The Let's Play Archive

Final Fantasy VI

by Elephantgun

Part 10: Murder Everything

Update Extravangza!

Remember how I said that I'd be updating every 3-5 days? Remember how it's been a month and a half since the last update! Well no longer! My LP is finished and on my computer, so I'm going to return to the update schedule I had at the beginning on this LP. Thanks for your patience everyone, and enjoy the rest of Let's Break Final Fantasy 6.

Anyways, let's say you want to kill someone bad. Like, really bad. Like, REALLY bad, but don't feel like putting in effort to grinding Ultima. The game presents you with legitimate options like Offering + Gau's Cat Scratch rage, but let's dig into the coding of the game and figure out how to destroy enemies in ways that weren't even intended.

Probably the most famous glitch alongside the Sketch Glitch, this combination allows you to instantly kill a majority of the bosses in this game. How is very simple:

Simply cast Vanish, then doom on the enemy

Bam. Dead. 100% of the time (well, mostly)

Normally Bosses have instant death protection that prevents them from being succeptable to damage. However, when Vanish is cast on them the priorities get skewed. In short, the "instant death protection" is overridden by Vanishes inherent "100% magic hit rate". The only exception is when you're fighting an Undead Enemy, who have inherent "revived if instant death is used and successful". In that case, just use a damn Phoenix Down and it does the same thing. I'm really stumped as to how this got past game testing as it makes the game extremely boring.

This glitch also allows you to do things like skip scripting. By using Vanish + Doom on Phunbaba, you can skip the sequence where Terra comes to save your party. This was (poorly) attempted to be fixed in the PS version by making Phunbaba immune to Vanish. However, by using the ability Rippler you can transfer the status of Vanish from your own party to Phunbaba, and then use doom to kill him. Fantastic coding, guys.

As a sidenote, most people don't know that Vanish overrides other checks than instant-death protection. An example of this is casting Vanish on your own character and using Life 2, Life, Phoenix, and other spells that normally require death. Doing this will heal your character instead of Missing.

Setzer is often seen as a mediocre character by most. His slot ability is unpredictable, and pales in comparison in both variety and practical application to abilities like Tools and Blitz. However, there is a way to use his most powerful slot ability Joker Doom on command.

There was a programming issue the creators of FF6 likely couldn’t solve with Setzer. By pausing and unpausing the game while the slots are rolling, you could easily align whatever combination you wanted, seeing what was coming up next. By doing this, you’d think you could easily manipulate the game to get you 7-7-7’s every time. Well, you can’t, because the slots are usually heavily rigged against you. If the RNG lines up, there is absolutely no way to to get the 7-7-7 Joker Doom to appear. As you would guess, the RNG is heavily against your favor - only around a 10/255 chance. Even worse, all abilities besides Flash (3 diamonds), Lagomorph ("you done fucked up") and 7-7-Bar ("You really fucked up. Also game over") have a chance to not work depending on the RNG. However, the RNG is actually easily manipulated. The game uses a table of pre-randomized values from 0-255 that changes whenever specific animations are played. For example, whenever the animation of Cure 3 is played, the hexidecimal value Slots pulls from will increase by 38. If Cure 3 is used (with the assumption that the Hex value is at 0) this will allow the use Sunflare, 3 Bar, and H-Bomb. Of course, you still have to press the button at the right time to stop the slot, which isn’t a problem with Pausing and Unpausing.

There is 1 important thing to know when exploiting the RNG: at the beginning of a battle, the index that Slots pulls from to randomize what’s available always starts at 0. Therefore, by knowing what animations to play at the beginning of a battle, you can recall any slot ability at any time. So what's an easy to recall animation that costs little to no MP, instant, and allows you to use 7-7-7 and all other slot abilities? The magic spell is actually the item Echo Screen. Specifically, the animation of Echo Screen and Smoke Bomb (Echo Screen obviously being much more practical). By using Echo Screen, it bumps up the index by 10h, which when done at the beginning of battle allows the use of every Slot ability, including 7-7-7.

All you need to do knowing this is to start any battle with Echo Screen, immediately switch to Setzer,

And with the manipulated RNG you can pause and unpause the game, which delays the slots (thus allowing you to easily pick what you want) until you can get a guaranteed 7-7-7.

Now, despite there being a way to recall 7-7-7 at any moment there are actually some fights that disable 7-7-7 from being used at all (but not 7-7-BAR). Specifically:

Ultros (all battles)
Phunbaba (all battles)
Ifrit, Shiva
All tiers of the final battle, except Kefka(!)

So I said that the above enemies could not be Joker Doomed. They can, but it involves some more exploitation. First, you need to understand that Level 5 Doom, Joker Doom, and Joker Doom (7-7-BAR version) are all the same spell, just with different aiming bytes. Normally once you cast 7-7-Bar, your entire party dies and it’s an instant game over. However having just jumped with the Dragoon Boots you can avoid it with 1 character. Let's do an experiment and have Gogo jump while Setzer casts Joker Doom (7-7-BAR). Setzer will obviousl kill everyone except Gogo, who will land safe and sound.

