Fighting OZMA, results from 100 battles - Guide for Final Fantasy IX
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I fought the biggest, baddest Boss in all of FF IX over 100 times. I Love the Ozma battle,and so much has been written about it that I just wanted to test out a whole bunch of stuff and clear up a lot of misinformation and misconceptions. And share some strategies. Here's what I found. The Time-frame of my Ozma battles: I fight Ozma during the earliest possible opportunity in FF IX, that is on Disc 3 right after u gain access to the Hilda Garde 3 airship (after Esto Gaza & Mt Gulag) and before u take ur party to Ipsen's Castle (and thus also before the 4 Shrines & Terra.) Since this opp. happens on Disc 3, it's before u visit Memoria as well. Complete the Chocobo treasure quest to gain access to Choco's Air Garden (and lots of goodies) and then explore what seems to be an Eidolon's cave to begin the fight with Ozma. Be sure to stock up in Daguerreo 1st. I tested both before & after finishing the "Friendlies Quest," ie; giving Friendly Yan his Diamond & gaining his blessing for this fight. Best Party: Zidane (Lev79), Dagger/Eiko(69), Amarant (74), Quina (77) (see more on this below, like using Freya) (Note: this is my highest level party ever fighting Ozma. Using lower levels still works okay. Mid to low level 60's parties just take a bit longer, & have a bit lower success rate.) Best Attacks/Moves: Z- Steal, then Thievery (9999 dam.) D-the minor player: cure Berserk (Gysahl greens), Life, Bahamut A-Auto-Life (Aura), Revive (like Life), maybe No Mercy Q-Auto-Life, Frog Drop (6700 to 9999 dam, it depends on his lev times # of frogs caught) Best Equipment: Ninja Gear(Z), Pumice Pieces (A & Q), Egoist armlet & Protect ring(D) These all Absorb Shadow! which Ozma's Doomsday attk uses to deal out 9999 dam to ur party. Instant death. Instant max health with these! Well, Dagger's Ego. Armlet just blocks 100%, but at least she gets to live... (if u've not caught 99 frogs with Quina, u won't have fought Quale yet & stolen the Ninja Gear for Zidane, so use Freya & her Demon Mail as a 3rd shadow- absorbing piece of equip., and give Zidane a Pumice Piece or Egoist armlet. Not quite as good, but okay) Give Z the Rebirth ring etc to max his Spirit. Max Spirit = Max Steal rate in FF IX. Not speed anymore, like FF VII etc. Everyone else: Jade armlets, Circlet, Holy Miter. Robe of Lords, Light robe, Power vest, etc. Basically, max out their Mag Def & Mag Evade. Ignore their Def & Evade! U WILL BE TEMPTED, but put every last point u can toward M Def & M Evade. Don't split with reg Def & reg Evade like normally. None of Ozma's attks are physical. (Curse might be the exception, see below) Best Abilities: Auto-Haste, Auto-Regen, Auto-Potion (allows time for Regen...Ozma WILL NOT interupt auto-potioning. Odd, but really a help,) Antibody, Half MP, Absorb MP, 20-10% HP if u have em, Mug & Bandit of course. Master Thief really doesn't work, it may help Z's steal ratio tho. see below IGNORE Loudmouth; despite what u hear, Ozma never inflicts Silence. Same for Jelly, Body Temp, Locomotion. Use ability pts elsewhere. In fact, D heals so fast, I forgot to give her Antibody, but she was still okay. Bright Eyes/Darkness: I ignore Darkness cuz I never use physical attks vs Ozma. Magic & all the skills listed herein are NOT affected by Darkness in the least. I do prevent it for Zidane, however. Superstition possibly, but I hope it helps him steal. He is just such a bad thief... The Main Strategy: Auto-Life everyone quickly with A (& maybe Q,) while Z steals. Skip D's turns (do NOT defend!...it uses a turn & Ozma will attk sooner!) Hit Ozma for damage each round, esp. after 1st round. Zidane is our Thief, such as he is. And then he's our 2nd heavy hitter once he's got the goods. Steal, then Thievery Dagger/Eiko's main job is to cure Berserk. Odd, huh? SKIP HER UNTIL U NEED THIS...usually in round 2 and 3. After that, she still gets skipped until using Life/FullLife or curing Berserk. Alright, Life/Fullife