NSNSGNC MONSTER TAMING FAQ 10/04/2003 by 'Roland780' - roland780[at]hotmail[dot]com Updated: 10/04/2003 (v1.0) This walkthrough is inspired by Gestahl's terrific No Sphere Grid/No Summon/No Customizing Challenge walkthrough; strategies for monster taming are about the only thing he's missing. It's a fabulous piece of writing--informative, encyclopedic, amusing. It inspired me to play through FFX again, and it should do the same for you. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- COPYRIGHT NOTICE: You should probably know this by now, but don't reproduce this FAQ if you are in any way, shape, or form going to make money off it. I really don't know who would be silly enough to pay for this, but there you have it. Don't rip off whole chunks of this thing, either, without giving me credit. If you DO use small portions of the text (with permission), don't edit it. Don't post this on any website except GameFAQs (www.gamefaqs.com), who will always be the exclusive source for updated versions. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Spoiler Alert! Okay, so they aren't major or anything (basically monster and place names), but I suppose some stuff shouldn't be seen unintentionally. If you're that big a purist, though, I don't know why you would be cruising these FAQs in the first place. I guess I also wouldn't recommend this FAQ to pepole playing through the first time, simply because it, like Gestahl's, makes the assumption that you aren't. Some of the stuff outlined below can be annoying, especially if you've never played the game before. INTRODUCTION PART I: WHAT YOU'LL NEED (Essential/recommended equipment) PART II: THE GLORY OF 9999 (How to make sure you'll pull this off) - Baaj Temple and Geosgaeno - Omega Ruins and Ultima Weapon PART III: GOTTA CATCH 'EM ALL! (Taming monsters the NSNSGNC way) - Calm Lands - Bikanel - Macalania - Thunder Plains - Djose Highroad - Mushroom Rock Road - Mi'ihen Highroad - Kilika - Besaid PART IV: ITEMS YOU'LL NEED FOR CAPTURING, AND WHERE TO GET THEM PART V: CONTACT INFORMATION ======================================================================= INTRODUCTION As stated above, this is not a complete NSNSGNC walkthrough, rather it is a detailed strategy guide for taming the monsters needed to obtain the Mars Sigil used to upgrade Auron's Masamune. Motives for this action are explained in Gestahl's NSNSGNC FAQ. Please read that or another FAQ to make sure you understand just what you have to Capture, and in what quantities. If you are playing an NSG game (rather than NSNSGNC), check Hyprophant's great Monster Taming FAQ. This particular FAQ will limit you more than that one will. Thanks to Hyprophant for getting my mental cogs turning on this project. ======================================================================= PART I: WHAT YOU'LL NEED - To have followed Gestahl's NSNSGNC walkthrough pretty much exactly, up to the point where Tidus and crew acquire the use of the airship. You can do this taming quest at any time, before entering Sin or after. This means you have the following: - Several Wings to Discovery (30 from the Chocobo racing at Remiem Temple, and some of them have been used in battle); - Tidus' Sonic Steel, with its ever-so-useful First Strike ability; - Rikku's Haste Targe, giving her SOS Haste - At least 30 Underdog's Secrets (you should have gotten 99 from Rin, and if you followed Gestahl's advice, you have a LOT more than 30 of these left in stock); - Last but not least, a good working knowledge of how to USE all this good stuff so that you aren't routinely stomped upon in battle (at least, not before you escape) and can perform essential functions like Mixing a Trio of 9999. RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT: - 30 Pendulums. Get these from the Chocobo race in Remiem. There is a great Chocobo Racing FAQ already online that can tell you exactly what you need to do, so I won't repeat it here. It shouldn't be terribly difficult. - A few Chocobo Feathers and/or Chocobo Wings. If you don't have these, steal some from Qactuars on the Thunder Plains or Cactuars on Bikanel Island. They aren't essential but they may make battles easier. - Some 'SOS Nul', 'Proof' or 'Eater' armor for various elemental attacks (ie. Wakka's Pep Talk [from the Trials of Gagazet] or Lulu's Phantom Bangle [from the 'Battle Site' Airship location--see a 'Secrets' FAQ for more information]). Whatever you have for blocking status ailments is nice, too. WHY DO YOU NEED ALL THIS STUFF? Well, as you know if you have played an NSNSGNC game, the fewer enemies you have to fight the happier you are. Unfortunately, you need to capture a whole slew of monsters to get the Mars Sigil for Auron's Masamune, and that means you're just going to have to put up your dukes. All these items are going to help you live long enough and hit hard enough to capture even the meanest of beasties from the Calm Lands, Bikanel, and the Thunder Plains. So let's get started! Well, started thinking about it, anyway. ======================================================================= PART II: THE GLORY OF 9999 Okay, let's be honest here. There is only one way your puny NSNSGNC characters are ever going to be able to do enough damage to capture some of the monsters you need: The 9999 Mixes. The old Mix standby is 2 Wings to Discovery, but you have a sorely limited number of those. There are two other ways to even the odds, though. 