In the Bone Village, one can hire up to five excavators to play the mini-game. How it works is the player runs around the area and selects a place where an excavator should go. With each placed, the excavators will face in the direction of the closest item. The player must then select a place to dig and reveal if there is an item there or not.
There are eight designated spots where items will spawn during the mini-game around the Bone Village, however there is also a lot of empty space, meaning it is quite possible to not receive any item as a result of the mini-game. Though this is a possibility, the alternative is the aquasition of extremely rare and powerful items that will help both the exploration of the world and the progression of the characters.
The Lunar Harp is the first Key item to be obtained, and it is mandatory to get in order to advance the story. Other Key items that can be obtained following the aquasition of the Lunar Harp include the Key to Sector 5, which is used to gain access to Midgar in disk 3 in order to obtain Tifa's ultimate weapon. There are also a number of one-time-only items to get, and once gotten, can never be found at any dig site again.
Many of the items are also consumables. If the player happens to not search a designated dig spot, there is a 50% chance of obtaining a random Potion, while the other 50% chance means the player gets absolutely nothing. Potions can also be found at certain dig sites, in addition to Ethers, Turbo Ethers, Elixirs, and a Magalixir, which can only be obtained once.