|Antares • Baknamy • Breagh (Mark) • King Bomb (Boss) • Malboro King • Pumpkin Head • Spee (Rare Game) • Sprinter • Wood Toad • Wyrdhare|
|Items In This Area|
|Adamant Hat • Astrakhan Hat (Drop from Sprinter) • Bastard Sword • Black Garb (Steal from Pumpkin Head) • Chaos Mace • Charm • Claymore (Poach from) Spee • Diamond Armor Drop from Baknamy) • Gokuu Pole • Loxely Bow (Drop from Wyrdhare) • Ras Algethi • Rose Corsage • Sash • Thorned Mace (Poach from Malboro King)|
Welcome to Salikawood, another forest environment, where you'll find not many hostile enemies in the first few zones. This first area is rather small and doesn't contain much of anything, bar the only hostile enemy, the Pumpkin Head, and one other creature that is docile, the Wyrdhare. There are only two treasures here, but they contain nothing of importance. The exit to the northeast leads to Path of Hours.
Pumpkin Heads are similar in nature to something like the Alraunes, except they have a lot more skills at their disposal. They are quite easy, though, and can sometimes be found sleeping, so you can simply walk by them if you wanted. They have access to a variety of magicks, including Blind, Silence, Sleep and Poison, plus their normal attack can inflict Confuse. In addition to that, you may find them using Vespersong and Warsong, which increases their magick and attack powers, respectively. They are weak to ice and can drop a Succulent Fruit, Storm Magicite, Handkerchief or a Balance Mote. Stealing from them could get you a Storm Magicite, Screamroot or a Black Garb , while poaching will always yield a Succulent Fruit.
These small woodland creatures are docile and will only fight if you attack them first. In fact, they may use some of their beneficial magicks on the party, like Cura, Regen, Protect, Shell and even Hi-Potions. Should you attack them, they will usually run away, most likely to other Wyrdhares or packs of other enemies, then start to fight. Similar to the Pumpkin Head, they have access to both Vespersong and Warsong, as well as physical attacks Lunge and Flank Attack. They are weak to fire and drop Fine Wool, Water Magicite, Aries Gem or a Loxley Bow . Stealing from them can yield a Water Magicite, Echo Herbs or an Aries Gem, while poaching will get you either a Fine Wool or Stardust, the latter of which is also a Monograph drop.
Path of Hours
You'll find a Save Crystal here, so make sure you use it for some rest and don't forget to save your game. Also, since you came here during the story, the forest bungalow to the southeast of the Save Crystal will have some Moogles hiding out, so go ahead and talk to them if you wish. You will find out their importance shortly, so continue on to Trunkwall Road, which is to the north.
This is definitely a much bigger area, which has a few treasures to grab, as well as the map to The Salikawood. Start off by heading east, bypassing the first path to the north, and stopping at the split. Continue north here, all the way to the dead end at the top, where you can nab a Chaos Mace from the treasure there. There will be a new enemy, a Sprinter, near that treasure, but it's docile, so don't bother it for now unless you like to mercilessly slaughter everything in your path. Return to the previous split, heading south/southeast this time to come to another fork in the road.
There are three options this time, with the short one on your map containing a green urn that has the map to the Salikawood, so make sure you grab it. Continue north and at the first moment you see a small path leading north, go to the end to find a possible treasure that could have a Gokuu Pole . The rest of the treasures in this zone contain nothing but consumables, so from where you snatched the Gokuu Pole, keep moving northeast and then east to find the transition to Diverging Way.
The Sprinter is another docile creature that will not bother you unless you attack it. They are part of the Cockatrice-family of enemies and don't really offer much in the way of combat, although they do have slightly higher evasion than other enemies. Despite its name, Sonic Spin only hits one character, and Stone Gaze will attempt to Petrify all characters in range. You can get a Bundle of Feathers, Fire Magicite, Rime Fang or an Astrakhan Hat as a drop, plus you can steal a Bundle of Feathers, Lightning Fang or Taurus Gem from them. Should you decide to poach them, you will receive either a Bundle of Feathers or a Chronos Tear. They are weak to water.
