playdot
   
  final fantasy XIII
  playstation 3 walkthrough
   
     
 

CHAPTER 01

Location: The Hanging Edge

Lengthy cutscenes abound in FFXIII, especially during the first few chapters. Press Select if you prefer to skip them (this is not recommended for your first playthrough, of course). Unlike previous FF games, you cannot control party members, only leaders. During the initial ACTIVE TIME BATTLE TUTORIAL, you will be controlling a rogue soldier named Lightning:

EVENT BATTLE >> Manasvin Warmech

Leaders perform actions by expending ATB gauge segments. You can manually input a string of commands or select Auto-Battle to have your character select actions deemed appropriate to the situation. You eventually gain more ATB gauge segments and learn more powerful commands that take longer to execute, but for now, select Auto-Battle to have Lightning queue up two Attack actions. Next, choose a target using either the left analog stick or the drop-down list. Press X to confirm your choice and unleash on the selected enemy. Once your ATB gauge is depleted, repeat the process until the enemy is defeated.

The Warmech will either swipe at you with saw arms, or shoot you with a beam if you hold back and let Sazh do the attacking. After depleting its 360 HP, the enemy returns for a more challenging round. Lightning can sustain 2-3 of its Wave Cannon attacks before it would be wise to heal. Luckily, potions restore health to the entire party during battle.

After each battle, your party’s HP is entirely recovered and all status effects (negative or positive) are removed. You will be rated on how well you performed after every battle also. The amount of stars you get is determined by the amount of time it took you to defeat an enemy (or group of enemies) along with any bonuses you received for performing special moves. If you manage to get a 5-Star rating after each battle, you’ll earn a special trophy at the end of the game. Ratings affect the quality of items enemies drop, though there are inconsistencies to that rule.

After a few more scenes, a CAMERA CONTROL TUTORIAL pops up. Choose the most comfortable camera setting for yourself. I use dual-inverted x/y axis. In some areas, you cannot change the camera angle. After the tutorial, DATALOG is added to the main menu, which you can access by pressing Triangle. At the moment, your main menu consists of the following options:

- STATUS (view the status of party members)
- ABILITIES (view abilities your characters have learned)
- EQUIPMENT (view/change weapons and accessories)
- INVENTORY (view/sort items, weapons, accessories, components, and key items)
- MAP (view a map of the current area – can also press Square to see it)
- DATALOG (view info on areas, characters, terms, enemies, etc.)
- SETTINGS (change various game options, including the camera angle)

An orange icon on the mini-map marks your destination; the yellow arrow points in the general direction you must travel to reach it. Move forward to the Save Point, which also acts as a defacto shopping mall. Currently, a single item shop is open – UNICORN MART. Further ahead are two PSICOM Wardens. Approach them to initiate a primer on ENEMY ENCOUNTERS.

Red dots on your mini-map represent enemies. Once you step into an enemy’s field of vision, the mini-map will blink red and your leader will adopt a battle-ready stance. Each enemy also has a field of vision. If they spot you first, a ‘!’ will appear above their heads and they will actively attack. It is always best to sneak up on enemies but if that isn’t possible, try exiting their FOV and wait until their alertness goes down before striking.

At any point during battle, you can press R1 to see the stats of enemies that haven’t been defeated yet. At first, the screen will be filled with question marks but after fighting an enemy a couple of times, entries fill up with relevant information. Later on, you’ll acquire items and a technique that allow you to reveal all enemy intel at once. At any point during the game, you can pause the action by pressing the Start button.

After an easy fight, proceed to the blue circle on the ground, which denotes a jumping point. Hop over and continue fighting enemies as you head towards the destination marker. As a general rule, fight every enemy you come across. Doing so yields valuable items and materials (as well as CP and TP recovery later on).

Collect a POTION from the treasure ball up ahead. All treasure balls emit a faint electronic hum so keep your ears pealed if you want to find them all. For now, keep moving forward until a scene occurs. When you regain control, battle through more enemies including some Pantherons. They stagger easily if you perform Blitz on them.

Climb the stairs on the right to collect treasure (POTIONS x2) then continue forward to the Save Point. Jump over crates and fight a PSICOM Warden and his Aerial Recon buddy on the other side. Toss a potion if the Aerial Recon’s Missile Burst attack gives you any trouble. Use the stairs on your left to reach a treasure ball containing an IRON BANGLE. After equipping, look behind the pile of crates up ahead for a t-ball with 50 GIL. Continue fighting PSICOM troops until an ITEM USAGE TUTORIAL occurs.

EVENT BATTLE >> PSICOM Warden / Pantheron x3

During battle, items such as Potions affect you instantly and using them does not alter the ATB gauge in any way. Rely on them to maintain your party’s health during the early part of the game. If your leader gets KO’d, a screen prompt allows you to ‘Retry’ the battle, restoring any items previously consumed.

After the battle, watch a scene. When you regain control, defeat the Pantherons up ahead then use the Save Point at the top of the stairs. Jump down and stand on the red circle next to Sazh. All red circles point to something you can manipulate by pressing X. Ride the platform down and move forward to initiate an ATTACK CHAIN TUTORIAL.

EVENT BATTLE >> PSICOM Marauder / PSICOM Enforcers x2

The goal of every battle is to fill the enemy’s Chain Gauge (yellow bar in upper right corner) as quickly as possible so that you can stagger them. Staggered foes can be brought down quickly, thus gaining you the highest battle rating and best spoils. How quickly the bar fills depends on the enemy’s Stagger Point as well as the set of commands you select. For example, physical attacks add only a small percentage to the Chain Gauge but also cause it to decrease slowly, whereas magical attacks add a large percent to the gauge but reduce it rapidly. Once an enemy is staggered, it is more susceptible to status changes, takes much more damage, and cannot respond well to your attacks. Be aware, however, that an enemy’s chain gauge begins to drain the moment it is staggered so the goal is to keep attack chains going as long as possible to maximize the effect. Once the gauge is depleted, the enemy returns to its normal state and you’ll have to work at building up chains again.

Get rid of the Enforcers first so that you can focus on the main guy. A couple of Blitz attacks should do the trick and if you’re lucky, you’ll hit the Marauder at the same time. Use a potion if your HP dips below 50, or when he’s about to hit you with a lightning bolt. After the battle, you receive a CREDIT CHIP, which can be sold for a premium at any Save Point shop. Watch the scenes that follow, introducing Snow and his motley team of resistance fighters.

When you take control of Snow, collect 50 GIL from a t-ball behind you then move forward to the Save Point. Continue forward until a scene takes over. When it ends, battle the PSICOM troops in front of you. Snow’s comrades are temporary combatants. One heals the party automatically so don’t bother using potions while they are fighting at your side. Keep fighting enemies along the road until another scene occurs. Afterwards collect an IRON BANGLE from the t-ball. Equip it on Snow and save your game up ahead. Continue fighting through enemies until...

EVENT BATTLE >> Beta Behemoth

The Behemoth is capable of hitting more than one character with its swipe attack, but since your guest combatant has brought plenty of potions, just go all-out on the foe and don’t worry about HP. Try killing the Behemoth before it has a chance to perform Heave, which will launch Snow into the air and smack him down for some heavy damage.

Watch the scenes that follow, during which you’ll be prompted to save your game. Eventually, you return to Lightning and Sazh, who are forced to combat a giant bird-like creature.

EVENT BATTLE >> Myrmidon

The Myrmidon is very swift and attacks in rapid succession, so use potions when anyone’s HP falls below 70. Because of its speed, some of your physical attacks may not land until it’s staggered.

After more scenes, you’ll be back with Snow. Open the next t-ball and collect a POWER CIRCLE weapon for him. Further up, save your game. Your guest healer has left, so it’s down to Snow and one comrade to battle through the enemies up ahead. Remember to use potions if necessary. Ascend the stairs at the end and look for a t-ball containing 100 GIL tucked between the crates below. Climb the opposite set of stairs and continue forward for a scene.

EVENT BATTLE >> PSICOM Enforcer x2 / PSICOM Warden

Toss a hand grenade when the enemies are clustered together; otherwise just punch their lights out. Afterwards, examine the hover bike at the end and watch the scenes that follow.

Taking control of a young boy named Hope now, use the Save Point then examine the hover bike next to Vanille. During the next few scenes you’ll be prompted to save your game. Do so if you wish.

CHAPTER 02

Location: Pulse Vestige

Vanille (whom you might recognize as the narrator of the game) takes over as leader as she and Hope are thrust into combat.

EVENT BATTLE >> Pantheron

Vanille’s initial weapon has 3 ATB slots, allowing her to get an extra attack in. The robotic canine will be dog food in no time at all.

Use the nearby Save Point to see that another shop has opened - B&W OUTFITTERS. Sell the Credit Chip you received earlier if you want to buy an Iron Bangle accessory. Before going upstairs, check the dead end opposite the Save Point for a t-ball containing 30 GIL. Above, you’ll be fighting Pantherons and a new set of Zwerg Scandroid creatures. The treasure ball they guard offers POTIONS x4. After gathering the loot, take the left staircase down to receive a primer on AGGRESSION AND PREEMPTIVE STRIKES.

All enemies guard areas limited by their field of vision or other means of detection. Upon entering a guarded area, there’s a good chance that the enemy or enemies patrolling it will take notice and attack. Others, such as Zwerg Scandroids, have extremely narrow fields of vision and can easily be approached unnoticed. It is always advantageous to do so since Preemptive Strikes force enemies to enter battle with their chain gauges near the staggering threshold. Many enemies patrol areas in a set pattern. By watching their movements for a while you can time sneak attacks more effectively.

After defeating the Zwergs in the corner, open a t-ball containing an IRON BANGLE. Jump over the obstacle, fight more Pantherons, and proceed to the checkpoint for a scene.

Controlling Snow now, turn around and look for a t-ball behind you. After getting POTIONS x2 from it, continue towards the marker. A couple of Pantherons stand in your way but tossing a grenade or two will take them down quickly. Examine the device at the end to trigger a scene.

Back with Lightning and Sazh, you’ll get a primer on SHROUDS. Shrouds are aerosol items that give your party an edge prior to going into battle. Since you cannot purchase them in stores until much later in the game, collect as many as you can now by defeating enemies:

- DECEPTISOL makes you invisible to most enemies, allowing for surprise attacks.
- FORTISOL buffs you with Faith, Bravery and Haste for the next battle.
- AEGISOL buffs you with Protect, Shell, Veil and Vigilance for the next battle.
- ETHERSOL completely recovers your TP gauge (useful later on when you gain the TP ability).

To use a Shroud, press L1 to bring up an inventory list, select one and hit X to activate it. I recommend saving Shrouds for tough battles since they are fairly rare. For now, use the Save Point up ahead then battle the Pantherons that trot downstairs. Fight more creatures on top, including those that guard a treasure ball. After getting a PHOENIX DOWN from it, try surprising the Myrmidon blocking the center by approaching it from the side. If you press X to hit an enemy before it notices you, you’ll earn an easy victory. Either way, ascend the stairs and defeat foes on top to access a t-ball containing a new GLADIUS weapon for Lightning. Continue upstairs, fighting enemies until a scene takes over.

Now controlling Snow, follow the path behind you to reach a t-ball with POTIONS x2. Fight a few enemies up ahead then examine the device in the center to lower an elevator. Hop on and watch the scene that follows.

Back with Vanille and Hope, fight through enemies, noting that ones previously defeated have respawned. Slay them again if you want to try and nab a few more shrouds before moving on. Interestingly, the drop rate increases here if you prolong battles, though your star rating goes down. Eventually ascend the stairs and veer right. After slaying some Zwergs, open a t-ball containing FORTISOL. Battle Pantherons below to unlock the door then go through and use the Save Point. Up ahead, defeat more Pantherons to acquire 100 GIL from the t-ball they guard. Continue to the marker for a scene.

EVENT BATTLE >> Ghoul x3

Snow joins Hope and Vanille for this battle. With three people in your party, victory is guaranteed.

After more scenes, control returns to Lightning and Sazh. Fight through hoards of Ghouls, using your Preemptive Strike skill as much as possible. Along the way, collect a POWER WRISTBAND from a t-ball on the left. Towards the end of the corridor, Ghasts appear. They are slightly tougher than Ghouls and cause fire damage, so have potions at the ready. Use the Save Point then fight through more corpses until you reach an elevator. Ride it up and watch the scene that unfolds.

When it ends, your party becomes Lightning, Snow and Sazh. Proceed upstairs. More Ghasts and Ghouls await, joined by flying Wight creatures that perform air magic. Look for a Save Point and a t-ball containing POTIONS x5 on a platform at the end. Save your game and go through the door for a scene.

BOSS >> Anima / Manipulators x2

Anima consists of three parts: a central body plus two arms. Destroy the left and right Manipulators before attacking the core. Doing so prevents them from continuously swiping at the party. Once the Manipulators are disposed of, Anima will simply wait for them to regenerate, allowing time for you to heal and freely attack the core. Once the arms respawn, repeat the process. If you used a Fortisol shroud prior to going into battle, Anima will fall very quickly. Either way, you should be able to garner a 5-star victory.

After the battle, you get a DOCTOR’S CODE that doubles the effect of potions when equipped. Watch a few scenes and save your game when prompted.

CHAPTER 03

Location: Lake Bresha

Shortly after falling into the frozen lake, a PARADIGM SYSTEM TUTORIAL begins. Your party consists of Lightning, Snow and Vanille:

EVENT BATTLE >> Ghast x3

Paradigms allow you to assign specific roles to the members of your party. These roles define the spells and abilities available to a party member, as well as their general behavior in combat. You can switch between paradigms during battle at any point by pressing L1. In the tutorial, only two paradigms are available but you can customize up to six depending on which roles your characters have learned so far.

Commandos (COM) use physical attacks whereas Ravagers (RAV) use magic spells. Medics (MED) heal and Synergists (SYN) enhance/buff the party. Sentinels (SEN) are defensive specialists. Eventually a sixth role, Saboteur (SAB), becomes available. Saboteurs weaken enemies by inflicting negative status effects. As you progress, your characters will unlock new roles, allowing for a wider variety of paradigm options. At this point, the roles learned are:

- LIGHTNING: Commando, Ravager
- SNOW: Commando, Ravager, Sentinel
- VANILLE: Ravager, Medic
- SAZH: Ravager
- HOPE: Ravager, Synergist, Medic

It is important to shift paradigms to suit your situation. For example, the current one, Relentless Assault, is an offensive paradigm in which multiple attackers coordinate their efforts. The paradigm’s two Ravagers target whichever enemy Commando attacks, with the goal of quickly filling the enemy’s chain gauge in order to stagger it. If party members need healing, switch to the Solidarity paradigm. This casts Snow in the role of Sentinel, boosting his defenses so he can shield others from enemy fire. Vanille’s role will change to Medic, allowing her to concentrate on healing wounded allies with the Cure spell. Once your party has recovered its strength, you can shift back to Relentless Assault and continue battling your enemies.

After defeating the Ghasts, select Paradigms from the main menu to set up your party’s roles before upcoming battles. Note that you’ll have to reconfigure the deck each time your party changes. For now, continue moving forward. After some scenes, a CRYSTARIUM TUTORIAL pops up:

The Crystarium allows you to develop a character’s abilities in various roles. Each role has its own path of development and some skills are unique to specific characters whether they share the same role. Illuminated crystals represent known abilities. Dimmed crystals can be unlocked once you’ve obtained enough crystal points (CP). CP is acquired by defeating enemies.

Boost your characters now by opening the main menu and selecting Crystarium. Click on a portrait and choose which role to advance. Holding X automatically moves the Crystogenesis line forward, illuminating any node it passes until you run out of CP or reach a branching point. When you reach a branch, hold X and press the D-pad in the desired direction.

After the tutorial, continue moving forward. At the fork, take the left path and fight off some Cie’ths. Once defeated, move forward and retrieve the PEARLWING STAFF, a new weapon for Vanille. Now take the right path over to a Save Point. Continue forward to engage more Cie’th enemies. Nearby, you’ll find a t-ball on top of a crumbled pillar that contains CHIPPED FANGS x7. Hop down and follow the path toward a group of aquatic creatures. Explore an alcove on the right for a t-ball containing 200 GIL. Afterwards, approach Snow for a scene, during which the COMMAND EXECUTION TUTORIAL begins.

EVENT BATTLE >> PSICOM Wardens x7

In this tutorial, you learn how to execute commands best suited to a situation. If you’ve been manually inputting commands all along, this tutorial will seem redundant – however, the trick here is to maximize chain bonuses by performing the most effective sequence of actions in the shortest amount of time. Open the Abilities menu and manually fill Lightning’s ATB gauge with actions that you think will work best against the PSICOM troops you are facing. Press X to initiate the string. Since Lightning’s gauge has increased by one slot, it will take more time to fill – however, you do not need to wait for her entire ATB gauge to charge before acting. Charged slots can be executed at any time by pressing Triangle. Leftover charges will be carried over to your next turn. Using the Triangle button is helpful, for example, when enemies are one hit away from death or reaching a stagger point.

Watch the scenes that follow. When you regain control, continue down the slope to flush out the next enemy set. Open a t-ball on the broken bridge to receive CIE’TH TEARS x5 then move forward to face new Breshan Bass enemies. Their sheer number can overwhelm a party so make sure to heal before getting slapped to death.

Afterwards, take the left path and fight another group of Bass blocking treasure. Grab a SILVER BANGLE then make your way back to the main path. Use the Save Point up ahead then cross the bridge. Keep moving forward until a scene takes over. Afterwards, keep moving forward. Fight off some Pantherons then open a t-ball on the left to acquire a PHOENIX DOWN. A bit further, look to the right for a t-ball with 50 GIL. After passing under the big chain, look for a t-ball holding STRANGE FLUID x8. At the next crossroad, head left and take out the PSICOM troops. Open the t-ball at the end to receive a MAGICIAN’S MARK. Return to the main path and hop up the ice to reach a Save Point. Use it then move forward to trigger another PARADIGM SYSTEM TUTORIAL:

EVENT BATTLE >> Manasvin Warmech

You’ll be facing a powerful boss with 32,400 HP during this tutorial. The goal is to stagger the Manasvin Warmech as quickly as possible while simultaneously keeping your party alive by using paradigm shifts at the appropriate time. Start with an offensive paradigm like Relentless Assault to get its chain gauge going. When it’s about to hit the party with a nasty Wave Cannon or Crystal Rain attack, quickly press L1 and switch over to a healing paradigm or one that puts Snow in the Sentinel role. Toggle back and forth between offensive and defensive paradigms, never staying on either one too long. If you time your shifts correctly, you’ll be able to ride out the boss’s devastating area attacks and eventually get it to stagger. Once staggered, keep wailing on the Warmech, without giving its chain gauge a chance to recover. Water and lightning spells work well.

