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No Summon/Sphere Grid/Overdrive Challenge FAQ by Thundaka

Version: v3.00 | Updated: 09/01/09

                      By Thundaka (thundaka@yahoo.com)

Copyright 2004 Thundaka.
This guide is solely for private use.  If you wish to host this guide on your 
website, contact me for permission before doing so.  Any profitable use is 
strictly prohibited.

v1.00: It's finally done!  I'll need to do another playthrough to find some
of the stuff I missed the first time (mainly Biran's and Yenke's HP).  Also,
I plan to add a Frequently Asked Questions section once I start getting e-
mails.  It's probably not perfect, so any corrections or additional tips and
suggestions are appreciated.

v1.10: Added Biran and Yenke's HP.  Also fixed a few typos, and added a
warning about the fourth Dark Matter.

v1.11: Made some minor changes.

v1.21: Corrected the number of Echo Screens needed for Silencetouch.

v1.31: Added a new tip under the BFA strategy.

v1.41: Made some additions to the Calm Lands and Zanarkand sections.

v1.51: Added a note on stealing from Sin's arms.

v1.61: Made a small correction in the Seymour strategy.

v2.61: Gave the FAQ a major overhaul.  Expanded the monster-capturing section
to include strategies for ALL capturable fiends, and added Dark Matter-free
tactics to the Anima, Evrae, Seymour Natus, and Seymour Flux strategies.
Finally, I modified KenLionheart's Seymour Flux strategy in order to allow
survival even if Cross Cleave is used.

v2.62: Made some very minor grammatical and format changes.

v3.00: Did another complete makeover of the FAQ.  I rewrote many of the boss
strategies to make them easier, removed a few unnecessary time-wasters, and
corrected a few lingering grammatical errors.  I also expanded the FAQ to
cover the No Escape version of the challenge.  This is my final, final update
of the FAQ.

Welcome to the toughest challenge in Final Fantasy X.  The No Sphere Grid/No 
Summon/No Overdrive challenge was designed for those who find the normal 
game and standard No Sphere Grid challenge too easy, and want an extra 
challenge.  There are three ironclad rules:

1. Never activate any node on the Sphere Grid.
2. Never summon an aeon.
3. Never use anyone's overdrive.

(NOTE: At six points, the game forces you to either summon or use an 
overdrive.  These exceptions will be marked in the strategy.)

Together, these three rules greatly constrict the player.  Without the Sphere 
Grid your characters quickly become vulnerable to enemy attacks, and lack 
the high attack power and many of the abilities (Haste and the Nul spells, for
example) that are key to winning a regular game.  Without summoning, powerful
attacks that could otherwise be blocked with an aeon will have to be absorbed
by the party.

Most importantly, without overdrives--in particular, without Rikku's Trio of 
9999--you cannot dispose of bosses before they're able to inflict devastating 
damage.  To compensate, this strategy requires three powerful items to finish 
bosses quickly: Dark Matter, won as a league prize in blitzball; Shining 
Gems, given by the Monster Arena owner for capturing every fiend in 
Macalania; and Supreme Gems, given by the Monster Arena owner for unlocking 
two Species Creations.  A host of support items are also required to disable 
the bosses and protect your party members.  Thus, Rikku and her Use ability 
are crucial to every boss from Macalania on.

Note that customization is allowed.  Every boss prior to Braska's Final Aeon 
has been defeated using only bought and dropped equipment.  However, due to 
his devastating sword swipe, his even more devastating overdrives, and his
ability to petrify characters, the odds of defeating BFA without certain
customized equipment are extremely low.  Thus, since the final boss requires
customization, I am incorporating it into the rest of the challenge.

The main strategy guide is written on the assumption that the player will
escape from every random battle, disregarding such encounters except to steal
items and occasionally capture fiends.  However, it is quite possible to
complete the game without once escaping from a battle.  To help those
undertaking this more difficult version of the challenge, I have added a
parallel No Escape walkthrough detailing the preparations and strategies
needed to make it through the random encounters safely.  It is not a
stand-alone guide; it is intended to supplement the boss and capture
strategies found in the main FAQ, and those strategies are not altered by the
No Escape restriction.

This guide is not meant to be a general gameplay guide.  Most bosses in a 
normal game can be beaten with little danger by a few aeon overdrives, 
whereas the NSGNSNO challenge often requires rare items that must be acquired 
well in advance.

Also, it should not be used by those attempting other No Sphere Grid 
challenges.  With Trio of 9999 and Sunburst at your disposal, you have no 
need for the elaborate defensive strategies described in this guide.  Read 
Dustman's No Sphere Grid FAQ and Gestahl's No Sphere Grid/No Summon/No 
Customizing FAQ for strategies with overdrives.

This challenge is only recommended for those who have finished the game and
are thoroughly familiar with the CTB system and blitzball.  Therefore, there
are numerous **SPOILERS WITHOUT WARNING** throughout the guide.  Consider
yourself notified.



I. Zanarkand

Let the challenge begin!  After some gorgeous cutscenes, you will meet up 
with Auron and the game proper will begin.

Kill the Sinscales in front of you and run on.  At the top of the road, you 
will face the first boss of the game.

BOSS: Sinspawn Ammes

***NSGNSNO Exception 1***: Auron is forced to use his Dragon Fang overdrive.  
You can try to activate the button combination, if you'd like, but it makes
no difference; all five Sinscales will die.

Just hit Ammes until all his tentacles disappear.  Demi can never kill you, 
but remember to restore your HP at the save sphere afterwards.  DO NOT be 
tempted to use Spiral Cut.

After saving, run on and become ambushed by Sinscales.  Kill the Sinscales 
with flickering wings until the Tanker becomes a target.  Then take out the 

A long cutscene ensues.  (In case you didn't notice, the area where Tidus 
meets his younger self is the same place where you fight BFA at the end of 
the game.)  Eventually, you wake up in the water at Baaj Temple.

II. Baaj

Open the chests in the water for 200 gil.  If you want to, you can download 
Al Bhed Primers from a previous save file at the Al Bhed compilation sphere 
in the northwest corner.  It's not necessary to complete the challenge, but 
it will greatly enhance your understanding of the cutscenes that follow.

Save before heading over the bridge.  Don't forget to grab the Hi-Potion on 
the path to your left.  After walking north, kill two Sahagins and let 
Geosgaeno finish the third off.  I'm not considering him a boss here, since 
he can't kill you and the battle will automatically end on Geosgaeno's third

Inside the temple, examine the campfire and gather the Flint and Withered 
Bouquet.  (A Hi-Potion and an Ether are in chests near the Withered Bouquet.)  
Make yourself a campfire, watch a really weird dream sequence, and it's time 
to face the first real boss.

BOSS: Klikk
1500 HP

Attack until Rikku joins you.  Use a Grenade, and then steal while Tidus 
continues to attack.  Use a Potion if necessary.

On the Al Bhed ship, Rikku will give you a Sphere Grid tutorial.  Enjoy the 
pretty pictures and make frequent use of the X button.  Then dive down to the 
underwater ruins.  Along the way, you'll encounter at least one Piranha.  
Steal a Grenade before killing it.

Open the door and turn on the power source, stealing Grenades from the 
two Piranhas you meet.  Then it's time to meet everyone's favorite squid...

BOSS: Tros
2200 HP

You should have plenty of Grenades by now.  After Rikku uses one, Tros will 
immediately hide behind a pillar; use the opportunity to throw another one, 
while Tidus defends or uses Stand By.  From there, continue throwing Grenades
and use Pincer Attack to keep Tidus in range.  After five or six Grenades, 
Tros will be gone.

Once Rikku brings the plot up to speed, Sin will carry our hero away.  Dazed 
and confused, he wakes up in...

III. Besaid

Meet Wakka and the Aurochs.  Before you go, talk to the Aurochs to get a Hi-
Potion and 200 gil.  Then follow Wakka, get pushed into the water, and kill 
Piranhas with Wakka's ball.  Simple.

In Besaid Village, open all the chests you can find.  There are three in a hut 
between the item shop and the Crusader's Lodge.  Enter the temple and 
approach Lord Braska's statue.  Sleep in Wakka's hut, and enter the temple 

Time for the Cloister of Trials.  You know the drill: touch the glyph on the 
wall, use a Glyph Sphere to open the door at the bottom of the stairs, touch 
another glyph to access the Besaid Sphere, and place the Besaid Sphere in the 

While you're here, you should get the Rod of Wisdom.  Take the Glyph Sphere 
out of its place in the door, and place it in the sphere-shaped recess along 
the left wall.  Remove the Destruction Sphere and place it where the Besaid 
Sphere was.  Open the newly revealed chest to acquire the Rod of Wisdom.
Finally, push the pedestal forward to exit the Trials and initiate the next
series of cutscenes.

In the morning, the party leaves Besaid Village.  Complete the first two 
tutorial battles as always: have Tidus attack the Dingo, Wakka attack the 
Condor, and Lulu cast Thunder at the Water Flan.  But the third battle is 

**NSGNSNO Exception 2**: After switching her in, Yuna is forced to summon 
Valefor against the Garuda.  To defeat Garuda easily, use Sonic Wings 
to continuously delay its turn.  The battle will be won just as Valefor 
reaches overdrive.

Finally, Wakka gets to practice Dark Attack against another Garuda.  Take him 
down with Tidus, Wakka, and Lulu.

BOSS: Kimahri
750 HP

Somewhere in the midst of these tutorial battles, you will run into Kimahri.  
Don't sweat it.  Attack him a few times, and use a Potion when your HP falls
below 200.

Before leaving Besaid, remember to collect a Remedy, Ether, and Seeker's Ring 
as farewell gifts from the villagers.  Pick up two Antidotes to the left of 
the dock.  Then it's off to Kilika!

IV. S.S. Liki

You can pick up a Remedy below deck.  Be sure to top off your Potion supply 
at 20 by kicking the suitcase.

While you're down there, you'll run into O'aka XXIII, merchant 
extraordinaire.  Don't donate any gil to him now, since only his prices at
Mushroom Rock are affected by your donation.

Above deck you need to approach Yuna, talk to Wakka, and then talk to Yuna.
After a cutscene, Sin will suddenly appear out of the water.

BOSS: Sin's Fin
2000 HP

Have Kimahri and Tidus kill two of the three Sinscales.  Leave the third one 
alive, and attack Sin with Lulu's magic, Wakka's ball, and Kimahri's Lancet.

Wakka will jump into the water after Tidus, triggering the next boss battle.

BOSS: Sinspawn Echuilles
2000 HP

As in a normal game, Dark Attack is your best friend.  Use Potions as needed, 
and an Ether if Wakka runs out of MP.

V. Kilika

Before talking to Wakka in the morning, head to the left to save the girl in 
the rickety structure.  Her sister, the owner of the tavern, will give you an 
Ether as a token of gratitude.

After talking to Wakka, head into the Kilika Woods.  Lancet the Ragora, but 
do not use Jump or Seed Cannon.  Talk twice to Luzzu for some Antidotes.

BOSS: Lord Ochu
4649 HP

Lord Ochu is optional, but the Elixir Luzzu gives for beating him is well
worth it.

Keep Yuna in the front line.  You will be using Esuna and Cure quite a lot to 
heal from Poison Claw.  Attack with Kimahri and with Lulu's Fire.  When Lord
Ochu falls asleep, wake him up immediately by hitting him.  He will counter
with Earthquake; you can't die, since it takes off half your current HP, but
you will want to heal quickly to avoid getting killed by his other attacks.

Before going on, talk to a Crusader in the woods to receive a NulBlaze Shield
for Tidus.  On the temple steps, save and be prepared to fight yet ANOTHER

BOSS: Sinspawn Geneaux
3000 HP

Still not much different from a normal game, except that you can't use 
Valefor's overdrive.  Take down the Tentacles with Fire and Kimahri's spear, 
then attack Geneaux's shell until he comes out to play.

Once out of his shell, Geneaux uses Venom, Water, and Staccato.  None do much 
damage, though you'll want to have Yuna handy to cure the poison from Venom.  
Continue attacking with Kimahri and Lulu.

The last boss fight in Kilika done, you can head up the steps.  From here, 
you can watch Lulu insult Wakka, sneer at the haughty Goers, and cringe at 
Dona's putdowns.  

Anyway, eventually you'll enter the Cloister of Trials.  Place the Kilika 
Sphere in the first door and remove it to open the path.  Put a Kilika Sphere 
in the second door and then take it out.  Then push the pedestal next to the 
second door, and touch the glyph to open it.  Remove the Kilika Sphere from 
the door to your right and put a Glyph Sphere in its place to gain access to 
the Destruction Sphere.

I strongly advise you to get Kimahri's Red Armlet, as it will prove useful in
later areas.  Put a Kilika Sphere in the pedestal, and push it on top of the 
shining glyph.  Place the newly revealed Kilika Sphere in the last door, and 
put the Destruction Sphere in its place.  Collect your treasure, take the 
Kilika Sphere out of the third door, and enter the Chamber of the Fayth.

Before you leave Kilika, make sure you have at least 3100 gil.  You will need 
it once you get to Luca.  Then board the S.S. Winno.

VI. S.S. Winno

Enjoy the pretty view.  Go up the ramp to eavesdrop on Lulu and Wakka's 
conversation.  Then go back down to save.

You will now be offered the Jecht Shot Challenge.  Since you will probably be
playing a lot of blitzball later on, you should get this now.  Press X and the
appropriate direction button to silence Jecht's taunts.  Remove 11 taunts, and
the Jecht Shot is yours.

VII. Luca

Enjoy the ten minutes of cutscenes that follow.  Review the blitzball 
tutorial if needed.  Once you regain control of Tidus, visit the bar in Luca 
Square.  Oh no, we missed the game!  That's alright, though; Wakka has it 
under control.  Once Yuna is kidnapped, visit O'aka at the docks.

**IMPORTANT ITEM ALERT**: You must buy the Stunning Steel from O'aka!  You
cannot defeat Extractor without it, and it's also important against a number
of later bosses.

Equip the Stunning Steel and face off against your first batch of machina.  
Lulu's Thunder can take one out instantly, and the Stunning Steel can prevent 
the other from getting a second turn. Have Kimahri use Lancet, since their
Magic Defense is so much lower than their Defense.  After dispatching them, 
save at dock 4 and board the Al Bhed ship.

BOSS: Oblitzerator
6000 HP

Have Kimahri and Tidus defend while Lulu casts Thunder at the crane three 
times.  Then have Tidus use the crane.  Oblitzerator will become powerless, 
and you can kill him at your leisure.

In a miracle play, Wakka makes a last-second shot against Nimrook to beat the 
Al Bhed Psyches!  (Yeah right.)  If you won a Lightningstrike weapon for Tidus
or Wakka, equip it now.  Listen to his pep talk, and the game against the Luca
Goers will commence.

I will not offer any advice on this game, since there is absolutely no need 
to win.  (What could you do with a Strength Sphere?)  I do, however, 
recommend leveling up your team, especially Tidus.  Pass back and forth 
between Tidus and your defenders, and break to Abus often.

Save after the game, and get ready to take on a swarm of fiends.  If you have
a Lightningstrike weapon, you will be taking down a Sahagin Chief with every
hit; if not, you should still score plenty of critical hits.  Expect to use
several Potions here.  Get control of Auron, and kill the Vouivre.  The Garuda
can be problematic, but with Dark Attack, Power Break, and Slow he shouldn't be
too hard to beat.  Then watch as Anima takes out the fiends in the stadium with
Pain.  Very cool.

Not much left to do in Luca.  Remember to collect 1000 gil from a treasure 
chest on your way out of town.  Auron is now a member of the party, giving 
you access to Power Break.  Endure the laughing scene--I hope you have the 
mute button handy--and you're off to the Mi'ihen Highroad!

VIII. Mi'ihen Highroad

At the first save sphere, the blitzball scouting system will be explained.  
Go back into Luca to recruit Jumal and maybe Wedge.  Jumal is sitting on a
bench in the square, and Wedge is guarding the stadium.  Sign both for one

I do not recommend playing blitzball right now, since you are so short on 
gil.  However, now would be a good time to set Dark Matter as the league 
prize.  To do this, save your game and check the blitzball menu.  If the 
prize is not Dark Matter, soft reset and check the menu again until it 
appears.  In future blitz games, keep the following advice in mind:

1) Be on the lookout for good techniques.  For example, Tidus should learn 
Anti-Wither and Anti-Venom ASAP, and your defenders should learn level 2 and 
level 3 tackles when they appear.
2) Break through one defender at a time using the Square button.  With his 
high EN, Tidus can break through almost any solitary defender, allowing him to
get close to the goal and score with Jecht Shot.
3) Use Jecht Shot as often as possible.  Besides greatly increasing the odds 
of scoring, Jecht Shot gives Tidus plenty of EXP, allowing him to rapidly 
become the best shooter in Spira.

Proceed straight down the Highroad.  The fiends here are potentially 
dangerous for the first time in the game.  You can try fighting them for 
extra gil, but you're probably better off escaping.  As a rule, you'll want to
Escape from most random battles from here on, healing between battles with Cure.

Along the way, you'll meet Belgemine.  Challenge her to a fight to restore 
Yuna's MP.  No, this does not violate the no-summon rule.  Simply Escape as 
soon as the battle begins to forfeit.  Belgemine will give you a Seeker's 
Ring for your trouble.

Make your way to the end of the third screen, talking to travelers for items 
as you go.  Rest at Rin's Travel Agency, buy a few Phoenix Downs, equip the
Stunning Steel, and save your game.  Don't forget to sign Ropp, if you can spare
the gil.  (Rin will give you 2 Mega-Potions.  You want as many as possible when
you face BFA; stock up.)  Then it's time to take care of the Chocobo Eater once
and for all.

BOSS: Chocobo Eater
10,000 HP

Begin by blinding Chocobo Eater with Dark Attack.  Have Auron Power Break him,
and hit him with the Stunning Steel until Slow takes effect.

Once he's slowed, switch in Lulu, Kimahri, and Auron.  Now attack him 
nonstop, healing only with Phoenix Downs.  Reapply Dark Attack when 
necessary; Wakka will likely need an Ether.  With just a little luck, you can
kill him before he's able to push you over the cliff.

As a sign of gratitude, Rin will give you a free chocobo ride.  Go back along 
the Highroad to pick up the chests you missed.  On the Newroad, you will find
a yellow chocobo feather; press X to reach Kimahri's Heat Lance.  Then go to 
the second screen of the Oldroad.  Press X at the feather there to acquire a 
Thunder Blade and a Scout with Thunderstrike.  The Scout is crucial for 
defeating Extractor, and the Thunder Blade is very effective against Maze 
Larva in the Via Purifico.

At the Operation Mi'ihen checkpoint, you can donate 100 gil to receive a non-
elemental Scout.  None of the other rewards are worth your gil.  After a short
cutscene with Seymour, save and enter Mushroom Rock Road.

IX. Mushroom Rock Road

This place gives me the creeps.  Talk to the Crusaders you meet for items.  
The Crusader who blocks the way back gives Lulu a Tough Bangle with HP +20%, 
quite useful against Sinspawn Gui.  Be sure to have Kimahri in the frontline 
at all times; his Red Armlet will reduce damage from fire, thunder, and ice 
attacks.  Along the way, talk to Shelinda to restore Yuna's MP.

Once you get to the command center, buy at least 20 Phoenix Downs from O'aka.  
While you're at it, buy the Lucid Armguard--it will help you when capturing 
Malboro.  Then tell the guard that you're ready.

BOSS: Sinspawn Gui
12,000 HP (Head: 4000 HP)

If only Rikku was here.  This will be a long, slow fight.

