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P10A: Serendipity AF???

Final Fantasy XIII-2 Walkthrough and Guide

by CMBF  

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P10A: Serendipity AF???

You have probably been hearing about the Casino for a while if you don't just play the game but actually read about it online -- and if you were wondering about it, well, here it is!  Before we get too far into the actual zone I wanted to comment about the Casino and the games available here -- the Slot Machine and Chocobo Races specifically (there will be additional games made available through DLC in the future too) -- because they have been a subject of heated commentary on fan sites and chat boards all over the world in which they are variously despised and declared a massive time-sink and even the representation of grief code in the game. 

There have been some very heated attacks against these mini-games, with some gamers going so far as to suggest that by connecting them to an Achievement / Trophy as well as to Fragments the developers basically insult the gamers by subjecting them to a pair of games that are basically random in their play and that are too luck-oriented to be fair...  Honestly I do not believe that this is a fair representation of these mini-games, mostly because except for the Achievement / Trophy that is connected to their play and a handful of special items that can only be obtained through them, they are strictly a voluntary element of the game...

Let's be honest here -- while the Fragments do certainly play into the story and so are a required element the facts are that they can easily be obtained through regular play.  The Achievement is a different story, because unlocking that with any sort of speed requires the player to be very careful in how they play the games, particularly the Slot Machine, even to the point that their play is somewhat unnatural -- but remember that Achievements are completely separate from the game and story here.  They are not required for you to actually complete the game is all that I am saying.  But I am aware that most gamers consider them a part of game play, and that they WANT to unlock them -- so part of this section of the guide includes specific instructions on how you can do that without all of the problems that other gamers bemoan online.

There is perhaps a little accuracy in calling both of these games a time-sink if only because a lot of time can be wasted in playing them if you just play them willy-nilly without taking the precautions that must be taken with the Slots, or the effort in leveling and infusing your Chocobo.  These are two issues that you should bear in mind as you approach this part of the game.

-- Back to the Casino --

As you enter the zone you will recall that we were here once before -- but the door was barred to us.  Since we already have the ticket from the Treasure Sphere in the corner we can go ahead and pass through the now open doors, where we find that Serah was correct: it is a Casino -- no, THE Casino!

Standing in the entrance is an NPC woman who will tell you -- in what sounds like an enthusiastic Indian accent -- where you are and why it is here, followed by a "Hitting the Casino" Datalog Page (you can find this under Datalog > Primers: Casino > Hitting the Casino later if you want to re-read it)  that explains the purpose of the place for you, and then you receive the Key Item: Map of Serendipity and another Casino Ticket from her. 

As you enter the Casino after chatting her up, your Moogle heads off to play on her own, and you can now head inside and, as suggested, trade in some of your Gil for Casino Coins.

An Enthusiastic Casino Introduction

There are people that you can talk to here -- guides and other types -- and you should be sure to grab the Fall Gate Seal from the Treasure Chest on the left side of the spinning wheel, and then chat up the Guide there to learn about the Slot Machines and Chocobo Races...  And about those -- you will likely find that the Slot Machines are more useful to you if you are working towards unlocking the Achievement for winning 10,000 Coins, but please do bear in mind that this Achievement is for WINNING 10,000 Coins -- the ones you buy do NOT count for that total, and if you start buying and losing coins you can easily push that Achievement into a much more difficult to unlock challenge, so before you do that continue reading this section...

To the right of the spinning wheel is a Treasure Sphere containing a Lighting Mask (IF you have an FFXIII save on your console that is), and entering the door to the structure on the right (The Hall of Gaming) will take you to the gaming area, where you can learn about the games available there from the Greeter just inside.  If you don't know how they work it would be an idea to read up on that.

In the back of the gaming building is a Chocolina who will sell you Coins and with whom you can exchange any Casino Tickets you have, and also Purchase Prizes.  Speaking of Prizes, there is actually a reason why we want to play here besides the fun, and the Achievement -- some of the prizes you can get here are really useful and this is also the only place they can be obtained.  After you win some serious Coin you should check them out!

