MJ's Star Ocean: Till the End of Time 4D Mode Walkthrough Final Draft E-mail: email@example.com Welcome to my Star Ocean 4D mode walkthrough. This walkthrough will offer up winning strategies and tricks to make your burden lighter and your journey easier. These strategies will work on any difficulty mode, but are written for the 4D difficulty mode. This is a 'barebones' guide that doesn't have huge lists of data, directions, etc. Look to other guides such as the official guide for that. Assorted Tips: I suggest you do most of the PAs and try to raise everyones levels for Fayt and each other, so you'll have an easier time getting the angry status when someone dies. Mapping is important to getting fol early on in the game. However, some areas cannot be completed without the disintegration ring, so they aren't worth bothering with. Set the camera to fixed, to see more of the screen at once. Turn off the battle voices if you want to keep your sanity. Always turn off any spells that Fayt or Nel gets, so the AI won't use them. It also helps to turn off healing with Nel, in some battles. IC tip: refining an item with specify plan always has a fixed chance of success. Each time you start a line with specify plan, it will use up one material, regardless if you succeed or not, or whether you succeed multiple times. When you're the only one left in your party, the enemy AI will stop moving or attacking after a period of time as long as your own character is still moving around. Use this to your advantage to lure the enemy, get away from it, or use an item. In 4D mode, enemies will receive stat boosts to ALL their stats, not just HP/MP. This also means their hit and evade is higher. You will need better hit stats to land blows more reliably without being parried. Most normal enemies and bosses will get a 1.8-2.0x boost, and most of the the post-game bosses get a whopping 3.0x boost. Enemies also get a small speed boost and will have their Fury gague hidden from your view. Don't frustrate yourself trying to make difficult IC items to hire worthless inventors (Gossam, Rigel, etc.) Cooking is worthless overall, so just forget it. You don't have to hire every inventor at every opportunity - the IC system is annoying enough as it is. Index: Area 1 - Pesotto Forest Area 2 - Ruins of Coffer Area 3 - Waterway Area 4 - Traum Mountains Area 5 - Kirlsa Caverns Area 6 - Bequerel Mtn Path Area 7 - Bequerel Mts / Barr Cave Treasure Area 8 - Aire/Kirlsa Hills & Granah Hills Area 9 - Kirlsa Training Facility Area 10 - Palmira Plains/Sanmite Steppes Area 11 - Duggus Forest Area 12 - Surferio/Parch to Plenty/Mosel Dunes Area 13 - Bequerel Mines/Abandoned Workshop Area 14 - Sealed Cavern/Shrine of Kadaan/Irisa Fields Area 15 - Parch to Plenty/Mosel Dunes Area 16 - Mosel Ruins Area 17 - Traum Mts/Bequerel Mts Area 18 - Urssa Lava Caves Area 19 - Aquatic Gardens Area 20 - Moonbase Area 21 - Styx Area 22 - Gemity Area 23 - Sphere 211 Area 24 - Shrine of Kadaan 2 Area 25 - Mosel Dunes/Ancient Ruins of Mosel 2 Area 26 - Firewall Area 27 - Spiral Tower Area 28 - Maze of Tribulations B1F-B2F Area 29 - Maze of Tribulations B3F Area 30 - Urssa Lava Temple Area 31 - Maze of Tribulations B4F-B8F Area 32 - Sphere 211 Battle 1 - Incapacitator Vaas Battle 2 - Norton's Henchmen Battle 3 - Norton Battle 4 - Executioner Battle 5 - Giant Crab Battle 6 - Earth Smasher Battle 7 - Shelby Battle 8 - Mudman Battle 9 - Cockatrice Battle 10 - Soldiers/Dragon Battle 11 - Albel Battle 12 - Vox Battle 13 - Crystal Cerberus Battle 14 - Vendeeni Guards Battle 15 - More Dragon Knights Battle 16 - Dragon Zombie Battle 17 - Robin Wind Battle 18 - Crosell Battle 19 - Biwig Battle 20 - Proclaimer Battle 21 - 4D Guards Battle 22 - Azazer Battle 23 - Berial and Belzeber Battle 24 - Proclaimer, Enforcer, Convictor Battle 25 - Lesser Eye Battle 26 - Dark Armor Battle 27 - Crystal Statue Battle 28 - Dark Eye Battle 29 - Chimera Battle 30 - Stone Golem Battle 31 - Amoeba Giant Battle 32 - Aurora Monster Battle 33 - Spirit Trio Battle 34 - Battlecopter Battle 35 - Pseudo Blair Battle 36 - Death Monster Battle 37 - Ruktogias Battle 38 - Chimera Hawk Battle 39 - Luther Battle 40 - Render Battle 41 - Succubus Battle 42 - Urssa Lava Temple Bosses 1 & 2 Battle 43 - Mighty Vox Battle 44 - Sootie Battle 45 - Vile Chimera Battle 46 - Tri-Chimera Battle 47 - Gabriel Celestia Battle 48 - Norton Redux Battle 49 - Enraged Crosell Battle 50 - Shadow Dragon Battle 51 - Vengeful Shelby Battle 52 - Frenzied Biwig Battle 53 - Green Mojara Battle 54 - Arch Demon Battle 55 - Angry Azazer, Raging Belzeber Battle 56 - Furious Berial Battle 57 - Arena Champions Battle 58 - Fayt Battle 59 - Super Blair Battle 61 - Lenneth Battle 62 - Ethereal Queen Battle 63 - Freya The Walkthrough: Battle 1 - Incapacitator Vaas Average Level - Fayt 1 I suggest switching to Peppita and using her to fight with, as she can deal much more damage than Fayt with her multiple-hit attacks. Area 1 - Pesotto Forest Map - Yes (9000 fol) Get the map complete for this area. There's nothing really worth fighting here, but you should get up to level 2 at least, and get a 3x XP chain going. Area 2 - Ruins of Coffer Map - No Fight the scumbags and noblemen for XP, but don't even bother with the shriekers, as they can easily break your chain. Hit the scumbags with Fayt's strong long - strong - weak - weak 4 hit combo to make sure they don't run away. Once you're at level 4, you can start using the Blade of Fury/Aerial cancel combo. Battle 2 - Norton's Henchmen Average Level - Fayt 4 Try to hit them all with the Blade of Fury range, and don't get gang banged. They're basically just scumbag type enemies, so you should be familiar with them by now. Make sure you have the 3x XP bonus, as you can get around 240 XP for the fight. Battle 3 - Norton Average Level - Fayt 6 Cliff 2 Be very careful around Norton, as his juggling attack will easily wipe Fayt out. Cliff will likely die, but no big deal. Just give Norton the run around and smack him with two hits of Blade of Fury then a cancel into Aerial. Battle 4 - Executioner Average Level - Fayt 6 Cliff 2 Nel 3 Quickly run north to protect Nel and split the enemies up. It's faster to take the enemies out with Aerial MP kills. Area 3 - Waterway Map - No Try to get a 3x XP chain going and raise everyone up one level. Avoid the skeleton enemies, and hit the frog enemies if you're feeling confident. Battle 5 - Giant Crab Average Level - Fayt 7 Cliff 4 Nel 4 Move in and perform Aerial cancels for an MP kill. If it starts its special attack, you can chain Aerial to 250% without knocking it down. Be careful not to get whacked by its claws up front. Area 4 - Traum Mountains Map - Yes (9000 fol) Get a map complete here, then head back to Airglyph and purchase the 200 ATK weapon for Fayt. You'll be able to return later to buy the rest of the equipment soon enough. Area 5 - Kirlsa Caverns Map - No Not much to do here. Most of the enemies are killer, so it's dangerous business fighting them. The skeleton type enemies give 60 XP with a 3x bonus, but they are tough and will likely kill your allies and break your chain. Make sure you grab the 5k fol in the hauler area - you'll need to break down two walls with the aggressive hauler to reach it. Battle 6 - Earth Smasher Average level - Fayt 8 Cliff 5 Nel 5 Use Fayt to chain Aerial cancels against the boss for an MP kill. Run to the side or behind it and pray that your allies last as decoys for more than a few seconds. Area 6 - Bequerel Mtn Path Map - Yes (9000 fol) Map out this area and head for the Bequerel Mts for a treasure raid. Area 7 - Bequerel Mts / Barr Cave Treasure Map - No Way! This is a dangerous area full of enemies that can easily slaughter your party. Your goal is the treasure chest in the northwest corner of the Barr Caves, containing 18,880 fol. All the enemies are avoidable, except for the one right in the room with the chest. There are several ways to avoid being killed while fleeing from it. The first is to be the only one alive in your party. Let them make an attack at you, and they will stop moving as long as you keep running. Open the menu while running and select escape - they will not chase you. The other strategy is to use a Jewel of Refuge to stop the enemy from moving temporarily. Grab the money and run for it! Area 8 - Aire/Kirlsa Hills & Granah Hills Map - Yes (total of 18,000 fol) Proceed through Arias and Granah Hills while mapping both areas, which should bring your total fol up to 62,000 or so. Return to Airyglyph and purchase Nels 200 ATK weapon, and armor for Fayt and Nel. Area 9 - Kirlsa Training Facility Map - Yes (36,000 fol) Run through the facility, get the key, and bring Nel back into your party. Now you can explore the facility and level up. Or if you want, you can charge Shelby right away. I beat him at lv. 10/7/6, but if you return around level 15/14/13 after exploring the facility, he'll be dead meat. Give the area a thorough exploring, fighting enemies and leveling up. Any type of accessory you can get your hands on is good (besides those pricey 5% def rings) - the Badge of Insight or Symbol of Courage will provide some nice stats. You can get these from enemies in the training facility. For spending your characters skill points, put points into Attack - that will make it much easier to land a blow on an enemy instead of being parried. Set Cliff's Hammer of Might to short strong, and give Fayt something involving Charge and Side Kick. I suggest controlling Nel and using her excellent Shockwave/Shadow Wave cancel combo to control wild groups of enemies. The triangle formation is best at dividing and conquering enemies, also. If you explored the area, and