The Tonberry is one of the more iconic monster creations of the Final Fantasy (FF) franchise. Suppose you stumble across a fish-like creature with little green legs and a small, bald green head with big, round yellow eyes poking out of a brown robe. You’ve spotted a Tonberry.
Like many others, you might think it adorable. It’s going to stab you.
Notice its two arms. One of those arms holds a lantern, shining light as it slowly moves about the darkness. The other has a knife. This knife will often cause INSTANT DEATH or CRITICAL DAMAGE if it strikes you.
Our Tonberry Guide will look at how the cute, deadly Tonberry evolved into so much more than just a monster.
Final Fantasy V
FFV is the debut title of the cute menace.
Tonberry: Huge HP. High Attack, Good Magic Evasion. Uses Knife. This attack always deals critical damage, causes Sap, and cannot be evaded. Immune to most status effects.
- If a Necromancer kills a Tonberry in this game, they can learn Dark Flare.
Final Fantasy VI
The Tonberry in this game gets called Pug on the SNES release of this title.
Tonberry/Pug: Good HP. High Defense. Uses Traveler, counterattacks with Knife. Weak to Fire and Lightning. Immune to most status effect but NOT Imp, Poison, or Petrify. Though while under Imp, its basic attacks will all be critical.
- Rage- Attack, Break
- Sketch- Knife, Break
If three Tonberries are in a group in this game, they have different stats and are marked at LV 99.
Tonberries: High HP. Lower Attack. Uses Holy/Pearl now. Now also Immune to Petrify. Weak to Fire only.
- Rage- Attack, Knife
- Sketch- Attack
He also appears as a Boss in this title. Pay attention to the spell it casts. It will be weak to the opposite of that magic until it uses Barrier Change.
Master Tonberry: Great HP. Immune to most Status, but not Poison or Sleep. Firaga, Blizzaga, Thundaga, Bio, Tornado, Holy, Quake, Tsunami, Barrier Change, and Traveller. Uses Knife. You can steal Megalixir!
- Sketch- Attack, Knife
The normal Tonberry in this title can only be engaged in the Battle Square of the Gold Saucer after it has re-opened. All forms of the Tonberry in FFVII move slowly towards a party member until hitting them with Knife. This skill causes INSTANT DEATH in FF7.
Tonberry: Good HP. Good Stats. No weaknesses, immune to Gravity. Immune to Death, Poison, Confusion, Silence, Petrify, Frog, Death Sentence, and Berserk. Abilities are Time Damage and Knife.
The Master Tonberry has the highest normal enemy HP in the game, 44,444. This number represents how four has a similar sound to death in the Japanese dialect. (This is also true for Mandarin).
Master Tonberry: Huge HP. Great Stats. Absorbs Gravity. May drop a Megalixir. Morph into a Ribbon! Immune to Death, Sleep, Confusion, Silence, Small, Petrify, Frog, Death Sentence, and Berserk. Uses Everyone’s Grudge and Knife.
It will counter every two attacks with Everyone’s Grudge doing damage equal to ten times the Final Fantasy enemies the targeted party member has killed. Use Stop and Bio to damage without retaliation.
Final Fantasy VIII
This Tonberry comes in as an enemy, a Boss, and a Guardian Force(summon).
Note that in FFVIII, enemies gain levels in accordance with the player.
Tonberry: Always uses Everyone’s Grudge and Chef’s Knife. Immune to ALL Status effects. May Drop a Chef’s Knife.
LVL 1-30: Good-Great HP. Poor-Good Stats.
LVL 31-80: Great-High HP. Good-Great Stats.
LVL 81-100: High HP. Great-High Stats.
- Draw – Death
If you kill enough Tonberries, you will get into a fight with Master Tonberry. For the best Draws, fight this boss after your party is above LVL 30, so you can Draw 100×3 of the rare and top tier spell, Full-Life.
Master Tonberry: Its attacks are Its Sharp! and Junk. Its Sharp! is the same as Everyone’s Grudge, but the multiplier is 30 instead of ten! Immune to ALL Status.
LVL1-19: Okay-Great HP. Okay-Decent Stats.
- Draw: Death, Cure, Life.
LVL20-29: Great-Huge HP. Decent-Good Stats.
- Draw: Death, Cura, Life.
LVL 30-100: Huge-Massive HP. Good-Great Stats.
- Draw: Death, Curaga, Full-Life
Defeating the Master Tonberry will give you the Tonberry GF.
