Final Fantasy White Mage Walkthrough and 
Party Guide  (version 2)
Written by Aaditya Rangan
(Contact at rangan@math.berkeley.edu)
Version changes:  made adjustments, fixed errors.
Made note to do castle of ordeal before ice cave.

The first decision when beginning a game of Final Fantasy is party
selection.  There are four warriors in the party, and each warrior has a
class.  There are 6 classes, each with their own strengths and
weaknesses.  Because FF allows complete party control, there is ample
replay value, with many different challenges.  For example, to make the
game as difficult as possible, I recommend a party of 4 white mages.  To
complete the game as quickly as possible, I recommend a party of 2
fighters, 2 red mages.  And to become as powerful as possible as quickly
as possible, I recommend a party of 3 black belts, 1 red mage.  This
guide assumes that the reader has completed FF before, and has a fair
knowledge of the overworld and dungeon geography.  For an excellent
guide to FF, check out Ben Siron's FF1 'handbook' found at
www.gamefaqs.com

Contents:

I:  4 White Mages Walkthrough
     0:  Overview
     1:  Garland
     2:  Pravoka
     3:  Marsh Cave
     4:  Astos
     5:  Vampire
     6:  Lich
     7:  Tail
     8:  Ice Cave
     9:  Slab
     10:  Waterfall
     11:  Mirage Tower
     12:  Floating Castle
     13:  Kraken
     14:  Kary
     15:  Fade
     16:  Boredom
     17:  Chaos
II:  Other Classes
     0:  Overview
     1:  Rankings
     2:  Fighter - Knight
     3:  Red Mage - Red Wizard
     4:  Black Belt - Master
     5:  Black Mage - Black Wizard
     6:  White Mage - White Wizard
     7:  Thief - Ninja
III:  Other Parties
     0:  Overview
     1:  2 Fighters, 2 Red Mages
     2:  3 Black Belts, 1 Red Mage
     3:  4 Black Mages
IV:  Credits

I:  4 White Mages Walkthrough

0:  Overview:  
First a warning:  this is no picnic.  White mages are weak.  They have
low damage values, low hit percentage, low maximum hit points and very
few offensive spells.  They cannot equip any good weapons and can only
equip a few armors.  Completing the game with 4 white mages is very
difficult.  Most random monsters will be deadly.  You will be forced to
RUN far more than FIGHT.  You will constantly find yourself short of
experience, gold, and items.  Often completing a dungeon will be based
more on luck than on your levels, equipment or spells.  In short,
remember to save often and sit close to the reset button.  A turbo
controller helps to restock that ever-diminishing supply of healing
potions.  Completing the game with this ill-conceived batch of runts
took me over 20 hours.

Listed by each section are the levels I was at.  To make the game
easier, gain a few more levels before progressing.  You won't regret it.
If anyone manages to squeeze out at even lower levels, please tell me
how!

1:  Garland (warrior levels 1-3) 
After you fiddle with the party selection screen, you are dumped in
front of Coneria.  Make haste to the weapons shops and purchase a
toolkit of iron hammers.  Then start saving up for level 1 spells.  Both
RUSE and FOG are cumulative, and FOG may be targeted at a warrior other
than the caster.  I recommend CURE, RUSE and HARM for everyone.

Now start building levels.  You will have to pound away at imps until
you reach level 3.  Madponys and wolves will pose too much of a threat
for you to handle, so get used to RUNning.  After you have amassed
enough strength, tackle the Temple of Fiends.

Forgo the "treasures" for now, and head straight to the central room.
The general theory (for Garland as well as other difficult battles) is
to have the first two characters in your party (the top two in the
battle lineup) repeatedly cast RUSE on themselves until they dodge all
physical attacks.  Then, once you have some breathing room, start
tinkling away with those iron hammers for round after round of single
digit damage.  Eventually (after enough DRINKs have been distributed)
Garland will make like a nail and disappear into the woodwork.
(presumably ending up 2000 years in the past).

Now get the bridge and LUTE.  Make sure your coffers aren't empty (need
more than 100 gold).  The trip to Pravoka will take a few tries.

2:  Pravoka (warrior levels 3-8)
The first order of business is actually getting to Pravoka.  Several
nasty enemies can (and usually will) waylay you.  Grwolves, ogres,
iguanas and the occasional grogre will probably flatten a character or
two despite your best attempts at RUNning.  After enough retries, you
should reach Pravoka with more than 2 characters alive.  Resurrect and
stay at the inn.

Now on to Bikke.  This immobile (yet somehow menacing) pirate whips 9
burly buddies out of his pocket.  Keep retrying this battle until you
pull off your RUSEs without a casualty.  Afterwards these ruffians
should fall rather quickly.  Now you have a ship and 360 more gold.

Now start saving up for level 3 spells.  You will want HRM2 for each
warrior.  This amounts to 6000 gold.  Just save often and don't stray
too far from town.  On ship, you should be able to handle 1 shark, up to
5 sahags, or up to 4 kyzoku.  Just be sure to RUSE appropriately.  On
ground you have to pull your standard tricks against every enemy.
Madponys, iguanas and creeps are dangerous, and not too rewarding (I
usually RUN).  Grwolves give decent experience (but...  I usually RUN).
Be especially careful of the oddeyes, asps and arachnids.  They seem to
paralyze/poison me constantly (Again, RUN).  The occasional herd of
undead will fall to a round of HARM.  The creepless ogre is the enemy of
choice, easily tricked by a single RUSE.

