General Notes:
First of all, this FAQ is solely for the purpose of acquiring the elusive Excalibur II Sword for Steiner in FF9, and assumed that you have completed the game already and mastered every nook and cranny of it. The goal is to reach the ! mark in "Room of Emptiness" in the final dungeon and defeat 'Hades' in under 12 hours. Anything later and the ! mark will disappear. This sidequest will pit you against time and skills so you'll need to learn a couple of things before you start:

-You have to know the game very well at the tip of your fingers. You need to know clearly what to do next so you won't waste time remembering and wandering aimlessly.
-Skip ALL ATE events unless instructed.
-Skip ALL FMV movies. IF you use a PSX, open the disc-cover until the disc stops rotating and immediately close it back. For PS2 owners, eject the disc and close it back in. FMVs take up a lot of time and skippin them this way drastically reduces your clock-time.
-Before you buy equipment, always save your game and plan what you gonna buy and equip. Reset the game after that and rush through your purchase again.
-Try to have minimal encounters. Most areas are possible to have less than 3 encounters. If you do have an unnecessary encounter, escape using Zidane's 1st skill. If you felt there are way too many encounters while in a dungeon, reset by pressing L1/L2/R1/R2/Select/Start all at once and retry again. My trick to reduce encounters is to stop for a while after running a short distance.
-L1/L2/R1/R2/Select/Start. You're gonna use that a lot!
-Skip all dialogue very quickly by pressing the 'CONFIRM' button very rapidly. You'll have sore arms but it cuts down time.

-Save game often, especially before and after a dungeon/town. But do not save too much as it takes time. Try to set aside a few empty slots and not just use one slot for the whole game.

With that said, I hope you have a lot of patience, endurance and commitment to get this Sword for Steiner. But this is NOT a guaranteed Guide and the stipulated time I've added in are general guides, a lot still depends on your personal game and how you choose to play it.

- - - - -
1-1 Opening ~ Evil Forest
1-2 Mist Continent ~ Lindblum
1-3 Lindblum ~ Qu Marsh
1-4 Gizamaluke ~ Burmecia

2-1 South Gate ~ Cleyra
2-2 Alexandria ~ Conde Petit
2-3 Black Mage Village ~ Iifa

3-1 Alexandria ~ Treno
3-2 Treno ~ Alexandria
3-3 Alexandria ~ Oeilvert
3-4 Desert Empress ~ Ipsen
3-5 Terra ~ Pandemonium

4-1 Last Dungeon
- - - - -

1-1Opening ~ Evil Forest
Max Time: 1:00:00

-After skipping thru the opening FMV, once you gain control of Zidane, go to the menu configuration screen and quickly set both Battle and Message speed to Fastest.

-Decide Zidane name by pressing START+Confirm button. You'll go into your first battle.

-MAN WITH MASK, HP:188, Things to Steal: MageMasher
Have everyone in your party to steal from the masked man until you get the magemasher, which'll be very important later. Once you've got it in your hands, target all attacks on him. If you think you took too long, reset.

-Meeting will start regarding Garnet's kidnapping. Be careful when you skip thru the dialogue. After Blank has spoken 2 text boxes, be ready to choose the 2nd option.

(FMV Skip)

-Control Vivi. Run all the way to the ticket booth in the Townsquare and talk to the vendor. After getting cards from him, go take the 'PHOENIX PINION' hidden on a cart between the Inn and Castle Gate. Pinions sell for big money!!

-Proceed towards the left and you'll meet a Rat-boy. Just press 'Confirm' rapidly and run off together with him.

-In the Bell Tower, retrieve 'TENT' and 'POTION' in the grass patch on both sides of the building. Then climb the ladder.

-Follow the Rat-Boy on the roof, ignoring all treasures hidden there.

(FMV Skip)

-The battle of Lea King is insignificant. Just get over with it

Alexandria Castle

-Once inside the castle, equip the Magemasher on Zidane. Walk up the stairway and you'll meet a girl. Just skip thru all the dialogue.

-Control Steiner. Walk northwards once you control him, and proceed down the grand stairway. Exit the castle and run to the Left tower. Run up the tower and don't talk to any of the guards.

(FMV Skip)

-Control Zidane. Follow the girl into the room on the right and talk to Ruby. Once the girl sneaks down the stairs, follow her. The gang will escape thru the Engine Room.

-STEINER, HP:165-176, To Steal: Leather Hat, Silk Robe
The battle will end once Zidane attacks Steiner twice. So use your 'TRIANGLE' Button to skip character and steal the required items before going on. But these items are not compulsory, thus you can skip it if it takes too long.

-Vivi runs up to the stage and creates chaos. Another battle with Steiner ensues. This time the battle will end after Zidane attack and Vivi's Fire spell on him, ignoring his 2 guards.

(FMV Skip)

Have Zidane, Vivi and Marcus kill themselves off, leaving Garnet behind. This cuts down the number of rubbish spoken in the battle and speeds up the battle. The Bomb growth rate will quicken too.

(FMV Skip)

-Barg loses control of PrimaVista.

(FMV Skip)

-Queen shows her anger.

(FMV Skip)

Evil Forest
-Do the necessary equipping and the compulsory ATE. Go downwards thru the trunk to enter the Evil Forest. You should have 1 encounter for Zidane to go to Level 2.

Just attack the base of the monster, taking care not to target Garnet. Using Trance Zidane's FREE ENERGY twice will end the battle. Take note NOT to use Tidal Flame!!

