- The capital of the Empire is an unfriendly place. The first thing to note here is the Inn. You can stay here for free, but the owner will steal money from you in the night - more than you’ll want to spend. Instead, visit the thin house to the left of the entrance and speak to the person inside. Say you’re not loyal to the Empire and, after a short, easy battle, you’ll receive free healing here whenever you like.

- The lower half of Vector is more or less safe. You can purchase arms and armour in the stores, and to the east is your way into your next destination, the Magitek Research Facility. 

- Before entering, have a look at the upper half of Vector. Imperial soldiers roam this part of the city, and if they see you you’ll get into a fight. There are no items to be found up here, and approaching the palace in the far north is a really bad idea, but you can learn some juicy backstory on the Empire’s top soldiers from the friendlies, particularly one guy in the Pub on the west side of Vector.

- After you’ve prepped your team, head to the eastern half of the lower portion of Vector. Guards block the way to the Magitek Research Facility, but a man hiding behind crates near here will help you get inside. Once he’s distracted the guards you can slip in, so long as you don’t muck up and approach the soldiers from behind.

Magitek Research Facility

- You’re now in one of the best-protected areas on the planet. The first half of the Magitek Research Facility is patrolled by enemies that, despite not being too powerful, are highly resistant to physical attacks. If you don’t have magic, or special attacks such as Tools or Blitzes, you’ll have a very difficult time getting through here. Celes at the very least can make a good accounting of herself in the Facility.

- Head down the stairs and go through the first pipe on your left. It will take you to a chest containing a Flametongue. Use the hook moving back and forth to get back to the main platform.

- There are pipes to the right. Go through the right pipe to reach a chest containing an Ether. Go back through the pipe, then go through the left pipe to get on a conveyor belt. You’ll come out beside an X-Potion.

- Go north through the pipe beside the chest to return to the entrance; otherwise, take a right onto another conveyor. At the end is a Thunder Blade. Near the next conveyor to the south is a Remedy, and the conveyor will take you into a new area. Stay off the conveyors for a moment.

- You’re now facing a different breed of enemies in this area, though magic and special attacks generally remain your best friends. Start here by going up the stairs to your immediate right when landing. You’ll find a series of crates. Pass through them and you can find a pipe leading south. Along the way is a room on the right containing an Icebrand and a Zephyr Cloak. Continue south to drop back into the main room.

- Head south and to the left side of the room. In the bottom-left corner is a chest containing Dragoon Boots. Go up the stairs that lead north and you’ll find a Golden Shield. Don’t use the lift at the end of this path unless you want to go back outside.

- Wander back into the southern room. There are two pathways further south; don’t bother taking the left one. Go down the right path and, at the bottom of the stairs beyond, you’ll see a small room on the other side of the catwalk. You can go through the door beneath the catwalk to reach the chest inside. It contains a Golden Helm. Head east from here and you’ll see another small room through the catwalk, within which is a hidden Golden Armor, and at the top of the stairs to the far east is a Tent.

- Backtrack to the main room. You’ve covered just about everything. Hop onto the conveyor you ignored earlier. It leads to a cut scene. Hop onto the final conveyor to the south and you’ll get dropped into a pit. 

- There are two Espers down here. Don’t talk to them yet. Instead, go through the unblocked door on the left to find a save point. Use it, then try to speak to the Esper on the left.

Ifrit and Shiva

This is a weird battle. Ifrit and Shiva take turns going after you, Ifrit hitting you with fiery attacks, Shiva with icy attacks. Attack one enough times and it will switch to the other. Their magic is quite powerful and can one-hit your characters if you retaliate with magical attacks too often, but their obvious elements also reveal their weaknesses: Ifrit is weak to ice, Shiva is weak to fire. Either take advantage of these weaknesses or avoid the possibility of accidentally healing one by using element-neutral attacks. You only need to defeat one of them to end the battle, though they do have separate health counts, so you should try and bring the first down before they switch.

- Speak to Ifrit and Shiva after the battle. They’ll change into the Ifrit and Shiva magicite, both of which teach some valuable second-tier spells. If you want an easier time with upcoming battles I’d recommend saving, using a Tent, and using the hook in the room to return to the central chamber above. Enemy pickings and AP are better up here.

