Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.
Oliver hasn't been in the world of Ni no Kuni for long, but apparently it's been long enough for his reputation to spread. When he reaches the small village of Yule, notably its Swift Solutions, he discovers that he's got quite a fan in a visiting grimalkin . . . one who may be able to get him into Glittering Grotto, the next leg in his journey.
Talk to the tomte in the Swift Solutions. He'll identify himself as Ake, the student of an excitable lady called Purrofessor Tabitha, who shows up moments later. She's fascinated by Oliver and delivers a great deal of information on the background of Mornstar and the stones. She also notes that Glittering Grotto, Oliver's next destination, can only be unlocked by the village elder. You'll have to go stay in Cat's Cradle and wait for the elder to return to town.
Speak to the Elder
One surprising flashback later, you'll be off to the elder's house in the north part of town. He'll agree to open the northern gate of town to Glittering Grotto—and he'll give everyone a Set of Winter Clothes, to boot. Tidy! Decked out in altogether warmer duds, you can now set off for Glittering Grotto. It's to the northeast of Yule.
Enter the Grotto
After some complaints from the older members of the party, you can enter the Grotto proper. Save at the waystone by the entrance and head north. Around a bend, you'll find a tomte with a curious message about hidden passages. Hmm . . . forget about it, for now, backtrack south, and take the second bridge to your right. At the south end of this next platform is a Frosty Flan, and at the north is a Snow-White Ice Cream.
Return to the central platform in the east and take the bridge to the north. At the north end of this lower platform is a Pouch of Phoenix Breath. You'll also find a small set of stairs leading to a bit of ice you can hop across . . . though it will fall apart after you do so. No going back now. Run east.
You'll come to a split. Continue east to find a tomte that will tell you about hidden pathways. The conspicuous-looking shiny wall behind the tomte is one such pathway, and it will take you back to the entrance. Save, return to the tomte, and go north through the smaller passage. Partway through you'll find… visions of the emperor of Hamelin and Alicia . . . ? Weird. They were looking for a spell—perhaps you'll find it instead?
Where the apparitions were standing is a gap. Use Pulse to bring an icicle down, allowing you to cross. On the other side the path is blocked by more icicles; use Fireball to get through. Carry on north, and when the path splits go east. This will lead you back to a lower part of the previous chamber. Fry the icicles in your way with Fireball and open the chest ahead to find a Vial of Sage's Secret.
Backtrack to the larger cavern and go west. Use Fireball on more icicles to proceed north across an ice bridge, then again at the other end to uncover a chest containing a Handful of Chocolate Bonbons. Keep following the path to the bottom of the cavern. At the bottom of the ramp, go west to find a green chest containing a Holy Shield, and go east down a thin walkway to find a hidden passage containing a Medal of Agility.
Go north, then go west when it splits again. At the end of the ice bridge, you'll find another green chest, this one containing a Phoenix Tear. Backtrack to the first split and follow the ice bridge east. To the northwest in this large snowy area is another one of those fallen robots; to the northeast is more path. Follow it to a way stone where you can save and heal. To the west is your final destination, and, along the way, a hidden path leading to another open area with a purple chest.
Enter the chamber with icicles that look an awful lot like teeth. When you get close enough to the windy void in the rear of the room, the mighty Cerboreas will leap out of the darkness and challenge the gang.
If you bought a Blazing Blade for one of your battlers—say, your beginning Mite—this battle is a joke. Cerboreas is a tough customer, true, but it is extremely vulnerable to fire attacks. Bashing it with your Blazing Blade has a good chance of stunning the creature, and when that happens golden glims will follow. Use Oliver's Supercharged move to burn the wolf to a crisp. That said, you should still be wary of its attacks—Cerboreas moves quickly, hits one person relatively hard (and may stun) with Cold Boulder, and strikes everybody with Howling Blizzard. This still isn't a difficult fight so long as you can keep up consistently fiery attacks. Beating Cerboreas will earn you a Spirit of the Snow, the beast's page in the Wizard's Companion—and a Star Stone!
Cerboreas will come to its senses when the battle's finished, apologize for its actions, and make some cryptic comments about the Wizard King, an ancient man who may not actually be gone from the world? Who knows, though he appears to have a lingering agenda that revolves around Oliver. You can't answer these questions now, so hop in the teleportation circle nearby and zip back to the entrance of Glittering Grotto. One stone down!
Before you head off to the next stone location, return to Yule and check out Swift Solutions. There are two new Errands on the board that deserve some attention.
1. A tomte in Yule's village square appears to be looking for someone.
The tomte is a motherly type with a pink headscarf, and she's lost her boy. Yule Have to Search the tyke out for her. Her only clue is that he was playing with other kids. Talk to the boy near the northern gate and he'll spit out the truth: the missing lad is somewhere in Glittering Grotto. (Couldn't have gotten lost ten minutes ago?)
Travel back to the Grotto and check the far north of the first cave. You'll see the tomte boy being menaced by an oversized assailant—a Water Ogrrr and three Turban Legends. Save before approaching, as this fight is a lot tougher than it looks. All four of your opponents have ridiculous amounts of HP, and though they don't hit fantastically hard they'll wear your team down with enough time. Focus on the Turban Legends one-by-one with your strongest fire attacks, then take on the Water Ogrrr. Not complicated, not overly hard, but vexing nonetheless. When the enemies are dead, talk to the tomte to return to Yule.
Completing this task will earn you a Medal of Valor, 2000 guilders and five Merit Stamps.
2. A man visiting Yule appears to have lost something important.
No. No. No no no no. This man needs to learn his ruddy lesson, and he won't learn it if Oliver keeps . . . fetching . . . the stupid diary . . . five Merit Stamps, you say? Fine, just this last time. Notes from the Snow! The man recalls falling prostrate in a 'sparkling sylvan glade', somewhere to the west of Yule. Head west to the mountains, then check the forests for a small clearing. Inside, a woman will give you the Traveler's Diary. There's also a Sasparilla Sundae in a red chest and a Jumbo Sundrop in a blue chest.
Return the stupid diary to earn a Suit of Dress Armor, 2000 guilders and five Merit Stamps.
That's enough snow for one lifetime. Back to the sunny south in the next part of the walkthrough—and a place called the Vault of Tears. Cheery!