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Challenge Walkthrough by tskisoccer

Version: 2.0 | Updated: 11/26/18






NoWorries presents:

the "How to" for the Absolutely Shortest Step Challenge

Game: Final Fantay 3/6
System: Super Nintendo (rofl use an Emulator)
FAQ: Beating Final Fantasy 3/6 and Kefka in less than 9000 steps
Written By: NoWorries
Allowed Website: www.gamefaqs.com
                 www.neoseeker.com
                 www.supercheats.com
*If you have a website you would like to post this at just shoot me an email*
				 
**As always, the most up-to-date guide will always be found at gamefaqs**

Version History: 1.0 Submitted 30 of September of 2014
                 2.0 Submitted 26 of November of 2018
    -Updated the guide in a number of spots to be more accurate
    -Reformatted a few areas
    -Drastically cut the step count due to a number of improvements
      -Better overworld walking
      -Warp Stone usage in Daryl's Tomb
      -Using less steps when necessary for tasks (recruitments mostly)
      -Re-entering Figaro Castle to cut steps
    -Improved drastically by a number of glitches/sequence breaks
      -Most significantly, skipping Thamasa (over 1400 steps saved)


------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Who should be reading this FAQ?- #The NoWorries Contract to Greatness

    I put this in every faq I've ever written, and it goes something along the
lines like this. By writing this, I commit to you the reader that I will bring
to you not only my vastness of knowledge but do it with a sense of humour. I
understand it's easy to get bogged down in detail as well as a mush of opinion
but I strive to bring you something more than just a guide to greatness.
    So who should be reading this? EVERYONE! Well, everyone who likes to play
Final Fantasy so much they are looking for a new way to beat it. I mean, we
have Low Level, Natural magic, LLNMG, LLNGMPS, LLMHCDHAUIDUDU and a plethora
of other acronyms. Then there's speed running, the 100% verse any percent. It
never ends. This game is adored and loved and still gets played by fans every
where across the globe.
    So this challenge came across my desk when Ilsoap pushed "The fewest step
challenge" across my desk. His idea was to limit the number of steps but using
a varying amount of liberal tendencies. He collected 3 extra characters in the
World of Ruin as well as took a number of extra steps for items. Against most
bosses Doom was never casted. He went forward to list some ideas for the
"Truly Fewest" steps but nothing came of it. I tried his way, it was fun; so
I went ahead and tried the "Truly Fewest" where you get C.E.S. and head to
fight Kefka. It's a bit hard and you are forced to grab a couple items to
make beating it possible, and I took around 9500 steps or so. It was 1000 less
than what he did so it seemed cool to me. But... then something happened.
    But then some glitches were made aware of that while they impact your step
counter, they still allow you to beat Kefka (hence we can ignore and exclude
the "game over glitch" and "sketch glitch" due to their exploits). The first
being skipping Celes: it cuts a ton of steps out of the run (give or take
several hundred) though it admittedly makes the run quite a bit more difficult
in a number of different areas. Then this year a Japanese runner discovered
how to skip Thamasa in the World of Balance. Cue the jaw drop... that alone
cuts over 1000 steps out of the run. So... interested? You should be if you're
reading this guide...

------------------------------------------------------------------------------



I just want to preface this with, this is not for the weak hearted. This is
something to be done by the perfectionists. This is something to be done by
those who enjoy taking the game and bending it over and having their way with
it. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the Absolutely Shortest Step challenge.
How many you may ask? Well, prior to some glitch-know-how, I'd say about
9500. And then I learn you can skip Celes.


WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT


It completely changes the game. This is now a complete 180 as everything
changes. No longer are we getting Celes? Sure, we get Kutan instead, but
Kutan is a raging POS. Can't get worse? Sure can; once they unequip Kutan
of what terrible equipment he had.


BUUUUUUUUUUUUUUT


I'm getting ahead of myself.



So you should all be familiar with that 'ol little counter there. This game
actually measures the steps you take. Now, besides factoring into ONE spell,
it seems infinitely useless. We're not beating the game quickly, we're not
challenging to no magic or to no equipment at all. So what's the challenge?



                    Oh, my friend, is there a challenge.
					


See, if we don't take steps, something happens. We don't get items, or
weapons! Or armor! Or relics! Or experience! Or people!



                             Ahem
							 


Yeah so basically, by limiting our steps, we find that we are extremely
poor off in terms of actually trying to win the game. I mean, hell, can you
picture a scenario with an unequippable Moogle (that you don't actually get)
alongside Setzer and Edgar with some Mithril Vests that people brought trying
to win the game???


Yeah I don't either.


Luckily, we have some serious advantages at our disposal.


ADVANTAGE #1
  WE KNOW EXACTLY WHAT WE ARE FACING

    Yeah, so basically we've beaten the game right? (If you haven't stop now)
    We know exactly what is ahead of us. That means there aren't any surprises
    besides learning how unprepared we are. But it's not like an Octopus is
    going to come down the river and attack us! Oh, I mean... anyway
	
ADVANTAGE #2
  FREE ESPERS
  
    Boy are we limited. See, there are exactly 8 Espers that we get, "for
    free", in that they cost us no time and no steps. They are:
    Ramuh, Shiva, Unicorn, Phantom, Shoat, Maduin, Carbunkle, and Bismark
    See, Stray, Kirin, and Siren all require time and effort to go find them.
    Plus, they don't teach anything valuable. Actually, Mute is extremely
    valuable but to hell with that!
    See, Ifrit requires extra steps! To go to Shiva, to Ifrit, and then out
    takes more steps than to go to Ifrit and then to Shiva! You may ask of me,
    why does it bloody matter if I'm taking two more steps? And that's the
    whole point. We can only take steps in which we move the game forward. And
    to be more specific, we can only take the MINIMUM number of steps in which
    to move forward
	
ADVANTAGE #3
  VANISH DOOM
  
    If you're one of those "I'm ABOVE glitches and programming errors" then
    allow me to show you the door
	
        ----------
        |        |
        |        |
        |      o |
        |        |
        ----------
		
    Because, the game is PRACTICALLY unbeatable if you don't. I say
    practically, because I'm sure there's a magic goodie bag somewhere that
    in an alternate universe would allow us to beat both Doom and Goddess
    without using Vanish/Doom. However, in our current reality, an Edgar with
    at best 11 magic block and an extremely limited number of spells is not
    going to be able to beat Doom by himself. Nor is Gau with 7 basic rages
    and no outstanding magic to speak of with his slightly higher magic block
    going to be able to beat Goddess by himself.
	
    So yes, we are going to use Vanish/Doom. A lot. There are times where we
    could avoid using it but I'll level with you right now... it's just easier
    most of the time. I'll elaborate more later but basically just because we
    could beat something without using it doesn't mean we should.
	
ADVANTAGE #4
  JOKER DOOM
  
    Alright. You probably know all about Joker Doom. If you don't, here is
    a quick rundown. Setzer's Slots appear random but in fact there is nothing
    random about them. They are 100% controllable. They operate on a RNG, 256
    bit process (for the most part). Most things you do in the battle affect
    this RNG which leads to the most well-known exploit in the game, Echo
    Screen + Joker Doom.
	
    See, to get to Joker Doom, we have to understand how it works.
	
    Slots work on a "RNG System" from 0 to 255. If you get over 256 it then
    resets. There are a number of potential set ups to get Joker Doom to
    work: 16, 62, 87, 102, 106, 141, 228, or 250
	
    These numbers refer to the "RNG" of the battle. When you start the battle
    it is always 0. Now, when certain abilities are used, the number increases
    which is why, Echo Screen is 16 (10 in hexadecimal) and strangely enough
    there is 16 for Joker Doom (why it works)
	
    Now, you may ask where is the Echo Screens? We don't ever get them in this
    game, in all seriousness. There are 3 opportunities to find Echo Screens
    in this run. You can:
	
    Win them from Weedfeeder (found in a couple spots in World of Balance)
        Except in those areas we ride Chocobos
    Win them from Osprey (found in World of Ruin walking towards the Chocobo
      that is north of Tzen and south of Phoenix Cave)
        Except Kutan sucks and could literally die fighting them and there is
        no guarantee that we find them anyway
    Steal them from Insecare in the Gathering Place of the Espers
        Except... now we are skipping Thamasa entirely... so oops! None today!
		
    So we need to figure something else out. Luckily, Master Zed is an
    outstanding individual and has given us everything we need. At the time
    when we go to fight in Kefka's Tower there are a couple of ways we can
    increase the number. We have:
	
    Rasp (48), Osmose (30), 7-Flush (20)...
	
