The Solitary Island

You'll wake up as Celes in an entirely different world. You're stranded on a deserted island with Cid, and a year has passed. It's unclear what, if anything, you should do. Cid has grown ill, so the only thing to do for now is catch fish and try to nurse him back to health.

The Solitary Island

Before doing anything else, you may want to exit to the World Map and save. Cid's health will not deteriorate while you're on the World Map. Celes's equipment and Esper have been removed, so re-equip her. Since you only have a single party member, it pays to focus on defensive capabilities. A Relic like a Ribbon will prevent a stray Status from ending the game prematurely. You may even want to equip a Morning Star and put her in the back row for extra physical defense.

There's no reason to go into battle on the island, but if you do, you'll find that most encounters are with Monsters that immediately die. The wasteland areas feature Peepers, while you may also see an EarthGuard in the small desert area. There is one actual challenge here, in the form of the Black Drgn you may also find in the desert. They are powerful and may use Sand Storm in the first round, but the major threat comes in the second round. If they turn Celes into a Zombie with BonePowder, it's game over.

Saving Cid

Since this is an RPG, saving Cid takes the form of a mini-game. From his starting point, you need to raise his health score by 136, and he dies if it decreases by 90. It decreases steadily over time, but the main impact you can have on him is by catching fish. Sprint Shoes will minimize the time wasted between catching and feeding. The fish are caught south of the cabin by interacting with them in the shallows.

Fish Effects on Health
Fish Speed Health
Fish Slow −16
Rotten Fish Average −4
Just a Fish Average +16
Yummy Fish Fast +32

If you catch multiple fish at once, the cumulative health adjustment is applied. (You can see exactly which fish you've caught by checking them on the Rare Items menu.) It is not possible to have two of the same kind of fish at once, nor is it possible to get rid of a fish without feeding it to Cid. The fish reset every time you speak to Cid in the Cabin. If no fish spawn at all, speak to Cid until more appear.

As a general rule, you never want to catch the slow-moving fish, but on balance it makes sense to catch any fish moving at average speed. You can't tell the difference between a Rotten Fish and Just a Fish visually, but on average you'll get a +6 out of each one you catch. If two average-speed fish spawn at the same time, check the Rare Items menu after you catch the first. If it's a Rotten Fish, catch the other, but otherwise you should avoid doing so.

Cid's Dialogue
Health Dialogue
+135 I'm not going to be around…
+110 Thanks for all you've done
+80 I feel a little better
+40 I can't bear this any longer
0 I'm not long for this world
−30 My worst nightmare…
−60 While I can still talk…
−90 (death)

Each time you feed or speak to Cid, his dialogue indicates his approximate health level. The health in the table indicates the maximum health score at which a given bit of dialogue will be used. So at +1 Cid will mention that he "can't bear this any longer," and that reaction will not change unless he falls below +1 or progresses above +40.

If you manage to raise Cid's health score to +136 or higher, he will make a full recovery and show you the raft he created, allowing Celes to leave the Solitary Island. On the other hand, if his health reaches −90 and he dies, Celes will despair and eventually throw herself off of a cliff to the north. (This is obviously supposed to be a suicide attempt, though due to Nintendo's 1994 standards, the dialogue does not present it as such.) It's a powerful scene, but she survives filled with a new purpose: to find her friends. When she returns to the Cabin, she finds a note from Cid that leads to the raft he built.

However Celes comes across the raft, she will immediately set sail and wash up in the vicinity of Albrook. It's time to start a new quest.