A land neighboring Dalmasca, both kingdoms being founded by the bloodline of the Dynast-King, who first unified Ivalice under one rule. Graced with beautiful landscapes and rich natural resources, Nabradia prospered for many years as a center of both agriculture and industry. Two years ago, an internal struggle boiled over into civil war, this opening the door to the Archadian invasion of Nabradia. Several days after the beginning of the siege of Nabudis, a mysterious explosion consumed the city, leaving a smoking ruin where the political and cultural heart of Nabradia once stood, and sounding the death-knell for the kingdom.
...remind me why I have to walk through this place again? This place sounds terrible. Oh, wait, all that’s optional? Great, never mind.
—wait what do you mean the best weapon is the game is there BRB HEADING OFF AT THE LOWEST POSSIBLE LEVEL
Mighty mountain range standing between Dalmasca and Nabradia. Well-known for its odd rock formations: overhangs forming roofs over the mountain paths, and lone spires of rock jutting toward the sky. In a col between the peaks is a flat area where spring water bubbles from the ground, creating an ideal resting place for weary travelers. The shrines standing in the clearing were built during the Galtean Alliance, the names of the gods they enshrine long since lost to the ken of Man.
I’d call this one of the prettiest areas in the game but this entire game is gorgeous and I can’t rank anything. Whoops. I do really enjoy that it feels like you’re walking on a mountain. The Paramina Rift is like this too, but I think the effect is more pronounced in the Highwaste, especially when you finally get all the way up to Exodus.
Anyway, I’ve mentioned it in like four different places throughout this section, but you can access the Highwaste as soon as you leave Raithwall’s Tomb; all you have to do is rent a chocobo from Nalbina and ride it up here. In the original game the merchant sells Thief’s Cuffs and Golden Amulets, both of which are vital to your mission of stealing from and killing every monster in Ivalice and earning tons of LP for it. If you’re low on gil, just head to Bhujerba and make 13,000 gil for getting people drunk off bottles you pick up ten feet away from them. No, really. I love this game.
In IZJS the merchant does not actually sell these items, but at least the Thief’s Cuffs appear in a pot in the Babbling Vale. (He also sells next to nothing until you beat Judge Bergan.) In the original game there’s a chance of finding an Embroidered Tippet in the area instead, likely the first you’re able to get.
I am typically not at a high enough level to stay in the Highwaste when I first go there (after Raithwall), so I tend not to come back until the plot requires it. If you want to, though, you’re free to hang around and explore it. In IZJS, if you have a Black Mage and/or Samurai/Mononofu, you can pick up the Golden Staff and Kiku-ichimonji from treasure pots on the Summit Path, both of which will outclass everything else in the game until you progress past the Highwaste in the plot.
After you open the gate to the Phon Coast, you can return to the Highwaste to open up the rest of the area and head to the top to fight Exodus, though I generally wait to do it until after I finish my business in Archades.
Forested region in central Nabradia. A path strung between the thick-growing trees leads towards Archadia. However, many of the tree-bridges are covered with thick moss, and in advanced stages of decay. As transport by airship gained prominence, the land roads were abandoned. Now more beasts walk the woods than travelers. The forest is the domain of the Kingdom of Nabradia. Abandoned these two years since its fall, the number of fell beasts within its borders swells daily.
The Salikawood is a really pleasant area where most of the enemies don’t attack you, which is nice considering you have to run back and forth through it finding a bunch of slacker moogles. (I love that I can actually use the phrase “slacker moogles.”) Of course if you go too far north you’ll find bombs and killer mantises, but that’s Final Fantasy XII for you.
A note about the boss fight with King Bomb: you’re free to exit the area in the middle of the fight. What’s more, doing so resets what it has available to steal. If you’re low on gil, it may be worth the time to run back and forth and steal all the Bomb Shells/Fragments you can carry. (If you’re following my general advice to steal from everything you see, though, you shouldn’t need to do this.) Still, it’s an easy way to make gil if you need it.
