This is Mt. Gagazet, home of the Ronso.
Ascending Mt. Gagazet
First off, just run up the slope between the stone columns and you'll have a rather lengthy scene and a battle will begin.
Sub-boss: Biran and Yenke
Fighting these guys isn't too difficult providing that you remember the one important fact: you only have Kimahri to fight this battle with. Before you complain saying that this makes it absurdly difficult and that this guide never gave you any warning, it's not a problem because they're scaled according to Kimahri's stats. So no matter how overdeveloped or, most likely, underdeveloped Kimahri is, Biran and Yenke are no more difficult.
Biran and Yenke together have weaker versions of most of Kimahri's Ronso Rages. The only ones they don't have are Jump, Seed Cannon, Bad Breath (which has little effect on these guys, unfortunately) and Nova (which Kimahri can't have learnt by now anyway). All the others you can learn off these guys if you haven't got them already. However, two new ones (excluding Doom, which you can learn from Ghosts in the Cavern of the Stolen Fayth if you went there first) can only be learnt when the two Ronso are in critical - Mighty Guard, which you perhaps saw Defender X use, can be learnt from Biran, and White Wind can be learnt from Yenke when he's in critical. Both of these only apply to them once they have used their respective attack, then you can learn it off them using Lancet. Otherwise, repeatedly use it until you've got all of the Ronso Rages, making sure to use Kimahri's overdrive up after you get each since it'll be a waste otherwise. Also, Biran may use Berserk instead of Mighty Guard, particularly if you kill Yenke off first, so go for Biran. If you kill Yenke first then Biran will use Berserk and use one attack that will hit you for 1000 damage.
Yenke will have about 25% more health than Kimahri does. It's a little less than that in actuality. Biran has about 55-65% more health than Kimahri. Their attacks, as outlined before, are most of the Ronso Rages, but also Bulldoze, which does about 600 damage from Biran and 75 from Yenke, and puts the user on the other side of Kimarhi, rendering most of the Breath Ronso Rages ineffective on one of them. It shouldn't be too difficult to be doing about 700 damage a hit to either Ronso, but make sure you focus on one of them before the other (Yenke is the easiest to kill first). When the two of them are together, they'll guard each other reducing your attacks to about 30 damage to the wrong target. Thus, you want to wait until they're standing on opposite sides of Kimahri for full damage. Next, it is important that you heal Kimahri whenever his health goes below 1300 or so. Unless you made him follow Yuna on the sphere grid, you will probably have to dig into your X-Potions to do this, but it's necessary to stay alive.
If you get the chance also use Steal - you can get some Level 3 Key Spheres off them which is really helpful for when you get to Zanarkand.
The Mountain Path
Once you've beat them, Biran and Yenke will acknowledge Kimahri's strength and let you all past. In the next screen, hug the right-hand side of the path until you can get on to a higher section of rock. Then head down and around the higher rock to get to a chest containing a rather generous 20,000 Gil. Head along and you'll be stopped by the Ronso again, only this time they'll sing the Hymn to you. Once they're finished, hug the left as you carry on, and you'll find a side area with a chest containing Mega-Potion x2. There are some more enemies on the way up Mt. Gagazet:
- Bandersnatches are lupines, so deal with them using Tidus. Tidus might not be able to kill them in one hit, so be prepared.
- Nidhoggs are drakes. One hit from Auron will dispatch them, but watch out for their physical attacks and whatnot since they hurt.
- Grats are plants similar to the Ragoras you found in Kilika Woods and the Sandragoras in Sanubia Desert. They have two attacks, Seed Cannon (which you can learn off them with Lancet from Kimahri) and Seed Burst, which inflicts damage and confusion.
- Grenades are bomb-type enemies. Hitting them with Auron is the best way to deplete their health in the three attacks necessary to kill/capture it before it uses Self-Destruct (which Kimahri can learn off them).
- Mech Leaders are machina, so use Steal. Watch out for their Electrocute attack.
- Mech Defenders are machina, so use Steal. They're more powerful than the Leaders but slower.
- Bashuras are like the Wendigo at Lake Macalania and the Ogres of the Calm Lands. Their physical attacks hurt quite a bit and it'll counter every attack when it "puts up its dukes".
- Imps upgraded version from thunder plains
It's a good idea that you equip your Capture weapons and use them as much as possible to save time for you later. Also, if you're underdeveloped, make a habit of healing after every battle (either using Yuna or Hi-Potions), otherwise one Ambush can mean the end of you.
