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Final Fantasy (NES) Walkthrough
~By tankMage (June 2019)
Thank you for choosing this walkthrough. There are many highly detailed guides for Final Fantasy, so I set out to write one that focused on navigating dungeons. I also included a world map with important locations marked on it, since none seem to be currently available. Finally, a list of excellent resources for further reading can be found at the end of this guide.
II. World Map
3. Elfland and the Northwest Castle
4. The Marsh Cave and the Herb
5. The Canal
6. The Fiend of Earth
7. Of Airships and Ordeals
8. The Fiend of Fire
9. The Fiend of Water
10. The Fiend of Wind
11. Loose Ends
12. The Temple of Fiends
VI. References and Further Reading
Final Fantasy can be daunting if you are unfamiliar with it, though there are a few rules of thumb that can help new players out. Put the following tips to use and Final Fantasy will prove far less intimidating.
a. Choose a Balanced Party
One of the best qualities of Final Fantasy is its party/class system, which allows players to choose any combination of the six playable classes they wish. While any party can potentially beat the game, newer players will probably want one that has a variety of skills which will allow them to adapt to any situation. Here are a few party combinations that are accessible for those who are unfamiliar with this game:
Fighter, Black Belt, White Mage, Black Mage: Capable of delivering devastating physical and magical damage. Also has good survivability thanks to the White Mage’s ability to heal and the naturally tough Fighter/Black Belt. Black Belts do not need weapons or armor which will leave the player with spare inventory space and extra gold.
Fighter, Black Belt, Red Mage, White Mage: This is really just a variant of the first party that swaps out the fragile Black Mage for a more durable Red Mage. While not as strong in terms of magic, the Red Mage’s ability to cast both healing and offensive spells make him an asset.
Fighter, Thief, Red Mage, Black Mage: The Thief will be something of a liability early on, but he will become a fairly sturdy ally that can wear some types of heavy armor and cast black magic spells like FAST once he upgrades to Ninja. The Red and Black Mages will also be able to cast FAST, which means you can massively boost your party’s damage output in a single round.
b. Stock Up
Always keep some Soft, Pure, and Heal Potions on hand, they can save your life. Cabins and Houses are also great to use before entering dungeons.
c. Save Often and be Persistent
Death can come quickly, so save frequently. Always use a Tent to save before a dungeon, just in case something goes wrong. This will make areas like the Ice Cave (where monsters can wipe out your party with instant death spells) far less frustrating.
d. Some Weapons and Armor can be used to Cast Spells in Combat
Certain pieces of gear can cast spells, allowing classes with little to no magic to benefit from its effects. Just select the piece of equipment in battle by using the “Item” command and choose a target to activate the item’s special properties. A few notable pieces of gear that cast spells are listed below.
Heal Staff = HEAL
Light Ax = HRM2
Heal Helm = HEAL
Defense Sword = RUSE
Wizard’s Staff = CONF
e. There’s No Shame in Running
The encounter rate in this game is fairly high and fighting every battle that pops up can turn dungeon visits into endurance runs. Running from battles in dungeons or from enemies you are not ready to fight can help your party conserve their strength for the boss.
f. Stat Bonuses from Level Ups are Semi-Random
Characters are guaranteed certain stat bonuses every level, but there’s a chance they will receive extra points. For example, a Fighter is always going to get a point to strength when he gains a level, but he also has a chance at getting extra points to agility, vitality, intelligence, and/or luck. Hit Point bonuses can also vary, but Magic Points also increase according to a predetermined pattern. Players with enough time and patience can squeeze the best stats out of every level up if they are willing to save before gaining levels and reset if the results of a level up are unsatisfactory in order to try again for better stats. However, this can be very tedious and it isn’t something I recommend doing if you just want to play through the game.
II. World Map
In this walkthrough I suggest that players purchase certain spells and pieces of equipment based on my experiences with the game. Keep in mind that I leave out the advanced classes (Knight, Master, Ninja, Red Wizard, Black Wizard, and White Wizard) early in the game and exclude the basic classes (Fighter, Thief, Black Belt, Red Mage, Black Mage, and White Mage) later in the game when making these suggestions, because I assume players will take the class upgrade at a certain point. Secondly, Final Fantasy is rather open ended as far as the order in which the player can explore certain areas and I attempted to come up with a flow of events that is easy for new players to tackle. That said, it’s possible to visit many places “out of order” and I encourage readers to explore at their own pace.
Upon selecting your party, you will begin the game just south of a castle with a city sitting at its feet. Head north and step onto one of the houses to enter the city of Coneria.
a. Coneria City
Recommended Purchases: Iron Hammer (Wm), Rapier (Th/Fi/Rm), Small Knife (Bm), Wooden Armor (Th), Chain Armor (Fi/Rm), Cloth Armor (Wm/Bm)
Recommended Level 1 Spells: LIT, FIRE, SLEP, CURE, RUSE, HARM, FOG
The game starts players out with 400g and it just so happens that Coneria is home to all manner of shops. Your first stop should be the weapon and armor shops near the center of town. Refer to the recommended purchases above if you are unsure what to buy. You may also want to get your Black Belt some Wooden Nunchucks even though he gets an unarmed damage bonus, because his damage will be very low until level 5 or so. Be sure to buy the CURE spell for your White and/or Red Mage. You may also want to leave a spell slot open on your Red Mage so he can learn FOG or RUSE later in the game, which are very useful spells. Avoid LOCK, because it is bugged and will not lower enemy evade as the name suggests. Talk to the townspeople and leave for the castle when you are ready.
b. Coneria Castle
There are plenty of NPCs to talk to in here as well as a few locked doors that come into play later. Take the stairs north of the entrance when you are ready. The steps will bring you to the second floor where you will find the throne room to the north. Talk to the king, who will tell you to save the princess from Garland who is holed up in the shrine northwest of the castle.
c. Preparing for the Battle Ahead
It’s a good idea to gain a few levels as well as buy all the gear and spells you need before setting out for the Shrine. While Garland is not particularly powerful, the monsters in the Shrine are, so you will want to be prepared for the challenges ahead. Level 4 is a safe level to take Garland and the Shrine on. It’s wise to fight in the area around Castle Coneria until everyone is level 2. The lands to the northwest, near the Shrine are home to more powerful enemies if your party is strong and looking to level quickly.
Watch out for enemies like wolves, green imps, and mad ponies when leveling early on. Use black magic like FIRE on these enemies and/or have your strongest characters hit them, because such monsters can dish out lots of damage early on. Run if you’re low on HP when you encounter these beasts. It’s a good idea to visit the inn and save frequently, since a critical hit from a mad pony can outright kill most classes. Also, be sure to spread your attacks among groups of enemies, because your party members do not target a different foe if the one they targeted at the beginning of the round dies, which means they will waste a turn.
Treasures: Cap, Heal Potion, Cabin
Walk west and north on the overworld map when you are ready. You’ll have to cross a swamp to find it, but you should see the crumbling ruins of the Shrine in a forest north of the swamp. Check the room in the southwest corner of the Shrine to find a Cap. There’s also a Heal Potion and Cabin in the northwest chamber. The monsters in here range from very dangerous, to harmless. Beware of creeps, zombies, and spiders. Packs of wolves also appear here, so be on your toes. Garland awaits you in the large chamber in the middle of the Shrine, talk to him to initiate combat.
Garland has high absorb, so melee attacks do not work very well on him, though Fighters should be able to punch through his armor. FIRE and LIT work just fine on him, so use these spells if you have someone who can cast them. Characters wearing Chain Armor will barely feel Garland’s attacks, but keep an eye on your Black and White Mages, because they will take quite a bit of damage if he hits them. Cast FOG or RUSE on your weaker characters if you have these spells.
e. Coneria Castle (Revisited)
Talk to princess Sarah to the north after killing Garland and you will return to Coneria Castle automatically. Speak to the king before leaving and he will tell you he had a bridge built. Sarah will give you a Lute when you talk to her. Leave the castle when you are done.
Save your game and stock up on healing items at Coneria City, then look for the bridge directly north of the castle. Enjoy the cutscene and get ready for a long walk after you cross the bridge.
a. The Road to Pravoka
From the bridge, follow the coast east past a mountain range. You’ll see a desert to the north after following the coast a bit, which is a sign you are going the right way. Keep going east and head south when you get to the other side of the continent. You will find the town of Pravoka just south of the forest.
