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Solo Character Guide by Charpig

Version: 1.00 | Updated: 11/15/12


Final Fantasy II
Solo Character Challenge Guide
Copyright 2012 Kenneth B. Fletcher (aka Charpig)
Contact: fletchek@umich.edu

All copyrights and trademarks contained in this document are owned by their
respective trademark and copyright holders.

This guide may not be posted on any other web site without the express written
permission of the author.  It may only be used for personal, private use and
may not be used in any way to make a profit.  The content of this guide may not
be altered in any way, and I must be given full credit for the guide.

I take no responsibility for anything that happens as a result of using my
guide.

Introduction
The purpose of this guide is to aid the reader in performing a solo character
challenge of Final Fantasy II.  What this means is that the player only uses
one character throughout the entire game, with the other characters not allowed
to offer help of any kind.  Now, if the player knows how to manipulate the stat
boosting system, any character can become extremely powerful.  I have
anticipated this, so I devised a few extra restrictions.  The idea for these
restrictions came from reading Sulla's playthroughs of Final Fantasies I and V.
Sulla beat both games using only a solo Monk character.  Now, Final Fantasy II
does not have a Job system.  However, the player does have the option of
fighting unarmed.  The reason I wrote this guide is because every Final Fantasy
has at least one challenge guide on GameFAQs, but Final Fantasy II has nothing.
Without further ado, here are the rules:

-You may use Firion, Maria, or Guy as your solo character.  In the long
run, it does not matter which one.  The other characters must remain in KO
status throughout the entire game.  The only action they may take during battle
is knocking themselves out.

-You are not allowed to attack yourself in order to raise stamina and HP.  The
only HP and stamina boosts you may accept are ones gained from enemies beating
you up.  You may, however, cast a non damaging spell on yourself to raise your
MP, magic stat, or the spell's level.  The only exception to this rule is if
you get Confused, as you obviously have no control then.

-If playing an earlier version of the game (such as Origins) use of the Select
Cancel glitch is banned.

-You cannot equip any weapons, but you may equip shields and armor.

-Regarding magic, you are allowed to use Cure spells and status remvoing
spells.  You may also use support magic such as Blink and Haste.  However, you
may not use attack magic on the enemies.  This includes spells that do direct
damage as well as spells that inflict statuses.  This also applies to items and
weapons that can be used to cast spells.  Your only method of attack can be
your fists!

Now, you may be wondering why I allow the use of support and healing magic,
when Monks cannot normally use those things.  For one, some enemies have such
high Defense that they cannot be damaged by physical attacks, unless a critical
hit is scored.  The only way to get around this is to use Berserk to increase
attack power.  Second, no matter how strong a Monk is, he needs to recover HP
sometime.  In other Final Fantasy games, such as V and Tactics, Monks have
access to HP restoring and enhancement techniques.  So, I think it's fair.

The other thing you might be curious about is why I allow the use of shields
and armor.  The reason is because of the way agility works in Final Fantasy II.
Low agility means low evasion, and equipping a shield improves evasion greatly.
In this game, if you have low evasion, you will have a very tough time in the
final dungeons.  Undead enemies can drain your HP (which does a % of your max
HP) and other enemies can inflict nasty statuses.  I tried this challenge once
with no shields.  My agility barely ever increased throughout the entire game,
and I had no chance to survive against certain enemies.  So, to make it easier
on yourself, shields are allowed.  Besides, you can think of a shield as
weighted training equipment for your Monk, since equipping shields lowers your
attack power, especially while unarmed.  If you need higher attack power, you
can always remove the shield when necessary.  It's entirely your choice if you
want to use shields or not, but this solo challenge will be Hell if you don't!

Note that I am basing this guide off of the 20th Anniversary Edition for the
PSP.  If you played the Dawn of Souls port for the Game Boy Advance, they are
nearly identical, with the exception of the Arcane Labyrinth.  So, this guide
should apply even to the Dawn of Souls version.  I do not cover the Arcane
Labyrinth or Soul of Rebirth in this guide.