    I'd go on, but we only need just one up there, and then one other one,
    Cards (Fight) (6)
	
    See, 48+48+6 is 102, which just so happens to be a trigger for Joker Doom
    You may ask about the other numbers, maybe 62. Well I've tried a couple
    but have had success with just one, which is Rasp+Rasp+Fight with Cards
	
    There are enemy attacks, but none of them will ever occur quick enough to
    get in our way. As a result, we can now win through a number of tough
    battles without good equipment. We've got Vanish/Doom for Doom and
    Goddess, and now Joker Doom for Inferno, Guardian, and Poltergiest.
	
    What about the end battle with Kefka? We've got this as well
	
ADVANTAGE #LAST ONE
  LETE RIVER
  
    So you probably all know how to get to 99 right? DO IT. How low can you
    go? I don't know. In my previous run, my party was severely crippled by
    not doing any leveling (see, see this is the only part of the run where
    you can actually level as no steps are taken). I still won, but it was
    a frustrating, tedious mess. So for this first attempt, I went to 93. Why
    not 99? Because I'm a dingus. It doesn't matter a whole lot, as my final
    levels were 93/83/73 and if you do go to 99 it just ends up 99/89/79 which
    makes just as little difference as one might suspect as any characters
    who actually get better by levels (except Fixed Dice) are not found in
    this particular quest. You probably are bored. It takes about 2 real hours
    to get to 99 if you use an Emulator and speed the game up. I STRONGLY
    advise using an Emulator because (1) it levels faster here and (2) the
    game is practically unbeatable without save states later on (and for that
    matter early on as well!)
	
    Just to add on; how high do you need to go? It's essential that everyone
    has at least 5000 life (so Edgar would need to be at least 60+ so that
    in the end, everyone ends up over 50) simply because that provides a
    buffer to not die from anything and everything that hits you. 8000+ is
    quite a bit better, but at least 5000 is no 1000-1500 range.
	
    It's also essential that Edgar can take out the Tentacles with 1-2 shots
    from his crossbow. Kutan is worthless and we cannot equip Runningshoes on
    Edgar (not that we have them anyways) so the Tentacles are infinitely more
    difficult if Edgar cannot 1-2 shot them
	
    I'd also like to mention that in terms of "battle buffering" (which we
    will get to later) is way easier to use when your team doesn't die to the
    monsters in Kefka's Tower. We actually need to fight those for experience
    (well, magic points) and fighting them is way harder if your life total
    is less than 5000. So, take heed and level them up on the Lete River. I
    will not be experimenting with "how low can you go" because I already did
    that once and it was terrible. At high levels, you can actually just win
    battles instead of rasp rasp rasp rasp rasp till the cows come home, and
    then rasp some more.
	
	
	
	
    ----------------
    | Dar Rulezzzz |
    ----------------
	
Cause everything needs rules

        1) No STEPS! Taken that aren't pushing the story forward. You must go
           go in STRAIGHT LINES to places. Turning isn't a step, so if there
           is an item within reach by turning, that's fine. But if you must
           step to it; no can do that.
            -Except to get Gau
        2) No "game over glitch" you are required to beat Kefka for this
           challenge
        3) No "sketch glitch" because yeah; don't do it
Cause everything needs exceptions
        4) That's IT!
I think

Seriously, I beat the game in 7158 steps. World of Balance in 5143. Seriously
you can do the World of Ruin in less than 2000 steps. It's that short. You may
ask if we can get it under 7000 steps? I doubt it, and I'll discuss known step
improvements towards the end of the guide but unless another character skip is
discovered, I doubt we can scrap 160 steps or so to get it under 7000





    -------------------------
    | How dis is gunna work |
    -------------------------
	
I'm not a huge fan of walkthrough walkthrough walkthroughs; so it won't be.
Things like "advance the story" should be pretty self explanatory. If they
aren't, then you aren't going to do well in this challenge. I'll list what I
did and you can see if you can improve upon it and do it yourself. It is a fun
challenge when you win with such a severely handicapped team.


The only real thing I need to talk about is the importance of doing this on an
Emulator. I think beating this on console would be borderline impossible due
to a number of issues that arise from zero saves possible and some of the
battles early with Locke are impossible with about being able to alter the
battle somewhat. So the two important things to note are battle buffers and
enemy attack orders.

    Battle Buffers

  This is only used in Kefka's Tower (as it's the only spot we move more than
  1 active party) but the idea is to move until a battle, then reset backwards
  a single step, and then switch to a party that needs the experience. Mostly,
  this is to move Setzer and then swith to either Gau or Edgar for the Magic
  Points as Setzer really doesn't need much magic outside of Rasp.
  
    Enemy Attack Orders
	
  This is used all over, but basically, it's how to deal with certain elements
  we can't deal with. For example, if Locke gets poisoned in his story-line,
  that's a literal game over as we have no Antidote to cure it. We have to
  reset and get an outcome that doesn't involve being poisoned. In other
  circumstances, when Locke fights TunnleArmr, we can ill afford a Poison
  attack as it actually kills Locke since it deals ~250 damage. By
  understanding how enemies attack, we can sometimes alter how we fight to
  get more favorable outcomes



    ---------------------------
    | Darrr Table of Contents |
    ---------------------------
	
        1. Questionable Beginnings (Terra to Locke)
        2. Where'd Terra go? (Edgar to Banon)
        3. Well, this is fun (Leveling to Gau)
        4. Where'd Celes go? (Locke's Scenario to Narshe battle)
        5. Do I really need to (Figaro, Zozo, Jidoor, Opera, and Magitek)
        6. Where'd the world go? (Magitek up through the world collapse)
        7. My goodness this goes fast (World of Ruin through Kefka's Tower)
        8. Where'd the game go? (Kefka's Tower)
	
	
	
    ----------------------------------------
    | The Complete-In-Complete Walkthrough |
    ----------------------------------------
	
  [CHAPTER ONE]
    [QUESTIONABLE BEGINNINGS]
      (The beginning up through Locke's bit)
	  
	  
	
So the game starts off yadda yadda we all know how this works. I'd tell you to
put Terra in the backrow and kills off Wedge and Biggs/Vicks. You may ask me
why and I'll tell you, we need Locke to hit 11 before Sabil Mountains. You may
say OK without really knowing why; you may also scratch your head as you know
that doesn't really happen; that Locke never gets above 10 by his solo mission
without leveling. But there is a reason to this madness.

Anyway, go straight up and kill things. Hopefully you do not need more
guidance than this; if you do, this is probably not a challenge you should
partake in.

Once inside the mines, move straight and directly to Whelk whom should go down
in 3 missiles and watch some story.


Step Count Check (SCC) #1 After waking up and before we move, 138


Don't do a whole lot of exploring inside the house, rather, head out and go
to the "fall" position with Terra. I'd go ahead and unequip her of anything
since this is the last we're using poor Terra until much later in the game
(IE killing her off). Mostly the Sword matters, but we don't need anything
else. This also means in terms of walking to skip all the treasures. Really,
get used to "go straight to destination" type dialogue because any movement
away from straight is not in-line with the challenge goals.

So bring in Locke. Normally, any run of this game LOVES to see Locke. He's
the "potion monkey" to the "valient slayer" but in this challenge he's kinda
driving me nuts. Anyway, let's talk about this Moogle Battle.

So nobody moves, except Locke's party. I'd unequip Mog and toss that Shield
over to Locke. Alright, let's prepare. We're going to want to fight every
battle. We also want all the moogles dead so Locke gets all the experience.
Seems crazy right? Like I said before, you need Locke to be 11 before Sabil
Mountains and mine hit 11 at Vargas so there's your window of experience AND
I was saving to manipulate more battles so ye be warned.

There is a chance; albit a small one, that Locke will level from the town of
South Figaro by the time he gets to TunnelArmr. Problem is, those battles are
way harder and there is no guarantee, so do it this way. I'd like to mention,
that this is the only time I ask you to do something that is 100% RNG
dependent, triggering Locke's desperation attack. Read on

Anyway, if Locke is in the backrow the Vomammoth can't hurt him after it
uses just a single Blizzard. So each battle should consist of steal the Tonic,
then slay the Lobo, then steal the Tonic, then slay the Vomammoth. The first
battle of course, consists of Moogles slaying each other. If Locke has less
than 100 health, use a Tonic. There are 5 battles.

Once you win, head down to Marshal. Now, this battle is tough. Actually it
isn't. You just need to be lucky. See, Ensnare, or Snare, or whatever the
spell is actually called, stops Locke for too many turns. Now, as long as at
least one Lobo is alive, the attacks from Marshal hurt a lot less. Regardless,
the plan is to kill off one of the Lobos to reduce how much damage you take;
and then let the battle go at least 25 seconds. Now get Locke into near-fatal
and rig it/rng it so Locke desperation attacks and murders the Marshal. It's
about the only way to make it work, and like I said, if you don't do this
Locke may not hit 11 and he needs that health otherwise Fire/Bolt may kill him

Each battle nets Locke about 80 exp and the Marshall fight gives about 75, so
simple math shows doing this nets Locke 80*6 or 480 experience. When Terra
rejoins, Locke should now be level 8 and 36 exp to a level. Without doing
this, Locke would only receive 120 experience points. Hopefully this shows
how necessary it is. Getting Locke to do Mirager isn't that annoying
(console is impossible but like I said, you best be using Emulator here)
for how worth it is. Again to reiterate, this is one exception of about four
where the challenge is pretty emulator-exclusive since triggering desperation
attacks are super hard. If you wanted to play on console (and I'll mention
this wherever possible) you can keep the moogles alive, and later pick up the
Thunder Rod during Locke's scenario (it takes about 40 steps or so) to beat
TunnelArmr even at level 10 so keep that in mind.


