You will be given a brief overview of the Calm Lands by Lulu as you approach the upper ridge. Start down the pathway and speak to Maechen if you would like more information about the Calm Lands as you pass. Continue westwards down the path towards the Chocobos and another small cutscene will occur once you reach them.
You can speak to the man on the giant airboat/fan boat type device to purchase any items you need to restock. Some of the weapons and armor that he is selling are fairly strong, including the White Armguard for Wakka, which includes a customizable ability slot.
The Calm Lands are extremely vast and navigating from one end to the other can take a fair bit of time, so in order to more accurately identify the areas that are mentioned in this walkthrough, use the mini-map in the top left-hand corner of the screen.
Malboro:You may run into Malboro fiends while traversing the Calm Lands. They can be particularly difficult due to their “Bad Breath” attack which causes all kinds of terrible status effects. Your best two strategies for defeating them include equipping any armor that you have with status repelling abilities and saving your Overdrives to help end the battles as quickly as you can. Have Tidus use Haste or Hastega to bring them down as quickly as possible. Having Rikku as part of your party can be incredibly helpful as well. Aside from being able to Steal from machina type enemies to destroy them in one hit, she can also still use her ‘Use’ command to use an Al Bhed Potion to remove many of the status effects inflicted by Malboros.
Note and reminder: You have an upcoming boss-type battle which involves fighting with Kimahri alone. This fight can be fairly problematic if you have not been using Kimahri and leveling up his Sphere Grid during the rest of the game. Because of this, I recommend that you start ensuring that Kimahri gets at least one attack in on some of the upcoming random encounters. Remember that a character only has to hit the enemy once during a fight to fully receive the AP at the end of the battle. Check out the Sphere Grid section for more information and tips on how to level up your Sphere Grid.
Start off by traveling to the far south-east side of the map to find two treasure chests. One of them contains 5,000 gil and the other contains 10,000 gil. Ignore the ruins in the corner as they are just part of the scenery.
Now head to the center of the map. You are looking for a small camp in the middle of the Calm Lands. Aim for the Save Sphere which can be easily identified as you get closer to the camp by using the mini-map. A few short cutscenes will occur involving Zuke. You can purchase weapons and items at the shop here and many of them are quite powerful. Do not forget to save your game at the Save Sphere or at least use it to refill your HP and MP before you leave.
Directly behind the camp is a treasure chest that contains a Lv. 2 Key Sphere. Travel directly west from here out on to the peninsula the extends furthest to the west to find Al Bhed Primer vol. XXIII on the ground. There is a small hidden pathway visible to the north on the map from here - don’t bother with it as it is blocked off at this point in the game.
Speak to the woman just north of here and tell here that you want to ride a Chocobo. The first step to being able to ride and use Chocobos is to learn how to train them. Check out the Chocobo section in the side quests area for more information.
The lady will ask you many times whether you are sure if you want to train a Chocobo. Select yes to continue.
Note: The first time you attempt this side quest you will not get a choice of Chocobos but the first one you ride is called the “Wobbly Chocobo”. This Chocobo is very difficult to control. Each time it veers off the pathway you should press left and right on the D-pad until it starts going straight again. The more you press left and right the easier it will be to keep the Chocobo on track. Your prize for successful completion will an Elixir. This is the only mini-game that you need to complete in order to ride a Chocobo. You can skip the remaining mini-games if you would prefer.
The object of this mini-game is to dodge the blitzballs that are trying to hit you. The blitzballs follow a pattern and there is either a very small gap between them and they come close together or there is a larger gap. Continue to dodge them going the same direction when they are close together and only switch from left to right or from right to left when there is a larger gap between the balls. Successful completion will get you a Lv. 1 Key Sphere.
Hyper Dodger Chocobo:
This is the same mini-game except that there are birds to dodge in addition to blitzballs. The strategy for this portion is long, wide, sweeping turns to dodge everything all at the same time. You are given more time to make it to the finish line so taking the long way and making huge ‘S’ figures is the optimal strategy.
Catcher Chocobo is just a Chocobo race with some slight modifications. Every bird that you get hit by will add 3 seconds to your overall time and every balloon that you get will subtract 3 seconds from your time. Your opponent is likely to obtain nearly all of the balloons at the beginning of the race so don’t fret if you miss out on those few. Missing the oncoming birds is the key to winning. Your prize for successful completion is a Lv. 3 Key Sphere.
Speak to the Chocobo trainer to ride a Chocobo. You can head over to the north end of the Calm Lands near the man standing at the ledge for some more information about the gorge and about the Calm Lands.
