Your arrogance will kill you!
Bhunivelze is the final boss of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. When playing New Game+, if the player completes the Ultimate Lair he is upgraded to Bhunivelze+. Elementaga is a guaranteed drop on hard mode. Losing the battle lets the player run back to the Crystal of Atonement and start New Game+ without actually completing the game yet.
Winning the battle earns the A Legend from Times Past achievement.
This fight consists of four phases, but on New Game+ players can fight his enhanced Bhunivelze+ form with only two phases so long as they complete the Ultimate Lair. Contrary to popular belief, the normal form of Bhunivelze can be fought on Hard Mode, as all one has to do is avoid unlocking the extra day and in turn the Ultimate Lair.
Bhunivelze will start casting Doom on Lightning (this is the only time he will do it). He can use his scythe as a boomerang, which will deal more hits if Lightning is too far away. If she is next to Bhunivelze, he will toss her away with his scythe. He will also periodically cast Almagest. When near loss, Bhunivelze will cast Ruinga and Giga-Graviton back-to-back and sometimes simultaneously. He often uses Debrave and Defaith. Doom will be dispelled after this phase.
In the second phase Bhunivelze adopts a bird-like form. He summons three Monads that follow Lightning and when he has the chance, he uses Wings of Destruction to detonate the Monads. The attack itself also inflicts damage, but can be mitigated by destroying the Monads first. He can shift between four spirits: Fire, Wind, Ice and Thunder. This grants him the En- status. When in one of them, he will cast the respective tier 2 (-ra) elemental spell multiple times.
When Lightning is too far away and Bhunivelze has more than half of his HP, he will randomly use Genethliac Hymn, making himself resist all kinds of damage, summoning random lightning bolts across the stage and charging a massive blue orb over his head. If the player manages to stagger Bhunivelze before he drops his massive orb, he will be stunned and forced to drop an incomplete orb, resulting in an attack called Falling Star. If the player doesn't stagger him, he will drop a complete orb, resulting in Dancing Mad. After that, he can either summon new Monads or change his elemental affinities.
In the third phase Bhunivelze returns to his familiar appearance and gains more HP, as well as several new abilities that deal great damage, including Ultima, Divine Punishment, and Hypernova. He uses his scythe more often and can launch Lightning if he catches her off-guard, and employs Divine Punishment as a finisher. Divine Punishment comes at any time and he will frequently cast it two or three times in a row, though only when near death. When far from Lightning, he can either toss his scythe or cast Ultima. When Lightning is next to him, Bhunivelze will toss his scythe in a yo-yo fashion across a wide area. Hypernova is his strongest attack and can be cast when he is near loss and the player can't perform any action during the cinematic. When staggered in this phase, he won't do anything in particular.
In the final phase Bhunivelze falls down and loses his scythe. He will eventually kneel and half of the stage folds vertically. Any attack does minimal damage during this phase until he's been staggered, which can be difficult to do since he resists damage and, unlike the previous phases, has total immunity to debuffs.
He will cast Disaster and Cataclysm randomly, the last one being the most dangerous because of the number of hits, although it works like Quake. Divine Efflux is his most used ability, used while crouching and covering his face, then shooting beams from his eyes. He can shoot one, two or three times at once.
Damnatio Memoriae is his strongest attack at this time: he will fire two beams at Lightning before bombarding her with several Ruin spells. This attack is easily mitigated if one blocks the first beams, otherwise the player will be launched into the air and cannot block, and will likely be killed by the cumulative damage. Heartless Angel comes at any time, which will reduce Lightning's HP to 1 via two Eden minions that surround her for 10 seconds. He can also cast Elementaga, which will do high damage, and even if guarding it will deal moderate damage, so the player should perform a Perfect Guard to prevent the hit.
