11
Jun
08

iPhone 3G

 

iPhone 3G

The iPhone you’ve been waiting for.

Finally, the much awaited phone is out. A lot of people were holding back for this one.  iPhone 3G combines all the revolutionary features of iPhone with 3G networking to give you the fastest mobile internet speeds you can get. It’s built-in GPS is amazing for expanded location based mobile services. iPhone 3G finds your location via GPS or by triangulating your position using Wi-Fi and cellular towers. It also finds nearby businesses with a keyword search. And GPS tracking can follow you wherever you go. Ooh… loads of phones are going to get extinct pretty soon.  iPhone 2.0 software includes support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and runs the hundreds of third party applications already built with the recently released iPhone SDK. There is no charge to developers to host apps that are free downloads. Sounds GREAT!

iPhone 3G gives users ever faster access to the Internet and email over their cellular network with quad-band GSM and tri-band HSDPA for voice and data connectivity around the world. iPhone 3G supports Wi-Fi, 3G and EDGE networks and automatically switches between them to ensure the fastest possible download speeds. The new iPhone 3G also makes it easier to multi-task with simultaneous voice and data communications, so with iPhone 3G you can browse the web, get map directions, or check your email while you are on a call.

I liked the feature that if lost, the phone can be remotely wiped. This was mentioned as an enterprise feature (you have to register your phone to your enterprise). Not sure if this is available for a standard consumer. The SDK demo was neat. I am not familiar with Android’s SDK but I especially noted the performance analysis tools including framerate. They looked good and very well polished UI. Actually, I thought the whole sdk looked really slick. The contacts now boast of a search feature. Brilliant!

The launch is on July 11 at a price of $199 (Jobs said no more than $199 in any country) for 8GB in sleek black and metal or $299 for 16GB which also comes in white (stop the presses!)

The big part was the launch of me.com ; the $99/yr 25GB storage including iDisk. They’ve been working with Microsoft on the built-in MS Exchange functionality for Email, Calendar, Contacts push updates and auto discovery of exchange servers and global lookup. Their web based email is strikingly similar to both Outlook and Yahoo’s new UI. Seems like a gTalk and gMail clients should be in the works to leverage the push proxy for notification updates. Maybe an orkut client as well for friend updates? This tight coupling with paid webapps was really interesting. I did not notice any ads on it. 🙂

A total winner and my next phone ( I have a Sony P1i .)

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11
Jun
08

GBrowser … a myth!

Rumor: A WebKit-based GBrowser?

In the post The Google Browser from earlier this year, someone going
by the name “the Lizard” says that Google is developing its own,
WebKit-based browser. Lizard argues that it is strategically dangerous
to bet too much on just Firefox, which sends a lot of paid search
traffic to Google, and that this made Google start an internal project
in mid-2006 titled “GBrowser.”

According to the Lizard, GBrowser is built on top of the open source
WebKit browser framework, which was also used by Apple to create
Safari, and is also used for the browser of Google-initiated mobile
platform Android. “More than that,” the Lizard writes, GBrowser “will
offer integration with many Google services, such as Gmail, Google
Calendar, Blogger, and likely Google Talk.” Lizard continues:

“Rumblings of a Google browser have been carpeting the web for years,
but it wasn’t until 2006 that an entire team was actually committed to
working on what will become GBrowser.

Google, always known for iterating slowly on most of its projects, has
taken its time on GBrowser for a very good reason: it only has one
chance to get it right. Failing to succeed in its browser move means
rocky negotiations with a core partner, Mozilla, and could negatively
impact its financials in a significant manner. A move into the browser
market requires perfection, and GBrowser has undergone at least one
substantial rewrite and many major user-interface iterations.”

Lizard adds, “Mozilla knows GBrowser is coming and discusses it at
length internally.” And then, I heard another rumor that Google will
be creating a standard which allows the toolbar of GBrowser to change
when visiting certain sites – say, when you visit Google Docs you get
a special Docs toolbar. Now, I don’t know if there’s indeed such a
browser in the works, and have to file all of this under rumor until
further details are known… but thought it’s an interesting rumor
nevertheless. Once in May 2006, when Google CEO Eric Schmidt was asked
in a Q&A whether Google would consider building their own browser, he
replied “We would only do so…if we thought there was a real user
benefit.”

The original article can be found here: http://blogoscoped.com/archive/2008-06-10-n87.html

10
Jun
08

Google and Salesforce integrating more services

Google and Salesforce can’t seem to get enough of each other: over a series of announcements the companies have aligned their product strategies more and more closely over time. Now the companies are planning something new together, to be announced by Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Google VP Engineering Vic Gundotra at Salesforce’s upcoming Tour de Force developer event on June 23 in Santa Clara.

A year ago Salesforce integrated adwords tracking into their platform. Then two months ago we heard rumors that the companies were planning on deeper product integration – it turned out to be the complete integration of Google Apps (Docs, Calendar, Gmail, and Gtalk) and Salesforce?s online enterprise apps.

With the most recent announcement Google in effect became Salesforce’s productivity suite. Google documents, spreadsheets, and presentation can be created from within Salesforce?s CRM application. GTalk works as the de facto instant messenger within Salesforce. With one click, sales people who use Gmail can send any email correspondence with potential or existing customers to Salesforce, where it becomes recorded as part of the sales cycle. Sales events and marketing campaigns can be overlayed onto a Google Calendar, as well as colleague?s schedules for figuring out convenient meeting times.

So what will the two companies announce later this month? Gundotra, who keynoted the recent Google I/O conference, is responsible for developer evangelism and open source programs at Google. That includes things like Android, Gears and Open Social. Connecting the dots isn’t too hard. 

 

09
Jun
08

Woopra – Site Statistics Software

Want to talk to the people visiting your blog in real time via a chat request? That’s just one of the features of new stats/analytics startup WoopraThink Google Analytics or Nuconomy, but in real time.

The product includes real time statistics (“tiny details on every single visit and/or visitor, where they came from, what pages they visited what keywords they used etc.”), chatting with users on the site at any time (and tagging them for future identification). Cali Lewis interviewed the founder at Wordcamp Dallas today. The video demo is below (and is significantly better than the officially-worst-demo-video-ever produced by the company).

 

Woopra is currently in private beta and will only take blogs with less than 10,000 page views/day. Like Google analytics and most other hosted analytics services, integration occurs via a javascript addition to the sites you want to track. The evolution of analytics condinues (I still remember the days of MeasureMap, which was awesome when it actually worked).
http://www.woopra.com/press/layered-technologies-and-3tera-to-provide-100-grid-servers-to-woopra/

Layered Technologies and 3Tera to Provide 100 Grid-Servers to Woopra

Layered Technologies, Inc., a leading worldwide provider of “on demand” IT infrastructure, and 3Tera, Inc., the leading innovator of grid computing technology and utility computing services for Web applications, today announce support for Woopra, the real-time Web analytics platform. The companies will provide 100 grid-based servers in order to assist Woopra as it experiences a huge market demand prior to official launch.

“We are extremely pleased that Layered Technologies has stepped up to pledge the infrastructure necessary for us to meet the growing demand for Woopra,” said Elie Khoury, CIO of Woopra. “We are also grateful for all of the public feedback and support we have been given in the past 48 hours. We vow to work as quickly as possible to make Woopra available to as many as 100,000 Web sites within the next few weeks.”

Woopra provides real-time stats delivered via a revolutionary client-server application, and includes unique features such as the ability to identify and chat real time with visitors to the monitored site. The beta version of Woopra was quietly unveiled to a select audience of 200 at WordCamp Dallas, but news rapidly spread to over 2 million as buzz began to grow.

“We are excited about the launch of Woopra and the fact that we will be hosting it on The Grid,” said Todd Abrams, COO and President of Layered Technologies. “With such high demand, we are working closely with Woopra to ensure that all of Layered Technologies’ clients can gain access to the application as quickly as possible.”

With more than 12,000 servers and nearly a decade of experience, Layered Technologies has developed an expertise in data center operations. Using 3Tera’s award-winning AppLogic OS, Layered Technologies is able to provide grid computing solutions by harnessing the power of their data centers and making it available on-demand – processing power, bandwidth, and storage capacity. 3Tera’s AppLogic Grid OS allows a customer to package their entire application into a single self-contained logical entity. The packaged system can be scaled from a fraction of a CPU to hundreds of machines without any code modification.

“The instant growth of Woopra is a perfect example of how grid solutions provide new capabilities for growth,” said Peter Nickolov, President and CTO of 3Tera. “Scaling an online application, such as Woopra, can be enormously challenging. Being able to quickly deploy and operate on a highly available and scalable utility computing platform offers a unique business solution. Partnering with Layered Technologies has allowed us to deliver true utility computing solutions and help hundreds of companies scale their application with the growing demand.”

3Tera’s AppLogic grid operating system is the first commercial platform designed specifically to enable true utility computing. The system converts commodity servers into scalable grids on which users can visually deploy, operate and scale transactional Web applications without any modification of code. With the ability to run on any grid anywhere in the world, the disposable infrastructure technology found in the heart of the AppLogic system packages applications with the definition of the infrastructure required to run them into self-contained and portable entities. As a result, applications become completely separated from the hardware infrastructure traditionally needed to run them, allowing users to remotely manage their applications through a Web browser and provision resources as needed.

For additional information on Layered Technologies, please visit http://www.layeredtech.com. For additional information on 3Tera, please visit www.3tera.com. For additional information on Woopra, visit http://www.woopra.com.

About Layered Technologies

Layered Technologies, Inc. is a leading global provider of on-demand hosting, utility computing solutions and Web services. By providing high quality technology, infrastructure and support we enable customers to forego capital expenses and save on operating costs while focusing on core business issues. Layered Technologies’ scalable infrastructure powers millions of sites and Internet enabled applications including e-Commerce, Software as a Service (“SaaS”), content distribution and more. Our clients range from leading-edge Web 2.0 startups, successful mid-sized enterprises and some the world’s largest consultancy and integration firms. For more information about Layered Technologies, please visit: http://www.LayeredTech.com or call 1-866-584-6784.

About 3Tera, Inc.

3Tera, Inc. is an innovator of grid and utility computing, simplifying the deployment and scaling of Web applications. Named one of the “Top 20 Companies to Watch in 2008” by Linux Magazine, 3Tera offers AppLogic grid operating system that enables the first true utility computing services to completely remove the cost and complexity associated with infrastructure. The operating system converts commodity servers into scalable grids on which users can visually operate, deploy and scale transactional Web applications without any modification of code. Software-as-a-Service providers, Web 2.0 companies, enterprises and open source developers can now get new online services quickly to market by utilizing resources from commodity hosting providers on a pay-as-you-go basis, while maintaining complete control of applications including visual operation, scaling and on-demand resource provisioning. For more information, visit www.3tera.com.

This article is a few months old and gallons of water has flown beneath the bridge. Feel free to click on the site and check it out for yourself.

09
Jun
08

Final Fantasy XII – PS2

Nalbina Fortress  
   

 

    ENEMIES: Damascan Soldier, Imperial Swordsman, Imperial Magus, Air Cutter Remora (boss). 
    ITEMS: Potion (x2).

The beginning sequence of Final Fantasy XII provides very little complication for even the most novice of gamers. Indeed, as you begin your quest you’ll be asked to perform a series of basic in-game actions that’ll prove your proficiency (such as moving your character, the camera, and talking to others). Once that’s all said and done, you can move forward. You’ll be attacked by a single enemy, and before you know it, you’ll be thrust into your very first boss battle, just like that.

Boss – Air Cutter Remora  
   

Air Cutter Remora is the game’s first boss. An enemy resembling a sentry robot, Remora has surprising resilience considering how many characters are attacking it simultaneously. Therefore, you’ll need to put in a concerted effort to defeat it convincingly. This will be only your second battle of the game, so it’s a learning process. Try using Thunder magic along with your basic melee attacks, and get used to the battle system. Your party members will pick up any slack along the way. Be weary of the Remora Strike, a special attack Air Cutter Remora can use. However, you should certainly be able to defeat it and send it into retreat before it is able to unleash it.

After the boss battle, proceed forward, where you will be intercepted by a number of Imperial Swordsman. Proceed to slay them (again, you can let your party do most of the work, but it doesn’t hurt to get involved yourself) and then run up the stairs ahead. After a brief cutscene, you’ll gain control again. Ignore the path heading west (it’s a dead end with nothing of interest) and continue northward. You’ll run into a slew of enemies at this point in the form of more Imperial Swordsman, as well as Imperial Magi (Magus plural), weak spell-casting foes. Before heading north some more, be sure to explore the storage room on your right. You’ll find a Potion in a basket in the far corner of the room.

Continue northward. Your team will undoubtidly lead you in the direction of a staircase leading upward (the stairs leading downward are currently blocked off). But before you follow your team into further battle, follow your trusty RPG instincts and explore the corridor beyond where the staircase is. It leads you, ultimately, to a dead end, but not before you claim another Potion for your inventory, which you can pick up near a portable staircase tucked into a corner. Then, run up the stairs, fending off more foes. As usual, try to get in your own hits, but rely on your party to do most of the dirty work for you. Up the stairs, you will run into a save crystal, your first of the game, so save your game. Then, continue up the stairs (there’s nothing else of interest on that floor), which will catalyze another cutscene.

Following that cutscene, in which Reks offers to fend off oncoming attackers while the rest of the knights scurry off to the king, you will have to fend off three foes. It seems a bit overwhelming, but considering the enemies can only knock 6-9 HP per attack off of you, and you can kill each in six hits, you should be just fine. Following the battle, you can heal yourself with your Cure magic and head back to the save crystal to save your game again. Then, proceed up the staircase and through a passage door into the final stretch of the fortress. Eventually, you’ll run into an important, scene-ending cutscene where more of the storyline comes together.

 

Garamsythe Waterway  
   

 

    ENEMIES: Dire Rat. 
    ITEMS: None.

After the scene with Reks is over, you’ll find yourself in the Garamsythe Waterway in control of another character, this one named Vaan. As soon as the scene starts, you’ll have to fend off a trio of reluctant-to-fight Dire Rats. Give chase and slay them for their fledgling experience. This will introduce us, subsequently, to another character named Kytes. However, it will also end, automatically, our brief trip through the waterways and expose us to the very first time to the sun-soaked outdoors.

Rabanastre  
   
    ENEMIES: None. 
    ITEMS: Orrachea Armlet, Writ of Transit, Clan Primer.

When you ultimately gain control in Rabanastre, your first goal is rather clear-cut – head to Migelo’s Sundries, which is located south of where you began, in the lower right hand corner of that sector of the city. Migelo will meet you outside and request that you go ahead and find your friend Kytes, who can be located at The Sandsea. The Sandsea is located in the same sector of town you’re currently in, in the extreme northeast corner.

You don’t have to rush straight there (feel free to talk to everyone you come across en route, and explore the various shops you come across as well to get a bearing on where you are), but once you do arrive, you’ll find Kytes and meet up with another friend, Tomaj. Tomaj, quite literally, hooks it up for you. In speaking with him, you’ll learn about licenses and other features in the game, and you’ll be rewarded with the opening up of “Equip,” “Licenses,” and “Clan Primer” on your menu screen. Make sure to listen closely to his words as these become open to you, and follow through his tutorials carefully (understanding licenses is an especially vital part of being successful with this game). Additionally, he’ll hook you up with a Orrachea Amulet, as well as a Writ of Transit to grant you access to other parts of the city.

You can explore as much of the city as you want (or can) at this point, and talk to everyone, et cetera… but with little money to spend and no experience or LP, either, your best bet is to move as quickly as possible towards the Eastgate section of the city, which will in turn grant you access to the Estersand, which is where the issues with the dreaded Rogue Tomato are happening. Tomaj gave you this quest himself, so it’s best not to keep him waiting! It’s time to get the Rogue Tomato.

Dalmasca Estersand  
   

 

    ENEMIES: Cactite, Wolf, Cockatrice,Wild Saurian, Rogue Tomato (boss). 
    ITEMS: 7 Gil (x2), 19 Gil, 5 Gil (x2), 3 Gil, 17 Gil, Potion.

As you enter the area, try to familiarize yourself with your surroundings. Because you’re in a desert, which is monotone by nature, everything is going to seem like it’s blending together. Try to pick out some landmarks and make good use of your map so you don’t get thrown off course. The two primary types of enemies you will find here are the non-aggressive Cactites, and the aggressive Wolves. Fight both of them (Wolves are stronger, harder to kill, and hence worth more experience points), but be aware that each enemy will only give you 1 LP per kill. That never changes, even though their experience may fluctuate.

If you head to the due north location, you will run into an outpost. Here, you can find hordes of cash in “mysterious glints” on the ground, as well as in treasure baskets. Make sure to keep a keen eye out for more of these glints and treasure baskets out in the desert itself. In the outpost you won’t have much to do but hang around and talk to people (don’t stay at the outpost inn – it costs 100 Gil, when you have Potions in your inventory that’ll do the same thing for you at half the cost). And above all else, when navigating this small stretch of desert, avoid two enemies in particular – Cockatrices, and Wild Saurians. You’re not powerful enough to deal with either yet. Don’t bother trying.

Boss – Rogue Tomato  
   

So finally, we come to take care of the Rogue Tomato. Indeed, the Rogue Tomato doesn’t have a very menacing name, and his appearance and battle tactics are equally unimpressive. However, he can still take your ass to the cleaners if you take him too lightly, so play on the aggressive. We know he’s cute, but you must take him out! While you will find him on a plateau near the middle of the area, he’ll run away when he takes 50% damage and you’ll need to pursue him. This is when he’ll break out his various special attacks – either way, fret not. When he’s slain, you’ve hit your “mark” and can return to town.

Rabanastre  
   

 

    ENEMIES: None. 
    ITEMS: None.

Please Note: At this time, you can undertake the “Wolf in the Waste” hunt.

Your time in Rabanastre will be brief this time around. When you return (go back the way you came) you’ll notice a commotion at the gates which gave you entry into the area outside the Dalmasca Estersand. Imperial guards aren’t letting people back into the city. You can find Kytes amongst the people trying to get back into the city. Talking to her will catalyze a rather lengthy (yet quite important) cutscene. When that’s all said and done, you’ll be informed that you can enter, for the first time, Lowtown. You don’t want to do that yet, however. The first thing you want to do, in fact, is head back to The Sandsea. Here, you can find Tomaj and collect the money for the mark you completed by slaying the Rogue Tomato. As aforementioned, you can also undertake the second hunt of the game (“Wolf in the Waste”), which happens to be started from The Sandsea, the very establishment you are currently patronizing.

Thereafter, it’s time to continue with our main quest. Consider first going to the Clan Hall up on the top end of Rabanastre. You’ll find it on the left side of the semi-circle there (consult your map and you’ll understand). Talk to the men in front of the door and then enter. You can talk to all of the hunters here, but your primary concern should be to talk to the Moogle named Montblanc. He’s on the second floor, chillin’ on a banister. Talk to him and he’ll give you the heads-up on hunting and membership into the clan. If you talk to him two more times (considering both the Rogue Tomato and Thextera hunts are completed), he’ll give you a load of items as well. Speak with him often when you’re in the area to see if you’ve qualified for more freebies. Hereafter, you’re also eligible to visit the Muthru Bazaar, on the west side of Rabanastre. Give it a go to at least familiarize yourself with the area.

Hereafter, consult your map and look for one of the two ways to enter “Lowtown,” our next destination. Both are on the east side of Rabanastre. Once you access one of these staircases, head down.

Lowtown  
   
    ENEMIES: None. 
    ITEMS: Potion (x2), 48 Gil, 24 Gil.

Welcome to Lowtown. Glorious, isn’t it? All kidding aside, times are serious in Lowtown. Most of the people and merchants you find here have been literally set aside and outcast by the imperials since their arrival in town two years ago. Though a great storehouse and trading center, the poorest and most unfortunate souls in Rabanastre likely live in Lowtown. It is no laughing matter! Nonetheless, there are two “segments” for you to explore, and plenty of people to talk to. There’s also quite a few items to find (a couple of Potions and some Gil).

