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NALBINA FORTRESS

After the dramatic opening sequence, you’ll take control of Reks. Follow Basch’s instructions during the tutorial, beginning with movement and mouse actions. When prompted, talk to the Dalmascan soldier then approach the gate next to him. Press X to enter the fortress and fight the Imperial Swordsman that appears. After defeating him, move forward until a scene takes over.

Attack the Air Cutter Remora until Basch finishes it off. Continue forward to engage 3 more Imperials then go upstairs. After Basch explains how to access location maps using the Select button, move forward to trigger another scene. When you regain control, head north. Fight more Imperials to get a feel for the battle system or hold down the R2 button to flee. Grab a Potion from a pot in the eastern alcove then continue moving north. Before ascending the staircase, walk the rest of the length of the hall to find another Potion in the northern nook. Go upstairs when you’re ready to move on.

On top, you’ll find a blue Save Crystal. Use it to restore the party’s HP/MP, remove negative status effects, and to save your game data. Afterwards, continue up the stairs to the next screen where you’ll fight 3 Imperial Swordsmen by yourself. Upon defeating them, move south to a door. Enter and head west into the king’s chamber where a cutscene takes over.

ROYAL CITY OF RABANASTRE

Now controlling Vaan, defeat 3 Dire Rats in the city’s sewer. If you can, try stealing some items from them as well. Afterwards, watch a scene introducing Penelo, who suggests visiting Migelo in his shop. When Penelo leaves, [World Map] is added to the party menu. Head east then go south towards the red X marked on your map. Speak to some of the locals as you pass by. Upon reaching Migelo, a scene takes over. When it ends, backtrack north past the shops and enter the Sandsea tavern marked on your map.

Watch a scene inside, where Tomaj explains how the Notice Board works. In short, you earn rewards by taking on hunts that petitioners post on boards throughout Altair. At the moment, there is one bill posted involving a Rogue Tomato. Ask to hear the details:

* Hunt: “Red and Rotten in the Desert”
* Mark: Rogue Tomato, Rank I (Dalmasca Estersand, The Stepping)
* Petitioner: Tomaj (Rabanastre, The Sandsea)
* Reward: 300 gil, 2 Potions, Teleport Stone

After [Clan Primer] is added to the party menu (listing hunts, monsters slain, game tips, etc.), Tomaj explains how the License Board works. Basically, you accumulate license points (LP) by defeating enemies and use these points to unlock tiles in order to customize characters. Some tiles require that you have a corresponding item, spell, or piece of equipment in your inventory before you can take advantage of the license. Other tiles can only be activated once, such as Quickenings. Get these even if you don’t plan on using them, since they double or triple your MP. For now, spend 5 LP to unlock the ‘Accessories 1’ tile so that you can equip the Orrachea Armlet Tomaj gave you. After the tutorial, [Licenses] is added to the party menu and you obtain a Writ of Transit. Leave the Sandsea.

Before heading over to Eastgate, feel free to explore other areas of the city. In particular, go to the northern section of Rabanastre and talk to the Conspicuous Bangaa standing on the western side of the plaza near a green sign. Agree to enter the building behind him. Once inside Clan Hall, speak to the moogle (Montblanc) at the top of the stairs to automatically join Clan Centurio. As a member, you can purchase items at the clan’s specialty shop in Muthru Bazaar, which is on the west end of the city. Visit Montblanc regularly to get elite hunts not posted on regular notice boards, and to collect rewards when your clan rank increases or when you slay special creatures.

When ready, go to the southern plaza and talk to the Desert Merchant standing next to the fountain. Agree to deliver a Small Package for him (if you’re greedy, you can sell the package in town for 150 gil). Either way, take the eastern stairs down to the gate guard for a scene. Once outside the gate, speak to the Hapless Merchant standing near the Save Crystal. If you kept the small package, give it to him. You will not receive anything for delivering it, other than his gratitude. If you want to get back inside the city at this point, talk to the guard near the gate then queue up in line; otherwise, head into the Dalmasca Estersand.

DALMASCA ESTERSAND

Spend time fighting foes and collecting items scattered throughout the Estersand. Most treasure containers will respawn after clearing an area already visited, though they may not contain the same items. Note that you can steal items from sleeping creatures without walking them – a good way to collect loot that you can sell back in town later on. Creatures with red bars over their heads are aggressive whereas those with green bars remain friendly unless provoked. Also, killing the same type of creature over and over again (without killing another type in between) creates a chain that allows for better drops.

Do not engage the large dinosaur-like creature (Wild Saurian) roaming to the north. As a rule, any enemy that has its name written in red will likely slaughter you at your current level. Visit the Outpost next to the large creature (northeast) if you want to collect some items and gil in the sand; otherwise head toward the center of the desert. The Rogue Tomato you are looking for can be found atop a hill with a flowering tree.

MARK >> Rogue Tomato

Kill off the surrounding wolves before engaging the little vegetable. Don’t be shy about using potions if you need to replenish your health. After halving the tomato’s HP, it will jump off the hill. Run down and finish it off.

Watch the scene that follows, during which you’ll acquire a handful of Galbana Lilies. When ready, travel southwest to get back to Rabanastre.

RABANASTRE

Back at Eastgate, speak with Kytes to trigger a scene. When it ends, any shops that were closed before the ceremony are now open for business. Before traveling to Lowtown, stop by the Sandsea to collect your bounty from Tomaj. You’ll find him standing at the bar now. Having completed the Rogue Tomato hunt, there should be a new bill posted on the Notice Board:

* Hunt: “Wolf in the Waste”
* Mark: Thextera, Rank I (Dalmasca Westersand, Galtea Downs)
* Petitioner: Gatsly (Rabanastre, Sandsea tavern)
* Reward: 500 gil, Headguard, Teleport Stone

The petitioner, Gatsly, is sitting on the floor next to the board. Speak to him to get details on the Thextera hunt. Afterwards, exit the Sandsea and use either the northern plaza or southgate stairs to get to Lowtown. Consult your map if you get lost.

Navigate through the underground sprawl until you reach old Dalan’s residence, which is on the southernmost end of Lowtown. Although there are many treasure pots scattered throughout Lowtown, do not open the pot directly across from Dalan’s House. By avoiding this pot (and 3 others you’ll come across during the game), you’ll be able to acquire the Zodiac Spear later on. It is the most powerful weapon in FFXII but, of course, the choice is yours.

Watch a scene upon entering Dalan’s house, during which you’ll receive the Crescent Stone. Dalan instructs you to take it to the nomads in Giza Plains. Exit Lowtown via the Southgate portal near his house.

Outside, you’ll find a Chocobo rental stall and an orange Save Crystal that also functions as a teleport station once additional destinations are found. If you want a map of Giza Plains before venturing out, go to the southern plaza in Rabanastre and buy it from the Cartographer Guild’s moogle there. When ready, exit Southgate to reach the Giza Plains.

GIZA PLAINS

Collect items in pots and fight foes as you travel south towards Nomad Village. Once there, speak with Masyua, who is standing to the northwest, to learn that you need to find a boy named Jinn. After Penelo joins the party, talk to the child next to the tent. Camina tells you that Jinn was last seen to the south. Stock up on supplies or buy a map from Nutsy, the moogle if you like. Save your game then exit the village in any direction to trigger a scene.

Penelo gives you some items (3 Potions and 2 Phoenix Downs) then [Gambit] is added to the battle menu. Although you cannot arrange or set them now, Gambits allow you to control party members’ actions in battle. Make your way south through the plains using either the left or right route. Note that the friendly Giza Rabbits may heal you if you stand near them for a while. Avoid the large werewolf creatures that roam near the southwestern region. Like the Wild Saurian in Estersand, these big foes will kill you instantly should you happen to engage them at your current level.

You’ll find Jinn sitting near a Save Crystal in Crystal Glade, which is at the southernmost edge of the plains. Explain your situation and Jinn will give you a Shadestone. To power it up, you must absorb energy from at least 3 of the 4 shimmering crystals in the plains. Jinn adds markers on your map so that you can find them easily.

A meter appears on screen showing how much energy you’ve absorbed from each crystal. Once it has reached 100%, Jinn automatically takes you back to Nomad Village. His safe return nets you 50 gil, 2 Potions and 2 Teleport Stones. Return to Rabanastre when ready.

RABANASTRE / DALMASCA WESTERSAND

At this point, you might want to complete the second Notice Board hunt. If so, exit Rabanastre from Westgate. Travel west through Galtea Downs, hugging the leftmost cliff. After battling a few small wolves, you’ll eventually stumble upon a much larger one. This is Thextera - the mark Gatsly wanted you to vanquish.

MARK >> Thextera

With Penelo still in your party, the wolf should not be too difficult to defeat. The creature uses a Lunge attack and can sometimes inflict poison. Rid the ailment with an Antidote. Use potions or Cure magick as needed. At critical, Thextera uses Call For Help to summon a new cadre of smaller wolves, so work fast at that point to take her out.

Return to Rabanastre afterwards and pick up your bounty from Gatsly in the Sandsea tavern. Once Gatsly relocates to the Muthru Bazaar, visit him there so that he adds a special item (Forgotten Grimoire) to the Bazaar Goods menu. Grimoires are expensive but worth the investment, as they increase your chances of getting rare drops from various species of monsters.

If you completed the Thextera hunt, check the Sandsea’s Notice Board for a new posting:

* Hunt: “Dalmasca’s Desert Bloom”
* Mark: Flowering Cactoid, Rank I (Dalmasca Westersand, Yardang Labyrinth)
* Petitioner: Dantro (Dalmasca Estersand, Outpost)
* Reward: 500 gil, 10 Potions

When ready, go to Dalan’s house in Lowtown. After Penelo leaves, speak with Dalan to obtain the sun-soaked Crescent Stone. Exit his house for a brief scene then head north. Look for Storeroom 5, which is near the northwest corner of Lowtown. Once there, Kytes will give you some restorative items and unlock the door on the left (the door on the right leads to the sewer where you fought the Dire Rats earlier). Enter the western sewers when ready.

GARAMSYTHE WATERWAY

Move forward and use the Save Crystal on the left. Explore the eastern path for treasure or just go west to the next screen. Once inside the Northern Sluiceway, travel north, veering down the two western paths to pick up treasure from pots. Continue east along the upper path, veering off to pick up an item when you can. Cross the water channels and when you get to the other side, head north. On the next screen, go west through the water, veering off occasionally to pick up more items from pots. At the end of the channel, travel north and ascend the staircase. Choose to enter the palace and watch the scene that follows.

ROYAL PALACE OF RABANASTRE

When you regain control, examine the ornate urn in the corner to acquire a map of the Royal Palace. Use the crystal to save your game then enter the door to the east. Avoid the treasure containers on the left and right as you make your way through the cellar. One of them forfeits your chance of getting the Zodiac Spear later on. Watch a scene towards the end of the room. When it ends, approach the guard near the stairs who tells you to wait with the others. Talk to the Bangaa servant closest to the stairs and he offers to help you get past the guard. When prompted, press Square to call the guard then quickly run upstairs before he has a chance to catch you. Enter the door on top.

Your goal is to reach the Lion Signet in the center of the room, but you’ll have to sneak around some guards first. Move forward to the first intersection then head south around a corner. When you reach the next intersection, call to the guards facing north. As they start approaching, run back to the first intersection. Once there, call to the guards facing north on the left side of the room then run east, past the Hawk Signet on the floor. Head north when you can then veer west into the next hallway. Use the Crescent Stone on the Lion Signet in the center. Doing so unlocks a passage elsewhere in the room.

Continue heading west then call to the solo guard facing north. When he starts to approach, run east down the Lion Signet hall then go north, up to the 4th hallway. Head west as far as you can and examine the faint green light behind the wall there. Enter the secret passage.

Move forward until you find a switch on the left wall. Use it to unlock the golden wall on the right. Go inside the new area to trigger a scene introducing Balthier and Fran. After obtaining the Goddess’s Magicite, go upstairs. Watch a cutscene on top. When it ends, you’ll be inside the eastern part of the sewers.

GARAMSYTHE WATERWAY

After Balthier and Fran join your party, descend the stairs to prompt a tutorial on Gambits, which allow you to script the actions of party members in battle. You will acquire different types of Gambits throughout the course of the game. Set some now if you like (recommended) then save your game at the top of the stairs. Both [Gambits] and [Party] are now added to the menu screen.

Examine the fallen soldiers in the water below for a scene then head south to the next screen. Move forward then veer east to find an urn containing a map of the Waterway and a pot containing treasure. Go west up a set of stairs to find another treasure pot then go down into the water. Zigzag along the paths, moving southward until you get to the No. 11 Channel.

Once there, take the western path over to a treasure then follow the eastern path around. Grab items in the alcove on the left then continue south. There are treasure pots off the southeastern paths. After looting them, continue south to the next screen. Veer west when you can to find a Save Crystal. Use it then go down into the water to initiate a scene with a girl.

After fighting off a group of Imperial Swordsmen, watch a scene then approach ‘Amalia’ and she will join your party as a guest. Guest characters cannot be controlled, however you can heal or revive them should the need occur. Travel west to the next area. Once there, snatch an item in the pot at the end of the lower right path then move towards the waterfalls.

BOSS >> Flans x 4

These gooey foes primarily cause damage by spinning, slapping, and blinding party members. Avoid getting stuck in the middle with them. Spread out and cast Fire spells, which are much more effective than physical attacks. Use Eye Drops to rid blindness and heal HP as needed.

Afterwards, grab an item from the pot at the end of the leftmost path then descend the stairs in the northwest corner. Get another item from the pot up ahead then travel west. Go north into the No. 10 Channel.

Veer west off the path to find more treasure then follow the eastern path over to the Central Waterway Control area. Use the Save Crystal next to 4 rusted devices before entering the Overflow Cloaca. Watch a scene then battle the fiery horse that appears.

BOSS >> Firemane

The horse is weak against water but Blizzard spells work fine as well. During the battle, Firemane teleports around the room, so your attacks will miss sometimes. When you see the boss preparing to cast Brushfire, move out of the way to avoid getting pummeled by raining fireballs. Should a party member fall, Amalia will automatically use a Phoenix Down (from her own inventory) to revive them. Heal often and use Antidotes to cure anyone’s poison status.

Watch the scenes that follow, with the party ending up inside a dungeon.

NALBINA DUNGEONS

Talk to other prisoners in the stockade as you search for pots containing Knots of Rust. These items may come in handy shortly since your captors have taken the party’s equipment, weapons, and items. Afterwards, go through the northern door and use the Save Crystal posted there. Once you move to the next screen, you’ll be thrown into a pit with 3 Seeq brutes. Balthier comes to aid you.

BOSS >> Galeedo, Gwitch, Daguza

Since you have no weapons equipped, you’ll be fighting with your fists. Toss those Knots of Rust on the guards or use Fire magick to make short work of them.

Watch a scene then move towards the Save Crystal to automatically recover the party’s gear and receive a map of the Nalbina Dungeons. If you care about getting the Zodiac Spear later on, ignore the pots in the room; otherwise, open them to receive a gambit action and Tourmaline Ring. After saving your game, move ahead to the Blackwatch area, where you’ll see numerous foes milling about.

The goal is to head northwest but Imperial Swordsmen, Hoplites, and Magus will have you surrounded if you try to rush through. The better choice is to watch their movements and strike when they have separated into smaller units. Gather a few nice items while moving through. Upon reaching the top of the northern chamber, a scene occurs showing a hidden passageway being opened by Judge Gabranth. Enter to trigger a scene.

BARHEIM PASSAGE

After Basch joins the party as a guest, go downstairs. Search the small room on the right for treasure then continue west. Examine the power relay device on the left before using the Save Crystal up ahead. Go downstairs and speak with the merchant sitting near the gate. After acquiring the Tube Fuse from Burrogh, check out his wares.
When ready, go up and install the fuse on the relay device. A Charge Meter will appear on screen. Now, go down and flip the gate switch next to Burrogh to deplete the meter by 30%. Pass through and watch a scene showing how Mimic enemies siphon energy. Killing them will replenish the meter and prevents darker foes from appearing, but you’ll have to act quickly. All Mimics are weak to ice spells, btw.

Start by heading south into the next room. Kill the Battery Mimics and collect items in the corners then use the eastern exit to reach the Great Eastern Conduit. Follow the tracks south and look for an urn containing a map of the Barheim Passage about a third of the way down. Double-back to get it. Use the map to see where the Mimics are located and follow the railway tracks that lead to them, though veering off occasionally yields nice treasures.

Kill Mimics in a room to the west (Op Sector 36) then return to the railway and continue heading south. On the next screen, veer west to reach a room occupied by both Flans and Mimics. Make your way upstairs and into the sector further west. Fight your way up a second flight of stairs then go to the northwest corner where you’ll find a gate switch. Flip it to unlock a gate further down. Leave the sector and get back on the tracks. Continue south until a scene takes over.

When you regain control, use the Save Crystal then continue south to the junction. Be warned that some pots in this area are actually Mimics in disguise. Keep moving south until you reach the Zeviah Subterrane. Pass through to the eastern side of the cavern and continue to the next screen. There’s another Save Crystal on the tracks up ahead. Use it then head south to face a boss.

BOSS >> Mimic Queen

The Queen regenerates the little Batteries, so ignore them if you can. Focus on attacking the main boss, while staying clear of her Shockstorm and Ground Shaker attacks, which might kill weaker party members. Casting Slow on the boss buys you some time to heal. Use ice spells to great effect. When the boss is about to perish, a scene takes over.

DALMASCA ESTERSAND

You regain control outside of the freshly collapsed Barheim entrance. Use the Save Crystal there then determine which route to take back to Rabanastre. To travel on foot, head southwest through the Yardang Labyrinth to reach the Outpost and continue further south to return to Rabanastre.

If you want to complete the Flowering Cactus hunt now, speak to petitioner Dantro while in the Outpost. Afterwards, re-enter the Yardang Labyrinth and look for the mark close to the center of the region.

MARK >> Flowering Cactoid

It’s a speedy little bugger so try slowing it before it has a chance to run. You may need to chase it down while fighting off regular Cactoid enemies that accompany it. Prepare to revive anyone who gets hits with its 1,000 Needles attack; otherwise, pummel the little guy with long-range weapons and Aero spells. Heal as necessary.

After slaying the Flowering Cactoid, you’ll receive a rare Cactus Flower. Return to the Outpost and collect your bounty from Dantro. Talk to him again and he will ask you to deliver the cactus flower to his wife in a village to the north. If you have not visited South Bank Village yet, now would be a good time.

SOUTH BANK VILLAGE / NALBINA FORTRESS – Optional

Head north through Dalmasca Estersand, past the Barheim entrance, until you reach a village on the banks of the Nebra river. Inside South Bank Village, there’s a Teleport Crystal, an item merchant, and a moogle that sells maps. Dantro’s Wife is standing in front of a hut near the merchant. Give her the flower you obtained by defeating the Cactoid mark and she will hand you a Bundle of Needles.

Speak to Dantro’s Wife again and she’ll ask for some Semclam Shells. Look for shiny objects along the riverbank, both in the village and outside. After gathering at least 3 shells from the shore, return to Dantro’s Wife. Talk to her until she mentions needing Nebralim to help her ailing visitor. Leave the village and start trekking back to the Outpost.

En route, stop by the Nalbina Fortress, which is directly south of the collapsed Barheim entrance. Take the eastern exit out of the Estersand to reach it. You’ll find a chocobo stall, a Teleport Crystal, and an item vendor at the entrance. Head east into Jajim Bazaar. At this point in the game, Nalbina’s shops stock merchandise similar to Rabanastre’s but check in later for new wares. The fortress has an Aerodrome as well, but it is not operating at the moment.

When ready, exit Nalbina and continue traveling south, back to the Outpost. Ask Dantro for some Nebralim and he’ll tell you to look near the crates. Search the tall stack in front of him for a phial. There’s another phial of Nebralim in the northeastern corner of the Outpost. Grab both then return to South Bank Village. Give the medicine to Dantro’s Wife and she’ll ask that you gather some Valeblossom Dew, which can be found along the cliffs in the Broken Sands region. Since the ferry is not operational yet, you’ll have to wait to collect it. For now, use the Teleport Crystal to warp back to Rabanastre or trek back on foot.

RABANASTRE

Watch a cutscene upon entering the city. Once Balthier, Fran, and Basch leave, talk to the moogle standing by the colorful signpost near the Save Crystal. Hurdy explains that the moogle’s teleport service is now up and running, allowing you to warp to various parts of the city free of charge. Use it to warp to the Sandsea so that you can check the Notice Board for new hunts:

* Hunt: “Waterway Haunting”
* Mark: Wraith, Rank I (Garamsythe Waterway, Overflow Cloaca)
* Petitioner: Milha (Lowtown, North Sprawl residence)
* Reward: 500 gil, Ether, Gauntlets

The shops now carry new merchandise, spells, etc. Spend some time upgrading then head over to Migelo’s shop. Watch a scene inside then go to Dalan’s house in Lowtown. Dalan asks you to deliver a sword to Azelas. Go to the west end of the northern sprawl (red X on map) and talk to the man sitting on the crates to gain entry into the resistance’s hideout. Watch a scene inside, during which Basch officially joins your party.

Exit the hideout and visit petitioner Milha, whose residence is near Lowtown’s northeastern stairs, to get information on the Wraith hunt. Before completing that mission, check in at Clan Hall to see if Montblanc offers any rank rewards or elite hunts:

* Hunt: “Little Love on the Big Plains”
* Mark: Cluckatrice, Rank I (Giza Plains, North Bank: dry season)
* Petitioner: Dania (Giza Plains, Nomad Village: dry season)
* Reward: 1,000 gil, Jackboots, Rainbow Egg

* Hunt: “The Cry of its Power”
* Mark: Rocktoise, Rank I (Bhujerba, Lhusu Mines, Site 2)
* Petitioner: Pilika (Bhujerba, Khus Skygrounds)
* Reward: 1,200 gil, 2 Hi-Potions, Heavy Coat

Also, look for a Viera woman (Ktjn) sitting in a niche on the staircase leading to Muthru Bazaar. If she’s there, talk to her. Visit Ktjn every so often to give her guidance – after each major story event, for example. She’ll eventually tell you she’s made a decision and will leave. You’ll meet up with Ktjn later on in the game and receive a reward based on how you answered her questions.

Return to the Sandsea and watch a scene at the entrance. Go inside for a scene with Migelo upstairs, where you’ll learn that Penelo has been kidnapped. Once Fran and Balthier rejoin the party, you are told to go to the Aerodrome at Westgate, but you may want to complete some outstanding business beforehand (explained below).

When you’re ready to advance the story, go to Westgate and enter the Aerodrome. Seek out Balthier, who is standing on the left, beyond the ticket counters. Tell him you are ready to depart and watch the scenes that follow aboard the airship Strahl.

GARAMSYTHE WATERWAY – Optional

From Lowtown, enter Storeroom 5 and take the door on the right into the Garamsythe Waterway. Follow the path down to the Overflow Cloaca and wait in the water until the Wraith appears.

MARK >> Wraith

The mark absorbs ice, but is weak to thunder so exploit that element. Try to Silence, Blind, or Immobilize the ghost. In addition to Blizzard spells, the Wraith may try to Blind your party members. Use Eye Drops to cure the ailment. Its Doom spell will kill any affected characters once the count reaches zero. The timer continues even after you’ve killed the mark, so get out of the Waterway as fast as you can to avoid death or come prepared with several Phoenix Downs.

Afterwards, return to Milha in the northwest section of Lowtown to pick up your bounty and witness a scene with Deeg. When you regain control, enter the private residence in front of you and read the letter on the table. The Dusty Letter mentions an item divided into 4 pieces and offers a clue on how to find one of them: “Stop at the water’s flow then loose it once more - east, southeast, east, southwest, southeast.” This information will come in handy later on.

GIZA PLAINS – Optional

Talk to Dania in Nomad Village’s cockatrice pen to get information on the Cluckatrice hunt she posted. Afterwards, leave the village via the eastern exit and kill all creatures in that region (including the friendly Giza Rabbits, sadly). Once you’ve cleared the area, return to the village and save your game. Go back out to the eastern region and look for a small chick rolling on the ground up ahead. Swipe at it to draw out the large Cluckatrice, as well as several of its siblings.

MARK >> Cluckatrice

This is a pesky group but if leveled sufficiently (14+), you should be able to take out the family. Try Blinding and Poisoning the mama then cast Slow, Sleep and/or Disable on the little ones to gain you some time. Dark magick works nicely on the chicks. Water-based spells also work but do not hit the entire group. The Clucktatrice inflicts a host of status ailments that you’ll need to continually guard against. Come prepared with lots of potions, Gold Needles, and Phoenix Downs to have a fighting chance.

Gather your reward from Dania afterwards.

SKYCITY OF BHUJERBA

Save your game inside Bhujerba’s Aerodrome (no teleporting allowed at the moment), then exit to the sky city. Watch a scene outside introducing “Lamont” who joins the party as a guest. Head east to get to Travia Way’s shops. Buy maps from the moogle there or just freely explore the portions of the city that are currently open.

Make your way south to Miner’s End and pass through to Lhusu Square where there’s an item merchant, another cartographer moogle, and a Save Crystal. When ready, continue down the stairs towards the mine entrance where a scene takes over.

LHUSU MINES

Go downstairs to trigger another scene then move forward to an intersection. Equip Libra to easily spot land mines while down here. Your guest member has an unlimited supply of potions, btw. Head west along the tracks until you can veer south. At the bottom, go west to the platform at the end. Pick up treasure in a pot near the gate.

Backtrack to the northern tracks then continue west until you can veer south again. Go down to the bottom and head west to reach the Oltam Span. In this area, there are stairs on either side leading to a couple of items and more land mines so explore carefully. Move forward to the next screen, where you’ll have a choice of going north or continuing west.

