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P17C: The Wrapup

At this point all that you should have left are a handful of Achievements that mostly amount to mopping up the collection side of the game -- both Fragments and Monsters -- and battling certain monsters to collect their information for the research catalog you are helping to create.  You will also need to finish exploring all of the maps to 100% and then turn those in as well for their Fragments.  

What that amounts to is a bunch of post-game odds-and-ends that you can pursue at your leisure!   There will be more of course if you have purchased the active content DLC that has been coming out, but that and the odds-and-ends are really beyond the scope of this guide mates, but there are ticklists included in it to help you in accomplishing those tasks.

It was a long and interesting adventure and one that was certainly worthy of the series overall and the sub-series that XIII has become.  One thing you should bear in mind when completing the different endings that you should always check your consumables and replace any that you use just to be safe and not run out on one of these endings...

-- Alternate Endings / Paradox Endings --
A paradox ending is a side-ending that results from choices that Serah and Noel make elsewhere in the timeline as part of their regular play that deviates from the anticipated events.  There are several paradox endings hidden within the Historia Crux that you will find, as well as several alternate endings that are caused by specific and direct actions and choices.

The following list represents the alternative endings that are outstanding following your completing the main storyline, being what is available if you were following the guide.  There is one ending that is not present below -- the Fate and Freedom ending (Transcript: Fate & Freedom Fragment) -- which you should have already unlocked and witnessed while following the guide.

While completing these is strictly voluntary (technically once you unlock the Achievement: "Epic Finisher" (90 G) Followed the story to its conclusion -- you have completed the game).  If completing the main storyline was your primary concern than you are done -- if on the other hand you are a gamer who is concerned with unlocking all of the Achievements that a game has to offer or you are what is often called a "completest" who simply has to experience every aspect of a game, well then unlocking the alternate endings is a no-brainer!

So here -- in some detail -- are the steps you will need to take to do that:

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(I) -- Paradox Ending: A Giant Mistake
Location: Bresha Ruins (AF005)
Requirement: Paradox Scope On
Brief Instructions: Replay the Atlas Battle but do not weaken him with the machine -- you must defeat his fully-powered version. Once he is defeated, you unlock the ending.

More Complex Instructions: Verify that Paradox Scope is enabled and then lock the Gate for Bresha Ruins AF005 and enter it.  After the CS plays out and you arrive in the zone, progress to the point where you encounter the fully-powered Atlas and instead of heading into the tunnels to locate the machine and weaken him, rush forward and kick his buttinsky!

This is actually a fairly straight-forward proposition as long as you remember that the point to this is not to five-star it, but simply to defeat Royal Ripeness no matter what the score you end up with!  One way to do that is to set your Paradigms to include the following:

-- Delta Attack-X (COM/RAV/SEN)
-- Mystic Tower (SEN/RAV/RAV)
-- Offensive Screen (COM/COM/SEN)
-- Attrition (MED/SAB/SEN)
-- Protection (MED/SYN/SEN)
-- Combat Clinic (MED/MED/SEN)

Basically the combination of Paradigms above allows you to proactively buff and debuff as needed while you are more or less protected by your tank, while still providing the opportunity to really dish out the damage when you want to.

Once you get him KO'd you will have to do the Cinematic Sequence again, hitting    

Left Joystick RIGHT
'B'
Left Joystick RIGHT
'A'
Left Joystick RIGHT
Push 'A'
Left Joystick  RIGHT
Push 'A'

You are then thrust into the Historica Crux and unlock the new Gate The Archylte Steppes AF??? -- head in and you get a CS and the alternate ending and a reward of 10,000 CP and the Transcript: A Giant Mistake Fragment.  Well done!


Loose Ends: Unlocking the Long Gui Fragment

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(II) -- Paradox Ending: Vanille’s Truth
Location: Oerba (AF200)
Requirement: Paradox Scope On
Brief Instructions: Return to the beach building roof and defeat Caius with the Paradox Scope on.

More Complex Instructions: Verify that the Paradox Scope is enabled in Character Menu > Fragment Skills > Paradox Scope (it should read "Challenge history's possibilities" under Current Settings), and then lock the Gate for Oerba AF200.