Amongst the scattered shops and broken spirits, you will want to seek out Old Dalan’s Place. Old Dalan is a hookah-smoking old sage with a lot of wisdom and knowledge. Everyone, especially younger people, seek council from him, and you should be no different! No worries about finding his place – it’s marked off on your map (just press Select to access it!) Once inside, a cutscene will take place. What you’ll ultimately learn is that, to break into the palace, you’ll need to first head to the Giza Plains to retrieve a vital item called a Sunstone. Only then can Dalan help you out. The Giza Plains are located out of Southgate. Leave Dalan’s place and swing a right. You’ll literally be right there.

Once out of Southgate, use the Rabanastre Crystal (a special, brown colored save crystal that will also allow you to teleport around the city at your convenience). Talk to everyone you find here, as well, and then head out into the plains. Be ready for battle… you’ll certainly find it here!

Giza Plains & The Quest for the Crescent Stone  
   

 

    ENEMIES: Hyena, Giza Rabbit, Urstrix, Slaven, Werewolf. 
    ITEMS: Potion (x2), 50 Gil, 6 Gil, 31 Gil, 47 Gil, 71 Gil, 45 Gil, Eye Drops, Escutcheon, 37 Gil, 16 Gil (et cetera – treasures will re-materialize and be highly randomized).

As you enter the Giza Plains, you’ll want to head southward towards the “X” on your map (press select if you’d like to see it). En route, you’ll encounter only two types of enemies – Hyenas, which are fairly powerful and aggressive, and Giza Rabbits, which are essentially the exact opposite. For the sake of LP and experience, make sure to fight and kill all foes you encounter en route. When you finally arrive at the “X” on your map, which is the Nomad Village, talk to everyone. You can even shop and save your game! What your priority is, however, is to talk to a woman there named Masyua. She will make you a deal (so pay attention), and Penelo at this time will join your party as well, packing three Potions and two Phoenix Downs for the occasion. And just like that, we’re ready to head out.

Jinn, who Masyua sends you out after, is located in the small southern section of the Giza Plains. He’ll be lying next to a large rock, so keep an eye out for him because he can be hard to spot. When you find him, he’ll agree to give you something called a Shadestone, which when infused with light will become the sought-after Sunstone. You’re on your own, however, in doing this. He’ll mark off, on your map, the four locations of the rocks that can put sunshine into the Shadestone. One thing to be extremely careful about when seeking him out and working around the southern area is to avoid at all costs the Werewolf enemy. These enemies are a good 15 levels higher than you are with over 2,000 HP each. They will kill you in one hit. Stay away!

Use your map and work your way around to the various rocks while you fend off the aforementioned creatures, plus bird-like creatures named Urstrix(es), and the AT-ST of the Final Fantasy XII world, Slaven. And, as we mentioned earlier, stay away from the Werewolves. Though there are four rocks that’ll give you the sunlight needed to turn the Shadestone into a Sunstone, you should only need three of them. Once the meter goes to 100%, you’ll automatically be taken back to Jinn, then automatically taken back to the Nomad Village. After a series of cutscenes, all that’s left for you to do is to advance out of this area and back to Rabanastre.

Work your way back into Lowtown and swing a left to head back towards the residence of Old Man Dalan. As you do, Penelo will leave your party, but don’t worry – she’ll be back later. Go and speak to Dalan. Listen to his important cutscene and he’ll give you the Crescent Stone. With that, you’re supposed to head back to where you can enter the sewers (it’s in Lowtown, not too far away, and marked off on your map to boot). However, we recommend that perhaps you consult our Hunt list and work up some levels, money, licenses, confidence, et cetera. Then, go to Storehouse 5 as marked off on your map. Kytes will meet up with you here, and give you 2 Potions and 4 Eye Drops to deal with whatever’s found in the sewer. Good deal! Hereafter, head into the Garamsythe Waterway.

Garamsythe Waterway & Rabanastre Palace  
   

 

    ENEMIES: Dire Rat, Steeling, Razorfin, Ichthon, Gigantoad, Imperial Swordsman, Garchimacera, Ghost, Flan (boss), Firemane (boss). 
    ITEMS: 60 Gil, 37 Gil, 43 Gil, Phoenix Down (x3), 13 Gil, Oak Staff, Mage Masher, 19 Gil, Map of Rabanastre Palace, Remedy, Antidote, 90 Gil, Potion (x2), Map of Garamsythe Waterway, 31 Gil, Hi-Potion, Longsword, Escutcheon, 47 Gil, Leather Shield, Dagger, 176 Gil.

Once you enter Garamsythe Waterway, go forward and swing rightward down the corridor. This’ll lead you directly into another area, where you’ll have to go along a linear, thin pathway that’ll wind you directly to a treasure basket containing 60 Gil. You’ll also fight two Dire Rats en route, but they shouldn’t give you any problems whatsoever. Work your way all the way back, now, and this time head the other way. You’ll run headlong into a save crystal (use it!), and then you can head up the stairs and over the bridge into a new area. Here, you’ll have to fight more Dire Rats, so be ready!

We won’t insult your intelligence by telling you how to get through the sewers. Though the paths often seem to split apart and go in different directions, they always come back together at the end. There’s really no getting lost here; just be sure that you explore all dead ends to collect varying (but somewhat paltry) amounts of Gil. You can also find two weapons, an Oak Staff and a Mage Masher, in the process of Gil-hunting as well, so be mindful to collect all of the treasure! Enemy-wise, Dire Rats and airborne Steelings seem to be the primary enemies you’ll find here, though Ichthons (which are super-weak to Lightning) and Razorfins also make an appearance. Slay all enemies to collect massive LP and experience points.

Ultimately you’ll arrive at the palace, in the basement. In the room you’re situated in, examine the urn to grab a Map of the Royal Palace of Rabanastre, a valuable item. You can also save your game via the save crystal. Head out afterwards. Talk to the people you encounter, who will mistake you for staff working the evening’s fete. You should also find four items in this corridor – a Potion, a Remedy90 Gil, and an Antidote. Hereafter, try to get past the guard and he’ll tell you to wait. You can then run over to the fat creature near by, who’ll teach you how to yell to the guard so he can distract him for you. When you do so, walk carefully around the guard and sprint up the stairs through the door. You’re safe for now.

On the second floor, you’re gonna need to work a little bit of magic in order to get to where you need to go. Acclimate yourself – if you’re facing north, your ultimate goal is to get into the little nook in the northwest corner of this area. However, there’s a series of horizontal pathways flanked by two vertical pathways, and they are littered with guards. How are you going to get past? Well, you’ll use your shout, of course. (with the square button!) You need to work your way into each horizontal pathway and shout at the guards on the other end, luring them to the east side. Start at the north and work your way down. Then, simply go up the now-vacant west side of the area. Head into the topmost nook on the left, finding a blue flame that acts as a switch. Hit the switch, then go into the northern nook on the left side and go through the false wall.

You’re clear from here. You simply must go forward on this pathway, searching for a switch along the wall that’ll open the door at the other end. Once through that door, a cutscene will ensue. In fact, with the exception of having to run up some stairs and through another door, a series of important cutscenes will ensue at this point. What’s the ultimate outcome? Well, you’ll find yourself back in the Garamsythe Waterway with two new party members – Balthier and Fran. Make sure to save your game at the save crystal you encounter hereafter before proceeding. (You’ll also learn something about Gambits at this time – you may want to employ them thereafter).

Work your way past the fallen soldiers once down the stairs and into the water, and head into the adjacent area. Turn left to grab a Map of Garamsythe Waterway before going into the other direction, and head up the stairs you come across. At the end of where it leads, you’ll find 31 Gil in a treasure basket. Back on the pathway adjacent to the staircase, you’ll find another staircase leading back up before long. Follow the linear pathway to another grid of pathways that are hard to get lost on indeed. You’ll find another item when you explore – a Hi-Potion. Grab that before heading into the next area, and also kill all of the rather weak enemies you encounter to gain more LP and experience.

In the next area, head forward and left over the bridge. Navigate this closed-in area to find a Potion atop some stairs, and then go back over the bridge and into the other direction (remember, you should have a map from a few minutes ago so you shouldn’t have a problem navigating this area, hence the brief directions). You’ll find a Longsword and Escutcheon in a nook on your left as you’re going along, and 47 Gilnear the end of this area, before going into the next. When you do go into the next area, you’ll meet a new character and be thrust into battle with Imperial Swordsmen. Take them out (your new friend, Amalia, won’t help you fight just yet), but after they’re slain and you work your way into the next area, she’ll join your party (but only as a clearly-marked guest).

As you enter this wide open area, be sure to stay along the near wall and down the adjacent pathway to find a Leather Shield. When you do that, equip it on Vaan. Then, run towards the middle of the room to instigate a boss fight. (Keep in mind, after the fight, you can find a Dagger in the same place on the other side of the room).

Boss – Flan (x4)  
   

 

This fight might be intimidating because physical attacks don’t traditionally work well on Flan and Flan-like enemies in Final Fantasy games. Nothing’s really changed here, though it’s safe to say that Final Fantasy XIIis a little more forgiving in regards to the magic damage-only motif of Flans in prior Final Fantasy games. The best way to go about this battle is simple, really – have Vaan cast Fire four times, once on each of the four Flans. This’ll allow for significant, life-threatening damage to be done to each Flan, where the three other members of your party can chip away at their health one by one. After casting Fire four times, you can then join in on the physical attacking. In this way, you don’t prolong the battle longer than you have to, and they’ll all fall generally at the same time. Good times!

In the next area, grab the Phoenix Down from the treasure basket at the center of the room, and then work your way rightward and up the stairs. Here, you’ll encounter some foes you’ve never encountered before. One’s called Garchimacera, the other is a Ghost, and they both mean business. However, you should be able to take them out easily considering you have four members of your party. Work your way into the next area after this one (still quite linear by nature), and make sure to veer off on the upper platform to get anotherPhoenix Down, as well as 176 Gil. And on and on you go… ultimately, to another boss battle.

Boss – Firemane  
   

Interesting finding a fire-based boss in a sewer… but nonetheless, here it is. The boss has an incredible amount of HP at this stage in the game, enough to support its onslaught of powerful attacks. It’s primary attack, which will do the most damage to your party, is a fire attack which will damage everyone, and even inflict them with certain status effects which the various items undoubtedly in your inventory by this point will assist you in curing. Stay away from magic here (unless you’re healing someone) and stick strictly to physical attacks. Though the foe has a powerful fire-based attack and you will need to heal from time to time, it’ll corner itself enough where you can get a series of combinations off before having to heal again.

Once he’s slain, enjoy the long, story-altering cutscene.

Nalbina Dungeons & Barheim Passage  
   

 

    ENEMIES: Imperial Swordsman, Imperial Magus, Imperial Hoplite, Imperial Marksman, Imperial Pilot, Tiny Mimic, Battery Mimic, Zombie, Steeling, Seeker, Bomb, Suriander, Skeleton, Daguza (boss), Gwitch (boss), Galeedo (boss), Mimic Queen (boss). 
    ITEMS: Knot of Rust (x7), Map of Nalbina Dungeons, Tourmaline Ring, Targeting Leader Foe Gambit, Aero Mote, Ally HP < 60% Gambit, Chromed Leathers, Ether, Eye Drops, 127 Gil, Map of Barheim Passage, Potion (x4), Onion Arrows, Phoenix Down (x2), 9 Gil, Ally Party Leader Gambit, Mage Masher, 79 Gil, Echo Herbs, 10 Gil, 26 Gil, Water Mote.

Completely inventoryless (yes, we know that’s not a word) describes your status here in the dungeon. Stripped of every last item and piece of equipment you had thanks to the Empire, you now have to figure out a way to get out of where you’re being held – the Nalbina Dungeons. You can explore here and talk to the various prisoners (all aptly numbered). You can also find four Knots of Rust if you look hard enough. Make sure to grab them. Then, seek out the save crystal on the west side of the dungeon, save your game, and go through the adjacent door.

Boss – Daguza, Gwitch, & Galeedo  
   

After a short cutscene, you’ll be thrown into another cell with three pig-like creatures. This fight will seem more difficult than it actually is – though you have no weapons or items, you do have the magic you’ve learned. Hopefully, you’ll have the fire spell, because that happens to be these creatures’ weakness. If you cast the Fire spell three times – once on each foe – you’ll drastically weaken them (you may even kill them). Once weakened, melee strikes with your fists should finish them off rather easily. Don’t fret!

After a lengthy cutscene, you’ll gain control once more. Run forward and your party will automatically get back all lost items, equipment, and other gear. And yes, the equipment you had on before it was taken it automatically reequipped, so no worries. Make sure to search the storeroom to find two other items – aTourmaline Ring, and a new Gambit. Keep in mind, you’ll get the Map of Nalbina Dungeons automatically at this point as well. Be sure to save your game hereafter, and then run forward into the next area. Though Balthier recommends that we “tread lightly” here, it won’t hurt to fight all of the foes you come across in order to raise experience and LP, both of which you’ll never stop needing. You’ll fight four main varieties of Imperial here – Swordsman, Marksman, Magus, and Hoplite. All have their strengths and weaknesses, but none of them should give you a hard time. Also, be sure to find the three treasures in the initial room in the form of another Knot of Rust, an Aero Mote, and an Ally HP < 60% Gambit.

Continue to search around, and ready to lay the hurt on any Imperial that comes your way. You can find moreKnots of Rust if you care to look hard enough for them… you can also find some Chromed Leathers and anEther for your inventory as well. Ultimately, you’ll want to work your way far enough into the compound that a cutscene is catalyzed. The Judge will walk through a door, and basically, you’ll want to follow. After anothercutscene, Basch will rejoin your party (we’re sure you remember him… Vaan sure does). But don’t worry. He, too, is a guest.

You’re now in the Barheim Passage, and you need to find a way out. There’s a save crystal near by that you should utilize. If you analyze both the machine on the top floor and the switch on the bottom floor, you’ll realize the task at hand is to make this machine work again so you can make a getaway. Also, be sure to consult the merchant here for lots of new goods and equipment. You’ll acquire an item by talking to the merchant that you can use on the generator on the floor above. The end result? You can trip the switch next to the merchant and go through the gate he’s sitting next to.

Now this becomes a little complicated, but fear not – we’re here to explain everything to you. A meter will stay on-screen throughout this dungeon, and it indicates the power in the passage. The lower the power gets, the stronger the enemies become and the more that will come out from no where to attack you. Messing the power up are Battery Mimics, arachnid-like creatures which feast away endlessly, all day long, on the place’s power supply. You’ll need to kill them, and other enemies that accompany them, as you go along in this dungeon. Why not start with the two you first encounter? Kill the first one and the enemies with it, and then go down the stairs and kill yet another (making sure to grab the contents of the treasure basket in the same room). Then, go through the tunnel and into the next area.

This next area is a long stretch of railroad tunnel. It splits up in many areas and can seem confusing, but as long as you consult your map often, you shouldn’t miss any parts of it (you won’t want to, since there are a few items to be on the lookout for down here). Your primary concern should be tracking down and taking out the Battery Mimics as you go along, though you must backtrack also in order to claim the Map of Barheim Passage, amongst other goods, and you should also let the lights run down from time to time in order to go up against some more difficult enemies and add them to your bestiary. Eventually, you will come to a place where, in order to kill the Battery Mimic, you must climb up a short flight of stairs first. After taking him out, go into the next area with the doorway nearby. If you have a map, look at it – it’s a room that leads to a dead end… but we want to go there briefly.

You must go into this room because, quite simply, there are a pair of Battery Mimics to slay. Regrettably, there are no treasures to be found (so don’t go up that long staircase and down the dead end passage… you’ll come up empty-handed). In lieu of heavy exploration here, just kill the foes and then head back to the railway tunnel and through into the next area. You’ll find yourself doing more of the same tasks… detailed searching for scant treasures, and slaying of varying arrays of monsters (but if you’re good, you’ll be fighting Tiny Mimics, Battery Mimics, and Flans almost exclusively).

Take a glance at your map (after all, it should be completed thanks to finding the map earlier in the dungeon). Though the ultimate goal is to head all the way southward, take a look at the western branch of this area – that’s where we need to go now. It’s full of your standard enemies, including a couple of Battery Mimics feasting on the area’s power supply. You’ll also find quite a few items here (more than you have thusfar, anyway), so keep a keen eye out. If you look at your map, an icon (gears) represents a switch that you must press before proceeding. In fact, in addition to the Battery Mimics it’s the only reason we’d want to come down here (well, for the loot and enemy experience, too!) With that switch pressed, the enemies slain, and the coast clear, you can then head back to the main railway passage and head south some more.

Heading into this area will trigger an important story-based cutscene. Thereafter, you’ll be presented with the last stretch of dungeon before we have to fight the boss. Save your game at the save crystal, and head out. It’s a linear and item-filled stretch of dungeon, so spend time exploring but don’t worry about getting lost. Be weary of enemies being disguised as treasure baskets here (they won’t show up as red dots on your radar so you’ll have to risk it with each one to see if it’s a genuine treasure or a foe), and be certain that you kill every last enemy, especially the pesky Battery Mimic. When you’ve slain the last one and worked your way as far as you can go, you’ll be struck with another boss battle.

Boss – Mimic Queen  
   

 

The Mimic Queen might be intimidating. After all, she’s a gigantic foe, dwarfing every member in your party combined. But fear not! She has some overt weaknesses that you can observe via Libra, or you can simply read on. She’s vulnerable to ice-based magic, making Blizzard the skill of choice to use here (you can have every permanent member in the party cast it, actually… but at least Vaan should be). This’ll chip away steadily at the intense amount of HP this foe has. Coupled with the varied attacks of the other three party members and Vaan’s Blizzard attack, the foe won’t last very long. Two important things to keep in mind, however – firstly, watch out for Mimic Queen’s super attacks that’ll damage greatly (or even kill) members of your party, and secondly, ignore completely the small Mimic creatures that accompany Mimic Queen. While it might be a nice way to raise LP and experience, Mimic Queen will wipe the party out if you aren’t quick. Therefore, focus the entirety of your brutal attacks on her alone.

When the battle is over, you’ll find yourself in the Dalmasca Estersand. Since you’ve undoubtedly been out here before (if you’re following our guide, that is), we won’t insult your intelligence and tell you how to get back… you should be able to figure that out on your own. Consult your map to get a sense of direction and head back to Rabanastre, where we can pick up the next branch of our story.

Back in Rabanastre  
   
    ENEMIES: None. 
    ITEMS: Sword of the Order.

Once you return to Rabanastre, there are some things that you should immediately do. First, follow your impulses and visit the various stores in Rabanastre, ones you should be quite familiar with by this point. They’ll have new wares for you, so stock up at your leisure. When you head to Migelo’s Sundries, a cutscene will take place. As a result, you’ll have to head to Old Dalan’s place in Lowtown. We’ve been there before as well – simply head to the northwest part of Lowtown and go to his place. He’ll give you a Sword of the Orderwhen you visit him, sending you off on another short quest with epic consequences.

He’ll mark off a place on your map, in Lowtown, and tell you to bring the sword to a man there. When you go there, you’ll find that it’s a secret hideout. Within is Basch, who recently accompanied you on your quest, escaping the grasp of the Empire. This is a time when you will gain party members. First, Basch will join the party, and hereafter, when you head to The Sandsea (which should be your next destination), Fran and Balthier will come back as well.

When you’re satisfied with your inventory, equipment, level, et cetera, and have accomplished the first four hunts in our Hunt section of the guide, you can head to the Aerodrome, which is located on the west side of Rabanastre. You’ll find Fran waiting outside, but what you’ll really need to do is find Balthier and talk to him. When you do, he’ll ask you if you’re ready to go. When you indicate to him that you are 100% positive that you’re ready to head out of Rabanastre, you’ll catalyze a series of cutscenes. Thereafter, you’ll regain control of the party in an all-new location – Bhujerba.

The Skycity of Bhujerba & The Lhusu Mines  
   

 

    ENEMIES: Steeling, Skull Defender, Skeleton, Slaven. 
    ITEMS: Dark Mote, 32 Gil, Knot of Rust, 50 Gil, 30 Gil, 114 Gil, 75 Gil.

When you arrive in Bhujerba Aerodrome, talk to everyone within and save your game at the brown save crystal you find. Then, head on outside, where you will automatically recruit a new character named Lamont (no worries, though; she is simply a guest). Hereafter, you’ll be able to explore Bhujerba, though don’t expect to have access to everything. Imperial guards are everywhere, blocking your path. This is actually rather convenient considering the cordoned-off pathways will make a path directly to your destination – The Lhusu Mines. En route, check out the shops you encounter, buy some Moogle-made maps if you desire, and save your game before heading on in.

