|Cloud: I couldn't finish 'em. Looks like this's gonna get complicated.|
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Golbez, also known as Golbeze, is a boss in Final Fantasy IV. He is encountered twice. The first time is a cinematic battle between Tellah and Golbez that the player can only witness to its conclusion, and the second is a playable battle.
This is a cutscene battle where Tellah fights Golbez. Tellah will cast Firaga, Blizzaga, and Thundaga (and Bio/Virus in the SNES version) in that order, until he finishes both Golbez and himself with Meteor.
In the second battle, the player has little time before Golbez paralyzes the party with Binding Cold and then summons the Shadow Dragon to use Black Fang to kill the party members one by one. With only Cecil remaining, Rydia arrives and uses the Mist Dragon to blow away the Shadow Dragon. Cecil is cured of his paralysis and the battle begins as Rydia joins the party. If Cecil has been KO'd by Calcabrina in the previous fight, he should be revived immediately; if Golbez uses Binding Cold before the player has revived Cecil it is a Game Over, as Rydia is only scripted to show up when Cecil is the last one standing.
Depending on the version the player is playing, the battle proceeds differently from this point onward.
If the player times it properly, Kain can use Jump to avoid the sequence where Golbez uses Binding Cold and summons the Shadow Dragon. He will land after Rydia has arrived, giving the player another party member to aid in the battle. The timing varies between versions, however. If Kain lands before Golbez speaks to Cecil, the Shadow Dragon will use Black Fang on him even though he is not paralyzed and he will still perish. The player's attacks against Golbez will all miss at this time. All the player can do to prepare is have Rosa cast Shell on Cecil and have Cecil use a Hermes Sandals on himself.
With Rydia's arrival, Golbez attacks with a simple attack pattern: Bio, Thundaga, and Fira, over and over. His spells are not overly powerful, but can KO any freshly revived party members. The safest way to revive the party is to have one party member revive them, then have another party member use a Hi-Potion to restore their HP immediately after. If the player revives Rosa first, they can then have Cecil and Rydia revive Yang and Kain (if Kain was KO'd as well) and have Rosa cast Cura to heal them all at once.
The player does not need to revive the party to win. Despite the bestiary giving him over 20,000 HP, Golbez will perish once he has taken 3,000 damage. This can easily be accomplished by having Cecil attack while Rydia summons. Any of her summons will do significant damage, but Titan is the strongest. Golbez's spells only do a couple hundred damage each, so as long as Cecil enters the fight with full HP there is no danger with fighting him with only Cecil and Rydia alive.
To defeat Golbez, it is recommended to be at least at level 35.
The opening of the battle is identical to the 2D versions, up until Rydia enters. Golbez begins the second segment by casting Barrier Shift, acquiring a random elemental weakness and making himself absorb all other elemental damage. He will repeat this every time the player hits his weak spot. Unlike the 2D versions, all of Golbez's HP must be depleted to defeat him, though he has less HP now. His HP total resets when he summons the Shadow Dragon, so any damage dealt in the battle's opening will not count.
If Cecil was killed or badly hurt in previous the battle with Calcabrina, it is imperative to restore his health as quickly as possible, otherwise Golbez's first attack will almost certainly kill Cecil before the player gets the chance to make a move. The player should use a Spider Silk on Golbez to make the second half easier. It is imperative that Cecil has the Shell status, and it is helpful that Rydia does, too.
The party should focus on reviving Rosa and casting Shell on her, and repeat the same for all the other party members. If Rosa is knocked out, Cecil should cast Cura to ensure he and Rydia can survive Golbez's spells and the Sap ailment.
Once Rosa is revived and protected against spells, she should use White Magic to revive, heal, and buff the party. Cecil should use Libra on Golbez. Rydia should summon an Eidolon that strikes Golbez's weakness. Kain's Jump is trivial, so he can be used to heal MP with Ethers, when necessary. It isn't necessary to have all members revived, as Rosa, Cecil and Rydia alone can defeat Golbez.
An alternate strategy is to buff the party and then cast Bio on Golbez every turn, which he cannot absorb. Cecil and Kain's best option is to simply attack, while Yang should exploit Focus with a Hell Claw and Cat's Claw, if the player has them.
Golbez's spells can also be reflected, but Rosa can easily cover their damage with Cura if the party members have the Shell status. Libra can be used to find out Golbez's weakness and then use Rydia's summons to deal heavy damage.