Cactaur Sidequest Guide by Denouement

Version: 1.4 | Updated: 05/11/03 | Printable Version

                       FINAL FANTASY X for PLAYSTATION 2
                          CACTAUR SIDEQUEST GUIDE v1.4
                       By DENOUEMENT (
This file is copyright by Denouement (Chris Parham). You may NOT reproduce or
distribute this guide in any manner, electronically or otherwise, without the
express written permission of the author. You may not display this guide on any
page in which there are advertisment banners. Below can be found the list of
sites that are permitted to host this guide. This list can be changed at any

List of acceptable sites:
GameFAQs (

List of sites which do NOT have permission:

Remember, plagiarism is a crime and is punishable under the law.

Note: You can always find the latest version at GameFAQs, at
Thanks CJayC!

I welcome e-mails at but here are the Do's and the Dont's:

DO send questions not in the FAQ.
DO send questions in text or HTML format.
DO send e-mails with "GameFAQs" in the subject line.
DO send suggestions and corrections, this is not a final guide.
DO tell me if you find this guide on a site where it is not permitted (see

DON'T send executables.
DON'T send vulgar or inappropriate mail.
DON'T send mail over and over again, I only check it once every day, at most.

I will try to get back to you as soon as possible...unless you did one of the 
"DONTS", in which case your mail will be summarily ignored and ruthlessly 


This FAQ is a quick one, covering just the "Cactaur Catching" sidequest. This
is one of the less known sidequests in FFX, but it is an important one,
because you must complete it in order to get the Mercury Sigil. This key item
can be used to power Rikku's Ultimate (or Celestial) Weapon, the Godhand, up
to full strength. More information on Rikku's Godhand can be found at the end
of the guide, along with some FAQs.

SIDEQUEST: Cactaur Catching on Bikanel Island
REWARD: Mercury Sigil
NEW AREAS OPENED: Cactaur Valley on Bikanel Island
WHEN: Once airship is available
OTHER: It is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED that you equip one character (does not need
to be in your active group) with a No Encounters weapon before beginning this

To begin the sidequest, go to Bikanel Island after you get the airship. You can
start step one before you get the airship, but won't be able to proceed any
farther. Anyway, the first thing you must do is go to the Cactaur glyph
statue. Before that, however, let's get a little geography straight.

This is the first screen, with the pond, where the airship deposits you.
The menu describes it as "Sanubia Desert--Oasis."
This screen is a winding path, with open areas at each end, and a save point
near the center. The menu describes it as "Sanubia Desert--East."
This screen is the big open desert, and the ruins to the left. The menu 
describes it as "Sanubia Desert--Central."
This is the last screen, which contains the sand pits and the big sandstorm.
The menu describes it as "Sanubia Desert--West."

All compass directions in this guide refer to the top of the screen as "North"
and the bottom as "South." That is, moving from screen one to screen four, you
will enter each screen at the south, and leave at the north.

Now, the Cactaur glyph is in screen four. Enter Screen Four at the rightmost
entrance (that is, from the desert in Screen Three, not the ruins). Then, go
straight North-East. You should arrive at a cliff overlooking a valley with
a sandstorm. Approximately in the center of this cliff top is a rock with a
picture of a Cactaur on it. Just stand in front of it and talk to it. It will
have words for you, and then your quest will begin. You cannot continue past
this point until you have the airship.

Now, you must catch ten cactaurs on Bikanel Island. In order to catch them, you
must first find them. Once you find them, you will play a little mini-game.
In this game, your goal is to sneak up on the Cactaur within a certain amount
of time. Essentially, while the Cactaur has its back to you, you can move
around, but when it is facing you, you must stay completely still or you will
lose. If you run out of time, you also lose. Should you catch it, you must now
fight it. I suggest this sidequest as a good opportunity to catch your ten
Cactaurs for the monster arena, if you haven't yet, so you might want to equip
Capture weapons. Don't worry, Cactaurs are pretty easy to beat by this point in
the game, unless you're playing a NSG game or something. You can also steal
Chocobo Feathers from them; a rare steal is Chocobo Wing.

Whether you win or lose, you get a sphere. If you win, it's a sphere with the
Cactaur's name on it. If you lose, it's a "Sphere del Perdedor" (Loser Sphere,
I think). Then you take the sphere back to the glyph, it takes it and gives
you a clue for the next Cactaur. Here's a summary for each Cactaur, in order.
LOCATION is where you find him; COURSE describes the area you will try to sneak
up on him in (the area of the mini-game); and then there is my assessment of
this mini-game's difficulty, plus any tips. NOTE: All difficulties are based
relative to the other Cactaur minigames; compared to the butterfly-catching,
these are all as easy as a warm apple pie.