After the initial cutscene as you approach the mines, go in and run down the large flights of stairs to trip off yet another cutscene, this one extremely important (so pay attention!) Hereafter, work your way into the linearly-designed dungeon, fighting some basic enemies (listed in the grid above) and collecting the loot that they drop. Though the path seems to split often in the beginning areas of the mine, rest assured it all leads in one direction. You should thoroughly explore each pathway in order to clear them of enemies (gaining valuable experience and LP in the process) but otherwise don’t sweat treasure hunting until you get to the tunnel where you’re forced to go left. At this point, employ the Libra technique to see any traps that you should avoid, and scour the area for two treasure baskets that’ll have some inventory goods for you.

Around now, you’ll probably begin to notice that the map of this place you bought back in town is a little deceiving – the mines are a lot bigger than you think. While you probably figured out how to get by the first gate (by simply taking an alternate pathway around it), you’ll run into another gate blocking a path heading westward that you can clearly see on your map. You’ll come back here later; so in the meantime, explore the rest of the area. Eventually, you’ll head north into a new area, but not before you find a couple of treasures en route that may strike your fancy.

Continuing along in a linear manner, fighting endless arrays of skeletal enemies, you can find more treasure and will eventually walk along to a point in the cave where Lamont will leave your party and examine his surroundings. This is yet another important, story-driven cutscene that you should pay close attention to (the same goes for once you leave this area, where you discover just who Lamont really is). The bounty hunters who want Balthier will catch up with you here, and while you can fight them, your best bet is to hold R2 down and run out of the area completely. When you get back to the entrance, you’re safe – for now.

Eventually, you’ll learn that, in order to stir up some emotion in your current surroundings, you’ll have to let everyone know that Basch is alive… by telling them that you’re Basch. Simply press the square button around groups of people or specific individuals (preferably to those who you could otherwise speak with) to raise your level. Anyone carrying a book in their hands, a grayish book, will raise your gauge significantly. However, talking to soldiers will make you lose most of your prestige, so be careful. You can talk to the same people over and over again, just make sure you’ve talked to lots of others first, and have left and come back to the area. Once you hit 100%, a cutscene automatically takes place, so pay attention! The story continues to open wide open here.

Now, if you’d like, you can stay at the place you find yourself (The Cloudborne) and examine the board there to get a new hunt (we recommend you do). You should also go to the armor and weapon shops to upgrade your teams’ gear (we got the entire team Zwill Blades, Ringmail, and Horned Hats). When you’ve done that, you should then work your way to the “X” on your map, where you can talk to some guards and seek an audience with the Marquis. At this point, another long, story-driven cutscene will take place. After this lengthy series of cutscenes, you and your team will find itself on the Dreadnaught Leviathan.

 

The Dreadnought Leviathan  
   

 

    ENEMIES: Mastiff, Imperial Swordsman, Imperial Magus, Imperial Gunner, Imperial Hoplite, Judge, Judge Ghis (boss). 
    ITEMS: Reflectga Mote, 37 Gil, Hi-Potion, Blue Fang, 237 Gil, 145 Gil, 25 Gil, 75 Gil, 32 Gil, Ether, 81 Gil, Ancient Sword, No. 1 Brig Key, Systems Access Key.

Once you gain control of your party on the Leviathan, go forward and enter The West Block. You’ll notice that you have a high level (level 19) character named Vossler in your party. He’s joined as a guest, but will be extra useful throughout the run through this craft. Nonetheless, once in West Block, take a glimpse at your map (you will get one automatically when starting here). You’ll notice that, to get into the middle area, you’ll have to head south and east. Around this time, you’ll also get a lesson on the alarm system in this area. Fact is, you can’t proceed without tripping them, and doing so will make Imperial Magi and Imperial Swordsman come out of the woodwork… so simply get used to it! It’s good for experience and the like anyway. As you work your way completely around this initial area, be sure to grab 37 Gil and a Reflectga Mote from the treasure baskets.

Now, from here, you have a choice. You can go southward from one of two places. They generally lead to the same area. Our suggestion is to clear both of your options of enemies completely to take advantage both of treasure you will find and enemy experience, LP and loot! Begin with the southern area first, the tightly condensed mess of corridors on the southern part of your map.

This part can be a little overwhelming, but we implore you not to worry too much. Once you get the Gunners’ and Hoplites’ attention from below, they’ll come to you… so you simply need to wait until they see you (or do something to be seen), and then sit tight as you fight them. These battles can be a little trying, so make sure to heal your characters often, and don’t forget about your guest! Heal him too! When the enemy threat here is put down, work your way to the far side of the room and down the stairs. At the center of the now-vacant room, you’ll find three treasure baskets waiting to be picked apart!

Now, you can take a door out of that room and straight to the Airship Berth Access… but why? Instead, you can fight more foes, find more items, and work your way around the long way to the very same area (of course, this is optional, but recommended). You can access this area out of the room you’re already in; simply go to the upper floor and out of one of two east-side openings.

Here, you’ll need to work your way northward, and slightly westward, to find the ultimate conclusion of this stretch of corridors. As you go, you’ll fight more of the same kinds of enemies (mostly Imperials), and you’ll also find two groups of two items each. The first group is located almost all the way to the north, as you start to head westward. The other is located in the lower southwest nook of the northern part of the map. Once you’ve claimed all four items and killed all of the enemies in the area (and yes, there are more alarms to trip), release the bulkhead with the switch at the north end of this area, and then go into the Sub-Control Room to the north.

The Sub-Control Room is instantly full of enemies at various control panels, and you’re going to have to deal with them. Make sure to concentrate on the Magus first, and then on the other foes (simply because this particular enemy has the pesky tendency of casting spells like Blind on your party, which will necessitate some Eye Drops or Blinda). Once they are all slain, turn around and head down the stairs (heading up the other staircase leads to a dead end). Once down here, you’ll have to release another bulkhead via the switch on the wall. Also, there’s an out-of-the-way corridor off of this area not reflected on the map that leads to two more treasures, including an Ancient Sword, which you should immediately equip. Keep in mind that on your way out of the passageway, you will trip an alarm and have to fight. Nonetheless, when that fight is over, enter the Airship Berth Access.

In this next area, run forward and immediately through the door, into the Central Block. Once you do that, a cutscene will ensue. It’ll be brief, however, and you’ll be instructed to try and take down the leaders (the Judges) in order to more quickly take down the enemy party as a whole. Accompanying the two Judges are three Imperial Swordsmen and an Imperial Magus. You should focus on the Magus first since he can cast some pesky spells, including Poison. Then, beat up on the others. The melee will almost certainly result in the falling of everyone but the Judges first, but that’s okay – the Judges are worth 7 LP each when defeated, so you have that to look forward to! When they are defeated, you’ll get the No. 1 Brig Key, which you’ll need to open the door headed south into the next area.

This area is safe from enemies, so you can breathe for a minute. Essentially, you’ll find four cells in this small room, three of which have things of interest. Ignore the cell up and to the left. Instead, concentrate first on the one up and to the right, where Ashe will be rescued by the party. Then, hit up the one closest to you on the left, where you will find two Moogles. One of them has a huge supply of goods to buy if you need anything (don’t expect anything new, however). And finally, the last remaining cell of interest contains not only a save crystal so you can heal and save your game, but also an ornate treasure basket containing a Systems Access Key. You’ll need that soon enough. With that in hand, head back into the previous area. This will set off not only another cutscene, but also a frantically-sounding alarm.

Now, you can use your Systems Access Key on a number of computers (three total in two separate areas, to be exact) to stop the alarm for 60 seconds at a time. However, it doesn’t hurt to fight off some enemies as you go, either, as they are worth precious experience, especially considering the new characters you have and will have in your party, all in need of LP and EXP! Essentially, if you look at your map, you’ll see three “gear” symbols representing the computer where, with the Systems Access Key, you can stop the alarm. You’ll also see an “X” in the northwest corner of the map, representing where you want to head. Head up there, hitting all of the alarms and grabbing re-appearing treasure en route. You’ll eventually lose Vossler and gain Penelo in your party, as well, as you head towards your ultimate goal – the Port Launch.

Boss – Judge Ghis & Imperial Swordsmen  
   

Fighting Judge Ghis and his three Imperial Swordsmen is a considerable challenge, but not so out of control that you couldn’t handle it. The three Imperial Swordsmen act as more of a nuisance than anything else, so be sure to turn around and attack them first. With Ghis casting Protect on himself from the outset of the fight, hopefully you can take out two or even all three before he works his way over to you. Then, you should cast Protect on each active party member and begin with the various melee attacks, healing as necessary. With Gambits well set up here and healing on the mind, you should be just fine. Be sure to recast Protect when it runs out to spare you from the Judge’s melee strikes (you’ll simply have to bear his magick attacks) and lay into him until he is no more! It’s that simple!

A series of cutscenes will ensue from here. In the middle of all of them, you’ll briefly regain control of the party; simply run out of the Bhujarba Aerodrome, down the long outdoor corridor, up the stairs, and left into the estate where you were before going to the Leviathan. This will continue the long sequence of cutscenes.

The Ogir-Yensa Sandsea  
   
    ENEMIES: Enemies: Alraune, Urutan-Yensa, Wyvern, Danbania, Yensa, Urutan Eater, Axebeak, Bagoly. 
    ITEMS: Eksir Berries.

You’ll start out near a shopkeeper and a brown save crystal. Utilize your surroundings to the best of your ability (as in, equip your party to the utmost and save your game), and then work your way towards the Ogir-Yensa Sandsea. This place seems tough to cross, but it’s actually not that big of a deal… it’s simply a sandsea with a series of metal structures over it in which to cross via. You’ll want to cross this linear, circular pathways quickly while fighting off a steady supply of Alraunes. Several cutscenes will occur intermittently here; you’ll learn more about the story as you cross.

Eventually you’ll come off of this gigantic structure and back onto sand… but you won’t be here for long. Be absolutely sure to bear to the left and back onto the isolated metal structure in order to find a map of this vast area. With that, you can clearly see that you want to, essentially, head due west. We’ll get to the areas to the north eventually, but not yet. If you want to explore the area and fill in the map in its entirety, feel free… it can’t help your experience and LP. Otherwise, stay the course and head westward. It’s really almost impossible to get lost here. Follow your map and head towards one of the two flashing blue arrows that have yet to be identified. These both lead to your primary objective, the Nam-Yensa Sandsea.

A quick note on enemies as you head westward. You’re going to run into two enemies, primarily – Alraune, and Urutan-Yensa. Alraune are small, red enemies that you’ll meet primarily near the beginning of this area, and not in great numbers thereafter. On the other hand, you’ll meet plenty of the small, humanoid-like Urutan-Yensa, and they’ll come in various forms. They love using Dark Motes with great accuracy, and are also skilled archers. Some of them also have spells cast upon them to make them act quicker, and all-in-all, they can deal an incredible amount of damage. You’re going to be forced to heal often here, but worry not!… it’s completely normal when you’re dealing with high-caliber foes like this.

As mentioned earlier, there are two ways into the Nam-Yensa Sandsea, but the northern one of the two should be your ultimate goal, whether you go there directly or go around the Nam-Yensa Sandsea itself, and up to the little area in between it and the Ogir-Yensa Sandsea. When you finally work your way to this area, you’ll find a save crystal, but more importantly, you’ll find a lone Moogle standing there. Talk to him to learn about the plight of some of your recent enemies in this region. You should accept what he’s saying to you (“tell me more”), and then go out into the Nam-Yensa Sandsea ready to take on the creature he described.

To help out the foul Urutan-Yensa, you need to head into the Nam-Yensa Sandsea from where you spoke to the Moogle. Here, you’ll fight more of the same enemies you’ve fought time and time again in this area. Make sure to heal up as needed, and head southward. When you get to the south end of this long strip of land, head westward and over a long, bending bridge into the next area. When you, you’ll see your foe, the Urutan Eater, ahead. It’s a large turtle-like creature with Urutan-Yensa fighting it already. Don’t kill the Urutan-Yensa!Instead, let them fight the foe. As long as they are alive, at least one of them, the Urutan Eater will attack them instead of you. As a result, you can potentially defeat this foe without getting hit at all. His weakness is one we can’t exploit yet, so stick to hand-to-hand combat and dispatch the foe with haste. If, for some reason, the Urutan-Yensa are still alive with the Urutan Eater is defeated, kill them before back-tracking to the previous area.

As you backtrack towards where you spoke to the Moogle previously, the area you sweep back over will be less filled with enemies, but they will still have a presence. Therefore, you’re going to want to be prepared to fight, but don’t fret too much. Upon returning to where the Moogle is, talk to him, and he’ll tell you that the Urutan-Yensa that contracted your help headed back towards the east. Go east one screen and begin climbing the metal structure, and a Urutan-Yensa will appear. Backtrack once more, this time back to where the Moogle was, again. Here, you will see the brief trial and execution of the Urutan-Yensa that contracted your help. However, you won’t come away completely empty-handed. Talk to the Moogle and learn about the rare flower growing in your proximity. Then, go ahead and pick the berries from it. Congratulations! You have an upcoming boss’ weakness, Eskir Berries.

Press select and take a look at your map. We know it’s blank, but just look at it. What you’re going to want to do is head westward, as far as you are able. There is our destination – The Tomb of Raithwall. Getting there is actually kind of general in nature, because there are a few routes you can take. However, it’s nothing new, nothing intimidating, nothing you really need your hand held on. Consult your map often so you don’t get lost, take out any enemies that come your way (amongst some new enemies you will encounter are Axebeaks, which are totally manageable). When you approach the cave you seek, you’ll know you’re headed in the right direction because two men on Chocobos will be outside. One of them will, if you talk to him, even sell you some goods. Definitely invest in Raise at this time, though you should theoretically have each and every spell that he offers by this point in the game. When you’re done, enter the cave ahead.

The Tomb of Raithwall  
   

 

    ENEMIES: Garuda (boss) 
    ITEMS: N/A

As soon as you enter, go forward and get ready for a boss battle.

Boss – Garuda  
   

Chances are, you’re not using bows or guns. However, if you have any in your inventory, now is the time to equip them on who you can. If not, worry not! Garuda is airborne so he’s nearly impossible to hit with melee attacks… but you do have a secret weapon in your Water spell, which you should certainly have by now. Garuda is weak to Water and though it taxes your MP, it’s nothing an Ether can’t fix. Have all of your characters continuously cast Water. If you want something more fluid, have two characters cast Water and have a third character casting Cure and Cura while running around to regain MP. Don’t forget to use your Eksir Berries as well, which will cripple the Garuda and take some of his HP when used. When he’s slain, a cutscene takes over… but at least the first of several boss fights in this area is now behind you.

When you’ve gained control again, you can explore the outdoor compound. Approach the large staircase at one end and you’ll run into a merchant on the back of a Chocobo, whom you can buy a load of new equipment from. We suggest you do just that, heading back into the previous fields to kill enemies and grab their loot to sell. Especially prone to this kind of endeavor Alraunes, who drop Succulent Fruit, worth almost 400 Gil a piece. Nonetheless, when you’re all stocked up and ready to go, head up the staircase, save via the crystal on top of the structure, then use ancient device to teleport your team. After another brief cutscene, head forward and down some stairs, towards a passage. You’ll have to run from a Demon Wall here (you’re almost definitely going to be unable to kill it, so run for now). However, when you go through the door you come to in running away, you’ll have to fight another Demon Wall. Go figure.

Boss – Demon Wall  
   

Well, it’s not really “go figure” because this Demon Wall, in comparison to the first one you run across, is extremely easy to take out. While the premise is the same (the foe will come at you relentlessly, and you must kill it before it crushes you against the back wall), the foe has about half the hit points of the other Demon Wall, and you have a good three times more time in order to destroy him. So what to do? Well, we leveled up to level 20 and bought the best of the best equipment from the merchant outside of the tomb… and we absolutely clobbered the Demon Wall before he even got us halfway down the hallway, and that was without the use of the pesky flames flanking the passageway, which will randomly speed up or slow down the Demon Wall (in other words, don’t use it). Instead, melee attacks are key here. The Demon Wall has a plethora of attacks that will frustrate you, including X-Zone (which removes completely a player from the field), Sleep and Blind spells, and even a spell that removes all of your MP. No worries though… relentless offense is the name of the game here.

Once defeated, you can head towards where the Demon Wall came from and take one of the staircases there to the next area (through the door). After a cutscene, you’ll regain control once more. Head forward and down a grand staircase. At the bottom, you’ll find a couple of more warps that won’t work, as well as one that does (the one that does work takes you back to the beginning, where you can save your game, which we suggest doing). Then, simply take both staircases heading westward and explore the entirety of the large, open room you’re in. There will be some treasures at the various dead ends you encounter, so be sure to grab those… and, of course, be sure to check all three levels of space, fighting Seekers as you go. When you’re ready to move on, we recommend taking the uppermost door on the southern end (look at your map if you’re confused).

This is a really linear test that really only calls for one thing – hitting the switch you come to in order to lower an object blocking a secret passageway. It’s a linear passageway (you can access this multi-leveled area via two entrances, but we recommend the uppermost one in order to access treasure). You’re going to fight a lot of new enemies en route to doing your task, but the good thing is, they’re easy… and it’s nearly impossible to get lost here, as well. Good times all around! When you finally reach the area where the switch must be pressed, do so. You’ll see an object next to you lower halfway down to the ground (thankfully, the same thing is happening in the other room, hence the order in which we tackled them is highly inconsequential). You’ll also be attacked randomly by some foes, so be ready to do some battle. When things calm down, you can work your way out the other way (to kill enemies, gaining experience and LP), or you can simply use the switch there which now works, and can take you back to the previous area.

Now, take the other room that we haven’t gone to yet (by taking the northern uppermost door). You’ll find a familiar scene here, one that’s very similar to the one we just went through. This area is linear, the enemies are new (and some different than the other room), but totally easy to defeat. Again, you’ll come to a switch that you should press (the item blocking the secret passage should now fall all the way to the ground), and again, you’ll be attacked by some random enemies which you should slay posthaste. The difference this time around is that you can now enter the next area via the secret passage (unless you want to go back and save first). When you do hit the next area, a cutscene will ensue. When you gain control once more, thrust into another boss battle you will be, this time with the Esper named Belias (when you defeat him, you’ll be able to summon him via the licensing board).

Boss – Belias the Esper  
   

Belias is a fire-based foe, so it should come as no surprise to you that Water (and Blizzard) are two good spells to use against this foe. You may want to cast Shell on your party members because Belias will almost exclusively attack with magicks. His fire-based spells run the gamut from weak to strong so you’re going to have to heal from time to time, but the situation won’t always necessitate it. At times like those, you’ll want to instead go all out with melee and Water/Blizzard attacks. This is the first time you’re going to encounter the status effect “Oil” with any regularity, as well. Oil increases the damage done by fire attacks so make sure to use Handkerchiefs right away on any character inflicted with it before the next fire attack comes, or you may be sorry!

When the battle is over, it’s simply a matter of running from place to place in order to keep the series of cutscenes going, that will ultimately culminate with a boss fight. Run through the door when you initially gain control, head down the stairs and up the ones on the other side – another cutscene will here ensue. This is where you will obtain the valuable Dawn Shard. Then, you can use the mechanism there to warp back to the save crystal. Save your game, run down the stairs, and sit tight for a lengthy cutscene. Ultimately, you’ll be thrust into a battle with, who else, Vossler.

Boss – Vossler  
   

It’s unfortunate that you’re going to have to kick Vossler’s ass here (and ultimately kill him), but nonetheless, it’s what must be done. He’s accompanied by three Imperial Swordsmen, and they should be the initial target of your attacks (though at this point, Fran is going to be beserking so she’ll attack whoever). When the foes on the periphery are defeated, you can concentrate on Vossler, who loves using status effects on himself, like Haste and Reflect. Because of the latter, you should stick strictly to melee attacks and hope for the best. Use healing items and spells as needed and keep the offensive up. Vossler is a strong opponent because of his status effects, and he attacks regularly… and quickly… and relentlessly. But nonetheless, you should be able to take him rather easily.

Back in Rabanastre & Journeying to Jahara  
   

 

    ENEMIES: Viper, Black Chocobo, Mesminir, Wu, Hybrid Gator, Zu, Ozmone Hare, Gigantoad, Wooly Gator, Hybrid Gator, Hyena, Ichthon.
    ITEMS: Jaya Stick, Bowgun, Onion Arrows.