Recommended Purchases: Short Sword (Fi/Rm), Scimitar (Th), Gloves (Fi/Wm/Th/Bm/Rm), Iron Armor (Fi), Wooden Shield (Fi)
Recommended Level 2 Spells: ICE, SLOW, DARK, INVS, ALIT, MUTE
Use the inn in the north end of town, then look for a pirate named Bikke to the west. Make sure everyone is healed, because the pirate will attack the party when you talk to him. You will have to battle 9 Pirates after you talk to Bikke. These guys hit lightly armored classes fairly hard, but their HP is so low that even a level 4 Black Mage equipped with a Small Knife can kill them in a hit. Use the SLEP spell to keep the pirates from attacking if you have it. Be sure to have everyone target a different Pirate, because lost turns from attacking an already dead Pirate can mean trouble. Once the Bikke has been defeated, he will give you his ship if you talk to him again. The ship needs a port to dock, so keep this in mind when traveling.
People will return to the town and you can speak with them to get some valuable hints after the pirates are gone. The shops here sell some decent weapons, which you should buy even though far better things are sold in the next town, because the amount of gold you need for the next tier weapons is staggering and you’ll want reliable gear while you grind. Players who want more damage for their Fighter may want to buy him a Hand Ax, but I prefer the Short Sword; it’s high hit % makes it possible to get two attacks in one turn sooner than the Ax. Avoid getting the TMPR spell, because it is bugged. LAMP is also nearly worthless, but INVS, ALIT, DARK, SLOW, ICE, and MUTE are useful.
c. Leveling Up in the Pravoka Region
Most parties will want to use the ship to take to the high seas, where monsters drop tons of gold and experience. However, you will want to stay in the bay near town and use the inn frequently, because Sharks can kill weaker classes in a single hit if they get a critical until you have about 70 HP. LIT and ICE spells work well against the aquatic enemies you will meet while sailing. Take your time and try to get all of the things you need so you are ready for the next zone, which you can visit at level 6 or 7.
Pro-Tip: The monsters at sea drop large amounts of gold and are the same no matter where you are in the inner sea. Staying around the Coneria area to level will make it easy to access Coneria’s inn which is cheaper than those of Provoka and Elfland. Having your Red or Black Mage learn LIT2 in the next town can make farming gold and exp from sea monsters a breeze.
d. Matoya’s Cave (Optional)
Treasures: Pure Potion, Heal Potion x2
It is not necessary to visit this place right now, but it’s good to know where it is since it becomes important later on and there are a few free healing items in the chests. Sail west from Provoka and pass under the bridge that you crossed when you left Coneria. Disembark at the port in the northeast part of the bay, then travel northwest to find Matoya’s Cave on the northern tip of the land mass. Inside you will find a few helpful items and Matoya. Also, the brooms tell you that holding B and Select will allow you to access the world map.
e. Dwarf Cave (Optional)
Treasures: 575g, 450g
Sail northwest from Coneria and you should see a port near some mountains. Head southwest from the port to find a cave and enter it. The dwarves in this cave are full of information and one of them will ask for TNT, which will be important in the future. Check the small building north of the entrance to the cave and you’ll find two chests. Open them to get 575 and 450 Gold. You will also learn of Adamant from the blacksmith. Don’t forget to bring it to him when you find it much later in the game.
3. Elfland and the Northwest Castle
Poison is commonly used by monsters in this region, so have some Pure Potions on hand. Take care when fighting here at low levels, Ogres and Creeps can hit pretty hard unless you happen to have a party of Fighters.
a. The Voyage to Elfland
Get in your ship and follow the coastline south, then west until you see a port. Dock at the port and exit the ship, then walk through the forest to the south. Elfland will be in a clearing in the forest.
b. Elfland City
Recommended Purchases: Silver Sword (Fi/Rm), Saber (Th), Large Knife (Bm), Copper Bracelet (Wm/Bm/Th), Cap (Wm/Th/Bm/Rm), Wooden Helm (Fi)
Recommended Level 3 Spells: FIR2, LIT2, HOLD, CUR2, HEAL, AFIR, HRM2
Recommended Level 4 Spells: ICE2, FAST, CONF, PURE, FEAR, AICE
The town of Elfland has some extremely valuable spells and equipment. They are also very expensive, so be ready to fight a lot of monsters for gold, especially if you have multiple mages. Silver Swords are a major upgrade for your Fighters and Red Mages. The Copper Bracelet is also a great item for the Thief, White Mage, and Black Mage as it offers decent protection while being light. You may want to hold onto the Thief’s Scimitar until you are about level 10, because you either are or will be getting two hits per attack with it. The Saber has higher base damage, but lower Hit%, which means you’ll lose that second hit if you equip it too soon. While the Black Belt can benefit from the Iron Nunchucks and armor, he should perform better without equipment at this point. You can also skip the Large Knife for the Black Mage, since you’ll find better weapons for him soon enough.
Mages get a major power boost at this point. LIT2 and FIR2 are must have spells for Red and Black Mages, though you may want to only get FIR2 for your Red Mage. Hold is also a decent, but not vital spell. White Mages should learn CUR2, HEAL, and AFIR. HRM2 is also good, but you should only get it if you have a Red Mage or a second White Mage to assist with healing. The level 4 spells are also useful, particularly PURE, ICE2, and AICE. Do not buy anyone LOK2, because it is bugged like LOCK. SLP2’s usefulness is also questionable, but it is more likely to work than SLEP.
c. Elfland Castle
Upon visiting the castle, you will learn that the prince has been put under a sleep spell by Astos. Only the Herb can wake him. Unfortunately, Matoya will not give you the Herb yet, so you’ll have to explore a bit. Take note of the locked room in the northeast part of the castle, it will come into play once you get the Mystic Key.
d. Northwest Castle
Go west from Elfland Castle until you see a gap in the mountains with forest running through it. Head northwest through the massive forest and you’ll come across a river that leads from a lake. Walk west, then north to get around the river. Just above it is another river and the Northwest Castle. Inside the castle, you will meet its master who asks you to retrieve the Crown from the Marsh Cave. There’s also a room locked with the Mystic Key that you should keep in mind.
4. The Marsh Cave and the Herb
The Marsh Cave is the first real dungeon in Final Fantasy and you will need to be prepared if you want to survive its hazards. Make sure your party is around level 8-10. They’ll also need up to date equipment and magic. You’ll want your Fighters in heavy armor and all of your lightly armored heroes in Copper Bracelets, except for the Red Mage who should remain in Chain Armor. Silver Swords are also a great asset in this area. HRM2 and FIR2 are very useful in the cave as well, because many of its denizens are weak against fire and the undead can be wiped out by HARM magic.
Bring plenty of Heal and Pure potions along to combat the poison status many of the creatures in the Marsh Cave inflict as well as a Tent or Cabin so you can save before entering the cave. The sea is still a good place to grind, even though the land monsters around Elfland give more Experience. Sea creatures drop more gold and are very easy to wipe out if you have LIT2 or Silver Swords. Some of the land creatures in Elfland are poisonous, which is another good reason to fight at sea. While I recommend being level 8-10, your party makeup will have a major impact on how soon you can visit the cave. Just make sure you have something to cure poison with even if you plan on running from everything in the cave, because some bad luck can quickly end your adventure.
a. Finding the Marsh Cave
Travel west from Elfland as if you were going to the Northwest Castle. Go through the narrow mountain pass to the west when you reach the lake near the castle and turn south when you near the coast. You should see a swamp after passing through some woods. At the southernmost tip of the swamp you will find the Marsh Cave. Use a Tent or Cabin to heal and save before entering.
b. The Marsh Cave
Treasures: Large Knife, 680g, 620g, Iron Armor, House, Copper Bracelet, Crown, 385g, Short Sword
The path here runs to a staircase to the north and one to the south. Go north first and you’ll see some steps leading down into a vault. Check the northeast room in the vault to find a treasure box that contains a Large Knife. The room in the center of the chamber holds 680g. To the south is another room that has a Short Sword and 620g. Leave the vault and walk back to the entrance to the Marsh Cave.
Now is a good time to step outside and use a Tent to heal, before taking the southern path in the cave. This path will fork, so take the one leading south, because the northern passage goes to a dead end. Enter the room at the end of the passage and go down the ladder. Exit the room at the bottom of the ladder and walk down to the southern wall. Next, go east to find another chamber. Go through the door and then use the door to the right in order to reach the stairs leading down.
This area is essentially a series of rooms arranged into rows and columns. Be cautious of the enemies down here; Scorpions and Gargoyles can deal a lot of damage. Search the room south of the stairs you emerged from to get an Iron Armor, then walk all the way to the eastern wall, ignoring the empty rooms, and enter the 4th room to the north to find 295g.
Now walk down to the second row and head west while counting the buildings. Enter the 3rd building and open the box inside to get a House. Check out the 4th building in this row (technically it’s the first, but we are coming from the east) to get a Copper Bracelet. Proceed down to the 3rd row of buildings and go east. At the second building, take a moment to make sure the party’s HP is full and go through the door. You should see a box surrounded by statues.