This time just concentrate on the plant base as in the previous battle. With Vivi's help, this battle is a piece of cake.

-After talking to Barg and taking the Bronze Gauntlet beside him, go down the stairs and head to the righthand room and talk to Vivi. After exiting the room, choose to help Garnet and proceed to the storeroom of the ship. Take all the treasures along the way too.

-BARG, HP:202, To Steal: Iron Sword
Choose 'READY' after talking to Barg and enter into this battle. If possible, try to steal the Iron Sword from him. But do not try too hard. You should beat him in about 3 turns.

-After the battle, go recruit Steiner and Vivi, and save the game outside the Ship. TARGET TIME 00:49:00

Evil Forest
-In the forest, a compulsory ATE will occur when you reach the spring pond. Save your game. TARGET TIME 00:51:00

Suicide Zidane, and Blank will appear. Vivi cast Fire, Steiner does a Fire Sword and Blank normal attack will finish the battle very quickly. Remember to revive Zidane after the battle once you have control of your team again.

-Unequip Silk Robe and Leather Hat from Blank. You'll go into a compulsory battle with 2 to 4 Plantspiders. Kill off Blank and let Vivi cast Fire on all at once. With Blank dead, you'll gain more experience.

(FMV Skip)

-Compulsory ATE. After going thru 3 boxes of text from the moogles, press 'CANCEL' followed by 'CONFIRM' to skip.

Mist Continent
-As you are exiting the forest onto the world map, run all the way southward to the Ice Cavern while the name label appears on the screen. There are no encounters while the label is there, so take advantage of it.
TARGET TIME 01:00:00

1-2 Mist CONTINENT ~ Lindblum
MAX TIME 1:59:00

Ice Cavern
-Avoid touching all the blowing mist inside the dungeon. If you still do not have the magemasher, there is one in this cave. There is a ice log in the midst of the dungeon. Get the treasure chest on the top first and a ! mark will appear on the log. After an event with Vivi, the log will provide a way down to reach the Magemasher treasure below.

-Save the game at the left path where the mist is not blowing.

-BLACK WALTZ 1/CYLION, HP: 228+472, To Steal:MythrilDagger from Cylion Try to steal the Mythrildagger from Cylion while waiting for your Trance bar to fill. Your trance bar may only react to BW1's magic and not to Cylion's. In the worst case scenario that your trance never fills up, reset the game. But if it does, make sure your HP is above 130 and use TIDAL FLAME twice.

-Exit the Ice Cavern onto your way to Dali. TARGET TIME 1:16:45

Dali Village
-Control Zidane after resting in Inn. Head to the following places in order. CornField, Enter Bar, Exit Bar, Enter Bar again, Exit Bar. Go talk to Vivi after this.

-Head to the weapon shop near the entrance. Try to buy 1 Iron Sword, some Feathered Hats and Leather Bangles if you don't have them already. Sell your Phoenix Pinions if you don't have enough cash. Head on back to the Inn and talk to Garnet.

-Go to the spot where Vivi once was and an event takes place. Go into the windmill and open the hatch near the entrance. Take the Gil in the chest once in the basement and the Iron Helm (on the box stack during birds eye view after the save point). Remember to save your game here!

Watch Tower
-Control Steiner. You'll need to wait for the old man to descend down the stairway before you enter his house. So in the meantime, retrieve a HIPOTION and some GIL hidden around the area. Once the old man is about 6 or 7 steps from the bottom, you can enter his house.

Try not to use any magic from Vivi as BW2 will counter back with his magics. Rely mainly on Zidane and Steiner's Fire Sword, while Garnet heals. The game will be over if Garnet is left surviving and cast to sleep by BW2, so be careful.

-After the battle, skip thru the dialogue, taking care not to choose 'RETURN TO VILLAGE' in the midst of the dialogue.

(FMV Skip)

Cargo Ship
-Go up the stairway at the end of the room and talk to Steiner.

(FMV Skip)

-A strange figure descends to wreck havoc.

(FMV Skip)

Vivi uses his W-Magic with Fire, Steiner uses Fire Sword and Zidane normal attacks. If BW3 floats up, Zidane will change to Stealing.

(FMV Skip)x2

-After the events following the entrance to Lindblum, save in the Inn after Zidane wakes up.

TARGET TIME 01:59:00

1-3Lindblum ~ Qu Marsh
MAX TIME 02:32:00

-Control Zidane. Hurry to the Combine Shop and Weapon Shop to get your necessary purchases. The most important being OGRE NIX, YELLOW SCARF and GLASS BANGLE. Proceed to the tram station and go thru a compulsory ATE with Vivi. At the tram station, choose to head toward Theater Sector. Go inside the Clock Tower and an ATE occurs. Get all the Gil in that room and head back to Linblum Castle.

Lindblum Castle
-Proceed to the guest room to talk to Steiner. The elevator will be blocked by the guard, so talk to the Chief Guard in Red near the stairway outside the guestroom and steal his costume to get past the guards. Take the Elevator to the topmost floor.

-Take the left path, followed by a series of stairs to meet Garnet.

(FMV Skip)

-Go thru the Telescope with Garnet and locate, 2 mountain spots, South Gate, Marsh, Chocobo Forest and a River.

Hunting Festival
-The hunting festival will start but first take the GLASS BRACELET and ETHER in the guestroom before saving your game. Fight your way around town and eventually battle a Wildboar with Freija. Steal the NEEDLE FORK from the boar before letting Freija defeat the monster.

