Final Fantasy IV Any% Glitchless Guide

Jason Lynch <jason@calindora.com> (Aexoden)

Introduction

These are my notes for the Final Fantasy IV (USA) Any% Glitchless speedrun. While I am very familiar with the game and the speedrun, there are almost certainly faster ways to do things. That said, I do periodically update this document as new techniques and strategies are discovered, so if you follow them, you're probably not doomed to be perilously slow.

This particular guide is intended for high-level PB attempts. Since this category is less commonly played, this guide is probably the best available at this time. Nonetheless, it is not very well optimized in some parts. I use this guide for my own PB attempts.

Warning

  • This guide is currently in development. Several of the strategies are suboptimal and certain things may be incomplete. Use at your own risk.

General Concepts

While these are largely my personal notes used when I actually run the game, a number of people have been using them to learn the run, so I will briefly go over some of the more general concepts that apply to the run. However, the notes will almost certainly still assume you are generally familiar with some of the techniques used speedrunning the game (such as run buffering). If you are unfamiliar with these, there are other resources on this site that you may wish to examine.

Experience Path

Unfortunately, as it turns out, levels matter a lot in this run. As such, there is a lot of research into the best ways to allocate experience throughout the run. Experience is primarily manipulated using the following facts:

  1. Dead characters do not gain experience. Total experience from the fight is divided amongst living party members. Therefore, the fewer characters that are alive, the more experience the living ones collect.
  2. Characters in the so-called shadow party gain the same amount of experience as living party members. These are characters who have left the party and will later return.

The "perfect" path is a matter of personal preference and is always up for debate. I make my recommendations throughout this guide, but there are many ways to skin a cat, and you're welcome to develop your own path that suits your playing style better. However, keep in mind the following points:

In these notes, I recommend a particular experience path. However, it isn't necessary to follow it exactly, so long as the above goals are maintained.

Inventory Management

Another important aspect of any run is inventory management. You end up with a very full inventory and optimizing the location of items in the inventory is essential to a good run. This guide makes some recommendations, but ultimately, you will need to come up with an inventory management scheme you're comfortable with.

Glitchless?

In defining a glitchless category, the obvious question becomes "What counts as a glitch?" This question is currently open to some debate, but a preliminary list of rules for the category is available here. If some of these rules are changed, this guide may be updated accordingly.

Assumptions

This guide makes the assumption that you are following along from start to finish. Menuing instructions assume that your characters are already equipped as per the guide, and won't list equipment that is staying the same. If you attempt to join in the middle, you may miss this or similar points.

This guide is primarily meant to serve as my notes for personal best attempts. As such, they generally tend to err on the side of less safety. In some cases, notes are made regarding potential safer strats for beginners, but they may not be entirely consistent throughout the document (especially regarding inventory management).

Conventions

This guide uses the following conventions:

Resources

The following resources should prove invaluable to either help during a run or to help you learn the run in the first place:

Step Route

This guide is intended to be used with a step route. The step route is not required, but it will generally save you 2 or 3 minutes if executed properly. For this guide, you should be using the glitchless routes.

Walkthrough

Prologue

Begin the game. During the introduction, you may wish to hold down B+Right+Down immediately before the battle with the Raven, in an attempt to avoid the Raven's attack. This is known as the BRD or BIRD skip. It may or may not work for you, depending on the awesomeness of your mashing. Finish the introduction and gain control.

Menu

  • Set battle speed and battle message to 1.

Head to Cecil's room in the left tower to finish the introduction.

Walk to the chocobo forest, capture a yellow chocobo, and ride to the Misty Cave.

Misty Cave

Walk through the cave until you reach the boss.

Battle: D.Mist

Battle Information
HP
465
EXP
700
Party
*Kain (10:2300) / empty / *Cecil (10:3000) / empty / *empty
Battle Plan
Kain
Jump
Cecil
Fight
Cecil
Fight
Kain
Fight
Cecil
Fight
Kain
Jump
Cecil
Fight

D.Mist turns to mist.

Cecil
Parry
Kain
Wait until note before long high note
Jump
Cecil
Wait for "Now, get ready to fight!"
Unequip Shadow (shield)
Fight
Cecil
Fight
Kain
Unequip Iron (shield)
Jump
Cecil
Fight

Continue with Fight and Jump until D.Mist falls. There is a small chance (just under 1%) of a third cycle, depending on damage rolls.

Village Mist

After the battle, exit the cave and head toward Mist. Before entering the village, open the menu.

Menu

  • Unequip Kain: Iron (gauntlet).

Enter the village and trigger the scene.

Battle: Girl

Battle Information
HP
65000
EXP
0
Party
*Kain (10:2650) / empty / *Cecil (11:3350) / empty / *empty
Inventory Goals
Shadow (shield) to 4R
Iron (gauntlet) to 5L
Iron (shield) to 5R
Battle Plan

Attempt to rearrange your inventory during the animations. Change rows at the end for fist-pump swag strats.

Kaipo

Continue to Kaipo in the middle of the desert. Enter the town and trigger the cut scene.

NPC Movement

NPC movement may seem random, but it's actually reasonably deterministic during this portion of the game. Assuming you walk perfectly and don't stand around, the NPCs will always be in the same location from run to run. This will remain true until Fabul. Learn where the NPCs will be and optimize your walking accordingly.

Battle: Officer x1, Soldier x3

Battle Information
HP
Officer: 221 / Soldier: 27
EXP
480
Party
empty / empty / *Cecil (11:3350) / empty / *empty
Battle Plan
Cecil
Run Buffer
Fight
Cecil
Run Buffer
Fight
Cecil
Run Buffer
Fight

If at any point, you are unable to execute the Run Buffer for that turn, simply switch to holding A. This is entirely random. After the soldiers are dead, simply twiddle your thumbs until the Officer retreats.

Menu

  • Move Rydia down one slot. (Form, A, Down, A)

Head to the shop on the east side of the building.

Shopping

  • Buy 10 Cure1.

Visit Rosa in the northeast house. Mash with B to avoid talking to Rosa repeatedly. Afterward, leave the house.

Take the Ether1 from the northernmost pot to the left of the house below the one Rosa is in.

Just before exiting the town (immediately after emerging from the door in the wall), take one step to the right, and then go down.

Head north to the cave and enter the Watery Pass.

Watery Pass

Walk through the first part of the cave and recruit Tellah. Sometime during the next two maps, you'll want to take an encounter:

Battle: Pike x3

Battle Information
HP
Pike: 65
EXP
360
Party
*Tellah (20:54873) / Rydia (1:0) / *Cecil (11:3350) / empty / *empty
Battle Plan
Cecil
Parry
Cecil
Cast Lit-1 on all enemies

This isn't the only workable formation. The idea is to get Rydia a few extra experience points.