--Strategy 1: Begin by Power Breaking the body.  The head is your first
priority; the additional damage from Thunder can be lethal, to say nothing of
the 700 damage dealt by Venom.  Damage the head with Lulu's spells, Wakka's
ball, and Kimahri's Lancet.  If anyone dies, switch in Yuna or Tidus (the two
characters with the highest Agility) to use a Phoenix Down, and switch them
back out.

Once the head is gone, you will only have one threat per round.  Cast Lulu's
spells on the body, and have Auron and Kimahri kill the arms so they can join
in.  Once Lulu runs out of MP, restore it with an Ether or Elixir.  Keep this
up, and Gui will eventually fall.

--Strategy 2: While significantly more difficult than the one listed above,
this strategy virtually eliminates the need for Phoenix Downs--an invaluable
feature if you wish to save your gil for O'aka's weapons and armors.  As
above, Power Break the body and have your three long-range fighters attack
the head.  Pay careful attention to the head's and the body's turn order, as
well as the last move they used.  The body alternates between Demi and its
punch attack, while the head alternates between Thunder and preparing for
Venom.  If the head is about to use Thunder, and the body is about to use
Demi, everyone must have more than 240 HP.  If the body is about to use its
punch, regardless of what the head does, make sure everyone has more than
380 HP.  (If you sold Lulu's Tough Bangle--a likely scenario if you were
raising funds for Auron's Sentry--there is a high risk that its punch will
kill her even at full HP.  In that case she should ignore the punch
entirely, relying on her evasive abilities to dodge the punch and using a
Phoenix Down on the occasions when she is hit.)  Kimahri should be on the
front line the whole time; his Red Armlet makes Thunder a lot less dangerous
to him, and Lancet's healing largely cancels the damage he sustains from Demi
(though not from the punch).

Should you need to heal Wakka or Kimahri, try to replace Lulu with Yuna and
switch her back in on the next turn whenever possible.  For minor injuries,
feel free to use as many Potions as you need.  The quick recovery time and
lack of MP cost can be invaluable, and you will receive plenty of Potions in
the next area.  When someone has lost more than 200 HP, have Yuna cast Cure.
Since Venom is an instant kill, stopping the head's movement takes priority
over all else; while you should try to heal whoever urgently needs it, it is
safer to hope that Gui doesn't target them than to heal at the expense of
letting him use Venom.  Don't forget to keep Yuna's HP up, since she can be
killed as easily as the others.

Once the head is dead, the strategy becomes a lot simpler.  Since he can only
kill someone every other turn, you are going to alternate your parties to suit
his attacks.  Auron and Kimahri should be in the front essentially the whole
time; Auron attacks the arms, while Kimahri either heals with Lancet on the
body (when he has more than 300 HP but not full health) or joins Auron in
meleeing the arms.  Lulu should only come in immediately after the punch,
since her low maximum HP makes healing her largely a waste of time.  Likewise,
Yuna should come in immediately after Demi to reduce the need to heal herself.
When Yuna or Lulu runs out of MP, use an Elixir to restore her HP and MP
immediately.  Things get a little tricky below 3000 HP, as he will sometimes
use Demi two or more times in a row in between punches.  Do not let your
guard down; Yuna needs to keep the party's HP as high, since he can follow
up with a punch at any time, and Lulu needs to stay out until the punch is
actually used.

You didn't think it was going to be over that quick, did you?

BOSS: Sinspawn Gui, Part II
6000 HP (Head: 1000 HP)

Take out the head immediately with a -ra spell from Seymour.  Cast five more 
at the body, and Gui is gone for good.

Once Gui dies, witness Operation Mi'ihen fail miserably.  Several reflective 
cutscenes later, the pilgrimage continues.  Don't forget to pick up a Hi-
Potion from the chest behind Auron.

X. Djose Highroad

**IMPORTANT ITEM ALERT**: Talk to the first Crusader you see to receive 
Yuna's Soft Ring.  This armor is important in the Seymour Natus battle, and
will become her armor for BFA.

This area contains many fiends to run away from.  Keep Kimahri, Auron, and 
Yuna in the front line; Kimahri and Auron have the most HP, and Yuna's Soft
Ring improves the odds of escaping if ambushed by Basilisks.  Make your way to
the Djose Temple.

Inside the temple, you will find a Mega Phoenix in the right antechamber and 
an Ether to the left of the stairs.  Enter the Trials.

Place both Djose Spheres into the first door to open it.  Put two Djose 
Spheres into the wall to the right of the second door.  Then push the 
pedestal, with Djose Sphere inserted, under the device.  Insert the now-
charged sphere in the right receptacle, and the door will open.

Step on the shining glyph to move the pedestal back to its original position, 
and place both Djose Spheres from the device into the pedestal.  Push the 
pedestal into the electric field below to create a stepping-stone.  Push in 
the pedestal at the far end to light the "eye," return to the shining glyph 
to bring the pedestal back, and place the three Djose Spheres in the 
appropriate receptacles to activate the elevator.  Go up, push in the five 
pedestals on the upper level, and visit the Chamber of the Fayth.  Don't
bother with the Destruction Sphere treasure.  It is a Magic Sphere, completely
useless in this challenge.

Before leaving the temple, be sure to grab Wakka's Switch Hitter from the 
back of the inn.  You may want to sign Kyou on your way out.

XI. Moonflow

More unpleasant enemies to escape from, including the ever-nasty Ochu.  
Accept Belgemine's challenge, and then run away.  In addition to the useless 
Summoner's Soul, she will give you six Smoke Bombs and restore Yuna's MP.

At the Moonflow dock, buy Auron's Blue Bracer.  The Macalania Woods will be 
much safer with this armor.  Pick up 5000 gil, equip the Scout (with 
Lightningstrike) and the Stunning Steel, and save.  Then board the shoopuf.

BOSS: Extractor
4000 HP

This once harmless boss is a huge threat in NSGNSNO.  If Extractor is not 
slowed, it will use Depth Charges to inflict Darkness and 350 damage on Tidus 
and Wakka, and will continue to use Depth Charges until he has suffered 500
damage.  With nothing but physical attacks on your side, this as good as a
death sentence.  For this reason, you cannot beat him unless Slow is inflicted
before he rises to use Depth Charges.

Once Slow has taken effect, you can breathe a little easier.  Pay close
attention to Tidus' and Wakka's turn order.  It takes 4 hits to stop Extractor
from using Depth Charges.  If either character has only one turn after the
boss's next move, have them either use a Potion or defend to adjust the ATB
and give themselves two turns.  So long as you do that, Extractor is not too
dangerous at all.

Once you reach the north bank, you will meet an old friend: Rikku!  Her Steal 
and Use abilities will be crucial to defeating just about every boss that 
follows.  Before you can use them, though...

**NSGNSNO Exception 3**: After stealing 2 Bomb Cores from a chest, you will 
have no choice but to use Rikku's Mix overdrive.  I shouldn't have to tell 
you this, but don't waste the Bomb Cores.  Mix two Power Spheres for a Frag 
Grenade, overkilling the Bunyip.

With Rikku now in the party, there are plenty of things to steal.  You can 
steal Mega-Potions, Stamina Tablets, Elixirs, and Dragon Scales from the
chests, Remedies  from Ochu, free Hi-Potions and the occasional Sleeping
Powder from Garm, and Antarctic Winds from Snow Flan.  You should also steal
from the Bite Bugs, since you will eventually need at least one Poison Fang.
Escape from these battles, pick up a Mega-Potion in a chest, and enter

XII. Guadosalam

Once Tromell welcomes you to Guadosalam, you can customize your equipment.  
Pick up a Mega-Potion and an Elixir in chests before entering Seymour's 
mansion.  After several cutscenes there and on the Farplane, the way to the 
Thunder Plains will be open.

--NOTE: Now would be an excellent time to start playing blitzball for Dark
Matter.    You will want at least three before you fight Seymour.  While it is
possible to complete this challenge without using a single Dark Matter, this
item remains the easiest way to defeat numerous bosses; Anima and Seymour Flux
are particularly aggravating without it.  You can also win other useful items
from blitzball: Return Spheres (a common tournament and top-scorer prize) can
be used to add the always-useful First Strike to Rikku's weapon, and if you're
exceptionally dedicated you can even customize Evade&Counter with Teleport
Spheres (an occasional league prize) to render yourself invulnerable to the
vast majority of enemies.

Before you can go on, you must get some Petrify Grenades.  Return to the now-
open Moonflow docks, and ride the shoopuf back toward the Djose Highroad, 
stealing items as you go.  In the Djose Temple section of the Highroad, you
can steal Petrify Grenades from Basilisks; collect at least a dozen before you
continue.  While you're at it, steal Bomb Fragments, Electro Marbles, and
Antarctic Winds from the fiends you meet; you will need several of each for

And if you're running short on gil, you can acquire Wakka's Ace Wizard on the 
S.S. Winno.  It has a selling price of 20,000 gil, enough to finance your 
blitz team through Macalania.  In any event, you absolutely must steal a 
Poison Fang (three if you want to kill Anima without Dark Matter) and Silver
Hourglass BEFORE you face Crawler.

Don't forget the 8 Lightning Marbles in a chest on the way to the Farplane.  
Use them to make a Lightningproof bracer for Auron.

XIII. Thunder Plains

A scary place, no doubt about it.  Equip Auron's Yellow Bracer, and make an
end run for the Travel Agency.  Once you get there you can pick up Tidus'
Yellow Shield outside the Agency, granting him Lightningproof.  Pray to at
least one Qactuar stone along the way.  Rikku can steal much-needed Chocobo
Feathers from the little fellows.

Make sure Rikku is constantly stealing.  You need as many Electro Marbles, 
Lightning Marbles, Lunar Curtains, Light Curtains, and Chocobo Feathers as 
you can get your hands on, and at least one Silver Hourglass.  Silver 
Hourglasses are rare steals from members of the dragon species--Kusariqqu on 
the Thunder Plains, Vouivre and Lamashtu in earlier areas.

XIV. Macalania

Though less unnerving than the Thunder Plains, Macalania Woods is every bit 
as dangerous.  Keep the Blue Bracer equipped at all times.  Rikku should 
steal from Blue Element, Chimera, and Wasp.

**IMPORTANT ITEM ALERT**: When you reach the far end of Macalania Forest, buy 
the Sonic Steel.  I repeat, BUY THE SONIC STEEL.  Without this weapon, you 
will not be surviving Seymour Natus.

Un-equip all elemental weapons, save, and follow Auron to the sphere pool.
Hopefully you've got a good stock of elemental items by now.

BOSS: Spherimorph
12,000 HP

Begin by weakening his attacks with Power Break.  Once you've determined his 
Element, have Lulu cast the opposite elemental spell or attack with the 
opposite elemental item (Antarctic Wind for Fire, Fish Scale for Thunder,
Electro Marble for Water, and Bomb Fragment for Ice).  Keep the party's HP up
with Cure, attack with Lancet after each Elemental Shift, and keep attacking
until you kill Spherimorph.  In the meantime, you can steal Ethers from him.

Talk to Clasko at the Travel Agency, and tell him that he should be a 
breeder.  Buy Hi-Potions inside, and save.

The next battle is a key turning point.  From here on, you will not be able to
go back to Macalania Woods or the Thunder Plains.  Be certain that you have 3
Dark Matter, 8 Petrify Grenades, 6 Chocobo Feathers, 2 Lunar Curtains, 1 Light
Curtain, 1 Poison Fang (3 if you're not using Dark Matter), and 1 Silver
Hourglass in your inventory.  You can steal Arctic Winds and Sleeping Powders
from the monsters outside the temple as needed.

BOSS: Crawler
16,000 HP

Once again, the Stunning Steel is the key to this battle.  Have Tidus attack 
until Slow takes effect.  (If you have at least two Silver Hourglasses in your
inventory, you can use one of those instead to save time.)  Then bring in
Rikku, use a Chocobo Feather and Light Curtain on her, and heal the party with

Leave the Negator in place, and attack with Electro Marbles or Lightning 
Marbles.  Crawler will use Gatling Gun, dealing relatively small random-
hitting damage to your characters.  After 18 Electro Marbles (fewer if Tidus 
and Auron join in with Lightningstrike weapons), Negator will be gone with a 
minimum of trouble.

Make your way to the temple, and get ready for the first truly lethal battle
in the game.

*WARNING*: If you do not yet have 3 Dark Matter, do not approach Jyscal's 
sphere.  The option to play blitzball will be lost after you watch the 
sphere, and will not return until you reach the Calm Lands.  Also, if you've 
acquired Attack Reels, SET DARK MATTER AS THE LEAGUE PRIZE.  When you're able 
to blitz again at the Calm Lands the league prize will always be Status 
Reels, sealing the Dark Matter prize and making Seymour Flux much more

Prior to battle equip the Stunning Steel, Auron's and Tidus' Lightningproof 
armor, and any elemental Ward armor.  (The Sonic Steel is unnecessary, as your
party members automatically get the first move.)  Have a good supply of
Phoenix Downs; if you're planning to fight Seymour without Dark Matter, make 
sure you have at least a dozen Arctic Winds on hand.

BOSS: Seymour, Anima, and Guado Guardians
Seymour: 6000 HP; Anima: 18,000 HP

Switch Tidus for Rikku, and use a Petrify Grenade to eliminate the Guardians.
Switch Tidus back in, then have him Talk to Seymour.  Attack until Slow takes
effect, using Phoenix Downs as needed; then let Rikku join in with elemental
items.  Before Seymour's HP drops below 3000, use a Lunar Curtain and Chocobo
Feather on Auron.  Then finish him off.

Seymour will summon Anima, who will immediately use Boost.  Big mistake.  
Throw a Dark Matter for an instant kill.

Seymour now moves into his multi-spell phase.  Unfortunately, Slow from the
first stage of battle is removed; but a Hasted Auron will still have two or
three turns for every turn of Seymour's.  If he hits Auron and either Rikku or
Tidus, use a Phoenix Down on the fallen character and a Hi-Potion on Auron.
If he hits Tidus and Rikku, use two Phoenix Downs.  If he uses Multi-Thundara
(to which both Tidus and Auron are immune), use a Phoenix Down on Rikku and
defend.  Finish him off with Tidus' attacks and Rikku's elemental items.

--Dark Matter-Free Anima strategy: Prior to finishing the first form, Rikku
must use a Chocobo Feather on herself.  What you need to do is this: have
Rikku use Arctic Winds until just before Anima is about to use Pain.  Then
pull her out of the front line to keep Anima from killing her.  Switch Rikku
back in, and have the other survivor toss a Phoenix Down.  Don't bother
attacking with your other characters; even Tidus won't do much damage, and you
need to make sure your characters can throw a Phoenix Down as soon as possible
after Pain.  You should have time to use 9 Arctic Winds, leaving her with
around 5000 HP.  Finish her off with two Poison Fangs--make sure she is
Boosting when you use them!

That wasn't so tough, was it?  The Macalania Cloister of Trials, on the other 
hand, is tedious as ever.  Push the pedestal to the right, so it stops in the 
middle of the ice mound.  Take the Macalania Sphere from the recess on the 
right side, place it in the pedestal, and push the pedestal up so it slides 
down the ramp; push it to the right to activate the first column.

Take the Glyph Sphere out of the middle column (on the upper level), and 
carry it below to the receptacle on the far left.  Use the newly revealed
Macalania Sphere to activate the third column (on the lower level).  Finally, 
move the Macalania Sphere powering the ramp to where the Glyph Sphere 
originally was.  The way out of the Trials is open.  Do not waste your time 
with the Destruction Sphere, as the treasure is a useless Luck Sphere.

Go out of the Trials, down the stairs, and out of the temple.  Before you 
leave, buy whatever supplies you need to get through Bikanel.  After O'aka 
disappears, you will be forced to battle at least two Guado Guardians.  
Fortunately, you can Escape from them; continue running, and make your way to 
the save sphere.  Have at least two Sleeping Powders and plenty of Arctic
Winds ready before you face Wendigo.  (If you want to kill Seymour Natus
without Dark Matter, have about 45 Arctic Winds--20 to use on Wendigo, and 24
to customize Iceproof.)

BOSS: Wendigo and Guado Guardians
18,000 HP

Use a Petrify Grenade to get rid of the Guardians, followed by a Sleeping 
Powder.  You can now attack with impunity.  Use Arctic Winds, Fire, and 
Lancet to inflict damage without waking him.  Toss another Sleeping Powder 
when he wakes up, and repeat.

Below the ice, talk to Kimahri and Yuna.  Take Tidus' Avenger out of the 
chest next to Auron.  Then say goodbye to Yuna for a few hours, and say hello 
to Bikanel Island.

XV. Bikanel/Home/Airship

Pick up 4 Remedies from a chest in the oasis.  Walk forward a few steps, and 
you will be forced to battle a Zu.


Oh no!  How can Tidus hope to beat the mighty Zu by himself?  Help!!!!

Relax.  Even if Tidus gets killed on Zu's first hit--he will survive if he 
defends--you can still escape once Lulu and Auron join.  You COULD beat him 
if you used Power Break, Slow, and a lot of items, but it's not a battle I 
especially recommend.

Pick up Wakka and Kimahri, running away from random battles until you reach 
Rikku.  Don't forget the chests with Al Bhed Potions.

Once Rikku rejoins the party, start stealing like mad.  There are plenty of 
items to steal here on Bikanel: Smoke Bombs from Alcyone and Zu, Sleeping 
Powder from Sand Wolves, Shadow Gems from Sand Worms, and Chocobo Feathers 
from Cactuars.  In particular, you must have at least 40 Smoke Bombs, a few
Shadow Gems for monster capturing, and at least 2 Sleeping Powders before you
leave the island.  Steal from the machina you meet to win Hi-Potions and gil.
And if you still don't have a Silver Hourglass, you can steal them from
Mushussu.  You can find lots of Zus and Sand Worms in the ruins on the Central

On the West screen, you will have to fight at least one Sandragora.  Use a 
Petrify Grenade to beat it instantly.  You should also kill the two 
Sandragoras to the south.  The southernmost Sandragora guards a chest with
three Megalixirs, while the one to the northeast guards one with two Teleport
Spheres.  Teleport Spheres can be used to customize Evade & Counter weapons,
valuable for random battles and gil-raising.  (Note that their rare steal is
Musk x10.  If you are planning on customizing Confuseproof later on, it may be
wise to leave the one guarding the Megalixirs alive and return once you have
Master Thief.  Simply put it down with a Sleeping Powder or Dream Powder, get
two or three successful steals on him, have your characters escape, and run
into him again to obtain the necessary items in two minutes or less.)

Now enter Home.  Inside, you will have to fight three forced battles.

Guado and Bombs/Dual Horns/Chimeras

It's not as hard as it looks.  Use a Petrify Grenade to win each battle, 
stealing items if Rikku gets a spare turn.

After saving, go back up the corridor.  You can enter the door to your left 
and fight some Dual Horns; win with a Petrify Grenade.  The "treasure chest 
of dreams" will prompt you to select your prize; select the left item in the 
middle row to receive a Mega-Potion.  While you're here, steal Arctic Winds 
from Chimera, Bomb Cores from the Bombs, and Musk from Evil Eye; you can also 
occasionally steal Mega-Potions from Dual Horn.

Outside the Summoner's Sanctum, open the chest for a Level 2 Key Sphere.  
Before leaving, head to the back of the room; there's a chest with 10,000 gil
in it.  Board the airship and save.  Recruit Brother (and if he's free,
Nimrook) for the Aurochs now.