Alternatively, you could skip getting the NEEDLE FORK and instantly kill off Zidane at the start of the festival and Freija automatically wins, saving lots of time! Freija will receive the CORAL RING.

Lindblum Castle
-After events, head to the Earth Dragon Gate by taking the elevator to the basement. Save your game.


Qu Marsh
-Head toward Qu Marsh slightly north from the gate. Catch 1 frog and give it to Quina to recruit him.

-Exit the marsh. Bring Freija to the front row and adjust your equipment and abilities. Make sure Freija has the CORAL RING on her and Quina equips YELLOW SCARF to increase Gil amount after every battle. Save your game.

Chocobo Forest
-Next head to the Chocobo Forest and get a Gryshal Green to catch a chocobo back into the forest. Buy 2 more Gryshal Greens from the moogle and leave. Save your game.

Mist Continent
-This is optional but useful for Quina if you have spare time. To the northeast of the Chocobo Forest is a small cluster of forest. Try to get an only encounter with the Radish-Heads. If you don't get a first encounter with them, reset. If you do, have Quina to DEVOUR one to learn his Blue Magic 'LIMITGLOBE', which deals 9999 damage whenever Quina's HP goes to 1. It will prove to be very useful later on.

Gizamaluke Grotto
-Head North toward Gizamaluke Grottoes. Save your game.
TARGET TIME 02:32:00

1-4Gizamaluke ~ Burmecia
MAX TIME 03:05:00

Gizamaluke Grotto
-After opening the door with the bell from the dead soldier on the right, you'll go into battle with 2 sets of Mages. After getting the bell from the second set of Mages, open up the biggest door at the center. Get the bell inside the Giant Bell after releasing the moogle and open the right-hand door. Talk to the moogles and SAVE your game.

TARGET TIME 02:38:00

-Open the left-hand door with the HolyBell and prepare to fight the next battle.

The best scenario to defeat it is to first use a TENT on the Gizamaluke. It'll have a 50% chance of causing a load of status effects on it. Next, have Zidane to steal the ICE ROD and POINTED HAT from it, while killing off Quina. Use a Phoenix Down on Quina and hope that his HP is 1. With his HP on 1, use his 'LIMITGLOBE' to end the battle.

This battle is a 'hard' one, to get the above results requires a lot of trial and error and luck, especially getting Quina's HP to 1 using a Phoenix Down, so expect to reset a lot here!

South Gate
-Control Steiner. Once inside the pass, retrieve the Maltina Racket hidden near the left side of the entrance. Talk to the mutant, next talk to the old lady til she runs away and talk to the young man on the right til he runs away too. After a series of events, ride on the Berkmea cable car.

Gizamaluke Grotto
-Control Zidane. The scene shifts back to Zidane's gang. Save the game once exited.

-Head north to Burmecia, hopefully with no encounters, otherwise you'll know what to do... If you haven't learnt the limitglobe yet though, Quina could still learn it by Devouring the AxeBeaks.

-Save just before entering Burmecia.

-Try to get one encounter with the MagicVisp and have Quina to devour one to learn his Blue Magic 'MAGIC HAMMER'. Otherwise, try and try again.

-You'll get into a battle with a pair of Mages. They are easily defeated with MANEATER ability set and Vivi use Blizzara.

-Head toward the right and walk across the 'bridge' to get the Kelmina's Boots. The 'bridge' will collapse. Backtrack outside and choose the left path this time into the house. Jump across Balcony. Talk to the dying soldier and get the Bell hidden at the back of the room. Return back again to the right-hand path and use the Bell on the locked door. Enter the room at the bottom for some events, and then proceed on by exiting and taking the steps on the right.

-After certain events, continue on and entering the left room to etrieve the MYTHRIL SPEAR if you have time. Otherwise, go to the right room, get the THUNDER ROD and buy stuffs from Stilskin. Save your Game!

TARGET TIME 02:57:00

(Up to this point, you can tolerate up to 3 encounters inside Burmecia, any more than that warrants a reset.)

Inner Burmecia
-When Freija squats to detect for activity, choose the second option for the event to continue.

The key is to survive a certain number of turns or dealing the stated amount of damage above. Dealing damage is faster than waiting for the set number of turns to pass. Stealing the above items are not necessary but useful. The shortest method though is to use Quina's LIMITGLOBE again, as in same case as the battle with Gizamaluke. Reset if necessary.

(FMV Skip)

-Disc 1 End.

2-1 South Gate ~ Cleyra
MAX TIME 4:12:00

South Gate
-Control Garnet. Equip the MYTHRIL SWORD on Steiner and MALTINA RACKET on Garnet if you have them. Set 'MANEATER' ability for Steiner too. Proceed inside the Rest Area -> Talk to Station Master -> Exit Rest Area -> Talk to Marcus, Shina then Steiner in that order -> Enter the Cable Car -> Talk to Marcus inside the Cable Car.

Have all 3 members deal physical attacks on him for a quicker battle, healing only when necessary.

-Take the Right Path after disembarking, remember to take the GIL in the treasure chest after the broken bridge. Upon exiting the South Gate to the World Map, save your game. TARGET TIME 03:12:30

-Control Steiner. If you have time, activate the first ATE option involving Garnet. Head towards the Combine Shop (Bishop's House) and catch the 4-Armed Man, he'll hand over the POWERBELT. Next, head to the Auction House to get Garnet back into the team. Don't forget to take the hidden GIL to the left pillars outside the Auction House.

-At the Weapon Shop, buy 2 MYTHRIL SWORDs (if you haven't had one), 1 BANDANNA and a CHAINMAIL (2 if you can afford).