Take the northern path, collecting treasure along the way, to the Shunia Twinspan. Once there, descend the stairs on the right to get an item guarded by a trap or just follow the upper path to the next screen. Ignore the path leading north and continue further down the tracks until you can travel south. Follow the path into a small cave where you’ll find 3 pots containing treasure, then keep heading north until a scene takes over.

BOSS >> Ba’Gamnan, Bwagi, Gijuk, Rinok

As soon as you regain control, start running back through the mines; avoiding contact with the 4 bounty hunters and all other enemies you pass. The bounty hunters are too tough to beat as a group, so keep running until a scene occurs, showing that you’ve successfully ditched them. Leave the mines to witness a scene outside.

BHUJERBA

Go upstairs to trigger another scene in which the group devises a plan to get inside the Marquis estate. Press Square to begin filling the new Notoriety gauge that appears on screen. The idea is to run around town spreading rumors until the gauge reaches 100%. The gauge fills faster when bragging in front of the city’s Parijanahs (those holding books) or in front of large groups. The gauge depletes if bragging within earshot of any guards or in front of those who don’t care. Upon reaching 100%, a cutscene occurs.

You’ll regain control inside the Cloudborne tavern. Talk to the patrons to learn that the Marquis’ estate is on the north end of Travica Way. Before leaving, check the Notice Board to see if a new hunt is posted:

* Hunt: “Marauder in the Mines”
* Mark: Nidhogg, Rank I (Bhujerba, Lhusu Mines, Transitway 1)
* Petitioner: Aekom (Bhujerba, Lhusu Square)
* Reward: 600 gil, Rose Corsage, Balaclava, Great Serpentskin


Explore the remaining parts of the city now that all of the streets are open. In particular, go to the Khus Skygrounds in the southwest corner and talk to the moogle, Pilika, who posted the Rocktoise hunt in Clan Hall. Also, speak to petitioner Aekom in Lhusu Square. You’ll find him standing just below the Save Crystal on the steps leading to the mine. Next, enter the Staras Residence on Cloudborne Row. Speak to Niray, who asks you to find her son, Yrlon. You’ll find Yrlon sitting in Kaff Terrace, overlooking the sky in the southeast corner. Speak to him to prompt a quest later on.

When you are ready to advance the story, talk to the guard blocking the path near the armor shop. Tell him you want to see the Marquis and watch the scenes that follow.

DREADNOUGHT LEVIATHAN

Vossler joins the party as a guest and you receive a map of the Leviathan airship. Use the Save Crystal up ahead then go through the eastern door. Move forward to trigger a scene in which you are advised to avoid any security webbing that will trip the alarm system.

When you take control, you’ll be standing in front of a 3-way split. Take the third path down towards a security web where you’ll find a pot containing treasure. Backtrack north then follow the middle path down to another intersection. Go east then veer south to reach the large chamber at the bottom.

Once there, grab treasure to the south then head east. Move forward into the next chamber and continue east into the central part of the airship. Head south onto the next screen. Travel east along the upper Freight Room walkway until you get to the Starboard section of the ship. Once there, move forward until you can go north. Veer west when you can then continue north, avoiding any paths with security webbing if you can.

Navigate through the hallways towards the Sub-Control Room on top. Look for a Bulkhead Release Switch on the wall in the northwest corner. Read the advisory then activate the switch to unlock the door up ahead. Enter the Sub-Control Room and fight off the Imperial troops inside.

After defeating them, examine the security console in the northeast corner to see that it requires a key. Descend the steps on the right and kill the Imperial guard in the northeast corner. Once he’s gone, flip another Bulkhead Release switch on the wall where he was standing. Doing so unlocks the Berth section door to the south. Before entering, look inside the western niche for a hidden path leading to a couple of nice items. You’ll trip the security system afterwards but the foes that appear are easy to defeat. Afterwards, pass through the berth section and continue south to the central Block door. Enter for a scene.

BOSS >> Judges x 2, Imperial Swordsmen x 4, Imperial Magus

Dispose of the Magus first, before he has a chance to impose nasty status effects then focus on the Judges. Cast Blind, Slow, or Disable on them to make your task easier. Dark spells are most effective. None are terribly tough if you spread out and let Vossler do his thing; just heal as needed.

Afterwards, you’ll obtain the No.1 Brig Key. Use it to unlock the door in the southwest corner. Go inside and enter cell # C-202 to free Ashe. After she joins the party, enter the eastern cell to find two moogles, Lulucce and Tetran. Tetran sells a host of merchandise so spend some time shopping. Use the Save Crystal in the western cell and open an urn there to acquire the Systems Access Key.

When ready, leave the Brig to trigger a scene showing the airship’s alarm system activating. Your goal is to get back to the western room where you first entered the Dreadnought but you’ll have to fight through constant enemies to do so. The most direct route is to travel south through the lower Freight Room.

Once there, examine the console on either the left or right side and choose to reset the alarm. Doing so allows 60-seconds of freedom to move about before Imperial enemies swarm the party again. Grab items from pots in the middle of the room then reset the other alarm so that you have another 60-seconds to exit the Freight Room from the northwest corner. Continue heading west until a scene takes over. When it ends, Penelo replaces Vossler in your party. Keep heading west until you get back to the Port Launch room.

BOSS >> Judge Ghis, Imperial Swordsmen x 3

Take out the Swordsmen first (Dark spells work well) then focus on Ghis. The Judge will fixate on one party member at a time, so exploit this while you can. Cast Slow and Blind on Ghis then Shell any party members that have low magick resistance. The Judge’s sweeping Aero move hits all for serious damage. Eventually, the boss erects Great Barrier (Protect + Shell) around himself, making your attacks less effective. Just heal frequently and keep pummeling him until a scene takes over.

BHUJERBA / LHUSU MINES

After regaining control in the city’s Aerodrome, you’re supposed to return to the Marquis, but before going there you can wrap up two outstanding hunts on your list. Both marks are in the Lhusu Mines so go there after upgrading your party’s gear and saving your game. Once inside the mines, head west until you reach Transitway 1. Fight the Nidhogg at the fork in the tunnels.

MARK >> Nidhogg

Blind and Slow the sucker right at the start. Casting Immobilize will also help. The Nidhogg absorbs water-based spells but is weak against fire. If you Oil the mark beforehand, your fire spells will cause much more damage. The Nighogg’s regular attacks may inflict Slow or Poison. If you can, use Haste to cure anyone inflicted with Slow, and Antidotes to rid poison. Spread out and use technicks (such as Horology) or available Quickenings. As usual, keep everyone’s health up during the battle and revive fallen members when necessary.

After defeating the Nidhogg, you’ll receive a Great Serpentskin. Do not sell this item, as it becomes useful later on. Return to Aekom to pick up your bounty. Heal up at the Save Crystal then re-enter the mines. Head west again then veer north to reach the mine’s Site 2 section. You’ll find another mark in the large cavern where you ran from the bounty hunters earlier.

MARK >> Rocktoise

Blind, Slow and Silence the big creature then send in your tank. Piercing weapons that ignore the target’s defense (such as guns) also come in handy. Aero spells work nicely, too. If the surrounding skeleton enemies give you a hard time, try Immobilizing them. Move away when the Rocktoise is about to perform Sonic Turn or Stone Stomp as each has the ability to kill weaker characters if they are in range. If you’ve acquired any Float motes, use them to avoid being damaged by the mark’s earth-based attacks. The Rocktoise eventually uses Purify to rid itself of negative status effects so you’ll have to recast Blind, etc.

After defeating the Rocktoise, return to Pilika in the Khus Skygrounds to collect your reward. Speak to Pilika again and agree to do him a favor. After acquiring the Merchant’s Armband, go to Clio’s Tecknicks shop. Show the armband to the moogle at the top of the stairs then grab Pilika’s Diary off the bookshelf on the left. Choose whether or not to read it (I abstained). Give the diary to Pilika and he will ask if you read it. I was honest and received a Shepherd’s Bolero.

Once you are ready to move on with the main storyline, speak to the guard in front of the Marquis’ estate to gain entry. Watch the scenes that follow.

DALMASCA WESTERSAND

The group anchors the Strahl on a small patch of land in the center of the Westersand. The folks milling about advise you to equip Libra before venturing out from the Western Divide so that you can spot traps. Make use of the Teleport Crystal to save your game and talk to the traveling merchant (Lohen) there. If you want to return to Rabanastre before venturing into the Yensa Sandsea, now would be a good time to do so. Though teleporting is faster, you may want to walk there in order to fill in portions of the world map not yet explored. Use the eastern exit to reach Rabanastre; otherwise exit to the west.

RABANASTRE – Optional

The city’s shops offer some new merchandise. After purchasing what you need, check in at the Sandsea to find a new posting on the Notice Board:

* Hunt: “A Scream from the Sky”
* Mark: Wyvern Lord, Rank II (Nam-Yensa Sandsea, Simoon Bluff)
* Petitioner: Sherral (Rabanastre, Weapon shop)
* Reward: 1,000 gil, Longbow, Shell Shield

After visiting petitioner Sherral in Rabanastre’s weapon shop, you can start Ann’s Letter quest by going to the city’s Aerodrome and booking a sky ferry. Here are some notes about Aerodrome flights:

To book flights from an Aerodrome, purchase a ticket from the counter that matches your destination. Selecting a ‘private cabin’ gets you to your destination quickly, whereas selecting the ‘leisure tour’ allows you to explore the vessel first (recommended).

If you select the leisure tour, you can purchase items from vendors in the Observation Parlor. Some sell teleport crystals. Later on, they will sell a few high-level spells and accessories. After shopping, talk to passengers upstairs on the Air Deck then go down to the Saloon. Speak to the Chief Steward behind the counter on the right when you are ready to rest. This triggers a scene between Ann and Rande, who enlist you in their sidequest.

You are asked to deliver messages to Ann’s 6 sisters who work on 6 different airships. Although you cannot complete this quest for quite some time, the idea is to take different flights out of each city’s Aerodrome until you have delivered all of the letters. You’ll know immediately if you’ve found a sister as one of Rande’s brothers will be standing at the counter. Here’s a list of the flights I took and the sisters found, though other combinations will work just as well:

0. Ann:  Bhujerba to Rabanastre (sub-quest triggered)
1. Liddy:  Rabanastre to Nalbina
2. Twarra:  Nalbina to Archades
3. Carryl:  Archades to Balfonheim
4. Sanne:  Balfonheim to Bhujerba
5. Lyseth:  Nalbina to Balfonheim
6. Cisset:  Archades to Rabanastre

There are only 5 locations with Aerodromes and the 6th sister (Cisset) may appear on any of the flight combos not specifically mentioned above. Once you find Cisset, she’ll give you a Ring of Renewal. At this point, just accept Ann’s Letter then talk to her again to rest. Upon waking, you will have arrived at your destination.

When you are ready to advance the main storyline, travel back to the Western Divide in Dalmasca Westersand. Once there, take the western exit out to the Ogir-Yensa Sandsea.

OGIR-YENSA SANDSEA

Move forward until a scene occurs, showing the direction you must travel in order to reach Raithwall’s Tomb. There are many traps throughout this area so equipping Libra would, again, be beneficial. When you regain control, head southwest. Climb the ramp up ahead. Go around the first tank then cross the southwest walkway to reach the next one. Continue west past the 3rd tank and onto the next screen for a scene.

After Vossler joins your party as a guest, head west and descend the ramp. Fight a few Urutan enemies on the sand below and if you’re low on health, step on the trap underneath the ramp to heal all of your HP. Restorative traps are extremely rare, so make use of it. After defeating the Urutans, search the western tank to find an ornate urn containing a map of the Ogir-Yensa Sandsea. Once you have the map, go back down to the beach. Ascend the ramp in the northeast corner then cross the western walkway to the next tank. Once there, you’ll have a choice of going northeast, southwest, or west.

Follow the northeastern walkway to the East Junction Tanks where you’ll find some treasures and new types of enemies on the beach below. A cave further east takes you inside the Zertinan Caverns, which will be described later on. For now, go back up the ramp and move northwest, exploring offshoots for items, towards the Primary Tank Complex.

Once there, navigate through the cluster of tanks, collecting items as you go, but avoid the Salamand Entite roaming around up there (looks like an orange ball of light). Elemental creatures such as these become hostile if you attack them or use magic on other enemies nearby. Run away if you come in contact with the Entite as it will kill your party with one hit of Firaga.

Upon reaching the southern end, take the southeast exit to the Central Junction. On the eastern beach, there’s another entrance to the Zertinan Caverns but for now, just collect the treasures. Take the eastern exit back to the Platform 1 Refinery area. Once there, use the southwest exit to get to the South Tank complex.

Explore the area for items while moving westward. Take the southwestern exit to the South Tank Approach section and head west across the beach to reach the Yensa Border Tunnel. Inside, you’ll find Dyce, a traveling merchant, and a Teleport Crystal. Warp to other places if you like; otherwise, use it to save your game.

The western exit leads to the Nam-Yensa Sandsea but before going there, backtrack east through the South Tank Approach. Exit to the South Tanks then use the northwest exit to get to the Platform 2 Refinery. Once there, explore the upper tanks for items then head west onto the sand. Look for a cave opening on the western edge. Enter to trigger a scene.

NAM-YENSA SANDSEA

When you regain control, talk to the moogle by the shore. Tell him you’re interested in hearing why the Urutan fled to learn about their blood enemy, a giant tortoise. Use the Save Crystal here then take the western exit out to the Urutan-Yensa Sea region.

Keep moving west along the shore, eventually veering south towards the bridge below. After collecting all of the treasures in this area, cross over into the Withering Shores region. Once there, head south towards the Urutans who are fighting their blood enemy. Help them defeat the giant tortoise.

BOSS >> Urutan Eater

Blind the creature and use wind magick, if you have it. The boss uses weak elemental spells and a move called Sonic Turn to damage all, but it’s very slow so just hack away until it falls.

After defeating the giant tortoise, go back and talk to the moogle. He tells you the Urutan hunter has gone into the Ogir-Yensa region. Take the eastern exit out to the beach and ascend the ramp to trigger a scene. Afterwards, return to the moogle in the cave where the scene continues.

When you regain control, talk to the moogle then examine the flower in the sand near the Save Crystal. Choose to pick the berries to receive a bunch of Esker Berries. Speak to the moogle again to learn that their scent staves off a particularly dangerous foe, the Garuda, you’ll be encountering a bit later. Save your game and head west into Nam territory.

Cross the lower bridge again and head south. Veer east to get to the Augur Hill region. Once there, cross the southwestern bridge. After defeating some enemies on the other side, open an urn to receive a map of the Nam-Yensa Sandsea. Cross the bridge to the south, where you’ll find new breeds of enemies.

Travel west to the next area or explore the northeastern section first. Heading northeast eventually takes you back to the Yensa Border Tunnel where you can buy items, save your game, or warp to other places. When ready, go west into the Yellow Sands region. Once there, continue traveling west (the southern route leads to another section of the Zertinan Caverns, btw). Cross the northern bridge and hike up the ramp. Head west to the next screen.

Go down to the beach and explore the northern tank area if you like; otherwise, continue heading west until you reach a rocky archway. Pass through to the Trail of Fading Warmth. Move forward until you can head northeast. If you accepted the Wyvern Lord hunt earlier, enter the Simoon Bluffs region and continue north until you come across the flying beast.

MARK >> Wyvern Lord

Since it’s airborne, short-range weapons will not affect the mark. Use long-range weapons, spells, and technicks to take it down. Cast Sleep on the creature if you can, as well as Blind and Slow. Element-wise, it is weak against earth magick but Dark spells work nicely, too. Spread out to reduce damage from its Aero attack and eliminate the regular Bagoly enemies that surround it if they become a nuisance.

After defeating the mark, gather some scattered items on the sand then backtrack south to the previous region. Once there, cross the northwestern bridge and move forward to find the traveling merchant (Dyce) mounted on his chocobo. Stock up before continuing west to the next screen. Save your game when prompted.

TOMB OF RAITHWALL

Move forward and engage the Garuda that appears.

BOSS >> Garuda

At the start of battle, the Garuda casts Enrage on itself but if you toss those Esker Berries on it, the bird becomes totally manageable. Cast Blind then follow up with elemental magick, long-range attacks and technicks, as short-ranged weapons will not harm the flying beast. Dark spells work best. Keep Protect on as many party members as you can.

Upon its defeat, you’ll see an ancient device stirring within the tomb. When you regain control, descend the stairs to find Dyce at the bottom. He has a fresh stock of merchandise. Buy what you need or just go back upstairs and use the Teleport Crystal on top to save your game. When ready, examine the ancient device to automatically warp inside the Hall of the Destroyer.

Watch a brief scene then examine the Way Stone up ahead. Read the inscription on it to learn that it’s not functioning yet. Afterwards, head west along the central walkway until a scene takes over.

BOSS >> Demon Wall #1

Although it’s possible to beat this boss now, the odds are very low – the better choice is to run to the door on the western end before the boss crushes your party.

Watch a scene inside the next hallway, in which a second Demon Wall approaches. This time, choose to engage it. Run towards the boss and you’ll see a meter-like map appear on your screen. The meter shows the location of braziers lining the left and right sides of the hall.

BOSS >> Demon Wall #2

Immediately touch one of the red braziers to halt the Wall’s movement for a few seconds, buying the party time to hack away at it. When it starts to move again, touch another red brazier. Do not touch any braziers with blue flames, as they will speed up the boss’s movement. Cast Berserk on your melee fighters and work fast to dispose of it before it reaches the end of the hall. The boss uses an arsenal of spells (Annul, Doom, Blind, Stone, etc.) but the worse one is X-Zone. This causes a party member to completely vanish and there is no cure for it.

After defeating the Demon Wall, cure any lingering status ailments. If anyone is in X-Zone state, you’ll just have to wait it out before the character reappears.

Continue through the western door to trigger a scene. When it ends, go downstairs to get a map of the Tomb from an urn. There are 3 Way Stone devices here. Touching the center one warps you back to the Hall of the Destroyer. Once there, use the first Way Stone to warp outside, so that you can save your game and/or buy new merchandise from Dyce.

When ready, warp back to the platform where you found the map. Once there, make your way down the southern staircase and enter the chamber below. Wind through the hallways until you reach the center room. Once there, examine the green jewel sitting atop a pedestal. Touching it calls forth a bunch of Lich creatures. After defeating them, the mystic altar lowers halfway. Continue exploring the Southfall Passage for treasure or just warp back to the Way Stone platform.

Once there, take the northern staircase down into the opposite chamber. Go to the center room and touch the red jewel there. Defeat the Zombie Mages that appear then watch as the mystic altar fully lowers, revealing a hidden path. Feel free to warp outside to save your game before moving on. When ready, enter the hidden passage and move forward to a door. Enter to initiate a scene.

When you regain control, explore the upper parts of the Cloister of Flame for items then make your way down to the center chamber where a powerful esper awaits.

ESPER >> Belias

Use physical attacks and Water spells to rapidly deplete the fiery esper’s health. Use Handkerchiefs to rid Oil status, should the esper inflict it on anyone. Belias’ Firaja attack may kill weaker party members, especially if they are inflicted with Oil, so revive when necessary. Casting Shell or equipping the Nethicite accessory will help reduce damage.

Once defeated, you’ll receive your first esper, Belias the Gigas. Open the License Board to see that the esper has been added. Choose a party member to assign the summon creature to. Note that it takes a full mist charge to summon an esper during battle, so assign it someone who has MP to spare. Espers will attack according to preset gambits much like guest party members. You can cure them during battle but cannot revive them. Espers will fight alongside whoever summoned them until either the summoner or the esper die – or their allotted time expires.

Collect a couple of items in the room then go through the western door. Descend the long staircase. Continue past the Way Stone to trigger a scene in front of the altar. After receiving the Dawn Shard, use the Way Stone to get back outside. Make sure to save your game before going downstairs. Once you do, an Imperial airship whisks the party away.

AIRSHIP SHIVA

After a scene on board the airship, say goodbye to your pal, Vossler.

BOSS >> Vossler, Imperial Swordsmen x 3

While in her Berserk state, Fran can do the heavy lifting in this battle. Keep her healthy and focus on taking out the 3 Imperials first. Once they are gone, Vossler will fixate on one person at a time, so support whomever he is picking on. If you put Basch in a Berserk state as well, all will be over quickly.
Watch the scenes that follow, ending back in Rabanastre.

RABANASTRE

You’ll regain control in the Muthru Bazaar. If you didn’t teleport here earlier via the crystals, there are many things to take care of now. The shops sell new merchandise so spend some time upgrading. If you defeated the Wyvern Lord earlier, collect your bounty from Sherral. If you haven’t checked in with Migelo in a while, talk to him a couple of times in his shop. Stop by Clan Hall and pick up rank rewards from Montblanc. The moogle may have another elite hunt posted for you as well:

* Hunt: “Paradise Risen”
* Mark: Gil Snapper, Rank III (Giza Plains, Tracks of the Beast: rainy season only)
* Petitioner: Nanau (Giza Plains, Crystal Glade: rainy season only)
* Reward: 3,000 gil, Phobos Glaze

In the Sandsea, you should find several new postings:

* Hunt: “Lost in the Pudding”
* Mark: White Mousse, Rank V (Garamsythe Waterway, West Sluice Control)
* Petitioner: Sorbet (Rabanastre, Westgate)
* Reward: 2,800 gil, Yoichi Bow, Sluice Gate Key

* Hunt: “For Whom The Wyrm Tolls”
* Mark: Ring Wyrm, Rank III (Dalmasca Westersand, Windtrace Dunes: during sandstorm)
* Petitioner: Balzac (Ranbanastre, Lowtown North Sprawl)
* Reward: 200 gil, Moon Ring, Ice Brand

* Hunt: “A Tingling Toast”
* Mark: Marilith, Rank V (Zertinan Caverns, Invitation to Heresy)
* Petitioner: Tavernmaster (Rabanastre, Sandsea tavern)
* Reward: 2,200 gil, Serpent Eye, 3 Teleport Stones

* Hunt: “The Defense of Ozmone Plain”
* Mark: Enkelados, Rank II (Ozmone Plain, The Shred)
* Petitioner: Sugumu (Jahara, Elderknoll)
* Reward: 1,100 gil, Ether, Golden Amulet

* Hunt: “A Ring in the Rain”
* Mark: Croakadile, Rank II (Giza Plains, Starfall Field bridge: rainy season only)
* Petitioner: Sadeen (Giza Plains, Nomad Village: rainy season only)
* Reward: 1,200 gil, Snake Rod, Teleport Stone

Talk to the 3 petitioners in Rabanastre to formalize their contracts. Some of the hunts (Rank IV marks & higher) may prove difficult right now, so just try again later if you become frustrated. Also, there are a few quests that you can advance at this point (see optional sections below for details). If you prefer to skip them, leave Rabanastre from Southgate and enter the Giza Plains.

TOMB OF RAITHWALL – Optional

Warp back to the Tomb of Raithwall and fight the first Demon Wall. Upon its defeat, a jewel appears inside the wall the boss was blocking. Touch it to lower the staircases on the left and right sides of the chamber. Enter the door at the bottom of either staircase and follow the secret passageway west. Enter the next door and take the winding stairs down to a chest. It will either contain a Demonsbane sword or a Holy Mote. Fight through more enemies as you make your way back up the stairs. Head east to return to the first room in the tomb.

GARAMSYTHE WATERWAY – Optional

If your team is strong enough to complete the White Mousse hunt (level 28+ recommended), go down to Lowtown and enter the Garamsythe Waterway from Storeroom 5’s right door. Head south to the Save Crystal where you’ll notice a couple of orange disks on the floor. These tell you that certain paths are no longer blocked by water. Take the path that is 4th from the left down to the southwest corner of the sewers. Fight the gooey creature in the West Sluice Control room.

MARK >> White Mousse

The mark uses Waterga, Slowga, and Flash, but it is susceptible to Blind and Sleep, so cast these spells as soon as you can to give yourself a fighting chance. Fire-based spells work best, but Bio is effective, also. Note that you can put the Mousse into a Berserk state, which disallows its use of magic but increases its physical attack power. Summoning Belias while the mark is Berserk’d may be a good option. Alternately, cast Reflect on your own party to bounce spells back at the mark. If doing this, use hi-potions instead of curative spells to heal anyone with Reflect status.

Once you finish it off, you’ll receive a Broken Key. Return to Sorbet to pick up your bounty, as well as a freshly repaired Sluice Gate Key. With your new key in hand, head back to the Central Waterway Control room inside the Garamsythe Waterway.

Once there, turn off all of the lights on the devices near the Save Point. Note that only two sluice gates can be activated at the same time. Use the Sluice Gate Key to manipulate the devices in the following order:

- Close No. 11
- Close No. 4
- Open No. 11
- Close No. 3
- Open No. 4

If done correctly, you’ll hear a small object drop in the distance. Once this happens, head south towards the No. 1 Cloaca entrance, where you will find a ‘Shiny Object’ on the ground. The Dull Fragment you obtain comes in handy later on.

NALBINA FORTRESS / DALMASCA ESTERSAND – Optional

At the town’s entrance, soldiers block the path leading into the Mosphoran Highwaste. In order to open up the route, talk to the girl (July) spying on the duo near the Teleport Crystal. Afterwards, approach the hapless soldiers to trigger a scene. When it ends, rent a chocobo from Gurdy (the moogle) and ride it towards the guards. Once they flee, the route to Mosphoran Highwaste opens up. Your help will be rewarded by July later on in the game.

Note that July only appears in Nalbina Fortress during a certain window of time - after receiving the Dawn Shard and before arriving in Nalbina as part of the main storyline. On a side note, Final Fantasy fans will recognize that the two guards calling themselves Gibbs and Deweg are, in fact, anagrams for Biggs and Wedge. Whee!

