Solo White Mage Guide -by Zzonkmiles Copyright 2006 by Zzonkmiles (knozzmoeking AT hotmail DOT com) Version 1.00 (9-28-06) Note: This FAQ was written using 10-point Courier font. Each line of text should have no more than 75 characters, thus allowing this FAQ to easily fit in your browser window. -----COPYRIGHT WARNING----- This guide was created by Zzonkmiles exclusively for use on the GameFAQs website (www.gamefaqs.com). It may NOT be copied and reproduced elsewhere. You may print out this FAQ for your own reference, but it must not be altered. If you wish to link to this FAQ from your own webpage, you may do so provided that you receive my permission beforehand (e-mail me) and indicate on your page that this guide was created by Zzonkmiles. If it is found that you are in violation of this copyright notice, you will receive a kind e-mail asking you to abide by the terms of this notice. If, upon further inspection, you are found to still be in violation of this copyright notice, you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. -----TABLE OF CONTENTS----- (Note: You can copy and paste these sections into your browser's search string to make it easier to access the section you specifically want to read.) Introduction, Ground Rules, and Preliminary Information Part 1: Starting the Game Part 2: Getting the Ship and Getting Stronger Part 3: Managing the PNEOP Part 4: Nightmare #1: The Marsh Cave Part 5: Getting the Mystic Key and Treasure Raiding Part 6: Nightmare #2: Melmond and the Earth Cave Part 7: Crescent Lake and the Castle of Ordeals Part 8: The Gurgu Volcano Part 9: Nightmare #3: The Ice Cave Part 10: The Class Change and the Waterfall Part 11: Onrac and the Sea Shrine Part 12: Lefein and the Mirage Tower Part 13: The Sky Castle Part 14: The Temple of Fiends Revisited -----INTRODUCTION, GROUND RULES, AND PRELIMINARY INFORMATION----- This guide is written to get you through Final Fantasy (tm) for the NES with one White Mage. It is one of the three most difficult possible ways to beat the game (the other two nightmarishly difficult challenge quests being a solo Thief and a solo Black Mage). Is this quest for you? Simply put, a solo White Mage (hereafter, WM) is insanely difficult and will require a lot of luck, patience, and strategy. A WM is a poor fighter (even worse than a Black Mage, because at least a BM is capable of inflicting multiple hits with a regular weapon far sooner than a WM can). In addition to this, the WM cannot equip much in the way of armor aside from bracelets. The only offensive magic in the WM's arsenal is HARM spells (and later on FADE), thus meaning that he will have to rely on killing lots of undead enemies in order to level up. This quest is recommended only for the most advanced players who are well familiar with this game and its mechanics. It is a quest for people who don't mind battles that last 20+ rounds or lots of leveling up. These are some important issues to keep in mind if you are considering a solo WM quest or a solo quest in general: 1. Enemies that paralyze you are particularly dangerous. 3 Geists might not seem all that tough, but once you are paralyzed, you are pretty much dead. A solo quest means only one character will be the target of each enemy attack. So even if you overcome paralysis in one round, another enemy might paralyze you a second time two attacks later. 2. You should run away from every enemy you can when you are in a dungeon. Dungeons are NOT the place to try and gain experience points or gold. Save your leveling up for the overworld. In any dungeon, your goal is to conserve resources, make it to the end, and defeat the boss there. Obviously, there some enemies from which you cannot escape, so you should save your resources for these fights in particular, not that nice-looking group of 4 Green Ogres in the Earth Cave that will add 1200G to your wallet. 3. Raiding treasure chests is not as important, especially if it is guarded by a spiked square (monster square) or if you have to go too far out of your way to get it. Granted, some items you can find in treasure chests may be worth a lot of money when sold, but it might not be worth it if you have to use an extra 10 heal potions and a few spell charges to get them. Also keep in mind that the WM can't equip most of what you find in the treasure chests to begin with, and gold is not too much of a problem either because of all the leveling up involved and the fact that your money will generally be spent on potions and magic spells for only one person. 4. Learn how much damage an enemy can inflict with a critical hit. Always try to keep your HP above this level in battle. You'll be able to eliminate the threat from regular attacks by using the RUSE spell, but critical hits cannot be avoided. More information about RUSE will be given later in the walkthrough. 5. Soft potions and the LIFE spell are useless. Since this is a solo quest, if you are turned to stone, you are dead. And you have no need to revive your other characters since this is a solo quest, right? So save your money. 6. As with any solo quest, each level up is critical. If only one of your five attributes increases when you level up, you might want to consider resetting and trying again. It helps to save your game shortly before you know you're going to level up so as to avoid having to repeat tasks in an attempt to get the most out of each level up. Strength, agility, and vitality are the three most important attributes you should look for when your level goes up. It makes a tremendous difference, particularly in the earlier stages of this quest. However, once you find items like the Mage Staff or Thor's Hammer later on, your strength rating becomes less important. Of course, you could opt to make your quest more difficult by simply accepting whatever level-ups the game gives you and not try to cook your stats, so to speak. And finally, having said all that, it is important to state that when conducting a solo quest, there are a few important ground rules you should follow: 1. Only the WM can carry weapons and armor you find. It is considered cheating (and not a true solo) if you give something like a Heal Helmet to a dead character and then swap it out with something else so you can use it later on. Your three dead warriors are not to serve as warehouses for items you want to use at selective times. 2. You can only save the game as the actual NES cartridge would allow you to. This means you can only save your game at the local inn or by using a tent, cabin, or house. It may be tempting to use an emulator save state in the middle of the Ice Cave, but that is considered cheating, unfortunately. 3. Only the WM is allowed to attack enemies and receive their resulting experience points. Your other three characters cannot participate in any battle whatsoever, either as attackers, enablers, or as damage shields. These characters should be killed off in the first battle you encounter and should remain dead for the rest of the game. Are you ready? Here we go! -----PART 1: STARTING THE GAME----- Register four characters as you would with any regular team. Make sure one of them is a WM, obviously. While it doesn't particularly matter who your other three characters are, I recommend choosing three Black Mages because they are the easiest to kill off due to their poor HP. When the game begins, go to the weapon and armor shops in Coneria. Buy your WM a Wooden Hammer and Cloth. Buy Small Knives or Wooden Staffs for your BM, but do not buy them any armor. The point is, you just want to give them something cheap that they can use as an item in battle. Remember, they are not allowed to attack anything. As for magic, you should have enough gold leftover to buy CURE, HARM, and RUSE. FOG is a nice spell to use because it's stackable, but the other three spells are much more important. You will naturally need CURE to refill your HP. HARM is the only attack spell available to you, and it affects all undead enemies. And RUSE will make it much more difficult for enemies to attack you. If you use RUSE twice, you will almost be completely protected from enemies' physical attacks. (Sometimes you may need three RUSEs.) If you are sufficiently protected by RUSE, only critical hits will damage you. Equip your WM's hammer and armor and then head outside. Make sure your WM is in the back of your party so as to make it easier for your other three characters to be killed off in the first battle. When you enter your first battle (usually against a group of Imps), have your WM cast RUSE twice and have your other three characters use their Small Knives or Wooden Staffs as items repeatedly. This will effectively waste their turns in battle while the Imps slowly drain their HP. Your RUSE-protected WM should not sustain any damage, unless an Imp lands a critical hit. Remember, your other three characters CANNOT attack any of the Imps. Once your other three warriors are defeated, you can let the WM finish the battle by trading blows with the Imps. This is when your solo quest truly begins. Return to the Coneria Inn to save your game and replenish your spell charges. And also, if you die, you don't want to have to go through the trouble of registering new characters and killing them off again, right? When you are finished, go back outside and fight Imps until you reach Level 2 (L2). It is not necessary to use RUSE when fighting only 3 Imps, but you might want to use it if you are fighting 5 of them. (Get used to using double RUSEs at the start of almost every battle from now on unless you are sure you can kill the enemies fairly quickly.) Remember, each stay at the Coneria Inn will set you back 30G, which is the value of 5 Imps. So try to fight as long as you can before returning to the inn to recharge. Also take care not to stray too far from Coneria because you are at your most vulnerable right now. Once you reach L2, you should trek northwest to the Temple of Fiends. Run from all enemies you encounter in the field on the way there. As for the temple, although there are some treasure chests to be found here, it is not in your best interest to try and fight your way to them. The goal is to get to Garland without having to use any of your spell charges. Run from any enemy you encounter so you can conserve your HP. When you enter the battle with Garland, cast