Part 15: Dump and Peco

Main Walkthrough

The children have been caught by Balio and Sunder once again, and the horse brothers have hatched another half-brained scheme: Force Ryu and company to participate in the Contest of Champions, a tournament normally reserved for fully-grown adults. Sounds reasonable.

Until the Contest is over your party will be forced to remain within the general vicinity of Genmel, though you can travel outside the town and train. You'll also need to leave one of your party members behind as a hostage, whom you can swap by visiting Balio and Sunder's office in the Arena. (I highly recommend leaving Peco behind for now, and not leveling him at all. You can see why in the previous section of the guide.)

Enter the Arena. There's plenty to explore and many eager spectators willing to talk, but you won't find much of use until you reach the western locker rooms. Your locker room is near the entrance, and if you head northwest down the hall you'll find the locker room of Team Patrio, your competitors in the first battle of the Contest. Check their cabinets for a Healing Herb.

Before you enter your own room, head northeast. You'll find stairs leading down to a prep area that's full of merchants. Here you can rest, save your game, buy new weapons (only for Ryu) and armor, and stock up on general restorative items. Grabbing Ryu a Claymore is a wise choice if you have the money to spare, as he's going to have to pull more weight than the others during the Contest.

Head back upstairs and enter your locker room once you're ready to fight. Check the cabinet on the right for a Coin, then speak to the attendant. She'll send you off to war.

Hall of Fire

Your first battle takes place in the Hall of Fire. Before the fight begins you'll need to choose an order in which your party members will fight, based on the combat order of your party (not order on the map), and they'll face off one-at-a-time against the members of Team Patrio. The battle takes place in a sea of fire, and both competitors stand atop Dodai, muscular men who can withstand a lot of abuse.

There are two ways to complete the Hall of Fire battle:

  • Defeat all three members of Team Patrio
  • Defeat Team Patrio's Dodai in any of the three individual battles
We'll discuss each of the members of Team Patrio below. If you choose instead to target their Dodai you'll need to whittle away 2,000 HP while withstanding attacks from the opposite member of Team Patrio. The Dodai is weak to Ice attacks, and all three of your team members should have icy options by now (Ryu can use the Reverse and Flame Genes to become an Ice Whelp, Nina should know Iceblast, and Momo can equip the Frost Chrysm). Defeating the Dodai will instantly end the battle, earning you a substantial amount of XP... though only for your one character.

Choose to fight Team Patrio instead and you'll face three battles, each tactically different from the last. There are no breaks to heal between matches. If your characters lose at any point they will be replaced with the next member in line. Given his all-around power and ability to change into a dragon, Ryu will likely be the anchor for your party, and if you use items and AP tactically he can handle all three battles on his own.


Steal: Silver Knife
Drop: Speed Boots
Learn: Blind, Double Blow

The easiest of the bunch to defeat, Claw focuses on physical strikes. She doesn't hit that hard, though she's fast enough to go first against Ryu and Momo. Her ability to use Blind makes her something of a poor choice for Momo, whose accuracy is already terrible, so deploy either Ryu or Nina to fight her. Nina has the added bonus of knowing Blunt, which will make Claw's attacks quite weak.


Steal: Dream Ring
Drop: Nothing
Learn: Nothing

A magic user, Cawer peppers your team with spells, and is sort of a combination of Nina and Momo since he can both attack and heal using his Skills. He's not terribly powerful, and either Nina or Momo should be able to fend off his spells without much trouble. If you've come this far without using Ryu you might as well save him for last.


Steal: Scale Mail
Drop: Claymore
Learn: Nothing

A physical fighter, Patrio is easily the most potent of your three opponents. He'll spend most of the battle using normal melee attacks or Lucky Strike, and both have the potential to hurt quite a bit. Hurt Patrio enough and he'll start using Frost Strike, which can put your character to sleep if your luck is poor. 

Unless you brought Peco along and beefed him substantially Ryu is by far the best opponent for Patrio, and if you saved Ryu for last he can change into a Frost Whelp and take Patrio apart. This will also greatly downplay the damage capacity of Frost Strike. Momo's a good second choice if Ryu isn't available, though make sure she uses Protect on herself or she will take a lot of damage from Patrio's sword strikes.

Knock out Team Patrio, one way or another, and you'll be done with the Hall of Fire. Next: The Null Magic Hall. Head downstairs, use the inn to rest up and save, then go through the far east door. Up a set of stairs you'll find the locker rooms. Check the northwestern locker room to find 40 zenny in a locker, then head to your own room.

Once you're spoken to the attendant in your locker room you'll be approached by Emitai, your opponent for the next round, who begs the party to throw the match so he can earn enough prize money to care for his sick daughter. You can't do that, so... time for a sad brawl.

Emitai and Golems

Steal: Mage's Robes (Emitai) / Life Shard (Golems)
Drop: Magician Rod (Emitai)
Learn: Nothing

This is a very straightforward battle. Because you're in the Null Magic Hall no one on either team can use magic, forcing Emitai to rely on his two Golems. All they do is use Spirit Blast, a strong melee attack against one character, over and over. Emitai will cringe in the back row.

