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Desert Palace

Once you gain control of Regent Cid, hop down the walkway and head into the room to the right. You have six minutes to get to the hourglass and flip it over. You have to reach the key that is hanging on the monster’s cage. This isn’t a hard task but you do have to be cautious. If you are caught moving when the monster is facing you, you will have to start over from the beginning. While the monster has his back turned, tap the circle button to move the Regent slightly closer to his goal. Keep your eyes on the monster, don’t look at Regent Cid, just wait until the monster turns around and then stop tapping circle.

When the monster’s back is turned, do not just mash the circle button, you have to be cautious, tap it slightly to give yourself the time to react if he turns around. Once you have obtained the Hourglass Key, Cid will hop over to the scale. You have to place the right weights on the scale so that Cid can jump up and reach the hourglass, if you fail to both do this and get the key in time you will get another chance. First, examine the weights, then select the option to put weights on the scales. Select to put Clay, Stone and Iron.

Climb up onto the scale and Cid will reach the hourglass. Your characters will be released from their cells. You will gain control of Eiko eventually, head into the room to the right and talk to Mojito the moogle. He should have a letter he wants you to deliver. He also has a mogshop, and you can stock up on healing items here, though you don’t really need them since you should have the two healers in your party. Leave this room and proceed through to the area to the left. Head up the stairs, in the next room move over to the statue to the left and examine it. Inspect the bloodstone on the right and you will receive the Promist Ring.

Proceed up the stairs, run to the right and attempt to leave the room to the left, a staircase will appear. Climb up the staircase and light the candles to the right, then head back down. Head to the right and open the chest to get Fairy Earrings. Continue heading through this area to the left, head up the staircase. Light the three golden objects in the first area, head through the newly opened path. When you have reached the other side, light the bottom left object, head back to the left side and light the two objects by the stairs. Move over to the right side and light the remaining objects. Head down to the bottom and light the object in the middle. Examine the bloodstone to get an Anklet.

Move back over to the right side and proceed through the door on the side. Light the candle by the second angel statue and then examine the bloodstone to get Shield Armor. Move to the end of the walkway and head up the stairs that are in front of it. Light the candle in front of you, continue moving along the path and head into the next area. Light the candle on the far left, head up the stairs and light the candle to the far left. Examine the bloodstone to retrieve a N-Kai Armlet, then head back to the last room.

Go down the step and move back to the center. Head up the steps that lead to the middle level and light the candle to the far right. Head through the new doorway, move up the steps and light the candles, then continue heading up the steps and light the next set of candles. Head back to the last room and move down to the center. Light the candle to the right on the bottom level and go through the doorway. Light the set of candles and then head back into the last room. Head through the newly accessible passage to the left. Talk to Mogsam, you should have a letter for him. Save your game and use a tent if needed.

Continue on to the left and light the two candles next to the statue. Examine the bloodstone for a Black Hood. Now go through the door and head to the other side. Light the candles by the statue, don’t forget the one to the far left, and examine the bloodstone for a Venetia Shield. Examine the candle to the left of the angel statue on the left side, then head to the other side and examine the candle to the left of the demon statue. A staircase appears once the candles have been extinguished. Move up the staircase and examine the set of candles at the end, A boss battle begins.

Valia Pira

At the beginning of the battle the Valia Pira will attempt to enhance its powers. Depending on the number of bloodstones that you examined, the Valia Pira may not be able to enhance certain functions. If you found all of the bloodstones (if you have been following this section, then that means that you have) then the Valia Pira will not be able to enhance its abilities and this will be a very easy battle because of this. Valia Pira will still cast some spells, he casts all of the elemental spells of the aga variety. They only hit single targets and they are not that lethal.

For this battle, my party was made up of Steiner, Dagger, Eiko and Vivi. I will give the strategy that I used with these characters. Have Steiner attack each turn using Water Sword, Vivi can cast Water when it is his turn. Eiko and Dagger can heal the other characters and they can also summon to deal some damage. When Valia Pira casts reflect on itself refrain from using magic attacks with Vivi and just attack with Steiner or summon with Eiko and Dagger. It doesn’t have a lot of HP, so this battle should end fairly quickly.

Proceed to light the set of candles, move down to the glowing circle and press X. Meanwhile… Zidane and the others have just arrived back from Oeilvert on the Hilda Garde 1. Head back to the teleporter, step onto it and press X. Zidane heads into Kuja’s room by himself. Watch the scene and then you will have a chance to select your current party. I chose to take Freya, Vivi and Amarant along, but you can select whomever you’d like. Keep in mind that in Dagger’s current state, she isn’t very helpful. She is frequently unable to concentrate thus leading to your commands failing.

Search by the books near the bottom left to receive a Namingway Card. Exit this room and move onto the teleporter to the left, press X to teleport. Make your way back towards the Hilda Garde 1, Kuja has already taken it and fled the palace. Head through the passage to the left, flip the switch to the right the platform to unravel the ladder. Move down the trail, your view will switch to the world map where you will see the Blue Narciss chasing the Hilda Garde 1.

You will have the chance to select your party once again, I suggest staying the same characters that I mentioned above.