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.
In Final Fantasy IV, various areas of water between landmasses have shallow water that can be traveled over while in the Hovercraft. Edward gives the party the Hovercraft so they can reach the Antlion's Den.
Shallows returns in the sequel, but unfortunately they appear as cosmetics, and the party cannot travel over them since they are not in possession of the Hovercraft.
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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 Sub. These vehicles are the Tiny Bronco, and the blue chocobo, black chocobo, and gold chocobo.
Shallows in rivers appear connecting 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 of the area. 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 an 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 on disc 4.
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 a boat or airship in conjunction with Gysahl Greens in order 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 in order to find it.
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