is REALLY her main job or we'd just use Freya & Quina both and forget Dagger/Eiko altogether. It's just that Phoenix Downs/Auto-Regen are too slow, allies are too vulnerable too long. D & A both need to be ready for multi Berserk attks tho. Ignore Mini. Exception: we'll use Bahamut/Madeen if Quina's disabled for 2 rounds (thus not attacking)& Amarant's rescuing. Amarant is our main Auto-Lifer & Reviver. Late in fight, play around with No Mercy or Dead Peppers if u want. Here ya go, Ozma...a Dead Pepper! (a decent choice for Dagger to use, no joking) (throwing Wing Edges/Rising Suns, like using No Mercy, will hit for 300 when ur Mini, & up to 9999 when ur not. So they're be good as 2nd priority attks) Quina is our main, heavy hitter, or Freya if u prefer, but Quina's also a backup Auto-Life giver. When in trouble, Amarant & Quina will both use it in the same round. Big hitter...keep Ozma using Curaga, not attacking, and wear that HP down. Frog Drop (or Freya's DragonCrest) Minor Startegy Points: Keep hitting Ozma, u want him to cast Curaga on himself. Frog Drop, Bahamut and Steal/Mug are our initial attks. (when Mug steals, not if it misses, and DragonCrest if use Freya) Use Bahamut if all's going well, or Q is disabled for 2 rounds. After u've got Ozma's 4 items, Z starts in with Thievery. DO NOT GET MORE THAN 2 MOVES AHEAD. Feeling lucky?... take 3. Seriously. This is the biggest, most common mistake vs Ozma. U'll set 4 commands, one for each ally, and then before 2 even make their move ur already wishing u could change them. See, Ozma is greedy & often takes 2 turns in a row. Skip A & D's moves once everyone's auto-lifed just for those times when half ur party is knocked out with Meteor, esp. with Curse thrown in right after. Or Ozma casts Berserk on 2 chars, and then kills everyone else. Real fun, good luck with that one. Can't ever cure Berserk then, and it never runs out. Worse, u'll only hit him for 100's of pts of dam each time. (It is however, my fave way to die to OZMA, he's such a joker.) Seriously, if this happens, wait for a Berserked ally to die. When they Auto-Life thay'll no longer be Berserked, so u may be able to save the fight still. Do NOT DEFEND, do skip over A & D when they are not needed (by hitting triangle button.) Defend counts as a turn, and Ozma will attk sooner. U don't want that. Hit triangle, wait for Berserk. It's worth repeating here. As said above, Curse seems to be an exception. Curse tends to hurt more in the front row. Like a lot. Really odd for a Mag attk...it shouldn't matter. Regardless, just put everyone in the back row. We're only casting magic & skills anyway, so our attks. aren't weaker from the back row. IGNORE MINI! None of our attks are weakened by it (they're not physical,) and it doesn't make the party weaker to damage. So DO NOT waste turns curing Mini, cuz odds are u'll get hit with it again within 2 rounds anyway. Wasted turns kill u vs Ozma. I NEVER, ever use Remedies anymore fighting Ozma. Not even one. Ozma's habits: Ozma likes using Berserk twice (vs this setup,) usually in round 2 and round 3. Or twice while ur still in round 2. Like I said, he's a kidder. Watch for the Meteor/Curse one-two combo. A threat anytime, he esp. likes to hit u with it, or at least Meteor when u 1st get him down to under 20,000 HP (he's got just under 56,000 total. I keep a rough count of where he is, which is tricky to do with Mug & Curaga. Mug usu. 3k dam., Curaga 6700-9700 HP) Curse: he loves to throw it out there at least once every 3 or 4 rounds. If it's been awhile, he'll probably bust it out. At Really low HP (under 10k); Meteor, (usu. w/o Curse here,) Doomsday, and Curse are his go-to tricks here. Flare Star might pop up, too. Note: Flare Star is great for evaluating and balancing your equip. between allies in ur party. It's damage is super consistent (and virtually non- evadable.) So swap equip. around to balance out ur parties defense based on Flare Star's damage. Like if Dagger keeps getting killed by it, or is really low in the yellow