Watch the scenes that follow. Your party now consists of Lightning, Vanille and Sazh so reset your paradigm deck to accommodate the new lineup. Afterwards, follow the long path to a crossroad. Take the right path up to a t-ball with STRANGE FLUID x6 then jump down and fight the group of Pantherons below. Continue forward until you reach two long beams crossing a ravine. Take the lower one first (on the left) to get two treasures - 240 GIL and a set of DENEB DUELLERS for Sazh. Cross back over and follow the other beam to the next area.

The Breshan Bass up ahead are joined by a stronger, Bloodfang Bass. All are weak to fire and lightning magic. After defeating them, turn right and jump onto a tube leading to another group of Bass. The t-ball they guard contains ENIGMATIC FLUID x6. Return to the main path and continue forward until you reach a dilapidated bridge. Examine the wrecked aircraft near Vanille and Hope. Doing so allows you to blast a hole in the ice up ahead. Ascend the ramp on the right and fight a group of Pantherons to free up WICKED FANGS x7 from the t-ball they block then battle the large group of Bass on the bridge. Go through to the next Save Point. After using it, continue forward to trigger a BATTLE TECHNIQUE TUTORIAL:

EVENT BATTLE >> Alpha Behemoth

Techniques are special abilities used by expending technical points (TP). They take immediate effect and do not alter your ATB gauge in any way. For now, open the Techniques menu and select Libra to scan the Alpha Behemoth’s stats. Using it reveals that magic is ineffectual against the creature, unless one is using fire or water. If characters have access to those abilities, they will start tailoring their attacks to exploit the enemy’s weakness. Additional techniques become available over time. More powerful techniques consume more TP and unlike HP, TP is not restored automatically after battle. Aim to achieve high battle ratings in order to replenish your party’s Tech Points.

After defeating the Behemoth, check the dead end on the right for a t-ball containing a LIBRASCOPE. The item works exactly like Libra except it doesn’t cost any TP to use. Continue forward for a scene. When it ends, go down the slope and fight some PSICOM Trackers then head left to engage a new group of enemies. Watchdrones coordinate their attacks against a single target and are susceptible to lightning and water damage.

After beating them, explore the right path for a t-ball containing DIGITAL CIRCUITS x2 then fight PSICOM troops on the bridge. Scale the icy cliff. At the fork, follow the right path to reach two treasure balls. One contains PARAFFIN OIL x2 and the other 50 GIL. At the top of the cliff, turn right and jump over the gap to get to a t-ball containing INSULATED CABLING x3. Return to the main path and jump onto to the ice shelf above to engage a Watchdrone and new Ciconia Velocycle enemy. The Velocycle is weak to lightning spells but tough to damage until staggered. After defeating the pair, use the Save Point. Move forward for a scene then slay more Watchdrones en route to the next marker. Open a couple of t-balls along the way to get 30 GIL and BEGRIMED CLAWS x6.

Location: Gates of Antiquity

Upon reaching the Gates of Antiquity, use the Save Point then ascend the long staircase. Before fighting the Alpha Behemoth roaming around in the center of the ruins, duck into the alcove on the right to find a t-ball containing 600 GIL. If you watch the Behemoth’s movements from behind one of the pillars, you’ll be able to sneak up on it. Afterwards, use the thin path on the right to reach a t-ball containing DIGITAL CIRCUITS x2 then pick off the enemies in the center. Ascend the ramp on the left.

On top, veer right and look inside the niche at the base of the stairs for a t-ball holding BEGRIMED CLAWS x7. Flush out enemies in the clearing, including a new Crusader. It’s another swift one that is hard to damage until staggered. Defeating the group allows access to a t-ball containing a SPARK RING. Climb the stairs on the right. Get POTIONS x3 from a ball on top then ascend the next set of stairs to find a Save Point. Vanille will point out a hole in the wall that can be used as a shortcut. Ignore it and take the long route to gain more experience and treasure.

Fight some easy Pantherons then move forward to engage a PSICOM team, including an elite Executioner. Further ahead, you’ll find a t-ball containing MILLERITE, a compound eventually used for upgrading. Continue fighting enemies until you reach an intersection with a bunch of pillars. Once there, feel free to use the shortcut to return to the Save Point area (where enemies have respawned); otherwise ascend the stairs on the far right. On top, fight a pair of PSICOM dudes then grab FERROELECTRIC FILM from the t-ball they were guarding. Jump down and take out the remaining PSICOM troops. Continue upstairs and open two treasure balls flanking the Save Point. They contain LIBRASCOPE x2 and a PHOENIX DOWN. Before moving on, use the Crystarium to develop everyone’s skills. You should have enough CP to fill almost all nodes by now. Save your game then ascend the stairs.

BOSS >> Garuda Interceptor

This is a two-part battle. In its first form, the Garuda will attack everyone in its radius or wail on a single target. Both can easily stagger your party so attempt to fight it at a distance using Ruin or air magic. Once staggered, you can eliminate it rapidly. The creature will fly off, only to return in a second, more powerful form. This time, the Garuda will Shield itself, making it resistant to all damage until staggered, so just whittle away at the bird until it starts circling the party. When it does, switch to a defensive paradigm and prepare to be hit with Hellstorm Bolt. If you have the Spark Ring equipped, the attack will cause 30% less damage. Switch over to an offensive paradigm after healing everyone and stagger the beast. Air magic will do massive damage at that point, forcing its demise.

Beating the boss earns you a Silver Bangle and unlocks the Up In Arms shop at all Save Points. More importantly, the Crystarium is expanded. Sazh now has access to the Synergist (SYN) role and Vanille can develop mad skills as a Saboteur (SAB). Watch a few scenes, saving your game when prompted.

Gaining control of Snow now, fight the PSICOM troops that appear until an EIDOLON BATTLE TUTORIAL begins:

EIDOLON BATTLE >> Shiva Sisters

When battling Eidolons, a time limit is imposed on you via a Doom counter. Leaders must demonstrate their power to the Eidolon until the purple Gestalt gauge below its name is completely full. Once the gauge is full, press Square to obtain the summon creature. If you fail to impress the Eidolon before time runs out, it’s game over.

To figure out what actions will impress a particular Eidolon, use Libra. Those who amass chain bonuses typically impress all Eidolons but the Shiva sisters specifically yield to those who defend against and endure attacks. Don’t bother healing during this battle since Stiria will do it for you. To impress Nix, have Snow attack with his fists or use magic whenever Nix raises her arm for an ATB Charge. At all other times let Snow receive damage or switch to his Sentinel role. The sisters cannot be provoked but using Steelguard against Nix’s wicked ice-based attacks helps fill the Gestalt gauge quickly.

In addition to acquiring the SHIVA EIDOLITH, Snow gains an extra ATB slot. For future reference, Eidolons are summoned into battle via the Techniques menu. More on that later. For now, watch a few scenes wrapping up Chapter 3. Save when prompted, if you like.

CHAPTER 04

Location: The Vile Peaks

EVENT BATTLE >> Pantherons x4

Fighting with Light, Sazh and Vanille, defeat an easy group of Pantherons and watch the scene that follows. When it ends, control briefly switches to Sazh and Vanille. Move forward for another scene, after which a primer on the Synergist role pops up. With Light and Hope now, continue to the Save Point. Make sure to use the Crystarium and set up a paradigm deck for your new party before moving on.

When ready, jump over the debris on the right and battle a lone Thexteron guarding treasure. Thexterons are essentially beefed-up Pantherons, weak to both ice and lightning. After collecting a LIBRASCOPE, jump down and start heading towards the marker on your map. Battle through familiar enemies and you’ll eventually encounter a new one. Pulsework Soldiers deliver devastating attacks but are extremely weak to lightning. Once staggered, they become completely incapacitated. If possible, sneak up on the robot for an easy victory.

Upon reaching your destination, watch some scenes. Eventually, control switches back to Sazh and Vanille. Read two primers that pop up – one on the Synergist role (again) and one describing 3-Way Battles. Up ahead, you’ll see two different breeds of enemies duking it out. In most cases, you can perform a preemptive strike against enemies engrossed in a 3-way battle simply by walking up to them and pressing X. The trick is figuring out which group to take out first. In this case, the Watchdrone trio poses more of a threat than the lone Pulsework Soldier. Have Vanille sabotage the group while Sazh buffs. Afterwards, whittle all of them down with area spells and polish off the last one standing. Once defeated, activate the nearby device to clear a path.

Continue fighting 3-way battles as you make your way toward the marker. Look for a t-ball near one of the groups that contains a BLACK BELT. Enter the tunnel and use the device on the wall to proceed. Another 3-way battle awaits, this time involving three Thexterons and two Pulsework Soldiers. After defeating them, move forward to trigger a scene.

Hope joins up with Sazh and Vanille so make sure to set up a new Paradigm deck tailored for this party. When ready, scale the cliff and battle a Pulsework Soldier on top. Open the nearby t-ball to obtain a new weapon for Hope, the NINTURA, and use the Save Point up ahead. Move forward and fight another Pulsework Soldier then jump over the rocks to engage a new foe. Incubus enemies coordinate their attacks against a single target and can be effectively damaged using water and lightning magic. Continue for a scene then fight through more enemies until you reach a platform with a Save Point and two t-balls. One holds a METAL ARMBAND and the other a PHOENIX DOWN.

After saving, cross the bridge and a new bird-like creature appears. The Succubus is a magic user that boosts its allies by casting Bravery on them and weakens your party with Deprotect. When they appear in a group, always eliminate them first.

Keep fighting enemies along the rocky path until you reach the next Save Point. Move forward to trigger a brief scene, during which Light replaces Hope in your party. As usual, set up new Paradigms, etc. before moving on.

Plow through enemies until the road ends. Examine the panel to create a metal staircase you can use. Save your game up and smash more enemies up ahead. Get a LIBRASCOPE from the doorway on the right then fight on. At the next intersection, look for a t-ball with an EMBER RING. Use the next Save Point and spend whatever CP you’ve earned so far, as you’re about to face a boss.

BOSS >> Dreadnought

The Dreadnought’s sweeping area attacks are pretty heavy but it’s the Wrecking Ball to watch out for. Each blast causes about 300 damage and may stun the target into inaction. Start with Sazh in the SYN role so that you can cast Faith on Vanille and Bravery on Light. If you have a Paradigm using Vanille in the SAB role, her Deprotect and Deshell skills will be mighty useful, too. Dreadnought will ignore your attacks while it cleanses itself of the status ailments she inflicts, so take advantage of its predisposed state by getting those chain attacks flowing. It also gives you breathing room to heal and/or re-cast buffs. By paying close attention to health and shifting paradigms often, the boss will eventually reach its staggering point. After that, it’s home free... or so you thought. Like previous boss battles, this one’s a two-parter. Although Dreadnought returns with a new Flamethrower skill, your strategy should remain the same. This time you may need two staggers to finally conquer the armament.

Beating Dreadnought earns you the OMNI-KIT (a key item for upgrading) and opens up a component shop called LENORA’S GARAGE. The Crystarium is expanded once again, giving Lightning access to the Medic (MED) role and Sazh access to the Commando (COM) role. Watch a scene then read the primer on UPRGRADING & DISMANTLING EQUIPMENT, which is explained in greater detail here:

You can now upgrade weapons and accessories at Save Points using the various components you collect on your journey. Select ‘Upgrade’ from the Save Point menu and choose a weapon or accessory that you wish to improve. Next, select the type of component and quantity to use for the upgrade. The combined EXP value of the chosen components will then be applied to the target piece of equipment. After enough EXP has been spent on a weapon or accessory, its level will increase, improving its attributes.

Organic components bestow a bonus to any EXP spent on a piece of equipment whereas Mechanical components reduce an item’s EXP bonus. You can tell them apart by looking at the icons next to their names. All components have a hidden multiplier value that determines the bonus or reduction you’ll receive when applying it to an upgrade. When using Organic materials, bonuses are reached when the multiplier value falls in between certain numbers:

0-50: Components will add 100% of their base value to the item being upgraded.
51-100: 125%
101-200: 150%
201-250: 175%
251-500: 200%
500+: 300%

To get the most ‘bang for your buck’, use Organic components to bring the multiplier to 3x, then use a large amount of Mechanical components to max the item out. The multiplier is only modified after the NEXT full batch of a component’s value has been added, so using them in large quantities will save you a ton of gil and materials in the long run.

In addition to hidden multiplier values, every component has a hidden Rank that ranges from 1-11. This stat determines how much EXP a component will grant to an item. Since all weapons and accessories are also ranked, the idea is to use complimentary components on the item being upgraded to achieve the best results. Generally, the higher the item’s rank, the less EXP a component will grant. For example, a Particle Accelerator may grant a Rank 1 accessory 800 EXP, but only 600 to an accessory of Rank 6.

Is your head spinning yet? Take an aspirin because there’s more to learn...

Once a particular piece of equipment has reached its maximum potential, its level is replaced with a star. At this point no further advancement is possible, but the item can be transformed into an entirely different one by means of specialized components. When this happens, both its name and properties will change. A newly transformed item may initially seem weaker, but unlike its fully upgraded predecessor, it will be eligible for level advancement. Through further upgrades, it can be made much more powerful than its earlier incarnation.

Unwanted equipment can be scrapped for parts by selecting ‘Dismantle’. The equipment itself will be destroyed, but you will be able to salvage components, some of which can be obtained in no other way. Dismantling ‘starred’ gear yields the best components. Dismantling low-level gear usually yields far less than if you simply sold the item and bought new components at Lenora’s Garage.

Finally, each weapon and accessory also belongs to a Synthesis group. Equipping weapons and accessories belonging to the same synthesis group will grant the wearer bonus abilities. For a full list of component values, ranks, etc., click here.

Now, back to the game....

If you check the Crystarium, you’ll see that some characters have new types of nodes they can fill: The Role Level node increases the effectiveness of a character’s performance in that role, and the Accessory node gives the character a new accessory slot to equip. When ready, proceed through the tunnel and use the Save Point. Approach the lake for a scene, upon which the party disbands and you assume control of Lightning and Hope.

EVENT BATTLE >> PSICOM Tracker / Corps Gunners x4

The Gunners are immune to lightning attacks but weak to fire and water. You should have no trouble defeating them. Watch the scene that follows then head towards the next marker. Look for a Save Point along the way. When you get to where the path circles around a big rock, veer left. Fight off enemies guarding a t-ball containing FIBER-OPTIC CABLE x3. Look for another circular path up ahead. When you reach it, take the long way around to get a LIBRASCOPE from the t-ball floating there. Below, fight a new Uhlan enemy that is weak to fire and lightning magic. Afterwards, head towards the Save Point to trigger another event battle.

EVENT BATTLE >> PSICOM Trackers x2

During the scene that follows, you’ll get a PULSE ARMAMENTS primer and acquire a new ride. The giant armament is clumsy to navigate; thankfully, you’ll only be going a short distance. Crash through gates to charge the device, then use its arms to swipe enemies out of the way. After 3 swipes, you’ll need to recharge the arms. When you run out of gates to crash, simply trample any remaining enemies. There are exactly 43 Pulsework Soldiers posted along the path. Your goal in this ‘mini-game’ is to wipe all of them out using the arms as much as possible, to obtain the best rewards.

Upon reaching your destination, a scene occurs. Contents of the two treasure balls here depend on how many enemies you killed and how many were dispatched using sweeping blows. The ball on the left will garner STURDY BONES x10 (if you killed 0-24 enemies), THICKENED HIDE x20 (if you killed 25-39 enemies), or a SPARK RING (if you killed 40-43 enemies)... The ball on the right will garner 100 GIL (if you swept away 0-24 enemies), 300 GIL (if you swept away 25-42 enemies), or 999 GIL (if you swept away 43 enemies).

Walk through the tunnel and open a t-ball to receive ELECTROLYTIC CAPACITORS x2. Save your game then battle two Corps Regulars and a PSICOM Ranger. Continue forward until the road splits. No matter which path you take, the next battle is inevitable. When Uhlans are paired with Trackers, a third enemy is often deployed - the tiny Targeting Beacon is easy to miss but will wreak havoc on your party if you don’t take it out quickly. Use Libra on it first if you are collecting enemy intel. After defeating the trio, search the bridge where the Uhlan was circling for a t-ball containing a SPARK RING.

Fight an enemy squadron at the next intersection then explore the right path for a t-ball containing a PHOENIX DOWN. Continue forward for another Uhlan fight then use the Save Point up ahead. Before moving on, prepare at least one paradigm with Lightning in the MED role. Cross the bridge and watch the scene that unfolds.

EIDOLON BATTLE >> Odin

Lightning needs to impress Odin by healing the wounded and/or amassing chain bonuses. This is easier said than done considering the eidolon’s hardcore attacks. Even with two healers in your party, it may take you a couple of attempts to win over Odin. To max out his Gestalt gauge before the Doom timer runs out, buff the party then have Hope attack with magic while Light continuously heals him. When Odin enters guard mode (Ulr’s Shield), double up on offense. If things get dire, use the MED/MED paradigm and have some Phoenix Downs ready to toss on Hope just in case. Once you’ve fully charged Odin’s Gestalt meter, press square.

Upon obtaining the ODIN EIDOLITH, Lightning’s ATB gauge increases by one slot. Go back and save your game before the upcoming GESTALT MODE TUTORIAL.

EVENT BATTLE >> Uhlan x2 / PSICOM Ranger x3

At some point during battle, open the Techniques menu and choose the Summon command to witness Odin’s grand entrance. Calling forth Lightning’s personal eidolon will cost her 3 TP but the price is worth it. Other party members will temporarily vacate the battlefield, leaving the eidolon to fight alongside its summoner. An Eidolon’s SP gauge depletes gradually over time, or whenever it takes damage. Once the gauge reaches zero, the Eidolon will be dismissed and your regular party will resume fighting, fully healed. If the summoner gets KO’d while the eidolon is present, it will revive the character with full health. Your goal is to fight side-by-side racking up as many attack chains as you can, to fill up the Gestalt gauge displayed in the lower right corner of the screen. You can press Square at any time during battle to enter Gestalt mode, however it is wise to wait until the gauge fills up a bit before switching over.

