Strago stands outside the Esper Caves, a dungeon near Thamasa in Final Fantasy VI.

Esper Caves - Enemies
  • Adamankary - 1,305 HP
  • Bonnacon - 505 HP - Weak to Fire
  • Land Grillon - 977 HP - Weak to Fire, Wind - Drops Smoke Bomb
  • Mandrake - 1,150 HP - Weak to Fire - Drops Remedy
  • Vennobenu - 860 HP - Drops Phoenix Down

  • After a small confrontation with Shadow outside Strago’s house you’ll be traveling westbound to find the Esper Caves. Head southwest from Thamasa until you hit forested areas, then trek north to find a mountain range. The caves are here. (They also don’t appear until after you’ve completed the whole burning house excursion, so don't bother trying to go in early.)

    The Esper Caves are relatively small, but you nevertheless have to put up with two branches of enemies, one outside and one indoors. The most notable and dangerous of these foes are Adamankarys, which are highly resistant to physical attacks and will sometimes use a move called Blaster. Blaster can OHKO a party member if your luck is poor. Use second-tier magic to wipe Adamankarys out in a hurry.

    The party finds three statues inside the Esper Cave, a dungeon in Final Fantasy VI.

    Head north from the entrance to find a chest on your left containing a Healing Rod. (As the name implies these heal anyone they hit, so don’t use one as an offensive weapon.) The cave exits to the west and the north loop around to one another and are utterly useless, so ignore ‘em both (unless you want to gather Rages for Gau, anyway) and take the partially-hidden path leading to the right instead.

    After a brief trip outside you’ll find a path leading into a wide room, free of enemies and populated by three golden statues. Don’t approach them yet! Instead, enter the room to the northwest and use the save point. Then you’re free to approach the statues. Doing so will bring down an old 'friend' to bust up your day...

    The party battles Ultros - again - inside the Esper Cave of Final Fantasy VI.


    HP: 22,000
    Weakness: Fire, Lightning
    Steal: White Cape

    Ahhhh, he’s back for a third round. Ultros uses the following attacks:
    • Normal, physical strikes
    • Tentacle, a physical hit against one or more targets
    • Ink, which can Blind a single target
    • Stone, a neutral spell that can Confuse party members
    • Hailstone, a single-target rock strike
    • Magnitude 8, an Earth-element spell against the whole party
    • Aqua Breath, a Water-element spell against the whole party
    • Firaga / Blizzaga / Thundaga, elemental spells (Tri-Elemental form only)
    • Protect, which raises Ultros's physical defense
    • Haste, which raises Ultros's speed
    Ultros starts off like his old self, albeit with a slightly-stronger-than-normal offense and the ability to Confuse your characters with Stone. Nothing special, really. The battle only gets dangerous if you use the same brand of elemental spell (likely Fire) on Ultros three times in a row. Do this and Ultros turns to his Tri-Elemental state, allowing him to counter any elemental attacks with a third-tier form of the spell. Use Fira on him, for example, and he’ll counter with Firaga. This will likely KO your character in one hit.

    The solution? Don't use magic, for the most part. Hit him once or twice with Fira or Thundara, then swap to physical attacks and batter the octopus. Heal as necessary. If you've got swords or rods with elemental effects attached you'll do just as much damage as with spells, and the battle won't last too long.

    The party tricks Ultros into letting Relm, a party member in Final Fantasy VI, draw his portrait. Never let Relm draw your portrait!

    Hit Ultros enough and Relm joins the battle on your side. Though physically weaker than just about anyone you’ve ever had on your team, Relm is the strongest natural magic user you’ll ever get. She doesn’t have any spells now, though, so you’ll have to use her Sketch command. This creates an image of its target and uses one of their spells or moves. Use Sketch on Ultros once and he’ll retreat in horror, ending the battle.

    Relm is now on your team, so set her up with some magicite and head for the save point in the northwest. In this same room there are three obvious drop points on your right: 
    • The top drop leads to a Chocobo Suit and a Tabby Suit
    • The right drop leads to an X-Potion
    • The bottom drop leads, ultimately, to the Espers. 
    You can return to the original, main path from all three walkways. Check on the Espers once you've looked at the other two paths to end your brief trip through the Esper Caves.

    General Leo faces off against Kefka during a brief - but important - battle in Final Fantasy VI.

    Speaking to the Espers triggers a lengthy series of cut scenes, and in the midst of them all you'll gain control of none other than General Leo. Leo can use the Shock command, a powerful attack that would probably be useful if he stuck around longer. Alas, you only get to use Leo for one fight, and it doesn't last long.

    At the end of these cut scenes your away-team party reunites with everyone else, and you regain control of the Blackjack. Once you climb into the airship, however...

    The Floating Continent takes off in Final Fantasy VI.

    Yeah. That's probably bad.