HP while Zidane still has 3000 HP, take that Circlet off Zidane and give it to Dagger. Or whatever. Balance. All should survive Flare Star at these levels. In the mid to low 60's levels, u'll lose Dagger/Eiko and even possibly Quina. But Freya's a tuff little rat even at lev 58. Ozma's Easy Attks? Holy: never hurts. Ever. Hope for it. Hits one ally. Lev 4 Holy; a joke. A blessing when cast. Never hurt Vivi in my tests (lev 68) & gave the party tons of time to regen. In fact, if it hits a char. with the Pumice Piece, it should be absorbed even. Never worry about taking a char. in with a level that's a multiple of 4. (Levels of 5 still avoid!) Hits all. Flare: okay mostly. May have to swap equip like hats/robes around to survive it tho. Almost never killed anyone once set up, except poor Dagger. I did give her the short straw on equip tho, and cheated toward my Auto-Lifers. see Flare Star above on balancing equip. If they survive Flare Star with 500HP, they'll survive Flare. Hits one ally (so usu. Dagger ok for me.) Curse: Odd, but unless someone had reduced health (like right after Meteor) it rarely killed. Unless they were in the front row! Could NOT keep em alive up there. Weird for a magic (I assume) attack. Hits all. Doomsday: Easy if ur set up to absorb Shadow. Unless u've finished the "Friendlies Quest." If u do the quest before fighting Ozma (I usu. don't, I like him healing himself with Doomsday...its more challenging,) it is said that Ozma no longer gets healed by Shadow (Doomsday's element) (in addition to the commonly known "Now u can reach the round guy" ...which means u can hit him with physical attks now...like that helps or something.) Actually tho, Doomsday's element seems to be random after Friendly Yan's blessing. Usu. it hurt him and heals us, but there were approx 20% of these tests where it hurt my Shadow-absorbing party or healed us & didn't hurt him. Killed 3 of my party one time. Really odd, randomy stuff there. Ozma's Status Weaknesses: Supposedly Ozma's vulnerable to only 2 statuses; Slow & Darkness. The theory is, if u inflict one of these on him, he'll waste a turn curing them. He supposedly uses Esuna to cure Darkness, but Slow is cured only by Dispell or time expiring on it. In all my tests I could never get them to stick. I tried with Vivi, and even tried with Zidane's Soul Blade skill using his Gladius and Ogre swords, but never inflicted anything on Ozma. Maybe they never will stick, I don't know. The vulnerablity is a rumor? At any rate, I'm not wasting more than 2 turns to stick him with something that'll take him 1 turn/half a round to fix. BTW, Mug will NEVER inflict a status on even regular enemies (not in my hours of testing it , at least,) so don't waste ability pts. on Add Status trying that. Other teams: Eiko: about as good as Dagger. I prefer Dagger(quicker speed stat, auto-regens almost as fast as Zidane) even tho Eiko does have that Phoenix "save the whole party if everyone dies" thing going for her. (more on that below) Has Full Life, not just Life Freya: as good as Quina attacking, or better if u've not built up Frog Drop. Build DragonCrest to 9999 by killing dragons of any kind..its probably there when u get it. Note: Freya and Steiner have their own Shadow-absorbing Equip! Demon Mail. Available in Daguerreo, too. If u use them, it frees up something for Dagger/Eiko if ya use Freya or Steiner. Steiner: I tested everyone, except for Steiner (this playthru.) I just don't wait 'til he finally gets Auto-Regen. (the 1st opportunity is to steal from Kuja at the end of Disc 3 in Terra.) I finish the Chocobo Quest, then it's on to Ozma. Sub him for Quina or Freya. Use his Shock attk for 9999, but I heard it won't do that if he's hit with Mini, like A's No Mercy. And Ozma flips Mini on & off so much its best to just ignore it & use magic hits or skills. So, I prefer using Quina or Freya who hit for max damage regardless. The Party's Attack strength...How to build up ur attks: Thievery: to get it to 999 just have Zidane steal a whole lot. Each steal