Final Fantasy XIII-2 Guide
Final Fantasy XIII-2 Unofficial Guide by CM Boots-Faubert for SuperCheats.com
"Three years after the events in Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning has gone missing and largely unremembered by the very people who were her closest mates, while Snow is nowhere to be found and Serah appears to be the only member of NORA that actually remembers what happened to her big sister... Present in a world that is slowly rebuilding following the disasters that struck during the war, Serah notices that something is seriously amiss and, after a fortuitous encounter with a mysterious man named Noel who quite literally seems to appear out of nowhere -- or perhaps noWHEN is a better term -- the pair set off on an adventure built upon their resolve to find Lightning -- the warrior and hero who Serah remembers as her older sister, and who Noel remembers as the woman who set him upon the course that he now follows!"
The paragraph above neatly describes the opening moments of this newest addition to the Final Fantasy series and the continuation of the FFXIII sub-series (it being the direct sequel to FFXIII) we begin what is destined to be an epic adventure that fills in the middle of the planned three-act arc that is the story of Final Fantasy XIII and the fall of the powers.
Back in 2010 when I prepared for the process of writing the unofficial SuperCheats Walkthrough and Guide for Final Fantasy XIII one of the issues that I emphasized was how different these games are. Long-time fans of the Final Fantasy series will have no difficulty in acknowledging this -- but gamers who have only played one or two of the games may not fully understand or appreciate that far from being one long and directly connected series that takes place in the same universe as it were, the series that is known as Final Fantasy is, by the reckoning of most gamers, more of a collection of stories that take place in parallel and similar (but at the same time very different) universes in which much is the same and yet little is the same...
Each major number in the series is not created as the next chapter in the story from the previous major number, but usually presents as its own unique and involved story, with new and original characters, that happens to exist in one of the variations of the Final Fantasy Universe -- perhaps in a different time, certainly in a different place, with just enough that is familiar to the gamer that it really requires very little explanation beyond setting up the story.
Just so that it is clear that you understand this, when a major number in the Final Fantasy game series has a sequel to its established story, that sequel always carries a dash number indicator. Prior to the release of Final Fantasy XIII-2 we saw the same system used in the sequel for 2001's Final Fantasy X, which was a more romantic manifestation of the series, in 2003's Final Fantasy X-2 (the first game in the series to have a direct sequel). The use of the dash number is now solidly established as the symbol to indicate when a game is a direct sequel, using the major number plus the sequel number, so the title Final Fantasy XIII-2 is all the indication that you should need to know that this title is the direct sequel to Final Fantasy XIII.
One of the most popular games in the series was Final Fantasy XI, which was an MMORPG rather than a stand-alone single-player game, so it opened a new journey for FF fans adding another genre to the established set. Over the course of the past few years Square has introduced the next MMO in the series, Final Fantasy XIV, but that title has been plagued by major shake-ups in its development team and issues that have, at least so far, created circumstances that have not lead to the level of success that is usually enjoyed by games in the series.
I mention this because while the MMO titles in the series have loosely followed the basic world structure and included familiar elements, items, characters, and magic, they also contained content that was unique to them, and that is not found in other major numbers in the series. This is significant because so many more players were introduced to the Final Fantasy series through the MMO versions than all of the single-player versions combined, and as a result have formed expectations that often are not easily met when they finally get around to playing one of the other games.
If that describes you -- if your initial exposure to the world of Final Fantasy was through the MMO's -- you will find game play in the non-MMO games to be very different than what you are used to. That is not a bad thing really, especially considering that the single-player games are a much more intense play experience and tend to offer a stiffer challenge and, naturally, require more self-sufficiency and a measure of play confidence that sets them apart since you cannot rely upon the assistance of other human players in playing through both the story and the adventure.
The best advice that I can give you when you are approaching a game in the series from that point of view -- and particularly this game if you have not played FFXIII -- is to accept it for what it is, and try not to have any expectations that the play experience will be similar to a previous title in the series -- unless, as is the case here, it is a sequel sharing the title number.