On the way to the save room, you should collect the Ether1 in the middle of the map on Watery Pass-South B2F. Continue to the end of the cave, stopping to pick up the Darkness (sword) in the last room.

Enter the other cave and proceed. Pick up the Ether1 and Darkness (armor) from the two chests closest to Octomamm, before proceeding to the battle.

Battle: Octomamm

Battle Information
HP
2350
EXP
1200
Party
*Tellah (20:54993) / Rydia (3:120) / *Cecil (11:3950) / empty / *empty
Inventory Goals
Darkness (armor) to 4L
Shadow (sword) to 3L
Ether1 to 2R
Cure1 to 1R
Battle Plan
Cecil
Equip Darkness (sword)
Fight
Tellah
Cast Lit-1
Rydia
Cast Chocb

Don't bother reviving Rydia if she dies until just before the end of the fight. A more detailed strat should appear here eventually. Take advantage of inventory management time.

Immediately after the battle, open the menu.

Menu

  • Change rows and swap Tellah and Rydia. (Form, Left, A, Down, A)
  • Move Cecil down one slot. (Form, Down, Down, A, Down, A)

Exit the cave and enter Damcyan. On 2F, collect the Tent, and then head to the top of the castle. Watch the scene, and then take the hovercraft to the Antlion cave.

Before entering the cave, use the Tent to heal and restore MP.

Antlion

Follow the path to the second room. You may take either the left or right path, but the right path feels better to me. Your mileage may vary. Once in the second room, pick up the chest on the right side with a Life.

Enter the nearby room and collect the Charm (harp) from the chest, return to the main room, take the secret passage, and then make your way to Antlion's Nest and engage Antlion.

Battle: Antlion

Battle Information
HP
1000
EXP
1500
Party
Rydia (5:520) / *empty / Edward (5:388) / *Cecil (11:4350) / empty
Battle Plan
Cecil
Fight
Edward
Move Life to 3R
Swap Life and Ether1
Use Cure1/Parry
Rydia
Cast Chocb
Cecil
Fight
Edward
Use Cure1/Use Ether1/Parry

Essentially repeat this sequence until the fight is over. Try to keep everybody alive, but you shouldn't need more than one Ether1

Walk out of the cave, board the hovercraft, and return to Kaipo, making sure to park directly to the left of the town.

Kaipo Revisited

Head to the house in the northeast corner of town and use the SandRuby on Rosa.

During the night, Edward will loudly play his harp and an angry monster who was just trying to sleep will attack.

Battle: WaterHag

Battle Information
HP
45672
EXP
800
Party
empty / *empty / Edward (6:888) / *empty / empty
Battle Plan
Edward
Fight
Edward
Fight
Edward
Fight

You can simply hold the A button for the duration of the fight.

After waking up, leave the town, making sure to take a step to the left immediately before exiting.

Take the hovercraft to the entrance of Mt.Hobs, parking directly to the left of the entrance.

Mt.Hobs

Climb the mountain and meet Yang at the top.

During Yang's solo battle, you can potentially manipulate yourself out of a longer battle by checking the damage rolls against this chart and pausing for a short while if you get a bad first kick.

Battle: MomBomb

Battle Information
HP
MomBomb: 10800 (800) / Bomb: 50 / GrayBomb: 100
EXP
2460
Party
Rydia (7:1020) / *Yang (10:2061) / Edward (8:1688) / *Cecil (12:4850) / Rosa (10:2139)
Inventory Goals
Move Charm (harp) to 6L
Battle Plan
Edward
Run Buffer
Parry
Cecil
Fight
Rosa
Cast Cure1/Parry
Yang
Fight
Rydia
Cast Chocb
Edward
Parry
Cecil
Fight
Rosa
Cast Cure1/Parry

Repeat this rough pattern until you have done 800 damage. At that point, heal or parry until Yang's turn.

Yang
Wait for "Exploding!"
Wait one second after "Exploding!" disappears
Kick
Cecil
Inventory Management
Fight
Rydia
Cast Chocb on GrayBomb
Rosa
Use Aim on weakest Bomb
Edward
Fight

It may be easier to just focus on healing at this point, and letting them explode.

After the battle, continue to the other side of the mountain. Continue downward and then head east to Fabul.

Fabul

Head to the King's Room and offer to help. (Do not mash the B button during this dialogue.)

Battle: Fabul Gauntlet #1 - General x1, Fighter x2

Battle Information
HP
General: 320 / Fighter: 65
EXP
820
Party
empty / *Yang (10:2553) / Edward (9:2180) / *Cecil (12:5342) / empty
Battle Plan
Edward
Run Buffer
Fight top Fighter
Cecil
Fight
Yang
Fight

Battle: Fabul Gauntlet #2 - Weeper x1, Imp Cap. x1, WaterHag x1

Battle Information
HP
Weeper: 100 / Imp Cap.: 37 / WaterHag: 48
EXP
490
Party
empty / *Yang (10:2826) / Edward (9:2453) / *Cecil (12:5615) / empty
Battle Plan
Edward
Run Buffer
Fight Weeper
Cecil
Fight WaterHag
Yang
Fight

Battle: Fabul Gauntlet #3 - General x1, Fighter x2

Battle Information
HP
General: 320 / Fighter: 65
EXP
820
Party
empty / *Yang (11:2989) / Edward (10:2616) / *Cecil (12:5778) / empty
Battle Plan
Edward
Run Buffer
Fight top Fighter
Yang
Fight
Cecil
Fight

Battle: Fabul Gauntlet #4 - Gargoyle x1

Battle Information
HP
160
EXP
320
Party
empty / *Yang (11:3262) / Edward (10:2889) / *Cecil (13:6051) / empty
Battle Plan
Edward
Run Buffer
Fight
Yang
Fight
Cecil
Fight

Battle: Fabul Gauntlet #5 - Weeper x1, Imp Cap. x1, WaterHag x1

Battle Information
HP
Weeper: 100 / Imp Cap.: 37 / WaterHag: 48
EXP
490
Party
empty / *Yang (11:3368) / Edward (10:2995) / *Cecil (13:6157) / empty
Battle Plan
Edward
Run Buffer
Fight Weeper
Yang
Fight
Cecil
Fight WaterHag

Battle: Fabul Gauntlet #6 - General x1, Fighter x2

Battle Information
HP
General: 320 / Fighter: 65
EXP
820
Party
empty / *Yang (11:3531) / Edward (10:3158) / *Cecil (13:6320) / empty
Battle Plan
Edward
Run Buffer
Fight top Fighter
Yang
Fight
Cecil
Fight
Edward
Unequip Dreamer to 6R
Parry

Battle: Dragoon

Battle Information
HP
65000
EXP
0
Party
empty / *empty / empty / *Cecil (13:6593) / empty
Battle Plan
Cecil
Fight Cecil

Walk to the Inn and watch the scenes.

