The excavation minigame can be played in Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 5 of Final Fantasy X-2. It involves searching for hidden treasures in various parts of the Bikanel Desert, with Picket advising the player of danger.
To initiate the minigame the player must visit Djose Temple and get enlisted by the Machine Faction by talking to Gippal and answering "We're sure" when the option comes up. He will give the Gullwings the Letter of Introduction key item. This will make Bikanel a Hotspot when the Gullwings return to the Celsius.
Visiting Bikanel and talking to Nhadala will initiate the minigame. In Chapter 2, she will send the Gullwings to the oasis to investigate some suspicious activity.
The player is given 60 seconds to find a golden X on the map and dig up the mission-critical item. This will be either an assembly piece, which will affect the strength of Experiment in Chapter 5, or a piece of Scrap Metal. There will also be four silver Xs on the map the player may also hunt for. These will either award gil, an item, an Al Bhed Primer, a Sphere Break coin, an accessory, or will initiate a battle. Finding the mission-critical item and returning to the hover before the timer runs out rewards the party with gil depending on their wage, which can be increased by successfully answering "work ethics" questions at a terminal inside Djose Temple. In certain areas the golden X is not always shown on the map at the start of the digging session, but will always appear with at least 25 seconds remaining.
Once the assembly piece is uncovered, the player should return to the hover before the timer runs out. If the player fails to make it back in time, Yuna will collapse and lose the assembly piece, and the digging session will be considered failed. Failing to retrieve the mission-critical item also results in a failed dig. In either case, Yuna will keep any silver X treasures she dug out. In the Western Expanse and the Central Expanse, the player will also have to compete with a rival digger for the treasures.
Occasionally, after three to ten seconds have passed, the screen will flash red with a warning of an unidentified object approaching the area. Later on in the dig, a red reticle will appear on the map heading for Yuna. If the reticle meets Yuna, a battle will initiate. In Chapters 1, 2 and 3, this will be a battle against the superboss Angra Mainyu, and the player cannot yet defeat it as it will always eject the party. In Chapter 5, a battle against monsters indigenous to the area will initiate instead.
Guide map legend
The player will find the following icons on the guide map:
- Yellow Square: The hover.
- Golden X: Mission-critical item (assembly piece or Scrap Metal).
- Silver X: Gil, items, Al Bhed Primers, Sphere Break coins, accessories, or monsters.
- Green X: Random NPC, O'aka XXIII only if the player turned him to the Al Bhed (Southern Expanse), event battle against Machina Hunters, one time only (Eastern Expanse).
- Red Arrow in a circle: A red arrow coming towards the party is Angra Mainyu or an indigenous encounter. Picket will warn the party of an unidentified object approaching.
- Silver Blinking Arrow in a circle: An Al Bhed digger (Western Expanse and Central Expanse).
- Yellow Arrow in a circle: Yuna.
At certain points, new areas will be unlocked.
- Western Expanse: Unlocked after mission "Can you Dig It?" in Chapter 1.
- Southern Expanse: Unlocked after mission "Water we doing here? in Chapter 2.
- Eastern Expanse: Unlocked when the mission "The Cactuar Connection" is started in Chapter 3.
- Northern Expanse: Unlocked when the mission "The Cactuar Connection" is started in Chapter 3.
- Central Expanse: Unlocked after a chocobo is sent from the ranch to Bikanel.
Different items are found in different areas, and will be found at the silver Xs on the map.
|Western Expanse||Southern Expanse||Eastern Expanse||Northern Expanse||Central Expanse|
|200 Gil||200 Gil||1000 Gil||400 Gil||1000 Gil|
|500 Gil||400 gil||5000 gil||5000 gil||2000 gil|
|1000 Gil||1000 gil||Al Bhed Primer*||Al Bhed Primer*||Al Bhed Primer*|
|3000 gil||4000 Gil||Echo Screen||Candle of Life||Desert key**|
|Al Bhed Primer*||Al Bhed Primer*||Ether||Chocobo Feather||Dispel Tonic|
|Antidote||Antarctic Wind||Eye Drops||Chocobo Wing||Ether|
|Echo Screen||Arctic Wind||Hi-Potion||Hi-Potion||Farplane Shadow|
|Ether||Bomb Core||Mega Phoenix||Light Curtain||Grenade|
|Eye Drops||Bomb Fragment||Phoenix Down||Lunar Curtain||Hi-Potion|
|Hi-Potion||Budget Grenade||Potion||Phoenix Down||M-Bomb|
|Holy Water||Dark Grenade||Power Gloves||Potion||Mega Potion|
|Phoenix Down||Dragon Scale||Remedy||Silver Hourglass||Nature's Tome|
|Potion||Electro Marble||Soft||Poison Fang|
- * - The player may only have one copy of each Al Bhed Primer.
- ** - Desert Key can only be found once. This will open the chest at the campsite.
Sphere Break coins
Among the treasures the player will find, they may also find Sphere Break coins. Different coins can be found in different areas.
|Western Expanse & Southern Expanse||Eastern Expanse & Northern Expanse||Central Expanse|
There are several ranks obtained through accumulating successful digs. Failing digs will count against gaining a rank. The ranks do not affect payment or unlocking new areas.
|60||Zen Master of Digging|