Enemies: Viper, Black Chocobo, Mesminir, Wu, Hybrid Gator, Zu, Ozmone Hare, Gigantoad, Wooly Gator, Hybrid Gator, Hyena, Ichthon.
Items: Jaya Stick, Bowgun, Onion Arrows.

Your next mission is essentially a straight-forward one. After defeating Vossler and watching lengthy cutscenes, you’ll eventually find your party back in Rabanastre and ready to proceed with their quest. Thankfully, there will be new weapons, armor, and other items available in the many shops of the large city (though you don’t necessarily need them right now – they are, after all, extremely pricey). Ultimately, your party’s primary goal is going to be to travel southward into the Giza Plains, and southward once again into the Ozmone Plain.

This may sound difficult, but in fact, it’s not. On the other hand, it’s not extraordinarily easy either. The plains have flooded (as they do each time this year), bringing with it both a new landscape of lush vegetation and all new, stronger enemies. Amongst them will be Gigantoads, Hyenas and Wooly Gators (the latter of which are often found sleeping, but should still be attacked for their experience and LP). As you get deeper, you’ll also fight pesky Vipers (that appear out of no where), and Black Chocobos (amongst other ruthless foes). Nonetheless, follow the maps southward, and once in the Ozmone Plain, you’ll ultimately want to head to the southwest corner of the region, where you will find Jahara. En route, however, be sure not to neglect doing a little exploration of your own. You never know what you may find in the randomized treasure baskets… and of course, endless fighting with the foes in the area will do nothing but make your characters stronger and better prepared for what lies ahead.

Once in Jahara itself, approach the nearby save crystal to heal your party and save your game (we’re sure you’re jonsing to do both at this point). Nearby you can talk to a Moogle who happens to be a cartographer and can sell you some maps. Buy them if you’d like. Also, talk to the Garif Warriors guarding the bridge before crossing it, deeper into their territory. You can talk to all of the characters here if you’d like, but ultimately you’re going to want to talk to High-Chief Zayalu in the northeast section of this second area. He’ll direct you to the High-Chief and give you a Jaya Stick (which is, surprisingly, a valuable piece of loot) to give to the War-Chief before he bids you adieu.

Head to the bridge leading into the third and final unexplored area of Jahara. Here, you’ll have to first talk to the War-Chief. Hand over the Jaya Stick you received earlier and the War-Chief, quite pleased indeed, will let you cross the bridge to talk to the High-Chief. Approach the High-Chief and choose to talk to him. This will lead into a lengthy series of explanations and cutscenes, so sit tight and watch the story continue to quickly progress. When the long scenes are over, Larsa will join the party as a guest and you’ll receive two items from the War-Chief, as well – a Bowgun and some Onion Arrows. Keep in mind that as you’re headed out of here, you can take a Chocobo ride for free (thanks to your new friends), and you can also buy an assortment of new goods from the item dealer in the village. We recommend going side quest and hunt… hunting… at this point, but if you want to proceed with the quest, head onto the next part of the walkthrough. Otherwise, consult the appropriate part of the guide for all your side-questing needs.

Assuming, perhaps, that you’ve ultimately taken the Chocobo ride (you can go back and get it under certain circumstances, so it’s worth a try), head on out of the protection of the village and back into the wild. You’re going to want to head in a northeasterly direction several sectors through the Ozmone Plains towards the Sunlit Path. When you arrive here, get ready for a heavy amount of cutscene action… it’ll take a while, so sit tight. When they finally end, you’ll regain control. Dismount your Chocobo (if you were still on one or even came here on one in the first place) and check out your surroundings. You can talk to a game hunter in your vicinity, but more importantly, you can save your game at the save crystal. When you’re ready, enter the Golmore Jungle.

The Golmore Jungle & Eryut Village  
   

 

    ENEMIES: Panther, Malboro, Midgardsormr, Gargoyle, Hellhound.
    ITEMS: Golmore Jungle Map.

From the Ozmone Plain, you’ll enter Golmore Jungle from the northwest. As you enter, head eastward around the bend and then southward towards a parallel passageway. If you head westward down that passageway, you’ll run into the map for the entire area, which is a hell of a find. Therefore, you’re going to want to find it right away. En route, you’re going to fight one type of enemy, basically – Panthers. Panthers are easy to defeat at this point, but they gang up on the party in large numbers, so keep an eye on your health as you go. You may run into a Malboro or two en route to the map as well, but you’ll run into them in greater numbers later on.

If you take a look at your map, you’ll notice you’re in a part of the jungle called Paths of Chained Light. If you’re a completionist (and we’re sure you’re are!), you’re going to want to explore this area in its entirety simply to kill off an entire wave of the monster population, and maybe even run into your very first mystical barrier on the western side of the map (when you run into it, an exclamation point will appear there). This’ll undoubtedly lead you in one direction from there, into the adjacent area, The Needlebreak.

Exploring the Needlebreak, you’ll find much of the same. You’ll ultimately run into two more of these barriers en route (the third of which will trigger an important event), but not before you run into a number of Panthers, as well as extremely pesky creatures, the aforementioned Malboros. These foes can cast Petrify and Blind and are fairly versatile attackers and defenders. Make sure to gang up on them one at a time to be sure to dispatch them in quick order. When you arrive at the third blocked passageway, an event occurs where Fran will allow the party to get through by using some of her mystical powers. If this event doesn’t happen for you, be sure your party has seen all three blocked passageways.

When you enter the beginning part of Eryut Village (the secret area that Fran opened up), talk to the two Moogles to your right as you advance. One of them will sell you a map of the small, secret village for a mere 60 Gil. The other, a merchant, will be selling some new accessories, some items, and most importantly, new magicks. We spent quite a bit of money on magicks here. First and foremost, you must purchase Curaga! Then, get whatever else you think you need (if you’re interested, we bought Curaga, Esuna, Berserk, Decoy, Float, Regen, and Confuse). Then, advance into the next part of the village. When you do, it’ll quickly become apparent that Fran’s kind don’t exactly like “humes,” though they are remaining civil for the time being.

You don’t have to speak to anyone at all, but it doesn’t hurt, since you’ll see just how much everyone hates you there (in fact, if you don’t speak to them, you may not get that notion whatsoever!) Ultimately, your goal is to make it across the bridge in the third and last area of the village (look at your cheaply-purchased map if you’re confused), where a cutscene will ensue. When it’s over, you’ll have an entirely new objective, which is to head to Henne Mines.

But before you can get there, you have a hell of a lot of backtracking to do. You’re gonna need to go all the way back to Ozmone Plain (remember – running around like a madman for a little while killing everything in every area doesn’t hurt… it makes you stronger. It’s just a little tedious!) Nonetheless, when you get back to Ozmone Plain, you must walk up to the Imperial soldiers, injured, on the left side of the screen (they’re with a Chocobo). He’ll ask for a Potion from your inventory, which you should give him. In return, they’ll offer you their Chocobo, which you’ll need to access the next area. On the back of the Chocobo, head into the next area, looking for a secret “Chocobo Trail” on your left (just keep pressing left and you’ll run into it). It’ll bring you to an otherwise-inaccessible area of the map, and directly to Henne Mines.

Henne Mines  
   

 

      ENEMIES: Seeker, Redmaw, Jelly, Nightmare, Tyranarox, Thunderbug, Tiamat (boss).
      ITEMS: Water Mote, Knot of Rust (x4), Lente’s Tear, et cetera.The initial part of Henne Mines is pretty straight-forward. Head on inside, down the main corridor, and into a more wide-open room, where you’re forced to head southward once you go down one of two sets of stairs (your choice!) As you head southward (and even as you headed into this area in the first place), you will become re-acclimated with fighting the pesky Seeker foes (this time, they’re even a little bit more annoying than the last). When an exclamation point appears above your main character’s head, you’ll want to look towards your left, as you’ll find a switch there. Switch it when it asks you if you want to or not (even though you don’t yet know what it means) and proceed forward. As you go forward into the next area of the mines, you can read the explanation of the switch system you’ll find here (though we can explain what to do in case you’re feeling lazy… after all, it’s our job!)

Once in this area, speak with the fallen soldier there if you’d like. Then, hit the nearby switch once more to switch things up, revealing two passageways that weren’t previously available for traversing. Fortunately, they won’t cause much confusion since they both lead to the same exact place. In the corridor that they lead to (which makes almost a complete circle), you’ll have to fight a plethora of foes. However, it’s absolutely worth coming here since the map to the entire mine can be found at the junction of the two passageways. Once you grab it and fend off any other enemies you care to fight (naturally, we recommend fighting all of them to get as much experience and LP as humanly possible), head back to the previous area, where the second switch was (as well as the fallen soldier).

Once here, you’ll be attacked by a seemingly-endless swarm of Jelly enemies, so be ready. They are fairly resilient, but shouldn’t prove to be too much of a problem (just keep an eye on your health). When they’ve finally stopped coming, hit the switch to switch things back once more (this may cause more Jelly enemies to come out of no where and begin their onslaught once more – if so, strike away). Then, go through the western exit (going north will only make us backtrack). This western exit will lead to a linear, bat-filled corridor. Kill the enemies as you go onward – eventually, you’ll run into a dead end where your only option is to go through a doorway to your right. Go on through and into the next area.

Take a look at your map. This is a place that would be extremely hard to give concrete directions in, so we won’t even bother trying. Instead, all we can really tell you to do is to fully explore the area. You might find some menial treasures lying around (if you want a sampling of what you can find here you could, as always, check out our “Items” list under the header for this section of the walkthrough). You’ll also run into a new enemy, a disappearing enemy that’s surprisingly easy to kill called Nightmare. The ultimate goal when you’re done enemy-killing and item-plundering is to get to the Crossover A part of the mines via the exit from the area you’re currently in at the east end. Peep your map if you’re in a state of confusion.

In this area, you’re going to need to go forward, your ultimate aim being the area to the north of you, Crossover B (again, if you’re lost, you have to consult your map!) You’ll fight gigantic dinosaur-like creatures here and more bat creatures as well… focus on the dinosaurs first, as you don’t want them to give you too hard of a time (they can pack quite a bit of power). When you get to the north end of the area (the other entrances/exits should be blocked off by the gate tradeoff anyway), you’ll head into Crossover B, where you can begin exploring and killing more enemies (in other words, keeping the status quo).

In Crossover B, your goal is simple. Since you can’t head north to the area called the Staging Shaft yet, you’ll need to head south, to the small room called Pithead Junction B (you have to access it in this roundabout way because of the current status of the switches). When you get into the room, hit the switch and then be ready to run almost immediately – Jelly enemies will fall from above, and although the experience and LP is enticing, keeping your life should be as well. You haven’t saved recently (there’s been no way to) and it wouldn’t be worth losing it all now. Just run away through the newly-opened doors, back to Crossover A.

Once you’re back in Crossover A, you can head north again, fighting the same enemies that were there before. This time, as you work your way into Crossover B once more to the north, you can continue to head north instead of going back south by accessing the Staging Shaft. Here, a cutscene will take place, but you’ll also find a much-needed save crystal to heal your party and save your game. Doesn’t that feel better? Well, we’re almost done here, so that’ll make you feel even better, probably! Simply head northward after saving and otherwise preparing, and you’ll run into Tiamat. You knew a boss fight would be imminent!

Boss – Tiamat  
   

Tiamat is a difficult boss battle simply because of how resilient he is. He isn’t necessarily strong or wily in any way… he just has an asinine amount of hit points for this stage in the game (yet, the game is obviously getting much harder as we go). There are a few vital things to know in this battle, however. The primary thing is to make sure, make sure, you don’t enter this battle without Esuna. Tiamat can “disable” party members, meaning they cannot act. Esuna is the only way at this point in the game that you can remove the ailment. Additionally, you’ll want to exploit Larsa’s unlimited supply of Hi-Potions here (although you’ve probably been doing so for a while). And finally, you’ll want to keep the physical onslaught steady, but don’t be afraid to supplement Larsa’s healing attempts with Cure and Cura, and even Curaga if things get really heinous. When you’ve inflicted enough damage, the mighty Tiamat will fall.

Back To Golmore Jungle  
   

 

    ENEMIES: Treant, Malboro, Gargoyle, Great Malboro, Diresaur, Elder Wyrm (boss).
    ITEMS: 131 Gil, Eye Drops.As a result of your exploration of Henne Mines, you will get Lente’s Tear at the end of the ordeal, which will allow you to get through the barriers that weren’t allowing you to proceed further through the Golmore Jungle. Naturally, we’ll want to get back there as soon as possible, and ending up back in Eryut Village after a sequence of cutscenes doesn’t hurt, since you don’t have to travel too far to get to where you’re going. Start by saving your game at the entrance of Eryut Village and buy anything you may need from the Moogle there (you should have level two black magic by this point, Esuna, and plenty of status ailment items!) Then, head on out into the wild.

As you do, you’ll simply want to head up the nearby stairs and then eastward, and southward towards an east-leading doorway. This’ll lead to Whisperleaf Way, a part of the Golmore Jungle you’ve yet to explore. It’s a linear left-to-right passageway, so simply go along killing enemies in your path. Finally, you’ll arrive in yet another new (but small) area called The Parting Glade. It may surprise you to find a save crystal here (a brown one, nonetheless), but you’re going to want to use it because to your north, in the Dell of the Dreamer, you’re going to find a powerful boss enemy… perhaps the most powerful and annoying boss you’ve yet to face in the game.

Boss – Elder Wyrm  
   

Once you enter the room north of the brown save crystal, you’ll automatically be thrust into this boss battle, and you’ll be glad you had the chance to save beforehand. It’s not that your adversary here, Elder Wyrm, has all that much firepower, or “punch.” It’s that he has a really, really nifty trick up his sleeve called Sporefall. When he casts this spell, your party members are inflicted with a smorgasbord of status ailments (usually in the realm of Slow, Poison, Blind, Silence, Oil, and the real kicker, Confusion, all at the same time). Esuna is valuable here, and is actually quite necessary. To counteract Oil, which you absolutely must (because the foe has a fire attack which will kill your party rather easily if you’re oil-slick), make sure to have Handkerchiefs. As far as snapping yourself at of confusion in the first place, you must simply wait to be hit by the enemy. Then, use Smelling Salts and Echo Herbs on the rest of your party to end their confusion and silence, and start casting Esuna and Haste to get rid of your other status ailments. This’ll make your party normal again, but expect to go through this three or four times before you’ve slain the enemy. Melee attacks will be your best friend – just be sure to kill off the two Treants that accompany the Elder Wyrm at the beginning of the battle to make your life that much easier from the outset.

As you can clearly see, without Sporefall, Elder Wyrm would be nothing. Unfortunately, he has regular use of the status ailment attack, so you’ll need to learn to adjust accordingly!

Following the fight, there’s a really good chance you’re going to want to heal your party and save your game. Head back to the south to the previous room and use the save crystal once more. Then, head back to where you fought Elder Wyrm (don’t worry, he’s gone for good!), and go eastward into the adjoining sector of the jungle. From here, it’s a straight-shot over two areas to the east. Your ultimate goal is to reach Paramina Rift, which lies due east. Each of the two passageways you’ll take en route (The Branchway and The Greenswathe) have two individual paths that both lead eastward to the same areas. However, it pays to explore all the areas en route by backtracking. This way, you don’t miss any valuable dropped items, treasure (though there isn’t much here), and most importantly, experience and LP. Great Malboros and Malboros can be a pain in the ass, for sure, but remember – Aero is your friend against them, especially in packs!

Paramina Rift & Mt. Bur-Omisace  
   

 

    ENEMIES: White Wolf, Wild Onion, Skull Knight, Yeti, Ice Elemental, Emperor Avis, Dark Skeleton, Twintania.
    ITEMS: None.It’s a little strange to walk from a jungle to a “rift” and have it be snowing after you were just in tropical conditions. Yet, that’s how it currently is in Paramina Rift. Head into this area and talk to the few people you find. You’ll find a save crystal (only a blue one, this time – no teleporting!) here on your left as you head northward, as well. Save your game and head into the adjoining area. The Paramina Rift is a vast area, but for now you only need to go due east along the northern edge. En route, you’ll fight two types of new enemies – aggressive White Wolves, and passive Wild Onions. Kill both types of enemies en route to add them to your bestiary. As you head eastward, you’ll eventually get to “the Freezing Gorge,” where a cutscene will take place.

After the scene ends, you’ll regain control of your party. Continue to work your way through the wilderness, fending off foes and heading in a northeasterly direction. This will lead to the town of Mt. Bur-Omisace, where you can rest, save your game, buy new goods, and chill out for a minute or two. En route to this area, however, be aware that you’ll run into a new enemy – Skull Knights. They are easy to defeat, but nonetheless, be ready for them. When you enter the town, the first thing you should do is take advantage of the two items dealers right near the entrance, and the brown save crystal as well. When you’re done doing that, it’s time to move onward.

This place is pristine. What’s interesting, also, is that there are so many people not only walking around as part of the background, on the periphery, but people that you can talk to as well. If you want to spend a considerable amount of time, here, you can go to each and every person and talk to them… they’ll likely have some interesting stuff to say to you and explain some more of what’s going on. However, if you’re in a rush, you don’t have to talk to anyone… you can just work your way deep into the town, towards equally-pristine looking buildings. Look for a tall staircase that you’ll come to on your left as you’re working your way eastward and northward. Go through the doors at the top of the stairs, go forward to the altar, and watch as some cutscenes, naturally, take over.

When you’ve regained control of the party and feel yourself ready to venture onward to your next destination (which is a place called the Stilshrine of Miriam), leave Mt. Bur-Omisace after saving your game and equipping your party/buying items, and head southward through the snow-ridden Paramina Rift. You’ll ultimately want to head as southward as you possibly can, to an area of the Paramina Rift known as Silverflow’s End. At the very southern tip of this area, you will find the entrance to the place you seek – Stilshrine of Miriam. You may be hurting by this point, but worry not – a save crystal awaits.

Stilshrine of Miriam  
   

 

     ENEMIES: Redmaw, Dragon Aevis, Miriam Facer, Miriam Guardian, Blood Gigas, Darkmare, Balloon, Facer, Zombie Warrior, Ghoul, Vinuskar (boss), Mateus (boss), Judge Bergan (boss).
     ITEMS:
 Elixir, 6 Gil, Knot of Rust, 12 Gil, Sword of Kings, Stone of the Condemner.Once you enter this pristine area, run forward along the long bridge ahead and towards a large door at the end. You can speak to the people here if you want, and utilize the brown save crystal to save your game, heal your party and activate it on the teleport circuit. Ultimately, however, you’ll want to head into the room beyond via the large doors. In here, you can fend off a series of Redmaws (we’ve fought these flying creatures before, so this should be no problem), and proceed around the large room to get a bearing on where you are. When you’re ready to proceed, equip the Dawn Shard on the main character in your active party (this is a MUST, so make sure to do it) and approach the device near the entrance into this room. Activate it while holding the Dawn Shard, and you’ll be transported to another area.

This new area isn’t all fun and games, however. Immediately, you’re going to be attacked by a foul creature large, tall foe that’s weak to Wind magic (a Miriam Guardian). Have each member of the party who can cast Aero do so, and have the party leader melee attack (because he or she had the Dawn Shard equipped, they’ll have no MP… so remove it immediately to begin to reverse that trend). Once that foe’s slain, be sure to investigate the left corner for an Elixir (and a “trap” that, oddly enough, heals your party), and then move forward into the next room. You’ll end up doing battle with a trio of Dragon Aevis enemies here. They are difficult to take on, but if you can cluster them up and cast Blizzara on them, you can make quick work of them in a couple of rounds. When they are slain, pass on by and into the adjacent area.

As you do try to head into the next area, be ready to face off with two intimidating foes called Miriam Facers. They have a good amount of HP, but again, one of their inherent weaknesses (in Aero) is their downfall. Weaken them with a round or two of Aero attacks, then move in for the melee kill before heading into the next area. In this next area, climb the stairs ahead of you and fight another Miriam Facer at the top. Then, you can work your way leftward or rightward (we recommend both, in order to kill all of the enemies) to face off against Mirian Guardians (two of them) on each side. You can get over 2,000 EXP per active party member by slaying the four beasts, so we recommend doing so. When that’s done, head to the pedestal on the east side of the room, equip the Dawn Shard on your main party member again, and analyze the pedestal. The effects of the device, however, may not be immediately understood.