-Head to the Bar and talk to Marcus. When you are in control of Garnet, ignore all Steiner's plea and talk to Barg below. After a series of events, go to the LEFT TOWER on the extreme left-side of town. Retrieve the MYTHRIL DAGGER from the chest there and enter the tower. Dr. Tod will bring party down to Gargant Rul.

Gargant Rul
-Save Game. TARGET TIME 03:22:45

-Activate the Lever on the left path, then the handle deep inside the right path, then to the feeding lever outside. The Crawlers in this dungeon gives good EXP so you can beat 1 or 2 of them if time permits.

Steiner and Garnet attacks, while Marcus concentrate on stealing and attacking thereafter. Make sure Steiner and Garnet had their POISONGUARD ability activated before the battle.

Cleyra Trunk
-Control Zidane & Co. Save game outside the Trunk. TARGET TIME 03:33:00

(FMV Skip)

-Retrieve the SORCERER BOOTS and ETHER along your way. Blizzara works well here. Take note that encounter rate increases as Vivi's MP drops. There is an enemy called Carionworm after the Save Point in the middle of the dungeon. Take the opportunity to devour it to learn Blue Magic 'RERAISE'. Before that, you should save your game!
TARGET TIME 03:37:30

-After the quicksand, remember to take the GRYSHAL GREENS hidden behind the ladder. Head towards Cleyra.

Cleyra Settlement
-After Freija leaves, be careful to choose NOT to have a tour around the town! There is one Phoenix Pinion at the stairways at the entrance and one in the windmill area on the left. At the grass patch outside the Sanctuary, hides a Gryshal Greens. Take the opportunity to buy new weapons and armor (PARTISAN, SORCEROR HAT, MYTHRILVEST etc). Return to the inn to trigger an event.

Immediately cast RERAISE on Quina, then kill him off with the rest of the party. Quickly cast LIMITGLOBE for a quick death. Alternatively, Freija can JUMP while Vivi casts Blizzara with a POINTED HAT equipped, while Zidane steals.

(FMV Skip)After dancing event.

-Head to the entrance to join up with Zidane. After that backtrack out of the area. There'll be 3 compulsory battles with Alexandrian Soldiers. Blizzara, and normal attacks will do. Rat-Boy will reappear, telling you to return back to the town. A series of battles with the mages will follow upon your return.

-For choices of path when rescuing the villagers a)Right b)Left c)Left.

-Retrieve all the items from each villager inside the Sanctuary after Beatrix runs off. Save your game. TARGET TIME 4:12:00

Use the RERAISE/LIMITGLOBE tactic by Quina again.

(FMV Skip)

2-2 Alexandria ~ Conde Petit
MAX TIME 05:30:00

-Swing back and forth until they escape. You will fight 2 compulsory battles with the Guards. After that, unequip the MYTHRIL SWORD and LEATHERPLATE from Marcus.

-Avoid all the guards while running toward the Throne Room on the second floor of the castle. Click on the wall candle to reveal the way in. Take the 2 treasures at the beginning of the hidden dungeon (ICEBRAND, ELIXIR) and proceed all the way below.

-SON/ZON, HP:2500
With MANEATER enabled and Vivi's POINTED HAT+Blizzara and Blizzara Sword by Steiner concentrated on one of the two bosses. Take note to nullify their magic preparation by landing a hit on that person.

-Save Game. TARGET TIME 04:30:00

Same tactic as with Son and Zon, Blizzara by Vivi while the rest have MANEATER enabled.

-After event, a battle ensues. Zidane and the rest heads down the dungeon again. For the battle with the 3 mages, each character focus his attack on each mage for a more efficient battle.

-Steiner joins Freija and Beatrix. Beatrix's Crime Hazard works well on double dogs. After some events with Blank, Zidane party escapes Alexandria.

Three shots of Blizzara from Vivi will defeat the boss.

Pinnacle Rocks
-Save your game. TARGET TIME 04:57:30
You could go to the bottom to retrieve OGRE NIX and MYTHRILVEST though not necessary. Otherwise, ignore the Ramuh event and choose "Give Up".

(FMV Skip)
(FMV Skip)

-After events with Regent Cid, head to the weapon and combine shops to buy necessary equipment. More importantly, get 2 POWERBELTs and 1 EXPLODER. Thereafter, talk to the guy at the fountain who'll teleport you to the Earth Dragon Gate. Save your Game.

-Proceed to Qu Marsh and talk to Quina. Go to the opening on the extreme right of the marsh to trigger an event for Fossil Rul.

Fossil Rul
-Avoid all the pendulums and avoid going into battle with the chasing Durahan.

-RANI, HP:5708, To Steal: GRADEUS
Quina's Reraise/LimitGlobe works well here again. It will be more convenient to steal the Gradeus from Rani first, though success rate is pretty low.

-Save the Game inside Fossil Rul.
TARGET TIME 05:18:15

-Proceed to the bottom path and ride the gargant to retrieve the FAIRY EARRINGS. Return and choose the upper path. Ride Gargant -> Switch the lever -> Ride Gargant -> Switch the lever -> Ride Gargant back to switch lever to return to save point area -> Save your game -> Proceed to bottom path where you went to get the earrings -> Ignore the next lever -> Ride Gargant -> Climb the vines to top-left platform to switch lever -> Climb the vines and drop off at the lower platform -> Ride Gargant to exit.

