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Head left and follow the cliffs west, around and down onto the plains. If you want, you can buy stuff from Rin when he shows up. He'll be in a boat on
skis. At the far east - at the bottom of the cliff that was north of you when you first entered the calm lands - you'll find two chests. One has 10,000 Gil, and the other has 5,000 Gil. To get there, you'll need to head to the far west of the map (where Rin is), then backtrack east a bit. Head north from
Rin's an you'll see a hut. Head there. You'll learn something. BTW: There is a save point here, as well as a store. Just north of the hut, slightly
hidden by it, is a chest with a Lv. 2 Key Sphere.
About mid way north and south, at the far east (look for a green square on your map) edge of the map you'll find the Arena. Talk to this guy and say "All right, I'll do it!" Buy a capture
weapon for Tidus, Wakka, and Auron - be sure to equip them. You can use my ffx fiend tracker to ensure you've captured at least one of all the fiends. Report back to
the Arena when you've got one of each. Now, as you travel around the world, you'll be able to capture fiends. You may run into a problem while gathering fiends - the blocks on the Sphere Grid
requiring Level 3 Key Spheres. Trust me - you can get plenty of these as soon as you get to Mt Gagazet. More on capturing fiends (and leveling up) in a bit...
But for now, return to the little hut in the middle of the Calm Lands. If you've got a full set of Strength, Magic, Ability, and Speed Spheres,
you may want to head straight for Belgemine (read the rest of this area for more info). To the far west (use your little map; go to the upper left),
you can find Al Bhed Primer vol. XXIII.
Just North from that you can begin training Chocobos, but be sure you have the Celestial Mirror (see misc side quests section) before you start
this! Talk to the guy, listen to his explanation of the controls, and make sure your chocobo goes between him and the chocobo there. You'll get an
elixir, and you'll be able to both use this one whenever you want, AND keep training. Tie or beat your time, and you should get an X-Potion. Once you
get the X-Potion, use the Dodging Chocobo game and beat his 16.8 time to get a Lv. 1 Key Sphere. If you can defeat the hyper dodging chocobo thing,
you'll get a Lv 2. Key Sphere. Beat the final one to gain access to the area in the northwest corner and use the Celestial Mirror. Congratulations;
Tidus should now have the Caladbolg.
If you want, you can finally play blitzball here again. I'm all for continuing on the game. The ground around this area is littered with scars.
Head right until you are around them, and then you'll head up to the farthest upper-right corner to continue. Before you do that, though, head
directly right and stop off at the Arena.
You have visited the Arena, right? The Arena is a training area that Lord Mi'ihen setup for the Crusaders. Be sure to sign up for helping him
out. This is where you will go when you want to level up your character's past what the standard sphere grid alone can do for you. Be sure to buy
Capture Weapons for at least Auron, Wakka and Tidus. This is where I do my first real "level-up" sequence. See the Misc Side Quests Section under
the heading "After Ariving in the Calm Lands," but be sure to visit Belgemine before starting that one - you'll need some place to put all those
spheres you'll earn.
To the south and west of the save point in the middle of the calm lands you should find Belgemine. You can fight her again. This time she calls
Shiva. Just use Bahamut: Haste, Focus, Reflex, Aim, Cheer. Ater that, attack over and over. When you've got an overdrive worked up, go ahead and use
it; this should kill off Shiva. You'll get 30 Power Sphere from this battle, but more importantly you'll get the Aeon's Soul. You may now modify your
Aeon's Attributes. Watch the tutorial to see how you can spend some of those 99x Strength Spheres and level up Bahamut's Strength! She also tells you
to seek her out in the hidden temple of Remien if you need more training. If you go about the business of capturing fiends, you'll earn a LOT of
spheres. Having your Aeon's Soul at this point allows you to give them all to Bahamut - arguably the best Aeon to do this with.
Way back at the start of this walkthrough I mentioned two strategies for working your way through the game. Here is where you can pick one of two strategies. I'll mention my favorite
strategy first, and my back-up plan second.
Level-up and Arena Strategy #1:
If your guys are powerful enough already to survive the sunken cave, do the "Youjimbo and the Cavern of the Stolen Fayth" section below. While you're
doing it, be sure you are capturing fiends. If you can't, then get 10 of each fiend in the Calm Lands first, then go on to the Stolen Fayth. When you've got 10 of each fiend in those sections, you
should be powerful enough to get all the Lv 3 Key Spheres you need at the start of the Mt Gagazet level. This strategy basically boils down to: The best place to level up is the Omega Dungeon.
