Welcome back all.
The Fifth Ark
It's not a bad place, but some of the areas here have ridiculous enemies. The l'Cie have a talk about l'Cie stuff, and oh my gosh, Snow's not talking :O It's a miracle.
I noticed our team changes to Lightning, Snow and Vanille. Switch it up if you wish, I'm going to stick with my "Neapolitan" group. Along that long hallway are some fellow l'Cie to speak to. Once you get past Hope, he'll ask you if we're ready to get out of here. In this scene, Snow apologizes for getting Serah's Focus wrong. Lightning tells him like it is. He has been a complete idiot throughout the entire game. But then she gives him some words of encouragement.
When you continue your walking, Vanille talks about this place like she knows something. Follow your team up the stairs. The floor will react to our l'Cie and cause pain in their brands. Off to battle with 2 Pulsework Knights. They have very strong attacks, don't underestimate them. Try to stagger one of them as soon as you can. Once one is staggered, it should be pretty easy to kill it. Then repeat for the second one.
ROLE DEVELOPMENT UNLOCKED! This means our happy people now have access to all 6 roles. If you have Fang in your party, making her a Ravager would be one of the greatest things you could ever do. Other than that, leave the other roles be until the end of the game. At this point in the game, you will enjoy life so much more if you get Raise. With Raise, you won't need to worry about the number of Phoenix downs you have. At the moment, Lightning and Vanille have access to Raise. You might need some more CP to get the people where you want to be.
Vanille educates us on the nature of an Ark. They're places to forge l'Cie into stronger weapons. This means it would be a wonderful time to grind. I don't grind during the story though. Especially here, since the enemies are scary.
We have a new type of bomb to deal with, a Circuitron. They're very easy to take out. If you can't kill one before it starts to self-destruct, it will definitely kill you.
Behind 2 Pulsework Knights is a Hero's Amulet. The item to the left (which you have to go around to get) contains 8 Bomb Shells.
Past the save point and down the stairs are Noctilucales. If you're not careful, they can wipe a person out with Nutrient Absorption. A few Blitz attacks will take care of them.
To the left or somewhat behind the group of glowing jelly is a group of 2 Phosphorus Oozes and 2 Noctilucale, and a Saint's Amulet. Going in the right direction, there are two paths. The right path will lead you to a fence with 10 Medicinal Oils and a lot of leeches behind it. The left path will get you where you want to go, and a way into the other side of the right path.
Up ahead a ways is a Save Station to your left and a Rainbow Anklet off to the right. Be careful when you go through the door. There are many areas here that look like these, and you need to be careful of the enemies you encounter. The Skata'nes and Stikinis are a real pain. Stikinis will use a move called Forbidden Dance which will inflict Daze, and possibly other debuffs, on your team. Attack the Stikini first. You can mostly avoid them by walking on the rim of the area. On the 2nd lower walk way are some more Daemons and 600 Gil. These areas can get confusing and you might get turned around from time to time.
Through the door is another room that looked like the one before it, the one with the Save Station. I'm gonna call those rooms the rest stop. Past the door is a magnificently huge room. In that huge room are 4 Berserkers, 2 of which don't move. They're fairly easy to get a preemptive strike on. When it uses Forge Blade, it will summon a Centaurion Blade. Those will make the battle harder than it should be. Killing the Berserker should also kill the Centaurion Blade, but its best to kill the Blade so it doesn't kill you.
Up at about the top right corner are a pair of Rigels for Sazh. Through the door is an elevator. Some elevators in the Fifth Ark will have enemies falling from the sky. One of them being a group of Staka'nes and Stikinis. To avoid them, either use a Deceptisol and enjoy an elevator ride with them or run around in circles and dodge them.
As you exit the elevator, you'll notice the familiar train station like setting in this area. To your right are 3 Imps and an Auric Amulet. Imps are able to summon Ahrimans, which have dangerous Fire power. When you get to a U-turn up ahead, you might have to fight a Greater Behemoth. Those things are a pain in the ass. Once you get it down to less than half its HP, the bastard gets on two legs, pulls a spike-wheel sword from its back, and gets full life.
Getting to the end of that path, you'll run into some Phosphoric Ooze and an Imp, and then an Alicanto. Straight ahead is a platform with 9 Noctilucales, and I guess there's NOT an item behind them. Fighting 9 of them would be like suicide anyway. Oh, but wait,straight across that platform is a way to another platform with a Greater Behemoth, 3 Noctilucales and 7 Gargantuan Claws. It's not a hard battle, but it's still not totally worth it.
Down that long hallway is a Greater Behemoth that will charge at you, but you are able to dodge it, cause it's stupid. Down at the right dead end are some Imps and a Metal Armband. By the save point, you'll find a vial of Ethersol.
What's at the end of this hallway?
