From Final Fantasy Wiki: “Proto-Babil, along with Geryon, is one of the two exclusive superbosses in the DS [ / iOS / Android ] remake of Final Fantasy IV. It can only be fought if the player stole the Dark Matter item from Zeromus on their previous playthrough and uses it on the face on the moon’s surface. As its name implies, it is a prototype of the Giant of Babil.”
A lot of different strategies have been written for beating Proto-Babil in the Nintendo DS version of Final Fantasy IV. However, there is one crucial difference for doing this on Android or iOS platform: we can obtain 1 Limit Break augment only, whereas on the DS platform you can get 2. Equipping the Limit Break augment raises the maximum possible damage done by a character from 9999 to 99999. When you face Proto-Babil, you’ll understand why this matters so much. When it has 120,000 HP left (from the starting 400,000 HP), it does all sorts of really nasty things such as healing itself and killing your whole party, so the standard procedure on the DS platform is to have two characters equip Limit Break and attack it at the same time to finish it before it drops below 120,000 HP. On Android and iOS, with only 1 Limit Break, this strategy cannot be done. This increases the difficulty from really difficult to insanely difficult.
This article describes how I beat Proto-Babil with 1 Limit Break only. Although this is not guaranteed to help you win, after realizing this is the right way to do it, I tested this for 4 times with a level 99 party, and won 4 times. So I’m quite confident that this strategy is reasonably reliable. Just for fun, after I initially published this article, I retried at a lower level from an earlier save game. At level 80, I tested this strategy 2 times, 1 won and 1 failed.
What you need
- Defeated Geryon – this is not required but since Geryon is far weaker, defeat it first
- Dark Matter – without this you cannot fight Proto-Babil in the second or third playthrough of the game
- 99 relevant base stats – 99 Strength for Kain, Cecil and Edge, 99 Stamina for Cecil, 99 Spirit for Rosa, 99 Intelligence for Rydia.
- Level – The lowest possible level you can try this strategy is level 80, because Rydia learns Meteor at this level. Since you also need a lot of HP, and in consideration of the difficulty of the whole thing, it’s easier to get to level 99 first, perhaps by defeating Geryon repeatedly with Level Lust equipped.
- Adamant Armor x 5 – note that I have written a guide to hex editing the save file for getting these (you can despise me for cheating on getting the rare items, but I have not broken the rules of the game, e.g. equipping more than 1 Limit Break). If you only have 1 Adamant Armor, equip it on Cecil.
- Onion Helm x 1-4
- Onion Sword x 2 (only for low level)
- Gold/Silver Apples – when even HP+50% is not enough, use some apples to increase the max HP.
- Limit Break
- HP+50% x 2
- MP+50% (only for low level)
- Dualcast x 2
- Fast Talker x 2
- Phoenix x 2 (2 is recommended, although in two of my tests I won with only 1 Phoenix equipped at level 99.)
- Draw Attack
- Fuma Shuriken (I’ve not used more than 3 at level 99. At a low level you need a lot more. You can buy them at Kokkol’s Forge.)
- Elixir (I only needed one at level 99. At a low level you need a lot more. You can buy them at Hummingway Abode.)
- (Optional) Go into game settings and set the game speed to the slowest.
- Equip everyone with Adamant armor and other items for the best defenses.
- Equip Cecil with HP+50%, Draw Attack, Brace, Phoenix (replace White Magic). Equip Onion Sword or Ragnarok (makes no difference in my test at level 99). Since you still need Attack, and all the ability slots are filled up, set the auto-battle command to Brace.
- Equip Rosa with HP+50%, Dualcast (replace White Magic), Omnicasting, Fast Talker.
- Equip Kain with Limit Break, Focus, Darkness, Jump (replace attack). Equip Onion Sword or Holy Lance (makes no difference in my test at level 99).
- Equip Rydia with Dualcast, Fast Talker. If you have three Phoenix, equip it. If you’re trying to do this at a low level and Rydia does not have enough MP, equip MP+50% as well.
- Equip Edge with Salve, Throw (replace attack if necessary), Phoenix.
