As far as classic role-playing games go, you can’t get more important than the original Final Fantasy. FF1 kicks off many of the tropes that are still used in the series today – but it also of course features a design befitting of 1987.
That is to say that it can be a little obtuse. Sometimes it can be difficult to know where to go next in FF1, how to solve certain puzzles, or even how to navigate its various dungeons without detailed maps. This guide exists to help you with all of those things, featuring FF1 maps RPG Site’s owners crafted years ago on UFFSite, the site’s Final Fantasy focused predecessor.
This guide isn’t focused on strategy – and we in fact have separate pages for many in-depth elements of FF1 such as class composition or boss strategy. Instead, this guide is simply focused on detailing the order in which you should do things – where to go, what to do, step-by-step and easy to follow. We’ve broken the game into seventeen segments:
So – let’s begin. Or as the NES original says… “Come!! Start your journey! Return the light of peace to our world!” First, here’s an FF1 World Map for you to use and reference throughout this journey.
Getting Started – Choosing your Team
Before getting started on the full FF1 walkthrough of where to go and what order to do things in, you have to actually… get yourself setup. FF1 is an old-school eighties RPG, which means no set characters – you have to craft your own party. That includes naming the FF1 protagonists, and picking their ability sets.
You’ll have a choice between six different archetypal character classes – the Fighter, Black Belt, Thief, Black Mage, White Mage, and Red Mage. You need to pick four classes to make up your party – and you can have more than one of any class if you like. Need help with this? Click on through to our separate guide on the FF1 classes and the best team configuration for the adventure to come.
It’s worth noting, too, that every one of the six classes has an evolved form that you can optionally unlock later on in the game – that too changes your abilities. For more on that, read our FF1 job upgrade & class promotion guide.
Once you’ve chosen character jobs and team composition, you’ll be dropped into the world of FF1, ready to begin adventuring. That’s where this walkthrough kicks off…
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You’ll begin on the world map, spawned right outside the castle and town of Cornelia. However, you’ll spawn into the world relatively weak and vulnerable, so walk north into town. At the very least you can talk to people including the King to get a handle on the story, but the real reason you’re here is to shop. Use your limited starting cash supply to buy some basic gear from the stores. There’s Weapon, Armor, and Item Shops, plus separate stores selling Black and White Magic. Throughout this guide, you can consult our FF1 weapon guide and FF1 Magic List to see what’s available to you at any given point, and where from. There’s also Cornelia Castle itself. There’ll be some doors and chests you can’t open at this stage, but there’s still one or two items to be found. Here’s the maps: We recommend that you buy what you need from the shops, and then head out into the overworld. Don’t actually go anywhere – hover around Cornelia and get into some random encounters. Fight, and win. We recommend going to level 2 or 3 at least. When weakened or when ready, head back to town. You’ll want to rest at the Inn there to heal up, and then spend any further cash you have spare on extra gear or items. Whenever you’re ready, it’s time to move on…
Just to the north of Cornelia is your next destination, an evil shrine that’s known as either the Temple of Fiends, Temple of Chaos, or Chaos Shrine – depending on the version you’re playing. When you enter, the boss will be waiting for you, right in front of you – but you don’t have to fight him straight away. If you head to the left you’ll be able to find a few treasure chests on a couple of side paths. The paths to the right are locked at this stage in the game. When ready, step on up to your first boss… Garland. When the time comes, head North from the entrance to face the first boss. [Boss Battle: GARLAND] After the battle, the Princess is rescued. A bridge is opened to the North. Talk to Princess Sarah to get a LUTE, a key item.
Before going across the new bridge, head East. There’s a cave around here – Matoya’s Cave. It has great music. Matoya is a Witch, and needs a Crystal Eye to restore her sight. Explore, grab some items, and then head East, over the bridge. Eventually, you’ll reach the town of Pravoca. Here’s the Pravoca Town Map, not that you’ll need it. Help the Townspeople out by agreeing to rid the town of the Pirates. [Boss Battle: PIRATES] For beating the Pirates, you’ll get access to a ship. Remember that Pravoca has level 2 spells for sale, as well as new gear – stock up before leaving.