Finally, after much aggravation, you should be level 5-6 and have enough
money for one or two HRM2.  Dash over to Elfland and back.  Buy a few
TENTs.  Now head for the peninsula northeast of Pravoka.  The 2x2 patch
of land at the tip of the peninsula is home to giants, frwolves,
zombulls and trolls.  TENT right next to this deathtrap and keep trying
until you run into only zombulls.  HRM2 them and you might win.  One
success and all survivors gain a level (as well as plenty of gold).
Watch out for the deceptive battle of 3 zombulls and 1 troll.  You can
quash the zombulls well enough, but the troll can punch through 2 RUSEs
and can quickly finish off your entire party.  Note that you cannot RUN
from zombulls.

Now at level 7-8, you should have more than 90 HP per character.  Go
back to Pravoka and get INVS for everyone.  It takes 2 INVS to get the
same effect as 1 RUSE.  The main purpose for INVS is to target other
characters (who are themselves casting RUSE).  MUTE is necessary against
ASTOS (one of the few offensive spells you can buy).  Now stock up at
Elfland and head to the Marsh Cave.

3:  Marsh Cave (warrior levels 8)
This is the first of the difficult dungeons.  Extra levels, equipment
and spells do not help much.  Rather than wasting your time gaining
experience, just try this dungeon a few times and hope you get lucky.
Remember to save outside, run from everything (except the occasional
flock of migrating zombies), and skip all treasure.  Don't use CURE to
restore HP, because you will need the spells later.  Instead take along
many healing potions and pure potions.

On the first floor take the southern passageway to get to a ladder.  On
the second floor head south, then east to get to another ladder.  On the
third floor the CROWN is in the room that is second from the left and
third from the top.  (the room closest to the ladder is first from the
left and first from the top).

In front of the CROWN is a square with 2-4 wizards.  This is a very
difficult fight.  If you meet 4 of these octomagi, you may as well
reset.  If you meet 3, don't reset, because you will die quickly enough
anyway.  Against only 2 of the tentacle-heads, you stand a chance.  The
general theory (against the wizards as well as other very difficult
battles) is to sacrifice 2 warriors so that the other 2 can survive.
Switch your RUSE characters to the bottom 2 ranks.  Once engaged, have
the bottom 2 warriors RUSE themselves, and the top 2 warriors INVS the
bottom 2.  Most likely your top 1 or 2 warriors will die in the first
round (hopefully after they cast INVS).  Then continue layering on the
RUSEs and passing around the DRINKs until the wizards repeatedly miss.
Now break out the toolkit and smack them with hammers.  Eventually they
will be beaten into a fine paste.  The survivors will level up and then
you can get the CROWN.

Hightail it out of the Marsh Cave.  Save, and head back to Elfland.
Resurrect, save, make sure you have 4 MUTEs and head over to ASTOS.

4:  Astos (warrior levels 8-9)
TENT near his summer home and pay him a visit.  ASTOS' bark is worse
than his bite, so have everyone cast MUTE.  Retry until you silence him
on the first round.  Now, while the freak is busy miming away, start
spRUSEing up your party.  After two or three layers of RUSE/INVS ASTOS
will be unable to hit you.  Now sit back and relax.  It will take about
five minutes of DRINKing and FIGHTing to win.

Now you have the CRYSTAL.  Although the central element of most final
fantasy games, this CRYSTAL is only worth 1 HERB which lets you get the
MYSTIC KEY.

Excavate the Castle Coneria, Castle Elfland, Castle Astos, Temple of
Fiends and Dwarf Cave.  You may want to keep the silver hammer.  Sell
the rest of the garbage.  Note that you can RUN from the gargoyles in
the Temple of Fiends, and you can repeatedly HARM the mummies in Castle
Astos.  This should give you plenty of experience and gold to fuel your
trip to Melmond.  Remember to buy 2 or 3 soft potions before you try to
de-fang the

5:  Vampire (warrior levels 9)
The Earth Cave was very difficult for me.  It took me over an hour of
retrying to finally exit with the RUBY.  This is most likely because I
was too low level to cast LIFE.  If you absolutely can't do it on level
9, or don't have the patience, just build up to level 12 and buy some
LIFE spells (and plenty of heal, pure and soft potions).  Remember to
TENT outside the entrance, forget about treasure collection, and run
from everything (except the meandering herds of undead).

Upon entrance, head left and build some experience at the hall of giants
(If you are actually playing through with white mages, you will realize
just how impossible this prospect is).  Anyway, head right and down the
stairs.  On the second floor, maneuver through the passageways to the
right side of the room, and take the stairs to the third level.  This is
where luck comes in.  The third floor houses cockatrice and wizards.
You can run from the cockatrice, but soft potions are rather expensive.
The wizards pose a much more serious problem.  You cannot run from
wizards.  A group of 4 will likely kill one or two of your warriors,
severely hampering your chances of escaping with the RUBY.  Since you
may meet more than one group of these fellows, you will have to try and
keep all warriors alive.  So follow the Garland strategy, and hope for
the best.  Once you reach the vampire, simply HRM2 away, and he will
bite it.  Raid his underwear drawer to find the RUBY and start making
your getaway.  Once back on the second floor, things get easier, and you
just might make it out alive.

