Sunday, January 14, 2024

Final Fantasy VI: Strago Solo Game (Ruin Edition)

The Strago solo game rolls on as I take on the rest of WoR and the big bads in Kefka's Tower. I'd like to know the story behind this picture. Is he flying? What's that vehicle? Something he built himself? All things are possible in FFVI's Neo Victorian steampunk era of invention and discovery.

(Reposted from July 2013, with various fixes and notes)

Colosseum time. Had a few "trades" to do here, most importantly switching the Economizer for the Gem Box.

When I was a kid I thought this place was rad, but now I don't feel that way. The computer controls your character in these battles. The AI is awful. I had to repeat every fight several times because Strago spent most of his time ineffectively using L5 Doom and ATTACKING WITH THE HEAL ROD against normal non-undead foes. Gave him a different weapon for the win, not that it mattered because all he had to do was cast like, two attack spells and he was outta there...

This is basically an optimally-equipped Strago. My main enemy for the whole game thusfar has been a lack of MP, and that's solved. The Chocobo Suit isn't the best armor around, but it has a major speed bonus that has yet to be eclipsed by any other armor (something key for low-speed Strago). The Circlet is the best helmet I could find in shops. I'm sure there's something better, but I haven't found it. Then again, the Paladin Shield is so strong by itself that he could be using newbie equipment in some slots and be fine. Aside from that, my next mission is to get a new attack spell, since most of my Lores are from WoB and outdated. Time to go after Hidon?



Well, I went from level 41 to level 61 in the span of a half hour. The speed bonus from 20 levels was huge, and Strago now functions at the same level he functioned at before with perma-haste on. Another few levels and he might reach Chrono Trigger ATB-speed. At this point I feel like I could pretty much end this game whenever I want. FFVI is one of the easiest RPGs out there, I guess.

If this game ever got a proper remake or sequel type deal, I'd like to see a side-story where you play as Strago and Gungho in the past. You could follow along as the rambunctious scamps look for Hidon.

The chest's room has some enemies that don't appear in the rest of the dungeon, or anywhere else. For instance, I've never seen these bears before. In 1996 I made a pretty complete list of the enemies in this game and paid particular attention to the bears (as bears are rockin'). I didn't have this bear type on the list, so this may be the first time I have ever seen them.

The Hidonite in the back is different from the others and harder to kill. Reminds me of the Tentacle fight. Either way, I pretty much bowl over these guys with Stone, of all things. Stone is a really potent attack when it doesn't miss.

At level 60, it's safe to say that Strago can beat the game by himself. I wish it had some sort of optional uberboss or optional dungeon where I could really challenge Super-Strago.

What I'm here for: GrandTrain. Though it looks more like Dark Matter, Magus' strongest attack.

(2024 Editor's Note: I used to think this was Strago's best attack, but it turns out the Aero spell is actually superior to it in both damage and MP cost. At least against a single target, Grand Train may still be better for groups.)

We get some major Strago Character Development here for like the only time ever. Mainly that he embellishes his stories quite a bit.

Kefka's Tower time, and in two Dark Force battles I got most of the remaining Lores. Quasar here is what I used to think was Strago's second-best attack, if not tied for first with Grand Train. I mean, you get this so late in the game that it MUST be good, right?

(2024 Editor's Note: Well, Quasar is pretty damn good yes, but despite getting it at the end it isn't as good as Grand Train or a number of other Lores. At least it's non-elemental. It's basically Grand Train Jr, in that it does the same thing as Grand Train only like 0.9x as strong.)

Side Note: I like the way Kefka's Tower is an amalgamation of Vector, the Magitek Research Facility, and... lots of rock (or bones, depending on who you ask).

Strago has to go in and clear the bosses, Zeigfried-style. He can only do one path at a time, though. For the other parties I have Mog (w/ charm) and... four characters that are at the level they were at when I got Strago in WoB, which was low for the time even then, and they have to run from everything. Yeah. That party isn't faring too well. Also I end up having to exit and switch things around so Strago can fight all the bosses. Inferno is surprisingly easy for him, given how it's one of the tougher bosses normally.