I mean *explored* the area, you'll get your map bunny. Battle 7 - Shelby Average Level - 8 or 14 (after exploring facility) If you're at a lower level, just try to keep Fayt alive and chain his Charge move. At a higher level, I suggest using Nel and chaining Shockwave into Shadow Wave, which will decimate the packs of knights. Area 10 - Palmira Plains/Sanmite Steppes Map - Yes (total of 18,000 fol) Map these areas out and return to Airglyph once more to purchase high level equipment for Cliff. Sell any extra items/equipment and Jewels of Refuge/Alertness or accessories and worm-eaten tomes you may have gathered, if you're short on cash. You can also fight the turtle type enemies in the Palmira Plains for 320/640 fol each. You should now have high level equipment for all three party members. Now that you can do some item creation, here are some good things to start out with that should be fairly easy to make: Compounding - Fruity Potion (50% HP), Resurrection Mist (all party revive), Syrupy Potion (30% HP/MP), Resurrection Elixir (60% HP/MP revive) Crafting - Brooch of Footwork (10% ATK/HIT) Engineering - Duck-Duck Bomb (start your illustrious boss-stunning career here) Smithery - Rune Blade (you can make these easily and sell them for a 5k fol profit) base cost is 5250 Area 11 - Duggus Forest Map - No It's hard to keep a chain going with the trees in this area, as they can easily break it. Use Nel and chain Shadow Wave to try to MP kill it while keeping at range. Enemies like the Kobolds are good targets for Shadow Wave MP kills. Battle 8 - Mudman Average Level - 18 Just get up close and whack the crap out of him with Side Kick cancel chains from Fayt. You should be able to kill him before he does any serious damage to your party, unless he constantly uses his whirlwind attack. Area 12 - Surferio/Parch to Plenty/Mosel Dunes Map - Yes (9,000 fol) Take a side trip to this area for a quick treasure raid. Map out the Parch to Plenty tunnel and get the 22,400 fol chest in the southeast corner of the dunes. You don't really need the Alchemy stone just yet. If you're feeling brave, you can try to MP kill the Red Cocatrices in the Parch to Plenty tunnel, which drop a sizable 1800 XP w/ 3x bonus. Proceed to the Mines. Area 13 - Bequerel Mines/Abandoned Workshop Map - No The enemies here aren't really worth fighting, except for the harpies in the northwest corner of the workshop area. Make sure you've got all the items you want before heading in, as you can't exit after obtaining the copper ore. Battle 9 - Cockatrice Average Level - 18-19 Use Fayt and whack him around with Side Kick cancel chains. Watch out when he does his strong attack - try to knock/stun him out of it if possible. Battle 10 - Soldiers/Dragon Average Level - 19 Change your formation to Loose Line. Control Nel with Shadow Wave set to short strong and Aerial set to long strong and long weak. The soldiers can easily slaughter a party member if they gang up on them, so you have to keep tripping them up with Shadow Wave and try to keep them separated if possible. If Fayt and Cliff die, just get them to trail you around and slam them with Shadow Wave as they approach. For the next battle, try to keep Fayt and Cliff alive. Perform Aerial attacks with Nel for decent damage. The move is a bit slow in the strong position, so use the weak version until most of the enemies are down. Keep moving to avoid flame breath, and don't get ganged up on. Ressurection Elixirs and Fruity Potions will come in handy here. Battle 11 - Albel Average Level - 19 Quickly take the soldiers out with Shadow Wave, then gang up on Albel. Try to get him attacking thin air while your party wails on him. Battle 12 - Vox Average Level - 20 He's very similar to the previous dragon battle, just use Aerial attacks with Nel. Area 14 - Sealed Cavern/Shrine of Kadaan/Irisa Fields Map - Yes (total of 136000 fol) Now that you have Maria in your party, you have better chances at Compounding, Alchemy, Writing, and Engineering. Maria prettymuch sucks right now, so I suggest holding off using her until later on. Even if you luck out and create a good gun for her, she still won't be doing much damage and none of her good skills show up until much later. Theoretically, you could grab the Alchemy Stone and create +100 attack Crystals (60) to put onto your weapons, then try to duplicate the factor with Blacksmithing, or just synth more +100s onto them. I would hold off, however, since refining will fail most of the time and take a lot of time and money, and synthesis materials are hard to come by. Plus it isn't really necessary ATM. With writing IC, there are several useful skills you can learn. The most useful right now would be the Tattered Tome (40), which teaches Convert Damage. This will basically make your character impervious to MP kills, which is great for characters like Cliff. Be prepared to do a lot of reloading, though, as all the books cost the same. With compounding, you have a better chance at making witch tablets (70), which are useful in battle. Always have a stock of healing items on hand. With engineering, you can try your hand at more stun bombs. Try to patent as many bombs as you can, since Dejison will become active after you exit the Shrine, and the Ultimate Bomb is difficult to make at this point in the game. With Roger, Fayt, and Sanice/Maria, you can try crafting some decent items. There's the Bangle of Accuracy (refinable to 30% attack), a set of elemental rings, and Red and Blue Talismen (if you can manage to revise them to 30%). The general strategy for the Shrine is to use Fayt and chain his Side Kick move. Only have Berserk on for the character that you're currently controlling. Keep raising attack and HP for status skills. The floating knights and mages are a deadly combo. Even though they can be frozen with Ice Dagger, it's best to just avoid them. Just pick on the Bronze Brutes and Vendeeni Guards, which offer decent experience and aren't too tough to kill. At the four doors battle, choose Maria, Cliff, Fayt, and Nel. Maria should move in with a short weak attack then chain two Scatter Beams in the enemy's face. Cliff should chain Sphere into Hammer of Might. Fayt should do his usual Side Kick chains. Nel should focus on Shockwave/Shadow Wave chains. After making it through the Shrine with both bunnies and the 54k chest, you should have about 250k fol. Battle 13 - Crystal Cerberus Average Level - 21 This guy will leap around all over the place. Just chain side kick into him and heal when necessary. Try to trap him in a corner to beat on him more easily. Use taunt with Fayt, dodge his strong attack, then counter. It's easy to hit him out of Tri-Spike, but if he manages to pull it off, consider yourself dead. Battle 14 - Vendeeni Guards Average Level - 22 These guys are a pain to handle. Use Nel with a short strong Shadow Wave, with Berserk enabled. Set Fayt to use a short strong Blade of Fury. Don't try for cancel bonuses; just keep knocking them over in a group with the short strong move. If your timing is good enough, you can keep them from going trigger happy. Battle 15 - More Dragon Knights Average Level - 22 Another set of Dragons to take out with Nel's Aerial move. Moving on... Area 15 - Parch to Plenty/Mosel Dunes Map - Yes (9000 fol) The enemies in this area are still dangerous, so proceed with caution. Just avoid them entirely. Area 16 - Mosel Ruins Map - No The only enemy group worth killing here are the Berserkers, which you can MP kill with Nel doing constant Shadow Wave chains. Grab the treasure and move on. By the time you get Albel, your party should be around lv. 23-24. Albel is a good character, although I've never really used him much. He's best controlled by the player, as many of his moves require button mashing beyond the initial attack. Since he never gets along with his teammates, it's hard for allies to get angered status over his death. Don't bother with him for now - you need to train Maria for the Biwig fight ahead, not him. Area 17 - Traum Mts/Bequerel Mts Map - Yes (82,000 fol) The Porcupines right outside the Barr Mts offer up great XP, usually 1,200 to 1,600 per battle with 3X XP. The Kobolds are also fairly easy to kill. Stay away from other enemy types, though. In the Barr Mts, most of the enemies can be MP killed with Shadow Wave chains. Stay away from the Aquagareias and dragons. The Berserkers, Porcupines, and small dragons are all viable targets for Shadow Wave. If you want to map this area, wait until you have the disintegration ring. The 82,000 fol reward is still no chump change at this point. Battle 16 - Dragon Zombie Average Level - 25 This is a nasty monster that can auto-counter any physical attack that's too close to it. Luckily the Dragon is very slow in his attacks, so you can run around dodging his moves and countering with Shadow Wave. Control Nel with Maria serving as backup healing. Make sure the Dragon is focused on attacking Nel, as Maria will not survive any amount of punishment. Don't get too close with Shadow Wave, or you'll get auto- countered and possibly bitten or breathed on. Battle 17 - Robin Wind Average Level - 26 Robin Wind is a little bastard that can easily demolish your party instantly with his special attacks. Control Fayt with AI Cliff and Nel to take him out. He likes to chain cast Thunder Flare, so all of your characters need KO skills like Side Kick-Shotgun Blast, Aerial Assault, Shadow Wave, etc. Although he has low MPs, it's best to go for an HP kill, as Fayt's the easiest to beat him with. Once Wind is at half HP/MP or so, he'll start tossing around his special attacks, both of which are extremely fast and deadly. Once he's in this state