Once out, save, rest up and trek over to Titan's Tunnel.  Admire the
unique background associated with the smallest of dungeons.  Hand the
cubical cretin his new gastrolith, and nab the treasure.  Visit Sarda's
hole in the wall (which is fully carpeted, for some reason) and get the
ROD (one of the only items you get for nothing).  Sell your newfound
loot, and restock.  Get ready to head back to the Earth Cave.

6:  Lich (warrior levels 10)
This is slightly easier than getting the RUBY, simply because you only
have to make one trip through the third floor.  Cockatrices and wizards
do roam around on the lower levels, but are less common.  Remember that
you cannot run from EARTHs and will likely have to retry if you bump
into them.

Once you reach LICH let loose your stockpile of HRM2.  If you are fully
healed, LICH's ICE2 won't kill you.  On the second round release the
rest of your malice and LICH will be licked (a pun depending on your
pronunciation).

Get new batteries for the Earth Orb and step on the warp-gate (or exit-
gate I suppose).

Refuel and head over to Crescent Lake.  Play duck-duck-goose with the
sages to get a CANOE.  From the port near Crescent Lake, head north, and
dock at the river near the Castle of Ordeal.  TENT outside.

6.5:  NOTE
It may seem puzzling that my warriors were level 11-12 in part 7, and
level 11 in part 8.  Well, shackled by tradition, I completed the ice
cave before attempting the castle of ordeal.  This was a big mistake,
since the castle of ordeal is significantly easier, and contains many
useful items.

7:  Tail (warrior level 11-12)
Compared to the previous dungeons, this is a cakewalk.  You can beat
this one in 2 or 3 tries.  The medusa can occasionally stone you, and
the nightmares on the 2nd floor can hit for quite a bit, but you should
be able to handle most of the enemies.

Enter the castle, and use your CROWN to make the silly bearded man
disappear.  Then jump into the couch cushions to find a peculiar world
of teleporters disguised as pillars.  Walk into the pillars to switch
rooms.  In the third, fifth and seventh rooms you will be given a choice
of two pillars to walk into.  Always choose the lower (more southern)
pillar.  In the eighth room you will find a couple of dragons kissing a
treasure chest.  The chest holds the zeus gauntlet, one of the important
items you will need to make it through the later dungeons.

In front of the chest are 1 or 2 mudgols.  These guys are fond of
FASTing themselves, and can pack quite a punch if you don't RUSE at
least twice.  After you get off a few INVS and RUSE break out your
mallets and go at it.  Once you have these mudgols eating dirt, you can
pick up the zeus gauntlet.  For convenience swap it to the first armor
slot (though if you are like me, you will have no other armors).

>From the room with the zeus gauntlet you should be able to immediately
access 3 pillars.  Take the southmost of these 3, and then head up the
stairs.  Head north, and through the door.  You will encounter some
nightmares, but they aren't too bad.  You can either RUN from them or
RUSE enough times and zeus them until they hit the sack.  Get the
treasure.  You will find the heal staff.  Chuck one of your iron hammers
and equip this right away.  Continue to the west, dodging the square
adjacent to the door (nobody likes recurring dreams).  Search the next
set of chests for a gold bracelet.  Finally, armor you can equip.  Head
south and get the next set of chests (don't bother with the
southwesternmost chest, it is empty).  Then head east and nab the TAIL.

Restore your HP, then step in front of the sofa to meet up with 1 to 4
zombieds.  No problem.  They have "zombie" written all over them.
Release your cache of HRM2 and this should be over in one round.  Jump
back inside the couch, and get out of here.

Rest up, refuel, and head back to Crescent Lake.  From the port at
Crescent Lake, head north, and dock at the river delta.  Paddle over to
the ice cave, and TENT outside.

8:  Ice Cave (warrior levels 11)
This dungeon is extremely difficult.  Easily as hard as the Marsh Cave,
this one took me an hour to complete successfully.  Then again, I didn't
have access to the LIFE spell or HEL2, and was too stupid to complete
the Castle of Ordeal first.  (mmmmmm...  zeus-gauntlet).

Wizards, cockatrice, sorcerers and frgiants are the biggest threats in
this dungeon.  You can run from cockatrice and sorcerers, but not from
wizards and frgiants.  If you meet a frgiant and some frwolves, just
reset.  A single frgiant or a crop of wizards shouldn't be impossible,
as long as you get off your RUSE quickly in the first round.  Dash
through the first three levels.  On level four, you may want to stop
long enough to get the flame sword before diving into a hole (the flame
sword is in the leftmost chest, the rightmost chest contains a used
handkerchief).  You will find yourself one square away from an encounter
with a clump of undead.  HRM2 them and pound away at any remaining
images.  Head to the southeast to find the stairs leading up.  Continue,
and fall down yet another hole to end up near the FLOATER.

This is the aggravating part.  In front of the FLOATER is an automatic
battle with the EYE.  To defeat this fellow, it is necessary to MUTE him
before too many of your warriors are erased.  If you succeed in
silencing him, pound away until he flees for an optometrist.  If you are
lucky, 2 or 3 warriors still stand.  Jump in the hole again to be
deposited (for the 2nd time) near the undead.  The second time through
this treacherous room is much more difficult than the first, because you
are short 1 or 2 characters, and most of your HRM2 spells.  With any
luck you won't meet too many difficult enemies.  Once you reach the
ground floor, book for the stairs and get out of there.  Don't be
surprised if some inconsiderate wizards clog your path.  (the last level
is the same floor as the first).

This is probably the last terrifically difficult dungeon you will have
to deal with (excluding the Temple of Fiends Revisited of course).

