"Ni no Kuni" Walkthrough: Old Smoky
Old Smoky, the resident volcano, is on the brink of disaster. Something has sparked a mighty eruption, and there will be many more if Oliver and his friends don't do something about it. Beat feet to Old Smoky on the double!
If you haven't ventured over to Old Smoky before, you'll find it a most inhospitable place. It's a blasted landscape full of fiery creatures, none of whom look kindly on your little group. Make your way through the vast canyons until you come across a conspicuous gap in the lava flow; use Bridge to get across it. Follow the path a little further to reach the base of Old Smoky itself.
Head to the Top of Old Smokey
The volcano is looking rather out of sorts, and you'll have to reach the top to find out why. Save at the waystone, then head north to an intersection. You'll find a broken robot, like the one in Golden Grove, which you can't do anything about. Head back to the intersection and go east from here to find another branching path; follow the southern route to find a purple chest you still can't open, then north to a Moondrop. To the left of this chest is a continued path north.
Take your first left. You'll find a small area, lit by blue candles, containing a Phoenix Feather, a Sandwich and, in a blue chest, a Set of Flame Robes that's perfect for this area. Equip it and backtrack to the intersection, then go east. Near the end of this path Drippy will fear that the 'big one' is coming, so you'd best hurry along. Continue north until you see a slight split; go north to find a Burning Blade (which isn't so great here), then backtrack and head northwest to a waystone. Save, heal, and keep going.
Time Is Ticking
There's a treasure chest to the left of the next split in the north, but it's blocked by lava at the moment. Go right instead and Drippy will suggest using Frostbite. Hop across and keep going, and Drippy, with his fairy senses, will estimate that you have three minutes left to stop the volcano. Hoo boy.
Don't worry about looking around in the next part, just run ahead. Time your approach across the narrow ledges carefully so you don't get fried by steam, and try to avoid enemies whenever you can. If you're too close to avoid a fight, get into one rather than trying to run and being caught from behind.
At the Summit
Soon enough you'll reach the summit—and learn that Drippy is a complete jerk. Save, heal, make sure you equip your familiars with Robes of Fire, and make your way up to the peak. The volcano has been unclogged by some mysterious force—and the mystery is solved seconds later when Shadar himself floats into view. Ever malicious, he sics his massive lava beast, Moltaan, on Oliver and company. Boss battle!
Moltaan has four primary attacks: melee attacks, a tail swipe (Tail Flail), conical fire breath (Blazing Breath), and an all-hitting fire blast (Volcanic Roar). It also has a ton of HP to whittle through, so this fight will take a while. To minimize your damage, wait for Moltaan to use its tail swipe, Defend, and smack at its tail. Enough damage to this point will stun Moltaan briefly, giving you a chance to unload everything you've got on it. Back off and Defend when it gets up, as it's about to use Volcanic Roar. Wash and repeat until Moltaan goes down. Ice and water attacks work great here, but you should conserve most of your MP for healing. Beating Moltaan will earn Oliver a Spirit of the Flame and a page on Moltaan for the Wizard's Companion.
After congratulations are offered, a spot of light will appear nearby. You can use this to warp back to the beginning of the mountain. Before you do, though, backtrack to look at the items you missed on your mad dash up. North of the summit you'll find a split in the path where you'll find a Cloud Cover, and a ways north of where the dash began there's a small path up the side of the rock where you can find a Cup of Strong Coffee.
Grab what you will, then zip back down to the bottom of Old Smoky. It's back to Al Mamoon!