Come back to the bridge and speak to Brother.  Evrae and the fiends will now 
come out to play.  Steal a dozen or so Bomb Cores before going on deck.  If
you want to beat Natus without Dark Matter, you'll need an additional 24 to
customize Fireproof; otherwise, Fireproof is not necessary.  If you're short
on Hi-Potions, Phoenix Downs, or Softs, or Kimahri doesn't have a weapon with
a free slot, buy them from Rin.  Customize Silencetouch (60 Echo Screens) on 
Kimahri's spear now, and possibly Auron's sword as well, in preparation for
the Via Purifico.

BOSS: Evrae
32,000 HP

Begin by using a Smoke Bomb and Silver Hourglass, then Power Break him just 
in case.  Attack with Smoke Bombs and Kimahri's and Auron's physical attacks.
While you're here, steal a Water Gem or two from him; they will be useful
against Seymour Natus.

When Evrae breathes in, have Rikku or Tidus immediately pull the airship 
back.  Poison Breath will miss; and if Cid gets a free turn before you have 
to move back in, he will use Guided Missiles for 2400 damage.  He can use 
Guide Missiles three times before he runs out.

Once his HP drops below 12,000, use a Dark Matter to win instantly. 

--Dark Matter-Free Evrae Strategy: Things become messy once Evrae's HP falls
below 10,667 and he enters the Haste phase.  It would be wise to customize
Evade & Counter weapons for Rikku and Auron, since Evrae's swipe can connect
even through Darkness.  Make sure that you've used Chocobo Feathers on Rikku
and Auron, and a Lunar Curtain on Auron, before Evrae Hastes himself.  Use
Smoke Bombs continuously until Evrae breathes in.  Then replace Rikku with
Tidus, and have Auron change weapons.  Switch him for Rikku, use a Phoenix
Down on Tidus, and assault him with Smoke Bombs once more.  After Evrae
breathes in, have Auron switch back in and use an Antidote on himself; Tidus
will now use a Hi-Potion on Auron.  Bring Rikku back in, rinse and repeat.

XVI. Bevelle

Upon landing in Bevelle, you will be forced to fight five battles against the 
Yevon forces.  With a few Smoke Bombs, Sleeping Powders, and Bomb Cores, 
these become child's play.

Warrior monks and machina

--Battle one: Use two Smoke Bombs to kill the warrior monks.

--Battle two: Use a Sleeping Powder to put the warrior monks out of
commission.  Heal one of them with a Potion, and use a Smoke Bomb to stop the
machina's attacks.  (You do not want to kill both warrior monks, or the
machina will eject the party one by one with Thrust Kick.)  Then use Bomb
Cores on the machina until it falls.  Have Auron finish the warrior monk.

--Battle three: Same as battle one.

--Battle four: Same as battle two.

--Battle five: Use two Smoke Bombs to kill the warrior monks.  Then attack the
machina with Bomb Cores until it falls.

Eventually, you'll escape the guards and run into the temple.  Save outside 
the Cloister of Trials.  The Trials consist of three sections: the upper 
section where you begin, the lower section containing the Glyph Sphere and 
Destruction Sphere, and an offshoot from the lower section containing a 
Bevelle Sphere.

Enter the upper section.  Go to the left platform to retrieve a Bevelle
Sphere; place this sphere in the right platform to access the lower section.
Go to the offshoot and collect the Bevelle Sphere.

In the lower section, stop at the last platform and use the Bevelle Sphere to
activate the bridge.  Go back, and stop at the second platform to acquire a
Glyph Sphere; insert this into the glyph at the end of the bridge to pick up a
Destruction Sphere.  Go back once more, and place the Destruction Sphere where
the Glyph Sphere was on the second platform.  You can now leave the Trials;
stop at the first platform and push the pedestal to leave.

NOTE: To get Kimahri's Knight Lance, you must have a Bevelle Sphere in your
hand when you leave the Trials.  Take the sphere activating the bridge off the
third platform.

Upon leaving the Trials, go up the stairs to receive an HP Sphere.  If you 
brought the Bevelle Sphere with you, use it to activate the walkway.  Step on 
the shining glyph to bring the pedestal up; push it into the walkway, and the 
Knight Lance is yours.

When you get control of your characters again, Yuna will be in the Via 
Purifico.  Without Tidus or Rikku, this is a very dangerous place.  Run up 
to the second teleport pad you see, and hope you don't get ambushed.  Go east 
to get Kimahri; go north to get Auron.  Then save and run up the corridor.

Along the way, you will have to fight at least one Maze Larvae.  Use 
Kimahri's Silencetouch spear to stop Watera.  Then melee the Maze Larva with 
Kimahri and Auron; with just a little luck, he will go down without being 
able to cast a single spell.

WARNING: If you want to kill Seymour Natus without Dark Matter, it is crucial
that you customize an Iceproof armlet for Kimahri and equip it before Yuna
reaches the end of the corridor.

When you reach the end, you will meet Isaaru.  Despite what you might expect,
the following battles are quite doable without aeon overdrives.  Heal Yuna 
beforehand, just in case.

BOSS: Isaaru's aeons
Grothia: 8000 HP; Pterya: 12,000 HP; Spathi: 20,000 HP

--**NSGNSNO Exception 4**: Summon Shiva.  Cast NulBlaze on her.  Hell Fire,
being a fire-based attack, will do no damage.  Then recast NulBlaze to negate
Grothia's Fira.  Attack him a few times, healing with Blizzard as necessary.

--**NSGNSNO Exception 5**: Summon Bahamut.  Cast Firaga until you run out of
MP, then just punch him.  Shield will reduce Energy Ray damage to pitiful 
amounts, but you'll survive just fine even without Shield.

--**NSGNSNO Exception 6**: Summon Shiva or Ixion.  Bahamut will not attack 
except for his Mega Flare overdrive.  Attack him, Shield before each Mega 
Flare, and heal when necessary.  (With Shield, you can survive three Mega 
Flares before you will need to heal.)

You are now out of the most dangerous area in the game.  Also, there will be 
no more exceptions to the rules; you can never summon or use an overdrive 

We now join Tidus, Rikku, and Wakka in the watery section of the Via Purifico.
Steal 15+ Dragon Scales, and occasional Water Gems, from the fiends down here;
if you don't have any Dark Matter, steal an additional 24 to customize
Waterproof.  Save and face everyone's favorite undead enemy.

BOSS: Evrae Altana
16,384 HP

This is the easiest boss fight in the game, easier than even Sinspawn Ammes.  
Have Rikku steal a Water Gem, and kill him with two Phoenix Downs.

After defeating him, pick up Wakka's Rematch and Tidus' Avenger.  Swim on to 
the end of the Via Purifico.

You will have to make your way down the Highbridge to face Seymour.  If you 
are short on Softs, buy more from O'aka.  Once you've reached the far save 
sphere, equip Yuna's Soft Ring and Tidus' Sonic Steel.

BOSS: Seymour Natus
36,000 HP

Switch Tidus for Rikku.  Use a Dark Matter to force him out of his Multi-
spell phase and into his Break phase.  Then use a Chocobo Feather on Yuna.

Seymour will now petrify one of your party members with Break.  The key 
during this phase is to arrange your turn order so either Yuna or both other 
characters always get a turn between Seymour and Mortibody, so Mortibody
cannot remove your characters from battle via Shattering Claw.  Either change
weapons or defend to manipulate your turn order.  At the next available
opportunity, use a Poison Fang and Lunar Curtain on Seymour.  Now attack with
Bomb Cores, Dragon Scales, and Water Gems.  Be sure to Power Break Mortibody,
and have Auron Talk to Seymour to boost his strength.

When Seymour's HP drops below 12,000, he will kill one character per turn 
with Flare.  Mortibody will now heal Seymour with Cura; but thanks to Shell 
and Poison, it will not heal him enough to help.  Attack with items and heal 
with Phoenix Downs.  Have Auron attack Mortibody, as he can deal damage 
faster through Mortibsorption than through Seymour's Protect.

--Dark Matter-Free Natus Strategy: Since we can't end the multi-spell phase
quickly, protection against all four elements is required.  If you've been
following my advice up to this point, you should have enough items to customize
three Iceproof, three Fireproof, and three Waterproof armors.  You only have
two Lightningproof armors, unfortunately, but that is something you  can deal
with.  Rikku, Yuna, and Kimahri absolutely require Iceproof.  Add Fireproof to
Tidus' Lightningproof shield (this will come in handy later); if you have an
armor with two empty slots, pair Waterproof and Fireproof on it.

Begin the battle by switching Tidus for Rikku.  Use a Poison Fang on Seymour,
then a Lunar Curtain on Kimahri.  Once Multi-Blizzara has been used, bring in
Tidus and Auron (Lightningproof) and have Kimahri equip the Red Armlet. 
Thunder+Multi-Thundara will do 400 damage to Kimahri and zero damage to the
others; use a Hi-Potion on Kimahri when you have the chance.  Now switch in
your other -proof characters as appropriate, using them to block Seymour's
attacks.  He attacks in the following order: Ice->Lightning->Water->Fire
->repeat.  All the while, Poison eats away at his HP; Rikku can toss Dragon
Scales and Water Gems if she gets the chance, but your main job is just to
survive until he falls below 24,000 HP and casts Protect.  Then use the
tactics in the main strategy.

Intense, wasn't it?  You'll get a break from hard bosses for a while.  Enjoy 
the music video at the lake, pick up Yuna's Lucid Ring at the campsite, and 
enter the best area of the game--the Calm Lands.

XVII. The Calm Lands

This area is full of goodies to steal: Poison Fangs from Nebiros, Dream 
Powder from Skoll, Petrify Grenades from Anacondaur, Ice Gems from Chimera 
Brain, and especially Fire Gems from Flame Flan.  You can also play blitzball 
again--important, since you will need a Dark Matter for Seymour Flux.

You now have a choice: You can begin monster capturing now, or you can go 
straight through the Calm Lands and face Defender X.  If you plan on monster 
capturing, you should head for the chocobo trainer in the northwest corner of
the Calm Lands.  Otherwise, just walk through.  Equip your three Evade&Counter
weapons--if you haven't already, use the Teleport Spheres to customize
Evade&Counter weapons for Auron and Rikku--and make sure you have at least 30
Fire Gems before you cross the bridge.

BOSS: Defender X
64,000 HP

Simply toss Fire Gems continuously.  Evade&Counter will make every attack
except Haymaker miss, and a few Phoenix Downs will be enough to deal with
that.  Aside from the rarely used Mighty Guard and Slowga, neither of which
are likely to be an obstacle, that is all there is to this battle.

I suggest you blitz for your fourth and final Dark Matter now.  You will not 
be able to play at the save spheres in Gagazet or the Zanarkand Ruins, and 
Dark Matter is an absolute lifesaver against Seymour Flux.  If you don't have 
Silence Grenades (you will need at least one for Seymour Flux), go down to the
Cavern of the Stolen Fayth and steal them from Thorn.  You can also win
Stamina Tablets and Silver Hourglasses from Magic Urns, though there are much
safer ways of getting both.

After playing your last game, go up Gagazet to meet the Ronso.

BOSS: Biran and Yenke Ronso
Biran: 1152 HP; Yenke: 864 HP

Since Biran and Yenke's stats are tied to Kimahri's, this fight is as easy as 
ever.  For an easy win, use Lancet continuously.  This will teach Kimahri 
several Ronso Rages he will never use; but more importantly, it will heal him 
and damage them, so he will never need to use a Potion.

Concentrate on finishing Biran first.  Mighty Guard will do nothing, since 
Lancet is non-elemental and ignores Shell; and after he has Hasted himself,
Yenke will never use White Wind.  Grin broadly as Yenke admits defeat.

Biran and Yenke commonly drop Return Spheres, which you can use to add First
Strike onto Rikku and Wakka's weapons.  I highly suggest you do so, since the
underwater battles on Gagazet will be much safer if everyone has a chance to
run away first.  (Put at least one on an Initiative weapon, if possible, since
ambushes put you at a disadvantage even with First Strike.)

Now it's shopping time!  The Ronso sell weapons and armor with two slots empty
for customization.  Buy a Glorious Targe and two Glorious Bracers.  If you run
short on gil, sell the Knight Lance; you can also get good gil by selling
Underdog's Secrets, Gambler's Spirits, and Wings to Discovery.

Go back to the Calm Lands and begin monster capturing.  The chocobo trainer 
will be to your left as you return from Mount Gagazet.  Ride a chocobo to the 
Monster Arena, and buy weapons for Auron and Wakka.  Steal 10 Petrify 
Grenades from Anacondaur to customize Stonetouch onto Wakka's Catcher.  If 
necessary, you can open the chests in the southeast corner of the map for
15,000 gil.  (For advice, see the included NSGNSNO Monster Capturing Guide,
Part I.)

After capturing every fiend in the Calm Lands and reopening the Monster Arena,
the owner will give you 60 Farplane Winds.  If you're like I was on my first
playthrough, you may want to use them to make a Deathproof armor for the
Yunalesca battle.  DON'T DO THAT.  You should buy a second Capture weapon for
Wakka, and use the Farplane Winds to add Deathstrike to it.  This weapon will
make both random encounters and the capture sidequest vastly easier, not only
in the next two areas but for the rest of the game, while the armor is only
really useful in that one battle.  (And as you'll see in her boss strategy,
it's far from necessary even then.)

While you're here, consider visiting Remiem Temple.  Talk to the chocobo
trainer, and ride one of her chocobos toward the Macalania exit.  Go east from
there, and press X at the yellow chocobo feather to gain access to Remiem.
The first time you win the race, you will receive the Cloudy Mirror; you have
to get this sometime before Seymour Omnis.  If you wish, you can race again to
win an Elixir (1 chest and no poles), a Megalixir (2 chests and no poles), 30
Wings to Discovery (they sell for about 100,000 gil; 3 chests and no poles),
or 30 Pendulums (for Master Thief on Rikku's armor; 4 chests and no poles).

After capturing the fiends in the Calm Lands, Macalania, and the Thunder 
Plains, you will need SOS Haste armor for Wakka and Yuna.  You can either 
throw Petrify Grenades at Ogres until they drop the right equipment (Wakka's 
must have an empty slot or contain HP+10%, and Yuna's must NOT contain
HP+10%), or you can steal from Qactuars in the Arena until you have 40 
Chocobo Feathers.  The former takes a long time, while the latter is 
expensive; which is less frustrating is up to you.  If Wakka has no armor with
HP +10% and a free slot, you can buy one from the shop in the middle of the
Calm Lands.

XVIII. Mount Gagazet/Zanarkand Ruins

It would be wise to customize an Evade&Counter weapon for Auron, and equip 
his Yellow Bracer, before heading up Gagazet.  With these protections, the 
only attacks that can hurt him are Bashura's punch and Nidhogg's flamethrower 
attack.  Customize the Glorious Targe with Auto-Haste, leaving the other slot 
empty for the time being.

There are several chests to open along the mountain trail.  There's one near
the beginning that contains 2 Mega-Potions; another near the middle contains
Auron's Defending Bracer (Stoneproof and Poisonproof).  Along the way, steal
Fire Gems from Grenade, Lightning Gems from Imp, Dream Powders from
Bandersnatch, Soul Springs from Bashura, and hopefully a Gold Hourglass from
Nidhogg.  If you got the Pendulums from Remiem Temple, use them to put Master
Thief on Rikku's armor; besides giving you lots more Gems, Dream Powders, and
Soul Springs, it also gives you easy access to Frag Grenades and other rare

Also, ALWAYS STEAL FROM MACHINA.  In addition to generating gil, they will 
sometimes drop Mega-Potions--as mentioned earlier, these will be important 
against Braska's Final Aeon--and the always-useful Mega-Phoenixes.

Once you reach Wantz, buy a full stock of Holy Water and Phoenix Downs and 
as many Hi-Potions as you can afford.  Even if you already have a full stock, 
you MUST talk to him--Auron will need to buy equipment from him later on, and
he won't appear unless you talk to him now.

Finally, customize Auto-Med onto Auron's Glorious Bracer (20 Remedies--you can
steal more from Malboro if necessary), and make sure Rikku's Auto-Haste armor
is equipped before you save.

BOSS: Seymour Flux
70,000 HP

Except for Braska's Final Aeon, this is the hardest boss battle in the 
NSGNSNO challenge.  This strategy is based on one suggested by KenLionheart:

Begin by using a Poison Fang on Seymour, followed by a Silence Grenade.  Then
use a Chocobo Feather and Light Curtain on Auron, and start using Shining
Gems; stop attacking if the next item will put Seymour below 35,000 HP.  Have
Auron defend and Rikku switch out for Tidus prior to Mortiorchis' third turn.
He will kill everyone except Auron with Cross Cleave, then use Lance of
Atrophy on Auron; but because of Auto-Med, Full-Life will not kill him.

Switch in Rikku to use a Mega Phoenix, then heal Auron with a Hi-Potion.  Wait
until Mortiorchis casts Full-Life a second time, and use a Dark Matter.  A few
Shining Gems should easily kill him before Total Annihilation.

--Dark Matter-Free Strategy: Rather than killing him before the second Cross
Cleave, wait and allow Poison to slowly eat away at his HP.  Once he is below
25,000 HP, it will be safe to finish him off with Shining Gems.  It takes
three Mega Phoenixes to survive to that point; you will definitely have two in
your inventory (from Djose Temple and the Extractor battle), and hopefully you
have at least one more from the countless machina you've killed so far.  Since
you can't use Silence Grenades, be sure to take Auron out of the front line
after every second Lance of Atrophy, when Seymour casts Dispel.  Switch him
back in afterwards to defend, and have one of your other frontline people heal
him.  Remember to throw a Silence Grenade before you start tossing Shining
Gems, so Seymour can't kill Rikku with Flare.

Make sure Auron is not equipped with a weapon that has Counterattack or 
Evade&Counter, at least once Seymour falls below 35,000 HP.  Doing so will
lead to your doom, since he will counter Lance of Atrophy with a sword strike
and prematurely trigger the Total Annihilation phase.

When you finally beat him, do a little victory dance.  Relax while you watch 
the long cutscene with the Fayth, and enter the Gagazet cave.

In addition to the enemies from the trail (Bandersnatches, Nidhoggs, 
machina), you can now steal Musks from Ahriman, Remedies from Mandragora, 
Ethers from Behemoth, and Star Curtains from Dark Flan.  Once you have 8 
Dream Powders and 16 Musks, customize Sleepproof and Confuse Ward onto 
Auron's Glorious Bracer.  You must have at least one Star Curtain when you 
leave the cave.

Enter the water to access the Trials of Gagazet.  You can steal plenty of 
Water Gems here, but the random battles are quite dangerous.  Equip the 
Vanguard, the Sonic Steel, and the Rematch to minimize your odds of a Game 
Over.  Hit the ball in the center, fit each character in the right hole 
(green for Rikku, blue for Tidus, red for Wakka--same as their Sphere Grid 
colors), and go out to face Sanctuary Keeper.

BOSS: Sanctuary Keeper
40,000 HP

Begin by using a Star Curtain on him.  Follow it up with a Silver or Gold 
Hourglass; he will try to Haste himself, but thanks to Reflect it speeds you 
up instead.  (The Stunning Steel will have the same effect, but it only works 
half the time.)  Wrap it up by blinding him with a Smoke Bomb; he will counter 
with Haste, which again speeds up a party member, and maybe Tail Sweep, which
will miss due to Darkness.

He will then use Photon Wings to inflict Sleep, Confusion, and around 1000 
damage to the party.  Thanks to the Lucid Bracer, Auron will survive.  Revive
the party with Phoenix Downs, and have Auron heal himself with a Hi-Potion.  
With Sanctuary Keeper afflicted with Slow, Darkness, and Reflect, you can use 
Shining Gems with impunity.  Mana Breath will kill the character it's used 
on, so be ready to use a Phoenix Down at a moment's notice.

