As you explore the World of Ruin, you hear rumors of the Emperor's treasure hidden in a star-shaped mountain range. You can find this place in the middle of the south part of the world map, north of Tzen and Kefka's Tower.
Go to Phoenix Cave
Take the Airship to the middle of the south part of the world map, north of Tzen and Kefka's Tower. Land in the center of the star-shaped mountain range.
When you try to land in the center of the mountain range, you will be prompted to split your party into two groups. This walkthrough will refer to them as Group A and Group B. If you wish to use Mog and his Moogle Charm/Molulu's Charm to avoid enemies, make a party of just Mog, and use him as Group B in this walkthrough.
After you land, you will see a hook swinging back and forth nearby. You can press A to jump to that hook. It will return you to the Airship.
Group A: Enter the cave and step on the switch.
Group B: Go into the cave and go through the door that opened when Group A stepped on the switch. Go north up the stairs, then go west. Walk up to the chest, and you will fall. From the spikes, go south, then go up the stairs. Go north and step on the switch, then open the chest. Go east past the stairs, then south, and step on the switch above Group A.
Group A: Go through the door that just opened. Go north and step on the switch.
Group B: Go north past where the spikes were, then go east and follow the path, then step on the switch.
Group A: Go east past where the spikes were. Ignore the chest in the northeast, because it is empty. If you want a Warp Stone/Teleport Stone, go east past the stairs, then go southeast through the wall to find a chest. Then go west and down the stairs.
219. Sea Flower/SeaFlowr
Group A: This group is now in the lava area. Ignore all the chests in this area, because they are empty. Go down the stairs and go west across the bridge. Go northeast and step on the switch, then go east past the stairs. Keep following the path until you reach a dead end.
Group B: Go north up the stairs, then go west until you see water. Go down the stairs near the water. Go east on the bridge, and walk toward the stepping stones to jump over them. Go north and use the next set of stepping stones to go west. From there, go north, then go east and step on the switch.
Group A: Go north, and go up the stairs to the next area. Then go west and down the stairs, then go south and step on the switch.
Group B: Go northeast, then go north up the stairs. Go north across the bridge and step on the switch.
Group A: Go north and up the stairs. Go north and follow the path past where the spikes were. Go down the stairs at the end. Go west and jump across the stepping stones, then go south across the stepping stones, then go east across the stepping stones. There will be two bridges going north. Use the bridge on the right to go north across the stepping stones. Then go north up the stairs. Flip the switch, then go south until you reach a dead end.
Group B: Go south from the switch, and use the save point if you wish. Then go west and step on the switch to the northwest.
Group A: Go as far south as you can go. You will find the Red Dragon, which is weak to Water and Ice. Open the nearby chest.
Group B: Go south, then west. Follow the path until you have gone down the stairs to the room that used to be full of lava. Go south, then go slightly west so that you can go farther south. Go up to the platform and open the chest. Then go northwest and go up the northwest stairs. Go west, then south through the wall. You will reach a dead end.
Group A: From the chest north of where the Red Dragon is/was, go down the stairs, then go northwest. Go north and go up the stairs to where there are a few switches. Step on the topmost switch.
Group B: Go east, hopping across the stones that just appeared. Step on either of the switches below.
Group A: Step on the switch next to Group B.
Either Group: Send one of the groups south. Keep going south and go down the stairs that you find. In the next room, go southwest, then go north up the bridge. You will see an old friend, and a cutscene will occur.
After the scene, you will have Locke with you, and the Phoenix Esper.
Narshe Treasure Hunting
Narshe is in the middle of the north part of the map. Take Locke there, and you can unlock all of the locked doors there. Unlock the Weapon Shop door, go behind the counter, go through the door, and talk to the guy downstairs. You will get a choice of the Ragnarok Esper, or the Ragnarok Sword. I lean toward getting the Sword, because you can bet it in the Colloseum to get an even better sword. The Ragnarok Esper, on the other hand, teaches the Ultima spell and can perform Metamorph if summoned during battle, but both of these things can be accomplished in other ways.
You can check the clock in Arvis's house to find an Elixir if you did not do so before.
Go up the stairs to the right of the Relic Shop and open the door of the building there. Go downstairs to find a guy in bed. Talk to him and he gives you the Cursed Shield. This becomes the Paladin Shield after you use it in 256 battles. The Paladin Shield teaches the Ultima spell to the wearer, at a rate of x1 per Magic Points/Magic AP.
More About the Cursed Shield
The following conditions must be met for a battle to count toward uncursing the shield.
- The battle cannot have taken place in the Dragon Neck Coliseum.
- The battle cannot have ended with Gau Leaping or returning from a Leap.
- The shield must not be equipped on Gogo.
- The character using the shield must be alive (not KOed or Petrified or Zombified) when the battle is over.
Cursed Shield Tips
One way to break the curse on the shield is to go to the Solitary Island in the southwest part of the world map and walk around the non-desert area to fight Peepers. This enemy dies on its first or second turn, allowing you to complete the 256 battles relatively quickly and easily.
Whoever is equipped with the Cursed Shield will be weak to many elements, and the character will have the status conditions Berserk, Muddle/Confuse, Condemned/Doom, Silence, and Seizure/Sap. You can equip the Ribbon on that person to prevent all of those status ailments except Doom. Wearing the Relic Ring/Lich Ring will negate the effect of Doom, because when the Doom counter ends, the character will be healed instead of killed. If the character wears the Minerva/Minerva Bustier armor (only Terra and Celes can wear it) then the elemental weaknesses will be cancelled out.