Outer Continent
-Walk as far as possible while the label appears. Save game after the label is gone.
TARGET TIME 05:25:00

-Walk beyond the Qu Marsh to get to the Chocobo Track. Call out a Chocobo and ride towards Conde Petit to save time.

Conde Petit
-Get the 2700GIL behind the dwarf near the entrance. Go to the Item Shop and collect the Phoenix Pinion hidden on the staircase. Go upstairs to talk to Vivi and head back to the Item Shop. Exit the village. Ride the Chocobo southeast to the DEAD FOREST. Save your game.
TARGET TIME 05:30:00

Dead Forest Maze
-The encounter rates in this forest is very high. So you'll have at least 2 battles here. Way out is Right, Right, Left, Right.

(FMV Skip)

2-3 Black Mage Village ~ Iifa
MAX TIME 7:00:00

Black Mage Village
-Head to the upper left to trigger ATE. Chase after Vivi to the inn. Don't forget to buy necessary equipment. Important items to get are RUNETOES, MADAIN RING, CYPRUS STAFF.

-Ride the Chocobo back to Conde Petit.

Conde Petit
-Go upstairs to talk to everyone. Head back downstair outside the inn to talk to the elder priest. After some events, talk to the Twins at the weapon shop, who'll open a new path.

Mountain Path
-Recruit Eiko. Save your game midway in the dungeon. Prepare your party by equipping CYPRUS STAFF to Vivi and 'SILENCE' for Garnet if any.

(FMV Skip)

Zidane attack + Vivi BIO + Garnet SILENCE. When Gigas' HP runs low, he'll cast CURA which can be prevented with Garnet's Silence Spell.

-Exit the Mountain Path and save your game. TARGET TIME 05:48:00

Madain Sari
-Control Zidane. Talk to Vivi on the left side of ruins outside Eiko's hut. Go northwards for Quina event and talk to the moogle there. Head back to Eiko's hut and talk to the Moogle at the doorway. Exit the screen and return to talk to the same moogle, who should fly off to the Summoner Wall. Follow it and talk to it. Go to the entrance of the ruin and bring Garnet to the moogle. After that, return to Eiko's hut. After the dinner, the party leaves the village. Return back in the purchase some HolyWater.
Head toward Iifa Tree.

Iifa Tree
-Save outside the Iifa Tree.
TARGET TIME 06:00:00

-The undeads in this dungeon are weak against fire and curing spells. At this point, make sure your party levels are not multiples of 5 to prepare for the fight later on. Deep inside Iifa, there'll be 2 compulsory battles with Zombies followed by a DragonZombie. At the end of the ride, when Zidane is in control, take the ELIXIR hidden at the bottom of the stairway. Then check on the ! mark on the extreme left.

At the first possible chance, use an ELIXIR on the boss. As simple as that! Be careful of its LV5 Doom spell though.

(FMV Skip)

-Exit the tree and save your game. TARGET TIME 06:19:15
Return to Madain Sari.

Madain Sari
-Head to the hut below the kitchen. Afterward, proceed to the Summoner Wall and prepare for a fight. Preferably with the best weapon for Zidane + MP Attacks + Maneater + Counter. Choose to help Eiko.

5 rounds of Zidane's attack will defeat him. Attack only while Salamander is back in the frontline. Do not attack when he leaps to the background. Heal with Hi-potions when HP falls below 600.

-Go back to the room below the kitchen. After a chat with Eiko, exit the hut and a ! mark will appear. More chitchat with Garnet.
(FMV Skip)
Salamander joins. Leave the ruins to return to Iifa Tree. Save your game outside the ruins.
TARGET TIME 06:39:00

Iifa Tree
-Several events will occur with a couple of pretty simple battles with the Mist Monsters. When running along the long branch, there are normally 2 encounters, but there is a rare case of having only 1 encounter!

(FMV Skip)
(FMV Skip)

-Disc 2 End.
TARGET TIME 07:00:00

3-1 Alexandria ~ Treno
-Control Vivi. Go to the underground theater on the left side of town.

-Control Eiko. After getting the letter from Dr. Tod, walk northward to bump into Barg.

-Control Zidane. Head north toward the Castle. You can retrieve the hidden Phoenix Pinion below the left guard stand, and the Lapis Razly behind the fountain at the other side of the moat. Take this opportunity to get rid of ALL cards in your posession.

-After several events, the party leaves for Treno for the Card Battle.

3-2 Treno ~ Alexandria
-Talk to Dr Tod to receive 5 cards. Save your game in front of the weapon shop in Treno.
TARGET TIME 07:21:45

-Go to the Card Arena in the center of the town and talk to the counter receptionist. Then head into the arena for 3 rounds of games. Reset whenever you lose a battle. Keep trying, it's possible!

-After the battle, you'll receive REBIRTH RING and Eiko suggests returning to Alexandria.

3-3 Alexandria ~ Oeilvert
MAX TIME 08:43:30


(FMV Skip)

-Garnet commands the army to move out. Choose the third team to go for data collection and you'll receive the ANGEL EARRING which can be sold for 10,000 GIL later on.

-Control Steiner. Equip IRONHELM, ICEBRAND, ESCARTION and POWERBELT, and with that enable (MP Attack + Undead Damage Up + Level Up). Followed up by 6 to 7 battles with the Mist Monsters. You can unequip Beatrix's CROSSHELM and FULLPLATE after the fight in front of the bar.

-Control Garnet. Go upstairs and head towards the left door all the way up.

(FMV Skip)x3

-Control Zidane. Follow the same route that Garnet took previously.