Menu

  • Equip Cecil: Black (sword).
  • Unequip Yang: FireClaw (if not done in battle).
  • Unequip Edward: Dreamer (if not done in battle).

Get the Tent from the chest and go down a floor. Get the 500 GP from the lowest pot and then continue to the exit. After leaving Fabul, head for the ship to the east.

Mysidia

Walk east into Mysidia and go to the item shop on the right.

Shopping

  • Sell Darkness (sword), Shadow (sword), Darkness (armor), Shadow (shield), Charm and Dreamer.

If you don't have at least 6130 GP at this point, you'll need to reduce your item purchases to make up for it. It's probably safer to skip a Cure2.

  • Buy 7 Life, 17 Cure2, 1 Heal.

Head to the House of Wishes and talk to the elder. After the scene, head to the weapon and armor shops on the left side of town.

Shopping

  • Buy 1 FlameRod.
  • Buy 2 Gaea (helm), 1 Silver (ring).

Exit the town and head east to Mt.Ordeals.

Mt.Ordeals

Begin climbing the mountain. On the way up, collect the closest Ether1 on the 7th station. Continue to the summit.

Once on the summit, continue until you are even with the final bridge.

Menu

  • Equip Palom: */FlameRod/Gaea (helm)/*/*.
  • Equip Tellah: */*/Gaea (helm)/*/*.
  • Fully heal the party.

Battle: Milon

Battle Information
HP
Milon: 3000 (2300) / Ghast: 170
EXP
3800
Party
Porom (10:1957) / *empty / Palom (10:1957) / *Cecil (13:6593) / Tellah (20:58436)
Battle Plan
Cecil
Parry
Palom
Twin
Tellah
Cast Cure2 on all enemies
Cecil
Cure2 to 1R
Life to 2R
Heal to 4R
Swap FireClaw and Iron (shield)
Use Cure1/Parry

From this point on, Palom or Porom should Twin and Cecil should use Cure1 on the twins. Cecil may need to Fight toward the end of the fight if the twin spells don't do enough damage.

Menu

  • Fully heal the party (including MP on the twins).
  • Change rows.
  • Cast Piggy on Cecil.

Walk across the bridge and engage Milon Z.

Battle: Milon Z.

Battle Information
HP
3000
EXP
4000
Party
*Porom (11:2907) / empty / *Palom (11:2907) / Cecil (13:7543) / *Tellah (20:59386)
Inventory Goals
Clear up four spots near the top for faster removal of Cecil's equipment after battle
Battle Plan
Cecil
Fight
Cecil
Fight
Palom
Use Cure2 on Milon Z.
Porom
Twin

From here, Tellah and Cecil can either revive or cure the twins or Fight (Cecil) or use Cure2 on Milon Z. (Tellah). After you've gotten a couple of twins off, however, it's probably more expedient to just let the twins die if they must.

Try to leave this fight with at least 13 Cure2 remaining.

After the battle, quickly open the menu.

Menu

  • Unequip Cecil (everything).
enter the tomb and watch the scene.

Battle: D.Knight

Battle Information
HP
1000
EXP
0
Party
*empty / Cecil (1:0) / *empty / empty / *empty
Battle Plan
Cecil
Wait for Dark Wave
Equip Iron (shield)

After the scenes, descend the mountain and head to the chocobo forest. Catch a yellow chocobo and travel back to Mysidia.

Talk to the elder, and then head to Baron via the Serpent Road.

Return to Baron

Go to the back of the Inn and talk to Yang.

Battle: Guard x2

Battle Information
HP
200
EXP
0
Party
*Tellah (20:60386) / Cecil (1:0) / *Palom (12:3907) / empty / *Porom (12:3907)
Battle Plan
Cecil
Run Buffer
Parry
Palom
Unequip FlameRod
Porom
Parry
Tellah
Equip FlameRod
Cast Virus on all enemies
Cecil
Make sure 1L is empty

Battle: Karate

Battle Information
HP
4000
EXP
0
Party
*Tellah (20:60386) / Cecil (1:0) / *Palom (12:3907) / empty / *Porom (12:3907)
Battle Plan
Cecil
Wait for "ACHOOOOO"
Fight

If necessary, you can do limited inventory management during Karate's first attack.

It's actually possible to trigger the end of battle earlier than that message. There are essentially four different patterns, based on a timer you start right as the battle starts fading in from the black:

4.5 seconds
Hold A at about 10.6 seconds
5.0 seconds
Hold A at about 11.2 seconds
6.0 seconds
Hold A at about 13.2 seconds
7.3 seconds
Hold A at about 15.8 seconds

Originally, I tried using musical cues, but the problem is that the music doesn't restart for the second battle.

After the scenes, leave the Inn. Enter the house to the north, collect the Ether1head to the Baron weapon and armor shop.

Inside the shop, use the secret passage to go behind the counters and collect the two chests for 2000 GP and a Thunder (claw). Afterward, it's time to shop.

Shopping

  • Sell Black, Shadow, Rod, Leather and the Staff.
  • Buy 3 Headband, 2 Karate.
  • Buy IceClaw.

Enter the Old Water-way, collect the 1000 GP in the secret passage, and continue until just before the Baigan battle on Castle Baron 1F.

Menu

  • Fully cure Cecil and Tellah.
  • Equip Cecil: */*/Headband/Karate/*.
  • Equip Yang: Thunder/IceClaw/Headband/Karate/Silver.
  • Change rows and swap Porom and Tellah (Form, Left, A, Up, A).
  • Swap Cecil and Palom (Form, Down, A, Down, A).
  • Swap Yang and Porom (Form, Up, A, Up, A).

Move on to challenge Baigan.

Battle: Baigan

Battle Information
HP
Baigan: 3500 / RightArm: 350 / Left Arm: 350
EXP
4820
Party
*Tellah (20:60386) / Palom (12:3907) / *Cecil (1:0) / Porom (11:3907) / *Yang (13:5754)
Ideal Survivors
Cecil and Tellah
Inventory Goals
Swap Baron and Iron (gauntlet)
Battle Plan
Cecil
Run Buffer
Cover Tellah
Yang
Fight Porom
Palom
Cast Fire2 on RightArm
Porom
Parry
Tellah
Cast Lit-3 on Baigan
Cecil
Fight LeftArm/Fight Baigan
Yang
Fight
Porom
Parry
Palom
Cast Fire2 on Palom
Cecil
Fight Porom/Fight LeftArm/Fight Baigan
Yang
Fight Porom/Fight Baigan
Tellah
Virus Yang
Cecil
Fight
Tellah
Cast Lit-3 on Baigan

Your priority is to ensure Palom and Porom are dead. If necessary, Cecil can use his last turn to hit Yang again, but you will lose your chance to menu, so you'll need to finish anything in the Kainazzo battle. Don't leave Yang alive if you can avoid it.