SCC #2 Regaining control before leaving Narshe, 290

The only real spot of step-loss would be in the Moogle battle; going right
instead of left is less steps. If your number is higher than that, you need to
practice more direct walking. Alright let's move along



  [CHAPTER TWO]
    [WHERE'D TERRA GO]
      (Picking up Edgar and working to the Returner's Hideout)
	  
	
Alright so make sure Locke has everything awesome and now get Terra killed off
as soon as you can. Actually, save your game as soon as you leave Narshe. Save
not save state, because you need to manipulate RNG. I mean, you may not need
to, but I did it and I fought 5 battles getting to Figaro when normally you
fight 2-3. The experience matters. The way this works is simple. When you walk
you add to your "battle counter" which things like Charm Bangle and Moogle
Charm affect. But saving and resetting also changes it up.

For instance, you might walk to Figaro and fight three battles. But you reset
and try again and this time you fight three battles but two of them are lone
Leafers. You reset again and fight double Leafer double Dark Wind. You save
and reset and get into a battle almost immediately against double trouble
again. You repeat this process and thus you can "milk" or "manipulate"
extra battles. It's something we don't need to do often for experience, but
it is something to become familiar with later on if you are interested in
building your item collection through stealing. For right now, it's fairly
important to use to get Locke as much experience as possible. 

Now, this does mean Terra is not ever getting revived until the game does it
for us. That's fine; we'll kill her off again. Until the game revives her.
Then we'll use her as she'll be like level 60 or something crazy.


SCC #3 Just inside Figaro Castle, 353


When doing long world map walking, it's very tricky to avoid extra steps, but
in short, you should be around 353 steps ideally. Inside Figaro, go talk to
Edgar and Matron and name Sabin and all that fun stuff. Note that after you
name Sabin, it is 10 steps shorter to directly head left and leave (to then
re-enter Figaro) than it is to re-trace your steps back inside.

A couple notes. When going outside the castle, those patrolling guards can
block you if you aren't careful. Also, with Kefka, the second time you see
him, you can just leave and go talk to the Sentry. No need to see Kefka.

There are additional things to pick up here but by and large they are not
required to beat the game (besides being extra steps).

Anyway, the rest of the game plays out rather smoothly. Take down the
Magiteks, and move forward. The game revives Terra with the Spring; I'd go
ahead and kill her off. She consumes 33% of the experience and Locke needs
every last drop he can get. Also be sure to give Locke the Mithrilblade that
Edgar had. Edgar can have the Pike but he's not attacking until Kefka's Tower
so it's pointless really. (We really did just want Mog's shield)

In South Figaro, there's a Tonic you can grab for free on your way to the
Chocobo stable. Rent it, go to Mt. Koltz. Inside Mt. Koltz, there's nothing
worth stealing and we don't get to collect any of those treasures. The battles
are pretty simple as well. Until Edgar levels, Locke will pretty much need to
attack everything once to finish it after he crossbows. It's pretty straight
forward. If you get poisoned you are screwed, reset and RNG that poison away
because we have no antidotes or Terra. You could steal one from the enemy, but
it's easier to just RNG it away.


SCC #4 In front of Vargas, 1165


Once you see Vargas and can kiss him, your step count should be right around
1165. The fight against Vargas is pretty easy. I just put Locke in the front
row and have Edgar crossbow alot. If someone gets below 50 you can heal them
but otherwise the battle is short. If Locke is already 11, he can die in this
battle as the game will heal him for us later. If you're at this point and
Locke still hasn't leveled to 11 yet, you may want to consider resetting back
outside Mt. Koltz (if you saved) but if he's close, you can save outside from
this point and try to get into enough battles for him to level.

Sabin shows up with no equipment; luckily that Buckler Terra isn't using can
go to him. Head on up to the Sabil Mountains. Now, I know there is so much
tempting treasure here, but ignore it all. Even that Fenix Down which is
like two steps away, skip it. As for talking, you can talk to Locke, and then
Sabin, and then Edgar. Now regarding Edgar, you can take just 1 step into
that room as he will wander all the way up to you, eventually. You may want
to save state outside just to make sure he doesn't like trap himself or
something but anyway, don't take more than 10 steps to talk to him. By one
step, I mean you step inside, and then take one step to the right of course.

Go talk to Banon and say yes right away. That Gauntlet is fancy, helpful, and
saves us like 14 steps. Watch the Returners talk and get ready to Lete River
yourself. Are you ready? I don't know if you are.



  [CHAPTER THREE]
    [WELL THIS IS FUN]
      (Lete river "leveling" to end of Sabin's scenario)
	  
	
At this point, it's time to start leveling. As a refresher, your config needs
to be set to "memory" and let Banon use Health, Sabin can just fight, and
Edgar set to use Auto Crossbow. As I've said before, there's no point to
including Terra in this since we don't need her and having her alive
previously could interfere with Locke's leveling to 11. Despite all of my
best efforts to milk experience, Locke still barely is hitting 11 by Vargas so
that really shows how crucial it is to employ all of these small EXP boosting
measures.

Anyway, some 86-90 game hours later, you should be rarin' to go. For now,
fighting will yield much more damage than anything else. Autocrossbow is God,
Sabin can Pummel. Everything else is strictly for AOE (like Fire Dance).

After beating Ultros, it's time for the scenarios. I'd start with Sabin's. You
could do them in any order, but doing Sabin's first plants an item shop in
front of us which gives us a bunch of healing items that Locke desperately
needs to beat TunnelArmr. Anywho, equip Sabin however you want and start
walking right. Skip Shadow (we actually never see him now with the Thamasa
skip) and keep walking. You should be able to just head right to water then
be forced to walk down until you see the camp. Save outside before going into
the camp because the Blackbelt is a 7/8 chance drop and that is a vitally
important relic later on.

As for walking around, keep everything straight, and when talking to Kefka,
be careful to not take extra steps because he weaves around and you don't need
to do that.


SCC #5 Last time talking to Kefka, 1519


Once Cyan rages over, pay attention to talking to him (talk from the bottom,
from the left, and then from the bottom) it makes more sense when you do it
physically. Head towards the Phantom Train, but keep in mind during the forest
you can easily lose steps being careless so heed your straight walking.

The Phantom Train itself is very easy, leveled or not. Again, stick to
straight lines, avoiding extra steps. Skip the Dining Room cart (both for the
heal and for the Earrings) and the latter carts you can use the ladders on the
outside to save steps from walking through the carts. Pull the levers and go
fight the Train.


SCC #6 After beating the train, 1994


After we regain control, head over to the falls (don't bother healing) and
drop down. The enemies are really easy and wouldn't you know it the battle is
timed meaning you don't actually have to beat the enemies for Rizopas to show
up. Either way, treasure that Remedy, we desperately need those and name Gau.
Note that down is less than right for steps in that little scene.

On the Veldt, things should be easy and familiar; avoid extra steps here since
there is a lot of outdoors walking and make our way to Mobliz. This is the
best time to visit the shop as it is story-required. Purchase 99 of everything
since we have over 5 million GP right now. Once outside, save your game since
the goal is to find Gau before we reach his cave.

In a perfect world, you could find Gau and then leap him (to find him again)
by the time you reach his cave; but realistically that's not going to happen
nor are any of his Rages important. He becomes our best caster later so just
focus on finding him without taking extra steps.

Head to the trench, go left at both forks, and end the scenario. I'd unequip
everyone just for good measure.



  [CHAPTER FOUR]
    [WHERE'D CELES GO]
      (Locke's scenario, trio scenario, and Narshe battle)
	  
	
Alright, time for Locke. Now, normally you find some cider, give some password
to a child and find a blondie named Celes. We don't do that. So here is how
this works. If you hit X (or whatever) to bring up the menu, you are
"temporarily" clear. So from where you start, there is that guard that blocks
your path on the right. He goes up, you go down, and as he comes down towards
you; walk up and MENU, and then when you exit the Guard should pass through
you. Might take a couple tries, but that's what save states are for. Leave the
town and wave goodbye to Celes forever as she is killed and reincarnated as
the worst Moogle ever. Like, literally the plan was to execute her so if Locke
never saves her...

Oh... my God...

