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.
There are a few differences between the five Main Quests and the Final Day. The most important aspect is the fact that time is no longer a factor. You can use the Escape ability to flee battles with no penalty instead of wasting EP on a lost cause. There's also a new set of enemies to battle against, but nothing that should cause Lightning too much trouble at this point in the game.
After the initial Final Day cut-scene, open the last item sphere to obtain five Silver Malistones, then head over to Mog if you need to replenish your supplies. When you're ready, use the Warp device to get underway.
If shopping with Mog wasn't enough, there are several merchants in Cathedral Plaza that should cover all of your shopping needs. Unless you need EP, you can skip any fights with enemies that aren't immediately blocking your path. There's no benefit to doing battle unless you need to pick up EP.
Head toward the cathedral. As you reach the Cathedral Sentries, another cinematic begins, followed by a battle against four Sentries. Defeat the enemies, then head to the location marker to enter the next area.
As you make your way through the winding path to the east, there are item spheres at three of the dead ends containing a Warrior's Plume, Holy Revelations and Samurai's Comb. When you reach the next location marker, it's time to battle the Chimera.
Boss Battle: Chimera
Before you begin this battle, make sure you have Imperil, Curse and Ice-based attacks at the ready. Once Imperil is inflicted on the Chimera, it becomes weak to Ice-based attack. In addition, using Curse allows Blizzaga to launch the enemy into the air for big damage followups.
Magic damage works well due to the Chimera's ability to reduce the damage of physical attacks. However, the best way to stagger the Chimera is with Jump or Beat Down, so make sure you have at least one of those ready to go.
If for some reason you don't have Bravery at the ready, equip it for this battle. If you see the Chimera use Thunder or Wind-based attacks, immediately follow with Heavy Slash to temporarily disable those attacks. As always, be sure to Perfect Guard as much as possible during this battle.
After the battle, Fang joins Lightning, but unfortunately, he doesn't stick around for very long. Head toward the next location marker for another cut-scene, then head down the stairs for yet another cinematic. Speak with Mog if you need to replenish your supplies, or synthesize any items together.
The four corners of the room lead to four trials. Behind each door you'll face an array of random monsters that you can avoid, but there are three enemies down each hallway that cannot be avoided. By completing each hallway, you will gain the Surge Level 1 (southwest), Flare Level 1 (northwest), Chill Level 1 (northeast) and Tornada Level 1 (southeast) elemental spells. These are extremely helpful and should be acquired before you enter the door to the east. In addition, once you have completed all four trails, Lightning obtains the Ultima Weapon and Ultima Shield.
Make sure you save before opening any of the doors to the trials. You can only partake in one trial at a time. Once you open a door, you cannot start another trial unless you restart at your last save point. If you need EP, farm the Set enemies as they are generally the easiest to take down in this area.
Once you've completed the trials, obtained all of the spells and gear and saved your game, it's time to head east and take on the final boss!
Final Boss Battle: Bhunivelze
Reward: Crystal Malistone, Double Deity, Elementaga
The Bhunivelze battle consists of four phases. You will need to be prepared for all four. It's recommended that you have access to the following abilities: Heavy Slash, Light Slash, Deprotect, Imperil, Beat Down and/or Jump, your highest tier elemental spells and any gear you have to enhance the damage of Lightning's physical and elemental attacks.
Phase One: The first phase opens with Doom, which means you have a limited amount of time before it's over. Deprotect and Imperil are key here, along with Beat Down and Jump to stagger Bhunivelze.
Phase Two: The strategy doesn't change much for the second phase. Watch out for the mines that move around during this phase. Otherwise, continue to keep Deprotect and Imperil on Bhunivelze at all times, and use Beat Down and Jump to stagger Bhunivelze. When Bhunivelze begins charging Genethliac Hymn, you'll have to fight in the air. Do whatever you can to remain airborne, which means switching between schemata constantly. Once Lightning is in the air, elemental spells work best in this scenario, but Beat Down is still moderately effective as well. It's extremely helpful to get Bhunivelze out of this phase before Genethliac completes charging, even if you have to burn an Overclock.
Phase Three: The most important aspect of Bhunivelze's third phase is to block all of the physical attacks. They come in long combos and can seriously damage Lightning if you're not careful. Perfect Guard what you can, but just make sure you don't get hit by these long combos. Once you land a stagger, Heavy Slash works well to score big damage, which is necessary to avoid Bhunivelze's more devastating attacks.
When Bhunivelze uses Hypernova, your attack and defensive options will be locked out for an extended period of time. Once they're available again, you won't have much time to guard against the attack, so be ready as soon as you can perform actions again.
Phase Four: While it's possible to defeat Bhunivelze without staggering during this form, it's not easy. Your best bet is to focus everything at landing a stagger, then inflict as much damage as possible while Bhunivelze is in a staggered state. Overclock comes in handy again, especially during Bhunivelze's lengthy Heartless Angel charge time. Just make sure you block Heartless Angel or Lightning will almost assuredly die soon after the attack.
Note: The Double Deity weapon has a five percent drop rate. If you're farming the boss for that weapon, equip the Beggar's Beads and save your progress before the final battle so you can try again if the item doesn't drop.