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P10H: Archylte Steppes AF??? (Silver Chocobo)

Final Fantasy XIII-2 Walkthrough and Guide

by CMBF  

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P10H: Archylte Steppes AF??? (Silver Chocobo)

OK!  Now that we have our Silver Chocobo we need to obtain the necessary stuff to level it -- and that stuff consists of the following items:

-- 25 Potent Crystals (Microchu -- Rainy)
-- 50 Potent Essences (Catcherpiller / Hedge Frog / Mud Frog / Swampmonk -- Rainy)
-- 55 Potent Orbs (Buccaboo/Buccaboo Ace)  

You do not actually need as many as I listed above -- but you will need the extras to level the monsters you will want to infuse, so I buffed up the numbers a little so that you end up having what you need when you go to infuse the abilities and will not have to spend extra time impatiently farming the items before you can do the infusions...

As the best (and obvious) place for farming these is the Clearwater Marsh in  The Archylte Steppes, that is why we have headed here!

So the first thing that we want to do is head to the village and use the weather machine to change the weather to Rainy -- the machine settings are:

Lever Settings / Weather
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Up-Up     / Cloudy
Up-Down / Rainy
Down-Down / Sunny
Down-Up / Stormy
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

With the weather set to Rainy we now want to go to the Marshes -- which means head to the stables in the back of the village and rent a regular Chocobo, and ride it all the way to the western side of the map.  When you reach the berms you will jump over them with your Chocobo (actually that is the reason we are riding since you cannot jump the berms that block off the Marshes on foot -- there is a teleport stone we could have used but I like riding Choco and so do you!).

If you are wondering, yes, this effort is really worth it as it will pay off big time later for you in a number of ways...  Plus the farming process here will help us get closer to capping-off our last two jobs -- and won't it be bitchin' to have all the jobs capped-off?!

So, ride your rental Chocobo to the west and, when you reach the berms, jump over into the Marshe area proper, and find a convenient place to dismount!  Welcome to the Clearwater Marshes!  Now save your game!

-- Farming for Leveling Items --

So to fully level our Silver Chocobo with the *right* items, we need to obtain 25 Potent Crystals (Microchu -- Rainy), 50 Potent Essences (Catcherpiller / Hedge Frog / Mud Frog / Swampmonk -- Rainy), and 40 Potent Orbs (Buccaboo/Buccaboo Ace) -- so you know the monsters we need to focus upon.  You should check to see how many of each of these you already have before you begin so you have a solid idea of what you need -- for instance I already have 28 Potent Crystals, so I do not need any of those; I only had 6 Potent Essence so I need lots of those; and ditto on Potent Orbs, which I only had 3 of!

So I am looking to farm Buccaboo's, Catcherpillers, Hedge Frogs, Mud Frogs, and Swampmonks...

Farming is simply a matter of running in circles and beating up on pretty much everything that pops!

Now that we have the full amounts of the items that we need, it is time to apply them to our Silver Chocobo...  before we do that though it would be an idea for you to read (re-read really since you read this once before) the following:

Infusing Racing Abilities

-- Leveling Your Choco --

Four critical factors are taken into consideration for the outcome of the races: Abilities, Speed, Stamina, and Race Points -- all of which are directly impacted by the level of your Chocobo which you raise in the Crystarium.

So approaching the races you will want to have a Silver Chocobo that has been leveled up, with high numbers in each of these four stats.  The ideal racing Chocobo has at least 800 Strength, 800 Stamina (raised by increasing Magic in the Crystarium), and 600 RP (which is raised by the HP in the Crystarium so you will want to get as close to 5000 HP as you can).

Those three are actually the easy part of building a racing Choco...  The HARD part is getting the right passive abilities onto your bird.  The following are the targets and you will want at least one -- but more is better -- on your Choco:

-- Blue Streak (Silver has it by default, infuse a Level 30 Tonberry for Gold)
-- Dark Horse (Microchu Level 18)
-- Free Spirit (Microchu Level 35)
-- Health Nut (Microchu Level 24)
-- Lightning Bolt (Zwerg Metro)
-- Limelight (Goblin Chief Level 22)
-- Marathoner (Gold starts with this by default, Silver must infuse a Microchu at Level 5) *
-- Perseverance (Ravager)*
-- Rocket Blast (Frag Leech Level 30, Pulse Gladiator Level 50)
-- Runaway (Chichu/Nanochu) **
-- Second Wind (Pulse Gladiator)
-- Sprinter (Ravager Level 14)*
-- Supersonic (Chocobo)
-- Turbo (Cait Sith)

* Good base abilities to target.
** Chichu and Nanochu are exclusive monsters -- if you infuse one of them you lose it and cannot replace it with another since only one of each is available in the world.

One factor that you should be aware of (and that has caused a LOT of confusion) is that the racing abilities DO NOT show up when you look at your Monsters.  I have spoken with a lot of gamers in the process of writing this guide to help with distilling how the game is perceived, and which sections that they felt they really needed help with, and one of the most common issues that cropped up was their uncertainty that the infusions that they were doing on their Choco were actually resulting in obtaining the abilities that they desired...  The reason?  They could not SEE them in their Choco stats. 

The issue is not really that they could not see them, but that they did not know what they were looking for in order to READ them.  Each of the racing abilities actually corresponds to the passive ability it is associated with -- so for instance the presence of Improved Counter I on your choco MEANS that it has the racing ability Second Wind!