Anyway, up ahead you'll find a grave of a summoner and guardian team that failed climbing Mt. Gagazet. Follow the path left and you'll come to a small path around a section of rock, where Braska's Sphere lies for you to watch. This counts as a Jecht Sphere so now you need one more and you'll get Auron's next Overdrive. Follow the path along - it's pretty linear until you get to the next grave. Go left and you'll find a Defending Bracer in the chest at the end. Backtrack and head north this time. Along the next path you'll meet Wantz, O'aka's brother. He's got some awesome equipment but sadly a lot of it is far too expensive for you to buy sensibly, and you'll want to keep around 200,000 Gil in reserve for getting Yojimbo from the Cavern of the Stolen Fayth when you get the Airship, which means you can't afford to shell out for all of the stuff he has. Now may also be an excellent time to sell a lot of the junk you have, just be careful not to sell any of your good stuff. With all the crap you have by now you should be able to get 20,000-30,000 Gil. Anyway, carry on along the path. After heading down you should be below where you were before. Head right along the semi-visible path and around to a secret ledge containing a HP Sphere and a Lvl 4 Key Sphere. Now, head left and along until you reach the next grave. There's nothing along any other path, so follow the red arrow up to the Save Sphere. Save, but before you press onward, fight random battles until you've got all your Aeons in Overdrive. As you might have guessed, and old...friend...will show up in the next area. It's Seymour!
Boss Battle: Seymour Flux and Mortiorchis
The Mortibody sure got an upgrade from last time, didn't it? First of all, you're up against Seymour, so Aeons are only good for one turn before being banished. Your two opponents still do combo attacks but the main one this time is Lance of Atrophy followed by Full-Life. Lance of Atrophy does about 650 damage but inflicts Zombie as well, most of the time. Full-Life on a Zombified character is the same as Death on a normal one, only with a higher success rate. Sometimes they will use Cross Cleave, which will do about 2500 to everyone. One thing that is annoying is that right after he uses Cross Cleave, he will often sneak in another turn and use another attack on a character. Seymour's got a lot of random White Magic counterattacks which he'll use according to what hits him - Protect with physical attacks, Shell with magical ones and occasionally Reflect with overdrives. He'll also cast Flare as well from time to time, doing about 3000 to one person (this can be reduced with Shell). Flare is usually preceded by Dispel on all party members, so watch out. Also, together these two can use Total Annihilation. The name is pretty brutal by itself. This is basically about a 20-second-long stream of attacks to random people, and it can do up to 5000 damage to each character. Use Protect and Shell on your highest health character (most likely Auron) so that you stand a chance of surviving the attack. This is preceded by "Mortiorchis: ready to annihilate!" when it will use said Total Annihilation on the Mortiorchis' next turn.
Now, how do you beat it? Seymour has 70,000 HP and the Mortiorchis works in exactly the same way as the Mortibody did in the previous Seymour battle. First you should start with the appropriate party boosts, like Hastega. If Kimahri learnt Mighty Guard in the Biran/Yenke battle earlier on and he has an overdrive here that will speed things up well. Cure Lance of Atrophy's Zombie status as soon as possible because otherwise Mortiorchis will follow it up with Full-Life and kill someone. White Wind also, for some reason, cures Zombie. Aeon Overdrives obviously help here, 5 of them at 9,999 minimum plus the damage Mortiorchis takes healing itself, and you can deal just over 60,000 damage to Seymour. Of course, that's the easy, cheap way to beat Seymour, although since he has Total Annihilation you might not want to take a fairer option to beat him.
Character overdrives help as well, and if you are confronted by Total Annihilation, just summon Aeons to put Seymour and Mortiorchis' turn order out and delay it a little. As for getting rid of Seymour's assisting White Magic, Dispel works a charm. Seymour's random weakness to Bio hasn't changed, but outside of that he's immune to most status effects (including Slow and all four Breaks). The Mortiorchis' Cross Cleave can really hurt if he uses it twice so use Mega-Potions to remedy this. If all else fails use a Mega-Phoenix or even a Megalixir. Make sure to Dispel Seymour regularly. Just make sure everyone gets a turn. If Seymour had more health then this battle would be nigh on impossible.
Or, if you have Yojimbo, just pay him a lot and he will use Zanmato and kill Seymour in one blow.
Mt. Gagazet's Interior
Unfortunately, after two boss battles of sorts and a long and annoying trek up Mt. Gagazet you've still got a really long path through the inside caves of Gagazet until you reach the other side and can begin descending to Zanarkand Ruins. Before you head on past the Save Sphere, check on the left-hand side by the pillars since there is a chest containing the Saturn Crest concealed here. You still can't use these yet so don't worry about it. Save, then follow the arrow to the next area, an immensely-weird part of Gagazet indeed. This is a rather long series of cutscenes in which you'll learn a bit about why Tidus is where he is now, and what he's been put there to do. You can move around in them but there's only ever one place you can go. Once you're back with the rest of your party, follow the ledge around until the music changes and you're inside Mt. Gagazet.
There's another new set of monsters you'll encounter inside here, in addition to the ones you've already encountered:
- Mandragoras are similar to the Ochus and the like you found earlier on in the game, except these have a lot more health - 31,000 HP. Their physical attack does about 1000 damage and inflicts poison reliably, so make sure you cure it quickly. Ochu Dance is also very annoying, but rarely used.
- Grendels are dual-horn fiends, so they're armoured and quite powerful. Inflict Darkness on them with Dark Attack/Buster from Wakka and then have Auron beat the crap out of it.
- Ahrimans are floating eyeball fiends, so use the appropriate tactics (hit them with Wakka's ball). Watch out for confusion. The only difference is that it has a new attack that does about 1500 to everyone.
