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GBA character creation
PSX characters creation

To start the game, you must choose a name for each of four characters. While each of the four starting characters have predetermined names, those names are not presented to the player when assigning them on the Famicom. The predetermined names are provided by default in every remake, although you are still given the opportunity to change them to whatever you wish.

A) Altair; B) Gatrea; C) Fynn

Among the many differences between the first Final Fantasy and the sequel, one of the biggest is the fact that the characters don't belong to any one class of hero (such as a warrior or a mage). Every character is a blank template with the unlimited potential to master any skill that you see fit.

The fall of Fynn[edit]

FF1-2 Dawn of Souls ch1 first fight.png

The game begins as the empire finishes their assault on the peaceful town of Fynn, from which four youths escape after their parents have been massacred. Despite their efforts, they are caught and forced to battle against four Black Knights who stop them in their tracks. You are given control over this fight, but it is a hopeless endeavor; no action you take will be enough to stop the entire party from being slaughtered. You will not be able to damage your foes, and they will defeat each member with one strike.

After this dreadful scene is over, you switch to a new scene where Firion's wounds are being attended to by the white mage Minwu. Rebellion leader Hilda is in attendance, and asks if Firion will recover. Minwu confirms that he will live, and they leave Firion to rest. After he awakens, Firion rises and shouts for his companions before exiting the room. Upon entering the corridor, he encounters Maria and Guy who confess to being unable to find Leon anywhere before joining Firion. Then the trio walk to the Hilda's audience chamber.

They speak with Hilda who is delighted to see that they have survived. Firion begs Hilda to allow them to join the rebellion, but Hilda refuses on the basis of their young age. She instead invites you to live in Altair, and she teaches you the password, Wild Rose, which is the first keyword that you are given the chance to learn. Do so, and repeat the words back to Hilda by choosing the "Ask" command. She suggests that Maria's brother Leon may be held captive in the occupied town of Fynn. Then she introduces you to Minwu who is standing to her right. At this time, you are given full control over your party.

You may speak with anyone you wish. Start by speaking with Minwu. If you use the keyword Wild Rose while speaking with him, he will advise that you visit a sanctuary to restore any member who falls in battle. Speaking with others in the room, you will learn of a town called Gatrea to the north of Altair. Paloom lies to the east, but you need a canoe to cross the lake in order to reach it. In newer versions of the game, if you return to the room where Firion recovered, you will find it full of sages who can teach you more about how to play the game.

Outside of the war room, you can find the chamber with a weakened king who is the father of Hilda. He laments his wounded condition. On the left side of the hideout, you can find a treasure chest containing a Potion. Be sure to grab it before you leave.

Town of Altair[edit]

Final Fantasy II map Altair.png

Altair is full of people to speak with and shops to visit. Altair has thus far been able to avoid Fynn's fate as the empire has not traveled far enough south to claim it. You may meet Paul, a thief from Fynn who only steals from Imperials. You'll learn that something may be bothering Tobul, the blacksmith found in the weapon shop. Indeed, he seems troubled, but if you mention the password Wild Rose to him, he will confess that it's just a cover to protect his identity. Standing behind the hideout is a prince named Gordon from Kashuan, who is filled with self-doubt since fleeing from the scene of his brother's defeat.

The item shop in Fynn sells no less than 12 different items. The armor shop sells very basic gear. Consider buying leather caps/helmets and leather gloves for everyone. Know that buying a buckler can raise Gus' defense, but at the expense of his offensive power. Maria can't be equipped with a buckler at all unless you purchase a different weapon besides the bow for her. The weapon store also offers only basic equipment. The bow is a difficult weapon for anyone to use, including Maria. It may be worth considering purchasing an alternate weapon for her, such as the javelin. If you do buy her another weapon, be sure to remember to change her formation (she defaults to the back) so that she stands a chance of hitting enemies with the new weapon.

The spell shop offers the four most basic spells in the game, including Cure, Fire, Thunder, and Blizzard. It's not a bad idea to teach Cure to every member of your party as a means to protect yourself, and to get every party member's magic ability growth started. You should select one character to specialize in black magic (Maria is a popular choice) and teach the other three spells to that character when you can afford them.

Altair Shops
Weapons Armor Magic
Knife: 150 (40) Gil Leather Cap: 80 (50) Gil Cure: 200 (100) Gil
Staff: 250 (50) Gil Shirt: 20 (20) Gil Fire: 400 (150) Gil
Javelin: 300 (80) Gil Leather Gloves: 50 (30) Gil Blizzard: 400 (150) Gil
Broad Sword: 400 (100) Gil Buckler: 50 (50) Gil Thunder: 400 (150) Gil
Left Items Center Items Right Items
Cross: 1,000 (50) Gil Potion: 50 (30) Gil Phoenix Down: 5,000 (500) Gil
Echo Screen: 2,000 (60) Gil High Potion: 500 (150) Gil Ether: 2,500 (1,000) Gil
Maiden's Kiss: 2,500 (500) Gil Eye Drops: 100 (30) Gil Cottage: 5,000 (2,000) Gil
Gold Needle: 2,500 (500) Gil Antidote: 200 (40) Gil Elixir: 50,000 (50,000) Gil

Venturing outside[edit]

When you are prepared, step outside of Altair to enter the world map, but don't venture far. Your goal should to be wander around Altair, get into several battles, and begin improving the stats of your characters. Cure as often as you need to in order to increase magic ability, but be sure to allow your characters to lose up to half of their health before curing in order to encourage their health stats to rise. Continue battling to earn Gil for more spells and equipment, and to pay for stays at the Inn so you can restore your lost health.