and you're alone with Fayt, lure him out to the edge of the screen away from your allies, then stun him with a stun bomb and revive your party with a resurrection mist. Give him a good blast with your whole team, then he'll more than likely kill your allies again (hopefully not you!). Just repeat the process until he's dead, but be very careful. Stun him if he starts charging up Thunder Flare again. I don't recommend soloing him, even while using stun bombs, as even the slightest mistake or CA against you is instant death. Area 18 - Urssa Lava Caves Map - No The fire-type enemies here (besides the Magma Man) are seemingly invincible. Only magic can damage them, for some reason. Running away is the best strategy here. Now's the time to tie up any loose ends before ending this part of the game. Make sure Maria is up to at least level 25. Maria should be strong enough to solo the Cockatrice with Aiming Device and get great XP on her own. Getting Maria Convert Damage and setting it to Preserve HP is the best way to keep her alive for most of the game. With an MP of 700, she has a theoretical 4,900 HPs to burn. The downside is that MP is harder to restore, but it's better than having her die every other second. This also works for high MP low HP characters like Sophia. It's a good idea to pick up the Health and Magi berries in Rogers treasure hunt, as they give a sizable permanent HP/MP increase. Save them until your party is lv. 255, though. With the Disintegration Ring, you can get a bunch of new goodies. The two most essential ones are the Antique Jewelry in Kirlsa Caverns, and the Writing Pen in the Shrine of Kadaan. There's also a third Decrepit Tome in the Kirlsa Training Facility, Perfect & Magical Berries all over the place, and plenty of IC materials. You can choose to create +500 ATK weapons now with Misty Lear, or wait until later when you can get/create more powerful weapons. I recommend waiting, as you will soon get some far superior weapons to the now antequated Airglyph equipment. Plus, you don't want to ruin the challenge, do you? If anything, just revise some Bangle of Accuracy accessories to +30% ATK. Choose Nel for your 7th character, of course. Area 19 - Aquatic Gardens Map - Yes (82,000 fol) The optional Aquatic Gardens is still available. Most of the enemies here are nasty and give pathetic XP to boot. The only reason I could see for going in is to get treasure and try to get the map complete for another 82k fol, which isn't that bad of an idea. Be aware that you need to solve some optional puzzles in order to get a map complete. Battle 18 - Crosell Average Level - 29-30 This guy is just a big fattie. He's easy to mangle in short order with the right skills. Use Fayt with Side Kick chains. AI Cliff and Nel should be using Fists of Fury and Whirlwind. You can basically keep him permastunned with big combos from both those skills while you dish out the serious damage with Side Kick. Theoretically you should be able to stop him from doing Doom Raid every time, but if he is really about to pull it off, just whip out a bomb or try to protect it. If he starts his strong attack, taunt him and lure him away from your allies. Battle 19 - Biwig Average Level - 30-31 (besides Maria) Start out controlling Cliff and slamming the guards with Aerial Assault, which should MP kill them in a hit or two. Switch to Fayt and Side Kick the heck out of Biwig - he won't last more than a minute. Maria should just stand on the sidelines healing or firing. If she has Convert Damage, she has a much better chance of survival. Area 20 - Moonbase Before leaving Elicoor, you can recruit Mishell, bringing your writing talent to 111. This gives you a very small chance at making the Brittle or Moldy Tomes which teach Quick Symbol and the almighty Max Fury. Max Fury is your best friend.. get it as soon as you can! The moonbase has some tough enemies. For whatever reason, many robot type enemies in SO3 are ridiculously overpowered. The Mini-Flys can hit you anywhere (even up in the air) and have extremely damaging permastun attacks that do splash damage - they also like to self destruct if you can manage to reach them before they kill you. The Destroyers are similar except they have the lovely missile-up-your-ass strong attack which executes incredibly fast and can easily paste your party to the floor. Stay away from these two enemies like the plague. It's possible to fight the Incapacitators and L2 Stingers, but the Stingers will more often than not let loose an attack that will decimate your party. There's new equipment in stores, but I recommend you hold off for the Retail Rabit/Gemity/IC equipment, which is coming directly after the Moonbase. Just run through the area, grab treasure, and leave. Try to make the Philosophers Stone with Peppita before leaving, if you're not taking her with you permanently. Battle 20 - Proclaimer Average Level - 31 The Proclaimer can do some very nasty area attacks that will wipe your party out. Use Fayt and chain Side Kicks while trying to keep it stunned. It will inevitably pull off its strong attack, though, so just try to run from it and revive your party after. Area 21 - Styx You can return here later with better equipment, so just run through the area. Battle 21 - 4D Guards Average Level - 32 You start out surrounded, so immediately get out of the way. Control Cliff and use the wide-area attack version of Aerial Assault, which should nail most of them in one hit. It's easy to get juggled to death, so be careful. Area 22 - Gemity There's a whole lot of stuff to do here before leaving for Sphere 211. Some of the essentials are getting the Bent Mystic Sword and winning some arena and chess battles. Bunny Races - Saddle up your turbo controller and let it run for enough hours to get 100 points. Buy the Bent Mystic Sword and never set foot in the place again! If you go for the 1,000 point Bunny Trophy, I will eat your memory card! Runic Chess - The 50,000 fol battle (level 9) is easy and you can win the prize 4 times, making it an easy 200k fol. You can also win and sell Lezard Flasks, which go for 100k fol each, even though that fight isn't as easy to win. Battle Arena - You can train your party while doing some ranking battles. Don't expect to take down the champions or even the top 30 until post-game. Do this after getting better equipment in the post- game. Elicoor - Recruit new inventors, pick up an 8th character, etc. There are several places to buy new equipment. The Retail Rabbit, Gemity, and through Item Creation. From the Rabbit, purchase a Gravity Laser, armor for Nel and Maria, and some equipment for Sophia if you like. At Gemity, there's really not much besides the all purpose Laser weapon, which you should already have 1-2 of. At this point you can recruit Gusto, who gives you a fair chance at making the best IC weapons available. Make sure you pick up the Smithy Hammer first, though. These weapons are the Veinslay, Mythril Gauntlets, Ice Blades, and others. For Nel, alternate between the Ice Blades and a Laser Weapon. There's also good armor such as the Elemental Leather and Astral Armor. These IC weapons by themselves are powerful enough to get through the main game while still providing a good amount of challenge. If you're hardcore, you'll just hold off on sticking +200 or +500 ATK factors for the main game. That way you'll still have a challenge on your hands. I can tell you right now that putting +thousands of ATK on your weapons is just going to ruin the game in difficulty, and if you're on 4D mode, you're playing for the challenge! But if you feel the need to, you can spoil the rest of the main game with uber powerful weapons. Don't say I didn't warn you! In order to not make the rest of the main game a total joke, this guide will be running under the assumption that you didn't do any weapon synthesis. You can still make and refine armor and accessories, which keeps the game at a balanced level. With Aqua & Evia in your IC party, you can make a range of class specific anti-special attack accessories. These will stack with a Blue Talisman's 30% HP negation, so you can theoretically protect against special attacks up to 60%. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of documentation on which type an enemy 'is'. You can return to Styx or the Moonbase and try to level up a bit. Getting up to level 37 (up 5 levels) is fine. At this point, Nel's Flying Guillotine becomes more useful than her other skills, so start using it. Note: Although the official guide states that you can't return to Gemity until after beating the game, you actually can. Once you're back on Elicoor II, you can return to Gemity through the portal in Aire Hills whenever you want. The official guide also forgot to list all element effects on all attacks in the move lists including the entire bestiary. Oops. Battle 22 - Azazer Average level - 37 You first have to deal with a group of 4D guards, the juggling masters of the game. Just hope you can kill them quickly and keep them stunned with Whirlwind and other area attacks. Azazer's sniping move will take your characters down to 1 HP/MP, and his strong attack is both fast and deadly. Just wear him down and keep him stunned with Whirlwind/Shadow Wave while Fayt and Cliff use Shotgun/Fists of Fury. Expect to have your party hovering around 1 HP/MP for most of the battle. Area 23 - Sphere 211 Once again many nasty robot type enemies here. Try getting in a fight with two Destroyers and get annihilated by missiles in seconds. The 4D guards should get jobs as clowns for all the juggling they do. To top it off, the guards give pathetic XP. Just move through the area, grab the treasure, and