Challenge Thoughts: Final Fantasy X HD Remaster–Tidus Solo ESGNCRP Part 2–Arrival at Gagazet!

After leaving Luca, the Tidus solo went on a rollercoaster ride. From hours of grinding to… hours of grinding! To many boss deaths. It’s time for part 2: The journey to Gagazet.

It’s been quite some time since I last wrote an update on this challenge. Between getting stuck on bosses to going on vacation to just not feeling like writing it… Quite a bit has happened. Let’s see if I can recall everything up through this point, despite it having been so long now.

When I made it to Mi’hien I quickly realized I was getting my butt kicked. I decided to stick around the start and just grind for awhile. After many hours of grinding (somewhere around 6), I decided to just book it for the next section. I had intended to try and kill the Chocobo Eater, though unfortunately he had better ideas… namely just knocking me off the cliff. A quick trip through the Old Road later, I’m up to Mushroom Rock Road.

Sinspawn Gui

Mushroom Rock Road is where the next big grind happened. I was scared to death of how Sinspawn Gui would go so I started over preparing for him. I had decided to try and get a Yellow Shield to negate some of the Thunder damage from the head… Well, 8 hours later, no shield. Deciding to just go for it, it was time for Sinspawn Gui.

Sinspawn Gui was a long, drawn out fight. I didn’t really have an overall plan going in so I just sort of started trying things. After a 20 minute battle, my strategy became just Lancet him down. It turned out just not worth it to try and kill the arms. Thankfully, Spiral Cut also pierced through the armor so that gave me a little bit more speed. Of course, it WAS still a 20 minute battle so I can’t really say how much speed it gave but it was something. The battle after was as easy as ever, just going at it with Seymour solo since Tidus wasn’t available for use.

Djose Highroad was an interesting experience for sure. Basilisk’s work in a way that if only 1 character is alive, they won’t use their petrify move. At first I tried to make use of this but it turned out to be futile – I didn’t have a good way to kill them yet, or to get my other guys dead/out of the battle in time.

Fast forward to the Moonflow, Extractor was up next. Of course, it was just as easy as normal, though this lead me to my next conundrum: Do I ban Customize? It took me a fair while to decide this. Especially considering I decided to do quite a bit of grinding in the Thunder Plains, especially given that I got Thunderproof there. This grinding was very justified though: one of the toughest bosses in solo was coming up shortly, and to say I was simply worried would be an understatement.

Spherimorph was fairly easy, especially since I had picked up the elemental spells thanks to randomness. While they were only tier 1 spells, they still helped me power it down. After Spherimorph went down, the grinding resumed. And oh boy was this grind large. It was also right before Spherimorph that I decided to ban Customization. Insert the “No Customize” rule here.

Now one thing I haven’t mentioned yet is through the twists and turns the randomness brought me through… it brought me back to Use and Steal. I don’t think this challenge would have progressed much at all without these. In fact, I think I’d STILL be at this point without them… Anyways, with the obtaining of Use and Steal I was able to pick up a bunch of useful items in the Thunder Plains: Light/Lunar Curtains, Chocobo Feathers, and Petrify Grenades. I also grabbed a Poison Fang, though unfortunately I wasted it…

During all the grinding, I decided to make the hike back to Djose Highroad. Stoneward was going to be needed soon, and I could get it there. Thankfully, with having Use I now had  way to kill off my other party members: just Grenade them! Ah, that’s better… no more chance of being petrified. It took a little bit, but I did eventually get that Stoneward shield so back to the regular grind for me.

Seymour in Macalania

This next part went in two phases over two batches of attempts. The first batch had Crawler fall fairly easily thanks to Use and Thunder based items. After I ran out of those, I just did a bit of Blitz Ace practice since I’d be needing it soon and well… I’m not very practiced at Blitz Ace. Still not, even now looking back while writing this, but that isn’t the point here.

Seymour & Anima is one of the most notorious bosses in solo challenges. It’s not because of Seymour, no. It’s because of Anima. You have to kill her before she gets her first proper turn. This means you have to pump your damage up a LOT. After somewhere around 5 or 6 attempts at her I finally gave up, went to grind… Still couldn’t win. That’s when the idea of going back to lightning dodge was suggested to me. Of course, I’m awful at this myself so I had to recruit someone to do it for me. And thus the break from the challenge began.

Insert a few weeks later, back from vacation and lightning has been dodged (for both this and my regular file). With three Strength Spheres in hand, I finished off the grinding and used two of them for this. Crawler went about the same as before, but of course that wasn’t the issue. After a failed Blitz Ace leading to a Pain to the face, Anima fell on the second try with this new setup. The challenge goes on!