(FMV Skip)x3

-Zidane wakes up in the castle guestroom. Save your game.
TARGET TIME 07:48:30

-After talking to Blank, go to meet up at the Meeting Room. Then go upstairs to Cid's Room. After some ATE events, head to the guestroom.

-Cid needs 3 special potions. One is with the Item Shop lady in white, the other inside the Art Gallery in the Theater Sector (talk to the artist and search in the extreme left corner), the last one is with the Tantalus in the Clock Tower of the Theater Sector. Return to Cid once everything is collected.

-Go down to the Water Dragon Gate to hop on board the ship! Save your game.

-At this time, if you have a lot of time to spare, you could sail to the beaches of the southwestern islands to level up. Devour the ZombieWhale to learn Blue Magic 'Lv5 Doom' and use it on the Grand Dragons. Each Grand Dragon awards 35000 EXP and defeating 2 or 3 of them is sufficient. This is entirely optional.

Black Mage Village
-Approach the north continent from the south and park at the beach in the middle crack of the continent that is closest to the village and the marsh. Save your game. TARGET TIME 08:13:15 Walk a little northward, call out a Chocobo and ride to the village with it.

-After the events, sail to the eastern-most of the same continent, park on the beach where you can see the sandpools. Save your game. The correct sandpool to enter is the one on the north-north west direction.

Desert Empress
-Control Zidane. Go to Kuja's Room. You'll get to choose your party members to follow you to Oeilvert. I suggest taking Steiner, Salamander and Garnet.

Forgotten Continent
-Once landed, save your game. TARGET TIME 08:29:45

-Walk westward deep beyond the Qu marsh to find a Chocobo Track. Call out a chocobo and ride southwest toward Oeilvert.

-Save your game at the entrance and buy a couple of armor from it. Important equipment to purchase 3 GREEN BERET, DIA GAUNTLET, TRIDENT, MYTHRILCLAW, KUNGFU SUIT, plus a couple of SOFTs.

-Enemy encounters can be very low here. I got through with at most 1 encounter! The stone statue enemies can be rid of easily by using SOFT on them.

-Go up the stairs to activate the Red Orb -> Go back down the stairs and head left -> Take the bottom-left path after viewing the images -> Turn on the 4 spaceship images starting from top-left pole clockwise to the bottom-left pole -> Go up to the top-left path -> View the images in the big hall -> Head leftwards then open the locked blue door -> Events with the talking masks -> Go to the right-hand path from the entrance and save your game.

TARGET TIME 08:43:30

-After viewing the images, prepare your party and equip the SORCEROR BOOTS on Steiner and GREEN BERETS on the rest and enable BESERK GUARD abilities. Take the elevator down.

(FMV Skip)

-ARK, HP:18182-20044
This is gonna be your first tough battle. Unless you have your BESERK GUARD up, you'll have a lot of difficulties in this fight. You have to enable MP Attack + FLY Damage Up for Steiner and Zidane. Salamander can throw Wingedges and Shurikens for big damage. Heal with Potions using Garnet's ALCHEMY LISCENCE for higher heal rate.

-Get the Gulgur Stone and return to Desert Empress.

3-4 Desert Empress ~ Ipsen
MAX TIME 10:22:00

Desert Empress
-Control Cid. After getting pass the toad mini-game, choose B-C-D and hop onto the balance.

-Control Eiko. Save your game first at the Room on the right. TARGET TIME 08:53:00

-The encounter rate in the castle is pretty low. Even with the few encounters, try to escape. Otherwise use Vivi's magics and Freija's normal attacks for higher damage. No walkthrough provided for this dungeon. But be sure to light up all the candlesticks along your way and be wary of the 9 lights puzzle in the middle.

-After the Library puzzle, save your game. TARGET TIME 08:58:00

-Light up the candles so that the shadows on both sides are pointing towards the left. Go up the stairway.

-VALIA PILLAR, HP:12000, MP: About 10000
There are 2 methods to defeating it. Either by bringing its HP to 0 or MP to 0. Quina's Reraise/Limitglobe method should be used for bringing down its HP. For the MP method, use Quina's MAGIC HAMMER repeatedly. Eiko should cast Carbunkle's Ruby Light for protection.

-Control Zidane. Head back to Kuja's Room. Joins up with the rest of the members. Head back to where the HildaGaldy was and climb down the ladder. Events will ensue towards the Sealed Continent.

Sealed Continent
-After disembarking, Save your game. Best party to take along, Steiner,Vivi and Salamander.
TARGET TIME 09:17:00

Esto Gaza
-Here after some events, head to the right and buy a couple of stuff from the shop. Things to buy are OCTAGON STAFF, FLAMEDAN, BLACK CAP etc Save your game here.

Gulgur Volcano
-At the entrance, head left to collect the hidden 9693GIL then head right. Climb down the rope. Push the lever down 3 times to climb down the well. From the rope, walk down towards the 'screen' and a battle with the Red Dragons ensues. Use Vivi's Blizzaga and Steiner's Blizzaga Sword.
After the battle, change equipment and abilities, with Devil Damage Up and POISON GUARD enabled. Steiner also equips his FLAMEDAN.

-MELTGEMINI, HP:20946-30665
With the Devil Damage Up and MP Attacks, Zidane, Salamander and Steiner should deal high damage to the boss. If lucky, it'll defeated in 2 turns, otherwise 3 turns. Ignore the effects of the Virus attacks.