Your own team also can't use magic, which means you'll have to rely on physical Skills, Ryu's Accession, and items for healing. There are two ways to end this fight:
  • Focus on one Golem, take it out, then take out the other. Mop the floor with Emitai once he's alone. Pretty simple.
  • Focus all your firepower on Emitai from the start. Once he goes down the Golems will get confused, and they will start attacking one another. Help them along until you clear the field.
In either case you'll need to heal your characters regularly, as Spirit Blast stings. Still, there's not much to this battle.

Everyone will be horribly depressed after the battle, and Sunder, of all people, will recommend not checking in on Emitai and his family. (Ignore his advice and have a look at Emitai's locker room. You'll feel better.) With Emitai out of your way there will only be one battle left, and that's against Garr, the reigning champion of the Contest of Champions.

Head back to the merchants' room, save and heal, and take the door near the exit to the Null Magic Hall. Look in Garr's room, at the end of the hall, and you'll find a Bandana in one of his lockers. Then pop into your own locker room. Speak to the attendant to begin the grand finale, a one-on-one battle between Ryu and Garr.


Steal: Nothing
Drop: Nothing
Learn: Nothing

Garr is a powerful, Fire-inclined opponent who hits very hard. Put up the best fight you can against him, but Garr will eventually land a Lucky Strike of incredible strength, putting Ryu down and ending the fight. Ah well.

Visit Balio and Sunder's office. Garr will surprise everyone by choosing Ryu and friends as his prize for winning the Contest of Champions, freeing them. This doesn't go over well with Balio and Sunder, of course, but... tough luck, horse brothers. Apparently in the know regarding the Brood, Garr will tell Ryu to meet him in the eastern lands, at a place named Angel Tower. 

You can now depart Genmel and do as you please. Before you skip town, however, visit Fahl's pub, where the kids were being held earlier in the game. Fahl barely recognizes the kids, but he'll nevertheless offer his services as a Master - assuming you can endure thirty battles out in the field, without resting. (Running away is fine, just don't rest anywhere.) Fahl raises HP, Pwr, and Def while sacrificing Int and Agi. He's the perfect Master for Peco, who has little use for magic, and isn't a terrible fight for Ryu if you're more focused on honing his physical abilities.

The path away from Genmel lays across the Maekyss Gorge, along the western road from the Arena. Alas, Balio and Sunder aren't about to let the kids away just because Garr let them go, and they'll call in every thug they know. You'll need to fight three Bullies, all of whom are unique from one another, none of whom are very difficult.

Defeat the Bullies and you'll discover that Garr has the team's back, and he'll dispose of the rest of the horse brothers' men. Unfortunately, Balio and Sunder still have one last ace up their sleeves, and it's a doozy. Choose your party - Ryu and Garr must join in, so you need to pick one more, who should probably be Momo - and a Formation, then dive in.


Steal: Life Shard
Drop: Holy Mantle
Learn: Nothing

The first truly difficult boss in Breath of Fire III, Stallion is a handful. He has a ton of HP - 1,500! - and uses an array of powerful attacks against your party:
  • A normal melee chop
  • Jolt, which hits the whole party with Lightning damage
  • Barrier, which reduces magic damage against Stallion
  • Resist, which negates all damage inflicted on Stallion for one turn
  • Utmost Attack / Vortex Wave, which hits the whole party for heavy damage (the name varies by version)
Ryu will likely do most of the damage in this fight, though Garr and Momo can contribute as well. Have Ryu change into a Flame Dragon to minimize his AP cost and use Flame Claw on Stallion every turn. Garr can attack normally, while Momo (or, if you decided to go with her, Nina - Peco probably isn't strong enough to help much) provides healing support and the occasional normal attack. Magic won't do much against Stallion, so stick to physical strikes.

Eventually Stallion will start to use Utmost Attack / Vortex Wave, which will hit everyone in the party for around 30 points of damage. Put Garr on healing duty with items once this happens, as everybody - besides perhaps a dragon Ryu - will be hurting after it goes off, and you don't want to get caught by another use of the move if the big horse decides to get nasty. Keep slicing away at Stallion with Ryu and he'll go down eventually... though it might take a while.

Defeating Stallion will finally free the kids from the grimy clutches of Balio and Sunder. The group will also receive a new member, as Garr, intent on seeing Ryu to Angel Tower, will join the party. Garr is slow, has poor AP, and makes little use of his Skills, but is otherwise a physical powerhouse. If you don't plan on building up Peco (or want a near-duplicate of the onion who looks much cooler) Garr is a solid substitute.

You'll regain control on the north side of Maekyss Gorge. Before you leave the area, though, check beneath the bridge. You'll find a house that belongs to a pair of artists - they will be important later in the game - and if you check their dresser you'll find 400 zenny. Out front of the house, barely hidden behind a bush, is the Frost Gene. This will allow Ryu to transform into icy dragons without needing to use the Reverse Gene.

Main Walkthrough