The Cursed Shield... If only there were a way to lift the curse, it would be the finest shield in the world...Old man in Narshe
The Cursed Shield is a shield of unknown provenance in Final Fantasy VI. It transforms into the Paladin Shield, the most powerful shield, after winning 256 battles with the shield equipped. The Cursed Shield is the worst shield; not only does it inflict numerous status ailments on the wearer, it makes the equipped character weak to certain elements.
To obtain the shield, the player must recruit Locke in the World of Ruin and go to Narshe with him in the party to open the locked doors within the city. The shield is found inside the house right up the stairs to the right of the relic shop.
Bloodstained shield that inflicts various status ailments.Description
The Cursed Shield gives stat penalties; -7 to Strength, Speed, Stamina, and Magic and no boosts to Defense, Evasion, Magic Defense, and Magic Evasion. It inflicts doom, silence, berserk, confusion, and sap on the wearer. The player can equip a Ribbon to prevent the status ailments, except Doom. The Lich Ring will make Doom heal the wearer, and the Minerva Bustier can negate the elemental weaknesses.
The Cursed Shield makes the user weak to Fire, Ice, Lightning, Poison, Earth, and Water elements (meaning, for instance, if a user takes fire damage, the damage will be doubled). All characters, except Umaro, can equip the Cursed Shield. It is ignored by the Optimize option in the equipment menu.
It is affected by the immunity bug. When the player equips the Cursed Shield mid-battle, rather than inflicting the wearer with statuses, it immunizes the wearer to silence, berserk, confuse, and sap. However, due to the relationship with regen, setting sap immunity also sets regen immunity. This is a normal rule of the game; the same goes for haste and slow. When the player unequips the Cursed Shield in the same battle, the immunities it set are stripped. This does not account for regen immunity, so sap and regen immunity will remain for the duration of the battle. If a target is turned into a zombie, it will always lose certain statuses (darkness, poison, critical, berserk, confuse, and sleep), even if they were supposed to be permanent.
Dispelling the curse
In all versions prior to Pixel Remaster, the player should not equip Gogo with the Cursed Shield if they want to dispel the curse, because the only characters that can dispel the shield's curse are those who can gain Magic AP in battle. Those who cannot earn Magic AP, like Gogo and Umaro (if he could equip shields), are unable to dispel the curse. In the Pixel Remaster however, the battles no longer need to yield Magic AP to lift the curse on the shield and so Gogo can also equip it. The shieldbearer also need not be alive during the battle and they are allowed to run or be ejected, as long as the battle is completed. However, battles in the Cultists' Tower no longer work for dispelling the curse.
The player is advised to equip the wearer with a Ribbon to counter nearly all the status ailments, except for the doom status. It will also help if a party member is also equipped with the Alarm Earring to prevent back attacks and pincer attacks, speeding up the battle. Equipping the Lich Ring renders doom harmless; after the countdown, the wearer is fully healed.
The easiest and fastest way to dispel the curse from the shield is to fly to the Solitary Island and fight the Peepers. Since they have innate sap and only one HP, they will usually die before or right after their first turn. The player must be careful when fighting in the desert nearby, as a Black Dragon may occasionally show up.
Another method may be employed in the versions prior to Pixel Remaster, in the Cultists' Tower inside the secret room on the first floor. The secret room appears after the secret switch on the right side of the treasure chest containing the Safety Bit in the room above is pushed. This room contains a sole encounter with two Magic Urns that heal the party, prioritize reviving KO'd party members before the battle ends, and have a 33% chance to flee the battle. While the battle takes slightly longer than the above method, each encounter yields 5 AP instead of 1 AP, making it ideal for learning spells concurrently.
If a party member has won 256 battles with the Cursed Shield equipped, the shield transforms into the Paladin's Shield, the best shield. The shield must be equipped to that party member (other than Gogo in versions prior to Pixel Remaster). Removing the Cursed Shield from the equipped party member, or changing the wearer, does not reset the counter.
There are certain conditions that must be met for the battle to count. The player must win the battle, but they do not need to defeat the enemies. If the opponent flees, like Deathgaze, or dies from poison or sap status, the battle will count as won. If the equipped party member is in KO, zombie, or petrify status when the battle is won, it will not count towards dispelling the curse. Battles won at the Dragon's Neck Coliseum do not count, or battles in the Cultists' Tower in the Pixel Remaster. Battles where Gau leaps or returns on the Veldt during battle do not count either.
curse (also called an imprecation, malediction, execration, malison, anathema, or commination) is any expressed wish that some form of adversity or misfortune will befall or attach to some other entity: one or more persons, a place, or an object. In particular, "curse" may refer to such a wish or pronouncement made effective by a supernatural or spiritual power, such as a god or gods, a spirit, or a natural force, or else as a kind of spell by magic or witchcraft; in the latter sense, a curse can also be called a hex or a jinx.A