RUSE twice and then just attack with your hammer. That's about all you can do. Garland can only use physical attacks, which should miss you almost every time. However, if he lands a critical hit, then use your final L1 spell charge on CURE (assuming you have no heal potions) and then resume fighting. This battle will take awhile, seeing that the WM is far from an offensive powerhouse, so be patient. After Garland is defeated, talk to the captured princess and you'll be whisked back to Coneria Castle. Talk to the princess and the king and you'll get the Lute as well as access to the main continent. Save your game at the inn and get ready for your next challenge. -----PART 2: GETTING THE SHIP AND GETTING STRONGER----- Your next task is to successfully make it from Coneria to Pravoka. (Ignore raiding the treasures in Matoya's Cave for now.) This is very, very difficult to accomplish. The main threats to your progress are Wolves, which often appear in groups, and Mad Ponies, which appear in groups and can hit you multiple times. Obviously, you should run from any enemy you encounter. If you are finding it too difficult to make it to Pravoka, you might want to stay in the Coneria area for a little while and hack and slash your way to L4, which is when your WM will receive his next major HP boost. Once you make it to Pravoka, immediately save your game at the inn. Then go to the armor shop and buy some Gloves. They only add 1 point to your armor rating, but that's better than what you have right now. Now you should enter the battle with the Pirates. Once again, the key here is to use your two RUSE spells immediately in order to nullify the Pirates' attacks. If you are at L4, your HP should be in the low 80s, which should be enough to survive their initial onslaught while you are using RUSE, barring any critical hits. Once you are fully protected, just pick off the Pirates one by one. At L4, you have enough spell charges for 2 RUSE spells and 2 CURE spells. Save your game again and get ready to hack and slash some more. The question now becomes where to gain levels. The enemies in the sea are too difficult for you to fight at L4, so you might wish to fight a bit longer around Coneria or in the area right outside the Temple of Fiends, where Gray Imps are more commonly found. The groups of Wolves and Mad Ponies around Pravoka are not worth the hassle. Ogres are a dicey proposition, but it's high risk and high reward. Once you get a bit stronger, you can try to kill Sharks in the ocean. Sometimes the Sharks will appear with a Sahag or a Red Sahag. These battles will be even longer. In the event that you encounter this group, kill the Sahag first. Don't bother fighting groups of Sahags or Kyzokus. Immediately run away from Odd Eyes because of their tendency to paralyze you each round. If an Odd Eye paralyzes you, you are pretty much dead meat, especially if it is coupled with a group of Sahags. Your primary goal right now is to save up 1500G so you can buy HRM2 from Elfland. Don't worry about L2 magic spells for now. If you are feeling lucky, you can raid the two treasure chests in the Dwarf Cave. That will make it much easier to reach your goal of 1500G. Once you get this money, go to Elfland and buy HRM2. (Also buy the Cap from the armor shop here or pilfer the one from the treasure chest in the Temple of Fiends.) Aside from RUSE, HRM2 is your most important magic spell. This spell will allow you to take down groups of Ghouls and Geists with confidence (that is, assuming they don't paralyze you first). And more importantly, this spell will allow you to have a fighting chance with the famous peninsula northeast of Pravoka (PNEOP). -----PART 3: MANAGING THE PNEOP----- Using the PNEOP will make leveling up and gaining gold much easier. However, the PNEOP is quite frustrating to take advantage of with a solo WM. The only enemies you can fight are Zombulls, since they are susceptible to HARM magic, the only offensive magic you have. You will have to use RUSE 3 times in order to prevent them from hitting you (barring critical hits). This means you won't have enough spell charges of HARM/HRM2 to kill them easily. So you can only kill MAYBE 2 Zombulls at a time. Three might be too difficult at first. And four will be impossible with such a limited supply of magic. Count on using 3 HRM2 spells to bring down a Zombull, although sometimes only 2 spells are required. What about the other PNEOP enemies? Frost Wolves: These are probably the next easiest things to kill, relatively speaking, but you probably won't survive their multiple FROST attacks in the first round. MUTE will give you a fighting chance, but you probably don't have this spell yet because it's not a high priority right now. Run away. Trolls: HARM doesn't work on them and they hit multiple times, often for criticals. They're also worth less gold and XP than Zombulls. Not worth it, even if it's paired with Zombulls. Unfortunately, you can't run from the Zombull/Troll group, so just let them kill you or reset the game if you meet them. Tyro: If you can use RUSE enough times to defend against its attacks, you can TRY to defeat this enemy since it appears in isolation. It's worth 3 Zombulls in terms of XP, but it's not worth much gold. It has a ton of HP too, so this battle might be too frustratingly long for it to be worth it. Wyvern: These are worth even less gold than Tyro and have more HP than a Zombull. Not worth it. Giant: These are worth less gold and XP than a Zombull and have more HP. HARM won't work either. Not worth it. All of these enemies can easily kill you, so it's best to use a tent and save your game near the PNEOP so you don't have to hike from Pravoka every time you are defeated. If you are able to defeat one or two Zombulls, immediately save your game with a tent and head back to Pravoka. The next things you want to buy are MUTE and INVS. You won't need to use MUTE anytime soon (unless you want to try your luck with Frost Wolves), but you WILL need INVS. INVS is basically a poor man's RUSE. So, one RUSE and maybe three INVS spells will offer roughly the same level of protection as two RUSE spells. Another advantage of INVS is that it uses L2 spell charges, thus keeping your L1 charges available for CURE and HARM. Consider using RUSE and three INVS spells when fighting only one or two Zombulls. Right now you are in level-building and fundraising mode. Whether you use the PNEOP, the ocean, or Ogres around Elfland is up to you. Some may consider ignoring the PNEOP because of how easy it is to be defeated there and opt to fight other enemies the traditional way (with RUSE and your hammer) instead. How and where you fight is up to you here. Here is a list of the things you want to buy, listed in order of importance: 1. Copper Bracelet (the best armor you can equip until you get the Mystic Key) 2. CUR2 (for obvious reasons) 3. 75 Heal Potions (for the Marsh Cave) 4. 25 Pure Potions (for the Marsh Cave) 5. 15 Tents (use these for emergency saves if you are trapped in the wilderness and are not confident you can make it back to the inn without being defeated) 6. AFIR/AICE/ALIT (you won't use these spells for awhile, but you will certainly need them later) Total cost: About 16,000G -----PART 4: NIGHTMARE #1: THE MARSH CAVE----- Once you've bought all these goodies and have reached about L13 or 14, you are ready to attempt the Marsh Cave. This is the first area in which you realize how miserably difficult this solo quest is. Almost every enemy in the cave can either poison you or paralyze you. Paralysis is the worst thing that can happen to you because it will be almost impossible to recover from it. It will take a long time and many attempts to conquer this cave. Basically, this trek can be divided into four parts: 1. Successfully making it to the Wizards that guard the Crown. 2. Hoping only 2 Wizards are guarding it. If there are 4 Wizards, start over. MAYBE you can kill 3 Wizards, but it's very tough to survive the first two rounds, depending on when the WM uses RUSE in the battle. 3. Actually surviving the battle with the Wizards. This fight will easily take more than 20 rounds. 4. Making it out of the cave alive. Needless to say, you should run from absolutely every enemy you encounter. You don't want to burn HARM spells on Bones and Shadows because they are not worth the gold or XP. The only exception to this rule is if you encounter a group of Ghouls and Zombies. If this happens, immediately cast HRM2 and hope that you can execute the spell before they attack and paralyze you. You should keep your HP maxed out at all times because you never know when you'll be ambushed. Do not bother with claiming any of the treasure chests here. Your goal is to get the Crown and get out as fast as you can. Fundraising and level- building are to be done outside. There are too many dangerous enemies here to make treasure hunting worth it. If you want to raid the treasure chests, do so after you've successfully made it out alive with the Crown and grabbed the Mystic Key. Enemies you DON'T want to encounter: Ghouls/Zombies: This is the most dangerous group of enemies you can meet in the Marsh Cave. The Zombies themselves aren't much of a problem, but the Ghouls have the ability to paralyze you, and they often appear in groups of 2 or 3 (or even 4). This enemy group will put an end to your Marsh Cave adventure fairly often. They reside on the first two floors of the cave. Crawls/Bones/Red Bones: This is the second most dangerous group you can run into. Bones aren't too bad, but if the Crawl paralyzes you (a 95% certainty, given its ability to hit multiple times), you're finished. This group is less dangerous than the Ghoul/Zombie group simply because you will only encounter 2 Crawls at most in battle, as opposed to up to 4 Ghouls. Still, encountering this enemy group also usually means the end of your adventure because the Bones will wail on you while you are immobilized. Other enemies to watch out for: Gargoyles and Scorpions: They hit multiple times and they hit HARD. If you are unable to run from them after two rounds, you are probably not going to survive the third. Muck: These hit only once per attack, but they can pack a punch. These can be dangerous in groups. Enemies you WANT to encounter: Shadows, Arachnids, Scum, Werewolves, and Spiders Now, when you