In Gestalt mode (otherwise known as ‘Driving Mode’), summon and summoner fight as one unit. The amount of attacks they can perform together depends on how long you spent building up the Gestalt gauge prior to changing modes. A list of attacks, their SP cost, and which buttons you need to push in order to execute them is shown on the left. If you want the eidolon to automatically select attacks for you, simply press X. Either way, the eidolon leaves once its SP timer runs out, and your party members return to the battlefield fully healed.

After wrapping up the tutorial, watch a few scenes, during which you’ll get the opportunity to save your game. Eventually, control switches to Sazh and Vanille. Use the Crystarium to distribute CP you amassed, check paradigms, etc. When ready, climb the cliffs behind you to retrieve a PHOENIX DOWN from the t-ball hiding there then proceed to the Scrap Processing area.

Use the Save Point then engage some new Bomb enemies. Be careful with Bombs - they begin the battle with half HP, immediately use a move to restore their own HP, and then explode on subsequent turns. The less HP a Bomb has when it blows up, the less damage you sustain. In general, always try to sneak up on them and avoid using fire magic since they absorb it.

Navigate the metal walkways until you get to a device you can use to make a bridge. Lack of power prevents you from reaching certain areas at the moment so just continue along, fighting more Bombs and Pulsework Soldiers as you go. Look for a t-ball on the right before getting to the next Save Point. It contains an AURIC AMULET.

Up ahead, you’ll engage some Gremlin enemies near a t-ball. Defeat them to earn an EMBER RING. After fighting more Gremlins on the path, you’ll reach the main generator area. Before using the Save Point, look behind the rocks on the right to find a t-ball containing a PHOENIX DOWN. In order to power up the generator, activate four panel switches – two on the left and two on the right - defeating the enemies that block your way. Once all four switches are turned on, the generator will light up and raise the back gate. Activating the switches also grants you access to a t-ball containing FORTISOL in the center.

Now that you have power, backtrack to the previous area, past the two Gremlin groups that have respawned on the road. When you reach the Save Point, open your map to see that four panel switches are now operational. To reach closest one, jump onto the metal walkway and make an immediate right. Examine the panel to activate an elevator. On top, battle Gremlins and Pulsework Soldiers then look on the right side of the platform for the next panel switch. The stairs that unfurl create a shortcut. Walk straight down to the next panel switch. Activate it to create a path leading to three Pulsework Soldiers below.

After defeating them, look inside one of the tunnels for a t-ball containing VIBRANT OOZE x6. Now, head back towards the platform where you created the shortcut and ascend the ramp on the left. Fight enemies on top to access the final panel. Flip the switch and follow the walkway up to a challenging trio of Bombs and one Pulsework. After beating the nasty group, look for a t-ball on the left containing IRON SHELLS x8.

Now that you’ve finished this area, travel back to the power generator. Once there, feel free to battle enemies that have respawned, or just head to the exit. After clearing the path of enemies, continue forward until you reach a t-ball with 300 GIL. Keep going until a scene takes over, during which you’ll be prompted to save your game.

Location: Bodhum (flashback)

When you gain control Snow, enter the seaside cafe. Speak to the woman behind the counter (Lebreau) who you’ll recognize from earlier in the game. You can also talk to two buddies on the patio and one further down the beach if you like, or just walk out to the pier. Watch the scenes that follow, ending Chapter 4. As usual, save your game when prompted.

CHAPTER 05

Location: The Gapra Whitewood

Control switches to Hope and Lightning. Use the Save Point, set paradigms, spend CP, upgrade equipment, etc. then fight some Thexteron and Frag Leech enemies. Continue fighting creatures along the lit path until you trigger a scene. When it ends, ride the elevator up to the Canopy Wardwalks.

Save your game and continue to battle through enemies, using the lights as your guide. Along the way, you’ll encounter some new Vespid foes. They use fire attacks and are not particularly tough to defeat. When you reach the fork, veer left and battle the Alpha Behemoth at the end. Wait until it turns around for an easy preemptive strike. Afterwards, open the t-ball to receive ANTIDOTES x3. Backtrack and follow the other path to an elevator. Watch a scene then ride down to the Research Corridor.

Save your game and continue defeating enemies until you reach a pair of Vespids guarding treasure. It contains a new HAWKEYE weapon for Hope. Keep battling your way forward, picking up ANTIDOTES x4 from a t-ball along the way. Upon reaching the blue door, a scene occurs. When it ends, go through and save your game. Ride the elevator down to the Bioweapon Research facility.

Move forward to get a primer on Wildlife Containment Paddocks. The feral creatures in this area are kept inside corrals bound by electronic fences. To deactivate the fences, you must kill all enemies contained in each paddock. Start by killing the Silver Lobo groups up ahead. They can inflict poison, causing your HP to continuously drain. Use an Antidote to cure the effect if you need to. Once the first barrier is down, enter the next paddock to fight more Lobos and a few Crawlers guarding treasure. Both enemies are weak to fire, btw. Open the t-ball to receive ANTIDOTES x6. After the second barrier is down, keep fighting through enemies until a Feral Behemoth ambushes the party.

EVENT BATTLE >> Feral Behemoth

Being unable to sneak up on it naturally makes the battle a little more challenging. The large creature is weak to water but brute strength still works best once staggered. Afterwards, jump over the wall and climb the luminescent plant. Attempt to sneak up on ten Crawlers in front of you. Once they’re dealt with, move forward for a scene.

With Lightning as your party leader now, jump down the plant and use the Save Point below. Move forward and at the split, veer right. Fight some Silver Lobos to deactivate another barrier and grab a STAR PENDANT from the t-ball they were blocking. Backtrack to the split and clear out more foes. Use the plant up ahead to reach the next paddock. Move forward for a scene then continue slashing through enemies, including a new Barbed Specter. Like most creatures in the Whitewood, it’s weak to fire. Open the t-ball it was guarding to acquire an EDGED CARBINE weapon for Lightning.

After a couple more battles, you’ll come upon another Feral Behemoth. Defeating it opens a new shop called MAGICAL MOMENTS. With the barrier gone, jump down the plant and save your game. To deactivate the next barrier, look for a gap on the side. Wait for the Feral Behemoth to turn and go in for a preemptive strike. Once the barrier is down, collect 1500 GIL from the t-ball.

Continue defeating enemies until you reach another fork in the road. Head right. As you approach the creatures up ahead, a seventh barrier is erected, forcing a battle with five Crawlers and a Behemoth. Once they’re gone, open the t-ball to receive FRAGRANT OIL x8. Return to the fork and take the left path now. Up ahead, you’ll see a 3-Way Battle taking place between a Feral Behemoth and some Silver Lobos. Before you hop across another plant, head left and jump over the wall. Fight enemies at the far end to free up a t-ball containing a WATCHMAN’S AMULET. Backtrack to the plant and use it to reach an elevator. Ride up to the Bioweapons Maintenance area.

Use the Save Point then battle some Silver Lobos up ahead. Continue forward for a scene. When it ends, fight some Corps Marksmen and Watchmen (who are immune to fire), as well as a Milvus Velocycle. The Velocycle uses ice attacks and has no particular weakness. Look for a nearby t-ball containing ETHERSOL then save your game. After fighting the last batch of enemies, go back and save again. Equip your party with the best possible gear and make sure you have more than one paradigm set to heal. When ready, flip the elevator switch and ascend for a scene.

BOSS >> Aster Protoflorian

The boss changes its elemental strengths and weaknesses throughout the battle, so it’ll be difficult to determine which spells will be effective against him. In addition to elemental magic, it uses spin attacks in rapid succession and can stagger you pretty easily. In short, the giant plant is a bitch to defeat. This battle requires a lot of speedy paradigm shifts. Start by using Libra to collect the boss’ stats then have Hope in the SYN role so that he can bestow Protect and Shell on both party members. Lightning should attack until healing is required. Once both party members are buffed, switch Hope to the RAV role. Watch your party’s health carefully. If anyone’s HP dips below 350, switch one or both characters over to the MED role, or start tossing Potions to keep everyone alive. In a pinch, summon Odin. You’ll need to stagger the boss 2 or 3 times before finally killing it.

Upon defeating the boss, you earn a TUNGSTEN BANGLE and a new shop called CREATURE COMFORTS, which sells organic components. Also, the Crystarium expands once again. When you regain control, use the Save Point and head to the destination marker. Watch scenes that wrap up Chapter 5, during which you’ll have two opportunities to save your game.

CHAPTER 06

Location: The Sunleth Waterscape

Now in control of Vanille and Sazh, take advantage of the CP you’ve accumulated and use the Save Point. When ready, hop over the grass and engage a couple of new species. Both Flandragoras and Hedge Frogs are weak to fire magic. The latter can inflict Deprotect. When you reach a fork, take the left path first. After eliminating foes that emerge from the ground, open a t-ball to acquire MYSTERIOUS FLUID x8. Return to the fork and take the other path now.

Continue fighting enemies until you reach the next Save Point. Open the nearby t-ball to get a new BELLADONNA WAND for Vanille. If you’ve been building up her Saboteur skills, this is a good weapon to equip. Up ahead you’ll encounter some Gremlins and a few more Flandragora. After dispatching the bumper crop, open a t-ball to receive PROCYONS for Sazh.

Continue forward until you reach another fork in the path. Go left and battle some Gremlins to free up the t-ball they are guarding. Get a DOCTOR’S CODE then return to the fork and follow the other path until a scene occurs. Afterwards, a primer explaining how to avoid strong enemies pops up – the suggestion being that you can avoid battling the slow Scalebeasts up ahead simply by running past them. While this may be good advice, I ended up fighting all four of them. Either way, use the Save Point a bit further down the hill.

If you choose to fight the Scalebeasts, use CP to teach Vanille the SAB’s Poison skill. It will greatly reduce the time it takes to defeat these creatures. Scalebeasts are very difficult to damage until staggered, at which point they shed their armor, allowing Vanille to Poison, Deshell, and Deprotect them. At that point, it’s just a matter of keeping the party healthy and waiting it out. Scalebeasts are very easy to sneak up on if you simply watch their movements. If you decide to avoid the creatures, you will not be able to open the t-ball below, which contains IRON SHELL x15.

Either way, jump down the cliffs and open the t-ball below to receive a LIBRASCOPE. Fight through three groups of Gremlins. One guards a t-ball containing SCALED WINGS x10. Continue forward to trigger a scene and when you regain control of Vanille, approach Sazh near the lake to trigger another scene. When it ends, walk up the slope and use the Save Point on top. Up ahead, you’ll see a glowing orb poking out of the ground. Approach it to initiate a primer on CONTROLLING THE WEATHER. The Climate Control Orbs posted throughout this region allow you to change the weather from sunny to rainy. The climate you set determines the type of enemies that come out:

If you set the orbs to rain, you’ll be battling Gremlins, Scalebeasts, Hedgefrogs and a new Mudfrog creature. Mudfrogs have the ability to call allies that can overwhelm the party, so take them out first.

If you set the orbs to sun, you’ll be fighting Gremlins and Flandragora, as well as two new creatures – the Garchimacera (which is a stronger version of Gremlin) and Wyverns, who are weak to fire, air and poison but have the capacity to Deprotect you.

Whichever climate you choose, forge ahead until the path splits. Veer right and fight enemies on a ledge to access a t-ball containing a METAL ARMBAND. If you plan on fighting any Wyverns, this might be a good accessory to temporarily equip. Hop off the ledge and continue moving forward as there is no treasure to be found below the merged path.

A third climate orb offers an opportunity to change the weather. Do so if you wish; otherwise plough through more enemies until the path splits again. Defeating enemies on the left side grants access to a t-ball with an AQUA RING. The right side eventually merges with the left, so explore it only if you wish to slay more creatures. You’ll find a Save Point up ahead. Use it before moving on.

BOSS >> Enki & Enlil

Enki drenches your party with water spells and Enil zaps the party with lightning. Both have a couple of physical moves that can put the hurt on, too. Each can inflict Deprotect and employ skills that hit friend and foe alike (which is strangely helpful), plus they buff themselves with Haste, Faith, Bravery, etc. The good news is both are also susceptible to Poison, so have Vanille start off with that while Sazh buffs the party. If either boss uses Esuna, re-Poison them. Towards the end, the duo gets more aggressive so pay close attention to the party’s health when they start using a litany of area attacks. It’ll take two staggers to bring each one down, unless you get lucky and one kills the other with its own elemental magic.

After the battle, you’ll earn a RIPTIDE RING and a FULMEN RING, plus the Crystarium expands. After a brief scene, continue towards the marker on your map. When you reach the depot, approach the electrified fence to close out Chapter 6. Save in between scenes if you wish.

CHAPTER 07

Location: Palumpolum

Control switches to Lightning and Hope on the outskirts of the city. Use the Save Point and assign the CP you’ve acquired. Before following Hope, kill a few Corps Tranquifex milling around the parking lot and go behind one of the trucks to find a t-ball containing FIBER-OPTIC CABLE x3. After collecting the components, hop down into the broken pipe drain, take a left turn at the fork and open a t-ball to acquire HOLY WATER x3. Continue through the pipe until you can hop out.

Fight a lone Corps Pacifex and some troops patrolling further up. Ascend the slope and continue upstairs, being mindful of the Falco Velocycle circling overhead. You can avoid fighting it by hopping off the main path and waiting for it to pass. If you choose to engage the Velocycle, you’ll need to stagger it before it readies Gatling Gun, an attack that will wipe out the current party. Or you could summon Odin to take the hit. Whether or not you choose to engage the flying motorcycle, continue forward and jump into the broken tube at the end. Hop down and open the t-ball on the right. After collecting a LIBRASCOPE, move forward and enter the Nutriculture Complex.

Jump down and use the Save Point at the bottom then move forward for a scene. When it ends, use the device on the right to call over a floating disk that you can ride. Upon reaching the other side, you’ll see two devices that can be manipulated. Use the left one to call forth a disk that deposits you in front of a platform with two treasure balls. Open them to receive a PHOENIX DOWN and HOLY WATER x4. Ride the disk back and go upstairs.

Battle a pair of Flanitors, which are perhaps my favorite enemies in the game. Why? Because I like their silly hats... When they take damage, Flanitors go into a frenzy - madly attempting to heal each other - so using Blitz on them while Hope picks them off with magic works rather nicely. The Lucidon up ahead is much like a Scalebeast, wherein you have to stagger it before causing any real harm.

After ridding the creatures, continue forward. When Hope stops on the circular platform, approach him for a scene. Continue along the catwalk afterwards, fighting more Flanitors along the way. At the end, use the device on the left to call over a floating platform. Ride it to a circle with a couple of enemies guarding treasure. Defeat the pair to access an AQUA RING and MOBIUS COILS x2. Ride back and use the other switch to reach the next catwalk.

After defeating another Lucidon, move forward for a scene. Afterwards, fight some Flanitors and open the nearby t-ball to receive a WARDING TALISMAN. As you approach two more Flanitors, a scene occurs. When it ends, fight them then flip the switch at the end. Ride across and use the Save Point on the other side. Approach the elevator to trigger more scenes.

Control switches to Snow already in full Gestalt mode aboard the Shiva sisters.

EVENT BATTLE >> Orion / PSICOM Predator x2 / Corps Tranquifex x2 / Corps Pacifex x2

Use Snow’s summon to own all enemies then finish off anything that remains with your fists.

Snow and Hope form a new party. After reading a primer on the Sentinel role, set paradigms for the team and apply the unseemly amount of CG Snow has accumulated while being away. Use the Save Point then go upstairs and fight some Corps Tranquifex and a PSICOM Bombardier that uses a nasty long-range Bazooka attack. Climb the ice chute and continue forward, battling more PSICOM and Corps troops above. Use Snow in the Sentinel role while Hope heals if any of them give you trouble. When the path splits, move forward and battle two Corps Pacifex with an elite Warlord. Open the t-ball they were guarding to acquire a FORTISOL then backtrack to the blue jump point. Walk down the ice ramp.

After jumping off, fight more troops then head right, going up a ramp where enemies guard a treasure. Kill them to claim a PALADIN weapon for Snow. Descend and battle enemies on the walkway. Hop down when you can and turn left to retrieve INSULATED CABLING x4 from a t-ball. Continue to the Save Point. After using it, head to the destination marker and watch some scenes.

You take control of Fang, the newest member of the team, along with Lightning. Equip Fang with an accessory and use the CP you’ve been collecting. Remember to set paradigms for the duo – roles currently available to Fang are COM, SEN & SAB. After saving your game, battle Corps enemies around the corner and an Orion further ahead. Orion is a speedy pecker, so have Fang Slow it when she’s in her SAB role. Continue forward until a scene occurs.

Control switches back to Snow and Hope, who are now in the Western Promenade. Check behind you for a t-ball with HOLY WATER x4 then use the Save Point. Take out a trio of Corps Pacifex and two soldiers further ahead. Look for a ledge you can hop up on the left. Follow the raised walkway to the end, where you’ll find a t-ball containing INCENTIVE CHIPS x2. Backtrack halfway and jump down onto the main path. Fight the Corps troops stationed there then continue forward to a Save Point.

Open the nearby t-ball to acquire a GUARDIAN AMULET then cross the bridge, fighting more soldiers until a scene occurs. Afterwards, engage a trio of PSICOM Aerial Snipers. They’re a bit tougher than the regular soldiers so use Snow as a Sentinel if their ranged attacks become a problem. Fight through until a scene takes over. When you regain control of Snow, move forward and use the Save Point. Continue forward to trigger another scene then take out the Aerial Snipers that appear. After eliminating them, hop down onto the lower walkway.

Check behind you for a t-ball with a SHAMAN’S MARK. Upon turning around, you’ll encounter a Falco Velocycle, which you can now beat by taking advantage of Snow’s Sentinel role. When you see the flying chopper queue up its Gatling Gun attack, immediately switch to a SEN/MED paradigm to endure the gunfire then blast the enemy with Lightning. If you don’t switch over fast enough, there’s a good chance your team will perish.

Continue forward after defeating the Velocycle to engage two Snipers that swoop in. Hop down onto the tracks. Turn right and look for a t-ball containing a VIDOFNIR weapon for Hope. Follow the track until you can turn left. Get THRUST BEARINGS x3 from a t-ball on the ledge then return to the track. Move forward now, defeating enemies as you go. Look for a t-ball containing DECEPTISOL on the right at the top of the ramp.