If you have the time and are so inclined, even though you do not have to play FFXIII to play and enjoy FFXIII-2, I firmly recommend that you do so anyway, since playing the previous game in this major number for the series will offer you experiences and insights that you can only get through play that will, naturally, allow you to form much deeper attachments to the characters and provide the sort of background knowledge that will easily increase your enjoyment of the story ten-fold.
The starting montage and intro CS
Back in May 2010 when I wrote the walkthrough and guide for Final Fantasy XIII I found it to be one of the most intense and complicated play experiences in the series -- and if you are familiar with the series, that is saying something. The amazing graphics and well-engineered battle systems were a particularly strong element in that judgment, but like a lot of gamers I experienced the narrow structure of certain battles -- which really could only be won using specific tactics that the player was left to discover on their own with no in-game guidance -- to be something less than a favorite part of the game. The now familiar ATB system reappeared and, in spite of reasonable criticism that the fighting system has received over the years, is nonetheless one of the better systems for the JRPG format that we have seen.
Happily gameplay in XIII-2 unfolds in a manner that quickly shows that the folks at Square recognized the disadvantages that existed in the previous game, and went to considerable efforts to correct them in this sequel; and those tweaks and fixes do not apply strictly to combat, but other aspects of the game as well! While much of the good stuff that made XIII the very cool adventure that it was returns here -- which is sort of the point -- the fact that this game was created with a zen-like flow in mind so that it unfolds in a way that allows the player to really enjoy playing it rather than having to work hard at it, the improvements turn out to be a well-balanced and very good thing addition to the game.
Another happy point is that, in contrast to the Achievements that were built into the previous title, many of which could be missed, save for one lone exception that is difficulty based, the path for the Achievements in XIII-2 is a natural one, and players should find that unlocking them really is part of the story and play rather than something that they have to actively pursue.
-- About the Special Resources in this Game --
The end of the Introduction for most game guides often contains suggestions and general guidance for the gamer to help them in maximizing their enjoyment of the game, and this one is no different in that regard, but unlike most guides this one is about to take a sharp detour as we review some of the most valuable assets in the game -- its finely constructed and well-defined record of practically every aspect of the story that precedes it.
Great care and considerable skill went into crafting the Datalog pages, The Beastiary, and the many individual "files" that make up the pages for each of the Fragments -- many of which tell individual stories in their own right and for that reason and others, encourage us to encourage you to read and embrace them and make them a natural part of your game play experience, because they add so much -- and they represent the potential to add so much -- in both story depth and reach, and in breathing true life into the events that came before, during, and thanks to the time-travel aspect of the various and sundry plots, after...
If that was all that there was to it it would be enough to simply recommend that you read each page as it is presented to you, but we want more than that for you -- and from you! We want to encourage you to drink in the details and soak up all that is implied in between the revelations, the background and the foreground, as speaking of the Zen-like manner in which the games actions were made to flow, an equally balanced approach was taken in preserving the information and the story-based retelling of the events so that far from merely informing, it embodies the carrying forth of that information like the bearer of a lantern on the darkest shore, providing light for your attention in order to both deepen and quicken the process of absorption and at the same time build into that very same process elements of mystery that revolves around what is concealed in plain sight.
What we are saying in so complicated a manner can easily be summed up in much more simple terms: within this game the creators have gone to significant effort to include within the documentation a balance that will, if you let it, add to and heighten the entertainment that it can offer you in the following forms:
-- The Datalog --
Your Encyclopedia and History Library, your Intelligence Files and your Biographies -- it exists to teach you about the world and the people in it who will, if you allow them to, become important to you.
It is there to fill in the blanks you have with respect to lore, legend, and what came before. In short it exists to breath real life into the events and characters, their actions in victory and defeat, and the color that fills in the edges of the world in which you are adventuring. And as a bonus, concealed among this information are elements of the current story, its plots, and the details that might be found or inferred and that -- wholly dependent upon the effort that you willingly make to hunt for it -- add to the richness of your adventures, layer by layer.
Considering all of the effort that went into not simply making this game world but in crafting the many stories that help to bring it to life, it would be a genuine shame for you to ignore its contents in favor of the half-remembered details of Cut Scenes that have faded in your memory -- especially when those details and stories contained within the pages here exist to bring the game world and its people alive, to preserve the record for you...