To understand what has happened, you must go back to the previous room. There are doors flanking the main doorway in this room on the far side. These doors now find themselves open. Go through either door and work your way to the back center of this room. You’ll see a green save crystal. What is this? Why, it’s a Crystalbug! These foes are skilled magicks users who disguise themselves as save crystals in order to lure prey. However, you can easily overpower them with melee attacks, as their magicks aren’t that strong. What’s awesome about this foe is that once it’s slain, it’ll turn into a real save crystal, which you can then utilize.

From the newly-formed save crystal, head downward into the next room (the center door of the three doors in that room). This room is a long vertical pathway with a horizontal pathway crossing it towards the north end. This is where you’ll enter from. Be ready to fight some weaker (but power-packing) enemies called Blood Gigas, and also a Darkmare as well (which have 14,000 HP and a penchant for pissing you off with its constant disappearing acts). Miriam Guardians may also be around. Ultimately, you’ll want to head to the south end, where you can examine a large device at the south end of the passageway when all foes are defeated. This will open up the locked door you may have observed on this very same passageway, but all the way to the north.

Head north along the passageway (some of the enemies you’ve defeated may end up reappearing while you do). When you get to the door at the north, examine it and it will now open up for you. As you go through this door, yet another mysterious device will present itself to you, this one a teleporting machine that’ll bring you back to the initial room of the area (you may have seen a device in this room early on that didn’t do anything yet… this is the one). When you’re back in this room, seek out the stairs on the west side of the room and go down them. The door at the bottom will now be open, and you can now proceed through it into a new area.

In this new area, head forward and kill both Miriam Guardians in the room. Then, go right into the adjacent area. Here, you’ll fight a couple of new enemies, including Balloons and pesky Facers. Navigate this area all the way to the west side of the sector, when you can go southward and into a new area. Before you do, however, examine the statue in the middle of this area and rotate it counterclockwise one time before heading down the stairs (in other words, make it face west). Once down the stairs, head southward and then eastward through a series of doors – you’ll fight many undead enemies en route, so be sure to keep an eye on your health at all times, or you may pay with your life.

If you take a look at your map as you are heading through the next area, you’ll notice that it’s rather complicated by nature. Indeed, the ultimate goal is to get to the exit near the northeast corner of the large room, but getting there is another matter entirely. There are pretty powerful foes (and lots of them) in this area, so you’re going to need to be super conscientious of your ability to take them all without constantly keeping an eye on your health and MP consumption. There is no shame in running away here. As you go through, be sure to move the statue you come across (this should be the second one) two times clockwise so that it faces north. Then, move through the doorway you come to and into the adjacent area. Go north through this area (killing both Miriam Guardians as you do) and be sure to open the door at the north end. You can proceed back to the entrance from here and use the save crystal if you desire, but either way, make sure the door is open so it’s an option. Then, head eastward, down some stairs, and through the door there. It’s boss fight time!

Boss – Vinuskar  
   

This is an extremely unique boss fight that harkens me back to the days of Final Fantasy IV, where you were fighting the Dark Elf in the Magnetic Cave. In that case, metallic weapons and armor were of no use… and a similar situation is what you’ll find your party in here. Thankfully, however, it’s not as dire. The beast starts the battle far away from the party, so take this moment to quickly cast Haste on each of your three active party members. In this way, the effect on metallic goods is overridden. If you don’t do this, your party will move as if they’ve been afflicted with Slow. If you do, however, do this Haste trick, your party will operate as normal (sometimes, Vinuskar can inflict a party member with Slow… hit that member with Haste to renormalize him or her). Otherwise, the battle is really easy. Vinuskar has a low HP count and weak attacks, so this battle should be no problem for you. It’s simply a unique one.

After the foe is slain, it’s time to backtrack… time to backtrack way, way back. Remember where we told you to open the door earlier? The one that led directly to the entrance, and then the save crystal? Well, head back through that door and then go to the teleporter at the southern end of the room. Examine it and you’ll be brought to Colossus (is none of this happening for you? Make sure all of your statues, all three of them, are facing inward. You can check the map and see which direction each statue is facing). From here, you must simply go forward and swing leftward into a nearby (already-visited) area which has a save crystal. Save your game, then proceed down the rest of the path heading southward. This will lead you to another boss battle, a more difficult boss battle.

Boss – Matues  
   

This boss battle would be extremely easy if not for the six or so annoying ice-based creatures that accompany this Esper in the battle you’re about to fight. You’re going to want to get rid of them before you even begin the fight, and although Mateus itself has Reflect cast on itself, you’ll still want to wantonly cast Thundara over and over again on the creatures until they’re gone. It’s that simple, even if some of the spells are reflected back on your party. Keep healing and casting Thundara until no one stands but the three members of your party and Mateus. At this point, the battle becomes extremely manageable… laughably so. Step up to the plate and wack away at Mateus ruthlessly. Keep an eye on your health, but don’t worry too much… other than Sap and some other random ailments, Mateus has little up its sleeve.

Your ultimate goal from here is to get back to Mt. Bur-Omisace. But before you do that, head southward through the door and into another room. Approach the weird bluish mechanism up ahead and watch the cutscene that ensues. Out of this, you’ll get the Sword of Kings. From here, you’ll then want to backtrack all the way to the entrance. Once outside, run forward. Eventually, another cutscene will takeover. Let this one run its course, then save your game at the save crystal. You have to head back to Mt. Bur-Omisace, but we recommend going over land… wasting Teleport Stones is really unnecessary at this point, especially considering the close proximity you’re in to your destination. Once back in Mt. Bur-Omisace, save your game once more at the save crystal, then run all the way to the back end of the destroyed town. Once you enter the building at the end, another cutscene will take place. Afterwards? Another boss battle.

Boss – Judge Bergan  
   

The Judge Bergan battle is deceivingly simple until he’s almost dead. You see, he starts the battle off with three regular “Judges” that are actually behind the party. Go for them and take them out quickly, while Bergan walks across the passageway ahead and towards the party (you should be able to take them out before he arrives, making your life much easier). Then, beat away at Judge Bergan. The battle will go along quickly for a while… then the going will start to get tough. When Bergan has about 25% of his health or less left, he’ll start to hit harder, he’ll start to do devastating combos, and you’re going to be hard pressed keeping everyone alive and doing damage to him (especially because he also begins to block more often). Nonetheless, you should be able to pull it out (no shame in reaching into your reserve party for replacements of a dead character). When he’s slain, a long cutscene takes place, so sit tight and enjoy. (Talk to a character called Acolyte right after it’s over to receive the Stone of the Condemner.)

The Road to Archades  
   

 

    ENEMIES: Worgen, Python, Clay Golem, Humbaba, Vulture, Slaven Wilder, Pumpkin Head, Wyrdhare, Sprinter, Malboro King, Silver Lobo, Piranha, Pyrolisk, Mandragora, Bagoly, Archaeosaur, Coeurl, Serpent, Lizard, Malboro Overking, Zombie Knight, Gorgimera, Imp, Pit Fiend, Striker, Focalor, Wendigo, Mandragora Prince (boss), Onion Queen (boss), Topstalk (boss), Alaraune King (boss), Pumpkin Star (boss), Ahriman (boss).
    ITEMS: Hi-Potion x3, Remedy, Holy Mote, Water Mote, 173 Gil, Soul Ward Key, Ether, Koga Blade.

The road to the Imperial City of Archades is going to be a long and arduous one. Fortunately for you (or unfortunately, if you like your hand held) is that there’s little explanation as to how to get there… you kind of just will do so on your own with some basic guidance from us. A good place to start is to talk to the two item vendors at Mt. Bur-Omisace. They have lots of new stuff to buy, especially in the weapons and armor department. Investigate and buy what you need (run around outside of town to gather some loot to sell if need be). You can also find new goods en route to your first destination, the Salikawood, in an area of the Mosphoran Highwaste called Babbling Vale. The enemies you will find in the Mosphoran Highwaste (the only way to get to the Salikawood) is full of fairly difficult enemies that you’ve yet to face.

Amongst them, you will find enemies that are particularly weak to certain spells. Slaven Wilders and Clay Golems, for instance, while having a lot of hit points, will be devastated by a round or two of Aero attacks from your entire party. Humbabas have a weakness to Blizzara, and their tendency to stay close by one another makes them susceptible to group attacks. The list goes on and on. Don’t take the enemies lightly here, they are pesky and tenacious. Your ultimate goal is to work your way northward through the Mosphoran Highwaste until you arrive at the next area we’re going to explore. It’s called The Salikawood, and it’s accessed via a long bridge at the north end of the Mosphoran Highwaste.

Once in the Salikawood, head forward along the pathway to encounter your first enemies here. Both are new types – one is Pumpkin Head, an aggressive foe who is both small and fairly possible. The other is a non-aggressive foe called the Wyrdhare (naturally, you should still kill them when encountered). As you fight these foes in the initial area, head north along the linear pathway until you can reach the next area, where you’ll already find a save crystal. Use it to save your game and heal your party, and talk to those you find in the area as well to learn a little bit about what’s going on in the area. Then, head north into the next region of Salikawood.

Trunkwall Road should be the name of the place you are now at. If you explore this area thoroughly, you should find a map in a treasure basket that will reveal the rest of the area you’re currently exploring. Naturally, this is quite advantageous considering we have a direct goal in mind from here (at least, initially), and that’s to get to the area on the far east of The Salikawood, an area called Living Chasm. To get there, you have to head eastward into Diverging Way, and then eastward once more to reach Living Chasm. But let’s start with getting through Trunkwall Road first. You can find the third type of enemy you’ll find in this area while exploring this sector, another passive enemy named Sprinter. You can also find some treasures here, so search the dead ends thoroughly (you can see a sampling of what you might get by checking out our Item list at the beginning of this section).

Eventually, however, you’ll want to work you way into Diverging Way. Resist the urge to explore the sector in its entirety, and instead, just for now, run eastward so we can get to Living Chasm and get the next part of the storyline underway. Run on through and, once east, head into Living Chasm and approach the large gate that stands there. The Moogle Boss that roams the area will have a task for you to complete which will require exploring the Salikawood (hence why we told you to hold off for a little). He needs nine Moogles in the area to come help him repair his gate (make sure to talk to him twice to get the full story and initiate the task… you’ll know it’s worked when a 0/9 and a Moogle head appear in the right corner of your screen).

The nine Moogles are spread throughout Salikawood, but luckily they aren’t very hard to find. If you press select and look at the map you’ve acquired, you can see exclamation points marking where the various Moogles are. Instead of giving you step-by-step directions on how to get them, we’ll simply leave it up to you… it’s no harder than following your map and locating the Moogle in question. If you’re curious why there aren’t nine locations on your map, and only four, it’s because the Moogles come in one group of three and three groups of two. Follow? When you’ve found them all, the final ones will offer to bring you back to the gate. Go with them unless you want to explore further the entire area… we recommend not going any further than the brown save crystal you find, however. A King Bomb lies on the other side, and you’re not gonna want and piece of it at this point in the game.

Back at the gate, the Moogles will automatically fix the mechanism that makes the gate go up and down, and before you know it, your party will have access to the Phon Coast, which is the area right on the other side of the gate. Speak to the Moogles, if you desire, as you leave the area. After a short cutscene ensues, you will find your party right in front of a save crystal. Take this opportunity to use it, keeping in mind there will be new, more powerful enemies ahead. Then, venture into the Phon Coast itself. Explore and fight new enemies while collecting any goods you come across – the enemies here, as aforementioned, are powerful, so don’t be overzealous here or you’re gonna get hurt… badly.

As you head eastward from area to area, fight enemies and keep an eye on your health. Since you’re going into this area completely blind, it’s hard for you to look ahead to see just where you are gonna go. Instead, you must simply explore and head in a general eastward direction. If the going gets really, really tough, you can always head back to the save crystal and attempt to venture forth once more with a clean slate. Otherwise, you can do it in one run. If you’re curious of the quickest route, head southeast through the Reseta Strand, southeast again along the Pora-Pora Sands, then eastward across Cape Uahuk, and east again into the safety of the Hunters’ Camp. When you arrive, be sure to save your game and heal your characters. Also, take the time to invest in new goods for the party. You’ll likely not have even close to enough money to make a dent in the overall bill, so running around outside, taking on hunts or side quests, et cetera, is a good thing to do right about now.

When you’re ready to leave, head out of the safe area (after saving, of course) due north, into a region of Phon Coast known as Caima Hills. Head north through this area and into another area, this one called Limatra Hills. North from that area is a save crystal (which, naturally, you should use), and north of that… well, an entirely new area! The Tchita Uplands are northeast of the Phon Coast, and that’s our destination. Of course, if you haven’t had enough of the Phon Coast, feel free to explore the yet-unexplored lands to the east. You’ll ultimately run into a dead end at The Vaddu Strand, but there are treasures galore there, so go take a look.

After saving your game, head northeast into the Tchita Uplands. You’ll find yourself in the initial region of Tchita Uplands, a place called Realm of the Elder Dream. It’s a fairly vast area with two exits on the eastern edge. Since you’ll be going into this area blind, we’ll simply tell you that the northernmost passageway to the adjacent sector of Tchita Uplands is preferable on this leg of our journey (we’ll explore the rest later!) That passageway will bring you into The Skytrail, another vast area with bridge-like structures hovering over huge chasms splitting the area into two sides. On the eastern edge of that area lies The Chosen Path, which is, coincidentally, the path we seek. Head there, fighting new enemies en route. Nothing should challenge you here, especially if you took our advice and got awesome new equipment back at the last safe area.

When you finally arrive at your destination, you’ll find a funny scene. A bounty hunter is laying on the ground, exhausted, while his companion, a bratty guy with deep pockets, whines about how no one can slay this hunt that he’s posted. More importantly in the short-term, however, is the fact that there’s a brown save crystal here. Use it to heal yourself, save your game, and mark it on the Teleport Circuit, and then talk to the rich guy. He’ll hire you for his mark (the game will tell you it’s not a “real” mark, so don’t go trying to read about it in the Clan Primer… it’s all part of the main quest) and send you out on your way. Who are we going to find? Well, he doesn’t even know, but surely the beast or beasts must be fierce!

With your game saved and, more importantly, the Soul Ward Key acquired from the man who commissioned this hunt, you can head back out to the Tchita Uplands via the eastern exit. This’ll bring you to a yet-unexplored region of the Tchita Uplands known as The Highlands. From here, you can access areas to the east and south (if you care to explore further before continuing, which is perfectly fine). But to continue on with our quest, you’ll want to head north, to another unexplored area called the Fields of Eternity. Remember that en route you’ll basically be fighting the same two enemies over and over again – Serpents and Coeurls. (You’ll get used to it, we know it’s a little bland!) Once in the Fields of Eternity, you’re in the homestretch. Your destination is to the north; a place called Sochen Cave Palace. You can access it via a creepy looking cave-like entrance to the north.

Once you enter this “palace,” you’ll simply have to head north through the rather erratic layout of passageways. You’ll be fighting some fairly strong enemies here, like Zombie Knights, Gorgimeras, and Imps. They prove to be much more challenging than the enemies we were just fighting out in the field, so keep an eye on your HP and heal often (especially, of course, your lead character, who is undoubtedly taking the brunt of the party’s damage). Hit select often to browse your map and get to all of the corners of the map – there’s some minor treasure to be found, and enemies provide much-needed experience, LP and loot (have you noticed how much the economy of Final Fantasy XII starts to suck around this time?… everything’s so expensive!) When you get to the large doorway at the north end of this bizarre room, use the key you got when this hunt was commissioned.

(If you want to be smart, you’ll follow this advice here as well. Plan the party you’re gonna go into the next room with and make sure they are fully healed. Run around for a little while to regain all of their MP. Then, switch out two of your characters for two reserves and cast the four following spells on your character still in the permanent party [two at a time]: Haste, Protect, Shell, and Regen. Then, quickly switch out that one permanent character for another, until all three characters have those four status effects. Now, you’re ready for a boss fight!)

Boss – Mandragora Prince / Onion Queen / Topstalk / Alaraune King / Pumpkin Star  
   

By taking our “advice” before this battle (casting those four spells on each active party member with non-active ones), you can make this battle more of a fun, easy battle and less of something more serious. Having five opponents would usually make you nervous, but these little guys aren’t anything serious to worry about. They are actually five enemies you’ll meet later, but for now, they are exceptionally more difficult than the normal enemies you would encounter. Nonetheless, they are passive and spend a great deal of time running. The main annoyance in this battle is not only the running, though, but the status ailment attacks. They’ll hit you with everything in the book, so have Esuna and specific ailment-healing items ready. And, most importantly, attempt to concentrate on one target at a time. You’ll want to have only two or three alive by the time your “spell cocktails” wear off… and at that point, the battle will be ultra-manageable. Enjoy!

Following the battle, you have two options. You can either head back to the guy who commissioned you to kill these foes and collect your bounty, or you can go forward and fight a Crystalbug (your second of the game) in order to access a save crystal to heal your party and save your progress. We recommend doing a combination of both. First, head out via either side door in the room where the boss fight was, and follow these linear passageways around to an open room. Approach the save crystal at the back end of the room to reveal that it’s actually a Crystalbug. Slay the foe (he casts lots of magic, but he’s as easy as he was the last time you fought him) and then use his “remains” to heal your party and save your game. From there, you’ll want to backtrack all the way back outside, and then back to where the hunt was commissioned. Talk to the guy there and he’ll give you a reward – 1,000 Gil and three Remedies. You can’t turn that down! After grabbing those, backtrack all the way back to the Crystalbug. He’s slain now (see, easy!), so use it once more before proceeding onward.

Pressing eastward, further into this place, you’ll come to a dark cave called the Mirror of the Soul. There are mostly familiar enemies in here, ones you’ve faced before, but they are in high numbers here, so be prepared to heal often. Explore the eastern side first until you find the map of the area, then consult your map often, making sure you’ve swept the various offshoots of this area, killing all of the enemies as you go. Your natural inclination from here would be to go northward to the Falls of Time, no doubt. You can go there and clear the enemies up there as well… but you should also take time to investigate a pretty interesting puzzle this area confronts you with.

This puzzle isn’t easy to figure out on your own, nor is it all that obvious. Essentially, you have to traverse the first three sectors of this “second” area of the Sochen Cave Palace (Mirror of the Soul, Falls of Time, and Destiny’s March) in a specific way, and in a specific order to make waterfalls in the area disappear. How is it done? Well, take a look at your map. 

1.) Starting in the southeastern part of the Falls of Time, go downward into the Mirror of the Soul. Stay on the main path all the way to the far western door, which you should go up through back into the Falls of Time.

2.) Go back into the doorway you just went through, so that you’re in Mirror of the Soul. Go norhtward back into Falls of Time, and continue northward, the most direct route to the westernmost entrance into Destiny’s March. Take the main path up and around to some doors. Open the doors and continue to the closest door back out. Go over to the second-to-right path downward (of the five in the area) and down into the Falls of Time.

3.) Head back into Destiny’s March, and then walk back into the Falls of Time from where you just left off. Go straight southward to the second-to-right passageway back into the Mirror of the Soul. Then, go southward and westward along the main path, going north and into the Falls of Time at the second-to-left pathway upwards.

4.) Finally, head back southward into Mirror of the Soul, then back northward into the Fallsof Time. Go northwest, then make a sharp east, then go north again through the second-to-left doorway into Destiny’s March. Circle around leftward through the doors (same as from number two), and then southward through the middle of the five pathways back down.

Each time you do one of these, you will know if you completed it properly because the game will prompt you that something has changed. When all four have been done, in order, a new part of this dungeon is opened up for you to explore. Oh, and if you’re wondering how to keep on track, you can either shut Gambits off or simply hold down R2 as you run. You may be targeted and occasionally struck by enemies as you pass them, but it’s nothing say Regen wouldn’t take care of.

To find your reward, head to the Falls of Time and go to the center area (there’s a circle in the middle of the landmass we speak of). Fight enemies as you head southward and go into the next area (which is represented as a small speck in Mirror of the Soul, seemingly unconnected from it however). You can find, in a treasure basket here, a Koga Blade. You can also exit southward back to the Mirror of the Soul. Or, you can continue northward towards our ultimate goal of getting out of this dungeon!

