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Elf Kingdom and Mt. Duergar

The four Light Warriors venture forth in their swift sailing ship. Across dangerous seas, you guide them to the shores of a vast new land with many dangers and many mysteries. Here you will venture into dark caves. You will explore castles and earn wealth and experience. But most important, you will help people in great need.

Elven Castle[edit]

Elven Castle

Both Elfheim and Elven Castle are accessible from the overworld map. In Elven Castle, you will find the prince sleeping under a spell cast by Astos, king of the Dark Elves. Many years ago, the King of Cornelia entrusted a mystic Key to his treasure with the Elf Prince. To get this key back, you must rescue the Prince from his long sleep. To wake him, you'll have to earn the Jolt Tonic from Matoya, which she will not give away easily. First, she wants her Crystal Lens back. By helping Matoya and the Prince, you will earn entrance into the locked Treasure Vault.

Elfheim[edit]

Elfheim village
Earning gold
To obtain the great weapons and high level magic spells in Elfland, you'll need lots of Gil. East of Elfheim is a place where Ogres appear frequently. The combination of Ogres and Creeps in this area is great for building up your Levels as well as earning Gil. Battling Ogres can wear you down, so stay close to an inn.

The village of Elfheim is known far and wide for its excellent weapons and armor. You'll also find Level 3 and Level 4 magic shops. Many elves will tell you about the fate of their Prince and give clues to help you find Astos.

As for shopping, pick up Cura and Fira spells as soon as you can afford them. Diara and Thundara make great choices as well. Explore the wilderness to gain experience and Gil. Some regions of the southern continent are thick with poisonous creatures such as the Cobra (Asp) and Tarantula (Arachnid). Never travel far from Elfheim without a means of curing this lethal condition. Level 4 spell Poisona will be helpful in areas plagued by poisonous monsters, but do consider the cost of the spell versus the cost of a supply of Antidotes (Pure potions) before making the purchase. It's also not a bad idea to purchase Tents from here on.

Elfheim Shops
Inn: 100 Gil Sanctuary: 200 Gil
L3 White magic: 1500 (1000) Gil L3 Black magic: 1500 (1000) Gil L4 White magic: 4000 (2500) Gil L4 Black magic: 4000 (2500) Gil
Cura, Diara, NulBlaze, Heal Fira, Thundara, Focara, Hold Poisona, Fear, NulFrost, Vox Sleepara, Haste, Confuse, Blizzara
Weapons Armor Items Items (GBA/AE)
Iron Nunchaku: 200 (160) Gil Steel Plate: 800 (640) Gil Heal Potion: 60 Gil Potion: 40 Gil
Dagger: 175 (140) Gil Copper Armlet: 1000 (800) Gil Pure Potion: 75 Gil Antidote: 50 Gil
Crosier: 200 (160) Gil Iron Shield: 100 (80) Gil Cabin: 250 Gil Echo Grass: 50 Gil
Saber: 450 (360) Gil Leather Cap: 80 (65) Gil House: 3000 Gil Tent: 160 Gil
Mythril Sword: 4000 (3200) Gil Helmet: 100 (80) Gil Soft Potion: 800 Gil Gold Needle: 500 Gil

Another castle?[edit]

In Elfheim, someone mentioned a spooky castle that he discovered in the northwest. A visit to the Western Keep isn't required, but it will shed some light on the situation. If you were planning to battle some enemies to build levels anyway, you might as well head in the direction.

The Western Keep, a ruined castle northwest of Elfheim, appears abandoned except for the king. He claims that Astos deceived him, and will ask you to go to Marsh Cave and retrieve his crown so he can restore glory to the castle. Continue to level up your characters and save up enough Gil to purchase spells and supplies in Elfheim before heading to Marsh Cave to claim the king's crown.

Marsh Cave[edit]

Empty chests?
In Marsh Cave, as well as other dungeons throughout the rest of the game, chests with identical items will cancel each other out once one is opened. For instance, if you find a Phoenix Down, all other Phoenix Downs in Marsh Cave will disappear and the chests will be empty. The same goes for identical amounts of Gil.

Here in the gloomy depths of the cave, the Light Warriors face their first truly epic struggle. The enemies are fierce and strong and it's not easy to complete it on your first trip. Surviving Marsh Cave requires preparation. The single most important tip is to bring along a handful of Antidotes and as many healing Potions as you can afford. Tents will prove valuable as well. Spells like Fira and Diara will be useful against large groups of monsters that tend to inflict Paralysis on your party members. Don't bother tackling the cave until your party reaches level 10 or so. Explore the cave thoroughly—when your party's HP and MP get low, return to the surface and use a Tent.

