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Final Fantasy 12 - Garamsythe Waterway, Royal Palace of Rabanastre, and Firemane boss fight

A full companion guide to the second act of Final Fantasy 12 The Zodiac Age.

This section of our Final Fantasy 12 walkthrough deals with the game's second act, including Garamsythe Waterway, the Royal Palace of Rabanastre, and the Firemane boss fight.

If you're looking for more guides and tips meanwhile, then head to our Final Fantasy 12 The Zodiac Age guide and walkthrough hub, where you'll also find this walkthrough's contents for all the other sections, too.

Garamsyteh Waterway and the Royal Palace of Rabanastre

Garamsythe Waterway

As you enter the Waterway use the save crystal, and head up the stairs beyond it - all you'll find in the other direction is a couple of rats and a dead end. Follow the passage around, head north and deal with a few rats and steelings, then make your way north and east.

The next area will have a few icthyons drifting around, but unless provoked they pose no threat. Head up the steps to your left, over the bridge, and down the next set of steps, then head west and north to find the exit at the top of another set of steps and the game will ask if you want to continue; from here there's no means of escape for a while, so make sure you're fully equipped before proceeding.

Royal Palace of Rabanastre

Open the urn to get a map of the area, then use the save crystal, then head north to trigger a cutscene. Do not loot the chests in the south east part of this room if you want the Zodiac Spear later, and instead just try and head up the steps. After the guard shoos you away talk to the Seeq standing nearby, then press Square to attract the guard's attention. As the guard approaches give him a wide berth and run up the steps while he's distracted and enter the next area through the door at the top.

Lower Halls

This section is a sort of cross between a sliding block puzzle and a game of Pac Man, and you need to attract the guards to specific locations to clear a path to your goal. Standing near them and shouting will cause them to run towards you, but they're either lazy or stupid, as they'll only chase you as far as the next junction. If they catch you, the room resets, so if you find yourself stuck all is not lost.

There are several solutions to the puzzle, but this one should work:

  • Head south and attract the two guards and double back, attracting them towards where you started.
  • Attract the attention of the group of three guards, then run east (ignoring the signet on the ground).
  • Head north and west and use the crescent stone on the Lion signet on the ground.
  • Head to the west end of the passageway and attract the single guard towards you.
  • Make your way east, north, and west, and you should now be able to reach the wooden lattice on the wall. Examine it and a secret passage will open.

Secret Passage

Head to the end of the secret passage and use the switch on the left then examine the wall in the alcove on the other side, then watch the cutscenes.

For more help with? Final Fantasy 12? Our Final Fantasy 12 The Zodiac Age guide, walkthrough, Switch and Xbox differences gives an overview of the game to get you started. Elsewhere, there's our hidden Espers strategy and locations and Elite Hunts and Marks pages, how to get the best Zodiac Jobs for each character, advice on farming LP from Jellies and even how to get the Zodiac Spear.

Balthier, Fran, Garasmythe Waterway and Firemane boss fight

Garamsythe Waterway

Balthier and Fran will join your party now. Save at the crystal and the game will give you a brief overview of Gambits - you don't have many available at the moment so you're best leaving them as they are for now. You can choose a set of Licenses for your new party members - by default they're both decent ranged fighters and Machinist and Archer are the natural choices for them, but feel free to pick your own path - or you can leave it a bit and make your choice when you have a few more points to spend.

Either way, you need to escape now, so examine the fallen soldiers in the water and then head to the next area.

The path to the left holds an urn containing the area map allowing you to easily see the route out. Make your way through East Waterway Control and No. 11 Channel, then use the crystal at the top of the steps in East Sluice Control before heading into the lower area for what essentially amounts to a boss fight.

The Imperials here don't do anything unexpected, so just keep your party healed and use Fire spells if you have one - with the assistance of Amalia the fight should be over pretty quickly, and she will join your party as a guest.

A note about guests: Occasionally you will temporarily gain a fourth party member. You can adjust their gambits, but beyond that you have no control over them. While they're handy in combat it's important not to become too reliant on them as they will eventually leave, and if you've just been scraping by with four people in your team you may find you're in serious trouble when they're gone. While you have them it's advisable to do a bit of grinding, partly because it's easier with four, and partly because it'll stand you in good stead when they abandon you. (Note that if they have any gambits set to use healing potions these come from their own private stash so you don't need to worry about them using all of yours.)

Head back to the save crystal, then proceed to the next area for another boss battle.

The Flans are all weak against fire, so if you have the appropriate spell this fight is a lot easier - regular attacks don't do a great deal of damage so it can be something of a slog to do it all by hand. Try not to get surrounded by them, and watch out for them casting Blind - use eyedrops to clear it otherwise you'll be there forever!

As you're still not far from the crystal you may want to nip back and save/heal after the fight. When you reach N0. 10 Channel the stairs to the west are damaged, so head east when you reach the central area.

Once you reach Central Waterway Control use the save crystal, ignore the four controls in the area (they're related to a later side-quest) and prepare for a "proper" boss fight.

Boss Fight: Firemane

Firemane is, as you'd expect, weak to water, and will absorb fire attacks so if you have any gambits set up to cast it disable them now.

Healing is vital during this fight as Firemane has a couple of attacks that can take around 100HP off multiple targets in one hit. He also has a habit of teleporting around the area so you may find him hard to hit, but thanks to Amalia's default healing/resurrection gambits you should survive reasonably easily, even if it does take a while - just make sure to use Phoenix Down on her if she falls.

With Firemane defeated, next up is part 3 of our Final Fantasy 12 The Zodiac Age walkthrough: Nalbina Dungeons, Barheim Passage, the Mimic Queen boss fight, and Bhujerba.

About the Author
Mat Hall avatar

Mat Hall


Mat has been playing video games since the late 70s, and hopes one day to be good at them. Still believes the Amiga was the greatest computer ever, and is waiting for the current Windows and console fad to pass.

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