Today I, BlueHighwind, saw the strangest thing: a father leading his little girl around on a leash. Let us reflect upon that for just a second. He was leading his little girl, a child of no more than four, on a leash wrapped around her neck. This had to be one of the most shocking moments I had ever had. I mean, is simply holding the child's hand such a huge problem? You couldn't buy a stroller or give her a piggy-back ride, or anything?? You had to resort to the same treatment one gives to dogs?

Then, as if cosmically designed to prove a counterpoint, not less than thirty seconds later, a wild little boy, who looked frightening a lot like me when I was three, ran right into my leg as his desperate grandmother tried to keep him under control. She forced a smile at me as I helped him off the ground, then had run past me as the little boy darted right between my legs laughing at her plight.

Final Conclusion: None.

Zone Eater's Belly Edit

Now that we've traveled the world to find all the old useful playable characters, we can now search for some new ones. The first place we must go is to one of the strangest dungeons in the game: Zone Eater's Belly.

Even entering this dungeon is a bizarre affair. Go up to that triangular island in the Northeast of the World Map and look around for a monster to fight. Don't worry, Intangir is not coming back - he died out with the Apocalypse. Instead you will fight Zone Eater, a massive creature that rightfully belongs in the pages of Dune. Now, we don't want to kill it. Instead sit around and do nothing but "Defend". Don't kill it! The Zone Eater will slowly eat every single one of your party members. It either eats them, or uses a "Gravity" spell which is harmless as long as you're willing to heal afterwards. After a bit, you will all be sucked inside and then the dungeon will start. To leave, go up the stairs, but to continue, go down.

I love the music down here. There isn't enough silly in today's Final Fantasy. First of all, this place is filled with traps of all sorts. This is largely a device to increase the length, because this dungeon is actually rather short if you know what you're doing. The only enemy down here I found to be really difficult is the Covert. They counter Shadow's "Throw" with a Fuma Shuriken, which will probably kill him. So don't do that. You can sometimes Steal a Pinwheel off them, which is a great Throwing item.

From the second level you can either go down again or to the right across some bridges. In this area a bunch of Muppets will be guarding the bridges, waiting to push you off when you touch them. To go between bridges, press A-button to jump. Unfortunately, you probably aren't going to make it the first time, so when you get bumped off, meet me down at the third floor. The two Chests down here contain a Hi-Ether and a redundant third Red Jacket. Press the switch to open the path that leads to the stairs back up to the second floor. Now try the bridges again. The best way to get past these guys to be patient. Never jump when a baddie is close to you. While hopping around, you should spot two Chests that are back-to-back in the lower bridge. Open them to find a Magical Brush and an awesome Genji Armor. Then try your best to go through the most tricky part - a single bridge with a Muppet patrolling it. At the end, take the upper path to continue. But first, go down to find a Fake Mustache in the difficulty-placed Chest. That Accessories gives Relm the Control command, something I never used.

In the next room is a Save Point, which you really really really want to use. Continue on. In the room after that, the ceiling is pounding down upon you in a regular timed pattern. You need to step on squares where there is a hole in the ceiling. If you let the ceiling crush you, its GAME OVER. No shit, the game is really over. Isn't that a bit extreme? Couldn't the game just knock your HP down to 1 or something? Anyway, the first "safe zone" is below the first Chest, which holds a Zephyr Cloak. Wait for the ceiling to fall. Then move to the next Chest, which holds a Hero Ring. Wait again, then move over to that spot where the hole in the ceiling appears. Its hard to guess where the opening is supposed to be, but luckily either two or three steps down from the top will work. Then move forward and ignore the Chest, simply go down to the end. Once the ceiling falls again, go up to grab a Pinwheel and then get the Hell out of there. The Sprint Shoes make this a lot easier, but you don't need them.

Go down a short room to appear in another large one. Its amazing how much stuff is in that creature's belly, isn't it? What did Zone Eater eat?? You can hope on top of those open Chests. Go across to an island, but you can't go West again to the Chest. Instead, go North and then around. When you're above another island, you can jump down. Press the switch to make a path appear back to where you started. After going back to the first island, you should see that a path to that Chest has appeared. After going West then North, you will find a Thunder Shield. After that, backtrack and go North. This time, instead of going down to an island, go West to reach the door.