The Prizes you can obtain here include a bunch of Adornments but the ones you will want to seriously work for are the following:

-- Chaos Crystal (10,000 Coins)
-- Wild Artifact (10,000 Coins)
-- Elixir (30,000 Coins)
-- Summoner's Mask (5,000 Coins)

As I said, in addition to the above there are a variety of Adornments and a selection of Chocobo Racing items here as well -- you can easily spend loads of Gil/Coins on this stuff -- but as you can return here and play any time you want there really is no rush on that -- and if you are a gamer who places a high value upon unlocking the Achievements in the games you play, then you will want to go ahead and work on the Achievement: "Serendipitous" (12 G) Amassed a fortune in casino coins.  Unlocking this Achievement can be a daunting challenge if you are not careful, but we cover using the Slot Machines to do it below -- and since the Slot Machines do not require the massive amount of effort that the Chocobo Races will and also have a Fragment inside them (the Lucky Coin) that you need to get as well, it is the obvious choice for this...

-- The Slot Machine --

Talk to the hostesses -- the one standing by the first slot machine (towards the entrance that looks like a large exercise bike) who will tell you whether the condition of the machines and whether they are hot or cold -- obviously hot is better than cold.  The condition will be one of the following:

-- Not a Happy Camper
-- In the dumps
-- It's not doing well, but it's not doing poorly either...
-- Nothing special...
-- That machine's on fire!
-- It's like a hot summer's day.

Playing the Slots here can be a very time-consuming effort by design -- after more than 20 hours of experimentation with the Slot Machines alone I have concluded that how you play them really does not matter in the end, save for when they are in one of the special modes, because the result for each play in the normal mode is determined as soon as the lever is pulled, and is based solely upon the role of the random number generator in the game code.   That being the case you can either play by hand, or you can use the auto-play button while in normal mode -- but once you actually draw three-9's and enter the special mode, you are best served by playing by hand. 

Some gamers suggest that it is easier to just use a rubber band to hold down the auto-play (LB) and let the game run on its own -- but if you are contemplating doing that you should be aware that when you use the rubber band and auto-play method this reduces the chances of winning roles for the non-special-mode wins by as much as 33% depending upon the feelings of the machine.  Not only that but it will, unless you are very lucky, result in losing a lot of coins, which in turn ends up requiring you to have to win more in order to recover what you lost before you can put yourself in a positive balance when working towards the Achievement.

Considering that the Achievement is really the only thing that you actually MUST win coins for (you can buy coins with Gil to purchase the items in the store) the process of unlocking that Achievement is better served by a more focused approach, and that starts by understanding how the Slots work, which is really a lot simpler than it may appear.

There are three modes of play: Normal (x5 Coins), Victory (x10 Coins) and Super Victory (x100 Coins) -- each mode being attained by rolling a jackpot followed by three-9's -- and the higher the mode, the higher the pay-out, but with each of the higher modes there are certain symbol combinations that, if you get them, it will reset you to the lowest mode.  With respect to the conditions, you should only play the Slots if the Hostess says that they are on Fire, or Like a Hot Summer Day, which are the two highest streak levels.  Anything other than that and it is not worth playing.

Please understand that even with the highest streak setting this is not intended to be -- nor will it be -- a rapid progress.  While it is true that you cannot win if you don't play, you will only win slowly here and, while that will not prevent you from achieving the first goal associated with the Slot Machine, obtaining the Lucky Coin Fragment, it may very well prevent you from achieving the second, which is an actual Achievement.

-- Slot Strategies --

Your first objective is to roll long enough to accumulate 7,777 coins in winning (you do not have to have all 7,777 at once, it adds up all that you have won) by getting the three-9's and thus receive the Lucky Coin Fragment that is inside the Slot -- you will know when this happens when you hear the remark about the special coin. 