1) Quartet of 9. This mix gives one (random) character the 9999 ability. This will be good for taking out lesser enemies quickly, and with Haste, maybe even a Malboro or Sand Worm. You can Mix these with a Pendulum and an elemental (Ice, Fire, Water, Lightning) Gem. You can steal Gems in abundance from places like Gagazet, the Thunder Plains, and Macalania. 2) More Trio of 9999. This is your ace in the hole for when all else fails. There is a way to get many more uses of this fabulous mix, and all you have to do is something foolish: challenge Ultima Weapon! To the Omega Ruins, Robin! Unless you want to take a bit of advice--to Baaj Temple, then! - BAAJ TEMPLE You can get here via a secret Airship location--see a Secrets FAQ for more information. You are here to get a No Encounters weapon from Geosgaeno, and--let's face it--a little revenge for Tidus. The reason for the No Encounters weapon is the scarcity of save points in the Omega Ruins. It took me fifteen minutes to walk from the start to Ultima Weapon, and on the way back I died within sight of the save point when Tidus failed to run from a Grand Malboro. Ouch. The best way to counteract this, and speed up the entire process, is with No Encounters. Geosgaeno will often drop a No Encounters weapon (you can't tell by the name, just look at the abilities on it to find out). If he doesn't, reset and try again. There is a save point conveniently nearby. You need minimal preparation for this battle. Make sure everyone (being Tidus, Rikku, and Wakka, the only characters who fight under water) is in Overdrive (Tidus needs Slice & Dice [or Blitz Ace], and Wakka needs Attack Reels). Also, make sure Tidus is NOT wielding the Sonic Steel. Trust me, you need to get the timing right, and I don't think you can do it with First Strike. GEOSGAENO HP: 32,767 Now, down to the proverbial brass tacks: How do you beat the overgrown minnow? With, unfortunately, a bit of luck. Basically, as long as Rikku doesn't die in the first turn, you're okay. Geosgaeno will have the first move (no Sonic Steel!) and will hit a character with Stone Punch, most likely, or maybe KO Punch. The result is the same either way. If he hit Rikku, reset. If he hit Tidus or Wakka, you're still probably okay. If he missed, laugh in his face. The next turn is Rikku's, and she should Mix a Trio of 9999 or--if you are feeling really lucky--a Quartet of 9. Now it's Geosgaeno again, and here is where things may still fall apart. Tidus and Wakka will attack in the next round, and hopefully at least one of them has the 9999 ability. If they are both dead after the second strike by Geosgaeno, you will most likely be resetting in a matter of moments. If at least one is still alive, however, start using Overdrives (Slice & Dice or Blitz Ace for Tidus, Attack Reels for Wakka). If you use Wakka and he scores four hits, you have won. If by some bizarre chance Rikku gets a second turn, a Gem of any elemental sort will pulverize Geosgaeno. Congrats, you won, and the death animation probably lasted longer than the battle. This one comes down to luck, plain and simple, and quite frankly I hate that. Oh well. If you got yourself a no Encounter weapon, equip it when you go to the Omega Ruins. Don't forget to re-equip Tidus with the Sonic Steel, because it's a colossally bad idea to wander around anywhere without it. While you're here, if for some reason you want to obtain Anima, go ahead. There's a kinda nifty story bit for it. But since you'll never actually summon her, you can just leave. If you don't know how to get to Anima, consult a Secrets FAQ. _ OMEGA RUINS This is a pretty sticky place to be wandering around in an NSNSGNC game, but it's not too different from any other dungeon. If you don't have a No Encounters weapon, the biggest threat is going to be an ambush by a Grand Malboro--you've only got one chance to run away. Anyway, make your way north, taking the path to the almost immediate left of the save point. (You may want to save before you leave, but do I really need to tell you that?) Hang a right at the T-shaped junction and another at the junction with four treasure chests, and you will eventually come to a dead end with a glyph on the floor. Step on it and it turns into an elevator. Run further on and there's another glyph. Step on that one and the fun begins. Meet Ultima Weapon, who carries a couple dozen Doors to Tomorrow somewhere in his pockets. He probably has a bunch of those, too, look at all those limbs! Rikku wants