The Monster Marathon, also known as the Foe Rush, is an optional challenge in Epic Battle Fantasy 4. Found at the summit of Battle Mountain (one screen to the left from the shop screen, the right battle), it puts players through a grueling 38-wave onslaught consisting of every type of normal enemy in the game.
Wave Breakdown and Strategy
Wave 1: Irritating Idols
The first round of the Foe Rush throws the Idol family at you; a Wooden Idol, an Obsidian Idol, an Ice Idol, a Clay Idol, and a Gem Idol. This shouldn't be too hard, but keep in mind that there's still 37 more waves after this - and you'll probably want to finish these foes off with at least two turns remaining. Be sure to have your buffs up before beating the last Idol.
Wave 2: Monolith Mayhem
Things escalate quickly in the second wave, which throws four Monoliths into the mix (Undying, Viking, Ancient, and Sky). You can try to Syphon them or destroy them as quickly as possible, preferably before they get to use their charged attacks (the Undying Monolith uses it every fourth turn, the Ancient and Viking Monoliths use theirs every third turn, and the Sky Monolith can use it at will). The Protector summon will hit their shared Bomb weakness and has a high chance to Dispel them, useful against their area-of-effect buffs.
Wave 3: Bush Battalion
Wave 3 brings in the members of the Bush family; Green, Red, White, Dark, and Muddy. These guys can lower your stats, though not by any significant amount. Fire spells should make short work of all of them, save for the Fire-resistant Dark Bush.
Wave 4: Big Bush Brothers
Next up are the two bigger members of the Bushes; a Big Green Bush and a Big Muddy Bush. They are powerful, and can be a pain to deal with when they buff themselves, but remember that they are very susceptible to Poison and Burn.
Wave 5: Possessed Plants
Wave 6: Wicked Worm
The Evil Worm and Evil Tail that come in this wave are your first "giant" enemies; they're a few levels stronger than your party, with the stats to match. Unfortunately for them, they still have naturally low Accuracy; take advantage of that and boost your Evade! Even with the level bonus, the beast and its spawn will likely have trouble scoring consistent hits while you wear them down with Holy and Fire attacks.
Wave 7: Insect Invasion
A series of Giant Insects (Red Wasp, Black Wasp, Yellow Wasp, and Purple Wasp) swarm you in this round. Like the Bushes, they can debuff you, but there's a stunner and a healer thrown in the mix; some of them can also call in reinforcements.
Wave 8: Eyeball XL
This wave is something of a breather, pitting you against a single giant Eyeball. Despite its massive size, it still isn't much of a threat; still, make sure to lower its Evade or raise your Accuracy to make sure that your attacks hit their mark.
Wave 9: Bloodthirsty Bats
Wave 10: Tenacious Turtles
Between a Leaf Turtle, a Lava Turtle, a Glacier Turtle, and a Rock Turtle, you'll have a lot of HP to deplete in this round. Make sure to dispel their buffs as they come, and watch out for the Rock Turtle's infamous front flip.
Wave 11: Slime Slugfest
After dealing with the Turtles, it's almost a relief to see the Slimes (Veggie Slime, Snow Slime, Big Veggie Slime, and Big Snow Slime). Fire attacks can take them down pretty quick, but don't get Slimed!
Wave 12: Slime Slugfest II
The rest of the Slime family makes its appearance now (Sludge Slime, Sand Slime, Furry Slime, Big Sludge Slime, and Big Sand Slime). Remember that it's really easy to Freeze them, even the big ones! Save the Big Sludge Slime for last, especially on the harder difficulties; it likes to Poison itself to get free regeneration.
Wave 13: Wrathful Wraiths
The ghostly trio of Flame Wraith, Frost Wraith, and Spark Wraith are all weak to Wind, so Hurricane and Shockwave will blow them away pretty easily. If you have to pick them off individually, save the Spark Wraith for last; it's the only one of the three who doesn't have an Instant Death spell.
