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    Secondary Role Challenge Guide by Ephemeral_Being

    Version: 1 | Updated: 04/26/11 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    Secondary Roles Challenge
    Table of Contents
    {1}  Introduction
    {2}  Using the Crystarium
    {3}  Preparation for The Fifth Ark
    {4}  The Fifth Ark
    {5}  Getting the Hang of Things
    {6}  Mission Time!
    {7}  Ma'habara Subterra
    {8}  Sulyya Springs
    {9}  Taejin's Tower
    {10} Oerba
    {11) Back to Cocoon
    {12} Back to Pulse
    {13} The Final Battle
    {14} Contact Information/More to Come
    {15} Legal Informaton
    {1} Introduction
    Hello, and welcome to the first (and only) guide dedicated to a 
    Secondary Roles Challenge.  This is a rather unusual challenge in that 
    it doesn't actually begin until you get to the Fifth Ark.  This is, of 
    course, in Chapter 10.  Before that, the game plays like NCU.  You will 
    not be upgrading the Crystarium until you have access to the Secondary 
    Roles, and at that point you will never use the Primary Roles again.  
    Near the beginning of the Fifth Ark, you will have trouble with not 
    having enough abilities, like not having all the elements on Fang or 
    only Bravery/Faith on Lightning. You will also have the problem of not 
    having more than one Ravager.   That's fine.  If you beat NCU, this 
    challenge should present no problem.
    There is more good news if you didn't want to play NCU.  There is no 
    Chocobo farming, but instead most gil is gathered by killing 
    Sacrifices.  This has two benefits, one being that you amass CP at the 
    same time, the other being that it is marginally less boring.  If you 
    hate farming, though, this probably isn't for you.  
    {2} Using the Crystarium
    The biggest advantage you are going to have over an NCU game are the 
    stat boosts.  These obviously differ at each Crystarium level, but they 
    are amazingly helpful.  The final stats will be listed for each 
    character by Crystarium level (7, 8, 9 and 10 in the post game)
    Level 7 *You shouldn't cap this before expanding.  
    Hp: 1100
    Strength: 144
    Magic: 142
    Level 8
    Hp: 1275
    Strength: 219
    Magic: 180
    Level 9
    Hp: 2175
    Strength: 237
    Magic: 240
    Level 10
    Hp: 4375
    Strength: 291
    Magic: 285
    Level 7 *You shouldn't cap this before expanding.  
    Hp: 1035
    Strength: 124
    Magic: 138
    Level 8
    Hp: 1185
    Strength: 124
    Magic: 178
    Level 9
    Hp: 1735
    Strength: 164
    Magic: 223
    Level 10
    Hp: 4135
    Strength: 214
    Magic: 273
    Level 7 *You shouldn't cap this before expanding.  
    Hp: 1335
    Strength: 114
    Magic: 141
    Level 8
    Hp: 1555
    Strength: 113
    Magic: 146
    Level 9
    Hp: 2285
    Strength: 169
    Magic: 206
    Level 10
    Hp: 4685
    Strength: 159
    Magic: 276
    Level 7 *You shouldn't cap this before expanding.  
    Hp: 1185
    Strength: 118
    Magic: 117
    Level 8
    Hp: 1360
    Strength: 133
    Magic: 132
    Level 9
    Hp: 2520
    Strength: 171
    Magic: 168
    Level 10
    Hp: 5020
    Strength: 201
    Magic: 210
    Level 7 *You shouldn't cap this before expanding.  
    Hp: 1850
    Strength: 158
    Magic: 124
    Level 8
    Hp: 2230
    Strength: 178
    Magic: 137
    Level 9
    Hp: 3390
    Strength: 208
    Magic: 185
    Level 10
    Hp: 5400
    Strength: 228
    Magic: 242
    Level 7 *You shouldn't cap this before expanding.  
    Hp: 1720
    Strength: 166
    Magic: 126
    Level 8
    Hp: 2115
    Strength: 211
    Magic: 161
    Level 9
    Hp: 2965
    Strength: 261
    Magic: 211
    Level 10
    Hp: 4165
    Strength: 291
    Magic: 241
    {3} Preperation for The Fifth Ark
    ***Chapter 7***
    We will be doing the farming for upgrades in the Estheim Residence in 
    Chapter 7 because the enemies are easier and the drops are better.
    Your party is Lightning/Fang/Hope
    Run through the house in circles, taking out the PSICOM Bombadier in 
    the back and then the two gunners.  You shouldn't even have to heal 
    when you are strong enough.
    Your goal is to get
    99 Phoenix Downs (from drops)
    99 Potions
    99 of every status curing item
    Tier One * Bladed Lance
    Tier One * Hawkeye
    Tier One * Edged Carbine
    Tier One * Belladonna Wand
    Tier One * Deneb Duellers 
    Maxed Brawler's Wristband
    Maxed out Shaman's Mark #
    About 400K gil.  This includes the money you get from selling all of 
    the extra equipment you find.
    This will be used to buy things before the Barthandelus fight
    Maxed out Gold Bangle
    Upgrade the Gold Bangle to Mithril Bangle 
    Maxed Titanium Bangle for Vanille 
    Then upgrades before the fight with Raines
    Tier One * Pandoran Spear 
    You will also need to get the two Doctor's Codes.
    ***Chapter 9***
    You need to have about 100K CP before beating Barthandelus.  That will 
    buy you between 10 and 20 nodes.
    {4} The Fifth Ark
    Complete the one fight before you get the secondary roles. Now it's 
    time to upgrade your Crystarium.
