Ultimecia’s Castle (Disc 4)
The first important note that should be mentioned is that you can pick up any of the Guardian Forces you missed during your adventures from the various bosses within Ultimecia’s Castle, so if you missed any Guardian Forces. Click on the link for information on all of the Guardian Forces, be sure to note which boss you can draw it from and do not forget to draw this time!
Walk up the chain leading to the castle and hit the save point on your way past. The rest of your team will join you once you start walking up towards the stairs. Divide the team into two parties (your main party and “the rest”) and continue. You can use the green portals on the ground that are found throughout Ultimecia’s Castle to change between the two parties that you create.
As you enter it will be explained to you that each of the different commands you have are now sealed (Item, Magic, GF, Draw, Command Ability, Limit Break, Resurrection, Save). Each time you defeat a boss you will be able to unlock one of your commands. If you missed any of the Guardian Forces during your travels you will want to unlock the Draw command first.
Boss Battle: Sphinxaur/Sphinxara
Head up the stairs to fight you first boss, Sphinxaur. There is not too much of a strategy to this fight because the only command that is currently unlocked is Attack. Use Attack until you win.
Part of the way through the battle Sphinxaur will drop its mask to become Sphinxara. Still no strategy for this boss either, just use attack until you have defeated it.
When given the choice to unlock a command, choose Draw if you are missing and Guardian Forces. Otherwise, pick to your hearts content – and obviously pick abilities that lend to your play style. Unlocking command abilities can be quite useful as you can junction the Revive and Recover abilities in lieu of unlocking Magic or Items.
You should junction Thunder elemental magic to your elemental defense prior to engaging in the next boss battle as the next boss counter attacks with a thunder type spell after each attack.
Go through the doors behind the boss you just destroyed. The chandelier in the next room will fall to the ground as soon as you walk on it. Locate the hatch door on the floor and open it to reveal the wine cellar.
Continue down the stairs to find Tri-Point waiting for you at the bottom. The battle will begin as soon as you make contact with Tri-Point.
Boss Battle: Tri-Point
Draw the Guardian Force, Siren, from Tri-Point if you missed drawing her from Elvoret in Dollet.
As mentioned above, and as the Tri-Point itself will mention to you in battle, Tri-Force plans to use elemental attacks and is weak to certain elements. It is weak to Fire and Ice (if you unlocked Magic after the previous boss) but will primarily use Thunder based attacks.
Choose to unlock Magic at the conclusion of the battle against Tri-Point as you will need magic attacks for the next boss.
There is an Aura draw point in the top-right corner of this room, but other than that there is nothing left to do down in the wine cellar so head back up.
When you return to the room with the chandelier (and the hatch to the wine cellar) make your way through the doorway on the left. Follow the hallway south and take the door on the right. You will find yourself back in the main entryway where you started.
Go upstairs again and take the pathway off to the right and up the stairs instead of going through the main double doors (leading to the room with the chandelier). Make your way down the staircase and through the door on the right. Next head down the staircase again, over the portal, and through the doorway on the bottom floor of the room to reach the Art Gallery.
The puzzle in the Art Gallery is easy enough to solve. The picture on the left of the bottom floor has a title that is “too faint to read” so you must fill it in. Each time you read one of the other paintings it will give you a word.
You can use the words you read to come up with the title of the painting. So which words should you use and how do you solve the puzzle in the Art Gallery?
The solution to the puzzle is on the clock in the middle of the room. The hands of the clock point to VIII, VI and IIII (although note that the actual roman numeral for the number 4 is IV and not IIII) and so you need to find the paintings with those letters in them.
|XYSTUS (Tree-lined Road)||X|
|XERAMPELINAE (Red Clothes)||XI|
The solution to the puzzle is VIVIDARIUM (Garden), INTERVIGILIUM (Sleep) and VIATOR (Messenger). In other words, “In the Garden Sleeps a Messenger”. Enter that as the phrase on the painting at the front of the room.
The next boss (Trauma) will appear behind you.