Menu

  • Fully cure Cecil, Tellah and Yang.
  • Use an Ether1 on Tellah.
  • Change rows.

Head to the throne room to fight Kainazzo.

Battle: Kainazzo

Battle Information
HP
4000
EXP
5500
Party
*Tellah (20:62796) / Palom (12:3907) / *Cecil (10:2410) / Porom (12:3907) / *Yang (13:5754)
Ideal Survivors
Cecil, Tellah and Yang
Battle Plan
Cecil
Run Buffer
Fight
Yang
Fight
Tellah
Cast Lit-3
Cecil
Wait for Lit-3
Inventory Management

If this isn't enough, have Cecil and Yang continue using Fight, while Tellah casts Virus. If that still isn't enough, you're going to have to use an Ether1 on Tellah. There's approximately a 7% chance of this happening.

Mash Warning

Do not mash X during the scenes, unless you're looking to mercy kill your run. In particular, once you're on the airship, pressing X at the wrong time will cause the game to lock up. Stick to A or B (or some other button) instead.

After the scenes, fly to Mist, and enter the town. Head to the weapon shop.

Shopping

  • Buy 1 Dancing (dagger).

Make your way now to the house at the top of the village, enter the fireplace, and collect the Tiara in the first chest you come across, and the Change (rod) at the end of the secret passage. Use an Ether1 on Tellah and cast Exit to leave the village.

Next, fly to Toroia and enter the castle. Visit Edward on the left side of the castle and then cast Exit.

Head north to the Chocobo Village, catch a black chocobo, and fly to Cave Magnes.

Cave Magnes

Head through the cave. On B2F, pick up the Ether1 on the left side of the room. Finally, pick up the Ether2 to the left of the door to the crystal room. Afterward, enter the crystal room.

Menu

  • Swap Tellah and Cid. (Form, A, Down, A)
  • Equip Cid: */*/Headband/*/Iron (arms).

Talk to the Dark Elf. After the scene, talk to him again.

Battle: Dark Elf

Battle Information
HP
22000 (2000) (pre-change) / 3000 (post-change)
EXP
6000
Party
*Cid (20:26754) / Tellah (21:64629) / *Cecil (12:4243) / empty / *Yang (14:7587)
Ideal Survivors
Cecil, Tellah and Yang
Inventory Goals
Ether1 and Ether2 to near top
Try to leave spots for later equipment removal
Battle Plan
Cecil
Fight (hold A)
Yang
Fight (hold A)

At this point, you'll need to make a decision based on Cecil's first damage roll. The default pattern is below, and we'll discuss the variations afterward:

Cid
Parry
Tellah
Cast Virus on Cid
Run Buffer
Cecil
Fight
Yang
Parry
Cecil
Fight
Tellah
Wait for "ME CHANGE!"
Equip Change (rod)
Cast Weak
Yang
Fight
Cecil
Inventory Management

If Cecil's first damage roll is 684 or less, Yang should Fight on his second turn instead of Parrying.

If Cecil's first damage roll is 942 or greater, Cid should Fight, Yang should fight on his second turn, and Cecil should Parry on his second turn. (The run buffer after Virus is not necessary in this scenario.)

After the battle, get the crystal and leave the room.

Menu

  • Move Cecil down a slot. (Form, Down, Down, A, Down, A)
  • Cast Exit.

You may wish to heal Cecil, Tellah and Yang here to try to avoid menuing again before FlameDog. If you get back attacked on the way, however, you might have to menu again anyway.

Take the black chocobo back to the Chocobo Village, get a chocobo and return to Toroia.

Talk to the clerics and then cast Exit.

Board your airship and you'll fly to the Tower of Zot.

Tower of Zot

After Golbez is done taunting you, take the left path to pick up the Fire (armor) and then go up a floor and head to the chest with Fire (sword).

Menu

  • Fully cure Cecil, Tellah and Yang.

Battle: FlameDog

Battle Information
HP
1221
EXP
1720
Party
*Cid (20:26754) / Tellah (21:66629) / empty / Cecil (13:6243) / *Yang (15:9587)
Ideal Survivors
Cecil, Tellah and Yang
Inventory Goals
Clear three spots near top for equipment
Battle Plan
Cecil
Pause Buffer after Fire to Run Buffer
Cover Tellah
Run Buffer
Yang
Parry
Tellah
Cast Ice-2
Cecil
Wait for Ice-2
Inventory Management

Experience Path

If Yang dies to FlameDog, you'll either have to a) resign yourself to a level 16 Yang at Dr.Lugae or b) revive Yang at Golbez. The level 16 Yang method is probably the simplest.

You may want to cure Cecil or Tellah if they're weakened, and then continue to the top of the tower.

Stop in the save room, use a Tent, and then move on to engage the Magus Sisters.

Battle: Magus Sisters

Battle Information
HP
Sandy: 2500 / Cindy: 4300 / Mindy: 2200
EXP
9000
Party
*Cid (20:26754) / Tellah (21:67202) / *empty / Cecil (14:6816) / *Yang (15:10160)
Ideal Survivors
Tellah
Battle Plan
Cecil
Run Buffer
Equip Dancing
Use Dancing on Cindy
Run Buffer
Yang
Run Buffer
Fight Cindy
Tellah
Cast Lit-3 on Sandy
Cecil
Use Dancing on Cindy
Yang
Use Cure2 on Fire2 target/Fight Cindy
Cecil
Use Dancing on Cindy
Yang
Run Buffer
Use Cure2 on Lit-2 target/Fight Cindy
Tellah
Cast Virus on Sandy
Cecil
Use Dancing on Cindy
Yang
Run Buffer
Use Ether1 on Tellah
Cecil
Use Dancing on Cindy
Tellah
Cast Lit-3 on Cindy
Yang
Run Buffer
Fight Cindy
Cecil
Run Buffer
Use Dancing on Cindy (if alive)

At this point, there is a reasonable chance that Cindy will be dead. If she's not, finish her off, and you'll have to kill Sandy again (Lit-3 and either Virus or a dagger or two).

