|Clay Golem • Fire Elemental • Humbaba • Python • Seeq Cataran • Vulture • Wary Wolf (Rare Game)|
|Items In This Area|
|Avenger • Black Cowl (Drop from Vulture) • Black Garb x2 • Bone Helm (Steal from Python) • Diamond Armor • Dragon Shield • Giant Stonebow • Gillie Boots • Golden Staff • Iron Pole (Drop from Clay Golem) • Kiku-ichimonji • Metal Jerkin • Power Armlet (Drop from Wary Wolf) • Six-fluted Pole (Drop from Seeq Cataran) • Sledgehammer (Drop from Humbaba)|
The Gran Kiltias is dead, murdered by a Nethicite-addled Judge Bergan immediately after Vayne Solidor's ascension. The audacity and ruthlessness of the attack, and the Nethicite that empowered Bergan are both indicitive of Vayne's intentions, methods and means. As war between Rozarria and Archades looms with Dalmasca as the likely battleground, it seems a wise idea to find out more about the Empire's manufactured Nethicite, considering the fate that befell Nabudis and the Imperial 8th Fleet. The air and sea routes are too well monitored by Imperial forces, so expediency will have to be sacrificed for stealth, necessitating a dangerous, lengthy land voyage to reach Archades.
With that recap out of the way, the first stage of your journey to Archades will force you to venture to the Mosphoran Highwaste, which is north of Nalbina Fortress. You may have visited the Mosphoran Highwaste earlier on in order to nab some Thief's Cuffs, in which case you can simply use a Gate Crystal to teleport to the Babbling Vale zone. If you haven't visited the Mosphoran Highwaste yet, teleport (or walk) to Nalbina Fortress's Western Barbican zone, where you'll find that you'll have to do more work to bypass the Imperials guarding the route north. Simply rent a Chocobo from the nearby Moogle and ride towards the guards and they'll depart (this encounter is covered in more detail in the section Odds and Ends After Raithwell.
Now that everybody, regardless of their previous escapades, has access to the Moshporan Highwaste it's time to give it a proper bit of exploration. Even if you traveled here earlier, you likely didn't explore much of it on your first run through, as the point was to simply pass through on the safety provided by a Chocobo and get the Theif's Cuffs. This time, however, it's time to kill monsters, fill out the map, and collect loot. All that wonderful RPG stuff everybody loves. Regardless of how you got here, for the sake of argument let's start exploring the Mosphoran Highwaste at its southern-most area, the Southern Skirts.
The first area of Mosphoran is very tame, as you will only encounter two types of enemies, both you have seen in prior areas. The Worgens will be your main threat, where you'll usually find them in packs of two or three. One notable difference, though, is that the Worgens in Mosphoran Highwaste will sometimes spawn under Berserk, increasing their damage output and speed of their attacks, but they can only use normal attacks. You will also find a lone Slaven Wilder in this area, who is docile until you attack it, fight something or use magicks near it. All of the treasures in this zone either contain Potions or Echo Herbs, with a lone Phoenix Down also being present as an item. There are two exits in the northern part, both leading to Summit Path.
You will find that this zone is a little busier than the previous one, as there are some new enemies here, as well as a Rare Game and some tantalizing loot. Once again, the main baddie here will be the Worgen, but there is a small chance that one of them will be replaced with the Rare Game, Wary Wolf. If you don't get it to spawn, you can zone in and out until it does. The other new enemies in this zone are the Humbaba, which spawns towards the south/middle of the area, and the Fire Elemental, which only appears during sunny weather. Normally, you've been avoiding Elementals and Entites, but you can start going after the former, or at least this one. There are two treasures you can get in this area, one of which is in a little notch near the shrine where the Humbabas are patrolling; this one can yield a Golden Staff . The other is located in the dead end towards the north. You will find two treasures here and the one you're looking for is found at the end; it could contain a Kiku-ichimonji .
There are multiple exits in this zone, with the one to the southwest leading to the Broken Sands area of the Estersand. The northeastern exit will lead to Empyrean Way, while the northwestern one brings you to the safe haven of Babbling Vale, which is where you will want to go for now.
It's rather easy to spot the Wary Wolf when it spawns, since it is larger and a normal Wolf color, as opposed to the Worgens' red fur. It's not really much different than them, though, as it can only use Lunge and Sonic Fangs as its attacks, although it does have quite a bit more health. Note that its normal attacks have a chance to inflict Petrify on your characters. It drops either a Wolf Pelt (common) or Power Armlet (rare), you can steal a Prime Pelt from it, and poaching it will yield either a Pebble or Hell-Gate's Flame. The latter item is used in a rarer Bazaar item that is later used for a piece of end-game equipment, but there are easier ways to obtain it. The Wary Wolf is weak to earth, but absorbs wind.
