To reach Kashuan from Salamand, you have two choices. If you wish to walk, head east and then south to return to Bafsk. From Bafsk, you must go south and the east between the coast above and the mountain range below, until you find a break in the range. The Keep is in the center of the mountain range, so you must head south west until it comes into view. The alternative is to return to Poft, and hire Cid's airship to fly you to Kashuan, where it will drop you directly in front of the keep.
- 1st floor
- As you enter the courtyard of the Keep, you will see the Sunfire sitting in plain view. But you don't have the item necessary to transport it anywhere, Egil's Torch. Just above the flame is a door that appears to be locked. Use the Goddess Bell in front of this door, and the seal will break.
- Climb the stairs beyond the door, and you will run into Gordon. Unable to completely recall the layout of the Keep, but determined to help any way he can, he joins your party. Follow the hallway to the stairs on the right, and you'll be in the upper portion of the first floor. Walk down the right side to retrieve the Cure Tome from the chest, and then backtrack around to the left side to find the stairs the go to the second floor. Give the Cure Tome to any of the main three characters who hasn't learned it already, or give it to Gordon.
- 2nd floor
- There are a few dead-ends on this floor, which you should try to avoid. Your goal is to make it to the bottom, and then travel counter-clockwise around the outer edge of the floor until you reach the chest in the upper right corner, which contains 300 Gil. Then keep going left along the top of the floor and follow the path around the to stairs to the third floor.
- The second floor and the floors that come after it are host to a number of strong enemies that are considerably more powerful than those found on the previous floors. Consider fighting multiple battles here to raise your stats quickly, but beware: the enemies in this area have a good chance of inflicting status ailments like poison (that persists after battle), darkness, and sleep, so keep Basuna and Esuna close at hand!
- 3rd floor
- From the stairs, head right and then down until you reach a hallway of statues with three southern passageways. The left one is a dead-end, but the middle one leads to a corridor where you can find a chest in the lower left corner which contains a Gold Shield, as well as a forced encounter with some Wererats. Watch out as Wererat poison sticks after battle. Then you must return to the statues and take the far right passage to begin the path that will lead to the next floor.
- 4th floor
- The floor plan here gives you more options, but the lower left corner is closed off and only accessible from the 5th floor. There is a door near the center (marked with an A) that leads to a room containing three treasure chests. Each chest contains a weapon, but one contains the Werebuster, a mace particularly effective against Were-beasts. No other door is particularly useful. Make your way to the staircase located just above the lower-left corner.
- 5th floor
- When you arrive, you must head up. Make your way into the center of the floor, where you will find a lone treasure chest which contains Gold Armor, along with a force encounter against Mines. Be careful of their tendency to self-destruct and heavily damage one party member in the process. After you collect the armor, head to the door in the upper right corner. While not quite as good as the floor below, this room has three chest with status-healing supplies.
Once you have the torch, you can exit the keep anyway that you like, Teleport will work. Just remember to return to the first floor, just beyond the entrance, and approach the Sunfire. You will be given the opportunity to use an Item, at which time use Egil's Torch. The flame will transfer to your torch and you will now be in possession of Sunfire. After you exit the keep and set foot on the bridge, you will witness a scene. An airship (presumably the one which Cid and Hilda were on) is attacked by a much larger airship (the Dreadnaught). Not knowing the fate of the smaller ship, you must make your way back to Altair to find out what happened.
Fortunately, you have access to a much easier way to travel, courtesy of the first Chocobo Forest to ever appear in the Final Fantasy series. It's found directly south of the keep. You'll see an extremely small clearing just north of a mountain range. Step inside, and you'll have to track down to lone Chocobo resident of the forest. Talk to it, and you'll be able to ride on it throughout the overworld. This is an excellent means of transportation because it is fast, and you are safe from random encounters throughout your journey.
Where you go from here depends on whether you decide to return to Altair or not. Due to the strange nature of the world map, you have a couple of options.
- If you return to Altair: To return to Altair, ride the Chocobo east until you reach the coast, and then follow this coastline as it travels south, east, and then back north until you in the vicinity of Fynn, and then follow the southern coast down to Altair. There you will learn that Cid and Hilda were captured by the Dreadnought shortly before it set down to resupply. The quickest way to reach the supply site from Altair is to travel northwest, towards Fynn and beyond until you see the docked ship in the middle of a forest.
- Advanced Strategy
- If you have been grinding diligently as you have been playing, your party should be fairly strong and able to handle a bigger challenge. If you are daring enough, I would HIGHLY recommend returning to Altair, even if you don't bother speaking to anyone in town. Go down to the edge of the peninsula that was mentioned at the beginning of the guide, and start getting into random encounters here.