The player can assign Aerora to every schemata, which will come to use in the final battle phase; when Bhunivelze resists damage and needs to be staggered, Lightning can use Aerora wantonly to keep the stagger gauge up. Overclock can be used to give more time, especially after Bhunivelze begins casting Heartless Angel when he naturally idles for a bit. After Bhunivelze is staggered he is easy to damage. The player should pay attention to guard properly, and in the final battle phase attack instantly after Bhunivelze uses Divine Efflux to maintain the stagger level constant.
During the time the two Eden minions surround Lightning when Bhunivelze uses Heartless Angel, Bhunivelze does nothing, and can be attacked to keep the stagger level running. The player should be mindful of the two minions and guard when the camera zooms in on Lightning, as Heartless Angel will then do nothing. Overclock can be a great alternative, as it stops Bhunivelze from casting hazardous spells like Heartless Angel or Damnatio Memoriae. The player should aim for Perfect Guard for Bhunivelze's Elementaga.
Musical themes Edit
"Divine Love" plays during the first, second, and third phases of the battle. It is composed and arranged by Naoshi Mizuta. "Almighty Bhunivelze" plays during the fourth phase and serves as the game's final boss theme.
Etymology and symbolism Edit
The ability "Genethliac Hymn" suggests a connection to "Genethliac" or "Natal" astrology. Genethliac Hymn is therefore a synonym for "Nascent Requiem", Orphan's theme. Natal astrology is the art of determining a person's path in life through pinpointing the locations of heavenly bodies at the point of their birth and could refer to Lightning having been marked as the savior as well as a l'Cie and Champion of Etro.
A monad is translated from Greek meaning "unit" or "alone" from the word mono—single. It is used by Pythagoras in creation theories as meaning the totality and origin of all things. It also had a counterpart that reflected its opposite and in eastern philosophies is represented by the taijitu, or yin and yang of which black and white is a large theme throughout the game, representing Lightning and Bhunivelze.
- Some of Bhunivelze's abilities allude to previous Final Fantasy games:
- Falling Star is a synonym of Starfall, used by the Emperor from Final Fantasy II, and they both share similar animations (a falling meteorite).
- Almagest originates from Final Fantasy V, used by Neo-Exdeath.
- "Dancing Mad" is Kefka Palazzo's final battle theme in Final Fantasy VI, and the visual effects seen when the massive orb hits the ground resembles Forsaken.
- Wings of Destruction is a synonym of Havoc Wing, a lethal ability used by Kefka.
- Heartless Angel is originally used by Kefka.
- Hypernova can be considered a stronger version of Safer∙Sephiroth's Supernova. Hypernova's animation resembles the animation of Supernova from the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VII.
- Giga-Graviton is Sin's ultimate attack in Final Fantasy X.
- Divine Efflux resembles Orphan's Requiem from Final Fantasy XIII, both having the appearance of narrow beams and being fired through the eyes.
- Genethliac Hymn resembles the Emperor's Starfall as seen in Dissidia Final Fantasy: The casters' respective weapons spin over their heads and during the spell's casting time, they resist damage (the Emperor blocks all magical attacks while casting).
- Divine Punishment originates from Dissidia Final Fantasy and is used by Chaos.
- Bhunivelze's final phase has a similar pose to that of Cloud of Darkness from Final Fantasy III
- The final battle itself alludes to the previous two games' memorable bosses:
- Bhunivelze's first phase alludes to Orphan (Doom at the beginning) and Barthandelus/Caius (Ruinga/Giga-Graviton).
- His second phase, especially his Genethliac Hymn, alludes to Barthandelus's Destrudo, as it will deal less damage if certain conditions are met (staggered/high chain gauge respectively).
- His third phase alludes to Valfodr's fight at his highest level. They both acquire a dark aura when they cast Holy Blade/Divine Awakening respectively. Before using Hypernova, Bhunivelze will add a final third buff to himself; Valfodr, before using Gagnrath, will heavily debuff the party.
- His final phase also resembles Orphan, as he needs to be staggered to be defeated.