You will begin your adventure in Lindblum in the Grand Castle, and you have to follow Garnet's uncle, Minister Artania. However, let's take a little detour first to grab some items. Go to the right and up the stairs, entering the first doorway you come across to arrive in the Guest Room. There are two chests in here, one on the second landing (Glass Armlet) and the second on the top floor (Ether). There is also a moogle in the room, named Mogki, who you can deliver a letter from Kumop to, as well as get a new letter for Atla. Return to the main hall and take the southern exit now.
You will be taken to Regent Cid, who is not like he used to be. He'll talk to you all tomorrow, so the party decides to get rest. While everyone else is enjoying some fine dining, Zidane goes off on his own and meets up with an old friend. Her default name is Freya and will be referred to as such in the guide, although you get the chance to rename her. At this point, there will be more scenes, along with a forced ATE that doesn't count towards Movie Critic; this is one of the moogle tutorials, this one being on synthesis. Eventually, you will be in control of Zidane and can explore Lindblum.
To begin, speak with the moogle in the other room, Moodon, who has a letter for Zidane (from Ruby back in Alexandria). Head downstairs and check the bottom left corner of the inn for 163 Gil. As you exit the inn, you can view an ATE called Small-Town Knight in a Big City, so do that now. Head up one screen after the ATE is finished and enter the building straight ahead of you, just north of where you saw Steiner eat the gysahl pickle. There will be two chests in here, which will net you an Echo Screen and a Hi-Potion. Exit this building and look to the left side of it to see a street/alleyway.
Head up there and keep going in that direction, once you enter, until you spot some trees off to the right. Go under these trees to find an item, which happens to be a Tent. There is a church at the end of this street, so go inside and climb the ladder behind the altar. Once you do that, move all the way to the right to find one more item, a Leather Plate. Return to the area with the pickle stand and look for an exit to the northeast. This will be the Square, which is where the shops are located. The equipment shop is on the right, the item shop to the left of that and the one you really want, the synthesis shop, can be found by exiting through the top.
Making Some Money
Before doing anything synthesizing, head to the table in the upper left and snatch some Silver Gloves from it. Now you can begin making some things, like the Butterfly Sword and The Ogre, both powerful weapons for Zidane. Note that you want to make sure that Zidane has fully learned the Bandit ability from the Mythril Dagger, as that increases his chance of stealing successfully. Now, it's time to make some money, so head back to the equipment shop and purchase some Steepled Hats. Start off with a small amount and make sure you have enough money left over to synthesize some Cotton Robes (1,000 Gil a piece).
Once you've made some, head back to any shop and sell them, then keep doing this over and over until you've exhausted your supply of Wrists. You should be making a profit of 610 Gil for each Cotton Robe made and sold back, so you can rake in some good money right now. Just make sure you keep two Cotton Robes in your inventory, as both Dagger and Vivi can equip it. Next up is purchasing some Glass Armlets and Leather Wrists to make Glass Buckles for your characters (everyone can equip this). This item is an accessory, so it'll be useful since you don't really have one yet, plus it can teach Antibody to everyone. If you want anything else, then feel free to get it now, then let's return to the main walkthrough.
Return to the street where the inn is located and go through the doorway on the opposite side, which will trigger a forced ATE called Vivi's Shopping. During this ATE, you will receive a Kupo Nut, an item that will be talked about a little later. When it's over, get onto the air cab and fly to the Industrial Distract for more pilfering. After climbing the stairs to get into the heart of the Industrial Distract, head on the other side of the left railing for a Leather Wrist. Head up the stairs in the back of this screen to find the pub where you met Freya earlier.
Do not go inside, though, as the item you want is on the outside. On the right side of the doorway is a sign that says today's special and the item can be found to the right of that (Bronze Vest). Continue north of the pub and enter the building at the end of the street, where you can find two more items on the second floor (Mimic Card and Steepled Hat). Double back to the air cab and take it to the Theater District next.
Exit the station and you'll have the option to view an ATE, named Steam Engine. Once it's over, go to the greenery in the foreground and look for the item on that ground, which turns out to be 127 Gil. This should be closer to the building on the right, your next destination. Inside is a chest with some Ore in it, so loot it and step back outside. The steps to the next screen are to the west of the artist's studio, and they will bring you to where the Tantalus (your group) hideout is located. Keep going past it, for now, and head down the stairs.
There is a group of people standing in front of the entrance there, who are a fan club of someone named Lowell. Speak to the chairman (the one in purple) to kickstart some events, with someone in a moogle costume running up the stairs. Chase after the person, who is inside of the artist studio from a little bit ago. Speak to Lowell here and he'll hand over an Autograph, plus you can find the Moogle Suit he was wearing right across from him. Remember Tantalus' hideout pointed out earlier? Well, head there now and go inside for a quick little scene, then there will be an ATE, titled What can I do?.
When it is over, you will have a conversation with some kids inside of Tantalus, who will remind you to go back to the princess at the castle. After regaining control, open the three chests in the room, which are straight ahead when you enter (97 Gil), in the upper right corner (68 Gil), and in the lower right corner (282 Gil). You can also check out the bed on the left side for some item named Mini-Burmecia. Step out of Tantalus and you will see the prompt for another ATE, Baku and His Crew. That about wraps it up for Lindblum, so let's return to the castle.