Boss Battle: Trauma
Make sure to draw the Guardian Force, Leviathan, if you forgot to draw it from Norg in the basement of Balamb Garden.
Trauma has an incredibly high vitality so regular attacks do not normally work well against it. You can cast Meltdown on Trauma though to significantly reduce its vitality and to make your attacks much more effective. You can draw meltdown directly from Trauma if you do not have that magic in your inventory (and be sure to draw some as you will be needing it for the next fight).
What you choose to unlock at this point is up to you. My suggestion is to proceed with killing all of the bosses in Ultimecia’s Castle so eventually you will have all of your abilities reactivated anway.
Head north through the doors at the back of the Art Gallery into the Stairway Hall. Cross over the green portal and head straight into the door down the stairs. Take the door to the left one more time and you will find yourself locked into the Prison Cell.
Grab the key up front to initiate the battle against Red Giant.
Boss Battle: Red Giant
Make sure to draw the Guardian Force, Pandemona, if you forgot to draw it from Fujin/Raijin in front of the hotel in Balamb.
Much like Trauma in the previous boss battle, Red Giant has incredibly high vitality making regular attacks next to useless. Casting Meltdown on Red Giant will have no effect if you cast it using lower level characters, so make sure that Squall or another high-level party member casts it. It may take a few attempts to get the effects of Meltdown to actually take – you will know it has been successful if Red Giant changes color (to a pinkish color as shown in the screenshot to the right). Red Giant will say “That Magic is Useless!” if it misses, but pay no heed to that message and just keep casting it until it does not miss.
Red Giant attacks primarily with physical based attacks. It is highly suggested that you use Protect magic if you find that his attacks are hitting you harder than you can handle. Red Giant is also vulnerable to Blind and Darkness.
The other doorway of the prison cell is locked from the other side so you will have to make your way back to the main hall. Use the [Prison Key] to exit through the door that closed behind you when you entered the prison cell.
The next boss you need to do battle with is Krysta and reaching Krysta can be a pain in the ass. You have to walk across the chandelier that fell down last time to get across to the other side of the room – but how do you walk across the chandelier without having it fall down to the room below?
Time to make use of that second party. When you get back to the main hall wander over to the green portal and switch to the second party. Take the second party through the doorway on the left and back into the room under the chandelier. Don’t worry about completing a junction exchange and just run away from any random encounters that the second team faces in order to save some time.
Have the second party stand in the green portal in the room below the chandelier (the Grand Hall) and a message will read, “The lever had been depressed”.
By depressing this lever the chandelier will no longer fall down as the other team attempts to cross it – so switch back to your main party and head up the stairs.
Cross over the chandelier and make your way back to the terrace to find the next boss, Krysta.
Boss Battle: Krysta
Draw the Guardian Force, Carbuncle, from Krysta if you did not pick it up off the Iguion in the Presidential Residence in Deling City when you were looking for Edea.
Krysta, just like the last two bosses you faced, has extremely high vitality. This will cause regular attacks to do little to no damage unless you cast Meltdown on it. So cast Meltdown on it!
If you are having trouble dealing with Krysta’s magic attacks you can cast Shell on your party members to dampen the amount of damage being done. Krysta will counterattack you for around 1000 damage after every single attack. Also be cautious because Krysta will cast Ultima on your party before it dies.
Make your way back to where your other party is located (in the grand hall, the room with the chandelier). Go back to the main hall and take the door on the left to get there. Take the door at the back of the room into the courtyard.
From the courtyard, continue past the green portal and take the door at the back one more time. Go past the portal and up the stairs on the right side of the screen.
On the next screen you will see a key sitting in the middle of the bridge. If you walk on the bridge the key will not move and you will be able to pick it up, however if you run towards the key it will fall off the bridge down to the floor below. It is not a problem though as it falls right down to the floor where it needs to be.
