A great landmass, floating in the skies above the Naldoan Sea. Such landmasses are not uncommon, found throughout Ivalice in every sort and size, though the manner of their formation remains a mystery. The region in which they float has some bearing on their climate, however most are warm to subtropical, boasting primordial jungles in which flora and fauna both rare and wondrous can be seen. The crust of these floating islands boasts a high magicite concentration, and after airships became a common mode of transport, mining colonies sprung up on the richest outcrops. Bhujerba, in Dorstonis, is the largest of the skycities, and it oversees the administration of many of the rest.
In other words, Purvama are the floating islands you see all over the place, and the particular continent Bhujerba is located on is called Dorstonis. Now you know!
An autonomous city-state found on the sky continent of Dorstonis. Originally formed as a magicite mining colony with the advent of airship travel. The magicite mines of the skylands are superior to the crystal mines on the surface in both quantity and quality of ore, and Bhujerba developed quickly on fortunes born of rock. During the years of the Galtean Alliance, the Ondore family took over much of the daily business of Bhujerba's governance, a rule which continues to this day. Their neutral stance during the Archadian invasion two years ago positioned them as mediators of the peace negotiations that followed. Like much of Dorstonis, Bhujerba is a city of hills and sloping boulevards. Merchant houses and shops are clustered near the peaks, while residences are found in the valleys. At the very bottom of the hills lies the network of crystalline shafts known as the Lhusu Mines. Many visitors come to Bhujerba to enjoy the open-air parks with spectacular views only available to those who live in the sky. Very rarely does anyone fall from the skycity, and curiously enough, not a single death has been reported to have resulted from such an occurrence to date.
Honestly, I have no idea how no one ever dies from falling off the skycities, but I find it fascinating that it not only calls this out, but you can meet a NPC who this happened to at the Hunter’s Camp in the Phon Coast. Seriously, what the hell? Video game logic at work.
Personally I think Bhujerba is absolutely gorgeous, and from a design perspective it’s absolutely fascinating. Many of the words they use come from Sanskrit; the FF wiki has a full list of translations. I’d love to know what made them choose that language and if it was present in the original Japanese; it certainly adds a lot to Bhujerba in the English localization.
Bhujerba has my two favorite sidequests in the game (and one of my favorite FF sidequests period). Technically the first is part of the main storyline, which makes it even better: the part where you go around yelling that Basch lives. The fact that you go around telling people not to believe Ondore’s lies, that the scrawny Vaan is Captain Basch fon Rosenburg of Dalmasca, and so forth is hands down one of the best things I’ve ever done in a video game.
The other is the madhu sidequest, where you actively set out to get the whole town drunk and make 13,000 gil in the process. All of the NPCs have hilarious reactions to the madhu and it’s a riot seeing them get wasted in a matter of seconds off the stuff. (The madhu sidequest unlocks right after you get out of Raithwall’s tomb, at which point only 13 of the 14 bottles of madhu can be found and sold; the last bottle requires that you complete the Antlion hunt mission which doesn’t unlock until much later. I usually use the gil on buying Golden Amulets at the Mosphoran Highwaste, which is also first accessible at this point.)
There’s also the fact that you can read a moogle’s diary and lie about it. Clearly Bhujerba is the town of sidequests where you do terrible things. I love it.
A crystal mine located on the sky continent of Dorstonis. Many years have passed since the ore veins were first discovered here, yet even today, high-quality ores are found and processed in these well-worked shafts. Many claim that the success of the mines is due to a project begun many centuries past by the Ondore family, whereby mining across their domains was closely regulated, never permitting too much to be drawn from one place, thereby allowing the magicite crystals to naturally recover. The Lhusu Mines are most famous for their high caliber of skystone, the material which enables airships to ply the skies, and memstone, a variety of magicite that can store sound and even images in its unique crystalline structure. Unfortunately, the dense concentrations of Mist in the mines lure all manner of beasts, and when mining expeditions are planned, palings must be erected to keep such creatures at bay.
This is one of those areas you visit early in the game and then come back later to unlock those locked doors you saw. It’s a relief, really, that the gate crystal is in the middle of the place; it makes it a lot easier.
When you first visit the mines it’s with Larsa as a guest party member. In both the original game and IZJS, the mines are a spectacular place to level grind, or loot grind, whichever you need at the moment; it’s the first real chance in the game to earn a lot of gil for the grimoires, after all. Shunia Twinspan is the best area for grinding; just run back and forth and the skeletons will respawn constantly. The chain will top out around 40 or 45; run to the other bridge (holding down the flee button so you don’t accidentally kill the bats in the passage in between) and run back to respawn them. You can make plenty of gil and levels this way. In the original game Larsa has infinite potions; in IZJS you can set his gambits to spam Cura to heal and Shades of Black to wreck everything in sight.
After fighting Ba’Gamnan you can head back into the mines to take on the Nidhogg mark if you’ve accepted it; the petitioner is just outside. The reward for this quest is the Great Serpentskin. This is a loot item; don’t sell it! You need it to get the Barheim Passage Key later on. You can get it without the Great Serpentskin, but it’s better if you have it. I wish it was a key item, but no such luck.
When you get the Antlion hunt, you’ll explore the next section of the caves. This area can be tricky if you’re at a low level and the hunt itself is hard given that it’s accompanied by a bunch of Killer Mantises. Spam Aeroga and hope for the best.
Much, much later on, you can head back into the Lhusu Mines to fight Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh’s FFXII appearance is probably my favorite of his crossover appearances; it’s hilarious seeing all of the weapons he’s picked up over the years. Also, Enkidu is there! I love when Enkidu is with him, it’s such a great nod to the original epic. You can steal the full set of Genji equipment from your fights with Gilgamesh; obviously, be sure to steal everything before defeating him in both instances. (I didn't actually get around to fighting Gilgamesh in my most recent playthrough; I'll do it later.)
No. 1 Dreadnought class airship being the flagship of the 8th Fleet of the Archadian Imperial Army. The 8th fleet was assigned to the Galtea Tactical Force of the Western Armada, under the command of Judge Ghis. Fitted with a skystone made to resist the effects of jagd, the Leviathan was a linchpin of the Imperial Army's main force. Sunk in an explosion caused by the uncontainable reaction of the nethicite fragment known as the Dawn Shard.
Obviously this isn’t a location that’s in Bhujerba, but since this is where you go next in the plot, it’s on this page.
There’s a mechanic here dealing with the alarms; all it really does is spawn more or less enemies depending on whether or not you walk through the lasers. Given that it’s hard to manage all of your party, chances are you’re going to set it off a lot. Don’t worry too much about it.
After you get Ashe, soldiers will endlessly spawn until you face Judge Ghis at the end of the dungeon. This is a great spot to level grind. Given that they’re spawning endlessly, it’s also a great spot to chain enemies; occasionally they’ll be joined by Mastiffs and break your chain, but this is rare. If you’re underlevelled (I recommend being somewhere around level 14 to take on Ghis), spend a while and grind here. If you get annoyed by the alarm, you can turn it off in the Sub-Control Room and the Large Freight Stores areas, but this will (obviously) stop the enemies from spawning.
You get Penelo and lose Vossler on the way to take on Ghis; I prefer to do my grinding while I still have Vossler, because it goes quicker and Penelo’s level will scale to your party’s current level.