to wimp out here ("I'm running if you are!"), but she's just going to have to suffer. For preparation, get all the Overdrives you can, especially the ones that hit multiple times (Slice & Dice, Blitz Ace [if you've got it], Attack Reels, and Fury). Make sure Tidus has the Sonic Steel equipped. Additionally, make sure Rikku has SOS Haste active (to get her HP into the yellow, let her die in a random battle and don't heal her). Take Rikku out of the main party, which I would suggest making Tidus, Wakka and Lulu. ULTIMA WEAPON HP: 70,000 Tidus leads off, thanks to First Strike. Have him switch out and bring in Rikku. She should have two turns, thanks to SOS Haste. First things first: Steal some Doors to Tomorrow. They are, after all, why you're here. For Rikku's second turn, you have a choice. If you want to kill off Ulty using the party you've got now, it might not be a bad idea to use a Chocobo Feather on one of the other members (not Rikku, she's already got Haste!) or use a Chocobo Wing on the whole group to save time. Doing that will give whoever has reached Haste a turn before Ultima Weapon. Why do this instead of Mixing a Trio of 9999 immediately? Well, a couple of reasons. First, if you want to switch Tidus in instead of Wakka or Lulu, you can do it without penalty (except for losing a 'Hasty' character). Second, if you Mix a Trio, one of your party members will probably die in Ulty's first attack, and you've lost that much benefit. Now a word about the attacks. He has a physical attack and a move called "Core Energy", each of which will kill a single character. He can also hit with Confuse and Silence. Ignore Silence and use a Remedy ASAP on whomever was Confused (you could attack them, too, but they will often dodge it). The only thing you really have to worry about is "Shimmering Rain", which will kill everyone instantly. You generally have about four turns before he casts that, though. For the second turn, resurrect whoever died in Ultima Weapon's turn. If it was Rikku, and she is now no longer in yellow HP (and therefore Haste), attack her with Wakka or Lulu. You really want Rikku alive to steal a couple more times. Keeping her on her feet should be the responsibility of the other two party members. How long should you keep this up? Well, I have heard that you can steal upwards of 70 Doors to Tomorrow from this guy, but I don't really believe you need that many, and I also don't believe you're going to live that long. He dispenses 10 of them for a normal steal and 20 for a rare steal (but I got 20 half the time I stole from him). Steal as many as you can in 3 rounds, but after that you're pushing your luck. I am happy if I get 30 Doors off him and still manage to take him down before Shimmering Rain. If you haven't figured it out yet, Doors to Tomorrow will Mix to give you Trio of 9999. Sure you can Mix two of them, but you can ALSO Mix one with an Underdog's Secret for the same effect. As if you didn't love Rin enough, some serious Stealing from Ultima Weapon means that you can rack up 30 more uses of Trio of 9999, more than enough to capture all the fiends you need for Auron's Mars Sigil. This also gives you something to do with that outrageously large number of Underdog's Secrets. And you thought they'd go to waste... When you've had enough, have Rikku mix one of your now-abundant Trios of 9999 and start slapping Ultima Weapon silly. You can kill him with one Blitz Ace, a really good Attack Reels, or a really good Fury. If you need a little more punishment, don't forget the five hits that a Fire/Ice/Lightning/Water Gem gives you. There! Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and listen to Auron say discouraging things about Omega Weapon. If you're flush with victory and thinking about challenging HIM, keep in mind that you have to get through about ten mini-boss battles first. In addition, you can't steal from him and he only drops L.4 Key Spheres. I personally don't think it's worth it, and I've never tried it in NSNSGNC. If you have, I'd love to hear about it, though. - ...Okay, I admit it, there IS another way to get Doors to Tomorrow, and for that matter, get 99 of them. Use the guide below to capture one of each fiend from six different areas and return to the Monster Arena. The gamekeeper will create a monster you stand no chance of beating in an NSNSGNC game, but he'll also give you 99 Doors to Tomorrow. You have to do the Calm Lands first, but you should have enough Trio of 9999 Mix ingredients to get you through that. Then read the last section of my capturing walkthrough; you should be able to roll right over all the fiends from Besaid to the Djose Highroad. There: not only do you have 80-someodd Trio of 9999 Mixes, you are halfway through your capturing duties. I hope you're happy. So if you really can't beat Ultima Weapon, or you're just too lazy, there you go. I personally still think you should challenge Ultima Weapon. It's good for you. Builds