    Sentinel up through Elude (Berserkers and Raines)
    Saboteur as high as you can (Upping the stagger bar after you summon 
    Get Ruin, then go get Deprotega and Deshellga
    Everything into Commando (Ruin is the goal)
    It doesn't matter.  We don't use him for a while.
    Everything into Medic (Main medic due to Cura)
    Everything into Ravager (I got up to Aero)
    Your main team is going to be Fang/Snow/Vanille
    Equip Fang with the Sorcerer's Mark, Snow with a bangle and Vanille 
    with the highest Hp bangle you have (Mithril, preferably)
    This is the beginning of the actual challenge.  Just work your way 
    through the Arc, fighting everything you can up to the berserkers.  
    This will be the first really challenging fight.  It is optional, 
    though, so you could skip it if you don't feel you need the CP.
    ***Berserker and Centaurion Blade***
    You won't need a sentinel for this one.  So, your party becomes 
    Just beat him to death after inflicting whatever debuffs you can, 
    helping Snow heal as nescessary.  You will get 5 stars at the end 
    without shrouds, and then you can get the treasure chest.  But the 
    Rigels aren't necessary.  Heck, you could skip both battles if you 
    don't want to try them.
    Go through the Ark, busting the enemies as you go.  It shouldn't take 
    you very long.  Eventually, you will reach huge parties of enemies that 
    are impossible to take out without summons.  Ignore them, or Deceptisol 
    your way by them.  This also applies to the King Behemoths, though you 
    could beat them.  It takes about 15 minutes for 400 CP.  Not a good 
    Eventually, you get to the end of the road where Cid Raines in waiting 
    for you
    ***Cid Raines***
    Odin is going to finish this guy off, so Lightning will be your leader 
    and you will want Fang and Hope as backup.
    Start with both Fortisol and Aegisol
    Put whatever debuffs you have onto Cid, then switch into Sentinel.  
    You Provoke him, then just sit there and use potions to heal.  Very 
    Eventually, Cid will grow wings and do an attack called Seraphic Ray, 
    which you should try to Eidolon cancel.
    As a Sab, use the abilities tab and just keep spamming debuffs until 
    the Gestalt bar is full.  Then attack with Up+X until Zantetsuken is 
    the only option or the stagger bar is almost gone.  He should suffer 
    instant death.
    Alright!  Crystarium Level Up!  Not that we've gotten this level maxed 
    out, but just be happy that it's there.
    After this, ride down the elevator, and out to the tunnel like area.  
    There will be a series of battles ahead.  Out of the 5, you can fight 
    3.  The Berserker is easily beatable as earlier, and the two Cryohedron 
    fights are easy if you can Paradigm cancel.  They're good for CP, which 
    you will need.  Oh, and grab the Feymark for Snow.  It's going to be 
    his main weapon, and you WILL use Snow for a lot of the last part of 
    the game.
    You will take another elevator down, and the fight on it is rather 
    difficult.  You CAN do it, but it will consume about 10 phoenix downs 
    and is only around 600 CP.  So, use a Deceptisol and hide next to the 
    console.  Go into the next room, take on the Berserker if you want, and 
    then move on to the next series of corridors.  Kill the first pack, 
    Deceptisol past the other two, and then move onto the next room with 
    two Berserkers.  Kill them if you want, and prepare for the Bahamut 
    He hits hard and fast, so you need a Sentinel.  Lightning will be 
    playing this role. Obviously, you play the only medic, but Potions are 
    faster and more effective.  Put the Doctor's Code on Fang and the 
    highest bangle available on Lightning.  Put the next highest one on 
    Use a Fortisol and Aegisol before starting
    Just paradigm cancel and have at him.  It will only take about 3 
    minutes.  Use potions after every Umbral Vice and try to stay on the 
    ground as much as possible.  Avoid Whirlwind by switching Paradigms 
    often, and the same applies to Ignis/Inferno.
    Skip the cutscenes, and WE'RE ON GRAN PULSE!  SUCCESS!
    {5} Getting the Hang of Things
    The fight with Alexander is a pain, so you NEED to get 21,000 CP.  
    Hope having the Sentinel role will be essential.  Also, give Fang 
    Cure.  This will help a little bit.
    I recommend using Fang/Vanille/Snow
    Simple enough.  Most of these enemies are weak to Fire and/or 
    Blizzard.  It's just a matter of repeated casting.  The Flans might be 
    a bit much, but if you get one fast enough you can get the pair.  
    Summoning is a viable option to take out the Dire Flan in the center of 
    a field, next to a chest with the Partisan.  You should grab it if you 
    Once you have the CP, go and trigger the event.
    Alexander hits like a truck and hits often.  At 800 damage a hit, you 
    NEED a sentinel.  Otherwise, you're going to die.  Repeatedly.
    Use a Fortisol and Aegisol to start
    Start in 1, blast off one attack round, then switch to 3.  Chuck a 
    potion, then switch to 4.  Use another potion after you launch an 
    attack chain, then switch back to 1.  Do this as many times as 
    necessary, and use 5 if Fang dies JUST before the Gestalt bar hits 
    {6} Mission Time!
    Note: There are going to be a lot of requests for you to summon.  You 
    can regen the TP by fighting the Imps in the lower part of the Archylte 
    Steppe.  It takes about 45 minutes, though.
    ***Mission 1***
    Party of Fang/Vanille/Snow
    Get a Preemptive strike, and just ATB cancel until you have him.  He's 
    weak to 
    Thunder, so use that.
