|Alraune • Fideliant (Rare Game) • Lindbur Wolf (Rare Game)|
|Items In This Area|
|Bowgun (Steal from Alraune) • Broadsword • Cotton Cap • Cotton Shirt • Diamond Armlet • Gladius (Steal from Lindbur Wolf) • Heavy Lance (Drop from Fideliant) • Leather Armor • Onion Arrows x2 • Orrachea Armlet • Steel Gorget|
Pillage and Plunder in the Westersand
Despite being largely unexplored, the Westersands doesn't really have much in the way of interesting loot. There are a few Rare Game skulking about in the sands, but most of the lesser monsters are the same critters you fought in the Estersand and Giza Plains: Cactoids, Cockatrices, Wolves, Ustrixes and Sleipnir. They're higher level versions of the same foes, sure, and to reflect this, Wolves have a new skill called Fangs, which is a stronger attack, while Urstrixes have Gust, which doesn't really do a whole lot of damage. Otherwise, expect them to do more damage overall and have more HP.
There are also two new enemies in the Westersand you likely want to avoid - Dive Talons (which are abundant in a few areas) and the Gnoma Entite. Both are docile and will not attack unless you mess with them first. The former are a bit annoying since they are flying enemies, meaning you need weapons with reach (Spears or Poles) the Telekinesis technick (still a ways off, sadly), ranged weapons (Bombs, Bows, Crossbows, Guns) or magick to deal with them. Depending largely on what jobs you picked for everybody, your party may be lacking in ways to respond to such foes until you advance the story a bit. Gnoma Entites only spawn in sandstorm weather, in The Midfault and Shimmering Horizons areas, and these big balls of enemies are not to be trifled with. If you mess with these things they will destroy you with magick, so don't be a hero and pick a fight, you simply do not have the defensive resources to withstand them right now. Note that using magicks near Entites (including this and all future ones) will cause them to turn hostile, but otherwise they'll leave you alone if you leave them alone.
Galtea Downs is the area immediately outside of Rabanastre, where you and Penelo presumably hunted Thextera early in the game. As such, the foes here - consisting only of Wolves and Cactites - should be utter push-overs by now. Other than them, there's little in the way of notable loot; most of the chests containing a wide variety of basic curatives. The sole exception to this is the chest in the northwestern corner of the area, which may possess a Cotton Cap . Whether that counts as "notable loot" at this point of the game or not is debatable.
All that said, there's still a reason to scour this place, as you'll need to kill twenty Wolves in the Westersand to get at some Rare Game later on. While it's unlikely you'll rack up the many kills in this area alone, there's enough of them to be worth running through the area and killing as many as you can. You'll pick up the rest of the kills you need as you explore the rest of the Westersand. When you're done, make your way to the northern end of the area to find an area transition leading to the Corridor of Sand area.
Corridor of Sand
This area basically forms an unconnected loop, running west for a stretch before turning north, then running a long way to the east before turning south. Common enemies in this area include Cockatrices, Urstrixes, Wolves and a Dive Talon flying about the lowlands to the east. This area also has the most loot of any Westersand area, although again, whether it's worth bothering with is another story.
Still, might as well point it out. From the eastern entrance to this area follow the southern boundary cliffs north, then west, then south, where you might find a chest containing some Onion Arrows . Abandon the boundary wall and work your way north, then east until you reach the eastern lowlands, near which a docile Dive Talon flies. Ignore the bird and look for a tapered pillar of rock, southwest of which, against a cliff, you'll find a chest which may yield a Broadsword . Finally, just follow these cliffs south, then west to find a Steel Gorget tucked away near the dead-end tail of this spiral-shaped area.
You may have faced this creature before, in fact there was an entire section dedicated to hunting this beastie and putting a few levels under your belt. That said, now is the proper time to be hunting the critter, so it might as well be detailed here. As a refresher, to lure the fiend out you'll need a character to have under 10% of their maximum HP, a task you can let enemies help you with, or you can beat up your poor ally yourself. Indeed, sitting a character in front of an angry Cockatrice in this zone will be sufficient to spawn Dustia given enough time.
Dustia boasts 7,000 HP and decent attack power, but its primary means of dishing out damage is via Dark, which it'll gleefully use to harm all characters nearby. Being undead you can kill Dustia with a single Phoenix Down, but now that you're leveled a bit more, such shady tactics shouldn't be required. When it dies it may leave behind a Book of Orgain or a Flame Staff - you can steal a Book of Orgain-Mille from it, and it can be Poached for a Pebble or a Capricorn Gem. It's weak to Holy and absorbs Dark.
Now that that's out of the way, you may be tempted to explore another area to the northeast, but there's little you can do there yet, as the sandstorms are just too strong. All you'll accomplish is raising a sandstorm in other parts of the Westersand, so leave it alone. Instead head to the southwestern corner of the area to find another area transition, this one leading to The Midfault area.
In The Midfault you may encounter Sleipnir, Urstrixes and Wolves, for the common critters, and a Dive Talon or a Gnoma Entite - the latter thankfully only appears in a sandstorm. There are only two loot items in this area, along the eastern boundary cliffs south of the area transition to Galtea Downs you can find a chest with Leather Armor in it. In the northwestern corner of the map you'll find a boulder standing isolated in the sands, southeast of which you'll find a large spiky Cactus. South of this cactus, against a ledge, you'll find a chest with a Cotton Shirt inside.