Despite their name, these creatures will not cast spells. Instead, they will batter your heroes with mighty melee attacks. Each Wizard can deal up to 85 damage depending on your Absorb and how many hits land. Fighters and Red Mages won’t have much to fear from these monsters, but they will tear up your lightly armored warriors. Spells like FOG, INVS, and RUSE are necessary if you want to protect a weaker party member. Wizards have high Absorb and resist most elements, but LIT2 and strong melee attacks will cut through their defenses.
Open the box after you are through with the Wizards to retrieve the Crown. You may want to retreat by now, but there is one more treasure if you want it. Walk east from the room that held the Crown and enter building 3 to get 385g. The rooms in the final row to the south are locked, but we will come back here soon enough. Return to the northeast corner of the chamber to find the exit and look for the large room to the north to find the ladder leading up. From there you will find the way out of the cave by following the corridor north and using the first set of steps you see. ..congratulations, you survived the Marsh Cave!
c. Northwest Castle (Revisited)
Return to the Northwest Castle after visiting the Elfland inn. Talk to the king and Astos will attack the party.
Astos is the deadliest foe you’ve faced thus far. He is able to cast RUB (an instant death spell), FIR2, LIT2, SLOW, SLO2, DARK, and FAST. In addition, this boss has respectable melee damage that is further enhanced if he casts FAST. Only your stronger characters will be able to inflict any real damage on Astos thanks to his high Absorb and Evade. Cast MUTE if you have it to prevent Astos from hitting you with his deadly magic. Spells like FIR2 and ICE2 will cause a fair amount of damage to this boss. Casting FAST on one of your stronger characters is also wise. Keep everyone healed, continue to pummel the dark elf, and he should be dead after a few turns.
d. Matoya’s Cave (Revisited)
Astos will give you the Crystal upon defeat, take it to Matoya who is north of Coneria to get the Herb.
f. Elfland Castle (Revisited)
Treasures: Mystic Key, Silver Hammer, 400g, 330g, Copper Bracer
With the Herb in hand, go back to Elfland Castle and speak to the elf standing next to the prince’s bed, who will take the Herb. Talk to the prince to get the Mystic Key. Unlock the door to the building in the northeast corner of the castle. Loot the chests inside for a Silver Hammer, 400g, 330g, and a Copper Bracer.
5. The Canal
Get ready to do some backtracking as we travel around opening doors locked by the Mystic Key.
a. Northwest Castle Treasury
Treasures: Falchon, Power Staff, Iron Bracer
Return to the castle where you fought Astos once again and open the treasury door using the Key. Get ready to fight when you attempt to open the chests inside. The center box is guarded by an enemy called Image. These nasty creatures will paralyze you with a hit, luckily they are weak vs. fire and FIR2 can wipe them out. The chest they were guarding contains a Falchon. The box to the left holds a Power Staff and is protected by Mummies who can put your heroes to sleep. FIR2 works on the mummies as well. Finally, the chest on the right has an Iron Bracer and is guarded by more mummies.
Pro-Tip: You can avoid these fights by approaching the boxes from the sides or you can purposely step on the tile in front of the boxes to initiate combat as much as you like.
b. Marsh Cave (Revisited)
Treasures: Silver Bracelet, Silver Knife, 1020g
Rest up at Elfland, then set out for the Marsh Cave. This time it should be more bearable now that you have some new gear and maybe an extra level or two under your belt. Go all the way down to the large chamber where the Crown was located and walk back to the southernmost row of buildings, which can now be opened with the Mystic Key. The first one from the west has a Silver Bracelet that is protected by Wizards.
Head east to the second room to find a Silver Knife. To get it you will have to fight Wizards if you step on the tile on its left or Cobras if you touch the tile below the box. Ignore the third building (it’s empty) and check out the fourth one where you’ll fight more Wizards for 1020g. Now that you have all the goodies in the Marsh Cave, it’s a good idea to get out of here the way you came and return to Elfland.
c. Coneria Castle Treasury
Treasures: Iron Staff, Sabre, Silver Knife, Iron Shield, Iron Armor, TNT
The other areas you had to visit with the Key were fairly rough, but Coneria is nice and safe. Be sure to grab the TNT out of the locked rooms on the first floor. You’ll also get an Iron Staff, Sabre, Silver Knife, Iron Shield, and Iron Armor from the treasury.
d. The Shrine (Revisited)
Treasures: Rune Sword, Were Sword, Soft Potion
Revisit the Shrine where you fought Garland and check out the room in the southeast. Inside you will have to fight Gargoyles. Open the box after the battle to get a Rune Sword. The room in the northeast has a Were Sword and a Soft Potion as well as a few Gargoyles to fight.
e. The Dwarf Cave (Revisited)
Treasures: Cabin, Iron Helm, Dragon Sword, Silver Knife, Wooden Helm, Silver Armor, 575g, House
Sail back to the Dwarf Cave to the west of Coneria. Take a look at the large room in the southern part of the cave at the end of a long corridor. Open the boxes inside to get a Cabin, Iron Helm, Dragon Sword, Wooden Helm, Silver Armor, 575g, and a House. Talk to Nerrick, who is standing by the building to give him the TNT. With it he will complete the canal, granting you passage to the outer ocean.
6. The Fiend of Earth
After Nerrick completes the canal, get back on the ship and follow the coastline south into you see a newly formed gap in the land. Passing through the gap will take you to the outer ocean. Head west and you will soon hit the land mass occupied by Melmond. You can also visit Crescent Lake and buy some even better gear than what is sold in Melmond.
Recommended Purchases: Silver Bracelet (Th/Wh/Bm)
Recommended Level 5 Spells: FIR3, BANE, WARP, CUR3, LIFE, HEL2, HRM2
Melmond is not in the greatest of shape, lacking a clinic and an item shop as a result of a vampire raid. Try not to die in this area or you’ll have to sail back to Coneria to get your wounded hero patched up. On the bright side there’s an inn and the monsters in this area aren’t too bad aside from Bulls and GrOgres. Questioning the townsfolk will reveal that there’s a cave to the southwest that you should visit.
You shouldn’t need much in the way of equipment aside from Silver Bracelets and possibly Steel Armor. All of the weapons in Melmond are weaker than the Silver Swords from Elfland and the gear you got by opening mystic doors. Spell choices become more difficult at this point, because your mages cannot learn some of the spells sold here until they get their class upgrade. BANE and FIR3 are good choices for Black Mages, but SLO2 is debatable. You may want to hold off on buying a third black magic spell until you can learn WARP, which can save you from a dungeon if things go badly.
The level 5 white magic spells offer a wide variety of great choices. CUR3 is a must for both Red and White Mages. HEL2, HRM3, and LIFE all have their merits and are dependant on your party makeup. HEL2 and HRM3 are good for stable parties, where deaths are rare, but more fragile groups may want to trade HRM3 for LIFE. Red Mages have few options for spells, but the two open to them right now, FIR3 and CUR3 are excellent, so learn them and come back for Life after becoming a Red Wizard.
b. Preparing for the Fiend of Earth
The Earth Cave is home to the first fiend. It’s also the longest dungeon you’ve encountered thus far. Most parties can clear this area fairly easily at about level 15. It’s possible to visit the town of Crescent Lake by sailing east from Melmond and docking at a port located on a peninsula. From there, walk south, then east. Crescent Lake will be to the north. The enemies in this area are strong, but yield good experience and gold. The town also sells helpful gear like the Silver Ax and Buckler as well as powerful level 6 magic. Regardless of whether you go to Crescent Lake or not, make sure you have some way to cure poison and a few Soft Potions before setting out for the Earth Cave. Many of the monsters inside the cave are venomous or can turn your heroes to stone in a single hit.
c. Earth Cave
Treasures: 1975g, Heal Potion x2, 880g, 795g, Pure Potion, 330g, Cabin, Coral Sword, 575g, 5000g, Wooden Shield, Tent, 3400g, 1020g, Ruby
Make sure everyone is about level 13 before exploring the Earth Cave, though you can visit at level 11 or so if you intend to fight Giants in the cave to level up. To get to the cave, walk west from Melmond and turn south when you see a patch of forest. Cross the narrow strip of land and you’ll come to a mountain with a cave built in it to the south. Enter the cave and you are in the lair of the Fiend of Earth. The steps you used to enter the cave are in the center of a large intersection with six different paths branching from it.