Don't bother leveling up too much until you get there. When you get the airship and can look around for stuff, see the "After Zanarkand" section of the Misc Quests link on the left. Hit highbridge
to open up the temples, then hit the Omega Dungeon. When you *do* get to the Omega Dungeon, you'll find that you level up so fast you don't have enough spheres to use. Just bounce your guys
back and forth between the Omega Dungeon and other areas - filling up the Arena as you go along. You won't level up much in places like Besaid or Kilika, but you'll get the spheres you need when
you *do* level up in the Omega Dungeon. While visiting the various areas, hit their temples and unlock the special Baaj Temple to get the Magus Sisters. (More info on all these items is available
in the Misc Quests section of the walkthrough. This strategy is probably the most efficient, but it might be better for players who really feel like they understand the system completely.
Level-up and Arena Strategy #2:
This strategy is more of a grind strategy and a little less elegant than the other one. Go strait through the game until you hit the Calm Lands without bothering to level up your characters too
much. Get 1 of each monster in the calm lands to open the arena (if you can, beat the chocobo guy in races to get access to Tidus's ultimate weapon.) From there, head back to the Thunder Plains,
Macalania Woods, and Lake Macalania and fill out the arena with 10 of each monsters from those areas. You should now be powerfull enough to continue on. From there, go to the Sunken Cave, and then
Zanarkand (via Mt Gagazet). From there hit Highbridge. From there, go visit Baaj temple and then get the Magus Sisters aeon. After that, go all the way back to Besaid, and through the game
again. This gives you a chance to hit all the temples, collect 10 animals from the remaining uncaptured areas, complete the bird counting quest if you missed it before, pick up the ultimate weapons
and see all the Jecht spheres in one shot. As you are filling out these areas, go through the Misc Quests section to make sure you're not missing stuff. I recommend starting with the 10 Little
Cacutaurs quest first, as it gives you a chance to fill out the arena with all the animals on Bikinel. Then hit the omega ruins, and finally go after all the enemies in the arena (if you dare).
You'll have to unlock Sin to get access to some of the enemies, but you can leave again later if you want (as long as you don't enter the big cylidar thing). Once you get bored, go attack sin and
beat the game.
Now head up to the upper right corner of the Calm Lands. Bring a set of fully charged Aeons, if you can, and swap out your capture weapons for
better ones. When you get to the corner, head through the crevass and across the bridge. You'll meet the Guado. Here comes a nasty beast. The
Defender X has 64,000 HP and is tough against physical attacks. Don't bother with a power break, or delay as he's immune to them. Armor break works,
as well as dark buster, though you'd best be ready for the blast punch counter if you use physical attacks. Hastaga and darkbuster before he gets any
shots off. I had moderate success with Quick Hit. Don't forget to steal some Lunar Curtains from him. If he uses mighty guard (shell/protect), be
sure to use dispel; don't forget to armor break again.
When he casts Slowga, if your guys are getting worked, just bust out the Aeons. If they are ready, use their overdrives! Well, some of thi
them. I had Bahamut use Evade and cheer, and he still KO'd him in one shot. You WANT those 9999 hits. Note that mighty guard renders him immune to
overdrives that are tied to elementals. Specifially Ifrit, Ixion, and Shiva, though she may be able to dodge him. If he casts Might Guard while your
Aeons are in the battle, DISMISS THEM. No sense getting 'em killed.
I don't know what your aeons look like, but I finished the battle with Bahamut's 33,179 HP overkill for 2x Lv. 2 Key Sphere. Take the right
branch to go 'down into the valley' and make use of the save point on your left.
Yojimbo and the Cavern of the Stolen Fayth
You can get Yojimbo in here, if you are good enough. Some of the enemies here are *really* tough. Your Aeons will be quite useful. When I've defeated a "Ghost" enemy in the past, I've
received the "off season" armor for Wakka. Equipping this prevents any random encounters. That's going to be pretty handy when you want to cross the calm lands later. If you're participating in
the Arena side quests, it will be very useful indeed. You'll also run across a Nidhogg with two Dark Elementals. Delay Buster one of the elementals, then Armor Break + Attack the other. You
don't want two of those guys draining all your MP.