Hop onto the tracks and engage the next set of enemies. Once defeated, head right and jump onto the adjoining track. Follow it around to a dead end where you’ll find a t-ball holding 2000 GIL. Continue forward now, using the track on the right to go around a building. Fight three Aerial Snipers that appear then jump up a few ledges. Engage a Velcocyle and two more Snipers on top. Use the Save Point up ahead then move forward to trigger a scene.

BOSS >> Ushumgal Subjugator

The boss mainly uses fire-based attacks that hit all party members multiple times so you’ll be doing a lot of role shifting during this battle to keep the team alive. When the Subjugator goes into Overdrive mode, start pummeling it. In Overdrive, it’ll gain Bravery, but also Deprotect and Deshell itself, making it a lot easier to stagger. Like all mechs, it is weak to lightning. If your HP falls below 400, the boss’ Tail Hammer attack may KO you so utilize Hope’s MED skills wisely.

Watch scenes, during which you’ll be allowed to save your game. Back with Fang and Lightning now, follow the path behind you to a t-ball containing BESTIAL CLAW x15 then hop up to the Save Point. Dispose of the soldiers and an Orion further up. Upon reaching the next set of enemies, look for a t-ball containing a GAE BOLG weapon for Fang.

Up ahead, you’ll encounter a Lodestar Behemoth. Once it loses half of its HP, it’ll stand on its hind legs and start using Aerora attacks. Although the Lodestar doesn’t have any particular weakness, Fang can inflict Slow on it to give the party some breathing room. After defeating the beast, cross the bridge to trigger a scene. When it ends, battle more Corps and Orions. Look for a t-ball near the Orions containing a nice AXIS BLADE weapon for Lightning. Continue towards the marker for a scene.

When you regain control of Fang, use the Save Point. Take either staircase up into a courtyard. Battle enemies in the far corner to access a t-ball holding a TUNGSTEN BANGLE. If you head back towards the Save Point, enemies will respawn so fight them as long as you like for the extra CP and goodies they offer. Eventually continue towards your destination, fighting more enemies along the way. Look for a t-ball containing a BLACK BELT en route to the next Save Point. Engage the Lodestar Behemoth and PSICOM Bombardier blocking the path up ahead. Move forward until a scene occurs. When it ends, you’ll take control of Hope.

BOSS >> Ushumgal Subjugator

Hope will start off fighting alone. Have him rotate between roles until help arrives. Once Fang and Lightning join in, you’ll be working with default paradigms. With Fang as your leader, have her Slow the boss while Hope buffs the party and Lightning heals. Afterwards, switch to an offensive paradigm and start wailing on the mech to boost its chain gauge until healing is required. The boss uses powerful lightning attacks but is also weak to lightning. When you see it use Targeting, its readying a 6-hit attack that will focus on one character. Switch to SEN or MED roles if the boss is obsessing on one person to help weather the attacks.

After the battle, you’ll receive a SHIELD TALISMAN and ABOMINABLE WINGS x8. Watch the scenes that follow. Solo with Fang now, open a t-ball at the top of the stairs to acquire a PHOENIX DOWN, then approach Hope to trigger a scene. When you regain control of Fang, take a quick tour of the Estheim Residence, examining various furnishings in the hallway and living room, before turning on the flat-screen TV. Watch the scenes that follow.

EVENT BATTLE >> PSICOM Aerial Sniper x2 / PSICOM Scavenger x2

When you regain control, set up better paradigms for the current party (consisting of Fang, Lighting and Hope) and use the Save Point. Vanquish the PSICOM troops that prevent you from opening the nearby t-ball. Once they’re defeated, collect an ETHERSOL. Before stepping on the red circle in the living room area, circle around the residence and kill troops on the other side. Once cleared, you can access a t-ball containing a BRAWLER’S WRISTBAND at the far end of the hallway.

The two PSICOM groups continually respawn and I highly recommend spending extra time fighting them to harvest Incentive Chips, which can be sold for 2500 Gil apiece. If you stick around long enough, you can also max out everyone’s CP and probably have some to spare for the next Crystarium expansion, which is always a good thing. Once you’ve had enough, save your game and step on the red circle to trigger a scene.

BOSS >> Havoc Skytank / Hull x2 / Turret x2

Toss a Librascope on the boss to uncover five targets. The multi-part machine can only be hit using long-range attacks, so if you plan on using COMs, they’ll primarily use Ruin. Delay Fang in the SAB role since the boss is immune to all status ailments until staggered. Take out the two Turrets first since they cause the most damage, followed by the two Hulls. All four parts focus their energy on a single target so using Fang in the SEN role to absorb most of the damage isn’t a bad idea. If you have time to buff the party, do so; otherwise keep Hope in the MED role, especially during Missile Barrage strikes. The 6 to 10-hit move will leave your head spinning if all parts of the boss decide to shoot simultaneously. Once the left and right sides are taken care of, focus on the middle, paying strict attention to health when the Skytank readies its Main Cannon attack. Use MED/SEN/MED if things get really ugly. Once the Skytank’s HP falls below 73,500, its chain resistance almost vanishes. However, from this moment on, it’ll relentlessly shoot you with its Main Cannon for 200+ damage per person. Just keep switching between offensive and defensive paradigms until the boss perishes.

Beating the Havoc Skytank earns you a piece of URANINITE and opens up PLAUTUS’S WORKSHOP, another save point vendor. And the Crystarium expands once again. Watch scenes closing out Chapter 7, with usual prompts to save your game in between.

CHAPTER 08

Location: Nautilus

Control switches over to Sazh and Vanille. Use the Save Point and conduct your regular business (assigning CP, checking paradigms and equipment, etc.) before moving through the crowded station. There are no treasures to find here so just keep heading towards the markers, stopping occasionally for scenes. After witnessing the parade, continue to the Nautilift pods where you’ll have an opportunity to save your game. Afterwards, board the pod marked by a red circle on your map.

Once you arrive in the amusement park, look for a t-ball down one of the Chocobo chutes containing a PHOENIX DOWN. After nabbing it, head down the trail until a scene takes over. In this mini-game, you’ll need to chase Sazh’s little choco pal to four different locations - first look among the sheep, then on the vendor’s cart, then in the fountain, and finally among the flock of chocobos on the right. Open the t-ball that drops down to receive a STAR PENDANT for your efforts. Head down the path to a Save Point then proceed for another scene.

Use another Save Point when you regain control of Sazh then start plowing through Corps enemies congregated in the middle. If you haven’t taught Sazh Haste yet, now would be a good time. The path ahead zig-zags. Among the enemies you’ll face are new Zwerg Metrodroids. They’re weak to fire and air, and offer plenty of CP. Look for a t-ball near the solo Zwerg to acquire SPICA DEFENDERS for Sazh. When you reach the Save Point, head left and battle a lone Orion to access a t-ball containing a GUARDIAN AMULET. Now move past the Save Point and battle the team of Zwergs on the opposite end. Open the t-ball they were guarding to get a HEALER’S STAFF for Vanille. Now backtrack to the Save Point. After using it, move forward to trigger a scene.

BOSS >> Midlight Reaper

Despite the boss’ size, this is an easy battle. Start with Vanille in the SAB role so she can Imperil and Deprotect the boss while Sazh casts Haste on the party. After that, hit it with your best stuff. The boss’ stagger point is very low, so you’ll be able to get a few good chains going until it recovers. The Reaper can inflict Poison so have Vanille on standby to perform Esuna as needed. If Imperil wears off, switch Vanille back to SAB so she can recast it. In terms of offense, the boss’ attacks cause about 200 HP damage each – nothing too horrible. You’ll be surprised at how quickly it’s over.

After the battle, THE MOTHERLODE shop becomes available. After some scenes, you’ll gain control of Sazh. Just continue towards the destination marker.

EIDOLON BATTLE >> Brynhildr

This is Sazh’s summon to earn by impressing the big gal with his Synthesis skills (as well as chain bonuses) before the Doom timer runs out. Unlike previous eidolons, Brynhildr can be weakened with Vanille’s SAB arsenal. The eidolon’s gauge will rise quickly if you pound on it with magic – use anything but fire, which it absorbs. Don’t be shy about healing, and buff often, even if it isn’t entirely necessary, since strengthening allies heats Brynhildr’s heart. Press Square when the eidolon’s Gestalt gauge is full to claim victory.

Upon receiving the BRYNHILDR EIDOLITH, Sazh’s ATB gauge increases by one segment, bringing his total to 4. Watch the dramatic scenes that follow, with the save option in between.

CHAPTER 09

Location: The Lindblum

Controlling Lightning, spend CP and use the Save Point. Some new items are available in the shops now. Other than talking to your allies, there isn’t much else to do in the airship hangar. When ready to depart, speak to the guy at the end of the corridor (Rygdea) and select ‘yes’.

Location: The Palamecia

Upon landing, Lightning, Hope and Fang are thrust into combat.

EVENT BATTLE >> PSICOM Infiltrator / PSICOM Raider x2

All Raiders are susceptible to Pain, so have Fang do her SAB thing and the fight will be over shortly. Afterwards, use the Save Point and adjust paradigms if needed. Tackle another group of hostiles then watch as Lightning jumps onto a higher deck. Flip the nearby switch and board the lift. When it stops, jump up to the next level. Once there, look behind you for a t-ball containing DIGITAL CIRCUITS x4. Now move forward to reach the External Berths where a brief scene occurs.

Before using the Save Point, turn around and fight two Deckdrones so that you can access the t-ball they are guarding. Deckdrones are susceptible to Curse and are weak to fire and ice. Take them out before they have a chance to perform any area attacks. After beating them, collect a chunk of MILLERITE and return to the Save Point.

Up ahead, a PSICOM Dragoon accompanies two Deckdrones. Dragoons can be Slowed and Blitz works nicely when they arrive in numbers. After fighting them, move forward and take the second right over to more enemies. After defeating them, look for a small red craft you can jump on to get to the level above. Turn around and fight a Dragoon to access a t-ball containing INCENTIVE CHIPS x3. Move forward through enemies until you reach another craft you can jump onto. Hop up and open the nearby t-ball to get SILICONE OIL x4. Fight two optional Deckdrones in the far right corner then cross over and take out a larger group of enemies in the middle. Once they’re defeated, go through the door for a scene.

When you regain control of Lightning, the party will be inside the ship. Move forward to see a primer on Neutralizing Status Effects (which, frankly, seems to arrive a little late) then use the Save Point. Enemies have respawned outside if you feel like re-fighting; otherwise engage the PSICOM group up ahead. Continue down the corridor, fighting more foes, including a PSICOM Huntress. Don’t be fooled by their cute little outfits; these gals are fierce. The Huntress casts every type of buff imaginable on herself so use Fang to Dispel as many enhancements as she can, or have Hope counter with party buffs of his own. Afterwards, you have the choice of turning right or continuing straight ahead.

If you choose to go straight, you’ll arrive in a berth with a Save Point and a couple of enemies. Upon returning to the corridor, PSICOM troops will have respawned – which is not a bad thing considering many of them drop Incentive Chips. When ready, turn the corner and open the t-ball to receive a LIFESABER weapon for Lightning. Pick off enemies further down, including a new Viking creature. Vikings are incredibly swift but can be Slowed, Deprotected and Deshelled, which help quite a bit. They are weak to water and lightning attacks but immune to fire. After defeating the neurotic bird, open a t-ball to get an EMBER RING.

At the checkpoint, turn the corner and fight through more enemies until you reach a Save Point. Continue towards the next marker, eventually coming upon a Viking flanked by two Huntresses. Slay them to access a t-ball containing a PANDORAN SPEAR for Fang. Approach the door to trigger a scene.

Control switches to Sazh and Vanille in the cargo hold. Check their paradigms and spend CP before saving your game. When ready, exit the room and kill a pair of Flanitors. Activate the red door switch and fight the Flanitors and Flanborgs posted in the hallway. Flanborgs are weak to water and can be Deshell’d; they’re basically the same as Flanitors except they have even cooler hats. You can sneak up on most enemies here for easy victories.

At the first intersection, turn right and then go right again. Flip the door switch at the end to unlock a room with treasure. After killing the enemies inside, swipe a ROYAL ARMLET, which is an excellent accessory to upgrade. Head towards the checkpoint and open another t-ball to acquire MURKY OOZE x12. The flans continually regenerate so spend some time circling the hallways if you feel like collecting more components. When ready, flip the center door switch and go through to witness some scenes.

Back with Lightning, Hope and Fang now, enter the Rotary Shaft room. This huge area consists of three rings, with four bridges connecting each ring. After using the Save Point, start tackling the outer ring by heading right and fighting a couple of Vespid Soldiers. Like their weaker brethren, they are immune to air and susceptible to Slow. Moving ahead, you’ll encounter two PSICOM Raiders and a Thermadon. They, too, are susceptible to Slow but only after shedding their armor. Check the dead end up ahead for a t-ball carrying a WHITE CAPE then carry on. After fighting three more groups, look for a t-ball in another dead end containing a PAIN DAMPENER. End your tour of the outer ring by slaying three Vikings.

Backtrack a little and use one of the bridges to reach the middle ring. Head right and battle a team of PSICOM Huntresses, followed by a Thermadon, three PSICOM Infiltrators and three Vikings. After clearing the middle ring, use any bridge to get to the inner ring.

Look for a t-ball containing a PERFECT CONDUCTOR component. Moving to the right, fight some Vespids Soldiers then look for a t-ball holding a chunk of RHODOCHROSITE. Cap off the inner circle battling a PSICOM Huntress and Viking. Now make your way over to the checkpoint to trigger a couple of scenes.

Control switches back to Sazh and Vanille in the Primary Engine Bay. Like the previous area, this one has rings connected by bridges. Save your game then head right, fighting familiar enemies along the outer ring. As you go, look for a t-ball containing SEGMENTED CARAPACE x8.

When you get back around to the Save Point, pick a bridge and head into the center circle where you’ll do battle against three Vespid Soldiers and a Thermadon. Hasten your team to have a fair shot at it, otherwise the Vespids’ insane air attacks may slaughter you. After defeating the group, look for a nearby t-ball containing a PHOENIX DOWN. Now approach the destination marker for an event battle.

EVENT BATTLE >> Vespid Soldier / Thermadon

Watch the scene that follows. Back to Light, Hope and Fang on the Starboard deck. Use the Save Point then erase some enemies behind you. After defeating them, open a t-ball in the far corner to acquire a WHISTLEWIND SCARF. Beyond the Save Point, you’ll notice some flaps that rise and fall. If you stand behind the flaps and wait a little while, you can sneak up on the Vespid Soldiers patrolling the area. After defeating them, stay on the upper level and make your way over to a t-ball in the corner. Fight a couple of PSICOM Dragoons and a Viking to earn a PERFECT CONDUCTOR. Now backtrack and descend the ramp. Battle three large groups of enemies then ascend the other ramp and use the Save Point. In the distance, at the very tip of a V-shaped platform, fight some enemies to gain access to a t-ball holding BARBED TAILS x13. Head back towards the Save Point and descend the next ramp. Kill all enemies loitering in the area below and look for a nearby t-ball containing a SPARK RING.

Notice the fiery thrusters that rise and fall? Jump onto one and ride it down. Follow the alleys around to a t-ball offering 300 GIL. Wait for a thruster to lower and then walk back up to the main level. Continue towards the checkpoint, fighting two PSICOM Dragoons along the way. When you reach your destination, a scene takes over.

BOSS >> Kalavinka Striker

This lightning-based flyer is susceptible to Slow and Curse so put Fang in the SAB role to do her thing. Using Hope in the SYN role is a good idea, too, especially if he’s learned Barthunder. While waiting for Fang’s impairments to kick in, put Light in the MED role. Once impaired, the bird becomes mush.

For beating the flyer, you receive a SOULFRONT TALISMAN. Watch a scene, after which a more powerful Striker attacks.

BOSS >> Kalavinka Striker (redux)

The second Kalavinka has more HP and is a bit harder to stagger. Repeat the process of Slowing and Cursing it, along with Hope’s Shell, Protect and Barthunder buffs while Lightning heals. After that, go on offense until the boss preps Hellstorm Bolt. Anyone not imbued with Barthunder or wearing a Spark Ring will take an 800 HP hit, so prepare to switch Fang to SEN and the others over to MED roles to weather the storm. Once staggered, you’re home free.

After the battle, you receive a BLESSED TALISMAN. More importantly, the entire team is finally reunited. A Battle Team Formation primer pops up explaining that you can now switch party members as you see fit (although Lightning must remain Leader for the time being). To form a new party, use the 4th option in the updated Paradigms menu.

When you regain control of Lightning, use the Save Point. Once you’re finished setting everyone up with new gear, CP skills, paradigms, etc., take a look at your map. There are three long rows full of platforms to explore, using the switches you’ll find on each platform to create connecting ramps. This area is very lucrative for collecting both treasure and CP, so spend as much time as you can handle taking full advantage of it.

Altogether you can get the following loot from eight treasure balls: LIBRASCOPE, PAIN DAMPENER, RUNE BRACELETS x2, UMBRA (Snow weapon), 3600 GIL, PERFECT CONDUCTOR, GOLD BANGLE, ETHERSOL. In addition, there are nine enemy groups that offer a lot of CP. Many of them drop Incentive Chips, too. At the very bottom of the complex, you’ll find a Save Point. A tough boss fight is coming up so use a Fortisol shroud (or both Fortisol and Aegisol) prior to going through the door.

BOSS >> Barthandelus / Pauldrons x2 / Ailettes x2

Shrouds wear off after five minutes, so you’ll need to work fast. Use a Librascope to see that you’ll be dealing with five targets. The main head is impenetrable until all of its armor is destroyed, so your first task is to get rid of the four Pauldron and Ailette heads. Each head absorbs one element, is weak to an opposing element, and halves damage from all other elements – hence the importance of using Libra right away. The side heads start out using basic elemental spells, but once you destroy two of them, the boss will cast Magic Amplification to upgrade their elemental attacks to lv2. When the third head is destroyed, Barthandelus will upgrade elemental spells to lv3. The boss also casts Protect, Shell, Haste and Faith on his cerebral sidekicks. Disregard that and just keep attacking. Once all four side heads are history, the boss’ stagger threshold is lowered and status affinities change. Switch to COM/COM/SAB or RAV/RAV/SAB and assault until either Slow, Deshell or Imperil stick on the boss, then switch back to COM/COM/RAV or RAV/RAV/RAV. If you can’t keep up with damage, switch temporarily to MED/SEN/MED. Barthandelus primarily uses magic attacks and two are worth mentioning. First is when its head transforms into cannons (Thanatosian Smile) and it shoots a beam for about 500 dmg to everyone caught in the blast (boss will laugh before using it). The other is when Barthandelus starts making loud charging sounds, prepping its ultimate Destrudo attack, which is released after 30 seconds of charging. Don’t let the sound intimidate you - KEEP ASSAULTING IT AT ALL COSTS! Once you deal 12000 HP damage during charge-up, the boss will groan (it’ll say something like ‘Umph!’) and will resume charging. Each time you get the boss to say ‘Umph!’ during its 30-second Destrudo charge-up reduces the amount of projectiles launched at you – from 24 to 12, from 12 to 6, etc. If at any point a character’s HP dips below 50%, toss Potions or swap in a MED.