If you completed the Flowering Cactoid hunt earlier, leave Nalbina and ride your chocobo north through the Estersand to South Bank Village where you’ll find a boat anchored on the dock. Talk to Tchigri and agree to accompany him to North Bank Village. Once there, you’ll find a group of cactoids holding Tchigri’s dad hostage. Speak with Ruksel to learn that the cactoids are searching for their missing relative, Dran.

Sail back South Bank Village and talk to Dantro’s Wife to learn that she threw the missing cactoid’s remains behind her hut. Go claim it to revive Dran. Take the little bugger back to North Bank Village and witness the family’s reunion, wherein you obtain 1,000 gil and a pouch of Wyrmfire Shot. Additionally, North Bank regains its population and you now have access to the northernmost sections of Dalmasca.

If your party is strong enough, you can gather the Valeblossom Dew that Dantro’s Wife requested earlier. From North Bank Village, continue north into the Broken Sands region. When you get there, search the western cliffs for shrubs with white flowers. Gather drops of Valeblossom Dew from them (3 total) and bring them to Dantro’s Wife in South Bank. If you acquired a Great Serpentskin from the Nidhogg mark in Bhujerba, give that to her as well.

Exit and re-enter the village until Dantro’s Wife tells you her patient has finally recovered. Speak to the Recovering Traveler behind the hut to acquire the Barheim Key. You’ll get an additional item depending on the items you gave Dantro’s Wife earlier. If you gave her all of the items she requested, plus the Great Serpentskin and second phial of Nebralim, you’ll receive a Golden Amulet. If you gave her everything but the second phial, you’ll receive a pair of Magick Gloves. If none of the extra items were offered, you’ll acquire a Balance Mote.

DALMASCA WESTERSAND – Optional

Go to Rabanastre’s Westgate and talk to the green Bangaa there. Rimzat asks you to find out how to navigate through the sandstorms in the Westersand’s northern pass. Go to the Southern Plaza and speak to Cotze, who is sitting on the fountain. Cotze tells you to visit Northon in Lowtown. You’ll find Northon south of Storeroom 5 in the northern sprawl. He tells you to look for an item that is buried in the Westersand under a giant cactus.

Travel west through the desert into the Midfault region. Take the southern exit into Shimmering Horizons and head towards the small patch of land in the northwest corner, which is part of Windtrace Dunes. Once there, search under all of the cactus plants until you locate the Wind Globe. Return to Rabanastre afterwards. You’ll find Cotze, Northon and Rimzat gathered at Westgate. Talk to them to acquire the Windvane.

Now travel southwest, back to the Windtrace Dunes region. Look for the Ring Wyrm mark near the center. If you do not see the large creature roaming about there, re-enter the region when there’s a sandstorm in progress.

MARK >> Ring Wyrm

The mark absorbs water but is susceptible to fire-based attacks. It has a ton of HP, so patience is key to winning this battle. Blind and Slow the creature to have an easier time of it. The Ring Wyrm uses elemental magick that may also inflict Confuse or Sap. It can immobilize the entire party as well. Use Esuna to rid these ailments and take advantage of its slowness to restore the party’s health. Ranged weapons (especially guns with Wyrmfire Shot) work nicely during this fight. If you have enough MP, summon Belias twice. The esper’s Painflare attack will cause about 2,000 damage per usage, plus Belias will be healed by the mark’s Breath skill.

After slaying the Ring Wyrm, use the Corridor of Sand’s northeastern exit. Continue heading northeast through the desert until you reach the Wyrm’s Nest region. The Windvane item allows you to navigate through the sand barrier here. You’ll find an optional boss inside called the Earth Tyrant.

BOSS >> Earth Tyrant

Cast Protect on your own party members then cast Blind, Silence, and Slow on the big dinosaur. Note that when fighting the Earth Tyrant at low levels, these spells will miss most of the time. If this is the case, Decoy whichever character has the best shield and armor to stand a fighting chance. When its HP starts to dip, the boss will use Screwtail to hit all allies in front of its face. Pound it from afar with Aero spells if you can, or cast Confuse/Sleep on the Tyrant to buy healing time.

After you beat it, the sandstorms ease and the eastern passage leading to the Yoma region of Dalmasca opens up. If you continue traveling east through that region, you’ll arrive at North Bank Village. Heading north from the village takes you inside the Mosphoran Highwaste, which you’ll be visiting later on.

ZERTINAN CAVERNS – Optional

If you feel up to it, you can attempt to beat the Marilith mark now also. Go to the southwestern edge of the Dalmasca Westersand to find a path leading inside the Zertinan Caverns. Once there, head south through enemies until you reach a clearing with several beams of sunlight coming in (Invitation to Heresy area). After clearing out the regular foes, wait in the sunlit corner for Marilith to appear.

MARK >> Marilith

Dispel the serpent’s enhancements then Slow and Blind it. The mark does not use a huge array of attacks but is speedy and hits hard with combos. Casting Protect and/or Bubble on your melee fighters will help. Bio and Water spells, especially Aqua Shot, work well from afar. Heal party members often and just hack away until the mark falls.

Upon defeating Marilith, you’ll receive a cask of Serpentwyne Must. Before taking it to the Tavernmaster in Rabanastre, feel free to explore other parts of the Zertinan Caverns. Keep an eye out for loose boulders as you travel through. Pushing them into the sand creates solid paths. You’ll find a map of the Zertinan Caverns inside the Balamka Fault region, btw.

If you head south from the Marilith mark area, you’ll eventually reach a Save Crystal. After using it, head east through the sandfalls to find a hidden path. You’ll pop out in the Hourglass Basin region, with some Grenade enemies and treasures to collect. Going west from the Save Crystal takes you to the Athroza Quicksands. Once there, look for a path on the left. Enter the next area if you want to fight the esper, Adrammelech.

ESPER >> Adrammelech

Addramelech is a flyer so only long-range weapons, spells, or technicks will damage it. Additionally the esper summons undead ground forces to help it out. Cast Disable or Stop on the Shambling Corpses if you can; otherwise, cast Reflect on your party to re-direct spells on all foes. Avoid killing all of the minions, as they will only respawn en masse. Dispel the esper’s enhancements then Shell your party to reduce damage from its lightning spells. Adrammelech’s attacks may cause Sap. Use Regen to rid the ailment. The esper absorbs lightning and is immune to all other elements except ice, so hit it with Blizzaja spells if you can. Bio works well also. When its HP dips below the halfway mark, Addramelech erects a Perfect Defense that makes it immune to physical and magical attacks. Try to inflict status ailments on it beforehand (Blind, Slow, Shear, and Expose work) and use the time to heal while waiting for the effect to wear off.

After defeating Adrammelech, the esper becomes available on the License Board. Use the southern exit to return to the Ozmone Plain or head northwest to exit into Nam-Yensa. Don’t forget to visit the Tavernmaster in Rabanastre to drop off the cask and pick up your Marilith bounty.

GIZA PLAINS

During the rainy season, new creatures and new paths appear on the plains. Avoid using magick near the Elemental foes floating around here. Like the orange ones you encountered in Ogir-Yensa, these blue ones will kill you if provoked. Head south and enter Nomad Village. There you will find petitioner Sadeen. Talk to him to formalize the Croakadile hunt contract and save your game while here. Take the western exit into Toam Hills then travel south through Starfall Field. After crossing the bridge, the mark will appear.

MARK >> Croakadile

In addition to using Aqua attacks, the creature doubles its level when its health dips to 1/3rd. It is weak against fire but immune to Oil. If you can spare the MP, use your Belias summon to take down most of its health then finish the beast off with regular attacks, spells, and technicks. Casting Blind, Immobilize, and Slow also helps.

You’ll acquire the Ring of the Toad afterwards. Give the ring to Sadeem in Nomad Village. After collecting your bounty, Sadeem asks that you take the ring to his beloved. She only appears in the village during the dry season, so just move on for now.

Head south through Starfall Field until you can go east into the Crystal Glade. Once there, speak to petitioner Nanau to formalize the Gil Snapper contract. Nanau will give you the Silent Urn required to trap the creature. In order to find this mark, you’ll need to figure out a way to cross over areas that are now underwater. Examine the withered tree behind Nanau to receive a clue on how to achieve this. Basically, you need to locate and cut down 6 withered trees to form a bridge leading to the Path of the Beast. The direction they float in hints at where the bridge will form.

Here are the locations of all 6 deadwood trees within the Giza Plains:

- Crystal Glade
- Throne Road, southern tip
- North Bank, upper right side
- Starfall Field, upper right side
- Nomad Village, near pen
- Toam Hills, lower right side

After chopping down all of the trees, you’ll hear a chime sound. Save your game in Crystal Glade then exit to the east. Locate the spot where all of the driftwood collected, which is further east. Cross over into the Path of the Beast and meet up with Bansat, the Bangaa from Clan Hall. He will assist you during this hunt, however the Gil Snapper will only appear when it’s raining heavily. Exit and re-enter this area until the weather conditions are such that Bansat tells you it’s time to fight.

MARK >> Gil Snapper

Dispel its positive statuses if you can then Silence the beast to make the battle a whole lot easier. Casting Slow and Blind on it also helps and if you’re lucky, Bansat will cast Immobilize on the mark, too. The Gil Snapper’s normal attacks cause Slow, so counter with Haste on any affected party member. Note that the mark absorbs ice but is weak against lightning spells. Casting Drain helps immensely when low on health.

Upon its defeat, you’ll automatically suck the Gil Snapper into the Silent Urn. Before leaving, look in the northwest corner of this region for an urn containing the Feather of the Flock – a key item that will come in handy later on. If the Silicon Tortoises in this area give you any trouble, just poison and petrify them. Go back to the Crystal Glade to find a Soggy Letter left by Nanau. You’ll have to visit him in Nomad Village during the dry season to pick up your bounty.

When you’re ready to move on, use the southern exit in Starfall Field to get to the Ozmone Plain.

OZMONE PLAIN

After killing enemies and exploring for treasure in the Field of Fallen Wings, use the southern exit to get to the Switchback region. The spiral path in the center leads to the Zertinan Caverns. If you did not obtain the esper Addramelech earlier, you can venture into the caverns from here to find it. Either way, head southeast through the Switchback to get to the Haulo Green region. Once there, travel southwest to reach the Jahara settlement.

JAHARA, LAND OF THE GARIF

You can purchase maps of Jahara and the Ozmone Plain from the moogle here or rent a chocobo for 30 gil. If you want to warp to other areas, use the Teleport Crystal; otherwise speak to the Garif warriors blocking the bridge to trigger a scene. After War-Chief Supinelu allows you to pass, enter the village and talk to all of the locals you see, especially the Elders. There’s a trader here if you need to stock up on supplies. After looking at his list of wares, the trader mentions collecting monographs. Grimoires listed in the Bazaar shop menu are what he’s referring to. Having them in your inventory allows for much better drops from the creature classes noted in each Grimoire.

At some point, seek out High-Chief Zayalu to acquire a Jaya Stick. He asks that you give it to the War-Chief, who you’ll find standing near the northwestern bridge now. Watch the scene that follows then enter the Elderknoll.

If you accepted the Enkelados hunt, look for Low-Chief Sugumu in the northeast to formalize the contract. Afterwards, approach the warriors guarding the Great-Chief’s tent. Ask to meet with him and watch the scenes that follow, during which Larsa joins your party as a guest. You’ll receive a Bowgun and quiver of Onions Bolts from the Great-Chief, as well as a free chocobo ride. Hop on and go out to the Ozmone Plain.

OZMONE PLAIN

Ride your chocobo east through the plains. If you want to hunt down the Enkelados mark, now would be an opportune time. You’ll find the beast southeast of Greensnake, in a region called the Shred. The Enkelados will not appear until you clear out all Wu enemies in that region first. After killing all of the Wus in the Shred, exit and re-enter to find the mark.

MARK >> Enkelados

Blind and Slow Enkelados then pound on the creature before it has a chance to restore its own health. Alternately, put it to sleep then use magick spells and technicks (Horology, Traveler, etc.) to take it out easily.

After defeating the mark, you’ll obtain an Errmonea Leaf. Go back to Jahara and collect your bounty from Low-Chief Sugumu. Speak to him a second time and he’ll ask you to deliver the Errmonea Leaf to Lesina in Nomad Village. She will only be there during the dry season. For now, leave Jahara and travel east again through the Ozmone Plain, either on foot or by chocobo. Enter the Sunlit Path to trigger a few scenes. Afterwards, use the Save Crystal then go inside the Golmore Jungle.

GOLMORE JUNGLE

Move forward to a crossroad. Follow the southwestern path. At the next crossroad, go east and look for an urn up ahead containing a map of Golmore Jungle. Continue east into the Needlebrake region. Glyph walls currently block the lower paths, so follow the upper path until a scene transpires near the glyph in the northeastern corner. When it ends, go down the secret path Fran created to trigger a scene.

ERUYT VILLAGE

Save your game at the Teleport Crystal and talk to the two moogles there, which you may recognize as the pair from Leviathan’s brig. Buy maps or merchandise from them then head north into Eruyt Village. The locals are not very friendly; so just climb to the very top of the village for a cutscene. When it ends, go back down to the Teleport Crystal. Watch another scene then speak to Fran, who suggests traveling to the Henne Mines. Backtrack north through Golmore Jungle to get to the Sunlit Path.

OZMONE PLAIN

The mine is located in the lower portion of the Shred in Ozmone Plain, which is only accessible via chocobo. If you decide to rent one in Jahara, talk to Judge Hausen to acquire 3 Hi-Potions and an Ether while there. He’s standing south of the trader.

Alternately, talk to the wounded soldier sitting across from the Save Crystal in the Sunlit Path. Give him a Potion and he’ll offer the use of his chocobo. The soldier tells you to look for chocobo footprints to access paths that humans cannot normally reach. Mount the chocobo and exit to the west. You’ll see chocobo prints right away. Follow them to the cliff’s edge and the yellow bird will jump to the southern part of the Shred. Continue riding south until you reach a cave entrance. Dismount and approach the bodies strewn on the ground to trigger a scene.

HENNE MINES

When you regain control, enter the mine and head south down the tracks. Look for a switch on a column to the left. Flip it to open a gate further down. Continue south and read the Advisory posted on a column to the right. It tells you that gates operate in pairs down here (e.g., opening the blue gates closes the red gates).

Move forward to Pithead Junction A where you’ll find a wounded soldier. Flip the red switch next to him to open the southern and eastern gates then kill the Jelly creatures that drop down. Take care of them quickly before they have a chance to sub-divide. If they begin to overwhelm you, just run. Either way, head east to find a map of Henne Mines. Backtrack to the soldier and flip the switch again so that the north and west gates open. Read the posted advisory then travel west. Follow the mineshaft down to the Phase 1 Dig area.

Move forward through the tunnels, veering off occasionally to collect treasure. There’s a hidden path in the southwest corner leading to treasure as well. When you get to the Crossover A section, head north. At the split, continue heading north until you reach Crossover B. Travel northeast to the end then veer south to Pithead Junction B. Flip the switch there to open new gates and fight more Jellys that appear.

Afterwards, backtrack west, north, east, and north to reach the freshly opened gate leading to the Staging Shaft. Enter to trigger a scene. When it ends, use the Teleport Crystal to save your game then head north to face a boss.

BOSS >> Tiamat

Tiamat uses Rake to mow down the party and casts Reflect, Poison, Aero, Breath, and Disablega… a nasty boss, in other words. Try Slowing the beast before it has a chance to cast Reflect and keep Larsa alive so that he continues using his unlimited supply of potions to heal the party. Luckily, the battle area is large enough for your healer to stand back and avoid most attacks. If you have any earth-based weapons, use them, as Tiamat is weak to that element. Use Esuna to immediately cure any disabled characters, or expect to go through your supply of Phoenix Downs.

After beating Tiamat, watch the cutscenes, during which the party returns to Eruyt Village and receives Lente’s Tear.

ERUYT VILLAGE / GOLMORE JUNGLE

When you regain control, speak to Fran to learn that you can now pass through the glyph barriers in Golmore Jungle. Leave Eruyt and make your way east (the southern jungle route leads to the Feywood, which will be visited later). Pass through the glyph wall up ahead then continue forward to the Parting Glade where you’ll find another Teleport Crystal. Use it then head north to trigger a scene.

BOSS >> Elder Wyrm, Treants x 2

Take out the Treants first so you have some room to move. All three are weak to wind magick, so spam them with Aero spells. Silence the Elder Wyrm before it gets a chance to cast it on you then prepare to be hit with Sporefall. The attack causes a host of status ailments (Confuse, Sap, Oil, Slow, Blind, Poison…). Undo these effects with Esuna or individual remedy items. The boss’s Fireball attack can be blocked by anyone with high shield skills but it may kill those inflicted with Oil status. Let Larsa handle the healing duties throughout.
Afterwards, continue along the eastern path to get outside.

PARAMINA RIFT

Talk to the Kiltias sentries up ahead to learn that Mt. Bur-Omisace is to the northeast. Use the Save Crystal on the left then travel north into the snowy mountains. When you get to the first fork in the road, go south if you want to explore the lower portions of the rift for items and to gain some decent experience. Eventually head north into the Freezing Gorge where a scene occurs. Once it ends, travel northeast until you reach Mt. Bur-Omisace.

MT. BUR-OMISACE

Upon entering, you’ll find two merchants, a chocobo stall, a map-selling moogle, and a Teleport Crystal. Larsa will be leaving the party shortly (upon reaching the temple grounds), so you may wish to complete some hunts prior to his departure. If you are eager to move on with the main story, skip the optional sections below.

RABANASTRE – Optional

Speak to the Wandering Viera near the chocobo stable at Southgate to trigger a brief scene. After she leaves, talk to the Lovestruck Man at the Southern Plaza fountain. Enter Yamoora’s Gambits shop and speak with the Viera again. After she leaves, talk to Lord Vain near the counter. Next, go to the Sandsea and speak to the Viera on the balcony. Vaan must select a partner for her: The Lovestruck Man in the plaza or Lord Vain in the gambit shop. Choose one and the man will ask that you convey his feelings to the Viera. Agree to help.

Back at the Sandsea, inform the Viera of her suitor’s request and she will run to meet him. If you chose to set her up with the human, greet the new couple in the plaza to earn a Loxley Bow and 2 Hi-Potions. If you chose to set her up with the Seeq, speak to the couple in the gambit shop to simply get the Loxley Bow.

Check in at the Sandsea to find some new hunts posted on the notice board:

* Hunt: “The Dead Ought Sleep Forever”
* Mark: Ixtab, Rank II (Henne Mines, Phase 1 Shaft junction)
* Petitioner: Zayalu (Jahara, Elderknoll)
* Reward: 1,300 gil, Ether, Soul Powder

* Hunt: “Befoulment of the Beast”
* Mark: Feral Retriever, Rank III (Paramina Rift, Spine of the Icewyrm)
* Petitioner: Hymms (Mt. Bur-Omisace, near crystal)
* Reward: 1,500 gil, Recurve Crossbow, 2 Teleport Stones

Also, talk to Montblanc in Clan Hall to get information on a few elite hunts and to pick up any bonuses you may have earned:

* Hunt: “Crime and Punishment”
* Mark: Orthros, Rank V (Garamsythe Waterway, Southern Sluiceway)
* Petitioner: Contrite Thief (Rabanastre, Lowtown Storeroom 5)
* Reward: 3,800 gil, Unpurified Ether, Horakhty’s Flame, Blackened Fragment

* Hunt: “Paramina Run”
* Mark: Trickster, Rank V (Paramina Rift, Frozen Brook)
* Petitioner: Gurdy (Mt. Bur-Omisace, Sandstrewn Pass)
* Reward: 4,800 gil, Deimos Clay

* Hunt: “Antlion Infestation”
* Mark: Antlion, Rank V (Bhujerba, Lhusu Mines, Site 9)
* Petitioner: Niray (Bhujerba, Staras Residence)
* Reward: 4,300 gil, Bubble Belt, Sickle-Blade

GARAMSYTHE WATERWAY – Optional

Go to Lowtown’s Storeroom 5 and speak to the Contrite Thief sprawled on the floor there. After securing the Orthros mark contract, enter the Garamsythe Waterway. Walk over to the Save Crystal and make sure the rusted device marked No. 11 is activated. Assuming it is, head down to the East Sluice Control area, where you’ll find another Save Crystal and an ornate urn. Open it to receive a Candle that illuminates secret portions of the waterway (a map, basically).

Before entering the Southern Sluiceway, put Fran, Ashe, and Penelo in your party. The mark will only appear if you enter the next area with the 3 gals in your active party. After drawing Orthros out, you can arrange your party however you see fit.

MARK >> Orthros

First, dispel the blob’s enhancements then cast Blind, Disease, and Sleep. Shell any magick-weak characters, since Orthros mainly uses area-based spells (Darkga, for example). Prepare to Cure/Esuna/Revive frequently. Orthros absorbs water but is weak against fire so exploit that. Summoning Belias and using piercing weapons helps also.

Upon killing the mark, you’ll receive a bundle of Stolen Articles. Bring these to the Contrite Thief to earn your bounty, as well as a Blackened Fragment. The fragment is part of a subquest that you’ll be advancing later on.

After completing the Wraith, White Mousse, and Orthros hunts, you can track down an esper hiding in the Waterways as well but don’t even attempt to beat it before you’ve bought/licensed Dispel magick. To find Cúchulainn, go back to the Central Waterway Control room and use the Sluice Gate key to close the No. 11 and No. 4 gates. Exit south into the No. 4 Cloaca Spur, which is now drained. Locate the No. 1 North Waterway Control device on the southeast end. Activate it then backtrack to the Central Waterway Control room.

Once there, close the No. 10 and No. 3 sluice gates. Exit south into the No. 3 Cloaca Spur, which is now drained. Activate the No. 1 South Waterway Control on the southwest end then backtrack to the Central Waterway Control once more. Close the No. 3 and No. 4 sluice gates. Save your game then enter the drained No. 1 Cloaca area. Take the southern stairway into the shallow water to engage the esper.

ESPER >> Cúchulainn

During this battle, a magick field causes your party’s HP to rapidly deplete so have cure spells and a ton of potions ready at all times. Immediately dispel Cúchulainn’s enhancements then cast Disable or Slowga, followed by Fira, on the surrounding Foobar enemies. If left unattended, they will kill you. Cúchulainn is immune to all status effects except Expose and Shear. The Drain spell works perfectly during this battle since it heals your character and harms the esper. If it casts Slowga, counter with a Hastega mote or spell. Cúchulainn uses Bio, Toxify and Disable primarily, which means you’ll need to rid status ailments often. Cast Bubble on everyone to buy yourself some additional offensive time.

When the battle ends, Cúchulainn the Impure becomes available on the license board.

GIZA PLAINS (DRY SEASON) – Optional

If you defeated the Croakadile mark earlier and got the ring from Sadeem, go back to Nomad Village during the dry season. Give the ring to Elder Brunoa. If you completed the Gil Snapper hunt, pick up your reward from Nanau. If you completed the Enkelados hunt, give the Errmonea Leaf to Lesina and she’ll offer 2 Remedies in return. If you want to make some quick cash during the dry season, speak to Masyuain and create a few Sunstones that you can sell back to her. Her payment varies depending on how much time you took in creating the Sunstone. If you were fast (7 minutes or less), she’ll give you a Holy Stone, 2 Potions, and 200 gil. If you were slow (35 minutes or more), you’ll only receive 50 gil.
At this point in the game, Giza’s wet and dry seasons will shift every hour or so. If you’re having trouble calculating when to visit the region, locate a Seeq roaming around Rabanstre’s southern exit that calls himself the ‘Weather Eye’. He’ll tell you how close it is to the seasonal change.

OZMONE PLAIN / HENNE MINES – Optional

After formalizing the Ixtab contract with petitioner Zayalu in Jahara, rent a chocobo and ride east through the Ozmone Plains. If you hug the right side, you’ll find chocobo footprints leading directly to the Henne Mines entrance. Go inside and head south until you get to the Phase 1 Shaft. Continue down to the intersection where you’ll find the mark.

MARK >> Ixtab

Cast Slow and Silence on it then hack away. Ixtab has the ability to cast Doom and Annul, which reduces the target’s MP to zero. Use ethers or the Charge technick to restore MP. Light magick (Flare, Scathe, etc.) work well against it but avoid Dark spells, which it will absorb. Applying Faith on your magick users and Bravery on your fighters helps, too.

After defeating Ixtab, leave the mines and go back to collect your reward from Zayalu in Jahara. Also, travel to the Sunlit Path if you gave a potion to the injured soldier earlier. You’ll find a thank-you note along with 2 Alarm Clocks where you initially met him.