General Tips
-The PSP and GBA versions of this game allow you to save at any time outside of
battle, and I suggest you take advantage of it.  Final Fantasy II can be very
rough territory, especially for a solo character.  If you are playing an
earlier version of the game, you will most likely not be able to save at any
time.  So, this challenge might still be possible, but it will be a lot more
difficult.

-Restore HP with Cure before resting at an inn.  Most guides will tell you this
but the reason is that it only costs 1 gil to restore each MP, but 2 gil to
restore each HP.

-Blink is very useful, especially against enemies that can inflict statuses
with their regular attacks.  It doesn't matter if you have 9999 HP, getting
petrified means Game Over in this challenge.  If you are facing a large group
of enemies that can use status inflicting magic, it may be prudent to run.

-If you need to raise your magic defense in order to avoid statuses, I have
found the best place to be Deist Cave.  The Soul enemies only cast weak attack
magic that does not cause statuses.  Note that casting magic on yourself does
not count towards raising magic defense.  Also, according to Sky Render's guide
stamina and magic stats factor into magic defense %.  I have observed this to
be true.

-If you get inflicted with a lasting ailment, wait until after battle to cure
it.  If you try to cure it during battle, you will most likely just get hit
again!  And, Esuna tends to have a bad success rate during battle.  It has a
perfect success rate outside of battle, though.  Status restoring items also
work 100% of the time.  In case you don't know, Esuna needs to be at least
level 5 to cure all lasting ailments.

-When facing large groups of enemies (5 or more) only the first two rows of
enemies can attack you directly.  You can take advantage of this to attack the
second row of enemies first, minimizing the number of attacks you face per
round.  However, back row enemies can still attack you with magic.  Or, if you
want to boost evasion count more quickly, always take out the front row first
so more enemies can attack you per round.

-Don't wear heavy armor.  Often times, the best armor is none at all, but the
exceptions are the Black Garb and Thief's Gloves for their agility boosts.

-If you equip elemental shields, be advised that they make you weak against the
opposite element that they defend against.  For example, the Flame Shield is
strong against ice, but weak to fire.  Lightning and poison are opposite
elements in this game.

-Don't feel obligated to get every single chest.  I like to do so because I am
a completionist, but many of the chests contain useless stuff, so why bother?
It cuts back on the amount of random encounters you face if you skip chests.

Support Magic
I devote a section to explaning some support magic.  Although other guides
have this info (and I credit them at the end of this guide), the in-game
description of some spells is horribly vague.  So, I think it is instructive
to put the info here.

-Blink increases your evasion count by 1 for every time you cast it.  It does
not affect evasion%, though.  Evasion count can be increased even beyond the
natural maximum of 16.  It seems to be able to go up to 30 by using Blink, but
only during battle, of course.

-Shell functions similarly to Blink, except that it increases magic defense
count rather than evasion count.

-The Barrier spell reduces damage from elemental attacks and increases
resistance to certain types of status effects.  It can block more as its level
rises.  The minimum level to defend against all types of spells is level 8.

-The Wall spell has a chance of blocking enemy magic that is equal to or
lower than the spell's level.

-The Aura spell makes you do more damage against specialized enemy types, such
as undead enemies.

-The Berserk spell increases your attack, but I don't know by how much.  Still,
a single casting of Berserk drastically increases your damage output.  I think
that it does indeed stack.

-The Haste spell increases your attack count, but it does not increase your
attack power.  So, it alone is not enough to get past enemies with high def.

Oh, and if an enemy uses Dispel, it removes your buffs if it hits.  So, watch
out for Dispel if you rely on buffs.

I assume that the reader has beaten this game at least once before.  Therefore,
the reader should know how to progress through the game, and what passwords to
say to what people.

Walkthrough

Note that I will refer to the solo character as simply "the solo."  It saves
space.  Also, if I provide HP values they are most likely rounded numbers.

