Items stored in the Ancient Forest: Supershot ST, Spring Gun Clip, Apocalypse, Minerva Band, Slash-All, Typoon, Elixir
Enemies: Rilfsak, Epiolnis, Diablo
The Ancient Forest is one of the most original sidequests of the game. Rather than fighting, your task here will be to use your logic and imagination to advance through the five different areas. But the reward is worth the effort, as you can see above in the items list. Especially worth the effort is the Apocalypse, the only weapon with three slots and a Triple materia growth. But with this guide, no effort will be needed: just follow our step-by-step walkthrough and you'll be fine.
The forest is located near Cosmo Canyon, at the top of one of the mountains. You can get there two ways:
To advance in the Ancient Forest, you need to understand how the different forms of life react to each other, and how you can take advantage of their habits. One other important note is that if you get stuck in one of the areas and can't advance anymore, you can use the Menu button to "reset" and start again at the beginning of the forest.
First of all, there are three types of special items spread around on the ground. They are fairly easy to spot, and you just have to go near one and press OK to grab it. However, you can only carry one item at a time. Each of them as a different use.
The flies are used to close the hanging plants with a small hole on top of them. When you release a fly near a plant, it will be swallowed and the plant will be closed, allowing you to climb on top of it by pressing the OK button. This will only be for a little time though, as the plant will eventually digest the fly, and make you fall to the ground if you are still standing on it. This means that when you have to cross a string of three hanging plants in a row, you should first get the appropriate number of flies near the first plant, so as not to go back too far to get the next fly.
The frogs can be used exactly like the flies. However, when put into a hanging plant, they don't get digested. On the contrary, when the plant eats one, it will be spit back out. This means that a frog can be used multiple times to close a hanging plant. This also has another effect: if you are standing on top of a hanging plant when it spits out a frog, you will be launched high and fast, allowing you to reach new locations. It should be noted that frogs eat flies, so do not release a fly near one of them.
Finally, the honeycomb is used to close for good the ill-looking lotus flowers that constantly chew you up when you get close to them.
One last lifeform (if it is in fact a lifeform at all...) will help you to advance: it's some sort of a pink tongue-looking flower, that will let you spring to higher ground.
The first area is really straight forward. To begin with, cross the bridge and get near the lotus flower. Walk cautiously towards it while pressing OK: you'll get the Supershot ST. Next, come back and grab a fly on the way. Bring it next to the hanging plant, but don't release it yet. First bring another one nearby, then collect a third. Now you're ready to release the flies in a row and close the string of three hanging plants. Before heading to the second area, don't forget to collect the Spring Gun Clip behind the tree.
The second area is still fairly easy. Don't try to take the materia lying near the mouth of the lotus flower like you did earlier: it won't work this time and you'll get bitten. Instead, grab a fly and use the pink tongue flower to jump across. Use the fly to shut the hanging plant and proceed while using another pink tongue flower. You should find a frog and two hanging plants, one on each side of a little ledge. Grab the frog, release it in the left one and jump on top of it. Now wait until the plant spit out the frog: you will end up on a higher ledge, near a beehive. Grab it, jump back down and close the lotus flower on your left for good: now you can claim the Slash-All. Grab the frog once more and use it on the right-sided hanging plant this time to proceed to the next area.
Third Area, Part 1
Go towards the two hanging plants. Close them with flies, and use the pink tongue flower to reach the treetops.
Treetops, Part 1
Go as far left as you can and you'll be sent back to the second area. Grab the Minerva Band, use the frog to reach the third area then proceed one more time to the treetops.
Treetops, Part 2
Head right and a little upward, and use the string of pink tongue flowers to reach another part of the treetops. Grab the Typoon, and go back by the pink tongue flowers. Climb down the tree trunk to the third area.
Third Area, Part 2
You will climb down on the left part of the area, previously unattainable. Grab a fly, and go as right as you can: you'll find two hanging plants, with one of them already closed. Close the other one and climb on it to reach the beehive. Use it to close the ill-looking lotus flower nearby.
Grab the remaining fly and use it on the hanging plant on the left side of the lotus flower. Move to the left to the last fly in this area and place it near the tree hole (you should hear a frog croaking). If you did it right, a frog will emerge and eat the fly. If you were fast, you can grab the frog and cross the gap with the fly you used earlier. If you were slow, you can simply use the frog to cross the gap, as the frog will end up right next to Cloud on the other side of the gap near the newly-closed lotus flower. Finally, use the frog on the hanging plant on the right (the one you used to reach the beehive), and hop on it. Don't forget to face right, and you'll be ejected near the entrance of the fourth area.
Not much to say about this one. Don't forget to collect the Elixir and the priceless Apocalypse before heading out (you don't want to waste your time and patience doing this all again, do you?). The exit on the back will lead you back to the world map, and voila: you're done with this sidequest. Since none of the enemies here carry anything of real value, or is morphable into something useful, you have no reason to ever come back to this place.