BHUJERBA / LHUSU MINES – Optional

In Bhujerba, enter the Staras Residence. Speak with petitioner Niray to formalize the Antlion hunt and to receive the Site 3 key. Before hunting down the mark, you can make some serious cash by locating casks of Madhu (the local drink) scattered around Bhujerba that specific people in town will buy (1,000 gil per bottle). Most bottles are hidden and will only become evident when you get close. There are 14 bottles/buyers in all, listed here in no particular order:

1. The Staras Residence (by a bureau near front door) / SELL: The Staras Residence (Niray*)
2. Cloudborne Row (in dead-end near Staras Residence) / SELL: The Cloudborne (Magu, the Seeq at exit)
3. FIND: Mait’s Magicks (by one of the showcases) / SELL: Mati’s Magicks (Bhujerban Guru standing on the left)
4. Travica Way (by Street Kid near Miners’ End entrance) / SELL: Travica Way (Bhujerban near magick shop)
5. Targe’s Arms (by one of the showcases) / SELL: Targe’s Arms (Bhujerban female near counter)
6. Rithril’s Protectives (in a cabinet) / SELL: Rithril’s Protectives - Shop Clerk near counter
7. Aerodrome (by a bench in waiting area) / SELL: Aerodrome (Bhujerban sitting on rail in waiting area)
8. Khus Skygrounds (by moogle on box) / SELL: Khus Skygrounds (Bhujerban woman by western wall)
9. Clio’s Technicks (stairway by the counter) / SELL: Clio’s Technicks (Shop Clerk, a moogle)
10. Miners’ End (by box outside gambit shop) / SELL: Miners’ End (Lhusu Miner, a gray Bangaa south of box)
11. Bashketi’s Gambits (in a bookcase) / SELL: Bashketi’s Gambits (Shop Clerk, a red Seeq)
12. Kaff Terrace (near Seeq seated by entrance) / SELL: Kaff Terrace (Bhujerban woman near drop-off)
13. The Cloudborne (passed-out woman’s table) / SELL: The Cloudborne (Magu, the Seeq between exits)
14. Lhusu Square (by fountain on stairway) / SELL: Lhusu Square (Lhusu Miner near item vendor)
* Note that Niray will not buy the booze if her mark request is still active, but you can sell Magu (the Seeq in the Cloudborne) more than two casks…

After distributing the Madhu bottles, enter the Lhusu Mines and head north into the Site 2 cave where you fled the bounty hunters earlier. Use the key Niray gave you to unlock the Site 3 gate up ahead. Monsters on this side of the mines are a lot tougher, so come prepared.

Wind your way through Site 3 until you are heading south towards the western side of the Twinspan. Examine the mine cart on the tracks at the bottom of Transitway 1 then flip the gate switch on the platform next to it. Once the gate opens, continue west onto the next screen (Transitway 2) where you’ll find young Kait sitting next to a Teleport Crystal. When ready, continue west into Site 9. You’ll find the Antlion mark and his Killer Mantis pals in a small cave in the southwest corner.

MARK >> Antlion

Hit the group with an area spell then let them chase you into the clearing. If you happen to get stuck in the small cave with them, it’s game over. Warp will eliminate most of the Killer Mantis’ immediately. If you don’t have that spell, use Aero spells. Your goal is to take out the Mantis’ before the mark has a chance to Cannibalize them, which increases the Antlion’s stats exponentially. If it eats more than one, you’ll have a tough time surviving the battle. Once they’re disposed of, cast Silence/Slow/Disease and technicks such as Expose/Shear to reduce the Antlion’s power. Avoid earth-based spells since the Antlion absorbs that element. Stay clear when the creature starts using Flatten or prepare to revive those who have fallen.

Upon defeating the mark, a scene plays out with Yrlon, who has dropped the Site 11 gate key into the chasm below. For now, return to the Staras Residence to pick up your bounty.

MT. BUR-OMISACE / PARAMINA RIFT

Back in Mt. Bur-Omisace, speak with Gurdy to formalize the Trickster hunt and Hymms to formalize the Feral Retriever hunt. When ready, follow the path up to the temple grounds. Enter the Gate of the Holy Circle and approach the altar to trigger a few scenes. Larsa leaves the party afterwards. Go back down to the Teleport Crystal. After restocking supplies, leave Mt. Bur and enter the Paramina Rift. Head south.

If you accepted Gurdy’s white chocobo hunt, you’ll find the Trickster in the Frozen Brook region. When you get there, Monid from Clan Centurio will join you as a temporary guest. If the Trickster is there, Monid will mention it; otherwise, keep re-entering the screen until he says it’s time to fight.

MARK >> Trickster

Dispel the giant bird’s Haste/Protect status then inflict Blind/Silence/Sleep. Keep chasing it down, while avoiding traps along the waterfront. The Trickster’s Wild Charge attack can kill low-leveled characters and its Choco-Comet deals heavy damage to all in range. Those with a shield will have a better chance at blocking. When the bird’s HP is reduced by half, it starts using White Wind, making it immune to status effects. Quickly do a large chain-Quickening before it casts Paling, which makes it immune to all physical attacks as well. Optionally, cast Bio and Drain to slowly whittle the bird down.

After defeating the mark, take the southwest exit into the Path of the Firstfall. Speak to the acolyte up ahead to learn that the Stilshrine of Miriam is south of the slope. Use the Save Crystal there then continue forward to the next screen.

Fight through the Twintania and Garuda creatures as you travel south. There are many mines here so equip Libra in order to avoid them. If you accepted the Feral Retriever hunt from Hymms, you’ll find the mark in Paramina’s Spine of the Icewyrm region.

MARK >> Feral Retriever

Blind/Slow it to begin with then cast Protect on everyone to be super-safe. If the feral beast uses Stone Gaze, cure the effect with Stona or Gold Needles. If it uses Purify, recast Blind. The mark absorbs wind magick so avoid using any. Keep your healer out of harm’s way. Successfully casting Sleep, Silence, Disease, or Immobilize will also help.

After beating the Feral Retriever, continue south through the eastern portion of Silverflow’s End until you reach the Stilshrine of Miriam.

STILSHRINE OF MIRIAM

Follow the long walkway across to a Teleport Crystal. After using it, enter the building up ahead. Inside, look for a pedestal near the center of the room. Read the inscription on it, suggesting that only the bearer of the Dawn Shard will be allowed to pass. If you touch the pedestal without having the Dawn Shard equipped, zombies will appear. They are limitless and offer no EXP. Equip your party leader with the Dawn Shard then touch the pedestal to warp to the Ward of Velitation.

A giant Miriam Guardian immediately attacks as soon as you arrive in the room. Kill it then step on the trap next to the platform to replenish some health. Grab an item from the pot behind the trap as well. Head west into the adjoining chamber. The cluster of Dragon Aevis’ in the center of the room will swarm the party as you approach. If they prove too difficult to defeat, just run to the western wall where 2 Miriam Facers give chase. As soon as they unblock the doorway, enter the next room.

Continue heading west through the Walk of Torn Illusion, battling Facers and Guardians that line the halls. Make your way around to the eastern side of the chamber. Whoever has the Dawn Shard equipped should touch the pedestal there. Doing so reveals two hidden stairways in the previous room. Backtrack and take either the left or right stairway down to a door. Enter the Walk of Revelation.

Examine the green crystal up ahead to find out that it’s actually a Crystalbug enemy. Upon defeating it, a blue Save Crystal appears. Use it then travel west down the center path to reach the Ward of the Sword-King. Fight through enemies until you reach an intersection. Go south to a door. Read the inscription on it to break the magic seal on a door to the north. Go inside the newly opened room to find a Way Stone. Touch it to warp back to the first room in the Stilshrine.

Once there, feel free to save your game outside; otherwise, take the western stairs down to a door. Touch it to enter the Cold Distance. Move forward then veer west into the Walk of Prescience. Follow the upper path (rightmost) until you reach an area with a large statue. Inspect its movable base. Rotate the statue until it is facing east. Afterwards, take the southern stairs down to the Walk of Reason.

Enter the door up ahead and pass through the next chamber. Explore the southern hall for treasure or just go north. Veer east when you can and navigate through the passageways until you reach a statue on the southern end of this chamber. Rotate this statue so that it’s facing north. Afterwards, head east then go north to the next screen. Back in the Cold Distance, move forward until you can veer east into the Ward of Steel. Take the stairs down to a door. Heal up before entering.

BOSS >> Vinuskar

A meter appears on screen, suggesting that metal armor will grow heavier the longer you fight (thus slowing you down), but the effect is negligible. Vinuskar can Petrify, Slow or Confuse your characters so just make sure to remove these status effects should they occur. As usual, cast Blind/Slow on the boss then send in your heavy hitters.

After beating Vinuskar, go through the eastern door to find a map of the Stilshrine and the final statue. Rotate this one so that it’s facing west. If you rotated all 3 statues correctly, you’ll hear a chime. Backtrack west to the Cold Distance where a scene shows that the way past the colossus has been opened. Now, go north, back to the Ward of Measure. Save your game outside if you like; otherwise, touch the Way Stone on the far end of the room to warp to the Ward of the Sword- King. Head south and open the door at the end to trigger a scene.

ESPER >> Mateus

Cast lightning spells on the Ice Azers to eliminate them quickly then start working on Mateus. Dispel the esper’s Reflect status if you plan on using magick attacks; otherwise, wait until it wears off then cast Slow. Beware of her Flash-Freeze and Blizzaja spells. The latter inflicts Sap as well as heavy ice damage to all in range. Use Regen to cure Sap. At critical, Mateus’ spells no longer require charge-up time and her power increases. Those with Ice Shields equipped will have a much easier time surviving this fight. Shelling your characters helps.

Afterwards, a new esper, Mateus the Corrupt, is added to the license board. Go through the southern door then move forward to prompt a scene, wherein you receive the Sword of Kings. Leave the chamber and head north towards the Way Stone. At some point, Negalmuur may appear. Fight him and his undead minions (they are limitless) or run away if they start to overwhelm the party.

Either way, warp back to the first chamber and go outside. A scene shows trouble brewing to the north. When you regain control, travel back to Mt. Bur-Omisace either on foot or by teleporting.

MT. BUR-OMISACE

You’ll have to wait to pick up your bounties from Gurdy and Hymms if you hunted down their marks, since they are not stationed in their usual places. Save your game before hiking up to the temple where Archadian forces await.

BOSS >> Judge Bergan, Judges x 3

The party will be surrounded at the onset so work quickly to take out the 3 normal Judges (cast Immobilize) so that you can focus on Bergan. Hit him with Sap/Slow/Blind before he raises his attack damage with Battle Cry. If your melee fighters are Hastened and/or Berserk’d, the fight will be over pretty quickly.

Watch the scene that follows. When it ends, speak to the acolyte kneeling at the base of the temple to acquire the Stone of the Condemner then hike back down to the Teleport Crystal. Gurdy and Hymms are back now so collect your bounties if you defeated their marks. The merchants have new stuff for sale, also. Before going to the Nalbina Fortress in Dalmasca, you can track down an esper hiding within the Stillshrine of Miriam.

If you prefer to skip the optional journey, warp to the Nalbina Fortress. To travel there on foot, go through the Estersand’s Yardang Labyrinth, taking the northeastern exit into the fort’s town.

STILSHRINE OF MIRIAM – Optional

If you acquired the Stone of the Condemner from the acolyte outside Mt. Bur-Omisace temple, you can unlock a secret entrance within the Stilshrine of Miriam. Warp there and go to the Way Stone in the back of the first room. It reacts to the Stone of the Condemner, which allows you to reach the Throne of Veiled Gods. Go through the door to engage the esper, Zeromus.

ESPER >> Zeromus

You are barred from using magick during the battle, so make sure you come prepared with lots of healing items. Use Quickenings to take out any Dark Lord minions that appear, buying you a little time before they respawn. Using strong motes (other than Warp) also helps to clear the field. Zeromus casts Slowga, which pierces Reflect, and will cast Stop often so use Remedies to cure if you’ve upgraded the license. Its Gravity attack will damage you by 1/4 of your max HP and Piercing Gravija will take off half of your max HP.

Afterwards, the esper Zeromus is added to the license board. Leave the Stillshrine and travel to the Nalbina Fortress when you’re ready to advance the story.

NALBINA FORTRESS

There are new goods for sale in town, so stock up on what you need then take the northern exit into the Mosphoran Highwaste. If you did not meet July here earlier, you’ve missed the opportunity to advance that subquest.

MOSPHORAN HIGHWASTE

Travel northwest through the Southern Skirts to get to Summit Path. Once there, use the western exit if you want to explore Dalmasca Estersand’s Broken Sands region; otherwise, travel northeast to get to the Empyrean Way. Continue heading northeast into the Rays of Ashen Light region, where you’ll find a treasure pot and a wayward chocobo that you can ride if you feed it Gysahl Greens. Use any of the western exits to reach the Babbling Vale rest stop.

Talk to the Learned Man standing next to the Shrine of the Northeast Wind to learn that the mechanisms inside the shrines function, even though they appear to be dried up now. There are other shrines in the vale that you can examine. After doing so, visit the traveling merchant, buy a map from the Cartographer Guild’s moogle, or use the Teleport Crystal near the caravaners below.

When ready, exit the Babbling Vale from the northwest. Move forward until you reach a fork in the road. Both paths lead to the Northern Skirts, but explore each for treasure if you like. Boulders on the eastern tip can be toppled to create a shortcut back to the wandering chocobo area, btw. From the Northern Skirts region, go west then veer north into Halny Crossing. Follow the bridge into the Salikawood.

THE SALIKAWOOD

Move forward until you reach a Save Crystal. Talk to the Forest Traveler there to learn that the bridge to Phon Coast is broken. After healing and saving, speak to the 3 moogles in the bungalow on the right who are talking a break from building right now. When ready, cross the northern bridge into Trunkwall Road.
At the first intersection, head east. At the next one, head south. Look for an urn containing a map of Salikawood on the right. After receiving it, travel northeast, veering off the main path occasionally to collect treasures. Pass through the next area (Diverging Way) to get to the east-most part of the woods, called the Living Chasm. Once there, speak with the Moogle Boss who is missing his 9 apprentices. Your map now shows the locations of these moogle apprentices.

Backtrack through the woods, searching for the moogles in bungalows. Once you’ve spoken to all nine, the moogles will ask if you want to go to the gate with them. Do so if you want to automatically return to the Moogle Boss; or decline if you want to explore the rest of the Salikawood first.

If you choose to explore further, you’ll eventually come across a Teleport Crystal in the Quietened Trace region. Speak to the moogle Overseer there to learn that bombs block the western road. Save your game before exploring that road as an optional boss waits.

OPTIONAL BOSS >> King Bomb

In addition to being hastened, these guys pelt you with Oil to make their fire attacks even more dangerous. Take out the small Bombs with Water spells or Aqua Shot before they self-destruct. Silence the King Bomb and Dispel his hastened state then cast Slow to have an easier time with it. Summoning Belias is a good idea also, since he absorbs fire-based spells. Just make sure you dismiss the esper before it unleashes its super attack.

After defeating the fiery foes, you can explore Salikawood’s northwestern territories, which ultimately lead to the Nabreus Deadlands and the Nechrohol of Nabudis. Both areas will be covered later in this walkthrough but feel free to explore them now if you wish.

When ready, head east, back to the Moogle Boss in the Living Chasm region. Once there, the path to Phon Coast opens up. Speak to the craftmoogles gathered at the gate - in particular, the Moogle Boss to obtain a pair of Quasimodo Boots. Afterwards, enter the Phon Coast.

PHON COAST

Watch a scene then use the Save Crystal up ahead. Enter the Reseta Strand and head south, collecting items from pots scattered along the beach as you go. The southeast exit leads to the Pora-Pora Sands region, where you’ll find a Game Hunter in the tall grass to the northeast. Talk to him to learn that the area he’s standing in front of is only accessible via chocobo.

Use the southwest exit to get to Mauleia Strand. If you continue south into the Hakawea Shore area, you’ll find a wandering chocobo on the eastern edge of the beach. No matter which route you take, you’ll eventually arrive in the Hunter’s Camp. Move forward to trigger a scene wherein you learn more about Balthier’s past.

When you regain control, explore the camp. If you defeated the Antlion in Lhusu Mines earlier, talk to the Fallen Bhujerban sitting near the Cape Uahuk exit. Examine the shiny object next to him to acquire the Site 11 Key (dropped by the kids during the hunt, if you recall). You’ll find a merchant, a Teleport Crystal, a chocobo rental stall, a map seller, and a Notice Board posted in the sand. Check to see if new hunts have been added:

* Hunt: “A Chase Through The Woods”           
* Mark: Vorpal Bunny, Rank III (Golmore Jungle, The Rustling Chapel)
* Petitioner: Nera (Eruyt Village, The Spiritwood)
* Reward: 2,000 gil, Lightning Arrows, Gillie Boots

* Hunt: “The Mine Flayer”
* Mark: Mindflayer, Rank IV (Henne Mines, Phase 1 Dig)
* Petitioner: Warrior Guromu (Jahara, Lull of the Land)
* Reward: 2,200 gil, Carmagnole

* Hunt: “The Deserter’s Revenge”
* Mark: Bloodwing, Rank V (Barheim Passage, West Annex)
* Petitioner: No. 381 (Dalmasca Estersand, South Bank Village)
* Reward: 2,400 gil, Stun Bombs, Vampyr Fang

* Hunt: “Trouble in the Hills”
* Mark: Atomos, Rank III (Mosphoran Highwaste, Northern Skirts)
* Petitioner: Burrogh (Nalbina Fortress, Jajim Bazaar)
* Reward: 1,800 gil, Gaia Rod, Diamond Shield

* Hunt: “Rodeo to the Death”
* Mark: Braegh, Rank IV (Salikawood, Corridor of Ages)
* Petitioner: Va’Kansa (Mosphoran Highwaste, Babbling Vale)
* Reward: 1,700 gil, Obelisk, Hi-Ether

Now would be a good time to complete some of the hunts posted above, as well as any outstanding ones on your list. Skip the optional sections below if you want to move on with the main storyline.

SOUTH BANK VILLAGE / BARHEIM PASSAGE – Optional

First, talk to Ruskel on the broken dock. After thanking you for helping with the Cactoid family earlier, he mentions needing a pastime (or a rod to fish with) – the conversation is important if you want to tackle another subquest later on.

Next, speak to petitioner No. 381 by the shore to hear details on the Bloodwing hunt. No. 381 will mention that you’ll need a key to get inside Barheim Passage. If you completed Dantro’s Wife’s ailing visitor subquest earlier, you should have the Barheim Key. If not, read earlier sections of this walkthrough to figure out how to get it.

With key in hand, travel southeast from the village to find an alternate entry into the Barheim Passage. Speak to the bandits near the door then use the Barheim Key to get inside. Travel north through the Zeviah Subterrane to get to the Great Central Passage. Follow the tracks, veering west when you can. At the split, take the path on the left if you want to explore Special Op Sector 5 for treasure; otherwise, go right into the East-West Bypass.

Continue traveling west until you reach a set of stairs. Use them to get to the Zeviah Span region. Once there, head south, collecting treasure as you go, though some are Mimeo enemies in disguise. When you reach the opening, take the eastern stairs down to an urn containing the Barheim Candle, which illuminates new areas on your map. After obtaining it, go back upstairs and use the western stairs to get to the next opening.

Examine the broken mine cart near the western rail up ahead. Push it to form a makeshift walkway and go across to the West Annex region. Head south across the dirt until you can veer west into a long, thin passage. The Bloodwing mark will swoop down in the middle of the path. If enemies that accompany the mark give you trouble, lure the Bloodwing into the southwest opening where undead fiends will not respawn as often.

MARK >> Bloodwing

Since it’s a flying type, you’ll have to rely on long-range weapons, spells, and technicks. Blind/Silence the mark and watch out for Leech, which does about 700 damage and replenishes its own health. Its physical attacks will poison you but casting Immobilize or Disease will buy you enough time to heal.

After defeating the mark, enter the Terminus No. 7 Adjunct. Use the Save Crystal posted there then head west to engage the esper, Zalera.

ESPER >> Zalera

As soon as the battle starts, a timer pops up on screen. You’ll have 5 minutes to defeat the esper along with Dead Bones that continually respawn. Start by dispelling Zalera’s enhancements then cast Slow on it. The boss is immune to all damage while his minions are around so work on taking them out with area spells. Once they are gone, use curative spells to harm the undead esper. Zalera will frequently Disable party members so rid the ailment with Esuna or equip Black Belts. Use Alarm Clocks to wake anyone hit with Sleep. The esper’s Prime Lv.Death spell will instantly kill any party member whose level is divisible by itself and one (e.g., Level 13, 17, 19, 23, etc.) so you may go through several Phoenix Downs before ending the battle.

Upon victory, the esper Zalera is added to the License Board. Exit to the west, where you’ll end up in the Garamsythe Waterway. Make your way back to Rabanastre via Lowtown’s exit. Remember to visit prisoner No. 381 in South Bank Village at some point to collect your bounty.

ERUYT VILLAGE / GOLMORE JUNGLE – Optional

Talk to petitioner Nera in Eruyt Village to accept the Vorpal Bunny hunt. You’ll find Nera sitting on a wall in the Spiritwood section of the village. After securing the contract, enter Golmore Jungle and head south until you get to the Rustling Chapel area. At some point, the Vorpal Bunny will appear among other enemies.

MARK >> Vorpal Bunny

Dispel its enhancements then chase it down as it winds through the region. Try to ignore other enemies that get in your way every so often, or let other party members clear them out while the leader stays focused on the bunny. If you lose sight of the mark, it will eventually re-appear at full health. If it inflicts Sap, cure the ailment with Regen. Alternately, cast Berserk on the bunny to get it to stay in one place then Blind it and hack away.

Upon defeating the Vorpal Bunny, you’ll obtain a Rabbit’s Tail. Bring this to Nera in Eruyt Village in order to receive your bounty.

JAHARA / HENNE MINES – Optional

Speak to petitioner Guromu in Jahara to formalize the Mindflayer contract. Afterwards, rent a chocobo and ride east along the cliffs to find a shortcut leading to the Henne Mines. Once inside, flip the first gate switch you come to then continue down to the Phase 1 Dig site. Look for the Mindflayer in one of the niches there. The mark appears when mist is especially strong. If you have trouble drawing it out, speak to Asdalu, the missing Garif warrior, near the Teleport Crystal in the Staging Shaft area.

MARK >> Mindflayer

Dispel its Faith/Haste status then Blind/Slow the creature. The Mindflayer mostly uses elemental magick and Invert to swap its HP/MP with another character. Invert will be a godsend for those who are getting low on MP. Just revive anyone who falls. Equipping Stop-proof equipment also helps, since the mark will use Time Requiem to inflict it on all in range. Alternately, cast Berserk on Mindflayer to strip it of its major status-effect attacks.

Return to Jahara afterwards to pick up your bounty from Guromu. Guromu tells you to speak with the geomancer Yugelu, whom you’ll find sitting to the northeast. He offers to impart the secrets of Henne Mines once you’ve collected more espers.

MOSPHORAN HIGHWASTE – Optional

If you spoke to petitioner Burrogh in Nalbina about the Atomos mark, you’ll find the creature in Mosphoran’s Northern Skirts region.

MARK >> Atomos

Pick off the vultures flying around so you can focus on the big, red guy. Dispel its Protect/Shell/Regen status then cast Blind/Slow before it surrounds itself with White Wind (e.g. status effects will quit working). Keep using Dispel as it re-casts positive statuses, and Haste/Protect your party if you have time. Its attacks only affect one ally at a time, so just make sure you outlast it. Note that Atomos absorbs Dark spells. Also try casting Sleep, Disable or Confuse on the mark.

After defeating Atomos, enter the Babbling Vale region and talk to petitioner Va’Kansa to accept the Braegh hunt. While here, speak to the Learned Man near the shrine at the northeastern tip. Agree to hear his theory on Floatweed and how it interacts with the shrines to make certain areas accessible. After hearing what he has to say, activate the Shrine of the South Wind. Take the northeast exit into Rays of Ashen Light and feed the stray Chocobo a Gysahl Green in order to ride it.

While mounted, exit south to the Empyrean Way then ride west until you reach a floating weed near the map entrance. Cross over then continue west onto a grassy stretch that only Chocobos can pass through. Upon reaching the Skyreach Ridge, dismount your Chocobo and take the western exit back to the Babbling Vale. Activate the Shrine of the West Wind then hit the Weathered Rock below to create a new path. Go down to the caravaner’s area and activate the Shrine of the Northwest Wind. Now that all of the shrines are set correctly, you can access the esper, Exodus. Return to Skyreach Ridge and fight past some Vultures as you head north. Cross the floatweed at the end to reach the Empyrean Seat.

ESPER >> Exodus

You cannot use items during this battle so make sure at least one character is set up to continually heal. Dispel the esper’s Reflect status then cast Slow/Sap. Use Shear/Expose technicks and hit Exodus with might and magick until it recasts Reflect. You can do a pretty consistent loop where the boss attacks, recasts Reflect, attacks, recasts, etc. Keeping Shellga on your party helps reduce the effects of Flare and Scathe. As long as you spread out around Exodus, Scathe should never hit more than one person. When the esper’s HP is close to critical, it raises a Paling so you’ll have to rely on exclusively on magick until it wears off. At higher levels, Exodus is a pushover, even without the best equipment.

Upon victory, the esper Exodus, the Judge-Sal, is added to the License Board.

NECROHOL OF NABUDIS – Optional

To get to the Necrohol from Salikawood’s Teleport Crystal, enter the Grand Bower and head west into the Corridor of Ages. Follow the winding path south to reach the Necrohol’s main entrance.

Starting in the Hall of Effulgent Light, make your way west, past several traps, as far as you can go. At the end, take the northern hallway up to a small room, where you’ll find a secret path. Examine the colorful treasure up ahead, which is actually a Pandora enemy. After ridding it, search the corner of the room for a ‘???’ symbol. Press X and a Baknamy merchant appears. Initially, he sells only Ethers. Later in the game, he sells great armor and other fine wares.

After shopping, leave the secret chamber and head south through the halls. Veer east when you can and take the stairs down to the Cloister of Distant Song. Travel east through the halls until you can go north. At the 4-way split, head west. Examine the door at the end (Door of Horrors) to see that the ‘Bravery’ medallion is required to unlock it. For now, backtrack to the 4-way split and head north. Veer east when you can and take the stairs up to the Cloister of the Highborn.

Once there, continue east through the halls until you can veer south towards another sealed door, the Door of Despair. You’ll need the ‘Might’ medallion in order to open this one so backtrack into the main hall and continue heading east. Veer north when you can then enter the first room on the left. Take the stairs down into the Hall of the Ivory Covenant.

