A cavern near Balamb Garden where a Fire element GF lives.
The Fire Cavern is the first location the player is asked to visit and functions largely as a tutorial with Quistis guiding Squall through the trial. The cavern doesn't hold any secrets or reason to return, but is still accessible during endgame.
The cavern is situated to the east of Balamb Garden and on the hem of the Gaulg Mountains overlooking the Albatross Archipelago.
- Cavern Entrance
Upon approach the cavern entrance will be guarded by two Garden Faculty. The faculty are there to ensure the visitor has authorization and, if during a prerequisite exam, has the necessary preparations completed and another faculty, such as a teacher, to assist them during the time within the cavern.
- Cavern Depths
The cavern's internal environment is what one would expect from its name: The cavern is filled with magma, with only a small path in which to travel across, and fire-elemental monsters.
- Ifrit's Dwelling
Located at the very back of the cavern, at the end of the pathway, is the lava pond where Ifrit dwells. Upon approach he will awaken and emerge from underneath the magma, ready to face whatever the challenger has to offer.
- Guardian Forces - Ifrit
After getting to the Fire Cavern two members of Garden Faculty wait at the entrance and let the player choose a time limit for their challenge. The options are 10, 20, 30 or 40 minutes. At the end of the cavern Squall and Quistis fight Ifrit, and the amount of time left on the clock at the end of the battle determines the Judgement section of Squall's SeeD score he receives after the exam; the player should aim to defeat Ifrit with 7 or fewer seconds on the clock for the maximum test score, while being aware that Ifrit's dialogue at the end of battle also counts toward the limit, and if the player runs out of time during the post-battle dialogue, they still lose. The player can allow the game to remain in the screen where the player names Ifrit, and let the time run out during it to get maximum score; although the timer does not appear on the naming screen it will keep counting down.
In the Japanese version, the timer only stops after the player makes it back to the entrance and talks to the Garden Faculty there.
Buel and Bomb are fixed at level 5, while Red Bat is fixed at level 4. There are no encounters on the path that leads to the cavern.
First area (inside the cavern)Edit
- Ifrit (boss)
- No random encounters
The Fire Cavern's theme is "Find Your Way", which is the standard dungeon music shared by other places in the game.
Balamb Garden (炎の洞窟Name used in Final Fantasy Record Keeper., Honoo no Doukutsu?) appears as a location.
Squall has undergone rigorous training as a student at Balamb Garden Military Academy. Now, to earn a chance to become a member of SeeD, Garden's elite mercenary force, he and Quistis head for the Fire Cavern.
Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction products.
- In the Japanese version, the Garden Faculty would tell Squall he will receive his credits at Garden after he has obtained Ifrit and is leaving the cavern. This line was removed in later versions, and the Garden Faculty are no longer there when the player leaves.
- In the English version, when Quistis jokes her presence at the test makes boys nervous, Squall replies with "whatever". In the Japanese version, he says "...you're a teacher" implying he disapproves of Quistis's behavior.