If you're playing Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, you may be aware that the land of Eorzea is currently playing host to a special guest: Final Fantasy XIII's Lightning is putting in an appearance in celebration of her new game.
But how do you meet her? And, more importantly, how do you get her stuff? Read on.
Chapter One: For the Winsome
Required Level: 12
Head over to Limsa Lominsa's Lower Decks area and look for an NPC called Petyr Winsome, who is lurking around X:9, Y:12. Winsome is a reporter who has heard tell of a mysterious traveller from another world, and wishes to enlist your help in tracking her down and finding out what her deal is. Accept the quest to continue -- you'll know it's the right quest if the usual "Quest Accepted" text is presented in the silver Final Fantasy XIII font rather than its usual gold Final Fantasy XIV appearance.
Now you have two choices, both of which involve a FATE battle.
For the first choice, head out to Middle La Noscea at around X:16, Y:12 and wait for the Sister Crustacean FATE to appear -- it shows up roughly once every half an hour. Every other time the FATE spawns, Lightning will show up partway through the fight to help, and the battle music will change to Final Fantasy XIII's "Blinded by Light" battle theme. The victory fanfare will also be replaced by Final Fantasy XIII's electronica-esque victory jingle.
For the second choice, head out to Western La Noscea around X:32, Y:28 and wait for the Tender Buttons FATE to appear. Again, it shows up every half an hour, and again, Lightning appears every other time.
You'll need to complete either FATE while Lightning is present with a Silver or Gold medal in order to continue the quest. In order to ensure a good rating, make sure you're playing your class' role effectively; healers heal, tanks maintain aggro from the main boss monster (spamming Flash is a common tactic) and DPSes just fling everything they have at the target. Joining a FATE party can be a good option here -- there's usually plenty of people camping the FATE site so get socializing, and team up with your new friends.
A Silver medal will net you one "Otherworldly Parcel" item, while a Gold will give you two.
Lightning will mumble incoherently after the battle, then disappear in a puff of feathers. Head back to Winsome in Limsa Lominsa and turn in the Otherworldly Parcel to complete the quest and earn Lightning's Guardian Corps Gauntlets if you're a female character, or Snow's Bohemian's Gloves if you're a male character.
If you have any spare Otherworldly parcels -- or if you complete the FATEs a few more times -- you can exchange them for Final Fantasy XIII-themed weapons from Syngiwyb, who is standing next to Winsome.
Chapter Two: Seeking the Scoop
Required Level: 26
News of Lightning's exploits has reached Ul'Dah, so head over to the Gate of Nald in the Steps of Thald area of the city -- around X:11, Y:8 if you can't find it. Speak with Dural Tharal, who is waiting for you there. Again, you'll know if you accepted the right quest by the Final Fantasy XIII font being used on the "Quest Accepted" text.
Now you once again have two choices: Eastern or Southern Thanalan. In both cases this time, the FATEs required to beat the quest -- both called "Lightning Strikes - Armored Beast" -- are unique to the event, so Lightning shows up every time.
If you choose Eastern Thanalan cross Highbridge and head to the north-east corner of the map, around X:28, Y:17. Wait until you hear some NPCs yell about an incoming beast, then cooperate with your allies to take it down alongside Lightning, who shows up around the same time and tries to convince you not to fight. Defy her and help everyone take down the best and there'll once again be a short conversation with Lightning at the end, and she'll then wander off.
If you choose Southern Thanalan, head to X: 20, Y:11, just north-east of Little Ala Mihgo. Again, wait for the NPCs to yell and take down the beast with your allies.
Once again, you'll need to attain a Silver medal or better to beat the quest -- doing so will net you a Strange Otherworldly Parcel that you'll need to take back to Dural Tharal in Ul'Dah, who will exchange it for either Lightning's skirt or Snow's pants depending on your character's sex. Note that you can't exchange additional Strange Otherworldly Parcels for the weapons in Limsa Lominsa; only the Otherworldly Parcels from Chapter One can be exchanged.
Chapter Three: The Knight's Passage
Required Level: 38
Head to Old Gridania and speak with Kipih Jakkya, who is sitting in the Mih'Khetto Amphitheater around X:10, Y:8. Like the previous chapters, she'll ask you to investigate reports of Lightning being sighted, this time in the Coerthas Central Highlands.
Head to Coerthas -- go via North Shroud if you've never been there, as the alternative route through Mor Dhona sees you sneaking past some high-level beasties -- and bring up your map to watch for the FATE. It's called Lightning Strikes - Dread on Arrival and shows up in one of two locations in Coerthas: in the north-east of the area around X:30, Y:8, and near Whitebrim at X:16, Y:20. Since there are so many people camping the event right now, you're best picking one of the two locations and waiting there rather than trying to run back and forth between them.
This time, your opponent is a Clockwork Dreadnought. Again, make sure you fight as efficiently as possible -- join a party if you're struggling -- and achieve a Gold medal to acquire a Simple Otherworldly Parcel.
Take the parcel back to Kipih Jakkya in Old Gridania for a cutscene where Lightning shows up and a pair of Lightning or Snow boots. We're nearly done!
Chapter Four: Wonder and Lightning
Required Level: 45
Talk to Kipih Jakkya in Old Gridania again -- she's still at the Amphitheater where you left her. She'll ask you to go and help Lightning, who is in Mor Dhona fighting for her life.
There's two FATEs to complete in sequence this time, and again there are two possible locations. Head to either X:26, Y:11 or X:33, Y:11 and watch out for the Anubys Assault FATE first, during which you'll have to hold off a swarm of monsters -- area-effect skills are useful here -- closely followed by the event's final boss fight, On Wings of Chaos.
As usual, try your hardest for a Gold medal, and party up if you're having difficulty. Play your role effectively for the most credit -- heal your peers if you're a healer class, gain as much aggro as possible if you're a tank, and cause as much damage as you can as a DPS class. Plant damage over time debuffs as often as possible and keep hurling everything you've got at Aspect of Chaos until it eventually succumbs to your onslaught -- but be sure to keep an eye on Lightning's HP if you can see her amid the inevitable crowds, since she needs to remain alive for the FATE to be successful.
Beating the FATE with a Gold medal will net you a Stunning Otherworldly Parcel, which you should take back to Kipih Jakkya for your last piece of Lightning or Snow outfit -- their coats. After that, Lightning will head off to do whatever it is she has to do next -- star in Lightning Returns, presumably.
You've got until February 24 to complete all four parts of the Lightning Strikes questline, then it's gone forever. Sadly, the equipment you acquire through it isn't that good for high-level players since it's only level 13 -- it's fun for virtual cosplay parties, though, and thanks to the Aesthetician added in patch 2.1, you can now enjoy your post-Lightning Strikes adventures with an official Lightning or Snow haircut depending on your character's sex.