Make your way north past several traps, to the sealed Door of Loathing on the right. This one requires the ‘Love’ medallion. For now continue north. At the top, veer west then ascend the stairs to get to the Hall of Slumbering Might. Continue northwest through this area to reach the Nabreus Deadlands.

NABREUS DEADLANDS – Optional

Starting in the Field of the Fallen Lord, head west, picking up treasures as you go. In the next area, the Lifeless Strand, continue heading west across the bridges. At the intersection, veer south to pick up a treasure then follow the eastern path over another bridge. Look for a hidden exit to the south. Once inside the Succor Midst Sorrow, you’ll find a fairly tough Crystalbug enemy posing as a Teleport Crystal. After slaying the creature, an actual crystal appears. Use it then continue south into the Slumbermead region.

If you walk into the swamps on the northwestern edge of the Slumbermead, you’ll find a hidden path leading to the Fog Mutter and Overlooking Eternity regions. Explore these areas now if you’re brave; otherwise use the western exit to get to Hope’s Reach. Continue forward into the Vale of Lingering Sorrow. After exploring the area, head southwest to the Muted Scarp and follow the trail up to a Save Crystal.

Speak to the Quiet Nu’Mou sitting on the dock. Ma’Kleou mentions that his two disciples, Roh’Kenmou and Roh’Kenmu, have gone off to fetch keys that open doors within the Necrohol of Nabudis. This conversation is important if you want to complete the medallion subquest started earlier. When ready, head south into the Greencrag. Collect some treasures there then continue south to get back to the Salikawood. Use the Teleport Crystal there to warp to Hunter’s Camp.

RABANASTRE – Optional

Check in with Montblanc at Clan Hall to pick up any clan level bonuses you may have earned. Montblanc may also mention another elite hunt that is up for grabs:

* Hunt: “Carrot Stalk”
* Mark: Carrot, Rank VII (Salikawood, Sun-Dappled Path)
* Petitioner: Zammadria (Nalbina Fortress, Aerodrome)
* Reward: 5,200 gil, Stink Bombs, Putrid Liquid

If you spoke to Ma’Kleou on the Nabreaus Deadlands dock earlier, go to Old Dalan’s house in Lowtown where you’ll find one of the disciples, Roh’kenmou. If you acquired the Dull Fragment and Blackened Fragment earlier, give both of them to Roh’kenmou now. Afterwards, seek out Filo, who is hanging out with some other kids east of Dalan’s place. Filo tells you to search the city streets for the remaining fragment. Exit Lowtown and go to the Southern Plaza.

Talk to the Curious Woman staring at the fountain. After listening to her story, go to Muthru Bazaar and talk to the Bangaa Merchant across from the Clan Provisioner’s stall. Ask him about the necklace and he’ll mention an imperial that was fond of drinking. Ask the Sotted Imperial inside Yugri’s Magicks shop about the necklace and he’ll tell you to go fetch the woman who lost it.

Upon returning to the fountain, you’ll find that the woman is no longer there. Go back to Filo in Lowtown. Ask about the Curious Woman then agree to meet up at the magick shop. Once there, talk to the Sotted Imperial again to initiate a scene, during which you’ll receive the Grimy Fragment. Bring it to Roh’kenmou in Old Dalan’s house.

SALIKAWOOD  – Optional

The elite Carrot mark can be found in the Sun-Dappled Path section of Salikawood – however it will not appear there if you have killed anything within the Salikawood beforehand. Take care not to harm any creature as you make your way over to the Sun-Dappled Path. When you enter the region, the Viera hunter (Krjn) from Clan Hall will join as a guest.

MARK >> Carrot

The mark will nuke your party with a host of status ailments. Cast Berserk on your tank and have the others offer support at a distance. Use Esuna, Haste, Bravery, Shell, and Protect along with curative items. Thundaga spells work nicely, too. The Carrot is fairly weak until it uses Growing Threat to double its level and significantly increase attack power. Bubble helps deal with the increased attack power at low health. Although the Carrot is immune to most status effects, try Silencing the mark if only to have him waste time dispelling it.

To find the Braegh mark, defeat the King Bomb so that you have access to the northwestern regions of the Salikawood. Assuming you do, enter the Corridor of Ages territory and look for a sparkling white horse on the lower path near the Necrohol entrance.

MARK >> Braegh

The Braegh uses Invert to swap your HP with his and eventually disallows the use of magic spells. Try casting Sleep, Slow, Silence, or Sap before this happens. Braegh absorbs lightning magick but is weak against ice. Ultimately, you should have little trouble felling the beast using pure muscle.

Before picking up your reward from Va’Kansa, feel free to preliminarily explore the Necrohol of Nabudis to the south, or the Nabreus Deadlands to the north. Both regions are covered below.

PHON COAST

If you’ve been raising your clan rank by completing hunts, you may see a new one posted on the Hunter’s Camp notice board:

* Hunt: “Adding Insult To Injury”
* Mark: Roblon, Rank VI (Nabreus Deadlands, Overlooking Eternity)
* Petitioner: Morgan (Nalbina Fortress, West Ward)
* Reward: 3,100 gil, Giant’s Helmet, Mythril

When ready, leave Hunter’s Camp from the northeast exit. In the Vaddu Strand region, you’ll find a large collection of pots on the eastern shore. One of them forfeits your chance to get the Zodiac Spear, so it’s best to ignore all of them. Not to worry; they usually contain small denominations of gil. Take the northern exit into the Caima Hills region. There’s a wandering chocobo near the western exit if you have Gysahl Greens and want to ride it; otherwise, take the northeast exit into Limatra Hills.

Continue heading east, collecting random treasures as you go. A cave in the southwest provides a shortcut back to camp via the Vaddu Strand; or just go northeast into Rava’s Pass. Use the Save Crystal and speak to the Viera there then enter the Tchita Uplands.

TCHITA UPLANDS

Head southeast through the Realm of the Elder Dream. Ignore the eastern exit for now. Instead, cross the southern bridge to reach the Oliphzak Rise region and travel east until you get to the Nameless Spring. There, you will find another Save Crystal and an Archadean Wayfarer. Talk to him to receive a special bill that will not be posted in the Clan Primer. Ask about this ‘unofficial’ hunt to receive the Soul Ward key:

* Hunt: ???
* Mark: ??? (Sochen Cave Palace)
* Petitioner: Archadean Wayfarer (Tchita Uplands, Nameless Spring)
* Reward: 1,000 gil, 2 Remedies

After using the crystal, take the southern exit into the Garden of Life’s Circle. Cross the southeastern bridge if you want to explore the easternmost territories of Tchita (doing so eventually brings you to the Shaded Path, where you’ll find another Save Crystal) or take the northeast exit directly into the Highlands. Once there, head northwest to get to the Chosen Path.

You’ll find the Archadian Wayfarer’s son there as well as a Teleport Crystal. After using the crystal, return to the Highlands and take the northern exit into the Fields of Eternity. Continue traveling north through the hills until you reach a cave entrance. Enter to trigger a scene.

SOCHEN CAVE PALACE

When you regain control, head north, veering off occasionally to pick up treasures. Use the Soul Ward key to unlock the door at the end. Inside you’ll fight a group of tiny foes.

BOSS >> Mandragora Prince, Onion Queen, Alraune King, Pumpkin Star, Topstalk

Don’t let looks fool you. These little guys are all hastened and can inflict almost every type of status ailment on your party. Reduce their speed with Dispel or Slow then use Bio and Dark spells when all are in range. Area attacks will not work as well as they should since the little buggers spread themselves throughout the large room. When dealing with a solo target, Drain and physical might work best. If you allow them to run to a corner as a group, they will heal each other.

After defeating the Mandragoras, go through either the left or right door as both lead to the Acolyte’s Burden. Continue heading north down a flight of stairs into the large room below. The blue crystal up ahead is actually a Crystalbug foe. Defeat it so that it transforms into an actual Save Crystal. After using it, go through the eastern door.

Enter the next door to engage a bunch of Zombie Knights. After slaying them, continue north into a winding cavern. Fight your way through Imps and other demons as you move northeast. If you hug the eastern wall, you’ll find a map of the Sochen Cave in a dead-end. Following the northwest path brings you to the Pilgrim’s Door. Read its inscription for a clue on how to get inside: “From the heart, look north to Heaven; step south to Earth; walk in time’s footfalls to open the way.”

For the moment, travel west and enter one of the 4 doorways facing north to reach the Falls of Time area. Once there, you’ll see 5 additional doorways leading north and a bunch of waterfalls. Read the inscription on the northwestern wall for another clue related to the Pilgrim’s Door then return to the southern cavern. Follow the eastern path now. Veer north when you can to return to the Falls of Time area.

To reach the little patch between the Falls of Time and Mirror of the Soul areas, you have to “spiral” around. Starting on the east side of the Falls of Time, do the following (based on the map’s layout):

- Exit from the southeast corner (1st door on right)
- Re-enter from the southwest corner (1st door on left).
- Exit from the north (1st door on left),
- Re-enter from the north (4th from left).
- Exit south (2nd from right)
- Re-enter from the south (3rd from right)
- Exit north (2nd from left)
- Re-enter from the north (3rd from left).

Each time you exit and re-enter the Falls of Time correctly, you’ll get a message saying the position of the waterfalls has changed. If you screw up, the waterfalls revert to their original positions and no message appears. Once the sequence is completed correctly, you’ll hear a chime sound, noting that another door has opened in the distance. With the water now cleared, cross the central bridge and go inside the tiny patch. Open the Pilgrim’s Door and collect your well-deserved treasure.

Now, use any of the northern exits to get to the Destiny’s March region. Continue north until you arrive in a cross-shaped room. On the western end, you’ll find the Ascetic’s Door. Read its inscription to receive a clue on how to unlock it. If you’re eager to move on with the story, ignore the door and just continue north. If you want to unlock it now, do the following:

Go back to the Falls of Time screen in order to reset the Destiny’s March doors. Re-enter Destiny’s March from the northeast end and follow the path up to an Ancient Door. Once inside the eastern antechamber, open the Door of Hours to the south. The idea is to circle around the cross-shaped room without going inside. Move in a clockwise direction through each Door of Hours (east > south > west > north > east). Upon returning to the eastern antechamber, you’ll get a message that a door has unlocked in the distance.

Head west through the cross-shaped room to find the Ascetic’s Door unlocked. Note that powerful enemies lurk beyond, so enter at your own risk. The hidden path leads to the Hall of the Wroth God, but you’ll need a special key to go further. For now, return to the cross-shaped room and go north. Ascend the staircase and continue north until a scene takes over.

BOSS >> Ahriman

In addition to elemental damage, the Ahriman’s attacks may cause confusion, toxify, or immobilize the party. Rid these ailments with curative items or Esuna. Do not use any dark-based attacks/weapons as they will replenish the boss. Put your strongest melee attackers in a Berserk state then have magick users cast Slow, Bio, and technicks (Shear/Expose) from afar. The boss eventually Divides itself. Cast Bio on all of the clones to kill them quickly. Just keep chasing down the main boss and attacking. Shell weaker party members if you have time; otherwise, expect to Revive comrades.

After defeating the Ahriman, grab a few treasures in the room then take the eastern door into Temptation Eluded. Follow the path around all of the traps until you reach a room. Kill the foes inside then follow the western path if you want to engage a rare creature called Cubus. Eventually head north and enter the Chamber of the Chosen. Ascend the spiral path. On top, examine the Disused Pedestal to automatically ride the lift. Upon landing, you’ll find a Teleport Crystal. When ready, go through the north door to initiate a scene.

OLD ARCHADES

Explore the Alley of Low Whispers for wares and rumors as you head west. Speak to everyone you pass, especially the Ex-Broker on the northeast end and the Fresh Ardent sitting on the western stairs. You’ll find a little cockatrice you can converse with in the dead-end near the Ex-Broker also. Further west, watch 8 moogles performing a dance and talk to the nearby Seeq who’s exploiting them.

Cross the long bridge to get to the Alley of Muted Sighs. Once there, speak to the Lucky Man who mentions a bag of coins he recently acquired and then to Beasly. After using the Save Crystal up ahead, approach the guards on the stairs. When they ask if you have proper credentials, either tell the truth or lie. Either way, watch the scene that transpires.

In order to get inside the royal city, pay Jules 1,500 gil and he will ask what you’ve heard around town. Depending on which locals you’ve been talking to, Vaan will offer up a rumor he has heard. Jules will tell you to go back and talk to the parties involved:

- Moogles: Talk to the Shady Seeq
- Bag O’ Coins: Talk to Beasley
- Ex-Broker: Talk to the Fresh Ardent

Afterwards, return to Jules whom you’ll now find sitting on crates just north of the Save Crystal. Having successfully caused a commotion, the guards clear the path into the royal city. Ascend the stairs to prompt a scene.

IMPERIAL CITY OF ARCHADES

When you regain control, head west until Balthier stops the group. After he dashes off to attend to some ‘personal business’, explore the city. The western paths lead to the Molberry district where you’ll find magick and technick shops. If you want a map, buy one from the moogle inside the Technicks shop.

Inside Charlotte’s Magick shop, look for July (the eavesdropping girl from Nalbina) on the upper floor. If you helped July earlier, you’ll receive a Salamand Halcyon. If you spoke to Ma’Kleou on the Nabreaus Deadlands dock earlier, you’ll likely find his other disciple (Roh’kenmu) in Charlotte’s Magick shop as well. After talking to him, go to the Alley of Muted Sighs and look for Otto in the northern portion. After getting the Moonsilver Medallion from him, return to the magick shop and give it to Roh’kenmu.

The city’s southern routes lead to the Rienna and Nibasse districts. In Rienna, you’ll find item and gambit shops as well as an Aerodrome with a Save Crystal. In Nibasse, you’ll find weapon and armor shops. Talk to the Cab Attendant further south to trigger another conversation with Jules. Balthier is waiting for you in Central, but you must pay Jules 2,500 gil to learn how to acquire 9 chops in order to ride the cab. Upon payment, Jules tells you to earn chops by helping people in the city. Start talking to the locals and commit any ‘yellow’ phrases to memory. The idea here is that you must pair up people whose stories match. You’ll earn one chop for every correct pairing and there are many stories to choose from.

If you collect all 28 chops, you can trade them in for one Sandalwood chop (visit a Chopmaster in any shop within Archades), earning yourself an Ardent classification. As an ardent, you can ride cabs at any time and enter Central’s Grand Arcade area to advance a subquest later on. For the moment, focus on earning 9 chops. All pairings are listed below:

- Nilbasse: Senior Researcher / Failed Researcher
- Nilbasse: Worried Husband / Materialistic Woman
- Nilbasse: Aspiring Starlet / Faded Star
- Nilbasse: Determined Researcher / Ex-Researcher
- Nilbasse: Athletic Woman / Avid Reader
- Nilbasse: Gentleman Onlooker / Eager Crier
- Rienna: Philosopher of Cuisine / Dangerous Chef
- Rienna: Lucky Man / Romantic Lady
- Rienna: Good Brother / Waiting Woman
- Rienna: Greenseller / Vegetable Seller
- Rienna: Tour Leader / Bhujerban Lady
- Rienna: Tarot Reader / Happy Novelist
- Rienna: Lazy Profiteer / Researcher’s Wife
- Trant: Smitten Man / Smitten Woman
- Trant: Farce-Goer / Girl On An Errand
- Trant: Boutiquere / Moneyed Gentleman
- Trant: Music Appreciator / Lutenist
- Trant: Builder / Architect
- Trant: Historian / Perceptive Man 
- Molberry: Proud Mother / Tutor
- Molberry: Look-Alike / Look-Alike
- Molberry: Reminiscing Lady / Family-Minded Girl
- Molberry: Avid Traveler / Traveling Gentleman
- Molberry: Daughter-In-Law / Man From Giza
- Molberry: Would-be Judge / Judge’s Wife
- Molberry: Ardent Woman / Ardent Man
- Molberry: Poor Husband / Poor Wife
- Molberry: Talented Woman / Akademician

By the way, if you ask the Tarot Reader in the Rienna district to read your fortune (after pairing up her story), she’ll give you hints on how many chops are left to find in each district. Once you’ve collected at least 9 chops, talk to the cab guide and ask to go to Tsenoble. Upon arrival, Balthier rejoins the group. Use the Teleport Crystal near the cab dock then head north until a scene takes over. Approach the guard in front of Draklor Labs. Since he will not let you in, backtrack down the street until another scene occurs involving Jules.

When you take control, talk to the cab guide. Say, “you know where to go” when given the choice and watch the scene that follows.

DRAKLOR LABORATORY

Starting on the 66th floor, your goal is to get to the top floor and find Dr. Cid. Ignore the Direct Lift in the central hallway. Instead, head further north to find the North Lift Terminal. Select your destination (floor 67 or 68) using the Up/Down arrow keys.

On the 67th floor, you’ll find more wounded Imperials that you can talk to. Enter the northeastern door marked “C.D.B.” Watch a scene inside, during which you’ll obtain the Lab Access Card and a map of Draklor Labs. Enter the next room on the right (6704 East) to find a Save Crystal and some researchers who tell you the about the red & blue bulkhead doors. Exit the room and enter the next one on the right to find a Bulkhead Control panel. Choose to open the blue bulkheads; thus closing the red ones.

Leave the room and fight past Imperial Hoplites and Swordsmen that now permeate the hallways. Before taking the lift up, check the western room to re-open the red bulkheads. After doing so, enter the room in the southwest corner (6711 West) to find some nice treasures. Reset the bulkheads to blue then take the lift up to the 68th floor.

Once there, head east. Enter the first room on the left, and switch the bulkheads to red. Return to the hallway and go north. In the northeast corner, there’s a room filled with Lab Rats. Kill them to earn some decent EXP; otherwise, follow the western hall past another bulkhead control room. Fight a lone Judge in the room off the center hall to the west before switching the bulkheads to blue. After doing so, make your way over to the southern lift and ride up to the 70th floor. Watch the scene that occurs once you arrive on that floor.

Afterwards, collect a treasure in the room to the east then use the Save Crystal near the lift. Once healed, go north into the Energy Transitarium, where you’ll finally encounter Cid.

BOSS >> Doctor Cid, Rooks x 4

Cid is immune to all damage while his Rooks are around, so work on taking them out first. Dispel their Reflect status if you plan on using magick against them; otherwise, use brute force. The Rooks will cast enhancements on Cid and try to siphon your MP so work quickly. Once Cid is by himself, dispel his enhancements then have at him. Cid is immune to Blind and Slow, but Silencing him seems to help. His Tomahak attack does about 800 damage to those in range but, in the end, he’s not all that tough to beat. Protect and Hasten party members to be ultra-safe.

Watch the scenes that follow.

BALFONHEIM PORT

Upon your arrival, a trio of pirates (Rikken, Elza, and Raz) tell you about the hidden trial of the Feywood. When you regain control, explore the port town. In Quayside Court, you’ll find weapon, armor, and technick shops as well as a café. Check the Notice Board inside the Whitecap to pick up new hunts:

* Hunt: “Shelled Obstruction”
* Mark: Darksteel, Rank IV (Sochen Cave Palace, Temptation Eluded)
* Petitioner: Homesick Man (Archades, Vint’s Armaments)
* Reward: 3,000 gil, Lead Bolts, Adamantite

* Hunt: “Get My Stuff Back!”
* Mark: Vyraal, Rank V (Cerobi Steppe, Northsward)
* Petitioner: Viera Wayfarer (Balfonheim Port, Whitecap café)
* Reward: 3,500 gil, Halberd, Crystal Shield, Dragon Scale

* Hunt: “Old Legends, Decaying Bonds”
* Mark: Lindwyrm, Rank V (Tchita Uplands, Garden of Life’s Circle)
* Petitioner: Fermon (Old Archades, Alley of Muted Sighs)
* Reward: 4,200 gil, Barrel Coat, Hi-Ether

* Hunt: “The Things We Do…”
* Mark: Overlord, Rank VI (Sochen Cave Palace, Doubt Abandoned)
* Petitioner: Insecure Seeq (Archades, Technicks shop)
* Reward: 3,500 gil, 2 Hi-Ethers, Teleport Stone

* Hunt: “The Creature Collector”
* Mark: Goliath, Rank VI (Necrohol of Nabudis, Hall of Slumbering Might)
* Petitioner: Barrong (Nalbina Fortress, West Ward)
* Reward: 3,600 gil, Save the Queen, Einherjarium

* Hunt: “Dead City Watch”
* Mark: Deathscythe, Rank VI (Necrohol of Nabudis, Cloister of the Highborn)
* Petitioner: Popol (Nalbina Fortress, Jajim Bazaar)
* Reward: 2,800 gil, Hi-Ether, Soul of Thamasa

If you accepted the Vyraal hunt, talk to the Viera Wayfarer sitting on a window ledge in the café to formalize the contract. The upper paths of Balfonheim lead to the Canal Lane district where you’ll find two private villas. Look for a treasure pot in one of them. Continuing east takes you to the Gallerina Marketplace, where you can shop for new items, magicks and gambits. The southern path leads to the Aerodrome, offering flights to Nalbina, Bhujerba, and Archades. If you started Ann’s Letter subquest earlier, you can complete it now. There’s a Save Crystal in the Aerodrome as well.

If you spoke to Ruksel about finding a hobby earlier in South Bank Village, you’ll find a Fishing Enthusiast hanging out near the Aerodrome. Speak to him twice then approach the entrance of the Aerodome without going inside. When you return to the spot where the enthusiast was, you’ll find a Muramata rod propped up against the wall where he was standing.

In the northeastern section of Balfonheim, there’s a moogle selling maps, a chocobo rental stall, and Dyce, the traveling merchant. Buy some Teleport Stones from him if you’re running low. Open the pot next to Dyce to acquire a fair amount of gil. Speak to the Miffed Moogle near the chocobo pen then talk to the Chocobo Wrangler sitting on the bench. Agree to show her your Feather of the Flock item (assuming you have it) then listen to the cockatrice, Moomer, trying to pose as a chocobo in the pen. Next, talk to Gurdy to witness a scene with Moomer. When it ends, you’ll acquire the Defender, a 2H sword.

There’s a Teleport Crystal near the entrance to Cerobi Steppe. If you want to catch up on hunts, track down the other cockatrices scattered throughout Altair, or advance some sidequests, now would be an ideal time. Read the optional sections below for more information; otherwise, warp to either Golmore Jungle or the Paramina Rift, as both lead to the Feywood.

PHON COAST – Optional

In Hunter’s Camp, look for the Huntmaster in a shack just south of the Notice Board. When prompted, tell him you are “a bird of prey” to begin the Hunt Club sidequest. The Huntmaster asks that your party hunt down a rare creature called Thalassinon. He tells you to look in the Vaddu Strand region but hints that some monsters will only come out if certain conditions are met.

To find Thalassinon, climb the tallest hill in the Vaddu Strand (to the east) and wait for the rare game to appear on the shore below. You should see the giant tortoise in a few seconds. Go down the hill and engage it. Dispel the creature’s Protect status then cast Slow, Silence, and Blind. The totoise will attack physically, use Power Spin (inflicts Slow), perform Stone Gaze, and casts Reflect on itself. Zap it with Aeroga when it doesn’t have Reflect on; otherwise, use wind-based weapons to take it down quickly.

Once defeated, the Thalassinon drops a Shelled Trophy. Go back to camp and give this item to the Huntmaster to officially join his club. Afterwards, speak to one of the 3 Bangaa brothers (Atak, Blok, or Stok) standing below. The brother chosen will explain how the Hunt Club works:

Basically, your party must track down rare monsters scattered throughout Ivalice. Of the 80 Rare Game monsters in Ivalice, 30 drop trophies. Any trophies collected are to be given to one of the Bangaa brothers. In turn, they will add inventory to the Outfitters shop, located to the right of the Hunt Club shack. Speak to the Shifty-Eyed Man there to get details. The quality of items sold increases with every 5 trophies you bring them. As their names would suggest, Stok adds sundry items, Atak adds weapons, and Blok adds protective gear. Once you’ve purchased an item, it will be removed from the list (e.g. you cannot buy more than one) however, all items remain on sale even after the quest is finished. Check your progress by viewing the Clan Primer’s Rare Game list.

JAHARA – Optional

In Jahara, speak to the Garif Herder who wants to know what the stray cockatrice is doing there. Talk to the bird and relay its message to the herder, who then tells you to talk to the Great-Chief. Do so and get his gift. Give it to the cockatrice then talk with the herder to receive a Platinum Dagger.

ERUYT VILLAGE – Optional

In Eruyt Village’s Fane of the Path district, a cockatrice (Chit) suffers from amnesia. Speak to the bird then to Mjrn. After doing so, examine the sparkling object on the ground next to them. Give the Dewdrop Pebble to Mjrn. You need to collect 8 additional Dewdrop Pebbles scattered within the village in order to restore Chit’s memory: 

1. Fane of the Path - in the salve-maker’s pestle bowl
2. Fane of the Path - on northern part of circular walkway
3. The Spiritwood - on the stairs near Fane of the Path entrance (next to tree)
4. The Spiritwood - under the spiral staircase
5. The Spiritwood - in the circular courtyard; ask the Viera to get it
6. The Spiritwood - on Rael’s stoop
7. The Spiritwood - on the bridge leading to circular courtyard
8. The Spiritwood - by southern dead end

After giving all of the Dewdrop Pebbles to Mjrn, the cockatrice will drop one more. Give the final pebble to Mjrn so that Chit recovers its memory. You’ll receive a Yoichi Bow for your good deed.

