Final Fantasy VI copyright Square Enix.
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Part Fifteen: Recruiting Mog

Cave to the Sealed Gate

- The first thing to note about this area is its excess of powerful enemies. Most of them can do a number on your party if you can’t kill them quickly. I recommend teaching Blizzara to the majority of your chosen party (at least Terra) before entering, as it works rather well against most of your enemies. (Admittedly not all.) Characters with single-hitting, neutral special attacks also come in handy, and Mog’s Water Rondo can rock most of the enemies in the second, larger half of the Cave.

- Enter the Imperial Observation Post, the small base just west of your destination. Normally patrolled by an excess of guards, it has since been abandoned. There’s a single house here, and its basement contains a ton of prizes, but you can’t get at them. Yet. Travel around the edge of the Post to get to the entrance to the Cave to the Sealed Gate.

- The first section of the Cave to the Sealed Gate contains a few enemies that are very strong when it comes to magic. Kill them as quickly as you can with physical attacks. In the first room you’ll find an Assassin’s Dagger; in the second a Kazekiri; in the third…

- … oh dear. This next area contains appearing and disappearing platforms over a lava floor. If you’re on lava when a platform disappears you’ll take damage and get dumped back at the beginning. You need to watch the movement of the platforms and walk only when it’s safe to walk. If a square opens up to lava when changing, don’t linger on it. There are two chests here - one containing Heiji’s Jitte, the other an X-Potion - and a path onward in the bottom-right corner of the screen.

- You’re now in the area that comprises the bulk of this dungeon. The enemies down here are quite painful. Of note are the Outcasts, undead creatures that will use their Liveshaver attack after taking damage. Liveshaver can do a hell of a lot of damage to your characters, and your best bet for avoiding its effects are to kill these things in a single hit. Healing spells and hard-hitting special attacks are advised.

- Head right and south from the entrance to find a Hi-Ether, then backtrack and take the south/east route. Go up the rocky stairs ahead, hit the switch across the next bridge to drop down to a lower level, and check the cave to your left to find a Genji Glove.

- Head back south and continue east. There are two switches to the north. The right switch will drop a powerful Ninja in for you to kill. Try to dispatch this guy quickly, as he can use Scroll attacks like Shadow and wreak some serious havoc. The left switch will open a cave between the switches that leads to a save point and a Tent. Handy.

- Head east, hitting the switch halfway across the next bridge to make a staircase leading south. Check the chest on the ledge here for a Hi-Ether, then go through the cave on the right and head north. Once you leave the unseen passage you’ll find a chest containing an Elixir.

- Hit the next switch to the east, then go south. West of here is a switch that will open a secret cave. Inside the cave are chests containing two Magicite Shards, a Hi-Ether, and an Ultima Weapon. The Ultima Weapon is a sword that increases (or decreases) in strength based on your current HP. The healthier you are, the better it gets. You’ll likely have the Ultima Weapon on one of your characters for the rest of the game, because not only does it get reeeeally strong, it ignores defence. Score!

- Head east along the bottom of the screen once you’re back outside. Hit the switch to the north, then the next switch beyond. This will open the way to a chest containing another switch. It triggers a gap in the final bridge, and isn’t worth touching. Check the chest north of this last bridge for a Magicite Shard, then head south. The final path in this area lays ahead.

- Past one final screen you’ll reach the Sealed Gate, and you’ll get in a minor brawl with a familiar jerk who followed you through the Cave. Smack him around a bit to trigger an epic cut scene that will bring your trip through the Cave to the Sealed Gate to an end. From here you can take a shortcut to the south back to the entrance of the Cave.

- Return to the Imperial Observation Post. A member of your party will greet you there, sparking a lengthy cut scene. Once it’s done… well, it was fun flying around for a little while…