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How to beat Tonberries and Cactuars in Stranger of Paradise

A knife in the Chaos.

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final fantasy tonberry
Square Enix

Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin is filled with iconic locations and creatures from across the franchise. While Malboros and Coeurls provide the same challenge they always do, there’s no Final Fantasy enemy more feared than the diminutive Tonberry. The little guys are more dangerous than ever in Stranger of Paradise, as even just one hit from their Chef’s Knife can kill you instantly. Similar to killing Cactuars, the rewards for taking them down are more than worth it, however. Both enemies grant you a ton of experience and potentially valuable loot. Here’s everything you need to know about beating Tonberries and Cactuars in Stranger of Paradise.

Depending on where and when you encounter a Tonberry, Master Tonberry, or Cactuar, the rewards may differ. But in all instances, you’ll receive a hefty dose of experience and usually some decent loot. Taking them on will almost always be worth it, especially if you’re looking to earn some of the associated trophies.

How to beat a Tonberry and Master Tonberry

It’s important to keep your distance from Tonberries and watch for their attacks.

Square Enix

In each mission, you’ll generally run into at least one Tonberry, and later on their more advanced version the Master Tonberry. At the same time, a lot of side missions task you specifically with taking down the creatures. You’ll likely find yourself dying pretty immediately if you aren’t prepared, but Tonberries are actually fairly simple to take down.

The big rule of thumb is that you want your allies to take the aggro, so use their Resonance ability on the D-pad so they’ll attack harder. Tonberries move slowly so ranged attacks are your best bet, either magic or the Lancer’s Lance Throw. If you do choose to use melee attacks, make sure to close in slowly and look for gaps in the enemy’s attack pattern; and always attack from the back. At all cost, you want to avoid the short-range melee attack Chef’s Knife, as it’s an instant KO if you get hit. Below we’ll describe each of the attacks a Tonberry uses.

  • Doom and Gloom - The Tonberry creates a circle of purple flame that instantly depletes your break gauge if it hits. You can stand inside or outside of the circle, just don’t touch the flame.
  • Hush - Tonberry launches white projectiles that silences anyone they hit. You can block these with Soul Shield.
  • Numb - Like with Hush the Tonberry launches projectiles, but they paralyze you if they hit.
  • Leadfoot - The Tonberry spins projectiles around itself, which cause slow if they hit.
  • Everybody’s Grudge - The Tonberry focuses on one person and fires a stream of projectiles that cause high damage. You can dodge or absorb with Soul Shield to get the instant ability.
  • Deathwish - Tonberry teleports to your side and gets ready to use its knife attack. Immediately dodge out of the way when this ability is used.
  • Chef’s Knife/Master Knife - A short-range stab that causes massive damage and depletes your break gauge. A Tonberry can combo knife stabs together to be careful.

The key to fighting Tonberries is to simply not be impatient. Let your party members take the brunt of the damage and slip in a couple of attacks when you can. Make sure to keep your health at full in case you get hit by a knife attack, as there’s a chance you might still have a sliver left afterward. The good news is that Tonberries stagger fairly easily, so heavy abilities like Aftershock will leave them reeling for a few seconds as well.

How to beat Cactuars

Cactuars are incredibly fast, but weak.

Square Enix

Cactuars are much easier than Tonberries, but the real challenge is actually catching them. These speedy little enemies will immediately run away from you, and it can be tough to land attacks. Magic is once again your best bet here as you can hit them at range, and Cactuars are weak to Water spells. Water spells will stagger the Cactuar, generally giving you the chance to finish it off. If you don’t have magic, your best choice is fast attacks that hit the enemy before it flees. Jobs like Thief and Monk are perfect for this.

The only attack you need to watch out for from Cactuars is 1000 Needles, which can kill you in one fell swoop. You’ll see the ability name pop up when a Cactuar is getting ready to use 1000 Needles, and then a few seconds later, it’ll fire a stream straight ahead. Just make sure you aren’t standing in front of the Cactuar, and dodge to the side or around.

The good news is that Cactuars are very weak, so it’s only going to take a few hits once you actually catch them.

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