RABANASTRE – Optional

In Rabanastre’s North End, look for a lone cockatrice hiding in a corner. When you try to engage it, it runs away. In order to catch the cockatrice, stand behind a pillar (anywhere out of view) and wait until it passes by. Slowly walk towards it and press X as soon as the ‘Talk’ icon appears. When the cockatrice asks what you’re doing, tell it you’re not trying to ruffle its feathers. It will stay in the North End until you’ve sent the Eruyt cockatrice (Chit) back to Nomad Village. Inform it of your progress to receive a Diamond Sword.

If you defeated the Antlion and Trickster marks earlier, visit Clan Hall. Montblanc may have new elite postings there for you:

* Hunt: “A Dark Rumor”
* Mark: Belito, Rank V (Nam-Yensa Sandsea, Withering Shores)
* Petitioner: Montblanc (Rabanastre, Clan Hall)
* Reward: 5,100 gil, Megalixir

* Hunt: “Battle on the Big Bridge”
* Mark: Ancient Man of Mystery, Rank VII (Lhusu Mines, Tasche Span & Site 7)
* Petitioner: Montblanc (Rabanastre, Clan Hall)
* Reward: 10,000 gil, Masamune

While in Clan Hall, speak to Krjn to learn the whereabouts of her sister, Ktjn (the Viera who was sitting on the stairs near Muthru Bazaar). The advice you gave Ktjn earlier determines where she can be found: If you advised her to become a warrior like her sister, you’ll find Ktjn fighting a Bangaa in Clan Hall. Talk to her to receive a Platinum Sword. If you told her to follow her heart, you’ll find her working behind the counter in Migelo’s shop. Talk to her there to receive a Fuzzy Miter. If you were wishy-washy in your advice, you’ll likely find Ktjn on the western side of East End. Talk to her there to receive an Ether and 3 Hi-Potions.

ARCHADES – Optional

In order to find the lost cockatrice hiding out in Archades, you’ll need a Sandalwood Chop. Pair up any remaining people with their correct stories to earn all 28 regular chops then visit a Chopmaster and trade them in for a single Sandalwood Chop. Show it to the docent in the Tsenoble district to get inside Central. Talk to the large cockatrice (Agytha) hopping about in the Grand Arcade. Mention the little cockatrice you met earlier in Old Archades to receive a Tumulus hand-bomb.

If you joined the Huntmaster’s club in Phon Coast earlier, go upstairs to the Highgarden Terrace and talk to the Archadian Gentry that identifies himself as the Hunt Club Owner. Say, “We’ve been through the Phon Coast” when given a choice. The owner will give you gems based on how many trophy-dropping rare game monsters you’ve defeated so far:

05     Aries Gem / Libra Gem
10     Taurus Gem / Scorpio Gem
15     Gemini Gem / Sagittarius Gem
20     Cancer Gem / Capricorn Gem
25     Leo Gem / Aquarius Gem
30     Virgo Gem / Pisces Gem

If you accepted the Darksteel hunt, seek out the petitioner (Homesick Man) in Vint’s Armaments shop. The Insecure Seeq who posted the Overlord hunt can be found in the Technicks shop and the Lindwyrm hunt petitioner (Fermon) hangs out in Old Archades, Alley of Muted Sighs. He’s sitting in a corner with a group of people.

SOUTH BANK VILLAGE – Optional

In South Bank Village, look for another lost cockatrice (Sassan). It will not budge until you’ve restored the ferry service to North Bank Village. Assuming you have, talk to Tchigri who suggests shipping the bird north. Escort Nathyl first, then Arryl and finally Sassan. Once Sassan reaches North Bank Village, speak to him to acquire a Koga Blade.

If you obtained the Muramata rod from the fishing enthusiast in Balfonheim, give it to Ruksel in South Bank Village. Speak to him again to initiate a fishing mini-game. Ask Ruksel to explain the rules then give it a shot. There are five different areas you can fish in, with rewards becoming greater for each successful expedition:

1.  Downstream
2.  Midstream
3.  Upstream
4.  Hidden Shoals
5.  Den of the River Lord

During each round, you’ll have 6 opportunities to catch either a fish or an empty bottle. Simply enter the sequence of buttons that float across the screen either horizontally or vertically. Getting enough perfect scores unlocks the next area – however, for the last three, you will need the Matamune rod, which can be acquired after completing the ‘Battle on the Big Bridge’ hunt posted by Montblanc in Clan Hall. Note that you can sell the fish or bottles you catch for a minor profit.

GIZA PLAINS – Optional

When all 6 cockatrices have been put back into their pen, return to Nomad Village during the dry season and find Terra. She gives you 2 Hi-Ethers for the successful roundup.

NAM-YENSA SANDSEA – Optional

If you accepted the Belito hunt from Montblanc, warp to the Ogir-Yensa Sandsea then travel east into the Central Junction region. Go down to the beach and enter the Zertinan Caverns. Starting inside the Canopy of Clay, take the northwest exit into Nam-Yensa’s Withering Shores region. Once there, walk towards the dead-end to meet up with Monid from Clan Hall. You’ll see that Belito is actually Ba’Gamnan, one of the bounty hunters that chased you through Lhusu Mines earlier in the game.

MARK >> Belito (a.k.a. Ba’Gamnan)

Ba’Gamnan and his crew have high attack power and some nasty moves that can wipe you out if you aren’t careful. In particular, watch out for their Shining Ray attack (Holy damage to all) and Fangs attack. Be prepared to use Curaja frequently, as well as Bubble and Protect. Try to take out the minions first by putting them to Sleep then dousing them with Oil and Firaga. Ba’Gamnan absorbs fire, so this strategy will not work on him. If Balthier is in your active party, he’ll be your de facto Decoy, since Ba’Gamnan will direct all of his attacks at him until he falls.

After the sweet revenge, watch a scene with Monid, who supplies your bounty on behalf of Montblanc.

NALBINA FORTRESS – Optional

If you plan on hunting down marks in the Nabreus Deadlands or Necrohol of Nabudis, visit Nalbina to secure contracts with 3 petitioners in town. For the Deathscythe mark, speak to Popol in Jajim Bazaar. For the Roblon mark, speak to Morgan in the West Ward. The Goliath hunt petitioner (Barrong) can also be found in the West Ward.

NABREUS DEADLANDS – Optional

If you completed the Medallion of Bravery and Medallion of Love subquests earlier, speak to Ma’Kleou on the dock near the Save Crystal. He offers information on where to find the Medallion of Might and tells you to meet him there. After he departs, follow the western trail down into the Vale of Lingering Sorrow. Head north into Hope’s Reach and move through to the Slumbermead region. Once there, locate the hidden path in the northwestern swamps leading to the Fog Mutters region.

Head west through the Fog Mutters and heal up before exiting to the north. In the Overlooking Eternity area, Dead Bone enemies abound. Slice your way through them to the top, where you’ll find the Roblon mark.

MARK >> Roblon

The pesky Dead Bones surrounding Roblon may prove more problematic than the mark itself. Your goal is to clear them enough so that they won’t respawn as frequently in the area where you take on Roblon. Try Immobilizing them before they have a chance to cast Reflect on themselves. Once you are able to focus on the big guy, Blind and Slow the creature then use 1,000 Needles from afar. If you have Aqua Shot, use it, as Roblon is weak against water. Sap work nicely but the mark is immune to almost all other status effects. Once its health diminishes a bit, Roblon will start using Fear to drain the party’s MP. Send in your brutes at that point to fight Roblon head-on.

After slaying the giant, exit to the Fog Mutters area. Re-enter Overlooking Eternity and make your way back up to the shrine that Roblon was blocking. Watch a scene with the Nu’Mou clan, wherein you receive the Medallion of Love, Medallion of Bravery, and the Lusterless Medallion. You now have all of the medallions necessary to open the secret doors within the Necrohol of Nabudis.

NECROHOL OF NABUDIS – Optional

Warp to the Salikawood and enter the Necrohol from the main entrance. Starting in the Hall of Effulgent Light, make your way west. Check to see if the Baknamy merchant in the northwest corner has any new merchandise for sale. After shopping, leave the secret chamber and head south through the halls. Veer east when you can and take the stairs down to the Cloister of Distant Song. Travel northeast through the halls. At the 4-way split, head west. Use the Medallion of Bravery to unlock the Door of Horrors. Enter the Cloister of Solace to face a boss.

BOSS >> Humbaba Mistant

Dispel the boss’ enhancements then cast Slow and sap it with Bio. Humbaba Mistant is weak against Holy magick but any high level spell (Flare, Scourge, Scathe, etc.) works nicely. The boss can Immobilize and Disable your party so be careful. Its Temblor attack causes about 2,000 damage to anyone in range. If your characters are hastened and have decent armor on, the battle will not be too difficult.

Upon defeating the boss, you will obtain a map of the Necrohol and your Lusterless Medallion gains energy. Backtrack to the 4-way split and head north now. Veer east when you can and take the stairs up to the Cloister of the Highborn. If you accepted the Deathscythe hunt earlier, the mark will suddenly appear among other enemies once any party member’s health dips to 10% or less.

MARK >> Deathscythe

Blind/Silence/Slow the mark. The Deathscythe mainly uses Dark spells and Annul to steal the party’s MP, so replenish with ethers or the Charge technick. Once the mark casts Paling, physical attacks will cease to damage it, so magick and technicks are your best bet from that point on. Bio causes decent damage in lieu of light-based spells. Optionally, Berserk the mark so that it cannot perform Paling. Immobilizing or Confusing Deathsycthe may also help.

After defeating the mark, head towards the center of the cloister and look for a room off of the northern hallway containing several chests. One of them holds the much-anticipated Zodiac Spear. If you followed this walkthrough and ignored certain treasure pots in Ivalice, it will be yours now. If any of the 4 deal-breaking pots were opened, the spear will not be there. Either way, go east. Ignore the locked Door of Despair to the south for the moment. Instead, go north and enter the first room on the left. Take the stairs down into the Hall of the Ivory Covenant. Once there, make your way north past several traps, to the locked Door of Loathing. Use the Medallion of Love to unseal it then enter the Cloister of Reason.

BOSS >> Fury

Don’t be fooled by looks. This cute little creature has a ton of HP and hits hard with speed. Dispel Fury’s enhancements each time it attempts to buff itself then Slow the boss. Thundaga spells and Water motes work well against it. Eventually, the boss will use items to Berserk anyone close to it, as well as itself. In this state, Fury uses combos that hit for about 1,000 damage each, and can outrun you. Use Bubble/Bravery/Protect on your melee fighters while others fight at range or with spells.

After defeating Fury, your Lusterless Medallion transforms into the Medallion of Might. Leave the cloister and travel north. At the top, veer west and ascend the stairs to get to the Hall of Slumbering Might. Wind your way northwest towards the top of the hall. There, you’ll find the Goliath mark.

MARK >> Goliath

Goliath erects Magick Barrier right at the start, making spells ineffective, so Berserk your strongest party members and have at it until the effect wears off. Once it does, zap him with dark-based spells or Bio. Alternately, cast Reflect on party members (or equip Mirror armor) to deflect Goliath’s elemental attacks. The mark is immune to all status effects except Slow, so don’t waste time trying to cast any.

After defeating Goliath, it’s time to backtrack to the Cloister of the Highborn to unlock the final door in the palace. I recommend using the Teleport Crystal in either the Nabreus Deadlands or Salikawoods to save your game beforehand. When ready, use the Medallion of Might to open the Door of Despair. Enter the Crucible to face the powerful esper, Chaos.

ESPER >> Chaos

You are prevented from using physical attacks during battle, so don’t even bother trying to beat Chaos until you’ve acquired some high-level magick spells (Shock, Flare, Scathe, etc.) Start by dispelling the esper’s enhancements then work on taking out the 3 Chaosjets that accompany him. Exploit their individual weaknesses or use non-elemental area attacks such as Bio or Scourge. Once they are gone, cast Hastega then apply Shell/Bubble/Faith on everyone before the esper uses Fearga, which will drain all MP. Replenish MP by using the Charge technick or ethers. Chaos’ Aeroja attack does significant damage and is hard to avoid no matter where you are in the room. If you’ve learned Telekinesis, use it consistently throughout the battle.

After defeating Chaos, the esper is added to the license board. Remember to return to Nalbina Fortress to collect your bounties at some point. If you successfully hunted down all of the marks posted by Nalbina residents (5 total), speak to Jovy in Nalbina’s West Ward. Witness a cute scene, wherein you receive an Elixir and Knot of Rust for being his new hero.

CEROBI STEPPE – Optional

Enter the Cerobi Steppe from Balfonheim Port. Travel west through South Liavell Hills and take either exit into North Liavell Hills. Continue heading northwest towards 3 iron windmills. Examine the front of each to see that Craftmoogles are servicing them. After examining the windmills here, head northwest into the Terraced Bank region where you’ll find windmills 4 & 5. Speak to the Craftmoogles working on them then take the northeast exit into Journey’s Rest, where you’ll find a welcomed Save Crystal.

After using it, continue north into the Crossfield region. Talk to the moogles on windmills 6 & 7 up ahead. Take the northern exit if you want to explore the Old Elanise Road; otherwise, head east to get to the Feddik River area. Go south over the bridges if you want to explore the lower portions for treasure; otherwise, travel northeast and cross the bridge into Northsward territory.

If you accepted the Vyraal hunt earlier, the Viera Wayfarer will join you when you enter the region. Examine the final 3 windmills up ahead, noting that the Craftsmoogle working on #10 needs a part to make it operable. For now, roam the area until you come upon the mark.

MARK >> Vyraal

Cast Sleep then pummel the creature with spells while the Viera Wayfarer helps protect the party. If it remains awake, the Vyraal will dash away once you’ve reduced its health by about 2/3rds. Chase it down before it fully heals itself. When next you meet, it’ll be hastened and restored. If this happens, Dispel its Haste status then cast Blind/Slow, along with Confuse or Silence before it has a chance to use Magick Barrier. Having a tank in Berserk mode while others fight from a distance works nicely. Note that the mark absorbs earth-based spells but is susceptible to wind damage.

Upon defeating the creature, you obtain a Viera Rucksack. Bring this to the Viera Wayfarer in Balfonheim to earn your bounty, as well as a Dragon Scale. With this key item, go back to Cerobi Steppe and enter the Northsward region. Examine Windmill #10 to initiate a scene with the Wyrm Philosopher. He will give you an Ageworn Key in exchange for the Dragon Scale. This key unlocks the door to the Hall of the Wroth God within Sochen Cave Palace.

TCHITA UPLANDS – Optional

After warping to the Tchita Uplands, go to the Nameless Spring and talk to the Archadian Wayfarer there. For ridding the menace in Sochen Cave Palace, he’ll give you 1,000 gil and 2 Remedies. If you enter the Garden of Life’s Circle region (south) when it’s overcast, you may stumble upon the Lindwyrm mark. If you can see the sun, it’s not overcast enough. Since one has to exit the ENTIRE area to change the weather, it’s easier to re-teleport into Tchita Uplands to check the atmospheric conditions and reset if they’re not favorable.

MARK >> Lindwyrm

Dispel its positive status then cast Blind, Slow and Silence to stop the Lindwyrm from casting Bio. If you can, put Protectga/Shellga on your party as well. The mark absorbs earth magick but is weak against Aero spells. Watch out for Lv2 Sleep, which inflicts the status on those with even-numbered levels, as well as Lv4Break, which will petrify those with levels divisible by four. Have Stona or Esuna at the ready. When its HP gets low, Lindwyrm erects Greater Barrier, making your magick and physical attacks much less effective. Counter by using the Shear technick and beef up your own party with Haste, Bravery, Bubble, and Faith.

Once dead, the Lindwyrm drops a Rusted Scrap of Armor, which becomes useful later on.

SOCHEN CAVE PALACE – Optional

Enter Sochen Cave Palace from the Highlands region in Tchita Uplands. If you accepted the Overlord hunt, you’ll be greeted by the Insecure Seeq petitioner from Archades as soon as you enter. His mark is in the northwest niche of Sochen’s Doubt Abandoned area.

MARK >> Overlord

For mages, Bio spells are fairly effective but avoid fire magick. Use Aqua Shot if you can. The Overlord’s Pyromania and Rage attacks may kill weaker party members but the attacks can sometimes miss if the mark is blinded beforehand. Your Seeq partner will not last long in this battle so don’t depend on him for much support. Your best bet is to dispel the mark’s Bravery status then go Berserk on the Overlord until he perishes.

After defeating the Overlord, continue into the Falls of Time area. If you did not open the Ascetic’s Door during an earlier visit, do so now. Enter Destiny’s March from the northeast end and follow the path up to an Ancient Door. Once inside the eastern antechamber, open the Door of Hours to the south. The idea is to circle around the cross-shaped room without going inside. Move in a clockwise direction through the Door of Hours (east > south > west > north > east). Upon returning to the eastern antechamber, you’ll get a message that a door has unlocked in the distance.

Head west through the cross-shaped room to find the Ascetic’s Door unlocked. Enter and follow the hidden path down to the Hall of the Wroth God. Use the Ageworn Key you received from the Wyrm Philosopher to unlock the door.

BOSS >> Hell Wyrm

The first thing you’ll notice is that Hell Wyrm has more than one health bar, with each dot on the bottom representing one. Disable any enhancements the Hell Wyrm casts on itself then go to town with Holy spells. The boss appears to be immune to all negative status effects except Shear/Expose. The good news is you can leave the room to save and come back later without regenerating the mark’s health. Just make sure you don’t leave before dispelling its Regen status. Equipping White Masks/Sage Rings are good to absorb Judgment. During the first quarter of the fight, Hell Wyrm mainly uses physical attacks with the occasional Rake, but there is always the chance that you’ll get hit with Instant Death. Eventually, he’ll start using Stone Breath and Invert. With around 15 bars left, the Wyrm starts rotating attacks – using an onslaught of Rakes followed by Judgment, then casting elemental spells or Invert.

After defeating the Hell Wyrm, travel north into Sochen Cave’s Temptation Eluded region, where you will find the Darksteel mark.

MARK >> Darksteel

This mark is a pushover compared to the Overlord. As its name would suggest, Darksteel uses and absorbs dark magick but is weak against holy spells. Dispel its enhancements then Blind, Slow, and Poison the creature. Whack away before the mark has a chance to Purify itself.

Remember to pick up your bounties from the petitioners in Archades afterwards.

LHUSU MINES – Optional

If you accepted Montblanc’s elite hunt, your first encounter with the Ancient Man of Mystery (a.k.a. Gilgamesh) takes place in Lhusu Mines within the Tasche Span region. If you haven’t done so already, complete the Antlion hunt in order to gain access to that area, which is west of the Teleport Crystal.

MARK >> Gilgamesh (1st encounter)

During the first encounter, you’ll fight Gilgamesh and his dog, Enkidu. Dispel their enhancements then cast Slow on both. Take out the dog first by casting Sleep on it then pummeling Enkidu with spells. Once Gilgamesh is alone, use Expose/Shear technicks on him and have your tanks clean up. Gilgamesh can inflict Sleep while attacking so wake those affected. Try stealing new items from Gilgamesh between every scene, as some items are only available during your encounters with him (specifically, the Genji set). Equip Thief’s Cuffs to increase your chance of stealing the rare items.

After the first battle, Gilgamesh escapes deeper into the mines. In order to find him, you’ll need the Site 11 Key, which was dropped by the kid you saved during the Antlion hunt. If you did not pick it up earlier, travel to the Hunter’s Camp in Phon Coast and look next to the Fallen Bhujerban in the northwest portion to obtain it.

Back in Lhusu Mines, head over to Site 9 and use the key on the southwestern gate to get inside Site 11. Move northwest through the tunnel. At the intersection, take the left fork down a flight of stairs then continue forward to a second staircase. Before descending, head east and flip the gate switch up ahead. Backtrack to Site 11 and go downstairs. Continue north to the next set of tracks. Head west to flip another gate switch then go east into the Lasche Span. Fight past some Aeronite enemies until you reach Site 5

Once there, head north. Go upstairs and continue forward to a 4-way split. Explore the southern route to find an urn containing the Lhusu Candle map or the northern route if you want to collect some treasure. Eventually, head east until you reach Site 6 South. Once there, look for a hidden path towards the northeastern edge leading to Site 6 North. You’ll find several treasure containers in two small caves there. Most are disguised enemies but the less colorful pots usually contain good stuff.

After collecting the loot, head south into the Staging Area where you will find a Save Crystal. After using it, continue south into Site 7 to engage Gilgamesh a second time.

MARK >> Gilgamesh (2nd encounter)

Gilgamesh and his dog have bulked up stats and are immune to Slow this time around. The mark inflicts level-based ailments, such as Lv2 Sleep and Lv3 Disable, which will affect those whose levels are divisible by that number. As before, take out his canine buddy first. Once Enkidu is gone, dispel Gilgamesh’s enhancements then cast Protect and Bubble on your party members. Steal what you can in between each scene. If you keep Decoy and Reverse active on a person at all times, this battle will be hard to lose.

After defeating Gilgamesh, examine the sword left behind. Although it appears to be an “ordinary sword of legend”, you’ll receive the coveted Masamune from Montblanc as part of your bounty once you return to Rabanastre. Use the carts scattered throughout the mines to exit quickly. By completing the Gilgamesh hunt, you can now complete the remaining portions of the fishing mini-game.

SOUTH BANK VILLAGE / BARHEIM PASSAGE – Optional

If you initiated the fishing game earlier, return to South Bank Village and tell Ruksel you want to go fishing. Keeping fishing until you collect 5 colored bottles. After getting them, open the Key Items menu and look at the clues marked on each. They point to areas that you must visit before you can find the Matamune rod: 

BLUE BOTTLE
Clue: “Truth lies just beyond falsehood: CDZCKZMCRANZS”
Solution: The truth lies just one letter beyond, in that the next letter in the alphabet is the right one. Do this to end up with DEADLANDS BOAT. Go to the Nabreus Deadlands’ Echoes of the Past region and look in the southeast swamps for a partially sunken boat. Examine the part that is glowing. The blue bottle shatters, netting you an X-Potion and a message that says: “River…unde…o”.

GREEN BOTTLE
Clue: “Skip on stones to far banks shore, by skipping stones return once more: SSADLNIAKLADHAUETDNREA”
Solution: From left to right, jot down every other letter. When you reach the end, do it backwards, skipping every other letter from right to left, to get SALIKA HUT NEAR DEADLANDS. The particular hut that you’re looking for is in the center of the Piebald Path in Salikawood. Check the faint glow at the entrance and the bottle shatters, netting you the message: “Forest…rgro….w”.
 
RED BOTTLE
Clue: “Foothills rise in mountains’ shadow: NhIiQsTUrEe”
Solution: Separate the lowercase and uppercase letters then unscramble each pile to form the words QUIET shrine. Go to the Babbling Vale region in Mosphoran Highwaste. Examine the faint glow in front of the inactive shrine near the Trail of Sky-flung Stone exit to shatter the bottle. You’ll receive a Holy Mote and a message that reads: “Fire…undb…h”. 

YELLOW BOTTLE
Clue: “Dragons stir among the eaters of the wind: 1 2 - - 5 - 7 - 9 –“
Solution: Remember the windmills in Cerobi Steppe? Go there and use the 2nd part of the clue to turn the appropriate windmills on (numbers) or off (dashes). When you fix the final one, the bottle shatters and you receive a Hi-Ether along with the message: “Ash…ridge…e.” 

BLACK BOTTLE
Clue: “Easy as a, b, c, so count yourself lucky: 19-12-21-9-3-5-7-1-20-5-18-1-20-19”
Solution: The numbers correspond to the 26 letters in the alphabet, ending up with the clue SLUICE GATE RATS. Visit the Garamsythe Waterway and look for rats scurrying around the south side of the Central Waterway Control room. Follow them to their hangout, marked by a faint glow. Examine it to receive an Elixir, along with the clue: “Darkness…eton…e.”

After finding the 5 messages, connect the first, middle, and last portions to create the phrase: “underground bridge to nowhe’r’e”. Time to go back to the Barheim Passage. Make your way south to the end of the Zeviah Span. As soon as you enter the West Annex, hang a u-turn and head north to reach the little patch of rubble in between the bridge sections. Approach the edge and watch the scene that transpires.

With the Matamune rod safely in hand, return to Ruksel in South Bank Village. Select the Upstream option and start fishing. After what seems like an eternity, you’ll be rewarded with the Cactoid Compact. This item allows you to access the Hidden Shoals area. Keep getting perfects while fishing in the Hidden Shoals to receive the Cactoid Commendation. This item opens up the final fishing area, Den of the River Lord.

The King of Nebra command sequence is difficult to complete when it appears side-to-side, and nearly impossible from top-to-bottom. Additionally, you need to catch him 9 times before you get your well-earned reward. However, you don’t have to catch him in one trip or even get all nine in a row. Memorize and practice R1, L2, Up, Square, R2, L1, X, Right. When you finally hook him, you’ll receive Lu Shang’s Badge, the reward for this lengthy sidequest.

THE FEYWOOD

To get to the Feywood from Golmore Jungle, head south. To get there from the Paramina Rift, head west. Either way, you’ll end up in Feywood’s Walk of Flitting Rifts region. Explore the area’s nooks and crannies for treasure then take the southeast exit into the Walk of Stolen Truths. Look in one of the northeastern niches for an urn containing a map of the Feywood. After getting it, use either of the western exits to reach the Walk of Dancing Shadow.

Heading west from the Walk of Dancing Shadow region brings you to the Phase 2 Shaft within Henne Mines. The locked gate inside prevents you from going very far there and the monsters inside are Lv.60+. For now, move south through the Dancing Shadow region until you get to Antiquity’s End where you’ll find a Save Crystal. After using it, go south to trigger a scene. When it ends, follow the hidden path into Redolent Glade, where you will face a boss.