battle the Wizards (assuming only 2 or 3 are on the screen), you have to consider a few things. First, do not waste your time with INVS. You want to build your evade rating as quickly as possible. So use RUSE twice before you begin your offense. Secondly, a Wizard, like any other enemy, can only inflict damage with a critical hit if you are protected by a double RUSE. A Wizard's critical hit will take around 90-105DMG each time at your current level, so you want to keep your HP above twice this amount. Even if you think you're safe with 175HP remaining, you can be killed with two consecutive critical hits. In the event that you are hit by a critical, use your heal potions to replenish your HP and keep using them until your HP is at the safe level again (at least 210HP). Try not to use CUR2 because you might need the HRM2 spells when you are fighting your way out of the cave. Also, your WM's standard attacks will usually miss, as will the Wizards'. You can have several consecutive rounds of nothing but misses on all sides. But do not be inattentive and miss the fact that a Wizard actually landed a critical hit on you. In other words, don't just start pushing the A-button robotically without monitoring your HP. Once the Wizards have been defeated, grab the Crown (double check to make sure!) and then do your best to make it out alive. Again, don't worry about the treasure chests. Try to take the most efficient path to the exit that you possibly can. You want to take the fewest possible steps to the exit because that will give your enemies the fewest possible chances to attack you. Again, this is a very, very difficult dungeon to complete. If you find yourself struggling, then by all means, leave the cave and go raise your levels some more. Your armor rating of 6 will not change (Copper Bracelet, Cap, and Gloves), but your max HP, strength, and agility can change with an extra level up or two. Once you've made it out of the cave with the Crown, it's time to battle Astos. -----PART 5: GETTING THE MYSTIC KEY AND TREASURE RAIDING----- Once you make it out of the Marsh Cave, immediately save the game with a Tent. The next thing you want to do is hike north to the Northwest Castle. Use another tent outside the castle to save your game and then enter the fight with Astos. If you have at least two L1 spell charges and one L2 charge, you should be able to battle Astos without saving at the Elfland Inn first. You should use MUTE in the first round. If it doesn't work, try it again in the next round. There is a strong possibility Astos will successfully RUB (kill) you in the first round, so if that happens, just start over from where you last saved (outside the castle) and try to use MUTE again. Once it works, cast your two RUSE spells and patiently hack and slash. Astos is very difficult for your WM to hit, so you will have to rely on critical hits to damage him. He won't kill you once his magic has been taken away with MUTE. So patience is all you need here. Once Astos is defeated, take the Crystal to Matoya's Cave and then use Matoya's Herb on the Price in Elfland Castle. Once you get the key, immediately raid the treasure room in the castle to find the Silver Hammer, an upgrade that will take the place of the Wooden Hammer you bought in Coneria. Now that you have the key, you can raid the treasure boxes in the Marsh Cave, the Northwest Castle, Coneria Castle, and the Temple of Fiends. The most important treasures are the Were, Dragon, and Rune Swords, which can be sold for lots of money; the Silver Bracelet, which is a major armor upgrade; the Power Staff, which can be sold for lots of cash; and the TNT, which you need to progress to the next part of the game. Points to remember about treasure raiding: 1. If you do decide to get the Silver Bracelet, head back to the bottom floor of the Marsh Cave and claim the treasure in the lower left corner. To avoid the spiked squares in that room, once you go through the door, walk up to the top wall, walk over two spaces to the right, walk down to the bottom wall, and approach the chest from the bottom left. The other chests in the locked rooms are not worth it, as they are guarded by spiked squares. Even though you might be sick of the Marsh Cave, it is highly recommended that you go back in there to claim the Silver Bracelet. 2. The Northwest Castle's treasure room has spiked squares. One of these squares presents you with a Mummy encounter. Mummies are worth 300XP each and are much easier to kill than Zombulls. Consider using this as a safer alternative to the PNEOP if you are looking for extra cash and experience points without all the hassles of being thrashed by Trolls and Frost Wolves. 3. Even though this is a solo quest, the treasures in the Dwarves' Cave and Coneria Castle are so numerous that it will be impossible for your lone WM to carry everything on one trip. So by all means, let your dead characters carry the extra items you can't carry. Item storage in this case is different from giving a dead character an item that you want to use later. So for the sake of convenience in this particular case, just grab all the treasures and leave. -----PART 6: NIGHTMARE #2: MELMOND AND THE EARTH CAVE----- After you've given the dwarf the TNT, you will have access to Melmond and the Earth Cave, your next source of misery. Make sure you have 99 heal potions and about 30 pure potions before you reach Melmond, as there's no item shop there. You should be at about L15 and have the following magic spells: CURE, HARM, RUSE, ALIT, MUTE, INVS, HRM2, CUR2, AFIR, and AICE. Your equipped weapons and armor should be the Silver Hammer, Silver Bracelet, Cap, and Gloves. If you don't have the Silver Bracelet, you can buy it in Melmond for 5000G. You will be able to buy some useful magic spells in Melmond. CUR3 and HRM3 are must haves. HEL2 is not useful in this solo quest despite its beneficial bug because you only need to heal one character, as opposed to four. Thus, CUR3 is more effective in this regard. As for the LIFE spell, it's useless, unless you decide you don't want to continue this solo quest, which is totally understandable. You can reach the Earth Cave by following the coastline to the west then south. Pitch a tent outside the cave's entrance and get ready for your next major task. The Earth Cave is just as difficult as the Marsh Cave, or perhaps even more difficult. The Earth Cave has 5 floors, most of which are very long. Because of the nature of this quest, you will have to do a bit of backtracking. There are more enemy combinations to fear in this cave than in the Marsh Cave as well. Your quest is as follows: 1. Make it to the Vampire and kill him. 2. Make it out of the Earth Cave alive. 3. Get through the Titan's Tunnel and make it to Sarda's Cave. 4. Go back to the Earth Cave and make it to Lich. 5. Kill Lich. Enemies you DON'T want to encounter: Specters/Geists: You will find these enemies on the 3rd floor and below. They can appear in groups as large as 9, thus meaning that paralysis will almost always result in death. It's best not to take any chances with running from these. Just cast HRM2 and hope your attack occurs early in the battle round. Geists/Ghouls: These enemies appear in the overworld and are just as dangerous as the Specter/Geist group for the same reason. Remember this when you are hiking to Sarda's Cave. Use tents regularly to save your game. Wizards: These begin to appear on the 3rd floor and appear in groups of up to 4. The problem is, even with your Silver Bracelet, they still hit hard and you can't run from them. Fortunately, the Silver Hammer will make fighting them a bit easier, but it's still very tough and will take a long time to bring them down. Sometimes you will encounter Wizards in consecutive battles, which is extremely frustrating. Coctrices: These pests don't look all that intimidating, but they can randomly petrify you, thus putting a quick end to your adventure. Run immediately. Images: While not as lethal as the Specter/Geist group because of their smaller numbers and inability to score multiple hits, a group of Images still has the potential to paralyze you. These appear in groups of up to 6. Run if you're feeling lucky. Otherwise, just use HRM2 and pray for good timing. Other enemies to watch out for: Giants and Trolls: You'll never face more than two of these at a time in this cave, but they still hit harder than any enemy you've met so far. Run. Earth: This enemy guards several treasure chests in the Earth Cave. Avoid him at all costs, for obvious reasons. You should not encounter this enemy at all unless you mistakenly touch a spiked square. Enemies you WANT to encounter: Asps, Cobras, Gargoyles, Arachnids, Green Ogres, Oozes, and Werewolves/Gray Wolves Do not bother with collecting any treasures on the first two floors because of the spiked squares. The only exception is the Coral Sword in the upper right corner of the second floor. Sell that for cash. As for the third floor, the treasure box in the upper center of the floor about one-third of the way to the Vampire can be accessed by approaching it from the right side. If you try and approach it from below, you'll be greeted by a spiked square featuring an Earth. You should have 1 or 2 level 5 magic charges now, which you should save for HRM3 to use on the Vampire. One HRM3 should be enough to kill the Vampire, but if that's insufficient, finish him off with HRM2. Don't bother with trying to heal yourself when fighting him because he hits hard and doesn't have so much HP. Because offense is more important than defense in this fight, don't worry about RUSE either. Once the Vampire is vanquished, claim the Ruby in the treasure room he was guarding and then make a hasty retreat. Remember that the third floor is when the enemy groups become dangerous (Wizards, Coctrices, Specters/Geists), so take extra care to conserve your resources and find the most efficient path to the exit. In the event that a bat is blocking the way, wait for it to move out of the way, as opposed to trying to detour around it. Remember, you want to minimize the amount of enemies you encounter. You never know if that Coctrice ambush will happen three steps away from the staircase or something similarly cruel. Immediately save your game once you get back outside. Return to Melmond to replenish your magic