When you enter the zone head along the beach to the abandoned building with the garden on its roof and the broken skylight, head up the stairs from the beach and when you reach the roof you will find an Oracle Drive at the marker.  Trigger it and you get a CS in which Serah sees Lightning and embraces her, and then the events on the beach at the end of the previous game plays out, and then Lightning disappears and Serah senses that the prophecy has changed.

Caius and Yeul appear and Caius delivers his warning: If you change the future, you change the past!  He begins to explain the nature of Yeul and then he attacks!  This is really just about beating him to a standstill and not killing him -- you should find this to be a relatively easy battle though once Caius drops to a certain point in health he will heal himself completely.  He is pretty good about maintaining and replacing his buffs so a certain amount of Paradigm shifting will be required to end this quickly.

Bear in mind that this battle is a lot tougher than the previous one that you had during the story, but how you score here is not as important as just winning the battle, since score has nothing to do with you seeing the paradox ending or obtaining the rewards.  If things go rougher than expected try to remember that Caius is particularly vulnerable when poisoned.  I am just saying...  

Defeating him on the roof at the beach unlocks the Gate for a new zone -- Oerba AF??? -- and thrusts you into the Historica Crux outside of that Gate.  When you enter you experience a CS in which you see the paradox ending Vanille’s Truth!  Vanille tells the story (with Serah's help) and then you receive the reward of 10,000 CP and the Transcript: Vanille’s Truth Fragment.  Well done mates!

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(III) -- Paradox Ending: Mog’s Marvelous Flan Plan

Location: Sunleth Waterscape (AF300)
Requirement: None
Brief Instructions: Defeat the Royal Ripeness with Snow twice to unlock a Paradox Ending.

More Complex Instructions: Verify that the Paradox Scope is enabled and then go to the Historica Crux and select the Gate for Sunleth Waterscape AF300, locking the Gate down and entering it.  Once you arrive the story resumes back where it was when you first arrived here -- where you fought the Royal Ripeness briefly with Snow and then headed off to solve the paradox that made Royal Ripeness into the much weaker green tomato -- but this time that is not the plan.  Instead you battle Royal Ripeness as before but, rather than heading off to resolve the paradox to weaken it, you battle it a second time with Snow in its current very red and dangerous state!

This is actually a fairly straight-forward proposition as long as you remember that the point to this is not to five-star it, but simply to defeat Royal Ripeness no matter what the score you end up with!  One way to do that is to set your Paradigms to include the following:

-- Delta Attack-X (COM/RAV/SEN)
-- Mystic Tower (SEN/RAV/RAV)
-- Offensive Screen (COM/COM/SEN)
-- Attrition (MED/SAB/SEN)
-- Protection (MED/SYN/SEN)
-- Combat Clinic (MED/MED/SEN)

Basically the combination of Paradigms above allows you to proactively buff and debuff as needed while you are more or less protected by your tank, while still providing the opportunity to really dish out the damage when you want to.  Remember to use debilitating attacks like Poison and Wound to help create an edge when you are battling mobs who are particularly susceptible to that strategy.

When you arrive in the zone follow Serah after the CS ends (just like before) and when you arrive at the clearing ahead and step into the marker you will encounter Snow and Serah -- after she has her say and they have their reunion, it is time for the first battle.

Your first Cinematic Sequence requires you to hit 'X' and then Left Joystick UP, push 'X' followed by a rapid-tap 'X' and then Left Joystick RIGHT, another rapid-tap but with 'B' this time, and you get a perfect second Cinematic Sequence that ends the battle with a nice 5-star rating.

The Miniflan head towards Royal Ripeness to help it recover, and Noel convinces Snow to retreat -- at least for the moment.  Now when we played this zone previously we headed for the Gate to deal with the paradox and thus to weaken Royal Ripeness -- but this time that is not the plan!  Instead we go ahead and take on Royal Ripeness in all its power and glory and, with patience and dedication (and a fair number of Potions mind you) we defeat that bad boy!  Or is it a girl?  How do you tell with a giant tomato anyway?

During the LT event select Let's defeat the Flan and then Noel tells you what dorks you are being -- OK he doesn't really say that, but he does urge you to not attack the Flan...  Well, bugger him!

