Final Fantasy VI: Planning for the End

It strikes me that if I’m going to be wasting time on a JRPG, I might as well try to finish FF6. I mean, ye gods, it’s been more than two years since I started it. I had kind of hoped to be done with it by year’s end, but it looks like that’s not happening. In terms of game state, I’m ready to storm Kefka’s tower. In terms of brain state, hardly. I have a vast array of equipment and abilities that I’ve once again forgotten how to use, so I’m taking all the characters out grinding first, not so much to increase their level or let them learn more spells (helpful though that will be) as to remind myself how they all work. There’s one fellow in my party roster who I didn’t recognize at all at first: Gogo the mime, a very late addition from the 2010 sessions. Gogo was in FF5 as an optional gimmick boss who unlocked the Mime job, but here, he joins your party. Presumably he noticed that all of the player characters were in your party and decided to imitate them. At any rate, I don’t think I’ve actually used Gogo at all, but I’m going to have to when I go after Kefka.

Why will I have to? Because the final dungeon makes you split the party into three groups, which means twelve characters: there are four slots per group, and leaving a slot empty is just a waste. (Even an otherwise-useless character will draw the occasional attack away from the useful ones.) There are fourteen playable characters. One, Shadow the Ninja, is still AWOL — I’ve met him, I’ve talked with him, he still won’t rejoin the party. 1My mistake: it turns out that Shadow did in fact join the roster of available characters. I guess his refusal to join immediately just referred to the active group, which had no unoccupied slots. This renders my reckoning here false. I guess maybe I’ll be leaving Gogo behind after all. On the other hand, extra casting for free! I’ll have to think about this. And one, the yeti, I just don’t want in my party. He’s uncontrollable, and sometimes not being able to rein in a character in combat is a liability, as when fighting a monster that does counterattacks. So that leaves me using all of the other twelve.

A couple of the remaining characters are also a little uncontrollable for my tastes, but not too much so. Gogo does only one thing: mimic the previous action (importantly including spells he hasn’t learned, which he casts without consuming mana). But that’s generally going to be something you want done, right? Not always, admittedly: if you just had one guy cast Cure 3 to bring the party back to full health, Gogo doing it again doesn’t help. But you can always just skip his turn if you don’t want him to act.

Gau, now. Like Gogo, Gau the wildboy doesn’t have a normal “Fight” command in his combat menu. It’s replaced by “Rage”, which assigns him a set of monster attacks and renders him Berserk, which makes him uncontrollable. But you know something? That’s not his only option. He has the normal “Magic” option that any character has. So I’m trying to train him up as a mage. I have an Esper that increases your magic power stat by 2 on leveling, and I wanted to level Gau a bit anyway, because he was lagging behind the others from lack of use. A little time at dinosaur forest, and he’ll be as good a spellcaster as Terra and Celes.

And then we storm the tower. Next post: Victory! Maybe.

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1. My mistake: it turns out that Shadow did in fact join the roster of available characters. I guess his refusal to join immediately just referred to the active group, which had no unoccupied slots. This renders my reckoning here false. I guess maybe I’ll be leaving Gogo behind after all. On the other hand, extra casting for free! I’ll have to think about this.

2 Comments so far

  1. Mark on 1 Jan 2011

    Actually, Gogo has another gimmick: If you go into the Status menu, you can give him any ability that any recruited character knows; these abilities can be changed by equipping him with one of the Relics that changes an ability. If you give him Magic, he can cast any spell known by any member of the active party. You can’t take away Mimic, however.

    There are trade-offs for this, however. He can’t equip Espers, which means that he can’t summon. More importantly, it means his stats cannot increase, so he will always be the weakest party member. Furthermore, he has a very poor selection of equipment for the end of the game.

  2. CapnFrance on 3 Jan 2011

    Also, Some of Gau’s rages are very, VERY good, if you can stand not being in full control–although he’s a lot better in the beginning than the end, what with rages that do things like cast lvl 2 spells when the best anyone else has access to is lvl 1 and all.

    Still, Stray Cat. 4x attack damage. If you’re playing the snes version, toss a Merit Award (don’t quite remember how to get this, but it will let him equip weapons) and Tempest (an old weapon for Cyan that gives a 50% chance of hitting everything with a Wind Slash) on him, and he can do 4x damage to everything at once. It’s actually kind of broken.

    Even if you’re not, tho, with a teensy bit of research (or just using Stray Cat) Gau is completely awesome.

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