There will be nothing along the southern trail, except for a few Pumpkin Heads, so ignore that for now, as you will be heading there after you explore this place a bit. Head south from the entrance and then take the path going northeast, following it for a little bit and venturing to the north once it turns that way. Keep going north-northwest, where you'll run into a Malboro King, then continue west and south to a fork with two dead ends. The eastern dead end has a treasure that can cough up a Bastard Sword . Return to the north and follow the trail there to the east, where you should see some stairs leading down to an area with some Malboro Kings. Descend the stairs and at the bottom, turn around to spot a chest that could yield a Ras Algethi . That's all the loot in this area and rather than continue to the north, double back to the southeast to find the transition to Living Chasm.
This iteration of the Malboro is pretty much a stronger version of the Great Malboro you encountered in Golmore Jungle, as it has all of the same moves. Cloying Breath can inflict Sleep and Slow, while Bad Breath can add to that with Blind and Poison (it also inflicts Slow). You can get a Malboro Fruit, Dark Magicite, Vanishga Mote or a Virgo Gem as drops, as well as a Dark Magicite, Malboro Fruit or a Virgo Gem as steals. Poaching will yield either a Malboro Fruit or a Thorned Mace . They are weak to holy.
There are no enemies here, nor any treasures, so you don't have to worry about anything. Travel to the southeast to find a large gate that seems to be shut, with a Moogle Boss pacing in front of it. Speak with him to find out that the gate is broken, leads to the Phon Coast, and he's in charge of fixing. Of course, it will never be fixed if his nine no-good apprentices continue loafing in the bungalows in Salikawood. This will place a counter underneath your mini-map and if you look at the larger map/overlay, then you should notice exclamation marks. These pinpoint the locations of his apprentices, all of whom are in four locations and two of which you should have passed on the way here.
So, double back to Trunkwall Road, to the location of the first marker and investigate the Forest Bunglow to find two apprentices. After they scurry off to avoid the wrath of their boss, they will point out how many are left still lounging about. The next lazy group is back in Path of Hours, near the Save Crystal, so speak with them and they will run off, leaving four more left. Use this opportunity to heal up and save at the crystal, then go back to Trunkwall Road, taking the western exit to Sun-dappeled Path.
The only enemies you'll find here are Wyrdhares, but they are the key to drawing out one of the Rare Games. Slaughter all of the little bunnies, then keep checking the dead ends until Spee pops out of the ground. If it doesn't, go back two zones to Path of Hours and try again. There is one noteworthy treasure here, which is located at the central dead end on the map, which can contain a Rose Corsage .
Once you manage to get Spee to spawn, you will first notice that it's aggressive. This little - well, not as little as normal Wyrdhares - thing can be a righteous pain in the butt, as it likes to cast Confuse and Berserk on your characters, the latter of which can only be removed by Dispel; it also knows the Fira magick. For physical attacks, it knows Lunge and Mach Punch, the latter only hitting a single character. The worst skill Spee has access to is called Hero's March, which it will use at some point to cast Protect, Shell, Haste, Bravery and Faith. This means it will hit harder physically and magickally, while also taking less damage from both sources. Luckily, it doesn't have a whole lot of health (around 14,000). It can drop a Drab Wool, Blood Wool or High Arcana, while you can steal a Stardust from it. Poaching it can yield a Pebble or Claymore . It is weak to water, while absorbing fire.
Garden of Decay
Enemies are rather scarce here, as you'll just encounter a few Sprinters and the odd Malboro King towards the north. In fact, this entire area is rather uninteresting, as the treasures are nothing special. The only noteworthy thing here is that you can pick up the last two sets of Moogle apprentices, who are found in the north-central dead end. Speak with both sets to send them back to work, then you'll be done with this little sidequest. When you talk with the last of them, you are given the option to go back to the gate with them. If you want to continue the story, go ahead and do that, but there's a few extra things you can do here in the Salikawood, like grab another technick and explore a few more zones. From where you spoke with the last of the Moogles, go a little northeast to find the transition to Quietened Trace.
This area has no enemies and as you get to the center, you will find a glorious Gate Crystal. Heal up, save, then it's time to explore this little zone. There are some dead ends to the north and another to the south. The northern one has a few treasures, but nothing of importance. However, the trail to the south will bring you to a nice little treasure that contains the Charm technick. The transition to the east will bring you back to Diverging Way, which is where you will want to go to get back to the gate that leads to the Phon Coast. However, if you wish to tackle an optional boss, fell the Braegh Mark and grab another Rare Game, then you will want to enter the transition heading northwest. As soon as you step through it, a large Bomb will appear.
