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Final Fantasy 6 is really amazing all around, but there are a few gameplay elements that seem a bit strange or unfair. Some of these I can chalk up to "Oh wow, I was not prepared for that, I should come back later when I've built up my stats." And I certainly respect including truly difficult challenges for players who want them.

There was one design choice that (at least to me) seemed over the top ridiculous. This is finding the Blue Dragon. I am not sure how to account for this one.

(This should not be much of a spoiler to the Arqade crowd at this point in time. Even if it was, it is discussed plainly on other sites.)

To find the Blue Dragon, you much first go to the Ancient Castle (also hidden). Go into the throne room, stand next to the throne on the right, take five steps down, and press the action button (there is nothing on the floor to suggest the character can interact with something). A sound is heard, but nothing visibly changes. Exploring the next room, you will find a staircase has been revealed (previously, there was nothing there to indicate that something might be hidden there).

enter image description here

Are there any in-game clues about this location? Anything at all to hint that something might be hidden in this castle? This just seems horribly unfair in this context. Is there no way to find the Blue Dragon except by tedious floor-humping through the entire World of Ruin?

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This is one of those, "Well, technically there's an in-game clue..." mind-twister puzzles that older JRPGs often loved.

Once you've triggered the Ancient Castle to return, provided you also read the queen's diary, if you go to the library at Figaro Castle and speak to all the NPCs there one of the scholars will have the following to say to you:

To think that a thousand-year-old city would be lying buried beneath the sands of this very desert! I found a short passage about the city in an ancient text, but I haven't been able to make much sense of it. "When the queen stands and takes five steps..."*

And, indeed, the hidden passage is five steps away from the queen's throne.

*(This is FFVI Advance's translation - I have no idea how the original English "FFIII" version translated it, or whether the hint even survived translation at all.)

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Based on the previous excellent answer from Lamprey, I can confirm the following in the SNES version (the original English FFIII).

You must visit the Ancient Castle, but (at least in the SNES version) you do NOT need to read the queen's diary. After returning, there is a hint from the guard in the basement of Figaro Castle:

enter image description here

(At this point, Figaro Castle is still underground, and all the doors are locked. From the engine room, select "Continue journey", and then you can go upstairs and talk to one of the scholars.)

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

Most of the 8 dragons can be found just by wandering around (or by figuring out puzzles that were left unresolved in the World of Balance, such as the rusty door in Zozo). Every guide I read just stated the facts of where the dragons can be found: none provided hints. From that perspective, finding the Blue Dragon seemed well nigh impossible.

So this is a difficult puzzle, but at least it is similar to many of the other adventure-style puzzles in the game, which involve discovering things, and then going back and talking to (nearly every) NPC in the land looking for clues.

That's fair. I can appreciate this.

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  • Excellent answer! +1 for the screenshots and the FFIII translation version. And that's very interesting on the Queen's Diary bit - the person who first explained the hint to me told it was necessary, so I've always done it that way, but I wonder if it isn't required after all in FFVI Advance either... I should test that if I get the chance.
    – Lamprey
    Mar 20, 2020 at 16:58
  • Why, thank you! Your initial response got me started. I love adventure-style puzzles. While working through a walkthrough guide on the 8 dragons, I was so upset when I came to this one. But... I think I just need to come to grips with the fact that if I had not been using a walkthrough guide, I would have been forced to explore more on my own, and would not have had all these questions in the first place. Mar 22, 2020 at 2:15

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