With that done you have to decide whether or not you want to try to continue for the second objective, which is to get the 10,000 coins required to unlock the Achievement.  I chose to, and while it was a rather boring process once it unlocks you are all the happier with the knowledge that you never ever have to do this again!  Interestingly I unlocked the Achievement BEFORE obtaining the Fragment, but your mileage may vary on that score.

You now know what is required but in addition to this basic requirement there is a catch to this that you need to be aware of: unlocking the Achievement requires that you win a profit of 10,000 coins -- which means that you must have in your possession 10,000 more coins that you have spent or lost -- and that is why this is perhaps the most elusive and difficult Achievement in the game for most players...

Working the Slots for an Achievement and a Fragment

To understand this consider the following situation -- you spend 100,000 Gil to purchase 10,000 coins from the Casino Chocolina.  That puts your current total at -10,000 coins -- and then you play the Slots with each roll deducting from your total.  To unlock the Achievement all that you need to do is obtain a total of 20,001 coins and then quit the Slot Machine, and the Achievement will unlock.  But if you play and lose all or most of the first 10,000 and then visit the Chocolina and buy an additional 10,000, the total that you now need to obtain is 30,001 and not the original 20,001 because you must now account for the 10,000 coins you have already lost.  For that reason you do not want to save if you have lost a significant amount of coins!

It is possible to hit a roll in the top mode that will pay-off 50,000 coins, but the odds of actually hitting that role are estimated to be 320,000-to-1, re-calculated for EACH ROLL.  That means that the odds apply to every roll -- each subsequent roll does not increase the chances of hitting that combination.

If you only care about completing the game and story and the Achievements do not matter to you, then you do not need to complete the second goal at all -- you can simply play until you obtain the Lucky Coin Fragment and then use Gil to buy the coins needed to purchase the items that you want from the Casino Chocolina.  Alternatively if you are willing to put out a massive amount of time and effort you can obtain a Silver or Gold Chocobo and then level them up by farming the required components and infusing the right Monsters, and then unlock the Achievement by racing it (there is an item you need to obtain through racing that we will cover shortly in the racing section) -- but that actually takes a lot more effort and time than the Slots will if you follow the strategy outlined below:

-- Basic Slot Strategy --

To unlock the Achievement "Serendipitous" (12 G) Amassed a fortune in casino coins -- you should approach this in a very structured way.  Purchase your first (and ONLY) 10,000 coins for your efforts in gaining the Fragment and Achievement, and then go to the Slot Machine and save your game.  That creates the base save that you will be building upon as follows:

(1) Talk to the Slots Hostess to learn the condition of the Slot Machine -- if it is "On Fire" or "Like a Hot Summer Day" get into the machine and start playing. 

(2) If your losses exceed 250 coins, quit, get out of the machine, quit the game, and then reload so that you are back where you started standing by the Slot Machine with your original 10,000 coins.  Talk to the hostess to learn the condition of the machine -- if it is lower than the two target conditions, quit and reload the game and repeat until it is one of the two target levels, then get in and play.  Rinse and repeat until;

(3) You win -- the first level pays off in 250 coins.  Exit the Slot Machine and save your game.  With that save you have now built a higher amount of money in your purse.  Get back into the machine and continue playing.  If you hit another three-9's or any substantial increase in your purse, exit the machine and save.  If your purse drops below 10,000 coins, exit the machine, quit the game and reload.

REMEMBER: Always bet the maximum amount that you can bet -- when you switch from auto-play to manual play, which you should be doing once you get to the higher modes, you have to actually hit the betting button (RB) multiple times to increase the bet -- for example once for x5, twice for x10, and three times for x100.  Be sure that you do that as it obviously impacts the pay-off at the higher modes!

You may be thinking that this strategy sounds like it will require a lot of time -- and it will, but unless you are really unlucky we are talking about time measured in just an hour or at the most two, and not the massive amount of time that it can take using the rubber band method...  Using the Slots in this way is really a lot faster than the Choco Races -- though it will not keep you from eventually having to put in that time if you want The Collector's Catalog -- but still, adding to your base purse this way will see you reaching the point where you unlock both the Fragment AND the Achievement quicker than you will otherwise... 

