Aside from the general map, there is a maze of underground ruins to explore. You must complete the first two sections of the main quest chapter to gain access. The Dunes is home to some of the strongest monsters in the game and is definitely not a place you should visit at length until a few days into the game. In the latter days, one of the most powerful adversaries appears in the Giant’s Sandbox.
The Dunes is home to a large group of Bandits called Monoculus who scour the Ruins for treasure and the "Holy Grail" of treasure, wanted by the Order of Salvation among many others. The Holy Clavis is rumoured to have incredible power and only the Saint is rumoured to be able to wield it. The Bandits are led by a strong-willed woman who has organised them into an efficient group and focused them on seeking the Holy Clavis.
North Dead Dunes
The major settlement in the Dead Dunes is Ruffian, the bandit group Monoculus’ hideout. It has the usual plethora of shops but is also home to an item appraiser (for all those unappraised items you get from Lizards and Skeletons) who can identify some very nice items for you.
Certain areas are blocked off by sandstorms which must be turned off via a nearby monument. These monuments need a Pilgrim’s Crux to activate them. You can find these throughout the Dunes or in the Ruins.
If you see any Lizards scurrying around the desert, slay them for their tails and the occasional item.
To the north of Ruffian is Atomos’s Sands where the deadly Earth Eaters roam in abundance and a shrine lies. The Grave of the Colossi lies to the east, home to another shrine. Finally, the west is made up of the Dry Floodlands area and the Oasis Lighthouse. The Floodlands has another shrine and the Lighthouse has an NPC who has a quest for you as well as many items scattered around.
South Dead Dunes
The station lies at the heart of the Dunes and, though they aren’t marked on the map, has an Outfitters and General Store just outside its reaches. Most of the south is made up of the Giant’s Sandbox, a huge area populated by some sneaky enemies who don’t really look like much. Of these, the Desert Sahagin are enemies you should be wary of as they attack with speed and can pursue Lightning over a long distance.
There are three entrances to the Temple Ruins here as well as numerous Red Cactuar Stones for teleportation. If you see a suspicious black sphere, do not approach it until you are very late in the story (Day 12) onwards. This beast is Aeronite, one of the most powerful adversaries in the game.
|Anubys||Exterior areas 16:00 - 18:00|
|Meonekton||Exterior areas 04:00 - 06:00|
|Gremlin||Temple Ruins, Shrines of Tablet|
|Gurangatch||Giant's Sandbox, Temple Ruins|
|Earth Eater||Desert, Temple Ruins|