Floor 1[edit]

Marsh Cave floor 1

Upon entering the cave, you are immediately presented with the choice to travel up or down. Both directions lead to the second floor below. However, the area you reach through the top ladder (A) dead-ends while the area connected to the bottom ladder (B) connects to an even deeper floor.

Along the way, you'll encounter a few challenging monsters. Undead creatures like Skeletons (Bones) and Bloodbones (R.Bones) won't last long when attacked by Fira and Diara spells. Weapons can be effective as well, but the Green Slime (Scum) are amazingly resistant to physical attacks. On top of that, Green Slimes, like Werewolves, can poison members of your party. Magic is your best offense against these monsters and their relatives, the Gray Ooze (Muck). Monsters with poison bites are not a problem provided that you brought plenty of Antidotes (Pure). If you haven't, every step taken by poisoned warriors weakens them.

Floor 2a[edit]

Marsh Cave floor 2a

Items:

  • A: 680 Gil
  • B: NES - Large Knife, GBA - Dagger
  • C: NES - Short Sword, GBA - Broadsword
  • D: 620 Gil

If you visit this section of the dungeon before you visit Floor 2b, there will be a number of useful treasures here. Remember that if you already opened a treasure chest that contains the same item, the next chest containing that item will be empty.

Don't try to find all of the treasure in Marsh Cave on your first trip. Take along a few Tents (or Cabins) and use them just outside the cave entrance. Head back out when your HP gets low.

Floor 2b[edit]

Marsh Cave floor 2b

Items:

  • A: 680 Gil
  • B: NES - Short Sword, GBA - Broadsword
  • C: NES - Short Sword, GBA - Broadsword

Compared to Floor 2a, this section is a little more wide open, and it has one fewer treasure chest to examine. If you fully plundered Floor 2a first, all of these chests will be empty. In order to reach the ladder in the lower right corner (C), you'll have to reach the bottom of the dungeon and follow the wall to the right; access from any other direction is blocked off. Enter the room through the left door, and exit through the right to reach the ladder.

Floor 3[edit]

Marsh Cave floor 3

Items:

  • A: NES - Iron Armor, Dos - Phoenix Down
  • B: 295 Gil
  • C: NES - Copper Bracelet, GBA - Copper Armlet
  • D: NES - House, GBA - Cottage
  • E: NES - Iron Armor, Dos - Phoenix Down
  • F: Crown
  • G: 385 Gil
  • H: NES - Iron Armor, Dos - Phoenix Down

The deepest floor is the largest and most dangerous floor. There are sixteen chambers, some with treasure chests and some without. The bottom most row of chambers are even locked with the mystic Key! However, in one particular room, you will find the chest with the Crown (F). Before setting foot in front of this particular chest, be sure to heal your party members as much as possible. When you step on the tile in front of the chest, you will be forced into a fight from which you may not run away.

A group of Piscodemons (Wizards) will be guarding the crown, as well as the chests you will find later with the Mystic Key. The number that you face is random, but tends to be between two and four. Piscodemons have a good amount of HP, but they are capable of doing immense damage. They are not particularly vulnerable to anything, so use strong physical attacks and black magic that attacks groups, to defeat them as quickly as possible. Make sure you watch the HP of your party members and heal when necessary.

Return to Western Keep[edit]

Western Keep

The Western Keep is your next stop after securing the king's crown from Marsh Cave. You will soon learn that the king is not who he says he is. Astos, king of the Dark Elves, has been masquerading as the king of Elfheim, and required the crown to rule over the Elves. Defeat him to gain the Crystal Lens, which you can return to Matoya. Then continue your quest toward reviving the prince of Elfheim.

However, before you visit the keep, take a small detour back to Elfheim, and stop by the inn for some rest. Use the money you've earned to buy Level 4 spells and supplies that will aid you in the upcoming battle. When you return to the Keep, head up a bit and too the left to reach the main hall that leads to the throne room where you will find the "king".

Astos[edit]

Astos
  • HP: NES - 168, GBA - 420
  • Experience Points: 2250
  • Gold: 2000

When you present the Crown to the king, Astos will reveal himself and attack the Light Warriors. Astos knows a spell called Death (Rub) that will fell a party member instantly. Take him down before he has a chance to use it. Haste and Invis will greatly aid your party. Fighters, Thieves and Monks who have Haste cast on them inflict much greater damage. Attack Astos vigorously—Silence and Fira are effective, as is Confuse, which will cause Astos to attack himself instead of you. Cura will also come in handy as Astos can inflict more than 50 HP of damage to a party member. You'll need to be able to get wounded party members back on their feet.