split. Battle 23 - Berial and Belzeber Average Level - 38 Control Fayt with Side Kick and Air Raid. Cliff should have Fists of Fury and Nel Shadow Wave/Whirlwind. Take on Berial and keep him from firing on your allies, who should be hitting up Belzeber. Once you get one of them alone, make sure they don't pull off any ultimate attacks. Battle 24 - Proclaimer, Enforcer, Convictor Control Fayt with Side Kick chains. Cliff with Fists of Fury and Nel with Shadow Wave/Whirlwind again. Revive and heal often. At the Proclaimer, just try to go for a totally stunned KO. Same with the Enforcer - stun it if it's about to do its radial spike attack. The Convictor is the easiest of the group, since his attacks are fairly focused and easily dodgable. Area 24 - Shrine of Kadaan 2 You can now recruit Count Noppen, which gives you a 20% chance of success at making the Moldy Tome that teaches Max Fury. You can afford to wait until later, though. Repairing Izak basically gives you a bomb factory with Engineering. You can also make the "Healing Device MK3", which heals 90% of all party members HPs. This neat little item should be a staple in your inventory for the rest of the game. The enemies in the Shrine aren't worth fighting, for the most part. Most enemies can no longer be MP killed and have MP levels that are equal or higher than their HP count. The Polyhedrons are death incarnate, and the armor enemies can easily pulverize your team. You'll get plenty enough XP off the bosses, anyway. Keep Nel using Flying Guillotine against most enemies and bosses, as her Shadow Wave is too low for flying enemies, and most bosses are immune or absorb her Whirlwind damage. Not to mention that most normal enemies are now floating former bosses in the first place. The best enemy to fight in this area is probably the Blood Monster in the Sealed Cavern, but if you really need to level up, you're probably better off heading back to Styx which has a save/heal point. Any former boss enemy that appears by its lonesome is preferable to two former bosses or a group of enemies that can get out of control quickly. Battle 25 - Lesser Eye Average Level - 40 Control any of the characters. Try to stunlock this one, and drop a bomb if he starts a circle attack. Stay close to him so his radial beams don't hit. Fayt should use Side Kick/Air Raid, Cliff Fists of Fury, and Nel Flying Guillotine. Battle 26 - Dark Armor Average Level - 41 Use crowd control moves here. Control Fayt with Side Kick chains. Cliff should use Aerial Assault, and Nel Shadow Wave/Whirlwind. Just keep running back and forth hitting them up and reviving your allies. Battle 27 - Crystal Statue Average Level - 42 This guy is fast, literally the fastest enemy in the game! Use Fayt with Side Kick chains. Cliff will have a tough time hitting it with his special moves, so you may want to replace him with Maria if possible. Nel should be throwing FGs from afar and healing. Don't let him use Tri-Spike! Battle 28 - Dark Eye Average Level - 43 Use the exact same strategy that you used against the Lesser Eye. It should be the exact same fight, except a bit longer. Area 25 - Mosel Dunes/Ancient Ruins of Mosel 2 With the last three inventors available, you can now create even more powerful goodies. The best addition is Chilico, who can make Boots of Prowess, Berserker's Pendant, Star Necklace, and Faerie Earring, among other items. All of these are great and worth making. Of course, you'll be making, refining, and synthesizing many Boots of Prowess for the post- game dungeons and bosses. Osman the Sage will give you a very high chance at making Moldy Tomes that teach Max Fury. Once again, this skill is totally awesome and activates practically all the time. With Louise, you can make Verdurous Potions, which heal 100% HP. It's a bit overshadowed by the Healing Device MK3, though. Puffy should have several good stun bombs on sale, if you just can't get enough of the things. The best normal enemy to fight in this area is the Lesser Demon in the top level of the Mosel ruins. He drops 5,000 XP and can be beat up pretty easily. There's still that Blood Monster in the Sealed Cavern, which is an even easier fight. Battle 29 - Chimera Average Level - 44 This boss is deadly, and it's not even worth keeping your allies alive to fight it. It spams its fast and long range strong attack that does 6,000 damage per hit, for at least two hits. In addition, its tail has a huge range and can cover its sides as well as its back. The best way to take it out is use Fayt with your allies dead. Don't worry, if they start the battle alive, they won't be that way for long. Get it to use its strong attack, dodge out of the way, then slam it with a long strong Air Raid from the front or side. After a bit of this matador game, it'll go down. It may be worth it to try to revive your party for some damage, but be careful. Battle 30 - Stone Golem Average Level - 45 Try to keep this guy stunlocked as long as possible, and run away or bomb him when he tries a strong attack. Use Fayt with Side Kick chains. Cliff should be using Fists of Fury, while Nel uses Hurricane or FG at range. Battle 31 - Amoeba Giant Average Level - 46 This is another slow type boss. Use the same strategies that you used against the Golem, but be even more careful, as he has some powerful attacks that have longer range. Battle 32 - Aurora Monster Average Level - 47 It's probably easier to just fight this monster alone with Fayt. Wait for it to do an attack, then whack the crap out of it with Side Kick. Nel should be in back throwing FGs. Battle 33 - Spirit Trio Average Level - 48 These guys aren't very tough.. maybe I should have taken this dungeon on earlier? For one thing, Robin Wind rarely uses his special attacks, and they're weak so they can be protected against. Try to divide them up and focus on one at a time, while your allies keep the other ones busy. Do plenty of reviving, as well. Use Fayt and Side Kick or Air Raid. Cliff should do Fists of Fury, while Nel uses either Whirlwind or FG. Area 26 - Firewall Before leaving for the Firewall, make sure you have tons of healing items, including a full stock of Ressurection Mists, Elixirs, and Healing Device MK3s. Make three Blue Talismans and refine them to 30%. Make three refined Battle Boots if you have the time, money, and patience. If you don't feel like making Boots already, three refined Bangles of Accuracy will suffice. Get Max Fury and Convert Damage. If you need Crafting Materials, you can get them most easily from Skeleton Leaders in the Kirlsa Facility, Ravitches in the Duggus Forest, or Scumbags in the Ruins of Coffer. IC the ultimate weapons for the characters you'll be using. You can go back to the Arena in Gemity and try your hand at some battles there, as well. Unless you're doing insane weapon synthesis already, most of the battles will be simply too hard. The best enemy to pick on in the Firewall the Elder Eye. It takes a huge beating and gives less XP than the Blood Monster, but it's the best you'll get here. Battle 34 - Battlecopter Average Level - 50 Use Fayt with Side Kick chains, Cliff Fists of Fury, and Nel Whirlwind/FG. When it rises up to drop bombs, get out of the way and revive your party. Its other attacks are fairly pathetic. Area 27 - Spiral Tower There are Blood Monsters and Elder Eyes around here, still. Avoid the Ram Guardian/Savants that appear later on. The Biochimeras late in the area give 18k XP w/ 3x bonus and are fairly easy to keep stunlocked. Battle 35 - Pseudo Blair Average Level - 51 Use Fayt with Side Kick/Air Raid cancels. Cliff should use Fists of Fury, Nel Whirlwind/FG. She's not too dangerous until you get her down to half HPs, at which point she starts using her ultimate moves, Death Howl and Eddy of Light. Kill her quickly before she starts pulling too many of them off, or she'll easily slaughter your party. Battle 36 - Death Monster Average Level - 53 These are the easiest of the three boss monsters to defeat. Just use Side Kick/Air Raid and keep them too busy to do anything. None of their attacks are particularly dangerous, either. Battle 37 - Ruktogias Average Level - 54 This big baddie has tons of HPs, and he takes a serious beating before going down. Try to use your allies as decoys and hit him from the side or behind with Fayt and Side Kick/Air Raid. Have Cliff use Acrobat Lotus to keep him juggled and KOed. Stun him if he starts his Chain Smash on one of your party. Revive and heal as necessary. Battle 38 - Chimera Hawk Average Level - 56 Use Fayt with Side Kick chains, trying to smash them all at once. Have Cliff using Fists of Fury, Nel using FG or Mirror Slice. They have a variety of special attacks, so it's best to just try to use crowd control skills. Battle 39 - Luther Average Level - 58 It's the big guy himself, Luther. If you haven't done any weapon synthesis, be prepared for a decent challenge. Use Fayt with Side Kick chains and Air Raid or Dimension Door on long strong. Cliff should have Sphere of Might/Fists of Fury, and Nel Shockwave/Mirror Slice. Have Fayt & Cliff equipping Veinslay/Mythril Gauntlets, refined Astral Armor, refined Blue Talisman, and refined Boots of Prowess. Nel should equip the Laser Weapon, Battle Chain Mail, refined Blue Talisman, and refined Boots of Prowess. Luther's first form is a pushover. Just nail him to the floor with Side Kick. He won't do anything special besides his default attacks. His second form is far more dangerous. Essential items here are stun bombs, Healing Device Mk3, Resurrection Mist, and Elixir. Only go after him (from the side or back) when you're all in full health, and pay attention to the moves he's doing. Always try to stun him out of