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July 13, 2012

Stuck on Final Fantasy? Tips from the guy who (literally) wrote the book on it

One of my fondest childhood memories is playing through Final Fantasy IV on Super Nintendo. That experience led to a lifelong love of the role-playing game (RPG) genre, and eventually, a job in the videogame industry. About 10 years ago, I wrote the official player’s guide for the rerelease of Final Fantasy I for Game Boy Advance—a version of the game that looks to be very similar to the one released last month for Windows Phone.

As the resident (and self-appointed) Final Fantasy expert on the Windows Phone team, I figured I’d offer a couple tips to help you get the most out of this awesome, groundbreaking game.

Final Fantasy for Windows Phone

Tips for getting underway

If you’ve never played an RPG before, Final Fantasy I is a great place to start. You’ll begin the game by choosing a class for each of your four party members. It’s hard to go wrong here, but as a general rule, have at least one Warrior (for offensive strength) and one White Mage (for healing).

Most mobile games tend to reward you for doing things quickly, but Final Fantasy is a game that’s best when you’re taking your time. Explore the town before heading out into the overworld. Stock up on potions from the item shop, and make sure your party members are well equipped. Once you’re ready for battle, don’t just run straight to the first dungeon. Walk around a bit, get into some battles to level up your party members. When you’re low on health, just hop back into town and rest at the Inn.

Final Fantasy for Windows Phone

Random battles in the overworld are a staple in the Final Fantasy series.

Before heading into the game’s first dungeon, the Chaos Shrine, make sure to buy the white-magic spell Dia and the black-magic spell Sleep from the magic vendors in town. Dia will be effective against the undead enemies of the Chaos Shrine, while Sleep will work particularly well against Garland, boss of the Chaos Shrine. Just cast Sleep on him using a Black or Red Mage, and then go to town on him with your fighters.

Unlocking the secret slider puzzle

Alright, now for the fun stuff.

Final Fantasy I has a secret puzzle you can play to earn items—you just need to know how to find it. Not too far into the game, you’ll encounter some pirates in the town of Provoka. After you beat them, the captain will give you their ship. While sailing in the ship, hold one finger on the right side of the screen while tapping on a different spot on the screen. Tap about two dozen times, and the puzzle will unlock. Here’s a little demo:

The faster you complete the puzzle, the greater the reward. Finishing in less than 2 minutes earns you a slightly better item. If you can pull off the heroic feat of finishing the puzzle in less than 30 seconds, you’ll get a very valuable item called X-Potion.

Final thoughts

Hope that helps get you started. I’d love to hear your favorite Final Fantasy moments or tips. And if you find yourself stuck or have a question about the game, post a comment and I’ll see what I can do.

Meantime, happy questing!