The lights are on
Getting decimated in a boss battle dozens of hours into a video game isn’t very fun. That’s exactly what happens in Final Fantasy Tactics when the player comes face to face with Wiegraf Folles.
Wiegraf becomes a revolutionary after he isn’t paid for fighting in a war preceding the game. He then loses his sister after a foiled kidnap plot. There’s more to the story – explaining Final Fantasy Tactics would take a novel’s worth of text – but after these events Ramza, the game’s main character, runs into Wiegraf who is now working for the evil Church of Glabados.
Ramza is responsible for some of Wiegraf’s turmoil, so it isn’t a friendly reunion, and things quickly turn violent. The initial stage of this two-part battle has Ramza fighting alone. This is especially agonizing because of the high-damage sword techniques Wiegraf employs.
Things get even worse when Wiegraf is brought down: a demon takes over. The antagonist cashes in on his pact with a Lucavi demon (a member of a group ultimately trying to resurrect their leader and bring ruin to the world), turning over his body to Velius, a monstrous being with four arms who is able to petrify players, and also summon a Cyclops for area damage.
Your team finally shows up to help, but to level the playing field, Velius summons three Archaeodaemons. They can summon a darker version of the Holy spell to inflict massive damage to far-off areas of the tiny map, making most of your party unsafe.
If you didn’t plan ahead, your party is completely slaughtered. That’s almost always a guarantee; you’re not told to be ready for such a battle. This is easily the nadir of Ramza’s – and your – adventure unless you’re psychic. What’s worse is the game offers the chance to save your progress directly before this battle because it happens during a chain of encounters. There’s no going back to the world map if you screw up. If you can’t beat him and don’t have a second save file, you have to start all over.
Though that is the most terrible moment in the game, with it comes the ultimate high: figuring out how to win.
One way to take out Velius is by making Ramza a Monk (giving characters different jobs is the focal point of the gameplay), equipping him with knight armor for the defense and hit-point boosts, and then giving him Guts, the skill set Squires specialize in.
In the Squire’s repertoire of abilities is Accumulate. Using it each round boosts Ramza’s attack power slightly. Players need to use Accumulate excessively during the first half of the battle when Wiegraf is human, and heal when necessary with the Monk’s Chakra ability.
After doing this long enough you can down Wiegraf in one punch; Velius proves to be just as weak to an overpowered punch.
As proved in the video below, more than one strategy exists to defeat Wiegraf. No matter how you prepare, the battle is infuriating, asinine, and also a true delight when won.
[Editor’s note: names for characters and abilities were taken from the PSOne version of the game]