    ***Mission 2***
    Party of Hope/Vanille/Snow
    Get a Preemptive strike, and then summon.  There are too many to fight 
    ***Mission 3***
    Party of Lightning/Fang/Hope
    Get a preemptive strike, and use both shrouds.  You can't beat him in 
    one stagger, but the first one will take off over half of his HP.  Put 
    Deshell on, heal with potions, and beat him to death. Simple enough.
    ***Mission 4***
    Party of Fang/Whoever/Whoever
    Get a preemptive strike and summon.  Bahamut will kill them all.  If, 
    by some miracle, one survives, you can get it with whatever you want.  
    But do it fast before it summons a buddy.
    ***Mission 5***
    Party of Fang/Hope/Vanille
    Use both a Deceptisol and Fortisol before starting.  Your goal is to 
    get Deshell to hit within 3 attack rounds.  Then, ATB cancel between 
    the other 2.  He dies in the first stagger.
    ***Mission 6*** 
    Party of Fang/Hope/Vanille
    Walk in, summon, kill the four midgets, wait until Deshell hits, then 
    use 2 and 3 to kill him.  Use potions to heal. It should take only 
    about 5 minutes.
    ***Mission 7***
    Party of Fang/Lightning/Hope
    Use both shrouds before starting.  They will be a big help.  Wait until 
    Lightning puts Deshell on him, then, switch to 3 and ATB cancel between 
    it and 4.  Summon when you get too low on health to recover. Take him 
    down with a summon.
    ***Mission 8***
    Party of Fang/Lightning/Hope
    Start the battle and summon.  This will take out the Flans and leave 
    the actual mark down at half health.  Use 1 and 2 to kill him, and 6 to 
    heal. Piece of cake.
    ***Mission 9***
    Party of Lightning/???/???
    It's a really simple battle.  Just spam debuffs, stagger him, Summon 
    Odin, and eventually Zantetsuken him to death.  Takes about 45 seconds.
    ***Mission 10***
    Party of Lightning/???/???
    Again, debuffs on, stagger, summon and kill.  Easy.  My battle time was 
    1 minute.
    ***Mission 11***
    Party of Lightning/???/???
    And, yet again, summon, debuff and then go gestalt.  They will all die.  
    Use the O attack to hit them all.
    ***Mission 12***
    Party of Lightning/Fang/Hope
    YOU NEED ENTHUNDER.  He's weak to every element, and it more that 
    doubles your damage output.
    This is the hardest fight yet.  He summons a fist every 90 seconds, and 
    then hits you with it in 15.  You need to kill it as soon as it's 
    summoned or it will kill you even in Sen/Med/Sen with protect.  You 
    will need to Sen/Med/Sen all of his other attacks.  Put Faith/Enthunder 
    on as soon as you revive someone.  Keep reinflicting debuffs on him to 
    increase the stagger bar, and take him out.  I finished at 5:11, right 
    after the shrouds wore off.  Those last 11 seconds he was staggered, 
    though, so he didn't get a chance to hit me.
    ***Mission 13***
    Party of Fang/Lightning/Hope
    Start in 6, get Faith on Hope and Fang, and switch to 5.  Get Deshell 
    on one of the little ones, and then go 1/2 to kill it. Use 3/4 to heal.  
    Debuff the next one and then kill it.  Take out the big guy last.
    ***Mission 14***
    Party of Fang/Snow/Hope
    Summon as soon as the Sahagins charge Fang.  Use Fire and Flamestrike 
    on them to raise the Stagger Bar, and go into Gestalt when the Sahagins 
    charge Fang again.  Fly around and use -->+X to do optimum damage.  
    Megaflare should kill both frogs and one of the Sahagins, leaving the 
    other with around 12,000 Hp.  You can take it out in the obvious 
    NOTE: We now have access to Chocobos.  I'm out of gil at this point, 
    and I don't have access to Raise.  I had to Chocobo farm for a while to 
    get money for Phoenix Downs.  If you don't need to, then don't.
    NOTE 2: I don't feel like doing any more missions.  Mission 17 is the 
    waypoint near the entrance to the mines, so I'll do that one. 
    Otherwise, I'm moving on with the story.  It's just been a long time 
    running around on Pulse.
    ***Mission 17***
    Party of Lightning/Fang/Hope
    Deceptisol Preemptive strike him.  It helps a bit, but isn't a 
    necessity.  After every stagger, he does a huge attack that does about 
    1100 damage.  In my game, it killed both Fang and Hope.  I revived them 
    and then staggered again, staggered him again, revived them and then 
    revived.  Eventually, he died. Faith helps the damage output.
    Crystarium Check
    Hp: 595
    Strength: 72
    Magic: 66
    With Edged Carbine *
    Strength: 155
    Magic: 236
    Hp: 940
    Strength: 122
    Magic: 87
    With Partisan *
    Strength: 153
    Magic: 276
    With Bladed Lance *
    Strength: 252
    Magic: 172
    Hp: 565
    Strength: 64
    Magic: 73
    With Hawkeye *
    Strength: 91
    Magic: 266
    Hp: 600
    Strength: 51
    Magic: 57
    With Deneb Duellers
    Strength: 159
    Magic: 306
    Hp: 605
    Strength: 50
    Magic: 67
    With Pearlwing Staff *
    Strength: 77
    Magic: 207
    Hp: 1130
    Strength: 94
    Magic: 70
    With Feymark Level 5 (I only use Snow as a Medic)
    Strength: 94
    Magic: 120
    {7} Mah'habara Subterra
    Party of Lightning/Fang/Hope
    You should be strong enough to kill the packs of robots in your path, 
    as well as the Cryohedrons.  Go around the Boxed Phalanx, and WE HAVE 
    SUPERCONDUCTORS!  Excellent.  The four bombs up ahead are difficult to 
    take out, but the single robot is easy if you get a Preemptive Strike.  
