Garamsythe Waterway & The Royal Palace
Upon leaving Old Dalan's Place, you'll have a cutscene involving Vossler. Then you want to head to Lowtown's Northern Spawl. You'll be looking for Storehouse No. 5. Upon getting to the door of the storehouse, you'll have a conversation initiated by Kytes. He'll help Vaan, and give Vaan a couple of items for his journey:
Enter the doorway on the left, this heads down to the Garamsythe Waterway.
Recommended Level 4-6
You'll start in the Central Spur Stairs, and there's a Save Crystal immediately to the left. Use it to Save before proceeding. Head west into the next area. Heading East leads to a dead end, but there is a chance of a treasure chest being at the end if you feel like exploring.
The pathway through the Garamsythe Waterway is extremely linear – there are very few ways for you to get lost. It would be a good idea to try and get a couple of levels for Vaan.
Head into the Horth Spur Sluiceway. Continue along the path. There are a few areas on the south side of this area where treasure chests are likely to spawn. These chests have the chance of having the Oak Staff or Mage Masher (Dagger) in them. Though this is incredibly random, and you can purchase these items if you do want them.
Head up into the North Spur Sluiceway. Approach the stairs, and Vaan will mention that the Palace should be at the top. Choose Climb the stairs to continue.
The Royal Palace
You'll enter the Cellar Stores, and you'll have a quick cutscene introducing Balthier and Fran. There's a green Map Urn here. Open it to have the map for the Royal Palace uncovered for you. Save your game at the Save Crystal. The game will warn you that it's not easy to leave this area, but that's okay, as you won't be here for long. Head into the Cellars.
You can open all of the treasure chests here, and then approach the gathered crowd on the north side of the cellars. After a cutscene, approach the Imperial Guard near the stairs. Then speak to the Palace Servant (a red Seeq) twice. The servant will tell you that you'll need to get past the guards by calling them over. This is easy to do. Just press , and then run around the guard and up the stairs. You'll end up in the Lower Halls.
The only way to get through this area is to use the "calling the guards" action to move guards out of the way. This will allow Vaan to get about unimpeded.
The image below shows the default position of the guards.
If you get spotted by the guards, you'll go back to where you enter the area. If you can comfortably play with Map overlayed on your screen, I'd recommended it for understanding the following instructions. (All directions will be based on the map.)
From your starting position in the left-vertical corridor, head south and right, around to the right-vertical corridor. Call the guards that are to the north of you. This will pull them south, so run back to the left-vertical corridor.
Run back up and around to where these guards were standing (at the junction between the right-vertical corridor and second from the bottom-horizontal corridor).
Travel north, and then head north to the top horizontal corridor. Head into the middle and find the Lion Signet. Use the Cresent Stone while standing on this signet. This will allow you to get into the Secret Passage.
Travel west to the left-vertical corridor, and call the guards to the north, so they head south. Head back over the Lion Signet and into the right-vertical corridor. Head north and round. This should put you at the junction of the top-horizontal corridor and left-vertical corridor. Head into the most northwesterly corner of this area, to find a Faint Light. Interact with it to top the Secret Passage.
Vaan will immediately be locked into the Secret Passageway upon entering. Head to the far end of the room and search the left side for a hidden switch. Go through the newly unlocked doorway and choose the option to examine the suspicious-looking door.
You'll have a cutscene with Van meeting Balthier and Fran. Climb the stairway to the top of the room for another cutscene. You'll exit the Royal Palace and head back to the Garamsythe Waterway, with Balthier and Fran now in your party.
Recommended Level 5-7
Now that Balthier and Fran are in the party, you can assign a job to them. The Jobs page gives more information about what to assign them as. Remember you can change Jobs via Montblanc in the Clan Hall, so it would be worth assigning Fran to be either a White Mage, Time Battlemage or Red Battlemage for the time being.
Before you spend all of their License Points, go down the stairs. Balthier gives you a very general overview of the Gambit System.
Gambits allow you to program characters to perform certain actions during the course of the battle. The most obvious Gambit that all characters will come equipped with is to attack the same enemy as the party leader, but you can also set up characters to perform actions under certain scenarios. For example, you can have a party member use Cure or use a Potion item whenever an ally falls below a certain HP percentage. The Gambits page will provide you with more information.
It may be a good idea to spend some License Points on Gambit slots for Balthier and Fran. Fran comes pre-equipped with Cure, so having a Gambit set for her to heal would be beneficial. Another would be to set up item Gambits. For example, using Antidote when needed on a character.
When done, head over to the two bodies lying on the floor and examine them. Head into East Waterway Control.
Take your immediate left to find a Map urn for the Garamsythe Waterway. Then head into the No. 11 Channel. Killing enemies along the way, head into East Sluice Control.
You'll reach a blue Save Crystal, so save your game. There's a battle coming up involving four Imperial Swordsmen, so make sure you're prepared. Then head down the stairs when you're ready.
You'll have a cutscene with a woman (Amalia) who is fighting the four Imperial Swordsmen. They're not incredibly hard to kill. Amalia will just your party as a guest at the end of the fight. You'll fight with you in upcoming battles. She'll have some Gambits set, and you'll be able to adjust them if you want to. Any item Gambits you set will pull items from your inventory.
Take the time to go back and save your game, and then head into the Southern Sluiceway. If you have the Fire spell, it would be worth setting up a Gambit to use it, as the enemies you're about to fight are weak to Fire. But if you don't have it, it won't be hard to win the next fight.
- Level: 7
- HP: 3,571
- Steal: Potion (55%), Phoenix Down (10%), Grimoire Togail (3%)
You'll have a mini-boss fight against Four Flans. It's a good idea to ensure that all party members are focused on attacking the same Flan, otherwise, this can get a bit overwhelming. Amalia will be good support for this fight too. There's a risk that party members could be inflicted with Blind, so use Eye Drops if you have them to deal with it.
Once the fight is over, you'll be able to head back to the Save Crystal. Using a Save Crystal will restore your party's HP and MP. Then head into the West Sluice Control. Kill the enemies as you head into No. 10 Channel, and then into the Central Waterway Control. Make sure that you don't have a Fire Gambit set for the next fight, and when you're ready, save your game and head into the Overflow Cloaca by interacting with the large gate.
Boss Fight: Firemane
- Level: 4
- HP: 360-420
- Steal: Potion (55%), Caramel (10%), Sagittarius Gem (3%)
You'll go into a boss fight against Firemane. Do not use Fire attacks as this will heal Firemane. Firemane is weak to water, and you can use your location to your advantage. If you use Flee and run into some water, Firemane will follow you. This will then cause continuous damage to Firemane.
Ensure that you keep each party member healed, as Firemane will start using some of its Area-of-Effect attacks. These will hit multiple party members.
Firemane will escape before you are able to kill it. Your party will then be ambushed and captured by a group of Imperial Guards. You'll have a few more cutscenes along the way, and eventually end up in a prison, the Nalbina Dungeons.
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