Perfect Symmetry, as it's a sure death move. When he casts a spell, try to move your allies out of the way to avoid it, and use the time to get in some healing. If he uses Insanity Prelude, quickly switch around your characters and get them to the edges of the screen. You can use that time to do some healing and nail him as soon as he's back together. You basically can't stun him out of his attacks, even when you're completely ganging up on him. Your attempts will usually end up with at least your allies dead, hopefully not you. Lure Luther away from your allies, stun him, revive your allies, and gang up on him again. Just keep wailing on him whenever you have the chance. He's tough to take down, but he should go down after a couple of rounds. Just remember to keep at least one of your guys alive! He does so much damage that even a small mistake will cost you the battle. Don't worry about using up your best items - your clear game save will not reflect anything you did in the Luther battle, including item usage. Post-Game Briefing: The gloves come off for the post-game dungeons. You'll start encountering bosses with multipliers ranging from 2.5x to a massive 3.0x. Item creation and experience levels become a requirement to success here. You only get one shot at synthesizing some of the unique weapons in the game, so be careful! Your first goal should be to get a pair of Santa's Boots from Santa in the Maze of Tribulations. Using a refined Cinderella Tablet for 30% off, it costs 3.5 million fol. This shouldn't be a hard target to meet once you encounter a few choice enemies. Resist the temptation to make a million Boots of Prowess, just stick +500 ATK on your weapons, which should get you through to Santa. Creating and synthesizing eight Orichalcums onto a weapon will cost around 300k per weapon. Make sure you stack +500s to a Laser Weapon for Nel first, then whatever for your other characters. With the Santa's Boots, you can use a turbo controller with any inn and get lots of goodies. The Tri-Emblems sell for huge cash, and you also get stocked up on Synthesis Materials. This is the best way to save time and sanity in the post-game, rather than scrounging for synthesis materials and cash. You'll also be visiting Santa often to restock on crafting materials for refining Boots of Prowess, among other things. With enough money from Santa's Boots, you can also purchase the Grab Bag which will drop very rare and valuable items. Since I've never seen any list before, here's what you get out of the Grab Bag: Sea Squirt, King Durian, Rabbit's Foot, Lilith's Kin, Demon's Stone. Note that purchasing the Grab Bag isn't necessary to complete the rest of the post-game. If you don't feel like using Santa's Boots w/ a turbo controller, wait until you get the Hybrid Helm from the Green Mojara in Sphere 211. As long as you're not using Roger, you can refine his weapon to have the Folx20 Enemy Atk+200% factor, then synth it onto a laser weapon that anyone can use. You can quickly make fol this way, but it takes a while longer than Santa's Boots, and you likely won't have enough money to make serious weapons until then. Gabriel will be more difficult, but the Sphere bosses aren't very tough even if you only have Orichalcum type weapons. After the +500 Orichalcum refinements made to IC weapons such as the Veinslay, consider forging more powerful weapons out of the MoT weapons you'll find. These weapons should carry you through most of Sphere 211, where you find even more powerful ones. You'll want to put on Boots of Prowess, among other good factors. Making and refining Boots of Prowess is a drearily boring experience. Make sure you have something else to do in the meantime to preserve your sanity. It's best to refine a bunch of them to 10%, save your game, then go for the 30%s. Reload if you fail miserably and blow 2 million on a failed pair of boots. I recommend a team of Mirage, Aqua & Evia, and Chilico or Sophia. Stay near the home base of Kirlsa so you can hit up Santa for more materials when you run out. Some good factors for weapons: ATK/DEF +30% 30% Negate HP Damage or MP Damage Survive on Fury When Incap (50%) -3 Fury Use +30% Movement Rate Battle Skill -50% HP or MP Use Attack Priority+3 Accessories: Tri-Emblem (-40% HP Use, Attack+2, halve all element damage, instant death protection) Victory Trophy (-40% HP Use, Attack+2, Shoots balls of light, freezes, -2 fury use) Berserker's Pendant (always angry, double damage) A sample setup for Fayt would be: Divine Avenger - 2x +500 ATK, 4x ATK/DEF 30%, 30% Negate HP damage, Survive on Fury When Incap (50%) Accessories - Tri-Emblem, Boots of Prowess This will give him 9999 attack even at level 100, and a respectable boost in defense. This is a good setup to make it through most of Sphere 211. It also works well with Nel, Cliff, Mirage, etc. In order to get experience boosts, you'll want to make a Laser Weapon with a Shell Sapphire "freeze" effect on it, along with five refined Rings of Erudition for a 100% XP boost. Put this weapon on a ranged character like Maria or Nel and freeze enemies while your allies (with combat training on) shatter them. With a 100% XP boost, Combat Training, and 3x XP bonus, you can get 7 times the normal amount of XP from a battle! This will quickly skyrocket your levels, even though they don't really do that much compared to IC boosts. Which characters are best to use? You should start by replacing Cliff with Mirage as your staple beatdown character. Mirage has a literal stable of awesome moves to last through the post-game bosses, and one- ups Cliff in both damage, variety, and quality of her attacks. Nel should remain in the party, although she needs to be controlled by you so she doesn't get killed. Fayt is still important with his Air Raid skill. Maria is a great character, but her Gravity Bullet is difficult to fire effectively without getting caught by an enemy attack. Her Energy Blast is great, but doesn't come until later and is quite simply boring to use. Sophia won't be very effective until she has her ultimate spells, and even then, she sucks. Peppita is fairly useless until she has Dream Hammer, which is great for MP kills. Adray sucks pretty badly. Albel has a lot of nice moves, if you want to replace Fayt. Choose a good party that will be able to carry you through the Maze of Tribulations, most of Sphere 211, and the Urssa Lava Temple. Area 28 - Maze of Tribulations B1F-B2F On the first floor, the fishes can be easily frozen and shattered. This is a good place to test out your freezing abilities and rack up a couple levels. Battle 40 - Render This big beasty has an assload of hit points. The battle length will vary depending on how powerful your weapons are. He does a lot of radial attacks and can quickly wipe your party out, so be careful. Use Fayt with Side Kick/Air Raid, Cliff with Fists of Fury, and Nel with Mirror Slice. Battle 41 - Succubus This boss is an extreme pain. She frequently uses her strong attack which hits for 6000+ damage for four hits in a fairly wide radius. She can't be stunned out of the move without the Stun skill or a bomb, and she will instantly resume the attack after being unstunned. She also has a 7-8 hit ranged attack that does 6000 damage per hit, and is a guaranteed kill on anyone even close. At this point there's no quick way to rack up enough cash or XP to overpower her, so you'll just have to kill her the hard way. Did I mention she has 800k HPs? Use Nel with FG and Thunder Flare while reviving your allies and beating on her until she goes down. You might want to give Maria with Gravity Bullet a try, as the Succubus moves very slowly aside from her ranged attacks. Area 29 - Maze of Tribulations B3F Once you're down to the third floor, you can start freeze killing the Medusa Beasts. They drop a princely 56k XP with a full XP setup, as well as 32k Fol with 2x Fol. If you equip the Gutsy Bunny, the total XP climbs even higher, depending on your levels. This is a quick and easy way to get up to lv 100+ and the 3.5 million Fol required to buy the Santa's Boots. This is the best way to get XP until Sphere 211, so get to it. The best spot is located under the D2-D3 jump zone, where there's a Medusa Beast and a door close by. There's also a decent spot in the upper left room by Santa. With the Santa's Boots, use the inn until you have tons of money. The IC weapons with 7 +500 ATK and a 50% Guts Survive will do for now, as long as you have two Boots of Prowess equipped as accessories. Once you reach Gabriel, you'll want to make better weapons out of the ones found in the Maze (see Post-Game Briefing). Area 30 - Urssa Lava Temple It's a good idea to scoot over here to finish off the first two bosses. Enemies here are manageable, but not worth fighting. Battle 42 - Urssa Lava Temple Bosses 1 & 2 Here are some strategies for the four recruit-bosses in this temple. They grow stronger after you clear the MoT, so it's best to take them out now. Roger - Not bad as long as you immediately stun and take out the mech unit ASAP. Don't let it use it's strong attack or your party will be obliterated. Roger himself is puny and easy to manage. Albel - A difficult fight, as both enemies will run around doing crazy attacks. Try to cause mass damage to Romero and take him out first. Albel alone is still dangerous, but manageable. Use area effect skills like Dimension Door, Infinity Kick, and Mirror Slice or Whirlwind. Use healing and revive items often. Peppita - Have instant death protection for her moves, and keep her busy while you take out the chimera first. Like all SO3 chimeras, it's a dangerous enemy that can plow through your party with strong attacks that