character. ======================================================================= PART III: GOTTA CATCH 'EM ALL! Well, had enough preparation? Fly off to the Calm Lands, and if you haven't done so yet, grab a Chocobo. Do you really want to walk all that way? The first thing you should do is pay a visit to the monster trainer, since you need to buy some Capture weapons. If you can afford it, buy for everyone except Yuna and Lulu (you could buy for them, I guess, but why?). If you don't have that kind of scratch, buy in order of importance: Wakka, Rikku, Auron, Tidus, Kimahri. Why that order? Well, Wakka's about the only guy who's going to have a chance against birds and Cactuars. Rikku is fast (keep her in Haste whenever possible!), and Auron and Kimahri have the most HP. Tidus can be useful, but remember to always have him equipped with the Sonic Steel between battles. No point getting caught with your pants down. Make sure someone has access to a Sensor weapon! If that's Yuna or Lulu, great. I had a Cactuar Scope for Lulu, which worked out well, because she was in my party most times. Remember, you can always switch someone in, check HP, then switch them out without losing a turn. Speaking of party formation... I would recommend walking around with Tidus, Wakka and Lulu, unless someone else has better armor (remember the Pep Talk and Phantom Bangle?)--that way if you're in a pinch and need someone, say, Stoneproof, Tidus can switch out for them. But with this party you are covered for elemental attacks. Kimahri and his Dragoon Lance (available at a secret airship location), with its Evade & Counter, is also a solid choice. If you don't have good armor, don't worry too much. Rikku should be kept out of the main party so she can come in as soon as possible when you need her (if for nothing else than to throw a Sunburst in an emergency). We're going to hunt monsters, per Gestahl's recommendation, in the nine regions that have the easiest fiends, plus the Calm Lands (which is mandatory). I go in reverse order of difficulty (ie. hardest first) because I like the feeling that things are getting easier. Plus it allows you to hone strategies to use on slightly easier enemies, and make them even simpler. Lastly, the Calm Lands is about as bad as it gets, and you HAVE to do it first. - Rather than list strategies for single monster types, I'm going to address the "parties" the monsters tend to form, since who else is attacking you means a lot more in an NSNSGNC game than it would normally. Remember that you don't need to capture every monster in a group, but if you are going to use a Trio of 9999 it should be for a good reason: multiple monsters to capture or one really nasty one (read: Malboro). Oh, and some pointers: I'm going to assume in the below strategies that everyone has full Overdrives going into the battles, and that Rikku is at 1 HP (so she has Haste). Make it so. I'm probably going to take for granted that some of your characters have elemental resistances, too. I would also advise saving after every successful capture, so that you don't lose your earnings if something goes awry. This is another time the No Encounters ability comes in handy: running back and forth to save points. In pretty much every battle, Tidus and his Sonic Steel will immediately switch out for Rikku. I think that should go without saying, but there it is. I won't mention it much in the battles section. NOTE: I have field-tested these strategies and found them pretty effective. Some of them are dicey, so don't necessarily expect to win every single battle. Your mileage may vary. With these pointers, though, you should be able to capture what you need to with a minimum of pain. If you have a better solution, by all means let me know. ALSO NOTE: In the below strategies that call for a Farplane Shadow to remove a monster, you are more than welcome to use Auron's Shooting Star Overdrive. I can't think of a single fiend of those below who is resistant to Eject. In only one case (Chimera Brain) is Shooting Star really necessary. It depends on whether you would rather spend time stealing Farplane Shadows or building Auron's Overdrive gauge, I guess. Finally, if you don't know how to Mix anything that I don't explain, consult one of the Mix List FAQs already out there. ----- CALM LANDS MALBORO - Mercifully, these brutes appear alone. You will have a full turn before it attacks, and it usually doesn't use Bad Breath right away. That's the good news. The bad news is that it has 27,000 HP and if its spit doesn't kill you, the poison will. If ever a non-boss battle screamed for Trio of 9999, it's this one, but you need some control, and you need Lulu to make this easy on yourself. The battle order should be Tidus, Lulu, Wakka (or someone else with a Capture weapon). If not, you may have to do some rearranging (use Weapon/Armor). Lulu must hit first! The whole idea is to kill this beast in one round so you run zero risk. Switch Tidus out