Note that Sanctuary Keeper sometimes will cast Reflect on a character.  When 
he does, either switch out that character or kill them with an item and revive
BEFORE attacking--the next time he's hit, he will use the Reflected character
to Haste himself.

If you wish to save your Shining Gems, you can beat him with just Fire Gems
and a Poison Fang.  The 10,000 extra damage from Poison is crucial for killing
him before the second Photon Wings.

Here lies Zanarkand, the end of the pilgrimage.  Make your way down the road, 
stealing Star Curtains, Remedies, and Ethers along the way.  In the Dome, 
steal plenty of Candles of Life from the Fallen Monks, and run from 
everything else.  Don't forget to pick up 10,000 gil in a chest along the way.

Complete the Cloister of Trials and save your game.  Get into a random fight
outside and have Wakka and Yuna die.  Equip everyone's Haste armors, then
reenter the Trials.  

BOSS: Spectral Keeper
52,000 HP

You will get a full round before he attacks, so take advantage of it.  Move 
Rikku to the left circle behind Spectral Keeper, Yuna to the middle circle, 
and Wakka to the right circle.  Now use a Shining Gem on him; since no one is 
in front of him, his counterattack will miss.  Move Yuna back to the front 
middle circle, so everyone has an empty space between them.

On his turn, Spectral Keeper will KO one of your characters with Berserk 
Tail.  When someone other than Rikku is KO'd, have Rikku use a Shining Gem on 
them (since they are already dead, the counterattack will do nothing) and the 
other survivor revive with a Phoenix Down.  Haste is crucial in this battle--
you'll frequently run into situations where a Hasted character can use two 
Phoenix Downs when a non-Hasted character would have to use a Mega Phoenix.  
NEVER use Mega Phoenixes, as they restore your characters to full health and 
negate SOS Haste.

When he plants Glyph Mines, forget about Shining Gems and immediately move 
off the affected circles.  At the next available opportunity, move your 
characters so they're spaced out as before.  Then resume using Shining Gems.

With that out of the way, SAVE IMMEDIATELY, or you will regret it.  Now go 
back outside and steal 10 Candles of Life from Fallen Monks.  You should 
have 40 Remedies by now; if you don't, warp outside the Dome and steal from 
Mandragora until you do.  Also, have a dozen or so elemental Gems, 4 Chocobo 
Feathers, and at least one Star Curtain; go back to Gagazet to steal these.  
Customize Zombieproof or Auto-Med onto Yuna's and Rikku's armor now.  Any 
Confuse Ward armor for Kimahri or Wakka would also be useful.  Make your party
Rikku, Tidus, and Yuna.

BOSS: Yunalesca

Form 1
24,000 HP

Yunalesca's attacks don't do much damage compared to the bosses you've just 
defeated.  She is fast, however, and her status-inflicting attacks will make 
life difficult if you don't know how to deal with them.

Despite being easiest, her first form severely complicates things.  She 
alternates between Absorb, which steals half a character's max HP, and a slap
which dispels everything but Reflect and Regen.  Begin by using a Star Curtain
on Rikku, and stealing until you get 3 Stamina Tablets.  Thanks to Reflect,
her Sleep counter will bounce harmlessly off.  Heal damage from her slap and
Absorb with Hi-Potions, and use a Chocobo Wing every now and then to keep up
with her.

Now comes the difficult part: you want to switch in Auron, Kimahri, and Wakka 
so their next turns will be after Rikku but before Yunalesca.  (To do this, 
have them change weapons.)  Use, in order: a Chocobo Feather, a Stamina 
Tablet, a Hi-Potion, a Light Curtain, and a Lunar Curtain on each of them. 
This is time-consuming, but it is necessary to survive Mind Blast.  Take care 
not to have them on the frontline when Yunalesca gets her turn.  She will 
either use Absorb--if you've used a Stamina Tablet but not a Hi-Potion on one 
of them, this will kill him immediately--or dispel the protections you've 
added with her slap.

Once Auron, Kimahri, and Wakka have Haste, Protect, Shell, and double HP, 
finish her first form with Fire Gems.  (No sense wasting Shining Gems on an 
easy opponent.)  Before finishing her off, switch in Kimahri and Wakka and 
have them defend; Hell Biter will zombify them, doing minimal damage.  Switch 
Auron and Yuna back in.

Form 2
48,000 HP
Upon entering the second form, Rikku must die.  If Regen is reflected from 
Rikku back to Yunalesca, the battle becomes unwinnable.  Use a Shining Gem on 
Yunalesca; this should provoke a counterattack and kill Rikku.  Once she 
dies, revive her with a Phoenix Down and a Potion.  Now use a Chocobo Feather 
and Light Curtain on Yuna, and begin the assault.  Always fully heal Rikku 
before using a Shining Gem, and always fully heal her before Yunalesca's next 
move; Hell Biter and her counter both do about 270 damage, so she cannot 
survive one right after the other.  (Don't bother using a Chocobo Feather or 
Light Curtain on Rikku; Yunalesca's counterattack will remove them.)  Before 
ending this phase, bring in Tidus and have him defend; take him out again once
he is hit by Hell Biter.

Form 3
60,000 HP
Prior to finishing her second form, switch the Medical Targe/Blessed Targe for
the Haste Targe.  Allow Hell Biter to zombify Rikku, and replace Yuna and
Auron with Kimahri and Wakka.  Now finish her.  Her first move will be Mega
Death; since all party members are zombies, it will have no effect.  Re-equip
the Medical Targe/Blessed Targe, use a Holy Water and Hi-Potion on Rikku, and
switch Yuna back in.

To defeat the third form, you must be aware of Yunalesca's pattern.  She has 
a set five-step pattern: Mega Death, Hell Biter/Curaga/Regen (one of the 
three), Hell Biter/Curaga/Regen, Mind Blast, Hell Biter/Curaga/Regen, repeat.  
Generally speaking, you want to use Shining Gems in the two rounds after Mega 
Death.  Before every Mind Blast, switch Rikku and Yuna for Kimahri and Wakka, 
and have them defend.  In addition to about 300 damage (through Shell), Mind 
Blast sometimes inflicts Confusion.  You can use a Remedy on Auron, but cure 
Kimahri or Wakka with Esuna or a physical attack; Remedies also remove
Zombie, which you want to keep.  After taking them out for the round after 
Mind Blast, switch Kimahri, Tidus, and Wakka back in to survive Mega Death.
Should you need to heal either Kimahri or Wakka, do so immediately after Mega
Death.  Yunalesca will most likely re-zombify them with Hell Biter, which you
very much want.

XIX. On the airship

At long last, you've got the airship again!  You can go anywhere in Spira 
now.  So...where to?

That is largely your choice.  I would see the Highbridge event first; you 
have to anyway before you can face Sin.  Then, you should visit the secret 
airship locations.  They contain some nice equipment--in particular, you will 
need the Victorious and the Phantom Bangle for Seymour Omnis--and the Omega 
Ruins is necessary to unlock One-Eye.  (You can pick up another Teleport 
Sphere in the Omega Ruins after solving the glyph puzzle.)  From Besaid or 
Kilika, ride the S.S. Liki and talk to Clasko to receive a Friend Sphere.  
If you haven't already, pick up Wakka's Pep Talk from the Gagazet cave.

You will also need Auron's Masamune for Omnis.  If you haven't already, visit
Remiem Temple to win the Cloudy Mirror.  Go to the fork in the road at
Macalania Forest, and talk to the mother and son.  Go back to the campsite
where you spent the night, and tell the father to meet his family.  Then
return to the fork, talk to either parent twice, and find the son near the
large crystal.  Use this crystal to transform the Cloudy Mirror into the
Celestial Mirror.

Visit the gorge below where you fought Defender X, north of the Calm Lands.  
Head immediately to your right, where the Crusaders are residing.  Pick up 
the Rusty Sword, and head back to the save sphere.  From the airship, warp to 
Djose Highroad, and head west until you reach an alcove containing an 
elevator and a statue of Lord Mi'ihen.  With the Rusty Sword and the 
Celestial Mirror, you can now collect the Masamune.

Sometime before you fight Sin, you will need to finish monster capturing.  
For details, see the included NSGNSNO Monster Capturing Guide, Part II.

You'll probably want No Encounters equipment.  It will make capturing in 
certain areas (in particular, the Omega Ruins) and walking Inside Sin much 
safer.  There are two ways to get No Encounters.  You can capture a Ghost in 
the Cavern of the Stolen Fayth, and use Candles of Life until it drops No 
Encounters armor; this should take 30 battles or so.  Or you can fight 
Geosgaeno at Baaj Temple, and win it on one of his weapons.

BOSS: Geosgaeno
32,767 HP

All you need is an Evade&Counter weapon for Rikku.  Geosgaeno will most 
likely petrify and shatter Tidus and Wakka; allow him to do this, and attack 
with Fire Gems.  His physical attacks will never connect, and if she doesn't 
Struggle his regurgitation attack can't kill her.  Don't bother putting Rikku 
in Haste, since he will also gain Haste after swallowing her.

After seven Fire Gems, you've won.  Reset if he drops armor instead of a 

When you finally have the proper items, go to Macalania Woods to buy a Tetra 
Bracer and Shiranui for Auron.  (You also need to buy empty-slotted weapons 
for Yuna and Rikku, but you can get these cheaper from the Besaid or Kilika
shops.)  If you don't have the gil, visit the Omega Ruins and steal from
chests to unlock Mimics.  Use a Petrify Grenade to get rid of the accompanying
Zaurus, and a Candle of Life to kill the Mimic; this will net you an easy
50,000 gil.  Once you have the Tetra Bracer, customize Auto-Protect (70 Light 
Curtains), Auto-Potion (4 Stamina Tablets), Auto-Phoenix (20 Mega Phoenixes), 
and Stoneproof (20 Petrify Grenades).  Sell all your Potions, and buy a full 
stock of Hi-Potions and Phoenix Downs.  Equip the Phoenix Bracer, the Haste 
Targe, the Phantom Bangle, and any SOS Haste armor.  Then get ready to face
off with Sin.

BOSS: Left Fin/Right Fin/Sinspawn Genais/Sin's Core

Left Fin
65,000 HP

--Move in, and pummel Sin with Supreme Gems.  His bodyblow attack will kill 
everyone except Auron, and delay Auron's next turn.  But thanks to Auto-
Potion and Auto-Phoenix, that won't be a problem.

While you're here, it might be wise to steal some items.  You can steal
Mega-Potions normally (obviously a useful item), and Supreme Gems with Master
Thief; besides the 60 from Greater Sphere, this is the only way to acquire
more Supreme Gems.  (Overdrive Sin and Seymour Omnis also have it as a rare
steal, but you won't have time to steal from them.)

Right Fin
65,000 HP

--Same as Left Fin.  You can commonly steal X-Potions, and rarely Shining Gems.
(Shining Gems are also a rare steal from Black Element and Varuna--don't
waste your time on them.)

Sinspawn Genais
20,000 HP

--Use two Supreme Gems to force him into his shell.  Then use a Fire Gem or 
Poison Fang to kill him.

Sin's Core
36,000 HP

--Switch the Haste Targe for the Victorious, and bring Lulu in.  The Core will 
only use Gravija and occasionally counter for about 550 damage with elemental 
spells.  With the Victorious and Phantom Bangle, Lulu and Rikku will never 
both die; and with Auto-Potion, Auron will always survive.  Use 4 Supreme 
Gems to obliterate the Core.

Then, as soon as you've beaten Sin, guess what?  You get to face him again!

"Overdrive" Sin
140,000 HP

As with many previous battles, this is just a matter of timing.  Put Rikku, 
Auron, and Wakka in the front line.  Use a Chocobo Wing and Stamina Tonic in 
the first round; have Wakka heal himself with a Hi-Potion.  From the second 
round on, use Supreme Gems continuously.

Sin counters every sixth action with an attack that inflicts 700 damage and 
either Petrify, Confusion, or Zombie.  After her fifth Supreme Gem, switch
Rikku for Yuna (equipped with the Soft Ring) and have her attack Sin.  The
counter will kill Yuna and damage Auron and Wakka.  Switch in Rikku at the
next opportunity, and continue using Supreme Gems.  Use a Phoenix Down on
Yuna, and heal Auron and Wakka as necessary.  Do the same after the tenth
Supreme Gem.  Doing so, you should be able to kill him just before Giga

XX. Inside Sin

I hope you have No Encounters here.

Before heading on, you must collect Yuna's Phantom Ring.  When you reach the 
save sphere outside the Garden of Pain, un-equip No Encounters and get into a 
random battle.  Have one character escape and allow Auron and Wakka to die.  
Equip the Masamune, the Victorious, the Phantom Ring, the Phantom Bangle, and 
the Pep Talk.  (If you customized Fireproof armor for someone earlier, 
substitute that character for Wakka.)

BOSS: Seymour Omnis
80,000 HP

Seymour attacks the party with multi-Firaga spells.  Thanks to Fireproof, 
Fire Eater, and SOS NulBlaze, you are safe--for the moment.  Use four Supreme 
Gems on him, and only four; attacking five times will trigger Dispel and 

Bring in Auron, and change armors so he can switch out before Seymour's turn.  
Use a Chocobo Feather on him, then switch him out.  Change the Victorious for 
the Haste Targe and replace Rikku with Wakka.

After Seymour's next turn, immediately switch in Rikku and start using 
Supreme Gems.  With Auto-Haste (which can't be dispelled), Rikku will be able 
to use four more Supreme Gems in the two turns before Ultima.  Once the 
Supreme Gems have been used, Seymour will be left with perhaps 1000 HP.  To 
get rid of the rest, have Auron attack.  With Haste, he will get two hits 
in; and thanks to the Masamune's unique damage properties, he will be able to 
do 550 damage per hit.  Have Lulu cast Ice for good measure.

Steal at least 16 Healing Water from Adamantoise, and customize Alchemy onto 
Rikku's, Yuna's, Auron's, and Wakka's weapons.  If you don't have at least 30
Shining Gems, it would be wise to capture a Black Element or Varuna and steal
the required number from them (preferably with Master Thief).  Barbatos
carries Blessed Gems, which are even more powerful than Shining Gems, but
because he can wipe out the party with Body Splash I don't recommend fighting
him for long.  (If you do decide to collect Blessed Gems, it will take 15 to
get you through the second phase.)

Before entering the Tower of the Dead, you should have the following equipment
in your inventory:

Rikku: Survivor (Alchemy), Haste Targe (Auto-Haste/Stoneproof)

Auron: Ashura (Counterattack/Magic Counter/Zombiestrike/Alchemy), Phoenix
Bracer (Auto-Phoenix/Auto-Potion/Auto-Protect/Stoneproof)

Yuna: Healing Rod (Alchemy/Zombiestrike), Phoenix Ring (Auto-Phoenix/ 

Wakka: Comeback (Alchemy/Zombiestrike), Miracle Comeback (Auto-

Tidus: Sonic Steel (First Strike), Soft Shield (Stoneproof)

Save your game, and pray.  You can expect to face Braska's Final Aeon more
than a dozen times--possibly several dozen--before you finally bring him down.
Enter the Tower, collect 10 crystals without being hit by a pillar, and travel
to Dream's End.  Equip all appropriate equipment, and walk forward for the
hardest battle of the challenge.

NOTE: If you are having great difficulty finishing BFA before he uses Ultimate
Jecht Shot, you may want to consider finishing the complete capture quest.
For unlocking Ultima Buster (five of every fiend) the Arena owner will give
you 99 Dark Matter.  These do 3000 more damage than Supreme Gems, and make a
huge difference near the end of the battle.

BOSS: Braska's Final Aeon

Form 1
60,000 HP

Begin by having Tidus change weapons, then replace Yuna with Rikku.  Use a 
Chocobo Wing to speed up Tidus and Auron, then a Silver Hourglass to slow the
Yu Pagodas.  (DO NOT use a Gold Hourglass, as the additional damage will make
the second form significantly harder.)  Have Auron equip the Ashura and
defend, then replace Tidus with Yuna.  When she gets the chance, have Rikku
use a Stamina Tablet or Stamina Tonic on Auron, followed by a Star Curtain (in
the unfortunate event that he's hit by the Pagoda's Curse near the end of the
battle), and heal him with a Hi-Potion or Al Bhed Potion.  After that you can
replace Auron with Wakka (so you don't have to replace his buffs if he's
killed by Triumphant Grasp) and proceed to pummel him with Shining Gems.

Since he only uses single-character attacks in the first form, you cannot die 
with Stoneproof and two Auto-Phoenixers.  Have Yuna and Wakka do their best to
inflict Zombie on him.  Zombie is very important: not only does it stop Power
Wave from healing him, it also allows your non-Rikku characters to do 4000
damage with Mega-Potions.  Rikku should use Shining Gems constantly.  Remember
to replace Wakka with Auron before finishing this form.

Form 2
120,000 HP

Here comes the tough part.  BFA's sword slash does 1800 damage through 
Protect and adds a Delay effect.  Even though Yuna and Rikku aren't affected 
by Delay, they still must wait through two of BFA's turns after being 
revived, more if he kills them again.  This is where Auto-Phoenix and Auto-
Potion become essential: Auron will often need to survive two or three sword
slashes before anyone is able to act again.  Continue using Shining Gems, 
Mega-Potions, and Zombiestrike as appropriate.  (If you have any Blessed Gems,
use those instead; the extra 2000 damage makes a big difference here.)  It
would be wise to have Auron defend; if BFA uses Jecht Beam on Auron (700
damage) followed by a sword swipe, and he's not defending, you are gone.
Thanks to Counterattack and Magic Counter, Auron can often zombify BFA even
while defending.

Triumphant Grasp, only an annoyance in the first form, will likely lead to a
Game Over if he uses it on Auron now.  Whenever possible, switch Auron for
Wakka just before each Triumphant Grasp and switch him back in at the next
opportunity.  If he is killed have Rikku use a Stamina Tablet, and hope BFA's
next attack misses Auron (or that he uses Jecht Beam).  Heal him and reapply
Haste at the next opportunity, then have Auron defend and continue using
Shining or Blessed Gems.

But as dangerous as this is, it's nothing compared to when he is below 60,000 
HP.  In addition to using the sword much more frequently, his overdrive
becomes Ultimate Jecht Shot.  This deals 5000 damage to all, and is a
guaranteed Game Over.  Thus, the objective is to kill him before he's able to
get a full overdrive.

The ideal way to begin the second half of this phase is with BFA at just over
60,000 HP and zombified, and both Rikku and Auron still able to act.  (This is
only likely if he happened to use Jecht Beam on Auron the previous round.)  In
any case, Rikku and another party member must both get a turn; you need as
much of a headstart as you can get here.  (Don't wait too long, though.  If
you have fewer than 30 Phoenix Downs at this point, chances are good you won't
make it to the end anyway.)

When conditions are right, replace Yuna or Auron with Tidus and have him use
Talk.  This will immobilize BFA for a turn and empty his overdrive gauge.  At
the same time, Rikku should start tossing Supreme Gems, eliminating the Yu
Pagodas and dealing major damage to BFA.  On Tidus' second turn, have him Talk
again to give you an additional free turn.  Even if you're relying primarily
on Dark Matter, throw at least one Supreme Gem first; this will ensure that
you can kill both Pagodas the first time they're revived.  Replace Tidus with
Auron again, and have him and Yuna either try to zombify him or toss a Mega-
Potion at him.  This last part is important, even more important than
defending, as you will badly need that extra damage to finish him before he
hits overdrive.