Optional Boss - King Bomb
When you are mentally and physically prepared, step into the Grand Bower to witness the birth of a giant bomb, King Bomb. This can either be a challenging fight or a very annoying one, depending on what King Bomb does. At the beginning of the battle, it is accompanied by a few Bombs, which you should dispatch to help mitigate the damage done to your party. This also prevents them from using Self-Destruct, which can actually heal King Bomb, something the boss can initiate with Chain Reaction. Being ticking fire-bombs, Bombs and the King Bomb itself are weak to water and absorb fire, so check your equipment and make sure you aren't using the wrong magicks.
Of course, defeating the Bombs also makes it so they don't use Oil on your characters, which will make King Bomb's physical attacks (added element of fire) and Fira magick do a lot more damage. The boss itself has Reflect Damage, so you'll continually take damage from just attacking. At one point, King Bomb might use Chain Magick, meaning it will be freely able to use Fira without having to rely on the ATB gauge to refill. On the other side of the spectrum, King Bomb can be especially annoying, as when its health reaches a certain threshold - possibly under 75% - it'll run off and use Cry for Help to summon another Bomb onto the battlefield.
It seems to only do this if there are no Bombs out, so it might be a good idea to change up your gambits if you are attacking the lowest HP mobs first. This is a bit complicated further, as King Bomb will use Renew when its health gets lower (possibly under 50% or so), completely restoring any lost health. The weird part about this is that King Bomb could possibly use Renew multiple times, sometimes even endlessly, which might attribute to killing its Bombs too quickly or something, so be on the lookout. King Bomb is susceptible to a few different ailments, but the highlights include Silence, Immobilize and Slow.
Immobilize will help in keeping the giant grenade in one place, while Slow will lessen the frequency of attacks and even Renew. Silence helps out a lot, as it stops Cry for Help and just about everything else, but it can still use Renew. Note that if you feel overwhelmed at all, you can exit the arena, but only where you entered. This can be used to your advantage by entering the arena, stealing from King Bomb - with Thief's Cuffs (Bomb Shell, Fire Crystal, or Bomb Fragment) - then leaving and re-entering to do it again. This is a good way to earn some extra gil, considering Bomb Shells sell for 896 gil a piece, Bomb Fragments for a whopping 1911 gil each, and Fire Crystals are useful in a number of Bazaar recipes.
With the King Bomb defused, you have two paths in which you can exit to the north. The northeastern one leads to Piebald Path, while northwest goes to Corridor of Ages.
Corridor of Ages
Despite there not being much in this zone, besides the two new enemies, it is home to a Hunt and a Rare Game. Braegh (Rodeo to the Death) is the Mark you will find here, provided you started the hunt, while the Rare Game is called Wood Toad, which can be one of the more annoying ones to find. Note that the Chocobos aren't really new, as they share an entry with all other Chocobos in the Clan Primer, but they need a short briefing. They are docile, meaning they will not attack unless you attack them first, and can use a skill called Choco-Comet. The Brown Chocobo can drop a Chocobo Feather, Earth Magicite, Gysahl Greens, or an Antidote, while you can steal a Chocobo Feather or Fuzzy Miter. The exit to the southwest leads to the Necrohol of Nabudis, an area you definitely don't want to go to until you're stronger, while the exit to the north leads to Piebald Path.
This is probably your first encounter with a mantis-type enemy, unless you were brave and freely explored Zertinan Caverns earlier in the game. They have a little more health than the other enemies in The Salikawood and might be a little stronger, too. They have a skill called Cannibalize, which allows them to devour another enemy close by, increasing their level and making them stronger. Luckily, you won't really find the Antares near other enemies, so you shouldn't have to worry about that. The only other new skill you likely haven't seen yet is Shock Wave, which physically hits all characters within range. Antares can drop a Molting, Earth Magicite, Insect Husk or Vanishga Mote, while you can steal an Earth Magicite, Remedy or Metal Jerkin. Poaching one will yield with an Insect Husk or Earth Crystal. They are weak to wind.
These enemies are ones you will encounter a lot more often in optional areas of the game and in groups, but in The Salikawood, they are alone and not as annoying. One of the more annoying things they can do is steal loot bags off the ground of fallen enemies, so it's a good idea to snatch them as soon as they appear with these things around. They can also use all three Fang items (Soleil, Rime and Lightning). Baknamies have Goblin Attack as a skill, which deals a decent amount of damage to a single character. They have nothing as a common drop, but other rarities include a Storm Magicite, Diamond Armor and Vanishga Mote. You can steal an Antidote, Prince's Kiss or a Hi-Potion, and they don't have any items for poaching. They are weak to ice.