Either way, at this point, Yang and Cecil should work on taking themselves out, while Tellah casts Virus on Sandy twice. Make sure he doesn't cast it the second time until Cecil and Yang are dead.

If Tellah needs more MP, he can use Psych on Mindy.

Menu

  • Unequip Tellah: Change, Gaea (helm) and Gaea (armor).

If you're worried about a potential encounter before you enter the next room, you may want to revive and cure Cecil.

Enter the door, watch the scene, talk to Kain and then finally watch the next scene.

Menu

  • Equip Cecil: */*/empty/Fire (armor)/* (removes Headband and Karate).
  • Equip Kain: */Fire/Headband/Karate/*.
  • Equip Rosa: */*/Gaea/Gaea/*.
  • Equip Cecil: */*/Silver (helm)/*/*.
  • Revive all dead party members.
  • Cure Cecil using Rosa or Cure2 potions if you have plenty.

Battle: Valvalis

Battle Information
HP
6000
EXP
9500
Party
*Cid (20:26754) / Rosa (19:21648) / *Kain (20:24459) / Cecil (14:6816) / *Yang (15:10160)
Ideal Survivors
Rosa, Kain, Cecil and Yang
Battle Plan

Kain should be level 19 at this time. If he (for whatever reason) is only level 18, after the first two jumps, have him alternate between Fight and Jump.

The timing on this fight is very sensitive. Don't hold A to fight unless directed to do so.

Kain
Jump
Cecil
Wait for Weak
Move TODO to first blank space (makes room for Magma)
Use Cure2 on Cecil/Cover Rosa
Yang
Wait for Jump to land
Fight
Rosa
Cast Slow
Cid
Fight
Cecil
Use Dancing
Kain
Jump
Yang
Fight (hold A)
Rosa
Wait for Jump
Cast Slow
Cecil
Use Dancing
Cid
Fight
Kain
Jump
Yang
Run Buffer
Kick
Rosa
Wait for Valvalis to transform
Use Cure2 on Cecil/Parry

At this point, Valvalis transforms into her tornado form. If you still have the Heal, feel free to use it.

Cecil
Use Dancing
Cid
Fight
Kain
Jump
Yang
Fight
Rosa
Parry
Cecil
Use Dancing
Cid
Fight Cid (optional)
Kain
Jump/Fight
Yang
Fight
Rosa
Parry
Cecil
Use Dancing

If the damage rolls were decent, Kain can Fight on his last turn instead of Jumping. If Valvalis still doesn't die, just continue the normal pattern. She won't have much HP left at this point.

If Cid dies, leave him dead, as it will help Rosa's experience path. Everyone else (except perhaps Cecil) optimally needs to survive. Being fully stoned counts as death, but it can be hard to see if this is the case or not.

If you want to ensure a level 19 Rydia for Dr.Lugae, make sure Cid dies here. Depending on your exact experience path, this may not be necessary, but it is if you are following this guide exactly.

The Underworld

After the scenes, leave the castle and take the airship to Agart.

Use Magma on the well. Afterward, fly to the Underworld.

Menu

  • Swap Cid and Rosa. (Form, A, Down, A)
  • Swap Rosa and Cecil. (Form, A, Up, Up, A)
  • Unequip Cid: Headband.
  • Equip Cecil: Headband.

Enter the castle and talk to the king.

Battle: Calbrena

Battle Information
HP
Cal: 1000 / Brena: 300
EXP
6000
Party
*Cecil (15:9191) / empty / *Kain (20:26834) / Rosa (19:24023) / *Yang (16:12535)
Battle Plan
Kain
Run Buffer
Jump center Blue
Cecil
Use Dancing on center Orange
Yang
Kick
Rosa
Cast Slow on all enemies
Cecil
Use Dancing on top Orange
Rosa
Cast Mute on party
Kain
Jump top Blue
Yang
Kick
Cecil
Use Dancing on bottom Blue
Rosa
Use Cure2 on Cecil/Parry
Yang
Kick

If you have more than one blue and one orange doll remaining at this point, you need to do whatever it takes to eliminate the others. Only do the following once there are two dolls remaining.

Kain
Jump bottom Blue
Cecil
Use Dancing on bottom Orange

If you accidentally trigger the big doll, immediately change rows, have Kain Jump, and have Cecil keep himself healed with Cure2 potions. If you're lucky, you won't trigger the damage range that results in the dolls splitting again. (It's based on damage, not on time.)

Battle: Golbez

Battle Information
HP
22001 (3000)
EXP
20000
Party
*Cecil (16:10691) / Rydia (18:27153) / *Kain (20:28334) / Rosa (20:25523) / *Yang (17:14035)
Ideal Survivors
Cecil, Kain and Rydia
Battle Plan
Kain
Run Buffer
Jump
Cecil
Equip Legend
Inventory Management
Wait for "And you, Cecil!"
Fight
Kain
Fight
Cecil
Fight
Rydia
Cast Fire2

TODO: Inventory management

Step Route

TODO: Depending on how the step route looks.

Your path through the Dwarf castle (especially regarding when to walk and when to cast Warp) may vary significantly depending on your step route. Your step route instructions supersede anything written here, but don't forget to cast Warp to get the crystal. In particular, it may ask you to cast Warp up to three times (in addition to the first warp). The priority order for these warps is 1) the Dwarf (axe) room on the way down, 2) the throne room and 3) the stairway in the right tower.

Leave the throne room, and go east to the shop area.

Head into the east tower and pick up Dwarf (axe) on the first floor and the Strength (ring), Elixir, Ether1 and Ether2 on the top floor.

Return to the shop area and go to the armor shop.

Shopping

  • Sell Wind, Leather, Silver, Cloth, FlameRod.
  • Buy 1 Wizard (robe).
  • Buy 3 Rune (ring).

Menu

  • Equip Cecil: Dwarf.
  • Equip Kain: Strength.
  • Equip Rydia: Change/*/Tiara/Prisoner/Rune.
  • Swap Cecil and Rosa. (Form, A, Up, Up, A)

Travel through the basement to the other side of the castle and head to the item shop.

Shopping

  • Sell Silver, Whip, Gaea (armor).
  • Buy 10 Heal, 20 Life, and 30 Cure2.

Now, go through the passage underneath the Castle to the Dwarf Base. Skip the healing pot, exit to the Underworld, and then make your way to the Tower of Bab-il.

Tower of Bab-il

Enter the Tower of Bab-il and make your way to the CatClaw on 3F. Collect the chest and continue on. Get the Ether2 on 7F, and then continue walking until just before Dr.Lugae.

Menu

  • Equip Yang: */CatClaw/*/*/*.
  • Fully heal everyone except Rosa, but don't heal the mute status.