Go get him, Mog! We believe in you!

Well, ah... he showed spirit.

Considering I picked randomly, it seems like I chose the right path for Strago. It's boss-a-riffic. None of them pose any real challenge to him with my setup. Wow.

(2024 Editor's Note: This is like when I tried a gun-only Bloodtinge build in Bloodborne as a challenge run and discovered it was way easier than a normal game and Bloodtinge is super OP...)

Strago Vs. Poltergeist, one-on-one. THE BATTLE OF THE CENTURY! Had to give him a Safety Bit since the boss uses an instant-death attack (Blaster, usually only used by cat enemies in these games), and it went pretty smoothly.

Well, that's one of three paths defeated. Heading out to do more WoR stuff before I beat the game.

Took me two tries to take down Doom Gaze. Another easy fight. I think FFXII has the best Doom Gaze (well, Deathguise). He's the fourth-strongest boss in that game (and is far above the final boss in stats), is huge and intimidating, and even has his own unique music

 I wish this game had postgame challenges like that. Then again, the characters are so overpowered in this game that throwing more HP and stats on foes won't make much of a difference... so having any true "uberbosses" in this game would require some creativity with regard to immunities and counterattacks. Like a foe that is immune to physical attacks (to nullify Offering spamming), and counters magic attacks with something nasty. It'd also need to have some ferocious non-counterattacks in its arsenal, or the fight would get boring fast.

Got Sabin real quick. Typically, you'd see this part as Celes far earlier in the game. The first few times I played this game back in the day, I didn't even realize that Sabin was a skippable character. In any case, this time around the guy was holding up this building for WEEKS.

Got Terra real quick... yeah I bet you will, DUANE.

This fight is interesting for a couple of reasons. In the pre-fight he has 26000 HP. Not sure if you can kill him outright in the pre-fight, or what would happen if you did. I did 9999 twice, then he used Baba Breath 2x to end the fight. That normally blows your characters off the screen. In this case... Strago resisted it both times, and was still standing. But then the fight just sorta ended and we went on to the real fight. Really weird to see a Sneeze-type attack get resisted by a character.

The Lore list is almost done, just two spaces left. I know one of them is that useless (even moreso here) Pep Up spell, but the other... no idea. I'll need to look this up.

Last thing I did: rad snowfield fights. The Ice Dragon is another low-HP dragon like the White one, but this one has some damaging attacks at least.

I also took out the Water, Dirt, and Skull dragons too quickly to really get shots of any of them.

UMARO is the only character whose name I left in all caps. Because UMARO, bitch!

Why does Shadow have "Chupon" under his name? This has always been odd to me.

The Red Dragon rematch goes a bit more my way this time, and Strago wins.

This bit with Cyan is one of the best parts of the entire game from a storytelling perspective.

This guy... another not-too-difficult fight for Super Strago.

(2024 Editor's Note: Woe to anyone who listens to Nintendo Power and fights this dragon first, though. It's the toughest dragon in the game. I think. Red might be comparable, Ice can be a nasty little dude. Storm, though, has always seemed like the toughest to me. Has a cool 44,000 HP and some very damaging moves. Like Aero, which I made sure to learn. It's better than Grand Train against bosses, as I mentioned before. Well, unless they're wind-resistant. Hardly anything is though.)

The last thing I was going to do was Cyan's dungeon. I couldn't get it to trigger, though. Slept in the beds at Doma and nothing happened. Oh well. It isn't like there are any Lores there, so I moved on. Time to end this.

Atma has been downgraded, since he now only has the regular boss theme. Not much to say about this one, but it's much easier than the first time around since there isn't an OHKO Flare Star to worry about.

Last dragon, not difficult at all. This is the lightning elemental dragon. The Storm Dragon is deceptively wind elemental, and is actually weak to lightning. In any case, the Gold Dragon is a bit formidable with his bolt-casting, but... that's all he has. Foes that only attack with one element tend to be easily negated. Put on a Thunder Shield and this boss can't do ANYTHING to you.

