Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.
After a short stint with the main party, Sabin has been swept off the raft to Narshe and sent drifting to unknown lands. What lays ahead for this impulsive young martial artist? And will he find his way back to his brother a second time?
Sabin's scenario begins on the western coast of . . . somewhere. Head to the house a short way east of the water and you'll find none other than Shadow, the ruthless mercenary assassin, who will offer to accompany Sabin on his journey for a short while. Eventually, you'll have to worry about Shadow taking off on you, but for now, be glad of the extra company. Taking him along is completely optional, but his randomly-appearing dog and Throw command will come in handy . . .
. . . so long as you buy a bunch of Shurikens from the merchant on the chocobo who runs through here. He also carries Invisibility Scrolls and Shadow Scrolls, both of which Shadow can Throw for different effects. They're handy, but buy Shurikens first. You can also chat with the elderly loon in the house and enjoy his antics, though he has nothing of value to offer you. (Yet.) Nap in his bed, if you wish, and set out east.
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The enemies here aren't much tougher than outside South Figaro, and should prove no challenge to Sabin and Shadow. Wander east and then south to find an odd spot of desert in front of a bridge; approach it to discover that it's actually an Imperial Camp. You'll overhear some bantering about Kefka . . .
. . . and the scene will abruptly shift to a new location: Doma Castle. This kingdom is under siege, and it's up to the default-named knight of the realm Cyan to halt the enemy force. You can have Cyan attack the Imperial Soldiers trying ineptly to breach the castle, or you can rush their commander and end the assault immediately.
This boss is no match for Cyan and his Bushido command. He'll either attack normally or use Axe to do damage, neither of which hurts overly much. The easiest way to beat him is to charge Cyan's Bushido command up to the second tier. This will cause him to use his powerful Sky move the next time he's hit with a physical attack. It will take out the Captain in an instant. Winning this battle will earn you a Black Belt.
After the battle's done you'll regain control of Sabin and Shadow. There are tents on either side of you. Check the right tent to find a chest you can alternatively 'Hit' or 'Kick'. Kicking it will bring the Doberman enemy in to attack you; Hitting it will simply open the chest. This is the only place in the game to fight Dobermans, so if you care overly much, Kick the chest. Inside is a Star Pendant. The left tent is empty, though you can talk to the soldier to fight two Imperial Soldiers and a Magitek Armor.
Go south along the bridge to get your first glimpse of General Leo, the military officer in charge of the camp and the assault on Doma. You'll also learn that Kefka is planning to poison Doma's water supply, and there's nothing Leo can do about it. You'll attack Kefka after the conversation, though a single hit will send him running.
Follow Kefka, but run past him to the west and check the tent to your north. Inside are two chests. The left has a monster-in-a-box, a Satellite with a lot of HP and the ability to berserk your characters. Beat it down with your strongest attacks to earn a Green Beret. The left has a Mythril Glove. Grab both and run back to Kefka for another short fight and another against two Templars and two Imperials Soldiers. Nothing difficult.
Jump back to Doma Castle. Kefka has poisoned the water supply, and everyone's dropping like flies. Once you have control of Cyan you'll have to go exploring for survivors. Run downstairs to watch the final moments of the king before going out into the halls.
Your ultimate destination is the door to the right of the throne room, but if you go inside Cyan will immediately get shunted out of Doma without a chance to look for items, though there's little to see now, thanks to all the bodies. Go through the doors at the bottom of the main hall's staircase and check the top-left corner of the next room for a Remedy. That grabbed, go through the door by the throne room and share in Cyan's pain.
Cyan will rush to the Imperial Base, and you'll be back in control of Sabin and Shadow. Help Cyan win the next three battles and you'll wind up in Magitek armor; use the armor to flee the camp through the eastern exit. You'll come afoul of more Imperial troops along the way, but they're exceedingly easy to kill thanks to your Magitek might. Cyan, now a member of the party and sworn enemy of the Empire, directs you to a nearby forest on the next leg back to Narshe. Follow the path south on the world map to find the Phantom Forest.
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(Be warned! Shadow is now at risk of taking off on you. If you want him to stick around for the next section, you may want to run from the next handful of battles.)
The Phantom Forest has no items, and since the enemies offer little experience there's no point dawdling. Run to the end of the first screen and go north along the path. Up here is a recovery spring which will restore your HP and MP. Head east from here to leave the screen. On the next, take the path to your right that leads north. Continue east on the next screen and you'll see another path leading to a train in the distance. Sabin will force everybody onto the train when you approach.
