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The Vile Peaks
After the opening cutscene, you'll be forced into a battle against Pantherons with you controlling Lightning, Sazh and Vanilla. Afterwards, the party will split up with you controlling Sazh and Vanilla. There are no orbs to open here, so follow the mini-map directions.
After a few cutscenes, control will switch to Lightning and Hope. Move to the savepoint and check the new shop items.There's nothing to buy though really, especially as Gil is hard to come by. The defensive items that reduce damage may be appealing but they're not needed until later. Plus you'll find them by playing the game.
After browsing the shop and saving, take the path to the right for an orb, away from the main path. The orb should give a Librascope. Follow the mini-map arrow then. Whenever you fight Watchdrones, be prepared to heal.
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Introduction to Three-way Battles
Level up Sazh and Vanilla after you've reached the story marker and watched the cutscenes. Also, note that characters may not have the same abilities for a role. For instance, Sazh in the Synergist role is more focused on boosting attack and magic, whereas Hope is more focused on defensive buffs. Save your game and go down the tunnel. It is here you'll run into the first batch of enemies fighting each other. Watchdrones and a Pulsework Soldier. I'd recommend taking out Thexteron enemies first when you encounter them as they can deal a lot of damage. After the fight, examine the object in the middle of the area.
Continue following the mini-map arrow. When you reach an orb that contains a Black belt, I'd suggest equipping it on Sazh. Then activate the object further ahead. Eventually, you'll meet up with Hope. It should make things a bit easier.
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A Full Party with Hope, Sazh and Vanilla
Before carrying on, I'd recommend using the default Paradgim, but customising it so that Hope is a Medic. Follow the mini-map arrow then and save your game when you can. Then continue. When you face the Incubus enemies, use three Ravagers and use three attacks, then on the next sequence, cancel after one or two ATB bars have been filled to launch one or two attacks, therefore making sure they are staggered.
Save at the next spot and open the treasure orbs for a tuft of Phoenix Down and a Metal Armband. Then move on. After moving across the bridge and defeating the enemies, save again before moving to the story marker.
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When you regain control, the party will have swapped again. Lightning will join Sazh and Vanilla, with you still controlling Sazh. Level Lightning up and then follow the mini-map arrow. Also, keep the default Paradgims. When you can't progress anymore, activate the object that'll create a path for you and save your game. Just ahead after killing the Incubus and Succubus', look in one of the containers for a treasure orb. Then carry on along the path. When you reach the next savepoint, save again.
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Dreadnought Boss Fight
When you move ahead, you'll be forced into a boss fight against a Pulse Armament, known as Dreadnought. This fight is split into two phases with the first phase not hard at all. Just pound the boss and heal, making sure to stagger Dreadnought as quickly as possible.
During the second phase, the boss will start using area of effect attacks that can hit all three characters. This is the worst part of the fight. Apart from that, the boss isn't challenging, though it's made easier if you buff your characters and debuff Dreadnought.
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The chapter isn't over yet. Once Dreadnought has been defeated and you've watched the cutscene, follow the mini-map arrow. Also, some new roles will have opened up and your characters can develop further. Save your game when you can, before proceeding to the story marker. The party will split up again.
You'll be forced into battle against PSICOM Soldiers when you regain control. Afterwards, follow the mini-map arrow again and save your game, before moving on. When you come to an area with multiple paths, take the left path first for extra CP and a treasure orb which contains a Fiber-optic Cable. Then continue on and when you come to the next place where the path diverges, take the right path first for an orb containing a Librascope. Go along the main path then and save your game.
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Riding a Pulse Armament
After saving, approach the story marker and you'll fight two PSICOM Soldiers, before activating a Pulse Armament and riding it. This bit is quite simple. Movement is the same as in ordinary play, so move straight ahead and when you come to the barrier, walk through it to smash it. Don't worry about the enemies though you can use X to attack.
Eventually, you'll be thrown out of the machine. At this point, open the orbs and follow the path. Save your game further down the path and proceed on. At the next fork, take the path leading right instead of straight ahead for a Spark Ring. Then jump down and at the next fork, go right for a tuft of Phoenix Down. Again, jump down and follow the path. Save your game.
Move across the bridge and a cutscene will play, which forces you into a battle against an Eidolon called Odin.
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What you need to do is switch to a Paradgim with Hope using the Synergist role and let him cast shell and protect on both of you. Then, you'll want to alternate between Paradgims designed for healing and chain building. To fill Odin's Gestalt Gauge, you just need to build chains, but his attacks are damaging, hence the need to alternate between those types of Paradgims. Ravagers will fill the Gestalt Gauge quickly so there's real need to use a Commando, as the goal isn't to stagger Odin.
When the bar is filled, press square. Next, move ahead and defeat the PSICOM Soldiers. It might be ideal to go through the Eidolon tutorial as well.
When the PSICOM Soldiers are defeated, Lightning and Hope's part for this chapter is complete.
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When you gain control of Sazh and Vanilla, move ahead and save the game. Then follow the path. Operate the machinery when you reach the end of the path. Move across the newly created platform and proceed on. When you reach the next section where the path diverges, take the long route for an orb containing an Auric Amulet and save your game up ahead, before continuing to follow the mini-map arrow.
Eventually, you'll come to an open area in terms of 'there're several ways to go'. It's shaped like a square, but the paths are short. Save your game before navigating this area. After that's done, you'll need to go around the entire area, activating the objects of interest as indicated on your mini-map.
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Once completed, go back to the center platform and save. Open the orb there for a Fortisol. Also, the path opposite the save point that leads south (where you came from), has an orb you can open to the right of it for a tuft of Phoenix Down. Proceed on and defeat the Pulse Automations and Bombs that appeared, blocking your path.
Following their defeat, some cutscenes will play a bit further on and you'll be prompted to save. When you gain control of Snow, all you have to do is follow the mini-map directions as there's no fighting to be done or items to collect. Then the chapter will end.
You may also find these articles of interest:
Final Fantasy XIII Walkthroughs
- Guide to Chapter 1 in Final Fantasy XIII
- Final Fantasy XIII Walk through: Chapter 2
- Final Fantasy XIII Walkthrough: Chapter 3
- Final Fantasy XIII Walkthrough: Chapter 4
- Final Fantasy XIII Walkthrough: Chapter 5
- Final Fantasy XIII Walkthrough: Chapter 6
- Final Fantasy XIII Walkthrough: Chapter 7
- Final Fantasy XIII Walkthrough: Chapter 8
- Final Fantasy XIII Walkthrough: Chapter 9
- Guide to Chapter 10 of Final Fantasy XIII
- Final Fantasy XIII Walkthrough: Chapter 11
- Walkthrough of Chapter 12, Final Fantasy XIII
- Final Fantasy XIII Walkthrough: Chapter 13