Head back up to Destiny’s March. If you look on your map, the area seems a bit complex, but it’s actually well-organized and easy to navigate around. Try to run all around it, making sure to cover all of the ground, so that you can kill all of the enemies you find and take their goods, experience, and LP. The enemies are difficult so be ready to heal yourself often! Heading north from Destiny’s March is a square-shaped room called the Hall of Shadowlight. We’re not sure how a shadow can have light, but we are sure of something else – a boss is found in this room. Make sure your primary party is all healed up and ready to go before heading on in!

Boss – Ahriman  
   

Ahriman is a bit pesky because, although the fight starts in a rather basic and mundane (almost simplistic) fashion, it quickly changes to something else entirely. We recommend that, before you go into this fight, you cast Regen on all active party members. In this way, you can concentrate on attacking Ahriman from the getgo, damaging him as much as possible, without having to worry about healing yourself. When he begins to use a skill called Divide to call clones of himself to battle (that can attack you and that you have to kill, though they are extremely weak), things start getting a little crazy. Try to concentrate on which one is real, and when your Regen status kicks out, start using high end healing spells to keep your party alive. As always, there’s no shame in switching in and out party members as needed. Compared to bosses coming up, Ahriman is actually quite simple to defeat. So, if you’re having trouble with him, you may consider leveling up before proceeding!

When the battle has concluded, you can exit the room where the boss fight took place via the exit on the east side of the room. This will lead to a curving (but linear) passageway full of some powerful enemies. Slay them en route (making sure, as usual, to keep an eye on your health.) When you get to an opening in the pathway, head northward (if you continue along the path you’ll run into a dead end). You’ll find an elevator here; make sure to activate it via the switch next to the machine in order to ride it up to the area above, where a brown save crystal can be found. Head north from there, through the stone door. You’re nearly in Archades.

But for now, you’re in Old Archades, the oldest part of the city and very much on the periphery of what the city has become (and what you will soon see!) First thing’s first – talk to the nearby items dealer to buy whatever you need, then run through the two section part of the city towards the other side, where you can find a save crystal and a man named Jules, who will be sitting around waiting for you to talk to him.

When you talk to him, you’ll find out just how difficult it is to get into Archades itself, and how he may be your only chance. You’ll have to pay him 1,500 Gil, but considering how much loot you’ve probably managed to sacrifice en route to Archades, it shouldn’t be a problem at all to sort out with him. If you need money, simply go back to the items dealer and sell your loot for it. But, the fun isn’t over yet. First, you must prove yourself in a short “fetch quest” of sorts… but based not on material objects, but information.

Essentially, this is what you’re going to want to do. First, just run around the city and talk to everyone. You can pay attention to what they have to say if you’d like, but keep in mind you can button mash and do this extremely rapidly, simply running from green dot to green dot on your radar (which, of course, represent people you can talk to). Do this in both areas of Old Archades. Then, talk to Jules once more. He’ll tell you to tell this information to a man named Beasley, who is near the bridge in the Alley of Muted Sighs, sitting on the ground. Talk to him, then talk to Jules once more (he may have moved locations, but will always be on the west side of the Alley of Muted Sighs). What’s the significance of this event? Well, it’s seemingly insignificant, but it actually causes a ruckus, which allows the party to sneak into the city itself, with absolutely none of the credentials you may have noticed the guards asked you for. Welcome to the imperial city.

The Imperial Capital of Archade  
   

 

    ENEMIES: None.
    ITEMS: Pinewood Chop x9.

This part of the game might be a little frustrating. After all, here you are in the imperial capital and yet, everyone is not only nice here, but completely normal. You’re going to quickly learn that they love their own kind, however. Explore the city and talk to whom you want – your main objectives initially are twofold. First of all, peep the various stores in the capital and see what they have to offer you. Thankfully, they have a lot – you’ll want to re-equip everyone now, buy new magicks, et cetera. Then, you’ll eventually want to make your way to Nilbasse in the southwestern part of the capital (that you’ve explored so far). You’ll find a guy here who can bring you further into the capital, but you need something called “chops.” Your friend returns here. Pay him 2,500 Gil and he’ll explain just what chops are. They are essentially pieces of prestige worn in the empire.

Of course, this creates a huge problem. How are you to get these “chops”? And furthermore, how many do you need to proceed? Well, the answer is you need nine… and conveniently, nine chops are “available” in the area to the north, called Molberry. If you collect all nine, you can move onward. Of course, there are nearly 3x that many available throughout the city, but allow us to outline how you can get the nine you need in Molberry to proceed (surely, it can’t be a coincidence that nine are instantly available in this area… must have been planned!) Keep in mind that you often have to talk to the person first to reveal what they really are. Running up to them expecting to see “Tutor” for instance isn’t going to happen… you must first speak with them.

1.) Proud Mother & Tutor (“The Tutor”) – Find them near the top-east pathway heading into Trant. Talk to the mother first, then the nearby Tutor (usually to the left).

2.) Avid Traveler & Traveling Gentleman (“The Traveler”) – Below the area above, on the east side, you’ll find a young woman, an Avid Traveler. Talk to her, then find the Traveling Gentleman on the far west side of the city sector. He’ll be hanging around near the extreme west – talk to him to get another chop!

3.) Ardent Woman & Ardent Man (“The Eight & Twenty Chops”) – Outside of the magicks shop in this area, you should find a woman, the Ardent Woman. Listen to her story, then find her friend, the Ardent Man. He’ll be over on the west side of the area in between the technicks and magicks shop. Talk to him to get chop number three.

4.) Daughter-in-Law & Man From Giza (“A Trinket From Giza”) – Both of these people can be found at the west side of the area before the large staircase. Talk to the woman first, than the man. Chop number four is now yours!

5.) Would-be Judge & Judge’s Wife (“To Be A Judge”) – A “would-be judge” is roaming around at the top of the stairs on the west side of the sector. More towards the center of the area, you can find another woman roaming around, this one a Judge’s wife. Talk to her and relate the stories to get a fifth chop.

6.) Talented Woman & Akademician (“A Knack for Magick”) – Near the center of the area, find a woman, a Talented Woman. Learn about her “knack for magick.” After committing that story to memory, head back to the west side of town. Climb the stairs and seek out a slow-moving old man named Akademician. Tell him the story, earn a sixth chop.

7.) Reminiscing Lady & Family Girl (“The Mummer”) – Head to the west side of the area and look for a parasol-carrying “reminiscing lady.” Talk to her, get her story, then seek out the Family Girl at the southern part of town near the east side. That’s seven!

8.) Poor Husband & Poor Wife (“The Anniversary”) – Both of these characters can be found on the east side of the sector, on the south end. Talk to the husband first, and then the wife. That’s eight chops… you only need one more!

9.) Look-alike & Look-alike (“The Master of Disguises”) – Perhaps the most pesky chop to get in this area (if you can even say that) is this one, because the two characters, the “Look-alikes,” are essentially the same characters. Make sure to talk to the one at the west end of the sector first, atop the stairs, and then talk to the one closer to the center of the sector.

You should now have nine chops, so it’s time to move forward!

When you’re totally satisfied (that means, you’ve equipped your party with new weapons and armor, have a good repetoire of spells, a decent level, have done all the side quests and hunts you want to, et cetera), you can move 

Draklor Laboratory  
   

 

    ENEMIES: Imperial Swordsman, Imperial Hoplite, Imperial Pilot, Lab Rat, Judge, Doctor Cid (boss), Rook (boss).
    ITEMS: Lab Access Card, Pheasant Netsuke.

Welcome to Draklor Laboratory. Are you nervous? Well, you should be! Nah… we’re just kidding… we’re here to help you out. When you regain control of your party inside the lab, head forward and then swing left (going right will lead to a closed-off passageway). As you round this corridor rightward, heading northward, you’ll run into a smattering of dead imperials. After a brief cutscene, you’ll be free to head through the corridors in a northerly direction. Every imperial on the floor has already been slaughtered (except for two, which you will find alive and struggling to grasp to consciousness), so you don’t have to worry about any enemies. There are two elevators on this floor. The one in the middle won’t help you here (and you can’t use it anyway), but the one in the north can. You’re currently on the 66th floor of the laboratory – select the 67th floor on the computer terminal and you’ll shortly find yourself up there, as requested.

More carnage can be found on this floor. Head on out (there are more soldiers that are alive, but severely wounded, if you want to talk to them as well), and notice that there is no enemy confrontation to be found here, either (as least not yet). What you’ll want to do is, from the elevator (if your back is facing it), head left, and then left again (so that you’re heading north). Although all of the doors in this area are unmarked and just part of the scenery when you walk up to them, this one isn’t. You’re able to go into it, where a cutscene ensues. When it’s over, you’re given a map of the area you’re in (which is key!), as well as a Lab Access Card. As you regain control, you’ll notice that since the enemy’s been alerted to your presence, your radar is now being scrambled. But the good news is that the doors in this corridor that were once “dead” are now very much alive. Swing into the first one you come to, for instance, to find some delirious researchers and, more importantly, a save crystal for you to utilize.

After saving your game and healing your party, swing back out into the corridor and go through the next door (yeah, that one’s now working as well!) In here, you’ll find a computer that, when “switched,” will open the blue-colored gates and close the red-colored gates, and vice-versa. Keep in mind that before you use the switch, you can explore the rest of the corridor (though there will now be enemies present in the form of some Imperials) and find a room with more people in it. But when you’re ready, you can hit the switch and then walk the alternate corridor towards the elevator.

As you approach the elevator, an Imperial will come out of it. Slay him, then use the computer terminal there to go up to the 68th floor, the floor above where you currently are. Once on the 68th floor, get ready to fight more Imperials as you blindly traverse the various corridors. Luckily, it’s a fairly linear area with half of the doors shut at all times, and the only place you’ll ultimately come to is another computer room where you can open and shut the doors. The computer should be shining red when you get to it. Make sure to leave the room only once you’ve made it shine blue. Back out in the corridor, things start to get a little confusing.

The idea here is to hit two more computer control rooms, changing the doors back and forth as you go. It’s actually really hard to mess up because you’ll only have access to one of these rooms at a time… so if you know you just left one and ran into another one, that has to be the right one… so you’re on the right track! Explore all of the “lit” rooms you come across – that is, doors along various corridors that are lit up as opposed to kind of darkened parts of the background. You’ll find various foes and items within (foes such as Lab Rats and Judges), but nothing else of real interest. Still, it’s fairly fun to explore.

When you’ve finally hit the third switch, you’ll no doubt run into the elevator we seek, which can bring us to the 70th floor. Why we’re not able to visit the 69th floor is unknown… but nonetheless, we can’t. It doesn’t seem to exist! On the 68th floor, you did a whole lot of fighting with imperials. Thankfully, on the 70th floor things calm down. You’ll run into a character who ends up being a “friend,” though he quickly runs off towards Cid (who is your target, as well). You’ll notice a save crystal in this area. Use it to save your game and heal your party. Be sure to head eastward down a winding corridor to a room holding a unique accessory called a Pheasant Netsuke. Then, run up the huge staircase and get ready for a boss fight.

Boss – Doctor Cid & Rooks  
   

This battle can seem more difficult than it actually is, because if Doctor Cid didn’t have the four Rooks that he created surrounding him through the battle, he would be nothing at all. These four Rooks are essentially protective devices that will heal Cid, cast protective magicks over him, and most importantly, attack you themselves. Therefore, a battle that was going to be 3 on 1 (6 on 1, if you count your whole party) has gone to 4 on 3. You absolutely positively need to focus your attacks on the Rooks first and foremost. You can attack them wildly, you don’t have to concentrate on one at a time (after all, you can’t see their health so you won’t know how far you are anyway), but they should be destroyed before you move to Cid; otherwise, you’re simply wasting your time. Once they’re wasted, cast Dispel immediately on Cid (and again, if he casts Haste on himself), and then lay into him with melee attacks. He’s fairly powerful, and has a powerful Tomahawk attack (that’s pretty cool, actually), but it’s highly overstated and shouldn’t knock more than 600 HP off each character when used. When he’s finally downed, important storylines take place, so make sure to pay attention… and enjoy!

Balfonheim Port & The Feywood  
   

    ENEMIESHellhound, Gargoyle, Malboro, Deadly Nightshade, Cerberus, Mu, Golem, Tartarus, Mirrorknight, Preying Mantis, Basilisk, Juggernaut, Rafflesia (boss).
    Items: None.

It’s always exciting to enter a new town in an RPG, and Balfonheim Port will come as a welcome addition to the growing list of towns in the game. There’s new goods to be bought here in every aspect (from weapons and armor to gambits and techniques) and lots of people to talk to. However, we have to head out soon enough, so when you’re all done exploring and buying your goods, head to the northeast side of town, where the entrance/exit can be found. Here, a brown save crystal will be waiting for you, so save your game and heal your party. When you’re satisfied, it’s time to head on. Use a Teleport Stone at the brown save crystal, and bring your party to the Golmore Jungle.

The Golmore Jungle will be a breeze for you, since we have a destination in mind. Once you’ve teleported there, take a look at your map. To get to The Feywood, which is where we’re headed, you’ll need to head westward, and then southward. So, head westward to Whisperlead Way, and then westward again into the vast Needlebrake. This is where you’re going to begin heading southward, into the Rustling Chapel. Southward from there is The Feywood. Keep in mind that since we’ve been through the Golmore Jungle before, it’s much easier than The Feywood is. Don’t go in thinking it’s going to be the same, or you’ll be rudely awakened.

Once in The Feywood, your goal is to head southward. It’s really that simple. As you head southward, events in the game will eventually take over… but for that to happen, you must first, quite simply, head southward! The initial area of The Feywood, called the Walk of Flitting Rifts, might overwhelm you at first. New enemies are sometimes nerve-racking to take on, but you should be prepared for these foes (though they will be pretty resilient nonetheless). Cast Libra if you must in order to keep an eye on foe HP and weaknesses, and press southward, slaying foes as you go.  

You can head south into one of two areas that will ultimately lead you to the same place – Antiquity’s End. We recommend that you explore both parts can lead you to that area (Walk of Dancing Shadow and Walk of Stolen Truths). As always, experience and LP are at a premium and the more you have, the better of you’re going to be, not only in finishing the main quest, but also the side quests, which RPG afficionados pride themselves on. Either way, you’ll eventually end at Antiquity’s End. Use the save crystal there to save your game and heal your party, and then attempt to head south. After a brief event, you’ll actually be able to press southward into the area below. This will lead the party headlong into a boss battle. 

Boss – Rafflesia  
   

This huge, overbearing creature would be so laughably easy without his status ailment attacks that you could literally automate your attacking with Gambits and go make yourself a sandwich in the process. Unfortunately, that’s just not the way it is. What Rafflesia lacks in power it makes up for in frustratingly-annoying status ailment attacks. His attacks represent a smorgasbord of annoyances from Confuse and Sap to Disease and, you guessed it, Slow. The best you’re going to be able to do here is use Dispel on him yourself and then quickly start casting magicks on your own party (spells like Haste, Protect, and Regen). Why? Because your MP is automatically lowered to zero (gradually, but quickly enough) through this fight, and you’ll have no use of spells like Esuna to rid yourself of your status ailment inundation. You must simply fight the good fight here, getting in as much damage as humanly possible before he starts breaking out the status attacks, and healing them as soon as they come. Don’t let them mount or you’ll be sorry (although sometimes it’s unavoidable). He’ll also call for help in the form of Malboros, so be ready for that. Ultimately, if the going gets really tough, you always have three alternate party members to call on… just another example of why having a strong, well-rounded and well-leveled party is a good idea.

After the boss battle, be sure to head to the save crystal back in the north to save your game and heal your party… we’re sure you’re just brimming with fun status ailments at this point. Then, head south to where the boss battle was fought, and then south again into an area of The Feywood called White Magick’s Embrace. Explore this area – you’ll find something called the Feywood Candle in a green treasure basket that will reveal the other half of your map of the area (not that you were supposed to know it was incomplete in the first place). Continue exploring, killing enemies, et cetera, eventually working your way southward into the Ice Field of Clearsight.

Once here, things get a little convoluted… but that’s why we’re here, to clear things up for you. This is a puzzle of sorts, though it isn’t a very hard one to execute once you know exactly what to do. Essentially, there are these shrines all over this sector and the next sector of The Feywood which must be traversed in such a way that you can access the next area, and so on. There’s no way to avoid doing this; you have to in order to continue. Walk around in the snow (using your map for guidance) to find these shrines. You have to find the right one first, so keep moving until a “!” or “!!” appear, at which case you should examine the shrine. Listen to what it tells you (it’ll be the same thing each time) and then look around you until you see a forest scene, a mirage, in the snow.

When you do, you’ll want to run in that direction. It’ll lead to another shrine. In both the Ice Field of Clear Sight and The Edge of Reason (to the south of the Ice Field of Clear Sight), you’ll have to go through three shrines in such a way (the third mirage you see will lead you to the next area). In the second sector, The Edge of Reason, the third mirage will actually lead you to a doorway. However, when you examine it and try to open it, nothing happens. What you have to do, obscurely enough, is summon one of your Espers, the Esper Belias. When you do, you can then examine the door and open it. Strange, we know… but true. This will lead to some cutscenes, but before long, you’ll find yourselves in Giruvegan.

 

Giruvegan  
   

    ENEMIES: Behemoth, Gargoyle Baron, Vivian, Mythril Golem, Ose, Reaper, Daedalus (boss), Tyrant (boss), Shemhazai (boss). 
    Items: Elixir, White Fang x2, Black Mask. 

This area is void of enemies for now, so you don’t have to worry about confronting some random enemies that you’ve never encountered before. Instead, enjoy the linear nature of the area and seek out the brown save crystal to save your game and heal your party. Then, seek out something called a Way Stone (we’ve seen these before) that’ll mystically transport you from your current location to a new one. There’s no enemies here, either, though as you go forward you’re going to run into a boss battle. Before you do run forward, however, we suggest casting Haste, Regen, and Protect on each active member of your party. Then run forward and engage a boss in battle to move onward. 

Boss – Daedalus  
   

This enemy can be a bit pesky but if you’re well-leveled up by this point, you can basically just beat up on him until he’s no more. Going into the battle with the aforementioned positive status effects (like Haste, Regen and Protect) are a good idea to give you an early advantage in the battle. You’ll want to cast Dispel on the foe since he’ll be able to make himself quicker with Haste (and may cast it throughout the battle thereafter), but after that, simply beat up on him with fierce melee attacks. Heal if necessary and keep circling the large foe to make him switch party members when attacking (this’ll allow you to cure the entire party en masse with Cura). He gets tough at the end when he’s nearing death (you won’t be able to damage him as much as you once were and his combos become life-threatening) but again, nothing too crazy. Cast Raise on dead party members and keep everyone healed and attacking as much as possible. When he’s slain, you can then move on.

From where you killed Daedalus, use the Way Stone you find there to transport to yet another new area. This area is full of the hardest enemies you’ve encountered so far in the game – Behemoths, Gargoyle Barons, Vivians, and Mythril Golems. You’ll basically want to walk around this area and kill the enemies that you find. Consult your map often to make sure you aren’t going over the same areas twice. Keep in mind that this is probably the best area of the game you’ve encountered so far to level your party up. Running around fighting these difficult foes might be a pain, but it’s worth it for the experience alone, especially if you’ve equipped Embroidered Tippets on your party, which doubles your experience (we’ve had them equipped for some time!) 

So what is your goal in this area? If you take a look at your map, you’ll be in an area called The Trimahla Water-Steps, and your goal will be to get to the switch at the southeast part of this area. Once you can access the switch, a green barrier that you may or may not have noticed in this area will disappear, allowing you access to the southwestern part of the area. It is here that you will locate a green passageway over the infinite depths below, which will lead you directly into a new area. Keep in mind that in this area and the next, when you’re on the green pathways, you’ll be suspended in between areas on the map. This is nothing to be concerned about; it’s completely normal. 

The next area is called the Adah Water-Steps, and it’s much like the area before, it’s full of annoying, powerful enemies (though the same ones we fought earlier) and a rather confusing way in which to get out of this area. If you didn’t have us, you might very well be lost here for a long time! But fear not – all you must do is find three switches as you go along and press them – you won’t be able to continue to the second switch without pressing the first (and so on), so this is more linear and easier to accomplish than you might think. If you take a look at your map, your ultimate goal is to work your way to the northwest corner of this area, where you can again step into the void and activate a green pathway that’ll lead you into the next area. 