You owe it to yourself to embrace it. Read it. And truly enjoy it. Because the more you know about the world and your adventures in it, the stronger your feelings will be for it, and the deeper its hold will become upon you.
-- The Beastiary --
A record of the beasts that you have encountered and seen, and a valuable reference source that can teach you about the strengths -- and the weaknesses -- of each type of mob you battle in the game, The Beastiary is that and so much more.
When you are planning out the acquisition of mobs with which to build your Monster Teams you will find this to be invaluable, because it is more than simply a record of each mob, it is a dossier of their strengths, their weaknesses, and what you need to do to make them dead.
-- Fragments --
The Fragments pages of are more than simply a means of keeping track of the ones you have found and the ones you have not, because in addition to serving that function, each entry for each Fragment willingly offers up to you its portion of the story as it unfolds, filling in details and bringing the events that they reflect to life.
Like the Datalog itself, reading the information and the entertainment that is presented within this part of your library is its own reward. Indulge in being entertained! This is a game to be sure, but it is also a branch of one of the longest-running and most intense and enthralling game series every created. And it is all right here, waiting for you to click on it...
-- The Focus of this Guide --
Finally before we close out the Introduction and jump into game play, it is important that we discuss what this Guide was created to do... This is not an encyclopedia of FFXIII-2 and it is not intended to take you by the hand and walk you through every single element of game play in the game. It was conceived and created to assist you in making your way through the six episodes and their various levels that make up the story being told, providing you with guidance and a path that will be especially valuable to you when you reach the points in the game -- there are several -- in which your forward momentum is temporarily stymied by the fact that the game, for those brief sections, did a rather poor job of guiding you in the direction of the next set of challenges and the next chapter in the story!
What this Guide and Walkthrough is not is a comprehensive step-by-step set of instructions for completing every aspect of the game as soon as you are able to do so. The reason it does not take that direction is that if it did, it would take away from you some of the best parts of this game! The process of discovery, of learning about the plots, subplots, and added story elements, and in finding for yourself the different Monsters and NPC's whose presence in the game, when you combine that with the distinct choices that you make as an individual, serve to make your game play a unique one that only shares the major and minor plot points and actions with that of your friends. Yes, it is that sort of game.
In each of the coming sections we cover the important elements and reveal the objects, actions, and items you do not want to miss doing or finding, with an eye towards and a focus upon completing the story. In the process we may suggest at strategic points that you spend some time grinding levels, or obtaining the materials that you need to improve the level and capabilities of the Monster pets who are now valued members of your team -- but all of that is strictly voluntary. You can ignore it if you want, as the only differences that you will experience first-hand would be a slightly more challenging measure of play when facing boss mobs if your levels are less than ours were at that stage in the game.
If you tend to rely upon guides like this one for guidance in playing RPG games in order to maximize your enjoyment of the story and so as to not miss out on strategically important elements, why then it is in your best interest to follow our advice and improve your characters and Monsters levels when we do, but again that is still a voluntary thing.
After we complete the main story -- during which we will naturally complete many of the missions and quests and a fair bit of the small stories that are part of the many sub-plots that are built into the greater narrative that is FFXIII-2 -- we will return to the world in the game and pursue many of the elements that we did not pursue while completing the story, and we cover that process at the end of this guide, so in that respect it is a complete guide and walkthrough, but try to remember that it is intended that you play this game the way that you want to, doing -- or not doing -- missions and quests as you want to.
For the most part when we include a mission or a quest in each section of this guide we did so because either the reward or the locations visited were helpful, granted a desirable item or ability, or in some other way benefited our characters in their quest to complete the story. That being the case you may want to complete those side-missions as well, both to maintain parity with the guide, and what is usually the case, make your game play experience better and more complete in the process.
That nicely sums up the information that you need about the game and this guide, so it is time to delve into this rich fantasy world and make your mark on it. As you do so, please know that this guide was written with you in mind, and that we derived great satisfaction from creating it.