That's why you get Kutan! And that's why he sucks so hard! It all makes sense
now! Kutan is the reincarnated body of Celes! But clearly the process isn't
perfect, and since Celes is a spirited individual that is bitter over being
killed... that's why you can't equip her! She's stuck using the most basic of
weapons and armor! Until that is, Locke accuses her of being a spy so she then
forsakes all armor and weapons out of guilt... for even in the afterlife she
is still considered a treacherous spy. How else do you explain Kutan's body
shifting back to Celes's model after the Opera? She's starting to regain
control and she just might make it... but then Locke and Kefka...

Ahem, sorry about that. Anyways it's all theorycraft and speculation.

Until you hit TunnelArmr I'd run from every fight. You most likely won't level
anyway and Locke sucks pretty hard at level 11 with 249 life. Once at
TunnelArmr, equip Locke with Gauntlet/Blackbelt, Mithril Shield/Hat/Kung Fu.
Your weapon will become the Air Lancet you steal. With this set up, you have
good defense and you have plenty of healing. From the backrow, you deal ~90
damage and TunnelArmr has 1300 life so you need 15 attacks to land. If you go
to the front row, you only need 8 attacks to land but you also have to heal
after every attack. When in the back row, you only need to heal when your
health drops below 220. That's basically every attack for the most part, but
sometimes he just attacks you for 10-20 damage so you actually don't have to
heal. Now Fire does ~220 and Bolt about the same. Poison did 250 damage so if
that comes up RNG it away. Shouldn't be that hard, but hopefully you see now
why it's so crucial to get Locke leveled up

If you need more direction than this to finish Locke's scenario, IDK what else
to say since we basically skip over half of his scenario now with this Celes
skip. Kutan sucks but hey it's a big step reduction so here we go.


SCC #7 Control of Mog after finishing Locke's scenario, 2409


I always do the trio scenario last and at this point it's most mute anyway
since this is the easiest and shortest scenario BY FAR leveled or not. Work
your way back to Narshe (use the secret entrance) and work your way back to
Arvis's house. The security checkpoint is easier done with save states (going
up instead of following the path) and walking around the Moogle scenario is
many steps shorter than going through it (there's a Rune Edge, but my goodness
is that a pointless weapon).


SCC #8 One step from finishing the last scenario, 2726


Alright time for the big surprise. Celes has been replaced with Kutan. It's
due to the game needing her to be there but since she isn't; it calls the most
recent character to fill it... Kutan. He sucks. He is level 7. He sucks. You
don't get to equip him, his stats are terrible, and he loses his equipment
later in the game. It's a small price to pay as we save well over 300 steps
to then later add 2-20 steps to recruit Gau. It definitely makes the goal of
shortest steps much more achievable.

Now, there's a couple of options coming up. I elected to bring along Kutan to
level him up (basically just Sabin and Kutan) but you could do others as well.
Kutan and Locke will have their levels reset eventually but for now, this is
what I ended up doing. (There is a reason to this)

I put Kutan/Sabin in group 2 and just a single person in each 1 and 3. Take
them down, fighting everything in your path and end it quickly. You can't
just fight everything as the enemies can bypass your grid which is stupid.
Anyway, watch everything go crazy and get ready for the next chapter. Against
Kefka you can Pummel or Attack for a single attack win. Also, note you don't
need Locke to steal anything here. The Ether/Elixir is meh and the Mithril
Vest is wasted as we get two for free later in the game.



  [CHAPTER FIVE]
    [DO I REALLY NEED TO]
      (Figaro to Zozo, Zozo to Jidoor, Opera, and the Magitek Facility)
	  
	
For this next part, I used Edgar, Kutan, and Locke. For the most part, Locke
won't do anything, but inside Zozo, there is an opportunity to steal the
Dragoonboots which is cool and certainly makes the final battle easier. When
you leave Narshe, just go straight down (I guess, to the right) as it's the
least steps. Go to Figaro, go underground, and then head up. Don't go to that
house on the dragon neck (for the Hero Ring) but instead just go to the woods
for the Chocobo stable. Hop in and go to Zozo. Make sure to get off the
Chocobo to the NORTH side of Zozo. Depending on how you enter a town affects
your direction when you leave the town. Specifically, you can hop off NORTH
but also slightly right (saves 1 step) if you can dismount exactly right.


SCC #9 Inside Zozo, 2995


Inside Zozo, just keep using Autocrossbow on everything. Against Harvesters,
I'd go ahead and let Locke try to steal for Dragoonboots. It's a 1/8 chance
for them as opposed to Tonics, and we're not rushed for time. It is NOT
required to have Dragoonboots but it is easier to have them for Kefka. In
short, Edgar keeps the Gauntlet for defense but jumps for 9999 damage instead
of front-rowing shield-less for 9999 damage or some combination of. Like I
said, not critical but certainly makes for an easier time.

Work your way to Dadaluma (through the Relic shop) Now (3267 at Dadaluma)
this battle is tricky. It's tricky, because Locke has to steal the Jewel
Ring for anti Petrify action. It's pretty hard, and honestly this last
runthrough it took two tries which is INSANE luck but regardless, Locke
needs to steal it. Heal him up if he dies. Once you do steal it, attack once
and Dadaluma should go down to your 90+ Edgar. Mind you to pay attention as
Locke could actually steal the Sneak Ring (rare steal) from Dadaluma which
if that happens, you have to reset and try again.

Head inside and watch Ramuh do his Esper thing. Normally you'd go grab those
other Espers. Today we don't. Today we just grab Ramuh. The other Espers are
helpful but for the minimum step amount, we must make sacrifices. Form a party
of Locke and Kutan (required) with Edgar and Gau (end game required) and give
Gau Ramuh. He'll likely only learn Bolt (maybe Poison) but it at least gives
him a "controllable" option for damage if you need it (probably won't).

Go to Jidoor, name Setzer, grab a Chocobo, and head to the Opera. You might
be getting bored of Chocobo's but there are still a couple more uses from
them. In Jidoor, going right at the stairs to get the to shop is less steps
than going left.

Go do the Opera. If you forget, the lines are 1-2-1 so like it's super easy
mode. "Oh my hero" "I'm the Darkness" "Must I forget" if you don't like
numbers for some reason. Careful here as steps count so make minimum
movements with Celes who is Kutan who is Maria. Wrap your head around that.

The rafters are simple and Ultros dies in fairly fast. Watch Setzer steal
Kutan/Celes and laugh as the game now replaces Kutan with Celes, except that
Kutan still is here sucking.

Anyway, you regain control near Albrook. Appreciate how Celes has made a near
full comeback except she sucks. Head to Vector. Inside just go talk to the
Sympathizer and enter the Facility.


SCC #10 Inside the Magitek Research Facility, 3998


Sadly, all this good equipment and we get NONE of it. Just ramp along down
to the Espers. Talk to Ifrit be launched into a battle. Being as strong as
you are, it won't last long. Now talk to Ifrit and then Shiva. Grab Shiva and
then leave the room. You are probably wondering why we don't reverse the order
but the answer is simple. To do Shiva then Ifrit, adds 2 steps. Seeing as we
don't need Fire2 ever, skip Ifrit, please. Also, you could steal a Flash
coming up ahead, but there is no point as Autocrossbow reigns supreme.

Now you normally unequip Celes here but you can't do that to Kutan not that
you would want to as you can't re-equip him later. Anyway, this fight is easy
and we can prepare for the next chapter. Also, don't worry about stealing here
as both the Drainer and the Rune Edge are worthless items to us. We DO however
want to win the Blizzard so if we don't reset and try again. The Fire Sword is
a rare win (kinda like you could win a Fenix Down instead of the Blackbelt in
Cyan's battle) and while we will use that also, we can steal win later in the
Flame House with Locke.



  [CHAPTER SIX]
    [WHERE'D THE WORLD GO?]
      (Magitek-finish up through the World Collapse)
	

So this is where the guide takes a new turn from the old. Allow me to explain:

    Earlier this year (2018) a Japanese runner of FF6 discovered a (for lack
    of a better word) glitch/sequence break that enables skipping the
    following (formerly required) World of Balance locations:
	
        Cave of the Sealed Gate
        Vector (and the Banquet)
        Albrook, sailing, and Thamasa
        Cave of the Espers
		
    In short, by clearing the Imperial base (by going to Narshe) we're able to
    go there now (to the Cave) and perform a number of short and simple tasks
    that when done correctly, warps us to the scene following the completion
    of all the above named locations, specifically, the world being torn
    asunder. It's awesome, it's easy, and it saves a ton of steps, well over
    a thousand of them. The one downside, the game doesn't load the end
    credits correctly. Fear not! For this challenge, we are beating Kefka so
    actually seeing "The End" is not a part of this challenge!
	