(It may seem like a waste to use Talk when BFA's overdrive gauge is full, but
this is actually the most effective use of the command.  You see, when she is
revived Rikku will only have time to throw one item.  To use more in a row,
BFA must attack either Auron or Yuna at least twice--and since he uses the
sword 60% of the time now, that will hardly ever happen.  To use Talk in this
phase, you must either sacrifice one of Rikku's precious turns or hope that
Yuna somehow gets a turn.  By using Talk twice in a row, Rikku can throw at
least four items before BFA gets to kill her again.  Plus, Yuna or Auron will
get at least one additional turn, allowing them to deal 4000 damage on top of
the damage Rikku is doing.  The odds of beating him by using Talk twice in a
row are much better than the odds of beating him if you only use it once.
Many thanks go to lethaldrag0n for demonstrating this.)

The object is to keep killing the Pagodas with Supreme Gems or Dark Matter, so
they can't appear together for Power Wave.  This will be difficult, because
each Pagoda's HP increases to the total amount of damage it took to kill it
last time; if you do even a little bit less you will have to use two Supreme
Gems, raising its HP to nearly 20,000.  In addition, the right Pagoda casts
Curse to inflict Sleep, Poison, and 500 damage.  This is why I told you to use
a Star Curtain; if Curse puts Auron to sleep, you are basically dead.

The end of the battle is very much luck-dependent.  It is not at all unusual
for BFA to use the sword four times or more in a row, giving the Pagodas time
to revive and use Power Wave before you have a chance to move.  If he abuses
the sword too much, or uses nothing but the sword and single-target attacks on
Rikku, you will die; try again and hope your luck isn't so crummy.  The extra
damage from Dark Matter makes a HUGE difference, as does the Mega-Potion
damage from your other characters.

juarezmj has contributed the following useful tip:

If Tidus, Kimahri, or Wakka is made into a second tank, you will be able to
prevent a Game Over when BFA uses Triumphant Grasp on Auron in the second
form.  Once you use a Stamina Tonic and heal, their HP will be over 1000; with
Protect and Defend, they can survive everything except the overdrives.  This 
will give you enough time to double Auron's HP and make him a viable tank once
more, even if BFA uses the sword swipe again in the meantime.

To make him into a tank, you'll need to make him an Auto-Phoenix/Auto-
Potion/Auto-Protect/Stoneproof armor like Auron's, customized on a Tetra armor
from Wantz.  If you don't mind stealing a few more Candles of Life, I'd
suggest adding Counterattack and Zombiestrike on his weapon as well.  (Alchemy
isn't worth it, since he'll never get a turn to toss a Mega-Potion.)  I would
pick Kimahri, since his Dragoon Lance already contains Evade & Counter and
Magic Counter and has a free slot.  You should already have enough ingredients
for Auto-Phoenix, Auto-Potion, and Stoneproof; but you'll need to steal
another 41 Light Curtains to add Auto-Protect.  The Gemini in the Sea of
Sorrow are a good source.

As the Final Aeon disappears into sweet pyreflies, congratulate yourself.  
You've all but completed the NSGNSNO challenge.  Now, just a few more pesky 
enemies to take care of.

BOSS: Possessed Aeons and Yu Yevon

The final battles are pathetically easy.  Take out the aeons with five 
Shining Gems or Supreme Gems, and kill Yu Yevon in three rounds with a Candle 
of Life.  Zombiestrike and a Phoenix Down will also let you finish him.

The ending credits have never looked so beautiful.  Well done, my friend,
well done.





Monster capturing is an enormous component of the No Sphere Grid/No Summon/No 
Overdrive challenge.  In order to kill the bosses after Biran and Yenke, you 
must have an ample supply of Shining Gems and Supreme Gems, both of which are 
acquired from the Arena owner.  In addition, the items for certain mandatory 
armor abilities, such as Auto-Haste and Auto-Phoenix, can only be acquired
through the Monster Arena.

This guide is divided into two parts, dealing with monster capturing before
and after Yunalesca.  All strategies assume you have capture weapons for Wakka
and Auron--Wakka's with Stonetouch (Deathstrike after clearing the Calm
Lands), Auron's with Piercing--and an ample supply of Shadow Gems,
Sleeping/Dream Powders, and Silence Grenades.  While it isn't required, it
would be wise to make a Stonestrike capture weapon for Tidus, Kimahri, or
Auron once you've gotten the prize from Djose; a second instant-capture weapon
will make battles in the later areas much shorter and safer, and it is
invaluable against the handful of fiends (Chimera Brain, Valaha, Ogre) who are
immune to Death but not Petrification.

The three areas in part I are absolutely mandatory.  So are Mushroom Rock 
Road, Djose Highroad, the bird species, the dual horn species, and the bat 
species in part II.  The other prizes are optional, but many can be of great
assistance against the final boss or when unlocking other prizes.

Prizes:     Calm Lands: 60 Farplane Winds
                  -Malboro, Chimera Brain, Coeurl, Nebiros, Skoll, Shred,
                  Flame Flan, Anacondaur, Ogre
            Macalania: 60 Shining Gems
                  -Chimera, Xiphos, Blue Element, Murussu, Mafdet, Iguion,
                  Wasp, Evil Eye, Ice Flan, Snow Wolf
            Thunder Plains: 99 Chocobo Wings
                  -Iron Giant, Qactuar, Gold Element, Larva, Aerogue, Buer,
                  Kusariqqu, Melusine

A) Calm Lands

Malboro: Might as well get this one out of the way, right?  Equip any Evade & 
Counter weapons and Confuse Ward/Berserk Ward armor that you possess.  Use two
Shadow Gems, a Fire Gem, a Poison Fang, and a few weaker attack items to lower
its HP enough for Auron to capture it.  Malboro will use Bad Breath after
you've damaged it seven times, probably on his third or fourth turn; if 
necessary, switch in other characters with Confuse Ward or Berserk Ward to
avoid losing control of your entire party.  (Note that counterattacks also
count, and Fire-based attacks count as two attacks.)  Hope that someone is not
Confused or Berserked, use Remedies to remove Confuse, Berserk, and Slow
(giving priority to the first two status effects), and heal damage and any
remaining Poison with an Al Bhed Potion.  Then finish him off.

Coeurl: Use a Dream Powder to put it under.  Throw a Poison Fang, wait two 
rounds, and capture with Auron.  Make sure that it has more than 1500 HP after
the first round to avoid accidentally killing it; if it does not, heal it with
a Potion.  (They are vulnerable to Death, but you cannot take advantage of
this vulnerability until after you have reopened the Arena.)

Nebiros: Petrify with Wakka.  Eliminate the accompanying enemies (Bomb
Fragments and Bomb Cores work well against the Skolls), since Wakka  will
often miss.

Flame Flan: Silence him with Kimahri's Mage Hunter or a Silence Grenade.  
Petrify him with Wakka.

Anacondaur: Throw a Dream Powder.  Use a Poison Fang and Hi-Potion, wait two
rounds, and capture with Auron.

Ogre: Throw a Smoke Bomb.  Attack with Wakka until the Ogre is petrified.

Chimera Brain: Throw a Smoke Bomb to stop their physical attacks, and petrify 
with Wakka.  Elemental protection is extremely important here, especially 
against Water.  (If you made element-proof armor for the Seymour Natus battle,
it will very much come in handy here.)  Note that like their weaker cousins,
they attack in a fixed sequence (physical attack->Aqua Breath->Megiddo Flame
->Thundara), so if you take careful note of their attacks you can be
relatively safe.

Shred/Skoll: Petrify with Wakka.

B) Thunder Plains and Macalania

Everything in both areas will fall to Wakka's Deathstrike weapon.  Yes, even 
Chimera.  The only enemies who present any difficulty are the really high-
Evasion enemies (especially Qactuar, who can dodge the attack 70% of the time
and occasionally resists Death), since Wakka must hit an enemy before he can
kill it.  Make sure you've killed the more powerful enemies in the current
formation before you take on the dodgier enemies--and if at all possible, make
sure you have Confuse Ward equipped when you're capturing the Buers and Evil


Prizes:     Besaid: 99 Stamina Tonics
                  -Dingo, Condor, Water Flan
            Kilika: 99 Poison Fangs
                  -Killer Bee, Dinonix, Yellow Element, Ragora
            Mi'ihen Highroad: 99 Soul Springs
                  -Raldo, White Element, Mi'ihen Fang, Floating Eye, Dual
                  Horn, Bomb, Vouivre, Ipiria
            Mushroom Rock Road: 99 Candles of Life
                  -Garuda, Red Element, Funguar, Gandarewa, Thunder Flan,
                  Raptor, Lamashtu
            Djose Highroad: 99 Petrify Grenades
                  -Basilisk, Ochu, Simurgh, Garm, Bite Bug, Snow Flan, Bunyip
            Bikanel Island: 99 Shadow Gems
                  -Alcyone, Sand Wolf, Mushussu, Zu, Sand Worm, Cactuar
            Sunken Cave: 40 Silver Hourglasses
                  -Dark Element, Nidhogg, Imp, Yowie, Epaaj, Valaha, Tonberry,
            Mount Gagazet: Blossom Crown
                  -Grenade, Bashura, Grat, Bandersnatch, Dark Flan, Behemoth,
                  Mandragora, Ahriman, Grendel, Splasher, Achelous, Maelspike
            Omega Ruins: 60 Designer Wallets
                  -Zaurus, Floating Death, Master Coeurl, Master Tonberry,
                  Black Element, Halma, Spirit, Puroboros, Machea, Varuna
            Inside Sin: 99 Lunar Curtains
                  -Exoray, Gemini A, Gemini B, Adamantoise, Behemoth King,
                  Wraith, Demonolith, Great Malboro, Barbatos
            Bird species: 99 Mega Phoenixes
                  -4 each of Condor (Besaid), Simurgh (Djose Highroad),
                  Alcyone (Bikanel Island)
            Dual horn species: 99 Light Curtains
                  -5 each of Dual Horn (Mi'ihen Highroad),
                  Valaha (Cavern of the Stolen Fayth), Grendel (Mount 
            Bat species: 60 Stamina Tablets
                  -4 each of Floating Eye (Mi'ihen Highroad),
                  Buer (Thunder Plains), Evil Eye (Lake Macalania),
                  Ahriman (Mount Gagazet), Floating Death (Omega Ruins)
            Wolf species: 99 Chocobo Feathers
                  -3 each of Dingo (Besaid), Mi'ihen Fang (Mi'ihen Highroad),
                  Garm (Djose), Snow Wolf (Macalania), Sand Wolf (Bikanel),
                  Skoll (Calm Lands), and Bandersnatch (Mount Gagazet)
            Armored mole species: 99 Gold Hourglasses
                  -3 each of Raldo (Mi'ihen Highroad), Bunyip (Djose), Murussu
                  (Macalania Forest), Mafdet (Lake Macalania), Shred (Calm
                  Lands), and Halma (Omega Ruins)
            Dragon species: 99 Purifying Salts
                  -4 each of Vouivre (Mi'ihen Highroad), Lamashtu (Mushroom
                  Rock), Kusariqqu (Thunder Plains), Mushussu (Bikanel), and
                  Nidhogg (Sunken Cave)
            Two Species Creations: 60 Supreme Gems
            Five of every fiend: 99 Dark Matter

C) Besaid/Kilika/Mi'ihen Highroad/Mushroom Rock/Djose Highroad

There's no need for individual strategies here, because no creature in the
first few areas has any resistance to Deathstrike.  Wakka can't kill every
enemy at once, of course, but you can minimize your healing by targetting the
enemies who do heavy damage (and more specifically, heavy non-elemental
damage) first: that means Dual Horn on the Mi'ihen Highroad, Garuda and
Lamashtu on Mushroom Rock, and Ochu on the Djose Highroad.  You don't even
need Death or Petrification to capture Dingo, Condor, Dinonix, Killer Bee,
Raldo, or Vouivre, all of whom have low enough HP for the appropriate
character to capture them in one hit.

D) Bikanel Island

Sand Wolf/Alcyone/Mushussu: Kill with Wakka.  Mushussu is your top priority,
with Sand Wolf a high second.

Sand Worm: Throw a Sleeping Powder.  Use Shadow Gems liberally, and capture 
with Auron.

Zu: Throw a Smoke Bomb and Poison Fang.  Wait for his HP to fall to the point
where he flops on the ground; use an Antidote, and whittle him down until
Auron can capture him.

Cactuar: A pain in the neck.  Auron and Wakka both need capture weapons with
Piercing.  Have Rikku throw a Smoke Bomb, while the men attempt to hit him.  A
good way to fill your quota is by participating in the Village of the Cactuars
minigame; the ones you fight there will never run away, though you do have to
revive VERY frequently due to their constant use of 10000 Needles.

E) Cavern of the Stolen Fayth

Dark Element/Epaaj/Nidhogg: Kill with Wakka.

Thorn: Kill with Wakka.  Since they sometimes resist Deathstrike, it's a good 
idea to give everyone Fireproof or Fire Eater armor so they aren't annihilated
after Pollen puts them to sleep.

Imp/Yowie: Use a Sleeping Powder to negate their high Evasion.  Capture with
Auron or Kimahri.

Tonberry: Throw a Dream Powder at him.  Use Shadow Gems and elemental items
until Auron can capture him in one hit.

Ghost: Throw a Silence Grenade.  Use Shadow Gems liberally, and capture with

Valaha: He's immune to Death, so you'll have to rely on Stonetouch or 
Stonestrike here.  Toss a Smoke Bomb to blind him while Wakka attempts to
finish the job.

K) Mount Gagazet

Bandersnatch/Ahriman: Put it to sleep with a Dream Powder and capture with
Wakka.  (Sleep is not necessary to hit the Bandersnatch, but rather to prevent
the accompanying Nidhogg from attacking while you capture it.)

Grendel/Grat/Mandragora: Put him to sleep with a Sleeping Powder or Dream
Powder.  Now kill or petrify him.  If it does not work at first, either use
another Sleeping Powder or Dream Powder or have your other characters equip
Evade&Counter weapons (plus Fireproof in Grendel's case) and revive Wakka as
needed.  Against all three fiends, Stonestrike is significantly more
effective: it kills the enemy 75% of the time, whereas Deathstrike only works
50% of the time.  (Deathstrike is still more effective than Stonetouch,
however, which petrifies a mere 25% of the time.)  Power Break is very useful
against all three fiends--especially Mandragora, whose Earthquake (a full-
party physical attack performed after he's been hit 10 times) could otherwise
cause a Game Over.

Grenade: Equip Fireproof or Fire Eater armor, and attack with Deathstrike or
Stonestrike until the Grenade dies.  Both work only half the time, so don't be
surprised if a Grenade occasionally Self-Destructs before you can capture it.

Bashura: Capturing him is a pain without Stonestrike, since he's immune to
Death and his 50% resistance to petrification negates Stonetouch.  Use a Dream
Powder, then either wear him down with poison (tossing an Antidote when his HP
gets too low and taking off the rest with elemental items and Lulu's Fire) or
toss a Smoke Bomb and attack until Stonestrike works.

Behemoth: Toss a Dream Powder and a Poison Fang, and let the poison eat away
at his HP.  Make sure you use an Antidote when he is at low HP.

Dark Flan: Use a Silence Grenade to disable his attacks, and attack him with a
Zombietouch or Zombiestrike weapon.  Attack him with a Frag Grenade and a Hi-
Potion (or two Hi-Potions, if you have no Frag Grenades), then a Healing Water
or X-Potion; he'll counter with White Wind, removing Zombie but leaving him at
very low HP.  Attack with Zombietouch/Zombiestrike and Potions until one more
attack will kill him; switch to the Beastmaster and capture.

Splasher: Capture with Deathstrike or Stonestrike.  Make sure to target the
highest-HP fish first, since they also do the most damage.

Achelous: Put them to sleep with a Dream Powder, and capture with Deathstrike
or Stonestrike.

Maelspike: Blind them with a Smoke Bomb (if there is more than one), and
capture with Deathstrike or Stonestrike.

L) Omega Ruins

Floating Death/Zaurus/Master Coeurl: Put him to sleep with a Sleeping Powder
or Dream Powder.  Capture with Deathstrike or Stonestrike.  Don't forget to
steal Petrify Grenades from Zaurus.

Spirit+Black Element/Spirit+Halma: Black Element and Halma only appear in
these formations, so they must be treated as a unit.  To prepare for Spirit,
customize an armor for Auron with Confuse Ward, Lightningproof or Lightning
Eater, Auto-Med or Poisonproof, and Auto-Potion; remove all Potions from your 
inventory, and keep plenty of Hi-Potions, Antidotes, and Phoenix Downs.  (If
you can't customize Auto-Potion yet, leave the fourth slot empty and use a
Lunar Curtain to reduce the damage from Poison Mist.)  I recommend that you
give Rikku and Wakka protection against all four elements; at a minimum, they
must have Lightningproof.  Begin the battle by using a Star Curtain on Auron.
If you're facing Black Element, use a Silence Grenade to disable them; if
you're facing Halma, equip Evade&Counter.  Spirit randomly counters any action
affecting him, including his own reflected magic, with Poison Mist; this will
kill Rikku and Wakka, forcing Auron to use two Phoenix Downs.  Use a Star
Curtain on Spirit to prevent him from healing himself with Thundaga, and
whittle him down with Shadow Gems; when the Shadow Gems do less than 180
damage, have Auron capture him.  Black Element is susceptible to Death, and
Halma is susceptible to both Death and Petrification; it is much easier to
kill them with Deathstrike or Stonestrike than by reducing their HP to zero.

Puroboros: Equip Fireproof or Fire Eater.  Capture with Stonestrike or

Machea: Use a Smoke Bomb.  Capture with Stonestrike or Deathstrike.

Master Tonberry: Put him to sleep with a Dream Powder, and whittle him down
with Shadow Gems.  Capture with Auron.

Varuna: Equip the Haste Targe.  Begin the battle by using a Star Curtain on
Rikku, then a Purifying Salt on Varuna.  When he Hastes himself, remove it
with a Purifying Salt.  Otherwise, whittle his HP down with Shadow Gems and 
non-elemental items until he has about 1700 HP left.  Then wait for him to 
cast a -ga spell at Rikku, and capture him with Auron.  If he should use Mana 
Focus, you have two options: either use a Stamina Tablet/Tonic and Lunar 
Curtain on Auron to survive Emblem of Fate, or use a Soul Spring and hope 
Auron is able to capture him.  Stonestrike will work 20% of the time, but on 
average it takes just as long to capture him that way as it does by killing 
him with damage.

M) Inside Sin

Exoray: Capture with Stonestrike.

Gemini A and B: They're immune to both Death and Petrification.  Put them 
under with a Dream Powder, use Poison Fangs on them, and remove the poison 
with Antidotes when they are at low health; remove their armor with a Frag 
Grenade while you're at it.  Capture with Auron.

Adamantoise: Use a Dream Powder and Poison Fang, and wait 20 rounds for his HP
to drop.  If you have way too many Lightning or Water Gems, you can toss those
to kill him more quickly.  (He is immune to Shadow Gems.)  Alternatively, just
attack once with a Stonestrike weapon every time you meet one; though the odds
of petrification are only 20%, you'll encounter enough in the Sea of Sorrows
that you're sure to capture two or three without wasting any items.

Wraith: Use a Shadow Gem.  If he is currently weak to an element, use two Gems
of that element; otherwise, use more Shadow Gems and non-elemental items to
lower his HP until Auron can capture him.  Elemental protection armor is a

Demonolith: Equip Evade&Counter weapons and Stoneproof armor.  Lower his HP
with Shadow Gems and non-elemental items; Frag Grenades are useful for
removing his armor.