for Rikku and have her Mix a Trio of 9999. Lulu follows up with Fury, but only rotate the stick TWICE! If she hits any more than that, she will kill the Malboro. After two blasts, the Malboro has 7,002 HP. Wakka (or whoever) can now bag it. _ NEBIROS, SHRED, FLAME FLAN (Capturing Shred and Flame Flan) - Keep in mind the priority of the threats here. With at least one person who is Fireproof, the Flame Flan is your smallest concern. The Nebiros is going to attack first. Start to get the idea? There are better times to capture the Nebiros, so for your first turn Swap Tidus for Rikku and have her use a Dream Powder (these can be stolen from Skolls right here in the Calm Lands). This will kill the Nebiros, knock the Shred and Flan to about 700 HP and put them both to sleep. The Flame Flan will sleep like a baby while you take down the Shred. When Rikku gets her next turn, Mix a Nega Burst (2 Shadow Gems), which will reduce the Shred to a couple hundred HP (the Flan, too). The best part? It won't even wake up. Give the Shred its wake-up call with Auron's Power Break. Not only will this weaken the Shred (enough, at least, so that Auron can live through its attack), it is a Piercing attack so your damage will be high. Dispatch it with Auron and/or Kimahri (both have Piercing weapons). The easiest way to go is to have Auron keep plugging away with Power Break-- that way you don't have to worry about switching weapons, since the Beastmaster doesn't have Piercing. Other party members should attack (every little bit helps), or heal. Make sure you remember to kill it with a Capture weapon! The Flame Flan should have slept through all this if you were quick, so if it's still asleep and has more than 400 HP, cast Ice (which hits for around 350). Incidentally, if it has 250+ HP, you are probably safe hitting it with Thunder or Water (a neutral element). Now it's time to wake it. A few strikes and you have two captures in one battle, without using anything rare. _ NEBIROS, SHRED, FLAME FLAN (Capturing Nebiros) - Remember these guys? Now is the time to take out that Nebiros, which is going to be a lot more difficult/annoying than it looks. Its HP is too low to use Sleeping or Dream Powders on, so the bug is going to be fighting you every step of the way. You need Wakka in your party to kill the Nebiros, and Lulu to handle the Flame Flan. Have Tidus switch out for Rikku, who should have two turns. The first order of business is to use a Farplane Shadow on the Shred. Now, hit the baddies with a Nega Burst. This will drop the Nebiros to 175 HP, and the Flan to 375 HP. The bug will now attack before Wakka and Lulu can go. If Lulu is still alive on her turn and no one needs a Phoenix Down, have her hit the Flame Flan with Ice. If you're lucky, it'll kill the Flan, but probably not. Don't use Fury because you will probably hit the Nebiros, too, which is also weak against Ice. Sigh. This is where predicting the outcome of the battle gets hazy. Rikku will die every time if the Nebiros attacks her, but Wakka and Lulu will live if they are at full health. Watch out for poison. Your main immediate goal is to kill the Flan--Firaga hurts. Wakka or Rikku may be able to do it with a physical attack (or Farplane Shadow), and Lulu can certainly kill it with a second round of Ice. Wakka is your only chance of hurting the Nebiros, so do your best to keep him alive. Rikku can back him up with another Shadow Gem, which will get the bug's HP low enough for Wakka to swat it with a single hit. Keep as many people alive as possible--if the Nebiros has three targets, it won't hit Wakka so much. Make sure Wakka attacks as often as possible! _ NEBIROS x2, SKOLL, MECH SCOUTER (Capturing Skoll) - I love this fight. Switch Rikku in immediately (make sure she's in Haste). Use a Dream Powder to put the Skoll to sleep and take out the Nebiroses (Nebiri?). The Machina won't fall asleep, of course, but killing the bugs means Rikku still has a turn. Steal from the Mech Scouter and it's gone. What do you have now? A single Skoll with 25 HP (asleep). Battles like these make me wonder if Rikku should actually be legal. :) _ NEBIROS, SKOLL, FLAME FLAN - Use a Dream Powder right away, and the dog turns into a pussycat. If you haven't already gotten a Flame Flan, now's your big chance. See the strategy above, or just use Ice until it has less than 400 HP and attack (or use Thunder/Water) afterward. If you want the Nebiros, see the above strategy, but use the Farplane Shadow on the Skoll. _ CHIMERA BRAIN x2 - One of the trickier fights, simply because the Chimeras have so many wonderful ways to kill you. Megiddo Flame, Thundara and its punch are all capable of killing a single character, and Aqua Breath will wreck everyone except Auron. Any Thunder, Fire or Water neutralization you have would be useful right now. Switch Tidus out and bring Auron(!) in. Have him use Shooting Star on one of the Chimera Brains (they are immune to Death). Hopefully the other