Once you have the FLOATER and the AIRSHIP, refuel and steal from the
dragons of Cardia.  Let Bahamut boost your morale, then pawn your loot.
Now that you look like a bunch of escapees from an intensive care ward
(is that really so farfetched?)  head over to the oasis (you can land
about 12 squares to the west and 5 squares to the south of the oasis).
Note that you cannot RUN from wzogres.  However they seem to employ the
same tactics as you do, and so aren't really that difficult.  The
caravan is nowhere to be found, but Underhill is more than happy to sell
you some booze.  Hop on over to Gaia and get the OXYALE (which,
depending on your pronunciation is either New Haven cattle or an airy
lager).  You may also wish to pick up 3 prorings and 1 gold bracelet.
Now that you are on level 12, go to Melmond and pick up the precious
spells of LIFE and HRM3.  Now head back to Onrac and the Sea Shrine.

9:  Slab (warriors level 12)
The Sea Shrine is another easy dungeon (partly because we only need to
survive two floors coming and going).  The enemies to watch out for are
the ghosts.  You cannot RUN from them, and must bust out your newly
acquired HRM3.  If you only use HRM2 it is likely you will have to cast
LIFE after battle, wasting the spell slot anyway.  Similarly, you cannot
RUN from the mobs of sahags, but the zeus gauntlet will take care of
them.  Run from all the other enemies, but if you manage to surprise a
group of sharks, RUSE up and pound them down.  Does anybody else find it
strange that seasnakes are not poisonous?

Anyway, head for the staircase in the northeast corner of the first
floor.  Then head south to get the mage staff and up the stairs to the
mermaids.  Pillage the place and grab the SLAB.  Equip the much prized
(and very expensive) opal bracelet.  Then exit the way you came.

Refuel.  You will have to fly somewhere with equipment shops to sell
your loot.  Note that now it is possible to grab the ribbon from the Sea
Shrine.  However this is quite a trek, and by this time I had my fill of
challenging dungeons.  So instead I headed for the

10:  Waterfall (warriors level 13-14)
TENT outside (yes, you can TENT in the CANOE) and enter.  This dungeon
is easy.  Just be sure to run from everything.  If you are afflicted
with a bout of machismo, you can brandish your newfound mage staff and
zeus gauntlet and actually win a few battles.  Follow the winding (yet
boxy) passageway to the west, and enter the door.  Just beyond the door
lie several wzmummies, mummies, perilisks and cockatrice.  Wave your
spellcasting items and cast HRM2 to take care of these unruly folk.
Grab the treasure and chat with the lost robot.

Equip the ribbon immediately.  Keep defense with the first warrior
position.  (defense casts RUSE in battle).  Stick the wizard staff with
someone else.  (wzstaff casts CONF in battle).  If you are in good
shape, (enough LIFE spells and soft potions remaining) fight the wzmummy
crew a few times before leaving.

Now TENT again, and head for Melmond.  Throw the SLAB at the pompous and
curiously morbid Dr.  Unne, and then head for Lefein.  Run from the
giants and gators and tyros and trolls, and HRM3 the zombulls.  Once you
reach the hive of indistinguishable Lefein, speak to their androgynous
collective to receive the CHIME (aside from the ROD and CUBE, the only
honest gift in this game).  Now go back to Crescent Lake and buy an EXIT
or two.  You may have to gain experience, because you will want to be on
level 16 (to cast EXIT) before you tackle the Mirage Tower.  The best
battles to gain experience are the zombieds in the Castle of Ordeal, the
wzmummies in the Waterfall Cave, and the eye in the Ice Cave.

11:  Mirage Tower (warriors level 16)
Park your AIRSHIP 17 squares to the east and 9 squares to the south of
the Mirage Tower.  Walk over and TENT outside.  The mirage tower isn't
that difficult if you use the zeus gauntlet and mage staff liberally.
The undead will fall quickly.  Watch out for the catmen, because you
cannot RUN from them.  Loot the first two floors.  Equip the much needed
Thor hammer (casts LIT2 in battle).  EXIT and sell the unnecessary
treasure.

Now restock entirely.  Buy 99 heal potions and possibly even level up a
bit.  Now that you have the thor hammer, you may want to go to the Sea
Shrine and pick up the second ribbon.  Make sure everyone knows LIFE and
CUR2 (and perhaps ALIT).  Head back to the Mirage Tower and TENT
outside.

The trick here is to enter the Floating Castle without wasting too many
resources.  On the third floor behind the door is the blued.  This
relative of Bahamut will give the battery in your cartridge a workout.
The only real way to deal with him is to get lucky and MUTE him before
he casts THUNDER.  After several retries you will MUTE him before
someone hits the mat.  Then layer 2 RUSEs on everyone.  Now that he
can't hurt you, slowly begin the restoration process with the heal
staff.  After everyone is healthy again, start plugging away with the
mage staff and zeus/thor items.  Congratulate yourself, and head up to
the Floating Castle.

12:  Floating Castle (warriors level 16-17)
The Floating Castle is rather tricky.  The objective is to get the
ribbon, bane sword (BANE in battle), white shirt (INV2 in battle) and
heal helmet (HEAL in battle).  Then you must reach Tiamat with everyone
still alive (and some INVS spells left).