Take the path directly to the north and follow it to a room that is occupied by a chest guarded by an enemy named Earth. Look out for Earth’s staggering melee attacks that can do 90 damage to lightly armored targets. He also has high Absorb, but Fire spells damage him fairly well. The chest Earth was watching over contains 1975g. Backtrack to the entrance to the cave after you get your prize. The paths northwest and southwest of the entrance form a loop that is famously known as the “Hall of Giants” or “Giant Alley”. Every tile in this loop is spiked with a battle with multiple Giants and/or Iguanas, making a it a great place to level up, but it’s best avoided otherwise.
The passage south of the entrance steps is a dead end, so ignore it. Take the corridor southeast of the steps. It will split into several paths, so head west and take the path leading south when you hit the wall. Enter the small building at the end of the tunnel and get ready to fight another Earth elemental when you near the two boxes inside. The box to the right only has a Heal Potion, so you may want to skip it. The other chest has 800g.
Next, go back up the tunnel and walk east to find another small room with two more chests in it. One contains 795g. While the other has a Pure Potion. Return to the entrance steps again and head east where you’ll find a staircase leading down to a lower level. B2 is a rather odd collection of chambers carved into the stone, but it’s not as complex as it may seem. Head east and try to keep to the upper half of the area while doing so. After a while you will see a room in the northeast corner. Enter the room and open the treasure chests for 330g, a Cabin, and a Coral Sword. Now make your way southwest and you should see another chamber. Be careful of the Earth that attacks when you step inside. Loot the boxes to get 575g, a Wooden Shield, and 5000g. From the treasure room head north and you will see a narrow hallway to the south. Use it to get to another stairway going down.
Walk east when you enter B3 and you will come across a chamber that contains a Tent. This next room is optional since the treasure is not really worthwhile, but I’ll cover it anyway. Head north, then east and turn south at the first chance you get. Follow the hall to another room that has a box guarded by an Earth elemental. The chest contains a Heal Potion. Walk back to the hallway near the entrance (if you went for the Heal Potion) and go north, then west. You’ll see another chamber with a chest that contains 3400g, but look out for the Earth guarding the box.
Continue west, then go south when you come to another room, which is empty. Walk east when you see another room. Fight the Earth inside if you want 1020g. Go south and you will notice another room to the east. Make sure everyone is at full HP, then enter the room and talk to the Dracula looking guy blocking the way forward.
Capable of taking large chunks (about 70 HP if the target has 15 Absorb) out of your heroes’ life, the Vampire is a formidable opponent. His standard attacks and Dazzle spell have a chance of paralyzing their victims. As an undead, the Vampire is weak against FIRE and HARM spells. Stronger warriors will be able to cut through hIs Absorb as well. Keep up the offensive and be proactive about healing to win this battle. If you have FIR3 you can kill this boss in a single casting if you are lucky.
Open the chest behind the Vampire to get the Ruby. Exiting this room via the other door will take you to a mysterious stone slab, but you can’t do anything with right now. Head back to the surface and restock at Melmond.
d. Titan’s Cave
Treasures: Great Ax, 620g, 450g, Silver Helmet
Look for a cave southwest of Melmond, past the strip of land leading to the Earth Cave. You’ll see a giant standing in the passage just north of the entrance. Talk to him and he will take the Ruby, then vanish, clearing the way for you. Take a few steps west, then south to find a treasure room that contains a Great Ax, 620g, 450g, and a Silver Helmet. Go north and take the steps up to the overworld.
e. Sage’s Cave
The Sage’s Cave is south of the exit to the Titan’s Cave. Talk to the Sage inside and he will give you the Rod, which can be used to remove the plate covering the entrance to the lowest level of the Earth Cave.
f. Earth Cave (Revisited)
Treasures: 3400g, Wooden Staff, 1520g, 1455g, 5450g, Cabin, 1250g, Silver Shield
Note: Some of the monsters in the depths of the Earth Cave can petrify your characters, so bring a few Soft Potions.
Make your way back to the Earth Cave after stopping at Melmond to rest or use an item like the Cabin to heal and save. Head back down to where you fought the vampire and inspect the plate behind his chamber. Use the Rod to remove the plate and descend the steps. Pick your way through the honeycomb of open rooms, bearing north, then west to a room filled with treasure. The boxes contain a Wooden Staff, 1520g, 1455g, and 5450g. Be careful when stepping up to the chests, because they are protected by enemies like Sphinx and WzOgres.
Find your way through this maze by pushing west and south. You’ll eventually come to a room that has a Cabin, 1250g, and a Silver Shield. Go north until you find a set of stairs leading down. While the previous floors were easy to navigate despite their maze like appearance, this one is a little more difficult. Take the first passage going north from the stairs and turn west when you touch the wall. Take a few steps and proceed down the path to the south. Head west at the end of the line and you will find the lair of Lich, the Fiend of Earth. Have everyone heal before examining the red orb in the chamber.
Lich is a major threat thanks to his ability to cast FAST, SLEP, SLP2, LIT2, ICE2, FIR2, SLOW, and HOLD. For the most part, Lich’s physical attacks are negligible, unless they hit someone with low HP and Absorb. It’s his spells you have to watch out for, because LIT2, ICE2, and FIR2 can deal heavy damage to everyone. HOLD and SLEP can be dangerous as well, since these spells can cripple key members of your party. In this case, the best defense is a good offense. If you have someone that is able to cast FAST (preferably on a Fighter or Black Belt) and FIR3, do so. With some luck, a solid hit from a Fighter/Black Belt and/or FIR3 can cut Lich’s HP in half. In fact Lich has about 500 HP and the right party can kill him in a single round.
Step on the pedestal at the back of the room to restore the Earth Crystal, then walk into the grey platform at the back of the room to exit the cave.
7. Of Airships and Ordeals
Final Fantasy gives players quite a bit of freedom once the canal has been opened and it is possible to complete goals in several different orders. Players can visit the Castle of Ordeals and bring an item to Bahumut, who will upgrade the party’s class. A class upgrade will allow many characters to use new equipment and spells, which is why we will visit the Castle of Ordeals before attempting to defeat the Fiend of Fire.However, this means exploring the deadly Ice Cave which can be a challenge for some parties, though many of the dangerous monsters in the Ice Cave can be fled from.
a. Crescent Lake
Recommended Purchases: Silver Axe (Fi), Silver Hammer (Wh), Silver Knife (Bm), Silver Armor (Rm), Silver Bracer (Fi), Buckler (Th/Rm)
Recommended Level 6 Spells: STUN, QAKE, LIT3, SOFT, EXIT, FOG2
Sail west from Melmond and you will hit another continent which is actually home to Provoka. You should see a port located on a small peninsula nearby. Get off your ship at the port and travel south, then west when the mountain range tapers off. The town of Crescent Lake will be to the north. Head over to the magic shops in the northern part of town and walk behind them. Go east to find a grove that is home to the twelve sages. Talk to the second sage on the right to get the Canoe, which becomes available after defeating Lich.
Several new pieces of gear and spells are available at the shops in Crescent Lake. Fighters will find the Silver Ax a nice upgrade from the sword, despite its lower hit rate. Bucklers offer a modest defense boost for Thieves and Red Mages. The Red Mage will also get a nice armor upgrade in the form of the Silver Armor. White Mages will have a hard choice to make since EXIT, SOFT, FOG2, and INV2 are all useful spells. Black Mages will do well to learn QAKE, LIT3, and STUN. RUB is not really worth the slot, because it only hits one target and undead resist it. Red Mages will not be able to learn any of the level 6 spells until they get a class upgrade.
b. Grinding Levels at Crescent Lake
Most parties will need a lot of gold to buy equipment and spells. The monsters in this area drop plenty of gold, but players will have to contend with large groups of venomous creatures like Cobras and Scorpions. Instant death spells like BANE and QAKE are really useful against such groups. You can also visit the famed “Peninsula of Power” northeast of Provoka and walk around on its very tip to fight even more powerful creatures. Be sure to buy a House or Cabin for the journey ahead. Try to get the party up to about level 18 before setting out to find the Ice Cave.
c. Finding the Ice Cave
Board your ship and sail north until you reach a bay with a narrow entrance. Enter the bay and park the ship next to the river leading into it. Push against the rivermouth and the party will use the Canoe to traverse the river. Continue west until you come to an intersection where you should take the northern path. Turn east at the next fork in the river. Follow the river north and keep going west as you ignore the next fork. The river will turn south and you should take the branch going west when you reach it. From here it’s a straight shot to the Ice Cave. Use a Cabin or House to save before entering the cave, things can get ugly in there.
d. Ice Cave
Treasures: Cloth Armor, Flame Sword, Ice Armor, Silver Bracer, 9900g, 5000g, 12350g, 7900g, 5450g, 180g, Heal Potion, 10000g, 9500g, Tent, Floater
Don’t let the cheery music fool you, this place is a pit of death. The Cockatrice enemies in here have a small chance of turning your characters to stone. On top of that, Mages can insta-kill your heroes with RUB and Sorcerers can flat out kill their victims with physical attacks. Run as much as possible to be on the safe side. The entrance corridor leads east, head down it and stick with it as it loops back west until you see steps going down. The next floor is just a square shaped tunnel where you will find the staircase leading down to the third floor in the southwest corner.