After a dizzying battle, you’ll earn an ENTITE RING and the Crystarium will be expanded. Watch scenes wrapping up Chapter 9. Save when prompted if you wish.

CHAPTER 10

Location: The Fifth Ark

Save your game then talk to your party members who are scattered throughout the tunnel. At the end of the tunnel, walk past Hope and you’ll be asked if you want to move on. Choose ‘yes’ and watch the scene that follows. Use the next Save Point (swap party members if you like) then go upstairs to trigger an event battle.

EVENT BATTLE >> Pulsework Knights x2

Pulsework Knights hit much harder than their soldier counterparts so just make sure to keep everyone’s health up prior to staggering them. After beating the duo, ROLE DEVELOPMENT unlocks in the Crystarium. In short, every character now has access to all six roles. While this may seem cool, teaching characters non-native roles comes with a heavy price since each node will take between 3,000 - 120,000 CP to learn. My personal opinion is it’s better to stick with current roles and stock up CP waiting for the next Crystarium expansion than to waste it on rookie-level role changes at this stage.

Either way, when you regain control of Lightning, you can kill off some stragglers near the previous Save Point or just move forward to engage the Pulsework Knight and new Circuitron bomb enemy. Take out a pair of Knights on the side to access a t-ball containing a HERO’S AMULET. Go upstairs and defeat more enemies then turn left. Follow the path around to a trio of Circuitrons. After beating them, look in the corner for a t-ball offering BOMB SHELLS x8. Return to the main path and continue forward, killing the next set of foes you come across. Afterwards, go downstairs and use the Save Point.

Up ahead, you’ll engage a new set of Noctilucale enemies. They’ll spray you with poison so prepare to heal if anyone’s HP drains too rapidly. On the opposite end of the tracks, battle a group of Phosphoric Ooze. Note that they sometimes merge into a much larger, more powerful creature called Alchemic Ooze. Look for a nearby t-ball containing a SAINT’S AMULET then head down the tunnel on the left. After battling some enemies at the end of the path, jump over objects on the right and follow the path around to a large group of Noctilucales. After collecting MEDICINAL OIL x10 from the t-ball they were guarding, backtrack to the previous area and head left.

Battle some Phosphoric Ooze that emerge from the ground then continue forward to the Save Point. Search the opposite hallway for a t-ball containing a RAINBOW ANKLET then go thru the door at the end. Fight two new creatures that swoop down – Skata’ne and Stikini. The latter can inflict Daze and buffs its cohort so take it out first.

After defeating the pair, check your map. The crescent-shaped path on the left is merely a shortcut. Use it (and others like it) only if you want to avoid enemy confrontations; otherwise jump down to the lower path and fight your way over to the next jump point. Below, fight some daemons to gain access to a t-ball containing 600 GIL then jump down again. After defeating a trio of enemies, go through the door and use the Save Point. Enter the next chamber to trigger a brief scene.

When it ends, move forward and sneak up on the large Berserker that steps down from its podium. These creatures are easy to take out if you surprise them, but in doing so, you’ll miss out on its Forge Blade skill, which summons a Centaurion Blade. If you are collecting enemy intel, fight the second Berserker head on so that you can get stats on its Blade counterpart. Note that the Blade vanishes automatically once the Berserker is eliminated. Open a t-ball near the exit to acquire RIGELS for Sazh. Go through and examine a switch to activate the elevator.

After using the Save Point below, turn right and battle a trio of Imps. If you delay their demise, they’ll start conjuring Ahriman to fight alongside them. Open the t-ball they were guarding to receive an AURIC AMULET then continue forward through the tunnel, battling familiar enemies as you go. Upon rounding the corner, you’ll encounter a Greater Behemoth. Take it out before it stands on its hind legs if you can.

Continue fighting foes in the tunnel until you can jump down onto a ledge. Open the t-ball below to acquire an ALICANTO weapon for Hope then go forward, ignoring the stairs on the right for now. Jump up and battle some Noctilucales. Further ahead, engage the Greater Behemoth to access a t-ball containing GARGANTUAN CLAWS x7. Now return to the stairs and follow the other route, blazing through enemies until you reach a Save Point. You’ll find two t-balls nearby – one contains a METAL ARMBAND and the other, an ETHERSOL. Continue down the tunnel and toss a shroud or two on the party before approaching the person up ahead.

BOSS >> Cid Raines

The boss is capable of inflicting Daze and will tailor its attacks according to the target’s role. Have Fang inflict Slow so that you can survive his rapid flurry of attacks. In winged form, the boss will buff himself and debuff your party, so counter by using a SAB to dispel his enhancements and a MED to heal your party’s afflictions. Use the time he Esunas himself to go on offense, ideally staggering him before he erects Guard. Once in guard mode, you cannot launch him or cause any major damage so use that time to heal or re-buff. In addition to everything else, the boss can restore his HP, so work quickly to stagger him before he has a chance to recover full health.

Upon victory, you’ll receive a TETRADIC CROWN and the MOOGLEWORKS shop opens at all Save Points. Delightfully, the Crystarium expands again, offering a new type of ATB node that all characters can obtain. Activating it will permanently add an extra slot to the ATB gauge. Watch the scenes that follow.

When you regain control, use the Save Point up ahead then step on the elevator platform. Shorty after activating the switch, a few Circuitrons descend on the party. Defeat them then go through the door. Once again, you can avoid all enemies by taking the crescent-shaped path around or fight your way through. If you choose to fight, move forward and participate in a 3-way battle. Afterwards, jump down and continue forward for another 3-way battle. After defeating the Pulsework and Ooze enemies, go through the door at the end. Save your game then enter the next chamber to trigger a brief scene.

Fight two groups that emerge from doorways – four Circuitrons and three Pulsework Knights – then enter the next room. Dispose of enemies inside then exit and follow the hallway over to a t-ball containing a FEYMARK weapon for Snow. Go through the door and walk across the bridge. Engage enemies at the end of the bridge or just jump down to the lower level. Follow the lower path towards a Greater Behemoth. After defeating it, go through the door and fight some Circuitrons inside. Exit and follow the hallway into the next room, where you’ll find a Greater Behemoth along with a Skata’ne and Stikini. If you check your map, you’ll notice two doors leading to different rooms. Explore the left one first.

EVENT BATTLE >> Berserker

If the Berserker uses its Forge Blade skill, ignore the Centaurion Blade that appears since the beast will only issue a new one. Use physical might to pound away at it, healing when necessary. Afterwards, collect ELECTRODES x3 from the treasure ball. Return to the previous room and take the other door out to a Save Point. After using it, step on the elevator platform and activate the switch. If you position yourself in the middle of the platform, it’s possible to surprise the Skata’ne and Stikini that drop down from above. After defeating them, exit the elevator and fight your way through to the next Save Point.

Continue vanquishing foes until you reach a 4-way split. Head left to find a t-ball containing OTHERWORLDLY BONES x2 then enter the next room. After a brief scene, battle two Beserkers that emerge from doorways. Use the Save Point before going outside.

EIDOLON BATTLE >> Bahamut

For Fang to impress Bahamut before the Doom timer runs out, just alternate between her SEN and SAB roles while others amass chain bonuses. If Vanille is participating, have her debilitate the eidolon as well. Bahamut uses a variety of attacks that hit hard, including one that vaults and slams characters, causing precious seconds to recover from. Just keep switching between defense and offense, healing as needed, and wait for the eidolon’s Gestalt gauge to fill. When it does, press Square to receive Fang’s new summon.

In addition to receiving the BAHAMUT EIDOLITH, Fang’s ATB gauge increases by one slot. Watch the scenes that follow. When you regain control, take the blue trail towards your destination. Save your game in between scenes closing out Chapter 10.

CHAPTER 11

Location: Gran Pulse (Vallis Media)

Starting at the Base Camp, use the Save Point behind you (several shops have new items for sale, btw). When ready, start hoofing it up the long mountain path. Along the way, you’ll engage some new Alraune foes, as well as Flans that can morph into larger Dire Flan versions. Open a t-ball near the solo flan to acquire a PARTISAN weapon for Fang. Keep slaying enemies until a scene takes over.

EIDOLON BATTLE >> Alexander

To win over Alexander before the Doom timer runs out, have Hope heal and buff while the remaining party members chain attacks. The eidolon is not particularly fast but when it manages to connect, it hits hard. Just continue exploiting Hope’s MED and SYN roles and when Alexander’s Gestalt gauge fills, press Square.

In addition to receiving the ALEXANDER EIDOLITH, Hope’s ATB gauge increases by one slot. Watch the scenes that follow.

Location: The Archylte Steppe

As you enter the Steppe, you’ll learn about the CIE’TH STONES scattered throughout Gran Pulse. Each stone offers a unique mission that requires you to hunt down a particular enemy in order to gain rewards. Mission monsters are classed alphabetically from D to A; some are as strong as bosses, so read the stats that pop up when you touch Cie’th Stones to see if your party is currently capable of handling the task. Since missions do not have to be completed in any particular order, you can always come back to any declined Cie’th stones once your characters are stronger.

There are a total of 64 Cie’th Stones in Gran Pulse. Upon completing missions, some stones grant other things depending on their color:

- BLUE stones offer D-class missions
- GREEN stones offer C-class missions
- YELLOW stones offer B-class missions
- PURPLE stones offer A-class missions
- RED stones offer missions that unlock Paling doors, granting access to new areas
- SILVER stones offer missions that unlock Waystone teleports

Dormant Cie’th Stones (ones lying on the ground) will awaken once you progress far enough in the game or complete a prerequisite mission, sometimes both. You can only accept one mission at a time, but can redo the same mission over and over again, if you so desire – however further completions of the same mission will award you with items of lesser value, usually components. You can check mission details as well as the location of your current mark (indicated with a red star) on the map screen at any time by pressing Square.

Each mission is numbered. This walkthrough will guide you through Missions #01 through #28 so that you can unlock all Waystones and story portions of the game. The remaining missions (29-64) will be explained in less detail later on. For a complete list of Cie’th Stone Missions, click here.

When you take control, touch the blue Cei’th Stone in front of you to accept MISSION #01 (“Pond Scum”). Afterwards, press Square to open the map and use the R1 button to zoom out as far as you can. Assuming Cocoon (the big planet icon) is pure north, your mission target (the red star icon) is northwest of your current position. Before heading over there, turn around and use the Save Point near the mountain. Now would be a good time to upgrade weapons and equip the best accessories available, since the enemies here are a lot stronger than any you’ve previously encountered.

When ready, start heading west through the Central Expanse. Avoid confrontations with larger creatures unless you can sneak up on them – build up CP by fighting smaller enemies for now, specifically Flans and wolf-like Gorgonopsids. Also, some Rangda enemies guard a t-ball near the western cliffs. Defeat the little spooks with ice magic to receive a ZEPHYR RING. North of them, you’ll find a group of Gorgonopsids sitting on top of a low hill. The treasure ball they guard contains a ROD OF THORNS for Vanille. As you travel, you’ll invariably come across a few yellow circles on the ground. They can only be used while riding a Chocobo, which you’ll obtain after completing a few missions. For now, keep moving towards the red star on your map. Use the Save Point near the pond then head left and engage the big blue flan that’s roaming around.

MISSION MARK >> Ectopudding

The flan will puddle quickly if you blast it with lightning spells. Upon completing Mission 01, you’ll receive an ENERGY SASH and you’ll see a dormant C-Stone rise. Touch it to take on MISSION #02 (“Goodwill Hunting”). Your new mark is even further west. Four Gorgonopsids accompany the large silver beast.

MISSION MARK >> Uridimmu

Use Blitz to take out the underlings and lightning spells to damage the big guy. For defeating Uridimmu, you earn a chunk of COBALTITE. Look for the next C-Stone on a nearby ledge. Touch it and accept MISSION #03 (“Massif Contamination”). This particular mark is located in the Tsubaddran Highlands region, which requires backtracking to the original Save Point you used upon entering the Steppe. On your way over there, engage enemies that have respawned to continue building CP. After using the Save Point, take the thin path next to it back into the Vallis Media region.

Location: Vallis Media

Upon reaching the Base Camp (where you began Chapter 11), use the Save Point then continue hiking up the trail towards the red mission marker. When you reach the stream where Hope fought his Eidolon, head right and open a t-ball near the waterfall to receive a RUNE BRACELET. Return to the main trail and continue fighting familiar enemies until you reach a new area.

Location: The Yaschas Massif

Use the Save Point up ahead then move forward to fight a group of Levaks. If left alive long enough, the spooks will conjure Rangdas to aid them. Further ahead, you’ll enter a clearing with multiple routes. Your mark is straight ahead.

MISSION MARK >> Ugallu

Defeat the creature to earn a PLATINUM BANGLE. Afterwards, look for a new C-Stone on the left side of the clearing. Upon touching it, you’ll get a primer on CIE’TH WAYSTONES. When you complete missions offered by silver stones, such as this one, they turn into Waystones that allow you to teleport between regions. After accepting MISSION #04 (“A Hero’s Charge’) from it, use the Save Point on the opposite side. Head left to fight some colorful Triffid enemies guarding a t-ball. Collect DIABOLIC TAILS x9 then move to the edge of the cliff to trigger a scene between Hope and Vanille. When it ends, take the thin path near the C-Stone down into the ravine.

Fight foes on the left to acquire ESOTERIC OIL x8 then hop across fallen logs to descend further. Along the way, a Svarog may swoop down. Fight the wyvern with ice and air magic, as well as Ruin. You’ll eventually reach a Save Point. After using it, hop down and fight enemies on the grass then collect a RUNE BRACELET from a t-ball at the end of a narrow strip. Walk down the log and fight some Alraunes as well as a tomato-headed Hybrid Flora. Cross another fallen tree and fight more feral creatures as you slowly make your way toward the mission mark.

Look for a t-ball on the left ledge up ahead. Open it to receive 1827 GIL. Hop down and use the Save Point. Nearby, you’ll find a C-Stone offering Mission #05 – decline it for now, and continue past the Save Point to battle a new group of Munchkin enemies. They tend to gang up on one person so be mindful of health when engaging these speedy little rollerskaters. At this point, you have the option of going left or right. Follow the path on the right, hopping up grassy knobs until you reach a bunch of spooks.

MISSION MARK >> Adroa x4 / Verdelet x2

The spooks immediately summon allies to fight alongside them, making the battle a bit more complicated. Use area attacks such as Blitz and Ruinga to take out as many as you can before their numbers overwhelm you. Once defeated, you’ll earn a PEARL NECKLACE. Additionally, collect MILLERITE x2 from the t-ball they were blocking. Before backtracking to the area where you fought the Munchkins to take on Mission #05, climb the fallen branches on the right.

Continue fighting enemies along the trail until you reach a pair of Hybrid Floras. Kill them then use the Save Point up ahead. After eliminating more enemies in the clearing, you’ll have a choice of going left or right. Although the two paths eventually merge, head right in order to defeat enemies guarding a t-ball near the merge point. After collecting a MYTHRIL BANGLE, keep fighting enemies along the path, including a larger Munchkin Maestro, until you reach the next Save Point. Watch the scene that follows.

Location: Paddraean Archaeopolis

When you regain control, touch the silver C-Stone across from the Save Point to take on MISSION #06 (“No Place Like Home”). This will be your first C-class mark, but since you fought a Munchkin Maestro earlier, you know what to expect. Before exploring further, go back down the hill and fight the bruiser (along with its Munchkin cronies) where indicated on your map.

MISSION MARK >> Munchkin Maestro

After defeating the group, you earn a FULMEN RING. Now hike back up to the Save Point, noting the new Waystone that’s been activated, and explore the Archaeopolis. Hop down into the ruins and fight a couple of winged Nelapsi in order to access a t-ball containing RHODOCHROSITE. Walk upstairs and fight new Taxim creatures (all Cie’th enemies are weak to elemental magic, btw).

After killing the first group, climb stairs on the right and walk behind the pile of debris to reach a green C-Stone offering MISSION #07 (“Bituitus, the Pillager”). Upon accepting the mission, you’ll see a scene showing the enemy flying around the ruins below. Before fighting it, explore the upper part of the ruins for two treasure balls. One contains a WHISTLEWIND SCARF and the other, SPINED HORNS x3. After gathering the loot, head downstairs to witness the arrival of your mark.

MISSON MARK >> Bituitus

Bituitus uses powerful lightning attacks and can inflict Daze, so heal as needed. Since the creature is particularly good at evading, inflict Slow then have RAVs come in to shower elemental attacks. Upon defeating Bituitus, a new shop opens - R&D DEPOT - and you’ll witness the creation of a new bubble-looking artifact in the upper portion of the ruins. At this point, you can use the Waystone to teleport back to the Tsubaddran Highlands region or hoof down the hill – ether way, return to the C-Stone offering Mission #05 in the Yaschas Massif.

Location: Yaschas Massif

Watch a scene as soon as you re-enter the area. Afterwards, touch the C-Stone near the Save Point and accept MISSION #05 (“Joyless Reunion”). Backtrack thru the Scarp, heading in the direction of the red star on your map. When you reach the next Save Point, take the path flanked by Triffid enemies and at the intersection, head left to battle some Leyaks. After getting a WATCHMAN’S AMULET from the t-ball they were guarding, continue through the clearing. Up ahead, on the right, you’ll see a Behemoth King. Try sneaking up on it for an easy victory. Eliminate enemies clustered in the center then continue forward, veering right when you can to find your principle target at the end of a narrow path.

MISSION MARK >> Edimmu

For slaying the creature, you’ll earn a SORCERER’S MARK. Also, open the t-ball it was guarding to get a chunk of MILLERITE. Return to the clearing and continue through the basin towards a Save Point. You’ll have to get past another Behemoth King – this time not so easy to sneak up on. After saving your game, move through familiar enemies until you get to the very end of the path. Fight foes to access a t-ball containing a GLASS ORB. Now travel all the way back to the Base Camp in Vallis Media, using the destination marker on your map as a general guide.

