Not to be confused with Marlboro (cigarettes), monsters called Malboro have been appearing in the Final Fantasy series ever since Final Fantasy VI was released (During Final Fantasy VI, it had the names "Oscar" and "Mad Oscar").

The Malboro is green in appearance, except for the Big Malboro (Final Fantasy Tactics Advance), which is purple. It is approximately two to three times the size of the player-controlled characters, and covered with tentacles. Also dead center in the middle of the Malboro's giant oval head is a mouth that stretches from one side of the head to the other. Inside the mouth are a large collection of giant fangs. Around the head are a bunch of smaller tentacles, each with an eye on the end.

The teeth are never used. Sometimes it attacks with its tentacles (FFTA) or it spits up dangerous acids. However, the one thing to fear in a Malboro is its Bad Breath. This attack hits all of the player's party with almost every status effect. In Final Fantasy VIII, the Malboro was one of the hardest monsters to beat, due to its scripting to use Bad Breath as the very first thing in the battle, before anything else happened.

Equipping a Ribbon (Nulls all status effects) usually assists greatly in defeating Malboros.

Tremble mortals, at this, the Malboro, tentacled scourge of Final Fantasy!

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Anatomy of a Malboro

A malboro is a large green or purple tentacled beast, with a huge gaping maw, and numerous eye stalks. Malboros typically grow to heights of around fifteen feet, making them a terrifying sight. They would appear to be either lizard or amphibian in origin, and travel by the use of a great number of tentacles. The marlboro uses multiple eye stalks as its primary sense, with each specimen having between seven and fifteen eyeballs. There are no visible ears or a nose, although the creature seems to remain aware of its surroundings even when blinded, so it must possess some other method of spatial awareness.

Although the malboro has a large number of tentacles and huge fangs, it rarely attacks prey or defends itself with these assets. Instead, it prefers to wear its prey down with a poisonous toxin which it secretes as bad breath. The malboro is a solitary beast, which tends to roam in open plains or low-density forests. Because of its solitary nature, it is not known how malboros breed. They may be asexual, or may form short-term partnerships in order to raise children.

Bad Breath and Fighting the Malboro

If you encounter a malboro, it will typically be unaccompanied by other monsters, and will perform its bad breath special attack as quickly as possible; indeed, the malboros found in Final Fantasy VIII are scripted to use bad breath as soon as the battle begins, regardless of turn sequence. Bad breath hits your entire party with virtually every negative status effect possible, and there is a medium-to-high chance that all of your characters will be afflicted with poison, silence, darkness, berserk, sleep, slow and confuse. Unless you have some status effect negating equipment, this means that a malboro will generally defeat your party through a war of attrition; with characters either confused, asleep or berserked, there is nothing you can do but sit back and watch as the malboro's poison slowly wears away your health.

Because of this, the best way to defeat a malboro is to have some kind of status protection. Equip an item like a ribbon, which negates status effects, or items to keep your party awake and not beserked. Some protection against poison would also be advantageous. Once you are reasonably protected from the tentacled fiend's attacks, concentrate on dealing as much damage as possible. Malboros typically have a lot of health points compared to your own characters, so hit them as hard as you can with physical attacks, or the strongest fire or ice black magic you have, as a Malboro is slightly weak against these elements. Don't bother attacking with the earth element, or poison, as the malboro has a strong defence against these elements.

Other names

The fearsome malboro has also been known under the following names. This node was placed here due to fact that it is known as a Malboro in the majority of its incarnations.

The Malboro is closely related to another monster species, the Ochu. In two of the games, namely Final Fantasy I and Tactics, the Ochu is physically identical to the Malboro, although they act with a different set of abilities. In all other games, the Ochu species looks different, although they are still visibly related.

Resources and Bibliography

  • Final Fantasy Compendium: Monster List
    http://www.ffcompendium.com/h/monster05.shtml
     

 

Okay, it turns out the original ASCII rendition of a Malboro was pushing this writeup over the maximum character length.
The image above is using fewer characters and so isn't quite as detailed as I would have liked.

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