BOSS >> Raflesia

The big flower slowly drains your party’s MP, so it’s mostly going to depend on your brawny characters to take out the boss. Dispel its Haste status then cast Bleed to slowly sap its health. Casting Berserk and Bubble on your melee character helps considerably. Rafflesia’s Curse skill puts Sap/Disease/Poison/Confuse on characters. Counter with a remedy, if you have the Remedy Lore 3 license. Party members who are Bubbled will be immune to Disease, btw. The boss can be Silenced, which prevents Raflesia from using Call For Help, but you need to cast it at the beginning of battle to be worth it. Physical attacks are still the way to go.

After beating the Raflesia, go back and use the Save Crystal to restore the party’s MP. Head south through the Redolent Glade and look for a hidden path leading into the White Magick’s Embrace region. Once there, continue south along the eastern edge until you find an urn containing a Candle that illuminates hidden areas of the Feywood on your map. At the bottom, veer west into the boot-shaped niche. Look for a secret path leading south into the Ice Field of Clear Sight.

Once there, approach the star-shaped structure up ahead. After killing the enemies there, examine the white glyph in the center. Its inscription suggests that illusions will show the true way. While standing on the glyph, move the camera around until you see an image of a forest in one of the shrine’s gaps. Travel in that direction to find the next shrine. Search the region for three more glyphs, following the same procedure described above. After examining the patterns on the 4 glyphs, move to the southwest corner where a hidden path emerges. Follow it to the Edge of Reason.

In this area, locate 5 more glyphs; at least three that are operable. After examining the patterns on all of them, go over to the southwest corner where you’ll find the Gate Gigas door. Read the inscription on it then touch the gate to see that strong magicks bar your entry. In order to pass through, summon the gigas, Belias. With the esper at your side, touch the gate again and watch the scene that follows.

ANCIENT CITY OF GIRUVEGAN

When you regain control, cross the long bridge to find a Teleport Crystal. Use it to heal up, warp to other places, etc. then head west. Touch the Way Stone at the end of the path to get to the Gate of Water. Move forward to face your next boss.

BOSS >> Daedalus

Remove the boss’ Haste status then Silence or Confuse it if you can. Daedlus’ Tri-Attack does 600+ damage and inflicts Slow. Watch out for its Smite of Rage (700+ to single target) and Rage attacks (1000+ to all in range) which it uses increasingly as its HP decreases. Since Daedalus is undead, cure spells directed against the boss are an efficient way to kill it from afar. As usual, casting Protect and Haste on your principles helps.

Upon defeating Daedalus, a new Way Stone appears. Use it to warp to the Trimahla Water-Steps. Once there, head south down the ramp. Touch the Avrio Gate Stone on the left to break the green glyph seal on the right. Continue south to the very bottom where you’ll find the Chthes Gate Stone. Touch it to break another seal elsewhere in the region. Note that an urn containing a map of Giruvegan will appear on the eastern platform between the 2 gate stones when you revisit the area later on.

For now, backtrack north. Follow the left side of the ramp all the way over to a blue treasure container. Collect an item then go south. Veer west when you can then head north to gather another treasure at the end of the path. Afterwards, navigate up and down the ramps towards the western end. Once there, kill the 2 golem guards then approach the edge to create a green glyph bridge. Cross over to the Aadha Water-Steps region.

Head south down the ramp. After killing the enemies below, touch the Paron Gate Stone. Move northwest along the leftmost ramps until you reach the Parelthon Gate Stone. Touch it then go south past the glyph seal, heading back towards the Paron Gate Stone. Along the way, touch the Tychi Gate Stone. Now that all of the glyphs are unsealed, make your way over to the northwest edge. Create another green glyph bridge and follow it across to trigger a scene. When it ends, you’ll be in the Haal Mikah Water-Steps.

Move forward to the Bulwark Chronos door. After using the Save Crystal inside, pass through the next door to reach the Gate of Fire region. Ascend one of the western ramps then head north. When you reach the gap between the halls, look to the east to form another green glyph bridge. Cross over to face a boss.

BOSS >> Tyrant

During this battle, you are prevented from using technicks. Dispel the Tyrant’s Protect/Shell status then Hasten your party members and lay in with the physical attacks. For mages, Blizzaga is effective; just avoid thunder spells. Like Daedalus before, this boss can be Confused, which should buy time to heal or use ethers. Its Piercing Graviga attack deals half one’s Max HP to all those in range. If you can, cast Bravery/Bubble on any Decoy’d character to keep the battle under your thumb.

After slaying the Tyrant, a Way Stone appears. Use it to warp inside the Great Crystal.

THE GREAT CRYSTAL

There is no map to guide you through this area, which consists entirely of interconnecting circles, so just do your best. Starting at Way Stone VIII, your goal is to get to Way Stone I. Walk along the edge of the circle to create 2 bridges – one going up and the other down. Since you don’t need to pass through the Gate Scorpio glyph yet, use the bridge going down to get to the next screen. After killing the enemies there, create another bridge in the gap and take it down to the Kabonii Jilaam Avaa circle.

From there, create a bridge leading down to the Dha Vikaari Bhrum circle, where you’ll find Way Stone VII. Touching it warps you to Way Stone VI, where you can create 3 bridges. The upper path leads to treasure. After getting it, go down to the Sthaana Cancer circle. Kill the Golems there then touch the Cancer Gate Stone device. After deactivating it, backtrack to Way Stone VI. Once there, create a bridge on the far right leading to the Bhrum Pis Opratti circle. Form another bridge to get to Way Stone V. Use it to warp to Way Stone IV.

There, you’ll find Gate Pisces and two possible paths. First, create a path to the far left of the gate. Follow it to a treasure container then continue through to the Aries Gate Stone. Touch the device then backtrack to Way Stone IV. Now, create a path to the left of Gate Pisces to reach its corresponding Gate Stone. After deactivating it, create new path leading to Way Stone III. Use it to warp to the Way Stone II circle where a scene unfolds. When it ends, you’ll be inside the crystal’s core. Create a bridge to the visible platform below. Go down and use the Save Crystal. Touch Way Stone I to warp back to Giruvegan.

GIRUVEGAN

Starting in the Gate of Wind area, enter the Bulwark Minas door up ahead when you’re ready to face your next boss.

ESPER >> Shemhazai

Dispel the esper’s Haste status then Shell your party members. Shemhazai’s elemental weakness changes as soon as it uses Mana Spring, so rotate elements if you plan on using black magick. For example, if hit with fire, Shemhazai will absorb the spell the next time you use it. The esper chains Flare, Shock, and Scourge spells so keep a healer at the ready should any party members fall. If inflicted with Disease, immediately cast Cleanse or use a Vaccine. In general, use whatever strategy has worked for you on the previous guardian bosses in this area.

Upon victory, the esper Shemhazai the Whisperer, is added to the license board. Head south through the next door. Go to the center of the room and read the inscription on the Way Stone there. Touch it to trigger a scene involving Ashe and the Occuria Gods. After obtaining the Treaty Blade, watch additional scenes showing what the empire has been up to. You’ll regain control back in the Gate of Wind area. Use the Way Stone to warp directly to the Gate of Earth where you’ll find a Teleport Crystal. Use it to get to the Port of Balfonheim.

BALFONHEIM

Talk to the Manse Watchman in the southwest corner of Saccio Lane to trigger a scene with Reddas. After he joins the party as a guest, Nono arrives with news that the Strahl is repaired. Go to the Aerodrome and speak to the woman behind the ‘Private Airship’ counter. Tell her you’re ready to board the Strahl, and the world map will pop up. Though you are supposed to fly to the Ridorana Cataract, go to other places first now that you have a free ride.

After Reddas joins the party, check the Whitecap’s Notice Board for new hunts. If they do not appear, you need to raise your clan ranking:

* Hunt: “Visitor On Deck”
* Mark: Deathgaze, Rank VII (Airship flight, Leisure Craft)
* Petitioner: A Traveler (all Aerodromes)
* Reward: 3,400 gil, 2 Elixirs

* Hunt: “The Child Snatcher”
* Mark: Diabolos, Rank VII (Lhusu Mines, Site 11)
* Petitioner: Miclio (Bhujerba, Miner’s End)
* Reward: 2,600 gil, Demon Shield, Zeus Mace

* Hunt: “The Black Sorcerer”
* Mark: Piscodaemon, Rank V (Giruvegan, Gate of Fire)
* Petitioner: Ivaness (Mt. Bur-Omisace, Temple Grounds)
* Reward: 3,800 gil, Dark Shot, Scathe Mote

* Hunt: “A Wild Stench”
* Mark: Wild Malboro, Rank VI (The Feywood, Redolent Glade)
* Petitioner: Rena (Eruyt Village, The Spiritwood)
* Reward: 4,600 gil, Euclid’s Sextant

* Hunt: “Paying For The Past”
* Mark: Catoblepas, Rank VI (Zertinan Caverns, Hourglass Basin)
* Petitioner: War-Chief Supinelu (Jahara, Lull of the Land)
* Reward: 3,200 gil, Volcano, Arctic Wind

* Hunt: “Wyrm Wrath’s Renewal”
* Mark: Fafnir, Rank VII (Paramina Rift, Silverflow’s End – during snowstorm only)
* Petitioner: Ieeha (Mt. Bur-Omisace, Temple Approach)
* Reward: 7,000 gil, Assassin’s Arrows, Teleport Stone

In order to track down the Deathgaze hunt’s petitioner, enter the Aerodrome (any city’s Aerodrome will do, actually) and look for a kid traveling with his parents. After speaking to the boy inside the first Aerodrome, visit the other 4 Aerodromes in Altair. Speak to the traveling kid in each one. After the 5th conversation, the kid tells you he just saw the creature and to hurry. Book a leisure flight at this point. Once on board, the steward announces that Deathgaze is attacking the ship. Volunteer to fight it on the upper deck.

MARK >> Deathgaze

The mark immediately casts Paling, so you’ll have to hit it with magick until the effect wears off. Dispel its enhancements then cast spells such as Bio or Thundaga for decent damage. Deathgaze uses Reverse and Curse, along with other status ailments. Watch out for its Crushing Fangs attack, which can instantly KO. Using Faith/Bubble/Protect/Shell works well here, though the mark ignores evade. Once Deathgaze puts up a magick barrier, switch to ranged attacks or go melee to finish it.

After defeating Deathgaze, go down and rest until the airship lands. Seek out the petitioner in any Aerodrome to collect your bounty.

BHUJERBA / LHUSU MINES – Optional

Talk to Miclio in Bhujerba to secure the Diabolos hunt. You’ll find the young petitioner standing in an archway south of the technicks shop. Afterwards, enter the Lhusu Mines. Locate the Diabolos mark in the southwest corner of Site 11. You’ll need a key to get inside Site 11, obtained by completing the Antlion hunt.

MARK >> Diabolos

Diabolos is pretty tough to beat unless your characters are level 48+. Start by casting Slow on it then cast Protect and Haste on all of your party members. Berserk your best physical fighters while others take on healing duties. The mark’s Scourge attack hits for over 3,000 but can be reflected. Also, he’ll more frequently Disease anyone who does not have Bubble status it seems. When near death, Diabolos becomes much stronger and uses Paling. He absorbs fire but is weak to water, so use Aqua Shot if you have it.

Remember to pick up your bounty from Miclio afterwards.

ERUYT VILLAGE / THE FEYWOOD – Optional

Go to Eruyt Village and speak to petitioner Rena on the northwest end of the Spiritwood to contract the Wild Malboro hunt. Afterwards, enter the Feywood and look for the Wild Malboro mark in the same spot where you battled the Rafflesia earlier, the Redolent Glade.

MARK >> Wild Malboro

Rid the lesser Malboros with Aeroga then hit the big guy with Dispel. Your goal is to kill the mark before it has a chance to pull off Soul Etude, which completely restores its health. Use Haste, Bravery, etc. on your strongest fighters. Alternately, cast Reflect on your party then bounce Aeroga spells off them. The Wild Malboro eventually uses Paling and physical force. At this point, cast Protect to help mitigate the damage or equip heavy body armor.

JAHARA / ZERTINAN CAVERNS – Optional

Travel to Jahara to formalize the Catoblepas hunt with War-Chief Supinelu. The mark resides in the Zertinan Caverns. To get there quickly, use the entrance in the Ozmone Plain. Once inside the caverns, travel north until you can veer east into the Hourglass Basin. From there, head south into the Undershore, where you’ll find a Save Crystal. After using it, look for a hidden path to the southeast, between two sandfalls. Follow this path up to the other side of Hourglass Basin. Supinelu greets the party upon entering the new area.

MARK >> Catoblepas

Catoblepas is a physical bruiser, so send in those with good shields or high defensive ratings. While your melee fighters keep him cornered, have mages Blind and Slow the mark then attend to support duties. Catoblepas doesn’t ignore evade like most other marks, so you don’t have to worry about too many buffs. Cast Protect on your characters to be extra safe.

MT. BUR-OMISACE / PARAMINA RIFT – Optional

Travel to Mt. Bur-Omisace and talk to Ivaness in the Temple Grounds to formalize the Piscodaemon hunt. Next, speak to the Viera (Relj) to learn that the Fafnir hunt petitioner has left the holy mountain. Relj gives you details on the hunt in Ieeha’s place. The Fafnir mark will only appear when there is a snowstorm occurring in Silverflow’s End, however you cannot go through Frozen Brook since that area changes the weather. Force a snowstorm by talking to Relj again.

Exit Mt. Bur-Omisace and head west through the Freezing Gorge into the Head of the Silverflow. Once there, travel south into the Icebound Flow. From there, take the southeast exit into the Karydine Glacier region. Use the closest southwest exit to reach the dead-end part of Silverflow’s End. If there’s a heavy snowstorm in progress when you enter, the mark will be there.

MARK >> Fafnir

Dispel Fafnir’s enhancements then cast Slow/Shear/Expose. Lure the mark to the southeast, down by the rock, since Fafnir cannot access that area. The mark will only be able to hit you with spells if you remain there, so use ranged weapons and thunder-based spells from afar. Alternately, have your healer stay behind the rock while others fight up close. Fafnir does heavy damage with Shock (6,000+) and inflicts status ailments such as Sleepga and Silencga. If you continually Slow the mark each time the effect wears off, you should do fine.
After defeating Fafnir, you’ll obtain the Ring of the Light key item. Bring it to Ralj in Mt. Bur to receive your bounty.

GIRUVEGAN – Optional

Warp to Giruvegan then make your way over to the Gate of Fire region. Search for the Piscodaemon mark in the western hallway.

MARK >> Piscodaemon

Sheer brute force will take this guy down in no time at all. Although he uses a slew of spells, Death is really the only one to be concerned with, as it has a chance to instantly KO. Even then, the mark is a pushover.

After slaying the Piscodaemon, make your way back to Mt. Bur-Omisace to collect your bounty from Ivaness. When you are ready to advance the story, board the Strahl and fly to the Ridorana Cataract. The airship can be boarded from any city’s Aerodrome or by using anchors posted near most Save Crystals.

RIDORANA CATARACT

Watch a scene upon disembarking the Strahl then take the stairs up to a Save Crystal. After using it, move on to the next screen and into an opening filled with Deathclaw and Cassie enemies. After slaying them, collect some scattered treasures. There are 2 exits here – one to the north and one to the south.

The southern exit takes you inside the Colosseum. Travel east into the arena where many traps litter the ground. Explore each offshoot for items; in particular, follow the northwestern path to find an urn containing a map of the Cataract. After gathering the treasures, take the northern passage into the City of Other Days. Fight through enemies and collect more treasure as you head northeast to the Path of Hidden Blessing. Ascend the staircase and use the Save Crystal about halfway up. Continue forward to the Pharos tower, where a scene occurs showing the Hydro beast awakening.

BOSS >> Hydros

Dispel its Haste status then Slow the creature before it uses Fearga, which drains the party’s MP. The boss’ uses almost every elemental spell and can cause a host of status ailments, so have one character work from afar to keep the party healthy. The Hydros is an undead creature so Drain will harm you. Instead, bounce Curaja spells off party members with Reflect status to severely damage the boss. Alternately, set the gambit ‘Foe: Undead’ to attack with cure magick.

After vanquishing the Hydro, approach the eastern door for a scene.

PHAROS – FIRST ASCENT

Inside the Wellspring, you’ll find an inactive Way Stone and a Teleport Crystal. After saving your game, read inscriptions on two carven pillars in front of the waterwall. Both the north and south doors take you inside the Wellspring Labyrinth, which wraps around the water’s core. Start by going south. Wind through the rooms, picking up treasure, noting that some are disguised Mimeo enemies.

Look for an urn in the long room at the bottom of the southern Labyrinth that contains a map of the First Ascent. In order to deactivate the Threshold of Night door to the east, you need to collect Black Orbs, obtained by examining the shiny blue objects that appear briefly upon defeating certain creatures. After collecting three of them, locate the 3 Altars of Night around the edges of the waterwall. Put a Black Orb in each one.

Once you’ve unsealed the Threshold of Night door, save your game and go inside. You’ll be taken to a dream-like world at dusk. Walk up the sandy hill and approach the big rock-looking creature on top.

BOSS >> Pandaemonium

Dispel its Protect/Shell status then Silence the boss. In addition to its Flatten attack, Pandaemonium can Petrify, Blind, and Slow your party, but one or two people in Berserk state can take the beast down quickly. Aeroga spells are effective at a distance. If the boss casts Paling, try stealing an Ancient Turtle Shell while waiting for the effect to wear off. Casting Float on close-up fighters will help them sustain damage caused by the big turtle’s earth-based skills.

After defeating Pandemonum, the Way Stone near the Teleport Crystal activates. Use it to warp to the Wellspring Ravel. There are two green doors in the room you arrive in. Both lead to carven pillars. Read the inscription on either or both to receive information on what to expect in this area. Start by heading north. Examine the wall at the end and choose to break the façade. There are several Fool’s Façade walls on this level. Some lead to treasure, some to dead-ends.

Return to the main hall and take the eastern stairs up to some Brainpan enemies. Kill them in order to create a green glyph bridge. Go across and move through the southeastern section, killing all of the green-flamed Brainpans you see. Kill as many as you need to in order to form a bridge going east. Cross over and continue forward into the Second Flight region.

Now on the 17th floor, enter the set of rooms in the northeast corner. Kill the Brainpans there then examine the north-facing wall to find a secret room with treasure. After grabbing the loot (if any), backtrack and follow the western path upstairs. On the 23F landing, look for a false wall facing south. Break it and continue up to the 24th floor. Break the wall at the end then head west. Kill more green Brainpan enemies at the top of the stairs then cross the glyph bridge to the south.

In the Third Flight region, head south. After rounding the corner, you’ll reach a 4-way intersection. To the north, look for a false wall leading to treasure. The red door to the south leads to a carven pillar protected by a Brainpan. After slaying the creature, read the inscription to learn that killing red-flamed enemies removes bridge pieces, so avoid them until you’ve killed enough green ones to make the glyph paths solid.

After killing the Brainpan further south, head east. Kill some more on top then cross the glyph bridge to get to the southeast side. Go up to the 35th floor and take out the green Brainpans around the perimeter. If you kill too many red ones, the bridge may not work. Just move around the area and wait for some green ones to respawn should you get stuck. Cross over to the northern section of the Third Flight. On the other side, take the stairs up to the next screen.

Now on the 36th floor, fight through more Brainpans as you move towards the set of rooms in the northwest corner. Look for a false wall in the small room near the center to collect a treasure. Afterwards, continue around the perimeter until you get to another green glyph bridge. Cross over and follow the thin passage leading to an Ancient Door. Enter the next area, Horizon’s Break.

If you want to access three secret treasure areas before continuing, go back to the Third Flight region and kill 3 red Deidars in order to create a bridge leading to the northern end. Destroy the Fool’s Facade wall up ahead then grab the treasure inside. To reach the chest across from this one, defeat more red Deidars in the Fourth Flight area. Take the bridge across to collect your treasure. Once the first two bridges are made, you can form the final bridge leading to treasure in the Second Flight region. Just kill all of the remaining red Deidars you see.

After collecting the secret treasures, make your way back to Horizon’s Break. Use the Save Crystal up ahead then walk around the perimeter to the southwest passage. Enter the door on top. Pass through the Horizon’s Cusp area. Read the inscription on the door at the end, which warns of a boss fight. After healing your party, go inside to find another dreamlike landscape. Move forward until a scene occurs.

BOSS >> Slyt

Dispel its Regen status then Slow the boss. Slyt will Enrage itself right at the start, increasing its attack power, which is high to begin with. Soak Slyt in Oil then pummel him with fire spells for serious damage. Hastening the party helps offset the boss’ speed. All in all, Slyt is not too tough if you keep him slowed.

After beating the boss, continue east to the Way Stone. Use it to warp to the Second Ascent.

PHAROS – SECOND ASCENT

Inspect the carven pillars up ahead for clues on how to get through the new area. Moving clockwise around the perimeter, you’ll find 4 doors and 4 altars named as follows: Knowledge, Magick, Steel, Wealth. Touching an altar opens its corresponding door, though entering requires the party to surrender something:

Knowledge > cannot use mini-maps (pink)
Magicks > cannot use magicks (purple)
Steel > cannot use attacks (white)
Wealth > cannot use items (yellow)

Use the Save Crystal then activate one of the altars. No matter which door you enter, the room you arrive in will be laid out similarly. Read another pillar inscription at the entry point then go upstairs to the Station of Banishment. Navigate through the maze until you get to a u-shaped staircase in one of the corners. If you chose the ‘Wealth’ door, the staircase will be in the southwest section. If you chose ‘Knowledge’ you’ll find the stairs in the northeast section. Use whichever staircase leads you to the Station of Suffering.

Once there, look for an urn in the northwestern corner containing a map of the Second Ascent then make your way around to the u-shaped staircase in the southeast corner. Enter the door on top to get inside the Station of Ascension.

Wind through the rooms, looking for false walls along the way, as you move to the northwest section where you’ll find a staircase leading to the Reach of the Damned. After using the Save Crystal near the water, read the inscription on the pillar in the southwest corner. Afterwards, travel clockwise to get to door on top. Enter the Bounds of Truth and move forward to a door leading to the third guardian.

BOSS >> Fenrir

Dispel its Haste/Bravery status then Protect everyone in your party. The boss’ attacks can cause Blind or Silence, which is dangerous if you selected the ‘Wealth’ door since you will not be able to use items to heal. Equip Rose Corsages to prevent Silence or reserve one party member who can cast Vox in case the rest get silenced. Fenrir absorbs wind but is weak against earth-based magick. If the boss has a chance to re-cast Bravery on itself, dispel it as quickly as you can.

After defeating Fenrir, go through the eastern door and follow the path up to the Threshold of Sacrifice. Search the perimeter to find whichever altar you used originally (Wealth, Magicks, Knowledge, Steel). After touching it to restore the party’s abilities, move to the western side of the circle to find the Dais of Ascendance. Select the 67th floor. On top, use the Save Crystal then touch the Way Stone to warp to the Third Ascent.

PHAROS – THIRD ASCENT

Fight through some Purobolos enemies in the Spire Ravel then read the inscription on the carven pillar for a clue on how to get through the Third Ascent. Examine the 4 Ways Stones on the walkway, above. In order to advance, you must select the correct device. Picking incorrectly twice automatically takes you inside the northwestern room where undead enemies swarm the party. After slaying them, open an urn near the door to acquire a map of the Third Ascent. The pillars in each corner of the room offer clues on the correct order of the Way Stones:

1. Black Sigil
2. Green Sigil
3. Red Sigil
4. Sigil of Sacrifice

To advance, touch the Black Sigil to warp to the eastern side of the Spire Ravel. Fight more Purobolos up ahead then veer south to find a breakable wall. Grab treasure inside then navigate past the floor traps to the other side of the room. Ignore the Green Sigil there; instead, break the northern wall to get back to the main hallway.

Battle a Cataract Aevis in the big room at the end of the hall then head north to find 4 more devices. Pick the Green Sigil here to warp to the next area. Fight past enemies as you make your way to the platform above. Select the Red Sigil. After warping to the next area, go to the platform where you’ll find 4 Sigils of Sacrifice – each of a different color. Select the color that corresponds to the altar you chose earlier (Knowledge, Wealth, etc.).

In the new area, read the pillar up ahead. It suggests that the 4 sigils on the eastern platform are useless right now. Instead, break the wall at the end of the northern hall to reveal a secret passage. Avoid traps on the floor as you follow the passage to the Way Stone at the end. Touch it to warp to the Dais of Ascendance elevator. Ride it up to the 90th floor and watch the scene that follows.

ESPER >> Hashmal

Dispel the esper’s enhancements then cast Float on your party members to avoid taking damage from its earth-based attacks. Hasmal’s physical combos may cause Disease. Immediately use Cleanse to cure anyone affected. Its Quakeja attack affects anyone on the ground and has a chance to inflict Slow. Offensively, Aeroga works best. Berserking Reddas or Basch is also effective. As always, using Shear/Expose technicks helps. If Hashmal erects a Perfect Defense, use the time to heal and rebuff while waiting for the effect to wear off.

After the battle, the esper Hashmal, Bringer of Order, is added to the license board. Watch a scene during which you’ll arrive in the Empyrean Ravel area. Move through the hall until a scene occurs. When it ends, keep moving until you reach a Save Crystal. Use it then continue up to a Way Stone. Warp to the top floor of the tower, where the Sun-Cryst sits. Watch a lengthy scene wherein Ashe must make a choice. Once she does, prepare to face Gabranth.

BOSS >> Gabranth

Dispel any positive statuses Gabranth puts on himself then cast Protectga/Shellga on your allies. The Judge will chain his attacks and dodge yours frequently. When his HP is halved, Gabranth erects a shield that renders magicks useless. Despite his heavy hits, he’s not all that tough. Towards the end, Cid arrives and ends the fight.