Great Malboro: First Strike weapons are required any time you roam the Omega 
Ruins, as are Confuse Ward+Berserk Ward+Auto-Med/Poisonproof armors.  I gave 
Rikku Confuseproof+Berserkproof+Auto-Med, just to be safe.  Switch to 
Evade&Counter once you have the proper status-protection armor; if Bad Breath 
manages to inflict Confusion or Berserk, use a Remedy on the affected
character.  Once everyone's status effects are cleared, Rikku should use a 
Stamina Tonic on the party, followed by a Lunar Curtain on Wakka or Kimahri 
(whoever you choose as the third party member) and Light Curtains on both 
Wakka/Kimahri and Auron, while the men heal themselves with Hi-Potions.
Though it may seem unnecessary, Protect and Shell will become important when 
Great Malboro falls to low HP and gains two devastating attacks: an unevadable
chew attack that hits its target for 2400 physical damage, and a magic-based 
spit attack that hits the whole party for 800 damage.  Wakka/Kimahri must
defend in order to survive the chew attack, so have Auron take care of healing
and Phoenix Downs whenever possible.  When both Wakka and Auron need healing,
I suggest using a Megalixir; you'll have more than 30 if you've completed
Gagazet, and unlike Mega-Potions they are not useful against the final boss.
It takes seven Shadow Gems, plus a Fire Gem and a few non-elemental items, to
capture him; an Evade&Counter capture weapon for Auron is exceptionally
useful, as it will allow him to finish Great Malboro without sacrificing his

Behemoth King: The toughest of the bunch to capture.  Equip Evade&Counter on
all three characters, the Phoenix Bracer on Auron, the Haste Targe on Rikku,
and Lightningproof on your third character.  Start by using a Stamina
Tablet/Tonic and Lunar Curtain on Auron; by defending Auron can survive Heave
and Thundara.  Use Shadow Gems to whittle down his HP until he casts Mighty
Guard; remove this with a Purifying Salt.  Behemoth King now gains access to 
Flare and Tail; the first is guaranteed to kill a non-Reflected character, and
the second hits the whole party for more damage than BFA's sword swipe.  The 
easiest way to capture him is to equip Auron with an Evade&Counter capture 
weapon, put him below 180 HP, and wait for Heave to be used on Auron; that way
you avoid the 8000+ damage from Meteor.  Use a Phoenix Down, Stamina Tablet,
and Elixir or Healing Water if Auron is hit with Flare, and make sure he
defends on his next turn.  Surviving Meteor would require Auron to change to
an armor with Defense +10% and defend, Rikku to use a Light Curtain on him,
and your third character to finally attack and capture him--all before
Behemoth King gets his next turn.

Barbatos: Equip Evade&Counter weapons and Auron's Phoenix Bracer.  Begin the
battle by using a Lunar Curtain on Auron, and from there assault him with
Shadow Gems.  Zombiestrike+Regen is highly effective against him; when he gets
to about 15,000 HP, remove it with a Purifying Salt.  As usual, capture
with Auron.



A popular variation on the challenge is to eliminate the Escape command as
well, forcing the player to defeat every enemy along the way.  Besides 
eliminating one of the major headaches of the "vanilla" NSG game (the 
unreliability of Escape) and the feeling of cowardice that comes with it, the 
random battles can be a formidable challenge in their own right.  After all, 
there are far more random enemies than bosses, and the likes of Behemoth King 
and Great Malboro can be tougher than many storyline bosses.

Of course, you cannot simply brute-force your way through every random
encounter like you could in a regular game.  All but a handful of battles from
the Thunder Plains on require Rikku's attack items, and most require
specialized equipment as well, so you have to be careful with your gil to
ensure you have enough of the proper items and equipment when they are
required.  This becomes less of a concern after Guadosalam, since the ability
to customize can largely replace the need to buy certain equipment (at least
for basic abilities like Sensor and Thunder Ward), but collecting the required
items is sometimes a time-consuming process in its own right.

Unlike a regular game, you cannot simply put whatever party you like in front
and begin attacking when their turn comes around.  Doing so is a surefire way
to get a Game Over, as the enemies are invariably much faster and more
powerful than you.  You must get used to changing your formation after every 
battle, so the characters best suited for the front lines are there at the 
beginning of every battle.  Likewise, every area has an optimal equipment
setup; if you change your equipment during battle for any reason (so Rikku can
steal more items via Master Thief, for example), you must change it back in
the menu before the next battle.

Little needs to be said about the random encounters before reaching the
Mi'ihen Highroad.  The encounters in Besaid were specifically designed for a 
starting party, your NSG characters can kill the Kilika fiends with little
more effort (the Brotherhood and Scout work very well), and the Luca machina
can be easily eliminated with the strategy in the main walkthrough.

You must get a few specific pieces of equipment during this portion of the
game, however.  Tidus must get the NulBlaze Shield from the Crusader in
Kilika, or the Funguars on Mushroom Rock will become much more difficult to 
kill.  When O'aka is selling stuff in Luca, you must buy Wakka's Rulebreaker
as well as the Stunning Steel.  This may require selling a few of the
Hi-Potions you've won, but it's well worth it.

When you've gotten through all the cutscenes and reached the Mi'ihen Highroad,
the challenge can begin in earnest.

A) Mi'ihen Highroad

For the first time in the game, you will no longer be able to kill most
enemies in one hit.  It's also the longest stretch of random-encounter
territory so far, so you'll have to watch Yuna's MP carefully.  Give the 
Stunning Steel to Tidus and the Rulebreaker (or a Lightningstrike weapon, if
he has one) for Wakka.  Anyone who has it should equip Fire or Ice Ward, and
Tidus should wear the NulBlaze Shield.  Until noted otherwise, Tidus, Kimahri,
and Auron are your frontline party.  It should go without saying, but don't 
challenge Belgemine.

-Dual Horn: Your first priority any time he appears is to blind him with Dark 
Attack.  If you're lucky, this will also poison him.  Have Tidus try to slow
him while everyone else eliminates the accompanying enemies.  When it's just
the Dual Horn, have Auron Power Break him and then hit him with your most 
powerful attacks.  He has a lot of HP and hits hard, so you really want to
kill him as quickly as you can.

-Bomb: The most MP-efficient technique is to let them get Tidus into critical
HP and have him perform the third hit against each Bomb, absorbing it with SOS
NulBlaze.  If you actually want the gil and equipment from defeating them, you
can only afford to attack with Blizzard and Auron's sword; otherwise they will
self-destruct before you can finish them.  If more than one is present,
there's a good chance you'll need to bring in Yuna for healing.

-Floating Eye: Wakka's ball+Thunder.  Wakka's ball+Lancet sometimes works, but
it's unreliable.  If you have a Thunderstrike weapon for Wakka, equip that 
instead; it's a one-hit kill.  The fiend occasionally inflicts Confusion, but 
there's nothing you can do about that now; cure with Esuna if that happens.

-Mi'ihen Fang: Kimahri can one-hit them, but he'll often miss.  Use Tidus+
Wakka if you have time; if you don't, either use Kimahri and hope you don't
miss or use Tidus and hope for a critical hit.

-White Element: Fire+Lancet works, as does Fire followed by a physical attack 
from Auron.

-Raldo: Auron can kill it in one hit.

The following enemies are only encountered on the Mi'ihen Oldroad and on the 
first screen of Mushroom Rock.

-Ipiria: Trouble, due to its high speed and ability to petrify.  Have Tidus 
switch to the Ice Brand and attack for a one-hit kill.  (Remember to reequip
the Stunning Steel after battle.)

-Thunder Flan: Water+Lancet will kill it.  Depending on your damage, an 
additional physical attack may be required.

-Vouivre: Auron can kill it in one hit.

Troublesome groups:

-Floating Eye x2+Bomb: Leave the Bomb alone at first, since you need to kill
the Confusion-inflicting bats ASAP.  Once Wakka and the others have finished 
them, you can kill the Bomb as normal. 

-Mi'ihen Fang+Dual Horn: Blind the Dual Horn first, to prevent its massively 
damaging attacks, then focusing on killing the wolf for a bit.  After that you
can finish the big beast in the usual fashion.

-Mi'ihen Fang x3: Have Tidus, Kimahri, and Wakka perform a full-on assault 
against the wolves.  Chances are good you'll have to heal during the battle,
but try to put it off until at least one of them is dead.

-Dual Horn x2+Vouivre: Only found on the Oldroad and the first screen of 
Mushroom Rock.  Have Auron kill the Vouivre first, then use Dark Attack and
the Stunning Steel on the Dual Horns and hope the un-blinded one doesn't kill 
anyone.  Then blind the other Dual Horn, and focus on killing them one at a 

Before you enter Mushroom Rock proper, you must visit O'aka on the Newroad and
donate at least 1001 gil to him.  This will greatly lower his prices on
Mushroom Rock, allowing you to buy the important equipment he sells there at a
discount.  (You get an even steeper discount if you donate 10,001 gil to him, 
but this is only worth it if you plan on buying a whole lot of equipment and 

B) Mushroom Rock Road

The equipment setup is the same as above, though you should definitely equip
any Fire Ward (and to a lesser extent, Sleep Ward) armor.  Keep Wakka's 
Rulebreaker for this section.  (If he has Waterstrike, use that instead for
the Gandarewas.)  Remember to talk to Shelinda to restore Yuna's MP.  Don't 
bother restoring Tidus' HP, as you'll need SOS NulBlaze badly here; instead, 
keep Yuna, Kimahri, and Auron in the front.

-Funguar: The most troublesome enemy, since it has a chance of putting the
whole party to sleep any time it is attacked, and its Fire has a strong chance
of killing anyone who's been damaged.  I suggest killing all other enemies 
first, then bringing in Tidus and having him attack away.  Thanks to SOS 
NulBlaze, he cannot be killed.  If all three party members are alive, 
Fire+Auron's physical can also do it (though you have to risk at least one 
Pollen in the process).

-Red Element: Blizzard+Lancet+Auron's physical attack.  He hits hard, and is 
significantly harder to kill.

-Gandarewa: Two physical attacks from Wakka.  Since no one else can reliably
hit him, concentrate on killing the other enemies first.  If Wakka doesn't
have time to deliver a second hit, cast Water to finish him.

-Raptor: Only Tidus and Wakka can reliably hit it, and it takes two hits from 
them to kill it.

-Garuda: It's got a lot of HP, but it can be dealt with fairly easily.  Have 
Wakka blind it with Dark Attack, Tidus slow it with the Stunning Steel, and 
Auron just attack away.  Have Wakka continue to attack until it inflicts
Poison; if you do this early enough, you won't need to use a second Dark

Troublesome formations:

-Garuda+Funguar x2: No matter how you approach this battle, there is a strong 
chance of a Game Over if you're unlucky.  Blind the Garuda first, and have
Tidus and the other guys kill it, before you touch the mushrooms.  Even under 
Darkness, the Garuda's attacks will auto-hit anyone under Sleep, and a Sonic 
Boom combined with a few Fires can easily be the death of you.  Don't be 
surprised if you need to bring in Yuna before the Garuda dies.

-Funguar x3: Bring Tidus out, and have him, Auron, and Lulu assault them with 
everything you've got.  This battle would be hell without the NulBlaze Shield,
but it's a piece of cake (if a bit of an MP drain) with it.

When you get to O'aka's shop at the command center, BUY THE T.K.O.  You simply
can't get through the Moonflow section without it.  I highly recommend buying 
the Sentry as well, to prevent all those deadly ambushes in later areas (and,
to a lesser extent, to get more useful Preemptive Strikes).  You might have to
fight a few more battles and sell some of your more valuable equipment to
afford it, but Initiative is well worth it.  Finally, if you have the patience
for it consider buying the Lucid Armguard too; it will come in handy many
times, especially when Wakka is wielding the T.K.O. or a Deathstrike weapon
and can't afford to hit his fellow party members.  You don't need to buy 
anything else besides Phoenix Downs.

C) Djose Highroad

Equip any Stone Ward or Fire Ward armor, particularly Yuna's Soft Ring.
(Poison Ward is also somewhat useful.)  If someone got a Sleepstrike weapon
from Gui, be sure to equip it; it is excellent for stopping the Funguars'
Pollen and the Basilisks' Stone Gaze.

-Basilisk: If you have a Sleepstrike weapon, use it to put him to sleep and
attack him with Lulu's magic and Lancet.  Otherwise, just slow him with the
Stunning Steel and attack away.  Though he can be poisoned, the damage is
pretty low.

-Bunyip: Requires physical attacks from both Auron and Kimahri.  This one 
should always be your first target.

-Garm: Your best bet is to have Wakka petrify it.  If that doesn't work, just 
have him and Tidus attack.

-Bite Bug: One-hit kill it with any spell, or attack with the T.K.O. and hope
it petrifies.  Not a major threat, except for Poison.

-Simurgh: Kill it with magic or the T.K.O.  Even easier than the Bite Bugs, 
though Wakka should wear Dark Ward armor if he has any.

-Snow Flan: Lancet, Fire, and Sleepstrike are the way to go.  In a pinch, the 
T.K.O. is sometimes effective.  Save him for last.

-Ochu: You must use the T.K.O. to kill this thing.  Use your Sleepstrike
weapon to keep it from striking back while you attempt to finish it.  In any
case, make sure it's at least asleep before you attack the other enemies.

Once you reach Guadosalam, you should probably buy the Fatal Cait Sith from 
O'aka.  The elementals in the Thunder Plains and Macalania will be much more 
irritating without it, plus it greatly improves your chances of killing Iron 
Giant quickly.  Also consider buying Yuna's NulTide Ring and Auron's Blue
Bracer on the south bank of the Moonflow; they both provide essential
protection against Blue Element and Chimera in the Macalania Woods, making
that area a lot less dangerous to the party as a whole.  Finally, try to steal
at least one Dragon Fang from the Moonflow chests, if you can, so Lulu can get
SOS NulTide armor; killing the Blue Elements will require a lot of Silence 
Grenades if she doesn't have it.

--COLLECTION TIME: After Seymour leaves for Macalania and the Moonflow ferry 
reopens, you'll need to go back to the Djose Highroad for Petrify Grenades.
If you're taking the long route back to the Mi'ihen Highroad (for the highly 
profitable Ace Wizard and/or the chance to buy Grenades before the Thunder 
Plains), steal some Bomb Fragments from Red Element or Bomb and customize Fire
Ward onto Rikku's Targe.  It provides great protection against Bomb, Red 
Element, and Funguar--especially Funguar, who appears all along the Highroad
and can often kill Rikku in one hit.

D) Thunder Plains

A very frightening place in the No Escape version.  The enemies have very high
HP, do vastly greater damage (particularly Kusariqqu, who is capable of
killing the whole party with one attack), and are much harder to hit.  You
must start relying on Rikku's items to win: you will need a dozen or more 
Grenades to reach the travel agency, and at least 30 to survive from there to 
Lake Macalania (which is the next time you can purchase Grenades).  Any 
character who will be in the frontline must have Lightning Ward armor, which
can be purchased from O'aka in the Guadosalam shop.  Auron should wear the 
Lightningproof armor you customized for him, while you should definitely give 
Tidus the Yellow Shield found outside the travel agency.  Your weapon setup 
remains the same; I very strongly recommend getting the Fatal Cait Sith if you
haven't already, since it is the only quick way to kill Gold Element and will 
greatly increase your chances of killing Iron Giant before he can kill you.  
Don't forget to pray to a Qactuar stone as you cross this area; I usually use 
the one northwest of the first save point.

Remember that in a pinch, you can kill any enemy besides Gold Element with a 
Petrify Grenade.  It's not a strategy you should employ often, since you need 
those Petrify Grenades for later battles, but it's still an option to keep in 

-Aerogue/Buer: Notable for being the first enemies in the game that Wakka
cannot consistently hit.  Kill them with a Grenade whenever you encounter
them.  If you manage to get an extra turn thanks to a Preemptive Strike (or 
First Strike, on your second visit), steal Electro Marbles and the occasional 
Lightning Marble from Aerogue.

-Melusine: While Wakka can consistently hit these guys, and they remain 
vulnerable to the T.K.O., the damage and Petrification they inflict is just
too dangerous to risk.  Kill him with a Grenade.

-Kusariqqu: He hits HARD, hard enough to kill Auron in one hit with his
physical attack; heaven help you if you get ambushed by him.  A Grenade plus a
physical attack from Kimahri or Auron will do the trick.

-Gold Element: He is immune to Petrification and has a high HP total, though 
he remains vulnerable to Death.  Have Lulu attack until she kills it, stealing
Electro Marbles and healing with Potions or Cure in the meantime.

-Larva: Fairly tough enemies who can heal themselves and power up their spell 
damage if their HP falls too low.  Kill them with the T.K.O. or Fatal Cait 
Sith.  Remember to steal Lunar Curtains while you're trying to finish them.

-Iron Giant: This powerful brute is only encountered on the second screen.  He
hits almost as hard as Kusariqqu; even under Power Break he still strikes for 
over 400 damage, and he always targets the character with the lowest HP.  He 
occasionally hits the whole party with Reaper for 800 damage, giving you a 
strong incentive to Power Break him early on.  A good strategy is to keep Lulu
in front as your lowest-HP character, since her Evasion is good enough to 
frequently avoid his attacks.  Since he has far too much HP to whittle off,
you must kill him with the T.K.O. or Fatal Cait Sith; he is also vulnerable to
Sleepstrike, though the effect is only successful half the time.  If you bring
in Rikku to steal Light Curtains, only do so if he's asleep or if Lulu has 
already been killed and revived, as her low HP will make her the target 

-Qactuar: As long as you encounter them one at a time, these bouncy little
guys are the safest enemies on the Thunder Plains.  I generally have Rikku
steal until I have at least two Chocobo Feathers (three during the second 
visit), then kill it with an elemental item (Bomb Fragment, Electro Marble, 
etc.).  There's a decent chance of the Qactuar running away on any given turn,
but collecting the all-important Chocobo Feathers takes priority over killing 
him.  Have Yuna heal after each physical attack, use a Phoenix Down if someone
is killed by 1000 Needles, and otherwise stay on the defensive until he runs 
away or you kill him.  Note that Qactuar always drops equipment after you kill
him; many of his weapons contain the all-important Initiative ability (which
you will very much want if you somehow forgot to buy Auron's Sentry back on 
Mushroom Rock), and the MP Stroll from his armors could be useful for Yuna or 

E) Macalania Woods

Despite how peaceful the forest may look, it's arguably more dangerous than
the Thunder Plains due to Blue Element (who deals massive single-target damage
and is immune to Petrify and Sleep), Chimera (who has two massive single-
target attacks and a full-party Water attack), and the damnable lizards and 
bugs.  Water Ward and SOS NulTide are very, very valuable here; steal as many 
Fish Scales as you can from the Blue Elements, so all the guys can survive 
Watera (and Rikku can survive Aqua Breath) in a pinch.  Don't heal Yuna or
Lulu when they fall to critical HP, since SOS NulTide will keep them safe.
Your weapon setup is the same as for the Thunder Plains.  Make sure that
Tidus, Kimahri, and Auron are in the front line at all times; if you leave
Rikku in the front, Iguion WILL kill her.

If Lulu doesn't have SOS NulTide, make sure you have several Silence Grenades
instead.  Silence Grenades work really well in any encounter containing Blue 
Element, as they also kill the accompanying enemies and give Rikku/Lulu time
to kill the Blue Elements with Thunder and Electro Marbles.

-Iguion: Odds are you'll hate this stupid lizard more than anyone else here.
He is fast enough to beat out even Rikku, and does enough damage to kill Rikku
in one hit.  Switch in Rikku at the first opportunity, and toss a Grenade;
this will not usually kill him, but it will weaken him enough for Lancet or 
Wakka's attack to finish the job.  His attack will occasionally petrify a 
character (which has a decent chance of shattering them, given his high
damage), so equip Stone Ward on anyone who does not have Water protection.

