The Journey Begins
“When darkness veils the world, four
Warriors of Light shall come.
If they cannot gather the shards of
Light, the darkness will consume all.
The four Crystals will never shine again…”
After watching an inspiring intro, we find our little group of Light Warriors here, standing in front of Cornelia. We should go and visit the king to let him know that the Light Warriors are in town.
Upon entering Castle Cornelia, proceed to the north where you will find a set of stairs. You can explore the rest of the first floor if you wish. If you do, you may find that the two rooms on the north side of the castle are locked. Don’t worry! We’ll find the key soon enough!
Once you reach the second floor, you need to move north again. You will find a guard in front of the King’s chambers. Speak to him. He will let you know that the King is waiting for the Light Warriors. After showing him your crystals, he will let you pass.
Unfortunately, the crystals alone are not enough to prove to the King that you are the Light Warriors. The chancellor, however, comes up with a plan to test your courage. It seems that Garland, a former knight and excellent swordsman, has kidnapped the Princess. If you can defeat Garland and rescue Princess Sarah, the King will acknowledge that you are the Light Warriors and reconstruct the bridge to the north. Time to go rescue a princess!
Before heading off to kick Garland’s butt, we need to gather supplies. Now would be a good time to visit the town of Cornelia, which happens to be right outside of the Castle gates. Exit the castle, and enter any of the tiny “houses” that are situated south of it. It doesn’t matter which one, they all take you to the same place.
After entering Cornelia, our next task is buy armor, weapons, spells, and items. We have precious little gold at this point in the game, so it is essential that we upgrade our characters wisely. As far as weapons go, the Rapier is easily the most effective available and should be equipped by the Warrior, Thief, and Red Mage. The Hammer is the weapon of choice for the White Mage, while the Knife is best for the Black Mage. Just looking at the damage numbers, the Staff would appear to be better choice for the Black Mage. Damage power alone, however, is not a good measure a weapon’s effectiveness. The Knife is much more accurate, which allows more hits, which in turn does more damage. For this same reason, it is best to unequip any weapon that the Monk might be carrying, and let him rely solely on his fists for combat.
Armor in Cornelia offers a little more variety. Chain Mail should be equipped on both the Warrior and the Red Mage and Leather Armor should be equipped on both the Thief and Monk. The White Mage and Black Mage will be fine in their default Clothes. After outfitting you parties physical needs, it’s time to head for the magic shop.
It is important to note that in Final Fantasy I, you are only allowed to learn three magic spells of each level. You might notice, however, that there are four spells for each level available. That means that you will have to pick and choose which are going to be the most helpful. For the White and Black Mages, this isn’t too difficult. It is choosing the proper spells for a Red Mage that can be tricky. They are also only allowed three spells per level, but have eight spells to choose from, instead of four as the White and Black Mages do. What magic is the best for each class? I’ll give you my opinion. The White mage should learn Cure, Dia, and Protect. The Black Mage should learn Fire, Thunder, andSleep. The Red Mage should learn Fire, Thunder, and Cure. You have a limited amount of money at this point, so you may not be able to purchase every spell right now. I recommend that you buy them in the order I have them listed above. Here is a picture showing the equipment I purchased for my team at this point.
Now that we have brand new equipment, let’s head out into the forest that surrounds Cornelia. After walking for a while, you will encounter a group of monsters. Most likely, they will be Goblins. You should be more than a match for these guys (even if you selected a party of only White Mages). Continue fighting random battles. Soon you will notice that your characters have leveled up! That didn’t take too long. I recommend that we be at least level three before moving on.
Once you reach level three, it would probably be a good idea to go back to Cornelia and rest at the Inn. You might not have taken much damage from the Goblins, but your HP doesn’t automatically fill at level ups as they do in some games. After resting, head to the Item Store and purchase several Potions. You may very well need them in the coming battle! After you are done shopping, it’s time to head to the Chaos Shrine and rescue the Princess.
The Chaos Shrine is located to the northwest of Cornelia. On the way there, you might notice a small cave. This is the entrance to the Earthgift Shrine. We can’t do anything there until we stop the Earth’s rot, and that’s going to be quite some time from now.
Once you are inside of the Chaos Shrine, head directly west. You will soon find a small room containing your very first treasure chest! The item is a Leather Cap, and I suggest equipping on the first character in your party that does not have Chain Mail equipped. In my group, that would be the Thief.
If your HP is still high, and you’re feeling adventurous, then head directly north from the small room. You will find a modest treasure of a Tent and a Potion here. Regardless of whether or not you chose to collect these items, it is now time to face Garland! Proceed to the large room in the middle of the Chaos Shrine.
When you enter the room, you will notice that both Garland and the Princess are here. The Princess doesn’t look to be in good condition! Talk to Garland to initiate a bad-guy butt kicking.