Hard Mode: Getting All 160 Fragments in Final Fantasy XIII-2
- February 13th, 2012
- By MogKnight
Games can be pretty hard. Hard Mode is a feature of The Mog Blog that loves to showcase some of the most difficult and ridiculous challenges that can be found in games; recent, old, near or far. Warning: We are not responsible for any damaged controllers or equipment due to attempts at trying these out.
First off, I want to say that getting all 160 Fragments in Final Fantasy XIII-2 isn’t all that hard to do compared to what I’ve had up here last time with Danmakus and Shmups. However, given that Final Fantasy XIII-2 is pretty hot right now and I missed out on the Dark Souls boat and… well, let’s not talk about Soulcalibur V’s rage inducing Legendary Souls mode, I figured now would be the time to tackle this baby. Call this an intro to frustration!
Final Fantasy XIII-2 is an interesting take on the Final Fantasy series. There is an overlaying challenge that really doesn’t make itself quite apparent until after you beat the game. It’s there, you see it on the Historia Crux menu that you have x amount of fragments out of 160. What does this offer you? A nice tour of most if not all of the game and a few achievements/trophies too. But just how hard is it? As I said, not very much. However, assuming you wanted to artificially increase the challenge not use any sort of guide whatsoever, everything is literally all over the place and it can take you a good 80 hours to get everything. If you’re lucky, you might chop that down to 60 or less.
A few key things that make this whole ordeal challenging:
1. Exploration in this game is slightly more vast than your typical JRPG since now items can be hidden deep within the background and can only be fetched using the Mog Throw mechanic.
2. Again, everything is all over the place and will involve jumping through different areas (and time lines) to complete your tasks.
3. You have to fight and kill each monster in the game at least once. Some monsters have variants that only appear if the battle is purposely delayed.
4. You have to rely on a lot of grinding to defeat some of these monsters.
5. There’s a lot of freakin’ walking.
6. There’s a quiz game that seems to have no real way to study the answers or learn from unless you get a question/answer guide from the internet.
Let’s discuss some of the horrible aspects of my journey in getting all 160 fragments!
Grinding for Gil
Gil in this game seems to be hard to come by unless you sit down and grind. This becomes very evident when you’re trying to grind three acceptable monster pets in your party. Thankfully as you go through the game, there are plenty of upgrade drops that occur. Unfortunately, that money is then spent on the Serendipity casinos. In order to get one of the fragments, you must land a 777 and this can be very random to the point where it could take several hours before it even pops up. Thankfully, you can always tape down the L1/LB button and it will allow the slot machines to automate itself. You will need a huge influx of game tokens and these come at 10 gil a piece You will run out of gil and tokens pretty fast. You will also need to set aside a few tokens to grab some more fragments, four to be exact with one of them being a wild artefact… which, by the way…
Wild Artefacts are Stupid Hard To Find
Wild Artefacts are not related towards the 160 fragment count but instead act as keys to new areas. Unfortunately for all of us, some of these artefacts are too well hidden. Considering I played a few days before release with a review copy, all I had were GameFAQs with text descriptions. These descriptions are very hard to illustrate just where some of these artefacts are located. This especially stumped me when I was trying to find the Oerba 200 AF wild fragment. I posted a video up on YouTube and it got itself a good fair number of views from people that are trying to find the same thing.
One of the Wild Artefacts that’s in Academia 4XX AF just didn’t even physically appear until I pinged it with Mog. It was just horribly hard to see that I skipped past it about 20 times before I found it. These aren’t so bad once you know where they are but good luck eying everything that’s there in the world. You’re bound to just tap out and look things up on YouTube just to see exactly where things are.
Paradox Endings are Generally Unattainable Until Towards The Very End
Paradox Endings are unique in that they are generally only activated once you beaten the game. But even after you beat the game, charging head first into these battles will most likely murder you. So guess what you need to do? Grind. Thankfully there are a couple of weapons you can get your hands on but even they require a bit of grinding to obtain. These “Chaos Weapons” require a Chaos Crystal fragment (which count towards the 160) from Serendipity and also requires you to run through the Oerba quest line. You’ll then get a weapon that can be upgraded based on the number of fragments you have. Even then, some of these battles can get pretty rough unless you cap everything out, which by then you’ll be able to breeze through all of them. This doesn’t really happen for awhile and yes, you need to grind some more. Which, by the way, speaking of the Oerba quest line…
Those Clock Puzzles are Just RIDICULOUS
You might have ran into one playing the main story and I bet you that unless you sat down with a piece of paper and drew everything out, you most likely just spammed the puzzle until you got it right. Completing the Oerba quest line requires you to do the three Temporal Rift puzzles multiple times before you reach the end. These quests aren’t so bad if it weren’t for the clock puzzles. If you haven’t seen them yet, basically you have a circle of numbers and they all start off as active. You pick one and then the clock goes to that number and then separates out by the number of spaces on the number you click, which then the numbers that the clock hands are sitting on are the only active numbers you can hit. These are sometimes randomized and even timed. Thankfully, there’s a solution to this madness in a form of a Japanese page I’ve found.
Clock Puzzle Solver: http://nyusuke.com/game/ff13/ff13-2puzzle.html
Pretty what you do is put the numbers on the clock starting at the 0′o clock position and going clockwise. The left button will generate the solution while the right button will clear everything out. The box will display something like “2 → 2 → 1 → 2 → 1.” The first number is the position of the clock (0 being the top most and going clockwise) and the second number is the number that is in that position. You just hit everything in the right order and you can be rid of these silly puzzles.
Quiz Time is Stupid Time
Probably the most annoying thing that I encountered in Final Fantasy XIII-2 is everything in Academia 4XX AF. Not counting the need to complete the bestiary, the quiz portions are just dumb. There’s two different sets of quizzes, one that requires jumping on terminals and answering 10 questions correctly in one shot and another portion that requires you to find a hidden NPC that is randomly placed in the entire area. What these two quizzes share in common are questions that you have absolutely no way to prepare for unless you start googling like a madman and finding all your answers online. This just sucks for those that can’t be close to a computer during these quizzes. Seriously, how is anyone supposed to know these facts based on a work of fiction, especially when half of these facts are based on slice of life information in a world that doesn’t have any of this laid out for us to digest in the first place.
Now About That Bestiary
This is the last leg of things that you will do and probably for good reason. It does require that you fight every single enemy and monster in this game and that includes all variants. This means that all Paradox Endings need to be completed and this even include fighting monsters that would even give a maxed out character a few issues. You don’t need to fight the DLC batltles but you already have a ton of work in your hands and it’s only more of a burden when you consider that the Archlyte Streppe features four variants with their own set of monsters, rare and even the big game that you have to fight. Some of them are easy, some like Yomi and Long Gui are just a pain in the ass to beat.
What do you finally get out of all this? Well, it might be worth it if you’re that dedicated already or it might not if you just simply want to get that Platinum Trophy. You get the ability to run the whole game at 2X speed or slow it down to half speed. Half speed is kinda cool to look at if you want to see some of the details in the animation while 2X speed is let you blaze through things really fast. While the point of this is a bit moot since you got everything… Wait, it is pretty moot. Chances are that if you are indeed trying to grind for the final pieces of gear or weapons, you would have got them already or ended up getting the Chaos Weapons which are stronger than any of the weapons in the game and you don’t even need to grind for them.
Wow. That just ate up a good chunk of my life that I will never get back.