This is quite a bit different from Macalania, isn't it?
You'll start off swimming in an oasis by yourself. Check the lower left to find a chest containing Remedy x4. Get out and save your game, then after Tidus has a few thoughts to himself, if you missed collecting the Al Bhed Primer vol. I, go to the right by the rock you will find a copy, then walk out into the desert. After a short way you'll enter a predetermined battle against a Zu — by yourself. Use Slow on it and wait for its first attack (which will never kill you). Auron will show up to give you a hand. Use Power Break on it and after one turn something off-screen will cast a spell on it. It's Lulu, who will also join in. Tidus should use Haste on Auron and Lulu and Delay Attack/Delay Buster if you have it on the Zu, and Lulu should keep up the punishment with -ara spells. Auron should just attack. Sonic Boom does about 600-700 damage to everyone, so watch out.
Zu's have 12000 HP but it shouldn't take too long to deplete. After this, go back and use the save sphere to replenish your health, then enter the desert once more. Around the corner of the dune you'll find Wakka in a sort of shelter. His faith's been shaken quite a bit. Once he's in your party, open up the chest (Al Bhed First Aid kit) for Al Bhed Potion x8 (you'll get tons of these, and they're useful). Also don't forget to pick up the Al Bhed Primer vol. III that's nestled in the shelter if you missed it near the beginning of the game. Head on along to the next area. Go right and you'll see Kimahri fighting a losing battle with…a sand dune. As you approach there is a second chance copy of Al Bhed Primer vol. V hidden slightly behind the machina to the left. Talk to Kimahri and he'll join your party again. Head around the corner and after so long you'll find Rikku by another shelter. She'll rejoin and tell you where you are and where you've gotta go. Pick up the Ether in the chest and the Al Bhed First Aid Kit, then use the Save Sphere and follow Rikku. When the path forks, take the left to a chest that contains Hi-Potion x4, then proceed to the next area.
This place is massive, and make sure you check everywhere for all the goodies — in the large main section there's an assortment of Mega-Potions, X-Potions and Hi-Potions in the chests dotted around. Towards the middle right, there's a Hi-Potion x4 in a small shelter. There's a chest containing X-Potion x2 by some large rocks in the middle left portion, and to the far left by the fence is a chest containing Mega-Potion x2. Towards the top you'll find another save sphere and a warning board from the Al Bhed, along with another Al Bhed First Aid Kit containing Al Bhed Potion x8. You'll want to go right and follow this area to the next one, but first go left. In the ruins around here you can pick up some good stuff — in the one near the middle, there's two chests with 10,000 Gil and a Lvl 2 Key Sphere, in the ruins to the north, there's Al Bhed Primer vol. XVII, and at the bottom left of this side-area there's a chest with an Elixir.
There are some more new monsters here:
- Sand Wolves are wolves, so hit them with Tidus. They should go down in one hit, although occasionally inflict Silence with their physical attack.
- Alcyones are birds, so Wakka will be the only one who will hit them often, but they go down in one hit. Their physical attack is weak but has a good chance of inflicting darkness.
- Mech Guards are machina, so use Steal for an instant kill.
- Mech Gunners are also machina, so use Steal for an instant kill. Otherwise, they do more damage and have more health than Mech Guards, but are also slower.
- Cactaurs are cacti that are a pain to kill. 800 hp and a lovely attack called 10,000 needles which does- you guessed it- 10,000 damage. But if you kill it, you can get some sweet prizes.
It is also possible to run into an encounter with a 'Sandworm'. This huge monster has a whopping 45,000HP and can take a while to bring down due to its massive amount of health, but, otherwise, it isn't that dangerous. It has 3 moves which are all relatively weak in comparison to its size and health. Its most basic and most common move is a headbutt dealing a rough 400-700 damage. Its second attack is 'Swallow' in which it swallows one of your team, it will cough them up after a few turns but otherwise it does no damage at all. Its last move is earthquake which damages your whole team for 600-800 damage. The best way to bring the worm down is to hit it with power break off Auron and Use Haste off Tidus on the entire Party (I Recommend Auron, Lulu, Tidus) and go crazy on it, have Lulu use Demi if you have it, if not Blizzara. Demi should speed this up considerably. Dark works, so have Wakka keep applying it if you like. Poison is also effective, dealing 4500 a turn. You can also receive 2 X Shadow Gems if you steal from it, These gems reduce all enemy's health by half. A powerful item for use in a tight spot.
Once you've got these head back to the save sphere on the main path. By the sign post, there's Al Bhed Primer vol. XVIII. Pick that up, then head on up to the next area. Search around for some more goodies. You'll spot a circular side area to the west just above the path coming from the southwest — along here is a chest containing Hi-Potion x8 and in the sand whirlpool a chest containing the Mercury Crest. You can't access the sandstorm-blocked areas yet. On the left-hand side just beyond the two sand whirlpools with plants in the middle (don't enter these for the chests yet) are two chests, one containing Mega-Potion x3 and the other containing X-Potion x2.
The plants in the middles of the sand whirlpools up ahead are Sandragoras, and they are quite annoying if you don't know what you're doing. They have 12,750 HP and absorb Water, so unequip any weapons with Waterstrike before you fight it. It's weak to fire, so have Lulu use Fira on it. Its main attack is Seed Burst which is extremely annoying — 200 or so damage and confusion on one person. It's vulnerable to Armour Break (which you should make sure you have by now) and occasionally Sleep, otherwise make sure you deal the damage quickly to avoid getting multiple party members under confusion and wasting valuable Remedies curing it. You can occasionally trust your party to hit themselves under confusion, thus knocking themselves out of it, but it's unreliable.
Defeating the left-hand Sandragora will allow you pick up a chest with Megalixir x3, and defeating the right-hand one will allow you to get Teleport Sphere x2. Another Sandragora bars your passage to the north, but it's no different from the others (except you don't get an awesome prize for beating it). Once it's dead, proceed onward and Rikku will tell you that Home's right up ahead…and it's under attack.