|Final Fantasy VI copyright Square Enix.|
Images used for educational purposes only.
Available for plundering as soon as you gain access to the Falcon, Kefka’s Tower is nevertheless one of the last places you should go. Found in the middle of the southern continent, Kefka’s Tower is home to a large number of powerful, tricksy beasties that will make mincemeat of a small team of three or four characters, and even if you make it through the entire dungeon you’ll face some overwhelming bosses at the end. I recommend recruiting a minimum of twelve of your former teammates before tackling the Tower.
Like the Phoenix Cave, Kefka’s Tower is split into three paths, each managed by a different team. All three teams need to work together to make their way to Kefka at the end of the Tower. We’ll call them Party One, Party Two, and Party Three. Any of these three groups can take the whole lot out of Kefka’s Tower by Teleporting or by using the hooks at the beginning of the three paths.
- We’ll start, predictably, with Party One. This first area is patrolled by the weakest nasties of the bunch, but they’re still powerful enough to prove a bother. Your greatest threat is the Great Marlboro, a hideous beast that will use its Bad Breath to inflict a host of status ailments on your team. Kill these things fire and foremost.
- Head south and east. There’s a doorway on your left. Check further north to find a chest containing a Hypno Crown, then head through the doorway. Follow the path until you reach an industrial area. Here you’ll find Fixed Dice. These are a risky, but incredibly overpowered, set of weapons for Setzer, especially if you give him the Master’s Scroll for a relic. This area’s good for Strago, as the Dark Forces here can teach him most of his Lores.
- Eventually you’ll reach a dead end in a room with an alternate path. Time to hop!
- Party Two’s turn. Walk until you wind up in an indoor area that guides you south. North of here is a chest containing a Minerva Bustier, a very handy piece of equipment for your female party members. South of here are two potential pathways. The northern door leads to a Pinwheel, while the south… leads to a bathroom. Also, an optional boss battle!
Tooooough fight. Ultima Buster relies almost exclusively on elemental and non-elemental all-hitting spells such as Quake (which also heals it), Northern Cross, Meteor, Flare Star, and Tsunami, as well as the usual assortment of third-tier spells (Firaga, Blizzaga, and Thundaga). Unless you have high magic defences you’re going to take a lot of damage every time this thing takes its turn. This gets even worse if you attack too many times, as Ultima Buster will hit you with Ultima and do a buttload of damage. There’s no special way to beat this thing over than to choose one dedicated healer with a high level curative spell (Curaga at this level) while your other characters use their most powerful attacks to sap its HP in as few turns as possible. Stick to non-elemental or lightning / ice / fire attacks (Ultima Buster absorbs everything else) to shred this creature. Defeating Ultima Buster will create a save point in this cell.
- Head south from the cells to drop into another area. Follow the path until you reach a room with two pipes, one leading east, the other west. East leads to the Pinwheel room; west takes you outside.
- Head south. On your left, above a north-running conveyor, is a chest containing a Force Shield. Head south down the conveyor to find two doors, one on the left, one on the right. Go through the left door and you’ll wind up in the small room with Party One. Step on a switch in here to move a platform into place that will allow Party One to move south, check the chest near the button for a Ribbon, and head back outside. Head south to the bottom of the path, take a left past the conveyor to find a Force Armor, then double back and go through the right door.
- Straight north through the door you’ll find the Gold Dragon, one of the Eight Dragons. Defeat or ignore it as you see fit, then head up the stairs. Be careful travelling through this area, as the Ahriman enemies along the way can inflict a doom effect on your characters - and they’re more than hardy enough to wait out the deadly effects.
- This path eventually leads to a green button. Stand Party Two on the button, then swap…
- … to Party Three. Long time been waiting. Head south. On your left is a door and a chest containing a Red Cap. You’ll find a dead end through this door; up here you’ll find chests containing a Nutkin Suit and a Gauntlet. The enemies in this area are largely robotic in nature, and you can fry them with lightning attacks. Thundaga is fantastic.
- Backtrack outdoors and head south to find a second door. This leads into another factor area. Check the chest near the stairs for a Hero’s Ring, then hop on the conveyor to the north. It will take you to a save point, a short walk to the west. Make sure you use it, as you’re about to hit a boss.
A more powerful doppelganger of Number 128, Inferno is another three-part boss. Its two arms, Retu and Kahu, will assault you with physical attacks while Inferno itself uses fire and electrical attacks and spells to batter one or all members of your party. While the two arms are alive Inferno will occasionally petrify your characters; once they’re destroyed, Inferno will use Protect and Reflect on itself. The arms regenerate over time, so smash one of them to limit the attacks on your party then go to town on Inferno with electrical attacks to take advantage of its inherent weakness to the element. Not that difficult overall, so long as you don’t go too far and accidentally take out both arms.