hit multiple times for massive damage. Peppita herself is a wimp as long as you have instant death protection. Nel - Not sure as I've never fought her, but with a Crystal Cerberus type ally, you can bet it's going to be hellish. If you didn't take Nel in your party you must be pretty stupid or masochistic, anyway. Area 31 - Maze of Tribulations B4F-B8F There are no normal enemies down here worth fighting: it's faster to just level up at the Medusa Beasts and avoid all other enemies. Aqua Wisps have a strong attack that activates instantly, has a near instant huge radius and knocks you up in the air for 7000 HP and MP damage, setting you up for juggles. With three of them, they can easily wipe out your party in less than a second. Even the longest range positions like Flying Guillotine can be hit by this attack. They cannot be knocked down, which makes them extremely dangerous in groups. This is bad enough, but you have to fight several battles with the things, even though the chances of dying are extremely high. Your attack levels should be around 7500-8000 in order to take them out quickly enough. If your melees are wiped out, you should usually just escape. It really sucks if you end up dying and have to start over again! Use Nel's FG at range while your melee units hopefully survive long enough to get in some hits. Have Fayt and Mirage using Dimension Door and Infinity Kick or some other crowd control move. It's very easy to get wholly wiped out, so be careful. The best way to tackle them is to run away if there are three of them, and fight only when there are two. Try to taunt them to lure them towards you - the time they spend moving after you can be taken up by your allies to get the jump on them. You might also consider using stun bombs that affect all enemies, to get in the first hit. That's still no guarantee, though, as you can't knock them down. Alternately, you can just stock up on Durian Stun Bomb-R4 bombs. Press R1 to target all enemies, then fire it off. It only takes one per fight to MP kill them instantly. Fight cheap with cheap! Battle 43 - Mighty Vox Mighty Vox is a joke if you've got Orichalcum weapons equipped. He'll go down in no time with a few Side Kick/Air Raid chains. But you've already killed him before, so whatever! Battle 44 - Sootie Sootie can be fairly dangerous, so be careful. Use Nel with FG chains and revive your allies when they go down. Battle 45 - Vile Chimera Another Chimera - this one is easy enough that you can try to take it head on. Side Kick/Air Raid still works well here. Battle 46 - Tri-Chimera Just a floating chimera - it's easy to beat this poor guy down. Battle 47 - Gabriel Celestia Average Level - 105 Gabriel has 2.3 million HPs, and he's far from easy to take out. The key to success is moving in for powerful beatdowns, then escaping or AAAing his attacks. His Angel Feather and True Judgment are both weak attacks, so you have to be on the ball to protect against them and stun him out of the move. Thankfully, the developers didn't add a shortcut or save point near Gabriel, so you have to traverse the entire dungeon again if you lose (way to go morons). Bring a large stock of healing and reviving items, perhaps refining some Resurrection Elixirs and Mists. Your attack levels should be 7500 at least, preferably 9000. It is possible to defeat him with Orichalcum synthed weapons instead of more powerful ones, but it will be a tougher and longer fight. Two important factors to have are 30% Negate HP damage and 50% Fury Revive, which will sometimes let you survive even if you screw up really badly. Convert Damage is a must, of course, as well as Max Fury. There's no need to train up any skills for this battle or over-level past 100, as long as you have good equipment and skill selections. Use Fayt with Side Kick/Air Raid. Have Cliff with Fiery Tackle/Fists of Fury and Nel Shadow Wave/Divine Wrath. If you want to use Mirage, use Crescent Lotus/Avenger Charge. Have your party set to "Act in a well-balanced manner!" with 10/10 on Attack and Defense. This way they'll pull back if they're low on HPs, which is a good way to heal up and keep Gabriel distracted. If he's getting beat on, he'll try using Angel Feather or True Judgment. The best time to gang up on him is right before he's about to finish his strong attack. He will usually ignore your moves even when you're beating the hell out of him, so be careful and ready to protect or stun him at a moments notice. The margins of error are very low, as even one Angel Feather can easily kill your entire party. Try to keep at least one character alive. Once he gets low on HPs, he'll start using his Dragons move. There's less time to get out of the way than Insanity Prelude, but the map is smaller - just focus on getting your own ass out. The only real places to hide are in the south and west corners, so if you can't make it in time, try to use a Roe Tablet. If you're in need of healing, let him pull the move off then use the time to recover. It only takes a couple good 'beat downs' to take him out for good - you just need to have good timing to get them in. Area 32 - Sphere 211 Floors 101-199 As you continue to get more powerful moves for your characters like Peppita and Sophia, they become more of a viable choice in combat. Still, the best combo for most of Sphere 211 is Nel/Mirage and Fayt/Maria, depending on whether you need to be up close or at range. Albel is also a decent choice as a Fayt replacement. If you have good weapons equipped, most of the bosses here will be a piece of cake compared to Gabriel, until you hit the last few! If you're dreading the dungeon crawl, just run through it without facing many normal enemies. All of the bosses except the last three can be handled around lv. 120-130, provided you have good weapons (see Post-Game Briefing). Save the level building for the best spot in the game, up at floors 172-181. As usual, avoid any robot type enemies and any of the big baddies hanging around the larger areas. Try to pick up all of the Health+ and Magi+ Berries in the dungeon. You can get an accumulated total of 100% HP/MP increase if you collect them all. Wait until your target characters are lv. 255 before using them. If you are interested in building up levels, here's a list of fights and XP values at 100% + 3x bonus + Combat Training. Most of these enemies can be easily frozen and shattered. Avoid all other fights! Floors 101-111 - Botanical/Bat - 100k Floors 112-121 - Golem Doll/Porcupine/Axe Beak - 125-130k Floors 122-131 - Nova Blaze/Armors - 170k XP (dangerous fight) Berserkers - 160k XP (cannot freeze kill) Floors 132-141 - Wolf/Ridiculer - 222k Floors 142-151 - Lizard/Mage - 285k (dangerous fight) Floors 152-161 - Ravitch/Kobold - 350k (dangerous fight) Floors 162-171 - None Floors 172-181 - Spider/Mantis - 500k Fish - 500-650k (dangerous fight if there's 4 of them) Floors 182-191 - None Floors 192-201 - None Floors 202-211 - None Battle 48 - Norton Redux If you've got your super weapons with 9999 ATK ready, Norton will only last a few seconds. You might want to equip lesser weapons and go easy on him. Oh who am I kidding, just blast the bug eyed bastard back to hell. And don't let him pull off his Shooting Spree move. Battle 49 - Enraged Crosell Crosell is just one big punching bag. If you keep the pressure on him, he'll never get more than one or two moves off. Battle 50 - Shadow Dragon Watch out for his howl attack. Otherwise, it's fairly easy to keep it permastunned with constant attacks. Battle 51 - Vengeful Shelby He does a lot of damage with his swings, but he has no long range attacks. Use Nel/Maria with FG/Energy Burst and heal your allies when they go down. Battle 52 - Frenzied Biwig Average Level - 125 Just give this guy a massive beating and he'll never know what hit him. He does take a bit to go down, though. Battle 53 - Green Mojara Average Level - 127 Use Nel/Maria at range and keep your allies healthy. He can pull off moves even if you're beating on him, so be careful. Battle 54 - Arch Demon Average Level - 130 This guy swings his sword a lot, but almost all of his attacks are bound to weak slots. Stay close to him to AAA his attacks, stun him out of his strong attacks, and heal your allies. Put on some fast skills for your character to pull off, as well. His attacks do cause a lot of damage, so be careful. With 9 million HPs, he's not going down too quickly. Battle 55 - Angry Azazer, Raging Belzeber Average Level - 135 Belzeber is another boss with 9 million HPs, so he takes quite a beating before going down. Azazer has a puny amount of MP, but taking them both head on is very tough, plus your skills should be aimed at HP killing Belzeber. Just toss three Umai-Bo Stun Bomb R-3s at Azazer to MP kill him. Belzeber has some dangerous whip moves, so try to stay healthy while beating on him. Set up Mirage's Blazing Cannon skill for some major juggling action. Once he's low on HPs, he'll start using his pathetic Life Steal attack, which takes off 1200/400 HP/MP at most. Just ignore it and smack the crap out of him. Battle 56 - Furious Berial Average Level - 162 A third boss with 9 million HPs. Avoid or protect his missiles, and give him a serious beatdown. His strong attack and Auto-Aim are the only two skills to really watch out for - they can quickly take your party out in a blink, so be careful and keep dodging or stunning him. Fire Dance is quite lame and can be easily avoided, but it will kill anybody who takes the full brunt of it. Once again, Mirage's godly Blazing Cannon will serve you well here and for the rest of the post-game. He's listed as weak against wind in the official guide, so using Whirlwind with Nel may