Obtaining the Exclusive Monster Chichu

To make this process easier for you I am including the corresponding passive ability in parenthesis with the racing abilities below so you can assess what you have and what you still need:

-- Attention Hog (Feral Speed II / Gilfinder II)
-- Blue Streak (Ally KO: Power Surge II / Critical: Protect)
-- Dark Horse (Item Collector / Item Scavenger II)
-- Free Spirit (Auto-Bravery / Auto-Vigilance / Critical: Faith)
-- Health Nut (Rapid Recovery)
-- Lightning Bolt (Chain Bonus Boost II / Stagger Maintenance)
-- Limelight (Kill: ATB Charge / Kill: Libra)
-- Marathoner (Critical: Tetradefense / Critical: Vigilance)
-- Perseverance (ATB Charge I / Improved Raise)
-- Rocket Blast (Feral Surge/Fatigue / Role Resonance)
-- Runaway (Hindrance / Pack Mentality)
-- Second Wind (Fettered Magic / Improved Counter I)
-- Sprinter (Critical: Bravery)
-- Supersonic (Critical: Power Surge II)
-- Turbo (Improved Cure / Critical: Shield)

All you need do is compare the passive abilities on your Choco and translate them to their racing abilities to see where you stand and where you need to be. 

-- Monsters with Multiple Infusable Abilities --

Default: Blue Streak
Level 2: Lightning Bolt

Level 05: Marathoner
Level 18: Dark Horse
Level 24: Health Nut
Level 35: Free Spirit

Pulse Gladiator
Default: Second Wind
Level 23: Marathoner
Level 50: Rocket Blast

Default: Perseverance
Level 14: Sprinter

Where a specific level is required it is noted above -- in the case of Monsters where no level is indicated that means that the default level that they are when you tame them and get a Crystal is sufficient.

A fully-leveled Silver Choco at Level 45 will be able to easily win all but the higher races at the track -- to win those you are going to need to infuse them with a few of the above abilities.

In retrospect as we build the abilities to race I am reminded that Choco Racing in this game seems to have more in common with that of Final Fantasy XI than it does Final Fantasy VII, but it is the latter and not the former that everyone mentions when they talk about racing in the game...  Still, no matter which game you think of the facts are that including Choco Racing in the game was brilliant..,  It adds a measure of fun to the game and gives you something else to do with your monsters, and how cool is that?

-- The Three Gigantaur Boss Mobs --

Before we leave here there is a major task that we need to complete but ONLY if you think you can do it at the level you are at...  If you have not capped off most of the jobs (and ideally ALL of the jobs) on Serah and Noel, it will be a lot less sure than if you have -- chances are you will not get wiped trying to handle these -- but you should be pretty close to having them capped at this point anyway, especially with all the grinding you have been doing to get Materials to level your Chocobo and raise your Monsters to infuse abilities into them...

With all or most of the jobs capped this is a cakewalk -- if you only have one or two capped not so much but it is still doable assuming you have a decent Monster with Sentinel skill that has more than 5000 HP...  I used my Silver Chocbo Stella for this and it made it wicked easy...  You should do the same as it is one of the reasons that we took the route that we did in leveling her up (not just to master the Chocobo Racing you see?).

You need to defeat the trio of Gigantaur here because (1) it gets you some desirable Exclusive Monster Crystals and more important than that, (2) it unlocks a Gate you are going to need access to shortly.  So, with those very worthwhile goals in mind, if you have yet to level up the jobs to a reasonable point, now is the time to do that -- and when you have, let's continue below!

For these battles you will require a reasonably leveled Sentinel -- as I said above I used my Silver Chocobo and I really urge you to do the same since it is ideally suited for this role.   It will be able to  absorb tremendous damage from these guys while the rest of your team delivers tremendous damage.  That is what we call a win-win situation!

The tactics that work best on these beasts are Fire, Magic, and Physical attacks, and debuffs like Deprotect and Deshell.  If you are a player who prefers to use auto-attack you will want to ID these guys using a Librascope at the start of the battle so that your team is using the correct attacks...

You will want to buff yourself, and you will need to stay healed -- which means a set of Paradigm with Sentinel plus two damage dealers, Sentinel plus a damage dealer and Med, and perhaps a dual-Sentinel for when you get hit with the 1000 Needle attacks (if you can learn to spot those coming).

I used the following Paradigm setup for all three battles:

Delta Attack-X (RAV/COM/SEN)
Diversity (RAV/MED/COM)

Seriously that was all that it took for me (I did not have to use any of the others) and it should work for you too.  You should have already revealed all of the marker statues that trigger these battles so weather is not really a concern.  Just head out to the statues and use them to spawn the enemy.

Taking on the Three Gigantaur and Unlocking the Vile Peaks Gate

-- The First Gigantaur Boss Mob Battle --

Locate the group of cactus in the Stonestump Wastelands, in the center of the map, and in the center of the group you will find the Green Cactaur Statue.  Trigger it and then attack the Gigantaur, getting first-strike in if you can..  Then use the combination of Delta Attack-X and Diversity and it should be a relatively short battle.

-- The Second Gigantaur Boss Battle --

In the Clearwater Marsh on the northeast edge is the statue -- if you have not revealed it you can do so in Sunny weather.  Once you have revealed the statue trigger it and then the battle should be a repeat of the previous one with the same tactics.

-- The Third Gigantaur Boss Battle --

This one is in the center of the Clearwater Marsh near the marked raised section and is only found during Rainy weather (it is a hidden one and must be revealed using Mooglehunt).  So if you do not already have it revealed change the weather to Rainy (Up/Down) and then ride a Choco from the village to the marker and hope off and reveal it then trigger it.  This battle should go the same as the previous two.

With your success it is time to head back to the village and set the weather back to Sunny and then head to the Gate which is located to the west of the Long Gui -- when you select it you get the message that you have broken the seal, and then when you click it again you are prompted to use a Wild Artifact to unlock it -- do that -- and you unlock the Vile Peaks AF200 Gate.  Well done mates!

Now it is time to use our Silver Choco for the other purpose for which we have trained it :)

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