Now you have your ship, you can head to the next destination – Elfheim. Before you do, however, a quick note on the ship… There’s a mini-game you can access once you have the ship. This can be used to stock up on lots of gold, and you can repeat it. Completing the mini-game can reward anything from items up to 10,000 Gil. It’s a simple sliding puzzle. Clear it in under 2 minutes for 2000 Gil, under 1 minute for 5000, or under 30 seconds for 10,000. Here’s how to access the game: NES: While on the ship, press A & B together 55 times. PS1 Origins: On the ship, press X & Circle together 55 times. GBA Dawn of Souls: While on the ship, press A & B together 22 times. PSP 20th Anniversary: On the ship, press X & Circle together 22 times. 2018 Mobile: On the ship, press & hold the screen with one finger and then tap 23 times while holding. HD Pixel Remaster: When you’re ready, to get to Elfheim you should go back to Cornelia’s dock with the ship, then head south with the ship until you hit land. When you do hit land, head west. Exit at the next dock, and then go south on foot to find Elfheim. In Elfheim you’ll find more townsfolk with problems you can solve, plus new weapons and magic to buy. Be aware the next dungeon is poison-tastic, so you might want to stock up on potions and Antidotes. Go to the Castle and discover the door is locked. You need to get the Crown for the Prince – and that’s to the West.
5. Marsh Cave – Retrieving the Crown
Leave Elfheim and head West. Once you hit the shore, go South again. Eventually you’ll find the entrance to the Marsh Cave, your next dungeon. Here’s the Marsh Cave Dungeon Maps: The Marsh Cave is made up of four maps – and some are quite large. Work your way through the dungeon. Here’s ancient maps for the NES version we made some 10+ years ago: On the final level, you’ll face off against some demonic enemies. [Boss Battle: PISCODEMON] Once they’re defeated, open the chest to get the CROWN. With it in hand, make your way back to Elfheim.
6. The Crystal Eye, Jolt Tonic, Mystic Key, and Nitro Powder
Head back to the town of Elfheim, tracing your steps back. You should heal up and stock up on items as needed as soon as you get back to the town. North-West of Elfheim is the Western Keep. Go here and you’ll find another sorta-powerful foe. [Boss Battle: ASTOS] Defeating Astos will net you the CRYSTAL EYE that Matoya wanted to restore her sight. You know what’s next – make your way back to Matoya. To be safe, consider stopping off at Elfheim to heal before using the boat to go back to Cornelia and then north to Matoya’s Cave. Giving Matoya the Crystal Eye will get you the JOLT TONIC. This can wake Elfheim’s Prince, so… Head back to Elfheim, and give the Jolt Tonic to the Prince’s assistant.Once the Prince is restored, you will be given the MYSTIC KEY, a very handy key item. At this stage, you can backtrack to numerous areas to get some great items from chests and rooms you couldn’t open before but now can with the Mystic Key. First, gead back to Cornelia and hit up the Castle there to get many weapons and armor, all of which are very useful. There’s also NITRO POWDER (TNT in some versions), an item required for progression very shortly, so you may as well get it now. The other Mystic Key items are optional: Return to the Temple of Chaos to get 2 weapons and a nice item. In the Elfheim Castle you can get weapons and cash. Return to the Western Keep to the north-west for a couple of weapons and an armor piece. Back at the Mash Cave dungeon you can get cash, a weapon, and armor piece.
Once you’re done gathering any items with the Mystic Key, you can head back to your boat and travel West of Cornelia – there’s a port waiting for you westwards that’s not far from Mt. Duergar, your next destination. In older versions of the game, this was simply known as the Dwarf Cave. Here’s the Mt. Duergar / Dwarf Cave map. Dock at the port and then head to the mountain. There’s some items you can grab here, some of which must be unlocked with the Mystic Key. This is where the NITRO POWDER you picked up earlier comes into play. A dwarf in the mountain can be given this key item, and he’ll use it to blast a hole in the world – and that hole can be used to sail your ship onwards to new destinations. Take your ship through the not-so-carefully crafted gap. Right on through this gap you’ll find the town of Melmond, which is your next major destination. Unfortunately, Melmond isn’t in the greatest of conditions. Still, there’s some new weapons, armor, and spells available for sale in Melmond – you might want to pick some up. Here’s the Melmond Town Map. There’s a lot of enemies in the next area that can inflict Petrification, so pick up Gold Needle items in order to cure yourself. Next up – the Terra Cavern, aka the Cavern of the Earth! Head west along the nearby coast to reach the entrance to the Terra Cavern.