(If you got this far with Shadow, he's safely stuck in your party for now.)
Once on the train it will begin to move. Try the door you came through and you'll find it locked. Cyan reveals that this is the Phantom Train, a spiritual transport for souls heading to 'the other side'. No one's quite ready for that destination, so you'd best find a way off the stupid thing.
The engine is far to your left, through the cars. Start by going right through the train. In the train's final car you'll find a ghost that will offer to accompany you. There are more spread throughout the train, and you can recruit up to your full number of party members (four). The ghosts are weak, but they have a Possess command that can instantly kill an enemy at the expense of the ghost's life. Can't hurt to have one along. Also back here is a small room with the train's conductor, a save point, and a switch that will make Cyan very nervous indeed.
Return to the first coach. It's filled with ghosts. Some will attack you, some will join you, and some will sell you items. You can't tell which is which until you talk to the ghost. The next coach beyond this is virtually identical, and so, too, is the third coach.
Once inside the third coach, a ghost will block the exit. Talk to it and take it out to get outside, where you'll find a horde of ghosts coming to get you. Get on the roof and Sabin will take everybody to safety. Once on the opposite side, step into the next car and hit the switch to send the ghosts away. Go back inside once they're gone and hit the switch again to open up the next car; use the save point before continuing.
The next car is for dining. Sit at the centre table and Sabin will scarf down food. Change your lead character and you'll get different reactions each time you sit down. The result is always the same: restored HP and MP. After you're done eating, enter the car from the opposite end to find an Earring.
The next two cars contain some VIP rooms.
- The first room has a treasure chest, but when you try to take it a mystery man named Siegfried will drop down and challenge you to a fight. It takes a single hit to bring the nitwit down. You'll gain a Green Cherry for winning, but Siegfried will steal the contents of the chest anyway and run.
- The second room is empty.
- The third room is also empty.
- The fourth room contains four treasure chests. The first has a monster-in-a-box, an Apparition that drops a Hyper Wrist when defeated. The other three have two Phoenix Downs and a Sniper Eye.
In the car beyond this you'll find a save point, and just past that is the engine. Any ghosts with you will leave the party before you can approach the engine. Duck inside and check the control panel for instructions on stopping the train - namely, hitting the first and third switches. Do so, then climb on top of the train and click a switch near the smokestack. This will upset the apparently-alive Phantom Train, which will immediately demand a scrap.
There are two ways to end this fight. The first is to outright fight the train. Most of the time it uses single-hitting Wheel or all-hitting Acid Rain and Saintly Beam to do damage. These attacks are no big deal; heal as appropriate. The painful move is Diabolic Whistle, which will inflict a random status ailment on everyone, from imp to slow to poison. It doesn’t use this move often, but if you're unlucky you may find yourself horribly inconvenienced. Hit it with your hardest attacks, which, if Sabin knows it, should include Aura Cannon. Phantom Train is undead, and Aura Cannon's holy damage will hurt a lot.
And because Phantom Train is undead, you can use the alternate method to end the fight: use either a Phoenix Down or an Elixir on it. Either will instantly kill the thing.
Beating the Phantom Train will earn you a Tent. It will also grant you passage off of the Phantom Train, though Cyan's reaction to getting off is . . . heartbreaking, at best. Talk to Cyan after the cut scene to leave the abandoned train platform.
Back on the world map! Follow the mountain range south, east and north to find Baren Falls, which leads to a wild land known as the Veldt. You'll have to jump from the Falls to get there. If Shadow's still on your team, he'll take off here. (Unequip his Ninja Gear before he does and give it to Sabin.) Once he does, or if he did earlier, have a look at the falls to jump off the edge and into the briny abyss.
You'll get into a series of battles as you plummet down the Falls. The majority of them are against Opinicus Fish, strictly-physical foes that are mainly a nuisance. Beat four waves of them and you'll encounter a Rhizopas, a much stronger foe with above average HP and very strong attacks. Most devastating is El Nino, which can easily wipe out your party in one hit. Try to preserve Cyan's attack for when it appears and use Sky to wipe it out in a single hit (assuming it attacks him first). If you don't want to take the risk, use Raging Fist and Fang over and over before it uses the move. You'll receive a Potion and a Remedy for getting through these battles.
