The Phoenix Cave
The Phoenix Cave be found north of Tzen, and in the middle of the star shaped mountain at the north end of the bottom middle continent. If you talk to the portrait of the Emporer Gesthal twice in Jidoor he also gives you a clue about this location.
Choosing your party
Once again you will be required to split your party up into 2 groups of 4 characters each. It is probably wise to do this quest later on after you have at least 8 party members you intend to level up until the end of the game. See Chapter 12 for advice on which party members to use and which two to discard.
Edgar, Sabin, Cyan, Shadow, Terra, Celes, Gogo, Strago are some of the characters I normally choose to keep.
Edgar and Sabin, Cyan and Gogo can be split into the two teams in groups of two however you like, they all have innate special abilities which deal large amounts of damage at no cost.
Terra and Celes should be placed in separate teams again because of their strong magical ability, although you can use other characters for this role if you trained them in more espers.
Strago and Shadow are easier to place and easier to substitute for other characters. Give Shadow strong equipment like the Genji Glove and Offering if you plan on using him for physical attacks.
One of your groups will have to fight a Red Dragon so be prepared to have water and ice attacks, or strong physical attackers.
The Phoenix cave
In any case, choose your two groups:
- Send the first group into the cave to flip the switch so the other party may advance.
- Send that group through and walk around to step on the switch so the other party may advance.
- Send the first party through the passage that opens and step on a switch to lower the spikes.
- Send the second party over the lowered spikes and past the stairway to hit another switch to lower the spikes for the first party. Send that party over, open an empty chest if you like, and head down the stairs to another area. Head up and to the left to step on a switch to allow your second party to advance.
- Send the second party down the nearby stairs, and go down to head up another set of stairs and flip a switch to reach the chest with the wing edge. Go back down and cross over the path created by your first party. Head up the stairs and step on the switch to move a path for your first party.
- Back with your first party, follow your path around the lava and past the staircase to reach another staircase taking you to a new area. If you flipped the switch with your second party you should be able to pass by the raised cliff and go around to flip another switch to move the cliff so your other party can pass by.
- If the cliff doesn't let your party pass by move them off of the switch and have your other party flip the switch again. You should be able to send your second party past the cliff and climb the stairs to hit a switch lowering the spikes for your first party.
- Send that party over the spikes and through a lava filled room until you reach another set of stairs and flip a switch getting rid of the lava and water in two areas.
- Have your second party move over and step on the switch to flip the path so your first party can pass through.
- Your first party should walk through the path and end up on a cliff which is the last place your two groups need to reach. Leave the first party on the uppermost switch on that cliff to create a path.
- Switch back to the second party and step off the switch to pass through the set of blocks to reach another staircase going into the emptied lava room. Make sure to pick up the chest in the center of the room for a Ribbon, a relic which makes you immune to all status ailments. Go through the exit in the top left and then through the secret passage to reach a cliff near the one you want to reach.
If your first party is holding down the switch to create the path, you'll both end up on the same cliff and your task will be nearly complete.
The Red Dragon
You can use whichever party you like to fight the Red Dragon (this might not be obvious when you first see him, so it is recommended that you avoid fighting him until you have united your two groups, and then make a decision as to which group you want to use). Go down the stairs from the cliff where you complete your quest and go down and to the right to find it wandering around near a treasure chest. Save your game ahead of time if you like, then prepare to fight it. The Red Dragon is vulnerable to Poison, Confusion, and Slow. Use your strongest physical attacks and your best water and ice spells.
When you're ready to complete the scenario, put both of your parties on the two switches at the base of the cliff and send either party through. You'll run into Locke, who's found the Phoenix esper. He'll take it back to Rachel, who will restore the esper at the cost of her own life, and Locke will rejoin your party, and give you all the treasures from the phoenix cave, which were all the "empty" chests you found.
For the quests in Narshe related to Mog, Umaro, Tritoch, and the Ice Dragon see Mog's section. This part is concerned with Locke's task in breaking into the houses of Narshe.
After you've completed the phoenix cave bring Locke to Narshe, and you can use him to break into all the locked doors. Just for reference Narshe is in the top middle continent, and is the familiar looking cave near the center. Once Locke picks the lock on a door once it's open for good incidentally. Locke can enter each building, but this list gives their contents:
- The inn contains nothing, don't bother breaking in
- The treasure room on the cliff at the bottom right of town contains nothing new from the WoB
- The old man's house at the top right of town where you began the game is unlocked, no items
- The item shop is similarly empty
- The armor shop is empty
- The elder's house at the northwest of town is unlocked and empty
- The relic shop is empty
- The house directly above the relic shop has a man sleeping in bed below the stairway. Talk to him and received the cursed shield. The shield casts all status ailments on the member who equips it, including countdown. However if you fight with it and live for 256 battles, not using Gogo or Umaro, it will be uncursed and become the Paladin shield, the best shield in the game which also teaches Ultima at 1%. It may be worth the trouble to uncurse, particularly if you want to learn Ultima without getting the Ragnarok esper. If you want to uncurse it make sure whoever equips it gets a ribbon to block all the negative effects except countdown. To avoid countdown you can either win your battles quickly or use a safety bit/memento ring.
- Go into the weapon shop and step behind the counter for another room with a bed you can sleep in. Talk to the man there to receive the Ragnarok as either a sword or an esper. The esper teaches Ultima, which is the best spell in the game. Summoning Ragnarok morphs monsters into items which can also be useful for completing your collection. The Ragnarok sword is not very powerful on its own, but it can be bet in the colliseum to win the Illumina, the game's most powerful sword, and Ultima can also be learned by equipping the Paladin Shield. Both choices have their strengths and weaknesses.