BOSS / ESPER >> Doctor Cid / Famfrit

Dispel Cid’s enhancements then battle him head on until he summons Famfrit. While the esper remains at his side, Cid cannot be damaged so focus on Famfrit. Continually dispel any effects Cid casts on the esper and Shell your party to avoid Famfrit’s heavy Waterja damage. Fire magick, enhanced with Oil, is especially effective against it. Once Famfrit is defeated, Cid’s barrier wears off. Polish him before he uses his S-85 Cyclotrone attack, which can do 1,000+ damage to those in range.

Afterwards, esper Famfrit the Darkening Cloud, appears on the license board. Watch the scenes that follow and save your game when prompted.

BALFONHEIM

The scenes continue in Balfonheim with Al-Cid. The Strahl can now travel to Bahamut where Imperial forces are gathered, but before going there, wrap up ALL OTHER business you have in the world. Bahamut will be your final destination, so fly there when you are absolutely sure you are ready to finish the game.
While in Balfonheim, check the Whitecap’s notice board for any new hunts:

* Hunt: “Who’s The Strongest!?”
* Mark: Pylraster, Rank VII (Pharos First Ascent, They Who Thirst Not)
* Petitioner: Rikken (Balfonheim, Saccio Lane)
* Reward: 8,000 gil, Grand Mace, 2 Scathe Motes

In order to formalize the Pylraster hunt, speak to Rikken on the southwestern dock at least twice. He’ll engage you in a racing mini-game. Win or lose, Rikken will give you the details of the hunt. Race him as many times as you like to earn better items. If you make it all the way up to the 100th tier, Rikken gives you 10,000 gil, 2 Elixirs, and Unpurified Ether.

At this stage of the game, make a point to revisit every shop here and elsewhere (including Traveling Merchants), as most will carry at least one new spell, accessory, weapon, etc. This includes Aerdrome flight vendors as well.

PHON COAST – Optional

If you are taking part in the Hunt Club sidequest, go to Hunter’s Camp after defeating all 30 trophy-dropping rare game monsters. If you are missing some, check the list below against the Clan Primer to see which ones you still need:

Abelisk = Ridorana Cataract, Echoes From Time’s Garden (appears randomly near airship’s anchor)
Alteci = Zertinan Caverns, The Undershore (get a 12-hit chain on Mallicants within cavern first)
Ancbolder = Paramina Rift, Karydine Glacier (defeat all enemies in glacier region then re-enter)
Anubys = Sochen Cave Palace, Mirror of the Soul (behind Pilgrim’s Door)
Arioch = Nabreus Deadlands, The Slumbermead (appears randomly in southeast)
Aspidochelon   Cerobi Steppe, Feddik River (appears randomly in middle)
Avenger = Pharos: Second Ascent, Station of Ascendance (in northwest room below staircase)
Biding Mantis = Golmore Jungle, The Needlebrake (to the south when game clock is between 30-59 minutes)
Bluesang = Cerobi Steppe, The Crossing (appears randomly between windmills 6 & 7)
Bull Chocobo = Ogir-Yensa Sandsea, South Tank Approach (appears randomly to the south)
Crystal Knight = The Great Crystal, A Vikaari Kanbhru Ra (make a loop around Way Stone XX)
Dheed = Mosphoran Highwaste, Skyreach Ridge (appears randomly near Empyrean Seat exit)
Disma = Lhusu Mines, Site 5 or Site 6 North (appears randomly among Dark Lords)
Dreadguard = The Feywood, Walk of Dancing Shadow (Chain-kill Mirrorknights until it appears)
Gavial = Garamsythe Waterway, No. 10 Channel (stand in water to the far west)
Grimalkin = Tchita Uplands, Uazcuff Hills (appears randomly among Coeurls)
Ishteen = Barheim Passage, Zeviah Span or East-West Bypass (appears randomly near Bombs)
Kaiser Wolf = Dalmasca Westersand, Corridor of Sand (in southeast, after defeating the Lindbur Wolf)
Killbug = Ozmone Plain, The Switchback (look for a large chest in mid-north section)
Kris = Tchita Uplands, The Highlands (appears randomly among Malboros near ruins)
Melt = Henne Mines, Pithead Junction B (use gate switch until it drops down instead of Jellies)
Myath = Stilshrine of Miriam, Ward of Ventilation (defeat 3 Dragon Aevis’ in area then re-enter)
Nazarnir = Giza Plains: Dry, Starfall Field (replaces the lone Sleipnir in southeast corner)
Rageclaw = The Salikawood, Piebald Path (wait at any entrance until it appears on opposite end)
Skullash = Phon Coast, Cape Tialan (appears randomly on southeast hill with Pyrolisks)
Terror Tyrant = Dalmasca Estersand, Broken Sands (replaces the lone Wild Saurian)
Victanir = Nam-Yensa Sandsea, Yellow Sands (section near Zertinan Caverns entrance)
Vorres = Necrohol of Nabudis, Hall of the Ivory Covenant (while being chased by a Dark Elemental)
Wendice = Sochen Cave Palace, Destiny’s March (center room after killing all surrounding Wendigos)
Zombie Lord = Tomb of Raithwall, Northwall Passage (appears between 0-29 minutes on game clock)

Once all of the trophies are handed over, the Huntmaster will announce the winner of the contest. Your reward is based on which Bangaa you gave the most trophies to:

Atak = Great Axe
Blok = Renewing Morion
Stok = Sage’s Ring

RABANASTRE – Optional

Check in with Montblanc for clan rank rewards and elite hunt postings. If you defeated the Hell Wyrm earlier, Montblanc will give you 50,000 gil. Note that the Behemoth King hunt will only appear once you’ve defeated Fafnir:

* Hunt: “Fishy Dreams”
* Mark: Ixion, Rank VI (Pharos Subterra, Penumbra)
* Petitioner: Whitecap Wench (Balfonheim, Whitecap café)
* Reward: 3,000 gil, Sapping Bolts, Ragnarok

* Hunt: “God or Devil?”
* Mark: The Seer, Rank VII (Pharos Subterra, The Unknown Floor)
* Petitioner: Montblanc (Rabanastre, Clan Hall)
* Reward: 20,000 gil, 2 Megalixirs

* Hunt: “Truth Shrouded In Mist”
* Mark: Behemoth King, Rank VII (The Feywood, Edge of Reason)
* Petitioner: Koqmihn (Rabanastre, Lowtown, Dalan’s house)
* Reward: 250 gil, 2 Bacchus’ Wines -and- 500,000 gil, Rod of Faith

If you plan on hunting down the Behemoth King, make sure to visit Koqmihn in Lowtown before leaving Rabanastre.

JAHARA / HENNE MINES – Optional

Once you have obtained at least 10 Espers, travel to Jahara and speak to Geomancer Yugelu, whom you’ll find in the northern part of the Lull of the Land area. Yugelu tells you he’s going to unlock a hidden part of the Henne Mines but cautions that powerful forces tread within. When ready, teleport to the Henne Mines.

Starting at the crystal where you arrive, head north into the Ore Separation room. Once there, take the eastern exit into the Phase 2 Dig where you’ll encounter enemies that are Lv60 and higher. Assuming your characters are strong enough to move on, continue east to the very end of the path. Look for an urn containing a Henne Candle. After receiving the new map, travel south, collecting a few treasures as you go (equipping a Diamond Armlet yields better results, usually). On the southwestern end, you’ll come upon a hidden path. Before following it, search the western dead-end for a Discarded Paper. Read it to learn that some special treasures were stashed away deeper in the mines.

For now, move south along the hidden passageway towards the visible spot of land on your map. Collect a treasure inside the cave then head east to get back on the main path. Ascend the stairs at the end to reach Crossover C. Move through the area until you get to Pithead Junction C. Ignore the gate switch and head south into the Phase 2 Shaft. Travel east to reach the Special Charter Shaft. Use the hidden path on southeast end to get inside the Special Charter Dig area.

Once there, head east until you can veer north. Follow the hidden path to a 4-way split. Take the northern route all the way up to the top then veer west into the dead-end. If you read the Discarded Paper earlier, you’ll find a ‘Glowing Object’ on the floor there. Examine it more closely to pick up the first few treasures mentioned in the letter. Note that a chest will appear here later. Odds are it will contain a Fomalhaut gun if you open the chest while wearing a Diamond Armlet.

Now, meander in a clockwise direction until you collect the six remaining treasure piles scattered within the Special Charter Dig area. Like the initial one you found, these treasures will respawn and contain better items if you have the Diamond Armlet equipped. After wrapping up your treasure hunting, follow the hidden path on the northwestern end of this region to engage the last esper, Zodiark. It will only be there if you completed the Mindflayer hunt.

ESPER >> Zodiark

Zodiark starts off using Darkja, which has a chance to KO or inflict Blind. Equip Black Masks or Demon Shields to absorb the damage. The esper’s Banish Ray, Piercing Graviga, and level-based attacks (causing Sleep, Disable, Break) are very powerful. At low health, Zodiark uses Paling. Once it disappears, he re-casts it on himself, making physical attacks all but moot. Hit the esper with Holy, Flare, and Scathe spells until it becomes immune to magickal damage. Switch to melee (or use technicks) until the effect wears off. Note that dispelling Zodiark’s enhancements causes it to erect a barrier again, so be careful.

Upon its defeat, Zodiark, Keeper of Precepts, becomes available on the license board. There is no Save Crystal near the esper, so be careful on your way back out of the mines.

THE FEYWOOD – Optional

The Behemoth King mark can be found in the Feywood’s Edge of Reason area, but you must first clear out all enemies in that region, as well as in the Ice Field of Clearsight before the mark will appear. This is difficult since many of the creatures in the two areas respawn. It make take a few clearing missions before the mark shows up.

MARK >> Behemoth King

Behemoth King’s spells do about 3,000 damage and cannot be reflected. Casting both Protectga and Shellga will go a long way here. The mark also rotates between a Paling and Magick Barrier, so you’ll have to change between physical and magick attacks throughout the battle. If no one is in melee range, Behemoth King will stay in place and cast spells. His spell damage is far easier to mitigate than his physical damage. You can absorb the mark’s Darkga spells by equipping Demon Shields or Black Masks. Similarly, equipping White Masks or Sage Rings allows you to absorb the mark’s holy damage. Flame/Ice Shields will halve the damage from his Firaga/Blizzaga spells and Rubber Suits nullify Thundaga. The Behemoth King generally sticks to one person. Just have your other two party members stay father away.

After defeating the Behemoth King, go back to petitioner, Koqmihn, in Lowtown. Listen to the rest of his tale, which explains how to find the true bounty for this hunt. Leave Old Dalan’s house and travel to Mt. Bur-Omisace. In the Temple Approach area, examine the giant wyrm head fossil off to the left. An action icon will appear (“Wyrm Snout”) as you walk up to the nose. Unequip Vaan’s weapon then press X to strike the fossil. Pick up the glowing Wyrm Snout Plunder that drops to receive 500,000 gil and the Rod of Faith.

PHAROS: FIRST ASCENT – Optional

Teleport to Pharos and take the western exit into They Who Thirst Not. The Pylraster mark will appear right in front of you.

MARK >> Pylraster

Dispel the mark’s enhancements then buff your party with Protectga and Bubble. Have magick users blast Pylraster with Firaga or Ardor spells while your melee characters fight up close. During the first half of the fight, the mark does around 3,000 damage with normal attacks, about half that with Screwfall and a bit more with Crushing Fangs. At 50% health, it uses Growing Threat to double its level and will hit for over 4,000. Casting Decoy on your tank helps a great deal.

After beating the mark, return to Balfonheim to pick up your reward from Rikken or stick around Pharos to explore the new Subterra floors available by riding the elevator.

PHAROS: SUBTERRA – Optional

To find the Ixion mark, ride the elevator by the Teleport Crystal down to Penumbra. Although the mark may appear on any of the Subterra floors, you’ll want to exit the elevator only when there are no roaming monsters present. Keep riding up and down the elevator until the outer circle is void of enemies. Once empty, run around the perimeter until the mark appears.

MARK >> Ixion

As usual, dispel the mark’s enhancements then cast Expose/Silence/Sap. Ixion’s normal combos hit for around 1,000-2,000. Its Thundaga attacks can be nullified by equipping Rubber Suits. Among Ixion’s many skills are Paling, Fearga, Purify, White Wind, and Dispelga. At higher levels, you can Berserk Ixion so that it cannot use any of these. At lower levels, the horse simply hits too hard to keep up if you Berserk it. Either way, have someone stay back to heal constantly.

To find the Seer mark, you’ll need to access Subterra’s 4th floor. To reach that floor, you must first do some work on the 3 accessible floors – Penumbra, Umbra, and Abyssal. There are 4 pedestals on each floor. Insert the correct number of Black Orbs in each pedestal in order to ride the elevator to the next level. If you have Black Orbs remaining in your inventory, use those; otherwise farm some from enemies. Note that if you let the Black Orbs fly away from enemies, they will gather inside a much larger orb and be worth 3 times more when farmed. The small ones fly in the direction of the large orb on every floor. When placing orbs in the pedestals, you’ll have a choice of using 1, 5 or 10. Do not exceed the amount needed or you’ll waste all of the orbs used (e.g. if one needs 9 more and you choose to use 10, then you’ll lose those 10 to no effect). The pedestal locations and number of orbs needed on each are as follows:

- Penumbra (36 total): NE 18 / NW 9 / SE 3 / SW 6
- Umbra (57 total): NE 15 / NW 9 / SE 15 / SW 18
- Abyssal (75 total): NE 15 / NW 21 / SE 27 / SW 12

In addition to filling the pedestals, you must slay the Phoenix that is hiding in a secret room on the Penumbra level. Enter the northeastern quadrant and look for a Fool’s Façade wall in the room to the north. Destroy it and follow the hidden path through additional rooms that ultimately lead to the creature.

BOSS >> Phoenix

Dispel its enhancements then Blind the boss. Since it’s a flyer, you’ll have to use long-range weapons, spells, or the Telekinesis technick to harm it. The Phoenix’s elemental weakness changes once you hit him with a particular element, so rotate black magicks if you plan on using any. Flare, Shock and Holy spells work best against it. Reduce the amount of combos Phoenix can pull off by keeping the boss Blinded throughout the battle.

After beating Phoenix, continue through the door. Avoid attacking the Magick Pot up ahead (turn off all Gambits if necessary). Instead, feed it an Elixir to make it happy. Once it starts hopping around the room, you can steal the item back and attack the pot freely. Use this strategy when encountering any Magick Pots on the remaining Subterra floors.

Once you’ve unlocked all 3 floors, you’ll gain access to the Unknown floor. Ride the elevator down to engage the Seer.

MARK >> The Seer (a.k.a. The Shadowseer)

Start by dispelling the mark’s enhancements then go at him. You can absorb some of the Shadowseer’s elemental attacks if wearing the proper equipment. He seems to ignore evade and can inflict Immobilize with his attacks. Remember that Bubble prevents Disease. Don’t bother summoning any espers during the battle, as the mark will immediately kill them. Once Shadowseer loses 25% health, he begins summoning previous bosses you’ve fought (Pandaemonium, Sylt, Fenrir, and Phoenix) and becomes immune to attacks until all four are down. Worse yet, he’ll cast Invert, Slowga, Dispelga, Curse, and Fearga while your party is dealing with the summoned creatures. After all four are dead, the mark finally drops his guard. Spread out and have mages use Holy or Firaga with Oil, while your melee fighters attack in Berserk mode.

THE GREAT CRYSTAL – Optional

If you want to find the esper, Ultima, teleport to Giruvegan and make your way over to the Great Crystal. Starting at Way Stone VIII (the portal you reached after defeating Tyrant in the storyline), find the Scorpio Gate Stone and activate it, then return to Way Stone VIII. Follow the path on the right to get to Way Stone IX. Use it to warp to Way Stone X.

Once there, create a path up to the next circle, where you’ll find Way Stone XX and two Sagittarius Gates. Take either the left or right paths, both of which lead to the Sagittarius Gate Stone. As soon as you activate it, a timer appears on screen. Run back to Way Stone XX and open Sagittarius Gate I before time runs out. Pass through to Way Stone XI, which transports you to Way Stone XIII.

Use the ascending path to reach the Gemini Gate Stone. A new timer appears as soon as you activate it. Create another ascending path and follow it up to Gemini Gate I. Ignore this gate and move through to Gemini Gate II. Open it then create path next to the locked Leo Gate. Follow it to Way Stone XV. Use it to warp to Way Stone XVI. Take the center path over to the Libra Gate Stone. Activate it and return to Way Stone XVI. Once there, turn right and open Libra Gate I before time expires. Pass through to the next circle.

Of the three exits, choose the leftmost path to reach the Capricorn Gate Stone. Use it then return to the previous circle. Turn right and continue over to Way Stone XVI. Use the descending path to reach Capricorn Gate I. Open it then activate the Virgo Gate Stone. Backtrack to Way Stone XVI. Turn right, moving past the Libra Gate Stone, then take the left path over to Virgo Gate I. Open it then head over to the next circle. Take the left path to Way Stone XVII. Use it to warp to Way Stone XVIII.

Continue through to the next area where you will find a Save Crystal. Use it before following the center path to reach Ultima.

ESPER >> Ultima

During the course of battle, the esper rotates shields that drain the party’s HP, drain MP, prevents the use of physical attacks, magicks, technicks, items, or causes any metal equipped to become heavy. Although each effect wears off fairly quickly, plan your attacks accordingly. Start by dispelling Ultima’s enhancements and casting Bubble on your party members. Ultima absorbs holy damage but is weak against dark spells, so exploit that. When using physical attacks, the esper returns about 5% damage. Its Redemption skill causes standard holy damage to individuals, whereas Holyja hits the entire party and may also cause Reverse. This is not such a bad thing if you are running low on MP and can revive those fallen. The esper will usually avoid using holy spells on those wearing White Masks, btw. Eventually, Ultima erects Great Barrier, making your physical and magickal attacks much less effective.

Upon the esper’s defeat, Ultima the High Seraph becomes available on the license board. Go back and use the Save Crystal. To exit the Great Crystal quickly, create a path to the right of where you just came from and use Way Stone XIX to warp back to Way Stone XX. Alternately, take the long way back if you want to explore other gate routes for treasure. One of them leads to the Excaibur sword, which will appear randomly inside a trap.

RABANASTRE – Optional

If you defeated the Hell Wyrm in Sochen Cave Palace and completed all other elite hunts, Montblanc will offer the final mark of the game:

* Hunt: “Farewell To A Legend”
* Mark: Yiazmat, Rank VIII (Ridorana Cataract, Coloseum)
* Petitioner: Montblanc (Rabanastre, Clan Hall)
* Reward: 30,000 gil, Godslayer’s Badge

RIDORANA CATARACT – Optional

To find the Yiazmat mark, warp to the Ridorana Cataract and make your way over to the trap-filled Coloseum.

MARK >> Yiazmat

This battle is a test of patience. Don’t be surprised if it takes about 5 hours to complete. Like the Hell Wyrm, Yiazmat has multiple health bars and you can leave the area at any point without restoring the mark’s health. Yiazmat can inflict Death with its normal attacks and uses White Breath, which inflicts Stop. It can also Petrify your party. The mark’s Cyclone spell causes high wind-based damage, which can be reduced by equipping Windbreakers. Yiazmat will use Deathstrike if he has trouble reaching you - for example, if you stand on the stairs or get close to a wall. Use dark-based spells and weapons to good effect but avoid holy magick as it will be absorbed. When Yiazmat’s health bars are reduced to the last few, it will start casting Reflectga. Dispel it immediately. Traps are another thing to watch out for. Intentionally trip some if you think you might walk over them accidentally.

OMEGA MARK XII – Optional

Before you can hunt down the ultimate boss, Omega, you need to acquire all 13 espers and begin the Yiazmat fight. Assuming you’ve met the criteria, warp to Giruvegan and make your way back inside the Great Crystal. Navigate through the circles until you get to Way Stone XVI. Using this circle as your central hub, make sure the following gates are unsealed:

- Libra II
- Capricorn II
- Virgo I or II

Once all 3 gates are unsealed, make your way up to the Save Crystal where you fought Ultima earlier. Follow the path on the far left to reach the Aquarius Gate Stone. Activate it then quickly backtrack to the Libra Gate Stone circle. Once there, use the path on the left to get over to Aquarius Gate I. Unseal it then move forward to the Taurus Gate Stone. After activating it, return to the Libra Gate Stone circle and take the right path now, to reach Taurus Gate I. Open it then move forward to Way Stone XXI. The path leading to Omega is straightforward from here, so you might want to go back and save your game before engaging the Lv99 boss.

BOSS >> Omega Mark XII

Omega Mark XII has one attack: a single laser that takes off around 6,000 HP per hit and may cause Berserk status. The boss can attack from an incredible distance and will likely hit your party before they even get close enough to harm him. Each party member will always die within two hits (with Bubble) if there is no Reverse active on them. Ideally, equip all characters with Bubble Belts and have your main attacker remove his/her helmet so that their magick defense is zero. Give your most powerful weapon to that character. Do not equip anyone with element-based weapons since Omega absorbs all elements. Cast Reverse and Decoy on your main attacker. Have that character cast Hastega on the party. Do not use any group healing spells while your main attacker is in Reverse state, as it will harm the character. Use Curaga on individuals that require healing instead. The key to winning this battle is keeping Reverse and Decoy active on one person at all times. Reverse does not last long, so you’ll have to continually recast it. Once Omega’s health dips to 25%, it boosts its defense, making your attacks much less effective. Continue plugging away and pray that the boss does not put all party members in an uncontrollable Berserk state, or you’ll have a tough time closing out the battle.

After defeating the boss, pick up the Omega Badge it leaves behind.

SKY FORTRESS BAHAMUT

When you’re ready to take the final plunge, board the Strahl and select “Bahamut” on the World Map. This is the FINAL area of the game and once you go in, there’s no coming out. Stock up for the long haul and save your game beforehand, as there are no Save Crystals within the sky fortress.

After some scenes, your party ends up in an Antechamber. Note that the map only displays your approximate location, much like being inside the Great Crystal. Two bulkheads lead out of the corridor. Take either route, as both take you to the Periphery.

Imperial troops will be out in full force this time - at least six different types roam the halls around these parts. Since there’s no stopping the torrent, force your way down the hall. Whichever way you take, there will only be one t-junction. Ascend the stairs there, arriving at the Catwalk.

A cutscene plays, giving enemies time to sneak up on you. After ridding them, follow the catwalk across o the inner circle. Take the western exit into the Central Lift. Examine the control panel attached to the railing. Choose to operate the lift and watch the scene that takes place.

BOSS >> Gabranth

Dispel Gabranth’s Haste status then inflict Slow/Blind. Cast Protectga and Hastega on your party then wail on the Judge. When his HP is about halved, a cutscene takes place. When the fight resumes, Gabranth will be in perfect health and hastened again. Re-apply Slow and Blind. Gabranth will start using Innocence, causing about 1,500 damage, and Enrage, doing more damage with 5-hit chains. That’s your cue to finish the battle with high-level spells or a Quickening.

Once done, heal your party and use a few Hi-Ethers to restore MP. There’s no sense in saving any items now. When ready, operate the lift. As soon as you reach the Central Shaft, Larsa comes to your aid.

BOSS >> Vayne

Thankfully, Larsa will help with your characters’ HP upkeep during this fight. Cast Blind on Vayne at the start, followed by Protectga, Bravery, and Bubble on your party. In his first incarnation, Vayne sticks to physical combos with an occasional Lunge or Kick thrown in. When Vayne’s HP is about halved, a cutscene occurs. Afterwards, he’ll be hastened. Dispel it and recast Blind. Vayne’s Mach Wave attack will do a fair amount of damage to individuals and his Force of Will can do about 1,000 to all allies in range. With three potential healers though, there’s no way you should lose. Avoid Quickenings unless you want to start the next consecutive battle with low MP.

After a scene, prepare to fight Vayne again, this time without Larsa’s help. Gabranth, however, will be on your side for a while.

BOSS >> Vayne Novus

Dispel Vayne’s positive statuses and cast Protectga on your party if it wore off. The Sephira swords that fly around Vayne can be targeted. Each is weak to a different element. Tailor your attacks accordingly. If your running low on MP, try stealing Hi-Ethers from each of the Sephiras. Gabranth will randomly attack either Vayne or one of the Sephiras during the battle so keep a close eye on his health. Vayne’s Azure Vortice and Contempt deal medium damage. After a cutscene, dispel Vayne’s enhancements again and watch out for Inviolable Wall, which will do about 1,000 damage to all allies on the field. Vayne will eventually erect a Magick Barrier, so go all-melee at that point. Cast Shellga to reduce damage from his elemental magicks and keep Bubble on. Make sure to replenish your MP/HP during this fight because you will not have a chance to do so before the final battle.

Watch the scenes that follow then engage Vayne’s third and final incarnation.

FINAL BOSS >> The Undying

Dispel its Haste and throw Protectga on your party. The boss is immune to all negative statuses. Pound the boss with Flare and Scathe magick but avoid casting Holy spells. Equip as many Aegis Shields as you can to have a good shot at blocking. Its Divine Sword and Megaflare attacks do 1,500 (single target) and 1,000 (allies in range). When it casts Faith or Bravery, dispel it right away or the boss will erect one of its barriers and you’ll be at a severe disadvantage. When in a barrier state, it will use Ascension (1,500 damage to all allies) or Gigaflare Sword (2,000 damage to allies). Always keep Protect and Shell up. When put in HP-critical condition, it uses Perfect Defense to become immune to all things. You’ll have to wait for it to wear off before anything can be done. Take this time to heal up and party buff; don’t be shy about using Elixirs and Megalixirs since this is the end of the game.

Congratulations! Enjoy the ending scenes.

END WALKTHROUGH

 

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