On the lower levels the enemies to watch out for are the eyes.  You
can't RUN from them, and don't want to waste any spells on them.  They
are, however susceptible to BANE and can be defended against by prorings
and ribbons.  On the middle levels the mancats and rhydras can be a
great pain, casting several bouts of FIR2/CREMATE before you can flee.
On the higher levels the sorcerers present the greatest threat, forcing
you to use your scant remaining LIFE spells.  Evilmen can cast NUKE (but
not first round).  And there is always the possibility a Warmech will
treat you like toilet paper.  On the plus side, after you find the white
shirt, you can restore your HP for "free" in certain battles.
Repeatedly use the white shirt in battle, raising all your characters'
evade until they cannot be hit.  Then use the heal staff and heal
helmets until you are refreshed.  Incidentally, if you are MUTEd by a
grnaga, items and DRINKing do not work.  So save your breath for later
and RUN.  Note also that it takes 2 displays of the white shirt to fool
the airs, naochos and slimes.

Upon entering the Floating Castle, you find yourself in a plus-shaped
floor.  The southern room has the bane sword.  The northern teleporter
leads to the second floor.  You may also wish to collect the other
treasure.  The second floor is shaped like an 8-sided asterisk.
Teleporters are in the northern and southern points.  The southeastern
room holds the white and black shirt (ICE2 in battle).  Equip the white
shirt immediately.  I think it gives resistance to fire.  The rest of
the rooms (NW W SW NE E) also contain valuable treasure.  Remember to
distribute your heal helmets, heal staff and white shirt among all 4
warriors.  Similarly distribute your mage staff, black shirt and
zeus/thor equipment.  Now you can restore HP easily if you meet enemies
that rely on physical attacks.

Once you reach the third floor, you will see passages to the south,
north, east and west (as well as a robot and a window).  The southern
passageway leads to the control room (not worth it).  The northern
passageway leads to some scant few items and a proring (not worth it).
the eastern passageway leads to a room with six chests.  These may be
worth picking up except the middle chest on the left hand side (which
only contains a rag).  The western passageway splits, the northern fork
leading to a katana (not worth it).  The southern fork yields a
teleporter to the fourth floor.

Once on the fourth floor dash two blocks north and two blocks east to
find the teleporter to the fifth floor.  Once on the fifth floor, march
north and hope for the best.  Once you reach Tiamat, use up your healing
potions (if you have any left).

Make sure that the last warrior has the opal bracelet, ribbon, proring,
and bane sword.  Give the next-to-last guy the white shirt and proring
(also give him a ribbon if you have all 3).  Give the second warrior the
gold bracelet, ribbon, proring and defense.  Give the first warrior up
for dead.  The general theory against Tiamat is to raise the
survivability of the character carrying the bane sword.  To do this,
have warrior 3 use the white shirt whenever possible.  Have warrior 4
RUSE, then use the bane sword whenever possible.  Have the first 2
warriors RUSE themselves, then INVS warrior 4, or CUR2 warrior 4 or pass
DRINKs around.  The first two characters will probably die, but only
after you are capable of evading Tiamat's attacks.  Tiamat's spells will
chip away at your life (if you are wearing a ribbon) or will kill you
(if you are not wearing a ribbon).  Restore HP enough, and let the
battle drag on.  Eventually the bane sword will do its thing.  (for me
bane sword killed Tiamat on the 7th round).

Polish the Wind Orb and get out of there.  Rest, refuel, and head back
to Onrac.  It is time to pay Kraken a visit.

13:  Kraken (warriors level 18)
This is ridiculous.  This is so easy in fact that you may even beat
Kraken on the first try.  Of primary importance is the ribbon.  Of minor
importance are the light axes (HRM2 in battle, a bit unnecessary).
Ghosts are still irritating, but you have plenty of ammunition to deal
with them.  You cannot run from some groups of waters, but they are weak
against the black shirt.  There are plenty of random monsters that will
allow you to use the white shirt and restore HP.  Just don't get cocky
and FIGHT too often.

>From the first floor, take the northwest stairway.  On the second floor,
head north.  On the third and fourth floors, head south.  On the fifth
floor, head west till you reach an intersection, then go north.  Grab
the ribbon from the room and continue north.  On the sixth floor, walk
over to the northwest to meet Kraken.

Now for revenge.  Those teams of sorcerers have had their fun.  Now
release your pent up rage against their mascot.  Follow the same
strategy as with Tiamat, and you'll have Kraken huffing poison gas in no
time.  (for me bane sword killed Kraken on the 5th round).

Cheer up the Water Orb and refuel.  Head on over to Gurgu Volcano.

14:  Kary (warriors level 18)
Kill Kary.  No really.  It is that easy.  Run from everything (except
wzogres and fires).  Walk in lava whenever possible (random monsters
don't like lava).  And forgo all treasures (nothing is worthwhile).
Keep all warriors alive until you reach the bottom floor.  Here head to
the southwest (but do so by heading west, then south along the lava).

Kary is not susceptible to BANE (see her gasmask?), but is easily MUTEd.
Her attacks will be foiled by repeated RUSEs.  Then she will fall to the
black shirt and mage staff.  It is possible to CONF her, but this is an
unnecessary precaution.