The most notable thing in The Midfault is the Fideliant Rare Game, which has a 20% chance to spawn every time you enter the zone. For this creature, and other creatures with similar spawn conditions, you can zone in and out of the area ten or twenty times in succession before looking for it to raise your chances. Fideliant is fairly easy to spot, as it's a skeleton with a dark aura surrounding it. Fideliant can cast Dark and Poison magicks, in addition to which you might also see Flash, which can inflict Blind, and Tremor, an Earth-based area-of-effect attack. It can drop a Bone Fragment or a Heavy Lance , you can steal a Capricorn Gem, and it can be Poached for a Pebble or a Broken Spear. Being undead, it's weak to Holy and absorbs Dark, and can be damaged by curatives.
There are two ways to proceed from here, you can find an area transition in the southeastern corner of the area which leads to the Shimmering Horizons, while along the western end of the zone you'll find an area transition leading to the Windtrace Dunes. Go south first to reach the Shimmering Horizons, a spacious area with, well, surprisingly little of interest at the moment.
The common monsters you'll find include Sleipnir, Wolves and Urstrixes, while near the western end of the level you'll find two Dive Talons. If there's a sandstorm you may also run into a Gnoma Entite. As for loot, search the southwestern corner of the level to find an urn with an Orrachea Armlet inside. This urn is guaranteed to spawn and always yields an Orrachea Armlet, but it will not respawn once looted.
Lastly, south of where the Dive Talons fly, near the southwestern corner of the area, you'll find a cave which leads to an area transition. This will lead you to the Zeritanan Cavern, which can be a bit of a pain right now, especially since the biggest portion will be blocked off until a little later in the game. Also, if you leave the Westersand your Wolf-killing progress will be reset, so you might as well leave it alone for now.
Aside from the aforementioned Zertinan Cavern there are two new area transitions leading out of this area. The one to the southeast leads to the Starfall Field area of the Giza Plains, which you need not bother with right now. The northwestern exit, however, is far more interesting, as it leads to an isolated section of the Windtrace Dunes zone. Here you'll find a new foe, the Alraune.
The Alraune is the only new enemy in the Westersand that you should challenge at the moment, aside from Rare Game, that is. They bear more than a passing resemblance to the Rogue Tomato you defeated at the beginning of the game, and like that nasty nightshade, these critters are push-overs, too. They only have one attack, their damage is nothing special, and their HP isn't impressive, either. They can drop a Succulent Fruit, Earth Stone, Potion or Prince's Kiss. In addition to that, you can steal a Succulent Fruit, Handkerchief or a Bowgun . The best thing Alraunes drop are their Succulent Fruit, which sell for 363 Gil. A full stack of 99 Succulent Fruit will sell for a respectable 35,937 Gil, and since it's their common drop, it's very farmable. You'll find a location shortly where farming them is relatively easy, so you don't need to worry about it right now.
Pound the Alraunes into paste, then search the northwestern edge of the area to find a ledge overlooking the rest of the Windtrace Dunes area, along which an urn may spawn. It's fickle about spawning, but when it does spawn it'll yield a Diamond Armlet . The urn will not respawn after this item is looted. This particular accessory, when worn by an active party member, changes the contents of chests. You could easily have pulled one of these out of an urn in Trial Mode, but now even if you didn't bother, you have access to these treasures. Sadly, such loot manipulation isn't worthwhile just yet, as you'll largely just find Knots of Rust and Meteorite instead of whatever curatives or gear you otherwise would have found, but hold onto this for future use, as a lot of high-end equipment will be acquired with it later in the game.
Enough gazing longingly at the Windtrace Dunes, it's time to abandon this tiny, unconnected sliver of the area and explore the full area. Return southeast to the Shimmering Horizons area and from there head back east to The Midfault zone. Make your way to the western end of The Midfault to find the area transition to the Windtrace Dunes.
In this area you'll find plenty of your new friends, Alraunes, as well as old friends like Wolves, Sleipnir, and a Dive Talon along the western end of the level. As for loot, along the cliffs in the northwestern corner of the level you'll find an urn that may contain some Onion Arrows . Not very impressive, but at least it's been explored.
Now that the Westersand has been explored thoroughly, it's time for the main event - the Lindbur Wolf. You should have killed at least twenty Wolves at this point, so return to Galtea Downs and take the southwestern exit this time. You should now be in the isolated area of Shimmering Horizons and if all went well, you should see a reddish-colored big wolf with two normal ones. This is the Lindbur Wolf and will be the main target of your thievery for now, as soon as you dispatch the smaller ones first. Set up your party's gambits to do nothing but steal, as you will be attempting to get the Gladius , a fairly powerful dagger at this point in the game.
Luckily for you, the Gladius is the only item in the Lindbur's fur pockets, but it's a rare item, so it might take a good while to get it. As far as abilities go, the Lindbur Wolf has Lunge, Fangs and Eerie Soundwave, the latter of which is an area-of-effect skill and can deal some good damage (possibly 300+ at this point). It can also counter your attacks and inflict Poison with its regular strikes. If you want to make life easier on yourself and have a capable spell caster you can try to cast Sleep so you can steal the Gladius in peace. You can also cast Blind, which will cause Lindbur Wolf to miss more often. Note that it is weak to water, so Aqua can be used to quickly kill it once you've snatched the Gladius. The Lindbur Wolf can drop a Wolf Pelt and Prime Pelt, the latter of the two being its rare drop.
With the Lindbur Wolf dead and the Gladius taken as your own, that's about all you can do here in the Westersand. To carry on with the main story, journey back to the western-most area of the Westersand, the Western Divide area. It's time to finally enter the Ogir-Yensa Sandsea.