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- “Hey, lock this place up for me, will you? If Migelo finds out we've been down here, he'll tan our hides.”
- —Vaan to Kytes
- “An underground waterway running deep beneath the Royal City of Rabanastre. Built and rebuilt over the centuries, no one alive knows all of its labyrinthine ways. Some are said to lead even to the royal palace. There are stairs leading down to the waterway in Lowtown, but they are normally barred to keep unwelcome visitors down in the sewers where they belong.”
- —Sage Knowledge 42
The Garamsythe Waterway is located underneath the city of Rabanastre accessed via Lowtown. After the Esper Zalera is defeated deep within the Barheim Passage a zoning point to the waterway becomes available.
The waterway is a labyrinth of water and passages with monsters roaming the pathways. The water's level can be adjusted to reveal lower pathways through the opening and closing of the sluice gates. The [[List of Final Fantasy XII Items#Sluice Gate Key|Sluice Gate Key[[ can be obtained from Sorbet after completion of the White Mousse Hunt. The Esper Cúchulainn can be fought in the middle of the waterway by working the sluice gates. The waterway is also an important location for the Four Medallions Sidequest.
In the manga version Princess Ashe and Lord Rasler fell into the waterway through a weak spot in a closed-off section of the Royal Palace of Rabanastre after Ashe spied on a Neo-Rozarria Faction meeting conspiring to kill her father, King Raminas B'nargin Dalmasca. Learning Rasler is not part of the faction, Ashe treated the wound he sustained when jumping in after her, but as it still smarted Ashe took his sword and led the way back to the palace.
Some years later, Vaan's adventure begins in the Garamsythe Waterway where he is hunting for rats until Kytes fetches him for Migelo. Vaan asks Kytes to lock the place up, because he does not want Migelo to discover he has been in the waterway. Vaan later enters the waterway having heard from Old Dalan it holds a hidden entrance to the Royal Palace. He is not the only one, as the Resistance moves their troops an d supplies via the waterway to strike the palace on the night of the fete, the effort being led by Vossler and Amalia.
While in the palace Vaan runs into two sky pirates, Balthier and Fran, and they crash into the waterway as the piece of nethicite Vaan stole from the palace drains the power from the sky pirates' hoverbike. Escaping from the Imperial troops through the sewers, they come across Amalia and team up with her. After battling the Firemane the group is cornered by Rabanastre's new consul Vayne Solidor and separated, Amalia taken by the Empire and Vaan and the sky pirates thrown into the Nalbina Dungeons.
The manga version expands on the events. Vaan forms a temporary alliance with Balthier and Fran to escape the waterway during the Resistance attack on the palace. Vossler realizes the insurgence was led into a trap and orders a retreat, but Ashe, accompanying him under the alias "Amalia", refuses to admit defeat. Vossler orders Ashe taken to safety through the Garamsythe Waterway, but the troops he sends with her are imperial informants and aware of her identity as the princess of Dalmasca.
Ashe fights them off but is saved by Vaan. Vaan, Balthier, Ashe and Fran are met with a force of imperial soldiers with the insurgent traitors when a Firemane attacks them. Judge Ghis, who was appointed by Vayne to oversee the imperial counterattack, saves the insurgent traitors and defeats the Firemane, ordering the insurgents to take him to Ashe. The party defeats a second Firemane after which Ashe introduces herself as "Amalia" when Ghis finds them. Vaan attacks him and is thrown aside, and Balthier tells him Ghis is a Judge Magister who works for House Solidor. With Vaan knocked out and Ashe held captive Balthier and Fran fight Ghis, but are outmatched. Vaan, Fran and Balthier are sent to the Nalbina Dungeons, while Ghis has Ashe taken away aboard Dreadnought Leviathan.
- Overflow Cloaca (to Lowtown)
- Central Waterway Control
- No. 11 Channel
- No. 4 Cloaca Spur
- No. 1 Cloaca
- No. 3 Cloaca Spur
- No. 10 Channel
- West Sluice Control
- Southern Sluiceway
- East Sluice Control (to Barheim Passage)
- East Waterway Control
- East Spur Stairs
- Central Spur Stairs
- Northern Sluiceway
- North Spur Sluiceway (to Royal Palace)
- See also: Treasure (Final Fantasy XII)
The waterway contains multiple treasures, but they are mainly common items and low level equipment, unless they have gil. With the Diamond Armlet equipped the treasures contain Knots of Rust as a common item, and Elixir or Hi-Ether as a rare item.
When Vaan is on his way to the palace he passes through the North Spur Sluiceway. It is possible to obtain two weapons here. Oak Staff in a treasure right in the middle of the area that spawns 65% of the time, has 70% chance to contain items instead of gil, and when it contains items it can be either the Oak Staff or a Potion. The treasure respawns. Right before the stairs leading up toward the palace there is a treasure that spawns 65% of the time, and when it contains an item, it yields a Mage Masher.
After defeating the White Mousse mark the player gets the Sluice Gate Key that allows them to work the gates in the opening area of the waterway. The player must first turn all the switches off (that means lights off) and follow the steps below:
- On No.11 Area Panel (that means light up the panel)
- On No.4 Area Panel
- Off No.11 Area Panel
- On No.3 Area Panel
- Off No.4 Area Panel
After the last gate is closed a click is heard and south in the same semi-circle area, on the ground, there is a glittering object, the Dull Fragment. This item is part of the Medallions side quest.
To obtain the Esper Cúchulainn, the player must again work the sluice gates. The player must first switch on No. 3 and No. 10 sluice gates, by lighting up the panels, then move to the South-West (No. 3 area) and find the No.1 South Switch and activate it. Next the player must turn off No. 3 and No. 10 sluice gates, and switch on No. 4 and 11, then head to South-East (No. 4 area), locate and activate the No. 1 North sluice gate switch. After returning to the central, the player must finally turn off the No. 11 switch, and turn on the No. 3 panel.
Now only sluice gates No. 3 and No. 4 should be on and the player can access the area where Cúchulainn is fought, although the player must be quick because he disappears exactly 75 seconds after the player has pulled the switches.
- Dire Rat
- Ichthon (Docile)
- Malboro Overking
- Water Elemental
- Baritine Croc
- Foobar (assist Cúchulainn)
- Imperial Swordsman (Event Boss)
- Flan (Event Boss)
- Firemane (Boss)
- Cúchulainn (Optional Esper)
- Gavial (Rare)
- Razorfin (Rare)
- Drowned (Rare)
- Wraith (Mark)
- White Mousse (Mark)
- Orthros (Elite Mark)
|"The Garamsythe Waterway" from Final Fantasy XII|
|Trouble with the audio sample?|
"The Garamsythe Waterway" plays as the location background music. At the game's beginning where Vaan and Kytes are training in the sewers, the theme "Secret Practice" plays.