Chimera Brain won't respond with Aqua Breath--if he does, consider resetting or using a Mega Phoenix if you have one. Revive any characters if necessary, then get Rikku in as fast as possible. Why revive? More targets means a better chance of living until you hit it with Trio of 9999 (I wouldn't mess around with Quartet of 9, but it's your game...). This fight might be one of your most frustrating, but stick with it. _ COEURL x2 - Coeurls aren't terribly dangerous the first round or so, but when their HP gets low, they get nasty. Your first move should be to put them to sleep, and then to Mix a Quartet of 9. Make sure the person who receives the 9999 status has a Capture weapon, and bag yourself a Coeurl or two. I find this the best way to go; using Shadow Gems and such will get dicey if it wakes up unexpectedly. Trio of 9999 probably isn't necessary here. _ COEURL, MECH SCOUTER x2 - Those two Machina are going to make more trouble than this is worth, unless you're desperate for a Coeurl. If you are, put it to sleep, and then use a Quartet of 9 to capture it. Hope the Coeurl doesn't do anything ugly to you in the first round. _ ANACONDAUR x2 - Basilisk-type monsters are always dangerous simply because they can turn you to stone at a moment's notice. Hit them with a Dream Powder, and then I would suggest using a Quartet of 9. ----- BIKANEL SAND WORM - 45,000 HP. That's more than most bosses in the game. Anyway, this is a battle that you are going to want to use a Trio of 9999 on, I think. The simple reason is that the Worm will kill one person each turn; if you use Quartet of 9 and he takes out the person with 9999 status, you're out of luck. With Rikku's Haste (and Chocobo Feathers, if you feel the need), you should be able to deliver the requisite five hits easily. Too bad Overdrives don't Capture, hmmm? Really, though, this is pretty straightforward; the Sand Worm can't do anything unusually beastly to you. Remember that Lulu's Fury, hitting four times, can considerably reduce the length of this battle. If you Haste your party, then hit it with Fury and a follow-up from Lulu, you may be able to use a Quartet of 9 instead of Trio of 9999. But that is still a dicey plan in a couple of different ways, so I would just use the Trio. Incidentally, steal as many Shadow Gems as you can from these guys. If you haven't noticed, those hit for 50% of the enemy's HP, meaning that they are going to be your best friends. What I want to know is how the party drags this thing back to the Monster Arena. Maybe the owner hires people (recent liberal arts graduates, probably) to make pickups. _ ZUU - I hate these birds, to be perfectly honest with you. 18,000 HP and a bad attitude. You are more than welcome to use a Trio of 9999 here, and that's my recommended strategy. Quartet of 9 means you have to have the same person alive for two rounds, and that's not necessarily easy. Do keep in mind that Zuus have the irritating habit of not dying when their HP hits zero. If you hit it twice for 9999, instead of dying it will fall to the ground and have an HP of 1. Try using two hits from Lulu's Fury, then finishing it with anyone else (with a Capture weapon, for Pete's sake!) for a quick kill. _ ZUU, TREASURE CHEST - I wouldn't bother with that treasure chest if I were you, but I guess you can grab it if Rikku gets a free turn. There's typically not much good in them. Just focus on Big Ugly there. NOTE: Arrangement will only appear in ruins area, east of sandstorm. _ CACTUAR - Ahhh, Cactuars. These guys have been a pain since FF6, and they aren't stopping now. 10,000 Needles will kill you dead, so once again you have to have a lot of speed, a lot of luck, and some Trio of 9999. You need to make sure Wakka (and maybe Rikku) have 9999 status, so go for the sure bet. If you've accumulated Wings to Discovery like I told you to, you have plenty of Trios left for the rest of the game, and pretty soon you won't need any more. Use Chocobo Feathers or Wings to speed up any non-Hasty party members. It's probably your only hope. Wakka (and maybe Rikku) have to do all the work here, and you may have to fight more than one of these battles. Don't be afraid to run if things look grim. If the Cactuar runs off, consider resetting if you used a Trio. It's up to you. _ SAND WOLF x2, ALCYONE - All of these fiends are fast fast fast, so I would recommend isolating them (their HPs are too small for Sleeping Powder). Use Farplane Shadows on whatever you like, then a Shadow Gem to follow up. Once again, Wakka is the star of the show, though Tidus and maybe Rikku can hit Sand Wolves. Just capture one per battle and you shouldn't have too many problems. _ SAND WOLF x3, TREASURE CHEST - Again, ignore that chest. Frankly, unless you really need a Sand Wolf, I'd Escape from this battle. They are really fast and pretty painful. NOTE: Arrangement will only appear in ruins area, east of sandstorm. _ SAND WOLF, MUSHUSSU, ALCYONE - You probably want