Approach Dr.Lugae to begin the scene.

Battle: Dr.Lugae x1, Balnab x1

Battle Information
HP
Dr.Lugae: 4416 / Balnab: 4000
EXP
0
Party
*Rosa (20:25523) / Rydia (19:29819) / *Kain (22:35000) / Cecil (18:17357) / *Yang (17:14035)
Inventory Goals
TODO
Battle Plan
Kain
Run Buffer
Jump Dr.Lugae
Yang
Fight (hold A)
Rydia
Cast Titan
Cecil
Fight Dr.Lugae
Yang
Wait for Balnab to act
Inventory Management
Fight
Cecil
Fight Dr.Lugae
Kain
Fight
Yang
Fight

After Cecil targets Dr.Lugae the second time, you can basically hold A until the fight is over.

Battle: Dr.Lugae

Battle Information
HP
6600
EXP
15000
Party
*Rosa (20:25523) / Rydia (19:29819) / *Kain (22:35000) / Cecil (18:17357) / *Yang (17:14035)
Battle Plan
Kain
Run Buffer
Fight
Yang
Run Buffer
Fight
Rydia
Cast Titan
Cecil
Parry

At this point, you can just hold A.

Menu

  • Revive Rosa, cure anyone with low HP, and use Rosa to heal everyone's poison.
  • Unequip Yang: Karate.
  • Swap Rosa and Cecil. (Form, A, Up, Up, A)

After the battle, head to the Super Cannon. Enter the room and prepare to battle.

Battle: Dark Imp x3

Battle Information
HP
199
EXP
5820
Party
*Cecil (19:21107) / Rydia (20:33569) / *Kain (22:38750) / Rosa (20:25523) / *Yang (18:17785)
Battle Plan
Kain
Fight (hold A)
Yang
Uneqip Thunder (claw) and CatClaw
Parry
Rydia
Inventory Management
Cast Fire-2 on all

Watch the scenes, wipe your tears away, and make your way out of the Tower of Bab-il.

Tower of Bab-il, Part Deux

After the scene, fly to Baron and land next to the castle. Wait a fraction of a second, and then enter the castle. (If you don't wait, you will instead walk onto the castle tile without entering.)

Head to the right side of the castle, go into the basement to get the Elixir and then get Cid's lackeys to install the hook on your airship.

Fly north to Mt.Hobs, pick up the hovercraft, fly northwest to Eblan, and finally take the hovercraft west to the cave.

In the first room of the cave, collect the Shuriken and then make your way through until you enter the "town". Enter the weapon and armor shop (second door from the right).

Shopping

  • Sell Silver (ring) and Shuriken.
  • Buy IceBrand, Blizzard.

Continue into the Pass to Bab-il. Collect the Ether1 immediately upon entering, and then pass through this room and the next. Pick up the two Elixir, the two Cure2, and then the three chests at the bottom right.

Continue through the cave until you meet up with Edge.

Menu

  • Equip Edge: CatClaw/*/*/*/*.
  • Equip Cecil: */*/*/Karate/*.

Pick up the Ether2 in the nearby chest, and then head into the Tower of Bab-il. Pick up the Cure3 on 1F and the Middle on B4F on the way to Edge's parents.

Battle: K.Eblan x1, Q.Eblan x1

Battle Information
HP
K.Eblan: 60000 / Q.Eblan: 60000
EXP
0
Party
*Cecil (19:22271) / Rydia (20:34733) / *Kain (22:39914) / Rosa (20:26687) / *Edge (25:64777)
Inventory Goals
TODOCatClaw to bottom
Short to bottom
Fire to bottom
Paladin to bottom
Dancing (single) to 4L
Dancing (stack) to 5L
Swap Legend and Elixir
Battle Plan
Edge
Equip Middle
Parry
Kain
Equip Blizzard
Inventory Management

After this, your only task is to wait the battle out. You can use the animation and text box time for inventory management, but you will lose time by doing so.

Menu

  • Set battle speed to 5.

Battle: Rubicant

Battle Information
HP
25200
EXP
25000
Party
*Cecil (19:22271) / Rydia (20:34733) / *Kain (22:39914) / Rosa (20:26687) / *Edge (25:64777)
Battle Plan
Edge
Cast Flood
Kain
Jump
Rydia
Cast Ice-2
Rosa
Parry
Cecil
Equip IceBrand
Fight (TODO: Maybe he should cover Rydia here)
Edge
Cast Flood

At this point, Rubicant will cast Glare, leaving one of your characters dead:

TODO
TODO
Kain
Jump
Rosa
Use Life on Cecil
Edge
Wait for Jump
Cast Flood
Rydia
Cast Ice-2
Cecil
Wait for Ice-2
Fight
Rosa
Use Life on Rydia/Parry
Kain
Fight
TODO
TODO
Cecil
Fight
Kain
Jump
Rosa
Use Life on Rydia
Edge
Wait for Jump
Cast Flood
Cecil
Cover Rydia
Rydia
Cast Ice-2
Rosa
Parry
Kain
Fight
Rosa
Use Life on Kain
Rydia
Cast Shiva
Kain
Jump
Cecil
Fight
Edge
Cast Flood
Rosa
Parry
Rydia
Cast Ice-2
TODO
TODO
Cecil
Cover Rydia
Kain
Jump
Edge
Wait for Jump
Cast Flood
Rydia
Cast Ice-2
Cecil
Use Life on Rosa
Kain
Fight
TODO
TODO
Cecil
Cover Rydia
Kain
Jump
Rosa
Use Life on Edge
Rydia
Wait for Jump
Cast Ice-2
Cecil
Fight
Edge
Cast Flood
Rosa
Parry
Kain
Jump

Menu

  • Equip Cecil: Dwarf.
  • Set battle speed to 1.

After the scenes, enter the crystal room and then proceed through the last few rooms of the tower.

Airships and Betrayal

Fly to the Castle of Dwarves and land to the left of the castle.

Enter the castle, quickly visit the king to get the Luca (key) and then visit Cid in the infirmary. After the scenes, cast Exit.

Fly to the Land of Monsters. Enter the cave, head to B3F, get the Ninja (sword) in the rightmost of the three chests in the bottom left, and then cast Exit.

Menu

  • Cure everyone but Cecil to full.
  • Equip Edge: */Ninja (sword)/*/*/*.
  • Cast Exit.

Fly to the sealed cave and make your way to the first TrapDoor.

