Final Fantasy VI copyright Square Enix.
Images used for educational purposes only.
One of the nasty beasts released from… somewhere… when Kefka unravelled the world, Deathgaze is a rather unique creature in the context of Final Fantasy VI. Appearing exclusively in the World of Ruin, Deathgaze has a few unusual properties tied to its existence:
  • It is the only enemy you face randomly while flying the airship. Deathgaze appears on a random tile somewhere on the world map whenever you take off in the Falcon, and if you happen to hit that tile you’ll get into a fight with Deathgaze. If this is your first trip into the skies in the Falcon, the fight can be startling. And painful.
  • Deathgaze is the only boss monster from whom you can flee. If you hit Deathgaze just after getting the Falcon, running is a very good idea.
  • Deathgaze is also the only boss monster that will flee after a few turns of combat. It will return to its sky-hunting ways thereafter, and you’ll have to cruise the skies to find it a second time.
  • Even though it runs, Deathgaze will not regenerate its health between battles. Given the few turns you have to kill Deathgaze, this should come as a relief.

The Final Fantasy Wiki provides a good method for tracking down Deathgaze: Land the Falcon, then get back in. You’ll be facing north. Tap your airship a teensy bit to the left or the right, then apply gas. You’ll cross every section of the world map with enough travelling, and, eventually, you’ll find Deathgaze.

Deathgaze provides a nasty battle. In the short three turns where it appears Deathgaze will always begin with Lv. 5 Death, potentially killing your who team if their levels are a multiple of five. After that it will go after you with more rudimentary attacks, typically a third-tier spell or Aero, and sometimes a nasty Death attack. It won’t stick around much longer than that.

Beating Deathgaze in one go is tricky, as it sports a high magic defence and a lot of HP. The key here is to smash it with either fire- or holy-elemental attacks that will take advantage of Deathgaze’s inherent weaknesses. Physical attacks are preferable, as magic doesn’t work that well on Deathgaze unless you’re at high levels, so stick with physical attacks covered by those two elements and special abilities. Shadow Throwing anything fire-elemental works nicely, Sabin’s Aura Cannon can punish Deathgaze nicely, and an equipped Master’s Scroll / Genji’s Glove tied with an appropriate weapon can rip a nice hunk out of the fiend’s HP.

The fight is so short that healing shouldn’t be priority unless absolutely necessary. If Deathgaze killed several of your teammates with Lv. 5 Death, just run away to avoid a Game Over, or try to hold out with your remaining character. A single Curaga is the most you should use, and that only to counteract the effects of Aero if it comes up.

Defeat Deathgaze and you’ll clear the skies of trouble. You’ll also win a Bahamut magacite, which teaches the powerful Flare spell. Woot!