Boss Battle: Belgemine - Third Challenge Versus Shiva
You will find Belgemine just south of the camp. Belgemine will use Shiva for this fight so you can use Bahamut as Yuna’s Aeon which will make the fight relatively easy. Your reward for defeating her is thirty Power Spheres and, regardless of whether you win or lose, you will receive an Aeon’s Soul which will allow you to upgrade and raise the stats of your Aeons. The game will provide you with an overview of how to do this as soon as the battle against Belgemine concludes.
Take your Chocobo and ride back to the entrance of the Calm Lands and take a right from the pathway. Look for a Chocobo feather on the ground and press ‘X’ near it to fly down to the lower ledge. Walk down the pathway to reach Remiem Temple.
Remiem Temple is part of a side quest that you will want to leave until later in the game when portions of it become much more easy (and feasible) to complete. You can check out the side quests section for more information. For now though go around the left side of the temple to find the Al Bhed Primer vol. XXIV.
Exit the temple area and hop back on your Chocobo once you reach the Calm Lands. Just north of the pathway to the temple is a Chocobo feather - press ‘X’ near it to hop back down to the the main field area.
This covers everything that you can currently do in the Calm Lands. There is one more pathway on the east side of the Calm Lands (shown in the screenshot below) that leads to the Monster Arena. This area should be ignored for now as the Monster Arena is part of a huge subset of side quests available later in the game. You can check out the Monster Arena section for more information.
Make your way to the north-east to exit the Calm Lands and move on towards Mount Gagazet. Save your game at the Save Sphere before you continue as there is a boss fight coming up. Cross the bridge to initiate the fight.
Boss Battle: Defender X
Defender X has two main attacks: Blast Punch which will hit a character for approximately half of their HP (similar to Demi magic) and Haymaker which will hit an enemy for around 3,500 HP. Once you get it down to 10,000 HP it will cast Mighty Guard on itself which will significantly reduce the amount of damage done by your regular attacks on and it will also begin casting Slowga on your party members.
The best strategy for this fight is to have Tidus use his Provoke ability on the boss. This will cause Defender X to only use its Blast Punch on Tidus continuously which will continuously halve his HP (never killing him). Have Auron use his Armor Break ability to greatly reduce Defender X’s defense stat and increase the amount of damage that regular attacks deal. Have Tidus use Hastega and Cheer on the team as well.
Note and reminder: You have an upcoming boss-type battle which involves fighting with Kimahri alone. This fight can be fairly problematic if you have not been using Kimahri and leveling up his Sphere Grid during the rest of the game. Because of this, I recommend that you make sure that Kimahri gets at least one attack in during this fight so that he obtains some AP once Defender X has been defeated. Remember that a character only has to hit the enemy once during a fight to fully receive the AP at the end of the battle. Check out the Sphere Grid section for more information and tips on how to level up your Sphere Grid.
Lulu’s level three magic-based spells (such as Waterga) can also be very effective at bringing down its HP if you have been leveling Lulu through the Sphere Grid.
Backtrack back across the bridge and touch the Save Sphere to refill your HP and MP. Lulu and Wakka will interrupt with a very short cutscene as you approach the valley. Go down into the valley using the pathway on the right.
This pathway leads to the Cavern of the Stolen Fayth. The cavern is involved in an optional side quest that you use to obtain the optional Aeon, Yojimbo. Yojimbo costs a fair bit of money to obtain (upwards of 200,000 gil) and you can definitely get by the remainder of the game, so the question is, should you complete the Cavern of the Stolen Fayth now or should you come back and do it later in the game?
I would recommend that you come back and do the Cavern of the Stolen Fayth side quest later on in the game (when you are higher leveled and when the fights become much easier). I recommend this because Yojimbo is not a particularly strong Aeon and not worth going out of your way to obtain at this stage of the game. You can approach the Cavern of the Stolen Fayth for a short cutscene and some information about the cavern itself.
Check out the Cavern of the Stolen Fayth side quest (or click on the link) for more information about how to obtain Yojimbo.
So why did we come down to the bottom of the gorge? Make your way easy (to the right) and follow the pathway along the cliffside. At the end of the path you will see a sword sticking out of the ground between two rocks, called the Rusty Sword, which you should pick up. This item is needed to obtain/create Auron’s Celestial Weapon called Masamune later on in the game. Check out the Celestial Weapons section under the side quests tab for more information.
Save your game and return up to the bridge where you fought Defender X. Cross the bridge and continue northward following the red arrow on the mini-map.