|Final Fantasy VI copyright Square Enix.|
Images used for educational purposes only.
The Floating Continent constitutes the last dungeon in Final Fantasy VI’s first half. Completing it will radically change the face of the game, and many of your options will disappear - either temporarily or permanently. Here are a few things you may want to do:
- If you haven’t already recruited him, now’s the time to grab Mog. This article will help you find him in Narshe. Do so now if you’re playing the Super Nintendo version of Final Fantasy VI, as you’ll lose your only chance to get one of his Dances once you move past the game’s halfway point.
- Assuming you gained this boon from Gestahl, visit Doma Castle. Check Cyan’s room for an X-Potion and a storeroom on the ramparts for a Phoenix Down and Prayer Beads. If you didn’t open the Castle already you can enter later, though you won’t get in for quite a while.
- If you unlocked the Imperial Observation Post east of Albrook but didn’t already snag its treasure, get it now. It’ll disappear forever if you don’t.
- To the far northeast, mentioned in a previous article, is a triangular island that’s home to a beast called the Intangir. It is fiendishly powerful, as it’s naturally invisible and will retort will a painful Meteor attack against your whole party if disturbed. SNES and PSX players can kill Intangirs without too much trouble by using a Doom while it’s invisible attack to kill it instantly, but later editions of Final Fantasy VI remove this vulnerability and force you to just kill the thing with powerful magic. Not fun, as the Intangir is easily the strongest monster at this point in the game, but this is also your only chance to get its Bestiary entry and place on the Veldt.
- The Auction House in Jidoor is now open. You can go here and bid on a variety of items. All are good… except when they’re useless… but two in particular you should probably pick up now: the Golem (20,000 gil) and the Zona Seeker (10,000 gil) magicite shards. You can pick them up later, but they’re quite handy now. (As a fun bit of trivia, you can kinda tell - at least in the older versions of the game - which items are going to show up in the Auction House based on the facing of the woman standing outside the House. At the very least you seem much less likely to get the ‘joke’ auctions so long as she’s not facing towards the Auction House when you first enter the screen. I may be wrong about that. This thread has more on this phenomenon of programming. Trust these people, they're speed runners.)
Landing on the Floating Continent
After the Floating Continent rises you’ll gain an extra option when approaching the wheel of the Blackjack to land on the thing. Be wary choosing this, though, as you’ll be forced to get most of the way through an expansive dungeon to leave again - and on your first visit, you’ll have to face the Imperial Air Force… with a party of only three members. (Why? You’ll find out soon.)
The IAF consists of two types of enemies, Sky Armors and Spitfires, which aren’t that different from one another, nor are they terribly different from one another. Pull out your lightning attacks and they won’t last that long. Destroy enough of these things (you have a bit of time between battles to heal) and a familiar face will show up…
Awww, c’mon, man. He’s back again. Ultros is at his easiest here, using his most basic attacks to dish out some rather petty amounts of damage. He’s not that bad at all on his own…
… and Typhon
… until you dish out a decent amount of damage and bring his buddy Typhon along to play. Typhon doesn’t add a whole lot to the fight, and the only thing to really keep in mind is that, unlike Ultros, he absorbs fire. Beat Typhon down and the fight will end as you’re blown off the side of the airship. (You can kill Ultros if you want, but it’s really not necessary.)
Consisting of three pieces - Air Force, Missile Bay, and Laser Gun - Air Force is the real boss of this section. All three parts will assault your team, though Air Force itself doesn’t really get into the fun until you destroy the other two pieces. The Missile Bay loves to use Launcher to painfully stunt your whole party’s health, so it’s wise to demolish it first with lightning-based attacks. The Laser Gun is not as bad and can be ignored if you like, though only if you have a half-decent healer on your team, probably with Cura. If Air Force is left on its own it will launch a Bit, a small enemy that absorbs all magical attacks until it’s destroyed. If magic is your primary weapon, ignore the Laser Gun altogether. Otherwise you’ll get a short reprieve while Air Force charges up its Wave Cannon attack, which, preferably, you don’t want to land. You’ll receive a Princess Ring for destroying the Air Force.
The Floating Continent
- Upon landing on the Continent you’ll wind up beside a save point. Save, then check out the fallen man nearby. Shadow! Now you have a fourth person for your three-man party.
