Strange Apparatuses are eleven ancient machines, each corresponding to a different color, found behind unique "fake" walls in dungeons around Vana'diel. Trading them an Infinity Core and a special chip corresponding to the specific Apparatus's color will yield the creation (via "matter emulation") of various items. As can be seen here the Crawlers Nest apparatus has the blue colored crystal at the top. See chart below for other colors.
Of the eleven Strange Apparatuses, only eight are currently active and accessible. Each of these corresponds to one of the eight Vana'diel elements:
|Dangruf Wadi||(E-11)||Fire||Red Chip||00||Rune Axe, Rune Chopper, Rune Baghnakhs, 6x Rune Arrow|
|Gusgen Mines||(J-5), Map 2||Earth||Yellow Chip||01||Rune Chopper|
|Crawlers' Nest||(K-8), Map 3||Water||Blue Chip||02||Rune Blade, Rune Axe, Rune Bangles, 6x Rune Arrow|
|Ordelle's Caves||(E-12), Map 1||Wind||Green Chip||03||Rune Halberd, 6x Rune Arrow, Rune Bow|
|The Eldieme Necropolis||(K-13), Map 2||Ice||Clear Chip||04||Rune Blade, Rune Staff, Rune Halberd|
|Outer Horutoto Ruins||(E-6), Amaryllis Tower Map 2||Lightning||Purple Chip||05||Rune Halberd, 6x Rune Arrow,|
|Garlaige Citadel||(K-8), Map 3||Light||White Chip||06||Unknown|
|Maze of Shakhrami||(L-10), Map 2||Dark||Black Chip||07||Rune Rod|
- The Rune Blade and Rune Bow has been received from Ordelle's Caves, and in a batch of trades in Outer Horutoto Ruins, three Rune Halberds and no other Rune weapons (other than arrows) were obtained. More research needed.
- Two of the remaining three Strange Apparatuses can be accessed, but are non-responsive. They are found in King Ranperre's Tomb ((E-7) Map 2, colored "Carmine?") and Fei'Yin ((G-6) Map 1, colored "Cyan?"). The final Apparatus, found in Ranguemont Pass ((E-4), colored "Gray?") is completely non-functional, not even having a target to select.
- These Apparatuses may correspond with the three chip colors obtained from enemies in Pso'Xja. They may accept them when (or if) they are activated in a future update.
- Infinity Cores are very common drops in Dynamis areas, and sold in Auction Houses under the category Other > Misc.
- Colored chips are obtained primarily by buying them from the following Goblin NPC merchants in each nation:
- Gaudylox (Northern San d'Oria) Closed Firesday.
- Blabbivix (Port Bastok) Closed Windsday.
- Scavnix (Windurst Walls) Closed Lightsday.
- Each colored chip will cost exactly 21,000 gil. This price cannot be modified by fame or any other factor.
- All three merchants keep business hours of 11:00 to 22:00.
- Warning: Trading a chip not matching the color of the Apparatus will result in the spawning of an NM Elemental that matches the element of the Strange Apparatus' given color. (Level of this type of Elemental is unknown. Possible drop is unknown.)
- There is no level limit to using a Strange Apparatus. However, the "cost of entry" is high enough for many to warrant keeping a fair amount of gil on hand in case results are unfavorable.
- It is believed that the day that the Strange Apparatus is traded to affects the reward. Trading on a day matching the Apparatus's element is said to yield more of the common rewards (Cermet, Adaman, etc.), while trading on a day opposite to its element yields more Rune equipment (Arrows, Bangles, etc.). Results have yet to be fully confirmed.
As of the 24th of July, 2006 update, the Arcane Flowerpot is no longer Rare. It has been confirmed that you may recieve it as a reward a second time. As it is no longer rare, it is as any other item.
Checking the Strange Apparatus without trading will result in the Apparatus reciting instructions, followed by a request for a password. (This password is entered as if you were typing a message.) Entering the correct password will grant you "Doctor" Status, which removes the most common item (Elemental Clusters) from the list of available rewards. This makes Strange Apparatus use more profitable.
(Note: Doctor Status is not neccesary to obtain a reward. You may recieve a rarer item regardless of status.)
- A Doctor Status password is eight numerical digits long, calculated using the first three letters of your character's name and the area in which the Apparatus is found in; as a result, passwords will vary between different players and different Apparatuses.
- A player's password for a specific Apparatus is calculated as follows:
- Convert the first three letters of your player name into two-digit numbers based on their positions in the alphabet minus one number. (A becomes 00, B becomes 01, C becomes 02 and so on, up to Z at 25.)
- (Example: "Playername's" first three letters are P (15), L (11), and A (00).)
- Next, choose the code for the area you are going to be trading to an Apparatus in, listed on the chart above. Add the area code's value to each "digit" of the first three letters. Lined up next to each other, these create the first six digits of the password.
- (Example: "Playername" will be going to the Apparatus in Ordelle's Caves, which is code 03. 15 + 03 = 18; 11 + 03 = 14; 00 + 03 = 03. Therefore, the first six digits of the password are "181403.")
- Finally, the last two digits of the password are created by adding together the three pairs of numbers above, then adding the area code to the resulting sum a second time.
- (Example: 18 + 14 + 03 = 35; 35 + 03 = 38. This will make Playername's password for Ordelle's Caves "18140338.")
- The following external sites can also generate Doctor Status passwords:
- Pebble's POL Utils will also generate Doctor Status passwords
- Doctor Status for a given Apparatus will be lost if you log in as a Doctor to another Apparatus, trade anything other then a chip/core pair to the Apparatus, or after a period of apparatus inactivity of unknown length (or possibly at a Conquest Update), so be sure to check to confirm that the apparatus has you marked for Doctor Status before you put materials into it.
There are seven rewards that can be obtained from a Strange Apparatus at any given time. The first six may be obtained from any Apparatus; the seventh (a "Rune"-type weapon) is one of several types specific to that given Apparatus. data tying particular weapons to Apparatuses is not fully available as of yet.
Rewards, listed from most common to most rare, are:
- Elemental Cluster (element based on the color of the Apparatus: not available with Doctor Status)
- Cermet Chunk x8 or Adaman Nugget x2
- Rune Arrow x6
- Arcane Flowerpot
- Rune Bangles
- "Rune"-type weapon (from list below, in no apparent order):