The steps will take you down to a tiny room with another set of stairs going back up. Enter the room to the south after climbing the stairs. Be careful of the holes in the floor and ignore the chest to the right. Mages will attack the party if they step in front of this chest and all it contains is Cloth Armor. The chest on the left has a Flame Sword. You cannot access the center chest at the moment, so drop down one of the holes; it doesn’t matter which one you choose, since they all lead to the same place.
The party will land in a small room, exit it and cross the ice field to the west. The ice field will damage the party for each step you take, so heal up if necessary. Enter the small chamber at the end of the ice field and make sure everyone has full health before stepping in front of the chest guarded by a Frost Dragon. Watch out for its powerful breath attack, which can be mitigated with AICE. Open the box for some Ice Armor. The container next to it holds a Silver Bracer.
Return to the intersection and go south until you see another small building. The boxes inside contain 9900g, 5000g, 12350g, 7900g, 5450g, and 180g. Head east from the room to find another set of steps leading up. Go inside the room at the top of the steps and open the box to the south for a Heal Potion. Enter the other chamber just to the south to get 10000g. Walk east and go into the rectangular room. Avoid the hole for now and open the chests to get 9500g, a Tent, and an Ice Shield. Drop down the hole when you are ready. Heal your heroes up and approach the center chest to fight the Eye after going down the hole.
The Eye casts deadly spells like BRAK, RUB, XXXX, SLEP, LIT2, HOLD, SLOW, and MUTE. It can also use special skills like GAZE to turn one of your heroes to stone or SQUINT to outright kill a character. The good news is it only has about 165 HP and a moderate amount of absorb. Powerful attackers like the Black Belt and Fighter may be able to defeat the Eye in a turn if they get a few lucky critical hits or if you have a magic user cast FAST on them. FIR3 and LIT3 deal large amounts of damage to this boss as well, so hit it with everything you have to keep it from killing any party members.
Open the chest after the battle to get the Floater, then go down a hole. Don’t Step back in front of the chest unless you want to fight the Eye again. Exit the small room from before after dropping down the hole and head south again. Ascend the steps in the southeast and go through the building, then head east. Look for a staircase north of the next building you see and climb them to return to the overworld. Congratulations, you survived the Ice Cave!
Now it’s time to canoe back to the ship. Use a Tent or something to save first in case you get attacked by a lot of enemies on the way. Follow the path to the river until it breaks into two sections. Take the branch leading northeast and continue east. Eventually the river will turn south then west before forking again. Take the southern path and it will branch out into three different streams, follow the one leading east back to the ship. Make your way back to Crescent Lake if your party is badly injured or go to the desert to the south if you are ready to get the airship.
e. The Airship Flies Again
Sail south from the Crescent Lake port and you will see a desert surrounded by mountains to your left. Use the Canoe to enter the nearby river and step out onto land, then walk over to the desert. Use the Floater while standing in the desert and the Airship will appear. Walk over to the Airship and hit A to board it. Now you can fly quickly from place to place without being attacked and reach previously inaccessible areas.
f. Gaia (Optional)
I’m not going to provide a detailed analysis of this town yet, but it’s worth visiting before the Castle of Ordeals for items like the ProRing and Gold Bracelet. To reach Gaia, you need to fly north from Crescent Lake. You’ll see a city surrounded by forests to the east, keep going and you will come to a valley with a town nestled inside, this is Gaia. I highly recommend buying everyone a ProRing if you have the money, since they protect from death spells, increase Absorb by 8, AND only reduce evade by 1%. Most of the other stuff here is really expensive and/or cannot be equipped by your current classes, but Gold Bracelets are a good light armor upgrade. Set out for the Castle of Ordeals when you are finished.
g. Castle of Ordeals
Treasures: Zeus Bracer, Heal Staff, Iron Bracer, Ice Sword, Gold Bracelet, House, 1450g, 7340g, Tail
Getting to the Castle of Ordeals is quite an ordeal on its own. While it is directly north of the Shrine where you fought Garland at the beginning of the game, you’ll have to land the Airship in field to the east of the castle and walk some distance. It is also possible to reach the Castle by ship if you use the Canoe to disembark at the river north of the Castle of Ordeals and walk south.
Walk up to the Sage standing in the ring of pillars and he will allow you to enter the castle after you present the Crown you found earlier to him. Enter the room to the northwest and step on the throne to be transported to the next floor of the castle. Exit the chamber you appear in and walk onto the pillar, which will teleport you to another section of the second floor. Step on the next pillar, then you will be in an area with two pillars, choose the one to the south. The next choice is easy, since there is only one pillar you can use.
You’ll end up in a room in the southwest that has two pillars to the right. Pick the southern pillar again and walk down the hallway, then step onto the next pillar. Two more pillars await you in the northwest chamber, choose the one closest to the party and walk east down the hallway to a small chamber with a treasure box that is protected by MudGols. These enemies hit hard, but can’t take much punishment, so pick them off one at a time. Open the chest for a Zeus Bracer, which can cast LIT2 if used in combat.
Leave the room where you got the Zeus Bracer, and take a step west, then go south down the hallway. You will see a pillar directly ahead, step on it to be transported to a staircase. Climb the steps to the third floor and walk north up the hallway. Go through the doors and check the box to the north to acquire a Heal Staff. Hold onto the Heal Staff, because it can be used in battle to restore the entire party’s HP a bit. Proceed westward and you will encounter three chests that contain an Iron Bracer, Ice Sword, and a Gold Bracelet.
Walk south and you will find four more boxes. Search them to get a House, 1455g, and 7340g. Take a few more steps east and you will see a throne with a chest next to it. Inside the chest you will find the Tail, which you will need for the class upgrade. Step on the throne to return to the entrance, just beware the Zombie Dragons that attack when you step in front of it.
Boss: Zombie Dragon
This enemy is weak against HARM and FIRE type spells, so have your casters use them while your melee characters pound away with physical attacks. The Zombie Dragons themselves only use melee attacks, but they can paralyze their victims. A few good hits or castings of FIR3/HRM3 should be enough to defeat these horrors.
Just walk south after beating the dragons and stepping on the throne to leave the castle.
Treasures: 2750g x2, 2000g, 1455g, 9500g, 160g, 1520g, 1455g, 10g, House, 500g, Cabin, 575g, Soft Potion
Just west of the Castle of Ordeals is a series of islands dotted with pits. If you visit the island closest the Castle of Ordeals and enter the hole surrounded by forest you will find a few treasures that include 2750g, 2000g, 1520g, 2750g, 9500g, 160g, and 1455g. Fly west a bit more and you will see another island covered in swamp land. Go down the hole on this island to find 10g, a House, and 500g. Next, fly over to the grassy island to the west and loot the boxes to obtain a Cabin, 575g, and a Soft Potion. Now you’re ready to meet Bahumut. Fly east to a forested island with two pits on it and go down the hole on the right. Follow the long corridors and you will meet Bahumut who will upgrade your heroes’ class, allowing them to equip new gear and cast more powerful spells.
8. The Fiend of Fire
The Volcano where the Fiend of Fire dwells is simple to locate if you have the Airship. Fly north about 6 spaces from Crescent Lake, then west and you will soon see the Volcano. If you didn’t get the Airship, you will need to use the canoe to navigate the river north of Crescent Lake. Head west and choose the western branch of the river when it splits in two, then turn north at the next fork. Keep rowing north until you come to yet another divergence in the river. Take the eastern path, then choose the branch leading northwest when it forks yet again. At the final split in the river, go west and follow it until you reach the Volcano.
Note: The Volcano shouldn’t be much of a challenge if you cleared the Castle of Ideals and Ice Cave. Most parties will need to be about level 20 to clear this dungeon safely. Bring Heal Potions to offset some of the damage your party will take from walking on lava in the Volcano.
Treasures: Silver Helmet x2, 1520g x2, 4150g, Giant Sword, 750g, 795g, 1760g x2, Silver Shield, Silver Ax, Heal Potion x2, Pure Potion x2, 1975g, 1455g, Silver Bracer, Cabin, Soft Potion, 2750g, 7340g, Flame Shield, Ice Sword, 880g, 1250g, Wooden Staff
The lava here is both a blessing and a curse. Enemies will not attack the party on lava tiles, but every party member will take a point of damage for every step they take. Considering the penchant many of the beasties in the Volcano have for casting powerful fire spells that hit the entire party, I’d say it’s wise to stay on the lava and keep on eye on everyone’s HP, because you will lose less life that way. I also recommend being somewhere around level 20 if you want to be able to stroll through this dungeon.