From Altair to Gatrea
I like to use Firion as my solo, as I think it's more appropriate to use the
main character for this type of challenge.  But, feel free to use Maria or Guy.
First, go to the magic shop in Altair and buy Cure for the solo person. Unequip
everyone and get into a battle.  The other two characters should punch 
themselves out, while the solo finishes the battle.  The early battles will be
a bit tough, as you may frequently get ambushed, and the enemies can hit hard.
However, your stamina and HP should quickly go up.  Also, the unarmed skill
level will rise.  I suggest training near Altair until your max HP is 100 or
higher.  Then, go to Gatrea.  Fight until you run out of MP by casting Cure,
then rest at the inn.  At this point, I had an unarmed skill level of 5 and
around 140 HP.  I also had an evasion count of 2.  Note that since there is
only one person for the enemies to attack, evasion count will rise quickly.

From Gatrea to Paloom
If you are worried that the Cure spell won't last you to Fynn, feel free to buy
some Potions at the shop.  Go to Fynn and get Scott's ring.  Then, return to
Altair and get Minwu to join.  Minwu should promptly be KOd next battle.  My
solo was strong enough to do it in one hit.  Stop by Paloom.  At the magic shop
there are the Blink, Protect, and Shell tomes.  Buy them if you want, but the
only spell I had use for was Blink.  At this point, I suggest casting Blink a
few times during battle, both to raise your max MP and get the spell up a few
levels.  Usually, I cast spells about 10 times per battle when I am training
them.  Before leaving Paloom, my solo had 180 HP, and both Cure and Blink were
at level 3.

From Paloom to Salamand
I recommend having some Antidotes in case you get poisoned.  You could also
waltz on over to Bafsk and buy the Esuna spell.  However, I would not recommend
training the Esuna spell at this point.  I don't recommend using the ship in
Paloom or hiring Cid's airship.  This is so you can get more random battles to
build up your solo.  At Salamand, I highly suggest getting the Teleport spell.
Although a Teleport tome can be found in Semitt Falls, it is very deep inside
the cave.  Outside of Salamand, I trained my solo to have at least 100 MP and
250 HP.  It wouldn't hurt to get Blink to at least level 5.

Semitt Falls
The monsters in this cave are weak, but they often attack in large groups.  The
damage they inflict on you will add up over time, so be ready to heal.  If you
run into the green flan monsters, just run from them, as you probably won't be
able to hurt them.  One thing to note is that the Bow attack of the Goblin
Guard and Soldier enemies counts towards raising magic defense, and that will
be useful.  The Sergeant boss is easy to punch out, as long as your unarmed
level is at least 5.  If you choose to use Teleport to leave the cave, bear in
mind that casting Teleport takes you to near death HP, and you still have to
walk back to town.  So, make sure you still have enough MP to use Cure.

Bafsk Cave
After giving the mythril to Tobul, proceed to Bafsk Cave.  It is much shorter
and less complex than Semitt Falls, so you should have no problems.  Don't
forget to obtain the Pass before leaving.  On the way back to Altair, stop in
Poft and speak with Cid to get the password Sunfire.  When you return to Altair
Minwu leaves the party.  Every time a fourth character leaves the party, the
KOd party members are revived to 1 HP, so KO them again next battle.  Get the
Goddess's Bell password from the king, then go to Salamand and recruit Josef.
At this point, you might train your solo a bit more in preparation for the Snow
Cavern.  Around 500 HP is a good amount to have.

Snow Cavern
Get the snowcraft from Semitt Falls and go to the Snow Cavern.  The biggest
threat comes from the Ghouls who can paralyze you.  Fortunately, paralysis
rarely lasts more than two rounds.  The Adamantoise boss has 60 Def, so you
must have at least that much in Atk in order to reliably damage him.  If your
unarmed skill level is at least 6, it shouldn't be a problem.  Borghen is even
easier, he should go down to a single hit.  After beating the Snow Cave, your
solo should have around 750 HP.  Before setting out for Kashuan Keep, either
have the Esuna spell or a decent supply of Antidotes and Eye Drops.

