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Final Fantasy V Walkthrough

Written by  Djibriel

1.19: Escaping Karnak Castle

Enemies: Sergeant, Sorcerer, Cur Nakk, Gigas, Iron Claw

Treasures: 2000 Gil x3, AccessoryElven Mantle, Elixir x7, OEsuna (White spell), Lightning Scroll, KnifeMain Gauche, HelmetRibbon, Shuriken, AccessoryElven Mantle

Blue Magic: OAero, OAera, ODeath Claw

Well, that sucked all around, didn't it? It seems mysterious and quickly dying friends appear whenever a meteor crashes, and they all know Galuf. The Fire Crystal has shattered, and all we can do about the situation now is try to escape the exploding Karnak Castle before we're engulfed in its destruction.

Here's the catch. There are plenty of chests of which the contents are generally good. Most of them are guarded by monsters. There's a boss battle at the end where you can learn one of the greater !Blue spells in the game long before the next chance arises, and if you are shooting for a perfect Brave Blade you can't run from any battles either. And all we have is 10 minutes to do it.

We need a plan.

First off, I'm just gonna go ahead and say it's entirely possible to simply dash through the halls of Karnak Castle, fighting every random encounter and raiding every chest while still learning ODeath Claw at the end of it. But we need a team to handle such a situation. Enter Team America! Here's an example of what works remarkably well:

A Mystic Knight with Two-Handed
A Summoner with a RodFrost Rod
A Black Mage with Learning with a RodFrost Rod
A Thief with Barehanded

The Thief will go first and use !Steal, but will be able to deal damage in longer fight. The Mystic Knight will go second and deal respectable damage; Knights and Berserkers are too slow. The casters clean up the battlefield with spells including Shiva.

Sergeants will never attack you. They always accompany Cur Nakk and will cause the Cur Nakk dogs to attack you by saying "You better bring it!" When you've killed all Cur Nakk dogs, they will say "Can't you take a hint? Eat this!" and get the hell out of there. Why Karnak soldiers would want to attack you in the first place is a mystery, as Karnak enlisted your help; maybe they feel you've failed them? They will very rarely drop a ArmorSilver Plate, but since you could already buy them if you want them, it's no big deal. Note that you'll need to kill them at least once for a Bestiary entry. The Sergeant you'll face at the end doesn't count, as it's a different one according to the game's logic.

Sorcerers, how I loathe thee. Next to physical attacks they have OConfuse (first turn) and OToad (second turn) to cast, but that's not all. Nay, it's their great potential as !Steal victims. Their common slot contains KnifeMage Mashers, stronger Knives for whoever wants to equip them. They also have a 33% chance of casting OSilence on the target, hence their name. Sorcerer also have an awesome rare Steal, which is the ArmorGaia Gear. ArmorGaia Gear won't appear in stores for quite some time, and they have superior Defense and Magic Defense. In addition, they increase damage done by Earth-elemental attacks (of which you have none now) by 50%. Chances are 10/256 you'll get one from your !Steal attempt, though.

Cur Nakk dogs heavily rely on Sergeants to damage you. They'll simply attack physically on their own, but when their Sergeants tell them to attack you, they'll use !Bite. When their Sergeant has been killed, they'll make a run for it using Flee. You'll sometimes see a single one as an encounter; they'll immediately use Flee, giving you 2 free ABP.

Gigas are the dungeon's most prominent enemies. They have a common Elixir for you to Steal, feature in almost every chest as a guardian and leave a Goliath Tonic every time you kill one. When they're damaged they have a 66% chance of countering with a OAero spell on the entire party. Other attacks include OAera (uses randomly, possibly every turn) and !Elbow, which is unblockable and barrier- piercing. Elixirs are useful later on and this is the most easily abused source in the game, so make sure to try and Steal from every Gigas you encounter. If you're in luck, you might get to learn OAera from these guys, but don't sit around and wait for it, you're on the clock.

Gigas' and Sergeants are the only who will be able to withstand a RodFrost Rod Shiva casting when you've leveled normally (15 or higher), so focus Barehanded punches and swords slinging on them before summoning the mistress of Ice. Steal whenever you can, especially from Sorcerers as their ArmorGaia Gear truly is something to want. However, it's only a rare steal...

Now, the rare Steal really rears its ugly head. The chances of actually stealing the rare item? 10/256. That's right. To illustrate how minor that chance is, here's a scenario to visualize the entire deal. Imagine a soccer field, right? A soccer field with 256 guys standing on it, enjoying their day off from their hellhole job at Taco Bell or something. Now, suppose you were to enter this soccer field and systematically, without remorse, start kicking these guys in the nuts. Here and there, you leave 10 lucky individuals alone. Now, after your job is done, you're panting from all the hard work near the side-lines and you look on the field. What do you see? You see 246 men groaning in pain, on their knees, on their face in the grass, asking their absent God what they did to deserve this. Here and there, you can see one or two men looking around and wondering what the hell just happened. That acne-infested teenager you left alone because he isn't going to use his privates in the near future anyway, standing knee-deep in an average amount of 24 full-grown, crying men? THAT's your rare steal right there. Good luck with that. Editor's Note: Djibriel is quite mad, quite mad indeed.

You're automatically Dashing in this stage of the game, so you won't need the Thief for its Dash support ability. However, there are plenty of simply great items to obtain while escaping from the monsters here, so you'll quite simply want to have a !Steal option in your team. The Thief's superior Agility makes sure he's the best for the job; be sure to equip the AccessoryThief's Gloves too.

If you don't make it in time, the screen will start shaking while a red glow envelops the background. It means that the castle goes 'BOOM!' and it looks stunningly lame.

