Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.
With all three scenarios completed, the three parties have congregated in Narshe to try to force Narshe's leadership into entering the war against the Empire. It's not difficult to push them into it, either, as Imperial forces are sitting on Narshe's doorstep. Worse, Kefka's leading the pack. Sounds like a recipe for doom.
After a bunch of conversation, much of it focused on Celes, you'll wind up near the cliffs of Narshe where the miners have relocated the Frozen Esper. Kefka has his eye on the thing, and the Returners have to stop him from getting his greedy little hands on it. This means preventing any Imperial troops from reaching Banon, who's standing between the soldiers and the Esper. Think of it as a large-scale recreation of the battle in the Narshe Mines from the beginning of the game.
This time, though, you have a chance to gear up and choose your teams. You need to form three teams from your seven characters. If you want you can form one bulky team to take on every enemy, but this isn't a great idea as some will probably slip through. Form three complete teams, each of which can fight capably if possible. Mind the following tips when forming teams:
Your teams should consist of two, two, and three characters. If you're really desperate for an overloaded team, make teams of four, two and one and keep the single character out of battle. Put the single character in the back row, just in case they accidentally do get into a scrap.
Each team should preferably have one character capable of hitting every enemy on the screen. There are a lot of waves of enemies, and you want to minimize the damage done during each attack. These characters include Edgar and Sabin, and unreliably Gau and Cyan. Terra and Celes can hit every enemy with their magic, but this dilutes the magic's strength to the point of not being useful.
Celes and Terra should not be on the same team. They're the only characters capable of healing with magic at this point. Putting them on the same team would be overkill.
Equip your characters with the best gear you gleaned from the three scenarios, save, and form up your teams. Once they're ready Kefka will lose his soldiers on your front lines and the battle will begin!
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Your goal is simple enough: stop the soldiers from reaching Banon. Form walls in front of him, catch soldiers before they can reach him, go on the offensive, whatever works. If you're feeling particularly bold you can run past the soldiers and assault Kefka directly, which you'll have to do to end the battle anyway, but you leave Banon open to assault by doing this. It is wiser to set up a tight defence in front of him and wait for the enemy to advance, taking them down one-by-one.
The enemy ranks consist of two types of soldiers, green and brown. The greens are generally easier, and consist of largely human units that can be annihilated by Bioblaster. For this reason it's easiest to send Edgar's team up against the green soldiers. The brown soldiers are a mixture of humans, dogs and Magitek suits, and can be a bit tougher to fit. Overall, however, strong attacks from all of your characters will get through them. Your biggest concern here is attrition. Keep your characters well-healed and you'll wear through the enemy ranks after a lot of fighting.
At the south end of the field waits a single soldier, a Hell's Rider, who runs back and forth in front of Kefka. This unique unit is fairly tough, as his Silver Lance attack can do upwards of 300 damage to a single character. He also uses Reverse Polarity, which will force its target to switch rows. Fire is the best way to blow through this guy. If you have Locke with you, you can steal a Mythril Vest. Not a huge deal, as you get them in stores soon, but not half bad.
Beat the Hell's Rider and you'll have only one opponent left: Kefka himself.
The insane court mage is a potent enemy thanks to a strong magical attack. He'll use all manner of spells on your party, the deadliest of which is Blizzara by far (though Poison and Confuse can prove rather painful as well). Blizzara used on a single character will almost always knock them out. You can largely negate Kefka's offensive powers by bringing Celes along: have her use Runic every round and Kefka's attacks will be harmlessly absorbed. Your team can then pummel him with impunity until he retreats, ending the fight. Winning will earn you a Peace Ring.
Once the battle is done, everyone will climb the peaks of Narshe to have a look at the Frozen Esper. Its strange connection with Terra will reassert itself, and Terra will change into . . . something . . . and fly off. Weirdness.
In the aftermath of Terra's strange departure, everyone will resolve to get her back by searching to the west, beyond the mountains. The team will decide to split up, half protecting Narshe, half on the search for Terra. You have some considerations to make before you choose your party members:
- Locke has a brief storyline moment if you take him along. The same goes for Celes.
- Edgar and Sabin have a brief storyline moment if you take them to Figaro Castle.
- Edgar receives an amazing weapon partway through the search that can make getting to your destination a lot easier.
- If you take three party members or less you can temporarily recruit Shadow along the way.
- You can change your party in Narshe any time you want.
Most of these considerations are small, and you're free to take whomever you wish. Regardless of your team, you're off to Figaro Castle!