A derivative of the Werewolf from the Giza Plains (Dry), the Humbaba is pretty much a normal enemy compared to them. Their strength is comparable to Wary Wolf's, but they might be slightly weaker than it. You will find that their normal attacks can inflict Blind on your party and they can cast Protect on themselves to reduce the damage you do. Besides Ram, the only other skill they have is Water Spout, which hits more than one character, plus they can counter your attacks. As drops, you can get a Storm Magicite, Tanned Giantskin, Echo Herbs or a Sledgehammer . Steal from Humbaba can net you a Storm Magicite, Teleport Stone or a Gemini Gem. If you decide to poach them, you can receive a Tanned Giantskin or a Beastlord Horn, the latter of which is also a Monograph drop. They are weak to ice.
The Fire Elemental is definitely one of the tougher enemies in the Mosphoran Highwaste (Elementals and Entites are among the more dangerous enemies in each of their respective areas), as it has high HP, good defenses and potent magick power. It should be noted that the Fire Elemental is weak to water, absorbs fire and negates all damage from the other elements. Using physical attacks against the Fire Elemental means you will take some small damage, due to the Reflect Damage augment (all Elementals and Entites have this). It is usually seen casting Protect and Shell on random monsters, but when fighting, it will use Silence and Sleep on your characters. Its main method of attacking is with Fira, which can hit multiple characters, so be careful of their spacing. You can get a Fire Magicite, Fire Stone, Feystone or Fire Crystal as drops, plus you can steal a Fire Magicite, Feystone or Fire Crystal from it.
Not too much has changed here for now, as you still can't do anything with the shrines here yet. However, the lone merchant here has upgraded his wares, providing much more than the two items he did if you came here earlier to get the Thief's Cuffs. If you didn't check the merchants back in Bur-Omisace after defeating Bergan, then you can pick up three new magicks here in Babbling Vale - Aeroga, Vanishga and Bio. Bio is a Black Magick that inflicts non-elemental damage to all targets in range, plus it can also inflict Sap, while Aeroga is just a stronger version of Aero. Vanishga makes your party invisible, meaning enemies that detect you by sight will have more trouble finding you. However, there are other ways for enemies to detect you, so this won't work on everything.
Souleater is the only new technick available, which allows you to deal damage to enemies, but it also hurts the user. Note that this attack is more powerful than a normal one and only uses the equipped weapon's attack, so it's best to put on the weapon with the highest attack power. Be warned, though, that Souleater will heal the undead, so you have to be careful where you use it. Browse the equipment available, updating any gear you might need (Remedies are finally for sale, but cost 400 gil each!), then look for the exit leading east to the northeast of where you entered to find the Empyrean Way zone.
Empyrean Way is but a mere stepping zone to the north, as there isn't anything you can do here for now. The treasures here don't contain anything of value, plus the isolated area you might see on your map is inaccessible until a little later in the game. The only enemies you will likely see here are Worgens, but you might find some hostile Seeqs here from time to time. Keep going north to Rays of Ashen Light.
Normally, Seeqs are friendly, but the Caterans that can appear here are the rare occurrence, as they will attack you on sight. They can be a little annoying, as they tend to use Provoke on a character, inflicting them with Berserk. Another skill they have is Heave, a seemingly normal attack that can also inflict Immobilize. They can counter attacks, plus they also have Reflect Damage. They have nothing as a common drop, but other drops include a Water Stone, Phoenix Down and Six-fluted Pole . For steals, they have a Pebble, 200 gil, or a Hi-Potion, and poaching them will always yield a Pebble. They are weak to fire.
Rays of Ashen Light
As with Empyrean Way, the isolated sections on your map are blocked off for now, as you need to progress the main story a little bit. There will be a few Slaven Wilders roaming about, as well as two Clay Golems "guarding" the shrine towards the north. There is a treasure along the western ridge, before the shrine, which can yield an Avenger . Note that there is a Wayward Chocobo here, which you can give a Gysahl Green to be given the chance to ride it, but there's no need to do that right now, as it will help you with some optional stuff that unlocks later.
This should be your first encounter with this type of enemy, which looks like a stone construct with large arms and tiny legs. The only place to fight the Clay Golem is in this very zone. It has access to quite a bit of magick, mainly Aero, Dark, Reflect, and Aquara, as well as other skills like Tri-Attack, Lunge, Focus (heals HP) and Wild Charge. They can drop an Earth Magicite, Solid Stone, Iron Pole or a Hi-Potion, plus you can steal an Earth Magicite, Gold Needle or Chronos Tear from it. Poaching a Clay Golem will yield either a Solid Stone or Quality Lumber.
