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The Tephra Cave (Japanese: テフラ洞窟, Tefura dōkutsu; English dub: /ˈtɛfrə/) is a large, cavernous area in Xenoblade Chronicles. The cave is located inside the Bionis' right leg spanning from the right calf to its kneecap. It must be navigated at least twice throughout the game in order to reach both the Cylinder Hangar and Bionis' Leg. At first it can be reached via Tephra Cave Entrance at Colony 9. Tephra Cave is the first area where Ether Crystals can be mined.

Story

This cave network is the main path from Colony 9 to Colony 6 and the rest of Bionis. A permanent squad of the Defence Force is within the complex. Another path links the cave with the Cylinder Hangar which rests above Colony 9.

Reyn has been tasked with gathering Cylinders to operate a Mobile Artillery that has crashed into a house in the Residential District of Colony 9. The actual Cylinder Hangar appears to be part of a larger ship, which Shulk theorizes was made by Homs.

After the Mechon assault on Colony 9, a previously sealed door has now been unsealed. Shulk and Reyn use this new path to reach Colony 6. While in the cave, they reach some dead travelers. They decide to allow them to "return to the Bionis", leaving the corpse in a body of water. After this, they decide to rest, while they comment on the lack of travelers on the caves. After Shulk wakes up, he catches up with Reyn, and they are attacked by a group of spiders, which take Reyn hostage. Shulk tries to catch up with him, scared because of a vision he saw with Reyn being killed by a big spider. After a long chase, he manages to catch up with Reyn just before he is killed by the spider. In an act of desperation, Shulk manages to unlock Monado Shield and saves Reyn. Together they manage to kill this beast and safely exit the caves, but not before theorizing that the spider was the reason why nobody from Colony 6 had reached Colony 9 for a while. After the events in Mechonis Core, a new area of Tephra Cave opens up, which contains enemies of level 90 and up. The new path can be found at Vilia Lake, where there were previously rocks blocking the path. The new area also contains a Giant ruin.

Landmarks and Locations

Landmarks

TephraCave1

Map of Tephra Cave Ground Floor and First Floor

Landmarks GF

Landmarks 1F

Landmarks 2F

Landmarks 3F

Locations

TephraCave2

Map of Tephra Cave Second and Third Floors

Locations GF

Locations 1F

Locations 2F

Mining

  1. Near Spring of Grief [Ice]
  2. NE of Vilia Lake [Earth]
  3. S of Vilia Lake [Water]
  4. In the Forgotten Cave [Earth]
  5. NW-most deposit on 2F, no nearby locations or landmarks [Fire]
  6. Near the Heavenly Window [Fire]

Enemies

Normal Minor Enemies

Post Mechonis Core:

Quest Exclusive Enemies

Post Mechonis Core:

Story Exclusive Enemies

Unique Monsters

Post Mechonis Core:

Quest Exclusive Unique Monsters

Post Mechonis Core:

Boss

Heart-to-hearts

Trivia

  • Tephra is a real world term; it refers to fragments of material erupted from a volcano.
  • In the area of the buried crashed ship with a straight hallway, two unlocked doors and one locked door along the side, there is a glitch that can be exploited as soon as the party reaches Tephra Cave, which allows Shulk to push either Reyn or Fiora against the right corner of the locked door, and then try to wedge between the door and the party member. If executed correctly, it is possible to clip through the door, reaching areas like Vilia Lake that shouldn't be accessible under after the attack on Colony 9. At the time, this entire area is clear of monsters, which won't appear until after the attack on Colony 9. However, the Bionis' Leg cannot be reached without first defeating the Arachno Queen, which will not appear until the proper sequence of story events reach this location. The glitch is documented on YouTube, and can be exploited both in the Wii version of the game and in unpatched versions of the New 3DS version of the game.
  • There is a sequence break available very early in the game that allows the party to cross the foot barrier between the ledge above Vilia Lake and the Path of Absolution. If used in combination with the aforementioned door glitch, this sequence break is even accessible before the attack on Colony 9, and the same YouTube video documents both exploits. This particular exploit involves climbing up the vines to the ledge above Vilia Lake and then provoking a Cave Skeeter below into a battle. One character needs to be pushed off the ledge after the battle begins and is allowed to be defeated by the Skeeter, then the Skeeter is allowed to fly up to the ledge and defeat the other non-controlled party member (if the party has three members), before focusing its attack on the party's lead character. At this time, this surviving party member must flee the battle with the Skeeter still in pursuit and draw the Skeeter towards the barrier before the Path of Absolution. This party member then has to attempt to jump up the barrier at the exact same time the Skeeter attacks, and if the character also auto-blocks at the same time, the impact can knock them up onto the higher platform where they have full access to the Path of Absolution. From there, the party has unobstructed access to large areas of Tephra Cave that should only be accessible after the Mechonis Core event, and reaching the Heavenly Window and Bafalgar's Tomb grant huge experience payouts that can instantly advance an early game party by dozens of levels. The exploit itself is made easier if Reyn is in the lead, if the party at least level 8 (but not high enough for one of the party members to easily defeat the Skeeter), and if all party members except Reyn have had their armour removed. Since the areas beyond the Path of Absolution should not be reachable early in the game, these locations are also clear of all monsters until after the Mechonis Core event, and it is then possible to fast-travel to Heavenly Window or Bafalgar's Tomb, gather Collectables, and mine nearby Rare Ether Crystals at the player's leisure.

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