Go all the way back to the front hall entrance again. Go up the stairs and to the right, through the Stairway Hall and the Art Gallery room. Go down the stairs, but this time instead of going to the left, use the [Armory Key] on the door to the right. If the [Armory Key] fell off the bridge you will be able to find it in this room in the water.
The next boss is just up ahead in the armory.
Boss Battle: Gargantua
Draw the Guardian Force, Cerberus, from Gargantua if you did not challenge Cerberus to a fight within Galbadia Garden when you were there.
This fight is very similar to the previous fights except that you will have to take out the two hands in order to make the full-sized Gargantua appear.
Use meltdown to make your attacks more effective. Gargantua will counter all attacks with a move called Counter Twist, so prepare yourself for this move if necessary by preemptively putting up some Protect magic.
Now head back to the Great Hall (the room with the chandelier) and go through the door at the back of the room into the courtyard. Examine the left side of the fountain in the courtyard to find the [Treasure Vault Key].
Now go back to the main entrance hall.
Ascend the stairs but take a left at the top this time and go through the doorway on the left side of the hall. Circle around the stairway hall and through the door at the bottom – about halfway through the hallway there is a doorway on the left hand side that you can use the [Treasure Vault Key] on in order to gain entry.
You will find four chests in the Treasure Room and they constitute the next puzzle in Ultimecia’s Castle. In order to make the next boss appear you must get them all open – the only problem is each time you open or close one of the boxes it will affect the other too.
Here is the affect that opening or closing each box will have:
- Opening or closing the First Box will open or close the first and second box
- Opening or closing the Second Box will open or close the first, second and third box
- Opening or closing the Third Box will open or close the second, third and fourth box
- Opening or closing the Fourth Box will open or close the third and fourth box
To make it easy though, if you have not touched any of the boxes and the first and fourth boxes are open, with the second and third boxes are closed, you can just follow these steps:
Touch the first, second, third and then fourth boxes in that order. Way too easy.
Time to begin the battle against Catoblepas.
Boss Battle: Catoblepas
Draw the Guardian Force, Alexander, from Catoblepas if you did not draw it from Edea at the end of Disc 2 when you were there.
The fight against Catoblepas is exactly the same fight as all of the previous bosses. Cast Protect and/or Shell if you are having trouble with its attacks and use Meltdown to lower its vitality so that your attacks hit for a half decent amount of damage and you are done.
Catoblepas will cast Meteor right when it dies so be prepared for that.
Time to hunt down the last boss.
Go back to the main entrance hallway and then back into the chandelier room, the Great Hall (by taking the left exit on the main floor our of the entrance hall) and take the doorway at the back of the room.
Go through the courtyard and into the Chapel. Head up the stairs and cross the bridge (where the [Armory Key] fell the last time you were here) and go through the doorway at the back.
Ascend the spiraling staircase in the Clock Tower until you get to the moving bell piece. Jump on the bell from the left side and ride it over to the balcony on the right side of the screen.
Tiamat can be found on the balcony. To make the fight against Tiamat easier you should junction Thundaga/Blizzaga/Firaga to each of your party member’s Elemental Junction slots; junction all three types of magic if at all possible.
Boss Battle: Tiamat
Draw the Guardian Force, Eden, from Tiamat if you did not complete the Deep Sea Research Center side quest (click on the link for more information).
Tiamat has only one attack called Dark Flare. Tiamat will sit there charging up until it can use this very lethal attack. Each time it “charges” it will add more letters in across the screen until it reads “Dark Flare”, at which point the move will be cast.
If you junctioned Thundaga/Blizzaga/Firaga to your party’s elemental junctions the move will do next to nothing. Use Meltdown on Tiamat to make the fight much easier.
Are you ready for the final showdown against Ultimecia?
Go back into the Clock Tower, ride the bell back to the other side of the platform, and continue to the top. Walk across the arms of the clock and take the ladder on the other side down and then climb down the ladder at the center of the tower.
Follow the pathway along and do not forget to save! Walking through the doorway will initiate a lengthy series of battles that make up the final battles of Final Fantasy 8, so make sure your team is well prepared!