Early game bootstrapping 1st part: Buy a lot of Tonics. Get through the Forest and make sure you pull the Power Tab here. You should just about be able to overcome groups of enemies. You can pay to heal at the Inn. It will be very difficult at this stage and it might be wise to just avoid enemies where possible. Level to around 5. Then progress to Guardia Castle. Wait for the plot events. Now level with Lucca until you learn Flame Whirl etc. Yakra Frog & Crono do X Strike. Lucca do Tonic. Bring 10 tonics for healing. Don't try Hypno Wave. Dragon Tank Crono & Lucca should be level 10. Equip speed items on both of them. Crono can have speed belt, while Lucca should have Bandana. Steal mid tonics from the guards around the areas by pressing attack when their back is turned. You want about 10 mid tonics if possible. Crono attack the head purely. Lucca focuses on healing. Crono should be dealing about 70 ish damage to the head from a non-crit physical. After the wheel's attack (where the part is run over), immediately heal party members to full using mid tonics. You can use both Crono and Lucca for this. Then kill the wheel. Then kill the body. You can use Tonics (not mid tonics) to stay healed during this phase. You want to use Fire Whirl if possible, but not if it's going to kill you, because remember that it consumes the turn of both characters. Crono can also use Slash to hit both targets. Guardian + Bit There's not really any strategy needed here. It should be sufficient to kill the Bit one by one, and heal with Aura when health below <70. When all the Bits are dead, Crono can use Cyclone which should be hitting for >50hp. That's the best you will be able to do as regular attacks hit for <50. Lucca can't be of use because it has immunity to Fire techs. You won't be able to go through the sewer area. Get Robo first. Krawlie I skipped this one. (and returned later after getting Epoch. The stage 2 Sewer Access is actually very difficult and level-balanced. Antipode works really well on the Nereids. Krawlie himself is not too hard, just spam him with magic.) R-Series Kind of tough, need to focus on group attacks and getting them out of the way as soon as possible. Heckran Just spam him with magic, Lucca should take priority as attacker. Just use Auras or Mid Tonics when he threatens to counterattack. Zombor Can be a bit difficult. Just focus on keeping Marle alive. The head seems to have more HP and only Marle can hit it with Ice at this stage. You can use physical attacks if there's nothing better. Masamune Not difficult, just keep using Fire Sword and keep Marle using Aura, revive her if she gets killed. Nizbel Difficult without Marle. Just aim to keep Marle alive. Ayla can die and be revived. After energy is unleashed, just use time and turns to heal everyone up. You should be able to keep the situation quite stable; losing one member shouldn't cause everyone to die in a knock-on. After about 5 rounds of this he should go down, just be patient. Slash Triple Tech / cravenly heal with mid tonics and revives -- smack him with 2 or 3 triple techs in the second form, and then just regular attacks/single techs. Flea Easier than slash, just triple tech and use Heals when appropriate. Should go down pretty easy. Magus You need to use barrier for M.def is key TEAM: Frog, Lucca, Crono Spire is the major DPS, so you want it as much as possible If somone dies, revive them Heal on Frog is indispensable. Lucca can use Ethers and tonics if she has free turns. Swordstream can be used when barrier is blue. Between each barrier change, heal everyone up to 300-400 hp. It can take a while as he will keep using Geyser. When that's done, smack him with a tech or just a plain physical. In Dark Matter mode, just use a barrier immediately, spam Spire, and revive Frog when needed. Don't bother reviving Lucca, just keep Crono alive and focus on getting off about 5 spires. Nizbel 2 Marle / Ayla / Crono Ayla & Crono spam volt bite. 2x volt bite, Marle on heals On the 3rd volt bite he will discharge for <300 hp damage marle should heal to >300 before discharging 3rd volt bite With this strat it's impossible to lose a character Takes about 4 rounds of this strat (12 volt bites?) Azala / Black Tyrano Equip Ruby Vest on everyone. Spam magic: Lightning1 and Ice Toss on Azala. Keep haste up on everyone. Use mid tonics for healing if necessary. Use Life if people die. When Azala dies: continue to spam magic on BlackTyrano, except when he starts counting down. Then make sure haste is still up and spam Falcon Hit + Marle's shitty physical. He should go down in about 2 rounds. Beasts + Mud Imp This guy sucks. Party: Lucca/Marle. Fire Sword and Ice Sword the beasts and buff with Protect+Haste to attempt to survive. Then do the same to the imp. If you hit the imp for 500 each time he will heal for 200, meaning you will eventually wear him down. Honestly the Beasts before are as challenging as any boss. You have to be really on it with buffing with Protect & Haste and you might need to throw in some cures. Crono seems to take the majority of the physical attacks. Just spam Fire Sword & save Marle for casting Cure. Giga Gaia Falcon Hit the arms. Leap Slash with Frog or just heal. Then when arms are dead, Cat Attack / Confuse / Leap Slash the head. It should take about 3 rounds. And make sure you have Red Mail, Black Mail, Red Vest equipped on all characters. Golem Twins I found this strategy on gamefaqs and it's not so much a strategy as an exploit. Take people with Elemental2 techs. Then spam these techs. But you have to time it exactly correctly. Say character 1 uses Lightning2, then the next character WAITS until character1's stamina gauge reaches between 1/3 and 1/2. Then fire off the next tech. Rinse and repeat. You can even squeeze in healing sometimes but bear in mind that when one of them dies he will unleash a really nasty attack. They don't die at the exact same time. So your chars need to be at 400-500hp at all times, because you won't have much idea when exactly they will die and smack you with this attack. Lavos Spawn This sucks. What you can do is repeatedly use the Red Pin dual tech on the head. You need to be insanely quick to heal Chaos, and 