We can kick off this final section of the main quest walkthrough with good news for those who've been racing against the clock - the timer's stopped, and you're free to work through the Final Day of Lightning Returns at your own pace. Not only that, you can now make use of the Escape skill to leave a battle without wasting any EP on a botched attempt.
You're going to need these handy bonuses too, because at the heart of the game's finale lie two extremely tricky fights that are going to put all of your skills and combat experience to the test. Without further ado, then, here's our guide to the very last day within the very last Final Fantasy 13 game.
Final Day walkthrough
First of all, make your way towards the cathedral, but be prepared for a fight as you approach the building. As you get near, you'll trigger a cut-scene which is swiftly followed by a battle against the four Cathedral Sentries. You should have no trouble taking all four of them out before following your map marker to the next part of the zone.
On your way to that eastern map marker, make sure you take in all of the branching paths that lead you to dead ends. There are item spheres located at the end of each one, and you may well find their contents extremely helpful for facing off against the two bosses who are now just around the corner.
There are a couple of key abilities that you want on standby for this fight: Curse, Imperil, and any attacks you have from the Ice school of spells. Make sure you've equipped accordingly before starting the fight, as you can use the Imperil spell to make Chimera vulnerable to Ice. Throw a Curse into the mix, and you're well-placed to send the enemy high up into the sky with your Blizzaga attacks.
These magic skills are all essential to the fight, as your opponent has very little in the way of magic mitigation. Instead, it relies on protection from physical damage alone. As with all the biggest battles in Lightning Returns, you'll want to induce Staggers wherever possible, so make use of abilities like Jump and Beat Down to put the enemy into a very vulnerable position.
"As with all the biggest battles in Lightning Returns, you'll want to induce Staggers wherever possible, so make use of abilities like Jump and Beat Down to put the enemy into a very vulnerable position."
You should also have Bravery equipped for this fight, and if you see your opponent dip into its collection of Wind or Thunder class of spells, follow up straight away with Heavy Slash to stop these assaults in their tracks. By this point, you should be well practised in the art of Perfect Guarding - block as much of the incoming damage as you can.
Once you've beaten Chimera, Fang will rejoin you temporarily. Check your map for details of your next destination, watch the cut-scene when you arrive, then jog on down the stairs for even more cut-scene content. Before you move any further ahead, check your supply situation, and talk to Mog nearby if you need to top up on potions - or Synthesize anything in your inventory, for that matter.
The four trials
Before you begin the final fight against Bunivelze, you should get stuck into the four so-called 'trials' that are spread around the four corners of the room you're in. By defeating the monsters in each hallway, you can give Lightning some very useful combat benefits. Clearing the hallway to the south-west grants Surge Level 1, the north-western hallway gives Flare Level 1, while Tornada Level 1 and Chill Level 1 are gained from the south-east and north-east corridors respectively.
Once you've picked up all four of these, you'll also get the Ultima Shield and Weapon. To make these fights just a little less worrisome, save before you open any of the doors - you can only take part in one trial at a time, and once you've opened a door you're committed to the trial unless you reload. You'll be wanting plenty of EP in the bank before getting stuck in as well, so farm the nearby enemies until you're fully topped up.
Once you've finished up all four trials, check you've got all your very best gear and abilities equipped, save your game, and get ready for a belter of a fight against the final boss of Lightning Returns, Bhunivelze!
"Absolutely every high-tier elemental damage abilities should be equipped, as should any other gear you've picked up that enhances Lightning's elemental damage."
There are four distinct phases to the fight with Bhunivelze, and we'll walk you through each one step by step. Before we get on to the fight itself, make sure you've got the following abilities equipped if at all possible: Light Slash, Heavy Slash, Imperil, Deprotect, and Beat Down or Jump. Absolutely every high-tier elemental damage ability should also be equipped, as should any other gear you've picked up that enhances Lightning's elemental damage.
Assuming you're now armed to the teeth, let's get on with the fight itself.
Bhunivelze phase one
The first phase of the fight against Bhunivelze opens with Doom, and so you'll only have a certain amount of time until it's over. This is where you'll find Imperil and Deprotect coming in handy, and you can induce Staggers against Bhunivelze using your Jump or Beat Down ability.
Bhunivelze phase two
Phase two of the fight continues in much the same vein as the first one, although you need to keep a very close eye out for the mines that move around during this phase. Apart from that, keep using Imperil and Deprotect against the enemy whenever you can, and inflict Staggers using either Jump or Beat Down.
Be aware that Bhunivelze has a spell called Genethliac Hymn. When he starts charging it, you'll need to fight up in the air. Switch between your different Schemata to maintain this combat stance, and throw all of your elemental spells at the enemy while Lightning is airborne.
If at all possible, you should try and end this phase of the fight before Bhunivelze can finish charging up Genethliac Hymn - dip into your Overclock stock if necessary to speed things up, and move the fight onto its third phase.
Bhunivelze phase three
Your priority during the third phase of the fight is to block every bit of physical damage you can. Expect attacks to come at you thick and fast with lengthy combos - miss a trick here, and your tactics can unravel rapidly. You should be a dab-hand at Perfect Guarding by now, so focus on the job at hand, and try to avoid everything that's thrown at you.
Managed to get a Stagger in? Go hard at the enemy with your Heavy Slash assault to rack up some massive damage, while gaining a little respite from Bhunivelze's own attacks.
Watch out for another signature move in this phase, Hypernova. When Bhunivelze activates this irritating ability, your offensive and defensive options will be locked out for no small amount of time. As soon as they become available for use again, get ready to guard against the damage coming your way, then go on the offensive yourself when the worst is over.
Bhunivelze phase four
"Watch out for Bhunivelze's Heartless Angel...if you fail to block this attack, Lightning can fall at the fight's final hurdle."
While they're not strictly necessary for winning the battle, you'll find the final phase of the fight against Bhunivelze much easier if you can induce Staggers. If you do manage to get your opponent on the ropes, don't leave any Overclocks in the bank. Instead, activate the ability and go at the enemy with everything you've got. Watch out for Bhunivelze's Heartless Angel attack too - if you fail to block this attack, Lightning can fall at this fight's final hurdle.
If you're trying to farm the Double Deity weapon, just be aware that it only has a five percent chance to drop from Bhunivelze's corpse. If you're specifically farming for the weapon, make sure your Beggar's Beads are equipped, and save before entering combat, so you can always try again if the weapon doesn't drop for you.
If you're struggling to beat a different Lightning Returns boss check the first page of our walkthrough.