adds about 15 to the damage it does. Best if u do it thru-out the game. If it's low here, U can try stealing a whole bunch of ore on Mist continent (to convert to Garnets, etc in Daguerreo.). U'll often kill enemies there using Mug & his Sargatanus or better. His Trance skills are all pretty lame vs Ozma compared to Thievery, so I'd build it up. Frog Drop: Quina's 9999 attack. As said, it's damage = Quina's lev multiplied by the number of frogs he's caught. ("s/he" can't wear women's accessories, so I'd assume that proves s/he is a he.) U've got 4 Qu marshes to catch frogs in now. Go catch a bunch. It'll take about an hour for more frogs to grow back, IF U LEAVE FROGS TO REPRODUCE. Always leave 1 male & 1 female. It takes 3 times longer if u don't. In the 1st Qu's Marsh always leave the Golden frog, too. Faster regrowth. Take baby frogs, they count & u don't have to worry about their sex. U can catch over 99 frogs, BTW. At I'm up to 220, just for fun. At 99 u get to fight Quale & can steal the Ninja Gear for Zidane. Expect harvesting 5-7 frogs every couple hrs from ea. marsh when done right. Or just go fight Grand Dragons above Gizamaluke's Grotto to build Quina's level. Use Auto-reflect, decent armor & Quina's Lev 5 death (eat a Whale Zombie on the beaches around Choco's Lagoon & that Qu marsh.) for a quick, cheap kill. One Lev 5 death spell kills a Grand Dragon. Pretty cheap shot, but gets u thru lots of fights really quick. Kill off ur other chars. to get Quina's levels up faster, and be sure to use Level Up in ur abilities menu. The Auto-Reflect will actually kill the Dragon, he's one of those rare monsters who's actually weak to his own attack. Personally, I don't like leveling up too much; it reduces the challenge & these levels are already higher than I like (I prefer mid 60's here,) so I'd rather catch frogs. This party can already cut thru Trance Kuja & Necron in about 12 minutes at the end of the game, so they're pretty powered up at these levels. Dragon Crest: Freya's 9999 attk. Easiest one to power up. Just kill a lot of dragons. Of any kind. U'll hear to kill Grand Dragons, but any of em work to my knowledge. Serpions around the 1st Qu's marsh are really quick to kill, and u can steal Ores from a lot of the other monsters there. Bahamut: the more Garnets u have in ur inventory, the more damage Bahamut does. Get em in Daguerreo's synth shop (I've got 99 here.) If u use Boost with it fighting Ozma, it'll do 3000-8100 damage. Note; if u use Dagger's Eidolon to use Bahamut while trancing, Bahamut will auto-attack during the trance. But for only about 280-500 each time. It's pretty cool & is supposed to help with the Auto-Regen time in this fight, but I find it's just annoying after a while. So I'll quit skipping Dagger and toss Dead Peppers or something to end her trance. More Fun Facts: One out of three times, Mene the Moogle gives u 2 Ozma cards instead of just one. The best cards have 5-6 arrows and have stats at DP0B or so. Fighting Ozma early earns u two cool, rare interactions: First, if u encounter the Friendly Yan after Ozma and give him his Diamond, instead of saying his usual "Now u can reach the Round Guy." he'll give his surprised reaction, "Reach the Round guy..." "Huh? U already BEAT him?!" (BTW, the common quote u'll see to start the battle if u fight AFTER Yan's blessing is "The Spiritual Power Raised the Attack Range."...meaning u can now reach the round guy with physical attks. Like I said, as if that helps...) Second, if u provoke Hades in the final dungeon after fighting Ozma, u'll find he's a bit intimidated by ur impressive feat. His reaction to that is a stuttered, "Wh-What!? You've defeated Ozma!?" "I've come too far to retreat now!" "Onward." Mini's effect: Mini doesn't affect Thievery, Frog Drop Dragon Crest or the summons. It does affect the damage from Amarant's throwing items like Wing Edge, Rising Sun, Pinwheels, or his No Mercy Flair. Also damage from Steiner's Shock and of course any physical attks. BTW, Zidane, Dagger & Eiko hit for just the