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- “... Hey, you sure this rabbit hole's really the way into Archades?”
The Sochen Cave Palace (ソーヘン地下宮殿, Sōhen Chikakyuuden?, lit. "Sochen Underground Palace") is a location in the land of Ivalice in Final Fantasy XII. It is an underground network of caves and broken down palaces that provide a passageway to the heart of the Archadian Empire: the Imperial City of Archades.
Sochen Palace is an ancient palace overrun with undead, bats, imps, and other nasty creatures. The only royalty currently residing within the temple are a family of Mandragoras led by the Onion Queen. These Mandragoras have caused problems for hunters in the Archadian wilderness. Several ancient and powerful creatures are locked away in the depths of the cave palace.
The party is on their way to Archades on foot to avoid detection and must travel through Sochen Cave Palace to reach Archades. The door is locked, unless the player talks to the Archadian Wayfarer in the Tchita Uplands.
- “A giant underground complex in Archadia, consisting of natural caverns and the abandoned ruins of an ancient palace. Many of its ways and passages remain uncharted on current maps. From the style of the carvings adorning some of the walls, it is thought that the complex was built at some point during the Galtean Alliance, though no records of its construction remain. A survey mission was initiated to chart the many corridors here, but a particularly nasty infestation of creatures has significantly hampered progress.”
- —Sage Knowledge piece 60
In the Doubt Abandoned area the player may find gambits to opponents weak or vulnerable to Fire or Earth. In the Mirror of the Soul area, the treasure that spawns nearest to the southern exit can be the Gokuu Pole. The little dead-end along the path to the west can have the gambit for a foe weak to Lightning. The treasure that can be reached only by doing the waterfall puzzle (see below) is either Iga or Koga Blade when the Diamond Armlet is not equipped; with the Diamond Armlet the treasure is always Knot of Rust.
In the Falls of Time, the westernmost treasure can have a gambit for a foe weak to Ice. The treasure that spawns on the right side of the westernmost exit to south can have the Officer's Hat. The treasure in the middle, in the area that can be reached by doing the waterfall puzzle (see below) is gil 10% of the time, but when it is an item it has either Elixir or Dark Matter. With the Diamond Armlet equipped the treasure is 90% Knot of Rust 10% Megalixir, and if the treasure is gil, it will be 28,000 as opposed to the 7963 it can be without the Diamond Armlet equipped. The treasure will never respawn.
There is yet another treasure that won't respawn and can only be reached by doing the waterfall puzzle a bit to the east of the middle treasure; this treasure is also gil 10% of the time, but when it's an item it is either an Elixir or Kiku-ichimonji. With the Diamond Armlet equipped the treasure is 90% Knot of Rust 10% Elixir, with 30,000 gil if the treasure is gil instead of items.
The Hall of the Wroth God, where Hell Wyrm is fought, has a treasure that can be a gambit for a foe vulnerable to Water. The Hall of Shadowlight has three treasures that never respawn once claimed. One is always a Phoenix Down, but the treasures in the north are usually Elixir, although the other has a chance of being a Gaia Hat. In Temptation Eluded the treasure in the middle can be a gambit for a foe weak to Water, and the treasure in the western dead-end is either a Balance or Holy Mote and will never respawn.
- Doubt Abandoned (to the Tchita Uplands)
- Hall of Lambent Darkness
- The Acolyte's Burden
- Mirror of the Soul
- Falls of Time
- Destiny's March
- Hall of Shadowlight
- Hall of the Wroth God
- Temptation Eluded
- Chamber of the Chosen
- Skybent Chamber (to Old Archades)
An Archadian noble on the Tchita Uplands gives an unofficial hunt to hunt down the Mandragoras inside Sochen Cave Palace. They use deadly status ailments that don't miss: Confuse, Blind, Disable, Slow, Poison, Sleep, Sap and Silence. It is best to equip Nishijin Belts to avoid Sleep and an "Ally: any (>) Remedy" gambit is priceless. If these options are not available, an "Ally: status = Sleep (>) Esuna" is just as effective, since Sleep is almost always inflicted along will the other statuses.
Each Mandragora has its own elemental weakness that can be exploited. It's better to focus on them one at a time, though they tend to run away at low HP. The Mandragoras can take off quite a chunk of HP with their physical attacks while in groups. It is possible to Dispel their Haste, and one can set up a "Foe: status = Haste (>) Dispel" gambit for quick removal. The Mandragoras have a pattern where they rush into the party to cast status effects and attack, then run away and cure, but they will always move in a group.
The best way to defeat them is to wait until they are grouped together and chain a Quickening on them. The player should stay on one side of the room and wait until they run toward the party, grouped. A well-aimed Quickening chain can totally pulverize the group quickly. The player should kill the Pumpkin Star first, because it casts Confuse. It is best to manage the party well and not let the party members mindlessly run around the room.
Opening Pilgrim's DoorEdit
A powerful ninja sword can be found behind the Pilgrim's Door (Knot of Rust if Diamond Armlet is equipped).
The player should start within the Falls of Time area and travel through the southeast-most door and proceed clockwise following the pattern in the picture. While following the path, each time one enters into the Falls of time area a message appears that the waterfalls have changed their course. At the end the player will receive the message "You hear a door open in the distance". From then on it doesn't matter what order the player enters or exits the Falls of Time area. The process is shown in this video.
Opening Ascetic's DoorEdit
The Ascetic's door is located at the westernmost wall of Destiny's March. It is recommended the player enter this area later because it holds more difficult enemies than the rest of the Sochen Cave Palace area (namely the Hell Wyrm).
One should begin by entering the easternmost chamber from the caves to the east, then proceed clockwise around the diamond shape until one arrives again at the eastern chamber. Upon completing the route once will give the message "You hear a door open in the distance".
In order to enter the chamber in the end, the player needs the Age Worn Key from the Wyrm Philosopher side quest.
- Pit Fiend
- Zombie Knight
- Zombie Warlock
- Onion Queen (Boss)
- Topstalk (Boss)
- Mandragora Prince (Boss)
- Alraune King (Boss)
- Pumpkin Star (Boss)
- Ahriman (Boss)
- Hell Wyrm (Superboss)
- Anubys (Rare)
- Wendice (Rare)
- Cubus (Rare)
- Darksteel (Mark)
- Overlord (Mark)
|"The Sochen Cave Palace" in Final Fantasy XII|
|Trouble with the audio sample?|
The theme of Sochen Cave Palace is called "The Sochen Cave Palace" (ソーヘン地下宮殿, Sōhen Chikakyuuden?).
- Note: areas highlighted in red are hidden passages that do not appear on the map.