    Take out the Rust Puddings ahead, and move on to the main platform.
    Don't activate the mission, because we have no way to beat it.  Just 
    grab the treasure, and bypass the next Boxed Phalanx thing.  Beat up 
    the lame little Rust Pudding, and go down the tunnel.  Grab the Saint's 
    Armlet, equip Vanille with the highest Hp bangle you have, and run into 
    the center of the open part.  End the cutscene, start the battle and 
    select retry.  Now, you can set the Paradigms for Secondary Roles only.
    NOTE: I had to upgrade a Diamond Bangle to * level for Vanille to get 
    through this fight.  It made things much easier, but you could just 
    level up to get the same Hp.
    Party of Vanille/Fang
    Use both shrouds before starting.  When he is at 139.8% stagger,switch 
    to 3.  Use that to survive the attack chains, and use potions to 
    supplement Fang's cures.  Switch back to 1 and continue ATB cancelling 
    for a while.  From here on out, you'll need to just ATB cancel whenever 
    you can for healing and for Chain Guage increasing.  The amount you get 
    per Looming Wrath will be random, but I finished with about 280% 
    stagger, and about 350 on the doom timer.
    Re-equip the main party and head down the tunnel.  Ignore the fighting 
    Flans and mechanical thing, then engage the two bombs with the 
    Centurion.  Grab the Ice Charm and continue on.  Run past the two 
    battles in your path, and skip the Juggernaut.  You can't beat him.  
    Run past the next two battles, grab both chests for some spare 
    components, and then beat up the Hoplites.  Obviously, skip the next 
    battle and watch the cut scene.  Board Atomos and enjoy the awesome 
    {8} Sulyya Springs
    It's hardly worth mentioning, but there is some stuff to do here.
    I love this area.  It just looks so peaceful.  Except for all the 
    toads.  Anyway, all of the toad packs can kill you, so don't fight any 
    of them.  I triggered the Bismark event so I could reach more of the 
    treasure, and just because it looks so darn cool.  You can't beat any 
    of the mobs yet, but we'll come back at a later date.  Just make sure 
    the ledges go up, as you can't do that later. Grab the 4 chests that 
    don't require fighting and then move on.  Pick up all the chests along 
    the way and eventually you'll be out of this area.
    {9} Taejin's Tower
    The first thing we're going to do is Mission 20.   Kill the two wolves 
    on the way to the mark, as they give good CP.
    ***Mission 20***
    Pary of Hope/Lightning/Fang
    We're using Hope because of Deshellga and Deprotega.  Start the battle 
    by casting both, stagger everything and summon.
    Rain death on the Goblins with Alexander, and eventually the Gestalt 
    will run out.  For me, it killed both the Munchkin, the Munchkin 
    Maestro and took off 3/4 of everything else's Hp.  Use 5 and 6 to kill 
    everything else off in safety.
    Grab the chest in the corner and head up the path.  The two wolves are 
    too much, so skip them and head into the tower.  Take out the two 
    single wolves, grab the chests, and go up the elevator.
    NOTE: My guide for Taejin's Tower is going to be very in-depth, as I'm 
    going to unlock Mission 27 and explain what battles you can and can't 
    beat.  Also, I'm going to try and avoid using shrouds on the missions.  
    If you have extras, feel free to use them and therefore skip the 
    buffing step.
    Run forward, trigger the cutscene and go through the newly formed hole 
    in the wall.  Activate the statue and then run to the right, dodging 
    the pack of robots.  Take out the wolf in the tunnel, and then get 
    ready to fight the first mission.
    ***Mission 21***
    Snow should have both Fog and Pain by this time. 
    Party of Snow/Hope/Fang
    Use a Deceptisol for a Preemptive Strike and inflict Fog/Pain.  He 
    can't attack, and sits there like the dessert he is named for as you 
    hit him.  It takes 3 staggers to kill him, though, so you may need to 
    tank for a while as you reapply the debuffs between staggers.  I had no 
    deaths with this method.
    ***Mission 22***
    Hey, look!  Another mark vulnerable to Fog and Pain!  And he won't 
    summon when under its effects! So, we're going to cripple him. 
    Party of Snow/Hope/Fang
    Really, you'll only need to use the first two and the last 2, but if 
    you want buffs you can get them this way.  Put Fog and Pain on Ambling 
    Bellows and then kill of the Cryptos.  Spam daze if you have it, then 
    proceed to watch Hope and Fang beat him to death.  It takes about 4:45.
    Activate the statue in this room, and run to the next mark.
    ***Mission 23***
    This one isn't vulnerable to Pain and Fog, so we have to kill it the 
    normal way.  
    Party of Snow/Hope/Fang
    You only need to use only 1,2,5 and 6.  And I hope you have a way to 
    make Snow have over 2000 Hp.  He does a lightning breath attack which 
    took off 2000 of Fang's 2050 Hp.  Fortunately, he'll only have to do 
    one of these if you have daze.  Get a Preemptive Strike to start, and 
    then take off as much as his Hp as you can spamming Daze and ATB 
    canceling.  Then, use 5 and 6 to re-stagger him.  It's not hard, jsut 
    heal as needed and again use ATB cancels to speed up the process.