or simply use a house. Then travel through the Titan's Tunnel to the northwest and head south to Sarda's Cave. Remember to use your tent to save periodically as you walk to and from the cave because of all the undead enemies lurking here. After getting the Rod from Sarda, go back to Coneria to replenish your potion supply and then return to the Earth Cave for the final assault. When you go back to the Earth Cave to take on Lich, do not worry about any of the treasures at all. Simply take the quickest route to the stairs. You will likely encounter the Image group or the Specter/Geist group at least once or twice, so luck will play a major role in being able to make it to Lich. As for Wizards, if you get sick of encountering them after 15 attempts to get through the cave, it's perfectly understandable if you want to reset the game. When you finally reach Lich, immediately use RUSE twice. He will probably blast you in the first round with ICE2, but don't worry about that for now. After casting RUSE twice, you should cast ALIT, AFIR, and AICE, in that order. His ICE2, LIT2, and FIR2 spells will take less than 50DMG each if you protect yourself with the aforementioned anti-elemental spells. Keep your HP above 150 just in case he lands a critical hit. Once you have been completely protected by your magic barriers, unleash the wrath of your HRM3 and HRM2 spells. The key to winning this battle is to focus on defense before you focus on offense. Remember, if you fail, you'll have to deal with going through all those floors again. Play it safe. -----PART 7: CRESCENT LAKE AND THE CASTLE OF ORDEALS----- After destroying Lich, you should sail to Crescent Lake on the other side of the world. The fastest way to get there is to sail south of Melmond and then sail west once you pass the peninsula where the Earth Cave is. The enemies in the Crescent Lake area are significantly stronger than any you've encountered so far. The main threats are Pedes, which appear in groups of up to 4 and hit very hard. Fortunately, you can run away from these and any other enemy in the area. When you reach Crescent Lake, replenish your potion supply and talk to the sage to get the canoe. The only level 6 magic spell worth buying is FOG2, and even that is not particularly useful in this solo quest because of RUSE. After the class change, you'll want to buy EXIT, of course. Don't worry about INV2 because RUSE outranks that. Now that you have the canoe, you have a choice of three places to go: the Gurgu Volcano, the Ice Cave, and the Castle of Ordeals. You don't have enough firepower to handle either the Ice Cave or the volcano right now, so it would be in your best interest to forget about both of these places for now and head for the Castle of Ordeals, even though you don't have the airship. To reach the Castle of Ordeals, sail south and west from Crescent Lake. If you're having trouble finding the Castle of Ordeals, simply sail due south until you reach the northern continent and then follow the coast west. Even though there are no ports in this part of the world map, the canoe will let you dock your ship at the mouth of the small river north of the castle. You should be at L18 or so now with the same weapons and armor that you were using in the Earth Cave. The Castle of Ordeals is much shorter than the Earth Cave, but the enemies are much more dangerous. However, the treasures you can find here will make regular fighting so much easier. Enemies you DON'T want to encounter: Red Gargoyles or Mancats: If you encounter these enemies, there's a very good chance that they will blast you with FIR2. This alone is not too bad, but when multiplied by six or seven, you're looking at a bloodbath in the making. Run immediately. Sorcerers: Do not stick around and do battle with this enemy under any circumstances whatsoever. Medusas: They appear in large groups and can petrify you with their GLANCE attack. Run. Other enemies to watch out for: Zombulls: Normally, these would be the ideal enemies to fight. However, that's only true when you are in level-up mode. The problem with these enemies now is the fact that you can't run away from them, thus meaning that some of your magic charges will automatically be burned in the process of killing these. Enemies you WANT to encounter: Unfortunately, every enemy in here is one that must be taken seriously. MudGols and Nitemares are probably the easiest of them all, but that's not saying much. Fortunately for you, you won't encounter too many enemies as you progress through the castle because of the close proximity of the warp gates on the second floor. You'll probably only encounter three or four battles as you walk from pillar to pillar. (Remember to take the lower pillar in each instance where you have to choose between two of them!) The first treasure chest you encounter is guarded by a spiked square, but you can run from the MudGols that appear there. This treasure box contains the Zeus Gauntlet, which is one of the three the most important items you will ever put your hands on in this solo quest (along with the Masmune and Ribbon). The Zeus Gauntlet will give you mass offensive capabilities that will allow you to fight all enemies from now on, not just undeads. This item is particularly useful against enemies that are weak against LIT. In fact, this gauntlet will render your trusty Silver Hammer obsolete. Your days of battles that last 15 or 20 rounds are now officially over. On the top floor, you will find a Nitemare or two guarding the doorway. Run from them because they can hit hard. The Heal Staff is in the treasure box near this spiked square. Use this to help conserve your magic and heal potions. Follow the corridor to the left and you will find the Gold Bracelet, which you should equip immediately. This armor will increase your absorb by 24 points. The Ice Sword you find here can be sold for cash. Follow the corridor counter-clockwise and you will find the Tail in the final treasure box near the throne. Zombie Dragons guard the exit. Even though Zombie Dragons are the weakest of the five dragons in the game, you should still take them seriously because of their ability to paralyze you. Use two or three RUSE spells to neutralize their offense and then use CUR3 to keep your HP above 200 just in case they land a critical. Two or three HRM3 spells should wipe them out. If not, then use HRM2 or the Zeus Gauntlet to finish them off. Exit the castle and immediately save your game when you get outside. Then make the quick trek back to your canoe and then return to Crescent Lake to replenish your potion supply. -----PART 8: THE GURGU VOLCANO----- You can access the volcano via canoe and sailing northwest from Crescent Lake. Although many people prefer to tackle the volcano last (or at least after they get the airship), you are capable of completing it at about L20 with the Zeus Gauntlet and Gold Bracelet. The volcano is a large place filled with dangerous enemies, many of which have special fire attacks. However, you can run from almost every enemy here and you can avoid enemy encounters altogether by walking on the lava, which will drain you of 1HP per step. There are lots of treasures here, but you won't need any of them. Enemies you DON'T want to encounter: Red Gargoyles: As mentioned in the Castle of Ordeals section, these enemies appear in large groups and are likely to use FIR2 on their first attack. Run immediately and pray that they don't burn you too many times before you escape. Red Dragons: Unlike Zombie Dragons, Red Dragons are extremely dangerous due to their potent natural offense and their BLAZE ability, which can easily drain you of 250HP. You probably won't encounter this enemy anywhere except on the bottom floor, but even that is rare. Don't even THINK about fighting this. Run. Other enemies to watch out for: Red Giants: These guys hit HARD. Run. Perilisks: Although not as lethal as Coctrices, a Perilisk still has the ability to kill you with its SQUINT attack. However, their low HP makes them fairly easy to kill with the Zeus Gauntlet. Approach with caution. Red Hydras: The main threat from this foe is its CREMATE ability. This is about as strong as FIR2, so you are better off leaving these enemies alone. Fire: You probably won't encounter this enemy anywhere except on the bottom floor. It also guards some chests, but again, you probably won't do much in the way of treasure hunting. Fortunately for you, Fire does not hit as hard as Earth and has slightly less HP. However, you can't run from it and it is weak against ICE, a spell you don't have access to (unless you tackle this dungeon after you get the Black Shirt from the Sky Castle). So the Zeus Gauntlet is the only thing you can use. Enemies you WANT to encounter: Cerebuses, Wizard Ogres, Bulls, Muck, Giants/Iguanas, Agamas In the volcano, it is advisable to walk on the lava as much as you can. It may drain you of many heal potions, but that's better than being ambushed by seven Red Gargoyles or two Red Giants. Remember this as you proceed through the first half of the volcano. The first few floors are easy enough for veterans to navigate. When you reach the next to last floor with all the divergent paths and treasure boxes, you won't be able to hide from the enemies by walking on the lava anymore. Run from all enemies you encounter and take the stairs at the southern end of the passage. On the final floor, walk to the left and then walk down through the lava to Kary's room. The enemies that appear on the bottom floor are particularly dangerous, so you want to minimize your encounters here. When you enter the battle with Kary, start off by casting RUSE three times because she can score multiple hits that might still pierce a double RUSE barrier. Once you are protected by RUSE, you should cast AFIR and MUTE. MUTE is surprisingly effective, so keep trying even if it is not effective at first. Once Kary is MUTEd, her offense will be completely neutralized, save for her ability to inflict criticals. Now is when you can slowly punish her with the Zeus Gauntlet. The entire battle may take about 20 rounds, but once you are protected by RUSE and her magic is contained, you should have little difficulty defeating her. -----PART 9: NIGHTMARE #3: THE ICE CAVE----- This is it. This is the single most maddeningly difficult part of the entire