You fell down in a room with a pot. This contains water from a Spring of Recovery, so if Liquid Flame busted you up you can quickly trace back and heal up. You start the big race in a room with a Save Point, where you can Save.

The first room you dash through is the jail cells you were thrown in by Karnak soldiers earlier. There are no random encounters here yet. The chest in the left jail contains 2000 GP and no monsters. The chest to the right contains an Elixir and is, as are all Elixir chests, guarded by monsters: Sorcerer, Cur Nakk x2 (common) or Gigas (rare)

This next room knows random encounters. To the right is a chest containing a Shuriken, an item which you will soon be able to use. Don't miss it. It's guarded by what appears to be a fixed Gigas encounter. The left chest is even more vital as it contains a HelmetRibbon. The HelmetRibbon is pretty much the ultimate helmet of the entire game. It raises Strength, Agility, Vitality and Magic Power by 5 and protects against Dead, Petrify, Toad, Poison, Darkness, Old, Berserk and Silence. Downside is that only the Dancer Job will be able to equip it, so in order to utilize it now would mean going Freelancer, which hinders progress. This chest is guarded: Sorcerer x2 (common) or Gigas (rare)

The next two rooms have no chests but does have random encounters. Continue to the main hall of Karnak Castle.

There are five entrances/exits here. You come out of one. The one following the carpet leads into the throne room, where you have nothing to see but random encounters. The one leading out is one we don't want yet, so it's the two doors left to check. We'll want to enter both doors and raid everything behind it. Let's start with the left one.

A room filled with chests of which three are closed. The left-most chest contains 2000 GP and is safe to open. The other two contain Elixirs and are guarded by monsters. The bottom one contains a fixed Gigas, the other one: Sorcerer x2 (common) or Gigas (rare)

Exit using the stairs. You'll find yourself on the walls of Karnak Castle. Dash to the stairway on the other side and descend to the chest. It contains an AccessoryElven Mantle, and is guarded: Gigas, Sorcerer, Cur Nakk (common) or Gigas (rare)

Trace back your steps until you're in the main hall, and take the left door now. This part mirrors what you've just seen, only there are four chests. The right-most contains a safe 2000 Gil, the other one close to it contains an Elixir and is guarded by: Sorcerer, Cur Nakk x2 (common) or Gigas (rare)

While the other two ones also contains Elixirs. The top-left is guarded by a fixed Gigas, the other one is guarded by: Sorcerer, Cur Nakk x2 (common) or Gigas (rare)

Taking the stairs, following the walls and descending to the chest will net you a fight with: Gigas, Sorcerer, Cur Nakk (common) or Gigas (rare)

Your reward will be a KnifeMain Gauche, a dagger that will allow the wielder to block 25% of all physical attacks before even making a check to Evade %. It's a great equip for Jobs that don't need to boost elements but don't physically attack either. Now, trace back to the main hall. Before you leave, there are chests on either side of you. The left one contains the level 4 !White Heal spell, and is guarded by: Sorcerer x2 (common) or Gigas (rare)

The right one contains a Lightning Scroll and is guarded by: Sorcerer, Cur Nakk x2 (common) or Gigas (rare)

Now, it's finally time to get out. You should have two minutes or so on the clock. Make sure you have enough MP to last a few rounds, and make sure your Learning character has it equipped. Now, get out and face what appears to be a normal random encounter just when you're about to leave. There's another Sergeant, but something seems fishy...
Iron Claw
Iron Claw
Bestiary #252
Attack Mult.
Magic Atk.
Mag. Def.
Mag. Evade
Stolen Items
Dropped Items
Common: AccessorySilver Specs
Command Immunities
Elemental Immunities
Elemental Absorb
Elemental Weakness
Blue Magic
Status Immunities
Iron Claw has high defense, so physical attacks are of limited utility. Magical attacks will be the way to go, though you might want to wait to try to learn ODeath Claw before finishing him off.

The Cur Nakk monsters are hardly different from their normal counterparts so I won't list them here. Here's the deal: when you kill all Cur Nakk dogs your party will notice something strange about the Sergeant:

Bartz: "This guy..."
Lenna: "He's no ordinary soldier!"
Galuf: "Show us your true form!"
Sergeant: "Hahahahaha! You wish to know my true identity? I am the famed bounty hunter... Iron Claw! MORPH!!!"

At which point Iron Claw will reveal himself to be... Iron Claw, a self-declared great bounty hunter. He proceeds to change form. This process reduces his maximum HP to 900, but any damage you did to him in his Sergeant form surpassing his 900 HP will still be there. Iron Claw's Defense shoots up to 20 all of a sudden, (he's made of iron, after all) so physical attacks will kinda stop hurting him as much. Iron Claw will then start pounding you into fine mist with his physicals and the Blue spell ODeath Claw. Defeating Iron Claw really isn't that big a deal; the problem is that you'll have to wait for your Blue Mage/Learning character to get hit by ODeath Claw as it's truly a nice attack to have. ODeath Claw is a single-target attack that reduces the target's HP to a single digit and sets Paralyze. It's like super-OGravity.

Just keep yourselves healed in the meantime. You can Steal his Hero Cocktail if you want.

As soon as you've bagged ODeath Claw (it may take a while, it's all random), you can set something like Sleep or Stop on the guy and whip out some magical attacks to kill him with. Once Iron Claw has been defeated, quickly escape.

Karnak Castle now explodes. Five of the Crystal shards of the Fire Crystal come flying to you, but only three land where you stand. The other two are nowhere to be found. The three shards contain the Ninja, Beastmaster and Geomancer Jobs.

Caves of Narshe: Final Fantasy V
Version 6
©1997–2017 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

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