    Run out into the hallway, to the left, up the stairs and get to the 
    statue.  Go up the elevator, to the left, and up the elevator to the 
    fifth floor.  Activate Mission 24, and proceed across the next 5 feet 
    to the mark.
    ***Mission 24***
    His henchmen buff him, then he does 1200 damage.  Yeah.  Not fun.  So, 
    we're going to summon.
    Party of Fang/Hope/Snow
    Summon using 1, kill the main mark off, and then use 1 and 2 to finish 
    off his henchmen.  You can redo this mission for cash if you want.
    Go to the objective elevator, and head up after killing the flying 
    things for some more CP.  You're going to need it.  Get Mission 25 to 
    activate, and then go to the Vetala.
    ***Mission 25***
    Poison is good.  Cheap, but good.
    Party of Lightning/Hope/Fang
    Put poison on him, switch to 6 and wait it out.  It's that easy.  
    Summon when Fang can't keep up with the damage output.  He'll go down 
    in about 4:30.
    I hate the next mission.  Activate the stone, go to the mark, and get 3 
    TP along the way.
    ***Mission 26***
    I REALLY hate this bat.  And he has 4 henchmen.  Grr.
    Party of Fang/Hope/Snow
    Start in 1, summon, and kill all of the henchmen.  It'll take the main 
    boss down to 50K Hp.  Switch to 5, get shell up on everyone and then go 
    back to 1.  Use 3 to block Aeroga and 4 to heal afterwards.  Use 1 and 
    2 to kill him.  It's still pretty hard, and a bit luck based.  He can 
    decide to just beat you to death and there's nothing you can do about 
    Go to the lower floor, activate the statue and the elevator is working!  
    Thank goodness.  Go to the sixth floor, run to the next elevator, and 
    go to the Apex.
    This guy cheats.  He cheats SO MUCH it's not even funny.  You need to 
    upgrade some weapons for this fight to even stand a chance.  Give Hope 
    a *ed Eagletalon, and Fang a Rhomphala with as many UCRs as you can.  I 
    only put in one and it worked.  You can acquire this gil pretty easily 
    by getting the 20 treasures for the Ribbon in Chocobo Farming.  Still, 
    I got really lucky on my victory.  After the shrouds wear off, you can 
    (and will) be killed by Fulminous Firestorm, Aeroga and Foul Utterance.  
    I only saw Bonechilling Breaker once in my half a dozen fights, and it 
    didn't kill me.  But I guess it could, theoretically.  The response to 
    these attacks?  Use Sentinels and hope you survive.  I got lucky and 
    survived with under 50 HP after each of these.  You can dodge Foul 
    Utterance if you're lucky, but the others will always hit.  I had a 
    battle time of 10:03.
    Pary of Lightning/Hope/Fang
    Start with Aegisol and Fortisol.  And have enough TP for a summon.
    Use a Librascope, and then spam Imperil until it sticks.  Switch to 4 
    and put Enwater on Hope and Fang.  Switch back to 1 and ATB cancel 
    between it and 2.  He'll stagger, and you'll keep hitting him.  If he 
    gets off a Fulminous Firestorm, just heal with potions and stay in 1.  
    He'll get up when the stagger is almost over, and begin pummeling you 
    with tier 1 spell.  You should use potions and let Fang attack.  
    Eventually the stagger will end, and the hard part of the battle will 
    He's going to use Diluvial Plague soon.  You need to Eidolon Cancel it.  
    That way, you'll keep Haste and you can get the stagger bar to full 
    before you go into Gestalt mode.  You're not going to kill him with 
    Zantetsuken, but you should do as much damage as possible.  Every 
    little bit helps, right?  
    Now comes the luck based part.  Yeah it seems kind of stupid, but this 
    guide is written without excessive chocobo farming or CP farming.  That 
    means you have low Hp.  Lightning had 1940 with a *ed Diamond Bangle in 
    my game, and was barely surviving the major attacks.  Switch to 3 any 
    time you seen the camera zoom in on his head and the text box appear.  
    Hope you dodge Foul Utterance, as it does 1800+ damage and inflicts 
    debuffs.  Hope that Diluvial Plague kills Hope and Fang, and doesn't 
    put Slow on you.  Hope that after Diluvial Plague, he's close to a 
    stagger, as in a minute he's going to use Fulminous Firestorm.  And 
    with or without the debuffs, that's lethal about 99% of the time. Heal 
    with potions and attack with 1/2.  Use 4/5 to give Faith to both Hope 
    and Fang, and if the screen isn't green then add a working En- spell.  
    Keep inflicting Debuffs, and he'll go down.  My battle time was 10:03.
    Activate the statue on top of the tower, go down the elevator is 
    activates, and active the statue on floor 7.  This makes the entire 
    tower accessible from the central elevator.  Very useful for 
    backtracking and necessary for a mission we can't beat yet.  Mission 27 
    is now unlocked, as is the ability to quickly repeat Mission 24 for 
    cash, but you aren't strong enough to do either.  Just wait.
    Ride the chute thing down to the snowy slope, brawl through the Taxims 
    and Vampires, and you have reached...
    {10} Oerba
    I love the music here...
    First, active the Mission 28 Cieth Stone.  Then go up and see Bhakti.  
    This opens a sidequest, and you're going to do it for some components.  
    Fight the Vetala in the house using the same strategy as earlier, and 
    then use Alexander to kill the big party in the center of the map.  