Kashuan Keep
The Ogre Mages and Goblin Princes can cast Sleep, and it seems to last longer
than other status effects.  So, always take them out first.  The Ogre Mages and
Ghasts can cast Blind, but if your unarmed level is high it will usually not be
a hindrance.  Hopefully, your magic defense count will go up during this area.
The Red Soul should be a very easy boss to beat.  After getting the Sunfire, it
is wise to rest at an inn before going to the Dreadnought.  You may also choose
to train on the Captains in Fynn.  They are still very capable of taking you
out, so be careful.  1000 HP and 150 MP is a good threshold to shoot for.  If
you don't want to fight any enemies on the way to the Dreadnought, just take
the Chocobo near Kashuan Keep.  However, the Magician enemies northwest of Fynn
can drop a Berserk Tome, I would pick that up if you can.  Before entering the
Dreadnought, I suggest that you make a second save file, since you cannot leave
until you complete the area.

The Dreadnought
You can either show the Pass to the guard to get in, or beat him up.  Either
way, don't forget to rescue Hilda before going to the engine room.  This place
is really irritating because the magic using enemies will try to put you to
sleep.  Also, they will single target your solo with their spells, doing much
more damage than normal.  On the plus side, it will raise your HP and stamina.
I would claim the Thief's Gloves as soon as possible, as they give you +10 to
agility.

Going to Deist
Afterwards, Gordon leaves the party.  Go to Paloom and speak with Leila.  You
will then be attacked by eight pirates, but they are nothing.  After getting
the ship, you could go to the Tropical Isle, but I will hold off on that for
now.  If you didn't get a Berserk Tome from the Magician enemies, I suggest
going back to the area where the Dreadnought was and getting one.  Berserk is
a very useful spell, and it shouldn't be too hard to get a tome to drop.  Also,
take this time to sell off equipment and tomes that you will not be using in
this challenge.  It will provide you with a lot of gil, enough to buy several
Ethers and maybe even an Elixir.

Deist Cave
First, go into the cave and get the Pendant.  Speak with the Wyvern back in
Deist Keep and get the Egg.  Before heading to the Life Spring, it is a good
idea to have around 1500 HP and 200 MP, as well as decently leveled Blink and
Berserk spells.  Beware of the Hill Gigas enemies.  If they hit you, it hurts,
and they will take at least two hits to kill.  Blink is your friend here.
Undead enemies are also dangerous, as their drain attacks take off a percentage
of your HP.  That is all the more reason to evade them.  At the Life Spring,
you may encounter anywhere from one to four Chimeras.  Either way, they are not
exceptionally difficult enemies to punch through.  Put the egg in the spring,
and head out.  Return to Altair, and get ready for the toughest fight yet!

The Lamia Queen
Depending on how lucky you are, the Lamia Queen (aside from the Emperor) may be
that one boss for you.  Her physical attacks can put you to sleep, and if she
confuses you, you will easily punch yourself out!  Fortunately, if you have
high evasion, you will usually miss yourself.  I don't know how that's even
possible, but that's how evasion works in Final Fantasy II.
The best way I can think of to get around this is to try to raise
Magic Defense so her statuses won't affect you as much.  Agility seems to rise
completely at random, so good luck raising that.  The good news is that it
should not take many hits to kill the Lamia Queen, provided you can attack her
without getting put to sleep or confused.  If you manage to get a Blink spell
cast, it will not only help you evade her physical attack, but it will help you
avoid your own attack if you are confused.  Do not cast Berserk!  If you get
confused, you will only do more damage to yourself!

The best way I know of to raise Magic Defense is to go back to Deist Cave, and
get into a fight with Yellow Soul enemies.  Allow them to cast Fire V on you
repeatedly, and your Magic Defense count should go straight up.  It is a weak
spell, so there should be little danger of dying.  Also, try to boost your
magic stat by casting spells, as it factors into Magic Defense %, as does the
stamina stat.  The silver lining here is that the Lamia Queen may drop a
Ribbon, which is a very nice piece of headgear.

Tropical Isle
At this point, I decided to go to the Tropical Isle.  It's not a difficult
place to clear, and you need to get the Black Mask eventually, so you might as
well get it now.  If you encounter Flan enemies, you must cast Berserk to be
able to penetrate their defenses.  If you don't have Berserk, then run.  Also,
the Toad enemies can turn you into a toad, so have some Maiden's Kisses in
stock.  After getting the Black Mask, set out for the Coliseum.