Wave 14: Bit Busting
Another "breather" wave, pitting you against the various Bits (Fire, Ice, Thunder, and Diamond). Use the opportunity to heal and re-buff your team before pulverizing them with Water and Bomb attacks, but make sure to take out the Diamond Bit before it saps all your MP! Also, it's not a good idea to leave the Bits hanging on at low HP, as they're liable to self-destruct in your face.
Wave 15: Sprite Spite
Taking on five Sprites at once (Flame, Frost, Rock, Thunder, and Wind) may seem rather daunting, but their shared Dark weakness won't do them any favors. Also, DO NOT Syphon them indiscriminately; the Frost Sprite will start spamming its instant-kill icicle move, and the Thunder Sprite is still perfectly capable of using its charged attacks.
Wave 16: Creepy Crabs (and a Snail)
Wave 17: Jelly Jamboree
Wave 18: Devious Dogs
With a pack of Dogs in your way (Friend Dog, Tanuki Dog, Wolf Dog and Mage Dog), Syphon will help A LOT; the Tanuki Dog won't even be able to take a drink anymore! Beyond that, targeting the Mage Dog and the Friend Dog first will greatly reduce their annoyance level.
Wave 19: Fearsome Forts
The midpoint of this massive melee pits you against a Horse Fort and an Igloo Fort. They're similar to the Big Bushes, but they can't be poisoned. Dispel their buffs as best you can and wear them down - you're halfway there!
Wave 20: Super-Sized Spirit
Wave 21: Feathered Fiends
A Black Bird, a Thunder Bird, and a Mage Bird stand (well, hover) in your path, so Syphon and Wind attacks are your friends. The Mage Bird should fall first, as it has more annoying spells than you can deal with.
Wave 22: Brutal Bears
The next wave throws you into battle with a Brown Bear, an Undead Bear, and a Chimera Bear. If they go Berserk, remember that you can calm them down with a Water or Ice attack. Target the Chimera Bear first to avoid its onslaught of crippling magical abilities; alternatively, Syphon can negate most of its threat while you beat up its allies.
Wave 23: Sneaky Squids
This wave brings in a River Squid and a Toxic Squid. Poison the former to wear it down while you slaughter the latter with some Holy skills. Also, make sure that you make up for any Accuracy debuffs sustained during the fight, and remember that the River Squid can use Tsunami for massive Water damage.
Wave 24: Freaky Flowers
A whole garden's worth of hostile plants awaits you in this round; one each of Florn, Frose, Stunflower, Heasy, and Rainbloom. Despite their annoying abilities, Wind attacks should break them down; if you're focusing fire, take out the Heasy first. If you don't mind taking a big hit early, try hitting the Florn with Syphon; it'll be forced to use the self-destruct move that it normally only uses when at low health.
Wave 25: Clay Carnage
Two-thirds of the Clay family (Blue, Red, Green, and Yellow) come in for the fight this time. Bomb attacks will put them down fairly easily, but watch out for the Yellow Clay's attempts to Dispel you!
Wave 26: Clay Commanders
Wave 27: Enigmatic Eyes
Three creepy Eyes (Ancient, Frozen, and Angel) are just asking to be Syphoned, what with their annoying spells and vulnerability to the status. Do keep in mind that the Angel Eye is healed by Wind when you're taking it down.
Wave 28: Ruthless Runes
The Rune family (Sacred, Emerald, Barrier, and Plasma) isn't too dangerous without other foes to support; treat them like stronger Bits crossed with Eyes. The Sacred Rune is probably the most annoying of the bunch, so you might want to take it out first, or at least leave it Syphoned. Only ten waves to go from here!
Wave 29: Frightful Fishes
Your next challenge is a school of robotic Fishes (Copper, Steel, and Gold). Despite being the weakest of the bunch, the Copper Fish has the most resistances; also remember that they'll launch one final attack when their HP is depleted.
Wave 30: Mega Machines
The next "giant" battle comes against a Drill Bot and a Razor Claw. The former isn't too bad, but the latter's massive evasion and charged laser are something to watch out for. Syphon blocks the laser, but the evasion will be tricky to conquer.
