So, it appears that you are chasing after Van and he has gone back to Wyllia, so you will need to return through Mirror Lake before anything else. When you finally arrive, you find out that Van is near Yugebury. While in Wyllia, make sure you outfit and beef up your characters that are replacing Van and/or Kanata, plus check out the magic consortium for some more spritnite. Exit Wyllia to the south and continue your way to Yugebury, and when you approach close to the artifact spot there, another scene will occur. So, you basically have to reach Van before he leaves the continent by ship, stranding you here.
Make the trek back through Scar Top, utilizing the shortcuts to get to the bottom. Luckily, Van didn’t steal your ship and when you begin sailing, it’s brought to your attention that he headed to Gigante, which is where the empire’s capital is located. A scene will occur upon entering Watt, then you’ll need to hunt down Van. You can ask the citizens for help in locating your friend, but to save some time, simply head straight up the middle of the town (the big street). Note that he’s there only during the day, so if it’s night, then rest at the inn to force it to day.
Of course, while speaking with Van, someone else decides to interrupt the conversation, sparking a battle with six guards. You will want to try and get them all quickly, as they can use SOS to call in a vulcosuit, prolonging the battle even more. With the battle finished, your attention returns to Van, who took the situation to run away. He is located someplace close by, at some observation deck or something. From the shops, head east until you find an elevator, which you can take to this so-called observation deck, once you view some scenes. Approach Van at the time to view yet one more scene, then it’s time to help out Kanata. Your party suggests going to the emperor, but going through the front will not end well, but luckily, you know a back way into the palace.
The Emperor’s Groove
If you don’t remember, then you’ll need to revisit the Catacombs, which is located southeast of the capital. You exited here earlier in the game, when you freed Sherra from captivity. Enter the front door and use the elevator to reach the underground area, where you simply need to continue north through some empty sections. Note that there is an elevator to the left of the screen transition, which leads back to the prison area, but there is nothing there and you can simply ignore it. So, continue north and you will encounter some enemies, the Slasher.
Being a machine, it’s naturally weak to thunder attacks, so use those to quickly dismantle them before they have a chance to do anything. Grab the sparkle if you want, then climb the ladder to have two ways to go here. Take the southwestern path first, leading to another fork, then south to find a small room with some more enemies and a sparkle. Return to the second fork and head north this time, ignoring the stairs going down, and enter the room to your right, where you’ll find the Dimensions artifact knowledge on some barrels.
Going south here will bring you back to the first split, so double back west and continue north, then west to yet another split. You will find a room with a wonderful six chests if you head north here, which contain 3 Silver Coins, 3 Pink Spritnite, 2 Elixirs, 2 Full Heals, a Gore Vest, and a Vorpal Weapon (new weapon for Locke). Remember those giant set of stairs leading down you passed earlier? Well, they lead to some more enemies and the sparkle on the catwalk you passed up pretty early here.
Return to the big room just south of those stairs and head left this time, where you’ll find a ladder on the left side of the room just beyond. Drop down and collect the Blockade artifact knowledge off the barrel, then continue north to fight some more enemies. Climb the next ladder you find, then use the elevator north of that to finally reach the palace. You’ll fight some guards in the first room, then you can continue north, without really having to explore anywhere else, since there is nothing new in the palace. Take either of the elevators on the north end of the first room to come to the section with a save point. Some more guards will stop you just north of the save point, then it will be a clear shot to the throne room. Some scenes will happen here, then it will be time to enter the next dungeon.