    Kill the two guys by the treasure sphere, and the one along the way to 
    the next Vetala.  He should drop the third part.  Take out the second 
    Vetala in the house with the bats, and then go up the stairs to the 
    last treasure.  There's no guard on this one.  Keep going, use a 
    Deceptisol to kill the 2x Seeker and 2x flying things party, and take 
    out the Vetala guarding the Taming Pole.  It might be useful later.  
    Go back and fix Bhakti up.  Sell the junk he gives you, and then use it 
    for some upgrades.  We're going to make (if you haven't already)
    3x Diamond Bangle *
    Eagletalon *
    Edged Carbine *
    Rhomphala *
    This should be enough gil.  If not, sell some accessories.  You won't 
    need most of them, but save one of the Collector's and Connoisseurs' 
    Catalogs.  We're going to go drop hunting for Perfumes later.  Now, 
    it's time for a stats check before Barthandelus 2.
    Lightning/Hope/Fang (one accessory each, a *ed Diamond Bangle)
    Lightning (Sab/Syn/Sen)
    Razor Carbine
    1990 Hp
    321 Strength
    582 Magic
    Hope (Com/Sen/Sab)
    228 Strength
    619 Magic
    Entrench (grrr)
    Fang (Rav/Syn/Med)
    2500 Hp
    296 Strength
    598 Magic
    If you're missing a bunch of this, or your Hp is too low, you might not 
    be able to get past this battle.  
    ***Barthandelus 2***
    Party of Lightning/Hope/Fang
    Use a Fortisol/Aegisol to start, and have 5 Tp.
    It's a standard stagger and kill fight.  He cheats, though.  He cheats 
    all the time.  Apotosis is a cheap trick that removes all your buffs, 
    and the debuffs on him, AND ends his stagger, but doesn't remove the 
    debuffs on you.  The first one you summon cancel, and the rest you use 
    Elude to try and dodge.  I got lucky and he never hit Lightning with 
    it, but that's purely coincidence.  After you are hit with Apotosis, go 
    ahead and switch to 4 to at least put up Faith/Protect/Haste/Shell.  
    This will keep you alive for much longer.  During the first phase 
    (before the summon canceled Apoptosis) you can use 1 and 2 to raise the 
    stagger bar, then 5 and 6 right before he staggers to heal up. 
    Obviously, use 1 and 2 during the stagger, and just keep healing with 
    potions.  He'll probably cheat and end his stagger early with 
    Apoptosis, but you summon through it and have Odin help you take off 
    another HUGE chunk of his Hp.  Then, just use 5 and 6 to cause as much 
    damage as you can, using 3 to survive Destrudo.  If you lose Hope, then 
    chuck a Phoenix Down while in 5 or 6, have Fang heal him, then use 4 to 
    buff him again.  If he staggers, you can get away with using 1 and 2 
    because he'll flinch and not attack when you hit him.  This is risky, 
    though.  Eventually, he'll cast Doom.  Summon Odin again and 
    Zantetsuken him to death.
    Blah blah blah, another cutscene and YAY! The Crystarium expanded!  
    Guess you know what that means.  Go back to Taejin's Tower and start 
    training again.  You really only need to get through two of the roles, 
    but you can do all three if you would like.  The extra Hp and little 
    bit of Magic will help immensely against the next boss, who we will be 
    killing very slowly.  You can summon through Mission 24 at the 
    beginning, but it's not very fast and it takes a while to get the Tp 
    back.  If you need the cash or want it, more power to you then.  But I 
    didn't bother until I got to where I could kill him without a summon.  
    This was about when I maxed the second role.  Ruinga is a huge help 
    against the large packs of enemies, so Hope is better than Vanille 
    (again).  Sazh, Vanille and Snow are really just sitting around for 
    now, so level them up however.  Fang should get Raise ASAP, and then 
    she can do whatever.  Lightning should do her Sab role, then Syn then 
    Sen.  Hope should get Ruinga and then whatever.  Just make sure you 
    don't put points into the wrong roles, or you have to reset.  And that 
    can be annoying if you haven't saved in over an hour.  Just words of 
    Upgrade wise, the cash you get is used to make Vanille a Tier 2 weapon, 
    and a Sorcerer's Mark for Fang as she doesn't need a Diamond Bangle to 
    survive.  If you want to get the Sorcerer's Mark up to the next level, 
    you can.  But I would save it for Adamantium.  So, get those and we'll 
    farm some more later.  Kind of a shame that we have to almost max the 
    CP now to survive, but it's safest this way. Theoretically, you can 
    beat the first boss back on Pulse with less Hp, but this is the best 
    way.  Seriously.  Just do it, and remember that 
    NCU is way longer and way more boring.
    {11} Back to Cocoon
    Just start brawling your way through the next few screens.  You might 
    as well grab the Lionheart and gil as you're going.  All of these 
    fights are pretty easy; just use a sentinel for the large parties of 
    enemies.  The first challenging fight will be the Behemoth King.
    ***Behemoth King***
    Party of Lightning/Hope/Fang
    Use a Fortisol and Aegisol to start
    This battle requires a bit of luck.  He heals after hitting half 
    health, but you won't need to until then.  Try to put Deshell on him 
    after the switch if at all possible.  Use your own judgement to heal.  
    It's not hard at all compared to some of the later battles.
    Fight the pack of two Orobons, Deceptisol your way past the next two 
    packs of enemies, grab the treasure chest, and then kill the 
    Amphisbaena.  Remember when they were dangerous?  Yeah.  Time for a 
    little revenge.
