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Shallows (浅瀬, Asase?) are a recurring type of terrain used on the world map in the Final Fantasy series. Shallows appear in areas of water near to the land. They cannot be traversed on foot, but can often be traversed without need of a specifically purposed water vessel. They are often denoted on the world map by areas where the water is dotted with stones or a lighter shade of blue.
Shallows return, but as the hovercraft is no longer used they are an aesthetic feature and serve no practical purpose. Tidal shifts have occurred between games, due in part to the Red Moon leaving the Earth's orbit, and as a result the two main areas once only reachable by the shallows, the Adamant Isle Grotto and the Cave of Eblan, can be reached on foot.
Shallow water cannot be traversed on foot, but when the party obtains the buggy they can travel across the lightest shallows in rivers. The party cannot reach Nibelheim before obtaining the buggy. All vehicles which travel on water can also travel through shallows, except for the submarine. These vehicles are the Tiny Bronco, and the blue, black and gold chocobos.
Shallows in rivers connect the Gold Saucer Area to the Costa del Sol portion of the Corel Area, and the Gold Saucer Area to the Gongaga Area. The Gongaga Area is connected to the Cosmo Area via shallows on the west. The Cosmo Area is connected via shallows at its north to the Nibel Area. There is also an area of shallows in the Junon Area, connecting the main portion of the Junon Area to the portion with the Old Man's House. Although there are no shallows that the buggy can cross back to the Junon Area, the player can board the Cargo Ship at Costa del Sol back to the Junon area with the buggy.
The blue chocobo and the Tiny Bronco can also traverse through the shallow water near coastlines. This shallower water surrounds all continents, with certain "paths" that cross between continents so the player can get to Wutai or the Northern Continent with the Tiny Bronco. In the Mideel Area, the player needs the airship to access Mideel, because the only area connected to other continents by shallow water is on a different ground level to the town. The Materia Cave in the Mideel Area can also be accessed without airship, and can be reached by blue chocobo by following the coastline.
The chocobo can cross shallow waters near coastlines. Sometimes these shallow portions cross over so the player can travel between continents on a chocobo. This is required if the player wants to go to the Chocobo Sanctuary, or salvage the Ragnarok during endgame.
After becoming a blue chocobo, Choco may pass through shallow waters, but not deep waters, and can even dig for treasure buried in the shallows. Once Choco becomes a blue chocobo, the player may also visit Chocobo's Lagoon by using the Blue Narciss or an airship in conjunction with Gysahl Greens to call Choco at a spot close to the lagoon. Because the Lagoon is located in a cove at sea level beneath an island, the lagoon can only be visited by Choco crossing shallow water to find it.
Innsmouth Region is to the east of Akademeia that has shallows. Innsmouth Coast is a location in the region. The player needs to ride a chocobo across the shallow waters to get there. The only enemies fought on the sand banks reached only by chocobo are the Megamarina flan that appear as fixed encounters. They are level 99 but due to the ease of triggering their Breaksight strike chance they can fairly easily be felled on any level.