Entering Athlum starts a cutscene to introduce the city and to move the story along:

After the cutscene, you are on your own to briefly explore the city before continuing with the storyline.

City Exploration[edit | edit source]

The proud city of Athlum.

Explore and Shop[edit | edit source]

Open the City Map to see that Town Square and Virtus Parish appear along with Xiphos Way. Now you can explore and shop a bit if you want.

You can't afford much yet, but at Vergil's Armory you can pick up a nice Kiteshield to equip in Rush's off-hand for just 500G. Be sure to chat with the locals; it's a good habit when visiting anywhere. Sometimes new locations unlock upon speaking to people.

Visit the Pub in Virtus Parish[edit | edit source]

David on his throne by his four loyal Generals.

Your main objective is to hunt down information about Irina and her kidnappers. On your City Map, move the cursor to Virtus Parish and select it to travel there. Remember, pubs are often a great source of gossip and other scuttlebutt.

Find and enter the Warrior's Honor and talk to the bartender, the fellow washing cups behind the bar. His Talk icon overhead is highlighted () indicating he has important information for you. He tells you that Lord David receives visitors at Athlum Castle. This puts Athlum Castle on your City Map.

Athlum Castle[edit | edit source]

Open the City Map and select Athlum Castle to begin a cutscene.

David then asks which place you'll investigate first. It doesn't matter which one you pick. If you pick Gaslin Caves first, Blocter's Union joins Rush's party on this expedition. Before you exit, you can talk to Pagus for some background info on the two locations.

The Bandits in Gaslin Caves[edit | edit source]

Blocter joins Rush's party to investigate Gaslin Caves.

Open the City Map, select World Map, then pick Gaslin Caves on the World Map.

Mission Walkthrough[edit | edit source]

Defeat the Rosefly Unions:[edit | edit source]

You start with two battle unions, one led by Rush and one by Blocter. Rush's Troop includes two Athlumians of the Hunter class; Blocter's union consists of just himself. Proceed up the cave tunnel and around the first bend until you see two Roseflies buzzing back and forth. Each Rosefly you see actually represents a union of several Rosefly units. Try to initiate a battle with both enemy unions at the same time; approach carefully, wait until they flutter closer together, then pull the Right Trigger when the icon above both foes is highlighted red.

Blocter explains that the monsters in the Gaslin Caves are vulnerable to physical attacks, and then you get a quick tutorial message on regular attacks and combat arts. Issue battle commands to both of your unions, selecting either "Attack!" or "Attack with combat arts!" Target each enemy union with one of your two unions and begin the battle.

Look for Trigger Chances[edit | edit source]

After you finish issuing battle commands a "Ready?" prompt appears. Upon accepting the prompt, the turn of battle begins as played out with fighting animations. If you have "Manual" "Critical Triggers" selected, watch the screen carefully! As the units clash, controller buttons or keyboard keys may appear at times when a critical hit is possible. The schematic will highlight one button or key. This is called a Trigger Chance. If you press the button or key indicated with the correct timing, you launch a Critical Trigger.

If you nail a Critical Trigger during your attack, the next friendly unit in line will act faster, doing more damage and boosting morale; this is called a Critical Offense. A Critical Trigger success during your enemy's attack activates a Critical Defence, which can change a simple block to a shield bash, or turn a dodge manoeuvre into a full counter-attack.

Thwart the Manticore Ambush[edit | edit source]

You should defeat the Rosefly unions in a single turn. Nab the loot from the fallen bugs and proceed north to the fork in the cave tunnel. Have your finger ready to pull the Right Trigger, veer up the left fork. A Manticore union suddenly pops up from the dirt, so pull the trigger quickly before it can ambush you.

Since you have a two-to-one advantage in unions here, your first group engages the enemy in a Deadlock, leaving the Manticore union open to a Flank Attack. Thus when your second union attacks, it hits the Manticores in a Flank Attack, which inflicts extra damage.

Find the Treasure Chests[edit | edit source]

After the fight, continue up the left fork to the treasure chest at the end. Open the chest to score a cool 300G. Then, return to where the tunnel splits and turn left to proceed up the other fork, heading due north. Soon you see more Roseflies fluttering up ahead near another treasure chest.

Be careful as you approach—another Manticore rises from the ground as you approach the Rosefly unions. Be ready to pull so you don't lose the advantage by giving them the first attack, which also breaks your Battle Chains! After you defeat all of the enemy unions in the area, open the treasure chest to obtain five Cureleaf and five Relaxing Herb consumables.

Defeat the Slave Traders[edit | edit source]

Continue to the end of the cave to trigger a cutscene.

