These vast plains are a playground for Pulse's deadly monsters. They share the land with its original inhabitants, a clan of hunters, who have built themselves a comfortable life on this grand terrain.
In Final Fantasy XIII, it is the only place in the game where the player can ride wild chocobos. The area links the Vallis Media, Faultwarrens, and Mah'habara Subterra. In Final Fantasy XIII-2, another part of the Steppe is explored, possibly the western side, where it is now the home of a hunters' settlement in possession of a weather changing device.
None of the Final Fantasy XIII location is reused in Final Fantasy XIII-2, and though always a vast plain, the area is completely different in each game.
Archylte Steppe is visited in Chapter 11, and can be returned to from the final dungeon, and thus also acting as a post-game area. Archylte Steppe is where the player can do optional content in the form of Cie'th Stone missions, battle ferocious monsters, such as the colossal oretoises, and ride a chocobo to move faster and to find buried treasures.
Archylte Steppe is visited in an unknown time period, and is inhabited by a village of hunters who have a weather-controlling device. There are thus four "versions" of the steppe, as the enemies fought are different depending on the weather. The party must uncover cactuar-shaped waystones to explore the whole of the steppe.
After Gran Pulse and Valhalla form Nova Chrysalia, Archylte Steppe dries up and turns into a desert that becomes known as the Dead Dunes. This reveals a vast maze of temples underground that predates even Cocoon's building, and contains murals that relate the story of gods and mankind's beginnings. Oretoise skeletons, the dormant fal'Cie Atomos, and the scattered parts of fal'Cie Titan, remain as remnants of the steppe.
The Archylte Steppe appears.
The Archylte Steppe appears as a downloadable world.
The Archylte Steppe, Part 1Edit
The Archylte Steppe, Part 2Edit