Glyph Clue: Tomay's gone. Gone to fetch the water.

Location: At the oasis in the first screen. He is toward the right side of that
little shore, you really can't miss him.

Traits: Duties: Fetching water. Takes his time and, as a result, is often left
        A little dim.

Time: 10.0 seconds

Course: You start off on a hill in the back left of the screen. Tomay is in the
front right, under a tree.

Difficulty/Tips: Easy. You just run straight toward him, watching his movements
and stopping when he turns around. Or, instead of watching his movements, you
can wait for the Al Bhed word "Needletime!" to appear onscreen. Stop when you
see it, as this word means he is looking at you. However, I recommend watching 
his movements as the best strategy. Time is not an obstacle.


Glyph Clue: Rovivea's gone walkabout.

Location: You will find Rovivea in Screen Two. When you enter from Screen Three
there is a large open depression to the left side of the screen, it's not hard
to see Rovivea.

Traits: Has no patience for certain dim-witted friends.
        Not a progressive thinker.

Time: 13.6 seconds

Course: Rovivea is at the very front of the screen, you are at the far back.
Setup is similar to Tomay.

Difficulty/Tips: Easy. Same strategy as for Tomay.


Glyph Clue: Little Chava likes big numbers.

Location: There is a narrow point in Screen Four. On either side of this narrow
area, there is a signpost facing each other horizontally. Go to the left sign
and press X to read it; it should say something about an Al Bhed 20% off sale.
(What a deal!) After you read the sign you will see little cutscene in which
you find Chava.

Traits: Recently learned to count to 50.
        A little needy.
        Attention deficit.

Time: 13.0 seconds

Course: You are at the back near one sign, Chava is in the front near another.
A straightaway.

Difficulty/Tips: Easy. Same strategy as for Tomay.


Glyph Clue: Alek and Aloja play tag in the ruins of men.

Location: They are running around in Screen Three, among the ruins on the far
left side of the screen. You will easily spot them in the lowest part of the
valley, running back and forth.

Traits: Two brothers, rarely separated.
        They move as one, their closeness a paragon of brotherhood.

Time: 13.0 seconds

Course: The two brothers are at the front of the screen, you are in the far
back. A straightaway course.

Difficulty/Tips: Medium. Again, just run straight at them and watch their
movements; this is a little more difficult than previous ones, you have to use
your time to its fullest to reach them within the time period.


Glyph Clue: Vachella seeks the shining blue.

Location: The "shining blue" refers to a Save Sphere. Just go to the save point
in Screen Two (it's approximately in the center of the area, under a tent) and
examine the sphere. You will have the chance to save, etc. Once you cancel out
of the Save Sphere menu, Vachella will appear.

Traits: Loves new things.
        Hard on others, easy on self.

Time: 14.0 seconds

Course: You are standing by the Save point, Vachella in the front of the
screen. Another pretty straight course.

Difficulty/Tips: Medium. Vachella likes to turn around very quickly. After he
turns for the first time, he will turn around three more times right in
succession. If you want to win, you must take full advantage of your opening
period to run, then take at least a small step between each of his next four
turns. He makes 8 spins total during the time; you'll need quick reflexes.


Glyph Clue: O, Robeya's stuck inside.

Location: Robeya is in a treasure chest, in the far southwest corner of the 
main desert area in Screen Three. Just follow the south wall westward, or
follow the fence southward, it's up to you. Try to open the chest and Robeya
will hop out.

Traits: A real needle brain.
        Likes cramped spaces.
        Check out his great collection!

Time: 14.0 seconds

Course: A straightway course, but there are four treasure chests, two on each
side. The back one on the left is open. The back right one contains two Shadow
Gems. The front left contains two Shining Gems, and the front right a Blessed
Gem. You can open the chests to get the prizes; if you lose a trial, you can
still keep your prize, but you can only open each chest once.

Difficulty/Tips: Easy. The challenge is to get all three items, and still beat
Robeya. However, since this is quite difficult, I suggest you just choose two
of the three prizes, get them, and then beat Robeya with trial #3. I usually
grab the Shadow Gems and the Blessed Gem.


BUG ALERT!! Apparently, if you do not leave Screen Four after giving the glyph
Robeya's sphere, Isrra might not appear. However, don't worry, just leave the
screen and come back, and all will be well. (Thanks to CB! for the solution to
this bug, though I'm sure many others have discovered it as well.)

Glyph Clue: A fiery description--The lord of the hole is gone, Isrra thinks.

