Need help with Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII? You've come to the right place. USgamer has a fully comprehensive walkthrough of the game, conveniently split into multiple parts. Here's where you can find the rest of the walkthrough, including details about each area's main quests and strategies on defeating the bosses there, step-by-step guides to each areas's side quests, plus a full guide to the epic Canvas of Prayers quest line.
Now on with this part of the guide.
When you first arrive at the Dead Dunes, speak with the Lazy Station Worker to initiate the main quest. Your next official objective is the bandits' settlement, which is marked on your map to the far north of the station. Before you head there, examine the Cactuar Statue in front of the station, then head due north to examine a similar statue outside of the Temple Ruins North Gate.
Assuming you've already beaten Cactair, head northeast to find several item spheres and a few other objects that are used for various side quests. Follow the location markers and speak to Adonis twice to accept the trial.
Head just outside Ruffian and examine the Cactuar Statue, then teleport to the Near God's Wrath location. Make your way to the next location marker and take down the Gurangatchenemy. After the cut-scene that follows, head back to Adonis to accept Fang as your new companion.
Your next stop is the northeast portion of the Giant's Sandbox. Here, you find a tunnel that leads into the Temple Ruins. Talk to the person to the left of the portcullis, then head down the hallway and activate the next Cactuar Statue.
There are a bunch of doorways in the temple that operate on an hourly basis. Every hour on the hour, each door either opens or closes. You can examine the information stone near each door to make it appear on your map. Red doors are closed, green doors are open. If you want to get all of the items in the temple, Chronostasis works well to keep each set of doors open long enough to get what you need. Once you've acquired everything from the first set of doors, wait until the next hour then repeat the process for the remaining doors (the ones that were originally closed).
With all of the items collected, drop down to the next level. There's an Earth Eater to the east that guards two item spheres. By defeating the enemy, you gain access to the spheres and obtain the Warding Talisman and White Strap.
Continue down the hallway and activate the next Cactuar Statue, then examine the door at the next location marker. Head back to the Chamber of Flame and down the southern hallway. Use the Pilgrim's Crux to unlock the northern door, then head to the northwest room to find another Pilgrim's Crux, then continue to the south.
Examine the device to open the door to the south, the proceed north. When you reach the next room, examine the device in the center, then head back to the closest Cactuar Statue to teleport out of the temple.
For the next part of the quest, you need one more Pilgrim's Crux. You can obtain one by completing The Life of a Machine side quest or buy them from the Crux Hunter inside the main hall in Ruffian. Once you have the last Pilgrim's Crux, use the Cactuar Status to teleport to any of the shrines. Head down the hallway and use the Pilgrim's Crux to open the door at the end. Collect the tablet inside, then as you leave, destroy the skeleton statues that appear to avoid being attacked.
Repeat this process at the other two shrines, then use the Cactuar Statues to reach the Sacred Gate. Once inside the Temple, head back to the gallery room and examine the pedestal to initiate a cinematic. Pick up the Crux Body near the entrance, then head through the southern doorway.
Take out the Gurangatch to the west, then head down the hallway and drop down to the level below. Continue to the west and examine the Cactuar Statue. Take on the Earth Eater to the south, grab the Pilgrim's Crux and drop down to the lower level.
Head down the hallway and straight across into the smaller room, then take a left and examine the device to open the door. Continue to the west to reach the mural, then climb up the ladder. Speak with Nolan to start the What Rough Beast Slouches side quest, then head up the steps and over the fence ahead. Use a Pilgrim's Crux to unlock the northwest door, then examine the Cactuar Statue just outside.
Move to the east and view the mural, then collect the Crux Tip in front of the entrance following the cinematic. Use the Cactuar Statue to head back to the Sacred Gate, then make your way to the next location marker. View the third mural to get another cinematic, then collect the Crux Base item.
At this point, you only have the final boss battle left in this portion of the main quest line. Before you complete this, make sure you have everything else in the Dead Dunes completed. After this portion is finished, Fang will no longer assist Lightning. He's a huge help with almost everything in the Dead Dunes, so make sure you're done with the area before you fight the final boss.
Head back to the Sacred Gate and examine the door to the north. Continue to the next location marker on the map and examine the clock to begin the boss battle against the Grendel.
Boss Battle: How to Beat Grendel
Reward: Maximum HP +540, Maximum ATB +10, Strength +28, Magic +56, Recovery Item Capacity +1.
The main issue in the battle against the Grendel is the fact that it casts a number of status ailments on Lightning. Equip any gear that nullifies statue ailments. Ideally, a schemata using the Passion Rouge garb works very well to defend against the many status ailments. You should also equip any Wind-based spells and attacks to take advantage of the Grendel's weakness.
During the fight, it is imperative to block or interrupt the Hellkraft and Sèance attacks. Both can be devastating if they connect. In addition, the Shadow Clan attack hits multiple times and should be Perfect Guarded whenever possible.
If you can stagger the Grendel, immediately switch to Wind-based attacks and spells to earn a second stagger. If you continue to mount an offense with primarily Wind-based attacks, you can make this fight considerably shorter with the damage inflicted during both staggers.
With the Grendal down, examine the item to the left to obtain the Petra Hood. Congratulations, you've made it to the final day!
You can find many more hints and tips in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, plus strategy guides and over 65,000 cheat codes, unlocks, achievements, trophies, Easter eggs and secrets at Prima Games.