|Final Fantasy VI copyright Square Enix.|
Images used for educational purposes only.
The final battle begins! After a stirring cut scene where your accumulated party members let Kefka know just how petty he is, you have to decide on your battle order. Every last person you brought along can contribute to this fight, throwing down against Kefka’s four stages of combat. The first four characters you choose will appear immediately in the battle, and will only be replaced by other members if they fall in combat and are not revived upon defeating one of Kefka’s phases. Pretty simple, and unless you came here woefully prepared most of your party members won’t get a chance to throw down.
How can you prepare your characters for the final battle? Here are some tips:
- Equip your strongest attackers, the ones you want to carry through the whole shebang, with Ribbons. I can’t overstate this enough. Ribbons will protect against sooooo many attacks.
- Teach at least one character Arise, if not three or four. Arise is expensive, but it will bring defeated characters back to life and ready to fight with a single casting.
- Expand your magical repertoires in general. Virtually everyone who might make a difference in this fight should at least know Curaga, as well as a few third-tier spells (Firaga, Thundaga, Blizzaga).
- Try to have at least one character who can use special attacks that don’t rely on magic. Sabin, Edgar, Shadow, and Cyan fall under this reliable heading, and properly equipped Gogo can too.
- Give your main attackers equipment that absorbs, or at least nullifies, elemental attacks. Elements of all kinds will be flying about during these battles, so it doesn't much matter which you block.
- Don’t berserk any of your characters. You need to be able to react to a variety of situations. No Rages for Gau, no Dances for Mog, and more than likely no Umaro period.
Ready? Then let’s end this.
Kefka’s initial form is that of a muscular demon. This boss consists of three targets, all of which enjoy harsh physical strikes against singular opponents. This makes Protect status rather helpful. Beyond that this phase also enjoys petrifying your characters on occasion, and when you defeat the largest target, the head, your whole party will get hit by Quake, which has a good chance of wiping out some of your party members just as you’re transitioning to the second phase. Use fire-elemental and normal attacks to take out the smaller right arm, then the left arm, and then the head. Focus on one at a time, as you get barraged with attacks while all three are alive. Annoying.
Spells, spells, spells! Kefka’s second phase consists of four enemies, and boy do they love their magic. You’ll get targeted with either damaging attacks (Southern Cross, Flare Star, Bio, Firaga) or status ailments (poison, petrification, confusion, imp) constantly throughout this fight, the lot of which are very annoying. Fortunately, the battle is as difficult as it’s ever going to get when you start, and only gets easier. Start with the bottom-right target first and make your way left, destroying each enemy with a combination of powerful magic and special attacks. One, possibly two characters should be on semi-permanent healing detail, only letting up once you’re down to two targets. Leave the top-left target for last - it doesn’t do a whole lot on its own, but it counterattacks almost every one of your own attacks with random spells. Annoying.
Two targets, both rather painful. This phase begins with Meltdown, hitting everybody with fire damage and revealing that the upper target absorbs fire… but the bottom does not. Suspicious. Simple setup, really: the upper half heals, the bottom half smacks you around with a bunch of elemental strikes, as well as a physical attack that can really hurt. Target the floating woman with a string of your strongest non-elemental attacks, as she’ll absorb everything else, and try to plow through her relatively meagre HP as quickly as you can. Once she’s down the attacker won’t be able to heal itself and will die after a handful of attacks. The upper half can revive the lower, so destroying it first is all the more important. Note that the upper target carries a Ragnarok that you can steal, and in later releases of Final Fantasy VI you can save after this battle and use it later.
The man himself. Kefka begins the battle, always, with Heartless Angel. This will reduce your team’s HP to one. Counter quickly with a Megalixir or a quick Curaga. That done, Kefka will begin smacking you around with an array of powerful third-tier magic attacks, as well as Trine (inflicts blind and silence on everybody) and Havoc Wing (ridiculous physical damage to one character, probably killing them immediately). Do enough damage to Kefka and he’ll pull out an all-hitting move called Forsaken that hits everybody for some decent damage, after which he’ll start countering attacks with Hyperdrive (very painful) or, if his health is very low, Ultima. You don’t want Kefka to start countering with Ultima.
Your plan should be an all-out offensive, holding back one character to bring everybody back to full health with the occasional Curaga. Blow through your MP and shred Kefka as mercilessly as you can, using your strongest attacks. He has no elemental strengths or weaknesses, so just stick with moves that inflict the most damage. Kefka’s damage output is so high that you should also consider moves that boost your own output, namely Haste and Quick. Don’t let anyone stay dead for long if Kefka takes them out! You need everyone to get through this battle, and Kefka’s way too good at putting them down. You can survive with one person out, but two… or three… by that point you’re likely a goner.
If you manage to defeat Kefka, congratulations! You have beaten the main game of Final Fantasy VI! If you’re playing on the SNES or any of its direct ports, this means you can enjoy the ending and, unless there are places you haven’t yet explored, turn off the system. If you’re playing the GBA game or beyond, though, you’ve now unlocked some more dungeons…
Part Thirty-Eight: Exclusive Magicite (GBA and iOS only)
Part Thirty-Eight: Exclusive Magicite (GBA and iOS only)