Inside this room you will meet the Mimic. Since we're going to save the world, he/she will mimic us to do the same. Isn't it amazing how long its been since I made a character box?

Playable Character: Gogo

Job Class: Mime
Special Ability: Mimic

Gogo is a man/woman of mystery. Nobody knows who he or she might be, or if the creature below that shroud is even a human like you and me. Fans have run numerous guesses of Gogo's identity including: the Emperor, Banon, General Leo, Cid, Darill, Biggs and Wedge, Vargas, and even Adlai Stevenson. Every one of those guesses is completely impossible, and it really isn't worth much time trying to pinpoint Gogo's identity. He/she is actually a boss from FFVn now resurrected by the Gods of Fate (Square) to fight on the side of good. Personally I like to think that Gogo is actually Estragon from Waiting for Godot.

(What about FFVI makes me constantly bring up Absurdist Drama?)

Anyway, Gogo is actually a really useful character because unlike the rest of the cast, he/she is completely customizable. From the start, Gogo has three empty command slots. You can put in anything you want by going to the Status screen and pressing Select. It can be Attack, Magic, Steal, Blitz, Tools, Lore, anything. You can even put the same on more than once, which is a huge help when trying to get him to work for you in the Colosseum (three "Attack" commands, anyone?). Unfortunately, Gogo cannot use skills the final party does not know, so that means no "Pray", "Shock", "Possess", or "Magitek". If Shadow didn't survive, he cannot use "Throw" either. Gogo cannot learn magic, but he/she will be able to use all the magic your current party has mastered. His/her only special move is "Mimic" which he/she will know all the time. With "Mimic", Gogo will copy the last move any of your characters have made. So if Sabin uses "Phantom Rush", Gogo will go ahead and do that. If used correctly it can kick some serious ass because it does not have an MP cost, use items, or have a charge time.

The only crappy part about Gogo is his/her weapons - they suck. At least his/her armor is better.

After getting Gogo "Teleport" out of there. You don't want to have to walk through the ceiling-crushing room again.

Narshe Cliffs Edit

The next new party member lies in a secret dungeon within the town of Narshe. This guy sucks really badly. So badly, in fact, that I don't care what level he is when we recruit him, because we're just not going to use him ever again after this. Along the way there's a lot of fighting to do and some cool treasures to find, so its worth it.

To get to him, you first have to go to - you guessed it - the cliffs. Along the way, you should go through that battlefield where you fought Kefka and an Imperial Division of the sorriest-lead soldiers in the history of warfare. As you pass through, you should notice a dragon running around the pathways. Touch it, and a battle begins with the third of the Eight Dragons:

Optional Boss Battle: Ice Dragon
HP: 24400
Steal: Nothing
Difficulty: Easy


You can probably tell this isn't going to be the hardest battle in the world just by looking at that sprite. Man, that is such a lame design. Looks more a lizard with one-too-many legs than a fearsome ancient dragon.

You may compare this battle to the fight against the Red Dragon, and if you do, you'll find that this boss is far easier than its Fire counterpart. The difference is more than a simple switch of elements (guess how the battle against the ICE Dragon works). You see, unlike Big Red, this guy does not have any real attacks of heavy power that are not of the Ice element. So, in order to block nearly all of its fighting power, equip stuff that blocks Ice: Minerva Bustier, the Paladin Shield, and Flame Shields block it completely or absorb it, and that Thunder Shield will halve its power. And this doesn't really matter that much anyway, because the Ice Dragon is definitely the easiest of all Eight Dragons. Use strong Fire attacks, "Firaga" if you got it to really burn this cat up.

Three dragons down, five to go...

For winning you get the Force Shield, a shield that works great against magic, but can't do jack against physical attacks. It also resists all the elements except Poison and Holy.

After that battle, move up and use the Save Point off in the top corner before heading on to the cliffs where Terra transformed. Here you will find that frozen Esper that everybody in the game was so interested in once upon a time. Remember, this thing killed Biggs and Wedge. We should go get some revenge!

Optional Boss Battle: Valigarmanda
HP: 30000
Steal: Nothing
Difficulty: Easy


Now its time to basically fight the exact same battle again!