Tonberry GF: Comes with Luck +50% and Evasion +30%. It has the instrumental LVL UP and LVL DOWN attacks that allow you to manipulate what you can DRAW from or what items will drop from enemies. You can learn Auto-potion and Move-HP UP from it.
His summoned attack is Chef’s Knife. You can boost the damage of this attack by up to 190%.
If you are trying to obtain everything in the game, this GF should be acquired early as possible. That would be when you can traverse the World Map via the Balamb Garden and go to the Centra Ruins.
Its highest initial compatibility is with Selphie.
Final Fantasy IX
The Tonberry in this game always attacks in a group of three. Its Knife always does 9,999 damage, and Everyone’s Grudge does damage equal to the number of Tonberries you have defeated.
Tonberry: Good HP. Okay, Stats but High Defense. Immune to ALL Status. They will teleport away after hitting you with Knife. Not worth the fight unless you can finish them quickly.
Final Fantasy X
The basic Tonberry in this game has a rare drop of an LVL.2 Key Sphere. For that reason, I suggest fighting them as much as possible until you’ve collected at least five of these.
Tonberry: Good HP. Decent Stats. Immune to ALL Status except Sleep. Skills are Knife and Karma. It uses Voodoo if you summon an Aeon; this will do 9,999 damage to the Aeon instantly.
- Bribe- 337,500 Gil. Amulet x2
Use Sleep on the Tonberry as soon as possible to make the fight easier.
Master Tonberry: Hugh HP. Great Stats. Immune to ALL Status except Sleep BUT highly resistant to Sleep. Skills are Knife, Voodoo, and a more powerful version of Karma. Strong VS ALL Elements. Rare Drop is a Teleport Sphere!
- Bribe- 1.2million Gil. Pendulum x3
- Rare Steal- Tetra Elemental
The Master Tonberry is tough and can do well against you at almost any level. However, Tetra Elemental is one of the best items in the game.
Don Tonberry is only available to fight at the Monster Arena if you have trapped 10 of each fiend from the Cavern of the Stolen Fayth.
Don Tonberry: Massive HP. Awesome Stats. Immune to ALL Status. It uses a more powerful Karma than Master Tonberry and Voodoo. Uses Chef’s Knife.
- Equipment Drop- Weapons and Armor dropped by this Tonberry have a hidden 6% boost to your Critical Hit chance.
There is an AP gaining trick on this Tonberry. You should have Overdrive –> AP on each character’s equipment. Then, focus on healing and making sure he only retaliates against one party member. That part member needs Stoic as their Overdrive function while the others have Comrade. You will keep this AP even in defeat.
Tonberry: Good HP. Good Magic and Agility. Uses Chef’s Knife. Immune to ALL Status and resists Eject. Resists Water. Immune to Gravity.
- Oversoul-Defeat 16 Tonberries. HP increases by 30 thousand! Gains Fira, Sleep, and Bio.
Mega Tonberry: High HP. Max Strength. Amazing Defense. Resists Water. Immune to Gravity. Immune to ALL Status. Uses Chef’s Knife and Karma.
- Oversoul-Defeat 16 Tonberries. Slight Increase in HP. Same Stats but faster. Gains Cry in the Night, Firaga, and Flare.
- Blue Seed- The Oversoul of Mega Tonberry is the only monster that can teach you Cry in the Night!
The Mega Tonberry will almost always do more than 16k HP a hit. Take care.
Final Fantasy XI
The Tonberries in this title come in groups and many forms, shapes, and sizes. The Tonberries encountered will be relative to the party’s location and level, among other things. If you see a Tonberry or a group of them, which will not be hard to spot due to the lanterns and robes, they may have any following attacks.
- Everyone’s Grudge: X5 damage to you per Tonberry killed.
- Everyone’s Rancor: x50 damage to you per Tonberry killed.
- Throat Stab: May take you down to only 5% HP.
- Vertical Slash: Causes Accuracy Down.
- Lateral Slash: Causes Defense Down.
- Light of Penance: Reduces TP to Zero and causes Blind/Blind.
- Sigh: Gives self a huge evasion boost. Slowly diminishes.
- Words of Bane: Causes curse.
At a certain point, Everyone’s Rancor or even Grudge is always going to one-shot you. So what you want to try and do is undertake Norg’s quest: “Everyone’s Grudge.”
After this quest, you reset your Tonberry Hate counter, which is what keeps track of Tonberries you’ve killed, to zero. You unlock the Tonberry Priest NPC, which you can pay money to afterward to reset the Hate counter at any time.