game. This is the place that will make you wonder if completing this solo quest is even worth it anymore. The Ice Cave is bad enough with four warriors, so you can only imagine how it must be with only one. Almost every enemy in here is capable of killing you instantly, paralyzing you, or inflicting mass damage in the form of physical attacks, special attacks, or magic spells. And your WM will be the recipient of all these lovely gestures. You can count on attempting this cave about 50 times before you finally make it out alive. Enemies you DON'T want to encounter: Sorcerers: The single most lethal enemy in the game will make short work of your solo WM. All physical attacks will be directed towards your lone character, thus making the threat of instant death even more likely than in a regular game with four warriors. It goes without saying that you should not even think for a second about fighting these. Mages: Not to be outdone, Mages are basically Sorcerers that can use magic. Their devastating magic cycle starts with RUB. If you manage to survive that, you'll have to contend with LIT3 and other nasty HP-draining spells. And to further complicate matters, Mages are more likely to ambush you than Sorcerers are. Run immediately. Wraiths, Images, Specters, and Geists: The Ice Cave is crawling with undeads. As you know by now, being paralyzed is the worst possible thing that can happen to you in this solo quest. In the Ice Cave, it is common to face up to 9 undeads at a time. Wraiths in particular hit quite hard, so they can finish you off quickly once you are stunned. If you face a large group of undeads and you're pretty deep in the cave, don't take any chances with running because the penalty for not being able to do so is too great. Use HRM2 to get rid of them. HRM3 is a heavy duty spell that should only be used when large groups of Wraiths are on the screen. Other enemies to watch out for: Frost Giants: You cannot run from these enemies. Frost Giants have a lot of HP and hit quite hard. These enemies will often be paired with Frost Wolves, thus setting up a dilemma. Using RUSE to protect you from the Frost Giants will leave you vulnerable to the Frost Wolves' FROST attack. Focusing on killing the wolves leaves you open to being pounded for potentially over 100DMG by the giant. The best strategy is to protect yourself with RUSE first before using the Zeus Gauntlet to kill the wolves. The reason for this is that a Frost Giant's physical attacks are guaranteed. A Frost Wolf's FROST attack is not. Coctrices: These deadly birds are roaming around on the top floor of the Ice Cave too. They team up with Mummies, which can put you to sleep and make you more vulnerable to being stoned. Run. Great Pedes: They have a ton of HP and hit HARD. Run. Frost Dragons: This dragon appears as a regular enemy (sometimes in pairs) and can attack you in pairs. Its BLIZZARD attack is nothing to sneeze at, so don't stick around if you have the misfortune of running into these. Wizards: Now that you have the Zeus Gauntlet, killing these guys should be MUCH easier. However, these enemies will now attack you in groups of up to 7. Since you can't run, you'll basically have to fight a war of attrition this time because there are too many of them to make RUSE a viable strategy. So blast away with the Zeus Gauntlet and hope that they don't all attack you first. Enemies you WANT to encounter: Red Bones: These are the easiest enemies you can fight in the Ice Cave. They don't hit too hard and they have no special abilities. Sing praises to the Final Fantasy gods if you run into these enemies. (Then run away.) It cannot be stressed enough that you should not engage in any treasure hunting here. The enemies are far too dangerous, so take the shortest route to the staircase on every floor. Do not attempt to fight anything except enemies you cannot run from (e.g., Frost Giants, Wizards). There are 3 battles in particular that you MUST deal with as you progress through this cave: 1. The small room with the undead spiked square on the bottom floor. 2. The Eye guarding the Floater. 3. The undead spiked square again. Dealing with the undead spiked square requires a lot of luck. If you are lucky, they will not place 9 enemies on the screen. (One time I was lucky enough to find a lone Wraith.) Another good battle for you would be one that has no Geists or Wraiths at all because Wraiths hit very hard and Geists are more likely to paralyze you than other undeads because of their multiple-hit ability. You may even be blessed with a chance to strike first option. Running is not guaranteed, so you would be advised to use HRM3 to take the enemies out quickly. Remember, you'll have to deal with this enemy group twice. As you already know, the Eye can single-handedly put an end to your quest with its GLANCE or XXXX ability. You are not strong enough to kill the Eye in one hit, so you should focus on defense instead of offense. RUSE is not important. Instead, use MUTE and hope that your battle turn comes first. A successful MUTE would mean that the battle is yours to win. If it is not effective, you can only hope that the Eye attempts a physical hit or that its magic spells are ineffective. If MUTE does not work in the first round, try it again in the second. Finish the Eye off with the Zeus Gauntlet once it's MUTEd, grab the Floater, and then fall down the hole to the small room with the undeads and fight your way out of the cave. Another point to remember is that the bottom floor (with the undead spiked square) is the most dangerous part of the Ice Cave, as Sorcerers, Mages, Frost Giants, Frost Dragons, and Great Pedes lurk there. If you can make it to the staircase in the bottom right corner, your chances of survival will increase significantly, as undeads, Wizards, and Coctrices roam the top floor. But don't breathe any sighs of relief until you actually reach the staircase leading outside and save the game with a tent. Good luck. -----PART 10: THE CLASS CHANGE AND THE WATERFALL----- Now that you have completed the Ice Cave, the rest of the game should go much more smoothly. Take the Floater to the desert south of Crescent Lake and use it as an item there to get the airship. Then save your game at Coneria and stock up on potions there. The next thing to do is to get the class change. For an added challenge, you can continue the game as a White Mage, but here are some things to consider: 1. The White Mage cannot use level 8 magic. The most important spell you can learn is FADE, which is a mass damage spell. You will need this spell when you fight Chaos. 2. EXIT can only be used by the White Wizard. The Sea Shrine and Sky Castle aren't too tough, but the Temple of Fiends Revisited is a nightmare for such a weak character. If you don't have EXIT, that means you must grab the Masmune and kill Chaos in one trip. 3. The White Mage cannot equip Thor's Hammer. Thor's Hammer, the strongest weapon available to you aside from the Masmune, has the same effect as the Zeus Gauntlet, but it has the advantage of being a weapon. Your armor slots will be more precious as you finish out the game. This FAQ will assume that you opted for the class change. Fly north to the Cardia Islands, raid the treasures there and get the class change. Then immediately fly to Crescent Lake and buy EXIT. After that, fly to the northwestern continent west of the Cardia Islands. A bug in the game will allow you to land your airship on the small patch of desert there that hides the oasis. Plunk down 50,000G to buy the bottle, then fly westward to Gaia (the town surrounded by mountains on the northeastern continent) to buy the ProRing. Even though you can find ProRings in treasure chests, you might as well buy this armor now because you won't be doing much more with your money. The ProRing will protect you from RUB/XXXX attacks, but it won't protect you from Sorcerers. Also in Gaia, be sure to buy CUR4 and HRM4. Then follow the sidewalk to the west, then north and east to the spring where the fairy is waiting. She will give you the Oxyale, which you'll need to enter the Sea Shrine. Don't worry about the Sea Shrine just yet though. For now, you want to make a detour and take on the Waterfall first because it's not too difficult and you can get some useful items there. Fly back to the northwestern continent and land your airship as close to the river as you can. Then follow the river east then north. Save your game at Onrac if you wish, then continue paddling up the river. The enemies in the river here are very dangerous, especially Frost Gators. They are capable of multiple hits and have high attack power. You may need to use several cabins and houses to replenish your HP and magic here. Be sure to save your game outside the Waterfall. The Waterfall itself is a brief dungeon filled with enemies that are tough, but not particularly lethal. However, you can run from almost everything in here. Enemies you DON'T want to encounter: Gas Dragons: These are the worst dragons in all of Final Fantasy because the only defenses you have against their POISON attack are WALL (which you can't use yet), Dragon Armor (which you can't equip), and Ribbons (which you don't have yet). Fortunately, your chances of encountering this beast are very, very small. But if you do meet it, remember that you cannot run away. Use RUSE and the Zeus Gauntlet, mixed with CUR3 or CUR4 when your HP gets too low (below 150). POISON can take up to about 250DMG from an un-Ribboned warrior. Good luck. Other enemies to watch out for: Wizard Mummies: These enemies are not too hard, but they are powerful and they have the ability to put you to sleep. This can be lethal if there are 9 Wizard Mummies and Mummies on the screen. Use HRM3 and the Zeus Gauntlet to finish them off. Enemies you WANT to encounter: Nitemares: They can hit you hard and are surprisingly resistant to physical attacks, but you can easily run from them. Perilisks: Now that you have the ProRing equipped, they will be unable to kill you with their SQUINT attack. Use the Zeus Gauntlet on them for easy gold and XP. When you finally reach the room with the robot, you fill find the entrance is blocked by a spiked square containing a mixture of Wizard Mummies, Mummies, Coctrices, and Perilisks. Coctrices are the worst of the four for reasons you should already know by