the Mushussu here, so isolate it with Farplane Shadows, use a Shadow Gem and bag it with Auron or Kimahri. If one of your characters is Fireproof, keep them in the party, since the Mushussu's flamethrower attack (which hits everyone for 1700+ damage) is really all you have to worry about. Just make sure they're fast enough that they won't die before they can resurrect others. The flamethrower attack isn't terribly common; if it hurts you too badly consider running and trying again. If you are trying to Capture something other than the Mushussu in this battle, hit the Mushussu with a Farplane Shadow immediately. _ MUSHUSSU, ALCYONE x2 - See the above strategies; they apply here, too. ----- MACALANIA SNOW WOLF x2, ICE FLAN (Capturing Ice Flan) - Dream Powder is the way to go, then if its HP is above 400, use Fire. If its HP is 200-400, try using Thunder or Water (a neutral element, in other words), to scrape some more off. NOTE: Arrangement will only appear near the frozen lake. _ SNOW WOLF, ICE FLAN, MAFDET - Use a Shadow Gem or two on Mafdet; its HP is a wee bit too small for Sleep Powder. Too bad. Use Auron to strike it (Power Break!)--it's armored. If you want to capture the others, go ahead, but this is the only configuration I've seen a Mafdet in, so that's the most important one. NOTE: Arrangement will only appear near the frozen lake. _ SNOW WOLF, ICE FLAN, EVIL EYE - Once again, use a pair of Shadow Gems to knock them down to size and let Wakka and Tidus do the dirty work. _ CHIMERA - Ugh. While not as bad as its big brothers in the Calm Lands, this one can be nasty if it goes on too long. Smack it with a Nega Burst, then finish it off with magic and regular attacks (again, don't kill it with a spell). Auron would be a good choice, since he can hit the hardest. _ WASP x2, XIPHOS (Capturing Xiphos) - 2700 HP, and immune to Sleep. Grrr. You want to get rid of those Wasps NOW, so use a Dream Powder. It won't put Xiphos to sleep, but every 1000 HP helps. Nega Burst or just a Shadow Gem or two is called for next, then Capture it. _ WASP x2, XIPHOS (Capturing Wasp) - 2 Shadow Gems, and bag a Wasp. If the Xiphos irritates you, use a Farplane Shadow. _ IGUION, MURUSSU, BLUE ELEMENT (Capturing Blue Element) - Use a Dream Powder. If it still has too much HP, a Shadow Gem should help. Next? _ IGUION, MURUSSU, BLUE ELEMENT (Capturing Iguion and Murussu) - What, you wanted the other ones, too? Lead off with a Farplane Shadow to remove the Element. Now fall back on Shadow Gems. You should be able to neutralize both of them without too much trouble. _ IGUION, MURUSSU, WASP - Frankly, I wouldn't bother with this battle, unless you're desperate for one of them. I hate Wasps, and Iguions are fast, too. But if you need them, Shadow Gem away. _ BLUE ELEMENT X2, WASP - You can grab the Blue Elements painlessly by tossing a Dream Powder, then following up with Shadow Gems if necessary. ----- THUNDER PLAINS QACTUAR x2 - Might as well get it out of the way, right? You definitely want to use a Chocobo Wing or Feathers, and if you hit him with a Grenade he'll be down to 200 HP. Wakka generally can't hit for that much, but you can use a Shadow Gem if you need to. It seems a little ridiculous to use a Quartet of 9 (or Trio of 9999) on this guy, but they run so often that the speedy approach might be best. _ IRON GIANT - This big fella is 50% resistant to sleep, so you can take your chances if you'd like and use a Dream Powder. Keep in mind, however, that he does have an instant-party-kill attack in his horizontal slash. To play it safe, use a Quartet of 9 (I don't think a Trio is necessary). If you like to live a little dangerously, fire off a Nega Burst to bring his HP down to a more manageable number. _ IRON GIANT, BUER x2 (Capturing Iron Giant) - If you don't have the patience to look for an Iron Giant on its own, use a Dream Powder. This may or may not put the Giant under, but it WILL kill the Buers. From there, use the above strategy. _ IRON GIANT, BUER x2 (Capturing Buer) - Get that Giant out of there immediately with a Farplane Shadow. After that, the battle is a snap. Use a single Shadow Gem to put the Buers' HP in Wakka's damage range. _ LARVA x2 - Larvae are immune to sleep, and two of them pounding you with Thunder might be a little tough to take. Well, Tidus has NulShock (remember that?), but Rikku doesn't, so things could get messy. Hit one of the Larvae with a Farplane Shadow to even the odds, then I would recommend a Nega Burst to get the other's HP down in a hurry. (You could use a Dream Powder, but you would STILL have to go through 750 HP.) Technically, it's a flying enemy, but it's not terribly fast. Pretty much anyone can hit it. _ LARVA, AEROUGE (Capturing Aerouge OR Larva) - Again, the double dose of Thunder might be too much to handle, so I would recommend only going after one of these, and using a Farplane Shadow on the other. I've already covered the Larva above. A Shadow Gem will make the