Battle: TrapDoor x1, Mantcore x1

Battle Information
HP
TrapDoor: 5000 / MantCore: 2000
EXP
TrapDoor: 31100 / Mantcore: 35000
Party
*Cecil (20:27271) / Rydia (21:39733) / *Kain (23:44914) / Rosa (21:31687) / *Edge (25:69777)
Battle Plan
Edge
Fight (hold A)
Kain
Jump
Rydia
Use Life on Search target
Rosa
Cast Bersk on Edge
Cecil
Fight Cecil
Rydia
Cast Titan

The best case is that Cecil is the target. In that case, Rydia can move on to casting Titan. If Rydia is the search target, it's probably better to just bersk Edge, and then revive Rydia later.

Continue through the cave, picking up the Ether1 in the next passage and the Life on B2F, before coming to the next TrapDoor.

Menu

  • Cure everyone but Cecil.
  • Make sure Rydia has at least 80 MP.

Battle: TrapDoor x1, Mantcore x1

Battle Information
HP
TrapDoor: 5000 / MantCore: 2000
EXP
TrapDoor: 31100 / Mantcore: 35000
Party
*Cecil (20:27271) / Rydia (22:47508) / *Kain (24:52689) / Rosa (22:39462) / *Edge (26:77552)
Battle Plan
Edge
Fight (hold A)
Kain
Jump
Rydia
Use Life on Search target
Rosa
Cast Bersk on Edge
Rydia
Cast Titan

Pick up the Ether1 in the next passage, and continue to the final TrapDoor.

Menu

  • Cure everyone but Cecil.
  • Make sure Rydia has at least 80 MP.

Battle: TrapDoor x1, Yellow D x1

Battle Information
HP
TrapDoor: 5000 / Yellow D: 1800
EXP
TrapDoor: 31100 / Yellow D: 34000
Party
*Cecil (20:27271) / Rydia (23:55283) / *Kain (25:60464) / Rosa (23:47237) / *Edge (27:85327)
Battle Plan
Edge
Fight (hold A)
Kain
Jump
Rydia
Use Life on Search target
Rosa
Cast Bersk on Edge
Rydia
Cast Titan

Enter the crystal room, take the crystal, leave the crystal room, and then prepare for the upcoming battle.

Menu

  • Fully cure Cecil.
  • Make sure everyone's alive.
  • Make sure Rydia has at least 40 MP.
  • Swap Cecil and Rosa (Form, A, Up, Up, A).

Battle: EvilWall x1

Battle Information
HP
EvilWall: 19000
EXP
23000
Party
*Cecil (20:27271) / Rydia (24:63058) / *Kain (26:68239) / Rosa (24:55012) / *Edge (27:93102)
Battle Plan
Edge
Fight (hold A)
Kain
Jump
Rosa
Cast Bersk on Edge
Rydia
Cast Titan
Cecil
Fight
Rosa
Cast Bersk on Kain
Cecil
Wait/Use Cure2 on Cecil/Use Life

Make your way back to the entrance, most likely using Warp on most floors, but this may be step route dependent. Once you reach the entrance, open the menu before you try to leave.

Menu

  • Unequip Kain: Strength.

Fly back to the Castle of Dwarves and go to the throne room. After the scene, cast Exit and fly to the Overworld.

Fly to Mysidia, land directly to the left of the town and watch the scene.

Step Route

You step route may ask you to either walk or fly to the Big Whale. It seems silly to fly two tiles, but it can potentially save time.

Board the Big Whale and fly to the moon.

Fly to the Lunar Path and follow the path to the Lunar's Lair. After entering and recruiting FuSoYa, make the trek back to your airship and fly to Earth.

Giant of Bab-il

After watching the scenes, make your way through the Giant of Bab-il until you reach the Passage, picking up the Ether1 in the chest. You generally want to wait until immediately before the grind fight before you do this menu. If you're on a step route, this is easy. If not, you may want to menu immediately just in case you run into the grind fight on the way. However, back attacks from certain enemies will be more annoying in that case.

Menu

  • Switch to battle speed 2.
  • Use an Ether1 on Edge if he has less than 20 MP.
  • Fully heal the party with Rosa's magic.
  • Unequip Rosa: Gaea (helm).
  • Equip Rydia: Dancing.
  • Equip FuSoYa: Change/*/Gaea/*/Rune.
  • Equip Rosa: Lunar/*/Wizard/Wizard/Rune.
  • Equip Cecil: IceBrand (to remove Dwarf).
  • Equip Edge: */FireClaw/*/*/*.
  • Swap Rosa and Edge. (Form, A, Up, A)
  • Swap Rydia and Rosa. (Form, Down, A, Up, Up, A)

Next, move along until you find the grind fight. Use either a step route or this manipulation (image version) to find it.

Battle: Searcher (summons D.Machin) x1, Beamer x2

Battle Information
HP
Searcher: 5500 / D.Machin: 15000 / Beamer: 1800
EXP
647200
Party
*Edge (27:93102) / Rosa (24:55012) / *FuSoYa (50:1007865) / Cecil (21:31871) / *Rydia (24:67658)
Battle Phase One: Setup

This fight is somewhat complicated, so instead of a detailed command sequence, we'll instead look at the three phases of the fight. The first phase depends on exactly what type of battle you get:

Normal
FuSoYa casts Quake, Rydia waits for Quake and then parries, and everyone else parries until it's FuSoYa's turn.
Strike First
FuSoYa casts Lit-3 on a Beamer while Edge parries immediately. Wait on Rydia's turn until Lit-3 is cast, then parry back to FuSoYa. At this point, FuSoYa casts Quake as usual, Rydia waits until Quake and parries, and then everyone else parries back to FuSoYa.
Back Attack/Surprise
Edge casts Flood. FuSoYa waits for Flood, then casts Quake. Rydia waits for Quake, then parries. Parry back to FuSoYa.

If Edge is in the front row (in other words, in any case except a back attack), you might wish to have eithe Rydia, Rosa or Cecil use Change on their first turn. This will minimize the chance of killing the searcher early.

If you have a chance during a Beam attack, you should do some minor inventory management. If following my inventory management route, I recommend swapping TODO.

Battle Phase Two: Midfight

The following will need to repeat for seventeen cycles (note that Edge does not get a turn for the first cycle):

Edge
Fight
FuSoYa
Cast Weak on D.Machin
Rydia
Fight (hold A)
Rosa
Use Ether1/Ether2 on FuSoYa/Use Elixir on Searcher/Parry
Cecil
Use Ether1/Ether2 on FuSoYa/Use Elixir on Searcher/Parry

This fight has very difficult timing, and things may go wrong. The most obvious failure is Rydia going before FuSoYa casts Weak. You can prevent this by delaying Rydia's Fight if the Searcher's text box pops up during her turn, but the exact timing of this is difficult to describe in text. Rivers McCown suggests no longer holding A on Rydia's turn after the second cycle. If Rydia does end up going before Weak, the character after FuSoYa should hold A the rest of the fight.