now. If there are Coctrices, use the Zeus Gauntlet to kill them in the first round before using HRM2 on the mummies. If there are no Coctrices, use HRM3 to deal with the mummies. Perilisks should be your final priority since they pose no threat. Once you beat these enemies (or run from them), you'll be able to raid the treasure chests. These treasures are quite useful. One of them contains a Ribbon, which you should immediately equip. This wonderful piece of armor will protect you from every spell out there except NUKE, XFER and SLO2. Another good treasure is the Wizard Staff, which casts CONF in battle. While you probably won't use this item too often, it can come in handy as an alternative to RUSE. The final treasure of note is the Defense Sword. Even though you can't equip this powerful sword, you can still use it as an item in battle. It has the same effect as RUSE, thus meaning you can use it as many times as you'd like. Your inventory should now look like this: Level: low 20s Weapons: Silver Hammer (equipped), Wizard Staff, Defense, Heal Staff Armor: Gold Bracelet (equipped), Ribbon (equipped), ProRing (equipped), Zeus Gauntlet Magic: CURE, HARM, RUSE; ALIT, MUTE; CUR2, HRM2, AFIR; AICE; CUR3, HRM3; FOG2, EXIT; CUR4, HRM4 Be sure to talk to the robot wandering around the room. It will give you the Cube, which you'll need later on. Once you've taken care of everything here (getting the Cube and raiding the treasure), use EXIT to leave the Waterfall. You can fight your way out if you wish, but you never know exactly what the spiked square will bring you (a Coctrice ambush), nor do you know if a Gas Dragon will make an appearance. Play it safe. Use EXIT and then save your game with another cabin outside. Now it's time to revive the third orb, that of the water. Thus, the next dungeon on your agenda should be the Sea Shrine. -----PART 11: ONRAC AND THE SEA SHRINE----- To access the Sea Shrine, go to Onrac by sailing south from the Waterfall via the canoe and walking east to the coast. There is nothing you need to buy in this town. Save your game at the inn and talk to the woman next to the submarine in the southeastern corner of the town. She will not let you access the submarine unless you have Oxyale, which you should have already taken care of. The Sea Shrine is a large dungeon packed with enemies that are weak against lightning. Armed with the Zeus Gauntlet, it should be a breeze to deal with these guys. However, there are some enemies in here that are weak against other types of magic, so you should tread carefully. At the end of the shrine lies Kraken, perhaps the most dangerous of the four fiends. You should plan on making 2 trips through the Sea Shrine. The first trip is to raid the treasures on the upper floors and to get the Slab. The second trip is to defeat Kraken. Enemies you DON'T want to encounter: Ghosts: GHOSTS ARE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. Only 4 enemies hit harder than they do (T-Rex, Sentry, Phantom, and WarMech), but those enemies are either fought once (Phantom) or are otherwise rarely encountered. Ghosts, however, are quite common and you can't run from them. To further complicate matters, they can attack in groups of up to 5. If you are unfortunate enough to run into them, use RUSE twice (via the Defense Sword) and hope you survive their initial onslaught. Then use HRM3. These enemies are likely to put an end to your adventure a few times. Their ability to stun you only adds insult to injury. Water: Water is probably the toughest of the four elemental enemies. They hit the hardest and you can't run from them. It is also worth noting that they are weak against ICE, which you can't use yet. So you'll have to rely on the Zeus Gauntlet, but do so after protecting yourself with RUSE first. Other enemies to watch out for: Lobsters: They appear in large groups, are capable of scoring multiple hits and tend to land criticals as well. They are susceptible to CONF, although finishing them off quickly with the Zeus Gauntlet may be a better strategy. Enemies you WANT to encounter: Wizard Sahags/Red Sahags: Sometimes Wizard Sahags appear with Gray Sharks, which are much tougher. But other times they appear with Red Sahags, which you've encountered numerous times in the open ocean. The Zeus Gauntlet will make short work of these enemies in about two rounds. Sea Snakes/Sea Trolls: They don't hit too hard, rarely land criticals, and are easy to run from. But again, because you have the Zeus Gauntlet, you might as well fry them and rake in the XP. When you enter the Sea Shrine, follow the path north and then take the stairs on the right. Those will lead to the floor containing the Mage Staff and a Light Axe, two very useful weapons. The Mage Staff casts FIR2 in battle, which will make dealing with undeads a breeze. The Light Axe casts HRM2, which is also useful against undeads. However, the Mage Staff might be more useful than the Light Axe because enemies that are weak against HARM are also weak against FIRE, and FIR2 is a stronger spell than HRM2. Also, there are more enemies that are weak against FIRE than those that are weak against HARM. Throw the Silver Hammer away (you won't be using physical attacks on anything anymore) and fill that weapon slot with the Mage Staff. The top floor is the mermaids' floor. You will find many treasure boxes here containing gold, potions, and expensive armor that you can't really use. However, one of these treasures is the Opal Bracelet, which you should equip immediately. This is the strongest armor your White Wizard can equip, so throw the Gold Bracelet away (or sell it if you are somehow hurting for cash). Follow the passage to the northwest and it will lead to the northeastern part of the room where there's a room containing a chest with the Slab. When you first enter the Sea Shrine, it is advisable to raid the treasure on the mermaids' floor first before grabbing the Mage Staff and Light Axe on the floor before it. The reason for this is that the Opal Bracelet's high defensive power will help protect you in the event that you run into Ghosts or are ambushed by Gray Sharks. Either way, once you've raided all these treasures and gotten the Slab, use EXIT (or hike out if you did not get the class change) and save your game at the Onrac Inn. Once you've saved and recovered your HP, go back in the Sea Shrine and head down to Kraken's floor. You don't need to do anymore treasure hunting. There's another Light Axe and Ribbon to find here, but you won't need them since this is a solo quest and you have these items already. Kraken is tough. The main problem with him is his sheer power. He has many tentacles, which means you can hit you MANY times per attack. One physical attack from Kraken has the potential to kill you even if you have maximum HP. Use RUSE 3 times at the start of the battle and hope that he wastes his turns using INK. Once you are protected by RUSE, use the Zeus Gauntlet to waste him. If you can survive the first 3 rounds or so, this battle is easy. But if he lands a physical attack before you can use RUSE, you might as well be prepared to die. -----PART 12: LEFEIN AND THE MIRAGE TOWER----- Once Kraken is defeated, you should paddle back to your airship and fly south to Melmond. Bring the Slab to Dr. Unne in the northeastern part of the village so you can learn the Lefeinish language. You won't be able to talk to the townspeople in Lefein unless you can understand this language. Sell all your excess armor (the opal equipment that you can't equip) or throw it away and then fly to the northeastern continent. There is a fairly large pond there surrounded by a forest south of Gaia. Land your airship on the small patch of grass in the northwestern part of the forest and then make the long and lonely trek east and south to Lefein. Here you will find the same enemies that once terrorized you when you were leveling up using the PNEOP so long ago. But now that you have the Mage Staff and much more HP, battling these guys should be easy now. In Lefein, follow the sidewalk north and then take a right. Then go south before the breach in the wall and talk to the guy in the lower left corner. He will give you the Chime that you need to enter the Mirage Tower. Don't worry about the magic shop here because you won't be needing LIF2. Once outside of the town, hike back up to your airship, fly back to Gaia, and buy FADE from the L8 magic shop. FADE is your most powerful offensive spell, capable of doing 80-320DMG to all enemies. This spell will be immensely useful when you enter the Temple of Fiends Revisited and fight large groups of powerful enemies. If you have the gold, also buy WALL. Even though you have the Ribbon, there are some enemies that can use XFER. You probably won't need to use WALL, but it's a nice spell to have, just in case. Save the game at the Gain Inn and then fly southwest to the large desert. Land on the small patch of grass along the eastern edge of the desert and then walk west by northwest to reach the Mirage Tower. The Mirage Tower has 3 floors and a lot of treasure chests. The treasure chests in here contain several very useful items, including Thor's Hammer, which is the strongest weapon your White Wizard can equip (aside from the Masmune). If you were playing a regular game, you could also take advantage of the Sun Sword, Heal Helmet, Aegis Shield, and Dragon Armor that can be found here. But for your purposes, ignore those items because you won't be needing them. Enemies you DON'T want to encounter: Blue Dragons: These are the second most dangerous dragons you will encounter in Final Fantasy. In addition to being unable to run from them, they have the most hit points and the highest attack rating. But fortunately, they only appear one at a time and are very rare. Granted, one of these dragons is on an unavoidable spiked square, so when you meet it, protect yourself with RUSE before using the Mage Staff as an item to defeat him. You also might have the misfortune of meeting this enemy as a random enemy on the top floor of the tower. Other enemies to watch out for: Vampires: You first met the Vampire in the Earth Cave. Now they appear in much larger groups. Use RUSE, of course, because they can still hit pretty hard. The Mage Staff is more effective than the Light Axe, so blast away with that and