Return Matoya's Crystal Lens[edit]

Defeating Astos at the Western Keep will earn you the Crystal Lens. Head to your ship and sail back to the northern continent en route to Matoya's Cave. Return the Crystal Lens to its rigthful owner, Matoya. In return for her eyesight, she will give you a Jolt Tonic (Herb), the most amazing concoction in her collection. The tonic is powerful enough to revive the Elf Prince. Return to Elfheim and buy any spells you still need from the shop, earning Gil and experience along the way.

Revive the Prince of Elfheim[edit]

Take the Jolt Tonic (Herb) to the Elven Castle to revive the prince. He will show you his gratitude for awakening him from his five-year-long slumber by rewarding you with the Mystic Key. The key will enable you to delve deeper into just about every place you've been so far—now you can open all of the magically locked doors. Start with the Elven Treasure Vault, which is outside to the right of the castle. You'll find a powerful Mythril weapon, Bronze Gloves, and a good chunk of change.

Loot the Western Keep
There are four more places to revisit with the Mystic Key. Head to the Wester Keep one last time. Astos's treasure room is to the southwest of his chamber, though you'll have to find your way to it through a maze of passageways. When you approach the three chests, you'll encounter Mummies or Wraiths. You can avoid these confrontations simply by opening each chest from its side, though you will miss out on gaining experience points. Mummies and Wraiths are hard hitters—fight them with Fire, Dia and physical attacks.
Marsh Cave treasure trove
On the lowest level of Marsh Cave, the Mystic Key will gain you access to three new treasure chests. You'll probably have to face more Piscodemons (Wizards), so be prepared to fight. One reward will be the powerful Silver Armlet (Bracelet).
Chests of Cornelia
Cornelia Castle, where your adventure began, holds two treasure rooms. The Mystic Key will allow you to enter them. The rooms contain Nitro Powder (TNT), along with some other useful items and weapons. Nerrick, an obsessed Dwarf from Mt. Duergar, desires the Nitro Powder to finish a project. Take it too him—but not before looting the two rooms of their treasure.
Chaos Shrine swords
The northeast and southeast corners of the Chaos Shrine hold rooms accessible only by using the Mystic Key. Gargoyles guard the two rooms, but they shouldn't be a problem at this point in the game. You'll find two useful swords here: the Rune Blade and the Werebuster. You may be able to equip each sword to a different party member, depending on their class.

The Werebuster and Rune Blade have special abilities in addition to the increase in attack stats. The Rune Blade does extra damage to spellcasters, and the Werebuster does extra damage to werebeasts. Weapons with special abilities are especially useful if you learn to equip on the fly in battle!

Mt. Duergar[edit]

Mt. Duergar

After you're done, get back on your ship and sail to the port northwest of Cornelia. Travel by foot southwest until you find the Dwarven cave nestled in the mountain range. The industrious Dwarves are busy in their subterranean home. Here you will find much treasure and information. This is where you will also meet Nerrick, who can help you reach the Western Sea. The Mystic Key will open two treasure rooms in Mt. Duergar. One contains a sword called Wyrmkiller, which is effective against dragons. It also contains some useful items and armor. Loot the goods, then give the Nitro Powder to Nerrick.

Nerrick is the Dwarfs' chief engineer. He is attempting to open a channel between the Western Sea and the Aldi Sea. It is the only way you will be able to reach the town of Melmond in the far West. Nerrick will not rest until he blows open the canal to the western continent. Assist him by handing over the Nitro Powder (TNT) you obtained from the treasure room in Cornelia. You'll earn access to much of the world and get closer to lighting the first crystal.

  • A: 450 Gil
  • B: 575 Gil
  • C: NES - Cabin, GBA - Tent
  • D: NES - Iron Helmet, GBA - Great Helm
  • E: NES - Dragon Sword, GBA - Wyrmkiller
  • F: NES - Silver Knife, GBA - Ether
  • G: NES - Wood Helmet, GBA - Potion
  • H: NES - Silver Armor, GBA - Mythril Mail
  • I: 575 Gil
  • J: NES - House, GBA - Cottage

If you can locate and bring a precious mineral called Adamant back to the Blacksmith at the top of the cave, he will forge you the ultimate sword. It won't happen soon, but be sure to remember the Blacksmith's location when you do find it.