- Dark Flans are flan-type enemies, but they have no elemental weaknesses - they halve all magic that's not non-elemental. With their resistance to physical attack as well this makes for a long and arduous battle. However, you can use Armour Break to rob it of its weapon resistance and also Zombie Attack to inflict Zombie. Following this up with Life from Yuna or a Phoenix Down on it and you win.
- Behemoths are new too. These have 23000 HP and 3 main attacks: Thundara, which hits for about 1000, a physical attack which hits for about 2000 and Heave which hits for about 5000, maybe less. Using Power Break on it is a good idea.
And also new monsters you'll encounter when swimming around:
- Splashers are easy kills - they have weak physical attacks that almost always inflict poison. The groups they come in determines their total HP. Even Rikku by this point should be able to kill a group of two in one hit.
- Achelouses will charge after every attack and then use Sonic Wave after the third for about 1500 to everyone. Otherwise just hit them repeatedly with Wakka and Tidus.
- Maelspikes are the only really problematic enemy you'll find in the water. They have 10,000 HP which is quite difficult to deplete quickly with just Tidus, Wakka and Rikku. Their physical attacks are quite painful, too. Equipping anything with stone touch and Inflicting Darkness on them helps.
Anyway, pathways to other parts of the interior are blocked by holes, so just follow the path north to the water area. Here, you'll only have Tidus, Wakka and Rikku to use, so heal regularly. At the end of the left fork, you'll find the "first trial of Gagazet" whereby Wakka has to throw a blitzball to hit the glowing center surrounded by lots of random rotating obstacles. Don't worry if you think you hit the center and nothing happens - there are some more obstacles that are hard to see which are blocking it. Just keep timing your throws and eventually you'll hit in and it'll turn red. A chest will appear at the end of the rock - it contains a Lvl 1 Key Sphere. The fork to the right in this swimming area leads nowhere except to a tantalizing view of two chests on the far side
Head back to the Save Sphere by the random blocking hole earlier on in the cavern. Back at the Save Sphere, head up and left. You'll enter another swimming section, with the second trial. This one's easy - Tidus goes in blue, Rikku in green, and Wakka in red. A chest will appear containing a Fortune Sphere. Swim back to the dry section.
You can go up and leave Mt. Gagazet interior now, but there's still some stuff you'll want to get before you do. Head back to the top of the stairs by the Save Sphere, and then go right at the fork. You can cross the ditch using the platform, then swim along to another dry section. Here, there's two chests, one containing a Return Sphere, and the other a Recovery Ring for Yuna. Go back, but this time go down the stairs and back along the way you went the first time. The random ditch down here is filled in now, so you can cross and get a Pep Talk from the chest - which has 3 of the SOS Nul abilities.
Now, head back to the fork at the top of the stairs and go left. Hug the left-hand wall and you can climb a staircase of mushroom-esque platforms to the top. There's a Save Sphere, which you'll want to use. Before you go outside it might be a good idea to level up a little more since the upcoming situations are pretty challenging.
- Tidus should be a little ways past Hastega.
- Wakka should know Osmose.
- Rikku should be on her last grid section before Bribe.
- Lulu should know Death and possibly the -aga elemental spells.
- Auron should know Zombie Attack.
- Yuna should know Curaga.
- Kimahri is impossible to judge on skills, so just make sure he's not killable in one attack.
Once you're ready, head outside and you'll be treated to Auron staring into space before...a giant dragon-esque beast appears.
Boss Battle: Sanctuary Keeper
This is one rough customer. He has 40,000 HP which is not that much, but he compensates for it with incredibly high Defense and Magic Defense and some vicious attacks. His claw attack does about 1,200 damage to one person. He may occasionally counter an attack with Tail Sweep which frequently misses, but attempts to hit everyone for about 1,000 damage, whilst at the same time dispelling Haste and delaying everyone's turns. He also has Photon Wings, which does about 1,000 to everyone and inflicts a whole manner of different statuses, namely sleep, curse (prevents overdrives), confusion, silence and darkness (if you're unlucky, Zombie too). He's vulnerable to the breaks and Slow, and you can use Dark Buster on him if you're really stuck. He's also susceptible to poison, so use Bio early on for 2,000 damage each turn. He also has Mana Breath, which does about 2,500-3,000 damage to one person.
However, the Sanctuary Keeper's main problem is his healing abilities. He'll frequently use Curaga, and supplement this with Protect, Shell and Reflect which should be dispelled quickly. When he gets low on health he'll cast Regen on himself which doesn't help - Dispel this too. If you're in trouble summon an Aeon to take the brunt of your opponent for a while. Failing this, cast Reflect on the Sanctuary Keeper - this makes its healing benefit you instead! However, he'll wise up and cast Reflect on you, then bounce healing off you to him. Dispel the character he uses Reflect on (this will get rid of Haste but it's better than letting Curaga add 9,999 to his HP). All-in-all he's not too difficult to handle, especially with a few Aeon overdrives.
Once that's over, you will talk a bit. There will be a movie-sphere on the ground when you regain control. Pick it up to watch Yuna's poignant last testament. Then, head on up to the rest of this outside area and follow the long path down to Zanarkand.
- Dark Anima