That's all of 'em, not that it affects my game in any particular way. I wish the two dragons in Kefka's Tower were more difficult. They aren't any worse than any of the others, and actually might be two of the easier ones. Gold only using one element to attack, and Skull being undead and weak to heals and so forth, means you have a bunch of avenues to finish them.

In the Advance version, the bonus dungeon has revamped versions of all of the dragons to put them at postgame power. It's cool, but...they're still easy, for the reasons I've already mentioned. Character power rockets up too fast for foes in this game to pose any real threat even with beefed up stats.

(2024 Editor's Unofficial Dragon Difficulty Ranking:
8. White Dragon
7. Gold Dragon
6. Skull Dragon
5. Blue Dragon
4. Ice Dragon
3. Earth Dragon
2. Red Dragon
1. Storm Dragon)

Goddess is usually the easiest of the three Statues, and that is the case here as well. Strago mops up with Lore spam and we move on to...

...Doom, wielder of the final Lore in the game. That'd be Force Field, which is the opposite of Edgar's Debilitator. It nullifies one element from affecting the party. This could be game-breaking when fighting bosses that stick to a single element (like dragons)... but at this point, it comes along too late in the game to really be of much use. Everything after this uses non-elemental offense for the most part.

(2024 Editor's Note: If you keep using Force Field, it'll keep nullifying more elements until nothing works besides non-elemental damage. It's still kinda useless though.)

Final stats. Nice round number, 75. Probably could have done this at 50, though.

Trying to get the game to let Strago go solo for the grand finale...

...And the game is all "take other characters and like it". They're all dead from the previous dungeon, at least. On that note, this game sure does have an impressive pillar of final bosses.

Strago unleashes hell with Grand Train. Kefka's attacks do little damage...for the most part. He used Fallen One once, but other than that, I was never in any particular danger of losing...though he did surprise me late in the battle (more on that in a moment).

During the fight, Strago got hit with Havoc Wing for 1500ish and Goner for 900ish. I thought Goner was Kefka's super-attack? He charges up for it and everything.

At the end Kefka nearly got the better of me with a 4000-point Ultima, which was unexpected. I didn't even know he had that. Either way, Strago came back from it. And that's all she wrote. These final battles were...not hard, despite the solo game.

(2024 Editor's Note: Someday I'll try a low-level game, have a feeling that'll be a lot more fun. Considering how great the Dullahan fight and a few others I had to do at low levels were...)

That was cool. I've now seen all of the Lores for the first time, uncursed the Paladin Shield for the first time, and beaten the game with one character for the first time. It was good to see this game again.


  1. Great read! Thanks for doing it. Now I want to read your doing Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals.

    1. Lufia II is a great, great game. Since I already played it pretty extensively in the past and it's a long game, I don't have any plans to replay it as of right now. However, I'll be covering Lufia: Ruins of Lore (Lufia 4) some time in the next couple of months. Played it, took lots of screenshots. It's an awful game, so I'll be skewering it.

    2. And now, two years later, I HAVE covered Lufia 2.

  2. Five or ten years from now, you should do a low-level run. There have been some epic ones in FF6 history.
    The hungry chest is really memorable considering how little screen time he gets.
    I never knew about that hidden passage, either. Would be pretty awesome if the game had loads of them.
    I chuckle to think Sabin held that house up for weeks while you ran around doing other things.
    Great job figuring out how to master the game.

    1. A low level run would be pretty cool eventually. FF6 is one game I never seem to get tired of. It's so deep. I probably go back to it more than any other game out there. Used to prefer Chrono Trigger, and I still think CT is the better game, but it isn't as deep as FF6.

    2. I think you're going to really enjoy Brave New World. I forgot that the original Ice Dragon was a little guy, hardly imposing at all. Strago is still great but you're gonna need a lot more than just him!