After vanquishing the fearsome foursome, you can enter the Temple of
Fiends (and talk to the sky warriors)

15:  Fade (warriors level 19-30)
Sadly, the Temple of Fiends is too difficult right now.  Gain levels and
gold and fill out your empty spell slots.  Be absolutely sure to get
FADE with all four characters.  WALL and LIF2 are also excellent spells.
HEL3, CUR4 and HRM4 are necessary, and HEL2 helps if you can fit it.
The whole problem here is that Chaos has 2000 HP and your only real way
of damaging him is via FADE.  FADE can hit Chaos for as little as 150.
So you will need 14 FADEs to kill him.  So each warrior needs to be able
to cast 4 level 8 spells.  And this is barely enough to cover the (all
too likely) death of a few warriors.  To top it off, you also need to
kill revamped versions of the 4 fiends.  This task is impossible until
your characters are very high level.  This means killing lots and lots
of wzmummies (Waterfall Cave) and zombieds (Castle of Ordeal).

16:  Boredom (warriors level 30-41)
This is optional, but if you are industrious enough to retrieve the
light axes (HRM2 in battle), you can fry zombieds in your sleep.  Then
you can reach level 41 (which is when I beat Chaos).

17:  Chaos
The temple of fiends is hell.  It is long and very dangerous.  It is the
most difficult dungeon.  The only benefit is that you have experience
dealing with almost every random monster.  The new monsters are Gasds
and worms.  You can RUN from both of these.  Gasds use POISON, which
(unlike the manticore ability) deals plenty of damage.  Worms don't do
much of anything (as far as I can tell).

You are going to take lots of damage, so do your best to make sure it is
evenly spread about all 4 warriors.  Always remember to cycle your
warriors and equipment.  Make sure no one warrior runs low on LIFE
spells or CUR4 spells.  Put the warriors with more restorative ability
in the rear.  Swap your order around between battles so that the healing
equipment is most effective.  Also remember to save your FADEs and
HEL3s.  You will need as many as possible for Chaos.

Oh yeah, you will also have to beat the 4 fiends again.  Ostensibly
these are the younger selves of the fiends you faced before.  Due to
Garland's efforts they are in transit to the future (so why are they
more powerful?).

After entering the Temple, head south, then east.  Take the stairs up.
You will be in a small room.  Walk east about one screen-width to take
more stairs up.  Now you are in the gasd room.  RUN south, then east to
find the room with the phantom.  This guy is essentially another eye.
You may have to LIFE afterwards, but should have no problem taking him
out.  Ignore the treasure and use the LUTE to reveal a ladder.  After
taking the ladder, head south, west, then north.  Take the stairs down
(Here you may meet frgiants and frwolves, but your new toys should send
them packing).  Then head all the way west and take more stairs down.

Now you are on the earth floor.  Head all the way north.  Then head all
the way east.  Then head all the way south to meet Lich.  To beat Lich,
just have everyone cast HRM4.  If you are lucky, you won't get NUKEd.

Once on the fire floor you should see stairs leading down directly to
your east.  To get there head west a bit, then north into the large
connecting room.  Travel east, then south to exit the connecting room.
Walk west a little to get to the staircase (guarded by Kary).  To beat
Kary, follow the same strategy as in Gurgu Volcano.  Incidentally, the
second katana and procape are south of Kary, but you probably won't be
interested in the trip.

On the water floor, head south about 2 steps.  You should see two doors
to your east (making a connecting room) and a 3rd door to your
southeast.  Travel through the connecting room, then enter the 3rd door
and make your way south.  You will eventually exit the room and see a
door to your north.  Enter this northern door and make your way east.
When you see three large tablets (as big as you are), head south.  Exit
the room and head to the southeast.  Kraken is waiting 1 square north
and 5 squares west of the stairs.  Make sure you heal up before you
fight him.  To beat Kraken, follow the same strategy as in the Sea
Shrine.  You may wish to cast ALIT and an occasional HEL3.  You may have
to LIFE and restore someone after the battle.

When you enter the air floor, you should see a short, thin corridor to
the east.  Take it, and you should see a second short, thin corridor
leading east.  This one contains Tiamat.  To beat Tiamat, follow the
same strategy as in the Floating Castle.  You will have to LIFE and CUR4
at least 1 warrior afterwards.  Then head to the northeast, and take the
stairs down.  Incidentally, the masmune is at the end of a circuitous
passage southwest of Tiamat.  You may wish to get this and EXIT, as it
aids in building levels.

There are no enemies on the final floor (other than Chaos of course).

Finally, (after several botched attempts) you will reach Garland with
enough resources left to put up a fight.  Garland will fill you in on
the details of his clever plan.  After a short game of tag you end up
fighting the ever-crusty Chaos (who seems to be in the midst of the
macarena).  I could never get a combination of XFERs and status ailments
to affect him, and have since given up trying to MUTE or CONF him.
Chaos gets cracking right away, and can sometimes stun or kill even a
ribbon-wearing warrior.  Eventually (round 7 or so) Chaos will cast
CUR4, which completely obliterates any hope of victory.  So you must
deal 2000 points of damage before then.  The best strategy seems to be
to WALL the ribbonless warrior, and cast 3 FADEs.  Every subsequent
round, cast 3 FADEs and 1 HEL3 (or CUR4) if possible.  If absolutely
necessary, cast 2 FADEs and 2 HEL3 (or CUR4).  By the end of round 4-5,
Chaos will be dead, and you will each have suffered 400-600 total points
of damage.  I finally defeated chaos on my third try, with 3 warriors
still standing, on round 5 (before Chaos acted).  Now sit back and watch
his rumbling chicken dance.  If you made it this far you probably have
seen the ending before.  Now you can brag (or write a faq).