The Coliseum
First, there is the fight with the Behemoth.  After punching him out, you will
be put in prison.  Then, you will find that you are not the only one who can
punch people out!  The biggest danger in this place is the Specter, as it can
cast Break.  However, it is only a level 6 spell, and you should surely have
enough magic defense to avoid it.  You also have a chance of encountering
Wizards, who can cast Warp.  After saving Hilda, go to Fynn.

Before entering Fynn Castle, be advised that this is your last chance to train
on the Captains occupying Fynn.  Depending on how strong your solo is, though,
you might not need to.  I, would, however, recommend getting several of each
status restoring item.  You will start facing enemies who can use Curse and
Fog, the latter of which prevents you from using Esuna.  By this point, you
should have at least 2000 HP, maybe more than that.  I would try to get magic
defense count and magic defense % as high as possible.

Fynn Castle
Go to the throne room and beat up Gottos.  This will get rid of the random
encounters in the castle, but the treasure chests will still be trapped.  The
main enemy to beware of is the Sorcerer, who can cast Death.  One of the chests
has an Aura Tome, so you can start training that if you want.  If you are lucky
you can also get a Haste tome from the Sorcerers.  Go to the basement and get
the White Mask.  The best part about the Brain enemies is that you can
literally beat their brains out, heh heh heh.

Mysidia
The enemies are a bit tougher in the Mysidia area.  Imps can cast Confuse XVI,
Cockatrices can petrify you, and most of the other enemies are no pushovers.
So, if you don't have maxed out magic defense, you better be careful.  Always
take out Imps first so they don't cast Blink too much.  At Mysidia, go and put
the White Mask on the statue, then go to the dungeon east of Mysidia and get
the Crystal Rod.  A chest on the first floor contains a Black Garb, which gives
you a decent boost to Agility.  That should make your fights a lot easier!
After getting the rod, go to Leviathan.

Leviathan
Leviathan is very straightforward, and fortunately there are no enemies that
can inflict statuses.  The magic attacks of the Bolt Fish and Sea Dragon can
hurt, though, so take them out quickly.  Show the Crystal Rod to Ricard to get
him to join, then go beat up Roundworm.

Mysidia Tower
This tower is long and painful, so make sure to rest before entering.  You will
frequently encounter Basilisks, who can petrify you.  The Gigas enemies can be
damaged with normal attacks if your unarmed level is 10 or higher.  Even so,
I recommend using Berserk to take them out quickly, as they can hurt you badly
if you draw out the battle.  Unfortunately for you, the stat boosting orbs at
the top of the tower have no effect since your other party members are KOd.
Hilariously, you can sell the Ultima Tome for a whopping 1 gil!

Cyclone
Get the Wyvern from Castle Fynn and go to the Cyclone.  There isn't too much to
mention here, but you might run into your old training buddies, the Captains.
The Lamias can cast Blink, so you will want to take them out before they stack
it too much.  Mateus isn't very hard at all, but he might heal himself and
draw out the fight.  That's what Berserk is for.

Note: The Emperor is unnamed in the game, but anyone who has played Dissidia
knows that his name is really Mateus.  So, I will refer to him by that name.

Castle Palamecia
After the Cyclone, go to Poft and get the Airship.  Before going to Palamecia,
make a second save file, since you can't leave the castle until you complete it
and the enemies are very tough.  Imperial Shadow by far is the most dangerous
enemy, but fortunately he doesn't appear very often.  Generals are mostly
standard enemies, but they can hit hard and they have 2000 HP.  Fortunately,
they may drop some good equipment, such as the Dragon Armor.

Before you go to the Jade Passage, make sure that you have a set up that gives
you 99% evasion.  Evasion count should no doubt be at 16, unless you've been
running from a ton of battles.  Get all the Elixirs and Ethers that you can
afford.  And, if your magic defense isn't yet maxed out, get it maxed out.  If
you want your unarmed skill level at 16, just put on a shield and attack an
enemy with high defense.  You won't do much, if any damage.  Just do this for
20 or so rounds, then unequip your shield and finish the battle.  This should
give you some unarmed experience, even at high levels.  In fact, you could
even do this on the way through Jade Passage.  Just make sure that you are
prepared, as you do not want to go all the way to Pandaemonium just to find out
that you cannot beat Mateus.