The topmost level of the Volcano is circular, with a set of steps leading down in its upper left corner. The steps can be reached quickly from the entrance if you head northwest over the lava. The next floor is a vault filled with treasure, but you can bypass the treasury (if you wish) and go straight to the next set of steps by moving directly west. Those who want the loot should start with the first door.
Open the nearby chests, which hold a Silver Helmet and 1520g, but look out for the Fire enemies that protect the loot. After that, go north to get 4150g and a Giant Sword, but you will have to slay more Fire monsters guarding the boxes. Walk over to the north wall and head west to get to the next section of the chamber. Two more chests await you in the northwest, open them to get 750g and 795g, then make your way south. You will find a bunch of chests in here that contain 1760g, a Silver Shield, Silver Ax, Heal Potion x2, Pure Potion, 1975g, 1455g, 1520g, Silver Bracer, Silver Helmet, and a Cabin. Look out for the G. Worm that watches over the treasures in here. Walk up to the hallway to the northeast, then go south through the doors to get to the staircase I mentioned earlier.
B3 is huge, but not difficult to navigate if you know where to go. Walk east through the corridor and go down the steps to B4. Move southeast after reaching B4 to find a staircase in the corner of the room. You’ll be back in B3 after climbing the steps. Walk south and turn west at the intersection. Take the hallway to the south after going west a few paces and turn west again. Continue down the long hallway to another set of stairs leading down to a different section of B4.
Check the room near the entrance to B4 to find a Soft Potion and 2750g. You’ll have to kill a Grey Worm to get the Soft Potion. Go west, then south to another chamber that contains 1760g. Next, follow the path as it winds northwest to another treasure room where you’ll find a Pure Potion, 7340g, Flame Shield, Ice Sword, and 880g. Make your way south and east to a final treasure room. Check the boxes inside for 1250g and a Wooden Staff, both of which are guarded by an Agama. Continue going south to a final staircase.
B5 consists of a central hub with a total of seven hallways radiating out from it. Most of these hallways are dead ends and do not need to be explored. However, the western hallway leads to a chest that contains a Flame Armor that is protected by a Red Dragon. You will find the Fiend of Fire by going down the southwest hallway. As always, double check everyone’s HP and status before entering her chamber.
Despite being one of the Four Fiends, Kary is weak against STUN and SLEP. This is very helpful, because she can cast crippling spells like RUB, FIR2, HOLD, and DARK. Use STUN on her to keep her from taking turns if you have a Black Mage, otherwise cast AFIR or just open with standard attacks. FAST is an asset in this battle, because a Fighter, Black Belt, or even Red Mage buffed by it can put a serious hurtin’ on Kary. This battle should be a cakewalk if you did the Ice Cave, since everyone will have some high quality gear and extra levels. RUB is a danger in this battle, but it’s FIR2 that will nearly destroy your team of you do not have AFIR, STUN, or the ability to damage the boss enough to kill her before she can bring her deadly spells to bear. Kary also has a respectable melee attack and SLO2 can decrease her damage output somewhat. Don’t bother using elemental magic like ICE2, Kary is highly resistant to it.
Walk over the altar at the back of the room to reenergize the Fire Crystal, then use the teleporter behind the altar to return to the surface once Kary it’s out of the picture.
9. The Fiend of Water
If you’ve already gotten the Airship and the class upgrade, as this guide recommends, you can fly over to Gaia, which is almost directly north (or south of you prefer) of Crescent Lake. If you didn’t get the class change and Airship, scroll back up to Section 7: Of Arships and Ordeals, then refer to this section again when you are done. The Airship is mandatory for the rest of the game and you may as well get the class change while you’re at it.
Recommended Purchases: Bottle
Open the map by pressing B, then Select. You should see a continent in the northwest corner that is occupied by a midsized desert. Fly over to the desert and look for a gap between the desert and forest that you can land on. Walk north to a patch of forest and step on the desert tile above it to find the hidden Oasis. Be ready to shell out an insane 50,000g for the Bottle sold here, but you need it to advance in the game. Return to your ship and fly to Gaia.
b. Gaia (Revisited)
Recommended Purchases: Gold Bracelet (Wh/Ww/Rm/Rw/Th/Bm/Bw), ProRing (Everyone), Cat Claw (Ni/Th/Bw)
Recommended Level 7 Spells: ICE3, BRAK, CUR4, HRM4
Recommended Level 8 Spells: FADE, WALL, ZAP!, XXXX
Walk north to the item shop and keep going until you see the clinic. Turn east and follow the path through the woods until you reach a spring. Stand in front of the spring and go into your inventory, then select the Bottle. A fairy will appear in the spring, talk to her to get the Oxyale. If you want to learn more about Gaia, which I mentioned in a previous section, read on. Otherwise, set out for Onrac.
Everything in Gaia is very expensive, particularly CatClaws and Gold Bracelets. The ProRing is the best hand armor for every class in the game at 20,000g a pop. Gold Bracelets can be found in dungeons (you should already have one) and can be skipped unless you have a party of characters that can only wear light armor. The CatClaw is the best weapon for the Black Wizard, but at 65k you may just want to skip it or buy it for a Ninja and hand it down to the Black Wizard later.
Be careful when purchasing level 7 and 8 spells, because you will find better stuff in other towns in the near future. ICE3, BRAK, CUR4, and HRM4 are safe bets for your magic users, just be sure to leave a slot open for other spells. The level 8 spells the White Wizard should get in this town are FADE, which is a powerful attack spell and WALL, a spell that gives the target elemental resistance. XFER is bugged, so avoid it and leave the slot open for LIF2. Black Wizards should absolutely leave a slot open for NUKE (which is also found in another town) but it’s safe to buy ZAP!, XXXX, or even STOP.
Recommended Level 7 Spells: BLND, HEL3
Fly west about ten spaces from Gaia, then go south until you come to a tower in the desert. Turn west at the tower and continue past Cardia until you see a small town tucked away in a forested area. You’ll have to land in a clearing southwest of the town and use the canoe to reach it. Cross the bridge south of the inn and head east to find a woman standing by a submarine. Talk to her and she will vanish, allowing you to walk onto the submarine that will take you to the Sea Shrine.
Onrac has no weapon or armor shop, but it does have level 7 spell shops. Most of the spells here are garbage, especially SABR, which doesn’t work at all. BLND isn’t very useful, but it’s worth buying if only to fill the slot since it actually functions as intended. HEL3 has some merit (even though it’s bugged and heals as much as HEL2), because it’s another mult-target healing spell at your disposal.
d. Sea Shrine
Treasures: 2000g, 9900g x2, 20g, Opal Armor, Light Ax x2, Mage Staff, 12350g, 1760g, 9000g, Opal Bracelet, 2750g, 4150g, 10000g, 10g, Opal Shield, 5000g, Slab, Opal Bracer, Opal Helm, 110g, 8135g, 7690g, 385g, Power Bracer, 5450g, Ribbon
The Sea Shrine houses some strong gear that shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s also home to enemies that have potent melee attacks, but you’ll likely find that the Ice Cave and Volcano were far more dangerous than the Sea Shrine. Keep in mind that you can use the submarine to return to Onrac if you need to rest. Lightning magic is highly effective here, making the Zeus Bracer and LIT2 an asset.
The first floor of the Shrine is mostly empty, though some of the rooms have chests that hold money. Walk north from the sub and turn right at the intersection to get to a room with 2000g. Bactrack to the intersection and go west, then north to a room with a box that you can open for 9900g. Make your way over to the northeast corner of the area, where you will see a staircase leading up. Walk south from the steps and head west when you hit the end of the path. A building will block your way, so go north, then head west again. Ignore the building, because the 20g inside is not worth the effort.
Go north at the intersection beyond the building and open the box in the rectangular building at the end of the line to get the mighty Opal Armor. Return to the intersection by the large building and take the southwest route. A square building waits at the end of the route, open the box inside to get a Light Ax, a decent weapon that casts HRM2 when used as an item in battle. Walk east from the square building and take the northern path when the road forks to find another room with a Mage Staff in a chest. The Mage Staff casts FIR2 when used as an item, so it’s worth hanging onto.
Go east and check out the room to the south to get 12350g. The steps to the next floor are a few paces southeast of the room. Climbing the steps will place the party in an area filled with treasure rooms. Many of the rooms are empty save for some mermaids, but you will find 9000g, 1760g, and an Opal Bracelet in the room north of the steps. Make sure you grab the Opal Bracelet, it’s one of the best armors in the game. The rest of this area doesn’t really need explanation, since monsters will not attack you here and the rooms are arranged into orderly rows.