Location: In Screen Four, there are three antlion pits (little whirlpools of
sand). You will find Isrra running around in the middle one of them.

Traits: The philosopher about town. Today, he digs holes. Again.
        A cautious sort.

Time: 15.0 seconds

Course: The course is a basic Isrra front/Tidus back setup, however your vision
is slightly hazy as it from the heat.

Difficulty/Tips: Hard. Isrra looks at you for seconds at a time, so you must
be very precise with starting and stopping--don't waste a single tenth of a
second that he is looking away.

There is a pit next to Tidus on the screen. Run into it when you first have a
chance to move, and once you are in just keep running toward Isrra, even when 
he is looking at you. Apparently there is a tunnel connecting the two pits,
because after a few seconds you will be standing at the bottom left of the
screen, right next to Isrra! Then just run over and touch him and you will
have caught him. 


Glyph Clue: Much-curious Elio has left on a journey.

Location: Go to the pond in Screen One again. To find Elio, you must simply
enter the pond area from the north (not the screen, just the area around the
pond.) Basically, if you morph in at the Save point, you need to go up and then
come back down again. After this, you will see a cutscene in which Elio beams
up to the roof of the airship. Head to the airship roof to find him.

(I love the cinematography, when you see Tidus' back, and then it rises up to
show Elio. Sorry, back to the guide.)

Traits: To what lies beyond the sands, he travels far to distant lands.
        Hyper-reactive and a bad poet.

Time: 11.0 seconds

Course: You are at the door of the roof, and Elio, in the forefront of the
screen, is at the prow. Be warned, the ship will tilt when you are trying to
get to him, so be prepared and keep your reflexes sharp.

Difficulty/Tips: Hard. You just need to watch both Elio and the ship and
pray you will succeed. Even I, having had a lot of practice, still sometimes
fail to get him; 11 seconds is very short to achieve this in. Also, you
don't actually fight Elio. If you reach him, he just falls off the edge, and
apparently dies. Oh well.

PROBLEM WITH ELIO: If you have gone to the "Sin" destination on the airship, 
but have not fought the battle with Sin there, you will automatically be forced
into that battle when you go outside to meet Elio. So, you have to fight Sin 
and get that over with before you can continue with the sidequest. I don't know
of any other solution. If you haven't gone to the Whitebridge to talk with
the people in Bevelle yet, then you'll be fine, since you can't fight Sin yet.


Glyph Clue: Flaile is always behind.

Location: After you take Elio's sphere to the glyph, Flaile will automatically
jump out and initiate the minigame.

Traits: The guy you never invite but he always shows up anyway.

Time: 13.0 seconds

Course: A basic straightaway; you are standing be the glyph rock, he is in
the front ground of the screen.

Difficulty/Tips: Hard. Ignore the sounds and the words that appear onscreen, as
they are meaningless for this one. However, it is not that hard to just look 
at his movements and time your running. Flaile gives you a special red sphere
when you are done with him.

Once you beat Flaile, take the red sphere to the glyph and there will be a
lengthy sequence in which the glyph repeats the clue for each of the 10
Cactaurs' locations. Then, the sandstorm in the valley will disappear.

Now that the sandstorm is gone, you can go get your prizes. There are two
treasure chests in the area revealed by the sandstorm; both are toward the
southern end of the valley. In the left one is the Mercury Sigil. The prize in
the second chest varies, depending on how many Cactaurs you successfully

1 Named Sphere=    Potion
2 Named Spheres=   Potion
3 Named Spheres=   Elixir
4 Named Spheres=   Elixir
5 Named Spheres=   Elixir
6 Named Spheres=   Elixir
7 Named Spheres=   Megalixir
8 Named Spheres=   Megalixir
9 Named Spheres=   Friend Sphere
10 Named Spheres=  Friend Sphere

NOTE: I've tested these results myself, and they assume that all the spheres
are worth the same. If anyone knows a contradictory result, contact me by

None of these prizes could be classified as great, so don't feel a lot of
pressure to beat every Cactaur, but it isn't difficult, and an extra Friend
Sphere never hurt anybody.

