Ni no Kuni walkthrough, Part Fifty-One: Ara Memoriae and Hermitage
The White Witch is up to no good, and now Oliver and company know it. They're off to the lost land of Nazcaa to put an end to her machinations by getting in contact with Queen Cassiopeia… though they know not what to expect.
By process of elimination, Nazcaa is the only land you haven't yet visited - and that would be the large island to the southwest of the Summerlands. Most of Nazcaa is cloaked in a mysterious force that prevents Tengri from landing, but there's a bird symbol in the southeast where he can alight. Set down and hoof it far to the north in a big loop, until you come to a giant gap between the land and the building in the middle. Bridge will get you there.
(Before entering, check the faded symbol just before the bridge. Use Rejuvenate on it and Tengri will be able to land here, as well.)
This is Ara Memoriae, and it demands… flowers? Those flashback blooms from Pea - the Flowers of Faith, Hope and Youth - will do. Put one in each of the pots and approach the central altar. Cassiopeia will speak up, and you'll learn the rest of her history… and her connection to the White Witch. In the end, the three countries will agree to go to war against the Witch in her newly-revealed floating castle.
Now comes the point of decision. If you want, you can proceed directly to the final stages of the game by talking to Kublai on the Iron Wyvern… and don't worry, there's no point of no return…
… or you can do some side quests. Let's start with side quests, shall we? There are a ton of new errands to do, and many small and hidden places 'round the world. Most of them will be left for the post-game sections of this walkthrough, but there's one spot off the coast of Nazcaa that's worth checking out now.
While scoping out Nazcaa for the first time, you'll likely come across a smaller island to the southeast. There's only a small stretch of beach where you can land, and it sits in front of a forbidding cave. The cave is less dangerous than it looks, though, and it offers some neat prizes for any who enter. Welcome to Hermitage.
Inside is a bunch of familiars. Unlike your run-of-the-mill monsters, these guys are friendly - and they want stuff. Give them what they want and you'll earn yourself some prizes. (There's also a purple chest in here with a Set of Sorceress' Robes, and if you go to the water's edge you can snag a Healing Tear Gem from a green chest in the depths. These items alone make the trip here worth the detour.)
Near the entrance is a pair of duelling cats. They want to duel some more, and they'd both like a Well-Worn Sword. You may still have your very first Well-Worn Sword from your Mite; you can get another (or both) from the Cawtermaster's Store in Ding Dong Dell. Give them the Swords to earn a Poison Pinch Gem.
Not far from the cats is a small group of Naiads. They have sweet teeth, and they want two Carnation Cakes and a Carrot Cake. You can make the Carrot Cake by mixing three Crunchy Carrots with a Cake; you can make the Carnation Cakes by mixing a Carrot Cake with Dumpty Eggs and Angula. Dumpty eggs can be bought at a store, while Angula can be found on Rhinobores and Girlfiends. Deliver the treats and the Naiads will give Oliver a Vial of Sage's Secret.
The little Jackpotty standing near the water fears running out of water. He wants a Potty to fill himself up again. (Not the toilet, a kind of creature.) Warp to Castaway Cove, hop in the Sea Cow, and sail east to Shipwreck Shore. The waters between Shipwreck Shore and Hamelin are full of Potties. Deliver Potty unto Potty to get three Bottles of Pixie Dew.
To the right of the Jackpotty is a Duncecap. He's sad that he's all alone, and wants another mushroom to talk to. Any form of mushroom will do - for example, you could get a Napcap from Golden Grove. Give the two a chance to chat and the Duncecap will give you five Glowcaps.
Across from the cats is a Clinketyclank. This loud little machine desires three Sprockets, to prevent rusting. Sprockets can be pilfered from the enemies near Hamelin, notably the Sprog Cogs. Bring it the Sprockets and it will give you a Thunderspark Gem.
After you've satisfied the other creatures, talk to the Toko in the north of the cave. It will be so impressed by your good deeds that it will give Oliver a Name Tag. You can thereafter change the names of your familiars. Nifty! Not a bad side quest, there, e'nt it?
Next time: Errands and bounty hunts!