Location: Vallis Media

As you approach the Base Camp Save Point, you’ll see a new silver C-Stone at the crossroad just ahead of it. Touch the stone and accept MISSION #08 (“The Eleventh Hour”). Check your map to see that the mark is near the waterfall you just passed.

MISSION MARK >> Rakshasa / Flan x3

Defeat the group to earn a COLLECTOR’S CATALOG. If you’re like me, you’re probably tired of fighting flowers and flans by now... nevertheless, fight your way back to the newly-active Waystone at Base Camp. From there, head left to return to the Archylte Steppe.

Location: Archylte Steppe

Look for the next C-Stone on a ledge to the left of where you enter the expanse. Touch it to get info on MISSION #09 (“Heave-Ho”). If you’ve been following this guide, your characters should be strong enough to tackle the Kaiser Behemoth this C-Stone requests. You’ll find the mark near a pond in the center of the Steppe. On the way there, take care of the larger creatures you were unable to fight earlier as they offer excellent CP (the enormous Otoise, however, may still pose a problem so just run past them). If a preemptive strike doesn’t seem possible, toss a shroud on the party just before approaching the mark to guarantee a 5-star rating.

MISSION MARK >> Kaiser Behemoth

You know the drill: Buff the party, sabotage the enemy, and hack away until the big guy perishes. For defeating the Kaiser Behemoth, you receive a chunk of RHODOCHROSITE and the Archylte Steppe Waystone is activated. Use the Save Point on the left if you like then head right, moving towards a smaller pond. A green C-Stone at the water’s edge offers MISSION #10 (“Hollow Hope”). The Ambling Bellows target is located far to the north, just a stone’s throw away from the destination marker that advances the storyline. If you decide to tackle Mission #10 now, ignore the destination marker for a while longer since there is so much more to do, see, and collect within the Archylte Steppe before moving the game forward.

Assuming you accepted Mission #10, head straight through the Central Expanse, towards the red star on your map. Look for a t-ball floating in the middle of the grass along the way, though you’ll likely have to fight one or two Amphisbaenas prior to getting there since this is wyvern territory. Use lightning spells on any flyers that get in your way then open the t-ball to receive SEVERED WINGS x5.

Continue heading northwest across the expanse, which is largely populated with wolf-type enemies including a few giant pack leaders called Megistotherians. Look for a t-ball on a ledge near one of the groups that contains MONSTROUS FANGS x11. Eventually, enter the Northern Highplain and use the Save Point up ahead.

Start walking down the path next to the Save Point and you’ll see a Behemoth King fighting a Megistotherian. Although you can easily sneak past the giant duo, I highly advise joining in the 3-way battle to earn a whopping 6600 CP. After staggering both creatures with one hit, focus on taking down the Behemoth (or use a COM/COM/RAV team to fight them simultaneously). Once the pair is defeated continue forward to meet your mark.

MISSION MARK >> Ambling Bellows

Odds are the goofy mech will have its back turned, allowing for a preemptive strike and an incredibly easy victory. Upon defeating the Ambling Bellows, you’ll get SUPERCONDUCTORS x4. If you continue down the path into Mah’habara, you’ll trigger a scene that propels the story forward. Turn around and save the experience for later.

Delightfully, you’ll find the Behemoth King and Megistotherian duking it out again. The pair usually respawn whenever you round a corner either above or below them, making this an excellent place to farm CP. Fight them as many times as you like, eventually making your way back up to the Save Point. Time to do a little exploring around the Steppe...

Using the planet as true north (consult your map if you get lost), head southwest from the Save Point. Moving along the edge of the cliff, look for a group of Rangdas guarding a t-ball containing MILLERITE. Now entering the Western Benchland, continue south towards a pond. Open a t-ball floating in the water to receive 2615 GIL (there’s a dormant C-Stone here, too). Further west, look for a trail leading down into the lower benchland - home to Leyaks and Rangdas. Though sneaking up on the little spooks while they’re praying in front of rock shrines is morally questionable, it certainly makes treasure hunting easy. Two t-balls near shrines in the center carry an ICE CHARM and SMOOTH HIDES x8. A third shrine near the v-shaped tip has a t-ball containing a FIRE CHARM.

Traveling directly south along the western edge of the region, you’ll find a t-ball tucked in a v-shaped niche that contains LIBRASCOPES x5. A bit further south, look for a passageway in between the mountains leading to the Arid Straith.

Location: Arid Straith

Defeat a pair of Dire Flans in order to continue forward. They’re a lot tougher than the regular flans you’ve been facing and can morph into a single Monstrous Flan if you don’t eliminate them fast enough. After melting the duo, follow the path down to a shiny red wall. Touch the C-Stone next to it to get a primer on PALINGS, which explains that certain paths remain blocked until you complete missions offered by red C-Stones. The red stone of front of you offers MISSION #12 (“Geiseric, the Profane”) that will lift this particular Paling wall (don’t worry about skipping Mission #11, we’ll get to that one later).

After accepting Mission #12, return to the spook shrines in the Western Benchland to find that the area is now filled with Cie’th. As you approach the spot where your mark should be, a scene occurs showing the profane creature emerging from a crevasse below.

MISSION MARK >> Geiseric

Though Geiseric employs powerful ‘stomp’ moves, the mark is extremely vulnerable to elemental magic and therefore easy to stagger quickly if you have a bunch of RAVs in your party. In addition to the whopping 10,000 CP you get for defeating Geiseric, you earn a very nice ROYAL ARMLET. The Cie’th vanish once Geiseric’s gone and the area returns with its devout population of Leyaks. Run back to the Arid Straith to see that the red Paling wall is gone. Continue down the new path, killing a Dire Flan along the way, until a scene takes over.

Location: The Font of Namva

The Font of Namva houses Chocobos, as well as some hostile aquatic creatures. Sahagins are especially weak to lightning and can be cursed. Orobons are a bit tougher and can inflict Daze, so take them out first when they appear within groups. All aquatics are weak to earth attacks, so Quake comes in handy if you want to spend a Tech Point whittling them down all at once. After using the Save Point near the entrance, slough through the puddles and fight enemies guarding a t-ball containing a WATER CHARM. Open a second t-ball near Chocobos on the left to obtain SEAPETAL SCALES x6.

If you check your map, you’ll notice a new Feather icon has been added, indicating areas where Chocobos hang out. Other than looking cute, Chocobos serve no purpose until you complete Mission #14. Leave the Font and return to the Archylte Steppe when you’re ready to continue hunting.

Location: Archylte Steppe

After emerging from the Arid Straith, head right and look for a green C-Stone at the base of a cliff across from some spooks. Accept MISSION #13 (“Eternity Unpromised”). Your target is located in the Northern Highplain region, but instead of getting there via the western or central routes (which you’ve toured extensively), explore the eastern side of the Steppe now. Keep heading right along the edge of the cliffs - past the Waystone, the Save Point, and the lone Chocobo – until you reach a foggy area filled with flans. One of the flan groups guards a t-ball containing a LIGHTNING CHARM. Continue heading east along the cliffs until you see a Behemoth King running in circles. Wait near the cliff and when it’s just about to run by, surprise it.

After defeating the galloping creature, keep following the cliffs into the Eastern Tors, which is primarily the territory of hard-shelled Navidons. Like previous creatures you’ve faced, Navidons are tough to damage until staggered. Making it worse, though, is that they tend to fight in pairs or among large groups of spooks. If you plan on fighting them, putting a SEN in your party helps a lot. One of the Navidon groups guards a t-ball containing an EARTH CHARM. You may have noticed a t-ball propped on the cliff above a yellow jump circle. Just note its location and move on for now.

Likewise, you’ll come across a circle of dormant Cie’th Stones as you head northeast through the Tors that you can’t do anything about right now. Just beyond the stones, there’s a path between the mountains that’s blocked by one of the giant Adamantoise. Steer clear of the path; otherwise wolves will attack along with the gigantic creature resulting in a rapid KO. Instead, work your way inland and search below the crevasse for Gorgonopsids and a Megistotherian guarding treasure. Defeat the pack to acquire a SPEED SASH. Afterwards, you can participate in a 3-way battle between Goblins and Gorgonopsids or just head northeast to a second opening between the mountains. Again, an Adamantoise blocks the path except no small enemies accompany the giant tortoise this time, so you can slip through unharmed.

After passing by safely, veer right and climb a series of ledges to get to the top of the mesa. Once there, in addition to a spectacular view, you’ll see a scene involving a Cactuar creature. Afterwards, expect to find these green enemies zipping around various parts of the Steppe. In order to fight them, you need to chase the little buggers down. Cactuars are weak to fire and earth magic, and can occasionally be Slowed. Whether one shows up now or not, continue exploring the mesa for treasure. Look for a t-ball on the northern end containing a CLAY RING, and another on a small shelf containing a CACTUAR DOLL. You’ll also find a C-Stone here offering Mission #16. Decline it for now and hop back down onto the field. Leave the Otoise enclave from the way you came in, and continue heading north along the edge of the cliffs.

The Northern Highplain starts on the other side of the ridge and it’s the territory of big-game creatures – primarily Behemoths. Here, they run in pairs, making preemptive attacks more difficult. You’ll find a green C-Stone here offering Mission #11. Decline it for now, and head to the northernmost tip of the Highplain where you’ll find a narrow path leading down to two Behemoth Kings guarding treasure. Defeat them to receive PLATINUM BANGLES x2. If you keep heading north along the face of the cliff, you’ll eventually come across a couple of Adamantoise guarding treasure between their legs. Ignore them for now.

You’ll arrive in the Western Benchland as soon as you reach the pond. Look for a group of Goblins skating around just north of the water. These are your #13 targets.

MISSION MARK >> Goblin Chieftain / Goblins x3

Having built up CP by going the long way around, you should be able to defeat the goblins pretty handily and earn a piece of COBALTITE for your efforts. Use the Save Point near the Chocobo if you wish (or revisit the warring pair of monsters at the bottom of the path) – when ready, head south to the pond where you’ll find a C-Stone offering MISSION #14 (“Defender of the Flock”). You’ll find your target in the Font of Namva, southwest of here. Go back and help the Chocobos, kupo.

Location: Font of Namva

Upon entering the Font, a scene occurs showing the local Chocobos in trouble. When you take control, go beat up the intruders.

MISSION MARK >> Sahagin x2 / Ceratosaur x2

The speedy bird-fish can peck you to death if you’re not careful. Use the Quake tech, Blitz, or high-end (‘aga) spells to give yourself some breathing room and to reduce their numbers quickly. For defeating the group, you earn GYSAHL REINS, a key item that allows you to ride Chocobos. A CHOCOBO primer pops up, explaining everything you need to know about these proud yellow creatures:

To mount a Chocobo, simply walk up to it and press X. To dismount, press Circle. Not only do Chocobos cover great distances quickly, but they can jump to places previously unavailable to you (remember all those yellow circles on the ground?). Unlike previous FF games though, riding on a Chocobo does not prevent enemies from attacking. If attacked while mounted, Chocobos lose one unit of ‘Morale’- should a Chocobo lose all 3 units of Morale, it’ll throw the rider off and flee. Morale replenishes over time if no further hostile encounters occur.

Chocobos can also find buried treasure. If you see a ‘!’ pop up over its head while riding, treasure is near. The faster the icon bounces, the closer you are to the buried item. If you press X at the right spot, the Chocobo will dig up the item for you. Of the 20 or so places to dig, only 5 will yield treasure at first - however, once you collect 5 buried treasures, the other dig sites unlock and many of the spots regenerate items over time. To see a map of Chocobo dig sites, click here.

While mounted on a Chocobo, you can still open regular treasure balls and accept missions from Cie’th Stones - however Save Points can only be used to save your game (you cannot upgrade or shop while mounted, in other words). Finally, Chocobos will toss you off if you try to ride over red circles on the ground. If this happens, go to any feather icon on your map and simply hitch a ride on another one.

When you regain control, approach the Chocobo in front of you and press X to mount it. Leave the Font and trot back to the Archylte Steppe.

Location: Archylte Steppe

Now that you have a Chocobo, you can reach the C-Stone offering Mission #15 and do a little exploring along the way. Start by heading north, toward the pond with the floating t-ball in the center. Once there, step on the yellow jump circle at the water’s edge and watch as your Chocobo pal hops over to the little island. Get MNAR STONES x2 from the ball then return to dry land.

Ride over to the tall mesa (set of mesas, actually) across from the pond and look for another yellow jump circle at the base. Hop up and while still mounted, open the t-ball there to receive a piece of SCARLETITE. Steer clear of the Cactuar enemy up here – you don’t want your feathery friend to bolt – turn around and hop over to the green C-Stone atop the adjacent hill. After accepting MISSION #15 (“Tribal Warfare”), jump down onto the field. Your target is located in the Northern Highplain, but do a little more exploring before going straight over there. Ride east, back into Navidon territory.

When you first visited the Eastern Tors, you may recall seeing a t-ball on the cliffs above that you could not reach. Carefully navigate past enemies roaming around at the base of the cliff and look for a yellow jump circle that you can use. Once on top, open the t-ball to obtain DIABOLIC TAILS x7. Follow the trail between the mountains into Aggra’s Trough.

Location: Aggra’s Trough

When you enter the clearing, you’ll see a Save Point and another Chocobo wandering around. Dismount and start exploring the area. In particular, examine the largest sheep on the left to trigger a scene, during which Vanille nabs a piece of FLUFFY WOOL. Open a t-ball near them to receive GLOOMSTALKS x6. Fight a few Triffids then approach one of the little round enemies that appear on the opposite side of the Trough. A scene occurs, showing the entrance of a massive Ochu, the mother of all garden weeds. Battling the Ochu and its little Microchu seedlings is entirely optional – but if you want to open the t-ball they guard, prepare your team for an ugly fight. Using shrouds beforehand helps immensely, but don’t bother with Decepitol since the group is immune to sneak attacks.

OPTIONAL BOSS >> Ochu / Microchus

The Ochu inflicts a host of status ailments that you’ll want to dispel as quickly as possible. Use a SEN to distract the large group while a MED heals. All of the enemies are weak to fire and earth magic, so exploit both as much as you can. Despite their cute squeaks, the little Microchus wreak havoc by ganging up on one target. If you don’t eliminate them fast enough, Ochu will fully replenish their health. Once they’re gone, you have mere seconds to eliminate the big guy before he creates a new flock of little helpers. If things get really ugly, summon an eidolon.

After a fierce battle, you’ll receive over 13,000 CP and gain access to the t-ball, which contains a PLATINUM BANGLE. The Ochu and Co. respawn so you can fight them as many times as you like. The path at the far end of the clearing (Haerii Oldroad) leads to a group of Goblins, a Save Point and a red Paling wall with a dormant C-Stone that you’ll be able to access later in the game. For now, hop on a Chocobo and leave Aggra’s Trough.

Location: Archylte Steppe

Back in the Eastern Tors, ride north into Behemoth territory. You’ll find the Mission #15 target hanging out among the larger prey in the Northern Highplain. En route, look for a yellow jump circle that gets you to the top of the mesa overlooking your mark. Open a t-ball there to receive a valuable GOLD NUGGET. After hopping down, dismount and fight the Goblins along with their Chieftain.

MISSION MARK >> Goblin Chieftain / Goblins x6

After defeating the easy group, you’ll earn a SURVIVALIST’S CATALOG. While here, touch the C-Stone on the edge of the canyon and take on MISSION #11 (“Pride Before A Fall”). Since your ride has fled the scene, walk over to the Save Point near the feuding Behemoth and Megistotherian to grab another Chocobo. Ride straight through the Central Expanse to find your next targets.

MISSION MARK >> Adroa x4 / Verdelet x2

For beating the flock, you’ll receive FROST RINGS x2. Now, return to the top of the mesa where you first saw the Cactuar, in Otoise territory at the edge of the Eastern Tors. Get there via Chocobo or on foot. Either way, accept MISSION #16 (“Surrogate Slaver”) from the C-Stone on top. Your first B-class mission requires that you travel back to the Font of Namva to help the Chocobos again. You will not be able to ride any Chocobos until completing this mission. Go there when ready.

Location: Font of Namva

After saving your game, take on the large group of enemies gathered in the center of the Font.

MISSION MARK >> Sahagin x2 / Ceratosaur x4 / Ceratoraptor x4

Individually, none of the enemies are particularly strong – but their sheer number may cause headaches. Fight the aquatic creatures with fire and earth magic, making sure to heal frequently. Upon defeating them, you’ll receive a chunk of RHODOCHROSITE and Chocobos become available to ride again. Mount one and return to the Steppe to complete your final mission before moving on with the storyline.

Location: Archylte Steppe

Ride towards the destination icon on your map. Whenever the ‘!’ icon pops up over your Chocobo’s head, spend a little time searching the immediate vicinity for buried treasure. In particular, look for a dig point near the western mesas (close to a small brown rock on the ground) – press X once you’ve found the spot to receive a piece of RHODOCHROSITE. As you get closer to the Chocobo near the n/w Save Point, look for another buried treasure icon to appear over your mount’s head. If lucky, you’ll find a GOLD NUGGET. Spend as much time as you like searching the Steppe for buried treasure, as this will be the last opportunity to do so for a while.

When ready, go down the path leading to the 3-way battle and locate the silver C-Stone offering MISSION #17 (“A Widow’s Wrath”). Accept it then hike back up the path to the Save Point. Your target is wandering the Northern Highplain not too far from here. Go to the red star on your map either on foot or by Chocobo.

MISSION MARK >> Pulsework Champion

The Champion will land some big punches but like all other varieties, becomes helpless once staggered. You’ll earn PERFECT CONDUCTORS x3 for defeating the mechanical enemy. Return to the silver C-Stone to see that it’s transformed into a Waystone. Wrap up any other business you have in the Archylte Steppe and surrounding regions. When ready, follow the path down into Mah’habara.

Location: Mah’habara

Save your game then battle a trio of Hoplites to access a t-ball with a HAUTECLAIRE weapon for Lightning. Fight more Hoplites and at the intersection, head left. Battle new Cryohedron bomb enemies, etc. Examine the gate at the end of the path to trigger a scene.

EVENT BATTLE >> Juggernaut

The giant armament is like all other armaments you’ve fought. Debilitate it with multiple status ailments so that it wastes time ‘Steam Cleaning’ itself. Heal if its arm sweeps cause too much damage; otherwise, blast away.