be helpful. Battle 57 - Arena Champions Average Level - 165 This is a good time to take on the Reigning Champions in the arena. To reach them, avoid the #2 slot, and only fight #1. Freeze kill the flying dragon, then beat down the big dragon. His hit time is so long that you can kick him around like a football with little chance of retaliation. Dirna is another boss with 9 million HPs. Solon has far less, but you should focus on keeping Dirna busy and not letting her get off any attacks or spells. Try to keep the two separated and let one of the AIs handle Solon. He'll go down long before you take Dirna out. Her Radial Stars move is deadly, so try to keep her from using it. Battle 58 - Fayt Average Level - 165 Once you're around lv. 165, before facing off with Super Blair, take on Fayt and his partner. The two bosses don't have a lot of HP, but they do have tons of attack power. Fayt is the fastest boss in the post-game, able to run circles around most of your characters. Depending on who you're up against, you should prioritize your attacks against Fayt, his partner, or both of them. Fayt has no seriously wide ranging and dangerous moves, besides Iserial Blast. Just stun him out of it. His weak attacks can do over 10,000 damage per swing, and his Air Raid will certainly kill anyone caught by it, so try to keep on your toes. I didn't find him all that difficult, but it really depends on his partner. The battle will likely be short but brutal, so your actions must be carefully considered. Sophia/Adray - Try to HP kill them as soon as possible to get them out of the way. Cliff/Roger - Try to MP kill them as soon as possible to get them out of the way. Albel/Nel - They'll both spend plenty of time leaping around and pulling off deadly and familiar attacks. Use crowd control skills to keep Fayt and either one of them locked down. MP killing Albel is a decent idea. Maria - She'll be a huge distraction if you try to take on Fayt, so take her out first. Peppita - A bit on the wimpy side, as long as you stun her Dream Hammer and have instant death protection. Mirage - Not nearly as easy to MP kill as Cliff, so she'll take quite a beating. She has a load of deadly juggling moves, so try to keep her stunned as much as possible. Try to HP kill her, as she doesn't have much compared to some of the bosses you've faced. Luther - I imagine this would be the most difficult pairing, as Luther has a wide range of area attack skills. He also uses Insanity Prelude, making the fight even more deadly. Just like all the other characters, though, he suffers from low HPs. Battle 57 - Super Blair Average Level - 185 Blair's back and she's evil! She has 12 million HPs and incredibly damaging special attacks. Bring along tons of healing items and refine a few of them - you should have plenty of Analeptics, Ressurection Elixirs, Verdurous Potions, and Healing Device MK2 and MK3s. I recommend a beatdown party, as her special attacks have enormous range anyway - might as well get in her face. Mirage (Blazing Cannon) and Nel (Divine Wrath) are definite contenders, with Fayt's Air Raid always available. Your ATK/DEF should be around 9999/2500. As usual, Convert Damage and Max Fury will be invaluable in this battle. Blair takes almost no hit time and will completely ignore a volley of attacks when launching her own. Her normal attacks execute extremely fast and are radial in nature. Try to keep her stunned and juggled as much as possible. It's difficult to AAA her, so just forget about it. The first 6 million HPs are fairly easy, as she won't use her two strongest moves just yet. Once she's at half HPs, she'll start using her ultimate attacks, Eddy of Light and Death Howl. These moves can easily kill your entire party instantly, so it's important to avoid them or stun her out of the move. Eddy of Light is the worst, as it executes almost instantly and has an enormous range. Death Howl is just as deadly, but has a smaller range, so it's possible to get away from it in time. Keep up with the constant beatdowns, healing items, and stun bombs. Pay close attention to her actions and watch for her special moves up on the top of the screen or from her actions. Be aware of you and your ally's fury levels and your item usage so you know whether she's going to have leeway to pull off a special attack. If she slams your party with Eddy of Light, quickly switch to any survivors and run away to heal/revive and start things up again. This is only a warm-up for the final three battles of the post-game! If you're really having trouble, there are some things you can do to make the battle easier. Level up to 255, and try to synthesize the ultimate Sphere weapons. It's not necessary, though. Battle 58 - Lenneth Average Level - 255 I recommend you train your party up to lv. 255 and forge the ultimate weapons now. There's really no reason to hold back on this battle, as she's the second hardest boss in the game, and you'll be dealing with her ultimate attack for 10.5 million HPs. With 21 million HPs, you're in for a tough and long fight. Raise your chosen party up to lv. 255. In two hours I was able to raise three lv. 190 characters and one lv. 90 character up to 255 in the best leveling floors of Sphere. Try to level up Mirage, Nel, Cliff, and Maria to 255. A party of Mirage (Crescent Locus/Blazing Cannon), Nel (Shadow Wave/Divine Wrath), and Maria (Scatter Beam/Energy Blast) is a good team for taking her down. Using the Health+ and Magi+ Berries, get Mirage's HP to 90k, Nel's HP to 80k, and Maria's MP to 27k (giving her a convert damage total of 189k+45k HPs!). These are the ultimate weapons that I used to take out the last three mega bosses of the post-game: Mirage/Cliff - Valorius Gauntlets - ATK+1000, 2x ATK/DEF+30%, ATK+500, Survive on Fury 50%, Negate HP Damage 30%, Fury Use -3, one free slot for whatever.. Accessories - Tri-Emblem, Red Talisman, Rabbit's Foot, Ring of Quietude or whatever else.. Nel - Death Bringers - ATK+1000, 3x ATK/DEF+30%, ATK+500, Survive on Fury 50%, Negate HP Damage 30%, Fury Use -3 Accessories - Tri-Emblem, Red Talisman, Rabbit's Foot, Ring of Quietude or whatever else.. Maria - Dragoon Laser - ATK+1000, 3x ATK/DEF+30%, ATK+500, Survive on Fury 50%, Movement Speed +30%, Fury Use -3 Accessories - Tri-Emblem, Red Talisman Control Maria with Mirage and Nel as AI. Open up with an immediate Energy Burst. The general strategy is to hit her with 200% Energy Burst while your allies hit her up close. Maria can fire out of range of Lenneth's attacks except for the final explosion wave of her strong attack - make sure you get out of the way for that one. Your allies will be dying quite often, so keep reviving and healing them. Use Analeptics, Ressurection Elixirs, and Healing Device Mk3s whenever necessary. Maria with 27k MP and Convert Damage can take enormous punishment, so don't worry if she takes a few hits. Your team should keep her too busy to get off many attacks, especially the big one, Niebelung Valesti. Although you can't see her fury gauge, it's important to keep it low enough that she doesn't start spamming her strong/ultimate attacks. Take her spell casting as a blessing - it doesn't do anywhere near as much damage as any of her attacks. When firing off Energy Burst, stop before you hit 0%, or the wait time to use an item after ending the move will be longer, as you can't do anything at 0% fury. Use care in deciding when to hit her with a 200% Energy Burst, or a quick fire 100% Energy Burst. If she's casting a spell, just hit her with 100%. The normal strategies for when your allies are KOed apply here. It's best if you revive your allies while she's casting a spell, so you have less time to wait to use a healing item. When they're confused, keep reviving them and stay away until the effect wears off. This may be the battle where you end up with the "Survive on Guts 15x" trophy! It's a good idea to keep your options open for stunning her out of her ulimate attack. There's really not much you can do but pray if she manages to pull it off. You do have a moderate leeway before she actually covers the entire field, so you may still be able to stun her out of it at the last moment. Keep blasting her and she'll eventually go down. Lenneth, of course, is just a preview fight for Freya. There is an alternate team to fight with, replacing Nel with Cliff. Control Cliff using Max Shockwave at range and let Mirage take the up close hits. Since the move is so slow, you might need to quickly switch to another character to stun Lenneth out of her special attacks. The advantage is that you only have one melee character constantly dying instead of two, so you don't have to heal as much. Max Shockwave also does it's fair share of damage. With the prized Valkyrie Garb, equip it on Nel to get her up to max HPs. IC some replacement healing items and head for the next boss. Or fight her again for the No Damage BC! Battle 59 - Ethereal Queen Average Level - 255 The Queen has 30 million HPs, so she's going to take even longer than Lenneth to take down. Once again, a party of Maria, Mirage, and Nel is highly recommended. She gets knocked around and stunned more easily than Lenneth/Freya, she doesn't do much MP damage, the majority of her attacks are set to weak, and she doesn't have any extreme radial attacks. The only thing she has going for her is Celestial Star, but it's fairly easy to knock her out of it. However, if she does use it, it has a chance of freezing and petrifying your party, so it might be a game over right there if luck isn't on your side. She does execute the move pretty quickly, so keep a stun bomb ready if your party isn't actively beating the crap out of her. You might