Wave 31: Stoic Slingers
Wave 31 throws a Gunslinger and Swordslinger at you. Besides the former's one-shot sniper cannon, they don't really have anything too special going for them; especially if you've still got Evade buffs from the last battle.
Wave 32: Terrible Turret Trio
A combination of a Laser Turret, a Fridge Turret, and a Dish Turret plays very similar to the Monoliths thirty waves ago. A well-placed Syphon can easily cripple them, and Bomb attacks are a good way to scrap them, but watch out for the Fridge and Dish Turret's bevy of support skills.
Wave 33: Defender Duel
A giant Defender is the last machine you'll have to thrash in this marathon. The pseudo-boss is by itself, meaning it has higher levels than normal and is incredibly powerful. As usual, Evasion buffs are key, both to help negate its level advantage and trick it into wasting its time debuffing your Evasion in turn.
Wave 34: Golem Gauntlet
A triple threat of Golems (Earth, Ice, and Drill) marks the beginning of the last five waves! Use your defensive buffs carefully; while they help handle these bulky brutes, they also increase the damage you'll take from the Drill Golem's Giga Drill! Of course, the best way to avoid this is to keep your Evade up; alternatively you could try to keep defensive buffs to a minimum until you've brought down the Drill Golem (or at least provoked it into shooting its arms at you).
Wave 35: Elemental Extermination
The next wave provides a daunting quintet of Elementals (Fire, Ice, Earth, Wind, and Thunder). Prioritizing the Ice Elemental helps in two ways: it's the only enemy here with an Instant Death attack and the only target without an Ice weakness. That being said, keep a close eye on your party's own weaknesses; between the five of them, the Elementals have quite a bit of coverage to work with.
Wave 36: Cruel Crystals
Three waves to go, starting with Godcat's beloved Crystal helpers (Blue and Red). Both of them are weak to Bomb and Earth, but they have more significant individual weaknesses to exploit (Fire for Blue, Ice for Red), so adapt your strategy as needed. They like their buffs, too, so have Dispel ready to go; more importantly, make sure your party is fighting fit before you take down the Crystals.
Wave 37: Dragon Deathmatch
Well, you knew this was coming; the penultimate battle pits you against no less than five Dragons at once (Red, Black, Blue, Brown, and Gold)! This is probably the most difficult round of the Monster Marathon, requiring excellent strategy and your best attacks.
Your first instinct might be to stop the Gold Dragon from healing the others and bombarding you with Judgement, but the Black Dragon should be your priority target. Between constant Dispelling and HP debuffing, it'll make this wave nigh-impossible to beat; additionally, its Holy weakness gives you a nice excuse to use Genesis on it for a handy Auto-Revive. Only when the Black Dragon falls should you turn your attention to the Gold Dragon; Poison works very well, alongside the obvious Dark weakness. The last three Dragons aren't exactly pushovers, but they share a weakness to Ice; hit them with Wet status (Cloudburst is optimal, given the Blue Dragon's Water absorption) and your biggest Ice skills to bring them down.
Once you strike the finishing blow on the Dragons, take a moment to breathe. You're only one wave away from victory, but the final obstacle might just surprise you.
Wave 38: Cat Soldier Champion
After 37 waves of brutal combat against increasingly powerful and monstrous beasts, the final obstacle between you and hard-earned victory is...a single Cat Soldier. Unfortunately for you, it's also the giant to end all giants; a whopping 15 levels higher than your party! That alone makes this normally-pathetic grunt a force to be reckoned with; it's pretty much guaranteed to instantly kill someone every turn while dodging the vast majority of your own attacks. And to top it off, it still has its shield gimmick to halve the damage of your first hit!
Luckily, however, even an obscene level buff can't cover all of the Cat Soldier's flaws; it's still limited to attacking one player per turn, and it has a massive list of exploitable weaknesses (various elements and statuses, even Instant Death — however, remember that the effects of Burn, Doom and Poison can be dodged if the afflicted has 1000 Evade or higher, and the cat will likely hit the mark after New Game+). Stay determined, chew down its Evade and get your Auto-Revive ready, because it's time to finish this!