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8. Cavern of the Earth & the Vampire
The next step of your quest takes you to the Cavern of the Earth, which in some versions of FF1 is also known as the Terra Cavern or Earth Cave. This is a five-floor dungeon that is home to one of FF1’s Elemental Fiends, some of the most significant enemies in the game. The floors: This is a sprawling dungeon full of treasure and branching paths, as you can see from the NES-era maps. You can go in many directions when you first enter, and though heading to the East will lead you towards your objective, you might want to explore further. Work your way through the dungeon – eventually, you’ll come across a doorway at the end of an otherwise dead end. Through the door, you’ll find a new boss battle. [Boss Battle: VAMPIRE]. Defeat the Vampire in order to get the STAR RUBY. This is an easy boss encounter, as since he’s an undead enemy you can cast restorative spells on him to deal damage. After getting the Star Ruby from the chest, backtrack and leave the dungeon – you can’t go any further for now.
9. The Sage, Terra Cavern II, & Lich
Once you’re out of the Terra Cavern with the ruby in hand, you need to head to Titan’s Cave. There might not be any summons in FF1, but some familiar faces show up in this way! Inside the Titan’s Cave, give the STAR RUBY to the Titan. The Titan will move aside and let you into areas to pick up some treasure. Do that. Leave the Titan’s Cave through the exit to the left of the area behind the Titan. Follow this route to the Sage’s Cave and chat to the Sage inside. He gives you the EARTH ROD. Now it’s time to head back to the Terra Cavern. You might want to stop off at Melmond first to heal – then return to where you battled the Vampire boss. With the Earth Rod, you can now proceed – in some versions, you’ll need to actually use the Earth Rod on the stone tile at the dead end to open up the next area: Keep working through the Terra Cavern. Eventually, a door will lead to a final room where there’s the Earth Crystal and a challenging battle. [Boss Battle: LICH, FIEND OF EARTH]. With the Lich defeated, your work in the Terra Cavern is done. You can explore the dungeon for more treasure if you like, or leave. Don’t forget you can teleport out with a portal in the Crystal Room.
You need to head back to your ship, and you may as well go via Melmond. Use Melmond to heal up, then take your ship south, following the coast and ignoring the path Titan made up. Eventually you’ll be able to travel east – do so until you reach a port. This port is just to the north of Crescent Lake, a new town. Head south to reach it. As ever, check out the weapon, armor, and spell stores, and stock up on perishable items. Use the hidden path in the top-right corner of the Crescent Lake town map to reach a unique clearing on the east where there’s a bunch of Sages. Talk to all 12 Sages and they’ll give you a CANOE. The Canoe is another world map travel upgrade; it lets you walk across shallow water like rivers. There’s an obvious path to follow right outside Crescent Lake – do that to be led to the foot of a volcano – Mt Gulg, your next dungeon. In other versions, this was also known as Gurgu Volcano. Mt. Gulg is a dungeon with a gimmick – and that gimmick is “liquid hot magma”. Lava. You can walk on the Lava to avoid random encounters – but every step deals damage to you. Walking on Lava is a necessity to make your way through this dungeon, but exactly how much you do it is your choice. Here’s the dungeon map: Partway through the dungeon you’ll have a forced encounter against a dragon enemy. It’s not quite a boss, but let’s list it as one anyway. [Boss Battle: RED DRAGON]. There’s a fair amount of treasure throughout this dungeon, but it’s quite manageable to get through. Just remember to keep topping up your health with items whenever the lava and encounters whittle it down. The final area of the Mount Gulg is a room with eight different directions, with you starting in the middle. Many directions have treasure, but South-West is where you’ll find the next big battle. [Boss Battle: MARILITH, FIEND OF FIRE]. Once Marilith is down, do what you’ve gotta with the Fire Crystal and then exit the dungeon. Again, you can explore more if you want – or use the teleporter in the crystal room.