II:  Other Classes

0:  Overview
There are 6 classes.  I will try my best to rate them while considering
the structure of the game.  To do this I will divide the game into 5
parts, following the general order of the white mage walkthrough.  Note
that Part 2 is usually the most difficult part of the game, and Part 3
the easiest.

Part 1 (beginning) covers Coneria, Pravoka, Marsh Cave, Astos
Part 2 (middle) covers Vampire, Lich, Castle of Ordeal, Ice Cave
Part 3 (excavation) covers upper floors of the Sea Shrine (for the 
SLAB), Waterfall Cave, Mirage Tower, Floating Castle.
Part 4 (endgame) covers Tiamat, Kraken, Kary and Chaos.
Part 5 (aftergame) covers levels 30-50, and multiple warmechs

1:  Rankings
These rank the usefulness and survivability of the classes.  5 indicates
best class.  0 indicates worst class.  A class is deemed "useful" if I
often find myself wishing I had another one in my party.  A class is
"not useful" if I often find myself sacrificing them to buy time for my
other warriors.  A class is "survivable" if it can live through most of
the monster encounters.  A class is "not survivable" if it constantly
needs to be peeled off the ground and restored.  I assume there is some
attempt at a balanced party (ie, capable of FASTing warriors, defending
wizards, and casting an occasional LIFE spell).

Part 1 (usefulness) (survivability)
Red Mage     (5) (5)
Fighter      (4) (5)
Black Mage   (4) (0)
White Mage   (2) (1)
Black Belt   (1) (2)
Thief        (0) (3)

Part 2 (usefulness) (survivability) 
Fighter      (4) (5)
Red Mage     (5) (4)
White Mage   (3) (1)
Black Belt   (1) (2)
Black Mage   (2) (0)
Thief        (0) (3)

Part 3 (usefulness) (survivability)
Knight       (3) (5)
Red Wizard   (5) (2)
Master       (4) (3)
Ninja        (1) (4)
White Wizard (2) (1)
Black Wizard (0) (0)

Part 4 (usefulness) (survivability)
Knight       (5) (5)
Master       (4) (3)
Red Wizard   (3) (2)
Ninja        (1) (4)
White Wizard (1) (1)
Black Wizard (1) (0)

Part 5 (usefulness) (survivability)
Master       (5) (4)
Knight       (4) (5)
White Wizard (3) (1)
Black Wizard (3) (0)
Ninja        (1) (3)
Red Wizard   (0) (2)


2:  Fighter, Knight
An excellent character throughout the entire game.  High HP and armor
greatly increase his survivability.  In part 1, if you have a fighter in
your party, always save up for a silver sword (sold for 4000 in
Elfland).  Once your hit percentage reaches 32, you will hit twice,
allowing you to carve up ogres and wizards with ease.  A single fighter
with a silver sword (and chain/iron armor) can support any party through
the marsh cave.  A FASTed fighter with the silver sword can easily kill
Astos in 2-3 rounds.  In part 2 you need to watch out for ghouls and
sorcerers (hits to STUN or kill).  The fighter's low evade makes him
especially vulnerable to these effects.  Then again, the high armor
rating and hit percentage make up for this.  If you have no other
options, switch the fighter to the back of the party, and let the less
useful warriors die.  In part 3 you will notice that there are really
only 2 decent sets of Knight equipment.  Knight 1 wears xcalber and the
dragon/aegis/zeus equipment.  Knight 2 wears defense and the opal
equipment.  A 3rd Knight will have to don the sun sword and some
leftover armor.  You may also notice that this heavy equipment makes it
difficult to hold on to every spell-casting item.  Nevertheless, the
Knight's sheer ability to take punishment more than makes up for this.
In part 4 the Knight (once FASTed) will chop up the bosses with very
little problem.  The healing items take less time to restore your entire
party if you keep Knights in the top 2 positions.  In part 5 the
Knight's power is outclassed by the Master (who seems to improve
exponentially).  You will not be able to kill Chaos in one hit, and you
usually will go 2 rounds with a warmech.

3:  Red Mage, Red Wizard
An excellent character throughout most of the game.  In part 1, the red
mage is nearly the perfect character.  The red mage can equip the silver
sword and chain armor, making him a hair less powerful than a fighter.
CURE takes care of minor scrapes and bruises.  LIT2 takes care of the
wizards.  FAST takes care of Astos.  In part 2, the red mage is stuck
with the silver armor.  He can learn FIR3 (save the other 2 level 5
spell slots for LIFE and WARP).  FIR2, FIR3, FAST, CURE and CUR2 help
tremendously.  In part 3, the red wizard can go back and learn LIFE,
WARP and EXIT.  He can wield defense and the sun sword.  He can also
wear the zeus gauntlet.  Again, an excellent character that outperforms
the other magic users.  In parts 4 and 5, the red mage begins to suffer
from jack-of-all-trades deficiency.  His attack power and armor are too
low to FIGHT effectively.  He does not have access to NUKE or LIF2.  He
can only LIFE or FAST other warriors (too often I want him to LIFE
himself).  You will most likely use him as an alternative to healing
potions.