You should find 2750g, 4150g, Pure Potion, 10000g, 10g, Opal Shield, and 5000g in this area. One of the rooms is tricky to get to, but you need to check it out to get an important plot item. Head northwest and squeeze through a narrow pathway by the topmost room to find a bridge of sorts that will take you to a chamber with three treasure boxes that contain a Slab, Opal Bracer, and an Opal Helm. Return to the first floor where the submarine is located. You may want to leave the Sea Shrine in order to sell some items and resupply before moving on.
Look for a set of steps in the northwest corner after you reenter the shrine. Descend the steps and walk west, then north when the path splits. Keep going north, ignoring the side paths and you’ll come to a building with a staircase next to it. Ascend the steps in the next room and you’ll end up in an area with an empty room. A set of stairs should be a few paces southeast of the room, go down them.
Enter the building on the floor below, you can examine the chest on the right to get 110g, a sum that’s probably not even worth the time it takes to open the box at this point. The box south of it has 450g. Exiting the room via the door to the south will reveal yet another staircase, use it to get to a lower area of the Sea Shrine. Explore the chamber south to obtain 8135g and 7690g.
Travel westward to another treasure room that has 385g, a Power Bracer, and 5450g. Look out for the Water guarding the chest that holds the bracer. Go north after looting the treasure room and pass the intersection. Continue north to a rectangular chamber and open the chest inside after defeating the GrSharks that attack when you approach it to receive a Light Ax. To the east you will find another chamber with 2750g, 7340g, 9900g, and the Ribbon. Equip one of your more vulnerable heroes with the Ribbon, because it grants resistance to many types of magic.
Take the path leading north near the room where you found the Ribbon and turn west at the end of the passage. Descend the steps that lead to the lair of the Fiend of Water. Head north and into the large rectangular building, then pass through the door to the west. A massive chamber is just west of the door, enter via the doorway to the south. Look for another door in the northwest section of the chamber. Follow the path to a final room to the north. Heal before going inside to fight Kraken.
Physical attack power is this boss’s greatest asset, though he will cast INK from time to time. INK can inflict dark status on your party, lowering their accuracy. Cast defensive spells like FOG and INV2 if you can, because Kraken can easily kill a lightly armored hero with a single blow. As always FAST should be cast on your melee characters. LIT3 deals massive damage to the boss, so use it if you have it. That said, your melee attacks will probably do the bulk of the work in this fight. Kraken has about 800 HP, so this encounter can take a while depending on your level, party makeup, and luck.
As with the other Fiends, step on the altar after Kraken is dead and use the portal behind it to get to safety.
10. The Fiend of Wind
You’ll need to collect a few items before you can challenge the Fiend of Wind who lives in the Sky Fortress atop the Mirage tower. Having defeated Kraken, you should already possess the first item: the Slab. Your party should be level 25 or higher before attempting the Mirage Tower.
a. Melmond (Revisited)
Remember Dr. Unne? Of course you do! Use the Airship to visit Melmond and sell off any old gear. Dr. Unne is in the graveyard to the northeast. Talk to him with the Slab in your inventory to learn Lefeinish.
Recommended Level 8 Spells: LIF2, NUKE
Fly north from Crescent Lake and you will see a town surrounded by woods that you cannot land in. Continue north to another lake, just west of the lake is a tiny patch of field you can land on, between the forest and the mountain. Move south to get to Lefein. Talk to the residents to learn more about the Fiend of Air. One of the townspeople, who stands near the water on the southern end of the city will give you the Chime, which will allow you to enter the Mirage Tower.
Lefein’s magic shops are cleverly concealed, but the excellent spells they sell make them worth finding. Look for some trees and a gap in the wall to the northeast. Walk east through the gap and you will see the magic shops after a few steps. LIF2 is a great spell for the White Wizard and NUKE is the Black Wizard’s best direct damage magic.
c. Waterfall Cave
Treasures: Cube, Wizard Staff, Ribbon, 13450g, 6400g, 5000g, Defense Sword
Go back to Onrac again and use the canoe to travel up the river. To the north is a waterfall you can enter by pressing against it. The Waterfall Cave is not as complicated as it looks. Push westward until the path ends in branches with one leading north and another going south. Choose the south passage and follow it to a room with six chests. Look out for the entrance to the room, because it’s guarded by Mummies. There’s also a robot here, talk to him to get the Cube. Loot the boxes to get a Wizard Staff, Ribbon, 13450g, 6400g, 5000g, and a Defense Sword. Be sure to hang onto the Defense Sword, it casts RUSE when used in battle. Leave the cave by casting EXIT or WARP after you’ve gotten everything.
d. The Mirage Tower
Treasures: Cabin, 2750g, 18010g, Vorpal Sword, Heal Helmet, 880g, 8135g, 7900g, Thor Hammer, 12350g, 13000g, Dragon Armor, 10000g, Sun Sword, 7690g
West of Lefein is a massive desert that is home to a tower located near its center. You’ll have to land your Airship on a patch of grass near the mountain range and travel to the tower by foot. It’s wise to bring a few Houses and save before entering the tower. Your first order of business after entering the tower should be to investigate the room to the north. The boxes in here contain a Cabin, Aegis Shield, 2750g, 18010g, Vorpal Sword, 3400g, Heal Helmet, and 880g. The Heal Helmet casts HEAL when used in combat.
The robot near the top of the room will talk to you, though he has nothing important to say. The door in the southeast section of the room will allow you to use the steps to the second floor. Floor two is made up of pillars that are arranged in a spiral pattern and a large central chamber. Follow the spiral formed by the pillars to a room filled with treasure. Inside you’ll find 8135g, 7900g, Thor Hammer, 12350g, 13000g, Dragon Armor, 10000g, Sun Sword, 7690g, and a House. Exit the chamber via the door in the southeast, then head north to another set of stairs.
Floor 3 is very simple, but make sure your party is in tip top shape before entering the chamber that dominates it. Inside you’ll have to do battle with a Blue Dragon. Hit him as hard as you can, because his THUNDER ability can nearly kill weaker characters and it hits the entire party. You’ll need the Cube from the Waterfall Cave to use the teleporter in the center of the room.
e. Floating Castle
Treasures: Bane Sword, 7900g, 4150g, Heal Potion x2, 9900g, 180g, Heal Helmet, 6720g, ProRing, 5000g, House, Silver Helmet, 13000g, 880g, Adamant, Black Shirt, White Shirt, Ribbon, Opal Shield, Opal Bracer, 8135g, ProCape, 9500g, Cloth Armor, Soft Potion x2, 6400g, 5450g, ProRing, 9000g, 4150g, 3400g, Katana
Four passages make up this room. First, take the one to the south to a room with the Bane Sword. Backtrack to the intersection and take the west corridor. At the end of the west corridor is a room that has chests you can open for 7900g, 4150g, a Heal Potion, and 9900g. Check out the corridor to the east for more treasure. The boxes in the room to the east have 180g, a Heal Helmet, 6720g, a ProRing, and 5000g. Walk up the north hallway to a teleporter that will take you to another floor of the castle.
The second floor of the Floating Castle is shaped almost exactly like the bottom floor of the Volcano, except this time most of the rooms here contain something worthwhile. Here’s a list of the rooms and their loot for the sake of brevity:
-Northwest room: House and Silver Helmet.
-West room: 13000g and 880g.
-Southwest room: Adamant.
-Southern room: Teleporter to 3rd floor.
-Southeast room: Black Shirt and White Shirt
-Eastern room: Opal Shield and Ribbon
-Northeast room: Opal Bracer
Use the teleporter to the south when you are ready to explore the third floor; beware the Rock Golems that guard the path.
Just east of the entrance to the 3rd floor is a square structure with a gap in it, the robot next to it will tell you it’s a window. Checking the gap will give you a clue about where to go after defeating the Fiend of Air. East of the “window” is a room with more treasure for you, just take the lower path to get it. Open the boxes inside to obtain 8135g, a ProCape, 9500g, Cloth Armor, Soft Potion, and 6400g.
Walk back to the window and go north. There’s another room with some boxes for you to rummage through; inside it you’ll find 5450g, a Heal Potion, a ProRing, and 9000g. Return to the window again and check the narrow walkway to the west. There’s another room here, open the boxes inside for a Soft Potion, 4150g, 3400g, and a Katana. Just south of this room is the teleporter for the fourth floor.
Floor four is a maze of sorts. All of the hallways in here are nearly identical and the map wraps from one side of the screen to another. Walk south from the teleporter to another intersection and continue going down. At the second intersection turn east and you will encounter the final teleporter at the second intersection.