The battle speed 2 version of this fight appears to be 100% consistent, so using that is highly recommended.

A detailed strategy for recovery if things go wrong is beyond the scope of this guide.

Ultimately, you need to kill 17 dragons. While casting Weak, if you note that FuSoYa has less than 50 MP, ensure you restore some MP. After approximately six dragons, you should use an Elixir on the Searcher to ensure it doesn't die.

Battle Phase Three: Victory

After you have killed the requisite number of dragons, complete the following tasks:

Edge
Equip CatClaw/Ninja
Fight Edge? TODO
FuSoYa
Cast Weak on Searcher
Rydia
Use Dancing on Edge
Rosa
Parry
Cecil
?????Use Dancing on Edge/Rydia
FuSoYa
Cast Virus on Cecil
Rydia
Use Dancing on Rydia
Rosa
Parry
FuSoYa
Cast Virus on FuSoYa
Rosa
Fight (once everyone is dead)

Menu

  • Use Life on Edge (only if expecting an encounter).
  • Rearrange Rosa's top left spells to Wall, White and Cure4.
  • Equip Cecil: Dwarf.
  • Equip Edge: Strength.
  • Change rows and swap Edge and Rosa (Form, Left, A, Down, A).
  • Switch to battle speed 1.

There are only a few random formations that pose a potential problem for a post-grind Rosa, so Edge is revived to help with those if necessary.

Continue on to the Elements battle.

Experience Path

If someone unexpectedly died in a battle more than once up to this point, and Cecil survived, there is a strong risk that he will be on pace to reach level 28. You may wish to use the Experience Route Calculator to help determine for sure.

If Cecil is on pace for level 28, it's absolutely imperative to ensure he dies for the Elements battle.

Battle: Elements

Battle Information
HP
65000
EXP
40000
Party
Rosa (24:55012) / *Edge (27:93102) / FuSoYa (50:1007865) / *Cecil (21:31871) / Rydia (24:67658)
Ideal Survivors
Edge, Rosa and FuSoYa
Battle Plan
Edge
Run Buffer
Equip FireClaw
Fight
FuSoYa
Cast Nuke on Milon
Rosa
Cast Cure4 on Milon
Rydia
Cast Fire2 on Milon
Cecil
Cover Edge
Edge
Fight
FuSoYa
Cast Ice3 on Elements
Rosa
Cast Cure4 if still Milon/Cast Blink on Rosa
Edge
Equip IceClaw
Fight
Cecil
Use Cure2 on Edge/Fight Cecil
Rosa
Cast Blink on Edge
Edge
Fight
FuSoYa
Cast Ice-3 on Rubicant
Cecil
Use Cure2 on Edge/Fight Cecil
Rosa
Cast Blink on Rosa
Edge
Equip Thunder (claw)
Fight
FuSoYa
Cast Bersk on Edge
Rosa
Cast Cure4 on party (avoid if Cecil's still alive somehow)

At this point, Edge will do some good damage, while FuSoYa and Rosa can help clean up with Lit-3 and White, respectively.

Menu

  • Use Life on Edge, Rosa or FuSoYa (if needed).
  • Ensure those three have most of their HP.
  • Cure MP until Rosa has at least 76 and FuSoYa has at least 149.

Battle: CPU

Battle Information
HP
CPU: 20000 / Attacker: 2000 / Defender: 2000
EXP
150000
Party
Rosa (49:810645) / *Edge (29:118535) / FuSoYa (50:1028698) / *Cecil (21:31871) / Rydia (24:67658)
Ideal Survivors
Rosa, FuSoYa, Edge
Inventory Goals
TODOBoth Dancing x1 to bottom
Gaea (helm) to bottom
Strength to 4L
Battle Plan
FuSoYa
Cast Meteo
Rosa
Cast Wall on Rosa
Edge
Parry (must be fast if you want his last turn)
Rosa
Wait for Maser (second Maser after Edge parried)
Cast White on Rosa
Edge
Parry (must be fast if you want his last turn)
FuSoYa
Cast Nuke on Rosa
Edge
TODO

Final Descent

After the scenes, board the Big Whale.

Enter the crystal room, and begin your descent into the Lunar Core. Along the way, you want to collect the chest with White (robe) in one of the rooms on B5. It's the lone chest in a room shaped like an upside down U.

You'll need to pick up two of the Ninja stars available along the way. If you're using a step route, it will tell you which ones. Otherwise, pick whichever you prefer. In general, the fastest two are on Lunar Core B1 and Lunar Core B3. In addition, there is an Elixir you may want on Lunar Core B2.

TODO: Continue the descent until you reach the final battle. If you run into any formations of Red D. x1, it's probably faster to have Kain parry and for Rosa to cast Exit. The battle itself will take longer, but you'll escape the Heat Ray, which might make healing less necessary.

Menu

  • Equip Rosa: */*/*/White/*.
  • Equip Edge: */*/*/empty/Diamond.
  • Equip Kain: */*/*/Bl.Belt/Strength.
  • Swap Edge and Kain (Form, Down, A, Down, A).
  • Swap Edge and Cecil (Form, Down, Down, A, Down, A).
  • Swap Edge and Rydia (Form, Up, A, Up, A).

Approach Zemus to begin the final cutscenes.

Battle: Zeromus

Battle Information
HP
110000-120000 (depending on damage rolls)
EXP
0
Party
Rosa (49:871745) / *Kain (51:881102) / Cecil (21:30546) / *Rydia (26:84221) / Edge (25:69777)
Battle Plan
Cecil
TODO: Move Dancing to 2L
Use Crystal on Zeromus
Rosa
Cast Bersk on Kain

Zeromus transforms.

Edge
Dart Ninja
Rydia
Parry
Rosa
Cast White
Cecil
Parry
Edge
Dart Ninja

Zeromus shakes.

Rydia
Wait for Weak (counter to White)
Use Elixir on Weak target if Kain or Rosa/Parry
Cecil
Parry
Rosa
Cast Cure4 on entire party (as Big Bang goes off)

Zeromus casts Big Bang and shakes.

Rosa
Wait for Kain attack after Zeromus shake
Cast Cure4 on party

Zeromus casts Big Bang.

Rosa
Wait for Blk.Hole after Big Bang
Cast Bersk on Kain
Rosa
Wait for first Kain attack after Zeromus shake
Cast Cure4 on party

Repeat this cycle until Zeromus is finished. You may need to have Rosa restore her MP at some point, or to separately heal after a Virus or Nuke.