Aerouge easy to take, so do so with Tidus or Wakka. _ MELUSINE, KUSARIQQU, AEROUGE - It's entirely possible to catch all three of these in one battle--we are getting to the point in the game where the NSNSGNC handicap is mattering less and less. Toss a Shadow Gem at them, or two for good measure, and wrap it up. If any of the monsters are particularly worrisome, dispatch it with an Overdrive or Farplane Shadow, and come back for it later if necessary. _ GOLD ELEMENT, BUER, KUSARIQQU (Capturing Gold Element) - Pesky Gold Elements are immune to sleep and death, the two easiest ways to manipulate Capture battles. This means that you aren't going to be able to get it out of the way to focus on Buer or Kusariqqu, which in turn means you should wait for an easier configuration to capture those two (though you CAN use Auron's Shooting Star on the Element if you have to). So, down to business. I just said that Elements were immune to sleep, but your first move should be to use a Dream Powder. If you haven't figured out why, 1000 damage to everything means you are left facing a Gold Element with 200 HP. Feh. To whittle it down even more, use a Shadow Gem. Did I mention that Rikku rules? I never thought she was terribly useful until I played an NSNSGNC game. Boy howdy, was I wrong. ----- DJOSE HIGHROAD, MUSHROOM ROCK ROAD, MI'IHEN HIGHROAD, KILIKA, BESAID The only problem with setting up a FAQ that features the hard stuff first is that it's almost depressingly anticlimactic. I have a difficult time believing that if you can kill Ultima Weapon, Malboros and Chimera Brains in an NSNSGNC game, you are going to have much trouble with Bunyips and Lamashtus. Rather than slink off into the corner, though, I will at least throw some general strategies your way, and perhaps point out a specific monster or two. -If the enemy has more than 750 HP, don't be afraid to use Sleeping or Dream Powder. The big guys--Basilisks and Ochus--are the only ones who can possibly stand up to you at this point, and they have only 20% resistance to sleep. Knock 'em out, then use Shadow Gems. Second verse same as the first. -If you want to isolate an Element or Flan, toss a Gem of the same element at the rest of the enemies. Generally, that will dispatch them and you can focus on your target. Alternatively, you can usually throw more sleep around. -There IS one monster that can still pose a problem, and that is a Garuda. They are immune to sleep, fairly powerful, and have a high enough HP that it would take at least 2 Shadow Gems to handle them. So, do that, or use a DIFFERENT STRATEGY, one that I am publicizing down here as a little treat for those who have read this far. Woo-hoo! Use a Smoke Bomb on him, and he won't be able to attack. I bet you forgot all about those, didn't you? Well, so did I. But I didn't include them in my main strategies because I find them less reliable than my other methods. Most of the beastly monsters can attack you with an attack that won't miss, and most of the non-beastly monsters you don't have to worry about that much. So I'm not a big fan of Smoke Bombs, but if you are and they have saved your butt more times than you can count, let me know and I'll think about including them. I'm always open to new strategies. ----- Once you have Captured one of each enemy from the ten lands above and Captured 4 of each bird (per Gestahl's FAQ), return to the owner of the Monster Arena for a nice, shiny new Mars Sigil and the ability to upgrade the Masamune. All this Capturing in an NSNSGNC game is a lot of work, but I think it's a load of fun, too, else why would I be writing this?... ======================================================================= PART IV. ITEMS YOU'LL NEED FOR CAPTURING, AND WHERE TO GET THEM Pendulum - Chocobo Race (see above) Doors to Tomorrow - Ultima Weapon (see above) Chocobo Feather/Wing - Steal from Cactuars at Bikanel or Qactuars at Thunder Plains Dream Powder - Steal from Skolls at Calm Lands Sleeping Powder - Steal from Sand Wolves at Bikanel or Snow Wolves at Macalania Farplane Shadow - Steal from Wraiths at Omega Ruins Shadow Gems - Steal from Sand Worms at Bikanel ======================================================================= PART V. CONTACT INFORMATION Feel free to email me if you have questions or comments about anything you see above, or the FAQ in general. It's always nice to know that someone is out there reading. I would even entertain questions regarding the rest of the NSNSGNC game, though Gestahl might be a better source and I can't promise I can answer anything better than he can. You can email me about a straight NSG game question, but Hyprophant would probably be better able to answer your question. Check out her NSG FAQs, too. Please DON'T send me general questions on a straight game of FFX. You had to scroll down through a pile of regular game FAQs to get here, so use one of them. Once again, my email is: roland780[at]hotmail[dot]com. Thanks for reading!