normal 1 pt. of damage when Berserked & Mini, but Quina's a beast: he'll actually hit for a whopping 47 pts! What a stud. As I've said, I never waste time curing Mini, u'll just get hit with it again. Eiko's Phoenix Resurrection: Yep, if the whole party dies, Phoenix has that chance to kick in after and save the entire group. A chance. Ur # of Phoenix Pinions divided by 256 is ur chance of being brought back if everyone dies...pretty cool to see actually. I usu. have 99 Pinions by this point, which gives the max 38.6 % chance of triggering the save. I did get resurrected about 3 or 4 times out of every 10 total wipe- outs with Eiko. The sweetest fight was where Phoenix saved my party not just once, but twice in the same fight. Very cool. I was testing lower levels, and of course eventually got annihilated a 3rd time. Amarant's Return Magic: Return Magic returns Lev 4 Holy (missed Ozma @ lev99) and returns Doomsday! The odd thing is, Doomsday hits everyone, Ozma & the whole party when Ozma casts it, but when Amarant returns it, it only hits Ozma. Try it. Very odd. Return Magic should return Flare as well, but he never got hit while I tested it. Flare Star, Curse, and Meteor didn't return. Nor Berserk & Mini. Random Ratios: in case u've never heard, Final Fantasy games are said to have hidden, variable ratios built into them. Like how often certain enemies appear, how well ur skills work, or in our case, how well our thief steals. It seems to be true. Try it in other FF games when u can't get something to happen. In fact, I have one save file for FF IX that I suspect has better steal ratios on it, but I may just be superstitious about that. At any rate, u'll find in some fights Zidane steals really poorly, then in the next he'll steal really well. So don't despair if ur 1st fight drags on cuz he just won't steal. The reload may be very different. Results/Statistics: after 100 fights: Zidane stole 4 items in 4 turns exactly 3 times. Not the best thief, now is he? If u don't try to steal everything, this fight is 10 times easier. But, that's no fun...! It took him 5 turns 5 times, and 6 or 7 turns 10 times. So 7 rounds or less = 18%, or about one out of 5. Don't forget, max out that Spirit stat to steal better. Fastest fight: an incredible 4 ROUND FIGHT where Z stole 4 times in 4 turns, and most amazingly before Z could use Thievery, the party KILLED OZMA! I couldn't believe it. No one ever died. He used Doomsday twice which hurt him, healed us. One as his 1st move. He cast Curaga once (early, so not alot of help.) Berserk missed twice, Quina then Zidane. He never cast Meteor, he wasted a Flare, a Holy & one low-damage Curse. Best ever fight. Under 7 minutes. Unreal fight vs Ozma. The next closest were a handful of 10-11 minute fights. Fast Steals = Fast Fight, Right? Lol...hopefully. In one of the other 2 fights where Zidane got 4 steals in 4 turns, it took another 25 minutes to finally kill Ozma off. Dang. I was soooo bummed. The 3rd one was a 10-11 minute fight. Longest fight I won: 1 hour, 30 minutes (save file to save file) I actually ran out of my 99 Hi-Potions near the end of that one. Zidane just could not get that Pumice Piece. Bad thief. Bad. Lol. I quit fights longer than 1/2 hour once I'd tested about 40. Unless they were cool...some are pretty cool. In all my playthru's, I've run out of Hi-Potions about 4 times. How often Ozma killed my entire party before the end of round 2?: (ie, before my guys finished their commands) About 10%. Meteor followed by Curse. Bam! Dead. Often Meteor killed all 4 in the very 1st move. Ouch. Reload. How often does Ozma win?: about 25%, or 1 out of 4 when ur set up like recommended at these levels. So u have a 75% chance of winning each fight. In addition to the 10% above where he kills ur party in less than 2 rounds, the most dangerous time occurs when u 1st get his health down below 20,000 HP. Be prepared (no taking too many turns ahead) for that point. Expect Meteor or the Meteor/Curse combo there. Master Thief: "steals the best items 