- “All right! It's time to put my skills to the ultimate test!”
The Dragon's Neck Coliseum (竜の首コロシアム, Ryū no Kubi Koroshiamu?), also known as the Colosseum, is a location in Final Fantasy VI located at the northwest corner of the World of Ruin, north of Kohlingen and Figaro Castle. The name derives from the shape of the peninsula wheret the coliseum lies that is in the shape of a dragon's head. The Dragon's Neck Coliseum is a battle arena where a character can fight enemies by betting items. Before the end of the world, it was just a small cabin called the Dragon's Neck Cabin.
In the SNES and PS releases of Final Fantasy VI the location is named "Colosseum". The Game Boy Advance release, however, spells all instances of the name as "Coliseum".
In the World of Balance, the coliseum does not yet exist, but a small cabin stands in its future location. The owner decides to build a coliseum, because he believes people are at their best when they are at war.
A year after the end of the world the coliseum has been completed, and the owner is pleased with Kefka for creating a world full of war. Ultros acts as the coliseum's receptionist to pay off his debt. Other people who hang out at the coliseum include Siegfried and the lone surviving Imperial soldier.
If Shadow survived the end of the world and was rescued from the Cave in the Veldt he takes up fighting in the coliseum, but will join his old companions in a quest to save the world if they come and face him in battle.
Players can fight in the coliseum at will. When the player chooses to fight, they must wager an item. They will see their opponent and the item they have wagered, and must choose a party member to do battle. The coliseum fights are one-on-one, and the player's character is AI-controlled and will use any commands and spells they know. To this end, nothing stops them from using acquired moves which injure or even kill themselves, (such as Self-Destruct or Soul Spiral).
Monster's fighting at the coliseum will not use their regular AI scripts, they'll instead use the abilities in Relm's Control options for that monster. The Control option has a maximum of four abilities, and one of the abilities will be picked at random when their turn comes up.
If the player wins, they will lose their wagered item and win the opponent's wagered item. If the player loses the battle, or if both the player's character and the opponent are killed simultaneously, the player loses their wagered item and wins nothing. If the player's character warps out of battle using Teleport, they will retain their wagered item.
The coliseum removes Vanish, KO, Petrify, and Zombie status after a match, but not Imp, Float, or Poison, and restores HP and MP to their max before the match begins. There is no need to heal those statuses or restore HP/MP to prepare for the match, except if a status prevents the player from properly equipping a character.
If all party members are killed in the coliseum, the player can walk around with a party of dead people until they encounter a battle outside of the coliseum that transforms into an instant Game Over.
There are several good pieces of equipment to have equip on the character, the first would be the Paladin's Shield to negate/absorb all elemental damage, and it possesses the highest evasion percent of any shield. The shield can easily be obtained if the player fights on the Solitary Island to dispel the Cursed Shield. Master's Scroll is another good choice, found in the Ancient Castle. The Merit Award and Miracle Shoes (both can be won in the coliseum), Ribbon, and Safety Bit/Memento Ring depending on the situation. Weapons vary from character to character, but the Lightbringer paired with Merit Award is an excellent combo. Many coliseum opponents are vulnerable to Death attacks, which can be used through some weaponry.
Shadow is a good character to fight at the coliseum as he will never use Throw during a coliseum match, and having him without any magic learned at this point is possible. Shadow joins the party twice after the party has acquired magicite: once on their way to Thamasa, and the other during the portion of the Floating Continent. He has weaponry that can inflict instant death, such as Assassin's Dagger or Ichigeki, which has a 25% chance to kill an enemy in a single blow, but the player should not use these weapons when fighting an undead opponent. An alternate weapon is the Kagenui, that can randomly cast Stop on the attacked target. Shadow has 28% evasion, having the highest raw evasion out of the party, and being the second speediest character (tied with Gau). When evading an attack, there's a chance of Interceptor attacking the enemy without losing a turn, but this attack will miss on floating opponents.
Setzer is another good choice as a fighter, as like Shadow, he never uses his Slots command, but there's a good chance the player will have Setzer with more magic spells compared to Shadow, due to him having spent more time in the party. The Viper Darts can kill an enemy in one blow much like some of Shadow's weaponry, with a 25% chance.
Gogo is another good choice as players will be able to prepare him/her for any situation. The player can equip him/her with nothing but Attack with the Master's Scroll and the Merit Award combo (only on the versions prior to the GBA version) or three Tools commands where the player sells all tools except for the Drill, giving Gogo a 3/4 chance of using Drill. Six out of the eight tools can be bought back in Figaro Castle, Chainsaw can be stolen from Duel Armor, and Air Anchor from Gamma; both of these enemies are found in Kefka's Tower.
Umaro is another choice, who has 1/2 chance of either using Attack (four times in a row if equip with Master's Scroll) or Tackle (a single unblockable attack that ignores defense) during battle. He is limited in the equipment department, being unable to equip any pieces of armor leaving only the two relic slots to play with. Umaro can benefit from the Gauntlet relic since Umaro only holds a single Bone Club in his right hand, and has nothing to sacrifice in his left hand. The Gauntlet and Master's Scroll makes a good combo. Umaro comes down to luck compared to the other characters mentioned above if Shadow and/or Setzer have no magic spells, and depends on who his opponent is.
Another alternative is to have Gogo as an Imp, fully equipped with the Imp Equipment. With its high Defense, Magic Defense, and Water absorption obatined from wearing the imp equipment. Imp character's special command is disabled, but the impr can still access the Magic command, meaning they may waste turn(s) trying to cast spells that will fail and abort. The only available spell that will not abort is the magic spell Imp, and for this reason, Gogo is the obvious option. Since s/he will only use the Attack command every turn, this makes the Master's Scroll and Genji Glove a deadly combo.
The remaining characters are poor choices since they likely have more spells/abilities compared to the characters mentioned above making them more of a gamble. Nevertheless, a player can use a Soft Reset and reenter the coliseum if the character of their choosing has lost the match.
If a wager does not appear in this list, then typically the fight is with Typhon and the reward is Elixir. Typhon's first action is almost always Snort, which ejects the player from the battle without costing them their wager. If the player's character is fast and strong enough to defeat Typhon before being ejected, they will lose their wager and win an Elixir as with other battles. Typically, Typhon appears whenever the player bets a common or worthless item. Most (but not all) store-bought equipment pieces and items count.
If Shadow has survived the Floating Continent and has been rescued from the Cave in the Veldt, betting the Ichigeki will result in a fight against Shadow, with the Ichigeki as the reward, after which Shadow will rejoin the party. Otherwise, betting Ichigeki will have the default Typhon/Elixir result.
In the Advance version, betting Excalipoor will result in a fight with Onion Dasher, followed by a fight between Gilgamesh and the current party under the player's active control, with a Merit Award and the Gilgamesh esper as the reward.
This list is also available as a series of flowcharts that shows the paths of chains of consecutive bets and their destinations.
|"Johnny C. Bad" from Final Fantasy VI|
|Trouble with the audio sample?|
"Johnny C. Bad" is the background theme that plays at the Dragon's Neck Coliseum. The name is likely a reference to Chuck Berrys's Johnny B. Goode, a song with minor role in the film Back to the Future.