The enemies around Altair, and indeed much of the surrounding land aren't terribly powerful. You will commonly encounter Goblins, Hornets, and Leg Eaters around Altair, and they represent some of the weakest enemies that game has to offer, so they make good training material. Maintain your efforts to level up your characters' stats until you notice that you are defeating several groups of enemies while taking little to no damage. Use that as the indication that it's time to advance north to Gatrea. Note that the southern tip of the peninsula has extremely powerful monsters. While you could use this to help gain experience later, right now your party does not have the equipment or attributes to survive those monsters.

Ideally, try to be patient enough to continue this process until each character has over 100 maximum hit points, and 50 maximum magic points. Cast spells repeatedly to drain your MP in order to increase the maximum. If you are having trouble getting your maximum HP to increase, consider attacking your own party members. Remember not to attack one character with another character who is strong enough to kill the first with one hit!

Town of Gatrea[edit]

Final Fantasy II map Gatrea.png

From Altair, there is a river that travels north, and the town of Gatrea can be found by following that river. You can either travel to the left or to the right of the river. You can follow the right side uninterrupted. If you travel to the left, you will have to take a detour over a second bridge back to the right in order to reach Gatrea.

Gatrea has, thus far, escaped the attention of the empire. Once in Gatrea, you can stay at the Inn, or stock up on any extra items. You won't find a magic shop here, but the armor shop sells leather armor, which an improvement over Maria's shirt and recommended. You'll learn that Fynn can be found to the north on the other side of a great lake. You'll also learn that Fynn is still occupied and quite dangerous. Apparently a barkeep is stuck inside of his pub on the outskirts of Fynn.

Gatrea Shops
Weapons Armor
Javelin: 300 Gil Buckler: 50 Gil
Broad Sword: 400 Gil Leather Cap: 80 Gil
Axe: 500 Gil Leather Armor: 100 Gil
Bow: 150 Gil Leather Gloves: 50 Gil
Left Items Center Items Right Items
Cross: 1,000 (50) Gil Potion: 50 (30) Gil Phoenix Down: 5,000 (500) Gil
Echo Screen: 2,000 (60) Gil High Potion: 500 (150) Gil Ether: 2,500 (1,000) Gil
Maiden's Kiss: 2,500 (500) Gil Eye Drops: 100 (30) Gil Cottage: 5,000 (2,000) Gil
Gold Needle: 2,500 (500) Gil Antidote: 200 (40) Gil Elixir: 50,000 (50,000) Gil

Occupied town of Fynn[edit]

Final Fantasy II map Fynn.png

When you're ready, start following the coast of the large lake above Gatrea. Follow it around clockwise and you will eventually make it around to where Fynn is nestled between the lake and some mountains. You can't enter the castle. All you can do is visit the town. As you enter, remember to heed the warnings from Gatrea; Fynn is occupied and patrolled by squadrons of Black Knights from Palamecia. If you attempt to interact with any of them, you will end up in a battle much like the one in the introduction, and there's no coming back from death this time.

Even if you don't interact with the soldiers, you may wind up in random encounters as if you were walking outside, so stay prepared. The Inn is unavailable, there are no townspeople to speak with, and all of the shops are deserted. You can see a Pub just south of the Item shop, but the path to it may not be immediately apparent. To access the pub, you must travel to the top of town and then head to the right until you can walk south along the wall.

The bar is occupied by more soldiers. Avoid talking to them. Instead, make your way to the top right corner and talk to the guy behind the table. Tell him the keyword, WILD ROSE, and he'll realize that you're with the rebellion. He'll tell you about a secret wall and the wounded soldier found on the either side, and he decides to finally take off. Walk to the right through the wall behind where the bartender was standing, and you'll find the hidden path.

Follow the path until you get to a room with a man recovering in bed. Speak with him and he'll think you're there to turn him in. Speak the WILD ROSE keyword to him, and he'll identify himself as Scott, the prince of Kashuan. He's still alive, but he's mortally wounded. He'll ask you to tell his brother Gordon that he knows Gordon has great strength. He also informs you that Fynn fell quickly because Count Borghen betrayed them. At first, he'll ask you to tell Hilda that he loves her, but then he changes his mind to spare her heart. Maria asks about her brother Leon, but he doesn't know anything about Leon. He'll give you Scott's ring as a final gesture and then expire.

Return to Altair[edit]

Before you leave, be sure to collect the three Potions from the chests in Scott's room. Then exit the pub and make your way back to Altair. Be very careful as you walk around the lake not to travel too far south and into dangerous territory with powerful monsters. When you arrive, return to the hideout and speak with Hilda to inform her of what you've learned. Show her the ring, and she will ask of Scott's fate. She insists that you keep the ring, and shows more interest in including you in the rebellion. She mentions a metal known as Mythril. Learn this term, and then ask her about it. She will inform you that she has charged a man named Josef from Salamand to find mythril. She asks you to escort Minwu to Salamand to find out his status. Then speak with Minwu. He will join your party, give you his canoe, and suggest that you first travel to the town of Paloom.