Where to find it: At the Airship Destination screen, enter the password GODHAND
  and a new location will open up, called "Mushroom Rock". Go there,
  and you will find a chest. To open the chest, you need to have the
  Celestial Mirror in your Key Items menu. Inside the chest is the Godhand.
Power-up items: Mercury Crest and Mercury Sigil
Where to find the Mercury Crest: Go the the Fourth Screen on Bikanel Island.
  Remember the antlion pits where you fought Isrra? You fought him in the
  middle one of three. The leftmost pit is in a little side area, and in this
  side area there is also a chest. This chest contains the Mercury Crest.
Where to find the Mercury Sigil: Didn't you read this guide? You get it from
  the Cactuar minigame, silly.
How to power up the Godhand: When you recieve the Godhand, the only ability it
  has is the No AP ability. You need to apply the two Mercury items to power
  the Godhand up. Go to Macalania Woods. On the shining upper path, go to the
  middle screen. Here, you will be able to take a turn to the north (top of
  screen) that leads you to a dead end at a rock. Examine the rock, and it will
  ask you to present Celestial Weapons. Select the Godhand. Now it will power
  up with the Mercury Crest; after this power-up, it will have the ability
  Double Overdrive as well as No AP. Present the Godhand again, and it will
  power up with the Mercury Sigil. This will bring the weapon to maximum power.
  It now has the abilities Break Damage Limit, Triple Overdrive, Double AP, and
  Gillionaire. It does more damage the fuller Rikku's HP is. Truly, an 
  "ultimate" weapon!

Q: I need the Celestial Mirror to open the chest containing the Godhand. Where
   do I find this item.
A: Okay, this is kind of extensive. First, go to Remiem Temple. This somewhat
   hidden loaction is in the Calm Lands. Get on a Chocobo, then ride to the far
   east end of that raised area to the far south of the Calm Lands. Here, you
   ought to find a golden Choco feather sitting on the ground. Examine it while
   riding a Chocobo, and the Chocobo will jump down into a new area. From this
   area, you can leave the screen. Do so and you will be at Remiem. There is a
   Chocobo standing outside the Temple, talk to it and you will enter a race.
      Simply race to the center of the maze. You can get prizes by touching
   treasure chests as you race, but for this purpose just win the race. You
   will receive a prize item called the "Cloudy Mirror."
      Now, go to Macalania forest. At the south end of the forest, you will
   find a mother and son. Talk to them, then go off the screen to the east, and
   you will find yourself at a campsite you visited earlier in the game. Here,
   talk to the father and he runs away. Now go back to where you met the mother
   and son, and notice that the son is missing. This family is a bunch of 
   idiots! Anyway, talk to them, then head up the shining upper path. Head to
   the second screen of the shining path, where there is an inverted "T" shape.
   Head up the T toward a dead end at a rock. Now the son, who is here, will
   let you pass to reach the rock/plant/??? thing. This unidentifiable yet
   helpful thing will turn the Cloudy Mirror into the Celestial Mirror. Ta Da!

Q: No Encounters is a useful ability to have equipped while completing this
   sidequest. Where can I get this ability?
A: You can add this ability to an armor by Customizing 30 Purifying Salts. You
   can steal this from Abadon in the Monster Arena, and from Hornet, though it
   is a rare steal from him. When you unlock Fafnir in the Arena, the guy there
   gives you 99 Purifying Salts. Alternately, if you fight Geosgaeno at Baaj
   Temple, he sometimes drops weapons with the No Encounters ability. Another
   monster you can kill to get an armor with the ability is the Ghosts found in
   the Cavern of the Stolen Fayth (Sunken Cave) which are pretty easy to beat
   but only drop it rarely.

Q: I want to capture Cactaurs while I do this. How do I get weapons with the
   Capture ability?
A: You buy them from the manager at the Monster Arena in the Calm Lands. They
   cost 9075 gil apiece and they are two slot weapons, one slot being filled
   by Capture ability and the other is blank. The Capture ability cannot be 
   customized onto a weapon. Customize an ability into the other slot which
   makes your battles easier, though at this phase of the game there should
   be no trouble beating Cactuars.

Anyway, I hope the guide was useful to you. For a complete walkthrough of the
game, I recommend two excellent FAQs, the ones by ATadeo and CB!. Now go play
some Final Fantasy X.

No furthur updates of this guide are expected.

Not much in the way of credits for this one. Again, though, props to CB! and
ATadeo for their excellent FAQ/Walkthroughs.

Credit to Freydis for the tip on Ghost dropping No Encounters armor.

Credit to about a hundred different people for sending me the tip on beating

Thanks to GameFAQs, and especially to CJayC for doing such a great job there.
Most of all thanks to me, for the time it took to gather this information.

This file is copyright by Denouement (Chris Parham). You may NOT reproduce or
distribute this guide in any manner, electronically or otherwise, without the
express written permission of the author. You may not display this guide on any
page in which there are advertisment banners. Below can be found the list of
sites that are permitted to host this guide. This list can be changed at any

"The Final Fantasy X Cactaur Sidequest Guide"
Last Update: 21.10.2002
Version: 1.4