11. Ice Cavern & How to get the Airship
From fire to ice – the Ice Cavern now awaits as your next destination. Go back to Crescent Lake to heal, then return to your boat. Follow the coast to the north, and eventually you’ll reach a port. Now take the shallow waters to get to yet another cave dungeon. This is a pretty simple dungeon, and is smaller than other recent ones. The gimmick here is cracks you can fall through to travel from one floor to the next. There are, naturally, a bunch of items scattered throughout the dungeon. There’s a lot of cash in particular – and since this dungeon’s boss is easy, you should explore and endure the random encounters. Here’s the maps: In one room, stepping on a crack near three chests will lead to the goal of the Ice Cavern, which is a room where you’ll fight the Evil Eye, one of the easiest bosses in all of FF1 – if you can even call it a boss [Boss Battle: EVIL EYE]. Once the Evil Eye is defeated, you can grab the LEVISTONE. This is a key item to continue. Leave the Ice Cavern. The Levistone is an important item because it lets you unlock a Final Fantasy staple – the airship! Go back to Crescent Lake, and then head South from there to find a wide open desert. This is the Lykion Desert, a key destination – and the start of a major FF tradition. While standing in the desert, select and use the LEVISTONE from your menu. The AIRSHIP appears in the middle of the desert!
Now that you have access to the airship, you can fly around the world with ease. This unlocks new places to go and new things to do – including optional items. Here’s some stuff you should do with the airship: Stock up on gear, spells, and items: you can now fly back to any town you’ve previously visited, plus visit Gaia, a small town surrounded by impassable mountains you can now fly over with your airship. Gaia sells new items, including some high level magic and the very useful Protect Ring, which guards against instant death attacks. Just be aware you’ll soon need 50,000 Gil spare to progress the story. Next up, you want to get your Class Promotions. This powers up each of your characters and unlocks new moves. To start this process, go to the Citadel of Trials, which is found on the western side of the top-right continent. It looks like a castle, and you won’t be able to land close to it – land as nearby as you can, then walk the rest of the way. In older versions of the game, this was called the Castle of Ordeals. Here’s the map: In the Citadel, sit on the Throne to be teleported into the Citadel proper. There’s a teleportation gimmick and puzzle here: Keep stepping on the teleport tiles until you have a choice between two of them. When that happens, pick the southern warp point. Next, pick the southern warp point again. After that, choose the eastern warp point. Head to the east after that warp point for some loot, then head south via the western parth. This leads you to a teleportation point, then some stairs. You’ll have a battle here [Boss Battle: DRAGON ZOMBIES], and then you’ll be able to pick up the RAT TAIL, a key item needed for the class upgrade, Get back to your airship and head just south-west of the Citadel of Trials. There’s some islands here, each with a cave of sorts on it. Explore them all for loot – but one of them is the home of Bahamut, King of Dragons – another summon with a minor story role. Give Bahamut the Rat Tail and he will upgrade your character classes. You can learn more about the class change in our full FF1 job upgrade and class promotion guide.
If you didn’t visit Gaia before, you should find the mountain-flanked town now. With your upgraded classes you can buy even more gear and magic to equip – but again, remember that you’ll need 50,000 Gil to continue… From Gaia, head east until you see another desert area. Land your airship and look for a unique tile of desert flanked by an oasis of trees. Enter it; this is actually an area, the Desert Caravan. Inside the Desert Caravan, buy the BOTTLED FAERIE for 50,000 Gil. This is a key item to continue. Go back to Gaia and move to the northernmost house there, then head east and around to find a small lake. Stand in front of the lake and select the BOTTLED FAERIE from the menu; this will swap it for another key item, OXYALE. You need this to breathe underwater for the next area of the game. South-east of Gaia and surrounded by forests is another town, Onrac. Fly there and enter the town by landing outside the forest and walking. As well as new gear and spells to buy, in the south-east of the town you can enter a Submarine — and head to the Sunken Shrine. It’s time to tackle the water fiend!
