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The Desert of Shifting Sands, also known as Quicksand Desert, is a location in Final Fantasy V that exists in Bartz's world and the merged world. It is a desert with peretually moving sands similar to rivers, making it impassable by foot. It is located near the Library of the Ancients, on the path to the ruins of Gohn. The Pyramid of Moore is found at the center of the desert.


Bartz Klauser and the party crossed through the Desert of Shifting Sands in pursuit of King Alexander Highwind Tycoon, who was rumored to have crossed the desert floating on air.[1] Cid Previa and his grandson Mid proposed summoning the Sandworm that lived in the area, and after killing it, using its body to cross the desert, like a bridge. After defeating the Sandworm, the party crossed the desert to reach Gohn. As they moved through, they passed the Pyramid of Moore, but could not enter it.

In the merged world, the sands of the desert stopped flowing, allowing the party to enter the Pyramid.


The Desert of Shifting Sands after the merging of the world.

The Desert of Shifting Sands is located to the west of the Library of the Ancients. It is found on the path connecting the Library of the Ancients to Gohn and Jachol, both located on the south of the continent. The Pyramid of Moore in the center is the desert's main point of interest. In the merged world, to the west of the Pyramid of Moore is the village Moore from Galuf's world.

Within the desert, as well as its sands moving similar to quicksand, are a few cacti. Cacti form an entrance to the desert when entered from the path from the Library of the Ancients.



Inside (Bartz's world)
On overworld (merged world)


In Bartz's world, the Desert of the Shifting Sands is a dungeon that the player must cross to reach Gohn. The Blue Mage, especially with Aqua Breath, can trivialize most of the dungeon, with the main challenge being to navigate the moving sands. As no treasure chests are found in the dungeon, the player simply needs to focus on getting to the end and not on looking for treasure.

In the merged world, the site of the desert is simply part of the world map, as the sands have stopped moving.

Musical themes[]

"Slumber of the Ancient Earth" from Final Fantasy V

"Slumber of Ancient Earth" (古き土の眠り, Furuki Tsuchi no Nemuri?) plays as the theme to the Desert of Shifting Sands.

Other appearances[]

Final Fantasy Record Keeper[]

FFRK Desert of Shifting Sands FFV.png
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Behind the scenes[]

In the SNES version the desert on the world map of Bartz's world uses a unique animated desert tile. In the GBA version the effect appears to have been mistakenly applied to the deserts near Moogle Village in Galuf's world instead. Neither desert is animated in the defunct mobile/Steam version.



Quicksand is a colloid hydrogel consisting of fine granular material (such as sand or silt), clay, and water formed in saturated loose sand when the sand is suddenly agitated. When water in the sand cannot escape it creates a liquefied soil that cannot support weight. Quicksand can form in standing or upwards flowing water. The saturated sediment may appear solid until a change in pressure or shock initiates liquefaction causing the sand to form a suspension and lose strength. Objects in liquefied sand sink to the level at which the weight of the object is equal to the weight of the displaced soil/water mix and the submerged object floats due to its buoyancy. Liquefaction is a special case of quicksand where an earthquake increases the pore pressure of shallow groundwater. The saturated liquefied soil loses strength, causing buildings or other objects on that surface to sink.