1st"...right? Ahh...no. Unless an Elixir is better than a Pumice Piece or a Robe of Lords. Plus, it never steals the same items first, or last, or with any kind of order. The 4 items here: Pumice Piece, Robe of Lords, Dark Matter, Elixir Zidane stole in the following order during my 100 fight test... Elixir 1st steal: the most common 1st item a lot of E stolen 1st, then R of L, then PP or DM for last (I abbreviate again) Robe 1st: 2nd most common. again, usu. the DM came last, but PP not far off. PPiece 1st: not common, a bit more so than the DM. Robe was last for a lot of those when PP came 1st. D Matter 1st: only about 6 times total. The rarest by far. In fact, of the only 3 fights where Zidane actually stole on each of his 1st 4 turns, (my perfect fight starts!)... in 2 of them, coincidentally, Zidane stole Dark Matter in his 1st turn. I started crossing my fingers hoping for Dark Matter as the 1st steal. Lol. Maybe it's not a coincidence??? Hmmm... Funniest Item Stat?: I always said if Zidane stole everything but the Elixir, I'd just let that go and hurry to kill Ozma as fast as possible. Well, after 70 or so of the 100 fights...it finally happened! So, I quit stealing and starting all-out on Ozma. The dumb fight still took almost half an hour. Ah well...that's fighting Ozma! In 100 plus fights, I did see Elixir as the final item just that one, single time. Gotta be planned into the game. Favorite Death?: No, not the ever-popular 1st move = Meteor...ha, ha, ha!...now u are all dead! My fave death is when Ozma casts Berserk on someone, which I ignore or take too many moves ahead, and then he hits one of my healers with Berserk. Then to punish me for my lack of foresight, he kills the 2 non-Berserked members so the 2 pitiful berserked guys can do nothing but just whale away on Ozma for a laughable 100 or so pts of damage, with no chance of ever being cured. While Ozma toys with them. While they have Darkness. Hey, at least they've got Auto- Potion/Auto-Regen, right? Hopefully they can reach the round guy! Sometimes they'll last for 5 to 7 rounds...good times, good times. (seriously, if this happens, wait for one to die. If they Auto-life, u can cure Berserk on the other, revive ur dead and maybe save the fight still.) My Favorite Bad Ozma Advice?: I'e seen a lot of advice wasting Ability pts. on preventing stuff Ozma never hits u with; like Silence, Stop, Petrify, Heat & Freeze. They're just scared of Ozma, I guess. These are never cast as part of his Curse or anything. U see a lot advising u to level up to lev 99 for everyone, which we've seen here is just overkill. Must be fear driven, too. I've even seen advice on using Dagger's Atomos summon which they claim hits Ozma for 9999. I think they've mixed it up with Bahamut. Atomos hits with a Demi/gravity based attk, which traditionally in FF will NEVER work against 99% of bosses. It also doesn't ever work against Ozma. My Favorite Ozma FAQ? ok, a bit off the subject, but one rather detailed FAQ recommends getting everyone to Lev 99 (oddly not to max out their HP, but to quicken their Regen speed,) doing so in Memoria (yeah, end of the game, unlike us here) instead of the much quicker Grand Dragon leveling up (as in Quina section above)and best of all, THE AUTHOR NEVER STEALS ITEMS FROM OZMA!!! LMAO...it's the funniest advice I've ever seen on Ozma. And this guy claims he fought him 260+ times! Heck, without stealing u can beat Ozma in the mid-50's levels if u know what u're doing. Lev 99. No stealing. LOL...he does say u have a 95% chance of winning. At level 99...? I would hope so. Heck, a 50% chance just means u reload once, fight twice. Not real tuff. A great read, that FAQ. anyway... As you may remember, FF has had great Bosses like Ruby & Emerald Weapon, Omega Weapon etc, but those fights were almost always pretty much the same. Ozma's cool cuz ya never do know what's gonna happen. So, make that convenient save file before flying up to Choco's Air Garden, and do be ready to reload it as needed...maybe more than once! good luck, and have fun