This time, the boss will still only use Ice-elemental attacks, but it will also use "Rasp" to annoy you by targeting your MP. This shouldn't be much of a worry during the actual battle. Its only other two attacks are "Blizzaga" (blocked the same way as last time) and "Freezing Dust", which is far more annoying because it might cause the Frozen status. Heal that with "Fire". Valigar-antidisestablishmentantarianism-manda seems to be pretty difficult because its HP is so high and it blocks or absorbs seven out of the eight elements. However, we have tons of attacks that ignore defense, so that's not really a problem. And Valigar-pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism-manda's weakness to Fire is particularly extreme. One "Firaga" will do over 8000 damage.

God that was easy.

For winning, the ice-coating surrounding the Esper will shatter, giving it a chance to speak. Unfortunately, not one of those words are an apology for killing poor Biggs and Wedge. Instead, all it does is think that the War of the Magi is still going on (thanks to Kefka screwing the world up) and say it will join our party to finally end the conflict. Since nobody wants to lose a good Esper, nobody bothers to contradict it and tell Valigar-pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis-manda the truth. Valigar-supercalafragilisticexpialodocious-manda, if you can get past that impossible name, is a useful Esper in that it teaches the "aga"-level Black Magic spells at 1X a time. You probably want your three mages to learn all of those. Its attack is exactly like Kjata's from FFVII, so that means its basically useless.

Oh, and a mysterious crack will appear on the cliffs behind Valigar-Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu-manda after it disappears, that is opening to the next dungeon.

After both boss battles, you may not be exhausted, but your MP probably is. Use a Tent back at the Save Point, or Teleport out to get Mog. You need her to recruit the next playable character.

Yeti's Cave Edit

To enter, check the crack and agree to jump down into the cave. This place is a little difficult to navigate, because it doesn't really have a very linear design. For example, from where we start, there are no less than three doors we could enter, and no apparent exit (other than from "Teleport"). A lot of the squares around here are actually traps that will knock you down to the basement. None of the random enemies down here have anything to Steal, which is strange. A lot of them like to inflict Imp, but that's really no problem because a lot more drop Green Cherries.

The worst foe - and by worst, I do mean worst - is Tonberry. These creatures are always nasty, but its particularly bad in this game. First off, they know the "Traveler" attack, which by now should deal at least some 1000 damage and probably much more. They will also use this attack as a counterattack to pretty much anything, right after using an attack called "Knife" that will deal about 400 damage. That combo basically will instantly KO anybody. And these creatures have 8000 HP. Luckily, all is not lost, because you can disable most of their moves by casting "Imp". While imped, the Tonberry will attack strongly, but you can easily quiet that down with "Protect". Tonberries are weak to Fire and Lightning, so use "Firaga" and "Thundaga" to try to get the most damage as fast as possible.

The place we're going first is the left-most door. Step around those dark-colored squares because they are holes that will drop you down. Once you get around, you will enter a room with a Chest. This Chest is a Monster-in-a-box. Technically, its not a boss, but I will count it anyway because its hard enough to be one.

Optional Boss Battle: Tonberries
HP: 14001 (X3)
Steal: Minerva Bustier
Difficulty: Medium


This isn't so simple as just three Tonberries fighting together, no, its actually much more difficult.

They fight a lot harder than regular Tonberries, by using physical attacks a lot. They will also slowly move across the board in eight turns, like all the other Tonberries from my nightmares. In the eighth turn, they will use "!Knife" to essentially kill a character off instantly, assuming you can even survive that long. Then they will teleport back to their starting position. Their evasion is particularly high, so using normal physical attacks is not going to work. By the way, they also counter all magic with "Holy".

The way to win is to cast "Imp" on all three Tonberries. That will stop their special attacks, leaving only a supped-up physical that you can block a lot by using "Protect". Another important move is to Poison all three either by "Bio" or "Bioblaster". Now you have them poisoned, and largely paralyzed. All that's left to do is kill them. They are weak to Fire and absorb Water, so use that knowledge to your advantage. By the way, if an Imp Tonberry makes it all the way over to your side, it won't use "!Knife" but it will teleport back and return to normal.

Don't bother trying to steal that Minerva Bustier, the Tonberries usually drop one after the battle (unless you're unlucky, in which case you have to start over). Since you already have one, all you need is just one more, so stealing is rather pointless.

Two Minerva Bustiers now! That made this entire trip worthwhile, didn't it?

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