Make your way back to the air cab and pick Lindblum Castle this time. You'll be heading back to the Guest Room, where you'll find Steiner, who mentions that Dagger seems to be missing. Feel free to save your game at this time and head back to the main hall, where Zidane will hear a familiar song. The lift that'll take you to where the princess is to the south in the main hall, but the guard will not let you by, so Zidane figures dressing as a guard might help. Double back to the room that leads to the Guest Room and speak with the sleeping guard in the lower left.
Zidane will "borrow" a guard outfit, so return to the guard who wouldn't let you pass earlier and walk right past him. In the next area, keep using the stairs and you will eventually reach the top, where the princess is located. The game will take over here, but you'll be looking through a telescope at places you can uncover the names for. Just look for exclamation points as you move the telescope around, with the places being as follows:
- Ceebell River
- ??? Forest
- Aerbs Mountains (one to the right and another to the left of South Gate)
- South Gate
More scenes will follow finding all six locations through the telescope, and it will lead straight to the Festival of the Hunt.
Important: If you wish to get the most out of the Festival, then you want to save your game before you initiate it. This is because you'll be doing it twice, once for a trophy/achievement and a second time for a very useful piece of equipment.
Festival of the Hunt
The Festival of the Hunt is a competition to see who can score the most points by defeating monsters scattered around the city. The Hunt lasts a total of twelve minutes and you will be rewarded points, with the enemies shown on the field. You begin combat with them by running into them, and no rewards are given for defeating the monsters, other than the allotted points for the competition. All of the monsters are in the three main districts (Business, Theater and Industrial), with points assigned to each one.
You will control Zidane during the Hunt, with both Vivi and Freya also participating, both on their own. It is one of these three characters who will always win the hunt, with an appropriate reward given depending on the actual winner. If Zidane wins, then you gain 5,000 Gil, Freya will get a Coral Ring and Vivi will get the Theater Ship card. If Vivi wins, then you will also receive the A-Hunting We Will Go trophy/achievement. Your first go through the Hunt will aim for this, then you will reload and win with Freya, as the Coral Ring is a very useful piece of equipment.
Tip: You might want to equip one of the two weapons you synthesized for Zidane earlier, as you don't want normal battles to take more than one hit if you're going to fight anything in the Hunt.
The normal monsters in the Hunt are Mus, Trick Sparrows and Fangs. However, there is kind of a boss for the Hunt, which you probably saw in the scenes leading up to it. It's called a Zaghnol and it only spawns in the Business District once the clock is under 4 minutes and 30 seconds. So, you have a few ways to go about things in the Hunt, if you want either Freya or Vivi to win. If you wish to get an extra letter for Mognet, then you want to go about and defeat monsters until you get above 100 points for Zidane. After this, wait for the clock to hit the time mentioned above, then enter the Business District and initiate combat with the Zaghnol.
Freya will join you for this battle and it will be the deciding point for the winner, pretty much. If you wish for Freya to win the Hunt, then have Zidane whittle the Zaghnol's HP down, KO himself and have Freya deliver the final blow. If you want Vivi to win, then you simply get in the battle with the Zaghnol and have both Zidane and Freya get KO'ed from either hitting themselves or having the creature do it. Now, you want to delay this a little bit, though, as the Zaghnol has a few good items to steal, mainly some Mythril Gloves and a Needle Fork. The second item is a nice upgrade for a character you will be getting soon.
Tip: The Zaghnol has around 1,574 HP, to give you some idea of how much longer it has left to live when you're fighting it. Also, use a Tent on the beast to help inflict it with Silence and Darkness, making the battle a lot easier.
It should be noted that if Zidane is KO'ed and the time runs out, then it's very possible that Freya will still win the Hunt, so it's not entirely needed for her to finish off the Zaghnol. Her Jump command is a lot better than the normal attacks, though, as they tend to deal close to three times more damage, even if they might seem slower.
A-Hunting We Will Go
Win with Vivi during the Festival of the Hunt.
After the Festival of the Hunt is over, you will receive your reward in the throne room of Lindblum Castle, but it gets interrupted by a Burmecian soldier saying that Burmecia is under attack. Your next stop will be Burmecia, but you will journey through Gizamaluke's Grotto. The biggest problem is you will only have three party members, so not only are you short a healer, but you're going to need one more character to join you. Once you finally regain control, make sure you equip everyone with the goodies in your inventory, as well as any new abilities. You're not going to have a healer, so double back to the Business District and get some Potions and maybe a few Tents (take the lift to the Mid-Level to get to the air cab area).
Note: If you haven't done the Cotton Robe synthesis trick, look above for the Making Some Money section for more details on it.
When you're finished with your preparations, return to Lindblum Castle and take the lift down to the Base Level. There are trolleys on either side, so start with the right one to Serpent's Gate. There will be a chest slightly hidden on the northern end, which contains a Wyerd Card. Return to the previous screen and head to Dragon's Gate now, where you'll find a moogle named Moonte. He'll have received a letter from Stiltzkin, so view the Mognet option and make sure you save your game. There is a Tent to the right of the doorway exit, so snatch it and if you need any items, there's also a merchant.
The guide will take a little tangent here, instead of going straight to Gizamaluke's Grotto.