The team will reach the Calm Lands after the short interlude that takes place in Macalania Woods (where Tidus and Yuna fall in love).
Calm Lands - South
Lulu will tell you a little bit about the Calm Lands as you approach the upper ridge. Auron will explain that this is where many summoners lose their way. Finally, Tidus will reassure Yuna that he will find away for her to complete her pilgrimage without dying.
Start down the pathway and speak to Maechen if you would like more information about the Calm Lands as you pass. Maechen will explain that a massive battle of Machina once took place in this area. He will also explain that the Calm Lands is where summoners come to defeat Sin as there are no nearby settlements or village that could be harmed by the ensuing chaos.
The Calm Lands are essentially a huge sprawling field that you can now explore. There are a ton of things that you can do in this area, though you can’t do them all right now.
Continue westwards down the path towards the Chocobos and a man in a giant airboat contraption will slide over towards your team.
You can speak to the man on the giant airboat/fan boat type device to purchase any items you need to restock. It turns out that he is a traveling salesperson from Rin’s travel agency.
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.
Warning! Watch for Malboros in this area...
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.
Helpful Hint - Kimahri’s Solo Battle
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 it is recommended that you start leveling Kimahri by allowing him to get in 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 southeast 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. Head to the Save Sphere which can be easily identified as you get closer to the camp by using the mini-map.
Calm Lands - Central
A few short cutscenes will occur involving a side character named “Father 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 Training side quest section by clicking on the link below for more information on how to complete these side quests:
Chocobo Training Side Quests
Completing the Wobbly Chocobo, Dodger Chocobo, Hyper Dodger Chocobo and Catcher Chocobo quests in the Calm Lands.
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.
You will find Belgemine just south of the camp. Challenge her to another showdown between her and Yuna.
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 Aeon 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 the Button 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 another Chocobo feather. Press the Button near this one too in order 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.
Calm Lands - North
Make your way to the northeast to exit the Calm Lands and move on towards Mt. 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.
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 Defender 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” attack 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. Also, have Tidus use Hastega and Cheer on the team as well.
Reminder: You have an upcoming boss-type battle which involves fighting with Kimahri solo. 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. It is recommended 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.
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.
Calm Lands - Near Bridge
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 without him, 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?
This guide recommends 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). This is recommended 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 section 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.
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 to head to the next area.