After the Boss Fight[edit | edit source]

Talk to the girls; Rush gets their thanks, but learns that his sister isn't among them. Talk to Blocter, who suggests you head back to Athlum. Approach the device that looks like a big gyroscope. This is a transporter, and you learn that touching one can teleport you to the World Map. Use the transporter, select Athlum on the World Map, and then return to Athlum Castle on the City Map.

Athlumian Soldiers in Robelia Ruins!?[edit | edit source]

Pagus supports Rush while checking at Robelia Ruins.

In the throne room, talk to David. This puts the "Ruins of Robelia Castle" on your World Map and replaces Blocter with Pagus's squad in your party. Use the World Map to travel to the Robelia Ruins.

Mission Walkthrough[edit | edit source]

Zap the Lizards and Bugs[edit | edit source]

Move north through the entry hall and turn left at the second opening to see the Vile Lizard. Initiate a battle with this union; Pagus tells you the monsters here are weak against mystic arts. It's true... and both Pagus and Rush have a mystic art called Spark available. In this first visit to the ruins, Spark terminates most enemy unions in a single shot if it lands on target. However, note that some enemy unions can block or dodge mystic attacks.

After the first fight, proceed to the east side of the entry hall and initiate battle with the Landworm union. Again, use mystic arts to wipe out the ugly beasts quickly, then continue north through the tall doors into a long corridor.

More Vile Lizard unions lurk in the next area. Eliminate them and score the healing items from the Remnant treasure chest in the east alcove. There's a room through the doorway to the south, but it's empty, so continue down the long corridor that heads west before turning sharply north.

Open the Sealed Gate[edit | edit source]

Keep using your mystic arts, as the foes grow tougher the deeper you get into the ruins. The next Vile Lizard group you face is aggressive, so keep your finger on the right trigger ready to pull it as you approach. This fight features two enemy unions: match up your forces in two one-on-one confrontations so Pagus and Rush can take advantage of their Spark attacks. Then, wipe out the two Landworm groups and approach the glowing gate. If you try to open it, you learn it's sealed tight by Remnant power; you need a key.

Now, go nab the Remnant known as the Slayer Stone from the chest in the room to the north. Return to gate and use the Slayer Stone to break the seal. Move through opened gate and proceed to the intersection where hostile Vii unions aggressively attack. Eliminate them, acquire the 500G from the treasure chest at the end of the south corridor, then climb the north-east staircase to the next level of the ruins: the Sweeping Safehold.

Clear the Sweeping Safehold[edit | edit source]

Check the side rooms of the safehold area. Go to the east room first! It has a treasure chest that holds a set of Greaves. Equip them right away to boost your Speed by +3 percent. Then, enter the west room where you may face a pair of intimidating Chimeras.

If you've been using mystic arts all along, winning this fight may earn Rush or Pagus a spell upgrade from Spark to Spark II. As you continue to use skills, each class of skills and individual skill will level up over time.

Defeat the Anti-Remnant Activists[edit | edit source]

Proceed through the north door into the large chamber to trigger a cutscene.

After the Boss Fight[edit | edit source]

You can talk to the rally's attendees to discover, once again, no sign of Irina amongst them. Use the nearby transporter to bring up the World Map and then travel back to Athlum.

On the City Map, return to Athlum Castle to trigger a cutscene.

Torgal and Emma's Unions now join the party. Rush is now a member of Emma's Squad.

You can also visit the Warrior's Honor and talk to the yamaan "monster slayer" to learn about monster behaviour, including a primer on what their overhead icons mean. You can also learn about calling up the target cursor with the d-pad or keyboard controls to determine a monster's status and about angering nearby enemies with Aggro Pull.

Optional Exploration[edit | edit source]

Shop and Explore[edit | edit source]

You can visit Athlum's shops, sell loot or captured monsters you've accumulated, and spend some of your newly won cash if you want.

Note also that selling captured monsters to shops increases hidden statistics called Commerce Points. Once these points reach a certain level, shops begin offering Trade Goods. Basically, as you sell more and more captured monsters of all kinds, shops throughout the entire world will offer better and better items to buy. There are late-game items, such as the Imperator items, that only unlock once enough rare monsters are sold. So keep this in mind when deciding whether to split a monster after a battle or keep it to sell.

Leveling Up[edit | edit source]

You could also fight extra battles to level up if you wish, although waiting till you've got some more units and unlock Timeshift by visiting Dillmoor during the next story segment is wiser. If you choose to level up now, just go to either Gaslin Caves or Ruins of Robelia Castle and kill everything over and over. Arts level up based on use, so if you want a mystic user to become better at mystic arts, just use mystic arts as much as possible.

Previously: The Story Begins...

Next: Intruders in Dillmoor

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