The Earth Rots
“All things in this world are
destined to end in death…
The seal cannot be broken, and so the
earth shall rot.”
Now that there is a new canal leading out into the world, it would be foolish not to explore. You’ll probably notice a little whirlpool next to the canal. This is the Lifespring Grotto. We can’t do anything there until we restore the Orb of Water. Sail straight west from the canal to find your next destination.
The city of Melmond doesn’t appear to be in good shape. The earth is rotten, the buildings are crumbling, and there are gravestones everywhere. At least most of the shops are open, allowing us to upgrade our equipment (if you call buying spells, 1 piece of armor, and 1 weapon upgrading). If you’re running low on Gold Needles it’s worth the trip back to Elfhiem to get some more; We’ll be needing them soon.
L5 White Magic
L5 Black Magic
The Knight’s Armor is the most notable item for purchase in Melmond. It’s defensive rating is a full 10 points higher than Iron Armor and will turn your Warrior into a defensive powerhouse. The 36,000 Gil price tag is rather steep, but we’ll be able to make buckets of money in just a bit.
To get to our next destination, follow the coastline south until you see a valley between two mountains. Go through the valley, and then head east. You should soon see a cave entrance. Welcome to the Cavern of Earth, home of the Fiend Lich!
Before we venture too far, it is important to note that there are creatures in this cave that can turn characters to stone. If you do not have any Gold Needles (shame on you for not taking my advice earlier!), I would suggest returning all the way to Elfhiem and buying some.
The first floor of the Cavern of Earth has one of the game’s greatest anomalies: the Hall of Giants. If you travel west from your starting location, you will soon come to a hall that runs north to south. In this hall, every step you take will be a battle against at least 1 Giant, and possible an Iguana or two. This is a great location to earn both experience and gold, but be careful. A Giant can routinely damage your characters for 40 to 60 HP a hit.
I don’t recommend walking the hall from one end to the other, but rather walking back and forth in the entrance so that you can escape easily should things go wrong. I personally spend a little bit of time leveling here, but it is not necessary. You should be able to do fine at your current level.
There are several treasure chests on floor B1, none of them incredibly valuable. As always, please refer to the maps for item locations and the correct path. When you have finished your business on the first floor, it’s time to enter the maze.
Since I have maps provided for you, floor B2 is considerably easier than if you were to tackle it without knowing where to go. If the numerous battles and dead-ends don’t drive you crazy, the bats will. They always seem to be waiting in the most inopportune locations. The treasure on this floor is just as crappy as the first floor. Collect it if you wish.
The third floor is a nice change from the previous floor. No maze, but there are still bats to get in your way. There is a treasure chest on this floor that contains the Coral Sword. Make sure to get it! It has a higher critical hit rate than any weapon you can currently equip. At the end of the winding path, it’s time to take on the monster that destroyed Melmond!