14. The Sunken Shrine, Kraken, & the Rosetta Stone
The Sunken Shrine is your latest dungeon, and it’s the largest yet. In other versions this was known, quite simply, as the Sea Shrine. It’s split across nine different maps, and there’s a lot of good treasure worth grabbing including weapons, armor, lots of cash, and the absolutely essential Ribbon item, which protects against and and all status effects. Here’s the map: Among the loot in the Sunken Shrine is the ROSETTA STONE. You need to make sure you pick up this item in this dungeon – you need it to progress. If you finish the Sunken Shrine without getting it, you’ll need to go back for it – it’s on L5, in one of the rooms with a trio of chests. Deep in the dungeon, you’ll find the familiar sight of a crystal chamber with the Water Crystal and its guardian, leading to a fight [Boss Battle: KRAKEN, FIEND OF WATER]. This is arguably the most difficult of the four fiends in FF1.
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After completing the Sunken Shrine, find yourself back outside Onrac. Use your canoe to head north from that town – and into the waterfall. This leads to another mini-dungeon, the Waterfall Cavern. Here’s the maps: There’s some solid treasure in this dungeon, but deep in it you’ll also find a robot. Talk to it to get the WARP CUBE, another key item you’ll need to get to FF1’s next major dungeon. Make your way across the world and back to the town of Melmond. Hand over the Rosetta Stone to the scientist NPC and he’ll teach you the language spoken in the town of Lufenia. Here’s the Lufenia Town Map:
Lufenia is on the eastern side of the world, on a small peninsula just east of the large desert. Enter the town, and you’ll find the usually expected new selection of armor, weapons and spells for sale. Chat up every NPC you can find in Lufenia and one will eventually hand over the BELL. This is the final key item needed to access the dungeon where the final elemental fiend resides.
16. Tower of Mirage & Flying Fortress
To reach the Tower of Mirage, simply fly to the huge desert that dominates the north-eastern side of the map (west of Lufenia) – the tower is the only structure there. Enter the tower of mirage, which in some other versions is simply called Mirage Tower. Here’s the Tower of Mirage dungeon map: There’s a challengine enforced fight against a Blue Dragon here. Like the other dragons it’s not quite a boss really, but we feature it on our boss guide anyway [Boss Battle: BLUE DRAGON]. Explore the tower in full as per our map. When ready step on the teleportation warp tile to be taken to the Flying Fortress, thanks to use of your WARP CUBE key item. The Flying Fortress is a five-level dungeon that is as always full of loot to gather and regular enemies to fight. In other versions of FF1, it’s soemtimes called the Sky Castle or Floating Castle. It’s worth noting that it’s all teleporters here – you’re looking for those warp tiles, not stairs. Here’s the Flying Fortress maps: As with the Sunken Shrine, there’s one piece of loot you want to make sure you get: the ADAMANTITE. This is optional, but picking this up in the Flying Fortress is required to get one of the best weapons in FF1. Flying Fortress is home to the Warmech, which isn’t technically a boss battle but is the hardest enemy in the game – so let’s call it a boss anyway. [Boss Battle: WARMECH]. If you’re lucky, you won’t encounter it at all. On the same floor where Warmech can be a random encounter is your true boss of this dungeon – a challenging encounter with Wind Fiend Tiamat [Boss Battle: TIAMAT, FIEND OF AIR]. With the Sky Fortress done, return to the overworld. If you missed any spells or need more items, now is the time to stock up and spend your cash. If you picked up the Adamantite, take it to Mt. Duergar and give it to the Blacksmith. He’ll use it to craft the Excalibur, the second most powerful weapon you can get. Go to a town of your choice to heal up. It’s almost time for the grand finale.
17. Temple of Chaos
It all ends where it started. Sort of. Head to the Temple of Chaos, which is of course just north of Cornelia. Inside the temple, you will use the power you’ve accrued to time travel, 2000 years into the past. The past version of the Temple of Chaos is ultimately just another dungeon. Explore and work your way through it. When you reach a stone tile, you need to use the LUTE from your menu – the key item you got off the princess all the way at the start – to continue. You will now work your way through themed floors. What follows is a boss rush. [Boss Battle: LICH, MARILITH, KRAKEN, & TIAMAT rematches]. There’s some good items on these floors – here’s the maps, though they’re basic: Get past all of the Fiends of the Elements and you can finally face off against Chaos, the final boss of the game [Boss Battle: CHAOS] Good luck – once you beat him, credits roll on this epic adventure!