Tonberry: Huge HP. Great Stats. Resistant to basic damage. Weak to Earth. Resists Water. Immune to Curse, Pain, and Fog. Uses Knife and Grudge Skills.
Each time it uses a Grudge skill, it significantly increases stats and heals. It is eventually glowing Purple when the final Grudge has happened. If it is glowing purple, I suggest you run.
Final Fantasy XIII-2
Tonberry: Good HP. Good Stats. Immune to ALL Status except Provoke. Resists basic damage. It uses Knife, BUT slowly the Knife attack will upgrade. When text appears on the screen such as “Revenge…” the knife attack rises. It will do precisely 66,666 damage to ALL party members if it gets to Ultimate Grudge.
Don Tonberry: Just a slight increase to the Tonberry but now Resists ALL Elements. Its attacks cause poison, and after its final Grudge attack, its Knife strikes will reduce your MAX HP.
Tonberry: High HP. Good Strength and Defenses. Resists Lightning. Slightly Weak to Ice, Light, Firearms, and Daggers. No Status resistances. May Cause Stop. Uses Fire Elemental Attacks that cause Burnt.
LVL 84: At Steyliff Cliff (Menace), you can fight this super-powered version of the FFXV Tonberry. Massive HP. Amazing Strength. Incredible Defense.
Final Fantasy 7: Crisis Core
Tonberry: Okay HP. Okay Stats. Immune to Poison, Silence, Stun, Stop, Instant Death, and Blow Away. It uses Knife and Karma, both of which can be dodged.
Master Tonberry: Good HP. Decent Stats. Otherwise, the same.
Tonberry Guard: Huge HP. Great Attack Stats. Uses Everyone’s Rancor.
Tonberry King: Double Guards HP. Similar Stats. It has a new attack called 5-Gallon Can; this does 1k unblockable damage and causes stun.
Holy Tonberry: Massive HP. Similar Stats. Some new attacks. Use the same strategy you do on King. (Graviga works excellent on these enemies.)
Final Fantasy 7: Remake
Stock up on Phoenix Downs just for this fight. It happens in a side quest and when fighting the Hell House on Hard Mode.
Tonberry: Good HP. Very High Magic Defense. Immune to Poison, Silence, and Berserk. All of its attacks cause Instant Death or Stop. On Hardmode, its HP and Stats are both doubled.
- Appears in FFXII: Revenant Wings as a Melee enemy.
- In FFXIV, they are NPC’s, the old citizens of the Nymian Civilization.
- In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, they can be a threat to face using Karma, Voodoo, and Knife.
- In FF Type-0, they are regular, clumsy enemies. BUT you can also have one fight with you in place of Kurasame Susaya as an ALLY.
- They also appear in Crystal Chronicles and Crystal Defenders as basic enemies.
- The Tonberry Summon makes a re-appearance in Dissidia and Dissidia 012.
- In most titles, the Tonberry is worth running from when at a low level.
- You should keep phoenix downs in stock just on the off-chance of fighting one.
- At higher levels, the Tonberry is usually a good source of Gil or Exp.
- Buff your party members up before attacking, as many Tonberries begin heavy damage via counterattacks.
- Get a Tonberry Plush for your room.
Question: Is the Tonberry Based on Anything?
Answer: There is strong evidence that it is, in fact, based on an old Japanese Legend about the Sea Monk, or Umibozu in Japanese. A half-fish monk with a bald head, glowing yellow eyes that carries a lantern, and insta-kills sailors. Kind of spot-on.
Question: Why is the Tonberry Popular?
Answer: For most, like myself, it’s cute and intriguing. The idea that one of the more simple-looking designs in a game can also be one of the greatest threats is quite clever.
Question: Is Tonberry Hard?
Answer: In most titles, yes. If someone is not having trouble with a Tonberry, they have already spent a lot of time grinding to gain Death Immunity or deal severe damage.
However, it is not too difficult in Crisis Core as long as you’ve got a good Dodge going on.
Question: Is a Tonberry Based on Yoda?
Answer: No, but the creators of FFXV did play on the similarities. You can fight a special Tonberry, Sir Tonberry, in that title. It battles much like Yoda, and its knife resembles a purple lightsaber.
Question: Is Tonberry in Kingdom Hearts?
Answer: Tonberry blueprints for a gummi ship and a possible Tonberry card and star constellation.
The Tonberry will always be a staple creature in the franchise. It brings a unique challenge to a player, its design is well-liked by most, and it may even show up as an ally here and there. If you encounter one, think about your moves, don’t just rush in, and you may survive.
Always remember, Karma is a Tonberry with a Grudge.