'Sleep' is an instant KO. Marle should be Haste-ing people and cureing when possible. Just focus on doing as much damage as possible as quickly as possible. Now the side quests have opened up, unfortunately at ~lv40 you are drastically overpowered by most of the enemies. A good place to grind is the start of Frog's sidequest: these enemies are hard and give good experience. Another place that you can grind is on Robo's quest in Geno Dome. Unfortunately this is a bit dangerous because you need to take on 5 sets of enemies at a time in this conveyer belt. The internet confirms that Geno Dome is the best grinding location. Slash etc... Take them out one at a time -- flea, slash, ozzie. Slash is the most dangerous. retinite: don't try to take out the core because his post-core mode is impossible to counter, just take out the top and bottom using Crono's 'Confuse' and ayla's normal attacks/triple kick. black mail / black vest for mother brain && damage the shit out of the displays with luminaire etc then just kill it as fast as possible Mega Mutant This guy is a giant pain. He has HUGE DPS although he is a bit fragile. I took robo/marle/crono. Crono uses prismspecs and does luminaire. Even with haste on all characters it's difficult to keep everyone alive. Marle can cure on her turn or use Ethers on people because Luminaire and heal beam suck mp very badly. Robo can use heal beam or shock (if he occasionally has a free turn.) Giga Mutant attempts at giga mutant are basically: * Wait for GM Luminaire * Marle: Life 2 on Crono * Robo: Wait till after Flare * Robo: Elixir on Marle * Crono + Marle: Ice Sword 2 * GM casts Hexagon Mist, Robo KO'd and Marle @ ~150 * Crono Elixir on Marle (DO NOT LUMINAIRE HERE) * Marle Life 2 on Robo * GM casts Poison Gas * Crono Luminaire (difficult timing) * Robo casts either Heal or Elixir if there is time * GM casts Luminaire * Rinse and repeat except that Flare is removed in the second round * Marle can only survive Hexagon Mist with 999 HP and un-poisoned Poison is the most dangerous thing that can happen, it causes everyone to take 3x magic damage. The attack pattern gradually drifts out of sync meaning that you're going to get WHACKED. My chars weren't hasted but Crono has Haste Helm. It _should_ be possible to keep Marle alive indefinitely so it might be worth starting with Haste. Finally beat this insane fuck... What's the key??? Mainly -- speed tabs on everyone. I used all my tabs on my team until they were all at 15 without dash ring. The strategies won't start working until your team is very high in speed. Even with the strategies, you have to be careful: After Luminaire, GM's pattern is all over the place! It's the slight desync that causes it (almost), but also your attack pattern will cause it to vary. I've seen many times when your action will affect whether Flare gets cast before Hexagon Mist or not. This is probably not down to any actual 'spooky' mind-reading AI but rather just the delay effect on the two parts. It's dangerous if he doesn't cast Flare before Hexagon Mist because that means he'll follow up with Flare, which will likely wipe Marle. The small boost that you get from not overly-spamming techs at the end of the HM->L period can be really crucial. The way that I eventually did it was, Frenzy band on Crono, Rage band on Robo, Amulet on Marle (the amulet is very important). Haste Marle (which is very difficult even at first -- it's JUST possible with the correct timing to both Life2 Crono, Haste Marle, and still Elixir her in time for Hexagon Mist.) You'll have to re-haste at some time. Keep Marle alive at all costs! There's lots of savestate hax necessary as well because (as mentioned earlier) the pattern can be nearly impossible to predict. You can charm speed tabs from the Tubster. Terra Mutant Terra mutant is pretty OK once you get into a cycle -- I didn't even use a strategy, just IS2 over and over The attack that you get when you kill the bottom piece hurts a lot so I needed save state hax to make sure I was fully healed before then. Actually you get into a cycle where the top part hurts more and more as the fight goes. So you need to keep healing. Elder Lavos Spawn buff physical -- safe helm + shield usage I did it with robo, crono, marle hasteing the non-hasted, and using Glacier + Confuse + Heal Beam, still relying on Elixirs for MP healing mostly. Inner Lavos Don't be fooled by the use of Cutter, he doesn't use this often and it's much better to have Prism gear than to have Safe Helm etc. Use Prism Helm on all characters, it's not survivable without magic. Also make sure you use status protection on all characters as you will need to go through to Lavos. Robo on Heal beam / Uzi Punch, Marle+Crono on IS2. Life 2 characters if the hands use Cutter. No point trying to survive this. The most dangerous thing is obstacle > shadow doom blaze. You need to have haste set up before this happens, which means re-setting up haste before 'Shadow Slay' happens. This really requires prediction or save state hax. Shadow Slay will inflict poison during which all characters must heal. Once you are hasted, obstacle will inflict chaos, and one of your characters will get a turn in the interval. Then use an Elixir on this character. With max health they will survive 'shadow doom blaze'. Lavos Core The key to this one is to make sure you're fully healed (party at 999) as much as possible. Less than 999 is not OK. As he's quite slow it's not a problem to heal. Spam Lapis if necessary and Marle has more of an opportunity to use Cure than normal. As usual, when the left bit is killed it will take a turn or two to remove protection, so wait until you get the message. I can't tell if status protection has any impact on his spells. His chaos bypassed my status protection once. His 1/2 hp attack Evil Star, he uses a lot and it's not so threatening His physical attack can KO you but can only KO one character. He was much easier than Inner Lavos. Just beat up on the left bit with confuse + uzi punch, Marle can set up haste and use hyperethers. Then SPAM IS2 and uzi punch on the right bit. You can expect 2 or 3 rounds of this. Spell/Random Status sucks but I didn't get it often at all.