Afterwards, open the t-ball Juggernaut was blocking to acquire a PLATINUM BANGLE. Backtrack to the intersection and follow the other path now, fighting more Hoplites as well as a Boxed Phalanx enemy. As you approach the Save Point, a scene occurs. When it ends, some of the shops will have new items for sale. Continue towards the destination marker. After defeating some new Pulsework Centurions, look inside two doorways on the left for t-balls containing ELECTRODES x4 and CHOBHAM ARMOR x4. Keep fighting through enemies (including some new Rust Puddings) until you reach a bridge. Cross over for a scene.

When you regain control, fight some enemies up ahead then turn right. Touch a silver C-Stone in the corner to get MISSION #18 (“So Close, Yet So Far”). Descend the stairs next to it and jump across the gap to reach a t-ball containing TESLA TURBINES x4. Backtrack and continue up the stairs. Defeat enemies on the bridge. Your C-class mission target is just beyond them.

MISSION MARK >> Ambling Bellows

After an easy battle, you’ll receive a SORCERER’S MARK. Fight a lone flan up ahead then continue forward to a t-ball containing SAINT’S AMULETS x2. Enter the Flower-filled Fissure.

Use the Save Point then move forward for a scene. When it ends, you’ll be with Vanille and Fang using default paradigms.

EIDOLON BATTLE >> Hecatoncheir

Have the two gals spam debuffs for a steady rise in the eidolon’s Gestalt gauge. Switch Vanille over to MED when you need to heal the duo, and to RAV when the creature is standing motionless. The eidolon will attack a couple of times before returning to its motionless stance, so just repeat the pattern until its Gestalt gauge is full. As usual, press Square to claim victory.

After the battle, Vanille obtains the HECATONCHEIR EIDOLITH as well as an extra ATB slot. Watch the scenes that follow then enter the grotto.

Participate in a 3-way battle between a Pulsework Centurion and two Rust Puddings. Go down the ramp afterwards and fight enemies blocking a t-ball containing an ICE CHARM. After melting a pair of Rust Puddings up ahead, cross the bridge and use the Save Point. Descend a staircase on the far right to find a t-ball containing a PARTICLE ACCELERATOR. Backtrack to the central platform. If you want to fight an optional Dreadnought enemy, use the middle stairs; otherwise descend the stairs on the left and fight a group of Pulsework and Cryohedrons. Cross the bridge and open a t-ball on the right to receive CRYSTAL OSCILLATORS x3.

Go downstairs and continue fighting enemies until you reach a t-ball containing PERFECT CONDUCTORS x3. After defeating a few more enemies, you’ll reach a platform. Examine the device at the end to trigger a scene. When it ends, board Atomos and ride over to Sulya Springs.

Location: Sulyya Springs

Immediately turn around and board Atomos again to reach an optional area.

Location: Mah’habara (Twilit Cavern / An Asylum from Light) - optional

Use the Save Point then move forward and battle two Yakshas. At the fork, head left and battle some Skata’ne and Yakshini enemies. Engage Rust Puddings and a Ferruginous Pudding afterwards. At the next intersection, follow the right path into a dead end. Open two t-balls to acquire PERFECT CONDUCTORS x3 and a RAINBOW ANKLET then return to the intersection and take the other path.

Battle two teams of enemies (including six Cryohedrons that offer 7140 CP) then look inside the tunnels the bombs came out of to find two t-balls containing METAL ARMBANDS x2 and PARTICLE ACCELERATORS x2. The Cryohedrons continually regenerate, making this a nice spot to harvest CP. Continue forward, fighting enemies until a scene takes over.

EVENT BATTLE >> Tyrant / Centaurion Blade

Ignore the Blade and fight the Tyrant. Afterwards, backtrack to the very first fork (near the Save Point) and take the right path now. After fighting two Yakshas, take the stairs down to a t-ball containing a MOOGLE PUPPET. Fight another group of enemies then enter the Abandoned Dig site.

When you reach the fork, take either path since they eventually merge. You’ll battle several Strigoi creatures along the way no matter which route you choose. Once the paths merge, continue forward and open a t-ball containing PEROVSKITE. Keep moving through enemies until you reach a Save Point. Beyond it, you’ll find a Paling. To unlock it, you need to complete a specific mission. For now though, return to the Atomos device and ride back to Sulyya Springs.

Location: Sulyya Springs (Subterranean Lake)

After saving your game, touch the C-Stone across from it and accept MISSION #19 (“Triangle of Tragedy”). Continue forward to the Subterranean Lake. Once there, move forward for a scene. When it ends, open a t-ball on the right to get STRANGE FLUID x13. Hop onto the next island and fight a group of Ceratosaurs to free up a t-ball containing ENIGMATIC FLUID x10. Head right and hop up to enemies guarding a t-ball containing an AQUABANE BROOCH. Fight through more enemies on the islands above until you reach a pack of Uridimmu wolves. Complete your mission.

MISSION MARK >> Uridimmu x4

After defeating the group, you earn a piece of COBALTITE and gain access to two t-balls containing SEAPETAL SCALES x5 and MOISTENED SCALES x6. Hop back down to the central island and examine the water next to Snow. A scene occurs, during which two new enemy-infested islands appear.

When you regain control, hop over and fight a large group of Orobons and Ceratoraptors guarding two treasures. Open the t-balls afterwards to receive a URANINITE and RIPTIDE RING. Now go back to where you checked the water and head right to reach the other island raised by Bismarck. Fight another large enemy group to access two more t-balls containing a WATER CHARM and MNAR STONE. Afterwards, hop back up the islands and go through the cave on top. Open the t-ball up ahead to receive ABYSSAL SCALES x7. Continue forward until a scene takes over.

Use the Save Point then follow the path to a t-ball containing a CIE’TH TEAR. Use another Save (not sure why you’d need to, though) then continue through the canyon. Watch a scene upon reaching the Palisades.

Location: Taejin’s Tower (The Palisades)

When the scene ends, touch the silver C-Stone to take on MISSION #20 (“Words Unspoken”). Fight some new Managarmr beasts (as well as a couple of Amphisbaena wyverns) as you head down the path towards the tower’s entrance. Fight your mission targets up ahead.

MISSION MARK >> Goblin Chieftain / Goblin x2 / Munchkin Maestro / Munchkin

A large, but easy crew to defeat. For completing the mission, you’ll earn a piece of RHODOCHROSITE and gain access to a t-ball containing SINISTER FANGS x20. Move forward and fight enemies at the tower’s entrance. Go through the door and follow the circular hallway into the central core. Watch the scene that follows.

Location: Taejin’s Tower (all Tiers)

Before getting on the elevator, fight a few wandering Managarmrs while exploring the area for treasure. Moving clockwise, open three t-balls to collect a SPARKSBANE BROOCH (outer edge), 4721 GIL (near the middle wheel), and CHIPPED FANGS x12 (behind the elevator). After using the Save Point, board the device and go up to the Second Tier.

Exit the elevator and save your game. Move forward for a scene, during which you’ll get a primer on the MENHIRRIM, essentially saying you must complete all missions offered by Taejin’s giant statues (6 total) in order to advance up the Tower. Start by entering the room next to the fiery path. Approach the statue in the corner and accept MISSION #21 (“A Tremulous Terror”). Kill a few Pulsework Gladiators in the room then go upstairs. Fight a solo Managarmr in the corridor then descend into the room with your target. If you watch the Gelatitan’s movements from the middle of the staircase, it’s possible to sneak up on it.

MISSION MARK >> Gelatitan

You’ll earn a SPEED SASH upon completing the mission. Examine the statue in this room and accept MISSION #22 (“Infernal Machine”). Now backtrack through the first room and enter the one beyond it to find your next target. Again, if you pause in the corridor and wait for the Cryptos mechs to turn around, you can easily perform a preemptive attack.

MISSION MARK >> Ambling Bellows / Cryptos x2

For completing the task, you get PARTICLE ACCELERATORS x3. Accept MISSION #23 (“Natural Defenses”) from the statue in the corner. Your target is back in the first room, so return and defeat it. As before, you can sneak up on the armored beast if you wait for it to turn around.

MISSION MARK >> Gurangatch

Upon completing the mission, you receive a WARRIOR’S WRISTBAND. Watch the scene that follows. Now that the fire is extinguished, exit the room and start heading around the inner ring to trigger a scene. When you regain control, walk to the end of the corridor to find a t-ball containing SPARK PLUGS x5. Turn around and enter the room next to it. After killing a team of Pulsework Gladiators, go upstairs. Open a t-ball on your way up to receive a SIMURGH weapon for Hope.

Upon reaching the Third Tier, kill enemies in both rooms then examine the Menhirrim statue holding a sword. Doing so rotates the Tower. Exit the room and head right. Follow the inner path around to a t-ball containing METAL ARMBANDS x2. Now ascend the ramp on the opposite end to call forth the elevator. Get on and select the Fourth Tier.

On this floor, you can exit the elevator from either the front or back. Head left (away from the destination marker) and open a t-ball near the doorway to receive a GALE RING. Enter the room next to it and kill some flying Varcolaci creatures. After defeating them, open a t-ball containing RAINBOW ANKLETS x2. The elevator in this room can reach the Sixth Tier – ignore it for now and return to the inner corridor.

Move forward (towards the destination marker) and use the Save Point. At the end of the path, open a t-ball with GLASS ORBS x2 then enter the room next to it. Fight a couple of Yakshas inside then board the elevator in this room. Ride up to the Fifth Tier.

Upon landing, you’ll have two choices again. Take the left route over to a t-ball containing ANCIENT BONES x9. Kill some foes in the corridor then examine the next statue to get MISSION #24 (“A Potent Sting”). Head towards the red star on your map and the B-class mark will appear on your left, along with two cronies.

MISSION MARK >> Mushussu / Yakshini x2

Earn MOONBLOSSOM SEEDS x6 for defeating the group. Take the elevator back to the Fourth Tier.

Exit the room and head right. Board the elevator on the other side (the one you ignored earlier). Ride up to the Sixth Tier.

After disembarking, battle a large Vampire (like all Cie’th, they are weak to elemental magic) then examine the statue near the Save Point. Accept MISSION #25 (“Spectral Haunt”). Your target is on the Fifth Tier. To get there, exit the room and head left around the inner ring, fighting a few winged Cie’th along the way. Enter the room at end. After slaying the Varcolaci and little Chonchon creatures inside, examine the Menhirrim statue to rotate the Tower. Doing so opens up new rooms. Follow the inner ring around to the last room on the right.

Battle a few creatures inside then search the corners for two t-balls containing an UNSETTING SUN weapon for Snow and TEAR OF WOE x4. Go downstairs afterwards. Back on the Fifth Tier, use the Save Point then engage the Mission 25 mark.

MISSION MARK >> Vetala

Upon defeating Vetala, you earn a piece of COBALTITE and gain access to a t-ball containing a LIBRASCOPE. Enter the adjoining room now and fight a Tyrant (along with its forged blade). Afterwards, accept MISSION #26 (“So Shrill, The Cry”) from the statue here. Take the stairs back up to the Sixth Tier. Look for your target in the third room, accompanied by two little flyers.

MISSION MARK >> Penanggalan / Chonchon x2

Upon completing the mission, you receive a DIAMOND BANGLE. Return to the Fifth Tier via the stairs. Once there, exit the room and head right. Follow the inner walkway around to the statue holding a sword. Watch a scene and when it ends, approach the statue on the opposite end. A scene shows the Tower rotating once again. When you regain control, clear the room of enemies then board the elevator. Ride down to the Fourth Tier.

Upon landing, go to the central elevator near the Save Point. Ride it up to the Sixth Tier. On top, fight your way over to the room on the right. After battling the enemies inside, open two t-balls to get a CLAY RING and TEAR OF REMORSE x8. Enter the adjacent room and kill a trio of Vampires. After defeating the tough group, board the elevator and ride up to the Tower’s Apex.

Use the Save Point then explore the perimeter for treasure. You’ll find a t-ball containing ETHERSOL and one with FROSTBANE BROOCH x2. Prep your party for battle before approaching the center circle. When ready, step inside for a scene.

BOSS >> Taharka

Unless you successfully Deprotect the boss, magic is the way to go. Try to Slow and Imperil the creature as well. Once you stagger Taharka, it’ll drop to the ground, unable to move for a period of time. While in a defenseless state, all elemental damage is halved and the boss becomes immune to all debuffs except Dispel. If you cannot kill Taharka in one stagger, it’ll rise up again and become more dangerous. In addition to casting Faith and Haste on itself, it will remove your buffs and inflict a host of status ailments on the party, including Poison. Bring in a SEN to gain some breathing room while you Dispel and heal your characters. Once you stagger Taharka a second time, it’ll drop fast.

Upon defeating the boss, you’ll receive a TETRADIC TIARA. Watch the scene that follows. When it ends, you’ll see that a few enemies have taken over the spire. Work through them as you head over to the silver Cie’th Stone that has appeared. In order to create a new Waystone here, accept and complete MISSION #27 (“Mithridates, the Lone”). Your target is on the Ground Tier but in order to awaken it, you first need to align the central elevator. Instead of taking the elevator you rode up on, examine the statue posted on the outer edge of the spire. Doing so will activate an elevator on the platform behind the statue. Board it and select the Seventh Tier.

Upon landing, kill some enemies roaming about then examine the Menhirrim statue in the room to rotate the Tower. Doing so enables the central elevator to go all the way from top to bottom. Exit and follow the inner ring around to a t-ball containing a COLLECTOR’S CATALOG. Afterwards, ascend the ramp and ride the elevator back up to the Apex. Save your game and toss a shroud or two on the party before riding down to the Ground Tier to meet your target.

MISSION MARK >> Mithridates

For some reason, I found this winged mark to be far more troublesome than the previous boss. The Cie’th is wicked fast and immune to pretty much every status ailment. In addition to powerful lightning-based attacks, it uses Poison so have a MED on stand-by to cure the party. Hastening your characters will help a lot.

After a tough battle, you’ll earn a BLAZE RING and activate the Apex Waystone. Ride back up to the top. Once there, head towards the destination marker to trigger a scene. When it ends, board the circular device and travel to Oerba.

Location: Oerba

Use the Save Point then trudge through the snow, killing a few lone Cie’th along the way. When you reach the village entrance, save your game again (if you like) then start heading across the enemy-infested bridge. Towards the end, look to the left for a t-ball containing PEROVSKITE. At the next intersection, you’ll find a C-Stone offering MISSION #28 (“Faded Glory”). Accept it then go down the ramp on the right. Watch a scene upon entering the village proper.

Ignore the stairs on the right for now - instead, kill a few enemies in the center then go inside the structure at the end of the lot. After killing a Vedala on the first floor, go upstairs and examine the little robot on the floor to trigger a scene. The primer that follows suggests that you repair BHAKTI by finding 5 missing parts. Exit the structure and look for the first part (POWER CABLE) in the corner near a broken trolley.

Now enter the building you ignored earlier. After killing the enemy inside, check the equipment rack to acquire the second missing part (BATTERY PACK). Go back outside and defeat the enemies at the far end of the lot to access a t-ball containing a HEAVENLY AXIS weapon for Vanille. Descend the ramp afterwards. Hop over some roots and kill the lone Vampire on the other side to get the 3rd missing part (TROCHOID GEAR). Move forward and veer left when you can. At the top of a thin staircase, you’ll find a t-ball containing a LIBRASCOPE. Go back downstairs and fight your mission targets up ahead.

MISSION MARK >> Ceratosaur x10

Use Quake, Blitz and/or Ruinga to whittle all of them down then pick them off one by one. Upon defeating the large group, you earn a GIANT’S GLOVE and activate the Oerba Waystone. This completes your last mission for a while. Continue forward until you can turn right. Enter the deserted schoolhouse below.

After slaying the enemies inside, examine the desk to get the 4th repair part (ASPHERIC LENS). Exit out the back door and go up to the roof. Open two t-balls on the patio to receive PLEIADES HI-POWERS for Sazh and a MOOGLE PUPPET. Backtrack through the schoolhouse, returning to the main path. Fight a group of enemies near the stairs then continue forward to a Save Point. Enter the old depot next to it and fight three Taxim foes. Go upstairs and walk onto the tracks. Open the t-ball up ahead to get a FLAMEBANE BROOCH then search a pile of debris on the left to receive the 5th and final part (METAL PLATE). Now that you have all of the necessary gear to repair Bhakti, go all the way back to the village and visit the little robot. It’s worth the extra trip.

Watch as Sazh repairs Vanille’s toy. Afterwards, examine Bhakti to receive a host of great items: DECEPTISOL x10, ULTRACOMPACT REACTORS x2, a GOLD NUGGET, PERFUME x5, and PLATINUM INGOTS x3. The amount of items received depends on how many steps you took since arriving in Gran Pulse. 10,000+ steps ensures you’ll get everything. Most of the items can be sold for a premium, netting you around 450,000 gil, which should go a long way towards upgrading everyone’s gear. Bhakti also offers treasure-hunting tips (the hint I received had to do with sheep dropping more Fluffy Wool when the weather changes).

When ready, return to the tracks and continue across the rust-eaten bridge. Kill enemies at the far end to free up a t-ball, which contains a TAMING POLE for Fang. Continue moving forward, fighting enemies, until you reach a Save Point. Grab a vial of ETHERSOL from the t-ball next to it and proceed until a scene takes over.

BOSS >> Barthandelus

The boss uses laser attacks and can inflict Poisonga, Cursega, and Dazega on the entire party. He may also cast Doom on the leader. Make sure you enter this battle with characters that have learned Dispel and Esuna; otherwise, you’re going to be in a world of pain. Thankfully there’s only one target this time. While RAVs blast the boss with magic, have a SAB Deprotect, Deshell and Slow the boss. While impaired, you can stagger Barthandelus quickly. Keep assaulting until it wears off. When the boss starts multiplying its faces, prepare to be barraged with lasers. When a big head appears, it’ll use Apoptosis to dispel all your buffs and remove its afflictions. Use this time to heal your wounds and to reapply essential buffs like Haste, Faith and Bravery. When you see the boss readying Thanatosian Laughter, attack like crazy to reduce the amount of beams shot at you. Once you manage to stagger the boss a second time, you’re home free.

After the battle, you’ll receive a GODDESS’S FAVOR and the Crystarium finally expands again, to Level 9. After a brief scene, examine the C-Stone that appears. . When you regain control, board the airship at the end of the bridge. Watch a few action-packed scenes and save your game when prompted.