-Save your game when you wake up in the guestroom. After acquiring the airship Hildagarde3, if you have about 15 minutes or more spare time before 09:54:00, you can opt to visit the next 3 locations. But the Kuwan Cave sidequest is more useful.

Treno (Optional)
-Take the opportunity to defeat the monster at the Weapon Shop. The first monster gives 15000GIL, while the second monster gives the ELMACE SHOES. Personally, I'll just go for the money if I'm rushing on time.

Kuwan Cave (Optional)
-Bring Vivi and Quina into your active party and head to Kuwan Cave, east of Treno. After some events, check the grandfather clock on the balcony and receive the ELMACE SHOES. This method of getting the shoes is faster than getting it in Treno. The ELMACE SHOES is a very important accessory, so make sure you equip it on Zidane to learn its AUTOHASTE ability.

Daguerreo (Optional)
-Go to the left path and solve the puzzle to enable you to buy weapons from the shop. The more important things to buy here are EARTH ROBES (at least 2), and BLACK ROBE for Vivi at the Combine shop.

Ipsen Heritage
-Save before entering. TARGET TIME 09:53:30

-Recommended party Zidane, Steiner, Vivi and anyone else. Change all your equipment to their weakest (preferably initial equipment if you still have them). Encounter rates are pretty low so if you're lucky there'll be NO encounters. Ignore solving the trapwall near the elevator. Before taking the 4 medals at the top of the castle, re-equip Steiner with his FLAMEDAN.

-DHARGA, HP:28884-32349, To Steal: ORIHALCON
It is VERY IMPORTANT that Zidane steals the ORIHALCON from Dharga. In the meantime, Vivi can Concentrate for a few turns and cast FIRAGA and Steiner can use his FLAMEDAN + ADDED EFFECTS ability to inflict HEAT on Dharga if you are lucky. If you think you take too much time to steal the ORIHALCON, reset and try again. The ORIHALCON will last you up to the last dungeon.

-Return to the castle entrance and be careful of the traps on the floor on your way back at the save point. At the entrance, Zidane will run back to look for Salamander. After finding him, save at the Moogle Save Point before exiting.

The 4 Shrines
-Head to the shrines in the following order. The airship's direction will be set for the next destination so it's not necessary for you to steer it unless needed.

Water Shrine – South of Ipsen
Fire Shrine – North East at Sealed Continent
Wind Shrine – South edge of Lost Continent
Earth Shrine – West of the Desert Empress (map will be shaking)

-LICH, HP:19856-25040
Only Zidane + Quina for this battle. Abilities to enable are DEVIL DAMAGE UP and MP Attack, if Zidane has the ORIHALCON equipped, he'll deal about 5000 damage. Equip the EARTH ROBE on both characters to absorb its earthquake attacks. Cast Reraise on Quina if he is too weak. After about 3 hits by Zidane, Quina can choose to devour the Lich to learn Blue Magic Earthquake.

Alternatively, Quina's Blue magic Mantra Magic may deal a speedy one- shot lethal attack if you're lucky.

3-5 Terra ~ Pandemonium
MAX TIME 11:13:00

Shining Island
-After the battle with the Lich, head towards the Sealed Continent, land your ship and save your game. TARGET TIME 10:09:00 Then fly off toward the Shining Island.

(FMV Skip)

-Chase after the Mystery Girl. Get the ELIXIR along the way just beside the roadpath.

(FMV Skip)

-Control Zidane. Before proceeding, change the equipment on Steiner and Salamander to appropriate ones. Head off to the left path and enter the first house. Then go to the house on the north and descend to the basement to talk to the Mystery Girl.

-Control Eiko. Get the ELIXIR beside Freija. There is a hidden path along the lake beside the bridge that leads to the treasure box containing the FLASH CAP. Head across the bridge and talk to Vivi. Then go to the first house on the right to release the Moogle in the blue urn. Buy some equipment from him (DEFENSER, AVENGER, HOLY LANCE, 3 HYPNOCROWN etc) and save your game.
TARGET TIME 10:32:00
Reset your game and start from your save point and you'll realise Stiltskin the Moogle is there, so buy off the item package from him! Get out and go to the bridge again, where Eiko will meet Salamander. Then go north into the glowing gate.

-Control Zidane. After a series of events between Zidane and Eiko, Zidane will be inside Pandemonium. Equip the ELMACE SHOES (if you don't have AUTOHASTE fixed yet) and a EARTH ROBE before venturing deeper. Enable POISON GUARD, MP Attacks, FLYING DAMAGE UP, BEAST DAMAGE UP if any. After a long series of speech, Zidane will start a chain series of continuous battles.

POISON GUARD comes in useful. Freija and Salamander will join in after each turn to help out. Salamander will deal great damage together with Zidane.

-ABADON, HP:10926
Steiner and Quina will start the battle first. Cast Reraise on Quina for saftey reasons. After Abadon pass 2 turns, Zidane will appear. Zidane and Steiner then concentrate on pounding Abadon.

Zidane will deal average damage about 2000 or so, but Zidane is protected well from the earthquake attacks if you have the EARTH ROBE on. Garnet will appear anytime when Zidane's HP goes into the low yellow range. If you have trance at this time, it'll be the best as the attacks will kill the dragon in 2 turns. Otherwise you will have to be patient and Zidane goes up for each attack while Garnet can either heal or cast powerful summons to help.