(Side note, that's also why certain glitches are excluded from this challenge
as they more or less bypass beating Kefka as well. The "game over glitch"
triggers the end credits so you're not beating Kefka and using Relm's "Sketch
glitch" basically skips Kefka's tower as well besides mostly breaking the game
beyond playability so there's your food for thought)

    Anyways, I digress, let's move onward.
	
After beating Number 024 we get access to our most important Espers (and the
rest of our Espers for this run...) most notably, Vanish from Phantom, Doom
from Shoat, and Rasp from Shiva (though we technically already had it, but
Setzer wasn't with us yet so... Let's quickly run down what magic must be
learned and then we'll discuss other important options since we will
definitely learn those spells and more (even cutting out all of that extra
fighting and MP collecting).

    Edgar absolutely needs Vanish/Doom for Doom.
    Gau absolutely needs Vanish/Doom for Goddess.
    Setzer absolutely needs Rasp for Inferno, Guardian, and Poltrgeist
	
It's a short list, but at least we know what's required. Interestingly enough,
since Doom is x2 and Vanish is x3, I'd swap the Espers around on Edgar and Gau
as to avoid someone hogging Shoat for too long (basically, once someone has
learned about 40-50% of Doom, swap Espers). Let's look at the other spells
that we would want to learn

    Edgar would like Cure2 --> Fire --> Remedy --> Dispel
    Gau wants Cure2 --> Rasp/Osmose --> Fire --> Remedy --> Dispel
    Setzer wants Cure2 --> Osmose --> Fire --> Remedy/Dispel
	
    For full spell explanations, see the end of the guide
	
We see some important trends, but basically Unicorn, Phantom, and Shoat are
really important with Shiva being a distant fourth. Bismark teaching Fire to
unfreeze people is a blessing but is also learned really quickly. You never
need to equip Carbunkle or Maduin; and frankly once you get the other Espers
you don't need to bother with Ramuh either.

Regardless, I'd give Shoat to Gau (Bio is again a controllable source of
damage if you need it) and give Phantom to Edgar. Once Setzer joins, hand him
Shiva. Don' bother giving Locke anything. Hop aboard the Mine Train and beat
it down. Escape and find Setzer and once again make short work of the Cranes.
You'll be directed to Zozo to one of the most complicated parts of the run in
terms of losing steps.

Madion sprints around (obviously to help out the casual) but for us it makes
running out of our way a pain. Just note everything can be done with mostly
straight lines and to simplify things, here's what you have to talk to:

  First cutscene: Leave his house, go find Madonna
  Second cutscene: Talk to Madonna from the foot of her bed (not next to her)
  Third cutscene: Go find Madonna again who's trying to leave
  Fourth curscene: Ignore Madonna, go talk to the Elder, then the Fairy. Go
                   outside at this point and go find Madonna
		
Once that's all done; you need to go to Narshe. This is also our set up for
the big sequence break to take a couple notes.

    1. Don't unequip Edgar, Setzer, or Gau. Equip them (with their Espers)
       exactly how you plan to have them for the IAF
    2. We need Terra since she knows Warp (technically you could buy a Warp
       Stone, but as of now that hasn't been accounted for yet and I'm not
       100% sure if you can do this break with other party members)

It's less steps to grab Terra before heading to Narshe so go down and form a
party of Locke and Terra (again referring to (2) I'm not sure if you can use
others so for now stick to Locke and Terra. Observe that Terra is very high
leveled but Locke is still really low; this is somewhat advantageous. For
switching members, note that you can take just 2 steps into the Blackjack's
switch room and someone should wander towards you to allow you to switch party
members. You can easily save 4-5 steps here by not being to eager to move to
someone, let someone come to you.

Once that is done fly to Narshe and trigger that cutscene to remove the
soldiers from the Imperial Base. Now we're ready to go. Fly on over
		

SCC #11 Landing outside the Imperial Base, 4583


Normally we have a lot to do, and that really isn't changing, but what we do
is changing so here is the steps you need to take to perform this break:

    1. Just outside the cave, save your game in two files in case you mess up
    2. Go inside the cave and make your way to B2 (basement two) the room
       with the lava and disappearing bridges
    3. Position yourself a few spaces to the right, so that you are next to
       lava/bridges but still on the cave tileset
    4. Use Terra's Warp spell to leave and then save your game
    5. Go inside and encounter a random battle in the first room. Force a game
       game over. Fire3 makes short work of Terra and Locke
    6. The game puts you outside once you restart, from here, use a Tent and
       HOLD DOWN ON THE D-PAD ONCE YOU HAVE USED THE TENT
	   
If you did everything correctly, the Tent cutscene won't play properly (or at
all) and instead you'll be on the Blackjack watching the world asunder
cutscene with some Moogles playing Strago's part. Pretty cool eh? The game
then directs you to "Look for the Floating Continent" at which point you
should select Yes, put Setzer, Edgar, and Gau (who are all still equipped) in
your party and whambam continue the game. Note it takes around 80 steps to
do a section that once was around 1400 steps. It took me 20 steps to encounter
an enemy to force a game over, so a known improvement would be 1 step into
the cave to force a game over but I wasn't too worried about that.


SCC #12 After beating the first IAF battle - 4680
Known improvement - 19 steps (faster encounter) - 4661


The IAF is fairly easy (Auto the groups, Bolt/Rage or Fight the single) and
Ultros/Chupon go down fairly quickly as well (Auto, Fight, and Bio/Rage). The
Plane-Boss goes down again fairly easily to Auto again. Time to do the
Floating Continent. Just know that you can make your way to Atma in just over
350 steps. Use straight lines, cut corners when you can, and most importantly,
save steps by back-tracking.

What I mean is this: at the section where you have to press the buttons to
lower the terrain (using the warp tunnels) it is a few steps shorter to go
back through the warp tunnels than it is to walk up and hit the other button
to lower the wall to allow you to walk through. It's shorter by about 5 steps
or so. The enemies on the Floating Continent all go down quickly to Auto and
they give gobs of MP (hope for not too many Ninjas because they're amongst the
lower tier MP givers) and make your way to Atma, always keeping in mind your
spells that need to be learned.


SCC #13 At Atma - 5037 | 5018


Atma goes down quickly to Vanish/Doom. Here is a perfect example of what I was
referring to earlier when I said "Just because you can doesn't mean you
should" case in point, you could Rasp Atma to death to avoid a cheap victory,
or you could just fight him to death, you're certainly strong enough. To be
fair, for other challenges, I would encourage you to actually do that. Here
though, I wouldn't bother.

Laugh a bit when "Kupop" shows up to screw with Kefka and now you have to get
off of this thing. Naughty's have 3000 health, beat them as you wish, they
absorb Ice. Nerapa has Reflect and 2800ish health, he absorbs Fire. (Hint:
keep using Autocrossbow). As for taking extra steps, the biggest thing here is
to watch the area with the Elixir (the one chest) don't go right (the ground
collapses) go down instead. Still ignore it; but you have to do that to save
steps. Don't bother waiting for "Kupop" because we won't see him later in the
game regardless.


SCC #14 World of Balance cleared - 5143 | 5124



    [CHAPTER SEVEN]
      [MY GOODNESS THIS GOES FAST]
        (Solitary Island, Nikeah, Figaro, Daryl's Tomb, and finding Gau)
		
		
Enjoy the cutscenes and we'll regain control on the Solitary Island with a
properly level-reset Kutan who is now 65 (yay?). I've not bothered
experimenting because I can't imagine it is less steps to go back and forth
to find fish to save Cid so instead head outside the house, wait 2 minutes for
him to die, and head back to trigger the cutscenes. Avoid taking extra steps,
and you'll find yourself near Albrook after the raft ride.

We need to get to Nikeah, but that's a long way a way and Kutan frankly is
awful so instead head towards Tzen as there is a Chocobo nest near there. From
where Kutan starts, you can head mostly straight up (near Tzen there's a body
of water as your marker) to where you need to start working left. Past the
sand (that's above the mountains separating you from Tzen) there's some woods
just on the otherside of the water. That's the Chocobo nest. Ride it to Nikeah
and save yourself the trouble. Also, run from every enounter from here until
you get Edgar because you don't need to trouble yourself fighting with Kutan.


SCC #15 Just outside Nikeah - 5323 | 5304


Inside Nikeah, ignore all the shops (yes I know they're close but we don't
need anything from them) and make your way to the Cafe to talk to the thieves
(again, mindful to not take extra steps; inside the Cafe in particular two of
the thieves walk around so don't walk to them, let them come to you). Gerad
spawns now so you can go talk to him, always be infront of him for the first
two talks (avoid extra steps) then talk to him a third time and stow aboard
the ship.

Once we're over in Figaro Town, Edgar (Gerad) is again located in the room
above the Relic Shop/next to the Inn. However, it is less steps to go up
through the Cafe entrance and to leave through the Cafe entrance to talk to
him. The step cost to go once through the Relic side to visit that store for
some crucial relics (mostly Runningshoes which would make several parts of
Kefka's tower LOADS EASIER) but alas we are doing the absolutely shortest
step challenge for a reason.

