steal a Ragnarok sword from the Lady on the third tier and keep hold of it afterwards. You will likely switch Locke to the Valiant Knife for boss fights, but the Lightbringer sure makes him a lot more dependable and defensive for the many random encounters you'll face (last paragraph notwithstanding). Edgar is also capable of wielding the illuminating blade, but will want to stick to his Dragoon set-up, which prevents use of the Lightbringer. If you put a Merit Award on Sabin, the Lightbringer will definitely be his best choice, so that's something to consider as well. As far as the Paladin Shield goes, it's a good shield that you'll probably already have due to hours of grinding for learning spells, Rage hunting and gathering of necessary items while equipped with a Cursed Shield and a Ribbon.
Levels aren't that important, but about level 35 is definitely a suitable level where you'll face plenty of challenge without being bothered with lower HP and damage output than would be expected from you. Offensive spells aren't that important, they'll just increase your damage output in a situation where you should be able to play defensively enough (in other words, damage output shouldn't really matter since the enemy simply won't be able to kill you). Additionally, by the time you get to this point, you probably will have a wide variety of spells available; however, here are a few worth keeping in mind.
Silence, Stop and Death will halt a large number of random encounters. If you know when to apply these, it's game, set, match. Banish is a generally superior option because it stops counter-attacks, even if it is less accurate. Rasp is important because there's one enemy in the Dragon's Den that must be Rasped to death. Yes, that's tedious, but even more so if only one character of the team fighting it knows how to Rasp in the first place. Esuna, Cura, Raise, Curaga, Arise and Reraise - you know, most of the defensive magic spells. Esuna, Cura and Raise will heal you up after battle, and Raise can be used to instant-kill any Undead creature you encounter. Curaga, Arise and Reraise are simply spells that make a great addition to your team when fighting a particularly nasty opponent.
Vanish, Hastega, and Valor are your typical buffs. I'm not listing Protect and Shell as you won't be casting them (Mighty Guard, Golem and Force Field should take care of that). Vanish is vital in some strategies, too. Valor works best around those characters with quick and easy single-target violence, such as Edgar, Shadow, Cyan and others with competent weapon options.
Osmose and Quick are useful not so much for all-party strategy but for individual usage; Osmose makes sure you won't have to spend items as you can regain MP in every fight and Quick just increases versatility, damage output, negates the downside of Cyan's Bushido system and makes it so that you can avoid counter-attacks if you play your cards right.
Your true mages (Terra, Celes, Relm, and Strago) should all know spells for any situation. This means pretty much the top-tier elemental spells, Flare and Flood. The elemental spells are the most powerful, Flare is non-elemental and Flood flies past Reflect and Runic while being unblockable. Meltdown and Ultima are both spells that make a great addition as they're simply more powerful, but they're not as necessary as the 'standard' spells.
There are two Rages that are worth paying special attention to in the Dragon's Den. Obviously Rafflesia and Fiend Dragon will both function normally but should be avoided on principle since their attacks break logic. The two Rages that are awesome here are Magic Urn and Io. Magic Urn is mentioned earlier as the ultimate defensive Rage, and it may come in handy if you find yourself in a pickle. Io is a Rage with great defensive properties and extreme damage potential. Since Io's Flare Star is based off of the opponent's level (which in the Dragon's Den tends to be severely bloated), you'll find the attack to be Gau's weapon of choice.
That's about it! If you're not ready now, you'll never be. The Dragon's Den is located just north of Dragon's Neck, where the Colosseum is located. See those two little islands? The left one, there's where you gotta be. As soon as you try to descend, you should find yourself in the same situation as when attacking Kefka's Tower. Did you really expect anything but another twelve-character dungeon tackle?