Another enemy you'll run into is a Magic Urn. It has 999,999 HP. You're not going to defeat it. You attack it in one of it's various eyes - 5 in all, forming an X pattern. When the
battle starts, the game randomly choses an Eye. If you attack the correct one, he rewards you with a treat. If you hit the wrong one, he blows up and does *serious* damage to low-level parties.
If you're low level, I recommend just fleeing. If you can take it, the most likely eye he'll choose is the center one. If you're lucky, you'll get a Phoenix Down, Stamina Tablet, or even an
Elixir. Next, attack the upper right eye. Next, attack the upper left. It's pretty unlikely you'll get this far, but if you do, you'll keep getting cool items.
When I fought the Thorn enemies, I used bahamut to knock down most of their HP, then captured them. If Bahamut kills them in one shot, then use a different Aeon. If you use Ifrit, their
Fira attacks will heal rather than harm him. ;) You can steal an Ether from 'em, too - if you've got the right armor to fend off the resulting counter attack. Just use valifor's sonic wings
attack on any Malboros you come to. For Ghosts, have Tidus use delay attack to stall, and then quick hit to polish them off before they can doom your guys.
The hardest enemy you'll come across, though, is likely to be the Tonberry. This guy will counter attack with Karma, which will likely kill off your guy. Use either Triple Foul or Sleep
Buster to put him to sleep, then have people steal from him and/or use magic attacks. Flare is awesome here, but by the time Lulu gets it, she'll almost certainly kill him off in one blow. You
want to avoid that! He shows up very rarely, and it's really tough to capture 10 of him.
Here are instructions for making it through the caves and getting everthing of value:
This isn't really a tough battle, if you have charged Aeons. I hadn't really be leveling up when I got here and I only ever took hits of less than 300 HP each. If you've been capturing fiends,
reset your weapons and then head straight. When the battle begins, use haste and call your aeons. I went through Valifore and Ifrit, then overkilled him with a suped up Mega-Flare. Just so you
know, though, you don't get anything from this battle (no AP, no items) with or without an overkill, so if he's looking hurt, don't waste a Megaflare.
- In the cave, follow the road around to the right until you come to a cross roads.
- Head right and open the chest for a megalixir.
- Go back and head up into the next cavern where there will be a small discussion.
- Continue on to the next fork.
- Go right and open the chest in the green room for a level 2 sphere, and then head back to the fork.
- This time head left.
- At the next fork, head straight and open the chest for a fortune sphere.
- Head back to the fork and this time head left (there's nothing to the right).
- At the next fork, open the chest strait ahead for 2x Mega-Potion, grab Al Bhed Primer vol. XXV on the left fork there, then head right and save your game.
When he's dead, step on the teleport pad and face left. Open the chest in this side room for Flexible Arm, then get back on the pad and teleport back. This time face right and teleport to
the room on the right. Open the chests in here for 2x X-Potion and an MP Sphere (this chest is in the lower-right; it's kinda hard to see). Step on the pad to teleport back to the antechamber,
and make sure the arrow is pionting north (up). If it's not, step off and step back on. Make sure it's not accidentally pointing DOWN. >.> Yeah... If you point it north, you'll end up in the
Chamber of the Fayth. You'll have to make a strategy decision. Youjimbo works best in *really* hard battles (meaning boss battles). As such, my strategy is to chose the last option "To defeat
the most powerful of enemies."
If you opt to bargain with him, you'll get inferior results, so if you actually want to use him, I don't really recommend that. He askes 250000. This can make it difficult if you don't
have a lot of Gil, but if you've been collecting fiends, you sould be in VERY good shape. Heck, even though I haven't been collecting fiends up until this poing, I've got over 600k Gil. I paid
him double (500,000 - the smallest amount you can pay to get him to do serious damage on the relatively cheep side of things). After that, any 1025 payment results in a decent attack. Name it
and claim it, boys!
After agreeing on a price, you'll be back in the antechamber. I couldn't get the dial to point back into the Chamber of the Fayth after this, so I just teleport back to the entrance. Head
outside and save to ensure you can keep you new friend! Before moving on, head right and grab the "Rusty Sword" down the little path there (if you haven't already). Now either head to Gagazett,
or go fight Belgemine (See misc side quests).