Beating the King Bomb can be an absolute pain considering it can use Renew to restore HP; one way to get around this is to use the Nihopaloa accessory on a character with all three Remedy Lores. This will inflict Disease on the King Bomb and make it unable to heal. You can get the Nihopaloa at the Clan Provisioner in Rabanastre once your clan rank reaches Headhunter (10 marks completed); in IZJS you’ll need to make it through the bazaar or pick it up as a treasure later in the game.
The passages north of the King Bomb fight lead to the Nabreus Deadlands and the Necrohol of Nabudis, both of which I don’t recommend visiting until your level is around 40-45 unless you’re very, very prepared to take on the challenges there. I know the Zodiac Spear is there, but seriously, you will get your ass handed to you.
Place once known as Nabudis, the prosperous capital of Nabradia. In the war against Archadia two years ago, the city was utterly destroyed, leaving nothing but an eerie waste of swirling Mist. Even by day, the sun does not penetrate that ever present fog. Beneath it, dense Mist has given rise to all manner of bizarre flora and fauna of an invariably vicious temperament.
It doesn’t matter which of these two areas you visit first; I usually go to the Nabreus Deadlands before the Necrohol, though sometimes I switch it up. The map urn is found near the Salikawood entrance, meaning if you came in through the Necrohol you’ll probably get lost a couple times. As you enter you’ll get a cutscene warning you to get the hell out, further emphasizing that you should be wary of the area.
You can come in here if you’re at a lower level, but I really do recommend being around level 40-45. Maybe a little lower in the original game; it depends on how much magic you have available. In IZJS I found both areas to be a comfortable challenge at level 44 with a party that only had Curaga and almost no buff spells available. (Playing IZJS with no White or Time Battlemage is hard. Doable, but hard.)
There are a couple pathways that aren’t on the map, most of which are filled with Foobars and various undead. One of these leads to the area where you fight the Roblon mark. As a side note the Roblon mark is a giant pain in the ass. Try and kill as many Dead Bones as you can before climbing up the hill, or just tank your way through it. In IZJS it’s not a bad idea to have Reddas with you when you go to fight it. (Not a great idea in the original game, though, since you can’t edit his gambits.)
Necrohol of Nabudis
Palace once home to the royal family Nabradia. Called the Verdpale Palace, it once stood proudly in the middle of a lake. Now it stands in ruin, destroyed in the attack on Nabudis two years ago. Though the ghost of the building remains in the crumbling walls, it is wholly gutted and lies half-submerged in the murk. Now Mist flows freely through its abandoned halls, and its glorious memory is profaned by a menagerie of vile creatures.
As mentioned above, you can come here before the Deadlands if you want to. Either way you enter, be sure to use Float or put on Steel Poleyns before coming in! Both entrances are absolutely littered with traps. If you have a guest character with you, Float is preferred, since you can’t change their equipment, but if you’re on IZJS and don’t have access to Float, tough luck.
In general the Necrohol is fairly straightforward. There is however no map urn, so if you find yourself getting lost a lot, look up a map online to help ease your travels. There are three locked doors in the Necrohol, which can only be unlocked when you do the Medallion sidequest. This will let you fight Chaos. Generally, you’ll want to come back and do this later, since you have to talk to a nu mou in the Deadlands first to even start the quest.
The Necrohol is famous for the Zodiac Spear located in the Cloister of the Highborn area, which only spawns if the player has avoided opening four specific treasure pots elsewhere in the game. The locations of these pots is listed here. The Zodiac Spear is the ultimate weapon in the original game.
In IZJS, the Zodiac Spear does not appear here, and is no longer the ultimate weapon; it is also only equippable by the Uhlan job.
Not a whole lot to talk about with regard to enemies other than that they’re a pain in the ass and you will quickly learn if they’re too much for you. The rare game Helvenik will spawn after you kill six Oversouls, which themselves spawn at intervals as you kill enemies. If you’re hunting the Goliath mark, you need to enter from the Nabreus Deadlands and not the Salikawood, which can be annoying if you go in looking for it from the wrong direction.