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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I Ate His Shorts

I was right about a big fight coming up in my playthrough of Final Fantasy XIII. I thought I was ready for a big fight but it looks like I was wrong. I got completely smoked by the boss at the end of FF XIII's ninth chapter. Thankfully, there are a number of hints and tips online that will help me get past this latest hurdle.

I'll discuss everything after the jump. Warning: Possible Spoilers Ahead!

The boss fight that destroyed me last night was the encounter with Barthandelus a the end of the Chapter 9. This guy is supposedly some big Fal'Cie (uber-powerful semi-deity creature) looking to kick some l'Cie (ie. Lightning and crew) ass. And kick ass he did.

I tried the fight four times last night. I can summarize each of my attempts as follow:

  1. Destroy Barthandelus' armour.
  2. Start wailing on Barthandelus' body.
  3. Stagger Barthandelus then really take the fight to him.
  4. Summon Odin as soon as Barthandelus starts casting Destrudo (a.k.a. destructive spell that wipes out my entire party).
  5. Keep duking it out with Barthandelus until he casts Destrudo a second time.
  6. Everyone dies. The end.

I even tried a strategy of "not" staggering Barthandelus. I noticed that Barthandelus only seemed to cast Destrudo once he'd been staggered. Unfortunately, Barthandelus is a jerk and will cast Destrudo once he feels he's taken enough damage, staggered or not.

So how do I beat this difficult boss fight? According to the Internet and common sense:

  • Aggression: Go all out against Barthandelus as he casts Destrudo. If I can damage him enough - I've heard that getting the stagger bar half-filled is the goal - the Destrudo spell won't be nearly as devastating. You'll know he's been hit sufficiently if Barthandelus groans.

  • Buffs/Debuffs: Making good use of Synergists (Hope/Sazh) and Saboteurs (Fang/Vanille) is crucial to survival. If I can strengthen my party and weaken/slow Barthandelus, I may stand a chance.

  • Accessories: I should really equip my group with HP increasing accessories. I've read that having everyone with an HP above 1000 is enough to survive a round of Destrudo. Throw in some accessories to increase the effectiveness of potions and I should be alright.

  • Timing: It's crucial that I have everyone buffed and fully healed at the time of Destrudo's eventual casting. The process takes Barthandelus 26 seconds to complete which should give me enough time to brace myself for the worst.

These tips and tricks all seem pretty obvious. But I assure you that things didn't seem quite so simple at 12:30 last night. The fight is tense, a little frustrating, but lots of fun. I look forward to kicking Barthandelus' ass tonight.

I've also embedded a video showing the Barthandelus fight below. Be warned that the video starts with a cutscene that contains story content and minor spoilers.

The video makes the fight look fairly simple. I guess my biggest problem was not focusing on attacking Barthandelus during his casting of Destrudo. I played the fight a little too defensively and suffered for it. I'm definitely ready for a re-match.

I hope everyone has a great day! I'm off to work followed by some Final Fantasy XIII later this evening!