want to equip anti-paralysis items to make the battle run more smoothly, or stick on an anti- petrification item if she manages to do Celestial Star (or just use a Roe Tablet). She's far easier than Lenneth or Freya, so give her a good butt whupping. Battle 60 - Freya Average Level - 255 Freya is similar to Lenneth, except much harder. All of her attacks do 10+ hits and virtually guarantee a kill. Her Ether Strike will instantly kill anybody even near her, and you can't stop it once she's fired the blast. It also has a very high chance of causing paralysis. Her strong laser attack is fast, has a wide range, and almost always causes paralysis. The main concern in this battle is running out of healing items. Reviving and healing your party is a must, so you need to be totally stocked up on every type of healing item possible, including Perfect/Magical Berries. Refine as much as you can, as it really helps out near the end of the battle. Maria is essential in this battle, with two other character choices. You can go with Nel and/or Mirage up close with Divine Wrath or Blazing Cannon, or add in Cliff with long range Max Shockwave attacks. Max Shockwave can do a ton of damage, and can be fired at a sizable range. If you're going to use Cliff, You should control him yourself, as the AI will tend to go melee with him and get killed. The battle strategy will be different depending on who you choose. Freya regenerates Fury at a ridiculous rate, so it helps to have some +20 Guard Break items on your characters. Put on Amulets of Freedom, to make the battle run more smoothly. Maria w/ Mirage & Nel Strategy: The general strategy is to fire at her with Maria, while healing and reviving your allies. When your allies are down, wait until she casts a spell, then revive them. If she uses Ether Strike and you can't stun her, run away and use a Roe Tablet ASAP. Your main problem is running out of group revive items like Analeptics, as she will be killing them constantly. It also takes a very long time to finish this battle. This battle is more patterned and predictable - revive allies, stun Freya, shoot Energy Blast, etc. Give Maria Common Support Symbols in case you can't use an item to heal with. Cliff w/ Maria & Mirage or Nel Strategy: Toss cancelled long range Max Shockwaves at her. When you're canceling the Shockwaves into eachother, insert a small delay before firing off the next one - if you time them right, you can smack her down just as she stands back up. Giving Cliff a 30% Movement Bonus is a good idea for outrunning Freya or even Ether Strike. The battle is much more chaotic and unpredictable than the Nel battle, as you'll have two ranged units firing at her while a third melee attempts to pin her down. Positioning and timing is important to getting in the most damage on her. Try not to back her into a corner, as Max Shockwave will only do a few hits if she's against the wall. Get used to switching around units on the fly to use an item or move away from Freya. If AI Maria gets too close to Freya, she'll start going melee, so take control of her and move her away, or wait until she's dead and lure Freya away from Maria. If Freya fires Ether Strike, quickly switch to someone who can stun her, or use a Roe Tablet if all else fails. Be careful with your item usage. Wait until she's casting a spell to revive your allies, or she may just pull out an Ether Strike and kill them anyway. You will almost certainly be in several 'Oh $#!*' moments, so use your best judgment and skill for each situation. This battle takes a lot of skill to survive successfully, so good luck! I finished her off in 25 minutes this way. E-Mail me if you have a good Freya strategy! Battle Trophies: There are 17 BTs to collect in 4D mode. The "Defeat X" and "Defeat X in X Minutes" are mutually exclusive. As long as you're doing well enough to defeat them, you'll do it in the time limit as well. No Damage vs. Luther & Gabriel - These can be accomplished as long as you have over 4,500 defense on a character, preferably Fayt. Otherwise, be prepared to run around a lot and stun them out of their ultimate moves. In order to save time, synth 8 boots to a Veinslay, kill the two for the BCs, then reload an older save where you didn't do the synthesis. You can then use the boots for other weapons. No Damage vs. Lenneth - Refine a Blazing Pendant to absorb wind and earth damage. Use Fayt with Bunny Shoes equipped. Hide in the corner while Mirage and Nel beat on her. Use tons of healing items and stun bombs. When your allies go down, stay put - she'll usually cast a spell at you. If she chases after you, let her attack then run to the other corner and try again. Once she starts casting, revive your party - you'll have a better chance at healing your party before Lenneth does another attack. Pay attention to the battle and use stun bombs when appropriate. It is possible to avoid Nibelung Valesti, but you'll have to be on opposite ends of the battlefield, which isn't possible sometimes. No Damage vs. Queen - Use Sophia and spam Healing Light. Stay far away from the battle. If the battle ends up in the center, use healing items instead of spells in case the Queen comes after your character. If she manages to pull off Celestial Star, use a Roe Tablet to hopefully survive it without damage. It's much easier to keep your allies alive than vs. Lenneth, so you shouldn't be as hard up for revive items. No Damage vs. Freya - The best way to get this BC is to use Maria alone and use the AI 'no movement' trick against Freya. Freya will generally stand still while you hit her with Energy Burst. There are patterns to learn to take her down. You can expect this to take at least under an hour in time. You can also be a bit riskier and control Cliff with Max Shockwave in addition to Maria. Expect this BC to take at least 30-45 mins to complete, depending on your setup. Defeat 4D Luther at Lv. 10 - This BT is beyond the scope of this guide. Suffice to say, you'll need to do some tricky fights early game and some major IC work later on. This is far easier if you return to Lucifer post-game after making some kick ass IC weapons from the MoT. I would do this, if it weren't for the laborious IC and re-playing the game involved. Character Review: The characters are rated from 1-5 stars in usefulness. This is all just my opinion based on my 4D mode game and playtime with these characters. Characters get a higher score if they work well against the final bosses, Lenneth and Freya. Fayt (****) - A great character to use for much of the game. Side Kick chains will rule most of the main game. Air Raid is a great skill to keep nasty enemies down. Dimension Door is good against large groups of enemies. A Side Kick-Air Raid chain will work well through most of the post-game. Cliff (****) - Good for the main game, but his melee moves are overshadowed by Mirage's attacks for the post-game. Fists of Fury is great for keeping most main game bosses stunlocked. He does have one great post-game move, though. His long range Max Shockwave attack is great against the two super deadly bosses Lenneth and Freya. Nel (*****) - A powerhouse character that rocks from the moment you get her to the very end of the post-game. Almost all of her skills come in handy in various parts of the game. Shadow Wave MP kills many early game enemies, and can knock down groups of enemies. Ice Daggers works well against many main-game enemies. Flying Guillotine is excellent as an early long range attack. Whirlwind is a great skill to keep bosses stunned in the main game. Divine Wrath is an uber damage move. Have her in your party permanently. Maria (***) - She's not very useful for most of the game and post-game, but she's great against bosses you don't want to get too close to such as Lenneth or Freya. Energy Burst can do great damage at range. The main game is prettymuch a Fayt, Cliff, and Nel show, and Maria just can't do enough damage to replace any of them, even with Gravity Bullet. Mirage (****) - A star melee fighter who can dish out enormous punishment. Avenger Charge and Blazing Cannon are two of the very best melee moves in the game. She's a great character to replace Cliff for the post-game dungeons. Albel (***) - He does lots of long lasting combos, but they really don't do much damage. His moves just end up getting shrugged off by the stun resistant post-game bosses, as well. He is usable for most of the main game and some of the post-game, though. Another big problem is that the AI can't seem to use his button heavy moves correctly. Roger (***) - His moves are slow and meant to fight groups of normal enemies. This puts him at a big disadvantage vs. most of the post-game bosses. He's really not a star character. Peppita (**) - Another character with slightly odd area attack moves that just can't handle the big bosses in the post-game, or any bosses, for that matter. Sophia/Adray (*) - Symbology got the shaft in this game. These two are almost completely worthless against any of the serious bosses of the post-game, and just about any other boss on 4D mode. Don't even get me started on Adray's 'ultimate' moves. Last Words: SO3 has been both a frustrating and rewarding experience. The game has some serious problems, like the terrible IC system, stupid BTs, and never giving players shortcuts around the world. It's also got the same 'overleveling' numbers games of most traditional RPGs. I'm not sure if the relatively small amount of challenge outweighs the masses of tedium for me. I couldn't imagine playing the game a third time just to collect more BTs. This is likely the last traditional RPG I ever play. Until the next game catches my interest, farewell!