Trail of Sky-flung Stone
You'll start encountering a few new enemies here, one not long after you enter, the Python, which will pop out of the ground to greet you. There are two paths to go here, both converging to the eastern end. The southern of the two will have you fighting some Vultures, which are similar to the Dive Talons, but aggressive. Of course, you might find the odd Worgen and Seeq Cateran also around, especially if you're zoning in and out to find the sweet loot. On the southern path, there are two treasures, both towards the middle and fairly close to each other - the western of the two can have a Diamond Armor , while the eastern one may yield a Black Garb . There is a treasure in the central part of the northern path that always spawns, which contains some Gillie Boots . There's one more thing to do here, which is in the southeastern corner, where you'll find a rock you can interact with to create a new way back to Rays of Ashen Light.
This serpent is like all of the others, as you won't know it's there until you are on top of it and the snake pops out of the ground to start attacking. Outside of that, though, it's nothing special. Its normal attack has the chance to inflict poison and the other other attacks it has is Gnaw and Spiral Cut, both physical skills. Its drop list includes a Tanned Hide, Wind Magicite, Gold Needle or a Quality Hide, while you can steal a Wind Magicite, 400 gil or a Bone Helm . Should you decide to poach them, you may receive a Tanned Hide or Great Serpent's Fang, the latter of which is a Monograph drop. The Python is weak to earth.
The Vulture is another flying enemy, which means that you'll need to use ranged weapons, poles/spears, magicks, and/or Telekinesis to be able to deal damage to it. It is not much different than the Dive Talon from earlier, except it's not docile and will attack on sight. In fact, that's about the only difference, besides being stronger and with more HP, as they share the same attacks (Lunge and Kamikaze) - well, it can also counter your attacks. As for drops, you can get a Giant Feather, Wind Magicite, Black Cowl or a Bundle of Feathers. Stealing from it might net you a Wind Magicite, Soliel Fang, or a Bundle of Feathers. Poaching it will yield either a Giant Feather or an Eye of the Hawk, the latter of which it shares as a Monograph drop.
The last true zone of Mosphoran Highwaste, Northern Skirts is home to many treasures, some that you've seen before, but others that are new. It is also the place where you'll find the Atomos Mark for the Trouble in the Hills hunt, if you picked it up. You will find Pythons and Humbabas in the southern half of the zone, with mostly Vultures in the northern half and if you have Trouble in the Hills, then Atomos will also be amongst the Vultures. From where you enter, follow the southeastern corner for a chest that can contain a Metal Jerkin . Return to the entrance and pass through north the first chance you get. As soon as you do, look a little bit to the west to find another chest, which can yield a Black Garb .
Continue to the northern half of the zone and as soon as you do, head a little bit east to find yet another treasure, which can cough up a Dragon Shield . If you have Atomos available, go ahead and do that fight now (look below for information), then go to the northeast corner. There might be two treasures relatively close together here, but the one you want to loot is the western of the two, as it might contain a Giant Stonebow . Clean up anything else you need to do here, then venture north to Halyn Crossing.
Hunt - Atomos
Atomos can be found in the middle of the northern section of Northern Skirts, with no need to actually do anything to spawn it, meaning it can be a bit annoying having to try and clear out the Vultures without attracting its attention. First and foremost, Atomos ignores evasion, so you won't be able to use something like the Main Gauche/shield combo here. It is weak to holy, but absorbs dark and takes lesser damage from all other elements. The Slaven also knows Protect, Shell, Regen and Restore, the last of which it will use to restore a bit of health, but only when under half HP. It can also use Purify to get rid of ailments (immune to Stop, Purify, Doom, Poison and Oil), which it follows with White Wind, meaning it will remain immune to all ailments for a period of time. Its physical attacks include Gnaw, Power Stun and Spin Kick, the latter two being area-of-effect. Once its health reaches low enough, its attacks begin to be executed immediately, without waiting for the ATB gauge to fill. You can steal a Potion, Tanned Giantskin or Gemini Gem from Atomos.
Thankfully, this zone doesn't have any enemies in it, so you have a little bit of a breather. Two treasures can spawn in this area, one of which has a high chance of giving you some gil, although you can get Hi-Ethers from it (very slim chance, though). The other treasure, though, will always contain an Elixir, but it only spawns a single time. When you're ready to move on, take the transition to the northwest to finally reach The Salikawood.