Inner Pandemonium
-Head back to the throne room after the battle with the Shield Dragon to do necessary party adjustments, purchases and save your game!
TARGET TIME 10:53:00

-Be careful of the Glowing Light traps and reset when you fall for the traps. At the Elevator Control, set the number to '4' and head upstairs. Take the south path and warp your way until you reach the second Save Point.
TARGET TIME 10:57:30

-There will be 3 consecutive battles ahead. Prepare your team. Recommended party are Zidane, Steiner, Vivi, Salamander/Eiko. Enable FLY DAMAGE UP, Maneater, MP Attacks, AUTOHASTE, AUTOREGEN, ILLUSION etc Armor that protects against Thunder and Wind are of utmost importance. (HYPNOCROWN, CORAL RING etc)

-SILVER DRAGON, HP:23697-24597
Zidane, Steiner, Salamander attacks while Vivi casts Blizzaga. If your levels are high, you could defeat it in 1 turn. Salamander can help further by throwing WINGEDGES.

-GARLAND, HP:38317-41484
Zidane, Steiner, Salamander attacks, Vivi casts Blizzaga or Flare. If you have Eiko instead, heal constantly or cast RUBY LIGHT. Tough battle!

(FMV Skip)

-KUJA, HP:38911-42385
Protection against Thunder spells are best here. Otherwise Eiko can cast her RUBY LIGHT for protection. If Salamander is in use, throw WINGEDGES or SHURIKENS for big damage. Tough battle too!

(FMV Skip)

-After the battles, return to Branbul to gather Mikoto and the rest of the Branbul villagers to the Invincible. Thereafter the FMV and a short sequence, Disc 3 ends.

TARGET TIME 11:13:00

4-1 Last Dungeon ~ Excalibur II
MAX TIME 12:00:00

Black Mage Village
-After the events in Black Mage Village, form your party (same as the Garland Battle party is good) and fly off to the Iifa Tree!

(FMV Skip)
(FMV Skip)
(FMV Skip)

-DRAGON LORD, HP:53199-58699
Vivi equips OCTAGON STAFF, Steiner equips a RIBBON, both Zidane and Salamander/Eiko equips the HYPNOCROWN. Enable FLY DAMAGE UP and MP Attacks, Salamander throws items or Eiko heals, Vivi cast Blizzaga with his SORCEROR ROBE on. It will be defeated in about 10 turns or so.

Last Dungeon
-Save your game at the rotating Save Point. TARGET TIME 11:23:00

-Party recommended. Zidane, Freija/Eiko, Steiner, Vivi. Choose Eiko if you have 2 or more PHOENIX PINION left and equip one on Eiko. Get the hidden 'LOVE OF KAIN' spear hidden at the back of the pillar near the save point and put it on Freija. Equip a REFLECTRING on Vivi and enable AUTOREFLECT if any.

-MARILIS, HP:59122-61364
Zidane, Steiner MP Attacks + DEVIL DAMAGE UP. Vivi does Blizzaga on himself and Freija jumps. If Eiko is here, choose RUBY LIGHT. If you're lucky, her MUSTARDBOMB might get reflected back to her and cause instant death.
Once Marilis dies, she'll cast SWORD RAIN! At your current level, you'll most likely get wiped out by it. Time your attacks of Zidane and Steiner such that Freija will JUMP first, before the other 2 commence attacking, that way, Freija will still be alive if the other 2 score a finishing strike. If Eiko is chosen, pray that REBIRTH summon will activate after the party is wiped out.

-Get the RUNECLAW in the trails after the Marilis battle, prepare for the next one. Save your game!

-TIAMAT, HP:59122-60875
Zidane, Steiner and Salamander MP Attack + DEVIL DAMAGE UP. Tiamat has a high defense anf mainly uses wind-based attacks, so adjust your equipment accordingly. Enable TEMPERATURE GUARD if any to guard against its Breath attack.

-Save your game at the water cavern near the Kraken.

-KRAKEN, HP:54539-55938
Kraken is a very agile boss. It will act after each character's action, and its attacks take up a lot of time so be very sure you have ELMACE SHOES or AUTOHASTE enabled. Steiner should have the CORAL RING equipped if any. The party should equip armor that absorbs or guard against WATER attacks, like RIBBON, DIA GAUNTLET, OCTAGON STAFF etc. Vivi should cast THUNDERGA, while Steiner attacks with THUNGERGA SWORD, which should deal about 8000+ damage if coupled with the CORAL RING. If everyone had their water-armor up, this battle should be easy but time- consuming.

-Get the 'MACE OF ZEUS' at the left corner of the platform between the 2 ladders as you approach the Lich. Equip FLAMEDAN on Steiner and EARTH ROBES on the rest of the party.

-LICH, HP:58104-63548
Be wary of its LV 5 DOOM spell, so watch out for your level value before engaging it. Guard against its earthquake spells either equipping EARTH ROBE or enabling AUTOLEVITE from the FEATHERED BOOTS. Zidane and Salamander/Eiko attacks/heal while Vivi can equip a REDCAP and cast FIRAGA, Steiner casts FIRAGA SWORD on the Lich. This Chaos should be the easiest among the four if you have appropriate items. Do not take too long though.

-Thereafter this glorious battle, QUICKLY check your time and check on the pillar second from the right. There should be a '!' mark indicating the position of the weapon we are all looking for. After reading the note by CID the FIRST, you'll acquire the sword, EXCALIBUR II!!!!! Congratulations!

As a side note.. After having followed this entire FAQ, if you were not able to achieve the ExcaliberII due to the 12 hour time limit which expired before the death of Hades, I would just like to say that any true Square gamer could accomplish this simple task, and you are a disgrace to the world of the true gamers.