By Spencer . April 13, 2006 . 12:24pm
The Treasures of Aht Urhgan expansion pack for Final Fantasy XI is almost here and we have a little more information about what’s new in the game. Inside the game are a bunch of new areas to explore, new monsters to fight, new jobs (puppetmaster pictured here) and gameplay enhancements like Chocobo Racing. In this installment we take a look at some of the new monsters inhabiting Mount Zhayolm.
Found across the ocean from Cape Mazklah, beyond the Sicklemoon Straits, Mount Zhayolm is an active twin volcano that rises from the islands of Vozold and Zazalda. Home to the Troll Mercenaries, the Halvung Territory was once recognized by Aht Urhgan as an independent state of the Empire. The constant rain of volcanic ash combined with occasional emissions of sulfuric gas have created a wasteland almost completely devoid of plant and animal life–an inhospitable land that saw very few travelers before the emergence of the Astral Candescence and the ensuing struggle.
This unearthly three-headed beast prowls the tunnels of Halvung. According to legend, Cerberus is the watchdog that guards the gates of the underworld. It is said that any who manage to escape will be hunted until Cerberus sends them back to his shadowy realm. However, the Cerberus of Halvung was discovered buried in igneous rock during a construction project. The beast went on a rampage until the mercenary chief managed to tame him. Although Cerberus is faithful to his master, one of his heads is continually afflicted with a craving, which puts the beast in a constant foul mood. In his endless rage, Cerberus spews toxic flames without cease or concern for surroundings, resulting in many hapless tragedies. It is for this reason that even the menacing Troll mercenaries are said to cover their ears and shiver in fear when the jarring roar of Cerberus echoes through the tunnels.
Also known as “flan,” black pudding is one of the few varieties of natural wildlife left on Mount Zhayolm. Although their bodies are pliable and gelatinous, black puddings also possess large, sharp eyes used in searching out prey, and a flexible mouth filled with fangs. Despite their outward appearance, black puddings are also known for being highly intelligent, and reports of flan using extraordinarily powerful magic are not uncommon. However, they are unskilled in suppressing their emotions, and a flan’s mood tends to have an enormous effect on its actions. Black puddings live in groups that seem to be connected in some inexplicable manner…or so it is said, but not much is currently known due to the dangers of researching such formidable creatures.