- Save and heal after the battle, if necessary, then head west and south. You’ll wind up back outside. Head south. There’s a chest on your right containing a Megalixir, and if you head south and left you’ll find a second chest with a red light over it. Hit it to create a path for another team. Head north from this chest to find a Rainbow Brush, then loop right and back south to find a door.
- Through the door is another of the Eight Dragons, the Skull Dragon. (It’s actually easier than the enemies in this area, which are quite tough to kill.) Up the stairs nearby you’ll come to, that’s right, the second of the green buttons that you probably saw earlier. Step onto the button.
- Jump to Party One. The path south is now clear. Follow it through a few more straightforward areas until you’re back outside and find a split. To the left is a chest containing a Pinwheel; to the right is the pathway to the green buttons you pressed earlier. With the buttons pressed and your teammates still in place the door north will be open, revealing three more buttons. Party One has to choose a side path, left or right; we’ll go with left. As soon as you step past the middle of the road the way will be blocked.
- To the south on the left side you’ll find a weight. Move Party Two out of the way below, then hop back to Party One to push the weight down onto the button. This will allow you to move Party Two through the central door. Repeat the process on the right side with a second weight to get Party Three inside. That done, position all three Parties on the green buttons inside this building. This will create a bridge for Party Three in the centre of the room. Beyond this bridge…
You may have been driven off by these machines before, but no longer. It’s time for a proper battle. Guardian is an adaptive battle platform, and it vacillates between attacks similar to Magitek Armor (laser, missiles, etc.) and attacks from previous bosses (Ultros, Dadaluma, Air Force, and Ultima, in that order). The former attacks aren’t bad at all, while the boss attacks vacillate from meh to absolutely brutal, especially when you reach Ultima. Your goal should be to get through Guardian’s HP before it can reach either Air Force or Dadaluma, and you can do this rather easily with high-level lightning magic (Thundaga, preferably) and strong physical attacks that are electric in nature. So long as Guardian doesn’t get to bring out Wave Cannon or Meteor, its later attacks, you won’t find this battle too difficult.
- Defeating the Guardian will reveal a save point. Use it and heal up, because next up is a gauntlet of three deadly bosses. All are as, if not more, powerful than Guardian, and will tax your party to its utmost. If you can’t beat these guys, you won’t beat Kefka. The central party can reach their boss by heading north; this same party will have to go straight south through their building to find a button that will open doors for your other two parties.
Central Path - Demon
The first of the Warring Triad! Demon is quite the fiend, though if you equip yourself with fire-absorbent armour or shields you’ll find him relatively easy, as most of his attacks are fire-based. Beyond Firaga and Flare Star he’ll also use an all-hitting physical attack that’s moderately strong, and, if you’re unlucky, he can use Blaster to immediately kill one member of your party. Painful. Demon is weak to poison, so have your magic users bust out repeated castings of Bio to rip through his health. Any high damage magic that’s not fire-elemental will also prove helpful. You’ll earn a Radiant Lance for defeating Demon.
Right Path - Goddess
The of-age women of Final Fantasy VI have no use for pants, clearly. Despite possessing less HP than the other members of the Warring Triad, Goddess is the most difficult. Tending towards electrical attacks, Goddess employs Thundaga and Flash Rain to damage your party, occasionally using the non-elemental Quasar to hit everyone for a decently-heavy amount of damage. Not that bad, overall, though not being able to heal everyone at once can be a pain. What makes Goddess so difficult is her reaction to physical attacks, which will prompt her to use Overture. This will charm one of your party members into taking damage for her. Stick to magic or special attacks, avoiding lightning and holy strikes, and put as much damage into each one as possible. If you attack too many times Goddess will inflict your whole team with a countdown attack that will turn your party members into zombies if the countdown ends. You’ll earn an Excalibur for defeating Goddess.
Left Path - Fiend
The last of the Warring Triad can be really easy or really hard, depending on your party. Fiend is predominantly an ice-elemental creature, and will blast your team with cold attacks and occasionally attempt to freeze them. A simple cast of Fire on everyone will bring them back. Fiend also counters your own attacks, and his physical strikes hurt enough that Vanish may be a good idea. Fiend is weak to holy, so the Excalibur you just picked up, as well as the Holy spell, will dish out a fair amount of damage. Simple enough - but about halfway through Fiend’s health his aura will begin to ‘tremble violently’, shooting his evasion through the roof and casting a permanent Reflect on the creature. Annoying. Fiend will thereafter begin to use Force Field, making itself invulnerable to a random element. At this point you’ll either need spells that cannot be blocked by Reflect (Ultima, in other words) or special attacks (Tools, Blitz, Bushido, Throw, etc.) to reliably hit Fiend and rip away his remaining health. Lacking these options you’ll find hitting Fiend very difficult. You’ll earn a Mutsunokami for defeating Fiend.
- After trouncing the three members of the Warring Triad you’ll find green buttons, one per party. Step on all three and you’ll trigger the ascension to the final battle against you-know-who…