Once again, work your way to the Chocobo and ride it to the cave; definitely
save outside of here to avoid an untimely death due to pincer attack.


SCC #16 Just outside the Cave of Figaro - 5564 | 5545


This cave should be familiar as we are revisiting it for a third time so you
should be a pro at avoiding extra steps. After hopping on the turtle, be
mindful of the many spots where you can avoid extra steps due to the ceiling
warping the path making it seems like you have to walk further. Make your way
through and directly to the engine room (ignoring all the treasure). Talk to
Edgar and fight the Tentacle boss. Edgar at 99 should one shot, maybe a second
shot is required to finish them off, but man this battle among several others
really shows how crucial that overleveling is because this battle would
otherwise be impossible to beat as it is.

Edgar will join us and now it's time to go to Kohlingen to find our second
member, Setzer. He's in the nearby Cafe.


SCC #17 Getting Setzer - 5896 | 5877


Get Setzer equipped (always remembering your magic list) and make your way to
Daryl's tomb. Now here is another couple crucial spots that I want to bring
your attention to.

    (1) Save outside of Daryl's Tomb. This is to help battle encounters to
        try to minimize steps later for finding Gau. For instance, in my first
        attempt at this; I encountered a battle after beaing the boss. This
        made finding Gau super difficult and my best attempt was like 22 steps
        or something. In short, hopefully you don't fight a battle in the boss
        room, that way you can more quickly find Gau
    (2) There is a known step improvement here that I've yet to calculate
        exactly the difference but essentially it involves buying a Warp Stone
        from the Blackjack in the World of Balance to use it here. I'll detail
        exactly how below
		
There's two approaches to Daryl's Tomb, the first if you have the Warp Stone
(which is faster) or the second which assumes no Warp Stone.

  Method One
  
Enter the tomb, but go left instead of right. We need to go NE to hit a
switch and we need to go SW to hit a switch. Thanks to the Warp Stone, we can
go left and SW first to the basement to hit the switch to open that door. Now
use the Warp Stone to leave the tomb and to re-enter it. Now go right and NE
to hit the other switch. Proceed to the main room to work your way to the boss

  Method Two
  
Enter the tomb and go NE to hit the switch to raise the initial water level.
Now work your way SW to hit the switch to open the door (I guess technically
these are mostly interchangeable but I do believe it is a few less steps to go
NE first over SW). From there you can work your way to the boss room.

As it was my first time doing this new Thamasa-break as I'm calling it, I
definitely overlooked the fact that I no longer get that Warp Stone from the
box in Albrook's harbor. I overlooked it; but I more overlooked the fact that
for "absolutely shortest steps" taking extra steps to purchase a Warp Stone
would save steps later here. Like I said, I don't know exactly the difference,
it's not much, since to purchase the Warp Stone off the Blackjack (your
shortest distance by far) happens just after you land for the first time near
Albrook (ironically) when you're going to the Magitek Research Facility. It's
about 24 steps round trip to go inside and to buy a Warp Stone.

What's amazing is that would be truly helpful here as they sell Smoke Bombs
(useful for Kutan when alone working to get to Edgar), Tinctures (less useful
but less stress on learning Osmose on Edgar and Gau), and REMEDY'S which are
SUPER important now since Gau is no longer protected from Mute by Train from
Sleep (what a run-on sentence!). In short, it's 24 steps (or so) to get some
super useful items that later saves just a few. Like I said, not completely
calculated yet.

One other possible option is to teach someone Warp from Carbunkle. It's at
2x speed (fairly slow) and is combined with a whole host of rather useless
spells that would severely delay someone learning their important magic. I
have definitely not tried this option although I won't lie, it seems possible
that Setzer could be tasked with learning Warp alongside Rasp. That would save
those extra 24 steps or so. Just more areas for possible improvement

Regardless, the boss Dullahan is super easy, just Vanish/Doom and call it good


SCC #18 Beating Dullahan - 6153 | 6134
Known improvement - having access to Warp (steps saved currently unknown)


Enjoy the cutscene and now we have to go get Gau. Fly over to the Veldt and
depending on your battle encounter rate in the tomb, save your game. Like I
said, it's not precise, but if you fought a battle in your last 5-10 steps or
so of beating that dungeon, I'd consider resetting back and trying again.
Regardless, save in the Veldt and hopefully Gau shows up quickly. In theory
you can just go until he shows up, but since we're worried about shortest
steps here, 2 steps is best (that's in 2 steps, you encounter a battle and Gau
shows up) and I'd let it go to about 20-25 or so before resetting and trying
again. On this particular run/attempt I found Gau in 14 steps so that is a
known improvement of 12 steps if you can possibly manage the rare 2 step
encounter to find Gau.

That brings us to our last section and as we head into it, let's refresh
quickly our known improvements (we have 3 of them).

    (1) Faster encounter to game over (theory: 1 step) - 19 step improvement
    (2) Faster Gau recruitment (theory: 2 steps) - 12 step improvement
    (3) Having Warp (theory: 17 steps) - 17 step improvement
	
That gives our total reduction of steps (possibly) of 48 steps over our
current counter. Two are from better RNG seeds for encounters, one is for the
likelihood of teaching Warp to Setzer in time to still learn Rasp. Frankly,
teaching Warp is the best option here since going to purchase Warp Stones
would only save you about 4-5 steps in the long run (what a sacrifice we make,
12 less steps to not have Remedy's, Tinctures, or Smoke Bombs).



    [CHAPTER EIGHT]
      [WHERE'D THE GAME GO?]
        (Kefka's Tower)
		
		
What's fascinating about this Thamasa-Skip is that everyone crucial is level
99 now, how about that? It doesn't matter a lot, but those extra 11 levels are
something, right? Anyway, this is without question the hardest part of the run
and a ton of what we have been doing has been planning for this thing as even
level 99 characters die very quickly in this tower when they are alone and
inadequately equipped (which we definitely are) at this point.

As a minor refresher, let's look again at what spells are important for us.

    GAU    -   VANISH/DOOM/CURE2/RASP/OSMOSE + FIRE/REMEDY/DISPEL
    SETZER -   RASP/OSMOSE/CURE2 + FIRE/REMEDY/DISPEL
    EDGAR  -   VANISH/DOOM/CURE2 + FIRE/REMEDY/DISPEL
	
You simply must have Vanish+Doom to beat Goddess and Doom, and Rasp is
imperative to Setzer to set up Joker Doom combos to beat his 3 bosses, Inferno
Guardian and Poltrgeist. From there, everyone knowing Cure2 is really crucial
as our only other healing are Potions and any Elixirs or X-Potions you may
have accumulated randomly. Since Gau is full-time utility to beat the tiered
final battle, giving him answers to problems is our best option, AKA giving
him Fire, Remedy, and Dispel to cure status ailments. However, since he then
becomes our #1 fighter of battles during this trek of the tower, he really
needs access to Osmose otherwise he will drain himself short ever starting
with 900+ magic points.

Setzer and Edgar on the otherhand, are just not that important. Edgar in
particular is going to be fighting at every opportunity (hopefully jumping)
so we won't be using him much to heal and Setzer should be fighting though
the Blackbelt does allow him to contribute still while healing some. You
see where I'm going with this. We're level 99 but in general moves from the
final bosses will do 2000 or so damage to us and Cure2 from Gau is only about
2500 so we rack up a deficit pretty quickly.

I should mention before going to Kefka's Tower you could fly around and find
Doom Gaze, but Flare is unnecessary and he yields no MP for us so don't
bother!

Put Edgar in group 1, Gau in group 2, and Setzer in group 3. Moving is
complicated. We always want to move Setzer first, as he has no obstacles and
doesn't need much magic (he also cannot fight the tower enemies). Whenever a
battle is encountered, reset back that step and switch to Gau. Gau will fight
most of the battles and that's important since it gives him so many needed MP
for learning those utility spells. That being said, we can't always just move
Edgar before Gau, because that could put Gau encountering a battle inside
the tower (as opposed to outside).

We want to stick to outside enemies as they generally lack instant death
attacks that we have no protection for. It's not an exact science, but in
short, once Setzer is safely tucked on his button and can move no further,
move Gau and Edgar, kind of together, but so that the battles are always
triggering outside instead of indoors.

While moving, ignore all of the treasure that requires steps. This includes
Minervas (which we can't use), Force Equipment (which we would love) and
even the MegaElixir which is awesome. The only thing we do get is the Fixed
Dice which we do want as Setzer will use it for the final battle. If you
don't have the Jewel Ring (stolen from Dadaluma) then there is a Ribbon near
the switch (party 1 and party 2) for a few steps that you can grab. Inferno
uses Delta Hit which causes Petrification and GG to Setzer. It's also one of
our best relics so use it anyway (I generally have Gau with Jewel and Peace
Rings, to protect against Stone and Muddle).