This battle is tough but nowhere near as tough as the ones we did with Caius...  Using the Paradigms outlined above you should have no trouble at all in dealing with him/her/it -- if you do bear in mind this advice: always heal when you lose more than 20% health from any of your characters using Potions.  Try to remember to buff, and debuff, and stick it with negative conditions like Poison.

Using these tactics and remembering to dish out the damage should see you easily five-star this battle.  After which you are thrust into the Historica Crux and presented with a new Gate -- Sunleth Waterscape AF??? -- which you should enter immediately to get the CS in which the Paradox Ending: Mog’s Marvelous Flan Plan unrolls and, at the end of which you receive the rewards of 10,000 CP and the Transcript: Mog’s Marvelous Flan Plan Fragment and the satisfaction of unlocking yet another paradox alternate ending!

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(IV) -- Paradox Ending: Test Subjects
Location: Augusta Tower (AF200)
Requirement: Paradox Scope On
Brief Instructions: Defeat the Proto fal’Cie at the top floor with the Paradox Scope On.

More Complex Instructions: Verify that your Paradox Scope is engaged and lock the Gate for Augusta Tower (AF200) and enter -- where you will get a brief CS and then play through the level starting with accessing the terminals in the room you are in and then head down the path to the next room and use the terminals there hitting 'A' to insert the correct password.

Head back to the first room and exit the other side stepping into the marker for a CS -- use the switch and learn that it is jammed just like before...  but now you have the key so use the switch and you are good to go!  Head for the lift and talk to Alyssa's doppelganger.  After your conversations with her she takes you on the lift and you get attacked as per the plan...

 Use the lift controls to go to the 52nd floor and then use it again after the CS to get to the Top Floor where you have your battle with a Greater Behemoth (all of like five seconds right?) and then head upstairs for the CS with Yeul.

Finally you battle the Fal'cie Adam and beat him, unlocking the new Gate Augusta Tower AF??? and entering it, obtaining the next to last Paradox Ending -- from which you earn the rewards of 10,000 CP and the Transcript: Test Subjects.  Nice one!

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(V) -- Paradox Ending: The Future Is Hope
Location: Academia (AF4XX)
Requirement: Paradox Scope On
Brief Instructions: Turn in the Graviton Cores to Alyssa with the Paradox Scope On, watch the full CS, and then during the LT conversation, refuse to accept the Artifact.

More Complex Instructions: Check to be sure that the Paradox Scope is on and then select and lock the Academia AF4XX Gate and head in.  When you arrive go into the Academy HQ and speak to Noel, and then to Alyssa, giving her the five Graviton Cores and watching the CS's that this generates -- I don't think you can skip any of them BTW...  When she offers you the Artifact in the LT event, say NO (do not accept it) and you immediately get the alternate ending CS in which Alyssa gets... Well, you should watch this and be surprised!

Your reward is 3,000 CP and the Transcript: The Future Is Hope Fragment.


Loose Ends: Unlocking the Ochu Fragment

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(VI) -- Paradox Ending: Beneath a Timeless Sky
Location: The Void Beyond
Requirement: Paradox Scope On
Brief Instructions: Go back to Academia (AF4XX) and give the Gravitron Cores to Alyssa, and accept the artifact.  Fight Caius again at the Throne of the Goddess.

More Complex Instructions:  Lock the gate for Academia AF4XX and then enter it, making your way to the Academy HQ and going inside where you speak with first Noel and then Alyssa, before turning in the five Cores that are required to trigger the LT event in which you either accept or decline the Gate Artifact.  In this case you want to accept it -- after which the marker is placed on the now repaired Gate (that you now possess the Artifact for) -- so exiting the HQ and heading to the Gate is your next step.

After you go through the gate you follow the course of the game just as you did before, speaking to each of the Yeul's and eventually doing battle with Caius -- but this Caius is a VERY different Caius than the one you previously fought right here.  In fact the battle you are about to have is in almost every respect a completely different one, starting with the fact that Caius uses his AOE attack much more often and with more effect than previously, he is well-buffed and he is anal about re-applying his buffs, and what is more, when you get him whittled down to a certain health level he casts an ability that completely restores his health!  (Note that he only can do that once).