The next area is merely two rooms connected by a bridge. Take care when crossing the bridge, because a deadly foe named WarMech has a small chance appearing here. WarMech uses a devastating skill called NUCLEAR that can inflict roughly 200-300 HP worth of damage to the entire party. NUCLEAR is non-elemental, so your Ribbons and fancy armor won’t protect you. Best thing to do is run, if you really want to fight WarMech, come back with a fresh party. In the room to the north you will find an orb that will summon the Fiend of Air when examined.
Your party should mostly be wearing Ribbons now, so Tiamat’s spells will not cause you much harm. Tiamat will open the battle by casting THUNDER, followed by POISON, and a physical attack, then BLAZE. Lastly she’ll use BLIZZARD, which is also blocked by magic resistance from items like the Ribbon and Aegis Shield. Tiamat has a massive amount of Absorb, so you’ll need FAST to cut through her defenses. She is highly resistant to magic as well, but NUKE and FADE will still do heavy damage. BRAK also works on this boss and can kill her in a hit, though the odds are roughly 1/5.
Step on the altar just as you did after slaying the other fiends once Tiamat is history.
11. Loose Ends
With Tiamat defeated, you should be ready for the final dungeon. However, there are a few things that most players will want to do before setting out for the final battle.
Xcalber is not only one of the worst abbreviations I’ve ever seen, but it’s also one of the best weapons for the Knight. Remember the Adamant you found in the Floating Castle? Give it to the smith in the Dwarf Cave and he will make Xcalber for you. Simple as that.
b. Final Checks
Make sure you have all of the spells, items, weapons, and armor you need before visiting the final stage. You may also want to explore the world or fight rare enemies like WarMech now that you are at the end of the game.
c. Preparing for the Final Battle
Many parties can enter the final dungeon fairly safely at level 25, but you may want to get up to level 30 if you struggled in the Floating Castle. Keep in mind that you cannot flee from the last dungeon unless you have access to the EXIT or WARP spells, so there’s no turning back if your White/Black Wizard is killed. Stock up on Heal potions and anything else you may find useful. Try to get to level 35 before attempting the final boss. The Temple itself is a great place to gain levels if you have a means of escape. You may also want to explore the Temple a bit and grab the Masamune before you start grinding, because it’s the best weapon in the game.
12. The Temple of Fiends
The game ends where it started: at the shrine northwest of Coneria. Save your game before entering the shrine and walk up to the former location of the crystal ball in the center of the building. Examine the ball to be transported to the Temple of the Fiends.
Note: The enemies in this area are the strongest in the game. Many of them cast spells like Blizzard that hit the entire party. Make sure you have all three Ribbons and Dragon Armor if you have a Knight so your party has some magic defense.
a. Temple of the Fiends Part 1: Phantom
Treasures: 45,000g, 65,000g
There are four staircases on the first floor, one in each corner. Unfortunately, many of these staircases are blocked and you will have to walk south from the entrance, then follow the narrow hallway east to get to the southeast stairs that lead deeper into the Temple. Climb the steps across from where you spawn on the second floor, then walk south until you hit the wall on the third floor. Turn east and proceed until you see a row of pillars leading north. Enter the room to the north and get ready to fight Phantom, who guards the way forward.
With spells like MUTE, RUB, STOP, XFER, ZAP!, SLOW, BRAK, and HOLD, Phantom can wipe your party out in short order if you are unlucky. The good news is Phantom is not particularly hardy, with only 360 HP to his name. Standard attacks from Knights, Masters, and even Ninja can blow this boss away in a single round. NUKE and FADE can also destroy Phantom in a single turn, so don’t be shy about using them.
The boxes in Phantom’s room contain 45,000g and 65,000g. More importantly, there’s a stone plate at the back of the room. Stand in front of it and use the Lute you got way back in the beginning of the game to uncover a ladder leading down.
b. Temple of the Fiends Part 2: Rematch with Lich
Climb down the ladder and go south until you come to a wall, then walk west past an empty room. Follow the hallway north to some steps that you must descend. Your next stop is another set of steps to the west. Incidentally, you’re back on the first floor. Take the steps to the first level of the basement. A long hallway wraps around this room, use the hallway to get to a staircase surrounded by pillars in the southeast. Make sure your party is ready to fight a boss before walking between the pillars that flank the stairs, because Lich will attack the moment you step on the tile.
Lich got a boost for this battle and can now cast NUKE. He has more Hit Points as well. Counter the massive damage he inflicts on your party with CURE and HEAL spells. As usual, FADE, NUKE, and physical attacks will do the trick in killing Lich.
Go down the steps after the battle.
c. Temple of the Fiends Part 3: Rematch with Kary
Treasures: ProCape, ProRing, Katana, 26000g
South of the entrance to this floor is a room that contains a ProRing. You’ll find a Katana, an ultimate weapon for the Ninja, if you go through the doors in the southern section of this room. Just follow the long hallway beyond the door to find the Katana’s chest. Return to the entrance when you are done.
Look for a door to a large chamber north of the stairs that serve as the entrance to this floor. You’ll have to make your way north through the narrow passage and then east to another door on the other side of the chamber. After exiting the chamber, you will see a set of steps leading up. These steps are guarded by Kary, so make sure the party is ready to fight before attempting to climb them.
To the south is another chamber filled with treasures. Grab a second ProCape from the box on the right. If you exit the ProCape room using the doors to the south, you’ll find a box with 26,000g at the end of another hallway. Make sure your party is battle ready and head back to the steps leading up that I mentioned earlier. Kary will be your next opponent when you approach the stairs.
This time around, Kary will use nasty physical attacks that can deal upwards of 160 damage to lightly armored characters. She will also use RUB and FIR2. Use FAST and physical attacks to obliterate Kary just as you did the first time around.
Descend the steps ahead after slaying Kary.
d. Temple of the Fiends Part 4: Rematch with Kraken
Enter the room to the right and use the next door to get to the main part of this floor. Walk southeast to another chamber and enter it, then follow the hallway to another door in the south. The steps to the next floor down will be visible after you emerge from the room, but they are blocked by pillars, so you’ll have to enter the chamber to the north. Go west once inside the room and head through the door south of the three stone tablets in the center.
Continue south and turn east when you get to the end of the room. Double check your party before walking down the hallway lined by pillars, because Kraken is protecting the staircase.
Kraken is even more deadly than before and can cast LIT2 as well as inflict anywhere from 200-400 damage per hit depending on your Absorb. Magic doesn’t work great against him, but NUKE, LIT3, and FADE can do a little bit of damage to him. FAST and hard hitting weapons are the way to go in this match. You’ll also want to try to keep your HP topped off with spells or things like the Heal Staff.
Go down to the next floor once Kraken is dead.
e. Temple of the Fiends Part 5: Rematch with Tiamat
The first thing we want to do down here is snag Masamune, the most powerful weapon in Final Fantasy. Go south past a couple of intersections, then walk east until you see a narrow diagonal hallway. Open the chest in the tiny room at the end of the hallway to acquire the Masamune. Return to the northern section of the area and head east through a narrow passage that is home to Tiamat.
You can expect the same old tricks from Tiamat, though she is slightly stronger this time around. Use your most powerful spells to defeat her and keep the party healed so her deadly melee attacks won’t drop your weaker heroes.
Keep going east after the fight with Tiamat, then go north to the final set of steps.
f. Temple of Fiends Part 6: Chaos
The lowest floor of the temple is a huge circle with a chamber in the center. Heal everyone and step inside the chamber, then talk to the person waiting for you in order to initiate the final battle.
Chaos can cast special spells CRACK, INFERNO, SWIRL, and TORNADO. His melee attacks can deal roughly 200-300 damage to characters with low Absorb. This boss also knows CUR4, FIR3, ICE2, ICE3, FAST, SLO2, LIT3, and NUKE. Of course NUKE and FAST are arguably his most lethal spells, but CUR4 will undo all your hard work if he uses it. With 2000 HP, this boss can take less than two rounds to kill if you have a high level Black Belt/Master and Knight with Masamune.
Chaos has high Absorb, so it’s wise to buff your warriors with FAST to get that extra damage in. Defensive spells like FOG and INV2 can help lower level parties weather Chaos’ melee attacks and his magic should not be much of a problem. Just make sure you keep your Black Belt/Master near full health, since he is unlikely to have much magic resistance unless you chose to give him the Ribbon. Use NUKE and FADE if you do not have access to powerful melee attacks. The game will end once you have defeated Chaos. Congratulations!
VI. References and Further Reading
Visit the following sites for detailed information on spells, equipment, and game mechanics.
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