And now let's try mimicing it to see what happens.

Oh, nothing happens. The game recognizes that everyone targeted with it (your entire party except Gogo) will have died. However, by repeating it...

The enemy done get dead. By redoing Mimic, the game will reset the aiming byte to “All Enemies” , the default aiming scheme. Because of this you can bypass the "No 7-7-7" exceptions, killing any boss instantly. Of course, with Gogo’s light armor and general weakness, it can be difficult to pull off, but with enough luck and armor (Merit Award) you can do it easily enough.

Oh, and before you ask “why does it reset the aiming byte to all enemies”? I have no idea. Perhaps it’s just that the game recognizes it didn’t work the first time and is autoing to the default, or that it doesn’t expect you to ever be able to mimic Joker Doom. I have no idea.

Gau has a lot of broken rages, some more than others. If I wanted to I could do an entire update just on Gau's Rages (I won't, that'd be pretty boring). The rage I am focusing on is Nightshade, which comes from an enemy that exists only before you acquire Relm at Ozwer's House in a painting in the initial room.

The issue with Nightshade is that its special ability is Charm. Now, Charm is only used by a select few enemies, and in Final Fantasy tradition it causes your characters to only attack people in your party. Unlike other games where it's broken by physical attacks, the only way to remove Charm is by Dispel. Because it was originally intended to be only used by enemies, they didn't bother coding any resistance mechanism into the ability. They then said, "Hey, let's give Gau this ability". I'm really not sure why they decided to make charm the special ability, because it completely breaks the game. When either Gau or Gogo use Charm from the Nightshade rage, every enemy in the game will be hit by it because the developers didn't bother coding a resistance. Note that their portraits will not flip around like Confusion will cause it to, but it’ll attack itself with both physical attacks and special moves.

Even better, there's absolutely no way for the Charm to get dispelled as it’s not programmed to be broken by physical attacks. The enemy will simply use physical attacks and a specific special attack on itself until they die, killing any boss in the game with little to no threat. Often a trick used in Low Level Games and Speedruns, it's basically cheating. I'm not complaining.

As a side-note, there is another enemy with similar effects called Doom Dragon. Found only in a very specific hallway in Kefka’s Tower, fighting him is very rare and is often missed by players.

Take a look at this hallway. Do you remember this hallway? Answer: No, of course you fucking don't. And it’s the only place to find him. Imagine me doing laps around Kefka’s Tower for around 2 hours looking for him.

Either way he’s worth fighting, because his special ability when raged is fantastic and it’s called Northern Cross. The reason why it’s so good is that it causes damage and has a chance to Freeze. Much like the status effect Charm, Freeze does not have any inherent resistances and can be abused to win any encounter very easily. Even against bosses.

The reason why it’s not as good as Charm is that Freeze has the property of being removed after 34 in-game “ticks” (imagine 34 ticks of Condemned) as opposed to Charm which never wears, and can also be removed by fire. In addition Freeze has a 10% base chance with 0 M. Block to miss, and only a 50% chance afterwards to Freeze, totaling a 35% chance to completely obliterate your enemy. Still not bad odds, but by the time you get to Kefka’s Tower you have access to Nightshade anyways, and it’s better in every way, so why bother?

We already covered this one, but no boss has resistances to Possess. It overrides instant death protection, and works on any boss. To figure out how to achieve it, look at update 4 (if for some reason you haven't already)

Psycho Cyan is one of the most famous glitches in the game, due to its ability to be stumbled across easily and it’s easy reproduction. In its simplest form, you have Cyan use Retort, then immediately Imp him. Then make sure he is killed in a single physical attack.

When he’s revived afterwards, Cyan will essentially go nuts on the enemy, attacking over and over until everything on the screen is dead.

Why does this work? It's actually a combination of two minor glitches. The first glitch is that when Cyan is imped after using Retort, the next time he is hit he will use Attack instead of the ability Retort. The second is that if Cyan is killed from a physical attack while using Retort, when revived he will respond to the next attack (doesn't matter who is targeted by the attack) by using Retort on a random enemy. When combined, Cyan will be raised as an Imp, and after an attack goes out he'll respond to it by using "Attack" (instead of retort) on a random enemy. Because this all exists within the same turn, he'll respond to the attack he himself just sent out with another attack, then respond to that attack, etc etc.

Those are the 7 glitchy ways to kill enemies. Are there more? Certainly! The Sketch Glitch sometimes removes enemies from the battlefield, and there are other smaller ways I'll touch on later. These are just the largest ones I could find or think of.

Next Time: More Glitches (surprise)