Bikanel was fairly uneventful. Thanks to having Petrify Grenades, I was able to pick up the treasure chests here and easily make it through the battles in Home. Of course, the next big pain boss was coming up… It was time for Evrae.

Evrae, the way I looked at it, was a puzzle. A puzzle I had to figure out. It would always do particular things at particular times, so it was a matter of turn manipulation. After much testing and not getting petrified from Stone Gaze, I finally came up with the solution. Now it was time to put it in action on-stream and properly make it past this pain. So of course, as soon as I’m streaming it again, guess what happens? Evrae goes on a petrify spree. Well, at least it balanced out the 50% chance of if I would get petrified or not.

Evrae

The puzzle ended up going something like this: I would buff, and after the first Poison Breath (when I had enough buffs on for that time), I’d Blitz Ace. The buffs included a Chocobo Feather, Lunar Curtain, and Light Curtain. There was also a Stamina Tablet for safety. Once the Overdrive Gauge was filled again, I’d Blitz Ace once more. For the third filling, right before I did the Blitz Ace I threw a Smoke Bomb to give him darkness. Once the third Blitz Ace went off it was down to luck. Petrify needed to not land, though I would still be slowed. Before I used the third Blitz Ace, I also equipped the Avenger I had. So now, any time Evrae hit me I would counter and he would die before I would. Due to the slow, I wouldn’t get another turn after my third Blitz Ace so I had to come up with something. So, on attempt number 15, Evrae finally fell.

The Bevelle Assault fights that followed were also a slight puzzle, though it was mainly in trying to figure out how to deal with the robots. Thankfully, with a Chocobo Feather and the item for Protect, I was able to take them down.

The next part was the next part where I don’t have Tidus. With some use of the Aeons, I made it to Isaaru. Thanks to all the grinding on Tidus, however, the Aeons were fairly buffed despite this being in No Sphere Grid rules. Isaaru’s Aeons fell easily – and I also noticed for the first time that they are named differently on the HD version – and it was off to what would definitely be the hardest boss in the game…

…Oh wait, it’s Evrae Altana. Well, time to make use of that pretty Life spell that has been sitting useless in my list that I picked up through the randomness! Yes, even though I could have used Phoenix Downs, I used Life just to justify that Ability Sphere being used (even though I’m maxed out on them).

Okay, now it’s time for the real bosses to begin again. Seymour Natus… Like Evrae, this was a puzzle. Though definitely not as hard of one. He works in a specific way, and I had to avoid a particular HP range of his or else it’d be instant game over. Once he falls below 23,999 HP, he’ll start using Break… but only until he’s at 12,000 HP, at which point he changes to just using Flare. He also uses Protect at 24,000 HP, or once he’s been hit under it anyways. So I had to avoid the Break range, as Stoneward does nothing for that. So with some careful damage manipulation, and Tidus you know… not critting and ruining the plan… Seymour Natus fell. The Flare range was laughable with the buffs I had on thankfully.

Ah yes, the Calm Lands. Home of Tidus’ ultimate weapon… I’m not looking forward to that. Thankfully I don’t need to get it quite yet, seeing as one of the items is off in Zanarkand! I was avoiding most of the enemies here though, stealing and overdriving what I could. I did all the Chocobo racing up until the final one – no, I’m not looking forward to doing that for the finished Caladbolg – along with picking up the Celestial Mirror. I also grabbed a Magic Counter shield here, perhaps it will come in handy eventually.

The next boss well… was a joke. It was just a very long joke. The randomness had brought me over to Tidus’ grid just long enough to grab Provoke before sending me back into Rikku’s. The thing is, Defender-X’s AI has him use only 1 move if he’s Provoked… The move that lowers your HP by a percent. So… it other words, it is impossible to die if Provoke is used. So, even though the fight did drag out a bit, it was one of the easiest bosses in the challenge.

Biran and Yenke

To finish off this section, the team has arrived at Gagazet. The first thing you do here is the final part where I don’t have access to Tidus – the Biran & Yenke fight. Since it was a No Sphere Grid battle, their stats were pathetic. I ended up just doing messing around with Overdrives from Kimahri more than actually doing the battle.

Coming up are some of the hardest bosses in the game – Seymour Flux and Yunalesca. I’m not really looking forward to them, though I DO have a plan for Flux at least. I just need to go back and grab an item to do this plan… Oh joy, back through the Calm Lands! At least I have my Chocobo…

Final Fantasy X HD Remaster: Tidus Solo ESGNCRP Difficulty (Arrival at Gagazet)

4.5/5

Anima. Evrae. Enough said.

You can find a playlist of all the boss battles so far here.

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