rake in the XP. Wizard Mummies/Mummies/Coctrices/Perilisks: This enemy group could also be found in the Waterfall. The main threat comes from the Mummies who will put you to sleep and the Coctrices that will randomly petrify you. You can run from these or opt to kill them off with the Mage Staff. Again, Perilisks are not a threat to you if you have the Ribbon and ProRing equipped, so don't worry about the Mage Staff being ineffective on an enemy that is strong against FIRE. Catmen: These annoying enemies are poisonous and tend to score multiple hits, which can drain your HP if you are not careful. You can run from them, or you can use the Wizard Staff to confuse them before punishing them with the Mage Staff. Enemies you WANT to encounter: Cerebuses: They don't hit so hard and their SCORCH attack is the weakest of all FIRE-based attacks. Remember, the Blue Dragon guards the teleport room on the third floor of the tower. Once you defeat it using the strategy listed above, you will have access to the Sky Castle, provided that you already got the Cube from the robot in the Waterfall. -----PART 13: THE SKY CASTLE----- The Sky Castle is much larger than the Mirage Tower. There are many treasure boxes here too. Normally, most of your time in the castle will be spent raiding treasure, although almost none of this treasure will be useful for your solo White Wizard. There are several highly annoying or lethal enemy groups you will encounter here, so take care not to overestimate your ability to survive. Enemies you DON'T want to encounter: WarMech: This is the single most dangerous enemy in the game. It patrols the narrow corridor leading to Tiamat's lair. If you have the misfortune of running into it, you probably won't survive longer than 2 rounds because of his NUCLEAR ability and his ability to hit you multiple times. Oh, and he can ambush you too. Your solo White Wizard will NOT beat WarMech, so run immediately and hope that he doesn't kill you before you get a chance to flee. MudGols/Sorcerers: This group can be found on the final two floors of the castle. The MudGols hit hard, but their main threat is their FAST spell, which they'll use on their Sorcerer friends. A Sorcerer boosted by FAST will be twice as likely to kill you as an unboosted one. Do not attempt to fight this enemy group under any circumstances whatsoever. Other enemies to watch out for: Sentries: Think of a Sentry as being as powerful as a Ghost with more than double the HP. You should use ICE against it, but you won't have access to this spell until you find the Black Shirt. Being paralyzed by a Sentry could be fatal, so either run away or use RUSE immediately. They are worth a boatload of XP, however, so you might want to think twice before you decide to flee. Wizard Vampires: Wizard Vampires have about 50% more HP than Ghosts, but they hit just as hard. Fortunately, their magic ability is nothing to worry about. Take them out with the Mage Staff and rake in the XP. Evilmen: Do not underestimate these guys. Any enemy that includes NUKE in its spell cycle must be taken seriously. They are not weak against any magic, so you will have to use Thor's Hammer or the Mage Staff repeatedly to kill them. You can also run from them. Mancats: These clowns from the Castle of Ordeals are back and appear in larger groups. Fortunately, your Ribbon will greatly minimize the damage you suffer from 6 or 7 blasts of FIR2, but it will still take a major toll on your HP. Naocho: These enemies can be found on the final two floors. They are poisonous and hit hard. In addition to this, they can score multiple hits. Be very careful in the event that they start racking up the criticals. Watch your HP or run away. RockGols: They hit harder than MudGols and have more HP. Don't take any chances. Run away. Enemies you WANT to encounter: Gray Nagas: Perhaps the easiest 3000+XP you'll ever earn. The challenge is simply staying awake long enough to deal 400HP worth of damage before they die. Manticores: Their main attack is a STINGER attack, which will attempt to poison you. The Ribbon will completely nullify this. Use the Bane Sword and happily take the XP they offer. Eyes: Now that you have the Ribbon and ProRing, these guys are easy. Take their 3000+XP and smile. Fighters: These are easy simply because they have no offensive spells whatsoever to attack you with. In addition, they don't have enough HP to survive more than a few rounds before they are defeated. Think of these as another 3000+XP just waiting to be collected. As stated earlier, the Sky Castle is chock full of goodies. The important treasures are as follows: The Bane Sword is in the southern treasure room on the first floor. This weapon casts BANE in battle, which is a poison gas that can instantly kill a group of enemies. It is fairly effective even on enemies you meet at this late stage of the game, so it's worth keeping in your inventory. The Black Shirt is on the second floor. It casts ICE2 in battle, which is very useful. By all means, add this to your inventory. The White Shirt is located in the treasure chest next to the Black Shirt. However, you should ignore this armor because the Opal Bracelet offers more protection and the Defense Sword can cast RUSE, which is more powerful than the White Shirt's INV2. The Adamant is in the lower left corner of the second floor, but you don't need it because you cannot equip Excalibur. The ProCape is on the third floor in the treasure room on the far right. This armor offers no special properties, but your White Wizard can equip it. If you have the Opal Bracelet, ProRing, ProCape, and Ribbon equipped, your armor rating will be at its maximum of 51. If you opt to keep the Black Shirt instead of the ProCape, your armor rating will be 43. It is up to you to decide which is more important to you. Keeping the Black Shirt is probably a better idea because your armor rating is not so important once you have sufficiently protected yourself with RUSE. (Remember, you cannot use your three dead characters as backpacks or extra storage space!) Also remember that you can claim another ProCape in the Temple of Fiends. Use EXIT and save your game once you've raided the necessary treasure chests because there are several lethal enemies guarding the final two floors before Tiamat's lair, particularly WarMech and the MudGol/Sorcerer troupe. Return to the Sky Castle and go to the 4th floor. This floor has repeating corridors. To proceed, go up two intersections and then go left two intersections. (You could also go down two intersections and then right two intersections. It doesn't matter.) On the final floor, run from all enemies and keep your HP maxed out in case you have the misfortune of meeting WarMech. In the event that you do stumble upon him, run immediately and hope that he doesn't kill you first. Keep in mind that it is possible to encounter him more than once as you walk through the long corridor to Tiamat's lair. Again, keep your HP maxed out at all times. When you reach Tiamat, protect yourself with RUSE three times and then spam the Mage Staff/Black Shirt/Thor's Hammer. His magic spells are powerful, but significantly weakened by your Ribbon. He has 1000HP, so it will be a long and painfully slow battle. You'll have to use CUR4 several times to recover your HP. Try to keep your HP above 100 at all times because his magic spells will take roughly 50-75% of that amount per use. If you're feeling lucky, you can also spam the Bane Sword once you are protected by RUSE. Once Tiamat has been defeated, revive the final orb behind the throne, escape, and save the game. Now it's time to head back to Coneria for your final item check. -----PART 14: THE TEMPLE OF FIENDS REVISITED----- Once you've flown back to Coneria, stock up on Heal Potions and Pure Potions (about 30 of the latter should suffice). Now check your weapon and armor screens. You should have the following items equipped and in your inventory: Weapons: Thor's Hammer (equipped), Mage Staff, Defense Sword, Bane Sword Armor: Opal Bracelet, Ribbon, ProRing, ProCape OR Black Shirt Level: Mid to upper 20s Level 7 Magic: CUR4, HRM4 Level 8 Magic: FADE, WALL Keep in mind that there is no room in your inventory for the Heal Staff or Heal Helmet. The Bane Sword and other weapons are more useful at this point. You are going to have to do A LOT of leveling up in the TOFR in order to stand a chance against Chaos. You can accomplish this by fighting the enemies on the first three floors of the temple. Use your CURE spells to recover HP and use EXIT once these spells have all been tapped out. Fly back to Coneria, save at the inn, and then reenter the temple and try again. There are many enemies in the TOFR that you cannot run from. Some enemy groups will make mincemeat out of your White Wizard, despite your impressive inventory. Your inability to mount a potent offense (aside from FADE) will be your biggest hurdle. And this is complicated by the fact that you will have too few L8 spell charges to be able to take advantage of these spells as often as you'd like. Fortunately for you, leveling up in the TOFR is easy because the enemies are worth so much XP. You basically have three goals to accomplish in the TOFR: 1. Gain enough levels to be able to use L7 and L8 magic at least 8 times (in other words, you need to be at about L48 to handle Chaos). 