The battle with Caius can be approached in two different ways -- fast and slow -- so assuming you are confident with the different jobs and you have Monsters that are well-leveled and whose strengths and weaknesses you understand a blitz approach may well be the way to go, bearing in mind that keeping an eye on your health and that of your companion is a critical matter.

Alternatively you can take the "slow-and-steady-wins-the-race" approach (which is how I prefer to do it)...  Understand that at best you will three-star this battle that way and, at worse, no-star it.  The good thing is that it really does not matter how you score with it, because your objective is to simply complete it any way that you can so that you get to see what follows -- the alternate ending!

After you defeat Caius you are thrust back into the Historica Crux and a new Gate is now unlocked (bear in mind that this is the case with a lot of these -- completing them unlocks one of the many Gates that remained gray and inaccessible on the Historica Crux chart until you unlock them this way).  As the CS plays out you instantly grasp that perhaps killing Caius in this way was probably not a good idea, but Serah never gives up and continues looking for a Gate that will allow her and Noel to resume their adventuring -- and that is where this alternative ending (technically this is actually a paradox ending) ends!

Your reward for completing this -- in addition to getting to see an alternate ending for the game -- is a whopping 10,000 CP and the Transcript: Beneath a Timeless Sky Fragment.

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(VII) -- Paradox Ending: Heir to Chaos
Location: A Dying World (AF700)
Requirement: Paradox Scope Off and On
Brief Instructions: Go to Academia (AF4XX) with the Paradox Scope OFF at first and turn in the Gravitron Cores to Alyssa, accept the artifact during the LT event.  Now fight Caius, continue the story until you reach New Bodhum, at which point you now turn ON the Paradox Scope.   Play through to the Dying World (AF700) where you battle Caius with Noel alone with the Paradox Scope still ON.

More Complex Instructions: Right, so first thing you need to do is access the Fragment Abilities Menu and disable the Paradox Scope.  With that done, lock the Gate for Academia AF4XX and enter it, then go to the Academy HQ and speak to Noel and then Alyssa, turning in the five Graviton Cores to trigger the LT event in which this time you accept the Artifact.

Head for the Gate and get through the long CS and then, saying goodbye to Hope and his shadow head into the Gate and you arrive at the ambush site in The Void Beyond (Year Unknown) for your with Yeul and then a battle with Caius that sends you to the dream world of  New Bodhum (year unknown).

Now head over and talk to Snow and, when you finish the conversation with him but BEFORE you talk to Lightning on the dock, turn the Paradox Scope ON (in other words enable it).  After you have enabled the Paradox Scope, talk to Lightning and refuse to accept the dream (selecting 'A' "No"), which causes this sister to break up.

Now run to the meteor clearing where the Gate should be and talk to the image of Vanille there -- and then Fang -- who will help you to wake up!  After the CS ends enter the Spacetime Distortion and you get another brief CS before you enter the Historica Crux and then the Gate for A Dying World AF700, where you run forward to encounter Noel and his slain birthday dinner beast.

Work your way through the rest of this part of the story following Noel back to his meeting with Caius where you observe again the interaction of what was obviously a deep friendship...  Talk to Caius to trigger the next CS, and then run forward and use Mooglehunt to reveal shadow Noel and his conversation with Yeul.

After the conversation ends Yeul has a chat bubble above her -- activate it to spawn the next CS of Noel and then follow him for another CS in which he is once again confronted by Caius, who again asks Noel to kill him.  Noel refuses, and then Caius disabuses him of his fantasy notions.

-- Paradox Scope Battle: Noel vs. Caius --

The battle now commences, and as it turns out this is perhaps the most frustrating battles you faced in the game so far...  If not the most frustrating than it is certainly one of the top three at least in part due to the nature of the attacks that Caius uses, which consist of a mixture of healing and interruption...  It is very disheartening for you to expend considerable effort at killing him only to have Caius snap his fingers and become fully healed over and over again...  

When you combine his unfortunate ability to heal himself with his very effective (and effectively used) interruption attacks you find yourself either stunned or thrown in the air (or both) and thus unable to attack, cast spells, or even use items (like the Potions that you will use a lot of).  

There are several ways that this can play out -- you could, for instance, continue to burn through your Potions while blitzing him and if you are really lucky that might work...  Or not...  Alternatively you can spend some time Poisoning him, Wounding him, and then while he is Poisoned (and thus very vulnerable) smack him around good!