Jade Passage
Kill off Leon the traitor and get started.  I would definitely get the Aegis
Shield and Dragon Armor.  The Aegis Shield gives excellent evasion, and may
even allow you to put on heavy armor and still have 99% evasion.  The Dragon
Armor cuts elemental damage in half, very useful against the elemental dragons
and Salamanders.  The Hecteyes and Mega Parasites are the main reason you will
need Ethers and Elixirs.  They cast Osmose to drain your MP, and you cannot
evade it.  I would run from them, if possible.

Pandaemonium
Just about every enemy here can inflict one status or another, but you should
not have anything to worry about with the Aegis Shield.  If you've come this
far with just your fists, then surely you can make the final push.  I did not
bother to fight the treasure chest bosses, as I have no use for the Genji
armor.  But, you can if you want.  They aren't any tougher than the Emperor.

Final Boss: Emperor Mateus
If you have 99% evasion without a shield, then remove your shield so you can do
much more damage.  If not, keep your shield on, as you cannot afford to get hit
by Mateus's physical attack.  It will drain your HP, offsetting what little
damage you can do to him.  Cast Berserk and Haste, then attack.  Mateus will
often remove your buffs with Dispel, and he will cast Curse, Slow, and Blind,
which are all bad news for you if they hit.  His Starfall will do at least four
digit damage to you, since it will be single targetted.  But, as long as you
don't get hit by that nasty physical attack, you can win.  If you need to heal
use an Elixir, as it will restore much more than a Cure spell ever could.  If
you win, then congratulations!  You've just beaten Final Fantasy II with a solo
character, using only your fists as a method of attack!

My Solo's Final Stats
These were my solo's stats after my most recent runthrough.
Max HP: 8456
Max MP: 999
Attack: 83 (166 without a shield)
Accuracy: 16 - 99%
Defense: 78
Evasion: 16 - 99%
Magic Defense: 16 - 99%
Skill Levels:
Unarmed at 16, Shield at 15, everything else at 1
Equipment:
Barehanded, Aegis Shield, Ribbon, Dragon Armor, Protect Ring
Base Stats
Strength: 77
Stamina: 87
Spirit: 99
Agility: 42 (notice how low this is!)
Intelligence: 99
Magic: 91
Spells
Cure at 15, Blink and Berserk at 16, Aura at 11, Haste at 3, Esuna at 5, and
Teleport at 1

Final Comments
This challenge isn't terribly difficult, but it can be a test of patience.  I
find that using only one character doesn't require so much grinding, and as we
all know, Final Fantasy II requires a lot of grinding.  If you think that use
of a shield makes things too easy, then by all means, don't use one.  Some
people may think that my solo was a bit overpowered, but with low agility it is
impossible to run from battles, so I mostly had no choice but to fight!  Bear
in mind that for much of the game, I did not even use a shield.  Anyway, I will
be taking a long sabbatical from this game, so best of luck to you.

Contact
If you have any questions about this guide, or suggestions on how to improve it
email me at the following address:

fletchek@umich.edu

I request that you put "Final Fantasy II Guide" or something similar as the
subject line, or else I will likely ignore it.  I will only entertain questions
relating to the guide or the game itself.

If you think I got something about the game mechanics wrong, then let me know.
However, bear in mind that due to its arcane leveling system, Final Fantasy II
has been the subject of many myths, so please be absolutely sure your info is
correct before you tell me.  I don't like to put useless speculation into my
guides.

Credits
Square Enix, for making Final Fantasy II.

GameFAQs, for accepting my guide.

Sulla, whose website inspired me to do this challenge.

Sky Render's guide for this game, as it explained a lot of the basic mechanics,
such as how stats and skill levels rise.  It helped a lot when deciding how to
train my character.

The Final Fantasy Wiki, for providing more specific info on the support spells.

If I list an enemy's stats, they are taken directly from the in game bestiary.

I thank anyone who has taken the time to read my guide.

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