You are probably asking about the enemies. As I said before, we want the
battles to happen outside so we should see a lot of the same, rather
manageable enemy formations. I'm also assuming Gau is fighting (though if you
fight some with Edgar, the strategy stays mostly the same). In general, stay
Vanish'd since most enemies use nasty attacks that are luckily stopped by
being invisible.

    Stacked Vectaurs? Use Autocrossbow if Edgar | Gau can Ice2 twice
(The fear here is Fireball, which hurts, try to win quickly, don't worry about
re-Vanishing yourself if you do lose it)

    Vectaur, Evil Oscar, GtBehemoth? If you are Vanish'd, Ice2 the Vectaur,
    then Bserk the Behemoth. Vanish+Doom the plant, then Osmose yourself back
    up to full before using non-MP consuming abilities to beat the Behemoth.
    With Gau, I tend to Rage Hornet.
	
    Now, if you start the battle un-Vanished, then Vanish+Doom the plant
    first, that thing gets really nasty. Once it is gone, then Bserk the
    Behemoth followed up with Ice2 on the Vectaur. Now you are free to use
    Cure2 to heal back to full, Vanish yourself, Osmose back to full MP, and
    repeat
(Evil Oscars, in general, are the worst outdoors enemy we can fight. Bad
Breath causes HUGE headaches for us and they have instant death attacks)

    Evil Oscar, Brontaur? Vanish+Doom the plant first before dealing with the
    Brontaur. Wail hurts, but that's the extent of what the dinosaur does.
    This is also a battle where Vanish doesn't do much since Lifeshaver
    removes clear from us so don't bother trying to re-Vanish yourself
(In general, Vanish+Doom both enemies since the Brontaurs, while weak to Ice,
have 10000+ health so you cannot one-shot them so Lifeshaver would kill you)

    That's the dirty rundown. Vectaurs can Fireball, GtBehemoths can Meteor,
    Brontaurs use Lifeshaver, and Evil Oscars are really tough. Use my
    guidelines and you'll be fine
	
If you are forced to encounter indoor enemies... be very careful. Try to run
if you can as some enemies will counter (on death) with an instant death
attack.

    Retainer - uses Tradeoff (death counter OHKO)
    Dark Force - tons of magic including Roulette
    Steroidite - uses Cold Dust (freeze)
    Doom Drgn - just plain nasty
    Mover - Actually not bad, you can fight. They have 120 HP and 254 Mag
            Def so good luck beating them with Gau but you could
    Madam - usually with other nasty enemies, uses level 3 magic
    Outsider - casts X-Zone, enough said
    Hemophyte - likes Zombie spells
    Dueller - at level 99, not that bad, but I'd run still
    Vectagoyle - Gau can Vanish+Doom, these aren't terrible
    Junk - uses Exploder (deals damage equal to their HP - 2000) I'd run
    Didalos - uses Blaster, that kills us
    Veteran - uses Roulette, don't play their game
    Sky Base - likes Doom
    IronHitman - aren't bad, but they're paired with nasty, run
    Prometheus - not terrible but immune to Vanish so Edgar cannot win, run
	
In short, there are 2 enemy encounters that Gau could find he could deal with.
Hopefully this makes sense now as to avoid indoor battles

Soon, we find, Inferno! Normally, I'd say use Echo Screens in this order:
Poltrgeist, Inferno, and Guardian. However, since we skip Thamasa (and now
no longer see Insecares) we are without Echo Screens. Great! That means we
are doing Rasp+Rasp+Fight with Cards to self-trigger Joker Doom

Make sure Setzer is in the backrow equipped with your best defensive equipment
Maneater, Mithril Shield, Plumed Hat, and Mithril Vest are what I had (swap to
Cards for the one attack). Relic-wise, Jewel and Peace Ring are my best
options, if you have better use it though he does need Stone-protection.
In short, Setzer will need to Rasp+Rasp+switch to Cards and attack. Hopefully
at this point he hasn't died so you can then Joker Doom. Not going to lie,
this battle is tough and requires a little bit of luck. Inferno has a habit of
using Atomic Ray which messes up the Joker Doom combo, that's a guaranteed
reset. That doesn't mean facing Elemental magic and Shrapnel is better,
because ya might die, but at least the combo will work.

Continue to move forward from there and get everyone into that first tree
section to where you can decide where do you want Edgar to go, left or right?
We need Setzer in the middle, so let Gau up first.


SCC #19 Everyone lined up in the "tree" before the statues - 6984
Known improvements (48) - 6936


The enemies up here are extremely dangerous (and we have a lacking of outdoors
to reach easier enemies) so I'd run a lot. Scullion enjoys using condemned, so
that's a guarantee run-away. Innoc doesn't seem too bad (Peace Ring > Muddle)
but as they can also FREEZE us, just run. The game does not want you fighting
up here.

It doesn't matter the order you fight the bosses at this point. I tend to put
Gau into position last, but fighting Poltrgeist before Doom is helpful as the
Aura Lance gives Edgar some extra speed. I tend to send Setzer to beat
Guardian (not very many steps) to get to a Save Point, that allows us to
hopefully dodge some horrible battle encounter that we otherwise cannot
escape. Then I send Gau to beat Goddess where he stays on that Save Point
until I'm ready to go finish the game. Setzer can then go deal with
Poltrgeist, then finally Edgar to Doom, and then we go fight Kefka.

For both Gau and Edgar, just use Vanish+Doom. Goddess has a whole slew of
nasty abilities that force a reset including Lullaby and Charm. Edgar should
be fine as Doom will likely use Ice3, but just be aware that there is still
a ton of danger.

Guardian is the easiest of the 3 Joker Doom setups Setzer must do, but that's
not saying much: it's still a really difficult battle. Poltrgeist on the
other hand is hands down, probably the most difficult battle to do as Setzer
has to get essentially 4 turns to Rasp twice, attack with Cards, then combo.
There's no way around it, if Stop lands, you're dead. Poltrgeist may just kill
you anyway. It's just really difficult and if there was a way to magic an
Echo Screen into our bag, this would be the time to do so.

Once Edgar and Setzer are in position, you can heal everyone up with Sleeping
Bags (swap while on the Save Point) before engaging. Note your step count
before stepping Gau onto the pad and get ready for the final battle.


SCC #20 At Kefka - 7158
(Yes that accounts for the +1 step onto the pad)
Known possible improvements - 7110


Like I said earlier, saving 160 steps from my current best is pretty
impossible as it currently stands. Even with the known 3 improvements which
saves almost 50 steps, we are still over 100 steps short of breaking 7000
steps. I'm very eager to see what else is being developed but as it stands,
we are just shy of getting into the sub 7000 range.

But just because we are here, the challenge isn't over. Oh ho the challenge
wasn't to reach Kefka with the shortest steps, no we must beat him. Let's get
prepared shall we?

I've given GAU my best defensive tools as he needs to survive to be my utility
support. I've given him the JEWEL and PEACE Rings (to stop Petrify and Muddle)
as well then the Esper UNICORN as Sleep (tier 3) likes to use Train which is
a whole host of status ailments. Equipment-wise, he gets my best gear which is
pretty sad. MITHRIL SHIELD, HEADBAND, AND MITHRIL VEST

SETZER is interesting as I managed to find both a Barrier Ring and an Amulet.
I elected to give him the BARRIER RING and BLACK BELT this time since having
Shell active (against Kefka) seemed like a better option over protecting from
Zombie (not a serious issue here). If I hadn't found anything, I'd probably
give him the Gauntlet and give Edgar no other relic since I found Dragoonboots
though if I hadn't found Dragoonboots, then Edgar gets the Gauntlet. For
equipment, Setzer gets FIXED DICE, MITHRIL SHIELD, and LEATHER HAT and ARMOR.
Skipping Shadow, Strago, and Relm, really hurts my items. Esper-wise, I give
Setzer PHANTOM to prevent Calmness from killing someone

That leaves EDGAR, who matters very little outside of the AURA LANCE which we
win. He got stuck with BUCKLER, LEATHER HAT and LEATHER ARMOR. Relic-wise, he
gets DRAGOONBOOTS and GAUNTLET, but like I said, if I hadn't found those extra
relics, then he'd get the Gauntlet and nothing else. Against Kefka, he would
drop the shield for the extra damage. His Esper matters nil at this point, but
the best option is CARBUNKLE, not that I used it.

It's pretty dire, my equipment situation, but luckily it matters as little as
we would suspect since we have been milking our other advantageous to get us
here. Always use your best stuff, and always give Gau your defensive tools.