At the bottom the team will wash up on the shores of the Veldt, found by a wild youth by the default name of Gau. Once they wake up, Gau will flee. Shrug? Leave the shoreside and head inland.
You're now on the Veldt. The Veldt is home to all of the monsters you've previously encountered in the game (sans most bosses). They no longer give experience, only gil, but they serve a special purpose once you have a new team member. That will come up shortly; first you need to make your way to the far east tip of the continent. Along the way you'll see Gau in battle a few times, and he'll claim to be hungry, but you lack the food to lure him.
On the eastern tip is the small town of Mobliz. A waypoint of sorts for visitors to the Veldt, Mobliz is worth searching.
- First have a look in the Weapon & Armor Shop. You'll find Mythril Claws for Sabin and a Kotetsu for Cyan for sale, as well as a ton of armour. Buy within your means, noting that Gau also wants equipment. Another character will be joining up in Locke's scenario, but you'll find equipment for her during the scenario.
- Next is the Inn. It costs 100 gold per night. Don't bother - there's a free bed elsewhere in town.
- North of the Inn is the Item Shop. It has the usual array of items, as well as Dried Meat. Besides being a so-so restorative item, Dried Meat is necessary for luring Gau. Buy at least one piece of it.
- Next in the town is a post office. There's nothing here for you yet besides an Elixir in the clock on the top floor.
- North of here is a Relic Shop. Its selection is pretty sparse, but there's a bed in the back you can use free of charge.
- The last house is the temporary abode of a wounded Imperial soldier. Talk to him and he'll ask you to read the letter to him on the desk. Do so and he'll express his wish to send his beloved Lola a return letter, though he lacks the strength to do it. Go to the post office and you can do it for him for a fee of 500 gil.
Normally you would have to wait until a return trip, sometime later in the game, to revisit this little side quest and find another letter waiting for the soldier. If you have some spare cash and want to expedite the process, talk to any of the shopkeepers in town. Another letter will have arrived in the meantime. Keep sending letters and talking to this man, and after five such trips (2,500 gil total) the soldier will give you a Tintinnabulm, a relic that restores the bearer's HP while they walk around.
Once you're done with Mobliz, head out into the field and get into a fight. Eventually Gau will show up. Use a Dried Meat on him and, after a lengthy conversation and explanation of his abilities, he'll join your team. Woo! Deck him out with some of your newly-bought equipment, and spend some time on the Veldt Leaping onto enemies you've encountered to build up his Rages. At the very least try to acquire Bomb for its Blaze spell, Templar for Fira and (if you've already done Locke's scenario) Gold Bear for Gouge.
After you're done collecting Rages and have Gau back in your party, head far south of Mobliz to find Crescent Mountain, home of Gau's 'shiny' thing. He doesn't remember where it is, so you'll have to look around.
- Check the small outcropping to the west of the entrance and Gau will find a Potion.
- Check the rise in the ground in the north of the cave and Gau will scare Sabin into dropping 500 gil. Whoops.
- Check north of the cave exit on the east side of the cave to find gau's actual shiny thing - a Diving Helmet.
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After grabbing the Helmet, everyone will . . . jointly . . . put it on . . . and jump into the Serpent Trench outside. Adventure!
This twisty-turns underwater adventure is fraught with enemies that aren't terribly difficult if you use Gau's Templar Rage to fry them with powerful fire or strong attacks from Sabin and Cyan. Keep your HP up during battles, as you can't rejuvenate while you're flowing down the Trench. There are two places to access if you change direction when prompted: one leads to an X-Potion, the other to a Green Beret. Divert to both for a breather from enemies.
At the end of the Trench you'll wash up at the port of Nikeah. If you want you can immediately talk to the ferryman on the boat to sail off to South Figaro and end the scenario. Alternatively, more wisely, you can look around town first.
- North of the dock is a Pub. Talk to the dancer inside for some fun with Cyan.
- Along the streets you'll find Armor, Weapon, Item and Relic Shops. The Item, Armor and Weapon Shops are largely identical to those in Mobliz, save for the addition of Mythril Spears and loss of Dried Meat, while the Relic Shop adds a few more items. Princess Rings aren't a bad purchase.
- There's an Inn in the north of Nikeah. There's virtually no point to using it now, though check the clock inside for an Elixir.
Look outside town and you'll discover that you're a short jaunt west of the old man's house, where this whole scenario began. No need to visit him - your friends are waiting! Jump on the ferry and bring Sabin's long scenario to a close.