Luck does play a major role in all this as you can probably guess, and for some of you the effort described above may take less than half-an-hour, whereas for others it will take longer, based only upon luck, but if you watch the video embedded above you will see that sometimes the jackpots come quickly and with very little effort! 

Once you have obtained both the Fragment and the Achievement you are basically done with the Slot Machine -- and good on ya!  Unless you actually want to, you will never have to think about it again or even touch the Slot Machine, and that will be a relief right?

Obtaining the Rest of the Fragments for Serendipity

Now that we have completed unlocking the Achievement and obtaining the Fragment: Lucky Coin, there are a few things that we still need to do -- and hopefully you have the Coins to do them thanks to your winnings (and the Gil to buy any additional coins you will need).  Basically there are some Fragments and items we want to snag -- so head to the Casino Chocolina at the back and purchase the following:

Chaos Crystal (10,000 Coins)
Priceless Gift (9,800) AKA "Just 1 Gil"
Setzer's Dice (10,000)

Those are the three Fragments that we needed to get here in addition to the Lucky Coin -- there is one more (the 5th Fragment) but we get that in the lobby of the Chocobo Races Building, and not in here.  In addition to the three items above, you may want to buy some of the other things that she offers for sale -- but those are all totally optional and up to you, so I am not going to advise on that.

With these managed it is time to exit the games area back into the Casino proper...

-- Back in the Casino --

Now that we are finished with the Hall of Gaming, go ahead and exit, then head to the other (left) side of the Casino and enter the Chocobo's Mystical Chamber, where you will encounter The Mystic, who you can show the Fragments that you have collected to in order to unlock additional abilities.  For example at the moment you should (if you have been following the guide) have enough Fragments so that you can unlock the abilities Improved Moogle Throw and Haggler. 

Note: to enable the Improved Moogle Throw and Haggler Skills you have to access the Fragment Skills Selection from the Character Menu of the game and turn them on...

Improved Moogle Throw allows you to throw your Moogle pretty much anywhere with a chanced it will find something (and throw it in specific places to get specific things, like the Silver Chocobo that we are about to go after)...  Haggler on the other hand increases the sale price for items that you sell to the Chocolina by 10% and how cool is that?  We are done here for now so exit and head up to the Chocobo Races now!

In the Chocobo Races Lobby head to the left of the Chocolina Clerk on the left side (that is the race clerk, as opposed to the one on the right, who is a Chocolina Vender who sells the same items as the one in the Games Area) and, looking on the bench seats along the wall here you will spot a baby Chocobo -- select that to get a brief CS and the 5th and final Fragment for Serendipity -- the Chocochick Down Fragment.  Well done mates!  You have all five Fragments for this area, and the Achievement associated with the Casino!  Very nice!

All that is left for us now at the moment is obtaining The Collector's Catalog -- but to do that we have to have a Chocobo to race...  So first read the next part of this section on Chocobo Racing to learn what you need to know about that and getting the Silver Chocobo we will need to race.

Obtaining the Additional Fragment Skills from the Mystic

-- Chocobo Racing --

Similar to FFVII and very much like in FFXI, you actually race YOUR OWN Chocobo here, it is not like you are going to the track and just betting on the Chocobo of other racers, though you can bet on them too.  With that in mind, a regular Chocobo or even most of the colored ones are not going to cut it -- you need to have a Silver Chocobo as a minimum, and a Gold Chocobo ideally if you are going to really do well here, but then having one or the other is not really the end so much as the beginning since you also need to level it up and infuse some useful passive abilities.

-- Obtaining your Racer --

First you need to be aware that the Silver and Gold Chocobo are not like the other colored birds -- you can only obtain their Crystals once, so you need to be sure that you level them exactly the way you want and need to since you cannot simply get another one and start over.