Oh, we're here already? Cool. I mean uh, ...oh ._. Ahem, here, take this ¬_¬
Just in case some people haven't gotten Fang's Ravager role yet, they should keep Diversity. And how 'bout upgrading those weapons too, eh? :D
Ready? Cool. We find Raines right around the corner. We realize he's not supposed to be there. Lightning attacks him but gets tossed aside. He reveals to us his Focus and goes on about the Maker and the whole plan of the fal'Cie. Then Raines tosses back the Blazefire Saber back to Lightning. (Did you see how close it was to hitting Hope? >.>)
|Boss: Cid Raines|
Libra him. He switches between 3 "Paradigms" which are noted as Offensive Shift, Defensive Shift, and Recovery Shift. Whenever he's not attacking you is the best time to build the chain gauge and/or debuff him. When he gets around half life he will use Metamorphose and immediately use Seraphic Ray. When ever he uses that, switch immediately to Combat Clinic. He'll now have his "Saboteur" and "Synergist" roles. He can debuff your team with Poisonga, Deprotega, Deshellga, and Dazega. He'll buff himself up with Protect, Shell, Vigilance, and Haste. Nothing your Saboteurs can't get rid of.
After all that, he should be close to being staggered. Stagger him and switch to Relentless Assault/Aggression. You can Launch him, and when you do, keep him up in the air. Don't let him hit the ground. Cut the ATB loading short with / if you need to, and stay on one Paradigm while you're juggling him in the air. (For me, he hit the ground and it took an extra 3-4 min for me to kill him) If you can manage that, you'll take him out in one stagger.
You got a new Retail Network: Moogleworks
Ugh, why can't we turn into anything powerful like that D: Cid goes Crystallized and Snow gets angry for some reason. Then Cid's crystal self disperses and teleports somewhere else.
Scary elevators and trap doors
We're only about half way done with this place. It's too much ಠ_ಠ Activate the evil elevator of scariness and prepare for Circuitrons to fall from the ceiling. Not that hard of a battle. I guess the evil elevator of scariness is a bit later... (Tip: Stand under the shadows of the falling enemies to get a preemptive strike.) When you get off the elevator, don't even bother going straight (unless you want CP). When you get to the circular area, some doors will open and let out 3 Pulsework Knights and Circuitrons. After the 2nd circular area is a rest stop looking area. To the right is the Feymark. Keep on the rim of the area if you don't feel like fighting.
You'll enter another circular area. The next circular area, with the Behemoth and the Daemons, has 2 ways to go. Going to the left will take you to another circular area with an item sphere. DON'T DO IT, IT'S A TRAP! Enter the area, and the door will snap shut, and you'll have to fight a Berserker. You kill that though, and you can get 3 Electrodes. Going straight will get you to the elevator. Oh noes! Another trap! This time, 2 Staka'nes and a Stikini drop from the sky.
Getting off the elevator, is the end in sight?! No, not quite :[ This place has just one Berserker. Go through the doors. We have another one of these damn areas to deal with. This time, a crap load of Stinky Daemons are in our way. If you're lucky and have a Deceptisol with you, you could probably pass all of them (or get a preemptive on one group). After all that, we enter another rest stop. To the left are 2 Otherworldly Bones.
As we enter the 2nd to last area of this place (YAAAAYYY!!! 8D) the door snaps shut behind us and 2 Berserkers are unleashed. We don't have to fight them though! Yaaayy! Now save and activate the circular door!
We're all sick of this place. This is a terrible grinding place because all the enemies suck tremendously. Snow speaks another heroic speech. A bit of a lame group moment again, but eh. Fang then turns on us. In distress, she summons Bahamut. Awesomeness... Get ready >:) This may be, unsurprisingly, the most epic Eidolon fight ever.
Now that we have the Godly strong Bahamut on our side, we can move on! A magical path of shininess has been made, and we're off to our next destination.
We find an airship and a gateway to Gran Pulse. Sazh will be flying this machine! He smacks his chest in confidence and uses a bit too much force. lolwut. Hope's turn for a speech! 'Tis a bit...cheesy, and that crystal tear is pretty, but it's a bit irritating in Snow's hands...
Ready for epic cutscene?
Home sweet home. Welcome to Gran Pulse.
We're going to Gran Pulse! We're going to Gran Pulse! I'm happy. It's so magnificently wonderful! Lol, right as we get through the gateway, we're greated buy a giant flying worm serpent type creature that wants to eat us! :D lol, a l'Cie food buffet. Awesome. The thing breaks the airship and Hope and Vanille are flying out of it (This is 3/3 airships people). Then Fang and Lightning totally jump out of the airship like it's no big deal. Fang throws her Eidolith and Lightning shoots it—ASDFGHJKL;*splode* *_* Too busy spazzing out over the rest.