- Go through the right door in the pit. This leads to a staircase, which, in turn, guides you up to a room full of strange capsules. At the far end of this latter corridor, hidden in the bottom-left corner, is a Stoneblade. You’ll have to do some hunting and tapping to find it, but it’s there. These two areas contain enemies that rarely (if ever) appear outside the Facility, and so you may want to spend some time here killing them all if you value Gau’s Rages.

- In the third and final room…

Number 024

This guy looks a lot tougher than he actually is. Number 024 is, for most of the fight, a physical attacker, and though he can hit decently hard his attacks won’t tax your healing characters too much. It’s only when you get about halfway through the fight that 024 becomes tricksy, as he’ll use his Barrier Change to swap from a neutral character to a thing of the elements. From this point on 024 will have only one elemental weakness, and any others will heal him. 024 is not fantastically durable beyond that, however, and if you start the fight with your most punishing attacks and magic you can usually sap him of his health in fairly short order, before Barrier Change even comes up. If Barrier Change does come into play, switch to non-elemental special attacks (Tools are great, as are Cyan’s Bushido strikes) and continue wailing on him ’til he croaks. It’s wise to unequip any of the elemental swords you may have picked up in the dungeon before getting into this fight, as they’ll probably prove worse than useless halfway through. Beating Number 024 will earn you an Icebrand.

- Behind Number 024 is a switch and a lengthy cut scene in waiting. Once it’s done you’ll gain six new pieces of magicite - Unicorn, Maduin, Catoblepas, Phantom, Carbuncle, and Mismarck - and Celes will leave the party. Boo.

- Follow Cid, the fellow who looks like a banana, into the depths below the Facility. Speak to Cid after saving and you’ll be knocked onto a mine cart for another on-the-rails trip. Along the way you’ll face creatures called Magna Roaders, which, despite having a single name, actually come in two different forms. The smaller red Magna Roaders are much rarer than their purple counterparts, and this is the only place you can fight either brand. Assuming you want to get all of Gau’s Rages, you may have to reset your game and try again if you don’t run into the red ones before this trip is through.

- Eventually…

Number 128

A three-part beast, Number 128 is not as tough as it looks. The creature begins the fight by stopping one of your characters for a while with its Net attack, and will continue to do so periodically thereafter. That aside, Number 128 tends towards physical attacks, using its two Blades to smack you around and drain your health if you dare to hit it with your own physical attacks. Take out the two Blades and, after Hasting, it will begin using an all-hitting attack that’s more painful than the rest of its repertoire. Ignore the Blades entirely, as they’ll regenerate even when defeated, and focus your strongest special attacks and spells (nothing icy, it absorbs cold spells) on Number 128’s body. Defeating the main body will destroy the Blades as well. A fairly standard fight, even after a bunch of random battles.

- Beat Number 128 and you’ll zip back out into Vector. Check to the north of where you come out to find a save point (make sure you use this thing, seriously), then head south through a few more random battles. Setzer will take Celes’s place in your party after a cut scene, providing an interesting random mechanic with his Sloths command, and shortly thereafter you’ll be facing a brand new enemy…


Your final battle in the southern continent (for the moment, anyway) takes place on the deck of the Blackjack, against a pair of mechanical monstrosities. The Cranes are a funky pair, each with an elemental leaning: the left Crane likes lightning and will use the powerful Gigavolt if hit by lightning-elemental attacks, while the right Crane leans towards fire and will use Firaga if hit by fire-elemental attacks. They betray their elements with second-tier spells, along with several other single- and all-hitting strikes of a non-elemental nature.

Your best bet here is to forget all about the elements, save perhaps ice, and smack away at these things one-at-a-time with physical or special attacks. Once one goes down the other will respond with Reflect, making spells a hazardous venture, though it won’t be much more difficult to defeat. Setzer won’t have a whole lot to contribute to the fight, though his Slots command may come in handy from now and then. Otherwise, leave him to healing with items.

- Once the Cranes are junk you’ll be treated to a loooooong, interactive cut scene that reveals Terra’s true nature. Once it’s done she’ll be back in your party, outfitted with the powerful Morph command, and you’ll be bound for Narshe.

Part Fifteen: Recruiting Mog