Breathe – there are no enemies here. Instead, all you must do is head forward to the futuristic-looking door and into the room beyond it. Here, you’ll find a desperately-needed save crystal in which you can use to save your game and heal your party. Then, leave heading west, into The Gate of Fire. It’s at this point that you again may become confused, but keep in mind that this area is much bigger than it really had to be (strictly to fool you, so it appears). Void of any enemies, all you must do is head forward, and swing left, and then forward, and then walk right into the middle of the void there to make another green bridge appear. On the other end of this rather lengthy pseudo-bridge, a boss fight will ensue. Get ready to fight Tyrant.

Boss – Tryant  
   

The hardest part about fighting Tyrant is that he has a high hit point count and hence can take a real ass-beating before he finally succumbs to your attacks. If you haven’t noticed (and you probably haven’t, considering “technicks” are next to useless in this game), you can’t use technicks here. But that doesn’t really matter – all you need to do is start the battle off by Dispelling the boss (so he loses his positive status effects like Haste) and then beat him up. He packs a fairly powerful punch with his various attacks, so you’re going to end up dying once or twice – use Phoenix Downs to bring back party members and put them back into the fray. Since he uses multi-person attacks fairly often, Curaja is your best friend here, though Curaga is just as good if you want to heal one individual person. Don’t bother with magicks here – melee strikes and plenty of healing will save the day. And of course, use the appropriate spell or healing item to take care of any status ailments he happens to throw at you. 

When the battle is over, you’re going to want to touch the Way Stone and head on to the next area. Just in case you’re planning on heading back to the previous save crystal to heal the party and save your game (which isn’t necessarily a bad idea at this juncture), keep in mind that when you return to the Gates of Fire, the once enemy-less area is now chock-full of foes. Now, this area can be the most convoluted of all areas in this part of the game. We’ll explain it as simply as possible. Considering you have a Way Stone here, and a gate ahead, you should use those as markers. Start off your time here by standing with your back against the Way Stone so that you’re facing the sealed gate. Then, swing your party leftward. You’ll see a gap in the railing surrounding your suspended platform. If you walk through it, you’ll cause a green pathway appear, leading you to a new area (called Kabonii Jilaam Pratii’vaa). You’ll fight two new enemies here (two Ose). Be sure to kill them off and grab the Black Mask from the diamond-shaped treasure chest there before proceeding through another gap in the railing (the only other gap there, ignoring the one, of course, that you originally came through). This will cause another green pathway to spawn, leading you into yet another new area. 

This new area is called Kabonii Jilaam Avaa, and other than two more Ose enemies here, you won’t have anything to collect or otherwise do… other than swinging down yet another railing gap and down yet another spawning green pathway. As you work your way into the next area, Dha Vikaari Bhrum, you’ll notice another Way Stone (this one marked as VII, which will bring you to VI once used, to the area A Vikaari Kabonii). Now, without a map here, things are no doubt getting a little confusing. There’s no up, down, left or right. You need to take the path here that leads to an area called Sthaana Cancer. It’s at this place that you can fight two Mythril Golems and hit a switch to open the Cancer Gate (you may have run into this closed gate, which is on the direct other side of the platform, via the pathway, in A Vikaari Kabonii). Either way, head to where that gate was (it’s in an area called Bhrum Pis Pratii). 

With the gate gone, it’s just another area of this annoying puzzle. Kill the two Ose you find here en route (you may have run into a Reaper en route to this area in the first place, an enemy you’ve yet to fight, and one that can cast Death). Thankfully, in this area there is only one other railing opening that’ll lead to another green pathway, so that you should take into the next area. This area is called Dha Vikaari Trahk, and has a Way Stone (marked V) that you can take to another Way Stone (IV) in an area called A Vikaari Bhrum. This is where things can indeed get a little confusing, for there is another sealed gate here, as well as two other ways out. What to do? 

Well, for starters, face the sealed gate, so that your back is away from it. Then, take the pathway leftward, over the gap. If you did this correctly, you’ll find yourself in the Trahk Pis Praa. Fight off some more Ose here, and then swing through the only other railing opening here into another area called Sthaana Pisces. You’ll find a switch here that will get rid of a gate we just encountered (not the one in the room you’re in, unfortunately). You’re gonna have to backtrack to the previous area (Trahk Pis Praa), and then back to the area before that (A Vikaari Bhrum). Now, head down the pathway where the gate once was (it’s on your left), and into yet another area, this one called Dha Vikaari Jula. Confused yet? Well, we’re almost done! \

From this area, you can kill another Reaper and then use another Way Stone (this one marked as III) to yetanother new area, this one called Crystal Core (wow, a normal name!). If you needed a sign that you were on the right track, you’re gonna get it now; a cutscene will ensue. Hereafter, cross another void via a suddenly-appearing green pathway, and save your game via the much-needed save crystal on the other side. Finally, our last Way Stone (marked I) will be here. Use it to transport to another new area (this one called Gate of Wind). Go forward through the obstruction, and then prepare for a boss battle. 

Boss – Shemhazai  
   

An Esper of incredible power, Shemhazai is still not that difficult to defeat (especially right after fighting superior bosses like Tyrant). The positive thing about the ultimate outcome of this battle is that, upon winning, you’ll get to summon this Esper… so naturally, winning means more here than just continuing with the story. You’ll want to stay far away from magicks here, instead focusing on physical melee attacks only. Magicks are okay to use on your own party (healing, et cetera), and using Dispel on the foe at the outset of the battle is also key. Other than healing and trying to keep a constant barrage of attacks on this foe, nothing of interest is really happening during this battle. She’ll silence you often (especially at the end of the battle), and like many bosses, her defense is drastically higher when she’s got about one-fifth of her life left. And just like the battle began with a bang, she’ll go out with one as well. 

When the fight is over, simply head through the next oddly-shaped gate, and then go to the Way Stone there. By analyzing it, more cutscenes will take over, and we’ll eventually be brought to the next part of the game thereafter.

Back to Balfonheim & The Ridorana Cataract  
   

 

        Enemies: Deathclaw, Cassie. 
        Items:
 Hi-Potion x3, Cloud Staff, X-Potion. 

So you’ve managed to teleport yourself back to Balfonheim? Well played. Now’s a great time to check out the stores in the area. Though they didn’t have much that appealed to you earlier, you completing that last leg of the journey has allowed them to sell you more powerful goods. Go check out what they have to offer and make sure everyone’s well-stocked and well-equipped. Also, go undertake any sidequests you may want to try at this point as well. When you’re ready, save your game and then take a look at your map of Balfonheim. Your goal here is to run to Saccio Lane, which is in the southwest corner of the port. There will be an X on the map where you need to head, so you shouldn’t get lost. When you arrive there, talk to the man and accept his offer to go beyond where he is guarding. This will allow some necessary storytelling cutscenes to ensue. Good news – Reddas joins your party as a guest here.

When the cutscenes here have run their course, you’ll regain control of the party once more. It doesn’t hurt to go back to the save crystal and save again (just in case), and then take another look at your map. Like Rabanastre and Bhujurba, there’s an aerodrome in this city. It’s located in the southeastern section of the city, a place called Chivany Breakwater. Once you’re there, the aerodrome is located to the far east in that section of town. Head on in. There’s another save crystal here in case you neglecting our original offer to save. Find the woman selling private flights behind one of the counters and talk to her. That’s how you get onto your craft! Then, simply choose The Ridorana Cataract on the map you’re shown (pretty interesting to see where everything’s laid out, eh?), and before you know it, you’re there!

The initial area you’re in, Footfalls of the Past, leads southeastward into Echoes from Time’s Garden. This area is long (in up-and-down terms) so you’re going to want to explore it in its entirety to find any treasure that may be lying around. Two new enemies – Deathclaws and Cassies – can be found, though having Reddas in the party temporarily helps out quite a bit (though he’s likely not nearly as strong as your own characters). You’ll notice that, out of this area, you’ll see two exits, one to the north and one to the south. We recommend going south first in the interest of full exploration. Head southeast into the Colosseum.

The Colosseum is nothing for you to worry yourself about. Indeed, it is a fairly vast area, but there are no enemies to be found and hence there is little danger about. You can find several treasures if you explore here (including a number of decreasingly-valuable Hi-Potions), but your primary concern here should be to fetch the map out of the ornate treasure basket at the north end of the Colosseum. When you’re done here, you can exit to the area in the north, City of Other Days. Here, the enemy conduct is vicious, so be careful.

Upon exploring the City of Other Days, you’ll notice that there’s a passageway westward that leads back to Echoes from Time’s Garden (hence we told you earlier to take our chosen path so that the entire area can be explored, exploiting enemy LP, experience and loot). Ultimately, however, you’ll want to head eastward, fighting off enemies as you go (they are in high numbers here). Heading eastward and then southward with the sloping pathway will bring you to the Path of Hidden Blessing. Here, you can find a save crystal and follow the linear pathway eastward thereafter, to a place called Pharos. 

Pharos  
   

 

        Enemies: Chimera Brain, Mimeo, Mistmare, Brainpan, Deidar, Aeronite, Crusader, Reaver, Abaddon, Bune, Necrofiend, Zombie Warlock, Purobolos, Hydro (boss), Pandemonium (boss), Slyt (boss), Hashmal (boss), Judge Gabranth (boss), Doctor Cid (boss), Famfrit (boss). Items: Black Orb, Rubber Suit x2, Circlet. 
      

This area essentially starts out with a boss fight. Simply go up the stairs into the large room ahead, and the boss will come out to fight. Boss – Hydro This gigantic dragon seems menacing, but in fact, he’s not menacing at all. If you want, you can (and probably should) cast Protectga and Shellga on your entire party, and consider using Haste and Regen as well. If you do this after ascending the stairs ahead, but right before you go forward (hence catalyzing the battle), you’ll make the battle even easier than it already is. Hydro has a fair amount of hit points, but melee attacks from your party should be devastating to him at this point. He can Slow and Sap your party (you can fix those with Haste and Regen, respectively), and do fair enough damage to actually kill a member or two at times (so use Arise), but it’s a manageable fight. Just make sure to go in and remove his Haste status with Dispel, and then go in for the kill. Remember, you have a fourth member here, and he’ll help you out as well. Either way, this battle is cake.

Now, this area is a little convoluted. What you’re supposed to do to proceed isn’t necessarily evident, so you’re going to have to simply trust us here. The general idea is that you’re going to walk around kill the enemies in your maze-like surroundings here in the Wellspring Labyrinth (surrounding the Wellspring). Every so often, an enemy will drop something called a Black Orb, which will float in the air where the body was killed. You must quickly run up to these orbs and press X to claim them. You’ll then use them on three altars in the Wellspring, two of which that can only be accessed from entrances/exits well within the labyrinth itself. Sounds pretty easy and straight-forward, right? Well, generally speaking, it is.

The best idea is to run rampant in the Wellspring Labyrinth, killing all of the foes you come across. Just scour the area and kill all of the enemies. This won’t only make you richer in experience, LP, and loot, but it will also give you a wealth (in fact, too many) Black Orbs than you need. You’ll only need three to deactivate a seal on a door we’re looking to get through. Worry not about the others – they’re pieces of loot and can be sold later on for some Gil. Make sure to hit up all three altars (one can be accessed from near the brown save crystal in the area, the other two must be struck via entryways in the labyrinth). And worry not about the enemies you’ll encounter here either. Though they are chock full of status ailment attacks, Chimera Brains, Mimeos, and Mistmares aren’t too bad… and they don’t throw anything at you that some healing items, Esuna, or a key white magick spell can’t cure.

You can do the altars in any order you want (meaning you can place Black Orbs into them in any order). The only thing that counts is that you activate all three. When you do, the aforementioned mystical energy blocking a doorway in the labyrinth has now disappeared (you likely passed it during your escapades through the area). If you press select and look on your map, you’ll even see an exclamation point on the exact location, at the east end of the Wellspring Labyrinth, that you’re supposed to head towards. Once you get through this door, you’ll find yourself in an environment that you perhaps didn’t expect to find yourself in. Nonetheless, explore the area. There are black rock-like formations that, when examined, will teleport you back to the area you started (in this unusual area). However, one of them actually turns into a boss called Pandemonium. You ready to fight?

Pandemonium
This creature at first seems really easy, and in fact, he is. Once you cast Dispel on him in the beginning of the battle (and perhaps take the time before the battle to cast the traditional foursome of Haste, Protecga, Shellga, and Regen), the battle is all about making him pay with some fierce melee attacks. Naturally, he’ll have some status ailment attacks to throw your way (he absolutely loves to Blind the party, for instance). The most annoying aspect of this battle however is the 3-4 minutes that you must survive the battle without being able to damage him. He puts up a protective barrier that makes him immune, temporarily, to any kind of attack, physical or magical. However, this barrier disappears (you’ll still have to heal yourself often, as he can still attack you), and then you can drill away at the rest of his hit points until the foe is simply no more. 

Following the battle, you’ll find yourself back outside of the door we entered this room via. The boss battle did one thing and one thing only, and that’s activate the Way Stone (the teleporting device) near the brown save crystal in this area. That means you’ll have to navigate your way out of Wellspring Labyrinth and back towards where we started in this area. Save your game at the save crystal, and then proceed onward by touching the now-active Way Stone. When you do, you’ll be transported to a new area called Wellspring Ravel. The Wellspring Ravel is many, many flights high (you’re going to have to climb to the 47th floor, for now). The basic idea here is that you have to find enemies called Brainpans. They aren’t exactly visible on your radar as red spots (other enemies are), but when you run into them, you’ll know them because they spew green flames from their heads. You must kill these foes in order to make parts of green, translucent bridges appear to lead to the next area.

Now, this may sound difficult, but in fact it isn’t. It’s time-consuming and tedious at times, but certainly not difficult. Other than the green-flamed Brainpans, you’ll run into Chimera Brains and new enemies, flying enemies called Aeronites. However, you won’t run into many. One enemy you’ll want to avoid at all costs are called Deidars. They look like Brainpans except they have red flames instead of green flames spewing from their head. If you hit and kill them, you’ll lose parts of your bridge. This is a time-consuming area, as said before, but there’s little other explanation needed. It’s generally a linear pathway up, but when it becomes non-linear, be sure to check out the areas on the periphery to find Brainpans to kill. Keep in mind that, as long as you stay in the same sector, you can also go back and make Brainpans respawn. Otherwise, it’s a race to the top.

So, you’ve finally reached the 47th floor? Excellent. Then, head into Horizon’s Break, which is straight ahead from the final staircase, and find the save crystal there. Utilize it, then circle around the circular pathway and find the doorway in the southwest corner. When you do, you can use that to access yet another new area, this one called Horizon’s Cusp. However, things aren’t always what they seem, and as you move forward here, you’ll be attacked. If the save crystal wasn’t enough evidence of what was to come, a boss battle awaits you here. All you have to do is circle through and go through some doors, and boom, you’ll be attacked.

Boss – Slyt  
   

 

This fight takes place, just like the last boss fight here, in terrain you wouldn’t expect to find 47 floors above sea level. However, this battle happens to be really easy. When the battle begins, have one of your active characters cast Dispel on the foe so that he loses the one positive status effect he starts the battle with – Regen. Once that’s gone, this guy’s a sitting duck. He packs a powerful whallop with his various physical attacks, but you should be able to sustain the party via various healing spells such as Curaga, Curaja, and if necessary, Arise. Other than that, keep the pressure on him and kick some ass with melee attacks. If you want to make the battle extra easy, however, you’ll consider some fire-based magicks, the stronger the better. We were doing nearly 4,000 HP per hit of damage with Firaga. Consider giving it a try. 

When that rather easy boss battle ends, you’ll regain control of your party. Head forward through the door you’re facing and out into the next area, where another teleport-oriented Way Stone can be found, that’ll bring you further into the tower, up onto the 60th floor. It’s time to keep climbing! But first, an explanation. In the circular room that you come to (called The Reach), you’ll have four options in which to leave the room. They all lead to the same area, though they lead you to the same place in a very different standing from one another. Your first priority here should be to circle to the west side and use the save crystal. Then consider which you’d rather be without – magicks, attacking, items, or your on-screen map. We thought you’d choose the latter (after all, it seemed like a no-brainer to us), so find the Door of Knowledge, analyze the device across from it to open it, then circle around on the other side of the door and up to the next area. 

You’re now on the 61st floor, called the Station of Banishment. There’s another “general idea” here that we’ll provide you with in lieu of unnecessarily holding your hand, going through each and every facet of the next three levels. Depending on which door you took (and we’re hoping you opted out of having a map… otherwise you’re going to be in trouble here), you’re still gonna end up in the same area. You have to go up from the 61st floor to the 65th floor (but only 61, 62, and 63 are at all challenging). En route, you’ll have to fight fierce enemies that get harder and more abundant the higher you go. The enemies here are amongst the hardest in the entire game up to this point, and there is no shame in dying here… though you should keep your party well-healed and ready for anything. Reavers, Bunes, Necrofiends, Crusaders… they’re all gonna be here to try and ruin your day.

Now, more concise (but simplistic) directions: floors 61, 62 and 63 are all relatively the same in overall layout. All of them are circles at the center with various rooms along all sides. Rooms and passageways are where the combat really happens here, but you must keep in mind that you’ll have to venture into these places without your map (preferably), so you gotta keep an eye out and be ready at all times (Haste, Protectga, Shellga, et cetera… all good). On each floor, a staircase leads out of the area, you just need to find it. On the 61st floor (Station of Banishment), the staircase is in the northwest. (Just take a look at your large map, which hasn’t disappeared). On the 62nd floor (called the Station of Suffering), the exit is in the southeast. And finally, on level 63, the Station of Ascension, you’ll want to head to the northwest once more. Keep in mind that although these staircases are in the corners noted, you sometimes have to access them from other means (the doors that block them are often locked from one side and not the other).

Once on the 64th floor, known as the Reach of the Damned, you can find a save crystal on the west side to heal your party and save your game (phew!) From here, it’s relatively smooth sailing, as there are no more enemies to compete with either here or on the next level up. To get to the 65th floor, you must simply head to the southwest corner of the 64th floor and seek out a staircase leading up. Once upstairs on the 65th floor, however, it’s time to start casting your protective and advantage magicks, as you’re going to run into a boss fight after you ascend some more staircases and head through the next door you find.

Boss – Fenrir  
   

 

Fenrir is a fairly fierce enemy to fight because he has an unusually high amount of hit points. However, once the battle begins and you can bring him back down to earth with the use of Dispel (which will get rid of his Haste, et cetera), you can then beat up on him fairly ruthlessly with melee attacks. He has some powerful combos and the like, and may knock a party member or two down to KO status during the fight, but this is nothing a Phoenix Down or, preferably, Arise, can’t fix immediately. Keep an eye on your party’s health and keep the offense engaging and relentless on your foe. If you do these things, this battle will go fairly quickly. Just be careful if he starts casting things such as Bravery or Haste on himself during battle; if he does, make sure to quickly Dispel them before he gets the upper hand.

Following the fight, go through the door you’re facing when you regain control of your party. This will bring you to an area where you can not only reclaim your lost power (so in our case, almost definitely our ability to use the on-screen map), but where you can save and advance to the final part of our long, epic climb (this is technically the final dungeon, if you’re curious… the location of the last bosses in the game is nothing too difficult compared to this place). Anyway, in this next area, run around the circle and locate the skill you lost (they’re represented by the pillars that once took your power away). When you’ve regained that power, then head to the end with the large “lift” elevator. Choose the only other choice here (67th floor) and go on up. You’ll find a save crystal and a Way Stone here… you know what to do with both. Welcome to the last stretch of our climb.

This part of the walkthrough is going to have to be a little more concise than parts prior out of necessity. Since we’re navigating around this area via Way Stones, you’re gonna have to know exactly where to go. Initially, you’re gonna want to run forward into the room ahead. You’ll fight new Bomb-like enemies here (they are brutal when they explode!), and you’ll also notice the ever-confusing array of Way Stones here. With your back to the original Way Stone, take the one in the left corner. It’ll lead you to a new pathway. Run up this pathway to fight more of these Bomb-like enemies (named Purobolos). Be careful here; they can overwhelm the party easily and chain-explode themselves. Either way, you’ll want to run up the stairs behind them.