2. Find the Masmune. Level-building is much easier if you have this equipped. EXIT immediately after you find this. 3. Defeat Chaos, which of course, is easier said than done. How to deal with certain enemy groups: 1st Floor Worms: Worms are the best enemies you can fight here because they have no special attacks, unlike the Frost Dragons and Chimeras. If there's only one Worm, use RUSE and then attack directly with Thor's Hammer. You can finally do 2-hit damage by now and occasionally inflict over 100DMG with a critical. If there are two Worms, use RUSE and then attack both with the Black Shirt. Remember that you cannot run from these enemies. Frost Dragons: Run away. Chimeras: Spam the Black Shirt or run away. 2nd Floor Frost Giants/Frost Wolves: Use the Mage Staff in the first round. Don't worry about RUSE because the possibility of being blasted by six FROST attacks is not worth it. You can use RUSE once or twice after beating the Frost Wolves before using the Mage Staff again on the giants. Zombie Dragons: Use RUSE twice and then spam the Mage Staff. You cannot run from these. Chimeras/Jimeras: Spam the Black Shirt (or FADE) and rake in the XP. 3rd Floor: Gas Dragons: Gas Dragons are the worst enemies you will encounter in the TOFR. They have a lot of HP, hit hard, have a terrible POISON gas attack, and have a high magic defense. If your level is below 30, you might not survive a battle with 3 or 4 of these because 4 POISON attacks will drain you of about 250HP even if you have the Ribbon equipped. In the event that you do encounter them, use RUSE in the first round and then CUR4 in the second if your HP is below 200. Then use RUSE again. Finally, use the Black Shirt (or FADE) to kill them, interrupting with CUR4 when necessary. You can't defend against their POISON attack, but you can at least nullify their physical hits with RUSE. These dragons are very tough to kill without the Masmune, but fortunately they are worth a ton of XP. In fact, killing 8 Gas Dragons will give you enough XP for a level up. So fighting these is a high risk, high reward proposition. Badmen: Run away. Phantom: Use RUSE twice and then spam the Mage Staff. This enemy is extremely dangerous and powerful. Being on the receiving end of a Phantom critical hit can be fatal. 1st Basement Earth: Use RUSE twice and then spam the Mage Staff. These hit hard and will take a few rounds to be defeated. MudGols/RockGols: Run away. Green Medusas: These are dangerous because of their ability to paralyze you. You are best off using the Mage Staff immediately to pick off as many of them as you can. LICH2: Do not attempt Lich2 unless you have at least 400HP. There is no way to avoid his NUKE spell. Don't waste time with CUR4. Use HRM4 and HRM3 instead. Keep a record of how much damage your spells inflict. He has 500HP. Once he goes through his spell cycle (STOP, ZAP!, XXXX), he will use NUKE yet again. Your HARM spells should kill him before he has a chance to use a second NUKE. 2nd Basement Gray Worms: Run away. Fire: Use RUSE twice and then spam the Black Shirt. Red Giants/Agamas: If you opted to keep the Heal Staff in lieu of the Bane Sword, you can use this battle to recover your HP after the terrible battle with Lich. Kill the Red Giant first (using the Black Shirt and physical attacks with Thor's Hammer), then kill off all but one Agama. Then keep spamming the Heal Staff until you are satisfied before dealing the final Agama his death blow. Red Dragons: These are very rare, but if you do meet them, use RUSE twice and spam the Black Shirt. Use CUR4 as necessary. KARY2: Use RUSE 3 times and then use FADE. You want to keep 3 or 4 FADE charges left over for the next fiend. If you don't have enough FADE charges even when your magic levels are maxed out, your level is not high enough. Kary2 has a propensity to land criticals, so you don't want to engage in a 30 round battle using the Black Shirt and taking 30DMG every time. Her magic spells primarily consist of RUB and FIR3, which are no problem for you now. 3rd Basement Water: Use RUSE twice and spam the Black Shirt. These enemies hit hard, so you might only be able to use RUSE once before being forced to use CUR4. Take these enemies seriously and don't get creative. Use what works: the Black Shirt. If you opted for the ProCape in lieu of the Black Shirt, you will have to rely on Thor's Hammer, which is considerably less effective. Gray Sharks/Wizard Sahags: Use the Bane Sword to eliminate as many Sahags as you can before taking out the sharks with Thor's Hammer. Sea Trolls/Sea Snakes/Lobsters: Use Thor's Hammer or the Bane Sword immediately. You can also run, but this should be an easy group of enemies for you to kill. KRAKEN2: He means business this time. His attacks are more powerful and he can score even more multiple hits than when you first met him in the Sea Shrine. If he uses a physical attack before you can protect yourself with at least two RUSEs, you are dead. Ideally, you want to use RUSE three times, but you might have to interrupt this so you can use CUR4. Do not bother with FOG2. Once you are protected, unload on him with your remaining FADE charges. Thor's Hammer is not so effective on Kraken2 this time around, but that will be all you can rely on once you run out of FADE spells. 4th Basement Worms: Worms are exceptionally dangerous now because they appear in larger groups. Use RUSE immediately, and use it twice. You will note that Worms have a high chance of getting critical hits, so you will have to monitor them closely. Use the Black Shirt, as this is the most powerful offensive weapon available to you now. Nitemares/Evilmen: Run away. Sorcerers: RUN AWAY IMMEDIATELY. As your level increases, you may notice more and more Sorcerers running away from you, but that doesn't matter. RUN AWAY IMMEDIATELY. Wizard Vampires/Vampires: Use RUSE once, then CUR4 if necessary, and then spam the Mage Staff. Two doses of this staff should kill the regular Vampires. Maybe 4 blasts are needed to kill the Wizard Vampires. IronGols: These are extremely rare enemies, but you don't have the firepower to handle them. They are resistant to all magic and have a strong natural defense too, so it's not worth it. Run away. Air: Run away. The Masmune is in the lower right corner of the room. You will have to walk through the zigzagging corridor in the southeast to reach it. Once you grab the Masmune, immediately EXIT and save your game. Once you have the Masmune, fighting enemies becomes MUCH easier. You'll be able to use items such as the Black Shirt or Mage Staff as supplementary weapons to finish off weakened enemies. You will also be able to conserve your L7 spell charges (HRM4/CUR4) and L8 spell charges (FADE) by attacking the fiends directly. Gas Dragons, Worms, and elemental enemies will also become much easier to defeat. As for your inventory, the Masmune should replace Thor's Hammer. The Mage Staff, Defense, and the Bane Sword/Heal Staff are more important. Once you've saved your game, go back to the TOFR and keep raising levels. You might as well wait until you reach L50, although you could probably handle things at L45 or so. The amount of L8 magic spells available to you will determine how likely you are to succeed against Chaos. Eight L8 spells should be enough. When you are ready, go back to the 4th Basement of the TOFR and do battle with Tiamat2. On your way there, do not use L8 magic under any circumstances, and limit your L7 magic use to battles in which your HP is so low that you are on the verge of being killed. You MUST conserve these spell charges. Your Masmune should replace FADE as a strategy when fighting the Fiends. Regarding Tiamat2, he is much tougher than his first incarnation (mainly because he hits much harder now), and you can't use the Bane Sword either. Use RUSE three times and then just attack with the Masmune. Some of your hits will be lousy, but you'll land a few criticals as well. Keep in mind that his physical attacks are worse than any magic attack he has, thanks to your Ribbon. Try to use CUR3 to heal yourself instead of CUR4. Chaos lurks in the 5th and final basement. As you know, he has all sorts of devastating spells. But as a White Wizard, you can give yourself many chances to succeed by using CUR4. There are three spells in particular that you need to be concerned about, however: CUR4: This spell will essentially reset the battle. Your goal is to inflict 2000DMG before he has a chance to use this spell. NUKE: Keep your HP above 400 at all times and have your CUR4 ready to go when he's about to use this dreaded spell. This spell always follows ICE2 and FAST in his magic cycle. SLO2: This is the worst possible spell Chaos can use if you are a solo White Mage/Wizard. If it is effective, you will no longer be able to rely on the Masmune and will instead have to resort to using FADE. Your chances of beating Chaos will take a nosedive if this spell is effective. (A Black/Red Wizard or Ninja would be immensely helpful for countering this, but alas...) When you enter the battle with Chaos, use RUSE three times and then attack, attack, attack with the Masmune. Do not bother with healing yourself until Chaos gets close to using NUKE. Observe the progression of his spell cycle and get ready to heal yourself once he uses ICE2. The spell that follows ICE2 is FAST, which is followed by NUKE. Before he uses NUKE, make sure you have at least 400HP, so use CUR3 or CUR4 as necessary. If Chaos neutralizes your offense with SLO2, you will have to rely on FADE and FADE only, which offers mixed results against Chaos. His magic defense is very high, thus making FADE a bit less effective than it would be on a regular enemy. However, that's all you have to work with, and occasionally it will take more than 250DMG. Once all of your FADE charges are gone, you will have to revert to your weak Masmune or the Black Shirt. Of course, you probably won't win the battle at all if things reach this point because his CUR4 will effectively ruin everything. You basically want to hope Chaos relies on physical attacks or skill-based attacks, such as INFERNO or TORNADO. His regular magic spells are the ones you DON'T want to see. To put it another way, a successful SLO2 followed by CUR4 will reduce your chances of victory significantly. However, each physical attack he executes (before SLO2 is effective) is one more round in which you can slash him with your Masmune without penalty. Although it may take a few tries, if you manage to survive and deal 2000HP worth of damage to Chaos, you will have successfully completed one of the most difficult challenges you could attempt in Final Fantasy. Consider yourself an elite player. Now sit back and enjoy the ending of the game. Congratulations. -----DISCMAIMER----- This solo White Mage quest was completed by Zzonkmiles and this FAQ is based entirely on my own experiences with the game. All of the strategies and information contained in this FAQ are the result of my own original experiences and research. Any similarities with other FAQs of this nature are coincidental and have nothing to do with plagiarism. Please forward all questions, comments, corrections, and/or suggestions to knozzmoeking AT hotmail DOT com. Thank you. Final Fantasy is a registered trademark of Square, Inc. Copyright 2006 by Zzonkmiles. All rights reserved.