- The enemies up here are quite tough, and you’ll have to pull out your strongest attacks to survive the trip. Second-tier magic and special strikes are highly recommended, since quite a few enemies - notably Behemoths - counter normal physical hits quite painfully. This is also a fantastic spot for learning Lores for Strago, particularly from Apocrypha, and Locke can Steal some very nice equipment (Dragons sometimes have Genji Gloves!), so you may not want to complete the Continent on your first walk through.)
- Head east. You’ll quickly learn that you can touch certain walls and make them recede, revealing paths. Past the first of these you’ll see a blue orb in the north; investigate it to reveal a Murasame. There’s your treasure chests.
- Next to this orb is a strange platform that you can move through the wall to reach. Before you do, however, check the walls on the far right to find a different hidden path leading to another blue sphere. It contains a fight with a one-of-a-kind monster, the Gigantos, which is basically a boss. The Gigantos can inflict ridiculous amounts of physical damage and should be killed very quickly. Making your characters Vanish will really help in this battle. Killing it will earn you a Sasuke.
- Step onto the platform you passed earlier to jump to a different section of the island. Head south to find a switch that will extend the path east. Follow the path southeast until you hit another transporter. It will jump you to a pair of two more transporters; take the left one to reach two switches, one in the north and one in the south. Hit both, then take the northwest path until you reach an earlier path. Wander all the way south, then head east.
- To the far east is a transporter along the south of the island that leads to a save point. Hop back onto the surface from here and head all the way east to find a Beret, then wander back west to find a switch. It will open up another nearby transporter. This one leads to a spot where you can leap back to the Blackjack. Doing so will force you to redo the dungeon (including all of the switches), and Shadow will leave your party while you’re off the Floating Continent. Fortunately, you will not have to redo the battle against the Imperial Air Force.
- Eventually you’ll have to carry onward, and when that happens…
Nope, not the sword. Ultima Weapon is quite a hefty boss, but it’s not as difficult as it looks. This massive creature employs a series of all-hitting magically-based attacks, the most troublesome of the lot typically being Quake. If you have a team equipped with Gaia Gears this is no problem, as Quake will simply heal you; otherwise, cast Float on your teammates to prevent the effects. Dish out enough damage and Ultima Weapon will begin employing status attacks, quickly followed by a painful all-hitting attack called Flare Star that shares out damage between your characters… and consequently hurts a lot more if you have fewer than four conscious characters on your team.
Bolster your magic defence or bring along magically-defensive characters (Terra and Celes jump to mind) then pound away at the beast. Any second tier spell will work quite nicely, and special attacks will readily chip away at the thing. Heal as necessary. If you have any items of particular strength (Thrown weapons or Rods), save them for the second half of the battle, as Ultima Weapon isn’t nearly as bad an opponent before it pulls out Flare Star and its more powerful elemental attacks. Always have someone ready to heal, as Ultima’s Graviga attack can prove absolutely fatal if it follows up with something that hits your whole team with even minor amounts of force.
- Shadow will leave the party after you destroy Ultima Weapon. Continue north and you’ll hit a lengthy cut scene, wherein Celes will take Shadow’s place (assuming she wasn’t already in the party). After it’s done…
… run! You have six minutes to get off the Floating Continent before it crashes to the ground. Don’t worry, this is pretty easy. Along the way you’ll fight Naudes, and the only thing to note about them is not to use ice-elemental moves on ‘em.
- The path through here is pretty simple. The only caveat is the blue sphere you’ll see along the way. Don’t take the direct path to get the thing. Instead, go around the hole in the ground south of the orb and come at it from the right side. It contains an Elixir.
- At the end of the course is a creature called the Nelapa. More a nuisance than a real threat, Nelapa will inflict your whole party with doom status. Smack it around with your strongest attacks until it dies.
- Past the Nelapa is the jump point off of the Floating Continent, and though your first instinct is to jump, you should wait. Approach this jump point twice without jumping and you’ll see that you’re waiting around for Shadow. Let time whittle down to nothing while standing here and he’ll show up, guaranteeing his inclusion as a recruitable character in the second half of Final Fantasy VI. Fail to wait for Shadow, though, and he’ll perish on the Floating Continent. You’ll never see him again. A ninja is better than no ninja at all, so, c’mon. Wait for the guy.
- … oh dear.