The Wood Toad is a Rare Game that has a 20% chance to spawn each time you enter the zone, but you might not even know it's there, as it always spawns under the invisible status. Unlike the other toads in the game, it will usually not do anything like cast Angelsong on itself in your vicinity, so you either need to rely on sound (it makes a sloshing noise when moving) or sight (there's a slight distortion) to know it's there. The main problem with it being invisible is that you can't directly attack it and either have to bring another enemy within its range, after which, it will reveal itself, or cast Reflect on one of your party members and bounce a magick off them.
As for the Wood Toad itself, it's not too strong, but it does have quite a bit of health, around 50,000 HP or so. That means the fight will be a little prolonged, as you are likely not doing as much damage to cut through that HP at this moment. It has Lunge and can use Angelsong to put Regen on itself. It also has access to a move called Aqua Bubbles, which does damage and also has a chance to inflict Sap - it can hit multiple characters. It can drop a Horn (common) or a Platinum Helm (rare), plus you can steal a Solid Horn from it. If you want to poach it, you will receive either a Pebble or Frogspawn.
Rodeo to the Death (Braegh)
When this hunt is active, it appears no enemies besides a few Chocobos spawn in Corridor of Ages. When you enter from Grand Bower, you should see Braegh standing there below you, if you happen to look from the dead end near the entrance - it is located near the transition that brings you to the Necrohol of Nabudis. Braegh can be a fairly easy hunt, simply because it is possible to reduce its HP to under 1,000 by reflecting one of its skills back at it. Before you get to that, though, you will have to face off against Immobilizega (can equip Black Belts to negate this), Bleed (inflicts Sap), Thundara and Berserk. If you don't want Berserk on a character, then it's a good idea to set up a gambit for "Ally: status=Berserk -> Dispel."
It also has a couple of physical skills, like Rush, which is similar to all other ones like Lunge and Ram, as well as Snake Lash, which hits multiple characters and can inflict Poison. The fun starts when Braegh gets to around 50% health or lower, as it will begin adding Invert to its repertoire. This move switches the current HP and MP, so if a character only has 20 MP when the move is used, then they will have 20 HP after. This is the trick to quickly felling Braegh, as Invert can be reflected, so you can use Reflect to turn it against the Mark, essentially reducing its HP to less than 1,000, making it very easy to kill. Braegh is also susceptible to Silence, meaning you can negate the use of Invert and other magicks.
Note that Braegh can use Magick Shield, rendering it immune to magick attacks for two minutes, which it seems to use when it has less than 50% HP remaining. Also, when it gets low enough, it will begin spamming Thundara, which will come out instantly without having to fill the ATB thanks to the Magick CT0 augment. It is not immune to Disable, either, so you can use that to have a free time smacking it around. Braegh is weak to ice, absorbs thunder and immune to all other elements. It doesn't drop anything, is immune to poaching and you can steal a Storm Magicite, Storm Crystal or Grimoire Aidhed.
There's not much going on with this area, either, although there is a single treasure you might want to grab. Entering here from Corridor of Ages will put you face-to-face with a Green Chocobo, most likely. These will attack you on sight, but they are the same as their Brown counterparts, except with different drops/steals. They drop a Chocobo Feather, Wind Magicite or Gysahl Greens, and you can steal a Wind Magicite, Nu Khai Sand or Taurus Gem from them. If you look at your map, there are two dead ends on the eastern side. You want the northern of the two, which houses a treasure that can cough up an Adamant Hat . The transition to the north leads to the Nabreus Deadlands, an area similar to Necrohol of Nabudis, in that, you want to avoid it for now, as it is a very tough area.
You should have found all nine of the Moogle apprentices now, so start making your way back to the Living Chasm area. You'll witness a short scene upon entering, with the Moogles finally fixing the gate, allowing you to access the Phon Coast. Feel free to speak to the Craftsmoogles if you want, with them mentioning some places they're going to work on next, such as Cerobi Steppe, the Necrohol, and Mosphoran. Make sure you do talk to the Boss, who will hand over a Sash for helping him. Onward to the Phon Coast!