Today’s miniboss has already been covered rather thoroughly by the amazing Chad once before, but that won’t stop me from doing a second article about the ridiculous boss fight that ensues. The enemy is a demonic choo-choo train who carries the souls of the departed to the other side. This ain’t no “Little Engine That Could,” this is more like “The Polar Express” straight to hell. It is, of course, the aptly named Phantom Train.
The Phantom Train is one of the most memorable encounters 16-bit gamers will face. But why is this? Is it because you’re fighting a train? Is it because it was so unexpected? Or, maybe, it is because Sabin can somehow suplex the friggin’ thing? Personally, it is for all of these reasons and a few others. The lead-up to the boss fight is simple and classic — you need to fight your way to the front of the train and put the brakes on this runaway train that’s never goin’ back. Along the way, you’ll encounter all sorts of ghosts and ghoulies, and even an imposter swordsman who is almost worthy of his own Miniboss Monday for being so easy.
As you reach the end of the train and are about to bring this thing to a screeching halt, the train itself performs an epic cockblock of sorts, basically saying “You wanna stop me? You gotta fight me first, moron.” Well isn’t THAT just freakin’ great?
(Hit the jump to save a dolphin. Do it for Chad.)
Without a moment’s notice, the Phantom Train sounds its whistle like a wrestling bell and it’s on like Donkey Kong. Next thing you know, you’re running for your life being chased by a train barreling down the tracks with the intent to kill you. Now, as much as this would be a REALLY good time to blast Pink Floyd’s “Run Like Hell” or Iron Maiden’s “Run to the Hills,” we’ve got a fight to win and a train to suplex… I mean stop.
Your first time through Final Fantasy VI (or Final Fantasy III for the SNES,) you might have a somewhat tough time with the Phantom Train. But, as most know these days, all you need to do to derail this boss is use a Phoenix Down. That’s it. A winner is you! Now, I’m not quite sure if this was ever changed in the two other releases of Final Fantasy VI, but I know it worked for the US release of the SNES version. Go try it if you haven’t already done it.
After the fight, you’ll be returned to the station once the Phantom Train completes its trip. After this, one of the saddest scenes in the game is shown involving Cyan’s recently murdered famiy. But, nevertheless, at least the fight is over and your soul has been spared. Break out the Chex Mix, and throw yourselves a party, this one’s in the bag.
That wraps up this week’s edition of MBM. If you still haven’t got your Phantom Train fill, you’ll be happy to know that it makes a cameo appearance in Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls for the GBA. Though the fight is nowhere near as memorable, it’s still a welcome addition to a classic title.
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