|Notice Board||Dantro (Dalmasca Estersand: Outpost)||Dalmasca Estersand, Yardang Labyrinth||500 Gil, Potion x10, Cactus Flower|
|4||755||Wind||Cactus Fruit, Earth Stone, Potion|
|Earth (Absorb)||Confuse, Doom, Libra, Lure Petrify, Poison, Reverse|
This hunt can be found in Yardang Labyrinth to the south of the Estersand. You’ll need to talk to Dantro in the Outpost area, which can be reached by passing through the Yardang Labyrinth and exiting via the area transition in the southwestern corner.
The first step of this hunt - aside from reading the notice in the Sandsea - happens before you even bother talking to Dantro, as the Flowering Cactoid will utilize the random enemies of the Yardang Labyrinth against you if given a chance to do so. Don’t let it play that game, and explore the place before starting the hunt, clearing out whatever Wolves and Cockatrices which prowl about but leave the neutral Cactoids and Cactites alone for now. When done, head to the Outpost area and return, then kill all those monsters that respawned. With two good wipes done leave the Yardang Labyrinth and head to the Outpost.
When you reach the Outpost find Dantro - the man sitting on a crate talking to a Seeq - and he’ll tell you about the Mark. The Flowering Cactoid, however, decides not to leave its reputation to Dantro, and makes a personal appearance. If that provocative plant wants a fight, it’ll get one! Before you leave, if you’ve never been to the Outpost before (you may have come here during the Dustia Grind) be sure to search the eastern-most part of the map, past a palm tree, where you’ll find an urn waiting for you near the sheer cliffs. Plunder it to score a Firefly (Accessory 2).
Return to the Yardang Labyrinth and make your way northeast. Ignore the first opportunity to turn southeast, but take the second one, where you’ll find the Flowering Cactoid (this is just south of the area transition to the Sand-Swept Naze). The Flowering Cactoid is a jerk, plain and simple. Not only do you take damage when you attack, but the Mark has pretty good evasion, which is something you can remedy by sticking Balthier’s default gun - an Altair - back on him (they ignore evasion) - assuming you bothered to change his equipment, anyway. If that’s not annoying enough, the Flowering Cactoid’s regular attacks can inflict Blind. Be sure to counter with Blindna and/or Eye Drops.
After sustaining enough punishment the Flowering Cactoid will try to scurry off, making you give chase and inviting other enemies to attack you. If you cleared the area ahead of time, it’ll be much easier chasing it down and keeping up the pressure. On the other hand, if you’re forced to ease the pressure to concentrate on the other mobs, then the Flowering Cactoid can actually use Potions to heal itself.
If you continue to damage the cunning Cactoid to the point where its HP drops below 20% it’ll start using its 1,000 Needles attack. This wretched attack - a staple of Cactuars in Final Fantasy games - deals one point of damage per needle, collectively inflicting 1,000 damage to its target. At this point in time this will probably kill whomever it hits instantly. Keep a Phoenix Down handy for this eventuality and finish it off to prevent it from using it too many times. It doesn’t drop anything and has nothing useful to steal, so just kill it and then return to Dantro to receive your reward.
After you collect your reward from Dantro for the Flowering Cactoid, talk to him again and he’ll ask you for another favor. He’ll ask you to simply take the Cactus Flower you plucked as a gruesome (by plant standards, anyway) trophy from the Flowering Cactoid to his wife in a village to the north.