Stranded at Hammerhead
By the time you regain control, Noctis and his crew are stranded in the middle of the road and you’ll need to help push the car (hold R2/RT ). Follow the onscreen prompt to push the vehicle and feel free to look around while doing so and listening to the banter of the party. Eventually, you’ll end up reaching Hammerhead, where you’ll meet up with the mechanic, a girl with a strong accent named Cindy. After a couple more scenes, you’ll be able to move around, but you’ll want to walk on over and talk to Cindy, who will hand you a World Map for the following region.
Note: You can access the map at any time by pressing the R3/Right Stick button, or via the in-game’s main menu.
Prince Noctis Lucis Caelum, heir to the throne of Lucis, on a diplomatic mission to marry Lady Lunafreya Nox Fleuret, and by doing so unite the kingdoms of Lucis and Tenebrae… now stranded in the scrublands, penniless, waiting for his royal chariot to be repaired. Why wasn’t somebody making sure this vehicle was maintained properly? Who knows? But you might need some scratch for the rest of your journey, and you have nothing better to do while you wait than explore, entrusting the fate and future of your kingdom to your sword arm while you attempt to productively spend the time the way all sheltered princelings do - questing!
Getting a Job
To further that goal, head south-west from Cindy and check out the shop nearby, only to be reminded that you have no money. Ignis will walk on over and tell you that you’ve spent all of your money on the car repairs, after which he’ll suggest going to speak with Cindy about finding a way to remedy the situation. Do so, and during your chat with Cindy you’ll get some dialogue options that don’t really matter. Seems that ol’ Cid is trying to use this experience as some sort of "character building" exercise. Or perhaps he’s opportunistically just trying to get you to clear out some wildlife. Either way, you don’t have much choice in the matter, but on the plus side you’ll be rewarded with some AP for your trouble, not to mention your first accessory - a Bronze Bangle - and 1,000 Gil . What a generous girl! This starts the quest "The Pauper Prince".
|For talking to Cindy about earning some Gil||AP 10, 1,000 Gil, Bronze Bangle|
Speaking of AP, you’ll be directed to your menu for a bit of a tutorial on AP. Ability Points, or AP, can be used to buy new techniques and abilities for Noctis and his pals via the Ascension option on the main menu. There are eight different Astralspheres in which you can spend the AP, although you might not have a lot of options available at the moment. Check the dedicated section if you need more explanation on building your characters.
Note: In the "Exploration" tree you’ll find some talents named " Happy Camping " and " Happier Camping ". These are great early investments, as you’ll be camping a lot over the course of this game, and spending a total of 68 AP in them early will improve your camping AP gains from one to three per camp. This will turn a profit fairly soon, and the earlier you invest, the more AP you’ll get over the course of the game.
Shopping at Hammerhead
With that 1,000 Gil in hand, it’s a good idea to use that to update some of your weapons over at the shop, as the merchant here has a superior weapon for every character:
|Two-handed Sword War Sword||50 Gil 150 Gil|
|Daggers Avengers||50 Gil 150 Gil|
|Handgun Cocytus||50 Gil 150 Gil|
Don’t forget to equip any new weapons that you just bought (Menu - Gear), should you have purchased any. Don’t run off just yet, however, as there are two other facilities you can check out at the Hammerhead before setting off to go after the monsters you need to kill. One is a normal shop at the Mini Mart, which sells consumables, ingredients for cooking and some extras, including accessories for the Regalia (your car) and even some musical surprises:
|Phoenix Down||1000 Gil|
|Gighee Ham||30 Gil|
|Luncheon Meat||100 Gil|
|Birdbeast Egg||20 Gil|
|Sheep Milk||10 Gil|
|Leiden Potato||40 Gil|
|Leiden Pepper||20 Gil|
|Sweet Pepper||50 Gil|
Note: Ignis is the party’s chef, and while his current services are… passable, there’s always room for improvement. Of course, how can an artist make gains without inspiration? Finding new ingredients on your travels will occasionally inspire Ignis to dream up new dishes. It’s wise, therefore, to buy any new ingredients you find at shops to fuel such developments. In this case, buying a unit of "Luncheon Meat" will facilitate the discovery of the " Mystery Meat Sushi " recipe.
|Repair Kit||100 Gil|
Note: Be sure to buy a " Repair Kit " from the shop, as it’ll come in handy on a quest later.
Mini-Mart (Auto Parts)
|Hammerhead Sticker||150 Gil|
|Beaux Arts||1,000 Gil|
|Advanced Color Schemes||3,000 Gil|
|Memories of FFIV||100 Gil|
|Memories of FFVIII||100 Gil|
Note: "Memories of FF" are selected tracks from specific older Final Fantasy games that you can play while riding around in the Regalia (and on a portable Music Player you can buy later on in the game). Obviously this makes them indispensable for long-time Final Fantasy fans.
The other place you will want to peruse is the diner, where you can speak with the NPC behind the counter to see three different options. The left-most dialogue option " Talk " will have this NPC give you some tips on locations of various things in the surrounding area, such as havens, Parking Spots, outposts, and procurement points (items on the map). The middle option, " Eat " allows you to purchase meals, which grant various buffs for a certain period of time; if you also purchase a meal, then Ignis might be inspired to learn a new recipe. In this case, the "Chili con Carne" meal will inspire Ignis to dream up the " Burly Bean Bowl " recipe.
The last option, " Hunt ", on the right, is for hunts. You will receive tips on some monsters that need eradicating, with the map displaying a marker after accepting the hunt. As you complete hunts, you will gain stars and once you get enough of those, your Hunter’s Rank will increase, allowing you to take on tougher hunts. Of the available hunts from the diner at the Hammerhead, you will be unable to do one, since it requires you to be a Rank 2 hunter.
Hunts - Hammerhead Outpost
|Hunt Name||Hunt Level||Rank (Stars)|
|Howling Winds of Hunger||2||*|
|Varmints of the Wastelands||5||*|
|Gorgers in the Dust||7||*|
|Raindrops in the Night||15||**|
|Rookie Hunter Tragedy||39||***|
|The Pride of the King||47||***|
|*Serpent of the Abyss||58||****|
Note: Not all the hunts listed above (or for other tipsters) will necessarily be available to you at this time. Higher-level hunts may unlock as you complete lower-level ones, increase your hunter rank and advance the story.
The next section of the guide "Hammerhead Hunting and Exploration" serves as a tutorial of sorts, and it’ll introduce you to basics like combat, Elemancy, camping and other bits of useful information. If you can’t be bothered, skip ahead to the section "The Pauper Prince".