Black Mage Village
You can reach the Black Mage Village by heading southeast from Conde Petie. You have to go all the way around the cliff face in order to reach the forest and access the village. Use the map and screenshot below to help you.
There is a friendly creature called “Ladybug” in the forest around the Black Mage Village. Ladybug will not attack you - instead it will ask you for some Ore. Use Ore items on Ladybug to end the battle. Ladybug will reward your team with 20 AP for the Ore which is incredibly handy for finishing off any Abilities that characters were learning.
Ladybug is one of many friendly monsters that you can find throughout the game. Check out the Friendly Monster side quest section for more information about where you can find the others and what type of rewards you can receive.
Dead Forest / Grove
You start off by entering the Dead Forest where you will find a sign that reads:
<- Where there are owls
Where there are no owls ->
You have to continue to take the path that leads to the area with no owls. Each time you take the correct pathway you will reach the sam area again but there will be one less owl sitting in the trees. The correct pathway is:
Black Mage Village
Your party will split up as soon as you enter Black Mage Village just as they always do. Vivi will chase after the Black Mages and Dagger will follow him while Quina will wander through the town looking for things to eat. You will have access to three Active Time Events (ATEs) as soon as everybody wanders off:
- “Life On The Run”, following the Vivi and Dagger as they chase the Black Mages through the city
- “Gourmand’s Nose”
- “Everyday Life”
- “Visitor, Not Invader”, Dagger speaking to the Black Mages to convince them that the group is not a threat
- “Different Language”, involving Vivi speaking with the Black Mages to find out more about their story; you need to view this ATE in order to continue the story
Start off by traveling to the northeast to find a moogle named Mogryo. Mogryo will not be accessible very shortly so it is important that you make speaking with him one of your top priorities. Choose the Mognet option and Mogryo will give you a letter to deliver to Mocchi. Enter the Chocobo Stable to find Quina standing next to two cornered Black Mages. There is a hidden Gysahl Greens item on the right side of the stables that you can pick up.
There is an Item Shop in the next closest hut run by “Black Mage No. 163”. The regular items are on sale but you can also purchase Remedies and Hi-Potions at this store for the first time in the game. There is also a hidden Ether on the left side of the room near the shelf. Exit the Item Shop on the left side and walk down the pathway to watch Vivi go running past.
Enter the next hut over to find Dagger speaking to the two Black Mages inside. This is the Black Cat Synthesis Shop - some of the nicer items up for sale include:
Though you will need to get some of your party members back before you can Synthesize some of the items. There is a hidden chest at the back of the shop that contains 2,000 gil. You can also climb the ladder to the second floor to find a treasure chest at the end of the pathway that contains 843 gil.
Exit the Synthesis Shop, return to the entrance of Black Mage Village and enter the hut on the left side of the screen. This is the Weapon Shop where you can purchase some of the more modern weapons and armor (some of which are needed to synthesize the items listed above).
There is an Elixir hidden to the right of the Weapon Shop door on the outside of the hut (shown in the screenshot below).
Travel down the pathway to the right of the item shop and back towards the Inn in behind it. Vivi can be found back near the bunk beds. All four party members will meet up inside the Inn - choose to Rest. There will be a short few cutscenes involving Vivi learning about Black Mages and death, and a flashback to Zidane’s earlier days, before the entire party will meet up at the entrance to Black Mage Village. There are a few additional things that you should do though before leaving.
There is another Stellazzio coin that can be picked up in the bedroom of the Inn. Search the right side of the room to find the Virgo Stellazzio, part of the Stellazzio side quest. Click on the link for more information.
Travel back up to the second floor of the Synthesis Shop and walk towards the lower edge of the catwalk for an Action Icon to appear. Zidane will eavesdrop on the two Black Mages below who are having a conversation about the Item Shop owner - note that this step needs to be completed first. Go back to the Item Shop and speak to Black Mage No. 163 and ask him to “Give me the usual”.
Travel up the ladder and hop on the bed to find a Black Belt.
Exit the Black Mage Village to automatically be transported back to the World Map. Travel back towards Conde Petie to continue the story. You can take this opportunity to do more Frog Catching though as part of the Frog Catching side quest - click on the link for more information.