-Blue Element: The first time you meet these guys is the most dangerous, since
at that point no one will be under SOS NulTide.  After killing any
accompanying enemies, bring in Yuna and Lulu.  Yuna will benefit from SOS 
NulTide as soon as you revive her, while Lulu will require a little extra 
damage.  (One of her own spells will do the trick, as will an attack from
Wakka if he unequips the T.K.O.)  Once they're both under SOS NulTide, have
Lulu attack with the Fatal Cait Sith until both of the Blue Elements are dead,
while Rikku collects those Fish Scales.  If Lulu does not have SOS NulTide, 
you'll need to use a Silence Grenade instead and finish him with Electro
Marbles and Thunder.

-Wasp: Though he isn't nearly as strong as Iguion, his speed and Poison 
infliction make him almost as annoying.  As with Iguion, switch in Rikku and 
toss a Grenade; if that doesn't kill him, an additional Lancet will.  If
you're pressed for time, you can often kill him in one hit with Blizzard.

-Murussu: Though he's slow, this guy hits for very heavy damage.  A Grenade
plus an attack from Auron is the only quick way to kill him.  If for some
reason you only get one turn to act before him, have Wakka use Dark Attack;
this will generally stop his attack from connecting, and the T.K.O. has a
chance of killing him instantly.

-Xiphos: For such a strong-looking fiend, the Xiphos is remarkably harmless.  
Its attacks do about 250 damage, half that while under Power Break, and like 
most fiends he remains vulnerable to Death and Petrification.  Besides being 
an easy source of Hi-Potions, Rikku can occasionally swipe a Mega-Potion from 

-Chimera: His first move can be dangerous, but after that he's not too bad.
He uses his physical attack, Megiddo Flame, Thundara, and Aqua Breath, in that
order; Aqua Breath does about 450 damage, Thundara about 700, Megiddo Flame 
close to 1000.  He is vulnerable to both Death and Petrification, though you 
need to keep track of his turn order so that everyone can survive Aqua Breath.
Have Rikku steal Arctic Winds from him; you will need them when you get to
Lake Macalania.

Troublesome formations:

-Iguion+Murussu+Blue Element: This formation is especially dangerous because
it contains two hard-hitters with high HP.  Have Rikku toss two Grenades to 
kill both of the weaker enemies (if Lulu has SOS NulTide), or simply toss a 
Silence Grenade and kill the Blue Element normally (if she does not).

As usual, buy the Sonic Steel when you reach the end of the woods.

F) Lake Macalania

This area is actually a bit of a break, since with the right setup you can 
reliably kill pretty much everyone here.  Remember to steal lots of Arctic
Winds and Sleeping Powders; you'll need the former for Iceproof and attack 
items, while the latter will prove important when you get to Home and beyond.
Note that you can protect yourself from Ice Flan's Blizzara by customizing Ice
Ward (from the Snow Flans back on the Moonflow) and SOS NulFrost (from the few
Arctic Winds you stole from Chimera) even before you get here.  Keep the same 
formation; always have the Sonic Steel and Sentry equipped, as you really
don't want to get overwhelmed by the bats and wolves.

-Evil Eye: His damage and Confusion are as big a danger as ever, but thanks to
his middling HP he's no more dangerous than the Buers on the Thunder Plains.  
Kill him with a Grenade.

-Snow Wolf: Have Rikku toss a Grenade and steal some Sleeping Powder from him,
then kill him with Wakka.

-Mafdet: This tank has more HP and hits even harder than his brothers, so it 
will take a concerted effort to kill him quickly enough.  A Grenade plus 
physical attacks from Kimahri and Auron will do just enough damage to finish 

-Ice Flan: His Blizzara can be painful, at least without Iceproof or SOS 
NulFrost.  The T.K.O. and Fatal Cait Sith are probably the best way to kill
him, though to steal more Arctic Winds per encounter you can put him to sleep 
with a Sleepstrike weapon (if you have any) and continue stealing while he's 

Troublesome formations:

-Snow Wolf+Mafdet+Ice Flan: Odds are that you won't be able to finish both of 
the heavy hitters before they kill someone.  If both Kimahri and Auron get a 
turn before the Mafdet you can use the Mafdet strategy, tossing a single 
Grenade and stealing from the Snow Wolf.  If not, toss two Grenades to 
eliminate the Snow Wolf and kill the Mafdet (or at least weaken him enough to 
let anyone finish him), then deal with the Ice Flan as normal.

Remember to buy plenty of Potions, Hi-Potions, and Phoenix Downs from O'aka.  
If Wakka, Kimahri, or Auron doesn't already have Dark Ward armor, buy the Eye 
Drops to customize them first.

When you are running from Macalania Temple after defeating Seymour, you will 
also encounter a few Guado Guardians.  Concentrate on killing the other 
enemies first (the Guardians like to buff the fiends they call with Berserk), 
then take them out with the T.K.O. or Fatal Cait Sith.  They have some 
resistance to both status effects, but it is faster than trying to cut through
their 1200 HP while they heal with Auto-Potion.  At least their Thundara and 
Blizzara spells do relatively low damage.

G) Bikanel Island (before Rikku)

The initial part of the story on Bikanel Island is particularly dangerous in a
No Escape game, since until you reach the second save sphere you are forced to
survive without Rikku's items.  First is the strategy for the very first Zu, 
which must be defeated with only Tidus, Lulu, and Auron:

-Zu (first encounter): Make sure Tidus has the Sonic Steel equipped prior to 
the battle, so it doesn't kill him before he has a chance to defend himself.  
(If Tidus or Auron has Dark Ward armor, equip it.)  Once the battle begins, 
switch to the Stunning Steel and defend.  The Zu will attack, taking off most 
of his health, and Auron will enter the battle.  Heal with a Hi-Potion, then 
Power Break the thing so Tidus can survive without defending.  Lulu will join 
you in the next round.  Once the fiend is Power Broken, have Tidus attack 
until Slow takes effect, then switch to either the Avenger or the Brotherhood.
(If any of the three have Poisontouch weapons, equip them; inflicting Poison
will make this battle a whole lot shorter.)  From that point forward you 
should just keep attacking, healing with Hi-Potions or reviving with a Phoenix
Down as necessary.  When he starts charging for Sonic Boom, top off everyone's
health and defend; the attack does about 400 damage through Power Break.  He 
loses access to that attack when he falls to the ground at 4000 HP, and his 
regular attack becomes weaker and less accurate as well.

After defeating the fiend and collecting Wakka, put Lulu in back.  Do the same
to Wakka once Kimahri rejoins your party.  Hurry straight for Rikku after 
you've collected him, since a little bad luck is all it takes to kill you 
here.  Dark Ward is all but mandatory for Wakka, Kimahri, and Auron.  Remember
to heal with Potions (and when necessary, Hi-Potions) in between battles.

-Mech Guard: You can often petrify them with the T.K.O.  Otherwise just attack
them physically, using the Stunning Steel to slow them and Power Break to 
weaken their attacks.

-Mushussu: Kill him first, or his flamethrower attack will annihilate you.  
Bring in Wakka to blind him with Dark Attack; if he is not immediately 
petrified, it will at least buy you a few rounds while his lethal physical 
attacks miss.  Have Kimahri and Auron attack like mad, and hopefully you will 
kill him quickly enough to see another battle.

-Sand Wolf: After Mushussu is dead, he is your highest priority.  He is fast, 
his attacks hurt, and Dark Attack is not always effective on him.  Just have 
Wakka and Tidus keep attacking him, healing with Hi-Potions as needed, and 
hopefully you can petrify him before things get out of hand.

-Alcyone: Their attacks do fairly little damage, but the Darkness they inflict
is a major problem.  A single casting of Fire can take off most of their HP, 
and an additional Lancet or two can finish the job.  Wakka can also kill them,
but they are very good at dodging his ball.

-Zu: Since there is no realistic way of stopping his attacks without Smoke 
Bombs, the best you can do is slow him with the Stunning Steel and Power Break
him so everyone can survive Sonic Boom.  Have Wakka switch to the Rulebreaker 
and attack until he is successfully poisoned; once that happens it will only 
take a few rounds for him to die.  Remember to fully heal and defend when he 
charges for Sonic Boom, since this Zu's version does 600 through Power Break.

-Sand Worm: You must attack quickly to make it through this encounter, since 
if he manages to ready his Earthquake you WILL die.  Have Auron Power Break 
him while Wakka switches to the Rulebreaker, then have Wakka and Tidus attack
nonstop and Kimahri use Lancet.  Pause only to heal with Hi-Potions; you must 
hit him 10 times within the first five rounds for this strategy to work.  
(Even more importantly, he must be poisoned by the tenth attack.  If he hasn't
been poisoned by the seventh or eighth attack, have Tidus and Kimahri hold 
back while Wakka continues to attack.)  Once this happens, Sand Worm will 
counter by swallowing one of your characters and trapping him in his stomach.
So long as the character stays swallowed, Sand Worm will skip all his turns;
but he will continue to take Poison damage, allowing you to simply wait until 
the status effect kills him.  Do not attack him after he has been successfully
poisoned, since it only takes two attacks to make him regurgitate the 
swallowed character and start attacking again.

-Cactuar: Without Rikku, there is no way for your weak party to kill this 
thing.  Use a Hi-Potion after its physical attack and a Phoenix Down after 
10000 Needles, and wait for it to run away on its own.

H) Bikanel Island (After Rikku)

Once your invaluable little item-user is back in the party, Bikanel becomes 
one of the best areas in the game.  It's a good habit to have Rikku heal with 
Al Bhed Potions in battle, as this will save on items in between battles.  You
would be wise to make a beeline for the Sandragora in the northeast, since the
Evade & Counter weapons you can customize after beating it makes collecting 
items a whole lot easier.  Note that all of the lesser enemies can be killed 
instantly by tossing a Smoke Bomb at them, though you won't want to do this 
very often.  Wakka can keep the Rulebreaker equipped here.

-Mech Guard: Steal some Grenades from them, and they will instantly fall 

-Mech Gunner: They can be destroyed by stealing from them, just like the 
Guards. However, since you always encounter them with two Mech Guards it's 
usually best to have Rikku focus on the Guards while Wakka tries to petrify 
the Gunner.

-Mushussu: It takes a Grenade plus attacks from Kimahri and Auron to bring 
this monster down.  If they don't both have a turn before him, you may be 
better off just taking him out with an Antarctic Wind or ending the battle 
with a Smoke Bomb.

-Sand Wolf: Kill them with a Grenade followed by an attack from Wakka.  While 
the Sleeping Powders they carry are very valuable, their high damage and speed
makes stealing from them somewhat risky.

-Alcyone: A Grenade plus one or two Lancets will do the trick.  Be sure to 
steal plenty of Smoke Bombs from these guys.

-Zu: Once you have some Smoke Bombs (which Rikku can steal from him in bulk, 
conveniently enough), you can blind him while Tidus and Wakka inflict Slow and
Poison.  If he gets more than two attacks in before he is poisoned, have Auron
Power Break him; otherwise the Poison damage will prevent Sonic Boom, and you 
can just keep stealing Smoke Bombs until he finally dies.  Remember to heal 
and defend if he does manage to charge for Sonic Boom.

-Sand Worm: Blind him with a Smoke Bomb, attack with the Rulebreaker until 
Poison connects, and use a Sleeping Powder to stop his attacks.  It takes 10 
rounds for the poison to eat away at his massive HP, during which Rikku should
steal as many Shadow Gems as she can.  The Sand Worm will wake up while you 
wait for him to die, requiring an additional Sleeping Powder.

-Cactuar: It takes an Arctic Wind (or two lesser elemental items, if you have 
the time) to kill him.  While he does carry valuable Chocobo Feathers, you 
probably have enough from the Qactuars to be able to simply kill him.

Troublesome formations:

-Sand Wolf x3: Only found in the ruins on the west side of the second screen.
Just kill them with a Smoke Bomb.  Don't even attempt to steal from them 
without Evade&Counter, because they will tear you apart if you do.

-Cactuar x2/Cactuar x3: Like the Sand Wolves, in groups these guys are fast 
enough and powerful enough to completely obliterate you.  Use a Smoke Bomb 
plus a Grenade to win the battle.

I) Home

The Guado Guardians alone make this place twice as difficult as it has to be.
Fireproof and Evade&Counter are both very valuable abilities here; everyone 
needs at least Fire Ward to survive the Guados' Fira.  While everything here 
is vulnerable to petrification, you should not toss Petrify Grenades willy-
nilly; you need to save them for the Chimera battles.  Make sure you have at 
least 20 Sleeping Powders, 20 Shadow Gems, and 60 Smoke Bombs before facing 
the final Chimera battle.

-Guado Guardian: Every battle here contains one of these guys.  While they are
not immune to anything but Sleep, they have fairly high resistance against 
every status effect you can inflict.  If you won a Silencestrike weapon from 
Seymour, attack him with it; it will still sometimes fail, but it works often 
enough to provide decent protection while you try to insta-kill him.

-Bomb: As usual, Fireproof completely protects you from the Bombs' attacks.  
Make sure that Rikku steals plenty of Bomb Cores in the first encounter, so 
you have enough to customize one or two Fireproof armors to survive the Guado 
Guardians and the random Bomb encounters.  Attack them with the T.K.O. and 
Fatal Cait Sith to kill them.

-Evil Eye: Just kill them with two Grenades.  Their Evasion is too high, and 
their Confusion-inflicting attacks too dangerous, to risk giving them a turn.

-Dual Horn: They hit hard, but that doesn't matter if they can't touch you.  
Blind them with a Smoke Bomb, and eliminate them with the T.K.O. and Fatal 
Cait Sith.

-Chimera: You have no choice but to use a Petrify Grenade here.  One Chimera 
would be bad enough; but when you have two enemies with that much HP, who can 
both hit the party for 600+ damage, there is simply no way to survive if you 
let them attack.

You will also encounter the Bombs, Evil Eyes, and Dual Horns on the airship, 
though thankfully without their Guado masters.  The tactics are the same, 
though battles tend to go much quicker due to the fiends' lack of status 

J) Via Purifico Maze

Get Kimahri and Auron and get to the save point as quickly as you can, because
you REALLY don't want to fight anything other than Maze Larva.  Not only do 
you not have Rikku, but you also don't have Tidus to keep the nasty fiends 
from killing your party before you can make a move.  (At the very beginning, 
you don't even have Kimahri and Auron.  If you get an encounter before 
reaching the platform, you WILL die.)  The only practical way of beating any 
of these things is with a Stonetouch weapon, which your three party members 
probably don't have, or with Auron's Evade&Counter weapon (which won't protect
you against the Bat Eyes or Aqua Flans).  The best you can do is equip Water 
Ward and the Kotetsu, and pray that the enemies don't gang up on any one 
character too often.

-Bat Eye: Almost 400 damage per hit, more Evasion than Kimahri or Auron can 
handle, AND they come two at a time?  Yikes.  Just attack with Lightningstrike
until it dies (a single good hit from Auron's Thunder Blade can sometimes kill
it), and hope it doesn't gang up on any one character too often.  And keep 
your party members' HP topped off at all times; they WILL kill you if you 
don't.  And hope it doesn't confuse anyone who isn't wearing Confuse Ward 

-Cave Iguion: As powerful and hard to hit as Bat Eye, even higher Agility, and
they can petrify and shatter anyone without Stone Ward.  (Which you probably 
can't use, since they tend to come together with Aqua Flans).  You really need
to hope for a few lucky hits at the beginning, because they will destroy you 
if you can't kill them quickly enough.

-Sahagin: These guys hit for pretty high damage, so make sure to Power Break 
them ASAP.  Yuna should just defend constantly until then, then serve as your
healer while Auron and Kimahri beat them down.

-Swamp Mafdet: Even after Power Break, this guy does almost 400 damage.  On 
the plus side, he's at least relatively slow and won't petrify or confuse you
like some other enemies.  Save him for last.

-Aqua Flan: Use Kimahri's Silencetouch weapon to stop his spells ASAP, then 
attack with Lancet and the Thunder Blade.  Make sure all the other enemies are
dead before you start targetting him.

As always, remember to equip Kimahri's Iceproof armor just before reaching 

K) Watery Via Purifico

...And finally, you get all the good characters back!  The only thing you're 
missing here is Auron's Sentry.  Either equip Initiative on Tidus or Wakka (if
Qactuar or Cactuar was kind enough to drop an appropriate weapon), or just 
hope you're not ambushed.  Rikku should keep her Tit-for-Tat equipped at all
times.  As with Home, every battle here can be won via Petrify Grenade.  Make 
sure you have at least 40 total Bomb Cores and Dragon Scales (after any used 
to customize Fireproof and Waterproof) before fighting the boss.

-Sahagin: Given the power of their land-bound brothers, these ones are 
remarkably weak.  A Grenade plus a physical attack will kill them.

-Octopus: These guys will kill Rikku or Tidus in one hit, so make sure to 
blind them with a Smoke Bomb.  Rikku should steal Dragon Scales from them 
while Wakka tries to shatter them.  Be aware that their attacks will sometimes
auto-hit, penetrating Darkness and even Evade&Counter.  The Stunning Steel is 
effective against them.

-Phlegyas: Any encounter with these guys should begin with a Sleeping Powder 
so you don't get killed prematurely.  You see, anytime you target them with 
anything--attacking with Wakka's ball, throwing a Smoke Bomb, even stealing--
they begin charging up.  After charging up three times they release their 
Sonic Wave, a full-party attack too powerful for you to survive.  Because they
carry Dragon Scales, an item you will badly need on the Highbridge, make sure 
to put them to sleep so you can steal as many as possible before you have to 
kill them.  Once you've stolen enough items, have Wakka attempt to petrify 
them--but only attack twice, since you cannot risk a Game Over.  For an even 
easier victory, just follow up the Sleeping Powder with a Smoke Bomb (on 
Rikku's fourth turn or so, so both effects don't wear off at the same time); 
the damage will leave them both with about 100 HP, so either fighter can kill 
them without Stonetouch, and their normal attacks will miss while you do so.

-Remora: Throw a Smoke Bomb (preceded by a Sleeping Powder, if any Phlegyases 
are present) and steal Dragon Scales while Wakka attempts to petrify them.  
Some luck is required, since if you wait too long they will use their full-
party Maelstrom attack and kill you.  Tidus' Stunning Steel is a good way to 
keep them from getting too many turns.

L) Highbridge

This area is a lot less frightening than it looks.  Intelligent use of 
Evade&Counter will neutralize the machina as threats, and some Sleeping Powder
and Smoke Bombs (or even just Fireproof armor) is all it takes to deal with 
the warrior monks.  Make your frontline party Wakka, Tidus, and Auron; give 
Auron the Sentry as usual, while Rikku and Wakka equip their Evade&Counter 

-YKT-63: The "kicker" machina, who commonly appears with the flamethrower 
monks.  Evade&Counter renders it harmless, though if you leave it as the last
enemy it will start kicking out your characters.  This is not necessarily a 
Game Over--only two characters are removed, and if you keep Rikku in back 
while this happens she can finish it off without trouble--but you have to be
very careful not to let Rikku get kicked out by accident.

-YAT-99: The cannon machina.  If left alone, they will hit your whole party 
with an attack that does close to 800 damage and ignores Evade&Counter, 
leading inevitably to a Game Over.  The solution, naturally, is to never leave
them alone.  Rikku can hit them with her attack items, as can Wakka with his 
ball; when they are attacked, they respond with a single-target attack which 
is negated by Evade&Counter.  Also, if you kill the front row enemies (this 
requires some Bomb Cores or Dragon Scales if the YKT's are in front) the party
moves back into range and the YAT's no longer use their full-party attack.