    Anyway, skip the next few battles, use a Deceptisol to fight the 
    Proto-Behemoth, and grab the treasure chest.  Then, it's time to prep 
    for Proudclad.
    Party of Vanille/Hope/Fang
    Use a Fortisol and Aegisol to start, and obviously you need to equip 
    Vanille with a Diamond Bangle.
    Use the first two for the first 5 minutes, then when the shrouds wear 
    off use 3 and 4 to reapply Haste/Protectra/Shellra.  It's not a hard 
    fight, but it takes over 11 minutes to complete.
    And, we have another long battle to fight now.  It's an Admanchelid.
    Party of Lightning/Hope/Fang
    Use a Fortisol and Aegisol to start. 
    Start beating him up, then when you need to heal summon.  Raise the 
    chain gauge some more, then use Gestalt mode to finish him off.  
    Zantetsuken works great for this.
    Just start running through the next few stages.  Grab whatever chests 
    you can, and recharge your TP as well as you can against the parties 
    fighting each other.  Eventually, you'll find a battle you have to 
    fight.  And it's much harder than any of those so far.  However, it's 
    still not unbeatable.
    ***Vernal Harvester vs. Tyrant***
    Party of Vanille/Hope/Fang
    Damage them both at the same time, but finish the Tyrant first.  The 
    Vernal Harvester should have about 20,000 Hp left when you get to him, 
    and he'll go down without a fight.
    Run through the next level until you reach the Admantoise.  Don't get 
    either of the treasures so that we can get both later.  Grab the 
    treasure chest in the next hallway, then begin the next sequence of 
    dodging enemies.  Kill the parties of Sacrifices with Painga and Fogga, 
    and then you'll be at the boss fight.  Unfortunately, we have another 
    stretch of grinding ahead of us.  Equip Fang with the Collector's 
    Catalog that we saved before, and begin.  You need 3 starred adamant 
    bangles, 3 *ed Weirdling Glyphs, and set of *ed Canopus AMPs, which is 
    going to take aa long time, so make yourself comfortable.  Fight the 
    two parties of one sacrifice next to the boss, then start the battle 
    with him and retry to make them come back.  Use Snow/Hope/Fang to kill 
    them, and everything will go smoothly.
    ***Proudclad 2***
    Party of Snow/Fang/Hope
    Snow is equipped with a *ed Soul Blazer and a *ed Adamant Bangle
    Fang is equipped with a *ed Rhomphala and a *ed Weirding Glyph
    Hope is equipped with a *ed Eagletalon and a *ed Adamant Bangle
    Use a Fortisol and Aegisol to start
    This fight is 45 minutes long, so settle in for a while.  He heals 
    himself at half Hp, gets more dangerous, and takes more damage.  This 
    \means in the first phase, you can just go crazy and kill him as fast 
    as possible.  Stagger away, and just wail on him.  Heal if you need to, 
    obviously, and he'll enter phase 2 before 5 minutes have passed.  Now 
    it gets even more intense.  You will have noticed he has two forms, an 
    air form and a ground form.  In the ground form, you need to stay in 6 
    at all times.  This is because of Oneric Maelstrom.  This attack does 
    2,000 damage without Protect, and he will just keep hitting with Muon 
    Blaster after it.  You do not want to die to that, and Fang will help 
    heal as well as she can.  If someone dies, wait until the air phase to 
    revive them.  Until Fang dies, use Cura to heal, but if she does then 
    just Curasa yourself.  Hope dying doesn't matter, but if you die it's 
    game over.  In the air form, use 3/4 depending on how much health you 
    have to apply Haste/Protect/Faith to everyone.  Then just stay n 5 and 
    let Hope and Fang kill him.  This fight will take a while, but is BY 
    FAR the hardest fight in the game.  When you finally see that the 
    battle is over, pat yourself on the back.  You've earned it.
    The next area is The Terresacts.  You don't need any more Gil, and you 
    should be at max CP already.  This means we're going to skip the 
    Sacrifices in this area, and move on.  You can go back to Pulse now if 
    you want, and start working on missions.  I would wait, though, until 
    the last level of the Crystarium unlocks.  It just makes things so much 
    easier.  There are 4 or 5 more battles we NEED to do, and you should 
    skip every optional fight.  You don't really want any of the treasure 
    around here, anyway, so run to the objective and just keep moving.
    ***Bandersnatch and Marmaduke***
    Party of Snow/Fang/Hope
    Use a Fortisol and Aegisol to start
    This is a 20-minute fight.  Start in 5, hit the small one a few times, 
    switch to 1 and then ATB cancel between that and 2.  When he staggers, 
    summon.  Use Shiva to kill it off, then work on the larger one.  Use 4 
    and 5 to put up Haste/Protect/Shell/Vigilance/Faith on everyone when 
    they wear off.  It takes time, but you shouldn't lose.
    Party of Fang/Vanille/Hope
    Use a Fortisol, Aegisol, and Deceptisol to start
    Start in 3, use a Librascope as Hope inflicts Deshell, Stagger him, and 
    then use 1/2 to kill it.  If you are having trouble, give Vanille 
    and/or Hope a Weirding Glyph.  Have fun with this one, because this is 
    easy and short.
    Party of Snow/Fang/Lightning
    Use a Fortisol and Aegisol to start
    You'll finish this battle before the shrouds wear off, so don't worry 
    about having a Synergist in your party.  Just use 1/2 to deal damage, 
    and 3/4 to heal your Sentinal.  It's another easy fight.