    

    TIER ONE
	
Have Gau cast Break on the Long Arm and then cast Cure2 every turn. Setzer
and Edgar should double team whomever they can. Battle goes pretty fast. The
only thing to note here is that if someone gets seizure status, you need to
kill them and then revive them as seizure stays with us and Fallen One sets
up then into an instant death. As long as 2 enemies are up, Edgar can use
Auto (does roughly the same damage but spread out compared to single target)

It's a pretty easy tier, but the biggest threat is seizure. If you've taught
someone Remedy, then you can use it to clear the status. Otherwise, kill them
and revive them.




    TIER TWO
	
This part is distinctly more difficult than tier one though not as bad as
tier three and it mostly depends on what Tiger and Magic decide to do. Tools,
the fellow in the middle, can be Doomed, so do that with Gau prefarably. From
here, Edgar and Setzer need to focus Magic in the back (no Auto this time as
we don't want to push Tiger into low HP triggering worse attacks).

With Tools and Magic down, the battle is significantly easier here. Take down
Hit first (10 hits could kill someone if you're unlucky) and then focus Tiger
down. Try to keep everyone above 8000 health as you move forward
	

	

    TIER THREE
	
Edgar can OHKO Girl so do that as that makes the battle fairly simple then as
Sleep has 40000 life and we want to eliminate her the same time we can have
Phantom up to prevent Calmness. See, Calmness is an instant death attack but
it is blocked by Clear, so when Sleep is within final blow attacks, have
Setzer call Phantom and have Edgar finish Sleep off.

That being said, Sleep has a whole library of magic attacks that suck and can
make things really difficult. I was very fortunate in this last attempt where
Setzer rolled 9999 twice which cuts down the length of this battle drastically
but that being said: Train now Mutes everyone. We only get one cast of Unicorn
so make it count (not to mention we have a very limited supply of Remedy to
cure Gau to be able to use unicorn) so REALLY make it count. Sleep can also
condemn people (yeah, let them die and revive them) as well she can cast W
Wind, Merton, freeze people, and apparently Delta Hit though I've not seen it
as I recall.

In general, have Edgar attack while Setzer and Gau work damage control. It's
tempting to be full health but since Kefka leads with setting everyone to 1 HP
it is pretty pointless to heal up. Just ensure everyone is breathing and free
of status effects before moving on




    KEFKA
	
Normally you need to Rasp Rasp Rasp. Luckily here we don't. Edgar does 9999
so he requires 5-6 attacks alongside some attacks from your allies. Gau should
heal every turn (havoc wing does 5500 in the back row) (goner does ~2000 to
everyone) so keeping health up is important. With Edgar and Setzer wailing
the battle goes down very quick. Once Kefka starts shaking then he is only
a few hits from death. Congratulations! We have beaten the game in less than
9000 steps.

It's, UNDER 9000!!!!



----------------------------------



  [ENDING+CONCLUSION+STUFF]
  

    MAGIC EXPLANATIONS
	
  As I've updated this a few times as I continue to improve steps here and
there, I've also grown a better understanding of our magic options and what
you might actually want to use versus have (and sitting looking pretty).

    RAMUH
	
  Ramuh is a useless Esper that teaches Bolt, Poison, and Bolt2. The only time
you'll use Ramuh is to give Gau Bolt while you wait until your better batch
of Espers to show up. Bolt does give Gau a "controllable" attack, but at high
levels, Gau won't do anything until the late game anyway so it's pretty
pointless

    UNICORN
	
  Unicorn is one of the best Espers we get as it teaches Cure2 which is
invaluable healing. It also teaches Remedy and Dispel which can both cure
statuses. Remedy can cure Dark, Poison, Petrify, Mute, Muddle, Seizure,
Sleep, Slow, and Stop. Dispel on the other hand cures Clear, Image, Berserk,
Regen, Slow, Haste, Stop, Shell, Safe, Reflect, Life3, and Float. As such,
Remedy is the bread and butter, but Dispel can also deal with something more
random such as Berserk. In a nutshell, Remedy deals with MOST status effects,
and Dispel deals with status-boosting type effects. On that note, we would
never bother to learn Dispel if we didn't already get so close thanks to
wanting Cure2 and Remedy

    SHIVA
	
  Shiva is invaluable as Osmose/Rasp. The Ice magic is pretty pointless (it
does let Gau defeat stacked Vectaurs at least) but you don't need Cure since
everyone should have Cure2 instead

    SHOAT
	
  Shoat is also invaluable thanks to Doom. You'll likely never use Bio or
Break but they are there. Bio is a decently strong attack for Gau to use
initially until he has learned Ice2

    PHANTOM
	
  Phantom is also invaluable with Vanish teaming up with Doom for some instant
death combos, but also Bserk gets used a fair amount to stop GtBehemoths
from casting Meteor on us.

    MADUIN
	
  You'll never use Maduin
  
    CARBUNKLE
	
  While Haste is super powerful, it takes far too long to learn to be
considered on this challenge. That being said, I am investigating whether or
not we can manage to teach Setzer Warp in time to also learn Rasp as Warp
would save steps in Daryl's Tomb. Perhaps Carbunkle isn't as worthless

    BISMARK
	
  Luckily, this whale does give the basic elements at x20 speed so we can
learn Fire to cure Frozen. He does teach Life also, but again, at x2 speed,
there are far better options available to us.

  So, regarding our heroes then... as pointed out, Edgar needs Vanish/Doom to
beat Doom. Outside of that, he will always be better off attacking or using
Auto Crossbow. But he spends a lot of time with us and the Espers, so giving
him Cure2 (really everyone needs it) as well as Fire makes sense. Otherwise,
giving him Remedy and maybe Dispel works out best. He really does not need
Rasp/Osmose unlike Gau who could actually deplete his entire magic pool.

  Setzer on the other hand, only needs Rasp to achieve his victory(ies). But
teach him Cure2 as well. Outside of that, he can also use Fire. If you really
have a plethora of MP laying around for him, I'm not sure what else to say.
Give him Unicorn then at that point, he does not need Phantom or Shoat.

  Gau is only casting which is why he has the most extensive magic list and
why he ultimately does most of the fighting in Kefka's tower. He only needs
Vanish/Doom, but Cure2 is basically required as well. Rasp/Osmose aren't
super required, but Vanish/Doom is a 53 MP combo so Gau can run out of MP
pretty fast, so teach him Rasp/Osmose to avoid that accident. He also wants
Fire to combat Frozen, and then lastly, giving him Remedy and eventually
Dispel works as well. You could in theory get to others but that's about the
extent of it. He gets a lot of magic, but you are limited in how many steps
you get to take.


  
This is the end of the faq. It's a short guide, but that's because there is
a lot that isn't needing to be explained. If this was written to try this at
level 20 I imagine I would need to invest more time into explaining things,
but it isn't really feasible to beat the game at 20 so don't try it. I put
details into spots that I think matter and left other things out in spots that
frankly you should be able to figure out on your own. The game is pretty
straight-forward and after the Lete River the game becomes easy until the
last 2000 steps or so (for the most part). And the thing is; that even if you
don't level all the much the game is still pretty easy until the last 2000
steps or so even with no equipment or magic. It's just a fact of life. IAF
and Air Force can be tricky; Ultros against Strago/Locke/Terra can be hard if
you are less than 20; and Dadaluma can give you trouble at very low levels.
But we Chocobo to most places, and use Edgar to Auto things out of our way.
And regardless, we don't even get Force Equipment so we need the higher
health to avoid dying instantly.

If you want to contact me regarding this FAQ, do so at

    tskisoccer@yahoo.com
	
And put "Final Fantasy 3 Steps" or Shortest Steps in the title so I know what
you are talking about. It also lessens the chance that I delete it as spam as
that email is used exclusively for guide writing purposes. Also, don't steal
this. Ilsoap has his guide there, and this one is pretty much completely
different despite having similar goals, so don't mess with either. I am pretty
open regarding where it ends up but that's why permission emails are always
appreciated. As for thanks, I have quite a few


I'd like to thank Ilsoap, because without him I never would have tried this
    in the first place. Maybe you can try out this challenge ma friend.
I'd like to thank Egoraptor for showing me that sometimes humor can trump
    being profesional depending on the environment.
I'd like to thank the FF3 Gods, Master Zed, Djibrel, and bover_87 as your
    guides were essential to many aspects of this challenge. The Monster Guide
    being the most used; along with rages and monster scripts being very
    very useful as well. Oh and that Slot Guide. Made it possible to drop
    53 more steps by skipping Force Equipment.
I'd like to thank the random youtube video that showed me how to skip Celes.
    If I had never seen it; never would've tried to lower the steps more.
I'd like to thank the FF6 community for finding the Thamasa-Skip, really it
    transformed the run even more than skipping Celes
Lastly, Gamefaqs, Squaresoft, and the gaming community. I've gotten quite a
    bit more into writing Faqs now and this one is no exception. The guide is
    to share the information. I've already done this; but it is fun and I'd
    like to share it with you as well.




	


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