Once up the stairs, continue heading forward. You can go left (that would be in your instinct, right?), but instead of heading leftward, you should head rightward, to what appears to be a dead end. However, this is no dead end at all – it’s a “Fool’s Facade,” and can be destroyed simply by examining it and answering the on-screen prompt in the affirmative. Following through to the passages on the other side, you’ll find a teleporting device. But before you use it (which you should, there are enemies abound!), make sure to grab the Rubber Suits from both treasure baskets in the area. These may be stronger than what you have equipped, so be sure to check. Then, use the teleportation device and head into the next area. Here, you’ll have to deal with more enemies (and traps, so have Libra on!), but you’ll want to work your way away from where you came from (just keep your back to where you arrived), and you’ll come out on the other end. Run forward and use red-colored teleporting device to move on.

In this next area, you can’t avoid the airborne enemies here so you’re going to have to fight them (try and get them together, then cast Dispel on both of them and hit them with Thundaga). When they are slain, be sure to grab the Circlet from the nearby treasure basket. Like the Rubber Suits we found earlier, this should be immediately equipped to take advantage of its strength. Then, look around you at the teleporting devices. There are four colors here… in this walkthrough, we told you that you should lose your mini-map earlier (instead of your magicks, attack abilities or use of items), so you’ll want to use the pink teleporting device.

This may be a confusing area full of enemies, but luckily you can by pass all of that all together. Instead of heading southward into the fray of enemy hostilities, why not turn around and run northward, up the lone north-leading passageway that appears to hit a dead end. But it’s not so! If you face the dead end and look leftward, you’ll find yet another Fool’s Facade. Here, you should bust on through once more, and then use the teleporting device at the end of the secret corridor, which will bring you to an area outside. Approach the elevator ahead of you and choose the only other option than the floor you’re already on (you’re on floor 88, you want to go to floor 90). You’ll head on up thereafter, where a cutscene will naturally take place. And before you know it, you’re thrust into a boss battle. Here’s hoping you’re ready for it!


 

Boss – Hashmal  
   

 

From the outset of battle, one thing should be on your mind – removing the Protect status from your enemy. Dispel him to get rid of it, and then get ready to throw down. This is going to be one of the hardest fights you’ve dealt with thusfar – that’s okay. Keep your head about you, and if you can prepare for the battle, do so. This character uses a devastating array of earth-based attacks which can be negated completely with Float. If you don’t use it, your chances of survival in this battle are slim. Since it sneaks up on you so, you need to be ready for anything. Keep the attacks up but don’t shy away from using Arise often, since he focuses on one character at a time and will swing away until that character is killed more often than not. He also uses Disease on a lot of characters, which will be pesky if you don’t have the Vaccines to get rid of it (keep in mind a character will be revived with only 1 HP max when he or she is revived with Disease still on him). This is a battle of wills… keep the melee action up, the healing constant, and your wits about you. Getting through this battle, you’re one step closer to the end.

When the battle has finished, you will get Hashmal to summon as an Esper. Neat! Now, you’ll want to follow the lengthy (but linear) pathway around from where you fought the creature (near the elevator). Midway around, a cutscene will ensue, but you will shortly thereafter regain control of your party. There’s a save crystal that you will eventually come across. Be sure to use it before proceeding. If you want to be really smart (since you’re about to be thrust into more boss battles), cast Haste on your entire party, then use Protectga and Shellga, as well as Regen. Hit the save crystal again to heal yourselves, and then quickly run the rest of the way around the pathway, to a Way Stone that you can use to teleport to your next battle (following more cutscenes, of course).

Boss – Judge Gabranth  
   

 

You won’t actually get to kill Gabranth, which is a shame, but it’s good because there’s another boss battle after this one and you won’t have to expel much energy in order to get this one done. Fact is, Gabranth is extremely easy for this point in the game, and we didn’t even have to heal ourselves once (granted we did our aforementioned idea of Haste/Protect/Shell/Regen before the battle). Even if you choose not to do that, this still shouldn’t be a difficult battle for you. Just keep the melee action at a fever pitch and make sure to Dispel Gabranth, but not before he actually casts protective magic on himself (otherwise it’s for nothing!) Also, enjoy the various cutscenes that take place during this battle, which extend the storyline between the Judge and Basch. When he takes enough damage, which won’t be long into the battle, another cutscene will take place. Doctor Cid shows up and puts an end to Gabranth’s life before heading into battle with you himself.

 

Boss – Doctor Cid & Famfrit  
   

 

When you first begin the fight with Doctor Cid, you’ll want to cast Dispel on him immediately (also, keep an eye on him throughout the battle, as he will occasionally recast spells on himself). From the outset, you’ll be asking yourself have two boss battles in a row can be so easy. You can basically beat the crap out of him for half of the fight and he barely puts up a fight (though you’ll need to heal yourself fairly often – he can still chip away at you). But that’s when he summons the help of his monster friend, Famfrit. This creature will make the battle difficult not because there are two characters on the field to fight at once, but because when he’s there, you can’t take out Doctor Cid (and of course, your first instincts would be to go after the heavily-wounded foe first). Nope – you’ll need to focus wholly on Famfrit, who is more difficult than Doctor Cid would ever hope to be (and Doctor Cid can still fight the party, too!… just not vice-versa). You’re going to want to cast Dispel often here, and keep an eye on your health. Curaga, Curaja and Arise are going to be your best friends here. Keep the fighting in the melee style, and don’t bother taking the time to renew your protective and positive spells on your party… there’s simply no time. Take the monster out, and Doctor Cid will again be at your mercy. It’s a little more difficult to get the second half of his HP meter down, but you will persevere. And when you do, you’re really close to the last battles. In fact, you’re in the End Game.

The End Game  
   

 

        Enemies: 
        Items: 

Are you ready to beat Final Fantasy XII? Are you ready to say you’ve added another epic RPG to your collection of games defeated? Well then, read on. Back here in town, you’ll have your last chance to take care of any side quests, hunts, et cetera, and of course, this is your last chance to upgrade your weapons, armor, spells… the town has new everything, so make sure to check each shop. When you’re completely satisfied and ready to go ahead and beat the game, you’ll want to head to the Aerodrome, just like we did earlier before our massive quest up the tower. When you do this and talk to the private airship counter, you’ll be granted access to the Sky Fortress Bahamut. This is it, folks. You’re minutes away from beating Final Fantasy XII.

Once on the Bahamut, your goal here is clear and simple – you need to get the Vayne! You don’t have to, and shouldn’t, fight any enemies here. You need to run. You need to run like you’ve never run before, and you need to know exactly where you’re going (which is why we’re here, naturally). From the initial room (you won’t have a proper map, so listen closely!), head northward into the next area. Here, you want to hold R2 and run along the winding pathway. The first left you can make (up some stairs), take it into the next area. Then, quickly run forward into the center of the circular area you’re in, and work your way to the far side of that circle, where you can enter another room with some lift controls in them. Heal your party and run in circles, if you have to, in order to get your MP back. Then use the lift controls. It’s boss fight time… four boss fights in a row, in fact.

 

Boss – Judge Gabranth  
   

 
This boss battle will start, you’ll run up to the Judge and bang away about half of his hit points in no time at all, and then you’re going to begin to wonder just what kind of initial last boss this is. But then, the battle will change, and you will certainly be challenged. Judge Gabranth comes back with a vengence here, and although you’ll be able to control him for the beginning of the battle, he becomes unwieldy thereafter. Make sure to use Dispel on him both before and after he does his healing (at which point, he will become much stronger and more inclined to use combos that will have the tendency to KO his target… have Arise or Phoenix Downs ready). Otherwise, keep the melee fighting at a fever pitch and show this foe no quarter. If you have to bring in your reserves here, do so, because after this fight, you will be given a brief chance to heal your party… you won’t have that in between the next three battles. (Keep the aforementioned notion in mind; when the battle is over, fully heal all six of your characters and cast protective/positive spells on all of them before activating the lift. Then, get ready to fight for your life).

Boss – Vayne  
   

 

The battle with Vayne starts out like the battle with the judge earlier; you’ll think you’re in something too easy. Well, it’s too good to be true. When you beat up on Vayne for long enough (and you’ll even have some familiar help here), he’ll turn into something more powerful, and begin to strain the party with more havoc-filled attacks. Keep an eye on your health and keep beating away at this foe’s hit points. He’s easier than Judge Gabranth, so if you got through him, then this first incarnation of Vayne should be absolutely no problem. Try not to kill him, however, until your party is healed. This will give you a tremendous advantage going into the next battle… because as you know, Vayne isn’t dead. It’s the proud RPG/videogame tradition of multiple last bosses. What else did you expect!?

 

Boss – Vayne Novus & Saphiras  
   

 

This battle seems frantic, and it is. But the five Sephiras, which are sword enemies, are really only distractions. You can kill them if you choose, but you’re really missing the point of the entire battle if you do that. Instead, you’ll really want to focus your energies almost entirely on Vayne Novus. He’s not even really that difficult this time around (until you get his health low enough), but his sword friends are going to damage you often. There’s really nothing practical you can do about them but avoid them and ignore them the best you can and make sure everyone’s attacking Vayne Novus only (when they’re not healing, et cetera). At the outset of hostilities, be sure to cast Dispel on him, and make sure to keep an eye on his status effects… he has the tendency to help himself out a whole lot. Ultimately, you’re gonna need to use Arise and Curaja often in this battle, but do so wantonly… you’re almost there. When this foe is felled, there’s only one more boss battle between you and the end of Final Fantasy XII.

 

Boss – The Undying  
   

 

It seemed like it was all over, but you know it wasn’t! Battling with The Undying is a lesson in random consistencies of the same boss battle… that is to say, the battle gets really easy, really hard, and everywhere in between all kind of randomly. The battle seems manageable for the most part, as long as you constantly Dispel anything he puts on himself and preferably keep your team under the spell of Haste, Protect, and Shell at all times. But we know that’s hard to ask in the heat of battle… especially in the heat of the last battle. What’s good about this is that at least there’s only one target, and he spins constantly around the room. Since your players will always be targeted into him, they’ll keep moving too, actually harming some of The Undying’s attacks from connecting with their targets (interesting, indeed). However, he has a lot of hit points, uses a lot of special shields that block out certain kinds of attacks for long periods of time, and must be fought over a fifteen or twenty minute period (realtime). If you can somehow manage to survive this fight, you’ve won the game; keep in mind that since there’s nothing after this, use anything and everything you’ve got to win this battle. It’s all or nothing here, and trust us, you don’t want to start over again back in the port city, having to run through the Bahamut again, and fight three bosses before getting back to The Undying. It’s just not worth it!

 

Congratulations! You’ve beaten Final Fantasy XII!

 

09
Jun
08

Facebook Eyes Enterprise Market

By David Needle
June 6, 2008

Instead of worrying about employees spending company time on Facebook, some enterprises may soon have reason to encourage the idea.At a conference on consumer services and applications in the enterprise here on Thursday, a Facebook executive confirmed the social networking giant has big plans to make its service more accessible to corporate users.

“One area we’ve seen a lot of value for the social graph is in the enterprise because it’s a completely different way to envision an HR system or CRM,” said Chamath Palihapitiya, vice president of marketing and operations at Facebook. “A handful of large companies have expressed interest in seeing how it would work because organically at least 50 percent of their employees are already on Facebook.”

Facebook’s interest comes at a time when companies like Socialtext already offer “enterprise-ready” social networking tools that include corporate-friendly enhancements, such as extra security and audit features.

But even if Facebook is late to the enterprise party, Palihapitiya said the company remains well aware of the opportunity.

“We see it as one of the single long-term areas of value creation,” he said during his presentation.

In an interview with InternetNews.com, Palihapitiya added that Facebook doesn’t plan to be building enterprise applications. Instead, it wants to make sure developers can leverage its platform to bring Facebook in through the front door as a company-sanctioned application.

“We’re interested in working with enterprises and making sure we understand their needs,” Palihapitiya said. “We want to enable other developers to use our platform to develop for the enterprise.”

He also said the company is working with enterprises to develop some reference examples of Facebook services for the workplace.

Already, Salesforce.com has helped marry a bit of Facebook to the enterprise with the Faceforce application available through the SaaS giant’s AppExchange, an online catalog of Salesforce-ready applications.

Faceforce pulls Facebook profile information into Salesforce CRM. For example, this allows a salesperson to see a prospect’s birthday, favorite movies, books, sports team and contacts they might have who are already customers.

How much information is pulled in through Faceforce depends on how much the user includes in his or her public profile. Clara Shih, director of AppExchange product line management, developed the application.

Will ad-supported apps fly?

Palihapitiya specifically mentioned Faceforce as an example of forthcoming applications that leverage the social network platform. But he also said Facebook is exploring ways to extend its ad-supported model into the enterprise — or at least, to give developers the option.

“We want to be agnostic, based on what we can enable,” he said.

Those comments led to a spirited debate with other panelists dubious about whether ad-supported model will work. “Ads in the enterprise are extremely unfeasible,” said David Thompson, CEO of Genius.com, a provider of online tools designed to help salespeople track prospects.

Thompson said the issue of ad-supported software for business had been debated for years at WebEx, the online conferencing company where he previously served as chief marketing officer.

“No one wants it, certainly not corporate IT,” he said. “I say it’s doomed.”

Palihapitiya replied that writing off the idea was “rigid” thinking, adding that instead of becoming an impediment to productivity, the latest ad-targeting technology can deliver ads that are highly relevant to the user, based on where and who they are.

“When the right company weaves all this together for the enterprise, that will be the proof point,” Palihapitiya said.

He conceded that a strict focus on relevancy won’t lead to “trillions of impressions, but will reach lots of qualified users.”

Thompson also questioned how a Facebook developer might go about matching users to appropriate ads: “So, you just need to rifle through everyone’s data?” he deadpanned.

But Palihapitiya replied that such applications already exist, and don’t involve scouring users’ data.

Shih, the Faceforce creator, said in a later interview with InternetNews.com that she’s likewise skeptical about the appeal of ad-supported applications in the enterprise.

“Customers have told me they’d be willing to pay for a premium edition of Faceforce that included support and help with configurations,” she told InternetNews.com. “Businesses have a budget for these things and it doesn’t add much to operating costs. If I can pay X amount of dollars per year to not have ads, I think that’s a no-brainer.”

Ross Mayfield, chairman and co-founder of Socialtext, told InternetNews.com that enterprise customers want a higher level of customization and vendor support than a free or ad-supported application company typically provides.

“Some companies come to us and say, ‘We love Facebook, but we want it behind the firewall’,” said Mayfield, whose firm provides a number of social networking features within the corporate network like Wikis and tagging of profiles.

“And they say, ‘If we don’t deliver it, the employees will use it anyway and that’s a security hole for us,'” he added. “They’re looking for alternatives.”

As a result, it’s not surprising that consumer-originated incumbents like Facebook are scrambling to avoid losing out to those alternatives — particularly with a vast sum of money on the line.

“Enterprise applications are a $10 billion opportunity,” said Kevin Efrusy, a venture partner at Accel, a co-sponsor of the half-day, Consumerization of Software conference, along with SD Forum.

08
Jun
08

Rummaging through the internet

Computing: New techniques to navigate and gather information online promise to revolutionise web browsing 

Illustration by Belle Mellor
Illustration by Belle Mellor

THE web has changed in many ways since it first emerged in the mid-1990s. The first web pages contained only text, and there was a big debate about whether pictures should be allowed. Today, by contrast, it is quite normal for pages to be bursting with photos, animated graphics, video clips, music and chunks of software, as well as text. In one respect, however, the web is unaltered: the clickable hyperlinks between pages are still the way users get from one page to another.

But now a Norwegian computer scientist named Frode Hegland has cooked up a new sort of navigation. His free software, a browser add-on called Hyperwords, makes every single word or phrase on a page into a hyperlink—not just those chosen by a website’s authors. Click on any word, number or phrase, and menus and sub-menus pop up. With a second click, it is possible to translate text into many languages, obtain currency or measurement conversions, and retrieve related photos, videos, academic papers, maps, Wikipedia entries and web pages fetched by Google, among other things.

All that information, of course, can already be accessed by web users willing to root around, opening a series of new browser windows or tabs. The goal of Hyperwords, Mr Hegland says, is “reducing the threshold” of satisfying curiosity, by making the quest faster and easier. Later this year he will release a new version that extends this trick beyond the web browser, turning any word in any window into a clickable “hyperword”.

Hyperwords is a relatively new idea, and so far it has fewer than 200,000 users. But it is one of a number of new initiatives designed to transform internet browsing, by providing more connections between data, presenting information in new ways and making it easier to navigate. Another example is Cooliris, a start-up based in Silicon Valley, which has invented a browser add-on called Previews. Hovering the mouse pointer over a link causes a small preview of the linked page to pop up in a tiny window, making it easier to decide whether to click through to the page or not. More than 2m people have downloaded the free software since January.

Another Cooliris application, PicLens, takes images fetched from Google, Flickr, Facebook, eBay and other websites and displays them, free of the clutter on each image’s webpage, on a spectacular full-screen, 3-D wall. Viewers can zip left and right, zooming in or pulling back, to scan hundreds of images in seconds. Images can be clicked for full-screen display, or shown in context on their original webpage. The free software has been downloaded over 5m times. A new version, released in April, turns YouTube searches into a clutter-free wall of videos in a similar fashion. Austin Shoemaker, technology chief at Cooliris, says internet users are “subconsciously frustrated” with clicking “next, next, next” to view content.

PicLens provides a glimpse of a possible future for the web: as a three-dimensional environment, in which users move through clusters of pages that appear to float in space, pushing unwanted ones away and arranging others in logical groupings. This approach takes advantage of people’s natural spatial memory. John Maeda, the president of the Rhode Island School of Design, says people find it hard to navigate the flood of online information in two dimensions, and rarely open more than a few windows at a time. With a 3-D browser over 100 windows can be visible at once, even on a laptop screen.

Mr Maeda, until recently a senior researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, worked on a forthcoming 3-D browser called E15 which uses a special mouse to allow viewers to move around in a 3-D space. Researchers have been kicking around 3-D browsers in labs for years, but they never came to much. Only in the past year or so have ultra-fast internet connections and powerful computers become commonplace enough to make mass-market 3-D browsing feasible.

SpaceTime, a start-up based in New York, has developed a 3-D browser which has been downloaded over 2m times since its launch in January. SpaceTime’s boss, Edward Bakhash, says the inspiration came from video games, and the sleek animated graphics of Apple’s iPhone. Software developers compete, of course, but Mr Bakhash says there is a feeling that the whole community is working hard to “help usher in the next paradigm”.

The movement will get a boost in late July, when Second Life, a popular 3-D virtual world, incorporates a feature that will allow inhabitants to post web pages on walls. Joe Miller, vice-president of technology at Linden Labs, the company in San Francisco, California, that runs Second Life, says 2-D web browsing is usually solitary. Browsing in Second Life, however, will be a social activity, because users strolling virtually through the world can gather and chat next to web pages.

A browser called 3B, developed by a firm of the same name in London, also makes browsing social. Users search for a product, and pictures of the results are arranged into the aisles of a virtual shop. Shoppers can mill about to get a better look, and chat via instant messaging with other people searching for similar things. Over 200 retailers, including Barnes & Noble, Wal-Mart and Gap, display their wares in 3B. A few employ shop-assistants to answer shoppers’ questions. 3B takes a cut of sales initiated in its browser. Nicky Morris, the firm’s boss, says business is “absolutely phenomenal” because women in particular stay in shops longer when they are not alone.

Microsoft is also developing a 3-D browser, called Deepfish, for mobile devices. Many other 3-D browsers are in the pipeline. It is seductive technology that can look gorgeous. But Dave Farber, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon who is one of the internet’s founding fathers, says the enthusiasm for cool visuals will be replaced by a realisation that 3-D navigation is a much-needed tool. He points to Hyperwords, which he thinks will become widely used (and imitated). It allows people to make more connections of the kind that interest them. A user can add an option, say, to search for any clicked-on word or phrase in her favourite Bolivian and Peruvian newspapers. Hyperwords users can also effortlessly place clicked-on text into a blog, e-mail, instant message or Facebook profile. These new connections add “depth” to words and ideas, Mr Farber says, but create incredibly complex networks. Without 3-D maps, he says, we may lose our bearings. 

-Jun 5th 2008 

From The Economist print edition




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