- Equip someone with Cry.
- If you only have 1 Onion Helm, let Kain equip it for a speed boost. Equip the remaining Onion Helms for others, but it is usually not needed for Edge.
At the beginning
- Save game!
- Use a Dark Matter at the face of the moon surface near the top of map to begin the battle.
- Cecil should Brace (by auto battle) as soon as possible.
- Use a Spider Silk or have Rosa cast Slow on Proto-Babil.
- Rosa casts Haste on the whole party.
Before hitting 280,000 HP
- Since Proto-Babil uses a counterattack Laser Barrage on the whole party, you should not have more than 1 character attack it in each round. Other non-attacking characters should Defend, unless Rosa needs to heal Cecil or the party.
- Cecil should always Brace – note that if Cecil has already braced in the previous turn, you do not need to issue Brace again. If Cecil is bracing but still got KO’ed from full HP by Light of Babil + Laser Barrage, he needs much more HP. Make sure he has HP+50%, find and use some Apples.
- Rydia attacks by Dualcasting Meteor. It should result in 9999 x 2 damage (marginally less at level 80, but not a problem). This should be done exactly 4 times. (Simply watch how many remaining MP Rydia has then you’ll know how many times it has been done.)
- Kain attacks by Focus x 3 – Darkness – Jump. It should result in 99999 damage. This should be done exactly 2 times.
- Edge only Defends (because hitting only 9999 damage is not worth the counter attack damage to the party). If necessary, he can Salve Elixirs on the party. The exception to this rule is that if your Kain is at such a low level that he deals less than 90000 damage, then you may have Edge throw a Fuma Shuriken to compensate for it.
- After Rydia completes the 4 Dualcasts, have Edge Salve an Elixir on the party.
- If anyone is KO’ed, revive them and make sure they are hasted again. However, if any character cannot survive a single Laser Barrage while defending at full HP, the HP is too low. Find and use some Apples, or level up.
- The final steps for this stage is critical: we need 1 more attack from both Rydia and Kain, but these attacks need to be done at the same time. After issuing the last Jump command of Kain’s 3rd attack sequence, and salving the Elixir, have Rydia Dualcasts Meteor for the 5th time. Once Rydia’s Meteor is triggered, we enter the next stage.
After hitting 280,000 HP
- Proto-Babil will start to quickly heal itself and perform lethal attacks randomly. If the timing has been done correctly, Kain is in the air at this moment so he cannot be KO’ed by Proto-Babil before hitting it for 99999 damage.
- (Immediately after the Meteor is triggered) Concentrate the whole party on attacking it – Cecil should simply Attack. Kain should simply Jump. Edge should Throw a Fuma Shuriken. Rosa should Dualcast Holy. Rydia should Dualcast Meteor.
- Do not waste time in healing or reviving KO’ed characters, especially if you are at level 99.
- Since 2 characters are equipped with Phoenix, their death (with full MP) will automatically revive the others, allowing you to continue the atttack.
- Since Proto-Babil reacts randomly at each time, its pattern of reaction determines how much chance you have at winning. At level 99 you only need a little luck. At level 80 you need a lot more luck.
- SkedarHunter of gamefaqs board mentioned an interesting strategy, based on the game rule that a counter attack does not cause another counter attack. He has the characters perform a weak physical attack on Kain, who Counters with using Holy Lance as item, but this counterattack should Reflect from those characters to Proto-Babil (similar to delta attack). This way Proto-Babil does not counterattack your party.
- Twincast Ultima – Equip Cecil and Rosa with Twincast. In addition, equip Cecil with Adrenaline and Limit Break and put him in a higher position than Rosa in the party formation. Beware that Twincast Ultima can only be done if Cecil and Rosa have similar HP percentage and MP percentage. When both are in critical health, Adrenaline kicks in and performs a higher damage. If you use this strategy, Phoenix should be equipped on another non-magic user rather than Cecil.
Please let me know if this guide helped. Note: I also wrote another guide for defeating the superboss Iron Giant in Final Fantasy III.