The final reckoning draws near, as our heroes enter the otherworldly Dark Aurora to sever the evil at its source. Needless to say, now is the time to bring out all your big guns–in other words, your best jobs, abilities and equipment.
Floors 1 to 3
Enemy Tips : The monsters here are roughly on par with those on the world map, which means they can throttle you if you so much as drop your guard. Amber Horns use Berserk Marathon to maximise their attack and Massacre to dish out four hits across random targets, potentially massacring your party if you don’t swiftly kill them or lower their attack.
Nightmares use Curse to drop a target’s attack and defence, as well as Aspir to siphon a character’s MP. For offence, they will cast Graviga on one of your party members, slicing off 3/4 of their HP if they’re unlucky. Both are weak to earth, so a Time Mage would be beneficial, while Nightmares are also weak to light; you can target their family weakness too.
From the entrance, continue left at the initial junction for a chest containing a Safety Ring . Return to the junction and follow the path down; eventually you’ll see another junction. From here, carry on left for a chest with a potent Megalixir (fully heals your party’s HP and MP). After raiding the chests, go up from the second junction to find a magic circle, which leads to the next area.
On the aurora’s 2nd floor, begin by heading up; when the path splits, take either route as the path will soon loop around. As you come below the magic circle, on the opposite side, the path splits again. Go down to be greeted by a number of possible routes; following the other path will lead you back to the magic circle whence you came.
At the intersection, you will find chests tucked away in the corners to the far left ( Lamia’s Tiara ), far right ( Life Ring ) and bottom-left ( Black Belt ) of the map. Meanwhile to locate the exit, head in a southerly direction, via either of the lower pathways; along the south of the map, turn into the junction for a new magic circle to the next area.
Enemy Tips : You may come across the Adamantite Shell–the distant cousin of the Land Turtle and Mythril Shell. This aquatic giant uses Reflection Angle to bounce off your magic attacks and Ground Spike to damage your whole party. Infuse your weapon with Blizzaga or give it a good poke with the Longinus to send it spinning.
You’ll begin the 3rd floor near the north again; first stroll down for a double dosage of chests, which contain a Heart Ring and Megalixir . From the chests, follow the auroral path clock-wise until you reach a junction not far from the bottom. Continue left to find a magic circle–step inside to be propelled to an isolated part of the 6th floor, where a chest with a Blood Blade awaits.
Back at the previous junction on the 3rd floor, go down to encounter another looping path; turn in along the south for another magic circle, which will transport your further ahead.
Floors 4 to 6
Enemy Tips : As you progress deeper into the forsaken aurora, you’ll start to encounter some new foes. The demonic Diabolos casts Thundaga for big damage and can cause instant death to one with its Cruel Thrust. Keep your characters from suddenly keeling over with Safety Rings and break out your light-based or demon-slaying moves.
The fiendish Mephisto are masters of Meteor, which causes heavy non-elemental magic damage spread randomly amongst your party. Spriggans are lethal androids that Rocket Punch your party and improve their deadly statistics with Optical Camouflage and the brand new Overclocking, which raises its Aim and Speed to max.
When you emerge again, you’ll be on the 6th floor–make no mistake; you’ve indeed skipped 2 floors! Follow the path around and southward to find a chest (or is a closet?) with a Lordly Robes (raises Mind; great for healers). Then reverse back a bit and turn left for the next available magic circle.
Now you’ll be on the 4th floor–one of the previously missing floors. Keep to the right initially to find a treasure chest with a shiny Gold Hairpin (reduces MP consumption). Next, follow the remaining path as it takes you on a roller-coaster ride. Towards the right side, the path sprays out; keep to the right for a chest with a Ribbon (negates many status ailments; essential!).
To exit this floor, continue northward and around from the broken path; at the end, another magic circle will entice you in. On the other side, you’ll be back on the 6th floor, but by the south now. As you eagerly make your way up, the road ahead will fork; to begin with, head left and step into the magic circle in the corner.
Enemy Tips : Of the local monsters, Knight Dragons are probably the deadliest. They will Default to save up BP and, at the same time, reduce your damage output. Once they have 2 BP, they’re sure to unleash a Rampage on your party for destructive damage, immobilising themselves for one turn. Default yourself to soften the rampage or put up Rampart or Utsusemi to block it out entirely.
On the 5th floor, head right for a chest with a legendary Aegis Shield (nullifies Dread); then follow the path as it goes around to the right. Along the way, prise open those chests to score yourself a Lillith’s Rod (near the centre) and Brave Suit (right from centre; gives you an extra 1 BP at the start of battle). At the far right, leap into the magic circle to reach uncharted territory.
You will materialise on the 6th floor, to the right of the central fork; now only one direction remains to explore–the path leading north. At the far end, hop into the magic circle to be whisked away deeper into the aurora still.
Finally, we come to the 7th floor, which is just an one-way road. Not far from the entrance, you’ll find the Adventurer chilling around as usual. Take this opportunity to save your game and check that your inventory has enough of the essential Phoenix Downs, Ethers and Potions.
As soon as you’re prepared, bid the Adventurer a teary farewell as you continue along the doomed path; at the far end, step into the magic circle to reach the final destination…