-Warrior monks: These guys only appear in three formations, all of which you 
encountered in the battles immediately after Evrae.  Simply reuse the 
strategies listed there.

M) Calm Lands

Hopefully you still have at a good number of Sleeping Powders and Petrify 
Grenades, because you will need them here.  Your basic weapon setup remains 
the same, and Fireproof is even more important (to survive Flame Flan's 
Firaga), though you will also want to equip Waterproof in case you run into 
Chimera Brain.  Consider buying 70 Holy Water now to customize Zombietouch on 
one of your weapons; this will allow you to kill many of the more powerful 
enemies with nothing more than a Phoenix Down, and in any case you will need 
it when you get to the Gagazet caves.

After you've gained access to a chocobo (either by completing the trainer's 
first challenge or by beating Defender X), I highly suggest visiting Remiem 
Temple, winning the Pendulums from the chocobo race, and putting Master Thief 
on Rikku's armor.  This will make collecting items (especially the all-
important Poison Fangs and Dream Powders) much faster than it would otherwise 

-Mech Scouter: As usual, Rikku can kill it instantly with Steal.

-Nebiros: Steal some Poison Fangs, then toss a Sleeping Powder or Dream 
Powder to kill him and put the other enemies to sleep.  Alternatively, if he 
comes in the Skoll-and-machina formation you can simply throw two Grenades 
once you're tired of stealing; with Evade&Counter, none of the enemies there 
can kill you.

-Shred: A hard hitter, but like Nebiros he can't touch you with Evade&Counter.
My usual procedure is to put him to sleep with a Sleeping Powder or Dream 
Powder, though if you can survive Flame Flan's spells you can just attack him 
at your leisure.  You'll be amazed just how quickly Auron can cut through his 
HP.  He carries Hypello Potions, which you can use to make Berserk Ward armor 
(which is somewhat useful against Malboro here, and VERY useful against Great 
Malboro later on).

-Skoll: Yet another fast physical attacker; hopefully you're starting to see 
why Evade&Counter is such a valuable ability.  If he comes together with a 
Flame Flan or Ogre, put them to sleep with a Sleeping Powder; this will give 
you the opportunity to steal plenty of Dream Powders, which are more damaging 
and last longer than the items you have now.  (You cannot usually use his own 
Dream Powders against him, since the damage will often kill him and prevent 
you from stealing from him.)  If he does not, simply steal until you think you
have enough and kill him.

-Flame Flan: His Firaga will kill any unprotected character, but with 
Fireproof armor he has no way to hurt you.  Steal as many Fire Gems as you 
can, neutralizing him with the Silent Spear or a Sleeping Powder as needed, 
and kill him when you are through.  Lulu's Blizzard works as well as ever.

-Coeurl/Anacondaur: Use a Dream Powder to put them under.  Throw a Poison Fang
at each one, and simply wait for the damage to kill them.  Deathtouch and 
Zombietouch also occasionally work (but NOT one right after the other), but 
you'll probably only have time to try them if you manage to get a Preemptive 
Strike.  Both are immune to Petrification.

-Ogre: Deathtouch, Stonetouch, and Zombietouch all work, but only 25% of the 
time.  The most reliable strategy (and the only one which prevents him from 
using his auto-hitting punch) is to put him to sleep, toss a Poison Fang at 
him, and wait for him to die.

-Malboro: It takes two Shadow Gems plus two Fire Gems to kill him.  If you 
encounter him before you've stolen any Fire Gems, it will take three Shadow 
Gems and three Poison Fangs instead.  If you don't have enough Poison Fangs, 
you're not going to kill him before Bad Breath; just assault him with Bomb 
Cores, Smoke Bombs, and whatever other items you have handy, and equip Confuse
Ward and Berserk Ward so you have a chance of surviving Bad Breath.  You can 
steal a few Remedies, as long as you keep your Evade&Counter protection up, 
but don't dilly-dally; he'll hit you with Bad Breath if you wait too long, 
which has a decent chance of killing you even if he can't hit you.  If you're 
revisiting the Calm Lands (or the Cavern of the Stolen Fayth) after receiving 
the airship, you can simply kill him with a Candle of Life instead.

N) Mount Gagazet/Zanarkand Ruins

Before ascending the mountain, you'll need several Dream Powders and at least 
30 Poison Fangs.  Petrify Grenades are also a nice time-saver, though they are
by no means necessary.  (The Monster Arena is a great place to steal these 
items, since you'll only have to face one fiend at a time while you collect 
them.)  Evade&Counter is as useful as ever, as is Fireproof (for the Grenades 
and Nidhogg's flame breath) and Lightningproof (for Imp and the Mech Leader's 
electrocution attack).  Rikku should probably equip her Master Thief armor, so
she can steal as many items as possible from the fiends, but the Haste Targe
is also effective if you prefer getting more turns or simply couldn't win the 
Pendulums from Remiem.  At this point you should have three First Strike 
weapons; I like to customize First Strike for Rikku and Wakka and keep them in
the front row.

Since you have access to Capture weapons from the moment you enter this area, 
you can simply use the strategies listed under the Monster Capturing Guide for
the random encounters here--and indeed, in every area from this point on.  The
strategies below are for those enemies who either cannot be captured, or can 
be killed more easily with a different strategy (if you have already reached 
your capture limit or simply don't want to bother).  In either case, you MUST 
have at least one Zombietouch weapon before you enter the Gagazet caves.  In a
pinch, everything on the trail (and everything except Behemoth and Dark Flan 
in the caves and the Zanarkand Ruins) can be killed with a Petrify Grenade.  

-Mech Leader: Steal to kill it.  Always target this one first in the all-
machina battles, since its electrocution attack bypasses Evade&Counter.

-Mech Defender: Steal to kill it.

-Bashura: Toss a Dream Powder and Poison Fang, and wait for him to die.  Or 
just toss a Petrify Grenade; this is often easier, since the Grats that 
accompany him can be a pain to kill individually.

-Behemoth: Toss a Dream Powder, toss a Poison Fang, and wait for him to die.  
Since he's immune to Petrification and Death, this is the only easy way to 
kill him.

-Mandragora: Either throw a Dream Powder and Poison Fang, or just eliminate 
him with a Petrify Grenade.  Keeping him awake is not wise unless you intend 
to capture him, since his Earthquake attack can easily wipe out the party.

-Dark Flan: Either throw a Silence Grenade, or simply use Star Curtains on 
Rikku and the character with the Zombietouch weapon.  Have Rikku steal more 
Star Curtains while the other character attacks.  Once you're tired of 
stealing, toss a Phoenix Down at him for an instant victory.

O) Zanarkand Dome

Except for Defender Z, every enemy here is a powered-up version of one that 
appears on the Bevelle Highbridge.  Evade & Counter is absolutely mandatory 
here, as is Fireproof or Fire Eater if you don't want to use Dream Powders on 
the monks.  Rikku should have the Haste Targe equipped whenever she isn't 
wearing Fireproof.  Steal as many Candles of Life as you can, not just for 
Zombieproof but to give you a practical way of dealing with those high-HP 
Defenders as well.

-Defender Z: If you meet one before you encounter the Fallen Monks, it will 
take four Shadow Gems plus three elemental Gems to finish him.  Otherwise, you
can just use a Candle of Life and wait 10 rounds for him to die.  Either way, 
equip Evade&Counter and revive after Haymaker as needed.

-Fallen Monk: As they are undead, a Phoenix Down will kill them.  You don't 
want to kill them right away, though: the Candles of Life they carry are 
invaluable, and if they're accompanied by a YKT you have Thrust Kick to worry 
about.  Either make sure everyone has Fireproof or put them to sleep, then 
eliminate them once you've finished the job.

-YKT-11: Basically the same as Bevelle's kicker machina, but with double the 
HP.  Poison Fangs and Soul Springs are the best way to kill him, though if he 
comes in an all-machina formation a Shadow Gem is a great way to weaken all 
three enemies at once.

-YAT-97: Like Bevelle's cannon machina, they only use their full-party attack 
if they are left alone and in the back row.  Toss a Shadow Gem or Grenade to 
keep them distracted (or attack with Wakka, if there is just one), and finish 
them with Fire Gems or Water Gems once the other enemies are out of the way.

While you must still kill Wakka and Yuna right before facing Spectral Keeper, 
the fact that you must do so without running away complicates things.  Make 
sure both of them have their Haste armors equipped, and get into a battle 
outside the Cloister of Trials.  Both of them must die at least once, 
something the machina will ensure if they don't have an Evade&Counter weapon 
equipped.  (You can revive them after they're killed, so long as you don't 
change their armors.)  Have Rikku win the battle as usual, enter the Cloister 
of Trials **without touching the save sphere**, and send Spectral Keeper 
straight to the Farplane.

After you've defeated Yunalesca and claimed the airship, all the shops in 
Spira will be offering new and powerful weapons and armors.  After visiting 
the hidden airship locations and buying the mandatory empty armors from Wantz,
I suggest checking the shops out.  The Lucid and element-proof armors sold in 
Luca are especially valuable (the former are very important for when you fight
Great Malboro, while the latter can fill in some important gaps in your 
elemental protection).  You can also buy Sleepstrike weapons in Luca and cheap
three-slotted weapons and armors in Besaid, both of which are obviously

P) Cavern of the Stolen Fayth

Though you can reach this area before you ever get to Gagazet, there is little
reason to come here before you get the airship.  If you're venturing into the 
cave proper, you absolutely must have Magic Defense +10% for Auron and a large
supply of Lunar Curtains.  (HP +20% or better will also do if you never 
received an Onyx Bracer--though if you equip that instead, you must remember 
to restore his HP every time after switching between that armor and a 
different one.)  Some Candles of Life are also useful for dealing with the 
occasional Defender or Malboro.  Besides that, just use the same equipment 
setup as Gagazet.  Fireproof armor is very helpful here.

-Magic Urn: One of the most dangerous random enemies in the game, believe it 
or not.  Since you can't run away, you have no choice but to randomly attack 
the eyes until the Magic Urn decides to explode.  To survive the explosion 
Auron must wear his Magic Defense +10% armor, and Rikku must use a Lunar 
Curtain on him before you attack.  While hitting the right eye can give you 
some useful items--Elixirs, Frag Grenades, and even the occasional Stamina 
Tablet--for the most part they're nothing but a big hassle.

-Defender: Like their big brothers in Zanarkand, the easiest way to kill them 
is to toss a Candle of Life and dodge their attacks with Evade&Counter.  If 
for some reason you're venturing in here without Candles of Life, toss a 
Shadow Gem and a few elemental Gems to kill them.  Steal plenty of Lunar 
Curtains, and revive from Haymaker as needed.

-Yowie: You could just kill them with a Dream Powder or Gold Hourglass, but if
you do that you will lose out on the Petrify Grenades they carry.  My 
preferred strategy is to immobilize them with a Sleeping Powder, equip Rikku's
Master Thief armor, and steal a Petrify Grenade from each of them.  This will 
give you just enough time to finish them with a Grenade before they can start 
attacking again.

-Coeurl: While you can still kill them with Sleep+Poison, or by attacking with
Deathtouch or Deathstrike, you can also eliminate them with the Farplane 
Shadows that are a rare steal from Ghost and Tonberry.  Since Wakka can only 
kill one before it gets to move, these can be a real lifesaver (or at the very
least, can save you a few Phoenix Downs).

-Ghost: Use a Candle of Life and Silence Grenade.  This is a good place for 
Master Thief, as the Farplane Shadows it carries are great against Coeurl and 
the other fiends.

-Tonberry: Put it to sleep, then kill it with four or five elemental Gems.  
While it is vulnerable to Doom, the 20 rounds it takes to kill the fiend is 
more waiting than it's worth.  (Though why you would want to stick around 
anyway after you're done capturing Tonberry is beyond me.)

Q) Omega Ruins

Hoo boy.  Even if you're only coming here to capture a few fiends, you will 
need plenty of items and protective armor.  Candles of Life and Petrify 
Grenades are particularly important, as every fiend you don't capture has to 
be killed with one of the two.  You will also need a decent number of Star 
Curtains to survive Spirit.  As for equipment, make sure that Rikku and 
another character (I suggest Wakka) has protection against at least three 
elements, your Evade&Counter characters (especially Auron) have Confuse Ward 
and Berserk Ward armor, and either Wakka or Kimahri has Auto-Phoenix armor.  
Always have First Strike weapons on your frontline characters and Confuse 
Ward+Berserk Ward armor on your Great Malboro party.

-Mimic: These nasties frequently appear if you try to steal from the chests 
that appear with a Zaurus in battle.  If you don't want to fight them for gil,
simply ignore all the chests; the items they carry are not worth the trouble.
If you do fight them, eliminate the Zaurus with a Petrify Grenade and kill the
Mimic with a Candle of Life.  Their attacks ignore Evade&Counter, and they hit
hard and fast.  I suggest putting two characters with Auto-Phoenix on the 
frontlines, as it can sometimes be difficult to use Phoenix Downs fast enough.

-Defender Z: They appear two at a time here, which means big trouble if they 
use double Haymakers over and over and kill your characters faster than you 
can revive them.  To survive until the Candles of Life can finish them, you 
need to put both Auron and another Evade&Counter character with Auto-Phoenix 
on the frontlines.  For some reason, Haymaker always targets Auron first; 
since your Auto-Phoenixer will instantly revive him, no one but him will ever 
be killed.  Have Rikku toss two Candles of Life, and steal lots of Lunar 
Curtains while you wait for them to die.

-Great Malboro: Have everyone switch to Evade&Counter, and throw a Candle of 
Life at your first opportunity.  Not only does this save you Shadow Gems, but 
it also allows you to avoid the dangerous chew and full-party spit attacks he 
would use at low HP.

-Spirit+Halma/Black Element: Use a Star Curtain on Auron and have him switch 
to his Confuse Ward armor.  If Auron does not have Confuse Ward and Auto-
Potion on the same armor, use a Lunar Curtain as well to reduce the damage 
from Spirit's Poison Mist.  Then immobilize the Halmas or Black Elements with 
a Dream Powder or Silence Grenade, respectively, and switch Rikku to the 
Victorious.  (If you just want to kill the Halmas rather than capturing, use a
Petrify Grenade instead.  Farplane Shadows and Deathstrike weapons work 
against both enemies, and without risking Poison Mist, but neither is fully 
reliable, and in any case you can only kill one at a time.)  To eliminate 
Spirit toss a Candle of Life and wait three rounds for him to die, as this 
will minimize your exposure to Poison Mist.

-Master Tonberry: Put him to sleep, toss a Candle of Life, and wait 25 rounds
for him to die.  It may be boring, but you cannot afford to waste the Shadow 
Gems required to kill him directly.

-Wraith: Use a Candle of Life.  He cannot be silenced like Ghost, but since he
only gets two attacks (and one of those is the slow-acting Doom spell) that's 
not a big problem.

-Demonolith: Equip Evade&Counter and Stoneproof, and use a Candle of Life on 
each.  Steal tons of Petrify Grenades while you wait for them to die.

-Varuna/Adamantoise/Zaurus/Puroboros/Machea/Floating Death/Master Coeurl: Kill
them with a Petrify Grenade.  The supply should not be a problem; with 
Evade&Counter, and especially with Auto-Haste, Rikku should be able to steal 
way more than she needs from Zaurus and Demonolith.

R) Inside Sin

The game's final dungeon is only slightly less dangerous than the Omega Ruins.
Auron needs his fully customized Phoenix Bracer, as well as Defense +10%.  
(You could give him HP +30% instead, but that will necessitate an additional 
round of healing.)  In addition, your Evade&Counter characters require Confuse
Ward and Berserk Ward armor for Great Malboro.  You will need a good number of
Light and Star Curtains, and lots of Candles of Life and Poison Fangs; it 
takes at least 15 of both to reach the Tower of the Dead.  Rikku should have 
her Haste Targe equipped between battles, Auron should keep the Phoenix Bracer
on, and your third frontline character needs Lightningproof.

-Behemoth King: Begin by using a Stamina Tablet and Star Curtain on Auron, 
then have your third character heal him while Rikku uses a Candle of Life and
switches to the Victorious.  At the next opportunity have Auron equip his 
Defense +10% armor and defend again, then use a Light Curtain to put him under
Protect again.  (If you're using HP +30%, you will need to heal him again 
after you do so.)  Though Behemoth King will still cast Meteor when he dies, 
Auron will survive with a few hundred HP remaining.  While the seven turns 
you're given to prepare is usually more than enough, it's possible for him to 
screw you over by repeatedly killing Rikku or using Heave on Auron before you 
can fully protect him; at least a little luck is required.

-Gemini: Annoying fiends who are immune to Death and Petrification.  Put them 
to sleep with a Dream Powder, use a Poison Fang on each of them, and wait a 
few rounds for them to die.  Candles of Life work just as well, but you should
save those for the even tougher enemies.  If you're creating a second Auto-
Protect armor (see the final boss strategy), you will need to steal lots of 
Light Curtains.  My preferred method for this is to switch to Rikku's Master 
Thief armor after using the Dream Powder, stealing once from each of them, 
then using the Poison Fangs and stealing some more while Poison kills them.

-Adamantoise/Exoray/Ahriman: Eliminate them with a Petrify Grenade.

As usual, you will need to kill Auron in a random battle before you fight 
Seymour Omnis.  Soul Springs are ideal for this, though if you meet Behemoth 
King he will have to survive that battle and die in the next one.

Once you've beaten Omnis, you will encounter a few new fiends in the City of 
Dying Dreams.  All but Barbatos are also encountered in the Omega Ruins 
(though this area's Great Malboro does not automatically ambush); see that 
area's strategies for advice on defeating them.

-Barbatos: Toss a Candle of Life and wait ten rounds for him to die.  With 
Auto-Protect, Auron will have no trouble surviving Body Splash.  While you're 
here, you might as well collect a few Blessed Gems; equip Rikku's Master Thief
armor and steal until the battle ends.

At last, the final save point!  You're not done yet, though, since you can 
still encounter fiends if you're hit by an icicle in Sin's Nucleus.  (You'll 
want to avoid these battles, since you need to save as many Phoenix Downs as 
possible for Braska's Final Aeon.)  The fiends you encounter here are mostly 
the same as the battles in the City of Dying Dreams, though somewhat tougher: 
Great Malboro automatically ambushes you, and you encounter Demonolith three 
at a time.  There is one new fiend, as well:

-Land Worm: Put him to sleep and kill him with a Candle of Life.  While Poison
still works, it would take 50 rounds for it to take off all his HP.

After you've collected all ten items, you are done with random encounters 
forever.  All that is left is to beat Braska's Final Aeon and smite Yu Yevon.
Good luck!


Smokingfrog2--For proposing this challenge in its current form

Ken Lionheart--For providing the inspiration to try the NSGNSNO challenge, 
and for his Seymour Flux strategy

juarezmj-For pointing out that Tidus and the other guys could also survive
BFA's attacks

Lethaldrag0n-For demonstrating the importance of using Talk twice in a row in
his YouTube video

Dark Locke and TrueDFX--For much inspired brainstorming on NSGNSNO strategies

Split Infinity--For discovering Yunalesca's, Overdrive Sin's, and Seymour 
Omnis' attack patterns

Dustman, Hyprophant, and Gestahl--For setting the groundwork for this 
challenge in their excellent FAQs

GameFAQs--For hosting this FAQ and our lengthy NSGNSNO strategizing

Squaresoft--For producing one of the best RPGs ever made

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