CHAPTER 12

Location: Eden (Grand Prix)

Upon landing in Eden, you’re thrust into battle with Lightning in full Gestalt mode aboard Odin.

EVENT BATTLE >> Anavatapta Warmech

Use Odin’s Razor Gale attack to stagger the enemy then finish it off with Zantetsuken. If you fail to kill the Warmech while in Gesalt mode, the enemy becomes immune to everything except Death and Dispel - you’ll have to stagger it again (with default party) in order to inflict any damage on the bastard.

Beating this enemy gives you SANCTUM LABS, another Save Point shop. Watch scenes that follow and when you regain control, use the Save Point. Feel free to change your party (the current mix is Lightning, Vanille, and Snow), set up new paradigms, etc.

When ready, start navigating the maze-like Grand Prix tracks, taking care of any enemies that get in your way. Head towards the big yellow flower-looking thing to find a t-ball containing a LIONHEART weapon for Lightning. After fighting a new Bulwark golem (weak to lightning), look to the right for a t-ball containing 9240 GIL.

Use the far left path to reach the destination marker, where you’ll see a scene. When it ends, you’ll be on the Skywalk near a Save Point. Use it then forge ahead through enemy troops (Corp Defenders are quick and relentless – try Dazing them) and militarized units (Adamantherons can hasten themselves – use Dispel). Keep moving until a scene takes over.

When you regain control, fight the group in front of you. When paired with Bulwarkers, the Sanctum Seraphs will deploy a Targeting Beacon. If you’re collecting enemy intel, use Libra or a Librascope on the beacon, as this will be your only chance to do so. After defeating the group, activate the red pods on the left. Upon reaching the Expressway, a scene occurs.

EVENT BATTLE >> Behemoth King

The creature is no different than other behemoths you’ve fought. After defeating it, use the Save Point on the left then fight some Orobons up ahead, including one group that is accompanied by a Behemoth King. Open a t-ball containing a REBEL HEART weapon for Snow and continue fighting foes along the path. Eventually, you’ll come upon a Proto-Behemoth that isn’t all that difficult to defeat. Open the t-ball it was blocking to receive an OTSHIRVANI for Hope. After using the Save Point, hop over some debris and continue forward until a scene takes over.

BOSS >> The Proudclad

The boss is immune to all status ailments so don’t bother using a SAB. Cast Haste on as many party members as you can. Use RAV/SEN/RAV to stagger the boss then switch to 3 offensive roles and shamelessly attack, trying to keep chains up around 500%. If you allow the boss to recover from its staggered state, it’ll recover about 300,000 HP, buff itself, and go into auto-attack mode. Put in a SEN to endure the frenzy, while others work towards a second stagger.

For beating the Proudclad, you’ll earn a PARTICLE ACCELERATOR. Hop on the elevator and ride down to the Ramuh Interchange. Exit for a scene.

EVENT BATTLE >> Adamanchelid

The creature is weak to ice magic. Exploit that and all will be fine. After a brief scene, use the Save Point. Move forward and look near the blue vehicle on the right for a t-ball containing a PUNISHER weapon for Fang. After battling a group of Corps Defenders and a Humbaba, you’ll reach a pile of debris blocking the path. Jump down and head right.

Participate in a few 3-way battles up ahead. Check an offshoot on the left (near one of the roaming Adamanchelids) for a t-ball containing 15,000 GIL and look on the right side of the interchange (near soldiers) for a t-ball containing PERFECT CONDUCTORS x5. Use either staircase to get down to the lower level. Battle enemies on the last stretch of interchange and go through the door at the end.

Location: Siren Park

Use the Save Point then go upstairs and fight enemies until you reach a split in the road. Open your map to see that the park consists of circles with several circuitous paths. Whichever route you take, you’ll be fighting a host of enemies and eventually end up in the same spot.

At the fork, move forward through several enemies, including a colorful Vernal Harvester. The upper loop eventually leads to a t-ball with PARTICLE ACCELERATORS x6. At the crossroad, you’ll have the option of going left, right or straight (if I recall correctly). The right path leads to enemies and nothing more. The left path leads to your destination but there are treasures to collect by exploring further, so choose the path straight ahead. Open a t-ball to acquire a LIBRASCOPE then participate in a 3-way battle between Orobons and Sanctum soldiers. Pass under the bridge (killing two Vampires that block it) and at the next intersection, head right.

Moving back towards the park entrance now, feel free to use the Save Point again; otherwise kill enemies roaming within the first circle to access a t-ball containing BLAZE RINGS x2. To reach to the second circle via this route, you’ll need to get past a Tyrant (and its Centaurion Blade) – or use the stairs on the left to take the upper path around. Either way, search a dead-end within the second circle for a t-ball containing a CHAMPION’S BADGE. Return to the stairs and head left. Engage the Vernal Harvester and Tyrant duking it out up ahead. After defeating them, approach the door to trigger a scene.

Inside Leviathan Plaza, use the Save Point then check the dead-end beyond it for a t-ball containing ANTARES DELUXES for Sazh. Take the other path now, fighting big prey along the route until you reach a set of stairs. On top, move forward until a scene occurs. When it ends, use the Save Point.

If you wish, fight the massive Adamantoise that ambles past you... though it’ll be very tough to beat without using Vanille as the party’s leader. Her Death spell is the only sure-fire way to KO the creature before getting stomped to death. No matter who the party leader is, summon an eidolon right at the start to instantly disable the Adamantoise’s legs. While the creature is lying helpless on the ground, have the leader buff him or herself to the max. Afterwards, dismiss the eidolon and bring in SABs. Inflict as many status impairments as you can while the creature is still down, hoping that Death sticks. If the Adamantoise rises to its feet again, immediately bring in a SEN and start praying...

Whether or not you choose to fight the otoise, eventually enter the building up ahead. You’ll see two t-balls floating on the glass panel in the center. If you defeated the Adamantoise outside, you’ll be able to open both – if you ignored the creature, you’ll only be able to open one before the otoise barges in and crashes the glass, taking the other treasure with it. The left t-ball contains PARTICLE ACCELERATORS x6 and the right one holds a PLUSH CHOCOBO. Kill all Sanctum troops and Humbabas in the lobby and check the side alcoves for two t-balls containing HELLISH TALONS x17 and HELLISH TALONS x12. Enter the door at the end.

Location: Edenhall

Proceed through the foyer to a Save Point. Open a t-ball with a MISTILTEINN weapon for Vanille and enter the room at the end to trigger a scene. When it ends, you’ll be sandwiched between two large enemies – a Tyrant and a Juggernaut. Kill both, or just the Juggernaut in order to move forward. Battle your way through Sanctum troops until a scene takes over.

When you regain control, open a t-ball at the top of the stairs to receive a POWER GLOVE then use the Save Point below. Fight new Sacrifice enemies as you head towards your destination. These white Cie’th cast Death and Imperil, so watch out for that. Open a t-ball near the last Sacrifice to get an ETHERSOL. Toss a shroud or two on the party before continuing forward.

BOSS >> The Proudclad

Initially, the boss is immune to all status ailments and halves all elemental damage. After the first stagger, it takes on a flying form that changes its affinities. Bring in SABs at that point to Deprotect and Deshell the boss. The Proudclad will eventually replenish its entire HP and start dishing out some powerful area attacks (Oneiric Maelstrom, Retaliatory Strike, etc.). Keep everyone’s health up while weathering the storm and wait for it to change form again.

Eliminating the boss earns you a ROYAL ARMLET and another Save Point shop, EDEN PHARMACEUTICALS (at long last, a place to buy shrouds). Watch the scenes that follow. Afterwards, use the Save Point then activate the elevator to descend into the heart of Eden. You’ll have an opportunity to save your game again before reaching the bottom.

CHAPTER 13

Location: Orphan’s Cradle

Approach the rotunda for a scene. When it ends, use the Save Point (if you need to) then fight Sacrifice creatures on both sides. Ascend the ramp to trigger a scene, during which three portals appear:

- RIGHT PORTAL: Leads to Eden
- LEFT PORTAL: Leads to Gran Pulse
- CENTER PORTAL: Leads to the final boss (currently locked)

If you choose Eden, you’ll be warped back to Edenhall, just outside the Cradle entrance. If you choose Gran Pulse, you’ll be warped back to the Base Camp in Vallis Media. The portal will remain there forever, so you can return to Orphan’s Cradle any time you wish. If you want to complete the remaining Missions (29-64), this would be a good time to do it, though you’ll have another opportunity to do so prior to the endgame if you prefer to wait. At the very least, visit Gran Pulse if only to witness the region’s enormous patriarch patrolling the eastern cliffs in Archlyte Steppe.

When you are ready to move on, warp back to the Reliquary and return to the Save Point at the bottom of the ramp. Once there, follow the red walkway on the left over to a couple of Sacrifices. After defeating them, hop down a few steps and defeat an Aquila Velocycle (use fire and water). Jump down again then go straight to engage another Velocycle guarding treasure. Open the t-ball afterwards to receive a LIBRASCOPE. Turn around and take the other path up to a Megrim Thresher guarding two t-balls. After defeating the powerful foe, collect a CHERUB’S CROWN and nugget of MILLERITE. Backtrack to the Save Point now.

Once there, examine the floating statue at the end of the right path. Doing so creates two octagonal platforms that you can ride to reach new areas. Step on the one behind you first (moving away from the destination marker) and float over to an alternate path. Disembark and head right. At the end of the path, open a t-ball to get SUPERCHARGERS x4. Turn around and follow the other route now. Dispose of a cognispeeder and, at the intersection, turn right. Open a t-ball containing PERFECT CONDUCTORS x4 then descend the ramp on the right to reach a t-ball with TURBO PROPS x5.

Backtrack to the intersection and explore the left side now, killing another cycle enemy along the way. Hop up some ledges on the right and fight a Megrim Thresher. Once defeated, open a t-ball on the left to obtain PARTICLE ACCELERATORS x2. Finally, walk up the ramp on the right to reach a t-ball containing URANINITE. Return to the floating octagon afterwards. Ride back to the center.

Board the second floating octagon now. As you step off, open a t-ball containing SEAKING’S BEARD x20. Move forward and engage a few Dagonite creatures. At the intersection, you have a choice of going left or straight. Take the left side first. On top, battle some Sacrfices (many of them drop Scarletite, btw) then explore the various offshoots to find t-balls containing AEGISOL x2, TEARS OF WOE x9, and a GALE RING. Return to the lower path now and head towards the Save Point. When you get there, descend the ramp on the right and defeat some Dagonites to reach a t-ball with a SHAMANIC SPEAR for Fang. Go back up the ramp and examine the floating statue to realign the paths.

You’ll be hovering above the previous area now. After using the Save Point, head down the ramp to a new set of enemy-laden paths. The right side ultimately leads to the 3-portal rotunda. Return there now if you want to revisit Gran Pulse or Eden; otherwise, follow the right path until you can hop over to the middle. Battle your way through the center. Towards the end, look for a t-ball containing a TETRADIC CROWN. Turn around and backtrack halfway, or until you can jump to the right. Step on the floating octagon marked as your destination.

When you turn around, the paths will have shifted again. Move forward through enemies, including a new Sanctum Templar. Veer right and open a t-ball at the end to receive STARBLOSSOM SEEDS x6. Backtrack to the center path and continue forward, past the Save Point, until you can jump to the left. Follow the path to a t-ball containing BLACK MYCELIUM x8. Return to the center and continue forward until you can jump to the left again. Open a t-ball containing RHODOCHROSITE then return to the center once more. Ascend the ramp and save your game. Examine the floating statue posted there and you’ll be warped into a chamber with two enemies.

BOSS >> Bandersnatch & Jabberwocky

The two woodwraiths have opposite strengths and weaknesses: the physical Bandersnatch is immune to physical attacks whereas the magical Jabberwocky is immune to magic attacks. Both use skills designed to heal each other, but it’s unlikely that either will be able to keep up with your party’s damage output. The smaller one can be Imperiled and Deshelled; the larger one is susceptible to Deprotect and Posion. Take on the bigger one first since it’s easier to stagger.

After defeating the pair, you’ll be warped back to the Tesseracts, on a new path now. Approach the Save Point for a scene then go to the end of the walkway for another scene. When you regain control, you’ll be standing in front of six gear-shaped rings with a red portal in the center. Kill the enemy blocking the portal (an Immortal) then step inside the fiery circle to warp to an area with two t-balls. Collect a WEIRDING GLYPH and ADAMANT BANGLE then use the next portal to warp to an area with two additional t-balls. After claiming a SCARLETITE and ELIXIR from them, use the final portal to warp back to the gear-shaped rings.

Once there, fight enemies on either side since the rings eventually merge. Once you reach the other end, go up and use the Save Point. Approach the blue statue for a scene, during which the party warps into another chamber with a solo enemy.

BOSS >> Wladislaus

Deshell and Deprotect the boss (if Fang is in your party, have her Slow it, too) then blast it with elemental magic. Like all Cie’th, it’ll stagger rather easily. Wladislaus uses a regular attack that shaves off around 2500 HP per character, but the one to watch out for is Mourning Contempt, which causes about 4500 HP worth of damage. When you see it charge for the swipe, bring in two MEDs or a SEN to greatly reduce the damage. With Deprotect and Deshell working in your favor, the boss will not last long.

After warping back, the paths shift once again. Use the Save Point then head towards the marker for a scene. When it ends, you’ll be facing a multi-level labyrinth of paths, all leading to a central enemy. Start by ascending the ramp. Halfway up, open a t-ball to get 3000 GIL then kill enemies blocking your way. Continue up the ramp to a t-ball with 5000 GIL. On top, battle a pair of woodwraiths then continue towards the destination marker (the left path just has another Templar you can fight).

Three elites block the center path. Defeat them and use the Save Point before approaching the red statue beyond. You’ll arrive in a third chamber with the strongest enemy yet.

BOSS >> Tiamat Eliminator

The boss starts out being immune to all status ailments and halves all elemental damage. Nevertheless, you can stagger Tiamat pretty easily. Once it alters its form, bring in a SAB to Deshell and Deprotect it. If you have time, try to Imperil and Slow the boss, too. Don’t waste time buffing your party since Tiamat can quickly remove all enhancements. Go with a RAV/COM/RAV team as much as you can and switch to someone to MED when you see the boss preparing to use Photon Blaster or Lift-Off (or if it inflicts Fog on anyone). Although Tiamat can fully restore its own HP and buff itself using Overdrive, you’ll likely kill the boss before he has a chance to use it.

Upon victory, you receive an IMPERIAL ARMLET. Enter the portal that appears to reach the Narthex.

Location: The Narthex

This beautiful white foyer leads to the final boss. If you want to return to Gran Pulse or Eden, use the portal behind you. When ready, use the Save Point then proceed through the hallway, collecting one final treasure (an ETHERSOL) along the way. Go through the white door at the end and watch the scene that follows.

Location: The Nascent Throne

In case anyone is curious, I fought the last series of battles with Lightning (LDR), Hope and Fang. They were equipped with the following Tier 2 weapons: Enkindler (Axis Blade), Eagletalon (Hawkeye), and Calamity Spear (Pandoran Spear). If you spent time upgrading gear and max’ing out CP during the course of the game, I don’t think it matters very much who fights at this point.

BOSS >> Barthandelus

Despite having lots of HP, the first boss is fairly easy to defeat. Switch between RAV/SYN/SAB and COM/RAV/COM paradigms until Fang has a chance to inflict all debuffs that the boss is susceptible to and all characters are hastened. Whenever Barthandelus cues up Thanatosian Laughter or Ultima, switch to MED/MED/SEN for quick healing then resume attacking. You may require two staggers to defeat the boss.

After the battle, watch a scene, during which a much stronger enemy appears.

BOSS >> Orphan (1st form)

Orphan uses a host of non-elemental attacks, starting with one that shaves a percentage of total HP (6000+) from each party member. Prepare to toggle between healing and offense almost every round. The boss cannot be damaged until staggered (though it can be poisoned, interestingly) so work at getting its chain gauge up quickly. If the boss uses Judgment, its CG resets and you have to start working on filling it again. Orphan will eventually summon two allies – one to heal the boss and one to impair your party (Fog, Imperil, Deprotect, Pain, Poison, etc.). Negate these effects as soon as possible; otherwise Orphan will use Progenitorial Wrath, which has a 50% chance of instantly KO’ing a weakened character. If the entire party is hit with Fog, all you can do is cross your fingers and wait it out. You’ll need 2-3 staggers to defeat Orphan in its first form.

If things are not going well for your team, press Select during battle to call up the menu screen so that you can adjust paradigms, equipment, or party members as needed. After another scene, Orphan returns in its final form.

BOSS >> Orphan (2nd form)

Orphan starts the battle by casting Doom on the leader so you’ll be working against the clock. Buff the party and de-buff the boss, then just swing away to drive up the stagger gauge. In its second form, none of Orphan’s attacks cause serious damage - the worst, perhaps, being 2000 HP. The goal here is speed so don’t waste time healing unless it’s absolutely necessary (use the Renew tech instead). Once staggered, the boss will be shipped off to the orphanage for good.

After the battle, the Crystarium expands one last time - an enticement, no doubt, to load your cleared game and keep playing. If you beat Orphan with a 5-star rating, you’ll get the Superstar Trophy and unlock Lightning’s PS3 theme as well.

Watch the closing scenes and end credits. When the credits are finished rolling, you’ll have the opportunity to save your game. Do so in a separate slot. Upon loading this file, you’ll start off in the Narthex foyer, standing in front of the portal that warps you back to the rotunda where the Gran Pulse and Eden portals are. What can you do now?

- Use the latest Crystarium expansion (fill all nodes to earn a trophy)
- Visit the Haerii Archaeopolis (complete Mission #30)
- Visit the Faultwarrens (complete Mission #34)
- Complete all Missions with a 5-star rating (for trophy)
- Fight the Long Gui turtles that appear after completing enough missions (for trophy)
- Upgrade items to their maximum levels (for trophy)
- Farm Platinum Ingots from Adamantoise and Dark Matter from Long Gui
- Get more Chocobo treasures (for trophy)
- Collect every weapon and accessory (for trophy)
- Win the final battle with a 5-star rating (for trophy)
- Dream of moogles

END WALKTHROUGH

 

  back to top go to: FFXIII mission list | FFXIII upgrade guide | FFXIII archlyte steppe map