Obviously you need to keep an eye on your health and while you are about it try never to allow it to drop below 4000 HP because he has a series of attacks that, if you are debuffed badly and you fail to get healing he can actually kill you rather quickly.  The best strategy if you have a hard time of it is to use Wound to get his health bar to half capacity, and then simply Poison him and then switch to your damage-dealing Paradigm and KO him quickly.  You will find that when Poisoned Caius is very easy to Stagger, and once Staggered very easy to damage...  You just need to try to time it so that you are fully healed or nearly so at the start of your blitzing -- that way you can take full advantage of the Stagger Meter.

After you defeat him you are pushed into the Historica Crux where you find yourself outside of the Gate for A Dying World AF??? which, when you enter it, triggers a CS in which Noel reflects upon the events that immediately follow his defeat of Caius and how things go wrong from there...

When the CS ends you are rewarded with 10,000 CP and the Transcript: Heir to Chaos Fragment.  


Loose Ends: Unlocking the Fragment of Invincibility



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-- The Hidden/Secret 9th Ending --

You were probably expecting to unlock the Achievement for seeing all of the alternate endings, right?  Well no, there is one more you will have to complete but the rub is that getting to it is not going to be easy -- you see you have to have unlocked all of the outstanding Fragments first -- and that means that you will need to spend some time collecting data on Monsters...   

The Fragment in question is under the heading of Academic Reward Fragments, and is called Academic Rank: Monster Professor and its Datalog Page reads:

"Fragment: Academic Rank: Monster Professor -- Show off your Bestiary

"Academia 4XX AF.  Dr. M has explored every inch of the world and boasts of his world-class monster database.

"Collect enough enemy data to that even the famous doctor must recognize the brilliance of your bestiary."

-- What That Means --

What that means is simple enough, really...  Access the Character Menu, then select the following path:

"Bestiary > Rift Beast > Vermin"

Now if you look at this page you will notice that it is constructed using a clear system: each of the monsters of this type is listed in three columns.  The center column contains their name, the right column contains the symbol that either means they have been captured/tamed (a Monster Crystal Icon), that they CAN be captured/tamed but have not yet (a Monster Face), or that they can NOT be captured or tamed (a circle with an X).  Finally there is the left-hand column, which is either blank or has a white check-mark.

The check-mark indicates that you have fought enough of that specific Monster so as to gather enough information to complete the database entry for them.  Generally speaking that information includes (1) Habitat, (2) Chain Resistance, (3) Stagger Point, (4) Common Drop, (5) Rare Drop, (6) Status Immunities, (7) Vulnerabilities, and (8) Notes.  In the lower right-hand corner of the right-hand column you will notice the header for "Report" which simply tells you what their capture status is...  They are either untamable, tamable, or tamed.  Simple really.

So at this point what you need to do is print out the Monster Collection Ticklist that is part of this guide and then go through and tick-off the ones that you have the tickmark on (note that I said "tickmark" and not tamed crystal since the requirement for this is not having tamed them -- which would be infinately harder -- but rather to have recorded their data -- which only requires you to have fought a few of them to collect it).

Once you know which ones you have the data on, why then, you know which you do not -- and hopefully the "Do Not" list is much much smaller than the other.  So, start collecting the missing data and, when you have it all, go back to Academia AF4XX and chat up Dr. M so that he can be amazed by your personal database, and you thus unlock the Fragment Academic Rank: Monster Professor, which is probably the hardest of the remaining Fragments in your list!

Now with that mischief managed, go collect the remaining Fragments and then come back here...

Are you back?   And you have all 160 Fragments?  Excellent!   No, really... I wasn't kidding, you need all 160 before you can do this.

Right then -- go into the Character Menu and into Fragment Abilities and make sure that you have the Paradox Scope ability turned ON.  With that done, enter the Historia Crux and lock the gate for Academia AF500, then head inside and defeat Caius and the final boss -- now here is the tricky part -- you need to wait until after the credits roll in order to witness the new scene... OK it was not really tricky at all, and in fact that was really the most twisted ending of them all really...  I will not ruin it for you by discussing it, I will not reveal any information about it at all because, well, this one you need to see for yourself...  I am just saying.



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