- You will fight Red & Black Flans (weak to thunder & fire, respectively), that can inflict persistent poison, Brains that can use swap 4 and fog 4 (seriously lowering health and causing amnesia, respectively), Bombs and Mines (use fire), Mantids with VERY powerful phys. attacks (use ice), Cockatrices (BEWARE PETRIFY, consider running away or simply resetting your game) and teams of Ghasts, Revenants, and Specters (BEWARE BREAK 4, can wipe you in one fell swoop, so kill them fast or run!), and the odd behemoth (use magic).
- Benefits: This training will substantially increase your characters' stamina, HP, MP, intelligence, and strength, among other stats, due to the powerful spells and abilities your team will have to endure (for instance, the brains using swap 4 on a character puts them into critical condition with one hit, almost guaranteeing that they will get an increase to stamina and possibly HP as well). By the time I was done grinding here I had all characters at 1600+ HP, MP @90+ over 100 000 gil and 99 of all stat recovery items purchased from the store, and their stats were very strong as well.
- Risks: Could get wiped very easily, you will want to save between encounters if you can, because one random encounter with 6 Cockatrices or a group of Specters/ Revenants can end your adventure immediately. Only attempt this grinding method if you are VERY confident in your ability to weather the storms these monsters throw your way.
- If you choose not to return to Altair: Your next destination is far to the south, although you may wish to return to Bafsk first to restore your health. From the Chocobo Forest, you can head due south through the desert until you reach the crescent-shaped forest that surrounds the supply site.
Once you arrive, set foot on the ship to enter inside. Upon entering, you will quickly encounter a Captain guarding the entrance. You will have the opportunity to ask him anything, or use an item. If you choose item and show him the pass you obtained, he will permit you to enter. If you choose to ask something instead, the only term he'll respond to is Wild Rose and promptly attack you. He has strong physical defense, so try to use magic instead. Once he is defeated, he will never return, so you can come and go without having to worry about encountering him again. Avoid speaking to any other guards or you will enter the same type of fight.
Be aware that this is a tough area containing many were-beasts, and undead monsters who like to cast Darkness on your entire party. Keep casting Esuna so that it rises in levels and has the power to cure any status ailments that are inflicted on you. You may also encounter Magicians who have a tendency to drop the Berserk spell.
- Sleep Blade
- A small stairway on the right side leads down to the floor below, but it will appear that all you find is a locked cell. However, it's possible to pass right through the wall to the right of the staircase to reach the chest in the cell, which contains the Sleep Blade, a useful weapon for anyone who has been trained in sword proficiency. In the process, you will be forced into combat with a Soldier, a Sergent, and two Magicians.
- Rescuing Hilda and Cid
- Blowing up the Dreadnought
- Return to the first floor, and this time, head all the way down to the bottom until you can access the staircase in the lower right corner. Walk down and around the next simple floor to the door in the upper left corner to access the floor below. On the next floor, you will see a long flight of stairs in the middle. If you walk beyond those stairs, you will find four treasure chests to the right along the top wall.
- All four chest contain powerful equipment like the Trident, Main Gauche, and Giant Helmet. The third chest from the left which contains the Ice Shield, however, is protected by a forced fight with an incredibly powerful Hill Gigas (who may or may not have an ally with him.) It is not recommended that you open this chest if you are not able to heal yourself throughout this battle. Using special weapons like the Ancient Sword to inflict Curse, or the Sleep Sword to inflict Sleep, will certainly improve your chances of winning.
- When you're ready, walk up the stairs and up to the floor above to a small section with a door. Proceed through the door and on to the next floor. In this floor, you must navigate a maze of corridors that would otherwise be open if it were not for the soldiers blocking your way. Even if you speak with and challenge one of them to a fight, they won't go away if you defeat them. On top of this, it is very likely that you are running low on health and magic, so every step is precious. To reach the engine room in the middle of the floor, you basically need to walk up to the top wall, and then around in the room in a counter-clockwise direction until you can head down and to the left to access the door. Step inside and up to the center of the engine room. Investigate the engine, and you will be given the chance to choose an item to use. Choose the Sunfire, and the game will take over.
As the engine begins to explode, a Dark Knight appears, and Maria thinks his voice sounds familiar. However, you don't have time to stand around as the ship is about to explode. The game guides your party out of the Dreadnought and into the safety of Cid's airship, which promptly flies you right back to Altair. Step inside to speak with people. Despite your success destroying the Dreadnought, all anyone can talk about is the King's condition
Go into the King's room and you will find that the King is about to die. (Before you do so, unequip Gordon's items as he will leave you after this section.) The King will ask Gordon to take lead of his army. He asks of Minwu to break the seal binding the Ultima Tome. He asks Firion to head to Deist, home of the Dragoons, to search for last standing Dragoons and their Wyverns. Lastly, he asks that you all take care of Princess Hilda. After which, he leaves the world. Gordon and Minwu leaves the room to handle their tasks and you return to your three member party.