4:  Black Belt - Master
In all honesty, this class is not great.  But final fantasy is a role
playing game.  And therefore making your characters obscenely powerful
is satisfying.  The level 50 Master will (almost always) have 999 HP and
deal more than 2000 per attack.  Make sure to take this fellow along if
you want to defeat Chaos with one attack.  If you have a black belt in
your party, remember that after every level, his attack power and armor
reset to their unequipped values.  This change persists until you visit
the weapon/armor equipment screen.  Note that he will still retain any
special immunities granted by the armor.  So in parts 1-4, this change
is bad (visit equipment screens after every level up).  However, in part
5, this allows him to have an armor of 50 and the immunities granted by
the ribbon.  Before advancing a level, be sure to arrange your armor
just right, and equip your Master with a ribbon.  Over the course of 8
trials, my FASTed level 50 Master dealt (with one attack) an average of
2472 points of damage to Chaos, with a low of 2323 and a high of 2806.

5:  Black Mage - Black Wizard
This class is generally inferior to the red mage - red wizard.  In part
1 he casts LIT2 to defeat the wizards, and FAST to defeat Astos.  In
part 2 he is used primarily for FIR2, FIR3 and FAST.  In part 3, you
will find him nearly worthless.  All the spell-casting items make him
somewhat redundant.  FIR3 (his primary attack) occupies the same spell
slot as WARP (his primary function).  In part 4 he can cast a couple
ICE3 and NUKE spells.  These are somewhat useful against bosses, but are
better used on difficult random monsters (such as gasd).  Finally in
part 5, he is no longer overshadowed by the red wizard.  His multiple
NUKEs allow him to handle random monsters as well as bosses.

6:  White Mage - White Wizard
A decent character.  The white mage is generally outperformed by the red
mage.  In part 1, you will find yourself using the CUREs simply to keep
the white mage alive.  In part 2, the white mage can cast LIFE.  Since
part 2 is the hardest part of the game, this in itself makes white mages
good.  In part 3, the white wizard is mainly used to EXIT after grabbing
treasure.  In part 4 the spell-casting items are more useful than the
white wizard.  The HEL2 and HEL3 spells help maintain HP during boss
battles, (but if you had another fighter, the battles wouldn't last as
long).  In part 5, the multiple FADEs and CUR4s allow the white wizard
to handle random monsters as well as bosses.  LIF2 isn't so bad either
(if only you could cast it in combat).

7:  Thief - Ninja
I do not understand the function of this class.  Thieves do not seem to
have a better chance of RUNning than anyone else.  In fact, Thieves are
worthless.  In part 1 they cannot equip the powerful weapons and armor a
red mage can.  In part 2 the best they can do is the coral sword, rune
sword or dragon sword.  Once thieves become ninja they improve slightly.
Ninja function very much like low level red mages.  They can equip your
leftover ice and fire armor, as well as most weapons.  However, their
fighting ability is still far below that of Knights and Masters.  They
are only good for casting FAST (on somebody else).  To make things
worse, the ninja-only "katana" is a lousy weapon that looks like a
dagger.  Choose a fighter or red mage instead.

III:  Other Parties

0:  Overview
So you've beaten final fantasy.  How quickly can you beat it?  What is
the lowest level you can beat it on?  Can you beat it without RUNning?
Can you beat it without saving?  How quickly can you get to level 50?

1:  2 Fighters, 2 Red Mages (beat Chaos as quickly as possible)
This party is incredibly stable.  It can take a tremendous pounding and
still pull through.  You are in great shape for part 1, with high armor
ratings all around.  In part 2, the only risky venture is the Ice Cave
(do the Castle of Ordeal first).  In part 3, you buy LIFE, WARP and EXIT
for both red wizards, and find both sets of Knight equipment.  The red
wizards can equip the hand-me downs from the fighters, and you are good
to go.  In part 4, the spell-casting items allow you to restore your
warriors after almost every battle.  I saw someone defeat Chaos in under
5 hours with this party.  He entered the Temple of Fiends on level 18,
and beat Chaos on level 23.

2:  3 Black Belts, 1 Red Mage (level 50 as soon as possible)
This party is weak at first, but later becomes unbeatable.  In parts 1
and 2, the red mage leads the party with the highest armor rating.  In
part 3, the red wizard learns LIFE and hides behind the 3 masters.  In
part 5, the best place to gain experience is in the corridor next to the
masmune.  Groups of worms are very easy to defeat, and yield over 4000
exp for each warrior.  You can replenish your life when you meet badmen,
and the sorcerers will RUN from you.  Be sure to cycle your masters to
spread damage around (and make the healing items more effective).

3:  4 Black Mages
This party is almost as terrible as 4 white mages.  In part 1, LIT2
kills wizards and Astos.  FIR2 and FIR3 (and a great deal of luck) are
necessary in part 2.  The HEAL-casting items and white shirt are
absolutely critical in parts 3 and 4.  To eventually defeat Chaos, you
will need multiple NUKEs per character, and enough luck to reach him
with 3 or 4 warriors still alive.  Generally follow the white mage
walkthrough, stopping to restock DRINKs after every excursion.  Always
go all out on the bosses, because any delay tactics will ensure your
demise.  In my experience, part 4 was more difficult with this party
than with the 4 white mages.

IV:  Credits
Ben Siron, for an excellent faq detailing the game mechanics.
(found at www.gamefaqs.com)
LrdAdrik@aol.com, for input/suggestions on appropriate levels.
(maybe ninjas aren't that bad after all)
Luke Somers <lsomers@haverford.edu>, for many corrections and suggestions.
(pate, I say!)
Squaresoft, for making decent rpgs.
(although nowadays, I'm not too sure anymore)

copyright January 14, 2000, Aaditya Rangan.
Feel free to use/distribute this guide, just credit me for writing it.