To obtain the Silver Chocobo visit Academia AF4XX and use the Improved Moogle Throw (that we  obtained in the Casino) on the small platform situated below the projection of Cocooon near the green sphere inside the inner lobby of the Academy HQ -- actually you do not need to even think about this at the moment -- we will be getting this as part of the guide later so no worries (but if you want that information look in the guide for the sections marked with "(Silver Chocobo)" in their titles).

Alternatively you can obtain the Gold Chocobo from the Treasure Chest in the northern area of  A Dying World 700AF; the Treasure chest is in the north, a bit east of the bridge.  But really the Silver Chocobo is best...  I am just saying.

With one or the other obtained you will also need to gather the following Monster Items in order to level one up: 25 Potent Crystals (Microchu -- Rainy), 50 Potent Essences (Catcherpiller / Hedge Frog / Mud Frog / Swampmonk -- Rainy), and 40 Potent Orbs ((Buccaboo/Buccaboo Ace).   One of the best (and obvious) places for farming these is the Clearwater Marsh in  The Archylte Steppes, which we just left.

-- 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 (Microchu 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)

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.

* Good base abilities to target.

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.

-- Racing Rewards --

In addition to the Gil and the highly desirable special item called The Collector's Catalog that you get for winning the Dahaka Stakes Race (in the Fal'Cie Class which is the highest) you can win by taming, training, and racing your Chocobo, there are a number of random items that you are awarded for winning each race, as well as a set of different Adornment items you can only obtain through racing by fulfilling specific conditions.  These include the following:

Race Title / Conditions / Reward
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

All-Rounder / Win a 600m, 1,200m, and 1,800m race in a single career / Tropical Tree
Bird on Fire / Win 10 consecutive races / Red Chocobo Chick
Derby Champ / Win all races with the Derby suffix in a single career / Blue Moogle Bobble
Fortitude / Win an 1,800m race / Lebreau's Violet Tattoo
Grade-Getter / Win all 10 Graded Races in a single career / Tonberry Figurine
Guardian Eliminator / Win all Guardian Class races in a single career / Mark of Lindzei
Moneybags / Win 3,000 coins in a career / Halo
Speedster / Demonstrate speed in a short race / Electric Guitar
Super Sleuth / Win all 10 secret races in a single career / Crown
Supreme Fal'Cie Chocobo / Win all Fal'Cie Class races in one career / Mark of Etr
Trooper / Compete in 20 races in a single career / Frying Pan
Underdog / Win a race where your Chocobo isn't favored / Ripe Apple
Victorious / Win five races in a single career / Train Conductor Cap

And the trio of medals:

King of Cocoon / Win all Cocoon Class races in a single career / Bronze Medal
Monster Hunter / Win all Monster Class races in one career / Silver Medal
Weaponmeister / Win all Weapon Class races in a single career / Gold Metal

Note that in order to even get to the Dahaka Stakes Race you will need to have caught and leveled either a Silver or a Gold Chocobo at a minimum, and then properly leveled them and added one or more of the passive abilities, since this is really necessary for you to win with anything like a predictable rate -- which means that obtaining the Catalog will require specific and special effort on your part.

If you are pressed for Gil you can farm the Catalogs and sell them (you can only have one at a time though so you have to sell the one you have before doing the race to get another) for pretty decent Gil...

This should provide you with all the information you need to play through the races for the purposes of obtaining the items that we want to obtain -- but Chocobo Racing can be a fun mini-game event in and by itself.  Just like in FFXI mastering it requires extensive knowledge and the use of tactics -- there are a number of really good guides available online that specifically address this part of the game, and if you really want to master racing, we suggest that you Google for them as that level of play is beyond the scope of this guide.

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Comments for P10A: Serendipity AF???

1 comments, latest first.
Oct 13th 2012 Guest
Really great guide, just to clarify you do CAN have the collector's catalog more than once at a time I have 4 at the moment. Just use shuffle common till the race appears again, win again and it's done ;-)
ID #195705
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