    ***Tiamat Eliminator***
    Party of Snow/Fang/Hope
    Use a Fortisol and Aegisol to start
    He starts out in the air, but after you stagger him he switches.  Do so 
    using 1 and 2, using 3 to heal.  When he gets on the ground, use 3 to 
    inflict Slow/Deshell/Deprotect/Poison and finally Daze.  Then just sit 
    there.  Poison will kill him, he won't get a chance to attack, and you 
    can go make a sandwich or something.
    {13} The Final Battle
    Enter the portal, and you will be teleported to Orphan's Cradle.  
    We're at the last three battles of the game, and it's time to set up 
    the party.  Make sure you have 5 TP, equip Fang with a Weirding Glyph 
    and Sazh/Hope with an Adamant Bangle.
    *** Barthandelus 3***
    Party of Sazh/Fang/Hope
    Use a Fortisol and Aegisol to start.
    This is the hardest, closest fight so far.  You MUST be aggressive, or 
    else Doom will get you.  He has 3 main attacks, Thatsodonian Laughter 
    (which will never kill you, it does percentage based damage), Ultima 
    (which does damage randomly, and must be tanked with 6 to avoid death) 
    and his laser attack, which hits for about 500 damage.  The first thing 
    you need to do is chuck a Librascope, and go through putting up 
    Deshell/Imperil/Deprotect/Slow.  Slow is the one you want, but the AI 
    won't cast it until Deprotect/Deshell stick.  Give Hope a hand with 
    that as needed throughout the fight.  Cura is amazing here, because it 
    will keep you alive far better than the auto-heal command.  When 
    tanking Ultima, do not use an attack and wait for the blast of lasers 
    (4 of them at once) to hit Hope, who will have Provoked him.  This 
    helps with survival.  After the first 5 minutes when the shrouds wear 
    off, Fang needs to keep Haste, Protectra and Shellra up as much as 
    possible.  Haste is the most important, but right before the stagger it 
    is good to put the other two up in order to make healing easier.  When 
    you see Thatsodonian Laughter, switch into 3.  This will make recovery 
    faster.  Eventually, you will see the doom timer.  Don't panic, he 
    should be around 300,000 Hp at this time.  Just raise the stagger for a 
    while, summon around the 600 mark, and have Brynhildr kill him.  
    Gestalt when the bar is full, and let it rip.  And thus ends a 25 
    minute, extremely tough fight.
    The next fight is EASY, but you need to switch your party around.  
    Start the battle, and immediately retry.  Set up Lightning, Sazh and 
    Snow all with Adamant Bangles.
    Party of Lightning/Sazh/Snow
    Orphan is laughably easy.  Poison him, then put up buffs.  Let the AI 
    heal you, and use Sen/Med/Med while just waiting.  Or, go ahead and put 
    up more debuffs.  Just remember you need to reapply Poison 2-4 times 
    throughout the battle.  His most dangerous attack, I'm not joking here, 
    is inflicting poison.  If you took my advice and bought 99 Antidotes 
    about 15 hours of ago, this is completely harmless.  The only reason 
    you could possibly die is a cheap instant death move you should only 
    see once or twice.  
    Orphan's second form is cheap.  You can only really kill him if you get 
    lucky in about 4 different areas.  You need to hit Slow almost 
    immediately after every stagger, you need him to NOT target your leader 
    with Kaleidoscopic Ray, you need him to roll low on it if he DOES 
    target your leader, and you need debuffs other than Deshellga to NOT 
    stick so the AI keeps using them.  I'm sorry to say this, but there IS 
    no simple trick to it.  Luck plays such a huge factor here that you 
    will literally spend DAYS attempting to beat him.  This is THE ONLY 
    STRATEGY I COULD FIND that works, and it only does once in a blue moon.  
    Here's how to do it for real.
    ***Orphan 2***
    Party of Snow/Fang/Hope
    Equip Fang, Snow and Hope with Weirdling glyphs.  Start in 5, put up 
    haste on you and Fang, chuck a Librascope, then put it on Hope.  Switch 
    between 1 and 2, using 6 to heal.  IF he staggers use 3 and 4 to deal 
    damage, but it won't happen often.  And then just do it again.  And 
    AGAIN.  It takes 3 staggers to kill this guy, and this is a HUGE pain.  
    Good luck.  And once he FINALLY goes down, enjoy the ending.  These 
    battles were tough, but get ready for an entirely new level of 
    difficulty, when we tackle the missions yet to come.
    {14} Contact Information/More to come
    If there is anything glaringly wrong with the guide, please put up a 
    topic on the message board with "ATTN: Ephemeral_Being" as the title.  
    I'll see it, and credit you for the information.  You could also just 
    PM me.
    I'll get the missions up sooner rather than later.  I just wanted to 
    release this once I got done with the main bosses so that other people 
    could try it.  I hope everyone who has reached this point has enjoyed 
    {15} Legal Information
    This guide was written by me, Ephemeral_Being (Nathaniel McConnell), 
    with help from everyone at the NCU/NEU topic.  Thanks to everyone.  The 
    original idea came from pj609, so thanks to him as well.
    This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for 
    personal, private use. It may not be placed on any web site or 
    otherwise distributed publicly without advance written permission. Use 
    of this guide on any other web site or as a part of any public display 
    is strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright.
    All trademarks contained in this document are owned by their trademark 
    Copyright 2011 Nathaniel McConnell

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